My Current Workspace

My workspace used to be a big source of disdain for me, more of a hindrance than an environment to take action on my goals. Consisting of a 78″ tabletop from Ikea, 4 storage cubes from Michael’s, and a folding chair from my basement, it is certainly not my dream workspace, but I am beginning to like it more and more for its character and for the money I saved by creating it with things I already own.
I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to get work done if my desk wasn’t just right. I focus better when I feel comfortable and happy in the space around me. I recently rolled up my sleeves, arranged some things, and found a way to work it out using what I already have. I stopped making excuses and I started making changes that have been lending themselves to improved workflow and efficiency.

My Workspace - Kyla Mary

The most delightful feature of my workspace is being surrounded with inspiration, culminating in the focal point of my desk: an inspiration board. I use a white magnetic board with these magnets, which acts as a streamlined bulletin board without putting pin holes in my pieces. I keep it at eye level in front of me so that I can look up at it throughout the day and remember the things that motivate me to work hard towards my dreams.

2015-02-15 14.24.19

In setting up my workspace, I determined things that were hindering my productivity (noise, clutter, being overwhelmed by the size of tasks to be done) and I came up with solutions to tackle them. The following have been game-changers in getting things done for me:

  • Spotify | I have a worship playlist for when I am designing and painting, as well as a more mellow playlist for when I am studying design books.
  • Lighting | I positioned my desk between the two windows in my room, taking advantage of all of the cheerful sunlight that streams in during the day. To add an extra layer of lighting, I have a simple white lamp from Target positioned at the corner of my desk for nighttime or days when it’s cloudy.
  • Visible Goals | I keep the tending list of my PowerSheets on my desktop at all times, reminding me of the big picture of what I am working toward.
  • Planning | On most days, I set a daily action plan with tasks that I want to complete that day. Additionally, I keep a ‘big list’ of items that I want to accomplish that month that might not be crucial and tending-list worthy, but that I don’t want to forget (such as going through my wardrobe for pieces to get rid of, or scheduling a haircut).
  • Accessible Tools | I keep my most-reached-for items within reach. I used to dislike the idea of keeping things on my desktop, but I recently realized that it can save a lot of time to have purposeful placement of items (such as my Bible, software guidebooks, a color guide, etc) rather than keeping them tucked away in a drawer.
  • Hydration | It is super helpful to have a glass of water on my desk throughout the day to remind me to stay refreshed and hydrated.
  • Warm accents | During this time of year, it is extra lovely to have a candle to light to bring a little more warm light into my space.

Setting up my new workspace was entirely free and has been an anchor for me over the past two weeks. I sit there to write, paint, work on pieces for my internship, and more. With a designated space to focus and work, I find that I take my projects and tasks more seriously. I am more productive and less distracted, which makes for better time management and a happier me.

If you have found yourself in a rut with your work or lacking motivation, consider using what you have to create a space that is uniquely you and will help your workflow. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you need new ‘stuff’ to create a legitimate workspace, but it can be very fulfilling to use what you have to cut back on costs and refresh the space that you call your own!



My 2015 Goals

Y’all, I am really excited to share my goals with you today. The process of prayerfully searching my heart and defining my goals for 2015 was an incredibly reflective, gradual, growing experience.
I began goal setting with the first steps of my PowerSheets on December 31st. If you are not familiar with this tool, it is an incredible resource created by Lara Casey to help people define goals that are rooted in what matters most. They are currently sold out but will be back in stock in March. In the meantime, I highly recommend working through the goal setting series that she has graciously shared on her blog. Early in the month, she shared that February 1st was her January 1st. I found such freedom in that because it encouraged me to really take my time in working through each step, praying for guidance and direction, and really digging down to my core to set goals that I am excited about. Last year, I never finished my PowerSheets because I was facing a lot of unknowns with my back and I lacked the maturity and wisdom to see that I could have set purposeful goals despite my obstacles. Thankfully, over the past year, God has grown me so much and I feel like He is really impressing upon my heart to step into maturity and do remarkable (my word for the year) things.

These goals have been slow-cooked, loved on, prayed over, and thoughtfully defined. As of today, I have seven goals that I feel convicted to commit to. I have saved spaces 8, 9, and 10 on my PowerSheets, because I decided to focus on the seven that God has clearly given me for now and revisit the thought of adding more later.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13

Lara Casey Goal Setting Graphic - 2015 Goals1) Establish a stronger, more firm walk with God. Get to know Him intimately, grow a deep relationship with Him, make (and keep) Him my core, foundation, #1 priority, and necessity. Why? With God as my core, I cannot go wrong. I am whole in Him, fulfilled in Him, and find my joy in Him. He created me and I will live my best and most full life with him at the center. No other goal or pursuit has worth if I am not seeking God above everything else.

Jesus replied,  “‘You must love the  lord  your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O   lord ; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:10-12

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5

I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. John 5:30

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

2) Get healthy, strong, and confident in myself. Why? I want to feel my very best and utilize/leverage the energy and clarity that comes from wellness to grow and cultivate my giftings, be effective, and be ready to pour out into others. I don’t want to miss opportunities out of exhaustion or weakness that can be prevented by taking complete care of myself.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. Proverbs 31:17

3) Establish solid, full-time income doing work I am crazy passionate with and for. Why? I feel called to do remarkable work. My heart is very much set on doing hard, purposeful work. My time will be invested in something I believe in and I will be providing for myself out of the use of my giftings. It’s time to be brave.

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8

For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37

4) Create and produce/establish a portfolio (or portfolio-esque) reflection of my creative heart that effectively communicates my discerning eye, passions, and giftings. Why? To open the right doors. To gain experience that will equip me to do my work well and to contribute to something meaningful.

She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. Proverbs 31:18-19

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… Romans 12:6

5) Grow in character and step into maturity. Do not be watered-down or lukewarm. Have consistency and follow-through. Why? I am called to do so. This will make me a more effective young woman, leader, worker, friend, daughter, and will prepare me for when God calls me to marriage.

… Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Titus 2:7

6) Bring order to my resources and finances. Be a good steward or what God has given me and bless others through that. Be prayerful and obedient with spending. Why? I don’t want to be selfish or wasteful. I want to be secure and prepared for whatever God calls me to do and to not be thrown off by unexpected demands and expenses.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Proverbs 3:27

7. Cultivate and tend to community. Love on others, show people Jesus, and celebrate doing life with the people God has placed in my life. Why? We are instructed in scripture to love others and serve them. Relationships grow with tending love and care.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

Friends, I am ready to roll up my sleeves and take purposeful action this year. I feel so good about 2015!

kylamarymonogramImage courtesy of Lara Casey


2014 Vision – Revised

Good Afternoon Friends! I have been enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon and revising my vision for 2014. I am two days into my first analog weekend and I am soaking up this time away from social media. I am getting ready to set my goals for the year so I wanted to polish up the work that I have done so far. Enjoy!

My Faith

  • Open my Bible everyday, dig for truths, absorb them, and apply them. Seek wisdom.
  • Make God my core and continue to ask Him to change my heart and mind. I want these roots to be so deep that storms and burdens cannot shake this.
  • Make sure to guard my heart and set it in the right direction. Be aware of this.
  • Serve God and others
  • Be faithful and fervent in prayer.
  • Be still and wait upon the Lord.



  • Continue to grow, do not become complacent. Be patient as God changes my heart and mind.
  • Regain life and function – minimize limitations. Get my life back. Start living fully. In the meantime, apply myself where I can right now. Find the areas were I am able and run with them.
  • Define my responsibilities and fulfill them.
  • Focus + direction + intention = clarity. Work.
  • Practice gratitude and find contentment. Don’t dwell on the negatives.
  • Do not let my emotions get out of control or cloud my judgement.
  • Give my best each day, even if that means surrendering it all to God and resting in His presence. Put one foot in front of the other and rest in God’s grace when I’m in the thick of it.
  • Explore and do more.



  • Speak life
    • Be a Godly example
    • Inspire others
    • Encourage others
    • Lift others up in prayer
    • Motivate others to dig deeper in their faith and work with those seeds that are planted.
  • Be mindful of influence, both from me and into me.
  • More real conversation, less texting and social media.
  • Love others more fully, notice and appreciate the unique gifts that God gave them. Tell them.
  • Regularly set aside quality time with loved ones, especially my grandparents.
  • Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.



  • Continue to practice and grow as a designer. Use and apply the creative ambition within myself.
  • Explore and expand upon the idea of selling physical items.
  • Blog regularly
  • Work on Vision boards and professional Pinterest


  • Take initiative and responsibility with my health.
  • Eat cleaner and eat for well-being. Make realistic adjustments and practice self-discipline.
    • Drink lots of clean water
    • Eat fruits and vegetables
    • Be aware and mindful about what I am putting into my body.



  • Take good care of what has been entrusted to me. Be a good steward of time and resources.
  • Control clutter and simplify.

Don’t for a second think that I will get anywhere without God and by my own merit. I won’t.