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Good Shtuff

The Adventures – November 2016

Here’s a round-up of what I saw, did, and read this month! Follow my Instagram Stories for in-the-moment photos + videos. You can find years of Adventures here.

The News:

  • I just started a kind of biz-focused Advent series on Instagram. Be sure you’re following me to get #24daysofbizjoy!
  • The Starship opens next week! Sign up here to learn more and get first access to the spots!
  • I’m teaching some big classes at the TNNA Winter Show, including one before the show (perfect for vendors). Find it all here. 
  • I left some books with Joeli + she’s shipping them for me! If you’re in the UK and you want my book, shipping has never been more affordable! Grab it here! 

The View

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I am so grateful for…

  • An AMAZING trip to the UK.
  • The supportive, honest community in the Starship. It’s become a place we can talk about anxiety, depression, and massive biz growth.
  • Twinkly lights!
  • My Holiday Sanity playlist

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m listening to: 

I’m eating: 

  • This peanut curry is in heavy rotation when we don’t have a lot of time.
  • And Daiya Mac 
  • I shared my entire Thanksgiving menu (with links!), with my Patrons. You can join them (and get a holiday card!) right here.
  • I discovered mincemeat pies in England and ate a million of them. DO tell me (on Twitter or Facebook!) if you know where I can get them here in the States?

What did you read, listen to and eat last month? Come tell me on Facebook!

What I’m Reading: October 2016

A list of alllll the books I read this month (there were a lot!) and what I plan to read next. Read more at TaraSwiger.com.

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list with me on Facebook and find all the posts here.

(The usual disclaimer applies.)

What I read

  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, by Scott Adams – I took copious notes on this book! In it, the Dilbert cartoonist explains how he reached crazy goals (spoiler alert: systems!). So you know I loved it and recommend it.
  • The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, by Sherri Lynn Wood – Oh man. I love this book. It gave me so many quilty ideas! It’s exactly the kind of craft book I love – lots of ideas + inspiration + “how to think” stuff, without step by step instructions (which I never follow anyhow).
  • Leaving the Saints, by Martha Beck – Oof. I thought I was reading a (well-written) book about the author leaving the Latter Day Saints. And then it turns into so much more. It gutted me and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time.
  • The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, by Susan Wise Bauer – Yes, the author is a bit sniffy about those of us who haven’t had a “classical education” but I always say what I learned in college wasn’t so much conjugating French verbs but HOW to learn anything, and how to think critically. This book gives you the tools to apply that critical thinking to both fiction and non-fiction. It also provides a list of books in literature, history and philosophy to round out your classical education. Since it’s a library book, I didn’t read the blurbs for all the suggested books, but I did take notes on critical method and the books I haven’t yet read. (I started a new note keeping system during reading, would you like to see it? Lemme know on Facebook!)
  • Year of Reading Dangerously, by Andy Miller – The above book led me to the “reading” section of my library (meta!) where I found this. Funny, interesting, and definitely got me re-excited about my Great Books project. (My list is here.)
  • Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff – This book is summed in her TED Talk. If you enjoy the talk, read the book. (It’s just $7.99 on the Kindle right now!)
  • Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle-Melton – Like I said last month, I found Glennon’s blog, read a ton of her archives and immediately checked her first book out from the library. And then her next book came out and I snatched it up… and then it was named Oprah’s next Book Club pick. I hope that won’t turn you off from this, a totally gripping memoir about a woman’s understanding of herself, as a woman, in this world that objectifies and sexualizes us.
  • All the Things We Never Knew, by Sheila Hamilton – Another memoir! This one by a woman who slowly uncovers her husband’s mental health diagnosis and struggles to keep him safe and alive, even after it’s totally destroyed their relationship.

What I’m reading

I need some more recommendations! Tell me on Twitter or Facebook!

Yeah, so I read a LOT this month. I didn’t even share them all here (I skipped the ones I didn’t love, or wouldn’t recommend.)  Here’s to another great month of reading!

What I read last October.

And in October 2014.

What are you reading?

The Adventures – August 2016

Here’s a round-up of what I saw, did, and read this month! Follow my Instagram Stories for in-the-moment photos + videos. You can find years of Adventures here.

The News:

  • If you’re in the UK, check the only biz-focused workshops I’ll be holding during my tour in November! Join before spots fill up!
  • I’m planning a new (free!) weekly webinar series for the next 2 months. If you want access, just be sure you’re signed up.

The view

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

I am so grateful for…

  • Support and encouragement of friends
  • New babies! 2 of my dearest friends had new babies in the last 6 weeks. Handknit tiny hats all around!
  • My morning window corner where I sip coffee, read, and journal

The Finds:

I’m reading:

 

 

How about you? What went well in your month?

The Adventures – July 2016

 

Here’s a round-up of what I saw, did, and read this month! Follow me on SnapChat for in-the-moment photos + videos!

The News:

  • I’m teaching a full-day marketing workshop for yarn-y people, in collaboration with a yarn rep/store owner this month! Join us here.
  • If you’re in the UK, check the only biz-focused workshops I’ll be holding during my tour in November! Join before spots fill up! 

The view

IMG_0225 IMG_0212 IMG_0185 IMG_0170 IMG_0139 IMG_0102 IMG_0049

I am so grateful for…

  • Good books
  • An amazing team (thanks Jess + Jay!) that makes things happen even when I can’t
  • A quick trip to the beach, before my teaching gig

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating:

  • Homemade corn dogs – so simple and cute! Take cornbread muffins + pop in a bit of (vegan) hot dog: homemade corn pups!
  • ALL of the basil pesto (I don’t measure it anymore, but this is the basic idea)
  • Blueberry pancakes topped with blueberry syrup (just cook the blueberries on medium heat until they pop and get gooey)

 

How about you? What went well in your month?

The Adventures: April 2016

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news at the end of each month – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here.

The Adventures of my creative business: TaraSwiger.com
It’s been a while since I did an Adventures post! I’ve decided to change it up and do them every month and wrap up what happened, what I’ve learned and the best stuff I read online, heard, and ate.

The News:

The BIG news this month is that Craft Your Marketing is open! And there are all kinds of new bonuses. If you join by April 29th, you’ll get a free signed copy of my book, mailed right to you. And if you join by May 5th, you’ll get access to an exclusive Q+A, where you can ask me your marketing questions.

I also worked on a lot of live teaching events this month! I taught in Atlanta (at the Yarn Market News Conference) and in a few days I’ll be teaching in Maryland (details here). And some of my teaching gigs in the UK are now open for registration! You’ll find all the live teaching gigs here.

The view

My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com
My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com

My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com
My business in April 2016, on TaraSwiger.com

I am so grateful for…

  • Spring flowers
  • Lovely yarn
  • Fantastic students

The Finds:

I’m reading:

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

What I’m reading: January 2016

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

What I read

  • Emma, by Jane Austen
  • A Curious Mind, by Brian Grazer. So good! Brian has spent his life holding “curiosity conversations” – once a week he talks to someone interesting and is just curious about them. I love the idea and the book inspired me to be more curious with everyone I meet.
  • Knit Wear Love, by Amy Herzog. I enjoyed this book about changing your sweater pattern to match your personal style.
  • Design Mom, by Gabrielle Blair. A gorgeous book, that gave me some ideas for our new place. But I couldn’t get over how she always refers to her husband by his full name (Ben Blair). Every. Time. Distracting, but beautiful!

What I’m reading

What I read last January.
And in January 2014.

What are you reading?

50 Things I loved in 2015

50things2015

Last year I shared a list of everything I loved in 2014 and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again, as part of my yearly review. It’s so much fun to think back through the tools I discovered or the experiences I had that are particular to this year. What are your favorite parts of the last year?

(This is no particular order, I just started listing as things came to me.)

  1. By far the most favorite part of my year, of every year, is getting to work with amazing, inspiring, clever, curious makers and artists. I am honored to be part of their journey. All of the stuff on this list can’t compare to the joy my job brings me.
  2. Periscope. If you asked me to name one tool that changed my business the most in 2015, I’d have to say Periscope. Through it, I connected deeper to my current students and (quite a surprise to me!) I found and connected with many brand-new-to-me people who became Starship Captains this year. (You can watch all recent episodes here.)
  3. Jess. She makes my entire life better with her feedback, editing, and smarts.
  4. Working with Jay (my husband) as a team member in my company. Sure, we had a lot of adjusting to do, but it’s not only improved our all-the-time communication, it also built our confidence for our next business undertaking. Plus, getting his insight and skillz into my projects makes everything better! (If you like the blog images, or the visual prompts of the Biz Confidence Challenge, or the fact that I now put podcast recordings on YouTube – that’s all him!)
  5. Asana! This project-management tool has streamlined all of the many pieces of my biz, and cuts down on back-and-forth that comes from having three hands in just about every project.
  6. Finally finding a planner-system that works for me, that isn’t just a notebook. I’ve been using Filofax + Get to Workbook.
    Tara Swiger's planner
  7. Grants Pass + visiting my parents. For the first time in my LIFE I was able to visit my dad + second-mom three times in the same year. This is by far the best perk of my job, and the highlight of my personal life.
  8. The Biz Confidence Challenge! The idea came to me and I sketched it out in 10 minutes and it started the very next Monday. The reactions + results have been fantastic. The #bizconfidencechallenge hashtag is an inspiration.
  9. Pad Thai. Still my most-favorite dinner.
  10. The entire CreativeLIVE experience. I loved working with their team, and getting the chance to grab a bite with both Abby and Megan.
  11. My galaxy sneakers. There is nothing like having a pair of shoes that you just adore.
    Tara's galaxy sneakers
  12. Craftcation! This was such a fun experience, it totally cured my fear of conferences. And of course having days to talk about life with Kim Werker is always a good thing. Plus Abby! And Blair!
  13. My neon green maxi skirt. And my giant neon pink paper-thin scarf. The perfect traveling clothes!
  14. Raylan! He came into our life in January and almost left us in December (scary!). He was a hot mess of excitement and energy, but through patience and playdates, he’s become a snuggly, sweet (still super-curious) member of the family.
    Raylan and Beau on TaraSwiger.com
  15. Charleston! I took a quick 2 day trip there at the last minute, with my mom and her friends, and it was lovely!
  16. Daiya Mac + Cheese and brussel sprouts! I ate this meal about 500 times this year.
  17. TNNA + teaching in Columbus. I got to see so many Starship Captains
  18. School House Craft. The entire conference was fun, but the highlight was getting to know Isaac and Caitlin and Sharon better (and more Kim and Marlo!). In other words, as always, the best part of anything is the people, and I’m thrilled to get to work alongside such lovely people.
    Isaac Watson, Kim Werker and TaraSwiger
  19. Honore Bakery is within walking distance of my friend’s house in Seattle. YUM.
  20. Finishing the first draft of my book proposal. And then sending to an agent. It took way longer than I planned, it was super scary, I have no idea what’s going to happen… and yet I’m so glad I did it.
  21. Discovering the perfect writing spot! There’s a bookstore inside a coffe shop! I ONLY work on the book here, so it’s easy for me to snap into focus when I sit down.
    word in the willows
  22. Being on other podcasts. I shared my secret inner warrior (She-Ra, Princess of Power!) with Jeffrey Shaw and talked about launching and confidence with Tiffany Han.
  23. Writing for Yarn Market News.
  24. Red hair! I thought about it for over 3 months and finally pulled the trigger at the very end of the year. It’s an ongoing symbol of following my gut instead of focusing on what other people will think.
    Tara Swiger

  25. Inside Out. By far one of the best movies I’ve watched in years. It’s sparked conversations with everyone I’ve talked to about it.
  26. Comics! Especially Jem, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (her roommate is a knitter!), B*tch Planet, and Ms. Marvel. If you don’t read comics, I highly recommend getting any of these in paperback at your library and diving in.
  27. Knitting! I finished more knitting this year than I have in years. Mom’s sweater, my Blue Sand, Boxy, mittens, Jay’s hat, Mom’s Pendulum.
    yarn on TaraSwiger.com
  28. Knitting along to the Gilmore Girls. I re-watched it all this year.
  29. Going to afternoon matinees on Friday. The local movie theater does an extra-cheap movie between 4 and 5 pm. We took advantage of it at least once a month, which feels like sneaking out of work early. There were a lot of great movies this year!
  30. Some Starship Captains got buttons made, so they can find each other at events! I was so flabbergasted that they love the community enough to do this on their own!
    TaraSwiger buttons
  31. Les Mis!! For our anniversary Jay took me to see the local community theater production. I cried throughout (and I met a podcast listener, which was amazing).
  32. My new morning routine: Water, quiet time, reading (a book, not my phone), and working out. It’s made my mornings so much calmer and more fun. I look forward to getting up!
  33. Taking a full week off at the end of December. I stressed about this a lot, but I knew I needed to recover from the awesomeness (and hard work) of the Lift Off launch. It didn’t turn out how I imagined, but I’m glad I did it.
    knitting and coffee
  34. Reading about fitness with the goal of loving yourself and becoming stronger, from Neghar, Jill, and Jen. I cannot recommend their programs and blogs strongly enough.
  35. My library. It’s beautiful, has a great view, and is staffed by people I’m becoming friends with!
  36. The CSA – this is the first time in years that we subscribed and it was fantastic.
  37. Writing and recording Explore Your Enthusiasm podcast each week is still my favorite work. And connecting with the listeners via  #exploreyourenthusiasm is a delight.
  38. Reading! I read some of my favorite books ever this year: Big Magic, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Confidence Code and dozens more.
    Books on Tara Swiger
  39. My mastermind group. It is full of women I respect and our deepening friendships (and ongoing idea-generation) has been a huge blessing this year.
  40. Finally figuring out Pinterest. Caitlin said about 3 sentences at School House Craft that just shifted the whole thing for me.
  41. Tailwind, for scheduling my blog posts on Pinterest!
  42. CoSchedule for scheduling social media directly from WordPress.
  43. Buffer for scheduling social media from anywhere.
  44. Hiking! We went on a great hike through a new-to-us local mountain with friends, and then went on an amazing hike with my dad in Oregon. After every hike I remember how much I want to spend more time outdoors!
    hiking
  45. The new Starship site is AMAZING. I LOVE IT.
  46. Hiring Wendy was the best decision I made. The project would never have come together without her. (Plus, she’s hilarious.)
  47. This is the first year since I started my biz that my focus wasn’t on making new stuff. Instead, I focused on going deeper for my current students and on improving everything. I became more consistent, created a new platform for the Starship, improved and refreshed every single piece of every class, and really nailed the launch of Lift Off.
  48. This was the best year of sales in my business ever. I can’t believe I almost completely forgot that. It’s just one sign of how much my biz is growing into something I love.
  49. Making plans for 2016! I’ll be teaching nearly every month: in San Diego, Columbus, Cleveland, Atlanta, Maryland, and Western Mass. (Want to get updates when I nail down the dates and places? Sign up here!)

What were your favorite parts of 2015?

What I’m reading: December 2015

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

 

What I'm reading in December 2015

What I read

  • The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks – Oh, this book! It had been on my list forever, but when a Starship Captain started a discussion about “Upper Limit Problems”, I decided to finally read it. I’m so glad I did. If your business is growing but you feel like you struggle to keep up, or you’re holding it back, read this!
  • The Little Spark, by Carrie Bloomston – Perfect for re-sparking your flagging enthusiasm or creativity.
  • The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide, by Lewis Howes – Read this in preparation for today’s webinar.
  • The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennet – I saw this slim novella at my library and picked up. So glad I did – it resulted in a very happy afternoon of reading.

What I’m reading

 

What I read last December
And the December before that

What are you reading?

 

 

The Definitive Holiday Survival Guide for Creative Businesses

A guide to everything I've written on how to balance life, work, + family during the holidays. On TaraSwiger.com

 

Over the last six years of leading Holiday Sanity (now only available aboard the Starship or Lift Off), I’ve written quite a bit on surviving – even thriving – during the holiday season. With the beginning of the season, I wanted to share a bit of what works for me.

If you’re spending the holiday season planning for the new year, be sure to sign up here to learn more about my program that will guide you to the best year ever in your biz!

As we leap into Hanukkah, Solstice and Christmas, I hope this collection saves a bit of your own sanity.

Need to take an extended leave from your biz? Check out my course with Stacey Trock of FreshStitches: Take a Break (without breaking your biz!)

On other sites:

I gather all my favorite sanity-saving posts on this Pinterest board (new articles are added all the time!).

 

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The Advetnures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I love this time of day! Hope you're having a gorgeous day! ✨🍂💕#widn: drinking coffee, answering emails, writing my next book, and wearing my #bluesandcardigan for the first time EVER (with my #coloraffection shawl). I'll be showing it off on #Periscope in just a minute! Follow me (TaraSwiger) or catch it here: katch

Happy Friday! Today I'm so grateful for: 🍁leaves and blue skies 😍 the awesome replies to #bizconfidencechallenge ☕️ coffee & a good breakfast (tofu scramble) What are you grateful for this week? In about an hour we'll be s
Oh, puppy. 2 seconds alone with my knitting and 😮. Over 45 min to untangle. Life's not all neon rainbows, but there's a lot to be grateful for: 💕great yarn 🐶 puppy snuggles clean home 🍪 plenty of deliciousness How abou
#tbt to the gorgeous bouquets I found at a random gas station with @mcgeeandme in Seattle. Grateful for the short, but awesome visit. #taralovesadventure

I am so grateful for…

  • Warm woollen knits
  • Fantastic conversations with friends and peers
  • Fall leaves
  • The awesome response to the #BizConfidenceChallenge. 

 

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

Nothing exciting, but I’m starting to pin recipe ideas for the holidays here. (I’ve recently become waaaay more active on Pinterest. Follow me more lots of creative biz, marketing, and knitting goodness.

In case you missed it: 

  • The #BizConfidenceChallenge is rocking people’s businesses and causing massive transformation. Sign up here! 
  • I’m totally reworking the Starship to even better serve members. You can get on the list to find out more here.
  • I finnnnally put all my info together, for those who want to invite me to teach. Find it here! 

What adventures have you had?

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