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Ok, so hummus is pretty damn good. As part of my life-improvement challenge, I've also been trying to incorporate healthier foods into my average day. My diet generally consisted of taco dip and Cheez-Its, so any improvement is very much welcome! I'm trying the whole moderation idea, too. Can't rule out those Cheez-Its entirely (at least not yet!). Anyway, Sabra's Sun Dried Tomato Hummus is quite tasty. I recommend it. I have little idea of what to do with it, due to my complete lack of knowledge regarding healthy foods, but it's working well with plain old crackers. Neat! In other news, I made some purchases off of my Amazon wishlist, and have received two books in the mail yesterday. Between episodes of Dexter, I read part of Graphic Design for Non-Designers by Tony Sedden and Jane Waterhouse. I wouldn't consider myself a non-designer, but I also wouldn't consider myself a full-on professional designer quite yet. The book has been a pretty good read so far, and has helped me remember a lot of the basics that I learned in school. It's nice to have design on my mind again, and since I'm not immersed in it with my regular job, I'm definitely trying to fit time in for it elsewhere. So far, so good!

It's really strange for me to be thinking so much about my own personal growth. I've never really thought as much about it, until now. I think most of my life I just really went with the flow. I tried to control things here and there, but I'm at the point now where I'm just done with waiting. It doesn't make sense to me anymore to sit around and wait for what I want. I think this year, I've definitely been in more of a "take it and it can be yours" kind of mentality. And I think it's working. I'm still very focused on Ruby July, and every day I'm working towards that goal a little bit more. I have no idea as to how successful it could be, or what its staying power might be, but that doesn't really matter now. I'm hoping that the more I refuse to give up on it, the more power it will have to actually be something. I've been doing a lot of research on what's out there, and what kinds of things seem to be doing well. During this process, I'm also trying to really figure out what I want my focus to be. Everybody kind of has their style worked out, and I'm eventually getting to that point. It's challenging, and it's also so refreshing. I haven't felt challenged, or even really cared about improving my talent and growth as a designer, since college. It seems like people can get easily caught up in the day-to-day routine of life, and forget to take each day as something special. I've done that for years. Since I moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota, I've been working full-time, and I've let that absorb most of my life force. I've reopened my eyes in the past few weeks, and I'm shifting my focus to myself instead of the mundane routine that eats so many of us up. Even though Ruby July is only a little nugget in the making right now, it's probably one of the best things I've done for myself. I hope you have things like that in your life, and if you don't, go find it! I think everyone needs to have something that they love, and something that really gives them purpose and drive. I've been thinking about what I want this blog to even be, and at first I just wanted it to be straight-up business. But I don't like that approach anymore, and I want for it to have a more personal touch. Sometimes I'll write about myself, sometimes I'll write about things I find that I like (recipes, songs, the like), and the other times it will be strictly Ruby July. I want to give this more of a heartbeat, and to be something that people can relate to. If you have any opinions or comments, please feel free to share! I'd love to hear from you!

After a couple weeks of tweaking, and changing typefaces, I've decided on a logo. Actually, I decided on the logo awhile ago, BUT I'm sharing it with the world now. Meet the official logo for Ruby July:

Well, what do you think?! Instead of making even more unnecessary tweaks and just not making a decision, I think we'll go with it. And I'm pretty happy with it. I have some fun ideas in the works right now, especially for a little special addition to my shipping packages. I've placed orders for materials for that, and am very much looking forward to getting that started. My first priority is to get everything figured out on that end, before I even start to think about doing any printing (but of course, that's on the list too!). There really is a lot to think about and plan, and it's actually been really fun so far. It's keeping my mind busy while at work, and it's just great to have something to finally work towards. I really want for Ruby July to succeed and to be able to pull prints on a regular basis and to keep this going. I'm definitely stubborn enough to keep fighting for it! Besides all of this, I've also made it a goal to design something new every week for print. I have a list of ideas, and I'm still on schedule with that. I might even overachieve, and do extra! :) I'll be sure to post about anything coming up, and when I start getting finalized ideas for print, I'll put those up too to gauge feedback. I'm hoping to have an Etsy store set up by July, so everything will then be available to the masses, or the three people that happen to stumble across my store. Either way, it works for me!

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