Ekaterina Popova

 

Ekaterina Popova‘s paintings centered around the idea of home, and the unmade beds that often find themselves beneath her brush, have me thinking about sultry summer nights and the warm spring ones we’ve already had that left me throwing off the covers. Popova references old photographs, images, magazine cutouts, and books that remind her of her old life in Russia to create these fictitious places that will inevitable make you feel something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Accounting Confessions of a Businesswoman

 

Just like clockwork, I filed for my yearly tax extension yesterday.

See, I have a bit of an admission to make which is that I really hate numbers and money or any combination of the two. Design Crush has been a business for nearly ten years and an LLC for more than half of that, and I’m honestly just getting a hold on my books now. It’s always felt extremely overwhelming to me, and so I’ve never made the time to fully understand and grasp what was going on behind the scenes. Money in the bank? Great. Set aside enough of that payment for taxes? Done. And that’s basically the extent of what my plan has been until this year.

Accounting got to the point of being a constant source of stress, a point of mental wellness that needed addressing. So I reached out to FreshBooks after sitting in on one of their workshops, they made accounting seem both easy to tackle and far less overwhelming than it had up until this point.

 

 

I’ve teamed up with FreshBooks to bring you the story of my journey this year as I tackle the financial side of Design Crush – and what better time to start than Tax Day?

Let’s start from the beginning.

When I first logged into my free one month trial I was immediately impressed by the clean layout. One thing that’s always kept me away from other accounting software is the sheer amount of information being thrown my way visually. FreshBooks was actually designed to be simple to use for the self-employed and easy to navigate, and that’s actually what it is. It became apparent – quickly – that I was about to be far more streamlined as a business as soon as I familiarized myself with the system. (On average users save 16 hours per month!)

 

 

I played around backlogging invoices from January 2017 to the present, marking the paid ones off and entering the information of the brands I work with most often for future billing. FreshBooks helps you to create a professional looking invoice that includes your logo, as well as sends out reminders when one goes overdue – basically taking you out of the role as the bad guy. (I love this.) You can even personalize a thank you message that goes out once each invoice is paid. Now this feature is like magic to me, you can set up your account up to accept credit cards! *mind explodes* If you’d like to dig even deeper you can add additional charges for late payments and request deposits from clients. Everything can be automated, making invoicing as painless as humanly possible.

Invoicing features: customization, payment reminders, automatic late fees, accept credit cards, recurring invoices, flexible due dates, handle received invoices, discounts, deposit requests, preview before sending, multi-currency billing, multi-language invoices, duplicate invoices, automatic tax calculations

 

 

Next thing, I photographed receipts and uploaded them to mark as expenses. Being a visually-driven person, it really helps that I’m able to see both the actual receipt as well as the file in FreshBooks. Nearly all of the functions include a line graph spelling things out for those of us who comprehend information better in that form. In this case I can tell immediately how much I’ve been spending and how profitable Design Crush is at any moment. Goodbye shoebox of receipts and manual entry! My accountant is already thanking you because he won’t be receiving a handwritten list for my 2016 taxes. *cringe*

Expense features: receipt attachments, tax-friendly categories, easy to read summaries, remembered vendors, multi-currency tracking, easily editable

 

 

So, this is the start of my journey. I’m looking forward to sharing more of what I learn along the way as I step out of my comfort zone and tackle this neglected area of Design Crush. If you have any questions about FreshBooks I’d love to try and help get answers for you from their award-winning rockstars in customer service. In the meantime, you can sign up for a free monthlong trial right here!

This post sponsored by FreshBooks. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Bettina Krieg

 

Bettina Krieg‘s drawings integrate loose patterns and topography, and most seemingly have no starting point. Extremely organic in feeling, Krieg’s work takes on a life of its own that’s full of motion and energy. Power seems to ripple just under the surface of every single piece she creates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Favorite Food Blogs of the Moment

Heartbeet Kitchen is a celebration of sweet and savory recipes along with some other tidbits from author Amanda’s life in Minnesota. The recipes are based around seasonal vegetables and whole grains, as well as eggs and dairy from happy animals. Many are vegetarian, and all are gluten-free with a specialty in baking with alternative flours.

Recent Favorites: Creamy Polenta Porridge with Berries and Honey, No-Bake Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Pots with Pretzel CrunchRoasted Cabbage Steaks with Garlicky Beet Sauce

 

The Vanilla Bean Blog, aka Sarah Kieffer, is a site I’ve been following for several years now. Started as a way to document her family’s food history, it’s also a space full of baking recipes, kitchen moments with friends and family, occasional musings and reflections, and some poetry and prose – in another word, connection.

Recent Favorites: Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze, Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream, Blackberry Jam Buns with Creme Fraiche Frosting

 

Salt and Lavender is full of delicious from scratch recipes that are also simple to make. Fresh, real ingredients play a big role, with not nearly as much salt as the name might indicate. Author Natasha provides a healthy mix of good for you foods mixed with a few indulgences.

Recent Favorites: Tropical Chicken Nachos, 15 Minute Garlic Lime Cashew Zoodles, Thai Sweet Potato Coconut Red Curry

 

The Almond Eater is the place where self-taught cook Erin shares the wholesome recipes created in her kitchen. Each one is double-tested before she shares it on the site. (Quiet admission: we also both live in Pittsburgh and have the same two major food dislikes – mustard and pickles!)

Recent Favorites: Coffee Orange Granola, Cinnamon Tahini Pancakes, Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Salad Sandwich

 

What to Cook Today is a newer find, there are just so many talented Minnesotans out there! Marvellina shares recipes she grew up with in Indonesia that have a heavy Chinese influence as well as local flavor – think lots of boldness often sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and umami all combined into one dish! Marv also experiments with plenty of foods from other continents though, if southeast Asian flavor isn’t your cup of tea.

Recent Favorites: Mexican Cinnamon Horchata, Panko Chicken and Waffles, Pumpkin Custard Baked Buns

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Ward Roberts / Courts

 

Ward RobertsCourts 01 and Courts 02 series is a tribute to his childhood spent in Hong Kong, playing basketball outdoors with other youth. Roberts’ photography captures the juxtaposition of stark concrete apartment buildings against soft pastel tones and open empty spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thomas Cian

 

Milan-based artist Thomas Cian is a very gifted man, especially when it comes to portraiture. His watercolor pieces combine colors and shapes that would never represent any part of the human form one their own, except when brought together under his brush they do and they’re lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips + Tricks: Creative Business

 

It’s been awhile since we last shared a tips + tricks column, so today I thought I’d share a little about what I’m always reading up on – running a creative business. You don’t have to be a blogger to benefit from this list of advice, honestly you don’t even have to work in a creative field. I’m forever searching for a work/life balance, trying to figure out my next step should be in this ever-evolving field, and how to make the most of the 24 given hours in each day. (And about 100 other things.) Drop any go-to advice of your own in the comments!

 

How to Negotiate Your Own Licensing Agreement

You Need a Contract, Here’s How to Make One

5 Tips for Writing a Solid Business Plan

MailChimp for Designers

Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance

How to Get Your Life Back When Freelancing Has Taken Over

10 Steps to Get Verified on Facebook – and Why You Need to

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Hire?

Your Ultimate Goal to Saying No to People You Can’t Say No to

13 Gmail Hacks That’ll Instantly Maximize Your Productivity

Photo Tips From Instagram Stars

How to Get a Reply From a Cold Email

45 Things You Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

6 Scientific Hacks to Keep You Focused at Work

7 Tips for Working From Home

10 Habits of Healthy and Happy Business Owners

What to Say When a Non-Profit Asks for Free Work

What to Call Yourself When You’re a Multi-Talented Freelancer

Why Every Solo-Preneur Needs a Hobby

Media Kit Checklist: 15 Must Have Items

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Amy Genser

 

I’ve yet to go snorkeling in my life, but I imagine it must be a little like viewing Amy Genser‘s mixed media art. She uses paper as pigment to construct each piece – layering, cutting, rolling, and combining it with materials like paint and masonite – to create natural forms that begin to emerge as each creation takes shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Perfect White Tees

Few things in my wardrobe have been more elusive than the perfect white t-shirt. One that’s not too long or too short, too tight or too loose, with a neck that’s not too big or too small. It makes me feel like Goldielocks. When I think back, the closest I ever had was a sort of thin, boxy cut version from the Gap when I was in high school. (My Grandma actually found it at her house and we were reunited last year!) How about you, have a favorite white tee that just goes with everything?

 

Basic White Tee from Sabo Skirt // Relaxed Casual T-Shirt from James Perse // T-Shirt from Baserange

 

The Cotton Scoop-Neck Tee from Everlane // The Cotton V from Everlane // The Luxe Drape Deep V Tee from Everlane // The Perfect Pocket Tee from Levi’s

 

Remade Dancing Tee from Urban Renewal // V-Neck Tee from Wear Pact // Valmere T-Shirt from Talula // Whisper Cotton V-Neck Cotton Tee from Madewell

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