I've got a few things brewing for the fall which I am quite excited about. One such thing is a workshop I will be leading about creative writing and storytelling through Instagram at an entrepreneurial women's retreat with the CCC Inc. Network.

As you may know, I love love love Instagram. {If you don't already follow me there my account is @dianeserra.} It has introduced me to so many creatives, new friends and events without all the distraction of things on your feed like Facebook. 

So yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. Plus-I've just submitted another article to MumAbroadSpain on the importance of making the effort to grow your social community when you first move abroad. All in all I'd say the creative juices are flowing and heading in the right direction.

Love to you all.

{this is no longer my workspace but it worked for a bit}

My first post as a regular contributing writer for MumAbroad Spain has been posted.

HERE is the link to the article where I share a bit about our process of relocating from San Diego to Barcelona.

I will be posting more there about integrating, speaking two languages at once, etc., etc.

Enjoy!

We are just about finished with the move to a more rural neighborhood in the province of Barcelona. I finally have my desk set up and am excited to share my first giveaway with my fave design magazine, Openhouse Magazine.

This is an Instagram giveaway and I will be choosing 2 winners. Winner chosen on Sunday, June 18th.

To enter:

1. Follow Openhouse Magazine on Instagram

2. Follow me on Instagram

3. Tag two friends in the comments

Winner announced Monday morning. Best of luck!

To read more about the leather-bag days, my showroom in a fashion co-working space and that pixie cut, enjoy getting lost in the BLOG ARCHIVES

{I tend to post more often on my INSTAGRAM- follow me there!}

Just popping in quickly to share the good news that I will now be a regular contributing writer for Mumabroad Spain, yay! 

I will be writing on many topics but mainly slow-living, transitioning abroad and of course- motherhood in a country that is not my own. 

This will be fun! And for now, I bid you adeu because I am tired and going cross-eyed.

Bona nit!

I'm finally settling into my creative space this evening and have edited all the photos from the CCCinc's Spring Retreat from over the weekend. My-oh-my, what a time we had!

Location- Alaya Retreat Center @ Cal Pau Cruset nestled in the wine country near Vilafranca, Catalunya, Spain. 

I had originally decided on this retreat as a cure for any feelings of homesickness after our recent visit back to California. Luckily, I did not get homesick so I arrived at the retreat happy, balanced and excited for whatever the weekend had in store.

And so I leave you here with a wonderful slide show of photos from the retreat. The CCC will be hosting a Fall Retreat in October so stay tuned for that info as I get it. 

Enjoy!

Next time I will bring my tripod :)

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Linda of www.bija.cat

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The #currentdesignsituation was stellar

I finally got to rock my Often Wander Girl-Gang sweatshirt this weekend. It seemed highly appropriate.

One of my most favorite parts about the weekend- the workshops!

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The start of the Improve & Creative Writing workshop by Tanya @ www.tmcglobal.es

Oh hey Tanya!

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Thank you so much to Marisa (middle) for all your hard work, planning and dedication to CCCinc. On the right, Karen of www.myyearwithoutyou.com  {I LOVE her blog!}

The beautiful Esther @ http://pantareiapproach.com/

{This photo was taken during a recent trip to California. Not where I am writing from now}

At the moment I am writing from the makeshift lobby/lounge at my local martial arts studio Zen Garraf. I love martial arts studios, especially mixed martial arts studios. They are often in a black and red color pallet with photos or posters up on the walls of the die hard martial artists in the midst of a fight. I love it. The energy may seem aggressive at first due to the loud, pumping music, commands being yelled from across the room by the current class-in-session and of course the posters. But I love it. To me it's a feeling of home and to me the feeling is not of aggression but dedication and discipline to your art.

Although it is a mixed martial arts studio they have no interest in a capoeira class and that's cool me with me. I've found that most mixed martial arts studio are not so interested in capoeira. I really hope I am wrong about that statement. So I come to practice capoeira alone in a little private pocket on the second floor. It's an open, loft-style platform so I can still get the intense music and collective energy from the ongoing classes that it gives me the ability to enjoy a solo-practice without losing momentum and without feeling isolated.

ANYWAYS- this is not totally what I sat down to write about but now I can't even remember what it was I was going to write about.....hummm......

Oh, yes! Ok- so in my last post I mentioned that I was about to enter week 2 of transitioning Estel into her new daycare and I ended the post by saying I was a wee bit excited about week two. Reflecting back on that week I must admit the excitement wore off by Wednesday and by Friday I had had it. I was done. Nothing bad had happened, there was nothing I absolutely needed to rush off to but I just knew that I could not participate in another week of daycare transitioning so matter how hard I tried to convince myself otherwise. So during the CCC Women's Retreat I had plenty of time to share my thoughts with others and muster-up enough courage to communicate my feelings to the daycare. The conversation went incredibly well and we were all actually on the same page. Yay!

And so now, Tuesday, I find myself slumped in some kind of Ikea lounge chair at the Zen Garraf gym, half sweaty after a much needed solo capoeira practice and now blogging. This is my happy place.

Now if only the gym owner had change for my 5 euros so I could get a bottle of water, then life would be damn near perfect. 

I'm wiping my slate clean for the moment while I help Estel adjust to her new nature daycare, La Mandarina.

(To be honest I do not know when I will have more design-centric stuff to write about until this phase is over but I do feel that this experience will change the way I think about design and especially how design can help families. More on that later.)  

So at first I had a really hard time accepting the fact that the adjustment phase at this particular daycare is so long. But then, after to speaking with a dear friend about my frustrations, she helped me be more open to the experience and patient with the process.

This mental shift changed everything.

Since then I have been appreciating the slow-adjustment phase and I have been learning so many new ways of not only interacting with Estel but diffusing toddler meltdowns. Yes, yes, yes! In just the first week I have brought home new parenting tools that made for a radically smooth and agreeable weekend.

Dare I admit (to myself) that I am excited for week 2 of this adjustment phase.  

I never thought I would be the one writing about slow-living but here I am. By no means am I an expert on the art of slow-living but I am definitely living a lot slower than I was in San Diego so yeah, I guess I have a few things to write about on the subject...and it's about to get a heck-of-a-lot slower.

Before we left for our San Diego vacation a couple of weeks ago I could sense our family needing more space, more nature, more quietness. Our hip flat in the city center of Vilanova i la Geltru is so stylish and cool but man is it loud. Let's just say we are not sleeping so well, even though the jet-lag has mostly passed.

So before the vacation we had toured a nature daycare in the vineyard laden hills of Sant Pere de Ribes. It's an outdoor dreamland for your mini tucked away in nature. There's a little wooden house neatly organized with tiny furniture, wooden toys, craft supplies and soft yoga-like cushions. The exterior has various play places with everything made at child level. It is an environment that encourages independent play and honoring the natural rhythms of the child. Very similar to what I've been reading in a Danish Way of Parenting.

Upon touring the grounds we couldn't help but want all that nature, tranquility and free space for our home life as well. So we went on vacation to think about our next step. We said we would give our current flat a year and then decide of there was a better living situation for us. It's been 6 months and we know without a doubt that it's time to head for the hills. So next month we'll be swapping our hipster city life for the natural life in a house on a hill with views of the wine country of Catalunya.

I'm sure it won't be long until I'm sprouting my own beans in a jar. ;)

I've made a few adjustments on the website today that I am quite happy about, tell me what you think.

I felt is was important to express the kind of person I am and what I value which blends into everything that I do. As a designer, I hope my clients will appreciate my heart-centered approach to their projects as well I hope my followers will enjoy getting to know my creative community through my soon-to-come podcast. (More on that in a bit)

I think I'm at a good stopping point for tonight but I'll review the design updates in a few days to see if it needs tweaking.

Feel free to let me know how you feel about the design on my INSTAGRAM. 

{Grab a cup of tea and get lost in the BLOG ARCHIVES}

As an interior designer to visit such a well designed hotel like The Serras was pure delight.

I had to touch everything, feel the texture of anything with fabric on it, see every corner, stand in the elevator way too long. I must have looked like a crazy person but I don't mind. 

In other news I am headed back to California in a couple of days. It will be so nice to see family, have coffee with my creative circle and catch up on all the Mexican food I've missed out on. 

Speaking of my creative circle, I plan to introduce them all to you via a new podcast that I will start when I return. I have a wonderful line up of incredibly inspiring friends that I can't wait to introduce you to.

Stay tuned!

If you are new to my website and blog and want to take a look at my previous work, musings and collaborations, feel free to visit the BLOG ARCHIVES.

As for me, I had a wonderful time meeting with the Barcelona Women's Network this morning. It is quite a trek getting into Barcelona city with my morning mommy duties but it is worth every effort. 

I attended a new event that I had not been to previously, a morning Networking Coffee event. It was a lovely group of entrepreneurs that were incredibly welcoming. Our topic today was, "What advice or tip can you share". 

My tip was to not wait until you are totally 100% ready to launch your business, start a new initiative or whatever next step you've been considering. Too often I hear people waiting for one more thing before applying for that cool job, finishing their last certification test, etc etc. Just freaking do it and get it started. Sometimes if we wait too long, nothing will ever happen.

This is not to be confused with that quote "Jump and the net will appear", which I totally do not agree with. Don't be too foolish. Be smart- but at least start. 

 

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During my morning walk to bring Estel to daycare I have the opportunity to get lost in thought or brainstorm. The neighborhood is slowly waking up at that hour so there is not as much noise and the walk is quite pleasant.

I had been struggling with which direction to take my design business so I put it aside for a while and just let ideas organically come to me over time. Some next-step ideas would arrive and I would consider them for a few days, others would come and go quickly because i knew for a fact that I should not go those directions.

So, here we are and I have come to a decision on a clear path. Here is what will change:

1. I will focus on interior design rather than the various design work I had been doing in the past like product design and e-commerce design.

2. I will re-brand, kind-of, in such a way that focuses on Minimalist Design with an organic, Southern-California feel.

3. Blogging- I will share more posts on my journey like I used to when I had my leather bag line.

4. Other additions include more workshops and even retreats. 

I hope you will enjoy the journey. <3

These days have been quite steady. I've been making an extra effort to keep it that way. My default is to overload myself with projects and commitments only to find myself over-caffeinated,  rattled and stressed out.

So at the moment I have one project pending on approval that I've been in partnership with an architect in Barcelona and that's about it. Other than that, the demands of parenthood and family life are keeping me occupied in the best way.

A big part of our moving here was to slow-down and enjoy the Spanish way of life. It may take years before I truly learn how to do this, but for now we are making a wonderful attempt.

I truly appreciate living in a walkable city. My morning walks to Estel's daycare gives me so much thinking time. It's my time to be introverted and get lost in the flow of simply walking. It is invigorating and balancing at the same time.

I tend to post more daily-life photos on my Instagram and blog here as I can.

Thank you for reading! 

I never liked Netflix so much until now.

Currently watching the design series, Abstract  and boy oh boy have i found a series I actually like.

Peace out world, I'll be sucked into Netflix land for now.

This morning I attended my first networking event with the Barcelona Women's Network.

It was such a warm and welcoming group that I felt sad that I never tried networking sooner. Oh well!

Thanks to the support of my in-laws with taking over mommy-duties for the day, I had enough time to pretty-myself-up and really spend a lot of time at the event socializing, sharing stories and offering connections to other businesswomen.

I really look forward to future events and I promise next time I will take more photos!

If you've been following my Instagram you will know that recently I met with a potential new client in Barcelona. I am happy to report that we will be working together on marketing and e-commerce mentorship, both subjects I am highly passionate about and I am incredibly excited about helping this new client navigate the online marketing world.

Thanks to the Barcelona Women's Network I was able to make this special connection with such a wonderful new client. 

This is the first professional network I've joined. I was much too shy to join anything similar in San Diego. I look forward to participating more in their events, meet-ups and workshops as the months go by. 

 

{Currently listening to Spotify Playlist, Not So Yoga, while writing this post tonight.}

Last week I had the luxury of meeting with the lovely Jennifer Laurin of Shunya Gates, San Diego, CA. 

We reviewed the "bones" of her new book, a teaching memoir, (named yet to be decided). I suggest you spend some time on her website to get to know Jen and the heart-centered work that she does.

Without giving too much of the story, the book, in my eyes, is a working manual for families that want to create a more , intentional family life. I will stop there. But boy am I really, really excited for this book to print and more importantly, I am extremely proud of Jen for making this effort. 

This is the third time I’ve lived in a different country and I learned in new country #1, the importance of finding a like-minded community for mental and emotional well-being.

I have a few contacts here friend-wise and inklings of business connections but other than that, it’s time to stoke my inner extrovert, get brave and put myself out there.

And so tonight, feeling incredibly motivated, I joined the Barcelona Women’s Network and RSVP’d for an event the following Wednesday.

My Spanish is not perfect but I can get by. Luckily I am a 12 year martial arts student and learned a long time ago that people speak with their bodies and not just through language. This means I have no trouble understanding the basics of whatever conversation I am in.

Needless to say, I am confident my attempts at joining this community will go well as any effort is always appreciated when given with a genuine smile.