Get Shit Done. The best and only goal planner you need in 2015

Get Shit Done - the only planner you'll need in 2015

This, my friends, is what I have been waiting for.

The best and only planner you’ll need in 2015. Get Shit Done!*

Fill it with your hopes, goals and dreams. And achieve them this year.

*No, it’s not actually called that, but yes, this is what you’ll do with it. Promise.

Links are affiliate because I love this planner so much I just can’t stand it! I have pre-ordered mine – the hard copy version and it ships on Dec 1, 2014. I used the ebook version last year and this year decided to upgrade, it’s that good! Getting a head start – YAY!

Jess - A Designer Life

Awesome Products: A tropical beach swing over the sea

An ocean swing!

I want to be right here, right now. Anyone else with me on this? Ok, so it was 37 degrees in Sydney today, and yes, I did go to the beach this afternoon for a luscious saltwater dip. But… it certainly didn’t have a swing over the sea!

Do you know where this amazing place is so I can add it to my bucket list? I think an ocean swing is a marvelously awesome invention!

Jess - A Designer Life

PS. Is this your picture? Please let me know and I’ll credit it!

How to find out what font a website is using

How to find out what font any website is using | Typography | Fount | Blogging Design Tools

Have you ever seen a beautiful design (for a website, poster or otherwise) and just WISH you knew what font they used, so that you could also have sexy, on-trend typography and create great graphic designs too? I was that person.

Until yesterday – when I finally looked up “How to find out what font a website is using” on Google! The tool I found has literally blown my mind and it’s called Fount.

Fount is a simple bookmarklet that identifies any font on any website you see! It tells you the font name, the weight and the size! You simply drag the bookmarklet onto your bookmarks bar, and visit the website where you want to know what typography they are using. All you have to do is click on the bookmarket, then click on the text you want to know about – and VIOLA! – the information appears. Get it here.

I can’t believe I hadn’t found out about this handy tool sooner. I think my knowledge of popular fonts and typography trends will increase exponentially.

You’re welcome.

Jess - A Designer Life

Girl, interrupted* : Learn to say NO so you can say YES to the things that matter

Learn to say NO to the non essential so you can say YES to the things that matter | inspirational quote

*Absolutely nothing to do with the movie and book of the same name.

Does anyone else feel constantly interrupted?

My name should not be Jessica Lea Dunn… because at the moment it feels like I can never get anything… Dunn, I mean, done! My name should be Jessica Lea Doing… because I’m always trying to push through some project or another but have so much trouble finishing. And all I want to do is tick things off my list! My dilemma is as follows: I have no problem starting a project (the amount of fantastic new ideas that flood me daily is phenomenal which is both incredibly inspiring and somewhat overwhelming). I have no problem inventing new things, getting fired up for the start up. But then – another interruption. Life. An appointment. Mama duties (this is a big one, and while I love being a mama, there is simply no “off” button). Housework to do. The constant gear-switching, on/off… losing my place, finding it again… losing my muse, and then having it flood back at the most inconvenient of moments, such as when I’m playing with Alira, supposed to be cooking dinner, or trying to get ready for bed. I’ll start juggling the ball and bouncing another… but then I eventually end up dropping both.

But still – I try to squeeze as much out of every day as possible… just half an hour more, an hour more, three, four, five hours later I’m stumbling into bed in the wee hours – and I’m STILL NOT FINISHED. Does anyone else feel like this?

Admittedly, I’ve a lot on my plate this past and coming month, but the irony is that it is entirely self-inflicted. I’m learning to drive with my test on 28th Nov – eek! I’m trying to build this blog into a little virtual home for myself and find my online tribe. I’m doing more cooking as Chief Nutritional Officer in my house (those who know me, know that this doesn’t come as naturally to me as some of my other talents). I had to process my tax return before 31st Oct so I’m still recovering from the backlog of putting everything else on hold for that. And, of course I’m still trying to do everything that I was before (getting out to see friends, play time in the park with Alira, managing my modest portfolio of shares, making sure the bills are paid on time, hanging out with my Pinterest community, keeping the house, um, sort of in order – if a tornado path could be considered orderly – ha!) I could say no to some of this, but the truth is that everything is important in different ways, some of it urgent, some of it essential, some of it necessary down-time, some of it an attempt to plant seeds for the future.

I’ve come to the realization that the only secret to doing it all is – NOT, at least not all at the same time. The activities will ebb and flow, as our focus shifts from one thing to another. We humans KNOW in our bones that we can’t do it all… and yet we still keep trying. Stop. Just stop. Breathe. Learn to say NO to anything that is not essential… so you can say YES to the things that matter.

Much, much, easier said then done.

Especially when there is money to earn, bills to pay, laundry to do, mouths to feed, souls to nurture, creativity to express, and worlds to conquer.

Women (and men) who seem to do it all – please tell me all your secrets!

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Food Design: 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas - Boo-nanas, Mandarin Pumpkins, Ghost Eggs, Mini Cupcake Spiders, Tim Tam Tombstones | A Designer Life

Today, I’m sharing 5 easy Halloween food ideas that I made especially for the HelloSociety Halloween Potluck Pinterest Party! I’m so excited to participate in this, especially since I had so much fun making dishes for the Easter and July 4th Potluck challenges earlier this year. It’s a really great way for me to get out of my cooking rut, and get my hands (and kitchen bench) dirty in a really creative way. Not to mention, I get to share lots of awesome yummy treats with whoever happens to be nearby!

1. Boo-nanas!

Inspired by seeing Sharpie drawn on just about everything these days, I made some screaming bananas. It’s such a simple and easy idea for when you can’t possibly face another handful of candy, piece of cake, or pumpkin-flavored whatever. And of course, bananas are a great gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free, everything-free snack. Except if you are allergic to bananas. Sorry.

Boo-nanas! | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

2. Cute Halloween Ghost Eggs

So, this is not strictly something you can serve at your next Halloween party, but it is a cute little idea to surprise your loved ones when they go to make some eggs in the morning. I was inspired to use my Sharpie to create little haunted egg faces after seeing this idea on Pinterest. The only trouble is… Our eggs aren’t exactly white in Australia. So they don’t quite look like ghosts. But you get the general impression!

Halloween Ghost Eggs | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

3. Mandarin Pumpkins

I was inspired to create these mandarin pumpkins after seeing this idea on Pinterest. Anybody would think that this post is sponsored by Sharpie, the way these ideas are stacking up (it’s not). However… I’m a big fan of simple, quick, healthy, and fun, and these little guys tick all four boxes! And not to mention, it’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. A good tip: Draw the outline of the pumpkin face shape you want with thin Sharpie, then fill it in with a thicker Sharpie. You’ll save so much time!

Mandarin Pumpkins | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

4. Mini Cupcake Spiders with Pretzel Legs

So I cheated a bit with this idea, as I used store-bought mini cupcakes. But, paired with Smarties for eyes and Pretzel legs, with a dash of chocolate icing to stick the eyes on – you wouldn’t know the difference! These little spiders are bright, colorful, and combine an unexpected savory touch to an otherwise sweet dish. The original recipe uses donuts instead, but you can see how much I was inspired to make something very similar and just as visually effective.

Mini Cupcake Spiders with Pretzel Legs | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

5. Tim Tam Tombstones

This one is an original! I don’t know whether folks over in the States can obtain Arnott’s TimTam biscuits over there, but they are a cult classic quintessential food here in Australia. So, my dad came home with a packet the other day and I was busy thinking up ideas for the Halloween Potluck Party. Anyway, as he was munching, I said “your TimTam kinda looks like a tombstone!” and he promptly bit the biscuit he had right in half, pulled out a fresh one, laid that flat on the bench, and stacked the bitten half-TimTam on top to make a proper tomb-like shape! Horrifically morbid, but also pretty funny at the same time. Thanks Dad!

Two days later… I prettied the idea up a little bit by using a knife to cut the TimTams, with some white-chocolate writing icing to create the RIP detail. I also used a smear of caramel icing and a couple of toothpicks to join the two biscuit pieces together. You can see something similar here.

(Oh, and by the way, did you know that TimTams only come with 11 biscuits in the packet now?! Talk about the opposite of a baker’s dozen. I felt slightly ripped off by that number, its very cheeky, since I’m sure their used to be 12 in a packet.)

Tim Tam Tombstones | 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed these 5 Easy Halloween Food Ideas, as much as I enjoyed making them! Now, please excuse me while I go and eat one of those cupcakes… I mean… mandarins.

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Awesome Products: Every KitchenAid Mixer Attachment and What They Do

Every KitchenAid Mixer Attachment  & What They Do #product_design

Image via

This product infographic that explains every KitchenAid Mixer attachment and what they do is one of the best I have ever seen. I had no idea this fantastic kitchen product was so versatile! After seeing this, I am definitely tempted to get myself a KitchenAid – the problem will be deciding which colour!

UPDATE: I found the source of the original infographic! You can find it here.

x Jess

Links may be affiliate.


Awesome Products: Pixel Waffle Maker lets you customize a message

Awesome Products: The Pixel Waffle Maker #product_design

Image via

How clever is this? A Pixel Waffle Maker that allows you to create your own designs, letters and messages on your waffles by pushing down individual “pixels”. Great for personalizing breakfasts and desserts, its a throw back to the 8-bit graphics of the past. The waffle maker features an easy-to-clean 9 x 9 pixel silicone tray which you can customize to your heart’s content – as much as is possible with such a low-res canvas. But I honestly wonder who won’t simply push all the pixels down for maximum syrup storage!

You can follow along with the product development, check out the latest photos, and see if this awesome concept will make it to market soon! I certainly hope so.

x Jess

Links may be affiliate.

Free Printable: Be a Lighthouse Not a Lifebuoy

Free Printable: Be a Lighthouse not a Lifebuoy by Jessica Lea Dunn | quote wall art

Be a lighthouse, not a lifebuoy – Jessica Lea Dunn | original quote, October 8th, 2014

It means… be a leader and a beacon of light for others to follow, not a rescuer jumping into the water after them. A message of love, a reminder to myself and an affirmation for you.

To download: Just click on the picture above, which will open up to the full size image in a new window. Right click on this image, choose “Save image as” and you too can have this 8 inch by 10 inch high-quality image to print and frame at home. It is my little gift to you this week!

Why? This week has been a week of healing for me. Of quiet time away from the city, of paddling and splashing in shallow ocean water, pottering about the backyard and lunches out with family. I have also finally had a chance to visit my favourite Naturopath on Tuesday, and a chiropractor for the first time on Wednesday. One of the big lessons (and there were a few) for me during my chiropractic consultation was to stop being a rescuer of everybody and everybody else’s hearts, as it is severely draining my energy – and has been for a long time. You see, I need to learn to empower people to save themselves as opposed to being the one jumping into the murky water to save them. Instead of being the hero, I need to focus on being a leader and a beacon of light so that they can find their own inner strength. And by doing that, I need to also re-balance my energy so that the focus can return to nurturing myself and my immediate family, and listening to my own inner voice and heart guidance.

Who was/am I trying to save? I could easily make a list on more than two hands. It includes both people from the past – lovers and friends as far back as 2007 and beyond – right up until this very moment. It will take time and attention to change the pattern, but since it a pattern that’s not serving my greater good anymore, I need to release it. And I’m not allowed to feel selfish or guilty for doing so!

So – completely inspired by this life lesson yesterday, I created this quote wall art so I can remember. If the message resonates – it’s for you, too. As soon as I get home from my coastal break, I’m going to print it out, frame it and hang it somewhere where I’ll see it everyday!

x Jess

The post Free Printable: Be a Lighthouse Not a Lifebuoy first appeared on A Designer Life.

UPDATE: The font I used is Canter from Font Fabric – isn’t it grand? And it’s free!

Jess - Find me on Pinterest