my back to school essentials

Seriously, where has this summer gone? As sad as I am that this summer is coming to an end, I am feeling pretty excited to head back to school and start this school year!

 

Instead of writing a blog post about my back-to-school must haves, I thought it would be fun to make a video for you guys! (Thanks iMovie web show days for helping me out with this editing.)

 

If you want to hear me talk about some of my back to school essentials / what I can’t wait to use this school year, head over to my video (and maybe give it a like?) Click the image below to view my video!

 

 

Let me know what you think or if you want to see more videos in the future. I will have everything I talk about linked in the description box beneath the video. 🙂

 

If you are heading back to school soon, or are already back, let me know what your school essentials are!

 

xoxo

– madauer

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feeling creative? 5 design projects for you…

 

hello!

 

I am super excited to be blogging for the first time from this newly named platform – no longer “four floors up” but now me – madison auer!

 

You may remember me blogging earlier in the semester about how I would be keeping my name as four floors up because that is where my blog first originated. But, after thinking about it, I truly feel as though I have grown in my personal / brand identity since I was living four floors up my freshman year.

 

This year, I have truly just started to realize my love for design. This design spreads far from my original concept of design as I discussed on four floors up in the past. This past love for design was more concerned with physical design – dorm décor, fashion, etc. I still love this concept of design and draw much inspiration from it; however, I also have a new found love for visual design, especially through Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.

 

My love for creativity and design has definitely grown this semester, especially through the freedom that I now have to create in the Creative Cloud programs. Shout out to my Digital Aesthetics communications class for pushing me to create and learn new tools that I could have never figured out so easily on my own.

 

Stemming off of this new found love for creating and design, I wanted to share some ways that you can get creative, especially within design. You don’t necessarily need the Adobe Creative Cloud apps to complete these projects, though it may help. If you don’t have Creative Cloud – no worries! There are plenty of free design apps, such as Over and Canva, that can get the job done just as well.

 

Sooo, here are some of the ways that I have gotten creative this semester. Hope you enjoy and can draw some inspiration from these ideas!

 

project 1: mood board

One of my favorite projects this semester has been making mood boards for my Digital Aesthetics class. I pulled all of these photos from my Pinterest account. The main goal for creating this mood board was to begin drawing inspiration for our personal brand. These photos could be fashion based, home décor, textures, words, etc. – basically include anything that speaks to who you are!

 

 

This mood board was more tailored for my first project – developing my personal brand and logo. I tried to include photos that were simple, minimalistic and creative. Notice the common color scheme of natural tones – black, grey, white and navy just to name a few.

 

project 2: word inspo

In my free time, I love scrolling through Pinterest and finding inspirational words. Soon after learning the tools of Illustrator I thought, “why can’t I just make my own?” So, I decided to create some inspo words of my own.

 

 

I also had fun creating little words for the start of a new month, such as my “hello march” graphic.

 

 

Most of the fonts that I use in these designs are free downloads from dafont! I could honestly get lost scrolling through this site – they have endless options of fun free fonts to choose from.

 

 

project 3: color scheme

This isn’t necessarily a design project as much as it is a tool for having some fun with Adobe Color! By creating an account with Creative Cloud, you are able to access Adobe Color – an online tool that allows you to create fun color schemes. However, you are also able to upload a photo and choose colors straight from the photo with a color picker.

 

 

After uploading several photos from my mood board, I created these color schemes. The colors you create then sync directly to your Creative Cloud library – so convenient!

 

 

project 4: redesign a magazine / online article

One of my favorite design projects from this semester has definitely been remaking an article from a plus. This project was aimed at further understanding the power of layout in InDesign. It is amazing how simply changing the font and layout choices of an article can completely transform the tone and overall “vibe” of it!

 

 

I picked an article about taking selfies with veggies and made it look like a more sophisticated article that could now be in a lifestyle or fashion magazine.

 

 

project 5: brand sheet / personal logo

The first project for my Digital Aesthetics class was creating a personal brand. This included a brand sheet and personal logo for the final submission. Pulling from the previous design projects, I was able to create a consistent aesthetic across my brand sheet and logos.

 

I was super excited to create this brand sheet, which I believe effectively communicates my “madison auer” aesthetic – minimal colors, simplicity, and creative elements through my personal logos.

 

 

It was so fun to be able to create a brand sheet and logo. I am super excited to incorporate elements from these designs into my future projects, such as my business card and resume design. I am currently working on this project & I cannot wait to share more about it!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this first post on my newly named platform! I can’t wait to share more creative, design & lifestyle content.

 

Let me know in the comments below what you would like to see more of next! Also, be sure to follow along with me on the daily through my Instagram / other social media accounts (linked in sidebar).

 

xoxo

– madauer

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my social media cleanse

s o c i a l  m e d i a …

 

What do you think of when you hear those words?

 

When I think about social media, all of the good things always come to mind first. I love being able to meet other bloggers through Instagram and I have always enjoyed seeing what other people are doing through their stories and posts. Since I love photography, I love editing my photos in VSCO & being able to post them on Facebook, Instagram, or any other apps that are popular at the time.

 

girl sitting on beach

 

Plus, being a communications major, social media is kinda my thing. (lol) As strange as it may sound I feel a slight pressure from my major alone to be up to date with the latest features of these apps, and know everything from when it’s the best time to post or how to upload stories to Instagram.

 

But social media is so complex. Sometimes I think about the bad / negative aspects of social media: comparing my life, looks, clothing, material possessions, or what I am spending my time doing with what other people are doing. Like, for instance, you are scrolling through snapchat and see that someone is working out. IDK if I am the only one, but for a split second don’t you think, “hm, maybe I should work out?” Of course, the immediate answer is always, “nahhh”

 

 

Comparison sucks, but for some of us it is so hard to help but compare what we have or where we are in life when we are constantly taking in what other people are doing through social media.

 

Sometimes it is hard to remember that no one wants to share a low point in their life via Snapchat or Instagram.

 

Sometimes it is hard to remember that no one wants to share a low point in their life via Snapchat or Instagram. We aren’t gonna post about the bad grade or the things we are self-conscious about. We always want to post positive content, good vibes only – the posts that show us at our best. I am guilty of it, and I think that this realization is the first step in conquering social media, because it is something that I believe we all do.

 

girl laughing on beach

 

like…this is the reality of taking photos on the beach with the wind…

 

wind blown hair

 

Recently I read an article on Facebook. I guess it was fate that I even found this article in the first place. Also it’s super ironic that I found an article on social media that led me to enter a social media cleanse. It just shows how complex social media truly is.

 

Basically, this article made me think about how much time I was spending on social media. I will admit, I enjoy some platforms more than others. While I love Instagram, I was beginning to hate Snapchat, but I always felt obliged to check through every story and maintain each streak with my friends. When I was going places or hanging out with friends, I would actually begin to experience a feeling of obligation to Snapchat my location and show everyone where I was. (And let’s not forget about that one person you have to check and see if they watched your story once it is uploaded.)

 

The whole thing was just getting out of hand, so about 4 weeks ago I decided to enter a social media cleanse. When I say “social media cleanse,” I stopped checking a select group of apps, one of them being Snapchat. I chose the ones that were causing me to feel anxiety, stress, unhappiness, or compare my life to others.

 

An added plus, I feel even more in the moment when I go places, since I no longer feel like I have to snapchat everywhere I go.

 

Instead of deleting these apps, I decided to place them in a folder called “cleanse.” I guess I have a decent amount of self-control because I haven’t checked them since I put them in my folder. Surprisingly, Snapchat has been the easiest to completely cut ties with. I haven’t felt the least amount of curiosity about what other people have been doing this summer. An added plus, I feel even more in the moment when I go places, since I no longer feel like I have to snapchat everywhere I go.

 

very happy girl

 

I don’t want anyone to think that I am against social media as a whole, because I am not. I still use Instagram and probably check it way too much, but I am just trying to declutter my life and eliminate some of the sources that weren’t bringing me happiness anymore. I can truly say that I love Instagram because it not only connects me with my family and friends, but allows me to talk with other bloggers and form my own lifestyle blogging community.

 

Who knows, I will probably end up opening the apps in my cleanse folder again, but for now I am feeling content with my decision to leave them unopened.

 

If you related to anything I said in this article, or feel called to declutter your notifications inbox a bit, I challenge you to enter a social media cleanse. I think you will be amazed at how much more time you will have to focus on the more important things in life. Even if you cleanse yourself of only a couple of apps like I did, I believe you will notice a difference.

 

I kept a mental note of the things that I was able to accomplish with this time. These are just some of the things that I had more time to do…(note: I was able to do these things without checking and refreshing the apps in my folder ~ Snapchat, Facebook, VSCO, etc.)

 

  • watch my favorite movie EVER (Devil Wears Prada) ~ this may sound dumb, but haven’t you ever sat down to watch a movie & realized halfway through that you were refreshing instagram or snapchat for a majority of the movie???
  • more time in meaningful conversation with friends / family
  • saved on DATA!! (say whaaatt? – we run out of data just about every month, so my mom was super happy about this)
  • reading other blogs / organizing my own blog
  • making bracelets & starting madauer beads
  • hosting a bracelet giveaway
  • relaxing on the beach
  • eating healthy / successfully making a smoothie every morning for breakfast
  • exercising more
  • taking a bike ride with my dad every morning at the beach

 

One of my favorite vloggers / bloggers, Indy Blue, also wrote an awesome blog on the subject of social media / vulnerability – you can read it here. It’s amazing to read about vulnerability from the perspective of an extremely talented social media influencer like her.

 

If you decide to enter a social media cleanse / already have, let me know! I would love to hear about your experience or what you found most challenging about your cleanse.

 

thnx for reading ♡

xoxo,

madauer

// PS: there is still time to order a bracelet before heading back to school! DM / message me if you are interested in ordering. I accept venmo & ship! madauer beads all over the worldddd 🙂

up close detailed shot of bracelets

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