Year of Creative Habits | Kimberly Kalil Designs

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

I’d pretty much sworn off yearlong challenges ages ago. The pressure is too much for me. The disappointment I feel when I miss a day wasn’t worth anything I “might” get from the process. And mostly, I’d get bored with the project after a month or so. So, when I stumbled onto A Year of Creative Habits community, I was surprised that I had any interest in the project.

Basically — if you accept the challenge — you do something (anything) creative each day for a year. But they don’t tell you what to do or how to do it … that’s all up to you. It can be as big or as little as you like. Not having strict parameters might be what sold me on the idea. Just about anything could count and it was more about the process and less about the outcome.

I picked watercolors to be my medium because they’re portable. I have no real background in watercolors, aside from a few online courses and a couple of short, in-person group classes. What really prompted me what being in Idaho without art supplies in December. At my parents’ ranch in Idaho, there is a lot of disconnecting going on. We rest. We walk outside. We talk on the porch. So, after a little bit of time up there, I was a little bored. When we went to town one day, I bought a cheap set of watercolors and a pad of paper. That was all I needed (of course, I’ve collected more supplies since then, but you really don’t need more than that to get started).

A Year of Creative Habits | Kimberly Kalil Designs

In a perfect world, I could pack my encaustic supplies in a tote and take them with me where ever I go, but that’s not happening. I travel enough with work and personal fun travel that I need to have something portable if I’m going to do it every day. So far this year, I’ve painted at home; in a Phoenix hotel room; in a Santa Monica AirBnB; on an airplane … all sorts of fun places.

And guess what? I’m loving it. Like seriously loving it. I read somewhere that creativity breeds creativity. The more you create, the more ideas you have. I know that in the past I’ve struggled with this idea … I’ve been worried to try things or create what’s in my head in fear that I’d run out of ideas. Totally not the case. I’ve been flooded with ideas and never seem to be at a loss for something new to try. It’s intoxicating and what’s propelling me forward (hopefully I’ll feel the same way at day 256!).


If you want to follow along with my Year of Creative Habits, head on over to my Instagram. I’m tagging all my creations with #kimberlyscreativehabit. 

Add a Comment + Posted in: Art

No Facebook | Kimberly Kalil Designs

I posted this image on Instagram earlier this week with the following caption:

“I’m doubling down on distancing myself from Facebook. I blocked the website on my phone and added “No Facebook” reminders on my laptop + desk. #nonegativity #onlygoodvibes

Back in November, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and any favorites I had saved on my laptop. Over the course of the last year, Facebook has started feeling really icky to me. I used to love seeing photos of my family and friends, but there’s just way too much negativity and shit on there. Yes, said shit … there is a lot of shit on Facebook and I don’t want to fill my day with shit. Instead of filling me with happiness and goodness, it became a time suck and inevitably sent my blood pressure over the edge.

To make matters worse, hateful and erroneous things are being posted in the name of news. It’s not real news. It’s fake crap. I’ve worked in the news business for almost 20 years, I am appalled by some of the things passed off as legitimate news. My smart and thoughtful colleagues work hard to tell the truth. I don’t like the vibe on Facebook and I don’t want to support the negativity and dishonesty. l don’t need FB to change my world or help my country. I’m about action and inclusiveness. Does that make sense? I can rally and do good, without letting the

Mostly, I don’t want to sour relationships with people I really love. My views and political leanings are my own and are VERY different than those of my family. It’s okay. I believe what I want to believe and I rally around causes that matter to me. And because we are family and love each other … then we can stand together in love. There is no need for me to push their buttons via Facebook or for them to do the same (I push their buttons enough without the help of Facebook!).

I get to decide what I want in my life and I have decided Facebook isn’t it. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever go on Facebook … I have groups there like Girl Scouts or my bookish friends that meet via private groups. But I’m not going to mindlessly scroll. I’m going to limit the time I spend there. And I’m going to make it as inconvenient as possible to get there!

Here’s to intentionally seeking less ick and more love …


Note: My website automatically posts a link to new blog posts to my Kimberly Kalil Facebook page. You’ll see these sort of things pop in from time to time. I’ll remind you that I’m not deleting my account and I’ll occasionally pop in to interact with groups.



Add a Comment + Posted in: Rise Up

Woman's March 2017 | Kimberly Kalil Designs

When you was 18, I joined the Army. I was rudderless and needed guidance and structure. One of the first lessons I learned was a simple one: No one gets left behind.  Of all the things I learned during my 14 years in the military, this was by far the most important.

We were a team. My fellow soldiers became my tribe. Everyone had a place. Everyone was equal.

No one gets left behind.

I marched through downtown Tucson on Saturday along with 15,000 members of my community. I vacillated between tears and elation. The tears weren’t from sadness, they were tears of pride. I am proud of the community I live in. I’m proud of the inclusive spirit I feel each and every day. I love Tucson. It’s full of diversity. It’s full of good, hardworking, loving people. I march for them and I march for my daughter. I marched because no one ever gets left behind.

No one gets left behind.

I’ve been pretty open with my feelings about Donald Trump, but it feels important to say again: it’s not okay to marginalize anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, brown, gay, lesbian, immigrant, native born, physically or mentally disabled …. We all have a place at the table. We all deserve dignity. We all belong. Rhetoric or policy in direct conflict to this is unacceptable.

No one gets left behind.

I might seem like an unlikely activist. I’m white. I have a college education. I own a home. I’m part of a thriving community. But that’s just it: I have been given much, therefore it’s my moral obligation to give back. Not everyone grows up in a family that has food on the table each night and parents who make sure you go to school. Those children — those families  — need us to speak up for them and to help them use their voice.

No one gets left behind.

When I’m sick, I go to the doctor. When I had growths on my ovaries, I had surgery. I have never once worried about whether or not I could pay for such treatment. My life is not more valuable than someone else, so why shouldn’t everyone have the same access and opportunity to health care?

No one gets left behind.

In Tucson, I live closer to Mexico than any other US major city. This city — my home — is deeply connected to our neighbors in Mexico. They are good people. They are hardworking. And they, along with other immigrants, deserve our compassion and respect.

No one gets left behind.

I’m a woman. I’m the mother of a daughter. As a woman, we have just as much right to demand equal pay for equal work. I demand to be treated with dignity, and every single woman should be treated with the same dignity and respect we offer to men of this world. I am not a second class citizen, nor is my daughter. We are smart. We are brave. We are talented. And we are human. Woman’s rights are human rights. Just because I have a vagina doesn’t can you can treat me differently.

No one gets left behind. I will do my part to make sure no one gets left behind. And I will teach my children that anger, hatred, and misogyny are not okay. 

No one gets left behind.


If you are local, consider going to the YWCA’s “10 Actions in the First 100 Kickoff Event. You can find more information about that here. You can also find ideas on how you can help or get involved here.

Add a Comment + Posted in: Rise Up

Shelby is selling cookies again, to help pay for her Girl Scout service trip to Costa Rica later this year. She’s worked so hard the last few years to save for the trip. But I’m not surprised … when she decides to do something she digs in and goes to work. She’s

This is Shelby’s fifth cookie season (yikes) and my second as the tro0p cookie manager (double yikes). It’s amazing to watch Shelby’s growth year to year and to see all the things she learns thanks to Girl Scouts and her cookie business. She’s not afraid to stand up in front of 125+ local businesswomen and sell herself (and her cookies). She single-minded when she marches into a local business and asks them to partner with her to get cookies to our military. And when she recorded this video, she is fearless when she asks people to consider donating cookies to feed the homeless, a cause she’s taken up herself and does on a regular basis.

I’m so proud of this kid. She’s smart. She’s strong willed. She’s hard working. She’s funny. And she’s growing into a poised young woman who will no doubt change this world.

If you are interested, you can buy cookies from her here. You can also donate cookies to the troops from that link as well. If you want to get cookies for Shelby to add to care packages for the homeless, you can buy cookies on the site and select “Girl Delivery” and Shelby will add those to her care packages.

Add a Comment + Posted in: Girl Scouts

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