Move #TLYReads #CreativeConfidence (Ch 7)

Chapter 7 was all about revving up my creative thinking and working on my creative confidence.  The chapter offers several exercises (both for individuals and groups) where you can practice being creative.

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Thru Les Yeux – Mind Map

That is the key word – PRACTICE.  Creative thinking/Being Creative takes practice.  And doing exercises that encourage divergent and unconventional thinking encourage idea generation.

I decided to do that Mind Map and 30 Circle exercise.

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30 Circles (mini exercise)

So how did I do?

For my first try I did OK. I definitely think with practice I will get better.  That said both the Mind Map and (mini) 30 Circle exercise were difficult!!!  Especially the 30 circles.  I definitely felt a “fear” as described by the Kelley Brothers back in the Dare chapter.  Although I knew this was just an exercise – I knew I would be posting my results in this blog post.  I didn’t want to copy what I saw in the book.  I wanted to draw something remotely creative.  Am I going to be judged for what I draw (eek!)  

I think I will try this exercise again on the weekend and maybe get the Hubz to do it also.  I think it would also make a great ice breaker / team building exercises (as long as people don’t feel judged).

The mind map exercise were also more challenging than I expected.  Again I will probably need to try it again and also focus on one branch to get into the more “out of box” ideas for my brand.

…On to the last chapter!

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If you are just joining my review and lessons learned on the book Creative Confidence be sure to follow along on my Pinterest board for useful links such as Ted Talks, infographics and articles.  Also you can check out my twitter storify for up to date details as I read the book.

#The100DayProject 2017

Have you heard about the #The100DayProject.  I have heard of it happening in previous years and I wanted to be part of it last year but didn’t realize it only runs for a specific time during the year.  Luckily I found the dates this year and I am definitely looking forward to participating this year.

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Essentially an artist named Elle Luna runs a social media project annually called #The100DayProject.  To participate – you need to do a creative project everyday for 100 days and post about it on your social media – using a hashtag of your choice.  Now the question is – what am I going to do for 100 days that is going to:

  • fuel my creativity
  • motivate me enough keep up for 3+ months
  • be both challenging and do-able (considering I am on mat leave)
  • be something I can also do on busy Saturdays & Sundays

I’ve been debating to do either painting or writing project.  I figured photography would be too easy a choice + I do it almost everyday so where is the challenge in that.  That said I am leaning towards painting :)

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Outside of that I also need to choose a hashtag.  I still have a few days to finalize my details – but hopefully I’ll have something soon!

If you want to follow my endeavours – you can follow me on Instagram :)

Life Lately #ForMemoriesSake

I thought I’d do a life lately post for memories sake.  Although we take a lot of photos on our phones I have to really work on taking photos with my big camera.  Second to that I really have to work on printing those photos.  I am so guilty of taking photos and hoarding them on a single storage device.  Hence why I’ve started sharing more on this blog.  At least I’ll have these posts for memories sake.

Adding another kiddo to the fambam is a no joke. (LOL – read nervous laughter!!)

Bringing one child into the lives of two adults is nothing compared to having a second.  With your first, your whole world revolves around the one child and then you all of sudden you have to share/split your energy, time, tasks, responsibilities between two – it’s a real game changer.

Although I’ve been told after you have two you could have ten no problem… LOL!

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Miss S is really into Miss E.  She’s all about the kisses, finger hugs, feeding with bottles, helping to get things, telling me that Miss E is biting me lol etc.  Although as now a mom of two, I have felt and seen a sting from my older little towards me and the Hubz.  We are doing our best to spend as much time with her and even giving her special “day-dates” with either both or one of us so I am hoping that this is a phase and it will pass soon.

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I have been balancing quite a bit – but I actually feel good about it.  Along with the responsibilities of a growing family, I am trying to be more active on my social media channels, making plans for growth here and also finishing up a course I am enrolled in.  So yes a babe on the hip and studying is a real thing for me right now.

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That said, I am trying to rest as much as possible and listen to my body as well.  I did make it out for a lunch run with the Hubz the other day.  It felt good to get out wear something cute and freeze our butts off in this prolonged Canadian winter :P

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And of course I am spending tons of time cuddling a newborn.  It definitely feels different this time around.  Maybe because I have more knowledgable or maybe because I don’t have enough time to think about things because we are literally in survival mode some nights :)

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As with the last time, I am nursing and pumping.  It provides me the closeness as well as the freedom that I need as a woman and a momma :)

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Highlighter | Night Cream | Eye Cream | Sling | Blouse (similar)

Spring is here and I am completely in the mood to refresh my routine and start wearing some lighter colours.  Also planning on #babywearing for some neighbourhood walks :)

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In April I plan to setting up 3 daily to-dos to keep myself inspired and motivated as my mat leave really begins.  Things like:

  • getting out for a sling walk with Miss E
  • going to the library program
  • getting to a mommies group
  • also adding more to the blog and etsy (more photography, more inspiration and maybe some vlogging/videography)
  • Scheduling Posts (blog and social channels)
  • Change my nail polish, straighten my hair or do a facemark #SelfCare!!

Some other things I was thinking about is:

  • Writing out the birth story (if anything for memories sake)
  • Printing some photos
  • Reading more books!
  • Working on some new projects and mentorships
  • Working out again (really looking forward to this)
  • Painting, Planting and Knitting :)
  • Figure out my #The100DayProject project #SoExcited

Products I loved while pregnant #PregnancyEssentials

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one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

I love seeing what other mamma’s find helpful during different stages of our journey so I thought I’d add to the wealth of knowledge out there.

Mustela Maternity Cream: Although I wasn’t too concerned about the stretch marks (really it has to do with more than a cream) I really wanted a cream that smelled nice because I hate the smell of cocoa butter on myself and MORE IMPORTANTLY I really really wanted to avoid the itchy feeling you get :)  This cream was perfect.  It smelled clean and really helped with the itch factor.

Floss Picks:  Hello laziness!  This is an easy way to floss your teeth especially on those evenings when all you want to do is eat some fried chicken, ice cream and then pass out on the couch :P  Ok I didn’t really eat those things every night but passing out on the couch was my new lifestyle.

Aveeno Makeup Wipes:  Hello Laziness again!  It did an OK job (considering I normally use a foam face wash, then a cream eye make up remover) but it was good enough that I didn’t feel guilty going to bed with a full face.

Sea Salt Spray: Loved Loved LOVED this as a product and so glad I found it.  Sometimes super straight hair is too routine and it doesn’t really balance the bump.  So it was super great to have some proportion with more texture and volume in my hair.

Snoogle Pillow:  Sometimes you just need some extra support.  I mean there were nights that I didn’t want it and nights that it was the first thing I grabbed.  The hubz and kiddo also found it pretty comfy :)

Perrier Water:  I was only drinking water, milk and tea throughout my pregnancy.  And having bubbly water at the end of the day with my dinner or as a mocktail (with some muddled fruit and either basil or mint leaves) was such a nice treat!

Chocker Necklace: Another great style option that I added to my fashion look.  I didn’t buy many clothes and felt that I ended up wearing the same 10 pieces near the end.  So wearing chockers of different styles was an easy way to be on trend.

Hope this list was helpful…!
Check out these other mama essentials must haves here, here and here.

Team #TLYReads #CreativeConfidence (Ch 6)

This chapter touched upon an important topic for creative confidence in corporations.  That is: how to build creatively confident teams.

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I’ve been in two organizations where there was a need to think creatively to come up with a new solution.  In one case, the company’s project had great intentions of bringing innovators and collaborators together, but it ended abruptly as the money ran out and the organization faced tough public issues. Hence, the innovation project was put on the back burner.  It would have been great to see how leaders from the d.school and IDEO would have handled such a situation and keep the momentum going for the creative confidence. The other organization is taking a slower approach but one that seems to be working well without causing too much financial stress.  Although it will be interesting to see how the use of iterations or prototyping in the future.

The chapter teaches us that creatively confident groups are needed to achieve innovation at scale.  If an organization needs to innovate then they most likely need to #DesignForDelight which entails:

  1. Going beyond customer expectations in delivering ease/benefit
  2. Ensuring customers buy more (of the organizations product or service)
  3. Having those same customers tell others about their experience

Following these points will not only ensure that an organization is innovating but that the employees are engaged and the company continues to grow.

I find that this is particularly true statement as when I was part of the organization that desired to reach these standards employees were more happy and the public opinion about the company was high.

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But, most organizations do not believe they are creatively confident according to Kelley Brothers.  Organizations go through the following phases before realizing they are well on their creative journey:

  1. Organizations say and believe that they are “not creative”
  2. When innovation starts to take flight, managers only pay it lip service (talking phase)
  3. When a manager finally sees the value and puts resources towards it (leap of faith)
  4. Quest of confidence (top down approval to move in this direction)
  5. When the organization builds creative confidence into their DNA (holistic awareness & integration)

So its obvious that managers or a top down approach is really required for organizations to reach their creative confidence goals.

Managers can strengthen their teams by ensuring team members have a vested ownership in the task, can speak openly in spirited debates, believe in the challenge or mission statement set out by the manager for the teams goals.

And for the employees?  Belonging to a strong creative team can be one of the most rewarding aspects of working life!

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If you are just joining my review and lessons learned on the book Creative Confidence be sure to follow along on my Pinterest board for useful links such as Ted Talks, infographics and articles.  Also you can check out my twitter storify for up to date details as I read the book.

Breakfast Burritos #FrozenMealPrep

A while back, I had decided that I would do some meal prep in preparation of our new adventure (aka adding another kiddo to the mix).

I think it was a bit of that nesting instinct coming into effect.  I literally made it into a mini project of 10-12 breakfast/lunch/dinners/snacks.  Although I didn’t do all the cooking on one weekend as I originally planned to or even have the time to make all the meals.  Thankfully we have family around to provide us with meals for the first few weeks and some of my frozen meals will come in handy afterwards.

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First up was cooking, prepping and freezing Egg-Bean-Veggie-Cheese Burritos.

I pretty much cooked the eggs and the veggies, washed and seasoned the beans, then graded the cheese and chopped up some cilantro.  Then piled them high into a tortilla, rolled them up and wrapped them up to avoid any freezer burn.  You can get the detailed instructions from here (where I originally found the recipe)

The only tip I can give is use larger tortillas!   But other than that these were SUPER easy to put together (see below!)

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Once frozen, you can keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.  I wrapped these babies in wax paper and then tin foil (all individually).  I made about 12 and then popped them all in a labelled freezer zip lock bag.

And when you are ready to eat, just zap them in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes (depending on your microwave) and voila!  One handed breakfast/snack option :)