Spring Book Report 2017

Although my write-ups for #CreativeConfidence were for a course I was taking, I really found that writing about what I was reading was helpful to me.  It helped me absorb what I read and kept me on track.

You can read my thoughts/learnings about the last book (Creative Confidencehere (and the book I read before that here).

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I started reading Steve Jobs probably about when I was 4 months pregnant.  So I have been reading it on and off for about 7 months (wow that’s embarrassing to admit).

It took me longer I think because

  • it wasn’t something I could carry around on my commute easily (even though I did when I was 4-6 months pregnant)
  • I took two online courses (which required their own reading/studying and took away from my free time)
  • I was pretty tied up taking care of my toddler (even on weekends when the Hubz had meetings with his classmates)
  • and maybe also because I am a slow reader.
    #ExcusesExcuses…

That said I had to stop reading at page 206 and return the book to the library because I had already renewed it 10 times and it was now on hold by someone else.  I do plan to finish it when I can get a hold of it again but wanted to share some of my thoughts on it so far (in no particular order).

  • Loved, LOVED reading about all the computer/technology history *adjusts nerdy glasses*
  • Steve Jobs’s admitting to the reality distortion field and how it was used to manipulate people – I honestly couldn’t believe that something like this had happened.  He seemed like genuine person and a leader in the truest sense
  • The emotional (ok over emotional) side of SJ.  I wonder if that would fly in today’s corporate world.  Even the uber innovative and creative ones.
  • Reading about the 70s (a decade I know little to nothing about, except for bell bottoms)
  • That SJ traveled to ashrams in India, learning meditation and becoming vegan (inspiring to me because I meditation and becoming vegans are goals of mine)

There were also some really great ideas shared about innovation, creativity and corporate success and how even though SJ could afford all sorts of materialistic things he chose to live in a sparecly furnished home.

As I await for my next library book to become available I plan to read this
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with a friend (Think: Digital Book Club).  I will most likely go the route of sharing interesting thoughts and ideas I learn from my book on twitter (like I did with #CreativeConfidence) and doing a book report style post when I finish it.

#LearnWithTLY – Stay motivated with your fitness

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With February coming to a close, I can say that I’ve definitely felt that loss of motivation when it comes to keeping up with my fitness routine.   That said, I can say 2016 has already seen me do a better job of being active 5-6 times a week, foam rolling regularly and increasing my endurance and overall mobility.

So here are my tips for staying motivated with your fitness goals. *DISCLAIMER* Please talk to your health care professional before staring a new heath/fitness regimen.

  1. Write it down: whether it is a making a vision board for your health and fitness, keeping track of what you eat or just regularly tweeting about your workout accomplishments – writing your goals and everyday successes makes them more attainable and relatable.  I especially find this helpful if/when I fall of the bandwagon or to help me decide what kind of dessert I will allow myself on a date night.
  2. Water and Veggies replacement:   The easiest way to ramp up on fitness goals is to include more water and veggies in your everyday meal planning.  It can be annoying to have to run to the bathroom all the time or be munching on the same veggies at the same time each day, but once your mind realizes this is the norm (i.e.: habits are formed) it becomes comfortable and enjoyable.
  3. Get your activity in before you’ve “woken up”:  This is an interesting idea and not something I can do everyday but I try and workout FIRST THING in the morning.  The feeling of sheer bliss knowing you’ve worked out already and that you have the rest of the day to do any damn thing you want is exhilarating (comparing to the feeling of “ugh I haven’t worked out yet, when will I fit it in).
  4. Ditch the scale (at least for 12 weeks):  Instead, take pictures of yourself.  Your face, arms, legs and torso (yes mirror selfies).  I’ve done this a few times before it became popular on social media and the results are so motivating.   I especially love seeing my fit pics (in old photo albums) because its a reassuring feeling – if I can do it once I can do it again.

How do you stay motivated when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle?

#LearnWithTLY On Creative Pursuits

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Often I look at the people around me and try to see their creative soul.  Sounds pretty odd but it’s true.  Like my co worker likes to sketch, a friend of mine is such an artistic cook/chef and my sister has a hidden talent of being able to put paint brush to canvas.

Creativity does not only need to be an artistic talent but it can be the fuel for learning something new, building on your problem solving skills and thinking outside the box.

Part of the reason I have Thru Les Yeux, my camera and my Etsy shop is because I found my creative soul and realized she needed to be released.  Here are my tips on how to pursue your creative talent:

  1. Listen to what your creative soul is telling you.  It’s probably a voice you’ve heard all your life but were too lazy, afraid, embarrassed to listen.   I know since I’ve started “listening” my mind is filled with all sorts of creative ideas and thoughts.
  2. Make time for your creativity.  This is definitely a tricky one.  In our busy society, who has time to sit down and do something creative when lunches need to be made, phone calls need to be returned, kids need to be reared etc.  I know I would rather just sit and decompress in front of the TV after 8 hours working for someone else.  But, if your really love exploring your creative side, you’ll want to fit it in whenever you can (might even loose sleep because of it!)
  3. Start at the beginning.  I think when you want to be creative, you have to start somewhere and it’s okay to start from the beginning.  Ask questions, practice your new skills, research and carry a notebook (like your a student) :)
  4. Exercise and get some fresh air.  Getting your heart rate up and breathing clean air (aka change of scenery) can give you the boost you need to either keep going or get you out of a rut/block.

#LearnWithTLY – On being productive, dreaming big and handling it all

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Miss S and I at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Toronto

Few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a women’s mentorship program at a local business school.  Dates and times have been finalized and now I will be meeting with a group of young women to discuss the topic of “Doing it All”.

Going back to work after Maternity Leave, Being a loving Mom and Wife, Daughter and Sister….Pursing creative interests, self teaching, as well as trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle ..may make it seem like I am doing it all but really I am just doing what makes me happy at the same time the best that I can for my family.

I am approaching the upcoming fireside chat like “advice I would give my 10 year younger self.  So here goes…

  1. Goals and Gratitude, write it down:  I am a big believer in writing things down, whether it’s a To Do list or your goals for the next five years.  The physical act of putting your thoughts onto a paper really makes your mind grasp what needs to be done and it doesn’t hurt to send out those vibes to the universe.
  2. Ask for help:  Yes we women can do it all, but that doesn’t mean you can give 100% of yourself to everything.  Whether it’s full time daycare, a part time nanny, a housekeeper, grandparents or even letting your partner do something his way – it’s OK!  Message here is don’t burn yourself out.
  3. Make time for yourself: pamper, appointments, workout, meditate, eat your vitamins.  Coming back to point 2 above.  You really have to take care of yourself otherwise you will 100% burn out!
  4. Keep learning:  This is a big one.  Be a lifelong learner.  Take a course or earn a masters.  Go on training or find free online courses to help you learn something new.  Attempt a different skill or try doing something out of your comfort zone.  Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.

PS: if you haven’t been, the Children’s Discovery Museum in Toronto is something definitely worth checking out!

#LearnWithTLY – 4 steps to dominate your first Art Fair and Sale

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I am starting my blog series with 4 tips on how to DOMINATE your first Art Fair and Sale.

I was planning on writing a debrief of my experiences at the #VaughanOfAKindShow but that happened over 4 months ago and I figured I could post something more helpful!   I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you prepared for your first art show or community craft sale so leave me some comments down below and come #LearnWithTLY!!

  1. Get a handled on your product offering and prices:  This is one area I am definitely going to improve on when I do another show.  It’s best to have your products and pricing completed 1.5-2 weeks in advance.  If not, you’ll feel flustered when your prints are not ready at the photo-lab *points at self*
  2. Start advertising early: Blog, email, tweet or Facebook post about your upcoming event (including all the details of time and location) a few weeks leading up to the event.  You may think you are bombarding people but your friends and family are your FIRST customers so give them the details they need to come visit and buy in advance.
  3. Design your booth to be inviting to your customers: Design a booth that will invite your customers to be able to really see your product (even pick up and inspect – enter clear plastic envelops).  Community fairs and sales are really about the community so everyone who comes by your booth is both a potential customer and a neighbour :)
  4. Be ready to make sales: Be (“overly”) friendly, have a credit card payment device + money box with cash on hand, offer a show discount, have bags for your product after it’s been purchased, come with plenty of business cards (including your email and social media accounts), bring water and snacks

I hope my tips help – I know I’ll be reviewing them when the next fair and sales comes around!