Constraints promote creativity

Ever since I read this book – I’ve become even more obsessed with my creativity journey. The most important lesson I learned was constraints promote creativity.  Constraints such as time, word count, colours etc.

I like to do something creative every day.  I just wish I could be more organized and consistent with it.  So here is my attempt at doing something creative consistently and in an organized matter.   I also figured this would be a good practice is creating consistent content on my instagram.  Follow along – or better yet join in!

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Stop chasing the like

**I wanted to post something but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to write about.  So I’ll just do some free writing – here goes nothing.

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Well I can share that I listened to a podcast featuring an old friend (we met in grade 9 so were friend for over 15 years) that I distanced myself from about a year ago.  I feel bad that we haven’t been able to keep in touch and I am happy / proud of her for following her inner calling.  But I know in my heart we are in different places now (although we both have very similar thinking about certain subjects till this day).  The thing is – I am saying I am happy for her based on what I see in her social media pages slash what she projects of herself online.   I know that behind the scenes there is a lot of struggle and work.  In any case I wish the best for her as I know she would for me.

I am proud of myself for giving up chicken and bacon (oops might have forgotten to mention that here).  I feel better for telling my family (after keeping it a secret for about 2 months) but I realized it was time and everyday that I choose to fuel myself with less animal products, I am happier.  Eating plant strong/plant based encourages creativity in the kitchen.  And that’s one thing you should know about me by now – I love being creative.

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I want to buy pretty things but I love that I am not. (Ok don’t get my wrong, I do buy stuff but not all the stuff and more so out of necessity / less out of “I saw it I want it”).  Hence why my #OOTD shots feature all old clothes.

Although minimalism seems a little extreme, the principals behind the movement really speak to me and resonate with the direction I see my life going.  Yes this entire outfit is all old stuff from my closet. But I love that!

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Shorts (similar) | Button Up | Tanktop | Flip Flops

Instagram, branding, #sponsored posts etc all have a way of making me feel bad/guilty/inferior for not doing what the cool kids are doing.  But then I tell myself “self, what do you really want …you want to be creative and make things because that voice inside of you won’t rest until you’ve done something creative every damn day”.  For me it could be taking a picture, bullet journaling, make something new for dinner, painting or writing.

Other things on my mind: stop eating cookies, stop scrolling on my phone so much, cuddle the Hubz more, buy a new moleskin, write more if I am in the flow, finish reading a book, keep my morning journaling routine, find 2 minutes in the day to be still/meditate.

Yeaaaa! It’s Friday – see you on the flip side!

Miss El’s six month update

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And here we are, ½ year old Ellie Bellie.  She celebrated like any baby should – in Las Vegas!  :-P

Right before she turned 6 months she figured out how to roll from her tummy to her back. She’s been trying new foods and grabbing things we are holding in our hands or food we are putting in our mouths!

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She’s really into examining things by moving them from hand to hand, putting them in her mouth or just starting at it intently.  She still loves trees and I think she kind of loves the song “Part of your world” from The Little Mermaid.  She’s trying really hard to sit up unassisted and is not a fan when we take her toes out of her mouth during a diaper change.

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Ellie is really giving us a run for our (parenting) money but from I am understanding that is the natural evolutionary path of adding another kiddo to the mix.

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Time to buy a new planner!

Whoa it’s like Fall has already arrived!

Ellie & I dropped off Miss S today at daycare (she is starting “kindegarden” today) and the temperature was 12 degrees Celsius.  Super excited to put on my vegan leather jacket and fringe scarf and getting the girls in their fall touqs.  Also stoked for for fall fashion!  Bring on all the layers of moody nail polish, rings and clothes :)

It is also that time of year again where all the stationary and school supplies line the front of stores.  It’s taking a lot of controlled effort not to pick up everything in sight but I love the feeling you get when a new (school) year is about to start.

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That said, my current planner year is coming to an end and I’ve used it consistently.   Although I can’t say that I used it extensively (some months were better than others) or that it was a space to keep/record everything.  I often grabbed a plain note book or printer paper to scribble lists on and never ended up returning those notes to my main planner.   I would prefer to keep everything in one place so I can always look up that list or piece of information I recorded because it ensures that I don’t have to “recreate the wheel”.  I like my moleskin planner but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in investing in something that would better suit my current journal/planning style.  I am currently using 4 different planner/bullet journaling methods and I really just want to use ONE!

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I’ve already got a few planners on my radar (like this Moleskin, Mini Day Designer or an undated Passion Planner).

Reviewing all these planners I realized there are some MUST HAVES for me when it comes to planners.

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A planner needs to have:

  • Quotes to start your week.  The right motivation can really set the tone for your days ahead
  • Monthly pages spread across a normal size paper (8.5×11 inches)
  • Project Planning Pages
  • Mind mapping pages
  • Vision board pages (for like actual cutting and pasting into the planner)
  • Vertical Days Section (for tasks lists/general lists, daily appointments in descending order by time etc).  I think “going down a list” as a daily practice helps to keep your productivity in focus
  • Daily trackers for habits such as water intake, exercise and food (i.e. “whats for dinner”)
  • Daily trackers for expenses and self care
  • Daily gratitude section
  • Daily top 3-5 tasks
  • Daily creative work section.  I truly believe that doing something creative is necessary to both exercise the mind and help you in other areas of your life (such as problem solving etc)
  • Weekly goals, essentially the top 2-3 things you need to get done that week
  • Go to Lists section such as grocery, suit case packing, diaper bag etc
  • Daily, weekly and monthly productivity measurement
  • Free space (lined and blank) for doodling, note taking, free writing etc
  • Pomodoro explanation
  • Information on topics such as: productivity, focus, intention, mediation etc
  • Front and back pockets
  • Be able to lay flat
  • Bookmark (an attached piece of ribbon or a ruler that fits into the rings)
  • Free printables (something you can print from the planners website and add to your planner)

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Things I planner doesn’t need to have:

  • Global Date and Times
  • Flight Durations
  • Dialing codes
  • Measurement conversions
  • Shirt Sizes

…pretty much anything that can be googled in seconds!

August Monthly Goals – revisited

About 2 weeks ago I wrote this post.  I was feeling a little panicked because some of the things I was trying to accomplish were not happening.  I hate that feeling of lost productivity.  Especially when you don’t have structured work time and are accomplishing things for yourself and not working for someone else’s goals.  The loss of productivity is a real de-motivator when are you feel passionate about the work you are doing / trying to finish but are getting things done.

But I realized I did something oh so wrong.

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A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.

This quote is by GS Reid and I found it a few weeks ago and posted it with this image on my instagram.   By the way if you are looking for a daily inspiration in the form of imagery and quotes you should follow me on IG #ShamelssPlug :)

Honestly the thought behind this quote is so powerful and it really speaks to me.  So I decided that I needed to revisit my August goals.

  1. Workout and finish my 12 week program by Sept 24th
    1. Plan out my weeks including the week we are away
    2. Drink lots of water
    3. Foam roll daily
  2. Bake a pizza crust ..honestly I would love to do this but it feels so forced taking it off for now / again
  3. Meditate twice a week (Thursday and Friday)
    1. Meditation can be as a long as 10 minutes or as short as 2 minutes
    2. Focus on visualization
  4. Finish reading my book (By Sept 15)
    1. Move ePub version of the book to my reader (by Aug 25)
    2. Read while nursing (as opposed to scrolling)
    3. Read 5 pages before bed
  5. Finish my Content Calendar for 2017 by Sept 3rd
    1. Use google sheets
    2. Plan to post 3 times a week
    3. Have a tab/page in planner for just ideas (easily accessible)

Wish me luck!

How do you get re-inspired to accomplish your dreams?

#NiagaraParks + Tips for easy getaways as a new family of 4

This past weekend we took our first over night trip as a family of four.  We had been in talks about what to do and where to go for a few months.  I was toying with the idea of either an AirBnB near a beachfront or the Niagara Fallsview Waterpark.  I am glad we went with the latter.  The waterpark was not crowded (and we went on two days) and walking around Clifton Hill and checking out The Falls is always entertaining.  Thankfully, the hotel we stayed at had breakfast so we filled up on food (twice for some of us) and didn’t have to worry about preparation or clean up!

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This was totally a kid centric trip, meaning we were back in the hotel room by 8pm.  And even though we were on a “stay-cation” we were still parenting (i.e.: reminding Miss S to eat her veggies or use her walking feet and dealing with baby nap times).  It was by no means easy (I mean travelling in any capacity with kids is a challenge) but it was worth it.

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Within minutes of getting into the hotel room, Miss S and Ellie were playing with each.  Miss S would make a funny noise over and over again and Ellie would laugh at her.  Miss S enjoyed the water way more than I’ve seen in the last year.  And Ellie got to take her first dip in the pool as well.

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Miss S got a few piggy back rides and Ellie got more sling time than usual.  We got a few family selfies and got to eat some Sweet Jesus :)

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Even with all the awesomeness there is some crankiness but everything is a learning opportunity.  If you are looking for some mom hacks to get you through a weekend away with your growing family consider these tips:

  1. A double stroller is must
  2. Adults need to have fun too (and not just cater to the kids)
  3. Always ask a stranger to take pictures of you and your family
  4. Look into hotels that offer continental breakfast or complimentary snack bars