Creating magic 1 second everyday #1SE

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I take a LOT of pictures.  Yet I still have to find an effective way to getting them off the hard drive (or rather first off the SD card) and into my hands.  I did order this but still need to work on photo books for the last few years.  Definitely need to put my head down and get those done and printed.  Somewhat related story: Miss S saw one of her friends’ mom using a Canon DSLR and promptly told the Mister that she was using momma’s camera!  Luv you girl!

In a world where we are scrolling through feeds and craving that insta-gratification I feel even more compelled to save our memories not for the vanity metrics but rather for us to cherish forever.

Enter the app 1 Second Everyday.   This app and personal project has been by far the best creative endeavour I have taken in the last year.  It only requires a few minutes a day and the output is BEAUTIFUL and UNREAL.  I literally watch my compiled video of the last 7 months (ok 6 months because I was almost 9 months pregnant in February and forgot to take daily videos! Because taking naps trumped everything) several times a week and I am smiling ear to ear.

Miss S is already in love with it which makes my heart glow.  6 months of video is just under 3 minutes so another 6 months will take me to 6 minutes.  What a perfect way to remember the year.

My Buy Nothing Challenge

The other day I watched the documentary Minimalism.  And after it finished I immediately wanted to watch it again.  I guess lately I feel like a fly on the wall looking at all the STUFF at big box stores, grocery stores or even my own home.

….Maybe because I have two kids now and there is a lot of clutter in our play area and basement (although the Hubz and I find it really refreshing to rotate out the toys, but still the boxes of toys downstairs have got to go), or maybe because I am becoming more in tune with how much I create vs consume or maybe I am thinking about our environment (well always thinking not enough doing on my part) or maybe just the thought of Christmas  gift giving/wrapping paper is giving me anxiety or maybe I just need to change, somethings’ got to change.

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The movie essentially says that we can lead more meaningful lives with less.  I am glad that they had a father of six give his perspective, a couple with two young children give their experiences and even a husband and wife who admit that their son is more ok with being minimalist than their daughter.

I think Miss S is almost at the age where she is realizing she gets stuff (presents, gifts from abroad, loot bag goodies etc) but from the beginning I’ve tried to teach her also about giving back.  But we definite balance out what she is playing with vs what she actually receives.

It’s also got me thinking about people bringing gifts for the birthday parties we’ll host and celebrate this year.  I mean, I know the only thing I remember from my birthday parties as a kid was cutting the cake and playing with my friends – so maybe there is an opportunity to teach our children something here also.

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As for me, I want to try something new.  I would love to do Project 333 but my postpartum body needs a minute.  I think a reasonable goal would be to cut down on unnecessary spending.  I will challenge myself for the next 3 months (Jun 1 through to Aug 31) to not BUY anything for MYSELF.  It’s unrealistic for me to go cold turkey so I have a few rules that I will follow:

  • food is OK (as in groceries obviously)
  • toiletries / costs associated with self care is OK (Vitamins or Physio as an example)
  • paying for experiences is OK (costs associated with travel, day trips, photo printing, events, date nights or activities)

And to be clear, items that I normally buy for myself which are not allowed during this challenge are: nail polish, make up, shoes, clothes, jewelry, craft / stationary supplies (this will be hard)

Wish me luck :)

Overcoming writers block + June writing goals

Ironically I stared a blank wordpress page for about 10 minutes, watched several (one TED talk and some funny youtube) videos, decided I should clear out my SD card, contemplated turning on the TV for background noise, drank lots of water (and to be honest a few other embarrassing activities) all in an unconscious effort to procrastinate writing this post.  That said at least I had the topic idea ready to go!

I’ve decided to write more on this blog for 3 main reasons:

  1. I like to create content
  2. It’s giving me a space to keep record of daily events and memories
  3. I like writing as a creative outlet

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Also I want to take blogging more seriously because as I am on Mat Leave and have the time to dedicate to this hobby.

That said, this hobby requires a lot of idea generation and organization….

Which is where my EdCal (Editorial Calendar) comes in.  For the month of May, I created a make shift calendar using this cork board and some washi tape.  Having a physical (vs an online or digital) place to store my writing ideas has already proven to be more effective.  I have been able to go check the calendar to see what I need to write about and giving myself a hard deadline makes the whole process more of focused work for me (which is something I crave).  And is the main reason I have posts being published at 5am in the morning!

So for the month of June I have set a goal for myself to write EVERYDAY Monday to Friday!  (So that’s writing 5/7 days a week).  I pieced together ideas for 4.5 weeks of blog posts As of right now, my post ideas are being recorded to a google sheet.  And this is what I’ve learned is the magic of getting over a wall in your creative journey, make lists and use post its :)

I plan to add my google sheets list of ideas to my cork board EdCal.  It makes it easier to move writing projects around.  Plus as mentioned above, there is a different type of focus that is accompanied by actually seeing your to do list.

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Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 5)

The weather finally stayed consistently warm this weekend which was pretty rad because I pretty much lived in my jean jacket!

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On Friday, Thursday I watched Minimalism (check the blog later this week for my thoughts on it). And then on Saturday I started watching Food Matters (another documentary I plan on discussing). If it were up to me I’d watch documentaries more often but that would mean the hubs would be falling asleep on the couch more often too :P

I am currently working on my June EdCal and plan on sharing my EdCal process for May as well. Without going into too much detail I loved having a tangible place to see my blog post ideas and found that it allowed me to be on top of my posting schedule (considering that posting more consistently is one of my Mat Leave goals).

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Ok onto how our weekend went!  We had one of Miss S’s preschool friends 3rd birthday party on Saturday morning.  Although birthday parties can take over your weekend – I actually love that the kiddos get to interact and see each other outside of school.  The rest of the day we took it easy by fitting in a workout, doing some groceries and hanging out at home.  Sunday we braved the rush at IKEA for an early lunch and to get my steps in. The Misters mom and I were in a Weekend Warrior challenge going on and she legit gave me a run for my money. Later in the day we headed over to the in laws to visit as my Father In Law just returned from India and it was my nephews birthday. 

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Here is my review on last weeks goals:

  1. Finish reading my book (see here)
  2. Continue research/gathering ingredients for the bread recipe (purchased yeast now time to try something!)
  3. Take more photography ex: OOTD, family photos, sisters snapshots (done! Got done visual content for the blog also)
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times (yep killed it on both accounts!)
  5. Get a grip with my laundry piles (done got folded away some still sitting in the the dryer and some still in the basket waiting to be put away )
  6. Update my Etsy shop (started to look at it but got distracted)
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print (nothing to report here)
  8. Do 10 sun salutations (I did 4 – will try again next week)
  9. List out monthly goals for June (done!)
  10. Start working on some photos books (not yet, although I ordered some photo magnets!)

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For this coming week these are my goals:

  1. Read 2 chapters for my book
  2. Make some bread!
  3. Take some more everyday photography shots and move photos from SD Card
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times 
  5. Take Miss El to the Born to Read library program
  6. Update my Etsy shop 
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print
  8. Do 10 sun salutations 
  9. Finish June EdCal
  10. Work on Miss S’s party planning

Have a great week!

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.

#MothersDay2017

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Honestly I started the post almost 4 days ago and never got around to finishing it.  Between being there with my kids, cooking, laundry, getting back into fitness/fitbit, running errands, trying my very hardest to spend time with my hubby (while trying my hardest not to pass out on the couch at 8:30) my 5am scheduled posts have taken a back seat.  I let one slide (ok Monday’s post also didn’t almost happen on time) but definitely going to put in the work to get Friday’s post in on time.   Why the pressure on myself?  Well first off its not pressuring myself, writing, taking beautiful photos, editing, thinking, setting deadlines, dressing up for an OOTD – makes me feel good about myself.   Plus I LOVE the feeling of accomplishment and staying motivated is a huge goal for me over the next year.  Okay now that THATS out of the way…. :)

Mother’s Day 2017 was ahhh-mazzzing!  I got the sweetest potted seedling from Miss S (c/o her preschool class) and a gorgeous pendent necklace (similar to what I posted here). Plus I got treated to alone time in the bathroom (I know such a luxury), Breakfast in bed with the cutest homemade gift from the Mister and Miss S (and of course Miss El).

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I listened to the most refreshing podcast episode this morning about parenting your little ones at typical summer events (such as weddings and grad ceremonies – both of which we will be attending in the coming months).  I would love if my kids could take every nap in the own bed/crib and don’t have to nag them to eat their meal – but having friends/family and the related events doesn’t always lend itself to the perfect parenting situations :)  Plus the mister and I are on the go ourselves (between corporate careers, working out, schooling, night outs etc) so I am glad that I stumbled upon the episode to remind me to keep perspective and plan!

The 3 important things to remember:

  1. know you child’s tolerance level (a kid will only act in a way she is programmed for their age and it’s on me as a parent to adjust to that thinking)
  2. come prepared with loose parts that allow for quiet yet active place (lol sounds scary but each parent knows their child’s safety level so some items that were suggested are feathers, scarves etc)
  3. don’t apologize for your kids behaviour (somewhat related to 1 above)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!