Lately…

Watching… The Intern. I don’t watch a lot of movies; I tend to be more of a TV fan. I got a free trial of HBO over the weekend. I wanted to make full use of it, so I surveyed everything I could stream and was excited to see this movie. I’d always wanted to see it but never had. I really enjoyed it!

Reading… The Sun is Also a Star. I’ve actually been listening to the audiobook of this one. I would describe it as a young adult cross of Before Sunrise and Sliding Doors. I’m almost to the end and anxious to see how it finishes. If you like YA, I recommend it.

Listening to… Creative Empire Podcast. I spent quite a bit of time the other day on the road between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. I took the opportunity to binge listen to some podcasts. I hadn’t heard of this one until an episode was recommended on a list of episodes every creative should listen to. I enjoyed it; I plan to check out more episodes.

Eating… Trader Joe’s Just a Handful of Olives. I have loved olives since I was little. I remember when I was a kid, adults being fascinated that I would like them. I think their surprise solidified my love for them. I’m always up for trying a variety I’ve never had. I was excited to come across this snack package at Trader Joe’s. They are a bit pricey for everyday but would definitely pick up a few bags if I were traveling.

Wanting… Odean Small Glass Cabinet. I came across this cabinet when perusing the CB2 catalog. There is absolutely no storage in my bathroom; something like this might be perfect. I’ve measured and it would fit but I think I might try a trial run with a large box to see if it would feel crowded.

What have you been up to lately?

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Happy Weekend!

via Biography

I was so sad to hear of the passing of Mary Tyler Moore. If I can find a way, I plan to binge watch some Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Tyler Moore Show this weekend.

I really need to work on this.

Trying to think of someplace where I can do this.

Wanting this shower curtain.

I love this idea!

Can’t wait to check out all these Airbnb’s.

I really wish I could see this exhibit.

This twist on the Moscow Mule looks delish.

Easily convert miles to kilometers.

Someday I would like to take this Harvard class.

Have a great weekend!

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Life in Photos

fabulous floor

love the detail in these old post office boxes

love the lettering 

let there be light

so many details

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Thoughts on Creativity

I’ve been pondering creativity and ways to add more of it to my life for this “year of creativity.” Here are a few things I’ve found to be essential:

Mindset. In the last couple of weeks, Carol Dweck‘s concept of mindset has crossed my path several times – so many that it seems like a sign that it’s something I should explore. The idea is that we either have a fixed mindset, or one of growth. If it’s fixed, we believe that we are born with certain talents and can’t really improve on them. A growth mindset is the belief that we can always learn, grow, and improve our skills. I think in general I usually come from the viewpoint of growth. I’m not sure that’s always my line of thought when it comes to artistic pursuits. I received mixed messages about my artistic skills growing up. On one hand, I was often told by friends and family that I was creative. However that was not the message I got from my grade school art teacher.  She always gave me the impression that I didn’t have talent. I remember feeling vindicated when I got second place in an art festival that included multiple schools (in fact I still have that picture – probably for that reason). So, moving forward, I’m going to work on making my artistic mindset one of growth.

Every minute of practice improves creative skill. I’ve been feeling the gap that Ira Glass talks about. My skills definitely aren’t up to my taste. The only way they will get there is to make practice an almost constant habit. I’ve been participating in the Show Me Your Drills Challenge this month and can tell that the concentrated effort has made a difference in building my muscle memory required for good lettering. Some days, I don’t have the time or energy to do a lot of practice, but I don’t let that stop me from doing at least a little bit every day. And on some of those less energetic days, I often find the energy to do more once I get started.

Make it easy to practice. Making it easy to practice has helped me be successful at doing it every day. Have I told you how much I love my iPad Pro and Pencil? They are compact enough to take anywhere. Plus, it’s all I need; I don’t need lots of paper or ink. I can do a “page” of practice and then clear the screen and start over. I took them with me when I traveled last week and practiced in lots of random places.

What  helps you add creativity to your life?

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Lately…

I’m sorry for the radio silence last week. I was out of town part of the week and was recovering the rest of the week. Hopefully things will be back on track this week.

Watching… The Good Place. Did you see the season finale?!? When they first began running ads for this show, I had absolute no interest in watching it. Then a critic, that I usually agree with, and a friend, both recommended it. I’ve rally enjoyed it and am intrigued by the twist in the finale. I hope it gets picked up for another season.

Reading… The Daily Stoic. I was inspired to check out this book after reading this blog post. Each daily reading seems to provide great food for thought.

Drinking… DRY Sparkling Vanilla Bean. I happened across this drink the other day and being a fan of vanilla felt compelled to try it. It did not disappoint. In fact, I liked it so much that I’ve been making a homemade version by adding a dash of vanilla to my homemade soda water.

Eating… chicken salad.  Around the time I began college, my sister gave me a cookbook.  It was written for someone that was new to cooking.  It explained how to make hard boiled eggs and other stuff like that.  It also had a really good chicken salad recipe in it. It contained olives. I believe everything is better with olives. I don’t really follow the recipe anymore, but I always add olives when I make chicken salad. And I’m always surprised when the olives in restaurant chicken salad turn out to be grapes.

Loving… my immersion blender. I use my regular blender on a daily basis and never thought I needed an immersion blender. I only use it for one thing, but it makes that thing so easy I can’t imagine living without it. If you make homemade mayonnaise, I highly recommend using an immersion blender. There’s no need to slowly drizzle the oil in and you don’t even have to use a room temperature egg.

What have you been up to lately?

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Lately…

Watching… Victoria on Masterpiece. I finished The Crown a long time ago but still find myself thinking about it I’m hoping this new Masterpiece series will fill the void.

Reading…. The House on Tradd Street. I had not heard about this series until I plugged some of my favorite books into the What Should I Read Next? website. This is one of those books where the setting is almost a character in the book  I’m about a quarter of the way in and am really enjoying it. I’m hoping this is a series I can get into..

Wearing… Nike Tanjun Sneakers. Last year I got some New Balance sneakers that I hoped would cross the gap between stylish and functional. I never really liked how they looked or felt so I decided to try these. These are maybe the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I think these are going to get a lot of wear.

Listening to… Masters of Money Podcast. I think I’ve mentioned before that I was on the lookout for a good finance podcast. I’ve found them to be inspiring but difficult to find one that was a good fit for me.  I’ve really been enjoying this one so far. The episodes are weekly and just the right amount of time. I think this one could become a regular in my rotation.

Using… Tinycards App. I discovered this app while reading the Cool Tools blog. I was intrigued by the description and installed it. I’ve been playing with it and the nerd in me loves it. Basically it’s loaded with a bunch of flash cards on various topics. It begins by teaching you what’s on the cards, once you’ve mastered that it quizzes you. I’ve studyed paintings, city landmarks, and state capitols. It’s the perfect way to waste time yet still feel productive.

What have you been up to lately?

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Happy Weekend!

Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly between takes during filming of ‘High Society,’ 1956 via History in Pics

Yet again, I took an unintended break. This week has been kind of crazy, just one of those where nothing seems to go as planned. Now we have a big ice storm to look forward to.

I’m always interested in checking out new podcasts.

Six things you should know about flying.

Some minimizing inspiration.

Be that person.

Stories like this fascinate me.

I want all the chairs!

I’ve always thought it would be fun to go here.

LOVE this!

An interesting perspective.

Have a great weekend!

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Lately…

Watching… The Secret Life of Pets. I rented this a couple of weeks ago when Amazon had a .99 rental deal and finally got around to watching it this weekend. It was super cute. It made me wonder what my menagerie is up to when I’m not at home.

Setting Up… security cameras. A few years ago I setup security cameras at my house. Unfortunately the ones I bought didn’t last as long as I would have liked. After some research, I decided to go with these D-Link cameras. They seemed to be a good fit with my needs at a reasonable price. I was surprised that a lot of the cameras available seem to require you to run your video through their servers. That is an option with these, but not a requirement. They were incredibly easy to add to my existing system. So far, I’m pleased.

Reading… The Case Against Sugar.  Sugar, even natural sweeteners, don’t really agree with me. Thankfully, I think I’ve avoided them enough that I’m finally beginning to lose the cravings. When I heard about this book I thought reading it might help keep me away from the sweet stuff. I’m not very far into it, but the gist is that our bodies were not made to consume the sugar that most of us regularly do and that sugar is the cause of our culture’s chronic health problems.

Drinking… Pecan Malk + Cold Brew Coffee. I decided to treat myself to a tasty beverage the other day when I was at Natural Grocers. I intended to get some Maca Mocha but they don’t seem to carry it anymore, so I settled for Malk.  It was okay – a tad too sweet. I think I prefer my coffee black (and hot).

Wearing… Warby Parker Holcomb. I found myself needing to spend some cafeteria plan money at the end of 2016, so I ordered me another pair of glasses. I’ve been loving the ones with with the partially clear frames for awhile, but every pair I tried didn’t look good. I was excited that these worked out.

What have you been up to lately?

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Happy Weekend!

Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, and Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride, 1987 via History in Pictures

Big weekend plans? I think it’s going to be an indoor weekend around here. I have a few projects I’m working on that I hope to make some progress on – nothing too exciting.

Some great bullet journal ideas.

So funny!

I think I’m going to begin to utilize Evernote again this year.

It’s funny, in all the years my dad collected stamps, I never really thought about who designed them. That would be a pretty cool gig.

Now that I’ve scanned all my photos, I need to implement this system.

I better get busy, I’ve only read one of these.

The design nerd in me loves this!

Who knew? There’s a word for that.

If this doesn’t make you laugh, nothing will (be sure to read the comments).

Have a great weekend!

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Thrifty Thursday

One of my goals for 2017 is to reduce spending and increase income. I’ve decided to implement a weekly “Thrifty Thursday” post where I give myself assignments and write about the results. I think too often we, or at least I, look at things too broadly, get overwhelmed and end up not doing anything. I’m hoping if I take small steps every week, by the end of the year I will have made significant progress towards my money goals.

This week’s assignment is to review my grocery spending and figure out ways to bring the cost down. As I’ve mentioned before, I primarily follow a paleo diet. If you aren’t familiar with paleo, it consists of whole foods, mostly proteins and fruits/vegetables – no dairy, grains, or legumes. It also focuses on eating mostly organic, free range and grass fed. If you aren’t used to eating this way it probably sounds a little crazy, but once you’ve tried it and feel significantly better, you become a believer. This way of eating is not inexpensive, but I figure that I’m saving in other ways so it’s worth it. I would like to get the cost down as much as I can, so this coming week my assignment is to explore ways to do that.

A few things I plan to do are:

  • limit myself to grocery shopping once a week (multiple stores in one day is okay)
  • make sure I’m eating everything I purchase
  • compare prices to make sure that I’m getting the best deal.

Since I eat very little processed food, there won’t be much, if any, couponing involved. I’m just going to have to be resourceful and figure out the best way to keep the cost down. Next week I will share the results.

Is there anything you’d like to be different about your money habits?

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