Planner Layout Review: April 2017

Illusions of Productivity

And just like, that another month flies by.

This month was all about daily habits. I kept a log of fitness habits, and personal habits, after a month of tracking, I can say that I’m finally feeling the benefits.

Top 5 Successes:

  1.  Went to the gym 3 times a week at the butt crack of dawn.
  2. Played more bass guitar
  3. Cut out unhealthy snacks
  4. Crossed 2 things of my “Life Maintenance” list (FINALLY)
  5. Incorporated creativity *offline* into my everyday life.

Top 3 Areas that need improvement:

  1. More cello
  2. Less multitasking. More focus – specifically at work.
  3. I need to go through my mail. -_-

This weekend I hope to catch up on a few blog posts I’ve been drafting, and some other creative projects I’ve been working on. Thanks for stopping by.

D. Marie ❤


Personal Planner

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My newest planner toy! The HP Sprocket photo printer. You can peel off the back and make them stickers! You already KNOW ya girl is scrapbooking like crazy with this thing ❤

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Fitness Planner:

I bought fitness stickers mid- month, so the other two weeks aren’t worth mentioning 😉

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Work Planner:

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Happy Planning!

On Creativity

Creative Writing, Illusions of Productivity

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein


Working in front of a screen inputting and analyzing numbers all day takes a toll on me mentally and emotionally. I work full time and consult on the side, sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about all the things I want to do and have to do once I get home. It’s also hard to find personal time, I really need to carve it in anywhere I can. Having a Type A personality , I find it hard to sit still, there’s always something I should be doing.

With the constant need to feel busy, I find that cultivating my creativity helps satiate the angst I feel in empty spaces. Not only does it help my mind step away from my lists and anxiety, it gives me a fresh look at how to execute all of my projects. Even if you don’t consider yourself an ‘artist’ here are some reasons why you should incorporate creativity in your weekly or daily habits.

Creativity is within all of us.

Contrary to belief that the creative process is a right brain activity, Social Psychologist Graham Wallas’ model of the creative process emphasizes that from Preparation to Verification, creativity is a whole brain activity. When you think about it, humans in nature are a creative species, our ability to manipulate our environment is what sets us apart from other animals; so to say that one is not creative is to deny your innate ability to solve problems, which is essentially a creative process.

One of my favorite modes of creativity is sketching. The act of taking in a scene and translating it onto paper is a remarkable skill. Now, I’m not the best at it, but I enjoy tapping into the basics of perception, shadows, and shapes. The senses used to solve the problem of translation from the intake of what you see, to manipulating your tools to draw it on paper, is something I feel helps reset my brain when I’m having a stressful week or am in need of inspiration for words, or other departments of creativity.

When you draw, you become more aware of details and awaken many suppressed senses. While starting out my sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge you see above, it took me awhile to get the correct proportion of the towers, which even still could use some improvement. This mental exercise in itself- spatial improvement and functional connectivity –  helps relieves stress, sharpens your brain agility, and improves emotional awareness (Bolwerk, 2014).

Awakening of the senses.

This awakening of the senses that study after study proclaims art and creativity does for the brain, is something that is so important especially now in the digital age. One thing I hate about social media is that you can easily find yourself stuck down a rabbit hole staring at your phone screen! I’m guilty of this, and when I finally snap out of it, I feel like my brain has been buffering, numb, or blurry – kind of like when you use the street view on Google Maps and the image is a blurred collage of earth toned, pixelated streaks… yea, that’s my brain after wasting an hour of my life scrolling through Instagram.

One of the reasons I’ve started blogging is to expand my creative practice. I was telling a friend the other day that I kinda (key word KINDA) miss writing essays! That was crazy to hear coming out of my mouth; but I felt like in this ‘like, share, comment, tweet in 140 characters’ age, my thought process was becoming too shallow. So for me, blogging is another creative process where I can practice formulating complex thoughts and expand one simple idea into a beginning, middle, and end (like this post ;)).

Simple modes of creativity.

Even if you can’t commit to a full blown essay or mural of the Golden Gate Bridge, there are little things you can do to squeeze in that little bit of creativity. One of my favorite tips I heard from a colleague is that she challenged herself to write haikus on the bus instead of looking at Instagram. I don’t find myself writing too many haikus, but one thing I do enjoy is experimenting with descriptive language – writing a small paragraph about the scene I find myself in. I use my phone to keep these notes, and sometimes these paragraphs turn into something more that I expand on later.

Force yourself to learn something new.

I’m a huge fan of formal instruction, I take cello and bass lessons at a community center. I’ve finally convinced some of my musically curious friends to sign up for a class! The point is not to chase some pipe dream of becoming a professional musician, but to force myself to step away from the screen, learn something new, and awaken my musical senses. If you find that adding that little bit of creativity on your own is something you can’t commit to, then sign up for that guitar or ceramics class you’ve always wanted to try! Find a community center, many of them have sliding scale prices; you’d be surprised what your public library offers- plus you get the benefit of building your creative community.

Creativity is our super human power!

We are a creative species, it is our super human power and you should find ways to inspire yourself to create every single day. When we create, we are changing the structure of our brains, creating new connections in our neural pathways, lighting up different parts of the brain (Scientific American, 2007). Think about it this way – your brain is a muscle and therefore, you should exercise it like one. Don’t let your brain become a couch potato.

Picture Story: San Diego, CA

Picture Diaries

Products Used:

HP Sprocket $139

Happy Planner Mini $12.99

Me and My Big Ideas Sticker Pack: $20

Sony Hx80 $340


I spent Easter weekend with the family in San Diego. It was actually supposed to be the ‘Grandparent’s weekend’ (my parents, my nephews; my aunt and uncle, and my two nieces) but I decided to crash the party.

Spending time with family completely unravels me to the core. It’s hard to go back to work after a weekend full of happiness and love pumping through my veins!

I recently purchased the HP Sprocket printer and couldn’t wait to use it for this trip. It’s really taken my planner journal to a whole new level! My planner addiction has completely gone overboard but I love it. 😉

Here’s a little recap of my favorites this weekend as well as how I captured it in my planner.

Enjoy!


Favorite Discovery: Attention fellow coffee shop dwellers!

Lestat’s in North Park is open 24/7!!! One of my favorite things to do on a day off is to wake up early, and sit in a coffee shop to catch up on my favorite blogs and the news…. I was very pleased to stumble across this.

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Favorite Day: Hiking Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

This was my first day in San Diego, and as you can see the weather was beautiful. It was nice to get out of foggy, rainy San Francisco and take all this vibrant color in.

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Favorite Photo: Because the Middle Child is the Best aka Middle Child Syndrome

The three of us haven’t been together since Christmas, so it was fun just messing with each other and acting ridiculous.

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How I captured the weekend: HP Sprocket & Happy Planner Mini

This planner addiction is completely contagious and I got my sister into it last year when I bought her a Classic Happy Planner for her birthday. We both enjoy creating so it was an easy sell; but since then, we always find a way to go to Michaels to feed our crafty addiction and stock up on planner goodies. On the third day, we got our coupons ready and went shopping! I even got my nephews excited about making a memory sticker book. Living far away from them, using my printer and teaching them how to scrapbook has been a fun activity that we can keep together from a distance. I’ve already sent them a little card with some stickers to add to it <3.

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Yours Truly,

D. Marie

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Keeping Up with the Current – A poem.

Creative Writing

Lying here like a rock under current

Anxieties of today, tomorrow, and yesterday gently sweep over me

like a sparkling golden water blanket.

Always sliding forward. Moving fast and noisily into the deep silent blue beyond.

A rock lying on it’s back looking up into the sun rays.

As sea foam fizzles off the sand.

Rock belly bottom.

Modern Death Trap – A poem.

Creative Writing
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Based off what you’re telling me, you no longer believe in magic.
you have chosen to be forgotten
you have chosen to be fatigued.
Based off what I’m seeing, your a dying soul, a fogged out rainbow
greying out of the spectrum.
I’ll pity you tomorrow
Im too busy sniffing flowers.
Come to me next week and I’ll have your color pallette ready
I’ll rub it in your face, your skin
I’ll cover you with petals and daffodillies.
There now, go to sleep
rest your eyes
become obsolete
Rest your head, never wake up
your trapped in a world of grime and muck
This is what you have chosen.
this is what you believe.
leave me to my fairies, I’ll be seeing you beneath the trees.
Image: acrylic/ink/watercolor/electrical tape circa 2011

Personal Reflection and Growth Mindset

Illusions of Productivity

 

I call my planner obsession “illusions of productivity” for a reason – I’m really not the best at adulting, but I enjoy making lists and goals to make me feel like I am in control and that I am going somewhere with my life. Now that I’ve been actively writing down goals, setting intentions, and reflecting on them month to month, I’ve found that even though I fall off track towards the end of the month, just the act of setting aside time to reflect on myself helps me stay motivated to keep up my positive habits. I want to do so many things, and it takes a lot of time management to put in the work to improve myself in all the different departments I dabble in – music, fitness, consulting, being in a relationship, and personal time… it’s a lot to juggle, but keeping sight of what I’m doing right versus what’s dragging me down helps me grow. So keep at it! Even if you fail, just writing down your goals will help you get there.

Someone asked me yesterday on my Instagram, “How do you view planning and what does it mean to you?”. I had a hard time answering it right off the bat because it was such a personal question. But after some thought, I realized I love to daydream, and for me, making lists, checking boxes and planning, is my way of building a ladder to reach the stars. #justkeepswimming.

April Creative: LA Artist Deakin Handmade

Monthly Creatives

April 2017


Discover My Favorite Creatives!

This segment is dedicated to all my creative muses. Each one of them on the daily hustle, working hard to support what they love the most. Whether it’s music, art, personalities, jewelry, or clothing, I support it all. I hope you take the time to check out their pages, like their socials, and show them some love.

 Deakin Handmade

Meet Roxie and Beamer Hoge, a small but mighty duo behind the handmade ware brand Deakin Handmade. Roxie and I went to the same elementary school; she was in the same class as my sister. They caused some mischief together 😉 After my sister and I transferred to a different school district, it was a while (about 10 – 12) years before I ran into Roxie at my favorite coffee shop. There she was crafting up a beautiful latte, we’d exchanged the usual over-the-counter-barista-talk and then there was that moment when your eyes locked and “HOLY SHIT!!!!” we recognized each other. It was as if you could hear some R2D2 neurotransmitter sound effects going on as our brains subconsciously calculated each others faces.. anyways, I could really dork out on some existential stuff about this holy shit moment, but that won’t be fair to you, the reader, who’s just here to learn more about Roxie’s awesome work with her husband.


What inspired you to start your creative journey and how long have you been creating?

I picked up leather crafting as a hobby in 2012. My husband and I had just started dating and he had recently invested in quite a few tools and was making belts and things for friends. We hosted a weekly craft night, and our pals would come over with food and we would all snack, drink and make simple projects. It was so fun! Soon enough, friends started offering us money to make them things. Word got out, and we found ourselves making so many wallets for friends and acquaintances, we decided to launch the business!

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What is your creative process?

I usually have a few new designs in mind at any given time. The one that actually gets put into production is whatever I find the most need for; or whatever I get the most requests for. We’ll sit and draw out a couple of different versions of the item before actually making it, keeping within our realm of timeless aesthetic and simple, classic design.

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What are you working on right now?

At the moment, we are working on a passport wallet; something I’ve been meaning to make happen for quite some time.

Who are your creative muses? What inspires you the most?

My creative muses are everywhere! They are hard working, busy-as-heck, and need reliable carry goods to help them along the way. If you ever stop to ask someone about their wallet, it’s amazing what they’ll tell you! The’ll say what they love best about it, and why it works so well for them, and what they would change about it to make it *perfect* for their specific needs. It’s a very personal thing, and I just love it. I draw inspiration where I find necessity, and I find necessity by talking to people and watching the way they use their carry items.

What is Deakin Handmade?

Deakin has grown from a longstanding appreciation for function-driven timeless goods, and was built on the idea that the things we carry with us every day and all day long should wear in – not out.

We are very small team with a vast set of skills and interests – carpentry, art & sculpture, specialty coffee, mechanics, climbing, canyoneering, food & cocktails – we are adventurers, tinkerers, builders and find inspiration where we find necessity.  As individuals, we are drawn to things that are made well and have set ourselves to the task of creating & supplying durable, and elegantly simple wares that will stand up to your adventures and improve with age. We do our best to ensure heirloom-quality construction in each of our pieces with the hope that they will be used well, used often, and passed on for generations.

And finally! A peak at their amazing work:

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But wait! there’s more! They make tote bags, belts, and furniture collaborations…

Check out all their beautiful products on:

Deakin Handmade Website

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