Keeping Goals Realistic-Life is too short, and so is the weekend.

Illusions of Productivity
Reflections on being a #PlannerAddict

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Illusions of Productivity
*This post is written with my happy planner peeps in mind. BUTTTT, the same practice can apply to anyone who journals, plans, or just loves being productive on the weekends* 

As many of you Happy Planner Babes know, it’s hard to put the breaks on when it comes to buying the Happy Planner accessories. Last time I went to Michael’s, I splurged on a bunch of sticker books and inserts, one of them being the Daily Layout. I thought I would use them a lot being the avid list maker that I am, but they ended up sitting in my drawer for the longest time. I had a major case of buyers remorse.

As my planner evolved into a personal memory journal, I started to find other uses for it. First of all, I would plan my days by the hour in my work planner (of course, makes sense); but I never really planned out the day on the weekends except for the occasional dinner date, or hanging out with friends. Every Friday would roll around and I would have a list of things I wanted to accomplish over the weekend running in my head. By the time Monday came, I would be so bummed out and hard on myself for not accomplishing everything I wanted to do.

Then I started to realize that I wasn’t being realistic; it’s only two days off for crying out loud, that’s hardly enough time to recharge. In order for me to adult on Monday, I really need time to leisurely do chores, be social, and sit on my ass.

The US really needs to adopt the three day weekend. Am I right, or am I right!??!??!?

So I decided to try mapping out my weekend using the Daily Inserts for my Happy Planner. Once I laid out my actual commitments and made potential time blocks for all things I wanted to do, I was able to enjoy my two days off a lot more and give myself a break when I didn’t accomplish X,Y, or Z. Once Monday hit, I was ready.

The Brain Dump side on the back was also another great addition to have so that I could have more space to scrapbook the week’s highlights!

Below you can see the daily layout with both Saturday and Sunday, and on the back I have the highlights from the week. Hope this opens up some creativity for you! I know it has for me =)

Thanks for reading! Happy Planning =)

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June Creative: AvocadaMamma

Monthly Creatives

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.


Taylor & Nathaniel

Creators of AvocadaMamma: A multi-platform resource for recipes, travel/meal prep help, guides to eating and products to shop for.

Meet my beautiful friends Taylor and Nathaniel! Aren’t they cute? 😉 I met these two while I was living in LA. Both of them have such a unique, pure glow, that once you meet them it’s no wonder these two souls were meant to connect and CREATE!

Nathaniel is a photographer, currently attending film school. You can check out his photography and latest projects at nathanielperales.com. Taylor is currently pursuing acting, and was recently in the Hollywood Fringe Festival production “Confessions of an Arab Woman” .

When I first saw their AvocadaMamma Youtube video pop up on my Facebook feed, I was so excited for them because it just made so much sense! I enjoyed catching up with them on their latest projects and hope you enjoy this interview! As creative people, it’s always refreshing to connect with other creative minds, who also have a razor focused, business mindset! These two are killin’ it and they’ve given me a new wave of inspiration, so thank you Taylor and Nathaniel!

Don’t forget to (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE) subscribe and like them on YOUTUBE and INSTAGRAM! ❤


How would you describe your art?

We believe in creating a better world through educating people to change their dieting/lifestyles. We want people to understand that it’s possible to live longer, feel better and sustain yourself longer by eating healthier. So we are using Taylor’s background in acting for the front of the camera and Nathaniel’s skills as a photographer/director to create Avocadamama. A multi-platform resource for recipes, travel/meal prep help, guides to eating and products to shop for.

How long have you been working on your craft, how do you feel about where you are right now and what are you excited about for the future as an artist?

T: We started this in January. We began with making simple recipes in my kitchen, and now we’ve expanded a little further. We’re now making travel videos, reviewing products, reviewing restaurants, and we’re using our knowledge to create small videos for others to use for guidance on the vegan lifestyle. Eventually, we’d like to create an easy vegan 1 month guide to follow for our followers to have a way to understand what is the easiest, healthiest way to loose weight and change their eating habits for a long period of time, not just until they lose weight.

N: I feel like we’re in a perfect place. At this point, this is just really fun for us. I get to learn how to cook and teach others how to cook while practicing my craft. And Taylor gets to think about food in a way she hasn’t before because this is about educating people. I’m excited for our future episodes as I continue to practice and play with different ways of presenting the information. There’s definitely a craft with “How to” do something.

When and how did you meet?

T: We actually met on the streets of Pasadena, CA. It was this back and forth of seeing each other for a few months, waving, smiling at each other and wanting to say “hi” but never stopping to talk. We’d be so close too, seeing each other where Nathaniel worked, one time he chased after me on the streets of Old Town Pasadena from a cafe to invite me to his art show but I wasn’t able to go. I eventually came to terms that I would never see him again and then we saw each other a couple weeks later and finally exchanged numbers! That was 5 years ago in October.

N: It was good times. 😍

Tell me about the Ah-ha moment you and Nathaniel had when the first fruition of AvocadaMama came about?

T: We’d actually talked about it for a while now. Nathaniel would tell me all the time how he thought my talent in the kitchen would make a great Youtube channel and he could do the filming. It’s funny because we put it off for so long until finally one night it happened by chance because we were planning to grill the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat and Nathaniel said “lets film it and see what happens”. Then we got such a great response from our peers so we decided to just go for it.

N: When we decided to film that first episode about the Beyond Meat Burgers I looked at it as a challenge and to use my skills as a film editor to make something interesting that people might want to watch. Taylor’s quirky personality is so addicting to watch, and I think my editing style matches her weirdness hahaha so after watching the footage we had, and the edit that came from it, I knew there was something special here.

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Both of you have a professional mindset when talking about your powers combined, What is the creative process when it comes to hashing out business plans? Is it a fluid conversation or is it something you set limits and boundaries to? What are the benefits of dating your business partner?

N: It’s actually really awesome. We always talk about our passions and dreams together so there’s not really any boundaries. The coolest part about this, is we love food anyway. We love eating together and talking together and going out to restaurants. So if anything, it’s just brought us closer because it gives us more reasons to hang out and create stuff. As far as like a formal business plan, we mainly use this app called Quip http://quip.com to write and share our ideas with each other. It has all our ideas spread out and organized in folders. Whenever one of us updates a file, the other person gets updated. It’s really easy to use. We have many plans for our future and the hardest challenge so far is time and the fact that we don’t live together. I think as we continue to organize our workflow we will have to set specific hours a side to just do Avocadamama. Because when we’re together we definitely do like to lolligag and just spend time together haha.

What is the creative process when it comes to making a video? (do you have a script, improv, etc.)

T: We use a joint project folder app quip as Nathaniel mentioned, and we have a list of foods we want to make. We usually pick a recipe based on the weather / time of year / holiday coming up.

N: We don’t really have a script but we do talk about what we want to accomplish, in what order the episode will go and what steps are in the recipe. We do a lot of talking and working together to figure out what we want. Usually we’ll make mistakes and have to re-shoot certain lines because Taylor says “umm” and pauses in between thoughts a lot. She’s a little spacey sometimes. LOL. We’re still optimizing this aspect of our channel, as any business continues to morph and define their strategy. Even though we’re like 13 episodes in, we’re definitely still defining ourselves. I don’t think you ever stop growing and every new episode is a new discovery in this awesome process.

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What is your mission statement? What is your ultimate goal?

N: I would say our mission statement is to educate people about a vegan, plant-based lifestyle in a fun and endearing way. A lot of people in my life look at a plant-based lifestyle as something difficult, snobby or too restricting and what we’re trying to show people is that it is definitely not difficult and can actually open you up to a lot of foods you wouldn’t really try with the normal American diet. I think you can tell from our personalities in our videos that this isn’t a snobby thing, we’re not talking down to anybody and we’re not begging for people to not eat meat. We’re just saying, hey if you’re having health problems or your trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle we have some really good recommendations and recipes that can help you try something new that tastes good and is really good for you.

What project(s) for AvocadaMama are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

T: Taking Avocadamama further with our reach. Right now we get a ton of traffic from family and friends, but we really want to go beyond that and influence people all over the world. But for now we’re traveling a lot so we’ll be visiting some awesome vegan restaurants that we’ll get to blog about spread the word about their food.

N: We got a couple of ideas up our sleeves. Our website is almost finished which will act as a larger resource for people looking for more information than our videos. We are going to be writing articles about places we eat, different ingredients we use and general plant-based lifestyle advice. We’ll also have opinion pieces about vegan culture as well. We are also beginning to think about products. Taylor wore these awesome pants that she made at the Eat Drink Vegan fest and she’s thinking about making them into a product we sell. We also want to recycle old clothes and put our logo or vegan text that people can buy. Taylor mentioned earlier a “getting started being vegan 30 day guide” that we’re in the process of outlining and designing. A lot of stuff in the pipeline that we’re both very excited for.

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As LA residents, what are your favorite vegan restaurants?

T: Oh there are so many delicious spots in LA. I love raw food and there’s a place called Sun Cafe that has really good food. For go-to delicious fast vegan food I love Veggie Grill. There’s a vegan sushi place that I love so much called Shojin, located in a mall in Little Tokyo. It’s so random but I love the food, they use mushrooms to make the scallops on a “baked scallop roll”! I’m drooling just thinking about it!

N: One of my favorite spots is Kitchen Mouse. Another great one is called Gracias Madre by the same people that own Cafe Gratitiude and Sage. I also love the Munch Truck in Highland Park on Fridays. Also, Organix is super bomb.

Where are some places on your vegan destination wish list?

T: Well actually I’ve always been interested in the vegan food in New Orleans, and low and behold, we just got tickets to go out there for my birthday in October! So we’ll be checking out the spots out there. I’m also really interested in exploring vegan food in middle America and checking out the places where people with less options could find meals and ways to modify local eats to be vegan. Maybe we’ll have to do a road trip some day!

N: Road trip would be super awesome. Avocadamama a la Anthony Bourdain style.

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Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for more unique creatives ❤

On Diets vs. Lifestyle

Illusions of Productivity

I was having a wonderful conversation with friends over the weekend over some sweet treats and wine about healthy habits (ironic, I know). As I happily indulged in a glazed Krispy Kreme donut, I found that I wasn’t engaging in the normal internal dialogue and guilt of “oh it’s OK, I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow” which would then usually give me permission to indulge even more. Instead, I was enjoying every last morsel of that donut and after I was done, I was done. There wasn’t this crazy ravenous sugar monster inside me wanting to eat as much as I could before my “cleanse day“. It was in this moment of donut bliss that I realized I had finally broken through years of unhealthy eating habits and perceptions.

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“Even my conditioning has been conditioned…”

For starters, my sister and I weren’t allowed to eat any sweets when we were young. It’s funny now to think about how I would hustle hard on the playground- I’d persuade my classmates to swap my pretzels for their Twinkies, or my cheese-its for some gushers. Then, when I’d go to a friend’s house, I would eat as much sugar as possible.

In addition to the binge habits that I developed through deprivation of sweet foods early on, I’m half Filipino, so grazing all day over rice and meat during family gatherings was something I just grew up with. Eating everything and a lot is sort of mandatory in my culture. When family gatherings rolled around, it was a given that I would eat until I was uncomfortable and in pain, and just stuff myself until I felt like I was ready to pop!

Now, let’s throw in the fact that I played competitive soccer all my life… playing it so much made working out a chore at times. I remember during my off season, my teammates and I would just binge and binge on junk food, sit around, and just wait until training season started before we “got back into shape”. Saying that it was “seasonal” is even being a little gracious to tell you the truth… all we needed was ONE day off from practice and we would be stuffing our faces with burritos and cupcakes and all the heavy stuff we couldn’t eat before practice or a game. This cycle continued through college and it wasn’t until I was 25, and started dating a vegetarian (who is now vegan) that I realized I had it all wrong. The perception of the words cleansingdiets, and getting into shape were just making it harder and holding me back from being my healthiest self. I’ve wiped all these words out of my vocabulary and replaced it with just one: Lifestyle. 

Whether you have chosen a vegan diet or not, erasing those words from your mind body and soul, will help you achieve the health goals you want.

I always knew that I should be working out a little everyday (I would always curse myself on the field my first week back from a break); I always knew I should eat everything in moderation, and I always knew I should make my own meals to ensure the best quality goes into my body. But as we all know, it’s easier said then done. So what I hope to give you here is some insight and tips that I’ve gained and learned through my crafty planner journey and how it’s helped me improve my healthy lifestyle.

Tip #1. From Diet to Lifestyle – Don’t put a timeline on it.

In talking to friends, and also something I experienced myself, switching to a vegan-ish (more thoughts on that term coming soon 😉 ) lifestyle has helped me make healthy choices everyday instead of seeing it as a punishment for X amount of time. The problem with that, is that once you hit your finish line, you start to #treatyourself, and that one treat turns into a whole pint of ice- cream and a downward spiral back to square one.

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Tip #2. Don’t Lie to Yourself- Log it!

Since March, I’ve been working on the habit of logging my food. I’ve never really been into this and to be honest I only started doing it because I bought a new planner when I wasn’t supposed to! #plannerproblems. At first I had a hard time keeping up with it; but now I’ve realized that seeing all the meals and snacks listed in front of me, has stopped me from my mindless munching.

I make a goal to strictly log my meals Monday-Thursday, the days that I go to the gym. Then over the weekend I loosen up a bit and just enjoy whatever comes my way.

BUT in building up the habit of food logging, I noticed that even when I’m not making a point to log my meals, I’ve developed the habit of eating with awareness. I no longer eat when I’m bored, and I still choose to eat clean.

*side note- you’d be surprised how unhealthy you can still eat as a vegan…I’m totally guilty of being a lazy vegan and eating overly processed food* 

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This is a picture of my fitness journal. It has vertical logging space for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snack space in between. When I started, I was finding that I was running out of space to fill in all the snack breaks I had. This helped me quit that habit and focus on eating substantial meals instead. On the right, I’ve added a Health Tracker to keep track of my healthy habits that will help me reach my goals: drink tea, take vitamins, stretch at home, and take a walk during my lunch break.

You’re food log doesn’t have to be fancy, you don’t even have to count calories. Getting into the habit of writing down every meal and every little snack is a great way to start. Try it! Challenge yourself for two weeks!

Tip #3. Reflect, Review, and Revise!

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This is the most important! Like I said, I started my habit tracking and food logging in March, I was kinda just doing it for the fun stickers 😉 . It wasn’t until a month in that I realized I should revise a few things. So for April I started the habit tracker, making it a goal to log my food everyday. I also started a weekly reflection every Sunday as a part of my habit regimen. This was a total game changer!

I’ve always been one to journal about my emotions, but never even THOUGHT about writing about my health habits. When you journal about your emotions and experiences, you learn from them. You learn about your thought process, how to better communicate to yourself and others. When you reflect on your weekly health habits, you are able to look back on your strengths and weaknesses and revise a plan to make it work. It also pumps you up for the upcoming week. Goals are no use if you don’t look at them from time to time, and setting time to reflect, review, and revise is the foundation to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What to write about in your Health Journal:

Every Sunday I reflect on food and fitness. This past week I noticed that I didn’t make grocery shopping a priority, so therefore I bought too many meals, and in doing that, I wasn’t able to keep a balanced vegan diet. I noticed that I ate a lot of carbs and not enough vegetables. So I revised my plan, got my a$$ to Trader Joe’s and meal prepped for the week. Meal prepping is hard! But this is the new challenge that I hope to turn into a lifestyle.

This fitness planner has a spot for a Progress Selfie, but I feel weird flexing for the camera, so I just use that space for more health reflection. And not to mention, Polaroid film is expensive and I’d rather save it for other things ;).

Mood tracking is another great thing to include in your journal and also new goals for the next week that may develop. I definitely develop new goals as I let others slip away… and that’s OK! That’s all part of the revision process. =)

Happy and Healthy!

All in all, adopting a healthy lifestyle perception will help get rid of the guilt and self loathing associated with words such as diets and cleansing.  If you need a scoop of that Ben and Jerry’s, go have some! But know that you can have another scoop tomorrow. Log your food, but don’t just log it and forget about it, go back, review it, take note of what you’re putting in your body. Most importantly, be honest with yourself and make it fun! I started doing this because I love stickers and wanted something else to decorate and feed my #planneraddiction; so find a way to make it fun! Healthy choices should make you happy, not miserable.

Keep it up!