New camera and things.

Creative Writing, Monthly Mood, Picture Diaries

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Hey all!

Jumping on here because 1) I’ve been pretty silent and 2) I’ve noticed that I have acquired some followers in the past couple of months!

If, you’re a new follower- Hello and welcome!

Lately, I have been brainstorming a bunch. I’m the type of person that likes to rearrange the furniture about every six months, and well, here I am – trying to figure out how to rearrange my space on the web.

I’ve been feeling quite restricted by this blog’s title and mission “plannercreative” and have been exploring the realms of illustration and photography. I am in the works of revamping my website, which will be under a completely different name. But don’t worry- planner obsessions will still be a part of it. I want to incorporate all my hobbies into a more cohesive site. So stay tuned!

For now, you can follow me on @plannercreative & @poserphotographer on Instagram.

I will be traveling to Paris soon! I’ll definitely be posting this experience on both my handles.

Hope to see you all there.

Cheers!

D.Marie

p.s. I’ve been practicing my film photography for my trip to France! Here’s a few shots from my first couple of rolls.

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Monthly Mood: Just Listen| December 2017

Monthly Mood

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It’s been a while since I’ve been in the mindset of writing a blog post. A lot has happened in the past 3 months – mostly ups. I’ve been trying to focus on my inner self, listening to what it is I need and for the most part – it’s been the need to let things go and simplify. I’ve had a lot of creative ideas for blog posts, but no drive to see them through as I’ve been refusing to put my “social media” or “blogging” lens on. I’ve instead, been wanting to live through my experiences, as they come, and not get worked up about turning a natural experience into something I need to format and share.

Refining takes time. I try to constantly remind myself. So into December we go, closing the book of 2017 and I plan to continue to lay low and listen to myself.


I found this poem I wrote a while back, and of course it still speaks to me today.

Everyday I wake up to the rest of my life.
Wondering what trials and tribulations will face me today.
Completely unscathed by what was yesterday.
To feel or not to feel? You must press forward.
Is that the key to success, or the recipe for complete distress?
You tell me.
To feel or not to feel? You must press forward – I was referring to the American life, our expectations to work ourselves to the ground, but not for ourselves. We think it is for ourselves – working hard for vacation time, for the house or the family we think we need. And pressing forward is something American culture is good at- being numb to our own needs and wants as a human being, often times not knowing what it is we really want in life.
Is that the key to success, or the recipe for complete distress? – Is being numb and living for your job the only way to success? Or does it cause an inner dissonance?
Having written this in a moment when I was regretting my time wasted with school and struggling with multiple jobs, I meant it all in a negative way. But now as I’ve shed some things in my life, I now feel this is a question I am now asking myself again – to feel or not to feel? but most importantly WHAT is it that I want to feel? and now realizing that I am in control of that- this has become an encouraging poem.
So into the new year we must create what it is we want to feel and live for. It may take some time- which is the biggest lesson for me- but it will come, but in the mean time- don’t crowd your space and brain with unnecessary obligations (social gatherings, projects, etc.) otherwise you won’t allow yourself to find what it is you truly need.
Just be quite and listen.
Even if you have to listen for a long time.

The art of doing nothing.

Creative Writing

Since graduating college, I had this desire to do all the things – join a quartet, play recreational soccer, take private cello lessons, coach soccer, brunch all the brunches – all the things. But then I started to dread it all, I was totally stressed out and losing all creative inspiration. When you’re a student, you don’t have a life; especially if you are working full time on top of being a full time student, so after graduation I wanted to participate in all the things I never had time for.

Now three years later, I’ve finally told myself NO, you can’t.

It’s been three months after quitting all the above and the empty space has been very silent, and sometimes haunting. I’m the type of person who, even though it stresses me out, enjoys being busy. My mind needs the distraction because when I have nothing to do, I am prone to overthinking and minor anxiety attacks about life.

In these three months I’ve gone through a rollercoaster of emotions, throw in the fact that I’ve also been going through some major life changes, I couldn’t’ even begin to describe or articulate what these emotions were. Maybe I could say they were a hint of sadness, excitement, wonder, despair, feeling completely lost, loneliness, love, stress, hate, jealousy.. it was just all bundled into one big ball in my chest.

I’m almost certain, and I keep telling myself this, that everyone feels this way. The only reason I feel like I can’t handle it is because society won’t let us feel all these emotions out. We live such a fast paced life. There are so many expectations on ourselves. In our culture we need to aspire. For comfort, for the life we are conditioned to depend on, we must aspire.

And so I was sitting in this lukewarm bath of emotions wanting to get out and fill up my time again, and ignore all these real feelings by doing what I know how to do best. But I was also exhausted, I knew I had to sit there and do nothing, ride them out. It was as if all these emotions were finally having their moment of recognition, all these moments starting from way back when………. well I don’t even know how far back because I’ve been busy my whole life!

I started reading the Tao, one poem a day, and today it gave me an affirmation – to continue on my path of nothingness.

 

If you oversteem great men,

people become powerless,

If you overvalue possessions,

people begin to steal.

The master leads

by emtying people’s minds

and filling their cores,

by weakening their ambition

and toughening their resolve.

He helps people lose everything

they know, everything they desire,

and creates confusion

in those who think that they know.

Practice not-doing, 

and everything will fall into place. 


 

Picture Story: Santa Cruz, CA

Picture Diaries

We decided to do a spontaneous trip to Santa Cruz for the 4th of July weekend.

Here is a quick list of the things we did:

The Mystery Spot – Gravitational Anomaly

**RESERVATIONS NEEDED**

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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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Hiking at Wilder Ranch State Park

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Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Co.

I always love a good cider =)

Also a really great place to sit in the sun and hang out..

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❤ Next up on the traveling list: Maui, HI.

Peace Easy,

D. Marie

June 2017 Layouts

Illusions of Productivity, Picture Diaries

A little late on this one, but I’ve had a pretty busy month.

A lot of big things happened in June :

I had a performance, which always takes a lot of time and energy to prepare. But then once that performance was over, it cleared up my weeknight commitments allowing a lot of time to sit and think about my life, which can be a very overwhelming for a Virgo!

Learning how to be still is difficult .

I was apartment hunting with my boyfriend. Then I was looking for someone to fill my current apartment because – Hooray! We found a place.

There were a lot of little things in between: Friends in town, SF Pride, brunches, coffee dates, and consulting projects.

Motivation and inspiration was sparse, especially in a sudden bout of change. Here are some blogs/websites that really helped me remember my goals and focus:

https://tinybuddha.com/ – Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives

The Orange Dot – Headspace: Meditation Made Simple

John WestenBerg on Medium – Productivity, Motivation, and Failure

What are some blogs you enjoy reading?


Alas…. my June 2017 planner layouts ❤

 

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Happy Planning!

-D. Marie

An Ode the The Richmond District- San Francisco

Creative Writing
*feature photo by Andrew Nassih

I have been slowly packing up my room of six years in San Francisco. When I think back on the past two times I have moved in my adult life, it’s been an interesting experience to meet this unsettling, unsure, excited, anxious feeling that seems all so familiar but so foreign and complex at the same time. I’ve been here before, but my spectacles held a different shade.

These familiar, yet unfamiliar feelings- They’re like walking through the same dream, same scenario, same lines, but in different themed costumes… Being trapped in a sort of deja vu, that you just can’t get a grasp of. Life is funny in that way; I guess feelings, emotions- they orbit like the planets. Some pulled closer than others, occurring and reoccurring more frequently. Some having more obvious effects on how we live and dissect life.

Now at this stage in my life, I am face to face again with this feeling of uncertainty, and resurrecting insecurities covered with uncontrollable excitement as I try to see what it looks like on the other side of the tunnel.  Then there are the occasional waves of retrospective sadness as you realize your attachments to your nest, your nest that has nourished your soul for so long.


An Ode to the Richmond District, SF

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An Ode to the past six years of my life.

Although I am not moving far away from you, I’ll still feel like I’ll be worlds away.

I write to you now from the comfortable, creaky, IKEA framed bed, nestled in the quiet back corner of my Victorian flat.  I’ll be leaving my three lovely, quirky roommates, who have shared the ebb and flow of all the particles that have made me me.

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You have housed a great chunk of my life and provided a safe haven of park life, coffee shops, and Genki crepes.

You have opened my eyes to a hidden world of Burmese food and Szechuan cuisine; you’ve made this LA girl miss the fog when it’s gone – The fog, whose name is Karl by the way…

Gone will be the ocean breeze awaiting me after a long day across town. Gone will be the foggy haze, Muni delays, and the conditioned inconveniences of carting half my life downtown in my backpack.

I will miss your peaceful laundromats and friendly neighbors who leave great pieces of furniture out on the street.

And to my room, I leave you now like a shell to a cocoon. Your walls may be thin, so thin that at night I can here my neighbor snoring; and the paint on your walls may be a little chipped- but to me there couldn’t have been a more perfect place to grow in San Francisco, than in this back room with the bay window overlooking the smashed gardens.

In this new moon, this resurrected orbit of emotions, confidence shines through in knowing that the time spent here has been tried, TOUGH, and true. I’ve cried, cursed, laughed, and strummed the guitar super loud while singing at the top of my lungs when no one was home. I’ve re-arranged you about a million times, each time bringing me new inspiration. I miss you everyday when I go to work. I’ll miss you even more when I’m gone.

Now take me to the sunny side- The Tenderloin, where the walls will be even thinner, the air less ocean breezy, and the Indian food a-plenty; the views a bit more gritty and the commute (time) a bit less shitty.

Cheers to you Richmond District and to this place I’ve called my home. I’m really, really gonna miss you.

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* The 5 Fulton bus connecting you from Ocean Beach to Downtown, Howard and Main Street.

Monthly Mood: New Moon, New Skin, New Fire.

Monthly Mood

Finally a four day weekend! Can I get an Amen?!? This monthly mood is more of a recap of all the craziness that happened in June and the final culmination of which I am about to drop in 3..2..1..

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I just signed our first lease to a tiny little studio downtown.

I still have to take a moment and let that all settle in when I say it out loud (or type it out loud?). In the six years I’ve lived in San Francisco, I’ve been fortunate enough to live in one house, with people I get along with, and in a wonderful neighborhood – the Richmond District. Now I’m packing up my beautiful spacious bedroom and moving into the Tenderloin! In Defense of the Tenderloin, Here is the view from our new balcony:

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I’m really excited about this move. So many craft projects to try, so much space to organize (I am a Virgo, I just can’t help myself..)  and a whole new chapter to create in this city.  I look forward to sharing some new inspiration with you all.

I’ve been obsessing  over studio layouts, DIY home decor, and balcony gardens on Pinterest. If you’re on there, follow my boards!

This month my good friend Andrew Nassih  was in town from Los Angeles and we did a quick photo shoot rendezvous in my new hood 😉 We didn’t plan it this way, I actually had no idea I would be moving  at the point these pictures were taken; I also had no idea this photo shoot was going to happen! But the timing couldn’t have been better. Check out his work – I love the grit to his style and I’m stoked that I get to be a part of the collection.

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As the last bits of June unfolded, especially after the new moon, I’ve felt a need to purge and recenter my inspiration. Now with this new move, July will be about shedding my old skin, and rebuilding the fire. I look forward to seeing you all on the other side!

Thanks for stopping by, more to come! I  Just wanted to drop a line.

D. Marie

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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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!

May 2017 Layouts & Mantras

Illusions of Productivity

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On Mantras

Each month I review my successes, areas of improvements and ways to to tackle those areas. Last month I incorporated a weekly habit tracker in my planner layouts, which turned out to be a great success.

This month I wanted to focus on having a more mindful approach to my day, so I decided to start with a daily mantra. Keeping up with a daily mantra was a lot harder than I thought! With the constant thoughts running around inside my head, it took a lot of focus to really give my undivided attention to the words I set for myself. I wasn’t always successful and I actually dismissed it some days because I felt my mantra wasn’t good enough or it was too similar to the day before; or I just simply avoided it because I felt I just didn’t have time to think about it. I found that I had to be very intentional about my mantra, I really had to be still physically, in a comfortable place, to say it with a few deep breaths so that my whole body could acknowledge it. I will admit, some days this is hard to do when your focused on fitting so much into your day. But on the days I was successful, I remember it having positive effects on my mind, body and soul.

One day, I was leaving a weekly meeting with my team and left feeling very overwhelmed realizing the long list of to-do’s that suddenly multiplied on my plate. I was getting overwhelmed to the point where I was feeling frustrated; it was almost consuming me because I was holding it all in. When I do this, a knot grows in my chest and I can feel my muscles tense up; I know better than to show this hand at work, so I decided to take my lunch break and go for a walk.

I work in a part of town that doesn’t always smell the nicest, isn’t always the cleanest, and the neighbors aren’t always the most polite. So walking outside with all this stimuli added a layer of frustration. The only place I could retreat to was the mall. Once in the mall surrounded by more people, the frustration kept growing. I quickly darted up to the secret office spaces on the top floor that I had access to having worked in the mall while in college. Finally with some space to think, I was able to calm down my anxieties and reassure myself that “Yes you can. Just one thing at a time”.  I was still anxious so I decided to sit for five minutes and just focus on deep breathing. While breathing, I started to focus on that mantra, saying it over and over again in rhythm with my breath. As my heart rate slowed down, and the knot in my throat softened up, I could feel my mind push aside my negative thoughts and self doubt, then I got into this military mode- where I sternly tell myself what I’m going to do- and I told myself, “You’re gonna get up, take some deep breaths, you’re gonna go back to work, and take it one step at a time. But first you’re gonna get a twenty minute massage from the massage guys outside Lucky Brand and THEN it’s game time.” And that’s what I did.

Yes, of course the massage was a big factor in all this ;). BUT I will say, I hardly felt that massage because I was so focused on breathing and repeating my mantra. I said it over and over for twenty minutes straight. I remember looking out of that little face hole in the massage chair, staring at the floor and letting my mind go numb with the hum of my mantra. With each breath, I could feel the masseuse push through the tension more and more. I carried this mantra back to work, inside me like a tribal drum making way for my path. I kept focusing on my breathing using my mantra as the metronome to my breath and could feel all areas of my being relax, and more importantly I was able to focus and finish out the day with some work I was proud of.

Now, even with a few successful days like this (I only had a massage that one day..), the true challenge was initiating this intimate moment with myself. In realizing this, I was reminded of the sad reality that it’s hard to own our waking moments, our downtime, our day, when we have some many things to do to make sure we can pay our rent, and secure our place in this cycle that gives us this “comfortable” lifestyle. Giving yourself a space of vulnerability is difficult, but once done, I find it can do wonders for my state of mind.

For June, I hope to carry on the daily mantra challenge, and hope to utilize the Relax Guided Breathing feature on my fitbit to help center myself and have “mantra time” on my commute to work.

One word that I used in a lot of my mantras was “today”. Saying it makes me feel more grounded in the moment. Today – Today is still today. Today is not over. Today you can. Today I will accomplish x, y, z. What are some mantras that help you get through the day? Do you pair it with a breathing exercise? Do you say it out loud or quietly to yourself over and over? I’d be interested to hear how you incorporate mindfulness into your daily practice.

Planner Layouts

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…and that concludes my monthly report in Illusions of Productivity =)