Friday, September 19, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: Sept 2014 Edition

A Few of My Favorite Things; www.thechroniclesofchaos.com


These are a few of my favorite things... did anybody just sing that line while you read it? It's OK to admit it, no judgments here!


I am fascinated by other people's wish lists or favorite things. Sometimes you can learn more about someone just by seeing the types of things that they like. If you're reading this, you probably know enough about me to assume that my list will be of the nerdus maximus variety. And you would assume correctly.


So let's just get down to it, shall we? 


Moleskine Notebook


Have I mentioned that I love journals? Maybe once or twice or thrice. I am seriously crushing on this classic Moleskine extra large notebook. I mean, just look at it. All purple and lovely and just begging to be written in. Swoon. 


Washington Capitals hoodie


In my quest to expand my sporting horizons beyond football (GO SKINS!), I am branching out and trying to experience other sports. A few months ago, I went to my first Washington Nationals baseball game and I loved it. So now I'm setting my sights on hockey and the Washington Capitals. And girlfriend has to go in style. Check out this hoodie. Lurrvve. 


The Chronicles of Chaos; www.thechroniclesofchaos.com


I don't know if you've noticed, but this old bloggy blog has gotten a facelift. Thank you to Erin for her amazing blog design skills and completely capturing the essence and new direction I envision for this space of mine. 


Lost Girl


Oh, Netflix, you are a beautiful, beautiful thing. A friend of mine recommended this show to me and I have to tell you, I am hooked. Fairies, werewolves, witches, sirens - oh my! I cannot get enough of this show! Go watch it. 


So, these are a few things that I'm digging right now. What are some of yours? Happy Friday!




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays: Forever Free

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."; book quotes; quotes about reading

Books have been the constant companions in my life. When I need a friend, when I need an escape, when I need to laugh, or to cry, I read.

Books can transport you to new lands, teach you new things, introduce you to new people... the ability to read is truly a great thing. 

What makes you forever free? 



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Read All About It: The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry

Read All About it: The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry | www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

I had never heard of Todd Henry or "The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice", but I saw Kenzie's review about it on her blog, Hello Neverland and I knew I had to read it! Here is the synopsis from Goodreads: 

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
"Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout. It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us-even the accountants-have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand. 


Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements: 


* Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind. 
* Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow. 
* Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource. 
* Stimuli: Structure the right "inputs" to maximize creative output. 
* Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency. 


This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible."

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): 5 out of 5 stars. 

It was completely and utterly inspiring. I was so pumped after reading it and ready to brainstorm.  

Here's why I liked it:

While the book addresses those who do creative work for a living, and I pursue creative work as a passion (unpaid, sadly), I was still able to adapt the principles that Henry talks about in his book very easily. The strategies on how to plan time in your day to brainstorm really spoke to me. It may seem counter-intuitive to plan time to be creative, but you really have to do it to get the creative juices flowing. I try to do this now at least 3 or 4 times each week to keep my brain fresh. 

Henry also talks about our relationships with others as it relates to creativity. That a lot of the time we create and brainstorm on our own, but that neglecting relationships with others can be a big hindrance to our creative process. As an introvert, I inwardly groan at hearing people say this because it means I might actually have to interact with someone. Ha! But I know Henry is right. Having people to bounce ideas around with and brainstorm opens you up to new perspectives and insights that you might not otherwise come to on your own. This happens to me a lot where I'll think "I like x." And then someone else will say, "Really? I think y is a much better idea, but of this and this and this." And you may not agree or even use their idea, but it still gets your creative process going and may inspire you in a whole new direction. 

Can you tell that I freaking love this book?! He has another book out called "Die Empty" and I have to get my hands on it asap. 

Favorite Quotes:

  • "Remember that common sense is not common practice, and that people who succeed are often those who do the little, everyday things that others won't."
  • "If you want to deliver the right idea at the right moment, you must begin the process far upstream from when you need that idea."
  • And my personal favorite: "You need to create space for your creative process to thrive rather than expect it to operate in the cracks of your frenetic schedule." So true! 

Have you read this book? Did you like it? What are you reading now? I always love new book suggestions! 




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Write it Down: Confessions from a Notebook Junkie

Confessions from a Notebook Junkie

Hi, my name is Mia and I am addicted to notebooks. What kind of notebooks, you ask? Well, all of them. Spiral notebooks (single and multiple subject), composition notebooks, journals, notepads, the list goes on. 

blank notebooks

blank notebooks

blank composition notebooks

blank composition notebooks

Maybook; notebooks
It's a serious problem. Not really. I love notebooks and always will. There's nothing better than the promise of blank pages! I can sit and write for hours. All of the notebooks pictured here are still blank, but at present time, I have 5 journals that I am currently using. One is a gratitude journal, another is a daily journal, a catch-all miscellaneous creative writing journal, a blog journal, and a Christmas planner journal. My hubby shakes his head at me when he sees me toting my stack of notebooks around. 


Even though I have plenty of journals in my stash, I still can't resist the pull of the office supply section at Target or Walmart. Especially now right after back to school season. I picked up a couple of notebooks yesterday at Target for 6 cents. Yes, SIX cents. They were marked down 70% off. I mean, who can resist???!  Sometimes my son will ask, in complete exasperation, "Mommm! Are we going to look at those books again?" Yes, my love. Yes, we are. 

And let's not even talk about my addiction to colorful pens and my obsessive need to organize them by color. 

colorful pens

That's a story for another day. 

Do you have a notebook/pen obsession like me? 







Monday, September 15, 2014

Clean Eating: My Go-To Smoothie for Busy Mornings

Clean Eating Smoothie for busy mornings
Oh, those busy mornings. You know what I'm talking about. Your alarm goes off. You fumble around, trying to turn it off. You lay there for a second and think, "ughghghghghghghghghgh. I don't want to get up." And maybe you close your eyes and accidentally fall back asleep rest for a few more minutes. 


This unplanned siesta throws off your whole morning, and you rush around trying to get dressed, get the kids dressed, and then you remember... 


Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. You know you don't have time to sit down and have a proper breakfast. But you also know that you have to eat something. Well, never fear, my dears. I have a quick and easy smoothie that you can take with you and drink in the car on the way to work. 


You will need:
Paleo almond milk smoothie
-8 oz unsweetened almond milk
-1 banana (the more ripe it is, the better because the natural sweetness will flavor your smoothie!)
-4 tablespoons of almond butter
-2 teaspoons of unsweetened cacao powder
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-6 ice cubes


Blend all of the ingredients except the ice. Once it's all mixed up and smooth, blend in the ice cubes. And voila! You are done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Tastes good, gives you a shot of protein and potassium in the morning, and it definitely leaves you feeling full. Boom boom pow. 




Paleo smoothie

I got this recipe from this awesome book. They aren't compensating me in any way, I just love the recipe and wanted to share. Enjoy!

Paleo recipes for beginners

Friday, September 12, 2014

Art Journaling: An Artist's Creative Process

 
 
I am a journal junkie. I started a gratitude journal about a month ago. I also have a "regular" journal where I just write down whatever comes to mind - quotes that catch my eye, to do lists, ideas for projects, or just how I'm feeling, etc. 
 

 
But one type of journal that I have not tried is an art journal. I've seen lots of beautiful, inspiring photos on Instagram and Pinterest of people's art journal entries, but I've been too intimidated to try it because my art has always been words and I sadly did not inherit the paint/draw/sketch/sculpt artistic gene. 
 
 
But recently, I've been admiring my friend Cody's art journal entries because she is a true artist and posts some of the most amazing pictures. Cody blogs over at Catching Cody K and I will let her tell you more about her art journaling and creative process. 

 
 
Hey Everyone. My name is Cody and my blog is Catching Cody K. I am a lifesyle blogger. I try to post honest and real posts about my life such as my medical concerns over my stomach, having a special needs brothers, and living life in Florida. But today I am so thankful to be here as a guest poster talking about something very dear to me, my art.

 

 
I have always created art. When I was younger I would carry a cheap composition notebook. My mother saw how much art meant to me and would buy me art kits for Christmas and Birthdays. However, I was very much into crayons and colored pencils then.

 
Somewhere along the way, I just stopped drawing. I guess it got a little boring drawing imaginationary characters (anime people) and everyday life. Then this year, I discovered the world of Art Journaling thanks to good ol' YouTube. Art journaling is a way to express yourself how ever you choose. There are soo many wonderful videos on this topic. I could have spent hours watching but I knew that wasn't going to improve my skill or fill an art journal that way. I had to put in the time to do so.
 
I started off going to Wal-Mart, cheap and easy. I found a Smash Book on sale. At the same time I bought a set of cheap acrylic paints to try out. However,  I felt really bad about covering up such beautiful paper with paint in that book. That's when I knew I need a journal that could handle acrylic paints. That is when I went back to YouTube and then Pinterest to see what journal/book would be best for paints. I found great examples but I knew I was going to fill an imaged book if I didn't buy one soon. So I took a trip to Michael's and then to Barnes and Nobles to fiddle with each type of different paper and sketch books to see what I liked best.
 
I decided to buy two already bound books from Barnes and Noble. One would be for me to create and try whatever I want inside. The other would be for me to use for my art journaling groups; I am currently in three. There are two on Facebook that I am in; Journal52 and The Documented Life Project. They post prompts weekly to help inspire or give direction.  Those are great groups if you are starting out and want inspiration or need help. I also am in #GetMessyArtJournal group, that is a closed group of girls that create art weekly.

 
After I got the art journals home, it was just a matter of filling them out. I love to use acrylic paints. I love how fast they dry, perfect for the impatient artist. Then I also discovered different types of art journaling. There is the normal painting, then mixed media where you can use different types of paint or add elements, there is also glue journaling. Glue journaling is using what you have around you (like magazines) to express yourself. I love the glue method of art journaling because when I am tired I can still create a page expressing myself. Yet I never try to limit myself on one style. I create whenever (sometimes right before bed) and however I like.

 

 
I have been creating in my art journals for one whole month now. I can't believe how much I have change from then til now. I have improved my skills in every way. I know more about the style I like to create in. I know more about myself now. All because I decided to just go for it. So what if I didn't like a page, I still created that page. In 10 years from now I don't want to look back and wish I created. I want to look back and see every single journal I created. Imagine how much improvement could be accomplished by then.
 
I suggest for those that are new or anyone that wants to create, look up inspiration. Try YouTube, or Pinterest or Facebook (try DaisyYellow or #30lists too) but don't stop there. Find your medium. Are you an oil gal or a watercolor man? Or something else? Then your paper of choice. What you use for an art journal is up to you. Some people like already bound books, like I do, others don't mind coils. Where other people like loose leaf paper.  Don't get caught up in everyone else's style or way, just yours. Find what works for you. You can't create art by watching, only doing. Remember that if you start today, you'll be better tomorrow.
 
I hope that I inspired you to create. Thank you so much Mia for the chance to be here. =] I hope all of you will follow my social medias, and I would be happy to answer any questions or help inspire you.

 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays: Give Thanks



What do you appreciate and give thanks for in your life? 


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