If you’re an avid reader raise your hand. Me too. But I haven’t always felt that I had enough time to read as consistently as I wanted too. Maybe you can relate. It wasn’t until I started making a conscious effort to reshape my daily habits that I realized that wasn’t true.
During the last couple months I’ve slowly been re-shaping my daily routine. And with that I’ve made sure to incorporate more time to read more. One of the ways I’m doing this is by setting aside time each morning for reading. Instead of scrolling my iPhone when I wake up, I try and get out of bed to heat up some green tea. Then I spend the next 15 minutes or so with an inspiring book.
Being a night owl, I like that this short amount of reading helps me wake up slowly and on a positive note. I’ve decided that in the mornings I’ll only read either creatively or spiritually inspiring books. I save the night for my guilty pleasure reads, like lengthy sci-fi and fantasy novels.
If you’re interested in starting (or ending) your morning this way too, here are some creatively inclined books on my current reading list…
So far I’ve finished Creative Confidence and man, it was chock full of useful exercises and motivating stories. So useful for flipping the switch on your perspective of work and creativity. I’ve also read the Crossroads of Should and Must, but I do feel like it’s such an important message, so I like to re-read every so often to keep it top of mind.
Next on my list is one from the 99U series, Manage Your Day to Day. I’m excited to see if there’s any new tips or ideas on how to structure my days to get more out of them.
These are just the five creative books I’m planning on starting with, and soon I’ll supplement these with some more spiritual feel-good stuff too.
use these links to support your local bookstore
01 Creative Confidence by Thomas Kelley & David Kelley / 02 Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert / 03
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna / 04 The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron /05 Manage Your Day-To-Day from 99U / 06 Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory
February is always one of those months that fly by. The second month of the year never gets all that much attention. Minus Valentine’s Day there’s not a lot of exciting things happening in February. But after all the holiday events and start of a new year, I’m A-OK with that.
Most of my February has been dedicated to sticking to my new intentions. During the past several weeks I’ve been focusing on my new daily habits. And I’m really starting to see the positive benefits of the changes.
Reading + Meditation
Each morning I brew a cup of green tea and take a few minutes or so to begin the day with reading. In the morning I read something creatively or spiritually stimulating. Right now I’m finishing up Creative Confidence which has been a really nice way to rev my creative engines in the morning.
After reading I do some light yoga and then meditation. My experience with meditation deserves a whole other post in and of itself. After starting my practice, at only 5 minutes a day, I’ve been able to increase it to 10 quite comfortably and really look forward to it each morning.
At night I take time to wind down with another reading session. It’s been a really great way to bookend my days (oh punz). In the evening I usually read something more escapist, like fiction or adventure. I just finished Ready Player One and loved every geeky 80s video-game inspired second of it.
Another new habit I’ve been trying out is spending a weekend morning in a new coffee shop. It’s a really nice way to keep novelty in my daily life but also creating a treat that I look forward to after the end of a long week. After ordering a cortado or iced americano, I’ll spend some time journaling, doodling, or planning my next trip on my laptop (like I did today).
So far this month I’ve been able to check out Bookbar, Huckleberry Roasters, and Amethyst Coffee. I’d have to say the Huckleberry Sunnyside location was my favorite. I love the down-to-earth staff and atmosphere. It was a creative Colorado crowd without trying too hard.
Foodie Shots… Of Course
These monthly retrospectives are always going to be full of food and drink pics. I love me some food. And beer. And a good cocktail. It’s one of the perks of living in a booming city like Denver, there are a dozen places opening up everyday to stuff your face with.
With that said… there’s nothing quite like Torchy’s Tacos. And now I don’t have to go to Texas to get one. They brought Torchy’s Tacos right to us! So this weekend the sun came out and with 70 degree weather it meant it was time for tasty tacos, queso, and $3 tequila sunrises.
With another 65 degree day showing up in February, we sauntered down to our favorite local brewery – Call to Arms. With food trucks posted up outside and the sliding garage doors wide open, we had no problem wasting away the last few hours of February.
A cute cat to get you through your Monday.
If your dude is like mine and grows a beard he might want to invest in a good quality awesome smelling tonic that cleans and leaves it softer. Perfect for Valentine’s kisses. Or if you really want to spoil him surprise him with something he might not buy for himself – like a modern sexy watch. Is it ok borrow if I borrow it from time to time?
If he’s more practical, a minimal leather wallet can encourage him to pair down. Or a cozy pair of man slippers might do the trick. I can say that whiskey stones area always a good idea. If your guy is more outdoorsy get him these cool Peak playing cards that he can take on his next hut ski trip.
01 Beard Tonic in Vetiver + Sage from Herbivore / 02 Minimalist Slim Wallet from Leather Rachiba / 03 The Slip On by Glerups via Huckberry / 04 La Boheme All Black from Cluse / 05 Whiskey Stones & Gift Set from UncommonGoods / 06 Peak Playing Cards via Huckberry
Can you feel it? Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. But if you’re riding solo it can be a little hard to see everyone handing out chocolates to their loved ones. Don’t let that make you forget that Valentine’s is just another day to celebrate all the people you love in your life.
Maybe get your bestie a little something to let her know how awesome she is. Or for Mom, because she deserves it too. Well I got your back. Check out my Valentine’s wish list, just for the ladies.
01 Best Gal Valentine Card from Moorea Seal / 02 Moonbeam Deep V Ear Jackets from / 03 The Liza clutch from Moorea Seal / 04 Mast Milk Chocolate Bar / 05 The Heart Cleansing Sponge from FP / 06 Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist from Herbivore
I’m not sure if I’m the only one who loses track of the day to day as the month flies by. But the more and more I practice mindfulness, the more important remembering the small moments are to me.
I know as I repeat the same behaviors every day, the nuances can get lost in the repetition. So I want to get back to recording my present in a thoughtful and real way. I thought it might be nice to start putting together short reflections on the months as they come to an end.
So let’s start with January.
This month I’ve been focusing my attention in my new passion project, as well as shifting some habits for the better. I’m starting to develop a new morning routine for myself involving meditation, yoga, and reading. I’ve really enjoyed the slow start to the day and am excited to continue to develop my morning practice.
One of my other new habits to spend each Saturday morning at a local coffee shop. I like to take a bit of time journaling and savoring the start to my weekend. I live a few blocks from the new Allegro Roasters and it is such a calm, bright, and minimal space.
My friend bought me this new book, The Decision Book, for my birthday. And the analytical side of my brain I really loves all the charts, diagrams, and exercises. There have even been some exercises that really made me stop and look at situations in a totally new way. Very heady stuff.
I’ve gotten back into the swing of painting again. After taking my pottery class last year, I decided to take another class but this time for oil painting. I used to oil paint in college but have kind of stopped since then. This is an image of the first layer which is created with a basic quick sketch with a warm burnt sienna color. Next steps are to start layering in the color.
This month we finally got around to visiting a new hot spot in our neighborhood, the Bacon Social House. I loved the interior, it was so modern and fun. Most the western wall was made up of huge sliding garage windows creating an inviting and bright open space.
The food was very creative and tastefully done. And delicious! Don’t forget, delicious. I love that they have a theme and carry it throughout their food. There’s also some tasty gluten-free and vegetarian options too. Can’t wait to go back and try the dinner menu.
January started off with a little birthday celebrating with Mom including a meal at one of my new local favs, Brazen. Some friends and us decided to kick off the new year with a trip to Top Golf to get our Tiger Woods on.
But even better, I got to be a comfy seat to one of my favorite toddlers while his parents and I enjoyed the 65 degree weather. Shhh, don’t tell anyone that winter is actually pretty mild here in Denver.
One thing that hasn’t changed… cuddling this guy nonstop. #toomanycatpics