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5 Tips to Make Your Space More Creative

Posted on March 31, 2016 by

In my experience, by the time you look around and realize that your space may be hindering your creativity, the problem has probably been going on for a while. Everyone is different, but these 5 tips help me set up and maintain a space that helps me think and work creatively.

  1. Get a Plant

At home, I like to have small, low maintenance plants in corners and empty spaces. Being around something green and living helps me feel awake, and it helps me keep up my energy all day. If your desk or workspace doesn’t get enough light for a real plant, consider a nice photo of a plant of an earthy screensaver instead.

  1. Limit the Clutter

Sometimes a little clutter is unavoidable, but if you can keep it contained to files, folders, or a dedicated drawer, I find it’s easier to keep the rest of your space neat and open.

  1. Don’t Work Where You Eat

Working where I eat and eating where I work makes it hard for me to focus on one thing, especially when smells linger. Nothing gets me down creatively like the smell of stale Pad Thai.

  1. Don’t Work Where You Sleep

Working in my bedroom or bed makes me so sleepy, and it’s hard to get going when everything around me reminds me of naps and rest.

  1. Keep Personal Items On Display

Looking at things I like helps me to think about things I like and keeps my mood up. Making my space familiar and comfortable is really important for me to be as creative as I can be.

If you’re like me, your space has a lot to do with how you feel and how you think. I hope these tips help you create a space where you can think and work smarter.

Extra Tip: Lovely little plants like the one pictured with this post are available at the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market!

5 Tips For Edmontonians This Winter

Posted on November 24, 2015 by

Anyone who says they like winter is liar. It’s dry, depressing, dark, and let’s be honest, downright dangerous (alliteration intended). Most of us live here because we were born here, found work here, or foolishly fell in love with someone who lives or works here. I mean, sure there’s something existentially beautiful about a freshly fallen snow that covers our whole city in white, but give it a few hours and it will become the dirty, congested, ice-trap we all experience for six months of the year, every year.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have any immediate escape plans, so the following is a list of 5 tips that will help you not only survive, but also maybe even make the most of this barren wasteland we call home.

1. Accept that you’re going to be late
Everyone gets a little extra wiggle room, especially after a snowfall, and stressing out about being late is only going to make you cranky/crankier and more likely to get into an accident. Then you’d REALLY be late. Skip the drive-thru and give yourself some extra time, but if you’re late, that’s just one of the costs of living in Edmonton.

2. Trust no one
Did you overhear your coworker say it’s supposed to warm up on Friday? It’s not. And even if it does, it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than utterly disappointed.

3. Have perspective
Try to focus on being grateful that even in this cold and crappy season, we’re lucky enough to live in one of the best countries in the world. One flip through the news solidifies that bearing the cold is well worth the perks that we get for being lucky enough to live in the true north, wild and free.

4. Online shop
There’s a Norwegian saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. While I don’t completely agree, they may be on to something. Cyber Monday is this Monday, so why not stock up on some cozy vests and scarves from the comfort of your warm bed? It definitely couldn’t hurt.

5. Don’t be afraid
Although tempting, trying to hibernate all winter will probably just make it go by slower. Try to get out there (wearing your new gear from Tip #4 of course), and make the most of some great activities Edmonton does have to offer in the winter!

Bonus adorable puppy pictures can be found here!

9 Great Reasons To Take A Vacation This Summer

Posted on June 25, 2015 by

1. You read the title of this blog post and instantly thought “I can’t take a vacation”.


2. People, in general, are happier when they spend their money on experiences, not things.


3. You’ve crimped your hair more recently than you’ve taken a vacation (if this is you, you’e extra overdue).


4. Vacations improve productivity.


5. Alberta is beautiful, and you don’t have to go far to get away.


 6. Vacations can help you live longer.


7. You feel like you could take a nap at any moment.


8. And when you do, you wake up feeling even more sleepy.


9. A “staycation” still counts as a vacation, and there are tons of free things to do in Edmonton this summer!

 


I hope that this list has inspired you to break out of your routine and have an adventure before the weather gets cold again. Deep down, you know your life will still be here when you get back. Now get out there and have some fun!

Spring 2015 Fashion Trends: Love It or Hate It?

Posted on April 2, 2015 by

I love clothes and Instagram. I have strong taste. Opinions ensue.

Here’s my take on my favourite (and least favourite) fashion trends on Instagram this spring:

1. Sneakers with Dress Clothes

Love it. My Nike Airs are dressy now? And I can skip the heels? Yes please.

2. Matching Crop Top/Bottoms Sets

Hate it. I just don’t understand why you would want to look like a roll of fabric with a belly button, and frankly, once you own the same statement print in two items, you’re pretty limited in how often you can wear them – together or as separates.

3. Oversized Watches

I’m on the fence about these. They seem to be everywhere, and every “it” blogger seems to have one. I think these are a great way to make an outfit chic without adding clutter, but I feel like the trend has gotten out of control, and they aren’t unique or special anymore.

4. Overalls

Hate it. If you’re 5’11 and 110 pounds, go for it. But for mere mortals, I don’t think these are flattering, so following the trend probably isn’t worth the investment.

5. 90s Minimalism

Love it. This is probably my most favourite trend of 2015. There’s something so elegant and glamorous about the clean lines and streamlined silhouettes of the 90s, and this trend is very easy (and inexpensive) to integrate into your wardrobe.

 

Don’t Miss a Thing in 2015

Posted on January 15, 2015 by

With the Golden Globes on Sunday and Oscar noms coming out today, it’s becoming undeniably clear that I was not well watched in 2014. Seeing dozens of films I hadn’t seen win awards left me feeling very out of the loop, and so I’ve resolved to do something about the new found fomo (fear of missing out) I have for 2015. Use this nifty calendar and add these important dates (well, my top picks so far) to your personal calendar so you don’t miss a thing!

TV Show/Movie/Announcement Name Date/Premiere Date
Oscar Nominations Released Thursday, Jan 15th
Son of a Gun Friday, Jan 23rd
Suits Wednesday, Jan 28th
Grey’s Anatomy Thursday, Jan 29th
How To Get Away With Murder Thursday, Jan 29th
Ballet 422 Friday, Feb 6th
The Walking Dead Sunday, Feb 8th
Better Call Saul Sunday, Feb 8th
87th Academy Awards Sunday, Feb 22nd
House of Cards (Season 3 Release) Friday, Feb 27th
The Salt of The Earth Friday, April 3rd
Mad Men Sunday, April 5th
Game of Thrones Sunday, April 12th
Spectre Friday: Nov 6th
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Pt. 2 Friday, Nov 20th
Silence Nov 2015
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Friday, Dec 18th
The Sea of Trees TBD
Hannibal TBD
True Detective TBD
Son Corps TBD

 

3 Steps to Cure “The Wall”

Posted on October 23, 2014 by

As most of you probably already know, our office recently moved to an incredible new space in Icon Tower II on 104th. We have tons more room, and the space is extremely conducive to fostering creativity in our office. Even in our amazing space, however, I still get bogged down once in awhile (okay, usually at 3 PM) trying to think of a new idea, concept, or line. And when I’m blocked I get frustrated. And start spiraling. What if I never have a good idea again? Maybe that bad idea isn’t that bad? Is there still ice cream in the freezer?

To work around what I call “the wall”, I started paying attention to what inspires and distracts me. And because I love lists, I created a 3-Step Plan that I follow to get back on track.

  1. Just stop: The only way to stop spiraling is to stop altogether. Shake it off, take a 5-minute break, read an article on Fast Company, and don’t think about it.
  2. Coffee. ‘Nuff said.
  3. Thought Unload: Take out a piece of paper and write (not type) a list of everything you’re thinking about, regardless of what it is. Usually just writing something down takes the thought out of my head so I can start fresh.

I hope that my 3-Step Plan helps you with “the wall” or any creative challenge you may be facing, and reinforces that good ideas are fostered, not forced.

Marketing Like a Hipster

Posted on July 3, 2014 by

Yahoo Finance recently released an article about the things hipsters can teach us about investing[1]. The article outlines the importance of spotting trends and taking advantage of opportunities before they hit the “mainstream”. As hipsters are quickly becoming a large psychographic segment and masstige consumerism continues to build, I can’t help but think that applying hipster theory can lead to successful marketing as well. Here are a couple examples to illustrate my point:

  • Don’t do what everyone else is doing. People don’t interact with traditional media the way they used to. Young people especially wake up to a music player instead of the radio, check news apps instead of reading the paper, and are so accustomed to media clutter, they barely glance at outdoor signage, let alone notice the messaging. All this means that marketers need to find unconventional ways to reach audiences without relying on mainstream channels, and hipsters can teach us all about the best ways to avoid mainstream, well anything.
  • Start trends. Yes hipsters teach us to spot trends before they catch on, but deeper than that they start trends. This is a trait of a savvy investor, yes, but trend starting is especially relevant to marketing as well. Whatever is different, unique, and never been heard of is not only the epitome of the hipster dream, it is also a description of some of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time.
  • Focus on cultural integration. Now this doesn’t mean we all need to buy a sustainably sourced bamboo t-shirt, but hipsters align all elements of their lives into one cohesive image and maybe there’s something to be said for that. Normcore is one of the latest hipster trends whereby clothing and accessories are purposefully un-stylized and simplified. Solid matte tones often with one distinguishing logo and a classic shape are taking hipster style by storm, and it is hard not to notice the parallel between normcore style and Apple products. If we can more closely observe the ways that style and brands evolve together, we can predict where trends are going to go and ultimately what is going to sell.

So, integration, trend starting, and untraditional messaging are not only all basic components of the hipster lifestyle, they can be key building blocks to innovative and successful marketing campaigns as well.

 


[1] https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/5-things-hipsters-teach-us-investing-110000148.html