Meals taste even better when you put a little extra effort into presentation.  It’s true.


I had a platter lunch with some of  my favorites:  hummus, tabbouli, cucumbers, crackers, and tomato.


So many fun flavors and combinations!


With a side of baked polenta:


All together now, kiddies:


Sickness Update


I am feeling MUCH better all the sudden.  Only a hint of sickness is left.  Rest, wheatgrass, and homeopathic drugs are awesome.  Now that I’m clearly over the hump, I can confess to everyone:  I was seriously starting to freak out.  I feared I had strep throat and was so exhausted I couldn’t even walk the dogs.  I am SO THANKFUL I feel better and will be ready for the bike race on Sunday.  Now… let’s go to California already (I leave on Friday)!


Thoughts on Creativity


So, I’m plowing through my to-do list.  And I notice that I tend to check off the easiest/non-creative things first:  pre-writing Operation Beautiful blog posts, organizing stuff for the Healthy Living Summit, and other odds and ends.  Next, I move up to slightly more creative stuff, but tasks that I already had a vision for – like writing freelance articles (here’s one my recent ones about saving money at the grocery store).


But the stuff I leave for last?  Well, it’s typically the most difficult items, the ones that require the most creative thought.  It’s also the tasks that I have no idea how to begin… like writing my book #2 proposal. 


So, my days end up looking like this:


  • Morning:  Blogs, emails, Twitter, conference calls
  • Afternoon: Stare at computer screen and try to complete more difficult tasks, sucked of all creative thought.


I really must remedy this situation because it’s CLEARLY not working for me.  I can’t necessarily swap all of the easier tasks for the hard tasks, but I can put some housekeeping items to the side for later.


Most importantly, I think I need a clear delineation between non-creative and creative tasks.  I often had this problem at my prior job as an Urban Planner, and I absolutely had to excuse myself from the office to go for a walk to clear my mind.  I need to stop implementing the same system now.  Another good idea might be moving my laptop to another room.  Sometimes a change of scenery really mixes it up.


Does your job or hobby require creativity?  When are you the most creative?  How do you elicit creativity during the afternoon (especially when you’re fighting the 2 PM snoozies)?



  • Jenny May 19, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Wow! Your lunch looks amazing… I love dipping platters! I’m most creative/active in the mornings and late late at night when I get a second wind. Sometimes I feel like I can’t accomplish anything in the afternoon!

  • Sara May 19, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better!

    Well I’m currently a college student, but I do find that it helps to be creative in a lot of my more hands on classes with projects. (I’m an international business major)

    Most creative hmmm….probably in the morning. I feel a lot better to get things done right away.

    On a side note, what kind of crackers are those?? hahhaa. I’ve been searching for ones with that texture.

    • Caitlin May 19, 2010, 1:55 pm


      • Jessica May 19, 2010, 3:20 pm

        have you tried the black pepper ones….AMAZING

  • Rachel May 19, 2010, 1:35 pm

    I love blogging but I often have a hard time coming up with creative ideas for blog posts. I try to post every day, but I’ll skip days when I just simply can not come up with something interested to write about. Or I post a lackluster document that I’m not proud of.

    I’m thinking of one day making a big list of possible blog topics and drafts out a few. That way I always have something to refer to.

    I am most creative in the evenings but that is generally when I have to take care of all my household duties since I work full time at an office during the day. So for now, I generally try to blog on my lunch break.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs May 19, 2010, 1:38 pm

    I find I’m most creative right early in the morning, when my brain is fresh from sleep. It works best for me!
    I also find it helps, if I hit a mind blank, to just do something else, and not TRY kinda thing. Even if something else is just a 10min walk, it still helps 🙂
    (btw, it wasn’t the wheatgrass…it was the 60,000 people hoping you’d get better!!)

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    My job is pretty straightforward/doesn’t require any creativity. That’s why I like doing my food blog on the side so that I can get creative with my meals/presenting them. I don’t really have a time of day where I’m most creative, but I think its normal to want to cross of the easy things on your To-Do list first!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    I’m definitely move creative AFTER a glass of wine.

    • Julie May 19, 2010, 2:42 pm

      Haha. Me too.

  • Mindy May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    So glad you’re feeling better!!! Now, onto the race! You’re going to do amazing! 🙂

  • Lisa May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    Good luck in Cali!

  • MarathonVal May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    I always do the same thing – cross easy, quick things off my to-do list first. I know it wouldn’t work for some people, but then once I get to the “big” tasks, there aren’t any more little items to clutter up my brain/mentally distract me, and then I can just focus on the big stuff.

    It sounds weird, but it works for me 🙂

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    As a teacher, I find that I also like to check off the non-creative/mindless activities first. For my job, this usually means doing the physical prep work for my lessons (copying, cutting paper, organizing notes, etc.), as opposed to the actual curricular development, lesson planning, etc. I like to save the big things for the weekend or evening when I have large, uninterrupted work periods. I tend to work well on those things when I have 3-4 hours of time to just sit and really parse through things.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better!! Hopefully the sun will continue to shine for your ride out here in California!

  • Michele May 19, 2010, 1:41 pm

    I like to do the most creative things first thing in the morning. Then, do more boring, routine tasks in the afternoon when my attention span is shot, I’d rather be at Starbucks, or outside.

  • Evan Thomas May 19, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Creativity is like rivers. If there’s one thats not flowing, you can push and push all you want but the water won’t go anywhere. But if there’s even just a trickle going down another river bed, go with it and it will grow into a tidal wave

  • Brie (The Fit Bride) May 19, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I usually do the quickie stuff first–e-mails, scheduling, printing stuff. Then I do the more creative, thought-driven stuff, and I save the boring pound-it-out kind of stuff for the afternoon. Scheduling meetings in the afternoon is a good plan for me, because talking to people wakes me up.

    I’m no help. I have a definite slump every day around 2:30 or 3.

  • Sarah for Real May 19, 2010, 1:47 pm

    Oh that’s a tough one. I don’t work for myself so when my boss says it’s time to create, I have to get cracking!

    I can only give you my sympathies and say that when I was in grad school and needed to manage my own time, it was difficult for me too.

    I agree with others and say that you can’t force it, but I think sitting down and trying, getting SOMETHING down on paper is better than nothing.

  • ActiveEggplant May 19, 2010, 1:53 pm

    I don’t have a job that really requires creativity – BUT, I can say that I’m most productive between 4:00pm and 7:00pm! Sad but true. I struggle all morning and afternoon long…then suddenly WHAM I’m a working MACHINE for the rest of the day. Sometimes it turns into extra hours in the office because I “just can’t put this down”.

    Hope you find what works for you – I”m still trying to figure out how to make my mornings more productive and actually leave the office at a decent time each day!

  • Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife May 19, 2010, 1:53 pm

    I am SOOOO much more creative in the mornings. In the afternoon I need a nap or something. haha.

    And I am really glad you are feeling better! I was starting to get worried with your race this weekend, although I know you’re a race beast so I always have faith in you!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) May 19, 2010, 1:56 pm

    hurray for feeling better! i’m still working on figuring out when i’m creative, but it’s usually when i’m really excited about something. that or when i’m really tired of something and looking for a change… 🙂

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please May 19, 2010, 1:57 pm

    It’s hard because you definitely can’t force creativity. In terms of writing, I find it’s always best to write something even if I hate it as I’m writing it. It will give me a starting point to come back to later. I feel like I’ve accomplished something, and is something that I morph into something better when the creativity strikes. Good luck!

  • sarah May 19, 2010, 1:59 pm

    Caitlin, you should check out Real Delia today–blogging on a similar topic today with some ideas!

    Personally I feel most creative first thing in the morning when I’m fresh, but also during a run or on vacation, probably because my thinking is loose and relaxed, not trying so hard!

  • Heba May 19, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better! I’ve had a cold for the past week- and it’s finally subsiding – so yay! 🙂

    I completely agree with you about the fact that food presentation affects taste and overall enjoyment! I love anything creative and artsy (by nature), so sometimes I can spend up to half an hour just decorating a dish for a photograph – yeah, I’m crazy! lol

    Best time to be creative for me is anytime I feel well-rested and energetic! It also depends on my sleeping schedule – which has been all over the place lately. I usually try to sleep 8 hours a night, but I’ve found that whether I’m an early bird or a night owl depends greatly on what time I go to bed at night!

  • Joy May 19, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Hi Caitlin,
    I can so identify with your process! Some of us need a clean surface to cook in the kitchen – the same is true for creative thinking. I need to clear out the small stuff from my mind and go “deeper” into the place where my creative self is found. Also, I have little hope of being creative in the afternoon. I’ve learned that not only is early morning my best time for creativity, but my speed is tops also. One trick, if you can with your complex tasks, is to prepare in the afternoon by removing some of the small, less important stuff so you will be ready to start first thing in the morning. (Reminds me of your suggestion about putting your exercise clothes out the night before!) Good luck and glad you feel better.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 19, 2010, 2:07 pm

    I tend to be most creative right after my office closes. And since I’m a pastor that is usually when I write my sermons (they require creativity). I can’t get that kind of stuff done in the office when I’m interrupted by everything.

  • PhillyGirlRuns May 19, 2010, 2:07 pm

    I don’t know about “creative,” but I know I am significantly more productive in the mornings. Get some lunch in me, and then all of a sudden I’m ready to do a little bit of work…check some blogs…little more work…hmmm, what’s going on with Twitter?…little bit of work…oooh, I wonder if I have new emails? blah blah blah. I am a firm believer in the midafternoon latte or iced coffee — it forces me to get up from my desk, head downstairs and out into the world, and I’m always much more focused when I get back.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow May 19, 2010, 2:09 pm

    Creativity times can be tough for me. It actually all comes down to the environment. If I don’t set myself up for focus time and close the email inbox and facebook…it just doesn’t happen as I would like it. 🙂

    A friend of mine read a book I believe is called Eat That Frog. It’s about writing your to do list with the toughest things first, on top. Then the minute you get going- you have to eat those tough “frogs.” Get rid of them so that you can move to more enjoyable things on your list. A very interesting idea!

  • Camille May 19, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Gorgeous presentation!
    I like to write, and that definitely requires creativity!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 19, 2010, 2:21 pm

    I agree that well presented meals taste better. I bet eating those triscuits out of the box would not be nearly as satisfying.

  • Brooke May 19, 2010, 2:21 pm

    I am relieved that you are feeling better! Phwew!

    I am most creative when I am not trying to be which is frustrating and not entirely helpful!!

  • Tracey @ TropicalHappiness May 19, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Here are two more tips: One, set aside a certain amount of time to work on a project. Do not say “I’ll work on book proposal #2 this afternoon.” Instead, say “I will spend one hour, from 3 pm – 4 pm, brainstorming for book proposal.” And tip number two falls in line with that: Break up your big tasks into smaller ones. Writing a book proposal is pretty daunting! But spending an hour brainstorming the topic, or spending an hour brainstorming the main idea (or summarizing paragraph or something equally important) is not as daunting. That way, knowing it is only one hour, you will be much more less likely to be distracted by little tasks. Tell yourself you can take a break when that hour is up. And when that hour is up, leave your desk and do something else. And, by breaking the task up, it’s easier to get it all done without being burned out. Once your hour is up, set up the next time you are going to work on it. Perhaps it’s 2 hours tomorrow to write the outline.

    There’s an old saying that projects and tasks expand to fit the time constraints you put upon them. So if you give yourself an hour to pack a suitcase, it will take about an hour. If you allot three hours to this task, it will somehow expand to fill those three hours! Same goes with all of your other projects on your to do list!


    • Caitlin May 19, 2010, 2:35 pm

      this is excellent advice… i’m going to try this now.

  • Julie May 19, 2010, 2:49 pm

    I do things in the same order as you do but for a different reason. My brain turns on really slowly so I get all the boring little things done so I can feel accomplished and then work on my big project when my creativity is at its peak in the afternoon.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg May 19, 2010, 3:04 pm

    I am SO much more creative in the morning. That’s when I have to get ALL of my writing done; otherwise, it just doesn’t happen. I figured this out really early on when I was in grad school for poetry– I’d set my alarm for 5:30, just so that I could wake up and write! Nowadays, I write in the morning, teach in the afternoons, and grade on my days off. It works for me!

  • Cassie @ A Very Busy Mind May 19, 2010, 3:08 pm

    I absolutely, positively get my best work done in the morning, creative or not. However, if I have to focus in the afternoon, I usually say (outloud to someone) that I’m going into some different room (in college, it was my bedroom) and I’m not coming out until whatever I need to get done is finished. Then, I close every browser and application on my computer except the ones I truly need for the project. It usually works!

  • alli May 19, 2010, 3:15 pm

    unfortunately i am most creative at the last minute!

  • Rose May 19, 2010, 3:22 pm

    I’ve never been creative in the afternoon, so I either get it done early or late. Most of my creativity comes in the evening, actually, so that’s when the bulk of the *magic* happens 🙂

  • Heather May 19, 2010, 3:23 pm

    As a teacher I am always having to come up with creative lesson plans and ways to entertain/engage the kids. I am pretty useless after lunch, and tend to do my best thinking not RIGHT after getting up, but after getting a few small things done firs,t but not so many that I feel “drained.”

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 19, 2010, 3:23 pm

    I’ll tell you when I’m not creative: In the morning. I’m also not coherent, but that’s another story. So when I get to work in the morning I do housekeeping things first—attend to e-mails, brush up on the latest news and research, make my beloved to-do list—before I start writing.

    I think, though, you just have to force yourself to think creatively. Sometimes my mind doesn’t want to until I stare at a blank document for long enough. And for me personally, starting a story is always harder than writing the rest. I feel like it takes hours to get the creative juices flowing enough to write one sentence, but after that spark I can do the whole thing.

  • Olivia @ Blissful Runner May 19, 2010, 3:43 pm

    This is why I am not a food blogger. I don’t have the patience to wait long enough to get the camera out, let alone spend time arraging it aesthetically on a plate firt. Kudos to you! And glad you’re feeling better. And no, I’m not creative, but yes, my job does require it. Daily struggles I tell you! 🙂

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople May 19, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I think pretty much every job involves some sort of creativity. I had to be EXTREMELY creative in entertaining myself when I worked fast food in order to not bang my head repeatedly on the wall… lol

    I have been slacking on updating my blog for this very reason though. I have a lack of creativity at this moment!

  • Kim May 19, 2010, 3:48 pm

    My job requires me to be pretty creative most of the time, which in itself can be draining. I usually feel really creative from like 10-12 or even a little later when I’m working on my own thing. I can’t force myself to be creative about things I’m not interested in in the morning though.

    The afternoons are the toughest, but I’ve found if I can put headphones in, put some inspiring music on, and then get into the zone and block out the rest of the world I can get creative again.

    I usually have a second burst of creativity around like 5:00. Only one hour before the end of the day. 😉

    I also found that talking it out with other people helps me get creative. So if I leave my desk, hole up in a conference room with a few trusted coworkers, and start bouncing ideas off of them my creative juices start flowing again. Otherwise, I’ll find myself quickly checking into blog world, which is always fun but not always what I should be doing.

  • Katherine May 19, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Just a few years ago I worked at home as a designer and author in the scrapbook world. It was hard finding that perfect balance to get it all done and be efficient doing it as well. For me, mornings were by best time. I did my quick task work first (emails and such) and then it was time to hit the deadline work. The rest of the day I knew I would work on other projects, but it always felt good knowing my “important” stuff was done and out of the way. I really found for me keeping to a “work” schedule kept me on task with what needed to be done. Book proposals, yea those are never fun…schedule your time and that’s just what you work on during that time. You’ll figure it all out!

    Now that I am back to a regular 40+ hour work week, my creative side has died off. I just feel so uninspired in the evenings. Ugh.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 19, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I’m an architecture student so a lot of creativity is demanded in a short amount of time. I just need a good run and a good night’s sleep to think of things and I usually wake up with a great idea.

  • Tina May 19, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I remember you mentioning before that the mood to write would strike you some days and not others. Perhaps your creative bug just hasn’t hit yet. I am most creative at all different times. Something will just strike me suddenly. I admit I’m not trying to be creative for writing a book proposal though. I think your idea of separating the tasks and maybe creating a change of scenery are good ideas. I hope the creative juices get flowing for you soon.

  • Julia @ May 19, 2010, 3:53 pm

    The wheatgrass worked! Glad you feel better.

    Your blog always cheers me up. My little puppy dog is seriously ill in hospital and I have just written about is so have been crying at the computer – 🙁 – BUT your positivity helps me look forward. Once again, thanks.


  • Paige (Running Around Normal) May 19, 2010, 4:06 pm

    I have to cross off the easier/littler tasks first. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I’m not preoccupied while doing my heavy thinking tasks by the thought “I have to have time to get xx done!” It works for me.
    I’m most creative mid morning.

  • Emily May 19, 2010, 4:18 pm

    OMGosh I am sold.

    you are so right. That presentation completely kicks up my desire to eat THAT!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] May 19, 2010, 4:24 pm

    I completely agree – presentation adds so much to your overall dining experience!

  • Joanne May 19, 2010, 4:26 pm

    Great food and so glad you’re feeling better.

    Creativity – I get it from the environment, from the internet, little things people say and things I read. All that starts the ball rolling.

    Write something down that you’d like to begin with. Just write randomly, knowing it isn’t the finished project but somewhere in there, in that subconscious, is the creative idea that will spark the second book. You just need to find the “trigger”.

    I bet after your ride on Sunday (that’s taking up a lot of mental space – thought – maybe even nerves) you’ll have all sorts of new ideas.

    • Caitlin May 19, 2010, 4:29 pm

      i hope you are right!

  • Cinemarie May 19, 2010, 4:31 pm

    Oh yeah, I know what you’re talking about… I’m a TV Editor – I edit tv series mostly, and sometimes episodes tend to be less entertaining or slightly repetitive… There are days when I have to cut a show and my brain does everything in its power to distract me from the task at hand because it is too creatively exhausting and too intense – I often do 10-16 hour days sitting in front of my computer playing the same bit over and over and over to figure out how to make it work better…
    I don’t know if that will help you, but it usually helps me to have some music playing. I play music that I know will not be too distracting, and for some reason, most of the time, I feel a boost of energy right then right there, and I get through some challenging tasks. Going out for a quick walk helps give me more energy too.
    Could you maybe organize your time so that one day you do 2 days worth of the non-creative stuff to give you a full day free to do only some creative stuff?
    Just a thought… 🙂

  • Jessica May 19, 2010, 4:32 pm

    I work as a copywriter in advertising… so my days are pretty much spent being “creative.” I find that I’m most creative when I stop thinking about it and walk away. Then when you least expect it, it will creep up from your subconscious and BAM! You have an idea.

    However, I work on tight deadlines and clients that always want things now… what can I say, the don’t always get the best product from me because, as so many others have said, you can’t force creativity.

    I recommend getting done whatever you can off to-do lists (I also think stress of many tasks stifles the creative process), then hang out, watch TV, read a book… you’ll be surprised when things come to you. (Eh hem, case in point. At 4:31pm on a Wednesday, who is NOT working but reading blogs, this girl.)

    And if all else falls. Drink a beer at a bar with friends and talk it out. Sometimes getting ridiculous over-the-top ideas out of your head leads to exactly what you need.

    Good luck!

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries May 19, 2010, 4:34 pm

    I certainly am not writing book proposals, but I’m most creative when I exercise. I allow my mind to wander and I start to figure out how I’m going to accomplish a certain task or what the subject of a certain paper (school days) is going to be. I then start to actually plan out emails, papers and blog posts in my head. I do know, however, that I always tackle the difficult stuff first. I’d rather get it out of the way. So, perhaps you can spend the morning getting your creative juices flowing over breakfast, as opposed to waiting until the afternoon?

  • Little Bookworm May 19, 2010, 4:42 pm

    Glad you are feeling better! 🙂

  • giordin May 19, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I am definitely most creative when I’m not trying to be. In fact, most of my best ideas pop up when I’m not even in a place convenient enough to jot down my ideas. Most of my creative blog posts are crafted in my head while I’m running or walking my dog or something. When I’m completely relaxed and not bogged down by anything else that I ought to be worried about. I also do very well late in the evenings (like 10pm-2am), curled up on the couch after a relatively productive day. I think this is remnants from late night lab report writing in college. But I’m a procrastinator, so time pressure really brings out the best in me.

  • Samantha May 19, 2010, 4:56 pm

    I’m a graphics designer, thus creativity is my bread and butter. It used to be most of my ideas came to me while I was running…but I am taking a hiatus from running. My new website is waiting behind closed curtains for me to do something with and there’s just no spark there! I need to find my creativity again.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better!

  • LadyLara May 19, 2010, 4:56 pm

    My whole job is creative, i’m a writer at an ad agency. For me, I find I usually can’t force the inspiration. But what does help for me is turning off distractions like email and iphone and turning on some music, then getting my brain into that “daydreamy but focused” zone.

  • Helen May 19, 2010, 5:13 pm

    I like to think that I’m quite creative. My uni degree was music – creative – and I love art – creative! My job is a project manager in a publishing company. We publish showguides, programmes and magazines so there is a big element of creativity needed. I try to stay creative in the afternoon by not eating a big lunch. If I do I feel so tired and not creative at all! Also, just read your last post and it is SO SO So cool that you and others set up the Healthy Living Summit! Another thing that has inspired me!

  • Rachel May 19, 2010, 5:18 pm

    I don’t have any tips… But, I’d love to see a compiled list of ideas to beat the 2pm snoozies!

    I’m at work right now (which is why I can’t spend the next 30 minutes reading all the comments LOL) and have been fighting the 2pm snoozies for the last 3 hours. I finally broke down and bought a Mt. Dew, but even the sugar/cafiene rush doesn’t seem to be doing it today. (And just to clarify, I sleep a solid 7 to 9 hours a night)

    Also, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! Now that you’re not worried about strepthroat you can ROCK your ride on Sunday! 🙂

  • Mama Pea May 19, 2010, 5:33 pm

    I do my best work late at night or early in the morning…when my kids are asleep and I’m just sleep deprived enough to be amusing. Or to think I’m amusing.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write May 19, 2010, 5:55 pm

    I do that too. I write my freelance articles first and then it’s 2pm and I’m sitting here staring at my book, wondering if someone else can write it for me. Gah!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 19, 2010, 6:28 pm

    LOVING that tasting plate!! YUM!!!

  • Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well May 19, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Sooo glad you’re feeling better! I hope you stay on the mend.

    Also, love that hummus with whole chickpeas! I had a SweetGreen salad the other day with baked falafel in it — the falafel also had whole chickpeas. Wonderful!

  • Lauren May 19, 2010, 6:47 pm

    I definitely agree! Food really does taste better when it’s pretty. We eat with our eyes first.

    Glad you are feeling better hun! 🙂

  • Rachael May 19, 2010, 7:20 pm

    My job right now – an environmental and social justice non-profit – is one big brainstorm.We’re just starting out and putting together workshops, literature, a website and a “tour”. I find that I work best on these tasks in the evening, and then when a second creative burst hits towards the later hours of the night/wee moments in the early morning, I concentrate on personal writing, blogs, etc. Insomniac since 15, so sleep isn’t too much of a concern here. I like to spend my mornings and afternoons doing physical tasks, and living on an urban homestead, there are plenty of those to be had.
    Continue to feel better!

  • Michal May 19, 2010, 7:38 pm

    I like to use the easier tasks as “breaks” in between creative sessions. A weird sort of reward, but it gives my brain time to recharge and re-evaluate when I get stuck on the creative stuff, while giving myself a motivation (“get two paragraphs done and you can do something else for a bit!”).

    What I learned in grad school is – if you don’t know how to do something, just toss yourself in. Get it down, then refine later. I often do this with articles and writing projects – I have to FORCE myself to do it, but it works. Once all the info/ideas are out, it’s much easier to figure out what to do with it.

    And when really in doubt – get some fresh air! 🙂

    Also – I COMPLETELY agree that presentation is worth the effort in food. I’ve gotten obsessively into food photography in the last few months and my “happy place” is making up menus and imagining food presentation now… :-p
    I hope you keep getting completely better! I’m rooting for you.

  • Michal May 19, 2010, 7:42 pm

    (Oh – regarding the 2pm snoozies – you might enjoy reading “Brain Rules” by John Medina. He talks a lot about optimizing your brain energy and touches on the ‘2pm nap zone’. Good book!)

  • Wei-Wei May 19, 2010, 7:47 pm

    To me, blogging requires a LOT of creativity. I keep a constant textedit document open just to record ideas, and so far there haven’t been many additions. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately so blogging isn’t high on my priority… As for other stuff, I usually prioritise my homework by the amount of workload. The amount of creativity required for each homework contributes to its workload… There’s just so much more to THINK about. :S I guess it’s easier to take the easy way out, but trying hard always pays off… right? 🙂


  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) May 19, 2010, 8:24 pm

    I am DEFINITELY more creative in the morning! That’s why I started getting up so much earlier- I get so much more done!


  • Steph May 19, 2010, 9:00 pm

    I bought Glo bars today. 🙂 Which do you like the best?

    • caitlin May 19, 2010, 9:21 pm


  • Mel May 19, 2010, 9:00 pm

    My best ideas, well project related, at any rate, come to me when I’m driving or even when I’m in the shower. I guess when I have guaranteed alone time with no pressure.

  • christy from pittsburgh May 19, 2010, 9:04 pm

    I got a ticket to HLS!! if i can’t meet you in pgh, i’ll definitely see you in chicago! i hope you know that you are such an inspiration to me! good luck on your big race this wkend. oh yeah, my most creative times are usually during the most random times, but a lot of times i would say while I’m running, i zone out, and i start to create and invent!

  • Lauriel (the frilly foodie) May 19, 2010, 9:11 pm

    oooh that’s a tough one! i *wish* i could say that i’m creative allll the time, but that’s definitely NOT the case. i’m usually at my best late late at night when i get my second wind. college trained me well, huh?

    i just started reading your blog and i’m SO impressed! you’re such a fantastic writer and your recipes sound INCREDIBLE. breakfast truffles = wowzaa. can’t wait to try them!

    p.s. i’m a floridian as well!

  • Ellen Collis May 19, 2010, 9:30 pm

    I’m a writer and work from home, too. I’m the most creative in the morning for sure, but when I start slacking and my mind starts drifting in the afternoon, I keep reminding myself how GOOD I will feel when I cross another thing off my to-do list. Otherwise, it will be hanging over my head and I won’t be able to enjoy ANYTHING—not even Oprah 😉

  • Holly May 19, 2010, 9:48 pm

    Hi – Do you buy you tabbouli or do you make it from scratch? I have been looking for a good recipe?

    I am definitely more creative in the morning but when I have to work at night I set small blocks of time and then reward myself for focusing. Example, tonight I am writing a paper and when I am done I get to read your blog, but I can’t until I get my work done! Mission accomplished.

    • caitlin May 19, 2010, 9:49 pm

      i bought it 😉

  • Jessica May 19, 2010, 10:00 pm

    If I try to hard at a task I get a creative block so it always helps me to step away from a project and either go for a quick walk outside or blast some upbeat music and take a “dance break”. Music can be really inspiring

  • steph-exercise physiologist and artist! May 19, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Morning noon and night:) cant turn off my head!!
    I do prefer the day time so between 11am and 3pm. I think it is b/c I usually finish up “to do’s” and can enjoy painting. also the light is great at this time too 🙂
    Creativity is my life.
    I have to be creative at work tailoring workouts meal plans sleep & relaxation techniques for each person I work with.
    I love it and feel so grateful I am able to help people make a healthy lifestyle “doable” no matter how busy they are.
    I then go home and paint my heart out.
    I feel lucky that I am able to have both my passions in my life.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) May 19, 2010, 11:35 pm

    i’m a pharmacist so my job requires ZERO creativity. That is why I blog my inappropriate thoughts. 🙂

  • Maddie May 20, 2010, 12:18 am

    Hi Caitlin, I absolutely love your blogs and can’t wait for the [first] book! I can totally relate to your creativity dilemma. I’m an actor in LA and it is SO easy to get sidetracked by everything but the craft. I recently read a great article on the subject and thought i’d pass it on. While it deals primarily with an actor’s lifestyle, i think the points are pertinent to anyone with a creative mission. i’ve posted the link below. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR RACE THIS WEEKEND 🙂

  • Jessica Lee May 20, 2010, 12:56 am

    That is seriously the most perfect lunch ever!

  • Jolene ( May 20, 2010, 12:57 am

    As a grade 7/8 teacher, my job requires a lot of creativity!!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) May 20, 2010, 1:14 am

    Yay that you’re feeling better!!!!

    I definitely am more creative when I am not thinking too much and just doing. This usually happens late at night when I’m tired (not particularly a good thing), or right after an awesome yoga class or run. I always save the creative stuff for last!

  • Sami May 20, 2010, 12:01 pm

    Glad you’re feeling better, Caitlin!!

    Many times when I put effort into being creative, I fail, but when I don’t focus on that being my main goal, I usually end up with something pretty unique! 🙂 Ironic, how it works, isn’t it?

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