Weekly Spread 9/26-10/2 and my top 5 tips for getting through the mid-semester slump

Hello, lovelies!

Is it already the end of September?! Where has the year gone? I always feel somewhat dazed during the middle of the semester. I have a lot to do and much of it feels like it suddenly snuck up on me. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. Today, I’m going to share my spread with you, as usual. And, I’m going to give you my top 5 tips for getting throug hthe mid semester slump!

To try to combat the mid semester slump, I picked one of my happiest and brightest sticker sets to use in my planner this week.

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I made this set as an homage to one of my favorite designers, Kate Spade. I adore her designs. They all embody elegance while having an element of whimsy to them. I used some of my favorite motivational quotes for this set along with some iconic Kate patterns and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The colors are bright and happy with some sparkle thrown in.

And here’s the set!

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I’ll have these available for download tomorrow. 🙂

 


 

Top 5 tips for getting through the mid-semester slump

1. Get organized

I know that I’m making it sound easy but, this is honestly one of the hardest things to do. However, it is so incredibly helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed.  It helps you see what your priorities are, what needs to be done ASAP, if you have anything overdue, and what exams or assignments are approaching. It helps to make to-do lists, fill out the monthly calendar in your planner (or print one and fill it out), and take another look at your syllabi and assignments handouts for any details you may have missed.

Another thing you could do is input all of your important dates into an online calendar like the one that comes with a gmail account. BUT, I hesitate to recommend this above everything else. It helps me immensely to write things out by hand and it’s too easy for me to forget to check my online calendar – even if it is on my phone. I still use an online calendar and I don’t discount their merits, but I mostly use it for my schedule.

 

2.   De-stress

If you’re feeling really overwhelmed, sometimes looking at all that you have to get done won’t make you feel better. It might make you feel worse. And feeling worse definitely won’t help you get anything done. Know yourself. And know when you need to take some time for you. Even if it’s just taking a hot shower or a bath, doing a face mask, painting your nails, baking cookies, or having a cup of tea, these little things can help so much. Even if that little thing is to cry and get the stress out of your system. I have a pinterest board going of ideas for de-stressing.

If it takes more than baking cookies or a hot bath to make you feel better, block out a mental health day on your calendar. Find a day in the near future that you can afford to not do anything for a day. Get as much done as possible before this day and then, for an entire 24 hours, don’t do anything that isn’t relaxing. Sleep in, watch netflix all day, eat some comfort foods, go for a walk, read a book for fun, color, watch Disney movies, spend time with your pet, and go to bed early. Sometimes, you just need to take care of your soul. And it is okay to do that.

 

3. Clean something

I am completely 100% serious about this one. Clean something. Don’t underestimate the powers of a clean space to work in. Cleaning your room, or kitchen, or living room, or even your entire apartment can work wonders. Having a clean space in which to get stuff done is an incredibly therapeutic thing. It helps me to get focused and cleaning helps relieve a lot of stress for me. I’ll stress clean even when I’m not that overwhelmed just to keep me from getting to that point of mental breakdown.

 

4. Utilize your strengths

Now, this point isn’t the most self explanatory. What I mean by utilize your strengths is: know how you study the best and take advantage of your resources.

If you can’t focus without quiet, go to the library at your university or find a quiet space in your apartment or house where you can focus. If you need minimal noise to focus, try a coffee shop or having music on in the background while you study. I usually listen to classical music – mainly cello or piano solo pieces – since I get distracted by lyrics if I’m studying to music.

If you can’t study with falsh cards because you won’t be able to keep from looking at the answer, ask someone to quiz you on things instead. Get a friends, significant other, family member to help you study. If you need someone to keep you on track, study with a friend who you know won’t distract you. My roommate is amazing for this. She has just as much that she needs to get done as I do. That helps us keep one another focused because there’s someone else there to hold you accountable.

The main point is: know yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. What helps you best retain information? What will distract you most while studying? Know how you learn. This will help you get things done.

5. Don’t procrastinate

I know, it’s a little hyppocritical of me to say this as I have a horrible habit of procrastinating sometimes, but this is a really important point to make. It might seem obvious to some. However, stating the obvious might help get the point across.

Putting things off until the last minute can make the stress even worse. By procrastinating, you’re letting things pile up until they become a mountain that you feel like you can’t climb. If you never let yourself get too behind on things, that mountain will never be more than a hill – maybe even a kind of steep hill occasionally. But not a mountain. And, to be honest, remaining organized throughout the semester and writing reminders in my planner is what helps me to keep from procrastinating most. If I know that I have an assignment due Monday, and I know I have no time this weekend to get it done, I’m more motivated to get it done now if I can see what I have that may be due at a later date but take more of my time.

I will concede one thing, a little procrastination, when you know you can afford it, can help you destress. If you have everything done that ids due tomorrow and nothing big coming up, like an exam or a paper, absolutely take some time to yourself. Watch tv, play some video games, read a book, go to bed early, or whatever it is you want to do. Just make sure that you haven’t forgotten about anything or fallen behind before you do it.


I hope that my thoughts help you figure out the way to best cope with your mid-semester slump.

Happy planning!

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Weekly Spread 9/19-9/25 & how I organize my planner!

Hello, lovelies!

It’s Tuesday again. Wow, where has September gone? I swear, I blinked at the end of summer and now we’re here. I hope the semester is treating you all well! I know it has me in an absolute daze.

Anywho, today’s spread is another one that is more functional that super creative. I used my mermaid stickers, but since I have A LOT to write on most weekdays, I find myself not using as many stickers that I can’t write on. So, I tried to remedy this by making my stickers both pretty and functional – I may be posting a set next week that I designed specifically with functionality in mind. 

Here’s the spread!

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My organizational process

Honestly, it all comes down to color coding. I make sure that I’m using the same colors for the same topics that way I can see visually when things need to get done by. After assigning each class or daily event a color, I follow these steps:

  1. Label the sections of my planner. I usually follow this arrangement: “schedule” above the first box, “due today” above the second, and “homework” above the third.
  2. Place my stickers in a tentative arrangement based on how much I think I’ll be needing to write in those boxes.
  3. Rearrange stickers as needed and place in chosen location.
  4. Plan my week.

It’s a fairly simple process. I also tend to do my planning on Thursdays. Thursdays allow me to take a good look at what I have to do before Monday as well as examine what needs to be done during the next week. The fourth weekday is pretty neat like that.

 

Thank you for reading! I hope my process helps you out with yours. If you’d like to share your planning process in the comments below, I’d love to hear how you all organize your planners!

Happy planning!

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Weekly Spread 9/12-9/18

Hello, lovelies!

Happy Tuesday! For my spread this week, I used my star stickers.

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Just a note, there are A LOT of stickers in this set. I didn’t even use all of them and I have enough to make an entirely new spread with the ones left over. So, these stickers go a long way.

I hope you enjoy using these stickers. Happy planning!

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Bullet Journaling

Hello, lovelies!

I have something a bit different today for this week’s organization hack. I couldn’t find a problem that I was having in my life in terms of organization right now. So, I funneled the energy that I would usually use to DIY-fix my problem into something a teeny bit more creative: bullet journaling.

Now, I’m brand new to the idea of bullet journaling so I’m still kind of figuring out what it’s for but, from what I gather thus far, it’s sort of a mash up of a journal, planner, and sketchbook.

Since I already have a planner, I’m using it more as a journal and a sketchbook. I’m cataloguing what movies I’ve watched this year, the books I’ve read, making a wish list and a christmas shopping list, and just practicing my doodles. It’s a surprising amount of fun since you don’t have to take it too seriously and are very much allowed to mess up. With that said, I still recommend using a ruler and sketching your pages out in pencil first.

There are definitely people out there that take bullet journaling much more seriously than I do. They keep their lives in there and create some beautiful artwork within the margins of their journal. If that appeals to you, pinterest is FULL of ideas and guides for bullet journaling. Just search “bullet journal” and so many different guides and infographics come up. Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.12.56 PM.png

There are some AMAZING ideas on pinterest and so much inspiration for font styles, page layouts, and page ideas. Here are a few I really like:

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I guess you could consider bullet journaling an organization hack – but rather than organizing something in your home, you’re organizing your brain. So, I didn’t completely stray from today’s theme. 🙂

Happy planning!

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Watercolor Shakespeare Stickers

Hello, lovelies!

Happy Wednesday!

The printable I have for you today is the sticker set I mentioned yesterday in my weekly spread. I made these last week and have been itching to use them! They’re sized for the mambi BIG Happy planner but can be resized prior to printing.

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I hope you have as much fun using these as I had making them! Happy planning!

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Sticker Organization Hack

Hello, lovelies!

I hope your week is going well! For today’s organization hack, I finally solved a problem that I’ve been having since I started using stickers for my planner. The question was: How do I organize these?

Since I cut all of my stickers out by hand, a lot of them wind up being kind of tiny and this created a bit of a unique problem for how to organize and store them.

Originally, I had taken plastic sandwich size baggies, labelled them with a sharpie, and then stuck them in the shoebox I had decorated and labelled “stickers”. But, this method proved kind of disorganized. It was hard to find what I was looking for as there was just a pile of plastic bags sitting in the shoebox and I had to dig through all of them to find what I was looking for and often ended up creating kind of a mess. Plus, I like to alphabetize things and I couldn’t really do that with a shoebox of baggies.

The next method I tried was making file folders that fit the size of the shoebox: 3″x 5″. I bought mini dividers that were that size off of amazon for rather cheap and uses washi tape and packing tape to make them into tiny file folders. This method was a few steps above what I had been doing because I could see very clearly the label for what was in the folder and pluck it out of the box. AND I could alphabetize my stickers. However, I ran into a problem. The folders could only accommodate a certain thickness and wouldn’t fit a large amount of stickers in them and would often fall apart if overstuffed. So, that idea had to be scrapped after a week or so.

Then, I had a revelation of sorts in Target. Olivia and I had gone to pick up a few items to make a fruit pizza – try it sometime – and we decided to peruse the dollar spot at the front of the store. This is honestly my favorite part of going to Target. I always find stationary, pens, and other office supplies in this section – a couple of months ago I found some metal magazine holders that are painted pastel colors that helped me solve an organizational problem with my bookshelf.

While looking through the dollar section I came across these adorable, small, three-ring binders. They’re about 9″ tall and 5″ wide and have really cute patterns on them. So, I snatched up a few of them for only $3 a piece. I believe they’re intended to be day planners as there were planner inserts also being sold. But with tiny binders, you can do anything. Well, not really anything. But with a little imagination and the right supplies you can make them suit your needs.

With these binders in my possession, the idea I decided to run with was: sticker binders. I would get page protectors and fill them with my stickers, label them, and stick them in the binders in alphabetical order! Simple, right? Not as simple as you would think.

First, I had to find page protectors that would fit my binders. I decided to look for 5″x 7″ ones. And I thought I had found them here. But apparently I didn’t read the entire item description so, when I got them, I had another problem to deal with. They were actually 8 1/2″ x 11″ with two 5″x 7″ pockets in them. So, I got to work making my own page protectors out of what I had. I wound up cutting them in half and turning them long-ways so that the opening was on the left side where the rungs would go through. I cut holes where my binder rings needed to fit and voila! I had 5″ x 7″ page protectors to house my stickers in.

And here’s the finished product!
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teal inside

pink  pink inside

The binders live on a bookshelf I just got and put together for my crafting supplies.

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I bought an extra binder just in case I needed more room for stickers. 

I hope my adventure with sticker storage helps someone else out in their search for the perfect way to store their sticker collection. Happy organizing!

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Drawer Dividers

Hello, lovelies!

Does your sock drawer get so cluttered you can hardly find the pair of socks you’re looking for without dumping the whole drawer out? I have a solution for you!

Infomercial hook aside, I actually have dealt with this problem. The drawer I kept my socks and underwear in was so messy that I could never find a single thing that I was looking for in it. It drove me nuts and I was looking into buying one of those fancy honeycomb design dividers for the drawer in question. But, then, I thought “why spend money when I can come up with a solution myself?” And I did!

I made dividers!

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This was literally one of the simplest projects I’ve ever done. And here’s how you can do it too!

Time: 30 mins (at most)
Need:
–  tape measure
–  marker or pen
–  cardboard (preferably corrugated- I used a moving box)
–  wrapping paper/scrapbook paper
– scissors and/or x-acto knife

  1. Empty the drawer that you’re making dividers for and measure the inside of it. You’ll want length and depth. Make sure that the depth measurement leaves room for the drawer to close without being obstructed.
  2. Take those measurements to your cardboard and draw out however many rectangles you’ll need to cut out. Use your depth measurement as the width of your rectangle.
  3. Cut your rectangles out!
  4. Cover these with wrapping paper – I used my mambi expandable paper pad again. That thing is nifty.
  5. Put inside your drawer and organize to your hearts content!

This was so easy and solved a HUGE, annoying, problem for me. I hope it helps you too!

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Labels!

Hello, lovelies!

This Thursday, I have a really easy organization hack for you all: labels! It’s remarkably easy to label things. I just find myself without the energy to expend making labels sometimes. But, when I get the energy up, the organization that comes of making these labels is incredible.

My main problem was that we have these clear canisters in our kitchen that hold things like flour, sugar, salt, rice, etc. Some of these dry goods are easy to tell apart but, with a few of these items, there are some kitchen disasters waiting to happen if you mix them up. Instead of feeling the need to taste whatever is in the container to determine if what we grabbed to make pancakes with was actually sugar or salt, I decided: why not just label them?

I set out to find labels that were both customizable and cute. And I found these! These farmhouse pantry stlyle labels from Lia Griffith are exactly what I was looking for. They’re cute, customizable, and super easy to make. I just took inventory of what we had in our cabinet and printed them out on to sticker paper. (note: I used clear sticker paper – don’t do that. It smudges like no other.) I will likely wind up re-doing the labels on matte paper since they didn’t come out as nice as I would have liked on the clear paper.

Anywho, this is the final product:

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Super cute, right? And now we know the difference between the sugar and the salt.

Thank you for reading. I hope these labels help you out too!

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Shoebox Transformation: Organization Hack

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to Thursday Organization Hacks! I had this idea a couple of days ago and thought I would share it with you all.

The desk that I have in my room has no drawers.

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And as a person who likes to keep things within reach, this presented a bit of a problem for me. I didn’t have anywhere to store things other than on the top of my desk or on the two shelves underneath. I thrive on drawers when it comes to storing things. I like having organized drawers where I can store things out of sight. This idea of hiding my organized clutter got me thinking. I needed a DIY solution that would fit these criteria:

1. Must be narrow enough to fit on the shelves that I was provided with.
2. Can’t be an eyesore. Otherwise, I’ve just doubled my problem instead of solving it.
3. Needs to be either super cheap or free.

Thinking about my criteria got me thinking. Why not use shoe boxes? If you’re like me and you love shoes, you tend to have a shoe  box or two lying around. Why not repurpose them into storage for pens, crafting supplies, and other miscellany that usually gets kept in a desk drawer?

I went into my closet and found four shoe boxes that were waiting to be either trashed or transformed. I measured and they all fit on my shelf! That checked off criterion 1. They were shoeboxes so they needed a bit of sprucing up for me to be able to check off criterion 2. But, I didn’t have to spend any extra money to get the shoe boxes or the materials to prettify them. That checked off criterion 3. Perfect!

So, I got down to work. I took out one of my mambi expandable paper pads (these things are so rad) and got busy making the box prettier. The paper is beautiful, expands out to 4x the size of the paper pad, and is the same sort of material as wrapping paper. Perfect for wrapping a shoe box. I decided to cover the box and the box lid in different papers and go from there.

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Here’s how I did it!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • a shoebox
  • wrapping paper or scrapbook paper.
  • scissors
  • tape

1. Lay out a piece of your preferred paper face down. Place the bottom half of your shoebox on the paper.

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2. Fold the paper up on the ends of the shoebox and measure if it needs to be cut down to size. Just like wrapping a present. Leave some extra paper so that you can tuck it over the edges of the box.

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3. Cut the paper to the size you need and wrap!

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4. Decorate and/or label to your heart’s content. 🙂

I hope this helps a few of you solve some organizational problems like it did for me. Happy crafting!

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Tuesday Planner Party – June 27- July 3

Hello lovelies!

It’s Tuesday! And guess what that means? Planners! I am bubbling over with excitement right now because my new Me & My Big Ideas BIG Happy Planner started yesterday! I am SO excited. I cannot tell you how excited I am – unless you count my overuse of the word excited as an expression of excitement.

Anywho, this planner is beautiful. The covers are laminated; it has 17 months inside; it’s 8 1/2″ x 11″ so its HUGE and has so much space for organizing my busy life; it’s gorgeously designed with gold leaf and watercolor. I cannot express just how beautiful this planner is. Max got me the planner for my birthday back in May and I’ve been twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to be the week of July 1st.  And being the giant organization dork that I am, I AM SO EXCITED THAT I FINALLY GET TO USE IT. :)))))))

But, enough excitement from me. Let’s get down to business! I decided that for my first spread I would combine my two great loves: planners and cats. I found these adorable cat stickers from Victoria Thatcher:

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Access the post on her blog here.

These stickers are so cute. And, hey. Cats.

She made these stickers specifically for the planner that I use so that was even more exciting. I’ve had these sitting in my google drive folder of printables for a couple of weeks now and I am so pleased that I finally get to use them!

Here’s the spread I created with Victoria Thatcher’s cat stickers:

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left  right

I’m sorry that the photo quality isn’t better. I’m taking these on my phone so, they’re not professional quality.

I hope this spread provides some inspiration for all you planners out there!  Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

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