October 21, 2016

Keep the Faith

There are so many times in life where we think ‘if I had only know this then’. Although I occasionally find myself saying this it also makes me wonder, ‘what if I did know…’ Would it really have changed my decision? 

Still, there are other things that I hope I never lose sight of. Not only certain moments, put people, conversations, and events as well. 

  • I am stronger than I ever give myself credit for
  • My small circle of close friends are the best support system I could have ever asked for. Or that some "new" friends are on that same level. 
  • My way home.
  • Where I've come from and where I've been
  • Patience is a virtue
  • I am fully, 100%, irrevocably supported by the Universe in everything I do
  • I am loved. And not just by my mom
  • I am my only limit
  • Change is a beautiful thing
  • Everyone started at the beginning. 

But most importantly, I don't ever want to forget to tell myself

October 17, 2016

For the Love of Planning - Community

If you've been following this planning mini series then you know we've reached the end. Sads! If you're just tuning in, don't worry, you can go back and catch the previous parts here, here, and here.

If there's one thing I've learned since tumbling down the planner rabbit hole it's that there truly is a planner community. There are planner girls, literally, all around the world who are obsessed with planners, stationary, stickers, and organization. 

If you go on Facebook and type in your city/state and planning you're sure to be met with a long list of planner groups in your area. Search on Instagram and you'll find thousands of pictures and users dedicated to planning. 

Many of the local groups host events where its members get together to share their planners, swap stickers, and just hang out discussing a common interest. For instance, in November I'm attending a planner meet in Brooklyn that is sponsored by Me and My Big Ideas, creators of The Happy Planner. Michaels recently hosted a Happy Planner event in their store. 

Because the planner community is so strong, I asked them to tell you why they love it so much:

I first started planning in elementary school. I started pretty, decorative planning in 2013. I love all of the wonderful women I've met and the friends I've made. -Monét F, NY
I got my first planner in HS - school issued! When I went to college I felt lost without it and used various store bought ones on and off over the next few years. When I went back to school in 2013, I got another store bought one but in 2015 I found "real" planners after watching unboxing videos on YouTube and then I stumbled onto the community! Meeting people all over the world and sharing in fun and creativity has been an adventure over the last year! - Marie B, NYC
I always had a planner when I was younger and would use them on and off over the years. Once life got a little more hectic I found Erin Condren after searching online for something that would work for me. I used it on/off until I reconnected with an old friend from high school. Marie threw me into the wonderful world of decorative planning and I've found the community to be supportive and friendly! - Lisa C, NJ
 I consider myself a life long planner. It started when I received my first agenda in Middle School. I was "hooked" it became a crucial tool to manage assignments and projects. Once I got married and became a parent, it was my lifeline to managing bills and my daughters' activities at different schools plus executive meetings. I've tried all types of planners from spiral, bound, disc bound and now Traveler's notebook. "Pretty planning" allows me to reconnect with my inner 13 yr old who loved stickers. I can't imagine my life without my planner. -  Karen S, NJ
We're a tight group. Of course it has it's occasional drama like any community but more often than not it's very much 'the more the merrier'. It gives you a chance to make new friends, compare layouts, try new things, and share. I plan to overstay my welcome as long as possible.

October 14, 2016

Viva la México

This time a month ago my BWB and I had hopped on a plane and fled the country for the week. Destination? Cancún, México.

First of all, I'm really digging my life plan to earn a new stamp every year. I'm going to do my best to keep this going. As for this vacay, so many new experiences!

For one, this was my first "girl's trip" and I had a great time. She's a good travel buddy, especially since our goals were the same. We went to breakfast every morning and then either lazed in the ocean or at the swim up bar soaking in the sun. I could do this daily and never tire of it, at least for a month or two.

On Tuesday we went parasailing. I wasn't nervous at all because the way I saw it worse case scenario, I was going to fall out of my harness and some 200 feet into the gorgeous turquoise water below me. I've seen The Guardian, it's all about the pencil dive. Towards the end the harness starts to hurt since you can't really move around any up there. Still, it was amazing floating so high above the water.

On Wednesday I did something I all but swore I'd never do. Not because I'm above it, I just didn't feel the need. However, the opportunity presented itself, so... I went to a foam party! Before I left One of the attorneys asked if I was going to one and the idea was stuck in my head. It was at Señor Frogs and the fee included the party, dinner, and open bar so it was pretty good to me.

The following day we took a scuba lesson in the pool followed by a quick lunch and then we were back on the bus and headed to Aquaworld for our open water dive. I can't even explain the excitement I felt. We took the boat out through the lagoon passing through a mangrove forest (which I thought was pretty awesome) and out into the open water off the coast of Isla Mujeres.

Having full scuba gear on while in a pool is one thing. Having it on in open water is completely different. I felt completely at ease though because our instructor from the lesson was very clear, calm,  and made sure we were ready to go. Once in the ocean, you quickly realize the waves aren't going to wait for you. We all descended one at a time making sure to equalize (pop your ears) every few feet.

Once my group was submerged we were off and swimming 35 feet below the surface. At one point I actually laid on the ocean floor. To me, this was pretty cool. Their were schools of fish and huge coral reefs. I saw a lion fish, puffer fish, barracuda, and others. I was praying to see a shark but it wasn't in the cards. I can 100% say I'm obsessed with scuba diving. As soon as I got home I spent that night looking up any information I could find about courses for getting open water certified. It was so amazing.

Thursday was also Mexican Independence Day and to my chagrin, I had no idea who they celebrated fought to gain their independence (Spain). The whole day was a giant fiesta with tequila shots first thing in the morning (and all day), to the staff wearing traditional ensembles, to a mariachi band performing Canta y no Llores. I've heard the chorus before and I like it but I never knew what it was called, so of course I googled.

That evening we were treated to a traditional Mayan dance on the beach, overlooking the ocean with the full moon lighting the sky. It was incredible to watch.

It was an awesome end of summer trip and I'd absolutely go back. All the BS people talk about Mexico, including building a wall around it, is so ridiculous. Everyone is super friendly, the water IS drinkable (as long as your in the resorts), and it's very pretty. Even taking public transportation was a breeze. NYC could learn a thing or two...  Point is, I can't wait to go back!

October 12, 2016

Songs For Life

I'm a firm believer that music makes the world go 'round. It's one of the absolute best things in the world. I have so many 'favorites' it's a wonder how I remember all of the lyrics. These 10 though, they're some of my go to tracks.

This Fire - Killswitch Engage

I've talked about this song before but it's truly my life's mantra. The lyrics "Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always" are tattooed on my back. When I first heard it back in 2007 my life was in a sort of tailspin and the words resonated deeply and they've been part of me - literally - ever since. 

Drunken Soldier - Dave Matthews Band

This song immediately struck a chord with me. "Make the most of what you've got, don't waste time trying to be something you're not, Fill up your head and fill up your heart and take your shot, Don't waste time trying to be something you're not". I think too often people are so busy trying to conform to what society or other people think they should do they wind up having no idea who they are or what they want. 

Love Shack - B-52s

This song is just so high energy that I immediately start "moving and grooving" and it puts me in a good mood. 

Footloose - Kenny Loggins (and really, the whole soundtrack)

This is another get up and move song. I want to meet the person who can hear this and not tap their foot, sing along, or get up and dance. On second thought... no I don't. They're probably the most un-fun person on the planet.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston

Again with the dance party songs. If you're sensing a trend, you're right. I'm an 80s baby and dance parties are my jam. 

Dangerous Woman - Ariana Grande

I don't consider myself a dangerous woman by legal standards but yes, I am a dangerous woman. Why? Because I'm confident and secure in who I am. Because I know what I want and don't allow other to sway me. Because I have goals and aspirations and won't be led astray. Because I know who I am and I love myself. 

Church - Gary Clark, Jr.

You guys, this song is life. I listen to it just about every other day. It just.... moves me. 

Same Love - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

No explanation is needed. However, if you do need one, see yourself to that little x in the top corner. 

Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine

First of all, her voice is haunting, uplifting, and powerful A.F. Secondly, this song is WAY better than Shake It Off. Sorry not sorry TSwift. #KanyeMoment  My favorite line is "and it's hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off"

Try - Colbie Caillat

This song needs to be played in nurseries everywhere. Sure, it's geared towards girls but the lesson applies no matter what. 

It always amazes me how there's a song for every moment, every feeling. That someone else put the right string of words together to perfectly convey a feeling you're having. It's powerful stuff. And the video? Oh man. I had to hold back the tears. 

What are your "life songs"? 

October 10, 2016

For the Love of Planning - Stickers

In Part 1 we talked about different styles. Part 2 touched on different pens. Today we're going to discuss the decoration aspect. And if you think the sticker obsession is new, think again. This is my folder from freshman year. I graduated with this thing still in use.

You are only limited by your own ideas (and wallet) when it comes to how you decorate your planner. You can order stickers from Etsy, or buy them from Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or another craft store. You can even buy them from Walmart or the dollar store if you're so inclined. There is a sticker for everything and everything can be made into a sticker.

Here are a few of the collections I've purchased and may or may not be hoarding.

Top Left c/o: PinkBowTies2014 
Top Right/Bottom Left c/o: JamisonReid Designs
Bottom Right c/o: PaperieEverAfter

This is the part where you're probably thinking stickers are great... but how do I use them? Well, some amazing planner girls allowed me to use their images to give you a look at what you can do with your stickers. These layouts are all gorgeous!

This is an ECLP-V from beccalynn_plans

This is a WO2P Kikki-K by planner_rx:

A WO2P layout in the ECLP-H by yours truly. I loved this pineapple layout!

And finally, a Happy Planner layout from tuuliplans:

There are hundreds of thousands of stickers to chose from created by hundreds of shops. I'm a HUGE pan of JamisonReid Designs and Paperie Ever After, as well as Sweet Kawaii Design.

Do you have a favorite sticker shop? One I should know about? Let's hear it! 

October 03, 2016

For the Love of Planning - Pens

Welcome back! In case you missed part one, we talked about the different types of planners available and the layouts you can choose from. If you've decided on that part, now it's time to figure out which pens are best for you!

Of course you can use regular ballpoint pens - but where's the fun in that?! As a true hoarder of writing utensils, I have a wide variety that I keep on hand. Here are the options I personally use. Keep in mind there are always other alternatives.


this is tricky because some write better than others. My personal favorites are by BIC. I use both the BIC Cristal and BIC Round Stic ballpoint pens. 


This is by far my favorite pen media to use. There's just something about the smoothness of a gel pen that I love. My personal favorites are the Pilot G2 in bold point, the Paper Mate InkJoy gel pens, and  the Staples Sonix


For me, it's Staedtler all the way. They come in a great range of true colors, a fun case, and they last. 


When someone says Felt-tip I immediately think of Paper Mate Flair pens. I use these pens for everything. From writing notes, planning, writing cards, etc. They're super versatile and they tend not to bleed through paper.
I'm also going to list the Sharpie Pen here because none of the listings are specific and only list it as fine point. These are another go to for how smooth they write on any and every surface.

That's it for today! Check back next week for Part 3. Do you have a favorite type or brand of pen?