planner

Although I am only 2 weeks in to my new role – and a deceptively easy 2 weeks with the holidays – I am understanding how important it is too keep a calendar up to date and our daily tasks/to-do lists at my fingertips.

2016’s calendar was a Lilly Pulitzer calendar which worked out well. Each month had a calendar in review, then pages beyond it with blank lines for each day. I used the calendar for keeping track of appointments, workouts, when my husband travels, etc. and the blank lined pages for daily tasks that I would lovingly “cross out” with a highlighter once complete.

For 2017 I wanted to try something a little different. Now, I ordered this planner before my new job, but it seems the Universe was involved with this one. The ever-popular Erin Condren was a little too pricey for my taste, but there were negatives about the Lilly planner that I wanted different and I wanted something like the Condren planner.


Think about what your style is

Lilly’s planner was great because it was very colorful. The downside is it was too Lilly-focused, even down to marking when her birthday was.  Also, some of the blank pages had designs on them which took up valuable writing space.

I also needed the calendar days to be a tad bigger. I do use stickers, but not to the extent of some very creative people a la Elle Fowler.

When picking my 2017 planner I wanted it to be colorful, but a toned down version of Lilly’s, larger calendar days, and I needed more space to write daily tasks, to-do lists, and other notes. I also wanted it to be more neutral in theme.


Think about the size

I like one that is about the size of my purse, but not too huge that it overstuffs it and I look like a woman carrying a bag with only my planner inside – and a book of course. I like average book-sized planners because they feel more comfortable for me: It won’t get lost in my handbag and it fits my handwriting size and style.


How do you plan to use it

I have seen people on You Tube schedule time to plan their planners in their planner. That’s dedication! I don’t do that per say, but I do take a look at the current day in the morning and through out the day and plan things the night before. I also write things down as they come up in a small, separate notebook then transfer to calendar when necessary.  Personally, I use one calendar to keep track of everything; that way I do not have to keep looking at separate planners to see what I have to do on what day for what part of life.


Electronic or Pen & Paper

I find electronic calendars difficult to keep track of. I do appreciate the outlook pop-up reminders when I am due in a meeting in 15 minutes and it is a way for co-workers to send meetings to each other. Although I will have more meetings than ever before, I will still be marking them in my personal planner.


My 2017 Planner

After some research, I decided to buy a Plum Planner. I liked that it was custom-ordered and at a good price point for what I was getting.  I think my new planner and I are going to be very happy together.

In an upcoming post, I will write about how I will use this planner to combine life and work. Hopefully this will help you!

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[image credit: Lifehack.org]

My reading plan for 2016 was to read 30 books. I fell short on that goal for various reasons: life happens, lack of inspiration to read, major book let downs…. As I close the year I am hoping to finish The Twelve, then read the City of Mirrors in 2017. I was thinking about the period of time where I did not read. I remember the exact book and where I was when it happened. Although, I do not fully blame the book as there were other personal issues going on at that time that caused my reading slump. For the sake of this post, I blame the book.

I went a little over a month without reading a single book which is very unusual for me.  I’m the woman who always has a book in her bag because you never know when you might need one. When the slump began in August I was gifted the Complete Stories and Novels of Sherlock Holmes and each night I’d read a story as they are about 10-20 pages each. At the same time I began The Twelve which is book 2 in a trilogy. Those 2 books kept me reading and while both are excellent, the spark for finding a new book to envelope myself in, everything continued to fall well below my expectations.

Which led to a thought: how do I spark my reading again?

And thus, the Re-Read Project was born.

 

I have so many books over the years I love and that I have not read in quite a long time. I’m not one to re-read books except for very few. “Chocolat” is the only one I can recall I read at least three times and I always read it during the cusp of Spring for obvious reasons. But there are more.

From January – December of 2017 I will include one book in the Re-Read Project and supplement any new reads because there will always be new reads. I already have several in mind and I cannot wait to begin to share my experiences with you throughout the year.

 

 

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We are in the final 2 weeks of 2016 and while many of us have our finger poised over the reset button for January 1st, I hit the reset button many, many times throughout the year. And today, I just hit it again. Well, last night.

Yesterday I posted about my personal winter guide  and how I manage to not crack apart and turn into sand during these dry, dark months. The outside is important, but even more important is the inside: our mind, our spirit, our organs and general functions of the body. We often forget that the outside is only as good as how the inside operates and that is what I am hitting the reset button.

My diet is the best it has ever been in my life, but something is off. This time of year I gravitate toward foods that are not the best, loaded in cheese – aka fat – and sugar because treats are abundant around Christmas.  While I have not “over done” anything in these areas, I feel a general sense of heaviness.  The rest button pressed today is a button to lighten up.

Reset my diet in a way that limits those oh-so-tasty, fattening and sugary foods that slows down digestion; get to bed earlier and work on getting a quality night’s rest; get back into my full workout routine (which has been sporadic at best); meditate daily and free my mind through writing.

 

Ah, winter. Although you are not officially here until the 21st, your spell of darkness has already begun to make its presence known.

And no. I don’t look like this beautiful woman below.

 

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[image credit: www.skincarebeautymag.com]

 

Honestly, she probably doesn’t either, but that’s how I wish I felt in the winter.

I’m no expert but I can tell you that I’m on an endless hunt for the perfect solutions to all of my winter skin woes. I get the works: dry, itchy scalp, flaky skin, eczema patches… There are a few products and tricks I use when the temperature drops to keep me from becoming Jerry Seinfeld on the episode he shaved his chest.

Although yet to be perfected, every winter my routines, habits and products improve my winter skin conditions.


-GENERAL TIPS & TRICKS-

  • Fragrance free lotions – The Bath and Body Works lotions do smell lovely, but I think scent is their primary function and moisturizing and skin conditioning a distant second. They are lovely to use as little extras, but may not be best for nourishment.
  • Short and less frequent showers – Hot water is not friend for dry skin. Try to shorten your showers as much as possible, use warm water instead of super hot, and if possible, try not to shower too much to preserve your body’s natural oils.
  • Turn down the heat – The heat in your house and office is drying you out. Try to dress in layers and turn the temp down to below 70 degrees. I know people who pump their houses full of 70+ degrees and I feel it. I generally keep mine at 66 at night and 68 during the day or when home. It varies, but do your best!
  • Drink water – Just as important in the winter as it is in the summer.
  • Dry Brush – It feels gooood. haha!

 

 


–PRODUCTS–

Scalp – Nizoral Shampoo

Many of us focus more on our hair than on our scalp. Big mistake considering your hair is only as good as your scalp!This stuff is blue magic in a bottle. I used to use Head and Shoulders but it no longer did it’s job. I had to go for the harder stuff. I discovered this through a Best Natural Remedy book which actually has solutions to everyday issues that work.

 

Hair & Shave – SheaMoisture  Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Masque

I mentioned in a previous post that I use my hair masque as a shaving cream as well. And with good reason. I picked this up without any previous knowledge of the brand. I tend to like to try out new hair products until I find something I like. I have a feeling this will be a repeat purchase. It smells lovely, deeply conditions my hair, and is a nice shave cream for the body.

 

Lotion –

This quest is never ending. I have tried TONS of brands and the only one I thought was the holy grail was CereVe. But it has parabens which I am trying to avoid as much as possible.  The quest continues. Right now I am using Everyday Shea unscented, but it’s not quite powerful enough.

Any lotion suggestions are welcome!

I have slacked on the post a day plan I had when December started. I had the best intentions, but to post something for the sake of something does not a good blog make. Nor is it entertaining for anyone to read.

It is Sunday morning and when I was thinking about my lack of writing for a few days I decided why not just write a ramble post, no structure, just ideas and thoughts typed out.

The house is decorated for Christmas and Hanukkah.  My husband is Jewish so we celebrate both and with Hanukkah and Christmas eve on the same day is quite exciting! I have his gifts done and I cannot share those because he does read this from time-to-time. I have a few more goodies to grab which I may do today. I am also meeting up with my friend Lexi for brunch, then grocery shopping, then who knows!

Loads to do today and get done for the upcoming week.

Speaking of the upcoming week, I start my new position on the 16th. I’m nervous, excited, overwhelmed, over joyed, and anxious all at once. I’m not sure what to expect but I am expecting a very positive new chapter in my career. I wanted for so long to be out of a traditional customer service role and transition into something completely different and I got it. Not without it’s tears, lack of sleep, questioning myself moments, of course.  When I want something to change, I focus all of my mental energy on it and do everything I have to do to get it.

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about where I belong in the expansive world of the web. There is so much content and I’ve been wondering how I fit in and what I have to offer. The truth is, this is not a full time job and I’m not sure it ever will be. Writing is something I’ve always done and always loved to do so my primary reason for posting is to write and share it. I want to share, inspire, and grow a community.  A community of people who work every day, take care of a home and family, and keep their happiness and hobbies as an equal priority.

Like all years, 2016 was the cliched roller coaster ride. I went through a few ups and downs, learned and grew up in many ways. As I approach the final decent and about to start 2017, I want to be sure I am being true to who I am, what I want to share, and what I want to do.

I welcome you to do the same.