I’m a Planner Planner.

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I love organizing. Everything in its special place, labeled, filed away, planned out for months, etc… I have also found that it is akin to therapy for combating my anxiety so come December I check out whats new in planners and see which one I’m gunna abuse for the coming new year.

I had an Erin Condren Planner for 2014 (weird talking about it in past tense already) and it was well loved. I enjoyed all of the stickers and bright colors and thoughtful quotes sprinkled throughout, but I knew I wanted to change it up, simply because for 2015.

I looked at Plum Paper Designs and I loved the fact that you could change the layout of the pages! Super cute cover designs too. But still not quite what I was looking for.

Then I looked into making my own planner by printing off premade planner pages from a blog or something and putting them into a binder. The more I looked the more I knew the flexibility that comes with DIY planner making was right up my alley.

I stumbled upon an amazing blog called “The Handmade Home“. Super cute chick with a super cute family and a well put together and info filled blog. She put out a free printable planner last year (which is how I found the blog originally), and wowed me with her update for 2015. I adore the color scheme and the hexagon pattern. Her quotes are even more insightful (to me anyway) than the Erin Condren ones, and her PDFs are clear as day and print perfectly.

This layout became my chosen one per say and I tinkered around with a few others, but always came back to her amazing style. Once I knew I would be printing her planner, I next had to select the perfect paper to print it on, and a binder to put it in (yes they matter just as much!).

I did some googling about paper, and it seemed that a slightly heavier weight and brighter, well brightness than standard ole printer paper lends itself to the perfect thickness as to not let pens bleed through, but still light and thin enough to not make my planner weigh 50lbs and force me to use a larger than 1 inch binder. The brightness factor only ensured that the colors I loved so much from her design really came through and showed up exactly how I envisioned them. Again, this matters in my world.

I selected  the HP All-In-One Printing  Paper. It’s got 97 brightness and a 22b weight, so its slightly thicker than regular paper, and it works like a dream. No bleed through and colors look perfect.

Onto binder choosing! Now, I will have to admit that a little bit of “fate” came into play here as I went into target with no real idea in mind other than I wanted it to go with the color scheme and be 1 inch. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a duel colored purple/hot pink planner that boasted an additional fold out clear sleeve leaf inside. I was, of course, immediately    intrigued. It’s called the Mead 1″ + folder extension binder. This added feature, and the colored binder spine, made this an easy choice for me.

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It took a while to print a whole year off, but I expected that. After putting it all together and writing in all my crap I can say that I am completely happy with my choices and look forward to using this for the rest of 2015.

This post is long enough, so without going into too much detail I will link the rest of my favorite misc. planner essentials below so you can check those out if you’re interested.

Favorite PensPhoto StickersWashi Tape – Exercise and Reading Planner Pages

Again thanks for reading and happy planning!!!

Christmas Tag

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After making this Christmas tree out of a tomato cage I am fully in the spirt of the season, so this tag only seemed appropriate.

Thank’s to the beautiful Zaynah for tagging me (go check her out here y’all!)

What’s your favourite Christmas food? My mom’s side of the family makes flavored rock candy and fudge so I’m a huge fan of that, but I also adore the white chocolate fudge cover oreos that they bring out this time every year.

What is your favourite Christmas movie? My family has a tradition of watching “A Christmas Story” every year after opening presents. Scrooged with Bill Murray is fantastic as well.

What advent calendar do you have? I don’t have one 😦 but I have heard The Body Shop one is awesome.

What’s your favourite snow related activity? Spectating. I like to sit by the fire and watch everyone else freeze their butts off sledding while I sip coffee. I use to sled, but I abhor being cold (not to mention cold and wet)

What’s your favourite Christmas candle scent?. Marshmallows Fireside by Bath and Body Work for sure! Go sniff it if you haven’t!

What is your favourite Christmas tree ornament? Any kind of ornate star topper.

If you could go anywhere for Christmas where would it be? Some where warm. Hawaii? Fiji?

Would you put an inflatable Santa outside your house? Hell yes. I love cheesy shit like that.

Do you like ice-skating? More than anything. Don’t ask me why but this is the only “cold weather” sport I enjoy. I guess I end up getting so hot while I’m skating that I don’t notice I’m on ice.

Do you own a cool Christmas jumper? I don’t think I ever have. But I do own a christmas themed long john pajama set.

Favourite Christmas song? Deck the Halls

What is your favourite Christmas animal? There are such things as Christmas animals? I’ll go  with reindeer since that’s all I can think of that fits the bill.

What do you look forward to most about Christmas? My family being together and happy. Good moods all around. And I get to pig out almost as much as Thanksgiving during Christmas dinner.

What is your favourite day? Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, or Boxing Day? Christmas Day.

What is your favourite winter/Christmas accessory to wear? Ummm Santa Hat. I’m draw to them. Or reindeer antlers.

Now I need to excuse myself to go finish my Christmas shopping before it actually becomes Christmas 🙂

Happy Holidays!

What I am truly thankful for today.

Boots. I am visiting my family in the mountains of Virginia and they have gotten quite a good accumulation of snow these past two days. Which brings me to another thing… I am thankful I don’t live in Northern Maine. They receive an average of 110 inches of snow during the winter season. I like snow, but not that damn much.

Tubs. All tubs. Big, regular, small. I loooooove to take baths. The apartment I live in right now only has a shower, so I take full advantage of the Jacuzzi tubs at the New River Trail Cabins I stay in when I visit my relatives in VA. If you are going to be in the area, or just like staying in cabins, check them out. They are located right off the the New River Trail (as the name suggests), and all of the cabins have gas grills and fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs, and tv’s with cable and even WIFI! All of them also have different themes and decor, so check out the website to choose which one you want. If you call to book one tell my mom I said Hi! (she’s the one that answers the phone and takes care of you during your stay)

I am also thankful for my family. I didn’t always feel that way if I’m honest. They are complete opposites of me and are basically anti everything I am and believe in. But I’ve realized that this doesn’t have to change how you view them, even if you don’t agree with their opinions or stances on things. You can ALWAYS find common ground, even if its just the fact that you love each other and share a lineage. They have been supportive of (almost) everything I do, and even if they don’t agree with something, they respect my desire to do it/ my thoughts about it.

Life is short. Cliche but true. Everything could change in an instant. You could die tomorrow, or later today for that matter. Hug your family. Call your friends. Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. It does matter, and it does count. And I promise, it will make their day.

Happy day of Thanksgiving. I hope you get to eat a lot, be merry, and realize how good you have it.

Current Favorite Female Artists

I have been finding a lot of new female artists that I am quite enjoying lately, so I thought why not share?

Banks

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First off, love her classic monochrome style and bold brows. Points already. I was lured in by her sultry but light voice with electronic and R&B back beats. Her album Goddess offers everything from power ballads to girl anthems, heart break to new love butterflies and old love reminiscing. My power song is the title track Goddess. I like to play it when I get ready for a night out. For some reason it’s a confidence booster for me. I also enjoy Bedroom Wall. Sweet, lovey, mushy kind of song. Good stuff.

FKA Twigs

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Her songs and style are one in the same. Quirky. And I absolutely love it. Formerly a backup dancer she finally showed the world an even bigger talent. Funk electronic hip-hop is the way I would describe her sound. Her voice is etherial. Angel like even. Fantastic music to drive, chill, or in my case hoop to (yep, I’m one of those people). With her background as a dancer I don’t think it’s any coincidence that some of the songs make me want to break out into interpretive dance. Two Weeks is a feel good jam for me. Instantly puts me in a better mood. Kicks is sentimental and takes me back to an earlier time in my life. Very melodic and soothing in a way. The first song I heard by her was Papi Pacify, which if I’m honest is a very “sexy time” ish song (and the video shows this off beautifully). It comes off as a warm, longing song to a lover. Very nice. All of her music videos are visually sunning and well thought out. Check um out.

Tove Lo

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You’ve probably heard her music already even if you don’t know it. Her beautiful song Habits was remixed by Hippie Sabotage (who I’m a fan of also) and is now in clubs, and on the radio everywhere (even in Wal-mart?!). Unlike most songs that become heavily remixed I love the original and the remix equally. Her lyrics are raunchy and rough, but her supremely feminine voice smoothes them over and takes it to another level. I love a girl with a sailor’s mouth, so she is a winner for sure. I do have to say one of my favorites is Habits. I love the original which showcases her beautiful voice and coarse lyrics, and I’ll put on the remix to lift my sprits or jam out. Scream My Name is a light reflective song that dives into a great heavy breakdown with strong vocals to hit you hard. Run On Love is another dance your ass song with a nice “Tiesto” era beat to it. Out Of Mind is a bittersweet and tender break up song that I think anyone can relate to. Like FKA Twigs she’s got some well put together videos that showcase her amazing hair and badass attitude.

Let me know if you check them out, or if you have any favorites you think I need to check out!

Travel Bucket List!

I am a nomad at heart and have been from an early age. Having a hippy mother with the same tendency helped to intensify that. I have lusted over pictures of different countries for as long as I can remember and my goal in life is to visit as many different ones as I can. Until recently I hadn’t actually made a LIST on paper of where exactly I wanted to go the most, but I sat down and made my “bucket list” and thought I would share it!

Also, if you feel so inclined, I have created a Go Fund Me page to help me get to my first planned destination, #5! Any little bit counts and would greatly help me raise the funds to get out there by my goal date. And of course by helping me get out there you are helping me create what I’m sure will be a photo filled breakdown blog of my trip!

Onto the list!

In no particular order:

1. Holi in India.

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Holi is the festival of colors for one of the Hindu religion’s biggest holidays, so I couldn’t think of a better time to go and visit india to really experience it at its more jubilant.

2. Oktoberfest in Germany.

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This is the picture that started it all! It is the Oktoberfest Main Hall in Munich. I saw this in a National Geographic mag in school when I was around 10-11 and fell in love. What a beautiful idea and gathering! My mother’s side of the family is fully German so naturally I want to visit my “motherland” and why not (again) go during a time when the culture is at its most prevalent and joyous?

3. Summer Solstice @ Stonehenge in England.

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I’ve heard tell this is the only time of the year that people are allowed into the center of the stone circle. Thousands of people from all over the world gather at the Henge before sunrise on the eve of the summer solstice to play music, converse, and celebrate the occasion. Many people say they got a sense of belonging, peace and connection to the earth like they have never felt before as the sun comes over the horizon. Don’t know if there is truth to that, but why not go and find out?!

4. The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spring in Iceland.

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I do not like the cold. At all. I am cold natured, and anything below 70 is cold to me, but I would be more that willing to deal with it to visit this beautiful place. It’s basically a HUGE shallow lake that is filled by geothermally heated ground water from under the earth’s crust (so like a huge bath or hot tub, which I am ALL about). The water is said to have healing properties, but I’m more about the views of the mountain vistas all around and the relaxation part.

5. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

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This continues my thought process of going to a country when its people are at their most celebratory and raucous. Not only will this afford me what is sure to be a festive time in downtown for the parade and general debauchery but Ireland has beautiful countryside and amazing abbys and castles to go see.

6. Sunset in  Montebuoni Italy.

Now I couldn’t find I picture to do this justice, so I’ll just like a video of one here. (skip to 8:12 is to see.) The sunsets here are like paintings. Almost unbelievable. Definitely a must see in my book.

7. Burning Man in Nevada

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If you haven’t heard of Burning Man, get your life together and go watch one of the hundreds of documentaries on it. Why do I want to go? Because I am a hippy and I want to experience everything this amazing festival has to offer me and my soul.

8. Tomorrowland in Belgium.

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A beautifully put together and visually stunning music festival in another country? Why not?! They also have sister festivals in Brazil and Atlanta Georgia but I feel like the real thing is the way to go.

9. The Northern Lights in Norway/Sweden/Finland

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I put three places because you can see the northern lights best in these countries, and I would love to visit all of them!

10. Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami in Istanbul.

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Not last and not least this beautiful Hamam. It is a traditional Turkish Bath house where they give you a full body massage followed by an intense body scrub. Istanbul is a beautiful place as well and I want to try their very talked about tea as well!

These aren’t the only places on my list, but you have to start somewhere! Let me know which places are on your bucket list in the comments! And if you can head over to my Go Fund Me page and help me get to Ireland!

 

 

I’m Childfree not Childless

Let me preface this whole thing by saying that what you are about to read is entirely made up of my opinions, which may not be the same as yours. Also, these are my thoughts about my body, and I would never assume to tell someone else what to do with their body (nor should anyone feel the right to tell me what to do with mine). So let’s get on with it!

I don’t ever want to have kids. Yep you read that right. Ever. I have known this since I was little, and I have never wavered in my resolve.

The society we live in perpetuates that “baby fever” that most females feel in their twenties. TV shows that glamorize or sensationalize having children, and the standard that if you are married, or even in a committed long-term relationship, that you should be considering or at least be thinking about when you want to start a “family”.

Now, let me say that I do not hate children. I don’t think you are a bad person for having children, or planning to have children. Like I said before, it is YOUR body and no one but you should have any say so in what you do with it. Ever. Children are just not something I want for myself.

It isn’t solely the TV or our culture’s fault for this “OMG your 25 and don’t have/want a baby what’s wrong with you?!” standard. It is our closest friend’s and family’s fault (and many MANY stranger’s fault) I am constantly asked/told the following when someone finds out I don’t want children.

  1. You’re young, you’ll change your mind.
  2. You just haven’t met the right man yet.
  3. But if you had one you would think differently. Everything changes after you have a baby.
  4. But you would be such a good mother!
  5. They add so much to your life. You’d be missing out on that!
  6. When are you and Luke going to have a kid?

My Responses : 1. I am plenty old enough to decided what I want out of life. I know deep down in the depths of my soul and heart that I don’t ever want a child. You should take my word for it. 2. Believe me, I have met the right man. And because he is the perfect man for me, he doesn’t want children either. 3. So I should go against everything I believe in, in the hopes that I would miraculously want it once I had it? What? And also, yes, I know everything changes after you have children. And I simply do not want any of that. 4. Barf. I get this from strangers more than anyone. Thank you kind madam for telling me that you know me well enough to advise me to have children since you are so certain of my character that you know I would never hurt it, or leave it in the back seat of a car on a hot day, or trade it for drugs. I would never do any of those things, but how the hell do you know I’m not a terrible person? And I personally believe to be a good mother, or father, you have to WANT to have the child. 5. I’m sure that this is true for a lot of people, but it just isn’t for me. I don’t believe I would be missing out on anything that I don’t want to begin with. And 6. which is pretty much answered in 2. Neither one of us want children. We have both known that for a long time and we knew that going into the relationship.

I know many, many good women who have had children and it made their life complete. I am just not one of those women. I am not “missing out” because of this decision. I will be living a live of my dreams by choosing not to have children. And for anyone who has the crazy idea that I am contributing to the extinction of the human race by not fostering offspring, there are hundreds of thousands of babies, toddlers, and young adults waiting to be adopted across the globe. Women will continue to have children despite my views on the matter. So rest your weary head. The world will go on.

To sum it all up, please stop asking when I’ll have a child or telling me why my choice not to is so very wrong. It is my life, and my body to do with as I choose. Not wanting to have a baby does not make me weird, or less of a woman. It does not make me a bad or selfish person either. It simply makes me a person with her own opinion.

If you do want kids, good for you! This little blog shouldn’t be enough to change your mind. If it is, please take the time to think about what you really want. If you don’t want to have children, I hope this gave you some talking points to be able to explain your decision to others.

Closet Purge, and Creating a Minimal Wardrobe.

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The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

I am a clothing hoarder. I form unnatural emotional and sentimental bonds with physical pieces of fabric.

But really, I hold onto out of style, ill fitting, uncomfortable clothes because I feel connections with where I have worn said item and how I felt at that time. Even though I won’t ever wear it again, or it looks horrible on me (seriously wtf was I thinking), or I only wear it once a year because everything else is dirty or I think “oh I haven’t worn this in forever, better put it on”.

I have been looking into the minimalist wardrobe theory for a while now, and for some reason I had a fire lit under me to get on it recently.

First I made piles of things I knew I needed to get rid of. Then I looked through what was left and took more. And more. And more. I was really hard on myself, and my clothing, and only kept things I wear all the time, and I know are classic pieces that would go with a lot.

I ended up with a pile consisting of

  1. 9 Dresses
  2. 13 Long Sleeve Shirts
  3. 20 Short Sleeve Shirts
  4. 7 Jackets
  5. 2 Scarves
  6. 2 Pairs of Jeans
  7. 3 Skirts
  8. 4 Pairs of Shorts
  9. 1 Vest (why was this even purchased to begin with lol)
  10. 9 Purses and 1 Wallet
  11. 9 Pairs of Shoes

Whew. Are you exhausted from that? I know I am

Then came the purge! I took all of my items to Uptown Cheapskates then what they didn’t  take I hauled over to Plato’s closet.

Together they gave me $70 for 2 purses, 5 dresses, 12 SS shirts, 3 jackets, 1 scarf, 2 skirts, and 2 pairs of shorts. Needless to say I was pleased with my earnings on old clothes I wasn’t wearing anyway. Very liberating. I took the remaining clothing and shoes to Goodwill for donation.

I now have holes in my wardrobe that need to be filled, and the cash I earned from the old stuff with be going towards filling them. I will be investing in classic, well made (even if slightly more expensive) things that I know will last forever and making sure that each item I buy can work with multiple other pieces to make the most out of my outfit choices.

I haven’t narrowed down my closet to a set list of 30 must haves, but I am using this list from the House for Five blog as a general guide to making it.

Let me know if you have purged lately, and how it made you feel in the comments!