8.15.2018

Three Tips for a Successful Planner

Planning has become an obsession of mine.  I started out with just a mini binder from Target and now I have too many shelves of planners that I don't know what to do with.  But while those guys sit unused, I've been focusing on my Mini Happy Planner for ages now.......but just to switch things up I'm playing around with a Classic Size! What???
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

Something I hear a lot about in the planning community is planner peace.  While this looks different for everyone it is often a long journey & sometimes feels unsuccessful.  Planning should be two things:

  1. About you & your needs
  2. F U N
Yes, we're using this system to get things done but we should also be focusing on how planning affects us.  If we're having fun and feeling inspired we're more likely to get things done & feel productive.  That is why I like to functionally decorate my planner.  Sometimes pretty does serve a purpose...if you want to live an inspired life you've gotta surround yourself with inspiring things.

Here are my 3 tips for a successful planner

Watch YouTube Videos

Now, when you watch these guys don't go getting a case of #FOMO (fear of missing out).  You're watching these videos to get ideas on what you may want to include in your planner.  I can't tell you how many times I still watch a Mini Happy Planner set up video to see how others are using their planners.  When it comes to the Happy Planner line a lot of people call this style of planning frankenplanning because you're taking different parts of different planners or accessories and putting them together.  I don't think I have a Frankenplanner....I just think I have a set up that works for me!  If you want to see my most current Mini Happy Planner set up for some inspiration, check it out here.


Plan your Planner

Now that you have an idea of the sections you might want to include in your planner it is time to figure out how you'll use them.  I love to plan my planners and you can often find a section in my planner about ideas for my planner.  This is all about making the planner work for you.  

If you have a plan then you're not out there all willy nilly buying planner supplies you don't know how to use.  If you see something out there you like consider how you'll use it.  Make a plan for it.  This will save you money & save your sanity!  This goes for any planner system, not the just the Happy Planner!

Experiment

The final tip is to just see what happens!  If you find yourself really interested in a system but you're not quite sure how you'll use it just go for it.  I recently used a 50% off coupon on a teacher planner from the Happy Planner just so I could see if I'd really like to use it as a social media planner. (spoilers I LOVE IT!)  I'm gonna make a good go of it and if it doesn't work out then I didn't spend too much and I can probably pass the rest on to someone else.

When you feel the call to do something...sometimes you shouldn't ignore it!  A system you're interested in may end up working perfect for you or you may learn something else about your needs that you can switch up later.  


There is no right or wrong way to plan.  Hell, even just putting a sticker down on paper serves a purpose for you - if it's inspiring just do it.  Planning is a creative & productive outlet for me so don't let anyone tell you that your way of planning isn't the right way.

If you'd like to test out some printable inserts to see what might work for you in your planner, check out the etsy shopI use some of the personal size inserts like the budget & week on one page in my Mini Happy Planner and love it.  You can also join the Printable of the Month Club over on Patreon to get a brand new planner printable each month.  Subscribe for only $3 here.

What planner system works for you? What have you tried that hasn't worked out?

xoxo, Moe

8.06.2018

Make it Monday // DIY Essential Oil Recipes for Travel

If you haven't noticed from my Instagram feed, I travel a lot.  Like a lot, a lot.  We've been around the world a few times - Korea 3x (check this hashtag for the first trip & this hashtag for the second), Japan, Amsterdam (yay for Hema!) - and we've traveled home quite often.  Being that I moved 800 miles away from my family I like to go home as much as I am able.
this post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
the 10 ml glass bottles & spray tops were sent to me by Got Oil Supplies, all opinions are my own.

Traveling with an array of essential oils while possible isn't always practical.  Of course I've got a list of the top 10 oils I love to travel with but sometimes I need to be more compact.  Traveling with a diffuser can be troublesome as well so I've teamed up with Got Oil Supplies for this super easy, travel inspired DIY to help you keep your oils with you!  (ps. There is a coupon code at the bottom of this post just for you!)

Maintaining routine when traveling is very important.  We can get thrown off our rhythm and distracted from any self care rituals we've set put. We can find it hard to sleep in new environments and have trouble adjusting to a hotel room, a new city, or even being back in our childhood bedroom so keeping things close to us that provide comfort is a must.  For me, that includes my essential oils.  These guys give me a sense of peace & a sense of normalcy.  Not to mention some of them outright replace a few things I used to carry with me.  So lets get to the recipes.

supplies // roller bottles & spray tops from Got Oil Supplies (I'm using the 10ml size), witch hazel, water, fractionated coconut oil, various essential oils (I use only doTERRA CPTG oils, learn more here)

For each of these recipes we'll be using some sort of carrier.  I use that term loosely here because usually you'd use something like Fractionated Coconut oil to carry the oils - dilute them properly for topical application.  But for some of these we'll just be spraying them on clothes or a pillow and not necessarily the skin so there's not really a need for FCO in each recipe.

Sleepy Time Spray

This is like instant lights out! So if you have trouble sleeping especially while away this may give you some peace of mind.
In the spray bottle combine 5 drops Lavender, 3 drops Cedarwood, and 3 drops Vetiver.  Lavender is great for calming while both Cedarwood and Vetiver are grounding.  I swear, for me, any thing with Vetever is so soothing to me!  Top the spray bottle off with water.  Shake before you spray your pillow then nod off to sleep!

Deodorizer Spray

Stuff can get stinky if we've been traveling - especially in the summer - so a little deodorizer & fabric refresher can be much needed.  Combine 5 drops Purify blend & 5 drops Melaleuca in a spray bottle.  Top with water if you're going to be using on your clothes or use witch hazel if you've like to try for a natural deodorant.
I have yet to find something that helps me not stink but these oils work great for me on fabrics.  Spray a bit on the fabrics and let them air out.  Both of these oils have purifying & cleansing chemical properties.

Happiness Spray

My two ultimate feel good, get your happy on oils are Douglas Fir & Citrus Bliss.  This is literally happiness in a bottle!  Combine 5 drops Douglas Fir & 5 drops Citrus Bliss in a spray bottle and top with water.  Spray on anything & everything, any time you need it.  Make sure to avoid skin if you'll be outside as citrus oils are UV reactive.  But seriously, go ham with this blend!


After Sun Cooling Spray

This is a blend I used recently on my summer vacation & I have something else to add to it - witch hazel.  Witch hazel is great for the skin and when you add in other skin loving oils like Melaleuca & Lavender you've got a wining combination.  Combine 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Melaleuca, 1 drop Peppermint (you can do more, I just find Peppermint to be very strong) in a spray bottle.  Top with equal parts Fractionated Coconut Oil & witch hazel.
You can either spray right onto the skin or spray on a cotton round and apply.  Applying with a cotton round is easier for the face especially if you've gotten a bit too much sun other wise just do a few quick sprays to cool off.

Chill Vibes Spray

Balance is an oil that I wish was in a roller bottle, a spray bottle....heck I wish I could get a 50 oz bottle of this stuff!  For me this is my zen oil.  Whenever I need a break or I need to really relax I bust this baby out.
Combine 10 drops with water in a spray bottle and spray on your clothes, etc when you need to just relax.  This is a perfect way for me to travel with this oil when I need it quickly.  It really helps me sink into a meditative head space easily.
If you hadn't noticed all of these blends use some of the top 10 oils for travel.  The problem with traveling with a ton of oils means the blends you're gonna make - in your hand, on your pillow, or in your travel diffuser - take up space because you've got to bring them all!  The slim profile of these spray bottles from Got Oil Supplies means they won't take up too much space.  In fact, they will only take up as much space as your roller bottles.  Love it! 
These guys will slip easily into a small make up pouch or pencil case (hello Target Dollar Spot #amirite) so they won't take up space in your bag.  I've even got some labels for you to print at home and cut by hand or with your Cricut or Silhouette machine.  These guys fit perfect on the bottle - the are 1.5 inches wide by .75 inches tall and have a space to write your own blend names in permanent marker.  When you upload the PNG to Cricut Design Space be sure to erase the branding strop at the bottom & size it to 6.75 x 9.25 inches.  I also suggest this waterproof paper from Online Labels to print these guys on.

Now for the coupon code: 
use 516LOVE over on Got Oil Supplies for 10% off your order!  
valid until 9/30/18

There's a ton of quality supplies, containers, etc for your essential oil blending, storing, and sharing needs. I especially love these purple glass bottles that were sent to me for this project because purple is my favorite color!  It is always nice to be inspired by your collections - sometimes plain old amber bottles just don't do it for me.

What are your favorite blends?  What are you going to pick out from Got Oil Supplies? Let me know in the comments!

7.26.2018

App Review // Instasize

Finding, using, and sharing apps is one of my favorite hobbies.  Starting with my iPhone 4 I've loved to download photo editing apps, overly process photos and share them with the world.  That was when Instagram & the power of the smartphone was new.  Today, there's a different story when it comes to the photos we take and edit with our phones - subtle, professional edits that enhance the natural beauty of a photo.  Prior to the age of the smartphone you'd use something like Photoshop to create the perfect photo.  Today that whole game has changed!
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

We're trying harder now to curate the photos we take and there are a ton of apps that can help edit that perfect shot right on your phone - Instasize is one of them!  I was contacted by Instasize to review the full version of their app and share it with you today.  Instasize is an easy way to carefully and subtly enhance your photos as well as create a curated social media presence.


What is Instasize?

Instasize is truly an all in one photo editing app.  The app features a wide range of professional filters & editing tools, the ability to edit both photo & video, pre designed text overlays, 50 fonts to insert your own text, & a collage creator.  Seriously, all in one app!

A premium subscription of $4.99 USD/month offers you access to updates monthly + exclusive, member only tools. 

Information from the iTunes app description here. Download from the Google Play Store here.


What does Instasize do?

In a nutshell, Instasize allows you to curate your social media presence with consistent photo edits & text overlays.   Giving you a complete tool kit to stream line your social feeds in one app, Instasize can be your go to for any size photo you need to post.  At it's core, Instasize can fit a portrait photo into a square canvas, perfect for posting to Instagram.  However this app does so much more:

Photo & Video Editing

First off, there are 40 professional filters for you to choose from to edit both photo and video.  When you load the original size photo/video into the app you'll be editing the original size.  You can either crop the media, work with it at it's original size, or tap the yellow circle in the lower left of the image to shrink it onto a square canvas.
From here you can edit the photo using the filters or the precision edit tools - both options for saturation, brightness, etc and beauty tools to whiten teeth, even skin tone, etc. I think that this app is perfect for portrait or landscape photos.  And by that I don't mean the orientation of the photo but rather editing images/video of people and/or the outdoors!  The flat lays I usually do don't fair well with the filters in this app, I've found.  But I love the way the filters enhance my selfies!

Collage Maker

Another cool feature of this app is that you can create a collage then edit all the photos in the collage at the same time.  Doing this means you'll be able to have a consistent look to each photo rather than the fear that each image may have a different look.  I find this an important feature because of the consistency and the ease of not having to jump between apps.
From the collage maker you can choose different layouts and actually see how your photos will be arranged in each layout prior to choosing the collage.  Then you can edit the spacing between each photo and even add a background, photo, or color around the image.

Social Media Formats

Cropping your media all in the same app is important & Instasize gives you many options to crop your media for various sites.  The only downside I can find is that you're unable to crop in a vertical format - think long form video or stories for Instagram or SnapChat.  In the example below I edit a photo, crop it for a YouTube thumbnail, then add text.
If you import a photo or video at a 9:16 ratio, you can still edit it but you can't crop something like a native camera photo/video to a 9:16 ratio.  This is easily solved by either cropping before or after editing the media in the app.

Preset Font Overlays & Customized Text

If you need a quick graphic, Instasize offers 10 text overly presets.  This is great to be consistent with your branding when you're posting to Instagram or other social feeds.  Use the second text overlay - Finish Line - for a series of posts outlining a process, use the first option - Candy Shop - to announce a sale, & use the Full Moon overlay for a little bit of simplicity.
Your also able to add your own text if you're not fond of the presets.  You can choose from 50 professional fonts - there are really nice sans serif & scrip fonts included!  You may not find your personal branded fonts but you may be able to find something super close.  Get creative with how you add the fonts to your canvas.  The best part is that you can add the text to your videos too!


How it helps you

Because this app is nearly an all-in-one content curation app, Instasize gives you a way to plan, edit, and be consistent with your online presence.  As a blogger, influencer, & content creator you'll have a ton of easy to use tools right at your finger tips.
Another subtle feature of this app is the ability to use the media storage on the homepage of the app to plan your Instagram grid.  While you can't add a caption or store hashtags you can get a visual idea of how your grid may look and then push the photo to Instagram when you're ready.  Easily delete photos you don't plan to use or tap & hold a photo to move it around on the grid.

All in all, Instasize is a great app to create the consistent social feed you desire!  While you can use the app for free upgrading to the monthly subscription will give you the best experience with the app.  So I recommend it.





Want to learn more about how to use Instasize? Check out the Instasize blog here.  Find more iPhoneography tips on my blog here.

What apps do you use in your online branding?  How do you keep a consistent feed?