1.19.2018

5 Ways to Decorate your Planner...Functionally!

How you use your planner is a hot button topic in the planning world.  You can't use stickers, what's they're purpose?  You can't use just pen, that's too boring?  Where's the space to write anything? Where's the space to be creative?  Well...I've got one thing to tell you: how you use or decorate your planner is up to you.  If it works for you, you get to do it!
this post contains affiliate links, please see my full disclosure here.

I've gone through a ton of planning systems over the years.  First, I graduated from a pen only, Mead planner to an A5 filofax, then I got a Happy Planner, then I grabbed up every singe personal size binder I could find, I switched to vertical planning, then I used multiple planners, then I used a traveler's notebook, then I got a memory planner, now I'm in one planner.  Guess what?  By May I might be doing something totally different! (and that is ok!)

Today I want to share with you 5 ways that decor can serve function in your planner!

Simple yet Creative Monthly Layout

In my planner I like to keep the monthly layout simple.  Because the Mini Happy Planner has smaller space in the monthly layout and I personally have a lot to put in there...I keep it simple with pen & highlighters.  Highlighters help add color coding & decor to keep me inspired.  And the Frixion pens mean if something changes I can erase it!  Frixion also makes highlighters...so that is a plus.  To add stickers in, focus on the edges.  Don't let the stickers take up too much real estate but you can still use them!

Make your Routines Colorful

One of the best things about all the Happy Planner Sticker books is that they come with a ton of functional stickers.  The Productivity book (both for the classic & the mini size) is one of my favorites.  I also got these letter stickers from a Student sticker book.  By organizing out our ideal routines onto a planner page we're more likely to be able to conquer the task!  For my cleaning routine I've broken my house up into multiple areas.  I focus on one area a day, then do my morning & evening routines to keep the house in order.  A huge goal this year is to get back to my routine!  As I type this our living room is a wreck!

Fun Icons & To Do Lists

In smaller planners, quick reference icons can help us to see where tasks are assigned quickly.  I like to throw in an icon on check lists or in the daily box so I know when something like the trash needs to go out or when I need to get my yoga on.  Putting to do lists over a few days also keeps me on track with when tasks should be completed.  I usually have beginning of the week tasks and then weekend tasks.  I get to overwhelmed if I assign something to a certain day!

Stamped Habit Trackers

If you're down for a cleaner look - like the simple monthly layout - the planner stamps are a way to keep it sleek but still get creative. There are a ton of planner stamps out there to get creative with.  There's a set from Fun Stampers Journey that includes a set of banners.  When I didn't know what to do with them I used them as a habit tracker!  The best thing about stamps is that you'll never run out of an icon you use.  Stamp it every week for years to come.  I don't know if they are more economical because I find myself still buying them!  (Here's how I try to save money on them!)

Get Inspired

One of my favorite ways to decorate my planner is with the Sticker Cluster.  Most of the time I use this to create inspirational clusters in the lower right had part of my Mini Happy Planner spreads.  These guys inspire me to keep reaching for my goals through the week!  Sometimes pure decoration serves a functional purpose!

Anyway you use your planner - pen only or stickers galore - as long as it's working in the way you need it, the way you are using it is valid.  Some people use planners for tasks lists, some people use them for memory keeping, some people use them for project management, some people use them so their kid actually gets to dance class on Tuesdays.  You do you boo boo!

Wanna find more planner posts?  Check out all the planner related posts on the blog by clicking here.  Want even more planner stuff?  Join the Printable of the Month Club over on my Patreon page $3 a month gets you access to an ever growing library of planner printables.  Planner inserts, journaling cards, die cuts, stickers!  Go ahead and join here.  Can't wait to have you.

xoxo, Moe

1.16.2018

How to Ease the Transition to Cruelty Free

One of my personal goals this year is to make the transition to cruelty free & eco friendly products in my everyday routine.  I plan to switch beauty, skin care, & cleaning products this year.  Making this transition was inspired by a huge realization when I chose my word of the year - Authentic.  Last year while working with the word mindful I discovered a lot about myself and this year I want to work towards implementing certain beliefs into my everyday life.
Moving towards a better awareness of where the items I use in my everyday life come from is something that will help me lead a more authentic life.  When you know better, you do better.  I want to throw a disclaimer out in this post too - I don't plan to go vegan or vegetarian.  While that's a little off of this current topic, it does have to do with the theme of cruelty free.  I plan to be more cognizant of where I source meat from, eating less meat, and going more organic.  Perhaps that is a blog post for another day...but now on to tips for making a cruelty free transition

Decide where you're making changes

The first place is to decide where you're making the changes at in your life.  I'm not here to judge so if you're just choosing one area, like your make up collection, that is a great place to start.  Decide the area and commit to it.  I am going to out there and say that most people are materialistic people...we collect things, we buy new things, and we buy fast things.  Think of fast fashion....or even that app Wish.  You're purchasing something super cheap & therefore you can purchase more of it.  We collect a lot of things (I have a huge make up collection, scrapbook collection, wardrobe, and a back stash of different body sprays and perfumes).  Decide where you're going to make the changes and resolve to cut back your buying.  Get rid of what you're not using - if it's unopened and a friend or family member may like it I encourage passing it on.  If you're sister likes a certain blush and you feel comfortable passing on something that's slightly used....go for that.  I'm not encouraging bad hygiene here but I'm not condoning waste.

Don't get rid of everything all in one go

One, this is going to save you money.  Two, it's going to save your sanity.  First, do a general declutter of the area you plan to transition.  I personally need to go through my large make up collection and get rid of the things I'm just plain not using.  I know that sometimes things like make up can be expensive.  I have a NARS palette that I love but I won't be purchasing anything more from that brand.  Who knows perhaps down the line I'll decide to get rid of it.

But don't just go throwing everything out.  You'll end up with nothing to clean the counters with, nothing to wash your body with, and nothing to do your make up with!  You'll regret having to go out and restocking everything all in one go.  Do your spring cleaning and resolve to buy something better when it is time.

Outline what products you already have

While you're going through a stash of things you already have look up the brands you're using to see if they are cruelty free.  Set aside those products, if you plan to keep using them, as your go to products.  But don't just keep things to keep them.  If you're going through your declutter and find a cruelty free product that you're not really going to use...go ahead and donate it, pass it a long, etc.  In doing this you'll have a beginner list to go through if you need to repurchase something in the short term.

Do your research

To find a sustainable way to keep your resolution of going cruelty free, do your research.  I usually check multiple sites in addition to the brands site.  Believe me, brands can often twist words on their own sites and the words 'cruelty free' don't appear to be very regulated....so any one can use them.  You may find that some websites will say they are cruelty free but may test on animals where it is 'required by law'.  I've found a big red flag is that if a brand is sold in China it isn't cruelty free as China requires animal testing.  I am not going to link any websites here in this post because I haven't found one I 100% follow.  This is all about finding something that aligns with you so my recommendation may not fit in with what you're looking for.  Just cross check a few sites, do your own google searches, etc.  It may also be helpful to find a friend who either is eco friendly/cruelty free or reps a brand that aligns with what you're looking for.  I'll be working with my cousin Leslie (who always seems to jump into things before & pave the way!) to discover more about the brand Pure Haven.  I'll also be working more closely to understand where I can incorporate doTERRA's essential oils into my routine.  

Make a plan

When it comes to my skincare routine and my cleaning supplies there are quite a few things I need.  I know I'll need make up wipes (#lazydays), moisturizer, face wash, spot treatment, face masks, scrubs, etc.  For cleaning I'll need cleaning wipes, toilet cleaner, window/mirror cleaner, dish soap, dish washer stuff, etc.  Once you start laying it all out it can be overwhelming.  But it can help you make a plan for what you'll need to consider replacing.  This can help you do your research!  If you have a list, then you have a plan, then you'll have something to go off of when your dish soap needs replacing.  

Starting something new can be nerve wracking, intimidating, and confusing.  But once you make a resolve, taking it step by step can make it easier.  If you'd like to learn more about going cruelty free and about the Pure Haven brand I'll be hosting an online party with Leslie on January 23rd.

You can join the party here.  If you'd like to join in on a community that supports living a creative and fulfilling life please join the Five Sixteenths | Live Creatively group!

What is one of your goals this year?  What area of your life are you working on?

xoxo, Moe

1.11.2018

What Does Your Best Self Look Like?

We're nearly half way through the January Journaling Jump Start!  Who's excited about how their personal reflection & word planning is going?  Today I wanted to jump off of the second week of prompts which involve planning who we want to be in 2018.  I mentioned in the first JJJS post that I like to focus on how I want to feel versus what I physically/materially want to gain.  I find that makes me more successful.  So I asked myself this question - what does my best self look like?
There is an exercise I heard about somewhere, at some point in time - specific, I know.  Basically I was asked to consider what my best self looked like.  Since I've heard that question, I've done a bit here and there to work with what that person is.  Its about finding words that are positive & encouraging, words that focus on growth, and words that focus on feelings.  It's about finding words to build up confidence and self worth.

It's not about self deprecating words, words that may have a mentally negative impact, or words that tear you down.  If you feel uninspired by the words you're using to describe the best you or feel that you can't achieve that version of yourself......try using different words!  For example - my best self is skinnier, prettier, has less debt, has better skin.  Those words don't inspire action in me.  They make me feel that I am failing.

Its about positive, actionable words.  Your best self does the actionable things towards those ends.  My best self does 10 minutes of yoga in the AM, eats her veggies everyday, maintains her skin care routine, saves $200 each month.  These are things that are actionable and positive.  These things make me feel successful because I can take action towards those ends each day, week, & month.  

This is sort of a hard concept to explain, but I hope it's made a bit of sense!  Focusing on the feelings we want to attract to ourselves will give us the inspiration to be those things.  Its all about raising our thoughts to meet where we want to be.  So if the best you does 10 minutes of yoga in the morning, drinks more water, and eats her veggies....then the best you is also working on her fitness.  If the best you purchases one coffee a week, brings her lunch to work, and saves $200 a month.....the best you is also reducing her debt and in control of her finances.  The key is to remember how these actions make you feel.  You feel more energized, you feel less money stress, etc.  How do these small things affect the big things in your life?  Little by little, small things add up to big changes.  And you have the whole year to see the shift!



That is one thing I need to remember - doing yoga, drinking water, and eating well makes me feel awesome and not lethargic & lazy.  I fall out of routine easy because I don't have the end in mind when focusing on the small things!  So during the January Journaling Jump Start make sure you're thinking about positive & actionable things and you're keeping the end feeling in mind.  Once we get to Week 4 and start to make weekly action steps toward using our word in 3 areas of our life, these little things will be super important!

It's also about being true to yourself.  I know a lot of people would suggest not to have limiting beliefs....but I think honesty with yourself is the best policy.  An example I can think of is with my blogging/social media goals.  If I try to do all the right blogging things - ebooks, newsletters, scheduled social media posts, a curated instagram feed, viral pinterest posts, etc etc - I get burnt out.  It feels inauthentic, overwhelming, and I don't feel successful.  With that being said, if something makes you feel unsuccessful at a goal, shift your actions, and be authentic to yourself.  You can do anything you want to....you just may have to do it your own way.  (I feel that a lot of people don't share this...they say 'this is how you do it.' and then you feel down because you aren't doing it that way.  I will be the first to tell you that I am a bit slower to catch on to things and I always have to modify.  There is nothing wrong with that!)

What small actions in your life make you feel good?

xoxo, Moe

1.09.2018

3 Online Services You Should Totally Be Paying For

There is something I've been saying to my friends for quite a while now - we are living in the future.  I'm serious!  There is so much futuristic/sci-fi stuff going on right now.  Our lives are nearly entirely online, we carry small computers in our pockets, we pay with these small computers......I mean we're living in the future!  Because of this there are three online services I think you should totally be paying for.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

Google Drive

I use Google Drive as my cloud storage.  I started using the 15 GB that is free with your gmail address but I found that I really prefer that storage system to something like the Apple iCloud.  My devices include Apple & Windows products so I like that I can cross between both of them.  Because part of my online cloud storage was already tied up in the 15 GB, I decided to just jump to 100 GB for $1.99 a month.  Apple's iCloud is 5 GB free, I believe, then 50GB for 1.99.  The terabyte option between the two is comparable at $9.99 but since I don't need that much I'm not considering that tier.  For blogging, I usually take photos on my phone, edit them & add text, upload to my Google Drive from my phone, then access the photos while writing the posts on my computer.  I love that I can go between all of my devices.

Amazon Prime

This is just a no-brainer!  Amazon Prime makes it so easy to purchase things you may not be able to find locally and get it quickly.  I also love that you can save money on somethings you can find locally.  I have a dash button for my HP ink because it is significantly cheaper from Amazon than from Office Max.  If you can wait 2 days then you can save a butt ton.  I don't use Amazon Video as much as I could, and honestly it's not really a selling point for me.  I've watched a few things a year - like American Horror Story & Rupaul's Drag Race.  But mostly it is my last resort for entertainment.  I do however like the Amazon Photo storage included in the Prime membership. I know I said I use Google Drive above, but it is more organized than my Amazon Photo.  I have it set to back up the photos on my phone when connected to wifi so I don't have to worry about deleting the 100 pictures of my dog.  I know I could do the same thing with Google Drive.....but I prefer it with Amazon Photo!  Plus, Amazon Photo will alert you to memories which is cool when you have vacation photos uploaded.

Shipt

This is a newer membership to me but I already love it.  Shipt is a grocery delivery service that just recently entered my area.  It has also been bought by Target and I think its in the works to be a same day sort of delivery service for in store Target products....so as a planner girl, you know that makes me happy.  I love Shipt because I don't have to go to the grocery store.  I can't fill up an Amazon Pantry box and Shipt gives me access to fresh things.  Having my groceries delivered has been a sanity saver because I can't express how much I despise the grocery store.  I mean, I really, really do.  I can choose to have my groceries delivered at nearly any time of day - 2am and need groeceries? Shipt!  There is a $35 minimum for an order or you're charged a fee & the annual plan is $99.  I haven't found that I've spent more on groceries - I usually shop the sale section first and I can link my rewards/loyalty card from Meijer as well.  Since I can't just run out (well, I could) I have to plan my meals better and Shipt is super helpful for that.  I buy what I need for 2 weeks of meals and I'm done.  I can also purchase general merchandise if needed.  So I love that!


These three things are my top 3 futuristic, life simplifying, and believe it or not I'm gonna say money saving online services.  I think the cost is well worth it for each service!  One reason I pay for anything over choosing the free option is that it is time saving & more organized.  So rather than lugging around an external hard drive (that I wouldn't be able to have access to with my phone), Google Drive makes my dependence on using files across my devices easier.  Amazon Prime saves me money on ink and it also saves me time for things like gifts.  Friends/family can make lists to share and I can pick out exactly what they want for Christmas.  The bonus is Amazon Video & Photo.  So the fee you're paying is at least 3 services in one.  The convenience of Prime shipping makes the scatters use of Video & the random use of the Photo option well worth the price.  I would like to spend more time with family, more time blogging, and less time in line.  So I will gladly pay for Shipt! Really all I asked for was curbside pick up.....but my Meijer doesn't offer that.  The only downside to Shipt is that when its snowing outside or the weather is bad I'm not going to ask someone to try to drive in it just to get my groceries.  So the winter has put a damper on it....but I'm still all about it!!

What online services do you pay for?  How do they help you in your daily routine?
xoxo, Moe

1.01.2018

January Journaling Jump Start // Find your 2018 Word of the Year

Something I've been doing for quite a few years now is choosing a word to work into my life for a year.  Some years I choose it and then forget it, some years it ends up being more prominent.  Last year was the first year I did Ali Edwards One Little Word and that really changed my relationship with my word.  Truth be told I only completed 1/3 of the prompts but that was enough to help me live mindfully in 2017.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
This project helped me incorporate my word into my everyday life.  It allowed me to work long enough with it that Mindful naturally became an important thought for me each day!  This year, my word for 2018 came to me rather early.  I chose Authentic because, during my mindful journey, I began to develop beliefs and to see my current beliefs evolve & change.  I realized that in some ways I was deceiving myself by believing one thing but taking no action towards it in my life.  In fact, the 7 of Swords showed up rather early in 2017 and that is what inspired me to choose the word Authentic.  I especially love the 7 of Swords in the After Tarot because it shows self deception!  You think you're getting away with something....but you're gonna get tripped up!

I do hope to do a blog post on my word, but this post is not that post!  Today I want to share with you a journaling activity through January that can help you to discover your word of the year and take action towards it.

What is January Journaling Jump Start?

JJJS is a 4 week, 28 day long prompt a day journaling project designed to help you find your word of the year.  This doesn't have to be done in January either.  Any time is a great time to change it up and get focused!

Like I mentioned earlier, your word for the year should be something you actively incorporate into your life.  2017 was the first year I did that and it was great!  But finding ways to do so...or even finding a word that resonates with you can be hard.  The way I find my words is through a little bit of mental reflection on who I am and where I want to be.  I focus on how I want to feel in the coming year.  Personally, I don't focus on something physically I can gain - a new house, a new car, a new waistline....etc.  Focusing on how we want to feel is the best way, I think, to make sure we can shift our thinking and in turn achieve our goals.  So this journaling activity is designed to help you reflect, plan, research, and then set actionable goals in three areas of your life!
The first week is about reflection.  What was 2017 for you?  What do you want 2018 to be for you?  What did you start?  What did you finish?  It is about bringing together your accomplishments from last year and pushing your successes into the next.

The second week is about planning.  Where do you want to see improvement this year?  What inspired you last year?  What do you want to embrace in 2018?  What do you want to release?  Discover the best you that you can be in 2018 and make a plan to get there.

The third week is about inspiration & research.  Find quotes that inspire you & words you'd like to use to describe yourself.  Pinterest is a great way to find amazing quotes.  I start a board full of quotes that inspire me as I try to decide on my word.  At the end of this week you can look at your quotes & start to see a pattern.  What word can sum up these quotes?

In the last week, begin to outline how you'll incorporate the word you've discovered in the three improvement areas you chose the second week!  Finally begin to make weekly action steps so that you can incorporate your word into your daily life.




How can I get started?

While this is not a group challenge with a community behind it - honestly, I've never really felt those accountability groups helped me...they always made me feel less than for not doing things on time or in a certain way - I encourage you to download the journaling cards & the weekly planner layout below.
If you're down for something like a mini album, go ahead and do that!  Use the journaling cards in any pocket albums you do or do what I'm doing - working in my new vision planner.  I am currently using a Happy Planner size pages for my vision planner (about 7 x 9 inches) this year.  I assembled some printed graph paper on Mini Happy Planner discs and put it in Websters Pages Composition planner cover.  I also threw in some of the happy planner pocket pages because that's how I like to do my OLW stuff too.  Doing a journaling activity like this, I think, is best done on planner pages so that you have them all together.  Print out the weekly planner pages, date them, and get your word jump started!  


You don't have to follow this up with another Word of the Year project, but I'd highly suggest it.  I plan on doing One Little Word again this year even if I only complete 3 months worth of prompts!  I do hope you are able to find a word this year that will help you.  Make sure to follow along on Instagram as I share with you how I've filled out the January Journaling Jump Start prompts!  Join the Five Sixteenths | Live Creatively group for more journaling inspiration.

What word did you choose?  How do you incorporate it into your daily life?

xoxo, Moe