It’s that time of year again – the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Not only is it the time to score amazing deals, but it’s usually my first look toward fall fashion. Here’s a look at what I have on my wish list this year. I’ve been eying Kate Spade’s Gramercy watch for awhile, so this is the perfect time to snag it in gold! For fall, I love big, cozy sweaters & deeper colors. This olive green one has a little extra interest with a deep V & asymmetrical hem. I also try to take advantage of any chance to get a classic DVF wrap dress at a discount. This hot pink clutch may look a little out of place among the dark colors, but I just can’t resist grabbing a bag in such a fun pink!
I am a people-pleaser by nature & find it very hard to say no to people & opportunities. I find myself involved in many different organizations, in addition to finding time for family & friends. It can be hard to keep all of the balls in the air! It’s easy to become overwhelmed & anxious if I don’t have a good system in place for organizing my schedule & to-do lists. Today I thought that I would share how I organize & plan my week. It’s taken time to discover & fine tune what works for me. My method may not work for everyone, but hopefully you’ll find something to incorporate into your own routine to make keeping yourself on schedule a little easier.
I use a combination of a paper planner & Google calendar. My paper planner is heavy, so it doesn’t go everywhere with me. Every appointment goes on both calendars, so I have access to my schedule regardless of whether I have my paper planner or my phone. I typically take 5 minutes at the end of every day to be sure that all appointments are reflected on both calendars.
I schedule a planning session every Sunday. I used to go through several paper planners every year, searching for the perfect fit. Then I found the Day Designer & I am hooked! I especially love the yearly goal setting section & the online community of support, but more on that in another post!
I begin my planning session by syncing Google calendar and the monthly calendar in my Day Designer. I use a color-coding system for all appointments, so I can easily tell if a category (work, personal, volunteer) is out of balance. I use the “monthly to-do” section to list what my book club is reading for the month & any other notes/reminders for the month. Erin Condren’s customizable event stickers fit perfectly, so I use them for important birthdays & holidays. It’s important to keep your long-term goals in mind when planning for the week, so I love the “goals for the month” section as a daily reminder of my top 3 monthly goals.
Next, I move on to the daily pages. I transfer any appointments to the daily pages. The highlighted time is my workday. I’ve found that highlighting the numbers, rather than blocking out time allows me to add in meetings or appointments. I don’t use all of the boxes in the upper right of each page – I cover “dollars” with a hydrate sticker to track my water intake & I use “don’t forget” for any upcoming activities/events that I need to keep in mind. I try to use “dinner” to meal plan for the week, but I’ve been pretty lax on that recently. Maybe that will be one of my top 3 goals for August. I often use the “download” section to jot down notes, thoughts, etc. each day. There’s also a space for writing down your “gratitude” each day, thought I’ve been falling behind on that too. Another August goal?
I keep a running to-do list in Evernote, so I can jot down tasks whenever I think of them, even if I don’t have my paper planner handy. During my weekly planning session, I transfer the big to-do’s to my paper planner. These are typically tasks that must be accomplished, or completed, on a certain date . I try to spread the big tasks out evenly over the week. Again, I use my color-coding system as an easy way to determine if any category is occupying the majority of my time. It’s all about maintaining balance!
Each morning, I take 5-10 minutes to plan my day. I review my schedule for the day & the previous day’s to-do list to see what tasks were not completed. I prioritize my top 3 to-do’s for each day. These are usually tasks that have a hard deadline, though they sometimes get bumped to the next day if I don’t quite finish. Then, I look to my running to-do list & fill in the other tasks that I hope to accomplish. It’s so satisfying to see a completed checked-off to-do list, so I try to be reasonable about what can be accomplished in a given day. If a task remains unfinished at the end of the day, I simply move it to the next day’s list. I take a few minutes at the end of each day to review what I accomplished & note what I’m grateful for.
And that’s a brief overview of how I keep myself organizing & on schedule! I’m constantly tinkering with the system as I learn more about what works, & what doesn’t. Now, on to the fun part! I don’t decorate my planner as much as some people, I prefer a clean layout, but I do like to add a little pizazz with stickers. Here are some of the fabulous stickers that I use to decorate & make certain to-do’s or appointments stand out. Faye Creates has become one of my most-visited Etsy shops. She has so many adorable options & is constantly coming up with new ones! The hydrate, plan, and dot bar stickers are also from Faye Creates.
**Thanks to Blog Society for the gorgeous title image!**
I wore this look over the weekend to run errands. You may have seen this Market & Spruce top styled with jeans on my Instagram last week. I received the dolman sleeve top in my latest StitchFix and instantly fell in love – it is unbelievably soft and comfy! Pair it with shorts, sandals, and a great tote, and you’re ready for a day of running around town. I added gold jewelry, including my favorite monogram necklace, to finish off the look.
We eat a lot of Mexican food in my house. If possible, Patrick would have chips and salsa with every meal. Over the last year or so, he has perfected his homemade salsa recipe. I love that it’s so flavorful, without setting your mouth on fire. I’m a wimp, so he always sets aside a portion for me, then adds extra jalapeno to his.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 can Rotel
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large jalapeno (diced)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp vinegar
1.5 Tbsp black pepper
Juice from 3 limes
Fresh cilantro to taste
Dump all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend until the tomatoes are pureed. I like a pretty smooth consistency, but you can blend less if you’d like a thicker salsa.
One of the hardest parts of summer style is dressing for the the drastic difference in temperature between indoors and outdoors. It is freezing in my office, year round, and temperatures outside are quickly reaching toward 100, with high humidity. The best trick I’ve found is layering. I usually pair a tank with a cardigan or jacket that I can take off anytime I step outside. This tank, from Loft, is the perfect base layer. I snagged it in every color available! These sandals (lookalikes for the Nudist) are the perfect finish for a versatile summer look.
See it. I have a confession to make…I am not a morning person. At all. I drag myself out of bed every morning. So when I stumbled across Refinery 29’s How to Become a Morning Person, I immediately clicked and poured over the suggestions. While I’m still not sure that anything will magically turn me into a morning person, letting some sunlight into the bedroom first thing does seem to make the morning a bit easier.
Love It. You may have seen my new monogram tote popping up on Instagram. The joke that southern girls will monogram anything holds true – I’m a sucker for a monogram. Barrington Gifts’ Savannah Tote was my birthday gift to myself. It’s roomy enough to hold all of the essentials, plus whatever the day throws at me. It comes in tons of patterns and colors, plus two monogram styles, so you get a bag that is designed just for you.
Want It. How cute are these stackable initial rings from Danielle Stevens? They come in any letter, plus an adorable heart – perfect for a couple or family. I think that stacking your own initials would create a unique, and changeable, monogram.
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with friends and family for a summer celebration. Always a sucker for a theme, here are some of my favorite red, white, and blue picks. Many of the items are on sale now, and who doesn’t love a good deal?
The rains have stopped, the temperature is climbing, and summer is officially here! I think that summer is the perfect time for some light, fun reading. Here’s my summer list, what are you reading?
Topping my list is Candace Bushnell’s newest release, Killing Monica. With her hallmark wit and humor, Bushnell delves into the life of a best-selling author looking to change things up. Pandy “PJ” Wallis is a writer whose novels about a young woman making her way in Manhattan have spawned a series of blockbuster films. But now Pandy wants to attempt something different: a historical novel based on her ancestor Lady Wallis. Her publishers, audience, husband, and her ex-best friend (who plays Monica on the big screen) want her to keep cranking out Monica books. Will Pandy be able to reinvent herself? I can’t wait to find out!
The Girl on the Train has been hailed as the next Gone Girl by the New York Times. I was a huge fan of Gone Girl and psychological thrillers in general. Rachel’s life has recently fallen apart. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning, with a stop at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. And then she sees something shocking. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Told in chapters alternating between Rachel in current time and Megan last year, I’m having trouble putting this one down.
The historical fiction that I read is typically set in Tudor England, but I am super excited about delving into All the Light We Cannot See‘s World War II France. The New York Times bestseller tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. When Marie-Laure and her father flee Nazi occupied Paris, they carry what might be the Natural History Museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In Germany, the orphan Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a special assignment to track the resistance.
Another historical fiction, The Witch of Painted Sorrows is set in the magical 1890s Belle Époque Paris. Sandrine flees her dangerous husband for her grandmother’s Paris mansion, but doesn’t find safety in the City of Lights. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires. But something sinister is altering Sandrine – she’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
My birthday was last week and my friends took me to dinner this weekend to celebrate! We love any excuse to get dressed up and I took full advantage this year. I saw this hot pink Marchesa Notte dress on Rent the Runway awhile back and fell in love with the bright color and sequin details! I paired it with black strappy sandals and some sparkly earrings. The dress was cute, comfy, and a huge hit!
Summer is almost here! Although I tend to be a wimp about the heat and humidity that summer brings, I love the outdoor gatherings that come with it. We spend lots of summer afternoons by the pool or on the lake, so I’ve collected my favorite swimwear trends that are perfect for whatever gathering you have planned.