my september goals

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hey guys what’s up (the ceiling ofc)? time for the obligatory apology/explanation about how I’ve just been way to busy to post but IMMA DO BETTER and yeah.

but I’m definitely going to take advantage of our TWO (!!) days off because of Dorian and hopefully schedule lots of posts. fingers crossed 🤞

anyway it’s time for the monthly goals post yay! I’m not going to review August because I’m 99% sure I didn’t accomplish any of my goals. oops.

this month I’ll do better (LIES)

Continue reading “my september goals”

My Plum Paper Planner: Thoughts

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How has your past week been? Mine was good, but busy as usual. This week, I’m going to share my thoughts on my Plum Paper Planner (this is my third month using it). I’m really excited about this post!

Watch the video below for a flip-thru of my planner (the meat of the post, honestly!)

 

 

 

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Do I still like it?

If you read my initial review post, you will know that I gave it a 4.8/5 stars.

Here was my original criteria (with comments in purple):

  1. Pretty Has a nice cover- looks nice enough to have on desk. Yes! My planner cover looks great still, so this one is the same.
  2. Durable Not going to break or fall apart, will stay clean and won’t rip. Yeah… not so much. I’m pretty careful with my planner, but the plastic “mat” is really gross (but I haven’t tried cleaning it yet) and the pocket fell out. However, the other pages have stayed in (even the tabs, which I’m constantly pulling), and the binding is still fine. 
  3. Inexpensive I don’t have tons of money, so under $50 was my goal. Was it worth the money? I’m going to say… YES! 
  4. Good Size Doesn’t take up lots of room, but has enough room to write. I’ve been able to fit all of my assignments in perfectly, and it fits in my drawer neatly. 
  5. Customizable Something that I can personalize to fit my needs and that doesn’t have extra pages I don’t need. Though I don’t actually like some of the categories I chose myself, I have been able to block them out with my gold brush pen.

so i’m going to say that….

the plum paper planner IS worth it!!!

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A Peek at my Book spread:

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One of these photos was taken on the 3rd and the other on the 8th. Can you guess which is which of course you can?

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September Review & August Goals

 

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As is my custom at the beginning of each new month (that sounds so weird), I’m going to do a review of how September went and go over my goals for October!

September Review #1

Ooh, this one is lots of fun! I have quite a few photos that I took in September, so buckle down and enjoy the ride 🙂

 

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September Review #2 (1)

August Review + September Goals

Calico Critters Photoshoot

A non-expert’s overview of Bible Journaling

How I write my blog posts

September Review #2 (2)

Goals from September:

  • Post 4 times on C & C ✔- I did this one! Check the “Posts this Month” section in this post to see what they were!
  • Post 4 times on QTE ✖ Nope! I’m actually taking a (hopefully temporary) break from QTE because I’ve been majorly busy. Hopefully next month I’ll have news along these lines to share with y’all- I have something really exciting coming up!
  • Send out a Monday email on the C & C mailing list twice✖ Nope! However, if you’re on the mailing list, you did get an email explaining some of the new changes 🙂
  • Participate in a challenge/giveaway on another blog ✖ No… If you’re hosting a giveaway or challenge on your blog, please let me know. I love participating in things like that !
  • Start using my school schedule ✔ Yup!! I did this one, but I changed up my school schedule just a bit.

September Review #2 (3)

Next week’s post is all about the Planner- YAY, but for now, I’m going to give y’all a little peek into my planner for October!

 

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^ My adorable reading log. I’m writing this on the 3rd, so I’ve already added some fun books!

I know this is blurry and oh so behind-the-scenes, but this is reality when I was setting up my planner. Plus, if you read my How I write my blog posts post, you’ll recognize what’s up on my computer screen!! I really like this photo, which is weird because it’s really bad! But I love the reality of it 🙂

September Review #2 (4)

  • Start using the mailing list again- send out emails on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th (Mondays)
  • Use Habit tracker in planner
  • Use reading log in planner
  • Participate in a challenge/giveaway on another blog

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Thanks for reading! What are your goals for October? Did you finish everything you planned to do in September?

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How I write my blog posts

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Have you ever wondered how I write my blog posts? It’s definitively not one size fits all, but my current method works well for me.

Planning

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This step might seem minor, but it’s actually very important! About a month in advance, I pick the posts for the next month from a list that I keep of things I’d like to post. Then, I add them to an excel sheet that I keep (excel is like sheets for google) going.

I used to use monday.com for this step (just because I had a 30 day free trial) but it’s expensive if you want to keep using it, so I just decided to use an excel sheet.

Here’s an example of my excel sheet for June, July, and August:

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Once it’s added to the excel document, I open a google docs and start planning the post. For example, in my bible journaling post, I listed all the supplies I would include and found links and prices for all of them. Most of the time this is just a simple bullet list of what I want to include in the post (for some posts, I don’t even do this, like a photography post).

Photos

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I try to include photos in all my posts, even if I grab them from Unsplash (like the one above). If I need to actually take photos with my camera, I do that, but if I’m getting the photos online, I pick the one’s I plan to use. Then I add EVERY SINGLE photo that will be in the post to an empty draft. This includes my “Hello” Photo, signature, and dividers.

Writing

 

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This step is pretty self explanatory: actually writing the post! This includes typing captions for photos, and actually building a post. I generally do this in 1-4 stages (depending on how much work it is).

Then, I schedule the post! I write my posts about 1-2 weeks before they go live, which relives me of stress. For some posts that are more personal and need to be written closer to when they go live, I try to prep as much as possible ahead of time.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my blog post planning+preparing process (triple points for alliteration)!

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How to be productive when you’re not motivated

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Today I’m going to be sharing some tips for being productive when you’re not motivated. This has always been a struggle for me, so when I found some solutions I knew I wanted to share then with y’all so that you would know what to do!

  1. Ask yourself: Why don’t I feel motivated?

There’s a wide spectrum of reason on why you’re not motivated. It might be that you simply don’t enjoy doing the task, or it could be possible that you have too much on your plate. Whatever it is, there is a fairly simple solution. If you don’t enjoy the task- make it enjoyable! One idea is to provide yourself with a reward for completing the task- maybe 5 minutes of social media, 10 minutes to read a book, or even simply a break to have a healthy snack. This question is essential because once you know why you don’t feel motivated you can remedy it.

  1. Put away media.

This one is absolutely essential if you just feel unmotivated. It’s easier to scroll through social media that to sit down and complete tasks, even if the task is something you enjoy. Turn the power of all of your devices and turn off all of your notifications. You should probably make some way for emergency phone calls to come through, just in case.

  1. Eat a healthy snack.

When I don’t feel motivated, I’m ready to munch on things like chips and sweets. Aside from the fact that those foods are unhealthy, they’re not going to help with the motivation issue, I promise! If you’re feeling unmotivated, try making a smoothie with some nuts and greek yogurt, plus some fresh fruits/veggies to make it even healthier. I find that taking the time to make and drink my smoothie gives me a break (which helps too) and gives me much-needed energy. Fresh fruits and vegetables also help with this.

  1. Get moving

Sometimes you’ve just been sitting too long, or you haven’t stretched all day. That is the time to shut off your screen, close your planner, and take a quick walk. It probably wouldn’t be a great time to do an elaborate workout because that would take more time and you probably wouldn’t enjoy it very much. A walk is relaxing and peaceful.Try taking one next time you feel unmotivated.

  1. Make it easy to do

During my research for this post, I came across an interesting sentence: “It’s hard not to do something when everything you need is staring you in the face.” The post was talking about grouping the items and placing them in a place where you’re bound to see them- maybe on top of the TV remote or your phone, next to your alarm clock in the morning, or even where you put your purse when you get home. For example, if you want to start making a smoothie every morning, you can gather every single ingredient you need and put it on the kitchen counter. That way, it’s so easy, even easier than making a frozen waffle for the umpteenth day in a row.

  1. Eat a frog.

While this statement is probably true, I wouldn’t recommend eating a live frog… ever! However, doing the hardest/worst/least enjoyable thing on your to do list first I do recommend. The first task you do should be the hardest, and then you’ll fly through the rest of them.

  1. Set a timer

If you’re trying to accomplish an especially long task, don’t try to do it in one sitting. One idea is to work on your task for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. You have enough time to check social media as a reward, or even better get a drink of water and make a smoothie. After three repeats of 25 + 5, take a 30 minute break.

  1. Work in a space you enjoy

Whether this is in a coffee shop, at your own desk, or under a tree outside, this really does help. A change of scenery always gives me motivation, it’s really helpful!

Hopefully these tips will help you if you’re struggling with this as well. Goodbye for now!

Preparing for the school year// 8 tips and tricks

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I can’t believe that summer is coming to a close already! My brothers start school on Monday, but luckily I still have a few more weeks since I start on the 28th. To help you prepare for that day, whenever it is for you (comment when you start school below) I decided to give you guys a few tips!

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NOTE: I tried to make this tips applicable to any school situation, whether you go to public, private, online or home school (I know there are way more, okay!! Just a few of the main ones), so hopefully they will be applicable to your situation!

 

 

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This one is SUPER important, no matter what your school situation is. Even if you can’t control exactly what happens during your school day, you can still make a schedule/routine for your homework time, before school time, and after school time. And if you can control what happens during your school day, DO IT! Making a detailed plan helps you stay on track. Don’t forget to schedule breaks into your time too, however.

I generally like to make routines and schedules, because you have to accept the fact that there WILL be distractions, and there will be things that keep you from doing your work right on schedule. I would recommend giving yourself some buffer when you make your schedule. A good tip is to double the amount of time you think it will take, but that doesn’t always work out. Maybe 10-15 minutes of buffer is all you need.

QUICK TIP: Start implementing your schedule 2 weeks before you’ll actually start using it. If you’re used to sleeping in during summer like me (but I call sleeping in 8AM) than this is essential. To keep you awake, maybe watch a new show or listen to a new soundtrack that you haven’t listened to before.

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This isn’t absolutely essential but it does help a lot. Try to find your teacher’s email on your school’s website, go to back to school night (do they even have that past elementary school??), or send a letter to your school with your teacher’s name on it. I like to make it short and sweet because you don’t want to take up too much of your teacher’s planning time. In it, you should introduce yourself and ask a couple questions about the class.

QUICK TIP: When you introduce yourself, don’t just talk about your personality. One thing you can do is tell your teacher about your history with the subject (is it one of your favorites? Do you do well or not so well? Do you not like this subject?) Be real with your teacher. It’s always better if you can tell her/him instead of them having to figure it out.

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This will make you so much more motivated to start the school year. Here’s a few cute and useful supplies that you actually need!

  1. Plum Paper Planner
  2. Colorful mechanical pencils
  3. Plain binders + cute diy covers
  4. Colorful pencil pouch
  5. New art supplies you had your eye on
  6. Pilot G2 pens in ALL THE COLORS
  7. The amazing Pigma Micron (Sakura brand) pens

You could also grab some notebooks, but I recommend binders and writing your notes on notebook paper. I like how you can add and remove things and they last way longer, too.

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Okay, I admit it. This is mostly for fun. If you haven’t grabbed a cute planner yet, do that! Then, add in all of your classes and activities. Make your planner all ready to go for the first day of school! If you blog, then add in blog posts or anything like that for you. You don’t want to have to prepare your planner the night before school starts, so do it now!

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A couple weeks before school starts, make some outfits that you’d like to wear. Take pictures of them, and viola! You can put your lookbook in a special album on your phone/computer, you can add magnets and put it on a whiteboard in your closet, you can make a Pinterest board for them, you can make a poster of them, the possibilities are ENDLESS. Next time you’re wondering what to wear, you have a bunch of outfits already prepped!

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This is really helpful! You can make a list on your computer and print it out or hand letter a cute list that has ideas for easy, quick, and healthy meals and snacks. That way you know exactly what to have. You could even put the amount of time it takes from start to finish, including eating, so that you can choose something that fits into your time frame.

QUICK TIP: Prep snack baggies of veggies or something else that’s healthy to make it even easier that opening a bag of chips. When you have healthy goodies prepped beforehand, you’re more likely to eat healthier. Awesome, right?

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This can be as simple as printing out some cute artwork and organizing your desk, but it is so helpful on the first few days to have a comfy, clean, and cute space to do your work. Whether it’s your desk, locker, reading nook, or homework area, this will make a big impact! You’ll feel more motivated to get things done, and who doesn’t want that?

QUICK TIP: Print out cute seasonal decor from Pinterest or something of the sort. You can spend one afternoon making loads of decor pieces, then store them somewhere. For each holiday, simply hang up the decor you already have prepared. Of course this isn’t essential, but it’s so much fun!

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This only takes a few minutes, but learning some new cute do’s will help so much in the mornings. You can also practice makeup looks. Simple but SO helpful!

QUICK TIP: Make a hairstyles or makeup lookbook as well and hang it up in your bathroom or vanity.

 

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Hopefully these tips will help you out. I’m certainly not an expert but I will be implementing these tips in my own life!

Also: I used a lot of Watermelon Script (font) in this post. Do you think it conflicts with the blog design + different fonts? Please let me know below.

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Review: Plum Paper Planner

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Hi everyone!

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I have been searching for a really good planner for a while. This is my criteria for a ‘good planner’:

  1. Pretty Has a nice cover- looks nice enough to have on desk.
  2. Durable Not going to break or fall apart, will stay clean and won’t rip.
  3. Inexpensive I don’t have tons of money, so under $50 was my goal.
  4. Good Size Doesn’t take up lots of room, but has enough room to write.
  5. Customizable Something that I can personalize to fit my needs and that doesn’t have extra pages I don’t need. 

Those were the 5 main things I was looking for in a planner.

Here are some of the brands that I looked at on my planner search and why I did not choose them.

Erin Condren:

This was too expensive, and I was looking for an academic planner, and they only have 6 month options for that.

Happy Planner:

Great pricing, but I don’t want something that I have to set up.

 

Those are just a couple of the many options that I considered.

I searched practically everywhere. I was looking at reviews of EC planners when I stumbled across one review that compared the EC planner with another planner- the PP (Plum Paper) planner. The blogger compared them and marked the PP planner with a hands-down win. Intrigued, I googled ‘Plum Paper Planner’ and read many other great reviews. I checked out their site (it’s gorgeous!)  and fell in love with their planners.

One thing: There are SO many covers!!! I changed mine at least 12 times, then placed my order so that I wouldn’t have a chance to change it 14 more times, lol. Their covers are SO pretty and personalized online, now to see if they are the same in person!

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Guide to Format

Basically, what I’m going to do is take my criteria and divide it up into sections. At the beginning, there will be an unboxing video! Check out the whole flip thru on my YouTube channel!

Christina and Camera YOUTUBE LINK

 

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Criteria 1: Pretty

Is the Plum Paper pretty?

Let’s check and see…

 

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The cover  is on point and it’s SO pretty! Camera can not capture how gorgeous the cover really is.

For this one, I’m giving it a 5/5. The Plum Paper Planner is beautiful!

 

Criteria 2: Durable

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The Plum Paper planner has great plastic covering on the front and the back covers, which protects them wonderfully. Aside from that, the cover is very durable itself, the paper is thicker than I expected, and the spine looks like it would stay in place for quite a while.

For this category, the Plum Paper again gets a 5. I’m seeing a trend here…

 

 

Criteria 3: Inexpensive

My total for the cost was $36. This included the extra fee for personalizing the inside (the cover is no extra cost) and also for making the planner 12 months instead of 6! I didn’t purchase any extras, but if I had, I definitely could have stayed in budget.

Again, a 5. The whole Plum Paper store is very affordable.

 

 

Criteria 4: Good size

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Sorry for the awful, behind the scenes-y, photo ^

My planner was not very thick, which was welcomed. I don’t want it to be heavy! It also is the perfect size. Plum Paper currently offers 3 sizes, but not every type of planner is available in them all. The size that I selected, the 5 by 9, has the most options.

This one gets a 4 :(. I wish that they had more options in all of the sizes, but the thickness is great!

 

 

Criteria 5: Customizable

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As you can see from this week in the Plum Paper Planner, I was able to customize the headings and change them to:

To DO

Quizzes and Tests

Math

Omnibus

Science

Writing

Spanish

Blog

Other

Fitness

This gets a 5! The plum paper planner is very customizable. I didn’t even customize it as much as I could have!

 

And the Plum Paper total average number of points is: 

 

 

 

 

4.8!

4.8 points out of 5 is pretty great! My criteria was pretty hard, too.

 

Go buy yourself a Plum Paper planner! Here is the link to their store. Plum Paper is giving C & C readers a 10% off discount of your purchase of $30 or more, so check that out!

 

 

Thanks for reading! Comment below what planner you’re using!

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Note: Plum Paper gave me a 15% off discount to blog about my planner. If you click the link above, I will receive $10 in credit. I am in no way trying to hide this from y’all, and it doesn’t make a difference in your shopping experience. Also: If I do for some reason get any referral credit, I will be spending it for a giveaway!