Research & Getting Organized

Research Getting Organized

I am a Pinterest addict. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?

Ever since I cinched a coveted invite sometime in 2010 or 2011 (I want to say it was just before Christmas 2010 – I was pinning wedding things and I wasn’t even engaged yet!), I have spent an extraordinary amount of time doing nothing more than perusing that which someone, somewhere, thinks is cool. Like all things in life you must wade through a great deal of garbage to find anything of value. Gigantic shock there, right? But there are gems. And it seems easier to find them on Pinterest than anywhere else. Google search anyone?!

Lately my guilty pleasure of a time waster is all about finding paper planner organization tips as well as study and college tips. The last time I was in school I used Mead single subject notebooks to take notes. Needless to say with the prevalence of laptops and iPads and the like note taking has evolved. Heck I take notes in meetings at work with my iPad so I’m not delusional about it in the slightest.

And digital textbooks you can rent?! Textbooks on Amazon for cheap? Fantastic! I still can recall the $150 biology book I had to purchase new (no used available) and was only able to resell for $20. This was 1999 I might add, so $215 and $28 in 2014 respectfully. What a joke.

Everything has changed and I am rusty. And it has been interesting reading about it from the eyes of traditional-aged college students. They have such fascinating ideas for things I never considered, not at their age and not now as an old lady of 33. The very reason I love the internet and what it is capable of! They don’t call me the Google Queen at work for nothing (and yes, they really do call me the Google Queen – I Google anything I want to know more about)!

But researching study and note taking tips was a natural side-trip from researching paper planners. I know myself well enough to know that I need one once more. I used one for years and years once upon a time; a smart phone “cured” me of that. But 2 school courses plus bills plus a multitude of other things (like truly sucking at grocery shopping and blowing more money than necessary) has enlightened me to the fact that I fail at using my iPhone as a planner and need to start carrying a paper version. Besides I like the slight “scrapbook”-like quality that results when you pour your entire life into a dead tree planner. It is definitely much easier to keep track of when something happened, where, etc.

So I did a lot of Pinterest research (and YouTube video watching) to figure out what paper planner would work best for me. One benefit of attending school later than the norm, I won’t waste money on things I don’t need or want and I know exactly what works best for me.

My first inclination, of course, was an Erin Condren planner. So much has been written or videoed about this planner that I won’t add any addition commentary. I love the pretty colors, the layouts, the ability to snap things into it without it being a binder (I hate binder planners; Filofax was eliminated immediately). But I truly hated the additional modules I would never use on each page and the day schedule layout. I don’t organize my day on morning, afternoon and night. I’m a list maker and would rather it just come in a way that works for me without a lot of additional add-ons needed. The large size certainly didn’t help.

Incidentally, my list making is what stopped me from picking up an Arc Notebook as well. I love the disks but I didn’t want to spend $50 and print out my own agenda pages (I dislike their daily layouts as well). I wanted it clean but colorful, simple, and easy.

It was then that I stumbled upon Personal Planner. Colorful layouts you design and it comes packaged neatly in a spiral notebook? Sign me up. I was able to design it exactly the way I wanted. Total win.

I found loads of reviews for them, just not very many good ones. It looks like they peppered the lifestyle/mommy/organization bloggers to get the word out about themselves a few months back. Too bad I read and/or saw very few objective, complete, reviews unlike with Erin Condren (who has done the same thing). So be it.

Regardless, my planner will be arriving later this week. Hopefully…I ordered it 2 weeks ago and it takes a bit of time to custom print and receive. I’m planning on doing a full video review then. I have Vlogged so rarely that I might as well do one.

Until then it’s back to Pinterest for a bit more organization porn!

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Witnessing Life From the Sidelines

While I was setting this blog up and adding all the bits and pieces that make it functional and interesting I took the time to update my Goodreads book selections. I get totally lazy about updating it and have to catch up. In my defense I only read a book every few days at best and so updating slips my mind.

Originally I had challenged myself to reading 52 books, 1 a week, for 2014. Sometime around March I discovered that that was not going to happen. I naturally like the 800 page books and I just can’t read 52 of those. I am a fast reader but that ‘s a bit too much. So I have altered my goal down to 40. So last night I checked on my status of where I was in the challenge and update the ones I had read. I’m 2 behind in case anyone cares.

Instead I was hit by something I had not anticipated. I encountered the reading goal/challenge for the year of an internet & Facebook friend. She hasn’t read any books towards her goal of 25. Instead I am reading daily updates of her husband’s on her Facebook page. She is currently losing her battle against cancer and is in hospice. She will never read another book.

Nothing hits you like that information will. And witnessing this from the internet sidelines has been painful. I can only imagine what those that love her and care about her most must be going through. I have lost lots of loved ones for various reasons but no one I have personally known passed slowly like this.

So here’s to the thought that life moves on, that everything keeps happening and you must embrace what you have today. You may not have a tomorrow.

That is why I am writing, that is why I am doing. I have had enough of the sidelines to last me my lifetime.

Back To Finish My Degree

I am in both an unusual and yet totally normal spot in life.

I am going back to college at the ripe “old” age of 33.

I have finally decided that my piss poor 1 year of college (which I half failed I might add) is not enough. Not anymore. My resume is very sorry-looking!

And so last week I took the first steps into becoming a college student once again. I did rather well on my placement testing, except for math (Algebra was much too long ago). I placed nearly perfectly (1 question missed I’m sure!) on reading and just a bit less on grammar. At least I have educated English skills!

And so I registered for English Comp 1 as well as Information Systems & Literacy (basically an intro to computers course required as a prerequisite). At this time, excepting a change of opinion due to course load and the like, I am going back for an Information Technology degree with an emphasis on Web Development. I am attending online courses, at least for this quarter, at my local community college with the idea to transfer to a 4-year in the future. Perhaps. I’d like to focus on the Associates for now.

I’m ever so slightly scared. I am ever so slightly worried. I won’t lie. This is going to be an adventure. Care to come with me?

Oh hi there…I may have a dress to share…

Hi there.

So, um, this is awkward.

It’s been awhile. How ya been? Yep, yep, me to. Oh what have I been doing? A little of this, a little of that. I’ve re-blogged a bunch of stuff on my Tumblr. I’ve been using Twitter and Instagram. I’ve posted a bunch on Facebook.

I went on vacation – twice! I visited my mom and other relatives in the Colorado Rockies in August and then just 3 weeks ago my husband and I went to Washington (state) and visited his family. Speaking of which I fell in love with the coast! Seriously the most amazing smell on the planet. I was already in love with wet pine and cedar throw in salt spray from the beach and it could not have been more perfect. And Seattle was amazing. If I can figure out a way to get my husband to move there I would.

I can’t explain why I disappeared. That’s not true. I have reasons and can explain it. I’m just not sure I am comfortable sharing them yet. I was told by several people I should either start writing and posting again or post a good-bye so that you readers would have closure. Honestly I couldn’t. I didn’t want to close that door but I had an extremely difficult time opening the door and going through it one way or another. I had a lot to struggle with.

Then a couple weeks ago eShakti emailed me and I saw it as an opportunity to force myself to do something. Anything. It was a difficult step that took me a few days to decide on. But I finally decided to agree to the review of this BEAUTIFUL dress. As always I am deeply in love with this company. Deeply. That will never change. I own LOTS of eShakti clothing. Seriously. I buy something new every couple of months. It’s all very well made, a perfect fit with custom measurements and quickly made (about 2 to 3 weeks from order to receipt depending on the item). I have no complaints and will continue to order from them.

Of course now the dress is out of stock (and really its a Spring or Summer dress in weight anyhow) but everything remains the same with this company. Amazing to order from and a great selection of some serious cute items! But the best part? POCKETS! All dresses should have pockets and I think nearly every single one comes with pockets. Nearly. Genius!

Now had I to customize this dress over again I would not have gotten the neckline I did. Too easy to show a bra strap with this one and honestly I have big breasts – I have serious bra straps. It happens but I can work around them in the future. The addition of the sleeves however was a great idea. I’m glad I went for those. Again being able to customize the dress is amazing. Everything is exactly what I would like.

If anyone would like a referral code (you get a $30 gift certificate instead of the standard $25) let me know and I can email you the link. Oh and BONUS they are running a sale right this moment! Do it!
eShakti Dress Review - 11/20/13
eShakti Dress Review - 11/20/13
eShakti Dress Review - 11/20/13
eShakti Dress Review - 11/20/13
dress: c/o of eShakti – Lace Overlay (November 2013)
Nude patent pumps: Payless (December 2012)
Gray faux pearl imaginary necklace: Kohl’s (April 2013)

eShakti provided a dress at no cost to me for a review of their products & service but all opinions are all my own.

I Am Not a Beauty Blogger…

and I don’t seem to be much of a blogger in general lately either. Honestly I have been feeling uninspired. Not just on the blog (what you noticed the thin posts lately?) but summer in general. I just haven’t felt like genius has struck.

It certainly doesn’t help that my hands have been hurting off and on. I had a nerve test done, thinking my carpal tunnel came back. Everything is a-okay on that front. So a bunch of co-pays later I still don’t know why my hands hurt. I think it is stress from my job. Just a lot of typing and overworking my hands in a bad posture position. So I am trying to take it easy. Being uninspired certainly assists with this!

And outfits? Yeah, more of the same. Yeah, yeah. It doesn’t help that I have been cheap (at least where clothes are concerned, not so much a lot of other stuff) and I have bought very little lately. I only have 1 pair of shorts it’s that bad.

So in an effort to get myself out of this funk I have tried doing some seriously creative things.

I bought a new Smashbook in an effort to get some art journaling and scrapbooking out of me. That helped. Maybe I will share in the future. Either way doodling and glueing is helping.

I have also spent a nice chunk of time designing the two tattoos I would like to get. I currently have zero tattoos and these both are something I have been thinking about for a very long time. But it means that I spent a lovely chunk of time doing Google search after Google search of after care, tips, tricks, art and local artists, etc. When or if I ever actually get the balls to get one or both of these I promise to share. I will tell you that one is of a Celtic Heraldry “animal” and the other is a Latin phrase that I really love. I nearly got the phrase (I want it on my lower arm/wrist) as my “gateway”. I strongly suspect I will do it next week or the week after so don’t be suprised.

I have also been spending a lot of time painting my nails. Mostly I am a toe painter and not a finger painter. Not lately. I’m missing a few bottles (eh, I’m lazy about putting them back sometimes) but I have about 60 here. Which is less than I thought I had. I was so sure I had more.

Nail polish

Nail polish

Nail polish

Nail polish

Nail polish

Nail polish

Oh and I suck at getting it straight next to my cuticles so I do what a lot of people do – paint everything, shower, and scrub off anything that may have slopped onto my cuticle or nailbed. It works but is messy close up!!

Honestly I am trying everything I can think of to get back into a creative mood but I am all for suggestions!! Do you have any?

Reddit Arbitrary Day Gift 2013

Your staring at a couple of cruddy photos. Eh. My camera was dead. Deal.

My gifter is a 22-year-old woman who just so happens to be a ranger on a glacier in Alaska. How freaking cool is that?? Besides all that she wrote me a fabulously long letter telling me all about herself and why she picked what she did. Basically it boils down to her being one smart cookie. She got me totally.

She did muse in the letter about the Alaska shaped cookie cutter though and what kind of cookies would result. I am curious too. I intend to test it very soon. And the recipe on the postcard? Totally going to make it next week just cause I can.

Honestly this was seriously one of the best, if not the best, gifters I have ever gotten. Excellent job!

Say what you like about Reddit but really I have had nothing but a great time exchanging presents with total strangers who actually enjoy gift giving. What an amazing blessing. Now the Reddit forums themselves…well…by the time I get to something everything great or funny has been said so I mostly lurk. But it is a great community and nowhere near as bad as its reputation.

Reddit Arbitrary Day 2013 gift

That photography book is signed by the photographer!! Stunning visually.

Reddit Arbitrary Day 2013 gift

Reddit Arbitrary Day 2013 gift

And this is very cute and extremely nerdy!