A Little Organization Inspiration

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Photo credit: The Neat Method Instagram

Ah, spring.

The season for flowers, warm weather, sunshine, cherry blossoms, and….

Spring cleaning!

To be honest, I have been in a spring cleaning mood lately. I just want to declutter everything! I’ve always been a sucker for anything that can make it look like I have my life together (planners, baskets, folders, containers). This season, I’ve definitely been bit by the decluttering bug!

I was listening to a podcast (@The.Target.Girl) this weekend where the host interviewed someone from the Neat Method. I hadn’t heard of the company before so I quickly found them on Instagram and oh. my. goodness.

It’s organization HEAVEN.

All the boxes, baskets, labels, and colors. Doesn’t it all make you want to organize everything?!

It makes me happy when everything is in its place. Not to mention, it makes a room instantly aesthetically pleasing and welcoming. The photo above alone makes me want to clean out my desk and rearrange my bookshelves (again).

If you’re in need of some instant organization inspiration, here are a few other Instagram accounts you’re sure to love!

You can also check out my organization board on Pinterest here.

Happy organizing!

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2019: Goals Update for Q1

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April.

As slow as the winter was, it’s difficult to comprehend that we’re already in April. Q1 is over! A blessing and a curse.

At the beginning of this week, I was in sunny Florida (pictured above). Back home it’s cold and rainy. At least summer is coming!

Now that we’re officially in Q2, I want to reflect on how Q1 went in terms of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2019. I shared my goals and declared 2019 the year to focus, learn, and love. You can read all about my goals and the reason why I chose those words for 2019 here. 

It’s important to frequently remind yourself of your goals and aspirations. It keeps you motivated so your new year’s resolutions don’t become distant memories with no future of moving forward.

Here is how 2019 is going so far.

FOCUS

At the beginning of the year, I wanted to spend less time on social media and more time writing, focusing on my relationships, and developing personal habits. Although I can’t completely quit social media (it is my job, as you know), I definitely can say I’ve made active progress limiting my scrolling. I didn’t do anything drastic like deleting apps or turning off notifications, but I have started consciously recognizing when I’m tempted to scroll so I can spend my time doing something else.

I have begun to write more in my bullet journal and also made it a goal to blog at least one time a week (on Fridays) so I can hone my writing skills. I have, admittedly, been struggling with implementing daily habits in the morning, though. Although I do have a morning routine, it definitely could be more productive so that’ll be a focus for Q2.

LEARN

I resolved to listen to more podcasts and read more books. I started tracking my podcast consumption in my bullet journal (such a Type A thing, I know). I try to listen to at least one podcast a day, usually in the car on the way to work. At the end of March, I also had finished 12 out of the 35 books I’m aiming for this year, so I feel good about that! You can check out my bookshelf here for updates. 

Bullet journaling is also something I’ve grown to love this year. Admittedly, I struggle with doing it daily but I have found a lot of use out of it and can’t wait to keep practicing in Q2 and beyond. Check out this post for a sneak peek of how bullet journaling is going.

LOVE

This year I’m doing the 1-second challenge again and I still love it. It’s a great way to capture everyday moments and I love going back and watching how the year is turning out so far.

I admit I haven’t sent as many handwritten cards as I’d like, but I hope to continue that this year! It’s such an easy yet thoughtful way to show someone you’re thinking about them. I sent a few of my friends cards for Galentine’s Day and used it as an excuse to show my appreciation for their influence in my life. I encourage you to do the same!

 

So far, April is off to a good start. I can’t wait to see what the rest of Q2 has in store!

Monthly Roundup: March Favorites

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My birthday month is almost over, but what a great month it was! The weather (slowly) got warmer and spring is definitely in the air. I got my nails done for my birthday and it made me so ready for shorts, flip flops, dresses, and all things spring fashion.

I’m also ending the month by heading to Florida for a few days with my mom and cousins. By the time you read this, I’ll be en route to the Sunshine State. I can’t wait to relax during the quick getaway before the craziness of April.

{ONE} Speaking at a Social Media Conference

This month I had the opportunity to speak at a social media conference. I wrote all about it in a recent blog post so you can read that for more information. The conference was a definite highlight of the month!

{TWO} Daylight Savings

It’s a bit weird that daylight savings is a monthly favorite, but I am loving the fact that we have more sunlight in the evenings. During the winter, I struggled with staying productive after work because it was just so cold and dark. Now I’m getting home when it’s still light outside and it makes the evenings so much better. It’s just another reminder that summer is coming.

{THREE} Rita’s Water Ice

Not gonna lie, a mango gelati from Rita’s Water Ice is one of my favorite summertime treats. There’s a Rita’s close to our house (a blessing and a curse) so Luke and I enjoyed our first Rita’s of the season one night this month on our porch. It made me so excited for summer and spending more time outside. I captured the photo above when I noticed our dog Thalia living her best life that night, too.

{FOUR} I Turned 26

I turned 26 this month and felt the love from friends and family. My mom and I had a girls day that included coffee, getting our nails done, lunch at Panera, and shopping. It’s turned into a tradition of sorts and I love that. Luke and I also went out to dinner and it was delicious. If you haven’t already read it, I wrote a post about 25 things I learned from Year 25. You can check it out here. 

{FIVE} Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I like to include at least one book in my monthly roundup because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to read at least 35 books this year. (Check out the progress here.) I read 4 books in March, which isn’t terrible considering how busy this month ended up being! One of them was Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a non-fiction about C.S. Lewis’ wife. I love the Chronicles of Narnia series and the rest of C.S. Lewis’ work, but I didn’t know anything about his wife until this book. It was dry at times, but overall really interesting and definitely a recommended read if you are a C.S. Lewis fan.

The 25 in 25 List

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This week I turned 26 and as I turn another year older, I keep thinking about all the memories and lessons from Year 25. As I began to write them all down in my bullet journal, I decided to make a list (go figure), so here is my 25 in 25: Lessons and Memories from Year 25 (in no particular order).

  1. I got married. (Woo!!)
  2. We moved into our home.
  3. I started cooking regularly (thank goodness for the Instant Pot).
  4. I traveled out of the country for the first time.
  5. I became debt-free thanks to paying off all student loans.
  6. I established a morning routine.
  7. I fell in love with bullet journaling and the limitless possibilities of organization because of it.
  8. I started drinking at least 72 ounces of water a day. (Lemon water is the best.)
  9. I created a budget and learned more about finance.
  10. I learned to appreciate quiet time and time alone. (As an extrovert, this isn’t easy!)
  11. I ran my first {official} 5K.
  12. Put the phone down and pay attention to those around you.
  13. Read books, it’s fun to get lost in another world.
  14. Turn off the TV. There’s a whole life to live out there.
  15. A healthy life is way more than just exercising and eating right.
  16. Take time to reflect on the joys in life.
  17. Push your comfort zone.
  18. Take time to blog regularly, because it’s therapeutic and fun.
  19. Change is good (and normal) to continue growing as a person.
  20. Handwritten cards never go out of style.
  21. Pamper yourself once in a while.
  22. Be flexible with plans; they won’t always go as smoothly as you want them to.
  23. Stand as much as you can, because sitting isn’t good for you.
  24. Save your money and brew coffee at home (so buying coffee becomes a treat instead of a necessity).
  25. Laugh at yourself; it’s okay to not take yourself too seriously sometimes.

 

I can’t wait to see what Year 26 has in store!

Presenting at a Social Media Conference

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Last week I had the incredible opportunity to be part of a local social media conference as a speaker (!!!).

I was blown away and humbled for the chance. Speaking at a social media conference has been a goal of mine for a few years now, and to say that I did it thrills me. I’ve attended multiple social media conferences since college as I yearn to learn more and more about the ever-changing digital space. As an attendee, I always hoped that one day I’d be on the stage presenting to a group of people…and now I can say that I have!

Leading up to the conference, I was anxious, excited, and definitely felt a bit out of my comfort zone. I have presented in front of groups and college classes before, but never to a group of businessmen and women who took time out of their days to attend a conference. When I heard the conference was sold out, it definitely increased the anticipation as the conference slowly crept closer and closer.

The day, from beginning to end, was amazing. I had the privilege of meeting several other presenters and we were all excited to get the day started. Over 400 people attended the conference and they came with questions and open minds.

I don’t talk too much about my career on this blog, so you may not know that I work full-time in digital and social media marketing. I love talking about all things social, whether it’s discussing Instagram strategies to grow a business, learning more about the *dreaded* Facebook algorithm, or brainstorming ways to further strengthen a brand’s online community. Whatever it is, I want in on the conversation and I love when others are excited to talk about it, too.

If you’re wondering, I presented in two sessions. In the first session, I joined another presenter for “Ask Me Anything,” where people could ask us anything for an hour. My second session was all about paid social media opportunities for your business. Sounds fancy, but basically it was all about how to create awesome, thumb-stopping ads across social platforms.

Simply put: A brand wants you to stop scrolling when its ad appears on your newsfeed and there is a plethora of ways on how to make that happen. My presentation walked through some of those opportunities and concluded with an engaging Q+A.

To be honest, I could go on and on, but to sum it all up, I’m truly thankful for the experience. Now it’s time to officially check it off the 101 in 1,001 list!

Monthly Roundup: February Favorites

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I’m officially ready for spring. After a glimpse of sun and blue skies, I’m ready for a change. It’s odd when you get springlike weather in the middle of winter, but I’m not complaining!

Delaware weather is especially odd. One day it’s 60 degrees and sunny and three days later, it snows 5 inches. How bizarre

I discovered a lot of favorites in February and I’m excited to share them with you below.

{ONE} Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Netflix series

Have you joined the #SparkJoy club yet? As if I wasn’t already obsessed with cleaning and decluttering, the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo series came out on Netflix and I’m hooked. I refolded all of our clothes and threw things away I’ve been keeping for no apparent reason. It feels so good and has sparked tons of joy already 😉

{TWO} The Swans of Fifth Avenue

I’m making steady progress on my reading goal for the year! I feel inspired in the winter to read as much as I can because free time in spring and summer tend to be filled with outdoor activities. This book was especially fascinating because it’s based on a true story so I liked doing my own research as I read to learn more about the characters and overall plot.

{THREE} Stuff You Should Know Podcast

I’m on a podcast kick, as I’ve mentioned before, and am always looking for new podcasts to try. A Stuff You Should Know podcast episode titled, “How Central Park Works,” caught my eye because 1) I love Central Park, and 2) I don’t know the history of how it came to be. I loved it because it was both educational and entertaining to listening to.

{FOUR} Insanity

Insanity is back. I completed the nine-week HIIT-inspired workout challenge a year ago and it kicked my butt! This time around, Luke is doing it with me so although it’s challenging, I feel more motivated since I have a workout partner.

{FIVE} The Last Lecture

Another great book from February. This is another true story that tugs at the heart strings on every page. A professor is asked to give his “last lecture” and then finds out he has terminal cancer with only a few months to live. The book outlines his thoughts and lessons about life and it truly is an incredible story.

{SIX} Broccoli and Cheddar Soup Instant Pot recipe

I’ve been really into making soup lately. I blame it on the cold weather. I always crave warm, cozy meals for dinner. The other night I was craving Panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup so I decided to try making it at home! My mom gave me an Instant Pot recipe to try and it was delicious! I definitely will make it again.

The Truth About A Long Engagement

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I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile because people always asked me while I was engaged, “Do you like having a long engagement?”

The short answer is no, of course not. We were engaged for almost two years (1 year and 10 months to be exact) and our wedding day felt like forever away.

We decided on a long engagement for many reasons but at the time, we didn’t realize just how long it would feel. We stand by that it was the right decision for us but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.

I break down the pros and cons below, but my overall feeling is: I loved being engaged and I loved the whole process of wedding planning, but it was challenging staying focused and not getting discouraged when time seemed to stand still…until two months before our wedding day anyways, and then BOOM! Time flew.

PROS

{ONE} Enjoy wedding planning without stress.

I didn’t relate to people who said wedding planning was stressful. Honestly, it was a lot of fun and easy to maintain. Maybe it’s because I’m Type A so organizing multiple projects and to-do lists gives me immense amounts of energy, but wedding planning was a really fun process.

{TWO} More time to research, save money, and prepare.

Having a long engagement means more time to research options, save money wherever possible, and prepare for different situations. I loved researching florists and looking for bridal gowns because I didn’t feel rushed to make decisions, and therefore compromise what I wanted. This was a big pro for a budget-friendly bride like myself!

{THREE} You can procrastinate and it’ll still all work out.

I know I just said I’m Type A, but there were times when I procrastinated. Thankfully, even though I procrastinated on a few tasks, it all worked out in the end. (Hallelujah.)

{FOUR} You can choose any date you want.

For “regular engagement time” brides, finding a wedding date can be tricky. You may settle on a date you didn’t want because of availability or budget. When you have a long engagement, however, the calendar is open! We chose the date we wanted without having to “fight” for it. If you’ve ever watched Bride Wars, you know what I mean.

CONS

{ONE} Literally everyone will get married before you. 

I’m going to be completely honestly with you. This is the biggest con in the entire list. I admit I had difficulty staying positive as people got engaged and married all before our wedding day. It was really easy to fall into the “Seriously!? Wait your turn” mindset. Reminding myself that every love story is different helped me keep it in perspective. At the end of the day, I would be married to my best friend and all the waiting would be totally worth it.

{TWO} You just want to get married already.

This is an obvious one, but as the months *slowly* passed by, the more we really wanted to be married. We were in the process of decorating and preparing our house, thinking about the holidays and beyond, and it made me so freaking excited to be married to Luke. It felt like time was standing still and the wedding was still so far away for our next chapter to begin.

{THREE} Things you like when you first get engaged won’t be in style or “on trend” by the time you get married.

From wedding colors to flowers to music, everything will change from the time you get engaged to the time you get married. Colors we loved at first were no longer what we preferred later so our theme changed drastically. Another aspect of this was the whole “people getting married before you” thing. One of the things I had to be okay with is that just because we got engaged first, didn’t mean we got first pick. For example, if someone got married first and chose the same song for their grand entrance that we were thinking of using, we were back to the drawing board for Plan B, C, D, E, or whatever it may be. (For the sake of argument, we could’ve used the same song and probably no one would’ve cared or noticed, but you get the point.)

{FOUR} Your guest list changes a billion times.

People you are friends with or work with at the time of your engagement will most likely change by the time you get married. Meaning, the guest list (which was already a very stressful part of wedding planning!) changes a lot.

 

Long engagements are not for everyone. Although it’s difficult to wait to marry your best friend, if it’s the right decision for you as a couple, then stick by it! I have one tip for long engagement brides: Be flexible. There are going to be times when you are frustrated or feel like time is standing still. Believe me, I get it! However, it will all work out and at the end of the day, you will get to marry your best friend and that’s all that really matters ❤