Bite the Bullet

If you’ve been following along with this blog at all in the past, you’ll know I’m a sucker for organization. When I was searching for the perfect planner for 2016 in which to write all of my world domination plans, I was stumped. So many options! And the number one thing holding me back is my current daily journal.

I’ve had my Piccadilly Essential Notebook since January 2014, and it’s been my everything. Story ideas, shopping lists, habit trackers – they’ve all gone into my little black book for

two years. I know of many planner-addict bloggers who swear by their three-planner system, but I’m a one-and-done kind of gal. Having a planner and an everything else notebook was making me a little crazy.

Then, I stumbled upon Bullet Journaling via Pinterest.

To sum it up, it’s an analog system of organization that can be applied to any blank notebook. It has basic rules in place to help you better make use of your paper system.

Mind blowing and very, very simple.

Instead of buying a new planner, I’ve started using the bullet journal system in my Piccadilly, and it’s made all the difference.

Some of the basics of bullet journaling I’m not a fan of (like the month overview page; I hardly used the one I made for January), so I skip them. The beauty of the system is that you can customize it however you like.

In fact, there are pages dedicated to so-called bullet journal “hacks” (see one below) that people have come up with. Some of the coolest ideas can be found here. Just a few more ways to personalize the system to fit your individual needs.

Can you tell I’m obsessed?

Check out the video below that explains more about Bullet Journaling:


Happy planning!

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Organization Never Looked Hotter

It started innocently enough.

I wanted to buy a new planner for 2016. And I don’t mean a run-down-to-CVS-and-grab-whatever’s-on-the-shelf kind of planner. I wanted to invest in something pretty and high-functioning. Something that was going to help me get that much closer to achieving all of the goals I’d set for the new year.

A simple Google search led me to a website (much like this one) run by a woman who owns many different types of day planners for different aspects of her life – and reviews them! Suddenly I was staring at spiral bound Erin Condrens, Simplified Planners, Day Designers, Kikki K’s – the list was endless. Each planner more beautifully styled and more well organized than the next!

Stay with me. It gets better.

Finding the day planners meant finding blogs dedicated not only to the planners themselves, but their decoration.

As in, totally decked out daily, weekly, and monthly layouts, created by so-called “planner addicts”. It’s scrapbooking to a whole new level.

As a wannabe planner addict myself, I’ve now spent many, many hours drooling over these beautifully inspired layouts. It’s a beautiful marriage of creativity, DIY, stickers, and goal planning.

As any #bosslady #careerwoman knows, organization is a major key to success, both personally and professionally. I had no idea that it could be so beautiful.

Don’t believe me? Below I’ve included some of my favorite Instagram accounts from both planner addicts and individuals/companies that design the accoutrements.

Take a look, but be careful! You might fall in love ❤

p.s. Curious as to what I ended up with? Stay tuned for next time!

NEW Week! NEW Month! Let's start February off with a bang!💕 📷: @plannerhappiness

A post shared by Day Designer® (@thedaydesigner) on

My planners are now complete with @paperprincess beautiful tassels and paper clips!! 😍😍😍

A post shared by Wenda | 📒 Planner Addict (@wendafuldesigns) on

Last half of the week! 😍💙💜💚 • all shops are tagged •

A post shared by Jessica (@jkruuu_plans) on

 

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Note to Self: A weekly reflection of everything I should have done

More often than not, I find myself making a mental checklist. Do the dishes, Call your mother, Take a Nap, Pay Car Bill. I think it is safe to say we all do this, but for my impermeable brain these mental notes go untouched.

It is not surprising to report that the most productive, meditative place is in the shower (or driving). It is here that I daydream about the newest DIY or where I dwell on a terrible day. Yesterday, I began to take an inventory of all of these mental notes. Call mom-check, take nap-check. However, there are some things I didn’t get to because they lacked a deadline or a tangible reason to do them.  And then it hit me-in that meditative shower-I decided that the best way to hold myself accountable for the millions of mental emails gone unanswered was to write them here!

Note to Self:

  1. Call your people
    1. Being a working professional*, my friends and I have gotten into a rhythm. We would go days, weeks without talking and be able to pick it up where we left off. (I think I stole this from an inspirational meme) Our professional lives has pulled a lot of us across the country. Despite being so great at falling back into our friend flow, I am constantly asking myself things like What Sam is doing for her wedding? or Is Rachel lost in the mountains?
  2. Wake up earlier
    1. Why did I leave two minutes later than I should have? Why did I hit snooze a million times? Why did I think Facebook was worth the 45 minutes of my life instead of showering? This is a daily struggle. I am perpetually on time/late. As all of my career counselors say,If you are on time, you are late. 
  3. Show yourself some love
    1. However we choose to show this love-we deserve it. It was clear this week that I have been putting off some self care. Getting sick while traveling was a clear sign that I need to focus more on doing some intentional lovin’.

Stay tuned for more!

Jess (2)

*aspiring professional

I Learned it From Ops

Often when I tell people my official title at work, they have a lot of follow up questions. Mainly: what do you do?

I am the Operations Assistant at a production company. I assist the Manager of Operations in, well, helping the building and everyone inside it function smoothly. I do everything from plunge toilets to ordering lunch to event planning to basic IT fixes and everything in between. The staff relies on my department for space scheduling, supply management, and to be fed every day.

Keeping it classy at work.

Keeping it classy at work.

Not surprisingly, there have been a lot of take-aways from having a job of this nature. I find that in my personal life, I’m more aware of what it takes to keep things running more smoothly.

Here are a few lessons learned from working in Operations:

1) It doesn’t do to be cluttered.
We are the dumping grounds for everyone’s broken everything. I can’t be wasting time rooting around for things, though. When duty calls and we’re in a pinch for time, I need to know where everything is. In the Ops office we keep things as neat as we can, and have a method to the madness.

2) Never be caught without.
I learned early on that it’s better to be overprepared than under. Every Monday, I take inventory of our entire office. That way, I always know how our supply levels are doing. And I always have at least one of something in reserve.

3) Prep ahead.
At any given moment, we have three pots of coffee brewed and ready to go in our staff kitchen. I always tell new interns that it behooves them to have everything ready to brew a new pot ahead of time – old coffee grinds should be immediately emptied, new ones should be ground, and the space should be cleaned. That way, if things get busy, they aren’t stuck trying to play catch up.

4) Know your schedule.
The office is constantly buzzing with people coming and going, and the demands for different spaces ebbs and flows on the hour. I start each work day by reviewing my own calendar, as well as the shared office calendar. I check with teams and confirm their plans, meetings, etc, and then do so again every few hours. It’s important to have an idea of what’s going on, so you’re never blindsided by a request.

5) Closing duties are just as important as opening ones.
Mornings find me filled with energy and a sense of purpose; I never have a problem checking my opening duties off my list. Evenings can be another story. With the end of the workday looming, I often want to cut corners and call it a day. The end of the night, though, is just as important as the morning, and it will only screw you over in the end if you decide to get lazy and not prepare for the next day.

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I Am the Queen of Pinterest Fails

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You’ve probably seen the article going around, the one that shows the perfect versions of different DIY projects next to their gone-wrong counterparts. The Cookie Monster cupcakes that came out as screaming blue melted not-so-smiley faces. The homemade Play-Dough that stains your fingers and clothes for days, and sticks to everything, especially furniture.

valentinesjelloheartspinterestfail

And I – I am the Queen of it all. Nearly every craft project I’ve attempted has come out slightly askew, be it homemade scarves whipped up for Christmas or glitter art for my new apartment. Something always goes wrong, and my finished project never comes out quite like it should.

But Aubrey, how can you have this sort of bad luck? Once I started to ponder the reasons behind my lack of DIY skills, it became obvious. The contributing factors include:

  1. A lack of patience. When I want to DIY, I need to DIY. Right. Now. It doesn’t matter if I have a party to attend in an hour, I simply MUST paint these Mason jars for my friends IMMEDIATELY. Haste makes waste. Haste also makes Mason jars whose painted designs melt off instantaneously when in contact with water.
  2. An aversion to buying the proper materials and tools. This seems like it would be an important step to follow, but please think back to my first point. When I’m impatient to get a project started, I’m not particular over whether or not I have everything I need. When baking granola, I forwent the pumpkin seeds and halved pistachios, and threw in some sunflower seeds I found in the pantry (luckily, that granola came out delicious – more on that soon!).
  3. I hate spending money. This really only contributes to the second point; I hate having to go out and purchase new things when I can easily use what I have around me. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out well.

When its come to my new apartment, though, I’ve tried to handle things differently. My roommate and I moved in during the first days of August; in the month that we’ve been here, I’ve had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming. It’s September, and I don’t have a bed yet?! Where can we get that coffee table we need? How much longer must I eat sitting on the counters?

Luckily, I’ve convinced myself that it would be a waste of money if I just went out and bought the first thing I saw simply to fill empty space. Additionally, furnishing an apartment from scratch is hella expensive, and I only very recently got a job. One day, this apartment will be just the way we want it – we’ve just got to be patient.

This newfound attempt at calm nearly went out the window, though, when I realized how horribly messy my room was getting. With no furniture, I was still living out of suitcases. As in, every morning I would tear through my suitcases and scatter clothes everywhere. A solution needed to be found, and quick.

Where else to turn, I thought, but to Pinterest? Right. Because that’s worked so well before.

Soon thereafter I had found my inspiration:

Minimalist Apartment Closet Ideas

A cutesy, organized closet! Just what I needed! My closet is very deep, but wastes a lot of space because it’s one bar and shelf are set against the wall, leaving few options for storage. So I decided I would make my own storage.

A How-To Guide for Making A Cutesy Closet

Step 1: Acquire a skinny, tall bookcase for stacking things. Browsing Craigslist, I see one from IKEA being offered for $20. The owner tells me the height, and I rejoice. It’s perfect!

I arrive. It’s not from IKEA, it’s from Bed Bath & Beyond. No matter, it’s still perfect. I lug it home. I prop it up in the closet. It’s too wide, and doesn’t fit under the bar.

Step 2: Shave down the too-tall bookcase. The roomie and I head to Home Depot, where someone eventually takes pity on us and (after we had ripped the thing apart) cuts a few inches off each side. Now it doesn’t have a base, but that will be fine. Right?

Wrong. The cheapy bookcase is even more rickety than before and refuses to stand up without help.

Step 3: Find some tension rods to stick on either side of the rickety bookcase. This way, there is more storage space, and it will stay up!

So far so good...

So far so good…

The tension rods are in place. Everything seems solid. I begin to place hangers on the rods. I turn my back. EVERYTHING COLLAPSES IN A HEAP WHY IS THIS HAPPENING I HATE EVERYTHING.

WHY CRUEL WORLD

WHY CRUEL WORLD

I recover. The roomie assists in making the rods extra tight.

They collapse in minutes, even without any weight on them. In fact, the slightest shift causes everything to fall.

I compose myself. The roomie tells me to give up, try something new, but I refuse. I want to shed this crown of being Pinterest-fail royalty. 

Step 4: Go back to Home Depot, purchase a set of wooden pole sockets. I borrow a drill from work, charge it up for a day, and then convince my roommate it’s an excellent idea to start this at 10:30PM.

Dyl and I preparing for our power tool debut

Dyl and I preparing for our power tool debut

Once we finally figure out how to switch out the drill bits (it took longer than I’m willing to admit), he holds the thing steady while I manage to drill the sockets in place. We put up the rods. I hang my shirts back up in silent protest that this thing had better work. Or else.

Getting everything in place. Notice I refused to shower from the gym until this was over.

Getting everything in place. Notice I refused to shower from the gym until this was over.

Drilling!

Drilling!

Glamour shot sitting confusedly in the closet.

Glamour shot sitting confusedly in the closet.

Tension rod sitting contentedly in its new home.

Tension rod sitting contentedly in its new home.

It has been fifteen minutes since I hung everything up. I’m waiting to hear the sound of things crashing down, but so far, so good. If it lasts the night, I will consider this a victory.

You know what? I already consider this a victory. Let the darn thing fall down again. Let all my shirts lay on the carpet. I’m proud that I’ve seen this project through two weekends, that I haven’t given up like I’m so apt to do when my crafts start to go awry. Planning, patience, and using an actual drill instead of a fork have gotten me this far; just think of what I can do if I keep on it!

TA DA!

TA DA!

So bring it on, closet. I am now the Queen of Continuing {After All the Horrible Curveballs You Have So Rudely Thrown At Me}.

p.s. As of this morning, everything is still in place! Fingers crossed.

p.s.s. Many thanks to Dylan for the…interesting pictures, and my mother for the idea for the wooden sockets ❤