Saturday, March 25, 2017

7 Things To Do to Get Ahead for the Next Week

I am all about being organized. Of course, it can be really hard to stay organized all week. I usually start off pretty organized and throughout the week I just get so busy that I let it slide. Luckily, the weekends are a great time to reset and get organized for the week ahead! I love using my weekends to recuperate, rest, and then get organized for the next week. Here are a few things I (try to) do during the weekends to start Monday on the right track.


How I Use My Weekends to Get Ahead

Clean up.

Sometime during the week, usually about Wednesday, I get tired and give up on cleaning. By Friday, my apartment is a mess. I use my weekends to clean up my apartment by picking up everything off the floor (so all my shoes and clothes), vacuuming, clean off my kitchen cupboards, and get caught up on dishes. Not necessarily fun, but it has to be done. Having a clean apartment makes me feel much calmer and like I have my life together.

Do laundry.

You gotta have clean clothes during the week! Doing laundry on the weekend gives you more outfit options during the week and means you won't have to worry about washing, drying, ironing, and putting away laundry during the week when you're too tired to do it anyway.

Set out outfits for the week ahead.

Putting together outfits for the week on the weekend means you have time to throw a certain shirt or pair of pants in the wash if you need to and can give yourself a few extra minutes of sleep during the week. Plus, it's kind of fun to go through your closet and put outfits together! You can try to recreate an outfit from Instagram or Pinterest or force yourself to create a cute outfit with clothes that have just been sitting in your closet for too long.

Make a weekly to do list.

If you're a bullet journal addict like me, this may be a fun activity for you. Making a (giant) list of all the things I want/need to get done that week lets me clear some space in my brain since I no longer have to remember it now that it's on paper and I can create a bit of a plan for the week. Writing up this list on the weekend also lets you get a head start since you probably have more time to get stuff done than you do during the week.

Grocery shop.

After making your weekly to do list, it's time to write up a grocery list. Grocery shopping is easier (and cheaper) when you do have a list and aren't just throwing whatever looks good in your cart (which is what I do 90% of the time). Getting groceries on the weekend seems to be what everyone does, but it's usually less crazy if you go in the morning.

Make a few meals.

Since you have groceries, now is the time to make a few meals for the week. This is something I've started doing this year, and it's such a great life saver during the week. On the weekends I (try to) cook a few good meals and then put half of it in the fridge and half of it in the freezer. Since I take my lunches to work, this makes it easy to pull something out of the fridge each day for lunch.

Rest.

After doing all of that work to get ahead for the next week, it's time to rest and enjoy the weekend! This is possibly the most important since you need time to do what you enjoy and take time to rest and recharge for a new week. Enjoy some Netflix, listen to your favorite album, catch up on your favorite blogs, sleep in, and spend time with the people who are most important to you. 


How do you spend your weekends? Do you do things to get ready for the next week, relax, or go on adventures? What do you do on the weekends to get ahead for the next week? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life Update No. 2

It's been a while - 2 weeks! I'm sorry for the silence. I love this space of the internet and being a part of the blogging community, so I've really felt guilty over this unintentional 2 week break. Guilty because I feel like I'm letting down people who read my posts (I hope there's a few of you) and for ignoring my favorite hobby. It is the worst when you just don't have any ideas for your blog and it seems like you've written about everything already. I think all bloggers feel like that from time to time, so I'm sure you can relate if you have a blog of your own.


Blogging Breaks and Feeling Inspired at Work


Luckily, I have been inspired to work in other parts of my life. The number one area that I have been feeling inspired in is my job. I graduated in December and my first job fell into place super quickly. Since I'm a teacher, it's pretty crazy that I was able to get a job teaching in my own classroom second semester. So in January I hit the ground running, putting together lessons, getting to know my students, and figuring out how to run a class on my own. 

Now I've had time to figure out what my teaching style is and worked out most of the bumps, I can really focus on creating lessons I want to teach. I love thinking up new lessons and finding ways to make my class fun and interesting, especially now that I know where my students are at and who they are.

Over the last 2 weeks I've had TONS of ideas for my classes and been trying to capture them as quickly as they come to me. I've also been reading about what other teachers are doing in their classrooms and gotten tons of ideas from them. It's super exciting and I feel like I'm kicking butt in this area. It's a great feeling, especially since last semester I was feeling so unsure about how I would be as a teacher in my own class (student teaching is ROUGH).

I hope you don't mind reading a bit about my job! I know it's not what I usually write about on here, but that's another thing that I'm having to rethink. In the past I've written a lot about college. I started Courtney's Little Things when I was a junior in college and so college posts were a natural thing for me to write about. This was never a "college blog," it's always been a mix of different lifestyle, planner/bullet journal, self-care, and college posts, but now I'm going to have to find something else to replace college posts, so I might be experimenting with some different types of posts over the next few months. Hopefully you'll stick with me as I figure out where I'll go from here with my content.

Other than being MIA here on the blog and feeling inspired with work, I've been getting to know other teachers at my school, rearranged my apartment a bit, found a new apartment for next year, spent time with my family, and updated my closet a bit (and probably spending too much money).


Let me know what you've been up to over the past few weeks and leave me a link to a new post from your blog to help me get caught up! 





Saturday, March 4, 2017

February Favorites No. 2

February has been very good to me. I got to enjoy good weather in February - I had the windows open, went for a few walks, and even played outside with my little cousin. I started making some friends at work and met up with some college friends who I haven't seen in months. It's so crazy when you go from college where you see your friends every day or at least once a week to post-grad life where you're good to see each other every few months.

I also got some great news this month - I will be staying at the school I'm currently working for next year! I was hired at the very end of December for this semester, to finish out the school year, so I did not exactly have a guarantee that I would be there next year. I was so excited when they offered me a job to teach full time at the middle school next year.

February 2017 Favorites


Netflix

I love watching Law & Order SVU, Criminal Minds, and true crime shows. This month I watched Killer in the Family - a short series about the psychology of people who kill their whole family. If you like true crime shows and/or Criminal Minds you would definitely like this as a (female) criminal psychologist who profiles the people who kill their families for Scotland Yard narrates the show/investigates the killers.

DVD/TV Series

I am still obsessed with Downton Abbey. I just finished season 4 of it so I'm halfway through the series. Can I just say season 3 and 4 shocked me! I was on a roller coaster of emotions.

Music

The Chainsmokers make great music. "Closer" was my song for the last part of 2016 and now I'm loving their new single "Paris." These guys have such a great sound and I always like their lyrics.

And like every other sane human, I can't get enough of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You." Of course I love the song all on it's own because Ed is a musical genius, but then I watched the video and fell even more in love. Everything you could ask for - a guy being attracted to a strong (like physically strong) woman, diverse actors, and of course humor - in one music video. You have to check it out!



Food

I decided to try something new and made a buffalo chicken dip. It. Is. Amazing. I love it! I can just come home, pull out my container of buffalo chicken dip and some chips and have a super easy supper after work. It's so yummy! I went super simple and just combined some buffalo sauce with cream cheese and cut up chicken (or in my case, vegetarian chicken).

Memories

- Going for a walk with my younger brother.
- Watching Downton Abbey with my mom.
- Playing outside with my little cousin.
- Getting a job for next school year!


What are your favorites from this month? Let me know in the comments!




Saturday, February 25, 2017

3 Little Ways to Live a (Slightly) Minimalist Lifestyle

Minimalism is very attractive to me. Living a life with less stuff to take care of and clean and more time and money to go out and do things sounds amazing. While my mom and grandma complain that I don't have enough decorations and stuff in my apartment, I would love to live a much more minimalist lifestyle, because really I hoard stationary and have a bunch of "memory boxes" filled with random things I should just get rid of. But that's why we need to just start small! So here are a few tips (for you and me) to be a bit more minimalist.

3 little tips to help you live happily with less stuff


Get rid of things you don't use.

I'm pretty sure we're all guilty of having boxes upon boxes of things we just don't use. That's why sometimes it's a good idea to just have a good clear out! You can do your whole apartment in a weekend if you're feeling ambitious, otherwise just do it one area or room at a time. I have my 2 storage closets at the top of my list and then I'll work my way through the rest of my place slowly, but surely.

"Your home is living space, not storage space." - Francine Jay


When getting rid of things, it's a good idea to ask yourself when you last used the item, how useful it is, and if you could live without it. With clothes I also check to make sure it looks good on me and that I feel comfortable in it. If it doesn't fit right and I don't like wearing it, there's no point keeping it in my closet.

Also think about what you'll do with the stuff that's still in good condition. Will you donate it, give it to a friend, or sell it? There's lots of options!

Be picky about what you buy.

It's easy to just go to the store and put everything in your cart (or at least it can be for me!), so you need to switch your mindset a bit when shopping. Have a shopping list in mind or written out on paper or your phone. If you don't have a list or find something that you wasn't on the list, ask yourself if you need it, what you'll use it for, and where you'll keep it. If you don't need it, don't have a realistic answer for when you'll use it, or don't have a spot where you'll keep it, pass on getting it. It can seem heartbreaking in the moment, but you'll probably have completely forgotten about it by the end of the day.

"It's not a good deal if you don't need it."


By being picky about what you buy, you don't have to get rid of stuff as often and you'll only have things you love in your home and closet. It does make life much easier and happier.


Use what you have.

When you have something you want or need, see if there's a way you can make it yourself or use what you have to create something similar. Whether it's a DIY art print to hang on the walls using a canvas you've had sitting around for months or creating an outfit similar to one you found on Instagram with clothes you already have in your closet, using what you have prevents you from spending more money and utilizes what you've already purchased.

"Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt


This requires a little bit of creativity, but if you're like me you'll be amazed at all the things you have hidden away - even after getting rid of stuff.


If you're looking for more ideas I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to minimalism and I'm adding to it all the time. You can check out my minimalism board here.

Do you do these little things? Do you live or try to live a minimalist lifestyle? Let me know in the comments!