Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Thoughts on Instagram

Ever since Instagram switched their feed from chronological to whatever this algorithm is, it seems like Instagram has gone from everyone's favorite social media to least favorite. While I'm not a fan of the changes, I still enjoy using Instagram and thought I'd share why.

4 reasons why I still like Instagram, despite the recent changes



It's visual.


I'm a visual person. I love seeing other people's photos and just scrolling through my feed. I get a glimpse into the lives of the people I follow and can just enjoy their photography and get inspired, especially on those days when I'm just too lazy to read.


It's a good way to share photos.


I take so many photos. I've always liked taking photos and I take a ton for me and for different blog posts. Instagram is a great place to share them. It's the best platform I know of to share photos since you create a grid (is that the right word?) of photos rather than just sending photos on Snapchat that disappear after 24 hours or adding photos that get lost in your Twitter feed.


It's not all about numbers.

Or at least it shouldn't be. I know it's easy to get caught up in how many likes you get on your latest post and how many followers you have. Especially with blogging since often times bloggers track these numbers. But these shouldn't be what keeps us going as bloggers. There's always someone with more likes, more followers, more engagement. While I definitely check how many likes I get and engagement on posts, I'm ultimately posting because I like the photo and want to share it with others, not to get X amount of likes or a certain number of followers. If I get them, great. If not, oh well, I shared it because I wanted to

People are using it.

Despite the frustration we may feel because of changes on Instagram, it is still a very popular platform, especially if you're audience is 16-25. Lots of people in that age range prefer Instagram over Facebook and Twitter. At 24, my favorite platforms are Twitter and Instagram. I know my younger siblings (college age) are all about Instagram and Snapchat - they barely use Twitter. Keep your audience in mind and remember that they are most likely checking Instagram...a lot.


What are your thoughts on Instagram? Do you still like it or are you ready to move on?


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunken Gardens | Photo Diary

I love spring and all the flowers it brings. The best place to enjoy all the flowers and beauty of spring is at Sunken Gardens. I went there one day last month with my brother and have finally gotten all of the photos together to share with you! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens


photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens

As you walk to the gardens there are rows and rows of yellow tulips. Yellow flowers are my favorite because they just seem so happy. 

At the entrance there are purple, white, and pink tulips in front of this beautiful dome with designs carved into the top. 

photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens
photos of spring flowers at sunken gardens

In the middle of April, the gardens were filled with tulips. There were red, yellow, and purple tulips everywhere. There was a lot of space for the flowers that would bloom later in the spring, so I'll have to head back soon!

Do you have any spots like this in your city? Where do you like to go to enjoy spring? Let me know in the comments!



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ways to Be More Creative

Being creative is something that always makes me feel happy and fulfilled. I've been trying to do something creative everyday. It doesn't have to be painting a canvas or drawing a portrait to be creative. There are so many little ways to be more creative everyday. If you're looking to be more creative, look through this list for a few ways to add some creativity to your everyday life.


ways to be more creative everyday




1. Join a challenge.

You can make your own 100 Day Challenge or join one on Instagram. The Revision Guide is hosting a fun, easy drawing challenge if you're looking for one on Instagram.

2. Decorate your bullet journal.

Decorate your bullet journal (or planner, or to do lists) with drawings or even stickers. This is something simple, but if you do it everyday it will really help you feel more creative.

3. Handletter a quote.

Try handlettering a favorite quote. There's tons of  handlettering tips and ideas on Pinterest to get you started.

4. Find people who inspire you.

Whether you find people on Instagram to follow or spend more time with creative friends in real life, find people who inspire you to create.

5. Go for a photo walk.

Go for a walk around a park or downtown and take tons of photos.

6. Create for yourself.

Don't feel pressured to post what you create online. We don't have to post everything online, especially if it's going to cause us stress. Focus on creating for yourself. If you want to share you can, if not it's totally okay to create just for yourself.

7. Change it up.

Change up your routine, try something new, challenge yourself to wear a different color or style from what you usually do, or explore a new area. Changing things up will give you new ideas!

8. Make an abstract print.

Whether you're preferred medium is watercolor, paint, digital, or markers - try creating an abstract print. I always feel like abstract prints are a great way to stretch those creative muscles since there's no right or wrong and it feels very freeing.

9. Spend time in nature.

Spending time in nature always makes me feel a bit more inspired. 

10. Spend less time in front of a screen.

Watching TV, scrolling through social media, and just wasting time online are all things that kill creativity. Instead of thinking and being active, we're just sitting there mindlessly consuming. Even cutting down your screen time by 15 minutes will make a difference!


Those are a few ways I'm being more creative. Let me know what you do to be more creative in the comments! 



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Personal Projects I Want to Do

I've always thought it's important to have personal projects to do outside of school or work. Sadly, last semester I felt so overwhelmed by everything from finishing college to getting certified that I did not give myself any time to work on personal projects. Now that I've got my job and have settled in to it, I've been giving myself more time to work on personal projects and it feels so good. For me,  these personal projects are a part of my self-care as they are things I'm doing for me and things that I enjoy doing. If you're in need of some inspiration for your own personal projects or just like being a bit nosy, here are the personal projects I am working or want to start working on.

Sharing a few personal projects I'm currently working on



Read

I love reading, but I am horrible not very good about making time for it. By the end of the year I want to read 7 books (that would be 1 more book than I read last year). So far I've read a grand total of 0 although I've started several books, I've just never gotten around to finishing them. Now I'm adding reading to my daily to do list in my bullet journal, so hopefully that keeps me motivated and I actually complete a book soon!


Finish my 2016 Photo Album

Last summer I started putting together my photo album for 2016, but stopped when I moved. I want to finish putting this album together so I can have a place for my best photos from last year and then move on to making my 2017 album. Originally I was making this album scrapbook style, but now I'm thinking I may just put photos in (and a few stickers because I can't stop myself).


Start working on my 2017 Photo Album

Once I have finished my 2016 album, I want to start working on my 2017 photo album. This is a real process for me as I have to go through all the photos I've taken throughout the year, look for photos other people have taken of us together, and pick out the best ones to put in a folder on my computer. Normally I would order prints of them and then put them in a photo album, but I'm thinking I may just put them all on a Shutterfly photo book instead. My friend makes them all the time and hers always look good, so I'm thinking this may be the easy way.


Blog better and more

At one point last year I was blogging 4 times a week - crazy! As I mentioned earlier though, my last semester of college was STRESSFUL and since August the number (and quality) of posts I've published has fluctuated a lot. 

The past 5 months I've been focusing more on creating good quality blog posts, even if that means cutting back on the number of times a week I publish new posts. At the moment, it's one post a week which seems pitiful in comparison to how much I was posting at this time a year ago. I have to remind myself I'm in a totally different position than I was a year ago, but I'd like to work back up to blogging more often and keeping my posts high quality so I can be happy with the posts I share. 

Of course there's a lot more that goes into blogging than just writing posts so I also want to start responding to comments more often (they really mean so much!) and being more active on my social media.


Work out regularly

To be honest, I have not been happy with my body for a while. My unhappiness is really about my weight and while I know weight doesn't matter, I'm not happy at the size I'm currently at.  So I have started to work out a few times a week and it's already making me feel more confident. I'm going to try and change up my work out routine every couple weeks and to make my work outs gradually more intense. The biggest thing is sticking to it, so here's to hoping I make working out a part of my routine.

Be More Creative

Being creative is something I consider to be an important part of who I am and is something I really enjoy doing. However, I haven't devoted much time to being creative in the past few months. So now I'm trying to be more creative everyday through decorating my bullet journal, joining a 52 week challenge on Instagram, blogging, and making more things like cards and art prints.


Those are the personal projects I'm currently thinking about. Do you have any personal projects? Any tips on the ones I'm working on? Let me know in the comments!




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April Favorites No. 2

April is the first full month of spring and it has been so great to see all the signs of spring popping up everywhere - flowers blooming, little green leaves on the trees, and spotting bunnies and butterflies all over.


My favorites from April



Music

I've been listening to a lot of the music I listened to back in high school this month. I've been listening to bands like We Are The In Crowd, Go Radio, and Fall Out Boy. I'm not sure why, but I've just been in the mood for their music lately and I love listening to their old music and new albums. I'm loving "Come Back Home" by We Are The In Crowd.

Netflix

The most exciting thing for me on Netflix has been watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. I've always been told that this show would have been perfect for me as it matches my humor perfectly. When I saw the reboot of it on Netflix this month, I knew I had to watch it. I think it's pretty funny and everyone was right - this show is just my type of humor. 

Movie

I saw the movie CHIPS this month with my best friend and loved it. I knew Dax Shepard would have a funny movie and he did not disappoint. I thought it was great and loved Michael Peña.


App

I am currently addicted to Disney's Emoji Blitz. It's pretty ridiculous as I can't use the emojis on my Samsung (if you know how to, let me know!), but it's so addicting. It's a candy crush style game - BUT WITH DISNEY EMOJIS. So clearly it's the best game ever for any Disney lover.

Photos



Memories

- Spending the weekend with my best friend
- My brother spending the night at my apartment
- Seeing all of my family at Easter


What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments!





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

After going to college out of state and then returning back to my home state, I have found that many of my friends live far away from me. Luckily, it doesn't have to mean that our friendships are over. Here are a few ways to keep long distant friendships alive.


5 Ways to Keep Long Distance Friendships Alive



Have a set time you call each other.

Even though my best friend lives 3 hours away, we still talk every day. She works in the evenings and calls me during her break each evening. We chat for 15 minutes about whatever's going on in our lives and it's something we both look forward to each day. It's nice to be able to count on her and still have such a close relationship despite the miles between us.


Message each other about the little things.

Whether you text or message each other on Snapchat, just communicating about the little things help to stay up to date on what's happening in each other's lives.


Plan days or weekends together.

Luckily I'm only 2-3 hours from my friends, so this is an option for us. We don't get together as often as I wish we could (which would be every weekend), but we do make plans every few months to get together. This is great since seeing each other face to face and making memories together is such an important part of friendship. 


Watch your favorite show together.

I have a show with a few of my friends that we watch "together." My sister and I (try to) watch the same episode of Criminal Minds on Netflix every Thursday night at 7 and text each other as we watch about what's happening in the episode. I've also watched AHS with a friend and we'd call each other during the commercial breaks to talk about the show. This is a super fun way to stay in touch because it gives you something that's your thing that you do, even if you're far away from each other!


Let them know when you think of them.

Even if your relationship isn't that close anymore, just text them whenever something reminds you of them. Whether it be a song, seeing their favorite sports team on TV, or driving past a place you used to hang out at, just send them a quick message to let them know that you thought of them. If it ends up being a conversation, great. If not, at least you reached out to them. I have a friend who every once in awhile just Snapchats me when something reminds her of me and it always makes my day.


Do you have long distance friendships? How do you keep your friendship going from far away? Let me know in the comments!




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

25 Things To Do For Your Blog

It always seems like there's a ton of things to do for your blog. From writing posts to social media, there are so many things that go into keeping your blog up and running. Here's a list of 25 things to do for your blog.

Things to do for your blog | blogging to do list



  1. Brainstorm blog post ideas
  2. Draft new posts
  3. Update your about page.
  4. Take new profile pictures.
  5. Take stock photos for your blog.
  6. Take photos for specific posts.
  7. Edit photos.
  8. Take Instagram photos.
  9. Post to Instagram.
  10. Comment on 5 pictures on Instagram.
  11. Look through one of the hashtags you use a lot and like photos.
  12. Delete Instagram pics that don't go with your theme (if you have one).
  13. Schedule promo tweets
  14. Do you follow retweet accounts? Check out 5 posts they've shared recently.
  15. Share posts by other bloggers that you enjoyed reading.
  16. Update your boards' covers on Pinterest
  17. Pin your latest posts to Pinterest
  18. Pin 20 items
  19. Do you follow any group boards? Check out 5 posts from a group board.
  20. Update your profiles/bios on social media.
  21. Update your profile pictures.
  22. Read and comment on 10 blogs
  23. Catch up on your favorite blogs
  24. Update/edit past posts on your blog.
  25. Delete posts that you aren't proud of.

What else is on your blogging to do list? Let me know in the comments!





Tuesday, April 4, 2017

20 Things To Do This Weekend

I always end up doing the same things on the weekend - sleep in, netflix, clean a bit, visit my parents. Sometimes it's good to switch things up, so I made a list of 20 things to do this weekend. I hope this helps if you're looking to do something a bit different this weekend than your usual weekend routine.

20 things to do to switch up your weekend routine

  1. Bake cookies
  2. Cook a new recipe
  3. Go to the park
  4. Take a walk around the neighborhood
  5. Paint your nails
  6. See a movie that's been on your list forever
  7. Have a Disney movie marathon
  8. Experiment with photography
  9. Go bargain hunting at a dollar store or thrift shop
  10. Make a proper breakfast
  11. Read an entire book
  12. Create the ultimate throwback playlist (and then listen to it all day)
  13. Visit a local museum
  14. Find out what free events are happening in your area
  15. Do something you enjoy, but haven't done in a long time whether its painting, crocheting, or playing piano
  16. Read and comment on 10 blogs
  17. Print photos and put them in an album/scrapbook
  18. Buy and read a magazine
  19. Buy fresh fruit and make a smoothie
  20. Visit your local library and find a few good books to borrow

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Favorites No. 2

I have felt so creative and inspired this month. I know looking at my blog you might be questioning this, but that's because I've put a lot of my creative energy towards my job. I love reading about different people's ideas for teaching and creating my own materials and plans. I've had so many different ideas, been putting them together, and sharing them with my students. It's been turning out great and I have kids interested in Spanish. It's great!

I've also been trying to get back into blogging after an unintentional break. I was putting a lot of my creative energy into school, which is fine. I know I won't always feel inspired, so when I am I think I should go for it and create what I can so that way when I'm not feeling creative and inspired I can just relax. But I also don't want my job to turn into the only thing I have, so I know I need to continue to put energy into this space - especially since I like it. I'm sure other people understand though how when you have two or more creative outlets, sometimes it seems like all your creative energy goes into one area and the the others get ignored a bit. Anyways, I've been reading more blog posts lately and adding more blog post ideas to the list I keep on my phone, so hopefully I'll be publishing more content here. Then I just need to start promoting posts, spending time on social media, and all those other fun admin parts of blogging :)

monthly favorites


Here's what I've been loving this month:

Music

Ed Sheeran's new album ➗ is so good! I love it! "Castle on the Hill," "Perfect," and "Galway Girl" are my top three songs from the album, but I love them all.

I've also been waiting for Lorde to put out new music for years. Pure Heroin is one of my favorite albums. I was so excited when her new song "Green Light" came out. I love it and will definitely be needing to get her new album when it comes out.

Movie

I went to my first movie of 2017, Beauty and the Beast. I was a little unsure if it would live up to the magic of the animated movie, but all that uncertainty was immediately put to rest. They did a wonderful job recreating the movie. They stayed true to the original while still making it their own. If you have not seen this yet, YOU HAVE TO!

Memories

- Finishing my first quarter class. I had a great time with my first group of 8th grade students, even if they did drive me a little nuts sometimes.
- Watching how well my new quarter class picks up what we're learning.
- Reading Disney stories with my Spanish II kids. I love being a language teacher.
- Seeing how excited my Spanish II kids were about reading a story about Lemony Snickets.
- Showing my mom my classroom when she came to see my school's musical (The Little Mermaid!)
- Spending time with my siblings who were home from college on Spring Break
- Talking on the phone with my best friend every day
- Seeing Beauty & the Beast
- The first few signs of Spring


What have you been loving this month? Any of the same things? Let me know in the comments!




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!




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Must Have Bullet Journal Lists

I love making lists and I write the majority of my lists in my bullet journal. I always love hearing what people keep track of in their bullet journals, so I thought I'd share what I keep track of in my bullet journal, and maybe even give you some ideas of how to use your bullet journal.


5 lists I have to have in my bullet journal

Books to Read

If you're a book lover like I am, this is an absolute must. I have a list of all the books I want to read and add to it whenever I read a good book review or see an interesting looking book at the store. I also add the date I finished reading the book next to the title so I can look back at what books I read and when.


Usernames and Passwords

I forget my passwords all the time. I probably wouldn't be able to log into anything without keeping this list in my bullet journal. I refer to it all the time and I know when I switch over to a new journal it's time to update my passwords.


Habit Tracker

I come and go with these, but they are SO helpful! I add these to my monthly spreads from time to time and pick 5-10 habits I want to do every day or every other day like drinking 4+ glasses of water, going for a walk, reading for 30 minutes, taking vitamins, making the bed, or watering plants. Having a place to keep track of if you're doing these tasks and how often is a great way to see how well you're doing with your goals and habits.


Yearly Memories

I tried doing monthly memories for a while, but it always failed as I only had one or two big things that I really wanted to remember. So last year I started a 2016 memories page and I loved adding to it each month and being able to look back on it. I'm doing it again this year and I can't wait to be able to see all the amazing things that will happen this year!


Brain Dumps

This is probably the most helpful list for me to make. It helps me to not feel so stressed or overwhelmed when life gets crazy or I just have a lot to do over the weekend. You can simply list out every single thing you need/want to do or break it into categories (which is what I tend to do). When you write these out though, remember that you will not be able to get everything crossed off in one day. I just add them to my daily to do list throughout the week and tick off extra items when I have time.


Those are my must have lists for my bullet journal. Let me know in the comments if you keep the same lists or if you're going to add it to your bullet journal.





Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Top Tips for Writing Blog Posts

With running a blog one of your main jobs is to write blog posts. Contrary to what some people may think, blog posts do not just write themselves and most bloggers put a lot of time and effort into writing their posts. From coming up with post ideas, thinking of ways to make the post you're writing unique to other posts on your blog and on the internet, actually writing the post, and editing - here are a few of my top tips for writing blog posts.


7 tips to help you write your best blog post ever


Brainstorm post ideas often.

It's much easier to put out new posts regularly when you have a lot of different post ideas to choose from. I keep a running list of post ideas on my phone that I add to whenever an idea pops into my head and about once a month I try to sit down with my notebook and brainstorm as many post ideas as I can. Whenever I'm not sure what to write, I check my list for ideas and choose whichever post idea I'm most interested in writing. 


Keep a content calendar.

I like planning my posts out, although at the moment I pretty much plan a week in advance as I do most of my writing over the weekend. However whether your planning 2 months in advance or adding them to your calendar after you post, having a content calendar helps you to see if you're repeating the same topics too often and how often you're posting. It also helps if you want to write seasonal content as you can see when holidays are coming up!


Write posts that you would want to read.

If I was to choose the BEST advice I've ever been given for blogging it would be this: write about what you would want to read. If you're not interested in it, why are you writing about it? If you wouldn't read it, why do you expect others to? If you're interested in and excited about what you're writing it will show and chances are other people will be interested in it, too. If nothing else, you'll be creating content you can be proud of.


Outline your posts before writing.

This is something that's often overlooked when writing, but it's so important. It doesn't have to be an elaborate outline by any means. For this post I wrote my intro and then outlined the posts by putting in the headings. This keeps the post organized, and prevents me from just repeating myself over and over again.


Add a piece of yourself.

Whether it be your sense of humor, stories of your personal experiences, or even just those random words you like to use it's so important to include a piece of yourself in your writing. Doing this ensures that your post will be different from other bloggers'. I know sometimes it seems like we're all writing the same things, but the reason why I'll click on just about anyone's blogging tips, room tour, or bullet journal post is because I want to see what their take on it is, what they've learned, and what they've done differently. Include a bit of yourself in each post and it's guaranteed to be unique.


Don't copy other blogs.

Hopefully this seems like an obvious point, but do NOT copy other people's blogs! It's totally fine to get inspiration from other blogs or sources. Use that inspiration to create your own content and improve your current abilities. It is not cool to copy a whole post from another writer. It will only hurt you, especially when people catch on to what you're doing. If you want to use something from them - maybe a quote or give them credit for your post idea - be sure to let them know (or better yet, ask them if it's okay) via Twitter or email. 


Read through your post before publishing.

I don't stringently edit my posts - this is not my job and generally speaking I'm a decent writer and speller. For me, editing is mostly reading through my posts before publishing. I usually read (and re-read) each paragraph as I write - taking out this sentence, adding in this, deleting a word here or there. Once I'm done I always read through the whole post one time to make sure it flows well, everything goes together, and there's no glaring mistakes.


There you have it, my top tips for writing blog posts from brainstorming to publishing. I hope this helps you. There are times when I struggle with writing and other times where I feel like I could write 10 posts in a day, so don't feel alone if you're having a hard time with it. 

Let me know if these tips are helpful and if you have any other tips for writing in the comments!