Planner Talk

Friday, July 29, 2016

My name is Abbey, and I'm addicted to planners and all things happy and organized. 

Phew, that felt good to get that off of my chest. 

Yesterday after buying my fourth planner of the year clearly ignoring the fact that it's only July I decided that however hard I've been trying to deny it, I just have to accept the fact that I do have a problem. It's a problem that costs money. It's a problem that takes time (moving all important dates from one planner to another), and it's a problem that I just can't avoid any longer. 

In all fairness it is that time of year when all the new July-July planners come out instead of the January-December ones, so of course I needed one four of them. 

Anyway, today I thought I'd share with you what I've liked and disliked about my most recent planner purchases to save you the hassle of having to buy four before you're really happy with the one you've got. Let's get started, shall we?

#1 Day Designer by Whitney English 
Pros// 

1. I love the cover design. It's like a chic dalmatian print (is that a thing?) And the gold coil is a surprisingly pretty accent although I usually am more of a silver girl. 

2. There are tons of pages! This planner has an hourly layout that allows you to really plan your days out to the last minute. 

Cons//

1. Because there are so many pages, this planner is really heavy and a little inconvenient for everyday use. 

2. All of the pages are blank and white, which works for a lot of people. I prefer a planner that is a little more colorful and fun. But this one did make me feel like I needed to get right down to business!

3. I bought this one at full price for $59 dollars, which went to waste a little bit because after a couple of months I was already looking for a new one. 

#2 Erin Condren Life Planner

Pros // 

1. These planners are totally customizable. From the cover, to the layout there's not much you can't fit to your own style. 

2. They are so colorful! Each month is color coded to something different. 

3. They have a bunch of different add-ons for their planners which can help to even further customize your planner experience. 

4. The planner includes a little pocket for all of your things, as well as a small bag in the back for pens and extra papers. That is really helpful. 

Cons // 

1. These planners are also a little expensive if purchased at full price. However, I bought mine during a sale and only paid $25 dollars which was totally worth it. 

2. The planner includes some clip-ins (like a bookmark for your pages) but taking it in and out of the planner messes up the clip-in parts and eventually you can't use them anymore. 

#3 Create 365 - The Happy Planner 

Pros// 

1. This being my most recent planner purchase (I bought it yesterday) I'm most partial to this one right now. First and foremost I love the cover options, just as I loved the others! They had a few different designs and options which were all so cute. 

2. It was only $25 dollars (including a pack of stickers and binder clips) at Michaels because there was a 50% off coupon. 

3. It is an 18 month planner. That's crazy to me, it goes all the way until next December. 

4. It's not heavy, even with as far as it goes. 

5. Each month has the cutest little quotes at the beginning along with including pages for goals, and a "currently" section for each month. 

Cons// 

1. I don't love the coils (they're plastic) and it makes it a little difficult to turn the pages. 

2. There were things I loved about each different design and I wish I could have just put them all together into one planner. Although this one ultimately ended up being the one I was most happy with so it's what I decided on. 

What is your favorite planner right now? What do you look for in a planner design? 

Vacation Checklist: One Month Till Travel Time

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I have always been good about being prepared when it comes to taking a big trip. In fact, I'm usually that annoyingly organized person that everyone is happy to have with them, but also slightly hates because they packed for vacation two-weeks in advance. 

Okay, I've never packed two weeks in advance. Three days, maybe. 

Anyway, at the end of next month I'll be packing up and flying first class to Daytona, Florida for four days followed by five days in Cancun, Mexico. And no, I didn't suddenly come into a ton of money but we had a flight voucher that had to be used by the end of August. So basically I'm flying first class for the greater good of the airlines, I wouldn't want them to lose any money on an unused ticket voucher (haha, yeah right). 

It's been awhile since my last trip and I feel like this one would sneak up on me if I let it so I'm going to make this little checklist not only for myself, but for you as well. If you're going on a trip anytime soon, don't let it get the best of you. Start planning early so you have less to stress about when the time comes. 

Here's what you'll need to do one month in advance of a big trip: 

1. (If you haven't already) make sure all of your flights are booked, as well as your hotel reservations. Print out all of your confirmation numbers and have them handy just in case. 

2. If you're going out of the country you hopefully already have your passport, or you're waiting for it to arrive. Keep it in a safe place, but make sure it's easily accessible. If you forget your passport when you're headed to the airport, you will probably cry (speaking from experience here) and nobody wants you to be sad. 

3. Ask for the time off of work. The sooner you can give them the dates of your travel, the better. Don't mess up a good thing at work by springing it on them two weeks in advance that you'll be gone for 10 days. Give them the time to find coverage for you, or you might not come home to a job. 

4. Research the weather for the place and time of year that you're visiting. Obviously you won't find specifics a month in advance, but it will definitely help you to start buying clothes for your trip. 

5. Speaking of buying clothes, start doing that early. You don't want to be rushing around the day before you leave to find outfits for your trip. Start ordering bikinis online if you're going somewhere tropical. If you're headed to a colder climate look for those leggings and sweaters ahead of time. 

6. Start researching things you absolutely want to do at your destination. Some places required advanced reservations for activities so make sure you're all mapped out on the things you don't want to miss out on. Last time I was in Mexico I swam with dolphins and released sea turtles into the ocean, this time I think you'll mostly find me lounging on a beach chair with a drink in my hand, not a lot of planning necessary for that one. 

7. Save up some money! If you're going to need spending money for your trip, research the average amount that people bring with them wherever you're going. Find out the general price range of meals and drinks there, and save save save. It's so much more fun going on a trip when you know you can be comfortable about your money. *side story - when Daniel and I first got married someone gave us a trip to Disneyworld. We went with less then $200 dollars (because we didn't have much more then that at the time) and spent it all. We came back with close to no money and still another few days before pay day. Can you say, ramen noodles for dinner? It definitely wasn't our smartest decision but we learned from it and now you can learn from us. Save up that spending money! 

How far in advance do you start planning your vacation time? What tips would you add? 

In Their Own Time

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Do you think it's possible to want something too much? 

Like if you think about it just a little too hard, or hope for it more then you should that it might not happen? 

That's the way I've been feeling with something in my life lately, something I only recently decided that I wanted. Unfortunately the very impatient side of me is taking over and the second I decided that I wanted this thing, I wanted it right now. 

Now I've always been one to work for the things that I want. I don't necessarily rely on the sheer hope that something might happen by chance. Although when you want something bad enough obviously you're going to think about it, and wish for it, and overwhelm yourself with the possibility of it happening, or not...or is that just me? 

I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that I'm not in control of everything that happens in my life, as much as I may want to be. And that's hard for me. 

It's hard for my list making, organizing, planning self. I would love if it were as easy as tying my life into a perfect little bow and unwrapping each stage as I was ready for it, on my own terms. 

I'm trying to focus on the fact that I don't want to miss out on the here and now because I'm busy daydreaming about the future and what that holds. 

In my life right now I'm happy with my little two person family, I'm happy at my job, and I'm perfectly content with the stage that I'm in. I want to focus on not missing a single moment of where I'm at now so I don't look back on it later and try to remember why it went by in such a blur. 

At the same time, I'm excited for what the future holds. 

I'm learning to let things happen in their own time, and although it's something I struggle with on some days, I know that however the timing works out it will be for the best reasons. 

So no, I guess to answer my own question from above I don't think it's possible to want something too much. As long as you don't sacrifice the beauty of the day to day for the things that you're looking for around the corner. Focus on the present and sooner than you think the things that you're wishing for in your future might just become your now.
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What I Read in July

Monday, July 25, 2016

This month I found time to read three books. It's still not as many as I'd like to have read, but it was a start. My book choices ranged from YA to Romantic/Historical Fiction to Women's Lit. I was a little all over the place, but for the most part was happy with my choices. Here's what I read this month. 

The Infernals by John Connolly

Plot: "Samuel Johnson is in trouble. Not only is he in love with the wrong girl, but the demon Mrs. Abernathy is seeking revenge on him for his part in foiling the invasion of Earth by the forces of evil. She wants to get her claws on Samuel, and when Samuel and his faithful dachshund, Boswell, are pulled through a portal into the dark realm, she gets her chance" - via Goodreads

What I Thought: First of all, this is the second in its series. It's a YA book and as dark as it may sound I will tell you that both the first and second in this series have kept me laughing out loud. The author includes footnotes at the bottoms of the pages, some of them are informative, some of them talk directly to the reader, and all of them are funny. I am usually the worst about finishing series but this is one that I can't wait to read the rest of!

Rainwater by Sandra Brown 

Plot: "Ella Barron, a single Texas mother, built a careful life running a boarding house in the Depression - era cotton South. But when a mysterious stranger takes a free room, he also takes Ella's careful life apart. In the tradition of Gone With the Wing comes historical romance in the Dust Bowl" - via Goodreads

What I Thought: Last year I had the pleasure of sitting in on an interview that my parents conducted with Sandra Brown for their magazine. She was as graceful and eloquent as I imagined her to be after reading her work. They spoke about Rainwater and I knew it was something I needed to read, and I was right. This book gave me so many feelings. It was perfectly romantic, nostalgic, sad and wonderful. I loved everything about how much this book captured my attention and made me want to read all of her work. 

The Vacationers by Emma Straub 

Plot: "For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Fanny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experience, childhood rivalries resurface and ancient wounds are exacerbated. 

This is a story of the sides of ourselves we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocable altered yet whole" - via Goodreads

What I Thought: This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion. I had high hopes for this book because just about everyone I know who read it before me has said how much they love this book. I'll be honest, I didn't love it. I liked it, it was fine. But I found myself being more annoyed with the characters then feeling any connection to them. I read it quickly and was left feeling like things were tied neatly in a bow, but not in the ways that I would have hoped them to. I was left wishing for more, although I definitely think you should still give it a chance because my feelings seem to be the minority. 

What have you been reading lately? 

No Self Control: Nsale 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

It's actually embarrassing how little self control I have when it comes to a good sale. I can justify spending just about anything because what if I decide I want it later and have to pay full price? 

The truth is that if these items were full price then I probably would never buy them in a million years, at least for some of them anyway. But put a sale sticker on them and they're mine. 

I had this same problem last year during the Nordstrom sale. It came around and I caved and bought all the things. Then they arrived and I returned a few things because I didn't like the way that they fit, but for the most part I loved the items that I got. 

Of course this is all stuff that I'd be happy to live in come Fall time. So I'm hoping that when everything arrives it'll all fit perfectly. But my bank account is definitely hoping that I send a couple things back. We'll see how it goes. 

This year I looked at all kinds of blogger posts about people's favorite Nsale picks. Mostly because last year I spent way too much time going through all the pages of sale stuff online, only to find out that most of my favorite bloggers had already done the hard work for me and picked out the good stuff ahead of time.

I took a lot of suggestions from Caitlin and now were here. That girl can definitely style a picture and she had me convinced that I needed all of this stuff from the sale. 

Here are a few things I chose from this years sale. 

Lush V-Neck Crepe Blouse in Antler // UGG Ava Tall Suede Boot in Natural Suede // Cowl Neck Boxy Pullover in Charcoal (sold out but still available in Olive and Black) 


I also went with... 

BP. Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck Tee in Ivory Jenna Stripe // BP. Trish Bootie in Charcoal Suede // BP. Open Front Cardigan in Heather Grey & Olive

I can't wait for everything to arrive! What are your favorite things from the Nsale this year? 

Why I Don't Like Summer

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yesterday our air conditioning broke in our apartment, again.

And by again I don't mean that it's happened before in this apartment so we should have seen it coming, what I mean is that this is the third apartment complex we've lived in (in different states) where at some point or another the air conditioning has just decided it no longer wants to work.

I came home to a lovely 90 degree apartment at 8pm and just about melted into the floor next to my puddle of a kitten. He's got long hair so he was in worse condition then me. We got out our fans and opened all the windows and it eventually cooled down enough to wear some light clothes to bed without feeling like we were dead.

It's things like that happening that remind me of all the reasons I don't like Summer. 

*gasp*

Okay, that's probably an exaggeration. I like Summer fine.

But I'd be happy to do without it, especially if it meant I could have more times with all the other seasons because they're so much better. If I could live in one season forever, it would absolutely be Fall. California doesn't necessarily feel like Fall as much as other states that I've been to, but you can still rock a sweatshirt and some Ugg boots like no body's business and be ready to go for your day.

Here are a few things that make me like Summer less...

1. Crop tops...yuck. I used to only own crop tops and short shorts. And then I discovered the magic that is big oversized sweaters and boots and I never looked back.

2. Iced coffee instead of regular hot coffee or tea. Don't get me wrong, every now and then I love a good iced chai tea latte from Starbucks. But a hot one on a cold day? even better. And don't even get me started on PSL time. October, are you out there?

3. Feeling like you need to be tan all. the. time. In the fall and winter, no one cares if you aren't tan. Usually because no one can tell when you're all covered up in those big sweaters mentioned above. But in the Summer, there's bikinis and vacations and it's not okay to look like a ghost. If you need me i'll be buying all the tanning oil.

4. The heat. This goes back to the beginning of my post. Summer nights sound great in theory, the windows are wide open and you're feeling the light breeze. But when your air conditioner breaks and you're forced to sleep on a sheet so you don't melt into the bed, it's not fun. It's really not.

5. There's more pressure to make plans and to do all the things. I love adventures, I really do. But I also love movie nights cuddled up under the blankets. In the fall and winter it's totally acceptable to stay in all night and Netflix. In the Summer, everyone is trying to do everything outside in the fresh air (unless you live in LA where you probably won't find fresh air).

6. Everywhere is busy. We keep talking about taking a trip to Disneyland. It's been almost a year and I'm crying inside about that. But part of me is hesitant because school is out, which means all the kids and all of the family vacations. That first week of September is calling my name, but so are the pineapple dole whips.

7. Bugs. I forgot this was a problem until we were in the jacuzzi the other night and I got three mosquito bites in one sitting. That probably doesn't sound like a lot, but that was a week and a half ago and they're still itching.

8. Expectations. Every movie that even remotely relates to Summer will lead you to believe that Summer time is filled with adventures, and getting to know yourself, and finding your long lost twin at camp (looking at you, Parent Trap) but more then likely you're probably sitting on your couch, with the air conditioning on reading blog posts all day. Or is that just me? Summer expectations are absolutely different then the reality. Over it. 


If you need me, I'll be over here dramatically waiting for Summer to end. What's your least favorite season?

What Day Is It? It's Today. My Favorite Day.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I had a cup two cups of coffee this morning, So it's my favorite day.

I woke up next to my best friend and the person I love, So it's my favorite day.

I had a fun and perfectly relaxing weekend that I can reminisce on throughout the day, So it's my favorite day.

I get to go to work at a place that makes me happy to be there, So it's my favorite day.

I got woken up this morning by a kitten who wanted all of the snuggles, So it's my favorite day.

It's going to be a beautiful, sunny day today, So it's my favorite day.

My parents found a new house this weekend and I get to help them shop for the decor, So it's my favorite day.

I just finished one book that I truly enjoyed, and now I get to start another, So it's my favorite day. 

I got to write this cute message on my new letter board, So it's my favorite day. 

It might be a Monday, but you only get one today. So make it your favorite day.
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Pretty Etsy Things

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



I could spend all of my free time scrolling through all the pretty little things on sites like Etsy and Pinterest. Even if I don't buy anything, I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into each and every item that someone else out there is making. 

I also love the idea of buying something on Etsy. As easy as it is to go out into any store and find something I like, that probably 100 other people will like as much, I feel like so many of the things you find on Etsy are unique and it helps support smaller business, which I think is so important. 

Maybe you know someone with a birthday coming up, or maybe you're looking for a just because gift for a close friend or family member. 

Maybe you're shopping for yourself, or maybe you can just appreciate all of the work that goes into creating everything on the site.

Either way, Etsy has a little something for everyone. Pictured above are just a few of the things I've been keeping my eye on lately. I adore everything up on that little mood board. 

Have you found anything you love on Etsy recently? 

Share your favorites below! 
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Acts of Kindness

Friday, July 08, 2016

I am a firm believer in the power of a new day. In waking up and feeling refreshed, in starting over and focusing on the good. But lately I feel like that's becoming increasingly harder to do. Because everyday I wake up to our world, our people, raging war against each other. 

Rather then coming together we're rapidly separating and some days I feel my belief in the power of the kindness of humanity is waning. 

I know that it shouldn't, because for every bad thing that happens there are a million and one people who step up and show just how strong kindness can be. They work together to build everyone back up and my hope is restored, even if only temporarily. 

I find myself searching for a solution to the problems we're facing today. That's the kind of person I am, a "fix-it" person. I've been that way since I was little, always hating to see someone hurt or upset and always trying to find a way to solve everyone's problems. But at this point, I don't see any one clear way to fix the problems that we're facing in our society today. 

That's frustrating, and it hurts. 

In the not so far off future Daniel and I will begin expanding our little family. We will make the decision to bring children into this world. And we will do so with the hopes of raising them to be kind, and gentle, and smart and passionate people. And we can only hope that they will grow up in a society that nourishes and supports them. 

I don't see any one solution to our current problems, but I do see many small solutions and it starts with each of us. 

For every negative thing we face we have to work that much harder to be positive. We have to counteract the bad with the good. We have to stand together in a world that is dangerously tearing itself apart. 

We have to astonish the world with our acts of kindness. 

When bad things continue to happen, which they will, we have to keep pushing back with the good and always work that much harder to prove that it's still there. Because it is, in each of us. 

It may start with the smallest of things, or it could be big and pronounced and acknowledged. Either way, do something kind. Make it important to you, or to someone else. Prove to yourself and to others that there is good in this world, because I truly believe that there is. 

My heart goes out to every single individual affected by all of the tragedies that have taken place recently. I hope that if you're looking for understanding that you're being welcomed in by all of the kindest and wonderful people, because you deserve to know that there is good in a time when it may feel a little lost. 

Happy Friday, all. 

Please, be kind. 

When You Fall Off the Blogging Planet

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The past couple of weeks have really gotten away from me. I spent my entire last week covering for a coworker who was out of the week, which equaled out to about 10-12 hour work days. And then immediately went into dog sitting for this week which started on Friday. The only time I've been home is in passing to grab some clothes or to say hi to Daniel and Stitch, and I have to say I'm pretty worn out. Clearly my blogging has taken a bit of a backseat with everything going on, so I thought a nice and easy currently post would be a good way to get back into things, so here we go.

Currently...

watching all of the ABC Family shows that have plot lines that make absolutely no sense, but still keep me hooked anyway. See Pretty Little Liars, Dead of Summer, Guilt...the list goes on.

excited about my new baby of a car, that we're calling Tinkerbell. Last week my car battery died (not that big of an issue I know) but it's been having some other problems lately as well. So we took this weekend as an opportunity to take advantage of some of the July 4th sales and we went out and I fell in love with this little car. It's used, but its a 2016 and had really low mileage. And seat heaters. They had me at the seat heaters.

drinking chai tea latte from Starbucks.

not happy that I just had to buy new make up because I let my wall plug-in air freshener spill all over my old make up bag. It basically seeped in, covered everything and ruined most of what was in there.

grateful for a husband who cleans the apartment when I'm gone. I got to come home to clean clothes, and a happy clean space which I absolutely love.

smelling a watermelon lemonade candle from Bath & Body Works. You need this if you want all the Summer feels in your apartment or house right now.

looking forward to Daytona and Cancun! T-minus 52 days till I'll be relaxing away on a beach somewhere.

not looking forward to the fact that Daniel most likely won't be with me on that trip because of National Guard training.

eating a chocolate chip cookie dough Luna protein bar. Not bad, not bad at all.

hoping that you'll all still check back in with me even though I've been slacking a little bit over the past couple of weeks.

Happy Tuesday, all. 

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