Friday, June 30, 2017

June Top 10!

Hello there friends! I can't believe we're already moving into the last full month of summer, where has the time gone??? June seemed to go very quickly and I'm really not sure why, but here we are the weekend before the Fourth of July. While June didn't have a whole lot going on, there were definitely some things I have loved during this month!

Blogs, clothes, and experiences I loved in June

1 // At the start of the month, I got to spend a full week with my adorable boyfriend. We live the long distance life during the summer, so getting to spend uninterrupted time together this time of year is rare. We didn't have any big plans for the week, just soaking up time together before he left for ROTC training, but we had a good time together. I'm looking forward to him coming back from training in less than 2 weeks (!!!) and we're planning to fit in a couple day trips before he goes back to South Carolina.

2 // With all the free time I've had since Mike left, I've been trying to read a little more. I picked up Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst at the end of May, but really dove into it this month. Y'all! Everyone needs to read this book. The message is so unbelievably powerful and it really resonated with me and some of the things I've gone through in the past year. The book is centered around dealing with rejection - whether from friends, a boy, jobs, etc - by finding peace in the promises God has for you. It's an extremely moving book and I think it really helped me take a step towards moving on from past hurts, highly recommend!

3 // My other free time has also been spent watching Netflix, not the most productive, but hey, it's summer time. I prefer to find some sort of sitcom to have as background noise while I'm doing other things and lately that has been That 70's Show. Just a forewarning, it's rather inappropriate. But it's very funny and easy to have playing without having to pay full attention. I've gone through it faster than anticipated (oops), so if you have any recommendations of fun, lighthearted shows to watch, let me know.

4 // I did some shopping this month because I just can't resist a good Old Navy sale. So far, I've only worn a couple of the things I bought, but I think I have a new favorite item of clothing. A black, t shirt, swing dress. Now I'm not a girl who wears black, ever. I'm convinced I'm too pale to wear it. But I bought this black dress because it seems like a good basic to have, and now I want it in every color available! It's so comfy and you look super put together, even though you're really just wearing glorified pjs. So it's pretty much the best thing ever. And it's on sale right now for $15!!!! Some of the other swing dresses are as low as $8! I'm really having to resist the temptation to buy them all.

5 // Summertime is always when I find new bloggers and social media accounts to follow. This summer, I found another Clemson blogger! And there will be another blogger coming in as a freshman in the fall, we have discussed a blogger brunch and I'm all about it. But seriously, Elizabeth's blog - Life of Me, Queen B. - is so relatable! Her outfit posts are always adorable and I love how she shares her faith on her blog. Go check her out!

6 // As for me, all has been rather quiet on the blogging front. It's so easy to get caught in the comparison trap! I constantly think, "well why should I bother writing anything when there are probably a million other things like this out there written by people who are professional bloggers?" That is not a good mindset to have! It seems like so many people in this blog bubble are in it to eventually make money, and sure that would be nice, but that's not what I'm about. This blog has always been my passion project and I've spent some time really reflecting on that and thinking about why I started this blog and brainstorming ideas for my little corner of the internet. Self reflection is always a good idea and I need to do it more often.

7 // I've been writing more this summer, just not here lol. But with Mike being off at army training, letters have been an important form of communication. Y'all it is so much fun to write and receive letters. Everything these days is digital and instant, but knowing there's a handwritten note coming in the mail for you is so exciting. We've exchanged quite a few letters at this point and I know they're something I'll always keep - I also always keep everything, but that's beside the point. I've also been writing in some journals and just putting ideas on paper. It's unbelievably therapeutic and something I should really do more often. Do you have a pen pal you write to?

8 // Summer for me is all about country music! Blasting country jams with the windows down in a car with friends is the most stereotypical summer image in my mind. I've also spent most summers going to country concerts with friends. I took some time putting together a playlist of my favorite summer country jams on Spotify - it has a little bit of Texas Red Dirt country, some new pop-country, and some old classics. Am I missing any good summer songs?

9 // I've also been doing a lot of online browsing in search of the perfect outfit for my birthday at the end of July!!! And the great thing about social media (there definitely quite a few downsides) is that it is so easy to discover small businesses. Since I'm from a tiny town, I tend to have soft spot for small, local businesses. There are tons of adorable online boutiques that have great selections of trendy clothing at really reasonable prices. The newest boutique I've discovered is Hazel and Olive, which is actually based out of Texas. I haven't ordered anything from them yet, but I might soon! This gingham romper would be perfect for the 4th. And this palm print one would be great for your next beach trip.

10 // I am so excited for July to begin! It's definitely my favorite month of the year, probably because it's my birth month. But this year it will be especially good since we'll be starting off with lots of 4th of July (my favorite holiday) festivities, the next week Mike will be back and we're planning some fun summer adventures. And then I'll end July at the beach celebrating my 21st birthday with my family. What are your plans for the upcoming month?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Best Planner for College Students

Hi friends! Today I'm back and talking about one of my favorite things - planners! I have talked about planners a few different times on the blog, from all of the good contenders for students to how I organize my planner. And today I'm sharing the planner I will be using for my senior (!!!) year of college.


My first three years of college, I used different planners each year. Freshman year started with the classic Lilly Agenda, sophomore year I opted for the sleeker Kate Spade agenda, and with a crazy schedule looming for junior year, I decided on the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley (which I actually got as a gift). After using the Simplified Planner for the last year, I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to a normal planner. In my opinion, it's the best one on the market, which is why I decided to use it again for senior year.


After receiving my planner in the mail, I realized there were some differences between the 2016 and 2017 versions, so I thought I would share those and my opinions about why this planner is the best for college students.

One of the best things about the Simplified Planner are the little details involved. Each planner arrives in a gorgeous keepsake box with a note from Emily inside and a little pamphlet on the story of the SP and how to start getting it set up. The attention to the little things is what sets this company apart and what keeps me coming back a loyal customer.

I decided on the "Happy Stripe" pattern for senior year. I just love the bright colors. There was also a deal on launch day for free monogramming, so obviously I took advantage of that, because if it's not moving, monogram it.


I loved seeing the two planners next to each other. Last year my boyfriend chose the gold pineapple print for me, and I absolutely adored it - I'm obsessed with pineapples - but the white cover got a little worse for wear after being hauled around every day in my backpack. However, the cover is the only part that showed wear! The binding stayed perfectly in tact and no pages ever ripped - it is not easy to find planner that fit those criteria.

The biggest difference cover wise between 2016 and 2017 is the binding. How pretty is the new gold binding? Not that the brassier binding from last year was bad, but I just love how the gold looks.


Inside the cover is a small pocket. I'm planning to get a coordinating Maybook to stay on top of blog things this year. A new feature this year is this page of stickers! They remind me of the stickers in the Lilly planner, and they're just so cute. I can't wait to use them throughout the year.


The beginning of the planner has stayed largely the same. There is a letter from Emily, tips on simplifying and small calendars for each month of 2017 and 2018, and there is page for a yearly bucket list that I didn't get a picture of. I didn't utilize the bucket list this past year, but since I am going into senior year I plan to use it to make note of all the things I want to do before graduating next spring.


I prefer academic planners - running August through July - because I love the idea of each school year having it's own planner, is that weird? I keep all my planners and I think it's fun to remember oh this was from freshman year, and these were all the things I did that year.

Anyway, the monthly view has remained largely the same, with the exception of the top of the page. In previous years, each month had a longer quote at the top, this year they swapped the quotes for a tip on simplifying.


The daily pages are really what makes this planner perfect for the busy college student. Each day has its own page with space for a schedule, to do list, meal tracker, and notes. Being able to separate my schedule and to do list was crucial during junior year. In college, no two days are ever the same between classes, meetings, work, social events, etc. Some may find it tedious to write down your schedule every day, but it really helped me keep track of all of my obligations. I used the to do list to keep track of what things I needed to get accomplished each day, and the notes to keep track of upcoming assignments that I needed to remember, but not necessarily work on yet.

In the past, when I used smaller planners, my schedule always ended up jumbled with my assignments, and it wasn't unusual for important things to get lost in the clutter. With this format, that doesn't happen.

Similar to the change in the monthly view, the daily pages used to have a quote at the top of each one, and now that is just open space. It's being referred to as the "headline space." While I wasn't sure at first about not having the quotes - they're sweet and inspirational - the blank space has grown on me. I can see myself making note of important things like tests, presentations, or friends' birthdays, etc. I previously would mark those down in the notes section, but I like the idea of having it at the top of the page instead.


This is the weekend view. Another tiny change is the color shift on Friday from yellow to orange, which I'm so excited about! Every Friday at Clemson is Solid Orange Friday and everyone wears orange to show support for the Tigers in their game that weekend. I think it's so cute that now even my planner will be participating, and maybe the color will remind me to wear orange that day.


The weekend schedule isn't marked by time and has a smaller to do list, since the weekends aren't usually as busy. In all honesty, my planner doesn't see much use on the weekends, so I'm perfectly happy with having small spaces for them. And I love the space to record a happy memory from the week.



I just had to include a couple more pictures, because I can't get over how pretty it is! And I love that my initials are on it.

What planner will you be using for the upcoming year?