Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

Every month, I feel like I'm always so surprised at how fast time flies, and July was no exception. It was a very busy month, and August is guaranteed to be even busier, so I'm definitely going to be needing my Bullet Journal system to keep track of everything - especially my prep for moving to France.

Last week, I did an overview of what worked and what didn't work for my July planner set up, as I had attempted a One Book July-esque setup where I combined my journaling with my Bullet Journal and planning set up, but it didn't end up working for me. So this month, I'm returning to a system that I know works for me: my Bullet Journal.

I started a new notebook in August, and I'm using the "official" Bullet Journal notebook from Ryder Carroll, made by Leuchtturm1917. Please note, you do not have to use the official notebook, or even a nice notebook, to Bullet Journal. All you need is a notebook of your choice and a pen.

Whenever I set up a new notebook, there are a couple spreads that I always migrate and make sure to have in my notebook at all times. They are mostly inspirational spreads that I always carry, but some of them are functional as well.

The nice thing about the official Bullet Journal notebook is that it has the Future Log spreads built into the notebook at the beginning. I set up a 12 month future log, even though I'm certain this notebook will not last all 12 months.

I like to have a year at a glance spread, just to be able to reference and use while setting up my monthly spreads, as well as for future planning.

I am also sticking with using my little Moleskine weekly notebook for future planning. I adore it, and it's easier to carry around everywhere than my larger Bullet Journal.

I found this list "to read every day" on pinterest, and decided to copy it over. It's always there, so if I'm overwhelmed or stressed, I can just flip to the front of my journal and find it.

I had put my 2016 goals on a two page spread in my old journal, so for this journal I made it one page and a little more streamlined. I'm making pretty good progress on these goals! On the opposite page, I found this affirmation in pinterest as well, and it's a great reminder for when I feel overwhelmed, or just need a little encouragement.

My final "permanent" list is my wishlist, although there is not much on it right now. I did not transfer the items from my old journal because they didn't quite fit, so I started new.

This month, I wanted to keep my spreads simple and minimal, and went with green ink for my headers and accent colors.

This is one of those fun features that I have added to my journal over time, and it's always fun to look back through the months and see how I was feeling or what I was thinking about.

I decided to use Ryder Carroll's list view for my monthly overview, mostly because I just use it to keep track of my work hours and a highlight of the day. I do use an iCal so if I need a monthly overview I use that. On the opposite page, I have listed my goals broken down into three areas: Lifestyle/Personal, Creative, and Blog.

These two facing pages are used for my gratitude log, and my memories log. I'm trying to be a little less structured about these two pages, as in the past I have numbered every day in my gratitude journal, and made boxes for my memories page. I'm hoping that the lack of structure will make it more fun and spur-of-the-moment, but it is not usually in my nature to not have everything blocked out already.

I keep track of three challenges in my Bullet Journal: #PlanWithMeChallenge, #RockYourHandwriting, and #Quoted. You can find prompts for the #PlanWithMeChallenge and #RockYourHandwriting on Boho Berry's blog, and #Quoted from Onica Hanby. (As of my writing of this post, only the #PlanWithMeChallenge prompts have been released...)

Follow along on my Instagram!

I like to keep track of incoming and outgoing packages. I'm not anticipating a lot of incoming packages or orders as I'm moving in a month and trying to get rid of stuff, but it's nice to have just in case.

Project planning is a big topic among planner users and bullet journalists, so I thought I'd share how I keep track of my own projects. My next big project is getting my French visa, so I made a spread devoted to that. I like to break down a big task into smaller tasks, and to make sure I have everything needed I make lists like nobody's business. I guess that's my project planning style: List, break down large tasks into smaller tasks, and keep it simple.

Side note - I have to go to LA to get my visa... any suggestions on stationery shops? I'll mostly be in West Hollywood... but any suggestions welcome. :)

How are you setting up your planner for August? Let me know in the comments, shoot me a tweet, or share a photo on Instagram!

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Welcome to my semi-hopefully-not-too-regular-regular series, Coffee Break Blog. These are posts that I write during my coffee break, to be enjoyed during yours! Read on for a quick pick-me-up, and have a lovely day!

Happy Friday!

The Denver Art Museum recently opened an exhibition featuring the amazing works of several abstract expressionist painters: ALL WOMEN (can I get a #HELLYES #FINALLY). I genuinely love this exhibition, have seen it multiple times, and have the catalogue, postcards, and pins featuring my favorite paintings and artists. On the walls of the exhibition, there are quotes about art and painting from the artists featured, artists like Perle Fine, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, that give visitors a glimpse into the mind and the passion of the artists. But this isn't a post about how much I love the exhibition (although I certainly could write one... or a hundred). 

This post is about the quote from Helen Frankenthaler, featured on the wall: 

"One of the first rules is no rules." 

I love rules. Having structure, guidelines, and rules that make sense. I feel like things run smoother, more efficient, when there are rules in place. Throughout school, I was great at obeying the rules (when they made sense). Adhering to a structure is comforting for me, someone who has the attention span of a gnat, and who likes to do 50 things at once.  Flash forward to graduation, and even though I had followed the rules I set for myself, I was not following the path I had set out for myself. In fact, I had decided to take a very different and slightly unexpected path: Moving to France. 

I had always thought that there were certain rules I had to follow in order to achieve an arbitrary level of success that I had determined when I was in high school. My mom has often chided me, asking where I had found these rules and reminding me that no one has imposed the rules I seemed to live my life by but myself. Reading Helen Frankenthaler's quote on the wall in the museum, it made sense to me. There are no rules. I don't have to do what I felt like others expected of me, what I thought the trajectory was supposed to be like. There are no rules for achieving success. You just have to do what makes you happy, be kind to other people, and live a good life. There are no rules. It's scary, and at times uncomfortable. But it's so freeing. 

Just like painting was an act of freedom for Judith Godwin, so is living life without the constraints I placed on myself.

The first rule of not just painting, but of building a life? There are no rules.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

At the beginning of July, I set out to change my planning system a little bit and try to make it simpler and easier to stick to. I have been using a Bullet Journal for the better part of a year and a half (sometimes supplementing it with other systems, but always carrying my trusty Leuchtturm1917 notebook with me), and thought I would try to combine my Bullet Journal, personal journal, sketchbook, and braindump notebook all in one place.

I used a blank notebook that I've had for a few months now, and that I usually keep as my sketchbook in order to try and combine everything into one book. Honestly? I think I'm just not a one book kind of girl. After my initial attempts at using this one book this month - I hardly ever touched it and ended up using a ton of sticky notes in my little Moleskine planner for most of the month.

I think planner people all feel that way sometimes. We try different systems, different styles, different ways of planning in order to find the way we like. I have found that I like to keep function and form separate. That's not to say that I don't like my planner or Bullet Journal to be attractive, but my watercolors, sketches, and calligraphy practice have to be kept separate from my to-do lists, and my journal separate from both of those.

What worked in July:
  • My small Moleskine planner! It was the perfect size to throw in my bag and bring with me to work, or just to the coffee shop. Plus it's great for my messy brain dumps and weekly to-do lists. 
  • Having fewer notebooks to carry around. I have been known to carry around at least four notebooks. And only use one. 
  • Using primarily fountain pens. Unfortunately, the Moleskine planner is not the greatest for fountain pens, but I've used it on my notepads and my journal that I started in my Traveler's Notebook this month. 

What didn't work in July:
  • Keeping my Bullet Journal, journal, and sketchbook in one book. 
  • Using sticky notes and jotting things down in different places.
  • Not having a consistent system in place to keep track of my tasks, projects, and day to day notes. I liked my Bullet Journal because it's a consistent place to keep all of those miscellaneous lists and ideas that constantly pop into my head. 

In August, I'm going to go back to using my Bullet Journal for planning, along with a pocket sized traveler's notebook to house my Moleskine planner, as well as my on-the-go journal and braindump notebook.

How was your July planner set up? What worked for you, and what didn't?

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Mondays get a bad rap.

To be honest, I'm not always the biggest fan of Monday mornings, especially when I'm comfy in my bed and there are a million and a half things to be done. All things considered, even the fact that I am the furthest things from a "morning person," I kind of like Mondays.

Mondays are like starting a fresh notebook. Like fresh laundry, or clean cut grass.

Mondays are like a full cup of coffee, a glass full of water, a full mug of tea.

Mondays are like anticipation, the first minute of a show, full of potential and promise, a clean slate. A chance to change, to make things better. To keep things amazing.

So maybe Mondays suck sometimes. But Mondays are also great days for renewal, reinvention, and reinvigoration.

I love Monday.

Now, after my poetic musings about Mondays, let's get to the real business here. Weekly goals! As you know, I love setting goals and planning ahead for the week. Here's a glance at my week:

The big things I have to do this week are plan my trip to LA in August, since I have to go anyways to get my French visa I might as well make it a little bit of fun, go to yoga at least twice this week, and try to write some blog posts in advance.

What are you up to this week? Share in the comments below, or shoot me a tweet or tag me on instagram. Have a happy Monday!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Monday!

Last week I shared my monthly goals for July, and there were a few inquiries about whether or not this would be a weekly feature and link up. I thought I'd try the weekly link-up for a while to see how it works. If you write about your goals, be them weekly, monthly, yearly, etc., then go ahead and link up below!

This week is actually a pretty quiet week for me, as I was scheduled for fewer days than usual at work, which means that there is more time to get some stuff at home done. I also hope to fit in a lot of reading, and maybe even some yoga classes!

1. Make a dentist appointment.
Before I move, I'm trying to just take care of all those little annoying doctor's appointments and general check ups, and going to the dentist for a cleaning is one of those things. Annoying, but necessary.

2. Finish The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Literally, I should have finished this book a very long time ago. Truthfully, I've been dragging my feet. This week, I want to finish it and start putting into practice the technique that Marie Kondo explains in the book.

3. Get out of Denver for a little bit.
In lieu of traveling, I just need to get out of the city a little bit, and maybe spend a day in a place outside of Denver and the urban heat. I'm thinking Boulder, or Fort Collins. 

That's my week! Feel free to link up your own goal-setting related post below. Have a great week!
Here are the link up rules: 

  1. Link back to this post in your own July set up post! Feel free to use the button I have made and provided, or use your own! Any posts not related to the theme, or that link to a home page instead of a specific post, will be deleted. 
  2. Comment on the person who linked up before you. This is all about creating a community of people who also want to share their planners and journals, so it's SUPER important to make sure to connect with the other bloggers and planner lovers!
  3. One of the most important rules is that there are no rules! Post your goals whether they are yearly, monthly, or weekly. Just make sure to post about your goals! If you post on social media, use the hashtag #makeithappenmonday and #papermacaronplans so I can see all your wonderful goals!

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Happy Friday!

I'm sorry my posting schedule got a little bit thrown off this week, but next week we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming of stationery, planner, and travel goodness!

I was inspired by July 6 #RockYourHandwriting challenge prompt: Reading list. I made a list of books and articles that were on my list, and I thought I'd share them with you!

Flirting With French by William Alexander
I picked this up at Anthropologie one day, and it is totally something I can relate to! Basically, Alexander is trying to learn French, and suffice it to say, it's an adventure. I have only just started it, but I love this passage:
France does that to you. Some Americans want to visit France. Some want to live in France. I want to be French. I have such an inexplicable affinity for all things French that I wonder if I was French in a former life (I'd like to think Molière, but with my luck, more likely Robespierre, which explains the persistent crick in my neck). I love French music and movies. I yearn to play boules in a Provençal village square while discussing French politics... To get to know and understand the people who still worship Napoleon, who consider 'philosopher' a job title, who can be both maddeningly rigid and movingly gracious...
If that doesn't explain what it's like to be a Francophile, I don't know what does.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
This one has been on my list for a while, but I want to get rid of a lot of stuff before I move to France, and I've been hearing great things about this book. It's not perfect by any stretch, but so far there has been some valuable advice!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
In preparation for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the end of this month, I hope to read all of the Harry Potter books before the release! I may have to settle for re-reading Deathly Hallows for the fourth time (and yes, I did have to get a new copy of Sorcerer's Stone. Mine was falling apart).
This is such a cool concept, and if I find myself in Grenoble, I will definitely have to get a short story from the vending machine!

I consider myself to be a curious person, and someone who desires knowledge and learning above all else, so the concept of the 5-hour rule (à la Benjamin Franklin) was really appealing to me.

I LOVE seeing other people's notebooks and planners, so taking a peek into some famous artists and authors' notebooks was so cool to see how everyone's creativity works in different ways.

I have recently been really interested in Baum-Kuchen as an online store, and I'm hoping to visit the store in LA when I go in August, but the blog is so amazing! I love the aesthetic and the very easy-going nature and good vibes I get from visiting their blog. It's been a daily stop for me, and I've been going further and further into the archives, but this post is a recent favorite.

What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me a tweet! Have a great weekend.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday, I took the day off to spend time with my parents and my friends for July 4, I didn't post on my blog or on social media. While the title is Make it Happen Monday, I thought I would publish it on Tuesday anyways.

Last month, I resurrected a feature that I loved about my blog called #MakeItHappenMonday, where I share my goals (and last month, I shared my mid-2016 goal review) and invite you to do the same! I haven't done this in a while, but I also wanted to make a link up for other bloggers who like to share their goals. Most of my goals revolve around relaxing, being creative, and preparing for France.

1. Finish Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and go through my craft supplies.
I've been reading this book off and on throughout June, and I have found it super helpful in motivating me to go through my stuff and get rid of a lot of things that I don't need. I just want to finish it already and put into practice what I've read!

2. Read 3 books.
I've been trying to read more, so in July I want to read 3 books for fun.

3. Plan my trip to LA in August.
In early August, I'm going to LA to get my visa, and I'm going a day early to have a little fun. I'm not traveling anywhere until France, so I thought it would be a nice opportunity to take a break and do some sight-seeing, stationery shopping, and museum visiting. Gladly welcoming suggestions!

4. Stick it out through #OneBookJuly.
This year, I'm trying out One Book July (which you can read about in my last post). I'm already finding things about how I like to plan and journal, so I think it's already been valuable. Let's see if I can make it through the month!

5. Take a calligraphy class + practice every day!
I was lamenting the fact that I missed the sign up date for a calligraphy class in Denver, but I found one in Boulder that I registered for, and I'm so excited! It's at the end of the month, so I want to practice a little bit this month leading up to the class.

6. Keep up with Instagram challenges.
I always tend to fall behind on the various instagram challenges I follow, but this month I'm determined to stay on top of them!

What are your goals this month? Leave me a comment, or link your blog post below!

Here are the link up rules: 

  1. Link back to this post in your own July set up post! Feel free to use the button I have made and provided, or use your own! Any posts not related to the theme, or that link to a home page instead of a specific post, will be deleted. 
  2. Comment on the person who linked up before you. This is all about creating a community of people who also want to share their planners and journals, so it's SUPER important to make sure to connect with the other bloggers and planner lovers!
  3. One of the most important rules is that there are no rules! Post your goals whether they are yearly, monthly, or weekly. Just make sure to post about your goals! If you post on social media, use the hashtag #makeithappenmonday and #papermacaronplans so I can see all your wonderful goals!

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Friday!!

IT'S FINALLY JULY! June was a GREAT month for me, as I graduated from college, re-launched this blog, and finally starting preparing for my impending move.

As it was such a great month, it also went by really fast - but I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from the past 30 days, across all areas of my life! I love reading these kinds of posts, so if you wrote a blog post or made a video of your June favorites, let me know in the comments below, shoot me a tweet, or an instagram comment!

1. Lavender everything!

Since it's summer, I've been craving and adoring everything lavender, flowery, and refreshing. Lavender smells nice, it tastes good, and it's purple, my favorite color.

2. TEDxMile High
My dad did a Ted Talk this year at TEDxMile High, and it was such a blast! There were so many amazing speakers, and such great and inspiring ideas. I took a ton of sketchnotes, and I'm working on how to implement these ideas in my daily life.

3. Flower wreaths
Again, festive and summery! I've been drawing them a lot with all sorts of quotes, and just for fun.

4. Women of Abstract Expressionism at the Denver Art Museum.
This exhibition just opened this past month, and I'm obsessed. I've already seen it multiple times and notice something new every time.

5. The Jess Lively Show
I've been getting more and more into podcasts over the last few months - and this one has been a particular favorite of mine. Jess Lively is so positive and empowering. I always find something in every podcast episode that I can apply to my daily life. Her most recent episode is one that I think I needed to hear, all about when you feel like you need answers in your life (definitely give it a listen!).

I think July is going to be a hot one this year, but there are already adventures being planned and exciting things in store. How was your June? What are you excited for in July?

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