The Planner I Keep Coming Back To

September 28, 2014

i love my weekdate.  it's really genius, space-saving wise.  how could you not love a planner whose motto is 'only write it once'?!  if you're the type of person who likes to carry a planner with you, this one is perfect.  compact and lightweight.  the 2015 was gifted to me for review, but it's my... at least 3rd, maybe 4th weekdate in a row.  (in fact, i asked for it to write the review specifically, because i already knew i loved it so much and needed to share.)  here's where i've mentioned/pictured my previous weekdate love:  10 best planners and tips for organizing your blog posts.

so, here's the overview!

top part
the top section is labelled 'monthlies.'  the days of the week are listed along the top and the weeks are listed down the left.  this is the space where you can list anything that occurs regularly in the month.  does your book club meet every 2nd tuesday?  is the pta meeting always the last thursday?  i'd write it in pencil in case plans change over the year. (and the weekdate comes with a pencil!)  as you can see on my 2014 planner, i used this section for my blog editorial calendar.  i'll probably do the same in 2015, once i lock down what that calendar will consist of.  i changed up my schedule, after taking it easy this summer, so i know i have some updating to do for next year's schedule.

middle (main) section
this is the main calendar section you're used to with a planner.  when fully folded open, you get to view two weeks at a time, monday through sunday.  there's also lines to the left, which i tend to use as reminders of things that have to get done that week, though not on a certain day.  or a shopping list.  you can also fold back the covers of the planner to pop it up like a tent and place it on your desk so you can see the current week.  the colors along the top correspond with the monthlies section, letting you know what week of the month you're in (i.e., in the photo it's green because i'm opened to the 2nd week of the month.)

bottom part
the bottom section is labelled 'weeklies,' with the days of the week listed along the top, monday through sunday.  also on the left side is a section for 'monthly set days.'  as you can see, i have the rent and a reminder to give hawkeye her meds on the 1st of the month.  when i finally figure out the actual due date of my electric bill, that would go there too.  this bottom section is where i'd list what needs to get done weekly.  currently, it has my cleaning schedule in there because i do clean the kitchen on mondays, dust on tuesdays, etc etc.  you can also put that zumba is at 7 every thursday or that you grocery shop every wednesday.  this bottom flap folds up and in so you can hold your place in the main calendar section.

other important notes:

the very last few pages are the months at a glance.  i write birthdays here.  there's also the full calendar for this year and next, and some notes pages.

besides the pencil in the monthlies part, i mostly use a black le pen.  no bleeding, i'm thinking about getting a pink one as well for fun plans vs using black for work and appointments.  it comes with the pencil.

size comparisons for you - i have the iphone 4, so you can see how long it is and how thin when all folded up.  i also used my apartment key so you could tell the size of the boxes you'd be writing in.

there's an academic version available, and a wall calendar.

they have a how-to video in case my explanations totally make no sense to you.

it's $23.  a giant steal compared to some other planners out there!

the photos of the black one or where it has writing is my 2014 weekdate.  the peach color and where it's blank it's the 2015.  the photos that look actually professional are courtesy of weekdate.

i love this thing.  i highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a 2015 planner!  shop weekdate here.

10 Best // Ways to Avoid People

September 25, 2014

netflix.  i've been binge watching the walking dead, i've never seen it.  luckily, season 4 comes out on netflix next weekend, so i can be all caught up before the season 5 premiere on oct. 12.  then i might take a break and move over to hulu and binge watch 7th heaven.  don't tell netflix.

cook.  slow cooker breakfast casserole.  easiest thing to make, you just set it the night before.  consistently one of john's favorite things i 'cook' and perfect for day (weekend) long football watching sessions.

shop.  the scandal collection, which was released at the limited this week in time for the season premiere.  i want to be olivia pope.  (without the daddy issues.)  i guess the next best thing is dressing like her.  save money by working some pieces into a work capsule wardrobe, like jess.

save.  money around your house.  be better prepared for the heating costs when the temperature starts to drop.

learn.  10 facts about las vegas.  john and i are planning a vacation there in april so it's fun to read anything about it.  which fact is new to you?  (maybe all of them!)

exercise.  the end of the month is almost here.  have you been participating in september's create your own challenge?  the theme for the month was fitness, and it's never to late to join in.  go for a hike or a long run in the fall weather this weekend and tell us all about it during the link up next week on october 2.

think.  about what you'd like to challenge yourself to for the month of october.  which starts next week, nbd.  we're doing the recap post about september's fitness goals, yes, but we're also gearing up for the next goal.  the theme for october is food.  i haven't quite decided what i'm going to do but there's a lot of options - try a new recipe, cook something with pumpkin, make all your lunches for 2 weeks, put a cap on your grocery budget, make those pinterest recipes you've been saving.  maybe even carve a pumpkin and cook the seeds!  i love doing that before halloween.  and don't forget, you can make any challenge you want and still link up, even if fitness or food isn't your thing for that month!

style.  your house.  feng shui seems so neat.  does it work?  has anyone tried?  i never have, but i want to.  some of the little details of it overwhelm me, but that infographic is a good starting point.  it would be fun to try now that i'm in a new space.

budget.  get on track before christmas/holiday expenses start rolling in.  this is an old post (well, may) but i still use ynab, religiously, and more than ever.  i truly have never had anything really work for me budgeting-wise until ynab.  now i'm on top of my finances at all times (something my mother deemed impossible!)

spend.  no, not money.  time.  not with people of course, but with your dog.  so many benefits of having a furry friend.  and hey, dogs like selfies (maybe just hawkeye.)

10 Best // Useless Information In My Brain

September 18, 2014

the words to every jingle ever.  dogs singing about k9-advantix?  yup.  'the snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off'?  of course.  need the address of stick stickly?  you got it.

every world series winner since 1984.

the alphabet backwards.  i'm 99% sure i can say it faster backwards than forwards.

all the words to semi-charmed life.  and everything by matchbox 20.  and possibly every single other song that came out in the 90s.

the entire script of empire records, without even having it turned on.  and the entire script of weird movie from las vegas that they used to play in the mirage hotel 24 hours a day about a boy who meets real pirates at the treasure island hotel.  no one knows what i'm talking about, that's fine.  no one else practically lived in vegas hotels as a kid.

the cleanest bathrooms from downtown chicago all the way north to wrigleyville, and which have the shortest lines.  and which have bathroom attendants and on what days, because i really like watermelon blow pops with my beer.

which bars in the entire chicago area have 'crack machines' - those touch screen machines sitting on the bar that have video games.  namely, naked girls photo hunt. 

armadillos always have 4 babies and they're all the same gender.

my friends phone numbers, except not the ones they have now.  only the ones i had to dial constantly in the world before cell phones.  so, their parents' landlines.  if i get arrested, guess i'm calling meredith's mom at 2 am...

the entire filmography of nicolas cage. put. the bunny. back. in the box.

imagine if i could free up that space to remember actually important things.  happy friday!

Ideas That Make Me Wildly Unpopular

September 17, 2014

or wildly popular, depending on your viewpoint.  there's no middle ground when you have controversial opinions.  and i have a lot of them i think.

- if given the opportunity to hurt bad people, namely animal abusers, i'd do it.  people often say "oh i don't think i could, when it comes down to it.  i couldn't kill someone."  if you fight dogs, or leave a kitten in a box on the side of the road to die, and someone told me "you can kill this person and never be punished," i would.  i would kill you in less than a second.  and i'd probably sleep better at night.  animal abusers turn into serial killers anyway.  everyone knows that.

- in a similar vein, a teacher in my constitutional law class in undergrad once asked us to write a quick 'get to know you' sentence on the first day of class - 'if you could change, add, or delete anything to the bill of rights, what would it be?'  my answer was that i would do away with the 8th amendment.  'no cruel and unusual punishment.'  namely, so we could test life saving drugs on death row inmates instead of monkeys and rats, because at least then those people would be useful.  yes, i am aware that this means i value any animal life over any human life - and i do.  i probably should work for peta...

- i'm super supportive of the patriot act.

- i hate my grandparents on my mother's side.  grandmother, mostly.  this makes people upset, because everyone thinks of nice loving little old lady grandmothers who should never have the word 'hate' used against them.  but my grandmother is pure evil and my parents and i haven't talked to her in 15 years.  of course, my dad's nice parents are dead and my mother's evil ones are alive.  because evil lives forever.

i think it's ok to be upset about (seemingly) trivial things.  i get annoyed when people say "it's not that bad, you're healthy, no one has died, etc etc."  especially when they say it to kids.  yes, that's true.  but that doesn't make what i'm feeling, or what a child is feeling, any less legitimate.  it's ok to be sad that you broke or lost something that can be replaced, it's ok to get mad when something is a huge hassle.  is it as serious as a major health issue?  no.  but it's happened and you can feel however you want to feel about it.  you're allowed to have a crappy day without everyone jumping on your case with "at least you're alive."

- i really don't like red wine. gives me a headache.

- i also think it's ok to write blog posts when you're in a bad mood.  it can't be perfectly organized closets and photos of hawkeye around here all the time.

Come Back, Please

September 15, 2014

did you hear?  surge is coming back.  the 90s sugar and caffeine bomb drink that i blame 100% for the bike accident leading to the hole in my chin and subsequent stitches and scar.  i'm not sorry.  i'll probably get another surge this time around.  man, we had some good stuff in the 90s.

so if it's suddenly possible to bring back this accident waiting to happen, can i offer my input on other consumable items from my childhood that need to make a return?  my by-no-means-inclusive list:

dunkaroos.  don't think i haven't considered importing these from canada.


koala yummies.

fruit string things.

french toast crunch cereal.

lifesavers holes.



fruit stripe gum.

taco bell lunchables.

butterfinger bbs.

berry kix.

now, who do i talk to about this?

10 Best // Life Lately

September 11, 2014

1. kelli and ryan got married!  such a beautiful and fun wedding.  i even instagramed the food.  #schoonchalk.

2. and, so did rory and lacey.  yes, 2 weddings, 1 weekend.  2 open bars.  it was as rough as you'd imagine.  but alas, all those photos are on john's mom's phone.  oh well, one day.

3. fitness - are you participating in the create your own challenge this month?  the month's theme is fitness and it's never too late to join in.  we want to hear all about your goals and how you did come october 2.  for me, i'm getting used to the walk to the train to get to work and all the stairs involved.  even after just one week i can tell a difference.

4. i'm almost unpacked.  which is pretty good considering that i had to dump all my stuff on moving day and head straight to labor day family gatherings and then this past weekend had 2 weddings.  the only thing left really is my folded clothes.  the closet has a built in dresser, but i want to clean it well and then put drawer liners in.

5. cool weather has arrived in chicago.  you know my deep love of winter and not so secret hatred for summer.  not that 52 degrees is winter but it's inching ever closer and i'm thrilled.  bring me snow.

6. gotta love my mom.  she's got jokes.

7. i miiiight be procrastinating the last of the unpacking.  whatever.  netflix.  and pinterest.  i like to mass delete things that either have broken links or that i'm no longer interested in.  and then i pin 40 things to make up for everything i deleted.  man, i love that site.

8. more free money.  i earn lots of swagbucks ($660 since mid-april of this year) and i just starting doing bing rewards.  you get a lot of bonus sign up points and then you can run some searches for points, so you're pretty much at $5 for amazon within the first two days.  i spend about 30 seconds on there each day, doing the various steps they outline, and i've already cashed in, i think, $13 for amazon.  for 5 minutes of work?  i'll take it.

9. guess i should blog more often than just on fridays.  whoops.  this past week just got away from me.  i do think things are finally slowing down a bit though, which is really nice.  and welcome.  so perhaps i can blog more than once a week!

10. 'cause this is thriller

10 Best // Ways To Avoid People

September 4, 2014

netflix.  the things that came out in august were awesome.  mighty ducks 1 and 2!  and face off!  you know how i feel about nicolas cage.  this month, they added cool runnings, and catching fire comes out around the 23rd.  i've also been rewatching buffy.

fitness.  it's not too late to join in on the choose your own adventure fitness challenge.  and we like challenges of all kinds, so if you're already set on fitness, challenge yourself to something else this month.  we still want to read about your results come october 2.  (the month of october will be food related, fyi.)

football!  football has arrived.  make some picks, watch some games, learn tailgating hacks for the next time you do want to be around people.

cook.  sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast roll ups.

shop.  guess what?  110 days til christmas.  the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get everything done in time.  start thinking about the people on your gift list.  need ideas?  try something based on their sun sign.

organize.  try this neat little notebook hack.  it's hard to explain, you just have to go look.  but i love it, it's genius!

declutter.  your digital life.  i'm good at keeping my email inbox clean, and i cleaned up pinterest.  my phone and desktop always look good.  but i definitely need to get a handle on all my accounts and passwords.  and my digital photos.

petition your congressman.  well no, probably can't start there.  but we need these.  i know we don't have the stray animals like other countries do but come on, we gotta make this work.  i, for one, would actually recycle.  save all the animals.  humans, meh.

read.  get some recommendations from steph.

save your sanity.  create a morning routine to get yourself and your house off to a good start every day.

happy weekend!

p.s. this list reads more like "things stephanie is going to do to avoid unpacking the last few boxes"...

The Unpacking Process

September 3, 2014

so i got all moved in on sunday to my new apartment.  such a pain, and i was happy to have monday off!  but since it was the holiday weekend, we had a bunch of other obligations.  basically, john and his brother unloaded everything into the living room/dining room of my new place and then we took off to various labor day parties and rewarded ourselves with all that furniture lifting by drinking other people's cheap beer and eating things other family members cooked for us.  it was wonderful but now i'm stuck with the arduous task of unpacking boxes and arranging furniture.  the furniture is set for the most part.  hawkeye doesn't function well without her couch and water bed, so those were the first to be set up.  (i wish i could say the apple tv/netflix is set up as well but of course, internet set-up snafu.  quelle surprise, at&t.  quelle surprise.)

but damn those boxes.  i packed them perfectly, of course, and i know what's in each one.  i don't have too many things, either.  i just don't want to do it.  clothes and kitchenware, it's really just sitting there waiting for me.  and i simply do not want to put pots and pans back in cabinets or figure out how to configure my clothes into this new closet.

so far, everything i've unpacked is staying.  almost.  there's a couple items (1 small box of things) that don't fit the space any more so those are going to 1 year storage in the best free storage facility in town... mom's attic.  moving on to the dreaded kitchen and clothes boxes (there's only like 6 total, i'm just being lazy), i decided to do even more purging as things come out of the box.  i was pretty ruthless with things going in so i imagine there won't be a lot but i don't think i was as ruthless with clothes as i should have been.  still striving for that 40 hanger closet and yeah, i'm not even close.  more like 80+ hangers and lots of things in drawers.  which is just too many things because i want a minimalist, capsule wardrobe.

before i dive into the last boxes, i decided to do some more reading.  i love reading articles and blogs on decluttering and organizing.  even though i'm already excellent at it, i still like reading other people's tips.  this is also a wonderful, educational, and totally productive procrastination technique.  most tips don't apply to me though, at least not any more.  some people hold on to clutter for sentimental reasons.  or because it was cheap or free or they just don't know where to start.  that's not me.

as i learned from my procrastination reading of blogs, my biggest hurdle, which i still have to remind myself of often - my home is not a storage space for other people.

i'm not keeping martini glasses because my mom likes martinis and comes over maybe once a year for one.  i'm not keeping a full set of bedding for a twin bed i no longer own because it fits the couch and occasionally people sleep over (a blanket and pillows are fine, it's a cushy couch.)  i'm not collecting any more wine corks because once tara's roommate needed them for cork art but i never actually remembered to give them to her.  i'm not keeping the flats that are too small for me but that fit meredith in case she comes over and doesn't want to wear heels out all night.  p.s. meredith moved to california last summer.

those are the things that are making a swift exit out of those boxes and into the donation pile.  or going to thredup if they're nice.  because then i make money to buy more clothes.  vicious cycle.  regardless, i'm going to start unpacking those boxes.  probably, as you're reading this, i already started.  i'm sure of it.

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