Things I Can’t Live Without: On My Desk

Things I Can’t Live Without: On My Desk

Photo by Roman Bozhko on Unsplash

PANDA PLANNER

This year was the first time in a long time I reconsidered actually using a planner for growth and productivity. I looked and looked around and asked so many people their opinions on what planner is best. Until I found it! Panda Planner has been my savior, literally. I am not going days without writing in it. It has everything I need in it- monthly, weekly and daily undated so that I can fill it out and use as needed. My days and weeks go smoother when I really know what I’m doing and what I’m expecting of myself. I can also track just about anything with goals and daily habit tracker. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to any other planners.

FELT TIP PENS

Sometimes I like these to write in my planner to color code, to doodle or when I need to tell apart something I’m jotting down like an appointment alongside a post I’m thinking about. Colored felt tip pens seem to always come in handy in some way or another. Using color always seems to make me more productive.

BIC BLACK OR BLUE WRITING PENS

These simple pens… They are the bee’s knees. Only pens I’ve ever used that don’t skip or leak ink. I think they write well and I have a good handle on them as well. I can write as fast or slow as I want and my hand doesn’t cramp or change. I can get them in packs and be good to lose them or not lose them and I don’t mind because there are so many. I know they come in blue, black and red. Other Bic pens also in other colors.

PEN HOLDER- “PAPA’S MUG”

My pen holder is a mug of my papa’s that I always saw (or used) growing up. It has a lot of memories attached to him and breakfast time.  It holds all my pens and markers and stamps. Every time I look at it it makes me smile and think of him. 

STAPLER

I had wanted this Nate Burkus stapler to snazz up my desk for awhile. I kept seeing it at Target and couldn’t get past it. So I bought it! And I love when I use it all the time I can feel like I work in a real office. It works well and isn’t cheaply made also it’s shiny and nice sitting on my desk! 

NOTEBOOKS

I have a HUGE variety of notebooks! Spiral, bound, small, big, moleskin, graphic- so many to choose from. I’ve been going through them to distinguish what is what in them. But so far I have no luck, they are all a mush mosh of my thoughts, needs, wants and desires. I have a couple from high school that have collections of my writings and those are so special to me. 

SCREEN CLOTH

I have this one small screen technology cloth that’s I always use. It’s a microfiber cloth and it’s great for my phone but I always will pick it up if I smudge my completed screen. It’s soft and never scratches. I also love a good safe technology cleaning spray but I can’t find mine right now. You can also safely wash these if they get dirty or spill something on them.

STYLIST

And no I don’t mean a hair stylist. I mean a pointer pen. I’ve had a bunch of them- the funky little cheap ones that don’t work and frustrate you. If you invest in a good one it will make your technology life much much easier. Sometimes my fingers on my phone don’t work or I’m being lazy. I often use mine on social media to “write” messages or draw things. It makes my handwriting turn out a lot neater.

If you liked this post go check out the on I wrote on Things I Can’t Live Without: On My Nightstand

Letters to Myself: Current Edition

Letters to Myself: Current Edition

Dear Me,

I just wanted to touch base with you and have some good inner dialogue and say that you’re doing just fine. I’m working towards my goals and making strides in my personal development and growth. I’m a happy, semi-healthy, friendly and loving person with a lot to offer the world. (I’m not writing this to gloat on myself but give myself some therapy and self-love). I am present and doing my best in the current moment.

I’ve been happily married to the love of my life for almost six years now and that is a long time for someone who’s the longest relationship prior to this was about 8-9 months max. All with just very selfish incompatible people who really weren’t the greatest people themselves either. I don’t know why I chose them I just did and that was pretty hasty. Now I think back to that time and realize that a year is a long time and that these six years have just flown by. We were engaged quickly because we had that deep gut feeling that we were meant to be and I still find it true.

Some things have changed like school and work, for instance, I used to be very motivated to “do better, be better” but it’s just not the case. After the economy took a large hit a few years ago I thought “what’s the point?” and just quit my now dead end degree in Psychology. Further schooling is needed to really do what I want to do and become successful. And to not really earn much money at all and be in a field where there are openings.

Blogging is a wonderful world to me. It’s been a constant in the past for almost 8 years, I have tried to document and re-document things that have happened and come up. To make it interesting I’m just trying to incorporate more “me” into the mix and connect more with other bloggers. As I begin to monetize and get sponsored posts, I just am proud of how far I’ve come and the work I have put in. I have toyed with photography to make my blog feel real and come alive. I have put some endless dollars into my design and always had a presentable nice clean blog site. Many things have changed and I have written hours upon hours of ups and downs and in-betweens. It is something I plan to continue and morph for a long time.

I’m also very proud just how far I’ve come as a person and a friend. I used to be a welcome mat, happy for people to come along step all over me and wipe off their shit. But no more! I have grown a real backbone now and that’s not to say I’m a bitch. I only tolerate quality people in my life now and realize I deserve better than that. I have learned not all friends stay with us through life and others come and go through stages. It’s most important to be there for each other always and be understanding.

This place I’m in feels oddly healthy and like I’m in a growth stage currently. Learning new things, trying new things and adapting to a new lifestyle. I have made goals come and go, “achieving is believing”. Now I wouldn’t call myself successful or driven, because well I’m not those things all the time. But again, there is progress happening and more to be made. I know what I have to work on and that is follow through. I need to search and contemplate what I really want in life and how to get there. My path has been challenging but not impossible and I have proven to myself with the help of my husband that I can get through anything. If I only try, listen and speak up when I need to.

So as you go through life, remember a few things, be patient, be kind, be sweet, be daring and most of all be yourself because that’s the only way to be.

Sincerely, the present me

Daily Morning Routine

Daily Morning Routine

I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time. These I find hard to write because there isn’t much to say but I’ll do my best to elaborate and make this more enjoyable for you. I hope to maybe mention some things that I use or do in the mornings that help me start my day on the right foot. I’m working on my healthy and relaxing steps of my morning so I can be productive and motivated for the whole day.

WAKE UP 9AM

The second I wake up, I take a few deep breaths and wipe my eyes. I am guilty of getting on my phone the moment I wake up so I’ve been trying to just relax in bed for a few minutes before grabbing it. I feel like I’d be one of the few (or many) that could just stay on their phone 24/7, which I know isn’t really healthy. I need a day off from social media that’s for sure but man it’s hard and I constantly have FOMO. How does anyone else deal with this?! Like I said, I’m working on it. Usually within minutes of me actually waking up the dogs come out of the covers, because yes they sleep with us, and they start prancing around for food.

GET UP 9:30AM-10AM

Sean’s alarm goes off about now and as he crawls out of bed I stay for a few more minutes.
I’m taking back my mornings….
I roll out of bed and try to pull the covers back together and fluff the pillows. I throw some bottoms on and fix my hair quickly for a minute so it isn’t in my face. I grab my glasses and put my socks/slippers on. The dogs run around my legs and hide under the bed waiting for me to say “okay, food, who’s hungry?” and they dart into the the other room.

FEED DOGS/GET READY

I walk to the kitchen, reach into the pantry closet and feed the dogs- one by the toy box and the other by the back door. As they eat for about 5 minutes (they eat super fast/LIKE THIS)  I try to go hug and kiss Sean and say good morning to him while he gets ready for the day (work or not). I then put the dogs outside to potty (bark at the top of their lungs and pee on the back porch, so not okay Maggie…). While they do their thing, sometimes I’ll play a music playlist or get through a podcast or two while I gather clothes, get dressed, brush my teeth and redo my hair. Sometimes I do my makeup and sometimes not. When I do, I really love Younique and all their products, it is good coverage and doesn’t freak my skin out and feels light like it can still breathe. I’ve been starting their skincare products lately too, I’ll leave an update  for that later. I do love this moisturizer though and didn’t know how thirsty my skin was.  I’m almost always messaging with Pamela and Raewyn by now and seeing how their mornings are going. I bring the dogs back inside and if they pottied they will get a treat like these from BarkBox –referral code link- (I tried one last month and they LOVE IT ALL). I would highly suggest this as a sub box because even my small dogs loved their toys and goodies!
Then their energy kicks in while I start my day-they play and jump around, or they hop on the couch and go back to sleep.

COFFEE TIME/QUIET TIME

I do live on caffeine. I don’t know how people survive (yes survive…) without it in some form, in some way or straight into their veins… just kidding, kind of. I am definetly also working on having less than normal for me, which is an obscene amount of soda really. So a cup of coffee each morning with a tan color of creamer and sugar is what I’m working towards. And by having much more water intake and about one soda a day. It’s hard so far but I’m doing okay besides the killer headaches I’ve had the last few days coming off the cliff of it. Some mornings by the time I get to this place in time, perhaps after Sean leaves, I am calm and waking up fully thanks to the cup of java. I like to write in my Instant Happy Journal or I read some affirmations or my other informative favorite which is Skimm an online teller of news in a unique original fun kind of way.. I don’t know how to explain it, subscribe and see what you think. I also tend to do my planner right away in the morning as early as I can so that I have a solid outline for my day’s goals. Here’s what I use; Panda Planner and TBH, I LOVE IT! For me, even better than an Erin Condren and less money too! Use Code: PANDAFAM for 10% off! 

I think this is basically the end of my morning by then its about 11AM or NOON and no longer really morning at all. I will be on social media or working hard on my blog for the next few hours and updating everyone as needed to be current. Most months I plan out my days and topics in an editorial calendar, one thing that I am getting better at and drafting posts ahead of time (as I write this at midnight before bed.. *ha*). I hope this maybe inspired you to create your own daily morning routine and begin one tomorrow! It did wonders for me when I started to care about my minutes in the morning and how I was wasting my time. There are still very lazy days when I don’t do anything until noon but those are more rare now than they once were. I’m very proud that I’ve become more of a morning person and that I am starting to wake up happy and positive.
Are you a morning or a night person? And WHY? Do you have a morning/night routine and what is your favorite part? 

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10 Reasons To Be Thankful by Kayla Pickrell

10 Reasons To Be Thankful by Kayla Pickrell

I’m here to present to you Kayla Pickrell who is the Founder & CEO, Lucky Dog Mail Club and she’s sharing 10 reasons to be thankful. I think this goes perfectly, hand in hand with her company and message that getting cards and stationary isn’t a lost art and will make people happy and thankful that you thought of them in any situation. If you know this blog then you know I am a VA for Shield Sisters Initiative and they are all about self-care and fostering encouragement in others. And really caring for yourself could be as simple as writing a note to someone else. Journaling and meditation are my two favorites! Keep reading and check out these awesome products that Kayla has for us.

If you’d like to contact her and subscribe you can here:

Luckydogmailclub.com
@luckydogmailclub (FB +IG)
hello@luckydogmailclub.com
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Everyday, I write down 10 things I’m thankful for as I journal – along with my biggest task of the day, what I’m looking forward to the most, and whatever else my little heart thinks of. I write down what or who I’m thankful for because it brings clarity, focus and a sense of something bigger than yourself.
Everyday, you do a set of tasks and get caught up in the list and just getting things done that you often don’t look at the bigger picture. But the bigger picture is where it’s at. It’s why you do what you do every day. Looking at the bigger picture allows you to channel what you love and enjoy doing.
I challenge you to stop what you’re doing (or whenever you can) and write down the ten things, people, animals, etc. that you are thankful for at this moment. The more you do this, the easier it comes. They don’t have to be big things either. Sometimes I write, “I’m thankful it’s not raining,” because I was excited for mine and Odin’s walk for that day (Odin is my three-year-old Border Collie/Black Lab and the face to Lucky Dog Mail Club). Sometimes it’s, “I’m thankful for coffee,” because I am so tired I can’t think of being fully functional without it.
Track this list, and yes, you are allowed to repeat items. In fact, there are no rules. This is your list, your reasons to be thankful. No one needs to see them but yourself.
Later on, or even immediately depending on how it works for you, start sending thank you cards to the people on those lists. If you take the time to write one thank you card a week, I promise you, it will be worth it. Not only does this transform your thoughts into actions, but it transforms the lives of those you send a card to.
I know what you’re thinking, “How does one single card transform someone’s life?” Think of the last time you received a handwritten card in the mail. How did that make you feel? Did you smile, laugh, maybe you even called that person? I don’t know about you, but I keep a shoe box of all of the cards that have ever been sent to me. Wouldn’t you want to make someone else feel that way simply for helping you out or being there for you?
A card is so intentional and real and pure emotion that it sets itself apart from everything besides being in-person. It starts or continues a true relationship. It puts you top of mind with the person on the receiving end.
So why aren’t people doing this more often?
Cards were so quickly replaced by the digital world (texts, emails, digital pre-written cards, Facebook, etc.) that the personal connection stopped being there. Now communication is so lackluster that it doesn’t provide meaningful communication.
The likes and comments don’t mean a thing to a relationship, and it definitely shouldn’t take the place of them. The digital world is magnificent, but so are the real people in your life.
Set yourself apart and make a difference in the world, no matter how small. You’ll notice that these changes creates a change within yourself, as well as others.
Kayla Pickrell is the founder and CEO of Lucky Dog Mail Club, a stationery subscription box tackling the snail mail revolution by promoting gratitude outside the digital world and building intentional relationships. Kayla has been in the graphic design industry for six years in some way, shape or form. Starting out in the wedding industry, she created pretty paper goods for all things love. While she still does this, she finds joy in creating thank you and greeting cards that brightens someone’s day in their mailbox. Kayla’s favorite things: coffee, kayaking and ice cream. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or email.

5 Ways I’ve Become A Happier Person

5 Ways I’ve Become A Happier Person

Lately, I’ve been working incredibly hard on my personal development. I’m starting to put into practice the few things that I knew brought me peace, patience and sense of self for lack of other words. I feel like this might be a more common thing when you’re a homebody or stay at home mom and/or wife. Any combination of these things are totally normal. If you’re feeling funky and can’t shake it then try some of these tips and see if you feel better. I’m just trying to become a happier person by incorporating these into my day, week, month… 
Listen To Music/Podcasts
Don’t just listen to your regular chosen music. If you can choose something new or put it on random/shuffle genres’ and simply let it play! I’ve found so many new songs I love or that really resonate with me because I let them play. If you don’t like one- you can switch it but try not to. I even have some mixes from college friends and I never knew what was what. Now it’s my favorite to listen and not immediately know every word. On the flip side, sometimes learning the true (i mean the real lyrics, not the made up ones) lyrics is a fun thing. By reading through you may have never known it said a “star ridden sky” where you maybe thought it said something totally different. It can make you happy knowing you’ll know what to sing in the car or next time at karaoke. I believe in positive uplifting music lastly, so if there’s any song that is on your heart- LISTEN TO IT. But don’t drown yourself in upsetting ballads if you just broke up with your boyfriend, choose instead “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry to jump on the bed to. Always sing loud too even if you’re a horrible singer, it makes you feel great! Also I have a stockpile of great reading materials on Kindle, Audible and saved podcasts- if you want a list or recommendation, let me know in a comment below or tell me if you’d like a post about it. I’d be more than happy to do that! 
Writing It Out
I just recently discovered how helpful this has been to me. It’s incredible how 2-3 sentences will change my day. It makes me think of things I wouldn’t have otherwise contemplated on. In some cases it even helps me remember a lot of what my memory has lost by forcing my brain to get working. Sometimes it is emotional but it helps me feel what I need to work through in tough times. Lately, I’ve been using the “Instant Happy Journal” (you can find it here) and it has changed my life. It’s not anything specific about it but it has great prompts and the fact that it’s now a dedicated part of my day is just great. I write the date in and all in the same pen. I was trying to be all neat penmanship and now I just flow. The thoughts come out of my pen ‘like word vomit’ literally sometimes I write clearer and quicker than my thinking is. I used to be big into daily free writes in classes I took and now it’s not so easy for me but if you have a lot to spill then go for it. I love to make to do lists daily and weekly and see how many I can really get achieved. I treat myself with something small if I complete everything. Another book I’ve gotten lots of calm use out of is the “52 lists project and the 52 lists of happiness” by Moorea Seal. They are easy and still very thought provoking yet fun to jot down.
Monthly Goals
 I have an ample amount of time where I’m free to really choose what I want in my life. Because I have an open schedule and I’m a stay at home wife and blogger who doesn’t have a job. I like to only add a few things per month to focus on. And I noticed if I choose too many then I don’t have a clear connection to what I’m trying to accomplish. I pick a couple areas  like Blog, Health, Faith, Entertainment, Personal usually with 2-3 (but no more than 5) which is still a lot. I try to keep reminding myself about those goals and sometimes I can check quite a few off unless I lose track and then I will just keep rolling them over to the next month. Things like reading for me are harder even though I want to, so I make reminders and carve out time at night or mornings to make sure I’m doing it. 
Meditation/Brain-Training
I have enjoyed things that are healthy and good for my mind and soul. So taking these deeper, I found the Calm app when I was having a hard time dealing with stress and needed an out. One day I tried an emergency meditation and I felt like a whole new person. I had never meditated before and I didn’t think I was capable or even if I believed in it at all. So after using the free version (which is fine and gives you plenty) I went ahead and bought the paid version (*not sponsored) and loved it. I use it to this day whenever things are outta control in my world or if I need to take some deep breaths again.
Brain training is a bit different but just as awesome. People do this different ways; some people study subjects or do crosswords or Sudoku. But I found Luminosity app and I really liked it! I thought some were dumb or hard at first but they are supposed to be hard to make you think and train that brain of yours. When you push your limits and try new things, it makes the brain ‘grow’ in new channels and helps you think quicker and clearer. I try to do this as often as I remember to. I open it when I see it on my phone screen- if I’m in a waiting room, it’s perfect for a quick 5 minute session. I bought the paid version for this too but I have gotten the value out of it in a few sessions. It relieves the foggy feeling in my head, much like clearing the cobwebs out from not being in school and watching too much television. 
Community/Friends/Tribe
I would say this is maybe the most important! My close friends (online or in real life) always have found a way to drag me out of my gloom and show me the light. It’s not that I was depressed but I wasn’t being my true, happy-go-lucky self. But if you have a partner in crime, a best friend, a rescue-me pal or whatever you wanna call your “person”- then you’re good to go. You don’t have to have many but you have to have at least one. Join a club, game online, start a blog or go meet up with friends you know from school or work-strike up a conversation and get to know them. Once you do make sure to tell them how much they mean to you-because well you just never know what could happen tomorrow. If you are sad or just not yourself and you don’t have a sad day buddy- I will be your fast friend. You can always come to me and I will listen and/or offer my two cents. So let me know if you need me, I want to be here for each of you. Without a tribe we become too inward and contemplative then soon it gets us nowhere but the bottom of an ice cream tub. And as fun and delicious as it sounds:
Try getting out of that ice cream tub without a ladder or a friends’ helping hand. It’s not easy! 
*I’d like to thank and give love to: Pamela, Raewyn, Tausha, Krysten, Laura and Katie. You all are my tribe and everyday I’m grateful for all the ways you continually support and love me from afar. I love you ladies so much! 
I really truly wanted to write this to help you. I was once there and am right now trying all these new and different tactics to make my life happier and more complete. The better you take care of yourself the better you’ll feel. 

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