Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015 Goals Update

Focus on the positive. I feel like I've been a lot more positive this month. When I have felt the negativity coming in, I make it a point to connect with someone whether it be by texting or calling a family member, spending time with a roommate, or hanging out with friends. I'm also trying to make time for myself so I can get a break from school, which definitely helps as well.

Be content and spend less. This can be kind of difficult to measure, but I've spent less money this month than I have in the past 5 months that I've been keeping record of my spending. When I do want to buy things, I look for a similar item I could use and I make sure I have a real idea of how I'm going to use it and why I want it.

Stress less, smile more. I still get stressed and anxious. What's different is that I'm either talking to myself the way I would talk to a friend, or going to hang out with someone. Being social is a really good thing for staying positive (as long as it's the right people) and stressing less. It's something that I have to work on sometimes, because I can get into studyaholic mode or introvert mode and start thinking that spending time with people is just a hassle or extra thing on my to-do list.

Study French. I've studied French once. Oops! But I have been reading more in French by following boards on Pinterest with French quotes and reading through social media posts in French. I was originally trying to do French Fridays, but it seems like Fridays I'm either driving home to my family or exhausted from the week. I might try it on Saturdays instead since I feel less rushed those days.

Write daily in a diary. The planner journal has been working great! I haven't missed a day yet this year. I don't always write in it every day, but I do write about every day. I'm also loving all the stickers I'm decorating it with.

How are you coming along with your New Year's goals?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Turquoise & Pink Room

For over the past year I have had pink, black and white bedding. Over winter break I decided it was time to switch things up in my room on campus. I mostly upcycled or used things I already owned and rearranged. Here are the results!

Before & After

Change #1: Bedding

My mom loves sewing and decorating, so she volunteered to sew some new pillows for me. We spent less than $15 on the fabric and they turned out great.

We also looked through the house and found this beautiful twin size blanket which works perfectly in this room.

Change #2: Wall Art

The wall art definitely needed an update! I bought 2 canvases that were slightly bigger than the ones currently on my wall in autumn with the intention of painting them, but it just didn't happen last semester. Luckily that gave me the ability to paint the canvases a blue and add some more quotes to my wall.

Right before break I created this snowflake banner out of an old book, twine, and some pretty scrapbook paper from Michael's. I hung that up and it goes beautifully. Plus, I just love seasonal decorating.

Change #3: Desk Area

The university gives us a desk with 2 pieces. At the beginning of the year I used the top piece as a side table, but this semester I decided I would give it a try as one big giant desk. It's actually really nice, although I can't watch TV at my desk anymore.

My favorite impulse buy so far this year is this daily calendar with inspirational quotes and doodles. I love it. It feels great to tear off a page and it gives me some nice thoughts to start my mornings.

I also moved my permanent marker collection into this little bucket I got from the dollar spot at Target and have my Willow Creek angels on the top of my desk. It makes for such a cute little spot.

My inspiration wall by my desk didn't change, but it's still one of my favorite corners.

That's how I freshened up my room for the new semester. I'm really pleased with the results and think I'll keep it for awhile. 

What do you do for a small-budget room redo?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's In My Backpack

The Spring Semester has begun, and so has my backpack organization. I'm a minimalist when it comes to my backpack because my back gets sore when I'm carrying around too much stuff. I'm also trying a new thing this semester - paper notes. Writing notes by hand is supposed to help put information into your brain better, so that's why there's no laptop. So far it has worked fine in my classes and I don't fall behind when taking notes, which was my biggest worry.

Front Pocket
  • Purple bag with my personal necessities including earphones, Baby Lips, hand sanitizer, and some body spray (I'm always worried about smelling good).
  • Pink pencil pouch with all of those writing necessities like pencils, pens, and highlighters.

Large Pocket
  • Folders for Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes (circles), my teaching practicum (pink), and Tuesday/Thursday classes (purple).
  • Mixtape notebook for some quirky nostalgia and note taking.

That's what I carry around all day with me. Sometimes I bring my laptop to work on homework or a textbook for a class that requires it, but since I did this on a weekend - neither of those items were in my backpack.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Home Tour: Sitting Room

Who doesn't love a good home tour? For the first home tour on Courtney's Little Things, we're visiting the sitting room at my mom's house. It's the first room you enter when you walk into the house, so this room really feels like home to me.

My mom inherited her affinity for collecting seashells from her grandma, so we not only have a collection of seashells spanning 90 years, we have a whole other collection spanning my mom's life, too. I really like the seashells because it's a great way to commemorate your trips to the beach and they make for great decorating and lots of different craft projects.

I really like how my mom mixes the new and old with her quilt display. The monogram pillow and Christmas quilt are her own creations and they look great mixed in with the old quilt and antique trunk (which doubles as storage).

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 Ways to Get Organized this Semester

A new semester: clean notebook paper, a new planner, and a brand new course load to take on. I always try to get more organized each semester, and this one is no different. Here's 5 ways I'm staying organized with classes and life this semester.

Life Binder 
This year I'm trying something new and making a life binder. It's in the beginning stages so I'm sure it will evolve a lot over the next few months. It currently holds 2 daily schedules for my Monday/Wednesdays/Fridays and Tuesdays/Thursdays. I also have a weekend checklist and a dashboard with sticky notes and a couple notecards. The rest of it is currently pretty lined paper, but I'm sure it will get used up quickly.

Class Homework Schedule
I normally just use a notebook, but this year I've whipped up a pretty little academic planner page in my GoogleDrive. I put the week at the top and a quote below it. I write down the homework assignments for each class and I have a top 3 priorities section so I can remember what's most important for the week. To keep my school life extra organized, I have a place to write down dates of upcoming exams, papers, and projects and any extra notes I may have.

Make To-Do Lists 
I love lists, especially to-do lists. I love checking things off and keeping track of what I've accomplished throughout the day. I make a to-do list every night for the following day. I try to limit it to about 5 things, but with school it easily gets stretched to about 8-10 things.

Keep a Clean Desk
This can be difficult to do all the time since things get thrown on the desk or you have a busy week so you let the cleaning slide. Keeping a clean desk makes life SO much easier though. It gives you a clean place to study and think. A tidy desk, a tidy mind!

Get Notes Ready Before Class 
Having a basic outline for notes makes it so much easier to keep up in class and have notes that actually make sense later. For my heading I usually write down the class name, what exam the information will be on, and the subject for the day. I use a different color for the subheadings in the notes so I can easily find information later. I also enjoy a few good doodles to visualize the info.

That's how I'm getting organized this semester. What are you doing to get organized this semester?