Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 31

It's been a pretty good week around here! I gave a 2 day group presentation over a discipline model for class. It went super well and it's amazing that in the past 4 years I've gone from being petrified to give a 5 minute speech to not even breaking a sweat when I have to give a 50 minute presentation for 2 days. It's also a pretty good sign considering I'm going to be teaching haha.

Life's calmed down a lot since the hecticness (totally a word) of last week. I had lots of time to relax after classes and getting homework done, so I drafted a few blog posts, got to enjoy some of my favorite shows, and read lots of other people's blog posts! So yes, it was a pretty good week, even if I did was in a little bit of a funk Thursday and Friday. 

Weekend Wrap Up No. 31 from Courtney's Little Things

Friday I just wasn't feeling up to anything, but I still managed to go to class, write a 2 page paper, and take a quiz before straightening up and heading to my parents' house for the weekend. Of course, when I got there I was ready to just lay in bed so I spent some time watching Netflix in bed before we went out to eat at the local Chinese restaurant. I kind of surprised myself and actually watched Fuller House. I was just a bit reluctant to watch it since I loved Full House so much and didn't want Fuller House to disappoint. Luckily, Fuller House was super cute and funny so I loved the first episode!

Weekend Wrap Up No. 31 from Courtney's Little Things

Saturday I woke up feeling a lot better and totally out of my weird little funk. I did a lot of lounging around - watching TV with my dad, reading some more blogs, and other little things. In the afternoon I got my parents to watch Fuller House with me. We made it through the first 6 episodes and I had the pleasure of explaining Netflix and how Netflix's original series work to my parents. Lots of fun haha.

Sunday I spent some time with my family before hitting the road and heading back to my apartment. After spending some time planning with my new stickers from Sweet Kawaii Design, I started to do study for my midterm which I have today.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 31 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 31 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 31 from Courtney's Little Things

But studying just stressed me out and I couldn't focus. I really shouldn't be super stressed over the midterm since the teacher gave us a study guide and I know what his tests are like since I have had him before, but it just seems so scary since it is my first exam of the semester! And then I start thinking about all the other little things I need to do - laundry, clean my turtle's tank, return a library book, go grocery shopping, write this post, blablabla - and I just cannot focus on any one thing because I'm always thinking about everything else I should be doing! It's so stressful and annoying and I'm pretty sure this goes back to why I was in a funk Thursday and Friday. I guess I just get overwhelmed and don't know how to deal with it, so I end up feeling super unfocused and scatter-brained which keeps me from getting much of anything done. Ah!

How do you deal with stress and overwhelm? Have you started watching Fuller House yet? How did you spend your weekend? Tell me in the comments! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

How To Make A Fresh Start

It's nearly been 2 months now since we started fresh with a new year - 2016. Maybe you didn't make any new year's resolutions, maybe you gave up on them already, or maybe you're just realizing that you need to make a few changes; either way it's never too late to make a fresh start. Some of us may be wanting to make little changes like getting up earlier and some of us may be wanting to make bigger changes like move. I've got a few tips to help you if you're wanting to make a fresh start.

How To Make A Fresh Start from Courtney's Little Things

Start now.

Usually when we're going to make a change - like working out regularly - we tell ourselves "I'll start Monday" or "I'll do it tomorrow." It might start with good intentions, but we rarely follow through when we think we can just do it later. Start now! You don't have to immediately start running a mile, but take a walk outside or a short jog when you get off work. Starting now will help you get into your new habit and stop you from making it a "someday I'll do it" type of dream.

Leave the past behind.

Maybe you've tried to quit drinking soda before or you've lost weight only to gain it back (I don't know why all these examples are health related so far). Don't let your past failures keep you from making a change. Or maybe for you this means you're a shy person and the last time you tried breaking out of your comfort zone and meet new people, you felt super awkward or didn't make any new friends by joining an organization or something. Don't let that stop you! Maybe that just wasn't the right setting for you or that person just wasn't looking for a new friend. Start a new and leave the past behind you.

Get into a new mindset.

You can't make a change if you're still thinking the same way. Use a quote or photos to inspire you, make a vision board - either on Pinterest or on paper - and get into positive thinking. Know why you want to make this change and remind yourself everyday. 

Allow yourself to make mistakes.

Whenever you're starting over or making a fresh start, it's only natural that you're going to make a mistake or relapse. When you make a mistake, admit it and own up to it, but don't let it completely derail you. Making a mistake doesn't mean you've failed, it only means your human. So if you're trying to wake up earlier, don't let hitting the snooze button and running out the door in a rush mean you're done waking up early and having a calm morning. Set that alarm for tomorrow and get up with the sun! Making a mistake might also let you know additional changes you need to make - go to bed earlier, set 2 alarms, or turn a light on first thing in the morning.

In my mind, the hardest two on this list are the middle items - leave the past behind and get into a new mindset. These are the ones that require you to change your thinking and let go of some things that may be difficult. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Favorite Things To Do On A Night In

We all spend plenty of nights in during the week. Those precious moments of free time during the evening should be spent doing things you enjoy. Today I'm counting off a few of my favorite things to do on a night in.

My Favorite Things To Do On A Night In from Courtney's Little Things

All Things Blogging Related

I love to spend my nights in doing anything blog related - reading other people's blogs, writing posts and editing photos for my blog, and taking part in Twitter chats. There's always something to do for my blog and everyone is always putting out great content so there's always a new post to read!

Watch TV or Netflix

After doing classwork all day, it's great to be able to sit (or lay) down and just enjoy a few of your favorite shows. Some of my favorites to watch are Bob's Burgers, Criminal Minds, Law & Order SVU, and Parks and Rec.


Playing some games on your phone or computer - or maybe a game with real life people if you have friends or family over - is a great way to unwind and have some fun in the evenings. I play sooo many rounds of solitaire and sodoku in the evenings which might be kind of lame, but I just don't do video games - nothing against them, I've just never been into them.

Go for a Walk

As the weather gets warmer, I want to spend more time outside and enjoying the sun. I love going for a late afternoon/early evening walk - especially in summer! It's the perfect time to take some nature photos as the sunsets and puts of the prettiest lighting.


Have a friend over to talk and watch TV, call mom, or join a Twitter chat. You don't have to spend the evening alone if you don't want to. Even if you're by yourself you can call a friend or family member or see what chats are going on on Twitter that night and join the conversation.

Take Care of Yourself

Do a bit of pampering and take an extra long shower or enjoy a bath. Give yourself a little facial, put on lotion, paint your nails, get into your pajamas extra early - you know the drill. A midweek pamper session is always good!

What do you like to do on a night in? Tell me what you'd add to this list in the comments!

Related Posts: Self-Care Ideas, 10 Ways to Spend the Weekend


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How I Use My Bullet Journal | Update

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know I love my bullet journal. A bullet journal is a great way to stay organized and on top of things in life. I primarily use my bullet journal to keep track of all my to-do lists and ideas. If you haven't heard of a bullet journal before, it's basically a personalized planner that you can create using any notebook. The system is really versatile and it's up to you how you want to use it. I've adapted it to best fit me, but you can find more info here if you'd like to read up on the original system.

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

I use my bullet journal to keep track of yearly events and goals. I have a 2 page spread for 2016 with one page listing all the big events I have for each month and one page with my goals for the year. It's nice to be able to glance and see what my big plans are for 2016 and remind myself what my goals for the year are.

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

I also use my bullet journal to organize my month a bit. I like having a cute header complete with a quote to inspire me for the month. While I don't keep track of appointments in my monthly section (I use my regular planner for that),  I do make a list of things I want to do that month. I've changed it from goals to things I'd like to do so that way I don't feel bothered if I don't get everything ticked off at the end of the month, and I feel more free to add in more "random" things. This month I added in a memories page to my monthly view. I saw the idea on Instagram and really like it as a way to be able to just look back at the big things that happen each month.

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things
How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

On a weekly basis I make a list of all the assignments, due dates, and presentations I have coming up that week along with chores and errands I need to take care of. This is really great because it's easier for me to prioritize what I need to do each day when I can see what needs done for which days and all the things I'd like to get done (like chores, blogging, social, personal). It's way less overwhelming than making a giant list of 15 things to do one day.  

I've also been keeping track of the daily tasks I need to do on this page since I am much better at tracking those things on a weekly page than elsewhere in my bullet journal. It's also much more convenient to use a daily-tasks tracker than to write out the same 5 things each day.

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things
How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

I then use my bullet journal to keep track of daily to-do lists as well. I like to put the date and weather for that day as a header, and then write out each task I need to do that day. I try to keep it around 5 things to do each day so it's doable and not overwhelming. I include just about everything from "work on group project" to "take out the trash" to "run to the grocery store" so sometimes it does end up being a bit longer when I have lots of little things to get done. 

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things
How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

If I have a lot of things going on I find making a giant list of everything to be really helpful. Some people call this a brain dump and that's exactly what it is - getting all of those tasks, assignments, and things you want to do down on paper so you don't have to keep it all on a running list in your mind. I've made a few of these recently since I have several ongoing projects and it works really well for me to break it down by writing all the little tasks I need to do to complete the project. It's also great because than I can be write down all the blogging to-dos, household chores I need to get done, and even reminders like "call mom."

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

In the back of my bullet journal is where I keep all the fun and helpful lists I like to write. What kind of lists are those? I have lists of books I want to read, a summer bucket list (yes, I've already started), things I need to get for the apartment I move into this summer, all my usernames and passwords (this is the BIGGEST lifesaver), and even a page with blogging tips and tricks to help me out! 

How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things
How I Use My Bullet Journal from Courtney's Little Things

This might seem a bit extensive, and, well, it is. I really like being organized and knowing what's coming up next. Writing lists is one way that I do that. If you want to start a bullet journal it doesn't have to include all these things, this is just an idea to show you how I use mine. You can just use a notebook for daily to-dos, to keep all those fun and helpful lists I talked about in one place, or even just for periodic brain dumps to help clear your mind. 

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how you can be more organized and new ways you might use your bullet journal if you already have one!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 30

I had 2 group presentations to prepare for last week. The one project was on Iceland and we presented on Friday (so if you're from Iceland, leave me a comment!) and the next project is a 2 day presentation on Monday and Wednesday this week. Working with all those groups to be prepared for our presentations made the week pretty hectic with multiple group meetings for each project. So when the weekend came I was ready to enjoy it, especially since I was having 2 very special guests  spending the night - my mom and sister!

So Friday my mom and sister arrived a little before dinner and we had a good chat before I started cooking dinner for them. It's so fun for me to have my family over and take care of them! I made my go to meal of pasta with vegetables. After we ate we watched The Intern, which is one of the movies my mom brought. It was sooo good! I loved the story, the actors, and the themes. 

Weekend Wrap Up No. 30 from Courtney's Little Things

Saturday we did some shopping. We went to TJ Maxx, which I never go to, but I actually found some cute things there - hello blogging props! I bought 2 journals and 2 artificial plants. They were just so cute! I love the blue journals and can't decide which to use for my next bullet journal (my current one will have to be replaced soon). 

We visited a few other stores and then stopped at Ulta. Normally I'm not much of a makeup person, but when I saw this Chocolate palette from Too Faced, I fell in love. First of all, the eyeshaddows are in heart shapes which makes it super adorable. The colors just spoke to me and before I knew it, I was trying them on and knew I had to have it! 

Weekend Wrap Up No. 30 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 30 from Courtney's Little Things

We had dinner at 54th Street Grill which is a great regional restaurant. Their fries are the absolute best. We all enjoyed our food and visited a few more stores before heading back to my apartment. My mom and I ended up having a little community nap time while my sister watched TV before they left to go back home. 

Sunday I got some laundry done, worked on my blog (good things are coming up!) and did some school work. I ended up spending most of the day in my bed and watching Law & Order SVU. It was a pretty low key day, which I greatly enjoyed.

How did you spend your weekend? Did you do any shopping? What restaurant do you think has the best fries?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Helping Someone Who is Suicidal

I'm not going into specifics, and at the moment everything appears to be fine - so don't worry - but someone very close to me was recently talking about committing suicide. If you've ever been through a similar situation, you know how scary and heart-breaking this is. You have so many different emotions - panic, fear, shame, guilt, disbelief, confusion, distrust, heartbreaking sadness.

 Even if the person is "only" talking about it, it's still an intense situation for everyone involved from the person who is considering suicide, to their friends and family, and the people who are trying to help in the situation (like mental health specialists). I felt so lost as to what to do to help that person and how to help everyone else who is dealing with this. I always like helping my friends and family so having a situation like this that I didn't know how to help was nerve-racking to me.

After we took care of the immediate problem - got the person counseling and set up a plan for them to receive continued help - I did some research as to how to help someone going through this and got some counseling myself.

Mental health is something I feel passionate about and although I don't feel like an expert in this area, I want to use this space on the internet to help others and talk about some mental health issues. I'm writing this post to help anyone who may be going through a similar situation with a loved one right now, in the past, or in the future and hopefully just raise some awareness around suicide.

Helping Someone Who Is Suicidal | from Courtney's Little Things

How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal


If there's weapons, they're extremely distressed, or any other situation which you and the person can't handle alone. Let the 911 dispatcher know what's going on and ask for guidance.

Understand that the person is not "crazy" of a "psycho," they're just sick.

The brain is a part of the body just like your lungs or heart or any other body part. If your brain is a little imbalanced and you're depressed or feeling suicidal, it just means you need to get treatment for that just like you would get treatment for a heart attack, or diabetes, or cancer. Depression is an illness that many people have and there's absolutely no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed to get help for it. Talk to a doctor or counselor/therapist if you're feeling depressed and they'll help you create a treatment plan to help you get better.

Understand how the person is feeling.

Someone who is truly suicidal is without hope, believes no one cares if they live or die, and truly believes they're doing everyone a favor by committing suicide (source). Life has become too overwhelming for them to handle, their coping skills are no longer sufficient to dealt with everything they're going through, and they see suicide as the only way out. They're not doing this out of selfishness or to hurt anyone - they're just consumed by their depression and can't think of anything else. They can't think clearly, can't make the depression or sadness go away, and can't see a future without pain.

Talk openly about it.

Let the person know they can talk to you, and that you love and care about them. Ask them if they're suicidal (it won't plant the idea in their mind or cause it to happen), what's bothering them, and listen to them closely and patiently. Don't act shocked or afraid, judgmental, or try to give them advice if they don't ask for it. What's most important is just listening to the person in a calm, accepting, and open-minded way.

Be available.

Let them know they can call or text anytime. Listen to them, acknowledge what their feelings, and help them work through their problems. Spend time with the person - hang out, watch tv, get outside. Offer to take them to appointments, help with chores, go grocery shopping together, or be work-out buddies.

Help as needed.

If you're like me - one of your first reaction is "how do we fix this?" While you may want to do everything for the person and keep an eye at them, that's not possible for you to do and probably not what the person wants either. It's important for the person to be responsible for their own welfare, develop skills to manage stress and depression, and have a sense of being in control of their life. Encourage them to continue going to counseling, to open up, to get into a good schedule so they can feel like they've regained control of their life - but you don't advise them nonstop! Offer help if they ask for it, but don't force your advice on them.

Set boundaries for yourself.

You want to help the person, but you can't put your own health at risk. It can be exhausting emotionally, mentally, and physically to support someone after someone has been suicidal. You can't be everything to everyone. Make sure there are other people who can support the person, let the person know your boundaries, and continue to practice self-care yourself.

Seek support.

Talk to a close, trusted friend or family member about the situation. Talk to a counselor or therapist about it if you need to. Just because you're not depressed doesn't mean you can't seek help with the situation. It's really emotionally taxing to help and support someone after a suicide attempt, so talk it out with someone you trust, work on stress-management, make time for yourself, and stay healthy (i.e. eat nutritious meals, eat meals consistently, exercise, and get enough sleep).

This site is really helpful if you'd like more information about how to help someone after a suicide attempt and how to take care of yourself throughout the situation. This is also super helpful if you'd like to read more.

Related Posts: Self-Care Ideas, Thoughts on Self-Love, Depression and Me

Thursday, February 18, 2016

5 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them

Valentine's Day has passed, but just because we're not celebrating a holiday doesn't mean you shouldn't or don't have to show the people you care about that you love them! Everyone wants to feel loved and valued, so it's important to continue to show those you're close to just how much you care!

The people I care most about are my friends and family. I'm lucky enough to have parents and siblings I am close to - I can call them and talk about practically anything and I love spending time with them. I've also developed great friendships with a handful or two of people throughout my 4 years at university. Since those are the people I care about and love most, here's 5 totally easy, everyday ways to show friends and family (or anyone else!) that you love them.

5 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them | from Courtney's Little Things


You might talk all the time, but how often do you really listen to them? Put the phone down, ask them questions, and really listen to their answers. I love whenever I have great conversations with someone and it's amazing how much you can learn about someone you've known "forever."

Do a little something to make their day better/easier.

How great is it when someone does something nice for you, just because? You don't have to come home with a package of their favorite candy and flowers - although that does work! If it's someone you live with, taking out the trash, unloading the dishes, or any other little chore can really help them out. If you're heading over to a friend's house you can ask if they want you to pick them up some food since you're going through Jimmy John's anyways.

Be supportive and encouraging.

Encourage your friend to fill out one more job application. Drive her to the job interview and give her a good pep talk. Send a good luck text when it's her first day at work. Being there for your friends and family as we go through life and transition through different stages is SOOO important!! Sometimes we just need that extra push or a helping hand to reach all our goals - and that's why it's so important to have a good support system of friends and family.

Sharing is caring.

Sharing is another great way to show someone you care. You don't have to loan out everything if that's not something you're comfortable with, but you can always share an umbrella when it's raining or let them use your stuff when they're over. If you do some baking you can share some of your goodies by asking a friend or family member to come over and help you eat them, or drop by their place to give them a few of the treats you made. 

Just tell them.

This is might seem like a "duh," but how often do you actually tell your friends and family how much you love, care, and value them? You don't have to profess your love, but a little "love you girl" or "you're the best!" can go a long way and make them feel loved.

How do you show your love to your friends and family? What would you add to this list?

Related Posts: Self-Care Ideas

I was asked to do this post by Bloom Nation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

7 Things That Help Calm Me

We all get stressed sometimes, right? I'm queen of getting myself super stressed out, but I've been working hard the past year to stress less and go with the flow more.  While I still get stressed, I'm a lot better at calming myself down and trying to go with the flow.

7 Things That Help Calm Me from Courtney's Little Things

Take a deep breath.

When a wave of stress hits me, I take a deep breath. If I need to, I'll do deep breathing for a minute or two.

5 Senses

This is a pretty well known grounding technique and basically you just focus on what your sensing right now - not on what you're stressing about. So if it's a major wave of stress or overwhelm, I take a few deep breaths (I'm telling you, breathing is the key) and then start mentally listing what I see, hear, feel, smell, and taste at this present moment. It really helps to keep your mind present instead of drifting off to worst-case scenarios or oh-my-god-how-can-I-do-all-this freakout thoughts.

Think about what I need to do.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I want to do it all and to the best of my abilities. Sometimes I just need to remind myself what the bare minimum of what I need to do is. I think about what has to be done for tomorrow for a class/job/etc and anything that isn't vital, I just put off. For instance all I really have to do today is take a quiz (due by midnight) and write my Step-by-Step Approach paper (due by class time tomorrow). Anything else I do is just icing on the cake.

Make time to take care of myself.

I've been all about the self-care/self-love on here lately and that's because it really has made a difference in my life! When I make sure I have time in the evening to do what I want to do and take care of my self, I'm so much happier and less stressed. For me it tends to be something creative like blogging, decorating my planner, or painting, but self-care can be anything.

7 Things That Help Calm Me from Courtney's Little Things

Write a list/Brain dump.

If I have a lot of things to do on my mind, I make a giant list of everything. Some people call this a brain dump and you can even include people/situations that are stressing you out. I tend to be stressed about my course-load and trying to fit everything that I need to do into one week, so a list works well for me.

I usually write this on a list pad so I can just put it away and refer to it as needed. If I have it just sitting out, it can stress me even more (which is not what we're going for!).

Talk to someone.

Being open and honest about what is stressing you out with someone you trust and is supportive is another great way to calm down. I usually talk to my best friend and flat mate or call my mom. Being able to talk it out and get another person's perspective is usually pretty helpful. You do have to make sure you talk to the right person though, or else this could backfire so be sure to open up to someone who you trust and cares about you, is willing to listen, and will support you and encourage you to reach your goals.

Work on it.

If you're stressed about a giant project, sometimes the best thing to do is to get to work! Stressing about it won't help you get it done, but if you take a step towards getting that project done you'll be that much closer to finishing it and hopefully lessening the stress. Even baby steps like just looking at requirements, writing an outline, or doing a bit of research will help!

Hopefully at least one of these ideas will help you stress less. As someone who gets stressed and overwhelmed, I know just how miserable that feeling is and just how important it is to have ways to cope with it. If you have any other ways of managing stress, be sure to leave them in the comments!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up No. 29

After a hectic week, I had a really nice weekend. Since I get done early on Fridays - just one class at 9 am - I get to enjoy long weekends. After class Friday, I cleaned out Burt's tank and then he got to go visit his grandparents with me!

When we got to my parents' house, Burt got to settle in before the rest of us (my parents and 2 youngest siblings) headed out for the afternoon. I don't know positively, but I'm pretty sure of where I'll be student teaching so my parents and I had been checking out apartments in that area online. We decided to drive through a few of the complexes to get a better look at where they are. I'm really excited (and a little scared) to start living completely on my own - no family, no flatmates!

Then we went to  Kohl's where I got some new dressy clothes to wear for teaching. I'm so bad about shopping for clothes (as my mother will tell you), so the fact that I got about 10 tops that I really like is amazing. I'm excited to wear them this week when I teach my 3rd and 4th graders! We stopped by a few other stores and ate at Cheddars for dinner before going home.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 29 from Courtney's Little Things

Saturday was my favorite day of the week. My sister and I have been planning a special surprise to brighten up my mom's mood since she's been really sad her and my dad's trip to the beach in Mexico this month fell through. We convinced our parents to go to the high school basketball game so me and my sister could go to the grocery store and decorate for the "Cafe Mexico." We went all out and made menus, wore aprons, and made fresh fruit juice for the event. It was so fun to put it all together and surprise them!

Weekend Wrap Up No. 29 from Courtney's Little Things
Weekend Wrap Up No. 29 from Courtney's Little Things

Sunday was Valentine's so I got some chocolates, the notepad featured in the title image, and 2 Disney Tsum Tsums!!! I got Marie from The Aristocats and Donald Duck and I think they are absolutely adorable. This has me up to 3 tsum tsums and I don't know that I can stop haha.

Weekend Wrap Up No. 29 from Courtney's Little Things

I spent most of the day  doing homework (bleh) for one of the group projects I have coming up. When Burt and I got back to our home, I ordered a pizza for me and my flatmate since it also just so happens to be her birthday on Valentine's!! 

How did you spend your weekend? Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

10 Ways to Spend the Weekend

The weekend. The best part of the week. Sometimes it comes though, we don't have any plans and get a little bored. There's so many things to do on the weekend though! Here are a few fun ways you can spend your weekend.

10 Ways to Spend the Weekend from Courtney's Little Things


Cookies, brownies, cake, and everything in between! Since you have some extra time, there's no reason why you can't make a yummy treat or two. Besides, calories don't count on the weekend.

Cook a proper meal.

You know that Pinterest board filled with all the recipes you promise yourself you'll cook someday? Now's the time to try out that recipe and cook a proper meal for yourself. Of course you can always invite a friend or two over to help you eat it or save the leftovers for lunch on Monday.

Read a book.

Reading a good book has no comparison. Visit the library, head to a local bookstore, or pick one off your bookshelf at home and settle in to your favorite chair for a bit of reading. If you're a devoted reader, you can even finish the whole book over the weekend.

10 Ways to Spend the Weekend from Courtney's Little Things

Art or craft project.

This is my favorite way to spend the weekend! As you may know, I love painting a canvas or decorating my planner on the weekend (which is totally a craft project). It's so relaxing and rewarding to be able to see the finished product of your handiwork!

Sleep in.

Because it's the weekend. And you can. And no one can judge you.

Go somewhere new.

Try a new restaurant or cafe, visit a museum, or take a walk at a park and enjoy some time outside. The world is a big place - there's always someplace new to explore! If you have the time and money you could even go on a little day trip or weekend getaway. 

10 Ways to Spend the Weekend from Courtney's Little Things

Watch some DVDs.

Netflix is good, but your DVDs are probably collecting dust. Get them out and watch some of your favorites! 


Remember when you were going to finally get fit and healthy? Well now's the time! Hit the gym, find a workout video on YouTube, go for a run, or practice yoga. There's no reason why you can't take an hour out of your day to take care of your body on the weekend.

Call or visit family.

Parents, siblings, grandparents - you love them but sometimes you just don't get a chance to call them during the week. Take advantage of the weekend to visit if you live close enough or give them a call to catch up.

Have friends over (or go out if that's more your style).

Weekends are meant to be spent with friends! I always love when my friends and I get into a weekend ritual of ordering Chinese takeout or pizza, catching up, and watching a movie. Lots of laughing is usually involved and it's always great to be with the people who are important to you!

So there's 10 ways I like to spend the weekend, just in case you need some new ideas. How do you like to spend your weekends? Are you going to do any of these this weekend?

Related Posts: Movie Night IdeasDIY Wall Art, How I Prep for a New Week

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner

In college it is crucial to have everything well-organized if you want to get good grades. With multiple assignments to do, papers to write, projects to work on, and tests to study for having a good planner helps to keep you moving along without forgetting anything.  In August I showed you how I set up my academic planner using some mini-binder paper from the Target Dollar Spot, and today I thought I'd give you a peek inside my academic planner so you can get an idea of how I use it!

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

When you open up my academic planner, the first thing you see is my dashboard. I attached some sticky notes and a list pad to the inside of the binder and then I have some cute scrapbook paper in a page protector.

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

When I flip that page, I have the key for my color coding system this semester on a piece of paper from the list pad placed inside the page protector. I like color coding my classes because it makes it easy to know what class each assignment is for without having to write out the class name each time, and I like using that color for headlines and to mark important info in my notes for that class. 

I also have my class schedule for the semester written down and placed inside a page protector (I'm telling you - page protectors are the best. You need to invest!). This is super handy if I need a quick reminder of what classes I have that day or need to set up a meeting time for a group project.

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

After that I have my monthly planner pages for the semester. I use the monthly pages to write down when quizzes, papers, projects, and days off are - you know, the big events. That makes this section perfect to flip to when I just need a basic overview of the month or want to know when my next exam is.

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

The next section of my academic planner is the most used section - the weekly view. This is where I write down each assignment and reading, and also reminders a week in advance of  big due dates and exams. I like to have little boxes next to each item so I can tick it off when I complete it. 

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things
A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

In the back of my planner I have a detailed course schedule with the time, name of class, instructor, and room number listed. This is what I refer to all the time the first week or two of classes. I also keep some extra lined paper in the back of my academic planner for making lists when I need to. I keep separate notebooks for taking class notes in.

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things
A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

And there you have it! Now you know how I keep track of all those due dates without losing my mind. Having your class schedule and all assignments written down really helps to keep you on top of things, even if you have 6 classes like I do. I also swear by color coding - it really does make life so much easier!

A Peek Inside My Academic Planner | How I use my planner to stay organized with classes in college from Courtney's Little Things

How do you stay organized with college? Do you color code your classes, too?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thoughts on Self-Love

Self-love can be a tricky subject for some people. At first it can sound like something a bit narcisstic or self-absorbed. It's really not, though! You are stuck with yourself for a very long time, so you might as well love yourself, right?

I came across this quote recently and it's one that really makes me think...

"And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?"

How long would it take me to name myself? When I make a list of things I love, I'm at the bottom of the list as an afterthought, if I even put myself on the list. I'm quick to list friends and family, my favorite things to do, and even my favorite places but I don't think of myself when I think of all the things I love.

Thoughts on Self-Love | from Courtney's Little Things

I find that really sad. If someone asked me if I have a positive relationship with myself, I'd say yes. I'm not afraid to spend time alone, I can name a few positive things about myself. But if I'm not writing myself down when asked to name all the things I love, do I really have a positive relationship with myself? Maybe I'm at more of a 6 than an 8 or 9 on the scale of self-love.

So how do you cultivate self-love? One way is by practicing self-care. At it's basics, that means do something to take care of yourself or something that makes you happy. Choose to be kind to yourself.  Don't let any negative thoughts about or towards yourself cross your mind. When they do, silently correct them to something you would say to a friend if she said those things about herself. Another way is by listing things you like about yourself - physical qualities, personal characteristics, maybe some of your habits. Let go of perfectionist tendencies. No one's perfect and it's impossible to expect yourself to be any different. Don't compare yourself to others. If social media is what causes you to compare, stay off it for a few days or stop following the accounts that cause you to feel bad about yourself. 

If you want to see some more ways, check out this blog post with 55 ways to love yourself by Anastasia. As Oscar Wilde said...
"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

Do you love yourself? What are your tips to cultivate self-love?

Related Posts: Self-Care Ideas