Back to Blogging Supplies

Welcome to Monday Friends!

And the last day in August, say what?

With Back to School upon us, and no school for me to go back to for the first time in my 26 years (second if you count the break I took between undergrad and grad school but it’s less dramatic that way….).

I’m feelin all left out of the back to school fervor and decided to create me own season of excitement! Summer is always a slower time in BlogLandia for most people, myself included. Summer is the season when blogs die and Fall seems to revive them and bring many new ones to fruition.

It’s a great time to breathe a little life back into your blog. Shake out those summer cobwebs and drink all the PSL’s in your sweaters and boots while frolicking through the leaves. Don’t question it, it’s just what we do.

Back to Blogging Supplies

I’ve created a little Back to Blogging Supplies shopping list just for you to make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running this Fall to reach your blogging goals. After all, you only have 4 more months before you’re 2015 resolutions don’t count anymore.

I had entirely way too much fun shopping for “blog” supplies. I searched high and low (ahem, Target) to find everything I needed.

>> First you need a planner.

Back to Blogging Supplies

 

I’ve gone the two planner route where I have a life planner and a blog planner but I end up using only the one planner anyway. My sister gifted me the Ban.do planner for my birthday and I couldn’t love it any more. It’s got a monthly view, weekly view, and plenty of notes sections for me to jot things down. I’ve already filled an entire page for September with the things I want to accomplish during my Blog Staycation. (Join us? Tell em I sent ya)

>> Next you need a small notebook, pad of paper, post-it notes, etc.

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I carry my planner with me to and from work but sometimes when I’m out running errands or something non-work related, I may not have my bag with me but still need something to jot my ideas in. This is the perfect size and slips right down into any purse I may have with me for my adventures.

>> Next up is a cute folder.

Back to blogging supplies

I’m not exactly anti-technology. Duh, I write on the internet everyday. However, I’m definitely old school when it comes to my planning. I like to physically write it down. With that said I like to print things out to write on them. I currently have a monthly stat tracker (I do have on online as well) and a worksheet to brainstorm how to transform my most popular posts into more ideas, a potential series, or an expansion post.

[Tweet “No School? No worries, here’s a Back to Blogging Supply List for your BEST season of blogging yet!”]

>>This leads me to the most important item….CUTE PENCILS!

Mostly kidding, but I got mine at Target in their dollar section. I’m a bit more cheap when it comes to my pens though. I tend to collect them from hotels and use those forever. Kacey pointed it out in one of my Instagram photos haha.  I’m fancy 😉

>> A cute DIY clipboard is a necessity for those papers you’ll be writing on.

Back to blogging supplies

This is a must for me seeing as how the only real adult piece of furniture I own is a small bar stool height dining table. Sitting at the table isn’t the most comfy all the time so I like to work in bed sometimes. A clipboard makes this possible. #lifegoals

I also suggest a few helpful apps on your phone or tablet, whatever you do your blogging biz on. With my laptop being uncooperative after I poured water on it (how rude) I do most of my work on my ipad. Favorite Apps? VscoCam, WatermarkLite, Buffer, and of course Latergramme.

So there ya have my basic blogging supplies for making this Fall my most productive and awesome season of blogging yet!

What are your must have items for blogging? Anything to add to my list?

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End of a Season

Hello Friday!!

I realize a lot of people have started back up at school or have at least definitely seen all the Facebook posts of first days, the aisles at every store crowded with school supplies, and the tax free weekends.

This will be my first year (not including my semi break year before grad school) that I won’t be going back to school in any sense of the word. It’s a bit sad 😦 Yes I was that kid, am that kid, and forever will be that kid…I love school. Start your jokes now….

End of Season

Actually now that I think about it, those who blog probably loved school too so you’re just as nerdy as I was/am. Anyone who continues to write for fun and want to keep learning all about a new trade must have been a nerd back in the hey day. Assuming you’re not still in your hey day ya whipper-snapper.

For some reason, being 26 also makes me feel as though I can refer to anyone younger than me as a whipper-snapper….

But I digress….

Today was my last day at camp. (For those who still don’t know, I’m a Camp Director here in Mass) I also venture to say I’m still at camp as you read this no matter what time of day it is for you. Heck if you’re reading this on Saturday I may still be there closing down for the summer.

There’s so much to do to close down an entire camp. Teachers who close a classroom know part of my struggle. The other part? Sorting the Lost and Found…..

Seriously, how much money do these families have to buy their child a brand new name-brand jacket every week because they left theirs behind never to be collected. I can count on one hand the number of parents that have taken the time to go through our lost and found to reclaim their child’s things…..one hand, if I had lost 2 fingers in a knife fight.

That’s sad…

So there’s the three large mountains of lost swag to sort and donate….

The multiple campsites that need a good clean-up….

The four outdoors sheds that need organizing and logging, as well as the three indoor closets…..

End of the summer staff evals, end of the summer concern emails and phone calls to return, need I go on?

Anyway, I am excited to move on from my 7 thousand hour a week job to something a little less high maintenance. With that extra time comes much more time to dedicate to this space of mine. I’ve got such wonderful plans. I’ll be participating in my girl Julie’s Blog Staycation again this year. It’s such a great way to just focus on your blog to-do list and get ish done. Join us!

Anyone else ready for some Back to School fun? Are you in school or out?

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Bookish Side of Life: August

We made it through the summer!

I don’t know about you, but I drastically cut down on my screen time so I feel very accomplished. I managed to read 19/20 books for my summer goal (I know, 1 short how lame right?), but I still can’t believe that I’ve read 69/100 books for the year.

I realize how lame it is to host a challenge and come up 1 short. I blame my crazy work hours over the summer, but I still managed to read 19 books while working 60 hour weeks so I’m not too upset about that. PLUS! I drastically cut down on my screen time with what little free-time I had so summer challenge accomplished!

I also wanted to thank everyone who stayed with me all summer. I had some grand dreams about this link-up and the reaches it could make before my job took over my life and I felt like I was merely treading blog-water and just keeping my head above water. I can’t say what the Fall will bring, but I am excited to make a few renovations around here.

But enough about my delusions, let’s get to the books!

What I Read August

Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet 2 stars. The fact that this book is about Mermaids I gave it 2 stars because how cool would that be! But unless you enjoy reading conscious streams of thought then this book isn’t for you. It actually felt like three separate books all narrated by the same ADD mind of the main character Deb…..I was happy to be done with it.

Tomorrow and Tomorow by Thomas Sweterlitsch 3 stars. Really good concept, but I had a hard time following it. With any book set in the future, the author can take lots of liberties with how that world looks and functions. This one was kind of hard to understand for me though. Part Inception, part Mind F. If you can follow along though you’ll be rewarded with a deep sinister plot if that’s your thang.

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran 5 stars. I’m a huge fan of anything within the realm of possible and since this is based off a true story, obviously it’s possible. I also went through a phase when I was younger when all I read was Native captures stories. I think it always amazes me what the strength of will can get people through. Also, I imagine what I would have done in that situation and would I have survived it myself. And older book, but definitely a great read!

The Promised World by Lida Tucker 5 stars. BEST book I’ve read this month by far! It kept me guessing the entire time, trying to figure out the dark secret from her past. I will admit the ending was a bit, “Done, then end” with not quite the resolution I would have wanted, but that hardly took away from the great writing throughout. Highly recommend if you like drama with a reveal.

Now it’s time for you to link-up below! Give me all the brutally honest reviews!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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How to Be a Hermit

Happy Monday Friends!

I almost made it out of my apartment this weekend. I thought really long and hard about it, but then the overcast weather compounded with my three shiny library books and comfy bed and stocked pantry had another idea….

In good news, I did finish all three of those books so I’m all ready for the Bookish Side of Life Summer Reading Challenge Link-up this Wednesday! (Are you linking up with me? You can catch up with June and July first if you want)

reading at home

I also officially have a job come the close of summer camp season in two weeks so that’s a huge relief and pressure off my shoulders. Last week left me uncertain what I was going to do and feeling a little like a failure to not have landed anything yet (thanks Master’s Degree) so thank y’all for indulging me in a little freak-out last week.

This past weekend I really did have plans to go get my hair cut, visit the Farmer’s Market, maybe have a last ice cream cone date with JB, or even catch a movie. But for some reason I woke up at 6 am both Saturday and Sunday. The older I get the more I realize I just don’t know how to behave on the weekends. Sleep-in? Now that’s for the birds.

I did however finally get around to researching a new blog design. I’ve had this DIY version for entirely too long so I think it’s time I changed things up. Now that summer camp is coming to an end and I won’t be working 60 hour weeks anymore I can finally put the attention towards my blog that I feel I’ve neglected over the summer.

What I’d like to hear from you are your opinions on themes, or recommendations for (WordPress) designers. I’ve looked around Etsy already. All my blog friends who design really only do Blogger designs (which I’ve done in the past anyway) so I’m considering hiring? Maybe? I might just end up doing it all myself again idk….help me?

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26 is For the Birds

Hey Friends…..

Either 26 isn’t sitting right with me or hormones can really mess with your week. TMI male readers (Hi Adam!) but seriously. If I hadn’t been blessed with such good friends that have showered me with the best of gifts (besides their friendship duh) this week really woulda been the pits…

shop ban.do planner

I am now officially the oldest person at my job….I was neck in neck with another 25-year old but then I had my birthday and that was that….Yeesh, that’s a fun realization to have…..

It’s been a real scorcher in Mass lately so the kids and counselors have going mad. Like Heat Crazy. If that’s not already a trademarked thing then I’m callin dibs right now. There’s nothing crazier than a bunch of 6-8-year-olds left out in the heat for 8 hours. Made for a fun work week.

Compound that with still wanting to be at the beach with JB’s family and a major bout of homesickness for the hills of Tennessee, and you can see how my week has been….

I’m complaining too much. This week might not have been the best I’ve ever had, but it also hasn’t been the worst. (Middle school flashbacks anyone?)

On the plus side I received a brand new planner from my sister and spent close to 3 hours Thursday night filling out all the dates and attempting to use washi tape to be all cute and blogger-y. Don’t judge my chipped nails ya jerk 😛

planner fun

I also made a delicious eggplant and spinach pasta with beef plus flatbread meal. I made the whole thing up as I went along and was super happy with how it turned out. JB-approved as well so I suppose you could say I’m winning at the whole girlfriend thing 😉

Now I want to get back to my planner fun. JB is currently laughing at me for being this excited over a planner. I’m not sure why though, I mean what do boys learn in school?

So how’s your week been? Fun plans for the weekend?

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A Cape Cod Birthday Weekend

Happy Monday Friends!

Thanks to everyone for the kind Birthday wishes. Also I’m sorry to everyone who didn’t realize I’ve been dating JB for the past 4 years. The past 2 years of that was spent long distance (Kentucky to Mass) so I felt pretty single and wrote from that point of view a lot….I seem to be pretty convincing at it I guess lol.

Also before we get going. Congrats to Amanda Brooks for winning my Birthday Firmoo giveaway! I’ll be sending you an email with your code today! I wish I could send prizes to everyone who entered, but I’m poor and not famous enough to get that much swag, sorry.

falmouth cape cod

I spent my birthday weekend in the Cape with JB’s family. I know I talked about it enough so I thought I’d show some photos for those who feel like stalking me. But like, not physically stalk me, I’m not signing off on that kind of behavior.

JB and I started the day early, heading down to meet his family at his Uncle’s Cape house in Falmouth. They have this amazing porch with rocking chairs that I just love to sit and chat on.

falmouth massachussetts

Next we headed down for some beach time. We’re healthy people so we walked, duh. Plus it’s like a 10min walk to the water so it’s not a big deal for my flippy-floppied feet. The Falmouth Road Race was also taking place that weekend so they were setting up for the race. Needless to say, there were a TON of people and we didn’t stay long. Seriously people were liek shoulder to shoulder….no bueno for this hermit.

beach house falmouth

After a lunch of fish tacos at a local shanty. (It was literally called the Beach Shanty or something like that) we headed off to the beach house. Actually let’s backtrack a bit. I was super stoked to eat fish tacos after eating them for the first time out in San Diego. Fish tacos not is San Diego are NOTHING like fish tacos from San Diego…whomp, whomp. The fish was obviously delicious, but the rest of the taco was filled with some kind of onion and cilantro mixture….two things I hate….

fish tacos

It’s ok though because later that night we ate cupcakes from my favorite cupcake shop. I was also informed that they opened a new shop but 15 minutes from my apartment, so I forsee many cupcake runs and a larger pants size in my future (sorry hips!) There were Oreo, Chocolate, Lemon (bleh), Carrot Cake (double bleh) and peanut butter chocolate cupcakes to choose from. I obvis ate the Oreo and Chocolate ones because dessert shouldn’t ever involve vegetables or fruit.

cupcake charlies

Dinner that night was a bacon and scallop pizza because we’re fancy individuals. No picture was taken though, because while JB’s family all know I blog and they even read it on occasion (hello :D) I still feel weird photographing everything when I’m with them. Although I’ve totally taken a rando “blog” photo with them all watching and they kept their judgment to themselves, I try to limit my awkward encounters.

falmouth cape cod

Sunday started early, around 6am, because we’re all masochists of sleep deprivation, and we hit up the beach again, this time at a private association spot so we were all by our lonesome. Typing that sentence really makes me wanna yell, “Hey everyone, look how awesome I am!” I’ll refrain though, you’re welcome.

birthday gifts

That Vera Bradley wallet/cross-body bag is a birthday gift from JB’s Mom. She’s an awesome lady isn’t she? I should mention, JB got me a heavy duty ipad case because I’m, “clumsy and will inevitably drop anything expensive and new.” JB’s niece gifted me an entire day at the Children’s Museum with her in two weeks and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t my favorite gift.

I tried to get JB to take a photo with me to show y’all that I’m not lying and he really does exist. (I swear that’s his foot in the porch photo!) He never cooperates though so I tried to sneak this photo of us being cute. He caught on because I’m never cute and I got shut-down….

kiss photo

So that was my birthday weekend. No blowing out candles or being sang Happy Birthday too, but I guess we all have to grow up sometime….Just kidding, I blew out a candle I stuck in a donut when I got home Sunday Night. I mean com’on, it was my Birthday!

Do you have any birthday traditions?

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5 Things: Get to Know Me

Happy Friday Friends!

Can we get pumped for a second! My birthday is this weekend and I’ll be spending it with JB’s family at the Cape, whoo! The only thing better would be if a few of my birthday wishes came true and my family was here as well.

Since it is my birthday soon and all, and I’ve got a few new readers as of late, I thought it would be fun and completely blogger appropriate to share a bit about myself. A get to know me of sorts.

Things I'm Obsessed With

I know this “game” has been going around the interwebs and with anything else I’m late to the party. Whatevs, I showed up and that’s most of the battle right there.

I asked JB first of course. For those of you unfamiliar, he’s my Boo-thang of 4 years.

  1. Him…..(typical answer)
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Shia, my cuddle buddy, best friend, teddy bear. (And no as an almost 26-year-old woman, I’m not afraid to admit that on the internet)
  4. Being the Best at whatever I do (Type A much?)
  5. BLAH

Next up is my Momma!

  1. Tyler, JB’s niece (a big hell’s yea!)
  2. Lists/Planning (that one should be obvious)
  3. Healthy living (donuts count for heart health I think some scientist said somewhere)
  4. Being Happy!
  5. Blogging

My second family member to make the cut also happens to be one of my favorite people on the planet, my baby sister.

  1. Reading
  2. JB
  3. Her
  4. Ice Cream
  5. Blogging

I felt it only right to take it outside the family a bit and ask one of my very dearest besties. I should note that we haven’t actually seen each other in person for about 5 years since we graduated college. She still rocks my socks off though.

  1. She’s The Man Quotes (Best. Movie. Ever. Made)
  2. Books/Reading
  3. Yoga/Fitness
  4. Being a Grandma (aka knitting at home on a Friday Night)
  5. Adventuring!

I move so often I usually keep track of friends by what state they live in, but this KY bestie just moved her butt out to Texas so now I’m all sorts of confused. Here’s what she had to say….

  1. Donuts (you mean other people aren’t?)
  2. Braids (yup I usually am sporting one somehow)
  3. Running, even though I can’t anymore…(sad but true)
  4. Helping people achieve their goals (can you tell what a sweetheart she is?)
  5. Anything tasty…..(I live for food)

And since a list of five is so predictable, here’s a sixth person (A combined effort from my Brother and Sister in law) to reveal my secrets.

  1. JB
  2. Healthy Eating (green beans and cauliflower for everyone!)
  3. Shia (I once was visibly distraught when I forgot to pack him for a visit home to my Parents a few years ago)
  4. One Tree Hill (le duh)
  5. Jacie (my little sister)

A few other fun answers were Myself (I can’t help it if I’m awesome), Dunkin Donuts (is King), Mom & Pop Restaurants (I try not to eat at chains unless absolutely unavoidable….Dunks doesn’t count obvi.), Trying to make desserts more healthy but giving up and eating them anyway (Hahahahahahahhahahah),

So basically, according to my friends and family I am……a Type A planner, who’s only friend is an inanimate object, who loves healthy eating but only if it involves lots of donuts, and oh yea, obsessed with JB, myself, and my sister just not quite equally…..sound about right?

Have you played this fun game yet? What do you think people would say about you?

Also pretty please entertain me for my Birthday weekend, don’t forget to enter my giveaway, and give me a few things you’d say I’m obsessed with/love after reading my blog for a long time, a bit or just today. The more abstract and funnier the better!

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