Friday, February 21, 2020

How I Organize My Planner (Day Designer)

Now that we are well into February and I feel like I have my planner organized how I want it to be, I can finally share that organization with y’all. Whenever I take to Instagram stories asking for requests for blog content, it seems to never fail that someone asks me to explain how I’ve organized my planner (even if it looks pretty similar year after year).

Some of you may remember that last year I opted to try out The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I ultimately decided to give it a try because it measured out to be smaller than the Day Designer that I was loyal to from my sophomore year of college through my first year of the real world. While The Simplified Planner was, in fact, smaller in overall size, the thickness of it made it feel equally as large. Once in a meeting, our CEO (who has a tendency to joke around) asked me if I carried my bible to all of my meetings. Although she was kidding, it was a spot-on observation since the size of it really does resemble a bible. So this year, when it came time to make the important decision of which planner I was going to select, I knew it was time to go back to my tried and true.

What Planner I Chose
 Since The Simplified Planner didn’t necessarily feel much smaller than The Day Designer as you probably guessed, I went back to using a Day Designer this year, and I am so glad that I did. For one, I love that it matches most of my other planners (did I mention the weird fact that I save old planners to look back at because I do) when lined up on a shelf. I also LOVE the blue on blue design of the Perfectly Paisley cover I chose. Mine is the Daily Flagship planner offered on The Day Designer’s site; however, if you do want something smaller (but still equally as thick), you may want to try the Mini Daily Flagship. I’ll leave the size and cover design up to your personal preference.

Academic v. Yearly
I use the yearly calendar (starts in January) as opposed to an academic calendar (usually starts in July or August), and I did this for most of college as well despite still being a student. There is just something about starting the year with a blank calendar that I love. Now that I’m not in school or working on an academic calendar, I am glad that I have the yearly version even though it was a bit odd not having an entire school year in one planner back in college.

In the same way that I can be a bit of a planner snob, I am also a pen snob. Since I don’t like the way my handwriting looks in pencil (anyone else?), I stick to solely using pens in my planner. Le Pens and Flair Pens are my go-to with Flair Pens being what I’ve been using lately since, over time, my Le Pens have run out of ink. I like the colors of them and that they write smoothly without smudging, but I would say that both brands fit that criterion.

Hopefully, none of you planner obsessed people freaked out when I said that I only use pens since I have a system when it comes to tentative plans. Since I now have a job where vacation days aren’t assigned to you, I use post-it notes on the monthly overview of my planner to represent vacation days I plan to take but haven’t yet requested or been approved to take. Once they are approved, I remove the post-it notes and write down my plans in pen to make the monthly spread look a bit more cohesive.



Color Coding
In college, I used to use upwards of six to seven different colors to denote various activities in my planner. Now that I am not juggling nearly as much, I’m down to a mere two colors in my planner, black and pink. If I were to want to add more color, I could write down blog things in here in another color and workouts in yet another one, but since I don’t do that, two colors it is. I use black to write down anything related to work and pink to write down various social activities like meals with friends, vacations, birthdays, weddings, etc. It makes my monthly overviews a bit less exciting since there aren’t as many colors, but it works well to help me mentally separate work and play.

Monthly Overview
Speaking of the monthly overview, I tend to use this for big picture things. Since I work for a magazine, this is where I write down big photoshoots as well as some of the meetings I have. This helps me keep the monthly spread from looking cluttered since there is a page for each day in the planner.

In addition to that, I write down fun activities on the monthly overview as well. Whether it’s a Superbowl party, meal plans, weddings, or vacations I’m taking, I like including more of these on the monthly overview. I think that I like this because it encourages me to make social plans with friends in advance so that I have something to look forward to. I wouldn’t necessarily write down reoccurring plans on the monthly overview, but as with anything organization wise, it’s best to do what works for you.

Daily Overview 
One requirement I have when it comes to choosing a planner is that it has a page for each day. I have very much so become accustomed to using planners that include hourly time slots and to-do lists on a page for me to use. The Day Designer has this, as does the Dapper Desk planner from Emily Ley.

The hourly part of the daily overview always starts the same with me writing down what time work starts and ends. Any meetings I may have are written down in between, which helps me to visualize what my day may look like. Usually, there isn’t too much written down since I don’t have meetings daily (and I don’t write in what time I take my lunch), but writing them down when I do helps me to make sure that I don’t miss anything.

To-Do Lists
My friends love to make fun of the fact that I write down the simplest activities that you expect to do daily on my to-do list. While I know it may seem silly to write down showering on your to-do list, I do it because it’s something I plan to accomplish during the day. I like to sort of line up my to-do list with the hourly timelines on the page. For example, I put workout further down so that it lines up with what time I’m planning to take a workout class or go to the gym. This helps me to separate my work to-do list and personal to-do list while also time blocking in a sense.

This is one section that I don’t always use, but I do like having the option of having blank space to write in. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing down what workout I plan to do each day in this section and will sometimes write down blog post ideas or people/brands I need to email. I’ve also written down grocery lists or the meals I plan to make too, so you never really know what you’re going to find from me here.

I hope that this helped inspire you to get organized for the rest of the year. If you want to read more about how I’ve organized in the past, you can find those posts below.

My other planner organization posts:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Instagram Accounts I Love

I am SO thrilled that Friday *almost* here. I have a long weekend coming up and have been looking forward to it all week long. Some friends and I are headed to Mobile for the weekend to stay at Nell’s house and participate in Mardi Gras festivities. Then, on Sunday, I am headed over the bay to Fairhope to visit home through Tuesday. I rolled over two vacation days from last year that have to be used before March, so it turned out to be the perfect impromptu vacation. You can bet I am counting down till noon tomorrow (and trying to get a lot accomplished before then) when the weekend officially begins.

Ever since starting my job as a stylist a few months back, I feel like I’m on my phone a bit more often. Sometimes that is looking for great locations for future shoots, and sometimes that is to gain inspiration and discover new brands. Whatever the purpose, it has led me to discover some new Instagram accounts that I’ve been loving. I’ve shared posts like this in the past (see here and here) but figured an update on my most recent discoveries would hopefully be well received. I’ve linked directly to their accounts below and hope you’ll enjoy following along or garnering inspiration from their accounts as well.

Can you tell I love color and a well designed space? Which Instagram accounts do you love following? I'd love to check them out as well!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How To Style Sneakers

After sharing so many cute (and affordable!!) sneaker finds in this post from last week, I had a specific request in the comments to share some ideas of how to style sneakers in a way that doesn’t look frumpy. I love hearing y’alls post requests and was so excited to work on this one! In a perfect world, I would have shot some photos of a bunch of ways I’ve styled my own sneakers to share here, but mirror pics and graphics featuring clothing pieces (that are currently available) will hopefully suffice since I didn’t quite plan ahead enough to take those photos over the weekend and in my defense it was pretty overcast on Sunday.

Styling sneakers can be tricky since no one wants it to look like they got lazy with their shoe choice, and instead, you want it to look intentional while still giving off the effortlessly cool vibe. Something I’ve come to realize over time is that I like to pair sneakers with something fitted (like a favorite pair of skinny jeans) or something girly (like a ruffled blouse). As of late, it feels like my outfit combination when styling sneakers is usually some sort of sweater, skinny jeans, and this pair of gold and white sneakers. While I could definitely add in some variety to my day-to-day outfits, it’s nice to have a uniform of sorts when getting ready. I’ve shared some of these outfits that I originally shared in Step Into My Week posts for you below to give you an idea. 


left // right

left // right


After looking at these outfits, I decided to brainstorm ways to style sneakers in a more exciting way featuring a few of my other favorite sneaker finds from this post. I am really looking forward to wearing dresses with sneakers when the weather warms up this spring, which inspired me to share a few different outfit ideas featuring this combination. To shop the pieces included below, you’ll want to scroll beneath the image to find the links to any of the pieces you may be interested in. 

top (front tucked) // jeans // sneakers // headband

dress // sneakers // sunglasses // earrings // would also look so cute with this jean jacket
jeans // sneakers // bag // sweater (front tucked)

You can shop some of these pieces and additional cute sneakers below:

Monday, February 17, 2020

Step Into My Week 2.17

After sharing with y’all last Monday that the week before felt like a no-win week, I am pleased to report that this past week didn’t feel that way and instead was a pretty good week even though it felt really long. I think it feeling long has something to do with the fact that one of my shoots for the week got canceled due to the homeowner being sick, so I had an unexpected day at my desk, which turned out to be incredibly productive. 

This whole past week was pretty nasty weather-wise, and had it not been sunny on Saturday that would’ve meant double-digit days of rainy weather in February alone. While it’s always challenging to get out of bed on a rainy morning, I was ready to get the week going on Monday. I started the day getting some returns packaged up before slowly making my way through my email inbox and making sure orders I had placed for props had been squared away over the weekend. It continued to pour rain all day to the point where we got an email from our CEO saying that we needed to head home a bit after 3:00 due to flooding. I had finished most of my work at this point, so I was especially excited about a short Monday after such an eventful previous weekend. I went home and changed and was able to make it to an earlier true40 class than I had thought. If you’re interested in giving true40 a try and happen to be near a studio, you can use the code “DOROTHY” to take your first class on me. After true40, I decided I wanted to move my legs a little bit more and did a quick 20-minute Peloton workout at the Y before heading home. I quickly showered, ate dinner, and dried my hair before going to Macy’s house to watch the Bachelor with my roommate and Macy’s. 

Tuesday was spent working on photo worksheets for the photoshoots I had that week and looking ahead to schedule meetings for shoots I have on my calendar for the remainder of the week. I had to get a teacup and some flowers for the shoot I had on Wednesday, which got me out of the office for a little while. After work, I went to the Y to work out. Tuesdays have become my night to do Ally Love’s Sundays with Love Peloton workout, and I tend to look forward to it all day and never fail to finish the workout drenched in sweat. Once I completed that and stretched, I came home to clean up and make myself dinner. I got in bed relatively early since I knew I wanted to wake up early for a true40 class the following morning.

I decided to do something different on Wednesday and shared on Instagram stories what a day in my life looks like. I’ve saved these stories to my “life” highlight in case you missed them and want to see more of what I was up to. My day started with a 4:30 alarm so I could drink some coffee and eat something before the 5:15 true40 class I attended. I came home and showered and got ready for work, which I kicked off with a half-day photoshoot for a feature that won’t run until March/April of 2021. How unreal does that sound?! It was a flower arrangement that involved daffodils, and I thought the daffodils were going to ruin the arrangement with how floppy they were, but fortunately, we were able to make it work. Once the shoot wrapped, I was able to get a lot done at my desk before a tasting and returning the teacup we borrowed from a local jewelry store in Mountain Brook. I went home briefly after that so I could at least brush my teeth before picking Nell up to go to a Furman alumni event at Hickory Tavern in Homewood. We stayed there for about an hour before quickly running home to eat dinner and change before bible study that night. Once bible study ended, I came home and got in bed to read.  


I was initially supposed to be styling a home tour on Thursday, but since that was canceled, I was able to print out a lot of paperwork, schedule meetings, and scout locations for future shoots. The day went by pretty slowly, and I had to leave around 3:30 to meet a roofer at our house to see why the crack in my ceiling is continuing to spread. Hopefully, that is officially fixed now, but it wasn’t terrible having to finish the workday from my couch. Later that evening, a girl a few years older than me that also went to Furman arranged for a group of girl Furman grads to get together at Freddy’s, a wine bar in Highland Park. We stayed for a little over an hour, sipping a glass of wine and getting to know one another better. I made myself dinner once I got home and got in bed after that to read before bed. 

Friday morning, I went to a 5:15 true40 class before work. I got to work at 8:00 and was able to get a lot done before a meeting around 10:00. I squared away some things for my shoot on Monday (today), and I’m so excited about what I’m getting to work on. I left work around 11:15 since I needed to stop by a jewelry store to pick out pieces of china to borrow to go along with that shoot. I have never been in that store with so many men, and I saw lots of last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts being purchased, ha! After work, I went to Maison Shoppe in Mountain Brook Village to help the owner style and take photos to use on social media. I stayed there until about 4:00 before heading home to get ready for my Valentine’s Day plans. My friends Nell and Hallie agreed to head to Chez Fon Fon with me around 5:00 to celebrate with their burger and pot de crème. We had to wait over an hour for our table, but I’d like to think it was worth it since we didn’t have anything else going on. Afterward, Nell and I came back to my house to wait for my roommate to get back from her parent’s house so that we could go out for a drink. We went to The Marble Ring in Avondale, which is set up to feel like a speakeasy. We each had a drink there before calling it a night. 

Saturday felt like a nearly perfect day with fun, laid-back plans. The weather was finally sunny (thank goodness), and Nell and I had plans to go to a 9:30 true40 class. After that, we parked at her apartment and walked to Crestline Bagel to get lunch. On our walk back, I noticed some outdoor furniture that perfectly matched what my roommate and I have on our deck sitting by a house’s trashcan on the curb. I decided not to go back and get it once I got back to my car and went to the grocery store instead. My roommate and I had invited our friends to come over for wine and sweets to watch the second To All The Boys I Loved Before that came out this past week on Netflix. I baked some cookies and made our favorite snack mix after showering and reading for a bit. We were supposed to meet some friends at a bar at 5 to watch the Auburn basketball game, but that fell through so Nell, Rebecca, and I ended up at Taco Mama instead. On the way back from Taco Mama, I drove back by where the outdoor furniture had been and decided that now was my chance to take it. One of the pieces didn’t fit all the way in my car, so we had to drive back to our house with the trunk open and Nell holding onto the chair to make sure it didn’t fall out. Nell and I ended up going back and getting two more pieces before calling it a night on picking up other people’s unwanted furniture. This was good timing since our friends had started arriving at my house to watch the movie. We finished the movie around 9:00 and chatted for a bit before people left, and my roommate and I went to sleep. 

Sunday morning, I slept in until about 8:30 and had breakfast in bed while listening to podcasts. Eventually, I got ready for church, and Nell picked me up for us to make it to the 11:00 service at the Cathedral Church of the Advent downtown. Once I was back, I swapped out loads of laundry, made a grocery list, and went to Trader Joe’s to get groceries for the week. When I got back from that, I put the ingredients for soup in the crockpot and made myself lunch. I went to the library in Crestline for a while to work on blog post text and eventually went for a short walk while talking with my parents on the phone before walking about two miles with Nell. I spent the rest of the afternoon tidying up my room, shooting blog photos, and cooking another meal to have on hand for the week. My evening was very laid back, which has me feeling ready for the week ahead, which is full of more shoots than this past week and really fun weekend plans. I can’t wait to share more with y’all next week! 

Happy Monday! 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Shopping vol. 34

I don't usually do Saturday/Sunday Shopping posts by color scheme, but after gathering screenshots and links for so many great products over the past week I realized that color-coding these items was the only way for me to narrow my choices down. Otherwise, there could have been thirty cute finds in today's post. Instead, you'll see the other half of these next week but it seemed only fitting to start by sharing the blue and white pieces that caught my eye. If you happen to find something you like too, you can click directly on the product in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased!

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