How I Use My Planner For Our Budget

Something I just love about having a planner is that it can help capture my thoughts, keep me on track and help me see ahead! When I started to utilize my planner to help me with our budget it became a game changer and gave me so much more clarity on what money needed to do what and go where. This system is simple, takes a few steps and involves a monthly layout, which most planners have!

A fresh start in my Hobonichi Cousin (A5). 

A fresh start in my Hobonichi Cousin (A5). 

STEP ONE
Use the side of your monthly layout to list out allllll your monthly bills. I don’t include categories that fluctuate or that we pull cash out for (gas, food, fun money, pets, etc.). List out recurring monthly expenses like utilities, phone bill, insurance, student loan payments, Netflix subscriptions, etc.

STEP TWO
Next, go through each bill and look up its due date and the amount that will be due. (If you’re not sure, it’s ok to estimate it!) Then, find the day it’s due and write in the name of the bill and the amount owed.

STEP THREE
Next, write out the days of the month that you get paid. You can always ask the bookkeeper at your work for a list of dates that your paycheck will be deposited or when they plan to write checks if you’re not sure!

STEP FOUR
Now, as you get paid, you can look ahead and see what bills are due before the next time you get a paycheck. As you pay your bills, cross them off in your monthly layout and on the list on the side. I recommend that you do all of this the day you get paid! This makes it so your bills are paid each pay period, you have the money you need for your cash envelopes and you don’t have any remaining money sitting in your checking just tempting you there. That remaining amount can go toward savings, sinking funds, or paying off any debts you still owe.

More than anything, make your budget and planning as easy as can be. Some tips that we have found helpful:

– Use envelopes for categories that you tend to overspend in (for us, it’s always FOOD!). If you hate the hassle of envelopes, they make adorable wallets like these that help keep your cash separate!

– If you’re married and both working, sit down, write out your expenses and see if you can live off of one income.

– If you can, assign each paycheck a job! For instance: the first paycheck of the month will go towards your bills and necessities (pull cash for food money, gas money for the month, etc) and the second will go towards savings or debt payments and paying down debt. If you have side hustles or income, you can then use that money towards fun things like dates, entertainment, etc.

– If you struggle to pay your bills throughout the month with the timing of a paycheck, call the company and see if they will move the due date of your bill. (We’ve done this before and have found most companies want your money and are willing to make things easier for you! ?)

– As you go throughout your days and you think of something you need to budget for with your next paycheck, make a note of it in your planner on that day and use the $ sign before it. That way, when you get paid you can look back and see what you need to remember to budget money for and not forget.

– Now that you have written out what days you get paid, make a note/task for the day BEFORE you get paid to write out your budget for that paycheck. That way when the money hits your account, you already have jobs assigned for your dollars.

– Get cute STICKERS! Goodness, budgeting can be stressful and overwhelming at first. Make it fun with stickers like these:
KeenaPrints
Sweet Kawaii Design
o MonsterMomentsCo
Erin Condren

I’d love to know, how do you use your planner with your budget? Do you pair the two together or keep them separate? Tell me in the comments below!

Just remember, budgeting is a habit that takes time to perfect and it takes a while to find systems that work for you. Like anything, if you stick with it, you will figure it out eventually! You can do it!

Planner Review: Travelers Notebooks!

When you hear the word Traveler’s Notebook, you probably think of some awesome, Hobbit-like, mysterious traveler who has their trusty old leather-bound notebook that has been with them on all their adventures.

And you’re right! That’s definitely what they are. These types of planners have EXPLODED in the planner world – and for good reason! They’re also very customizable, sturdy and great for creative planners who want to have a small section/insert in their planner for every part of their life.

Take note that these planners can be overwhelming if you’re a beginner planner and need a daily layout or weekly spread to walk you through your planning process, or if you’re still figuring out what your planning style is. It’s also really easy to spend lots of money on these bad boys too, decking them out with inserts, dashboards (the first page you see of a section or when you open your TN), paperclips, bookmarks, dividers, etc!

Here are a few of my favorite, recommended places to get your own:

Chic Sparrow

Here’s my YouTube review of a Traveler’s Notebook I bought from Portland Leather Goods! Another bonus is a lot of companies will stamp your name, initials, or whatever you’d like onto the outside of your Traveler’s Notebook!

Planner Review: Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner

If there’s anyone who can truly be considered a productivity expert, Michael Hyatt is your go-to guy. I’ve been following Hyatt online for a few years now and it’s safe to say, he knows what he’s doing. His tips and content have been invaluable and he’s most known for his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World and his Best Year Ever (goal setting) & Free to Focus (productivity) programs.

This planner combines his approach to daily productivity with a long-term, yearly goals in mind.  One journal covers 3 months at a time and they’re all undated. This is helpful because you don’t have to wait to get started! As soon as you acquire the planner you can begin to use it.

When you first get the planner, I highly recommend going through the videos they made for it and watching through them before you get to it, as he has certain pieces of the planner that don’t make sense or are unrecognizable at first glance.

The quality of this planner is unmatched! You can tell the hardbound cover, ribbons and paper thickness are great for those on the go and those who need to pack it around. Hardbound planners can often have a hard time laying flat making them impossible to write in at times, but not with the Full Focus Planner. At the beginning and end portions of the planner it can be a little unruly and want to close, but through a majority of the book, you should be a-ok!

I think my favorite parts about the layout of this planner are the weekend optimization portions (we don’t really think about planning out our weekends, but it’s still so good to figure out what you’re going to do so you’re proactive about them instead of reactive) and how it reiterates looking at your goals on a daily basis, so you can make your schedule match making progress towards them!

Here’s a short video doing a walkthrough of the planner, so you can see for yourself all its productivity powers in its glory!

This planner is perfect for entrepreneurs, business-focused folks, guys and people who need a straight and narrow approach to their day!

What a CrossFit Coach Taught Me About Anxiety

Do you want to know something I hate?

It’s what I can’t control. It makes my anxiety go through the roof. When it’s at it’s worst I have to close my eyes as I feel my world spin out of control. It’s honestly one of the better reasons of why I am so committed to having a planner, if I can prepare and plan, I can ease my mind of some of the worst-case scenarios that might happen.

As I’ve gotten older, my anxiety gets better and better as I learn to let go of things. A few weeks ago, I read a book that really reaffirmed that letting go of what you can’t control is a good muscle to build.

For some weird reason, I have become obsessed with CrossFit athletes and coaches and how they approach their sport. Particularly with CrossFit coach Ben Bergeron who has coached Mat Fraser (2x Mens CrossFit Games champion) and Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir (she is pretty much an Icelandic princess who can kick your butt, but also has won the CrossFit Games twice as well). I was so eager to read his book, Chasing Excellence to learn more about his approach to coaching some of the fittest people in the world.

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I was pleasantly surprised to read that he is really focused on not winning, not being the best, but giving your best regardless of the leaderboard. He touches on positivity and how weaknesses are fun because they give us a chance to get better and to become our strengths. But one chapter in particular really stuck out to me as someone who struggles with anxiety, and that was the chapter on Control.

As Ben coaches these athletes, over and over again he reinforces that they have 5 things they focus on and give their all in:

  1. Recovery

  2. Nutrition

  3. Sleep

  4. Training

  5. Mindset

 

Ben talks about an exercise he does with his athletes right before the Games, where he has them list out everything that could possibly go wrong at the CrossFit games. This past year with 3 of his athletes, their list had a total of 101 items on it. They went through the entire list and anything they could control got a plan and the things they couldn’t control were erased from their minds.

(Small circle are things they can control, big circle are things they cannot)

(Small circle are things they can control, big circle are things they cannot)

I absolutely love this quote from the chapter:
“A huge piece of chasing excellence is attention to tiny details, but the key distinction is that you pay attention to the right details, the ones within your control and the over which you have power. Most people go through life having no idea what they can actually control. They’re concerned about a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean they control those things. Many people struggle to recognize the difference between the two. Imagine a book of matches. A typical matchbook has twenty matches, and together they represent all your energy for the day. Energy is a finite resource; once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. If you burn through your matchsticks on things that are outside your control, you have less energy for the things you can control — things that can actually move the needle on your performance.”

Wow. I don’t know about you, but I breathed a sigh of relief after I read that. How many of my restless nights have I spent staying awake, wondering what will happen? Thinking out all the worst case scenarios that have literally never come close to happening?

I think that’s why planners are so important for us control freaks and those like me who are ridden with anxiety. The things in our outer circle that are out of control, we let go. We can prepare, but minimally as you just never know. And the things in our inner circle get a plan. Those plans get written down in our planners and we live them out, giving our best and achieving excellence. I love this approach because it reinforces what my heart has been telling me all these years and that is that a life without intentionality is a life wasted. My planner helped me see that no intentions = going everywhere but nowhere at the same time. It’s like running a race but zig-zagging the entire way there and getting off track, never crossing the finish line.

Planners can help us with the plans we need and they hold us accountable to action. They also help us be realistic about what we can control. No, we can’t control that it will rain on this day, but we can control planning and preparing for it. No, we can’t control if someone is serving junk food and sweets at a party, but we can control eating a good, healthy dinner before we go and bringing nutritious snacks with us to eat along the way, helping your nutrition stay on track. No, we can’t control the poor decisions that a friend or family member makes, but when we show up in their lives, we can love them well and be there fully.

What is it that you’re trying to hold control of that you really shouldn’t? What is it that terrifies you that you know is incredibly unlikely to happen? Don’t spend 80% of your matches burning through energy and emotions on the things that won’t happen, burn through your matches giving your best every day, no matter what your doing and success will follow after.

Planner Review: Happy Planner Mini Fitness Tracker

Few things are as fun as being able to look back and see the progress that you’ve made.

It’s pure insanity to set goals for yourself and not be able to see metrics for accomplishments you make along the way, ESPECIALLY in fitness.

Today, I’m sharing with you my review of the Happy Planner’s Mini Fitness Tracker.

Happy Planners are a great option for those that want to be able to insert and take out different pieces of their planner and accessories, without being stuck to a ring bound format. They’re incredibly popular and attainable at local craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Joanne’s! (Don’t forget to bring your 30-40% off coupon with you when you go to buy one! Coupons can be found on each stores site and help knock off a few bucks!)

As the New Year approaches us, many folks nobly include health in their New Years resolutions. However, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s no wonder people show up at the gym and wander aimlessly for the first 3-4 days and then never show their faces again. And it’s also no wonder that people go on insanely strict diets that are impossible to keep up with. They don’t have a plan. Not knowing what to do is never a fun feeling. I’m all for winging it, except for the really important pieces of life and your health is one of those pieces. 

Don’t be that guy next year, ok?!

This planner allows you to track/plan your workouts, steps and log your food. But honestly, I think my favorite component of it are the reflection pages at the end of each month, that have a spot for you to post a picture of your progress, reflect on a few fitness related questions and rate yourself on how well you stuck to your plan or progressed for that month!

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There’s also a regular, full-size, option as well that you can find here. I chose to purchase and review the mini version, as it seemed much easier for me to keep it on my desk and in my purse on the go! Or, you can even keep it in your gym bag for the end of your workout, you can fill out your workout progress and see what you have planned for your meals that day.

As always, here’s a YouTube review of the 2017 version I started using, just for you, planner peeps!

What do you think? How would you utilize this planner or see it helping you in your wellness journey?

There’s also a regular, full-size, option as well that you can find here. I chose to purchase and review the mini version, as it seemed much easier for me to keep it on my desk and in my purse on the go! Or, you can even keep it in your gym bag for the end of your workout, you can fill out your workout progress and see what you have planned for your meals that day.

As always, here’s a YouTube review of the 2017 version I started using, just for you, planner peeps!

What do you think? How would you utilize this planner or see it helping you in your wellness journey?

Our $35 Weekly Grocery Budget

Hey, Planner Peeps!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes figuring out how to buy groceries and stay within a teeny, tiny budget can be really crazy. A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram that I had gone to the grocery store that day and had a budget of $35 to spend for our groceries that week. I shared that I was mad, because I went over and had spent $36.39 (ugh, those bottle deposits get me every time here in Oregon!) and was beating myself up. But then I had a flashback to 5 years ago when I was first married and I had written down in my planner how bummed I was because we had spent over $100 that week in groceries for my husband and I. I love planners and planning, because they help me to be able to look back and see how much progress I’ve made and just how far I’ve come. It’s really inspiring and motivating!

However, I had so many people asking me how the heck I shop for two people on such a tiny budget, I knew I had to write a post about it to show you guys how I do this. But first, a few disclaimers:
– I am only shopping for two people. Not a family! Just my husband and I.
– Neither one of us are really picky eaters or have strict diets. We honestly both really just love food and are thankful to go to bed with full bellies at night. The $35 weeks are admittedly, not the healthiest weeks for us!
– This is not our grocery budget every single week. How our food budget operates is we take out cash for all our categories we tend to overspend in or need to reign in (food, gas, entertainment, pets, gifts, etc.). We take out $100 each week for food and toiletries. This $100 covers eating out, groceries, coffee runs (I work from home so this is vital for me, I HAVE to get out of the house!) toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, etc. So, this fluctuates each week. Some weeks we don’t eat out at all and the grocery budget is huge! (I tend to stock up on staples when this happens! Yahoo!) Other weeks we want to eat out with friends and family so we just deal with a tiny grocery budget. We are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans and this small budget will not last forever. In fact, once we are out of debt we plan on doubling (if not tripling) this category amount because we love to eat out and try new places. I can’t wait!
– Don’t compare yourself! We live in an area that has a decent cost of living and this is a sacrifice we are making temporarily while we pay down debt. Just because we get by on $35 a week on groceries sometimes, doesn’t mean you have to as well.

Ok, now! Lets do this.

Tip #1: Use what you have.
Scavenge your pantry for those odds and ends that are still edible, but might be collecting some dust! A can of black beans and some leftover tortilla chips? Grab a cheap bag of shredded cheese and some salsa and you’ve got nacho night! Don’t forget the freezer! Are there ribs from that BBQ from a few months ago that you forgot you threw in there? Leftover frozen veggies and those veggies in the fridge that are going bad soon that you can use to make a yummy stew? Rice that you can use for chicken stir fry? Get creative and keep it simple!

Tip #2: Check coupon sites before you go and shop the sales!
My all time favorite coupon sites are Krazy Coupon Lady and Money Saving Mom. Check these frequently before you go to a particular store (you can search deals by store, brand, etc nowadays! It’s awesome!) and see if they have any freebies or moneymakers that you can take advantage of! I’ve gotten free toothpaste, free floss, free paper towels, really cheap toilet paper, body wash, makeup, shampoo, conditioner and more from stacking a coupon with a sale that store is having. Toiletries can get really expensive and if you have the storage space, I highly recommend on stocking up when these good deals are happening! Even if you don’t need toiletries, check for food items too. You can start to get creative when you find out that Keebler crackers are only $0.50 that week!  Also be sure to check meat prices. A few weeks ago the store had a great sale on chicken drumsticks for only $0.99 a pound. I was able to get 3 pounds of chicken for only $3! That might not seem like a big deal, but when your grocery budget is only $35, it totally is. 

Tip #3: Shop at Fred Meyer/Kroger and get their “Woohoo” deals!
Yes, I know – you did not expect those store names! They have a reputation for having higher prices, however – they have incredible markdowns on the perimeter of the store! You’ll find these markdowns with the red and yellow “woohoo” sticker on it.


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Wooooooohooooo! Great deal!

 

Check the produce section (especially bagged veggies and bagged salad), the deli area, the meat are and the dairy area specifically for these stickers! I make it a little bit of a game and try not to buy any Woohoo deal that’s over $1. Obviously, this quinoa was over a $1. So I do try to make exceptions for staples like this. Or, bagged cheese will be on sale for $1.50, of course I’ll make an exception for that because it’s a great deal and bagged cheese is a versatile food. I’ve gotten fresh salsa for $1 and all sorts of other fresh foods for very cheap doing this!

Tip #4: Scavenge the Manager’s Special Section @ Fred Meyer/Kroger
You’ll find these areas discreetly off to the side, but they often carry great deals! Our Fred Meyer has two. They always have one in the produce section that has bagged produce for $0.99. I’ve gotten a bag of apples, peppers, brussel sprouts and more for $0.99 a bag here. Often, the fruit or veggies are just a little bruised or have a spot on them, but they are still fully edible! The other area is in between the dairy section and meat section. On one side it contains the bread markdowns and the other side contains just general markdowns and woohoo deals in general. The general markdown side is where I got the Woohoo quinoa!  Scope out these sections and you’ll see things to start getting creative and pulling together with recipes and such! Often, these sections are hidden. So don’t be afraid to ask an employee if they can point you in the right direction!

Here’s a video on me talking my head off about all this, with a few other tips!

I hope you found this helpful and that this gives you some hope. We have come a looooooooooong ways when it comes to reigning in our grocery budget and we are so excited to pay off all of our debt in the process!

How I Lost My Job, Started My Own Business and Replaced My Income In 90 Days

My hands shook as I swiped the bar on my phone to answer the phone call.

“Hello?”

“Hi. Is this a good time for you to talk?”

“Yes, it is. What’s up?”

“Well. . . There’s no easy way for me to say this, but I’m letting you go.”

I don’t really remember much of the conversation after that. My stomach shrunk, my heart felt like it was in my throat and chest felt like it was on fire.

I considered maybe that I was just dreaming and I’d wake up and everything would be fine.

But I wasn’t.

The next morning, I sat in disbelief on my couch, sipping my coffee, staring at the overcast clouds outside my window as they floated among the mountains. It slowly sank in that on Monday, I wouldn’t have a job to go to like the rest of the world. (Getting let go on a Friday isn’t necessarily the best start to a weekend, take it from me.)

What now? What’s next? This certainly wasn’t where I had seen myself at 25 years old. I was on a mission to climb the ladder and climb it as fast and as hard as I could, to make it to the top. I realize now, that your career isn’t a ladder. It’s more like a jungle gym (Sheryl Sandberg eloquently describes this in her fabulous book, Lean In) and that linear career paths are far and few between.

We had an enormous rent payment, multiple other bills and oh yeah, occasionally the need to eat food and buy gas for the car. I had to think of something and something fast as a two week severance pay wouldn’t cut the mustard for long. Not to mention, our lease was up in a month and a half and what little savings we had we were planning on using already to move into a cheaper, smaller apartment.

I started to apply for other jobs but my heart sank every single time I opened an application. Why? Just so this could happen again? So I could work my ass off, dedicated, for two full years only to be let go again? No, this time, I wanted full control. If I were to ever find myself in this place again, I wanted it to be because of my own doing and no one else’s. A week later, I decided that it was time to take the leap. It was time to go full throttle into something I have known for the last several years I wanted to do. It was time I started my own business and run it in a way that made sense, was profitable and the thing I was most excited about: cared about people.

Step by step, I’ve built up a steady stream(s) of income as a freelance virtual assistant. I replaced my income within 90 days of being let go and it’s been a wild ride. Here’s how I did it:

I went to therapy.
Yes, I know you weren’t expecting that one.  The truth is, getting let go is a significant loss. You lose routine, coworkers, connections, a sense of pride, accomplished progress on projects, etc. I was in a total rut after I was let go. I kept going to therapy to get back to the “old me” until I realized that there was no old me, there’s only present me. And that present me can only get better and better and better. EMDR therapy is incredible and I highly recommend seeing a trusted counselor that’s trained in it as it is a great option to heal trauma. It’s hard to let go of the past, but some things we have to put up on the shelf and let them stay there for a while.

We cut alllll unnecessary expenses and downsized.
After working side by side with so many self made, successful people – I’ve been able to see and learn many valuable lessons. One of those being to not let your lifestyle outgrow your steady income. I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs grow their business and let their lifestyle grow with it too. There’s nothing wrong with it, as long as that growth is sustainable. You can’t be in “launch” mode 11 months of the year. So we viciously cut expenses and moved into a teeny, tiny studio apartment. I knew if I wanted to make this work I’d have to make some short term sacrifices and simplify my lifestyle so I could go full throttle into starting this.

I questioned why.
Everything. All of it. Why did I stay at certain jobs for so long? Why did I want to buy a house? What is the point of having kids? Why did I believe I had to accomplish certain things in a certain way? Why did I dress the way I did? I radically questioned all the beliefs I had and chose to use this opportunity as a fresh start. It gave me a chance to start over, as I finally no longer had a boss or career dictating certain things about the path I was on.

I reached out to community.
I did not have a clue as to what I was doing and I was reminded of that daily. I had a small mastermind group of a few other girls that I leaned on heavily during this time. I’d send quick SOS texts whenever I wanted to quit or wanted their thoughts on something. They were amazing and urged me that I could do this and to actually double the prices I was previously charging to attract clients that saw and would utilize my skills. This was so validating and so crucial to the process. Starting a business can be incredibly lonely, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You’re not a special, lone, stuck in a wasteland of nowhere snowflake. Reach out. Ask for help (this is different than asking people to do things for you). Pinpoint where your stuck and be open to the options and ideas people give you. You’ll be surprised at how well people actually do know about you and how they deeply care for you.

I drowned myself in positivity every single day.
I picked myself up by the bootstraps and instead of running around whining, “Why me?!” I changed my internal narrative to: “Why not me?!” I unfollowed every single person and social media account that me feel less than, were connected to painful memories of my old job and just overall did not add any value to my life. I covered my planner with motivational quotes. I daily wrote down Bible verses in my planner. I consumed all the positive and motivating podcasts that I could get my hands on (and I still do).

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However, I also thought about the worst case scenario.
Which was: moving in with a family member and work at McDonalds. I’d still be alive and I’d still be one of the richest people on earth, because I had a roof over my head, people that loved me, a supportive spouse and dishes to clean because there would be food to eat. That’s it. That’s all. (In fact, some of the nicest and happiest people I have ever known have worked at McDonalds. Truly.)

I did what the experts told me to do and followed their instructions like my life depended on it.
This is something I’ve seen in my industry over and over again. Don’t. Argue. With. The expert. (Especially publicly at a conference during a Q&A. OMG. You are wasting everyone’s time and yours.) I found a free blog post that listed out a lengthy, but detailed step by step process on how to start and market my business and followed it to a T. Count me as an A+ honors student following that process and those instructions. More importantly. . .

I broke it down into bite sized, daily pieces using my. . . . planner!
Stealing the model from Chalene Johnson’s PUSH goal system, I broke down my big goal, which was to replace half of my old income in 90 days. I wrote down every single little thing I would need to accomplish that from getting a business license to creating a PDF that would explain my services, my experience, how I operate and my pricing to creating a web page on my blog. I remembered that we, as humans, generally overestimate what we can do in just one day. However, we vastly underestimate what we can do over longer periods of time such as 3-5 years. We can accomplish many things, just not all at once. So I broke them down and each day would grab 3 of those 10 minute tasks and accomplish those first. The tasks ranged from making a phone call to following up on a cold lead to brainstorming 5 names to add to my master spreadsheet of people who potentially could use my services. Whatever it was, I didn’t resist it. I just did it.

I used what I had, when I had it.
After I got let go, I had to send back my laptop to my old company (I worked remotely). It was our only stable, normal working computer and I couldn’t even apply for other jobs without it. But I knew that if I was going to start a business, I was going to do it right. No debt. No unnecessary expenses. No fancy website. No marketing team. Nada. I would start small and grow as I felt comfortable and as necessary. Anything I don’t know how to do, I used this AMAZING tool called the Google search bar and figured it out. (It’s really cool, you should try it sometime!) I firmly believe that every problem is figureoutable. Within a few days of getting let go I scrapped together a couple hundred bucks, marched on down to Best Buy blasting Taylor Swift and bought a Chromebook. Yes, a Chromebook. Boohoo. All you Chromebook haters can calm down because it works like a charm and has Google. Enough said. (Admittedly, eventually I upgraded to a Mac Mini!)

I stopped feeling sorry for myself.
I reminded myself that I have been through way harder things than this and no one would care about my dream(s) as much as I did. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. My life is up to me and I certainly cannot control what happens, but how I react and what I can do today, in this moment, to be a better person, help others, and grow closer to the finish line of my short term goals.

I was picky about who I worked with (and forever will be).
Any potential client that emulated past or previous behaviors that I had allowed that were incredibly rude, unhealthy or just plain unnecessary I refused to work with. These red flags always usually pop up in the initial getting to know each other conversation so it’s not hard for me to rule them out. It’s important to note too, that these folks almost always never want to pay the full price. I didn’t write out my precise ideal client, but I wrote out the values that people had that I wanted to work with. (For example, they cared about their customers and they cared about the relationship with their customers/clients. They were timely in their responses to me, etc.) My clients are THE BEST. I tell my husband all the time about the really cool things they are doing and how blessed I feel every day that I get to work with them and help them.

Overall, yes. Getting let go sucks. Building a business is hard work. But it’s worth it and it was a dream that I had hidden down in my heart for many years for various reasons that were backed by one thing and one thing only: FEAR. Our dreams may seem like big, lofty, impossible goals but when you look closer they’re actually made up brick by brick of tiny, brave pieces that were achieved every day over a period of time.

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PLANNER REVIEW: Inkwell Press Daily Coil Free Planner

Hey, Planner Peeps!

This week I reviewed Inkwell Press’s Daily Coil Free Planner and isn’t it just gorgeous?! I absolutely love the cover that has the tree texture providing it a little more unique look and feel.

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This planner is undated, which is great for those that know they won’t be using their planner every day, but don’t want to waste any pages. So easy to do in dated/pre-dated planners!

Price wise, it’s a little on the spendy side, coming in at $44. However, it contains enough daily pages for 184 days. So, considering there are 261-270 weekdays in a year, you may end up getting two of these in a year. However, if you love the layout(s) and they work really well for you, then it’s always 100% worth the investment in my opinion!

This planner contains the classic, signature Inkwell Press honeycomb design and look and has more modern, neutral tones throughout it. My favorite part of the planner though? The 3 week honeycomb habit trackers. Beautifully designed and easy to use, this is a great feature for those that want to create new daily habits like reading, exercise, water intake, etc.! I know habit trackers like this have been key in maintaining habits and building new ones. There’s just something about not losing your winning streak and wanting to maintain it. 

You can get your own Inkwell Press Daily Coil Free Planner here.

Here’s a more detailed review on my YouTube channel:

So, what do you think? Do you think this planner is a hit or miss?

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Why I Didn't Buy the Pants

A few weeks, ago, I was spending time with my Mom. I told her that I was in desperate need of some new jeans. My mom, being the incredible bargain shopper that she is, hopped up out of her chair and off we were off to the store.

Some of you may know, that I’m not the average height for a woman. I’m 6’0” tall, so finding pants that are long enough can be a bit difficult and unusual. We walked into a store that we were guessing had my inseam size. 

I kept telling myself to not be a cheapskate and that I had the budget to buy some good jeans that would last me a while. My mom spotted a young woman in the jeans section, made a beeline for her and told her what I needed (my mom is pretty much just the best). The girl quickly sprang into action, pulling me this pair and that pair and did I like this color? And maybe this style! And ooooh, this has a 32-inch inseam! I walked into the dressing room with my arms FULL of stacked jeans.

I tried them on. Most of them, I knew as soon as I started putting them on, were just not going to fit. Ugh. But I needed pants! I can’t walk around pantless! (I mean I could, it’s just not super ideal). I had 2 pairs that I had narrowed it down to. Did they fit me super well? No, not really. But they did the job, I guess. Were they colors I liked? Nope. Were they comfortable? Nope, definitely was gonna have to suck it in when putting some of them on (WHICH IS THE WORST). Was I happy to pay $50 a piece for them? Not in the slightest – I was grumpy about it actually. Ah, but that poor girl! She had spent all that time and effort gathering all these pants. Surely she would feel so defeated or mad if I didn’t buy a single pair?!

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I then remembered my promise I had made to myself a long time ago about spending my hard earned money and a newfound commitment I had made to minimalism (Thanks, Marie Kondo!). Do not buy something unless you really, truly, love it and/or you actually need it. Enough was enough. None of these jeans worked for me. I didn’t really like any of them. I walked out and put them back. It felt so good. Later on that night, I decided to poke around online and found 2 pairs of jeans on sale, with plenty of length, the style I loved and a coupon code! I ended up using only half of my budget.

Friends, I don’t want this to be you when buying a new planner. I’ve been there, done that. And on those days where things fall through the cracks, literally nothing is going right, you’re exhausted and you just want to get your s*** together already, it seems like a planner could really help you.

Don’t buy a planner out of desperation, thinking finally, maybe, perhaps you will actually be put together.

Don’t buy a planner feeling like maybe this will be the system that gets you closer to your goals.

Buy a planner that has style and colors and binding that you actually love and really works for you.

Buy a planner that has systems that revolve close to your lifestyle and values, not vice versa.

Buy a planner with a layout that makes sense for you and your lifestyle.

We need to make our planners and purchases work for us, they shouldn’t make us work to fit them into our lives. I want you to feel not good, but great about whatever planner you decide to purchase. I designed and created a planner index to help you narrow down some options on what kind of planner might suit you best. It’s a constantly changing and updating space.

I can’t tell you which planner to get, but I can help you get started towards getting there.


“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” – Yoda

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