Thursday, December 31, 2015

Word & Resolution for 2016

Happy New Year's Eve! 

I honestly cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. It seems like it was so recently that we were ringing in 2015 in New Jersey with our friends Kristen & Jeff, and today we're back in the Garden State prepping for tonight's party with them! Last year I selected a word for 2015 - Confidence. I knew that the year was going to bring many new and challenging experiences and having this constant reminder to try to find confidence in everything I faced was surprisingly helpful. Confidence has been something I've been struggling to find over the last several years, but with this reminder in my back pocket I was able to find it and build it up little by little every day which is awesome. I wanted to take the same approach this year and pick a word to last me throughout the entirety of 2016. (I also have a resolution that I want to work on because it's becoming a bit of a problem in my life - haha.)

Word: Positivity

Sometimes I feel like it's way too easy to be negative. I really want to change that - find the positive in things and see challenges as exciting opportunities instead of exhausting road blocks. Every time I'm feeling down or frustrated, I want to try and pull myself back up with positive thoughts. It's going to be tough because I consider myself far more of a realist than an optimist, but I think that adding some more positivity into my life on a regular basis is only going to bring good things!

Resolution: Kick my addiction to the snooze button

I am wayyyyy too addicted to the snooze button. It's really becoming a problem lately! Sometimes I'll hit snooze for a full hour and a half before begrudgingly getting out of bed. That's definitely not okay and scrambling to get ready 10 minutes before I need to be out the door for work is not okay. I really, really want to kick this awful habit of mine and start getting up right when my alarm goes off. My friend Jeff suggested I get one of these (which I'm definitely looking into purchasing) but any other suggestions are welcome and encouraged!

What's your word for the year? 
Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
I hope you all have a happy and safe NYE! See you in 2016!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Read-cap 2015

As you all know, one of my favorite things to do in my down time is read. Down time is a little harder for me to find these days, but it's still a hobby I cherish - there is really no better way to relax than to get lost in a great story! Because it's the end of the year and the time to look back and see what you have accomplished in the last 365 days. I thought I would take a moment and round up all of the books that I finished in 2015! Some of these I have reviewed here on the blog, some of them I haven't, but I'll give my overall impression of each in two sentences or less to give you and idea of my thoughts!

Hard Copies

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
Book one of the Millenium Series (TW: Violence Sexual Assault & Rape) 
Took me a while to finish this book and it's sometimes hard to read, but fascinating nonetheless.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Finished this in two days! Written by one of my favorite comediennes, Poehler shares her life and experiences that inspires you and makes you laugh.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
This was probably my favorite book I read in 2015. Super-smart middle schooler wants to go to Antarctica and ends up finding much more than penguins and glaciers.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Lost in her mid-twenties, Strayed takes on a challenge she would have never imagined taking before. This book will motivate you to be adventurous and remind you that you can accomplish anything that you really work for. (I talk about it a bit in my Spring Favorites post.)

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Another one of my favorite comedians tackles the topic of dating in the twenty-first century. Though this book is indeed hilarious, it's thought-provoking as well! (Check out my review here.)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
An amazing story from an amazing perspective. This book sucks you right into Mississippi in the sixties and is extremely relevant to our world today. (Check out my review here.)

1984 by George Orwell
A literary classic that is eerily relevant to today's society. Orwell hits the nose on the head with how easy it is to fall right in line with society and the risk of fearing and rejecting diversity.(Check out my review here.)


We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
A quirky and fun memoir of dating misadventures. This title is so easy to relate to and a very entertaining read! (I talk about it a bit in my Summer Favorites post.)

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick
An interesting look into the world of animal rehabilitation and the relationships Sheldrick built in her lives with both humans and animals. This book can be very, very sad - just a fair warning! (Check out my review here.)

Audio Books

Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
Madison recounts her time living in the Playboy Mansion and being girlfriend #1 to Hugh Hefner. This story goes to show that outward appearances often don't match the truth.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Another fun memoir from another funny woman. This is more of a collection of essays that a cohesive story, but it waslots of fun to listen along to!

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larson
Book two in the Millenium Series (TW: Violence, Sexual Assault & Rape) 
I still don't think I've processed the story all the way through, but I think it was an interesting continuation of the series. I'm not entirely sure if I will continue the series yet.

What were your favorite books of 2015?
What books are you excited to read or listen to in 2016?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Annual Awkward Christmas Card 2015

It wouldn't be Christmas without sharing our annual awkward Christmas card!
(Check out our card from 2013 & 2014 as well!)
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and if you don't celebrate Christmas, a wonderful day!

love, FivEleveNinety<3

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fall Favorites 2015!

Bad news: it's officially winter and soon the snow-pocalypse will be upon us again. Good news: the days are going to start getting longer, so at least there's that! With the end of the season comes time for me to review all of my favorites for you all, and that's exactly what I'm doing in this post! To make things a bit more ~streamlined~ I'm going to try to keep my favorites posts under 10 items from now on (this summer's favorites post was a little out of control), so you're not going to see all of the categories I've used in the past, but I think I definitely summed up my favorite things for this fall with this list! I hope you all enjoy!

Apparel | L.L. Bean Wicked Good Camp Moccasin

These are so comfortable and warm! I wanted a nice durable, comfortable slipper for this winter and these are 100% it. I've worn them around for the entire month of December so far and if I could wear them everywhere without ruining them I totally would. I'm excited to have these to keep my feet warm when the temperatures start falling under zero.

Book | The Help

This was hands down my favorite book that I read this season. I already dedicated an entire blog post to my thoughts and feelings about this book, but seriously if you've never read it you totally need to get on it! It's definitely reached the ranks of some of my favorite books ever.

Fitness | Brooks Launch 2

I got these at the end of September as my Asics were making my feet kill during my training runs leading up to my marathon. I had never tried Brooks before but with my legs hurting me that badly and the Maine Marathon right around the corner, I was willing to try something new if it meant my running would feel better. Turns out it made me feel MUCH better and I PRed in my marathon! SO, of course, these had to be my fitness favorite of the fall.

Home & Office | Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Generation 2 Coffee Maker

My sister bought this amazing contraption for me as a Christmas gift and I'm a huge fan! I live by myself most of the time, and Brett is not a coffee drinker, so brewing a whole pot of coffee never really makes all that much sense. This gem not only brews singular cups of coffee, but also allows you to replace the filter with w K-Cup, so if I'm feeling extra lazy I don't have to do much work do get caffeinated! Double score.

Movie | Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

I mean... obviously, right? I won't talk about this in too much detail because I know there are still plenty of people out there who have yet to see it, but the new Star Wars film was so great. It's got action, it's got emotion, it's got nostalgia, and even a few good laughs. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly, highly recommend that you do before it all gets spoiled for you!

Purchase | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated Edition

When this was first announced I knew that this was how I was going to build a Harry Potter collection that I would one day share with my children. I was not disappointed when it arrived in the mail. Every page is so gorgeous and it just enhances the story so much. Part of me is glad I grew up without too much guidance in what things looked like, but I also think I might have enjoyed the books that much more with pictures attached. Anyway, I totally think it's worth it to add this to your book collection!

Video Game | Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS

Brett got this for me as a graduation gift back in May, but I only just got around to playing it this season. I'm not too far into the game but I am having so much fun! I never got the chance to play Zelda as a kid (I also wasn't much for one-player games growing up), but I am so happy that they released a 3DS version of this game  so that I can enjoy it as an adult! I'm looking forward to playing this more during some downtime over winter break.

Memory | Patriot's Game

This was 100% my favorite memory of the fall! My parents very generously gave Brett and I tickets to go see the Patriots play at Gillette Stadium, and this was my first Pats game ever! We tailgated all day and had so much fun at the game, despite the fact that we ended up attending one of their only two losses this season... >_> Regardless, we had a fantastic time and I will always remember that day!

What were your favorite things from this fall?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Stocking Stuffers for Planner Girls

Christmas is this week which mean that for many of us out there, it's crunch time! One of my favorite things about Christmas morning is opening up a stocking. You find such random and sometimes useful things in there and really gets your Christmas off to a fun start! There are stocking stuffer guides out there for every demographic under the sun, but I have yet to see one for Planner Girls! If you have a Planner Girl in your life (or even just someone that loves office & craft supplies), use the list below to come up with ideas that she will love! (And trust me, as a planner girl myself, I guarantee that she will love any of these things!)

1. A Package of Their Favorite Pens - Every single planner girl has a specific favorite pen that is their absolute favorite, so getting a fresh pack of her favorites are sure to put a smile on her face! My favorite are Pilot G2 pens (shown above), but other popular planner pens are Sharpie pens, Papermate Flair pens, and Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens.
Find it: Any office supply store
Price range: $3 to $12

2. Stickers - Whether or not your planner girl likes to decorate her planner pages, stickers of something that she's interested in is always super thoughtful! Stickers are always a fun thing to find in your stocking as well, and there's stickers for every interest and occasion, so a few sheets would be a great addition!
Find it: Scrapbooking section of a craft store, or Etsy
Price range: $1 to $5 per sheet

3. Washi Tape  - Washi (decorative craft tape) is all the rage in the planner community and used by many to enhance and decorate pages. I would double check with your Planner Girl to see if she's one to decorate her planner, but if she does she would love to find a couple rolls in her stocking! There's thousands of designs available to purchase, so find something that you think would suit her interests or personality!
Find it: Scrapbooking section of a craft store, or Etsy
Price range: $1 to $5 per roll

4. Glue Dot Runners - These are super helpful for creating your own dividers and dashboards for your planner, as well as adding embellishments to planner pages, such as photos, important notes, invitations, etc. If you're shopping for a craftier planner girl, this would definitely be well- received!
Find it: Scrapbooking section of a craft store
Price range: $3 to $6

5. White Out Tape - These things are a lifesaver for whenever you might make a mistake when writing in your planner! These are so much better than liquid white out because you don't have to wait for it to dry! These tend to come in packs of 2 or 4 and last a pretty long time, so it's a gift she can definitely use throughout the year.
Find it: Any office supply store
Price range: ~$5 per pack

6. Hole Punch - These are especially good for planner girls that have binder or ring-bound planners such as a Filofax, Kikki.K, or Franklin Covey. Having a hole punch is very handy for when you want to insert a new page, divider, or dashboard to your planner. It allows you to truly customize your planner!
Find it: Any office supply store, or the scrapbooking section of a craft store
Price range: $5 to $10

7. Sticky Notes - These are always a good gift for any stationary lover, but especially so for Planner Girls! Your planner girl will be able to use these for future planning without having to damage her actual planner pages when she's not ready to put plans in ink. (Sounds crazy, but trust me, it makes sense to us Planner Girls!)
Find it: Any office supply store, Target dollar section
Price range: $1 to $5 per pack

8. Small Notebooks - Planner lovers are always looking for something to write on, and a pack of small notebooks would be a perfect addition to her stocking! Moleskine is a really great brand for notebooks and have multi-packs of them. Target also has a really great selection of multi-packs of smaller notebooks!
Find it: Any office supply store, Target
Price range: $3 to $15

9. Gift Card to Michael's/Hobby Lobby/craft or stationary store of your choosing - I know that gift cards are often seen a impersonal and lazy, but Planner Girls understand that this hype over paper supplies and organization can sometimes be confusing. Giving a Planner Girl some money toward a craft store shopping spree is one of the best gifts that you can give her!
Find it: Any craft or stationary store
Price range: Your choice!

10. Pocket Sized Planner - Lastly, a bit on the pricier end, any planner girl would flip to find a planner in their stocking! A pocket sized/small planner is the perfect size to stick in a stocking as a little surprise. Pocket planners are perfect for on-the-go planning and can also be used as wallets!
Find it: Filofax, Kikki,K
Price range: $30 to $80

I hope that this stocking stuffer guide is helpful and makes your holiday season just a *little* bit easier! Check out the coinciding video below to get a few more thoughts from me on these items!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dear Santa...

Last year I posted a blog called "Dear Santa..." that included the top 5 things I was hoping to receive on Christmas. I had so much fun with this blogpost that I decided I wanted to do it again this year! Maybe I'm greedier this year or something (:P), but for 2015 I have a top 6 list of items that I'm hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 in Yellow

I've been eyeing one of these for a while now. I had a Polaroid in high school that I loved, but over time the instant film became harder and harder to find and I eventually stopped using it. These instant cameras are now trendy again making them more accessible! Having a camera like this is perfect for journaling and crafting which you know I loved, and are just so much fun in general! I love the yellow color of this camera, but I'm also a big fan of the raspberry!

2. Planner 

I mean... are you even surprised? As you all know I am hoping to build up my planner collection over time, and these are the three that I'm lusting over the most lately - the Filofax A5 Original in Flouro Pink, the Filofax Personal Malden in Ochre, and the Filofax Pocket Patent in Lemon! All different sizes, but all planners that I hope to one day own. Check out my Planner Unicorn post to see my thoughts on each of them!

3. FitBit Flex

Earlier this month I won a FitBit Zip through my work's HR department, but it's so small that it wound up falling off my running pants and disappearing forever. So sad! Now that I'm officially on the FitBit wagon, I would really love to replace my Zip with a Flex (one that will be harder to lose!). #basic

4. Books

Books are always, always, always a great gift in my eyes! This year the titles that I would love to see under the tree are Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), and Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I have so many others that are on my wishlist, but these three are the ones that I'm definitely itching to get my hands on the most!

5. Funko Pop Figures

These are so adorable and such cute little gifts! I was given a Dory Funko Pop figure from my parents for Christmas last year (my car's name is Dory so I get a lot of Dory-themed things) and I love it! This year I saw Big Hero 6 for the first time so I would love a Baymax figure, and they just released a line of Bob's Burgers figures which I am all about! I obviously want every single figure, but if I were to choose I would totally want Linda because she's my fave!

6. Canon Powershot G7 X

This is the most expensive gift on my wishlist this year and I don't expect to get it as a gift (this is definitely a save-up-my-own-money-and-buy-it-myself-for-Christmas item) but this is what I'm hoping to upgrade my camera to. I've seen so many photos and videos shot with this camera and the images are so high-quality and beautiful! It would be so great to upgrade to a newer camera (I've had my ELPH 300 HS since 2011) and would make for much better videos and blog posts!

What are you asking Santa for this year?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Video: Christmas Tag!

Hey everyone! In case you missed it, Brett and I did a Christmas Tag video, where we answer questions about our favorite Christmassy things! It's up on my channel now, but I also thought I would share here on the blog as well! If you would like to participate, I've listed the questions we answered below. Let me know if you do so that I can see your video or blog post! 

1. What's your favorite Christmas movie?
2. Do you wear PJs or do you dress up for Christmas?
3. What's your favorite Christmas smell?
4. What's your favorite Christmas meal or treat?
5. What's your favorite Christmas song?
6. What's your favorite holiday drink?
7. What's your favorite holiday memory?

I hope you all are having a great holiday season!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Three Years with B

Brett and I are celebrating our three year anniversary today! This last year of our relationship has been action packed and has been a year of laying the foundation of building our life together. I always have so much fun when we're together and have so many great memories from this past year, so I thought I would share some of them here on the blog! Here are my 12 favorite memories from our third year together - one for every month - in no particular order!

1. Venturing to New Jersey to spend New Year's with our friends Noble and Jeff! We had so much fun that we are planning ringing in 2016 the same way!

2. Going to the Celtics game together in March! We were sneaky sneaky and moved our seats up from the nosebleeds to the 100's. It was also so great to spend this time together because I was away on a vacation the week before the game and I missed him!

3. Watching the Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl together!

4. Going to the shooting range with my dad on Christmas eve and learning something new together with some bonus family time mixed in! :)

5. Attending Brett's cousin's wedding. We got all snazzy and danced the night away!

6. Having him right by my side during the best week ever (birthday, new job, and graduation)!

7. Moving to my new place. The whole process was exhausting but we spent so much quality time together and Brett introduced me to Noodles for the first time!

8. Attending Brett's uncle's wedding at the lake! It was a beautiful ceremony and a super fun reception!

9. Our trip down the Cape. It was such beautiful weather this year and we were able to stay in the water and at the beach all day! Not to mention we were around a bunch of awesome people!

10. Of course, our trip to Gillette to watch the Patriots vs. Eagles game! The game didn't turn out as well as we were hoping, but the experience was so great - amazing seats, awesome tailgating, and my favorite guy by my side. :)


12. Family hibachi with both sides of our family! So great to finally get everyone together and have an amazingly fun meal together.

You mean so much to me honey and every day is so much fun with you! I honestly feel so lucky to have found you. I love you so much and I can't wait to see what's in store for our future! Happy Anniversary, Brett! <3

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Few of my Favorite Links {#17}

Hello everyone! I hope everyone's December is off to a great start. Can you believe that we're already nearly half way through the month? Before we know it we'll be in 2016! I have a pretty random mish-mash of favorite links for you today. I hope they brighten your day! :)

20 Pictures of Shelter Dogs' Freedom Ride Pictures That Will Give Your Goosebumps

I'm such a sucker for posts like this. Shelter dogs finally finding their forever homes gives me such warm-fuzzies! Because I can't take a pup home myself, I live vicariously through posts like this. If you love dogs and you need a good pick me up, take a look at this photo gallery!

Game of Thrones White Walkers - Everything We Know

As you probably know, Brett and I are complete nerds for Game of Thrones and when it isn't in season, we spend a LOT of time theorizing and researching backstories of different characters. One night when lazily scrolling through my Feedly feed, I came across this article that gives you a bit of back story on White Walkers, the crazy zombie like creatures that we've been following since season one. These guys are still a bit of a mystery to the audience, but this article and coinciding video give you a bit more context.

Spellbook Clutch

I stumbled across this gem on ThinkGeek (which honestly is my new favorite online store - I bought two of my dad's Christmas gifts from there - found here and here!) and I am in love! I've always wanted a book-looking iPad or phone case, but this wallet is so cool and something I would totally use. I already dropped this hint to Brett as a potential Christmas gift, so maybe Santa will hide this under the tree for me? ;)

Quadcopter with Flamethrower Roasting a Turkey

This is equal parts amazing and horrifying. This could go so wrong so easily, but for whatever reason it doesn't. My main question is how does that charred, gasoline-soaked turkey actually taste? Either way this is incredible on so many levels.

Polly Pocket Toys Every 90s Girl Will Remember

I used to LOVE Polly Pocket as a little girl! I remember specifically that I had the Polly Pocket in the photo above, as well as a teal heart hone that was a little diner on the inside. I'm not sure if I had more, but I LOVED playing with them! I also remember when the toy company realize how dangerous it was to give something that tiny to small children and made Polly Pocket much, much bigger! Check out this BuzzFeed article to get hit right in the nostalgia.

A Cute Puppy Running Through the Snow in Slow-Motion
A cute puppy running through the snow in slow-motion at Orange, NSW, Australia. What more could the Internet want?Our...
Posted by ABC Central West on Sunday, July 12, 2015

And of course, we can't kick off the holiday season without an amazing video of a puppy running through the snow. If you aren't feeling festive, click play on this video and you might feel just a *bit* more full of holiday cheer!

What links are you loving lately?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016

I recently came across the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge when perusing through YouTube. One of my favorite book-tubers was talking about finishing up the 2015 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge and, being curious and a lover of participating in challenges, did a quick Google search to see what it was. It turns out that this challenge asks you to read a wide variety of books, but instead of assigning you titles to read, assigns you categories of books that you have to fulfill. I love this idea, and of course wanted to participate, and with a few more clicks came across the PopSugar Reading Challenge for 2016!

I know there's probably no way that I'll be able to finish this challenge (as you know I've been struggling to find time to read!) but I thought it would be a fun little reading scavenger hunt to participate in and to guide my reading choices for 2016. We'll see how this goes over the next 12 months, and of course I will keep you all up to date!

Have you ever done a reading challenge?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December Book Club Selection: Sick in the Head

For this month's book club I chose a bit of a newer book that I snatched up from Amazon a few weeks ago - Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow! This book is a collection of interviews that Apatow has conducted by a wide range of famous comedians that he has worked with in the past. I'm so excited to read this because I love so many of the projects that Apatow has worked on (Superbad, Anchorman, Pineapple Express, and one of my all time favorites Forgetting Sarah Marshall, just to name a few!). I've heard it's a great light read, so it will be awesome to end 2015 with this book.

A collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years-including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne, Harold Ramis, Louis CK, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham. Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club-just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island - a show that consisted of Q and As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day).  
Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd-and he's still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do. Sick in the Head gathers Apatow's most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career, but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime's worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh. Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal, and borderline-obsessive book is Judd Apatow's gift to comedy nerds everywhere.

While I'm excited to read this book, I wanted to note that I will be putting the Book Club on pause for a while. I've been finding it difficult to sit down and read lately (I've barely made a dent in The Hobbit!) and I want to be consistent with my book club posts if I'm going to continue them! So while I catch up with my November selection as well as my new December selection, I'm going to put the Book Club on hold. I'll definitely review these titles as I finish them, but for 2016 I'm thinking I'm going to come up with a new strategy for the Book Club. More on this soon!

Let me know what favorite titles you've read lately so I can start compiling my book list for 2016! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

FivEleveNinety Designs - My New Etsy Shop!

Huge announcement, everyone!

Over the last few weeks I've been planning and creating for a brand new venture of mine - opening an Etsy shop full of planner goodies called FivEleveNinety Designs! We all know that I'm a huge fan of the planner community and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how I can create a shop that stands out and through perusing Instagram, YouTube, and Etsy. There is plenty out there of the cutesy/kawaii variety (which don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE) but there isn't a ton out that's a bit more on the edgier side and I find that that's something I feel is totally missing from our community. I know there are ladies out there that are sassy, hard working, achiever-types that are 100% apologetically themselves that are looking to have their planner to reflect their attitude. I know I am, which is why I'm going to have this in mind in building my shop!

Right now I only have a couple of listings available for digital download, but I'm working on building up an inventory of supplies that will allow me to print and ship my designs out to folks (i.e. a laminator, paper cutter, good quality paper, printer ink, etc.) I'm hoping by early 2016 I'll be fully up and running and able to start making awesome dashboards, inserts, and possibly even stickers to sell! I have a notebook full of ideas that I'm so excited to bring to life and share with you all! If you're interested in checking out my shop, it is located on Etsy and you can find it by searching for the shop name or following this link. I also have started an Instagram account specifically for my shop and other planner-related posts at @51190designs, so follow along! You can see both the link to my shop and the @51190designs feed on the blog sidebar as well.

I'm very excited to start this project of mine and I hope you all enjoy it as well!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Black Friday 2015 Haul!

I went a little crazy on Black Friday this year... ^_^'' 

I definitely came away with quite a haul and I thought I would share it with you all! Most of what I bought was online and won't be in my possession for a few weeks as I bought a lot from smaller planner shops and one large item from an Australian-based company (can you guess which?), so a video wasn't super realistic for a haul as I wouldn't have a ton to show off. Hopefully you can get an idea of what I got through the links and photos I provided below!

Clothes & Accessories

This category definitely wasn't one that I was focused on for myself, but the majority of these items (everything from L.L. Bean!) were gifts from my parents for Christmas (we did an early Christmas this year when my sister was in town for Thanksgiving), all of which I'm very excited about! I'm feeling prepared for the winter with my cozy flannels and fuzzy slippers! :)

Hobbs Creek Flannel in Mallard (I couldn't find a photo online of the correct color, so it is shown above!)
$10.00 from Bass Pro Shops

Scotch Plaid Flannel in Gray Douglas
$44.95 from L.L. Bean

Wicked Good Camp Moccasins in Charcoal
$69.00 from L.L. Bean

Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack in Lilac/Purple Cactus Flower (needed a new one for marathon training!)
$50.00 from L.L. Bean

As well as several more items from Bass Pro Shops that I will be giving as gifts so I cannot show them here, but found some really great deals on!

Planner Goodies

Now this is where I went a little nuts. I've definitely been building up my planner goody supply over the last few months and it feels like I've grown is by a very significant percentage with these purchases! It's pretty hard not to go crazy when things that are usually $2-$3 are on sale by nearly half off! ^_^'' The photos shown below are all from the shops themselves (aside from my quick snap of my Hobby Lobby purchases!) so make sure you click on the links provided to get a better look of each item!

Hello Papercat

Hello Papercat is one of my favorite planner goody shops online, so when her Black Friday Sale was announced I went a little crazy. Her sale started at 6PM PST on Wednesday, so needless to say I was anxiously waiting its start at 9PM EST in my childhood room in New Hampshire the night before Thanksgiving!

Hello Papercat's Black Friday Sale: 50% off orders $50 or higher OR 20% off with no minimum spending. (Of course I went with the 50% off option!)

Cats in Christmas Clothes A5 Dashboard - $3.00 (originally $6.00)
Christmas Sweater A5 Dashboard - $3.00 (originally $6.00)
Fairy Tale A5 Dashboard - $3.00 (originally $6.00)
Fawn Pattern A5 Dashboard - $3.00 (originally $6.00)

"This is Me Now" A5 Dashboard - $3.00 (originally $6.00) - I already had the Tina and Louise dashboards from this shop, so of course I had to complete the set with Gene!
"Ugh... As If!" Personal Dashboard -$1.50 (originally $2.00)
Zombie Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)

Pink Sprinkles Donut Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)
Santa Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)
Banananana Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)

Pink Bow Kawaii Mug Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)
Frapuccino Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)
Credit Card Magnetic Bookmark - $1.00 (originally $2.00)

Bonus Gift Items with Purchase: Bambi & Aristocat Magnetic Bookmarks

Karolina's Krafts

Karolina's Krafts is a pretty well-known shop in the planner community and rightfully so - her products are stunning and there is a relatively big selection! Unfortunately her products are also on the more expensive end of planner goodies so ordering from her isn't something I can do regularly. However, with her Black Friday sale, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to purchase some planner stickers from her! If you order from here, make sure you are super patient - with the high influx of orders she receives, it can take 3-6 weeks for you to receive your order!

Karolina's Krafts Black Friday Sale: 40% Off Entire Shop!

Glasses Stickers - $2.40 (originally $4.00)
Roadtrip Car Stickers - $3.00 (originally $5.00)
Brunette Yoga Girl Stickers - $3.00 (originally $5.00)

Lemon Paper Co.

I found this shop when the owner followed me on Instagram earlier last week and her stickers are so cute! Her selection isn't too large but she had a few sticker designs that I've been meaning to purchase for use in my planner. She ships from Singapore so it does take a bit of time for it to get to you, but I think the adorableness is worth it!

Lemon Paper Co's Black Friday Sale: 30% Off Entire Shop!

Dumbbell Stickers x2 - $1.50 each (originally $2.15 each)
Pastel Coffee Cup Stickers x2 - $1.50 each (originally $2.15 each)

Hello Cupcake Plans

I also found this shop through Instagram (I believe they liked a photo of mine) and I absolutely fell in love with it when I clicked onto Etsy to check them out! The stickers on this site are bright and vibrant and so, so cute. I went a bit crazy in this shop as well, but some of these sticker sets I know I'll use frequently so I bought multiple sheets. I totally recommend checking out this shop if you're into bright colors and kawaii desings! (And I mean, who isn't in this community?!)

Hello Cupcake Plans Black Friday Sale: 40% Off Entire Shop!

Laptop Stickers x2 - $1.20 each (originally $3.00 each)
Cupcake Stickers x2 - $1.20 each (originally $3.00 each)
Crockpot Stickers - $1.20 (originally $3.00)
Coffee Cup Stickers x2 - $1.20 each (originally $3.00 each)
Money Stickers - $1.20 (originally $3.00)

Lisa Lorene Plans

Another shop found via Instagram! She doesn't have the biggest selection if you're not an Erin Condren user (and I found through my shopping that most of the shops on Etsy focus on ECLP which can be a bit frustrating if you do not use the LP), but I managed to find a few sets that I love!

Lisa Lorene Plans Black Friday Sale: 40% Off Entire Shop!

Running Shoe Stickers x2 - $0.90 each (originally $1.50 each)
Zero Fox Given Stickers  x3 -$0.60 each (originally $1.00 each)
Plus one sheet that I will be using in a holiday planner swap for the New England Planner Girls Facebook group! :)

Hobby Lobby

Being a planner girl, it's pretty surprising that I had never been to a Hobby Lobby, and so when my mom offered to bring me to the Hobby Lobby by her on Black Friday, I jumped at the opportunity! There was a huge sale on all things from The Paper Studio, so I went a little crazy with the Washi. I also threw in a couple of glue runners for dashboard making and a whole slew of things for the holiday planner swap the New England Planner Girls Facebook group is doing!

Hobby Lobby's Black Friday Sale: 50% Off The Paper Studio items (and many other items, but The Paper Studio is what I was focused on!)

-5 pack of functional skinny Washi (Pink "important", black & white chevron, pink and white stripes, gold "noted", white and blue "to-do")
-5 pack of solid color skinny Washi (blue, lime green, yellow, orange, red)
-2-pack of Washi (triangles & arrows)
-2-pack of Washi (gold foil pineapples & polka dots)
-Deer Washi
-2 glue-dot runners - needed these to make more dashboards!


Last but certainly not least is my purchase from Kikki-K! I've been eyeing this planner since it released a few weeks ago, and I've always been in love with Kikki-K's mint-and-gold color scheme planners, so when I clicked on to the website Wednesday night and saw their Black Friday sale, I knew it was time to finally pull the trigger and buy by 2016 planner! Shipping is a bit expensive as these products ship from Australia (roughly $10 to ship to the US) but with the sale, I still paid less for the product and for shipping than I would have paid for the product at full price - SCORE. I am so, so excited for this planner to arrive and to move in! (Of course, I'll be showing this off in a video as soon as it arrives!)

Kikk-K's Black Friday Sale: 20% Off entire online store!

I'm pretty close to being done with my holiday shopping after this little haul (I picked up several things for Brett and for friends through my shopping as well - it wasn't purely selfish! :P) but I do have a few more things I'm eyeing for Cyber Monday tomorrow (mostly a laminator and printer ink to make more planner dashboards!). I don't know what it is this year - the deal bug has bitten me hard!

Did you buy anything this Black Friday?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Few of my Favorite Links {#16}

Hello everyone! 

It's time for yet another installment of my favorite links! In pulling this list together, I found that a lot of these links have to do with bears... Maybe I'm going into hibernation mode as it gets dark earlier each day or maybe I'm missing my graduate alma mater (Bridgewater's mascot is a Bear!) but apparently I'm really channeling my inner bear! Any who, I hope you enjoy the links below, and make sure you let me know what your favorite links of the moment are in the comments!

New England Planner Girls

First and foremost is this awesome group of ladies - the New England Planner Girls group on Facebook! In perusing Instagram, I came across one of my favorite planner girls heading to a MidWest planner meet up, which made me wonder if there was a group of just New England based planner ladies. Lo and behold - there is! I actually ended up finding out that one of my colleagues is part of the group AND a fellow Lasell alum is part of the group, so of course I had to invite my planner partner-in-crime, Brittany, to the group as well so we could freak out about how awesome it is together. I'm having a great time participating in this community, and even just organized a secret holiday planner swap for everyone! If you're a planner gal like myself, I highly recommend finding your local planner group on Facebook to feel a bit more connected to the community!

Amazing Bear Sleeping Bag

Onto our first bear-themed item - a BEAR SLEEPING BAG. How freakin' comfortable does this look?! All I want to do is cuddle up inside of this thing and nap all winter long. It's in the ballpark of $2,350 so I mean this will probably never be in my life, unfortunately, but a girl can dream. I guess I'll just wait until the knockoffs start popping up everywhere because honestly, who doesn't want one of these?!

College Humor & White House PSA to Stop College Sexual Assault

CollegeHumor and The White House collaborated on this brilliant PSA to stop campus rape
Posted by NowThis on Saturday, November 7, 2015
Out next bear-themed item is (surprisingly) this ad produced by CollegeHumor and the White House. You definitely gotta give props to CollegeHumor for this PSA. First of all, it's hilarious, but it also makes an excellent point and draws attention to a very serious issue. If you were in a situation where a bear was going to attack 1 of 5 of your friends, you wouldn't just sit idly by while it happens, so why do that when 1 of 5 people on a college campus will get sexually assaulted? Hats off, CollegeHumor. Hats. Off.

Long Board Dancing

Longboard Dancing 20151115 from hyojoo on Vimeo.

This video is absolutely mesmerizing. It shows a woman dancing - yes, dancing - on her long board while flying down the sidewalk. How someone has that much balance is beyond me, but this is super cool. I highly recommend that you watch this video if you want to be thoroughly impressed!

Ewok Hooded Scarf

And our last bear (kind of) themed is this Ewok hooded scarf from ThinkGeek! How adorably awesome is this?! Just in time for the next Star Wars movie to release in December. I'm obsessed and wouldn't hate it if it would up in my possession before the 18th so I could wear it to the movie. (Yes I'm going on the day it releases. Yes I would love to wear some sort of costume-like outfit. Cullen, Erin, and I are considering Star Wars onesies - cozy AND festive!)

What links are you loving lately?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Happy Vlogidays 2015!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is one week away?!

Me either, but yes, the holiday season is officially upon us. I blame my busy weeks at work for making the year fly on by but we are coming right down to the end of 2015 which is crazy!

Last year I vlogged throughout the last few weeks of December and posted weekly videos on my YouTube channel. Vlogging during the Christmas season is often referred to as Vlogmas on YouTube, but because I also included New Year's I called my video series "Happy Vlogidays!" (which, in my opinion, sounds so much more like "happy holidays" than Vlogmas sounds like Christmas... but that's just me). I really loved recording my holiday season because we did so many fun things and now I can look back on them for the rest of my life. As we got closer to the end of the year, I knew I wanted to do it again!

This year I'll be starting a bit earlier than last and will be kicking my Happy Vlogidays off with Thanksgiving. My sister is flying up from South Carolina for Thanksgiving this year and because we won't be able to spend Christmas together as a family we're going to celebrate before Thanksgiving on the 25th of November instead of the 25th of December. We have some fun things planned as a family and Brett and I also have some fun events coming up in early December such as going to a Patriots Game (my first Pats game ever!) and our 3 year anniversary, so I definitely want to record those things and share them with you all as well. 

Because I don't have time in my schedule to upload on a daily basis, I'm going to record throughout the week and will be posting the videos on my YouTube channel on every Wednesday starting on December 2nd until January 6th. Make sure you're subscribed to see them as I upload them! (I will post them all as a playlist here on the blog in January as part of a holiday recap, so no worries if you don't want to head over to YouTube but still want to see them.) I'm looking forward to another fun-filled holiday season and to share it with you all!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Race Review: Colt State Park Half Marathon

Last Sunday (Nov. 8th) I ran yet another long-distance race - the Colt State Park Half Marathon in Bristol, RI! This race was put on by the same company that runs the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon which I ran last November - 3C Race Productions - and I've come to the conclusion that they do the most beautiful courses and have the most amazing medals. I definitely was not disappointed with my experience with this race.

The course itself is beautiful and right on the water for the majority of the race. The one thing that disappoints me about both of the 3C races that I've run so far is that the courses cause you to run multiple laps of the same area. I suppose that's why they choose places such beautiful scenery because you have to see the courses more than one time! This course was not an exception - you started out with two 1.5-mile laps and two 5-mile laps to make up the 13.1 miles of the race. Again, it was beautiful enough that I didn't mind all that much, but I do prefer to have a course that I don't have to see over and over again - it keeps my mind off the pain!

Speaking of pain, I was in lots of it during this race. The first two miles my chest was feeling super tight and my breathing was so out of whack that I felt like I was gasping for air which has never really happened to me before (super scary) so I took things very slowly, but once that subsided and I could finally pick up the pace, my left hip and knee started to really bother me and continued to do so until the end of the race. Needless to say, I didn't PR on this race (my final time was 2:34:46 and finished 269th out of 293... yikes) but I managed to finish through all of the pain which I am proud of myself for. I've been taking a bit of a break from running this last week and am going to try and make yoga a regularity in my life again while slowly building up my running strength again. My legs need the break!

One cool thing that did happen was I actually ended up making a friend on the course who happened to be an alum of Mount Holyoke! I was wearing an MHC Rugby shirt during the race and she approached me to ask if I was a student at MHC, and we got to talking for a solid 5 miles! It was really great to make a friend and have someone to talk to throughout the race as it took my mind off the pain in my leg.

Overall, the race was really great. Had I not been in pain, I could have enjoyed it much more, but bad races happen every now and then and it's okay! I think that 3C does a great job with their races despite being a small running company and they travel all over New England, so if you live in the northeast you'll likely be able to find a race by this company that you could participate in!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book Review: 1984

Last month I read George Orwell's 1984  for the first time. Despite the fact that this title is considered to be a literary classic, I had never had the opportunity to read it in school even though I took countless literature classes in high school and college. I'm really happy that I've challenged myself to read more books that are considered to be classics that I missed because they are definitely classics for a good reason!

When I was considering buying this book for my collection, I kept seeing review that said things along the lines of "even though this story is based in 1984, it couldn't be more relevant for today's society". I totally agree with this, especially in today's societal climate. For example, there's been a lot of discussion of "over-political-correctness" and the prosecution of those that are not careful about what they say, which could be a less extreme version of Orwell's "thoughtcrime". If you think about our dependence on technology, especially on our phones, laptops, and televisions, is extremely comparable to the "telescreens" installed in the homes of citizens to monitor every move and every thought of the people of Oceania. It's pretty scary to think of how the description of society Orwell puts forth in 1984 is so applicable to our society today, especially when you remember that this book was originally published in 1949!

The plot is divided into three very distinctive parts - the first is establishing the landscape of the dystopian society that the main character Winston lives in, the second is significant character development for both Winston and his love interest, Julia, and the third is the consequences of their relationship. It has a very natural arc to the story, but it doesn't make you feel like you know exactly what is going to happen. There were some points that Iwas a little bit bored, but for the most part I kept wanting to know more about this world that Winston and Julia lived in and continued to wonder if they could ever escape from their oppressive government.

I can imagine that this story was very cutting edge for its time and I can't imagine how a post-WWII, mid-cold war, propaganda-filled society would have reacted to a book like this. It is often said that this book is what ended up killing Orwell (the book was published in 1949, Orwell died in 1951) and I could totally see how that ides could be plausible. I, of course, can't imagine what it is like to live through a World War, but I can imagine that millions of people had very strong feelings toward what the war was, and it is certainly clear of what Orwell's feelings were through reading this book. I wish I had read this in a literature class to learn more interpretations of this piece because it came out in such an important and interesting time in world history.

How do you feel about this book? What are some of your major takeaways from this piece? I would love to hear more from those of you that have read this in the past. Please let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Current Workout Plan {Fall 2015}

I"m going to be honest with you all - when it comes to lifting weights I generally have no idea what I'm doing. Even being a varsity collegiate athlete for four years, I don't feel like I retained anything that I learned! One of the perks of dating a Strength & Conditioning Coach, though, is that they can write work outs for you and make you feel like less of an idiot in the weight room, which is exactly what Brett is doing! Hooray! I thought I'd share my workouts that I've been doing the last couple of weeks so you all can take a crack at it if you'd like!

When Brett writes my workouts, he keeps my running in mind (I'm trying to improve my speed) and my desire to one day have arms as nice as Michelle Obama's, so there's a lot of hamstring, arm, and back strengthening going on in these workouts. I also try to integrate some cardio in before I start lifting in order to warm up my muscles. I did workout 1 for 4 weeks and I plan on doing the same for workout 2 (I'm about halfway through!). I may interchange these for a while (I mean it's really up to Coach Angel!) but if I get some new routines I'll share them later on in a winter update post! :)

Workout 1

Day 1

3x10 - Squats
3x10 - Trunk Twists

3x10 - Hamstring Curls
3x10 - Flutter Kicks

3x10 - Lunge Pulls
3x10 - Bent Rows

3x10 - Sumo Squats
3x10 - Dumbbell Curls

Day 2

3x10 - Dumbbell Bench
3x15 - Calf Raises

3x10 - Tri Kickbacks
3x40 seconds or more - Planks

3x10 - Dumbbell Press
3x25 seconds or more - Side Planks

3x10 - Dumbbell Side Raises
3x8 - Dumbbell Swings

Workout 2

Day 1

3x10 - Goblet Squats
3x10 - Band Press

3x8-10 - Lunge Pulse
3x8 - Hang Cleans

3x10 - Ab Rollouts
3x5 - One-leg Hamstring Curls

3x8 - Lateral Squats
3x8 - Inverted Rows

Day 2

3x10 - Dumbbell Incline Bench
3x8 - Reverse Lunges

3x10 - Tri Push-Ups
3x10 - Reverse Curls

3x8 - One-leg Hip Extensions
3x10 - Dumbbell Plank Rows

3x10 - Dumbbell Front Raises
3x10 - Dumbbell Lateral Pull-Overs

If you have any questions about how to do any of these exercises please let me know in the comments! Perhaps Brett & I can do an exercise video for you all to show you how to do some of these things safely and effectively. At any rate, I hope you all enjoy these workouts! Happy lifting! 💪