Work Outfits

I’m noticing that I need to get some more jewelry, that seems to be where my creativity is most lacking. And maybe a pair of booties. It’s getting chilly and my open toes are feeling it.

Here’s what I wore:

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Malve from Anthropologie dress, Anthropologie jacket (similar here), Isola from Nordstrom shoes (similar here)

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Banana Republic Safari collection top (similar here), Banana Republic Sloan pants, Steve Madden oxfords

 

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Same Anthropologie jacket as above (similar here), Anthropologie top, Banana Republic lace skirt (similar here), Ugg booties (similar here)

Decorating with a budget

The other day I heard someone say that they were an expert with having “champagne style on a beer budget.” I like that idea of making the most of what you have. Of not being limited by your budget so much as forced to get creative with how you use it.

I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but I do have quite a bit of experience with budget decorating. My biggest tips for creating a beautiful space on a smaller budget are simple:

Paint it

In college I inherited a ton of furniture from relatives. The only similarity in all of it was that it was used. So I painted it. Everything in my bedroom was teal or white. Everything in my living room was green or brown. (It also helps that I have an uncle who was a professional painter for years and was willing to help me out a bit.) The painting took an afternoon and was well worth the investment. I’ve already lugged those pieces through three moves and have no plan on stopping.

Clean it

The easiest thing you can do to make your space look more livable is to clean it. Put things away, wipe down the counters, vacuum, open the windows and let some fresh air come inside. It doesn’t matter how expensive your furniture is if your place is a mess.

Toss it

I try to live by the William Morris motto: “Have nothing in your houses you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It’s not always feasible to exclusively have items that you adore, but it is important to be aware of the things that you love and the things that you actually use so that you can separate them from the things that you’d like to replace. Don’t be afraid to get rid of something. Donate it, give it to a friend, see if you actually needed it, and if you do then wait until you can buy a version that you would like to live with daily.

Put a painting on it

This is probably my favorite way to decorate. As long as there is space on your wall (or floor, or dresser, or table top) there is room for more art. I invested in a piece of art by myself the first time when I was 20 years old. Since then, I’ve made a few other art purchases-some for myself but mostly helping others get started with their own collections.

Nothing livens up a space like a piece that you love. It’ll make you happy with every glance. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to match. It just has to be something that you like. And if you can’t find anything or can’t afford anything you want, you can always make it yourself or ask a friend to try.

I have a few pieces of art in my room right now: a drawing by my Aunt Sue (Luke Weiss’s mom) in the 70’s, a photograph from India found at the Gainesville Art Festival, a beautiful silk painting from the Maitland Art Festival, and a hand painted (and self-designed) movie poster for Paperman I made for an Illustration class. Nothing cost more than $40 (except the framing…see the upcoming how to frame your own paintings) and none of it was bought or chosen with the intent of being put together but it all works when you are buying pieces that you truly love.

How do you pick what goes in your space? Are you a less is more kind of person or a more is more?

 

Weekly Organizer Template

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As promised, I tried out a new template for my weekly to-do list. I kept the weekly break down with space for plans, blog ideas, meal planning, and daily thoughts (figured this would be a good place to do my line a day journal). The to-do list stayed, although it’s sharing space with the shopping list this time. At the top where there was formerly space for notes, I delineated sections and left them blank so the titles can change depending on the person and the week.

I hope you find it as useful as I do!

Download here: Weekly To Do List

Work Outfits

My first post-college job started this week and I wasn’t really sure if I’d be able to look the part without going on a bit of a shopping spree. Unfortunately, that’s not really in the cards for me right now so I’m making do with what I can scrounge up from my closet (with a little help from mom’s).

Here are a few of my favorite outfits from this week:

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Calvin Klein dress (similar here), vintage belt, Target tights, Ugg boots (similar here)

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Camille and Co tunic (similar here), Elevenses jacket, Banana Republic slacks, Target scarf (similar here), Ugg boots (similar here)

 

IMG_0290Banana Republic top (similar here), Ann Taylor jacket (similar here), Vince Camuto slacks, Old Navy scarf (similar here), Dolce Vita flats (similar here)

 

Time Management

Organizing has always been my strongest suit. When I’m motivated enough to do it anyway. Luckily, I’m in the motivated kind of mood so just when you thought I’d stopped posting about planners and planning, I’ve got something else up my sleeve.

I shared my monthly calendar with you on Tuesday. It’s simple and elegant. I use it to keep track of social events, to make it easy to see the whole month in a glance, and to make weekly goals for myself.

On a day to day basis I need something more though. For me, I get the most use out of having everything on one sheet broken into categories I use most.

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It’s still in prototype development. My plan is to tweak it each week until I find a setup that works best for me. Bonus for you, I’ll make all versions of it available for download so you can have your pick.

I have mine broken into sections:

  • a running to-do list that is still visible when my monthly calendar is stacked on top of it (I use legal sized paper to get that effect),
  • a large blank space for notes (currently housing my grocery shopping),
  • a space for my weekly budget (not using it very much-I’ll change this section for next week),
  • a space to state a weekly goal and make action plans (again, not using very much),
  • and along the bottom I have a weekly calendar with space for
    • plans and activities,
    • blog posts,
    • and meal plans each day.

I have a few ideas for what should go in those blank spaces but I’m open to suggestions. What would you find useful?

When coming up with the plan for this to do list, my ultimate goal was to be able to manage my time for effectively. I do that by putting in the items that have a set schedule (work, class) and working out from there (adding transport times, preparation time, meals). Then I block out how much other time I need. For me that’s 2 hours needed for job 2 that need to fit in outside of an 8:30-5 job that is 40 minutes away from my house and daily classes from 6-7:30 with a 30 minute commute. Once you’ve gotten down all of the concrete items, you can manipulate the flexible items (job 2) into place.

This weekend I plan on making a digital version of the to-do list I’ve been using for easy prep each week so if you have ideas for what you’d like to see in those blank spaces, get them in soon!

Perfect Planners

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t think I’ve ever found a planner that I’ve deemed completely faultless. There’s always something that I would have done differently, some pages I would have added, a line that would make the space more pleasing. There’s always something. So while I hodgepodge together my contrived dream planner, I’m going to make some pieces available to you to download for free.

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This is a simple document that you can edit onto and print out at whatever size you want. I found that printing on an 8.5″x 11″ sheet of glossy paper worked best for me. Right now, this is sitting on top of my dresser where I can check it each morning before taking a more broken down look at my schedule with my to-do list organizer (available next week).

Enjoy!

Monthly Calendar to Share

Monthly Calendar to Share

Super Cool Talented Friend: Luke Weiss

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I’m incredibly fortunate to have so so many talented people in my life. One of these people is graduating tomorrow. Luke Weiss, the oldest of five is an incredibly talented graphic designer. oxI was lucky enough to get to spend the evening at his portfolio show last night checking out the students of room 2501’s work. There may be a little bias here (he is my cousin) but I’m pretty confident when I say that Luke is the leader of that pack. If you’re in the market for any design work, message him here to talk art and prices.

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All photos from Luke’s website.