How to Organize Your Life

Guest Post from the Writer of ‘Lollipops and Longchamps’

Hello Readers!

Most of you are either in high school and college, which means in a couple of weeks, you will be heading back to school and starting a new school year full of assignments, tests, extracurriculars and more! Organization is super important for sticking to deadlines and making sure you don’t go crazy during some of the most hectic weeks of the year.

Since elementary school, I have always been extremely organized: I kept a binder and a folder for each of my classes, each of my planners from fourth grade through the present are color coded by class and activity and my desk is full of sticky notes, to-do lists, calendars and highlighters (which is usually a huge mess- I’m still trying to work on that!).

For those of you looking for some organization tips and inspiration, here are five of my organization tricks that have helped me over the years!

  • color_coding_ideasColor coding is your best friend: Studies have shown that you are more likely to remember things if they are written in a different color other than black or blue. In my planner, I use a different color for assignments, appointments, deadlines, meeting and more.

For each color, I write down what it corresponds to along with a short description. For example, blue corresponds to due dates for projects, essays and presentation, and pink corresponds to birthdays and holidays.

  • meal_calendar
    This is my September meal calendar. I have all of my meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner- planned out as well as a grocery list and recipes for each meal.

    Use daily, weekly and monthly calendars to map out your life: This is where your phone comes in handy. If you have a Gmail account, you can easily use Google Calendar to plan meetings, organize your schedule and even plan your meals (this is very handy for college students who want to save money!) I also like to use the monthly calendar in my agenda to keep track of events and meetings.

  • Sticky notes can help prevent sticky scheduling situations: I use sticky notes to write down my to-do
    how_to_organize
    Sticky notes are also perfect for writing assignments and due dates if you don’t have enough space in your planner or if your professor gives you a new assignment during class

    lists, goals, reminders and important information. I use the standard sized sticky notes to write out my to do lists and the smaller, “flag” sticky notes to write reminders or mark my place in my planner.

Sticky notes are great for writing motivational notes to yourself or even little quotes to put on your mirror to read in the morning.

  • Start early: I like to give myself at least a week to complete assignments and another two weeks for important meetings. This semester I am vice president of my university’s pre-med association and co-president and founder of our Operation Smile chapter- not to mention, I have a part time job, I blog, and I am a full time student. Needless to say, I am extremely busy and its important for me to know what’s going on before it even happens.
  • Make use of freebies: Pinterest is full of organization printables that are absolutely free! They range from meal planners, to- do lists, water intake trackers, goal lists, shopping lists, chore lists and more!  These printables are so cute and are perfect for your agenda, bulletin board, or bag. I mostly use a water tracker sheet, shopping list and meal planner, and a daily routine sheet that is basically a condensed version of my planner (perfect for when you are super busy!) Some printables cost money because they are sold through a blog or Etsy- most of the ones I’ve seen are notepads or personalized planners- for under $10. I’ve included links to my favorite printables below. Enjoy!

Staying organized doesn’t need to involve a complete remodeling of your life- you can take small steps like cleaning out your desk once a week, sorting papers, or even cleaning out your purse or backpack! Once you find organization methods that work for you, it becomes so much easier to keep track of everything going on in your busy life!

xoxo,

Fanta

http://lollipopsandlongchamps.wordpress.com

Links to Free Organization Printables:

  1.  Hello Monday’s weekly planner: She has a sheet for every day of the week with sections for writing out your hourly schedule and breaks down your to-do list into six categories (work projects, meal planning, beauty, appointments, cleaning and fitness). This printable is great for people who like to categorize their to-do lists instead of having one long list of tasks that are completely unrelated. Click here for the download.
  2. I Heart Planner’ s 31 days of Free Printables: Last year, she devoted an entire month to making free organization printables! Some of my favorites are the half letter daily schedule, day habit tracker (perfect for those having difficulties starting a new habit), and the library book tracker (that way you have all of your due dates in one place!) She also has a free organization course to help find  your “perfect” organization system; she sends one lesson a week each with a tip for improving your organization!
  3. Clean Mamma’s Water Tracker: I told myself that I would drink more water; thanks to my busy schedule and the abundance of coffee, tea and juice around me, I stopped sticking to my goal. This printable is perfect because the sheet is small enough for your planner and when you flip to your weekly agenda, your water tracker will be right there looking at you. Each sheet comes with two trackers (two weeks’ worth), so you can print off copies to last a couple of weeks, or laminate one copy and use a dry erase marker to track your water consumption. I like to see my progress, so I’ll probably make a bunch of copies to last a month and see how I like that versus printing one copy.

 

By the Beach!

By the Beach
I’m so excited for my beach trip this weekend! My family loves to go to Assateague Island, MD for its natural beauty and quiet atmosphere. Plus, wild horses roam the beach (I’ll take photos to show you all!) When I go to the beach I tend to look like a kid. I wear shorts, tee shirt, and a baseball hat until I’m ready to get in the water. This weekend I’m going to try and update my attire a little bit to something chic and classy like this (but not nearly as expensive). Let me know what you think of this ensemble in the comments below!
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7 Things You Need for Spring

Spring Has Sprung!

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, trees are getting their color back, and temperatures are rising. What’s not to love 12472_10201140074729879_1462377357_nabout spring? But just like with any new season, we have to update our wardrobes and do some ‘spring’ cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new? Not always the truth. Here are 7 items you need for your spring wardrobe that are reintroduced every year!

1. Pearl earrings

This is so obvious I won’t say anything other than its a classic that should be in every lady’s jewelry box

2. Light weight cardigan

14041_OR0406Cardigans work with pretty much everything. I wear them year round and they’ve never failed me. Buy one or two in fun, spring colors. I like to wear them with white or gray camis underneath paired with either a skirt for work or dark wash denim jeans for the weekend. They can also be tied around your shoulders for a classic, preppy look. The one in the photo is from J Crew Factory for $20. 

3. Audrey Sunnies

The sunglasses Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s have become a classic and will stay a classic. Find a pair in a tortoise shell frame or in a rich brown color (Ann Taylor Loft is where I bought mine). From the beach to running errands, these sunnies will make you an instant classic.

4. Eyelet sundress

Last year and this year I’ve seen many stores carrying this cute staple. Find one in black or white that compliments your figure. For example, I have more of an hourglass shape so I would buy one with a v-neck top and skirt seaming that hits just above the hip to flatter my narrowest point. 

5. Sunhat

Perfectly paired with your sundress, find a semi-floppy sunhat in a neutral color (or pink if you’re bold). I found mine at the boardwalk in Virginia Beach but I have since seen even cuter, cheaper ones at places like Ross and Marshall’s. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look nice! Last year, I  went to the Kentucky Derby and wore a fascinator style hat (very small, and was attached to a head band) that I only paid $25 for. Some ladies at the Derby paid in excess of $800 for their hats. 

6. White pants or capris

White simply goes with everything. It never goes out of style. Lately, I’ve seen Pinterest explode with white pants and shorts! Old Navy and Banana Republic have them in stock at most store for pretty reasonable prices. I’ll be hitting the BR outlet for even cheaper prices!  

7. Dotted something 

Buy something with medium sized dots on it. Preferably a top that can be paired with everything from shorts to skirts. Every spring little dots pop up in the stores and charm us like the year before. A white base with navy or pink dot patterns on it looks adorable! 

Bonus: A cute little thing to take with you around town: the new Vera Bradley tumblers!

Comment, like, and share! ❤

-Liz 

 

Inspiration and My Little Black Dress

My Express Outlet find!
My Express Outlet find!

Since my first day of summer officially started today, I found myself with loads of free time and nothing to really occupy it. I spent the last 8 weeks working for my coveted 4.o semester GPA. One of my classes was public relations oriented which partly inspired this blog. As a developing writer, I am bound to talk about more than that. I like to write about what inspires me.

Inspiration comes in many forms. For me, a color, a smell, a place… that is inspiration. Fashion for me is dictated by this. I don’t care too much for the runway styles (though I admire the creativity of the designers) I prefer many of the classics. I am very inspired by New England and the classic attire that is associated with it. One of my favorite things to wear are my Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes. They go with most of my summer wardrobe for everyday activities and seem to last an eternity. Pearls are another accessory I find essential to almost any outfit. Go ahead, call me boring. I enjoy looking put together and knowing that the clothes I pick have been in many wardrobes for what seems like forever. There’s a reason they’re called classics.

I recently bought my first ‘Little Black Dress’ to add to my list of classics I own. I was at an Express outlet in Rehobeth Beach, DE and it was on clearance for $28 (originally around $100 I believe). It was a proud moment for me! I have determined that a dress like this is essential in any kind of wardrobe. However, before I owned this dress I got by with other dresses that essentially do the same thing. One of my favorites is a gray Calvin Klein I found for $15 at Ross. It has a square neckline that highlights my collarbone and fits nicely on my figure! Quite a steal if I do say so myself. Another great one I found for $25 was a DKNY red, fitted dress. It was a great purchase and has led me to believe that the ‘Little Black Dress’ doesn’t always have to be black. Many of the classics can be updated and made personal simply by a different cut or color and still maintain the class and dignity of the originals.

What are the classics you enjoy wearing? Do you personalize them?

-E.