Organized Charm: July 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Vignettes

Y’all. This summer, seriously. It’s been one of the best/craziest/most roller-coaster-y seasons of my entire life. I have learned a lot (and I mean A LOT) of things and had to deal with some stuff that I’ve never dealt with before (aka, free time. eek!). I was basically forced to just slow down and enjoy the summer for what it is: “a place where laziness finds respectability” {-Sam Keen}. 

So, is there good news? Absolutely! All of my free time gave me a TON of time to work on some organization projects, research some new topics, and have some new experiences and I am so, SO excited to share those with y’all in the upcoming weeks! Oh, and more good news? I am planning on posting more consistently and frequently this school year! Which seems perfect because I have received an amazing amount of comments/e-mails from many of you saying that this will be your first year of college! I think that sounds like it’s working out perfectly, right?!

So, if you’re wondering what my calendar-less, full-time-job-less, summer-semester-less June & July looked like, here they are! The good, the better, and the unplanned!

On Organized Charm…

So, OC took a little summer hiatus along with me. Having no structure to my days meant having a challenging time doing things like writing and doing laundry and keeping my sanity on a regular basis. However, I did manage to get a few posts together! And here they are:


Aaaaand… Bloglovin’ sends me an e-mail every time that we reach a hundred-mark number of followers. On July 1, it sent me this e-mail, which I immediately squealed about and screen-shotted so that I could share it with y’all in July's Vignettes post! But guess what? 18 days later, it sent me another e-mail saying that there are now 400 of you awesomely amazing followers! So I just want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Because I love you. And that is all. 

In My “Real Life”…

This summer has been all about sitting back, relaxing, enjoying free time. And what I realized about myself is that I am not a “free time” type of girl. I’m just not. My summers usually consist of me taking an intense and abbreviated summer course, working in my school’s summer camp, and teaching Sunday School. This year, I didn’t do any of those things and it nearly killed me I didn’t die. 
I just like to be busy, okay? 


Because going 2 months without working at all would be the most brutal thing I could imagine, I did work part-time in a brand new restaurant here in Memphis, Strano! I initially applied because we are friends with the manager… but now I can honestly say that I am friends with everyone who works there because they are all 100% amazing people!  


I spent a LOT of time trying to get our new home in order. In our old house, we had a home for everything, a system for everything, and everything served a purpose. So, I spent the summer really trying to recreate that as quickly as possible in our loft. My poor husband came home almost e


Our 4th of July was absolutely perfect. We walked across the street and watched the downtown fireworks from our friends’ rooftop. And any night filled with champagne and sparklers is a definite success as far as I’m concerned! 


If there were one thing in this summer of leisure to have an anxiety attack over (aside from the leisure itself, of course), it would be the Certification Exam that I took last Thursday. This is a brand new exam. So new, in fact, that there is NO STUDY GUIDE! Queue every form of panic attack possible. I just scoured my textbook, made flash cards, and reviewed the information the best that I could. I get my results back on August 10th, so that may or may not be a good day for those around me. 


Aside from those things, we really just spent the summer enjoying everything that there is to enjoy in Memphis! Weddings, rooftop parties, brunches, dinners, happy hours, movies, fireworks, parks… you know, all the things that other adults are out doing while I’m usually studying. So, it’s been very nice and I am super, super grateful that I had this time to slow down and just enjoy life! :) 


Most of all I learned that, no matter how much time you spend planning or how prepared you try to be, sometimes you just need to step back and believe that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Because it will. 


Oh, and I am just so thrilled to announce that I’M BACK! :)

How was your summer? Did you have any big/tough transitions to get through? 
If so, how did you handle it and what are you looking forward to this fall?! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Purse Organization + Essentials

Purses are one of the most important (yet seemingly impossible) things to keep organized. They basically act as a home-away-from-home and hold some of our most valuable, all-important life necessities, such as lipgloss, laptops, and lotion. 

Now, I will be the first to say that I do NOT have the most organized purse in the world. In fact, I frequently look in it and think “am I just carrying around a portable trash can, or what?However, I do have a pretty good system for making sure that I have all of the items that I need throughout each day of the week. And with the fall semester right around the corner, maybe this can help you stay put together while running back and forth between classes, dinners, and errands, too! 

So, what is this system for being prepared for all of the different things I do throughout the week? It’s this: I literally carry a purse within a purse within a purse. Well, technically, it’s a wallet within a clutch within a tote bag, but that just doesn’t sound as good. And "purse within a purse within a purse" is very Inception-esque. 

Here is what the whole thing looks like:

During the week, I carry around a giant bag that holds all of my school/teaching supplies. My laptop, chargers, textbooks, writing utensils, etc. I also keep scissors, a baby stapler ($3 from Target) and extra staples (pink, of course. completely necessary, for obvious reasons) (also from Target) for office-supply emergencies. 

I keep my more traditional "purse" items in a small clutch. This way, if I'm running out for sushi or a quick trip to the grocery store (just kidding, I meant to say Target) in the evening, I can just grab my clutch and know that I can do all the necessary things: pay for things, identify myself, and put on my makeup! When I get home, I just toss it back into the tote bag and I'm all ready for the morning! 

And on weekend mornings, if I'm just walking to the coffee shop or the park, all I need to do is grab my keys! In my little ID holder, I keep my Cards, Cash, Chapstick, Flash Drive (not pictured because I left it in the computer at FedEx Office it mysteriously disappeared), ID, and Listerie Strips! These are the ultimate necessities that I would never be caught without (on purpose, at least). 

And that's how I organize my purse/wallet and keep my slightly high-maintenance self together… mostly :) 

How do you keep your stuff organized throughought the week? 
What are some essentials that you would *never* leave the house without?! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

5 Time Management Tips for College

One of the most frequent requests that I get is to do a post on how I manage(d) my time in college. Since we’re about a month away from the beginning of a new semester (and the very first semester for some of y’all!), I thought this would be a perfect time to address it! 

College is kind of a difficult balancing act because, whether you’re in a sorority, working part time, playing sports, or interning, it always feels like you’re being pulled in a million different directions! That’s why it’s so important to learn how to tell people “no” in order to successfully do it all (which I still struggle with on a daily basis)! 

Here are my 5 biggest tips on managing your time in college!

Schedule in “Study Time”
It is very important to give yourself time to complete your schoolwork. Whether you’ll need to spend a few hours researching in the library, quizzing yourself over your textbook, or writing all of your super long papers, you WILL NEED this time for something. Every single week. So, don’t pick up shifts at work during these times. Don’t plan lunch dates with your friends during these times. And schedule those times realistically, don’t make it a Friday or Saturday night because you know that there one billion things to tempt you away from your schoolwork! 

Schedule in "Friend Time”
Equally as important as scheduling in time for your schoolwork, make sure to schedule in time for your friends! Of course, every college student has to make sacrifices, but you definitely don’t want to go MIA just because school started! Because I worked in a restaurant in undergrad, my “friend time” usually ended up being after work on Friday and Saturday nights. We would already be together and have a ton of energy from running around like crazy all night. So, I just knew that I had the time built in to hang out with all of my favorite people! 

Schedule a Designated "Day Off”
Tell your boss you have class, if you need to. What I found out during my first semester of college was that if I let my boss know every time that I was out of class, he would schedule me to work every time that I was out of class. You need to account for time to study at home, too! This day off is basically like your safety net. It’s a day to do laundry, to finish up assignments, to clean out your car, and to just recover from your crazy busy week (or prepare for the next crazy busy week). Since you schedule your own classes, you are responsible for giving yourself time to unwind!

Work "High Priority" to "Low Priority"
So, when you’re working during your “Study Time" be sure that you start with your “high priority” (or most quickly approaching due dates) first. Just because you never know what could come up before your next “study time”. Sure, I said not to schedule anything during study times, but what if your long-lost best friend comes in town, or it’s your dad’s birthday, or you need to visit someone in the hospital, or meet with your advisor? We can plan and plan, but life still finds a way to things sneak surprises into our plans all the time. Make sure you always take care of your most time-sensitive material first. 

Remember to Have Fun!
College is, of course, an important time for working hard and making good grades. BUT at the same time, that isn’t what you want to spend all of your time doing, or you’ll miss out on all of the fun memories that it has to offer! You want to look back on this time and remember how much fun you had, not how you spend every night locked in your dorm with a textbook. You just have to find your own line between discipline and flexibility!

“I've learned one thing, and that's to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink 'til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does...”

― Tom Petty

Just remember that time management is all about excellent planning! :) 

How do you balance your class time, social time, and study time? 
What tips do you have for time management in college? 
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