Day Designer Flagship Planner – review

February 25
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I’ve been a fan of Day Designer products for years, but I had never owned one of their flagship products, just their Blue Sky for Target line. (Love those.)

This year I finally got around to purchasing one of their flagship daily planners and I love it. These planners come in both regular and mini size and I went ahead and got the mini. Although smaller, it is not too small and is big enough to work well both at home and in the workplace.

One of my favorite things about this planner is the cover. It is a simple yet elegant marble. Other options include classy stripes and florals.

This is a daily planner with a schedule and a to-do list. This is great for busy people who want both to list as well as mark out their day. I am thinking about trying out Time Blocking, so this planner would work great for that.

Each weekday also includes a place to write down your top three tasks for the day, what is due, money, dinner and a reminder. There is also a space on the bottom for notes and a daily reminder. Important holidays are also marked to help you remember.

The weekend is shown on one page with just a daily schedule for each day. This works well to schedule your busy weekend, but not to plan it as much.

I love the gold tabs on this planner, perfect for finding what you want, when you want it. It also comes with a clear plastic bookmark that you can use to mark the day to make flipping directly there nice and easy.

My favorite thing about this weekly view is that weekends are lightly shaded so that when making plans you don’t accidentally schedule a work meeting on a Saturday. The shading helps me keep track of where in the week we are.

This planner also comes with some planning sheets to help you realize your goals and focus for the year. This is always helpful when starting out. One thing I particularly liked was where you could kind of rate yourself in different areas of your like to find both where you are doing great, as well as where you might want to focus some time for improvement.

One of my favorite things about Day Designer is that they have a blank copy of their planner page online for free so you can test out their style and see if it works for you. Find their entire free printable library here.

This planner is the 2019 daily option. Right now they are on a pretty good sale as the year has already started, but if you wanted to wait, new 2019-2020 academic year planners will be out soon.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Day Designer. I paid for this planner with my own money, but if you choose to purchase one via a link on this page I will receive a small commission.

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My favorite budget hair styling products

February 14
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I’ve been sharing less style/beauty stuff here on the blog, but I wanted to jump in and share some budget beauty faves for #ThriftyThursday. Please note all links are affiliate links. I receive a small commission from sales from these links.
First up is my Holy Grail straight hair product. This L’Oreal Sleek It Iron Straight Spray is amazing. I use this before blow drying whenever I plan to wear straight hair. My hair turns out silky smooth and I only have to touch it up with a flat iron.
Next up, also by L’Oreal is their Blow Dry it Quick Dry Primer Spray. When I had long hair this was a godsend to cut dry time and add heat protectant. I still use it with short hair, but my dry time has cut down significantly.
As any good woman does, I love me some dry shampoo. I have tried tons of brands and my favorite budget option is Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. I love the one with the Warm Sugar scent. It does the job without leaving residue or the heavy “I’m wearing dry shampoo” feeling other brands tend to leave in your hair.
Last on the list is the Not Your Mother’s Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray. I love this spray for clean hair days before I curl or braid to give my hair a little extra grab. It is also a great light hairspray when regular hairspray would be too heavy a hold. So those are my current budget favorites. I am looking for a budget option dupe for Kenra Volume 25 hairspray and Aquage Uplifting Foam. Have a suggestion? Let me know!
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Cleaning out your phone

February 11
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I am going to be honest with you, if my phone was a bedroom it would be that room that nobody dare go in. It would have clothes strewn around the floor, the bed would be unmade, and you would wonder how long those three glasses of water had bed on the nightstand. I think you get the picture.

So last month I decided to get a “new phone.” Ok, so it is not new, but I cleaned up the inside and the outside so it is like new.

On the inside I reviewed all the apps on my phone and deleted anything that was not needed. I keep apps I use at least once a month as well as apps that you need to have just in case. (I always want to know that an Uber is at my fingertips.)

I deleted apps for stores and restaurants I don’t go to, as well as airlines I don’t plan on flying. Be ruthless. You can always download an app that you have removed again for free, so it is safe. I then sat down to organize my apps. I keep the front screen for essential apps only. These are apps I use daily and want at my fingertips. (Yes, I use Amazon daily, don’t judge.)

Once your most used apps are on your first screen, consider using folders for other apps. Pick categories that work for you. My folders are named Blog, Read, Travel, Finance, Photo, Utilities, Shop, Eat, Listen, Health, Games, Watch and Work.  I know some people like to organize by color, but that really does not work for me. I am more of a location muscle memory person. These new locations will take a few days to get used to, but that is it.

Next I went into my settings and turned of notifications for everything except calls, messages, calendar alerts, and alarms. Every time your phone beeps or buzzes is a distraction that can cause stress and steal time. You don’t need to know that Suzy commented on your post this very second. You will open the app again sometime and see it. So many apps ask up to turn on notifications when we download them that our phones are constantly buzzing. Give yourself and your family a break and turn them off. You will thank me.

Lastly, take the case off your phone and look at it. Like really look at it. Is it gross? There is a good chance it is time to spend the $10 and grab a new case. Amazon has tons of great budget options. If you use a screen protector replace that as well if needed. now take a rag and wipe down the front and back of your phone before putting the case on. Icing on the cake? Update your lock screen and background image. I like a darker photo for the lock screen that way it does not create as much light when the screen turns on. For the background I like a very simple color or pattern. The apps themselves are busy enough as they are, a nice soothing background will keep things relaxing and make finding apps easier.

Training with Couch to 5K + three tips for new runners

February 6
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Last year I decided to challenge myself to do somethingI had never done before. Run a 5K. I know A 5K isn’t very far, but I was out of shape and for sure not a runner. I challenged myself to this because although I knew it was an obtainable goal, it was something that I could not just get up and do. I had to train, practice, and take my time to get there.

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Now that I have run the full 3.1 miles of a 5k a few times, I wanted to fill you all in on the process, the app, and how I felt going from nothing to being a runner.

First off, I tried a few apps before I found one that really worked for me. Most people start their running training running intervals, the first apps I tried had me jumping into 2+ minute run intervals right from the start. I was out of shape, remember? This was so not for me.

After doing some research I downloaded the 5K Runner app by Fitness22. Is this the only app that will work? No way. It is just the one that worked for me. I ended up paying around $10 for access to the entire program. Inexpensive price to pay for the tools to turn myself into a runner.

With the app you run three times a week for eight weeks. By the end of the program you should be able to run 35 minutes straight which is a good 5k time. (My time is slower.) In week one you just start out by running for one minute and taking a minute and a half off. Each time the longest run distance got longer I was worried I would not be able to do it, but I did. It was just enough push.

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I posted this on Facebook on Christmas day when I successfully ran 23 minutes straight.

The first few runs I did with my phone in my hand. That quickly got old and I grabbed this running belt which is now a necessity for me. I use the belt to hold my keys, phone, and anything else I might carry.

For shoes I wore the shoes I already had. I did end up going to the Nike Outlet and grabbing a new pair last month, but I have not felt the need to be fitted for running shoes yet. If I ever start having foot-related problems I’ll go to the local running shop and have them help me pick a better shoe.

So, how was it?  To be completely honest the process was not fun. I did not like running when I started and I still do not like running. Do I still do it? Yes. Why? Because I love continually showing myself that I can do it. But it was doable. It was never too hard.  I am still running and I am running in a “real” 5k later this month. My goal is to continue running for all of 2019 and run a 10k before the end of the year. Will I keep up with the sport after that? I am not sure. We will let time decide.

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The best part of running? Experiencing great sunsets.

I do have three tips for those of you considering this program.

  1. Go slow: I wish someone had told me this before I started. Run slower than you think you even can. This is a mind game and as long as you are running and not walking you’re winning. Worry about going fast later, or never.
  2. Watch your breath: Remember those deep breaths we took in yoga? Bring them out. Ok, maybe not that deep, but be aware of your breath and take longer rather than shorter breaths. Your lungs will thank me.
  3. Just do it: Sorry to rip of Nike here, but this is really what it comes down to. Get dress, lace up, and run. Once you are dressed and ready just go and do it. It is easier to go run than complain and stall going.

I hope this helped those of you curious of the program as well as those wondering about my experience.

Have you run a 5k before? Would you do one now?