Carry-On Essentials

 

Image-1.jpgIn my opinion, the carry-on bag(s) is the most important bag you bring with you.  You have it with you the whole trip so you have to make sure everything you are going to need the whole time traveling is included.  I always bring some sort of big bag and my purse.  Generally the big bag is a backpack but on a couple trips I’ve opted for my Longchamp bag instead.  Whether I take a backpack or tote, here are a few things I always make sure I have, no matter how long the flight or drive is.

 

Headphones//

One of the most important things to remember.  I just use the earbuds that come with my phone, nothing fancy, but they get the job done!

Chapstick//

The dry air in planes can really take a tole so I always make sure to have chapstick on me.  Honestly, chapstick is something I have with me no matter what.  I believe it is a life essential.

Book//

I like to have something to read, especially on short flights.  Listening to music and reading can be the perfect way to kill time waiting for a plane or on the plane!

Water Bottle//

I always take an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up at a water fountain or get water somewhere once I find my gate.  Staying hydrated is definitely important during travels.

Laptop//

For longer flights I like to rent movies on my computer and other times I can be super productive during flights!  Either way, it’s always a good idea to have your computer with you for work or entertainment.

Sweater/Sweatshirt//

It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside, I can always guarantee the airport and plane will be cold.  Sometimes big sweaters can double as blankets!

A lot of times, people will write about how they bring a change of clothes and basic toiletries, maybe I’m too trusting but I’ve never done that.  I try to keep my carry-on bags light and at the size where I can just shove them under the seat without having to worry about overhead storage space.

What are some things you always make sure to have with you during flights?

xo Carolyn

 

My Bullet Journal

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This summer I discovered the greatness of bullet journaling!  I’m an organizer so the idea of creating my own agenda, planner, to-do list, etc. combo notebook is right up my alley!! I bought new pens, found a great notebook, read the official blog, and just started my bujo (“bullet journal”)!!

Before I dove in, I did a lot of research.  Pinterest, Instagram, and many blogs display the prettiest and most creative ways of journaling and at first it’s super intimidating!  At the beginning of my journaling, I tried to make the pages as creative and pretty as the ones I had seen on Instagram but that proved to be impractical for me.  I was spending more time decorating than I was actually organizing my thoughts and plans in order to get them done.  So by now I have resorted back to a simpler way of journaling.  I try to stick to basic lists and keep the decorating to just enough to inspire me to look at the page for what I need to get done.

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I’ve found that my bullet journal is most helpful in planning my blog content.  I use it to keep track of the content ideas I have, the posts coming up, and what I need to do to get posts completed.  However it has also been useful to keep track of running lists.

Supplies//

A notebook- Any notebook works, however I would recommend a Leuchtturm.  I use a blank one and it works beautifully.  The notebook’s pages are thick enough that pens don’t bleed through and it comes with these little inserts that have a grid and lines so you can stick them behind the page to keep your writing in line without the hinderance of lines you may or may not need on a certain page.

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Pens- I use Staedtler triplus fineliner pens and love them! I have a pack with a ton of different colors to keep my bujo colorful and fun!

A go-getter attitude!- A bujo only works if you utilize it!!

Typical Pages//

As you’ll read in any blog post about a bujo it won’t take long to discover there are a couple pages everyone needs in the notebook.

Table of Contents- The great thing about Leuchtturm notebooks is all the pages are already numbered and the notebook already has a blank table of contents so you don’t need to worry about setting up your own!  I like to only put things in the table of contents that I will want to come back to.  Daily to-do lists are not something I’m going to be looking back on weeks later.  To be completely honest, the table of contents is one of the hardest pages for me to keep up with.

IMG_8447.JPGKey- A key helps with task lists and helps keep the notebook consistent.

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Spreads- You’ll see talk of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly spreads.  These can be laid out in whatever makes sense to you!  A spread I’ve started using that isn’t pictured below is a habit tracker.  You can look up “habit tracker” on Pinterest to get an idea of the sorts of things people include.  Super helpful!!  Pinterest can be great when you’re just starting out to give you some ideas of spreads for trial and error purposes until you discover what works for you!

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Bullet journaling can get super overwhelming when you look at how artsy some people make theirs but it doesn’t have to be scary!  A bullet journal at it’s core is a way for you to create the most functional notebook for you!  It can take some time getting used to, and it might not fit all your needs, but it can be worth it to try!  I still have an agenda and use my phone to keep important dates so my bujo basically helps me keep track of everything my agenda and my phone can’t.

Happy bullet journaling!!

xo Carolyn

 

8 Tips for Beating the Afternoon Slump

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I don’t know about you, but come 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon I’m ready to rest.  It doesn’t matter what time I woke up in the morning or what I was doing all day, around that time I hit a wall.  Sometimes it’s fine to just chill with Netflix for an hour, but other times it’s more important to keep moving and stay motivated for the rest of the day.  I’ve developed just a few tricks that I tend to use when I need to stay motivated and keep my energy up for the rest of the day.

1. Coffee

Sometimes all it takes is a chai tea latte to give me that final push to finish.  That little jolt of caffeine can be all it takes to keep the energy up until dinner.

2. Exercise

This can be the hardest thing to do when you are facing a slump, but it can also be the most affective.  However exercise can mean something as simple as taking a walk or doing one of the 5 minute workouts you can find on Pinterest.

3. Go Outside

A breath of fresh air can be the simplest way to gain the momentum to continue on through the day.

4. Eat a Snack

A small handful of nuts or some other kind of protein can help get you moving.

5. Clean Out Your Inbox

Deleting all those annoying emails and unsubscribing from all those sites you never knew you joined the email list for can feel super wonderful.

6. Listen to Music

Jam out to Ed Sheeran’s new album or whatever it is you like to listen to and get pumped up.  Create your own “Get Psyched” playlist to help inspire productivity and a good attitude.

7. Create Something

I’ve talked about this on another post but it’s worth mentioning again!  Sometimes getting creative like drawing, playing an instrument, or writing can give that motivational push to finish out the day.

8. Make Plans

I feel like it’s always mid afternoon when I start to make plans and I think it helps give me something to look forward to!  If I know I have a coffee date for the morning, I’ll feel inspired to get things done now so there’s nothing to worry about when I’m out with friends!

I am in no way an expert on getting out of slumps but these are tricks that help me.  What do you do to wake up and get motivated to finish the day strong?

xo Carolyn

Latest Adventure: Asheville, Charleston, and Kiawah Island

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My family took the most amazing vacation down south this summer!  Every city we were in was unique and so so fun to explore!  Honestly, we are probably going to have to go back to all of these places because there just was not enough time to fit everything in!! A few of the highlights from each…

Asheville

The Biltmore

The largest house in America, the Biltmore, is an absolute must-see if you go to North Carolina.  Definitely worth the trip.  My family and I did the Upstairs-Downstairs tour as well as the self-guided audio tour.  Both were worth it! There is no overlap between the two tours so you can do both and see a ton of different rooms of the house.  If you do a self-guided tour make sure you do the audio one.  Without it, you don’t learn anything.  There aren’t any signs giving explanations.

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Hiking

We hiked the Daniel Ridge Loop and it was beautiful! The hike was supposed to be only four miles but ended up being 6!  Not exactly sure how that happened…but it was still fun!
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Charleston

I didn’t take too many pictures in Charleston but let me tell you it was HOT!  And of course, my father made us walk everywhere!  We took a carriage ride tour through downtown which was fun!  It’s also always fun to walk through the market and to shop on King St.  I would also highly recommend a boat tour.  It felt so good to be out on the water and it was cool to ride by Fort Sumter and other famous spots along the South Carolina border.

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My sister’s middle name is “Elizabeth” and my middle name is “Ann”

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Kiawah Island

If I had to pick a favorite part of the trip it would definitely be Kiawah Island.  It was so nice to have a week of relaxation after a week of touristy things!  We had an amazing beach-front villa in Mariners Watch and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay on the island.  I absolutely loved every minute of the island.  The food was amazing and so was the beach.

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The view from our villa!

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Vacation time is wonderful but it’s also nice to be back home.  I’ve been to all three places before, but this trip I was able to do new things, eat more food, and have more fun than any other trip!  I can’t wait for the next adventure!!

xo Carolyn

April Showers Bring May Flowers

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This post is 100% because of the work my Mom has put into making the little places around my house gorgeous!  She has put so much heart into her flower pots and I just had to share her beautiful creations.  I hope her green thumb runs in the family!

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I love my Mom so much and appreciate all she has done for me.  So to all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day!! Us daughters would be nothing without you:)

xo Carolyn

Study Tips

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As finals and exams are coming just around the corner, I have found myself spending more and more time studying.  By my last year in high school, I believe I have found some great ways to study that not only work for me, but could apply to any studying situation.

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ONE// Start Studying Early

There’s nothing worse than cramming for a test.  Yes, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, however if you let it come to cramming for every test, you are going to end up being more stressed out and frantic.  If you know you have a big test coming up, studying a little bit every night will help more than you realize.

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TWO// Study Harder Not Longer

Sometimes it is worse to study in a distracting setting for three hours than it would have been to just sit down and study hard for half an hour.  It can be amazing how much you are able to learn in just a short period of time when you are completely focused on that one thing you are trying to learn.

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THREE// Stay Organized

Organization can be the biggest help in studying.  If all your notes are organized you know exactly what you need to study.  Also, if you keep your schedule organized you will stay aware of important dates coming up so tests and exams can’t creep up on you.

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FOUR// Take Breaks

You don’t want to fry your brain with four hours straight studying.  I try to set up rewards for myself at different intervals.  For example after every thirty minutes of studying I let myself get up, check my phone, and take a break for the next ten minutes before getting back to studying.  Sometimes those little breaks can help a lot

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FIVE// Move Around

According to research, you are more likely to forget information if you only study it in one location.  So take your notes away from your desk and go outside or try another area of your house or a local coffee shop to get the information to stick better.

Studying can be the hardest and most stressful part of school if you let it.  So take these tips and develop your own study habits to keep your grades up with as little stress as possible!

xo Carolyn

Movie Recommendations

Image-1.jpg.jpegI love movies!  In fact, at one point in my life I wanted to be a movie director!  Since then I have developed different goals, but my love for movies still remains!  I have rounded up a few of my movie recommendations in the hopes that you all can share in my love for them!

Children’s: Frozen

Frozen-blogDisney knocked it out of the park with this movie.  The songs are amazing and so are the characters!! I could watch this movie once a week!

Recent: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast-Blog.jpgBelle has always been my favorite Disney princess and I absolutely love Emma Watson so you can imagine my excitement in finding out she would be playing my favorite princess!  Plus Josh Gad is in it, the actor who voices Olaf in Frozen, which ties back to my love of Frozen. This movie truly was a win-win!

Romantic Comedy: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

How to Lose a Guy-Blog.jpgI don’t watch Rom-Coms frequently, however this is one I love!  The movie is absolutely hilarious and no matter how many times I have seen it I still laugh out loud!

Comedy: Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber-Blog.jpgIf you know me, then you know my love for this movie.  It is probably the most quoted movie in my family and I am not ashamed of that.  In my opinion, this movie never gets old.

Action: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne.jpgYes, all of these movies tend to follow the same general formula but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good!  All the action and excitement make these movies so fun to watch!!

Mystery: Rear Window

Rear Window-BlogThis classic mystery is a great movie for a rainy day.  The action comes at the end but the whole time you can’t help but get completely engrossed in the mystery of the situation.  I would definitely recommend it!

Most of the time I stick to watching movies I’ve already seen before but I love seeing new movies so please comment some of your favorites!!

xo Carolyn