Friday, June 30, 2017

Five on Friday: June 30, 2017

^I'm linking up with these blogs for Five on Friday!^

1. Weight Loss Journey (so far)

Last November, I really got motivated to start my weight loss journey. Since then, I've lost almost 25 lbs. I was sick a lot between November-February and I also had my tonsils out at the end of December. Along with that, I've been keeping track of what I eat in a food journal, cutting back on my portions, not going for second helpings (even if it is one of my favorite meals/foods), not snacking as much during the day, making better choices when I do have a snack, and rarely having anything to eat after dinner. I've been drinking more water. Aside from water and my morning coffee, I have apple juice at night, (which is when I sometimes find myself craving something sweet) but I drink the Mot's for Tot's which has 40% less sugar than regular apple juice and it's mixed with water. Before I started having the problem and pain with my left hip, I had been walking a lot as well. I'm making small goals with losing weight and when I accomplish them, I make new ones.

Credit: This Site

2. Planner Meet Up

This past weekend, my friend L, and I went to a planner meet up that took place a few hours from where we lived. We really enjoy these meet ups and being able to see our planner friends who don't live near us and who we don't get to see as often as we would like to. We had a great time chatting with our friends and planning. It's definitely true what they say: planner friends make the best friends!

Credit: This Instagram

3. Fourth of July

I'm not sure what my plans are for the Fourth of July. I'm probably just going to stay home and relax and watch the fireworks on TV at night. With the constant pain in my hip, I've been at home a lot because it's hard to walk for a long time or to really enjoy going out and doing things. I hope you all have a very happy, fun, and safe Fourth of July!

Credit: Erin Condren

4. Quotes & Funnies:

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

5. Hello, July

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a perfect way to welcome in a month!

Credit: This Instagam

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: June Edition

1. What We're Eating This Week...

Monday: Grilled chicken, string beans, French fries
Tuesday: Pasta with meatballs

and I'm not sure about the rest of the week, yet.

2. What I'm Reminiscing About...

As a child, every year, for a week in the Summer we went to Lake George, NY. It was the highlight of Summer every year. To this day, that lake is still one of my very favorite places. I would spend all day in the lake, swimming, jumping off the dock, and just spending time in the beautiful lake. We stayed at the same place every Summer and I became good friends with the owner's of the place grand-daughter who would spend the Summers there. During the rest of the year, we were pen-pals and wrote letters to each other.

^I went back to Lake George a few Summers ago for the first time in a while and it's still my happy place.^

3. What I'm Loving...

My planner friends & the planner community! This past Saturday, I attended a meet up that I was a few hours from where I lived and I had the best time seeing my planner friends that I don't get to see often and meeting new friends. We had so much fun chatting, playing games, and of course, planning.

^Planner Stack from the planner meet up!^

4. What I've Been Up To...

Aside from attending physical therapy three times a week, I've been home a lot relaxing, doing a lot of reading, planning, watching NY Mets games, spending time with my mom and my cats, watching TV & movies, and spending time on the computer.

5. What I'm Working On...

Upcoming blog posts.

6. What I'm Dreading...

Nothing at the moment.

7. What I'm Excited About...

I'm hoping and excited that I might be able to go to NY to visit my family for a little while in August. I can't wait to see my nieces & nephews. I miss them so very much!

Credit: Pinterest

8. What I'm Watching/Reading...

Watching: I just watched the series finale of Pretty Little Liars. I'm so bummed the series is over. I love all of actresses and actors that are on the show and I hope they do other TV shows and movies now that PLL is over.

Credit: Pinterest

Reading: I'm reading a lot lately. I will be writing more about this in Friday's blog post.

9. What I'm Listening To...

Lots of country music, including... Brett Young, Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, and more.

Credit: Pinterest

10. What I'm Wearing...

Since I'm home a lot, I've been wearing lots of different lounge clothes like comfy shirts and shorts/pants.

11. What I'm Doing This Weekend...

I might be hanging out with my one of my friends and doing some planning/crafting. Aside from that, and watching Mets games, I'm not sure what else I will be doing.

12. What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month...

My nephew N's birthday, the Fourth of July, a planner meet up, and the ninth annual Auntie's Day on July 23rd!


13. What Else Is New...

I think I've covered everything.

Bonus Question:

What's your favorite July 4th tradition?

As an adult, I don't really have any Fourth of July traditions aside from watching the TV special showing the fireworks in NYC. Growing up though, we always went somewhere and watched the fireworks or we had family over for a BBQ.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Go Wild 2017 Planner Conference Recap

I've been planning in a paper planner ever since I started middle school and we were given an academic planner to keep track of anything school related: assignments, tests, projects, extra-curricular activities, etc. 

^One of my previous Life Planners^

Almost nine years ago, I purchased my first Erin Condren Life Planner. I have been using an Erin Condren planner ever since. The EC planner is seriously my favorite planner. I use it to keep track of everything: work schedules (including when I substitute), birthdays/anniversaries of family & friends, medical appointments, fun events such as marking when I have a planner meet up, when library books are due, when I receive happy mail, etc. Next week, I will be making a post reviewing the 2018 Erin Condren Life Planner but today's post is going to recap the amazing experience I had earlier this year when I attended the Go Wild Planner Conference in Nashville, TN with a ton of amazing planner girls!

^Another previous Life Planner^

On, Thursday, April 20th, a few of my friends and I headed to Nashville, TN for the conference which was held this year at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Before our hotel room was ready, we went out to lunch at an awesome place called Biscuit Love. We also spent some time taking photos at various murals in downtown Nashville. Two stores we went into were Paper Source and Reese Witherspoon's store Draper James. When we got back to the hotel, we checked in and got situated. The event registration started at 6pm and we got our first set of swag that included an amazing Go Wild tote, t-shirt, Krissy Anne Designs stickers, a water bottle, hand sanitizer, and more! The first event was the happy hour party with Stephanie Fleming, the creator of The Happy Planner. This was the only event that was off-site and not in the hotel. My friend Melissa and I didn't go to this event but we had friends that did. During this event, we received new Happy Planners delievered to our hotel room door. It was quite a fun surprise!

^On our way to Nashville, TN!^

^At some of the murals in Nashville, TN^

Friday was the big kick-off! We had many different speakers during the 2 full days of the conference. On Friday, our first two presenters were Mica May, the owner of May Designs, and the amazing & talented Cindy (aka Llama Letters). The next speaker, Shay Shull, was such a thrill for me because I've been a devoted reader/follower of her blog (Mix & Match Mama), which is my favorite blog, for a few years now. During the Question & Answer, I raised my hand to ask a question and was so surprised when they called on me. I was so nervous that I was shaking and I thought I was going to drop the microphone. After Shay answered my question, I was handed one of her cook books and it was signed too! I was so surprised. After each session, we had little breaks to get refreshments, meet with other fellow planners, and the speakers. I was so excited to meet Shay and she couldn't have been sweeter. When Shay was announced as a speaker at Go Wild back in January, I was so excited that I wrote it in my planner. The last speaker of the day on Friday was Olympian and motivational speaker, Michelle Carter! Her session was so motivating and inspiring! I took notes during all of the presentations because the speakers were so talented and inspiring and I wanted to remember their words of wisdom and advice. The last event of the day was setting a world record for the largest planner stack which we exceeded! After the events were over for the day, I chatted with my good friend Shannon (aka my second sister) and her mom aka Mama Bee (aka my second mom) for a while and then I had a very awesome night hanging out with Mama Bee, eating pizza, chatting, and bonding. Queen Bee & Mama Bee are so very special and dear to my heart and I love them so very much!

^Meeting Shay Shull! I could barely contain my excitement!^

^Asking my question to Shay during the Q&A session! Thank you to the photographer for capturing this awesome moment. By the way, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hand. I tend to talk with my hands a lot. I think it's an Italian thing?^

Saturday was the second (and final) full day! We had another round of speakers. First up was the admin panel (the admins of the Planners Gone Wild Facebook group and other planner related Facebook groups), which consisted of Amanda, Jen, Betsy, Lameka, & Claudia. Then we had the Kit Life girls (Jessica, Liz, & Jen). Our third speaker of the day was Christy Tomlinson (owner/creator) of The Planner Society. The fourth speaker was Whitney English who is the owner of The Day Designer. Our key-note speaker for Saturday was the one and only Erin Condren! It was so inspiring to hear speak and listen to what she had to say. After the keynote, I stood in line to meet Erin Condren. I also met her the day before but I wanted to meet her again. She is so supportive, positive, bright, charismatic and passionate. She is such a huge inspiration and role model to me!

^Erin Condren & I. She complimented me on my shirt and I said "my shirt. Your outfit is amazing. I wish I could rock an outfit like you do!"^

^It was so amazing to meet Erin Condren. Without her planners, I never would have found the planner community and I wouldn't have the amazing friends I now have.^

After Erin's key note speech and meeting people, we had the rest of the afternoon to do whatever we wanted before the Planjama party that night. My friend, Lisa, her husband, and I did the gondola tour in the hotel, checked out a few of the gift shops, and ate amazing burgers at the burger place before heading back to our rooms to get ready for the party.

The Planjama party was so much fun. We had the best time talking, dancing, and having fun with our planner friends! It was such a wonderful time!

^Watching the water show before the party started.^

Sunday morning we checked out. We stopped and got doughnuts at Five Daughter's Bakery and then had lunch at The Flipside before getting on the road to head home.

^Eating lunch at The Flipside. I asked our waiter Tony for a photo! He was so awesome.^

Planning started as a hobby of mine when I was younger because it was something I didn't need friends for, something I could do alone. Having so much fun with it by myself, I always thought "I wish there were other people out there who loved planners, stickers, pens, etc. and decorating their planners/etc." Fast forward to my late 20's and I find this amazing community full of planner addicts just like me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever meet so many amazing woman who enjoyed and liked the same things I do. Also, never in my wildest dreams, did I think I could attend an event with over 700+ people and not be nervous and anxious the entire time. This experience proved to me that I could conquer and overcome any challenge that I set my mind to.

Credit: Pinterest

Go Wild 2017 was an amazing experience. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I'm so glad that I got over my anxiety and went. I had the best time ever, met so many amazing people, and gained so much confidence in knowing that I didn't let my anxiety get to me. All of the admins, the event people, the speakers, the planner ladies that attended, all were so very sweet and kind. When I talked to people about my anxiety, they were all so helpful, supportive, and understand. A lot of people told me that if I was feeling anxious to seek them out and they would help me. These were people who I knew through the planner community online, some of whom I had met previously, but the majority of him, I was meeting for the first time. For these ladies to be so sweet, supportive, comforting, kind, and caring just reiterated to me how amazing and wonderful the planner community is. Yes, we received tons of swag and amazing goodies but my favorite part about the conference was meeting these amazing, inspiring, encouraging, talented, devoted, dedicated and amazing woman who make up the amazing planner community! I'm being 100% honest when I say that before I found the planner community and started attending planner meet ups, I didn't have true friends (outside of my family).  After the past few years and the Go Wild 2017 Planner Conference, I can say with 100% confidence, that I've met so many amazing ladies that have become true friends of mine. Without the planner community, I wouldn't be able to say that.

^I took this photo right before we checked out of hotel on Sunday.^

Friday, June 16, 2017

Five on Friday/Friday Favorites: June 16th, 2017

^I'm linking up with these blogs for Five on Friday & Friday Favorites.^

Five on Friday:

1. Hip Bursitis

Within the past month and a half, I've been diagnosed with left hip bursitis. I have been having pain in my left hip for the majority of this year and after visiting my regular doctor, he sent me to an orthopedic doctor where I had X-rays and was given the diagnosis. I'm currently doing 3 days a week of physical therapy until the second to last week of July. I'm still in a lot of pain but therapy has been going well. I always have exercises that I do at home that my PT gave me to do. Unfortunately, my doctors didn't want me working this Summer because of this and because of the fact that I have to go to PT three times a week so I had to regretfully leave my Summer job which I was loving.

2. The Graduates

Tomorrow my niece and God-daughter, O, graduates from elementary school. Her elementary school goes through 6th grade so tomorrow she will be graduating and in September she will be heading into middle school (time sure does fly by!) and 7th grade. During one of my trips back home to visit, when O was little, I remember she was taking a nap when I first got to my sister's house, and when she woke up, I went up to get her out of her crib and I go in her home and she sees that it's me, and she breaks into this hug smile and raises her arms up in the air because she wanted me to pick her up. My nephew, J, graduates next week from elementary school. He will be leaving 5th grade and elementary school behind and going into 6th grade in September. J and I were on Facetime together last week and he kept saying how much he misses me. I told him that I missed him more because the aunt always misses the nephew/niece more than the nephew/niece misses the aunt and he said that's not true. It's crazy to see how grown up my nephews and nieces are getting and how fast time is flying by. Being an aunt is sincerely my greatest joy and nothing else compares to it.

Credit: Pinterest

3. David Wright Article

I couldn't help but start to cry while reading this great article about David Wright. I sure do miss seeing him playing every day for the New York Mets.

4. Book Recommendation

I recently read a great book. It's called Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck. I found the book randomly at a book store by my house called Book Warehouse. It was less than $8 and it was a hardcover book. It was such a great story and now I can't wait to get my hands on the second book, Becoming Ellen.


5. Quotes & Funnies

Credit: This Site

Credit: This Site

Friday Favorites:

Favorite Product:

Coco Shea Cucumber Aloe Gel Lotion
 I purchased this product in the beginning of Spring and I knew I had to include it as a favorite. It's from a new line of products that is sold at Bath & Body Works. It's one of my favorite lotions to date and it's especially nice for the Summer months as the aloe gel in the formula has a cooling effect when you apply it to your skin. I definitely recommend it.
Credit: This Article

Favorite Book I've Read (so far) This Year:

^This is a great mystery novel and I read this while I was on vacation in Turks & Caicos. I never really liked reading mystery novels until a few years ago. I had watched a great Lifetime movie and found out that it was based on a book. It was actually based on the first novel in a series as I came to found out. I was sucked into the book just like I was the movie and I have know read and own all of the books in the series. It's an Amish mystery series by Linda Castillo. The main character is Kate Burkholder and the series is called The Kate Burkholder Series. The 9th novel in the series comes out next month and I'm so excited. Since I found myself loving this mystery series so much, I have been reading more mystery books. I really enjoy them! Here is a little more about, The Girl Before, from the book's page on the Amazon website: "In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception." I highly recommend checking this novel out especially if you love a good mystery.

Music Favorites:

I've been listening to a lot of country music and also I'm listening to Ed Sheeran a lot as well. I'm listening to all of my favorite country singers and groups and I'm also loving the new singer Brett Young and his self-titled album.

Here are some songs I'm loving lately:

Craving You -Thomas Rhett & Maren Morris
Suitcase -Steve Moakler
Hurricane -Luke Combs
Home To Me -Sarah Darling
Lights Down Low -Jessie James Decker
Barefoot & Crazy -Jack Ingram
Think Of You -Chris Young & Cassadee Pope

What artists/songs/albums have you all been enjoying?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Time Is Flying By...

I am trying to get caught up with a lot of things, including blog posts, however, I've been working a lot and have just recently been diagnosed with hip bursitis so life has definitely been busy lately.

Here are some upcoming posts that I will be making in the near future:

-Erin Condren 2018 Life Planner Picture/Review Post
-Recaps of the 3 1/2 days I spent in Nashville, TN in April for the Go Wild Planner Conference
-Trip Recaps of my trips to Turks & Caicos (one in 2012 and one this year)

I will also be making posts with different link-ups that I join in with!

For now, I just wanted to write and say that I hope you all are having a great start to June. Also, how is it June already? Since graduating from college, I feel like the years just fly by so quickly!

Do you have any fun plans for the upcoming Summer months? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Credit: This Site