Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I ♥ Etsy: Alex Studio Sticker Haul!

If you have been following me on Instagram then I'm sure you know two things for sure. One, you know that I am a newbie planner girl, and two, you know that I love my stickers. I especially love stickers that mean something to me and my life, like the little Alex glasses that have been popping up on my planner spreads. Well guys, today I am going to talk about the loveliness that is the Alex Studio on Etsy (and it's a total coincidence that the Alex glasses are from the Alex Studio). 

Nicole, the shop owner, reached out to me and offered to send me a selection of stickers to try, which I happily took her up on. And... I have fallen in love. Just like Andrea's shop, which I reviewed here, the sticker quality is fantastic and the stickers peel away from the paper perfectly, which I have found is not the case with all Etsy sticker shops. The second I received the package I tore into it and immediately knew I was looking at one of my favorite sticker shops. Behold...

A slew of gorgeous stickers! The tassel banners! The little deer! THE ALEX GLASSES! She even sells little sleep tracker stickers so you can track the hours you get if you suffer from a sleeping disorder like I do (I got 2 sets of these!). 

I love this shop so much I have already placed a second order with her. So while the first batch of stickers were sent free for review, I like them enough that I have bought more with my own money. I think that always speaks the most in a world of blogging and receiving samples. Let me show you my favorites and then tell you which ones I bought! 

These are my absolute favs of the batch. From top left to right, you have beautiful tassel banner stickers, a sampler page (definitely a must-try in my opinion, you get to try so many of her stickers for a good price!), pink panties which I think make for really cute period tracker stickers (lolz), cats in hats, deer and hedgehogs (SO CUTE!), and macarons. Bottom row is makeup (yes please!), lush bath stuff (what? this shop is so cute!!), Alex glasses (duh), and floaty clouds. 

I learned very quickly that you can order all the stickers and washi you want, but until you start decorating your spreads you're not really going to know what you will actually use. There have been several items I have purchased from various shops that I haven't touched yet, and now that I see the way I plan, I'm not sure I will. I made sure to stock up on the stickers I know I will use. So, for the ones I ordered... I bought a few more pages of the Alex glasses, the full page lipsticks and mascaras, the cats in boxes, another set of both her sampler packs, the tassels, the sequin banners, and the weekend banners. I used one of her weekend banners in my latest spread and it was the most talked about sticker on the page; everyone wanted to know where it was from! It actually came on one of her sampler packs, so I only had one, and I knew I needed to order a whole set of them because they are adorable. See how cute?

Nicole has been kind enough to set up a 15% off entire purchase coupon just for my readers! The code is "iheartyoucoffee" and you can get to her store here - link! She ships worldwide! If you order anything from her please let me know in a comment below along with what you plan to use it for so we can share ideas! People use stickers for different things, and I think we can all get inspiration from each other. 

Look out for a giveaway featuring some Alex Studio stickers and other planner accessories very soon! 

Speaking of giveaways, if you are into planner goodies there is a group giveaway going on right now on MyLifePlanner's Instagram. You can enter for a chance to win a prize from the Alex Studio and also from me! Click here to check it out. 


So I have a question for you all... I have been getting a TON of requests for planner videos, and I do think that's something I would be able to do partially from bed. What exactly would you like to see? Decorating videos? Planner walk-throughs and reviews? DIYS? Sticker Hauls? I would love specific requests below! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Scribbles #2: Q&A

Another Sunday has come, and this time I am snuggled up in my bed while the wind HOWLS outside. It sounds like a right tornado out there! Pinecone is laying peacefully in a cat loaf on the bed as only deaf Pinecones can do. So... Q&A's. Let's go. 

@MmeBeautyAddict asked, "When you and Alex are both in LA are you most of the time at his place or at yours?"


We are lucky to live quite close to each other which is a blessing in LA traffic, and we definitely enjoy hanging out at both houses, but I would have to say mine about 80% of the time. He has housemates, and I don't, so we have more privacy and our own space when we are at my place. Plus, complete control over the TV remote!


@NutellaNitKaese asked, "What are you putting in your planner other than stickers since you can't go anywhere?" 

I actually laughed a bit over this question because it's the same one Jelly asked me last night. "Elle," she said, "what exactly are you putting inside of those things you carry around with you? I saw them on Instagram." Well, when you are a normal un-broken human living your life, doing things and going places, you have many many more things to put inside of a planner. 
I however, have never used a planner as much as a time juggling tool as I have as a way to form out my day. Let me explain.

When you are a mother juggling a job and a husband and 3 kids, all with different schedules, along with keeping the house clean and paying the bills and cooking dinner every night, a planner is necessary to actually juggle your time management. You might have to plan your dinners around which extra curricular activity a certain kid has on a certain night, or you might have to schedule a drink with a friend a month in advance to make sure you can get a babysitter in time. For people like these, a planner is something that is a tool to help them balance their life. It is a planner in every since of the word. 

These days, especially within the FaceBook planner community, people use planners for anything and everything. Some people have 5 or more planners going at any given time, one just for doodles, another for fitness, and yet another for budgeting, etc, etc. Planners aren't necessarily for time management alone anymore. I almost see it as a baby between scrapbooking and planning... it's just that people have kept the name "planner" for it. 

I've seen people decorate their planner pages when they have literally nothing happening that week. "It's a nothing week," they say, as they proudly show off their decorated planner pages. The point is, people do whatever they want with their planner within this community, and it's all accepted and understood. 

Going back to your specific question, I have been using mine as a to do list every day. I have things like "work on taxes" "physical therapy" "doctor's appointment" and "organize desk". I plan out blog content and have started working on planning out my YouTube comeback which will happen when I am healed enough. I write out my back homework, which is given to me after each PT appointment, my cleaning schedule, like when to wash my towels and sheets, and which city Alex has been in each day of his tour. I even track my water intake since that's been extremely important with all the medicine I am on for my back. Here is an example of what mine looks like:

Erin Condren Life Planner
Grocery lists, video idea lists, lists about lists... they all go inside of my planner. My body is not at its best right now but my mind is still whirling at a million miles a minute. My planner somehow calms that down, and I love that. 

@annaschmidt23 asked, "What do you want your future to look like? Do you want to get married and have kids? Are you still going to do YouTube?"


I definitely want to get married and have kids. 100%. I don't want kids right away; I think ideally I would have a couple years just with my husband to enjoy each other and travel before settling down with children. That being said, life happens. If it happens another way, I'll be ok with that. If I have a honeymoon baby I'll just be like, "Well, that's the way it was supposed to be then!"

I'm not stopping YouTube anytime soon, so yeah I imagine I will still be doing videos. Far down the road I could see myself starting to transfer over to my blogs full time but that's quite a ways off. I think being a mommy blogger would be quite fun, when the time comes. That's a long ways off though ;)

@allthatjuicy21 asked, "What TV Shows are you loving right now?"

Currently these are the shows that are airing right now that I'm watching: Grey's (I am so happy that this just came back this week because I missed it!), Reign, The Vampire Diaries, The Bachelor (loving this season!), Married at First Sight: The First Year, and The Fosters. I dabble in Pretty Little Liars but it's never been my favorite show. I could take it or leave it. (I know, I'm sure that comes as a big surprise, most people LOVE that show.)

@LindaBloggt asked, "How do you deal with bad days? Sometimes it's so hard to leave the bed because everything is just a little too much."


This question makes my heart hurt because I can feel the pain coming from it. I actually wrote a tumblr post about this a few years back. I will link it here for you; I feel it's worth the read.

"Do you ever have bad days? Do you ever cry?"
I am not perfect. I have bad days. I cry. I get upset. I get emotional, and unmotivated, and sad. I’m human. But… I also have amazing days. Beautiful, inspiring, happy days. Days that make me think, “I am so lucky”. And it’s those days that I choose to hold on to and cherish, rather than to hold on to the bad ones. 
I am lucky enough to be able to reach out through the internet and talk to lots and lots of people. And I choose, quite intentionally, to share positive and happy videos and ideas. Nothing would make me happier than knowing that I am doing what I can to make someones day a little more cheerful… so that’s what I do. It makes me happy to know I might be making someone else happy. 
We are lucky enough to get to choose how we want to portray ourselves, and behave on the internet. I am a big believer in “Internet Karma”, and that if you spread happiness you will get it in return. If you spread hate… then that’s on you. 
One of my best friends once taught me something. I was having a rough day, during my first year of college, and she explained to me her secret for happiness. She told me that the way she lives her life is this; that as long as she gets her work done, and cares for the people around her and herself, she does whatever she wants to, whenever she wants to. And it made me think… it seems like such an obvious piece of advice, but a lot of people do not take it. Think about it. Have you had days where you have completed your basic responsibilities, but you have 100 other “secondary” responsibilities that are stressing you out so badly that you can’t even think straight. And all you want to do is curl up in bed and read the new book you got. Most people wouldn’t even consider putting their secondary responsibilities on hold to curl up and read, thinking it lazy when you have other things to do, but that hour you would have spent reading might have enabled you to go about your day in a much happier way. It’s those little things that you let yourself do that can affect happiness long term.
So next time you want to read, or take a bubble bath, or go for a walk outside, or watch a movie, or hang out with a friend, but you say no to yourself because you have “to much to do” (granted, this doesn’t include your main responsibilities… you should do those), consider treating yourself. And then doing it again the next time. And the next.
If your sadness is affecting your everyday happiness and your ability to complete the things you must do (like school or a job) then I would seek medical help. You could have depression or any other form of a mental health disorder in which your brain is simply not producing the right chemicals, and there is nothing wrong with that. I'm not a doctor, so I encourage you to go see one. He or she should be able to help you.

That being said, if this isn't affecting your ability to live your life, and it's just unhappiness every now and then, just remember that you're human, and humans are unhappy sometimes. We all have days where the world seems sad and overwhelming even if nothing is "wrong". Especially women, with our hormones bouncing all around. 

I believe in giving into your feelings when you can. When you have gotten your "must have" work done, give yourself a break. I call them "mental health days" and everyone needs them every now and then. Sometimes I just have an overwhelming urge to cry, so I give into that feeling by putting on a movie I know will be a tear jerker or reading Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul (any "Chicken Soup" book is guaranteed to make me cry). Let yourself feel your emotions fully so that you can work through them. This works for me, and I hope it works for you too. Remember no matter what that there are people out there that love you! I love you, for one! :)

There you go! I hope you enjoyed this Q&A post... leave me a comment with feedback about this blog or any of these questions in particular; I read every single comment! <3

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I ♥ Etsy: ScribblePrintsCo Sticker Haul!

You guys know I like planners and stickers, and if you don't, you might want to start by reading this post. Since being in Tennessee on bed rest this obsession has multiplied and grown into a monster. I'm a sticker lovin' monster. 

While the purpose of keeping a planner has a million reasons in and of itself, I can see why some people would be confused as to why I would spend so much time decorating mine. "If planning is a place to help you get things done, why would you spend so much time on the planning itself?" you might ask. 

Well, decorating my planner is something I can do in bed, and it's also a place where I can document everything I need to do (which is limited at the moment), as well as doctor's appointments, physical therapy, my medical symptoms, etc. Having a planner helps keep me sane, and decorating it makes it a happy place in which I want to look at and refer back to throughout the day, helping me stay more organized and ultimately getting more accomplished. 

Plus, I love stickers. I don't even need a reason to love stickers. Some people love tiny china figurines from Hallmark that they store in china cabinets; some people collect stamps or coins or guns. I like stickers. 

When I first got into this planner obsession and starting tweeting about it, a sweet girl named Andrea reached out to me and offered to send me stickers from her Etsy shop. I immediately emailed her back, thrilled at the offer, and told her I would love anything she sent. 

Well... let's just say, "She treated me good. Damnnnn good". LOL.

Wow, just wow. I am honestly so impressed, and she sent me so many stickers that I am set for awhile. I had the biggest and happiest smile on my face going through this colorful package of goodies, and everything from her presentation to her little note to me were perfect. She makes me want to own a sticker store.

Guys, she makes me want to own a sticker store

I have a tendency to... um... jump on my entrepreneurial dreams? I'm not opening a sticker store; I don't have the slightest clue how to make stickers, but I'm just saying, don't be surprised if you see "Elle's Sticker Store" pop up in 10 years or so. 

"Elle's Stickers and Bells"
"Ellealie's Stickerarie"

Ok, the name might need some work. 

Andrea not only has an amazing shop, she has been the sweetest person to communicate with. We have totally bonded over our love for makeup and our love for Alex's music (Andrea has been dating her boyfriend for 7+ years and their "first song" together was by Alex from back in his MySpace days! Small world, seriously!). 

She makes YouTube videos, and has a 26 minute long planner video which I have watched twice, because I love the way she plans with all her stickers and just her entire system, and I definitely recommend checking it out if you are interested in planning. You can watch it here! Also her Instagram is one of my favorites for planning pictures. 

It makes me wonder if I should start a "sticker and planners" Instagram, separate from my main one? To be honest I would rather keep all of my pictures on one Instagram account, but do you think my beauty girls will hate the planner and sticker pictures and unfollow? The thought makes me sad. Aww. :( 

Bottom line: You should order from Andrea. I didn't even know who she was 10 days ago and now I am addicted to her store and have already placed a second order from her. She posts new stickers Mondays and Fridays, so if you are reading this Sunday night or Monday morning... lucky you, she just put up new stickers! Next on my wish list are the colored iPhone stickers and the mason jar stickers - she didn't have those last time I looked! She seriously puts up cute new ones all the time. The girl works her butt off. 

Andrea has been AMAZING and set up a 15% off entire purchase coupon just for my readers. The code is "iheartyoucoffee" and you can get to her store here - link! Oh, and she ships worldwide! 

She also included a extra packet of stickers just to give away to one of my gorgeous readers, so here is a picture of all the ones you will receive! All I ask is that you be a planner lover if you enter this... I would much prefer this go to someone who genuinely loves planners rather than someone who just enters every giveaway just to see if they will win. Trust me, there will be plenty more! 

You have 2 ways to win this. The first is to pop on over to Andrea's store and leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favorite sticker of Andrea's is, and also one that she doesn't currently make that you would love for her to create for your planning needs. One comment per person, please. 

The second is to go over to my Instagram and follow the rules on the picture associated with this post. 

I will randomly pick a winner from one of the above. If you do both options, you are twice as likely to win.

Giveaway ends in one week and will ship out along with a handwritten card from me. It's open worldwide, of course :) 

Good luck! Love you girls, tons and tons!

P.S. Let me know if you want to see more planner hauls and Etsy store reviews! I would seriously love your feedback on this; I know it's outside my normal bubble of content I talk about, but I really love it right now!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Scribbles: Q&A

I am snuggled up in my bed on a Sunday night, and thought, "I want to write a blog post... maybe a Q&A!" 

Shoutout to @D_Shaf on Twitter for coming up with the series name "Sunday Scribbles", I love it! I asked for questions on Twitter and said I would answer 5 of them so, here we go!

@ellequeenblair asked, "If forced to choose, would you pick YouTube or blogging?"

My answer for this is always going to be YouTube. YouTube is where I got my start, and honestly, I still love it slightly more than blogging. I think you can form a connection with your viewers through video that you don't quite get to represent through writing and pictures alone, but that being said, I love both of them. 

Blogging has been my escape through this injury. Before I was well enough to actually blog myself, I would read other people's blogs. There was something much more soothing about reading written words and looking at pictures versus watching a video, so my YouTube subscription feed got ignored in favor of my Bloglovin' list. You should follow my blogs on there, btw, you can follow this one here and DreaminginBlush here. Bloglovin' is where it's at, because I get sent an email of all the newest posts from all my followed blogs and then I can pick and choose which to read and click through to them. 

Sometimes, I enjoy blogging more than making videos. Right now, I don't have a choice. I have 100 video ideas that I can't wait to make that I just can't right now, because my spine isn't strong enough to even sit up straight in a chair for 20+ minutes straight. That's not even counting the fact that I like to include extra bits into my videos, like close up shots and intro pan-overs... filming even a simple sit down video can easily be 1-2 hours of footage! 

Short answer: YouTube. But I love you, my dear readers. 

@xoForeverLauren said, "Please answer this one!  You are such a positive inspiration for me! How do you stay happy & motivated in life?!"

Oh geez, this is a hard one for me right now, because I'm going through a bit of a tough time in my life. I guess I would consider myself, "happy and motivated" even with my injury, but I don't feel that way every single day in my life, even when I'm perfectly healthy. I think my key has always been keeping a planner. I know I have recently become re-obsessed with them, but I have always said that having a planner keeps me on top of myself and makes it much harder to lose several hours of time and not know where they have gone, which easily happens if you start watching TV or browsing the internet. I like to give myself a few goals for the day, and make sure they get done.

That being said, people are going to have bad days, and people are going to have unmotivated days, and sometimes I let myself just roll with it. Today for instance, I woke up just... unhappy. And I just went with it and allowed myself to not really do anything at all. I watched some TV, read some blogs, read a book, took a bath... and now, as I'm about to fall asleep, I'm starting to feel better (which is why I'm writing a blog post now!). 

I think you have to just let yourself feel your feelings, and tell yourself that it's ok, as long as it's within reason (like you aren't not getting something done that you really have to). 

@monicaj990 asked, "When will you be better enough to go back to LA? Miss your house to home videos."

I get asked this a lot, and actually, I've also had comments along the lines of, "are you ever going back? You seem to like TN more than LA!" This makes me laugh a bit because of COURSE I will be going back to LA; I live there! I own a home there! I have a life and a sister and friends and a boy there! AND A HOME! Hahahaha :) 

Going back to the original asker's question though, man, I don't know. At first I thought mid-Jan, but after my check up last week I'm not strong enough yet. It would be hypothetically possible to fly to LA and do all of my physical therapy there, but when I mentioned this to my doctor I got a very strict, "I don't think so," look back. Plus, my Dad, another doctor, said absolutely not. I can't really care for myself completely yet. Yes, I can shower, and do my own laundry, and make myself food, but I can't really go anywhere yet. Small and short Target runs for my planner obsession are about the extent of my outings at this point (other than Physical Therapy and Doctor's appointments) and even then my mom limits those to being very quick. I swear, I thought she was going to physically pick me up and remove me from the Target dollar spot the other day because I was dallying.

When Alex gets back from tour and is back in LA I know I'm going to be itching to get back there, so I'm thinking sometime in late Feb, but honestly I won't know until after a few more weeks of physical therapy.

@FlyFashLiveFree said, "You used to have a strict rule on discussing dating...now with Alex, what's changed?

This is a really hard question to answer, because honestly, I don't know. I wish I had a better answer, or a more specific way of explaining things, but it's just the way I felt. I have had several relationships before this (2 of them long ones) in the 6 years I have been making videos, and not a single one of those boys ever showed up in a video, a picture, not even a mention on social media. I kept it completely separate, and it had always been that way. It got to the point where it was a point to not share anything, because that's just the bar I had set for myself. 

I think part of it is that Alex is also a public figure, and he wanted to post things. He wanted to post pictures, and tweet me, and even though I kept it relatively quiet for a long time, he didn't really (hello, Secret Girl and every other song pointing to me). After the "Wake Up Call" video was released, it was kind of out there, and from there it just spiraled. 

I still haven't figured out where my own boundaries are with it to be honest. I am still keeping him separate from my main YouTube channel, and haven't talked about him on there (only on social media and my vlogs) but again, it's all a learning process and I don't even know anymore what I'm allowing and what I'm not. I'm human, you know? This is just a tough area for me to figure out. 

@izzimarks09 asked, "Will we get an update photo/video tour of your condo when you're all fixed?"

YES YES YES!!!! I am SO excited about this. One thing I have been doing while on bed rest is coming up with "mood boards" for how I want to finish off my condo. The main things left are my two bathrooms and my beauty room, with the beauty room being the most important thing to get done. 

I've already talked to my mom and she has agreed to come out to LA for 2 weeks to help me transform that room into what I want since I can't really do anything myself yet, and won't be able to pick up anything heavier than 10 pounds for a very long time. My mom is the best; I told her I could hire a professional organizer and she was totally offended, she thinks it's going to be the best time. Wine and makeup organization with my mama, yes please!


Let me know if this Q&A style post is something you would like to see more often in a comment below! I would love to make this a series, but only if you would enjoy it! <3

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Planner and Sticker Obsession: The Beginning

If you have been following me on twitter then you know about my obsession with my planner and more recently, with stickers. Stickers were my very first love in this entire world, even before kittens, and I started collecting them when I was three, but as I grew up I forgot about my love for them, until now. I asked my mom yesterday, "Mom, where did my sticker collection go?" And she said, "I don't know, I probably threw them away." I think that is the worst thing I have ever heard to be quite honest, because had she kept them I would have a whole collection of vintage stickers from the 80s and 90s, but it would also mean my mom would be a hoarder, so maybe it's best she threw them out after 15 years of me not thinking about them. 

I have been a planner addict since college. I discovered my love for the planner during my freshman year of college after purchasing the school's planner at the school bookstore during orientation. I thought I was so cool; I had a college planner. I was so. freaking. cool. 

That planner ended up catapulting me into a planner obsession that lasted all four years of college, and my most exciting purchase every year was the school's newest planner for that year. My planner, at that point, was for function but not for fun, and I wasn't yet introduced to the love that is colored pens, sticky notes, and stickers (let's not even get started on washi tape, I hadn't even heard of the stuff at this point. Was it even a 'thing' back then?). Here's a picture to show you how well loved (if not very pretty) my planner from college was (I happened to find this in the closet of my bedroom at my parents house and got SO EXCITED to show you!!).

After college I struggled to find a planner that was similar in style to my school's planner, but I sadly failed in my quest. I found a small online community that was really into Louis Vuitton planners with Hello Kitty inserts, and I became obsessed with having one. After saving up money earned from my original Glitzy-Glam store, I finally decided to purchase a red Vernis Louis Vuitton planner with the hello kitty inserts from Amazon (this was a huge splurge for me, especially at the time), but after about a month I realized I wasn't using it, I wasn't even liking it, and I made the sad decision to sell it. I ended up using the money made from selling this planner to buy more makeup, which fueled my YouTube channel, which has fueled my planner kick, so it's really come around full circle in the end. The problem with that particular agenda was that the planner was too small, and also I didn't enjoy the rings inside the planner... they would hurt my hand when I would write on the left sides of the pages. After that fail of a planner quest, my love for agendas dwindled for a bit.

Fast forward about a year, and the obsession came back. We started selling agendas on Glitzy-Glam, so I grabbed one to use, and I fell back in love. I ended up filming a video on how I used to organize my planner for school, and people loved it. You can watch it here, if you are interested.

Once I started using planners again, I started to regret selling that red Louis Vuitton one; it had been so gorgeous and shiny and luxurious. I must have mentioned this in passing to my Mom, who always files things like that away in her head, because for my birthday that year she got me a Limited Edition Louis Vuitton planner. It was the most beautiful planner I had ever, and still have ever, seen. I promptly bought new Hello Kitty inserts and started to use her, but sadly, again after a few weeks, I realized it just wasn't working... the rings were bothering my hand again. 

Thankfully I didn't give this planner away like the red one because I would be so upset about it now; instead I kept it and used it in my closet "as decoration" (it's that pretty), but as soon as I get back to LA I am going to find a use for it. If anyone has any ideas on what I could use this little purse planner for when I'm already using a big one, please let me know in a comment!
My original red agenda on the left, and the limited edition one my Mom got me for my birthday on the right.

My planner love didn't come back again until last year, when I first learned about the Erin Condren life planners, and realized that it was set up in the same way as my beloved college ones were. I was sold, instantly. Shout out to Kristina over at PrettyShinySparkly for being the person to introduce me to these planners; I ended up getting the same one she got and loved it. I used her link, and received $10 off. If you would like to receive $10 off, you can order through this link here. You sign up and then you will get your credit in an email. This link is one of those referral links where you get $10 and I get $10 in credit, but obviously I don't need another planner, so last time I used the credit collected through people ordering through that link to give away a couple of planners to readers of this blog. That way, iheartyoucoffee readers helped out other readers! 

This is my gorgeous planner from last year. It's the Turquoise Gold Foil Edition.

I fell in love with that planner, and with it came my love for colored pens and washi tape. My entire planner became a rainbow wonderland of color-coding and pretty patterned tape. I still didn't feel the need to have 1000 different washi tapes; I wasn't obsessed, I just liked my 20 pack of Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens and a few rolls of metallic washi tape that I bought from amazon. For the record, I still adore these pens, and after a whole year of using them they are still working perfectly and none have dried up. Plus, the colors are bright and beautiful, as you can see in the above picture. Oh, and my little tin of cute washi strips that I thought was so unique and brought so much color and fun to my agenda without costing more than $5 came with me everywhere. 

Since then a year has passed, and as it was time to order a new planner, I bopped on over to the Erin Condren website and saw that she has pink ones this year!! Omg the excitement levels over this pink planner were through the roof. I ordered a Bubblegum Platinum Foil Edition. It's not going to even ship until the 19th and I am being VERY impatient about the whole thing, but I know it will be worth the wait. The reason her shipping takes a long time is because everything is personalized, so it's all worth it in the end, but I do wish I had it right this very moment. 

Since then I have been obsessing over planner decorating videos, organizational pictures, and little stationary stores, and I have purchased orders from 7 different etsy stores already, as well as a haul from both Target and JoAnn's (shoutout to Macy over at JoAnn's for being AH-MAZING). I already have a sticker organizational system within a expandable file folder WHICH ALREADY BARELY CLOSES, and my mom thinks I'm insane. I had an obsession like this twice before; once when I got into makeup and started my YouTube channels, and once when I became obsessed with getting a kitten and got Pinecone. I'm a do-er, you know?

Tonight I decided, I'm not waiting anymore, I NEED TO DECORATE A PLANNER PAGE AND START ORGANIZING MY LIFE DARN IT! So I grabbed last year's planner, opened it up to a January week I hadn't used (I didn't receive my 2014 planner until late Jan), and decorated it up. I decorated the whole week and then planned out tomorrow (Monday) and some weekly goals and then left the rest blank to fill out as I go. I don't have all my new stickers and accessories that I have ordered from Etsy but I think I did quite well with my Target and JoAnn's goodies. I'm going to use it for this week until my new baby comes. 

I think I have come a long way in terms of decorating in the years I have had planners, don't you think?

Ta da! My new planner!
I want to do an entire series of planner decorating ideas and hauls on both this blog and YouTube, and would love a cute name for it like I have for my book reviews, "Glitteratures", and my vlogs, "Glitter Gossips". Any ideas? It can be related to my YouTube name or my blog name, so anything with Glitter, Coffee, Hearts, etc. Please please PLEASSEEEE leave me a comment below with your ideas!

I'm also highly considering getting a Kikki-K planner because they are so darn beautiful, but I think the binder rings would bother me the way they Louis Vuitton ones did. For any of you that have a Kikki-K, why did you pick that one over the Erin Condren? Does it hurt your hand? Is it worth getting one to try and compare them? 

So my questions for you are: 
Do you have any name ideas for my planner series? 
Do you have any ideas for what I can use my little LV planner for since I'm going to be using my big Erin Condren one too?
For current planner and sticker addicts: Do you have any favorite Instagram pages or Etsy stores I must check out?

Would you be interested in seeing things like sticker hauls? (LOL!)

Also, feel free to leave requests below for types of posts you would like to see within this series! And a giveaway for you lovely readers, of course...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Heart You, Readers!

Hey Lovelies,

In an effort to support smaller businesses and personal blogs, I have made a small ad store for you! It's up on the top of this blog under "Advertise" and features different packages for small businesses and bloggers. There's even a free category for those of you that would love publicity without paying any money :) 

Click here to see the packages.

I heart you guys, so much!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Insomina and the Struggle

This might be a short post (ha! it's not short), but I just need to write. You guys know I like to think of this blog as more diary-style than DreaminginBlush, and... well, tonight is one of those nights where I need it. This blog is probably going to be really honest and raw and I might wake up in the morning and go wtf?!, who knows. Enjoy the little foresight into my brain while you can. 

It's 3:50am, which isn't actually abnormal for me except for that I have been absolutely exhausted and fighting sleep since 11pm. 

You guys know I have insomnia, and I have always described it under that blanket term, "insomnia". Sleep problems. Sleep disorder. But tonight is an example of the true issue of my sleep problem, and that's sleep anxiety. 

I actually hate sleeping. I hate it, because I really like it. I hate it, because I find it so incredibly hard to wake up in the mornings, and it takes me hours to feel productive once my day starts. When my body sleeps, it sleeps HARD, but it doesn't sleep deeply, so I don't actually feel rested. Give me a lights out, no noise, perfect kind of sleep for 8 hours, heck, give me 10 or 11, and I still won't feel rested. The reality is that I will be groggy and unable to focus for a good long while once I wake up, no matter how hard I try. Think of even the name of this blog, "iheartyoucoffee". Well, I heart coffee because it's the only thing that gets me out of bed and able to even think, let alone function. I don't function in the mornings. At all. 

Now, once I've been up for a solid 4-5 hours my body and mind finally "wake up" and I am so incredibly productive. I love life, I get things done, I read, I film and edit videos, I hang out with friends... I'm a happy person! I can do these things in the groggy hours, but it's like living in a fog. It's not real. It doesn't feel real, it doesn't feel like I am actually "living" at all, and the memories don't even stick. I can have a conversation with someone in those foggy hours AND NOT REMEMBER IT. At all. It's so extreme I thought I had a brain tumor until my doctor told me I didn't. 

So, according to my Doctor, what happens is my body forms this sort of distrust with sleep. Subconsciously, I have learned to associate sleep with the inability to fully "live" for several hours the next day (this is honestly the best way to describe it, it's hard to explain the feeling to a normal person. It's not just "not being a morning person". It's more complicated). Because of this, bedtime causes me severe anxiety. Most of the time, I can ignore it and just stay awake through it because I am lucky enough to have a job where I make my own hours most of the time, and can work at night and be groggy in the day if I want to be. And also I want to point out, this doesn't happen every single night, especially not anymore now that I am on medicine. 

But some nights, like tonight, when I know I have to be up early tomorrow... it's hell. I am so tired my eyelids are drooping and my head is nodding off, but I have such an intense feeling of fear to fall asleep. It's as irrational as being afraid of little spiders or snakes or being hugged or, I dunno, whatever else people are terrified of, but it's real in my head. I won't let myself sleep. 

I'm on a prescription sleep medication that works with the issues at hand, anxiety-based insomnia, and it works great. I take it and fall asleep within 30 minutes, but here's the kicker. 

Because my issue is anxiety about sleeping, I avoid taking the medicine. Not always, but tonight that's been my issue. It sounds so silly to someone reading this, I'm sure you're thinking, wow Elle, when did you become a nut job? But I am sharing a real struggle with you that have had for a few years now. 

I get comments sometimes about, "You only need to get yourself on a schedule!" or "You just need to eat healthier/work out earlier in the day/cut out caffeine/ get off technology early!" and while your comments are appreciated, that's not the issue. I have an actual chemical imbalance when it comes to sleep. 

Forcing myself to sleep right now is what I imagine someone with an eating disorder feels when they have to eat something, my brain is giving me very strong NO/DANGER signals. 

One time, my Doctor put me on a sleep deprival schedule, to see if he could "fix" my internal clock before going to the next step, which would be a medication. I was told not to sleep for 72 hours, and then sleep for exactly 12. (Or something like that, to be honest I don't remember the exact method but the point was the deprive my body of sleep for long enough to reset my clock). This was Christmas 2 years ago, and on the 72nd hour I was sitting on my kitchen floor sobbing to my Dad and unable to get in bed to sleep. I thought I was going to end up in the ER, it was so bad. I could not, for the life of me, make myself sleep. My anxiety and fear of sleeping was so great at that moment that Ambien was the only thing that could make me sleep. I'm not on Ambien anymore, btw. Have you seen what Ambien does to me? I have a video on it, you can watch it here, but before you do I want to point out that this video, while funny, isn't really funny at the same time. Blair filmed it whilst I was on Ambien blacked out one night, and it's silly so I uploaded it, but I am in no way making light of my sleeping issues by showing you this video. Ambien makes people do crazy things like sleep walk, sleep talk, sleep eat, sleep DRIVE (yes this is a thing!) and the people around you think you are awake because your eyes are open but you are actually asleep! A part of your brain is actually asleep and you will have absolutely no recollection of any of it the next day. True story, I called my ex one night on Ambien and apparently talked to him for 3 hours about the meaning of life. He could be pulling my leg, but how would he know I had taken Ambien that night? And WHY HIM? Why a random ex? It wasn't even my most recent ex, it was a random one!

Sometimes I wonder if I have really bad nightmares or something that I can't remember in the morning and that's why my body dislikes sleep so much. Or maybe I get possessed by an alien at night. Or something. I have thought all these things, it just seems so strange, all of it. I do actually get Night Terrors, but I haven't had one of those in awhile (now that I am thinking about them I will probably get one tonight, great). 

I did a sleep study once that showed that while I slept a full 8 hours, I didn't dip into my deep sleep REM cycle one time the entire night. This was before I was put on medicine. My medicine helps me dip into REM the way I am supposed to so I don't die. If you don't get correct sleep, YOU DIE. How crazy is that? Can you imagine that? 

I'm sitting here, exhausted and blogging. This is my life at this very moment, and for some crazy reason I wanted to share it even though I hardly ever share personal things. 

Oh, and I had a terrible day too. So there's that. 

I still love you though, and A, so we are all a very happy iheartyoucoffee family aren't we? :) 

P.S. This post doesn't have a picture. I'm too tired, I'll pick one in the morning. 

P.P.S. Leave me a comment, it's not like I'll be, I dunno, sleeping or anything.