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. 

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

Answer:

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!

Question: 

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

Answer:
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. 

Question: 
@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?"

Answer:

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 ;)

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

Answer:
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.)

Question:
@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."

Answer:

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