Becoming Organized + My first GIVEAWAY!! (Giveaway now CLOSED)

Hi everyone! Only one post this week because we have been on VACATION! This post is a good one though… we have received a ton of unexpected blessings recently and so I’ve been wanting to do something to pass those blessings on, so today’s post includes a giveaway at the end 🙂 But before we get there…


Thanks to my friend Erin for this gorgeous family photo at Disney’s California Adventure!

Let’s talk about becoming organized. Organization will probably always be a problem I am re-tackling from a  new angle, it will probably one of my resolutions when I get to the Os, but for now, becoming organized is primarily needed to organize my time. There are a ton of things going on all at once these days and as my life changes so does my need for different tools. One tool that has always helped me? A planner!

My high school didn’t have this building when I went there but if it did this would probably have been the planner cover…

Back in high school, planners were provided by my school to help keep track of the crazy rotating schedule it was on as well as special mass days or school events. It was easy enough to write in extracurricular and social commitments in the same areas they gave you to record your homework for a particular day. This was probably where my planner obsession really began. Also my color coding obsession.

Yup, this is real…

When I went to college, planners were no longer provided so I moved on to paper planners that expressed my personality or passions. One year I had one that had a new picture of London every week. Another year it might be sassy quotes. Picking my planner each year was a big deal. I’d color code classes vs. rehearsals vs. special days but most of them never had a large enough space for my homework anymore so I’d sometimes add sticky notes or just notes to myself to see other notebooks with homework details.

This calendar is a child’s thing compared to what mine looked like in grad school… while wedding planning…As I moved to grad school, my time was no longer my own in a way I had never experienced before. What I mean is google calendars were a really big deal because everyone operated on shared calendars. You needed to check shared calendars to book rehearsal space. You were given a shared google calendar regarding rehearsal schedules or someone’s office hours. My husband and I began to share a calendar when wedding planning so we would know when we could schedule things that would have both of us available and we could change it in real time so we weren’t both committing to a different vendor meeting at the same time (or a rehearsal and a vendor meeting, or a meeting with a thesis supervisor, etc. etc. etc.) A paper planner no longer served me best during that time and I loved how easy it was to carry a digital calendar around with me everywhere. I still color coded everything. But I never really looked back at paper planners…


Seriously love the positivity and bright colors!

UNTIL this year. Around my birthday I started realizing that the various digital calendars were no longer working for me. At least, not by themselves. Here’s the problem with digital calendars: You can theoretically squeeze in infinite commitments in a day and it doesn’t look like that many based on which view you are in. the space will expand and the only thing you have to worry about is if you schedule something at the exact same time. It became too deceptive and frustrating for me. Plus, on my phone if I didn’t carefully scroll up and down I could miss things I had scheduled when planning the next thing I needed to add. I started realizing that you couldn’t do that with paper planners. I started brainstorming solutions. About a half dozen of my friends pointed me toward their favorite planner: Erin Condren. I got a planner for my birthday and knew I would want to get the same kind of planner for next year.


Another perk of this planner: Note pages for me to brainstorm or doodle about my next theatre project!

Of course, I’m already starting to have dates for next year so I wanted to order early. I customized the cover this time with a cute list of some of my favorite things and was thankful to have escaped some of the major delays other people have recently experienced with their orders. However, when it got to me, I realized they had sent me an 18 month planner instead of just a 12 month for the year of 2016. When I wrote them about it they said I could keep the 18 month planner and they would send me the 12 month without a cover (since mine was personalized and the covers are interchangeable) but this leaves me with an 18 month planner I don’t need so… I ordered a cute little cover from an easy shop and I’d like to give this awesome planner away to one of my readers.


The covers are interchangeable so there are plenty more you can buy on your own, but I really liked this one 🙂

This giveaway is only open to US residents with a current US address (sorry fabulous international readers! I will try to plan a giveaway you can be part of next time!) Leave a comment on this post with your name and what city you live in, along with answering one of these questions: What are you working on becoming? Or what are you most excited to plan in the next 15 months?!

Next week, I will use to draw a winner!
Once again, only US residents are eligible for this giveaway and I am responsible for a replacement prize if anything is lost or damaged in the mail. This is my first time doing anything like this so please be kind if there are any bumps along the way and hopefully I will be able to do something like this again in the future!

This is not a sponsored post and I’m not endorsing EC’s products or business practices, just sharing something that I’m loving right now and that is working for me at this place in life. 🙂


18 thoughts on “Becoming Organized + My first GIVEAWAY!! (Giveaway now CLOSED)

  1. Emily HT says:

    First the worst! Em from Phoenix. I’m planning on becoming a baby doc.. but before then i’m planning on becoming more happy and balanced. Your blog and your thoughts always make me feel closer to that perspective. Love ya panda. Can’t wait till we’re practically neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. morganives says:

    I’ve been using Erin Condren planners for years! (But I didn’t get one this year!) I got my sister one for Christmas like three years back and now it is all she uses too. Must be the Xavier girl in me but there is nothing that equals them for color coding and organization. I plan to apply to business school in the next year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. morganives says:

    I just wrote up a huge comment and it got lost when it made me loh in since I have a WP account 😦 suffice it to say that I LOVE Erin Condren planners – there’s nothing better. And I plan to apply to business school!


  4. Lindsey Holstein says:

    I’m Lindsey from Baton Rouge, LA! I am most excited to plan my college graduation in the next 15 months! Looking forward to planning my future and starting life!


  5. Christy says:

    This is Christy from Powder Springs, Georgia. I am excited to plan meals, exercise, and my school lessons in my planner. I have been wanting an Erin Condren, but haven’t purchased one, yet!


  6. Shana A says:

    I am working on learning how to be a stay at home mom after being told for 24 yearsI would never have kids without medical intervention. I have a toddler and need to learn how to be home abd not an office ask day.


  7. rachelescamilla says:

    Rachel from McKinney, TX
    I want to become a better example of God’s Word and His hands and feet to others-both those who know Him and those who do not.


    • You were the second number in the sequence so I’d like to give you a runner up prize of some fun stickers! If you are interested just reply with your email and I will reach out to get your address (I can then delete your email after!)


  8. Melissa says:

    Melissa from Laurel, MT
    I need to become more organized in all areas of life! Work projects/deadlines, kids’ activities and I really need a meal plan and help with shopping lists. Thank you for the blog and giveaway!


  9. Bri says:

    Bri from Ohio. So glad I found this post! I have been looking for the perfect planner that and I’m seeing the erin condren is perfect!! I wish I would have had one years ago! I used to use a planner all the time then just like you I started using my phone but it just doesn’t cut it anymore. I have my work schedule, my hubby’s work, my school for surgerical technology, my duaghter school schedule, and the tons of appointments and meetings we have. This erin condren would be amazing.


  10. Thanks for the great responses everyone! They are all so positive and exciting it makes me really happy. This contest is still open for about 2 hours after this comment is posted (midnight my time) and then I will draw a winner tomorrow and announce in the next blog post so be sure to check that out and then I will reach out to the winner for mailing info!


  11. Giveaway is now CLOSED! Winner will be contacted this afternoon/evening or tomorrow morning! If I don’t hear back within 24 hours I will contact another randomly drawn winner. Thank you all for sharing your exciting news and all your positive responses!


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