Planner Party

All my planners raise their hands! Whoop whoop! I see you, I recognize you and I appreciate you! We planner folk area a tribe in and of itself, lover's of all things organized and visual people who need to see and write the word of our schedule down in order for it to happen. I get you. 

I am that lady that loves shopping for organizational tools, it just makes me feel like I've got my world together! But I actually do use these tools on a daily basis. My schedule is color coded, there's a calendar on the wall for family life, alarms on my Google calendar for major appointments and meal planning lists on the fridge. I cannot function in an online calendar world alone. Pen to paper helps me process what's happening as does seeing what's coming up and writing out the to-do's for the week, month, etc. 

We’ve got 55 days until January 1st hits which, wow, that’s really not that far away! That’s 55 days to hunt down a new planner for the next year and maybe you’re wanting to switch it up a bit. With so many planners out there, you have an infinite amount to choose from ranging from the grocery store finds to the customized exquisite design. I assume people have heard of all the more niche products but in case you haven't, here ya go:

Top Five Planners for a Planner Lover

1. There's the Erin Condren, a beautiful custom designed option, made to your specifications for her Life Planner. There are many, many designs to choose from and you can adjust the layout to fit your hourly or weekly desires. She has so many additional doodads to choose from, it feels like scrapbooking for your life. I wouldn't mind trying one, but I worry the bulkiness of the planner would frustrate me after a time. She does offer petite journals for meal planning, baby information and more as well as wedding planners, teacher planners, academic calendars and just monthly calendars plus so much more! In short, I'd give it a whirl someday and I always go back and look at it each year as an option.  

2. Emily Ley is another one that I like and one I'd be interested in switching to when there is a bigger shift in my life set-up. The Simplified Planner is refined, elegant and chic with a few pops of fun here are there. Where Erin Condren is bright and colorful, this one tends to fall under a more mature feel and color scheme. Bound or spiral, you can find a daily or weekly set-up that fits your style. Her daily only goes to 9 pm which is a bummer for me as so many things go past that time like rehearsals or shows or auditions. Emily is very much into simply tracking and keeping up with your life and to me, it seems like a great fit for mom's who need to coordinate so much. It's definitely a planner to look at someday, but maybe just not yet for me. 

3. May Designs is one I found through a podcast series. I heard an interview with Mica May on the Jess Lively show a couple years back and I was so fascinated by her story I went to check out her products. They are fantastic! May Designs has journals and planners that are all customizable and pretty to boot! She has a ton of options to pick from and there are several designs to choose for setting up the calendar that you want. I personally am interested in just getting one of her journals to have on hand, but my journal collection is currently out of control. She also offers leather folios for the journals and tumblers, screen designs and more. I still shop frequently through her merchandise though! 

4. Day Designer is another popular brand of planners designed by Whitney English. If you are wanting something similar to the Simplified Planner, this is your stop! Day designs runs January to December and she also offers academic planners as well. Unlike some of the others, there is an option to have a leather planner with refills, a la Franklin Covey if you were a fan of that back in the day. I still have my grapefruit pink planner case from Covey--it's too pretty to pass on! It's a daily planner to really help you get your life on track with intentional planning and if you're someone who is trying to hit big goals or make daily habits, this may be the planner for you! 

5. Over the last four years I've been a faithful Passion Planner consumer. A good friend showed me the website when she stumbled upon it the very first year it opened and just… wow. It's truly built around following your passion. The road maps to making your goals was very helpful in starting a year out right. In truth, I've used them less in the last couple years as life has been a bit of rollercoaster but I found that the format really gave me what I desired. A weekly layout with a monthly insert and each week offered a way to divvy up personal and work to-do's nicely. I set an intention every day and thank goodness, the hours go past 9 pm! I am in love with the set-up and how it keeps me accountable. 

BONUS: Last summer I tried out a six month run of the Cultivate What Matters  Goal Planner. This is not so much a planner for weekly and daily life but a planner that helps you set intentions with how you want to spend your time. In short, it's what helps assist your planner.  I loved using it so much that I bought a yearly one last November and have loved using it each month! It's taught how to break down my bigger goals for the year, for the month, the week, and the day. I've learned a ton about what is attainable and what is not. Turns out you can't save the world and cook dinner all in one day, but I can make a step towards my goals and have a date night with my husband if I prioritize well.

 Far left is a 6 months one I started with first back in 2017 then did the full year for 2018 and my 2019 just came in!

Far left is a 6 months one I started with first back in 2017 then did the full year for 2018 and my 2019 just came in!

The Cultivate What Matters Goal Planner focuses on finding the balance in what you need in relationships like family and friends, work, health, finances, spiritual and recreational needs. I'm not going to lie, I have a hard time balancing all of these things and this book really helped me figure out how to do that better without stressing. At the beginning of each month, it's listing out everything you want to accomplish and then there is a heart and brain dump essentially. I write out all that's on my mind or weighing heavy on my heart and its very cathartic. I can clear away the clutter and get focused on what can be done and break it down in bits that I can handle. From there, it's a matter of passing that information on to my every day planner and it's helped me immensely! 

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I know, two life planners seems like a lot especially with my love for the Passion Planner. For me it's been the best to help me balance all the things I want to do and all the worries I have about time being split. Since I love journaling so much, this is a joy to spend some quiet time doing that in addition to planning out the month. 

What is your favorite planner to use? 

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Happy November!

Welcome to one of the best months around! I adore the fall season and if that sounds basic, I don’t even care! Halloween is officially over and we can roll right in to one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving!

I love it all, the family, the food, the continuance of fall color schemes across tables with beautiful dish ware. And y’all, I love me some gorgeous dishes! Bring it all on, I’m ready!

I don’t think anyone would disagree that dessert is always the best part of the meal and at my mom’s house, it’s truly pie-palooza! I’m already dreaming which slices I’ll be serving up this time around!

 Contemplating which pie to try this year…

Contemplating which pie to try this year…

There’s usually apple, a mock-mince meat, pumpkin, pecan, and several others. I’m not kidding y’all. One time we had nine pies. Nine!

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I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to baking! Thanksgiving is with my folks this year. If I know my mom, I know she’s already prepping the menu and planning the cooking breakdown so it’s not an overwhelming day of non-stop chopping, baking, and whipping. We’ll get to work when we get there!

Speaking of prepping, I’ve been prepping my closet for a the switch over now that we’re really into the fall season in Oklahoma. Sure, we’ve had a few cool fronts come through but now it’s a consistent under 80 degrees each day. That’s cool here, folks. I did a little shopping and starting messing around with old pieces and new, finding ways to spice up pieces I wear regularly.

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I’m digging all these pink shades creeping into the fall fashion this season. I paired a cranberry pair of slacks with a cream cami overlaid with my favorite pink sweater and voila! A great fall getup for those warmer fall days.

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Between dreams of delicious pies and new fall outfits, I think I’ve got a lot to look forward to this month!

What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

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Life Lately - Episode 8: And A Busy Month It Was

Whoa, just like that it’s almost Halloween! People, can you believe it?!

Well, to tell you the truth, I certainly can’t, but there you have it. The Great Pumpkin will rise here in a few days and trick-o-treaters will be knocking on the door and I need to think of some Halloween costume or something or other that I can wear to work come Wednesday. Much to do, folks, much to do!

What all can a gal accomplish in a month? Quite a bit, actually, so lets get right down to it and update you on all that’s been going on!


My best friend and college roomie, Karley, came to visit in September and we boogied a night away celebrating a sorority sister’s wedding (Congrats, Vicky!)! It was a perfect weekend full of reunions with beautiful friends!

Karley has this incredible talent for braiding hair and did an awesome braid crown for me and I was thus inspired to finally learn how to do double dutch braids. *See photo below.

I wrapped up three massive pieces for our Christmas show—whew! Now to clean and rehearse for December. Still some work to be done, but everything is on it’s feet for the most part.

We wrapped up and opened the student choreography show which turned out to be a huge knock outta the park this year! Always proud to work on that show and see our students grow so much in the process.

I took a quick trip to Colorado to see my dear, dear friend, Megan, her husband and their brand new sweet baby boy! I flew into a perfect fall day and woke up to a snowy covered world, a perfect first visit to Denver! By the way, the science museum there is way cool and has an awesome dinosaur exhibit!

The last couple weeks has been spent focusing jumping ahead into the midterm to-do’s at work. Pyro Man has been keeping his nose the grindstone studying, I can somewhat remember what his face looks like, but a date night tonight might refresh my memory.


Life feels sometimes like a runaway train and when I get a chance to hop off for a bit, I still feel like I should be spinning my wheels just a go-go-going to keep moving when what I really need to do is relax. I knew back at the very beginning of the year that from July on, life would be one long runaway train until...about Christmas time.

When I saw that, it was easy to get a little bummed knowing that free time would be a rare occurrence. On the flip side though, my schedule would be packed with things that light me up. So free time was light—at least my time would be spent doing things that I found to be fun and with people I really enjoyed being with. Best of all, I got lucky that my free weekends filled up with visits with friends I hadn’t seen in quite literally years.

Yeah, life’s busy, but it always is and that’s just life! In fact, I feel weird when there’s too much downtime and yet, that down time is so necessary to recharge your batteries. You can bet, though, that after a few days off, I’ll find a project of sorts to fill whatever time off I have! The question is whether I really get the chance to finish it or not.

Eh, c’est la vie!

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Welcome, Autumn!

Happy first day of fall, y’all!

Here’s to a new season full of good changes, hot cups of cider, many spiced donuts and lots of great boots! Bring on the flannel, crisp morning air, and all the fall leaves we can stand. Welcome, fall! Stick around for a bit and be sure to bring those great fall temps!

 I spy with my little eye, a perfect pup…

I spy with my little eye, a perfect pup…

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Long Distance Friendships

There is nothing new about long distance friendships. They've been happening for quite literally centuries with folks keeping up by letter until that grand ol' invention of the telephone. Since then we've moved on to e-mail, webcams and nowadays, Facetime and of course, social media. Thank goodness for internet! 

I've been very lucky to gain some beautiful friends over the years and it really took me a little bit to realize how difficult it can be to keep up with those wonderful friendships even with all the modern technology at hand. I'm not perfect but I have found some ways that have helped me keep those friends close even miles apart! 

10 Tips for

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

1. Make the call/text/email  - If someone is on your heart, make the connection. Don't wait for a spare moment, just do it when you think about it. Even if you miss them, leave a message and get back with them when they call again. I reached out to my little sis from my sorority to say I think of her every time I use a blanket she gave me. One quick text and we were able to reconnect years after we graduated! I'm so glad I just sent the text and honestly, every time I reach out, I'm glad. Those people are on your mind and in your heart for a reason and you may never know how much that note can mean. Heck, that works for family all the time! Don't worry so much about the time that's past, just connect. 

2. Schedule your calls - Yup, I schedule my phone dates with friends. We're all busy and sometimes it's not the most convenient time to talk right that second, but offer up times to visit and schedule the date. Then make sure you put it in the calendar! If you're worried you'll forget, set an alarm and if you're concerned your friend my forget, just a send a sweet text to remind them, "hey! Are we still on for tomorrow?" 

3. Set a time limit (if you need it!) - When we schedule dinner dates with our girlfriends or plan a for day out together, it could take a couple hours and it's always delightful! Somehow changing the amount of distance between two folks and a couple hours on the phone can be difficult. There's not shame in keeping it short. When you call a pal, check the time, note how much time you've got and try to stick to what you need. If it's a short call, let them know you have a few minutes but you wanted to drop them a line. My sister is really good about calling any time she has the car to herself. When she's driving from client to client, she'll give me a call just to talk for a minute before the next meeting. It's not an in-depth convo, but it's a moment we get to share a quick "hello" and "I love you!" 

4. Be understanding if plans fall through - Like I said, life happens and sometimes things get busy. Don't get your knees in a knot if someone has to cancel. Trust that your friendship will be able to weather a cancelation and reschedule. Sometimes you have to give each other grace and a call comes maybe a month later than originally planned. It's okay! 

5. Text - I think this one is pretty obvious but in case you forgot, text messages can be a great easy way to keep in touch! Send a joke, a gif, some picture that reminds you of something or just a steady stream of a conversation throughout the day.  

6. Make that gal pal group text - One of my favorite group texts I have on my messages is with a great group of gals from work. Three out of six of us are in other states, two of us still work together and one is just minutes away in the city at a different job. Even far from each other, we seem to be able to share the funny moments in life, celebrate the high notes, lift each other when we need the support and just reach out for that friendly connection. We don't text all the time but we text and connect nonetheless! 

7. Get comfy - I have one friend I always Facetime. I'm not sure how we got started on Facetiming only but I can't image calling her any other way! When I see her on the screen, it's like she's right next to me and that is the best when you're long distance! We schedule our Facetime dates pretty far out and I make it a point to treat those calls like a friend date with favorite drink in hand, a comfy chair to sit in and total focus on my friend.

8. Don't be afraid to be honest - With my college roomie--yes, we're still best friends!--we call each other probably about every six to twelve weeks and when we talk, it's usually for a good amount of time! There's so much to catch up on but we're both pretty good about saying, "hey, I'm throwing in some laundry while we talk" or "ooh, don't mind the sweeping, I've got company coming later tonight!" I appreciate that ability for us to take care of little things while we visit. The hardest thing is making time to talk and catch up and if you and your friend are close enough, let them know you're listening while you stir sauce or wipe down counters. If it's a big task, it can wait, but if it's something mindless and it needs to get done, fold that laundry, lady! 

 Real life after work look, messy kitchen and all, but who cares! I've got a friend on the other end of the line!

Real life after work look, messy kitchen and all, but who cares! I've got a friend on the other end of the line!

9. Book the trip - OK, travel can be expensive. I still don't know how all these college grads are traipsing around Europe after school or how people are able to live like nomads, but somehow they're able to purchase some plane tickets. Surely you can find a way to get to see your friends, too! I just booked a flight to Denver to see a dear friend and I'm hoping I can add Florida on the 2019 list for my college roomie although, she's coming to town this week! Someday I'm going to make it the Nashville for an MFA buddy and I always love staying with friends in NYC. Maryland, I've got to come soon soon because I miss the heck out of not one, but TWO friends up there! I try really, really hard to make visits happen with friends when I'm back in Dallas and I'm usually successful. There are so many more places to add and many wonderful people to see. 

10. The point is make it happen. There's nothing like spending time with those people who mean so much. Family is a wonderful gift as is the family that you choose in friendships. If you have ten minutes to scroll, you have ten minutes to call. If you have a second to send a text, just do it. The only way to keep friendships up long distance is to make them a priority as you do all the other things in your life. That doesn't mean all day every day communication, but it means making time for those people even if it's five minutes to send them good thoughts or share a funny memory. Just do it. 

Where are some of your besties and how do you keep up with them? 

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Meal Prep Help

I always feel really accomplished when I set myself up for a successful and less stressful week. Meal prepping has been all the rage for a while and there's tons of articles out there to help you, sometimes it gets overwhelming.

The past four weeks have been whirlwind crazy and I’m still four weeks away from having a “normal” week, i.e. nights where I’m home before 8:00 something at night. I’ve definitely been relying on my Sunday’s to prepare my food needs for work and for home, not unsurprisingly since a lot of people do it! While it can take a bit of time and elbow grease, I have to say, it’s been an absolute lifesaver!

Five Favorite All Week Meals

  1. Soup’s Up! I’m a huge fan of soup when I’m in the throws of a busy week like a show week. I’ll make a huge pot and fill up several containers for lunches and boom! I’ve got lunch for every day that week. Just a sleeve of crackers or some fresh french bread and I’m good. Throw a side salad with it or a half a sandwich and the meals seems fresh and new on day four.

    My personal favorite soup recipe is the Spicy Chicken Soup from Real Girl’s Kitchen and yes, that is Haylie Duff’s cookbook. No judgement, she’s got some pretty good ones!

  2. BBQ Pulled Pork Take 2. OK, so it’s easy to throw some pulled pork together, 1 can of soda and a bottle of BBQ sauce, large crockpot on low for 8 hours and ta-da! A great meal is ready for you! You can put it on a bun or on a baked potato or just eat on it’s own with a salad or delicious sautéed veggies.

    Here’s a new one though, slap some of that BBQ between to tortillas, add some cheese, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice and you’ve got yourself some delicious BBQ quesadillas.

  3. White Chicken Chili for days! I wish I could take credit for this, but good ol’ Pinterest to the rescue. Here is THE best white chicken chili and I promise you won’t get sick of this one! Add tortilla chips or pair with a light green salad to stretch it out and shake it up.

  4. Tray Bakes for the win! Roast up a few chicken breasts in the oven with a separate tray of your favorite veggies and that’s an easy full meal with tons of nutrition packed in. I like to use brussel sprouts, asparagus or zucchini with sweet potatoes or purple potatoes and a bit of chopped onion. A little olive oil and some sea salt and you’re good to go. Other spices are fine, but I like the simple flavor come out through the roasting.

  5. Muffins, man. I know, bad pun, but still funny. I whipped up a batch of Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Muffins since I was hankering something delicious warm and fall flavored. Definite success although this particular recipe calls for a pretty good amount of sugar. I’m wondering if I could pair that down or trade out with a different type of sugar. Either way, I’ve got delicious breakfast muffins to pair with scrambled eggs and some fresh fruit.

The trick is to make it all at once and divvy everything up, a plate or bowl for each day of the week. I cart all these bowls to work and leave them in my office fridge prepped and ready to heat up. I’m a leftovers fan so this type of eating isn’t too tricky for me and if you’re looking for something other than a frozen meal for lunch or another sandwich, these might perk up your meals for the week!

Happy meal prepping, y’all!

 The Real Girls Spicy Chicken Soup.

The Real Girls Spicy Chicken Soup.

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Life Lately - Episode 7: Busy Times & Little Breaks

Oh man. I was feeling on top of the world, writing post after post, scheduling out everything and keeping this little day dream running while I worked the real job making magic happen through choreography and teaching dance. Then things just got busy.

That’s okay though! I’m trying to catch up, make things happen and not get too down on myself for this hiccup in progress. It’s all part of life, am I right?

A Chorus Line is off and running in Dallas at Booker T. Washington! The kids did exceptionally well and I was so pleased and extremely grateful for the opportunity! It’s crazy to think in January I was planning ahead for September and now that time has come and gone. Every time I set a show or start a project, it always feels like a giant mountain to surmount in a short amount of time. Like eating an elephant, you take it one bite at a time and before you know it, everything is done.

I am a little sad to close this chapter, but that always leaves room for something new. With one show on it’s feet, it’s now time to move on to the next. I’m four weeks away from a second opening for our departmental choreography show and then it’s 100% into Christmas show. Eep! I’ve got one number set and two more to go and granted that’s not an entire two hour show, it’s still a good amount of work. Just like with A Chorus Line, I’ll take those pieces win bite at a time as well .

Suffice it to say, my life has been 110% work lately which has left little time for anything else. That probably came at a good time, too. I have loved diving into this project with a fresh renewal of interest over the last couple months. In a lot of ways this corner of the net has helped me focus on work better by giving me an outlet, prioritizing to-do’s so there was always time to carve out for this. It’s allowed me to play with my closet more, sifting through clothes and coming up with fresh looks and reigniting a love of dressing up. It’s given my husband and I something fun to do, searching for new places in the city for taking pictures, laughing at the crazy things he says and learning to work as a team on a new project.

I got a little discouraged a couple weeks ago when I felt like I wasn’t making progress on anything. After the initial high of my restart, things slowed down and I started to see more of the follow-unfollow game on my Insta and I got frustrated. All those negative thoughts came rushing in and I realized I just needed to step back for a moment and truthfully, it helped to remind me of how much fun this thing is!

A few days away from social media and time off from writing and prepping new posts let my brain rest and quiet down. Stepping back only gave me the chance to focus on things that needed my attention and let my negativity cool its heels. Bottom line is that I enjoy posting! So, who cares if people follow-unfollow or if my progress is slow, it’ll get there so long as I’m having fun and loving what I’m doing!

I’m looking forward to carving out more time for my little blog in between all these work projects! Here’s to more posts and more fun because, why the heck not!

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Summer to Fall Changes

Well, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are out in full force and so are the Halloween decorations so let's face it, it's practically fall already! Not that I'm complaining! It's just that now is all about trying to balance out that summer heat in the day with the chillier temps in the morning and evening. 

I have the answer to that problem: jean jackets! 

 Did someone say PSL? 

Did someone say PSL? 

I'm telling you, throw one of over a summer dress, a t-shirt, button down, whatever, and boom! It all works! I picked this one up several years ago at a Steinmart and I can guarantee you could find one at a T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or Ross if you do a little digging. If not, Gap has one as does Madewell, and Macy's. Search for brands like Old Navy jean jackets on Poshmark or ThreadUp and you might get lucky, too. 

 See? Just tickled by the quick fix! 

See? Just tickled by the quick fix! 

I am one of those many ladies that loves the fall season! Yes, I'll admit, I got a PSL the Tuesday they came out and honestly, there's no shame. I've been a pumpkin spice fan way longer than most and definitely before PS was cool. Yup, I love me some pumpkin...but I actually don't care for pumpkin pie. Go figure. 

I just love autumn. I do and probably for a million reasons. The cooler temps, the last whisper of summer as we start to shift over to flannel shirts and mugs of hot cider, not to mention the amount of apples to eat and whip into treats. These fall holidays are always a blast with Halloween jack-o-lanterns and a good spooky movie followed up by gratefulness and thankfulness around the family dinner table at Thanksgiving. 

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Oklahoma fall season lasts but a hot second so it's fun to paint the months with pops of color in our clothes. Oranges here, scarlets and plums, lot's greens and of course, that beautiful fall gold. Anytime I can match the fall foliage I'm all for it. And if my husband is reading this, he'll probably tell me he's got a camo for that. 

Yes, I do love fall and I could wax poetic about it all over this site. So before I break out the sweaters and such, I'm going to hang on just a bit longer to these warmer days and savor the last of summer!

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Happy Labor Day!

It's Labor Day! 

Let's rest, relax and take minute to prop up our feet and enjoy the day! 

After I finish up some choreography, of course. 

 Cheers to a three day weekend! 

Cheers to a three day weekend! 

Then I will enjoy my full glass wine and a bath bomb. Who's with me, ladies? 

Have a happy day, y'all! 

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Great Green Pants & A Good, Good Day

I love these britches. 

White top, mustard top, gray, black, doesn't matter, they all match with this great green. It's the kind of green that goes summer or fall and I'm eager to see what they look like with a pair of booties or a leather peep toe heels. 

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You know what else I'm looking forward to? More bright sunny days like this. Can't beat a day out by a beautiful lake and fortunately for us, there are several around the city. I know Pyro Man would want to drop a line and could tell me about every point to find the best fishing around. 

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Me? I just want to spend the day enjoying the view and taking a minute to soak it up. A little peace, a little quiet, maybe a good book or journal to write in. Yeah, that sounds like an awesome way to spend the day to me. 

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What's your idea of a good day? 

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