How I Conquered My Anxiety

This year I am learning a lot about myself and my relationship with anxiety. I didn’t call it by its name until this year, mostly because it was a new feeling for me and I never thought of myself as an “anxious” person.

It started with big things, like being anxious for a presentation, and then moved to simple things like going to the store, or even going to class. Once I started to let it affect my daily actions, I realized just how out of control it was.

I vividly remember sitting in my parked car outside of the mall (which is a 45 minute drive for me) and being so concerned with my appearance, the fact that I was alone, and knowing that I would have to interact with people once I entered the mall, that I turned around and drove all the way home.

Even typing that makes me feel ridiculous, but at the time those feelings were so real to me that I convinced myself to do the OPPOSITE of what I actually wanted to do, which was shop! … and I LOVE shopping.

This really became an issue when I stopped going to some of my classes. As much as it PAINS me to admit, I let my anxiety affect my attendance and my grades. The worry of walking in late and having everyone look at me, or being called on when I wasn’t prepared, or the possibility of a group discussion, or absurd thoughts like getting the hiccups in class (which has never even happened before) were all worse than not going at all, even if my grade would suffer.

I am proud to say I have overcame my anxiety in that regard. I still struggle with it time and again but I no longer let it affect my actions.

I HIGHLY recommend following  Mel Robbins on instagram, and anywhere else you can find her. She gave me the tools to take a step back and realize what was actually happening inside my head.

She explains it like this, or at least this is what I took away- You’re brain is designed to protect you. Irrational fear in the form of anxiety is a way for your brain to say “STOP, don’t go to class- stay home and be safe- don’t put yourself in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation”. But the reality is, I have to go to class, and I have to put myself in situations I am not always completely comfortable with in order to grow, and just get through life.

Once I started looking at it this way, I was able to change my thinking, and therefore, my actions while experiencing anxiety. Now that I understand what’s happening and that there’s a valid reason for my anxiety,  I am able to move past it.

If you have anxiety, my advice to you would be to take a step back, and then look inward for the reasons behind your anxiety. Define it, make it real, understand it, feel it -and then conquer it.

Task Card System EXPLAINED

I’ve been using my task card system to keep myself organized and efficient in my planning the last few months. You’ve probably heard me talk about this system on my instagram, but I wanted to go into detail explaining why and how I use them.

I was using labeled page flags for my most repetitive tasks. After a while, I accumulated a ton of flags and they became cluttered, distracting, and difficult to use between my multiple planners.

This is where the cards come in. 


I use the cards to organize my most important tasks by category. They are the same size as a credit card, so I move them between my planners by tucking them in various card slots in which ever planner I happen to be using. This way they are out of the way, but accessible when I need to grab a flag.

This year I am EXTREMELY busy with school and work tasks, and writing “clean kitchen” or “take out trash” is not at the top of my priority list BUT I still need to remind myself to get these simple everyday tasks done. Instead of wasting time and space on my inserts writing in these repetitive tasks, I use the flags.

Here’s how.

I plan out my work and school schedules in the beginning of the week, and I also assess what chores need to be completed. I grab which ever categories I know I will need to use, for example “cleaning, social media, and reminders”. From there, I take the tasks that I would like accomplished, and place them in various places around my planner, or right on the front dashboard.

When I’ve completed a task, I peel it off, put it back on the card, and tuck it away for next week.

It’s helped me prioritize my time, planning space, and keeps me on top of ALL my tasks!!

Vision for LV MM Agenda

I adore my pocket size planner, but it doesn’t allow me the writing space I need to plan out big picture goals. I purchased the MM (equivalent to personal size Filofax) with intentions to set up a life planner. My main focuses in this agenda are to be minimal, functional, and productive.

This will not be an everyday planner, I will continue to use my pocket size as an every day task management system. My LV will focus on academics, career, personal goals, and anything else I should need to plan out future endeavors.

A quick overview of what I expect to keep inside includes a full yearly calendar and future yearly views for long term dates, a goal section for mapping out yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals, a career section for job hunting notes and/or plans, finance for yearly and monthly expense records, and notes for brainstorming.

I tend to take a lot of notes while researching certain career and academic related topics, and I am hoping this size will be the perfect medium between my 1/2 letter size TUL disc bound that I use for intense note taking sessions, and my pocket planner that keeps me focused on everyday tasks.

My Pocket Planner Necessities!!

I never thought I’d be a pocket planner gal, but it has turned out to be my most functional set up ever, and these are the things that have really helped me to be the most organized version of myself!


Peanuts Planner Co Inserts are the #1 contributors to my planning success. Without this shop I don’t think I’d be nearly as organized. In my opinion, the inserts Varvara has created are the most functional, organized, clever, and aesthetically pleasing inserts on the market.



These are the ONLY inserts I use and she has an insert for anything you could want. I like to print my own inserts (it’s super easy and you get the file within minutes) but you can also request printed inserts on her website.

Peanuts Planner Co – code MADY20

Sparkling Mint clear dividers are perfect for me, since I am going for a clean look. I found these on Etsy and became completely obsessed. I use these only for the tabs to quickly flip to a section of my planner, and I like that I can see through them to the pages behind.
Sparkling Mint


Oli Clips are perfect for a pop of deco, but still being functional. I keep one on my front dashboard to clip notes, cash, checks, or anything I know I will need to access right away when I’m out and about. I already own so many, so I switch them out regularly to match my mood. Oli Block IWTV7875

Acetate is another key element I keep in my planner. They come in large sheets that you can cut down punch into your planner, and if you slit the holes, you can easily move it throughout your planner at anytime. I use these for to-do’ s and other lists I may want to move around, as well as a place to hold page flags. Available at Michaels to other craft stores.


Pens are another really important part of your planner. I am a total pen lover, and I have 4 pens that I switch between in my pocket planner. The first is a gel pen from Jake and Zoe’s Studio which writes very well, and I love the look of the pen. I also love the Mach liquid ink pen (0.38 point) and the Hi- Tech Pilot (0.25 point) from Jet Pens for a thinner and sleeker finish. I also LOVE my Staedtler fine liner I purchased from Target. All of these write well and don’t bleed or smear. LJGJ6729

Another shop that I recently have been in contact with is the Minimalist Planner. She has amazing minimalistic stickers that are the perfect size to punch right into your pocket planner.

Personalization is the most important part of my organizational happiness. With everything I mentioned above I have an amazingly functional set up, but by adding my own little touches here and there I have a perfect set up tailored to my needs. By adding pictures of Jake, I am happy to open my planner.

I’ve also added typed out productivity charts so I am inspired to stay on top of things. The little additions you make to your planner are what will keep you happy and using it consistently.CDMH2294IMG_9406


Here are my 5 tips to being a productive human, which have truly helped me to get things done and feel amazing about my daily accomplishments. Of course there are probably a million other things that could help keep you focused but for me, these are my top 5 helpers!



Wake up early and complete one task. For a long time I was waking up right before class, rushing out, and never officially starting my day. Now I make a point to allow myself time to check my planners, complete my morning routine, eat a small breakfast, and complete at least one task, no matter how small.

Making my bed and putting away dishes from the night before help me feel like I’ve done a couple chores for the day, and when I come home I can focus on other tasks like school work.

Establish a routine and follow it. This is key guys. If I don’t have at least an outline of a routine my life falls to pieces. I’ve typed out a list of weekly and monthly routines to keep me aware of what needs to be done and how often. This is based around my school and work schedule, so every single week should be able to follow the outline I’ve created.

It includes cleaning schedule, beauty regiment, planner tasks (like filling in habits), budgeting, and keeping electronic files updated and organized (mainly for school).


Made in a standard Word Doc with the “tables” feature.

Create a productivity chart. This is something I randomly thought of, sat down at my computer, and typed out and is now a necessary element in my planner. My down-time productivity chart holds all of the things that I should be doing if I find myself bored, or binging Netflix series during my “working hours”. Categories include personal, social media, household, academic, career, and other areas of life that need constant work and attention.


Keep a tidy workspace. This might be the most important part of my productivity. I can’t focus on anything if my room is messy. I clean my room once or twice a week, and by clean I mean put away anything that is out of place, wipe down surfaces, and clean my floors. Since my bedroom is also my vanity, my office, my dressing room, and my relaxation spot, it gets really messy really fast. Before anything can get done I need a clear desk, clean floors, and zero clutter to distract me.


Decompress and relax. Balance is extremely important. For as hard as you work all day long, you need to be able to decompress and relax just as hard. For me, I know I am officially in relaxation mode when the make up comes off, firefly string lights are on, and Netflix is playing in the background.

During my relaxation, I can still play in my planner or look at school work, but it doesn’t feel as daunting. It’s a clear transition from day to night; productivity to relaxation.


Top 3 January Makeup Favs

I have been using these 3 items constantly throughout January, and I’m sure I’ll continue to use them in February too (along with my fav shades from Fashion Nova pictured below.)

IMG_9278I used to be so into makeup and buy every new palette, lipstick, highlighter, you name it. Lately I’ve scaled back and only purchased a few new trending items, one of them being the Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Holiday Palette.

There were mixed reviews on this palette but I honestly love how different each shade is. I normally stick to warm eyeshadows so the browns, peachy shades, and gold shimmer tones sold me. But it also has some wild shades like a shiny emerald, neon yellow, and deep blue which are very intriguing.


I’ve played around a little with some of the shades, but as you can probably see in the pic below I am completely in love with the glittery gold tones, which have been key for my go-to look in January, especially for New Years and other fun occasions.



I have gone back and forth between foundations. My usual top 3 foundations are Too Faced in “Sand”, NARS in “Stomboli“, and recently I’ve found that L’oreal True Match “W4” is indeed my true match. For all the outings and occasions throughout January, NARS has been my go to. I pair this with my Bare Minerals Stroke of Light concealer to highlight and the 2 blend together like a dream.


NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Medium 3 STROMBOLI

I am completely obsessed with nude lips. I rarely wear a bold lip, so I am always looking for the perfect nude. The MAC Lustre in Fresh Brew has been a part of my cosmetic holy grail since 2015.

I have an olive skin tone and some nudes with warmer undertones look pinkish, and honestly, kind of strange against my skin. This one is more brown and cool, but still gives me a nude lip that looks decent and more natural.

I wear this almost every single day, and usually pair with a lip moisturizer or lip gloss to avoid drying out my lips since it is -50 degrees where I live. ( LIPS LIPS LIPS)


I have really been on a mission to look and feel my best, so the glowing gold look with lots of highlight and nude, effortless, lips have been my go-to. To me this feels the most glam, but still naturalishhh. These 3 items have fit perfectly into my makeup routine.



Most Functional Planner Combo EVER!

I can honestly say I have cracked the planner code (for myself anyways). Planning is such a personal thing, but I feel like these 2 agendas can work well for anyone.


What I love about pocket size is that it’s the perfect on-the-go carry. The compact size fits in ANY bag, which is a must for me now! I bring my pocket planner with me everywhere. It carries my schedule, to-do’s, shopping lists, grocery lists, recipes, appointments, cash, on the go passwords, EVERYTHING!

It suits all of my needs as far as daily planning goes. I open up to my little home page which is labeled with a top tab “to-do” and this is where I have immediate to-do items that need to be completed, usually in the form of a page flag.

The yellow transparent flag is specific to a project I am working on in my project section, and I know that because each page flag means something, either with the color or style of flag. On the page directly next to my to-do’s I see my shopping list on a pink sticky note. If I need to remember to buy something the next time I’m out, it goes there.

This size is perfect for getting my daily tasks down. I use a timed schedule to plan my day chronologically, and the task section to get all my to-do’s down.

The pocket is extremely small which I love, but that is also the reason I need a second agenda which is my 1/2 letter size disc bound. Although pocket size is PERFECT for my everyday needs, I still need a place to brain dump, work on projects, take notes, and have my school info written down.


Martha Stewart in Gray, TUL in Black Leather

These are both 1/2 letter size disc bound notebooks (from staples or office depot) which I have customized by adding dividers, inserts, etc. I need to be able to customize my agendas AND be able to switch covers, so these are perfect because the inserts can be moved in and out easily.


I use a month on 2 page to fill in ALL school assignments for the semester and I use lined paper for brain dumping or planning projects.

These two work PERFECTLY together in my opinion. I am able to have my minimal and very functional everyday on the go carry that I can throw in my bag and take shopping with me, and then I have my spacious, chic desk agenda for checking school dates and staying on top of personal projects and goals.

I recommend both of these, since you are able to do so many customizations, and generally, these do not have to cost you too much money, although I prefer to spend money on a nice agenda so I feel more inclined to keep it looking clean and new.




5 Need-to-Know Goal Setting Tips for 2018!

The whole New Years Resolution thing can be so overwhelming. I’ve found that my goal setting process has changed A TON since last year. Here are some helpful tips to get you started and help you reach your 2018 goals!

1. Pick 1 to 5 focus words that you want your New Year to reflect meaning, when you look back, how do you want to describe your year to your friends and family – and most importantly -to yourself ? Was it productive? Was it focused? Was it meaningful? These words (or phrases) can mean anything to you, but it’s important to focus on a few key words, and build your goals around them.

If one of your words is “purposeful” and you find yourself doing things that have absolutely no purpose …. stop, reassess your goals, and get back on track!

2. Write out your goals and include why they are important to you. Whether you jot things down in your agenda, in a notebook, sticky note, in a Word Doc, on your phone, list out your goals and make sure to go into detail. Add ‘why’s’ into your goal setting process, this way you make a meaningful connection to your goals right away. Even imagine what your life will be like once all your goals are accomplished, and I promise, you will be that much more motivated!

This is for YOU, so don’t skip any steps or cut corners. Take the time to sit down and make a plan towards each of your goals and keep this list somewhere you can reflect on it thoughout your journey.

3. Tell someone about your plan . You don’t need to go into detail but it’s important to share some of your goals with friends and family. If you have to start out by only telling your dog- do it! Say what you want out of life, out loud, for someone else to hear.

If you tell your person what your goals are, odds are they will support you and help you stay on track, and if they are judgey, shake it off, stay focused, and prove them wrong.

4. Measure your success. Take your list of goals, and break those down into smaller goals that you can measure and accomplish within a designated period of time. This is where a planner comes in handy.

If your goal is to “get healthy” in 2018, unpack what that means, and set mini goals that are realistic and attainable. Make sure you are able to track and measure the process, whether that be reaching a goal weight, fitting into a pair of jeans you own, or seeing muscle definition.

You might plan a one week cleanse, and then schedule 10 short workouts into your first month of the New Year. Track your progress so you know when you have reached your goal, and from there, keep setting small goals that will keep you moving in the right direction.

5. Celebrate your victories! There is nothing more important than recognizing your success. Any accomplishment you make deserves celebration, no matter how small.

 Treat yoself- Get your nails done, pamper yourself with an at home spa day, buy yourself a little gift, anything you want that shows appreciation for yourself and for your hard work! Ideally your reward won’t conflict with any of your other goals (such as your budget) but allow yourself some wiggle room, and celebrate those tiny victories!

Choosing My Filofax Croco

I have been loving the Pocket Size and decided to purchase a  more expensive planner. The Croco style is my absolute favorite look for an agenda. It’s chic, luxurious, and gives total #GirlBoss Vibes! I had being eyeing the Black Gillio Croco, the Van Der Spek custom Black Croco, and the Filofax Croc. After looking at the pros and cons of each brand, I decided on Filofax and I’m super happy, so I wanted to share some of my decision making criteria!

Ring Size: I was previously using the Filofax Holborn with 16 mm rings, and knew I needed larger rings in my next pocket planner. After researching ring sizes this is what I had to compare.

Gillio- 15 x 12 mm

Van Der Spek- 20 mm

Filofax- 19 mm

Gillio definitely lost a point for the rings size, but VDS and Filofax would both work fine for me.

Wait Time: Gillio did not have a pocket black croco in stock, or in production, so who knows how long I would have to wait. VDS has about a 4 week wait time for custom items, and about a week or 2 of shipping time. Filofax was in stock and ready to ship right away! That was for sure a plus!

Leather: Gillio has AMAZING, buttery soft, leather. I own the grey croco and it feels like suede, and each agenda has a unique piece of leather, so you have that one of a kind, custom feel.

The VDS is of course custom if you purchase the croco, so again you will have that one of a kind item, but I have never ordered from them before and I have no personal knowledge on the leather, which made me hesitant.

Filofax leather has more of a practical feel than a luxurious feel, and what I mean by that is, to me, the leather feels treated and not as supple and smooth. All of the croco’s I have seen from Filofax look very similar (mass produced look) so you don’t have that custom luxury feeling to your agenda, but on the bright side, your leather is less likely to be damaged with everyday use

Features: The Pocket Gillio Compagna has a really nice pocket configuration. In the front cover there is a secretarial pocket and 3 card slots. The inside of the back cover has a secretarial pocket and a zipper pocket. It also has the large, full length back pocket which is a MUST for me!

The VDS has nice pockets as well, and options for customization. There’s 4 card slots in the front cover, and it looks to have 3 larger pockets as well, and the back cover has maybe 2 large pockets and one smaller pocket (it’s hard to tell from the picture) and you can add the large back pocket for an extra charge.

The Filofax has a small zipper pocket in the front as well as a large vertical pocket. In the back over there is another vertical pocket and 4 card slots, and has the full length back pocket I need.

Price: So far there were a lot of pros and cons to each, so it really came down to price, and if it was worth the cons to me.

The Gillio Pocket Compagna in Black Croco retails at 168.80 euros which is $200.83 With the rings being small and not knowing the wait time at all, I gave up on that one.

The custom VDS with Black Croco leather on the outside and inside, black stitching, and the large back pocket came out to 194. 21 euros or $231.06 (not including shipping). I loved this planner and was just about set on it. I love custom things and will always pay more for a “custom” piece because I love the feeling of having a special one of a kind item just for me.

The Filofax Pocket Croc in Ebony is $165 with free shipping. I have plenty of Filofaxes. None of them have ever given me that special feeling like I have with my Gillio, knowing that there is no other identical planner out there. But taking into account the all the pros, I was leaning towards the Filofax brand.

I finally made my decision on a whim, one day I was looking at the Filofax website, added it into my cart, and bought it. One I received it I knew I made the right choice. It was delivered so fast, didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, and I LOVE the look of it. The fact that is is the croc style leather automatically gives me the luxurious feel that I was looking for, and I don’t regret not ordering a custom VDS at all.

Overall I am IN LOVE with it and I have a feeling this is one of those planners I will always keep with me!