August 2015 archive

Freshmen Must Have College Packing List

This is the weekend you’ve been waiting for all summer.  The time has finally come to gain some independence and step out on your own.  However, you will be much better off if you start this adventure with a dorm room that is well organized with the essentials. Below is a must have college checklist that will be helpful when shopping and packing.

Bedding

  • comforter
  • twin sheets
  • mattress pad
  • pillows
  • area rug
  • alarm clock

Toiletries

  • towels
  • washclothes
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • shower shoes
  • razors
  • other make up products
  • shower caddy
  • plastic organizer for the bathroom
  • laundry basket
  • detergent
  • coins for laundry
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • bathroom cleaner
  • trashcan
  • Shower Curtain

School Supplies

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • TV/Cable Cord/Power Strip
  • Desk Lamp
  • Notebooks and school supplies
  • stamps/envelopes
  • batteries
  • flash drive
  • docking station/chargers

Miscellaneous

  • band aids
  • thermometer
  • tylenol
  • vitamins
  • mirror
  • camera
  • bike
  • food
  • clothes
  • broom/dustpan
  • dustbuster
  • fridge
  • microwave

Going to college is a huge responsibility, but it is also a lot of fun.  For some of you this is your first test of freedom and a chance to show your parents how well you can do on your own.  The best piece of advice I could give you is to take what your parents have taught you and be the person you’ve always wanted to be.  There are no preconceived stereotypes because no one knows you. So take the confidence you may have lacked in high school and go out there and make friends, study hard and make great grades and make this the best experience of your life.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

A Surprise Ending to My Travel Plans

If you read my latest post of, Put Your Hands Together For..…you may know that I am currently on vacation.  However, you probably don’t know my exact travel plans.  Well, I would like to fill you in a little bit. I am in a Springhill Suites Marriott typing this post while at this very moment my daughter and her best friend are meeting Peyton Meyer (From the show Girl Meets world).  So I’m sure you want to know the rest of this story and how this all came about.

My daughter, Taylor, is into acting and wanted to attend an acting camp called Broadway Break Thru in Newtown, PA.  To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with this part of PA or the camp.  So we looked into it and decided she could attend.  However, this camp is not an overnight camp.  So we would need to drop her at the camp during the day from 9-5 and stay in a hotel Sunday-Saturday.  I researched this town and decided to stay in a neighboring town called Ewing, NJ.

The camp is led by brilliant teachers who are all known in the world of acting. Of course the day they got to meet Peyton Meyer was one of their favorites.  They took a master class taught by him and then had a meet and greet session with him where they got to take pictures and get his autograph.

While they attended camp this left me from Monday-Saturday 9-5 in a hotel with nothing much to do.  I came prepared knowing this would just be a working week for me.  I brought 5 books to catch up on all my reading. I also brought tons of notebooks and organizational stuff to get my blog on track since I would be on vacation the following week.  I figured when they came to clean my room I would take the opportunity to go workout and then back to the grind.

Well….The week started out that way. Of course I read 3 of the books and got a lot done with my blog, but what I didn’t think would happen is how I found these towns so quaint.  I really wanted to get out and explore them and find cute shops and what these towns really had to offer. The town the camp was in and the town we stayed in were very similar to where I live.  It is very busy during the day with lots of traffic and businesses around.  However, there are also places that are still quite rural in certain parts.

I was really proud of myself for venturing out and finding things to do.  Normally if I’m by myself I would have stayed in the room and just worked the whole time.  So my daughter and I both tried new things this week.

We toured Princeton University Founded in 1746. What a beautiful campus.  This was the girl’s first college tour so of course I was excited and sad at the same time. I know lots of you are feeling the same way since this past weekend was when most freshmen went off to college.

Princeton Campus

Beautiful campus building in Princeton

Princeton Campus tour

Princeton Campus Tour

Church in NJ

Gorgeous Church in Princeton, NJ

I saw the cutest Starbucks I’ve ever seen.

Campus Starbucks

Cutest Campus starbucks Ever

To top it off, I got to see my daughter and her friend perform on Saturday in the big performance.  Then another road trip home Saturday afternoon with two great girls.  We created memories that will last a lifetime and I’m so glad I spent this week in Newtown, PA and Ewing, NJ.

Taylor and Cassidy

Taylor and Cassidy

Big performance

Night before the big Performance

If you want some info on Broadway Break Thru they are already signing up for next year’s summer camps.  Our girls learned so much and got to audition twice during the week for NY casting directors.  Please comment below about your latest summer trips.  I would love to hear about them.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

 

 

 

Having Your Own Work Space

What Works Best For You?

Blogging is a very different job.  Unless you are very involved with collaborations and have a great sense of community out there in the blogging world, blogging is a very isolating job.  Also people don’t really get what you do and don’t tend to understand what you’re going through. You work alone and a lot of times you are questioning yourself and the validity of what you’re doing.

One thing that can help make you feel validated and have a purpose is to have your own workspace.  It is hard to work from your master bedroom in your pajamas and feel like you are creating masterpieces day after day.  Your environment is a big part of how you feel each day and affects the creativity you put out.

I always feel a lot more motivated when I’m dressed to the nines and I’m sitting in my office creating posts that are worthy of being published.  My files are all there and if I get stuck I have tons of resources to search through to get me going again. My office is not completely the way I want it, but it’s mine and I love having a place I can call my own.  How do you feel about your workspace?  What special things make it YOUR space?

A Space to Call Yours

Sometimes you don’t have a room you can use just for yourself.  I took a guest room and shared it to make my office.  Also you can put a small desk in a closet and make an office space.  Just something you can call your own.  Some people do well getting dressed and going to a cafe or the library.  whatever works for you will make your work more efficient and in turn more productive. Don’t use what may work for your friend.  Really take a look at what you think would work for you and go for it.

office desk

Have an area to call your own. Even if it’s just a desk.

Distractions Can Kill Your Productivity

Taking away distractions is also a key component to productivity.  If you work at home with kids, you need to pick the best times that work for you.  Can you work while they nap?  How about while they’re at school?  Would early in the morning before everyone gets up work?  You are the only one who knows what works best for you. I have insomnia so I do my best work in the middle of the night. This schedule wouldn’t work for most people.

Also get rid of things that might take you away from getting your work done efficiently.  You may spend too much time on social media or checking your email.  Although these things are important for bloggers, they can get you off track if done in excessive amounts.  Set a certain amount of time to get this done ahead of time and then move on.  Some people like to have noise on in the background, but if you are one that could easily get distracted by tv then leave it off.

Scheduling is a Must

Often times working moms feel a since of guilt juggling work and being a wife and mother.  We wear so many different hats it’s hard to stay in one particular zone.  Setting a permanent schedule is a big deal to keeping you on track.  Your family needs to know when you’re working you are not available to them.  Setting these boundaries in the beginning is very important.  I like to be the best mom and wife I can be, but blogging is also important to me.  In order to do this, I have to balance my time properly. When I’m blogging I focus my time on doing that well.  When I’m at home, I need to stay off social media and give my family my full attention.  Then I feel I’ve given it my best shot and most days are successes.  The key is to have a good balance between your home life and your work.  Zig Ziglar said, “I believe that successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life.”

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Put your Hands Together for…8/7

I can’t believe we are already in August.  There are school supplies everywhere.  When I shop, I am in denial and just push my cart the other way.  The summer is still in full swing for the Elys. We will be on vacation for the next two weeks so a lot of my obsessions will be geared toward traveling needs.  Let’s get to the things that make me happy so we can start the weekend off right.

*  I love shopping at Shop Sweet Lulu.  They have amazing containers and I love ordering their concession containers for our fourth of July party.  My family has premier parties and their movie holders come in quite handy for our theater room.  Check it out…You won’t be sorry.

*  I’ve been really loving anything caesar related.  Caesar salads, caesar wraps and using caesar salad dressing as a dip for my veggies.

caesar salad

Take out caesar salad

 

* If you haven’t tried the AROUND ME App you should get it.  It’s totally free and it’s a lifesaver.  Being out of town with two hungry teenagers looking for Chiptole is not good unless you have an app like this.  It was great for me since I was very unfamiliar with the area I was in this past week.  It allows you to find the places you may need such as a gas station, Target, drug store etc… Just a funny bit of info… In NJ you don’t pump your own gas.  An attendant does it for you.

* I am a girl who loves bags. I have a ton of little duffles, over night bags and beach bags.  This is one of my favorites.  It is from target and cleans up easily.  Best of all it was only $39.99

beach bag

My favorite summer beach bag.

Another travel must have is the Travelo.  One of my favorite summertime scents is Candy Baby by Victoria’s Secret.  However, it’s in a huge bottle.  So I take the little Travelo with me and transfer the amount of perfume I think I will need. Now I have a little, spill proof version of the real thing.

travelo

Travelo is a must on a vacation.

I love new products and if you’ve been to my site you may see a theme occurring.  I’m OBSESSED with MINATURE products.  I just love them.  They are easy to travel with and they are just the cutest.  I would love to know the things you’re loving right now.  What books should I read?  What make up or perfume should I try?  Please comment below.  They mean a lot to me.  See you next week.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

My Library Makeover- Before and After

One of my guilty pleasures is reading.  I love buying BOOKS!!!  I love fiction, non fiction, self help, inspirational, religious, magazines etc…  My husband doesn’t understand  how I can be reading several books at a time.  I’m usually reading a non fiction book because I really enjoy learning and keeping my mind sharp.  However, fiction books are just pure fun and always easy reads. I always have one of those on my night stand.  Since I buy books even though I haven’t finished the ones I currently own (I have a serious book problem) my bookshelves in my library are in need of a little (ok a LOT) TLC.  I love styling bookshelves and these really need to be shaped up.

I would like to take these bookshelves, in my library, and give them a little makeover.  I’m not currently teaching and my kids are both teenagers, so I can really knock down the amount of children’s books I have on my shelves.  I would like to have a shelf down low for my nieces and nephew for when they visit.  Weeding out the huge amount of my guided reading and teaching books will really make room for other things I would like to display on the shelves.

Here is a before picture of the library with all the books that are currently being

stored on the shelves.

BEFORE

My library

The before picture of my library. What a hot mess!!!!

Here is the after picture of the library after I packed away the books I wasn’t using anymore.  This gave me plenty of room to actually style the books that were left and plenty of space left for decorating as well.

Library

It took me 6 hours to box up all these books.

Here is a picture of the library after the bookshelves have been styled.

AFTER

library finished.

The finished product.

This project was a huge undertaking, but I really wanted to be able to find my books quickly.  I decided to organize the books by color and then use some of my decorations to fill in the empty spaces.  I am so pleased with the way it turned out. I can even get to my wedding album and all my scrapbooks.  Let me know if you’ve taken on a project recently and how it turned out.  I would love to hear from you.

Yours Truly,

Jenn