Dec 16, 2013

Procrastination Nation

Yuck, finals week is upon us.

I'm one final deep and I already just want it to be over with. I'm thankful for a mild finals schedule this semester because I don't think I would successfully handle anything more than what I already have. Anyone who is currently in college or has ever been in college knows the level of procrastination that occurs during finals week. I'm not here to give anyone advice on how to avoid it because I'm likely one of the worst offenders. This doesn't just stem from college, I've been this way my whole life. Ask my mom, I'm sure she'd fully agree to that!

In full blown procrastination mode over the weekend, I stumbled across this pin:

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If that's not the truth then I don't know what is! So far today I've made a full breakfast (I never eat breakfast and if I do it's a piece of toast or a clementine), checked every form of social media at least 543,867 times, cleaned out my Bloglovin' feed which included actually commenting on posts, worked out, cleaned the kitchen, and walked my dog multiple times. All before taking the only  final I needed to take today. Plus, I'm blogging now which almost never happens on a Monday.

Now before you start thinking I completely fail at being an adult college kid, I did eventually step up to the plate and take my final. It was an online final that opened up this morning and is open until Wednesday night. I have two finals tomorrow and one on Wednesday, I figured that smart choice would be to take it today. I'm happy I didn't push it off until this afternoon because about an hour after I took the final I got an email from the teacher saying the version I took had multiple mistakes. Since I already took the final, she just gave me the points for those questions that were messed up. I can almost guarantee that I would not have scored any better on the correct version so by not procrastinating even more, I gained myself a few points. Yay me!

That's my ramble blog for the day. Good luck on your finals to anyone who's taking them, don't let procrastination bite ya in the butt too hard!

Happy Monday folks!
Love,
Mandy

Dec 13, 2013

Finals Week & Playing Mama Bear

Happy Friday!

I'm especially excited because this is my last Friday of the semester! To say I'm over this semester is a major understatement. I have a pretty easy finals lineup this year. Two open book finals, a test that's not cumulative, and a presentation that I might not even have to present because how can 80+ people present in 2 hours?

So, yesterday I had the day off from classes and I wanted to be productive. My entire college life, I've naturally taken over the mama role with all of my friends. I've frequently heard "yes mom.." coming from their mouths haha. One of my favorite things to do is bring them little surprises. It probably has to do a lot with the fact that my love language is receiving gifts but I've always loved to make little things to brighten someone's day. I frequently find myself baking tons of cookies/bars/cupcakes and then quickly dividing it up and dropping it off at their doorsteps!

Most of my friends have a crazy hectic finals schedules this semester. Many of them are stressed to the brink of crying and meltdowns which I have experienced more than once! So I start brainstorming, what can I do to brighten their moods even just a little? Care packages! I was putting one together for M and his buddies anyway so I just made an assembly line and packed them all up! Each one was a little different from the next. I made 6 care packages in all for 10+ people in just one afternoon! Then I spent a few hours delivering them. Can I just say that taking care of my friends like that literally makes my heart so full I thought it might explode! Never have I felt more in place than I do when I'm taking care of the people I love.

When I look back at the end of my life, if I was a great mom (even if it ends up being just to my friends) and a loving wife then I will have accomplished everything I ever wanted! There are not many things that make me feel as happy as those two things do!

I thought I'd share a little of what I put into the packages in case y'all want to send a care package to a college student in your life. ;)

It started out with the thought "I'm just going to bake a ton of chocolate chip cookies, that will be good enough!" Yet I never let myself go the simple route. Back and forth in the grocery aisles I went, thinking about all the fun things I'd want if I got a care package. I was giddy to get home and get them put together!
Care Package

I mixed up the packages to make each one more personal but they all included coffee, homemade cookies, juice pouches, and ring pops. That meant sugar, something warm, and a little bit of energy to pull themselves together! I also hand wrote each of them a note on some fun Christmas cards I picked up from the dollar section at Target. Some of them were in $1 bowls from Walmart, others were in Christmas gift bags. All extra portable which was fantastic when I delivered them!

Gigantic bag of choc chips that started it all!
Mmm, cookie dough! I was so excited to make them that I ended up eating my lunch cold..
Four of the six packages just before I re-organized them!
So what are you waiting for? Put together a care package for a family member, friend, or even as a random act of kindness! I guarantee it will put a smile on someone's face. :)

What would you want in a care package?
Love,
Mandy

Dec 10, 2013

How do you keep from going crazy?

Ever feel like a few weeks out of the year your schedule is just so packed you don't know how it will all work?

This year I have six Christmas get-togethers I have to get into my schedule, plus making time to see all the people I haven't seen since this Summer. Holy hectic! I sat down to figure out where I'd be for the almost month long Christmas break I have this year and I was a little overwhelmed. My family has a few unusual schedules to work around this year so we just got one of the get-togethers on the calendar this morning!

One thing that helps me keep it all together is my Erin Condren Life Planner. I was so excited to get it back in July and start planning out my days! I take the planner everywhere I go, whether it's in my bag on the way to class or in my purse when I'm out and about. The only way to keep it all straight is to have everything in one place! I write down all my tests and assignments, any major events I need to remember, and even my photography sessions now. The pockets in the back are fantastic to hold any important papers I might need to bring with me.




I've also been make tons of lists to keep track of all the things I need to remember in a day/week/month. I love to hit up the Target dollar section to find some cute notepads for this purpose! I've got a good stockpile going but I always find one or two more to add to the collection. :) My favorite one lately came with this cute little clipboard which is handy because I never know what odd places I'll find myself making a list in.


Even with all of that, somedays I find myself feeling a little crazy when it comes to my schedule! On days like that, I take a deep breath (occasionally a nap, too) and thank God for blessing me with so many opportunities in life that I have a chance to stress over. Now I'm off to make another list and add it to my planner!

How do you keep your schedule organized?
Love,
Mandy

Dec 5, 2013

Off the Deep End

Holy moly, it's a cold one out there today. I think I might actually take back the gloomy weather from yesterday over this stuff!

I was up real early (0600 is early for me at least) this morning to wish M good luck on his test today and now I'm feeling productive! I probably could have gone back to sleep but Gage chasing after bunnies in 10 degree weather woke me up too much for that. So here I am posting at 7:30 and I've got a long to-do list to hit before class!

Over the last few days I've been thinking a lot about meal planning. I've planned a week of meals a few times but never really planned out all the ingredients or done the prep work to go along with it. After reading this post from my friend Amberly, I got the final kick in the butt I needed to start planning.

So I set out for Pinterest because where else do people start looking for things these days? After a good hour of searching (sorry Pinterest followers) I have a pretty good amount of pins on my meal planning board. That was just the beginning though! I knew Miss Alexa had written some meal planning posts in the past so I sent her an email last night pleading for help asking for some tips. Being the awesome blog friend that she is, she emailed me right back! I'm so excited to sit down and read her tips followed by actually clicking on the links to my meal planning pins! With blog friends for inspiration, I'm determined to do this!

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Do you have any tips for me? Wish me luck!

Love,
Mandy

Dec 4, 2013

A little bit of this and that

Man is it an icky day out here! Foggy, cold, and rain/sleeting make for a fun walk to class.

There's really not much point to today's post other than to stop by and say hello! Despite some frustrations on the home front (which I'm sure most college students are feeling as finals week approaches) and the weather being blah, I'm finding reasons to smile today.

Like having the chance to wear my rain boots out and about for the first time! That may not seem exciting to you but it's been years since I've owned a pair and now that I have some I'm having a good time. Although out of habit, I still avoid walking through those big puddles on campus. Maybe when I get home I'll go splashing through the puddles just for fun. What else are you supposed to do on a gloomy day?

Or waking up to our song (Then by Brad Paisley) playing this morning and some sweet good morning texts from M. Usually we get to talk for about a half hour in the morning before he has to put his phone away. Today, fingers crossed, they started actual training so he was out before I even woke up. I'm excited to hear what his day consisted of and I'm happy for him because now he won't have to sit around all day doing next to nothing.

Or current countdown ticking away on my phone. Seriously, just seeing that number puts a permanent smile on my face! I cannot wait to have M back in our apartment, living normal life! I know there will be a new normal once he comes home and some readjusting to life living with each other again but I say bring it on!

That's about all I've got for you today friends!

Playing around with some engagement pictures!
Even the shortest Skype date makes my night! He doesn't like it when I snap pictures of him :P

A December photo challenge I spotted on Instagram yesterday. Maybe I'll actually keep up with this one?
How's the weather near you? What's putting a smile on your face today?

Love,
Mandy

Dec 3, 2013

Do I have to be productive again?

Hello and happy Tuesday friends!

Since I finally decided to become a productive member of college life again (taking a two week break makes that a struggle) I thought I'd rejoin the blog world as well!

After bouncing all over the place and spending way too many hours on the road over the last two weeks, can you blame me for spending all day yesterday lounging around? I got an email late on Sunday night saying my only class yesterday was optional which meant my break got extended by one more day! I had a mini movie marathon and the puppy got lots of snuggles before I headed out to run some errands.

Let me tell you people, the post office is a zoo these days. Everyone is trying to send out some holiday cheer and that's making it pretty hard for me to send care packages to M! I won't complain though, everyone there was in a really good mood and the workers were pretty friendly for a change! Then I made my way to Target and the dollar section got me again. At least I got a few Christmas decorations for cheap! Those window clings are my favorite. Once I pulled myself away from all the temptations Target has to offer, I moseyed on over to the black hole known as Walmart. The bell ringer played me a little tune with the bell and tambourine he had, I walked through those big doors and instantly regretted my choice. Madhouse doesn't even describe what that place looked like. Let's just say I grabbed the food I needed, picked over the Christmas aisle quickly and got my butt out of there. The sketchiness that comes with Walmart was upped another level when I walked out to see a cop just chilling outside the doors.

I was so excited to unpack my Christmas goodies and get to decorating! Christmas music on full blast, I set out to make it look like a holiday explosion happened in our apartment. This year, all things red and white have been catching my eye so that's sort of my "theme" for decorations. Then Gage had other ideas for me. All he wanted to do was play! After reading this post and ending up in tears, how could I resist his pleas for play time? By the end of the night I managed to get one of our two baby trees put up and a small coffee table centerpiece put together. Fail on the holiday explosion. Yet I don't mind, those minutes spent playing with Gage are totally worth it if he's happy! Hoping I can get the rest of the decorations put up when I get home from class!

Class optional = more time to relax!
No red bulbs means the tree gets to be patriotic this year! It seems appropriate :)
Umm, I blame the holiday spirit for this one.
Snuggled up
Even if it is slightly off-key ;)
Have you put up your Christmas decorations yet? Had to deal with the chaos that the holidays bring?

Love,
Mandy

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