How to stay organized in 2014

One of my goals for 2014 is to improve my organizational skills. While I consider myself pretty organized already, there is definitely room for some improvement! Plus, I tend to procrastinate a lot… so my email inbox tends to get a little messy, receipts pile up in my purse, and my bed sometimes goes unmade (a pet peeve of mine!). To avoid these situations, here are a few tips on how to stay organized in 2014! 

stayorganized

ONE | Use a daily planner to stay on track
One great way to stick to a schedule (and remember important dates, meetings, classes etc.) is to use a daily planner. I use the Erin Condren Life Planner (you can read my review HERE), and I think I would be so lost without it! Last year, things were pretty hectic (between my ever-changing work schedule, finishing my Masters, and doctor appointments!), so I used my life planner religiously. Not only would I write down my work schedule, appointments, etc. but I would also write my daily (and weekly) to-do lists in there, as well as some inspiring quotes!

TWO | Organize your desk every Sunday
If you spend a lot of time at your desk, it probably gets messy pretty quickly. If you’re not the one to tidy up every night, then maybe it’s best if you set a particular day during the week to really organize everything. I’m talking about taking everything off your desk, dusting it, organize your notebooks, file documents, etc. Personally, this works best for me (even though I don’t really have a work space anymore!). Here are my tips to organizing your work space!

THREE | Reply/delete emails as soon as they are received 
Oh my. This is probably the biggest challenge for me! I have a really bad habit of not replying to emails, or letting them pile up in my inbox (I’m talking about 80,000+ emails! Seriously…). Making a commitment to reply/delete/or star emails as soon as they are received is a great way to stay organized (and meet deadlines!). This is something that I will perfect in 2014!

FOUR | Clean/organize your bag regularly
Most of the time, my bag is pretty neat. But then, things happen (i.e, mini shopping sprees, grocery shopping, Christmas shopping, travel, etc.) and BAM! Receipts over load! To avoid this, you should clean/organize your handbag once a week. You can even do this while waiting at the doctor’s office, on the bus to work, etc.

How do you plan on staying organized in 2014?

Check out my other organizational posts!
Erin Condren Life Planner Review – Part 1
Erin Condren Life Planner Review – Part 2
How to Organize your Work Space
How to Organize your Computer
Organizing with Acrylic Trays


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Pretty in Pink | OPI Shorts Story

You know how certain perfumes tend to bring you back to a particular time period in your life? (Viva La Juicy brings me back to the months I lived in the U.K in 2008!). Well, as odd as it may sound, nail polishes– for me at least– do the exact same thing!

Yesterday, I was feeling a little down (this happens all of the time, right after Christmas). I was really missing Ottawa, and so so sick of the snow and dark clouds of winter (who isn’t?). In an attempt to “pick myself up” a little, I decided to paint my nails a more happy, bright colour: OPI’s Shorts Story!

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I remember exactly when I received this particular nail polish! It was actually my very first polish from OPI, and I received it as an Easter gift back in 2010! I always called it my “Barbie Pink” polish ;)

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I think it’s a great change from the deep pinks and dark reds I’ve been wearing lately. It brightens things up a little! And come on, it’s January… it’s probably the most gloomiest month in the year (in my opinion anyway)! We need something a little bright on our nails! ;)

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In the end, the night went quite swell! After chatting with my friend in Ottawa, I decided to buy a train ticket to visit for next weekend! I am incredibly excited (as usual!).

Do certain perfumes, or even nail polishes, bring you back to a particular time period in your life too? What do you consider to be the gloomiest month of the year? 


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My Goals for 2014

2013 really took me for a crazy ride– it really wasn’t “my” year. But that’s okay… we can’t expect every day, month, or even year to be amazing! All we can do is opt for a fresh start and just keep going! There are a few things that I want to really improve/work on in 2014– I’m going to try my best to work on these things every week; and hopefully, 2014 will turn out to be a good year!

mygoals

ONE | Create a blog plan and stick to it!
Fresh-Season did a nice bit of growing in 2013, and I really want to keep moving forward and improve it even more! I feel like this is a huge challenge, because maintaing a blog can be difficult– especially if you’re not sure how to improve it (or if your efforts will even produce positive results!). But after doing a little brainstorming, I’ve come up with an actual “blog plan” (aka, how to improve Fresh-Season!). I’ll go more into detail later this week; but essentially, the plan’s outline includes: 

  1. Aim to blog six days a week
  2. Be consistent in blog topics and make sure they relate to the Fresh-Season brand (i.e, two beauty related posts a week; two style related posts a week; Chit Chat Sundays on… well, Sundays!).
  3. Connect with more great bloggers!
  4. Improve social media accounts (particularly Instagram and Pinterest).

TWO | Improve organizational skills
Although I consider myself to be pretty organized already, there are a few areas I would like to improve in (mainly procrastination, deadlines, and emails!). I tend to do things at the very last minute, and even forget to reply to important emails (this is such a bad habit of mine!). But this year, I’m going to really step up and create a little plan to help myself improve in these areas! (There will be more on this later!).

THREE | Enjoy the little things that make me happy!
The simplest things make me the happiest– Whether it’s blogging alone in a cafe, finding a new tea I like, or taking a little stroll in the rain! While I did do a lot of these things in 2013, I feel like I need to indulge in more of these simple little things! Every week, I should be able to list a few things that made me just plain HAPPY.

FOUR | Find enjoyable work
I worked with such an amazing group of people in Ottawa. I mean, not only do I regard them as my friends, but also as my family! It really did make going to work enjoyable (I loved working!). Now, I know that I was probably just lucky; and most jobs won’t be like that (working in Toronto was definitely a wake-up call for that one!)… but I would really, really like to find enjoyable work in 2014. I think I just need a lot of luck on this one! (Cross your fingers for me?).

What are your goals for 2014?


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Pop! Fizz! Clink! – Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Wow. I can’t believe we’re at the very end of 2013! And all I can say is: Thank God! 2013, for me, was just plain… crazy! I wish I could highlight nothing but amazing moments in 2013; but the reality is that there were very few! The first five months of 2013 were really, really rough… it was time lost. Somewhere. But as we approach a brand new year, I want to keep my chin up, chest out, and put my best foot forward!

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- 2013 -

ONE | One of my goals for 2013 was to read more. Although I did not reach my goal of reading 24 books in 2013, I did get through 15 books! I just received two $25 gift cards to Chapters for Christmas, so I’ll be sure to start a new reading challenge!

TWO | If there was one thing I learned in 2013, it was that I need to look after ME. More specifically, I need to learn how to focus on my accomplishments (rather than failures); and I need to focus on my needs (rather than constantly focusing on the needs/wants of others!). It is important that I develop a positive voice, and just have faith in myself.

THREE | I’ve made so many great friendships in 2013. My former co-workers in Ottawa have definitely made the list! …Right along with Nancy and Laura– both whom I met through blogging (and hang-out with regularly!).

FOUR | After many ups and downs, I officially finished my Masters program at Carleton University. Hooray!

FIVE | 2013 was definitely a year of growth for Fresh-Season.com, and a year of networking! I learned to open up a little, and embrace new connections. I’ve worked with several brands and local boutiques (Koku! Pause Beauty!) that I love, and met so so many fabulous bloggers (Nancy, Marilou, Lauren, Erica, and Jessica just to name a few!).

SIX | In June, we decided that we were ready to get another boxer dog (Rocco!). We anticipated hell (lol) when he first got him, but he has been a great little addition and the perfect little furry friend to Pepper!

SEVEN | Moving to Toronto was a huge leap of faith for us. And while some things have not exactly worked out like we wanted, and other things are still up in the air– I have to remind myself that everything is a process. Dream jobs, higher income, better test scores– none of them appear magically with the snap of fingers. They all require hard work and time.

EIGHT | September 19th was a rough day– it was the day that my grandmother passed away. I try not to think about it a lot, but it has definitely has been a unforgettable moment in 2013.

NINE | In the last few months, I (finally) developed that positive voice– one, that never ever existed before. I learned how to stick up for myself, and do what was best for me (even if everyone else thought differently!). Honestly, this was probably the biggest achievement of 2013. 

cheers

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
-Oprah

How did 2013 treat you? 


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Favourite blogs

Is it just me or is maintaining a decent blog these days a lot of work? For me, I really enjoy the design aspect of blogging; but I really do struggle with posting interesting and original content! To be completely honest, that’s why I haven’t posted much this month.

When i’m lacking inspiration, I like to visit a few of my favourite blogs and ask myself “why do I enjoy reading this blog? what is it about this particular blog that keeps me coming back?” — The answers to those questions are usually the things I need to work on (hello, new goals!).

favouriteblogs

1. Simply Bee
I’ve been following Brooke’s various blogs for about four years now. I simply adore her unique (and short!) posts– especially her killer design skills!

2. The College Prepster
Carly’s blog is probably the “biggest” blog I read (I prefer to stick smaller scale blogs, where I can interact with the blogger!). My favourite part about Carly’s blog is her organization/stationary related posts (like these!).

3. Citrus & Style
I’m a rather new follower of Caroline’s blog, Citrus & Style. What attracts me to her blog are her short (yet interesting!) blog posts, and original content (like how to make a hair tie– super cute!).

4. Stripes & Peonies
Again, I am a new follower of Gracey’s blog, Stripes & Peonies. I appreciate the clean design (definitely makes reading a pleasure!) and posts like this one. PS: Doesn’t her instagram rock? I love all of her photos!

5. Bouffe e Bambini 
I’ve been following Hanna’s blog for about four years now. Her writing is incredibly powerful (and her gratitude!). I mean, just read this post! How amazing right? Hanna has such a kind heart, and I always leave her blog with a huge smile on my face!

What are your favourite blogs, and why? 


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Merry Christmas! | xmas morning routine

Ah, Christmas day! I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a very, very Merry Christmas! I am so grateful to finally have power here in Toronto (sadly, there are people still without power!).

There was a point last week where I thought I was going to be spending Christmas day alone (which is a horrible feeling; I had to spend Christmas alone a few years ago). But thankfully, Ken ended up getting it off work!

We have tons of great little things planned tomorrow. I enjoy my little Christmas day routine I have going on!

xmasmorn

What are some of your Christmas Day traditions? Will you be spending Christmas Day with family and friends? 


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Christmas Eve Traditions

*Explodes with excitement!* It’s Christmas Eve!!!! I swear, the holiday season instantly transforms me into a five year old– but it’s okay! It’s Christmas eve and I’m allowed to be full of CHEER, right? ;)

Christmas eve has always been a favourite day of mine. It was the day I was allowed to drink an endless supply of eggnog and Purity syrup! My grandmother would always come over and take me to midnight mass. MIDNIGHT church you guys! I always thought of it as “my gosh, after midnight mass, it will be 1:30am! And Santa comes soon after then! AHHHH…” — lol, seriously.

Even though I no longer attend midnight mass and I’m now twenty-six years old, I’m not sure if things changed all that much ;) Here’s a little break down of my Christmas eve traditions!

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I’m so so excited to start with my Christmas Eve traditions later on today! Christmas eve last year was perfect (even though I worked until 4pm). Just take a peek:

xmaseve

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? What do you normally do on Christmas Eve? Anything special? 


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