Winding down for the year

It’s December already. For some reason, I feel excited that we are in the last month of the year. Maybe because I work at a university, I feel the mood is winding down because the term is ending. Decembers in my last job at the hospital would feel like a rush because we would scramble around looking for volunteers to help with patient services, help out with special events, decorate, etc. But since a lot of volunteers are students they’re either back home in their home state (or country) or on vacation so we’d always run short of help.

Continue reading Winding down for the year

2017: The Year of the Planner

In late 2016, I bought a planner for 2017. I’m not sure what the tick was for me to buy a planner. Maybe it was to tap into my creative side more often, to give my eyes respite from looking at screens all day, an excuse to add stickers, to write and set myself goals. I’m sure it was one and combination of factors mentioned.

I bought the PopFlex Planner because at the time I thought it was the planner filled my needs. It had daily to-do lists, a food journal, tracking my water, weekly goals, and spaces for doodling.

I was impressed I was able to keep up with a paper planner the whole year. I love reaching out to grab my planner. A day without it was not the same. I used most of the planner except for the food and water journal. I only used the water journal when I travel for work because I know I don’t drink a lot of water. The food journal has become spaces where I cover with little paper squares framed with washi tape.

There were times I was tempted to buy a different planner because I did NOT use the food journal which took about one-third of the planner, but I always told myself things like “4 more months until October to buy a new planner for next year.” I did a few creative workarounds with the spaces I don’t use. I made it mostly a space for my shopping list, packing list, motivation quotes, quick notes, filled it with a word I don’t know.

When I first had the planner I thought it would mean less screen time, but I got a lot more benefits than expected:

  • It kept me centered. Instead of go through task-by-task on my work e-mail because I swear, work e-mails are the world’s to-do list for you. My work priorities written on the planner come first because that’s where I want to invest in all my energy. If I did not complete to my work to-do list from planner, I won’t get around to the world’s laundry list for me even if it is reviewing a flier — unless you’re internally bleeding and/or it is a life-or-situation — sure I’ll get to reviewing your flier.
  • Relaxing. Maybe because I have spaces to be creative whether it was doodling or using few cute stickers to liven up my pages. There’s just something relaxing about it even if it’s going to be five minutes of my day or a small chunk of my evening. I don’t sticker bomb my pages like some passionate planners, that’s not my think.
  • Conversation starter. I, an IT Project Manger, have a planner and it entertains my co-workers. I kid you not, people come to my desk saying “I did not know you had a paper planner, Julie. I want to see.” And I show it, wears and tears and all.
  • Made me motivated and determined. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way. I felt my mind was in a fog and I was pulled in different directions. Now I feel more focused since having the planner I set each day with MY intentions.
  • I only fill it with positivity. It’s my life coach on-the-go.
  • ..and the satisfaction of crossing things off your to-do list. That feeling does not get old.

20171022_211308This is my 2017 planner. Small enough to carry but big enough to carry my brain. In the first month of having the planner, my 7-month-old (at the time) Pomeranian, Koda, chewed up my cover. I saved it with layers and layers of washi tape. It stood up pretty well from January to today. I think I became a believer of washi tape since then.

I also got this tassel for a dollar at Target. It was my placeholder for what week I am at. It’s funny how I get compliments.

I’m a Smushie in the Smushed Peach Universe!

I’ve been following Emily Mislak from The Smushed Peach before she even opened up her Etsy shop — even before she created her Facebook page for her store. She posted a few drawings on a Facebook group on what would soon be called “Smushies” for her store. I thought these drawings were the cutest little things!

What are “Smushies”? These characters in the Smushed Peach universe. If you explore her Etsy store, the characters come in different skin tones and hair styles (see below).


Here’s my modest sticker collection. Other set of stickers are books because I like track my reading. What I do like about this brand are that the characters are portrayed to do relatable things. From top to bottom I have: coffee Smushie, wine Smushie, computer Smushie, and my frequently used “I hate Mondays” Smushie. These were what I bought when the store first opened.

The Smushie are portrayed in other relatable moments such as payday, followed by the inevitable paying bills Smushie. Then there’s cleaning and gardening Smushie — which I do during a large part of the weekend. And of course, I’ve been eye-balling reading Smushie. It’s a fun way to decorate your planner or your bullet journal.

Julie Smushie

…and this is me as a Smushie. Emily can also make you as a Smushie too! I sent her some photos of myself, and sent her some details such as what kind of clothes would I wear and other attributes. Though I live in LA, I love fall wear. Then again, my birthday is in September. Also, I do wear a little pendant and I always carry a cup of coffee.

Also since I am holding coffee, photo may make a recurring appearance in the Weekend Coffee Share.

Maybe in the future, you may see a Smushie version of my dogs and my husband so we are a Smushie family :-).

julie drawing

And…this is a pencil sketch of me…still really cute!