Planner Layout Review: March 2017

Illusions of Productivity

March Madness. It’s never too late to get your shit together.

Happy Friday! March Madness is just about over and I am definitely looking forward to April. Work has been really busy, keeping me up late and out of the house early in the morning. Launching my blog this month has been a fun experience, opening up my creativity. I’ve really enjoyed working with WordPress and the social aspect of their platform. Originally I started this blog on Wix, but then I felt alone in the vast wide web; at least with WordPress, there is a definite sense of community. I also discovered Bloglovin’ yesterday and now I just can’t stop going down the rabbit hole!

Each week as I sit down to layout my planner journal, I never go in with intentions or a theme, I just start coloring, sticking, and taping. Sometimes I really dig where I end up and other weeks, I’m not really a fan, but alas this is all part of the creative process and such is life – I must accept it and continue with what I have…. right?

Here is my monthly review of March featuring sticker artists Sticker Doodle Shop and Pear Tea Stickers. Hope you enjoy! Please let me know if you have any favorite layouts =) I’d be happy to hear what you think.

Looking forward to trying out new goodies on etsy.

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March Creative: Danie Darling

Monthly Creatives

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Discover my favorite Creatives

Every month I feature a new artist on my ‘Creative’ page. As a new month rolls around, I will archive them on my blog so that people may continue to check them out. Here’s the lovely Danie Darling, Planner Creative’s March featured artist. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for my April Creative 😉


Danie Darling

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Mother of 3, this lady does it all. Free lance vintage hairstylist and makeup artist currently working from San Diego, CA. Born and raised in LA, Danie is the epitome of cool. She brings together rockabilly, vintage styles that make her styled photo shoots and artwork one of a kind. Did I mention she is my older sister? Of course I had to kick it off with this lovely lady. She has always been my style icon growing up and I attribute my eclectic style to her.


Deadly Sweet Designs

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Deadly Sweet is a brand inspired by the beauty of the once living and the curiosity of the unknown.

Deadly Sweet started out as a secondary art endeavor to San Diego based artist Danie Darling. Orignally working freelance hair and makeup, She would work with photographers on stylized photo shoots and would create custom jewelry, accessories and props to bring the vision to life. Just like a butterfly Deadly Sweet is an evolving brand currently consisting of a line of taxidermy jewelry, art decor pieces and soy candles. Deadly Sweet can be found in San Diego based shop- Make Good – which is dedicated to selling 100% locally handmade goods.

Shop Here


Danie Darling Hair, Makeup, & Modeling

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With Fashion Designer Natalie Yaru at the RAW Artist Awards, LA

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Follow Danie’s Instagram

On Budgeting

Illusions of Productivity

Budgeting. You gotta do it.

Living in San Francisco where, as a somewhat-recent college graduate, you can’t really follow the 50/20/30 saving rule, I’ve tried a number of budgeting methods in an attempt to make my income last.

Writing out a budget only works if you reconcile it with your bank statement and analyze your spending habits.


I would write out a budget every payday, listing off my expected expenses; but as I left my budget in my planner, which didn’t always make it into my purse, I found that I wouldn’t look at the budget again, until I scrapped it and started fresh the next payday. I then tried to take a picture of it to reference it on the go, but I would never look back. I just kept swiping my card and telling myself that I would sit down later and reconcile my bank statement. This never happened. So I continued spending, always spreading myself way too thin, especially during those last couple of days before payday.

Withdrawing cash and using the Envelope System prevents you from swiping blindly.

I finally realized I wasn’t in control by just writing out the budget; I felt I would have more discipline if  I saw the actual cash leave my hand. I decided I should do the classic envelope system, withdraw cash,  and divide it accordingly. This worked for a few pay periods. I even made this coolio filing system for my wallet!
At first, I was a little nervous carrying around a good amount of cash, but I played it safe and left some at home; only taking what I thought I ‘d need. Eventually I started to grab cash from other sections, going over my allotted budget and not paying mind to what I took from one, and what I owed in another. I would collect receipts, again, with the intention on reconciling my budget, but this only resulted in a messy wallet, and still no effective budgeting system.

Using a budget app makes it easy to keep track of your spending in real time.

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Finally, I decided to give technology a try. I was a bit hesitant in the same way a planner addict like myself first felt towards Google Calendar –  “it’s just not the same!” I stumbled across a few apps I tried simultaneously, and found that I liked GoodBudget the best. To be honest I still haven’t figured out all the app’s functions, but everything I need, it does on the most basic level. It’s the envelope system essentially and what makes it better than the real thing is that it’s on your phone. They even have a desktop version to go with the app.

When I finally got in the groove of using it, I couldn’t believe it took me this long to discover it. I’m now in the habit of opening the app after each purchase and logging my transaction. Once the transaction is logged, it subtracts it from the expenses’ envelope and shows how much money you have left to spend. Yes, I’m sure there are many apps out there, but this interface was personally more intuitive. I’m currently on the longest streak I’ve ever had where I haven’t had to dip into my savings account, and it feels quite nice.

Anyways, just some thoughts from the Adulting Department.

Cheers and Happy Budgeting!

Daydreaming

Creative Writing, Picture Diaries

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I remember this day. It was the best part of the whole trip. It was the moment I finally let go of all the all my preconceived notions.  Jumping on that scooter and having the ability to roam foreign territory on our own, gave me the confidence to strip away the dependencies that made me feel boxed in my own judgement. That moment was what life should be about: floating, feeling – free.

I’ve been contemplating a lot lately. Each day as I come home from work I can’t help but feel a bit of angst and heavy emptiness. My whole day gone, my eyes burn, and my muscles continue to get soft as I sit in front of a computer for 10 hours a day. I try really hard to maintain my work – life balance: I work out 2 – 3 times a week, I play in a classical quartet one night a week, I socialize with friends, I Netflix and chill, I live in an awesome city, I have health benefits, I have the weekends off… the blessings go on and on. But every Sunday night, as I get myself ready for the week, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss. What have I done wrong along the road? I’ve always listened to my parents and my mentors. I finished school, which was a struggle and a half, I really wanted to become a traveling artist – of what, I have no clue…. I took the job that not only would accelerate my career, but one that also helps others. Everyday I think, there has to be more than this, working for the machine.

Why do we work so hard for such a small blimp in time, to come back into the grind, and forget about what truly is mine – time, my day and my night- should be spent as if I own it. Time spent should be for me. I’ve been daydreaming with my boyfriend lately, about this idea of dropping everything and working on organic farms around the world, touching the earth, learning how to survive on our own. We keep toying with the idea, and as much as I want to do it, I am completely terrified. We made a promise to keep pushing each other, the only thing stopping us is ourselves.

We have a goal set for January 2018; and I’m thinking of Portugal.