Category: Personal / Information / Etc.

How I Use Google Keep for Organizing My Life

How I Use Google Keep for Organizing My Life

I’m a big proponent of Google’s document services and other apps. I love that I can sync everything up on my phone or computer instead of having things in one place, like when I use Microsoft Office. I’ve talked a lot about how I organize my bookish life with Google Sheets, but I figured I’d share some of my Google Keep love today! If you don’t know, it’s an app and website service from Google that essentially makes various sticky notes on a board. They can be lists, plain text, drawings, and more. I use the checklist option the most because I frequently use it for groceries and weekly to-dos. I know there are more sophisticated planning apps that use calendars and such, but this one really works for me for now. Here’s how I use it. Pinned Notes – Priorities When you make a note, you have a bunch of color and style options, as well as the ability to pin it to the top. I like this for my priority items for the week. As you can see below, I have different grocery shopping lists for each store I frequent. I also have a list of meal plans for the week. Sometimes the meal planning note lists out each meal for each day (like below) and other times it’s just a list of ideas for dinner based on groceries I have on hand. The pinned ones below show the weekly meals, priority shopping list for Target the day […]

2019 Reading Bullet Journal Setup

2019 Reading Bullet Journal Setup

Friends, I got sucked back in. I took a brief detour into the bullet journaling world a few years ago and it was just Too Much for me. I was tracking things just for the sake of tracking them and making pages; I wasn’t doing anything actually beneficial. I acquired a bunch of markers kind of soon after I quit the bujo life and was sad they may just sit there. WELL, after creeping hard on Kristin’s bullet journaling life, I decided to finally come back to it. This time, I’m focusing only on books and reading. I didn’t get another Bookish Planner this year and think this will be a fun creative option for me instead. Here’s how I set up my bullet journal for 2019! I spent a lot of time watching flipthroughs and setup videos on YouTube, plotting my pages out with sticky notes and testing out my pens and markers! It was such a fun feeling to get back to. General Setup I thought I’d do a run-through of the general setup of my planner because I have it in sections or categories. I didn’t want to get bogged down with page numbers quite as much, so I just planned on writing an index in order of section. It’s not overly helpful but it’s better than nothing? haha. Section 1: overview and yearly goals/resolutions The first section includes my yearly goals and resolutions, as well as some of the general reading THINGS I’ll be following throughout […]

Favorite Food and Drinks Lately

Favorite Food and Drinks Lately

Because I’ve cooked a LOT of great things in the last 1-2 months, I thought I’d do a little round-up here instead of having a million things in the food section of Lauren Lately. My favorite thing to do while cooking is make things as easy as humanly possible, so most of these recipes will be super simple, as the header suggests 😉 Homemade Crunchwrap Supremes | I found a WW-friendly version of this recipe and it was so good! I tried to buy tostadas online because no store carried them locally, and then they got crushed in transit. I made homemade ones with small tortillas and they were just as good! Buffalo Chicken Chili | God this was amazing; I already want to make it again. I’ve been seeking out Crockpot and Instant Pot recipes like crazy and this one was a major win. I ended up using HALF the amount of cream cheese it called for to make it a little lighter and it was still super creamy and delicious. Chai lattes at home | I was in the mood to get something nice and cozy for the weekends, instead of only having hot chocolate, so I grabbed this one from Target. It’s sugar free so the only WW points are for mixing it with milk, and I use skim milk anyways. SO GOOD! Blue Steak Wraps | This is a simple recipe that I was itching to make to use up the million containers of blue cheese I somehow acquired. It […]

Reader Survey

Posted February 9, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments

Hey friends! I’ve never really done one of these since I started blogging in 2014 (!!!!!) as far as I can recall. I’ve talked A LOT on the blog about ~making changes~ and integrating my life more into this book blog. I typically include a decent number of lifestyle posts each month or week on here and I hope people enjoy it. I don’t get a lot of blog comments in a general sense but I have good viewership, so I think people are at least reading the posts? I just can’t decide what people actually want or need from this blog. I’ve tossed around the idea of keeping the books here (due to the name of the blog, established numbers for review copies, etc.) and then making a second blog about my life. I’ve even made them before but abandoned them without advertising anything to people. As you’ll see below, I would only do this if people genuinely prefer that kind of thing. If everyone is happy with the current breakdown and enjoys my posts as they are, I’m happy to keep everything under one umbrella as a book and lifestyle blogger. It would mean the world to me if you took the survey, especially if you are a regular blog reader. None of the questions are required so you can literally answer any or all of them, but I would really appreciate the feedback! 💖  Loading…

If We Were Having Coffee…

If We Were Having Coffee…

I LOVE reading personal posts from other bloggers and seeing Jamie’s “If We Were Having Coffee” feature take off is so fun. Laura and Lindsey also have some great spin-offs of this feature too. I was very tempted to also make mine margarita-related (like Lindsey) but coffee is so ingrained in my daily life that it just makes sense to keep it. If you’re not familiar, it basically involves a fake little conversation about what’s been happening in our lives lately. Read on to see what’s been happening lately and feel free to chat back in the comments! If we were having coffee… I’d ask how your weekend was! Start any new books? Get anything done around the house? I’m feeling very on top of things lately and it’s kind of a nice change. Chris and I have been good about cleaning up, staying organizing, buying things we need and not putting them off, and meal prep. I think I still need to work on the grocery shopping part of meal prepping and not wasting food, but baby steps… If we were having coffee… I’d tell you about some of my favorite new beauty and skincare items I’ve added to my current rotation! I don’t change up the foundation of my makeup routine (overall face makeup, mascara, etc.) very often because once I find something that keeps me matte, I don’t change anything… but I’m always excited to try new skincare, eyeshadow, and lip products. I bought the Gerard Cosmetics liquid lipstick […]

2019 Organizational Methods: Books + Life

2019 Organizational Methods: Books + Life

As usual, a new year brings new planners and spreadsheets! It’s my favorite thing to organize and get settled. I’ve talked in the past QUITE a bit about my planners and spreadsheets (bookish and otherwise) because they change every year AND whenever I’m in the mood to try something new. Here are all the ways I plan to organize my 2019, now that we’re about a month in! Happy Planner As you’ve seen before, I use a physical planner for most of my life and work-related planning. I’ve tried mannnny types over the years and am still continuing to try new ones! This year I’m using a Happy Planner again. The “socialite” one I picked offers many of the things I’m looking for in a planner. I was really looking for something where boxes were customizable in some way. I prefer to label things on my own because my life has a few different elements to incorporate. I don’t have a bookish planner this year, so I knew I’d need a box to track books or blog things. Otherwise, you can see how I organize above. The top box is about bills or things due that day. Box two is a mini to-do list and errands I’ll run during lunch. There are two boxes for AM and PM, in case I have time-specific things to do before, during, and after work. Next is the book box and last is a meal planning box. The top left picture also shows the pen color […]

My TBR Cart

Posted January 11, 2019 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 8 Comments
My TBR Cart

Like everyone else in this bookish space, I got a TBR cart in 2018! (I loved reading a few posts by Jamie, Brittany, and Cristina too!) It works really well for me because I have a tendency of tossing library books wherever and running out of shelf space. I also have a shelf for planner-related stuff, since it’s something I’ve finally gotten back into and never had space to store. My desk downstairs in the living room is kind of pointless because even if I work from home on a snow day, I’m more likely to be on the couch or bed. I don’t NEED a designated space really. I do use it sometimes, but it usually becomes an annoying spot for clutter collection (like aforementioned library books and mail). I’m tempted to move it upstairs into the Lego/storage room instead. I digress. TBR Cart Early setup When I got it back in early December, I filled it with some random stuff and a very loose TBR plan. I didn’t have any library books checked out at the time but knew I’d be incorporating them sometime soon. Here’s how I set it up: Top shelf: upcoming holiday book TBR, bin with sticky notes (later bookmarks), Kindle, iPad mini Middle shelf: bags of pens/markers/planner supplies, cup of colored pens, unused bin, book sleeves Bottom shelf: upcoming physical copy TBR (two ARCs and some hardcovers) I figured that my immediate TBR and books I’m currently reading would be on the top (possibly library books), planner […]

2018 End of Year Statistics

Posted December 31, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
2018 End of Year Statistics

I participated in the Statistics Survey in years past (2014, 2015, and 2016), created and hosted by Brittany and Andi, two of my all-time favorite bloggers and friends. They didn’t move forward with hosting it for this year and I decided to make some adjustments to their questions for my own purposes. I always share stats and EOY information at this time anyways, but there are bits and pieces sprinkled in from their survey as well! Monthly Reads and Stats, Book Buying Habits Average book rating for 2018: 3.7 stars Average number of pages per month: 3,504 pages Average books acquired per month: 12.8 books Most books/pages read in a month: January – 14 books (4,765 pages) Least books/pages read in a month: June – 7 books (2,343 pages) These are definitely not surprising to me. I always try to get ahead on my Goodreads challenge in January. Signing up for new reading challenges, participating in Bout of Books, and just being excited for a clean slate of reading? Those things all lead to an increase in January to get me on the right foot. I’m also not surprised about having a low reading month in June. It was super busy. We packed in EVERYTHING we could during our last month in Maine, including a trip home for a wedding AND a trip to California for a wedding/vacation. I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of reading done that month, which is why I tried to read a little more […]

2018 End of Year Survey

Posted December 30, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 4 Comments
2018 End of Year Survey

I loved filling out Jamie’s survey in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. This is the 9th time she’s hosted this survey and it’s so fun to see what everyone chooses for the categories. Last year, I didn’t allow myself any duplicates. I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum for this survey, but it feels impossible. I’ll need to have a few. To learn more about it and see a blank set of questions, check here! It was so fun to reread my answers for last year, since I copied that survey here to clean out and fill out. Number of Books You Read: 120 Number of Re-Reads: 2 | Number of DNFs: 5 Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary 1. Best Book You Read In 2018? Totally cheating and adding multiple categories! (Not including rereads.) See a full list of my “best reads” of the year (5 stars and 4.5 stars) here if you’re curious.     Best of the best: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills Best contemporary: Love a la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm Best non-contemporary: The Wicked King by Holly Black Best adult fiction: Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid Best sequel or companion: 9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno Best diverse read: Dear Martin by Nic Stone 2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t? My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows just, for me, was not as good as the previous companion. I enjoyed that it followed a […]

Holiday Movies Watched in 2018

Posted December 26, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
Holiday Movies Watched in 2018

I posted my Hallmark Holiday round-up the other day (which I continue to add to after posting, if you care to click the link for an update!), but wanted to do a last-minute movie round-up for everything else watched in 2018. There were some new-to-me movies, the yearly classics, and some I haven’t watched in YEARS. They’re all categorized below and some of the old favorites / new movies have little bits of my thoughts underneath. The tried-and-true yearly favorites don’t need any information! Yearly Watches       My favorite Christmas movie is THE SANTA CLAUSE, and that’s usually my first “real” holiday movie of the season. I don’t really count all of the Hallmark ones I keep on in the background starting in November. My second favorite is CHRISTMAS VACATION because it’s perfect. The others are classics we’ve started to watch each year! New-to-Me (Non-Hallmark) Movies Hallmark movie reviews can be found HERE!   I wanted Chris to watch THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES with me (we failed at that) but knew I’d be watching THE PRINCESS SWITCH alone! I put it on while wrapping presents and folding laundry (fun and exciting stuff) on my favorite day – Christmas Eve Eve. It has the classic switcheroo storyline of two strangers who look alike and decide to swap lives for a period of time. It was definitely a cute one! Haven’t Seen in Years    I had high hopes for this section because I really wanted to watch a lot of rom-com Christmas […]