A whole year without blog posts? Yikes.

2020 was a crazy year and I won’t get into it because you and I both know there’s a lot to unpack there. While last year was certainly one we’ll never forget, there was a lot of good that came out of last year. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and I grew deeper in my faith.

I also read a lot of books. Over 20, actually. With so much free time, trips cancelled, and social distancing, I had plenty of time to curl up with great books. I’m recapping my top five favorite books that I read last year. 

#1 Dream Big by Bob Goff

This is actually my favorite book that I read in 2020. A common theme for the books I chose in 2020 was about personal growth and cultivating creativity. I picked this one up because I love Bob Goff and I’m a sucker for a self-help book that’s rooted in scripture. Something that I felt I lacked in 2020 was the drive to create and be imaginative. At work, one of my strengths is my creativity. Stay-at-home orders threw me off my groove and I definitely felt my creativity taking the back burner.

What I really loved about this book was Goff’s ability to capture the simplicity of creating and put it in terms of God’s purpose for our lives. But it wasn’t full of fluff or jargon like some self help books are. There are actions and steps you can implement to unlock your passions. 10/10, will probably read this one again this year.

#2 Beach Read by Emily Henry

I read this book early spring, right around the start of stay-at-home and I read it in one weekend. It’s the perfect sappy book that you want to read on the beach or on a rainy summer afternoon. It’s not like a typical, predictable rom-com either. It’s basically about two authors switching genres to write and they kinda despise each other. There’s depth and I cried a few times not even going to lie. I recommend bringing this one on your next vacation.

#3 Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen

I just recently wrapped this one up right before I left for Christmas. I had it on my list for a couple months and finally ordered it when I got bogged down with anxiety and nerves. I’m so happy that I read it towards the end of this year because my anxiety was getting worse. This book is wonderful and impactful because it combines actual science (how your brain works) with powerful scripture (how you allow God to help you) to take back control of your thoughts. If you are feeling anxious, uncertain, down, lonely, or in a funk, I highly recommend this one. It shifts your perspective and equips you to work through anxious and negative thoughts.

#4 Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt

I read this book for work, but lowkey was excited about it because it’s all about organization and using your time wisely. I’m a sucker for planning and organizing so I knew I was going to love this one. While I thought I would take away helpful tips for work, I didn’t realize this book would also help me in my personal life. From creating my ideal week to discovering which “zones” I operate best in, I can maximize my time without depleting my health or relationships. If you want to get organized or struggle with time management, this would be a great book to kick off your year with.

#5 The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry

Okay, so technically I read this book in 2019, but reread it this year for work. It’s so good that I included it on this list. As mentioned with Dream Big, cultivating creativity has been a struggle for me this year. This book was great the first time I read through it, but even more timely when I picked it up again this summer. It’s easy-to-read with super good applications to implement. While not everything in this book is something that I’ll follow through with, I came away with really great tools that I continue to use to this day. This leans more on the work-side, but still a great read.

2021 Reading Challenge

While I read more books than this last year, I’m ready for another year of impactful books, especially the ones I can’t put down. My goal this year is to read 30 books and I’m already diving into a few this month. Leave a comment below if you read one of these books or have recommendations of what I should read in 2021!

**This is a sponsored post, but my reviews are my own.**

Long-time no see, right? I’m still adjusting to post-grad life, so bear with me with the irregular blog schedule. But I’m so excited to partner with Homesick candles to talk about their newest collection: the Daily Collection!

I’ve actually purchased from Homesick before: I got my best friend a candle for Missouri because she’s from out-of-state and then I got one for my parents when they moved into their new house!

Thank you to everyone that reached out about this post! Travel posts are very new to me, but I’m so excited to share everything I did/saw/ate in Savannah.

Disclaimer: I had never been to Savannah before this and there’s still so much that I want to do. Don’t think this is the last time that I’ll be posting about Savannah, TRUST ME.

I am so excited to be giving away not one, but THREE Day Designer Academic Year Daily Planners. I've already started using mine so much and it's honestly the best planner I've ever had!

You could win...

I love the flexibility of how you can use the Daily Planner! See how I organize my planner here. This planner has so many features including:

  • Academic planner is dated July 2018 through June 2019
  • Added June 2018 daily planning pages for a total of 13 months of daily planning
  • Signature Today & To-Do page format combines your daily schedule and to-do list on one page
  • Includes two FREE gold foil sticker sheets and a bookmark ruler

It's hardcover and is durable no matter how busy you are! If you'd like to enter to win one of these planners, check out my giveaway on my Instagram.

This has been a highly requested blog post! This is actually my first time using a Day Designer and I am so so excited to get my life even more organized! I'm still learning the best ways to get the most out of my new planner, but this should help if you are new to Day Designer. 

Monthly View

What I really like about Day Designer is their clean layout. It feels so refreshing to start planning on a "clean slate." I use the monthly view to map out big events, birthdays, bills, exams (when I figure out when those are!!!) I find that the Day Designer squares hold a lot of information for even the busiest of months!

Daily Pages

Something that I'm not familiar with is having an entire page dedicated to a day. But I've found that I really like it!!! In the past, my planners have only featured weekly pages to plan my days. With the daily page, it makes it really easy to schedule and get a glimpse what times you're free. I sometimes find myself wanted to agree to an event, but then realize that I have something going on at that time! This feels like a tangible Google calendar (if you are familiar with those) and you can prepare for busy or free days. 

The to-do list on the side is so so helpful for jotting down to-dos and not getting swamped with sticky notes (#guilty). I also am such a fan of the helpful tabs up top like dinner and due dates. I will use these A LOT during the school year. 

A fun thing about the Saturday/Sunday page is this at a glance of the next week. I plan the Sunday the week before and fill this in so when I sit down to plan my next week, I already have a pretty good reference of how busy I'll be. It also is fun to use if you have something exciting coming up to look forward to.

Front Page

Other than writing your contact info in case you lose you planner, I like to use the first blank page to attach my color code for the planner. I have a different color for each of my classes that translates into my schedule and to-do's. I also put down dates that occur every month (like bills) so when I'm planning for the next month, which is something I do the last week of the month before, I can put those down first!

Ideal Schedule

This is my favorite part I think!!!! You can literally map out your perfect week which is helpful when you are taking classes, have clubs, work, etc. It keeps you organized and gives you a general idea of what to expect week to week. While no two weeks are the same, it's a helpful reminder!

Let me know what you think! If you are new to the Day Designer game, was this helpful? Also let me know which planner design you got/plan on getting! If you are a Day Designer pro, share your tips below! I would love to know how you utilize your planner.

If you are wanting to purchase a Day Designer, use my link! I would love to know if I helped on your planner journey LOL

Happy Planning!

the favorite

Thank you to everyone that reached out about this post! Travel posts are very new to me, but I’m so excited to share everything I did/sa...