Recent Reads No. 3

With the busyness of school I haven't been able to get much reading done, but over Thanksgiving I picked up a few new books and got back into reading again. I sometimes think I have no time to read but just taking 20 minutes before bed is all you need. 
As you can tell from my Recent Reads No. 1 and Recent Reads No. 2, I've really been into nonfiction books lately. I used to think nonfiction was so boring and never understood why anyone read such a thing, but now I'm hooked! There is so much to learn about everything and now I feel like I don't have enough time to read all the books I want to read. 

She Means Business

  • This book is a step by step book that takes you through the process of brainstorming and bringing your ideas to life. 
  • Her tips can be applied to a business plan or to everyday life to increase productivity and purpose. 
  • One of the things I loved about this book was that Carrie included actual action items (and online resources) so you can take steps toward accomplishing your goals.

The Lean Startup

  • I saw someone rave about this book and I was intrigued to learn more because I knew I would be taking an entrepreneurship class in the upcoming semester.
  • It honestly took me so long to read this book because I couldn't get into it (it read more like a textbook to me), however I did get some valuable information from it about the lean startup method which has been increasing in popularity.

Invisible Influence

  • I stumbled across this book in Barnes & Noble in the business section and was interested because it seemed more like a psychology book.
  • I thought this was such an interesting read because it opened my eyes to how psychology affects everyday life and public relations (it's all about how your actions evoke specific reactions from your audience)
  • I had never taken a psychology course before so I knew nothing on the subject and found this to be such an interesting and fun read!

Grace, Not Perfection

  • This was my most recent read and I absolutely flew through it!
  • Emily had so many great words of wisdom to offer and has such an encouraging tone I feel like I can do anything!
  • One of the major points that resonated with me from her book is that even if you can do it all, nobody can do it all well. One of my weaknesses is wanting to do everything myself and not being able to say no, so this is definitely something I am going to work on and Emily's tips will definitely help me simplify my schedule.

Any new book recommendations?
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3 Days in Budapest

If you've been following along on my Instagram, you may have seen that I have not been in North Carolina lately! For the next few weeks I am studying abroad in Europe for Elon's winter term, which is a 3 week long semester. This is my first time traveling abroad and I have been blown away by the history and architecture throughout Europe so far. Our first stop on the trip was Budapest, Hungary.  

We first toured the Buda Castle and then took a look through the Hungarian National Gallery. Most of the castle had been destroyed during World War II and was rebuilt recently, so only part of the fortress is original. Atop the castle were the best views of Pest across the river. Inside the castle was the Hungarian National Gallery which was filled with all kinds of works of art dating back centuries.

After the castle, we took a walking tour around the city and then walked inside the Matthias Cathedral, pictured below. The inside was incredibly ornate and everything seemed to be on a grand scale or coated in gold. The roof on the church and the surrounding buildings were colorfully patterned, a touch of Hungarian architecture among traditional gothic styles. 
Just down the street we ate lunch at Pierrot's, a restaurant popular among visiting celebrities. 

Shoes on the Danube memorial.

Escaping the cold weather in the warm water at the Szechenyi Baths was definitely a fun experience! This was the place to do it because there were so many different baths and the ones outside were huge (and this was the only place in Europe I have been able to find Dr. Pepper so far).
We finished the evening with dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant, Pomo D'Oro. 

The view from the Liberty Statue. I think this spot had the best views in all of Budapest because you had a great view of both Buda and Pest on opposite sides of the Danube!

Similar to Matthias Church, St. Stephen's Basilica was extremely ornate with stenciled designs covering the walls and ceiling and high vaulted ceilings. 

Outside the Parliament building along the Danube. 

We ended our last night with a meal on a river boat on the Danube. It was the most picturesque scene to enjoy a meal and was the perfect way to end our visit in Budapest.

Apologies for the photo overload, I took so many photos and couldn't narrow them down!
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Comfy Travel Outfit

For me, 2018 is going to be filled with new places, which means lots of flights and travel time. As much as I like to wear a real outfit and look put together when traveling, nothing beats wearing leggings and a sweatshirt for a long flight. This sweater is the coziest thing and feels just like a sweatshirt but looks a little more put together. I'm such a sweatshirt gal so when I got this sweater I was wearing it all. the. time. My friends always call me out for wearing this sweater way too often, but it's just my go-to!
This Barrington Gifts tote is the perfect carry on bag fro me because I can fit my computer and camera and other necessities. I also just invested in a new rolling suitcase. My other suitcase is a duffle, so I was in need of something a little bigger and this one will be perfect for longer trips because I can seriously fit a lot in it. It also has a TSA-approved lock on it which makes me feel reassured that all of my belongings get to my destination safely with me!

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How I Organize My Planner

Planning my week is a big part of my weekend routine that sets me up for a successful week ahead. Last year in college, I would wake up every Saturday morning and get to the coffee shop near campus right when it opened and set up shop for an hour or two to organize my schedule and figure out my priorities in what assignments and tests I had to prepare for. I have found that taking a chunk of time to plan out my week has been a good investment of time because for me, knowing what to expect for the week ahead definitely alleviates a ton of stress (and writing in my planner is something I definitely enjoy to do). 

According to my friends who witness my planning sessions, it's really complicated and all over the place. I agree, it totally is, but for some reason I feel like I need to use two planners and two electronic calendars. You definitely don't have to do all this to be organized, I just love it so much I want to do it four times, I guess! So, here's a look into my planning process:

What I use to plan my week:

Google Sheets

Daily Planner

The Day Designer Daily Flagship Planner is my main planner to keep track of my daily schedule and my to-do lists. I've been using Day Designer planners for three years and love the fresh start I get each day. There are all kinds of great sections to organize every aspect of my life, but I primarily use the schedule and to-do list columns to keep track of what I'm doing that day and what I have to get done that day. 
  • If I have a test or something that is a more urgent task, I highlight it with these midliners, which don't bleed through the pages. I'm not a fan of color coding, especially because things are always changing around and pencil is less permanent, so I stick to the occasional highlighting. 
  • For things that take up more than an hour block, I use a little ruler I got in an Erin Condren planner years ago to make those little lines to show how long each event lasts. 
  • The schedule section is really important to me because I like to see the white space where my free time is so I can get a glance at when I have time to go to the library or grab a meal with a friend.
This is the most important part of staying organized for me and I don't think I could survive without a daily planner!!

Blog Planner

This is a new addition to my planning in 2018. I found that my school assignments were cluttering my daily planner and decided to pick up a weekly planner from Target to dedicate to planning blog content. I had tried content calendars on Google Docs in the past but nothing beats writing it down in a physical planner for me. This is the perfect planner for me to plan blog posts because I can see a monthly calendar and then create a mini checklist for steps I need to take to complete a blog post. 


I use iCal on my iPhone and computer to keep track of my schedule, so it's pretty much a mirror of the schedule column of my Day Designer. I use this in addition to my planner because I always have my phone with me if I need to add something to my schedule and it syncs with my computer so I always have access to it. I also set alerts (typically 15 minutes before) for all of my events just in case I forget I need to be somewhere.
When I'm filling out my schedule in my planner for the week, I typically base it off the events I have entered in this calendar. This is also where color coding comes into play for me since it can be updated so easily, so I have a color for my classes, organizations, and personal events.

Google Sheets

Last, but not least is Google Sheets. I have found that this is the best way for me to keep track of my upcoming assignment due dates and tests. Some people will use a Google Sheets document and do the same thing in list form but I like to see things on a calendar so I can get a look at when exactly things are due. I create a Google Sheets documents from a calendar template and make a sheet per month within that document. I prefer this method because like my schedule, due dates are always moving around and this is super easy to update. 

After writing this all out, I realize that taking all of these measures for organizing my life is absolutely not necessary. However, I thoroughly enjoy planning and doing all this keeps me in check across all platforms.

Are you switching up how you use your planner in 2018? I'd love to hear what planner you are using or what you favorite one is in the comments!

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4 Years of Gimme Glamour

Gimme Glamour turns 4 years old today! When I started this blog, I was a sophomore in high school and now as a sophomore in college I have seen my blog improve and evolve over the years. It has truly been a learning process and as cringe worthy as it is to look back on old posts, it's so awesome to see the difference in the posts I write today. Since day 1, I have used the same exact camera and lens and it's crazy to see how much my dad and I have improved our photography skills through trial and error (quite the big difference between my first outfit post and now)!

My blog has influenced me in more ways than I could have imagined. In high school I was dead set on going to school for engineering, but writing my blog exposed me to the world of social media and influencer marketing and sparked my interest in public relations. Now, I'm studying Strategic Communications (I don't think I even knew what that meant 3 years ago) and am soaking up all the information I learn every day. I can't imagine my life without the blogging community or spending my free time reading up on the latest blog posts and creating new content and am so grateful for the experience I have gained from writing this blog!

Studying communications and being surrounded by such creative people has inspired me to create more content on Gimme Glamour and I am very much looking forward to making my blog a bigger priority in my life because I can't beat that feeling when I click 'publish' on a post. 

Here's to 2018 and 4 more years!

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