IN REVIEW | december 2013


December was a pretty hard month for me. I’m an optimistic person by nature and I love to keep things in a positive tone. On the other side, I don’t want to leave out when things get a little shaky, to an extent. It’s never all sunshine, but I hate to dwell on negative things. With change, both positive and negative, come new beginnings. This year-end is really setting the stage for some pretty big changes in the future.

William and I decided to end our relationship a couple weeks ago. The details aren’t meant for here, but it’s all been amicable. Sometimes, two people’s paths just aren’t made to last, you know? I’m glad he was in my life, and I’ll take all the lessons I’ve learned from this relationship in to my next. I guess that’s what dating really is all about — finding out what you truly need in a life-long cohort.

Over Christmas, a coworker of mine passed away from a long battle with cancer. If you could or are capable, I know her family would appreciate all the thoughts and prayers sent her way. She had been on leave since before I started, but I did get to meet her at a few team get-togethers. While I didn’t know her very well personally, she was a big part of our team, and she will be very missed. Just around this same time, my grandmother was put into the hospital. We spent the majority of our time in Chicago prepping for her recovery and future well-being. Family stuff is hard, and navigating sick parents, daughters, and how to help them breeds a lot of stress. All seems to be positive on this aspect for now, and I’m so glad that my family and I were able to be there when this all was happening to do what we could.

Surrounded by these hardships, some exciting things have been happening around here this month as well. I’ve paired up with a new client who will be helping me with my fitness and well-being this upcoming year. Through all the weirdness, thesis writing, moving, long-distance relationshiping this year, I let my health slide a little a lot and I’m ready to get back on it. I know how good it feels to be treating my body right, and I have no excuses now that things in my life are finally settling down. This time around I’ll take it in baby steps. My new client and I had a long talk a couple weeks ago, and she is such an inspiration. I can’t wait to let you in on more of the fun we have going on this year. She helped me feel empowered to make changes at my own pace and to still have fun with the process. Does anyone else do the thing where they make a goal or lifestyle change too quickly or make too many changes all at once and can’t keep up with it? I definitely have that issue, and it’s time to make this stick, one step at a time.

On a pretty life-changing note, yesterday I put down a deposit for a new addition in the Pinegate Road household — a baby girl pup! She’ll be coming home with me in a couple weeks, and I’ll be using this week to puppy-proof my apartment and get up to speed on all there is to know before bringing her home. I’ve been wanting to get a little lady of my own since graduating high school, and after this move, I knew it was just the right timing for me. It was an amazing feeling to do this on the very last day of 2013! Tips and advice on bringing home a new puppy are appreciated, especially if you know about cockapoo puppies. This month I also was able to enjoy the snowy weather, and had lots of family time. We even made it to Alinea for dinner one night while in Chicago, which has been a dream restaurant venture of mine for years. Spending time to take all of this in and cherish each moment this month was well worth it.

Cheers to wrapping up 2013 friends! Hoping you all had a year of learning experiences and have your goals all sorted out. I know I’m ready to make 2014 a solid year! As always, you can follow along on more of the moments here if you wish. I’ll be back in a few days with a reflection on my goals from last year and a list of new ones for this year. Planning seriously makes me giddy.

REVIEW | the Day Designer by Whitney English

Whitney English Day Designer - review on Pinegate Road

About a month or so ago I reached out to Miss Whitney English about her recent creation: The Day Designer. This quarter, as many of you know, I unexpectedly was moved to all online courses, started working with a couple more freelance clients on top of my regular day job, and was trying to keep up with the growth of the blog and some other surprise personal projects. To say the least, my old organization routine of keeping a teux deux list was just not going to cut it with all of the future planning that I needed to work out on this chaotic schedule. When I heard about a planner that was catered specifically to the creative entrepreneur, I was intrigued. After a little over a month of using The Day Designer, I can definitely let you know that it’s been a game changer in how I work.


• For the first section of the planner, you’re introduced to some unique tools that help you find your personal passions and goals. What?! I’ve always been one to have goals to work towards, but writing these down, and planning your schedule around meeting these goals was something that I had never done before. While I’m still on the journey of meeting my goals, keeping these in mind daily really helps keep them in focus, and you can do little things each day that will add up to meeting that goal in the long run.

• The set up is easy to understand, and you keep your priorities straight by having a month in review throughout the planner to keep those larger goals broken up into manageable aspects.

• There is a large page for each day. This is key! I love having enough space on each day to write notes, and add tasks as they come up. Keeping it all on one page helps you focus on what you need to do for that day, rather than looking at an entire week and feeling overwhelmed.

Whitney English Day Designer - review on Pinegate Road

• It’s aesthetically pleasing. Come on, who doesn’t love hot pink and black and white stripes? The quality of The Day Designer is amazing. You feel like you’re really working with something special.

• It combines a traditional to-do list—that I was already familiar to working with—and combines it with a schedule and priority system. Each day you pick your top three items from your list that you need to complete. This helps make the to-do list less daunting, and helps you feel accomplished when you do get all three of those done for the day. By pairing this system side-by-side next to a schedule, you can see where your daily tasks can fit into your schedule in one day.

• Quotes on each page bring a smile to my day.

Whitney English Day Designer - review on Pinegate Road - GIVEAWAY

So, are you intrigued?  You can get your own day designer HERE. Also, lucky for you Whitney has offered to give one of my lucky readers a Day Designer of their own! The giveaway will be open until next Friday, December 14th, at midnight. I’m using rafflecopter for this giveaway, so follow along below for your chances to win! You can enter multiple times, so head on back throughout the week for more chances. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway