My skincare routine

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Something I’ve been a stickler about recently are my routines. I’ve perfected my morning and evening routines when I was in Greece and I couldn’t be prouder. One of the biggest routines I’ve made is my skincare routine.

Gone are the days of not taking my makeup off before going to bed and washing my face only when I’m in the shower. I’ve created my foolproof, all-natural, all vegan, and all sensitive skin approved skincare routine that I do twice a day.

The first part of this routine is wash my face. At night I just use a makeup remover and my take the day off washcloth. In the mornings I use the Earth Science Creamy Fruit Oil Cleanser to wash my face. This is a very light, good scented, face wash that makes my skin glow as well as feel incredibly soft and clean. Plus, it’s great for dry and sensitive skin, both of which I have.

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I next follow up with a toner. I use witch-hazel for this because it removes any leftover crap on my face as well as lighten up my skin. It keeps irritation on my face at a minimum as well as keeps my skin soft and pimple free.

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I continue with rose water. I’ve been using rose water for a long long time and I think it really helps even out my skin tone. I have the reddest face usually, but the rose water keeps it toned down and a normal color. It also smells good and really perks me up in the morning.

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Finally, I finish with the Everyone for Every Body Face Nourishing Moisturizer. I love the smell of this and the argan oil keeps my skin smooth and without any dry spots. I have a pretty oily T zone [thank you combination skin] so this keeps my dry skin supple but doesn’t make my oily spots unbearably oily. It’s a win-win.

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I have only been using both my lotion and face wash for about a three months but I am having the best results with them both. I always struggle to choose and to maintain a lotion and face wash because my skin gets immune to them and either breaks out or remains dry. I will definitely update if I have the same effects with these but from what I’ve experienced so far, they are both working for me.

What do you use for skincare? Please tell me I love trying new things!!

❤ Alicia

Explore: Brussels Belgium

Two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Belgium for the weekend. After I found roundtrip airfare for $70 I knew I had to jump on this opportunity and take a visit. I’d never been to Belgium before, but I had a friend who visited last summer that absolutely adored the place, so I knew I had to visit if given the opportunity.

The first thing I have to say about this place, is, bring a damn umbrella. It didn’t rain on my first day, but it poured BUCKETS [after I had already styled my hair all cute to get a nice picture] so I walked around with a hat, gloves, scarf, raincoat on, but no umbrella, leaving the entire contents of my backpack soaking. Thank goodness it was my last day and I could allow my backpack to dry once I got home later that evening.

I’ve mentioned in other explore posts that I love free tours in big cities. Brussels was no exception. In Brussels, the city is divided into two parts: the upper city and the lower city. Therefore, Brussels has two free tours that run at different times of the day. The lower city is offered in the morning and the upper city is offered in the afternoon. I, of course, did both tours. The two tours combined offered everything I wanted to see in Brussels minus like two things which were kind of outside of the city, so I knew I had to do the tours. The tour guides were great, I learned a lot, and saw so many beautiful sights and got ideas for more places to go, so all in all, some pretty great tours.

If you visit Belgium, prepare to walk. Not only is the city on a damn hill but there is so much to see and it is spread OUT. Unlike some other cities like Sofia and Thessaloniki, which are cities that are in pretty close quarters, Brussels is very much all over the place which made me sure to get about 50,000 steps over the weekend. I definitely recommend gym shoes or at least shoes that you know you can do a lot of walking in. I wore some booties that I wear almost every day to school so I knew they were broken in and wouldn’t get blisters or have tired feet. Also, there are TON of beautiful parks in Brussels that you HAVE to visit. Lots of greenery, statues, fountains, and some very weird and interesting birds make for the perfect break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Belgium is known for its Belgian waffles and let me tell you, I have been so sad that I’m vegan for the sole reason of not being able to try these traditional delicious foods that everyone raves about. However, I managed to find a VEGAN, yes VEGAN, Belgian waffle restaurant and I almost cried. I knew I had to make a visit and ethically try a Belgian waffle in their home of Belgium. If I return to Brussels, I will be making another trip to #VEGANWAF. When I tell you, this was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, I’m not lying. I got one waffle [more than enough] covered in chocolate sauce. There’s something about a warm waffle and warm chocolate sauce after just coming out of the pouring rain that really just… hits different. Also, the man who worked at the place was such an angel [and thought I was from the UK for some reason] and we chatted about Greece, summer, and Brussels while I enjoyed my delicious waffle.

This is something I’m soo NOT proud of. When I’m abroad I like to eat at traditional food and drink locations and try new things. However, I’ve been missing home, I really have. And sometimes when I’m homesick, I go to Starbucks. There’s something about an after-school Starbucks run with my little sister for a lemonade with no ice and a black tea lemonade that gets me reminiscing on my home and summertime and that’s what Starbucks always makes me think of. There are no Starbucks in Greece. However, I found a Starbucks in the train station in Brussels and an almond milk latte and vegan donut were just what the doctor ordered. I immediately didn’t feel homesick at all and was ready to continue traveling. So, if you’re missing home or American coffee, Brussels has you covered.

All in all, Brussels was beautiful. I would definitely recommend taking a visit, eating as many Belgian waffles as you want, and soaking in all that the city has to offer.

Have you ever been to  Belgium? If so, where??

❤ Alicia

Advice about living alone in a foreign country 

Hi all, It’s my last week here in Greece and I’m feeling two emotions: I’m beyond excited to go home to see my friends, family, dog, and eat good vegan American food. I’m also devastated to leave. I love all of my students and have made great friends while I’ve been here that I don’t want to possibly never see again. However, my time in Greece, for now, is coming to an end. If a Spanish teacher job opens up at Pinewood tomorrow or next year, you know I’ll be the first to apply because these students are just a joy and I love them all very much and will miss them dearly. However, I cannot wait to go home. Living alone in a foreign country has put me through the ringer [although I’m glad to have had the experience] and I wanted to share my experience and a little bit of advice I have to people who will move to a foreign country alone at some time in the near future.

Make friends! The best thing I did while in Greece has been to make friends. Making friends for me has been easy because most of them are at the school I’m teaching at. Meet people from your work or school or whatever you’re doing abroad. If neither of these work, download Bumble and pick the Bumble BFF setting to make new friends in any city you’re living in.

Get out and explore your new home! The biggest mistake I made during my first month and a half was not exploring Thessaloniki. I would come home from school, exhausted, watch Netflix, make dinner and then go to bed. It wasn’t until I realized my time in Greece is coming to an end that I realized I didn’t know the city at all except for a few places I’d been to while meeting up with friends. Even if you just google “fun, free things to do in _______” you can find tons of things to do in your new city.

Take care of yourself. Taking care of myself has been the hardest part about living on my own. Eating a bag of chips and watching Netflix all afternoon may seem like the best idea at the time but it’s really not. Getting up on time, going to bed early, going grocery shopping, doing my dishes, and cooking myself healthy food can be hard at times but it’s important that I do it. Creating routines and putting myself first during my time here has been absolutely important and very beneficial for me as well.

My last piece of advice about my time living in Greece is just to make the most the most of your time. It’s not every day or every lifetime that you can say you lived in a foreign country, even if just for a few months. Soak in every moment, try every new experience, eat new foods, and just enjoy all the moments, good or bad, because one day you’ll be back in your home country, wishing you were still living abroad.

Have you ever lived abroad? If so, where?

❤ Alicia

If we were having coffee

Hi everyone.  I’m sat in a cute café in Thessaloniki overlooking the water with Mount Olympus as my view. It doesn’t get much better than this. In Greece, cafes aren’t used in the same way that they are in the US. In America, you sit down, grab a cup of coffee, and grind on any and all of the work you have for that day. In Greece, you hardly ever see someone alone with a laptop in a café. Cafes are for social gatherings after shopping, catching up with old friends, etc. So, despite the fact that I’m currently alone, I figured I would pretend I was having a chat with you all. So, grab a frappe [traditional Greek coffee], hot or iced, and let me tell you about my current life.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’ve submitted my edTPA. The most daunting thing for an education student, the edTPA basically determines how fit you are to be a teacher. I still have to wait for my results of course, but having it completed is definitely a HUGE weight off my shoulders.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve completed my application to teach in Spain next year. I’ve selected Madrid or Galicia as places where I would like to live. I’m waiting to hear back on this as well but, at least this is also completed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m being sent home from Greece. Amidst the coronavirus, my school was closed for two weeks, followed by many emails from my university and they ended up canceling all study abroad trips for the semester. I have until next Friday to head home. I am absolutely devastated. I’m actually going to miss Greece. I was very hesitant about this country when I first arrived, but I’ve come to love and appreciate everything it has to offer. I’m also going to miss all my students dearly. I want to bring them all back to America with me but I can’t and I won’t even have the opportunity to say goodbye which absolutely breaks my heart.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m thinking about getting another tattoo. Getting tattoos in Europe is super cheap [and Greece is one of the cheapest countries to do anything in right now] and I really want to get something related to Peru, Spain, and Greece. I lived in all three of these countries during college and I think they’ve had quite an impact on me as a person. I’m not sure what I want or where, but I think that getting something to remember the fun times and things I’ve learned in each place is something I want to do. I’m thinking of having my sister draw a hand holding three flowers: a pink cantuta, a red carnation, and bears breech. These three flowers are the national flowers of the three countries that have really had a major impact on my college time.

What’s going on in your world recently?

❤ Alicia

Explore: Sofia, Bulgaria

When I first arrived in Thessaloniki, the first place I was told to visit was Sofia, Bulgaria. Just a five-hour bus ride from Thessaloniki which runs about nine times every day, Sofia is the perfect spot for a close and cheap, weekend getaway.

I will be honest, I don’t think I’d ever heard of Bulgaria before coming to Greece and if I had, I had no idea where it was on a map. This once communist country turned capitalist less than 50 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Filled with history of the Ottoman empire, Roman empire, Turkish, Jewish, Muslim, Communist times, and more, there is enough history in this city to keep you there for weeks. Unfortunately, I only had roughly 48 hours to soak it all in.

I stayed on the outskirts of the city center which in many cities can mean long walks to any location you want to go to. In Sofia, on the other hand, it means anything in the city center you want to see is 15 or less minutes walking.

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The view from my airbnb

My first recommendation is to take the Free Sofia Walking Tour. This tour runs 3 times a day [4 in the summer] and hits over 20 of Sofia’s hottest spots. I did this walking tour on Sunday morning at 11am. I would have done the 6pm tour the night before but I wanted to see everything in daylight. Whenever I go to a new city I always check to see if they have a walking tour and try to do it the first day I arrive. This gives me the chance to see all the big sites, get to know my way around, and make a list of everything I still want to do on my trip.

Before I arrived in Sofia, I looked up all of the must-see sights when I visited. Only 3 of the sights I wanted to see weren’t on the walking tour, so I checked those out when I arrived on Saturday. I took a stroll down Vitosha Blvd [called this because you can see Vitosha mountain when walking on it] which is filled with restaurants, high-end shops, and more. I refrained from buying anything other than a snack because I wanted to save my money for the next day if I stumbled upon anything before during or after my walking tour that I had to have that wasn’t some designer piece I could [if I had the money haha] buy anywhere.

The sun set at about 5:45 so I made it back to my Airbnb at around 6pm to avoid getting lost in the dark. I made myself some pasta for dinner, wrote a bit, and then watched the one English channel on the TV. It was called Fine Living which turned out to mix of HGTV and TLC but from the mid 2000s. Still, I enjoyed a bit of TV in a foreign country as well as relaxing after my long day of travel and walking around.

Sunday morning, I watched the sunrise from my Airbnb, packed my bag up and was out the door for my walking tour. I left earlier than I needed to so that I had the chance to walk around Vitosha again and grab breakfast. I found this cute place called Vitamin C. they had a variety of [vegan!!!] smoothies, juices, homemade health bars, etc. I opted for this sunflower seed and peanut butter bar which was delicious as well as the Raspberry bomb smoothie which had the obvious of raspberries paired with lime, avocado, mango, spinach, and coconut milk. My only critique you may ask: NO ICE. I don’t know what it is about Europeans having such a stick up their ass about ice cubes, but they do. Still, my room temperature smoothie was delicious, and I’d definitely go again. After this, I stumbled upon a souvenir shop where I bought a few postcards and some rose soap [something Bulgaria is known for] before continuing my stroll to the Palace of Justice, where the tour commenced.

For roughly two and a half hours, I walked around Sofia with a group of 20 or so other foreigners and Dino, our tour guide. He took us to all of Sofia’s historic sites and enlightened us on the grand history of Sofia and all of Bulgaria. He gave us recommendations on food, sites, museums, and more, as well as a good time during the tour. I got to see every aspect of Sofia that I’d wanted to and by the end of the tour could maneuver the city like a pro. After the tour, I had a few hours before my bus left for Thessaloniki, so I grabbed a cup of coffee from Costa coffee, a Bulgarian favorite, and continued my walk through the various parks and monuments that I wanted to revisit or didn’t get as close to as I’d wanted during the tour.

All in all, Sofia stole my heart. Every other building is yellow [including the palace turned history museum, the Starbucks, and every other building I took a photo of], I lucked out with a beautiful weekend of sunshine and 60 degree weather [in FEBRUARY], and I enjoyed the best tap water I’ve ever had while embracing a 7000 year-old city and all it had to offer.

Have you ever been to a Balkan country? Which one?

❤ Alicia

One month left in Greece

Eep! I’ve officially been in Greece for two months! It’s crazy to me that I have one month more and then I head home and then I’ll head back to school for graduation. Honestly, I can’t wait to go home. Greece has kicked my ass and honestly, all I want is to be home, eating Chipotle and drinking Gatorade while cuddling my dog.

I got the flu [the entire school and I believe it was actually coronavirus that we all had because it was more similar with that than the flu so… I survived the coronavirus 😉 ] and kept my fever and cough for about a week and a half after. I completely lost my appetite which meant I was eating one meal a day which left me absolutely exhausted and going to bed at 6pm each night [and still waking up at 6:30 the next day just as exhausted as the day before]. Greece sucks when it comes to having comfort flu food. All I wanted [needed] was an orange popsicle and a yellow Gatorade and honestly, I think I would have been cured [my grandma always gave me popsicles and my dad gave me Gatorade when I was little and sick, and they worked like a charm]. Alas, Greece has neither [at least the nearest grocery store to me doesn’t which is the only place I could walk to when I was dying] so I had to settle for blue Powerade and quite possibly the worst strawberry popsicle smoothie thing that I’ve ever eaten.

My computer crapped out on me. My sweet MacBook is almost five years old and I knew she was on her last leg. Every time I turn my laptop on I do a small little prayer in my head that all is well and that she lives to see another day. A few weeks ago [right in the middle of my edTPA mind you] I turned my laptop on, and my keyboard and trackpad did not work. Only the power button worked. I turned it on and off countless times before shedding a tear that half my life and my entire edTPA was on that computer. Somehow, three days later, I turned the computer on again, and it worked. It’s been hit or miss each day but most days but usually, after shutting it off and turning it back on five or so times, I have a fully functioning computer and can get some work done. I would go try to get this checked out, but, with the lack of Greek I’ve acquired, I without a doubt could not manage in an electronic repair shop.

Finally, school is just hard. I love all of my students [they are the only reason I wouldn’t want to leave Greece if I’m being honest] and they love me as a teacher which is the sweetest thing but I’m having trouble with a few adults at the school that I’d really prefer not to mention specifically just in case somehow someone from my school sees it. Working with adults is harder than working with children and I’ve decided that department meetings will be harder than actually teaching in my future because adults are just so damn stubborn and close-minded and NOT open to change.

I’m currently focusing all of my energy on getting through the next month unscathed and unstressed.

❤ Alicia

My nighttime routine

As smoothly as my mornings go, I try to keep my evenings the same. However, depending on my level of exhaustion at the end of the long school day, it makes a HUGE difference in how my evening will play out. Unlike my mornings, I don’t have set times for everything I do. Some nights I eat dinner at 4:30pm [yes I’m 85 years old] and other days I don’t eat until 8:00. It really depends on the day, what work I have, afterschool activities, etc.

Despite these time differences day to day, I do however try to do the exact same things every evening at some point no matter what time they get accomplished. For example, I get home from school and the first thing I do is hang my coat and put my bag in its place. I take my laptop out of my bag and I plug it in because most days I use at least 1/2 of the battery and I always need to come to school with it fully charged. I spend 30-45 minutes relaxing. I lay on my couch, sometimes have a little snack, watch Netflix, play on my phone, etc. Being gone for 9 hours really takes it out of you and I deserve a little time to myself just to do absolutely nothing of importance.

Every night I cook dinner, obviously [I wish I could do the same thing at home]. I aim to eat around 5:30 or 6:00 but as I said, it depends on the day. While I’m cooking, I check my planner to see what schoolwork I have to get done this evening and make a list of it or start the work while I eat.

After dinner, I do all my dishes from the day. I clean the coffee pot and get it ready for the next morning, my breakfast dishes, lunch box, dinner dishes, etc. It’s always nice to begin and end a day with a cupboard full of clean dishes and an empty sink.

Once my dishes are done I tidy up my apartment. Random shirts and pairs of shoes that I tried on that morning and didn’t want to wear are put back in their place and random tissues and pieces of plastic are thrown away.

After that, I have a nice-looking apartment that is ready for work. I sit either on my couch or at my table [or balcony when it’s not too cold]  and do whatever work I have to do. Some nights I have nothing and other nights I have a bit more. On nights that I have nothing, I get to enjoy a little more Netflix, take a walk outside, or progress on my edTPA. I love walking around my city because I always find something new [and remember some sort of food that I don’t have at home and need to pick up] to see or do and it’s nice to be able to call this city my home.

At 8:30 usually, I begin getting ready for bed. I brush my teeth, take my makeup off, do my skincare routine, some nights I do a face mask, etc. I put my clean dishes away, put pajamas on, and lay in bed. I watch a bit more TV, listen to music, read, write, etc. before ideally being asleep by 9:30 so that I’m ready to wake up the next morning.

With my morning routine as well as this one, my days go a lot more smoothly. Who would have thought it would have taken me 22 years to be able to come up with something as easy as this to get me through the days?

❤ Alicia

 

My morning routine

I’ve been in Greece for 5 weeks now and the biggest thing I told myself I had to do was create a daily routine. I’m exhausted every morning before I drink my pot [yes…pot] of coffee so creating and maintaining a morning routine for my groggy half-awake self is of dire importance. I’ve got the hang of my routine and can get ready for school each day quicker and quicker and I wanted to share my routine with all of you struggling with your own routines.


5:30: My first alarm goes off. I set roughly four alarms each day [5:30, 5:40, 5:50, and 6:00] in hopes that I wake up to one of the first two and then lie awake until the 3rd one and on some days [Tuesdays and Thursdays for some reason I’m even more tired than usual] I lie in bed until 6:00.

The first thing I do after getting out of bed is turn on my coffee pot. I’ve started getting it ready the night before so that I just have to hit the power button in the morning.

Once I hear coffee dripping, I hop into the shower and get nice and warm. My apartment and Greece as a whole make no sense when it comes to temperature. I keep my apartment at 19.0 degrees [Celsius] when I sleep and 20.0 degrees when I’m awake and moving around. At night, this temperature is fine. However, in the morning, I am an icicle without warm pants, long sleeves, and socks. So, I run into that shower and enjoy a nice seven or so minutes of warmth before having to reenter the cold that is my apartment.

When I’m done showering I do my skincare routine, brush my hair, etc. so that it’s out of the way. I put clean sweatpants on [I don’t put my teaching clothes on until later in case I spill coffee and because I just want to be comfortable as I lounge around].

At around 6:30/6:40 I eat breakfast and enjoy my first cup of coffee. I turn the TV on to give me a bit of company and open the door to my balcony so I can see the sun begin rising.

7:00 Once I’ve finished breakfast as well as cup number two of coffee I prepare my lunch. My typical lunch consists of a banana, a sandwich, some crackers, and an extra piece of fruit // veggie that I eat during a break if I’m hungry. I also fill a water bottle and throw them both into my bag,

By the time 7:10 rolls around I’m usually done or almost done with my 3rd/4th cup of coffee so now it’s time to brush my teeth, put some makeup on [my eyebrows and a bit of concealer on days when my skin hates me], turn the TV off, double and triple-check that I have everything and then finally, I’m out the door and on my way to the bus stop by 7:20 to be picked up at 7:25.

What does you morning routine consist of?

❤ Alicia

Apartment tour

Something I did way back when [2 and a half years ago] before the apartment life was a dorm tour! I loved getting to share my little home with everyone! Dorm, apartment, house, etc. tours on blogs and YouTube are my absolute favorite because I love seeing where people live and what they do with the space they have. I didn’t do an apartment tour with my last apartment [I might be able to if I still have the pictures I took of it] but I wanted to share my space in Greece.

I live in a studio apartment in a suburb of Thessaloniki known as Kalamaria. My apartment is on the top floor of a five-story apartment building with two apartments per floor. I am the only one currently living on my floor but people have been in and out of the other one for the past few days so I have to assume I will be getting a neighbor at some point shortly.

After unlocking the front door of the building, there is a small lobby area with mail slots, one apartment, a set of stairs, and a sketchy elevator. I take the elevator of course because I’m not trying to walk up five flights of stairs after a long day at school or with two arms full of groceries. If the elevator could hold my two 45-pound suitcases, my backpack, me, and another woman, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

When I get off the elevator, my apartment is on the left side of the platform.

The first thing you see when you walk into my apartment is everything. It’s a studio apartment so it’s very very tiny but it has everything I need. To the left of my door is my mudroom or mud area because obviously in a studio apartment we only have one room and then the bathroom. In this mud area, I keep all my shoes, my two coats, my teaching bag, hats, scarves, gloves, my umbrella as well as purses. There’s also a really nice mirror that I make sure to look in every morning before I leave so that I’m not going out looking a mess.

Right next to the mud area that is my bathroom. The bathroom is also pretty tiny, but it also has everything I need. There’s a toilet, a sink, a shower, and a laundry basket. My favorite part of the bathroom is the little counter underneath the mirror where I keep all the stuff that I use each morning and night like my skincare items, toothbrush, toothpaste, my sinus rinse, etc.

Something I love in homes are kitchens. I love cooking, eating, the homey atmosphere that kitchens bring so having this kitchen is a little bit of a challenge for me because it is so small but like everything else, the apartment is only for three months and it has what I need so I’m making it work. In my kitchen, I have a tiny microwave oven, three stovetop burners, a sink, a mini-fridge with a freezer built in and then a bunch of storage space as well. In the weeks I’ve been here I’ve only eaten out TWICE which means this kitchen is getting a TON of use.

One of my favorite parts of this apartment is my little coffeemaker area. I have a 10-cup coffee pot, a water heater, a toaster, as well as another toaster//Panini maker type thing. It’s rested on this cute little table and under the coffee pot I have coffee, sugar, tea bags, etc. Then underneath there’s a little storage area that I keep extra snacks in as well as my first aid kits.

I sort of have a dining room. In my dining area, I have a very small table with two stools that I really don’t ever use to eat. This table is more of my hub for keeping random stuff so when I go grocery shopping I put my groceries on there, after school, I put my laptop on it to charge, etc. It is still a nice little addition to the apartment and there are some days that I use it to eat dinner or breakfast which makes it nice to have.

Next, we have my closet. On top of my closet are my suitcases. Inside of my closet, I have a top-shelf which is where I keep underwear, bras, socks, and pajamas. I also have a shelf on the bottom and underneath that shelf, I have a vacuum cleaner and a couple sweatshirts that I brought. In the middle of the closet, I have a rack to hang things. When I got the apartment it only had a couple of hangers, so I do have to fold a lot of the clothes I brought and put them on the bottom shelf. I could go out and buy more hangers or ask my Airbnb host for some, but I’ll live with only hanging the necessities.

The next thing is my bed. My bed here is a sofa bed so during the day you can have it as a couch and then at night turn it into a bed however I prefer sleeping on the couch, so I usually just keep it as the sofa.

The balcony is by far my favorite part of the Airbnb because it is so big it’s really great to just sit and watch the sunset and sometimes I can watch the sunrise. I could literally sit out there all day. I work out on the balcony, do homework, lesson plan, etc. it is by far my favorite place and view in all of Greece.

What’s your favorite part of your home?
❤ Alicia

How I set up my planner

There’s absolutely nothing like the feel of a new planner. Having the opportunity to highlight, draw, scribble, sticker, and more to the hundred or so pages of a planner is unlike anything else. Before heading to Greece, I bought a new planner which was unlike all of my old planners. After seeing my schedule for the semester and realizing that it was different every single day, I decided to get a Day Designer from Target, which is a weekly hour by hour planner with additional room for to-do lists and other things to keep in mind. This planner is by far my favorite planner I’ve had and I’m using the HELL out of it. I still haven’t mastered my schedule so when I’m in five different classrooms in one day, this planner comes in handy. I wanted to share with everyone the layout of my planner to hopefully give some inspiration to those of you who have written three things for the whole year in your planer… in black ink.

Monthly view

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My old planners are scary compared to this one. Before this semester I had 334923957382 things on my plate each month, so the month view had white-out, scribbles, and 7 different colors of marker to sort my life out. This semester, while I feel a lot busier, I have a hell of a lot less to do. I have four obligations: school, lesson planning, blogging, and my trips. Really that’s it, besides the hell of the edTPA which will be over soon. Each of these things has color in my planner and that’s that. School is blue. Blogging is red and trips are pink. I also add birthdays and holidays which I keep in black so that I don’t overload my senses. I also decided to finally use the stickers that they gave me in this planner [as well as my last planner too] to spice it up. Who doesn’t love a good sticker… or 20???

Weekly view

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This looks like an absolute cluster, but I can tell you it’s organized. Day to day I have a lot going on and the only way I could keep it nice and organized was by highlighting, highlighting and more highlighting! My breaks are written in pink [just like trips because it’s a nice time to relax for me]. ESL is orange. Spanish is blue and Planning is yellow. Then, everything else from the monthly view transfers over to the weekly as well so that I know what I’m doing and what’s happening and when. I use the same colors for monthly and weekly so I can write fewer words and still know what I’m talking about i.e. I can put “None” in blue and know I’m talking about school because of the color.


All in all, I love this planner. If you have the same schedule day to day this planner isn’t all that necessary. However, for those of you who do have a lot going on day to day, BUY THIS. It comes in a bigger size which I didn’t buy solely because I wanted it to be smaller for travel purposes. Out of the 5 or so different planners that I’ve used, this takes the cake as being my favorite. I’m not sure if it’s better or because I’m actually using it every day, but this planner gets an A+ in my book.

What is your favorite planner? And why?

❤ Alicia