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My 2018 Planning/Goal-Setting Set Up

Over the last few weeks, I've been experimenting with some big changes in how I'm planning and how I want to plan in 2018. This year I moved into separate planners, like this MAMBI Happy Planner with Gold Expander Rings, focused on individual projects or areas of my life. I love this from the perspective of keeping my supporting documents, goal setting, milestones and plans together in one place, but this does cause confusion and potential for forgetting things if I don't check every planner on a daily basis. To prevent that from happening, I started using a bullet journal  like this one 

to transfer my tasks into one spot to stay on top of them, but I much prefer using my Day Designer  

to plan out my tasks for the day because I like to time-bound tasks, so at this point, I've basically eliminated the use of a bullet journal except for keeping my habit tracker.

This system has been working well, but I felt limited because I no longer had somewhere consolidated where I could look at all my weekly appointments and workload at a glance. This was really where I was struggling and some days just feeling complete overwhelm from overbooking myself or forgetting commitments.

I had purchased a Van Der Spek and hadn't yet used it, so I decided to pair it with weekly inserts from Printable Pineapple to consolidate my week, making sure I have a level workload. Then on a daily basis, I pull out my daily tasks, transfer them to my Day Designer and keep that with me as I work throughout the day.

Since I gave up on the bullet journal, I did feel the need to add one more item to my planning arsenal. I needed someplace to jot down tasks and thoughts as they pop into my head as well as the habit tracker.

 I ordered this simple graph notebook,  and I use it as a somewhat modified bullet journal almost in the reverse of my weekly/daily planning process. In the evening, I sit down and transfer notes and tasks into the appropriate project planners.

I'm still working out my system for advance or annual planning, so I'll share that as soon as I get it figured out. What are you planning on using next year?

Entertaining / Thanksgiving Tablescape

Last year’s Thanksgiving was the first holiday in our new home, but coming on the heels of an out-of-state move, a long vacation in France, and a few road trips back to Los Angeles, we decided to stay home just the three of us and have a simple and relaxing holiday. I admit I was pretty worn out. I had managed to decorate for Halloween as I showed here, but other than keeping some of my pumpkins out, I didn’t get very into Thanksgiving.

This year, even though we are staying home and having just the three of us again for Thanksgiving, I wanted to put a little more effort into it. I pulled out my pumpkins and scattered them around the house, put up a festive leaf garland on my balcony as well as a few pillows and plaques, but I really decided to put most of my effort into the tablescape. 

A is cooking her first Thanksgiving this year since this will be her last year living at home full time, and we thought this would be good practice for her when she’s doing the meal on her own in the future. There’s nothing like practicing when Mom is here to talk you through it. Since she’s doing all the work, I wanted to set a beautiful table as a backdrop for her efforts.

I went back and forth on getting flowers this year. I love an acorn and twig wreath that I bought at Hobby Lobby last year and was going to have that be the centerpiece with a large pillar candle in the center but really felt drawn to having some type of flowers this year instead. I used a large red vase and several bunches of flower stalks in autumnal colors that I arranged together and ended up putting the wreath in the nook next to my front door.

I decided not to use a tablecloth this year instead going for the rustic look of my tabletop, but I still used a mixture of my different china patterns as well as a small plate from an everyday set that has a harvest theme paired with my formal silver. I then used some antique glassware and a sprig of dried lavender across the top of each setting. 

I had no need for placecards this year since there will only be the three of use, but I did scatter some of my small seasonal candleholders on the table as well.

Overall, I think the look is simple, rustic yet classic. I’ve partnered with several other bloggers for the Tablescape Blog Tour. Please take the virtual tour by clicking the little blue frog below and see what everyone else has planned for the holiday tables this year. 

Downtown Las Vegas / 7th And Carson

 A few weekends ago 7th and Carson hosted the Vegas Lifestyle Influencers group for a little pre-Halloween brunch. I had had this little Downtown  gem on my list for a while, but just hadn't made it in. From the minute we walked through the door and were greeted by these spicy watermelon beauties, I knew I had put it off far too long.

First out of the kitchen was this parfait of Greek yogurt, housemade granola and berries

quickly followed by this amazing salad with grilled peaches and burrata. With every dish that was brought out of the kitchen and presented to us, I kept thinking that the food was more and more beautiful and each taster absolutely amazing. 

And it just kept coming. Just as beautiful as the food is the ambiance. 7th and Carson is not a huge venue, but it's well laid out with a chef's bar, a bar and a grouping of tables including a large communal table. With lots of warm wood, the focal point has got to be the tile tops of the table. The restaurant has gone so far as to use the patterns of the table as part of their branding, including the patterns on their business cards. 

 Additional courses included chicken and waffles

and French toast with lavender infused syrup. The syrup had a delicate floral flavor that cut the normal sweetness of maple syrup. 

 Dare I say that I'm not a huge avocado toast fan and be allowed to keep my blog? Well, I haven't been, then I was served this enormous slab of delicious toasty bread, smeared with soft, perfectly ripe avocado and a beautifully poached sous vide egg with a soft but not runny yolk. I personally prefer a yolk that is a firmer, gooey bite instead of runny, so this was perfectly cooked for me.

A crowd favorite of the group was the breakfast pizza. There was a vegetarian in our group, so Chef very kindly placed bacon on only half of the pizza, but can you tell? Those are scrambled eggs that were so perfectly prepared they melted into the cheese and crust. 

Chef hard at work in his kitchen.

If you are planning a visit to Vegas and are looking for a restaurant Downtown, you can do no better than dropping by 7th and Carson. If you are a local, you should run and not walk as soon as possible to pay a visit. I know that I will be putting this spot into regular rotation. 

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