Horacio Printing Planner

Planner Organization: Horacio Printing Planner

Disclaimer: I was sent this planner for free, but all thoughts are my own, honest, opinion. I do not benefit if you decide to purchase this planner.

Woo hoo! Are you ready for the first planner organization post of the season?! Well, here goes.

First off, one of the best things about this planner company is that some of their proceeds go to A21. A21 is a campaign against human trafficking.

Horacio Printing Planner


Horacio Printing Planner

First Impressions

Please excuse my not so great video quality and awkwardness.


Further Review of the Horacio Printing Planner


The Horacio Printing Planner is good quality overall. The paper is thick so your pen doesn’t bleed through. I’d say it is about a cardstock thickness. The cover is beautiful, however, the gold foil is easily scratched, and the black stays smudgey. This isn’t a huge turn off for me, but for those of you who like to keep a really clean and beautiful planner, it might bug you some. My thought is that you could probably put clear contact paper over the cover to protect it. Let’s talk about the coil…this is not the kind of coil that Plum Paper and Erin Condren. It’s one of those ones that has a piece the pages can’t go past. I hope they are able to change this to the coils on the EC and Plum Paper. But again, the quality overall is pretty good.


The coil does make the usability of the planner a little difficult. However, the simplicity of the pages allows a lot of flexibility in the way you can plan, which makes it more user friendly.


Little Touches

I love the attention to detail put into this planner. The bible verses in the corner. Area for weekly intentions… and several pages that encourage spiritual growth. This is the perfect planner for a new Christian college student that is going off on their own for the first time.


How I Used the Horacio Printing Planner

As you can see in the image above (and below), this planner is more for the minimalist planner. I included my work schedule and a to do list when I needed to. I loved the weekly intentions area for general tasks, things that didn’t need to be done on a specific day. The simplicity of the planner allows the use of various kinds of washi tape, sticky notes, and stickers if you want to!

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I hope you enjoyed this post. There are two more planner posts coming. Let me know if you have any requests! Also, I am looking for guest writers and featured artists currently!

Thanks again Horacio Printing for sending me your planner!

Little Ways to Start Your Day Right

5 Little Ways to Start Your Day Right

Keeping a positive outlook on life is one of the more important aspects of fighting anxiety and learning to live with it. I think that starting our day on a positive note is the easiest way to begin with a positive outlook so here are 5 ways to start your day right!

The Dark Side of Competition

We live in a pretty crazy world right? Things are moving so fast it’s hard to keep up. There is always something new and better that we are itching to get our expectant hands on. We are always trying to be one step ahead. No one likes to be the last to watch that TV show, or listen to that song or try that new drink.

It brings out a competitive streak in all of us.The Dark Side of Competition

Don’t get me wrong, competition can be healthyIn the right context.

When it motivates, challenges or spurs us on….however, these occasions are few and far between.

For example, your home football team is in the playoffs (don’t ask me what that actually means.) Or you are trying to beat your Dad at a game of Monopoly. Or maybe you are trying to beat your own personal sprint record.

However, competitiveness has a dark side. Continue reading “The Dark Side of Competition”

Spring 2016 Goals

Goal Results: Spring 2016

So, it’s finally the end of the Spring 2016 Semester. I figured it was about time to go over my goal results with you guys. So here goes.Spring 2016 Goals


  1. Put energy into my friendships. Schedule at least one hangout time a week.

    This has made all the difference in the world. Making time with friends a priority, has built an awesome support system for me. Success.

  2. Be hydrated! By the end of the semester, be drinking 64oz of water per day. Preferably before the end of the semester.

    Really really bad at this one…

  3. Write and post at least twice a week on Sara Strives.

    Most weeks. Success.

  4. Make more As than Bs.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful this time around. I let myself get lazy as the semester was finishing. I made 2 As and 3 Bs.

  5. Follow a study schedule to increase productivity and increase goals.

    I found the study schedule to be too constricting for me. I’ve just been working quickly and working as soon as I can instead of putting it off. I will likely try a less specific schedule next semester because I have 3 online classes that I’m taking.

  6. Eat vegan, or at least vegetarian for most meals. One to three cheat meals per week. This is primarily for health reasons which is why I am allowing myself “cheat” meals.

    This hasn’t worked as well as I hoped, mostly because of availability. The vegan cafeteria is all the way on the other side of campus and closes at 7pm which is when I usually get hungry for dinner because I eat lunch at 2.

  7. Find a study spot that isn’t my dorm.

    I was using the time I’m at work to do homework, but I’m finding I don’t have the motivation to do that right now. I should probably find a new space. I didn’t end up finding a new space…

  8. Put 10% of income into savings.

    I didn’t end up doing this towards the end of the semester.

  9. Get rid of excess stuff for a tidier and less stressful room.

    This has been great. I feel like I’ve cut down quite a bit. Success.

  10. Take a minimum of 10 minutes of quiet/prayer/bible reading time 5 days a week.

    I haven’t done very well with this one. I let myself get swept up in the busyness of school and work. If anyone has suggestions for making sure I make time for this, let me know. I did make quiet time for myself, not much time in the Word though. Half success.

  11. Find a way to take lecture notes that works for me.

    I think I’ve done fine with this. I made a B on one test and an A on another. Success.

  12. Make my bed every morning. Again, for a tidier and less stressful room.

    This hasn’t been happening and it makes my room stressful. I’ve been oversleeping a lot. I want to get back into this. For the majority of the semester, success.

  13. Read one fun book!

    I haven’t really been working on this very much. But I have a book started. I haven’t finished it, but I ended up buying a different book the last week of school that I am very excited to read. Half success.

  14. Submit my degree plan.

    I submitted my degree plan and have gone to all my meetings. I now have my official degree plan in hand! Success.

  15. Find a cleaning schedule, whether alone or with a roommate!

    I have been cleaning on Sundays mostly. It’s a nice quiet time to get ready for the week. Success.

Ultimately, I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but I learned that it’s okay not to meet goals sometimes. Especially when a class might be more difficult than you expected. Or a diet doesn’t work for you. How did your goals turn out? Anything you would do differently next time around?


College Critiques

College Critiques: How to Accept Criticism and Give It

So excited to give you another post from Margaret! This one is about critiques. Accepting criticism as an artist is extremely challenging. And this article is a perfect guide to accepting criticism and giving critiques.

Greetings! Margaret here again. I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and that failure isn’t as frightening as it may have once been. I couldn’t be more grateful to Sara for hosting me again, and she has been as patient as a saint. Did you know I moved this weekend? I feel a little beat up, so it’s nice to sit and write, and not do anything related to lifting or running up and down stairs.

College Critiques

So let’s get to it! This week I’d like to talk to you about critiques. Sheesh, there’s nothing more trying than getting up with a piece of artwork you’ve worked on for weeks and taking everyone’s criticism–constructive or otherwise.


At least that’s how it was in my art classes. You’d have to display your work and stand beside it, mouth shut, while everyone pointed out what was working and what wasn’t. Sure, I’ve received a lot of critiques as a fiction writer–and I’ve given them as well–but I developed my thick skin for critiques in art class.


At the college level, critiques should be more in-depth. It’s no longer enough to say you like something or you don’t like something. Classmates–and you–need to be able to articulate why you like it. But even to say “I like this because…” isn’t substantial enough. It’s too subjective. Critiques should be objective, and that can make them hard to receive.


They sound cold and impersonal.


The truth is, that’s okay. They should be impersonal. If your painting doesn’t work for some reason, it doesn’t matter if you’re the nicest person in the world. It’s the same for fiction.


I was working on a book in third-person (He went over there, for example), and I was having difficulty getting far enough into my narrator’s headspace. My fellow students told me the story was interesting but it just wasn’t grabbing their attention.




For a writer, there’s nothing worse than not grabbing your reader’s attention! After all, that’s what keeps them turning the pages. The most constructive critique identified that my reader felt too far away from my main character and narrator.


I switched to first person (I went over there, for example), and it revolutionized my story.


So here’s your choice when faced with a tough critique: Let your feelings get hurt and take it personally, or learn to develop a thick skin and begin to crave constructive criticism.


What about giving critiques?

Believe it or not, giving a good critique is easier than it may seem. Keep in mind that your professor might have additional or different guidelines that you should always follow, but if you’re not given guidelines or they’re loose, here’s a good template to guide you.


The Sandwich Critique

  1. Say something that works about the piece. Don’t just try to be nice, really look for something that works well. Try to drill down to details. For example, does the composition carry your eye through the piece? Maybe the colors or textures create energy for the viewer. Be as specific as you can and don’t make it personal.
  2. Suggest something that might be improved upon. Just as almost every piece has strengths, so too is there often room for improvement. Again, be as specific as you can. Don’t just say, “I don’t like the colors.” Instead, it might be more appropriate to say something like this: “The brown, gray, and red color scheme create a dull, muddy tone when your subject matter suggests something more upbeat. Was this original? If not, you might consider choosing different colors.”
  3. Say something that works well again. Not only will this allow the recipient of your critique to feel empowered and positive, but it shows that you’re not just looking for the negative.


Additional Tips

What else can you do to improve your critique experience?

  • Listen to others when they give you critiques. Keep eye contact and don’t interrupt. Don’t defend your work. Remember they’re just trying to help and you are not forced to take their advice.
  • Study each piece and take notes before you critique, if possible. Jot down some quick ideas of what works and what doesn’t.
  • If someone else says what you were thinking for a piece before your turn to critique, that’s okay. You can agree with them and even add to what they said.


I know critiques are difficult. I know it. I’ve encountered them for fine art and for writing. I can’t make promises that they will get easier, but they did for me, and now after earning my master’s, I can say I crave a good critique. When someone just tells me what they think I want to hear, I feel let down.


Good luck, and always remember that it’s about improving the piece, and that a critique is not personal.