Vision Boarding 101

I’m back after a very long hiatus. When you write and create content for a living, it’s hard to then come home and write more content for you. In reflecting on my blog thus far, I realized that this blog is more of a day in the life of yours truly. It was such a nice way to remember things that I’ve done in the last couple of years. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m not accomplishing as much as I would like, personally or professionally. Maybe that’s a side affect of not being in school, or learning anything new in a structured way. But I’m craving something new. But, with that crave, comes waves of insecurity and fear that I won’t succeed. This has been a challenge my entire life. Before I jump, I want to make sure I can jump well, high, and with a successful landing. But life doesn’t actually work that way. Sometimes you have to jump – even when you aren’t ready.

This is what has inspired me to write my first blog post in almost a year. When I’m craving change, my first instinct is to sit down, evaluate and make some goals. I’m more of a visual person, so vision boards work well for me! I only put mine together a week ago, and things are already starting to happen. Call me crazy, but I truly believe that what’s meant to be will be and that everything happens for a reason. However, without a vision and a plan – dreams are just dreams. You still have to take steps (even baby ones) to make your dreams come to life. Here are my 6 best tips for creating your vision board and start making your dreams a reality!

1. Don’t think – just cut

Pull out all of your old magazines that you were planning on recycling anyway and dive straight in. Don’t think too much about this process, just start cutting out pictures, words, phrases, etc that speak to you. You know, kind of like the KonMari method – if that picture sparks joy, cut it out and put it in a pile. You don’t have to use all of the images you select, but it allows your mind to just focus on what truly matters to you.

If you’re doing this online (Pinterest is a great platform for this), then just save as many photos to your board as you can. You’ll reassess afterwards.

2. Tidy your space

Clear space = clear mind. Your working area may have become a bit messy with all the magazine pages. Take 5 mins to clear up your space and get ready for the next part of the process. Gather your board, markers, glue stick, stickers, quotes, inspirational scrap-booking papers, etc that you’ll need to start putting your masterpiece together.

3. Talk is out

I did my most recent vision board with a few family members and friends, and loved having people there talk out why I found my images inspiring. I realized once I went through my photos and starting talking about why I selected it, it made more sense and my goals were becoming clear. If there were photos that I wasn’t as excited about, I ditched them before they made it onto the board.

I realized I had cut out a lot of outdoor photographs and found some really great quotes to conveyed the feeling of being more connected with nature. I always feel so much more energized and clear headed after a walk with my two dogs, and usually end up going out for much longer than intended.

Again, if you’re doing this online, talk through the photos that you’ve saved. You can even make a note on each photo about why it speaks to you as a reminder for later. Delete the photos that don’t bring you excitement or inspiration.

4. Put it together!

Assemble your masterpiece. Now that you’ve edited, and talked through your images, it’s time to start securing the pictures onto your board. I like to layout my images before gluing them permanently down. Play around with it – there is not right way to do this step! Everyone’s board will look different. I like to make it more of a collage, but I’ve also seen some people segment the board into different themes like fitness, health, career, personal, etc. Whatever makes the most sense to you, do it.

5. Add dates, numbers, actionable words.

This is a step I used to skip. I didn’t want to put actionable numbers or goals because then I would have to strive to reach them. (Yes, I know how counter-productive that is to make a vision board and just hope it happens). So this time around I put my money where my month was. When you have a date, you have to make steps towards that goal. It gives you something to envision and also gives you a time frame.

For example, I have a picture of a Before and After shot of a house. I know that whenever Adam and I buy a place, that it will likely be a fixer-upper (because Toronto is not affordable and we’re not interested in moving that far away from the city). So this photo represents our journey to home ownership. I put the year 2022 right beside a quote that says “focus”. I know that if we really crack down on our spending and paying off debt, that we will reach this goal – or at least get pretty close to it.  Another number I included was ‘300’ – which is the deadlift goal I’ve set for myself to hit by the summertime. I’ve also included the word “Summer” with a picture of a mic and stage, as that’s the time when I want to go solo and really get my singing going again.

6. Put it somewhere you’ll see it often

My final tip is to put your vision board somewhere where you will see it everyday. Don’t hide it away in your closet or let it get lost in a room you never go in. If it’s online, take a screenshot and save it to your desktop background or phone background. Look at it with intention, smile, close your eyes and give yourself some grace knowing that you’re working towards this. It’s not meant to be a board of what you’re lacking – but of where you’re going.


With that, happy vision boarding! It’s never too late to create one and whatever season of life you’re in, I can guarantee you’ll benefit from having it.

Have you ever created a vision board? Did it work for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Update: No Spend January + Resolution Check-in

You know when you feel so confident you’re going to achieve something, and you realize that it was just maybe a little too much for you to chew? Yeah, I bit waaaaay too much off for the month of January with my “no-spend” rule. I’m pretty sure I caved in the second week when that mid-day slump happened and Starbucks was just CALLING my name.

But, there is a silver lining…January was my BEST month in terms of spending and I am calling this little challenge a success (yes, a success) because of everything I learned and became more aware of. And, I’m going to share those sweet little nuggets of wisdom with you today!

This is 100% NOT sponsored, but I wanted to share the tool that I find to be the most helpful for budgeting! I use Mint.com to keep track of my spending. It makes it so easy to visually see where your money is going, because let’s be real…how many people are actually using cash these days? I use debit/credit for essentially all of my transactions and being able to see them in one place, sorted by category or merchant, is super helpful. The other feature I love is being able to set goals! With the left over money from your budget, you can create various goals depending on your objectives.

We really wanted to start building back our rainy day/emergency fund after our wedding and our dog, Ace having surgery, as our savings took a bit of a hit. My other big goal this year is to pay off my student debt and credit card. I was able to create both of those goals on Mint AND it tells me exactly how long it will take depending on the amount that I put in each month. I found this extremely helpful. I wish that we were taught more about budgeting/finance in school. This stuff should be taught at an early age – it’s so important! But it’s okay, I learned about the Pythagorean theorem instead *insert eye-roll here*.

Here’s a little screenshot of the look and feel of the app from the budgeting perspective:

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 12.33.16 PM

And as you can see….I may or may not have hit a lot of red. BUT, what’s great about this is that it tells me exactly how much I overspent and that gives me an idea if it was something that was necessary or not. There are a couple of downsides to this app… I did pay my line of credit but for some reason the transaction didn’t pop up and same with the transfer for bills. What app doesn’t have it’s flaws though…It’s definitely worth it, even with these little hiccups.

Next, you can see trends in your spending. Who doesn’t love a pretty graph!?! I do wish I could change the colours though…

My mind is blown when I compare what I was spending LAST January (in the yellow) compared to THIS January (in the green). I mean, look at that shopping tab! The other graph compares the last 3 months, which turned out to be a significant decrease from November to January! Wooooohooo!
Below are my learns from this challenge and things that I will continue to take with me and improve on. Plus,  hopefully this will give you some insight for any of your goals/resolutions you’re still tackling!

1. Awareness

I was able to see where my money was going instead of blindly purchasing. I became more strategic about where I was spending my money and keeping an eye on my accounts! (Also super important in an era of online shopping + online fraud!!).

2. Value

I really started to look at the worth of what I was purchasing and began asking myself if things were going to serve me in a way that added value to my life. A coffee on a bad day, yes 100% worth it. A coffee everyday because I was too lazy in the morning to make it – not worth it.

3. Flexibility

This was a pretty big one for me. Life isn’t going to be perfect or cookie-cutter easy, it’s messy and it has to be flexible. Unexpected things come up and you just have to go with the flow. For instance – I lost my Presto Card (transit card) on my walk to the subway. Literally a 5 min walk. But that loss ended up costing me more money in January because I had to order a new one AND I had to spend more money on tokens. Even though this may have been a small amount – it’s still a cost that I had not expected to pay for. Being flexible and having an cushion is important!

4. Communication

When you’re spending or budgeting with a partner, it can be easy to just spend without consideration. Not because you’re meaning to do it or in spite of the other person, it can just be so easy to get caught up in your own wants/needs. This challenge was a great way to connect, plan and map out where we wanted our money to go and what our priorities were for the month.

February is going to be a lot different for us! Our puppy, Koda is getting spayed and we have Adam’s birthday this month, as well as some car repairs we need to take care of. All of which are fairly big expenses, so planning what needs to shift in our budget to accommodate these things is important to discuss together.

5. Acceptance

I am my own worst critic. That’s probably one of my biggest pitfalls and something I am always trying to navigate and improve. Through this process, I was getting upset and feeling guilty for spending when I knew I shouldn’t have been. I learned that it’s okay to drop the ball sometimes and that tomorrow is a new day to get back on the horse and try again. It’s completely unrealistic to expect change to happen overnight (or in one month). The most important thing to do is learn from your setbacks and keep pushing forward.

You can apply these to any resolution that you may have set in January. How are they holding up? Take a look at your resolutions and refresh for February! Maybe you need to start from the beginning or maybe your goals need to be shifted in some way? It’s never too late to refresh nor is it a bad thing!

Let me know in the comments below what you’ve learned from your resolutions progress so far!

❤️lxiv.

12 Days of Christmas: How to Wrap the Perfect Gift

Now that my Christmas shopping list has been checked once and almost twice, it’s time to start wrapping them! I love selecting beautifully designed wrapping paper, tying the gifts with ribbon and finishing it all off with a bow! After the final touches, I add my homemade gift tags so that I know who gets what! Gift wrapping is not always easy, so I’m showing you my tips and tricks on how to wrap the most beautiful gift!

What you’ll need:

  • Wrapping paper of your choice
  • Box
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ribbons and Bows (optional)
  • Candle and hot chocolate for a festive touch (also, optional!)

img_1826Step 1: Roll out your wrapping paper and place your box on top. Ensure that your paper completely covers the box.

img_1827img_1829Step 2: Once you have measured, make the first cut length-wise.

img_1831Step 3: You will now make your second cut to ensure that the wrapping paper will not be too wide to make your fold for the sides of the box. My rule of thumb is that the sides of your paper should hit at approximately half of the height of the box.

img_1834Step 4: Ensure that the box is flipped upside down. Then take the longer side of the paper, fold around the box and tape to secure in the middle. Repeat with other side.

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img_1836Step 5: Turn the box so that one side is facing you. Fold down the top edge.

img_1838Step 6: Now take the right corner and fold towards the center (follow the folds that will naturally be made from Step 5). The top and right edges of the box should be smooth. Repeat for the left side.

img_1839img_1840Step 7: To make a nice, crisp point on the bottom, you can fold the excess paper (the paper that sticks out beyond the nice line you created) underneath the one fold, or you can just simply cut it out.

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Step 8: Fold the bottom point upwards towards the center and secure with tape!

img_1843Step 9: Repeat steps 5-8 on the other side!

Step 10: Final step is to use ribbons and bows to add your special touches!

img_1845img_1848Attach the tag to the gift by using the ribbon you added, or simply tape it on the box. I chose to leave extra ribbon, cut it in half and use that to tie a small knot!

img_1850img_1851There you have it! I chose to attach the bows and ribbon onto the “side” of the box to make that the top since it was a cube. However, you would normally flip the box over (especially with a rectangular shape) so that the side without any folds or tape is on top. You can repeat the same steps for any shape or size. The most important step is measuring the paper to your gift box!

What’s your wrapping style? Do you like to decorate with ribbons and bows? Or do you prefer a gift bag and some tissue paper? Let me know in the comments below.

lxiv