September 2019 Astrology forecast + Productivity Analysis

Hey guys! So today I thought I would set the September mood now that we are past week 1 with the monthly astrology forecast, and productivity tips to use to battle the vibes of September. This is something new I’m doing and I thought it would be interesting for you guys too. My Astrology and Productivity post was one of the most popular posts by far and so I thought I’d continue the trend.

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THIS ASTROLOGY FORECAST IS FROM Cafeastrology.com

So I can better give you guys tips I’ve cut it into different sections. Everything bolded is from cafe astrology.

“  The New Moon near the end of August in the sign of Virgo continues to affect us in September, setting the tone. We’re also beginning the month with the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars all in the sign of Virgo! The New Moon promised us opportunities to take charge of our lives through organizing, editing, and refining work as well as better attention to health. This is a fertile and productive time. This is a brilliant time for gently freeing ourselves from limiting circumstances and finding more joy through our daily routines, work, or pursuit of health. With a full line-up of inner planets in Virgo, they’re all harmonizing with Saturn and Pluto and clashing with Jupiter and Neptune this month. We’re likely to enjoy multiple opportunities to get our lives together while battling expectations. “

So for the first half of the month we are being set up for success. This is an amazing time to set up daily routines, get a schedule going, bust out that planner you’ve been ignoring since March - ehem…..

It’s all about getting organized and getting yourself on track again after the craziness of the year. One bit of advice I’ll offer based on the forecast is that we should keep our expectations relatively realistic instead of expecting so much from ourselves. I know it can be hard with so much on our plates, but it is also super important to not overwhelm ourselves.

The key to balance lies in identifying and expressing our spiritual needs while maintaining order in our everyday lives. Saturn turns direct on the 18th, and is a strong reminder to take care of our responsibilities and to bring our goals down to earth. With Saturn’s direct turn, our responsibilities, and perhaps our limitations, are magnified. Gradually, our long-term goals and plans become clearer. “

This is the perfect opportunity to look deeper into ourselves and really narrow down what our goal are. It could be from a month from now, a year from now, or maybe even life goals! Stay focused though, and don’t get too ahead of yourself. This is a time to be realistic with what’s going on around you. Take responsibility for your actions. Make sure you get things done. Make sure you keep your focus.

The end of the month is quite a switch from the beginning.

We may be misled easily under this influence, whether by others or by our own unrealistic or inflated expectations. We may need to deal with the consequences of disorganization, extravagance, neglect, or exaggeration. The tendency for restlessness is magnified, and routine seems to be particularly unsatisfying now. This is a time when we easily take a detour from a practical path. It can also be a time when we are disillusioned by something (or someone). We need to watch carefully for a tendency to evade and avoid things, as well as for writing ourselves new beliefs or philosophies that justify this avoidance. There can be a lot of wandering, meandering, and lack of groundedness happening with this influence, some of which can be helpful in moderation. We might have troubles setting boundaries for ourselves, however. There is a need to come down to earth from time to time.”

My advice would be to stay true to yourself during this period. Don’t compare your step 1 to someone else’s ending. Everything happens for a reason. The Universe has a strict timing for everything that happens to us in our lives. It is up to us to stay true to the person we are and not give into all of these negative, intruding comments. Don’t avoid something just because it seems stressful or it seems worthless of your time. Don’t give in to these beliefs. Keeping up with routines and self discipline will definitely be able to help with these tendencies to quit, avoid, or give up. Remind yourself why you started, and use that as motivation.

Saturn opposes the True North Node of the Moon for the final time on the 28th. Difficulties are possible related to hanging on to old habits that may be preventing us from growing, improving, and thriving.”

We really need to make sure we are on the lookout for how our habits or fears are preventing us from thriving and moving forward. If we notice that a particular thought is crossing our minds inhibiting us to do something, then we need to make the conscious effort to ask ourselves why. We need to try and change the way we think and the way we handle situations. Fear is the number one cause of failure. Don’t let it be yours.

The New Moon occurs in the sign of Libra on the 28th. A Venus-Jupiter sextile highlights the optimistic and cooperative feel of this lunation. This is a time for taking charge of our relationships and giving them their due attention, as well as working on our negotiation and partnering skills. Resolution of conflicts is in focus”

The last half of the month is all about relationships! We need to make sure we are taking enough time for them, and work on compromising. It’s gonna be all about resolution. What I normally do to help with resolution of conflict is write down what has worked before, what didn’t work before, what you can change, what they can change, and how you can both contribute. It honestly makes the world of a difference because by focusing in on the both of you, you can get an accurate telling of who’s at fault which, a lot of the time, is both of you. It’s important to see that not one person is right all the time.


Overall thoughts….

I think September is really set up for success, but it is 100% up to us to keep ourselves on the right track. It is really up to self-discipline and focus. As long as we stay organized, and strive to do our best while understanding we aren’t superhuman, then we will have an amazing September.


Thanks for reading ~




How to be productive with anxiety

Dealing with the day and anxiety can feel like a chore. I 100% get it. I am NOT a medical professional or therapist, so please don't take this as professional advice, but i do know what it's like to live with anxiety. 

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Prep for your day the night before.

The last thing you want to do in the morning is scramble to plan your day, start your routine, and then jump into tackling your to do list.  

That's just too much work. Honestly.  

Make your to do list the night before. Doing this will also help because you'll know what tasks still need to be completed the next day if you didn't get a chance to finish or chose to skip out. Get any materials you'll need for your morning routine and to do list out and ready to go. This can also help motivation since it's literally in your face when you first wake up. 

When planning your day make sure you are adding only tasks that need to get done 100% and that you are accounting time incase you don't feel good or need an extra break.  

Start your mornings right.

It is SO important to start your morning right. I follow a morning routine so I'm not trying to figure out what needs to be done for the day. Right when i get up i stop my sleep tracking app, log my sleep, log my mood, check my notifications, and most of the time I'll do a start of the day guided meditation. I'll eat breakfast, maybe take a bath or shower, and grab a bottle of water or a protein shake. 

Following a morning routine can help keep your motivation up. I also get my oil diffuser going 

My essential oil blend for energy: 

3 drops sweet orange

2 drops lemon  

1 drop peppermint 

Please for the love of everything try to only get one drop of peppermint if your oils are strong! It will overpower the rest. Learned the hard way. 

Early risers

Quicker, important tasks first. The reason i say quick easy tasks is because you have so much time in the day to get the longer things done. If you're up early knock out as many fast but important tasks you can. If they're all pretty long choose the shortest one. 

Late risers  

Longer, important tasks first. Since you're waking up later in the day you don't have time for much. Choose whatever will take longest AND/OR is most important. Since you're getting up later you won't have as much time. So you'll want to use prioritizing strategies to decide what needs to be done 100%. 

NO MATTER WHAT

Always do your most important tasks first. Chances are if you feel good in the morning and motivated, you should get stuff done immediately. You don't know if you'll feel the same way later on let alone in an hour.  

Look at your to do list.

Is there too much on your plate? 

Lots of times we don't know how much we will be able to accomplish until we wake up and see how we feel. There are days I'll have a whole schedule set up and maybe do 2 important tasks. This is totally okay! As long as you're making progress and doing something. Do NOT make your anxiety an excuse to do nothing at all. At least try your best to do something. It's healthier for the mind and body to get up and do something. Plus it serves as a nice anxiety distraction sometimes depending on what you're doing. If you start and you literally can't, that's okay. If you're feeling better later, then try again.

 Be patient with yourself 

Be patient with yourself! It's not entirely your fault if you decide you just can't get everything or anything done. Every day you improve and get better.  Progress is not linear.  It won't be all ups and no downs. Allow yourself to step back and focus on something different or a shorter task. Being patient yourself is key in boosting productivity as someone with anxiety. You won't get better over night.

 Focus on yourself first

You know how you feel and you should always come first. There's only so much you can do about work, school, etc. But no matter what is in the day YOU come first. Schedule time for self care. Take a shower. Take a warm bubble bath. Read a new book. Try a new hobby. Work on personal goals. 

Doing anything can seem like a chore. Trust me. It took me a whole extra week to get this blog post up. But it's up. Find something that motivates you, or wait until you feel up to it. 

If i can do it you can do it.  

5 Ways to Find More Time in Your Day

This article is by guest poster Ashley Leach. Please scroll to the bottom to read more about her.

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Do you ever feel like you are running from errand to errand trying to complete all the tasks on your to-do list? Then, by the time you finally get a moment to breathe, it’s 9 pm and you feel as though you haven’t completed anything you set out to do that day.

Ultimately the problem is a failed plan to manage your time. When you schedule your day, you are able to better manage time and expectations instead of trying to check off a to-do list.

Everyone, regardless of who you are, has 168 hours available to them each week. So, let’s break down the hours. If you sleep for 8 hours each day, you are awake for 112 hours each week. If you work a full-time job of 40 hours a week now you are down to 72 hours of available time not blocked off for sleeping or working. How are you utilizing that time? Are you spending it in a way that is most important to you, or are you spending time spreading yourself thin on helping others with their priorities?

Here are 5 tips for finding more time during the day so you can work on your goals.

Use a Calendar or Planner

I have learned that a planner is a crazy useful tool to increase productivity.  For the past few years, I have really enjoyed the Erin Condren Life Planner to keep me organized. Whether you are a pen and paper kinda girl or you like to have your schedule in the palm of your hand - with either Google Calendar or iCal- using a scheduling tool will significantly increase your productivity and help you identify where you may be wasting time.

Plan your week ahead of time

Every Sunday night one of my activities to set my week up for success is to plan the upcoming week on my calendar. I start with known appointments and events such as my work schedule, doctor’s appointments, meetings, and extracurricular activities. Whatever it is, if you know it's happening that week get it on your calendar and block it off during the correct time frame. Once you are done you are able to see the open spaces in your schedule. These open spaces are when you can begin incorporating the tasks necessary to work towards achieving your goals.

Prioritize your work

Now that you see your open space or free time for the week, you can now prioritize your tasks. Now, I love a good to-do list, but I often find that my list can get quite long. And ultimately, I end up feeling like I have not accomplished anything. Prioritize what is important to you. Start by looking at what you need to accomplish for that week and then pull the tasks from that list and plug them into specific days and times that are open in your calendar. If it is not something that excites you or helps you move towards your goal, don’t schedule it.

Unplug

Social media, email, the internet, and TV are all big time suckers. Ever noticed how easily you can get distracted by an Instagram notification, and 30 minutes later you find you are still scrolling through your feed.

If social media is a big part of your business, plan these activities into your day and stick to it. You can easily lose a couple hours a day with just social media and the internet. I would argue the same for TV, schedule a few hours where you can sit down for your weekly Netflix and chill. But do not attempt to watch a show while working. Trust me not much work will get done.

Use gap times

Gap times are moments where you can’t fit in big activities. Commuting, cooking or exercising are just a few examples of my gap times. During these moments, I listen to Podcasts related to my goals, business or an audiobook for enjoyment. Oftentimes we say that we don’t have time for an audiobook or a podcast however, these are gaps times and the perfect opportunity to catch up on these activities.

The time to start working toward your goals is now! Start applying these very helpful tips and free yourself of the mindless wander and going nowhere. So, let's get to work!

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Ashley Leach is an Army Veteran, wife and mother of two. As the owner of Mom In Combat Boots she provides tips on productivity, time management and self-care for busy working women while offering website management and behind the scenes support for female bloggers. Learn more about how to increase productivity and better manage your time here.

How To Make A Puzzle Feed In Canva (Without Photoshop)

 *post may contain affiliate links 

Let's get right into it, shall we?

First off, What the hell is a puzzle feed? 

A puzzle feed is the latest trend in Instagram feed layouts. It's super tricky at first, but once you nail it you'll get amazing results. It's hard to put into words so here is my puzzle feed all layed out in Preview App. 

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As you can see it's basically a series of images and patterns that fit like a puzzle. The feed won't look right if you take any of these posts away. 

Most of the techniques out there require photoshop. I know not everyone has photoshop, and I know not everyone is super tech savy. So at first i tried using like 3 different apps to create what was something close enough to a puzzle feed. I'll leave a picture below. 

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While there is literally nothing wrong with this feed, it wasn't really what i had pictured when i thought of puzzle feeds. My other post about how to make a puzzle feed without photoshop literally became my most viewed post OF ALL TIME. So i figured I'd tell you all the updated process, and include some goodies along the way for those of you interested in taking all this a bit further into your own feeds. 

This is a tutorial on how to make your puzzle feed in an app/website called Canva.  

The apps you'll need:

  1. Canva

  2. Grid Maker (or photosplit on iphone)

  3. (Optional) Preview App

Making your feed in Canva

 (Some instructions like button presses are for the mobile app! If you're doing it on the computer the button locations will be a little different)

First, you'll want to start by making a new design with custom dimensions. You'll be making a 3240 X 3240 px canvas. This will be big enough for 9 squares of your Instagram feed. 

Next, it's all about the creativity. For me personally i went with a more simple look. Colored background, simple geometric shapes, and focusing on negative space. Not every square needs a picture. Remember that you can use textures, designs, words, etc. I picked 3 main colors and went with simple black and white accents. Canva has a ton of free images, graphics, and fonts that you can use to start off. Just press the plus button in the bottom right corner to get started.  I get a lot of my images now from the styled stock society. You can use my link to check them out.

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As you practice you'll learn how to eyeball each "box" of your feed so you know exactly where to put the images, text, etc. For now get a rough layout, save it with the button on the top right, and put it into grid maker so you can see exactly how it will cut up the squares.

I personally started with the background first, then images, then smaller details like dots or textures. Here are a few more feeds for inspiration.

@mariellehearts

@mariellehearts

@juniperoats

@juniperoats

Grid Maker

This is the easiest part. After you get your feed all set up in canva, just save the image by pressing the box in the top right corner, and upload it to the grid maker app. USE. GRID. MAKER. it will NOT distort your image quality like other grid apps!!!!!! TRUST ME. i made this mistake already.  (Again, or photosplit on iphone)

It should automatically put you on the 3x3 option but if it doesn't just scroll over and select that. Make sure your selection fits the entire image and boom. Save it. It should make its own little folder with your images. 

@thegypsylifecoach

@thegypsylifecoach

Preview App

For added feed planning, put your images into preview app. This super helpful app will let you schedule reminders to post, pre plan your captions, and will help you see what your feed will look like before you upload. It also has a hashtag library. 

 

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I know reading a tutorial can be confusing, and just incase you STILL think this whole creation thing is kinda hard without some help, I'm selling my first EVER product for the most affordable price I've ever seen it. I want to help you make the feed you've always wanted with minimal effort on your end. Maintaining a puzzle feed is tricky enough. Why struggle with creation?

I've made a 3 template bundle for the price of one at $9.99 ! 

 When you buy you'll get 3 different templates: bold boss, neutral minimalist, and beach vibes. Each one you can COMPLETELY customize. From fonts, to colors, image placement, background changes, and literally anything else. 

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Hate the blue i used for Beach Vibes? Change it. Don't like a frame? Delete it. Font not for you? Pick a new one. 

I've included a mobile version and a computer version of each template since some drag and drop features are available only to laptop users, and i wanted everyone to have the convenience of designing their feed where they want. 

No clue how to use canva ? I've included a basic video tutorial as part of the $15 bundle, as well as what to do once you have the templates! Be sure to read the instructions carefully. 

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If you've always wanted to have a puzzle feed, now is your chance! It's literally never been easier to get started. This fast growing Instagram trend is not one you wanna miss out on. If you want your feed to stand out without the hassle of taking hours upon hours to learn, click the button below.


Also just a quick thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey. It's my greatest pride and joy to be able to inspire and help so many people daily. 

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