stylish notes + how they make you smarter

You know how we have our own little universe of design blogs and stylish pinners and instagrammers?  Well, apparently there’s another universe on stylish studying and note taking.  I discovered this little world over the weekend and fell in love with the fine artistry of note-taking…and also learned a surprising fact it has on our brains.

clever is sexy

This world of stylized notes is created by the digital generation.  Yes, the kids who practically came out of the womb holding a smart phone and shooting a selfie.  Gives me hope in their generation and penmanship staying alive.  Check out this beautiful note-taking.

psych notes



As I researched as little more, I learned that there is also a serious benefit to handwritten notes, according to this study by Princeton University.  It reveals that handwriting notes, versus typing notes on a keyboard, is better for both understanding and remembering conceptual information long term.  Students who took notes longhand performed better on exams than those who took notes on their laptops.  Handwriting requires a different type of cognitive processing than typing, and stimulates more effective memory cues because you’re forming the content in your own words.

Look at this weekly to-do list – way better than staring at a boring iphone cal.  Such talent.  And I love the little motivational sayings she wrote to herself : )

pretty to do

Excuse me, where were these creative note-taking prodigies during my days of scribbling Chemistry notes onto boring note cards?!  And why didn’t I think to color coordinate and style my to-do lists??

Being a right-brained/creative/visual learner, I really struggled with the whole left-brained style of learning in school.  Nothing was ever presented in a particularly pretty or visually appealing way – it was usually blah and overwhelming.  I remember getting distracted many times in class by noticing that the learning material wasn’t visually harmonious…meanwhile my peers were listening and paying attention to the actual lesson, ha.  I always had to find ways to make things more interesting or pretty if I wanted to memorize something like a history timeline from the 1400’s.  Western Civ was nearly the death of me!

I could totally deal with these U.S. History notes.  I would have picked her as a study partner and lovingly brought her Starbucks lattes if I could just tag along in creating these notes.

Yes, learning should be pretty.  And handwritten.  I could remember anything with notes like these, hello.

pretty notes

I love how this student rambles on about the speed at which a chemical reaction happens while keeping everything organized and beautiful in their notes.  Geesh.

pretty notes3




1. Grab a pretty notebook or planner.

pretty notebook

2.  Invest in some fancy highlighters.  Color is key when making pretty notes.  These highlighters look pretty cool and are only $8 for a set.


3.  Try a hand drawn graphic to add some pretty detail in your notes.  Like these graphic doodles by a third year Neuroscience student.

If you have a student (or are a student) who appreciates the creative side of learning, try sharing these ideas with them.  Who knows, it might help them bring a little more creativity into their learning and even help their understanding at the same time.  I shared all of this with my daughters (fellow creative/visual learners) and they loved it!

Seeing these notes brings back some fun and grueling college memories.  Lots of late night instant coffee and college library study sessions.  I’m now inspired to play around more with my own to-do lists and help my creative ones study a little smarter and prettier.

And some great advice for the student in all of us…

think about today

Cheers to making notes smarter and prettier!


Posted in About me, Crafts, DIY, Fabulous Freebies, Kids, Life, Random Thoughts | 8 Responses

tgif + happiness

My theme this weekend will be simplicity and relaxation.  Right after our son’s early morning soccer game and and daughter’s track meet tomorrow…both happening at the same time, ha.  I had a sickie at home this week and another jam-packed schedule, so a little down time will be nice for our whole family.

grey and scout


Speaking of simplicity, black and white is a great look for a bedroom, and easy to implement both design and budget-wise.  All you have to do is incorporate nice white bedding, a few accent pillows, and some cased good pieces with character (thrift stores are great for this).  Found a similar rug as above here.  These guys are great layering over a larger, natural fiber rug such as sisal or jute.

black and white rug

While life is surely busy, I’m thankful for all the good in our week.  I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday and we were talking about how you can always find beauty and good in each day – despite what might not be going your way at the time.

The rain has finally stopped, our little sickie is feeling much better, oldest ran well at his district track meet, and I surprised myself (in a good way) on my ballet performance exam.  It’s nice to take a challenging ballet class in the morning so I can be the wife and mom my family needs/deserves after school.  If there’s any advice I can give a new mom, it’s put your family first and be creative and patient with your own goals.  Take your time and even modify some goals – remember it doesn’t have to happen all at once.  Success comes in many forms and happens at ALL stages of life.  Your spouse and kiddos are your most important peeps.  Try this and you will have a happy family, feel less stress, and reap incredible rewards.  Society does not teach this.  

happy weekend


Sending you happy vibes for your weekend!


Posted in About me, Accessories, Bedroom, Budget projects, Gardening, Life, Our Family, Random Thoughts, White Spaces | 4 Responses

the perfect lace top

I love, love, love a beautiful white lace top.  I think every woman should have one in her wardrobe.  It’s versatile, classic, feminine, and perfect for warmer months.  You can easily mix white lace with jeans, linen, or just go white on white.  Oh, and it’s a super hot look under a blazer.  Just about died when I saw this picture below.  The top is sold out and by the high end line, Luisaviaroma.  Found a similar top like the pic over here at a nice price.  Fair warning:  have not seen the look-a-like top in person.

white mock

That being said, I found another one I love by free people that’s very similar.  They have all sizes, even XS.  The price is a little more but their clothing is well made, so it’s worth it.  Here.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 7.53.55 AM

I’m off to cheer on my runner in his district track meet.  Can’t wait to see him run – he is a real power house!  Our kids absolutely amaze me with their discipline in athletics.  They all train 5+ days a week and inspire me with their talent and dedication.  I’m so inspired by them that it might be one of the reasons I’ve pushed myself a little more in ballet this year.  In fact, just after his meet I’m zipping over to take my “final exam” in a college ballet class I’ve been in since January.  Our exam is an hour and a half long demonstration of what we’ve learned and practiced all semester…with all of the college dance professors sitting in the front watching/making notes.  This class has been a fun challenge to say the least!

Posted in About me, Fashion, Life, Our Family | 9 Responses

a beautiful day

Getting my thoughts together for the week.  Beauty is all around us.  All we have to do is look and experience those moments.


I like to spend a few minutes reflecting at the start of each week to get my head and heart going in the right direction.  Thought I’d share the morning notes I made for myself with you:


Be kind.

Keep it simple.

Give of yourself.

Work hard.  Pace yourself.

Make someone smile today.

Have fun.  Laugh about it.  Especially if it’s not what you expected it to be : )

Have gratitude for your progress and focus on how far you’ve come.  Enjoy it.  Know that perfection is already there, within your true self, not in material or status-related pursuits.


.       .       .       .

Have a wonderful day!

Posted in Accessories, Faith, Kitchens, Life, Living Rooms, Random Thoughts, White Spaces | 3 Responses
  • Simply Me

    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my husband, fabulous four offspring, happy horses and frisky fur babies. A former TV personality turned Designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
  • Follow

  • Sponsors

  • Archives

  • Endorsements

  • Recent Pins

    • Pineapple
    • Beach house ♥
    • Craftsman garage des
    • A barn in classic Po
  • Press