Candace Aliké Smith — A Writer's Self Care Journal

“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life.”

Elsie de Wolfe


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Mapping The Unknown With My Kate Spade New York 2023 Planner

With 39 nights of sleep until January, I wanted to get a head start on mapping 2023. That task seems a bit laughable considering how unpredictable and mindboggling 2022 turned out to be, but nevertheless, she persisted.

Shopping for a planner in late November forced my decision between buying an 18-month planner that began in July and a 12-month planner that starts in January. After staring at a handful of planners in Barnes & Noble for what I know felt like an eternity to my toddler, I landed on Kate Spade’s 12-month planner. Staring at four months of blank pages would feel almost criminal.

Judging A Book By Its Color

The hardcover has a cute watercolor picture of a Weimaraner wedged between books and a plant, which spoke to my inner bougie without leaning too far into pretense. No matter the store, item, or occasion, I always walk in wanting something bold and black and leave with something delicate and colorful. That tickles me.

Spiral binding is a non-negotiable for me. Notebooks included. The funky little crease that happens with leather binding triggers my obsessive-compulsive gremlins, plus I like being able to lay the pages flat while I plan and ponder.

Write It Down, Darling

I especially like that the weekly layout is a to-do list. With other planner brands, I’d always turn the blank lines of the weekly pages into a list anyway. Or, I’d use a checklist sticker to serve the same purpose. If you prefer more freedom with your weekly planning, this structured approach would probably irritate you. For me, it’s perfect.

The notetaking space is more than adequate, and I liked that the colorful sayings deviate from the typical “live, laugh, love” cringe that I’m used to with other brands. Overly motivating quotes always have the opposite effect on me. Yelling “You got this!” to someone with imposter syndrome and perfectionist tendencies feels more like an assault. You don’t know me, planner. Just leave me alone and let me find my rhythm, ok?

The pages are thick enough to prevent bleed-through, and the monthly tabs are laminated, which is nice.

The included page of stickers is a nice touch, although I know I won’t use them much. I plan to use the pockets to hold untracked receipts or loose mail. I like the elastic band closure for protecting the pages while I travel.

Let The Countdown Begin!

I’m not ready for you yet, 2023, but I will be! I am excited about spending my first Christmas in Dallas and will share my adventures as I go.


CandaceAlikéSmith.com is a self-care and intentional living blog penned by writer Candace Smith. Read Candace’s diary entriesand follow her content on holistic beautyessential oilsproduct reviewslocal libations, and wellness travel. Read her mom’s mental health contributions and get your mind right.
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