A planner that works for me!

Since I was in middle school, I have had a planner of some sort. In middle school, my Mom actually had some sort of Mommy calendar on the kitchen wall where there was a column for each kid’s activities (there were four of us, so I’m sure this calendar kept her sane). When I got to middle school, I remember my Mom just asked me to put after school or weekend activities on the wall calendar, since at that point I was involved in cheerleading, 4-H, band and Beta club. I was a busy kid, and having that calendar definitely helped things stay organized. In high school, I bought my very own planner in addition to writing activities on my Mom’s calendar, and that’s when I got hooked. HOOKED!

I haven’t been able to get into electronic calendars, since my love for the paper planner is still evident. I write everything in my paper planner. EVERYTHING. To-do lists, meetings, blog post ideas, appointments, etc. And the prettier the planner is, the better. I LOVE colors.

Lately, I have been hearing about Erin Condren life planners from other blogger friends, and I was super excited to order one, but the price tag scared me. $50? Ouch…that’s a little steep. Then, about a month ago, the planners went on sale for $30 since it was almost May. To add more temptation, I saw on Plum District (referral link) that you could buy a $50 Erin Condren gift card for $25. I figured at that price point, I should give this planner a chance.

Y’all…I’m in LOVE with this planner. I didn’t think it was really possible to love a planner, but it has everything I need/want in a planner AND it’s bright/full of colors.

I ordered a planner where you can customize it to include things you enjoy (which repeats along the cover of the planner), as well as your name.

Planner Cover

Isn’t that just adorable? I just love how personal the cover is!

Just to note, I’m showing (mostly) blank pages of the weekly/monthly planner, since some of the things in my planner are personal information. I swear, this week’s page is pretty darn full. :-)

Weekly View

A tip I learned from another blogger. Write your upcoming posts on post-its. That way, if you want to change your schedule around, you aren’t scratching out things all over your planner. Just pull off and re-stick!

For the planner, I like how the day is broken up into morning/day/night parts (which is kind of hard to see in the picture…sorry). You have plenty of room to write down appointments and things you plan to get done that day! I also like the weekly goals and to-do list.

Here’s what the month looks like:

Monthly View

It’s pretty standard. Apparently next year’s planners are going to have the month spanning over two pages! :-) Another feature you can see in this photo is that every month has a tab.

Ok, and these are just fun little features (which I’m an absolute sucker for) that they have for this particular planner. Stickers!

Stickers

There’s another five pages of stickers, with four of those pages being completely blank stickers.

And last but not least of the cool features, there’s a small zipper pouch in the planner. When I got my planner, there were already some labels and personalized cards in there (as a bonus). I carry blank deposit slips (not the ones with my account information on there, but the freebies from the bank counter) in there, as well as stamps. You just never know…

Zipper pouch

You can kind of see in front of the zipper pouch that there’s also a small folder for papers. :-)

Now, I know that $50 is crazy for a planner, but if you want to save money, you can often find Erin Condren gift cards on Plum District and One Kings Lane (both are referral links), which makes the planner a good bit cheaper! You just have to keep your eyes peeled…there’s a way to get deals on this site! Also, the planners for 2012-2013 aren’t for sale yet, but they will be next month.

Disclaimer: I got ZERO compensation or freebies for writing this post. Just wanted to share something awesome with y’all!

Some big-time help…

Ever since I quit my Etsy shop, I’ve been itching to get back into quilting. One of my weaknesses with quilting, however, is cutting straight lines. I always mess up on a few pieces after getting in a groove and there’s nothing more aggravating than re-cutting fabric!

Enter Accuquilt Go! Baby

I’ve been lusting over this since I heard about the Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter. Unfortunately, at about $300, there was no way I was going to spend that much on a fabric cutter. After a while though, the Go! Baby came out, which retailed for HALF the amount of the Go! :)

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So, I used up some Christmas money and finally purchased it! I’m so excited to dig into my fabrics and make quilts again, now that cutting should be quicker and just overall, more efficient! I ended up buying this value pack as far as die cuts go.

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This cartridge cuts two 2 1/2″ triangles, one 2 1/2″ square, and one 4 1/2″ square. I have a big project in mind for those triangles involving this huge stash of scraps from 2010!

Scraps

While you can’t really see the size of this, I will say the fabric fills up one drawer in this cabinet. Seriously…all scraps!

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By the way, this file cabinet is PERFECT for sewing. I store a good bit of fabrics (and scraps, obviously), notions, manuals and patterns in this thing. It doesn’t take up that much room either. It’s smaller than you think, and for $40, it’s quite a bargain for organizing!

I can’t wait to get my Go! Baby and get to cutting. :-) I’m itching to make this quilt that I have in my head.

What kind of crafty things did you get for Christmas?

I think I’m a Pack-Rat

After about a year of not scrapbooking and the projects piling on, I decided it was high time to dig in the closet and get out ALL scrapbook stuff into one place.

A few months back, I bought this organizer set at Tuesday morning for less than $20. It was still in the box until last night. I’m not completely done with my organization, but let’s just say that I don’t need to buy greeting cards, note cards or scrapbooking supplies for a while.

It doesn’t completely fit on top of the chest of drawers in there, but, at least I can display it now. :) I might be moving this somewhere else, but for now, this is its resting place.

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QUITE a while at that….

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I must make a vow to avoid Michael’s, Tuesday Morning, Target and Dollar Tree’s scrapbook section until further notice.

It does feel good to get some much needed organizing done in the craft room.

15 Minutes a Day

Last week, I made a vow to our house. I promised everyday to do a cleaning task for 15 minutes so I won’t be spending so much time in the house on weekends cleaning. I really didn’t care that much before, but now that we will be hosting Thanksgiving in the house, my husband and I have made a goal to have our home spic and span for the holiday season! Hopefully, we can make this happen and hopefully, we can keep up with it afterwards.

Next weekend, we are holding a 3 family garage sale with his family. I was SO excited to bring over 4 boxes of clutter and be able to clean even more! I feel like Danny Tanner right now. Haha!

So, here was my Monday. Our kitchen island has been a mess of mail and other stuff. I decided to take some time to clean this up! I’m being bold and posting befores. Don’t judge me. :

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About 10-15 short minutes later, using a mail organizer for our mail, I cleared up the clutter! Excuse my husband’s tools…we are still doing fix-up things around the house! So, they have to stay for now.

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Tuesday, it was pretty boring. I ended up changing the sheets in our bedroom. No need for before/afters, since it’s just pale green vs. pale yellow sheets! Nothing exciting.

Wednesday, I decided to tackle the guest/craft room. This room was housing garage sale stuff, and  my sister was going to sleep over this weekend, so I had to clean it. (She ended up changing her mind, but oh well, we have a clean room now!) This was more of a 30 minute task, but it’s done! Again, don’t judge my mess. :)

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Here’s the after. There are still some garage sale items in the front of the room, but it’s MUCH better.

My poor sewing machine. I haven’t used it yet, because I need to learn to sew! Maybe I should make that a little goal of mine too!

Just to note, the bedsheets were in the washer at the time of the picture. :)

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Oh gosh, this is the worst. I do my make-up and hair in the guest bedroom so my husband and I have separate bathrooms in the morning since we go to work at the same time. Our sink is full of make-up that dropped or powder remnants…I’m messy in the morning!  Blech, I’ll say it again, don’t judge me! I ended up spending 15 minutes last night tackling the counter and sink!

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Thanks to the magic of Comet, the sink is squeaky clean. That make-up was a pain to remove! I placed everything else in the cabinets below the counter.

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I’m making my list for next week on what to tackle. I will be doing a little bit of cleaning this weekend, but not as much as I would have had to since I did these tasks during the week! Did anyone else tackle some small areas of the house this week?

My Vow to Cleaning

I’m sure many people can relate to me when I say that cleaning the house is very difficult to upkeep and just plain tedious. I mean, I’ll spend a good half day of my weekend to make sure the house is spotless, only to find myself doing the same thing all over again the next weekend! I want my weekends back!

After reading this article about housekeeping, it seems that people CAN keep their homes clean when they work on it a little everyday, consciously preventing the mess from happening all over again. This isn’t a deep cleaning, but more of a way to keep things organized in your home and prevent clutter. Deep cleaning still would need to happen, but it won’t take up 1/2 of my day!

So, here is my vow to my home until the end of the year. I will spend 15 minutes everyday cleaning you, other than doing the daily things like dishes and laundry. I will also share with you every week what I did!

15 minutes is nothing. It’s a quarter of an hour, in a day when I come home from work and have 7 hours to spend on doing other things. Now that I type that..7 hours….wow, I feel lazy! Where does that time go?

So, it’s time to put on the iPod, jam to 4-5 songs and spend that time CLEANING! It’ll be over before you know it!

15 minutes cleaning ideas

  • Steam clean the kitchen floor with the Shark Mop.   I can’t tell you how much my kitchen floor gets grimy from my messing cooking and baking. It gets on my dang nerves!
  • Throw away junk mail and organize bills.   I usually do this once a month and it proves to be a pretty daunting task. Once a week would be MUCH easier and would allow me to have our kitchen island back!
  • Clean out the pantry and organize food to giveaway to a food bank.   This is especially great since the holidays are coming up, and I know we won’t be needing all of that Chef Boyardee since no hurricanes hit this year! Whew!
  • Clean the bathroom countertop.   Blech…all that make-up residue and hair around the sink? Clean it up with a Clorox wipe and put everything back in their drawers!
  • Weed the garden.   If I did this once/week, I know would only take me fifteen minutes. Pesky weeds!
  • Clean the bedroom floor.  I can’t tell you how much stuff I just throw on the side of my bed. Magazines, dirty socks, coupons…ugh!
  • Switch out the bed sheets!   I think I’m supposed to do this once/week or something like that. I don’t want to imagine the dust mite colony that we sleep in. I only change the sheets every 2-3 weeks!

Does anyone want to take this cleaning vow with me? C’mon, you know you hate it when your weekend is taken up by Clorox and the broom!

 

Priorities

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I’m going to start doing a “Works for Me” every Wednesday, because I love reading people’s tips that work for them. So, I’ll share some of what works for me! :)

I’m very much a “to do” list kind of person. Lists help me remember things I need to do when I get home and I get a little giddy inside when I scratch out a task. My list helped a lot during wedding planning, but at first, it was a little overwhelming.

So, I found a method for time management and tasks. It’s called the ABC method, and I find it to be a great way to set your priorities straight.

If you are looking for this explanation in a nutshell, basically you label your priorities “A”, “B” or “C”. I like to organize it with “A” is something I need to do today, “B” is something I need to do this week and “C” is something I need to do this month.

Here’s an example of a list:

B — call AT&T to fix bill
C — change last name
B — call dentist to make appointment
A — load & run dishwasher
C — cross-stitch baby pattern for friend
B — get inspection sticker

Of course, you can label all A’s, B’s and C’s together, but I write a list in a journal I have as it comes up in my head, so this works for me.

How do you make/organize your “to do” list?

For more “Works for me Wednesday” entries, visit We Are That Family.