Friday, November 28, 2014

Planning for 2015

Hello there!  Are you recovered from your food comas yet?  I had a lovely, low-key Thanksgiving this year, and I hope yours was equally as wonderful, whether you spent it with family, friends, or co-workers (I really appreciate the people who cooked and served my family our Thanksgiving meal yesterday!  I prayed for their sanity.)

I am not a shopper, so I am avoiding going anywhere today for Black Friday.  Instead, I'm going to start preparing for the next holiday on the docket and also gearing up for 2015!

I've been talking about my need to plan for awhile now.  I've always just had one of those cheap little calendars in my purse that are very thin and portable.  They worked great, but I started feeling like I needed a little more space and customization.

I began my paper planning idea by just using a random notebook for writing "to do" lists every day, as well as doing some journaling when the mood strikes.  That has worked wonderfully, but through that, I also got out of the habit of checking my little mini calendar.  I need it all in one place!!

Enter my first actual planner.  It is the M by Staples Arc Planner.  There are a few different options as far as size and covers, but I went with the most affordable option, since I'm not sure how this planning system is going to go, I didn't want to spend a ton of money right off the bat, and believe me, you can spend a TON of money on a planner if you really want to do so.

The planner I bought looks like this, and this particular one comes with a bunch of different customizable cardboard weight cover options to insert if I get tired of one.  I'm thinking of customizing it further by adding the year on their or my name with stickers.  We'll see.

The front is protected from wear and tear by this transparent plastic-y cover.  I have to admit, this cover is a little annoying as it doesn't slide around on the discs very well, but maybe it just needs to be broken in.

The system works by utilizing these discs.  It comes with a slightly smaller ring size than the one shown here (1/2 in).  I ended up buying these 1 inch discs separately because I added some things to it and didn't think everything would fit in the 1/2 in. discs.  The discs come as big as 1 1/2 inches, but at the present moment, I think that size looks ridiculous and don't really want them, but we'll see what happens.

The inside is pretty typical.  Tabs for the months...

a monthly view calendar, which is what I'm used to...

and then there's this weekly section, which is what I'm most interested.  You'll notice there's also a piece of paper down the middle, which I am planning on using for a running grocery list throughout the week, or weekly to-do's that don't need to be done on a certain day.  We'll see how that one pans out, but I'm excited about the customizable capability of this journal, nonetheless.

It also comes with a bunch of notebook paper, which is awesome because I'd like to use one planner for planning and journaling. 

Lots of room for journaling...

The last thing I bought for this planner was this clear plastic pouch to hold receipts and coupons.  I don't get a lot of coupons, but I do tend to let little pieces of paper float all over my house and bag.  I'm hoping that this little pouch will help me kick that habit and find things easier.

The other thing I'm hoping to do is get a little crafty with my planner.  As you can see, all the pages of this planner are very basic and gray.  I have been watching planning YouTube videos, and there are lots of people who go ALL OUT when it comes to decorating their planner pages.  I can't see myself being that involved, as the purpose of my planning is to help me utilize my time better, and I can't see wasting my time on decorating my pages to the hilt.  I do want to dress them up a little.

That being said, I think that over the course of the next year (and the end of this year), I'm going to show you what I do decide to do with the decoration and organization of my planner.  Hopefully, that'll keep me motivated to continue.

Do you use a planner?  If so, what do you use and what works and doesn't work for you?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Plans to Prosper

I've had a rather tough couple of days, but through it all, I've realized how many people I have in my life who love me and know I'm a good person.  Also, I've been reverting back to one of my favorite verses that lets me know that even when the answers to my prayers aren't what I want, He's still got me and will not let me down, even when some people do.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Take the Good with the Bad

Let's have some hot chocolate (or tea, or coffee) and have a chat, shall we?

November is a month for thankfulness.  Sometimes, life can get hard and we have to get out of our own heads and realize that we have a lot to be thankful for, despite our current issues.  I'm in that stage of life.  It's been a rough year for me in a lot of ways.  Stress at work, relational issues, crazy-random-nutty things happening around me... I'm ready for 2014 to be over.  Not that a new year will necessarily magically fix those issues, but there's something about a new year that makes it seem possible.  Right?

The thing is, there is still plenty of GOOD that happened this year.  I found a new theatre company that I absolutely adore!  I miss my old company in some ways, but I'm also ready for a change there.  I got closer to an acquaintance from my old theatre group and we have become pretty close friends now.  It's great because even though we are at different stages in our lives, I feel like we have a lot of similarities and it's been really fun getting to know her better.  My new organizational endeavors, which admittedly I let slack off for awhile, are really helping me keep myself on task and thus making me feel more productive in my home.  Then, even though I didn't go on a vacation this year, I took a week off and had a lovely staycation with some family that came up from down south and really learned to appreciate the joy of staying home (although I still want to travel, travel, travel).

My point in writing these things is simply that I want people to see that even if you are completely overwhelmed by the bad in life, if you really think about it, I bet you can come up with at least a half a dozen good things to be thankful for in your life.  Life isn't perfect.  Relationships will go south.  Your job might really suck right now.  You might be stressed out with work, family and house issues.  However, there is always something good.  Sometimes you have to look reeeeally hard, but it's there.  I promise you.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Craft Space - Stamp Storage

Before I even started on the official organization kick, I realized that my craft area in my basement was starting to get a little out of control.  I have limited space in my house as a whole, and really need to keep things tidy in case I have guests.  The basement is one of those places that serves triple-duty as both my craft room/ laundry area/ and extra entertaining space for larger groups.  Therefore, when the craft area gets too unruly, it begins to affect the rest of the space.

The initial craft that I began with about a year ago that eventually lead into scrapbooking was stamping… specifically Stampin’ Up card making.  I’ve always been horrible about giving cards and thought this might be a way to get me more interested in sending out birthday cards.  Well… that didn’t totally happen, but it’s still fun and as previously mentioned, led into other crafts.

Stampin’ Up can be a little pricey, so I tend to go to Michael’s for most of my stamping needs and only when I have coupons.  All stamp brands have different sized packaging, and none of them come in the nice DVD sized cases that Stampin' Up does.

Being that I didn’t have those nifty cases for most of my stamps, my stamp storage started to look like this:

This has gotten to be a little overwhelming, so I got to searching for DVD cases to put my stamps in.  I quickly learned that was not going to work, as they have that bump in the middle for holding the DVD’s. Suddenly, it dawned on me to check the Stampin’ Up website and low and behold, they sold the blank cases!

Yesterday I had the day off, so I got to organizing.

First, I cut some cardstock to make a front display.  Then, I took each stamp set and started stamping the sets on each piece of cardstock.  If I could, I put multiple sets in one box, to conserve space, of course. 

Next, I stuck the stamps to the inside of case (they’re sticky, so they cling nicely to the plastic surface).

The only part that I haven’t quite figured out yet is getting the display paper to stick in to the inside of the case.  I put a little double-sided tape on the cardstock, but it doesn’t stick to the case surface very well.  I might have to try something else.  Any suggestions?

There you have it.  I don't really like this basket, but until I have a chance to find something more compact, it'll have to do.

The one problem I'm having is that I can't get the cardstock to stay on the front of the boxes.  The double stick tape isn't really working.  Any suggestions?