Planning, Etsy Haul, and Giveaway – July, Averie’s Birthday Party, Week of 7.2.18

Hello, interwebz! I have been working on this post for awhile, but have been sick and busy. So, it’s a few weeks late, but you might get something out of it (literally!) I found a birthday scrapbook kit from Tuesday Morning and ordered some stickers from Etsy. Then, I mashed them all together in my planner for the monthly overview and first week of July.

I gathered together all of my stuffs and prepared myself for some epic planning…and then worked on it five minutes at a time throughout the day.

I ordered a few stickers from XOXO Prints on Etsy. I mean, penguins, you guys. Penguins. Also, I wanted to do a mermaid or sea theme for the week of my stepdaughter’s birthday because she loves mermaids and sea creatures so much. XOXO Prints had both! I just love Natasha’s work and these photos cannot do justice to the vivid colors. As a member of the Facebook group, I also got some freebies that I want to hug. I placed all the stickers in the back of my planner on some extra pages to make sure I have access to the penguins as the moods strike my planning soul.

Then, of course, I ordered some Gertie stickers from WilaWalaCo. Jenna recently moved across the country and I was kinda feenin’ for a Gertie fix. When I saw the “Pants Are Evil” stickers, that was it! I had to buy them! I want one for every day of my life. Pants are worse than bras. Pajamas for life!

I also picked up some Gertie stickers to remind me to be creative and track my instagramming. Gertie is the unicorn mentor that I’ve always wanted. Le sigh. I’m a Gertie Gal on Facebook, so I got some freebies with my order. In addition to another sticker to add to my discount card.

The Stickery was recommended to me, I believe, by my good friend, Sarah. The store had great prices on some social media productivity stickers as well as a Christmas countdown sheet that I loved. With these stickers, I might actually be inspired to get stuff done when I’m not dying from stress and the heat! Woo hoo!

First, I worked through the scrapbooking kit and added it to the last week of June, which is when we celebrated Averie’s birthday. There was a little folder and a few questionnaires. I think Averie will both be humiliated and love looking back on these in the years to come. Lilah actually took all of the pictures since I was in no shape to do so. Extra thanks to Lilah for preserving these memories for us!

Then, I started on July. It’s a busy month, and I’m really looking forward to our family vacation this month. I apologize for all of the green boxes, but I’m trying to protect people’s privacy. So many birthdays, doctors, memories, and events this month!

So, I focused on the first week of July next. As you can see from the monthly view, it’s a busy week. We celebrate Independence Day in the U.S. on Wednesday and I’m off work, but I’m also on call and will be out of town. Work is complicated by the holiday. Life is complicated by the holiday. What’s a gal to do? I just loaded the pages with beautiful and happy stickers to remind me of the good parts of each day.

I went in and filled out all the events afterwards and tried to keep it looking semi-pretty. By the end of this week, there will probably be no white left on these pages. Until then, breathe in stickers…breathe out stickers…Wait. Eww.  Gross.

If you have read through all of this, then you deserve an award! This month, I’m actually going to give one of my supercoolreallyawesome readers an award. Remember those XOXO Prints penguin stickers? If you win, then you will get your choice of a full sheet of the coffee penguin, sick penguin, or celebrating penguin stickers. Do you know how hard it was for me to not use these yet?! The contest starts on July 4th at 12 AM CT and ends July 11th at 12 AM CT.  Click on the RaffleCopter link below to enter the giveaway for a chance to lay your hands on some of these cute stickers!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/008275071/?

Thanks for reading and good luck!

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Planning – June and Week of 6.4.18

Hello, interwebz! I’ve been a bit delayed in planning. Summer weather is in full swing in Texas, so I wake up with a 50/50 chance of being able to get out of bed each day. Luckily, I was able to get some planning done this week! I prepared my calendars for the month of June as well as the current week.

I gathered all of my materials, including a new Playful Icons scrapbook paper bundle that I got at Tuesday Morning for $2.99! I didn’t really have any specific theme in mind because my brain was a bit fried from the heat.

The paper bundle came with some stickers, and I found a few that went well with June/summer. There was already a lot written on the pages, so I just worked around it.

Then, I found some trim in the paper bundle that I wanted to use as borders. I used my handy craft knife to slice up the paper. I cut over the calendar paper without thinking and accidentally cut the calendar pages. Luckily, the pages are thick, so I didn’t slice all the way through the calendar pages. Lesson learned.

Since I hadn’t used my flamingo washi yet, I decided that it would be the perfect addition to this month. I followed that up with die cuts and some magazine clippings from my collection.

Moving on to my weekly calendar, I knew that I wanted to mostly use stickers. One of my good work friends has a birthday this week, so I spelled his name out in stickers. I left a lot of space and notes stickers to record info on work, health, events, etc. I plopped on some cute stickers with positive messages and was done. I’m looking for daily reminders that, despite my health problems, life is still good!

So, what did you think of these flamingo spreads? Do you prefer using stickers or die cuts and Glue Dots? Let me know if you have any suggestions on surviving triple digit summers in Texas!

Planning – Week of 5.14.18

Hello, interwebz! Today, I have a planning post for you. There aren’t as many pictures as I normally post because I recorded a video of this and took pictures for possible thumbnails. Then, I lost of all of it. Then, I found everything. I don’t have time to edit the video, though. So, I’m going to try to do a June video, but I still wanted to get this one up on the blog.

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First up, I wanted to show you an end of the week pic of my planner. I left lots of empty space for doodling, but I ended up being so busy that I didn’t get to doodle. You can see how much I add in here other than just my planned events. I use my journal to track health info, work hours, etc. it’s a record of my life, one week at a time.

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For the new week, I kept things pretty simple because I was doing the video. Again, I wanted to leave room for doodling. So, I brought out my washi and stickers.

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I had some new mini binder clips that I got from Tuesday Morning. These work well in my planner as a marker for the current week by helping me find the current week when I open up the journal.

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Above is my finished before the pen spread. I left lots of space for recording my week as well as any other notes that I needed. I finally got to use my Japanese washi from Daiso. I really could have used a vacation to Japan at that point. That week, exhaustion hit me pretty hard. I think my body was starting to realize that I am back on the day shift and it’s not just temporary. Plus, the temperature outside was getting into the triple digits. I don’t do well in the heat. Exhaustion and migraines have become my two best friends until it starts to cool off in November (I hope!)

Lastly, there’s the end of the week pic. My week was full and I was exhausted. My in-laws were in town (an hour away on the opposite side of the metroplex), so my husband had to drive out there after work every day that they were here to show them where to eat for dinner. That meant that I didn’t get to see my husband much, but I also didn’t have to feel guilty for being exhausted and having a headache all week. I was also oncall, which makes me feel stressed and guilty. That was a hard week and I was grateful when it was over.

Next time, I hope to have a planning video up with the blog post. What do you think about my sparsely decorated planner? What do you do to cope with exhaustion? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Planning – Week of 5.7.18

Ready for another planning post? Cool, because that’s what this post is about! The second week of May is another week with multiple birthdays and a holiday. Needless to say, I’m leaving plenty of space to fill in as needed.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use any washi this week, but I knew I wanted lots of stickers. So, I just gathered all of my stickers and washi just to see where the wind would take me.

My eye immediately went to a colorful strip of paper that I cut out of a magazine months ago. So, I decided to use that as the color inspiration for the rest of the week. I cut the strip of paper to fit it across the bottom of the right page to add a little oomph since the basic layout was pretty bare.

Some sticky notes were already on the pages to remind me of events. Instead of removing the notes and writing the info directly onto the pages, I left the sticky notes where they were. The colors matched this week’s theme and I am also lazy. I added some pretty washi and everything started coming together.

***I’ve noticed that when I crop my photos, they become blurry. I’m not sure why, but it’s not the camera because I’ve tried multiple cameras. I’ve also edited in multiple apps. If you have any suggestions, let me know so that I can post better pictures!***

Then, it was time for stickers. I wanted to denote Mother’s Day in a big way, so I used a couple of Mommy Lhey die cuts of flowers and a character named Lola to set that day apart from others. I decided to add some stickies and notes for lists and include stickers for writing notes about my in-office work days this week. A few other stickers to pretty up my To Dos and the stickery was done!

Normally, I end with a Before The Pen pic, but I wanted to show you why I like so much space in my planner. After adding daily To Dos, recording my work times to enter in my work time card later, writing my daily health notes, and anything else that comes up, my planner is full!

Now, planning this week is done and I have to go out and live this week. Sometimes, that’s the not so fun part of planning. As much as I like drawing clouds and suns, this week is going to be hot and I already have a headache. I may need to add extra cute stickers to cover up the weather and health info and keep me thinking about happy things this week!

Do you plan holidays with special stickers? Do you record health or other info on a daily basis to analyze later? Anybody else hate the heat (i.e. anything above 70 degrees)?

Planning – May 2018 & Week of 4.30.18

Today is a double planner day. I’m working on my monthly overview pages in my Big Happy Planner as well as the first week of May. I’ve actually been leaving my planner relatively blank and then decorating with drawings as I go through the week as a way to practice art. I will do something similar this week and May is a busy birthday and holiday month. So, I need to leave lots of room for all of the events that I’ve already written down as well as things that may come up later.

First off, I gathered up my planner supplies.

I went ahead and brought my Confetti cardstock since there are so many birthdays this month. I also want to incorporate my crappy school-themed tape since this is the last month of school for the kids before they start summer vacation.

I used the school tape to denote school events. I ended up using just one little cut out from the confetti book.

Now that washi and cardstock was done, it was time to move on to stickers! I used some cut outs to denote time, special occasions, and all the shopping I have to do this month. Then, I used stickers to just brighten up the pages a bit and to remind to me celebrate and appreciate all of the birthdays and special occasions this month. This much “celebrating”can bog me down sometimes. So, I want to remind myself that I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people and to just enjoy my time with them.

Then, it was time to move on to my weekly planning. There was already a touch of blue and yellow on these pages, so I decided to go with that color theme.

Again, I wanted to stay pretty minimalistic to give myself room to record plans, my health trackers, and drawing practices. I basically just blocked out our time with the kids this week. I used some stickers to make things pretty and denote various things from my To Do list this week. Here is the finished product before the pen.

A new month , a new theme! What did you think of my spreads for this month and this week? Do you use the minimalist approach in your planner? Let me know in the comments!

Planning – Week of 4.9.18

This week, I was inspired by Mommy Lhey to do a spread with stickers and stamps. Mostly, I though it would be a good opportunity to use my colored pencils. I also thought it’d be nice to try a non-washi spread. I don’t have much in the way of stamps, but we’ll see what we can do.

I have the stamps that came with my Mommy Lhey November kit, some Hampton Art ink and Recollections acrylic blocks that I got on sale at Michaels, and my collection of stickers.

I started off with the girl. I don’t know if it’s the ink or my lack of skills, but she always comes out a bit muddled. Lhey uses baby wipes to clean off her stamps after each use, so I decided to try that. I’ve seen other planners who don’t clean off their stamps, but the idea of storing dirty stamps makes me want to pull out all of my hair.

The lighter inks seemed to have dried out because I couldn’t get decent lines from them with my little coffee cup. The soda cup in darker ink looked better, but the lines were too thick. I’ll get these stamps figured out one day!

After stamps, it was time for stickers! I used a sticky note, a cut-out from a magazine, and a card from a set of motivational quotes that Christina gave me to make a little weekend collage. At the top is a quote from a set of travel stickers – “How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards.” That is how I like my weekends, but it rarely happens.

I used some clear stickers just to add a bit of pop in the layout. Since I need so much space to record my daily health stats and To Dos, I added stickers to designate some notes areas. After filling in some plans, I decided to skip coloring in the stamps. I know from experience that when the stamp lines are jacked, the coloring looks messed up too. So, I’m stopping with the spread as it is now.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any suggestions about stamps because I really need help on that 😀

Planning – Extra Planner Pages

Last December, I bought my MAMBI planner at 50% off at Michaels. My daughter helped me pick it out and I had no idea how useful this planner would actually be! The reason it was so cheap is that it actually is an 18-month calendar and six of those months were almost finished. So, when I first set up my planner, I just moved the past months to the back, thinking that I would use stickers to repurpose those pages and dividers for the first five months of 2019.

Since then, I’ve read about how other people in the planning community use these spare pages. I thought it might be better to just use these pages as memory/sticker pages. This way, I can devote a whole page to various events and projects this year as well as keeping stickers handy so that I don’t have to pull out all of my stickers just to mark a last minute event on my calendar. If that doesn’t work, I can always change it up again. That’s the beauty of the MAMBI planners!

The first project page I want is for gardening and my other outdoor projects. July is the only month I had tried to convert for 2019, so it already has some date stickers on the page. I’m going to cover this up with scrapbooking paper. I found this great flower pattern in my Candy Retro paper pad that I got on clearance at Michaels.

I’ll use my Fiskarspaper cutter to trim it and then will glue it down with stick glue over the calendar pages. I’m not quite the professional or experienced craftsperson that I would like to be, so I don’t know the best way to measure and cut these papers. I placed the paper wrong-side up on each planner page and marked where I need to cut in pencil. Then I used the paper cutter to do that. It’s not super fancy, but it works.

Now, I just glue everything to the calendar pages. I just use a glue stick on the paper and the calendar pages, lay down the flower paper, press down with my hands, and then use a bone folder to flatten it out a bit more. Easy peasy!

I’m going to use one side to document things I do in the front yard, and the other side to document what I do in the backyard. I took the opportunity to practice my lettering 🙂  Eventually, I’ll make another tab so that I’ll know that this is not my July area of the planner, but I just wanted to get the pages started for now.

I’m adding two planter thingies from the plants I bought for the front yard and hope to add pics later.  I also like the sidebar for notes so I can record dates and other info if I want. Overall, I think these pages look pretty good and will be great memory pages for my outdoor projects this year.

Thanks for reading this post! Let me know what you think about Dr. Frankensteining extra planner pages. Have you ever done planner scrapbooking before?

Planning – All Washi Tape Challenge

Hi, everyone! Today, I’m going to try the All Washi Tape Challenge in my planner. There are a lot of plannervideosgoingaround where people set up the next week’s pages with only washi. I’ve seen some people use stickers or add in doodles, even though I think that kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge. So, other than writing down actual plans in my planner, I’m going to only use washi this week.

Washi tape started in Japan as a kind of tape made with rice paper. One side is sticky, but it’s reusable. The other six may be decorated, have a solid color, or even be clear. Since it is made of rice paper, you can also write on washi. These qualities make washi tape perfect for journaling, arts, and crafts. I bought some cheap washi online once that turned out to just be cheap tape with random decorations. It doesn’t even work well as tape, so be forewarned and read reviews before you buy washi online.

For this challenge, I don’t need many tools. I have my MAMBI Happy Planner, washi, my favorite purple Pilot G-2 pen to write in my planner, scissors to cut shapes in the washi, and my Bat Ruler for cutting strips of washi.

First, I’m going to pick a theme. This way, I can pull out just the washi that I need and push the others to the side. I want to use up some of that crappy tape I mentioned earlier, so I pulled out the green horse tapes. Then, I pulled out greens and blues from the rest of the washi. Matching the theme like this just makes the planner look a bit more pulled together than using random patterns and colors. I’ve made that mistake before, and even though it’s not a huge deal, it is a daily reminder to pick themes in future planning endeavors.

Now that I have my washi picked out, I’m going to start blocking off boxes, just to add decoration. A lot of planners like to decorate entire boxes just for looks. Because I rely so heavily on the info in my planner to get me through my daily life, I try to add decorations as an accent instead. I decided to start with the horse tape since this is a good way to use a lot of tape. Some weeks have great quotes at the bottom of the page, it this week just has a flower. I didn’t want to cover up the pretty flower, so I just cut strips of tape to place around the flower. This tape can be repositioned like washi, but also comes off easily, so I’m going to layer this stuff. I took my pages out to make taping around the sides easier. (One of the many benefits of using the Big Happy Planner is being able to easily remove and insert pages!) I’m extending two of the middle lines out into the Notes section to divide that section up too.

The next thing I need to do is separate out specific events. I always mark the days that we have the kids overnight and any birthday parties, lunches , or events we have on the calendar. To indicate when we have the kids, I’m using a line of washi (purchased on clearance at Michaels) with a couple of points at the end. I thought the green and brown pattern had a kind of modern Western look that would blend well with the horses, while also pointing out the Kids Days. I cut out a smaller piece of washi (this came with the washi I used on the Kids Days line), folded it in half with the patterned sides touching, and cut a point. When I open up the tape, there is one point at each end. After snipping the washi in half, I have two points that fit perfectly on the end of the washi line to make a little bracket for Kids Days.

Using a similar method, I’m placing a banner on the weekend. The skinny washi (1/4 in, got a whole set for cheap on Amazon) bends well to form a banner string. Taking a piece of patterned washi and repeatedly cutting the ends into triangles gives me flags for my banner. I’ve seen this method on a fewvlogs and thought it looked complicated, but three minutes after placing the banner string, my flags were on the page. Easy Peasy!

I tend to use the Notes area for habit tracking with stickers. Since this is a washi only week, I’m making my own checkboxes with washi. I could also write out everything, but I think the washi will look a little snazzier. I know that I want four trackers this week. I want at least one blank line between my trackers to make things look cleaner. Luckily, the horseshoe tape is spaced just far enough apart to allow me to use the top two areas of Notes for my trackers. Laying down the thin washi one light at a time, I use my BatRuler to cut apart the washi. My favorite purple pen is perfect for writing in the trackers’ names and the days of the week. Each time I do one of the things on the tracker, I’ll black out the day with a pen or sticker!

Typically, I don’t use any other borders and would add decorative stickers at this point. Since I’m sticking to washi, I think I’ll just add some line embellishments to make the most of this washi opportunity. Et voila! C’est si bon! The journal is now ready for me to write down appointments and whatnot. Normally, I’d already have a ton of things written down before I even started decorating. It worked out well that this particular week is the one I’m using for this challenge.

I hope you liked this post. Let me know in the comments what you think! Be sure to visit the links in this post for some great info and fun vlogs from people who are way more experienced at this than me 😁

Random Saturday’s – Journaling

Over the past couple of months, I’ve really gotten into journaling and planners. I found creative forms of bullet journaling on Pinterest a couple years back, but ended up really only tracking tv shows that I was watching.  That made me sad because I like to think that my life is made of more than work and tv (it’s not). I got into lettering last year, but didn’t make much time to really practice it right away. Sometime around last summer, I figured out how to practice lettering on my iPad so that I wouldn’t have to use paper. I tried to work on journaling as a way to practice lettering on paper, but it just took on much time. I want to do so many things, but have no time or energy!

That’s my big problem – everything takes time and energy…and money.

I’m sure most people feel this way, though. I started watching YouTube videos by Mommy Lhey on accident. She had a family, but also managed to do journaling, planning, watercolor painting, logging, and so much more. Plus, she seemed to be at least part Filipino. I never see people like me on tv or movies. So, imagine my surprise at finding this woman who worked on projects of interest to me and drew pictures of people who looked like me (and people of other ethnicities too)!

This opened a whole new world of creativity and organization to me. Blending so many interests of mine led me to join Facebook groups, find Etsy stores, talk to strangers at craft stores, and reignite a general feeling of ME-ness that has been missing for so long. Even before I got married, I was in a creative rut and couldn’t find anything that really excited me. After getting married and having the added pressure of craziness as a corporate peon, I though creativity was a thing of the past. It made me sad, which made me feel useless, which made me sad, which made me feel useless, and so on and so forth.

This week’s journal layout makes me happy! This week’s journal layout makes me happy!

In the past month, I’ve worked on lettering on my iPad and on paper, did some wine & painting events with good friends, started creative planning in a beautiful journal, and have already completed my first artistic journaling notebook. I also enrolled in a Skillcrush career blueprint that will hopefully help me make some money as a side hustle on art and web design/programming/anything while my day job helps keep this roof over my family’s head. I’m feeling better about myself and my life, and I hope my family has felt the effects too. It’s so nice to have a creative outlet again that helps relieve stress and connect me to other people in the world who have the same interests.