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!

Thanks for reading and good luck!

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!

Etsy Haul – Planner Stickers

In case you’re not aware, Etsy is one of the Go To places for online planner sticker shopping. You will find so much one-of-a-kind art from artists all over the world. I tend to try to order from people in the U.S. only because I can’t afford the international shipping prices. I also like finding sticker stores in Texas. If you find a sticker artist that you like, try searching on social media to see if you can follow that artist for freebies and discounts. Their communities are like mini-fandoms and it’s fun to geek out with your fellow planners.

I ordered stickers from three stores for April, thinking I would do a post on them once all the stickers arrived. The last package arrived and I realized this was the last week in April. So, my planning failed me. Had I actually written this down in my planner, I might’ve noticed this beforehand. *sigh* At any rate, here are my stickers!

The first to arrive was from XOXO Prints. I follow this shop on Facebook. The artists and the other followers are friendly and fun. I always love the planner pages shared in the group and was excited to finally get my first order from this shop. The artwork is so beautiful and unique! My stickers arrived in a plain white mailer with a shop sticker on the back.

The pack of stickers inside was sealed well and had shop info in case I had any problems with the product. Even the shop stickers are super cute!

It was hard to choose just a few stickers. I settled on some astrology, springtime flowers, and the springtime penguin & coffee stickers. I also got a free set of Thank You stickers because I’m in the Facebook group. These are high quality stickers printed with vivid colors on thick sticker paper.

The second package was from WilaWalo Co. This is probably one of my favorite planner groups on Facebook! The folks in this group have humor similar to mine and are so funny and creative. I loved the packaging! Shiny and exciting! The inner packaging was a cute green paper bag with white polka dots (!!!) with store stickers. Their butts thanked me!

I’m a Gertie Gal, so I got some freebies with my order. This store also has a sticker card program so you can get discounts after a certain amount of orders. The stickers are so colorful and different. I forgot that this one was for April holidays, but I did remember in time to use these stickers to mark New Kids on the Block Day and National Penguin Day. Thank goodness!

My last package was from Nicole’s Plans. I don’t follow her on Facebook , but she posts in one of my planner groups. I ordered these stickers at the same time as the others and they came two weeks after my WilaWalo stickers, but the processing and shipping times were clearly stated on Etsy. Again, I should have written all of this down in my mo fo planner so that I could have planned better for this post. Blerg. The packaging on this was the most plain, but it was exciting to see my name in beautiful lettering on the envelope.

Finally, someone other than my mom recognizes what a rock star I am! The stickers inside were in a plastic bag that included a cute thank you note. I need to water the plants twice a week and I keep forgetting, so I really need these stickers. I thought it was clever to have a water colored watering can and the sticker size was perfect for my needs.

The best thing about buying stickers from these small stores is how grateful the sellers are for your business. I appreciate their work and they appreciate that. After working in corporate America for so long, it’s refreshing to deal with small businesses where the people are so amicable even though we may never meet in person.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. What did you think of these stickers? Are you going to check out any of these stores on Etsy?

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 – Week of 3.12.18

This was a busy week. The kids were out for Spring Break. Our wedding anniversary was that week. One of my best friends was in town and I did not have time to see her. My husband’s friends planned a three-family potluck dinner. I had some work phone calls to make when I wasn’t working…This is why I need both a planner and a creative outlet!

I gathered all my planning materials at the kitchen table and was ready to go! Since that week was so busy, I had already written some stuff down that needed to be worked around too. I also realized that week that I hadn’t used any of my stamps in awhile, so I wanted to incorporate those that week. I tried some ink from the dollar section at Target, but it was junk. You’ll notice that my stamps were cut apart. That’s because I didn’t know that these types of stamps should be stored on a piece of plastic. Also, the junk ink wasn’t working well. So, I thought it was because I couldn’t position the stamps properly and it would help if I cut the stamps while keeping them on the plastic. It was a mess. I went back, watched some videos and read some blogs about stamps and ink, and have graduated to a level 1.5 on the 10-point scale of stamps.  Then, I found some small Hampton Art dye ink on clearance at Michaels that were decent. They were shades of purple, so this week had alot of purple in the theme. Yay!

First thing’s first – washi! I had some cute crappy purple plastic tape that I used up that week too. That crappy tape went on as the big dividers.

Because I wanted lots of room for writing that week, I didn’t put skinny washi all over the page, just around the outsides of the calendar. Actually, it’s skinny tape I got in a planner kit from the dollar section at Target. I cut out strips that were about the length of the pages and then laid them down on the paper. There was a tiny bit of sparkle that I’m not sure you can see over the glare of the crappy tape.

I also added some adhesive decoration tape. Pay day was marked and I wanted a runner of workout tape at the bottom of Mon – Wed. I put the workout tape down on a very uneven surface, so I just did a double row to make it look a bit better. I’m probably not going to actually work out on those days, but I want to do some cleaning inside and some gardening outside. That definitely counts as a workout!

Next, I added Mommy Lhey stamps using my Hampton Art dye ink. This was the best that I had ever gotten the stamps to look. Fourteenth time’s a charm! If you ever try these types of stamps, don’t cut them apart. The images of the stamps are on one side of the plastic. So, after you use the stamp, you can replace it. Then, the next time you use your stamps, you can easily see which stamp is which. You will also need an acrylic block of some sort. You can get them at the dollar store if you are lucky. If not, Michaels sells them for less than $10 for basic blocks and you can use coupons on them. The stamps peel off a piece of plastic and then stick to the acrylic block. Then, you pat the ink pad onto the stamp. Once it’s all inked up (which can be difficult to tell for lighter ink shades) you just stick the inked side of the stamp where you want it on the page. The acetate blocks make it easy to see exactly where you’re stamping. My stamps were from Mommy Lhey’s December 2017 kit and the little girl and little coffee cup are my favorites. They are also the stamps with which I have had the most difficulty. So, I was pleased at how they turned out this week. Since this week was so busy, I was able to use one stamp on each day.

To finish things, I had to add stickers, but I was pretty sparse. I did go a little crazy on the anniversary, but I love my husband! I added a sticky note with some washi to give me a space where I could write my habit trackers. I knew we were going out of town at some point and maybe doing a small road trip so that my in-laws could show our kids where they went to college.

Finally, the pre-ink journal is ready for use! Do you folks like this minimalist approach to my already minimalist style? I’d love to read your thoughts below 😀

Planning – Week of 3.5.18

Normally, I like to sit down to work on my planner on Sunday. I was not doing well last Sunday, so I made time on Monday instead. My son’s birthday party was on Saturday, and after all that work and being around all those people, I needed a couple of days to recuperate. That kinda inspired this week’s theme in that I wanted bold colors to rev up the energy. After gathering my supplies, I decided to use some of that cheap tape so I can get rid of it. I have no idea what the tape says! I’m matching it with reddish washi that I got in a pack from Daiso. This time, I will use stickers! I also try to cut out interesting patterns and cute images from magazines to use in my planner and art journal. Finally, I left my scissors in the closet (where I store my crafting supplies), so I went to the office and stole back my mini scrapbooking tools from my husband. (He was using them to help our youngest son with a model car they were building last fall. Maybe they can finish it this Spring Break?)

I started outlining the boxes with the “Marsha Orso” tape that always makes me hungry for orzo. Since I was trying to get rid of this stuff, outlining boxes was the best way to use up the most tape. Like washi, this tape was fairly translucent, so lining up the tape along the existing lines was easy. I had tried using this tape on other things before, which is how I discovered that it was junk. That meant that I used up one roll quickly, though! Then, I started on the second roll of tape, which was bumpy on the roll and made the tape bumpy when I tried to lay it flat on paper too. Why don’t I just throw it away? Because I’m Asian + I grew up poor. Throwing away this tape would just be too boojie for me.

17 hours later, I finally got that devil tape on the pages. I used more Masha tape to divide the week up by non-kid Days, kid days, and the weekend, but there was still tape left! Evil does not die easily.

As much as I hated that evil Masha tape, I loved this week’s washi! It had a pattern with boxes that made it perfect for my activity trackers. You may have noticed that I don’t have a food or workout tracker. Those are delicate issues for me. Eating too little or working out too much make me very sick. Instead, I decided to use cleaning trackers because cleaning this house is a workout. It also alleviates guilt for me when I have to choose between doing something for myself (working out) and doing something for everyone (cleaning the house). I decided to try to put myself on a cleaning schedule to combine the two. Having a clean house means less stress for me too, even if I don’t actually remember what it feels like to live in a clean house at this point. A gal can dream! Anyway, the plan is working well so far, so I’m trying to keep up that habit.

I didn’t spread out the trackers this week the way I did last week because I wanted to use stickers this week. Also, this week had a quote instead of a picture, so I left room to decorate around the quote. This was a good one too, a good reminder about what’s really important between the stress of last week and the craziness of this week.

My method for going through stickers is admittedly weird. I organize them all by sticker size and go through each page to see if I want to add any to the spread. I can’t figure out a better way to do it. I just get confused and stressed when I try to spread them out any other way.

I actually used some die cuts and magazine clippings on this spread too. So I did some snipping to and fit the images into the spread before gluing them down to the pages. I used Glue Dots this time because I’m in a hurry. I prefer adhesive tape, but am out of that. Glue sticks work just fine if you have the time, but I didn’t.

While going through my stickers, I found some new Recollections stickers that I forgot about getting at Michaels in clearance for $1.19. I’m going to use them more for end of the day notes. I love them because they were cheap and very relevant to my life! The week before drained me physically and emotionally. So, I tried to include a lot of happiness and joyful sayings this week. I need all the help I can get to keep up my energy and my peace of mind!

Here is the pre-ink version on this week’s planner! Let me know what you think!