Happier than a seagull with a French fry.

Yea, we can talk about planners!  Pants took the boys out paddleboarding this morning, so I can finally sneak on the computer while they’re out.

Guys, I looove paper planners.  Which my boys think is so weird, Lol.  I’ve tried/bought almost every type of planner over the years, and even though I LOVE the look of spiral or bound planners, I always tend to come back to a ring-bound planner because you can take the pages out.  You can also easily add notes pages for things like goals and lists, instead of just actual planning pages.  I use a mix of pre-printed pages and my own handwritten ones:

But lately I’ve been gravitating more toward the discbound system.  It’s similar to a ring-bound where you can take the pages in and out super easily, and I have a couple different ones.  This white leather Tul notebook from Office Depot is really nice (and has pockets!), but some other brands are: Arc, Martha Stewart, Levenger, and The Happy Planner.  I even got the Levenger punch off Amazon for it:

I use Indesign to make my own pages, so I can make all sorts of different types, like project pages or health trackers or whatever.  For actual planning, I usually just use daily pages instead of weekly (because I write A LOT), but this was a set of weekly (week on four pages) I was trying out:

But I’m still torn!  Because I also REALLY love just writing things down in a regular notebook, kind of like a bullet journal type of planner:

Then I can use like, a day per page:

So I haven’t really found my ideal system yet.  I do keep a master calendar and list on my phone, but I really like writing out my plans for the day on actual paper and being able to look back on them.  I am hoping by the end of summer I figure out my perfect planner situation, Lol – if that even exists!  I’ll keep you posted!

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Not all those who wander are lost. Oh, but I definitely am.

Do you guys listen to the Lazy Genius podcast?  It’s…genius ;)  Seriously.  She also wrote hands down the best cleaning post ever and this bullet journal post that is life. I STILL want to do a really in-depth planner post, but I’m not there yet.

The most beautiful planners I own…so of course I’m not using either of them right now…

So I LOVE watching videos on YouTube, because I’m fourteen years old.  I’m on a planner/bullet journal watching kick right now…I prefer more functional-type planner videos, so I really like this one from With Wendy (it’s actually a sewing channel), where she talks through her process.  Oh, and she is beautiful and her hair is AMAZING ;) (She also has super neat handwriting, which is literally my favorite thing.  Ever.  I have a weakness:  subscribing to certain Instagram planner accounts based solely on their handwriting.)  I also watched this one from Life In A Bullet yesterday, and it was SO cute!  Like we should just all go ahead and throw ours in the garbage right now, it will never be as easy and pretty as this one, Lol.  (jk)

If ants are that busy, why do they go to so many picnics?

Back to the fun stuff…

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This weekend we went to a BBQ at our neighbor’s, and my job was to bring a cookie tray.  I personally think it’s hilarious to post this picture after my last post was all about natural health, but…we do live in the real world ;)  I did add some healthy protein balls for Pants (no cookies for him) and some fruit skewers to it, but of course then managed to totally dump the jar of skewers all over the place…TWICE.  Who drops the same thing TWICE!  Cue Pants shaking his head and seriously wondering, how could he marry this person?

I feel like the food thing is a constant balance game for me these days, since I LOVE bringing people joy with treats, but we are pretty serious about our more natural healthy diet and lifestyle.  So I’m still trying to figure it out…

Like I wish I could tell you the sugar cookies I made were grain-free and naturally sweetened and decorated with ground organic beets or whatever.  But they weren’t.  It’s just plain old sugar cookies with fun pink sprinkles on top.  Because my favorite neighbor is 2 yrs old and loves pink sparkly stuff.  And also apparently wrestling Shark down to the ground and he just has to lie there and take it while we all laugh, ha!

Perfect on Paper

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So I kind of stopped blogging for awhile!  May has been sooo busy, and I just…haven’t felt like cramming blogging in AT ALL.  Especially since I kinda think blogging is pretty much dead ;)

I will do another family wrap-up on the blog though, in the next couple of days, since I like having a record of those.  Or you can catch our happenings on Instagram.  We’ve been having a lot of fun lately!  Well, except when our 9 year old decides to randomly yell at everyone for hours at a time…that’s normal, right? Shark is either being AMAZINGLY perfect and adorable, or a HUUUUGE stinker.  No in-betweens.  Gotta be ON MY GAME with this one.  (It’s tiring.)

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So I have this obsession…with paper.  I always have.  I thought I  found the perfect paper planner a few months ago, but alas, I did not.  The paper is too…shiny-ish? And terrible to write on.  Also there just isn’t enough room for me to ‘script my days’ the way I like to.  Anyone even REMOTELY interested in daily planning/journaling/bettering your life ;) should check out this mom’s (who has EIGHT kids!) method.  It’s interesting, more about sprinkling your goals into daily life and ‘writing your story’ instead of just making a ‘to do’ list.  Her website has TOTALLY changed my planning.  And her youtube videos are really informational too.  I’ve also gone down the rabbit hole with youtube channels like inkwell press (this is probably the planner I SHOULD have gotten, LOL) and this one, too…I just looove art journaling and paper planning so much…So of course I decided to make my own planner from scratch, Lol.  Pants is SO over it, it’s like all I talk about now.  (It’s almost worse than my ‘should I-shouldn’t I’ coffee drinking discussions…)  I am using a specific digital program, and it’s been sooo fun making templates…ones that I print out way too many copies of (Pants also loves me doing this) and will most likely never even use since I always seem to just go back to a plain old notebook ;)  So please excuse my dining room table littered with homemade printables and every colored pen I own.

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(spacing things out on graph paper)

I’m also waffling about getting a part-time job or not.  We have a LOT going on right now, plus the kids are out of school in like, 2 weeks, so I’m a little needed around here.  I was in talks about a job a few weeks ago, but it was full-time, and that just doesn’t work for us right now.  I did start doing a little personal organizing again for a friend though, so maybe I will just go in that direction and see what happens…or maybe I should just open a paper and coffee store ;)

I love doodling (in my planner)

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Man, it’s hard to find time to blog!  But I wrote on my calendar that I MUST blog from 10am-12pm today, so I shall…just had to get the kids to school and do a quick grocery run first!  Why does it feel like I’m at the grocery store almost every day lately?  Oh, because I am…Not really, but…I may or may not have a little time management problem these days…

Probably why I need a planner ;)  Earlier this year I did go digital with my calendar/planner, but I just love paper SO freaking much, and found myself still writing notes/lists all over the place.  I used the Cozi family calendar during January, which is a great digital option that easily links to both your computer and your phone, and is pretty all-inclusive (has your calendar, grocery lists, can link to online recipes or other family members, etc).  It’s a super convenient option, honestly. BUT. I really missed doodling handwriting in a paper planner.

Last year I had been using a bullet journal as a planner for awhile, but it was still too…notebook-y?  And I wanted more structure but not specific dates, so I tried out an Uncalendar Planner. And I LOVED the function of it.  But it was a little big, and…NOT pretty.  Like, at all.  It actually looks like some old notebook you’d find of your dad’s from like, 1977, which sounds like it would be cool…but it isn’t.

Initially though I loved having all the (undated) space.  The weekly pages of the Uncalendar planner are what got me – I loved seeing the whole week at one time, but still having a whole other page next to it to draw write notes on:

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I did use the Uncalendar planner up, but towards the end I wasn’t loving it anymore.  And yeah, it was SO ugly!  Maybe that’s why I was always filling it with stuff like this:

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Anyway, it wasn’t the right planner for me. And honestly, I just can’t do cheap planners anymore.  So when 2015 started, I searched around (and by ‘searched’, I mean scoured the internet literally almost every second I could even at 3am when I couldn’t sleep) until I finally found some great options.  I toyed with the idea of getting some high-quality custom printables from somewhere like Iheart organizing, but I really didn’t want a D.I.Y. planner.  I also thought about just getting a Franklin Covey (The old stand-by!), and then I *almost* went ahead and got an Erin Condren (these are EXTREMELY popular, with lots of bells and whistles)…but something was holding me back.

I LOVED the Erin Condren format (the whole week on two pages, with the days divided up into morning/afternoon/evening) and size, but I really needed something a little more customizable, and it was a little *too* pretty for me.  So when I was reading all the hundreds of Erin Condren reviews (I LOVE reading planner posts on blogs!  I don’t know why), a lot of people were talking about this Plum Paper planner.  So I checked it out (it’s an Etsy shop), and it was PERFECT!  Affordable, LOTS of ways to customize it, and a little more my style:

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I got a plain graphic cover, but there are options to put your name/monogram on the covers too.  The main weekly view is great, and they have like, four different options to choose from. Now the REAL reason I chose this particular planner – it has EXTRA sections you can add in!  I chose a ‘home’ section (projects, budget, shopping) and a ‘BLOG planning’ section (I was sooo excited to find this!  I need major help planning out my posts.)  I also added on ten extra notes pages in the back (shoulda got more), and also ten extra to-do list pages (4 to-do lists per page).

There are also lots of other (standard) things it comes with (a ‘passwords’ page, a ‘contacts’ page, etc).  So I am liking it so far!  I am trying to only use my ‘neat’ handwriting in it, and not make it a hot mess like all my other planners ;)  I’ll probably do another post soon with one of my weeks actually filled out in it, what pens I use, extra fun stuff, etc.  So…if you need me to actually do anything, sorry…I’ll be too busy PLANNING what I’m supposed to do instead of actually doing it…

hey notch, you gonna finish that porkchop?

so…it’s our second foray into homemade birthday pinatas, yikes!
the first one we made was back in march, an angry birds’ pig for sharkey’s birthday party.  the kids and i paper-mached a balloon then painted it green, and i added the paper features:
this time i decided to go a slightly easier route.  sky is having a minecraft birthday party, so we decided to do a ‘ghast’, which is like a minecraft ghost. aaaand…it was also like, one of the easiest characters to make, ha!  pants magically cut a rectangular box into a square, and secured some wire for the top.  i took over from there and covered the whole thing with pieces of white streamers, and added paper cutouts for the face:

ok, doesn’t this little guy look like he’s really sad?  and his streamers look like legs…which means i can’t stop sitting him in different places.

somebody’s grumpy on the table…hee hee…
i was nervous that sky wouldn’t like it (remember the halloween costume debacle?), but thankfully it met with his approval!
oh, and here was sharkey’s contribution to the project – a funny picture of a ghast: