2015-2016 Erin Condren Life Planner

I’ve always been on the lookout for the perfect planner.  I even made my own out of a Moleskine notebook but even that wasn’t to my liking.  I had heard of the Erin Condren Life Planner but never got one until this year.  I was so excited when it arrived at my house yesterday!  I had to pace myself to allow for taking photos when all I really wanted to do was tear into the package and get started!  It arrived in perfect time for the beginning of the month.  It came in a cute box and was very well packaged on the inside.

IMG_20150701_174447IMG_20150701_174947IMG_20150701_175037There are so many different covers to choose from and most of them you can personalize with your name or your blog… whatever you’re planning to use the planner for!  The covers are also removable so if you get tired of your original cover you can get a new one and switch them out as often as you like!  I got the elastic band pack to help keep the book together if I ever needed to bring it with me anywhere.  If I had to toss it in my purse, I wouldn’t have to worry about the cover falling open and damaging the pages inside.

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The first few pages of the planner have affirmations and motivational quotes.  There is also this two page section where you can list some of your goals in life!  It’s a great way to keep those goals in your mind so they are easier to achieve.

IMG_20150701_175317 IMG_20150701_175417 IMG_20150701_175432There are tabs for each month and section of the planner.  Each month opens with a monthly layout where you can put in your goals for the month on the right side and fill in brief event descriptions.  Then it moves into the weekly layouts.  This year there are two different layouts you can choose from: horizontal or vertical.  I went with vertical because I wanted to use the planner for my life, my blog and my fitness.  Each of the three sections are now blank so it is easy to write in what I want to use them for.  In the top left corner, there is a small box for you to write a thankful thought every week.  That is a helpful reminder to not take things for granted and be thankful for the good things in your life.  There is also a spot to make a list on the left side.  I will probably make that a weekly to-do list.  Underneath each day there is also a few lines that I will be using for meal planning.

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IMG_20150701_175633At the back of the planner there are some fun stickers to use for birthdays, voting, dr. appointments, etc.  There are also two sheets worth of blank ones that you can make your own!  Those will be fun pops of color to use in the planner.

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There is also a nice two sided pocket folder in the back to help keep loose items like invitations or anything else like that.

IMG_20150701_180119 The very last thing is a press and seal pocket to store any stickers or other small extras you may choose to use in your planner.  The planner came with a few gifts and samples such as a sheet of the Do It All Dots and a coil clip.  The coil clip can be used to add in a page whether you might want to make a dashboard or a color code key.  There is a bit of adhesive that you can attach to any piece of paper and then it clips right into the coils.  There are also some compliment cards and some referral cards!IMG_20150702_184114 IMG_20150702_184151

I had fun last night filling in this week of my planner!  I created a color code system that I will be using.  I used one of the compliment cards to write out the color code and attached it to my planner with the coil clip.

Overall I am loving this planner and am really looking forward to being more organized!

Are you interested in the Life Planner or anything else that Erin Condren has to offer?  Click this link and sign up to receive $10 off your first purchase!

Book Journal Project

I have been neglecting this blog and I apologize for that!  I’ve been so busy with personal things lately and projects around the house that I haven’t had a lot of free time to devote to this.  I see that a lot of people are viewing my KonMari posts and I promise that I will be diving back into that process soon!  My little brother is getting married next month so once all of the craziness dies down there will be more KonMari posts!  For now, check out my most recent project that I originally posted on my book blog, The Worn Bookmark.


11329862_957687869263_6909989782567211323_nI have finally completed my book journal project.  Although it’s not so much a book journal as it is a binder with different sections to keep track of things like my wishlist and my collections.  If the ring size had been bigger I may have had more room to keep a section with an area to take notes on the book I’m reading at the moment.  I am extremely happy with how this project came out!  Like I mentioned in my original post about this (see that here), I had been looking to make something like this for a long time but could never figure out exactly how I wanted to do it.  I was searching on Pinterest for what seemed like the millionth time when I finally came across two pins that in combination would make exactly what I was looking for.  I will have the links for those two posts at the bottom of this post.  This post is going to have a lot of photos!  I’m only going to use the medium size so you can get the general idea but feel free to click on any of them to see the full size image! 🙂

I got the materials I needed at Target and on Amazon.  In total it cost around $25 to make.  I would have loved to make it in a Filofax type binder like the original blogs but I just don’t have that kind of money right now.

IMG_20150526_192208I got this super cute binder at Target for only $3.99.  They also had a pink one with flamingoes and a salmon colored one with pineapples on it.  I’m not a huge fan of pink so I went with the mintish green with zebras.  It’s not a full size binder, it fits 5.5 X 8.5 sheets of paper.

IMG_20150526_192229I added 4 sections using Avery dividers that I got from Amazon.  You can write on the tabs.  On each divider I put a graphic that I either made or found online that I felt went perfectly with whatever that section was for.IMG_20150526_192238The first section I have is my wishlist.  I also have a wishlist started on my Goodreads page but I wanted to have a physical copy as well.

IMG_20150526_192246I added a column to check off when I get the book, a column for the title and author, then a final column for the format that I want the book in.

IMG_20150526_192301My next section is my Acquisitions section.  I found this fun quote graphic on Pinterest and decided it would go perfectly for this section!  I used the word Acquisitions because I will also be including any ARCs I receive and also any gifts from friends or family so not everything written down will be a book I purchase.

IMG_20150526_192310I have 5 columns for this section.  First is the date, then title, then place (or person if gift), $ amount and format.  I am trying to be better about buying books so I think this will help me keep an eye on how much I am spending.

IMG_20150526_192326The next one is my Daily Reads section.  I want to try and get in the habit of reading everyday, even if I can only get in half hour or less.

IMG_20150526_192334At the front of this section I will keep a list of every book I read for the entire year.

IMG_20150526_192354Then each month has a page and I numbered it down the side.  One line per day.  Every day that I read, I write down the title of the book I read that day.  If I didn’t read at all then it stays blank.  I want to have as few blank days as I can manage.

IMG_20150526_192403The final section is My Collection.  For this one there are really two parts to the section.  The first part is for my physical books and the second is for my Kindle books.  I got two sets of the A-Z labeled tabs from Avery.

IMG_20150526_192410I totally love this graphic that I found on Pinterest so I had to use that for my physical books section.

IMG_20150526_192417Each letter gets a page (or two depending on how many books I have).  I have organized them by the author’s last name.  Then I added a column in the front to cross it off if I have read the book.

IMG_20150526_192429For my Kindle section, I just used the Kindle logo.

IMG_20150526_192437Rather than have a list of the titles, I felt like I needed to have photos to remind myself of what the cover looked like.  I tend to forget all about the Kindle books I own and it’s easier for me to remember what the book is about if I can see the cover.  Then to mark if I have read the book I got these cute little smiley face stickers.  If I have read the book, I put the sticker in the upper left corner of the cover.

IMG_20150526_192540And I have a little folder to keep the sheets of stickers in the binder.

To make the cover photo pages I copy and pasted the photos from Goodreads into a Word document, shrank them down so they are all 1.5 inches long.  Then I changed the margin setting so that they would fit easily onto the 5.5 x 8.5 paper.  Since each lettered tab has two (and occasionally three) on it I decided to just combine the two letters onto one sheet.  For these I decided to organize them by title rather than author. IMG_20150526_184930After I printed them out, I cut them to size and used double sided tape to adhere them to the paper.IMG_20150526_185501Then I went through and marked them with the smiley stickers if I had read the books.

You might have noticed that each of the pieces of paper is a colored border on the side with the holes punched.  Originally the paper was all white but I love color so I wanted to add a splash of color to each sheet while also protecting the holes from getting torn.  So I used my washi tape collection to make that happen.

IMG_20150525_201830First, I laid down a blank sheet of the paper on the table.

IMG_20150525_201903Then I added a strip of the washi tape, getting it as close to the edge of the long side as possible.

IMG_20150525_201917Then I flipped the sheet over to add another strip of washi to the other side.

IMG_20150525_201957When both sides had the washi tape on, I trimmed the edges with my scissors.

IMG_20150525_202037To re-punch the holes I took another blank sheet and laid it over the top to make sure I had the holes lined up perfectly.  Some of the washi tape was transparent enough to see where the holes but some were more opaque.  Then I used my single hole punch to re-punch the holes through the washi tape.  I opted for the single punch instead of buying an actual 7-hole punch because of the price difference.  A single hole punch cost me less than $3 whereas the 7-hole punches run closer to $30.  So it wasn’t a hard decision to make.

IMG_20150525_202658So that is how I got all of the fun colors while also protecting the holes from tearing off the rings.

And so there you have it!  My book journal-ish binder is now complete and I absolutely love it!

Here are the links to my inspiration:

It’s My Life! – Book Journal

Incarnations of Organization – Books, Books and more Books.

Project Packrat Update #1

I had a successful first weekend of Project Packrat!  I didn’t actually get to start when I had planned on it.  Spontaneous dinner plans with friends are a much more pleasing thought than spending my Friday night sorting through my crap.  Then I had forgotten about our plans to see The Hobbit on Saturday and then grocery shop afterwards.  We decided to go to a theater we hadn’t been to yet.  A friend of ours raves about the seats there so we decided to give it a try.

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We went to the Marcus Theater in Rosemount.  It’s not like any other theater I had ever been to where you sit wherever.  When you buy your ticket, you reserve your seat.  And the seats you can see in the middle right of this photo!  They recline!  So awesome!  Definitely will be returning to this theater again in the future!  I loved being able to fully relax at the movies!

I finally started working on clutter when we got home and then all day on Sunday!  I got so much done!  I concentrated on our office because that closet holds a lot of crap.

Saturday my tasks were to purge my magazine and nail polish collections.  I had subscriptions to Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Better Homes and Gardens (it was cheap!), Prevention, National Geographic, Smithsonian and Cook’s Illustrated.  The only ones I kept were the Nat Geo, Smithsonian and Cook’s Illustrated.

Onward to the recycling bin!

Onward to the recycling bin!

My nail polish collection is probably the girliest thing about me.  I was always a tomboy growing up but I do love painting my nails with all kinds of different colors.  When I’m at the store I love looking for new colors but Ethan always drags me away.  He just doesn’t understand 🙂  But I was able to purge this many!  And the best part is that I will be bringing them to Christmas Eve to see if any of Ethan’s cousins or aunt want any of them.  Whatever is left will be thrown away.

The sad thing is I still have double this many left!

The sad thing is I still have double this many left!

On Sunday I was able to really get down to business!  I put on some Gilmore Girls and just went to town.  My first task was to start pulling things out of the messy closet and try to make sense of the chaos.  What I don’t show in the following picture is that our card table is usually shoved in there as well.

IMG_20141221_094428I already had a bunch of papers in my to-shred box but by the time I was done, it was overflowing!  I still need to actually shred everything though.

PicMonkey Collage2While searching through my keepsakes I found this gem from when I was growing up!  I don’t remember where it was taken but I do remember it being taken!  It was so hard for me to keep a straight face!  And the dress was actually meant for a woman so it was super long!  I look a tad ridiculous!  But can’t beat those awesome family memories!

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At one point, Enzo decided he wanted to “help” but his help mostly consisted of him sitting in this box I was trying to use to sort things.  Oh well!

IMG_20141221_102511I finally got tired of sitting on the floor to sort things so I set up the card table to make it easier.  And then it was also easier to see my Gilmore Girls!

IMG_20141221_131426By the time I decided I was done for the day, I was exhausted.  I ended up taking at least 3 boxes full of recycling down to the recycling bin in our garage and at least 2 bags of garbage.  There is still plenty to do in that closet and the rest of the house but I feel like I got a good start!  My kitties got exhausted just watching me do everything!

IMG_20141221_131135I’m hoping to attack some more on this weekend before my brother gets here but we’ll see how that goes.

Project Packrat

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So anybody who knows me personally knows that I am a packrat. I have a problem getting rid of stuff.  What makes it a bigger problem is that my husband is a packrat too (You know it’s true, E)!

We live in a 1167 sq ft town home and it is just full of stuff. I am exaggerating a little but the biggest problem is that everything is cluttered. It has slowly been driving me bonkers.

We will be living there for a few more years so my goal is to make it more liveable and less cluttered. Whenever I search on Pinterest for decluttering ideas, I continually see the same message: clutter = stress. So true!!  When I come home from work, I want to be able to relax but when all I see is clutter I can’t. I start stressing and think about how much I hate it in my house.

Well, it is finally time for me to do something about it! I am determined to declutter my home by the time spring comes, which will give me plenty of time because winter in Minnesota is looooooooong. I am calling this stretch of time Project Packrat. I may not be able to get E to downsize his stuff/junk but I will admit that at least 60% of the junk in our house is mine.

If I can stick to my guns and not question myself when I decide something has to go, I should be able to significantly lessen the amount of clutter in our home.  I will periodically post updates on my progress.
Here’s hoping this project is a success!

Moleskine Planner DIY

My Moleskine Planner

My Moleskine Planner

I always seem to be on the lookout for the perfect planner but can NEVER find exactly what I want.  So I did some checking around on Pinterest for some good ideas on making my own planner.  I didn’t want a ring binder because those always get bent out of shape.  Anything with a soft cover would get junky pretty fast, too.  So I needed something with a hardcover but nothing too expensive.  I’ve seen a lot of organization bloggers create planners and sell them but they are always so expensive, at least for me anyways.  So I was happy to find a couple examples of people making their own planners with Moleskine notebooks!  I’ve always loved the look of them.  Of all the blog posts about creating a planner from a Moleskine was from Charmingly Modern.  I really liked her weekly layout.  That was always the main section of a planner I could never find one that I liked.  I had a few features that I added to make mine meet my needs and left out some of the sections she created in hers.

You Will Need:

  • Moleskine Notebook – click for the one I used
  • A ruler
  • A black pen
  • Highlighters in multiple colors
  • washi tape (optional)
Month Page Layout

Month Page Layout

I didn’t change anything from her month layout.  I left 3 squares at the top and bottom to leave room for notes.  Each square is 7×7.  With the size notebook I have, that made 5 rows.  For the long months, some of the last squares will have to be cut in half.  My color code helps keeps different events and appointments in order.  Green is for my personal things.  Blue is for Ethan’s.  Yellow is for our bills.  Only the ones I have to remember to pay.  Any bill that is automatic I don’t write in the planner.  Orange is for family events.  Pink is for events with our friends.  The washi tape on the side doesn’t really represent anything.  Just another splash of color.

Weekly Page Layout

Weekly Page Layout

My weekly page layout is where I made my personal touches to her layout.  I started 3 squares from the top.  Monday through Friday are 9 x 26.  Saturday and Sunday are 7 x 13.  Within the days I sectioned off two 9 x 3 chunks.  The first chunk is to record my Fitbit stats for the day.  I record my daily activity minutes, steps and flights of stairs.  In the second chunk I plan out our meals for dinner.  I try and do this ahead of time but sometimes it doesn’t happen until the day of.  Saturday and Sunday have smaller chunks.  Fitbit stats: 7 x 3 and dinner plan 7 x 2.

At the bottom of the pages I have the left side for my To-Do List and the right side for my weekly goals.

I’ve been using this planner since April and I really like it!  I actually use it everyday unlike other planners that I have purchased in the past.

Have you found a planner that you like?  Or have you made one of your own?