Thursday, October 1, 2015

He's Here!

I haven't been posting for a few weeks and for good reason-our sweet little man came into the world on September 13!!

(I love newborn stretches!)

Cupcake is LOVING being a big sis.

Now I have to come up with a name for him to use on my blog...

We're doing great so far, though I forgot how HARD this newborn stage is. Can I get an amen?!But, hopefully I will find time for me to post once a week or so.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Why I'm Obsessed with My New Happy Planner!

Note: All opinions are mine. I was not asked to review The Happy Planner nor did I receive any compensation. I just love it!

I love planners. Seriously. It's kind of weird because I'm a high P on the Myers Brigg. But, maybe that's why I LOVE the Create 365 Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas so much. It fosters creativity AND organization.

I can't remember where I first saw The Happy Planner, but it was on a blog and I immediately fell in love. I recently have been looking for a smaller planner that I can carry in my purse (my self-created one I loved is 8x11 and is currently been put aside for my lifestyle needs at this moment). The Happy Planner measures about 7x9, so it's small enough to carry around, but big enough to write down everything I need. 

Reasons I LOVE this planner (and think you should check it out):

It's Practical and Reasonably Priced
The Happy Planner retails for about $25, which is half the price of other similar planners I've seen. Plus it is an 18-month planner as opposed to a 12-month, so you get more bang for your buck. Also, it's customizable because it uses the discbound system, which is a type of punch that allow paper to hook to rings, but also be removable. I love this system because the planner works as a spiral notebook I can fold back, but the pages are removeable.

My old planner was also a discbound system, so I invested in the ARC hole punch from Staples. It's totally worth it if you love this system because it allows you to use free printables and create your own pages. 

Also, you can use other discbound system products with The Happy Planner if you want.

The Design is Perfect for My Lifestyle
  For some reason, I have a hard time finding planners with weekly pages that I can actually use. Either there is not enough space or they have schedules written out to only 6pm or schedules that make me cry because they are too confining. :-) So, here are some pictures of the Happy Planner design I love.

I chose The Good Things Are Going to Happen planner, but there are other designs available that are slightly different. You can watch videos on their website that show all the pages each design contains.

 At the front, I have sticky notes (in case anything needs to be changed/written over) and a folder full of stickers, which I'll explain in a minute!

The sticky notes were an added on accessory and the folder came from a previous Discbound notebook I had already.

Each month contains an intro page, which I'll gush about in a minute, a two-page monthly calendar spread, and two-page weekly spreads for each week of the month.

Monthly Calendar:

Weekly Pages:

Each design has slightly different weekly pages, but I love how this one has a space for morning, afternoon, and evening. This allows me to write in appointments and then write to do lists around my appointments, so I know what my goals are for those hours of the day.

I also like the space on the left to write out my weekly to do list and goals for the week.

The Happy Planner Encourages Creativity
What sets The Happy Planner apart from other planners is that it was designed to foster creativity while meeting a need for organization. You can check out their blog for ideas on how to use this planner for creative purposes. 

I love it because it allows me a little creative outlet each day. There are tons of things you can do, but what I've decided to do is to make the used pages into a journal/scrapbook (see my point below for more details). One creative outlet I do each day is, instead of crossing out passed days on the monthly calendar, like I normally would, I try to do a sketch a day in the empty blocks. If I don't like my sketch or if there's a lot of plans written in the block, then I cover it up with punched-out scrapbook paper or embellishment.

I also plan to highlight special days. At the end of the month I'll have a little creative scrapbooked page.

At the end of the week, I cover up the weekly page blocks with little instagram photos, scrap paper, journal blocks, and embellishments-which leads me to my next point...
It Preserves Memories-Not Just a Throw Away Planner!
At the end of a year, I normally throw away my planner or planner pages because I have no use for them. The Happy Planner, however, has encouraged me to turn the old pages into a scrapbook journal. Normally I make a photobook for our family every year, but sometimes the every day moments, memories, and thoughts are left out. I often make the excuse that I do not have time to preserve them, but with this planner, I can take 20-30 minutes each week and preserve some of those memories. 

Each month has an intro page that helps with this (some of the designs have more practical, planner-like monthly intro pages). 

 As you can see, there's a space to fill in what I am doing currently, things I'm grateful for, important dates, and birthdays. Practicing gratitude is a discipline I wanted to develop, so this helps!

Some of the months have designs on the right side, but I plan to use this space partially for journaling too. Challenged by my friend Emily, I've been wanting to practice the discipline of recording the things I've learned each month. They can be silly things or deep things, but I plan to place those on that right page and maybe some photos-we'll see. 

As mentioned above, I cover up the used weekly pages with journal spots, instagram photos, etc. So, at the end of the week, the used spread looks something like this:

 I haven't been great about recording in my Five Year Journal, so I decided to drop it to 3 questions a week and create question boxes that fit over the boxes in this planner. That way, I just have to answer the question and glue it in on the day I answered it. This will encourage me to journal more. 

I am also using washi tape and stickers to cover up used boxes and decorate the page. I can't describe how much fun it has been to be creative and preserve memories with little time commitment!

Other Great Features
Some other great features worth mentioning:

-Their website has free printables you can use with your planner!

-You can purchase the planner and accessories in stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Jo Ann's, A.C. Moore, and Amazon OR you can order directly from their website. (I recently got a bunch of the embellishment stickers on sale at Hobby Lobby!)

- They sell stickers, folder pages, and lined paper, etc. to add to your planner if you want.
-Not ready to buy a new Happy Planner, but out of months? They have a six month extension pack you can buy!

- They offer a home planner extension pack to add to your planner with cleaning lists, budget planning, and meal planning.

I can't say it enough: I am totally loving this planner!!! I am sure I will add things as needs come up and as I am able with a new baby.

 Linking To:

Tip Me Tuesday with Tip Junkie

Work It Wednesday with The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
Inspiration 2 with Live Laugh Rowe and My Fabuless Life

That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Drink Coaster Vacation Ornament {Countdown To Christmas}

Guess what?!

So, it's time for this month's Countdown To Christmas post!

Here's an idea for a quick and FREE vacation memory ornament. Can't find one you like? Why not use a free coaster from a favorite restaurant? Or just a cool looking one?

Just punch a hole at the top and add some ribbon. I used jute because it was a beach vacation and seemed more appropriate. I also added a shell charm I happened to already have.

It's so easy and a completely free way to remember a vacation!

Linking To:




Work It Wednesday with
The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
Inspiration Gallery with
 Design, Dining, Diapers // Crafterberry Bush // The Golden Sycamore Inspiration 2 with Live Laugh Rowe and My Fabuless Life


That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

One Project At a Time with A Bowl Full of Lemons

Baby 2 coming soon-Why I will posting less!

I just wanted to write a quick note to thank everyone for reading my little space on the internet! 

I also wanted to let you know that I will probably be posting much less, if at all, for the next couple of months because baby # 2 is almost here!!

I am at 38 weeks so there's no telling when he'll come. I still would like to post at least once a week because blogging is a good creative outlet for me, but I will be taking it easy and easing back into normal life once I adjust to having two.

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Free Project Planner Printable

I created a simple project planning sheet to plan and write notes for craft projects. I use this mostly so I can remember details to post about on my blog!

I want to share it with you in case you are looking for a simple project planning printable too! So, simply click on the picture above or the link below to download!

 Linking To


Work It Wednesday with  
The Happy Housie // The Blissful Bee // The Turquoise Home // Place of My Taste
Inspiration 2 with Live Laugh Rowe and My Fabuless Life

That DIY Party with DIY Show Off

One Project At a Time with A Bowl Full of Lemons

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Preschool Bird Unit Activities

 The theme for our second week of homeschool Preschool this year was BIRDS! Here is what we did for the whole unit, including non-bug activities. To see the overview of this year's curriculum, click here.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for a list and links of free printables we used for this unit.

Phonics (e,t,c)
 We begin each phonics lesson singing the ABCs. Then, we practice sounding out and tracing each letter for that week with Montessori sandpaper letters. Cupcake loves little objects, so we have an alphabet box and she sorts each object on the proper letter.

For pre-writing practice, Cupcake does do-a-dot sheets from The Measured Mom.

Where's the Bird? Phonics Game 
For this activity, I used three plastic Easter eggs and wrote the letters of the week on each one. Then, I hid a stuffed bird in one of the eggs.

Cupcake had to find the bird by picking the letter I was sounding out. I would say, "Where's the bird? The bird is hiding in the "eh" egg." I made sure we did each letter (she actually kept her eyes closed so I could hide the bird!). She loved this activity-we did it every school day this week.

Number Ordering
I had Cupcake order these nests printables from The Measured Mom. They are actually counting mats, but this time we used them for number ordering.

For shape recognition, Cupcake did her bird tanagram puzzle from Melissa and Doug. Then she did some other tanagrams because she was enjoying herself.

We reviewed the concepts of the directions "up" and "down," using Cucpakes stuffed birds. She has a yellow one and a blue one. I flew the birds around and said a little rhyme: Little birds in the sky, little birds flying round, which one is up and which one is down? I held one up and one down and had her answer the question.

We also read the book, "Up and Down," by Oliver Jeffers, which is one of her favorite books.

We also did a bird pattern sheet and bird sizing, which I don't have a photo of, but will link to the printable below.

Story Time
 We read the following bird books for story time:

 Art and Music
Birdhouse Painting
For art, Cupcake painted a little wood birdhouse with child-friendly paint. She loves to paint, so she loved this activity. You can find these little birdhouses for $1 at A.C. Moore and Michael's.

For Music, we sang bird songs and recited bird rhymes- you can get my free printable for these in the list below.

We did a bird-watching activity, but I didn't take photos. I got the idea from Modern Parents Messy Kids.

This week, we covered Creation days 4-7, using the ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum as our guide. We read the story of creation from The Jesus Storybook Bible and used the review questions and memory verse song from the curriculum. I like to print out the verses for Cupcake, even though she cannot read yet, to start her on word recognition. 

Along with Genesis 1:1, we sang "God Made Them All" from the Big Stories for Little Ones album by Rain For Roots. (My FAVORITE children's album!) and "This Is the Day That the Lord Has Made."

 Every other day, I did not read the story to her, but re-told it using our DIY felt board. To make creation felt pieces, I used a free printable from Keeping Life Creative. She offers a few Bible stories for free, so you can test if your kids like the felt board, but she has a whole Old Testament pack in her store that I recommend. 
We also finished the Creation wheel from last week.  

Links to Printables Used For This Unit
Bird Printables

Bible Printables

 Linking To
Mom 2 Mom with  
Montessori Monday with Living Montessori Now

Laugh and Learn with  
Hip Homeschool Hop with Hip Homeschool Moms

 Preschool & Kindergarten Community with Homeschool Creations

Preschool Bird Songs and Rhymes Printables

 The theme for our first week of homeschool Preschool this year was BIRDS! I made a song and rhyme printable for our unit, so I'm sharing it with you. You can see all the activities we did on my post about the unit.

Linking To
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