My New Filofax

Hey There,

Today has been an exciting day in the Hales House. I brought down most of our Christmas decorations and began setting up my vignettes to see what needs to be filled in. We have family coming in for Thanksgiving so I have plans to put them to work on house lights as soon as I can. My goal is to put our tree up on Black Friday so it will be like they get to celebrate both holidays with us. I think it a good plan, let's hope it works out.

Now on to the real reason of this post, my new Filofax Compact Sage Botanics. I have wanted a Filofax as soon as I learned about them but never felt I could justify the cost when I had perfectly good Day Timers and Franklin Coveys. I mentioned in my last post how I spent time browsing eBay for a new to me Filofax and found a perfect match. I'm very grateful to the seller because she accidentally posted it for $15 without auction and honored her listing. I offered to pay for shipping but she declined. On top of all that, she included paperclips, dividers, project life cards, and even some Filofax note paper.

I lived in her setup for a couple weeks until I finally had a pretty good idea how I wanted to set it up for my current needs. I knew I wanted to DIY all my inserts in order to use up some of my stash. I ended up using my Planner Society Kit supplies to make everything. This is perfect because I was beginning to doubt the kits were my style since I had no inspiration for them before now. When it was all done, I had a dashboard, two dividers, and one flyleaf for the back.

These are by far my favorite shots. I love to have lots of clips sticking out the top of my planner. And that planner girl... she is so charming! The best part of this dashboard may be the word stickers {Be True, Be Kind, Be Thankful, Be Fabulous, Be Giving, Be Fearless, Be You}.

Here are my two dividers and flyleaf. Yes, only two! I currently only need my weekly pages and a brain dump. It's a compact size so I am taking it slow in filling it to the max. You may not be able to see the labels but the calendar dividers says "#sheplans" and the notes divider says "#checkthat". The labeled tabs are the brainchild of Christy Tomlinson and she graciously included them in our October TPS kits. The flyleaf is to cover the zipper and I can use it for any miscellaneous stuff I need back there.

One more shot of my planner girl and the pockets I get to fill with pretties. I'm testing out my DIY inserts before attempting to share them here. If you have any favorites, I would love to hear about 'em.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my new planner. I'm feeling pretty hopeful I'll be able to make this one work for the long haul.


2015 Planner Layouts, Weeks #41-45

Hey There,

Now that I'm getting back on track with my planner, I have three weeks of planner layouts to share today. I finally got my groove back for week#41 and decked out my planner for Fall. This is by far one of my favorite seasons so I love how it turned out.

I you're like me you probably noticed that I haven't checked everything off. Yep, I either didn't get it done or just didn't mark it down. I'll claim the latter, but I highly doubt it.

Moving right along to the week of Fall Break! For week# 42, I'm pretty sure I was itching to do a Halloween theme but it was just too soon.  Instead, I chose to do a transition toward it but not venturing too far from my Fall vibe. Since it was a full week of two boys at home, I was hopeful I would get to do some of the things on my list but not really expecting it to happen.

The two weeks following Fall Break were completely unplanned and mostly uneventful. The highlight of week #43 was when I received my Planner Society Kit. Happy mail in your sick bed is the best! After a week of self medicating, I spent week# 44 recovering from an allergic reaction from the antibiotics for Bronchitis.

Yea, these weren't the most memorable weeks for my planner. I was dying to get back to planning but just didn't have the motivation for anything but rest. I will say, I had a lot of time to think about how my planning situation was working out for me. After all my research and excitement to get my Happy Planner, I'm not so enamored with it now. I feel I've given it a fair trial as a daily planner but it just isn't suiting what I need during this season of my journey.

I thought transitioning from a full letter size planner to this would work out great but it's still more than I need. My last option was to move back into one of my smaller Day Timers OR finally make the plunge into the Filofax world. I'm happy to say after much patience, and lots of eBay browsing, I am the proud owner of my first Filofax Compact Sage Botanics. I plan to write an introductory post on her soon so I won't mention much more now. All this to say, week#45 was my first week of trying her out. I had no inserts so I got to get creative and draw out what I thought I wanted in my weekly set up. This weeks layout is a draft of what I came up with for the basic sheets I printed for the rest of November.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed my planner layout catch up session. I've already made my own dashboard, dividers, and inserts for my Filofax that I can't wait to share real soon.


Hey Girls!

Hey There!

I have seriously missed my time on here! I don't really like doing "MIA" post so I'll skip it and keep moving forward. I'm so desperate to get back into the swing of blogging that I'm willing to do a picture-less post. This is serious, y'all! I broke my desktop computer, and my netbook refuses to connect to my wifi, so all I can do is use my iPad until circumstances improve. At this point, since there are maybe three people that even read this blog I'll say it's all good.

I jokingly told a friend last night that I should do a shout out since a couple of them discovered this little hobby of mine. Why is it so intimidating to know IRL friends might read what I write? So a shout out I shall do! Now promise me you'll let me know if you've been stalking!

After talking with you guys about being a "blogger", and mentioning my original blog I had in 2012, I went down memory lane. It was a lifestyle blog so I wrote about parenting, family history, cooking, crafting, and anything in between. Looking back, I'm proud of what we accomplished in that space. We documented some really good memories and current (at the time) events. All this to say, if your really interested in checking it out try this link. End Shout Out.

So what is my plan now? I've been off track with my planner so that is a priority and I'll do a catchup session for those. I also ordered a Filofax because the Happy Planner is just too bulky to carry in my purse. I think that will be a post all its own to discuss what my plans are for those two. I'm still trying to figure out the best use for my newbie and how I want to customize my inserts. It's a little challenging not having computer access so I'm not sure how soon that will be.

Other ideas I have been pondering include sharing some of my printables (old and new), increasing my IG presence, and whether or not I want to jump on the etsy bandwagon. I'm not really sure, I still have some evaluating to do to see how much effort I really want to put into this hobby. That's it for now, thanks for stopping by. 


Something I Love

Hey There,

I hope you've been well. I love the change of seasons but not the allergies that come along with them. I've been sick twice within a week, just from spending time in the awesome weather.  Anywho, that's my reason for lack of #DMIO posts. I figured since I'm behind, that gives me license to choose from the topics I haven't covered. You can tell by the title what I chose but I'm changing it up a bit to include different areas of interest to me. 
Let's start with pens! I was once a hoarder of pens but at some point I realized keeping them in a bin was doing them no justice. I'm a bit more selective now and my collection has improved a lot. I have a few faves, such as the Flair Pens and Staedtlers, but my current go to is the Frixion Erasable pen! At the moment, these are the only pens I use (and don't share). I have never been a fan of my own handwriting so these have been my saving grace in my planners. 

Next in the lineup is my closet office {makeover}; does a makeover qualify? I hope so because I'm loving the process of pulling together my MomCave in a house of boys! I was inspired by the pastel movement but when I found my Kate Spade Gold/Hot-Pink Elyce Brag Book my color pallet developed quickly. My newest addition is a chandelier to replace my current lighting situation. As you can see, my lighting is very poor and inconsistent. If you want to see a few more sneak peeks, browse my planner layout posts or check me out on Instagram. I'm hoping to eventually do a full reveal but, as all things go ,it will take some time to complete. 

I'm including one more item off my list of current loves. As a mom of two young boys, personal enrichment can be vital to my emotional health. I'm fortunate enough to belong to a healthy, vibrant church that encourages community and discipleship. As such, the group of ladies I meet with regularly have started a new study by Priscilla Shirer called Breathe. I have read many books/studies in my time but never has a book transformed the dynamics of my family! I would  fall short of doing it any justice if I tried to explain it to you. Instead, if you feel disconnected, discouraged, or maybe misdirected I want to encourage you to take a look at this book. 

Well, that's it for tonight. This next week is Fall Break and my hubby took the time off too. So I'm either going to have extra time to write or be fighting for some free time to get it done. Either way, both of those is better than being sick in bed! 


2015 Planner Layouts, Week #40

Hey There!

It's time again for a planner layout update. This past week was very slow going with the weather changes and seasonal allergies that follow. On top of that, I got Flu and Pneumonia shots that promptly sent me over the edge. Today is the first day I feel I actually accomplished something other than the necessaries. All this to warn you this appears to be a somewhat bland spread in my planner due to lack of energy and motivation.

You'll see I made very good use of my Happy Planner supplies. I actually prepped this layout before I ordered my planner stamps and was too unmotivated to waste all these nice stickies.

I do feel the need to mention we actually did have something fun to do over the weekend. We headed out to Searcy, Arkansas for the sole purpose of visiting the Staples. That's a crazy reason but we are always up for a road trip for whatever reason. While there, I hit up a Habitat Restore and found a chandelier for my office makeover. I wasn't feeling well so I had to miss out on the Sonic treats, Boo!

Well, that's it for today. I hope to get back into the "Do More In October" challenge as soon as I can. Let me know if you link up too so I can take a look.


Get to Know Me

via Snail Mail Love

Hey There!

I'm so excited to be starting a fun little challenge this month. I love a challenge that falls in line with any of my plans/goals for what I want to be doing. You can find more details on Fab's blog, Snail Mail Love, here and read her first entry here as well as others at the end of her post.

You can tell from the title of this post today's topic is getting to know the blogger. I like this prompt because it allows me the freedom to share more about myself than I would normally feel is suitable for this platform. We all know that most people DO NOT like talking about themselves, myself included, so to make this fun I will be sharing what I hope will be fun, interesting, maybe embarrassing, and who knows what else will come up. Let's get started shall we...

{I have 12 siblings}
Yep, it's true and no we don't all have the same mom. Technically, my dad has eleven children! My mom has had six of those; two without my dad! For those of you who like numbers here are a few for you... '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '67, '70, '73, '75, '76, '78, and two after that I don't know yet. All I can say to this is Rabbits!

{My Love/Hate Relationship}
I love to take pictures but hate HATE being in them. I'm the epitome of 'the camera adds ten pounds', only it's more like 100 lbs! You know, like marshmallow face or something! Did I say HATE yet?!?

{Walt Disney World}
I'm not a mega fan but I did work there! It was my first job and the only one I don't like to admit to. Here's why; when you tell people that you were a character at WDW, many many questions ensue and you pretty much end up talking about yourself. Who wants to prompt that kind of attention!?!

{Most Embarrassing}
I'm excited to share this one because I own it, and it includes yummy donuts! When I worked in retail, I was to open the store one fine Sunday, but not before stopping for some chocolate mini donuts. My all time favorite since as along as I can remember!! I'm not sure how long into the morning this occurred but at some point a customer made an odd to me random comment about "stopping the donut truck". Um, what? Eventually, I got it and if you really need me to tell you the moral of the story let me know.

{I CAN'T kill bugs}
Yeah, this sounds strange, certainly gross, and especially shutter inducing. When I say "can't", I mean physically impossible. It's the noise, the squishing, the potential for goo... all of the above! I go into panic mode if it is down right necessary for me to deal with this situation on my own. I've even called friends at home to come rescue me! This is serious stuff in my book.

OK, I that's enough for now before I do myself some emotional harm. It's not much but I hope it helps you to know me a little more than the formal stuff you usually read about on info pages. Hey, if you want to read more, don't forget to check out Fab's space. You can also follow #DoMoreInOctober on Instagram.


2015 Planner Layouts, Week #39

Hey There,

Welcome back to another week of how I decorated my planner. The time is flying by so I'm grateful to be taking the extra time to embellish my planner. It's the best chance I get at crafting some weeks since I'm in the midst of an office makeover and doing preschool with my youngest. Neither of those takes a lot of my time but staying on top of chores and quality family time does.

Let's get into the pics, shall we. Here's my full layout with a peek at my closet office progress so far. My color scheme is developing slowly but so far you can see I have watermelon and some teal going on. Since discovering the Frixion pens they are the only pens I will write with in my planner. This image also includes a shot of my monthly calendar and my current blog planner/prelim spread.

Did you catch that about the 'prelim spread'? That's my current solution to relieve my anxiety about not liking my layout before I decorate at the end of the week. Here's what a planning session looks like for me. I pull out my blog planner, monthly calendar, my brain dump notebook, and also my Preschool planner {not shown}. You can see how I have my Happy Planner propped up for inspiration; it would normally be the week before but I thought of sharing this after I finished this week so that's what you see here.

I use the blog planner to list out all my To Do's with my Frixion pens on the top row. The next row I try to set aside for preschool lesson information, and the last I use for planning out how I want work out my blogging/Instagram schedule. I've found I need to keep lots of flexibility in my schedule because I'm not as disciplined as I would like to be. Once the week is complete, I transfer the information into my Happy Planner and embellish to my hearts content.

I use the note section on the left side as an overview for the week. You can see my daily chores, 'this week', 'preschool', and 'grateful' section headers that I made for this purpose. I went with a plethora of stickers this week to use up some of my supply.

That's it for today. I'm hoping to receive my September Planner Society Kit real soon; I'll share as soon as I do!


2015 Planner Layouts, Week #38

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I updated. I'm a little behind on my personal goal here. This goes to show why it's so important to keep your planner handy, and keep it working for you! Yep, that's a hint into my recent struggle. I got my new Happy Planner and have been terrified to write on the pages! Decorating is one thing, but tarnishing it's beauty with my handwriting is another. Want to see how I filled it in last week?

Yep, everything was written on sticky notes. At first, it was so I could figure out how I wanted to write it all in to look nice and organized. Then, as the week went on, I got a little overwhelmed, freaked out, over my poor handwriting. I couldn't get myself to commit. Geez, it's only a planner, right? What's wrong with me! 
So I decided to just do some decorating in it and maybe fill in a bit here and there about what was done during the week, kinda Memory Planner style. I even made the claim on Instagram that I may convert it, but who am I kidding, I want to make this planner! This bound stack of pretty paper doesn't own me, I own it! And, by golly, I'm gonna start acting like it. Anyway, here are some closeups; I really like how it turned out.

I also mentioned on Instagram how bulky this planner is. I really don't feel too good about the exposed rings as well as how much calendar is in there. I may just have to order smaller rings and remove the last six months. Hopefully, that will be a workable solution to the bulk and I can carry it in my bag ring side up to appease my fear of dirtying the pages. 

Who knows, I'm still trying to perfect my planner team so it's still subject to change again by the next time I do an update. So stay tuned to found out!


Section Headers

Hey There,

If you follow me on Instagram you already know I got my Happy Planner in the mail yesterday. She is so much more adorable than I expected; no wonder people are in love with this planner. I couldn't wait to move in so I made my section headers, stuck them on, then forgot to take pics before adding some of my To Do's. No biggie, here is what she looks like waiting to be put to work. I love how this turned out! My favorite is the fabric washi; I'm inclined to hoard it after this.

I mentioned in my previous post I would be sticking with my column headings. I tweaked them a bit and finally got it done and done!

I like this so much that I just made a full sheet printable. They match with the calendar headings so I can use them the whole month and just change up the washi and other elements of my layouts. Win/Win! I would love to offer this as a free printable but I'm pretty sure you would want to customize these headings to suit your needs.

Well, that's it for today. Don't forget to come back next week to see my completed layout.


2015 Planner Layouts, Week #37

Hey There!

Ready for another installment of my weekly planner layout? In my opinion, this one is a hot mess! I've mentioned before how I'm trying to figure out my decorating style so for this layout I decided to make use of the tons of Me & My Big Ideas Stickers I've acquired. Yep, I added lots of stickers before filling in my notes. I made it work but I don't think I'll be doing that process again. Here's a sneak peek I shared on Instagram.

Don't get me wrong, I think this view looks great but wait until you see the finished layout. It feels very incohesive and cluttered. I made a few of my own clear stickers to tide me over while I decide on my permanent solution.  For my task lists, I layered most them over stickies from my Happy Planner set. I also made column headings for my side notes using really cute fonts. 
 This is the first half of my week. I felt like it was pretty creative how I made the stickers and flags work. This made it a bit more color coordinated for my related tasks.

I think these column headings will be what I continue with in my new Happy Planner but on the notes side. I like the idea of a five day work week but everyday life has no off days so I'll be utilizing that in my new Blog Planner I set up using my extra HP Expansion Pack pages. 

I can't wait for my new planner to get here this Wednesday! In addition to dividing out my Blog Planner, I have added a new one to my team for Homeschooling. Looks like an update will be in the works real soon. Thanks for checking me out, hope to see you soon.


Outgoing Pocket Letter

Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed my last post featuring my planner layouts from last week. 

Today, is a little different, as in not planner related. I don't think Naomi would mind me sharing my most recent letter to her. I wanted to change it up a little since it was a follow up letter and also add some creativity to it. I went with a double sided Pocket Letter format so I could send some RAK. I love to send things in my letters hoping to bring a little cheer to my friend. This pocket letter is the first one I've done this way. I've done double sided but the new bit was writing my letter within each pocket. I had to pre-measure and make sure I left enough room to cut each block. Not too complicated, really.

You see how it went over to the back side? If you try this, you may want to keep that in mind when you cut or you'll have to puzzle it back together. I've never exchanged goodies with this penpal before so I was a little unsure of what to include. Totally random. Even so, it's just a RAK so I think she'll like it anyways. 

I can't wait to share some of my previous Pocket Letters with you! Have you done any Pocket Letters? or RAK lately? I’d love to check’em out, just tag me on IG. Well, there's my brief write up. I hope you'll come back early next week to see this weeks finished layout. 


2015 Planner Layouts, Week #36

Hi Friends,

I'm so excited to share another planner layout here on my brand spanking new blogeroo! I'm still feeling out my Happy Planner set up so this past week I kinda went a little sticker crazy. Midway through the week I realized the separated times of day will actually work better for me. You'll want to see how I made it work in next weeks post. Like I said, I'm still finding what works for me so I am pondering how I want to do my checklist system and other such things. I'm leaning towards stamps because I can coordinate colors, but the stickers are soo much fun too. What do you prefer?

I want to show you my current 'planner team' I discussed in my 2016 Planner Search post. I didn't include this picture last week because it was already planner pic heavy.

That is all kinds of color going on! I never know what direction I'll end up when I start working on my planners but this one sure looks good. Ready for some close ups?
You may not be able to tell from this view but I'm trying to work within a five day work week. This works well in providing the additional space I need for general information I want to keep track of or accomplish.
I don't know about you, but I really don't like my handwriting and lately that has made it really hard to fill in my blocks. I don't have the proper stamps to use for filling in a nice looking To Do list so this is what I've got going on for now. I recently picked up the Happy Planner Sticky Notes so those will eventually make an appearance on my pages.
Here's the second half a little closer; notice my empty plan of action? I thought the monkey dance was appropriate. This was the last week of hosting my nieces for the summer so it wasn't gonna happen anyways. You can see here how desperately I need some cute stamps in my planner. OR, I could work on my penmanship and write it myself but we know that's no where as near fun! Lets move on to my Memory Planner set up.
Due to the nature of our activities this week, I didn't have any pictures I felt worth printing out for these pages. I like having the freedom to make up the rules as I go eliminating the pressure to take pics of everything we do.
I'm trying to work through some of the supplies I have so this layout really makes me happy! In both pics you can see some of the new clips I made too.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside my planners. I scheduled myself to share my September #ListersGottaList but I haven't even started. I found a system I'm excited to implement but this is supposed to be fun so I may just start prepping for next month and call it a wash. I guess we'll both be surprised about what I post about later this week! See you then.


2016 Planner Search

So after a brief detour, I'm back with my regularly scheduled post. I have been on the search for my perfect planner team; you know, all the goodies that will help me accomplish my goals. When I began the search, I quickly became overwhelmed with the overload of planner options. I knew I wanted my gold Kate Spade notebook cover to be my launching point that all the others would need to coordinate with. There will be five books as part of my team, each serving a specific purpose, my mini notebook, my daily planner, my monthly calendar, my memory keeping agenda, and my monthly challenges agenda. These will be my staples but any additional supplies can be considered bonus eye candy and subject to change with the seasons.

Once these were established, I figured out my specific needs for both my daily and memory planners.

Daily Planner Needs
Memory Planner Needs
Binder or Arc System
Flexible to Hold Bulkiness
Vertical Layout
Horizontal Layout
A Pocket to Fit Monthly Calendar
Room for Pics, Memorabilia, and Embellishments

These two will be my work horses and likely the most photographed for Instagram and this blog. My Kate Spade and Monthly Calendar are both gold, by chance not intentionally, so I want my others to fall into the Floral and Pastel/Mint categories with gold accents. These are popular combos right now so this should be easy enough. I do want to mention I realize we are in the midst of a season change but I decided to carry my favorite season with me year round! Also, to minimize cost I will be excluding ring planners in this search.
I mentioned in my previous post that I dream of being a part of a design team for some of my favorite brands. So I feel it necessary to focus on working with those products that are most suitable to my current needs. After much comparison I have filtered it down to five brands, Paper Source, The Happy Planner, Erin Condren, 1Canoe2, and Inkwell Press. Each of these are outwardly perfect for what I'm looking for but let's get down to the pros and cons of each, in no particular order. I'll list my notes on each then do a comparison chart at the end.

Disclaimer: None of these planners are currently in my possession therefore all pictures will link back to their original sources.

Isn't this cover gorgeous! It has the colors I want, the gold foiling, and even a hidden coil. This one only comes in a horizontal layout and has a pocket in the front. This planner covers all my needs for a memory planner.  

{2}The Happy Planner
For starters, this cover is not my first choice of their five options but I prefer the fonts and colors in this one. I know I can get a new cover on Etsy, so that's no deal breaker. I really appreciate that I can find this planner in the store along with many of their accessories, including pockets. This is an 18 month vertical layout planner and you can even get an expansion pack. I've taken the expansion pack for a test ride in my planner and so far it works for me. If I choose this planner I will go all in and use it with the arc system, no forcing it into a planner. That would mean the added expense of purchasing a hole punch eventually.

{3}Erin Condren
Everyone knows about this planner by now. This cover is a great fusion of some of my outward choices. This planner has both vertical and horizontal layouts which makes it a potential choice for either of my planner needs. I like that I have the option to get Jan-Dec 2016 which I prefer for memory keeping. I also know there are tons of hacks that can help to fulfill my other needs for a daily planner.

I am so in love with this planner for so many reasons; that cover for one! I love the inside font and the non-traditional layout. This would work great for memory keeping but may fall short of space for the extra goodies and pics I would want to add.

{5}Inkwell Press
Last but not least, here goes another coveted planner we all want to drool over! This cover is beautiful but I wouldn't mind some gold foiling to go along with it. The mission board is my favorite feature for a daily planner. This one is available in horizontal, vertical, and even A5 Horizontal. I imagine this planner could be added to just like the Erin Condren. Unfortunately, the vertical layout has times listed and no blocking which really makes it hard to commit to.

Wow! That was a lot to get down. Now let's see about that comparison chart.

Daily or
Memory Keeping
Paper Source
$36.95, or $49.95 custom
7.5” x 9.25”
The Happy Planner
7.75” x 9.75”
Erin Condren
$50, or $65 custom
7.25” x 9.25”
Vertical or Horizontal
$42 (12m), or $44 (17m)
8” x 10”
Inkwell Press
7” x 9”
Vertical, Horizontal or A5 Horizontal

After all this work, I have realized that I failed to research bleed-through on each of these. Even so, I'm confident with the proper supplies this will be a minimal concern. Finally, I think there is a clear winner for my daily planner choice, and for that price point I may be able to justify the cost of one of the others! So there it is in black and white. What planner would you choose and why?

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