Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Planner Love 2015

Few people really truly understand my unhealthy perfectly healthy obsession with planners. Calendars and planners have come a long way since I was in high school. There are so many pretty, functional, and sturdy options available today. Did I mention they were pretty? So pretty! You know how I love pretty things. If it is pink or gold or has stripes or can be customized I am sold!

My obsession, however is perfectly healthy and you should be obsessed too! Planners keep me organized and hold me accountable. If I do not write it down it does not get done. I use them for everything from meal planning to keeping track of my workouts, things to do at home, meetings at work and activities for the kids. I have one that stays at work, two that stay at home, and one that never leaves my side. And I might have one or two more that were just too pretty to leave on the shelf at the store. I'll figure out something to put in them! 

My all time favorite planner is the Erin Condren Life Planner. I have ordered one of these the last few years because I love the layout, the durability (it gets tossed in my purse or work bag every day and lugged around everywhere), the endless possibilities to customize it, and of course how pretty it is! As a special treat, if you use my referral link to create an account you'll receive a $10 coupon towards your first purchase!* This is my "master" planner in the sense that it holds everything I need to do, at work and at home.

I am also in love with the Sugar Paper line at Target. I use the 8.5" x 11" size (weekly glance) at work as my call log. I like to keep track of phone calls, both incoming and outgoing, as well as messages left (noting the time) and a brief description of the conversation. I use the 6" x 4" (monthly and weekly glance) at home to keep track of scheduling blog posts, big ideas, and contacts. Finally, I have another 6" x 4" monthly glance with notes pages that  I use to keep track of our finances. I list all of our bills and the amounts due on the calendar pages and use the notes pages as our checkbook registrar. The pocket sheet is great for holding onto receipts in case I need to make a return or exchange. 

Last year I also used the Emily Ley Simplified Planner for a few months. Her planners are absolutely adorable but I bought it in one of my impulsive shopaholic moments and never really used it (because I already had my fave Erin Condren Life Planner). I ended up passing it on to my mom. 

I love, love, love my life planner mostly because it has the weekly view but I'm finding that my daily to do list is growing exponentially and it is getting hard to coordinate my schedule and the kid's schedules. So, most recently I splurged and purchased the Whitney English Day Designer. It is a daily glance that provides space (by the hour!) for meetings, appointments and activities, a large to-do list, menu planning, budgeting, and a daily gratitude space. And, it is pretty. Of course, I ordered the black and white striped one! I see a future post comparing Whitney and Erin! 

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There is no better way to kick off 2015 then with a new planner to keep you organized and on track towards meeting all of your goals in the New Year! Do you have a favorite? I'd love for you to share yours in the comments below!

*Disclaimer: This post was not endorsed, nor was compensation provided, by any of these companies. All opinions are my own. For every Erin Condren purchase made using my referral link I will receive a $10 credit to use towards a future purchase of my own. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Morning + Gift Tracker 2014 {Free Printable!}

Hi friends! Just popping in real quick. I mentioned in a previous post that I am so excited for the new year and my new focus with Keep Calm + Mommy On.

Christmas morning can be a little chaotic (but fun!) with little ones tearing into present after present. Wrapping paper is strewn about, plastic packaging is hemorrhaging from under couches and the coffee table, small parts and pieces belonging to toys end up rolling across the floor, and other gifts recently opened litter the room. At least, that's how I remember it growing up!  

Now that I have little ones of my own I've tried to slow down the pace a litttle. For us, Christmas morning starts in the master bedroom where Santa leaves everyone's stockings! This gives Sean and I few extra minutes to wake up and get rolling. While the kiddos open up their small gifts in the stockings we start a pot of coffee and hot cocoa, turn on the Christmas tree lights downstairs, get cameras ready and brush the morning breath away.

Sean and I do not go overboard with presents, but we can't say the same for our friends and family! Addison and Mason will have lots of thoughtful presents to open again this year. They are so blessed to be so loved by so many. We take our time opening gifts, allowing the kids to stop and play with anything they want. We take breaks for breakfast, snacks and family snuggles. We watch movies, drink hot chocolate and sneak bites of candy all day! It truly is an all day event...and we never get out of our PJs!

To keep track of who is getting what and from whom I make a gift tracking list each year. As the kiddos open their gifts either Sean or I jot down who it is from along with a quick description. We keep track of our gifts too and use our initials to remember who opened what. Later, we use this list to check off when we have written a thank you note. Finally, I try to send a picture of Addie or Mason with their gift in use, even if it just through a text message or post on IG. With so many family members far away it is nice for them to see the kids excited about their new toy, outfit, book or game! You can print a free copy of this by clicking here! Print as many sheets as you need. 

Wishing each and everyone of you a healthy and happy holiday season! See you in 2015!