Thursday, November 29, 2018

Free 2019 Compact Monthly Pages!

I finished my 2019 Monthly pages for next year and I'm sharing them with you. You will need to print them on paper that measures 4.25" x 6.75".

I have reasons for making the inserts this way.  I do not print the calendars back to back, but instead, print a monthly index on the back of the first page and a master task list on the back of the second (in keeping with the Franklin Covey method).

If you download and use these inserts, I would love it if you would leave a comment and let me know - sharing a picture on social media would be a huge bonus!  Let me know if you would like to see more inserts like this. To download, click the image below.

Planner Plans for 2019 (and This Week in my Planner)

This week I am using inserts that I created, but were inspired by Brandy Michelle Plans. The week after Thanksgiving is pretty slow, so I decided to use these instead of a DO2P layout that I had been using. 

Appointments are added at the top of the section for each day and daily tasks below that.  I also track exercise and water as a reminder.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Recent Plant-Based Food

I am still amazed at how delicious plant-based food can be, even made without oil!  My husband and two teen-aged boys are huge fans of this way of eating, so we're all fans!  If you're interested in learning more about this way of eating, Google Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Essylstyn, and Happy Herbivore. The McDougall Friends Facebook group is also a great resource.

Top:  Three Bean Salad (served with baked corn tortillas), Steamed Cabbage, Brown Rice Grapes, and Everyday Mushroom Gravy

Bottom:  Stuffed Peppers, Cabbage Rolls

Running Around Downtown 2017

My youngest, Jonathan, had his first run of the new year on Saturday and we were all very excited about how well he did.  He knocked about 2 minutes off his time from the same race last year and he came in first in his age division.  Let me brag a little more - he came in 15th out of 149 participants!  Run like the wind, Jonathan!

If I Could Turn Back Time

Sometimes posting a "Throw Back Thursday" seems like cheating, but this picture is something I wanted to share with all three of my readers.  My husband and I look happy, don't we?  After 7 years of trying to get pregnant, we were close to having our first son.  That son, William, is now over 16 years old.

When I was younger, I used to internally roll my eyes when someone started talking about how fast time was passing.  When I was younger.  Now, I am really feeling it.  My friend says when your little ones are young, the days are long but the years are short.  She got that right, but now the weeks feel like they are short. Seriously, where did the time go?

Menu Planning on a Monday

Menu planning has always been part of my weekly routine. I would be flabbergasted when friends would say, "It's 4 o'clock and I still have no idea what is for dinner!"  How could you not know what is for dinner?!  (smile)  What do you buy at the grocery store if you don't have a plan for the week?  That's how my thinking tends to go.

So, I always have at least a basic plan of the weekday meals when I go to the grocery store.  We live 20-ish minutes away from town so the hubby picks up anything that we might need during the week that we forgot on Saturday shopping day!  Here's what's on the menu for this week:

Baked Ziti, Steamed Broccoli & Cauliflower

Large Dinner Salad and Chik Patties (for the guys)*

Spaghetti & Meatballs (the guys like these)*

BBQ Cabbage Sandwiches & potato wedges or fries

Split Pea Soup

* We don't buy meat, so everything we eat is vegetarian at the very least.  I try to follow Dr. McDougall's program and the quickest way to describe it is a whole food, plant-based, no oil, vegan diet.  Ingredients in the faux meat products are not vegan and often have added oil, so my guys eat them but I do not.

How to Keep Up with Small but Important Pieces of Information

My Amazon Prime pin number
The boys haircut guard size
My hair color name & number
My make up foundation color

These are all pieces of information that I need often but always seemed to forget until I discovered a simple system of keeping up with it.

The solution?  A-Z dividers!

I took the dividers from a set of address inserts that I didn't use and put them in my planner as a way to keep up with my notes, or "files" (more on them later).   The information in my files section often comes and goes but the dividers remain.  That is where the bits of information go - on the inside of the dividers.  Use them just like a filing cabinet!

Air Filter sizes, your hubby's debit number (develop a code if you don't want to put the actual number in your planner such as add +1 to the real number), door combination, frequently used account numbers, library number, small community post office hours, your wi-fi password, frequent take-out order - the list can go on and on!

Sunday, November 25, 2018


 We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving this week with 13 members of our extended family. It was the perfect day in so many ways. The weather was perfect and we ended the day with a photo session just as the sun was setting. This picture is of my son’s and I - more after the jump.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Planner Hack for Functional Planning

 I use compact inserts in a personal-sized Malden, which also doubles as my wallet.  I don’t want to use up valuable real estate with sticky notes and page flags, so I came up with this little hack (which probably isn’t an original idea) to conserve space.

Pull off a small section of sticky notes and stick them on an infrequently used card, or even an empty gift card and slip it into your planner.

Easy peasy!

How do you manage sticky notes in your planner?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Dam Bridge Run 10k - 2018

Today my youngest ran his fourth Dam Bridge run in Florence.  We were up bright and (too) early, but that's a runner's world for you!  I enjoy watching Jonathan in his element and talking to all the friends that he has made over the past several years.  He didn't meet the goal that he set for himself, but he did shave four minutes off his time for last year.  I know I'm the mom, but I think that's pretty darn good!  More pictures after the jump.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Using Your Planner to Plan Your Meals (plus a freebie!)

I finally gave in and created a dedicated section in my Malden (Ochre, personal size) for meal planning.  As a homemaker, it is a big part of my day-to-day.

Here is what I have included in my meal planning section:  a weekly meal planner, a list of my family's favorite meals, a list of new recipes I want to try, and customized grocery list.

Weekly Meal Planner - I use a meal planner to organize my menu for the week.  I homeschool so that means we eat a lot of lunches at home.  My boys are involved in a lot of youth activities with our church, plus they have other outside sports activities they participate.  Sometimes it is hard to know who is going to be home when!

My meal planner has areas to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner (they basically eat all day long, ha!) and there's an extra line for whatever I need.  Currently, I have been writing appointments on that line - not to keep up with appointments, but to help me figure out what kind of meal to plan.  Sometimes they are both gone during dinner, so my husband and I might eat out or eat something simple.  There's another section for notes and I use that to plan what batch cooking I'm going to try for that week. You can download a Compact size version (4.25 x 6.75) of this planner here.

I haven't always had a list of favorite meals in my planner.  My recipe box serves the same purpose, but more and more I am finding myself meal planning on the go, and having it there with me saves me from wracking my brain on what to prepare.

My customized grocery list initially took a while to create, but it has saved me so much time in the grocery store.  It is arranged in the order that I walk through the store and it cuts down on forgetting an item.

Feel free share about your own meal planning setup - it would be fun seeing how others do it.

Thanksgiving Note Paper

Have you started making your endless Thanksgiving lists yet?  That is exactly what I will be doing this week - Thanksgiving will be here in just a little over 10 days!!

This note paper is perfect for your to-do's, sharing your Thanksgiving recipe or maybe even for sweet notes of thanks.

This note paper is formatted for planners that can use 8.5 x 5.5" inserts.  Please click here if you would like to download a copy.