current planner setup – the carpe diem

FullSizeRenderSince I’ve been back to the office part time, I’m back to relying more heavily on my planner to keep me organized. I moved out of the Finsbury at the beginning of the year because I wanted an A5, so I purchased a Carpe Diem planner by Simple Stories (mine is the “Platinum” color). Obviously I wanted another Filo, but it wasn’t in the budget. And the Carpe Diem is actually really, really nice. (Note: when I purchased, the cost of the planner was around $40; now I’m seeing it’s not as available and more expensive, so perhaps they are not making them any longer). I thought I would do a quick review, and show how I use it. I am a big believer in keeping lists and goals organized and easy to refer to frequently. It keeps me on track with all my goals and our budget. I use mine for work, personal stuff, family organizing/homekeeping/finances, and my mom’s group administrative stuff. Having separate calendars doesn’t work for me very well (though I do have a monthly overview calendar on our fridge so Jonathan can also see what’s upcoming).

In the inside front cover, I keep things like my company contact list and random work administrative cheat sheets. I’d print them in A5 size and put them in my planner, but the font size would be ridiculously small, so this works for now. In the small pockets, I just put page flags and markers, mini post-its, and a roll of skinny washi tape. I keep a pen and highlighter in the pen loop. I have most of the office supplies from my pre- zero waste days, but I still indulge every now and again. I just try to keep a limit on the amount I acquire so I don’t end up hoarding tons of unused stuff!

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These labeled agenda and category dividers were included with the planner, and I really like them. I was able to determine my own categories and label the tabs with stickers.  Mine are Contacts, Agenda, Menus, Lists, $$$$$, and Inspiration.

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I won’t show my “Contacts” section for privacy reasons, but it’s essentially just address book pages. The “Agenda” section contains the monthly and weekly page views included with the Carpe Diem. I love this little monthly overview page they included, where I can list big to-dos, dates, and goals for the month. I have noticed I like to have “themes” for the month and I’ll write down the little tasks associated with that. It helps me to focus. So next month (August), I am trying to really get back on track with our budgeting and other financial goals (including selling of some furniture and such). Before baby gets here, I want to have an uncluttered mind and home.

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The monthly spread is helpful for just birthdays, holidays, vacations, appointments, and other planned obligations. Usually I can just refer to this page to schedule something, as the day-to-day to-do type stuff is all pretty flexible.

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I use the weekly spread the most of anything in my planner. I plan out my week on Sundays, generally, and kind of list out little housekeeping to-dos, upcoming work tasks, some self-care stuff, as well as transfer over any stuff from the monthly calendar spread so I don’t forget about it. Sometimes I just make notes of what I’m reading or listening to at the moment, and record things about my day that I feel grateful for or that I want to remember, like stuff I planted in my garden, for future reference.

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The third section is “Menu.” I am using the free menu printable from House Mix Blog; it’s been on my fridge for the past couple of months and I really have found it useful, but I decided to print it A5 sized and do my menu planning inside my planner instead. Hopefully this will work out ok. I like the menu and grocery list on one page, and the simple layout. I plan to add a list of quick, frugal, and zero waste meal ideas. Menu planning saves my sanity and I should probably do a post on how it works for me. I just need to learn to print and crop A5 better, as these ones overlap the dividers. Next time I’ll get it right. 😉

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The fourth category is “Lists.” So far this includes work info, to do list, shopping list (non-grocery), my wishlist, etc. Some of my purchasing-related lists really help me prioritize for budgeting purposes.  When there’s room in the budget for it, I’ll treat myself with something from my actual wishlist (which are not impulsively added), rather than buy something I decided I wanted right that minute. (If that something is THAT important to my future happiness, it may get added to my wishlist and eventually worked into the budget. :)) Also, a running shopping list is really handy. This is more for purchases that aren’t urgent; I like to take my time to find the best way to fill a need. Oftentimes that is buying second-hand, finding another option using what I already have, or even asking around to borrow first. If those strategies don’t work, I try to at least buy the most ethical/responsible/quality/locally-sourced option I can afford. I use post-its to create top-of-page markers for pages I refer to frequently.

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The fifth section is labeled “$$$$$.” I have my budget printables and written financial goals in this section, but I will only share a portion. I created my own printables for this to fit my needs. I was using a cash envelope system earlier in the year, but just switched to this written tracking system which I’ll begin in August. Credit card purchases like online shopping and gas were complicating the cash system and causing some issues going over the budget. I kept the same dollar amounts in each category, but now I don’t have to withdraw cash (except a little to have on-hand that comes out of each of our “personal” categories.) On the next page I have a printout of our income and fixed expenses, but I won’t share that for privacy reasons. I added a little post-it with a couple items from my wishlist I want to work into the budget, if there’s room, in the month of August. I don’t have an extravagant spending style by any means, but I do have a tendency to let little items add up at times, and this helps with that. My cute owl page marker makes the adultiness of budgeting a little less depressing. 🙂

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The final section is “Inspiration.” It’s poorly named because it’s really a catch-all category. I like to collect quotes and ideas I find inspiring or thought-provoking. I also am really easily intrigued by lots of different things, which can send me down rabbit holes of obsessive research for DAYS if I let it. Now I will just write it down as something to look up in the future.. this has kept me less likely to glue myself to my phone reading up on various topics, and to be a more efficient person. (I am really easily distracted/obsessed by things). Another thing I keep in this section is the daily schedule I whipped up for when we start at-home preschool (while I know we won’t stick to the schedule perfectly, I feel like it will help us establish a nice rhythm.. until there’s a new baby and it all goes out the window). I also write down ideas here that I have for Tot School topics and activities (which is constantly! I love to plan!)

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Another helpful addition is kind of a vision board page I created for my minimalist wardrobe goals. My ultimate goal wardrobe is really pared down, versatile, ethical, flattering, and long-lasting. All efforts toward this are on hold due to pregnancy (and then losing a bit of weight), but this will eventually apply again. Referring to this helps me to avoid purchasing things that don’t fit my style (or at least the style I wish I had), impulse purchasing, and over thrift-shopping. In a year or so I’ll probably start thinking about my fall/winter goal wardrobe. It’s kind of silly, but I’m a really visual person so this helps me see the big picture and stay on track.

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Hope you enjoyed my planner tour! I know they aren’t for everyone, but for me, it truly helps me save time, money, and my sanity keeping a paper planner. How do you keep yourself organized?

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the raspberry finsbury 

I’m a paper lover.. Lists, letters, calendars, journals & scrapbooks. I keep a lot of scraps and notes, and I don’t remember a thing if it’s not written down. I’ve recently taken on more work (still mostly at home- I’m so lucky!) but it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed when I juggle so much. It always helps to plan ahead, and to plan for balance. I recently bought my dream planner- a personal Filofax (the raspberry Finsbury, to be exact) and I LOVE it. I anguished over which Filofax to buy (it’s a big investment for a planner, and I had to carefully budget for it so I didn’t make the decision lightly). But I am content with my purchase. Here’s the outside. Such a pretty color. I’ve been really into shades of purple lately. Here’s the inside, right out of the box (I’ve modified it quite a lot):

Continue reading “the raspberry finsbury “

dining room inspiration board

Last week I posted some house updates, including this picture of my dining area:

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What to do with this area of the kitchen has kind of alluded me. I don’t want to buy new furniture {switching up the chairs was fun}, or spend a lot of money on anything for the house right now, because I am saving my house budget for the yard this summer. But I also think it’s time to start making some small changes, using things I have, and adding a few things that will make it prettier and more functional.

I have been pinning images that give me fun ideas for this room. I love this one; simple white curtains and lots of plants. I’ve been meaning to plant lots of herbs indoors {kicking myself for not bringing some in from the garden at the end of the summer!!!}. That will definitely be on the agenda in a couple months {I’m afraid bringing them home from the nursery in this weather will cause them to go into perma-shock}.{Image Source.}

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This dining area’s a little too shabby chic for my tastes, but I love the mismatched chairs (duh) and mostly neutral palette with a few pops of color. The mismatched candles are fun, too. {Image source.}

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This eat-in kitchen is awesome (I covet white cabinets!). The red chairs are perfect. I think I need more red in my life. {Image source.}

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I made this little collage incorporating some of the ideas I want to get around to for the dining nook, because it’s my idea of a good time, and I like arranging ideas visually to get them outta my head and into (semi) action.

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Here’s what’s happening:

  1. Some breezy white curtains from IKEA would be a great way to make the bay window a bit less boring, but without spending a lot (four panels can really add up elsewhere). If I do nothing else on this list for a while, I should at least get to this one soon!
  2. Even though I spray-painted the light fixture to a better color, a pendant with a drum shade would balance out that side of the room a bit more.
  3. Mismatched chairs – I should paint one red.
  4. A great rug makes a room. I love Persian rugs. I want one in every room. But for the budget, I could probably find a fun rug at Urban Outfitters or IKEA.
  5. Plants! Herbs, mostly. I want to plant every type I use on a regular basis.
  6. I’ve always wanted a terrarium like the one in the middle of the table.
  7. That hanging box-shelf is from Urban Outfitters and would be perfect for above the dresser. I think it would be a pretty easy DIY hack, though. There’s a junkyard near my house that has old wooden ammo boxes that may just be perfect…
  8. A little framed mirror or art. I’m sure I could find something around the house for this.
  9. Metallic baskets! I have a few I could spray paint with metallic paint. I did that with a few smaller baskets and I love them.

Anyone else have any suggestions for this space?

2012 & resolution recap!

 

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I love to reflect on the previous year’s moments and milestones. Here’s last year, and 2010. Here’s what happened this year:

  • Jonathan turned 30, and we celebrated in Vegas
  • Road-tripped it from Vegas to Death Valley
  • Brought little miss Paisley home!
  • Jonathan spent over a month away from home, working in NM.
  • I completed my first half marathon!
  • Took 5 classes for my MBA (two to go!)
  • Started a (sort of) new job with the company who took over my contract. It’s been a stressful, emotional 6 months helping this small company get up-and-running but I have learned a ton.
  • Said goodbye to my grandma Reta.
  • Concerts.. Fiona Apple & Garbage
  • Hosted a fun Halloween party and one (food-on-a-stick) cooking club (and attended lots of others, o’course).
  • I paid off my undergraduate student loans last summer!! – yesssss
  • Started a garden at the new homestead.
  • Camping at Jordanelle & Yuba Res.
  • Went to NYC! Awesome trip.

As for resolutions.. I made a LOT this year. And you know my theory on goals is to plan big knowing some will probably fall to the side. Here’s how I fared:

  1. Finish the half-marathon & the Dirty Dash – Kinda Win! Finished the half, but was injured for the Dirty Dash so I spectated.
  2. Fit in fitness 4 days a week {I already do this – just a goal to keep it up!} – Fail! After July work got crazy and I somehow let this completely slide. Gotta get back on that plan!!
  3. Get my goal weight and stay there {I have been doing Weight Watchers and I am getting there!} – Fail!
  4. Take 4 classes for my MBA. Win! I took 5.
  5. Pay down $6,000 on my student loans. Win! I paid them off completely!
  6. Save $ for a trip to NYC for my 30th birthday {June 2013}. Win! And we already took the trip!!
  7. Write 2 blog posts every week. Fail! Obviously.
  8. Live super frugally! Scrimp on the unnecessary to pay off student loan debt and save for trip. Kinda win! I didn’t follow this to the letter but definitely saved money this year by gardening, cooking, farmers markets, DIYing, spending more nights in, and making do.
  9. Lastly, some house projects that are our highest priority in 2012:
  • Build a shed – Win!
  • Put in a vegetable garden and an herb garden – Win!
  • Paint interior doors and trim – Win!
  • SUPER organize the garage – In progress!
  • Re-caulk shower, and get new or fix up old shower door {maybe frost it?} in master bathroom – Nope, but I was able to salvage the existing door after all!
  • Hang curtains in the office and spare bedroom and figure out something for the bay windows in the kitchen – Fail.
  • Get outdoor lighting – Got path lighting, but have yet to replace the fixtures.
  • Replace kitchen faucet – Win!
  • Make the laundry room also a functional mud room – Fail.

Mixed results on the resolution front, especially with my fitness goals. :/ You KNOW that means it’s gonna take priority on my 2013 resolutions (or, my intentions will be great, anyway!)

Hope you all had a great year, and the next is even better. ♥

Lately.

I’ve been away. Life. Great 4-day weekend was chaos at my house. Class is wrapping up. Work is busy. Might need to just do more lists on the blog to keep myself writing about something. Sometimes I don’t write because I’m uninspired and sometimes I am too inspired so can’t sort it out and compartmentalize it appropriately. I’ll attempt to sort it later. Here’s what I’m into lately.

  • Investing some time in my Next Bold Move.
  • Essential oils. Patchouli and lavender most of all.
  • Tiny notebook for planning.
  • Hallelujah, every version. Makes me cry every.time.
  • Red lipstick & black nail polish.
  • It’s bball season. We don’t have cable and I don’t like being in buffalo-wing joints. What’s a girl to do.
  • Naked-face Sunday.
  • Thinking about re-reading my favs from school-daze like The Outsiders and Animal Farm.
  • ..and I should get up earlier for workouts.
  • ..and I should find new music but I just can’t stop overplaying old favs.
  • ..and I need some like-minded people in my life. How does one meet new people?
  • Coloring pictures with my 4 year old niece + slipping in some feminist indoctrination. It’s never too early.
  • Manhattan.. the Woody Allen flick.
  • Secrets up my sleeve. Tehehe.
  • Words w/ Friends.
  • Zumba. It’s ridiculous, but it’s something to look forward to on a Monday.
  • Grapefruits.
  • Glitter + candlelight. {lurve the holidays at my house, so cozy}
  • Procrastinating Ops Management homework.
  • Into cuddling. Why did we ever stop that?
  • Believing in karma.
  • Coffee, anytime. Tea, sometimes.