Changes to the Everything Notebook

Believe it or not, I’m still using the same planner – my diy planner/everything notebook I’ve written about before. It’s still working unbelievably well. I’ve never been so far away from the dreaded Planner Fail before.

Being me, I have made a few little tweaks since I posted about this wonderful book. These are the changes I’ve made to the everything notebook along the way.

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I bought a new cover when we were in Florida.

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On our way back from Florida, something hit the windshield of our new van and left a crack. We stopped in Tallahassee to get the crack repaired. While sitting in the waiting area of the repair place, I was bothered by the fact that my monthly pages didn’t go exactly with the style of my pretty neutral new cover. So, I did what any insane sane planner addict would do. I asked one of the employees for a pair of scissors and chopped off the borders. I’m planning to print out another set of the calendars with the bright, colorful borders that I can use when I switch back to the pink cover.

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As much as I love having everything in one book, it wasn’t working out to have my work notes and lists with everything else. So now, it’s an everything except work notebook. I’m back to a separate notebook that stays at work.

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I wrote some of the lists that I want to keep throughout the year on pretty paper and stuck it inside the front pocket. Now I won’t have to rewrite these lists every time I switch to a new notebook refill.

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Sometimes I keep this Field Notes Steno pad inside the back cover.

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This isn’t technically part of the planner, but I got this new pencil pouch at Target, and I love it! It has two different compartments, so now I can carry post it notes and pens without worrying about my post it notes getting bent!

One good thing about designing your own planner is the flexibility to make small changes that make it even better.

I’ve said it before, but this time I really think I will stick with this system for a long, long time :)

 

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It’s a Grand Old Day for Being Happy

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When I was a young girl, my Mama gave me a little porcelain egg that belonged to her when she was a young girl. On the egg was a picture of three little girls dressed in old-fashioned clothes. They waved an American flag, beat on a drum, and played a flute. They were a three person parade, marching through life. The words printed on this little porcelain figure read “It’s a grand old day for being happy.”

I love that phrase. All days are good days to be happy if you choose to be. It’s hard sometimes to choose this joy when the world around you seems to be crumbling. It’s hard to be happy when facing discouragement or health problems. Yes, trials are a part of life and suffering is real. Through it all, there is so much to be happy about.

Wave your flags and turn your music up loud. Throw your own parade.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

It just might not seem like it now, but it’s a grand old day for being happy.

Q&A – Liebster Style

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Carol was sweet to nominate me for a Liebster Award. I love Q&A posts, so I was really excited to play along. Thanks, Carol!

These are Carol’s questions for me:

Are you a cat or dog person?

Dog!

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What was the most controversial thing you have ever blogged about?

I don’t really blog about controversial topics. However, I am always nervous every time I share a bit about our journey with infertility or other really personal topics.

Tell us about your first real paying job.

The summer I was 15, I worked for a very dear couple who mean so much to my family. They had just brought home their twin girls after a long stay in the NICU. I drove out to their house every morning with my mom in the passenger seat. My Mama would go home and come back later that afternoon to pick me up. I spent the day helping the Mama of the twins take care of the girls. I learned so much that summer, and it’s still one of the best “jobs” I’ve ever had. I can’t believe that was 11 years old. I love that family and those twins muches!

What were the last three items you starred in your Twitter feed?

One was a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder. “Home is the nicest word there is.” The others were well wishes after my surgery last week.

What was the first book you remember reading?

Fun with Dick and Jane

If you could hang out with a famous person for one full day, who would it be and why and what would you do?

I always have so much trouble answering questions like this. I honestly don’t know.

If you could go back in time and warn your younger self about ONE thing, what would it be and why?

Material things are just things. People are what really matter in life.

What is your super power?

I’m a pretty good planner!

Who is your favorite Big Time Blogger?

I just love Shay Shull from Mix and Match Family/Mix and Match Mama.

Where, in your house, do you sit and blog?

Tonight I started out here:

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but moved to my favorite chair in the living room. Sometimes I sit at my desk, sometimes I sit in my chair, sometimes I sit on the couch, and sometimes I even blog from the bed. It just depends!

Spicy or Sweet?

Both!

These are the rules:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and answer the questions they presented.
  2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  3. Copy & paste the pink Liebster Award logo to your blog.
  4. Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award who have less than 3,000 followers. Create a new list of 11 questions for them.
  5. Inform them of their nomination.

These are the lovely blogs I’m passing the award to:

  1. Maggie at Oh My Dog Blog
  2. Megan at Like Dreamers Do
  3. Stephanie at The Write Steph
  4. Molly at Duchess of Fork 
  5. Hope at Crafty Hope

Honestly though, there are so many blogs I love. If you’d like to answer the questions below, too, please do and let me know! I’d love to read your answers.

These are my questions:

  1. What is your biggest life goal or dream?
  2. What are you obsessed with?
  3. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  4. Who do you cheer for?
  5. How do you get yourself through bad days?
  6. How do you celebrate particularly good days?
  7. Who is your favorite Disney princess?
  8. What’s your favorite type of writing instrument?
  9. Do you binge watch any Netflix shows? Which ones?
  10. What would you want your last meal to be?
  11. What are you looking forward to the most about warmer weather?

Have fun!

#lym52recipes – Classic Banana Bundt Cake

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I don’t really remember much about this cake. I realize that’s a terrible introduction to a recipe I’m sharing. I remember it had a strong banana flavor and was basically banana bread in bundt cake form, but that’s all I remember. Can we blame it on the pain meds? (I had surgery last week to check for endometriosis and blocked tubes – neither of which I have, thankfully. Now we keep moving forward with fertility treatments. I suspect the next step will involve lots of needles, so I’m not going to think about that right now. I’m doing great, but I am sorry for yet another blog absence.)

Back to the cake. Ironically, I was reading through the cookbook this recipe came from, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and noticed how she often mention finding old notes she wrote about her recipes. Being a note person, I immediately decided I needed to adopt the process of journaling quick notes about the recipes I try. This was the first recipe I started this practice with, and I can’t find the note right now or remember how the cake tasted. The week I made the cake I was making some changes to my planner/everything notebook, and I’m pretty sure I know where the note is, but I just don’t have it with me right now. Shameful.

Don’t worry though. The reason I have no qualms about sharing this recipe is because in my Paprika
app, I rated it as 5 stars. That’s huge praise, so I must have loved the cake. I also noted in the app that the cake tastes better the next day and that chocolate chips would be a good addition. Maybe I know more about this recipe then I thought.

Classic Banana Bundt Cake by Dorie Greenspan

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
3. Beat the butter until creamy using a stand mixer. Add sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg. Reduce speed to low and add in bananas. Add half the dry ingredients, all of the sour cream, and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Tastes better the next day so wait to serve!

#lym52recipes – Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Homemade cookies are my favorite thing to bake. I’ve lost count of the number of chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve tried. Most of the time I end up disappointed. There is a recipe I make that M really likes, and I’ll share it the next time I make it and remember to snap a photo. The recipe I’m talking about today, though, is my absolute favorite of all the chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve tried!

The best part about cookie baking is, of course, the dough. I love cookie dough, but I also loved the baked cookies, provided they are soft and chewy. In this recipe, you end up with soft, chewy cookies that taste like cookie dough! What is this wonderful recipe?

It’s from Sally’s Baking Addiction – her chewy chocolate chunk cookies. I followed the recipe exactly. There were no changes necessary. If you are looking for your very own favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I highly recommend these!

Friday Five & a Few #lym52recipes Fails

Hi y’all! We have had a crazy couple of weeks. I’m finally getting caught up, and hopefully I won’t have any more long posting absences soon. Today, I’m linking up here and here for Friday Five!

1. M’s Office

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I took this before we were quite finished. The random cords are gone now :)

20140312-172321.jpgM moved into a new office at worked and asked me to help him decorate it. I was thrilled! We spent last weekend putting everything together, and I had so much fun working with him.

2. Colonel Littleton Folio

20140312-165658.jpgMy dad helped me pick out this Colonel Littleton folio as a gift for M. After seeing it in person, I’m a little jealous. I think a road trip to Lynnville, TN and the Co. Littleton store might be in our future.

3. Because, Target

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Mama’s theory is that the time change is what has Charlie so exhausted. Apparently, this sweet girl had a very rough case of the Mondays.

5. #lym52recipes fails

These are new recipes I’ve tried that we just weren’t thrilled with. They weren’t necessarily horrible, but they weren’t our favorites.

  • Brunswick Stew – The leftover pulled pork I used was too spicy to begin with, and I didn’t like the bbq sauce I put in the stew. I’ll probably try this again at some point.
  • Skillet Baked Ziti – I had my hopes set very high for this recipe because the photo in the cookbook looked incredible. It was way too tomatoe-y for our tastes. I may try it again with a jar of marinara sauce instead.
  • Slow cooker Angel Chicken – The chicken was dry, and the sauce was salty. Again, I may try to modify it in the future.
  • Lemon Blueberry Muffins – These were decent, but I used Meyer lemons for the first time. I didn’t love the flavor, which I’m pretty sure makes me a weirdo.

As of writing this, I’ve tried 18 new recipes this year, and I’m still loving this goal! Stay tuned Monday for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever made.

Have a great weekend :)

Why I Want to Be a Mama

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My sister, Laura, and I took good care of our dolls when we were growing up. We fed them, changed them, and rocked them to sleep. We pushed them around the playroom in strollers. We took them to the “Soup, Salad, and Sandwich Shop” (the kitchen table) for lunch. When we wanted a break to watch tv, we took our babies to “the movies” (my day bed). If we wanted to pretend it was a new day, we simply said “sleep, sleep morning” and started our day with our dolls anew. To take our babies around town, we said “vroom, vroom, errrrrrk, we’re here” and magically reached our destination. I’ve got so many fond memories of playing pretend with my sister.

Baby Fever, in its earliest stages, was a lot like playing dolls with Laura. I imagined dressing up bouncing baby boys in bow ties and tiny suspenders and little girls in precious dresses. I thought about taking my children out for lunch, to the park, and on numerous adventures. These are aspects of motherhood that I’m still looking forward to, but my baby fever has gotten much more realistic. I know there will be long hard days that can’t be reset by “sleep, sleep morning.” Trips will take more time and effort than simply saying “we’re here.” The truth is, I don’t know what to expect. I only have playing dolls and babysitting to base my imaginings on.

Yet, through these long months of waiting for a little one of our own, I’ve learned to look forward to more than the superficial. No, I won’t stop oohing and awing over all things tiny and cute, but I will remember the other things I’m looking forward to. These are the real reasons I want to be a Mama.

Why I Want to Be a Mama

  1. To train my children in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6)
  2. To teach them about God and His Word. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
  3. To love them unconditionally.
  4. To be the type of wonderful Mama that my Mama was to me.
  5. To be a good example to them like my Daddy has been to me.
  6. To be their biggest fan.
  7. To watch them adore and look up to M.
  8. To work to make the world a little easier for them.
  9. To learn from them. (Luke 18:17)
  10. To raise them with M, the man I love muches and muches and who is going to be a fabulous father one day.

I can’t wait.