Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ready for Christmas with My Christmas Holiday Planner

Can someone please pinch me?!  Is it REALLY Thanksgiving week?! I don't even think I can remember the last two months, they have gone by so incredibly fast.

As much as I would like to call myself a planner, I JUST put my Halloween decorations away on Saturday.  I haven't even started planning what is going on for the month of December.  Didn't I just do a post about my November goals?!

OK, OK I got it, it's almost December. I just picked up my Christmas picture/cards, picked up stamps and FINISHED putting my Holiday Planner together.  I did good by planning our pictures earlier in the month.  I thought I was a little early but I think the timing was perfect.  By the time I get them out, it should be right around the beginning of December.

I started toying with the idea of a Holiday Planner last year.  I knew I didn't want a planner that I actually carried around with me.  9 times out of 10 when I start buying gifts for my kiddos, I buy them, then go Black Friday shopping and EVERYTHING I bought was quite a few dollars cheaper.  So last year I decided that this year I would just buy all their gifts on Black Friday.  I also decided that I have no need to make a Black Friday shopping list because I don't want to be disappointed when I walk in to Wal Mart for that 80 inch TV that's on sale for $5 and it's gone.  Psssshhhh Yeah RIGHT!!!

To make my shopping experience a little more fun, I decided as long as I make it to Target, I'm happy.  Anything else is just a bonus!  It truly is just easier that way.  What ever deals I find on the way will just make it that much more fun.

Every year when the stores start bringing out the Christmas decor, I always browse.  Every once in a while I see some ornaments that I like and think, "hmmmm will these go with my ornaments?!"  It's very frustrating.  Last year I came up with a plan.  I took pictures of EVERY. SINGLE. ornament and saved it.  I had a couple of ideas on how I wanted to do the planner and when I finally decided, this is what I came up with.

On one of my shopping trips to Hobby Lobby I was browsing the Scrapbook section and found a really cool notebook.  I bought it knowing THIS was the route I was going to take for my holiday planner.  Since I knew I wasn't going to carry it around with me, I knew it would work.  I just LOVED the black on chipboard.

They also had these refill pages that made me think I could really put them to good use!

And this one!

The first thing I did, was grabbed all the pictures that I took and developed last year. Yes, I have kept these printed and ready for one year.  It was a project that kept getting pushed back.

Every time I look at Ornaments, I go straight for the gold.  Hence, all the gold ornaments.  NOW I know that I no longer need gold ornaments.  I also have written on the back, how many of each ornament I have.

  I have one separate page for each color.  The gold already has more ornaments on the back side.  

The next page is Red.

And then black.  I know, not a very common color on a Christmas tree.  But it always ends up looking pretty.  I LOVE my black ornaments.

Then I moved on to the home decor.  I want to make sure everything I am buying matches everything I already have.

Blankets, Santa bags and table linens.

Other decor

Fun plates and dishes.  It's funny, every year I can NEVER remember if we have a Santa dish. he he

The collage with the tree is the fun tree.  This tree has ALL the ornaments that the kids have made and ornaments that have been given to them.  Sadly we won't be putting this tree up this year.  There is NO room for it.  I have no idea where I am putting our tree up in this house.

I also took pictures of the Christmas books we have.  I opted for pictures instead of a written list.  I'm a visual person ;)

As soon as I started putting the pictures in the sleeves I felt a sense of relief.  It was a GREAT way to Inventory everything I have.

I have been following A Bowl Full of Lemons for quite a while now.  Last year Toni released her Holiday Planner.  I fell in LOVE and bought it quick!  As with my other projects, it was on my list, I just never got to it.  

Not this year.  After a few Organizing sessions in our new house, I rediscovered it, fell in love ALL over again and made it a point to make it a part of my planner.

It's a printable kit so all you do is purchase it, download it and print it.  I originally wanted to copy Toni's planner exactly but I knew I wanted to include my photos as well.  Going the ARC route wasn't going to work for my idea.  

I didn't buy page dividers but I did the next best thing.  I found this *super cute punch and decided I could make my own.

It comes with some stickers that you just punch out and stick on the tab so it sticks to the paper with no problem.  But I found a better way to attach them to the paper.

WASHI tape!!!!

I rummaged through my little basket of washi tape looking for Christmas themed tape.  So sad, I don't have any but I have red and green.

So with these colors I decided to have some fun with the tabs.  I simply cut the tape to the size of the tab.  As you can see it didn't cover any of the important part of the page.

And for the back, I cut a smaller size washi tape and just taped it on to the back.  It's not going anywhere.

There are 12 printable sheets.  Toni has them beautifully separated.  Here is how I separated them.(Check out her shop for details on all the pages that are offered in this bundle).

I decided to actually make a list this year.  It'll also be really fun to see what cards we receive.

Events, There will be a few so this is PERFECT for keeping track of when, where and how much.

First event, FREE, gotta love that!

Gifts,  this year we are going small.  Gifts for family have already been purchased but the kids, well, I have some work to do.

$200 is a rough budget for now.  As the kids get older their gifts get smaller and cost more.  I'm hoping to do less than this.  It will be a simple year in this tiny house!

This is a really cool printable, My Christmas Wish List.  I need to get the kids to fill this out.  It'll be a great keepsake for them as well.  OOOOps, how did my list get in there?!

Holiday Shopping List - Great list for everything you'll need.  I was able to check off some items just from having my photos handy.

Holiday Menu Plan - Not quite sure we will be needing this printable this year.  Our house is too tiny to comfortably host another family of 4.  But when I do, I know I'll have this handy.

I plan on getting all my Christmas recipes and ideas in this planner.  I've had this magazine for a while with all my recipe books.  I think it is quite silly because I really only use it once a year. So, I found these really cool *magazine holders for magazines that fit in a three ring binder and I LOVE them.  It's a nice small magazine and fits in here just PERFECT.

I am soooo incredibly happy that I finally got this project together.  I have been thinking about it for quite a while and now it's done.  The thing I love the most is that I bought the Printables once and I can use them year after year!  And aren't they SUPER CUTE ;)

Do you have a Holiday Planner?

DISCLAIMER - All opinions on the A Bowl Full of Lemons Printables are my own.  I bought these on my own and I am not receiving anything by posting about them.  
(*) items are my affiliate link

Until Next Time
SJR Post Signature

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Recent Ikea Trip

So by now I am pretty sure that my friends are done listening to me obsess about Ikea.  I can't say enough about how much I LOVE going in to that store.  I mean it's a good 1.5 hour away but I. DON'T. CARE!!!  I will go back again, soon!

Recently my handsome hubby went back home to Minnesota to go deer hunting with his family, a tradition he very much enjoys.  I didn't enjoy taking him to the airport because I knew I would miss him but I did enjoy the stop I was able to make at Ikea on my way home.

I found out that one of my friends had NEVER been so I took her with me to drop off my hubby.  I know, might be a little weird for some but I literally dropped him off curbside because you can't do much in the airport these days.  It was the easiest thing to do at the crazy airport we were at.   

Siri doesn't like me much because when I asked her to take me to Ikea, she took me to the area, NOT the store.  Thankfully we were only 10 minutes away from the actual store.  My friend Sunny and I spent a good few hours there.  BUT, I was so happy because she LOVED it.  She bought some stuff and so did I.  

Four days later I went again with my friend Tina, and I have pictures to prove it!!!

At the Pinterest party that my friend Jenni hosted, Tina and I, set a date to go to Ikea.  I ALMOST canceled because this was a 30+ day streak of not sitting still, an activity EVERY.DAY!  But I'm SOO glad I didn't because I had so much fun!

The one thing that I LOVE about Ikea, is their showroom.  It's fun to see all the rooms they put together.  I am starting to fall in LOVE with white furniture.  It may be, all the time I have been spending in Ikea and/or all the time on Pinterest and my favorite blogs.

Here is one of my FAVORITE rooms.  I just LOVE all the white, red and black.  

Shhh don't tell my hubby, but I'm debating on this nice plain white shelf to put in the kitchen.

I took a close picture of the dimensions so I can see if it will fit where I want it to.  $39.99, you just can't go wrong!

If you've been to Ikea you know that you have to pick up your own items.  This can be quite challenging because I have done it 4 times on my own and it was definitely hard.  BUT, I did it and I'll do it again!

When I know there is something I am going to purchase, instead of grabbing the papers that they provide you with to write down the area to pick up, I just snap a quick picture of the price and area that I need to go to pick up the item.  It can be confusing if I take pictures of stuff I like, like the picture above.  But I always leave with the right stuff. (he he you can see I went two different times.  Notice the nail polish on and nail polish off.  OMG I'm dying of laughter!)

This is what a cart full of stuff for two mamas looks like!  I am not one to NOT convince you to buy something.  So if you don't want to buy something, don't take me with you!

Yeah, that's a lot of stuff!

After our shopping trip, we sat down to eat lunch.  Don't judge!! When I ate with Sunny the previous time, I got the chicken tenders and fries and was not impressed.  They looked good but it was just really bland.  Ketchup didn't help.  

Tina came back with a whole lot of yummy looking food including Mac N Cheese.  I didn't even know they had that.  She let me taste it and I was SOLD!!  Yes that is a whole plate of carbs and sugar.  And guess what, I enjoyed EVERY last bite ;)

On our way out, before we checked out, Tina wanted to stop in the Clearance section.  I was less than thrilled.  I just don't enjoy shopping in Clearance.  It's only because I really hate digging for stuff and 9 times out of 10 there's not my size or anything I really want.

I am SOOOO glad I went in to that section!!  While Tina and I were shopping, I pointed out a trash can (the link says $14.99 but the same exact one at the store was $29 so now I'm confused) that I have been eyeing for a while.  $29.99, no thank you!  Well guess what, you got it, I found it in the clearance section!  And check out the price!

YUP $6.90.  Even at the confusing price of $14.99 or $29.99, that is cheaper than a plastic trash can at Target!  

And I'm IN LOVE!

When I was shopping with Sunny, I almost bought my kids some pen holders that were very inexpensive.  $2.99 for two.  BUT, I wanted a pink one for Kailey and silver for Kyle and each color came with two.  I didn't need 4, just TWO!

If you thought I was going to say Guess What, you're right!

It's as if these were waiting there for me!  And .90 cents, I'll take that!

I also grabbed a bunch of boxes and bins to do some storage projects that I am working on.  (Future Blog Post)

Here is my entire Ikea Haul!  You can see there are a couple things that I didn't share but that's OK because you'll see them eventually ;)

That is my exciting trip to Ikea, I will, from now on, ALWAYS stop in the Clearance section JUST IN CASE I have an item for $29.99 that is marked for way cheaper.

Now I have one more item to share.  I was debating on sharing them because it's a little personal but I LOVE to share things I love!  So you know those days when you just feel the need for those panties that are not cute?!  Well, I just got these and they are SOOOO comfortable I just HAD to share them with you!

Victoria's Secret is not down the road from me so Wal Mart had to do.  But these are super comfy and priced really good.  And the thing I love the most about them is the elastic doesn't fold over.  

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Fabulous Finds Friday.  I definitely enjoyed my shopping trips and have another Ikea trip planned for the very near future!

Until Next Time
SJR Post Signature

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Music Playlist

"You could have been getting down to, this, sick, beat..."

OMG I am OBSESSED with Taylor Swifts new song, Shake it Off!  I'm sure everyone has heard it and is probably already sick of it.  BUT me, NO!!!

I am a LOVER of music.  I think that my kids probably know just how much.  I have also passed on the, as soon as I hear a song I like, I start moving, to Kyle.  He is so funny to watch sometimes because as soon as he hears a song he likes,  he'll just start dancing.  I LOVE THAT BOY!!!

I definitely like POP! Ha!! 30 something and I am listening to POP.  Oh well.  I have to say that I love to dance and sing and move around.  I'm not a good dancer by any means but I love dancing to fun music and good beats.

Here are my TOP 10 songs playing on repeat in my house, car and phone:

1. Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
2. Katy Perry - Dark Horse
3. Glee Cast (More like Lea Michele) - Don't Rain On My Parade 
4.NKOTB - Hangin' Tough   ***TOTALLY serious!!!
5. Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble 
6. Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are
8.  Victoria Justice - Best Friend's Brother
9. Katy Perry - Legendary Lovers
10. Katy Perry - Unconditionally

Yup these are all currently on my play list and I LOVE every.single.one.

Now you know the music I like to listen to daily.  If you ever pull up next to me while I'm driving, don't be surprised if I am singing at the top of my lungs with the music blaring.  Only when I'm by myself.  Hey it's better than catching me on my phone!

What songs are on repeat for you?

Until Next Time
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Goals

I still can't get over the fact that we are in November.  I feel like I haven't quite recovered from October.  I looked at my planner to see what the month of November had in store for us and I was quite relieved to see that it wasn't going to be that busy.  Please tell me why, in this not so busy month, I have yet to stop and it looks like there is no end in site?!

With time flying by I decided I needed to really sit down and figure out what NEEDS to get done.  I'm working on a lot this month but I really need to focus on a few goals.

So here it is, in PRINT for ALL THE WORLD to see and call me on my bluff if I don't get it done!

1. Go to the gym THREE times a week.
I've made it twice this week.

2. Finish reading ONE book.
I'm currently working on two and borrowed Gone Girl from the library. PICK ONE!

3. Re-arrange Kailey's room.
My daughters room is driving me crazy!

4. Drink 32 oz. of water a day.
This has been pretty easy so far this month.

5. Put Halloween decorations away.
Yeah, they are currently all over my dining room floor.

6. Plan Kyle's birthday party.
My little man is turning double digits this month.  

Haha, yes I am the crazy one shopping at Midnight.  This year I will not participate in Thanksgiving day shopping.  It's called black FRIDAY for a reason!

8. Get over the fact that I don't know everything about blogging!
Ha!  I do this because I have fun and I LOVE it.  Tonight I made a HUGE mistake.  I thought I was deleting comments from my inbox but what I ACTUALLY did was deleted EVERY SINGLE COMMENT EVER POSTED ON MY BLOG!!! eeeeeekkkkkk I am so INCREDIBLY sad!!!  But I'm going to have to be ok with the fact that I learned a HUGE lesson.  The show must go on and it will.

I'm going to start with small goals.  I have a ton to do in the next week and I don't want to overwhelm myself with a ton of new things or goals to do.  

For now I'm going to finish the current episode of Criminal Minds and go straight to bed.  My body is definitely feeling my two workouts from this week, but that's a good thing for sure!

What are some of your November goals?

Until Next Time
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Throw A Pinterest Party

Technically today is "What I Made From Pinterest Wednesday" so this works out PERFECT!!!

We have only been in Dahlgren for about seven months.  In that short amount of time I've managed to meet  a few pretty awesome ladies.  

Recently at a Girl Scout ceremony, myself and these awesome ladies were talking about Pinterest.  Come on, you know you do it too!  How many conversations start out with, "I was on Pinterest..." hehehe  Somehow the topic of Pinterest parties came up.  I'm pretty sure I started it because I'm a little obsessed.  We all agreed that we needed to have a party.  My friend Jenni over at Real Life on Reagan, graciously volunteered to host.  I was SUPER excited about this.  I mean I have 24,000+ pins so the chance to take a couple off my boards would be a good thing.

The night we got home from our Girl Scout event, Jenni had already started planning.  She is a planner and LOVES it, her and I will be BFF's one day ;) A date was picked, people were invited and the wait for party began.

While in planning mode, Jenni kept us informed and asked us a few questions about what we might want to craft and what she was planning for food.  $25 was the goal for each of us to pay to help with the cost of supplies for each of our crafts.

Pinterest Party day was here!  I was super excited to go to Jenni's house.  When we walked in the first thing I noticed besides her beautiful home was the smell.  Something YUMMY was cooking!!  Next was the dining room table ready to go with our supplies for our projects.

She had a variety of everything for each project.  We didn't go without needing anything, that's for sure!

Our projects were going to be a sign, fun coffee mugs and a wreathe.  Here's the blank sign and the blank coffee mugs.

A separate table for all the wreathe pretties!

Flowers for wreathe embellishments.

Before we sat down to craft our little hearts away, we grabbed a cup of coffee and some yummy food!  I was in envy of Jenni's coffee station!! I LOVED that she had everything needed in one spot.  I could only dream of that space in my home!

Check out these "SUPER CUTE" coffee napkins.  She got them at Dollar Tree for $1!!! I know right?!  Even though I don't have a coffee station I might just have to add these to my kitchen.

One of our friends has an allergy and Jenni was sweet enough to make a separate dish for her so she wouldn't miss out on all the yumminess.  She made a sausage and egg cream cheese casserole.  It was nothing short of YUMMY! (check for the recipe on her post, LINK at the bottom)

We had a great time!  I didn't get to finish my projects because I had to be home to pick up my littles but I was excited to get home and finish them.  

Here are the girls finished projects.  Everyone's turned out absolutely awesome!

I'm in love with Jenni's sign AND her coffee mug!! It turned out soooo adorable!

Here's Jenni's finished wreathe.  I'm loving how she put the ribbon all the way around.

Amy went home and made a couple mugs.  I LOVE how they turned out.

And for her saying she's not crafty, CHECK out this wreathe!! (this wreathe was my favorite!)

Tina's stuff turned out super cute.  I LOVE the idea of the washi tape around the chalk part of the board.  And check out that Minecraft mug!

NOW let's talk MY REALITY!!!  It's been a couple weeks since our party and I know you're DYING to see my finished projects.  

Ready...here it is!!!

Here is the roll I bought to finish my wreathe because I used the entire roll at Jenni's house.  Yup it's sitting on my craft desk next to my 32 oz. of water jug in the middle of my crafty mess!

The flowers for the wreathe are in my craft area next to my Girl Scout bag.

Oh yeah, there is another flower under a newspaper!

My wreathe and sign are in the Laundry room (our back door goes through the laundry room so the laundry room sometimes ends up a catch all)  See the laundry drying right there?!

See how pretty the wreathe turned out!  Well, how it's STARTING to turn out!  I really need to finish this!

And last but not least, the mugs!  These are my favorite!  My hubby calls my daughter Gorgeous and I call my son Handsome so these phrases were totally appropriate for them. They still haven't been put in the oven for the paint to set. One of the girls suggested that I give these to the kiddos on Christmas Eve night with a Christmas book or movie and hot chocolate.  I'm super excited about this gift.  They'll have their own special mugs.  Hubby and I use our Starbucks mugs and because I have the occasional OCD, I CAN'T use these mugs when they are totally different sizes from my Starbucks mugs :) 

Yup, I'm glad I have a place to be accountable because seriously I need to get these crafts finished.  I'm hoping to be posting completed projects next Wednesday ;) 

Make sure to check out Jenni's post to see ALL the details on how she planned and put together the party.

We are planning a new party.  I think I've heard through the grapevine, wine and wreathes.  Maybe I should start planning one so by the time it's my turn I won't be doing anything last minute.

Have you had a Pinterest Party?  What was your favorite part?  What would you do different next time?

Until Next Time
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