Basket of Organizing Goodies

"Back to school" sales are my favorite types sales.  Stores line their shelves with colorful and fun school and organization supplies.  I'm a sucker for them.  Target is especially awesome (but brutal for my bank account) thanks to their awesome Dollar Spot.  It's a rare occassion I leave Target without a handful of items from there.

Today Dean and I had a little shopping date so Aaron could nap since he wasn't feeling well.  Dean helped me pick up a basket full of goodies.  Most of it is for my planner and keeping all that stuff organized.  Now I can keep it all together in one nice spot instead of the bags I've been using.

The pouch, rulers, and pencils I got in Japan, and the mini pens I got at Target.

Various ink pads, stamps, and paperclips.

Clips, pads of paper, and washi tape.

A one-hole punch and a six-hole punch I ordered on Amazon.

Some good old Smashbook accessories.

L o v e  the notecard sets Target has been selling this year.  I used them for for my baby shower and a few other special occasions.  They're perfect for all of the reasons so of course I picked up all the new sets Target had.

Are you a sucker like me for Target and it's Dollar Spot items? <3

What I'm Currently...

Knitting: A second baby doll cardi in neon orange

Watching: Day 5 of New Japan Pro Wrestling's G1 Climax tournament

Loving: My new Kate Spade planner (my first designer item)

Wanting more of: ham salad crepe

Drinking: homemade hazelnut iced coffee

What are you currently doing? <3

One Last Time

Tomorrow my baby boy turns four months old! How crazy is that?! Oh man, it's hard to fathom just how much has happened since he was born. The time has flown by and dragged on slowly at the same time. Life has been constantly changing.

One big change for us is that I've decided to stop nursing. It was a pretty big deal to me (tears were involved) but I've decided it's just what is best for us. Dean is used to a bottle since he's babysat while Aaron and I are at work. Nursing is a very special thing for me, and I'm sad to see that part of my bonding time with my baby go. I'll still have bonding time feeding him bottles, but it's different. Very different. I honestly didn't think nursing would be such a big deal to me. I am mostly going to miss the view:

This face. It makes my heart melt. I never want to forget this time I had with my baby.


Color Coding

The months of July and August have been (and are going to be) crazy for us. Birthdays, anniversaries, taxes, imports/shipments, tournaments, a convention, and more taxes mean that I need to be on top of my time and money. This is why I picked up a planner and after using it for a few weeks I'm starting to get into an efficient grove. It has helped us a ton already and I feel pretty confident that I'll be sticking with it.

Over the course of the last few weeks I've tried different things to see what I liked/didn't like and what worked/didn't work for me. Post-it notes, to-do lists, highlighters, and colored pens, oh my! After hours and hours spent scouring blogs and watching youtube videos I've come up with a system I'm pretty set with.

I found a blog post on Plannerisms about color coding with a "life mapping" system. It's basically an indexing system to help you see at a glance what events are happening that week, or however far in the future you plan, using colors.

This is my oversized index insert that I keep directly behind the current week in my planner. My life is separated into six categories and when an event or something is happening on a particular week I mark it on the edge of the paper. The squares I mark on my week match the position of the squares on my insert for continuity. I like having my week on two pages, that way I have enough room on each day to write out multiple things like events and lists.

Once a few weeks are completed using this system, you can flip backwards and can tell just by the colors on the edge of the paper what events happened. These weeks look pretty much the same, but that's because I have that many things going on right now. This works for flipping forward in the month or year. If you know ahead of time when certain things will happen you can color them in and if you forget the date you can still find it just by looking for the colored square.

For a detailed tutorial on how to make a life mapping system like this, along with some other life mapping resources, check out DIYfish's blog. If you are interested you should definitely check it out. I also watched a good video by One Fantastic Find on how to create an index.

How do you keep your planner organized? Do you color code also?


Getting Organized

don't know about you but I always seem to be busy.  Either busy with work or busy with the baby.  Always busy.  My mind can hardly keep things straight and I often find myself surprised what day it is.

With business at the store booming and Dean becoming more active, I need to get a grip on things.  After doing a ton  research as to how I want to get organized, I landed on a Filofax style planner.  I got the idea initially from Skye at Even Artichockes Have Hearts.

This is a Day-Timer brand organizer I picked up at Office Depot for $18.99.  Filofax brand planners average about $40-$60 so I went cheap just in case I didn't/couldn't stay with it.  Since I am sticking with it, and enjoying it a lot, I wanted to share with you what I've done so far.

In the left hand pockets I have some random notes I need to keep with me.  The left side is some pens for color coding and some flags from Target's Dollar Spot.

This is my "dashboard" with a pocket I made with lyrics to one of our all time favorite songs "The Past Is A Grotesque Animal" by of Montreal.

I found this neat little savings plan online~ each week for a week you set a side a little bit of money- first week is $1, second week is $2, third week $3, and so on for 52 weeks and by the end of the year you have something like $1800 saved up.  That's pretty impressive and easy.

I found this printable online and colored it with markers I found at Target.  Behind it are to-do lists with various themes for me to use as I need them.

The month on two pages.  I used the pink pen for bills and yellow for personal things.  I'll be adding work events in black ink later.

This was a hard picture to take because of the different layers.  It's the week on two pages with a to-do list in the middle. The clear bookmark has a cute binder clip with a bow on it.

After the calendar sections I made mi i sections for other important things I'd like to keep track of: Dean, knitting projectd and ideas, blog ideas, the store, bento ideas, and our wrestling fantasy league.

In the very back is a notepad for everything else.

So far I have used my planner every day for the past few weeks and I keep addig things and tweaking the setup as I figure out what works for me.  Getting this set up and going has been a lot of fun, which is helping me stick with it.  I can see how people get REALLY into decorating, organizing, and styling their planners.

There are lots of different types, sizes, styles, and brands of planners.  Filofax, Midori, Kate Spade, Day-Timer, Franklin Covey.  Since I'm clicking with the set up I have so far, I'm saving up for a Kate Spade one that zips closed.  It's pretty expensive ($130-ish on Ebay) but the corners of some of my pages are getting bent so I'd like the protection the zipper provides.  Also, I've never owned a designer brand item and I REALLY like this.

What do you do to keep yourself organized?  Do you use a planner?  Do you keep on your important info on your phone?  Do you have a favorite organizing tip or trick?  Let me know! <3

My Thighs Are On Fire

The title might sound a bit more dramatic than reality.  Wait no, who am I kidding?  My thighs are feeling the burn!  The oh-so-good burn of a butt kicking work out.  I'm out of shape and the bike is letting me know.  The level 7 Resistance is slowing me down, haha!  (I'm on the stationary bike as I'm writing this).

Here is my inspiration:

My little cub is just fascinated with my pedaling feet.  It's great!  He's entertained and I get to watch him be entertained (and watch Harry Potter as well).  It's a great situation we have worked out.

Once I get off the bike I'm going to make bento's for tomorrow, since they're back on the daily menu.  I've actually made bento's every night this week but I forgot to take pictures except for today's bento.

Top tier- baby carrots, grapes, turkey & havarty cheese sandwich.  Bottom tier- Babybel cheese, summer sausage, and Japanese style potato salad.  There's also a few pieces of baby arugala underneith for color.

The difference between American and Japanese potato salads is the Japanese style salad uses Kewpie mayo (which is made w/rice vinegar) and has chopped  carrots and cucumber.  It's a subtle but tasty change.  I highly recommend it if you have the opportuntity to make it.

This bento is partially made of leftovers.  I couldn't fit full sandwiches in yesterday's bentos so I kept the parts that didn't fit and put them in this one.  This was also the very last of the potato salad I made the other day.

As I write this I'm thinking of what to put into tomorrow's bentos.  There are strawberries, blueberries and raspberries that I need to eat so those are definitely going in.  It's too late to make tamagoyaki (sweet egg omlette) so it'll probably be sandwiches again.  PB&J is what I'm leaning towards... Hmm...

I strive to pack the rainbow in my bentos so they are fairly balanced meals.  So far that's red, blue, and brown.  So I need green and yellow.  Salad and hard boiled eggs I think will do the trick.  I can boil the egg while making the rest of the meal.  Yes I like this plan.

What do you like to pack in your lunches?  Do you have a staple item you like to eat a lot?  What's a special occasion item you add?

Well looks like Dean is done watching me bike.  Time to be done biking.  Nite all!

Thirteen Weeks

To be honest I don't have many words for all the joy this baby brings to me and all the love I have for him.  So I'll just post some (read- lots of) pictures.

Oh this baby.  Going through my photos was a trip.  It's only been a little over 3 months and it's so hard for me to fathom all that has happened!  He's grown so much.  He's just getting cuter and more perfect every day.  I'm so lucky. <3

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