Exercise/Menu Planning Planner

I bought a used planner for 2015 and have turned it into another exercise/food journal/menu planning planner.

This past year I was very sporadic about the food situation in this home. My family suffers and mealtime is stressful and something I dread each day.

When I have a plan, I do much better, so I hope to be much more consistent this year and plan to do the menu planning each Sunday evening (I even have a custom EC label in my regular planner as a reminder).

20141130-221920-80360820.jpg

I was thrilled when the used planner arrived (thank you Roxan W) , and it began Thanksgiving week! I had guests coming and needed to plan our food, so the timing and pages from 2014 were perfect!

20141130-222213-80533381.jpg

The weekend went very well, and my husband even told our guests, they should come more often because all the meals were better than normal! I credit that to simply having a plan, and following through.

Since it’s Sunday night, I’ve been planning the food for next week and have the first part of the week done. I decided to make it colorful. It just makes me happy when I see rainbows and lots of cheerful colors!

20141130-222539-80739926.jpg

Thursday-Sunday aren’t done yet, but I’m planning Thursday to be a day for leftovers, so I will have time to cook again before the weekend.

I’m planning to use the bottom 2 lines to track any exercise I do (this is another area that needs desperate attention in my life), and we’ll see how far I get with the monthly calendar.

20141130-223341-81221215.jpg

Putting all the water stickers in one place is a bit of rainbow happy overload, even though they are cute on the weekly pages. I only tried this on one month and I might ultimately trade the water and exercise spaces and use the monthly as more of an exercise journal/health journal entry for the day. I’m not sure yet as this is all new to me and not something I’ve ever given this much attention to in the past.

I really want to at least do the menu/food part of this goal. The water and exercise can come along when I’m able to add those and be consistent with them!

Since this was a used planner, there is a bill tracker on each monthly layout. If anyone has any ideas on how I can utilize that in a food/menu/exercise journal, I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

Functional Family Reward Cards

First, I’d like to welcome all the new readers! Every day more people follow this blog, so it’s about time I actually posted something!

I still love my Life Planner, and use it daily. I chose Candy lace this year, in Butter with multi colored dots.

20141106-003744-2264990.jpg

I love it so much, I ordered a Party Pops in Multi on a Butter background, and the Sequins cover in Multi, with a Butter background. I can’t wait to see if they turn out!

But on to the topic of my post…

I have enjoyed trying other products from the EC brand, and I’d like to talk about the Functional Family Reward Cards.

20141106-004114-2474309.jpg

20141106-004114-2474641.jpg

I first ordered these for my son, to try and motivate him to do some work around the house. I’m not sure it worked, but that didn’t stop me from ordering them for each person in our family.

20141106-004208-2528354.jpg

20141106-004207-2527977.jpg

I have found that my favorite use for these cards is for repeat chores or jobs that are performed for a monetary reward. For us, we are keeping track of puppy baths since that is something that must be done regularly around here! I have them hanging on the fridge so they are easy to see and maintain when a chore has been completed.

20141106-004501-2701499.jpg

Once the card is filled, payment will be made and another card will be started. This has really helped my kids be responsible about keeping track of what they’ve done, and it keeps me accountable to actually pay them.

The cards can be used for so many things. I think they would make a cute Christmas gift with a special service offered like a back rub, or a favorite dessert, or anything that fits your family’s wants/needs. The “card holder” could cash it in and receive whatever is offered as the gift, etc. Each card has ten “punches”, and the creative ways in which these can be used is endless!!

Each pack can be customized with a name/word and you can choose any color. There are 30 cards in each pack.

If you have a creative way that you are using these cards, I want to hear about it! Send me an email and tell me your story. Be sure to include some photos as well!

RAK Update

I’d like to talk a bit about my RAK program, the history, and what the future holds for those that continue to be a part of it.

A year ago, in August, the first Erin Condren Fan Club group started on Facebook.  This group is now secret, and many people don’t even know it exists.  While I was building that group, a desire of doing RAKs was born, and a loose network of ladies provided their addresses in a file, and randomly would send to one another.  Because MANY wanted to participate, but didn’t want to just post their address out in the open, I jumped in and said I’d organize a RAK list and give addresses when people requested them.  Thus was born “Make Your Mailbox Smile”, the first RAK group associated with the Erin Condren groups on Facebook.  This was so popular and kept me so busy that by December, I told everyone I needed a break, and we didn’t do RAKs in December 2013.  It was interesting to see that people were actually distraught and almost had withdrawals from not being able to send RAKs!

While I took my “break”, I designed my current RAK program and Facebook group, RAK 2014 “Wake Up Your Mailbox”.  It launched on January 1, 2014 (actually a couple of days before that), and grew to over 1300 people in the past 7 months.  It has been wildly active and many, many have sent and received RAKs with this program.  I’ve actually had several ask to have their name removed from my address list simply because they had too many RAKs and while they wanted to still send, they simply had enough fun little stickers, etc., and they didn’t need to receive any more.

During this time, other RAK groups have emerged, and there is now an endless supply of groups and RAK programs that people can join and be a part of.  Also during this time, I noticed that the same handful of people were the ones that continued to request names, and kept the list active.  This was fine when there were only a couple hundred people on the list.  But as the list grew, we began to go through it much more slowly, and those same people were doing most of the sending.  I began to be dissatisfied with my system and wanted to find a way that would reward those that were actually making the effort to send RAKs.

And so I began to make groups with those that requested names.  By doing it this way, those that were sending, were also the ones receiving, and this eliminated anyone that was simply on the receiving end and never sent anything out.  I received criticism as this wasn’t really following the basic concept of a Random Act of Kindness, but I had seen too many taking advantage of the kindness of others and joining simply to receive and never to give.  I didn’t feel that was right.

As we are moving through 2014, and I have revamped the way I handle my address list, I felt it was time to make a fresh start, and open a group that was not stamped with a date in the title.  So I have opened RAK Swap “Wake Up Your Mailbox”, a group that will replace RAK 2014 “Wake Up Your Mailbox”, and will launch on September 1, 2014.  I will be taking another break this August, partly because I”ll be gone on vacation and it’s always too difficult to maintain the RAK requests when I’m away from my computer, and so I can have time to update the guidelines and have a fresh start in September.

For now, we are still using the RAK 2014 group for posting RAK thank you photos.  For now, people are still joining RAK 2014 “Wake Up Your Mailbox”.  But the new guidelines, and the group that will become my official group will be RAK Swap “Wake Up Your Mailbox” starting in September.

If you are not in the new group, and you’d like to continue to be in my RAK program, please be sure to click on the link above to join it.  There are a few changes in how the addresses are handled, so be sure to read the pinned post to get all the details.

If you have any questions, please send them to myerincondren@gmail.com.  I”ll do my best to answer in a timely manner.

Thank you to everyone that has participated in my RAK mailbox program.  It has surpassed my wildest expectations, and I am honored to know it has brought joy into so many lives!

Krissyanne Designs

Let me take a minute to plug an Etsy seller that I highly recommend! Krissyanne Designs on Etsy has a ton of fun, customizable stickers for your Erin Condren Life Planner or Teacher Planner, as well as other items for sale in her Etsy shop.

I want to share my recent order with all of you because I’m super excited about it.

A few months ago I purchased a “used” notebook, which was basically new, but it has the 2014 calendar pages in it. When I learned that Krissyanne Designs does calendar dots, I asked if she could do a custom order for me. I wanted to turn my 2014 calendar into a 2015 calendar but I wanted to stay with the simple colors in the Keep It Simple notebook.

20140716-105326-39206956.jpg

I asked for the numbers to be printed on white and when she asked me what color, I asked her to do it the same light gray as the current numbers on the calendar. I think it turned out perfectly!

20140716-105444-39284202.jpg

You can barely even tell the little circles are there!

20140716-105524-39324016.jpg

And, for the extra dots, I asked for tiny paw prints. How perfect is this? My order absolutely met my expectations and it was quick and packaged in a very professional manner.

I also ordered her standard dots for my teacher planner, and they are wonderful too!

20140716-105757-39477229.jpg

I will definitely use this Etsy shop again and if anyone is looking for custom items for their planners, be sure to go take a look!

http://www.krissyanne.com

Weather Stickers

One of my favorite things in my planner are these weather stickers by Trend. I bought mine on Amazon, and they are generally considered a teacher supply item.

20140710-164331-60211891.jpg

I place one each day just to the right of the date on my weekly spread.

20140710-164332-60212895.jpg

It’s summertime so it’s been nice and sunny for several weeks!

20140710-164332-60212557.jpg

Right now I’m using a lot of Sunshine stickers, but soon our weather will provide opportunities to use the raindrop, clouds, and snowflakes. I only use the rainbows if I see a rainbow, so I’m trying to think of other reasons to use it, since it’s such a cute sticker.

20140710-164332-60212225.jpg

This is my weather “key”, which is back in the notes section of my planner.

20140710-164333-60213252.jpg

I can’t wait to have an entire yearly record of the weather. It’s just a fun little extra tidbit I’ve added to my planner this year.

Decorated Note Pages

Suzanne Marie Scott from the My Erin Condren 2 group asked me how I used my pre-decorated note pages in my Life Planner.

They end up being overflow, as I don’t pre-designate them for anything specific like I do my lined note pages.

So far this year, I have used one page for blog ideas.

20140708-150010-54010235.jpg

I’m somewhat non-committal as I have the ideas jotted down on sticky notes and not just straight onto the page!

But last year, my decorated note pages were definitely used. Here is what they contained!

20140708-150155-54115555.jpg

Some fun ideas that I didn’t want to lose.

20140708-150335-54215952.jpg

Detailed info about the Apple Pie fund-raiser that I was in charge of. This coming year, it will be easy peasy to pull this off because now I know exactly how much we need for the number of pies we want to make.

20140708-150502-54302650.jpg

Blank page.

20140708-150533-54333492.jpg

More blank pages!

20140708-150558-54358841.jpg

List of people we sent graduation invites to. Now when my daughter graduates, I can quickly refer to this list and edit as necessary!

20140708-150719-54439645.jpg

The birth of the RAK exchange.

20140708-150749-54469859.jpg

The birth of the Washi Exchange.

20140708-150819-54499123.jpg

And finally, some general info about RAKs either sent and/or received.

I guess I kept those decorated note pages pretty busy. Some of the info is worth keeping, some could be trash, but it’s all a record of my life, and I like that the Life Planner is not just a planner, but a record of life!