I'm Kayla. A millennial obsessed with makeup, planner decorating, and board games. Working towards a more organized, simplified life one post at a time. #catlady


What I Learned from My First Big Knitting Project

What I Learned from My First Big Knitting Project

What I Learned from My First Big Knitting Project

A few months ago I decided to take on the project of knitting a snake. Alex requested it from a book of stuffed animals and I set off on the task. More or less I just wanted to share some glamour shots of my really awesome snake, but I also learned a lot over those few months that I felt worthy to share.

Knitting is just as easy as it is complicated. The actual process of knitting isn't terribly hard, but it's when instructions throw in tons of acronyms you're just supposed to know that things get tough. Over the course of this project I learned out to do a lot of knitting techniques I didn't even know existed. Youtube became my best friend as well as asking my neighbor and knitting guru Amy for tutorials.

Knitting this snake also taught me that it's ok if the project becomes a collaboration. Amy helped me loads on this snake from helping sew it together to figuring out how to make the eyes work when they looked completely wrong. At first I worried that the snake wouldn't mean as much to me since I had a fair amount of help making it, but as we finished that final eye I couldn't be more thrilled with what we accomplished. The project made me and Amy closer, made us spend more time together, and ultimately made the snake better. I'm definitely learning that asking and receiving help has its benefits. Just took me nearly 25 years to learn that!

There's also a lot of spontaneous aspects to knitting which I definitely did not expect. To me knitting is just following instructions, but when the eyes looked seriously messed up, we had to get creative to salvage the whole project. There was a lot of "does this look right?" being thrown around those last few minutes of the project until we finally got them to look like eyes. Phew.

I also didn't realize how long projects can take. I live in a world where if I'm working on something it's usually done within the week (I'm looking at you stickers), but this project took literally months because I didn't want to rush through it and make mistakes. I'm sure I could have finished it sooner, but there was so much I didn't know about knitting that I wanted to ask questions and learn during the process. And I like that it took a while. Now that it's finally finished I feel such a huge sense of accomplishment over something I labored over for longer than a week. It's now on display in one of our guest bedrooms.

I may not knit anything to such a large scale for the next few projects, but I can already tell I'm much more of a knitter of stuffed creatures rather than scarves. Next on the docket will probably be doughnuts because well, why not?

Are you a knitter? What are your favorite things to knit?

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Saving Time with CleanCult

I had the fantastic opportunity to work with CleanCult for today's video. It's my first sponsored video project so I wanted to make sure it was informative and entertaining at the same time. It's always scary taking on sponsored work. On the one hand I need to pay the bills, but I also don't want to lose my genuine style. People always get so turned-up-nose over YouTubers doing sponsored work, but I find that those videos are usually their best content since they're trying to get over the stigma of sponsored content. I now understand the struggle. I worked hard on this video, and I think that even if it wasn't sponsored, it would have looked very similar to this. Sponsored content is a tough battle but I think I picked a really great brand for my first project. 

So give the video a looksie and a like if you enjoy it. I really appreciate it.
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How to Display Your Childish Hobbies like an Adult

How to Display Your Childish Hobbies like an Adult

How to Display Your Childish Hobbies like an Adult

How to Display Your Childish Hobbies like an Adult

I never plan on growing up. I plan on collect little bits and bobs until I'm old and gray and my walls are covered in trinkets. If you're like me then you've found it hard to part with your childish hobbies as you entered this annoying thing called adulthood. Well there's a solution.

Recently I've started to put all my little collections into glass jars I found at IKEA. And honestly, it looks pretty dang cool. It's the perfect way to display a collection without letting it take over a shelf space or sprawl out on a table. Upon first glance it can almost look like you bought random, colorful bobbles to fill the jars rather than toys. 

It's definitely my favorite storage solution to date. It keeps everything together, out of the hands of children who might think they're playthings, all the while making perfectly acceptable decor pieces. It's a triple win.

How do you display and organize your collections?

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My Current Planner Setup

My Current Planner Setup

It's been quite a while since I've done a rundown of my current planner setup and since I've recently changed things up, it seemed like a better time than any. I always like to nosy around other people's setups, so here's mine.

I've been using a two planner system since the start of 2017, but I recently switched out my vertical layout Erin Condren Life Planner for the hourly layout. This always happens when things get a little hectic day to day and I switched around the same time last year to the hourly so it must be this time of year. Having the times makes me a lot more comfortable and feeling in control of my schedule rather than having free floating events. It's a lot easier to visualize when things are happening in relation to each other throughout the day and the week as well.

With the hourly comes a solid return to white space planning. I dabbled in no white space planning for a few months but feel like this style of sticker usage is definitely my forte. I love writing on the planner itself and using the white space to break up my days.

For to do lists you already know about my obsession with the Rifle Paper Co Midnight Agenda. It's the best thing I've found to write daily to do lists while being able to see the entire week at once. My love for it knows no bounds and I even designed more skinny labels (coming out this Sunday 4/2) since they're my favorite sticker to use with it to mark events.

I'm working hard not to over do it. There are so many gorgeous planner supplies out there that it's easy to get swept up in that aspect of it rather than just finding a simple solution that works for you and sticking with it. Sure my sticker obsession is still going strong, but I haven't found myself straying from this two-planner setup. It works, and that's what planning is all about.

What is your current planner setup?

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Bake with Me: Easy Beach Themed Cupcakes

Beach Themed Cupcakes

Beach Themed Cupcakes

Over the weekend my mom and I hosted a beach themed bridal shower for my sister. Naturally I had to bake something for it. Honestly these cupcakes are so easy, they probably don't need their own blog post. But I was just too dang proud of them that I had to share.

We were in a bit of a time crunch, so I just used boxed cake mix and didn't fuss over it. I did however make my own buttercream frosting and dyed it the darkest shade of blue my food coloring would allow. We applied a thin layer of frosting and the cupcakes were ready to be decorated.

I used about three or four graham cracker pieces and smashed them into sand-like bits in a small ziplock bag. When sprinkling, make sure you pat the graham cracker sand into the frosting or most of it will fall off if you happen to tilt the cupcake. Seriously pack it on so it looks like sand.

The hardest part about these cupcakes was finding small enough Swedish Fish. A regular bag of them is just too big so luckily I found a couple fun-sized bags at the party store while we were gathering other supplies. Pop one into the ocean and throw on a little umbrella and these babies are done.

They were a huge hit at the party and none were spared. Funfetti cake mix proved to be a bigger crowd favorite than the chocolate. The party was a blast and I can't believe we're getting so close to going on the wedding cruise. I definitely could use a vacation...

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How to Create an Effective Content Calendar

How to Create an Effective Content Calendar

I've been blogging on different platforms for nearly ten years now. Over the course of those ten years I learned a lot about what not to do when it comes to consistency and content. Plus I've also tried close to fifty different ways of organizing blogging content that have all disappeared for one reason or another. My most recent editorial calendar method has lasted the longest and I thought it was about time I finally talked about it.

My biggest advice for creating an effective content calendar is to honestly ask yourself what you're capable of actually accomplishing. It's all well and good to think you'll write a new blog post every day of the week or post five YouTube videos, but you have to consider what's actually possible. Look at your daily schedule, your commitments, and your responsibilities. Figure out what you have time for, and what you sincerely want to use that time doing. Once you've decided what's realistically manageable, you're ready to build an effective content calendar.

Like I said, I've tried a lot of different platforms and systems to keep track of my content schedule. I've used planners, notebooks, stickers, you name it. The only thing that has ever really worked for me long term is Google Calendar. Gasp. I know. For someone whose livelihood depends on people using tangible planners I can't deny that when it comes to this, it has to be online. For good reason to.

You want to create and utilize a system that allows for plans to change. Google Calendar allows you to write in a blog post or a YouTube video, but if life gets in the way, you can just drag it to another day. This freedom to drag, drop, edit, and change your content schedule within seconds makes it superior to a tangible planner. If you're someone who sticks with a plan once it's made, definitely go for tangible. But if you're anything like me, one day you may wake up and have no desire to write a particular blog post. You won't have to cross it out in your planner, all you'll have to do is relocate it to another point in your schedule to do it when you feel more inspired.

I also really enjoy using Google Calendar for my content schedules because you can create separate calendars for separate aspects of your content. I have calendars for blog posts, Microscope Beauty videos, vlog videos, Kawaii Bunny videos, social media, and Oh, Hello Stationery Co. marketing efforts. Dividing out your categories of content makes it easier for you to switch off the ones you don't want to see or focus on. It makes work much more manageable when you only have to look at one type of content at a time rather than the entire jumbled mess of all of them together. 

Having all of the calendars in one place though is beneficial so you can coordinate schedules on different fronts. Say you run an online business selling craft supplies and you're releasing a new line of materials. Using multiple calendars makes it easier to see what is happening during certain aspects of your business so you can coordinate all of your efforts together. You could post a new blog post showing a DIY with the new items one day, a behind the scenes look of production on Instagram the next, and a video showcasing all the new supplies the next day. All of those efforts operate on different calendars, but you can see them all at the same time and coordinate everything together.

Most of the time your content calendar will come together in bursts. If you're feeling particularly inspired one day, sit down and plan out as many blog posts or videos as you can think of. Schedule them into your schedule now, but know that it can easily change based on if anything new comes up. On average my content schedule is about a month ahead in blog posts and videos. Whether or not I stick with it is different, but if I have a very good brainstorming day I want to make sure I get all the ideas down so when I'm tapped of creativity, I don't have to worry.

It's also incredibly important to be flexible with your content. You can't always predict when things are going to happen, so don't set your content in stone. That's another great thing about Google Calendar. Some of my most popular blog posts and videos were created within an hour of some big launch or release. I quickly moved around my other scheduled content to make way for a new planner launch and had a huge increase in subscribers because of it. Make sure your content is working for you and not the other way around.

Apparently I could ramble on about content calendars for hours, so I'll end it here for now. But if you have any questions or want to know more specifics, leave them in the comments. I'll definitely do a follow up or expand on ideas in another post.

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Esian Korean Beauty Box

Esian Korean Beauty Box

Esian Korean Beauty Box

Esian Korean Beauty Box

The Esian Korean Beauty Box has always been a fun little treat for me. I've been involved with beauty and makeup for years (just look at the age of this blog, yessh!) so it's fun to mix things up and try beauty products from other cultures. Plus I'm a sucker for a good subscription box.

This month's box definitely surprised me. I wasn't expecting a huge, nice quality DC Superhero scarf as it popped out at me when the box opened. I'm all about superheros so I'll be sporting this for sure. Most of the boxes I've gotten are makeup only, so it was nice to see some fashion thrown in this time.

This month's box came with four beauty bits. The Pig Nose Black Head Remover product cracked me up. All black head products I've gotten from this subscription always revolve around pigs. There's also a Collagen Boosting Renewal Mask. The masks I've gotten from these boxes have always been really nice, but not something I've looked for to repurchase. The Stylenanda Fresh Aqua Mist is the most intriguing product from the box and something I've really been enjoying using. I love a good face mist and this one is refreshing and light. The last beauty item is a panda themed warming eye mask. I'm obsessed with how cute and fun Korean beauty is!

My biggest complaint is that the website is difficult to navigate. Ironically enough you can see my derpy face on the front page in a video I posted about my first box. But the site itself is hard to figure out what box to get and what you're purchasing. It takes some time to work to the pricing as well. There are two different beauty boxes available. The Spa box is $24.95 a month with a reoccurring subscription and the Glamour box is $59.95 for an every two month box. Since they're foreign beauty products it's hard to gauge if you're really getting your money's worth each box, but you definitely get a sizeable quantity of products to try. 

Ultimately if you're interested in experience different types of beauty products, this would be a subscription to try for a few months. But if you're trying to save your beauty budget for something really worth it, I'd suggest another subscription altogether since you can't be sure what you're going to get in this box and if it's worth the price. Honestly I find their snack boxes to be a much better investment and fun for the whole family to try some different snacks and food from other countries. So I'd definitely look into that!

So kind of a mixed review. I love the box when I do get it, but I'm still on the fence about purchasing it long term. The products are always fun to play around with, but I've never really been swept away with a product that I had to repurchase. It's a fun gift for a beauty junkie or a little treat to yourself, but I wouldn't say everyone needs it in their life.

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The Best Planners for Running a Business & Calendar Giveaway

It goes without saying that I've tried my fair share of planners. Since I work within the planner industry it's a must, but it's given me a lot of opportunities to discover which planners lend themselves to certain needs more than others. Some are great for students, some are great for moms, and some are perfect for running a small business. 

The Best Planners for Running a Business

It'll come as no surprise that one of my favorite planners to help me run my business is the Erin Condren Life Planner. There are three different layout types, but the hourly seems like the best for managing time if you're running a business. Although my small business doesn't really require a lot set scheduling, most businesses do. So having a planner that you can clearly map out your time will make sure you aren't over-booking yourself. They're currently 50% off right now if you're interested in giving the layout a try. Plus an hourly layout can help you schedule designated "stop" times so you can you know, eat, and see your family.

The Best Planners for Running a Business

If you're looking for something with a bit more flexibility and freedom to add and remove things, a personal planner will be your lifesaver. I picked up this one from Michael's, but there are hundreds of different options in all price brackets. Plus Etsy has a ton of inserts to help you set it up for maximum productivity. This is a great system to write to do lists in, keep notes in designated sections, and to capture any loose business bits you don't want getting lost. 

The Best Planners for Running a Business

Sometimes the easiest system is all you really need. I find that nothing helps me check things off my to do list like this agenda from Rifle Paper Co. One week per spread with just enough to do list spots per day so you aren't over-doing it. I love scheduling out everything I need to get done in a week over the course of five days right from the start. That way I don't feel overwhelmed by one massive to do list and I can chip away at it little bit by little bit. I'm sure you can find something like this in an insert form if you want to tie the personal planner and a simple to do list agenda into one.

All of these planners have helped in some way at a variety of different stages of my business. They're fantastic, flexible systems that have helped me stay organized and more productive. Plus they're pretty which is always a nice bonus.

Every girl boss needs a gorgeous desk calendar to keep them organized, so I'm giving one away! Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win this Erin Condren Tabletop Calendar for 2017. It comes with a gorgeous little stand and the cards are perforated so you can use the designed side for a postcard once the month is over. Super handy. The giveaway is open internationally to anyone 18-years-old or with parental consent!

Good luck and happy planning.

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Erin Condren Spring Seasonal Surprise Box Review | #ECSurpriseBox

Erin Condren Spring Seasonal Surprise Box Review

When Erin Condren announced the release of a seasonal subscription box, I couldn't click order fast enough. The first box definitely exceeded my expectations and guaranteed that I would be getting the next one. 

The Spring box feels like the subscription is settling into it's own. The first one had to be beyond amazing to set the bar and the second one clearly shows that they'll maintain a level of quality and quantity. Subscription boxes seem to go big with the first one and peter out quickly, but it's obvious that this box is going to try its best to keep it up. I'm pleased.

The Floral Ink pattern is super popular in this box and I actually like it a lot more than I did when I first saw the design on the website. There's a cute floral ink blank greeting card, a medium lined notepad, and a new On-The-Go Address Book that has to be one of my favorites from the box. I had been wanting something smaller than my normal address book so I can bring it with me on trips to send postcards. Dreams answered. 

There are two sticker sheets as well which I think really help to beef up the amount in the box. I'm pretty sure I'll have all the sticker sheets they've come out soon. Now to actually use them. Nothing makes me hoard stickers like Erin Condren products.

Probably my most favorite item from this season's box is the soon-to-be-released hardbound notebook. I got to peek this product at Plannercon last week and have been smitten ever since. They're releasing March 30th in ten different colors and I'm not even ashamed to admit that I'll probably get close to all of them in one fell swoop. They're perfect to jot notes in on-the-go and during meetings. Plus if I own a bunch of them I won't feel bad scribbling in one or two.

Another pleasant surprise in the box was the art print. It's already happy in its new home in our guest bedroom. The box also included a 40% off art prints coupon so it's already on my to do list to look for more home decor pieces or future gifts.

Finally the box included a set of rose colored sticky corners to compliment the blue and red sets they already have in stock. Plus mini magnetic bookmarks that have me all sorts of happy. Magnetic bookmarks are my go to paper-holding method so having tiny ones is just perfection.

Overall the seasonal surprise boxes are definitely worth the $35 price. You get a ton of high-quality products you're likely to actually use at a cheaper price than buying them all yourself. Plus there are box exclusives you won't find on the website and you get other products before anyone else. You can even save $10 on the next one by clicking here. I'll definitely be ordering the next one.

What do you think of this season's surprise box?

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That One Time I Met Erin Condren: A San Francisco Tale

It's been quiet on the blogging front lately as I took a break for our recent trip to San Francisco. All my pre-trip time was spent getting our shop in order rather than scheduling posts. We're happily back in the cold mitten now and I can finally reflect on the whirlwind that was PlannerCon 2017.

So much happened. Like, beyond the actual workshops and speakers themselves. We met dozens of amazing subscribers and Helloigans between workshops and honestly the entire experience was a blur. Of course the peak moment of the entire event has to be when I got to meet Erin Condren. I was surprisingly calm and collected when I met her. Alex cried. Two types of people I guess. It's just such a strange experience to meet the person you basically owe your life to. Without her planner and products we wouldn't have our business. No business means no home. So it was great to be able to thank her and tell her about our life thanks to her company. She even ended up mentioning us in her key note address the next day. We fangirled. Harder than we've ever fangirled before.

It was literally the perfect long weekend. Not only did I get to hang out with fellow planner obsessed people, I also finally got to go to San Francisco. It's been on the top of my realistic travel wishlist for years and there I was, walking to Pier 39 and seeing the Painted Ladies. I'm pretty sure I got sick the last couple of days in order to make the entire weekend more life-like; it was just too perfect.

So now we're back in the tundra that is Michigan with tons of planner swag and more ideas than we know what to do with. We're mulling around the idea of hosting a planner conference in Chicago next year, have loads of new product ideas, and are reaching out to business friends we made at the event. The weekend came and went faster than I could have ever imagined and I couldn't be more thankful for the entire experience.

If you want to watch the vlogs and see what we got up to they're all conveniently located below!

We're currently off to help my parents move across the state, so blogging will likely return sometime next week as things start to (hopefully) settle down. Keep your eyes peeled for a PlannerCon related giveaway coming too!
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February Favorites

I practically almost forgot about my February favorites. To the point that when I started drafting this blog post I called it 'March Favorites.' Poor February, I never have been a fan of you. Although I'm missing this month's YouTube favorites video, I still wanted to round up the few items I loved in February because they're too good to miss.

Up first is our wedding photo album. After months of waiting for our photos and video it finally arrived and honestly it's pretty damn spectacular. It's a nice large size and made with heavy cardboard pages to stand the test of time as I often find myself paging through it. It has found itself at home on our coffee table since it's too pretty to tuck onto a shelf.

As for beauty bits I've fallen into a routine and have barely switched what products I've used for the entire month. I've definitely found a system that works for me but I have been really enjoying the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Foundation. I've written up a whole post about it if you want a longer, more detailed review, but it's such a well-thought out product that's just the right amount of buildable coverage and a surprisingly great shade range.

Although winter is starting to fade, my skin seems drier than it has been in months. Anytime this starts happening I break out the trusty Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and any dry skin is gone in hours. It's so thick, rich, and sinks into the skin nice and slow like an overnight mask should. My skin looks plump, happy, and hydrated after one use. Seriously.

I didn't want to pass up talking about my February favorites because of one thing in particular. I just finished reading Wool by Hugh Howey and my mind is still spinning from the crazy post-apocalyptic adventure it took me on. There are so many twists in this book you won't see coming. Although it doesn't give a year, it's obvious that this book takes place in the future when the planet's surface has become inhabitable and people have been sent underground to live in a massive silo. The imagery is so vivid you can visualize the size and scope of the silo and its contents without any trouble. It's fantastic. Definitely one of the best books I've ever read and one I'll be recommending to anyone who asks and probably to anyone who doesn't too.

What things did you love in February?

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What to Pack for a Planner Conference | What I'm Bringing to PlannerCon 2017

What to Pack for a Planner Conference

We are just mere days away from heading to San Francisco for PlannerCon and I'm in full-blown packing mode. It feels like ages since I've flown anywhere so I'm taking the entire process very seriously. Plus I've never packed so many planner supplies before and I must say I'm pretty jazzed about it. So whether or not you have a planner conference to attend soon or just want a nosy look at what I'm bringing, here are the dets.

Honestly I'm not bringing much. From my experience hosting a planner meetup, people bring too many supplies that they never will use. I'm keeping things simple and to the basics of what I use most. I won't be bringing my entire washi tape collection or a dozen different pens. Chances are I won't find myself doing that much planning at the conference anyway. 

I'm of course bringing my current Erin Condren Life Planner with relevant cover. Although I doubt I'll be making a lot of to do lists during the trip, I figured my Rifle Paper Co Agenda should come too just in case inspiration strikes during one of the workshops and I want to plan out my next big project (hint: I want to create note page sticker options). I also am bringing a small notebook to jot down any ideas or notes from speakers.

I'll also be bringing two pairs of each of my favorite pens, just in case. Nothing would be worse than having a pen die at a planner conference. The shame.

Although I won't be bringing my entire stash of washi, I will be bringing some samples of my favorites to swap with fellow washi lovers. No need to tote twenty pounds of tape across America when a few feet of each style will do!

I must admit I do plan on bringing my entire sticker stash in my accordion file though. It's small enough to easily tuck into a suitcase and it'll be nice to have my favorite type of supplies around if I do find some time to plan. I keep my sticker collection a reasonable size for this very occasion!

I'm so nervously excited for PlannerCon that I'm sure I'm forgetting something. If you can think of anything, pop it into the comments.

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Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

If you're anything like me, then you have quite a lot of planning supplies. I swear some days I have stickers popping out of places I didn't even know I shoved them. So I've been making it my mission to clean up my act and organize my planning supplies in a style that works for me. My best system so far includes a variety of different storage solutions rolled into one.

For washi tape I've found nothing better than using an acrylic sunglasses case. There are dividers in each drawer that are the perfect width to hold rolls of washi tape up so you can see your entire selection. I also use this drawer to hold paper clips and magnetic bookmarks. The little sections in the drawers work great to separate different, smaller supplies.

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

The easiest way to store your supplies it to get a drawer unit like one of the famous IKEA Alex drawers. I have two units in my filming office that hold the majority of my supplies. I recently posted a video walking through my stationery organization in one of them if you're curious. It's by far the easiest solution if you have piles of things laying around that you just want to get out of sight and in some sort of organization. Separate each drawer into categories and gather like items together.

The thing is, you can make any storage you have work for you if you're creative. I have this small apothecary looking drawer unit that would be great to store sticky notes, washi tape, planner clips, and other, smaller supplies in each drawer. Instead of buying new storage solutions, look at what you may have that isn't in use and try to figure out how to re-purpose it.

Simple Ways to Store Planning Supplies

One storage solution that's absolutely free is to use the clear packaging that your sticker orders come in to store weekly sticker kits. Rather than throwing them all away, divide out your coordinating stickers, put them each in a clear bag, and keep them all in a neat stack in your sticker storage. That way you won't lose any pieces to a weekly kit and will have it all together for when you're ready to use it.

What simple ways do you use to store your planning supplies?
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Coloring Bullet Journal Review & Giveaway

Coloring Bullet Journal Review & Giveaway

Bullet Journaling is one of those planning crazes that I'm still gingerly dipping my toes into. So when The Coloring Notebook contacted me to check out their seriously clever coloring journals, I couldn't say no. Of course I snagged an extra one to give away to one of you.

To me, the coloring notebook is a bullet journal on steroids. It gives you everything you'd want in a bullet journal and throws in seriously gorgeous coloring pages to boot. The cover is a thick, sturdy matte black. There's a handy strap to keep everything closed plus its A5 sized. It's priced fair compared to other bullet journals similar to it on the market, and it's just a lot of fun. 

Planning is all about finding a system that makes you feel more motivated. If you have a planner that you love to decorate, but never look at it again until the next week, it won't work for you. Adding coloring pages makes this notebook something you reach for when you're winding down. So you'll inadvertently find yourself looking at that to do list for tomorrow while coloring in a fun page. You won't know it, but it'll make you more productive in the long run if you spend more time with your planning devices.

If this notebook sounds right up your alley, enter the giveaway! It's open internationally for anyone 18-years-old or with parental consent!

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How to Set Realistic Cleaning and Chore Goals in Your Planner

How to Set Realistic Cleaning and Chore Goals in Your Planner

Although it's great to have a pretty planner full of gorgeous stickers, it's also much more important to have said planner working in your favor. Your planner needs to be a helpful companion that encourages you to tick things of the to do list, rather than be a distraction from tasks. Lately I've been working on how to set realistic cleaning and chore goals in my planner. Here are a few of my tips and tricks.

The most obvious tip, plan ahead. Sure it may seem like it would go hand and hand with planning, but that's not always the case when it comes to scheduling chores. This is very helpful with tasks that may slip your mind or aren't as frequent as other chores. Things like cleaning underneath the refrigerator or changing out filters. Mark them ahead of time in your planner based on cleaning recommendations. So when every six months roll around you're already prepared.

Spread out the tasks that occur weekly so they don't all pile up on one day during the week. That way if something happens to come up on a particular day, things seem a lot more manageable than having to move an entire laundry list of things you have to clean and do.

Set a routine so you know what to expect every week. Maybe on Mondays you do laundry and on Fridays you vacuum the house. Figure out a weekly chore schedule that fits well around the other tasks in your life so you're actually able to accomplish some of them.

Once you have your routine and have planned ahead for less frequent activities use stickers to create a clear, uniform system. Use the same sticker type every week so when you flip open your planner you're able to see that same symbol week after week. If you're constantly changing up how your chore list looks or where it's located, you're more likely to forget something. 

Give yourself a catch up day every few months. Pick one day every three months or so that you keep clear of any responsibilities. Use this day to catch up on all those things you put off. Hang the gallery wall you've had all the supplies for, file the mountain of paperwork, or wash the windows. Any time you think of something you want to do but don't feel like you have time for, add it to the catch up day list. When that day rolls around on your calendar free of any other activities, you have the perfect opportunity to finally get them done.

So pull out your planner, start planning ahead, and get back on top of your chores and cleaning schedule. Now I'm off to do the dishes!

What are some of your tips and tricks for setting realistic cleaning and chore goals?

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