Wrap Up ~ February 2017

Today I decided to do a bit of a different post, it includes a wrap up from February of all things end of month.

First up, my planner set-up for March. I really wanted to do a seperate post on this, but didn’t get a chance as I was trying to format the layout to what I was wanting, so for April, I will go a bit more in-depth. However, I do want to offer a free printable planner-inserts that I used for my planner set up. If you print this double sided on an A4 sheet, trim and punch holes (or print single sided and glue into your journal), you have your A5 sized month all planned out (you will need to print an extra of page 2 & 3 to get your full month, my mistake!). If you have any suggestions or something you would love to see from a free printable next month, please let me know 🙂

Second, Social Media Update:

Blog:

  • Followers: 53 (almost doubled since January 1)
  • Facebook: 68 (up from 7 the start of January, this is thanks to Amy sharing on of my posts on her Facebook page. If you don’t follow her over at More Time Than Money, I HIGHLY recommend it!!)
  • Pinterest: 71
  • Instagram: 44 – Yes, I opened an Instagram account. You can find me @HappyLittleHousewifeBlog
  • Income: $0 (I’ve decided it will stay this way for the foreseeable future)

Little Cherry Owl:

Lastly, following on from my Books Read January 2017, I will continue with my updates and book count.

I started the month with a follow on from the last book I read in January.

  1. Nowhere Child by Rachel Abbott
  2. A Shade of Vampire 39 by Bella Forrest
  3. My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcroft & Rachel Olsen
  4. Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott
  5. A Shade of Vampire 40 by Bella Forrest

Half the amount of books this month, but I’ve been naughty and going to bed later then I normally would, so sleep took priority over reading 😦 Also, I will be expanding more on the book My One Word in a later post because it has had such an impact. I’m glad that I took the time to read it!

My grand total this year for books read:

  • January – 10
  • February – 5

Christine xx

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Decluttering 2017 items in 2017.

I saw a post by Amy on More Time Than Money about this challenge, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I was intrigued, her post inspired me, so I headed over to Nourishing Minimalism and signed up!!

IMG_1228.JPGI look around at my mess of a sewing room (At the moment it looks like I’ve been robbed, especially after orders, Christmas, school holidays and general neglect). And I know that I am already going to be able to smash out these 2017 items. I will start here. Items will be sold, given away (Donated) or trashed. They will all count.

I’ve printed out 2 copies of the checklist, one is 2x A4 size pages, the other is 2 to a page so I can add it into my Kikki K journal to keep me on track. I’ve mentioned before how I feel less stressed with less stuff to maintain and I think this challenge will give me the kick up the bum I need to get a start.

 

Motivation is at a high, sewing room, here I come!!!!

Christine xx

Welcoming in the New Year

I have decided my first post of 2017 should be about where I’m at and where I’m hopefully heading for 2017. This will be fantastic to refer to at the end of the year to see exactly how far I have actually come.

Blog:

  • Followers: 27
  • Facebook: 7 (link may not work at the moment due to my Facebook break)
  • Pinterest: 55 (but this is an old/combined account that has seen a few different faces)
  • Instagram: Not on Instagram for Happy Little Housewife yet.
  • Income: $0

Little Cherry Owl:

I wrote briefly about my goals in my Goodbye 2016 post, but wanted to refer back to my Busy posts (Part 1 & Part 2) from when I was really overwhelmed and made a temporary plan. I’m pleased to say that I have taken quite a bit from that time and with the help of my gorgeous new Kikki-K Planner and Lisa Jacobs Your Best Year 2017 I feel I’m really on the right path for this year. (If you don’t want to purchase Your Best Year, Lisa has done an amazing series of Blog posts to help you prepare for the New Year, but I absolutely adored the e-book, I’m so glad I purchased it because it got me into the mindset I personally needed).

2017 is the year I will give it my all. I have set strong goals, I have scheduled in sewing-related promo’s for the year, I have set up a time blocked weekly schedule that will kick off once school heads back, I have had a clear head with this current Facebook break (I actually don’t miss it at all), I have booked a cruise for our first overseas family holiday (departing 10 years to the day that we went on our Honeymoon) and am in a great place mentally. I’m feeling very positive and am excited for this year to come, I want to go into 2018 with absolutely no regrets or feeling that I didn’t try hard enough.

Yesterday I was super excited to receive my new planner cover in the mail – the packaging was adorable and just made it all seem that little bit more special. So now that my planner is set up for 2017, I’ll be sure to do a bit of a post on that soon.

Sending positivity and kick ass vibes out to you all ~ bring on 2017!

Christine xx

Planners Gonna Plan

Last night and today I have spent some time researching and contemplating exactly what I want for my 2017 planner. I have room left in my old Bullet Journal, but something about starting fresh in the New Year just makes sense to me and gets me excited about the new year.

I was lucky enough to receive this Binder Journal from my Mother-in-Law, which is great, just a bit large to fit in my handbag and carry around every day (which is what I LOVE about my current Notebook/Bullet Journal) and doesn’t have room for all the things I ideally want in my journal. So I will be utilising this gift at home, so it’s there for hubby to glance at, in a place where we walk past daily and right next to the home phone (Yes, we still have one of those haha).

I had been considering a Binder for my next journal for a few reasons:

  1. I wouldn’t have to re-do my long term goals or collections every time I started a new book.
  2. I could just remove a page if I didn’t like how it looked and it wouldn’t affect the overall look of my journal or affect the spine of the book from ripped/cut out pages
  3. I could keep everything together – even though I utilise my Index in my current journal, it is easier to see how things have evolved and been kept all together.
  4. I can print out the daily/weekly pages instead of drawing them out every month (again, because I like keeping all of my month together, I was having to find a chunk of time at the start of each month to do this) – Now I understand that the creativity of the journal is what I love love LOVE about it, but towards the end of this year it was more a thrown together chicken scratch look as there was just no time to dedicate to those pages, as a result, I didn’t like the look of them and I barely used them as I had been previous months.
  5. Greater Flexibility.

While on holidays I visited a Kikki-K store and purchased A Sentence A Day 3 year Mini Journal as well as a Gratitude Mini Journal. I absolutely fell in love with them both and these now live next to my bed. I will be starting A Sentence a Day on 1 January but have already done 1 entry in the Gratitude Journal. I did consider purchasing a planner pack while there, but instead purchased some re-fill inserts. I wish I would have held off on these, but they have given me a good idea of exactly what I want and need.

I came across a fantastic resource for FREE printable planner pages and I have now purchased a Kikki-K Planner for the outside cover while Boxing Day Sales are still on. Now to work out what I really NEED to keep me on track this year. So I started a list:

  • Year at a Glance, Birthday/Anniversary page and Monthly Calendar Overview
  • Daily/Weekly Spreads (Trialling these until I find one that suits this new layout, but I like The Weekly Plan, Enjoy Every Moment and It’s a Wonderful Week from Eliza Ellis)
  • Finances – Budget, Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, Shopping Lists – basically all things money
  • Goals – both Short & Long Term as well as Travel Wishlist, Level 10 Life, Fitness etc
  • Hobbies – Sewing/Embroidery & Blog
  • School – Studying, Work, P&C Meetings etc
  • Household – Cleaning Schedules, Wishlist/Long Term To-Do’s/Needs/Wants

I think this encompasses all that I need in a journal from looking at my current Bullet Journal. I do have some collections I would love to move over (my Bookshelf & TV Series tracker mainly) but I may or may not re-do them as I don’t refer to them as often anymore, this may change in the new year. But the beauty of this system is, I can add it in later on or change the tabs, or add another tab in at the back for these.

Over the next week, while I wait for my new cover to arrive in the mail, I’ll be playing around with the layout, working out printing and putting together my new binder. I’ll share the completed project when it’s finished.

I’m excited ~ the possibilities are endless.

Christine xx

Handmade Gifts

It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. A time for family, love, friendship and quality time. Often people worry about the dollar value of a gift and can forget that sometimes, it really is the thought that counts. 

I absolutely love gift giving – I really put a conscious effort into the thought process and ensure the recipient will get value and joy from each item. Often I am the one asked what to get for someone else and I love it. 

This year I gave the school teachers and daycare mum these gorgeous little glasses with real flowers in from That Little Nook. Yes they’re REAL! They arrived and were simply stunning. They last up to 10 years. It was something that is different and isn’t another mug, chocolates or a bunch of flowers.

When another school mum asked what she should do, I immediately thought of my all time favorite thing – my bullet journal. And offered my assistance. 


Now there are plenty of tutorials out there but I personally used Rabbit Rabbit Creations pattern and changed to suit. These aren’t fully set up bullet journals (because I know they aren’t for everyone) but simply a notebook from Kmart that was on sale for $3 each and fabric I already had here. 

 
As long as you have access to a sewing machine and can sew a straight line you can create these yourself. 

There are so many ideas on handmade gifts that are sure to be appreciated by anyone receiving them and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Next will be starting on the Christmas gift baking 😉

Enjoy

Christine xx

Searching for Something

Have you ever thought, once I finish xx I’ll be much happier/less stressed/less busy/more relaxed. Yep, I’ve been there, often. And coming into Christmas season, even more so. Because there’s always just one more thing to do.

My list seems never-ending and I feel like there’s no-one to help. It’s a struggle. But I’m hoping I can almost see light at the end of the tunnel. You know those moments when it’s all just too much. That’s how I feel right now. As any mum or dad could attest, parenting is a juggling act, add an extra ball, and then another, and another, and another into the mix and one day you will get to full fledge break down point and drop all the balls if you aren’t sure when enough is enough.

I’m trying to be less busy, but it’s not as simple as wanting it and then BAM – no longer busy. I wish it was that simple. I have a plan, but i’ve now discovered, it takes more work then just making a plan. This week coming there’s kids to be looked after, the Christmas Raffle Hampers to finish putting together/making, raffle tickets to sell, house to be cleaned, meetings to be had, kids extra-curricular activities to do (including the running around for these), sewing clothes to complete an order, and market stock to finish making before Markets on Friday & Saturday – so basically 5 days to fit all that in…

I wish some of these things could be put off, just to give me breathing room. But no. I’ve already put some things off and now here I am. So starting today:

  • 5am wake up times SUCK, but it will help me get things done.
  • I will be ruthless with my to-do list.
  • I am going to kick ass and tell my to-do list who’s boss!!!!
  • I will turn off my phone.
  • I will not multi-task.
  • I will completely finish one item at a time until I can cross it off my to-do list.
  • There are certain items that MUST be completed on certain days, I will schedule these in and complete them before I do anything else that day.
  • And finally – I WILL SAY NO!!! I’ll get REALLY good at it.
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This week’s sewing related to-do list – Buttons to be sewn on shorts & skirts, Hair Bows to be made, embroidery work to be cut out ready for Markets on Friday, 5m of white felt cut into A4 sized squares (used for backing a lot of work) and hooded towels ready to be sewn.

We all get the same 24 hours per day. How can we best use our 24 hours to our advantage? One determined half hour at a time.

Christine xx

Is the Bullet Journal system for me?

As a busy mum, I always had notes everywhere and was desperately trying to get myself (and my house) organised. At the end of May / start of June I felt I was drowning so started searching for ideas. Thanks to Pinterest I discovered Bullet Journalling. It called to my creative heart with the prettiness of it and thought: Yes! This is for me!!!

“The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” ~ Ryder Carroll

I won’t go through every little detail, as you can find lots of comprehensive guides online that I certainly couldn’t compete with, like the original method by Ryder Carroll or Boho Berry’s Bullet Journal 101 series or even join a Facebook group but here’s what I have personally done and found and my experience.

One thing you need to remember is, this is YOUR journal. I know you will compare it to others, but remember, this is your journey and if it brings joy, creativeness and helps you out with your every day life, then it’s absolutely perfect. You don’t need to spend big $$ (unless you want to) and I have managed to do this system quite reasonably when I didn’t get caught up in the hype of you have to have this, that or the other!

  1. A cheap NOTEBOOK will be absolutely fine. I personally have this one from Kmart for $5 – budget friendly with PLENTY of pages. It is lined, which bothers some people, but not me. I did feel like I was doing “something wrong” by not using a grid or dotted notebook, but I couldn’t find any in my smallish town and I certainly wasn’t willing to fork out the money for these journals as most are quite expensive. And honestly, at the start, I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with this whole Bullet Journalling thing, so cheaper was certainly a great place to start.
  2. PENS – I use my Pink Parker Pen with medium nib black ink.I purchased it years ago when I was working in an office. This is my every day pen, I also use some cheap Glitter Gel Pens for headings and decorative features when I have the time or need to de-stress. I know a lot of people prefer fine line pens, and I do use these occasionally (and again, I just use the Faber-Castell from Kmart which are fairly cheap).
  3. HOW DO I START? Well, that’s easy:
  • A Key for your journal. Mine is fairly simple and sticks closely to the original key for my lists
    and to migrate tasks etc. This is right at the front of my journal.
  • Next I went with a calendar overview for the next 6 months with the school holidays in a different colour (because now that Miss S is at school, I need to know these dates). This is just like the calendars you see on your fridge, nothing fancy and nothing really on there except that.
  • Index – My index has item first, and pages last. Eg: Cleaning – 35, 49-53, 76, 101 This way if I’m after something to do with cleaning, I simply refer to my index and am able to flick to those pages and find what I’m after.
  • Future Log – this just has the months listed with blank spaces, anything that is a future event and I need to know but haven’t set that month up yet, then I put it in here.
  • Month Title Page – this is my pretty page to mark the start of a new month. I sometimes add goals that I want to achieve that month. This month (October) I haven’t done that, but may go back to it next month.
  • Monthly Overview. This is basically a calendar for the month. I add in all my upcoming events transferred from the future log and when I’m setting up my weekly spread, I refer to here as well. Again, this month I didn’t include this as I have set my whole month up together. So I transferred from the future log directly to the appropriate page.
  • Daily To-Do List. My Bujo (Bullet Journal’s nickname), has the date and then my to-do list. After the first 2 months, I had a really good idea on how much space I generally used per day and now do my own version of a weekly spread. So I set my whole month up together, separate the days with narrow washi tape, put in the dates on the top, transfer items from my future log and then my set up is done.
  • Collections/Spreads – A lot of people (including me) chooses to add collections or spreads. Some of the ones I have made in mine include: Budget Tracker/Dave Ramsey Baby Steps (slightly altered to suit our personal situation), TV Series trackers, Book Shelf, Long Term Goals (including money, Level 10 Life, Ultimate Travel List etc), Zen Art Challenges, Jamberry collection, Spring Cleaning etc. (I may go more into these at a later date)

Every night before bed, I sit down for a few minutes and write out my next days to-do list. I have found this method really beneficial and definitely have started sleeping better as there isn’t 1,000,000 things running around in my head when I’m trying to sleep.

Decorating, making it pretty, unique and mine. I love using washi tape on the edge of the pages, I do a different theme/colour for each month. I really feel a sense of achievement seeing my Bujo getting “fatter” and crossing things off my list. I can just sit down and realise that I did make progress. Every day. Even if I done nothing but chase my tail. And yes, I DO sometimes add things that I’ve already done just to cross them off hehe.

Do I still use my Bujo daily? Absolutely. Has it helped me? No doubt. There’s just something about putting pen to paper, feeling the crinkle of the pages and crossing off items from my to-do list that is just satisfying. I know I could probably find an app that will do all of this, I much prefer this method. It’s motivating! And although I have had to skip my ZenArt Challenge this month due to time restrictions and wanting to spend a bit of time setting up my Blog, I still need to finish September’s Challenge and will start fresh for November. Honestly, this process takes next to no time at all (unless you want it to of course) and I have found I have been much more productive, sleep better and feel happier.

Do you use a Bullet Journal? How have you found it? Would love for you to share your pics.

Christine xx

PLEASE NOTE: This is my personal experience and opinions. There are NO affiliate links posted above and would not recommend any items I have not personally used.