Ok y'all the last giveaway went so well I wanted to have an encore! To give you all another chance to win a planner. This one is the Recollections Creative Year Planner. It is the 2017 version but there is still months left of this year to try this planner out! If you missed my first giveaway and want to read the back story of why I am hosting this giveaway then head over here. It comes with the zipper planner binder, the 78 interior sheets with monthly and weekly calendar spreads, 12 too cute dividers with tabs. I love that is also has 2 folder tabs and 2 pen tabs! A lot is packed into this planner but it will also fit into your bag, easy.
Get organized for free! Enter to win below. Feel free to enter each day until the Rafflecopter drawing.
A year and a half ago a dear friend of mine Dawn over at Enthusiastically Dawn sent me an Arc Planner. I did not know any thing about the planner lifestyle and how such a simple tool would change my life. I was the pen and paper list girl. I would make my list each day of to do's. That was it. Uneventful and boring. But wouldn't you know it I would sometimes lose the list! Then I was up the creek without a paddle because I would forget something. If I didn't write it down when the thought hit me I would lose it a lot of times too. Well when my friend sent me her customized Arc it was amazing. It was fun. It gave me a fun creative way to get organize and let's face it, it was much harder to misplace a planner book. I used that planner for a year. It was amazing and I will never forget her sweet kindness that really helped me and gave me joy. I find it fun to plan and I even get creative with markers and stickers. It motivates me to be more organized!
So to pay it forward I want to give away a planner. Now this is a brand new Happy Planner but it is the 2016-2017 version. There is only 6 months left of this but if you have not tried a planner yet or you where interested in the Happy Planner system... this would be a great sample to try!
I love the bright encouraging messages all in this series of planner. I like the durable covers. If you accidentally spill a drop of coffee your planner is ok... it will wipe right off.
There is a reason it is called Happy Planner I guess because every single one of them I have ever seen makes me smile. I love the welcome page with the big ol' hello. And what lady doesn't like bright, cheery or polka dots. I wanted to show you that each month has a beautiful divider with a message or pretty print but I would love for it all to be a surprise to the winner. It has a month over view then also the daily, weekly pages in this planner. Even the daily is broken down in three sections you can label ever how you wish. I use mine for morning, afternoon, even goals. It has a goals and important dates section for each month over view. I had loved my Arc planner my friend had given me so much, when it was time to finally move into another planner I gravitated towards the Happy Planner because of the disks that are similar to Arc and it was what I was used to. I love how she customized hers. I liked that I could do the same with Happy Planner if I wanted too. I went with The Happy Planner because they offer so many useful and cute things I could do with it. And I loved using Micheals coupons to get 40 percent off things. You can customize the happy planner easy. They offer sheets at Micheals to add if you wish to add more or different types. They offer cute covers, cases, folders to put inside. But You can have fun with cute washi tape or stickers. If you want to use your own paper you can buy the punch to always make your own and use your planner forever if you wish. You can use it as a planner or a planner/ scrapish type memory book. This planner is great as stand alone as well. All you really need is right there above in the picture keep it as simple or creative as you wish.
So if your interested in trying this system and getting organized please feel free to enter! If you know someone who would benefit from this let them know. I will choose a winner at the end of this month which I hope will be a blessing to them. Feel free to come back as much as you want each day to enter. Each entry will count as 5 points. The more you have the better your chance of winning.
It will come with a couple of small surprises too. Giveaways are so much fun.
PLEASE enter via the raffle copter widget here. It will randomly choose the winner at the end of the month!
This post contains affilate links for places I have loved using on the web.
Are you a stay at home mom looking to help bring in extra money to the home? Are you a student needing extra spendable cash? At any season of life you may be, if you need extra money for what ever reason you can indeed make money as a freelance writer right now. This is a fast track to making free money now for yourself.
Now the tips I will be sharing are not full time income tips. But this is an entry level foundation to get you started making a little extra cash right now. This is not a way to get rich but to assist your wallet faster than you could get hired at the mall. Now if your good at it, it could infact turn into a full time income through these sources and others. It will all depend on what you put into it.
Let's say your not that great at writing. No worries. Any one can make extra money at writing. With auto correct for spelling you can do this even if you have Dyslexia like I do. Do not let anything hold you back. You can even have a friend or family member proof read for you if need be to find spelling mistakes. My family has helped me before.
You can start making money tonight with iWriter. At iWriter they offer different levels of pay for your ablities. So even if you are not good at writing yet you can make side cash now. The more you practise the better you will get and move up the ranks making more for your writing jobs.
There are people offering online freelance writing jobs on Fiverr with all types of gigs. You can even just offer to make comments on peoples web sites and get paid if you do not want to write anything else. You just set up a free ad gig and wait for the business to come in. I have made some money myself in Fiverr. You get paid via PayPal.
Another great place to get article writing jobs is Freelancer. You can find work based on your skill level. For more writing jobs online also visit Guru & Upwork. As I get more experiences myself in this field of online content writing jobs, I will update this article. So Pinterest this for later use!
If by chance you want to work from home doing this or you work outside the home already and need help making your day more productive or balanced then, I highly suggest these 14 day courses by Crystal Paine. I have taken these and they simply rock. But the education you learn in just a few minutes a day will only work if you apply it. So use what you learn.
Do you need help with your evenings? Your mornings? Or both? What about your whole year!
With this being a new year want help getting goals that are truly obtainable? Try Make Over Your Year as you start your new side business in freelance writing.
You might also want to consider reading books about freelance writing and educating yourself if you want to turn it into a full time income at some point. Check out the great books below that I recommended for you.
I wish you well in your new side business. Believe in yourself. You can do this! Come back and let me know how your doing.
Productivity. Time management. Balance. Have you ever struggled with these things? Peace in a busy life? I know I have. The struggle is real. I want to share with you a journey I am on right now and for those struggling as well I invite you to join me.
I at times for various reasons need to tweek my evenings and mornings. How I spend my evening can in fact affect the start of my next day. How I start my mornings can indeed affect the rest of my day. I have a lot going on these days to do and keep up with. I highly admire Crystal at MoneySavingMom and when I saw she has a course to help fine tune my evening I was super excited to hear what she had to say.
I am first doing the 14 day Make Over Your Evenings course because before you have a morning you must have a night right! So far I am on day 5 and simply loving it so far. No matter where you are as a stay at home mom or a working woman her tips are valuable. It will help you completely tweek & repair an off balance evening and morning. The steps I have taken so far via the course have already greatly improved my evenings I am so excited to see the rest of the fruit as I learn and apply this course information.
Rather than me give you tips myself when I myself have a broken system, I think as a blogger part of our job is when you do not know all the answers you find those who do know. Well Crystal has this down pat.
Her call to actions are practical. Not so far fetched that no one but a imaginary super mom could attain it. Everyone can achieve these practical course challenges. These courses are so flexible. You can log in and download the work book to your tablet or print the workbooks. If your really in a hurry just watching her short informational videos will really open your eyes. I like doing the workbook and watching the videos together.
Healthy time management does not have to be scary or a thing that we only dream of. Breaking old habits and making new healthier ones are attainable. What I am liking best about this course is she breaks down the steps in to bite size daily 15 minute chunks. It is not to much information to do all at once. Matter of fact I have actually taken two days for some of the new habit projects to really stew over it and get it. The course you work at your own pace. You want change to be more productive in a good way not an over worked stressed way. You don't want just great information you learn then never act upon it saying to your self I know I should I know I should but don't! If you really do it and act on the daily small activities you can master a more productive, organized life. You can achieve better time management. Really how you end your day and how you start it will affect the in between. So join me on this journey! Let me know how your doing with your evenings & mornings below.
Ok at the Southern Womens Show in Raleigh this year I met the cutest couple. They are sweet as sugar. I think it might be why their business is called Two Lumps of Sugar? The love this couple shined through their communication with each other certainly gave due honor to the business name! Just to cute. And Denises husband was so very funny he should of been a comedian! Any how they ladened me with goodies to take home & review for you all.
I received the Trunkster Folding Storage Caddy, the Trunk Liner, & the Ruffle My Apron. First up for my review is the Ruffle My Apron. Oh my I get all vintage and giddy inside when I talk about aprons most certainly this one. Why you say? Well this apron is stain proof, & adjustable for any height women. It has ruffles.. hello!!!!!! It is the perfect addition to this little southern ladies kitchen. What is so funny as I was testing this apron, I cooked a meal while watching Andy Griffith Show and Aunt Bee came on screen wearing her apron, perfect timing. Wearing an apron is such a badge of honor to the homemaker. It is our uniform. It says mom is on the clock. I even have a small cleaning company I use my aprons for to home make for others. It is classic & classy yet all while doing it's duty of keeping you clean while you work. Aprons transcend time. I seriously believe the high quality of this apron even with years of use will provide the opportunity for this apron to be a family heir loom?!
My final thoughts on this apron. I can't get enough of it. I love it. The best apron I have reviewed to date. It is going to last for the long haul. This is far better than one you will find in the store I PROMISE!
Next up to make my job as a homemaker easier I got to review the Trunkster! A super large folding storage caddy for all sorts of goodies a lady must haul. You can use it for the market, the beach, picnic's what ever you can imagine the Trunkster is the caddy to do it with.
It came with a removable trunk liner that can hold your cold stuff. I love that it is removable because sometimes I may not need this. You can buy as many liners as you need and have 3 per caddy or just one. So versatile!
I also love the fact that the Trunkster is made from plastic bottles! How cool is that to take trash and turn it into new treasure!
We had a cookout coming up so I saw that as the perfect chance to try out my Trunkster at Walmart. It fit nicely into my cart.
The liner was so roomy to fit so many meats. I could of fit more than I needed to buy that day!
It held all my food I need to grab for the cookout in one bag. I was able to organize things into groups easily. I was so happy not to bring home a ton of plastic bags I would have to get rid of. This is so earth friendly y'all. Compartments are my thing and this has plenty of them for me!
Typically when I shop for so many things at once I would have to make trips back & forth from the car to the house with bags. Not with my Trunkster! I was able to lift it up & out alone on ONE trip! Wow.
The placement of the sturdy handles makes it easy to lift & carry. My shopping is now forever changed with this brilliant product!
I just have to award Two Lumps Of Sugar's products my Homemaker-Mom Seal of Approval. They have designed flawless products that I know I will enjoy for years to come. I love the fact they are business owners right here in Cary North Carolina too and I love to support small businesses so check them out on the web and start enjoying their products for yourself. These will in fact make super gifts!
Ok this is yet another cheap but good Dollar Tree storage organization solution. All you need is one pack of hangers from Dollar Tree and one package of shower hooks!
Just place the hooks on the hanger that's it!
Get your tank tops! Just place them on the shower hooks by the straps. You can even place more than one per hook if you want but use two hangers if you do this.
That is it. It only take 5 minutes to clear out your tank top drawer! It is amazing to hang all tops easy on one hanger. They are so easy to access as well when you need them. I just love this. Sadly I can not take credit for this great idea. I saw it on Pinterest! Gotta love it!
Here is the fast scoop on my minimalist journey. Have I arrived yet? No. Actually I do not think I ever will. It truly is a learning lifestyle that I think is on going. Needs change. But I will say it is teaching me to live simpler. Truly I do see with less stuff it can bring my house a balance & myself as well. I do not think minimalism has to be a just ditch everything right now thing but a gradual journey. And truly there is no perfect way to be a minimalist. I am learning to get rid of what I personally do not need and truly learning more about myself of what I actually do need! It has been an adventure for sure.
I will say compared to where I was years ago it is a big improvement. I am a recovering pack rat. Me wanting to finally let go of things that are doing me no good & just taking up space in my home actually helps make more space of course which is a freeing feeling. I LOVE that freeing feeling! My family is not as on this journey as I am and that is ok. But there are times I see my teenager see me de-cluttering and she gets motivated to do the same & this makes me smile. I hope more of my family member's will see my example and learn to let go of more STUFF because they have the pack-rat syndrome too. To much stuff can truly tie a person down & at times bring their mood down too.
Since my last post a while back of doing a capsule wardrobe in the minimalism project, I have downsized clothes & jewelry tiny bit more. BUT I have discovered after this spring's work on that project that I didn't use half of what I kept so I am getting rid of even more very soon. I no longer really seem to have a summer & winter wardrobe. All I have is actually now blended together in my small space & other than the few shorts I seem to use it all year around in a mix & match sorta way depending on the weather. I no longer need a major storage space for the seasons so I guess that is an accomplishment for me & a victory.
I seem to be donating a bag or box of stuff at least once a week sometimes every other week at the moment. This is good towards reaching my simpler life goals. I will put a box or bag in the corner & my goal is to hit a drawer or closet or something & de-clutter that zone for the week then add the giveaways to the bag. At the end of the week I donate it.
In my journey I am learning how to care & store the things I do need, want & keep better than I ever had before in my life. That has been surprising to me. I am learning what truly is of value to me as a person to function in life. When I say this I mean all the way from clothes,makeup crafts, kitchen tools you name it.
I still have many projects to get done on this journey. Like for example...I have boxes of photos waiting to be gone through & the pictures I save put into a book or digitally stored. This journey is forcing me to deal with items I have hung onto for years & years and never took out of the box form 3 moves ago. The list can go on of the projects I am in mist of. Thankfully there is no prefect way to do them all. I simply let life happen and do the projects as I can weave them around life, work & my families needs. That is also freeing in it self. At the start of all this I felt overwhelmed like it all had to be done right now! So happy I woke up to allowing it all to fall into place bit by bit as it should.
Final thoughts.... I am truly enjoying myself on this journey!
Dishwashing detergent is a must have for me. At first I was worried would it clean my dishes? It surly does and as well as the high end ones. This box lasts me a good little while and is even cheaper than making your own dishwashing tabs! They even have large bottles of spot free rinse too!
Craft Supplies. Dollar Tree has been one of my number one craft supplies stop over the years. They have so many things you can use & even non craft related to make all sorts of crafts for home decor, kids crafts & even homemade gifts! Please check out my Dollar Tree Crafting Section.
There are so many other things I love to buy at the Dollar Tree, to many to count but I would say these where my top must haves! I also love the containers, cleaning supplies & more. I am so happy when I loved to the city there is a super large one here that has so many choices.
What do you like to buy at a Dollar Tree or a $1 store?
I am so intrigued in small spaces and how people decorate them or how they make them functional. I myself at the moment live in a small apartment. I truly love Nicole's Intentionally Small Blog. She is right here in Raleigh NC. Through her I fell in love with the way Bethany right next door in Durham decorated her 385 sq feet apartment 1950's garage apartment.
I love the way she has used vintage items. I love the eclectic mix. The pops of vibrant color & natural lighting scream cozy & inviting in this space. You can tell she truly made it shine her personality.
There are a lot of creative inexpensive storage ideas Bethany has in this space that I can truly learn from. I love how things are so functionally in order!
Visit Bethany's Business site if you live in the Raleigh area. She is a professional organizer, cleaner, crafter extraordinaire!
Your Happy Home Solutions
I just love pens & pencils. So I love when it is back to school time and I have even more of a reason to acquire new pens & pencils. The timing of Zebrapen.com brand reaching out to me was perfect. I was so excited when I got my Zebra package in the mail & quickly went to work putting these pens & pencils to test for our up coming school year.
The Z-grip medium point pen is meant to provide excellent performance with also making a statement. This pen did just that. It writes wonderfully. I love the Z-grip handle for writing with ease & it feels great in my hand. Every one in my family tested this pen and wanted to keep one for themselves & my family is pen PICKY let me tell you so this pen passes the test. It is going to be great addition to our new school year.
In this next picture below is the Sarasa rapid ink dry gel pens. They are also smudge proof which is perfect I get so annoyed with smudgy pens! So, I already have a main mission for these
( & a tip for you). We have a new back to school day planner shown in the picture with a monthly & daily outlook. I love to use different colored inks for different subjects, dates,appointment types and topics of importance, not to mention to do list . I also use the different colors to sort categories, each one will represent one. My teen will also be using these in some of her art projects this year.
The Sarasa gel retractable pens did in fact write amazing & will do the trick. These will be wonderful to help our family stay organized in the planner. I love how these gel pens seem to be more durable than other gel pens I have used recently. I love the vibrant colors! What is even more surprising is these are refillable. There are a lot of gel pen brands that are not. This makes me super happy because it does help the planet. Also they come in a sturdy reusable clear case for easy storing. I think Zebra thinks of everything!
Ok now to the highlight of my testing. My favorite pen was the F-402 fine point stainless steel pen! This was the writing tool of my dreams. It is everything I would of wanted in a pen. It's weight is perfect, durable, beautiful, classic in design with the stainless steel, fine point writing with the comfort smooth rubber grip. This pen is the best one I have used in years for writing. I love the way it feels in my hand.
The mechanical pencil was just as amazing. The pencil will be perfect for school this year. I have no doubt these writing tools will last me for years. I am grateful they are both refillable for years of service to come.
Below I dive into more detail about each product and share final thoughts. I am awarding Zebra my Homemaker-Mom Seal of Approval for outstanding quality. Thank you Zebra!
I received these products free to review & test. All thoughts are my very own.
Ok ladies. I pondered on if I should share this post or not. It is simply showing my messy cabinet and what I did with it. It is nothing amazing by no means and not Pinterest worthy. But in this Pinterest perfect era with live in where some of us ( Ahhem....me) feel the pressure of blogging perfect projects and prefect pictures I decided to do a series where it is not Pinterest worthy or perfect looking ON PURPOSE! Heck I didn't even use the same size labels nor care how perfect my hand writing was on the labels you will see below. Deep down you see I am a perfectionist. It is something I try not to let control me but me control it! So anyhow, I will give you a peek into my messy cabinet & how I frugally handled the mess. I want to be real in my sharing lol. No fake and no staged pretty pretties.
Here is my mess all pulled out of the cabinet. It has not been cleaned out since we moved in this apartment a year and a half ago! There was actually more stuff than is shown here. A lot was stuffed in those tiny shelves of that corner cabinet. I typically housed tea items, coco,drink mixes & baking supplies in there. Some of the stuff I found in there expired back in 2012! What!
I wanted some way to organize what I didn't throw out from the purging and I wanted to do it cheaply. So I headed to the good ol' Dollar Tree. They had these cute deep containers. They also had some cute matching little lock lid boxes to go with it. So all for only 8 dollars I got all I needed. After pulling all of the junk out I washed the inside of the cabinets well too.
I used the little lock lid boxes for random herbal pre-sealed tea bags of different assortments. I used the second one for random different types of sugar packets I had. I used all the boxes to break up each category to organize all the items in groups for easy & fast grabbing without digging.
I loved these boxes because I could use them as pull out drawers. I put all the ones in the back of the cabinet we do not use so often and placed the top 3 categories we use towards the front for easy fast retrieval. And for 8 bucks full all of it was not bad, not bad at all.
Does it look perfect? Nope. But it is way more functional than all that junk crammed in there was. It was a nightmare trying to go in that tiny thing to get something and you would have to dig for it. My family has now thanked me a few times for this new improvement this week already. And,really that's what it is all about, making this house more functional & enjoyable for them.
I love the options our local Dollar Tree offers in affordable organizational tools! It helps us homemakers to save & make our job fun. I highly recommend going through your forgotten cabinets and throwing out what is no longer any good and organizing them with these cute affordable containers!
I started my purging earlier this year by decluttering my jewelry & got rid of a lot. You can view what I had left to use with these seen above clothing items. I will not be buying any jewelry and making it work. You can read my 2015 Goal Capsule Wardrobe Jewelry Reveal HERE
I have gotten rid of bags of clothing. I only saved what I wear & my favorites for this winter. For some reason it was hard to get rid of everything but yet freeing. I plan to pair my clothing down even more. But for now this is my comfortable spot, ( just for now). If you saw how much I have gotten rid of over the last 2 months you'd see I have come a long way!!
Shown above are all my 12 sweaters, 6 button up shirts, 8 other shirts, 2 turtle necks, 5 skirts, one pair of jeans ( I also had a pair in the wash & one pair I was wearing so I own 3 pairs) one black dress that fits me great & can serve as multipurpose for different events. All of my items are mix and match! So the possibilities are there to mix up & have variety. That's it. I do have a few capri's & shorts but those do not count for this season so they are in storage.
Shown below are my t-shirts & half sleeve shirts in total of 21.
So my total complete wardrobe is 58 pieces total not counting a few items listed below that do not count. My goal was to get it to under 60! Most of what I have above will be transitional to spring like my short sleeve button up shirts & skirts I just won't wear the leggings etc like I do in winter.
Not shown here was the outfit I was wearing at the time I took inventory of my clothes after my major purging. Also not shown was my work out clothes, & night clothes & tank tops I wear for layering these do not have to count in the capsule wardrobe. All of those got purged as well & only my basic favs where left. I now have more room and it is truly freeing. I no longer worry about what to wear. No matter what I grab it all matches.
For those who have been following me for a while you know I like to take things ordinary and remake it into something else. Trash to treasure is my game. Like for example a long while ago I took an old dresser top mirror and made it into a faux fireplace you can view that here. I like getting my apartment therapy on! ha! Well I had a new idea. I am currently blogging in the Hormel Extended Family Bloggers program. You can view about thathere. So each month I will be getting a large cooler to my door that looks like this....
It is a large sturdy box and I hated to throw it away. I had an idea sparked by inspiration of storage boxes by Ikea & storage boxes from Yorkshire Linen ! I thought I could turn this cooler box into a storage box for Baby M's toys! It will also double as a foot prop when people are sitting on the couch or also a place to lay books when reading! I baby sit baby M and since we live in a limited space apartment her toys really took up more space then I could let go of.
I happen to already have some cute contact paper in the colors I like. I simply covered the box in that and did not even need glue! I think I will be going back and covering the inside too soon.I also purchased a remnant piece of material this weekend for super cheap. I covered the top with that and hot glued it in place. This box is so kid friendly if it gets majorly messed up I can recycle it out. I love the fact there are no hinges to hurt Baby M's little hands. Her toys are now out of the way & out of site when not in use in a cute way. I love this upcycle because I hate the throw out something that can be reinvented into something useful! You can't beat a project that only takes minutes to do that helps me to organize our life.
If you do not know what a capsule wardrobe is it is only a few essential items that will never go out of style that you can mix & match. I discovered more about them on Youtube recently and this topic simply fascinated me. One of the Youtubers that inspired me most was LightbyCoCo. Check her out. She has some great videos on living light & simple period!
I want to live a simpler life. I want to live with less stuff. I open my closet and never know what to wear. Half of what I own no longer fits me well or I am not satisfied with the looks. Why do I still have all this stuff? I want to feel confident when I put on my clothes. I want to know what to wear ahead of time. I want to have more room to put things. So a capsule wardrobe is the key for me. I have a few good quality items but I need to replace somethings with good ones. I have a lot of worn out things. Also a capsule wardrobe is not large. Keep it simple & small. You can have a capsule wardrobe for each season as needed. I will be speaking more on my capsule journey this year & sharing that with you in the days to come. But for now I will focus on jewelry.
A year ago I got rid of a lot of my stuff when I moved, but simply not enough. I now live in an apartment in the city with not much room. I do not even wear half of what jewelry I have left.... so why am I holding on to that too? I need more space in this place so most of the jewelry is going to be given away.
This was the perfect time for Pearl & Clasp to send me a pair of white pearl freshwater earrings to try out. As you know pearls will never go out of style so this is perfect for my go to earring of choice. I can dress up or down with pearls. Simple is better. They are stunning & timeless. These particular earrings only run about $24 at their web site so they are very affordable. They offer many more options as well. Check them out to see the variety options for your wardrobe.
I will be fine tuning my capsule jewelry collection in the days to come and I will share more of that with you as well in future blog posts. You will however for sure see these earrings in that collection because they are simply fabulous & classic. I can wear these easily with so many things. This will be my one of my staple earring sets for my capsule collection.