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Archive for 2014

St. Patrick's Day Facebook Cover Photo

Saturday, March 15, 2014



My Facebook followers were the first to get this! If you want to be first in line to get new cover photos when they come out, just "like" my Facebook page: 
www.facebook.com/aprons.n.pearls 


To use this photo... 
Open the photo by clicking on it.
Right click and click on Save Image As.
Save it to your computer. (I save mine to the desktop.)
Upload it as the cover photo on your timeline. 


My 2014 Planner... Your Questions Answered

Monday, March 3, 2014



I've received a lot of wonderful feedback and several questions on my planner / bullet journal, so I decided to do a follow-up post to answer your most asked questions. Here we go...

Q) How do I start? 

A) If you missed my first post about my Bullet Journal, click HERE. A lot of people are finding it very helpful, and I have a link to a video from the creator of the system.

Q) Do you have enough pages in your Moleskine journal to cover the whole year? How many days do you fit on a page in your calendar section? 

A) Yes, I have plenty of pages to last the whole year. The calendar section took me up to page 146. The first two pages are for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. Then each month gets two pages for the overview and task, and ten pages for daily planning (fitting three days on one page, and four days on the tenth page for months that have thirty-one days.) Pages 147-148 are for future planning. That left me with 42 blank pages to use any way I want.

Q) Did you do the whole year at one time, or do you do it on a month-to-month basis? Do you have to set it up all at one time? How long did it take you to set it up? 

A) Yes, I did the whole year at one time. I did it that way so I can plan far in advance, and for me, investing the time to do it all at once helps me stay on track and ensure I use my journal daily.

No, you don't have to do it all at once. It just works best for me to do it that way.

It took me five or six hours to set up my journal, but like I told a reader, that included breaks, a lot of finger tapping while I decided what I wanted to put in my journal, doodling, washi taping, and fighting to keep my eyes open since I got a very late start on it and was up until the wee hours of the morning working on it. Others have done it in much less time.

Q) Do you carry your journal with you when you're away from home, or do you have a separate calendar? 

A) I carry my journal with me. It's small enough to fit in my purse, so it works. I think it would be redundant to have a separate calendar, but that's just me :)

Q) What does your key code look like? 

A) I have two different keys in place. The first picture shows the key I use for my special days calendar, which includes birthdays, holidays, etc. The second key shows the one I use for my daily calendar. You can see it in action in the third picture.





Q) Do you feel like you have had enough space (daily) to journal and such, since you completed the entire year? 

A) Some days I have plenty of space, and some days I don't. It depends on how much I have to say on any given day, and how much I have going on. The more tasks I have to complete in one day, the less room I have to write about my day. It is meant to be concise, so I think the problem comes from me wanting to write too much, like I would in a diary. On the days when I don't have enough room, I just write in the back of my journal. Since I had a lot of room left in the back, I dedicated a spot for that exact purpose.

Q) Do I really need to index things? 

A) If you don't want to waste a lot of time flipping pages looking for things, then yes. But it's your journal, so do what works for you :)

Q) Do you use your computer for calendar/planning as well, or just the bullet journal? 

A) Nope, just my bullet journal. It saves time not having to look in several places. The only other calendar I have is the Cozi app on my phone. It's sole purpose is to keep my family informed of things, since they don't have access to my journal. So any events they need to be made aware of are quickly plugged into Cozi, and it automatically shows up on their Cozi app on their phones / iPods. Cozi is also great because there is a Fly Lady version (which is the one I use.) Since I integrated the Fly Lady system into my cleaning routine, it's handy to have because it shows me right on Cozi what the day's cleaning tasks are. (For more info on my household binder and how I use Fly Lady, click HERE. My household binder still serves me very well. The only thing I've eliminated from it is the calendar section, since I use my bullet journal for that now.)

Q) How did you organize it? (weight loss page / look ahead / birthdays)

A) Click HERE to go to the original post. I talk about what I did, and included pictures. If you have more specific questions, just ask in the comments, and I will be happy to answer them.

Q) How is the bullet journal working for you so far? 

A) I love it! I love it so much that I will be doing this for next year, too. No more regular calendars or day planners for me.


I hope that helps a little. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below, on my facebook page, or you can email me. As always, thanks for stopping by! You can subscribe and follow me on social media near the top of the page.


Random Acts of Kindness Day

Monday, February 17, 2014



Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day! We try to show kindness to people every day, but today is just a reminder to the community as a whole that we *can* make our world a better place, one little (or big) random act of kindness at a time. I will be doing things throughout the day and week to do something above and beyond what I usually do in an average week. Want to join the fun and need ideas? Check out my Pinterest board "a-ok (acts of kindness)." I'd love to hear what you'll be doing, so if you're participating, be sure to comment and let us know.




Cabinet Makeover for Under $15

Friday, January 10, 2014

Right off the bat, I'm going to be honest and tell you I don't even know what to call this thing! It has had many uses over the years. First, I filled those decorative drawer fronts with doggy food and treats and stored bags of each in the drawers, and my dog's leash and grooming supplies were housed in the cubby on the bottom. Then, after a very thorough cleaning, I filled the fronts with pasta and beans, and used the drawers to store potatoes. I've gotten a lot of good use out of it, but it was in need of some major TLC.

This is what it looked like before the makeover. It was a creamy white, and distressed. And while I loved the look (when it was new,) it was time for a change. 


Here you can see how badly the paint was chipping and bubbling from years of use, and from being kept in the garage for a year or more. 



First, my hubby sanded it all down so that I'd be starting with a clean, smooth surface. (So sweet of him to help me!)


Then I painted two colors on the top to see which one I liked best. On the left is Crystal Aqua by Valspar, and on the right is Tranquility, also by Valspar. Tranquility is a gorgeous minty green, but it just didn't pop as beautifully as the Crystal Aqua did, so it was an easy decision. (I loved Tranquility so much, that I used it to makeover some other items in the kitchen, though!) 


Two coats of paint later (with sanding in between coats,) as well as some distressing with a medium-grit sandpaper block, and it is starting to look happy again. While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I sprayed several coats of a glass frosting spray on the glass fronts. I did this to change the look of the cabinet, and to make it so I don't have to put things in the front panels anymore. I've never used frosting spray before, but it was incredibly easy and turned out just as I had envisioned it. 


I shopped around my house and found a marble candle tray and some candles that match my kitchen. I'll be swapping them out for something different soon, but for now, it works. 


And here is my "new" cabinet! It is so bright and cheery! And I did it all for under $15, and have leftover supplies for a future project. Love. 



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A Peek into my 2014 Planner

Friday, January 3, 2014


Up until this week, I had my planner inside my household binder. It was really cute, but not at all portable, and just wasn't meeting my needs. (To clarify, just the planner part wasn't working for me... I am still in love with my household binder!) Right before the new year, some friends started talking about the Bullet Journal, and I knew I had to give it a try. If you've never heard of it, head on over to BulletJournal.com. There is a quick video and some other information that explains how to set one up. After I had thought about it for a few days (so I wouldn't act on impulse) my hubby was sweet enough to go to the bookstore to buy me a Moleskine notebook. I got the large black soft covered Classic Notebook with squared paper. Large enough to fit my needs, and small enough to fit in my purse. I will say, it was hard to find because I live in the middle of nowhere, but if you go to the Moleskine website, they can tell you where you can find their products. Or you can use any ol' notebook you like! 

We are only three days into the new year, so I don't have a whole lot in my journal yet, but I wanted to give you a quick peek. As you can see from the picture up at the top of the page, I had to add some color to that drab black cover. It was a quick 30 second fix, since I had some Martha Stewart Home Office stickers and elastic handy. Much better! 


The first page is an index, so I can easily find things. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Since I'm one of those people that writes things down in several different notebooks, and on little sheets of paper and sticky notes, having one place to deposit all my plans, ideas, and notes is awesome. 



I took the general Bullet Journal concept, and tweaked it to better fit my needs. On pages two and three, I drew some boxes for each month, and wrote down my family's birthdays, anniversaries, and  holidays. Then at the bottom of page three, I drew a key: a heart for anniversaries; a cross for anniversaries of deaths; a present for birthdays; and a dot for holidays. And because I like to doodle, each month has a little picture in its box.


Next, I made my January calendar. Overview on the left, and the month's tasks on the right. To give it some color, I used washi tape at the top of each calendar page. 


On the next several pages, I divided each page into three days. (A few ended up with four days so the new month would always begin with two pages.) This is where I will keep track of each day's events and tasks, and where I will jot down notes and write a little bit about my day.  I love that this acts as not only a planner, but as a journal and idea notebook, too. Because of that, this is something I will keep year after year. And don't you just love the satisfaction of coloring boxes in when you complete something? Or, maybe you prefer checkmarks, in which case, go ahead and check those boxes off to your heart's content.

I needed to be able to plan for future events, so after I finished making the monthly spread for January, followed by the daily pages, I kept going with February all the way through December. Monthly spread, dailies, and repeat. Yes, it took some time, but now I feel invested. Can't just throw it aside and forget about it when I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This thing is with me for life. Or at least the next 12 months. 


Right after the last page for December, I made a box for each month so I can write down appointments and other happenings that will take place in 2015.


Just to give you an idea of how I'm using the idea notebook part of the journal, the picture above shows some of the different projects I want to complete around our home, and below is a weight loss tracker I made to keep me motivated. I can't wait to color in all those little boxes!  


I am convinced this is going to work really well for me. It will free my mind of all the ideas I have floating around, and will act as my memory so I don't have to keep lying to myself when I think, "Oh, I don't have to write it down. I'll remember." So a big thanks to my friends for introducing me to this method. Love at first sight. 


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