Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Projects Binder

Yes....I know....I am a fanatic about having projects to do.  So much so that I had to move hobbies and party planning from my household notebook to a different binder.  I have it all organized according to which type of project that it is.  I have sewing, quilting, building projects, design (photoshop ideas), party planning, holiday, home decor, paper and kids projects.  And anyone that knows will swear that I always have some sort of project in the works.  Right now I can think of at least eight that are either planned in the next month, supplies are already purchased, or that are already started...  like I said, fanatic.

On my wishlist for this Christmas are three things.  Three little things.  A Dewalt circular saw, a belt sander and a new quilting sewing machine.  Who asks for those things at the same time.  A weirdo for sure.  ;)

So here is my projects binder!  Its still a project in the works because I still need to organize it better, but it used to be papers and notes and sketches just thrown in there.  Its much more tidy now!

I've been hoarding quilting patterns for the last several weeks.  I order them off etsy and just print them and stick them in the quilting section.  I have four different requests for quilts so I am busy planning and picking fabric.  I asked my dad to order something from my shopping cart on etsy.  LOL Like I have been trying to tell you: I LOVE having projects to do.  I think I get that from my dad.  My mom is also really artsy.  She can draw like crazy!  My dad does the more hands on things which is a lot like me.  I haven't painted anything in a loooong time.  I can draw things that I see.  I can't create something in my head and then start going to town.  Same thing with my crafting and designing.  Very rarely can I come up with something on my own.  I can take something that I've seen and then design my own new and improved version of it.  It works for me.  Sometimes I get down on myself and feel like I am a copycat artist.  But then I decided that God gives each of us a talent.  And mine is this.  Take it or leave it.  I love getting inspiration for art from other people.  I love being able to take their ideas and take it to a whole other level.

Household Notebook


*****It has been brought to my attention that most of these printable links are not working anymore.  I am super bummed and I am sorry!  I can't post the actual printables that I downloaded from their sites either.  Double bummed.  BUT, I can point you in the direction of more.  So there are two that I use the most now.  One, is I created my own printable (or a spiral bound) blog planner as well as a printable (or spiral bound) family planner.  I don't have all the exact same types of printables now, but I have the ones that I use the most.  And TWO, I also love, love, love Clean Mama Printables on etsy. SO between the both of us, you should be able to find most of what you need.  I'm so sorry that I can't repost the printables that I used here.*****

This is a transferred post from my old blog.  It is the most popular post on that blog and I wanted to be able to transfer it here.

Household Notebook

Household Notebook

Household Notebook Tabs

Household Notebook Pages

Alright, dear friends, after much re-research I found the websites for the printables that I am using.  I have included the links in all of these so that you should be able to link directly to the page that it’s located on to download.

I created this about 4 years ago.  I looked online and found some good guidelines on what was in one and came up with my own.  I love having guidelines but I am way too much of a free spirit to really stick to it.  My personalities are constantly at war with each other.  I am a sanguine, melancholy, choleric and I am labeled dysfunctional in Florence Littanour’s book, Personality Plus.  I never really believed her until I became a housewife.  My sanguine forgets the lists that my melancholy wrote to help keep the sanguine on task and then my choleric gets angry because it didn’t work!  Sometimes it totally aggravates me! So here is the list and what I put under each heading:  *I have to add this!  I totally found some adorable free printables from!  Check them out!

  • Calendar- this has my husband’s work schedule, Sparkle’s dance newsletters, library schedules, zoo calendars, activity calendars, playdate schedules and my class schedule.  I have partnered with my dear friend, Alicia who creates these beautiful calendars that are binder ready and are fantastically amazing!

Household Notebook Calendar

  • I use a birthday calendar, a usual day printable, a week at a glance, and a household manager as well.
  • To-Do- Here I have a few different ones.  I have thick removable “post-it” type tabs separating the different types of to-dos.  I use these different ones:   New Years resolutions, a Thoughtfulness planner, some absolutely adorable to-do lists for mom, checklist, a long term to-do, a home/business balance sheet, a blogging to-do list, a carpool to-do list, and of course a “Honey-Dew” list.
  • Recipes- this has my menu planner and grocery list.  I do a big grocery shopping trip once every two months.  I plan out meals for two months and write down everything that I need and then go through my pantry a day before I head to Wal-Mart and cross off the things I have.  And guess what ladies, I only spend $300… I go back once every two weeks and get milk, eggs, bread and small things like that.  I spend about $100 during this trip.  I do my household items on a separate budget entry.  We budget $100 a month for this.  Which includes laundry detergent, toiletries and toilet paper.  All non-grocery items.  Yes, I pay for them separately too.  This is a lot of work, but when we were spending $1400 for two months of groceries, I was making myself sick with the amount of money being wasted.  I also only buy Wal-Mart brand items.  This saves me over $200 in two months.  I had a dear friend of mine teach me how to do this last year and I love doing it this way!  Under this tab I also purchased some Avery removable pocket tabs that I stick to the divider sheet.  I put recipe cards that I’m using this menu cycle so that I’m not digging through endless boxes and magazines, even though I already write the magazine and page number on my master list.  The printables that I use for this one are:  a typed sheet that is separated by breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that I create using Microsoft Word that has our two months of menus on it and where it’s located.  Then I have a weekly meal planner, a grocery planner, a once a month planner, a OAMC pantry inventory, a favorite recipe sheet, and a coupon binder.   UPDATE: I actually have moved this to a new binder because my household notebook is massive.  I hated having to move and flip through this massive thing every single day because my kitchen was SO small at my old house.  We've just moved into a new house last month and my kitchen is significantly larger.  But I will still probably keep the two separate.  I just ordered a new binder from Zazzle from the designer Cheeky Paperie.  I love her stuff and will be ordering her pdf versions of her recipe section.  Its amazing and the design is adorable.  I am a stickler about free printables because you can find free ones out there that are super cute.  But Cheeky Paperie is just TOO cute to pass up!
  • Financial- this actually is going to be put in a new binder.  But it’s at this moment still in this one.  It contains our budget, our financial plan, out long term financial goals, and our monthly billing statements.  Once they get paid, they go into a different binder, labeled Paid Bills.  These are under broad categories like, cell phone, trash, insurance, etc…  It also has all our debit cards, the card number and the phone number to call if we lose them.  I also record our bank accounts and the phone numbers to the banks.  Most of these forms I got off Dave Ramsey’s website.  I highly recommend his Financial Peace University!  I use three of these forms.  If you read the directions for each form, it explains how to use them effectively.  Check here for these forms.
  • Cleaning- this tab holds my cleaning schedule.  I love the print out from A Virtuous Woman.  But I was finding that if I can’t cross off a lot of things, I don’t feel that I’m accomplishing anything.  So I created my own.  I used a letter side note pad from Franklin Covey that had spaces to check things off, and I wrote every single tiny thing that I have to do on cleaning day.  Like “Pick up clothes off floor” and “Organize shoes by the door”.  I organized it by room and the order that I typically cleaned.  Then I laminated it.  I hole punched it and stuck it under this tab.  On cleaning day, I flip open my binder and using a fine point dry erase marker I just check it off.  I also put the date that I did cleaning day at the top.  I found some great checklists at too.  She’s got a great resource for the home.  I found some new ones for this one as well that I’ll have to double check where I got them from before I post.  I recently have been trying some new forms that I am finding are working very well!  I am using these forms: fall cleaning checklist, a spring cleaning checklist, a cleaning checklist, and a weekly cleaning schedule.
  • Faith- this is where I record prayer requests, bible studies that I’m working on, and a Quiet Time Journal from  And I also put things that I get emailed or find online about faith and being a woman that I want to be able to review.  I recently stumbled upon a great devotional called “Create in Me a Clean Heart” with a wonderful scripture journal by Amy Verlennich.  And here are the printables that I use:  I use a daily prayer journal but sadly, I can’t find the url for it any more.  I keep a lot of great articles here, and a scripture journal, and an inspirational quote log.
  • Contacts- I used to have a seperate address book, but I kept misplacing it between the upstairs homeschool room and our downstairs office.  I use these printables to organize all the contacts and categories I have: address book, and an emergency contacts form.
  • Health- I put our health insurance confirmation statement here and our complete health records here.  I found an amazing resource at the American Health Information Management Association, which has a fill in printable form that you can record all your health history.  I have my entire family’s here.  I have us all separated with stiff post-its tabs.  I can’t find the great health history forms, but I’m sure if you search for one long enough you will find one.  I know originally I looked for a few days when I found mine.  But the other form I use is: a basic medical form.
  • Family Night- I have a few ideas for family nights that I brain storm and I put those here.  Any articles that I find on it I also put here.
  • Infertility- my husband and I struggle with infertility so I put my records and notes here for that specific topic.
  • Contacts- here I put medical contacts and businesses that I call frequently.  I found a great printable from Organizing Your Way that is spectacular for frequently called numbers, emergency numbers and a phonebook.  I replaced the older printables I was using with these.
  • Homeschool- this one will probably find it’s way to it’s own binder as well, but for right now its here. I record all my observations of Skylar and things that she learns.  It’s pretty fun to be able to look back and see all the things that she was able to do over the past year.  This form is from the University of Kansas.  Now I am also putting the receipts for her academy and her information for her curriculum here as well.  The parent handbook I received with her enrollment is in it’s own binder, as well as the day-plan for her curriculum.  I found some great forms for public schoolers and homeschoolers here.  I’m not going to put each link because you can look around for ones that fit your needs.
  • Fitness- I record my health goals here and how and when I hit them.  I also record my plan of attack here and how well it worked and where I had to tweek it.  The forms I use are: goal setting forms, a diet journal and a fitness journal.
  • Babysitters- I found some really great printables for this.  The ones that I use and put in the ones I sell are: babysitter information, and an infant babysitter information form.
  • Home Repair- Here I record all the things that we do to our home.  We rent, so this is very important for us to record.  We have to pay for all our repairs and maintenance so it’s good to know where we stand.  Here’s that form.
  • Business-  here I record all the things for my business.  This has been replaced with a digital version, called Budget Tacker and as my business has grown.  We actually use Budget Tracker for our personal finances as well.  It totally rocks!  I also like Gazelle that Financial Peace uses, but we already had Budget Tracker set up.  Here I also put a Avery pocket tab to hold tax deductible receipts.  I found some good printables on Microsoft’s website, a start up expense sheet, and a mileage tracker.
  • Goals- this has a sub-topics that I use with some of my parners.  I set goals in 5 major areas that help me keep focused.  I also put them in order of importance.  Which are Faith, Family, Finances, Friends, and Fitness.  I record my strengths in each area and then write the things that I want to improve upon and a daily plan to move towards that.  For a more detailed description on why I do that, read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen.  I use this printable for this one: a goal setting sheet.
  • "Sparkle"- this is my daughter’s section.  Here I put parenting goals, and little tidbits about her, prayers for her and scripture that I pray over her.  I also include her sport’s and activities that she’s in or that I’m thinking about putting her in.  I use these printables in this section: a house rules sheet, a medicine log, and I put this one in the notebooks I (used to) sell: a baby schedule.
  • "Serious" - this one has everything that her sister's section but also has the baby schedule in it as well.  
  • Hobbies- this one has transformed into my “Projects” binder.  Here I have a tabbed list of the projects that I want to do.  I have scrapbook layout forms from Organized Home and sewing projects and a whole slew of things that I am in the middle of creating or want to create.  UPDATE: this just got moved to a new binder.  Check out that post here.
  • College- this one is about to be out of the binder because I graduate in May!  Woo hoo!  I have my degree’s requirements and how many I’ve met, transcripts, and whatever else I can fit in it.
  • Pets- we have two beautiful dogs and they are almost 7 years old.  So we keep track of their surgeries, vaccinations, medications, vet visits, and diet.  We have a pet sitter’s guide and log in this tab as well.  I use the form from office1000 because I missed recording this information from when they were puppies.  But I would have used the form from Printable Checklists which is much better about recording things.
  • Vehicles- Here i have license plate numbers, VIN numbers and our insurance information.  I record all our maintenance we have done on our vehicles, the mileage that it was at when it was repaired, the cost, what was done and where it was done.  I even record the purchase order number or receipt number.  I also put warranty information here.  I do this so that I’m not digging through files trying to find the exact one I’m looking for.  Microsoft has a great printable, a vehicle maintenance form.
  • Parties- here I record the parties that I’m planning.  But this has been moved to my Projects binder.  I use a party planner and a checklist to help direct my ideas for the party.  I usually go off on a tangent.
  • Warranties- here I put warranties for the different products that we buy.  I hole punch all the warranties that we get and put them here.  I also put an Avery Pocket Tab here as well to hold receipt that we need to save.The form I use for this is: warranty form
  • Pets- Here is where I record all of our pets.  When we bought them, their receipts, and their health records.  I use this printable: pet health records.
  • Christmas- I have a new Christmas and use these printables.
  • Family Time- I put ideas to do for family days.  I also found a great little article by Nancy Leigh DeMoss about little ideas to let your husband know you love him.  I love it!
  • Passwords- I put all our passwords for websites and logins right here using printables from Organize Your Way.  This website really has a ton of great printables!
  • Organizing- I put all my organizing tips and tricks here along with some notebook paper to hold ideas or drawings that I want to do.
  • Taxes- I use this spot to record all the tax deductions I do during the year and forms that I need to use during tax time.  Here’s the form: donation form.
  • Notes- Blank notebook paper just to record thoughts and random tidbits.
  • Blogging- I created this free printable blog planner and I record and set dates for all my blogging bliss! 
So I hope this helps you in trying to find that happy middle between fanaticism and laziness!  I know it sure helped me to stay on track!  I am in the process of ordering my new binder from  They have an awesome resource in created personalized binders.  The one in the pictures was created by me using my Cricut.  I am also designing new divider labels.  I used clear pocket dividers and added my own tabs.

I used to offer selling fully put together notebooks with all the printables from here, but I just don't have the time to do that anymore.  I am still offering the custom covers because those take much less time to put together than the whole notebook.  I will be posting a link to that page shortly because I don't have it transferred over just yet. I am also going to be doing some updating.  I've found printables that I like better than some of the ones that are on this post.  So I will be posting some new links.  I hope this inspires you to get more organized!!  I know for me, this thing is a life saver!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Christmas Cheer

I saw this gorgeous advent calendar on Martha Stewart's website and I instantly fell in love.  I saw it last year and desperately wanted to do it, but like every other year, I got too busy.  I actually had an excuse last year...I had a brand new baby...

This year I vowed to do it and I ordered my supplied in August just to make sure that I actually had time to procrastinate it.  Sick.  I know.  But anywho, I bought the glitter glue last year (with every intent of making it) and I ordered the cute little tins this year.  I don't have any pictures of the process, sorry about that.  But Martha does a good enough job on her own.

Here is my version.  I couldn't get the black numbers to dry edge to edge to eliminate that white outline.  Next year, I think I'm going to re-do the numbers and just purchase black glitter paper and cut out the number from that.  I also skipped the whole cutting out the number by hand nonsense from Martha's tutorial.  I used my cricut and cut out the circles and numbers.  That seriously saved me millions of hours of time that I'd rather be doing something else.  And the glitter glue also made the circles all wonky after it dried.  So I resorted to bending it back and popping some of the numbers loose.

I filled those bad boys with Christmas colored Skittles, Squinkees, and sets of cutsy little earrings.  Sparkle says her favorite colors are red and green because of Christmas, so she got red and green Skittles to eat all month long!

I also found these adorable printable teeny cards on Happy Home Fairy and folded them and put them in the tins too.  So each day we get to open a tin and inside Sparkle will find candy, a small little gift and a Bible verse that will add a little more to the story of Jesus' birth.  

Monday, November 28, 2011


I've been battling a few things over the last few weeks.  One of them being depression, which is weird for me.  I am a total sanguine and to have sadness creep in feels almost like the enemy is winning.  I have been praying for a closer walk with the Lord, but I prayed that it would be easy.  This prayer is almost as dangerous as praying for patience.  God gives us opportunities to grow, which means things get hard.  But as a saving promise, He also says the He will be right there with me the whole time.  Never letting me  slip, holding me up when I can't stand anymore.  Today felt like one of those times when I couldn't stand.  Since September I have been battling my thoughts on pregnancy.  We wanted to wait until after April to try to have another wee one in my tummy.  God had other plans.  I knew the day that I got pregnant.  When you've been pregnant as many times as me, it almost becomes like a sixth sense.  And it certainly wasn't in April...  But something didn't feel right.  And I have never had feelings like that.  I continue on blissfully happy even though I know the statistics in my case are stacked against me.  Well, with this recent pregnancy, in my heart it didn't feel right.

First, I felt extremely selfish.  I was supposed to be due June 8th.  I was scheduled to be a photographer at a distance wedding on the 18th of June.  My bride as almost completely paid me and I desperately WANTED to shoot her wedding.  Over the course of the last year, we've worked together numerous times and she has become a good friend to me.  I wanted nothing to do with having to be forced to disappoint her if this baby was delayed.  How selfish was that for me???  Losing as many children as I have and then being picky on the timing of another blessed miracle.  Wow.  It blew me away at my own sinfulness.

Second: I have known for about a month that this little one wasn't going to make it.  It is something inside of you that crushes when you've come to terms with God about His plans and then He changes them on you.  I was angry.  I was sad.  And I was a little more angry.   Today was that day that I have been dreading.  When my body realizes that the baby is no longer alive and goes into the mode of cleansing itself.  Its hard and its sad.  And this time it was even scary.  But, I refused to use medical intervention for things like this on the frequent chance that doctors in all their worldly wisdom, are wrong.  I was told my little Serious was not going to make it either.  And I have a precious one year old right now that is napping in her room.  My God is bigger.

So, in what I have learned through the last few months is this: don't let yourself be overcome by the events of the world.  When time tables and deadlines have you scurrying around, hide yourself in a closet and quiet your soul with the God above.  And then also have patience with yourself and allow for God to touch those dark places in your heart that you don't let anyone see.  And celebrate life in every sense.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day

There is much to be thankful for on daily basis.  The smile of my one year old, the singing of my Sparkle.  I am extremely thankful to hear laughter echo down my halls and a crackling fire in the fire place.  We celebrated Thanksgiving by staying in our jammies until noon and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and of course the Detroit Lions.

And then we went to some friends of ours for a fabulous dinner!  I am very sad to say that I did not get very good pictures of the fabulous food that my friend had made.  I was too much in a hurry to spend time with them and eat that yummy food!

We watched movies all afternoon and listened to the kid's laughter echo down the halls!  The guys played a little basketball in our gorgeous 60 degree weather....which we now have 20 degrees and snow a mere two days later....

But overall it was a wonder, happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Working on a logo

I am working on a logo as we speak.  I will have posts up shortly that have photos soon!  Its very exciting for me to be able to have this new blog up and running!  Its been on my heart for a long time now and I can't wait to see your comments and see what you are thinking!  If you have any questions, please comment and I'll answer them as soon as I can! 

Update:  did you see my banner???  There is my new logo!  What do you guys think!!  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!  Welcome to one aspect of the creativity we celebrate on this blog!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am splitting my blogging empire in two.  I currently write a photography blog that contains all my thoughts and adventures and I have decided that the two need to be split to keep the sanity in my life.  I welcome you here to explore stories I share and the projects that we create as a family. 

A little about me:
I am a WAHM, with more of a stay at home momma emphases.  I homeschooled my oldest "Sparkle" for two years and I loved every minute of it.  I am praying that next year we will be able to continue to do that again.  She loved it, but also loves the private school that we enrolled her in.  There are precious little souls in her class that she absolutely loves.  I have another wee one, "Serious," who couldn't be more different from her sister.  Sparkle is five and a half and Serious just had her first birthday last week.  And what a joyous celebration that was!  My children are truly blessings and proof that we have a God who loves us and gives us enormous gifts.  Sparkle was my third pregnancy and Serious my tenth.  And it was not my choice that we did not deliver the other nine pregnancies.  God calls us all to fight and fight we must.  My battle comes in the form of infertility in the shape of LOTS of miscarriages.  Even with seeing the best doctor in the nation and being on $3,000 worth of medication a month to try to keep the pregnancy.  My absolutely wonderful and amazing husband, "Strong" has been a part of my life for 11 years and we have been married for almost 9 years.  He's everything that I am not and I am so thankful for his strength and love.

I welcome you once again to my thoughts and projects and stories and family activities.  I sincerely pray that I impact your life in a meaningful and godly way.  Let's begin this journey!