How to Flourish in a Busy Season Instead of Drowning in Overwhelm - tips from a mom of 6 who is ALWAYS in a busy season!

There are times and seasons when our lives become busier than other times.  Right now, I'm wearing many different hats and unfortunately piling them all on my head is just making me drown in overwhelm!  What I need is a hat made from a bouy to help keep me a float!  

Feb-hustle

This month, I'm participating in LOAD (layout a day) and I'm having a fabulous time!  However, making a scrapbook (or planner) page everyday takes time, no matter how fast I scrap.  Today is the carnaval (mardi gras) party for the geeklings so I was up late last night putting the finishing touches on costumes, reparing some and painting a bright orange star wars nerf gun black and silver to look more like Han Solo's.  The look on geekling 3's face this morning was well worth it, but that smile, even along with a LOT of coffee, won't keep me going all month!

 

So here are some tips that you can apply to help you flourish in a busy season:

 

You can do a lot in 5 minutes
When you have a time constraint or deadline you tend to work faster.  Studies have shown that we fill the time we have to do a task. So if you have 20 minutes, you can usually get it done in 20 minutes, but if you have an hour it can take you the whole hour to do that same task. So set yourself a time limit or deadline whether it be real or invented and get to work.  I like to try and finish things right before I have scheduled activity.  So if I need to leave in 5 minutes to go pick up the geeklings from the school bus, I will run around like a mad woman and do a 'turbo tidy' of one room of my house to see how much I can get done!

Shift your mindset before you start the task
Multitasking gets a bad rap because they say changing from one task to another takes time.  Your brain needs to adjust from one activity to the next.  So each time you shift your focus back and forth, you lose time.  This is why checking facebook and trying to write a letter don't mix.  However, if you know that you are going to change activities and will need to get yourself into that mindset, then get into that mindset even before you start the task.  For example, if I'm driving home from dropping off a geekling at music lessons knowing that I need to go back in 30 minutes to pick him up, but I want to get a start on a blog post in the meantime, I will think about that blog post content on the drive home and be completely in a 'blog writing' mindset before I even walk in the front door.  So that when I sit down to write, I'm already all warmed up and ready to write and take full advantage of the half an hour I do have.

Make decisions before sit down to work
Another task that takes up an awful lot of time is decision making! If you have a task that you need to do that takes a lot of decisions, try making all those decisions ahead of time when your brain is free, but you are doing something else.  Let's use LOAD for an example.  I usually do my layouts after the children are in bed, but I've watched the prompt video first thing in the morning.  This gives me all day to make all the decisions that need to go into making that page.  First off, the page topic usually comes pretty easy with the prompt video and I have that idea already. If not, it may come in the shower (that's where the best ideas always happen!).  If I have 5 minutes while water is boiling for a meal, or in that 5 minutes before I need to go to the bus stop, I'll choose and print photos.  While driving back after dropping my geeklings off at hockey maybe I'll roll around a draft of the journalling in my head.  So you see when I sit down to scrapbook, I get to just play!

Take breaks
Don't let your self get run ragged. You need to replenish yourself.  If you just keep going and going all day long, you will crash!  Now I'm not saying that you should curl up with a can't-put-down book or watch a movie, but flip through a magazine or watch a quick youtube video that will recharge your batteries and motivate you to get back at it!

Coffee or tea while you work
I love my tea breaks, I like to take a good 30 minutes each morning and afternoon to myself, but in busy times that is just not possible.  So after 10 minutes or so, I'll take my cup into my studio and get back to work, sipping away as I go.

Don't lose sleep!
Get your sleep!  You just cannot function at 100% on too little sleep! Maybe there will be some nights where you just have to stay up late and 'get 'er done', but don't make it a habit! After 3 nights of midnight sewing, tonight I'm heading to bed at a decent hour.  I'm going to curl up with a book and fall asleep before I've read a full paragraph and probably after reading the same line 7 times trying to stay awake enough to understand it.  If you do have a late night or two, make up the missed sleep with a nap or an early night the following day.  A friend once told me that not getting enough sleep is like credit, it builds up like interest and you just get crankier and less efficient.  If you max it out, it comes back to bite you in the butt.

Use lists and schedules
Even if, as a general rule, you are able to keep track of things without a list, write tasks down when things get busy.  Not only will this help you remember all the things that you need to get done, it will stop them from running on repeat over and over in your mind.  This endless mixed tape of tasks in your head is only making you worry about getting it all done and keeping you from functioning at your best.

What can you illiminate in this busy time?
You only have 24 hours in a day.  What can either, wait until things calm down, or be illiminated from your to-do list completely? I don't watch TV or read when things get busy.  Sometimes we'll skip hockey practice or baths... just as long as I'm not skipping baths after hockey practice ;)

What can you let slide or only do half assed? ... just this once 
Not everything has to be done perfectly.  Some things just need to be done.  Period.  So what if you could cut a few corners?  How about buying cookies from the corner bakery for that pot luck party instead of making them from scratch? Or, making quick meals or reading your children just one book before bedtime instead of 5?

  Newcommit30

I hope that next time that you find yourself in a busy season that you will benefit from these tips and be your very best 'you' in the moment and get it all done!

Share in the comments what your busiest time of year is.


One sparkly little MAGIC tip to help motivate you to continue with your 2016 Resolutions

So, it’s the end of January!  How are you getting along with all your New year’s Goals and Resolutions?


Mem-plan-2106

How much weight have you lost so far?  Are you going to the gym everyday? What about that new writing habit?  Have you been keeping up with your 1000 words a day? What about the 30 minutes a day of decluttering?

Did I scare you? 

Are you fidgeting in your seat and wiping your sweaty palms on your jeans?  Ouf.

 

Sorry!

I didn’t want to make you feel bad, but I did want to help get my point across.  If you have made little or no progress towards your goals since that initial gung-hu early January, super motivated go at it, it’s okay and totally normal

Most people come up with impossibly long lists of what they WANT to get done in the new year and I think most people honestly believe that they are going to achieve all of these things, then they give up or forget all about their resolutions by mid-January.

 

Because there is no magical fairy dust that will float down, all sparkly and pretty, and settle on your shoulders on New Year’s Eve as the ball drops in Times Square and dramatically change you and your habits and your ways the second the calendar year flips over.  But, we somehow believe that the new year holds these magical powers and so we set tonnes of goals, start off extremely motivated on January 1 and even throughout the first week of the year.  Then, our energy and enthusiam petter off and we eventually stop.

 

So what happens?

What happens to all that New Year’s motivation? Life happens.  And for the most part, there’s no plan. Just wishes and dreams, so we sort of forget what we set out to do.  That’s not to say none of it will get done, but with careful planning and regular check ins with how things are going, you will be able to check more things off of that wish list.

 

However, don’t set your self up for disaster!

Even if you meticulously plan out each and every one of your goals and dreams and break them down into doable, actionable steps, you are still only human and Molly Weasley still hasn’t shown up to share her wand!

 

If your goal list is long, maybe you’ve set yourself to exercise 1 hour a day, drink 8 glasses of water, eat only 1500 calories, send 10 letters a week and volunteer twice a week, and, and, and…  when you hadn’t been doing these things previously, I hate to say it, but you are going to fail.  

 

Sorry to break it to you, but it’s impossible for you to sustain this for a whole year without establishing these habits, one by one.

 I’m not saying that you can’t be on this schedule by December 31st, but you won’t be able to do it all by Jan 31.

 

Start small.

 

Slooooooow down!

If you do it piece by piece, you will see results that will build momentum that will spur you forward!

 

On January first, you set yourself the whole year to achieve these goals, not just January.  So, take your time and you can get there.  You have a whole year.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

 

Here’s my challenge for you:

What is the one goal that you are really passionate about achieving?  Start there

Now, what is one step or habit that you can start to get you moving towards that goal?

Do that!

 

For me, I’d love for my house to be less cluttered and more organised.  I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m starting small.  On January 1 I chose to make my bed every day.  Yup, that’s it.  Have I made it everyday…uh…no… but, I’ve only missed a few days in the whole month!!  I've probably made my bed more times this month than I did all last year.

  In-planner

But, that’s not the best part!  The best part is that I liked the look of the nice neat bed so much that I tidied my night stand one day, and I’ve refused to let clutter build up there ever since.  Another day, I got rid of some clutter on the floor. A few days later, I was clearing my kitchen counters of the piles of paper and now, I’ve started in the geeklings’ rooms and got them involved…

 

All because I made myself make my bed!

  Bed

This one little habit has snowballed and I like it!  Don’t force the snowballing, concentrate on one thing and see what happens.

Next month, I’ll continue with the bed, but I’ll add another habit. And in March I’ll add another, and so on through out the year.  January is not the only time that we can make resolutions and set goals for ourselves.

On December 31, when I review what I’ve done towards my 2016 goals, maybe I won’t be able to cross them all off of my list, but I’m sure I’ll be pretty close to where I want to be!  And I’ll be so much closer than I was on December 31, 2015.

 

Please share in the comments what one little thing you plan on doing now to get you closer to the goal you are most passionate about.  I’m off to make my bed!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

May 2016 bring you joy, love and lots of crafty fun!!

2016

I can't wait to share with you all that I have planned for this coming year!  Let's have fun together :D

 


Merry Christmas!

Whether you made the NAUGHTY list...

Naughty-christmas 

or the NICE list...

  Nice-christmas

We wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!

Cards


Choosing your One Little Word

I've been following along with Ali Edwards for many years now, as she guides people to choose a word for the year.  This word will be an inspiration, motivation and bright spot that sums up what we want the coming year to bring us.

My word this year was DO.  And I 'did'!  I probably took the word a little too seriously because I DID a lot in 2015!  And being reminded of my word 'DO' kept me motivated and energised to keep going and to keep DOing.

 

In 2016, I chose TREASURE.

Treasure black smaller

I hummed and hawed and had a short list that contained words like cherish and delight, but I like TREASURE because it has a lot more in it that rang true for me. I chose this theme of words because I realised how fleeting my geeklings' childhood is. I really want to try and slow down, to enjoy and really relish in this wonderful time with them while they are small.  TREASURE is a great word, because it's a noun and a verb, both meaning a variety of things.  Plus, I LOVE the pirate feel of it.  So I can totally bring it in to my work life as well.

This is what Ali has to say to newcomers to One Little Word about choosing a word:

Is this your first time hearing about One Little Word®? The premise is simple - choose a word to invite into your life for the coming year. You live with it. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities and no right or wrong way to approach the adventure. Sometimes words have come to me out of the blue and other years I've gone looking for what it was I most wanted to bring into my life.  -Ali Edwards

This year was pretty easy for me to choose a word, I knew I wanted to cherish my geeklings more and really connect with them, so it was a quick hunt to find the right word that felt right to me :D

Two of my very talented friends, Richelle from theredscorpio.com and Olivia from randomolive.com and look what they made me.

Treasure white smaller

Richelle turned Olive's brush lettering into a necklace!  More info on these coming soon!

Have you done One Little Word before?  What is your word for 2016?  Please share in the comments what you want your word to do for you next year :D

 


The Magic of Handwriting

There is something so wonderful about handwriting.  

Intro

A simple handwritten note has become such a sweet, but rare, treat in this age of emails, instagram and snapchat.  As Christmas cards start arriving in my mailbox, I'm surprised that I can recognise the handwriting before I check the return address. It's important to treasure these notes we get and we all should make an effort to write more notes and letters.

Handwriting intrigues me.  I love writing things by hand and I love the look of handwriting - neat and small, large and loopy, messy or neat, doctor-style illegiable.  I love it all.  There's a reason I use this font for my blog titles.  Some people hate their own handwriting.  If you don't like your handwriting, I guarantee there is someone that loves it, because they love you and it's a part of who you are. :D

People tell me they like my handwriting and they would write more if they had handwriting like me.  Well, handwriting is like anything else, it gets better with practice.  I write everyday.  I prefer writing to typing, so I do it a lot.  I hand wrote the draft to this blog post actually ;)  So if you'd like to improve your handwriting, it's totally doable, you just need time and practice.  I'm sure there are some great printables to help you, or if you can get your hand on this fabulous book by Heidi Swapp.  It's an oldie but a goodie!

Notes

I get nosey when I see a handwritten list left behind in the bottom of the shopping cart I just pulled out of the cart corral.  What did that last person need?  What is her life like?  Does she buy the same groceries as I do?

The other day on the way to the school bus stop, I noticed a scribbled note lying, wet, on the sidewalk.  It started with 'n'oublie pas...' (don't forget).  It made me a little sad every time I walked passed on my many trips back and forth to the bust stop.  Not only was I a little worried that the person it was meant for may have very well forgotten, but also I was sad because it was wet and abandoned.  With notes being such a rarity these days, it was almost like a lost treasure. 

Have you ever come across a note from someone you've lost?  Anytime I come across something from my mom, I get a little pang in my heart, but it makes me smile all the same.  Even if it just says 'love Mom'

I've got a challenge for you!  If you are sending out Christmas or Holiday cards this year, make an effort to add a little note in your unique-to-you handwriting.  Or get your child to sign his name.  Now, I understand that this could be a daunting task if you are sending out as many cards as I am, but at least sign your name and add a few notes to the people who you think woud appreciate it most.  I'm thinking the older generations, or young children just learning to read this year.  But hey, who knows, my 84 year old grandmother is on Facebook!

Card-pieces

I plan to sign our name to the bottom of my handmade cards (I am soooo behind on getting them made!) and I plan on adding a few notes to some of the cards.  My sweet friend Aimee sent me a package of goodies, including this pretty notepad below.  Aimee has been my inspiration for this.  She is amazing at writing letters and corresponding by mail and I want to do more of that in 2016.  I alos want to improve my handettering! I love this trend :D

Notepad

So who is with me?  Let me know in the comments if you plan on adding a sweet little note to some of your cards this year or some other bit of handwriting.  Let's do it together :D


7 Tips to make Capuring your December Memories doable!

December is such a wonderful, magical time.

Traditionally, we surround our selves with friends, family and lots of fun activities to try to push out the fact that the days are getting colder and it gets dark about 15 minutes after the kids get home from school!  So of course, as memory keepers and storytellers, we want to capture all of theses lovely memories that we are making.

A lot of us do December Daily, others do Journal Your Christmas with Shimelle or some other variations on this theme.

The problem is that there is so much going on that adding another obligation, no matter how fun and worthwhile it can cause us to feel overburdened and stressed out.


DD-2014-cover 

So here are 7 tips to help you make it easier on yourself.

1. Give Yourself Grace

GRACE is my new favourtite word, I've been hearing it a lot in the past week or so, exactly when I needed it (I've been burning the candle at both ends lately and surprise, surprise... now I'm sick!). It's okay not to do-it-all, to not hold yourself up to Pinterest standards and not to be the perfect SuperMom or SuperGrandma.  I'm going to let  you in on a little secret:  it's impossible anyway!!  That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try your best, but it does mean that you should give yourself a break when you need it and not expect too much from yourself.  Give yourself some grace.

 

2.  Minimise

Who said that your December album has to be elaborate and take 3 hours for each and every page.  If you have the stories recorded with some pretty photos and some fun memoribilia peppered throughout, then, that is absolutely perfect!

However for me, I can't seem to stop there ;) It's my style and the way I scrapbook to keep adding things and adding things and adding a few more things!  So that's why I do the minimum during December, then, I do the elaborate bits in the new year.  But, if you love to keep it simple, this may be the way for you to go!

  St-Nick-ice-2015

3. Prepare in Advance

Now, if you haven't done this yet, it may be too late for this year to prepare in advance, but it's good to keep this in mind for futrue years.  Or you could do a little marathon scrapping this weekend and get all the foundation pages done and ready for the rest of the month.  

If you have your pages all ready come December 1, then you just need a story and a photo and you are good to go!

If you don't have your pages ready this year, then come check out the next tip ;)

 

4.  You Can Always Do it Later

For years, I've been writing down the memories and keeping memorbilia all throughout November, December and January but not actually scrapbooking it all until Janurary or even February during LOAD.  This takes off a LOT of the pressure and it's a hell of a lot more fun for me!  The only downside is I can't share my pages in December along with everyone else.  So this year, I decided to post photos of last year's pages on instagram.  If you aren't following me there, you can find me @caravincens.

I'm also taking Alice Boll's class, 'Scrapbook Christmas... in January' which leads me right into my next tip :)

 

5.  Take a Class

Classes are a wonderful way to join a community of other women doing the same project and struggling through the same hiccups as you.  Classes are a great way to motivate you when things get stressful and keep you accountable when you feel like throwing in the towel. 

As I said I'm taking Alice's class but here is a short list of one's I've taken, but there are lots of groups and challenges as well that you can join.

Ali's December daily
Shimelle's Journal your Christmas
Alice's Scrapbook Christmas... in January

 Maime-snow

6.  You don't need a Story for Every Day

Sure the idea is to capture the first 25 days of December, but I don't do that.  Feel free to adapt the concept to fit your needs, time, activities and creativity.  I sometimes start in November, if the Saint Nicholas festivities happen early, or at the latest November 30th when my geeklings open their avent calendars.  And I go right through to January 6th with Epiphany! They have these fabulous marzipan pies here, in my corner of Europe, to celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men.  There's a small ceramic prize inside and who ever gets it in their piece of pie is King (what they call wiseman in French) for the day.

Now, if I did a page a day, that could be 40 pages! Every day.  During the busiest time of year? NO. And what about the days where there are more than one story you want to tell. Like the day you decorated gingerbread men in the morning and got that fantastic photo of the 3 year old with his oddly decorated (and even slightly creepy looking) gngerbread man and then went skating at the city's outdoor rink, with the snow softly falling as the sun set. Do you really have to choose between these 2 fantastic stories to fit the one story a day idea?  Or do you add an extra page along side the other no-so-busy days where you are actually hunting for a story, any story, to scrapbook about. And what about Chrismas day, you can't limit that to one page, I usually have 4-5 stories for the 25th alone. I know I could end up  with an album with 50-60 pages!!  

Not. Going. To. Happen!

I suggest documenting the stories and days that mean the most to you and take the pressure off trying to find a story for the days when fewer things happen.  However!  I do suggest that you document the everyday stuff too.  At least once ;)

  Dec-2

7.  Scrapbook in the Little Pockets of Time

As a mom of 6 geeklings, I've gotten really good at doing things in the 'in betweens'.  There are so many little pockets of time in your day, you just need to find them and use them wisely.  I know that you will be waiting in line at the gift wrapping station, at the post office, the register, or where ever the lines are long!  Or maybe you'll arrive early to get good seats at the school Christmas concert only to sit twiddling your thumbs for 30 minutes?

Put away Candy Crush and take along some Project Life cards and a nice pen instead.  Take this time to write our your stories in your neatest handwriting or type it up on your phone to print off later (email the text to yourself if you don't print from your phone).  If you will have more space in the places you wait (your car at school pick up or even a doctor's office), take along a small kit and work on embellishments or other small parts of your pages.

 

Capturing December memories is such a wonderful, worthwhile project and it's so fun too!  Christmas and winter products are definitely some of my favourites! Every one else is sharing their pages and it is so worth it to have it all documented, BUT go easy on yourself!  You know what you can handle, what you can get done during this busy month.  Use this as your guide and don't overload your plate.  Share in the comments below how you plan to make #decemberdaily DOABLE this year!

click to tweet:
You know what you can handle, what you can get done during this busy month.  Use this as your guide and don't overload your plate.

I'm ambious and I always want to do it all!  But, I know I can't. December only has 31 days, with only 24 hours each, so enjoy every moment of it, capture the best moments and scrapbook them when you can!

 


14 fantastic products to help you have your Dream Christmas

Let's add some fun and calm back into the holidays this year!  What activities are you most excited about doing?  Let's add those in shall we :D

Last week I talked about wanting to get ahead of the crazy rush that usually comes along with getting ready for the holidays, all the while keeping yourself inspired as well as organised.  This, week, I want to talk about how to make your holidays a lot more fun! 

Pull out your Dream Christmas printable from last week and go over your priorities.  What do YOU really want to do this holiday season?  If you missed the free printable, you can grab it HERE or if you'd like more versatility check my etsy shop, I have a variety of sizes and room for hole punching, stitching or stapling (on the left or the middle).  

Dream-Christmas-900

I am SURE that there are some crafting projects on your Dream Christmas list.  amiright? ;)

Well, I've got a treat for you! 

I'm participating in the Scrapbook Bundles Creative Christmas again this year, there are some fantastic products again this year for you to play with!

CC2015 Blog Hop Banner

Sign up here to be notified when the cart is open!

There are 14 products, including printables, classes, cutfiles, templates, calendars and more!  It's going to be so great!  You need to make sure that you are signed up for the email notification list, not only because you'll get a fab tutorial to make some quick and easy holiday gifts, but also the cart will be open early for email subbies!  You'll be able to purchase the bundle on Thanksgiving instead of having to wait until Black Friday.

Sign up HERE!!

Before the bundle goes on sale, we are giving away a bundle to to one lucky commenter!  All you need to do is leave a comment below to enter!  One commenter will be chosen from amongst the comments on all the blogs in the hop so make sure you visit each of the blogs to increase your chances, but hurry because the giveaway ends tonight at midnight and the winner announced tomorrow :D

There are 13 different blogs to visit, so grab a snack and click around and get ready to be inspired by all the products you can win!

Here's the hop list!

So have fun checking out all the posts for more examples of how you can use the products in the bundle.  Don't forget to comment on each one!

Today, I had fun with Ashley Calder's cutfiles from the bundle along with some of my printables that I turned in to stickers. I made one of my take-along books (you can get a free tutorial and make your own if you sign up in th box in my side bar or at the bottom of this post).

Cover

I'm going to use this Take along book to prepare for Alice's class, 'Scrapbooking Christmas... in January', which is included in the bundle.  I'm going to keep the book in my planner, to have it close by so that I can follow Alice's prompts through out December and have a place to keep all my memories, stories, notes and memorabilia in one place so that it will be ready and waiting for me when its time to Scrapbook Christmas... in January.

Inside

These are the printables that I hand painted for the bundle, I made them into stickers to use in my take along, but you can use them in any size that you need.

Yummy-stickers-900


Practically perfect Christmas

It's coming!

The most wonderful time of the year :D

But, is it?
Really?

Or does this sound more accurate?
It's a season of hour long wrapping sessions, endless to-do's to get everything ready, rushing to yet another Christmas/Holiday/Winter performance and dropping into your seat with an exhausted sigh after dropping your child backstage, 5 minutes late and getting one of 'those' looks from her teacher as you try to comb her hair with your fingers and rub the traces of spaghetti sauce off her face with your thumb.  Then, there is more wrapping, last minute bake-a-thon's at 11pm and half assed gift purchases to replace that perfect, well thought out, meaningful handknit cardigan in your sister's favourite colour, that you only got 2/3 finished.

Numbers

Christmas CAN be soooo Magical!

But it can be CRAP too... your to-do list can make you feel overloaded, stressed and just plain burned out by the time the holidays even get here, and instead of participating in all the festivities and having fun all you end up doing is hiding under the covers, watching Elf and eating all the chocolate that was supposed to be for aunt Martha!

Let me help you have a peaceful Christmas this year, so you can have the time to sit in the tree light with a good novel, some Christmas carols and a nip of Bailey's.  There are only two ways we can do this.  One, plan on not doing anything this Christmas.  Which, yes, it may be peaceful, but it'll still be crap.  Or you could do number two, plan on having a lovely Christmas this year.  

Dream-Christmas

I have a free printable for you, a free planner tutorial and a process to help you get ahead of yourself this year.  So you can actually enjoy your Christmas.

Print off the free printables, then fill them out.  Follow my process below and plan out your action steps to make Christmas magical.

DREAM CHRISTMAS PRINTABLE
if you would like a more versatile version, with different sizes and space on the left (or in the middle) for holes or stapling then I do have them in my etsy shop: Practically Perfect Christmas Planner

Practically Perfect Christmas Process

1.  BRAINSTORM

Sit down with a cup of your favourite holiday beverage (why not have that Bailey's now!) and write down every thing that you can think of that would make Christmas absolutely PERFECT! Include things like how you want your house decorated, the trips you want to take and the maid that will do the packing and wrapping for you. DREAM big. Don't hold back, write it all down, even the impossible magical reindeer ride.  What activities, baking, crafting would you love to do this year? We aren't limiting ourselves here, we are dreaming.  So if you've dreamed it, ever, write it down.  We'll narrow things down later.

2.  REALITY FILTER

Okay, now is the time to be realistic and apply that reality filter. Really be honest with yourself.  What CAN happen this year?  Take into consideration the ages of your family members, the number of family members involved (extended included), budget, time restraints, etc

BUT, the most important part is to add your PRIORITIES into the filter.  If you really want to do something this year, but it really doesn't look do-able, how can you make this happen?  What else can you delete from that 'have-to' list to make room for your special wish?

For me, my non-negociable is making my own Chrismtas cards. It takes an enormous amount of time and energy but I love challenging myself to out do last year's card. But most importantly the repetitive assembly line forces me to slow down and enjoy the processs. I listen to Christmas carols and often times I'm thinking of my mom while I work.   She loved the whole Christmas season, her birthday was in December and she was usually listening to her carols in the kitchen before Halloween. It makes me want to try and enjoy the season the way that she did.  To make room for my card making, I usually bump my december daily to the new year.  I write down all the stories, collect the memorabilia in a cute folder, but I don't actually scrapbook it until January and during layout-a-day in February.

Really put your thinking cap on to see how you can alter your dream Christmas so that it can become reality.  Okay, so maybe a maid to do the wrapping is not at all in the stars, but you could give an older child a few dollars to do it, or the neighbour teenager who is looking for some extra cash to buy gifts for her friends.  We aren't looking for perfection, practically perfect will do just nicely :D

3.  ACTION STEPS

Break down the things that are left ALL the way to their simplest action step and put each of those on your to do list.  It's a lot less overwhelming to see one individual step of project at a time than the whole project itself.  So don't write 'make Christmas cards' write out all the steps; buy supplies, cut papers, do the stamping, stuff envies etc etc

This may seem like a longer more exhausting list, but i'll make it easier on you as you set out to do these tasks and you'll know when you can check these items off.  Or cross them off, I'm a cross-offer, do you check or cross off? ;)

4.  SCHEDULE

 Now, take some time to schedule each of the these tasks into your daily plan.  Whether that be a specific hour in your planner or just added to day in your calendar or to a day's to-do list.  Working backwards from your deadlines helps to know where to start the frst task for each project.  

Don't skip this step, because it'll not only keep you on track, but also let you know if you can realistically fit it all in or if you need to go back to step 1 and reassess what is realistic and what is possible and maybe delete or move things to the new year.

Here's to a happy, relaxing holiday season!!

Gift-list


How tall is your stack?

You have gotten to know me on this blog, but now it's time for me to get to know you a little better. And what could be more fun than to do it with a happy little quiz.  I know that you may not be both a scrapbooker and a planner girl so feel free to only answer the questions that pertain to you, and even only the ones that you really feel like answering.  But, I would love to see some (or all!) of your answers in the comments below.  

I've included my answers so that you can get to know me even better too!

Here we go! 

1.  Check all that apply: mother, daughter, sister, wife, lover, friend, cousin, niece, hey-I'm-a-dude-we-can-be-papercrafters-too!
All, except that last one ;)

2.  Are you a planner girl, scrapbooker or Both?
BOTH!

3.   What's your OOTD right now?  No Cheating!!  Pyjamas are welcome ;)
A powder blue, cable knit turtleneck sweater that clever conceals my 6 child muffin top with black and white check slim pants (from Boden of course) with black boots.

Okay, so I totally cheated!! When I wrote the first draft of this blog post I was still in my gym clothes, mixed matched Boden pilate pants and a Roots hoodie with bright red maple leaves all over it ;)

4.  What is your favourite paper crafting product right now?
Jen Hadfield's emphemera

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 22.23.45

5.  Do you prefer to read traditional paper books or on something like a kindle.
PAPER! Audio books are a huge favourite of mine too.  I'm listening to Big Magic now and reading the Virgin's Lover and Hands Free Life in paperback.

  Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 22.32.43Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 22.32.43Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 22.32.43

6.  What kind of planner do you use?
Commit30 plus homemade inserts in a Cakedori for planning and Heidi Swapp's for memory 'planning'.

7. Who is your 'Person'? *
If you aren't a Grey's Anatomy fan, this is that person you write in the emergency contact box when you fill out forms.  The person you trust with your life.

Mine would be that French hottie of a husband of mine ;)

8. Email, FB messanger or texts?
email

9. What's your favourite 'granny' craft? Knitting, crochet, quilting or something else?
knitting!

10. R2D2 or BB8
R2D2 will always have my heart ;)

11. Last person you emailed, FB messangered or texted ;)
My kids' hockey coach, who I also consider a good friend.

12. What pinned recipes have you actually tried?
Guinness Chocolate cake, it's my go to cake recipe :D Made it just last night.

13. What projects (can be non-paper pojects) are you making for Christmas?  ...or not!
I'm making a tee-shirt for my brand new nephew, Mariano, to match the ones his cousins all got last year. Each family got their own colour and the child's cousin rank was on the back.  Little Mariano is number 25.

Cousin-shirts

14. Are you outdoorsy or insdoorsy?
OMG INdoorsy!!!

15. Is your BFF online the same person as you BFF offline?
No, most of my online friends aren't local and my local friends are mostly not crafty... except Helen ;)

16. List your last 3 etsy purchases.
Planner Stickers from Little Blue Garden

My cakedori from Cake Paperie
On the Softer Side scrapbooking class from Soaphouse mama

17. List 3 things on your Christmas wish list.
R2 Tea 2 teapot

Big Bang Theory lego
Boden clothes

18. 5 people you love to watch on Periscope
Stacy Julian

April Bowles Olin
Kerri Pouliot
Jenny Penton
Hilary Rushford

19. How tall is your To-Be-Put-Away scrapbook layout stack?
3 and a half inches!

20. How many planners do you have?  How many planners do you use? Is it a huge stack?
2 and 2 (see number 6)

Now it is your turn!! I would love for you to post (on your favourtie social media platform) your answer to either question number 19 or number 20. with the hashtag #hootstack.  Include a photo of your stack if you'd like and even the link back to this post bit.ly/hootstack

Cannot wait to hear your answers!