The Art of Organization

I have tried many ways of organizing my life, not that my life is unorganized, on the contrary I am really on top of things. But I strongly feel that if anyone were to look inside my brain there would be over 100 tabs open, a calendar color-coded with my life, a huge playlist of my current favorite songs, a cookbook, photo album, etc. I keep it all up there and rarely write anything down. This however, is exhausting! And I realize that as I get older and as I take on more and more projects, as I am apt to do, I need to find a system for organizing my life.

This is not the first time that I have attempted to find a system for keeping track of my life. I have tried Project Life, which appealed to the visual side of my nature. It was pretty, involved the multitudes of photos that I take daily, and was affordable. However, printing out all those pictures took a hit on my printer and it involved a lot of extras- markers, tape, scrapbooking elements, page holders, embellishments… just a lot of stuff….

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I have this cart and this is pretty much what it looked like when I was on my Project Life kick. 

So I abandoned that after a few months. And I resumed my brain hoarding method. Then I started seeing these beautiful planners on my Pinterest feed. Lovely, organized, simple but colorful planners. These appealed to the structured side of my nature, the calendar was already there, the index and pages were already there.

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However, this involved a lot of stuff too. Sticked to buy or print out, which being a graphic designer was fun until I realized all the money I was saving in printing my own stickers was killing my ink. And there were tons of pages that I didn’t use, which made me feel like I wasn’t using the planner well, which made me give that up after about a month. I seriously didn’t even think to pick it up and use it… plus it was big and bulky, didn’t fit in my purse, and therefore I resorted back to making lists on my phone or just keeping everything in my head.

Sigh. So two fairly expensive organization methods down the drain. But I am not going to give up. There has to be a method of organization that fits my crazy brain, one that is easily customizable but has some structure, allows for creativity but won’t cost an arm in ink or embellishments. And I actually think I may have found it. (Maybe, we will see!)

Enter the Bullet Journaling! The best way to explain it is to show you the video here. And here is a variation (and prettier version) of the layout you can create.

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image credit: hannahemilylane.com

I like that you only need a notebook and a pen. Sure you can add color, washi tape (who doesn’t love washi tape?!), etc… but it is definitely not necessary to have a pretty organizer. Like doodling? This method is for you! Like lists? Check! Like map symbols, indexes, and graphs? Yup! And best of all, you create the pages so there are no blank pre-made pages that will lay guilt on you.

So this is my project for the weekend to get done. in preparation for my upcoming dance season where I will be teaching at two studios, hopefully be in a musical, and will be preparing to enter back into academia for my masters degree. On top of homeschooling, belonging to two different homeschool co-ops, and trying to maintain my sanity through happy hour with friends.

If you are curious about Bullet Journaling too, here is a list of some resources I am looking at for guidance:

I will be sure to post some pics as soon as I set up my journal!!!

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Favorite Pins of the Week

Are you obsessed with Pinterest too? What favorite pins have you pinned this past week? Follow my boards here!

Unikitty Lego Nail Art!

Isn’t this UniKitty mani ADORABLE?!

Cute Neon Polka Dot Animals. Free Desktop / Computer Wallpaper background with a positive motivational quote.  #kids #kid

This is my new desktop wallpaper

pinterest page idea for project life. Awesome idea!!

My Pinterest LIfe album needs some Pinterest love!

Love the cut

This is what I want my pixie to grow out into!

Did this with all jumbo lego and put the first clue to a treasure hunt on the steps. It was a big hit.

I think the girls will love making this Leprechaun Trap

Spring fashion- mint! #mint #spring #fashion

My new favorite color combo for Spring, in a pretty outfit

This Just Pinned

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  1. Garden in a Bag– aren’t snapdragons lovely?!
  2. Love Necklace– only $4.99 and so pretty
  3. I love this color palette, there’s lots more to be seen here.
  4. I can’t find the original link to this photo, but I am loving the beautiful photo going all the way to the ceiling!
  5. We have tons of these plastic animals laying about, I love seeing various crafts using them. Find out how to make a keychain here.
  6. Valentine’s Day is coming up fast and who doesn’t have dry lips in winter! “Bee Mine” valentine’s  are adorable!

What have you pinned lately? 

Today

Today it was freezing out… again. So we ventured out to the Cleveland Rainforest to warm up and visit some of our favorite animals. It was a lot of fun and a welcome feeling, the warmth and humidity. The animals were playful and thankfully the zoo wasn’t too crowded. IMG_5794

After the zoo we ventured out for lunch and then a quick trip to the library, which turned out to be not so quick. I don’t know what it is about libraries, but they suck me in. I could spend hours at the library, curled up in the chair with a good book. I always try to limit how many books the girls take home, but really I am the one who needs a limit. I always get more than I can carry! The girls love exploring the different libraries and meeting new kids. IMG_3581

One of the coolest books that I found was one called Sneaky Art by Marthe Jocelyn. It is basically a junior covert art installation how-to. I love it!! All the projects in the book are simple, very do-able, and sneakily cute- everything the girls and I like!

And finally, the day ended with relaxation (especially since Moira is getting over a cold, and me getting some Project Life pages done since last night my photo printer came! (Insert SQUEALS of JOY!) Here are two of the pages that I have done- more photos to follow!

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Whew!!!! It was a loooooong day! Tomorrow promises to be another doozy as well, have a good night friends!

Project Life

I have a new obsession- Project Life!! I have dabbled in scrapbooking in the past but hated all the fussiness involved, cutting paper, gluing layout, ugh! Too many little bits in a house where little bits get lost. And once again, thanks to Pinterest, I am hooked on something more my style!

So basically Project Life is a scrapbooking system that streamlines, modernizes, and simplifies the who creation of an album. All the papers are sized appropriately, and sorted into collections. Everything is packaged together so you don’t have to wander the aisles looking for supplies. And did I mention how CUTE everything is?! Here are some of my favorite layouts:

Project Life // Ann-Marie Morris

credit- AnneMarieLoves

Project Life 2014 by MarthaBonneau at @Studio_Calico  | LLP Make Something Today transparency

credit- Studio Calico

Feeling Motivated and Creative

credit- HearthandMade

I really like clean, not too embellished layouts and that will make the process easier for me. I bought a super pretty yellow and white chevron album, the Project Life Core Kit, page protectors, and some pens. I plan on printing my own photos out so I actually hopped on Amazon and bought a photo printer so that I don’t have to depend on an outside source to print my photos. I can’t wait for my printer to get here so that I can start getting January’s pages done. =)

If anyone is interested, I have lots of layouts and graphics on my Project Life Pinterest board!

Traditions- Part 2

cat and witch walkingDid you enjoy reading about our traditions for holidays? Were you inspired or scared? =) In continuation here are some more of our fun Family Holiday traditions!

  • Labor Day- Labor Day is just like Memorial Day, the beach, a cookout with friends, lots of yummy food, lots of fun!
  • Halloween- We celebrate Halloween pretty much the whole month of October. We go on hay rides, pick pumpkins, make decorations, go to area activities and festivals, and eat “spooky” food like mummy dogs. =) Here in Cleveland you never know what the weather is going to be like- it could be warm and in the 60’s or snowing. Life’s fun here like that! One thing that we do try to do every year is go to Boo at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metropark Zoo, it’s a lot of fun and the kids love seeing the animals at night.
  • Dia de Los Muertos- Since I am half hispanic this is a HUGE holiday with me! This year since my mom had very recently passed I kept things light and fun, next year I will probably do more of the traditional remembrance activities. We paint our faces like calaveras, make paper masks, eat sugar skulls, and talk about what our loved ones favorite things were. We buy marigolds to set outside and generally have a great time listening to music and partying.
  • Thanksgiving- Yeah, not going to lie- we just eat for this one, lol! We usually go to either my friend’s house or my cousin’s for dinner, I always make Raspberry Chifon Pie and Klint makes Cranberry Conserve. We do ask the kids about what they are thankful for, but the food is more the tradition here. diy wonderland ornament
  • Christmas (general)- This is why Thanksgiving is so light, I am already planning our Christmas activities!! The month of December is taking up with Christmas traditions and activities- We have our Elves, Vicky and Snowflake, causing mayhem and helping around the house, we decorate with our tree and lights, we have an advent calendar with fun treats and winter activities inside. We take the kids on a fun night trip where everyone wears their pj’s, we drive around to see the lights, and drink hot cocoa. We go to GLOW at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and Country Lights at Lake Farm Metroparks. We also go to the zoo and see Santa’s reindeer, remind them to come see us for a treat. We always make sugar cookies, applesauce and cinnamon ornaments, and donate cat and dog toys to the local shelter. Polar Express Pajama Party:  Ideas and Activities for a fun holiday party with kids!
  • Christmas Eve- We spread reindeer food on the ground and leave out cookies with milk for Santa. The family all opens up a package with Christmas jammies, and we watch a Christmas movie like Elf or Polar Express. 
  • Christmas Day- After opening up presents we have a big breakfast with red and green pancakes, strawberry smoothies, and such. We play with our gifts, go see a movie, and eat a lunch of spaghetti and meatballs. (My grandfather always made this growing up) 

So those are the major holidays that we celebrate. There are little ones in there like National Ice Cream Day, Dress up Your Pet Day, and National Bubble Bath Day, lol that we enjoy as well. Along with the holidays we have traditions to for birthdays and seasons!!

  • Birthdays- First of all, the girls only get big birthday parties on certain milestone years- 1, 5, 10, 16, 18, and 21. Those years we go all out, invite everyone we know, and have big blow outs. On off years we do lots of little things are home. I fill their room with balloons, put streamers over the door so that they have to break out, and hang balloons over the doorway. We let the girls open birthday present right away in the morning and there is always a birthday outfit inside one. Then we do a traditional birthday breakfast of birthday cake pancakes and smoothies. The birthday girl also gets to choose lunch and dinner menus, dinner is usually at a favorite restaurant. We also do a birthday photo shoot and this year I am going to add to the tradition- The birthday girls gets a photo taken with balloons, as many balloons as the new age!! I’m so excited for this one!!!Water balloons on skewers for an instantly lovely cake topper!
  • Seasonal- Every season we go local fruit picking- strawberries, raspberries, apples, sour cherries, blueberries. It is something that the kids and I look forward to every year. (Klint HATES fruit picking, he thinks it is silly and chalks up my excitement to my questionable Mexican heritage, lol!) We also go to local festivals every year- The Medieval Faire, The Feast of Assumption in Little Italy, Lakewood Arts Fest, etc.

Wow! I didn’t realize how much we do until I actually wrote it all out. =) I bet you all have just as many traditions, I would love to hear about them! Anyhow, I hope you all have a very happy New Year full of fun and traditions! See you all next year!!

Golden New Year 2014!