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June 2017
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August 2017

Gratitude Makes for Happy, Productive Planner Girls

Summer vacation has only just begun here in Luxembourg, in fact we are only 2 weeks in. However in those two weeks we've had a LOT of fun! We've also been in the spirit of summer for some time now as there were lots of parties and end of school festivities before school actually let out for the summer.


I love a good list, or 2 or a whole planner full of them! As planner girls we tend to always look to the future and list out what we want to do, what we need to do, and sometimes we forget to look back. The scrapbooker in me likes to look back, see what I've done, what I've accomplished. Looking back and remembering is a wonderful way to express gratitude for what we have and what we've done. Today before I share what I still want to do this summer, I'm sharing a list of 10 things that I have enjoyed so far.


Here are 10 things that I have been enjoying this summer:

  1. Hector's Canada birthday party!
  2. The end of term school party SCHOULFEST
  3. Outdoor concert where the band played on in the rain
  4. Esch-sur-Sure
  5. Jacques' birthday
  6. Summer salads
  7. Reading outside in the shade of a tree
  8. My early morning runs
  9. Eating meals outside at the table on our back terrace
  10. Reading for a bit before getting out of bed in the morning


Of course, I wouldn't be a good little planner girl if I didn't mention 10 things that I'm planning to do this summer! I'm listing them here and of course putting them into my planner!

  1. Visit with all my relatives in Canada (we leave Aug 10)
  2. Meet my 3 new nieces (Aug 6 and Aug 11)
  3. The geeklings' Music Camp concert (Aug 5)
  4. Listen to a pipe band 
  5. Go on school supply shopping trips with each of my geeklings ( scheduled so far: Aug 1 and 3)
  6. Have my cousin cut my hair (she's a true artist)
  7. Make blueberry pie with Nova Scotia blueberries
  8. Go to the beach in Canada
  9. Enjoy a Tim's coffee... or many! (first thing I'll do when I get off that plane!)
  10. Have a little adventure in Paris (Aug 6-7)

What is on your bucket list for this summer? Have you been checking those items off? Or are you just hoping that you'll get to them sometime before the summer is over? If you are feeling the crunch, that summer is coming to a close and you aren't doing all those wonderful things you dreamed about doing back in the spring, check out my Plan Your Summer class as Big Picture Classes, don't let summer pass you by! I'll help you make a fantastic summer wish list, negotiate schedules to ensure it's all doable, and turn your summer bucket list into a gorgeous addition to your planner. Then, at the end of the season, we'll compile all your summer memories in a mini album. You'll be sure to have the best summer ever when you Plan Your Summer!


Watch the process video here to make a pretty summer planner spread, all products are from the Hip Kit club June kits. Grab a frilly summery drink and hit play!


5 Tips for Staying on Track When the Summer Sun Calls

If you have a goal or project that you are working on, summertime does not mean that you need to put your passions on hold. I know the lure of the sun and sea can be strong, and it definitely does not have to be all one or the other, all fun or all work. You CAN have both the summer fun and make progress on your goals. 

13-grasshopperThis dashboard was made with my June Hip Kit Club kits

I've got 5 tips for you today so you can continue to make progress towards your goals while still enjoying the summer fun.

5.  Give yourself rewards for making progress. You don't need to be taking huge steps in the summer, but simple, steady progress will keep you on the right track. Not only will you take steps towards your goal, you will be continuing with the habit of working on it, which is a lot easier than trying to start back up again in the fall. Simple steps are all you need to keep the habit alive.

Setting yourself rewards that motivate you can really help you make this progress.  For example, if you are writing a book, try hitting your daily word count before hitting the pool with the kiddos.  Or maybe once you finish a painting, treat yourself to an ice cream. Make the rewards something that you will really enjoy and make sure their sizes match the goal you set yourself. An ice cream cone is a bit small for finishing a whole manuscript and a spa trip is too big for doing an hour's research.

4.  Reduce the number of hours you are working. This can be easier than it sounds! If you are happier (from being outside, enjoying the summer) then you will be able to work better and in shorter amounts of time. Enjoying life allows you to get into the flow of things once you settle down to work, so you should be able to do more, and better, work in a shorter period of time.


3. Set your working time for your goals for early in the day or late at night. If you avoid the typical 9-5, you'll avoid working in the heat and you'll still get to enjoy the sunniest part of the day, instead of working. If you do have a typical 9-5 day job, this can apply to tasks there as well. Try to get your most important work done (the work that requires your mind to be at its best) in the first few hours of the working day. If you are working on a goal or dream out side of your day job, try working on these projects first thing when you get up, you can even set your alarm a half hour early and take advantage of the cool temperatures and quiet house. You'll be fresh and clear minded.

2.  Make yourself some lists and a schedule. You knew this one was coming, right? ;) Work out when will be a good time for you to work and what to work on. If you feel distracted in the summer, for example, do some of the leg work that doesn't require much brain power, for example, those necessary, repetitive tasks. Maybe something that you can bring to the poolside with you. Checking things off as you get them done will keep you motivated.


And the number 1 tip:

1.  Remember WHY you are doing this! You will be so much happier when the fall comes around that you've made progress towards your goal! Why are you working towards this goal? It's got to be something that really lights you up and just feels right, all the way to your very soul!

If you don't have a goal that you are currently working on but want to, or are having troubles figuring out how to work towards your big dreams, check out my class at Big Picture Classes, PLAN YOR DREAMS. I'll help you use your planner to make your dreams a reality. You’ll learn how to determine what your goals are—whether big or small—and how to break them down into manageable steps. My tips and tricks will help you incorporate these steps into your schedule and get you on the right track to achieving your dreams! Pop over now and check it out.


If you don't have a Big Picture Classes Membership, you can use their 2 week trial membership to take the class. Check out my other classes while you are there.

Here's video for my process of putting this dashboard together.

Have an AWESOME Summer and Happy Planning!


6 Quick, Fun Vacation-Friendly Projects to Make On the Go this Summer

Can you hear your craft room calling you while you are out enjoying the sunshine? Are you longing to make something eventhough you are enjoying your summer road trip? 

Summer is the time when you want to be outside, in the sun, enjoying freedom from regular routines. It's time for vacation, road trips, long plane rides, sitting by the pool and basicially time away from home and your crafty supplies. I love this break from everyday life and the monotony it can bring (eventhough, I admit, I love the security and comfort of my routines). However, I know I'm not alone when I say, my fingers get soooo itchy to do some crafting! I've heard this over and over, summer after summer. As crafters we love summertime, but it usually means less crafty time and we miss it! We need it!


Sure, you'll be fine if you wait until the cosier days of fall. Your pretty papers, stickers and goodies will still be there waiting for you. But, why not make a few adjustments to your crafty habits so that you can craft during the summer.

Here, I have 6 projects that you can do this summer. They are all quick and easy, aimed to satisfy that crafty craving I know you'll have this summer! I've chosen these 6 especially because they are do-able while on the go! That not only means that you can do them on a road trip, but on a train or a plane, by the pool while your children splash, and also simply outside, on your back deck with a tall glass of lemonade. 

The trick to making things easy while crafting on the go is to have a little bag or case with supplies, and to keep it simple. Check what you will need for each project and don't go overboard with too many choices. If you bring too much stuff, you will not only get overwhelmed by trying to keep everything organised in a tight space, it's also a lot easier to craft when you have fewer choices. Sure you may think 'why didn't I bring more pink stickers?!??' but, use this limitation as a challenge to get your creative juices flowing and find different solutions to your usual crafting habits. I suggest creating little kits for each project in a little baggie and stashing them all in a bag with a small case for your tools.Read over the list below and decide which project you'll make first. Choose the one the jumps out at you and gets you giddy and longing for your pretty supplies and start there.

  1. Decorate a Tip-in in your TN. A small and simple project but one that can really make an impact in the design of your spread, as well as adding more writing space. It's a great little spot to record some of your memories or sites seen on vacation.


  2. Make a One page Mini Album. Bea Valint has lots of fun and gorgeous projects. I love her one page mini album. Paige Evans has also done a version of this project. It's a great little addition to your planner, I think I'll tuck mine into one of the pockets of my vacation planner. 
    To make to this on-the-go-friendly, all you need to do is to pre-cut the cutfile that Bea so generously gave us. Make sure when packing your supplies, you include everything you need for all those fun details.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 14.51.17image from
  3. Make a  Take Along Memory Keeper I make one of these books for each of my children every year to take on vacation. They have lots of pockets and a space for photos and writing so they are great to hold vacation memorabilia, write about sites they've seen and adventures they've had. Why not treat yourself and make one just for you. They are addictive to make so you may find that you are making them for everyone you know! I like to make mine ahead of time so that they are a gift for my children on the plane ride to Canada, and I also like making them in advance so that I can use my sewing machine to put them together. However, I have a FREE class with a hack so that you can put them together with out a sewing machine making them something fun to make while on the go! 


    Sign up right here to get the FREE Take Along Memory Keeper class

  4. Make a planner clip or two. Planner clips are a quick and easy project. I usually use hot glue, but there are so many glues out there that you can easily make these without hot glue. Planner clips are totally do-able on the go. Just make sure if you are crafting in a car or plane or any other closed space, to choose a glue that doesn't smell strong!! I have an entire class devoted to planner clips over at Big Picture Classes. There are dozens of clips in that class, pop over, choose a few and make them today!


  5. Make your own TN insert or Dashboard to take on vacation. A simple, yet effective way to shake things up in your planner is to add a new dashboard or TN insert. Why not create something summer themed to get you into vacation mood every time you open your planner? To avoid having to take a big heavy hole punch along, pre-punch your holes before you leave home. It will make life on-the-go simpler and your bag a lot lighter. 


  6. Set up the pockets of your planner for vacation. Add some pretty little things that you will need on vacay, some of your favourite washi wound on a card, some sticky notes, stickers, die cuts and even a little notebook. I recently made a Youtube video where I decorated my Malden pockets. Pop on over to the VIDEO to get some inspiration. 



In the video below, I make a bullet journal spread to house my bucket list of summer projects, I've got a frame for each project I'm going to make. This'll keep me accountable and of course it was another excuse to get crafty in my planner ;)

Which project will you make first? Drop me an email (or better yet, tag me on instagram - it's quicker and easier during busy summer days!) with a pic of your summer project! I'd love to see. I think that I'm going to start with Bea's adorable mini.

Happy Planning!

The Ultimate Packing Guide for Moms, When You Really Just Want to Pack It In

29-pocketsI've decided to use my new toy Malden as my vacation/summer planner. Can't wait to fill it up!

I've always been a little strange, but when it comes to this, I'm such a weirdo! I absolutely LOVE to pack! It actually makes me kind of giddy. Like, really giddy! Unpacking on the other hand, not so much. So that's why I'm sharing tips on packing and not unpacking! I have 16 years worth of child friendly packing experience and we've traveled a LOT with our geeklings! I'm going to make life easy for you this summer and share my favourite Do's and Don't's when it comes to packing for your children. PLUS, I have a fun bonus for you! Free packing list printables for you and for your little ones.

Click Here to get your Packing Lists!

Here are my packing guidelines when it comes to children:


  • Plan Ahead - Knowing what you have room for (in your car, plane baggage allowance etc) and what  you will need when you get there (beach gear versus an all inclusive) will help you know what you should bring and you can then make a list accordingly.

  • Decide what you REALLY need - What can you get by without (Do you really need 3 pairs of flip flops? Per child?)? What can you rent or purchase on site, so that you don't have to lug it along. We often borrow pool towels from the hotel with a deposit and buy floaties while we are there and pass them on to other guests that are just arriving as we are leaving.

  • Let the children pack for themselves - Give them a list, better yet, click the button below and download my printable list for them (just add the numbers of each item they will need depending on the time you will be gone).

     Click Here to get your Packing Lists!

    There's one for older children and a simplified doodled one for those little ones who can't read yet. They can even colour it in.


    Click Here to get your Packing Lists!

    Yes, even young ones can pack for themselves! I do always inspect things, though, before they go in the suitcase, as my 15 year old tends to try and include his entire room, while my 11 year old forgets pyjamas almost every time!

  • Encourage your children to pack light - When I was younger my aunt was taking her children for a short trip to a hotel with a pool. She challenged them all to pack light and I believe the one with the least amount of stuff won a prize. They all lined up for their mom to inspect their small bag, except one cousin didn't have a bag. He stood there, proudly, hands empty, with only his toothbrush in his pocket. 'Don't you know there's a pool?' asked one of his sisters, to which he responded by tugging on his shorts a bit to reveal his swim trunks!!
    Ok, so that's an extreme example, but packing light gives you freedom! You aren't bogged down by several large bags, there's no extra weight fees at the airport and there's room for souvenirs to bring home.

    Have ALL passports, for everyone in the family (even the hubster's), all tickets, documents etc., EVERYTHING, in ONE place - Whatever you do, don't let the children have their own passport. My little ones always want to take it out and look at their photo, that's just asking for it to get lost. My teens don't realise the crap we'd be in if they lost theirs, so they won't pay close enough attention and I just won't take that risk. Keeping everything in one place, keeps them safe, if your planner has a big enough pocket that's a great place to keep everything! Plus, when you get to customs or the ticket line, it's quick and easy to whip them all out at once and hand them over and you're not holding up the line. I'm going to put all of our passports and documents in the deep, last pocket of my Malden.

  • Pack small bags for each child for the car or plane - Kids get bored soooo fast and you don't want them in front of a screen for the entire trip so make sure that they have books and crayons and toys to keep them busy and to minimise the 'Are we there yet?'s. I love to put a little wrapped gift in there too. Usually it's an activity book, pens and one of my take along memory keepers. I make one for each of my children when we go on a long trip. They use them mostly to store all the bits and pieces they collect as souvenirs. There are lots of pockets so it's a great way to keep it all in one spot. They can even write a trip journal on the inside and record what they've visited.

    Sign up in the tag below for my free class on how to make some take along memory keepers for your kids! You'll get some free cutfiles too.

  • Don't let your children bring ALL the toys - let them chose their toys and books, but be selective, you don't need to bring the entire contents of their room. A small bag, that they can carry, with light books and toys is just perfect.

  • Don't let your children have too much screen time - We've noticed that the more time our children spend in front of a screen, the crankier they become. They are impolite, impatient and restless. They also fight even more than usual with each other after too much screen time. Depending on the length of the trip, we set a time limit where they have to read, sleep or play (usually about half the trip) then they can have one hour with their ipod/ipad/whatever.

  • Don't bring round crayons or little cars on a plane - Before leaving we fish out the pencils and crayons that are triangular or hexagonal in shape instead of smooth cylinders. We've lost quite a few over the years as they've rolled off the tray table, onto the floor and to the back of the plane, under some cranky, kid-hating old man's carry-on, never to be seen again. Dinky cars have gone the same way. Now, you may be thinking, what's the big deal? It's just a crayon and dinkies cost less than $2! But, when you have a toddler (that refuses to nap on the plane) that wants to colour with the RED crayon and the RED one has been missing for about 3 hours now, you know there is going to be an epic tantrum! Even older children have been know to flip out over toys that have rolled away. Do yourself (and everyone sitting around you) a favour and leave anything that rolls at home.

Now, that you know what to DO and DON'T, it is time to start packing! Click the button here and download your packing lists.      Click Here to get your Packing Lists!

  There is a girl version and a boy version for the little ones and a versatile, ultimate list for you. This one is great to print off for your older ones as well.

Packing-list-plus-toothbrushHAPPY PACKING, HAPPY PLANNING

and have a fantastic trip!

PS If you'd like to see my tips for decorating planner pockets, you can watch me do it in this youtube video: