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The Incredible Importance of Gratitude and a Gift for You!

Apparently Americans think that it was Thanksgiving this past week, well any Canadian will tell you that Thanksgiving was back in October!! Haha silly Americans.


All jokes aside, no matter what country you live in, any time is a great time to show your thanks. An attitude of gratitude will go a long way in your happiness. When you are grateful for what you have, no matter how meager, you make a mind shift from wanting to having, and that makes all the difference.

It's one thing to do it for one day a year, and quite another to make it a habitual part of your every day. Being grateful for what you have in your life works wonders at driving away frustration, disappointments and anxiety. When you see what you have and what you've accomplished, it actually makes you confident as you move forward with goals and projects instead of fretting over the work and effort needed to get where you'd like to be.  Being happy, content and thankful with where you are makes life so much more wonderful that you can't help but smile all the time.

I encourge you to choose the one thing from the list below that speaks to you the most, and start right now! List 1-5 things that you are thankful for, today and everyday.  They don't have to be big things, you can mix in little happy moments with your children, the fact that there was no traffic on the way to work and a quiet 5 minutes with a cuppa in the morning light, along with a promotion or a trip of a life time. The little moments are a lot easier to come by and add to your list, and they are also the ones we tend to over look. They are the wonderful bits of our day that make up our lives and make it amazing. The more we are able to see these moments for the joys that they are, the happier our lives will be.

Here are 10 easy ways that you can make gratitude a part of your daily routine:

  • Stick a new post-it with your list on your bathroom mirror each day
  • Find a gratitude buddy and email or message your list to each other everyday
  • Add fresh flowers or a pretty picture to your home and come up with one thing to be thankful for every time you see it
  • Keep a journal - list your items at the same time every day
  • Set an alarm on your phone and list the things you are thankful for out loud or jot them down
  • Write a quick message to someone for whom you are grateful
  • Write your list on a chalk board in your kitchen, change it out each day or have a running list that you can erase at the end of the week
  • When you are frustrated, stop and take a look around and find something to be thankful for, there is always something
  • Pray or meditate on this at the same time every day
  • Have everyone say what they are thankful for at the dinner table before the meal, everyday

I've had an alarm on my phone set for 10:47am (no idea why I picked that completely random time, haha!) and I would list out loud 3 things everyday. I turned it off for a while but I'm turning it back on today and I'm also going to write my list down if I happen to be at home when it goes off. I recently found an old gratitiude journal of mine and it's an amazing feeling going back and rereading those little lists of everyday wonders.

The first item on my list today is going to be YOU! I am so grateful that you come and read my blog. I am grateful to be able to share my thoughts and experiences. Thank you!

To show my thanks, I thought about having a Black Friday sale. Instead, I really want to do something more than simply give you a discount, so I'm giving away my hand drawn Christmas printables for you to use however you'd like. Follow the link below to download all three sheets and please tag me if you post them online so that I can see! Enjoy!

Whimsical Christmas Printables


Finally! It's Acceptable to be Planning Christmas, and I've Been at it Since August.

Yes, I've been planning Christmas since August, nothing too drastic, just slowing picking away at my tasks. Whenever I tell people this, they usually think I'm a crazy, Christmas obsessed fool. You know what, I have a huge family and I NEED to start early. Now that it's November, people are putting up their trees and starting their shopping so it seems like now is the 'acceptable' time to start planning. Some people still think it's too early.

But is it? Is it really too early?


The Christmas season is very short for all the tasks and activities we want to cram in. Why not start early and slowly pick away at it so that you arrive at Christmas morning fresh and ready to enjoy the day instead of worn out and ready to fall asleep. 

It's not enough to arrive at Christmas day with all your tasks done and all those pretty checkboxes checked if you are tired and cranky. 


When I was at PlannerCon in Brussels a few weeks ago, I taught my Plan Your Christmas workshop. I told the ladies (and gents) that if you leave things too late, you'll end up being that crazy-eyed, harried lady in the stores on Christmas Eve, being rude to everyone because you're so stressed out. 

You want to be home on Christmas Eve snuggled up by the fire with a nice mug of hot cocoa, drooling over Jude Law in the Holiday. And if you start early and then, end up finishing early, all the better. More time for Jude :)

So feel free to start planning early, don't over schedule yourself, don't take on too many tasks, schedule it in and follow your plan!

Do you need help? Did you miss PlannerCon Europe? Then, check out the online version of my Plan Your Christmas class. It's at Big Picture Classes and it's got everything you need to have a peaceful well organised Christmas season, a season where you enjoy every step of the journey towards Christmas as well as Christmas day and all your activities and parties.  So pop on over and take a look, and if you don't have a Big Picture membership, you can get a free trial and that will give you plenty of time to review the class lessons.

Plan Your Christmas



10 Planner Inspired DIY Gift Ideas You can Start Today

Christmas is right around the corner!

Did I just give you a bad case of the heebie jeebies? Don't worry there is still lots of time to do everything that you want, you simply need to start now.

If you are hoping to make some handmade gifts this year, then you really need to start now, if you haven't already. The Christmas season is a busy one and you may not have the time to get crafting once the concerts, parties and bake-a-thons begin. 

To help you along, I've put together a list of quick and easy planner inspired gifts that you can make, either for that planner girl on your list, or someone who doesn't plan at all. I've included links to instructions to make things super easy for you!

BEAUTIFUL BOOKMARKS - These pretty bookmarks are perfect for a planner girl or your favourite bookworm. If you have a few earrings that have lost their mate, this is the perfect gift idea for you to make.

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 RECIPE AND MEAL PLANNER - A great gift for any cook or busy mom, even if they don't use a planner. You can decorate a simple planner so that they can plan their weekly menu, and store the family's favourite recipes all in one convenient spot. This link takes you to my class Gift Of Organisation at Big Picture Classes, a class about gifting planners for other uses besides planning.


DIY STASH BOOK FOR ALL YOUR SECRET STUFF - I always wanted to have one of these when I was younger, an innocent looking book that really houses hidden treasures and memorabilia. I've made one as a gift and it's fun to make and a super cute idea for anyone on your list, young or old.

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DIY ZIPPER BOOK COVER CLUTCH  - A fun project for anyone on your list, especially book lovers. They can use it as a purse, to hold their planner, or their current read.  

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DIY TEA CUP CANDLES  - Do you drink tea or light a candle when you plan? This gift is feminine and romantic and though quick to make, it makes an impressive gift.

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DIY INSPIRATION SMASHBOOK - So pretty and feminine, or change up the style for a man on your list. Journals and smash books are a wonderful gift for anyone. 

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GRATITUDE JOURNAL - Nothing makes us happier than realising all of the wonderful things we already have in our lives. Decorate a planner for someone to use as a journal and record the things they are thankful for. This link takes you to my class Gift Of Organisation at Big Picture Classes, a class about gifting planners for other uses besides planning.


EASY LEATHER CORD KEEPER DIY - Inspired by our leather planners and TNs, this cord keeper is a beautiful little gift to keep those freakin' headphones from tangling! Got a teen on your list? Why not whip up one of these today?  

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LEATHER HANDBAG TASSEL - Do you have one of these on your planner? Make one for someone today! If they aren't a planner girl, they could hang it on their handbag.

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PLANNER CLIPS - Planner clips are so fun to make! You can give them to a planner friend or as book marks for the bookworm on your gift list.  This link takes you to my class Planner Clips at Big Picture Classes.


Let me know in the comments if you plan to make any of these and please tag me on Instagram (caravincens) if you do, I'd love to see! 

Pinch Me!! My PlannerCon Europe Dream

Have you ever been in a place with wonderful people where you felt like everything was perfect with the world?

Have you ever felt so happy and absolutely giddy about something that you had a permanent smile on your face 24/7?

Have you ever been somewhere where all your nervousness simply melted away (even if you were speaking in front of 300 people) because you felt at home and that this what you were meant to do?


This is how I felt all last weekend!

I was at PlannerCon Europe and it was amazing!

Pcuphoto from PlannerCon Europe

I've been to scrapbooking events before and they were fantastic but there was something about this event that had me in giddy mode all weekend long. These were my people, this was not only papercrafting, but planning and organising too. Plus, there is something so refreshing about going to an event that has been organised by people who specialise in organising, by planner girls! It ran like clockwork and everything was on time,  well thought out and planned to perfection.

I've also never felt so connected to so many women at once. The entire group was smiling, happy, kind and friendly and I feel like I've made over 300 new friends who 'get' me!

I gave two workshops, Plan Your Christmas and Plan Your Dreams and the feedback was amazing. It felt so good to know that I'm inspiring women and to see their beautiful faces hopeful and excited to try things that I taught. I was there representing Paper House Productions and of course everyone loved their gorgeous stickers and goodies.

AutumnCollexFullAny wonder with these fantastic products!

Another huge highlight was getting to meet Erin Condren and hear her speak! Her story is so inspiring and her message rings so true for me. I want women to accomplish their biggest dreams, that's why my Plan Your Dreams class is my favourite one to teach. Her talk and the quotes on her products all speak right to my heart. She told us things like 'Turn your Dreams into Plans' and 'Believe you can and you will'. I love teaching women exactly HOW to do this, by dreaming up a wonderful life and then how to plan it out.

Erin condren

There is so much more I could tell you, I could go on for days. Instead I want to challenge to you find something that lights you up and makes you smile a goofy smile all day long. So big and goofy that your cheeks hurt the next day. In my Plan Your Dreams workshop, I challenged the ladies to come up with 100 dreams, big and small. And in that big list of dreams, to find one amazing dream that jazzed them up and got them excited to work towards it. Be it a big dream or small, I'm challenging you to do the same.

Tell me all about the dream that you are working towards in the comments below.