December Daily Drop Out!

Hello, my name is Cara and I’m a December Daily drop out.

I’ve tried, I really have.

I have a few albums where I’ve documented my December, but mostly, my albums sit half finished. I’ve tried to finish them in January and that did work… a bit. For two years now, I just haven’t been able to finish. 

Dd writing

I want to do it! I LOVE the look of a pretty December album, but most importantly, I want to have all those wonderful December memories documented. There are so many wonderful things going on in this fabulous time of the year and it all seems to rush by in a split second, so documenting it has helped me not only savour it more in the moment, but also to relive it again as I document it and then again whenever I look back at the album. 

However, it’s  A LOT OF WORK.

Because there is a lot that goes on in December, it leaves little time for playing with stickers. In a perfect world I’d have prepared all the pages in November, but November is almost as jam packed with activities. That… and I’m a procrastinator ;)

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So, the best alternative that I’ve found for me this year is to 
simplify, and here is what I’ve come up with. I’ve added an extra insert to my Dream TN (click HERE to find out more about that TN and the other inserts). This new insert is basically a fancy journal that magically takes away my December-Daily-dropout guilt and also takes away the pressure to make it perfect. Also without having to remember to take photos, editing, printing and sticking everyday, the process is quicker and so much less daunting. I can always use the photos I do take… or not. I love that there is no pressure or obligation.

Don’t think that it’s too late to start! There are still more than 5 days before Christmas, that’s a lot of memories you could record. So let’s get to it!

I'll use the same simple design for each of the 25 days. Some pages have 2 days in the 2 page spread. I know we will have more going on some days, so I left the 2 pages of the spread for that one day. Regardless, the design is similar. Use a design that suits you and feels easy for you.

Dd Dec1 journaled
I started with the big round numbers from the Carpe Diem Numbers Sticker Tablet, then I added a strip or two of Christmas washi, either a die cut (from the free printables, I’ll talk about those in a sec!) or a large sticker from the Carpe Diem Seasons Sticker Tablet. Then, I layered smaller stickers from all the Sticker Tablets. I also added a cluster either next to the number sticker or in another corner or both!
 

This design is quick for me to make, looks adorable and still leaves lots of room for writing, it’s simple and perfect for me this year!

Dd detail
I decorated the cover with patterned papers from Simple Stories along with some of the free printables…

Dd cover
Let’s just take a second here to talk about how stinkin’ awesome these printables are!
 Every month there is a set of cute printables that match that month’s page in the Seasons sticker tablet, you have A5, personal and TN options, plus you can resize before printing to fit your needs. Did I mention they are super cute, and FREE?! Amazing, right? There is also a bonus set this month for Christmas, You can find both of those sets HERE!

Dd printables
Ok, let’s get back to that cover! Washi and sti
ckers from the tablets give the cover a finished, polished look.

Dd cover close
I used some of the full page printables to fill some of the leftover pages. Simple and quick and that’s just what I’m looking for, creating this TN.

Dd inside cover
My printer messed up (or I set it wrong, more likely) and I had two that were printed on opposite sides of the same page, but one was upside down, so I used some washi to attach it to the top so that it could flip up, making it right side up!

Dd inside back cover
If things get busy, and, come on it’s December, so being busy is pretty much a given! I’ll take notes either on my phone or on a sitcky note until I get a chance to write it in.
 And these ones from the Carpe Diem Bloom collection are sooo pretty and they actually stick! Don’t you hate it when you’ve bought pretty stickies only to have them fall out of your planner and get lost? Not with these Carpe Diem sticky notes! 

Dd dec1 with sticky
I have a flip through of my December journal on my YouTube channel, so whether you are a December Daily dropout or not, hit play and join me here:

Happy planning and happy holidays!


How to Make Time for Yourself During the Busy Holidays

Are you already starting to get a bit overwhelmed with your Christmas preparations? It can be exhausting when there's so much to do and one, big, non-negotiable deadline. It can be tough on us women, so we have to make sure to take care of ourselves.

I've got an advent calendar that I made for myself last year and this year I put in little notes to myself with small, enjoyable things for me to do everyday, including reading with some tea, sipping a cup of eggnog or doing some yoga. Today's was watching the latest episode of Outlander!

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There's still 2 weeks until Christmas, that's 14 little activities that you can do. What activities would be on your notes to yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

Another restful thing I like to do during the holidays is get crafty!! Throughout the rest of the year, I don't always get around to decorating my planner, but I'm making an effort to take the time this month. You can see this week's spread in the video below and you can follow along as I planned out the week in the video HERE. So take some time for yourself now, make yourself a cosy drink and hit play. It's only about 2 minutes long.

There are lots of new videos on my YouTube channel this week, since I'm doing Vlogmas this month. You can see the slow progress of my Christmas cards and take bite-sized action steps towards planning the new year. So pop on over to my channel and spend some well deserved down time during this busy month.

Raising my cup of eggnog, here's to you!


How a Mom of 6 Gets 'IT' All Done for Christmas

I've shown you the inside of my Christmas planner, and how I'm actually using it but I thought today, that I would actually show you what I'm doing to accomplish all the things that I do to prepare for Christmas on top of my regular daily tasks. It's a lot. We don't host a meal or even get a tree, but the list does include:

  • making 100 homemade Christmas cards
  • including a unique, creative family photo that I feel the need to outdo myself every year ;)
  • making my Nannie Jean's fruitcake
  • baking and decorating gingerbread wookiees with the children (not a typo)
  • baking mince pies and other Christmas treats
  • celebrating Saint Nicolas on Dec 6
  • attending the children's Saint Nicolas concert at the school 
  • shopping for my family, large extended family, friends, and teachers
  • decorating a gingerbread house
  • going to the Wanter Gala concert, our children are in the orchestra
  • international travel (seems more glamorous than it is, you can drive 20 mins in any direction and be in another country, but we are going to Tenerife, a 4 hour flight from here)
  • packing for 8 people to go on said trip

PLUS this year I decided that adding 25 videos to my to-do list and doing Vlogmas on YouTube was a good idea (insert eye-roll emoji here). But, I've done it and I have some fantastic videos for you! There are plan with me's each week leading up to Christmas where I decorate my spread on the Saturday and then plan the week on the Sunday. I'm showing you Christmas products from Simple Stories, how to use those dreaded, but oh-so-cute puffy stickers in your planner and I share my 2019 planner line-up! I'm even going to go LIVE every Thursday, so make sure you are there for that 10am EST.

What I'm most excited for, is my Plan Your 2019 series. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until Christmas I have a short video with a tip to help you plan your year. There's a quick, do-able action step to help you move forward towards 2019. I've broken it all down for you, so that these steps are easy and quick and you can fit them into your busy holiday schedule, and you will be ready to hit the ground running when January 1 comes. Your goals won't know what hit them and you will be knocking those goals out of the park! Click here for the playlist of the Plan Your 2019 episodes, it will be updated as each episode is posted. Subscribe here and click that notification bell next to the subscribe button, to make sure that you don't miss a thing. Grab your planner and hit play to get started:

If you need a little more help planning your Christmas this year then have a look at my Plan Your Christmas class at Big Picture Classes. You can even take it for FREE! Big Picture is giving away free month trial memberships with the code CARACHRISTMAS, hurry though, the code expires December 15, 2018.

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Pop over there now, grab all the printables and meet me back here. I'll wait... (cue upbeat, jingly Christmas music)

 PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS

Got them? Awesome!

Now, grab your to-do list for Christmas, the printables from my free class and a nice cup of coffee (bonus points if you splash in a bit of Bailey's) then hit play on this video and we'll get you organised for Christmas. I'm going to walk you through the first step of planning your Christmas. Let's go!


My Christmas Planner in Use - Plan Your Christmas

I've shown you my Christmas planner, now let's see it in action!

It's all well and good to have a pretty Christmas planner, but it really needs to be a workhorse for you during the holiday season to keep you organised, so that everything gets done on time and you can enjoy your Christmas season.

Grab your Christmas planner and your favourite warm holiday drink and hit play:

If you want to learn how to have a calm, peaceful, stress-free Christmas, or would simply like some FREE printables to help you along the way, then pop over to my class PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS, Big Picture Classes is giving you a FREE month's trial membership with the code: CARACHRISTMAS. Check it out now:

PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS

Have a look around at my other classes too, a month is plenty of time to check them all out. You also have access to Big Picture's entire library of classes. So pop over there now and get started with your peaceful Christmas season: Plan YOUR CHRISTMAS class.

code CARACHRISTMAS expires December 15, 2018


A Dreams and Goals Journal

I've noticed lately that my brain is full of fun dreams and goals and I've been scratching them into my planner. Then I realised that if these are my biggest dreams and ambitions, they need a pretty home, and to be valued. So the Dreams and Goals Journal idea was born. I grabbed a pretty TN and stickers from my favourite collection, both from Carpe Diem Planners, and got to work. 

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I also added an insert for the books I'll read in 2019, I find I tend to fly right to the next non-fiction book never taking the time to process what I've learned. I'm reducing my reading goal to only one non-fiction a month and only going on to the next one once I've processed it fully in this book.

All of the products used in the video below are on sale right now at Carpe Diem Planner's brand new and totally gorgeous website. Use the code CARA20 for 20% off the entire site at this link: 

CARPE DIEM PLANNERS 20% off OPENING SALE
the code is valid until November 30 at midnight

Ok, grab your list of dreams and goals and hit play! 

Don't have a Dreams and Goals list? Check out my class at Big Picture Classes PLAN YOUR DREAMS, you can take it for free along with all my classes with a FREE one month membership to Big Picture Classes, just use the code: CARACHRISTMAS

This post is not sponsored, but Carpe Diem Planners did give me the products to use and promote.


A Stress Free Christmas Starts Now!

Did I just stress you out with my title?

Sorry!
Not my intention at all.

I'd love for you to start planning your Christmas now, so that when the season arrives, you will be able to sit back with a cup of eggnog and enjoy it all. 

Imagine your most perfect Christmas, wouldn't that be lovely? It's actually possible! Well, maybe not all of it if your perfect Christmas includes Jude Law showing up at your door in the middle of the night. But, you can still watch that happen to Cameron Diaz in the Holiday, which is my all-time favourite holiday movie. Or in a pinch, go see him as Yumbledore in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Sorry for the random Jude tangent, back to planning... ;)

 

Christmas doesn't have to be stressful, it can be as fun for us as it is for the children. Grab that cup of eggnog or a PSL and hit play and I'll tell you how.

 

Then, grab your planner and come have a peek inside my Christmas planner to see how I'm keeping organised this year.

 

You can take my PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS class for free this year! Big Picture Classes is giving you a 30 trial membership, that's plenty of time to take my Christmas class as well as all the others! Plus, you have access to the entire Big Picture library!! Pop over to this link:

PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS

and use the code: CARACHRISTMAS


My Secret Weapon for Productivity | Plan Your Goals

Use this productivity secret weapon as you plan your goals. It's a fab productivity hack that really works! Seriously, this productivity tip will change how you plan and get you to that goal in no time! I notice a huge difference when I forget to use it.

Want to know what it is and how it can help YOU? Grab your planner and a hot cup of some thing nice and hit play on this video to find out what the secret weapon is and start using it today!

 

 


The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive

I could be considered a busy person and the number one reaction I get from people when I tell them I have 6 children is, 'Oh, you MUST be busy!' I tend to come back with 'Naw, I'm really organised, but it does get quite loud!'

...hmmm, I think I may need to come up with something snappier...

I strive to be productive instead and in this video I'm highlighting the differences between being busy and being productive. Plus, I give you 3 tips for how you can become more productive. 

So grab a cup of tea, your planner and hit play:

 


No Sew DIY Traveler's Notebook Inserts

They're so many TN inserts out there, but that does not mean that there is one that suits your planning needs. Making your own inserts for your traveler's notebook is a fabulous option to make your planner more versatile and work better for you, so you can stay organised. As a bonus, it can be a budget friendly option as well.

However, if you don't have a sewing machine or a long arm stapler, you may think that it's impossible.

It's totally possible!

And in this week's video, I've got 5 ways that you can bind your inserts complete with tutorials for each one. 

Grab your TN and an eraser... yes, an eraser ;) and hit play:

 

 


My Planning Essentials

After I take you through my planner essentials, I've got 5 questions that you can ask yourself to help you find your own planner essentials. So, stay tuned for that!

 If I was held at gunpoint and asked what my 5 favourite, can't-live-without planner essentials were, this is what they would be:

First I'd need a Traveler's Notebook.

I couldn't choose a favourite among my TN's, even with that gun to my head, so I'm glad that I don't have to and I can change TN's as my mood strikes. Usually though, I'll stay in one for a long time, changing most often with the seasons.

Next, I'd need the Commit30 printables.

The Commit30 planners have been working well for me for years and the printable version is my favourite. I love creating my own inserts. I can personalise them and for the moment, I prefer printing 2 months per insert. That way I can really slim down my TN if necessary, and only carrying around one insert. Though, I usually do have the current insert plus the previous one and the one coming up (if I'm on the ball and have it printed already!)

3rd is a nice sharp pencil.

I do most of my planning in pencil, I like to be able to erase. Oh wait! I guess that pencil I'm choosing at gun point will have to have an eraser on top! Otherwise I'd need a 6th thing, the eraser. Schedules change, so a pencil is an easy fix and I can easily rearrange my week if needed, especially if I fall behind early on.

4th is clips for me!

To mark a page, to clip a bunch of pages together for easy flipping as I plan, to simply look pretty, one little clip can do a lot. I love that they are very versatile, being both fun and functional. I have a entire class all about creating planner clips. Check it out here: Planner Clips.

Last is Washi!

I love to decorate, but if I'm only allowed one item, it would be washi, it comes in tonnes of different designs and colours so it makes it versatile and adaptable to any planner girls' style or even my mood of the day. I have a fantastic YouTube video with 21 ways to Use Washi, so if all you have in your stash is Washi, then you won't be stuck for ideas! 

 

Now, it's your turn! Everyone's planner essentials are different, whether you are just starting out or you simply want to go back to basics for a while. Ask yourself these 5 questions to determine your planner essentials:

  1. What is the first thing you grab when you sit down to plan? 
    This may be your planner, but maybe not. Maybe it's the latest sticker kit from your favourite Etsy shop, or your master to-do list.

  2. What is your go-to planner system? 
    Do you have inserts that you love or a specific way the your planning HAS to be done? Maybe you have a favourite pen that you HAVE to use every time, or a pack of coloured pens.

  3. What could you give up if you had to? 
    These items could be taken off of your essential list.

  4. What items are you constantly putting away?
    If you are putting it away a lot, that means that you are using it a lot and that it's important in your planning sessions.

  5. What is the first item that you would put out of reach if a rambunctious child or dog headed towards your planner things?
    Those are your favourites, your essentials.

Still not sure? Grab your planner and hit play on this week's YouTube video, maybe seeing my essentials may help you decide.