Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Are you planning for Halloween?

Jodie and Jen over at Eighteen25 have been hosting Spooktacular September this month to showcase a new Halloween project or idea each day. Today, you will find my guest post over there where I'm sharing some super-cute and simple printable Halloween party supplies. Head on over and check it out!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Priorities and Setting Goals

I am not Superwoman.  Just in case I had you fooled.  I think I've always known that nobody can do it all, but for a long time I failed to realize that there's NO WAY I'll be able to do everything I want to do at any given time.  I've been considering my personality type over the summer (thanks to Meyers-Briggs) and how it affects the way I work and how I interact with others.  As and ISTJ, I am a perfectionist.  Even when I try not to be, I'm still mentally a perfectionist.  I'm definitely recovering in this area, but I have to keep a firm grasp on what's really important if I don't want to get too stressed out.  

This is where considering my priorities for my daily life and setting clear goals that line up with those become very important.  If I can remember that a sticky floor isn't of eternal importance, then I'm less likely to have a meltdown when I'm peeling my sock off the floor just one more time in the middle of trying to cook dinner.

I feel the pressure of holding all the "to dos" in my brain all of the time, so I've been working with lots of lists lately.  I hope to open up my master "list book" with you all some time, but today I'm settling for sharing a weekly task list that I made.  The "list book" is loosely based on the Getting Things Done system.  Basically, I took what worked from that for me and made it into a giant book of lists that keep me from forgetting things that need to happen but aren't the most pressing.  I am not a great multi-tasker, so the book helps me to overcome my tunnel vision.

In the last year I've found this post written by Tim Challies to be especially helpful in keeping my perspective and examining what may need to be added or subtracted from my life in this season.  He writes about defining our areas of responsibility.  It's especially helpful to me because it doesn't look just at what I have to do or what I hope to do.  It helps me to look at my responsibilities from the perspective of the roles I've been given by God and how they matter for eternity.  I have my list of roles and responsibilities in the front of my List Book, and I re-evaluate it periodically.  Crystal Paine also writes about goal on her Money Saving Mom site, and she has great tips for setting and tracking your progress.

I also bought the Kindle version of Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford on impulse when it came out, and it's been a great read in the midst of examining priorities.  This book steps on my perfectionist toes over and over, and it's been super-convicting.  Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie is up next as I think about priorities for our homeschool.  It's been quite a transition this year with Benjamin now reading solidly and Jonathan diving into Challenge A.  

In the midst of all the craziness, my biggest help is to keep a master list of MUST DO tasks for each week in all of my areas of responsibility.  I find it helpful to mentally dump this onto paper, so I made this grid to help me out.  I can name the categories and jot down the most important tasks in each one. Then I can keep it on hand when I'm planning my schedule for the week and refer back to it when I feel like I may be veering off track or need to know what can be tossed from my longer lists.  

If you'd like to try out the "Must-Do Task List" you can click on the picture above to download the PDF.  I hope it will help someone else out there keep some sanity in the day-to-day craziness!

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hello There!

Today is exciting because I'm being featured over at The Dating Divas!  If you've clicked over from today's post, I welcome you to A Well-Feathered Nest!  My blog has evolved over the years, but I love to write about my family, my home, and ideas for squeezing the most out of the mundane, everyday moments.  I also love to share my printable creations with you.

Here's an example!  Click the image below to 
download the PDF file for this Father's Day print.

I began designing for The Dating Divas at the end of 2014.  I've immensely enjoyed the opportunity to work with everyone over there.  The assignments they send me each month have pushed my creative boundaries, and it's so much fun to see the end results.

I also offer many organizational printables, Harry Potter party decorations, and other prints in my Etsy Shop.  What began as an obsession with creating charts and forms for myself and party printables for my boys grew into a business that helped us take the most amazing Disney/Universal vacation last year.

If you haven't been over to The Dating Divas, you'll want to check out the giveaway I'm hosting over there!

Monday, April 27, 2015

FREE Printable: Weekly Meal Plan Sticky Notes

Do you love sticky notes?  I sure do!  I had never really thought about printing onto sticky notes until one of my assignments from The Dating Divas included a request for a page of sticky notes.  I just had to try it for myself, and now I can't believe all the possibilities that creates!

As my planner organization has evolved over the last year or so, I find myself using sticky notes ALL the time.  I recently created these printable meal plan stickies for myself, and I LOVE them.  I like to have a quick place to write down my dinner ideas for the week right along with my weekly plan, so I can account for nights when we have places to be or there are other things going on.  This sticky note makes that easy and keeps me organized.

I'll be sharing more about my current planning set-up in the near future, but I wanted to go ahead and share this printable with you guys.  All you have to do is print the page, place your 3x3 sticky notes inside of the square guides on the page, place the sheet back into the printer face down, and print the page again.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Balance and Planner Love

Our family has just finished up a tremendously busy season.  We went from having an unusually calm fall to a totally CRAZY winter.  My oldest son and husband enjoy participating in community theater.  They weren't able to participate in A Christmas Carol this year because of the timing of our December vacation, but they jumped back in feet first with our city's production of Mary Poppins.  As Mr. Banks and Michael Banks, this was definitely the most time-consuming project either of them has been involved with.  It was an amazing thing to see on the stage.

By the end of March, we were up to our eyeballs in practical preparation for the coming school year, finishing up the current school year, and other bits and pieces of things that had been neglected during the crazy season.

I struggle for balance.  I am a very project oriented person, so continually plugging away for weeks and weeks without seeing much big-picture progress is hard.  I've spent the last several weeks attempting to give some order to the madness.

One of the projects I've taken on in the last several months is designing printables for The Dating Divas.  Their stuff is all over Pinterest and the internet, so you may have seen a post of theirs at some point.  I love their mission to help married couples keep their romance a top priority, and I've really enjoyed collaborating with the Divas to create some fun printable designs.  These Mix CD envelopes, Popcorn Bar Decorations, and cute Our Story prints are among the items I've designed for them in the last several months.

In my quest for balance, I had to make some decisions about the shop.  In the end, I opted to replace my planner designs with undated versions of each one.  The main reason for this is that it takes massive amounts of time to update the dates on multiple planner formats each year.  By offering undated versions, they will be usable for years to come, and I can free up time to work on new designs and projects like these fun new editable Responsibility Charts.

I would love to be able to keep the yearly planners going, but it's just not the best use of my time during this season.  I've also been experimenting with changing up my personal planner system, and I think I've found something that works even better for me than my Arc book.  I love the Arc for a lot of reasons, but it wasn't easy for me to carry around which meant I usually didn't have it with me.  I'll be sharing what's working for me because I'm a little surprised that I've been converted. You might be able to spot where I'm headed if you've browsed through my shop lately or follow me on Instagram.
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