Monday, October 26, 2015

Best-ever Pencil Sharpener in Purple!

(I received a free purple pencil sharpener to review, but that has not affected the opinions I am about to share)

I've posted here before about my love for the pencil sharpeners from Classroom Friendly Supplies, and I still believe they are the best you can get.  I especially appreciate when a company that makes an excellent product also acknowledges the value of bringing a little color to our everyday lives!  The purple is surely going to bring some fun to classrooms and homeschools!  

I first discovered these sharpeners through the recommendation of a friend of mine who is also a homeschool mom (of 6) and tutors additional children throughout the week.  I've been using a green sharpener at home for the last couple of years, and I have a red one that's used by my weekly homeschool community.  We've even placed bulk orders, so other moms in our group could purchase their own pencil sharpeners with the discount!  My friend has been known to give them as gifts!

The Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener took me a few minutes to figure out when it first arrived because it has features I'd never seen before.  Thankfully, there are instructions on the site that show you exactly how to operate the sharpener.  Pictures and video are included for those of us who need to see things to figure them out.  

 Once I saw how it worked, I fell in love with this sharpener.  I love that there is a silver piece that pulls out and actually holds the pencil for you!  This means you can use one hand to steady it as you turn the crank arm rather than having to bolt it down, although it does come with a clamp to attach it to a table or shelf.  My kids carry it all over the house whenever they are working, so the portability is awesome.  The pencil holder also means it's easy for my 7-year-old to use it on his own.  Another fabulous feature is that the sharpener loosens dramatically when the pencil is sharp, so I can buy the expensive pencils without worrying that they will get eaten up by over-zealous little boys.

There may be a danger of little boys thinking the sharpened pencils are weapons because they are REALLY sharp.  Unfortunately, this is more a hazard of little boys than of sharp pencils.  They are amazing at finding potential weapons.  I, personally, appreciate a super sharp point on a traditional pencil.

If you've been searching for a high quality, easy to use pencil sharpener for your classroom, office, or homeschool, this could be the one.  If you are a lover of all things purple then today is your lucky day.  You can now order a "popular purple" pencil sharpener in addition to the other fun colors!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Psalm 145:1-3 Printable

Do you work on Scripture memorization?  Our church family is working on memorizing Psalm 145 together throughout the fall.  We're beginning this week with the first three verses.  To help keep the words in front of my face, I made this black and white printable page.  If you'd like to download or print it, you can click the image below!

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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!