Friday, June 28, 2013

The Life Planner

I love when other bloggers share some of their favorite things.  During my five year blogging stint, I've found several things I love through suggestions of other bloggers.  Not to knock promotions and giveaways that other bloggers do, but I love it even more when they share things they love, but they are not getting compensated for.

That being said, I wanted to share one of my most favorite things with you. 

Erin Condren Life Planners

(My 2013-2014 Life Planner)

I'm about to start on my third Life Planner.

I stumbled across them a few years ago through blogging and I've been in love with them ever since.

Yes, I realize that most people have moved onto electronic calendars, but call me old fashioned, I still love a good paper planner. 

(Month at a Glance)

Confession....I've been a planner junkie for years now.  Even when I didn't have much anything going on in my life, I was still buying planners and searching for the perfect one.

For years I stuck with ones from Target or Walmart, but there was always something I didn't like about any of the ones I bought.  So my quest for the perfect planner continued. 

 (Inspirational quotes throughout)

The thing is that these planners are not on the cheap side, most people balk when they ask how much I paid for them (they start at $50).  However, when I added up how much money I was spending on ones from Target (because I would always find one I thought would work better), it added up to about the same.  For the past three years, I've only bought one planner and stuck with it the entire year. 

Life Planners are something I consider a splurge for myself.  I used to feel guilty over buying them, but now that I see how much I use it, I think its totally worth it.

(Week-at-a-Glance)

A couple of weeks ago, Erin Condren came out with this years new planners and I have to say that out of the three I've owned, this years "model" is perfect!  It's got space for all the things I need to write down and as always, they are beautiful to look at.

(Laminated tabs)

(Snap in Ruler/page holder)

 (double sided folder and plastic pouch)

 (Lined Note Pages)

 (Blank Note Pages)
 

(Three Pages of Stickers-can also be customized for a price)

The best part of Life Planners....they are personalized!  They have plenty of options to choose from for covers and you can pick the colors of your liking.  You can even add photos to the cover! 

You can also choose between a 12 month or 18 month planner.  I went with a 12 month planner this past year, but went back to an 18 month this go round.

Oh, and these guys are sturdy.  Between the laminated tabs and cover and the aluminum coil...I promise you that they hold up all year long!

(My 2012-2013 planner)

I've been asked before if I carry it with me and the answer is no.  I usually keep mine at home, but because I'm usually a big purse kinda gal, I can usually fit it in whatever purse I'm carrying if I needed to (and I have on occasion).  If your looking for something smaller and lite enough to carry everyday, I'd look elsewhere. 

Seriously though, these things are awesome and after three years, I'm still in love with them! 


For the record....Erin Condren has no clue who I am.  These opinions are all my own and I bought my planner with my own money.  However, if Erin Condren would like to send me a free one, I'd take it in a heart beat! : )

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just some rambling....

We're staying busy again.

It's funny because each week I get asked "y'all have a busy week?" and I always say "No....but we have this and this on this day, such and such on this day...."  I'm sure those who ask are constantly rolling their eyes at me.  So yes, we do have a busy week every week.

We're trying to stay busy because I'll be honest, if I'm not out doing something, I'm on the couch whinning about how pregnant I am.

I've tried to stay away from complaining about being pregnant, because A).  This was something I prayed about for three years and B).  I realize this time around there are a lot of women who would trade places with me in a heart beat. 

However, I feel every woman gets the right to complain when they hit the nine month mark. Especially if they hit the nine month mark in the middle of the summer.

Though by the technical calender, I'm a week away from being nine months, I'm declaring myself officially "nine months" pregnant since they are planning on taking her at 39 weeks.

(35 weeks with Amelia Jane)

You better believe I'm throwing that "nine month pregnant" status out for EVERYTHING!!!

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!!!

However, I am praying hard that she does not come a day earlier than her scheduled date.  We already have made plans for grandma & Nana to come and stay, David to take vacation, and what we're doing with Olivia, so y'all know my type A planning self can not take her coming early.  So, pray she stays put till then.

************

When I say we've been busy, I should really say we've been swimming and hanging with friends.


That's pretty much what we've been up to.  We are taking full advantage of the pool next door and using it almost everyday.  Our current favorite routine is for her and I to go up around lunch, swim for a little while and then home for naps (yes, I'm included on those), then to return after dinner for an evening swim.  Evening swims are my favorite I've decided.

Last Thursday, our friend Kelsey invited us to come swim with her group and Olivia had a blast since she had so many other kids to play in the pool with (8 kids vs. 3 adults).  Normally it's just her and I at the pool and she has on several occasions informed me I'm not a fun swim partner.  Sorry, I cannot currently do back-flips off the diving board...I am NINE MONTHS pregnant!!!


I won't lie...I too really enjoyed the several hours of swimming with friends because it gave us moms hours of girl talk. 

Can I just say....God Bless girlfriends!

************

In other news....there was some last minute changes in Amelia's nursery and it's had me scrambling to try to get something together.  I know things do not have to be perfect for her arrival, but I've been feeling the pressure to find something that works in there without spending a wad of cash....which is kinda hard when you wait till the last minute.

There is no way her nursery will be totally be done before her arrival, but I promise to post pics as soon as it gets to looking like some kind of something....which knowing me, that might be in December of next year.

To be honest, I've had no motivation to do a nursery this go round....none at all.

My apologies in advance to Amelia if she ever reads this. We love you, promise.

************

I should probably go ahead and warn you that I will be pouting all next week.

 (KP and Livi last summer)

My family is heading up for our annual 4th of July beach trip and I was not given the "all clear" to go by my doctor.  Being that it will be less than 20 days to baby time, she feels its cutting it too close.  So, I will be depressed all week I'm sure.  This isn't the first time I've had to miss the trip, but it will be the first time Olivia has had to miss.  I know she's kinda young to remember, but I hate we're missing out on a week spent with the family. Especially since this is her last few weeks being the only...i.e. getting all the attention and being spoiled rotten. We briefly debated on sending her up without me, but she quickly told me she likes sleeping near me.  I know a lot of kids her age that are used to being sent away for a week at a time, but its not her personality and she's not quiet ready.   To be honest, I don't think I'm quiet ready yet for it either.

She's already promised me she's living with me forever, so I'm holding her to it! : )



P.S. sorry for the repeat of instagram photos....I'm sure you know I haven't picked up a real camera in weeks. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The fourth love of my life...

I get asked constantly about this thing, so I guess it's time to do a post.

You may have already noticed him in random pictures or post, but I don't think I've ever formally introduced him.

Meet my cork board...


Here he is in all his glory.  He may or may not be one of my most favorite things I own in my house and yes, he's as big as he looks.  Your eyes are not deceiving you. 

If he ever makes an appearance in a picture, I get asked at least once for his details, so here his story.

I will not take credit for him all myself.  A few years back, one of my favorite bloggers was Darby from Fly Through Our Window.  She no longer blogs, but you can still stalk find her and her cute family on instagram.  Well, she has a huge bulletin board hanging in her home and I had pined for it the moment I saw it.  I've tried to search her blog, but cannot find a picture of it now.  I do remember her once saying that she ordered it from a school supply company, so for the next two years, I would every so often search the web for a large cork board.

However, they ran about $120 and yes, that doesn't seem like much, but when your shelling out for diapers and formula every week, it was more than I could spend at the time.  It became one of those things that I really wanted but just could never justify spending the money on.....you catch my drift?

Two Christmases ago, my mother-in-law started asking what I wanted for Christmas.  After not really giving her anything to work with for weeks, I asked if she would buy me a cork board for Christmas.  You can only imagine the "mmmkay....." that I got.  I promised her it was something that A). I really wanted but wouldn't buy myself,  B). I had a plan for it, and C). I promised to not hate her later for giving me a cork board for Christmas. 

Reluctantly, she agreed.

I decided on a 4 foot x 6 foot size because I felt like it would give me the bigness I wanted, yet we could still move it around to different places if needed.

She had to order it online from a school supplies company.  We don't remember now who exactly she ordered it from, but expect it to be anywhere in the price range of $120-$150.  I have looked at several different companies over the years and that seems to be the going rate.

You can get them bigger (I believe Darby's board is bigger), but obviously that is a little more expensive.

Sad as it might sound, I was excited to get a cork board for Christmas.

Then in my true procrastinating form, it sat around for almost eight months before we finally got around to finishing it.  I cannot tell you how many times my mother-in-law would still question my crazy cork board needs being that it sat there for that long. 

Finally, Dave and I got to working on it.  Mainly because even though its big, it was kinda flimsy and really needed to be hung up before it was tore up by a certain two year old.

I used about two yards of burlap to cover the front.  It ended up being the perfect size, so I did not need to cut the burlap or anything.  I had debated at one time covering it with some type of patterned fabric, but decided to keep things neutral instead.  I actually used flat thumb tacks to hold the burlap in place and then went around the edge with a staple gun.  The molding covered the thumb tacks easily, so no need to worry about removing them.


After I covered it with burlap, David framed it out with some pre-primed molding.  Nothing special, just the stuff from home depot.


I believe he glued it and then he nailed it down.  We glued it so it would be a little more sturdy, however, I'm kinda stuck with the burlap now.  I was okay (and still am) with that decision.  It goes with everything and looks timeless to me. I mean burlap has been around for awhile now.

You may notice that the sides don't really connect all the way to each other at the top.  That was the longest those pieces of wood came in on and you don't really notice it unless you look really close, so we just went with it.  It doesn't bother us, but you might want to look for something else if it would bother you.

He also added a little bit of caulk anywhere their were openings where the wood met. 

After he got everything glued, nailed down, and caulked, I put several layers of painters tape on the edge of burlap and then VERY CAREFULLY painted the frame white. I think I did three or four coats just to be good.

I'm sure you could also paint before hand and then do touch ups, but for some reason, I didn't go that route.

I mentioned earlier that in its original state, the cork board is pretty flimsy.  However, once you add the frame around it, it becomes pretty sturdy.  I doubt you could break it after that. Just be careful moving it around when you first get it.

Not quite sure what he used to hang it, but I know it's up there pretty good.  We've never had it fall or even budge when someone touches it.


As you can see, we pretty much hang everything on it.  This is where I hang invitations, thank you cards, holiday cards, and obviously...school work. I clean it off about twice a year or when ever it runs out of room. 


I've actually had a few people offer to buy it from me, but sorry, not going to happen.  I love it and cannot see myself parting with it anytime soon. 

It might just be that one thing I'd grab in a fire...after my kids of course.  

That's if I could get it off the wall.

Oh, and my mother-in-law finally stopped questioning my craziness over a cork board.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lake Life


So......according to the statistics on blogger, you all must have missed me.

I'm humbled....seriously.  Why y'all love to listen to my rambles, I have yet to figure out, but it still flatters me after all these years.  Which speaking of years.....I realized a couple of weeks ago, this fall will be the five year mark for my little blog.  I honestly think the only other thing I've stuck with that long is David.

Yes, two posts back to back....but I'm still not making any promises.

 ********************

When David and I first started dating, his family were "lake people."  They had all the lake toys and would go pretty much almost every weekend during the summer.  It was my first experience of being a lake person.  I don't honestly ever remember going as a kid.

We used to spend those days on the lake talking about how we wanted our kids to grow up going to the lake and for their childhood to be filled with lake memories.  Ironically though, right before we got pregnant with Olivia, we had kinda stopped going to the lake and they ended up selling their lake toys.  So in reality, we haven't really been lake people these past few years.

Last summer though, it kinda hit us all that we were missing weekends at the lake and we started dreaming of lake life again.  When fall rolled around, his parents bought a small little ski boat and we were already making plans to introduce Olivia to the lake lifestyle.

But then I had to go and get pregnant, so our return to lake life hasn't quite been what we were originally planning on, but Amelia is completely worth it.

This past weekend, his parents rented a small lake house on Lake Oconee and invited us down for the weekend.  We couldn't go for the whole weekend due to schedule conflicts, but we did escape for a quick 24 hours.
 
I'm normally a front of the boat kinda gal, but it was a little too bumpy, so Amelia and I rode in the back.

 
This was also Olivia's first fishing experience and I have to say the girl is a pro.  She caught about 5 fish over the weekend, all on a princess fishing pole and pieces of hot dog bun.  Her daddy was pretty proud. 
 



 I could get used to this view.

Princess Barbies go everywhere with us these days.

My favorite thing about Lake Oconee (besides it's really clean for a lake), is that there is a huge sandbar right in the middle of a part of the lake.  On the weekends, you can find a ton of boats just parked right in the middle of the lake and everyone out swimming.  

At one point on Saturday, there were about 20 boats parked out on the sandbar.  Most boats try to tune into the same radio station, which of course down here is 9 times out of 10 times a country one.  Saturday, the Zac Brown Band's Chicken Fried was blaring on all the radio stations and there were probably about a hundred people (& a few dogs) all floating in the middle of the lake.  This is going to sound totally corny, but I told Dave I don't think I have ever felt more "American" than I did at that moment.  Only thing missing was a beer.

Yes, David really is that pale. 
 
 

I'm putting it on the books as Olivia's first real lake trip. 

It's safe to say, I think she's going to make a great "lake person."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Break

I didn't really plan on taking a break from blogging, but we've just been enjoying summer.

Life has been pretty busy lately, but I'm not complaining because its making our time till Amelia gets here fly by.

We've only got 35 days till she gets here. Can you believe that?

It seems like this pregnancy has lasted forever, but the past few weeks have suddenly started to fly by. 

 I've been soaking up my time with Olivia and our last few days of "just you and me" before Amelia gets here.

Though she's not aware of the exact days we have left, she seems pretty aware that her time is ticking and she's been stuck to my hip these past few weeks.

So, I've been soaking her up.


We're already preparing ourselves because we realize its going to be a huge adjustment for her.  She has actually already had a few outbursts and we know she's going to have a hard time even though she is excited about a new baby.  In her defense, not only is she the only at home, but also the only when it comes to David's immediate family and my family, so needless to say, she's used to having ALL the attention these past three years.  I know this is normal and she'll be fine in a few months.


We've been staying pretty busy though this June.

We are taking full advantage of having Nana & Pawpaw's pool two doors down.  Most days you can find us there trying to keep cool.


We haven't sent her to swimming lessons, but David's been working with her on swimming and she's doing awesome so far.  He was a swimmer on the swim team for years, so he wanted to give it a try before we sent her to any classes.  I don't think she'll have it completely mastered this summer, but she's come a long way in just a few short weeks. The kid is for sure turning into a little fish.


We've also been going to story time at the library each week and having playdates with friends.

We made it up to the Mayfield Dairy for a field trip a couple of weeks ago with our favorite friends.


The tour was short, but interesting.  I can say I actually walked away learning a few new things.  We'll definitely be going back when Olivia gets a little older and can understand a little more.  Of course, the kids were estatic about their new hair nets that were required for the tour.

And we thought it would be the ice cream at the end, though there were no complaints about the ice cream from anyone.

 

We've also been keeping up with school these past few weeks.  I had originally planned to take a break to enjoy the summer and survive Amelia's first month, but after a few days off, Olivia was asking for school work.  We've been doing lite school work most days and lots of reading (We've been using the Jump into Summer Learning Pre-K packs from 3 Dinosaurs for anyone interested). I think we will however take the month off when Amelia gets here.  My goal is to start back up after Labor Day.

We're not really sticking to a set schedule though, so if fun calls (or the pool), we take advantage of it instead.

 

So, that's what we've been up to these past few weeks.  I wasn't really sure how this summer was going to go considering I was going to be either very pregnant or taking care of a newborn majority of it, but I must say the first half has been pretty fun. 

Not sure how much I'll be around during the rest of the summer.  I want to soak up my time with Olivia and then obviously when Amelia gets here, my hands will be a little full.


Until she gets here, if you need us, we'll most likely be in the pool.