Monday, February 15, 2016

Pretty Planners

For our family calendar we use an online app that I really like called Cozi. But, I am a list maker. I have lists that I start each week and day off with. I love physically crossing something off my list when it is accomplished.

While I love our digital app - it just doesn't do much for me in terms of making lists and crossing them off. It has the ability - I just don't like it. Maddie and I were discussing our own versions of planners at the end of last year. We both realized we physically like writing things down and lists bring each of us much happiness. We shared a Pinterest board for ideas on different planner layouts we had seen and finally designed some for ourselves.

Mine is the one on the left - Maddie's is on the right. While both are very similar we made a couple changes in format because of our different lifestyles and responsibilities. The perk of designing your own!!

I wanted a page devoted to special dates of birthdays and anniversaries throughout the year that I can quickly reference. Maddie didn't feel she needed that yet, but wanted to get in the habit of making some monthly goals. I write everything in my calendar in pencil because things change so easily for me. Thank goodness, because after taking these pics I realized I'd left out a few people. (So if you think you are one of has been corrected!)

We each made little month separations to make finding dates easier. I decorated mine with a picture for each month that was representational. These things should be pretty and fun to look at too!

Each of our calendars has a monthly overview for a quick peak at big events and a monthly calendar of exercise dates to be "X'ed" out. 

We both also have weekly chore pages, though they are set up a little different. I like to keep separate lists for both work and home. I'm also trying to stay a little more on top of keeping the house clean by picking 1-2 small chores per day. I thought planning them out ahead of time would help me from standing around wondering which chore needed priority. I also keep any special notes for the week and any shopping items that pop up so that when I go, I have a handy place to check for those things I may have forgotten.

(Actually we really use our digital calendar app for this because everyone has access to it. When someone says, "Mom can you pick up...." I reply, "Put it in Cozi." If it's not in there, I'm probably not going to get it. However, sometimes my phone isn't handy and this is an easy thing to grab rather than one more scrap of paper lying around that I'll have to find before leaving on errands.)

For Maddie's chore page it's much simpler. I think this was an experimental page for her to see if she liked an overall view of her to-do's for the week. I'm not sure how much she actually uses hers.

The daily page is the layout where our biggest differences occur. I like a calendar that lists out time slots due to the nature of my different job schedules. But, I have several appointments to do during the week and the time also helps me keep better track of my day in terms of where my "open" times are for chores and other things. I make a meal plan at the beginning of every week for our dinners and there is a little spot for me to write those out. I can easily see what needs to be prepped before we need them rather than at the time we need them. Again - this saves me finding yet another slip of paper lying around.

This year I wanted to do a better job of accountability to myself for exercise and water drinking. I don't really like water, but I realize it's better for a person than most other choices, so there is a spot to start keeping track of how much I drink per day. I also included a small box to note exactly what I did for exercise so I know when I maybe need to shake things up a bit.

My different jobs have been fairly time consuming the last several months and I wasn't doing a very good job of taking some time each day to just do something that I find relaxing without feeling super guilty. So - I added a box for accountability to write down what I'm doing each day to allow myself some down time. Admittedly, I'm still really bad at it, but I'm better than I was.

The "to-do" and "notes" on each page might seem redundant, but it actually works for me. I can look at the main page of "to-do's" each week and decide what I can handle based on my schedule for each day. I add last minute "to-do's" to each day and move them as needed.

Maddie's preference was to have a shorter "schedule" box and a bigger "to-do" box. Her schedule is mostly school, with a number of different timed jobs added but none that she felt required a listing of times. She geared hers more toward school life so she also wanted some space to write down any tests or projects that were due or any big things that required some pre-planning. I think her goal this year was to be more conscious of healthy decisions which also included water and exercise.

These are our weekend pages. Neither of us needed much in the way of calendars since these days aren't as packed as our weekdays. 

Plus - they are pretty, right? We wanted bright and cheery calendars so we used some digital papers that I purchased from Harper Finch Designs.  Trust me - picking out these digital designs and fonts took almost as much time as designing the page layouts! The charts were all designed in Word using tables and then copied to Photoshop for design layout, then copied to PowerPoint where we could print everything back to back and save on paper. It took a bit of time for the first one, but our second went really fast. We also remembered to save the files so next year (should we repeat this) it will be even faster.

So - after a little over a month, how are they working? I love mine. I use it constantly throughout the day. I don't always take it with me if I leave the house on errands, but it's constantly on my desk or at my side anywhere else I am in the house. I almost look for things to write in it at night. That's a lie...I really do try to think of extra things to write because I just love being able to cross things off the next day.

Maddie used it for awhile. But, I just talked to her about it last week and she said she had dropped off using it as much. Though - she admitted it would probably be much more beneficial if she actually took it with her to school. So - maybe she'll start back up with that habit again.

But - I'm fully on the "Planner Addict" train and don't plan on getting off!!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ski Season Begins for Us

Both kids joined the ski club this year. They missed the first trip because we were attending the musical downtown that I previously wrote about. The second trip was canceled due to cold weather. So on the 29th when they had a day off from school, Mike took the day off too and we headed to Spirit Mountain in Duluth for a day on the slopes.

We were up early. It is about a 2.5 - 3 hour drive depending on weather or traffic. Jake caught a picture of the sky that started off our day.

We arrived just as Spirit Mountain opened. We had a quick bite at McDonald's and hit the slopes. It was an extremely full day of skiing, but the weather was great! It was definitely not too cold and we were able to go for long periods of time before feeling like we had to take a break to warm up.

The views are always pretty looking over Lake Superior! One of the best parts though was that hardly anyone was skiing. Shakopee had a day off from school for end of semester. Most other schools had the following Monday off. There were hardly any lines to wait through and just gave us more time skiing!

We were there all day. At about 6pm it started to snow in little pellets, but that quickly turned to rain. Freezing rain. It wasn't that cold, but as soon as it hit our jackets or goggles it turned to ice. After two runs of battling this with or without wearing goggles (both situations were miserable) we decided to call it a day and head home.

The drive home took a little longer due to inclement weather conditions. Thankfully my dad had come over a couple times during the day to let Sadie out and fed her so when we got home at 11pm we were all out like lights!