Monday, August 18, 2014

Priesthood Blessings

One of the favorite traditions in our family is to spend the Family Home Evening right before school starts discussing the importance of education, being friendly and doing your best in school.  After we have a little discussion about it, each of our kids then receive a Priesthood blessing from their dad to help them start their school year out right.

 I love this time and it is so unique how each child has their own little help and guidance from their Heavenly Father pronounced upon them.  In the past, we have recorded these Father's blessings on our iPhone for our records, but I thought this year, we would have the kids record their thoughts and feelings after their blessing, so that it can remain in their hearts even longer.

I'm planning on typing the blessings up afterward, so that they can refer to it the whole year for help, guidance and comfort.

I think it's important to record these blessings down because of how quickly all of us are to forget.  I wish we had done this for all of the blessings I received from my dad growing up.  I have a few letters from my parents that were given to me at girls camp that offered counsel and guidance and I still cherish those to this day.

I made these little note pages for my kids to record their thoughts and feelings tonight right after the blessing and right before treats.  ;)   Feel free to click on the image and save them to use for yourself.  There is a girl and a boy version, print front & back, borderless printing. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

There's no lunch like home lunch!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe it's time for school to start again.  It's crazy.  Time for crazy mountain loads of paper, for stricter schedules, for hungry, stinky, tired kids, for packed backpacks and packed home lunches.   Do you send your kids with home lunches too?  Well, I needed a plan this year to help that whole lunch packing scene go a little smoother at our house and today, I'm sharing it with you.

Yes, Yes, I know...everyone is talking about going back to school and getting all prepped and ready.  Sometimes I just roll my eyes at the whole concept.  But, this year I decided that I want to prep everything now, so that my life and therefore the life of my family/home run much smoother.  After all, by the time they get home from school, we only have 3-4 precious hours together of quality time.  I don't want to spend that time being stressed out about this and that and worrying about whether or not something is done.

So, anyway...I am introducing a downloadable kit that it free THIS WEEK ONLY!  This is a School Lunch Planning Calendar Kit.  It's great.  I put it in my "Home Management Binder", which I have updated and made smaller and more concise.  I will be sharing some other awesome kits in the near future that also go in the binder that will help life go even smoother.  Yay!

Okay, so I've got the whole family on board (which I think is important) and everyone is ready to help keep things going, especially because I'll be having a big fat chubby baby boy this winter.
(#1: 6.5 lbs. #2: 7.4 lbs. #3: 8.6 lbs. #4: 9.6 lbs. #5: 10.3 lbs.  #6: ????  Do you see a trend?) I will need all of them to pitch in extra.  My main job is to get the shopping done and to print out and display the monthly menu so that they can refer to it.  That's it.  My kids divide the items up when I get home from shopping and put them in their bins for the week, they make their own sandwiches, soups, drinks, potatoes, etc. (it's very important to my husband and I that our kids are self-sufficient at an early age)

Side Note:  I never take my kids shopping with me, unless it's one on one and for a very specific purpose or teaching experience.  I will go at night or early early in the morning to avoid it, which equals a happy, peaceful, calm woman doing her shopping in a non-hurried, non-pressured, non-grumpy way.  :)

I love this quote I found.  Sometimes, I have been guilty of be-gruding "having" to cook for my family and all of these little people all of the time, plus their friends.  Oh, and the messes involved.  BUT, I decided that this is one of my most important roles and duties as a woman and as a mother.  If you have a husband, son, daughter that loves to cook and prepare meals, by all means, put them to work, but the main responsibility is ours, ladies.  It's awesome and it's important.

If your kids go to a great school that serves healthy great food and you can afford sending multiple children there to eat, then go for that.  Disregard this whole post.  BUT, if you're like me and will be sending 4 hungry kids to school, then that quickly adds up.  For instance, it is $1.75 per elementary kid per day here, which for us equals $95/month. It's $2.00 per middle school kid per day which equals $40/month.  That adds up pretty quickly to $135/month.  OUCH!  That's just for lunch food.  

Since my kids don't finish most of their school supplied lunch food anyway (proven fact) that is a huge waste of money and food.  I have budgeted a months worth of main lunch food items, snacks, fruit, veggies and drinks and I came to about $75/month.  WOW!  That is a $60 savings.  

These pages are simple calendars with only the days of the school week on them to help you zone in and get some planning done.  I've included the holidays on there in case you want to add something a little special, or remember that you don't have to pack lunch for that particular day.  The shopping list is short and sweet.  Use it along with your main grocery shopping list.

This is not hard.  If you can just plan 3-4 weeks worth and just rotate, rotate, rotate.  After awhile, it will become second-nature and you and your family will become very familiar with the items and how to prepare and use them.

I've included in the download a list of ideas that you can use if you would like to get your brain flowing.  You can mix and match, and organize according to food portions, or different focuses on different weeks.  You can get a lot of different food combinations with these 4 small lists.  :)

So, there you have it.  You can go to  my store to download your free copy.  

It is free for this week only. 
Be sure and share it with your friends!

Have fun, and Happy Planning!

Turns out, kids are pretty easy, light eaters and if you plan it just right, you can learn their favorites and even push them to eat a wider variety of foods in a fun way.  You can do themes also.  For instance, we are having a "hot & healthy" Wednesday every week.  We try to only do juice drinks or milk on Tuesdays & Thursdays.  Make it fun and did I mention, you should get the kids on board with the planning and carrying out the responsibility of checking the calendar and packing their own meals.  It's good preparation for their future.


While I was putting together my menus, I gathered a collection of ideas of how to organize and implement lunch planning.  How great to have everything ready to go for the whole week.  The kids can simply put together their meal by grabbing items that are pre-packaged.  

In my family, we are actually going to have a small bin for each of our children (including the 2 at home, not eating at school) in both the fridge and the pantry and load it up with the items 
I choose (cuz I'm the mom, Yay!)  for the week.  They get to choose  which snack/food item they eat for that day.  Win, Win!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ultimate Girls Camp Planning Kit

So, I've been keeping really busy these last few weeks putting this camp manual together for my Camp Director.  It has been so much fun.

I LOVE Girl's camp.  It is the highlight of my year and I feel so lucky that I've been able to go each year for the last 9 years.  I went 4 as a camp assistant, 3 as camp director and 2 as a Young Women leader.  What a huge blessing it has been to work with the Young Women.  Camp can really be such a magical, spiritual time to renew and bond and strengthen one another as sisters. Yah, so I can't say enough about how much I LOVE girl's camp.  So, do you guys get the idea that I really really love girl's camp?  Haha!

Without further adieu, I want to introduce this amazing camp director's kit.  It really stems from so many years of compiling my own lists and coming up with my own layouts, plans, ideas and such.  I thought I would make it available to others since there really is nothing else out there for this sort of thing, at least that I've found.

This download kit includes:

  • Camp Roster
  • Girl's Camp Overview - general questions and planning
  • Weekly overview page with hourly planning
  • Daily detail page with a hourly plan and menu overview
  • Packing lists for: Kitchen, Paper-Goods, Equipment, First-Aid Kit, and miscellaneous
  • Weekly menu overview
  • Daily menu guides with a place to write down the meals and the ingredients needed for each meal to help generate a master shopping list
  • Food preparation reminders
  • Individual shopping lists broken down by section: Fresh Produce, Bakery, Meats/Deli, Paper Goods, and Other
  • Certification broken down by level from first year up to youth leader. Each requirement is listed along with a place for each girls name and checkbox for when they have completed that item
  • Direction on extinguishing a fire, how to help accident victims, life threatening cases, shock, the Heimlich maneuver, rescue breathing, CPR and burns. You can teach the girls right out of your planning guide.
  • A master overview of all certification requirements by year and by category. 
  • Assignment checklist
  • Name slips and a Secret Sisters "Who has who?" form
  • Notes pages throughout
  • Camp Craft checklist
  • Tent/Cabin Assignments
  • Camp packing list for the girls & leaders
8-1/2" x 11" Sheet, Full Color.  Recommend that you print on at LEAST a #50 paper (so as not to show through like in the pictures, but only if it bothers you ;)  

So those are just a few samples of the colorful pages that you get with your DOWNLOADABLE purchase.   It has just a bit of everything you need to plan a great camp.

These are meant to be downloaded, printed (according to your needs/wants, ie. if you have 20 + girls, print out a couple rosters and certification sheets, if you have 5-10, print out one, etc. )  If you want to make multiple copies for YOUR WARD ONLY, then that is perfectly okay with me.  If you are purchasing for a stake or bulk, let me know and I will give you a discount.

I really liked how this turned out in the spiral notebook.  I had them bind it and hole punch it so that my camp director can store in in the binder with her other envelopes, certificates, receipts, etc. and can pull it out when she wants to take it in her backpack, shopping or somewhere without the bulk.  BUT, it also works great punched straight to the binder.

This is an at-a-glance certification spread for ALL 6 years.  Nice to have in one section.  I will be offering this spread as a free download soon just because I think everyone should have one. ;)

I LOVE that this has everything at your fingertips that you need for directing camp AND...

It's so cute and fun too!!

I hope you like it!

Grab your download today at the store.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Using Washi Tape & Scrapbook Paper to utilize your planner

This is a post to show you how to use fun elements like Washi Tape and Scrapbook paper to dress up your planner.  Washi tape is awesome because it's lightweight and you can remove it easily move it if you change your mind and it won't rip the paper.  I'm going to give you some examples below of different ways you can use paper scraps and tape.

This simple scrapbook paper is hiding my budget.  I've also attached a ticket stub that I needed for a date night with my man.  My budget it still accessible as you see in the picture below.  I just lift it up and write updates or review when I need to.  If you don't budget at all, this is a great way to put what you want there so the space isn't wasted.  Get lightweight scrapbook paper and put what you want there.  It can be a list of some sort, some goals, etc.

Peek-a-boo, there it is all tucked away and private.

 Here is an example of how I changed the "online info" page to something that I would use if I didn't want to have my info stored in my planner but didn't want to waste that precious space.  I just re-titled it and now it is it's own page made just for me to keep track of all the projects I have going around the house.  Yay!

Here is another example of how you can hide your info and make it cute and scrappy at the same time.  I just cut some different paper down to size and started covering it with my tape.

Now it's more private...

 Totally adorable!

Here is a party planning page that I didn't quite use all of, so I added a few extra paper scraps and now I made room for another party or to use as extra notes.  Extra note space is always awesome, right?!  Wahoo!

 Add Washi tape to remember or highlight dates in your planner, like birthdays, trips and anniversaries, etc.

 Here is another example of how I made more room where I needed it.  My St. Patrick's Day plans in March didn't need the full page, so I took some notes at our community caucus mtg, and PTA and made it a customizable page that fit my needs.  As the other page shows, it's great to divide pages up into sections or lists and draw lines around them to differentiate topics or events.  Use the tape to categorize them.

Again, the paper scraps are so fun and cute and you gain so much writing space by using them all over.

Block out large events to help them stand out using the tape, notice you can see my writing through the tape.  That's another great thing, you can write on top of the tape or use it as a highlighter depending on the color of your tape.

Here is my General Conference spread all decked out and ready for me to take some awesome and unique notes on.  I can write underneath the paper scraps as well.  SO much room and so much cuteness, it's hard to even bear.

I know that I will need to use the end of the month note pages as well for conference so I got those ready as well.


I used fabric washi tape (love it) to divide this divider page in half to get multiple use out of it.  

You can add fun elements and cards, pictures, quotes, etc.

I layer my kid pages too.  I have a sticky list to keep track of their goals they set for the year and still have access to everything beneath it.

And yet, another example of how I changed a page to suit my needs.  I only have 5 kids and there are 6 kid pages in the planner, so I used the last one for little ol' me.  I have needs and wants too, ;) so I'm mak'n it my own.  

So that is a little bit about my love affair with washi tape and scrapbook paper.  

Guess what's even better?  I made up some cute paper just for you to get started and just in time for general conference too.

Right click on the image and click "save as" or go to the store and download it there for free.

Print it out on "8-1/2 x 11" paper (Borderless for best results) and Wallah!  You're good to go.

Go ahead and share with your friends just in the nick of time and enjoy watching General Conference.