March Planner Update

It’s finally starting to feel like spring! Here is a quick look at March in my planner. March is my Birthday month and other than that – not much going on, oh the lockdown life!

Planner Details

Organizer: Filofax Finsbury A5 in Forest Green

Inserts: Day on A Page, A5 Filofax , Month on Two Pages

Clear Pocket: Filofax Clear Pocket

Rainbow Dividers: Bright Blank Index A5 Tabs

Striped Pen (Affiliate Link): Franklin Covey Pen

Erasable Pen: Clipbook Rosegold Erasable Pen

Every month I print out my Yoga With Adriene schedule and put it on the reverse of my dashboard.

Not a lot going on …. my calendar always fills up as the month progresses. My birthday is on the 23rd! I’ve been keeping track of my daily yoga practice using the left side of the calendar, it’s been working well for me for the past few months.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed.

6 Lifestyle Creators You Should Follow

I follow a ton of fantastic content creators that share useful, positive and inspiring content – and these are my favourites! Hopefully this post leads you to a new fav.

All photos courtesy of respective creators.

Toni Hammersley, A Bowl Full Of Lemons

Toni is a blogger, author and shop owner! I follow her for her incredible organization challenge, home inspiration, and gorgeous photos! I am constantly inspired by Toni’s home and lifestyle content.

Blog: A Bowl Full Of Lemons

Instagram: @abowlfulloflemons

Store: French Mercantile

Christopher Allen, Youtuber

Christopher is the guru of all things kindness, positivity and home. I follow Christopher for his Vlogs where he, his husband Steven and their dog Bubbas share their life. They live in a beautiful home which is constantly being re-imagined by Christopher and his love for DIYs.

Youtube: Christopher Allen

Instagram: Cristopher Allen

Carly Riordan, Blogger

I’ve been following Carly for a long time. She started as a blogger sharing her NYC living experience and all things “preppy” and now she has grown up, gotten married and is now expecting her first baby! Carly is classy, elegant and inspires me to be the same.

Blog: Carly Riordan

Instagram: Carly A. Riordan

Nikki Boyd, At Home With Nikki

Nikki was the first organizer I followed. She does amazing organization videos, DIYS and has great tips for entrepreneurs. Nikki has her own home organization business as well!

Blog: At Home With Nikki

Instagram: At Home With Nikki

Youtube: At Home With Nikki

Jennifer Ross, Pretty Neat Living

I have been following Jen for a decade or more! She started out with multiple Youtube channels focusing on organization, planners, vlogs and hauls. She later added a fantastic blog and today she continues to share her journey on Youtube and Instagram. She is honest, open and inspiring!

Youtube: Pretty Neat Living

Instagram: Pretty Neat Living

Blog: Pretty Neat Living

Samantha, Happily A Housewife

Another creator I’ve been following for ages! She is a Youtuber who is all about keeping it real. She lives with her Husband and three kids and shares their lives as they navigate work, school, competitive sports. I mostly love her vlogs and planner content.

Youtube: Happily A Housewife

Instagram: Happily A Housewife

Blog: Happily A Housewife

DIY Planner Dashboard

I wanted to do a little refresh on my planner now that I’ve been in it for a month. I was looking at beautiful dashboards on Etsy and after contemplating the prices and the wait for shipping, I decided to just make my own!

What you’ll need:

I kept it extremely simple and easy with this DIY! I grabbed some scrapbooking paper, my planner sticker stash and got to work. This took me probably 5 minutes in total.

Affiliate links included in this post and are indicated by ” * ”

First I went through my scrapbooking paper and chose a double sided paper that I liked. I went with this spring-y yellow polkadot and flower patterned paper:

Next using an insert from my planner I measured the paper and used my paper cutter to cut it to size. With the remaining scrap paper I made a little layering piece for the front of the dashboard. I love using double-sided scrapbooking paper because usually the patterns and colours go well together and create a nice mismatched look without clashing. I adhered the two pieces together with my tape runner (I’m obsessed with these things).

Once I had my colour scheme I went to my sticker stash to find some form of embellishment for the front of the Dashboard. I ended up choosing a banner sticker from last years Erin Condren Life Planner to write my name on.

Finally, I slid the finished dashboard into my clear pocket from Filofax to keep it safe and fastened into my planner.

Finished Project

The result is a bright cheery addition to my planner! I love the use of new colours and I think it will be fun to even make different dashboards seasonally. It’s a great way to go through your collection and use some things that may be collecting dust!

Land’s End Canvas Tote Bag

This bag is perfect to me! It’s classic, timeless, practical and affordable. I first bought this over the summer and since then I have pretty much stopped using all my other bags. These bags have also become a gift I love to give, especially since you can monogram the bags to make them extra special!

This bag specifically is the Medium Natural Open Top Canvas Tote Bag in Natural/ True Navy (regular handle length). I chose to monogram mine in the classic style, but there is also a variety of images, symbols and font styles to chose from.

This bag is highly functional with ample pockets and built in organizational components. It can easily hold a laptop, planner, wallet, notebook – you name it!

Here is what I currently have stored in my Land’s End Tote, a good representation of what I keep in it on a daily basis:

  1. Mask
  2. Hand Sanitizer
  3. Pens
  4. Lip Balm
  5. Air Pod Pros
  6. Filofax A5 Organizer (previous post linked)
  7. Wallet
  8. Hair Clip
  9. Sunglasses
  10. Walking Pharmacy pouch
  11. Keys

I highly recommend this bag, whether it be for everyday use or travel, it is a great “do it all” bag! I plan to order more in various sizes, they also occasionally release new patterns and styles. Check out Land’s End’s site, another bonus is it seems there is always a sale of some kind going on!

** This post is not sponsored, all opinions are my own

A Month in my Filofax

It’s officially been a full month of using my A5 Filofax Finsbury planner! Now that I have “settled in” to using this planner, I am excited to share some photos and updates on how it’s going.

Filofax A5 – Finsbury (Forest Green)

While setting up my planner I took major inspiration from Jen at Pretty Neat Living as well as Toni from A Bowl Full Of Lemons. I loved how both of them set up their respective Filofax planners so I incorporated their ideas with some of my own.

When you open up my planner on the inside left flap you will see my Franklin Covey pen (affiliate link), which I have had and used since probably 2012 – I LOVE it. In the zip pocket I keep some emergency cash. I usually keep my business card in the mesh ID pocket, but for privacy reasons I took it out for these photos. In the slotted pockets I keep an old set of Martha Stewart for Avery collection reposition-able tabs which I use to mark the month I am currently on. Finally, in the large pocket I keep a book of sticky notes.

In the back pocket I keep my Erin Condren perpetual calendar to keep track of birthdays.

In the coming months I may add some more personal and decorative touches, but only something very minimal.

Resting on top of my calendar pages is a clear zip pocket from Filofax. Here I keep my colour coding markers and highlighters. I use this pocket frequently, and it adds bulk when writing so I do not clip it into the rings. As my everyday writing pen i use Filofax’s erasable rose gold pen. This was a Christmas gift from my sister and I absolutely love it! The ink has a grey tone to it, so it appears somewhere between pencil and pen, and the eraser function truly does work.

In another clear slip pocket from Filofax I keep my monthly Yoga schedule, this one is the new February schedule from Yoga With Adreiene, check her out she is great for all levels!

Monthly & Weekly Pages

For monthly planning I used the Month on Two Pages inserts from Filofax. I use colour coding throughout (more about what I use in previous post). Down the left hand column I decided to track my daily yoga!

For daily planning I use Day on a Page inserts from Filofax. Down the left I use the timed columns to map out my days, and the right hand side for my to-do list.

So far, so good!

I am loving this system so far. A good sign to me is that I continue to use this planner everyday. The systems I have in place right now are both simple and functional, which proves to be the right balance at this time in my life. I will share how this planner evolves with me in the coming months. Happy planning!

Kitchen Organization

Week Three: A Bowl Full Of Lemons “14-Week Organization Challenge”

For the third week of the organization challenge, participants organized their kitchens! My kitchen is not huge, but has a lot of storage. The ceilings in my apartment are very high, allowing for the cupboards to span up more than a regular kitchen.

I recently re-organizaed my kitchen storage and the systems work well for me. Instead of re-organizaing my entire kitchen, I decided to focus on my problem area …. under the sink.

Before

My under the sink space was extremely neglected, filled with nearly empty cleaning products, random clutter and over all just needed a good clean.

Process

I started by clearing everything out from under the sink. I cleaned the inside of the cabinet and got rid of the old cabinet liners. Next I went through each item and decided if it needed to be tossed, kept, or moved to another spot in my home.

I ended up moving some bathroom cleaning and floor cleaning products to a different space and got rid of old cleaners that were almost empty.

After

The end result is much more streamlined and functional for everyday use. I put all cleaners in one bin together that is easy to grab and use as needed. I found stacking bins to store my most used items – dishwasher tabs, sponges as well as trash and recycling bags. I also found a bin to store my plastic shopping bags (I always try and use reusable shopping bags, but once in a while I end up with plastic ones).

Details

Incase you are curious, here are some of the things in my sink storage pictured above!

Stacking Bins with Lids (Miniso)

Shopping Bag Storage Basket (Miniso)

Kitchen Overview

Join in the challenge!

This Organization is hosted by the incredible and inspiring A Bowl Full Of Lemons – be sure to check out her blog for more on the challenge!

Home Office Organization

Week Two: A Bowl Full Of Lemons “14-Week Organization Challenge”

For the second week of the organization challenge, participants organized their home office or office type space. My designated office space is my apartment’s “Den”, which is a pretty small space that doubles as a guest room when I have people visiting. I already have decent organization in this space, however, I do sometimes get in the habit of using it as a dumping ground … which you will see in the before photos.

Before

My office isn’t large, it is comprised of an antique pine table, and Pottery Barn Daily system which I got for an incredible deal. On the opposite wall I have an Ikea fold out couch that turns into a queen bed for guests!

Process

The first thing I did was go through everything in my office. The main challenge was sorting through all of my paper I’ve been holding onto – mail, paid bills that I have digital versions of, and just things that I’ve kept for far too long. Once I figured out what was staying and what was going I shredded, recycled, relocated and filed away into my current system.

To clean the office I took everything off the desk and shelving. Next I dusted and cleaned the surfaces. I also vacuumed before putting everything back. When placing everything back in it’s place I ended up restyling the shelves and also did some minor cable management.

After

Office Details

Incase you are curious, here are some of the things in my office pictured above!

Hanging Wall Organizer (Pottery Barn)

Wall Shelves (Pottery Barn)

Table Lamp (Ralph Lauren, can find on Ebay or other Re-selling sites)

What’s Next

I have aspirations to warm up my office space with more personal touches. This year, I plan to wallpaper and hang some art or a mirror to make the space feel more special. Also, I think I can streamline my filing system a bit more, but for now this is working for me!

This Organization is hosted by the incredible and inspiring A Bowl Full Of Lemons – be sure to check out her blog for more on the challenge!

Laundry Room Organization

Week One: A Bowl Full Of Lemons “14-Week Organization Challenge”

For the first week of the organization challenge, participants organized their Laundry rooms, or laundry space (whatever that may be). For me, it was my parent’s laundry room as I am home for the holidays and not in my own space. They have a beautiful home, so this was a treat!

Before

The laundry room wasn’t in horrible shape, but it definitely was in need of some decluttering and new systems. Like anyone, when you live in a space and use it everyday, things get out of place and clutter accumulates. Here is what it looked like before:

Process

To begin the process I took everything out of the cupboards and shelves to evaluate what was staying and what needed to be moved, tossed, etc. Once the space was cleared I cleaned the shelves to start with a fresh blank slate.

Next, I took inventory of what bins and baskets I would need. I grouped like items (floor cleaning, candle back stock, paper products) and measured the cabinets and shelves to make sure everything I got would fit.

All bins I found were from Dollarama, but you could find similar on Amazon or The Container Store as well.

Seasonal Table Linens & Laundry Detergents
Floor Cleaning, Multipurpose Cleaners and Cleaning Rags
Sewing & Outdoor Entertaining

Overall, I am thrilled with how it turned out! More importantly – my Mom is happy as well. I hope the systems work well for her and she can enjoy her beautiful laundry room even more now!

Next week’s challenge is the Office, I am looking forward to that one as I will be back home and in my personal office (which I love!!). You can check back next week to see how that goes.

This Organization is hosted by the incredible and inspiring A Bowl Full Of Lemons – be sure to check out her blog for more on the challenge!

14 – Week Organization Challenge (A Bowl Full Of Lemons)

A Bowl Full Of Lemons Organization Challenge

This year I have decided to join in the widely celebrated 14-week organization challenge run by A Bowl Full Of Lemons. This challenge is now in it’s tenth year and praised by organization lovers around the world.

How to Participate

I have joined the Facebook Group (just search “a bowl full of lemons” on facebook to find it). I have already spent a long time scrolling through the posts! There is all sorts of cleaning and organization inspiration from the over 100,000 members. Throughout the challenge you are encouraged to share your progress with the group. I will be sharing mine on here!

There is also a book (affiliate link), available on amazon. I am anxiously waiting for mine to be delivered. The book is considered a “companion” for the challenge, however it is not required to participate.

Photo: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Visit A Bowl Full Of Lemons Blog for the instructions and steps! Toni, the owner of ABFOL has created beautiful, free printables to use with the challenge, including a checklist and schedule. I plan to create a binder or devoted Filofax section for this challenge – which I will share, of course.

I think this is a great way to jump into 2021, especially after spending so much time at home this past year 0f 2020. Let’s do this!

Make Your Own Recipe Binder

As I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate the special memories that are formed in the kitchen. So many great moments in life happen while cooking with friends and family, sharing food and learning recipes from loved ones.  

I had been mentally compiling these special memories and realized that I could create a recipe book as a form of memory keeping!  

What you’ll need:

I decided to go the simple route and create my book using a basic office binder, laminated pocket dividers and sheet protectors. I bought everything at Staples – you can also find similar on Amazon:

Navy Blue 2″ Binder (affiliate link)

Tab Sheet Protector Dividers (affiliate link)

Sheet Protectors (affiliate link)

Get Creative

To make your binder extra special, I think it is fun to choose a style theme to use for the cover and dividers. Look for some inspiration for your personal cookbook. These are some that inspired me:

In order to design my binder I looked to google and my favourite user friendly design tool, Canva, to make the dividers and cover. I knew I wanted to have the country-esque watercolour look for my illustrations. I must admit this was the most time consuming part of creating the binder. I scoured the internet for available free use vector images that all matched in style. An alternative to this would be buying a bundle of matching watercolour vectors in your desired style. Here is how it turned out:

Memory Keeping with Recipes

One of my intentions with the recipe binder was to capture some special memories tied to the recipes and dishes. I only have recipes in here that I have personally made, or someone has made and shared with me. If my friend is sending me a recipe, I will put it in the binder in their exact words, it adds to the memory keeping aspect! For each recipe I include a picture of the item when I made it. For example, here is a cornbread I made for my cottage neighbourhood’s annual “Rib-fest” party:

You don’t have to use sheet protectors, but I choose to keep the paper safe in the kitchen while cooking!

This is a simple, effective way to organize your recipe collection – and it sparks a lot of joy to flip through! I look forward to using this as the years go by, and hopefully pass it on down the road to keep these special memories alive.