My Planner

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I LOVE planners. Everything about them makes me happy. Stickers, post-its, pens, markers, writing, doodling, being organized, making lists, aaaagghhh, it just gets me so excited!

I’m so excited to share how I do my planner and planning each week!

First of all, this is the planner I am using right now…

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It’s a Spartina Mermaid Weekly planner and I am obsessed with it. It’s full of girly, empowering, and cute patters, logos, and quotes. I can’t get enough of it! Plus, it goes from August 2016 to December of 2017 so I can use it now and all of next year! You can order your own from the Spartina website here.

Another great planner is the Erin Condren planner. You can personalize them a lot of different ways. Check out her website here and use the code BKREFITBVUOGJDLA for 20% off your order! (Code expires 12/31/16.)

So let’s get into what I do to plan each week! When you open your planner, there is usually a front page/title page area. This is often called your dashboard because you can keep post-its and other useful things there by sticking them to it or making little pockets, etc. Here you can see that right now, I just keep small square post-its there. I use these “on the go” to add little things I don’t want to forget to my future week, so they’re the only ones I need with me. Plus, notice how cute this planner is. “You are mermazing.” C’mon. This planner is the best.

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Before we keep going, it’s important to know that I keep EVERYTHING that is going on in my life and my family’s life, in my cell phone calendar. That’s what I use when I sit down and plan each week in my planner. Sometimes in my phone it’s hard to really see the whole week and what we have going on. That’s why I like to sit down on Sunday night with my phone, planner, stickers, pens, etc. and plan out what the coming week looks like. It helps me get pumped and prepared for the coming week! Plus, it never feels like a chore. To me, sitting down with my planner and box of planner supplies is ME time! Time to relax and be a little crafty.

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Here’s what my planner week might look like when I sit down to start planning. You can see I have a note to remember that my parents are leaving for vacation, and also my usual things like my Body Back workout class, swim lessons, and TV shows I want to remember to watch. (Please don’t judge me- yes, I may occasionally watch Teen Mom and I do love Pretty Little Liars. I know.)

I keep the “recurring” post-its and when I take them off this week, I just flip the page and move them to the next week. There’s just something about seeing these recurring things there each week that I like and then I’ll add new ones or specific ones as I need to. The purpose of using post-its is so you can see everything you have planned for each day. Then, when you write them in you can make everything fit and look pretty.

Here’s what a finished week might look like…

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The first thing I always do is to add washi tape to the top, bottom, and between each day. If you’re not familiar with washi tape, they are small rolls of decorative tape that you can peel up and move and reposition without it hurting your paper. Be aware, they come in so many  freaking cute designs, you’ll want 20 different ones the first time you ever even look at them. They make each week feel different and festive. You can theme each week based on holidays, moods, events, or just whatever you like. You can pick up washi tape at craft stores, Walmart, Target, and online. I have been using the thinner washi tape that is only maybe half and inch wide and it fits much better. You can see in the photo that the top and bottom are a wider tape than the middle ones.

After washi tape, I add different stickers to accent areas or where I might write in certain events. I have a few different workout stickers so I always add them before I write out “Body Back”. I also always add some stickers with positive quotes on them so when I look at my planner throughout the week it makes me feel good!

Then, I start filling in my week’s events, to-do lists, reminders such as TV shows, deliveries I’m expecting, dinners I’m planning to make, anything and everything! I like to write in different fonts, colors, and sizes. It keeps it interesting.

Last, I add more stickers if I want, some swirly doodles, flowers, or words maybe, and anything else that makes me happy, or anything I love or think it needs.

Here’s a few examples of past weeks…

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The whole reason I enjoy planning like this is because all week long, when I look at my planner, it makes me smile. It love it. It’s pretty to look at and it lets me get a great picture of my whole week. Some weeks are better than others, some weeks stay pretty empty, and some weeks turn out so great that I want to carry my planner around and show it to everyone I meet! It’s just fun.

If you like playing with craft and office supplies and like being organized, this could be something to try!

Any planner tips to share, products you love, or questions you have?  Be sure to connect with The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook and Instagram! I love hearing from you!

The opinions in this post are entirely my own. No compensation has been given for products featured. 

How To Clean Dirty Shoes…The Easy Way

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As I’m sure is the case with most kids, my 3 years old gets his shoes so dirty so fast. One day they look brand new, and the next day they look like they’re three years old too. I know he plays hard, but I also like him to look like we didn’t find his shoes in a dumpster.

The easiest and best way to clean the plastic part of shoes is by using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! You may have heard this before, but it really does work. Try it. I took my son’s filthy Converse shoes and did a quick 5 minute job of scrubbing them late one night before he started preschool and they looked amazing! I could have spent a little more time getting in the grooves, but I actually didn’t care that much, so I didn’t. They looked good enough and by good enough I mean pretty darn good! Imagine how much better these shoes would have looked if I had thrown them in the washer first! On this pair I actually used the Mr. Clean Bathroom Magic Eraser because it’s what I had. They all work ridiculously really well!

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So, if you have a pair of shoes that are still in good condition, but are all dingy and dirty, pick up a Mr. Clean and give it a go! Any cleaning tips to share? Visit The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook!

*All opinions in this post are entirely my own. I have not received any compensation for this post. 

How To Get Your Toddler To Clean Up Their Toys

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Do you struggle with getting your littles to clean up their toys? In our house, we try to always clean up toys at the end of the day. Yes, throughout the day we try to do the whole, “clean this up before we take out something else” thing, but by the end of the day, there’s always toys out. It’s not a big deal. Houses where children live should have toys out. Organized and neat, maybe contained in one area, but out. I feel like when someone walks into my home, it’s ok if they can tell we have children. Anyway, every night before bedtime we make sure the living room and bedrooms are cleaned up so when we wake up the next day we can start fresh again! But, sometimes it can be difficult to get a toddler to clean up their toys. Shocking news, right? It’s not that he’s not a good cleaner. It’s not that he doesn’t know how to pick up toys. It’s that doing everything else in the world except cleaning up toys is far more fun at that moment in time. Until he heard two new words…TOY EATERS.

One evening as we were coaxing my three year old to clean up, I casually said, “You don’t want the toy eaters to get them!”  His ears perked up and he followed up with a giggly, “What?”

I told him that when he’s asleep, the toy eaters come and they eat any toys that aren’t cleaned up and put away. The excitement (and small bit of real concern) of it had him diligently working on getting his toys cleaned up and he went to bed knowing that his toys were safe from the toy eaters! It was almost like he was a super hero saving his toys from being eaten.

We don’t say it every day, but when he’s having a particularly difficult time getting toys cleaned up, I just remind him about the toy eaters and it works again. Occasionally, he will even bring it up when we are cleaning. Oh, and if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t want to lie or use scare tactics to get my child to clean!” Really? Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Elf of the Shelf, the Easter Bunny, the list goes on and on. You say “lie”, I say “magic!”

*A few additional tips for getting toddlers to clean up…
1. Clean with them. If you are cleaning along side them, it helps them see a good example and they also see the job done quicker when everyone pitches in!
2. Be specific and verbalize exactly what they should clean next. If I tell my toddler to “clean up your toys” he doesn’t know where to start. If I am with him (see #1) and I tell him, “Ok, now pick up your fire truck and school bus and put them on the shelf.” He is focused on a specific task and he gets it done!
3. Make it a game! -Insert Mary Poppins singing A Spoonful of Sugar- But really, how can you make cleaning more fun? Any cart or wheel barrow that can be filled with toys is awesome! Just today, my little guy filled up his small plastic wheel barrow with his billion cars that were all over the living room and wheeled them to the bin where they belong! On his own!

Good luck getting your toddler to clean! And share any tips that work for you!

 

DVD Organization

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I love clearing out clutter. It feels so good to get rid of things and make more space. The whole feel of a room can change just by getting rid of some unneeded things. The problem is that sometimes I get into a “but what if I need it?” phase. Well, 99% of the time the answer to that question is, “you won’t!” One of the best organizational things we’ve ever done was organizing our DVDs by getting rid of all the DVD cases. What took up way too much space on shelves can now be stored in a small plastic container! It’s so simple and you’ll feel so free after you toss all those big cases into the trash!

It’s so simple…

Step #1 – buy a lot of paper CD sleeves-enough to fit all your DVDs and some extra for new ones

Step #2 – buy a plastic container/tote/box that will fit the DVDs and still allow you to close the lid

Step #3 – Put all your DVDs into the paper sleeves and place in the box standing up so you can flip through them easily

At first, I worried it would take forever to find the DVD I wanted…this is not the case. We store ours in alphabetical order and we have children’s DVDs separate from regular DVDs. It is so quick and easy to flip through the sleeves and either browse or find exactly what I’m looking for.

Take the plunge and clear out that clutter! It feels so good!

Leave a comment and let me know if you do this or if you have any other great organization tips!

*I do not use this DVD storage method for our Disney Classics that come out of the vault on BluRay and DVD. I feel it’s best to keep those in the original case so they’re complete. I don’t know why, that’s just what I do.

How to Make a Woman Smile

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I reached out and asked the experts a very important question:

“What does your significant other do for you that brings a smile to your face?”

These are some of their responses.

Ladies, feel free to bookmark this page, email it to your husband, boyfriend, boss (Just kidding! That’s probably not a good idea!), or print it and highlight your favorites, tape it to the TV, leave it on the table, you get the idea.

MEN, keep this list and read it often! Unless you like being married to, dating, or living with a woman who never gets any of this treatment. If that’s the case, I’d have to say, good luck. These are things most women will just love. These gestures will remind the lady in your life why they chose you! Some are big, some are small, many are FREE! All are worth it to see your honey smile. You don’t need to do all of them, all the time. Just use it as a guide. Also, please be aware, it is not romantic to print this list and ask your wife or girlfriend (hopefully you don’t have both) to “pick a couple.” Do them on your own and surprise her, man!

Here you go…

  • kiss her hello
  • clean something without her asking
  • bring her flowers
  • write her a {nice} note and leave it somewhere for her to find
  • dance with her, even when there’s no music
  • kiss her nose or forehead
  • unload the dishwasher
  • tell her that her hair looks nice
  • compliment her on a meal she made
  • wake up before her and make her coffee
  • compliment her on how great of a mom she is
  • cook her dinner
  • tell her she’s smart
  • bring her a little treat from the store or a trip you take so she knows you were thinking of her
  • get up with the baby/children and let her sleep
  • wash her car
  • spoil her diet (every once in a while) with treats you know she’ll love
  • text her during the day, just to say you miss her
  • remember the brands or items she likes
  • say nice things about her to others
  • say nice things about her to your children
  • tell her she’s beautiful, especially when she may not feel like it
  • kiss her goodbye
  • remember dates like her birthday and your anniversary
  • buy or make her a card for no reason
  • let her pick the movie
  • let her pick out your outfit once in a while
  • surprise her for lunch
  • try new things
  • get along with her family
  • get her car door  get every door, all the time
  • hug her tight
  • let her pick the music
  • send her articles or pictures (not THOSE kind!) you think she’d like
  • ask her how her day was
  • give her a massage
  • draw her a bath
  • tell her you appreciate all she does for you

Is there anything you would add to the list?  And ladies, don’t forget…you can do most of these for your guy, too!

Now go out there and start making those smiles happen!