Day 1 of 100: Let’s Plan Stuff!

It’s a light planning session today

First, I promise, I won’t start all of my 100 Days posts with “Day X of 100” but since this is the kick off post, I figured I should.

I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a planner girl. I love knowing what’s going on and having lists. I have an actual paper planner and I decorate it. OK, I won’t lie. I have MULTIPLE paper planners. Like someone asked me a few weeks ago how many planners I had and I counted 9 off the top of my head, then came home and found several I had forgotten about (no, I don’t use them all simultaneously!)

At the same time, I have ADHD. Which means I tend to forget things, get distracted and absolutely suck at time management. All of which a planner can help control. So planning isn’t just a thing I do because it’s fun, it’s a behavioral management technique.

While it helps, things can still fall through the cracks. Especially some of the longer term planning that needs done. Today three different people reminded me of different events happening in two weeks or less, none of which I’ve done more than thought “Oh, I need to start planning stuff out for that.” That’s when I realized that once again my time blindness was kicking in and I needed to have a specific planning session. So, out came the planners, pens, stencils and even a sticker binder.

For a long time, my main planner has been a Bullet Journal® which is a wonderful way to keep monthly, weekly, and daily plans plus lists. But I also like the decorative side of planning (with stickers and things.) It helps me relax. I also like being able to write plans down farther ahead of time and while the Bullet Journal has some systems in place for that, it wasn’t working for me when it came to long term planning.

Starting this week, I switched back to my Erin Condren Life Planner*. I have a vertical, which means it has 3 rectangles per day (originally split into morning, afternoon and evening but over the years, they removed the listed headers.) with a week across 2 pages. It’s working for me and it’s making me less stressed, which is good.

I decided that my Bullet Journal will be more for making lists and if I need a specific daily to-do, I will pull it out. Which means it’s really less of an actual Bullet Journal and more of a generic notebook, but I’m OK with that too. The goal is not to stick perfectly with a specific planning system but to find a planning system that works perfectly for me (and the same should be true for you.)

So to quote Leslie Knopp, I spent some time “jammin’ on my planner.” I figured out some of what I needed for all of my events coming up, came up with a list of questions or things I need to do to finish getting ready, and generally ended up with a better idea of what I actually have going on and need to be prepared for.

So, are you a planner person? If so, what system do you use and does it help you? If not, what could you do to make it work?


*This is an affiliate link. That means if you click it and purchase something, I will receive a slight compensation from the company. If you prefer, you can still find the same items by going directly to their website instead of clicking the link!

100 Days of Jacqui’s Stuff

So, if you have followed along with my blog, you may have noticed I haven’t posted in awhile. Oops.

Also, if you were to scroll back, you would find that of the few posts I had up, many are gone. I discovered that I was stepping on some trademark issues. I didn’t realize it originally, but once I found out (through the planner community) I removed them.

But, that meant I basically have no content again. Double Oops.

OK, Jacqui, what is your point?

Well my point is that I do actually want to run this blog and not let it sit gathering dust. But I have been slacking on this and that needs to change. The blog is supposed to be about whatever I want. It is supposed to be a consistent outlet for putting my words to the screen. Yet here it is, gathering dust.

This morning my friend Michelle Baxter shared a challenge to one of my favorite Facebook groups. Called The 100 Day Project, the goal is to get people creating consistently for 100 days. As someone who is often creative, but not consistent, I found this to be a good challenge. Creative and consistent. That is what I need.

Call this my official announcement to joining the challenge. My main medium will be blogging, but I will be sharing other creative projects over the next 100 days through the blog. I will also write about other things, I am sure. I have a trip planned for later in April, so watch for that. Plus daily life, fun projects or whatever. Because consistency is what grows your talents.

The challenge kicks off on April 4. If you are interested, check out The 100 Day Project. Also, the organizers encouraged us to pick a unique hashtag for our project (along with using #the100dayproject) Mine will be #100daysofjacquisstuff. Look for the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Would you believe it took us over a week to go from “house with no tree” to “house decorated”? I wasn’t really feeling the holiday spirit the first few weeks and the girls were so busy that we were running out of time to get it done in one day.
First, the girls put up the tree (with my help) on Thursday the 8th

Beautiful G was quick to get the branches on once we set the base up!
Then Sunshine started helping find the branches from the box
Now we have to make it actually look like a tree.

Before we could do any more setting up, we had our family cookie day! Beautiful G (my older daughter) made sugar cookies. Since they (along with one of my recipes) needed to chill, we mixed them up on Friday night.

Beautiful G is mixing up her sugar cookie dough


This is what happens when you spill red food coloring on your fingers. It was fun to scare Beautiful G with it!

Then on Saturday, the girls and I joined my mom and grandma and made a day of making cookies! I didn’t grab a lot of photos because I was covered in flour.

Beautiful G takes a moment with my mom in the middle of baking

On Wednesday, Beautiful G convinced me to put up the lights on the tree. Except I made a big mess of it, so Dave stepped in.

Yay for #thekeeper

On Thursday, as Beautiful G worked on a school project, Sunshine put up our nativity and their stockings (after her shower.)

Sunshine is putting up our Nativity. Yes, it’s a Veggie Tales nativity. Please don’t judge!

Finally on Friday the girls and I decorated the tree itself.

We had a lot of moments of “Mom, take a picture of me putting this super special ornament on the tree!”
Sunshine insisted that “like” ornaments went together. Here she’s adding all of the princess ornaments together.
Sunshine was pouting after we moved some of the ornaments around. Of course, when she realized I was snapping a picture, she couldn’t help but start to smile!

Now it finally feels like Christmas has come to the Gonzales house!

The upcoming week is going week is going to kick Christmas into high gear. We’ve got parties, movie watching (both at school and at home), and we’re even going to see the stage version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Tell me, what is your favorite holiday tradition and what is your favorite holiday movie (we need to add to our collection, I discovered!)

Self Discipline (My Word for 2017)

When I hear the idea of picking a “Word to Live By” or a “Word of the Year” from bloggers  (especially the motovation/life coach type bloggers) I tend to roll my eyes. Come on, I think, like a word is going to make a huge difference in your life.

So, I found myself a little bit perplexed when I found I had a word in mind for 2017. Why did I suddenly pick a word that should direct my life for a year?

Then I started to think more. Think back over conversations with my husband. Think back on my frustrations for 2016 and the many years before that seemed to slip away with all of their good intentions that never seemed to materialize. I thought about this blog and why I had hesitated so long to get back into blogging after quitting a few years ago. And I realized it all came down to the same thing.

Self Discipline

At that point I did what I normally do with things like this: I looked up the definition. This is what Google came up with:

That I could understand. That was the answer to the questions and discussions and frustrations. Self Discipline. And with that, I chose a word, a focus for 2017. Something I could tangibly work towards in various ways. Oh, something all those life coaches could preach at me about, but ultimately the one thing I most need in my upcoming year and life. What does it mean for me? It becomes a reminder when I look at the tasks at hand and think “Man, I don’t really want to that.” or when I feel afraid to keep going on something because it is hard and messy and not nearly as easy as simply letting it go.

So, self discipline. Pushing on. Digging through. Moving forward. Keep on Keeping On.