Planning Your Days with Progresso Light Soups and a Giveaway

Disclosure Progresso Progresso Light Soups

A few days ago I talked about some of my goals for 2016, and part of those goals centered around the word focus, as in focusing on the tasks I have to do each day and staying on track.  The best way to do this is to be organized and to plan out your days.  As with most things, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to plan your day.  A lot of people thrive on order and having each hour of the day mapped out on their planner, and a lot of people have jobs that actually depend on a schedule like this, but if you work from home, or if you’re a homeschool mom, this type of scheduling may not work for you.  That is why I am trying more of a Goal Based Schedule. [Read more…]

6 Printable Blog Planners for 2016

Free Printable Blog Planners for 2016

2015 has been such a crazy time for me!  I had so many projects going on from week to week that I barely had time to breathe (but it was a good thing, I’m not complaining at all!)

On the other hand, my year got off to sort of a rough start.  My husband was sick and in the hospital, and he had a long recovery time.  Needless to say, that was a very stressful time, and unfortunately it greatly affected everything from my housekeeping and personal organization to my blog organization! [Read more…]

Fueling My Family with Jimmy Dean® and State Fair® + Meal Planning with Online Calendars

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelForSchool #CollectiveBias
Fueling My Family with Jimmy Dean and State Fair

I’ve been so busy this month!  It seems like every time I scratch something off the old to do list, I end up adding 3 MORE things to the to do list.  This week  I’ve got my usual housework to do, plus several blogging projects.  We’ve also got the usual school, band practice, and ball game schedule.  Plus, this Saturday we have a band festival and scholar’s bowl tournament. AND….if all that is not enough, my mom and I are working on going through stuff at her house and my house so we can have a yard sale.  Eek!

But regardless of how much stuff we have to do, the family still has to eat!  Luckily I keep a lot of convenient, yet delicious and hearty breakfast and dinner food options to fuel my family no matter how busy life gets!  A couple of family favorites are Jimmy Dean® Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant and State Fair® Classic 22ct Corn Dogs. [Read more…]

Creating an Organized Work Station for Mom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SchoolYearReady #CollectiveBias

Planning & Organizing with Post-It

With school back in session, it’s time get your kids organized and ready to start out the year on a good foot, and this means Mom has to stay organized too!  In our household I’m the keeper of the calendar and the books!  If there’s paperwork to keep up with, events and due dates to remember, and bills to be paid, that falls under my jurisdiction!  I actually love taking on these roles though!  And I’ve always been really good at organizing, so it’s the perfect job for me! (Plus, I love school, so keeping up with Noah’s stuff allows me to live vicariously through him! haha!) [Read more…]

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes and Breakfast Time with Quaker

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #QuakerTime #CollectiveBias

Breakfast Time with Quaker

If you’re a mom, back to school means back to school shopping, organizing, and planning, especially menu planning!  Your little darlings need breakfasts, snacks, lunches, after school snacks, and dinners!  Whew….that’s a lot of food prep! Today I’m talking about just a few options that Quaker gives you help get your through the morning breakfast time, and I’ve got a delicious recipe for Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes that you and your kids will love!

And to help you get organized in the kitchen this fall, I’ve created a free printable that you can use to create your weekly menus!  Yup, it’s going to be a jam packed post, so let’s get started!

[Read more…]

#ad Corn Casserole + 5 Tips to Beat the Heat When Planning a Summer Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerYum #CollectiveBias

4th of July Picnic

The summer season is such a fun opportunity to spend time with family and friends in the great outdoors and host fun cook outs and picnics, but I, for one, have a hard time standing the heat!  There are certain times of day when I can barely go outside at all for more than a few minutes, much less have fun in the sun or play hostess!

I’m sure a lot of you ladies and gents feel the same way!

Today I’m going to share some ways I beat the heat when planning my party menu, and I’ve also got a recipe for an easy side dish you can make for your upcoming picnics and barbecues: a corn casserole! [Read more…]

12 Free Printable Blog Planners & Tools for 2015

12 Free Printable Blog Planners

After Christmas, like a lot of you, I look forward to a new year in blogging.  This means goal setting, coming up with new routines and procedures, and of course organizing!  One thing I cannot live without list a planner!  Each year I buy planner.  I got a monthly/weekly one at Target for about $10, and that works well for me.  And then I also use Outlook as my online calendar.  But I also have a few worksheets that I use for record keeping and other organizational purposes.  Today I’m sharing some free printable blog planners and tools you can use. [Read more…]

5 Steps To Starting an Emergency Fund and Why It is Important

capital-one-360-black-friday
The holiday season is here, and the television, internet, and stores are making sure we know it with their countless ads and holiday deals.  With all the great deals around, plus a holiday shopping list that seems to get bigger every year, it is very easy to let our spending getting out of hand (especially if you’re putting it on a credit card, to be paid off later).  This holiday season Capital One 360’s Black Friday Sale actually helps you to save money and achieve financial peace of mind, and today I’m teaming up with them to share some tips on starting an emergency fund and making other smart financial decisions. [Read more…]

Spicy Chicken Cups Recipe and 10 Party Food Tips for the Holidays

Tabasco Products

Are you ready to party for the holidays? If you’re the party hostess, this might be harder to question to answer. Personally I love hosting an appetizer party. Appetizers are generally easy to make, and you can time them so that you don’t have to do all your prep work right before the party, which takes a lot of stress off you, the hostess. Today I’m sharing a delicious party food recipe that I love, and I have some party food tips to get you through the holiday season. [Read more…]

My Blog Calendar and Tips to Organize Your Blog

Planner

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to become more organized and more efficient with my blog.  One way that I attempt to do this is with a planner.  Today I’m going to be sharing the planner that I use with you, along with some other tips to organize your blog.

For my blogging, I use a simple monthly/weekly calendar.  I’ve been using these since I was in college.  Last year I bought one from Blue Sky, and I really liked it, so I bought from the again this year.  The one that I bought is currently sold out, but they have similar planners in some really cute designs, and they have others sizes and formats available if you prefer.

2013 Calendar

My favorite thing about this type of planner is that it has a monthly calendar that you can lay out in front of you.  This is where I write out my blogging schedule for the month, as well as any important dates that I need to remember.

2013 Weekly Calendar

 

And then it also has week pages.  This comes in handy to jot down specific notes, make to do lists, or even to use as a mini journal.

And what I’ll usually do is make a tentative schedule on the monthly calendar. I say “tentative” because sometimes things happen to change my schedule: a review product comes earlier or later than expected, I get a paid post opportunity that pushes back something else I was planning, or I simply change my mind!

I know my blog sometimes seems completely random.  But it actually does have a bit of structure:

  • I post recipes at the beginning of the week, usually on Monday.
  • I do most reviews/giveaways on Tuesday, unless I’m double booked for the week or the sponsor requires a different date.
  • Wednesday is wide open. This Wednesday is an organizing post, but next week could be home decor, or a sponsored post.
  • On Thursday night my Friday Favorites party is posted. And sometimes earlier in the day, I may have something else, particularly if I didn’t get a chance to post on Wednesday.
  • And then the weekend is generally reserved for sponsored posts that might come up.

So as you can see it’s pretty flexible, but it still gives me that little bit of structure that I need to get things done and be half way organized.

You can also print out your own monthly calendars.  I shared some cute ones here the other day.  Or consider printing out of these blog planners.

Now for just a few more tips:

Outlook Calendar

Use online calendars.  My email service is Outlook/Windows Live (also known as Hotmail).  I add upcoming projects to my calendar, due dates for sponsored posts, as well as reminders to contact people.

I could seriously write an entire series of posts on how great the Outlook calendar is.  But for the purposes of this post, I will tell you that my favorite thing about it is that you can set up your calendar so that alerts come to your email, as well as your Iphone or other mobile device.  The alerts are great, because a calendar alone just sits there–if you don’t look at it, it is useless, but if something pops up in my email or chimes on my phone I will see it.  And that is what I need!

Keep a sponsor notebook.  Aside from any accounting that you may do on your computer or using paperwork, I suggest keeping a simple notebook for writing down your upcoming projects.  I just have basic 70 page notebook.  And I write the month at the top of the page, and as I get chosen for a campaign or contacted by a sponsor, I make a simple note, such as “T-shirts.com – Rev/Giveaway.”

This just serves as a list to-do list, and it helps to keep me on task  And I’ve even referred back to this list to help  me verify my Paypal transactions when I do my accounting.

Come up with a balanced routine.  I can’t really give advice on this because I struggle with this a lot!  I would love to be the person that writes at this time, and answers emails at this time, and always comments, and always tweets, etc. But I just haven’t got a system down for this yet.  Maybe it will happen this year!

One thing that I’m going to TRY and do is come up with a sort of  “check list” of things I need to do each week.  It would be similar to the printable blog planners, but it would mostly revolve around networking and other tasks and sometimes get thrown on the backburner.

I’m also using this article as an inspiration: 4 Steps to Better Blogging Time Mangement from Amy Lynn Andrews. (Love her!)

Do you have any tips for better blog organizing? Or tips on keeping a balanced routine?  If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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I’m linking up at Tidy Mom and these parties.