Thursday, November 17, 2016

introducing moments inked meal planner system

The Moments Inked Meal Planner System from Papertrey Ink is kind of ingenious.  It's designed in an easy-to-use format that will keep me organized in the kitchen--and the grocery store--for the entire year.  And it has come along just in time for our Thanksgiving camping trip!  Without this meal planner, I might have gone completely mad trying to keep track of it all.  Thankfully, I'm staying sane and organized instead!  In this post, I'll share my review of the Meal Planner and give you a glimpse at how I'm already using it.

To start, here's a short overview of what the planner consists of.  (*I'm using the Binder edition of the Meal Planner, with inserts that can be added into my binder planner.  There is also a Spiral edition of the Meal Planner; it is a stand-alone book, but everything else is exactly the same.*)  It's simply laid out, with 3 lines for each day of the week. I normally don't plan too much for breakfast and lunch, so I will use all 3 lines for dinner--that's what will require the most prep work, anyhow.  There is a small section next to that where you can fill in the location of a recipe, and beside that is the very helpful checklist of Defrost, Advance Prep, and Slow Cooker.  I have a frequent problem of forgetting to defrost or thaw frozen meat so I personally find this feature very useful.

The page is folded, with a perforated edge that can be torn off because it's for a grocery list.  This is the best thing ever!  It's so convenient!  After I've made my list, I can tear it off and take it to the store with me.

I love the all-in-one page--I don't need a separate pad of paper, and my main grocery list is also not on the back of my menu page--if I unfold the page, I can see them side by side.  Also, the different sections are marked--Pantry, Freezer, Produce, etc--which is so helpful.  How many times have I been in the freezer section of the store, almost done shopping, when I realize I forgot to pick up an onion or lettuce, all the way over on the other side of the market?  This should eliminate that.

On the back of the list side is another page for "Shopping List" and "Errands".  Again, I find this incredibly useful.  I'm fortunate enough to live in a city where there are at least 10 different choices for groceries.  The only problem with that is there are at least 10 different choices for groceries!!  It gets confusing trying to remember who has what items on sale this week and who has better fruit or meat.  I usually have my one go-to store where I get most things I need, but once a week, I'll also go to a couple other stores in search of a great deal or a better-tasting food.  The main list, broken down by store section, will be for my regular grocery run.  On the back, I'll record the handful of items I need from the other shops.

There's a whole space for Notes on the flipside of the Menu page, and on a weekly basis, I'm not quite sure yet what I'll use that for, but I think it will be good for recipe hacks and prep notes.

I've added 2 months of Meal Planner pages into my MI Binder the moment, this is where I will keep them, in between weekly calendar spreads.  This may change as I get more familiar with the Meal Planner, but I like it this way because it's not an extra book to keep track of, and I can flip through the pages to see what we have going on during the week, which usually impacts what we have for dinner.

Over Thanksgiving break, we've decided to go camping with some friends and have agreed with the other couple that we'll stick to a somewhat traditional meal on Thursday.  We've divided up the menu, planned out each meal for each day that we're there, and discussed who's bringing the utensils and dishes and coffee percolator, and so on.  Until I received the Meal Planner, my notes were a jumbled mess on my phone.  They were disorganized, hastily typed up, and incomplete.  This Meal Planner was a life saver!

Now I can look at the entire week, get a handle on it, and make coherent lists--because aside from Thanksgiving and camping, we've also got 2 birthdays, and a second Thanksgiving celebration happening.

For the grocery list, I've written out our camping food in the green ink, and our Sunday dinner food in red.  I'm only going shopping once next week so I'll get everything at the same time.  I also crossed out FREEZER and replaced it with BAKED GOODS because it's more fitting for this particular occasion.

On the back of my tear-off sheet, I sorted the various things we might need to get from the other markets, as well as non-grocery items we'll use and where to get them.  One page, multiple lists--organized and convenient.

In the Notes section, which is a full page, I laid out our camping trip and inventoried each meal.  As a divider, I ran a piece of skinny washi tape down the middle (it's NEW from PTI!).  On the left is our family's contribution to camp food; on the right, the other family's.  With everything preparing to camp out entails, I'm confident that this major task is in order and that's one less headache during a hectic week.

I'm not a great cook, and honestly, have little patience for preparing a meal--you might say I'd rather be papercrafting :)  While I don't love cooking, I would like to get better at it because I want to eat healthier and I'd like my kids to grow up sampling a variety of food.  I think this Meal Planner is going to get a good workout over the next year and let's hope it introduces some positive changes into our meals and eating habits.

Supplies used:

Moments Inked Binder Pages 2016


Raspberry Fizz, Orange Zest

The entire line of Moments Inked Planner System products can be found here.

Sign up for the Moments Inked Newsletter here and fresh ideas for using the MI Planner System will magically appear in your inbox every Monday!

Monday, November 14, 2016

papertrey ink :: moments inked :: planning way ahead

As the holidays creep closer and closer, so, too, does the end of 2016.  With each year end comes a new beginning--and new Moments Inked Planner inserts from Papertrey Ink!  With the 2017 inserts in my hands already, I began to think about planning ahead.  Way ahead.  For me, 2016 flew by in a flurry of chaotic blur and many events sneaked up on me because I wasn't ready for them.  That led to  scrambling to complete projects or missing out on a few good opportunities altogether.  I'm not going to let that happen next year.  Read on to see how I'm getting organized for 2017 NOW.

I have two main concerns:
1. Trying not to overcommit and say yes to too many things, thus getting overwhelmed and burned out
2. Preparing for major projects/events in advance to avoid a mad dash to the finish line

It took some thinking about for awhile, but after a brainstorming and aggressive note-making session, I came up with a little system that I hope is going to work: Short monthly lists on 3" x 3" Post-It notes!

I'm focusing mainly on business/design team work here, but this method can easily be applied to family, household or personal tasks/goals, as well.

One other thing I took into account was the fact that I want to dress up my planner a little more than I did in 2016.  This was partly inspired by the new monthly first page of the month/quote in the 2017 planner.  I love the nearly full page of color which is a new feature and decided to match that with a facing page of bold florals.

If I was a patient, magnificent stamper like so many of you PTI fans are, I'd have stamped and colored each design, but I'm just not there yet so I used patterned paper instead.  I cut each page with the large Binder Page Die and I made 12 pages, one for each month of 2017.  I will probably go back and add 1 more page for December 2016, just because these same ideas apply.

For the actual organization and planning ahead, I put my planner stamps and 3" x 3" Post-its to work.  In trying to focus on a handful of tasks each month, I liked the idea of a short list.  If it doesn't fit on The List, it doesn't get done.  I think that may be the only way to stay sane each month and curb the inherent desire to say YES! to every thing and opportunity that come my way.

I used the list lines from the Posted stamp in True Black ink, along with the square boxes for ticking off each finished item.  I also stamped "THE LIST" and two tiny stars in colors that coordinated with that month's colors.  There are 6 lines so that means no more than 6 projects.  I don't necessarily have to fill each line, but going over is a definite no-no.  I'm going to try hard with that, anyhow :)

That Post-It list goes on the left-hand side of my planner spread.  On the right, I used the 1-2-3 memories list as a way to keep track of events that require advance preparation (birthday party planning, holiday shop inventory, classes I'm teaching, etc).  These will need to be started at least 1-2 months ahead of schedule, and by writing them down and keeping them here, I hope to avoid any last-minute scrambling.

I used different colored inks on this Post-it because the pattern of the page isn't as busy as that of the florals.  I also stamped "START HERE" to distinguish this list as the items that need to be on my radar, but aren't due yet.

Perhaps the best thing about this system is that I've already got 12 months of pages and Post-Its all set to go.  The only prep work is to fill in my lists as the year goes by, which I think will make it easier to abide by.  Plus, the page spread is so pretty to look at with the florals on one side and the bold PTI dotted pattern on the other.  The Post-its are neat and tidy and the monthly quote is always a nugget of sound advice.  I'm looking forward to a productive, less chaotic 2017.  How about you?

(PS: The 2017 planners are available here now!)

Supplies used:

Moments Inked Binder Pages 2016 / 2017



Hawaiian Shores, Raspberry Fizz, Aqua Mist, Summer Sunrise, True Black, Melon Berry, Hibiscus Burst, Limeade Ice, Berry Sorbet, Winter Wisteria

Other Supplies:
Patterned Papers:
My Mind's Eye, Crate Paper, Heidi Swapp, Dear Lizzy, Pink Paislee, Amy Tangerine

The entire line of Moments Inked Planner System products can be found here.

Sign up for the Moments Inked Newsletter here and fresh ideas for using the MI Planner System will magically appear in your inbox every Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

thurston post guest designer :: sarah bargo

You guys!  I've got such a fun post for you today featuring the work of my good friend, Sarah Bargo.  If you've been around the scrapbooking community, you definitely know her.  She has a feminine, romantic style and that's one of the reasons I love her work so much--it's just so darn dreamy.  She's also a beautiful person whose enthusiasm is contagious. (It's possible I've said that about her before but it's worth repeating because it's really true :)

She recently got ahold of my Pink + Gold and Pink, Gold + Beet embellishment kits and worked some magic with them.  She's the first person I've ever asked to work with the kits--it's always been on my agenda, but I've never had the wherewithal to actually reach out to someone until now.  But I LOVE her interpretation of the kits because it's so different than what I do with them, and that's exactly what I wanted.

You've seen how I use them here's what Sarah did...She paired them up with some Maggie Holmes' Open Book products, as well as this fun photo, and the result is gorgeous.

There is no right or wrong way to use the kit contents so if you are thinking of getting one, know that.  I am so impressed with the use of the lace--ruched and stapled to the pink tag!  It brings the lace to the forefront of the work and adds so much texture, which I can never get enough of.

I also like that Sarah threw in some hints of green to the color scheme.  This is such a rich layout with the pinks and purples and greens--and even the black and gold samples.  That's another thing about the kits--you don't have to stick strictly to the colors in them.  Definitely step outside of those walls and mix them with other hues and shades like Sarah did here.

I am completely, head over heels, crazy about the way she used the cupcake liners.  I never would have thought to use them folded and layered like this--and distressed, even!  The girl is brilliant and I am totally lifting that technique in the future.

I've heard a rumor that Sarah has another project up her sleeve using the Pink + Gold kit and that it's coming our way real soon.  It might be in the form of an art journal and I'm super-excited to see it!  I have loved seeing another creative mind do something totally different with my kits and I hope you enjoyed something different in this space, too.  If you love Sarah's layout, be sure to visit her blog.  She always shares great techniques and offers little hints that make me wonder how she ever came up with them!  (It's probably because she's so, so, so creative and she's a total pro at all things paper!)  She has an Etsy shop where she sells scrapbooking kits, too, (I got to be her guest a couple months ago) and I've got all her links right down below to make it easy to find her.  Show this girl some love, please!

Sarah's blog: Sugar Maple Paper Co
Sarah's Etsy Shop: SugarMaplePaperCo
Sarah's Instagrams: @sarahbargo

If Sarah's ideas inspired a few of your own, you can pick up the P+G and P+G+B paper/embellishment/gift wrap kits in my Etsy shop.

**While you're at it, go ahead and take 20% off of your entire order!  Use the code NOVEMBER20 at checkout.**

Enjoy your weekend!