Adventures with planners

I’ve been keeping planners some time now. Originally, I used one of those planners you get from an office store, but didn’t like the size or the cost. Insert packs also cost money and many layouts didn’t work so well for me.

composition notebooksI shifted to bullet journaling. A bullet journal uses blank pages or pages with a dot or graph sheets. You design whatever you need using the dots or squares to help guide you. I used a regular composition notebook with lined pages, and where bullet journals can include very artistic styles, I kept pretty simple.

But I grew tired of having to draw out the calendar and weekly spreads. I wanted something printed.

pageI shifted to a mini 3-ring binder. This was fine because I could use lined, graph, or dotted pages, or just design my own layout to whatever I needed. Even then, I got tired of the time spent designing. I wanted the pre-printed stuff.

happy plannerThen I discovered <dramatic pause> the Happy Planner! It comes in three different sizes so I went with the classic 7×9 size. I can remove any pages, including the cover, so I could design my own pages or buy inserts. I can add sections, move them, or remove altogether. I can keep the entire year in the planner, but prefer to work with three months at a time, so this gives me room for my own sections.

Personal– Here I have a list of crafts I want to make, a list of books I want to read this year, a worksheet entitled ‘this is me’ where you list fears/weaknesses vs courage/strengths. It gives some perspective on myself. I have a page dedicated to accomplishments. I have a ‘reward list’ where I put things I want providing I achieve goals for myself.

Business– This includes a brain dump section for products/service ideas, and pages for various things I work on such as my business or my online Zazzle store.

Finances– This tracks income versus spending.

Writing– I keep a brain dump page for random thoughts and ideas, a writer tracker, blog title list, story ideas, brief plots for novels, and ideas for non-fiction ebooks.

Meetup– Here, I keep ideas for workshops, writing games, a list of food I can make for the group for snacks, and a brain dump page for things I want to add to the site or newsletter.

stickersI make my own stickers to add things like when my husband works, when I babysit, or go to my mom’s to clean, when the moon is full, birthday and other events, holidays, and bill payments. I even made blood donation stickers for when I give to the Red Cross.

I hope to publish my pages and stickers so others can use them. I even have plans for sticker themes packages, and pages for things like students, teachers, homemakers, business owners, and more. So many ideas, so little time.

I want the month of August to the be the month I focus on action, getting things done. While I do this, I will blog regularly and share freebies from time to time.


It’s been a while…

Wow, I haven’t blogged in ages…since September of last year, and I really do want to start post regularly. My hope is to start doing weekly posting, if only to list the things I do or share my thoughts on stuff.

redcross donationI gave more blood the other day. I got a free long sleeved t-shirt and free Dunkin Donut coffee! I realized after donating, they have an iPhone app, so you can store you donor card as well as track your donations.

Sadly, I can no longer give the double red because of losing weight. You have to be a certain height and weight to do that. Since my doctor mentioned an issue with my weight (and I’m pre-diabetic), I felt I best just lose the weight. I intend on donating a pint gain in a couple of months (56 days). Red Cross FAQ

The writer’s meetup group published another anthology for 2016. The theme was fairytales. Whatever deadlines we had were shifted to accommodate later authors’ submissions because the book would be too thin, otherwise.

While editing, I realized I no longer wish to edit another anthology for the group. It’s a lot of work, a lot of editing, and my vision doesn’t catch things like they used to. I feel the members should be publishing their own writing for themselves.

For 2017, my goal is to get them to learn how to do that, through Kindle Singles (they publish short stories in eBook format). There is no cost to do this, and you get your short stories out to the public.

I published two short stories through them;



Xmsa TV 2016Christmas went by so fast this year. Each year I stress myself out,promising that next year I’ll be more organized, plan in advance. Christmas cards went out late and I didn’t send that many this year. Cookie making was kept to a minimum- who needs all that sugar to tempt me, right? And decorating was slightly different since we have a very large TV now.

short hairI got my hair cut short.  I decided to just embrace getting old since I’ll be 50 this year, and go gray. I had all the color cut off. The bed-head is worse in the mornings, but I use less shampoo and conditioner. No more hair in my eyes either.

2016 new year

New Year’s Eve we splurged and got snacks, bubbly grape juice. No, Daniel is not drinking wine. I served the bubbly grape juice in a wine glass for him and he decided to pose for the photo.

We watched the ball drop via YouTube live streaming because we don’t have cable TV any more. We had a bit of lag, but otherwise, it went pretty well.

Goals for 2017 are simple:

Look weight. I have about 30 lbs. to drop this year, but I also want improve my fitness. I’m already tackling diet, going no-sugar again (except for holidays), and trying to more more.

Write and publish regularly. I decided to not include specifics here but I want to write and get things published on a regular basis. This could be monthly…not sure yet.

Publish ecourses. I want to assemble some courses online for writers and small business, using the workshop information I have on file.

Have adventures. This doesn’t mean jumping out of planes or anything, but to me, adventures are learning new things, exploring, experiences. I’ll post when I do them.

“The distance between dreams and reality is called action”…

Donating Blood

recrossI forgot to blog about my experience with donating blood. In fact, I mentioned only in passing before, so I wanted to share more details on this.

My sister Robin donates regularly. She’s given gallons of blood, and although I can never hope to exceed her achievements, I intend in following in her footsteps and do what I can. She inspired me to start donating in the first place.

The first step is signing up and scheduling a donation. Go to Red and enter your zip code to find a local donation center. You will see a list of donation centers with dates and times to choose from.

donate bloodSelect a donation center then selection the time you wish to donate. You will notice that generally its blood, but you can also select to donate Double Red Cell. This takes longer and counts as 2 pints of blood, and not everyone can donate. I was told I had to be at least 5’5” and 150 lbs. I barely reached the requirements.

Once you make your choice, you will be prompted to confirm your appointment. You can get reminders sent to your phone if you need it. You will also get an email to confirm and instructions to follow at your appointment.

Once there, they will ask you some questions. You should also go through a questionnaire via the Internet before this and that speeds up the process.

The Donation Process– This shows you how the process works. And remember, you get cookies/crackers for free afterwards. The link also provides some tips before you donate such as hydrating before you go.

Currently, the Red cross is giving $5 Amazon Gift Cards to those who donate.

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Stepp’n up walking and diet

160 simI wanted to share my experiences for this month in exercise and diet, but this post if the things I use to help me along the way.

The reason I need to lose weight is a concern to get Diabetes. I’m already pre-diabetic. I also feel like a slug, with no energy, so very much out of shape, and want to increase my metabolism by winter so I can feel warm.

Here are my tools:

Fitbit Flex Tracker. I got this when I upgraded my phone last year, and the Fitbit was free. It’s a pedometer but has some nifty things to help with other things.

Currently, I’m working on 5,000 steps a day and hopefully will reach 10,000 by the end of the month.

Fitbit Charge This model of Fitbit includes a heart rate monitor.

Alarms– I can set alarms that buzz my wrist through the day or night. I can have it wake me, or set as a reminder, and can have a number of alarms through the day. Even alarms to remind me to walk.

fitbitFitbit App for iPhone– The Fitbit can be used with the computer only, but the app adds some additional features I enjoy. It tracks 250 steps you should be walking each hour of your waking day.


Scans food and adds to your daily tracking. Just scan the barcode with your iPhone and it adds the calories and serving size to your tracking.

Other smart phones can also provide this feature such as

Weight Scale. I do not weigh myself every day. I might weigh through the week, but the pounds only count on Fridays. The human body can change weight due to water weight gain, and I also recognize that gaining muscle will also add to the scale while you’re losing fat.

Weight measure tape. I measure weekly, on Fridays, to see if there are changes. I’ve seen no change on the weight scale but found inches drop off.

Eating six times a day. I eat smaller three meals, each including fruit/veggies, lean protein, and complex carb. I allow for three snacks, but eat mostly veggies, fruit, or the occasional piece of deli meat like turkey or ham.

Lots of water. I drink more water, sometimes tea, and only 1-2 cups of coffee in the mornings. Water comes first, and hydrate through the day.

My first week of September? I lost three pounds, probably water, but feel better.

September Adventures

September is filled with goals. I felt if I shared them, readers can hold me to them. More importantly, join or support me in my endeavors. So here goes;

160 simLose weight. Being an old woman, this proves more difficult than before, and it wasn’t easy in my younger days. This means a contending a lower metabolism with exercise (walking) and watching what I eat. This goals also means to get myself in shape, get more muscle.

I want to fit in my old clothes but also have a higher metabolism so I can feel warmer in the winter months. Being a slug lends to being very cold all the time.

sugar freeNo sugar. Yep, you read that correctly- NO SUGAR for the month of September. I’m even avoiding sugar substitutes and processed foods. Veggies, fruit, lean protein, and mostly water and tea rather than soda. I drink Sugar Free Hazelnut creamer with my coffee in the mornings, but that’s pretty much it.

My hope is that cutting out sugar will get me more energy, I’ll be healthier, and my brain will work with more clarity…hopefully.

Purple Crocus Pen Rubber Grip Pen Write and publish regularly. I want to focus on fiction, but I have a few non-fiction projects ‘in the works’. Between short stories, a novel, and non-fiction eBooks,  I hope to earn more income.

I have a number of books published on Amazon.


duolingoLearn conversational Spanish as well as some German. I focus more on Spanish, but German is fun to speak with all the visceral pronunciation. I would like to have a basic conversation in Spanish, perhaps even understanding reading or watching Spanish TV. I’m using which provides free language lessons via their site and smart phone apps.

Offer new services on my web sites. My writer’s site will have Book Cover Design and editing services, while my pagan site will have ecourses, workshops, and ebooks. I hope to have this all done and up by the end of the month.

Minor goals include:

  • Drink more water (no or only a little soda)
  • Practice Morning Pages (I’ll blog about this soon)

I’ll post regularly on my goals. So with perseverance, the end of this month, I’ll be slimmer, fitter, published, working more, speaking Spanish, and finding more things to achieve.



Focusing on Focusing


It’s been ages since I blogged, which I believe is the same thing I mentioned before.

The single most trait of a blog, and to keep blogging, is knowing if anyone reads it. This blog, I don’t feel gets read. It’s more blithering I suppose, so that leads me to thinking on what to focus on.

Focus. That’s not one of my characteristics.

My brain doesn’t work like that at all. If anything, ideas sort of bubble up to the surface. I have to jot down the idea quickly before it fades, and to figure out what to do with it later.

This year I’ve been trying to narrow down my main areas of focus, which is no easy task. Tons of ideas come, and I have to ignore them while trying to focus on the few on my list. Then I’m left wondering if those few on the list are even worth trying.

So here are some of my top things to focus on for the next month or so;

  • Finish my short story for publication.
  • Finish editing my dad’s book to help him publish. This includes the book cover design
  • Apply to REV for a closed caption work. (this is done)
  • Complete the ‘writer journal’ project. I’m working on a blank journal for writers which includes tips, prompts, and quotes, as well as a space for daily word counts. This should be done soon.
  • Finish the Playful Pagan web site, which will include an online ecourse, eworkbooks, and resources for earth centered spirituality.

I have more stuff, but these are the main things I’m focusing on.

And to update friends and family- here are some things I’ve been up to;

Blood donation

Donating Blood– I decided to start donating blood, so I gave my first pint. I found out I’m O+, and they would like me to donate platelets too. I hope to do that eventually.

No homeschool. In past years, we continued to do some homeschool through the summer. This year, we’re enjoying not doing homeschool. Dan passed last year, so he’ll be in 11th grade in September.

Working I was referred to a new client and helped her with her computer issues, while another needed help with transferring VHS to DVD. Worked on a web site for a client but he backed out. That’s never fun for me. It means work without pay, so I’m not keen on doing web design. I’m considering no longer offering this service. Instead, having pre-developed sites for sale, or client tutorials.

Writing! I’ve been working one short story fiction, but also working on a blank journal for writers. It includes a spot to add word counts, but also includes tips, prompts, and author quotes. I’m also editing my dad’s book which will be published soon, and organizing my Writer’s Group for an upcoming anthology coming this Christmas.

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Children’s books, Zazzle, and up to date

635639323133548058My poor little blog has been sorely neglected since January.  To be fair, I’ve dealt with some major depression and stress the past few months. This makes it hard to rally motivation. I’m hoping to keep up, however, and just do things anyway, regardless of how I am. Life can’t come to a stop.

So what have I been up to?

Considering  writing and publishing children’s books. While looking at video tutorials I found my brain sparking some ideas. I’m researching the how and why of this genre, and figuring out how to illustrate what I want.

I’m very intrigued with checking out Amazon Kindle Children’s Book creator, and not necessarily using it for children’s books. I could also work on picture books for various genres. Pop, pop, pop…more ideas.

I’ll post a review of the program once I get used to it.

candlewrapI created a new design for Zazzle but found I can’t add this to my store, only share the link. I really like Zazzle and all the choices you can add your own graphics/photos to items and sell for a small amount with each purchase.

But Zazzle has some crazy things you can personalize, from mugs, t-shirts, and jewelry, and weird things like chocolate boxes and even bikes.

Custom Big Shot Fixie Big Shot Bicycle
Custom Big Shot Fixie Big Shot Bicycle by big_shot_bikes
Look at Single speed Bicycles online at


I’ve created a number of products in my Zazzle store, but like many things, I let it go and haven’t worked much on it.

authropageUpdated my Amazon Author Page, but feel the biography is pretty thin. Perhaps I should consider something ‘fiction’ to make it more exciting- ‘By day, she is a mild-mannered housewife, homeschool mom, and tech consultant, but by night (dramatic pause) she is the master of writing and creativity”

I will try to keep up more with the blog, sharing what I’m doing on my other blogs and what projects I’m working on, as well as sharing more on thoughts and adventures.