My Thoughts on Decorating Your Planner

The thought of using a decorated planner with stickers, colored pens and other embellishments never crossed my mind, until recently. I have always used a planner of sorts, usually it was the professionally stuffy Covey planner. It worked and seemed very corporate ladder friendly.  Every weekend I would take a pencil and write in what I needed to accomplish the following week. It kept me on task, but was rather dull.

Then about a year ago, I discovered the Day Designer by Whitney English through a couple of creative entrepreneurs I met on line.  I was accustom to uber dry professional planners and the DD, as it’s affectionately referred to,  sounded so much hipper.  I bought my first one last August, introducing me to a completely new world of planners.  On the surface it’s a basic format to scheduling your day, listing your to do’s, noting your dinner menu, and giving you a spot to note what you are grateful for that day.  It is so much more in tune with how most of us live our lives these days outside of Covey’s A-D priority way of planning.  I joined the Facebook group of Day Designer users and realized there is a movement a foot. The Day Designer, Erin Condren, Plum Paper Planner, Kate Spade and a host of others all have users that embrace the concept of a decorated planner. Each of these planners become so much more. They are part planner, part scrapbook, part inspirational tool and way of life.

These decorated planner enthusiasts use everything from colored pens to washi tape, to stickers and 3M plastic pockets. The decorated planner transforms into a visual feast of your life, dreams, plans and hopes.  I am a visual person, but was reluctant to decorate my planner as I thought it would be perceived as frivolous. My experiences have been corporate and it’s a different world from the creative self-employed bloggers, etsy shop owners, and stay at home moms that sing the praises of the decorated planner.  There are few professional corporate women in the tribe and more free-spirited entrepreneurs.

Washi tape, scrapbook stickers and paper were not widely available in my twenties and only became popular within the last fifteen years or so.  I have not found much reason to walk the scrapbook aisle, although I am a sucker for pretty paper, until I purchased my DD.  I walk a thin line between professional corporate ladder climber wanna be and free-spirited entrepreneur, so I am cautious but slowly giving in and decorate my planner subtly.

PicMonkey Collage_DD

I’ve collected washi tape, stickers and expanded my collection of colored pens. Each of these elements helps me to decorate each of my days. My life is broken into several key areas, job searching, blogging, projects, and appointments.  So,  I break my to do list into sections with washi tape, then color code each section to correspond to the area I need to focus on.  Right now, I love the slim washi tape, my gold stars and itty bitty frog stickers I found on esty. (more on that later) Each of these elements just bring a bit of color and personality to my day. It sure beats looking at columns of black & white with no other allure.

Next week I will walk you through the best parts of having a planner and show you the tools I use to plan each month strategically.



Summer Nail Polish Color: anything goes with your toes

So, what do you do on a rainy Saturday morning?  You play around with nail polish colors. Earlier, I mentioned that pink is my go to for my nails. Yet, sometimes it is fun to mix it up.  After all, it’s summer time and anything goes with your toes.  Although I question whether colors I wore in junior high are still acceptable some thirty years later, I have decided YOLO. (yes I went there)

Toes are a perfect spot to infuse color all summer long.  Hanging out by the pool, bar crawling with friends in chic summer sandals or digging your feet into fluffy sand at the beach having your toes peak up at you sparkling with happy colors just makes one smile, doesn’t it?

Admittedly, I do not go to great lengths with my own pedicures and my favorite brand Essie holds up for a week or two allowing me to cheat a little. Other brands I have tried are not as durable. Since I live in my sandals and flip-flops all summer, durable is important to me.

This summer’s colors are a mix of amazing pastels, vibrant pinks, and bright oranges, with most being a variation of past summer trends.  Currently, I adore  Orange, Its Obvious; Saltwater Happy;  ModSquare; and Mojito Madness. As it turns out, Mojito Madness is the top pinned color on Pinterest.  A girl can’t be wrong if so many others adore it too.



The Death of the Handwritten Note

It saddens me to learn that children are no longer learning to write cursive in schools. Can you imagine the art of the handwritten letter going by the wayside entirely?  I love a good hand written letter and have had a pen pal for a few years now, although I will admit social media makes keeping touch quite a bit more immediate. Yet, it’s nice to go to the mail box to find a thoughtful letter from a dear friend in it. It brings a smile to my face to open a beautiful envelope filled with a friendly note on a equally beautiful stationery.

Call me old fashion, but I much prefer the time tested traditions of the handwritten note and formal invitation.  I cringe at getting invitations to events by email or through Facebook. To me, an invitation sets the mood for the event, its a thoughtful move that says the hostess took the time to consider the smallest event details.

During my recent visit to the Oxford Exchange, I was struck by the bookstore and it’s wide variety of curated books. It reminded me that too many civilized traditions are falling by the wayside.  Just like the handwritten note, the book may soon be a thing of the past as everyone clamors for the ease of an e-reader.

Sadly, I think the electronic world is here to stay whether it’s the email of the e-reader. I just won’t go down with out a fight.  So in an effort to resurrect the art of the letter I am giving away a copy of  Margaret Shepherd’s The Art of the Handwritten Note- A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication, courtesy of the Oxford Exchange.


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Traditional Silver Baby Gifts

Silver has long been a traditional baby gift. It’s a custom dating back generations. Today it is considered more of a keepsake gift, rather than a practical gift to be used by the child or parents, but even keepsakes can have practical uses as a child ages.

One of the gifts given to me some 4o odd years ago is still very much in use in my home.  It’s a silver bowl given to me by a wealthy great uncle I have no recollection of meeting him. In fact, I had no idea until a few years ago the beautiful bowl was a gift to me when I was born. It had been stored in a plastic bag and kept in a cedar chest at my parents house.  Cleaning out things for another big move, my mother decided I should be the keeper of my silver bowl.  Today it sits on my dresser and holds jewelry I wear often.


If you find yourself in need of a few fabulous ideas for traditional silver baby gifts, might I suggest a few of my favorite silver pieces?


This beautiful antique cup can become a bud vase in a little girl’s room.


The rattle can be displayed on a book shelf or fastened to a shadow box and hung on a wall.



Every child should have kid sized silverware to eat with and learn proper dinner table manners.



Start little ones off on the right track and teach them to save. This silver piggy bank is just the right thing for saving money from the tooth fairy.

The Royal family is honoring the silver tradition by giving each baby born the same day as the newest Royal a silver piece with the Royal Coat of Arms engraved on it.  Imagine being one of the lucky babies to share a birthday with the Prince  or Princess…..

What are your favorite keepsake baby gifts to give or receive?

A Guide to Holiday Tipping

Throughout the year there are many service people who make our lives a bit easier, whether it’s the paper boy, the lawn guy or the babysitter they deserve a little appreciation.  Customarily these people are tipped at the holidays, but what’s appropriate?  Tipping can be awkward, and more often than not it is ignored. It’s just another element of etiquette that has fallen by the wayside, sadly. Still there are those who just need a guideline to follow.

  • For a babysitter, its customary to tip one evenings pay &  a small gift from your children.
  • The paperboy, $10-$30 is a good guide for weekly delivery, $10 if it’s a weekend only delivery.
  • Daycare providers should be tipped anywhere from $25- $70, depending on the staff, as well as a small gift
  • Stylist, tip the cost of one visit.
  • Teacher, coach or tutor, small gifts or gift certificates are most appropriate, but check with the school regarding their policy.
  • Postal workers can only accept gift cards valued at $20.00 or less and it must be to a specific store, not from a bank or mall.

If money it too tight, write a letter or send an email to superiors expressing your gratitude for a year of a job well done. More times than not people will call or write to complain about service, but it’s rare to get a letter praising service received.  In some cases, letters such as those can affect a review or a raise in pay.