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One Book July: Final Thoughts

I’m back! I didn’t blog about One Book July last week as I felt that I didn’t have anything to really elaborate on. My post would’ve been more photos than written content, and while that’s great, it just seemed like a pointless post. This week, however,  I do have a few things to comment on. I will also wrap up my thoughts on how my One Book July experience went.

I am still really enjoying my A5 rings set-up. I still haven’t really been using my B6 as much as I thought I would, but next week my kids are back in school, so that will more than likely be changing. I have made some changes to my A5 planner since my last blog post, but nothing too drastic.

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One Book July: Week 2

So, I have survived week 2! Not that I struggled with my planner. Life happened this week and threw us a HUGE curve ball – why yes.. that was a baseball pun – that we didn’t see coming and shook our week up just a little. My planner was still functioning, as it should, and I found that tasks and due dates were easily met.

Last week I mentioned that I needed to stop using the boxes on the weekly spread as a check list. Well I did that this week, and it was MUCH easier to see the important information I needed for shop business this week. I did also include a couple of meal planning stickers to this week’s spread, as I needed to make sure I had certain things started, or remembered what we were having for dinner that day so I could prep ahead.

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One Book July: Week 1

One week down for One Book July and I can’t say I hate my new planner! I’m actually going to report that my new set-up, might actually be working out! I will admit that I did not use the full system, my B6 is not an identical copy this week, as I had already pre-planned out this week in my old weekly insert, so I finished out that week. However, the set-up in my A5 ring planner worked out well.

I am really glad that I planned out what I wanted from my planner before starting One Book July this month. I think that’s had a lot to do with my success so far. The ability to see everything we had going on this week – big or small – on one page has been great. I have learnt a bit along the way, and I’ll discuss that below.

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One Book July: Getting Prepared

Now that I’ve decided to participate in One Book July and really thought about my reason why, I now need to set up my planner system.  Of course I could just stay with what I am currently planning in, a B6 traveler’s notebook and an Erin Condren hourly life planner. But to be honest, the Erin Condren planner isn’t working for me. Over the course of the past month I have been planner hopping trying to find something that works for me; stumbling upon One Book July, when I did, was perfect timing!

I have made the decision to use a Webster’s Pages A5 ring bound planner, as my main planner, and my B6 Foxy Fix Boss Babe Kate travelers notebook as the books that will hold my system. I know what you’re thinking: but wait.. that’s 2 planners! And it is, but I’m planning on using one system; not just one book. The system will be one set of inserts, that are sized to fit both planners, so that I have an identical set-up in both planners. That’s it, nothing fancy; as I need to figure out what works for me. I think I have fallen into the “ooh look at this” and then I don’t know how to use it. This time I chose inserts based upon my needs, not how pretty someone else made them on Instagram.

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One Book July: My Reason Why

I just stumbled upon “One Book July” last week and since then the whole idea has been stuck in my head and has really made me look at the way I plan. What is One Book July? It’s the idea that you use one planner or system and simplify the way you plan. I’ve watched the video that explains it all and it seems very open to interpretation. There are no rules. There are guidelines, which means you make this work for you. This isn’t about you trying to fit into a mold and do this only one way. The main focus behind the challenge – I’m not sure I see it as a challenge, as I typically only plan in one planner; is you’re only to use one planner/notebook/journal for the month of July. There are some that use one planner and one pen for the month; which is great, if that’s the route you want to go. After watching the video I think the entire concept is up for interpretation.

It seems as though One Book July is all about simplifying your planner/planning style. Whether that means just one planner or bullet journal for the month, or one book for one specific purpose; it just needs to be simple. I’m not saying don’t use stickers, or plan how you typically plan and just use a pen. That’s not it. Just make it a simple system that will work for you. Be willing to change that simplified planner/planning style if it isn’t working for you during the month. It seems as though One Book July is a time to experiment and find out what works best for you.

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 5/8

Since the past few weeks have been crazy and then we have another couple of crazy weeks, this week seems as though it wants to take it easy on us *fingers crossed that’s how it pans out*. It’s only Monday now, so things could change drastically between now and Sunday. This week’s meal plan is reflective of us not having 1,001 things to do in the evenings. I’m going to be cooking at least 3 nights this week from scratch instead of having dinner pre-prepped or quick fix meals. There are 2 slow-cooker uses this week – one to bake potatoes and one to cook dinner but guess what? those are the night’s we’re out late because of band or baseball.

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 5/1

So I slacked on the blogging last week – I swear time just got away from me – but thank goodness I had a meal plan or we might have been eating sandwiches all week! Below is a look at my planner, that I posted on Instagram, from last week so you’ll see what I’m talking about!

I wish I could say it was a one off week, but the craziness is just going to continue until school lets out for summer break in 4 weeks (What?!? we’re almost done with school this year?).

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 4/17

This week is almost a typical week for us. We are SUPER busy and I want to avoid the question “What’s for dinner?” and not have an answer. This week’s meal plan has “quick fix”, pre-prepped and slower-cooker meals just to make life easier and work with our schedule.

While sitting down and planning our meals for the upcoming week I had to take into consideration that we have 5 days that involve baseball (yes, it’s that kind of crazy week for us), Baritone lesson and 9th Grade Orientation for the Girl, a sleep-over with our Nephew and then we’re going to spend at Day at Universal Orlando. *Whew* It’s a week! That’s not including work for the Hubs, grocery shopping and Planner & Paper stuff for me and whatever else may come our way. I may need a vacation next week just to recover; which I can’t take a break next week as this craziness repeats itself then too! We are almost running full tilt like this until school gets out at the end of May. Then I’m going to spend all summer reading and not doing anything!

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Meal Planning 101

Most of my married life I have made a meal plan. We don’t always stick to it; sometimes we switch it around to work around our schedule, should it change after I’ve planned our meals, or we grab take-out or choose to go out for a meal. I write my grocery list using my meal plan and I typically only purchase things we need to make the meals on the list and maybe a few impulse buys – if there’s a good sale at the grocery store on something we may need/want.

That sounds all well and good, right? But what if you’ve never meal planned before, how do you even get started? It’s a daunting task. Especially when you have a system that seems to work for you. We, Hubs & I, have tried to go grocery shopping without a plan and holy cow, that was a bad idea! We spent WAY more than we typically do and it seemed as though we walked away with nothing that was actually usable. We have since learnt that lesson! I’m not saying I plan every week religiously. I SHOULD, but it doesn’t always happen and guess what, we’re spending more money, or picking up take-out, eating out more and just not eating as healthily as we should. But when I do plan, sometimes I plan for weeks in advance if I know we’re going to be busy, we spend less, have food in the house *gasp* and no longer look at each other – kids included – like we’ve been asked the final Jeopardy question  when it comes to “what would you like for dinner?” *insert Jeopardy music here*.  I’ll take “How quick can you drive to Sonic? for $800, please Alex”. Seriously! It’s terrible.

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