Friday, November 28, 2008

holiday planner, part 2

Did you have a great Thanksgiving? I'm still full from our feast. It was a terrific day for the whole family. Chris and Marshall did the "Turkey Bowl" football game early Thursday morning. The girls and I watched the parade and worked on the food. After the boys returned, Chris and the children went for a boat ride, leaving me alone in the kitchen. I cooked and baked the rest of the day while watching "Little Women". That afternoon, we went to Beth's house and had a nice time with family.
So, you DO realize it is officially the Christmas season...right? My Holiday Planner has been dusted off and I've started putting it to good use. Year after year I have come to rely on it to get me through these fun but hectic weeks. I love that it is, essentially, an organizer and a scrapbook all in one binder. There is one problem with the design. I do not like to carry it to stores. I have done it in the past, but it usually gets left at home. Just too big.
So...while perusing the 'net, I discovered some portable organizers that would go well with my holiday planner. I came up with these designs, following patterns I found on other sites.

The first is an altered notepad. The cover is made from cardstock and forms a pocket when it's opened. This holds personalized gift lists, and can be used for receipts, coupons, etc... The notepad has endless uses for holiday organizing.
here's the link:

The second design is an altered file folder. The folder is scored and folded to create pockets and a booklet. The pockets hold lists for gifts, stocking stuffers, shopping and menus. It is a durable design and will hold you receipts and coupons, much like the notepad organizer.
here's the link:

I like them both for different reasons, so I think I'll give them both a shot and see which I prefer to stick with for next year. The question is...which do YOU prefer? That's right, I'm asking YOU. It's a giveaway and you could get one of these organizers for yourself:) Just leave a comment to let me know which one you like. I'll be giving away two of them. The one you get will be made especially for you. I made these with my scraps, but yours will be with brand new paper (OoooAhhh)!! If you prefer the notepad design, I will personalize the cards. The giveaway will close Wednesday 12:00 pm. (east time:) Be sure to leave me your name. I will get your email address if you win.
Good Luck!

***hey, check out Harley's blog...she's got a giveway, too

Monday, November 24, 2008

holiday planner, part 1

It all started with an issue of Family Fun Magazine. That's how these things usually start.
It's not that I never have a good idea on my own, it's just that these people get paid to come up with brilliant little suggestions to make our holidays and our otherwise boring weekdays a bit more fun. A few years ago the magazine featured this "Amazing Holiday Planner". I think my sister Rachel decided to do it first. She tipped me off and we were both in the race to get ours ready for the start of December. The idea is to have a binder with sections that break down the parts of the holidays that require the most planning.

The planner opens with a calendar. You can visit the website for the printable templates or you can create your own. Here's the link:

"Our Holiday Card List" is next in the binder. I use it to keep track of who I sent a card to each year. This year, however, I'm doing it differently. I'm creating a sheet with room for names and addresses. This one just has names. Gotta make it easier on myself:)

On to the gifts...the "Holiday Gift List" is a lifesaver. There are three columns. The first lists the names of the recipients. The second is where you write what gift you want to give. The third is where you write what you ended up choosing for that person. Each year you can remember who got what. If you're stumped about what to give Aunt Mary, maybe you can see what she's gotten in the past and give something that complements or completes a set. I usually need 2 of these sheets.

Next up..."Holiday Recipes, Menus and Party Plans". I use this section to highlight some of the newer recipes we tried this year. I write about parties we went to and the foods we ate. If I plan a party, the ideas go in here, too.

{**The picture for the next section is bringing out my inner scrooge...i'm omitting it b/c it keeps deleting itself}

The section for "Crafts and Decorations" can get a little tedious for me because I am a creature of habit with my Christmas decorating. I find that things belong only where I've always placed them and that is a hard habit to break. I manage to write down the new ornaments I've gotten and the other decorations I've acquired. Having these written down makes it easier to come back and look through the pages to find out how many years we've had a our jingle bell tree and such.

"Holiday Memories" brings the planner to an end. This gives you a record of the traditions, movies, parties and other things that shape your holidays. Create a journal that describes how your family celebrates the holidays. You'll turn to it often and remember the happiness you felt each year.

As you can see, I've made room for some scrapbook pages for many of the years. (I'm a little behind:) There are plastic pencil pouches to hold samples of cards we've sent, patterns of stockings I made (yes, I sewed), recipes I use every year, etc... Check out the website and create on of your own. I really is one of MY favorite traditions to get out the planner and let the holidays begin.

check back soon for holiday planner, part 2:)

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Friday, November 21, 2008

twilight, the morning after

did I say, "...girls' night out, how bad can it be?"


anyway...girls (and john),
i had a ton of fun before that movie even started

Saturday, November 15, 2008

twilight @ midnight

Twilight...midnight...anyone? anyone?

Like it? Love it? Had 'nuf of it? Come anyway.
It's a girls' night bad can it be?

MacArthur Center Thursday, November 20th. You want to get your tix in advance. You can get them at the mall or on It's at 12:01am, technically Friday. Get there plenty early to get a seat.

happy birthday harley

In just five years...

These sweet little cousins
went from kindergarten to fifth grade.
These adorable girls decided that Disney princesses
aren't nearly as awesome as the Jonas Brothers.
These as-close-as-you-can-get-to-sisters found that
webkinz and the internet are much more fun than Barbies.
These not-yet-teens have traded in birthday presents
for gift cards and money.

What will the next five years bring??

Happy Birthday Harley:) 11 years old ...WOW!!
...and pretty soon, you too, Taylor!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

and the winnners are...

Decision Day 2008
The long journey has come to an end. From the primaries to the voting booths, it's been an exciting ride. Each side wanted their candidate to win. Each party proclaimed victory was within reach. This morning it was all decided.

With great anticipation, we checked the ballots and made our choice for the Robertson Election-Day dinner.
And the winners are...

The Local Congressional Beverage:
Green Froggies 3 votes
Root Beer Floats 2 votes

The State Senate Side Dish:
Shrimp Cocktail
3 votes
Fruit Salad 2 votes

The Presidential Entree:
Sweet and Sour Pork with rice 3 votes
Pizza with Salad 2 votes

my picture was fuzzy, check it out on Suzanne's blog...

The Gubernatorial Dessert:
Mini Cheesecake Tarts 3 votes
Cherry Pie 2 votes

As a consolation, the losers will be making their concession appearances on our dinner plates throughout the upcoming week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

halloween and all the rest

The Halloween run-down:
Marshall was Theodore to Nate and Alec's Alvin and Simon.
Harley and Alison hung out together as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Gracie let me doll her up up as our favorite storybook character,
"Fancy Nancy"...the butterfly version:)...thanks Nicole for
helping me curl up that hair!
With the first fistful of treats consumed on Halloween,
you know the holidays have officially begun.

Here's to Harley's birthday,
just two weeks away.
Here's to turkey dinner,
done the vegetarian way.
Here's to endless baking,
and eating what you made,
Here's to all the shopping
and ignoring what you've paid.
Here's to decorations,
not seen since January 1.
Here's to my holiday planner,
helping me get it all done.
I vow to make it fun this year,
I promise not to stress.
And maybe, just maybe with any luck,
it'll all turn out a success:)

are you ready??