Simplicity Sunday

Simplicity Sunday #9 – Busy, but…planning

This post includes some affiliate links.

I started using an Erin Condren planner at the beginning of this year.  I am actually using it regularly, which is unusual going into month three for me.  That is a bit of consistency I haven’t seen with past planners. I love the look and feel of the planner, so it makes me more likely to use it.

I also am keeping a family calendar on our wall:

march calendar
March Family Calendar

As you can probably see from all the writing, I have a lot going on.  Keeping a planner and calendar has made me more aware of all that I have going on.  But, I feel more in control this semester than past semesters.  I have figured out a schedule that works for me.  It makes my Mondays and Wednesdays very long (Wednesdays are very, very long), but my Tuesdays really open (I’ve taken to saying “Tuesday is Sue’s day”) and my Thursdays totally doable.  It has been a much easier semester so far.

So, I’m busy, but…I’m also feeling like I can do this.  Although, those three orange circles on the calendar are kind of sending out a warning signal.  My DD’s operation to have her pacemaker placed is less than two weeks away and I am definitely wondering how much of a kink that is going to put in our schedule.  I did end up doing a routine for us (although not everything on that list) and it has been really helpful.  So, I’m hoping that the surgery and its aftermath won’t be too bad.  But, only time will tell.  I’ve learned that lesson in the past.  There is no guarantee when it comes to predicting recovery and such, only averages.  And if there is one thing that my DD has NOT been in the past, it is average.


Welcome 2016 – January Focus = Simplify

I’m back from my trip and it was a great time.  I will probably have some pics this week on Wordless Wednesday.  I’m now settling in to a house where it looks like Toys R Us and Bags n Boxes have exploded multiple times and filling in my calendar for January in my new Erin Condren planner (which I love so far) and noting that it is already filling up quite a bit.  So many things for my DD’s school, workshops for work and family stuff with the Spring semester starting for me the last week of the month! The new year comes fast and furious it seems!

I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of some of other bloggers and podcasters and rather than having New Year’s Resolutions, which I always seem to fail at, I’m going to have My One Word (which is “myself” if you haven’t been following along or have forgotten) and a monthly “focus” where I work on a habit or behavior I would like to establish and/or change.  So, I’ve decided that January is going to be all about simplifying for me.  With my house piled high with STUFF and my calendar filling up with STUFF and my feelings of overwhelm in the past, I think this is a great place to start.  I have a few specific areas of my life I would like to simplify:

  1. Things I own/have in my home.
  2. Things for my classes – grading, assignments, travel planning for the team, etc.
  3. Things I have to do – I want to simplify caring for my home, making meals, getting exercise, my schedule, etc.
  4. Money management


I realize those are pretty broad, but I think that spending a week or so on each one this month will really help a lot.  I have some choices in how to simplify things – the first, and probably the most difficult for me, is to GET RID OF IT!  Whether it is getting rid of things in my home or getting rid of certain assignments in classes or delegating things to others for the team or my home or figuring out a system that simplifies HOW things are done for work or at home, I definitely have some choices.

So, I’ll be talking some on the blog about what I’m doing to simplify and hopefully sharing some of the resources I find with all of you.


Christmas Eve – Stress and Rest

Merry Christmas Eve to all of you out there!  We have had a day that has already gone from stress to rest and it is only 3 p.m. here!  Every day is an adventure around here it seems.


So, my DD being a heart transplant recipient, has to take medicines every 12 hours to achieve a balance in her immune system that keeps her from rejecting this “foreign” object that has been placed in her body.  We were paying relatively obscene amounts of money up until about six months ago when we switched over to what was supposed to be a three month, mail order prescription service that saves us a ton of money (she used to have to have liquid, compounded, specialty meds, but now can take small dose pills/tabs).  It has definitely saved us hundreds of dollars already, but they also can not seem to get our order straight and the problem is always with the one medication that she absolutely has to have every 12 hours for rejection purposes.  This month was no different.  Sigh…But, it was taken care of – we are now getting shipment at my in-laws on Saturday and we were able to pick up three days of pills this afternoon at a local pharmacy.  But, it always stresses me out (although, it was much worse the first time, but this time was made more stressful knowing stores were closing early and not reopening tomorrow for local distribution).

The rest of the day was relatively restful.  Thankfully, since I was up until about 3 a.m. this morning, cleaning, wrapping, grading and such.  I slept until 7 a.m. when my DD came to get to me to ask to start opening presents.  I put the kabash on that right away, but it was a challenge all day.  Tonight we did the stockings (not sure when this became a Christmas Eve thing in our house, but it is) and she opened two presents, both of which she loved.  So, that was good.

I am still grading, cleaning and wrapping tonight somehow.  I don’t know how that is possible, but it is.  I still have quite a bit of grading to do (basically, I have two classes of four graded, but one of the ungraded is the writing class and I have A LOT to grade in that class).  The house is being left relatively clean (unless tomorrow morning destroys it – between opening presents, packing, etc. it could get destroyed quite easily) when we leave.  Laundry is completely caught up (Ah-mazing).  And most of the gifts are wrapped (a few of my sister’s and brother-in-law’s need to be thrown in bags with some paper and the Santa gifts need to be wrapped tonight in different paper).  So, overall, I’m pretty happy with where we are.

And biggest news of the week – my DD has slept in her own bed in her own room all week long!  This has been a long time coming and I still need to sit in the room until she goes to sleep, but she’s done great.  I’m very excited about that!  We are making progress!

Oh, and I started actually writing in my new Erin Condren planner.  It was hard at first. It looked so pristine and I didn’t want to do anything I hated and “ruin” it.  But, I think I like what I’ve done (a post on that in the New Year perhaps) and I’m excited about being organized in 2016.  So, hopefully it will continue!

That’s it for tonight.  I probably won’t write tomorrow – it being Christmas and all and us driving six hours to get to my in-laws.  So, Merry Christmas.  May the gifts be just what you wanted, may the lights be bright and twinkly and may we all find peace in the new year.

Merry Christmas



Countdown to 2016 – Things I’m Looking Forward To


Well, it is almost 2016.  Ten days left in 2015.  I had forgotten just how badly 2014 ended last year (and 2015 began) – with me losing my voice and my husband needing a molar extracted, all while we were out of town at my in-laws.  Sigh…hopefully this year will end better and 2016 will start with a great family trip to Monterey (already booked – we just need to stay well for it).  I thought I would do a Countdown to 2016 with my Ten Things I’m Looking Forward To in the New Year.  As you all know, I recently changed my word of the year from Grounded (which I still like – and relates to my new word I think) to Myself.  So, I’m going to focus on Ten Things that Myself is looking forward to – starting out with positives rather than changes that need to be made.  I’m looking forward to a spectacular 2016!  So, let’s start the Countdown with (referral links included):

erin condren planner

My new Erin Condren planner!

I have had serious planner envy for a couple of years now.  I tried to win an Erin Condren planner multiple times and once I got close.  But, I ended up with one of her journal items instead.  It was nice, but not a planner.  I just could not justify spending $50 on a planner, or so I thought.  But, because of my recent focus on MYSELF, I really thought about how much I WAS spending on planning items.  I’ve bought apps (anywhere between $.99 and $4.99).  I’ve bought multiple cheaper planners.  Never totally happy with them, but thinking I could “make it work” only to lose the ability to “make it work” and give up on it (anywhere between $4.99 and $12.99, probably two or three a year).  And every single review I see of this Erin Condren planner is a RAVE!  And there are so many people online who have hacks and ways to use the planner and some real ways of maintaining interest and using the planner well.  I figured, I might as well just drop the funds (Christmas present to myself) and get one for 2016.  It should arrive on Christmas Eve before I leave for my in-laws on Christmas Day, so I’ll be able to work on getting some of it filled in while I’m there!  I am very, very excited about it.  I got the Vertical layout out of the three to choose from:

layout guide erin condren

I toyed with the hourly layout, but felt like it was too constricting.  I also got some “Do-it-all Dots”:

do-it-all dots

I have some favorite Erin Condren visuals that I’ve found online (not that I will be able to keep mine looking as good as these, but I can dream!

weekly view pure sugar
Pure Sugar

I like the cover of mine – “Let the Adventure Begin!”  Because this is MY year and it will be an adventure, to be sure!  I will obviously need to get some cute stickers as well.  I already have some colored pens I should be able to use…

erin condren planner used.JPG