Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself *GIVEAWAY*


We've had a great month organizing ourselves! A big thanks to Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons, Jenny from Planner Perfect, Jess from Makeunder My Life, and Debra from Housewife Eclectic for joining us this month.

Today I have an awesome giveaway for you!

The lovely Meridith from Anything Adorable is giving one reader the purse organizer of her (or his, I guess :) choice from the shop (a $14 value) AND a great discount!

These purse organizers are AWESOME:
8x30 inches with EIGHT various-sized pockets
**look at all the stuff you can fit in those pockets**

Then just fold up the organizer to fit your purse...

tuck it in your purse,
and you're on your way with everything you need!

Not only does a purse organizer keep your purse organized, it allows you to transfer the most important things from one purse to another easily... and from the diaper bag to the night-out purse easily. ;)

Meridith offers the organizer in 16 different fabric patterns, so you're sure to find one that you love. And everything in the Anything Adorable shop is just... adorable (and also comes in a wide variety of adorable fabric patterns)!

In addition to purse organizers, Anything Adorable offers

And my very favorite:

To enter to win your choice of purse organizer from Anything Adorable (leave one comment per entry):

(required) Visit Anything Adorable and mark as a favorite the purse organizer you'd choose if you won (and then come back and tell me here in a comment).

Link up to the Organize Thyself party with an organizing tip or project.

Grab the Housewife MacGyver button for your blog.

Publicize Housewife MacGyver and/or this giveaway via your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media you so choose. :)

The giveaway is open until Friday, March 4th at noon MST. Winner selected via and announced later that day.

And, if you're not a winner this time around, Meridith is still hooking you up with a 15% discount on anything in the shop. The code will be in your Etsy inbox after the giveaway ends and is valid until April 4th. (Be sure that you're logged in to Etsy and "favorite" the purse organizer you'd love to win -- that's how she'll send you the code.)

Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thy Blog

To finish out our MacGyver commandment to organize ourselves, today I'm bringing my web-talking self here (typically found at Housewife Eclectic) to talk about organizing a very important space: your blog!

It's important (and nice) to have a well-organized and clutter-free blog for the same reasons we all want well-organized and clutter-free homes: so you can find things easily! Only on your blog, it's not YOU finding things, it's your readers, so your organization needs to be even simpler and more straightforward.

Think of your blog organization like the babysitter trying to find the first aid kit or the extra diaper ointment -- you might know exactly where it is in your home (like where you used it last or where your toddler stashed it "safely"), but the babysitter will have a much easier time finding it herself (without calling you or tearing the house apart) if it's in a commonly logical place, like the medicine cabinet or the changing table.

Your blog is the same way -- make it easy to find the important things! The babysitter probably doesn't need to know where you store the grown-out-of clothes, but she definitely needs to know where the pajamas are -- at least if you'd like her to put the kiddos to bed. You might even make it easier for her by setting out the pajamas so they're right there when she needs them.

So what are the important things on your blog? That depends entirely on you and your blog -- and your readers. (We spent a month talking about usability and your readers at HE, so check out the Usability 101 series there for a refresher.)

The organization of your blog is important to two main groups: readers who are browsing and readers who are searching for something specific. Browsers are looking to see what you have to offer, getting to know you as a blogger. Searchers have an objective: finding the such-and-such that they are looking for -- a specific tutorial, a quote you shared, a post they particularly liked, etc. As you think about your blog's organization, you want to keep both of these groups and their different needs in mind.

To start (or evaluate) your blog's organization, put yourself in your readers' shoes -- what will browsers be interested in? what will searchers be looking for? Those are the important things on your blog and should be featured most prominently in your sidebars and header area/menu bar, just like putting the pajamas out for the babysitter.

For example, here on just Lu, I have a handful of links in a menu bar right under my header image. These links are either important (such as the about me link) or common on-going topics that will give a browser a good idea of what I commonly blog about (such as the bookshelf, craft table and recipe box links). Many bloggers also include a home link in the menu bar -- it's not a bad idea, and it's a must if your blog's header image doesn't link back to your home page (like most do automatically). 

Then, in my sidebars, I have some common and important widgets:
  • A picture and *very short* about-me blurb lets visitors see you and connect with you. Putting a picture of yourself in the sidebar isn't vain, it's putting a face to your blog -- YOUR face!
  • Labels are important to browsers and searchers. More on labels below.
  • Archives help both browsers and searchers see what you've posted recently or in a specific time frame (such as around a holiday). I prefer the drop-down type archive because it's easy to browse a month and look at the titles.
  • Subscription links to your RSS feed and email subscription are necessities, in my opinion. If you Facebook and/or Twitter, include links to those as well. 
  • Followers want to follow, so make the GFC (Google Friend Connect) box easy to find -- but not ginormous. Readers can see the number there, so they don't need to see the thumbnail from each and every follower. :)
  • A blog button and code are free advertising -- the button is like your brand, so why not get free advertising by making it easy for other to grab and use your button?
  • A search box is nice, but not necessary if you have the Blogger toolbar and its search function on your blog. I have both -- they're just a little different and each has its own flaws and shortcomings. But be sure you have at least one way for readers to search your blog -- a searcher will likely go for a search box first, before digging through your labels and archives to find what they're looking for. 
I have a few other things in my sidebars that are necessities for me -- links to my Wednesday posts at Housewife Eclectic, button and links to Housewife MacGyver -- and other things that are just preference, like the hit counter and the buttons to link to my favorite blogs.

The most important thing to remember about a menu bar and your sidebar(s) is to keep them simple. Choose the most important things to feature there. Prioritize: if everything becomes important, *nothing* is important.

In your menu bar, keep it to a single line of links. If you spill to a second line, redesign (smaller font/buttons), reconfigure (such as moving something to a sidebar instead), or reevaluate (cut something out). Kim from seven thirty three has a great tutorial for making your own menu bar and buttons; you can create the menu bar either by using an HTML widget with text and/or images or by using the Pages widget. (My menu bar is an HTML widget containing text links with spacer images in between them.)

With sidebars, a general rule of thumb that I follow is that the contents of the sidebar(s) shouldn't be longer than the average post length -- and shorter sidebars with fewer things in them are definitely better. When you put something new in your sidebar (or evaluate your sidebars' current contents), ask yourself WHY -- why do you want that in the sidebar? why is it important to your readers? Remember to prioritize!

If you find your menu bar and/or sidebars getting to long and/or cluttered, consider consolidating some of their contents to a Blogger page. For example, instead of having four different buttons and code in the sidebar (such as for your blog and the different parties you host), create a page with all four buttons on the page and include a link to that page either in your sidebar or menu bar.

And don't forget to use your post labels to aid your organization.  Post labels (sometimes called tags) are for your internal organization only -- not for search engine indexing -- so use them wisely. Your labels should reflect what is in your post, but not in a search-engine type way, listing every possible term someone might search for in reference to your post -- those terms should already be in your post anyway. Labels should be used to group like posts, such as recipes or book reviews, or posts in a series, such as Housewife MacGyver.

The more specific and focused your blog's topic is, the more specific your post labels should probably be. For example, if your blog is only about quilting (or at least *mostly* about quilting), your labels will be more specific to that: binding, cutting pieces, applique, hand-quilting, machine quilting, etc. (Can you tell I'm not a big quilter? :) On the other hand, my blog has a little broader focus than just quilting or even just sewing, so even if I were to post the exact same post about a quilt, my labels wouldn't be that specific because I probably won't have other posts about those exact same topics.

Labels are most effective for both browsers and searchers when labels refer to groups of posts and not just individual posts. So, if I am posting my one-and-only quilt project that I'll probably ever do, I would probably just include the post in with my creations or tutorials tags that I already have. However, if I was posting the first of many quilting projects because I found a new hobby and fell in love, then I'd create a new tag called quilting so that all of those posts can be grouped together.

Labels are visible to your readers both in a labels widget and at the end of each post. You can configure certain labels to NOT show in the labels widget, but every label you give a post will show at the end of each post (unless you deactivate that feature, which I wouldn't recommend). Here on my blog, I have a few labels that I use mainly for my organization, labels that aren't as useful to readers, whether they be browsers or searchers. So, I remove those labels from showing in the labels widget:

For you and your blog, you might prefer more labels (or menu bar links or sidebar information) than I do. And that's fine, of course! We're practicing the Golden Blog Rule (blog how you like to read), so it's only natural that we'll do things differently. :)

What do you do to keep your blog organized?

Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself {and thy computer} with Housewife Eclectic

Today I have my bestest friend in the whole wide world here: Debra from Housewife Eclectic. I'm over there once a week and I finally convinced her to come slumming over at my place. ;) 

However, I invited her not *just* because she's my BFF... she's also SO good at the whole organized computer thing. When she says she can usually find the files she's looking for quickly, she's not kidding -- I often ask her for random photos from years ago and they are in my email inbox within ten minutes. No joke. So, without further delay, I give you Debra and her mad organization skills:

My name is Debra, I am a wife, mother, writer and photographer. I blog my recipes, photo tips and crafts over at Housewife Eclectic.

To say that I am a neat freak, would be the understatement of the century. I am down right anal, especially when it comes to my computer files. I am one of those freaky people that doesn’t allow e-mails to stay in my inbox once they have been read and taken care of and cluttered desktops kill me. I maybe a little crazy when it comes to computer organization but I can usually find what I am looking for quickly.

My organization system is simple. Folders. Folders are your friend. In my Documents, I have five. One for me, one for my husband, the My Pictures folder, the My Music folder, and a joint folder. Everything on our computer can be categorized into one of these folders, but what goes into each folder?

Let’s start with your joint folder. What should go in here? For my husband and I, this folder mostly contains our finances, organized by date. For instance, inside the finance folder is a folder for each year. Inside each year is a folder for each of the finances that we pay online. For instance, our energy bill has its own folder and inside of the folder are all the payment confirmation for that bill. Each confirmation is named with what it is and the month it represents. There is an extra folder in our finances folder called Orders, that holds all of the payment confirmations of things I have bought online. I say I, because let's face it, I am the online shopper in the family.

Our individual folders contain very different things. For instance, my folder contains folders named blog, projects, journals and recipe book. Everything that I do for my blog is contained within my blog folder. My projects folder contains folders for every project I have worked on. There is one for my twin nephews baby announcement, there is one for last Christmas’s card and so on. All of the files I needed for the project and the finished product are contained in their respective folders.

My husbands folder contains a folder for his job, a professional one for resumes and then folders for his hobbies including web design, family history and guitar tabs. If you don’t feel like a project you have just made fits into anyone of your folders, just make a new folder.

We keep all of our music together in one place. I have found for me, it is easier to take a hands off approach to our music and I let iTunes organize it for me.

As for pictures, I am very particular. I take a lot of photos and I like to be able to find them when I need them. I start with a folder for each year, then a folder for each month in the year, and then each event that happened in that month. For instance if I was looking for my daughter's birth, I would go to the Year 2008 folder, and then located the folder labeled Sofie's birth inside the December folder. This makes it so I can locate all my photos with relative ease. For more information about photo organization, you can read my post here.

The hardest thing about computer organization is getting it organized in the first place. Once it is organized, your files will be easy to find and the organization should be easy to keep up. Two important things to remember: 

Don't be hesitant to create a new folder. I have some project folders that only contain one or two items but because it is in a separate folder, I know exactly where to find it. There is no folder police that is going to tell you that you have too many folders or that you have organized too much. I have more than 85,000 items in my documents folder and if you like to take pictures, I am sure you are not that far behind me. Trying to keep all of those files organized with just a few folders isn't realistic. Create as many as you need. If you know the general name of a folder, you can always use the search feature to find it later on.

Remember to always name your files and folders will full names, not abbreviations. You likely won't remember what abbreviations you used later when you are searching for the files, so always use the full names even if it makes the folder name longer.

Thanks, Debra! And I can tell you that this system works (and that's an uncompensated testimonial) -- I reorganized all my pictures in this system and I loooove it. I'm still not perfect and struggle a lot with those last two guidelines, but my pictures are awesomely manageable and the system is easy to keep up. Now I just need to work on the rest of my files and curb my tendency to toss random things on my desktop...

Fashion Confections: Flatter Your Shape and Age

Hello again! To those who don't know me, I'm Keira. I'm not a girl who always has her nose in a fashion magazine, and often is found in jeans and a pair of comfy shoes. Although I do love fashion and its potential artistic beauty, I love the simplicity found in practical, applicable fashion. And that is what I am writing about today.

Since this series of articles are about fashion for the everyday woman, and the everyday woman is BUSY, each article is a bite-sized treat ("chic morsel") for the fashion-minded, but not necessarily the fashion-savvy, woman. :)

This series of articles contains the knowledge of basic fashion I wish I would have had when I was twelve years old to consult through my teenage years and early adulthood. Although it may be very rudimentary knowledge to some, I hope everyone can benefit from a little bit of wisdom imparted in this and upcoming articles.

In case you missed our last installment, here is the link to the first step in down-to-earth, but elegant, fashion: defining one's self. And now, to pick up from where we left off:

Now that you have some ideas of the personality you would love to define through clothing, we have to define two things that you cannot change, and, in order to adhere to elegant practices, must use guidelines for accordingly: body shape, and age. I apologize ahead of time for bringing them up. :)

First, body shape. You must find your inflection points. They are usually described like an object:

Apple: Curvier on top.

Pear: Curvier on bottom.

Banana: Not very curvy at all.

Hourglass: Equally curvy on top and bottom.

Be honest, but not brutal with yourself. You want clothes that accent you and fit you well, right? Then let us enhance what you have, draw attention to it!

Scroll down to find your shape, and have fun shopping accordingly. :)

Apple: You’ve got the bosoms some girls die for. A little bit of décolleté (or "cleavage") goes a long way for you! Whether it is implied or actual décolleté is up to you. Implied can be through V-neck shirts and sweaters with the layering of a shirt or tank underneath, vests, button up shirts (depending on your size, you can leave the whole shirt open with an undershirt, or leave it half open), and cardigans. Anything that creates a line from your neck to your chest.

If your derrière (your behind :) is not as proportionate to your other assets as you’d like them to be, wear tighter fitting jeans or skirts. Create long lines, if possible. The reason for this is your one side-effect of your asset: you tend to look rounder or fuller because your chest happens to be near your face, and all people upon first meeting you look at your face. You could be banana-thin, but with an ample bosom, you look curvy. Try to create long lines, vertical lines, to draw out a little of that attention.

Pear: You are lucky in the areas your apple friends are not—you can look very thin in the frame of your face and shoulders when meeting the first time, but have curves when walking away. :) Because you have more room, you can wear empire-waist dresses so well; you might as well have been born in Jane Austen’s time.

But alas, when walking away with sass, you want to impress as well, so let’s accent what you have. First, fun and colorful A-line skirts will juice up the area, but not too much. A-line dresses with almost any neckline are great for you. Cap sleeves, ¾ length, even strapless look great on you, you lucky dog! If you do want to show off your ample derriere in something tight: black is best, as are most neutral colors. I wouldn’t brave banana yellow pleather pants if I were you, or if I were me! Pantsuits are best when possible, and try and keep a consistent line from your waist down.

Banana: Honestly, why are you reading this? What can you NOT wear? I wouldn’t often suggest tights as pants or skinny jeans, but they were made for you! Tanks, short skirts, flats or heels, heck, walking down the street in a ballerina’s outfit, you could probably get away with! The only advice I can offer is that accenting your waist is never a bad thing if you want the illusion of curves for a softer feminine touch.

Hourglass: Ah, the men-can-make-a-hand-gesture-for-it figure. You probably have enough in each spot for the best of both worlds. Natural waist dresses or blouses, especially if accented by things like a sash, bow or embroidery, are flattering on you. Long lines are always becoming, especially if you have such a figure, but you are short. High heels and boots are your friend - they add authority to your curves!

Secondly, age. Before I begin, I would like to preface all that I suggest about age and fashion by asking you to not take offense. Times are changing quickly, and women are becoming mothers later in life, and grandmothers even later. Whether it be an easier lifestyle or plastic surgery, many women look young for their age, compared to generations before. So when reading over these guidelines, please note that most of my information comes from one of my favorite authors on the subject, as well as a little cultural experience. I could be wrong, or you could look young for your age and thus "get away" with younger styles. Take these suggestions with a grain of salt.

I doubt many who read this are under twenty, but if so, never you mind—you can wear almost anything, depending on your type—any color, almost any length (although I would not suggest very short), modern or classic styles.

For the rest of us: the more conservative, the better.

Before and during the thirties, knees shown are acceptable, as well as quite a bit of décolleté. Arms exposed to the shoulders are generally more acceptable. This can depend on where you live and your lifestyle--being a soccer mom or a New York commuter can greatly influence what you prefer to show off. :)

Forty is a gray area, because, as aforementioned, many are not becoming mothers nowadays until about this age. But generally you begin to have older children by forty or fifty, and this marks the advent of a new kind of beauty. An emphasis on your chest is acceptable for the motherly look—but generally you should become more conservative in dress and in colors.

Nothing is more becoming than a beautifully aging and elegant woman. Nothing is more revolting than someone who refuses to age gracefully and continues extreme fashion.

I hope this article helps those of us who need guidelines to choose wisely, and unlocks a type of fun in selecting outfits and shopping.

My next article will be on your basic wardrobe for different seasons and how to select accessories. Thank you all for reading!

Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself with Makeunder My Life

Today I want to introduce you to a fantastic woman and a her blog: Jess from Makeunder My Life:

Jess is a jewelry designer from Chicago and Makeunder My Life (MML) is all about designing a life with intention -- and less stuff. Why? Because, in her own words:
As a college junior, I was extremely uncomfortable in my own skin and sought out happiness and perfection through each bag, shirt, candy bar, and guy in my life. As you can imagine, none of these ill-conceived and largely unconscious methods worked.

Then one day I heard a quote about Michelangelo regarding the David statue. He was asked how he designed such a phenomenal statue out of a piece of stone. Michelangelo said it was easy to carve the statue because he saw the potential within the stone and he simply needed to remove the layers hiding the beauty. Hearing that, my life clicked instantly.

The best Jess I was searching for wasn’t found pretending to be someone else or by buying something new, it was underneath all the layers of “stuff” in my life. I now define “stuff” to be clutter, unloved/unused/unneeded possessions, bad relationships, negative thoughts, you name it – whatever isn’t serving a positive purpose in our lives is hiding our best selves.
Jess started blogging at MML in January of 2009 to share her journey through the makeunder process. Since then, she has shared so many fantastic resources for getting rid of the clutter in your life -- check out the best of MML to see Jess' posts about thinking with intention, designing a home with intention, and designing a business with intention -- and don't miss the Throw Out Fifty Things Challenge!

One of my favorite things that Jess has shared on MML is her four-step plan for a makeunder in any area of your life -- your stuff, your relationships, your business, your whole life -- anything. I'll briefly summarize each of the steps with you here -- click the name of each step for Jess' complete description over at MML.
1. Create a vision. Imagine how you want to feel once you have accomplished your intentions, and then identify the steps you need to take to reach that end.

2. Exfoliate stuff. Dump the stuff that isn’t needed for the life you want to live, following the need/use/love rule -- if you don't need/use/love it, dump it. To keep the stuff under control, practice the one in, one out rule -- for everything you buy, get rid of something else.
3. Identify intentions. Keep your vision and intentions in mind as you continue the makeunder, either rejoicing in the relief of living a new, uncluttered life or making over your life to fit with your original vision.

4. Reflect and evolve. Revisit your vision and add things that become important and to subtract what no longer is applicable.

Jess recently wrapped up a Makeunder My Finances series written by a Cathy of Fiscally Chic and following these same four steps: see step one, step two, step three, and step four at MML. (And in March we'll be MacGyvering our finances, so start thinking now!)

To get each of us started making under our lives, I asked Jess a couple of questions:

What is one task that each of us reading can do today to start our making under our lives?
The best thing I can suggest to add to your weekly routine is an "End of the Week Exfoliation." The idea is simple: get rid of (aka: recycle, donate, gift, or throw away) one thing each week that you no longer need, use, or love. Just like exfoliating our skin, sloughing off dead "stuff" in our homes makes it easy to keep from getting too much unnecessary clutter. Weekly Exfoliations in addition to regular seasonal "stuff" purging will help you keep your home constantly reflecting the vision you have for it.  

Are there any other tips you'd give to us as we begin making under our lives? How do you stick with it day after day?
The thing that will help you continue and have the most success with making under and allow you to stick with it each day is to have a detailed vision of what you'd like your life to look like and how you'd like to be. By describing and envisioning what is truly most important to you will allow you to make decisions that will bring that life into being. But like everything worthwhile, it takes a lot of hard work, faith, and consistency. As they say, man overestimates what he can do in a day, but underestimates what he can do in a year. Baby steps combined with a personally compelling reason to change is essential.
 Thanks, Jess, and thanks to you all for reading!

Planner Perfect Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Planner Perfect e-book {courtesy of} is....


Congratulations, Brandy! Please contact me at to claim your winnings.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for reading!

Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself Craftily

This is still definitely a craft blog... I've just been in a bit of a craft funk lately. {big frowny face} But, luckily, there is plenty of inspiration in the world, whether you're in or out of a craft funk. :)

I've rounded up some of my favorite projects (all of which may or may not be on my to-do list once I get my craft on again....) -- and don't forget to pretty-please come enter the Planner Perfect giveaway (ends tonight at midnight).

Organize those little crafty supplies with a magnet board and solo cups at Sew Many Ways:

Fold up an awesome origami organizer with Craftionary:

Or (this one's my FAVE!) use mason jars to store supplies -- anywhere! -- with Liz Marie:

Organize your remote controls with Bonjour:

Organize your stuff at home and in the car:
{clockwise from upper left} 
car caddies from Sew4Home, Jellybean Junkyard, and Mayfly;
door caddy from Sew4Home;
Ballard knock-off wire basket from Attempting Aloha (at Infarrantly Creative)

Organize your toys (or your kids' toys) with an in-crib toy and book holder at Craftiness is not Optional (left) or an everything-in-place bag at Pickles (right):

Keep your papers in order with (clockwise) an expandable file from Cottage Industrialist; a fabric file folder from Bits and Pieces; or *awesome* hanging wall files with googiemomma:

Organize the mail with mail organizers from Noodlehead and Bright and Blithe:

Give those books (and other media) a place to stay:
{clockwise from upper left} 
DVD/book organizer at Dollar Store Crafts;
book organizer/shelf at superziper (just click the UK flag to translate to English);
hanging bookshelf from Penny Carnival

Keep the family affairs organized with memo boards and organizers from (clockwise from upper left) Craft with Confidence, Beyond the Kids, Lillyella, and Between the Lines.

And don't forget to put together some any-and-all-purpose baskets, cubes, and boxes:
{clockwise from upper left}
Stash baskets from The Purl Bee;
No Interfacing storage basket by Jezze Prints;
Fabric covered boxes at The Smallest Sparrow;
Storage cube from Obsessively Stitching;
Hanging storage baskets by The Mother Huddle (at U-Create);
Drawstring box from June at Noon

Happy Organizing! 
Don't forget to come join the party!

The Gospel of Links: Image v. Text

Part two of The Gospel of Links, According to Lu is up over at Housewife Eclectic today. Today's sermon: image links vs. text links. Catch last week's sermon about the basics of links here.

Thanks for reading!

Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself with Planner Perfect {and a giveaway}

Happy Valentine's Day! Today I'd *love* to introduce you to Jenny, mom of seven and author of the Planner Perfect blog and the Planner Perfect planning system. You may have seen her over at Tatertots and Jello a bit ago (like I did) and I loved her so much that I asked her to come share more about organizing our lives and our time today. And she's generously offering one of you a free copy of her Planner Perfect e-book. Here's Jenny:

My name is Jenny Penton and I'm happy to be here on Just Lu!

I am a homeschooling, mama of seven children and I am from the blog, Planner Perfect. It's a blog dedicated to women and all things organized.

I am going to introduce to you, today, a new way at looking at planning your days. Instead of following our calendars with all of its appointments, or our sticky notes with all the things we must do, and/or task manager, planners, with all of its tasks with check marks for completion; what if we followed what our goals are for our lives, instead? You are meant for more than following just the tasks of your everyday life, and this is why we have a hard time staying organized!

The first part of my series in, The Law of Attraction, is being able to define what you want. Sounds easy, right? 

Not really.

Being moms, we can get so caught-up in our day-to-day, that we don't even know what we are doing for dinner, let alone all the things we want in life. This is where Planner Perfect, ladies are a ten steps do define what you want, you are scripting your desires in your planner and you are going for it! Writing it down as your goals keep the goals visual in our minds, thus emitting frequencies that boomerang it back to us. Defining what you want, living it out and creating our own realities, is the Law of Attraction. And beware, it also works to limit us if our beliefs are limited.

Taken from the book, The Secret
"When you think about what you want, and you emit that frequency, you cause the energy of what you want to vibrate at that frequency and you bring it to you!

Okay, Planner Perfect, gals...get out a piece of paper and write down all your dreams, your wants, and your goals, down to a thin bod if your heart desires. Don't think with restrictions; write it all down as though all your dreams know no boundaries. In order to live life to the fullest, and in order to be all God created us to be, we need to tap into His blessings He has for us through our relationship with Him...all we have to do is ask.

But we do need to define what we want and live out our lives knowing it will come to fruition. God gives us the desires of our hearts and when we come to Him with our desires we are connecting with His spiritual energy. Some examples of living on purpose opposed to tasks is how we plan. Instead of lists, set goals for you and your family on some loose-leaf paper for the month of February. Have a header at the top that says *February Goals 2011* and start envisioning your month, what you want to do, see, lean, and shoot for. Have each goal, party, idea, dream, have its own header with bullet points beneath it for the details of that particular goal. An example might be that you really want to throw a Valentines party for your daughter and all her friends. Have the header be *Valentines Day Party!* and have a heart sticker adorn the top of your i in Valentines...make it fun! Your bullet points might be that you want to make red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, her guests should be listed, her outfit, the games, etc... this is an example on how you define what you want. 

Another example might be that you have always wanted to write a book...then write that down as your goal! As moms in particular, we get in mom mode, and everything else we might have dreamed of doing isn't even a consideration anymore. We can be amazing mothers with dreams that interweave within our mothering beautifully. We are meant to live life to the fullest and to dream. I have dreams for myself and set aside time to accomplish them and you, too, will find that it's invigorating to have goals. I am a homeschooling mom of seven, and if I can live by my set can, too! Do this kind of goal setting with each of your months.

Next is execution! The fun part...these are the days that make it happen. This is where you are aligning your days to make room for the goals. Taking a look at your calendar, skimming some stuff we don't need to do off the top, and speckling those fun dreams, goals, and plans within your days. Planner Perfect is a mindset...a mindset that doesn't rely on prescripted task sheets and/or chore charts; they can be a crutch, where you lose the ability to be a visionary. Instead, it is the mindset of authoring your own life and taking it by the reins. 

My daily pages in Planner Perfect are reinforced loose-leaf where you are writing your date at the top and your plan for the day. Not by time, because that is too rigid and can make you anxious. I like to go by day slots
  • My date adorns the top as my header
  • Following might be some journal time for me
  • The breakfast I'd like to prepare
  • What morning chores I needed to get done
  • Here is where one detailed aspect of my goal will take place, making room each day for your goals is how you will begin to live on purpose. Speckling them throughout my weeks.
  • Next might be what I have planned to do with my children
  • And of course my dinner plans and what I plan to prepare
I even plan some things I'd like to get done in the evening. Don't forget to save some slots for some spontaneity, as it is always fun. 

This gives me a nice custom blueprint for my days. Created by me, author of my own life. If you're feeling doubtful without the crutch of time slots and prescripted prompting for tasks, don't be. Get into the habit of dreaming, and envisioning your life without it. Soon it will become second nature and you'll be soaring. This is living life to the fullest and the Planner Perfect, planner, harnesses this all beautifully.

Planner Perfect, friends, define what you want, script the desires of your heart, be a visionary for your life, and fall in love with all the possibilities there are. You are are created in His image...don't sell yourself short.

Now go. Script your dreams...

Visit Planner Perfect for more on organizing your home, too, room-by-room

 e-book giveaway! {giveaway now closed}

Planner Perfect's downloadable e-book will get you organized. I give tips from party planning, keeping your home clean, relationships, to utilizing you strengths and talents. Planner Perfect harnesses a life that lives to the fullest. Let Planner Perfect be a springboard for your aspirations and dreams.With over 40 beautiful pages, it is a complete guide that takes you step-by-step on how to become all God has designed you to be as well as complete instruction on how to create your very own Planner Perfect.

Learn how to become a master life planner with Planner Perfect’s downloadable e-book. Start today, to become all God created you to be and making your dreams a reality.

Here's how YOU can win:
  • One entry:  Leave a comment here with YOUR #1 Organizing Tip!! 
  • Another entry: Go over to Jenny's blog, Planner Perfect and follow it or leave a comment!!
  • One last entry: Link up your organizing project (past, present, future, organized, wants-to-be-organized, should-be-organized -- anything goes!) or tips in the Organize Thyself linky party at the end of the post here
Be sure to leave an extra comment for each entry. The giveaway closes this Friday, February 18 at midnight (MST) and the winner will be announced here on Saturday, February 19.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Jenny! Be sure to go check out Jenny's fantastic organizing and life tips at Planner Perfect and then swing by her meal planning blog at Planner Perfect Meals -- she puts the caramely goodness of Rolos in brownies. Heaven!

    The Gospel of Links... according to yours truly, that is. :) I'm preaching over at Housewife Eclectic today -- the beginning of a series of sermons about links in all their glory. Don't worry... we'll hold off the fire and brimstone (HTML and CSS) for a couple of weeks. :) I do hope you'll stop by!

    Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself with A Bowl Full of Lemons

    I'm so excited today to have Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons here to share some organizing tips with us. Here's Toni!

    I've always wanted to be a mom... but I got much more than I bargained for!  I'm a mother of 3, an accountant, taxi driver, housekeeper, wife of almost 14 years, chef, organizer, teacher, volunteer, comforter, nurse, photographer, sister, daughter, blogger, entertainer, veteran, Christian, and so much more!  I love all of my jobs dearly!  But, the job I'm sharing with you today is blogger!  
    I have a cleaning & organizing blog called A Bowl Full of Lemons.  I started my blog at the end of November, 2010 to share my love for all things organizing & cleaning.  I am a Shaklee distributor as well... and my blog is where I show how I use my Shaklee products.  
    The thing I pride myself most with is reusing what I have, instead of purchasing everything new (although I do love to shop for organizing items). 
    Some great tips to organize on a budget are:
    1. Go around your home and collect all containers, baskets, boxes, etc... not being used & put them in a specific place just for "organizers".  Then when you need something organized, you have your own "shop" to choose a container from. I hosted a 21 day organizing challenge where I had everyone do this. They used the containers through out the challenge.
    2.  Use old priority boxes to create magazine storage boxes.
    3. Use cardboard shoe boxes, check book boxes, etc... to organize. 
    I have LOTS more tips & ideas on my blog.  I also started a new weekly challenge that will help get your life organized! The main goal for you is to clear your life of clutter.  To do this, you only need to take one step at a time.  Clean out one drawer at a time.  You will get there and your life will be much easier because of it!

    Thanks, Toni! If you haven't stopped by A Bowl Full of Lemons, you need to! Toni shares great tips and tricks for cleaning and organizing in a simple but fantastic way, and she hosts a weekly organizing challenge, too -- this week is a home launch pad. If you missed the 21 days of organizing challenge in January (or just only made it through a few of the days, like me :), you can follow the list here to organize your home any time of the year. :) 

    And as you're working on getting organized this month, don't forget to stop by and link up to the party. There just might be something in it for you. Just sayin' ;)

    Happy organizing!

    Pre-Publishing Commandments

    I'm over at Housewife Eclectic again today sharing my 5 Commandments of What To Do BEFORE You Hit Publish. Because after just isn't the same. :) Hope you'll stop by!

    Housewife MacGyver: Organize Thyself {plus printables}

    The second MacGyver commandment:

    I can give you no proof that MacGyver is an organized guy. His houseboat seems pretty well put together, though. Except when those crooks break in and wreck everything. That happens at least once every season.

    So, this second commandment comes more from logic than from MacGyver inspiration. We are going to spend the rest of the year learning how to better use our resources, so we had better get straight what resources we have available. We'll never be able to save the ambassador from assassination if we can't find the paperclip to pick the lock in the first place!

    Our organizational approach this month will be three-pronged:

    1 - Get rid of the things you don't need or won't use.

    2 - Store the things that you need but don't use often (such as seasonal clothing).

    3 - Organize the rest, the must-have-available things, so that you can find and use them easily.

    I've lined up some phenomenal guest bloggers (really, they will blow your socks off) starting next week, but to kick us off today, here are some resources to get you started on organizing thyself (and thy household).

    The essential household binder
    It seems these binders are everywhere now, since this is traditionally the get-organized time of year. I am nothing if not a follower, especially when the idea seems to be as genius (and tried and tested) as the household binder idea, so I'm currently building my own household binder. Here are some of my top resources as I am building my binder:
    And if you're like me and have papers -- important and not-so-important -- floating around everywhere (except where they should be), you might try Toni's solution for a mobile command center.

    Planning and calendaring {printables}
    Even in the modern technological age, I think everyone still uses some kind of hard-copy calendar. There's something about saying, "I'll pencil you in" and then actually using a pencil to mark the calendar that's just instinctive, I think. ;)

    Sofia of Sofia's World offers a simply gorgeous printable for a weekly, never-expires planner -- just print and bind it yourself and add whatever else you want to make your planner perfect for your needs! If you prefer your calendar on the wall, try this 2011 printable calendar from Tip Junkie (in color or black and white) or this gorgeous printable Words to Live By calendar from Home Made Simple.

    Or, if you really want to be just like me {blush}, you can print out my simple family calendar and blog planning calendar, both PDF files, black and white with minimal ink investment. :) (Is anyone interested in the Word versions of the calendars? I customize mine by typing in recurring events, such as birthdays and weekly date night assignments, so let me know if you'd love the original Word version so you can do likewise.)

    family calendar - - - - - - - - blog calendar

    How wilt thou obey and organize thyself? Come link up your organizing projects, goals, and tips! (And remember that linking up will be factored in to some future fantastic giveaways :) And, if you'd love to, grab a button.

    Happy organizing!

    Housewife MacGyver at just Lu

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