How To Plan Your Week in 5 Minutes or Less

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planyourweek The holiday buzz has died down and that means it’s time to get back to life, back to reality. With mountains of thank you cards to write and leftover cookies to eat, it may be hard to carve out some time for yourself this January-especially when it comes to managing the family calendar.

Luckily there are some great tips and tools available to help you sort through schedules in a matter of minutes. There’s no need to set aside an hour of valuable time anymore!

All you need is a wall calendar, a desk calendar notepad, some colorful pens, post it notes and washi tape. To get started follow these four tips to help you plan the week over a cup of your favorite coffee or tea.

Tips to Help Plan Your Week in 5 Minutes or Less


Tip #1 Create a Master Calendar
Pick up a traditional paper calendar the next time you’re at Target. Or, make one yourself as a weekend DIY project. A homemade chalkboard calendar would work well in any entryway! If you’re short on time, try a vinyl chalkboard decal calendar for the wall. Many are removable so you can hang it in a different location whenever you like. When it doubt, a magnetic yearly calendar to hang on the kitchen fridge will also do the trick.

Then, gather a list of birthdays, vacations, days off from school and holidays important to you and your family. Note these on the master calendar. Be sure to hang in a central location so each family can see what is coming each month. Do this at the beginning of each month, instead of trying to plan the whole year in one sitting.

Tip #2 Focus On One Week at a Time
Too often we find ourselves looking so far into the future that life starts feel overwhelming. Use a weekly calendar notepad to help you focus on just what is coming up over the next seven days. You can even personalize the notepad with your family name. Then, consult your master family calendar to add special dates of note during the week and fill in as needed. This can be a huge time saver instead of stressing over planning a whole month in one sitting.


Tip #3 Track Activities Separately
Instead of putting every single activity and event on the Master Calendar, use a smaller weekly grid calendar notepad for sports, activities and meetings. Hang this in a place for everyone to see, like the refrigerator, or keep it in your own personal planner.

Tip #4 Organize With Color
Set up a system based on color, extra sticky notes, special pens or stickers. Use this to track activities, events, important dates, deadlines and meeting for everyone in the house. This is where you can experiment with fun colored pens, markers, stickers and washi tape from your favorite scrapbook or craft store. Assign each person a color, then use those colors to flag events throughout the week. At a quick glance you’ll be able to see who needs to be where.

Organizing your week can be fun if you have the right tools. Just add a bit of color and find creative ways to mark your calendar notepad. Now hopefully you’ll have more time to tackle the growing family to-do list!

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Quick Ways To Organize Your Desk For The New Year

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Expressionery Notepad
Every woman dreams of a home makeover straight from reality television. Unfortunately those made-for-TV shows also come with large made-for-TV price tags that can be quite lofty for the average family. While dramatic updates to a room may be pricey, a little makeover doesn’t have to break the bank. When you know what to look for it’s easy to dress up your home decor within a budget.

A great place to start is a home office or workspace. It won’t take a ton of time and with just a few accessories your desk can look Pinterest- worthy in no time.

First, it’s always a good idea to check out the way your room is arranged. Does it make sense? Do you have easy access to electrical outlets? How is the lighting? Are your accessories and tools within reach when you need them?

A tip: Take everything out of the room and then put it back in arranged in a way that will help you get work done. Consider the natural lighting source!

Next look at color. Typically you want an office space or workspace to be calm. Various shades of blues or blue/ grey work well. Steer away from reds since they evoke intense emotion and even hunger! Lighter colors tend to make a room look larger, while darker colors can make a space feel small and compact. Just remember the way it’s decorated and color will impact your work. A fresh coat of paint make be just what you need to help create foster a happy, productive environment.

Then, take a look at what is actually on and around your desk space. While little trinkets may create fond memories, they don’t do much for your productivity and can actually be a distraction. Instead, pick out a favorite quote or phrase like this one from art.com and hang it close to where you sit. Use it as your daily inspiration and motivation. It makes sense to also consider organizational tools and accessories when updating your desk. Grab some accent file folders, or some personalized stationery such as a custom notepad and fun pens to help give your desk a new, yet functional and organized look.

Finally, if your workspace lacks a natural light source invest in some lighting to brighten the room. This could be a chic table lamp, modern floor lamp or stand of lights to give your desk a light and airy feel.

With just a few new pieces and some updated color, your deskspace could be looking delightful this new year!

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Valentine’s Day

Roses are red
Violets are blue
She’s expecting a gift
But a love note will do

Finding the perfect gift for your Valentine can be tricky. Flowers are beautiful, but their splendor wilts. Chocolates taste amazing, but their enjoyment melts. Jewelry is impressive, but doesn’t embrace your budget. What easy, affordable gift can you give on Valentine’s Day that leaves a lasting impression?

Love Notes for Valentines Day

WORDS

Sharing your love with written words is a meaningful gift that any Valentine will adore. Whether you write poetic love letters or simple, honest words, communicating your feelings of love and admiration for your Valentine is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Grab a notecard and let the words flow. Having trouble putting your emotions into words? Try song lyrics (Frank Sinatra), a romantic quote from a movie or play (Romeo and Juliet), or look to the poetic experts for inspiration (Keats). Communicate your love in this timeless way and it’s sure to make your special someone swoon.

What’s your favorite gift to give or receive on Valentine’s Day?

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Laura Kelly Giveaway

Me & My Peeps Stationery by Laura Kelly

From coast to coast the Me and My Peeps characters are capturing the hearts of people everywhere. On their most recent excursion, these fun design-your-own-family characters, created by artist Laura Kelly, visited the team of U-Create in Anaheim, California at the Winter Craft & Hobby Association Show. Now, we are bringing Me and My Peeps to you with a special giveaway on the U-Create blog.

Click the link, www.u-createcrafts.com, to find out how you could win great Me and My Peeps prizes!

To create stationery with the Peeps, visit us at www.expressionery.com

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Simon + Kabuki – Featured Artists

simon and kabuki

Simon + Kabuki creates their signature line of “sassy and modern” designs with the mission of helping people live inspired lives. The founders, Erin Sarpa and Ilene Guy, are firm believers that you do not have to be a designer to be stylish at home, work and play. Their hip, fun, fashion-forward collections reflect their “love your style, design your life” philosophy.

Based in Silicon Valley, Erin and Ilene each bring more than 20 years of proven design experience including time spent working with fast-paced technology clients including Google and Apple Computer. They know good design and—better yet— they understand what happens during the design implementation stage of product manufacturing and how design impacts consumer purchasing decisions. This expertise allows Erin and Ilene to help their manufacturing and retail partners create products that consumers crave. This powerhouse team has generated more than $10 million in sales and their licensed designs are featured on a wide mix of products. Their sassy and modern designs can be found on stationery, school supplies, notebooks, party supplies, home decor and fabric at retailers across the U.S., Canada and Europe including Target, Staples and KodakGallery.com, to name a few.

Simon + Kabuki offers a full range of on-trend, posh designs for lifestyle categories including: bedding and home décor accessories; stationery (note cards, calendars, journals); crafts (scrapbooking); apparel and accessories; home décor (rugs, artwork, photo frames); office supplies; tabletop; kitchen textiles; fabric; partyware (napkins, plates, cups); and gift wrap and gift bags.

Erin and Ilene originally met in design school and discovered that they share a mutual appreciation for chic design, a modern color palette and fresh typography. This launched a friendship and shortly after graduation, they launched a design firm. Since then, they have been working to make the world a more stylish place one fabulous design at a time.

They are also “mom-preneurs” who find inspiration from their children who know everything about what’s cool in the world. This playful, charming point of view shines through in their designs and even helped them to select a name for their firm. “Simon + Kabuki” pays homage to the artists’ first childhood pets, Erin’s cat (“Simon”) and Ilene’s rat (“Kabuki”)

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