In my mind, I think of the cycle of a year as a sort of calendar. By the end of December, it’s full of dates, some crossed out, some added in the margins. It’s a bit tattered from erasures and from having pages turned back; there are marks from paper clips, tape and stickers, there are days with big red stars, and sometimes a series of days that should be damp from tears or black and gloomy. The last few weeks are packed full of appointments and reminders. I find myself saying, “No, I couldn’t possibly. But, after the first of the year….”
The new year, to me, is like a new calendar…it’s fresh, clean, crisp. Even better, my birthday comes right after the New Year. It’s like the year and I have a chance to start over—a clean slate, you know?
Confession: I happen to love paper. When I was a young girl, “school shopping,” meant new tablets, freshly sharpened pencils with clean pink erasers, a snappy new pencil box. For a long time, I couldn’t write thoughtfully without a yellow pad and a few pencils lined up next to it. The feel of a new tablet of paper…the smell of erasers…the sound of a crisp new notebook opening for the first time? Heaven. Confession #2: I have been known to open a new notebook or a 3-ring binder filled with blank paper and just close my eyes, breathe deeply, and smell the possibilities.
I suppose it all fits, doesn’t it? A clean, smooth pad of paper. An unmarked calendar. A new year and a new start.
Confession #3: I’ve been a following a friend’s journey from city life to homestead—she and her husband have jumped feet first into market gardening and chicken keeping. They have embraced the country lifestyle whole-heartedly, and yet there is a part of her (I believe) that longs for order—chickens that stay in their pens and out of the gardens, temperatures that don’t plunge below freezing when tiny plants are in beds. I also believe that many of us long for the same sense of order.
We know that we cannot organize nature to our liking, of course, but we certainly can try to come up with a system for the other parts of our lives—meal planning, appointments, household repairs and chores, phone calls to return, agendas. For many years, I’ve tried to use a system of a wall calendar, pocket planner and notes tacked to two bulletin boards and the refrigerator. I don’t have to explain how well this works-or why I look forward to a new calendar year.
Jenny, from Black Fox Homestead, has turned her longings into art. She has created and designed “Little Bird’s Deluxe Planning and Time Management Set”. I’m excited to give it a try, and thrilled to be able to share it with you. Here’s why:
- It’s PAPER!! Not only that, this “deluxe” set includes a yearly planner, a month at a glance, a fill in the blank monthly calendar with four different illustrations, errands planning sheet, two different options for menu planning and shopping, contacts sheets, and more. It can be used as is, put into a binder, or laminated for repeated use.
- It’s beautiful. From the front cover with the tiny bird, the nest full of delicate blue eggs, all outlined with branches just sprouting their first leaves—it’s hopeful, as well. The cycle begins anew.
- It makes me think. You may not want to think when you’re jotting down notes, but at the beginning of a new page-or a new year-it’s a good idea to have some goals and priorities. There’s a whole page devoted to this—from the choice of a word for the year to a column devoted to ‘what I want to accomplish’ and another column for ‘what I need to accomplish’. And not only that, on the same lovely page (with mama bird setting on her nest of her own “goals and priorities”), there is a numbered list on which you can make your plans.
- It allows one to break projects down into smaller goals—something I find helpful. There are whole pages, in fact, devoted to just this…monthly, weekly, and daily. The daily page may just be my favorite. (The little birds have hatched and mama is busy, busy feeding them.) There are nicely arranged cubicles for daily priorities (right at the top-where they will be noticed first!), and one for the daily menu, contacts to be made. The day is also broken down, on this same page, into hourly increments, so you can jot down what needs to be done at a specific time.
- It offers choices. There are so many ways to use “Little Bird’s Deluxe Planner and Time Management Set”. A suggestion was made to laminate the daily planning page, so it could be used over and over. You might want to do this, and save paper, but for a paper-lover like me—I plan to print a page for each day. This gives me a journal of my daily life, too. I can use it to refer back to planting dates, menu choices, and appointments. It’s also not necessary to print each section in the deluxe set, but I think you’ll want to—there’s a shopping list, a menu-planning sheet, “to-do” lists and notepaper.
- It’s easy, it’s a one-time expense (and not all that much), and you can have it today.
Here’s how to purchase your own “Little Bird’s Deluxe Planner and Time Management Set”—fly right over HERE—to the Etsy shop run by Jenny. You can purchase, download, print and get started right away.
The page components of planner and time management set are also available separately, and while you’re browsing the Etsy shop you’ll want to take a look at some of the other items, as well. Jenny is offering readers of the Green Circle Grove blog a 25% discount on any purchase$4.99 and up, between now and January 18th. Just put in the coupon code GCG2015.
OR…if you want to take a chance, you can ENTER TO WIN the twenty-two piece set. The talented artist at Black Fox Homestead is giving away a“Little Bird’s Deluxe Planner and Time Management Set” to one lucky person. There are three ways you could have your name put into the random picker for the drawing on Saturday morning, January 10, 2015. (That will give you the whole weekend to start filling it in!)
- Leave a comment on this blog post, telling what aspect of the planner appeals to you the most, or
- You could leave a comment on our Green Circle Grove Facebook page, right under the post promoting this giveaway, or
- You could share the Facebook post with a friend. (Only shares from the Green Circle Grove Facebook page will be counted.)
Or, I suppose you could do all three, and that would put your name in the running three times, wouldn’t it?!?
And now, you must excuse me. I have a planner with blank pages sitting on my table with a sharpened pencil resting next to it. Happy birthday, to me—and good luck to you!
One final confession: I was provided with “Little Bird’s Deluxe Planning and Time Management Set”. The comments in this review, however, are entirely my own.
This post is shared with The (mis)Adventures of a “Born Again” Farm Girl’s Blog Hop January 5.