Planner review- Rose gold 2016-2017 Happy Planner

July 29
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If you’ve been following the Happy Planner community then I am sure you are aware that the new Rose Gold horizontal planner has been hitting stores.  This planner is a limited edition item that will only be available at Hobby Lobby and only for a short run.  I was able to pick one up after stalking my store for a week or so.  😉

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I was really excited to get my hands on this planner because I want to try out the Happy Planner take on the horizontal layout.  This is a layout I had been using for years before, but then switched to vertical as it is very poplar for weekly planners such as the regular Happy Planner and Erin Condren planners.

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Anyways, continue on for photos, my thoughts on the planner, and what I plan to do with it.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the monthly spreads are so clean.  I have never been a fan of the shaded weekends because not everyone has regular weekends.  I love how clean and sleek the month looks.

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The weekly spreads are nice and simple and vary very little from month to month.  Each month does get one color which is seen on the month at the top of the page, the bottom right corner and the month tab.  This is just enough to give something to coordinate with, but not overtake the month.  Again the weekends are white and clean with plenty of space for writing.

 

Along with other firsts, this is also the first Happy Planner with lined pages.  Because of this I totally feel like I could cram more notes and to dos into this planner than a regular Happy Planner.  I also feel like each day gets more space especially when you notice that the notes area has been moved to below Sunday.

 

Overall I love this weekly view but will have to use it for a few weeks to get the best feel for it.

 

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I LOVE the  foil accents in this planner.  I am seriously going to have to consider framing some of this.  Isn’t this just perfect?

 

My plans for this planner?  I am going to try to combine it with my other Happy Planner for combined work/home/blog planning.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have you purchased this planner?  What do you think? Is it worth it?

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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My experience with Blue Apron

July 25
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A few weeks ago my husband and I went ahead and tried out Blue Apron meals.  We have been very busy with the buying and selling of our home and figured it would make eating somewhat healthier and homemade a little easier.  We signed up online and were given the option to pick out meals.

My Blue Apron Experience

Because it is just the two of us we went with the three meals for two people box. The meals are $9.99 each so it comes to $59.94 for the box and shipping is free.

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We went online and selected our meals from the six choices. The way Blue apron is set up, you get to pick your meals but not all meal combinations are available. This may be  a cost issue as not all meals cost the same and some ingredients cost more than others.  The three meals we selected were Butter Brown Gnocchi, Sweet Chili Chicken, and  Spiced Shrimp Pearl Couscous.

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Our box was shipped via FedEx one day from New Jersey to our home in Florida.  The box  is designed to be able to sit outdoors in the elements until the evening of the delivery day.  I was home from work that day so I was able to bring it inside and put the items away fairly quickly, but I am sure it would have been fine for  a few more hours.IMG_6054

The box was packed with a thickly insulated inner liner which acted like a cooler for the contents.  The fresh vegetables and other items were on the top of the box and perishables such as meats were on the bottom of the box under a sheet of cardboard and between two layers of ice packs.

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I went ahead and pulled all the items out and stored them.

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All three meals were able to be cooked in a half hour or less and we enjoyed all three of them.  I love that we got to try gnocchi; I had never cooked this before and I doubt I would have tried it if it were not for Blue Apron.  The recipes were all easy to follow and steps were explained.

One thing that I was a little disappointed by was the lack of full nutritional information on the meals.  When you select your meal you shown the calorie count per serving, however no other nutritional information is shared.  We were able to look at the ingredients for the meals to decide if they would fit our needs, but knowing the full nutritional information would be very useful.

Have you tried Blue Apron?  What did you think?

Note:  This is NOT a sponsored post.  I purchased the box on my own and am not being compensated for this post in any way.  All ideas and opinions are my own.

 

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The move part 3-Tips for searching for your new home

July 20
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The move part 3-Tips for searching for your new home

Form a solid relationship with your realtor

We were very lucky with our first home purchase in that we were able to team up with a super awesome realtor who understood us, our needs, and our personality.  If you don’t mesh and the realtor does not understand your needs it will be very difficult them to help you find your home.  When building that relationship be sure that you both are able to communicate clearly and in a timely manner.

Know your price range

Before even starting the home search most realtors will require you to get a pre-approval from your lender to ensure you are ready and able to purchase a home in your price range.  Remember that just because you are approved for a loan of a certain amount does not mean that you can actually afford that home.  Keep in mind that as a homeowner you will incur many more expenses that you may have not needed to worry about as a renter. (Repairs, replacement appliances, maintenance, ect.) Purchasing a condo or townhouse? Don’t forget to factor the HOA fees.

Know your community

Once you’ve decided you want to buy a house the next thing you need to decide is where.  Use sites like Realtor.com or Truilla.com to get an idea of what houses go for in the areas you are interested in.  Be  very clear with your realtor about the areas

Know what you want

So you know what you have to spend and the area you are interested in; now its time to decide what you need.  Generally speaking, its not financially wise to purchase a home if you plan on moving in two or three years; so when you put together your requirements think about the future.  Decide how many bedrooms and living areas you need as well as if you need a garage, yard, pool, patio, ect.

Know what you can live without

Depending on your area of the county and your price range you may have to make some sacrifices.  Maybe to get the three bedroom home you want you may have to settle for only a one car garage or a house without a patio.  Sit down and discuss what items are very important and what is non-essential. This also means be realistic; you can’t get everything on a shoestring budget, but you can get something.

Once you start the search be diligent with reviewing homes regularly

Right now we are in a seller’s market. Homes are going fast (Mine sold in hours.) and you don’t want to fall in love with a home but wait too long to put in an offer and lose it. Keep up to date with new homes in the MLS that meet your needs and plan to see new homes regularly.  Once you start looking at homes be ready to put an offer in the moment you find one you love. Even after you’ve put in an offer (before it is accepted), keep an eye our for your next option.

Have a plan for your offer

When you find the perfect home and decide to make an offer, time is of the essence.  Have documents from your lender ready as well as easy access to however much you plan to put down as earnest money.  This is money towards closing costs that the buyer puts down when they sign the contact.  This money is generally held in escrow and most often can be returned to the buyer if the deal falls through. Know any contingencies you must place on the offer as well as how long of a closing period you need.

 

After that its a waiting game!  Check back next week for my post on sealing the deal and getting your next home under contract.   Follow up Facebook for updates on new posts!

 

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Happy Planner box kit (Summer 2016) review

July 18
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Hey everyone, I just got my hands on one of the new planner box kits by Me and My Big Ideas, the creators of the Happy Planner.  This summer they released several kits for teachers, students, fitness lovers, and everyone else. The student planner kits are dated, however the rest are undated which means they can be used right away or stored for future use.  Perfect for gifting! These kits are currently available at Michael’s stores and the mambi shop.  They retail for $34.99

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The planner I chose is titled “Best Year Ever” and includes monthly and weekly spreads for twelve months.  It also includes stickers for date labels as well as month labels.  An added bonus are decorative and motivational stickers, sticky notes, and magnetic bookmarks.

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The monthly layout for this planner is fairly simple, each month has a color and so the weekends in the monthly view and the sections in the weekly view with both carry through this color.  The color of the month can also be found in little embellishments throughout the month as well as the divider.

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One of the things I love about this planner is the “Currently page” This is the page at the beginning of the month where you can document current events, favorites, goals, birthdays, and other important notes.  This is a great page to work on as you start to form your month, as well as one to look at at the end of the month to see how you have progressed.

 

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Oh, and this title page is just adorable, isn’t it?

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Have you purchased one of these kits?  What do you think of it?  Share below!

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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Happy Planner house hunting free printable

July 16
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Don’t forget to follow on Facebook for updates and new printables!

Home Search Planner Printable (4)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Happy Planner, and one of the things I love the most about it is how customizable it is. With the use of a punch I can put just about anything in my planner.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are currently in the process of selling out current home and purchasing another.  We received the good news the other day that our house in under contact so we the hunt for a new home has begun! I put together these simple little printables to help us narrow down our choices and make the best selection.

This file is  in PDF format.  Print at 100% on an 8.5x11in sheet of paper and then cut down to Happy Planner size. (7in x 9.25 in)I suggest using something a little heavier than copy paper as it is thin and will show through. I like this cardstock. After you’ve cut down the sheet punch it and add it to you’re planner.

Need a punch?  Get one here!

The new Happy Planners are out!  This one runs through December 2017.

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Here we go:

Download the PDF file here!

Like this insert?  If you use it tag me in a photo on Instagram! @_amberdowns.

Note: this post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link on this page I will receive a small commission from the store.  This does not change the cost to you, in fact, I search for the best prices to share with you.  Any income earned via these links is used to support upkeep on this page. My printables are free.

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Happy Planner sidebar printable

July 11
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 Like this post?  “Like” us on Facebook for updates on new posts!

Instructions-Print at 100% on regular paper, card stock or sticker paper. Cut and attach in the note secton of he weekly spead in the Happy Planner.Like

Hey everyone, I put together a new free printable for the Happy Planner.  This one is for the notes sidebar on the Happy Planner and Erin Condren planner.

With this printable, print it on regular paper, card stock, or sticker paper. Print at full size. (100%).  I use a paper cutter to get my lines straight.

Download the PDF HERE.

 

Need a punch?  I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out!  Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper?  I buy this one from  Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget?  Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more?  Check out my archive of free printables.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

 

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What I read : June 2016

July 8
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Copy of March Favorites

 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I first checked out this book back in January when I had heard a buzz about it, but I got busy and didn’t get around to it before it was due back to the library. Anyways, I had heard more good things back it in May so in went ahead and got the audio book version of the title since I am spending so much more time in my car with my new job. Well, it was great. If you are looking for inspiration or a reason to keep up with your creative work this book is perfect.


Still life with Tornado by A.S. King
While at the American Library Association annual conference in June I was able to pick up an advance copy of this new book by A.S. King. First of all, I love her books; she truly gets what life as a teenager is like. Like her 2015 novel As I Crawl Through it, Still life takes the pains of being a teen and adds an awesome surreal element that is sure to entertain and intrigue readers. This story follows Sarah, who is convinced nothing original will ever happen to her and she has lost the will to art. Look for my full review of this title in September prior to its October 11th release.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This is a book that has been on my to-read list for some time. I keep seeing it, wanting to check it out, and then passing it over for something else. I finally had the chance to download the audio book and give it a listen. Guess what? I really enjoyed it. This short, humorous YA novel is about a gay teen and the secrets and life surrounding his eventually coming out in high school. What I love about this book is that it includes the LGBT community, but in a normalized fashion. Yes, he is gay, yes, he still “in the closet.” but the book isn’t really about the fact that he is gay, it is about high school and all the crap that it entails. Oh, did I mention it was funny?

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Continuing on the Jojo Moyes bandwagon, I listened to One Plus One. Like Me Before You, this novel is about a young woman who is in the pits of despair who will do anything for the people she loves. This emotional story is uplifting, funny, and has a a better ending than Me Before you.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home: A Novel by Carol Rifka Brunt
This was my totally random book choice for the month. An older patron came into my library looking for it as her adult daughter was reading it in a book club and suggested it. I figured this was enough of a recommendation to go ahead and try it myself. Oh, and the cover looked cool. This book in set in the 1980’s and is about the life of teenage outsider before and after the death of her uncle due to AIDS. This is a heartwarming story of family, secrets, and sisterhood.

June Favorites

July 1
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I can’t believe June is over already. It seriously flew by! Anyways, we are in the thick of summer now and I want to go ahead and share with you a few of my current favorites.

App: Anylist
This nifty little app has been very useful for us.  It allows users to have both personal and shared lists.  I use it for our grocery list.  I am the worst about remembering the items my husband requests I purchase at the store and when I am in the store often times he is unreachable by phone for his requests.  With the app I just have him (and myself) add items as we find we need them and then whoever is in the store can pick them up.  I also have an personal shopping list in there for items I want to remember to purchase when at the store. Right now AnyList is only available on iOS devices. Oh, did I mention the best part?  Its free!

Avocado

Just like the rest of America, I am currently OBSESSED with avocados.  I put them in my smoothies, on my quinoa, on toast, and in just about whatever else I am making.  For Father’s day I tried out a new recipe that was delicious on chips.


My Planner Life blog
A week ago I ran across a new blog, My Planner Life, and I fell in love!  Nicola has beautiful free printables for planners and she includes Silhouette files.  Anyways, check her out and don’t forget to add her on Instagram.

 
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