Tag: planner

Recollections 2017 zip planner review

December 30
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Have you seen the new planner stuff Michaels has released this December? THERE IS SO MUCH AWESOME STUFF.  Seriously, so much. The company has released tons of planners, inserts, and stickers under its private label, Recollections.  Some of the hottest new items are the dated zip up planners.  Most of the December released items are undated, which is great for a crafty person w ho wants to add all the dates, but just doesn’t work for me. I am too afraid of making a mistake and somehow missing a meeting because I dated my planner wrong and thought the 5th was a Tuesday instead of a Monday.

 

Anyways, there are 10 versions of these cute little planners. I got the simple floral one as a gift for a family member but wanted to share it here first with my readers. (SHH)

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What I found most interesting when I first opened this planner was that it was not a traditional Personal or A5 size. These new planners inserts are the height of an A5 planner but the width of the personal size planner. This makes buying inserts interesting.  What is good is the ring size matches up with A5 items so you can use the same punch. Michaels does sell a set of additional inserts for this planner size. They are super cute and are for goal tracking, fitness, television, and other fun activities. They also sell cute dividers and folders for this planner.  I have not currently seen any dated yearly insert packs for this page size, but all of the zip planners come with 2017 inserts so they don’t really need more now.  Also, if you have any other personal size inserts they will fit in this planner. They are not as tall, but will fit the rings as well.

 

FYI:  A5  pages are 5.8″ x 8.3″ and personal size pages are 3.54″ x 7.5.” The inserts that come with this planner are 7.25″ x 3.54″.

 

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My personal size Kate Spade planner with the zip planner inserts. They fit the rings but not the binder.

 

So although these are a unique size, they are super versatile and the binder can hold several different types of inserts.

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The Kate Spade and Recollections planners size by side. (Yes, I totally have lipstick on my planner)

 

 

Anyways, on to the money shots…

 

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Is this title page not beautiful?

 

If you look closely you will see that there is a disclaimer on the bottom saying the company is not liable for any inaccuracies. Have you ever seen that on a planner? I don’t know that I have but it makes sense. A little CYA.

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One of the things I love about this planner is that every month has a goals page and a reflection page. This really helps to keep on track and ensure we fulfill our goals. As far as paper quality goes I would say that these are fine. They are not the thickest pages ever, but plenty good enough.

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Of course next comes the monthly calendar. I wish Saturdays and Sundays had their own spots, but I totally understand why they don’t on this planner.

 

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Each week has a nice and simple weekly view. There is room for goals as well as extra notes. The week starts with Monday and Saturday and Sunday have their own spots.

 

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Remember the reflection pages i mentioned? Yes, the reflection pages in the Recollections planner. This is what they look like. A great way to jump start each new month. Oh, and every month has its own cute divider but I am not going to show you all of them. Gotta have some secrets. :)

This planner can be purchased at Michaels both in store and online. They retail for $29.99 but can easily be purchased for less with a sale or coupon. We currently do not know if this is a one time product or if they will return to the shelves after they are sold out.

Anyways. I hoe you enjoyed this quick little review. If you have any questions feel free to ask them here or, for a faster answer, ask me on Facebook.

 

review of the 2017 recollections zip planners at michaels. This is a great weekly planner similar to a5 or personal size.

review of the 2017 recollections zip planners at michaels. This is a great weekly planner similar to a5 or personal size.

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My 2017 planner setup

December 28
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For 2017 I am starting a new planner from Me and My Big Ideas. I will again be using their Happy Planner in what is now called the Classic size. (Happy Planners also come in Big and Mini as well.)   Mine is called “This is Your Year.


I have been using Happy Planners for a year and a half now and I love how simple yet functional they are. I love that these planners use the ARC page system so pages can be added, removed, and made with ease. I own a punch which allows me to add whatever I’d like to my planner which makes holding lists, saving, invitations, and other important notes super easy.


One of the first things I do when starting a new planner is to go through my old planner month by month and add any reoccurring events to the new planner. Birthdays and Anniversaries don’t change  so you know when they will be.  I add items on sticky notes so that I can add it how I want when we get to that month, but the basic information is there so it is not forgotten.


My planner uses a vertical setup and each day has three boxes. I use the top box for my to dos, so this list is added to daily and as the week progresses. Some days will have many tasks, while others will only have a few, it really depends on what else I have going on.  What I love about this as opposed to an ongoing list, is that I can say “Hey, I need to do ___” and then look at my week and see where I will have the time to accomplish this task and put it on that day.  I find a major problem for those just starting out with planners is that they over schedule to dos which just leads up being upset over not accomplishing goals.

The second box is for scheduling. Here I mark my husband’s schedule for the week, any changes or unusual aspects of my own schedule, and our dinners for the week.  I incorporate meal planning into m weekly planning so that I know what I am doing when I go to the grocery store and we actually have something thawed and ready to go each day.  We don’t get home from work until 6pm and want to eat by 7pm so having a plan really helps make this happen successfully.

The third box in my planner is used for fun extras such as a short list, motivational stickers, or event information.  If we have a party or other social gathering I’d jot the details down here so that we know what is happening and when.  This area is also great for fitness tracking, food tracking, or information regarding school for yourself or children.  In the past I have used this section for planning out my blog postings however I now use Horizontal Happy Planner pages for that.  (more on that later)

 

When starting a new planner I like to add some of my favorite inserts so I am prepared and ready to go.

I add:
A few daily sheets
Lined paper for misc notes
Contacts sheet
Goal planning sheet


I also fill out the front page and make sure to add a phone number and email address in case the planner is lost.

 

Pages you may also consider:

Emergency contact information
Medical conditions/ medications
Clothing sizes for family members

Keep in mind that if your planner is lost, all information will be available to the finder. With this in mind, you may want to add a few items about your children and their school/teachers, however adding this information in a more secretive way that would not be obvious to a predator. Consider adding the teacher’s phone numbers or info as contacts without mention of the grade/school they teach at. Make these choices as your own discretion.

 

So this is the main planner I will be using for 2017 at home. Next week I will be sharing a little bit about my work planner and  I use it to organize my day, schedule employees, and keep on task at work.

 

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. Enjoy!- Amber D.

 

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Weekly planning with my spouse

October 26
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One of the aspects of my planer experience that I get asked about often is how I incorporate my spouse into the planning process. Because we both have work schedules that vary and evenings activities to be aware of, I find that it is critical for my husband and I to get together before the week begins to sit down and line up our schedules. We write down each other’s work schedules, activities, events, and plan out meals. We also make it a priority to carve out time to spend together.

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Generally at the beginning of each month we mark our days off in our personal planners on the monthly pages. This way I can plan ahead for parties and events even if we haven’t gotten to that week. Generally these are just little tick marks or X’s to mark the days.  With this, if a friend asks if we can get together on a Friday at then end of the month I can quickly get a tentative answer. (I would then confirm this with my husband and then add to both of our planners.)

 

Around the middle of the month we glance at the following month to see if there are any days we need to request off in advance. We can then get this information to his boss for his schedule and I can work it into mine.

Alright, on to the week at hand.

When it comes down to the week ahead, first we confirm shift times. We should know the days that both of us work, but we both sometimes have different hours or evening work commitments. We record these as well and if we have holidays of other weird days. In my planner I just write down my husband’s initials next to his work schedule. Generally, I do not write down my schedule because I know it. I do write down if I have an important meeting, something that I need to bring in from home, or an unusual schedule change.. This way I see it before I go in to work.

Next we see if we want to add any plans to the week. A date night? Game night with friends? Trip to the beach? Now that we have out week put together we can see what time we have together and how we want to use it.

After we have our days down we pick meals. Generally, before we sit down I have a list of the meals that I plan to make and then we can write down which days we will have what. Due to our evening events we do not have dinner together at home every night, but we do like to have a plan for the nights we are home.  In the morning when I get up I check the evening’s meal plan and take out whatever is needed for that dinner. This is not a strict plan, but instead a guideline so that we don’t get home hungry with nothing thawed out. We do not write down lunch plans but do prep meals ahead for the week. Often these are just leftovers.

At this point we have a pretty solid plan for the week. I then take this information and fill in my personal tasks around our plans. I schedule my office hours for blogging and household tasks. One way to set yourself up for failure is to give yourself a massive to do list on a day you are booked for 15 hours. It’s just not possible and will leave you upset and defeated. Place those tasks on a shorter day or, better yet, spread them out over the week.

Lastly, I want to leave you with the reminder that this is all flexible. The plans we make change often, and we just have to roll with the punches. Having a basic idea for the week really helps me keep everything in sight, but you know what, some plans are meant to be broken.

My planner: Enjoy the Little Things Happy Planner

Charlie’s planner: An undated kit similar to this one.

We use the Happy Planner punch to add pages and notes to our planners.

Charlie’s stickers are all made by me using my Silhouette Cameo and sticker paper.

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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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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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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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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How I plan my week

June 27
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Psst: Don’t forget to follow on Facebook for updates and new free printables!

How I functionally plan my week in The Happy Planner

As you may know, today is the first day in the new 2016-2017 Happy Planners.  In honor of today I wanted to share a little bit about how  use my Happy Planner to organize and plan my week.  I know I have posted on this topic before, but today I want to focus on the parts of the week planner that i use and how.  This post will be about what works for me; of course everyone’s life is different so my system may not work for you, but it might give you ideas and insight into how to make your planner work for you. Please not that although this post in similar to a “plan with me,” I will be focusing on my general layout/planing system instead of the creative process of putting together an appealing layout.

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First of all this planner has a Monday start. Because of this I sit down before the start of the week and start thinking about the week ahead.  I prefer to do this on Sunday, but it could happen any day Friday-Sunday that I have the time.  First I speak with my husband and jot down his schedule for the week as well as any engagements he has or has roped me into.  Because he works in entertainment his schedule is not fixed. I like to know his additional plans for the week as well so that I can plan means or plan my own events.   Now that I have an idea of the general make up of the week I can sit down with the week view of my planner.



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The first thing I do with my weekly view is my decorating.  As you my have noticed from my spreads, I tend to keep my weekly layouts simple with lots of white space.  Today I went a little wild and downloaded a free printable weekly kit from My Planner Life.  I stumbled upon her blog last week and it is awesome!  She also includes free Silhouette files so you can print and cut her stickers.  I chose this kit for the week of June 27-July 3rd.

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When I place my stickers I am already thinking about where and how I want things.  I keep the same basic setup each week so it is relatively easy.  The top section of each day is my to do list.  This is where I jot down tasks as they come to me.  I refer to this section the most and I like it to be simple and readable. This is also where I place functional icon stickers like yoga, trash, and others.

In the middle section of each day I have a place for my dinner plan, my  husband’s work schedule, and any other events or important things going on that day.  I also mark holidays, important work meetings, and other events in this space.  If you have kids this is a great place to record their events, playdates, or school functions. Or, if you’re in school jot down your own school events.  I write down all or most of my meals at the beginning of the week.  After they have been decided on I look through my fridge and pantry and add any grocery items that I need to my grocery app, AnyList.  This app shares my list with my husband so that we can both add to the list as well as see it when we are in the store.  I am notorious for writing a great shopping list only to leave it at home or end up shopping before I was planning on it.

Note on work meetings: I have a separate daily planner for work, however I have been leaving it at work at night so I don;t look at it before I leave the house.  If I have something for work that I need to remember before I leave the house I add in in my personal planner.  All other work events and notes are in my work planner.

The third section of each day is where I do my blog planning.  I like to write down the posts that need to go up along with reminders to do social media.  I also jot down any blog related to-dos in that section as they come to me.

I tend to switch up what I use the sidebar for.  This month I am tracking my spending.  This way I can go back and see if there are any areas in my life where I need to cut back.  In the past I have used this area for a grocery/shopping list, packing list, or just general notes.  See what works for you.


Although I like to decorate my planner I always try to keep the focus on functionality first. This means a neat organized layout with space to write down everything I need in a clear and logical fashion.  With the start of this new planner I am working to dedicate myself to really following through with my plans.  To do this I am making it a habit to look at my planner first thing when I get up as well as right before bed.  This way I can ensure I am reviewing the day and preparing for whatever I will need.

Like this planner?  Get your own here.

Want free planner printables?  Check our my archives here.

 

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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Travel planner inserts

June 25
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Free travel information planner inserts for personal sized planners.  Print and cut these inserts for your next vacation!A month ago my husband and I traveled to Maryland to attend his high school reunion and do a little visiting and sight seeing.  Because we were flying and short of space, I left my regular planner at home but opted to bring my small Kate Spade personal planner.  I have been using this planner off and on for travel, events, and note keeping.  After the trip, I noticed for for travel there are a few main topics I wanted to keep notes on. Because of this, I made this set of inserts specifically for traveling.  These are not dated sheets and are instead notes sheets/prompts that can be used to ensure that when you are traveling you are bringing all the important information with you.

 

Please read:
If you choose to use these inserts please be aware of your own personal security. Keep the planner on your person at all times and carry it safely in your bag. Travel information is sensitive and should be treated as such. 

 

Click here for the PDF: travel Inserts

To use these inserts please print the PDF file at 100%.  I printed on regular computer paper, however if you want something thinker you might enjoy this 24 lb. paper.

Need a punch? I love this Rapesco punch because it works for both personal sized planners and a5.

 

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.Anyways, enough talk, here is the printable.  Enjoy!

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Free printable summer planner stickers

June 23
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Free Printable Planner Stickers with Silhouette file! (1)

With summer here I wanted to put together  new sticker set for my new Happy Planner. These stickers are similar to my spring set, but still awesome. I hope you enjoy using them in your planner. They are designed to fit in the Happy Planner as well as the Erin Condren planner and will work in many others.

This printable is designed for sticker paper you can print onto regular paper as well. As always, I have provided this printable in both PDF form as well as a Silhouette file for those with Silhouette machines.  Silhouette owners- download the file and open it with the silhouette software.  The cut lines will be ready to go.  Be sure to check your blade settings! Download the Silhouette file HERE.

 

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Click the image below to be taken to the full size image.  Print and cut.

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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