If I had to pick a work to describe the year of 2014, the word would be LEARNING. This has been the year where I have actively put in the time to learn new skills. I have participated in events of self-development, learned organization skills through planning, and learned to budget my finances. Under each of these areas of learning there are other small things that have shaped who I am today and the things I value the most. I’ve established certain standards for my life and I work to meet them every day. One of those things is to keep learning new things on a daily basis.

See this image and shaded text below. I drew this yesterday after watching a drawing video on YouTube.

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I’ve always wanted to learn to draw but it is one of those things on my perpetual “to-do-when-I-have-some-time” list. So why not now? It took all of 15 minutes. After four attempts, I got something that looks like a Christmas wreath and jotted down some text to remember when I drew it. This isn’t life changing learning but it’s fun. Learning is a criteria for my happiness. I recognize this now. It is why I LOVED school. I love my job because there is something new to learn each week. It’s the same reason I love to blog, change my website design, or watch YouTube. Each of these things, for me, serve a basic need.

Today I went one step further with my commitment to learning and gifted myself a class called The Christmas Chronicles. December is by far the busiest month of the year for me both personally and professionally. However I am challenging myself to go through this class to improve my creativity and save my sanity. Why not do it with a class tailored specifically for this purpose? I am so excited to take this class. I have no idea what to expect. This is something I would not normally do, so the element of extending myself into something new is also there. It’s exciting and fun.

The timing for this class could not be better because this year I want to experience every aspect of the holiday season. December has been a hard month for my family since we lost Dad. This year we are going to celebrate the holidays like we use to in the past. Dad would want this for us. My sister and I want a beautiful holiday to spend with mom. She’s here with us and we all deserve more joyful memories.

 

 

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As you know, I love taking pictures. It’s a great way to document special occasions, beautiful sceneries and my personal favorite – every day life. The wonderful folks at PicStick reached out to me last month with an opportunity to review their photo magnets. I jumped at the chance because I have been wanting to turn my photos into magnets for a long time. I decided to make a photo magnet gift set for my mom. She adores magnets and we always get one from every new city we visit. I knew pictures of her loved ones would be a big hit.

I created an account at PicStick and quickly uploaded the photos I wanted to use. One by one I selected the photo and the area of the image I wanted to use. I had the option to crop or rotate the image as needed, which I did on the full length picture of my sister. I saved each image until all nine boxes were filled. Then I clicked the Add to Basket button and was shown a proof of my photo magnets. From there I could change the quantity I wanted to order and complete the billing information. Each sheet of nine magnets costs $14.99, a great deal indeed.

The wonderful folks at Picstick are happy to pass along a 25% discount for all Enjoying This Life readers. Simply enter code PATTY25 when placing your order.

 

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I love how the photo magnets came out. The photos printed on very high quality photo paper and were perfectly attached to the magnets. I love look and feel of each photo magnet. They come with a perforated white line border around each magnets and this makes the photo magnets very easy to separate. Simply fold and gently pull apart.

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Once I separated the photo magnets, I quickly arranged them on my mom’s fridge. They look beautiful! She loved them. Especially the one of her and my dad on their honeymoon. I am so glad this gift brought a smile to her face.

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I just had to take one of the photos of Max to my house. I couldn’t help myself, the photo magnets are a beautiful way to display your favorite photos. They make a great gift idea, especially with the holidays just around the corner. How fun would it be to receive a photo magnet of the new baby in the family. Or you can use the photo magnet as a party favor or a save the date. Those are just a few things I came up with as I was writing this post but there is so much more you can do with the PicStick photo magnets.

Make sure to check out the PicStick website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news.

 

 

Disclosure: I was given a sheet of photo magnets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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This week I made a conscientious effort to make note of the awesome blog posts I read each week. I try to pick one day to read the blogs I love and comment on them. However one of my favorite things is to showcase my amazing blog friends on this post – Sunday Reads! So grab a cup of coffee and check out the awesomeness. Happy Sunday! :)

Sunday Reads

Feeling Exposed… and Letting that Go | By: Kelly at No Thanks To Cake

If you’ve ever thought of or had to lose weight you want to check out Kelly’s story. Her blog posts are always motivating and filled with delicious recipes. I love her creativity in all she does. Her story was recently published in Women’s Health Magazine. Great article!

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Elf 4 Health 2014 | By Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean

I love everything about this holiday challenge so I am doing it for a second year. This time I even got my sister to sign up. The beauty of the challenge is that it is about food, fitness, for you & for others. You are assigned an Elf buddy to help cheer you on along the way. You can also participate solo, which is what my sister and I did. We will be each other’s Elf buddies for the entire challenge. Makes sense to us because we almost always workout together. The challenges are fun, there will be prizes and a chance to do something healthy for yourself during this time of year. Make sure to follow the #Elf4Health hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

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What’s Your ‘Why Not’? | Carie Harling at Dispatches from the Frat House

I am kind of cheating here because this is actually a video I want you to watch. I recently discovered Carie’s YouTube channel through the planner community. She is starting a series to encourage viewers to take a look at what is going on in their life and the goals they want to accomplish. How do we get there? I am excited to take this journey at this point in my life. I encourage all of you to take 10 minutes to watch this video.

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Just Before Bed…| Andrea at Good Girl Gone Redneck

My dear friend shared a beautiful quote that reminds us both of our beloved dads. Gone too soon but never forgotten. It takes a lot of courage to write about feelings of loss. I often wondered if I wrote too much about it on my blog or not enough. In the end I think, I did what was best for me.

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Hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Share your favorite post of the week in the comments.

 

 

 

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I choose a quote for every Saturday post because I like to wake up to inspiring words. I always set this post to publish at a particular time on Saturday morning for added motivation.  I get an email when the post goes live so I get a chance to read the quote again. Maybe my Saturday morning is off to a slow start and I need a little encouragement. Maybe I am out and about running errands, glance down on my phone and see the motivating words and it makes me smile. I think a great way to start the weekend.

This quote resonates with me because I work really hard to mean what I say. This is how I was brought up and it’s a principle I hold near and dear. Believing that other people live by the same principle has sometimes burned me. But that’ okay, every time has been a learning experience and one, though painful, I would never trade.

Have an AMAZING Saturday! :)

Hosseini Quote

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You know I’m a planner addict.

You might also know I am YouTube junkie. It started with the Shaytards and the addiction grown from there.

Since Google and YouTube are BFF’s (best friends forever) they know what I search for online. Lately with preparing for next year, it’s mostly been planner related. They suggested Miss VickyBee‘s channel in my What to Watch list so I had to check it out. Her channel is a planner addict’s dream! She has done a fantastic job of showcasing various journals, planners, and various planning techniques. I think that is what I love the most. The variety of planners and what you can do with them. I admire Vicky’s creativity and feel inspired to find my own way to be more creative. I’ve always said, “I’m not an artist. I can’t draw.” Lately the doodles in my journals, planners or every day notes have  little drawings here and there. It’s for me to see after all so it does not have to be perfect.

Last month Vicky did the tutorial below on how to make a DIY Hocus Pocus book. Just by looking at the elaborate photo of the book I was intrigued. When I watched the tutorial I had not see the movie Hocus Pocus so I wasn’t sure how the book was relevant in the movie.  I have since seen the movie and I love it! :)

I was so impressed by how genius the DIY Hocus Pocus book was so I decided to enter the giveaway Vicky was hosting on her blog. I really wanted a chance to win one of the two books she made. And I did WIN! :) I was so happy when I got her email. I think the books are so special because she only made two for the giveaway.

Here is my beautiful Hocus Pocus book.

Hocus Pocus Book

Hocus Pocus Book Details

The eye, the snake and the binding are my favorite parts. I just LOVE the look and feel of the book. If you watch the tutorial you will see the materials she used and you will be amazed. I love planners and journals, so to have one hand-made is very special to me. I feel my book needs to be on display somewhere in my house. It just so happens I have some shelves to put up soon, so my Hocus Pocus book will have its own display area.

Thank you so much Vicky! I love my book and appreciate your sweet handwritten note!:)

Please go check out Vicky’s YouTube Channel and blog. All her links are listed below.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MissVickybee
Blog: http://www.missvickybee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MissVickyBee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/missvickybee2b

 

 

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1. It IS the little things that make you smile on a daily basis.

2. The first 80 days were a breeze to find a picture of happiness.

3. There was a week or two I did not post any pictures. I would have finished the 100 happy days on October 27th. Life happens. It is something that you have to accept. It’s hard to find happiness on some days and on those days you have to work a little harder to see it but it is there.

4. Now more that ever I  believe “happiness is a choice”.

5. I feel my eye for photography has improved over the last 100 days.

6. The idea of finding a happiness picture made me be present in every moment so I would not miss the highlight of my day. On som days the highlight was a past memory.

7. 100 Happy Days was a great way to let the past go…and look at it with a new way. This is true happiness.

8. I’d love to document and entire year of happiness. Maybe I will tackle this in 2015.

9. I am going to print a few of my favorite pictures and display them in my home and office.

10. I believe everyone should give the 100 Happy Days a try.

For a glimpse of my #100HappyDays photos check out this Pinterest Board.

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It’s 21 degrees in NYC today and it feels like 10 degrees! What the heck?

It’s only November…we might be in trouble this Winter!

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Today’s topic on The Daily Post seemed like a fun one.

Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times.

The “good old days” when I worked at Kay-Bee Toys store always brings a smile to my face. It was so much fun to have my first job be in a toy store.

Some of the highlights include:

Continue reading »

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It is no surprise to anyone reading my blog that I am a planner addict! The Erin Condren life planner really changed my life. This year I got organized and more productive since going back to a paper planner. It even allowed me to express my creativity by using washi tape, stickers and colorful pens. It’s hard to describe but there is something very satisfying about checking off all the completed tasks in a day. For next year, I decided to use a Kate Spade planner as my everyday planner. My Erin Condren planner will be the office planner I keep on my desk at work. Before making this change I wanted to try the personal size planner for the rest of this year. I bought this planner off eBay a few months ago. It was in good condition and a great price.

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Since we are at the end of the year I was not going to find 2014 inserts so I decided to look for a printable online. I found the Philofaxy website, which is a fountain of information on Filofax planners. The Filofax personal inserts fit the Kate Spade planner. I printed the month on two pages and then decorated washi tape and stickers.

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I also printed the weekly pages for the rest of the year and filled in the information for Thanksgiving week.

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My sister had some card stock at home so I made my own pull out dashboard and dividers (along with the bookmark in the above photo). I love this part because it is an inexpensive way to change-up the planner.

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My next step was to take yellow paper, cut it down to size and added text/ lines with a stamps.

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Finally, I could not help adding another dashboard in the back of the planner along with an envelope for my market dot stickers.

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I am loving this setup so I hope it will be functional as well.

Do you have a favorite planner? If so share, in the comments.

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Last Wednesday at my Weight Watcher meeting, our leader gave us some homework: (1) To set a short-term goal and (2) To set a long-term goal. She suggested neither should be related to a number. Makes sense. Personally I have stopped saying I want to lose X amount of pounds by X time because it doesn’t work that way. Not my lifestyle. Not the program. Not me.

Here are mine:

My short-term goal is to keep running during the Winter months.

My long-term goal is to run a 4 mile race in the first quarter of 2015.

To accomplish these goals, I joined a gym – Blink Fitness! The price was perfect since I will most likely use the gym on the weekends and maybe once or twice during the week. All I need to accomplish my goals is a treadmill! :) Winter will not interfere with my new favorite workout. My first impression of the gym was a positive one. It is very spacious and there are plenty of machines, weights and free areas to stretch out. The staff was very friendly and it is close to the train.

It felt great to run my first 3.22 miles on a treadmill today! :)

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