Like many people I love to break into a fresh new planner each year. I used to pick up new planners all of the time, hoping this would be the one that finally helped me keep life organized. After reading lots of blogs and searching #planner on Instagram an Pinterest I came across many cool planners I had never heard of.   I’ve been using Erin Condren products for the past few years, I’m always excited to see their pretty package arrive.  I used to use their jumbo wall calendar, which was amazing! There was actually room to keep track of everybody’s activities, this year I switched to the Erin Condren Life Planner.

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Some of the new planners I’ve been seeing are Kikkki.K, filoFAX, Plum Planner, and the Midori Traveler. There are also more and more goal setting planners coming out like The Inner Guide Planner, The Purposeful Planner, and one of the newest ones I’ve seen- Passion Planner.  Seija Kenn, a friend, uses the Passion Planner and loves it, she says it has really helped her  organize her life.   If you share the Passion Planner through Social Media links you can download a free version of the planner here.

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The Erin Condren Life Planner is broken up into 3 sections each day with space for notes on the bottom and along the side. I loved that I could customize it with fun photos from the past year.  I like to use the planner for my websites and home so I break the three sections into planning for photography, the blog, and home- I only make note of the big things that will affect my ability to blog or might give me ideas to create a blog post about. On the bottom I keep track of my daily water intake, smoothies and exercise.

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I also like to keep a more detailed calendar on my iPhone. I used to struggle with keeping a calendar updated on the wall for my family to see. When I purchased my Mac I didn’t use the calendar for the longest time, but when I figured out how easy it was to sync it with my iPhone and iPad I fell in love. It’s so easy to enter links, addresses, photos to events and I can use the computer keyboard if I have a lot of information to type in then I can print it out and hang it on the fridge for everybody to see. Another perk to using this calendar is that it allows me to create many different calendars within that are color coded and can be turned on or off as needed this means it’s a great place to create meal plans with links to the recipes I want to use.

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Every new planner calls for some new pens and organizing accessories. Erin Condren has lots of fun bright accessories to use in the planner.  I like to use Paper Mate Flair pens in my planner because they’re bright but they don’t bleed through. I’ve heard about Staedtler 0.3mm Marker Pens and hope to try them sometime too. For a regular pen I like to use Pilot G-2 05 black pens they write so smooth and easily. I used to feel like I might press the pen through the paper and my hand would cramp up when I did any amount of writing. Since finding these pens I find myself wanting to write instead of type things more often.

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February 5, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Seija - I love reading about other people’s system, because there are so many good tips I pick up on! Thanks for sharing, you have me totally inspired to buy some fun writing accessories!

February 6, 2015 - 4:16 pm - Thank you Seija! I’m a little bit of an office supply junky, lol :) I’ve downloaded the Passion Planner you shared and can’t wait to play with it!

Our Life Is Here December Black & White

I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas! My blog circle celebrated the month of December with a black and white photography challenge.  This is the first time I have challenged myself to shoot for black and white images and it’s been lots of fun.  This is the last year our family will have a child in our church Christmas program, which is kind of a sad milestone, they are getting too big so I wanted to make sure I documented it.  We still managed to squeak out our Christmas baking at the last minute.

Lutheran Christmas Church Program

Lutheran Church Christmas Program Angel

Silent NightCandle LightLefty BakerDrop CookiesSugar CookiesPeanut Butter BallsTriple Chocolate Peppermint CookiesNo Pics Mom!Wiped OutChristmas DinnerChristmas GiftsOur Christmas

Please click through the circle and see Lori’s amazing photos at Lori Frederick Photography HERE and like her on Facebook to continue seeing her beautiful photos HERE.  I swear her snowy images look just like they’ve popped out of a Christmas Card

December 28, 2014 - 11:58 pm

Black & White » Emily Poston Photography - […] has been busy with her black and white project as well.  Click here to check out her post on Positively […]

December 29, 2014 - 12:00 am

Emily - Angel, these are beautiful memories you’ve captured! I love the black and white theme and the stories your pictures tell.

December 29, 2014 - 11:13 am

Lori - Angel! these are so great! I LOVE the church images, just beautiful!

December 29, 2014 - 7:48 pm

Jana - These are fabulous Angel <3 Love all the details in the church shots, and the baking shots are fabulous too! I also love that your kiddos still like opening their gifts up lol!

Our Life is Here

I’m joining my fabulous photography friends for another  “Our Life is Here” blog circle.

It seems like our family has been running in different directions lately and we haven’t had a chance to do much as a family.  I turned 40 last week though and they did help me celebrate with a few friends and their families, we had a great time.

Life has changed a lot recently.  I started working from home!  I work with city governments to create websites that will help engage their communities.  I love it!  I start my mornings just as early as I always did, but now I don’t have the 20 minute drive to work.  Instead I spend what was my drive time having breakfast and reviewing my Power Sheets.  Have you ever tried Brummel & Brown Strawberry Spread? I can’t believe I’ve missed out on this for so long, it’s yummy.  Anyway, I love my Lara Casey Power Sheets.  They’re so pretty to use while I work through my organized goal planning.
Our Life is Here

Thanks to the Omaha Performing Arts for giving us tickets, Jim and I recently had the opportunity to watch the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes.  I’ve wanted to see the show for as long as I can remember and had the opportunity to interview the Rockettes a while back.  They were honestly more amazing than I had ever anticipated.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

This was the first time we had been to the Orpheum.  It was all decked out in Christmas decor and made for a beautiful venue.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

To start the show off Santa showed up in a Union Pacific train and introduced the Rockettes before the show got started.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The costumes were gorgeous, the choreography was great. My favorite part was the living nativity.  I’ve seen children portray the night that Jesus was born during Christmas programs at church for most of my life, but this was different, it was absolutely beautiful and really brought it to life.  Make sure you see them while they are in Omaha through November 30th, tickets can be bought here.

We hosted Thanksgiving for Jim’s family today.  I was really hoping to get some photos to share, but the day always seems to fly by so fast.  As we get into holiday season the kids are already making lists of what goodies they want to bake.  I broke out a fresh notebook to keep track of our holiday planning.  Just like today it’s so handy to pull out my notebook to keep track of how much turkey and mashed potatoes need to be made.

Hope your family has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Please follow through our circle and visit my talented friend Jana at Photography 2204!

Fall 2014

This fall has really been flying past.  Lizzie wanted to decorate pumpkins this year though so we made it happen.  14-10-26 Lizzie Pumpkin-2

We worked on it out in the garage to keep the mess out of the house.  She wanted to use one of those carving kits that provide you with some really neat patterns.


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After cutting out the bottom of the pumpkin it was time to get started.

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Did I mention she painted her nails all swirly to be more festive?  She loves to try out Pinterest ideas on her nails:)

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She was saving the seeds to bake, but things got to busy and we ran out of time.

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It was kind of neat to watch the owl take shape.  While we had used carving kits in the past this was the first time I had seen them recommend getting the pattern wet and covering it up on the pumpkin with Cling Wrap to hold it in place and prevent it from drying out.

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She was trying to convince me to make spaghetti from the innards…. I don’t think it would taste the same as spaghetti squash.

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Hope everyone’s having a safe fall. It sounds like we might be getting snow soon:)

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This past year I learned a lot about ALS and how heartbreaking it is.  ALS 15

In just a little over 6 months time we watched our friend, Aaron Brodersen, go from being diagnosed to losing his life to ALS.

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Aaron and his wife Tani celebrated their 20th Wedding Anniversary this year.

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Aaron’s mother lost her long battle with breast cancer shortly after Aaron was diagnosed with having ALS at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota this spring.

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Aaron was only 43 years old.

ALS 05Aaron was a farmer, his family’s farm is neighbors to my husband’s family farm, they grew up together.

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Aaron was a good father, his son is Colten’s best friend.

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Aaron was a UPS man for 18 years.  Aaron’s first ALS symptoms were when he started losing strength in his arms which made it hard to work.

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Aaron was a retired firefighter who volunteered his time for over 10 years.

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Aaron was a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

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After being diagnosed Aaron and Tani received lots of support from the Iowa ALS support group.

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It was amazing to see all of the support for ALS this year with the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Many people don’t know someone with ALS and were looking for faces to put with this terrible disease.  Between our community and other small local communities totaling less than 10,000 in population combined we’ve seen 4 people lose their life to ALS recently.  It makes it hard to believe that “two incidence per 100,000 people” is accurate.

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ALS is one of the most heartbreaking diseases because there is no chance to battle it and fight for your life.  You have no idea how much time you have left with your loved ones.  Aaron’s journey with ALS was briefer than most, the average life expectancy for a person with ALS is 2 to 5 years.  Aaron’s ALS started in his arms making it hard to feed himself, then it moved to his legs, and eventually his neck and lungs.  They were so thankful for the support they received from the Iowa ALS Association and any support you can give to the Iowa ALS Association is greatly appreciated.

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In the lyrics of Brad Paisley “When I Get Where I’m Going”, I hope Aaron has spread his wings to fly while standing in the light of our maker’s amazing grace.

To learn more about ALS and what has been done in the 75 years since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed, visit the ALS Association.


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