Mama’s Notebooks {giveaway}

DSC_0638Today’s giveaway is from Heather, the creator of Mama’s Notebooks.  Heather created these handy notebooks in the hopes of helping other moms get organized.  All of the notebooks feature simple and effective charts, lists, and ideas to help your family life run more smoothly.  Rather than have Heather share more about her notebooks here today, I want to tell you how I am using some of them myself!  I currently use the Mama’s Notebook, The Weekly Homeschool Notebook, and The Knit & Crochet Notebook.

As I began planning for the start of our new school year, taking into account the activities my children are involved in now, I realized that I would truly have to step up my game in the organizational arena this year, or lose my mind.  Much of the planning that I do revolves around food and feeding my family.  I can no longer just plan a week’s worth of dinners and be done with it.  Planning only dinner results in us eating junky fast food and going way over budget.  I have to plan all three meals of the day, in addition to special meals for baseball tournament weekends and our once per week co-op day.  My Mama’s Notebook has become an absolutely crucial part of that.  It gives me a place to record all my plans for meals in addition to each day’s events and to-dos.  I love that it doesn’t have to be started on any particular date, instead allowing me to fill in the dates for the week I am planning as I go.  That way, I can skip a week if needed, without wasting pages.

I don’t enjoy planning meals, I think mainly because it takes so much thought.  I struggle to find uninterrupted time to work on my plans, so I have been trying something new lately.  One evening per week, I choose a handful of favorite cookbooks, grab my Mama’s Notebook, and head to my local Wegman’s, which has a really nice area with tables and chairs above the grocery portion of the store.  I find that I can come up with a plan far more quickly by doing it away from home without any “helpers.”  In addition, I can quickly check out what is available before I start my planning.  On a recent night though, after one such planning session, I found myself suddenly struck by a terrible thought as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep.  I realized that I didn’t know where my notebook was, and I feared that I had left it in my shopping cart at the store.  I have all my favorite meals recorded on the pages, not to mention many weeks worth of menu plans that I regularly look back at.  I hardly slept that night.  The following morning I breathed a huge sigh of relief after calling the store and being told that they had my notebook behind the counter.  Thank goodness.

DSC_0613I am also really relying on the weekly Homeschool Notebook this year.  In the past I have created my own spreadsheets to fill in with my kids’ lessons.  Last year I found myself really dreading working on those each week, and determined that I would try to eliminate some of the work this year.  I am using the weekly Homeschool Notebook for Larkspur and Beatrix, and it has really eliminated some of my planning stress.  I am able to quickly and easily jot down what I hope to accomplish with each of them each week and then cross through each thing as we get it done.  Heather offers a monthly/unit Homeschool Notebook as well.

The last notebook that I use regularly is the Knit & Crochet Notebook.  When I am knitting a complex pattern with lace and repeats and other things that force me to pay attention, I keep notes in this notebook.  I love the graph paper pages!  I also use it when I am working on my own knitting patterns.  I guess I should say, when I was working on my own knitting patterns.  Since we started our new school year, I haven’t had any time for designing!

Be sure to check out Heather’s blog, and read about all of her wonderful, help-you-get-organized notebooks!

mamasnotebooks2Heather would like to give one notebook of choice to two Small Things readers!

**She has also discounted all notebooks 15% off through October 4th.   In addition, you can receive another 25% off the already discounted price through September 22nd by using the coupon code MATEY25!  So, by placing your order by September 22nd, you can get a total of 40% off!!

For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post.  A winner will be randomly selected on Monday, September 22.  The winners will be notified via email, and announced within this post.

Thanks, Heather!


Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading (though not at the same time!), and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

DSC_0693It took some effort because I kept making silly, sleepy mistakes, but I divided for the sleeves on Wee Liesl this week.  Despite my struggles, this is a really fun pattern to knit.

I’m still trying to learn more about the history of Sudan, and am reading They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky.


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