Check it Off!

I love a day when almost everything gets checked off the list! I didn’t get to organizing my crochet works-in-progress but I still got a LOT done. Love having Wednesdays off from work (we’ll sort of off — occasionally a meeting has to happen like tonight).

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I just include work meetings in this planner but not work to-do’s, it’s because I have a separate task list notebook at work. This is my catch-all planner where all appointments, meetings, etc. go (in addition to my Google calendar) and it’s where I jot my personal to-do’s. I plan out way ahead in Google, but usually just a month at a time on paper.

My planning method changes, but this is what works for me right now!

Free Printable School Note

It’s August! We don’t start until after Labor Day here in New York, but back-to-school prep is in full swing. I know many other areas of the country will be heading back to school very soon. I’m not one to leave things to the last minute, so the other day I purchased as much of my kids’s school supplies as possible. As I’m starting to get organized for the new school year, and I find that pre-printed School Notes are an invaluable time and sanity saver.

With three kids in school, you can only imagine how often I have to send in a note about a bus change or a dentist appointment. By using these handy notes, I can just jot down the important info, check a few boxes, and voila! It streamlines the entire process.

Free Printable - School Notes

I designed these notes a few years ago and I still use them. The graphics are not too embarrassing for my high school sophomore, and the skinny, vertical orientation means that they don’t get lost in binders or homework folders. (My kids use folders to carry school papers back and forth and smaller notes, I have learned from experience, tend to get lost or forgotten if you can’t immediately see them. But it’s hard to miss a tall note like this one.)

Click here to download my free School Note PDF (for personal use only)!

I’m happy to continue to share these notes with my readers as a freebie. I like to keep a small stack printed, cut, and easily accessible — your planner or home management binder are great spots! They are not terribly fancy, but they are functional, and I think you will agree — they are a real time-saver! 

Post updated to reflect new graphics and text.

Taking a Break

 We love tea.

No, no! Not from the blog, don’t worry. It’s just that I have been going all day so I decided to take a break and check in on blogs, Facebook, etc. and pop in and update here since it’s been a while. I’ve been keeping up with my #HandletteredABCs over in IG, but I probably won’t get to post them here today. But here’s one of this week’s letters.


A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on

Honestly, I’m just wiped out! I’ve been cooking, cleaning, doing laundry… Drew and I brought in wood for the wood stove stove and stacked it. I poached chicken, made peppermint brownies, made turkey tacos for lunch, then cleaned up all the dishes from that. Might not seem like much but as many of you know, all those little things add up.

Finally, I’ve decided it to call it quits for the day. I made a fire, made a cup of tea, and that’s about it! Let’s see… what else has been going on? Drew was in Boston for work this week, and I admit I was a little jealous. It was funny — he texted me that he drove through the same intersection we went through all the time when we were dating and he’d drive me home from his apartment in Framingham to mine in Somerville. A lot of stuff has changed; it’s been almost 18 years, after all!

So, he got home around lunchtime on Friday and then Friday night was Cub Scouts. Aside from Blue & Gold Banquet in a couple weeks, it was the last pack meeting we will ever have to do. While we have certainly enjoyed our time as Cub Scout leadership, I have to say that I’m ready for it to be over and let someone else take the reins. Noah will be bridging over to Boy Scouts, and we will be taking a back seat. Drew is still very involved because he has a lot of fun, but it will be nice to relinquish the responsibility, you know?

On a completely different note, I’ve been having fun playing around with the Silhouette Cameo I got for Christmas. I am still learning, and there’s a lot of trial and error, but I’m figuring things out. I bought some vinyl the other day, so I am looking forward to making a custom travel mug for myself. The hardest part is deciding on a design! Mostly, I’ve just been making stickers for my planner. It is really cool to have the machine make the detailed cuts. Using an X-acto knife or small scissors is so much work. This speeds things up considerably!

A photo posted by Carol Bancroft (@carolwrites) on

And while I haven’t actually done any crochet, I’ve been organizing my yarn and patterns with the intention of getting back into so projects this week. I bought a lidded basket to keep my current project stashed away, safe from playful cats. And I’ve been putting my patterns into a binder so they’re all in one place. 

Well, I guess that’s about all for today! Hope you are having a great weekend!

Life Planner Launch Day!

 2015-16 Life Planners!

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Erin Condren products. Up until now I have never gotten in on all the excitement of “launch day.” However, with the new horizontal layout option that’s available, I couldn’t help but jump on it!

My current Life Planner goes until the end of the year, and I don’t plan on giving that one up. I’m going to continue using that one to keep track of my family’s schedule and I’m going to use my brand new, shiny, horizontal LP as a journal and personal goals planner. So do you want to know which design I picked?

 Platinum Prism LP

I have admired the foil planners in years past, but never really felt the need to have one. But this year? With personalization in metallic foil too? Oh yes! I had to have it. I fell in love with this color (peacock), and the decision was pretty easy. I can’t wait to get it — you can be sure that I’ll share every detail with you!

In the meantime, if you’re considering an EC Planner, you can sign up for an account using my referral link. You’ll get an e-mail with a coupon code for $10 off your first purchase of anything on her site. I’ve always been happy with the Erin Condren products I’ve ordered, and this will be my fifth Life Planner, so I feel good recommending it as an organization tool!

Oh, Hey September!

Well just like that a couple weeks go by and you forget all about blogging! Actually, it’s been on my “to do” list for several days now, but I just have been too busy to get to it. I know I keep saying that I’m really going to pay more attention to my blog, but with the back-to-school schedule ironed out and things moving along nicely, I really mean it!

In the meantime, how about a laundry list of what’s new?

  • The boys started school last week. Noah is in 3rd grade, which is a big deal because it means he’s now upstairs and has a locker! Jake started middle school which is a big deal for obvious reasons. It’s a total change, but he loves it. Our morning routine is also very different now, as our district has staggered start times, so I have three kids, three different schools, three different times!
  • That’s right — I said three! Laura started preschool this week and judging on the first two days, she loves it 🙂  It’s just a few days a week for a few hours, but it’s just enough. And honestly, the extra time will really be great for me! It’s been 11 years since I’ve had kid-free time that I can count on!
  • During some of that kid-free time this week I got a haircut. I got four inches chopped off, but man it’s still long! I also got a little bit of swoopy bangs. That might have been a bad idea. We’ll see.
  • I got my new Erin Condren planner for next year. Love, love, love the paisley! 
    2014planner2014 planner
  • I’ve done a bit of canning — just some apple butter and some salsa, but considering I didn’t do anything all summer it’s been fun hearing those “pings” as the jars seal! I’m trying to plan ahead for Christmas gifts. That is, assuming I can keep the goodies from getting eaten.
  • Otherwise, I’ve just been cleaning and reorganizing and doing all that day-to-day stuff. I haven’t picked up my crochet hook in over a month. I’m hoping to get back to my blanket next week, though.

Hope your September is off to a great start!

well hello, 2012!

Ah, the boys are back at school today and I am easing into my regular routine. I had such grand plans to redesign my blog header, update my sidebar, etc. etc. in time for the new year, but… sometimes things just don’t work out, LOL!

Yesterday morning Laura was feeling under the weather, then since she seemed to feel more like herself as the morning went on we went out to Chili’s for lunch and I ran to Joann’s while D. hit the comic book store. Then I tried to make sense of a diaper cover pattern for some photography prop sets I’m working on, and before you know it — bed time.

But it’s a new day! And I have so, so, so much to do. The laundry piles are ridiculous, I have to go through everyone’s closets and figure out what to keep and what to donate, and I need to finish up the previously mentioned infant set and get the sample mailed out to make sure the sizing is correct. (Don’t worry, I’ll post a pic when it’s done — these are so ridiculously cute!)

I feel this urge to clean, to reorganize, to do like a million different craft projects, to plow through my stack of “to be read” books. But I know I can only tackle one thing at a time, so I’ve written up my to-do list for the week, including the projects in the free calendar from My Simpler Life. Instead of printing it out and creating yet another pile of paper for myself, I’m hoping that having the tasks written down in my planner will help me get them done.

And with that, I really should get off the computer! Here’s to an excellent new year!!!