Another Planner Blog Post!

WP Diary

As some of you have now discovered, I am a fan of the good old fashioned paper organizer system; my Filofax is my life keeper and no iPhone will ever change that for me. Over the past 12 months or so I’ve come to discover the world of other ‘planners’ and with the help of Instagram (my new Facebook) I have been introduced to many wonderful ways of using planners/organizers/diaries and now I am one of those people who spend a Sunday evening embellishing my week ahead so I feel ready and prepared for what lies ahead. This is more important now more than ever as I see myself take on a new job soon and I want to be as organized as I can be and I have new organizers to help me do it…I just have to figure out which one to use! Yeah, I may have gone a little nuts recently but you know what? It was my birthday recently so I think I’m allowed to treat myself!

My new Websters Pages Planner My first purchase was something I have been attempting to get for a while but due to popularity and fast selling stock have not been able to get my hands on until just recently. The excitement I felt while waiting for the item to arrive was something close to what my children probably feel at Christmas time! After what felt like for ever but was only about 2 weeks, my new planner arrived from Websters Pages (bought on-line from A Cherry On Top.) A beautiful blue and white striped planner with all sorts of useful planner bits and pieces inside. I have never been, and I don’t think I will get to the stage where I am, a ‘planner addict’ so a few of the pages are lost on me but I may find use for them at some point, who knows?! Although I have a trusty purple Filofax that I am using for my day to day family life I may use this one for my new job to keep business dates and so on separate from my home plans. Right now it just sits on a shelf next to me looking lovely and ready for use.

MochiThings PlannerMy next purchase was from an on-line store I found called MochiThings and they have really lovely things to make planning easy and fun along with other great items to organize your life ranging from purse organizers to iPhone cases. I picked a fun pink dateless planner which you can customize however you want. This one I have no idea what I will do with but I will freely admit I don’t care! I just like having it and I’m sure I will find a use for it soon – unless my daughter discovered it and then we may have an issue!

Sottish Fold Sticky NoteMy final purchase, again from MochiThings, was this ridiculously cute Scottish Fold cat sticky tab. You have to build the box yourself using the handy instructions which are written in Japanese (with pictures) but once done you’re left with a very sad-looking yet adorable cat!  My daughter saw this and now she is begging for one and considering her birthday is coming up, I was on the site today ordering her own Scottish Fold kitty so she can add it to her own desk.

So there you have it; my latest collection of stuff which is adding to my clutter! My husband shakes his head but he now understands my love of all things stationery so  he doesn’t mind my weird excitement when it comes to things as mundane as paper. With warmer weather now with us and a new spring in my step after a long and dark winter, these silly objects help me feel on top on life and stronger to deal with what lies ahead. I know it may sound fickle but hey, this is my method and I’m sticking to it! If you have a favourite store where you purchase planner stuff from, I’d love to hear about them. I’m always intrigued to see the variations in styles and preference.

Have a lovely day and I hope you’re also getting beautiful sunshine and warm weather :)

*All of the items I’ve written about are my own views and I’m not getting any compensation or sponsoring for writing about this. I just like sharing my stuff with you!*

Has anyone seen the Banana Bread?

What's left of my baking!
What's left of my baking!
What’s left of my baking!

I’m fairly sure I just made a loaf but I seem to have lost most of it already! As you can see from the photograph I needed an apple to help prop up what is left of something not even 24 hours old. This recipe is a firm family favorite and is so easy to make. I’ve made it for school occasions and every time I’ve had teacher come and ask me for the recipe because the kids devoured it in a matter of seconds. The house fills up with the gorgeous scent of baking and I don’t even have to tell anyone what I’m doing as they will suddenly get a whiff of baking banana bread and come running through to the kitchen to ogle the oven.

I know I mentioned this delicious treat in a previous post when I wrote about healthy foods for my kids but I thought I’d go one step further and share with you the recipe. This will give you the basic banana bread but you can jazz it up by adding fun things like chocolate chips or nuts to it, even changing vanilla essence for almond essence as I’ve sometimes done. This recipe makes one loaf of bread and good luck keeping it more than a day!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mushed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee chips, almond slivers, or raisins

Step One: Pre-heat oven to 350/190

Step Two: In a large bowl combine all ingredients except flour. Mix well then add flour.

Step Three: Pour batter into bread tin lined with parchment paper or greased with butter and dusted with flour.

Step Four: Bake bread for 50-60 mins, turning loaf halfway through. At around 45 mins start checking your loaf to see how it’s doing; everyone had a different oven and some cook faster/slower than others so you may find some need more or less time in the oven. Your loaf should be a beautiful golden brown.

Step Five: Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out onto a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Like I said, if you have small kids who love a good snack this is a champion! I’ve had fun experimenting with different versions and naturally the chocolate chip version is a favorite, hotly followed by the toffee chip version.  This is also a great addition to lunch boxes if you want something a little less processed and a lot more made-with-love-at-home. If you try it let me know how it worked out for you. I also love to hear if you jack it up in your own way!

Have fun!

Feeling at Peace after a long winter

A beautiful Day
The beginning of Spring! Although no color is visible as yet, the sunshine makes up for it!
The beginning of Spring! Although no color is visible as yet, the sunshine makes up for it as we check on our buds and bulbs.

Let me paint the picture for you: I’m sitting on my porch looking out onto my street. I live at the top of the street which is a dead end so my kids can play about and I don’t have to worry about cars being too much of a danger. The sky is blue, the sun is shining down on us making us warm and happy. Next to me, my neighbors are tending their front garden while a stereo plays songs from the past (BOOM 97.3 – it’s fantastic!). Birds are chirping in the surrounding trees, kids are playing, people are out doing things they’ve been meaning to do for a while but the cold weather stopped them. A fresh breeze drifts past lifting the warmth for a brief moment before wandering away. The grass is just beginning to wake up from its winter slumber, tulips are storming through soil along with crocuses and daffodils and tress are beginning to hint they might be thinking about popping leaves on their branches. It’s Spring. Finally, it’s here and it feels wonderful!

Having spent a very long winter indoors, this feels like absolute heaven! A Cardinal is proudly chirping his beautiful song loud and clear for all to hear while Wrens hop from branch to branch chatting noisily to each other. If there is one thing I miss greatly during the cold months of winter, it’s the sound of birds echoing through the air. Along with the unforgiving cold and snow, the silence that blankets the street here is also sad but now we have a cacophony of various songs rippling through the air as birds call out to each other and bring life to the city.  Another sign of Spring here in Toronto; For Sale signs! They are popping up all over the place around our area and it is already proving to be a hot market once again. For example, a house on our street recently sold for a cool $1 million!

Soon I will begin my own projects and I’m very excited abut them. I hope I’ve not imagined myself as being more able to do things than I’m actually capable of doing but time will tell. A few things I’m going to do are:

  • paint all my dark IKEA Billy bookcases white
  • Paint a desk that recently went into my daughters room. It belonged to her great-aunt which she was going to throw out but my daughter has inherited my love of all things stationery so she adores the desk, even if it is old and vintage looking.
  • Turn my daughters old crib into a bench – I can’t bring myself to get rid of it so I’m going to, what’s the word…up-cycle?
  • Build myself a work table! Yes, I have absolutely no woodworking skills at all but I’ve watched enough YouTube videos to have an idea of what I need to do in order to build something very simple.

It’s a small list but it will keep me busy over the course of the summer I think. Sitting out here in the warm sun I actually feel like I really will be able to get out and do these things. For a long time they have just been fun ideas that would one day get done but now it’s more of a ‘is the weather good enough this weekend?’ kinda thing.

The important emotion I feel right now is positivity. I have missed feeling positive about life and the future and when it’s cold and dull and grey I loose sight of things to look forward to because the long dark days simply drag on with no end in sight. All of a sudden the temperature warms, the snow melts and the warm sun comes out and life is good again. What a glorious relief.