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An Perfectly Imperfect Christmas

We love Christmas at our house…we usually have decorated by the beginning of November. This year has been a bit different though. Since we are living in the midst of a renovation, and a lot of our things are still in storage, Christmas decorating took a bit of a back burner. Last week we finally got everything out of storage and bought our first real tree. We have had a small artificial tree since the first year of our marriage which worked great in our little rentals…but with out new home and much higher ceilings…we decided to get a fresh tree.

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We went to the Christmas tree farm and picked out the perfect 9ft tree…it is huge…and we love it. We settled on the perfect spot in the living room and decorated the tree as a family. This included one trip to walmart for more cords to connect our lights too, after we blew out the first cord because of how many lights we had on the tree.

Stella is loving all things Christmas this year, and turning the lights on the tree on each morning is her favorite thing. It has been a good reminder to just enjoy the simple things. Stella doesn’t care that our kitchen isn’t working yet, or that the sawdust spreads through the entire house, and that there are boxes everywhere. She soaks up the magic in the things that are good, like a pretty Christmas tree, and stockings hung on the fireplace. Trying to take a few lessons from girl.

And of course she was so excited to put the star on top of the tree…even if it made me a little nervous.

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Kaylee Jackson

What a beautiful tree!! Sounds like us. We bought our family home but literally the only nice thing in the house is our huge tree. The rest is in remodel:) Tis the Season to be Jolly!!

Simplified Planner Giveaway

I am so excited to be giving away a Simplified by Emily Ley! I talked a little bit last week about how much I love this planner, and Emily has graciously donated one of these gorgeous sold out planners to be given away! If you are wanting to get organized and simplify for the new year, this is the planner for you! You can enter below!

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Hi Kristin- long-time reader, first time commenter…I really loved the post talking about the different planners…I would love to win this one esp. since I need a new one ,lol :)

Samantha Grant

I so so so want this planner!!!!!!! I was on my way to check out with it then the shipping just killed me and i had to click cancel on it I’m a mere college girl who could not afford something like that haha

Rachel McCloud

I would love this planner as a soon to be first time mommy in 2015 :)

Melinda Farmer Cook

Sure could use this.

Jenna MacDonald

I am a homeschooling momma, I would be in Heaven with this planner! ; ) You are a wonderful inspiration Kristin! Thanks for this fun give away opportunity

Mindy Kral

I would love to win this planner!!

Tina Reece Wyatt

I love love love these!!

Jamie Pliscofsky Miller

I love everything you do Kristin! winning this planner would be so fun!

Jamie Jump Brown

Winning this planner would be a great 30th birthday gift (12/27)!!!!!

MrsChristy Glass

I stumbled across your blog via Instagram. Your story is so beautiful and encouraging. As a first time mom, I’d live this planner to help get me more organized!

Elizabeth Lanier

Entering in every way possible for this one… Fingers crossed! ;)

Kristin Chinn Prewitt

Just realized that we not only have the same first name spelled exactly the same, BUT we also have the same middle name, although mine is spelled with an “h” after the “c.” :)

kelly o

Love this! Perfect for my fresh start in 2015!

kelly o

Love this! Perfect for a fresh start in 2015!

Wynnette

I have been in the hunt for a practical old fashion pen and paper calendar that work help organize my family of six for a very long time!

Lindsay Mack Winton

This looks like a great planner. Thanks for the chance to win.

Jessica Elliston

This would be awesome to help keep me organized in 2015!! Thanks for the opportunity!

Valerie Byrd-Dixon

This is awesome would be a blessing if I win it.

Ashley Napier

what an amazing giveaway!!! #KSGIVEAWAYS

The Simplified Planner vs. The Day Designer

I have been using Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner for several years, and I have seen it evolve over that time. However, this past year I decided to try out the Day Designer by Whitney English. I thought I would write a bit about the two, and what I ultimately decided to do for this year.

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I started out with the first Simplified Planner in binder form, and I loved it. I blogged about it here a few years ago. I bought my second Simplified Planner in the gorgeous turquoise, and I actually still use it today to go along with my planner. Though the binder was too big to carry with me to appointments, it works amazing as a hub for all of my home and business papers. It is perfect to keep on my desk with business forms, lists of blog post ideas, notes, plans for upcoming designs, etc.

Shortly before Emily Ley released her spiral bound Simplified Planner, I heard about The Day Designer. I really loved the clean black and white stripes, and I had several friends that used it so I thought I would give it a try. The Day Designer is specifically designed for Entrepreneurs, it has lots of extras. There are worksheets in the front, and lots of extra boxes on the daily planner pages. Each day has a “Today’s Top Three” for your top “To Do’s” as well as an hourly schedule, to do section, daily gratitude, download section, and boxes for due, dollars, dinner, and don’t forget.

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However, as I used the planner throughout the year, there were several things that I didn’t feel totally worked for me. For me, it seemed a little busy for my needs. I think for a lot of creative entrepreneurs it is probably perfect, but for me it was just a bit too much. I never used the front worksheets, because I felt that Lara Casey’s power sheets worked a little better for me. I left a lot of the little boxes on the daily pages blank, because I didn’t have a specific use for them, and though I was initially very excited about the ‘Today’s top three” section, I found that I didn’t like having my to do list separated on different parts of the page. Another silly thing was that the pages were cream, instead of white…and my white loving heart really wanted those crisp white pages.

I think the Day Designer is an amazing product for business women, and I love the sleek black and white stripes, but I was feeling ready to head back to my Simplified Planner.

I looked at pictures, debated and even chatted with some friends who had used both. Ultimately, I decided to go with the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I have been following Emily Ley for years, and I adore her heart, if you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have a passion for simplifying, and living intentionally, and I love that she shares that passion. The biggest reason I decided to use the Simplified Planner…is because it is Simplified! Other planners that I have used or looked at seem to have lots going on, and though all those “extras” might be helpful to some women…for me it was just a distraction. I LOVE the clean, simplicity of the Simplified Planner. The daily pages are crisp, clean, and white, and all they have listed is the hourly breakdown, a “To Do” section, a dinner box, and a notes section.

I think both of these planner are created by amazing women, and that they both have great features. The simplicity of the Simplified Planner is what I truly love and need, and I am excited to dive in for 2015! I would love to hear what kind of planner you use! Leave a comment below and let me know!

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images from Emily Ley and The Day Designer
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Amanda A

For several years, I had used the Moleskin monthly pocket planner. Because I work two jobs and neither of them is based at home, I needed something that I could carry easily with me. Then this past year, I started using Google Calendar for work appointments, and then once I learned how practical it was, I now use it to keep track of my personal schedule, work schedule, and even Bible reading schedule! I love that I can’t misplace it (as I’m prone to do) and I can access it on my phone, tablet, or either work computer. Maybe one day I’ll have an at-home office that has a desk with space for a pretty planner. :-)

Kate

I love that you mentioned the cream vs white pages. I purchased the gold/white striped Day Designer and ended up giving it to a friend for the same reasons you chose the SP. It was a bit too cluttered for my taste and it had cream colored paper… I love bright white paper! I have seen some Day Designers that do have the white paper and I really, really wish the Simplified Planner had a longer time range on the days. My schedule never stops at 7pm. So glad you wrote this blog post… I was wondering about this since I noticed you switched over for 2015. :)

Kristin

Yes! I kind of felt silly mentioning the color of the pages…but it really was one of the things that I wanted to change.

Kristin

We use Google Calendar for some business things, I love that it is free and that you can share it with other people. Emily Ley will be releasing a Simplified Planner app at the end of this year! Super excited about that!

I love having a planner, and I love the idea of a planner, but I don’t use them as effectively as I want to! It’s hard to justify an expense of I don’t even use a cheap planner well. Inspiring to hear how you do it!

Cara Cobble Trantham

Thank you for helping me pick one!

Kay Beckman

I use a calender! I really need a good planner.

Lisa Blackman

I love this planner!

Laurie Cannon Griggs

I love the colors and the clean lines. ..planner envy

Megan Christine

I would love to win this! Such an awesome planner

In my first year of home schooling my freshman daughter. This planner would be such a blessing!

Amber Kemp

Oh how I would love this! Stylish & will help me be an organized mama

Advent

I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent, I didn’t even really know what it was. In fact, I looked up the word just to see exactly what it meant, this is what I found:

AdventThe coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.

Yesterday I was reading  Psalm 18:30,  a verse that wasn’t really very Christmasy, but somehow it seemed like the perfect reminder at the beginning of Advent.

This God—his way is perfect;
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

 As I read I thought about the people that waited anxiously for the coming of the Messiah. I am sure sometimes they didn’t understand why He hadn’t yet come, why He hadn’t rescued them, why there were years of silence. But, this verse was a sweet reflection and a reminder for all the times when we don’t understand His ways, or His timing. His way is perfect. His promises are sure. He is our refuge.
Sometimes my heart gets weary. Sometimes I just don’t understand His plan. So this year, Advent is going to be a reminder for me that He always keeps His promises. A reminder that He is working, even when I can’t see it. A reminder that when my heart is weary, I have a refuge. Advent is about anticipation; it is about hope fulfilled, and promises kept. There is no greater promise than Jesus. He has come to this world, and He will come to us.
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Our Biggest Sale Ever!

This Black Friday through Cyber Monday we are having our biggest sale ever! 35% off all orders, and a free limited edition Amazing Grace mason jar tumbler if you spend $50 or more before shipping. The sale is so big that we may sell out of some items, don’t worry though you can buy them on backorder and you will still get them before Christmas!

Use the code THANKFUL for the sale! We will automatically add the tumbler of all orders over $50!

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