Getting Ready for College

It’s that time again! We are forced to buy some more school supplies… We’re talking books, a new printer, some clothes if necessary… those things that make you cringe to buy at first… At one point I desperately needed new work pants.

This semester I don’t have to buy a single textbook!!! HELLO open educational resources! I decided to spoil myself with a fancy planner!


Look, it was even on clearance!

In the teacher world everyone is head over heels for Erin Condren’s teacher planners. With Hobby Lobby offering  The Happy Planner I had to grab it. It is similar in style, as in it is fun and offers super customization, but slightly more affordable… maybe?! I suppose you can spend as much as you like on them. What sold it for me is that it’s right in front of me! I don’t have to buy it online, I know what I’m getting. I can see if I like it before buying Erin Condren someday…


I started out with the extra pocket folder add-ons, sticky notes, and two packs of stickers.

After going through it last night I can already tell I’m going to struggle with it. I was always that kid that had stickers, but never used them for a couple of reasons: 1. Once you used them they are gone and 2. Whatever you stick them on is also a commitment, you have to go with the look you are creating.

This will be a huge exercise for me in opening up my creativity. Most of you don’t know me, a few do, but I consider myself to be very creative, but I always have had biases, mental blocks, and other reasons for not stretching my skills. This will be a fun creative activity to start that will also help me keep on track with day-to-day tasks. Exercise my ability to let go and be creative!

There are some AMAZING examples on me & my BIG ideas website/blog!

Here are some of my first creations.





A few things I have learned after sitting down with my planner:

  1. I think I will like having homework due for the week listed in the notes to the side. I haven’t yet decided how I will handle grocery lists and budget lists. I may utilize the pockets for these or use a strip of washi to tape it to the inside cover as I could go through a ton of shopping lists in a month. We will see! The pockets are proving useful for toting around extra stickers, but I’d like them to be a little more useful than that, even.
  2. Don’t get too carried away with yourself! There are endless colors of washi and stickers… If you are stuck in a rut, slow down and take time to appreciate the current month and week.
  3. BUT do plan ahead. Eventually you won’t have time to sit down and decorate every evening. You will want to do other hobbies! So do plan ahead with the decorating!

Teenage Ashley would be in HEAVEN right now if she found out that someday she was gifted a super cool planner! I had SO much fun using pink as a theme for February. I cant wait for other holidays. I will definitely be watching Hobby Lobby scrap-booking sales before diving any deeper with this. My pages are pretty blank right now, but as school starts and my work responsibilities increase I’m sure my planning will too. I was hesitant to put any of the quote stickers in for fear of covering up a time I might need, but i think i have chosen days where there will be little activity to note. Sundays are my days off, Monday will be for observations and other school things, so I think I have enough room on those days to “pencil it in” if I need to.

The excessive scrap-booking will probably eventually have to stop. I see myself being too busy as a teacher, but you never know! You just have to love the process.

What activities do you do to engage yourself creatively? Coloring books? Scrap-booking? Painting?

I’ve got BIG ideas of my own for his year… remember my resolutions? There’s something I’ve been dying to do for so long that I am FINALLY dipping my toes in! Time to rip-off that band-aid and DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY! 😀

I will be blogging as soon as they arrive. Hurry UP FEDEX!



Auld Lang Syne!

This year we are celebrating New Year’s Eve in “our new home”. I couldn’t control my excitement and went as “all-out” on the decorations as I could! While still trying to be ingenious!


Living in a small town I realized I would have to get creative, hello Pinterest! There aren’t many places that carry a variety of NYE themed decorations. I found myself in the “over the hill” section! I knew I wanted gold, black, and burlap to be the star colors! I found myself pacing around hobby lobby for a good hour trying to think of ways to use what they had available and create from things I already had.


The real star of my decorations would have to be the gold christmas garland! At this point in the year it’s half off and really makes a statement! I am especially proud of how it looks with my chalkboard.


Here are my decorating tips to get the NYE style I created:


-Plenty of gold christmas garland and any other type of garland you can find in gold and black, I was lucky enough to find the cute glitter beads! Of course crepe paper works as well! White or black!


-Pennants in gold, black, and burlap. These are fun because you can create phrases on them.


-Mylar curtains are fun for doorways or as photo booth backdrops


-Any gold or black hanging decor. I found spiral stars are walmart and fans at hobby lobby (sorry they aren’t pictured)


-Black trash bags make a quick cheap backdrop, I used one to cover up the thing I had my chalkboard sitting on.


For the other decor I gathered things around my home. I love using white pillar candles in mason jars to keep with the farmhouse look, galvanized things. Clocks, horns, confetti, and printable with cute phrases! I was lucky enough to have white pillows with gold patterns printed on them! 


For the “buffet” I decided to put the snacks and desserts out on the counter. I put my burlap placemats underneath with gold confetti and created a table scape using the clocks, candles, and other things I had at home. I stuck some of the extra gold stickers I had onto chopsticks/dowels.


hello 2016!

For the the champagne cupcakes and flutes I found some silver wilson cake plate dealies. I don’t have a cake stand just yet! And I used a tiered jewelry holder to hold chocolate kisses! I also had a plate of champagne jello-shots. I found a neat banner to stick into the cupcakes.


The dining table has a cheap black table cloth with a burlap ribbon down the center and gold confetti scattered. I love how well white plates go with everything! The gold confetti is actually stuffing for gift bags.


I put my bar cart in the living room to have the champagne close by as we watched the countdown. I also decorated it and put some of the treats on it and the horns.


Our meal was done as easily as possible to afford me the time to do what I really wanted. I put salsa, bean dip, and guac put with scoops, everyone’s favorite. There was also a small sausage, cheese, and cracker tray, as well as flavored crackers and fruit.


Michael is the one truly pulling off dinner. He BBqed a pork tenderloin and his sister prepped the potatoes. While her girls helped me decorate and frost cupcakes. I made sure to have sparkling juice and special treats and goodies for them.


Other tips I have for you as I went through the experience would be to give yourself options for the evening in several areas. I happy that we have a small bluetooth radio in the kitchen, a ps4, our own board games as well as ones I found for reflecting on the last year.

Don’t stress out about your home being too perfect. I’m a big fan of tossing everything into the spare room and barricading the door. Deal with it later. It’s the holidays, let it go… When the time comes you want to have most of the busy work done so that you can enjoy yourself.


I hate to admit that i spent a lot more than I wanted to on this party, but thankfully I can save most of it for years to come! And it was worth it to have such a festive place to be.


Happy 2016 everyone!


Hobby Lobby:

-glitter ball garland

-mylar curtain

-cake topper

-table confetti

-gold hanging dots and black fans

-mason jars

-happy (birthday) banner

-burlap pennant

-gold letter stickers (now the banner will be reusable! might use black next time however…)

-rock candy!



-gold christmas tree garland

-silver plates (Wilton)

-black hanging stars


-burlap ribbon (wedding section)

-new serve ware for chips and dip.


Dollar Tree:

-table cloth


At home:




-ipad holder


-bar cart

-tiered tray

-paper plates and napkins, I already had some


Just a Hello!

I promise I haven’t forgotten you.

I’m pretty excited because I’ve been making some progress on my list of projects! I can’t wait til I’m ready to share them with you. I’ve got some new plant friends so I will be refashioning some pots to suit my style and an outdoor plant display to get made for them! Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy my patio a lot more this summer. I’ve been picking out some dessert loving plants so next will be some more regional bushy looking ones, perhaps a palm, and maybe some hanging and railing stuff. OH! and LAVENDER! Lots of endeavors in JUST the gardening world! I can’t even begin to list what I wish I could accomplish indoors

The weather is starting to cheer up around here and so is my wallet!

Taurus,  May 2014
Mother’s Day on May 11 could be a high-energy day. Be gracious, enjoy the good, and let others get hyper. The Full Moon on May 14 impacts your partnerships and love life. Saturn lurking nearby suggests you’ll make an effort to respect others and treat them the way you want to be treated. The New Moon on May 28 could affect your finances and possessions. Don’t be surprised if people want to give you things. Memorial Day weekend looks to be lavish, with good food, fun, and your favorite companions. Save your best recipes and most charming quips for that day.

Hope fortune is smiling on you all as well!

Looks like I had better watch my wallet the next couple weeks however! :O

surely I can sneak in a gallon of paint and some plywood though! 😀