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Calendars / Free Printables

Better Late Than Never

01.20.20

Happy New year!

2019 was a great year but after halloween it felt like it went into hyper speed and now here we are, it is the middle of January and we are all dazed and confused. October, November and December consisted of, what seems like, four days…Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. Maybe five because we also had my husband’s 40th birthday in there.

I think the hardest part were the last four weeks. Three of them, my kids were on break. We had no schedule, random play dates, parties to attend and late nights. On top of all that chaos we traveled a bit and none of us were eating or sleeping well. Then last week it was back to school, buying groceries, finding out I missed some school event. The holiday hangover, as I call it, is no joke. I feel like I blacked out and woke up in a strange, uncomfortable place, completely unaware of how I got here. I know I am not alone. I cannot be alone.

So here I am, trying desperately to get everyone back into a routine and get all of us feeling symbiotic again. Part of that routine is keeping my husband updated with our activities so he can work it all into his crazy schedule and so he can see what we have going on. Normally I have a calendar sitting in the kitchen with high level information on it like birthdays, events, and dogs we are watching (we own an in home dog sitting business which also requires a lot of scheduling and planning – muttsandmates.com). But 2020 came and went and I hadn’t bought a calendar but who needs to buy a calendar when you have a design file just waiting to be dusted off? So that’s what I did.

I sat down last night and dedicated a few hours to updating and revamping the calendar I made last year and I want you all to have it. It’s about time we all organized and you can do so on 8.5×11 or 11×17 sized paper, but you better get to it and I want to hear about it!

Enjoy! Happy MLK day!

P.S. I tried to come up with a catchy phrase for MLK but the letter K is impossible.


Birthday Invites

Calling All Super Heroes!

06.23.19

Super hero parties were all the rage this past year. I felt like a lot of kids’ birthday parties were super hero themed, even my son’s mother-son dance was super hero themed. When I was seeing all of this, it gave me a lot of inspiration to do my own invitation as well and create a couple versions of it.

I think I am drawn to comic books for a lot of reasons, and reading them isn’t one (lol). Maybe it is the bright colors, the bold graphic elements, the patterns, the simple text or the use of exciting elements. It all sort of draws me and and captivates me. I took this chance, as I was designing, to go bold in every possible way and to make an impact on the person receiving this invite. I love halftone and stripes so I knew I had to incorporate those in somehow. I am also a huge fan of city scapes so that makes an appearance too.

I listed these on Etsy and they have been a big seller. I hope you enjoy and let me know how I can help your super hero party make a bold statement!

Direction Designs News

Mom Brain, Business and Organization

04.18.19

It is hard be a mom and a wife and own a business. Heck, it’s hard to be a mom and wife, period. Every day I feel torn in a million different directions and I try my best to manage it all without looking like a crazy person (I try to keep crazy lady at home, but then again I don’t know…people have seen me in the trenches, I am sure of it). My mom asked me today if I was getting dementia and I told her “it’s mom brain!”. It IS a thing and to deal with THAT while keeping my business organized I have developed some great tips and tricks.

First, use your calendar! As soon as an event comes up and it has a date and a time assigned to it, it should go on a calendar somewhere (I prefer my calendar on my phone). I don’t care what it is. A class, a trip to the dentist, a field trip, a birthday dinner or a time to go renew my business license. No matter how big or how small the event, it has a place in my calendar (and a side tip, if you are using a phone calendar, check it frequently for stuff that SHOULD BE THERE because my three year old is really good at deleting things). I have to say this too, if I just want to remember to do something (like take clothing to Good Will) I will schedule it and set a reminder so I see it and make the time to go. In addition, not only does each task/event have a place in my calendar but it is color coded too! This is key to staying organized.

Example: Everything is color coded. Next week, on April 22 it’s earth day/holiday (purple), a have a dog sitting client here (green), my husband is on travel (brown), and I have a miscellaneous family note (yellow).

Second, make lists! Make lists with sub lists that have lists. I used to make lists on notepads and post-it notes and on the backs of envelopes and it wasn’t cutting it anymore. It made life more complicated. So, I started to make a running to do list on my phone in Evernote. Once something is complete I check it off and let it sit there for a day or so (to give myself a pat on the back, as silly as that seems). Even if something needs to be done in 6 months, have it on there as a reminder. I have an item on my list to “call Eastlake Plumbing – pressure valve”. This item will stay there until I do it, but it’s a reminder that it DOES need to be done eventually. Not today, but sometime.

A to do list should be a living document. To be current in life, your tasks need to be current. My list changes daily with new things that come to mind, old things that are no longer necessary or stuff that is done. It should never be stagnant nor so overwhelming that nothing gets done. That brings me to my next point below.

Break large tasks into even smaller sub tasks and complete one task before moving onto the next. You can see this above in the picture. If a task seems too large to complete all at once, break it up into parts that make sense, and order them in a way that makes sense. Then, get to work while keeping in mind it is best to complete a task before going to the next. You are done DONE when all the littler thing are done! I feel like all of this is very elementary but sometimes it helps to see how other people accomplish day to day tasks.

Did you make a list?

My Dad

Third, Cut yourself some slack. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t do everything. There are some people who have limitless energy and time (you know who you are) and to them I say “stop making us look bad!”. We have to be kind to ourselves. This is something I am terrible at! I am super hard on myself when the sun sets on the pile of laundry on my dining room table, or when the emails from the tax guy are unanswered, or when the bags of clothes have yet to make their way to the dry cleaner. Things will get done and the world won’t end if it takes an extra day or two. Tomorrow is a new day, that list is still waiting for you.

Birthday Invites

Birthday Party DIY

04.17.19

You name it, every kind of party has become a DIY affair. From weddings, to birthdays and everything in between, everyone wants to feel like they had a hand in making the special day, even more special! Let’s face it though, sometimes we are in a rush or don’t want to send out a formal invite for every party (no matter what size).

I was thinking about this last week while I was wandering the card isle at Target and I saw a whole section of “fill in the blank” invites. I don’t think I have ever designed something like this so I went home and started on these that evening.

I love these because sometimes we just want the party to be super relaxed and don’t have a lot of time to plan it. I hope you like them as much as me. Please drop a comment below and download the free PDFs! Enjoy!

Baby Shower Invites

Organic Baby!

03.29.19

I am writing today, but the words are not flowing to me as easily as they have in the past. They are not as organic as I would like. I use that word, and most people think organic produce or organic food. In design however, organic is a balance between manmade and natural elements. Lately, I feel like a lot of my designs embody this organic feeling, and thats what people want!

The invitations, books for baby and diaper raffle cards I recently did for a baby shower were the perfect combination of manmade and nature. The organic elements of flowers and greenery flowed so well together with the structural elements of the text. They turned out so darling. When a project flows so well and feels just right, not only is it organic but it feels so cohesive.

My client didn’t want the back printed, but I could’t help myself for my “example invites”, it was just so cute with the green polka dot background.

Check out the rest of the pictures below and tell me what you think! I adore them and hope you do too!