planning

Last month I shared how to get out of a creative funk. This month I wanted to share how I plan my days because it was requested that I share what I do. What I do obviously won’t work for everyone, but it’s something that works really well for me. I’m the type of person that if it’s not written down, it doesn’t get done. I can go to the store for a dozen eggs but if it’s not on my shopping list, I’ll get everything (that I don’t need) and forget the eggs. I’m a mess that way. So much so that when my mom asks me to do something she tells me (every time), “write yourself a note.” At least I know I’m this way, right? So here’s how I plan my days, because with three businesses (this, this and this), two kids, a hubby and house to take care of I’m feeling spread pretty thin these days. I know you all can relate. Life’s hard. Life’s busy. Life’s expensive. This method helps me to be a little less crazy. A little.

monthly planning

Before the nuttiness of summertime, I was doing great making Monthly, Weekly and Daily goals with the help of Lara Casey’s Power Sheets. I plan to go back to using them as soon as I make the time to set some goals again. (you can see previous goals here when I was diligent about them). Basically you set a few monthly goals – I did mine by categories: business, spiritual, physical, relational, finances. When you go through the power sheets she walks you through what your big goals are and then how to split them into smaller goals in order to help you better accomplish them. It’s a really great system…you don’t have to use power sheets to complete your goals but this sure helped me break them down. After monthly goals you set weekly ones (something you do once a week) and then also daily goals (shown below). As you can see already from my checkboxes in the picture, there were days when my goals didn’t get done. And I’m okay with that. Progress, not perfection as Lara says!

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Once I knew my goals, I could start putting them into my planner. In 2013 I used an Erin Condren Planner and this year I’m using Emily Ley’s. I haven’t decided what I’ll use in 2015 – I like to try new ones so I might try the Day Designer. Or I might make my own planning sheets. Jury’s still out on that one. I’ve gone back and forth with a paper planner vs. just my phone. I do keep my schedule in my phone, but I still transfer it to my planner weekly. There’s just something about me and paper.

blog calendar

On the monthly view of the calendar in my planner I plan my blog posts. Yes, I color code the calendar so that I can see which posts are for Amy Cornwell, LLC and which are for Natural Living Real Life. Plus I love colorful pens. And really any office supplies. I digress. So the month is all planned out with my posts, then I check off when they’re complete. That way I know what to start thinking about when I have time on my calendar for blogging. I also put extras on that calendar like photo shoots and freebie fridays. Just to keep my eyes on what’s going out to the world on the blog and enews.

daily planner

Once I have my blog planned for the month, I can start planning my days. Normally I like to plan my days on Sunday – I put all of my appointments in then plan out production days for the jewelry business. It takes priority over anything else, I want people to get their orders in a timely manner. After I plan production days, I plan what days I need to focus on getting my blog posts done and other tasks. I simply fill in the week. If something doesn’t get done on a certain day, it gets bumped to the next (see above where orders have a little arrow…apparently I didn’t get them all done with everything else so they were finished the next day). As I look at my tasks for the day, I refer back to the monthly calendar to make sure no blog posts get forgotten.

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For me, there’s something so gratifying about checking things off the list. Some days I only have one thing to do, other days I have 10 little things to do. But they all go “on the list” so that I can make sure nothing is missed and I can also look back and make sure that I actually did something I was supposed to do. Now it’s your turn – how to do plan your days? Do you plan them at all ahead of time or just take one day at a time? Weigh in below and we’ll learn from each other!

BOTM-blog3 I’m so excited to share with you this new collection that has been such a fun collaboration with Susan from Belle of the Midwest. She approached me a while back after launching her new blog and asked that we collaborate. What I thought was going to be one item has turned into a whole collection and I couldn’t be more excited to share that with you today on my birthday!

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I hope you guys love the way that the collection can be dressed up or down, layered or worn alone. The beauty of the collection is that every piece matches the other so you can pair them up however you want and every single one is $30 or less.

Tell me if this ever happens to you.  Let’s say I’m kind of having a not-so-great day.  Maybe it’s that day a few months ago when I had a two year old, a one year old, and an infant, the washer caught on fire (not even kidding), the hose to it popped off and flooded the hallway, and I had to turn the water in the whole house off until it got fixed.  And it was winter.  I’m sure there were other “crises” that day – I’m sure someone blew out a diaper, more than likely I got spit up on, I cooked three meals, and no doubt cleaned up the same toys 16 times.  Even if you’re not a mom, you’ve had this day.

You’ve gotten to work and you had a project due.  Your network went down, leaving you high and dry.  The other guy who was supposed to help you on the project called in sick, you forgot your lunch, and when the network finally comes back up at 3:30, you get busy, until the power goes out.

I mean, right? I’m sure there’s some Murphy’s Law about all this, or some expression about raining and pouring.  There’s a mountain of work to be done, people to be pleased or helped, and these roadblocks leave us wondering if it’s really worth it.  If it really all matters.  Because no one’s calling me a hero for solving the washer problem.

I’ve asked myself a million times what the value is in one more load of laundry, one more encouraging text to someone who doesn’t reply, cooking one more meal, and realized it came down to who I thought I was giving up for.  Who was I giving up my free time, my rest, my night’s sleep, my family time, my vacation,…who did I give them up for?  My kids?  My coworkers?  My parents?  Friends?

It came down to something Jesus said – If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. (Matt. 16:25)

And here all along, the reason I was getting discouraged was I was looking to the wrong people for affirmation, to notice.  I was doing those things for his sake, or her sake, or their sake, but not His sake.

Next time you’re having that day, remember this one – it always packs a punch: “Work willingly at whatever you do, though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Col. 3: 23)

I’m Amber Pierre, mother of 3 (ages 3, 2 and 1) and expecting baby #4.  I love to sew, but I’m not that great at it, and I love to cook, and no one has had food poisoning yet, which is totally how I determine that I’m a fantastic cook.  I am home with my kids, and work part-time as a translator from home.  Sometimes the lines of my “work” get blurry, and I wonder if one more load of laundry is going to make any kind of eternal impact.  After doing some Bible reading, I’ve realized that it’s my attitude about doing the laundry (or whatever) that matters…

 

enewsThis stunning new bracelet is handmade from sterling silver wire right here in the studio. The wire is formed into a circle, soldered, shaped into an oval and hammered – link by link. It’s finished up by some time in the polisher giving it a sweet shine. The perfect everyday bracelet that you won’t want to take off! It’s lightweight yet heavy gauge and sure to get comments every where you go (because I get comments every time I wear the prototype!).

{P.S. The remaining Ready To Ship items are 30% off with code rts30 – only a handful left!}

{P.S.S. We now have TEN different essential oil diffusers in the shop – they’ve been a hit! Not one is more popular than the other really, all of the styles have been doing really well. Which would you choose?)

I’m so excited to tell you about a super cute jewelry shop run by Mina called Papelline. The thing that I love about her jewelry is the simplicity of it. The items are dainty and light, and I can imagine so comfortable to wear that you forget you even have them on until someone tells you how fabulous your jewelry is.

Mina says,

Hello! I’m Mina, and I love anything and everything simple and pretty. I’m a nurse by day, crafter by night, a mom and wife 24/7, a dreamer always <3 Everything in this shop is carefully handcrafted by me, from choosing the materials, production, packaging, and shipping. Each piece is designed with beauty, versatility and simplicity in mind, perfect for everyday wear!

The name “Papelline” (pah-pel-leen”) came from my love of crafts in my younger years, particulary paper crafts (stationery, gift wrapping, ribbons, stickers, etc). “Papel” is Fililpino word for “paper”, and I’ve always dreamt of owning a pretty paper supplies store (or something similar) for as long as I can remember. But my love for jewelry-making is stronger and much harder to deny. So in April of 2014, with encouragement from my husband, son, family, and dear friends, I opened my little shop, and named it “Papelline” ♥.

il_570xN.607118930_s943Ella // $21

il_570xN.607165434_owy9Naveen // $18

il_570xN.600915878_nwksAdeline // $30

Aren’t they beautiful? I need that blue Adeline necklace for sure. It’s 20mm stunner and needs to be mine.

Mina is generously giving away a $50 gift certificate to her Etsy shop! Can I enter? Okay, I guess I can’t so I’m going to let one of you have it. Enter to win one below via the Rafflecopter App. While you’re waiting to see if you won, use code AMYC15 for a 15% discount off the purchase price of anything in the Papelline shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway