Category Archives: Organizing

Travel Journal Hack & National Parks 100-Year Commemorative Stamps

Picked up a National Parks 100-Year Commemorative stamp sheet at the US Post Office yesterday. These would be great to use as you travel! If you’re not one to keep a travel journal, here’s a quick travel-journal hack that’s easy and inexpensive… Write on an oversized post card your experiences and mail back home to yourself! When you return home, you’ll have memories ready to put in a scrapbook!

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Midori Monday :: Midori Garden Journal

Today, I’m not thinking of going on a trip somewhere (gasp), but thinking about planting roots… roots for our garden this year, that is. Today’s tasks included creating some recyclable planting pots (my eldest made fifty pots today in fact) and my kindergartner started his science experiment of watching a seed grow in an unused CD/DVD case.

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So, with my farmer-gene in full-swing today, I thought it would be a great time to do a Midori Monday™ — that’s where I share something about the Midori Traveler’s Notebook and how easily it adapts to whatever you need to organize, track, or journal.

“…my Midori is the one I’ve seem to connect with and stick with the longest (which says a lot really.)”

I’ve been using the Midori Traveler’s Notebook for about a year-and-a-half now. I’ve tried organizers from the office store, I’ve tried digital planners, I’ve tried journals — it seems like I’ve tried a million different systems, but my Midori is the one I’ve seem to connect with and stick with the longest (which says a lot really.) There are two sizes of Midori’s: passport and regular. I went with the taller format of the regular, because I like space to write and draw. And I love the leather! Here are some pics of my Midori when it was brand spank’n new!

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“I unplugged from Facebook and the time I would have spent watching everyone live their lives, instead I began to pour into my own life through writing or getting creative and challenging myself to draw.”

I was first attracted to the Midori Traveler’s Notebook, because I was getting tired of Facebook. I wanted to UN-Facebook. I wanted to record life as it happened without the whole world knowing about it. So, that’s what I did. I unplugged from Facebook and the time I would have spent watching everyone live their lives, instead I began to pour into my own life through writing or getting creative and challenging myself to draw. There was something about putting a pen to paper that was therapeutic. It also ties in well with my love of scrapbooking, paper, and stamping. It was a total win-win on a number of levels for me. I loved it so much, I got one for each of my boys to take on our cross-country trip (more on that later.)

But the challenge was in how to make time for me to write or draw when I had a spare moment. I loved the idea that I could take this system with me and pull it out of my purse to doodle or write while I was waiting for the kids to finish (at the time they were volunteering at a horse stable for an hour each week.) So, after lots of research, I purchased myself a regular-size leather Midori Travler’s Notebook (knockoff because I liked the color stain better than the original options) of off Etsy and made it into my wallet/journal/sketchbook/organizer. And it’s been awesome. Like a fine wine, it just gets more beautiful with age as it does life with me.

“The system adjusts to me…”

One of the many things I love about the system is how I can easily pop journals out when they are full and replace with a new one or add an additional journal based upon what is happening in life. The system adjusts to me, not me trying to fit someone else’s organization system. For example, my garden journal! I have created my own custom garden journal that I use to track my seedlings and plantings. This is great, because when I’m at the garden center, I can quickly see what I already have in progress and what I need to get to supplement my garden. It also makes a great reference point for the following years as I evaluate what worked and what didn’t work and have a record of my garden planting layout.

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I’ll be sharing more inserts that I’ve developed and use in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to learn more!  Since you’re a friend of this blog, you can get this garden journal at a discounted price using the code: BLOG15OFF

Click here to view DIY Garden Journal that fits the Midori Traveler’s Notebook ($2.99).

Click here to view the Printed Garden Journal that fits the Midori Traveler’s Notebook ($8.99).

Not a gardener? No problemo! Stay tuned for more ideas on how the Midori Traveler’s Notebook might work for you (especially as a travel journal).

So you don’t think you have enough money to travel…

Quote by Graham Cooke
Our boys exploring the gentle giants — Redwood trees in Northern California — something that has long been a dream of ours to experience.

When you have a dream and chase it, you say no to the things that you might want now in order to experience what you want later.

When everyone is at a movie opening night, you wait to watch that movie until Apple has a digital rental for $4.99.

When others are eating out, you’re eating at home and fixing dinner even though you’re tired and don’t feel like it.

When others get a fancy latte concoction at the local coffee bar, you’re brewing a pot at home.

When others go out for ice cream at the ice cream shop, you go to the grocery store and buy what’s on sale and have a sundae party at home.

When others are upgrading their phone to the latest technology release, you say to yourself, “My phone is just fine – thankful it works” and avoid the Best Buy or the Apple Store.

When others are getting a new car (or new used car), you take care of the one you have and remain thankful she still carries you where you need to go and throw some duct tape on that seat that’s starting to tear from use.

When others go to the nail salon to get a mani-pedi, you pull out your nail clippers and nail polish and give yourself your own mani-pedi.

You clip coupons and look for deals when you have the time to do so.

You don’t run into town whenever you need something, but instead make purposeful trips and stock-up.

You cancel that outrageous Cable/Satilite contract, buy an Apple TV and Netflix membership and your annual cost goes from $1,800 (estimating an average bill of about $150 a month) down to roughly $200 only annually.

Delayed gratification. It’s tough. It’s no fun. It’s doesn’t earn you popularity points on Facebook. But that’s OK, ’cause you’re on a mission to make a dream into a reality.

But when you say “no” to the things that bring pleasure now so you can say “yes” to experiencing something you’ve always wanted, well — there are no words to describe how that moment feels when you reach that goal. Simply amazing.

Want to travel, but you don’t think you can afford it? It’s like Mr Cooke says, “… you must be prepared to do things you’ve never done before.”

Now go chase that dream!

Dream Big! You can do it!

Drop Spot Station Organized!

With seven people, it’s easy for clutter to take over and when you’re living in a small space, anything you can do to combat clutter is a good thing! So, right as you walk into our RV, there’s a small space to the right underneath our mirror where we’ve had a few small baskets and some remotes and small things. The problem has been that sometimes when we travel, even though there is a small lip on the edge of this shelf area, we still find things on the floor.

Meet the new and improved drop spot for our personal items. I found these handy acrylic trays and repurposed them for this spot because it fits perfect! I know we have seven people in our family, but baby girl and I will share one individual tray for now. 😉 Hubby has a spot for wallet, phone and keys to go. And my sons can put their phones in the trays as well as personal items like wallets, shells, or sunglasses.

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Step one: I cleared off all the items sitting loosely on the shelf area and wiped down the shelf really well, allowing it to dry while I worked on the trays.

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Step two: Taking some left over adhesive putty, I placed a small bit on each corner and the center of the underside of the tray.  Adhesive putty is great because you can remove it without causing damage to the surface. It also keeps things in their place which works great in a RV situation — the movement while traveling won’t shift items that are adhered with the putty. And, because the trays I have chosen are designed as a joined set of three trays, I only have to secure two trays.

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Step three: Checking to make sure the shelf was completely dry, I then pressed the trays with the putty attached to them onto the shelf allowing the adhesive putty to adhere.

Step four: Repeated steps 2 and 3 on the second tray.

Non Stick Padding

Step five: Taking some left over non-slip lining I had on hand from another project, I measured the interior base of the tray and cut six to nest perfectly into each tray. Voila!

Overall cost was about $21, but it will be worth every penny with the stress it saves. I only need to affix my labels so everyone know’s who’s bin is who’s and possibly add a power cord or two  that can be used to recharge devices while they sit in their designated tray.

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Close up of Trays

Want to make this for your RV? Here is what you will need:

Now is the time…

With the New Year just around the corner and coming off of Christmas, I’m using this lull in the schedule to regroup and plan.

Dream a little. Plan a little. Start moving forward in that direction. As my Dad used to say, “Inch-by-inch, anything is a cynch. Yard by yard, it can be too hard.”

Rent the movie “What about Bob” and it might kick-start you into taking some baby steps of your own to reach your 2015 travel goals!

now is your time to shine

 

RV Turned Guest House: 12 ways to make your house guest feel welcome during their visit

It’s the holiday season and the RV is currently parked. We are busy making treats for Christmas holiday parties and wrapping gifts for a book exchange.  I gaze out my window and there our travel trailer sits, waiting for our next adventure.  I hope it’s soon, I’m getting antsy to go somewhere!

One of the great things about having an RV is that it can also double as a guest house when guests come into town, it provides them with their own private space, away from the noise of the family and common areas where they can relax and recharge.  Here are some things you can do to make your RV welcoming to those visiting your home.

1.  Create an inviting entrance. Put down a welcome mat. Place a potted plant or bushes near the front entrance to the RV.  And if you have a someone who is finds stairs a challenge, make a gradual stair step for them so that getting in and out of the RV is safe.  We also have put down bark to create a path to the walkway which is great in the event that it rains – it keeps the footpath from getting all muddy.

2.  Stock the fridge with snacks and water.  I like to get a mix of fresh fruit, trail mix, chocolate and if I can have it relate to the region where we live even better as it gives it a personal touch.  I also keep some microwave popcorn and ice cream in the freezer for my guests typically.  I will also get 1 gallon of water to put in the fridge to use for coffee and tea and the rest are travel size so my guests can grab and go when they need a drink.

3.  Have a coffee and tea station.  A warm drink is one of those comfort things when you’re away from home, so keeping a small coffee maker in the RV is a must.

4.  A good cleaning… before our guests arrive, we make sure fresh linens are put on the bed and pillows, counters and handles disinfected, floors vacuumed, and all the mirrors and windows sprayed with glass cleaner.  We also make sure all the drawers are empty as well as the closets leaving hangers in case our guests wish to unpack and hang any of their garments.  We also keep some extra blankets in case they are needed as everyone has different comfort levels.

5. I also go thru the medicine cabinet and give it a good walk thru keeping in mind that leaving new toothbrushes in packaging and new toothpastes, mouthwash, floss, hair spray — basically anything that may have been forgotten or left behind because of having to go thru security as a travel carry on.

6. We have a pretty small shower in our RV, so we discourage guests from showering in it because a) it’s small and inevitably we’ve had water damage to our sink area when a guest didn’t close the screen and b) it fills up the grey water tank quickly!  So, instead, I leave a couple of hampers in the tub area where they can toss dirty clothes. They are lightweight and easy to pack to the house in the event that they want us to do a load of laundry during their stay.

7.  We fill the propane tanks and hook up the water so that the facilities can be used.  We make sure that the black water tank is empty and that the stabilizers are put down so that the trailer does not wobble when someone is walking around in it.

8.  It’s also nice to provide some reading material in the event that your guest might enjoy perusing thru a magazine or reading up on the local news if you get the newspaper.

9.  Do a sound check on your radio so it’s tuned and ready to go. It’s nice to have some music softly playing in the background when they arrive.

10.  We also have an Apple TV for our travel trailer which is great because there are a lot of options for guests to choose from when they feel like watching a movie after everyone has gone to bed.

11.  Leave a small note by a charging area with the wifi password in the event they want to connect.

12.  And as a final touch, I also try to put a live plant or bouquet of flowers inside.

Do you use your RV/ Travel Trailer as a guest house when not in use? If so, feel free to share some ideas as well.

To Scrubba or not Scrubba… that is the question

So, the Scrubba caught my attention today… it’s a little sack that you can seal and swish (agitate) small items that need to get cleaned when you don’t have a washing machine nearby.  I’m thinking I need this on my Christmas Wish List for the RV.

First off, I love that it is light weight and collapses. This is a major plus for storage and for traveling when every ounce adds pennies to your fuel bill. If we want to see a lot of sights, then we’ve got to keep things light!

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Second, I love that it isn’t very big and clumsy.  I can forsee using this for when the boys soil a shirt, when the littles soil their unders, or wet the bedsheet, or if we need to clean some socks until we get to the next laundry facility.  My mind is reeling with the ways it can save me the hassle and stress from dirty situations. This could definitely be my ally.

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One key factor using this set up is you need a spot to rinse and dry items, so keep that in mind if you’re looking at this to buy as well.  But definitely going to circle back to making sure this is on our next trip. I’ll give you a review once I use and let you know if it was worth the $50 or not. 😉

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Kids get dirty. This would be a great backup plan for when we don’t have a laundry machine nearby. Maybe I’ll buy five and each kid can do a load. Hmmmm…. Now there’s a thought… 😉