Monday, January 14, 2013

A Few Changes and A Saints Calendar Giveaway!


I have mentioned before that I use a few different planners each year... One for school work and plans, one for our out of the home appointments and schedule (which stays in my purse most of the time), and this Saints Calendar that resides on my desk next to the computer which I use for looking up saints feasts days and planning our upcoming feast day celebrations.   Every Christmas my dear father and mother-in-law send both Sean and I a new copy of this planner. 


This past year I ordered an extra with the intention of offering it to one of my dear visitors here at Shower of Roses as a Christmas/New Year's giveaway and never did have the opportunity to write the post. (Which is usually the case with about half of the posts I have swimming around in my head at any given time...)  Even though the year is already well underway, and even though this planner really begins back in September, I'm still going to offer it as a giveaway. That is, if anyone is interested.    


Not only does it include the calendar for Sep 2012 - Dec 2013, it also has 70 beautiful illustrations of Saints and their biographies.  The Saints or Feast for Every Day of the Year according to the New, Traditional and Historical Calendars, Alphabetical Lists of Saints' Days and Feast Days, Patron Saints, The Doctors of the Church, and The 14 Holy Helpers, and more.   It is one of my favorite resources and has been for years! 


If you'd like to be entered in the drawing for this Saints Calendar just leave me a comment on this post letting me know.  In fact, since I am working on trying to organize and stay motivated this month, I'll give you an extra entry for sharing your favorite resource, organizational tip, or motivational quote.  I need all the encouragement I can get at the moment!   :)  


Also, did you notice the changes here at Shower of Roses?  I spent some time this past weekend, inspired by Charlotte, updating the blog layout.  I created a new header, added some personalized social media icons, and changed the layout to have a wider, two column, sidebar on the right, eliminating the left sidebar to help reduce the "clutter."  What do you think? 

I'll leave the comments open for the giveaway until Wednesday morning, which happens to be my birthday.   I always enjoy birthday giveaways, even if I don't enjoy getting older!  ;)

UPDATE:  Comments are now closed!  Wow!! Thank you all so very much for the wealth of inspiration you have shared!  I guess there was a little bit of interest in a copy of this planner...  I'll be back soon to announce the winner!  

206 comments:

  1. Planners are great. I would love to have one so I can keep track of dates on the paper calendar (rather than in my head or on the phone)

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  2. My motivational quote(reminds me to look beyond the 'outside' of a person):
    Perfect love means putting up with other people's shortcomings, feeling no surprise at their weaknesses, finding encouragement even in the slightest evidence of good qualities in them.
    St Therese of Lisieux

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  3. Pretty! I'm a sucker for planners...I just love them.

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  4. this would be a great addition to my get organized this year plan.

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  5. Please enter me!!!! I've tried a number of times to come back to your link and purchase and EVERY time it's "currently unavailable" at Amazon!!!!!
    How exciting!
    |

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    1. Forgot to enter my organizational tips for another entry...
      1) Cubicles for toys. The fairies have a spot, the ponies have a spot, the musical instruments have a spot. I added a small picture--even the company logo that my wee ones can recognize so everything goes back in the same spot and I know what still needs to be picked up.
      2) I organized the legos by color and keep the bins shallow so it's not so hard to find pieces. The trouble is I haven't figured out how to store the sets nicely. Our under bed storage is maxed out with bins of bedroom toys like the castle items, stuffed animals. But I do like Charlotte's trays.
      3.) My girls use a shoe organizer for barbies---the kind that hangs on the door--not attractive but holds a lot of barbies!
      4.)Finally I converted an old dollhouse that the floors kept falling out of to a bookshelf and the little girls love it--it's no taller than they are and I love it because I'm sentimental and didn't have to part with a doll house my older children loved so much!

      Thanks for everything, you're the best.

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  6. I have found some great ideas over at iheartorganizing.blogspot.com and her pinterest page

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  7. I would love to win this planner! I've been wanting to buy it since I first saw it on your site! :)

    The blog changes you made are very helpful. I liked the look before, but I think now it is a bit more 'clean', simple, and organized.

    Hope you have a lovely birthday. God Bless.

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  8. My favorite tip: cooking for the freezer. I usually spent a chunk of time one weekend each month cooking for the freezer. I make large batches of muffins and pancakes, soups, chili, browned ground meat, spaghetti, and seasoned shredded chicken (for salads, quesadillas, etc.) I'm always so grateful when I make one huge mess at once and then have meals for the month. It doesn't mean I don't cook at all; rather, it makes so easy to have things to grab on busy days.

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  9. I would love to win this. And as for advice? Pray. I mean pray about each thing that is bothering you. I walk around with a notebook and make a note of the problem areas that keep getting in my way of serving well and take my notebook to adoration. It is like looking at the chaos right in front of the ONE with all of the answers. It helps. It is amazing what you can figure out when you can be quiet and direct these troublesome things with a little QUIET contemplation. Adoration is really the only time I can be quiet. It is so noisy here (or distracting) that I can't really think straight. Sometimes, quiet just freaks me out because I KNOW (without interruptions) that God is REALLY listening to me ;) LOL

    Oh, and did I mention how much staying deeply nutritioned really helps?! After all, we are warriors and have to stay in some semblance of good condition! LOL

    Happy Birthday!!!! Abundant blessings, dear lady!

    Donna Marie from NJ

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  10. I would love to win this!! Focus on trouble areas 10 minutes a day. It makes a difference and will keep the clutter down. Plus anyone can do 10 minutes! I, also, find that putting on shoes in the morning help get you going!

    Tami Carver from KC

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  11. "Pray, hope and don't worry." San Pio hope I win:)

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  12. Happy Birthday! Wednesday is my birthday too!

    This planner looks so cool, I would love to try it out!

    As for tips - I think sleep is my biggest help when it comes to staying motivated and energized. It is so difficult some weeks (especially with DH gone, I know!), but the weeks I make my sleep a priority, the whole house runs so much more smoothly.

    God Bless! Melissa

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  13. Thanks for the chance and happy early birthday! :)

    I'm currently reading "The Valiant Woman" by Monseigneur Landriot (great book!) and here's a few quotes I highlighted: "The valiant woman considers the 'good things' for her children, and is always the first to rise." (This helped me not hit the snooze button this morning!) I also liked: "Like the star of the day, she gives the signal for her household to recommence their labors; her presence infuses warmth into the most indifferent, and animates the most apathetic; none can wholly withstand her influence-" (Motivation for me to become a better, more patient mother for sure!)

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  14. You know, I don't really need more than 1 calendar, and I already have one. So, you don't have to put my name in the drawing. But I might be interested in getting one next year. Where did you order it from? Thanks! Cathy

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    1. I ordered this one from Amazon, and they are published by Tan and can usually be found on their website as well. However, it appears that they have sold out for this year. I'd start watching for it in August since the next 16 month planner will begin in September.

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  15. I love the TAN calendar but was too late picking it up at my parish book store, they were sold out.

    As far as organization goes....I'm a bit lost myself at the present moment. It seems organization is not attainable with complete lack of energy. Rose is a tremendous help but the task is far too great at this time.

    I'm re-reading a book - Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers. It's helping get back to the right stat of mind and heart. I provided links to it's online version and MP3 recordings - http://www.joyfilledfamily.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-gem-for-mothers.html

    Your blog looks great. I personally like the layout you selected and have been happy with it on my site as well (with slightly larger widths/margins).




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  16. Such a beautiful and helpful planner. I use a new motto that I learned from a visiting nun, "ETM". Which means embrace the moment. Cheers!

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  17. I would looooove to win this. The blog looks fab. I was reading your Christmas posts and wondering why I had never noticed the social media links. Now it all makes sense. :)

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  18. I would love to win this planner!

    Best "simplify your life" tip (from the book with the same name):
    If you have not "used" it in over a year or more, you don't need to keep it.

    My only problem with the above tip is execution...I fuzzy heart some of my sweaters that I have not worn in ages. ;)

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  19. Please enter me to win!
    teriannm AT gmail DOT com

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  20. I love this planner! I love the fact that it includes both the Traditional Liturgical calendar as well as the new one. Great resource! I usually buy one for myself but forgot to get one for 2013. God bless! Anna Thorpe

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  21. now, as for a tip, I don't know, you seem to be more on top of things than I am...I guess when you have a lot of things that want your attention, figure out which is the most important and focus on it...

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  22. Have not seen this planner. It looks lovely and I've become a planner hoarder so I'd love to win a copy. :)

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  23. I would love to win this.... please enter me!

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  24. Hi Jessica,
    I've never seen this planner before! It would be a great reminder of the feast days. I am going to put this on my list for next year as I think they are all sold out :(

    I'm currently going through a whole house reorganization project for a million different reasons. The best advice, aside from prayer, is to have a notebook with you to jot every thought about the project down in. I call it my mental transfer book. I find if I try to keep all the info in my head it will either be forgotten, or it will worry me to no end.

    Happy early birthday! May it be a blessed year of you! Thank you so much for all you do. You are truly an inspiration to me.
    Sue

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  25. It's lovely! I would love a planner like that and so would my husband, I think if I won I would need to give it to him. Your blog looks great! The colors really remind me of roses.

    I think this is one of my favorite motivational quotes, especially for family life: "To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others." -Blessed John Paul II

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  26. I meant to say Happy Birthday too!

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  27. I would love to win this calendar, as I am fairly new to celebrating the liturgical year, and while I try to organize my thoughts and ideas, I find myself spending too much time on the internet looking for things. Your blog is a great resource, thank you so much.
    As for tips, I'm like many of your other readers wondering how you do it all, seemingly so well, because I struggle daily. I do know that spending a little extra time in front of the Blessed Sacrament always helps. Also, I do best with a list and a timer, working in 15 min. increments, its nice to check things off and to see some progress. Have a blessed birthday.

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  28. Yes, please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!

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  29. Thanks for the chance to win a copy! My favorite motiviational quote is, "Do the best you can with the time you have for the glory of God."

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  30. I hit return to soon. Don Aslet has also been a great resource for me. I also have gained a lot from Like Mother Like Daughter's posts on the subject.

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  31. Please enter me - that planner looks lovely! And happy early birthday!

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  32. Happy Birthday for Wednesday!!
    You inspire me everytime I visit to make the most of every feast day! I grew up in a house where our namesake feasts were celebrated and the churches liturgical seasons were welcomed and celebrated too. But the rich traditions you bring to your house are truly beautiful! Thank you! This planner would be a fantastic "touchable" rather than "electronic" resource!!! I like to plan with a pen in my hand :)
    Hmmm... my tip.... well since it is something I am having to do currently... I would say honesty, humility & praise! To admit that you are failing, to have the humility to take it to the cross & sacraments... and then to praise our Heavenly Father regardless of how we feel! Truly changes the outcome of my day when I heed this :)
    Blessings!!!
    Ruth

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  33. As far as tips, I have to agree with Maggie that you seem to be far more on the ball than I! However, here's a lightweight tip....
    Our kids were using far too many towels each week and causing extra laundry. We bought two towels per child (walmart brand), assigning each a different color. Use of another's towel is forbidden. This way there is less laundry and fewer balled-up-wet-towel-on-the-floor incidents.

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  34. I would love to have one of those planners! Please add me!

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  35. I'd love to win! What a wonderful planner to keep track of all of those feast days.

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  36. What a beautiful planner!
    My tip: Schedule days for specific tasks, then don't even THINK or worry about that job until it's assigned day arrives. Laundry on Mondays and Thursdays, for example. Floors on Tuesdays, etc.

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  37. Oh I would love that planner!! Thank you for this opportunity to win! :)

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  38. As an organizing tip... what I like to do is to take a walk at Ikea and "steal" their ideas..

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  39. I love this! With 3 little ones, a mass of dr. visits every month and a husband going through RCIA, this would help keep me organized.. thank you for allowing me to enter..

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  40. Happy early borthday. Mine is actually tomorrow! I would love to enter your drawing for a saint calendar. As I also have a large family (8 kids), my tip is borrowed from Large Family Logistics, 4 before 4. This means 4 loads before 4 pm. I try to do this everyday. Even if I fall short of my goal and only get in 2, it still keeps me from falling behind. My favorite organizer is trashbags. I donate weekly to other famalies or donation drop offs. Favorite quote would be Mother Teresa's, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."

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  41. Ooooo! Thanks for the chance to win one of these lovely organizational and motivational tools for the new year.

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  42. I'm the first one to be looking like you, for organizational/motivational ideas... a priest's advice during the sermon at Mass for the Immaculate Conception last month seemed to be the best medicine for success. He said that a morning prayer to Our Lady will make EVERY day a White Christmas. And who would decline Christmas every day??? :)

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  43. The planner looks lovely-thanks for the giveaway. I'd love to win. The new layout is very nice. Happy Birthday!

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  44. That looks like a great planner. I'm going to have to be on the look out for that planner for next year. Right now I use the Sandra Boynton Mom's Family planner because the pictures amuse me but I almost never get to look at them since I always have the planner page facing up. Plus, I'm always having to write different feast days on the calendar since they're not already on there.

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  45. I would love the Saint planner. My latest favorite organizing blog is www.abowlfulloflemons.net. And for your blog, I think two columns on the right is better than one on each side, easier on the eyes.

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  46. Happy Birthday! A new planner for the new year sounds great to me.
    My favorite motivational qoute for organizing is to DO LESS and BE MORE!
    I strongly believe that our children will not remember us for what we've done, but who we've been! God Bless! ~Ashley

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  47. My favorite motivational quote:
    Philippians 4:13, English Standard Version (ESV):
    I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

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  48. I would love the Saints planner, to give to my sister ;) I already have one (and LOVE it) and she said they were sold out online the first week of the month!
    I just got the Wisdom from Women Saints Desk Calendar with daily quotes...so here's some St. Therese wisdom from two days ago - "It is such a folly to pass one's time fretting, instead of resting quietly on the heart of Jesus."

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  49. When I can actually stay on task, I section my week and the days of the week into different tasks that need to be done around the house to keep it from falling into chaos. I find it's easier to stay organized when there's a plan. When I find things are getting too cluttered I go on a "What can we donate?" purge. So roughly every two months or so I look to see what we can live without.

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  50. Oh, I would love to win! My favorite time management tip is to make out a to do list the night before. I schedule my whole day out at night before I go to bed.

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  51. One of my goals for this new year is to be more organized. My hubby is very into using new media and trying to go paperless so we have shared google calendars which is how we know what is going on all the time. But since I don't always have access to the internet, I think having a physical planner would be wise.

    As far as organizational tips, one of the biggest things I've learned from blogs such as http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ is to make sure that everything has a place. I've been slowly going through each room and purging a lot while designating a place to keep the things I'm not throwing away or donating. Also, spending 20 minutes after the kids go to bed doing a quick wipe down of counters, swishing of toilets, and vacuuming the floors really makes a difference in the long run.

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  52. I gave one of these as a gift to one of our godchildren's parents. The store only had one left, or I would have bought one for myself!

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  53. I love your new blog look! I would also love to win that beautiful planner, I still have yet to order one (which points to my need for planning ahead!) My thoughts on the best organizational tip is something I have been implementing for about a month. I force myself to do all the things that need to be done for tomorrow the night before: I make a quick to do list, move any frozen meat to the fridge to defrost for tomorrow's dinner, pull out an outfit for each member of the family, empty the dishwasher, do a quick clean up around the house, and set the table for breakfast as well as do any prep that needs to be done for breakfast including getting the coffee pot ready or baking muffins, and preparing homeschool stuff. It usually takes around 20-30 minutes and then I reward myself with time to recharge for tomorrow.
    It sounds like a lot but each morning I find it easier to greet my family with cheerfulness since I am not rushing around like a crazy woman! My husband has commented more than once about how pleasant mornings have become and my whole day seems to go better! God Bless to you and your family!

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  54. I would love the planner - I tried to purchase one but they had already sold out. One of my favorite organizational quotes is from Flylady - "You can't organize clutter." Your home is lovely and uncluttered, so I don't think you need this advice! :) I also apply it to my schedule, homeschooling curricula, etc. If I have too many things going on, it's just too much no matter how efficient and organized I am. Lately I feel the tug to simplify and just let go of what I can't do right now. Have a very Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing all your ideas and projects, they are so inspiring!

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  55. I would live to be entered! I tried to buy the planner months go and it was already sold out!

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  56. I would love this - I tried to buy something like this for the school year, but they were sold out by the time I got to it (note to self: plan to buy planner earlier this year)! With our homeschool spanning kindergarten, middle school and high school this year, I need all the organizing help I can get.

    *Please enter me only if you are willing to ship to Japan - totally understand if you'd rather not! :o)

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  57. What a beautiful planner! Happy birthday!

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  58. I meant love, not live. Oops. Some of the things that encourage me most are my pieces of art. My framed Polish Madonna in the laundry room makes me smile as I wash countless loads of laundry every week.

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  59. I would love to be entered! Thanks for being so thoughtful. I hope that you are hanging in there while your husband is gone.

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    1. Forgot to give you a motivational quote:
      "It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up." Vince Lombardi Jr.

      Hope it helps!

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  60. Love the planner! I am always behind when I go to order a catholic planner. Thanks for thinking of your audience:) Blog looks great by the way! God Bless!

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  61. I've recently discovered your blog and it is one of my favorites. I love the Catholic church and I enjoy the many ways you integrate the faith in daily life. If I don't win the planner, I plan to order the new one when it comes out next September.

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  62. I would love to win this--have had my eye on it for ages, but would really like to see it in person before committing.

    My favorite motivational quote comes from Samuel Beckett (an unlikely source, I know) and is pertinent to my perennial quest to be organized: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

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  63. Oops, I forgot to include:

    favorite resource: pinterest for organization ideas

    favorite organizational tip: declutter & donate!

    favorite motivational quotes:

    "This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His loving mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, and weighed with His own hands, to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God." - Saint Francis de Sales

    "Do not look forward to the mishaps of this life with anxiety, but await them with perfect confidence so that when they do occur, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them. He has kept you up to the present; remain securely
    in the hand of his providence, and he will help you in all situations. When you cannot walk, he will carry you. Do not think about what will happen tomorrow, for the same eternal Father who takes care of you today will look out for you
    tomorrow and always. Either he will keep you from evil or he will give you invincible courage to endure it. Remain in peace; rid your imagination of whatever troubles you." - Saint Francis de Sales

    "When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God's hands, and offer it up to Him. In this way
    we will be able to rest in Him, actually to rest and to begin the new day like a new life." - St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

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  64. Hi Jessica,
    Enter me in the drawing!

    I love the new layout - and the updated header.

    Sometime you should do a tutorial on how to make a personalized header. I've always wondered how.

    ~Angela

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  65. I would very much like to be entered in this giveaway! This is a lovely planner that is sold out on every site! Thank you! Thanks for all that you do. Karen B.

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  66. This looks like a great planner. My organizational tip (and the one that I try teach my kids) is to give a "home" to everything. If it doesn't have a home, then we need to get rid it so it can find a home somewhere else.

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  67. This looks like a great planner. My organizational tip (and the one that I try teach my kids) is to give a "home" to everything. If it doesn't have a home, then we need to get rid it so it can find a home somewhere else.

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  68. Great planner! Would love to have it! :) my organizational tip is to stick with menu planning. Everything else in the day works easier if I'm not worried about dinner.

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  69. I would LOVE to win this planner! I have just begun incorporating activities celebrating the Saints feast days with my three children.
    I have been using PlanToEat.com for meal planning - love it!

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  70. That looks like such a great calendar! Good find!

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  71. heather says: happy almost birthday, i would love to win this beautiful giveaway thank you so much for the chance
    hg temp addy at hot mail dot com

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  72. Hi Jess! I LOVE that calendar! Wish it were available at our local Catholic store, but I have never seen one like it--it's gorgeous! Please enter me. Oh, and my current favorite quote is from my parish's patron saint, St Thomas More, who said "I will remember how St Peter, at a blast of wind, began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I will do as he did: Call upon Christ and pray to Him for help. And then I trust He will place His holy hand on me and in the stormy sea hold me up from drowning".

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  73. please sign me up for a chance to win :)

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  74. Well, sure, thanks for the chance!

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  75. my tip....
    just keep moving....
    I find I stay the most organized when I don't let myself get distracted by sitting down at the computer or starting new projects. If I stay focused on one task until it's completed I can usually get a lot done & stay on top of everything!

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  76. thanks for a chance to win

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  77. My tip: clutter is often unmade decisions. Stuff is laying around because you haven't decided what to do with it or where it should go.

    PS - love the new look, and it seems to load faster, bonus!

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  78. I would love love love this planner!

    I think using a "home companion" notebook can really help with organization of so many different things around the house.

    Happy early birthday! :)

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  79. I love the new look! As for organizing...I need help too, but I have a 4 week rotating schedule for the menu (which does change with hubby's schedule) and the cleaning, etc that needs to get done. Every 4 weeks I make any necessary changes to it, print and post it on the fridge next to the cupboard where we keep the cups. It's visible and accessible. The kids can check it to eliminate "what's for supper" questions and I don't forget to do what's on it.

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  80. Hi Jessica, thank you for offering this giveaway! I would love to be entered! Since I most always read your blog from my iPhone, when I opened your blog with the new layout, everything came out more narrow since the pink background takes up more space. The pictures come out narrower too. So....I actually preferred the way you had the blog before. I don't usually look at your web version. Can you see what I mean? My quote: "the Truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." St. Augustine

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    1. Thank you for pointing that out Katie. I am always either on the laptop or desktop, and never get the blog on the phone, but just took a look at it on the iTouch. I was able to change a couple of the mobile settings to fix the problem I think. Does that look better?

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    2. Yes, that is better! Although for some reason it was still easier reading in the old version! But that's ok, I enjoy your blog too much to worry about that minor detail. Im sure ill get used to it. And it seems everyone is very happy with the new layout! Thanks again for sharing about your family! I wish we had neighbors like you!! It's so good to know that there are families out there who share the same ideals as we do. Here in Colombia it can be a little discouraging to find families we have things in common with. People are shocked when we say we are open to having as many children as God would like and that we trust in His will. I really miss our homeschooling group. So, your blog is an inspiration because we share so many of the same goals for our family! (Besides the fact that my boys are big knights/warrior and lego fans! ;). God bless!

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  81. I like your updated look, Jessica! Also, thanks for the chance to win the planner. It looks SO nice!

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  82. Great layout! Love the header---St.Therese is also my favorite saint and she gives me a lot of motivation with my two younger daughters,and third baby on the way! (all within three years!) Her motto was always "I will do whatever He asks...Lord, just grant me the grace to do it." I always keep that in mind when I start to feel like I'm struggling---He will never give you more than you can handle! Tip: before even stepping foot out of bed in the morning, pray three Hail Marys to get you through the day, and give you the necessary graces you need to handle all that will come. Our Lady never fails!

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  83. As for organizational advice, keep moving, even if you're just taking baby steps! And I've discovered that if I write it down on my Wunderlist (or wherever you keep your lists), even if I don't get to it for months, I can let it go, because it's "safe" on my list ...

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  84. Oh I could really, really use this! I am in RCIA right now and wanting to bring my new found faith even more into our homeschooling and family rhythm.

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  85. I noticed the new social media buttons right away. Very nice. We had the Saints planner last year and used it all the time, but I just never got around to ordering a new one. Now that January is half way over, we're really missing it. If I don't win, I'm sure I'll have to break down and order one. My fingers are crossed!

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  86. I thought about ordering this planner a couple of days ago, then noticed it was sold out... Please enter me in the drawing; would love to receive it and use it as a resource!

    I noticed the new look of your blog--it's very nice, and like the personalized buttons!

    My isn't really a tip; more an idea that I'm mulling around and trying to figure out how to do! I have a decent collection of cookie cutters that don't get used enough because I store them in a large plastic bin. I'm thinking about buying some medium size plastic organizers with drawers, and filling one drawer with fall cookie cutters, another with winter cutters, another with spring, and the fourth drawer with summer cutters. I don't have alot of space in my kitchen but am thinking I'll find a place to store them right in my kitchen (instead of in our basement pantry). I'm hoping that if they are within easy reach, my daughter and I will be inspired to make shaped sandwiches, etc, in addition to cookies. I bet you have a great way of storing all your supplies for baking and embellishing food?

    Thank you for offering the drawing!

    Cheryl
    caswrite at yahoo dot com

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  87. I am very much entering this for my MIL who I love so much and always asks me to stop in to see what your beautiful children are learning or doing. Please do enter us, she had already looked into this calendar and I know would like a copy. Blessings.

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  88. I would like to win this planner!!!
    Claudia

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  89. How sweet of you. I would love to win this calendar! My favorite resource is the book A mother's rule. It has inspired me a lot.

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  90. How sweet of you. I would love to win this calendar! My favorite resource is the book A mother's rule. It has inspired me a lot.

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  91. This calendar would be great. As far as some new ideas, I read your blog daily and you are my inspiration. I am a convert so these ideas are so helpful. Thank you:)

    Jean
    jcallens91@aol.com

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  92. Also, it's not much but it comes quickly to mind after reading your last post... I recieved an email that had a pic of a younger Johnny Cash (we're big fans) and it read: 'Keep Calm and Walk the Line' (insert your personalized line here), although I will say that my motto lately has been, 'Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.'

    God Bless you Jessica!

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  93. I love these Saint Calendars and I had ordered one the year before after I learned about if from your blog. Due to our budget this year, I wasn't able to order one, but I would love to win one:) Your blog looks very nice with the changes!

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    1. My email address is seleblanc10@gmail.com

      Also, my favorite organizational tool for storing tissue paper, gift boxes, ribbon etc... is an under storage bed container that I have under our futon downstairs. Everything I need to wrap a present or decorate a gift is in one place and then I can justify saving all that tissue paper and gift bags:)

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  94. Oh I would love to enter! And the new look is great :)Thank you so much.

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  95. I like the new layout very much. Your website loads much faster for me now. I'd love to have a planner with the saints' feast days included. We'll be moving into our own home this week after a couple of years of living with relatives and I am so excited to have my space and get everything organized! I like to keep lists of everything I have to do- that way I don't forget, and I also get the satisfaction of crossing things off when they are done!

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    1. I am so glad to hear that it is loading quicker! When I first started blogging many of the "extras" that blogger has now were not available and I would try and add them myself, modifying the html code. After years of that I'm sure it slowed down the blog. I switched it back to a simple template, losing a few things (the rose border in between posts, etc) but it's all worth it if it is loading quicker for everyone! :)


      *And I am just loving hearing everyone's advice on organization and favorite quotes! Thank you all!

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  96. Pray, hope, and don't worry. For if we pray, why worry, and if we worry, why pray? Padre Pio.
    That quote along with your inspired blog keep me going in my first year of homeschooling. I would love the planner.

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  97. LOVE the new layout! And I'll read all these posts, because I need some inspiration too ;)

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  98. I would love to be entered. I'm always running to the internet for info on the Saints and am thinking it would be nice to have something tangible and readily available (the internet doesn't always work well where we are).

    I like the new look and I think the personalized icons are neat! I also really love the family picture in the frame ;)

    You are a great mother, teacher and fantastic blogger. Whatever comes your way each day, just know that Our Lord holds you in the palm of His hands and will not bring you a day that He can't get you through with His Grace!

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  99. Like everyone else, I would LOVE this planner....not to mention knowing where you got your 12 Days of Christmas ornaments...the ladies dancing one just makes me smile! Not sure if this is what you are looking for as far as organizational but I started with a new app this year called Motivational Moms, a daily checklist for things to do as far as cleaning, meal planning, with time for crafts and exercise, spiritual reading, even trimming the kids nails!

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    1. The ornaments are pretty aren't they?! I found them at a homeschool conference, in the used curriculum sale area for only $10 years ago. They are made by Kirkland (Costco) though and I have seem similar ornaments on and off throughout the years at Costco during Advent. I hope you are able to find a set that you love.

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  100. Please enter me!! What a lovely planner!
    mom7_06 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  101. I love these planners! I had one many years ago, and I'd love to get one again. Anna Krestyn

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  102. I had last year's planner and would love one for this year.

    My daughter's birthday is tomorrow!
    Happy Birthday, Jessica. You look great and are such a blessing to me as a Catholic homeschooler. Your blog is my favorite:)

    Organizational tip:
    Share/Give away what you have as Mother Teresa did. Some of your favorite things. Most of it comes between you and God anyway. I see why Mother Teresa did it.

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  103. The planner looks wonderful - I would love a one-stop place to get information on saints and other liturgical days.

    I found the best organizational idea is to declutter- regularly.

    blessings
    Karen

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  104. What a wonderful giveaway! Thank you!

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  105. What a beautiful planner! I am a bit of a junkie for organizational tips, but deep down, I know less is more, of just about everything. So, nothing new here, including no new bins to organize my stuff. Actually,my favorite homeschool tip is one I got this summer from Jen Mackintosh at Wildfowers and Marbles: when you get "off track" is to see in it God's redirection and to then pick up not where you let off, but where you would be in your schedule at that time.
    Is it naughty to say I hope I win?!
    catherine@frii.com

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  106. Thanks Jessica, I'd love to win the planner. I thought I'd order it this year, but finally got to it after it was sold out...
    Happy Birthday come Wednesday! I pray you have a beautiful day.

    My organizational tips:
    Write it down!
    Delegate.
    Do find I cannot go online at. all. during the daylight hours.
    Whenever making dinner, if at all possible, make two - one for the table and one for the freezer. You never know when you'll need it: crazy, busy day; neighbor in need; unexpected dinner guests.

    I really like your new changes!
    Blessings to you~

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  107. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and my gift to you is to take that extra organizer off your hands;) Blog is looking great!

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  108. I would love that planner as I am a new Catholic and have just begun homeschooling my oldest child. I am still trying to learn about all of the saints I never learner about as a Protestant. My favorite organization resource would be the zenhabits.com blog

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  109. Love your blog!! We are just starting our homeschooling journey (Kindergarten and 1st grade) and all of your information is very helpful. I am a convert and still learning about all the saints, so this would be awesome! Happy Birthday too!!

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  110. Oh and my favorite tip is to meal plan all meals, even breakfast and lunch! So helpful when grocery shopping too, so we don't overspend on things we may not eat.

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  111. Hi Jessica!

    I, too, love the idea of having this planner. Thank you for offering. I remember using a TAN's calendar a few years ago and LOVING having the trad, historical and new dates.

    As much as you get done hosting this blog, I can't imagine that you need organizational tips! You've got to have fantastic skills there already. What a grace.

    I second, third and fourth the priests' idea of the Hail Marys in the morning. I believe that St. Alphonsus de Ligouri mentioned that, too. I have a sneaking suspicion that you do that already. You sure have the fruits. :-)

    I also second so many ideas above.

    My own favorite organizational tip that's a bit different from others is from my mother:

    "Love God first and you'll love each other well." It keeps things in perspective for me.

    Another is from La Leche League:

    "People first." The laundry and chores can wait till Daddy or the children are better set.

    The most practical line for me that has stood the test of 25 years is the principle of subsidiarity (it benefits the art of delegation): Let the smallest entity do the job. This has allowed our oldest children to move up the chores and abilities scale while the younger ones follow suit with their end of helping at home and being free to do their own projects. Now, after years of cringing as we train the next set to the new duties in inexperienced hands, our older children truly are free to pursue bigger and better things and the younger ones are not inept!

    I personally like your two column format. I know that my husband would like it! My husband likes it when all our columns end up even and I seldom achieve that goal! Otherwise, my only comment on your beautiful site is that the customized social media buttons might be easy for some of us to miss, especially those dependent on brand colors for at-a-glance recognition.

    Have a blessed and happy birthday!

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  112. Your blog looks wonderful! I currently have only one planner for appointments, but end up trying to fit everything on there, then give up because it ends up looking cluttered and overwhelming. I had never thought about seperate planners the way you do. Brilliant! May God bless you with many more years!

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  113. This would be a wonderful planner for me. Alas, I am not in the states to receive it but I know my mother would appreciate it. SO sign me up for hoping to be able to give it to my mother. Thank you for offering it to us, Jessica.

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  114. Happy Birthday Jessica!
    Thank you for all that you do and for the GIFT you are! Looooove your blog and all your amazing posts. I wish I had little ones to do it over again but I save your posts for my " future grand blessings!"
    As far as organizing I am big on making a to do list 'cause if I write it down its more likely to get done!
    I would love to win this beautiful Saints planner!!!
    Birthday blessings,
    Wendy

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  115. I love planners that allow for a lot of writing space and have the Saints Days/ Daily Readings, etc. Very thoughtful of you to offer such a giveaway. I pray your organizational efforts work for your family and give you peace. A loyal reader, Michele from New Hampshire

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  116. Great planner! My "tip" is to make an extra 15 min. a day for prayer. Thanks!

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  117. I would love this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    As for organization...my husband is much better than me at it, he keeps me in line ;) quiet prayer time each day is what recenters me - which keeps me more organized!

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  118. That's a beautiful planner!

    Lots of advice to start the day with prayer, but my other tip is to take a 15 min. break in the middle of the schoolday, and/or when everyone's brain is about fried and they're having trouble concentrating. Give everyone a chore (or game for the littles) and set the timer. Go! I'll often work a hot spot for just that 15 mins. and it really helps!

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  119. THank you for this giveaway! I love the planner! Happy Birthday!!!!! Praying for your beautiful family!
    Like the new layout of your blog!

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  120. Please enter me into the giveaway.

    I am looking for motivation myself! Our family is going through many changes and I am making the transition from Mom to Mother. Both our children are grown and one became engaged over Christmas. Perhaps I can use it as a wedding planner? Motivation? Change is good...

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  121. I love the idea of this planner! Would be helpful to have Saint feast days all together so we can talk about them and celebrate as a family!

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  122. I have this planner right next to my computer - it's WONDERFUL! So, don't enter me for the give-a-way, but just wanted to mention how great it is - whoever wins it will love it, no doubt!

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  123. Thanks for the chance to win. Looks like a beautiful calendar.
    Favorite quote: "Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today"
    Ann

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  124. Thanks so much for sharing this give away with us all as well as your lovely blog. I love thw new changes.

    Happy Birthday.Worry not about getting older but be glad in the wisdom gained in each passing year.

    Below is a motivational quote for youI hope it inspires you.

    I assure you, my children, that when a Christian carries out with love the most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence of God. That is why I have told you so often, and hammered away at it, that the Christian vocation consists in making heroic verse out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my children, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your everyday lives... - Blessed Josemaria Escriva

    I would love to be entered in the give away.

    In Corde Jesu et Mariae

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  125. Would love to have this calendar! Also, here is a quote I like... To have courage for whatever comes in life- everything lies in that. ~ Teresa of Avila

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  126. Happy Birthday, Jessica! You're not getting older, you're getting better! You are truly an inspiration!

    I would be thrilled to win the calendar!

    A favorite kitchen organizing tip of mine is to use a 3 step expandable shelf for storing spices, and arrange them in alphabetical order; the spices are easy to locate when I am bustling around the kitchen.

    God bless you and your lovely family!

    Sherri

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  127. I didn't buy one this year and needed to!

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  128. Hello Jessica! I didn't even know that a planner like that even existed. I would love to have it.
    P.s. I am sorry I deleted my post to Miss Kay Gibson, I was just so excited that I saw her on here. Then I realized that they may have been cheating...please forgive me :)

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    1. (the word they change to *I*)

      My quote: "Life is messy, clean it up!" ?bounty commercial?
      @D%---- (a rose just for you) Happy Birthday!

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  129. My best organizational tip for the year was to only buy one type of sock for my children. I have boys close in age and the basket of singles was making me crazy. I buy the Target brand boys socks with S, M, and L embroidered on them and donated my sock basket.

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  130. I would LOVE to win this planner. I have one but so wished I knew about this one before I bought mine. My 11 year old wants a daily planner so my plan (if I win this) is to give her mine and use this one!

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  131. What a beautiful planner, it would be a wonderful resource for the girls and I as we work on our saint folders and celebrate feasts days. One of my resolution this year is to celebrate the saint days through out the liturgical year. It seems as though we focus so much (and rightly so) on Christmas and Easter but forget the many other wonderful opportunities to celebrate through out the year.

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  132. This is such a beautiful Planner to start a New Year..Thank you for offering such a beautiful gift ♥~~ Your website is a gift to me already~~each day I make a cup of tea and curl up and read all your wonderful activities and look at your precious pictures..I only wish all your ideas were bookmarked as i raised my family..but now as a proud Grandma i use many of your ideas for the Grandkiddles and they enjoy them so much...God Bless you and your beautiful family one of my favorite quotes is from Blessed Mother Teresa "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

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  133. I love that planner! The 2005 version was given to me as a gift while I was in RCIA and I loved it so much! I would love to have the 2013 version!

    For my extra point, my favorite organizing tip is to "clean as you go," they way that they teach you when you work in food service. All messes and clutter are basically a manifestation of procrastination; if you take the extra two seconds to put something away right away instead of telling yourself you'll do it later, you will have much less of a mess to pick up when "later" comes.

    PS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

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  134. For a second entry, my organizational tip is to have one bookshelf dedicated to home schooling. Each child has their shelf and on their shelf a cloth tote with daily books. The rest of the shelf has reference books and their set of books to choose from during silent reading blocks.

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  135. It looks like a beautiful planner--thanks for the giveaway! I could use some inspiration! ;-)

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  136. This is a challenging time of the year for me also and I would love to make myself an "Advent Calendar" with little doors to open until...June 1st! The beauty of this calendar would absolutely keep me motivated! Beauty, beauty, beauty! The cure to discouragement!

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  137. I have been dying to find a nice planner!! This would be perfect!

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  138. I am going to make a Lego playmat for each kid, since they are all into Legos, but have different types. It will have a rope around the outside so once they are done playing, we just pul the rope and it scoops up the Legos like a bag. No more stepping on little Lego pieces. Like this: http://www.dailygrommet.com/products/lay-n-go-activity-clean-up-mat

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  139. I would love this! I was just thinking I should get a planner specifically for planning feast days! Happy per-birthday!

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  140. I find planning a menu helps me stay organized!

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  141. ...also, one great help on way to organization for this wayyyy-too-laid-back french homeschooling maman is to take my whole second Saturday of the month to plan everything for the next month. Armed with my computer, my HUGE desk sized calendar and my yearly one-day-per-file file cabinet,I foresee everything from birthday cards to library orders through lists of ingredients down to craft supply and start of novena dates. Mon Bel Amour watches the kids and no one is to enter the sweating and smoking lab. I finaly go to bed with a big grin of satisfaction on my face!
    Joyeux anniversaire, Jessica!

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  142. I love the Saints calendar and I noticed your updates right away, the blog looks great! I follow abowlfulloflemons.net she has great organizing challenges and on Facebook there's a community where you can put a picture up of your challenged area and people will give suggestions. It has really helped our house with 6 kids!! I also write my meals for the week in my planner so I know that's covered. Final idea, I've been writing down the times I will do my formal prayers during the day so nothing slips by me.
    Happy Birthday!!

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  143. Oh I would love to have this! Thank you Jessica! Ok, how is this:

    "Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God." ~ Ronald Reagan

    :)

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  144. What a great planner :)

    My favorite organization tip is for storing games and puzzles. Space is lacking in our home so in order to make the foot prints of our games and puzzles smaller I store all the pieces for a puzzle or game in a large ziploc bag and then store all the bags in a plastic box.

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  145. Hi Jessica, you can enter me in your giveaway. My tip is my holy hour in adoration and in the school of silence.
    Happy Birthday. Maureen

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  146. I was too late in trying to order this from amazon and Tan Books, so I am happy to have a chance to win it.
    Here is my quote offering:

    "You may delay but time will not."

    Happy Birthday to you tomorrow.
    Nancy

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  147. Hi!
    Love the changes to your blog!
    Probably everyone who visits your site would agree that you are one of the most (if not the most!) organized of ladies!! :)

    I think in general women have a tendency to be too hard on ourselves.....Proverbs 31 always encourages me on those days it all seems to be too much!! She is an incredibly busy lady!!

    "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness" If you are working hard everyday to fulfil your duties as a wife and mother (as Proverbs 31 good wife does)then eventually we have to try to accept that the beauty sometimes is in the suffering!!

    Padre Pio's " Pray hope and don't worry" also makes me feel better when things just feel like they are not going as well as I try to make them!!

    Happy Birthday

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  148. I would love to be entered! What an awesome planner! That way I could keep track of the liturgical year on the go rather than just on my calendar at home :)

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  149. What a beautiful planner! I plan meals for a month at a time. It takes extra time to do this up front but in the long run it saves time. It's so nice to know what's for dinner each day without having to think about it.
    Thank you for this opportunity!
    Patty

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  150. I love that this calendar has both the traditional and modern feast days... what an excellent planning tool! Since I am making 2013 the year I get REALLY organized, here is my best current tip: read (or reread) the book "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker; The secrets of uncluttering your home and taking control of your life." by Deniece Schofield. It is an excellent resource!
    :) Rhonda, rhondascottlynch@hotmail.com , www.ladyinblueshop.etsy.com

    By the way, tomorrow is both my youngest son's and my mother's birthday! Happy birthday!!

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    1. Happy Birthday to your son and mother! What a wonderful day for a birthday! ;)

      I'll have to check out that book. Thanks!

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  151. Please count me in! Thanks and Happy Birthday! amdgoog at usa.com

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  152. I would love this planner! Happy Birthday!!

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  153. If non US-citizens can participate, I'm in as well.
    I like your new lay-out, but the blog is too big to show in its full breadth on my not so broad monitor. The second column is to the left of the screen (Understandable? English is not my native language).
    For motivation: If it's worth doing, it's worth doing it imperfectly with your children.

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  154. I would love the chance to get this planner too! (and I just discovered your blog today)

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  155. I would like to be entered into the planner give-away. As a homeschooling mother of six, it would definitely help with organization which is a challenge these days. On that note I am trying a new organization system for laundry. I was folding all items and placing them in the laundry baskets to head upstairs. I realized this made little sense, since most items would then be unfolded and hung up in closets. So, all hangers now come downstairs to the laundry room. I then hang items on the hangers and store them in the laundry room closet until "laundry back up the bedroom" days. It seems to be going well! Please send any needed email to my yahoo account. jessicakelty@yahoo.com

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  156. Jessica, please enter me into the planner give-away. I love new ways to get organized. One of my goals this year is to read about the saint of the day. We were doing well for a while and then things got really busy. I would love to get back into it and this planner would help out :)

    Thank you for thinking of those that read your blog. Happy Birthday ! Kara

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  157. Please enter me in!! :)
    I was bummed when it shows it's unavailable on amazon.
    Have a wonderful, blessed birthday tomorrow! Will be thinking about you and praying for you then!!

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  158. Please count me in for the giveaway! I'm trying to organize better as we prepare to start our homeschooling journey this fall with our first. I've been reading your blog for a long time and am always inspired by it! Happy birthday!

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  159. I just recently found your blog and LOVE that your family celebrates so many feast days! I had been looking for some ideas for a while and was thrilled to find your so many treasures on your blog! Best Wishes, Ingrid

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  160. Here is my organizational tip that has helped me tremendously through the years. It's a great time to start since it is January. This is the simplest best way to organize your bills annually. Get a 12 month expandable file folder and after you get done paying your bills for the month, file them into the appropriate section. At the end of the year, close up the expandable file, write the year on the top and file it in an archive file box. It's simple and you can always have access to the bills you have paid. Ingrid

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  161. I would love a chance to win your planner. Love new planners and that one looks lovely! I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I love your blog and have popped over here many times on our homeschooling journey :-) I like the personalized buttons you have added on your blog, but, I am a creature of habit and really loved the layout you had previously where you had all of your books listed on the left hand side of the page. For me it was easier to locate things if they were separate. Still beautiful and lovely as always!

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  162. What a wonderful Planner...please enter me!

    Laundry decision that saved my sanity...each family member has a laundry day, and we all have our own hampers in our bedroom closet...my children are old enough that they do their own laundry. This saves time because we don't have to sort through clothes and divide them up. One lights load, and one darks load a week per person. A weeks worth of clothing usually divides up nicely into 2 loads. Here is an example:

    Mondays... Daddy's and Twinkle Toes'
    Tuesdays...Mommy's and Captain's
    Wednesdays...Rascal's and Rose's
    Thursdays...Chiquita's and Bud's
    Fridays...Snuggles', Towels and wash clothes
    Saturdays...Sheets

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  163. Would love to learn more about the Saints and I love all the space for notes down the side! Happy Birthday :) Chris D

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  164. this is a beautiful calendar. My best organizational tool is my holiday planner. It goes from Advent through the Christmas season with ideas to celebrate feast days, recipes I like to make every year, gifts I will give, etc etc. I've used it for 12 years now and love looking back at gifts my kids received those first years and traditions we celebrated. I recently added a page to the front that says: NEXT YEAR.... number one on the list is START SOONER

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  165. I, too, would love to be entered to win. My motivational quote is "We live on borrowed time." It helps me keep perspective and appreciate all that we are given, whether it's the kick I need to help me get going in the mornings with cleaning, menu planning, etc. or the call to relax and hug my child and husband more. I also agree w/the 3 Hail Marys each morning. What a great way to start the day!
    -Amanda mandimobo.at.yahoo.dot.com

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  166. I would love to win this datebook. I am a revert back to the Catholic Faith.
    I am re-learning it seems all over again, but I am blessed. I enjoy your website. It is an encouragement to me.

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  167. Please enter me -- I've started the year without a planner!
    My favorite planning resource right now is A Mother's Rule of Life, as I am in need of a refresher course!
    Cristina
    cbfreyre@yahoo.com

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  168. I would like to be entered. Thank you , it looks like a lovely resource.

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  169. Happy Birthday, Love the new look...my oh my so many people already. hoping for a chance to win!

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  170. I hope I win a present on your birthday! Happy Birthday!

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  171. Thanks Jessica! I would love a chance to win this planner. It is so beautiful!!!

    As for organizational advice, we are a work in progress! As you know, it is challenging to keep things organized with lots of littles around! We have a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 14 month old, so we are constantly fighting the chaos. We do have set bins for toys in the living room arranged on an old wooden changing table. Each bin is for a certain type of toy, and 2 large bins and one small bin fit on each shelf, and there are 2 shelves (we use the top part that was the actual changing table for some seasonal liturgical books and other prayer books). If toys cannot fit in the bins, then they cannot stay. We just cleared out some for donations to make room for new toys obtained at Christmas. It was hard, but we did it!

    Also, one menu tip: I am not the best at menu planning, so even if I don't have a weekly plan, I do jot down what we have each evening on the calendar for dinner. That way, when I am looking through the fridge sifting through leftovers, I can look at my calendar to see what is too old, and what is still safe to eat!!

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  172. Hi Jessica! Please add my name to the other 179! Thank you! --Danielle

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  173. I'd love to win the planner. A good motivational quote is:
    "Pray as though everything depends on God, but work as though everything depends on you." St. Augustine

    Happy Birthday Jessica!

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  174. I almost ordered one of these! I need to remember to this fall.
    A couple of my (not so unknown) tips include:

    Putting DVD in a case alphabetically so my little ones don't break the disc while trying to remove them from cases. Also, some discs don't have a picture on them (Disney...) so I find a sticker of the character to put on it so my daughter can choose a movie.

    I store all my kids toys in clear Sterilite containers or in Closetmaid cubby boxes. I keep some original boxes, but my life is easier.

    I only have girls so far but I store a lot of clothes. One 18 gallon tote per size (year). (I can't use garbage sacks as old farmhouse = mice) NB and 3 months in one, 6 and 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 mo/2T in one, then one per year, 3/3T, 4/4T, etc. I have one neutral/boy tote and a "growing into" tote for my oldest. I'm only allowed to keep one tote's worth per size to limit excess (and allow for new purchases).

    Constant purging and updating my system is the only way I stay afloat! That and reading tips from others!

    LOVE your blog! So much inspiration for the liturgical year! God Bless you and your family!

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  175. What a wonderful give-away to start the new year! I have to laugh at the thought of anyone looking to me for organizational help. But if I'm pressed to offer a tip... Two or three times a year, I make menus for several months at a time. I print off calendars with dinners listed, feast days, the liturgical focus of the month, secular holidays, birthdays, etc. I hang each month's calendar on the fridge and the benefits are many: no one need ask "what's for dinner?", we're all mindful of the flow of the liturgical calendar, weekly grocery lists are fairly simple to throw together, etc. We deviate from the menus whenever it's called for -- but having a go-to plan is a great help for busy times.

    On a personal level, I often make the sign of the cross when the baby won't go to sleep, when I'm trying to manage laundry and dinner and kids, when I'm tired of playing make-believe, when I just need to feel centered. I'm sure this option seems ridiculously simplistic (perhaps even naive) -- but it does work for me, thankfully.

    Blessings to you and your family in the new year!

    Regina (fabbroregina@gmail.com)

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  176. Wow! I don't think I have a chance at getting this wonderful planner, look at all the posts here! You are a very popular woman today ;)
    Anyway, I doubt you'll remember me, I haven't blogged in 4yrs!!! Used to blog over at Decreasetoincrease.wordpress
    I need to get back to it!! Miss chatting with you, you look wonderful!
    Fav quote keeping me organized and grounded again is from fron my buddy-- Padre Pio: " Don't be so totally dedicated to Martha's activity that you forget the silence and self abandonment of Mary. May The Virgin, who combines the duties so well, be your model and inspiration.

    Have a great 2013!!

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    1. Of course I remember you, Michele, and our lovely phone conversation! I hope you and your family are doing well!

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  177. Have a happy Birthday! Just please add me to the lovely list for the giveaway! Thanks!

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  178. Happy birthday, dear Jessica!

    The changes on your blog are beautiful, but I would love it even if it were plain text on white :)
    This planner you are giving away is great, don´t have something like this in Germany :( Perhaps I am lucky!

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  179. Happy Birthday from Alaska!!! I want the planner so my girls can cut out the saint pics from the months that have already passed and we could mod podge with them. I have followed your blog for some time :) My organizing tip is to make time to exercise by doing the following..cook a recipe in your crockpot from www.crockingirls.com, about ten minutes before your hubby comes home put on your workout clothes and then warm up for your walk...I xcountry ski...by blitzing your family room! Your hubby comes home to a clean family room...you go for a walk...in whatever weather..because fresh air is so good for us!! You will come back...even after twenty minutes...ready to live your beautiful vocation!! I love your blot update.

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  180. Happy Happy Birthday dear Jessica! I hope that you have a wonderful day! I would love the All Saints planner as I have already picked our Lenten theme this year and it is Saints!

    Lego tip... I use gallon FREEZER storage bags for legos sets and encouraged a quarterly round up and round out with my boys. The freezer bags hold up better than the boxes or other bags and I write the set name and number on the label, placing extra pieces and directions inside. The up and out piece is choosing different theme... pirates, old west, etc, to renew their interest and keep the building happening as opposed to build it once, set on a shelf, play as needed. Hope that helps!

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  181. Loving this calendar! Best tip - from a girl who's husband tells her that her standards are always too high - do the basics and enjoy your family. Other best tip - exercise every day - before the kids wake up - the energy and strength it has given me in the past 3 years of doing it is awesome - after a novena to St. Philomena to help me - exercising makes me able to be the wife and mama I need and want to be! I have 6 babies ages 7 and under, so I figured I needed to have the energy of a 7 year old, right!

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  182. hello my friend !
    moi je suis ok !!!

    même si j'habite en France !!!! lol

    bisous

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  183. First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA!!! If I am not too late I'd like to be in the drawing. I love your site before the changes and after the changes. It always inspires me. Holly

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  184. Hello Jessica. I have really been inspired by your blog. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. If it's not too late I would like to be in the drawing. My favorite organizational tool are index cards with something in the house that needs to be cleaned (ie the front window, the sinks, etc). Each of my children pull a card for the given day and clean that part of the house. This has been really helpful to keep a clean house especially for those days when a person is blessed with an unexpected guest!

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