Do you have a favorite go to layout or theme that you use while planning? One of Sparkle’s favorites is coffee and she shares that love with us today!

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Hi everyone, Sparkle here today. Next Thursday is National Coffee Day here in the States, so I thought it would be fun to do a coffee theme for that week in my planner. Coffee is one of my loves in life, so it seemed fitting to celebrate. My favorite drink is a caramel macchiato from Starbucks. For my layout, I used a combination of stamps, dies, and sticky sweet stickers.

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This Happy Planner is an un-dated version, so I stamped the dates in on top. I typically use the top section of my planner for daily events and appointments. The middle section is where I put most of my to do lists and the bottom section is used for meal related items. Since I tend to have less in the bottom section of my planner, that is usually a catch all for the extra things that are going on or space to decorate more.

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I like to color my images with Copic markers, but they will bleed through your planner. Because of that, I stamp and color most of my images on sticker/label paper first. Now that Sweet as coordinating dies, it’s super easy to die cut these images and stick them in your planner! If that’s not really your cup of joe, don’t worry, just color a sheet of sticky sweet stickers and you’ll be ready to go!

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Do you pick themes for your planner layouts? If you do, what inspires you? Be sure to share your creations on social media and be sure you tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest and tag me on Instagram @sparkle__creations so we can all see what you create! Hope you all have a sweet day!


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Worried that you’ll be short on time during the holidays this year? Callie has got you covered! Using just a few of our planner stamps, she walks you through how she plans for the busy months ahead.

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Hey Sweet Friends! Callie here and I am back on the blog today to share my fun idea for a Christmas countdown and holiday planning. Once the holiday’s start in October, I really need to focus my energies to make sure that I have time to get all of the things done that I want, but don’t wear myself out trying to do too much all at once. The holidays roll around so quickly, and without a plan I often find myself rushing around at the last minute to complete all of the tasks that I need to do. This year, I decided to do a Christmas countdown beginning on Oct 1st. This way I can plan back from those important dates to be sure I allow enough time to compete my tasks. I am sure you can relate! Here is a photo of how my finished project came together

Main photo

The first thing I did was to grab my favorite holiday stamp set, Fall Into Christmas, which as the name implies, will take your from the beginning of Fall all the way to Christmas. I also grabbed the new More Tabs set and the Number Mixup set. I thought these would all work together to help me create the perfect countdown, with the added cute factor of the stamps!

Stamp sets

I then pulled October, November, and December monthly layouts from my planner and stamped a circle onto each date using the More Tabs set. Then I went back in and added the countdown from 0-85 – and let me warn you to be careful here, it’s too easy to mess up and stamp the wrong numbers. I was extra careful and double checked as I went along, but things could have gone wrong so easily! The numbers are large, and I like that because they serve as a really good visual reminder of just how many days I have left before the BIG holiday of Christmas Day.

Monthly pages with countdown stamped
I then took every image from Fall Into Christmas and stamped each one several times onto a sheet of sticker paper. I like to do it this way so that I can color with my markers and do a little layering on my pages with the stickers. Stamped images

Then I went to town coloring in all the fun images! It was a lot of fun to just color in all the images and was a good way to practice my coloring skills as well 🙂

stamps colored
I decided to add a little extra element to each monthly page by cutting some scrapbook paper and gluing it down on the side of each month. I like the way it adds a punch of color to the page – and hey, it just makes me happy! Once the scrapbook paper was glued down, I started laying out the stickers and stamping in some of the sentiments that are included in the set. I tried to keep in mind the larger must-do type of tasks that I would need to accomplish for each holiday and started writing those events in where I wanted to be certain to complete them.

oct nov dec scrapbook paper sideoct nov dec right side

I can now easily plan each week, with my major tasks in mind and always be aware of how many days remain in total for me to be ready in time. I hope this idea will be something you can implement into your holiday planning. Be sure to share your creations on social media and be sure you tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest and tag me on Instagram @CallieCoPaperTrail so we can all see what you create.

Thanks for stopping by today! Callie xoxo

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Do you have a favorite go-to Sweet Stamp Set that you always use and have lots of ideas to create? One of Samantha’s favorites is our fun little dino set! We’ve seen her create lots of sweet projects and today gives you one more idea on how to dress up your next dino-themed party.

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Hi there! Samantha here, and today I’m sharing a fun little project, sure to brighten up ANY party or gathering! Today, I’m going to share with you how I made some dino-themed straws!

They’re SO adorable! Of course, that’s because I used the CUTE as can be images from the T-Rex Hugs stamp set! I am just still so in love with this set, and I have a million MORE ideas for it!!

So, let’s get to making, shall we?
To start, I stamped the images and colored them with Copic Markers!

Next, I colored them in, being sure to pay attention to details like adding a rosy cheek to the dinos, and a stippled (or dotted) texture with my markers to the volcanoes! I like way the little details add character and a little whimsy to the images!

Once I was happy with the coloring and shading, I fussy cut out the images!

Note: Fussy cutting is now a thing of the past with Sweet images!! Did you know there are now DIES for the sets?! YES!!!! Check them out here!

So, once the images were all cut and ready, I just added a little adhesive to the backs and attached them to the cute, paper straws I found in the dollar spot at Target! (Love that place! Ha!)

What do you think? Would you add some stamps to straws for your next party? I LOVE the way it immediately amps up the adorable factor!! Ha!

Thanks again for spending some of your day with me! Be sure to follow Sweet Stamp Shop on Facebook and Instagram! There’s a TON happening, along with a NEW release and Grand Opening coming up for the Sweets’ new office!! Trust me, there’s so much to see and learn and create!
~Samantha

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The seasons are changing and we here at Sweet LOVE fall! Kristine shows us that it’s never too late to start thinking about the next holiday with her cute and simple luminaries!

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Hello again, Sweet friends!  It’s Kristine with you again today, and I’m looking ahead to the fall holidays!  I know it’s only September, but I always seem to think I have plenty of time to shop and make decorations for the holidays – then boom, there I am a few days out with nothing!  So this year I’m starting early, with some unbelievably easy Halloween luminaries.  Come along and see how simple these are to make!

First off, you need some basic supplies: paper lunch bags (these are 5 inches across and around 11 inches tall), some tracing paper (I initially tried parchment paper, but it wouldn’t take the ink well), a stamp set that works for your holiday (I used the Apples set for Halloween, but it would be easy to adapt this to any occasion), a coloring medium (I used Copics, but the blending is lost with the backlighting in the finished product – go ahead and use your cheaper markers!), and ink (I used Memento because of the Copics, but I tested several inks, and Versafine Onyx Black made the darkest, sharpest image).

The first thing I did was cut off 4 inches from the top of each of the bags.  Having a cutting mat with lines already on it makes this so easy – all you have to do is line up you bag with the lines, place your ruler at the line that’s 4 inches over, and draw a line on the bag with the pencil.  Then cut.  I used scissors with a zig-zag edge just for fun, but you could certainly use regular scissors.  You can discard the top part of the bag or save it for another use.

Next, it’s time to locate and cut out a hole in one side of the bag.  Again, the lines on my cutting mat made this so easy!  I went in an inch from the top and both sides and drew pencil lines, then went down 3 inches from the top and drew another line.  My finished square is 3″x3″. (Depending on the stamp set you use, you may want to make your hole a different size or shape.  Play around with a practice bag first!)  Make sure you are drawing on the side of the bag that does NOT have the seam

Now it’s time to cut the hole.  You only want to cut through the top layer of the bag, so you need something inside the bag to stop your knife from cutting all the way through.  My smallest cutting mat was still too big for this, so I just put a couple layers of scrap cardstock inside the bag, and that did the trick.

With a craft knife and straight edge, cut out the hole.

Now that the bag is prepared, it’s time for the fun part – stamping and coloring!  Stamp your image on pieces of tracing paper that are 1″ larger than the holes in your bags.  (Since my holes are 3″x3″, I made my tracing paper pieces 4″x4″.)

Give this a little time to dry, or hit it with a heat gun or blow dryer.  Then color!

Once all the coloring is done, all that’s left to do is tape your tracing paper inside the bag.  I found that the easiest way to do this was to lay the bag down with the hole facing my table, then turn the stamped image upside down and center it over the hole.  You don’t have to measure or anything here – you’ll be able to eyeball it.  Leave about the same amount of border all the way around.

Use several pieces of clear tape to secure the tracing paper to the inside of the bag.  Make sure to have one piece on each side so that the tracing paper doesn’t gap away from the bag; you may also want pieces on the corners.

And you’re done!  Your luminaries should look something like this (you can see that the pencil lines are still there, but once the bags are outside and it’s dark, you’ll never notice!):

They’re super cute already, but add some flameless candles (safety first, friends!) and your walkway will be ready for all the ghosts and ghouls to come trick or treating on Halloween.  How adorable is this?

I surprised even myself with how well these came out, and the best part is that you can fold them down and store them away until next year.  Easy peasy!

I hope you decide to try this project!  It was simple to do, and FAST – including time to stop and take photos along the way, it only took me an hour to make all four of these, start to finish.  Now, that’s sweet!

Thanks so much for joining me today! Feel free to ask any questions down below and I’ll answer lickety split!  And if you try this yourself, post your project in our Facebook Fan Club or tag us on Instagram (@sweetstampshop).  I hope your holiday season gets off to a sweet start!

All the best,
Kristine 🙂

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Do you find it hard to carve out time and meal plan?  It’s easy to get into the habit of dining out, but Jes gives you tips on how to train yourself into making the time and cooking up healthy and delicious meals!

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Hi everyone, it’s Jes. I’m here today to give you a quick walk through of my menu planning system. With school starting, and work schedules changing up for my husband and myself, I needed a plan for meals that worked better than the “What sounds good today” method. My first step was planning out what type of meal I’d make each day: Monday-Leftovers, Tuesday and Saturday-Crock Pot, Wednesday-Pan Fry (basically anything stove top), Thursday-Freezer Meal, Friday-Take Out, and Sunday-Roast. This worked well, but it still felt like we were eating the same handful of meals over and over. I decided to sit down and revamp my system. For each day, I came up with subcategories such as meats and styles of meals. For example, on Tuesday, I could choose from: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Veggies, Ham, or Turkey for my crock pot meal. Once I had all my categories and subcategories noted, I put together a simple list of meals for each category and subcategory. Under chicken I have five meal ideas for the crock pot, five stove top (pan fry) meals, five freezer meals, and six ideas for left overs.

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I know you’re probably looking at this and thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of work. I wouldn’t have time for that.” It is a lot of work. However, it wasn’t completed in a day. I put this together over the course of a few weeks. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m sure it will get changed up as I find meals that we don’t care for, or things that aren’t working for us. I created a Pinterest board to hold any online recipes I found, and I’m slowly adding my family recipes to my bullet journal.

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On a standard recipe page, I include the recipe, whether or not it can be frozen, and a few ideas for leftovers. I try to re-purpose my leftovers to make them more interesting, so it’s helpful to have ideas already noted when I look at my recipe.

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I have a couple pages like this where I put together a few weeks of menu plans. It’s not set in stone. I do change things up some weeks when I’m just not in the mood for a particular meal. However, it’s nice to have a general outline ready for me, because it saves time in the long run. Another thing that saves me a lot of time, is doing all meal prep ahead of time. Sunday is my prep day. I prep as much of each meal for the week as I possibly can. Sunday is also the day I make a batch or two of freezer meals as well. Most crock pot meals can be frozen. So for each meal I prep for the week, I almost always do double, and freeze part. Sometimes, on super busy weeks, I don’t prep at all, I just pull from my freezer inventory.

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My final time saver is grocery lists. I list all the ingredients for a week of meals on their own grocery list. This makes it super fast and easy to add those items to my master shopping list for the week.

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How do you meal plan? Leave a comment below and let me know.  If you use any of these methods please tag me on IG @jes_planning so I can see! You can also go and check out our Pinterest page for many other planner ideas!

🙂 Jes

Stamp Sets used: Half Box Decor | Kitchen | More Tabs

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