Posted in Reviews

How I’m Organizing My Life and Business this Year

Is one of your goals organizing your life and business this year? Mine is! It’s important for moms to be organized. I just have to share how I’m enjoying getting organized with the help of Leonie Dawson’s Shining Life and Shining Biz workbooks. I love, love, love these books!

organizing my life and business this year

How I’m Organizing My Life and Business

This year is my first time experiencing the process of working through Leonie’s workbooks and I’m in love. Leonie’s beautiful doodles and artwork make me want to keep opening the books to work through them. These aren’t typical, boring workbooks. Check them out!

organizing my life and business

Some pages even have black and white drawings so you can colour them in. It’s so soothing and satisfying for my inner, creative child to colour and write in these gorgeous, glossy books with colourful permanent markers. Sharpies don’t go through to the other side!

But they’re not only fun, they’re also practical. I am finally getting things done with these books! I admit it, most of my days were spent frantically rushing from one urgent task to another in my business and home life, before using Leonie’s workbooks. Now I have goals and tasks that I’m sticking to.

Even better, Leonie Dawson’s community is like a big hug and a kick in the pants at the same time. Leonie’s folk are energized and innovative and so much fun to hang out with in her Facebook group. I even found a group to help me work through The Artist’s Way with other Leonie Dawson fans. We started working through the book together in January. I’m loving it!

The 2016 Create Your Shining Year in Life Workbook

organizing my life and business this year

I’ve set goals for the first time in my life using the Life Workbook! I’m back to reading books for me this year – I didn’t finish reading a SINGLE BOOK in 2015 and I love reading! I’ve read every day so far this year and finished two books in January and February (my goal is to finish two each month). I’m also writing and exercising every day (hooray for the Wii Fit). And I’m getting my home decluttered, one room at a time. As Leonie says, those who write down their goals are more likely to get them done!

One of the great little rituals I’ve developed from this book is writing down everyday miracles (things I’m thankful for each day). I cut out the label from the workbook and decorated a jar. My daughter made an Everyday Miracles Jar too, and each night we add something we are thankful for.


The 2016 Create Your Shining Year in Biz Workbook

I work full time these days as a writer/editor from home. Working through the Biz workbook has already changed my life – I’ve made more time for things that matter and am reaching my daily goals. I’m focused instead of scattered. It’s a good feeling.

If  you’re starting up a business, you may have to leave some of the pages at the beginning blank, as they help you reflect on how your business went last year, but you can definitely benefit from it as much as an established business can.

organizing my life and business

The Bottom Line

Leonie’s workbooks are just plain fun – I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy the creative and child side of me, enjoying adding washi tape and writing and colouring with Sharpies. It’s worth it, even with the ridiculous price I paid because of shipping and our abysmal Canadian dollar right now 🙂

The physical copies of the books have already sold out in North America. But the good news is, you can still get the digital copies – no shipping fees and you can download them instantly. My Biz Bundle came with digital copies which I used to start working through the workbooks until the physical copies came in the mail. I used an app that allowed me to write in them with a stylus, so I got the feel of physically writing in the books.

You can pick up the Life and Biz Workbook Bundle (digital version) for $17.95 U.S. or buy them individually for $9.95 U.S. Yes, it’s March (I’m sorry it took me so long to share these books with you!) but it’s not too late to get organized and set goals for the rest of your year!

What do you use for organizing your life and business? Do you use Leonie’s workbooks? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &


This review contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Resources, Reviews

The Ultimate Planning System: Apologia Planners – Review


Apologia is a family-owned corporation which offers homeschoolers Christian textbooks, books about homeschooling, retreats, and online classes. Their mission is to help you stay the course in homeschooling. Apologia now has a set of planners to help the whole family get organized, The Ultimate Planning System!


Debra Bell, creator of The Ultimate Planning System, is also the author of The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. This is the system she used to homeschool her own children K-12 and raise them as independent learners. The Ultimate Planning System consists of:

A planner for mom (I received one of these) – The Ultimate Homeschool Planner:

Or choose this alternate cover style:


A planner for any student (my 9 year old received one of these) – The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students:


A planner for your teen (my 14 year old received one of these) – The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens:


The planners are designed to work together. They are undated so that you can pick them up and use them at any time of the year. Deb illustrates in The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, how to organize a monthly planning session, and weekly planning breaks – great ideas to get more organized and include the children in planning!

Mom’s Planner
I love my planner! The one I received is perfect for me, because I love the bright colours, and purple happens to be my favourite colour (I like writing in it using my coordinating purple pen). One of its best features is two pockets, one on each inside cover!

planner pocketI don’t know about you, but I am always stuffing papers in the front cover of books etc. and they always fall out, so this is a great feature. The covers are sturdy and wipe clean and The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is also a full 8 1/2 by 11 inches, so there is plenty of room for including pretty much everything you could possibly want inside its pages. I also like that it’s a printed and coil-bound. I’ve tried digital planners and computer-based planners, but I never seem to use them consistently.

There are yearly pages, monthly planning pages, and weekly planning pages. During your weekly planning break, you write down your plan for the week from your monthly plan. Weekly planning pages include 6 blank columns across the top and 6 blank rows along the side. You can break them down per child, subject, day, or however you like to organize your time on the page. I had to sub-divide the rows so that we could fit in all our subjects, but if you work on a semester system like Debra, there are more than enough. There are 48 weeks included, so you can even use this planner year-round if you like.

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is more than a planner and academic record. Because we homeschool moms tend to focus on the struggles in our homeschool, there is room each week to write about our victories and the hand of God in your life and homeschool. The “Battle plan” included weekly is for areas you want God to work on in your own life. Are you looking to be less quick to anger this week? Write a verse here that will help you with that.

Also included in the back of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner are teaching tips and so much more! It’s impossible to show you everything here, so download the Table of Contents and Sample pages of the planner on the Apologia website to see more.

Student Planner:
The student planner is designed for the child to copy the daily schedule from Mom’s planner into their own planner. Meet for a Monday morning Tutorial/Meeting. The student gets 20 minutes of face time with you, to discuss what they need to do each day and let them decide in which order they would like to do them. They have 8 lines per day to list what they need to do, a place to check when it’s done, and a place for Mom & Dad to check off to approve that it’s complete. There are 6 days per week listed, and you can also include chores if you like. There are also fun trivia questions throughout these weekly planner pages.

My 9 year old daughter loves her planner and has spent much of her time filling out the About Me section at the front of her planner.

The Student Planner can be used for all ages. For very young children, who aren’t yet writing easily, you may want to just stick with the planner for Mom and share it with them. Some teens may prefer having this daily planner instead of the Teen version.

The Ultimate Daily Planner for students also includes a history timeline and so much more! Check out the Student Planner page on the Apologia website for sample pages.

Teen Planner:
The Ultimate Weekly Planner for Teens is small enough to fit in a backpack or a purse. It assumes teens are working independently, learning how to plan their time in preparation for university or college. Your teen can meet for 20 minutes each Monday morning with you, to discuss the week together. Tell them what they need to accomplish that week, and let them decide what they’re going to do each day – great for fostering independence.  Semester planning pages, weekly planning pages, monthly planning pages are included. Monthly planning pages also include some brain science snippets about how our brains work. Weekly planning pages also include SAT words at the top. Time circles are included on each weekly planning page to help them manage their time if counting hours for credit time is something you’re doing. It can also help you know what subjects they need to spend more time on, or if they’re under or over-challenged. These weekly pages also include space to doodle and make notes – perfect for my fidgety children 🙂 There is a place for credit tracking, algebra and physics review pages, a guide to Punctuation, and more! Check out the Teen Planner page on the Apologia website to download sample pages.

All Planners are available on the Apologia website Planner page. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is just $28.00 US, and the Teen and Daily planners are each just $19.00 US.

Love, Luck &


I received the Ultimate Planning System from Apologia in exchange for an honest review as part of the Mosaic Reviews team.


Posted in Reviews

Free Blog Planner – Review


Have you ever found out about something that you didn’t know existed and didn’t realize you needed? I have! I had no idea what I was missing, not having a blog planner to organize my blogging life. Now I don’t think I could do without this wonderful, free blog planner I chose to review! is owned by Jolanthe. She offers a variety of free printables, including a wonderful blog planner. Once I downloaded the pdf, I thought about printing it off at the local store, but it turned out that the cost was a lot more than I thought. To save, I decided to print it off myself, in colour (because I thought I would be more likely to use a pretty planner – I love the colours). I even bought myself some inexpensive coloured pens and a great, translucent binder for just a few dollars, complete with divider tabs and a back pocket.

Planner binder

I love that it includes colourful, translucent divider tabs. I also keep my business cards and return address labels (both free from Vista Print) in the back pocket so I have what I need to mail out giveaway prizes for my blog. Now everything is in one place and organized!

So what does this blog planner include?

  • 12 month-at-a-glance pages with a monthly focus list
  • room to track reviews and giveaways
  • space to jot notes and ideas
  • weekly post trackers, including social media reminders
  • monthly website analytics tracker: RSS, Facebook, Twitter, etc…
  • a place to keep track of affiliate program info
  • a Twitter hashtag tracker
  • weekly blog meme tracker
  • mileage sheet (for those blog-related trips & conferences)
  • website username & password sheet
  • and room to jot down all those wonderful post ideas

Planner binder


It really contains everything I need! In addition to the wonderful monthly & weekly planning pages, I love the Additional Planning Helps. I keep them under a separate tab in my planner.

Planner binder

One of my favourite pages is “Ideas in my head” – now I jot down those ideas when they come to me and I have a list of things to blog about! I even printed out a couple of extra pages, one for each of the additional blogs I manage for one of my marketing jobs.

Planner binder

I also keep some extra pages printed out under a separate tab, such as the weekly pages, for those months that have an extra week.

Planner binder

Now go ahead to and download your own free, printable blog planner!

I had many different blog planners to choose from to do this review. I looked carefully through each of them and liked the variety of features this one offered the best. I have compiled all of the blog planners I chose from on this Learnist Board if you’d like to take a look at them all in one place: Free Blog Planners!

I wrote this review as part of the Mosaic Reviews Team. All opinions are my own.


Posted in Resources

2011-2012 Schoolhouse Planners Pre-sale ’til Apr 14!

Need a tool to help maintain a well-organized home and homeschool?
Want to get your kids organized too?
Get ready to plan another great year with The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner, the brand-new 2011-12 Special Needs Schoolhouse Planner, and the 2011-12 Student Schoolhouse Planners for students from kindergarten to high school. 

Erase the frazzled feeling of disorganization with The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner and bring order and efficiency to your school year.
Packed with relevant articles, clever calendars, useful forms, handy lists, and so much more, this planner is the key to meeting your many goals for the 2011-12 school year. With over 175 new forms, you’ll have all the organizational tools you need to make this the best school year ever. 

New forms this year will help you:
  • Plan beautiful holiday celebrations.
  • Run a successful home business.
  • Plan a course of study over four years.
  • Run a well-organized home from top to bottom.

And so much more!

Whether organizing your homeschool curriculum, household tasks, a home-based business, or jotting down lists of things you hope to do some day . . .
The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planner has all of the planning components you will need to make this year a great success.

Don’t wait! Take advantage of great prices with the special pre-sale going on now until April 14.