Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Progress Report: 100 Miles in 100 Days & Health Goals

RevolutionofLove.com - 100 Miles in 100 Days(logo_100_miles)

Back in the beginning of summer I started my second annual 100 miles in 100 days challenge.ย  Today marks day 77 and so far I have logged in 90.5 miles. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was excited to see a number of other friends join me in the walking challenge!

I was lucky to do many walks along the ocean but once Bella went back to high school and I was home with just the boys (they don’t return to school for another 2 weeks) I could no longer walk alone at the beach.

Instead, I’ve improvised and walked up and down our long driveway while the boys ran laps around me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

By the end of June I was walking steadily, logging in many 2 mile days. However, all that walking was also causing some pain my my right heel. I had to give it a rest for a few days and buy some new shoes. It is feeling better now, although it hurts again when I walk barefoot (I’m always barefoot in the house.) I’m getting used to walking in shoes at home, which has been weird but doable.

The walking has also motivated me to be more diligent about the food I eat. I’ve traded items like regular rice for cauliflower rice. Or will use low fat cheese instead of full fat cheese. Or I’ll only eat a small piece of enchilada but have a big salad.

I still had a few I-fell-off-the-wagon days but for the most part I have been doing well. Plus, when I do indulge it eventually leaves me feeling a bit sick and sluggish. I can’t eat junk food like I used to, which is actually a good thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My blood pressure has been good with lots of deep breathing going on when I feel myself stressing out!

I’m not sure if I mentioned earlier, but before during those six years when we had trouble conceiving and lost two babies in miscarriage, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance. I changed my diet and randomly monitored my blood sugar to make sure they stayed within a normal range. For the last month or so, my blood sugar during the day has been fine but my waking blood sugar has been higher than normal despite all the walking and better eating. The doctor started me on specific supplements to help with my levels and we’ll see if it helps.

In the meantime, I am also still working on losing weight. I hit a plateau so I changed up my eating again and I’m finally seeing the numbers slowly decrease. I’m actually only 3 pounds away from a weight I haven’t seen since my 20’s. I still have a loooong way to go but it feels good to see some progress.

So in a nutshell, I am plugging away – walking, eating better, and trying not to reach for chocolate when I am stressed. That’s been a hard lately, especially with Brian’s health situation but I’m working on it.

What about you? Any health goals you are working on? Goals reached? Areas you struggle with? Do share. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Online Daybook/ Currently/ 7QT: June & July 2017 Review with Fave Movies, Books, Links and More

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • Spending time with loved ones.
  • A letter from a friend.
  • The pleasure of finishing a book and starting a new one.
  • When the fog clears and the sun shines.
  • Planting new flowers on our deck to add more color.
  • All the little things in life that I usually take for granted.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from family and friends, especially those carrying heavy crosses.
  • Those fighting cancer, illness and mental health issues.
  • For married couples, especially those going through difficulties.
  • For people out of work looking for a job.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friends and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

As I was adding a few songs to my “listening to” category below, I thought I’d add a song outside of my usual alternative music station.

I never used to listen to Toby Mac, although he was a large figure in the Christian music scene when I was growing up. However, my boys are big fans of his music and we’re constantly listening to him when we are driving in the car. His new song Love Broke Through was a catchy tune but after a few listens I really paid attention to the lyrics.

“You loved me enough to pursue me.”

That sends chills down my back. The thought of God pursuing me is crazy. Amazing. Life changing. I mean I know it with my head but letting it take over my heart takes it to a whole other level.

I just watched the video for the first time and I wept. In life around us there is so much pain, anger and hatred and if people knew the depth of God’s love for them, it would change their lives. But sometimes the only way they will experience that love is if we show it to them. Kindness, words of hope and sacrificial acts of love are a balm to a weary soul in need of the love of Christ.

So whether it is your hubby, your roommate, your child, your neighbor or the cranky shopper in line at the grocery store, do something to remind them that God’s love is still present and alive in this world.

 

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Around the House…

You’ll find piles of library books, Ninjago legos, random soccer ball/ baseball / hockey sticks / football flags, Star Wars and super hero figures and laundry. Always so much freakin laundry. #momlife

 

Family Chit Chat…

Summer has been in full swing! Bella goes back to high school tomorrow but the boys don’t return until the last week of August. In the meantime, here are some of the things we’ve been up doing.

We went on our annual trip to Lake Tahoe. Last year my mom was prepping for cancer surgery. This year she celebrated her birthday with us!ย  I also spend Father’s Day with my own Daddy. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are so, so blessed!

In June and July: Andrew celebrated the Big 10! Brian celebrated his birthday and we went on our first overnight date in 15 years! Matthew lost his first tooth. We went hiking at Point Lobos, attended the Bach Festival with the kids’ Oma. The boys went to swimming lessons and VBS. My mom and sister visited and we enjoyed a number of family movie dates! It’s been super fun but I don’t mind if things settled down a bit.

August also marks another year of Brian being cancer-free. On the 17th he has his year big testing/scan. The appointment with his oncologist in on the 22nd so hopefully we”l have the results by then. Results that I am praying is good news. Your prayers are very appreciated!!!

 

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In the Kitchen…

One of my goals this month is to make a recipe binder with our favorite meals. I need some inspiration when it comes to the weekly menu planning! What are your favorite go to recipes??

 

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Reading…

On my nightstand (the stack keeps growing!)…


The Lake House by Kate Morton


The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn


Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks


The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty


The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

 

Watching…

(MOVIES)

 

Dunkirk – I have been looking forward to this movie since I saw the trailer months ago. I wanted to LOVE it. Sadly, I did not. In fact, I didn’t like it. Currently, my 10 year old is fascinated with WWII and we have been watching many documentaries together. I had a basic idea of the story behind Dunkirk and the results but someone coming into this movie without that knowledge would feel a little lost. After 15 minutes of viewing I felt like I walked into the middle of the movie. There was no background info, except for a short sentence or two before the movie started. There were entire scenes with no dialogue and we had no idea who the characters were or even what their names were. There was no character development and it felt disjointed, as if it was trying to be artsy but if just didn’t work for me. I was not the only one feeling this way since my fellow movie goers were saying the same thing, including a group of older veterans.

I thought this movie would have worked much better as a documentary, watching re-created footage of scenes of action, but as a movie, I prefer to have the opportunity to connect with characters – to know about who they are, what makes them tick, and gradually learn why they do the things they do. Not everyone will agree and there will be some who love the way this was filmed but or me personally, I didn’t like it. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars since there were some quality scenes (the drowning of soldiers stuck inside the ship or the men who burned in the oil were heart wrenching) but there was not enough cohesion to redeem the movie in my eyes. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language. For a detailed parent review check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

UPDATE: I read this article – Dunkirkโ€™ Rethinks the War Movie: Historian Joshua Levine Shares His Experiences Working With Director Christopher Nolan – and I wish I had read it before I watched the movie. Had I known what to expect and went in with a different mindset, I think I would have enjoyed the movie much more. I added his book Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion Picture to my reading list because I’d love to know more about the history leading up to Dunkirk. I’d also like to watch the movie again and see how it feels the second time around. When it comes on Blu-ray I think Andrew (my 10 year old) would enjoy watching it with me, as long as I mute out a few words and fast forward a few of the more intense parts.

Spiderman: Homecoming – I am a fan of all the Marvel superhero movies and I was eager to see what they did with Spiderman. It was a fun movie but it definitely had a different feel from the other super hero movies.ย  It could have been a coming of age YA movie where the character also happened to be a superhero. For some, that may be a drawback but I enjoyed it. When I watch Marvel movies in the theater, I always notice how much bad language is in it or just how violent is the violence since I usually let the boys watch it later on Blu-ray with me fast forwarding any questionable scenes or muting out the cuss words. The movie was a lot less violent and intense than other Marvel movies. There was still a lot of action and mayhem but not the usual number of body counts.ย  Plus, I made it through over half of the movie marveling that there weren’t many major cuss word (although there were the usual “stupid, loser, sucks…” type)ย  but then they threw in a handful of words, a stupid joke about porn and a flipped finger. That aside, I thought the movie was well done and a lot of fun. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments. For a detailed parent review check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

Baby Driver – I imagine this movie to be the type that you either love or hate. I am not one who usually watches action car chase movies (I haven’t seen any of the Fast and Furious movies) however, I really enjoyed this movie. I think part of that was due to the amazing soundtrack that fit the mood of each scene. The car scenes were breathtaking, although I was praying that no teen watching this movie would try some of the vehicular feats portrayed. The characters were a little stereotypical without a lot of depth but this was more of a popcorn flick with edge of your seat action than deep character portrayals. Also, the movie is violent. There is a lot of gunfire/shootouts (including with police), some bloody deaths and rough language. So your enjoyment will depend on your tastes and what does and does not bother you. Personally, I enjoyed it and rated it 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental view: Rated R for violence and language throughout. This movie may be appealing to teens but I’d be very careful of their maturity before allowing them to view it.ย  For a detailed parent review check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

Emoji Movie – Brian and I were flipping a coin to see who would have to sit through this movie with the boys. Oh, who am I kidding? I wouldn’t make Brian sit through this. Besides, I’m the parent most likely to laugh at a poop joke in a movie. (Just don’t repeat it at the dinner table, boys.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ In a nutshell, it was cute and it had a few funny moments but it wasn’t anything I’d remember a day later. I rate it a narrow 3 stars out of 5. (Parental note: Rated PG for rude humor. For a detailed parent review check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

Despicable Me – In another nutshell, this was not as good as the first movie but still an enjoyable summer movie kid flick. If you are a fan of the other DM movies then you’ll most likely like this one, especially the 80’s humor courtesy of the super villain. There is the usual cartoon action and some rude humor much like the previous movies. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG for action and rude humor. For a detailed parent review check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

 

(TV)

Our usual shows are on hiatus until Fall so it’s time to catch up on other shows that have been on our watch list but we haven’t tried yet.

We just finished My Mother and Other Strangers . I was eager to dive into this WWII drama set in 1943 in a small village in Northern Ireland. I enjoyed watching the life of the Coyne family as their community dealt with the influx of American Air Force servicemen. I felt for the people feeling like their town was being taken over but I was rooting for the Americans who were risking their lives for others. I also had empathy for the mother/wife Rose as she tried not to get emotionally attached to another man. It was extremely disappointing when two characters who knew that what they were doing was wrong, told each other that what they were doing was wrong but instead of helping each other be strong, they gave into their desire. I just kept thinking that if a person truly loved another, they would not put their loved one’s soul in jeopardy and tempt them to do something they knew is wrong.

I happened to watch this show a few days after watching Grantchester’s Sydney and Geordie make similar mistakes in their lives. Sigh. While I understand all too well the emotions and physical desires, I still think a lot of problems would be alleviated if people learned how to keep it in their pants. (Or at least the appropriate times to indulge.)

In the meantime, I’m on the look out for another period piece drama. Has anyone watched Land Girls? I saw it advertised on Netflix and wonder if its any good.

Brian and I alsoย just finished the first season of Breaking Bad and are starting season 2. So far we are really enjoying it. (Warning: This is rated MA. The network mutes out the language or blurs inappropriate things but the streaming does not. So be careful where you watch it.)

 

We are patiently waiting for The Defenders, which arrives on my bday August 18th. Yay!

 

Listening to …

Love Broke Through by Toby Mac

As I mentioned in “Pondering” above, this song moves me so much, especially lately.

 


Feel It Still (Live at KROQ) by Portugal. The Man

I’m still loving this song. When I need a pick me up I’ll listen to it and soon be dancing around the room. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Love is Mystical by Cold War Kids.


Rhythm & Blues by The Head and the Heart

 

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revolution of love blog - od_logo_blog

Recent Posts:

My Favorite Stationary, Pens, Stickers and Planner Supplies (& A Giveaway!)

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How I Use My Blessed Is She Liturgical Academic Planner 2017-2018

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Never Despairing and Being a Balm to the Soul

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How to Use Instagramโ€™s Stories

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Book Reviews for 2017 (Part 2): April โ€“ June

 

From the Archives

RevolutionofLove.com - 25 Acts of Kindness for your Husband(logo_act_kindness_640)
25 Acts of Kindness for your Husband – June 2016

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Revolution of Love - Homemade Coconut Granola (logo_pp_granola_6)
Homemade Coconut Granola – July 2015
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The Top Ten Theme Songs of My Life – July 2014 [I just re-read this post and I am crying again. What is up with my (happy) tears today?!]

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Easy 5-Minute Salsa – June 2013

 

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Pinned…

Simple Calligraphy Medallion Tutorial by ThePostmanKnocks.com (I love that name!)

 

Around the blogosphere…

Here are some posts I’ve been reading…

 

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I’ve been participating in the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge but I’m nearly two months behind! I am catching up by completing the categories from June.

Week 21

Soft – After a hard day of work I grab my favorite soft, red blanket, a gift I received over two decades ago before I was even married. Like a toddler with a blankie, the soft warmth soothes me, body and soul.

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Week 22

Geometric Shapes – There’s a lot of geometric shapes with these things I love to use.

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Week 23

Technical: F/8 Portrait – I’m still learning to shoot outside of auto so I had to look up how to do this. Luckily, I had a willing model (with his baby tooth hanging by a thread,) as long as I kept it really quick. I need to keep working on it to improve color tone.

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Week 24

Green: Can you spot the little green guy?

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Week 25

Toy Story: Buzz and Woody are realizing that their lives are different now that the boys prefer sports to them.

You can see my other photo challenge entries here – #rolphotochallenges.

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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book, movie or TV show recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – * Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Favorite Stationary, Pens, Stickers and Planner Supplies (& A Giveaway!)

Yesterday I shared with you how I set up my Blessed Is She planner. This is part two with my favorite planning supplies. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Whenever I write a post about planners, journals, snail mail, or lettering, etc, I always get messages and emails asking me about the supplies I use and where I bought them. To make it easier for you, I compiled a list of my favorite stationary supplies. Hopefully it will help you find a new favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

(Note: Some of these are affiliate links, meaning I get a small percentage of the sales that goes towards keeping this blog online. I did not receive any of these items for free. They are just products that I bought myself and loved!)

Erasable Pens for My Planner

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When I write in my planner, I MUST be able to erase. I used to use pencil until I found these awesome erasable pens. I have three sizes:.

The thicker Pilot Frixion Colors Erasable Markers.

The thinner Pilot FriXion Pencil, 0.7mm Ballpoint Pen, 12 Colors Set. (Also available in the 24 pen set.)

The even thinner Pilot Frixion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen, 0.5mm, 10 Colors Set.

(One note: It has been said that the ink of these pens disappear in extreme heat but the ink will reappear if book is placed in the freezer. I have never had an issue but I also don’t live in extreme heat.)

Colored Pens

These are my favorite regular thin pens.Staedtler Color Pen Set, Set of 36 Assorted Colors

If you don’t need as many as 26, this 20 pack of Staedtler pens is nice and it comes with a cool plastic case that can stand.

Handlettering/Brush Lettering Pens

My favorite black drawing pens are Micron. I use this when I am practicing hand lettering.

For hand lettering with a brush pen in black ink, I use Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen 2 Pens Set. It comes with a hard and soft tip.

For colored ink, I use the Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

Handlettering Introductory Books

I’ve been wanting to improve (and learn more about) brush lettering so I’ve been using these two books.


Lettering For Beginners: A Creative Lettering How To Guide With Alphabet Guides, Projects And Practice Pages


Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art (Creative…and Beyond)

If you don’t want to spend money on a book there are plenty of practice sheets to be found on Pinterest. I have also used these at Tombow.

Colored Pencils


Here are the colored pencils I use – Prisma Scholar Colored Pencils. Costco had this art set available. I haven’t seen them there anymore but found it on Amazon.


If you don’t need all the extras, you can buy just the pencils.

Pen/Pencil Cases

I’m (almost) embarrassed to tell you how many pencil pouches and cases I have! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here are a few of my favorites.

Weapons of Mass Creation Pouch – Love this. It’s available in three sizes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Star Wars Tattoo Flash Nylon Pencil Case 8 x 4in – When I wrote my last planner post, this pencil pouch was sold out. I am adding the link anyway in case they get more or you find another Star Wars style you may like. (They were also sold out of the matching Star Wars backpack I bought but have since got those back in.)ย 

YOUSHARES 120 Slots Pencil Case – I use the above Star Wars pouch for one set of erasable pens that stays with me and my planner in my purse. The other pens and pencils I keep in this larger case that stays at home. I bring it out when I have time to decorate my bullet journal or planner.

I use this smaller Designed for Arrangement pencil case as a little traveling pen/pencil holder when I need a variety of pens to take out of the house.

Magnetic Bookmarks/ Bookclips

 

London Magnetic Bookmarks – These little book magnets are cute ways to mark my pages. ๐Ÿ™‚

Forest Friends Magnetic Bookmarks – I’m a sucker for cute forest friends.

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Photo credit: Jane’s Tiny Things

I also love all things Jane Austen so these Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy magnetic clips from Jane’s Tiny Things were a must! ( Note: I just ordered the Anne and Captain Wentworth version to go with them.) ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVE these Star Wars book markers. I change them around my planner to suit my mood. (Darth Vader hangs out by the Mondays. Han by the Fridays. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) You can find them at HappyHelloCo at Etsy.

Planner Accessories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Saints CharmWe have lots of these cute saint charms on backpacks and adding my patron saint (also patron of mothers) to my planner seemed appropriate. ๐Ÿ™‚

lucky_duck_pen

Photo credit: LuckyDuckDesigns. – For my bullet journal, I purchased this pen holder from this great etsy shop. I love her holders and have a few designs but she often sells out so you’ll have to keep checking back. I also recently found this shop that sells journal pen holders. They are made of a thicker material that doesn’t lay as flat, but she has some cute designs.

Sticky Notes

These are the sticky notes I used for my planner dashboard.

Write It Down Shaped Sticky Notes: 175 Decorated Stickies

Monthly Sticker Subscriptions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I re-live my childhood by continuing my sticker collection. I use them to decorate my planner, bullet journal, snail mail and more. These are two monthly sticker subscriptions that I love.

Pipsticks – There are two different subscription packs: Kids and Adults Pro Club. The Classic Pro Club pack includes 15 sheets of stickers, 1 postcard and 1 quote card. Cost is $14.95. The Pro Club Petite pack includes 7 sheets of stickers and 1 mini quote card. Cost is $9.95.

Stickii Club
– There are three different subscription packs for you to choose from: Cute/ Retro/ Pop. Each pack includes 5 or more sticker sheets, 1 bag of sticker flakes, and sometimes an extra stationery item. Cost is $10 a month.

Washi Tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washi tape can be found at most stores that carry stationary, including Target. I usually wait until Michaels puts them on sale or clearance or use one of their weekly coupons. You can also order cute washi on Amazon.

Other favorites pictured in my planner photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offer It Up mug by Rose Harrington Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Choose to be Grateful mug from FawnlyPrints is my current fave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love my Blessed Is She rosary.

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Well, that was a look at many of my favorites! I have been collecting these over the years and many have been gifted to me by family and friends who know I love stationary items.

Stationary Birthday Box

Since my birthday is in a few of weeks, I want to share the birthday love and gift something to you! I have a Stationary Birthday Box that I will mail out to one of my blog readers/online friends.The box will include:

  • A beautiful canvas pencil pouch
  • A dotted notebook
  • Tiny Saints Blessed Mother charm
  • 2 Tombow brush pens
  • 1 black Staedtler pen
  • 1 aqua Pilot FriXion erasable pen
  • 3 rolls of washit tape
  • Package of decorated pencils
  • Binder clips
  • Sticky notepad
  • A sample of Disney Pixar mini sticky notes
  • 2 magnetic book clips
  • Stickers

To enter, just leave a comment below and tell me what is your favorite stationary or planner accessory that you currently use or something new you want to try. I’ll choose a winner in two weeks (Aug 11) and mail the package in time for my b-day (18th.) Have fun and good luck!

UPDATE: The contest is over. Congrats to our winner Mary M. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

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How I Use My Blessed Is She Liturgical Academic Planner 2017-2018

For as long as I can remember, I have been a paper lover – stationary, stickers, journal, planners, etc. One of my favorite times of the year was when I got to shop for new school supplies – bouquets of sharpened pencils. Sigh. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Things haven’t changed so when the new Blessed Is She Liturgical Academic Planner 2017-2018 came out I was giddy with excitement. It is the perfect combination of beauty, organization and liturgical goodness!

The planner is beautiful just as it is and can be appreciated by those who like a clean, streamlined look with a touch of lovely hand lettering. However, it also endears itself to those who want to embellish their planner with washi tape, stickers or drawing.ย  Whichever team you’re on, this planner is sure to please. ๐Ÿ™‚

Currently, I use a bullet journal for lists and long term items but I use the Blessed Is She Planner for my day to day living and organizing. Since I am a fan of personalizing a planner to make it your own, I’ll share with you how I use and decorate mine. We’ll start at the beginning.

On the inside cover I made a planner dashboard. I have a photo of my hubby and kids, post its, and a holder for my magnetic book markers.

A new feature in this year’s planner is a pocket for papers, notes and things. I added some washi tape and stickers to decorate it.

On the other side I store stamps and a note card that I need to send out to a friend later this week.

 

Next comes the year at a glance and a list of holidays and holy days of obligation.

There is a Dates to Remember section and a compilation of some of the Blessed Is She team/writers‘ favorite prayers.

Also new this year, is the How to Pray the Rosary section.

Next we move to the first calendar view. Since this is the Academic version, it runs from Aug 2017 to July 2018. My life revolves around my kids’ school schedule so for me this is the new year, rather than January 1. As you can see, I love to add stickers and washi to my calendar. I also only use erasable pens, since I MUST be able to erase!

An awesome feature of the monthly view, is the listing of the saint of the month. For August it is St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross who happens to be my chosen saint of the year. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is also a monthly prayer printed at the top of the page. This is a beautiful way for all of us in the BIS sisterhood to pray together for one another. The days of the week have the saint of the day and holy days of obligation are marked by golden squares. I love how this helps me incorporate the liturgical year into my day to day life!

Photo credit: Blessed Is She

If you aren’t a fan of decorating and are curious to see the calendar without embellishment, here is a sample.

The weekly overview has sections for To Do’s, a grocery list, meal planning, prayer intentions, weekly goals, call/email/follow up, as well as a large notes section. I divided my notes section into three more ares – more To Do’s, blog/writing, and a smaller notes section. My Elizabeth and Darcy magnetic book markers add some extra love to the page.

On Sundays I work on my weekly spread. I’ll do a brain dump and write down everything that is on my mind to get it out of head and onto the page. I put the important items in the main To Do column and the tasks that aren’t pressing in the secondary To Do list. Then I go over my tasks and assign then a day that I need to have them done. When Monday comes I know which items I need to focus on first before anything else.

For my meal planning, I first look in my fridge and freezer to see what items we need to eat before they expire. Then I look at my schedule that week and see which days I’ll have time to make a longer meal and which days I have appointments or swimming lessons in the late afternoon. I assign those days easier meals or plan to use the slow cooker. Once I’ve narrowed those things down, it is easier to figure out what to make and when.

In the prayer intention areas, I list those people who have asked for prayers. Here’s a tip that has helped me – when there is a prayer request on Facebook or Instagram and I promise to pray for the person, I take a screen shot of their request. Later in the evening before I say my night prayers, I look at the screenshots and write down the intentions. That way, I don’t forget!

Although, I like to use my Notes section for more lists, you can use that area for anything you’d like! For example, here I used it to write a short prayer. (Note: This and the next two photos are from the current January 2017 Planner notes page.)

Another idea would be to have a memories page with highlights of your week. You could add photos, ticket stubs, funny things you child or your roommate said to you or journal your thoughts.

Or you could also use that section to start a fun list such as movies you want to watch or books you’d like to read. You can add a magnetic book marker, paper clip or a book dart for quick reference and add to it throughout the year.

Next is the weekly schedule with daily time slots for appointments and tasks. I keep track of the places I need to be or work I have to do.

Each day has the liturgical feast day listed and it also has a section for tasks to complete that day; a tracker to check off if you’ve cared for your body, soul and mind; and a section to write something that you’re grateful for that day. On my monthly and weekly calendar I like to color code my items. I use purple for daily or regular activities, green for school, orange for my MIL, blue for medical appointments and red or pink for outings and parties.

In the back of the planner is a new added section – lined note pages for your own notes. Love that!

I hope you enjoyed this peak into my planner. I big thanks to Erica Tighe for all her hard work in designing this beauty!

Lastly, I always get emails and messages asking where I bought my planner supplies, so I made a separate post with a list of my favorite stationary/planner products and links of where to buy them. Plus, there is a fun giveaway! Check it out here – My Favorite Stationary, Pens, Stickers and Planner Supplies (& A Giveaway!)

Happy planning!

UPDATE: The Blessed Is She Academic Plannerย  (that runs from Aug 2017 – July 2018) has sold out! The January 2018 Calendar Planner (that runs from Jan – Dec 2018) is now available for pre-order.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

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Never Despairing and Being a Balm to the Soul

The other night I wasn’t feeling well and I was awake at 3 AM dealing with a stomach bug. As I rested in bed in the wee hours of the night, unable to sleep, my mind kept thinking about the message I received that evening.

A number of people we know have been dealing with big crosses – serious health issues, miscarriage, job loss, marital problems – but when we found out that our friends Teresa and Nathan lost their four month old baby boy, who died in his sleep, I was shocked. This cannot be. I re-read the message thinking I got it wrong but before my eyes blurred with tears, I saw that it was true.

I had no words. I wanted to help ease their pain but there’s wasn’t much I could do at 3 in morning so I grabbed my rosary and started to pray. I knew they had a they had a strong faith in God but this would test them like nothing else ever has.

As I prayed for them, my mind went to this Scripture:

โ€œBut we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

I finally drifted off to sleep but that Scripture stayed with me the following day.

Well, imagine my surprise when I realized that not only was that Scripture in today’s reading, but I also happened to write today’s Blessed Is She devotion (a month ago) about this Scripture and it echoed the very thoughts I was having. I wrote in part:

“To someone outside the faith, this [trusting in God] must look ridiculous. When they [Christians] are put into situations that should cause them despair, they have hope. The First Reading speaks of this beautifully. . .ย  Of course, it is easy to say that these words are beautiful and poetic when things are going well in life, but when you are in the thick of a storm, the last thing you want to do is feel hopeful.

However, this is where all our talk of faith, hope and trust are put to the test. When everything is falling apart, and weโ€™re dealing with an array of mixed emotionsโ€”from anger to anguishโ€”thatโ€™s when we need to throw ourselves into the Fatherโ€™s arms and rely on His grace to pull us through. . . ”ย 

(Read the rest of the devotion over at Blessed Is She.)

Praying for Teresa and Nathan during our family rosary.

I went on to speak about how the physical and spiritual support we give to those carrying a heavy cross can be “a balm to the soul.”

I think God is trying to drive that point home to me because I just read Nathan and Teresa’s latest update.ย  They thanked the people who helped pay for Timmy’s funeral and who offered physical, emotional and spiritual support to them. They say in part:

“Words cannot express our gratitude. I have tried over and over again to find some way to say how much your gifts mean to us, but I just can’t. Beyond caring for us in a material way, the show of love has been a balm for our aching souls.”

Please remember Teresa and Nathan, especially tomorrow (Wed) when they will bury their baby boy. Lift them up in your prayers and help them get through this unimaginably sorrowful time.

Then look around your own life. Is there someone who is struggling? Is there a way you can reach out and help? Let the Spirit move you. Or perhaps, you are carrying a heavy cross yourself. Feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Facebook or Instagram with your prayer intention. I will pray for you this week that God will give you strength, peace, healing and resolution.

In the love of Christ,

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰