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5 Steps You Can Take to Get Back on Track With Your Budget TODAY

By Kristan Kremer
on May 17, 2017

If you're like most of us, January began with a commitment to having a stronger hold of your finances.  February was good, too. I mean it was only 28 days! Then all of the pretty things caught your eye and - whoops! What budget?


Marketing, spring fever, retail therapy - whatever caused this budget slip, it happens. The great thing is, you can get back on budget TODAY. 


Before we get into the steps, I do want to say that l believe a budget should have built-in opportunities for you to have fun. There should be fun money/blow money/allowances for you to enjoy things that you like. Even after going off track. 



Okay, so...


1: Start today!

Mistakes happen. Don't beat yourself up about it. Get back on track by recommitting to your budget today. Maybe the mistake was that your budget needed a little tweaking. Did you forget to build in that fun money? Whatever it was, focus on moving forward. 


2: Write it out.

If you are not writing out a plan for your budget,  stop reading after this step and get to it! This is essential for getting back on track. Write down what you plan to use your income for. Plan for it all of the way down to the last penny. (Zero-based budgeting) Hello - savings! I'm a tried and true fan of The Total Money Makeover. A [written] budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went. (Dave Ramsey)


3: Assess What Happened

It's easy to get off track with your budget if you cannot see where your money is going. Not only should you write down what you plan to do with your income, you should write out what actually happens. Last month, we were hit with several Dr. visit co-payments when our youngest caught a nasty virus. Fortunately we'd started a sinking fund for medical payments. I wrote all of that out in my budget notebook because it helped us to better understand where our money went and how much we need to adjust our budget for future months. 



4: Make Adjustments 

As I mentioned before, you should have fun. Budgeting is not a way to eliminate the things that you want. Following a budget should put you in a place of confidence when you're making a purchase. Confident that the money isn't needed for something else, confident that your necessities are taken care of, and confident that the card transaction won't be declined. Each month will be different. Some months you'll need a oil change or a new transit pass. Some months, you won't. It's so important to plan out each and every month. I really like having the budget notebook because I can see when certain annual or semi-annual payments are, right away. Revisiting your budget each week may even be necessary for the first few months. Things shift and you will have to plan for it. 


5: Celebrate your success 

Going from no budget to a zero-based budget may feel like a big step. I get it. How do you keep on track? You celebrate the baby steps. Stay within budget, of course. Small celebrations don't have to cost money. Let's say you get back on track and have a full two weeks of on-budget-spending. Celebrate! Spend an extra 10 minutes in your bubble bath or watch an extra episode of whatever show you're trying not to completely binge watch. You deserve it! You adulted and adulting is hard. 


Let me know in the comments how you're doing on your 2017 budget. Also, check out the budget notebook that I use in the Limelife Planners Shop



A Table of One's Own

By Kristan Kremer
on May 10, 2017
I've wanted a desk in our house for a long time, but we never had the space.  I figured we'd have to move for me to get a room of my own a la Virgina Woolf but recently something strange happened.  Our geriatric dogs (ages 13 and 12) decided they hated their crates during the day.  They've both loved having their own space to sleep since they were puppies, but we became concerned they were going to hurt themselves trying to break free.  We experimented a bit with leaving them out, and they did fine, so we packed up the crates and suddenly there was a blank wall in our front room calling my name.
I had been keeping my planner stuff on an Ikea Raskog cart and wheeling it to the kitchen table when I wanted to use it, but now I'm so excited for it to have a home base!  My handy husband fixed a table he found on the side of the road, and I cleaned it up and popped on an old  table cloth from Target.
I recently got into stickering (is that a word?) and my kids love it too.  We order the Pipsticks monthly pack and our neighbor friends always seem to be over when it arrives.  They LOVE filling out the postcards that come inside and mailing them.  The mom in me is especially excited for a fun way to practice writing over the summer.  I get both the kid and adult sticker pack, because why not?  The sticker fun usually leads to a request to get out the "art cart."  Once it's out, I can't resist!
A few times when planning in my Cahier Traveler's Notebook, I noticed the dot grid array was about the same size as some of the "standard" stickers available on Etsy.  The dot grid is available as a Traveler's Notebook or as a planner add-on, or even as a stand alone notebook.  I decided to do an experiment with a few of my favorite shops' box stickers.
I also noticed that the width is the same as the columns in Limelife's 7x9 Layout A.  I don't have Layout A, but I printed a sample page from the website. I think it's so neat that you can try out your planning style before committing to a full planner.
I can't wait to show you more from my new table.  Also, stay tuned for a Favorite Things Giveaway on my Instagram for my birthday!  It's coming up soon!  Happy stickering!
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Skin Care Routine

By Kristan Kremer
on May 03, 2017
Have you heard of Korean Skin Care?  I had no idea what it was a few weeks ago, but my friend Nancy (Hi, Nancy!) has gorgeous flawless skin and she filled me in on her secret.
I realized I'd been punishing my skin with lots of drying and scrubbing products (which worked!) but then I was not hydrating my face enough at all.  I can't stand feeling sticky from lotion, but with this new routine, I feel like I'm glowing!  The order of the steps is important because it ensures all makeup and dirt is removed properly, and then products are layered to build back moisture.  
There are 10 steps, but don't be worried. I only do a mask and scrub two nights a week, so the "core" 8 steps take less than 5 minutes.  I had to make a page in my bullet journal because I couldn't keep the steps in order and kept forgetting.
There are curated product lists, but I found everything was cheaper a la carte on Amazon.  Thank you, prime!

My favorites so far are:

Step 3 Exfoliation: Strawberry Scrub 
Step 5 Essence: Lettuce & Cucumber Watery Toner - this is so refreshing!
Before, During, and after one week (with a touch of makeup)
What do you think?  Can you see a difference?  I highly recommend you try it out.  I'm definitely planning to continue.  
(See what I did there?  Happy Planning!)

Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

By Kristan Kremer
on April 26, 2017

Hey fellow Limelife lovers! I’m Erin, one of the new Media & Creative Team members. Today I want to show you how I’ve been using my Sermon Notes notebook! As a college student living away from home, I typically watch my home church’s sermons online. I do this either by live-streaming it or watching the recording later in the day/week. I’m thankful that my church provides the sermons online so they can be viewed at any time, and over and over again! While it’s not the same experience as being AT church, it is better than nothing!

Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

I wasn’t really a note-taker in the past at church, but sometimes I would find myself wishing I had written something down. Then I discovered Limelife’s Sermon Notes notebook! It’s a beautiful 7x9” notebook with space to take notes for 64 sermons. I love the size of the notebook; it has a good amount of writing space for each sermon, but it’s not too big to toss in my purse! While the cover it comes with is wonderful, you can also pick a different cover if you’d like (I got the standard cover). For those of you who are loving traveler’s notebooks right now, it also comes in Cahier and A6 (both have room for notes on 13 sermons).

Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

One thing I like about watching it online is being able to pause the video when I want to write something down. I am able to watch the sermon at my own pace, which is great. Here’s what my first spread in my Sermon Notes notebook looked like!

Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

I love the flexibility that this notebook offers, while still providing some structure for the date, speaker, and title of the sermon, along with a box on the left and a quote and “what I want to remember” area on right. For example, in the box on the left side of the spread, sometimes I hand letter a short phrase or quote from the sermon, while other times I write out something longer like a Bible verse.

Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through
Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through
Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through
Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

The notebook is made of the same lovely paper that Limelife uses for their planners. I’ve been using a purple Ink Joy Gel pen (my favorite pens at the moment), and I haven’t had any issues with the ink bleeding through, even where I did some hand lettering. It shadows just a tiny bit, but that doesn’t bother me at all!

This sermon notebook would be great if you usually take notes on the back of your church bulletin, or if you’re like me and wish you would take notes but not have a place to keep them. You can also use the notebook for taking notes on special church events, conferences, or guest speakers in addition to taking notes on the regular weekend sermons.

Limelife Planners Sermon Notes Notebook Walk Through

If you’re new to Limelife and would like to try the Sermon Notes notebook, you can get $10 off your purchase!

Follow me on Instagram or check out my blog to see more of my sermon notes and planning goodness!

Traveler's Notebook Walk Through

By Kristan Kremer
on April 07, 2017

Hey Planner Friends!  

I want to show you a walk-through of my Keelindori Traveler's Notebook with Limelife Inserts.  I use this as a bullet journal and currently have seven "books" inside.  I'm new to Traveler's Notebooks but I really love their form and flexibility.  I remove books for detailed writing and love that they lay flat.  The books themselves aren't very thick, so they are perfect for writing and lettering.  Sometimes the huge coil got in the way in my 7x9 planner.  For me, planning is both functional and a creative outlet, so I had trouble committing to one particular design or layout for any length of time.  Since these are meant to last 3 or so months (minus those with a year long view such as monthly calendars or gratitude lots) it's perfect for me.  I also found myself not using the monthly view in any of my planners, so this way I can easily eliminate it and focus on what I DO use.  

Take a Look Inside my Traveler's Notebook

The first book is a dot grid with the Stacey cover.  The second is also a dot grid but with the Lauren cover.  I use both for bullet journal type pages, but the Stacey book is up front and for shorter term plans, and the Lauren book is for longer term.  I make weekly layouts in the Stacey dot grid and tracker pages, such as summer plans or Instagram followers with the Lauren dot grid.  I'm sometimes a sticker hoarder when I get one I just love, so I frequently put my favorite stickers on the outside of the books and see them more often.
I love that I can pick different covers for each, because it's easier to identify.  I will always get the fitness inserts with Rachel, for instance.  Speaking of Rachel, that is my next book!  I was carrying a separate fitness notebook but abandoned it because it was so heavy.  I love being able to journal for health reasons, though!  It's the perfect size.
Next up is gratitude.  There is one line per day and a few notes in the back for more detailed gratitude entries.
My fifth book is a plain lined notebook.  I read a lot of books, and I love writing down notes or good quotations I'd like to remember.
The last two I use for work.  I've combined a work planner into this Traveler's Notebook, so I use the sixth book with daily pages inside for detailed plans, and the seventh for taking notes during meetings.
My six year old loves to trade Pokemon cards, so I also have a two vinyl dashboards surrounding the books where I keep stamps and his latest treasures. 

Helpful Traveler's Notebook Links

The Magic of Masking in Your Planner Layout

By Katie Poppe
on March 31, 2017

Hello Planner Friends! I am so, so excited to share with you how I created this layout with you. Masking is a great way to combine creative with function in our planners. We can use bigger, decorative stamps in our layouts, without taking up all our planning space. This stamp set I used in my decorating is a space theme, and I wanted to be able to use lots of the planets, but not take up all my room for all our real life stuff that needs to go in there. I also wanted to “paint on” ink using a sponge to get a whimsical outer space look. So let”s jump in!

First I laid the foundation of the layout by choosing a darker purple ink and used a sponge to blot and smear ink the ink around the edges of the pages and in my notes section. There are two main ways I mask in my layouts. The first is to stamp an image on a scrap piece of paper and fussy cut it out. I then stamp then use that to cover up an image I don’t want to get ink on. That’s what i did in the following photo for the rocket ship.

The second is to use post it notes to block off sections that I don’t want to stamp on or ink or to partially stamp an image on the paper.

To really give this layout an outer space look, I used a white gel pen to add stars. Gel pens can be temperamental, so to get the ink flowing I always do small circular motions on my thumb, and then  I don’t have any problems with a good ink flow on the paper, especially when using it on pigment ink. It’s important to vary the size of the dots, otherwise it will end up looking like snow!

I also stamped some images on sticker paper to color and use in my Notes section. Colored pencils are my go to, and the blending pencil is amazing for blending colors together. For example, I colored one planet a light pink color all over, and then went over the pink in sections with a purple pencil using medium pressure. I then took the blending pencil and used soft circular motions to blend the purple out giving the planet a more interesting and dimensional look. The nice thing about stamping decorative images on sticker paper is that I can move them all around before I decide on where to stick them in my layout.

I saved my planner stamping for the end of this layout. Since I went pretty heavy on the decorative stamping this week, I needed to make sure I could still fit my lined boxes. That’s the great thing about stamps! You can see perfectly how they will fit, and you can easily mask off to make a box smaller if you need to! I wanted to keep with the outer space theme, so I used star check boxes and a star header box, and chose an ink that would compliment my stars and sky.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog post. Have fun with your planner, try new things, and I hope that I have made planner stamping a little less intimidating.

Lindsay              IG: @glam2plan_pnw

Introducing our New Media & Creative Team

By Kristan Kremer
on March 27, 2017

It’s Springtime already! Time sure has flown. And with the change of seasons, it’s also time to announce our new Media & Creative Team. Please join me in welcoming this talented new group of ladies.


Jasmine is known on Instagram as @simplybyheart. She’s active in the planner community and loves florals.


Amanda is known on Instagram as @leftyloveslimelife. She’s into bullet journaling and is sure to inspire you with her beautiful hand lettering. Subscribe to Amanda's YouTube channel here.


Erin is known on Instagram as She’s a college student and blogs at

Please be sure to follow our new M&CT members, use their $10 off links, and interact with them in our Facebook group. Welcome to the Limelife family ladies! We cannot wait to see how you inspire us with your talents and creativity.

If you're interested in joining a future round of our Media & Creative Team, make sure you're following us on Instagram, Facebook, and subscribed to our newsletter. We'll announce there when we start the search for new members.


Staying Organized While Traveling

By Kristan Kremer
on March 24, 2017

Traveling can mean fun, adventure, and relaxation. It can also mean stress, lack of routine, and difficulty staying organized. If you love planners, chances are you love to be on top of things and plan ahead, right?  For us planner-lovers, being away from home can make planning, organizing, and feeling “completely together” difficult.  

With spring and summer breaks coming up, I figured now is the perfect time to share a few of my tips for staying organized while traveling.

Last summer my family and I drove for two days to reach our vacation destination. Our car was packed. And I mean packed. We stuffed our car with snacks, waters, and the essentials needed to keep our preschooler entertained during our long car ride. (Yeah...that's a lot of “essentials.”) We had so little room left that I decided to leave my planner at home. “I'll be fine for a week without it,” I thought.

Was I “fine?” Sure. But there were times when I longed for my planner to help me feel less stressed and more “on top of things.” Not being able to write things down and keep track of our plans left me relying solely on my memory. (Which isn't  a good thing when you suffer from mom brain.)

So here is tip one.

Bring a Travel Planner

Whether it’s a small, pocket-sized option or something you've concocted, if you use a planner in your day-to-day life, using it while on vacation or while traveling will be second nature to you. I’m planning on using the new Cahier Traveler’s Notebooks during our vacations this year. Our trip this spring will only be for a few days so I'm bringing the Weekly Layout E notebook with me. But if we take a longer trip this summer, I will probably switch it up and use the Monthly Traveler’s notebook. There are a few reasons why I chose the Cahier Traveler’s Notebooks instead of a smaller planner. Firstly, they're small while still maintaining a good amount of space for writing (big handwriting over here). Secondly, they don't have coil bindings so they are easy to slip in and out of a bag or purse. And lastly, I like that the months and dates aren't already printed in the notebook. This means I can write in the dates myself and use every single page of the notebook. Instead of just using the pages of the months I'm traveling.

Bag Choice

The bag you'll be carrying day-to-day should allow for easy, on-the-go organization and the inevitable wrappers/napkins-in-the-bag scenario. (Hey, it's better than littering.) So a good size bag (spending time stuffing a small bag with items is no fun) with pockets/compartments is must. I also recommend zippers instead of snap or magnet closures. There's  nothing like not being able to find your phone or wallet and panicking that it may have fallen out of your bag during your travels to throw your entire schedule off course.

Allow for Free Time

Those of us that like to plan may or may not be guilty of finding comfort in planning out every minute of our travel/vacation. My advice? Allow for some free unscheduled time. Chances are, something unplanned will happen during your time away. Whether it's an unforeseen rainstorm slowing down your travel time or an amusement park shutting down it's rides until the risk of lightning passes, having unscheduled time will allow time in your schedule for the “uh-oh’s” and last minute changes.

Using Month at a Glance

By Kristan Kremer
on March 17, 2017

Hello again planner friends! I often get asked what I do with my month at a glance layout. Do I really use it? Do I decorate? How do I decorate it and still have it be usable? How do you fit everything into those boxes?  For me, the month at a glance is the heart of my planner. I keep the entire year worth of month at a glances in my planner at all times, usually covered in sticky notes. That’s the secret. Sticky notes. Since things change so much, I can make sure I know what is going on months out, and not worry about having to erase, cover up, or move things around, I just put it all on sticky notes and change as needed. About two weeks before the new month starts, I sit down and do my monthly layout for the upcoming month. Monthly layouts are one of my favorite things to do because Limelife always has the same amount of boxes on the month no matter what, meaning, there is usually empty space to get creative or add a little extra decoration. Right now I am slightly obsessed with mermaids. After the winter we have had here, I think I am really ready for warmer weather, so I decided to do an ocean/mermaid spread for this month. March is also be a month of multiple sports for both our boys, so there is a CRAZY amount of information that I need to cram into this layout, that’s why I thought this would be a good month to share with you all  how I do my monthly layouts.

Let's get started! First I wanted to stamp out my decorative background which I will color later. This is not a pretty picture that I am sharing, this is a real life picture. Stamping large stamps can be difficult, so I wanted to show what I use to make it a little easier. I always stamp on a hard surface, and to make sure that when I apply pressure that it disperses evenly, I stamp on a board that a friend cut for me. I use a large block and walk my fingers back and forth on it to try to make sure the entire stamp gets down on the paper. I also use old scraps of paper for any overhang from a stamp so it doesn’t get on my table or board.

Next, it’s washi time. I have some amazing mermaid themed washi that I have been excited to use in a layout. Washi can really be the ‘tie it all together’ element of a layout, so I picked three washi tapes to allow myself some freedom with color choices for ink.

This next part is what makes the crazy busy life possible to fit in a monthly layout….stamps, small stamps, color coding inks, and minimal handwriting. I have big handwriting, and so if I tried to fit this all into the boxes by just writing, I would miss stuff because of how messy it would end up being. The “barely holding it together mom” would emerge more often than not if my month at a glances weren’t usable and holding life together for us.

With the important information down, all the functional stamping done, it is time to do the creative stuff! Prismacolor soft core colored pencils work amazingly well on Limelife paper! It’s so easy to blend the colors. For example, for the little fish in the photo, I layed yellow down first as the all over base color. I added some blue and blended it out into the tropical green color. I added a little orange next  by outlining the face and blended out to create the sherbert color for the face. Between the pencils, the paper, and the blending pencil, the colors can become so vibrant and look like pens. I also used glitter gel pens to add little accent details. Just by adding little details like that can be a game changer for your layouts and decorations. The fish becomes more interesting, the mermaid jumps off the page more.

Amidsts all the craziness, our planning can keep us grounded and feeling a little less overwhelmed, and more confident in handling life.  I hope I was able to provide some inspiration on how to use your monthly layout and get everything down on those pages that you need!

Thanks for stopping by the blog and see you soon!




Planner Stamp and Sticker Organization

By Kristan Kremer
on March 03, 2017

I am a self confessed planner stamp & sticker hoarder  addict. But I was finding I was doing more "collecting" than using and I felt like most of that was due to the fact it was so complicated to dig through my drawers and collect all the things I needed plus since my stamps and stickers were just very disorganized in my storage I decided I need to take some time to organize them and have all my goodies in a manageable place and thus I would get to use them more. 

I love Ikea but unfortunately for me I do not live close to one. So anytime we go on vacation the first thing I do is see if one is close by and fortunately I took a vacation in January and was able to get to one close by. I had wanted to purchase the Raskog cart for a long time and finally I was able too. 

Top Shelf holds my most used planners, some pencil cases, Mambi sticker books and then my favorite washi tubes and single washi's in the smaller photo cases. 

 2ND shelf I have larger stamp sets that do not fit in the photo containers and I didn't want to take out of the original packaging. I am weird like that. I also have baby wipes for cleaning my stamps, my levenger punch and some colored pencils on that shelf. 

Prior to leaving on vacation I had purchased some storage items so that I could take some things on my trip and keep everything tidy. I went to Joann's and I purchased the following products:

Photo Keeper that has 5 internal photo boxes in it that hold 5 x 7 photos and fit the planner stamps perfectly. 

As you can see the stamps fit in the large 5 x 7 photo boxes well and I fit several in each.

I also bought a few singles of the photo boxes in a smaller size 4 x 6 to hold some washi tape you can see above. I couldn't find the link online, I purchased at the store itself. They are made by IRIS

I also bought the one shown also above that was an Artbin Essentials and it is great cause I fit at least 36 of the dew drops in it. All of these were found in the store and are not always available online from Joann's but I am sure you could find at other online sources. 

Here are some items to make a quick simple sticker book:

Binding discs or use a ring binder

Paper punch

sheets of cardstock

Adhesive for attaching your sticker sheets to paper

I started out making my sticker book by sorting my stickers by shops. Just put some adhesive on the back on the sticker sheets and lay down on your paper and you are done.  I think it would be great in the future if I set it up with tabs and sorted it as well but this time I just didn't take the time. But now I have a system that all my stickers are right next to me when I plan and I can easily find the right sticker and utilize them now. here are some pics of the sticker books I have made. 

I can't tell you how much more efficient organizing these things can make you. I hope this helps some of you get your planner groove back by getting organized!

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