halloween countdown calendar

Halloween cannot get here early enough for me!

Halloween Countdown Calendar Download | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Why you wonder? In my effort to be super efficient and ahead of the game, I've purchased numerous bags of sweet Halloween candy treats. And those two bags of the Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids combination I bought last week may not even make it through this week, let alone make it to October 31st. That's the last pack of Sour Patch Kids. Ahem.

Who's ready to countdown to Halloween with me? Download your countdown calendar and let the kiddos take turns marking off how long it is until they get to dress up and scare the Boo out of everyone. It's sized to print on an 8.50" x 11" and you can leave as is or trim down to 8" x 10" and pop it behind a frame to use with a dry erase marker on the glass. Here are the girls crossing the days off and here's how to hack the letter size calendar to use in  your Filofax planner.

Did you see my new Halloween Canvas Treat Bag tutorial? Boo!

you're sew fine chalenge | the twinery

I'm just an old-school Prepster and love anything monogrammed, don't you?  Have you ever thought about sewing with The Twinery baker's twine? I've done it many times and it works beautifully. If you're wondering about how to get the twine through the eye of your needle, you could always try out this little threading trick of mine.

Although the challenge ends this evening, for the last ten days our designers have presented their fun and creative projects and we invite you to play along for a chance to win.

The Twinery You're Sew Fine Challenge | Monika Wright

Because it's just such a great combination, I paired Solid Strawberry and Solid Caribbean baker's twine together for my project.


The Twinery You're Sew Fine Challenge | Monika Wright

  • Go through your stash and find one of those cute little notebooks you bought from the daily deal site you get an e-mail from every day. Yep, that's where this little cutie came from!
  • Lightly pencil your desired monogram on the front cover, my daughter's name begins with an I.
  • Choose your two favorite colors of baker's twine from The Twinery. I know it's hard to narrow it down to two, but just do it.
  • Use the smallest hole option on your Crop-o-Dile and punch holes along your penciled in letter shape.
  • Begin sewing. Here's a threading trick for baker's twine.
  • Get creative when topping letters that require a dot...here I used a chipboard button from my scrapbooking supplies. I even used a bit of washi tape along the notebook spine and to cover the pen that was included.

The Twinery You're Sew Fine Challenge | Monika Wright



Find all the details for linking up your own Sewing projects featuring baker's twine here.

filofax finsbury | planner addicts photo challenge

I'm still playing along with the Planner Addicts Photo Challenge. I loved the photo challenge concept  when Lisa and I did 52Photos, I have played along with the Fat Mum Slim photo challenges on IG and now this.  I'll share my Yellow Filofax Pocket Finsbury and the prompts for Days 10 - 23, you can find Days 1 - 22 here.

Day 10  |  Lists
After trimming down a small notepad, I use my Crop-o-Dile to punch holes to insert lists that can be moved from week to week, if needed.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 11  |  Sections
Who says you can't use your scrapbooking supplies in your Filofax planner? I used double-sided cardstock from My Mind's Eye and traced the tab dividers that came with my planner, placing the tabs at the top as well as along the sides.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 12  |  Month at a Glance
I forgot to order my monthly calendar pages when I purchased the planner, so I downloaded some free {and cute} monthly pages from Lime Tree Fruits.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 13  |  Selfie with Planner
Not a huge fan of selfies and especially not on this day as I didn't wash my hair. So, here you go...cute new shoes, my reading glasses {because I can't read a thing without them} and my gorgeous planner, love that color!

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 14  |  Stuffed Full
As planners go, mine is not stuffed full. I use the top loading pocket to corral my coupons. A little washi tape doesn't hurt, either.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 15  |  Leaning Tower of Planners
Just my Pocket planner to keep my company, but she makes me happy.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 16  |  Creative
If I'm going to make a list, it might as well be cute...just add washi tape!

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 17  |  Supplies
Just using supply stuff I have on hand and have had for ages. This photo has 85 likes on Instagram, I don't think I've ever had that many likes on any photo. In case you're wondering, most of that washi tape is from when I was on the My Mind's Eye Design Team.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 18  |  By Your Drink
My daily routine always includes a cup of coffee while I check on orders for the shop and return e-mails.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 19  |  Planner Caddy
Yep, all my supplies fit inside this vintage Coach makeup tote.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 20  |  Handwriting

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 21  |  Color Coded
My attempt at color coding, but instead it's just notes written in colored ink. Hmph.

Day 22  |  Post Its + Flags
My very small collection of Post It notes. Actually, the Staples brand small yellow notes get the most use from me.

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 23  |  To Do
Oh yeah, my Filofax {To Do} Wish List!

Filofax Finsbury + Planner Addicts Photo Challenge | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Be sure to stop in again at the end of the month when I share Days 24 - 30.
You can find days 1 - 9 here.

design challenges | big pictures classes with elizabeth dillow

It's seems ages and ages since I've created a scrapbook layout. I'll admit that the longer I'm away from playing with my paper and glue stick and photos, the harder it is for me to be inspired.

Do you feel the same way? Do you face design challenges?


Elizabeth Dillow {scrapbooker, photographer, memory keeper, Mommy, Wife, pet owner, avid reader and Big Pictures Classes instructor} has rounded up prompts sure to get you inspired and ready to start playing with paper again!  Read more details about the class, find a supply list and listen to Elizabeth's introduction to Design Challnges.


Design Challenges
12 inspired scrapbooking prompts to cure creative block

Take the challenge(s)! Create twelve sensational scrapbook pages in four weeks, with Elizabeth DillowErica Hernandez, and Stacy Julian as your creative muses. Design Challenges is back for its third run, and it's here to help you conquer creative block (and other artistic ailments).

Elizabeth Dillow was the force behind our summer blockbuster workshop, The Phone Photography Project. Now, in this month-long design journey, she'll help you tackle a dozen scrapbooking prompts that will have you scrapbooking with style, simplicity, and profound purpose.

In twelve downloadable handouts, Elizabeth will share two innovative scrapbook pages based on each of her twelve prompts, from "Challenge 1: Adapt a Familiar Form" to "Challenge 12: Embrace Fine Lines." A live classroom blog will include two bonus spins on each challenge, but with a fun new twist: these layouts will feature iPhone photos exclusively. (Just in case you need 24 excuses to get more of your photos off of your phone and into your scrapbooks!)

In addition, Big Picture Classes founder Stacy Julian will share a layout and a video of her own for each of the twelve design challenges, in a special section of the classroom called "Stacy's Spin."

If you're counting, that's 12 inspiring challenges, illustrated by 60 purposeful page examples, punctuated by 76 minutes of video instruction, taught by two veteran instructors at Big Picture Classes. And that adds up to BIG inspiration.

THE GIVEAWAY {now closed}

You'll have through Saturday evening to enter this giveaway for a seat in Elizabeth's class with additional design inspiration from Stacy Julian and Erica Hernandez...very cool! 

To enter, leave a comment here sharing what you feel is your biggest design challenge. I'll choose a winner and post it here sometime Sunday morning. Good Luck!

The winner is commenter #2, jusasiam.

wright now | september 2013

I absolutely love the crispness in the air we are feeling here in the Smoky Mountains. The mornings are an absolute joy, but it does still get up into the 80s in the afternoon. The cooler weather has me anticipating warm woolies and colorful scarves. 

While I was in Knoxville last week for an appointment, I dropped into Marshall's. I didn't expect to find anything, really, as that's usually the way it goes when I want to find a little something new to add to spice up my usual jeans and T work from home wardrobe. I was quite happy to walk out with four pieces of clothing for under $100, valued at $174 if purchased full price, and all things that I would actually have paid full price for.

As you're looking at my Wright Now mood board, I admit that there's nothing spicy there. It's classic Monika, though. Standard basics. And please note this, I would never wear an open toe pump with my skinny jeans...so not Monika. I don't know that I would wear a closed toe pump, either. But, that's just me...not saying that you can't do that if it floats your boat.

1  |  I already know that this sweater will be one of my Fall favorites. Early Fall will have me wearing a colorful cami underneath it, when I'll transition into perhaps a long-sleeved shirt with this knotted around my shoulder. I'll continue to wear it into early Winter with a tee underneath and a colorful scarf wrapped around my neck. ---> Marshall's price $24.99

2  |  I like a Western style shirt with pearl snap buttons. And honestly, when I saw this shirt I knew that Mr. wRight would think I was a hottie when I pair it with my boot cut jeans and cowgirl boots. Plus, I can sling that blue v-neck sweater over my shoulders and be warm and "hot" at the same time! TMI?

3  |  I can't find the exact style skinny jeans I bought at Marshall's, must be last season, but these are close. It's hard for me to find skinny jeans that are long enough and don't look ridiculous on me. I plan to wear these with my new shoes {see #4} and will certainly wear them most every day as I drive the girls to school or pick them up in the afternoon, at least until it's boot season. In the house, you'll most likely see me in my UGG horseshoes!

4  |  I love flats. I love Ralph Lauren. I love driving mocs. And I love these. I have them in Brandy, bu they are what I would call a luggage brown. Just a perfect color. I would prefer if they didn't have the bright gold logo adornment, but not so much that I didn't buy them. They look more awesome in person than they do in the photo, trust me. These were not found at Marshall's but a a local department store Belk. These were a full price purchase and a splurge, but sometimes a girl has to treat herself.

Not Pictured  |  I couldn't find a link to the sweater I purchased. It is most definitely not me, more of a fashion thing, but the color was right and I it's a loose open weave sweater that I thought would look cute with the skinny jeans. Sometimes I'm a rebel like that.

What are your favorite finds right now?

afternoon art project | crayola air-dry clay

A lazy afternoon and some art materials makes for good memories!

Crayola Air-Dry Clay Projects | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

We used some of the Craylola air-dry clay that was left over from another project and just started creating. Being who I am, though, I did suggest an idea or two to the girls, but they were having none of that. Isabella began with her kitty cat project, so little sister followed along with a kitty cat project as well. Victoria does adore her sister and often makes similar projects causing much disdain in older, bigger, bossy big sis.

Crayola Air-Dry Clay Projects | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

I had a goal in mind when I began my project and I came pretty close to achieving what I pictured. As an added touch, I squished some October Afternoon buttons I purchased from one of the deal sites down into the clay and they have stayed nice and secure for a few weeks now.

Crayola Air-Dry Clay Projects | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

It's really not about doing anything fancy or elaborate or difficult, when it comes to art projects with my girls, what it's all about is time together just doing something.

my filofax and me | planner addicts photo challenge

I have been on a mission to simplify my daily processs, which in effect makes our family life run more smoothly. And truthfully, makes everyone's life in our home much better. Even the animals. 

The Background
I've used a paper planner for years and years and have had luck with that whole scenario. I still have planner pages from when Zach was a baby. I noted when he got his first tooth and what foods he ate. Does he have a filled out baby book? No, he does not, but he does have a Mommy with an old planner and sweet little notes about him growing up right before my eyes.

The Dilemma
But, I still wasn't entirely on top of all our commitments because my planners were all too big to fit in my purse. When we were out, I didn't wouldn't know what was coming up next. I would misplace Doctor's appointment cards before I got them recorded in my planner, tucked nicely on my desk at home not in my purse because it was too big to haul around. I would say yes to a commitment and then forget about it before I got home to write it down in my planner.

Yes, I know there's a calendar feature on my iPhone, but I'm not in love with it. 

I like paper.

The Solution
Enter this little cutie from Filofax, a pocket Finsbury in yellow. Bargain hunter that I am, it was purchased at a 40% discount on the Filofax site, but you can do a search and find them elsewhere as well. I've had my Filofax planner since the beginning of August and I see a marked improvement in my efficiency as a business owner, Mommy and wife.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.comFilofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

What I Love About My Filofax Planner
  • It's cute.
  • It's small.
  • It fits in my purse.
  • I can use my scrapbooking supplies to personalize it and make it even cuter.
  • The color is bright and fun.
  • Inside, there are slots for me to carry business cards to hand out to potential customers.
  • My iPhone fits inside and I can still snap the loop.
  • It makes me happy.

A Peek Inside My Pocket Finsbury
You can't take the scrapbooker out of the girl! I've used my collection of washi tape and pretty paper to embellish the planner pages and to make my own custom dividers. 

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Planner Addicts Photo Challenge
My friend Melissa is a contributor at A Bowl Full of Lemons, a fun blog, and that's how I found out about the new challenge that goes through the end of September. You can find more info here.

Day  1 | The Cover
This little ray of sunshine makes me happy, happy, happy! It's a Pocket Finsbury by Filofax, in case it makes you happy, too.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 2 | In Your Bag

Here she is, tucked nicely into my purse with room to spare. Now that I'm not dragging around sippy cups, emergency wipees and snacks, it's amazing how much of my stuff I can actually tuck inside. when I leave the house, I grab my planner and head out ready to conquer the world! 

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 3 | Fountain of Pens

I usually just use a pencil in my planner, but thought that I would give the Frixion pens a try as I was intrigued. Intrigued that it was an eraseable pen. And they really work. It has a broader tip than I care for, but still fun.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 4 | Current Day

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 5 | Wishy "Washi"
I have a rather extensive collection of washi tape, some I collected on my own and some were perks for being a Design Contributor for My Mind's Eye. I added some washi tape to lined note pages and listed away...one for dinner ideas {I'd like to be better at menu planning} and one for our favorite TV shows because I forget what nights they come on.

Use your permanent Sharpie pen on washi tape...won't smear off!

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 6 | On the Go

I work until the last possible moment, squeezing in every last minute before it's time to pick the girls up from school. I like to get out my shop orders out ahead of the promised time, mostly because I know how impatient I am when I order something online. My packages and my Filofax all tucked safely inside my huge mama jamma canvas bag from LL Bean.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 7 | Work Space

This is me. Oh, how I would love to have a magazine spread worthy Studio. You know, the ones we all see on our favorite blogs and publications. I know I am lucky to have what I have, trust me. And I happily trade my little sunroom of chaos, because that means I am lucky enough to be busy in the shop and the girls have been in asking for glue dots, baker's twine, pretty paper, cardstock and envelopes. 

Busy hands = happy hearts.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 8 | Sticky
Nothing cutesy here, just your plain old everyday yellow sticky note. Some purists don't believe in sticky notes in a planner, but I use them to jog my memory to make appointments. Once the appointment is made, it gets written on the calendar. This is a reminder to make a hair appointment to refresh my color...I'm just guessing it will be around the middle of September. We'll see how the gray hair looks.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Day 9 | Favorite Essential
As much as planner addicts love their color coded activities and have a plethora of pens, I still can't get past my pencil and eraser being the best system for jotting appointments in my planner.

Filofax Pocket Finsbury | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

There's still time to enter this giveaway.

edited to add  |  this post has been featured as a Weekly Web find on the Philofaxy blog

Find Days 10 - 23 here.

Find Days 24 - 30 here.

the cycles never end | iloveitall.etsy.com

As I sit here on the couch working on my laptop while Gordon watches Sunday Night Football, I feel ready to greet the new week. Why, you ask? Because have control of our laundry. Well, at least for a few more hours. It seems like laundry and dust bunnies multiply at the same rate, don't they?

Allow me to introduce the newest addition to the shop...
Yes, laundry room art. The citrus version will be hanging in my own laundry room, once I decide whether to use a black frame that I already have or if I should spray paint a frame for an extra punch of color. I'm leaning toward the spray paint option, happy colors in the laundry room appeal to me!

Want to win one for your laundry room? Leave a comment letting me know which color you would get for your laundry room, citrus, primary or one of the other 41 colors. Winner will be announced at 9pm EST on this blog post.

And the WINNER is commenter #5, Christine! Just e-mail me with your mailing address and your print will be on its way to your laundry room.

5 on the 5th | september 2013

Here at the Love Shack, we are knee high in home renovations. Well, outdoor home renovations to be more exact. The mud porch project has morphed into so many other projects {can you say cha-ching?} that we're glad to have decided against taking a vacation this year and quite grateful for the lovely Etsy customers who support my shop each day.

1  |  The girls have been extra sleepy this week and have resisted their morning wake-up calls.  Once they are on the road to school, though, they perk up with tons of energy and are full of chatter as they talk about the day ahead. They are ready to embrace the day and conquer the world. 

I marvel at their confidence, something I did not have at their age. Believe it or not, I was shy, quiet and reserved. 

2  |  Mr. wrRight continues to amaze me with his talents each and every day. How does he know how to do everything he does? Really? Over our 15 years of marriage, I've come to realize that not always does he know how to do what he sets out to accomplish, but he always figures it out and delivers a quality product. Maybe that's where my girls get their confidence. Okay, maybe a little bit from me, too. Coming from two first-born parents, it's not often we back down from a project or allow defeat.

The chimney tear-down, which morphed from the mud porch project, resulted in a small hole and became bigger because, upon further inspection, it revealed dry rot. Yes, this part of the roof is above my side of the bed so I was quite concerned about it all. The hole is repaired, a new soffit installed and a roofer has been here and gone to patch the roof. 

3  |  Our border collie, Scout, is a runner. I mean this dog can run. Fast. I would say he can go 20 mph. Each time we head up our driveway, he heads out a break neck speed, cuts in front of the Suburban right before the bridge, goes through the field and up the bank to wait on us until we get there. He then cuts across the driveway, up the other side of the mountain and takes the long way back home to wait on us until we return. 

You can barely see him in this photo, but he's there where the trees clear just to the right front of the Suburban, waiting for us. 

4  |  As I walked down to the barn, where I had parked in case the roofer came, I looked down and saw the cutest, smallest, tiniest mini acorn I've ever seen. I adore Fall and everything about the season, so this was a good sign for me of all the good things to come.

5  |  Because we've been busy all week with projects, we were in dire need of a stop at the grocery store. We headed to our local market and picked up just a few essentials. The girls love carrots and Ranch dip. Victoria is hooked on orange juice. There were impulse buys of potato chips and chocolate milk. And we always buy two gallons of Mayfield milk every time we go to the store. We drink lots of milk.

I love when Gordon tells the girls, "Milk does a body good, just look at Mommy." They don't get it at all, but it makes me giddy that he still thinks that about little old 49-year old me.

Someone asked me on Intagram what #5onthe5th was, so I told her. If you're new to the blog and wondering the same thing, read this blog post

follow along on Instagram {monikawright_iloveitall} where I tag my photos with #5onthe5th
photos made using my iPhone with Instagram and edited with the Valencia filter

5 on the 5th 2013 Archives
January | February | March | April |  May  | June | July | August | September | October | November | December 

and now she's 10

Isabella was so delighted to tell everyone that she was having a double-digit birthday this year. Me, not so much. I can remember when she was just 10 days old, let alone 10 years old. 

My baby who would not smile for pictures has blossomed into a smiling beauty. She amazes me each day with just how witty and charming and smart and confident a young lady she has become.

The little princess asked for a neon rainbow birthday cake, and this Mama made sure it happened. I am in no way in contention for cake decorator of the year or food photographer of the year either, it appears. As incredible as it may seem, this was actually a very tasty cake. I used our favorite cupcake recipe and topped it with our world famous cream cheese buttercream frosting, how can you go wrong with that? The crowd gave the cake a thumbs up and Isabella thought I was pretty nifty for being able to make her dream cake, so I consider it a success. 

This little sweat pea, who had to wear preemie clothes because she was such a tiny, petite little thing for years and years is just six days old in this photograph. No digital camera for us then, so this is a scan. I know I told you she wouldn't smile for photos, but we got lucky and caught her in the middle of a good dream.