gratitude journal | how I'm using mine

Today is the last day of January. Already. Five weeks out of 52 have been lived and enjoyed and documented in my Gratitude Journal.

As always, I'm keeping it simple in my journal by recording just a short note each day. I realize that there are journal fans out there that think that this method would just not do for them. For me, though, it works. I tried using a bigger journal years ago and I felt the need to write and write and write each and every day just so I could fill a page and not feel like a failure for not having enough gratitude or thankfulness to fill a page. Which made me rebel and just not continue the project.

Find more library cards here.

Because I love mini books so well, I wondered what it would be to create a journal with found papers, cardstock, stickers and such and journal my thoughts in there. So I did just that and it worked! I used it and stayed pretty faithful.

 I missed journaling on days 15 - 18, but didn't let that stop me from continuing on with day 19.

Because I'm that kind of girl, I will admit that there have been days, even weeks, that I wrote not a thing in my Gratitude Journal. Nothing. Not that I wasn't grateful, but I let time or lack of time, get in my way. There were some days, not too many years ago, that my heart ached and was broken and I found it difficult to find goodness in my life. Who knew that a child could break your heart more than a man ever could. No worries, life is moving on and Zach is learning what he wants out of life. And he communicates with us more than he ever has. Life is good.

Week 4 had me getting a mammogram, so I included my ID bracelet.
I included some flair and a number sticker as well.

While watching TV one night, Gordon suggested that I add the journal to my Etsy shop, so I did and the rest is history. To say that the Gratitude Journal has been a success would be a major understatement. There's not a week that goes by that I don't mail out a Journal to somewhere in the world, to another soul that wishes to record their thoughts in a fun scrapbook type notebook.

And for that, I am grateful. Truly, truly grateful. 

We all have our own ways of recording our thankful thoughts and there is no wrong way or right way to do it. Just the act of thinking about some small thing in our day that we are grateful for has been proven to enhance our lives. If it feels better to not even write about your thoughts but to reflect inwardly on your many blessings, that is lovely as well, no one says we have to write down our grateful thoughts for them to be recorded. We can record them in our heart with just as much permanence as writing them down.

I replaced the string on my tag with some baker's twine.

Through the years, I've found that many people decide to begin their journey of documenting their gratitudes throughout the year and that is why each month, I continue to offer the Gratitude Journal in my shop, taking away one month at a time and thereby reducing the price of the journal as well. I will be honest to say that this was a contribution from Gordon, he's the one that suggested that I offer a partial year journal...and he was right!


Gratitude Journal |

49 lists | the preparation

I created this 49 Lists mini book for a Mini Albums with Monika blog post while I was a My Mind's Eye Design Team member. I just love how it turned out and it's just so much fun flipping through the pages and imagining the lists I'll create and all the memories and stories I'll tell within the covers. At the time, I wasn't quite sure what to name the album, so I listed everything that came to mind when I created the graphic. What do you think I should name it? 

Here's the problem. I've completed very few lists since then and I don't want this awesome little project to gather dust and be moved from corner to corner and never get finished. I don't want to feel guilty about yet another thing I've let slide.

So, to help me along in this, I asked some friends for their favorite listing resources and I got so many good hints. I have a List Love board on Pinterest if you want to check it out. I've now narrowed it down to enough lists to carry me through to my 50th birthday in March. 

Because it seemed a good place to keep it, my Filofax will be list central for me as I look to complete this project!

I'll begin the 49 lists countdown on February 6th, which is 50 days until I turn 50!

Feel free to follow along, I'll be posting my lists daily on Instagram with #49lists. Who knows, you might find a list that makes you want to jot down a thing or two, or ten! And if you have list you want to share with me, or a good source for lists, leave it in the comments so I can check it out.

children's wall art print |

Such a lovely reminder of just how quickly children grow. You would think I would know this, what with Zach being 22 now and having been through the Motherhood ropes one time already...I'm a second generation Mom. Amazingly, I am still surprised by it all.
While I was working on updating my 2014 calendar, I realized that Isabella was going to be 11 this year. Eleven. That's the same age Zach was when she was born. And I thought to myself, if I had another baby now {which I am 99% sure couldn't happen} I would be 69 when that child graduated from High School. As it is, I'll be old enough when these two precious girls graduate.

So, young Mommy's out there...

pay attention
relish the charms of the present

And that's all I'll say for now or I'll start crying.

one little word | january 2014

Most people know about One Little Word concept, but if not you can read more about the annual Ali Edwards project here

Over the past few years, I've chosen words and had the full intention to document my feelings about the word and my journey with it, but never have fully completed the stories. Oh, I lived with my words each year and they meant something to me and it was always there, in my mind, in my heart and in how I related to the moments around me. Just never documented. 
One Little Word |
And I don't know that I ever will. Sometimes, I've found, it's okay to just be in the moment and live through our experiences without having to document every single step we take in life. 

For 2014, I know for certain that I will dedicate one Sunday per month, during my regular Sunday Photos blog feature, to a quote referring to my one little word this year, dream. Here's the quote I shared for January. You may have already seen this on Instagram, here's where I added my one little word to my Gratitude Journal.

Gratitude Journal |

I found this sweet piece of handmade art for my 2013 word, embrace.

In 2012, I added a reminder to my Gratitude Journal and even began working on the one little word class I enrolled in at Big Picture Classes. Here's a post about my one little word be and I even made a bottle cap charm as a wearable reminder. And here are a few more art projects the girls helped me with.

My first year with a one little word, I chose the word joy. Just saying the word brings a smile to my face and somehow brings peace to me. It is as close to a perfect word to me as I can imagine. And we still decorate our home with this project each year at Christmas.

wright now | january 2014

Wright Now January 2014 |

Wright Now is a sometimes monthly, mostly random series where I share a handful of things I'm crushing on at that moment in time.

1  |  I don't usually wear tunic style blouses because I feel that I look pregnant. And who wants sideways glances from strangers wondering if this old woman is pregnant? Or not. NOT. I saw this blouse at World Market last week when I bought these for the Studio, picked it up and then put it back down. There were only two left. Then I saw a woman walking around with the blouse and that made me hightail it back over there and pick up the last blouse. I'm thinking I'll wear it with some leggings and ballet flats, but I don't know if I can pull off that look. I'm more of a prepster than a hippie.

2  |  Definitely needing my reading glasses a lot these days. I was using just some half readers from the drugstore and I got tired of the cheapie glasses with cheapie lenses and happened upon this company when I saw it in a friend's Facebook feed. Going with the full frame nerdy option, I bought them full price, but see that they're now $5, but don't know how long that will last. I ordered again, this time in black and also purchased these, just because they looked fun.

3  |  I really prefer Uberkinger, but that's hard to find here in the USA, so Perrier will do. I have been trying to cut back on my soda intake, which I've done pretty well with, and found a mega pack of Perrier at Costco on our last visit. The girls dislike the taste and I thought Gordon would, too, but he actually likes it.

4  |  Bath is my wintertime fragrance and I like its clean aura. It's me. I wear Beach in the warmer months and it's perfect and reminds me of...the beach. But, I like Bath better.

5  |  When I first began my search for a new planner, I saw this planner and knew that's what I wanted. Well, it is a popular item and was unavailable at the time. I opted, then for a Filofax Finsbury and loved it. And still do. Victoria received my original pocket size as a Christmas gift and I ordered a personal size, giving me more room to write and plan. I love my Filofax planners and it has made such a difference for me. One day I saw that the ochre Malden was available in a Personal size and ordered it and waited 2 months for it to arrive. I like it, but I don't love it like I thought I would. I definitely miss my sunny, happy, yellow Finsbury.

month-in-review download | freebie friday

I've been working on a fun Freebie Friday download for you. I meant to have all the design kinks worked out to post earlier in the month, and actually uploaded the files for download, and it wasn't until I began trimming my own pages that I discovered a boo boo.

So, I got the boo boo worked out, in between duties for my day job, and I'm ready to share!

The Story
The other day, I documented in a letter to myself that I wanted to complete some unfinished projects. Among those projects was the Month-In-Review project I had done the past few years. I missed not going through the motions to finish up our 2013 Month-In-Review mini book. 

I made it through March and then made notes for a few more months after that and then just let it gather dust in a lonely corner. I probably misplaced it during the craft room move from downstairs to my sunny upstairs Sun Room Studio, if that doesn't sound too whiny. But I found it again and I WILL complete the notes and add some photos.

Because I know how much these little notes of milestones for our little family meant to me, I thought it was time for a redesign and a freebie. I can't tell you how many times I refer back to these mini books for details about when the last tooth was lost or when the ribbon in the Art Show was won.

How I Use It

To keep track of our monthly entries, I place a sticky note on the monthly page and as something occurs that I think I want to document, I jot it down on the note. Then, at the end of the month, I decide what stays, what goes and what I still need to document and transfer that permanently to the monthly page.

I'll add a photo from the month to the left side of the album, because, well photos just make everything better! I've sized the download so that you can trim it to 6x4 and there's room at the left side of your monthly page to add a strip of washi tape, like I did, or perhaps a scrap of your favorite scrapbooking paper. 

Help Me
Help keep me accountable and I will you, too. Let's chronicle our 2014 month-by-month. Together.

If you download the mini album and are:
  • Blogging about your Month-In-Review mini album, I'd love if you'd share a link to this blog!
  • Sharing on Instagram, tag me {@monikawright_iloveitall with the hashtags #monthinreview #iloveitallblog} so I can come visit and peek at how you're using the download. 
  • Posting to Facebook, tag me, I'd love to drop by and "like" your share!
Feel free to design your own cover, or download the cover I'm using. I included 2013 for you as well.

Wishing you all the best in 2014, I'm so thankful to have found so many sweet, loving, caring, funny, supportive, creative people that are crazy about some of the same things I am.

I appreciate your friendship and your kind words and comments.

alphabet of our love list ideas

So many people search for Alphabet of Our Love list ideas and end up here on the blog, where it all began! I've never published an idea list and thought that, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, it might be a great time to share an Idea Guide.

The first time I featured the Alphabet of Our Love mini album that I had made for my husband Gordon, I never expected it would receive all the attention it has. Can you believe that post alone has been viewed over 323,000 times?

And then when I shared the mini album again, just in time for Valentine's Day in 2011, I featured the awesomeness of The Twinery. Each Alphabet of Our Love mini album is wrapped in a color-matched shade of baker's twine.

Alphabet of Our Love |

And then when I shared the mini album again, just in time for Valentine's Day in 2011, I featured the awesomeness of The Twinery. Each Alphabet of Our Love mini album is wrapped in a color-matched shade of baker's twine.

Naturally, many people also visit this blog looking for ideas for each letter of the alphabet. I didn't want to share all my letter ideas because, you know, they're kind of the alphabet of OUR love, but maybe these will help you to get your creative juices flowing.

find the Alphabet of Our Love here 
and use the coupon code 
for a 15% discount on your purchases.

NOTE |  Coupon code must be entered at time of purchase. Refunds cannot be honored after purchase has been made. Thanks for your understanding!

30 days of lists | days 13-30

It's surprising how a few little lists and a few moments each day can turn into such fun! I wasn't sure that I could find the time to keep up with each list, day after day, but I did and then posted it on Instagram.  There's another class in March, or there has been in the past, and I do believe I'll be doing that one as well since it's my birthday month.

If you're wanting to know way more about me than you ever wanted to know about me, read on. If not, check back tomorrow to see what I've been up to.

EDITED TO ADD  |  I'm an official sponsor of the September 2014 30 Days of Lists class, find out more info about registration and to see a peek of the journal I'll be using here. See detailed photos of the #30Lists journal I'll be using here.

List 13 | I Get Excited When

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 14 | Stocking Up On

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 15 | I Like to Avoid

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 16 | Favorite Things To Eat This Time of Year

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 17 | I Wish I Had Done More ________ This Year

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 18 | On My Shopping List

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 19 | Projects I Finished This Year

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 20 | With A Day to Myself I Would

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 21 | Positive Things From This Week

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 22 | Things That Can Wait Until Tomorrow

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 23 | Who I Consider "Family"

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 24 | Things I Heard Today

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 25 | Can't Get Enough Of

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |
30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 26 | I Am Thankful For

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 27 | Ways to Unwind

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 28 | Memories Made This Year

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 29 | What I'm Letting Go Of Next Year

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |
30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

List 30 | This Time Next Year

30 Days of Lists, December 2013 |

Like the Journal I'm using? The December journal has sold out, but here's a similar journal from my shop, ready to ship.

Here are the #30Days Lists 1 - 12.
Find past 30 Days of Lists posts.
Cute Embellishment Kits for embellishing your mini books. 

filofax friday | january 2014

The thrill and satisfaction of setting up a new calendar, filling it with special dates and plans of things to come, has always been something I've looked forward to. Add a new planner to the mix, a personal Ochre Malden, and that's perfection.

Welcome to the January 2014 edition of...

Filofax Friday | #filofax #malden #ochremalden #filofaxfriday #planner

Francine and I are happy to have you drop in for another Filofax Friday as we share our love of planners, planning, organization and organizing! Oh yeah, and downloads. Francine even has a Planner section in her Etsy shop that you'll want to visit.


I {finally} received the Ochre Malden that I ordered in November and have been in the process of moving in and moving around, making it fit me and my needs. The rings are a bit smaller than the yellow Finsbury I love so, so much meaning that I've had to make some decisions about what to include in the rotation and what I can live without. 

Moving In 

Fresh out of the box...the leather is supple, smells wonderful and could be stuffed, if I were a stuff your planner kind of gal.

Getting Organized

I'll be keeping the original Filofax dividers for now, but I added some washi tape to the pages for fun.  I'm not really into decorating pages, other than washi tape, but admire the pages of those people who do. I don't like writing on my page from the back side of where the sticker was stuck down. I have my issues, and that's one of them.

I do use sticky notes, though. When I have my hair colored, I count ahead 8 weeks and place a sticky note, just so I can judge the growth of my hair and decide whether to make another appointment to cover the gray or move it forward one week. Because I use an erasable Frixion pen, I can change the 8 weeks to 9 weeks when I move it forward and reevaluate those pesky, wiry grey hairs at that point.

I'm loving the lined pages this year and have stuck with the Week on Two Pages layout. It works well for me with just enough space. Typically, the second line is where I note what I plan to post on the blog for that day. The bottom 2-3 lines are reserved for appointment times for events and activities we might have.  I color coded in school holidays and such and those notes go on the same line as the date.

Seeing Double

In my Finsbury, the rings were a bit larger and I had more room for dividers, so I had a thick plastic divider with a tab at the bottom right for my Monthly calendars. I liked having it at the bottom of my Filofax, near where the daily divider was. When I was moving things around from the Finsbury to the new Malden, I realized that I could de-bulk by using two Filofax page markers. I now use one for the current week on two pages and the second marker is in the middle of the month on two pages searching for top or side tabs for me. 

DIY Girl at Heart

You know how I love a DIY and this one was so easy. Found at the Target Dollar Spot, these sticky notes didn't fit into my side pockets so I rarely used them. Lightbulb moment...we have 5 family members, so why not just trim off the last flag with the number 6 and then maybe, just maybe, they'll fit into one of the front pockets.

Ta Da, they do fit in the pocket and now I can jot a quick activity note for the appropriate family member and place it on a date until I can make it more permanent. Or not, depending up on the event.

You can't see it in the photo for some reason, but that red tab says, In Case of Emergency, and is attached to my husband's business card. You know, just in case.

Follow Along

Follow me on Instagram, where I share loads more Filofax tips, tricks, hacks, ideas and DIY's that never make it here to the blog. Oh, and there's an occasional giveaway there as well.

Have some planner tips and tricks of your own? Share in the comments, I'm nosy like that and want to hear what works for you.