Personal Planner

Disclaimer: I received a customized Personal Planner in exchange for a review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

If you didn’t find just the right gift for that super organized person in your life, this Personal Planner from might be just the right thing. Just act quick if you want to personalize a planner – the deadline for ordering them is December 3 (tomorrow) at 6 pm. You can still get a pdf gift certificate so your receiver can create their own through December 25. 

When I read the pitch for this product, I knew it was a great fit for my life:

The company has created a fill-in-the-blanks template just for the design obsessed. Ranging from $18.95 – $21.95, here are the details for this thoughtful gift:


– upload pictures from desktop and Instagram

– design front & back covers, change images, font color and background


– pick which month/yr you want the planner to begin with- no longer limits

you to the start of each calendar year

– design writing space details:i.e. “work”, “workout”, weather, etc…

include personal calendar dates throughout the year

– at check out you can choose discreet packaging if planner is a gift

I’ll be using mine to supplement my phone and email calendars. Sometimes even being technologically savvy means missed appointments and bills. I’ll be able to jot down quick thoughts and “see” what I’ve got happening each day.

My customized personal-planner has a front cover with a photo of Greg and the kids:

Front Cover

The back boasts my medals from runs in 2013, an incentive to keep my butt moving:

(So you can see both)


I was able to quickly upload these photos to the personal-planner site. Both are actually from Instagram, and the quality turned out fine. (Any weirdness in the photos here are due to the fact that my phone was dying when I took these, and I had to turn off the flash so they shininess wouldn’t come through.) The hardest part? Selecting which photos I’d be using.

Inside, there’s a message for anyone who finds my planner, should I lose it.

My info’s there below my name, but I left it out for photo purposes.


Each day has ample space for writing in the plans. I opted to have a training block on each so I can keep tabs on my exercise. There’s a to-do list and a “list of the week” section, too. Haven’t decided how I’ll use that list yet, but I might use it to start some top 10 blog post ideas.

The site even lets you put in special days. I added our birthdays and anniversaries, but I wish I’d taken more time to add in others’ birthdays, too.

Shh…don’t remind me that he’ll be four in a ‘lil over a year.

My favorite part, so far, is the overview section. There’s one for 2014 and 2015. I’ll be able to “big plan” my year, which is an excellent way to keep track of all.the.things.

Extras (included in the price) were a ruler/bookmark, a clear folder for keeping “stuff” – mine is housing business cards that I need to reach out to for blogging stuff, Arianna said I should use it for more pics, and extra “notes” pages at the end.

Shipping was quicker than I expected (about a week) and it came in an adorable box (which I forgot to photograph before trash day, sorry).

While I won’t be using this planner until the end of the month (my start date), I’m excited. It will be a great way to stay organized and keep a personal touch. Thank you,, for making this possible.

Be sure to stop over to personal-planner to check them out.

How (not) to Prepare For a Photo Shoot

Today was ‘lil Man’s 2nd birthday photo shoot. Our scheduled time was 1:00, but because I know my family, my aim was to get us out the door by 12 to provide extra time.  Good thing, because the morning was full of blog fodder. Thus, this post.

When you are preparing your young family for a photo shoot, here are some tips.

* Ensure those being photographed have matching outfits laid out completely the night before. We were searching suitcases to find shoes. A minor detail, but the day didn’t call for rain boots, the only closed toed shoes around.

* Mamas, make sure your nails are polished or clear. You never know when you might be in the shoot, even as a “prop”. So glad I removed my scuffed polish this morning. Wish I had gotten that mani/pedi I wanted yesterday!

* Baths should be taken in order of who is being photographed and AFTER they’ve dipped eggs, bacon, and fingers in ketchup.

* Workouts can wait if kids need attention.  I made this mistake and a simple workout took over 20 minutes longer than it should have, pushing our timing off track.

* If you will be outdoors,  plan for the weather. We walked out the door with pink gloves for ‘lil Man because we (still) cannot find his gloves, oops!

* Give stuffies a bath…they could be the star of the show!

* Mamas, relax. Your kid will do just fine and show their personality. As long as you avoid “chain” photographers or those that are impersonal. If you need to find a good one,  I can clue you in! My kids have grown used to “our” photographer and always manage to open up and provide classic shots.


Until we get some pics back, here is a sneak peek to where they were taken…’lil Man’s favorite Pittsburgh place!