Thursday, November 12, 2015

Seasonal Planner Tutorial 101

We kicked off a Tutorial this week at The Seasonal Beehive Group where we chit-chat about The New Seasonal Beehive Planner. 

I decided to place it RIGHT HERE so you don't have to go any further to see how to purposely, intentionally, and mindfully use those planners. Or if you didn't order a Winter Edition (now sold out) because you weren't sure how to use it or what it entailed, you can see all the nuts and bolts in one post. (Keep checking back as we aren't finished discussing it.)

Consider you are on the cutting edge of this creative endeavor and I certainly need your input to make it better. I don't want anyone lost and I don't want any planner sitting unused.

I'm listening...and I've heard you.  The Spring Edition will have that illusive monthly time line. Sorry it's lacking in the Winter. I was really hoping to get us away from being too "boxed in" but I guess that's defeating the purpose of being Seasonal. ;-)  Planning within timeframes is necessary and structure/routine is golden (as taught to me by my middle grandson).

So let's get those planners out.

We want to make sure they're worth your time, money and seasonal planning. God love you!

*  * * * *
Remember: This is a seasonal thing. Don't think too far into the future. Unlike yearly planners, this one centers you in the season, in the moment. I suggest getting a good set of bright pencil colors...especially for those who have the black and white planners. ‪#‎seasonalplannertutorial‬

* * * * *

Each month has quotes which guide you in a focused thought for the season. Winter's focus is GRATITUDE. The mini-month-at-a-glance is self-explanatory. I cannot even begin to plan if I can't quickly turn to the month in its fullness. The Spring Edition will have grid lines charted, per someone's request
* * * * *
Each month you're presented a page like this. We can begin our planning here. It says "share your accomplishments this month" but I think of it more as a goal sheet. This is your planner; use it either way. For the sake of not fearing our planners, let's begin now and use it for setting our top goals for next month. If you choose, in January you may prefer to use it at the end of month to write your accomplishments. Whip those pens out and put that pencil to paper. I got my p...urple gel pen cause it reminds me (intentionally) of the Christmas Novena I commit to every Advent season (if other prayers fail, this is one I'm committed to). Yes, we say Christmas around here. There's a good link for the novena here for those of you wanting to pray it with me. 
Start jotting down what your goals are- what do you want to accomplish in December-what kind of diet are you looking at- what book are you committed to reading (hopefully writing it down will keep you from over purchasing another Christmas book (like I do). ...or treat yourself to one book you've been wanting to get your mittens on). See that question mark? I want to hear what book you chose to read this season.
Notice at the bottom of page I put my own NO FAIL PLANS! ? You don't have to do this. You can note whatever you want, but I cannot let the month of December slip by without reading this little  book to my babies and creating a confectionary gingerbread house with them. Complete with Mortimer the Mouse and His Christmas Manger, it's a beautiful, simple, yummy tradition at MayMay's house every December (and lovingly includes the holy family into the fun smile emoticon ). I make note of it because it me and to those little boys! Last year we added ice cream cone decorated Christmas trees. This year I'm looking for an easy cute mouse confection to make with the boys. It's just not complete without Mortimer...and a package of wet wipes. ;-)

The Work Project Box...I am the DRE @ our local church. That is considered my "work" outside the home which clearly (for me) needs to be "boxed in" to prevent it epping into other areas of my crazy life. But I don't want that to become unintentional and crazy either. What do I want those children to walk away with in CCD next month...outside of all the crazy, busy crafts and coloring sheets and candy they will receive in the classroom? My "intentional planning" is to plan and present a lovely, thoughtful reflective meditation on the Nativity that will (hopefully) fill their hearts and minds with wonder and gratitude about the beauty of the Nativity story. I really don't need to plan anything else beyond this work project. THIS ONE THING is what matters! 
* * * * *
I was going to start this page with a red gel pen (you know, Christmas red). Couldn't find it. So I looked for a red pencil color (you know, berry red). Couldn't find one. So looked for any red writing instrument (you know, peppermint red). Nada! Y'all see where this is going, don't you? I could have just walked away defeated before I even began...or junked the planner in the trash...but that would only defeat myself and the dreams I had when I created this planner or---in y'alls case---when you purchased it. We can get so bogged down with our preceived expectations and appearances that we loose focus of the purpose. The secret for sucfess is: use what you have. I used a purple and green pencil color. And added a candycane sticker to keep me jolly.

I've been asked about this page and "where does one write their monthly plans?" (No fears, there will be set planning pages in the Spring) For some reason I assumed everyone already had a tried and true favorite planner they dared not part with and this was a supplemental thing. I wasn't in the market to compete with your best planner; only to enhance it. I learned quickly that a-planner-is-a-planner (especially when labeled as such...which is probably why I originally labeled it a beehive rather than a planner)...but I digress.

Back to the purpose of this page...the heart list page, as I call it, is really for anything YOU choose to use it for. Since there is already a gratitude list page and a prayer list page in the planner, I'm planning to use my hearts for planning the important concrete stuff. But if you need more space for gratitude or prayers or booklists...but all means...use it as such. This is your beehive to use however you like, for whatever you like, and (most of all) wherever your lies.
* * * * *

We're going to flip to this sheet in your planner. Each month has a Prayerful Pondering page. When you come upon this sheet it is time to get out those pencil colors and break open the Word and ponder for a moment in time what Christ is telling you. This page is purposely meant to pause you in order to set some prayer time into your month. All you need is your Bible, your seasonal planner, and pencil colors. Don't worry that it doesnt look a...s good as the fancy ones you see online (I'll share my first try in the comments). The goal is to focus on the the Word of God. This isn't an art class or contest (though I'd very much love to see your work). Let's get creative with those colors and that page. Embrace ‪#‎theWord‬. NOTE: beginning in Spring Edition there will also be a ready designed Scripture page for you to color on as well as some motifs my daughter is creating for you. Enjoy #theWord
* * * * *

The Seasonal Planner offers a Nature observation and sketch page each month. It is meant for you. Why? This is a tried and true concept taken from the pedagogy of 19th century English educator Charlotte Mason:
*"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without."
*"Do not send them (the children); if it is anyway possible, take them."
*"Here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child..."
So going out of doors is healthy and educational....and necessary. And mothers need this as much as children do. So the Nature observation/sketch page is for you...the mother. Your child would have his/her own nature journal. Maybe you have one as well...which is awesome...but it's a known fact that mothers don't have time for drawing and sitting out of doors to the same capacity our children do. The seasonal planner reminds you each month to make time for it. In your alone time or with your child.
And that sweet little black missal you see, was introduced to me by Jennifer Gregory Miller and I absolutely love it. It's a treasure! The title is Rural Life Prayer Book compiled by Alban J. Dauchauer, S.J.
* * * * *
Stay tuned. We're just getting warmed up with this tutorial. Lots more to come. :-)

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Planner in a Nutshell

What is The Seasonal Beehive Planner exactly?

In a nutshell...or rather...a beehive...

...this is how the Seasonal Planner has been described or referenced to.  ;-)
  • Calendar
  • Journal 
  • Daybook
  • Sketch pad
  • Nature journal
  • Planning guide
  • Devotional
  • Commonplace Book

  • List keeper
  • Meal planner

  • Scripture Count
  • Prayer journal
  • Bullet journal
  • Quote keeper
  • Book Memes
  • An Organizer
  • Seasonal Magazine 
It has a little of all these things wrapped tightly in 88 pages. The Spring Edition is already at 93 pages as we have added a "planner" section and have restructured it to be a bit MORE user-friendly. The Winter Edition was a bit of a learning curve. ;-)

But if we aren't learning, we aren't improving. :-)

Buyers have termed it to be:
  • A Seasonal Inspiration
  • A Working Journal
  • An Activity Book for Adults
  • My Best Friend (I especially love this one! ❤❤❤ )

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Questions About the Seasonal Planner

When does the Winter Edition begin?

Each seasonal planner covers 3 months. The Winter Edition Begins with December 2015 and continues with January and February 2016.

Can I still order the Winter Edition?
Yes...through the month of November. Order link is HERE.

When will the Spring Edition be ready to order? 

In January. We might have a pre-order date towards the end of December. Check the Cajun Cottage Shoppe for ordering date. I will also send a personal mail out to everyone who has already ordered a Winter Edition.

Where is the Seasonal Planner available?

Besides ordering online from the Cajun Cottage Shoppe, the planner will also be available at the Living Advent Workshop in Virginia on November 7th. The lovely Ruth Tucker and her daughter Adrianna will have a few limited copies at their tables: Loreto Rosaries, LLC and My Little Felt Friends.

The Seasonal Planner will also be available locally on November 19-21 at the Lake Charles Civic Center @ Mistletoe and Moss in Louisiana.

What are people saying about The Seasonal Beehive Planner?

Read reviews here. What People are Saying About The Seasonal Planner

What can I expect in the Spring Edition?

The Winter Edition is the first of its kind. I looked and looked and googled and searched and couldn't find anything to walk hand-in-hand with my family and I through the seasons I so love. So I began creating. The Winter Edition will walk you through a rhyme of seasons but the Spring Edition will dance you through...because with the Winter Edition I fell into a wonderful pace in making the Spring Edition even better.

Because of that the Spring Edition is Just Got 100% BetterIt doesn't mean the Winter Edition doesn't have lots of good stuff, it just means that with putting the Winter Edition into your hands, you told me what you liked and what you needed more of. I finally sacked the "planner" essence and tied it up into a bow in the Spring Edition. We're going to embrace and enjoy theses seasons together.

Happy Seasonal Planning!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Seasonal Planner Just Got 100% Better

One feedback I have received on the new Seasonal Beehive Planner came while standing in a hallway chatting with a local friend. Her critique, concern, and suggestions created an addition for the SPRING edition which is making it 100% better (watch for a January order date). It includes reminders of dates beyond the normal holidays; dates such as Hairstylist Day and Grandparents Day and Cinco de Mayo and Thank Your Pastor know, all those fun life-extras that we forget about until the day after;-)...along with small ideas to commemorate the date (only if you want to) to make yourself feel you're "in-the-know" or at least ahead of the game---even when you're not ;-)---or, if nothing else, just for the random FUN-ness of it all.

This hallway critique was ironic because I found the hardest part of this planner was creating the "planner" part. I am very Charlotte Mason-y minded (see the reviews recently posted: First Reviews: These ladies "get it!" and embrace it). This little planner was to be a gleaning away from the regular boxed-in planner. Possibly for those of us who have found a planner doesn't work properly in our hands. For those of us who survive in the now more than on next year's plans which might, or might, not happen.
I wanted this creation to be thoughtful and compact. I added lists that I thought were worth your time-of-day. I didn't want anything stressful. Remember, for some of us "boxes" create stress because we feel the need to fill-in those "boxes".  Now, lists? Ah, yes, that's where it's at. Those of us who don't do well inside of boxes still love our list-making. The lists seem to work better than the boxes. I've always found the boxes in planners are much too small for my creativity and regular duties. Lists, on the other hand, can expand and flow and breathe. So there are lots of lists in the WINTER edition of the Seasonal Beehive Planner.
I simply couldn't wrap the "planner" part around my brain and fit it into this "box". The thought of creating a box scared me. And I felt guilty selling a planner that wasn't a planner. And so I fudged and tried to call it anything but a planner. But the one word people understood was "planner"...except for the postal lady that is (very nice lady) who finally looked at me and said, "Oh, you mean like an organizer!?!"
Yeah, like that.

Only the mission of The Seasonal Beehive Planner isn't to organize your life. There are multitudes of organizers already out there for you to tediously do so. There is no "goal" behind the Beehive because it's a "mission" meant to calm your life.
So I set it up with seasonal prompts and activities and a focus and a devotional and LISTS....lots of LISTS...and avoided those boxes like one would avoid a hornet nest. :-)

But I was listening to the humming and buzzing of others. I could tell from the questioning and input of others that some want (or perhaps have a need for) those little spaces in which to cultivate daily plans. In a very real way, that calms them. I want to be able to offer them that calm. And so I worked late one night coming up with "a plan" for the SPRING edition.
And the "planner" part, which was the hardest part for me, once embraced and accepted, became the simplest thing ever. One of the FUNNER things, actually. Such a strange twist...
I had avoided the "boxed in" planner in creating the WINTER edition but, after realizing there is a deep-rooted need, a much-watered desire for such, I looked at those boxes as "focused pauses" in one's day.

I believe, perhaps, this is why we cling to and strive to "box" in our days. Part of it is a control issue...which I skirt around because I've seen nothing but tension and resistance come with people holding tight to their "boxes" and trying to control their day...but I'm learning (always learning) to see that what people really need is not control but a centering (which many Church Fathers have talked about and written about). We need a focus and a coming back to self and a reminder that fits in with the cycling of the seasons which follows the cycling of our lives. It's a natural process and there's nothing wrong with it whatsoever. We need "focused pauses". We need that balance. With that concept, the planner part (available in the SPRING edition) creates a balance and fulfillment that is lacking in the WINTER edition.

"Boxes" can add support and create structure. And that's a very good, very necessary thing. I'm beginning to understand that now.

Slow learner, me? Nah!

The WINTER edition is pretty nice and special in its own way, so the Reviews seem to say, but since it was the very first edition of this endeavor, I'm fixing myself a fresh cup of coffee, embracing the pause, grateful for the focus, and moving on.

Have I mentioned the SPRING edition is going to be 100% better. :-)
{Special grateful THANK YOU to the talented, Anna Cantrell, who has created the cover design and art work for The Seasonal Beehive Planner! }

First Reviews on Beehive Planner

First shipment orders are arriving at their new homes and here are some of the whisperings that people are saying, texting, emailing, messaging to me. I'm grateful for all your feedback.

Please keep your comments and feedback and suggestions coming. I want to hear your thoughts about this new little planner. I want to hear everything! I want to make sure it blesses your season. Contact me @ caygibson AT gmail DOT com

Happy Planning!

* * * * * *

"It's very Charlotte Mason-y..."   ~ L.F.

* * * * * *

"I received my book and just love it. I would love to skip November and head right into December. ( heck, it has already snowed here). I also have struggled with needing a day planner desperately but becoming totally overwhelmed with them. This is perfect. A little planning, a little peace and a little bit of time to just breathe and enjoy. Thank you you producing such a lovely book ." ~ J.C.  
 * * * * * *

"My new best friend, my security blanket and it fits right into my purse. Its my own little world where I can hide into while out and about." ~ L.M. (Thank you for the picture, L.M. ;-) )

"I love, love, love this "planner." It is actually better than what I was expecting!!! Thank you so much." ~ K.V. 
* * * * * *
"I'm having such a challenging week, and came home after an unexpected car repair to find my seasonal planner. As I turned the pages, curled up on the couch, I felt the tension drain away. Thank you for this beautiful gift. I LOVE it! And it came right when I needed something lovely for my heart and my soul. Thank you, thank you!" ~ M.P.
 * * * * * *
"I went with the black and white and couldn't be happier. I think it is well done. Would it be wrong to compare it to an activity book for adults? I find that aspect exciting. I like being prompted to do this or that on the pages." ~ J.T.

{A little note for those who order the B & W. A packet of lovely pencil colors makes your planning perfectly "planned". :-) }

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Some Schemes and Dreams

It took me two nights to sort and wrap and stuff and seal and pray over each little journal that was sent out to its home this past week. I'm so grateful to all of you for taking me seriously. Why on earth did I do this? I wasn't even a passionate planner when they first took hold of our daily lives. I thought them dry and rigid and useless. Just boxes to fill. No fun, no flavor, no meaning. Just busy work. It drove me crazy to ink in boxes with plans that got canceled and moved before the week even started. Three gift planners sat at the top of my closet unused before I committed myself to using one...more out of guilt than because I felt the need to use one.
But I don't believe one should live under the code of guilt. I found that using a planner had to be an intentional desire before it became a commitment and then a habit which turned into a lifestyle choice. Guilt only gets you so far, and it usually isn't uphill.
Perhaps that's why. I had something in my vision and it wasn't a dry and rigid planner.
The Seasonal Beehive Planner is only part planner (perhaps not even the best one you'll ever use...I'm still planning to use my main Day Designer and simply tuck the Beehive into the front pocket or my purse. 
You won't find anything to "box" into a certain day. The whole season (3 months worth) is meant to be planted ~ flourish ~ harvested ~ lie dormant within its pages. The best of the Beehive is  that it is a journal, a magazine, a game plan, and a raw filter for the rest of your life so that when your planner boxes get too cramped and full, I pray you reach out for your Beehive and breath a moment, reflect a minute about what truly matters about the season you are living in.
And be grateful for the honey in your life and not let the buzz-iness disturb your hive.
The purpose of Cajun Cottage Press is to focus on home, seasons, and simple living. Our planner begins every season anew. This planner is all about giving you the freedom, yet the structure, you need to plan your seasons with flight and a bee-zy world. It is not meant to be busy, like your main planner. The purpose of this one is to quiet you. Fill in your boxes in your main planner...but come and take a rest in each season with The Seasonal Beehive.
The very creating of the Beehive quieted me.
My hopes and prayers are that the same calm will be reflected onto you.

While the rest of the world retreats to their digital smart phone calendars and scheduling apps The Seasonal Beehive Planner takes you back intentionally to pencil on paper.

I seriously wonder why my family puts up with these hare-brained schemes and dreams of mine. But they have been crazy supportive of these seasonal planners, as have all of you.
I'm truly grateful.
Which brings me to a little beehive-keeping right now.
{Beehive stickers purchased from QueenBeeInspirations }
 I need you to know that because this is a seasonal product I have to collect orders before printing. It is not something I can store in my personal  beehive that creates more clutter and which I loose money on ordering but not selling. Everything I do with these planners has to be intentional and well-thought. I must be a good steward of your money as well as my own. As this was the first run of these planners I had no idea if anyone was interested much less willing to take a chance of a new product, one of which there are countless designs and possibilities out there. Again, thank you to all who took a chance and ordered. I'm grateful for your faith in my other books, enough to invest in this venture.
So orders placed in September were printed in early October and mailed in mid-October. If you are still waiting for your planner, that is why. Those orders exceeded my plans and the applause gave me permission to go through with filling a need and a want that others, like myself, might have. In looking online I could find nothing like what I envisioned...what I wanted and needed as a Christian wife and mother...except a lone seasonal planner that didn't seem (for any number of reasons probably) to have gotten past its first issue. It fell void years ago. That worried me. Either the creator's heart was not fully immersed in the creation or there simply was not a need for it. 
The Spring edition will reveal to me if there is truly a desire for this product or if the Winter edition was not what you expected it to be. That will be a tell-tale sign of whether this is truly a ministry to be lovingly tended or just a wild idea to let go of. 
And speaking of ministry...
The Seasonal BeehivePlanner is my very “little way” to contribute towards the support of families and home life while supporting mine. It’s an outreach of sorts. We work together for a greater, holier good.
Remember that the work within this book happens within a community: my creativity reaches out towards your need for intentional living and helps meet the needs of your family.
This building of families...good, whole, realistic, Christian important stuff and for a time when people are always looking at healthy alternatives, building a good, solid family is the healthiest thing one can do for their children.

You are all in my seasonal prayers. May you and your family have a season of blessings and joyful living.


* * * * *
That being said...for those of you who will be receiving their new planners very soon, I really want to know your thoughts, your ideas, your excitement and...yes...even your disappointments with the Seasonal Beehive. I need to know in order to create a better beehive with each season and make sure it is leading you into a calmer lifestyle and not unnecessary buzz-iness.  

There is a conversational Seasonal Beehive Group for discussion found here on FB:
The Seasonal Beehive Group
I really want to know what you think of the Seasonal Planner.
Don't hesitate to email me @
caygibson AT gmail DOT com
Here are a couple of pointers concerning the planners and getting them into your hands:
  •  The first issue---which will be available in time for winter hibernation and all the festivities that create the months of December, January, and February---was printed in October 2015.
  • Another printing of Winter 2015 will be done this week. Anyone ordering the Winter 2015 Issue during what remains of October/November 2015, will have their planners shipped to them by mid-November. 
  • Plans for this little planner are blooming and the Spring 2016 Issue is promising to be even better.
  • The Spring 2016 planner (celebrating March, April, May) will be ready to mail by late January. Watch my Etsy shop to see when it comes out.
Thank you for your patience and your support. 
 Have a blessed season and happy planning!

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Stillborn Prayer at 4 AM

My daughter-in-law's yorkie dog is tucked in tightly to the left of me, my morkie Poo Jazzy sleeps at my feet. My grandson dreams to the right of me.

My husband has just awaken me to the fact he's been called out early to work. I roll to the side, careful of all my sleeping babies.

{ }
It's now 4 am and I can't sleep. I've always heard God is asking you to pray for someone.

Prayers feel void.

Even at 4 in the morning, even while surrounded with life in motion, even while knowing of busy plans within the next few hours, I reach for connection with other souls.

And the Spirit (that is always awake and vigil) and social media deliver this story into my hands:

Stillbirth by Leah Lebec

"And then he died, sometime during the quiet predawn hours. No one wept as he died. No one knew the precise moment when his heart renounced the struggle, and he gave up his spirit."

And I know that I'm called to pray for a woman in labor...a woman who has just lost a child...a woman who grips her swollen belly pleading for her little one to wake up. Because that could have been me. So many years ago. Eighteen years this week. A midnight prowl, like a mama cat in labor. I walked, I laid full out on a cold tile floor, I pushed, prodded, gripped my swollen belly. Waited. By morn I felt a swift little kick that assured me everything was ok. But I know the gut-wrenching terror of a midnight prowl.

{ }
My grandson breaths heavy and rolls closer next to me.

There's a lot of people out there. A lot to pray for. A lot of suffering souls. Many lost souls. So many searching, hoping, agonizing for joy in an unhappy world, a joyless society.

"What possible joy? The realization, for me, of how strongly God loves us. Yes, loves us, all seven billion of us, teeming over the earth. I have come to understand the love... that pierced my heart as a dim reflection of God’s love for us. Such love is instantaneous, it is absolute, it has no care for how many of us there are or what we have accomplished. It has no care for how long we have been alive. Young or old, sick or well, we are lovely in His sight, worthy to His heart. The love that overwhelmed me, even for a seven-month-old stillborn baby, also deepened my understanding, comforted me, and in the end, held up for me a mirror of the divine. Our capacity to grasp the humanity, the luminous beauty, of every child who comes into being is our capacity to love as God loves—with a strength that is primal, unreasonable, and unshakable."

And I am reminded again why I believe it holy...yes, holy...not to be too harsh or too arrogantly cruel to someone who does not view life from the same affiliate guardianship as myself. Not all suffering souls have been given the same religious upbringing or guidance or experiences as me.

"The next day, we went to a church. We were vaguely wondering what we should do when the baby was born. Should we bury it? Should we baptize it? We talked to a priest. We didn’t know him and he didn’t know us. We were not rooted in any religious community then. We stumbled into his church, and demanded that he say the right words to us at a time when neither he nor we could know how heavily these decisions would weigh.

"'Don’t think of it as anything but an operation,' he said. 'Don’t bury it or baptize it. It will only increase the pain.' He’s right, I thought, even as a more cynical thought nudged its way in: an “operation”? What does this guy know about childbirth? But Alain and I decided to agree with him. We didn’t really care one way or another about burial or ritual. The fetus was dead. The sooner its body was taken care of the better."

Life? Some of us just move through it minute by minute. Not fully understanding the fullness. It doesn't mean we love less.

It's a lesson for us to quiet ourselves so as to give God the privilege of taking a breath so that He can stir a fire from the messy ashes of another's decisions so as to create something brighter and more meaningful than any words I could ever say.

Stillborn by Leah Lebec

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Full Color Seasonal Beehive Planner Now Ready to Order's the low-down, the hi-down, and the inbetween-ground ;-) on the...

 Seasonal Beehive Planner. 

My dear husband finally told me to just quit. Quit tweaking it. Quit messing with it. Quit changing it. Leave it alone. You're done.
What bystanders don't usually understand is that all that tweaking and messing and playing and changing and butt-sitting aren't only in creating the planner. They're part of the website and the order page and the go-to Facebook page and random playing with photos and the constant changing of price tags because we want so badly to make it affordable to many without pricing our creation out of existence.
I was planning a BIG launch date because they sound and look so fun. I was also keeping my eye on the calendar...wanting to make sure everyone has the Winter Issue of SBP in the palms of their hands by November in time to use it by December 1st.
The beautiful thing with this first issue of SBP is that it doesn't begin or end with this one issue. It carries on. It moves on. It lives on. It's as fluent as...honey. At least that's what I'm hoping.  ;-)
I get to move on and plan again and live on again in the next issue...and the next...and the next.

NO...WE GET TO...move on...plan again in a new season. Isn't that a positive thought to realize? to claim for your own? to breath in the possibilities?

And I get to share it with you throughout a whole year of living...hopefully living well. That's the purpose of this planner.

We BOTH get to move forward (forget the dirty, messiness of life)...we BOTH get to carry on (despite the scribbled pages and unsolved problems jotted down)...we BOTH get to plan again (ignoring crowded boxes with false promises and empty notions that didn't go as planned)...we BOTH get to move on (afterall, tomorrow is another day!)...we BOTH get to live again (because we can)...and we BOTH get to inhale the newness of seasons past, present, and future (as well as creamy fresh pages taken from life).
And I'm embracing that decision.
I'm moving on into the Spring Issue as you gather the rich ideal that began this new planner in a rather plentiful woodland forest of planners. Because I know there's many of them and I don't want to disappoint.
My intent was to create something totally different. I'm ever so thankful and grateful if you trust me enough to come inside this beehive with me and see what I've created.
Until word and samples of this new planner get out and about on the Internet, I can only promise you what I have delivered before in my educational resources: Literature Alive!, the Mosaic series, and A Picture Perfect Childhood.

You can find reviews on all my books and know that what I create and share is done with a lot of heart and joy behind it. I've created and written resources to be used and shared and written in and fancied in. They are not just books to sit on your shelf. They are resources intended to light a fire inside your soul, wrap ideas around your mind, spread meaning on your intent, and capture joy within your life.

Today I've heard a couple of women tell me "I need this." That is such music to my ears and honey to my lips. If I've create something that is not needed, not useful, not of value...well...we can all fill in that void blank. For me that creates a lonely life, a lonely existence.

I am trying my hardest to fill the world with a spirit of resourcefulness and beauty and meaning.

Seriously...I want this little journal to breath your life anew. If it is not used, written in, read throughout, pondered over, thought about, tucked inside your purse then...perhaps it is true. You don't need it.

Because of this...and because I'm forever learning on a continues to be a process of giving. What the Winter Issue lacks, I hope you'll share with me so I can see about spreading it through future issues. You might see it in the Spring or Summer or Autumn Issue.

While the Winter Issue promises many things, even now I'm realigning and planning the Spring Issue.  There will be an encouragement chart for kids (still deciding what that chart might encompass) and I'm thinking monthly dividers might be a good idea, a liturgical year bullet-point checklist, and a Hidden Life column. (You don't want to miss the column on Hidden Corners found in the Winter Issue.)

It's all a work in progress. As excited as I am about beginning a new issue, I want you to be excited about receiving the one I sent to the printer recently. The one my husband told me to quit lingering over and pondering over and toying with like a cat with a moth. Don't do that to yourself. ;-)

If you wait to see what's coming in spring, you might miss out on something you need to see, hear, or use in the issue that is sitting on my desk right now.

I know we live in a world that promises to define you and simplify your life and give your life meaning. And there's so many things telling us You Need This!

I never want my creations to come across like this.

If I could offer it freely, I would. And I did do that...for the past year...without having a single plan in mind. I shared and conversed at The Seasonal Beehive Group. That group is now open publicly for us to converse, discuss, exchange and support one another. Only one day this past summer, I realized what I intended to do and what I wanted to share through this outreach.

This little planner is about sharing a meal and reading a book. It's about counting our blessings and being intentional about our family traditions. It's about being thoughtful over our finances and encouraging during our challenges. It's about keeping track of our unheralded successes and mindful of our Scripture reading together. It's about taking time for a daybook notation (or two) and taking a walk (or two) together. It's about finding community from within our hidden corners.

And it's on paper because good old-fashion pencil to paper forms a connection between the mind that flows through the heart and creates a community of sharing.

I have to make it count.

You have to make it count.

I have to be accountable to my family for how I spend my time. You have to be accountable to yours for what you invest your time in. I'm hoping the SBP blesses both of us for the good of our families.

A full-color issue is now available at Cajun Cottage Press. I really, truly wanted to make it affordable (I changed the price at least five times) but ink products are even more costly now since the web of the Internet filters through everything and full-color doubles everything. In a very big, heartfelt way, I'd rather not offer anything but the full-color. It's what I envisioned and the color helps to define our plans and imprint the ideals on our plans better than just black and white.

Life should be colorful. Right? I'm hoping it blesses you and your loved ones and your life sweetly and richly. Keep abreast of updates and newness here: Seasonal Beehive Planner

 Order now before winter's chill takes your breath away:

~ Winter Issue ~

The Seasonal Beehive Planner

(Covers all the meal planning, traditions, and shopping of Christmas/ an Advent meditation/ complete with a section for beginning the New Year/ a column on finding our hidden corners this winter/ a shared article by the lovely Aimee Kollmansberger over @ living learning and loving simply because heaven knows we all need a dose of simple living, learning, and loving/ a fun "snow" section to enjoy with your children/ articles and quotes on "gratitude" for your heart/ and many lists and bits (some listed here: Make Your Life Count) to help you make your life intentional and meaningful)


* * * * *


Please pray for the spring issue as Anna works on the new sketches and I work on the interior. It's the place where I'm able to think my best. Being able to share it with you is a blessing.

{Cover design and waterpaint by Anna Cantrell}


Friday, September 4, 2015

Make Your Life Count

This isn't a typical planner. But surely no one starts out creating just another planner.

I really don't want The Seasonal Beehive to replace anyone's favorite planner. I have various planners I use and I find myself constantly looking for one that has everything I desire and is simple enough and serves me and my family with purpose at the same time.

Though a paper planner might not spark everyone with purpose and excitement and intent the way those snazzy apps on our smart phones do---for me---the paper stills and settles me into a more intentional frame of mind. I keep returning to a paper planner because it is something that steadies me with the assurance that Someone took the time and cared enough about me to make this so that this area of my life would have meaning no matter what else is happening in my life.

{My oldest daughter at her bridal shower looking through a homemade cookbook her Oma created for her; full
of recipes passed down from a generations before her.}
I want this seasonal product to compliment your favorite planner, not make it more burdensome or awkward. I want it to be more of a keepsake, something for you to look back on years from now and see those monthly praise reports and those intentional prayer requests and remember those moments
you found yourself in nature and know how many times you turned to God and what you challenged yourself to do each season and what creative outlets you were intentional with, and what books and plans you spotlighted that season.

Even if it only happened once that season.

Life can be a blur and, if it is not intentionally observed and jotted down, we tend to stop years later and think those years were a waste. Even when they weren't.

I want you to stop and see your intent in the intervals and the pauses in those present moments. I want you to see the sanctity of each season.  I want you to know your life wasn't a waste!

Someone recently asked if this was like a working journal. That's a very good description for it is through work that we find our purpose and it is through working within a schedule that we find our focus.

I call it a planner for lack of a better term but its primary goal is to make you focus on the things that deserve your mindfulness as you pass through each of life's season.

I hesitate to use the words "intentional" and "mindful". So often they are overused. The same thing with simplicity. But that's exactly what this little working journal is grounded, steeped, and brewed in. Intentional mindfulness and simplicity.

Be intentional. Be mindful. Be observant. Live gratefully. Live simply.

Make Your Life Count!

The Winter Issue of The Seasonal Beehive is almost finished. Artwork by Anna Cantrell, a fellow Louisiana gal.

I have tweaked a few more things, added a few more pages, considered a few more suggestions.
After the rough copy arrives next week I will send off for a final copy to the printer in hopes that it will pass an objective eye in order to be made available this October. And even in the mist of this investiture, new additions are happening in the Spring Issue which is in the works.

There will be 4 options:

Size 6 x 9" Saddle-Stitch (Black on Cream)
Size 6 x 9" Saddle-Stitch (Full Color)
Size 6 x 9" Coil Bound (Black on Cream)
8 1/2 x 11" Coil Bound (Full Color)

(The planner's pages are for the Winter Months: December, January, February)

Here is a sneak preview of what is inside each planner, specifically this planner.
Certain pages stay the same. Other pages, such as the theme and fun focus and essays, will change each season.

Each Month Offers:
  • Calendar at a Glance
  • Monthly Intentional Points
  • Monthly Bullet Points to Remember
  • Monthly Daybook
  • Monthly Nature Walk w/ sketch page
  • Monthly Sheet for Prayerful Creative Doodling
  • Monthly Gratitude Praise Reports
  • Monthly Prayer Intention Sheet
Each Season Offers:
  • Themed Essay (Winter's is on Gratitude)
  • Fun Focus (Winter's is on Snow)
  • Recipe, Craft and Booklist for Kids (Winter's is Snow-themed)
  • Meal Planning Chart for Christmas
  • Intentional Essays
  • 10- Day Challenge Chart
  • A holiday or seasonal poem
  • Holiday Spotlight Planning Pages
  • Your own Book Pause for reflective journaling
  • Journaling-Organizing-Planning Worksheets
  • Home Cabinet Caring-for-your-Family Page
  • The 15-Minute Class Room Break
  • Scripture Count (A page to help you read your Bible)
  • A Devotional each Season
Here are a few sample pages: Seasonal Planner

Be intentional and share this with a friend.
Let them know that they count in your life.
Tell you what...share and tag five friends with the hashtag #seasonalbeehive and make sure you let me know and your name will be put in a drawing for a FREE Spring Issue!
Email me @:
cajuncottagepress at yahoo dot com

Recommendations by Engageya

Blog Archive