Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts

Aug 29, 2017

Flexible Homeschool Schedule App Review

Okay you'll know I am all about planning and having a detailed plan in place for our homeschool. In case you missed my homeschool planner video you can check it out here.

In combination with having a physical planner I've been in the market for a digital set up to partner with my paper planner. I love having my paper planner but I want something to be able to take with me at all times that allows for me to look at and schedule things on the go.


Flexible School Schedule Review

I wanted to be one of the first persons to share with you a new app that is coming soon that will revolutionize the way we homeschool moms plan. The all new Flexible School Schedule planning app with be perfect for a busy mom looking to simplify the planning and tracking progress of each and every child in the home.

The Flexible School Schedule App is currently in the stages of being built by a homeschool family who have been homeschooling for over 10 years. With over a decade of homeschool planning successes and failures Phillip and Lanaya Gore, along with their four children, have been designing the Flexible School Schedule App in hopes to bring something new and needed to the homeschool market.


This app has many great features that really interest me as a flexible homeschooler. We all know that one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is having the ability to skip days and move around assignments when needed, however; more often than not I seem to struggle with tracking the progress of each child.

With this app I can easily keep track of each child's progress for not only every subject but for all assignments. I can keep a detailed folder for each subject and a record of all assignments that allows me to stay up to date with current progress and performance. As a mother of 5 small children each in different grade levels this an important feature for me. I need to be able to set assignments for each child and keep that progress separate from the rest.

Flexible Homeschool Schedule Keep Track of Assignments
Along with keeping a detailed list of all assignments per subject you can keep a comprehensive on going list of resources and notes per child per subject. Keep book list, websites, and notes for next year right in the palm of your hand. If you're like me and you take advantage of the many FREE online resources such as YouTube videos and gaming websites keeping all of this information in one local place is a great concept.

Compile all subjects and notes into folders per week and weeks per term! In other words, have the WHOLE YEAR PLANNED and ready to view at a  moments notice. I'd like to have the whole year planned and that is the ultimate goal, however I usually have six weeks planned at any given time as we are on a six weeks on and one week off schedule. 

The best part of this App is that you can print and hold tangible evidence of each and every child's progress by printing out progress reports periodically and most importantly at the end of a term or year. I like the idea of keeping attendance and progress digitally so that I can see, manage, and plan when I am away from my paper planner. 

This app is going to be so great for homeschool families that need an extra hand in keeping school planned and organized.


The Flexible School Schedule App is not available for purchase just yet. However, because this app is in the crucial stages of final design the family that is launching this remarkable product is offering all homeschoolers a way to have input into the final design plan. By donating to the Flexible School Schedule Kickstarter Campaign you will be eligible to download an early release and give suggestions and critique that will ultimately play a part into the products final publicized version. 

This means as a financial supporter of this company you will have direct input into a product that is specifically built for you! 

DONATE NOW to help desing the next great homeschooling aide! 

Disclaimer: I was given compensation for my honest opinion and review of this product.

Oct 10, 2013


Over the weekend my oldest daughter turned four. I still can't believe that she is four already! Makes me sad that time goes by so quickly. We hosted a small family gathering at our home on Saturday. Just a little social gathering around the fire pit roasting hot dogs and making s'mores. It was a nice change compared to our my usual parties.

But even the smallest parties and soirees require planning. There's what food to buy, guest list, decorations to create, and last minute projects that come up. In order to keep track of the get together I created my own PARTY PLANNING CHECKLIST!

It worked out great!

I just jotted down my list of things to do in three different sections; weeks before, day before, and day of. This allowed me to see what I needed to do ahead of time and made for better planning which made for a smoother party.


Of course the planner in me added more things to the list and jotted down every little thing to remember. I SAY FREE YOUR MIND!

{ Again I apologize for the awful pictures. My Canon is being repaired and can not wait to get it back.}

Are you planning a party? Looking forward to planning? What is your greatest dilemma when it comes to party planning?

Good Luck and Happy Planning!

Oct 4, 2013


Happy Friday everyone! I hope you guys are as ready for the weekend as I am! I have a fun filled weekend plan. My big girl turns four this weekend so we are throwing a shin-dig here at the house. A little Fall fun. A fire, s'mores, and wienie roast! I'm hoping for a little cool weather so I can bring out the sweaters and leggings.

So this week we talked a bit about dressing up our planners with personal stickers and colorful pens. I wanted to share another tutorial on how to DIY YOUR OWN STICKY NOTES. Now if you're not a planning addict no worries you can still use this to create some awesome sticky notes for your calendar or bulletin board. Or anycase to just have some cute stationery lying around when needed.

First things first is I created a new project in Photoshop. 9" x6"'', 300 ppi, RGB Color Mode. This will allow you to have two columns and three rows when making six 3'' x 3'' sticky notes. Draw a straight line at intervals of  3'' down and across. These will be your cut lines. Next you can add clip art, text, backgrounds, etc. CREATE YOUR OWN MAGIC! You can make them all the same or each one different. BE CREATIVE and HAVE FUN!

Should look a little something like this...just play around with it until you love it!

I like to transfer my projects to a 8.5'' x 11'' project board that way I know what it will look like on printed paper. You can transfer it by selecting all, hold shift+ctrl+c, this will select all and copy the entire board. Paste it onto your new paper size board. Add additional text or fun stuff if you want too!

Like this....

Next, just print them out! I recommend using a good resolution so the colors pop!

{sorry about the blurry was sunrise and the lighting was horrific...but in any light you get my point, right?}
I just cut and trim the notes to size.

Now there maybe a better tutorial out there that shows you how to make a sticky note pad. But here is how I do mine. I simple keep the loose notes in a little pile on my desk and when I want to use one I grab my glue tape and stick-i-fi the top of the back. Works just like a traditional sticky note! And holds a lot better. You can still reposition or remove it later if needed.

Like this...

And place it where I want it.

And ta da...personalized sticky notes! Easy Peasy!

Let me know if you make these and send me some pics of the ones you create at Instagram #thehouseonhillbrook. What do you like to use sticky notes for? Are you a sticky hoarder? Where do you like to sticky shop?


Let me know in the comments what you would like to see next!
 The one with the next votes will be my next tutorial! But don't you worry I plan on doing all of them soon!

~Good Luck and Happy Planning~ 

Oct 1, 2013


Oh boy it's Tuesday! Another fun filled week planned here at THE HOUSE ON HILLBROOK! I can't wait to show you all of my projects, crafts, and tips this week. It's going to be a packed week...SO STAY TUNED! Remember to subscribe, like, and connect with me so that you will get all of my updates.

Moving of my topics this week is PLANNERS! Last week I joined an amazing group started by Toni Hammersley from the blog A BOWL FULL OF LEMONS. She and her blog are AMAZING! She shares colorful organizing, decorating, and home management strategies. If you have never visited her blog before I would highly recommend it.

Toni started up a Facebook group called PLANNER ADDICTS. It's a group of mostly women that eat, sleep, and dream planners. Any type of planner you could imagine these girls have got it. I personally have been working on my new 2013-2014 planner and was so happy to come across this group. They have already taught me so much and give me so much inspiration. And they defiantly motivate me to stay on top of my planner organization which in turns means a more organized daily life. If your visiting from the group than you already know what I am talking about. Lot's of love to you guys!

Okay, let's get started!

Some of you may not know what personal planner/calendar stickers are but basically their small stickers that represent special events and daily task. Honestly you could make anything into a planner sticker. Most of you guys have these or have seen them online...

Of course these are super cute and I'll more than likely end up picking these up if I come across them. But for now I'll just make my own!!! By making my own I can literally make anything into a sticker. If a certain set of events occur and I happen to think, "oh, I need new stickers" I can simply hope on Photoshop and create a new sheet. FUN AND FREE!

I have been working on several sheets of planner stickers for myself so this list is pretty new but here are my stickers that I have come up with so far.

no school
rainy days
snow days
hair cuts
field trip
play date
coffee date
movie night
date night
MNO {mom's night out}
first day of seasons
all major US holidays
weigh in {for fitness purposes}
baking {for special days I need to batch bake}
kids {each one of my kids have their own special sticker}
hubby {special sticker for my husband}

That's a pretty good start. Once I had my list the next thing was to create the individual sticker graphics.

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 10.

Open Photoshop.

Start a new project. { 2'' x 2'', 300 ppi, color mode}

Once you have your blank project you'll want to find some clip art to start with. I like to get my clipart from here because it's free and no credit is needed. When you find an image you want just right click and save as. QUICK TIP: I suggest creating a folder for clip art. That way you'll know where the image is stored when you return to Photoshop.

Back in Photoshop, open the image.

You can edit the image or cut and paste it onto your original project. Once you have it there you can add colorful text, additional clip art or custom shapes.

I have this image ready to cut and paste onto my sticker sheet! My sticker sheet is a project board at 8.5'' x 11''. I have color blocked my page so that I can section my stickers. You could make an entire page of one sticker set. It's totally up to you! Hope that makes sense! :) I simply cut and paste my image onto my sheet and position it accordingly. REMEMBER to keep everything roughly the same size and aligned so that creating your cut marks will be easier. If your images are not aligned your straight cut marks might not work. 

So now your sticker sheet should look similar to this...

Once you have several stickers completed your sticker sheet will start to take shape.

Okay so let's talk printing and cutting! I'm going to describe two ways to do this!


If you don't have a cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo or Portrait you can still cut them by hand. Use scissors to cut them, then you can peel off the backing, and place them where you need them. I suggest just cutting as you need them that way you don't have a ton of loose stickers floating around.

If you have a Silhouette cutting machine you can KISS CUT {cut the top layer and not the backing} the sheet so the stickers will just peel right off one by one. First, you will need to save the sticker sheet as .png file in Photoshop. Open the .png file up in Silhouette Studio. The first thing you will need to do is click the REGISTER MARKS button. This will allow our blade to line up to our cut marks later on. Set the marks to the lowest setting for each margin. !!!!BEFORE RESIZING IMAGE AND ADDING CUT MARKS TURN REGISTER MARKS ON {0.395 each corner}!!

You may need to shrink the sticker sheet so the whole image fits inside the marks. The machine will not cut anything outside the registration marks.

Next, I basically created a rectangle cut box around the stickers and then dissected each sticker by creating cut marks down and across between each row and column which creates a small square around each sticker. QUICK TIP: By holding shift while you drag you cut mark will create a perfect straight line.

Send to the Silhouette and follow the instructions carefully! Once you have the sticker sheet printed and inserted into the machine {on the cut mat} make sure to check detect registration marks. This will align the cut marks on screen to the cut marks on your printed sheet so the cuts will be perfect {well close to perfect}. After you have selected and adjusted the settings the machine will prompt you to print and cut. Again, follow the directions carefully!



  •       MEDIUM-Silhouette Brand Printable Sticker Paper {even though my paper was Avery labels}
  •       BLADE- 1 or 2 {depending on the thickness you may have to adjust accordingly, I really suggest  a test cut to determine the depth of cutting}

I chose the setting for the Silhouette brand printable sticker paper even though my paper is Avery full sheet label paper it works well. I set my blade to 2! You might even can do a 1 here it just depends on the thickness of you paper. Some of my cuts did go all the way through but not enough that it really matters. I am still able to peel the stickers off the sheet.

Pay attention to the first couple of cuts! Label or sticker paper isn't cheap so if you see it go off grid you may want to stop/pause the cut and try again!

Can you see the cut marks? They make a little box around each sticker! After the Silhouette is finished cutting roll out the sheet and DO A HAPPY DANCE! Now you have peelable {is that a word} stickers. Repeat after me, "WHAT WHAT YEAH YEAH OH OH I'M AWESOME...TAKE THAT, BOOM"! You can hole punch them or put them in a pocket of your planner so their ready to go when you need a new sticker.

And there they are in my weekly spread! YAY! {psss my handwriting needs help!}

Okay ladies, I hope I made sense in all this. I'm not much for remembering every little tid bit but I hope I covered the basis for you. I would love to see your stickers. And remember the possibilities are endless. 

Will you make your own stickers? What stickers will you create? Any tips and tricks for planner stickers? Comment to let us know what stickers you make and share them with us on Instagram #thehouseonhillbrook. Let's see them all! I'll share my favorites on the blog next week! 

Don't forget to get your free copy of my 1st set of planner stickers!

Questions?- Comment below

There's a lot of chatter about Photoshop, planner pages, stickers, and DIYing things for your own planner so let me know what you guys would like to see next? 

~Good Luck and Happy Planning~

Apr 14, 2013

Shopping Yard Sales Part One: Preparation

As I stated in my last post, Fab Finds: A Thrifting Series, I love shopping yard/garage sales. During spring time I try to go every Saturday morning. Spring is best because most everyone is spring cleaning and getting rid of "junk".  But someone else's junk is my treasure! I wanted to fill you guys in on how I go about preparing for yard sales, buying from yard sales, and using things from yard sales. Let' start with preparation...

FIND THE SALES:The first thing I do when I plan to shop yard sales is purchase a local newspaper or visit the local newspaper's website. I usually do this on Friday night if I am planning to go out Saturday morning. I sit down with a notepad and pen and jot down the addresses for the places that look appealing.

PLAN A ROUTE: I take my addresses and transfer them to Google Maps. I start by entering my starting point, which is my home address, then I enter in the yard sales. Google Maps will draw a route from one yard sale to the next. You can drag the points to create a route. A good route should look like a circle. Starting with your home address and ending with your home address. You should be able to visit all of the yard sales listed while on your route. 

COUNT YOUR CASH: Cash is a MUST for yard sales. I don't think I have been to yard sale that accepted anything else. Also make sure your cash is in small bills or change and not twenties or larger. Most sellers will only have a small amount of change, especially if it's early in the day. Count your cash before you go and set a budget. I like to take twenty dollars with me. If I am browsing for larger items such as furniture or antiques I tote a little more. Don't be afraid of change. Loose change. Dimes and quarters can come in handy. I like to corral loose change during the week into a jar or change purse and carry it with me while shopping. A lot of items at yard sales will sell for nickles and dimes. 

PACK A BAG:  If  I know I am going to be out the good portion of the morning or day I like to pack a small bag with some drinks and snacks. I also like to include sunglasses, hat, and sunblock. If your toting children with you, as I some times do, you will want to make sure they are hydrated and protected from the sun. I also like to take a few extra bags with me to haul my goodies.

GAS UP: If you plan on traveling a good distance make sure you have fuel in the car. Some stores may not be open before you head out so you'll want to do this the night before. Also, make sure your cell phone is charged that way if you need to call for assistance or an emergency arises you'll be able to call for help. 

GO TO BED EARLY: If your not used to getting up early plan on going to bed early so that waking up will be easier. I have missed quiet a bit of yard sales in the past because I stayed up to late and slept in. Also I like to sleep in comfortable clothes or plan my outfit the night before so that I can just wake up, throw on a hat, and head out the door.

Being prepared will come in handy. It makes for a smoother morning and is essential if you are not familiar with the area. I have lived in my current town for four years and I am still clueless to street names and neighborhoods. Having a route is essential. I like to use Google Map because I can plan the night before verses having to type address into my GPS as I go. {I guess you could plan a route on a GPS,  I am just not familiar with mine as much as I should be}. Also when I am finished mapping out my route I just email it to myself and open it on my Iphone...and VA LA...instant directions to every yard sale in town and in a perfect path. If you don't have a smart phone you can simply print them out on good ol' printer paper. Or if all else fails right them out by hand.

I would like to know how you go about planning to shop yard sales. Do you just wake up and go or do you plan ahead? Do you have any tips on planning routes or essential items that you like to bring along? 


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