February 10 on 10…

Welcome to February 10 on 10!

It’s great to have you back. If you’re new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

february 10 on 10 photo project - well loved blanket

When Thing 1 and Thing 2 were just little girls, I made them both quillows. If you know me, you also know sewing is not one of my life skills, so this was a BIG DEAL. This quillow belongs to Thing 1, and has been loved to pieces.

february 10 on 10 photo challenge - iron and fabric

My day started with ironing.

I hate ironing.

This piece of fabric? Thing 1 has had it for years, and now (as a Christmas gift for her) I’m making it into a new quillow. That means ironing the fabric first. I stink at ironing.

Oh. Crap.
crap…
crap…
crap…

february 10 on 10 photo project - heat marks on wood table

The beauty of 10 on 10 is that you get a chance to document an entire day. The good, the bad, and the Oh. Crap. While I want to forget about this, it was (unfortunately) a major part of my day.
Sooo…apparently you shouldn’t put your ironing board over the end of your table when you’re ironing…
I think I’m going to be sick. Did I mention that I hate ironing?

Moving heavy items seemed like a good way to take my mind off the horrible mess I just made.

 

february 10 on 10 photo challenge - treadmill

If you’ve been here much, you know that we are a family of runners. You also might know my husband has a very difficult work schedule. That means he gets up at 4:30 a.m. to get on the treadmill and run. The treadmill happens to be right next to the bedroom wall. That means I’m up at 4:30 for him to run, too.  *yawn*
While I don’t know how much it will help, after a day of reorganizing, the treadmill is now about as far away from the bedroom wall as I can move it. Cross your fingers for me 😉

february 10 on 10 photo project - pretzel wrapped brats

Time for lunch! Pretzel brats left over from Super Bowl Sunday. Add a little of my favorite mustard, and Yum. Though there were no leftovers of the Bloomin’ Onion Bites to go along with them 🙁

february 10 on 10 photo project - ahnu hiking boots

I wore shoes in the house.

This is a big deal. No, I don’t normally wear shoes in the house, and my preference is barefoot. This is a special circumstance though. Mr. Awesome got me these beauties for Christmas. How cool is that?! My old hiking boots fell apart a long time ago, and finding a good replacement has been hard. So now I’m wearing these around the house to see if there are any hot-spots, pinches, etc. before taking them out-n-about!

february 10 on 10 photo challenge - sourdough starter in ceramic crock

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to feed the sourdough.

february 10 on 10 photo challenge - mail

Mail time is a bit overwhelming right now. Besides the usual mail, I’m now getting all my dad’s mail. It’s a lot of paperwork everyday.

10 on 10 photo challenge - fleece for blanket

The fabric IS ironed, so I might as well get to work on the blanket.

february 10 on 10 photo project - treadmill dashboard

Some treadmill time helps reduce a bit of my (admittedly self-induced) stress.

I hope you enjoyed the February 2016 edition of 10 on 10. How did your 10th go? Have you wanted to participate in a photo challenge? It’s not too late to start a photo challenge for the New Year! Consider joining me!

play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

Is this the year you decide to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

when mother calls…

when mother calls

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you may have picked up on the fact that I have a weekly phone date with my dad.

It started years ago with one phone call.

 

We’ve been talking every week for over 10 years now. We had been talking.

Life is unpredictable, and no matter how long we have with loved ones, once they’re gone, it was never enough.

Last year I decided to start a series of blog posts about the Things my Father Says I procrastinated writing them, because I had time, right? Then, I didn’t have time. A few weeks ago my father passed suddenly, and completely unexpectedly. And while I am SO VERY THANKFUL, for the way he left this earth, with his boots on; it meant I was completely unprepared for him to not answer the phone that morning.

Over the years my dad has imparted some real gems of wisdom (whether he realized it or not).  I’ve tried to make notes of some of my favorites. Of course I’m kicking myself for not writing more of these down over the years, and I still plan on sharing them here with you from time to time. After all, this series Things My Father Says… is #60, of my 101 things.

Some of the things my father would say were inspired, and others were just plain funny! Today, I’m sharing one that I think is an inspired funny. Dad would say this every so often, and it’s definitely stuck with me. 😉

When Mother calls, you ought to go. When Mother Nature calls, you gotta go!

 

You might think this is just about the obvious reference. But after talking with my dad over the years, I know it was more than that. He would use it in our talks when I was overwhelmed with things I ‘ought to do’. It was a way of imparting perspective. More than once, these words helped me let go of things that weren’t important.

Do you have a favorite “saying” from your parents or loved ones that has stuck with you? Please leave a comment and tell me about it, and what it means to you. Until next time,

play hard, and have fun

~Beth

Is this the year you committed to improving your photography skills?  Click this link to learn more about my fun and hands-on Photography Workshops!!

To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER.  And if you want to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 (and for photography and sportsmom related links from around the web) “like” my FACEBOOK page.

January 10 on 10…

It’s the first 10 on 10 of the year! Yay!!

 

Welcome to the January edition of 10 on 10! If you’re new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

10 on 10 photo challenge - early morning pancakes

Thing 1 and Thing 2 were home from college for a few days over Christmas break. Thing 2 really enjoys baking. I’ve been the lucky recipient of many treats (she makes amazing scones) over the last couple of weeks. This morning she volunteered to make everyone pancakes for breakfast.

10 on 10 photo project - family seahawks game TV time

Seahawks game. And no, we couldn’t believe it either!

10 on 10 photo project - yearly running goals

I’m still working on my goals for 2016. While the game was on, I made a little spreadsheet to keep track of my running goals; past and present 🙂

10 on 10 photo challenge - packing for a trip

Both Thing 1 and 2, leave to head back to their respective colleges tomorrow morning, so that meant lots of packing today. 🙁

10 on 10 photo project - family photos

It’s been a while since all of us were in a picture together. I got out my camera and tripod, then set my timer to get a few pics. While I was getting set up, Thing 2 was demonstrating the “sorority” pose for her sister. She has it down PAT!

10 on 10 photo challenge - treadmill running

My youngest daughter runs for Southern Miss, and Christmas break does not mean a break in her training. Since yesterday was her long run, today she “only” had fives miles. That meant she stayed home and completed them on the treadmill.

10 on 10 photo challenge - family photos

Everyone wanted to see the pictures from the trip to Tucson, and our family shoot. So after a quick download, we hooked up to the TV for viewing, and laughed. SO. hard. – SO. HARD. You know the kind: tears streaming, face hurting, can’t breath, laughing. It was awesome.

10 on 10 photo project - late night laundry

Last minute – late night laundry.

10 on 10 photo challenge - late night Sherlock viewing

Even later night Sherlock viewing. Why must it be on so late *yawn*

I hope you enjoyed the January 2016 edition of 10 on 10. How did your 10th go? Have you wanted to participate in a photo challenge? Maybe you even made it a New Year’s Resolution? 10 on 10 is the perfect challenge. Not too much commitment, and very achievable. Consider joining me! 

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

Is this the year you decide to improve your photography skills?  Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!! Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER. Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.

 

the best of 10 on 10 – 2015 edition…

Welcome to the best of 10 on 10 – 2015 edition!

The Best Of, is a bit of a recap (of sorts) of this year’s 10 on 10 photo challenge*  My friend Sara and I have been getting together each month for THREE YEARS! to share a peek into our lives with you. Join me on a stroll down memory lane as I visit a few of my favorite moments from 10 on 10, in 2015…

First of all, I’m in shock that 2015 went by so quickly. That must mean I’m getting old, because they say time goes faster when you get old…

January gets two photos in this review. 😉 The first pic is one that I love because it’s a scene that is so frequent in the winter months here.

10 on 10 Photo project - fog sitting in the Willamette Valley

The day started cold and foggy.  At sunrise the fog was still sitting quietly in the valley, with the tree tops creating small islands in the ocean of fog.  Beautiful.

10 on 10 Photo challenge - Leukotape and Omnifix for taping an ankle

This photo isn’t beautiful at all, but it helps me remember how quickly things change. When we’re going through tough things, it can seem interminable. In January I couldn’t even walk a quarter mile (one lap) on the track without pain. In November I ran our local turkey trot 10K and set a PR on the course. Things change more quickly than they feel like they do when you’re going through them.

10 on 10 photo challenge - the oregon garden geocache

February is wonderful because Mr. Awesome and I celebrate our anniversary then. That usually means we try to get away together alone for a couple of days. One of the activities we enjoy is geocaching. Sometimes those geocaches are tiny. And evil. It took about 20 minutes of looking to find this little devil. Nano caches can be anything.

10 on 10 photo project - avocado with egg on toast

For about three months I had this for breakfast, lunch or dinner at least twice a week. Seriously, good guacamole is one of my happy things. Soooooo yummy!

10 on 10 photo challenge - Robin with nesting material grass

This photo from April makes me smile. The early stirrings of spring had this robin hopping along the edge of the lawn grabbing dry/dead grass to make his nest.

10 on 10 photo project - bakery donuts Haggen Sherwood Oregon

Every once-in-a-blue-moon I CRAVE a good donut. And since the 10th was Mother’s Day, AND I’d just gone on a run, it seemed like a good idea. (side note: we hadn’t tried this bakery before, and let’s just say the “good” part of the donut description failed)

10 on 10 photo project - black poodle

Obi. Because honestly, what 10 on 10 roundup would be complete without her?

10 on 10 photo challenge - montauk sweet corn

The crazy heat we had over the summer meant the corn was practically jumping out of the ground. A pic of sweet corn AND Mr. Awesome? Perfect 🙂

10 on 10 photo project - Sherwood train trestle burns

In August we had some heavy smoke surround the house earlier in the day, so we were trying to find out where it was coming from.  When the news reported that the railroad trestle that runs through our little town was on fire, it was sad news.  The old trestle spanned the low-ground between two areas of town, and it was a beautiful structure.  We watched the news into the evening as it eventually collapsed.

10 on 10 photo project -

Pasta sauce out of the canner, and cooling. The lovely sound of pings that the lids make when they seal, is such a happy sound. Even the color of the pasta sauce makes me smile.

10 on 10 photo project - George Fox XC Classic

October means cross country (and cross country meets) are in full swing. I’ve loved working as a coach for the last couple of years. Such a great group of people to be associated with.

10 on 10 photo project - washing dishes

Because, if you have to do dishes, yo might as well get to take cool pictures along the way. Right?

10 on 10 photo challenge - coffee by the christmas tree

And since there was only one photo taken for December, that makes this one a no brainer.

I’d like to take a moment to ask you to join me next year for the 10 on 10 photo challenge.  It’s a wonderful way to remember a ‘day-in-the-life’.  When you’re slogging through what feels like the. same. old. thing. day after day, it can feel like things never change.  Having these little snapshots of time, really helps you remember the special moments that can slip by unnoticed.  If you’re looking for a New Year’s goal of the ‘photo type’, this would fit the bill very nicely 😉

My lovely friend Sara has teamed up with me, and is doing her own ‘Best Of 10 on 10’.  Just follow this little link to see her year in review.

Thanks for stopping by, and for letting me share my year with you.

play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

*10 photos shot over (roughly) 10 hours on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

December 10 on 10…

In this December 10 on 10*, you won’t find 10 pictures. Just bein’ up front with you about that, in case you were looking for some photo inspiration. Why? Ya’ know how sometimes life throws stuff at you? Well, yeah – that happened.

The morning of the 10th found me sitting in a shocked stupor. I knew it was the 10th, and I felt obligated to keep up my “streak” (I’ve done 10 on 10 every month, without fail since December of 2012).

I managed one photo.

10 on 10 photo challenge - coffee by the christmas tree

Today, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to remember this day. And as I sit here a week later to write this post, I don’t remember what happened that day. There must have been packing. Hotel and flight arrangements. Funeral arrangements.

It’s all a blur.

So this month, I chose not to do 10 on 10.

One of the things I did after finding out about my dad’s sudden death, was to look at the last pictures I had of us together. I changed my Facebook profile and cover photos to those last pictures.

10 on 10 photo project

Sometimes others see what we can be blind to. One of my friends from high school commented on this photo. She saw things that I overlooked, and it made this picture that much more special.

“I love how your mouths are exactly the same…the pursing of the lips, the expression, the twinkle in the eye…The same. I know I already commented, but it really is one of the best father / daughter pictures I’ve ever seen!”

I already told Jaune ‘thank you’ for this insight, but another “thank you!” seems in order.

But this, this is why I take photos.
I do 10 on 10 for all the little things.
The things that seem everyday.
The things we think are no big deal.
The things that are always there.
The things that feel mundane.
The things that aren’t “Facebook worthy”.
The things that aren’t always beautiful.
The things we think we will have time for later.

Here’s my challenge to you:
Choose a photo challenge to participate in. Any challenge. 365, 52, 10 on 10… whatever works for you. Chose something you can REALLY commit to, something achievable. Consider making it a New Year’s Resolution. Personally, I think 10 on 10 is the perfect challenge. Not too much commitment, and very achievable. Whatever challenge you chose, embrace it. Make time for it, because we never know how much time we have.

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

*If you’re new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉 Each month, my lovely friend Sara and I team up to share a “day in the life” with you.

Is this the year you decide to improve your photography skills?  Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER. And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web.

10 Fabulous Holiday Gifts for Photographers…

Welcome to the 4th annual edition of Fabulous Holiday Gifts for Photographers!  Each year I compile a list of some of the most fun (and useful) photography related items I come across, which makes this one of my favorite posts to write.

This collection of gifts has prices ranging from $8 to – $229, so you’re sure to find something here for everyone. Enjoy!

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - memory card safe

1. Memory Card Safe

If you have a camera, you have memory cards. Maybe you have a lot of them, but do you take care of them? Those little buggers are pretty tough on their own, but they do have some delicate bits and pieces. Take care of your precious cards by protecting them, oh and keeping them all in one place where you can find them. Bonus? This comes in some cool colors! $29.99*

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - memory card reader for iPad

2. Memory Card Reader for iPad

Such a cool idea, does this really need any explanation? 😉 $15* for SD cards $30* for CF cards

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - polaroid camera

3. Polaroid

The Polaroid Camera was cool, then it was gone, and now it’s back again! Combining digital and instant prints. $99.99*

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - retro vintage polaroid prints

4. Retro Polaroid Prints

Those Polaroid prints have such a distinctive look. Miss it? A lot of people do, and now there are plenty of places that will turn your digital pics into “Polaroid” prints. Some of them even have subscription options take your Facebook and Instagram photos and print them monthly for you! Prices vary depending on quantity, etc.  $22.45* for 24 prints.

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - photo books from Facebook or instagram pictures

5. Photo Books

Another simple way to get your photos off your computer, and into your hands! Can you tell I believe in getting photos printed? $8*

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - iPhone camera sticky notes post it notes

6. Paperback Sticky Notes

Sometimes you just need paper! I love this idea for making a quick note with something you probably always have with you 😉 $8* Holiday Gifts for Photographers - pocket reflector

7. Pocket Reflector

Sometimes you just need to bounce a little extra light to the right spot. $15*

Holiday Gifts for Photographers - photo camera decals

8. Photo Decals

Did all those Polaroid ideas leave you feeling a bit nostalgic? These 8-bit decals remind me of my early computer experiences. Pack of 5 decals. $18* (5 pack) 

Holiday Gifts for Photographers

9.  Vintage Camera Tote

Show everyone your love of all things camera. This cool tote is made with 95% post consumer recycled material that has a crushed, wrinkled look. Measures 15″w x 11″h x 6.25″d in size. $19*

photography workshop, photography class, photography instruction, photography learning,

small groups make sure you get hands-on instruction

10.  Photography Class

You spent your hard-earned money and bought the camera.  You followed the “quick set-up” instructions, and started taking pictures.  Maybe you took A LOT of pictures.  And some of them were good.

Some of them were really good!

You were impressed. You were so happy you bought this beautiful new piece of technology. Then reality set in. You wanted more of the really good pictures, and less of the how-fast-can-I-delete-this? pictures. You wanted fewer happy accidents and more, that’s the shot I wanted! That’s normal. Really. I know that’s where I started.

With my half-day, full-day, or one-on-one workshops, you’ll gain the skills to get the pictures you’ve always dreamed of. Reserve your spot early, my class sizes are strictly limited.  Starting at  $229

Did you find something to inspire you?  Do you need more ideas?

12 Fabulous Holiday Gifts for Photographers  (2012 edition)

15 Fabulous Holiday Gifts for Photographers  (2013 edition)

10 Fabulous Holiday Gifts for Photographers  (2014 edition)

And what if you happen to be the photographer…? Well, then just forward this list on to the appropriate gift-giving person!

play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

*prices as of 11-23-2015

p.s.s. I’m not affiliated with any of these companies (well, except for Elizabeth Wendland Photography 😉  ), and am not compensated in any way for making these recommendations.

November 10 on 10…

Welcome to the November edition of 10 on 10! If you’re new here, 10 on 10 is a monthly photo challenge to shoot 10 photos over (roughly) 10 hours, on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

10 on 10 started cold and foggy here. When I saw the fog outside, I knew this day would require a fire in the stove, and baking. Both things totally necessary on a day like this! This whole day could totally revolve around fog, fire, and food…

10 on 10 photo challenge - coral bark maple sango kaku in the fog

Fall colors and fog. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve missed this weather. I’ll be totally over it by February. Or maybe January…

10 on 10 photo challenge - wood stove ashes

Before setting a nice fire in the stove, it was due for a cleanout. These ashes will be going directly into the garden (specifically the corn rows) to add nutrients for next year.

10 on 10 photo challenge - making bran muffins

Bran muffins sounded like the perfect reason to turn on the oven.

10 on 10 photo challenge - bran muffins hot out of the oven

Hot muffins with melted butter. *happy sigh*

10 on 10 photo project - bed sheets warm from the dryer

Laundry. Always laundry.

10 on 10 photo project - helicopter harvesting Christmas trees

It’s time for Christmas Tree Harvest!  That means the days are filled with the background hum of helicopters working.

10 on 10 photo challenge - roasting filberts hazelnuts

Since the oven was already warm, and the holiday baking season is right around the corner, I roasted some filberts (hazelnuts). They smell SO GOOD. I may have gotten a tummy ache from eating too many of the broken bits and pieces. oops. #notsorry

10 on 10 photo project - fresh roasted filberts hazelnuts in bale jar

These nuts are going to the very back of the refrigerator; otherwise they will be gone before the baking begins.

10 on 10 photo project - washing dishes

Baking always means dishes. That’s right, my 10 on 10 had dishes and laundry. You’re jealous. Admit it 😉

10 on 10 photo project - leave the porch light on

Leaving the porch light on for Mr. Awesome.

I hope you enjoyed the November 2015 edition of 10 on 10. How did your 10th go? Have you wanted to participate in a photo challenge? Maybe you’ve even considered making it a New Year’s Resolution? 10 on 10 is the perfect challenge. Not too much commitment, and very achievable. Consider joining me! 

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

Is this the year you decide to improve your photography skills?  Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER. And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web.

October 10 on 10…

Welcome to the October edition of 10 on 10!

I’m coaching cross country again this year, and since October 10 on 10 happened to fall on a cross country (XC) meet day, things started early. Relax, I’m not going to deluge you with 10 pictures of the meet 😉 Honest.

 

10 on 10 photo challenge - early morning storm clouds

The weather forecasters were calling for a big storm (hurricane remnant) to come in bringing high winds, and lots of rain. To the north, the early morning sky looked foreboding.

10 on 10 photo project - sunrise in Oregon

The sky to the east was still clear for a few minutes though.

10 on 10 photo challenge - suspicious Obi dog

Obi has a sixth sense about when I’m going to leave. Even though at this point I wasn’t doing anything unusual, she was already anxiously following me around the house. Puppy dog eyes, anyone? And when did my black dog get so much white hair? #NineYearsOld

10 on 10 photo project - ram truck heading to work

Mr. Awesome had to leave early to go in to work (yes, I know it’s Saturday). He was loading a fertilizer truck that came down from Washington, and I wanted to be able to spend some time with him before I left for the meet.

10 on 10 photo challenge - Lil' Pump-Ke-Mon Pumpkin

I planted these little pumpkins in my garden this year, and they were, uhm, quite prolific. Any ideas on what to do with all of them?

10 on 10 photo project - dog waiting at the top of the stairs

Once I start getting ready to leave, Obi haunts the top of the stairs, waiting for me to come back up.

10 on 10 photo challenge - George Fox XC Classic

The meet we were attending was the George Fox XC Classic. It’s a huge meet. This is just one of the parking areas. HUGE meet.

10 on 10 photo project - George Fox XC Classic

The colleges raced first, followed by three divisions (bronze, silver, and gold) of high school runners.
side note: It was great to see all the support that surrounded the Roseburg runners.

10 on 10 photo challenge - Garmin 225 activity tracking

On XC meet days I have no problem meeting my step goal. And yes, those are rain drops on the face…

10 on 10 photo project - Sherwood High School XC Junior Varsity

You might think this is a typical pre-race team huddle. You would be wrong. This would be a pre-race team Hokey-Pokey. You’ve gotta love these guys. you put your right foot in…

10 on 10 photo project - steamy bus ride

When the races were finished and we loaded a bunch of sweat and rain-soaked runners onto the bus, things steamed (and stunk) up pretty quickly.

That brings another 10 on 10 to a close.  What did you do on the 10th?  What beautiful, ordinary moments did you capture?

* I hope you enjoyed the October 2015 edition of 10 on 10. 10 photos shot over (roughly) 10 hours on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

iPhone vs. Nikon pics 4 to 11

Is this the year you decide to improve your photography skills?  Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER. And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of sportsmom related links from around the web.

a new planner, the Get To Work Book review…

get to work book review

I have a new planner, the Get To Work Book. It’s kinda awesome.

Irony: Buying a new planner and a few days later getting an email from your previous planner company asking “Why did you leave us?“. True story.

I’ve been using my new planner for a little over two months now, so we’ve had time to get comfortable with each other (i.e. I’m not unfairly comparing my new planner to my old planner). 😉  Before we go too far, here’s a little disclaimer: I am RIDICULOUSLY picky about my planners. I’ve gone through more planners over the years than I can count, and rarely repeated any. Looking for my perfect fit is a process.

My goodness, how the planner game has changed!

This year’s planner search started several months ago. My preference is for the academic planner (July-June) rather than the standard January-December. I like the way it sort of forces me to have a mid-year review of the progress toward my goals. Plus, I’m already familiar with my planner for when the New Year planning time rolls around.

get to work book reviewPretty early on in my planner quest, I came across the Get to Work Book, created by Elise Blaha Cripe,  but immediately dismissed it due to two factors. First its size (7×9). I’ve learned over the years that anything smaller than an 8.5×11 leads to frustration for me. It would be great if a smaller planner worked for me, but experience has proven otherwise. Second, at $55, the Get to Work Book was the most expensive (non-leather) planner I looked at. But after two months of looking, I found myself comparing every planner to the lovely, clean layout of the GTWB. With only two weeks remaining in my current planner, I caved and placed my order.

get to work book review

In true Beth style, after stalking my planner shipment online, once it arrived I didn’t open it. Just looked at the package…put it in the closet for a few days… Don’t question it. I’m an enigma to myself.

The shipping was super fast, even with my order being placed on a weekend. Kudos on that one. The planner was beautifully and thoughtfully packaged, and arrived in perfect condition even though the post office was hard on the box.

get to work book review

Once I finally got around to opening it (thanks for the kick Sara), the very first thing I noticed was a bit of a disappointment; the back cover was flimsy. In the video introducing the Get To Work Book, the creator specifically talks about the front cover being nice and thick (and it was), but the back cover, which has a little half pocket for storage, was half the weight of the front. It won’t last long the way I use a planner. Overall, if you are someone who takes their planner with them, I feel the covers are a bit “soft”. So for a measure of added protection, I took the clear plastic covers off my old planner (a 8.5×11), and cut them down to use with this planner.

The next frustration I experienced was with the 0-ring binder. Normally I love ring bound planners (and am changing my photography workshop planners to ring binding for 2016!), but this one just gives me headaches. It was so loose, I was able to just slip the clear covers in. That also means the pages slip out. I’ve “tightened” them by squeezing them a bit closer, but those rings bend almost every time I put it in my bag, no matter how careful I am.

Another binder related note, the planner is so thick, and the columns placed so close to the rings, I have to prop one side of the planner up on a book to “level” the sides out enough to use them. That’s kind of a pain, especially when I don’t have a book handy.

get to work book review

  • Note: Apparently I was not the only person to be frustrated with the issue of the back cover.  A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Elise (creator of the GTWB) offering a replacement back cover.  FOR FREE!  Yes, the woman stepped up and did the right thing. I am so impressed with this bit of customer service, I went to her site looking to see if there was anything else I could buy from her.

get to work book review

After (finally) cracking open my beautiful new planner, you know the first thing I did …? Take out all the inspirational quotes on the heavy card-stock.

Sentimental, aren’t I?

get to work book review

I felt a bit guilty doing it. I’m sure a lot of thought went into them, but twelve of them (one for each month) make the planner about 1/4″ thicker, and when you carry your planner with you, the size matters.

The layout is clean without distracting colors or graphics. It also maximizes use of the available space. Love me some efficient design!

I know there are those who want a “pretty” planner, with lots of colors so that they feel motivated to use the planner. My motivation to use a planner is needing to get $#!^ done. Maybe I’m a bit of a planner purist since I value function over flair. If you like to personalize your planner, the clean layout leaves plenty of blank canvas for you to washi tape, color and doodle.

get to work book review

get to work book review

There is plenty of space to make the planner your own, without unnecessary distraction. There is also plenty of room to stash my collection of sticky notes that are a mainstay in my planners. I use them for all those things that aren’t “set in stone”, and might need to be moved to another day.

The paper is a nice weight, and there was no bleed-through using my favorite Sharpie pens. The paper color is also a perfect off-white, which is easy on the eyes.

The next hiccup I experienced with this planner are the monthly tabs. They stick out well past the edge of the cover. My planner gets carried with me e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. and that means these will get banged up. I’d love to see the next generation of this planner have the cover extend far enough to provide protection for the month tabs.

 

get to work book review

There is an “extra page” of graph paper at the month tab before the month calendar layout – for me, this is super frustrating.  When I grab the month tab, my expectation is for it to open to the monthly calendar. I ended up taping the pages together so that the monthly tab opened to the month. I miss having the extra pages for notes, but this was the workaround.

get to work book review - monthly view

It would also be nice if the major holidays were noted on the monthly calendar. I realize this planner ships all over the world, but it would be a great addition.

get to work book review - week view

The weekly layout is wonderful.  Near perfect. And I’m in love with the Monday-Sunday week! I hate having my weekend divided, so this is my preferred way of viewing the week. One of the major reasons I chose this planner was because of this weekly layout.  The MAIN reason – VERTICAL COLUMNS for the weekdays! Oh my goodness! L.O.V.E. I’m a list maker, and my brain works better seeing things listed in columns rather than rows. This is so awesome I would hug Elise just for this one feature, and y’all know, I’m not a hugger!

get to work book review - daily action items

The weekly layout has other inspired touches as well.  There are three spots at the top of each weekday, and they are a dream for noting those things which are the important/do not forget/must do items of each day. They are also perfect for keeping my workouts front and center, and meal planning.  Kinda crushing on them. <3

If I could change one thing with the weekly layout, it would be to change the weekend columns (Saturday and Sunday) to share one column (so two half-columns stacked). The weekday columns feel just a bit cramped, and that would free up a little more room in the weekday columns for writing.

get to work book review - weekly action items

I also love the three big Action Items for each week.  this is perfect for ongoing projects (ie. a to-do from the Project Page, see below), or things that will take more than a day to work on.

While this planner is smaller than I usually like, the layout is so efficient (no wasted space) it works like a larger planner. That said, I would still love to see this in an 8.5×11 size. Again, just a little bit more room to write would be divine.

get to work book review - goal worksheet

The planner also includes Project Pages at the end of each month, and they are pretty neat. For those goals or projects that you need a convenient way to break down, these pages have a lovely layout. And there is another sheet of graph paper opposite for more specifics for your goals, notes, or what ever you need.

get to work book review - monthly review

After the goal page there is a page for review. Just a little personal “check-in” about how the month went. This is a nice touch.

get to work book review - month tabs

 

Another tiny annoyance. No page bookmark/divider. Nearly all planners come with a bookmark. To me, that’s a necessary part of the planner. Again I created a workaround by first using a paperclip to keep my page marked.  Later I cut down an album bookmark from one of my Project Life kits to use as a bookmark.

  • Note: a bookmark has been created since I purchased my planner, but does not come with the planner. It is an additional cost/purchase.

On a closing note, I love that this planner is designed and made entirely in the USA.  I’ll pay a little more for that. The customer service is impeccable, and Elise has been very responsive to her customers, and more than willing to help make sure you are happy with your purchase.

That’s my rundown of the Get To Work Book!  Hope it helps you in your search for the perfect planner for you 😉

The 2016 planner is shipping now.

play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

This post is about my planner addiction search, and my thoughts about the Get to Work Book planner.  This planner was my purchase, and I’m not affiliated in any way with the Get To Work Book.  These are just my first impressions of my new planner.

Is this the year you decide it’s time to improve your photography skills?  Follow this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER. And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for lots of sportsmom related links from around the web.

September 10 on 10…

Welcome to the September edition of 10 on 10!

After enjoying a few days in San Diego last week, I had some serious catching up to do. Why is it that you work ahead so that you can take a break, yet still have a bunch of stuff to take care of when you get back? Not cool. Also, this 10 on 10 is very “garden-centric”. Given the time of year, I suppose that makes sense. Still, there is a lot of food in this post 😉

10 on 10 photo project -

There was just a little bit of mail to get though this morning.

10 on 10 photo challenge -

We picked the last of the garden cucumbers over the weekend. These have been so good this year, I’m really going to miss them.

10 on 10 photo challenge -

Apples are ready now, too! Only a 5 gallon bucket to clean and put away…

10 on 10 photo challenge -

It’s cross country (XC) season, and I’m coaching again this year. We had a meet yesterday (the 9th), so the bag I carry with me needed a few essentials re-stocked.

10 on 10 photo project -

The garden has blessed us with a plentiful harvest of tomatoes this year. Having already canned more than enough to get me through until next year, I decided to try a new pasta sauce recipe. There was a small problem though. I sort-of thought I was done using oregano from the garden for the year, so I had let it bloom and start to set seeds. Oops, my bad. I had to really work to find enough tender sprigs to make the pasta sauce.

10 on 10 photo challenge -

Removing the tomato seeds (and any missed tomato skins) from the pasta sauce.

10 on 10 photo project -

When I pulled in to the high school parking lot, the XC runners were already gathering at “the tree”.

10 on 10 photo project -

The pasta sauce is out of the canner, and cooling. The lovely little pings that the lids make when they seal, is such a happy sound.

10 on 10 photo challenge -

The corn did quite will this year. Some of it was remarkable. This single ear weighed in at a full pound!

10 on 10 photo project -

And of course it’s time for nuts. We have three trays (38 #’s) of hazelnuts drying in the sun right now.

That brings this 10 on 10 to a close.  What did you do on the 10th?  What beautiful, ordinary moments did you capture?

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

* I hope you enjoyed the September 2015 edition of 10 on 10. 10 photos shot over (roughly) 10 hours on the 10th of the month – a pattern which I take great liberties with 😉

Is this the year you’ve decided to improve your photography skills? Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!
Stay up to date (and to get exclusive offers) by signing up for my NEWSLETTER.
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related stuff from around the web, “like” my FACEBOOK page.