Wednesday, January 2, 2013

3 new books for my bedside table

January, the month of new beginnings and cherished memories, beckons. Come, let winter weave her wondrous spell: cold, crisp, woolen-muffler days, long dark evenings of savory suppers, lively conversations, or solitary joys. Outside the temperature drops as the snow falls softly. All of nature is at peace. We should be, too. Draw hearthside. This is the month to dream, to look forward to the year ahead and the journey within. 
     -excerpt taken from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am one who would choose a quiet bookstore and a cup of chai tea over clothes shopping any day. Three books I am literally giddy about having on my bedside table as I start this new year are One Thousand Gifts, my One Day per Page At-a-Glance Planner, and Simple Abundance: a Daybook of Comfort and Joy!

One Thousand Gifts had been on my "wish list" for several months before I finally snagged a copy late this fall when it went on sale at Lifeway. I am already midway through this refreshing book, but I know it will be one I will re-read throughout the year. Ann Voskamp's writing makes you want to curl up in your nearest comfy chair and get lost in her inspirational thoughts. She has such a gift for embracing and sharing everyday moments. (Do not be surprised if I share a few lines from her book in the new future.) And if you really want to drool over her work, her words, her everyday pictures, her beautiful simplicity...visit her site. (Drool sounds like such a crude word when you are discussing Ann's work; however, since that is what I was literally doing the first time I visited her site, it was deemed appropriate.)
One of the most thought out purchases for me at the end of each year is choosing my new planner. I take my time strolling through the aisles of multiple stores to find exactly what I am looking for in a daytime planner. This year, I had a really hard time finding what I wanted. The last two years I picked up one of the Mead Planners from Target, but I was not able to find them this year. This size and style are perfect for my purse and a quick on-the-go-glance; however, it fits my note-taking style and allows for plenty of daily and future planning. Both years, (the green in 2011, and the pink in 2012) these were my go to calendars. As I studied the planners and calendars in Office Max two days before the New Year, I laughed and then got frustrated when I saw how many adorable pint-sized planners they had in stock. What about real-size planners for real people that have more appointments and activities in a given day than what will fit in a 1/2 inch space?! Now, I do realize that I am slightly more detailed than some people; however, these small things just seemed pointless.

I finally landed on three options. All totally different. The one I am most excited about is the planner mentioned above and pictured below. This One Day Per Page At-a-Glance Planner is currently sitting at my bedside table for all my intricate daily details to be recorded. I have never stuck with Journals longer than the first several fresh pages of the book, but this I can and will do! My calendars always have A LOT of detail. (So much that my friends used to laugh at me in Jr. High when they would open one of the weekly page views. I distinctly remember a Geography class period when one of my girlfriends, Meagan, looked through it and said something to the effect of, "Carrie, I am surprised you do not have the exact times of when you brush your teeth in here, because you certainly have everything else!")

Blank, lined pages for each day of the year. YES!

I get excited just thumbing through the thickness of it!
My second planner that I decided our family needed this upcoming year was a simple Day-Timer Monthly Planner. Last year, had we had one of these in our kitchen, it would have saved a number of questions and quite honestly, just time in general. So, now I have a pretty green monthly calendar that will stay either in our kitchen or at our desk (whichever seems to be the perfect fit for us as we start to use it this month). The only details it will hold will be birthdays and the appts with office location and time. And for the third planner, instead of the Mead planner that I so loved these last two years, I opted for the next best available option, a Blue Sky Weekly/Monthly planner. (I could not find the exact link for mine, but the content iteself is exactly the same. Mine is a simple gray with white stitching around the edges.) The two things I like about it are the size and the cover style. What I do not like about it is that there is no "looking ahead" monthly planning area prior to the two-page monthly spread. I like a place where I can jot down monthly goals and to do's. Also, in the Mead planners, on the weekly page spreads, there is a small area that allows you to jot down notes and to do's for that current week. My Blue Sky planner does not have that space. Those two details make me frown. I am still not sure if I made a right choice by this one, but worse case scenario, if I can't work with the less detailed version, I order a Mead planner from their site. For a usable friendly planner that is practically my best friend throughout the year, the extra $14 would be totally worth it.

Side notes: Next year, I am thinking on splurging on an Erin Condren planner. I probably would have purchased one this year, but my budget was smaller than what my chosen style and preferences were for a personal Erin Condren design. Also, it will be different refering to and using multiple calendars this year, so I am interested to see if I choose to go back down to using just one the following year.

All right, that was way more information on my personal choice in planners that anyone could have ever wanted to read, so on to my third book that totally excites me: Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I found this jewel at a library sale this past Fall and snagged it for a mere $2. It was in perfect, unused condition. I had never heard of this book, but was immediately drawn to it and after reading a page or two, promptly handed over my two $1 bills. Best book purchase for $2 I made this year. I have been trying to patiently wait to start this book until the first of the year, but I have to admit I skipped ahead to read a few of the monthly selections. Now I am happily starting with the month of January and going through the entire year's passages. I can't get over the fact that I want to highlight every.single.line of this book. The whole collection of daily quotes and inspirational ideas is like a treasure chest filled with single, bright and colorful jewels.

With these three books, my bedside table has never looked more welcoming and inviting. Here's to Good Reads in 2013. :)

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