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Ink Slingers Martina

The Case for DAYBOOK

Why DAYBOOK Should be Your Catholic Planner

Any good planner is worth the investment. But I believe a good planner should also be affordable. When DAYBOOK began in 2014, then advertised as Catholic Through The Year, the goal was to make Catholic planning affordable, first and foremost. At a modest $9 for the downloadable and printable PDF version, it quickly became a staple of many Catholics around the country and the world. It allowed those in other countries access to a product that could potentially be cost prohibitive due to exorbitant shipping costs. The goal of the product was achieved in that sense early on, but the desire to offer hard copies would not be a reality until the fall of 2015.

ITS PURPOSE

DAYBOOK is and always has been the primary fundraiser for Catholic Sistas. When you buy one of our planners, you are not just getting a top-notch tool to assist you in your day-to-day Catholic living, you are supporting Catholic Sistas, a 100% volunteer run apostolate.

WHY I CREATED IT

Sometimes buying a planner or even trying to start planning your life better can be super overwhelming. Ask me how I know this…? I wasn’t born naturally organized or a planner and I’m not the child of super planners and organizers. I am also the eldest of two children, so the type A was always there ūüėČ (see what I did there?), but little else. The desire to be better organized was always a tiny whisper in my ear, but the how and the implementation of the process always felt elusive.

How could I better manage my small growing army of people unless I recommitted myself to SOME kind of planning system? I could feel myself drowning in the everyday until a friend showed me a uniquely Catholic calendar planner back in 2012. I was amazed. I loved loved LOVED all the Catholic elements. And then I realized all the ways this planner would ultimately not work for me and my family. And that was what ultimately prompted the creation of the planner and bundles (Homeschool, Household Management, and Catholic blogger). Being able to customize the planner to meet my needs while meeting the needs of 1000s of customers became top priority. CUSTOMIZATION, friends. I took in feedback from friends and strangers alike who either affirmed my design choices or straight up told me what needed to be changed. Those changes and revisions would come with future editions after the first planner was released in July 2014.

THAT FIRST RELEASE – OY!

I’d be lying to you if I said I was 100% satisfied with the first release of the planner – or the second or third, lol. It was all about getting something workable out there with the intent to improve and the design. 

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

More than FOUR years later and I am finally able to say this planner is about 94.92845% the way that I had always envisioned it. The disc binding – game changer. That you are able to move pages around and put them in the order that makes sense for YOUR day – game changer. Bullet journal lovers now finally have some creative space to absolutely UNLEASH some beauty into DAYBOOK while retaining the style elements of a traditional planner – GAME CHANGER. And these are just the practical applications, y’all.

Catholic content? You betcha.

There are arguably more Catholic elements in DAYBOOK than anything else out there. Calling on fellow mommas in my home parish, you are the first to see some of the most raw Catholic artisan talent IN YOUR planner. Custom made for DAYBOOK, these prayerfully discerned pieces of art are for you to enjoy and color, even bringing life into your habit and mood tracker! 

AT A GLANCE DETAILS

  • comes in PDF printable version or
  • HARD COPY – silver foil stamping on sturdy vinyl cover/back, disc binding
  • 288 pages
  • Mass readings
  • Ordinary and Extraordinary Form feast days
  • Ember Days
  • Universal monthly themes
  • Papal intentions
  • Ignatian Daily Examen
  • Saint quotes
  • QR codes
  • US holidays
  • Spiritual Sketch (guide to fine tuning your spiritual alignment)
  • To-do sheets
  • bullet journal Spiritual Growth Diary
  • Mood and Habit trackers with monthly themes
  • Water tracker
  • PRICE: $9 for PDF download, $5045 (special pre-order price)
  • FREE USPS priority shipping
  • Facing financial hardship? Live across the pond? No need to stress – send me an email at Martina@CatholicSistas.com and let’s see what we can work out. 
  • Have an idea for DAYBOOK? Comment below or send an email. I’d love to hear your feedback, friends!

 

 
Categories
Ink Slingers Martina

GIVEAWAY: Another One?? Catholic Through the Year, Yes Indeed!

We’re BAAAAAAAACK!

It’s Friday and what better way to head into the weekend than to run yet ANOTHER giveaway?? It’s almost like it’s Christmas in July! So, let’s get started. If you didn’t catch our first giveaway of our Catholic Through the Year calendar/day planner and bundles, then you are probably stoked! The first giveaway was in anticipation of the launch of the downloadable planner – this time it is ALREADY for sale, so when you win you will receive the file/s just as soon as you let me know what you want!

::SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO ENTER RAFFLECOPTER AND BYPASS DETAILS::

check out the lightbox gallery or video to see samples

In addition to the details on this post, I invite you to check out our sample page, video, and the¬†FAQ¬†page. Can’t wait for the contest to end? Visit¬†our purchase page¬†to get started downloading and printing!

CalendarDayPlanner

2014-2015 CALENDAR/DAY PLANNER DETAILS

  • downloadable files to print using your own home printer¬†or take to a printer to have it professionally printed ‚Äď your choice!
  • available in¬†COLOR¬†or B&W {you decide!}
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • August 2014-July 2015
  • this liturgical planner was created using the¬†standard guidelines of the Church calendar, both the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 used in the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite {the Novus Ordo} and the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope St. Pius V and reissued by Pope St. John XXIII in 1962 used in the Extraordinary Form¬†{the Traditional¬†Latin Mass ‚Äď TLM}
  • year at a glance
  • 12 month at-a-glance pages {two-page spread per month¬†for maximum use}
  • weekly planners for each month, giving you plenty of customizable space to meet your family‚Äôs needs
  • includes a personal information page,
  • contact sheet for friends, family, & acquaintances,
  • multiple pages for note taking {or doodling, if that‚Äôs what you like to do!},
  • and a meaty section on¬†prayer, including verses from Sacred Scripture, quotes from saints, & references pulled from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as a truncated list of common prayers.

BUNDLES

  • HOMESCHOOL¬†includes
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • 36 pages of¬†blank¬†lesson plans waiting for you to get ready for the school year! Verses¬†from Sacred Scripture, quotes from saints, and snippets from the Catechism of the Catholic Church laced throughout.
  • grade sheet printable to print¬†as many times as¬†needed
  • an evaluation sheet to monitor your kiddo/s’ work habits, as well as yourself!
  • and a report card printable for you to print on card stock, making your homeschool reporting look professional!
  • HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT¬†includes
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • a re-usable to-do list to keep track of what needs to get done throughout the day {lamination recommended}
  • 12 month of meals calendars, August 2014-July 2015
  • weekly meal planner printable to print as many times as you will use it through the year
  • daily cleaning list {lamination recommended}
  • weekly & monthly cleaning lists¬†{lamination recommended}
  • fall & spring cleaning lists¬†{lamination recommended}
  • 23 day organizing challenge which outlines different tasks to tackle
  • household tips sheet with some cool tidbits of information to make your life easier
  • around the house master project list
  • budget list for finances for all months of the year
  • birthday & anniversary list, by month
  • AND a gift list, with a breakdown to designate Christmas, birthday, or anniversary
  • BLOGGER¬†includes
  • beautiful cover sheet
  • additional cover sheets for each blogging month
  • goals sheet for each month
  • daily maintenance sheet to keep track of your posts and what you‚Äôve done with social media, did you pray?, etc.
  • brainstorm sheet with room to spread out and jot down ideas, tags, categories, SEO, where to promote, time and supplies needed, and any offshoot post ideas
  • guest post sheet to keep track of details for those who wish to write on your blog
  • sponsor sheet to keep track of ads, $$ coming in, and start/end date for the ads
  • AND a month of posts sheet to jot down all the post titles for the month, as well as recording numbers for all your social media

UNIQUE FEATURES

  • QR codes¬†to different Catholic Sistas posts and articles throughout the monthly calendars
  • the¬†Proverbs 31 Catholic Woman¬†introduction and the¬†examination of conscience sheet¬†we shared through the series for easy reference
  • available in¬†COLOR¬†or B&W!
  • your download will come with instructions to print, including which pages to print on heavier paper, such as the dividers and cover pages, as well as which ones to laminate and paper recommendation to prevent bleed-through.

PRICING

♦ SHEW! That’s a lot! But, let’s get into pricing since only ONE person will win.

‚ô¶ Calendar/Day Planner ‚Äď $10 {COLOR¬†and B&W}

♦ Bundles will be $5/each with purchase of the calendar/day planner

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

  • Check out Rafflecopter for all the different ways you can enter to win
  • Giveaway will run OVER THE WEEKEND – Friday, July 25 – Monday, July 28!
  • ONE¬†winner will win a full calendar/day planner download¬†and any/all bundles they‚Äôd like as well!
  • GOOD LUCK, FRIENDS!!

CAN’T WAIT TO WIN? VISIT OUR PURCHASE PAGE TO BUY NOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories
Faith Formation Ink Slingers Marriage Martina Vocations

19 Shockingly Simple Ways to Live Your Crazy Catholic Life

19ways

I know it, you know it.

Our lives are filled with “busy.” My definition of busy varies from others. I know at times I look at what friends and family are doing and I think to myself

HOW DO YOU DO IT? 

Recently, I was asked that very question –¬†how do you do it? –¬†by three different people in three different ways in one week.¬†I’m¬†shocked and dumbfounded that¬†I have fooled people into thinking I have my life in order¬†humbled that people think I have it all together. How DO I do it? And what exactly is it that I’m doing?¬†I’m pretty sure whatever I’m doing looks way better on paper than it does in action! Appearances can definitely be deceiving.¬†Just ask my kids what they think I do all day and I’m sure you’d get an earful of the real deal at La Casita.

As a wife and mom to six kidlets who homeschools, blogs, runs and manages said blog, a small business owner, and¬†a person who can be found putzing about church on any given day attending a meeting, or Mass, or photographing the grounds, my life is a perpetual boxing match between organization and chaos. I detest chaos, but I also get a good case of the “lazies” – I suppose one motivates and keeps the other in check. Once a huge slob, I was forced to take on more organization, not¬†because I like it or am good at it, necessarily, but because it contributes to my ability to function.¬†I spend a lot of time in prayer, but after that¬†I attempt to employ some shockingly simple ways to live my crazy life while retaining some semblance of sanity and structure. This is not a perfect list that is perfectly tackled each day!¬†But, with any goal, it is unchanging, even if I fail¬†when I fail. I hope to be some inspiration for the organizationally challenged – it might help knowing I am not naturally inclined towards being organized. In fact, my natural default is to sit on the sofa and watch t.v., and eat bon¬†bons,¬†naturally, but at some point when you decide to ask God to place certain things on your heart and for a change in attitude, you have to be prepared when that message comes through!!

PRAY. When my life is off the rails, the first question I ask is “how is my prayer life?” It seems so simple and yet it is a common component of our lives that is all-too-easy to overlook when determining where our spiritual pitfalls are. I heard a FAB-U-LOUS homily recently by Father Brian McMaster. He zeroed in on prayer being the core of all we do. Without prayer, we tend to lose our spiritual alignment, and fast! I notice a HUGE correlation between my prayer life and what I get done on any given day. This isn’t to say my days are without problems, but prayer always helps center me in such a way that I can respond to whatever happens with more patience and charity. I find my focus is in the right direction and I am resting in His plan because I spent time talking to our Father. Each day, I spend time in prayer before I get out of bed each morning. I have six kiddos, so timing is important. I find that my energy toward prayer is very different than at the end of the day {at the end of the day, it just feels like something that¬†has¬†to be crossed off the to-do list}. Father Uche said once that if you love someone, you¬†want¬†to spend time with them, just like those of us who are married should feel toward our spouse. Make prayer…God¬†your number one.

*BEAR* MINIMUM. I came up with this phrase recently. Bear minimum should be at most a handful of things that you absolutely¬†must get done each day to feel some level of accomplishment,¬†otherwise the result is a GROWLY momma, which leads to cranky kids and hubby, hence the title¬†bear¬†and not bare minimum.¬†¬†This will vary from person to person, and even from day to day or month to month. My current top three are 1) prayer {preferably before I get out of bed}, 2) make up my bed. This is my¬†one chore that even if I get absolutely nothing else done for the day, if I haven’t made up my bed – the day is a total and complete WASTE, and 3) getting my daily chores done. Years ago, I brought FlyLady into our home and eventually created my own daily schedule of daily chores. I highly recommend checking out her website for inspiration to determine your¬†bear minimum.

A typical lazy homeschool morning.
A typical lazy homeschool morning.

CHORES.¬†Is there anyone who actually likes doing chores??¬†I hate chores with a capital H¬†::shaking fist at dirty toilets and Mt. Washmore, piles of unsorted mail, floor that needs to be swept for the eleventy billionTH time!:: but, there has always been something so ridiculously satisfying about cleaning the house that leaves me feeling a sense of accomplishment. Through the years I have contemplated and almost begged for someone to come in and help clean our house, but pride and‚Ķwell, lack of funds pretty well dictated that I would need to get over my cleaning hatred and get the family on board with helping. Our mornings are usually very lazy – we start school around 10:30 a.m. when the little man goes down for his nap. We spend his awake time doing our daily chores, cleaning and straightening, breakfast, and then crack the whip once he goes down for his Zzzz’s.

 

DRINK COFFEE. Need I say more?

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 5.38.52 PM

SPEND MORE TIME WITH JESUS. Though I spend most of the day in some sort of prayer – usually in some kind of casual where are you {in these chores} God, it’s me, Martina?¬†type conversation – I invite you to find out how and when God is speaking to you and embrace that and make it part of your daily conversation with Him. It could be conversational prayer, attending daily Mass, going to Adoration, etc.

The day I forgot to take him to his class, I was on a momma high from this event: PROUD momma moment! Jonathan moved up to gold cross today, something typically reserved for 10th graders. He tells me he is the youngest to receive it - he's in 7th grade. At our parish, servers advance as they gain experience, starting with a wooden cross, then moving up to silver cross in middle school and gold cross in high school. The college-aged men wear a blue and red St. Benedict cross.
The day I forgot to take him to his class, I was on a momma high from this event: PROUD momma moment! Jonathan moved up to gold cross today, something typically reserved for 10th graders. He tells me he is the youngest to receive it – he’s in 7th grade. At our parish, servers advance as they gain experience, starting with a wooden cross, then moving up to silver cross in middle school and gold cross in high school. The college-aged men wear a blue and red St. Benedict cross.

CALENDAR*. Whether it’s paper or electronic, storing your important events and activities, yours, hubby’s and the kidlets can be a HUGE time saver. Case in point: One day early in the year, I forgot to put a timer on my phone calendar to remind me to, oh‚ĶI dunno‚Ķtake my middle schooler to his faith formation classes. A couple of hours after it ended, I had my ‘AHA!!!’ moment. I’ll never forget the smug look on the tweenager’s face. Never again, friends. That bad boy is locked in my calendar now – the appointment being the bad boy, not my son. ūüėČ

*Can I interest you in purchasing my downloadable and printable Catholic planner?

PLAN YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY. For the Kreitzer home, this meant moving to an almost strict diet of no morning appointments after a year of doing just that. Year two of homeschooling I was gone in excess of three times each week in the morning for my own doctor appointments, and I liked to meet with friends for lunch and plan my pastoral council prep meetings with the priests, and anyone else on staff I needed to talk with in the morning. It just got to be too much and the result was that those interruptions of schedule were severely disrupting the flow of not only the homeschool day, but also basic tasks and mundane chores suffered to the point of low to no productivity. And that led to grouchy momma and grouchy kiddos and grouchy hubby. ::see bear minimum::

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 5.22.36 PMLISTS. In the same vein as my¬†bear minimum, writing a list helps me focus on what needs to get done for the day or week. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I have a ton of stuff floating around in my head, things tend to feel chaotic. Writing it down sort of puts an anchor on it and helps me gain perspective on what is on my “immediate” list and what can wait. Consider writing a list as a way to de-stressify {is that even a word?} your life.

MAKE YOUR YES MEAN YES. And your no mean no. When I commit to a project, activity, etc., whether for my kiddos, myself, my family, or me and my husband, I make sure I am in it for the long haul. During my three years serving on our parish pastoral council, and two of that serving as the chairperson, it came with a time¬†price tag. I became¬†very good at saying no to things I couldn’t do because, just after my obligation to my primary vocation, I opted to make my role as chairperson the top priority {that included being present for all meetings during my entire term, planning the agendas and retreats, assisting and making my help available for our priests as needed}. Everything else had to come¬†second. That’s not to say I didn’t participate in other activities, but rather I gave priority to being on the council and all else fell in line, after. ¬†I quickly learned firsthand how to apply that approach to everyday situations.¬†Pray and discern before you give your answer so that you can be confident that you are either committed or are confident that now is not the right time. Avoid the temptation to do too much.

FAMILY FIRST. This seems like a no-brainer, but when considering your yes and no on a project, ask yourself will¬†this activity or project help or hurt the family dynamic?¬†At my parish, there is ALWAYS something going on – the sign of a very healthy and vibrant parish! But too much, even of a good thing, can have disastrous consequences on the home front. I work really hard {or try, at least} at not being too involved in activities at church because it’s important for our family to be together, first. What keeps me focused is knowing that my husband and children each have their own activities. We start by nurturing the domestic church and then ripple out into parish activities. Pray, spend time together as a family and God will bless how you spend the rest of your time. ūüôā

EAT TOGETHER. In the spirit of¬†family first,¬†no matter how busy you are or think you are, make time to eat together. We have been guilty of not employing this simple tip for many years and moving to a much smaller home sort of forced the issue. We eat almost all of our meals together now and the bonding time is unrivaled. Are you too busy to eat together? Pick one meal each week in which everyone¬†must¬†be present for dinner, no exceptions – dads included. Once this small change to the family dynamic occurs, you’ll start to see how much more you’ll want to eat together.

GO ON DATE NIGHTS.¬†In or out of the home, make it a point to connect with your spouse‚Ķoften. My husband and I have a standing date night. We usually eat in, but occasionally go out. We treat ourselves to a nice dinner, and I pick up some wine for my hubby or occasionally get a mini-Keg because that’s what he likes. He usually washes the dishes – because that’s what I like. ūüėČ It’s not always about getting dressed up and going out, but spending time together and connect, unwind…and usually fall asleep because the kids have been banished errm, lovingly redirected to their bedrooms. Click here for some date night ideas.

Cute kidlet strikes again!
Cute kidlet strikes again!

ENJOY BEING AT HOME. As a homebody and introvert, this now comes easy for me. Even if you are an on-the-go extrovert who LOVES being away from home, it’s nice to be able to relax when you are home. I used to love¬†leaving the house to do almost anything away from it because I found the amount of work involved with being home to be too…suffocating. I always felt very anxious at home because the state of my physical and internal prayer life was not in right order. Once I prayed for guidance on how to handle my anxiety about it all, I discovered that my own attitude was largely at fault for my lack of enjoyment at home. My home is not picture perfect – and it never will be with a constant stream of babies and toddlers {cute ones, mind you!} drawing all over my walls, but I am learning to just¬†be at home and know that if I bless my children and home with my time, time I spend elsewhere will be blessed as well.

That's one way to bond with your kiddo!
That’s one way to bond with your kiddo!

BLESS YOUR CHILDREN WITH‚ĶYOU. Be with your kids. Sometimes the best gift you can give them is just being in their presence. Consider how contemplative prayer works and apply that with the time you spend with your children. Kids don’t always want or need to talk to be with you. Sometimes just¬†being with them, holding them, hugging and kissing them is all you need to strengthen that bond. You know what brings me back to this? Hearing my kids talk about how busy I am with this project or that meeting. Even though my activities are always faith related, their sweet little voices remind me to strive for balance, to be at home more than I am other places, whether physical or mental.

REST. Get a good night’s rest. As I write this, I am coming off multiple nights of not following this simple advice. You’d be surprised at how much of my daily problems could be solved by a nice, homemade meal and a good night’s rest!

 

If you have a face, and sister has a marker, you *will* be drawn on.
If you have a face, and sister has a marker, you *will* be drawn on.

LAUGH.¬†Seriously, don’t take the Faith so seriously that you lose your ability to relate to others. Laugh with others and be kind. I find that a great deal of my time talking about the Faith¬†does require me to take such a serious tone that I literally¬†have to laugh in order to balance things out. So, laugh. Smile at others. Disarm them with your charm. Throw in a hug, too, if the three-foot bubble doesn’t apply.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You didn’t get things done on your to-do list today. Today’s accomplishments consisted of getting out of bed and maybe brushing your teeth before you went to bed. You might have slapped deodorant on…one armpit. That’s ok, mijos! When you can’t get to your usual list of things to do, adapt to meet the demands of the day and forget the rest. Which leads me to my next point…

MATTHEW 6:34. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

RINSE AND REPEAT.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO SOUND OFF:

What are some things YOU do to tame your crazy life? Share in the comments, please!

::Instagram pictures pulled from my personal account – find me and join the fun with me @MartinaCatholicSistas::