Planning the day

I am a notebook and pen girl. I almost always have a notebook and pen with me to be able to write down notes about whatever comes up. I love having a planner to be able to keep track of all the craziness of the week. I am still searching for the perfect planner for me as I have tried a few things.
I am not too big on the planners that are offered at most stores, I really wanted one that was geared more towards tracking specifics throughout the week.
I have been using this free printable one that has lots of space for tracking daily tasks, there are two versions available one that is filled out with suggested items and another that is blank. There is a section for meal planning too. I have been using this planner this past year and I love the content I can have, just not a super fan about the way I printed it. I started out with full pages for each week, but it became cumbersome, and seemed wasteful. I changed to two weeks per page and it works, but it is small. I don’t feel like I am able to do everything I would like to. I would also like a bit more space to write on each individual day.
If you would like to check this planner out you can find it through The Confident Mom, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can enter your email to receive the downloads.

I really loved having this planner this year, it has helped me get through some of the craziness, but I have been searching for something more. If I can’t decide on one to go with I will probably just take this to a printer and have it printed in a better size, double sided and have it bound.

One planner that I keep see popping up is the Erin Condren Life Planner, this seems to be the top of the line planner, accessories available. I have looked at them on the site a few times and would really like to check one out, but at $50 starting point, it is a deep dive. Keeping this on my wish list for now.

Do you plan your day out? Let me know what you do I would love to hear more ideas on how to keep track of everything.

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Coffee sample came in the mail

A few weeks ago I signed up for sample of Keurig coffees through Walmart. They had a back to school deal going with a specific Keurig model and were giving away samples to go along with it. No purchase was necessary, but I did have to fill out a form to receive. Check out what I received!

They also included several coupons for several of the products and some I didn’t receive.

Have you signed up for any samples that you want to share?

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I should also note the other two packages that came the other day. Two different programs I am a part of to test out products and provide feedback. Take a look at what I will be reviewing soon.

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Enjoy the outdoors today!

So I had this great idea to go out to an apple farm today and pick apples. Why? Well we certainly don’t need more apples in the house but it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we are having in upstate NY right now.

So after naps today we hopped in the car and headed a few towns over to a U-Pick apple farm. Connor (my 3 year old) was so excited. He wouldn’t stop chanting about going to pick apples. This was our first time to this farm so we checked out the store to get an understanding of the apples available for picking today and see what else they had. This farm also has a honey hive, so there was an indoor display of bees at work. It was really cool (even though it was creepy) so see the bees at work.

Connor could not wait to get outside and check out the apples. Evan (my 1 year old) was pretty content checking everything out. We got the stroller ready and our bag out for collecting and headed to the field. We decided to go with Spartan apples. They were the closest to the building and I wanted to give them a try.

As soon as we were out by a tree Connor was ready to get an apple. We let him pick one and pull it down.

Ready to pick
Ready to pick

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Evan was checking out the apples as well, He was happy enough to just poke at them.

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We walked almost all the way down the one path and then back up another, filling a bag full of apples. Did I mention I didn’t really need apples? Baking in the near future for sure, any one for apple crisp?

We really enjoyed our walk through the orchard and the nice weather.

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We even went on a wagon ride before we headed home.

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Hope you got outside and enjoyed the day today.

Periscope and Podcasts

Yup, definitively a new obsession for me. I was introduced to Periscope through a blogger I follow and then introduced to some really amazing people who scope and podcast. I have been following a few really motivating people.
One person that I really am loving to watch and listen to is Chalene Johnson (@ChaleneJohnson). She has some really great motivational Scopes and Podcasts especially for those trying to grow their business. She is just hilarious!
I have been listening to the replays of her scopes and her podcasts when I am in the car and at the gym. She gets me pumped for my day.

So I took the challenge from Chalene and started to really PUSH on this and get going. I am working on setting some Specific goals and get the DONE!
I did something scary and did my own Periscope, okay so it was really really short but it was something and it will just get easier the next time.

Swagbucks, what is it all about?

I mentioned that Swagbucks is one of the programs I chose to keep when I went through my mass clean up on email. Here is how the program works and how I use it.

My Swagbucks Home Page today, so many options on earning points!
My Swagbucks Home Page today, so many options on earning points!

Swagbucks is a point system where you can earn points for doing various things online. You can answer surveys, search the web, watch videos, play games and shop.You can do as much as you want or as little as you want. They have different “programs” that they run to help you earn even more points for a certain time period. One of my favorites is when they have teams and when you earn points for certain activities your team score points also get awarded. At the end of the challenge participating (yes, you have to earn a certain number of points to be considered a participant) get awarded a chunk of points. So you received points for the activities then awarded more, awesome!
On a day to day, I don’t generally do too much to earn points, I make sure to answer my daily poll and get 1 point and if time allows I will do a few others. My 3 year old likes to play some of the games they have so we set 10 minutes for him to play a few games once a week or so.

Daily Poll, just one quick answer question a day = 1 easy point a day.
Daily Poll, just one quick answer question a day = 1 easy point a day.
One of the favorite games to play in our house.
One of the favorite games to play in our house.

There are just so many ways to earn points it is so simple! Once you have racked up the points it is time to trade them in. So how the rewards work is that they have a variety of options offered, I tend to stick with gift cards (usually to Amazon). Once I select my gift card amount I have to wait (usually 2 weeks for it to process) then I receive a notification in my email that it is available. I can then log in and get my code to apply to Amazon. The processing time is not all that unusual compared to other programs I have used. And there is a limit on the number of redemption you can do in a day. For a while the $5 Amazon card was a great deal so I would always go with just that, but when I have a large amount of points I could only get two requested a day. Again, not such a big deal as long as you are planning ahead and not expecting instant codes. Also, now they have fixed it and the higher values are the better deals (this is how I usually see things work, save your points and get a better deal).

Just some gift card options.
Just some gift card options.

I just checked on how I have done so far with this program and since I started in March of 2014 I have earned a total of 14,554 points. I have also redeemed for about $160 in gift cards. There were times that I was earning points like crazy to get gifts for the holidays and other times that I am not even sure I touched it for a week or more.

Check out Swagbucks for yourself and let me know what you think.
http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/rnlynch (This is a referral link so I will earn points if you sign up through it, thank you in advance!)

Going with the flow and some follow ups.

So this morning was not so blessed with sleeping children in quite the same way as yesterday. Our little one woke up in the middle of the night and had some trouble getting back to sleep. My poor husband was battling with him down on the couch for a few hours before I traded places with him so he could get a bit more sleep. So I really got an early start this morning but it was spent mostly snuggling. Don’t get me wrong in where I am going with this. I savor these moments (usually not at 3 am), I know all too soon they will be big and not want the snuggles as much.
I was able to get him back to sleep around 5 am. He was literally falling asleep while sitting on the floor. Poor guy (sorry daycare if he was a grump today). By the way my sister suggested a noise machine for him and I am checking one out. We shall see, maybe a review will follow.

Just to follow up from a previous post I have been brutally going through my email inbox (we won’t go over the folders I have just yet). I have to say that as of yesterday I have my inbox under 50 items and they are slowly being taken care of. I am aiming for less than 10. How are your email inboxes looking? Have you started the attack on unneeded emails?

I am so excited to be working on getting more posts up here. I have been so encouraged with so many people reading my posts from this past week. I have wanted to really do this blog for some time and as I am sure you can see from the timing of previous posts, I have had this for a while. I have really enjoyed being able to post but I never put forth the full dedication I needed to really get going.
I plan on sharing some of the ways that I find deals, spend less on gifts (without sacrificing on the gift), plan and organize my day and so much more. I plan to be open and honest. Please let me know if you have any questions, or any posts you would like to see.
This site is called RobinRandomness, because I like to be a bit random at times, I promise I always have a reason.

Sleeping babies?

I love to get up early in the morning and I read a lot about how it is good to get up 30 minutes before your children and give yourself time for a morning routine and get the day started right.
This usually doesn’t work too well for me at this stage of my life as my youngest likes to get up bright and early as well. As much as I would like to have the time before he gets up, I believe the proper amount of sleep is more important.
That being said, someone is actually still sleeping so I am trying to take full advantage.
If you took 30 minutes in the morning what would you get accomplished?
My ideal morning routine looks something like this.
…Bathroom time (yes, I think it is important I write that down)
…Make the bed
…take the dog out and get him his breakfast
…sit with a cup of coffee
…Review budget and recent spending, reconcile with what has hit the bank
…10 minutes to read emails that came in overnight or early morning
…10 minutes to spend online for various (Swagbucks, Facebook, etc.)

Here is what really happens.
I generally wake up at 4:30am (yes, I know crazy early but it is what works. I do get my bathroom time in, the bed doesn’t always get made. Youngest is usually up by the time I get out of the bathroom, I throw on my clothes for the gym and get him. I try to get him to sit with his milk while I get my coffee and a few things ready for the day at work that I cannot prep the night before.
Then since we don’t actually need to leave the house for over an hour we sit and play.
I try to read a few emails from my phone while he plays, but if he sees the phone he is quick to come over for it.

We have had a schedule change for my husband’s job for at least 2 weeks he needs to go in earlier than usual. Yesterday was the first day and the youngest decided to get up at 4 when we started to get up. I think we were able to get going a bit quieter today, he started to stir but went back to sleep. I was able to stay in my bed until 4:30 (getting a bit more sleep after I woke up my husband). I somehow got through bathroom time and headed downstairs, brushed my teeth in the kitchen while I got everything ready. I found myself with LOTS of time this morning and feel like I am starting my day off with many accomplishments! What a great way to start the day. Just a good reminder that having that time is so important to the start of my day.

Sounds like someone is waking up, good timing as I need to get these boys off to school soon. Have a great day!