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Every once in a while we make contact with small business owners, not unlike ourselves, whose products and interests closely connect with our own. When we do, we are happy to welcome them as supporters of this space and our family. We also want to share with you the cool things they are making and helping others with, usefulness being key to whether or not we a product seems worth sharing.

Today I’d like to tell you about one such product, Mama’s Notebooks.

I mentioned before that I had a planner that was working fairly well for me to keep track of home, school, and work all in one place. The truth is, a planner helps me to take everything out of my brain before it gets lost. It is much like writing for me – a means by which I organize my thoughts and make sense of my surroundings.

So when Heather, a reader here for sometime and creator of Mama’s Notebooks, asked if I was interested in trying them out I was both excited and apprehensive. I said yes with excitement because the planners looked and sounded really great and I thought they might be helpful in what is my biggest challenge in my role as mother and homemaker – organization and planning. I was apprehensive because, as previously stated, I already liked my planner and I thought it was working well for me.

I’ve been using both the Mama’s Notebook Planner and the Homeschool Weekly Planner for the past month. When I first received them I was a little shocked. The fullness of these notebooks cannot be overstated. Clearly Heather is a Mama who understands both the specifics and the breadth of this job and the need for the organizational space to get it all done.

Mama’s Notebook Weekly Planner & Organizer

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This weekly homemaking planner includes two pages – both the calendar and an open page for notes. For me, this is an excellent idea. For one, that open page allows me to brain dump lists of various types: deadlines, emails that need attention, homestead projects that need doing, ongoing grocery lists, community events, and any other projects I need to remember. From there I can transfer these organized lists into daily tasks on the calendar page.

Each day is broken into AM, PM, and Evening slots. This has been really useful for me as I block out half days for school, work, or household tasks. Then evenings are open for meals, family time, or whatever urgent homestead stuff that needs doing. Also included in this calendar is a space for meal planning. I plan meals only 2-3 days ahead of time at the most, depending on what food we have on hand, and this space allows me to jot down ideas for the coming days’ meals without feeling stuck.

The Mama’s Notebook Planner is a great fit for me in that it provides the space needed for organizing the different aspects of home life that I juggle, and frankly struggle to keep straight. The spacious pages and master lists and chore charts at the back are great for keeping it all in one place.

Homeschool Weekly Notebook

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I actually didn’t think I needed a separate planner for homeschool. We are fairly relaxed about school in that we do it year round as it fits into the rest of our life. Even so, I didn’t quite realize how unorganized my take on school was until I actually attempted to organize it.

I struggle to create organizational systems from thin air. This shows both in our home and in the way in which I educate the children. I work better with flexibility but I know not all of our family does, and certainly not all of our children. So finding a balance between flexible and strictly scheduled has helped, and that’s where this planner comes in. And it really fits our homeschooling style, the completely blank pages allowing us to skip weeks of school without wasting a page of the calendar.

The Weekly Homeschool Planner has all of the organizational systems needed built right in. A weekly two page calendar allows me to write down which lessons we need to get done while the at-a-glance monthly pages provide a place for writing out goals and needs. Our boys are just beginning to really dig into their education and the lists in the back of the notebook for chores and resources and books will be a great asset for years to come as I jot down ideas as they come up and keep track of what works with our oldest so that I might remember it for his brother and sisters.

I am grateful for people like Heather, women who pull the chaos together to create something orderly, something that works. I have these women in my life here in the community, in my extended family, and now I feel a bit like there is one with me every day, just waiting for me to jot down what needs remembering or doing.

Giveaway!

Heather has generously offered to give one of our readers a free Mama’s Notebook of their choice. Besides the aforementioned Mama’s Weekly Planner and the Weekly Homeschool Notebook, Heather has also created…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, Mama’s Notebooks, for creating such a helpful addition to our home, and for being a supporter of Nourishing Days! If you or your small business are interested in becoming a supporter of Nourishing Days, feel free to contact me.

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We finished up the cabin a while back with insulation, walls, and then a simple coat of white paint. Stewart also finished the tile that acts as a mud floor as you walk in as well as some protection beneath the wood stove. Interior walls may also go up at some point.

This 400 square feet looks as though it will become sleeping quarters as we begin a new construction project – an addition to the new cabin! This 12×24 addition is to become bathroom, dining area, and kitchen. We are building it off of the front of the new cabin leaving all of the windows open to bring the breeze in from all directions.

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I even got to take a crack at wielding the maul when tree roots needed to be removed. I usually sit with the girls as Ruthie gets too fussy to get other work done, but with willing baby-holders available I happily agreed to what was a drop in the bucket in the laying of the footings (footers?).

My very limited part in (and knowledge of) the construction process was fun but I’m also happy to hold babies and snuggle up with my favorite work crew as they take breaks.And, of course, Ruthie enjoys spending time in her natural habitat.

What a blessing it has been to continue to build this homestead incrementally.