Smudge Alpin MacRuff’s Adventures and Upcoming Writing Projects

SMUDGE ALPIN MACRUFF’S ADVENTURES

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe, but Smudge Alpin MacRuff will be five months old tomorrow. Smudge has changed so much already!  He’s smart and sassy like many terriers. If you tell him no, he talks back. He even did it to the vet!  I try not to laugh. Really. But it’s so hard and I fail. Miserably.

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Already giving the stinkeye.

Smudge and I just started puppy training classes. I told him he needed to learn how to be a gentleman terrier. Yes, I talk to my puppy like he can understand everything I’m saying. Why? Because I think dogs are smart and they are definitely smarter than people give them credit for.

Terriers in particular I think aren’t given a high enough rating for their intelligence. From what I’ve seen whoever is doing these tests, they knock them down on the scale due to their stubbornness, which is wrong. If you consider what Cairn terriers were bred to do they needed their stubbornness, ability to focus, think independently and have the energy to rout out foxes, badger, and other forms of rodentia. Stubbornness and intelligence are two different things and a good working terrier requires all of this and more to get the job done.

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Mama, are you taking another picture?

It’s fun to watch Smudge grow and learn new things, to see his personality emerging.  I have a journal keepsake book I made to keep notes on the things he does and anything else I want to remember.

The terrier curiosity along with everything being a game is quite exciting and entertaining. This can be a good thing, and not so good, which leads to  ‘oh crap, he’s got something and run off with it!’, his tail wags, his eyes shine and the chase is on.

Napkins, facial tissue, paper towels (kitchen paper), notebook paper are all potential victims of Smudgie’s shredding. We’re all learning and so far I’ve learned that the only way to get him to stop running and drop whatever he’s confiscated is to offer a piece of a treat. Yes, puppy blackmail.

Let’s be honest, my arse isn’t fast enough to catch him. And why bring on an asthma attack when I can use bribery and get the job done for the moment. As you can see, the drop it and leave it commands are areas we haven’t gotten to yet in training. I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t have to resort to food bribery.

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Look into my eyes. “Give me the treat. You know you want to.!”

With all this walking three or four times a day, running around and chasing Smudge in the house I hope there’s some weight loss in my future. I must be diligent with my attention because puppies, like all babies, are prone to sticking everything in their mouth. I’ve got to keep an eye out for undesirable things on the ground like a dead crawdad. The partial body of a dead crawdad is not on the puppy’s diet. (Blech!) There was no way, NO WAY I was sticking my fingers in his mouth to get that thing out. I did try using a small stick but it didn’t work. His puppy jaws were clamped tight. I said a prayer and figured it was going to come out either from the front end or the back.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a puppy and my first time to be owned by a Cairn terrier. He’s an energetic handful but I love my furbaby so much.

THE WRITING UPDATE

My writing schedule is odd but I’m getting a few things done.

Here’s what’s in the works: A Homemade Recipes for Dogs cookbook by me and Smudge. Depending on how many I sell, I would love to make a donation every three months to a Houston area or Texas organization that rescues terriers. When it’s ready I’ll write a blog post and announce it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

I’m lengthening an erotic romance short story that was published previously. It will be novella length  (80-120 pages) for the Common Elements Romance Project. All of the authors participating are writing stories with five common elements, in any romance genre. I’ll post more information as it gets closer to the release months of October and November of this year. There will be a Facebook party and the authors will be doing things for their releases, too.

There’s one more project I’m working on. A Young Adult paranormal contemporary romance. I wrote it (and finished it) years ago. I picked it back up, still liked the story and could see the potential.  It takes place in a small, Texas town full of supernatural species, and the other part of the story is in the Celtic world realm. The heroine, Tara. learns she is more than a clairvoyant shifter. She is the only one who can help her boyfriend, Druce find his mother, who disappeared five years ago. They’re on a time limit racing to save Druce’s mother and stay alive. Tara and Druce’s lives are threatened by Ancient Celtic deities who will do anything to prevent the layers of lies from being exposed to the Council.. Will Tara and Druce find his mother and deepen their relationship or will they fail?

ONLINE WORKSHOPS

August 5-30, 2019 for Hearts Through History Romance Writers of America chapter. Go to the Hearts Through  History website for more information. *I’ll post links to the workshop when I receive them.

October 7-31, 2019 Young Adult Romance Writers of America chapter. Go to their website for more details. *I’ll post links to the workshop when I receive them.

If you’re on Facebook and are a fan of my work, I’ve started a Reader Appreciation Group.

Hugs and blessings, Tambra and Smudge

 

Repurposing Old Books into Treasures

March 9, 2019

Hi y’all!

Just a quick post on a new crafting medium I’ve recently started.

For a couple of years now I’ve been watching videos on various ways to create junk journals and art journals from cardboard boxes and old books lingering on a shelf in a second-hand/thrift shop.

The idea of taking a book and giving it a new purpose really appealed to me. By implementing creativity and many craft items I already have, this crafting form made my imagination sparkle with the possibilities. This is a good way to use up little bits and bobs of scrapbooking paper, too. Rubber stamps, ribbon, lace, envelopes and places to tuck in treasures.

Below is the cover of the first book I’ve altered. It’s covered with scrapbook paper with a couple of layers of Mod Podge, then lace. There are lots of videos on YouTube showing various ways to create junk journals and art journals (which are different than junk journals.)

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The pages can be used as a journal or attach photos or other ephemera you’d like to keep such as movie ticket stubs, a brochure of a special place, anything that holds meaning to you.

Here are some of the pages in the journal:

 

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to repurpose and reuse old books by giving them a new life. This would make a unique gift for the journaling person in your life or make some for yourself. I love that this process of creating a junk journal that is personal and can be filled with treasures of the little things that are so important. This could be a great project to do with your children or grandchildren.

Happy creating!

Hugs and Blessings, Tambra Nicole

Valentine’s Day Recipes and a Few Ideas

I have an Instant Pot IP-Duo60, which is a 6-quart size. The size is great for just us. I use it this appliance frequently. In fact, my sweet hubby got me an IP Lux Mini for Christmas.

With Valentine’s Day coming up I thought I’d offer up some menu ideas for those who are celebrating at home instead of going out. When you’re loved by family and good friends, your richly blessed. A day to celebrate love is a good idea.

I’m sure there are those out there who are going to complain about the commercialisation. Well, quit grumping about it and celebrate it in a less commercialised way. Make them a card and write the words of your heart. How good they make you feel when you’re with them. How you appreciate the things they do for you.

A sincere effort should be appreciated by the recipient. Giving a token that means something, an item they will treasure by you. Take look at what Etsy has to offer. There are many great artisans and a price range to fit most budgets. Plus, you’ll be supporting craftspeople and their unique items.

So, here are two recipes for your consideration:

Garlic Herb Pot Roast from WellnessMama.com

5 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook time

Serves 6+

3-4 pound beef chuck roast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves fresh, minced

1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning or equivalent dried herbs of your choice

2 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter

1 onion, peeled

6 large carrots, peeled

1-pound of chopped potatoes

2 cups bone broth

¼ cup of red wine, optional

4 ounces of cremini mushrooms, optional

½ teaspoon dried thyme, optional

Cut beef into 2-inch or smaller cubes. Place on a plate and sprinkle evenly with spices and set aside.

Turn Instant Pot to “Saute” setting and melt the coconut oil or butter in the pot.

Thinly slice an onion and add. Saute for 4-5 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the red wine if you’re using it.

Add roast pieces in a single layer on top of the onions.

Pour broth over the roast.

Put on the lid, lock and set to seal.

While roast is cooking chop the carrots into 1-inch pieces.

Press the cancel/warm button to stop the Saute setting, then press the “Manual” button and set the time for 40 minutes.

When the time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and carefully release the pressure by pushing the lever to the “venting” position until all of the steam is released.

When the pressure releases open the lid and add the carrots and potatoes. Quickly replace the lid, turn the lever back to seal and press the Manual button for 10-minutes.

Repeat the venting process and check the carrots and potatoes for doneness. (You might have to add another 10 minutes.)

You can use the liquid to pour over the roast and vegetables or you can use it to make a gravy.

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Tambra’s Pork Loin with Mushrooms (Instant Pot)

45 minutes, plus 5 minutes then Quick Release

You might not have exactly the same ingredients I do, so use what you have. Don’t have A1 or Lea&Perrins, but you do have French’s Worcestershire, use it instead.

2-pound pork loin, cut in half

Brush on A1 sauce or Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce to all over pork loin

Sprinkle some steak seasoning or chicken seasoning

2 tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil to brown

1 ½ cups Bone Broth/Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth

*I use Better than Bouillon and it works great, too

Small can of mushrooms, add the liquid with the broth

Trivet that comes with the Instant Pot

Plug in Instant Pot and turn on the Saute function. Add the olive oil or coconut oil. Take one half of the pork loin and lightly rub around the bottom of the pot. Now, add the other half of the pork loin. Brown. Remove to a plate while you add the broth and the can of mushrooms.

Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and the pieces of pork beside each other.

Put the lid on and make sure the lever is set to “Seal”.

Press the Manual button for 45 minutes. Let it go 5 minutes more and then do a Quick Release.

You can serve this with rice or mashed potatoes; the liquid is great to pour over the meat or you can make gravy. Add some steamed vegetables and you have a meal. Leftover meat can be shredded and barbeque sauce mixed in for sandwiches the next day.

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For other recipe ideas, pick up my book The Scottish English Texas: 56 Teatime Recipes, available at Amazon.com. A Valentine’s Day tea would wonderfully romantic. You could make the pork loin and some of the recipes from my tea book. Take some photos and put them in a memory book with notes written by both of you about the special things that were said, how you felt.

Kids can write messages on construction paper hearts with chores or things they’ll do without complaint. Maybe have 5 hearts. This needs to fit in with the child’s age. Example: Fold their clothes and put them away. Empty the dishwasher. Clean their room. Have the kids think of what they want to do. Place them in a decorated container so the recipient can pull one out.

While the craft supplies are out they could make Valentine cards for their grandparents. Pinterest has lots of great crafty and DIY things to do.

Whatever you decide, I hope your holiday is filled with love and happy memories.

Hugs to all, Tambra

PS: My website is up https://tambrakendall.com It still needs a bit of tweaking but at least I’ve got one again. Yay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on 2018

I hope this post finds you happy and looking forward to the upcoming holidays with family and friends. My gift to you is one of my favourite recipes. You’ll find it at the bottom of this blog post.

December has always one of my favourite months of the year. I’ve always loved the holiday decorations and the traditions that bring comfort and are shared with generations of family. In this post I’m sharing some wonderful vintage Christmas cards/photos of terriers. I hope you enjoy them!

The heavenly aroma of glazed ham, crusty hearty bread, and desserts to satisfy young to young-at-heart.  When everyone brings a dish to share it always seems to have an extra helping of love with each one. Having experienced lean years and trying times have made me appreciate the blessings even more.

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I’ve been thinking over what has transpired throughout the year and what I’d like to change. Finding a way to get some of my health issues under control is at the top of my list. When your sick all the time (at least for me), each day is a gift. A sparkling blessing. This attitude is a choice. Acting like an ol’ grumpy pants makes me feel worse, so I look for the beauty, for the laughter around me. Writing books is great therapy, it’s fun, and hopefully they will make someone feel good. I believe that words that come from the heart will touch another’s heart in the way it’s needed most.

There are so many books I want to write, edit, and submit. I want to get much better at sewing. So many items of clothing and things refashion/recycle/upcycle. I’ve been experimenting with creating junk journals and I like it very much. Finding a book from the thrift store or garage sale that can be given a second life into a journal, to be kept and treasured feels right to me. Thank you to all the creative souls on YouTube who have shared their knowledge. You gave me the courage to try this area of creativity.

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There is so much to learn! So many places to see and things I want to experience and I’m so grateful to have my husband by my side.  He’s intelligent, funny, handsome and I love being with him. Sometimes we say the exact phrase at the same time. We love dogs, Doctor Who, science, and laughing together. A few years ago our vacations were going to all the caves we could in the area we were visiting at the time. One of the things I have on my New Year’s ‘goal for a better life list’ is to say “I love you” more. I intentionally did not say resolutions because if I failed I felt guilty and depressed. Once I made a list of the most important goals I wanted to accomplish things went much better. I also added what steps were needed to make the goals a reality.

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Reflecting on the previous year is a privilege. I’ve learned things and grown spiritually. Learning from failures is a stepping stone closer to getting whatever it is right. My writing isn’t perfect but it doesn’t suck furballs either. Some will like it, others won’t. As long as my stories and my art enrich the lives of those who buy it or are gifted with it, I’m thrilled.

Be kind to others and to yourself. If this time of year stresses you and your family out, brew a pot of coffee or tea and discuss what the biggest culprits are come to a solution. Not all people can do this, I totally understand.  When I evaluated the problem I took action and with it came peace.

In summary, reflect on the old and look forward to the new year ahead. Remember the blessings and hold tight to the ones in your life who love you. Make reasonable goals with actionable steps to make that dream come true. Be kind to yourself and others. Choose to be happy and reduce your stress where you can. Learn something new. Share your knowledge, find others who share similar passions/hobbies.

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I wish all of you peace of mind and heart, the courage to try something new and delight in the discovery and wonder of it.

If brownies and fudge had a baby it would be this Fudge Pie.

Tambra’s Fudge Pie

1 stick butter

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ c. flour

3 ½ T. cocoa

1-cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Grease a 9-inch pie plate. The wrapper from the butter works pretty well for me. Or a spritz or two of oil making sure the bottom and sides have a light coating.

In a saucepan, melt together the stick of butter and cocoa. Remove from fire. Add the eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract.

Mix well.

Pour into the pie plate

Bake at 325° for 25 minutes; or until the middle is done.

**This makes a small amount. I suggest doubling the recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Tambra Nicole Kendall, 2018

 

Blessings and love to all,                                                                                                                               Tambra Nicole

 

 

New Website Coming Soon

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Just a note to let y’all know I’m working on a new website. I’ll post messages here and on Facebook and Twitter. I’m still learning Instagram, so that’s a maybe.

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All of my books are available at Amazon.com. They’re reasonably price and make wonderful presents for loved ones and yourself.

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Thanks so much for your patience about the website!

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Hugs to all! Tambra

Current Writing Projects and a New Puppy!

November 5, 2018

Hi everyone,

November isn’t just a time for Thanksgiving, for many writers it’s National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. I’ve blogged about NaNo before and the benefits I’ve found by participating. If you have kids interested in writing, check out the Young Writers Program. You could make this a project you do together. Here’s the link where you can get more information: www.nanowrimo.org

This year, I’ve decided write a YA story that is gaslight punk with steampunk and gothic romance elements. I think I may have also found a way to tie this in with my contemporary paranormal romance novel, Despite Them All, and that was a pleasant surprise.

I do need to get back to edits on Despite Them All, but this NaNo break seems to be helping with my writing so I’m going with it. Other projects I’m working on include two middle grade mystery series that will be connected.

In October I went to a weekend workshop my romance writers chapter organized. Michael Hauge gave wonderful information in his presentations and I’m very happy I was able to attend. For those of you who don’t know, Michael Hauge is a Hollywood story expert who’s consulted on projects for major Hollywood studios. I’m using his book Storytelling Made Easy for some of my  works in progress.

At the end of June I lost my precious Cairn terrier, Sparky Lionel Urban. He had just turned 11 and we found out a few weeks before he had a heart issue.  I miss my Sparky everyday. I still look for him. Through lots of tears and prayers, I decided I wanted another Cairn and contacted a breeder in my state. I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get a puppy. I’m thrilled to be picking up my furbaby sometime in December. I am already in love with this little guy!

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I love the intelligence and curiosity of terriers, their ability to figure out problems and then take action. They love to be the center of attention and to play. As in training and every other aspect of their life everything has to be fun. I believe we are in for some fun, interesting adventures with Alpin Gregor MacKibble. Those familiar with Scottish history will immediately recognize the name Kenneth MacAlpin and the name of his son, Gregor. Both of these historical figures are also part of my ancestry and it’s fitting for a Cairn terrier, a breed that began in the Scottish Highlands to have a thoroughly Scottish name. Two years ago, I started cleaning up a Christmas romance and that’s when I came up with Alpin MacKibble’s name.

Has anyone gotten a puppy recently? Do you have any suggestions?

Until we meet again, remember to be kind to one another and say I Love You to those special people in your life.

Hugs to all, Tambra Nicole

 

Tambra’s Favourite YouTube Channels and Blogs

July 28, 2018

Tambra’s Favourite YouTube Channels and Blogs

Hi y’all!

It occurred to me I’ve been keeping my favourite YouTube channels a secret from you. There might be some information y’all might enjoy or know of someone who would benefit from this awesomeness. Sometimes these are for inspiration, other times I just need to work on something else while plot ideas are marinating.

To make this easier I’ve broken my list down into categories, and where they can be found. I would love it if you contact me and let know if you’ve discovered some hidden gems. I love Pinterest but I think it should be its own category. Twitter and Instagram are their own categories and didn’t really fit in with the YouTube channels and blogs.

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Love the crafty creativity of this doggie costume!

 

Crafts

YouTube

Nik the Booksmith

Sea Lemon

Made Everyday

Jennibellie (She also has a Ning community for artists)

I’m a Cool Mom

MayMay Made It

Crafty Girl

Do It On a Dime

Mark Montano

5-Minute Crafts

Lauren Fairweather

 

Sewing

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Photo from Pixabay

YouTube

Annika Victoria

Coolirpa

Evelyn Wood

Prior Attire (Historical)

Renegade Seamstress

With Wendy

Professor Pincushion

 

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A gorgeous photo of Warwick Castle from Pixabay

History

YouTube

Allthemed Docs

BBC Documentaries

Ancient History

ANYTHING with Lucy Worsley!!!

The Closet Historian

 

Writing 

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My book is available at Amazon

Blog

Jami Gold

Writers Helping Writers

Authors Publish

Kristen Lamb

YouTube and Blog

Heart Breathings by Sarra Cannon

Derek Murphy

 

YouTube

Hildie McQueen

Karen Prince

 

Music

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Photo from Pixabay

I know music is a very individual choice and some writers can’t write with music at all. If you do, this might be something different for you to check out. These are mostly BiNaural beats or New Age.

YouTube

Greenred Productions

Yellow Brick Cinema

Body Mind Zone

H4Happiness

Adrian Von Ziegler

The Harp Twins

Emily Bear

Ola Gjeilo

Loreena McKennitt

 

Food 

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My teatime cookbook is available from Amazon

You Tube

Pressure Luck

Stephanie Manley

Flo Lum

 

Other things I enjoy while writing or illustrating is a good cup of hot tea. Some of the brands I enjoy are Typhoo, PG Tips, Barry’s Irish Tea, Twinings, and Mrs. McCartney’s Teas. We all have our favourite comfort foods and comforting rituals.

 

What hobbies do you have and what inspires you?

 

Until next time, hugs to all!

Tambra

Online Workshop: The Essentials of Plotting and Characterization

Hi y’all,

Next month I’ll be teaching my month long workshop The Essentials of Plotting and Characterization for the Hearts Through History Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter. If you’ve been interested in taking it, now’s the time, baby!

Writer Kitteh needs my class. I could help her. *grin*

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Here are the details:

Tambra Nicole Kendall: July 2- 27, 2018  Essential Guide to Plotting and Characterization

Syllabus:

In this course, we will discuss how to plot a story, what keeps it moving, and how storytellers drag readers into a fictional world and keep them there. We will learn story structure, pacing, world building, how to connect the beginning, middle and end, and much more.

Lesson One: Brainstorming

Lesson Two: Backstory, Plot Sketches, Show, Don’t Tell and Effective Description

Lesson Three: Character is Action, Plot is Action

Lesson Four: GMC – Goal, Motivation and Conflict Goal, Urgency, Motivation

Lesson Five: Writing Strong Characters and Viewpoint, Deep Point of View, Stimulus and Response

Lesson Six: Sagging Middles

Lesson Seven: Scene and Sequel Structure

Lesson Eight: Plotting Methods

Lesson Nine: Creating Dimensional Characters

Lesson Ten: Adding Tension and Danger

Lesson Eleven: Writing Sexual Tension

Lesson Twelve: Basic Worldbuilding

https://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/workshops/27-essential-guide-to-plotting-and-characterization/#register

 

I do my best to cover all of the essentials of genre fiction writing. These are the building blocks, the foundation you need for a strong story.

I hope you’ll join me for this fun and informative workshop.

See you in July!

Tambra Nicole

New Website, Newsletter and Chit Chat

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the large gap of no blog posts. Life happens, we get back up, and continue on. But, I’m back again. *grin*

It’s taken me quite a while but I’ve finally finished overhauling my website and put together a newsletter. There are links to this blog, my art and photography on Fine Art America and my new Rage On! online store where I have some great designs for women, men and children. You can check it out here: https://www.rageon.com/TambraNicole

I hope you’ll stop by and visit and sign up for the newsletter. There is a section for readers to submit recipes for my recipe corner. I’m asking for those submitting to write a little about how the recipe originated, or when you make it,  what makes the recipe special to you. I’ve added one of my recipes in this first newsletter to get started. I have a teatime cookbook for those of you interested in more recipes. It has measurements for the US and UK, plus a section on spirited beverages. It’s available on Amazon in print and ebook.

A cup of hot tea and a good book is magic to the soul.

I’ve got some projects both fiction and nonfiction in the works and when they’re closer to being finished I’ll share the details with you.

July 2-17, 2018 I’ll be teaching my online course The Essentials of Plotting and Characterization for the Hearts Through History Romance Writers of America chapter. When it gets closer to the workshop I’ll post more information. Just letting y’all know now so you can check your schedules. So far this is the only workshop I’m teaching this year. If you’d like to take it then work it in your July schedule. I post lessons on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I answer questions throughout the workshop.

Other than the newsletter and website revamp, I’ve been learning more about digital art and using a planner. I’ve tried a few and hadn’t found one that works until the tried The Happy Planner disc system. I discovered I can create my own covers and dividers which is fantastic. I need a flexible system and so far the disc system is the best one. The Passion Planner would have worked if it had been in a three-ring binder instead of perfect bound.

I love all the awesome spreads for bullet journaling but I don’t have the time for something that involved. I do bullet lists in my disc planner. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of romance author and planner goddess (to me, anyway) Hildie McQueen. She’s wonderful and funny and I’m learning how to do planning from her.

What kind of organization system do you use and why? I’m always open to suggestions and ideas.

Hugs to all! Tambra

Website: https://tambrakendall.com