Decorate your fav Happy Planner, Erin Condren, Plum Paper or Travelers Notebook inserts with these adorable watercolor dogs free printable planner stickers inspired by summer fun! … [read more]
Decorate your Erin Condren or Happy Planner for Easter with these free printable planner stickers featuring adorable watercolour dogs.… [read more]
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Six months ago, my friend AJ came up with this absolutely ridiculous plan: I’d move to Toronto and we’d open a combination farm, animal rescue and pottery studio.
*le sigh* The idea was flawed on so many levels, including but not limited to her distaste for work that makes her sweaty, the fact that she has never MADE pottery and that locating on a whim to partake in her shenanigans is not something I was doing. AJ wanted to call it “Pottery Barn”, which was sadly already the name of a well-known home goods brand. It took some convincing that this was a one-way ticket to litigation, but she eventually renamed this scheme Hairy Potters, which meant it was now a farm, animal rescue pottery shop with a Harry Potter theme because apparently, WHY NOT?
Spoiler alert: Hairy Potters in not currently in any kind of plans to actually open.
However, AJ’s enthusiasm for the concept did inspire these Harry Potter stickers for dog lovers, so I guess that’s something? We are hardcore, ride or die Harry Potter fans in this house. I read all the books. Often at midnight, on the day they were released. I own multiple versions of the books, like the illustrated Harry Potter versions and the companion books, like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the tales of Beetle the Bard.
Felix listens to the Harry Potter audiobooks all the time to help relieve his sound anxiety and help us all relax. (The UK version read by Stephen Fry, not the US version. Stephan’s voice is like velvet.) I belong to a planner group ENTIRELY DEVOTED to Harry Potter. We even play for a house cup. So yeah. We’re fans. Crazy fans.
It’s raining. I’m cold. I’m a bit cranky. A good book, a cup of hot tea and a warm dog for my lap is everything I want right now.
When I was a kid, I’d spend hours curled into one of those old wicker hanging chairs on our deck. No matter the season, that’s where you’d find me, snuggled up with a book (and a blanket, if it was freezing.) I was a voracious reader devouring stories as fast as the library would lend me more.
Somewhere along the line, life got busy. I grew up and got preoccupied. While my love of a good story never waned, my commitment to finding the time explore new books, pick ones to read and actually sit down to read them withered. After all, Netflix has like 10 000 ways to spend an afternoon, I have a busy job and an even busier side hustle, two active dogs who want to go on adventures and just a lot going on, in general.
I want to read MORE in 2018 and I want to read more books about dogs.
For the new year, I’ve treated myself to a few special things to make reading as cozy and inviting as possible. I’ve filled my Amazon wishlist with books I’d like to check out and I’ve designed these OMG really super adorable reading stickers (I might be biased though?) so I can schedule the time in my planner. (And I like you guys, so they’re available as a free download at the end of the post!).
To help keep me on track, I’m considering joining in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. The prompts are super open to interpretation and there aren’t a MILLION of them like some reading challenges. (Fact: if your reading challenge has 112 prompts, I’mma fail real hard at completing it.) So if you’re looking for a gentle, easy, attainable reading challenge, this is the one. And if like me, you love a book with a dog in it, I’ve got some suggestions.
The rainy season is like really, really long in Vancouver.
It’s most of the year. It’s 3 months and 6 months ago and now and sometimes, it feels like the rainy season is always. When the weather is dreary it is so easy to chill on the couch, snuggle a dog and watch everything Netflix has to offer. If you’re me and Kolchak, there are considerable snack foods involved in our “Netflix and Dogs” agenda.
We’ve both taken on a shape vaguely reminiscent of a potato. No joke. We’re in great shape, as long as you acknowledge that round is a shape.
TL;DR: We’ve gotten lazy and soft. This needs to change, so we’ve joined Sarcastic Dog for their annual Healthy Dog, Healthy You Challenge
Basically, Alison is challenging us to kick our butts into high gear and walk with our dogs at least 15 – 20 minutes a day. Now, Koly, Fe and I are apartment dwellers, so we’re already achieving this, so my goal will be to do one healthy activity every day on top of our daily walks. We’ll be drawing inspiration from our old K9 Kamp activities like Fetch It Yourself, Tug With Me, Jumpin’ Around or Catch Me If You Can. Maggie over at Oh My Dog! signed up for a 5K at the end of the month (but like, she’s a show-off and an overachiever. Don’t put me down for the cardio!) You can find all the details on the Healthy Dog, Healthy You Challenge, sign up for the emails, join the Facebook group and more here. There’s daily challenges, prizes and ideas on ways you can help fundraise for pets in need.
To help keep myself ON TRACK (’cause let’s face it, I can be a slacker), I’ve created some free printable planner stickers.
This set has this week’s challenges, daily trackers for the number of minutes, total miles walked, snack stickers, meal planning stickers, other reminders and more. Click on the image below to download your free PDF. Print it on full page sticker paper (We like the Avery Labels from Amazon <- Affiliate link), then cut them out with scissors or a GyroCut.
How do you like to get active with your dog? Hit us up with ideas in the comments! We need all the help we can get!
I’m home from BlogPaws and I had the MOST amazing time.
Due to scheduling conflicts, I’ve missed the last two years and I always forget how incredible it is. The chance to connect with brands I love in person is invaluable. The time spent with friends I talk to every single day, but only see once in a blue moon is priceless. The speakers I met will continue to help influence the content you see here and improve this blog long after the conference is over. This year was made even more special by the chance to be a part of the BlogPaws Ambassador Team. I’ve always known a lot went into making this magical week possible, but this small peek behind the curtain was eyeopening. It’s so much more than I imagined.
My mind is still reeling from soaking up all that awesome, but I have some promises to keep.
This first is sticker related. At BlogPaws, Maggie from Oh My Dog! and I gave away blog planner stickers. The worlds CUTEST blog planner stickers, if I do say so myself!
We wanted to spread the message that a kick ass blog planner can change your blog (or your business). The first step to improving your social media stats is to understand them.
There are a few blog and social media stats we track every single month here at Kol’s Notes:
- UMV (or Unique Monthly Visitors) or how many people visited your site
- Pageviews or how many pages those people looked at
- Bounce Rate or how many people left after looking at only one page
- Time on Site or how many seconds/minutes the average visitor spent on your site
- Facebook Fans/Reach
- Instagram Fans
- Twitter Fans/Retweets
- Pinterest Fans/Repins
Tracking my blog & social media stats lets me know when something is working – or when it’s not. It let’s me track if promotional strategies are helping me achieve my goals and it helps me set new targets to grow our reach.
So to help you remember to track your stats, we have some free printable tracking stickers!
I’ve got the social media tracking set below and you can click here to visit Oh My Dog and download the blog stat tracking set.
What blog & social media stats are you tracking?
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Felix’s TENTH Gotcha Day with our family.
I can hardly believe that it’s been more than 10 years since we brought this happy little fluff ball into our home. Felix is the dog that changed me from a 20-something who enjoyed a good party, wanted to travel everywhere and who was never home into the quieter, more focused super questionable grown up I am now. He was the dog that made me want to be a better pet owner and the one who inspired this blog (which is ironically named Kol’s Notes. I know. I know.)
I had plans to decorate my Best Life Pets planner pages with some super cute stickers that I made JUST to celebrate Fe’s Gotcha Day.
They’re so cute right? Who wouldn’t want to use those? Um, apparently this girl. I sat down with a glass of wine to chronicle all the things I’ve loved about Fe’s last 10 years with us and this happened. Word vomit.
You guyyyyyyys! I totally forgot to share last week’s #BestLifePets memory planner page with you! While y’all were celebrating your doggy Valentines I was celebrating all things #TeamFe and his TENTH Gotcha Day. I started by writing out his Gotcha Day story and all my FAVOURITE things about him and it got a little out of hand. I love all the journaling on this week’s page, all the memories it captures and how easy it was to say so much about my sweet fluffy boy. I didn’t even have space to use the Gotcha Day/Birthday stickers I made!
Apparently, I had a lot to say. I mean, can you blame me? Fe is the most precious. ever. I think using the different colour pens and mixing up the “font” make it a little more interesting than if it was just PLAIN, but I really wish I had used the stickers. (Aside: can you call it a font when it’s hand written? Is there a word for that? Yeesh. I call myself a writer. For shame.)
Need ideas of ways to celebrate your dog’s Birthday or Gotcha Day in your memory planner? I’ve got you covered.
- The Top 5 or 10 things you love about your dog
- Things that have changed or improved over the years
- Peronality traits and quirks that make your dog unique
- A list of your dog’s favourite things (Pro tip: and then make sure to do all those things for their big day!
- Their Birthday or gotcha Day story and how you got them
- A picture of your dog when you brought them home and one of them now
- Your birthday celebration action plan
Seeing all these things I love about my sweet Felix, I can’t even be mad at myself for totally spacing on the stickers.
Besides, the good news is, even if *I* blew it? You can can still totally download these and use them for YOUR dog’s birthday or Gotcha Day spread. (And Kol has a birthday! Maybe I’ll be smarter when his big day roll around in June!)
Does your dog have a Birthday or Gotcha Day coming up? Download our free printable dog birthday stickers!
Major kudos to the talented artists and designer who sell their work on Etsy AND let lazy, untalented folks like myself coast by on their mad skills. Puppy Birthday Clip Art used in this set was purchased from Pretty Grafik on Etsy and the backgrounds purchased from Jessica Sawyer Designs on Etsy<- affiliate links. That paw print you see on the small boxes is Kol’s ACTUAL paw print, so he wants all the credit for that.
How do you celebrate your dog’s Birthday or Gotcha Day?
Wanna tell me their home coming story? I would LOVE to hear how you all got your pups.
Busy right now? Save this sucker for later when you’ve got time to plan in peace – Pin it!
Holla to my planner peeps! How is your Pet Planner going?
Has everyone opened the book and written something in it? I’m hearing whispers from the interweb that some of you are worried that your handwriting isn’t good enough or that you’ll make a mistake and wreck the whole darn book or that you have the wrong pens or something.
YOU GUYS, NEWSFLASH:
Your dog doesn’t give a damn what your hand writing looks like.
This book is meant to help you capture all the best things about sharing your life with your pets, to help you make your relationships with those adorable four-legs even better and to create something that you can flip back through and smile. Your hand writing is good enough. Dollar store pens get the job done. You’ve got this. So, please, PLEASE don’t be afraid to get started.
In January, a lot of my spreads featured special bonding activities with my dogs.
We explored ways to may our walks more engaging and enriching for the dogs. I made sure I set time aside to play and to put my electronics away and focus on spending time with the muppets. I planned fun ways to make my relationship with my pets stronger.
In February, I want to focus on good habit building for those things that are a little less fun.
I love my pets. I do! I take pretty darn good care of them, but there are things that a lot of pet owners aren’t as diligent about as they could be. Those moments, when you look at your dog (let’s call him Felix) and you’re like “Holy geeze, you look like a vagrant, when is the last time someone groomed you?!” I mean, he’s clean and healthy, but he needs a hair cut, someone has to brush out his belly all the flipping time, and no matter what I do, his darn nails keep growing. Dogs need a crap load of upkeep!
However, I know life is going to happen. Habit building never goes perfectly. (I mean seriously, how many of us are SO OVER our New Years Resolutions to work out more. UGH.) That’s why I love love love Post It planning for good habits. I pop little Post It Flags onto the page with my daily reminders. They’re SUPER easy to peel up and reschedule if life gets in the way. No guilt. No pen on the page accusing me of failure as a good dog owner. It’s such an easy way to plan to do your best, but not beat yourself up if you’re not 100% perfect, right off the bat. (Confession: The post it’s that they sell designed to fit in planners are crazy expensive, so I’m using dollar store post its and trimming them down with scissors. I’m too cheap.)
I’m still planning to include the fun bonding and relationship building stuff in our weekly layouts, but planning my best life with pets is more than just fun and games, it’s the tedious stuff too.
For those who are following along with our weekly prompts, here are February’s spread themes:
Week two will mark 10 years, TEN, that Felix has been with our family.
I feel like I love him more every day, so we’ll be focusing on capturing Gotcha Day memories, while our lovely partner in planning, the brilliant Maggie from Oh My Dog! tackles the pretty pink glamness that is Valentine’s Day. We’ve got a couple of crazy adorable free printable sticker sets coming – one for dog lovers and one for cat lovers, so don’t forget to check back later this week to snag your copy.
I’m still totally loving the Pet Photography Challenge hosted by Kama from Chi Pets.
If you’re looking for inspiration on what photos to take each week and use in your memory planner, I totally recommend this challenge. Not just because the weekly prompts keep me from overthinking it, but because I am learning SO MUCH and this group is so helpful. I really feel like I’ve improved a ton in just a month. I am CRAZY excited over this week’s bokeh challenge because I have never been able to figure this one out and kind of chalked it up to witchcraft, but Kama and Iryna make it sound so simple. You can take part by joining the Pet Photogrpahy Challenge facebook group.
So, tell me, how is YOUR Best Life Pets Planner going? What do you love? Are you struggling with anything? What habits do you want to work on with your pets?
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we will earn a small commission that we use to keep this site running and to keep ourselves rolling in craft supplies and crazy grain-free flours.
You guys, you guys make me so darn happy.
Like crazy happy. I tell you I’m a giant planner nerd and so many of you jump right in! The number of people who have sent me messages and tagged me in photos of their new pet planner. It makes my paper-crafting nerd heart sing. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Kick back to last week’s post and check out our new #BestLifePets Planner Project.) As a THANK YOU for jumping right in, I created these uber-adborable (IMHO) printable stickers, but before I share them with you, just a couple announcements:
First and foremost, I am FILLED WITH EXCITEMENT to announce that the lovely and talented Maggie from OhMyDog! will be joining us on this Best Life Pet Planner adventure as an official co-host.
From the moment she was here last summer and saw the planner on my side table, she has been the biggest source of encouragement and excitement. I can’t honestly say this project would have gotten off the group without her. I can’t tell you how very excited I am that she has agreed to share her take on this project with all of us. We’ll be doing things slightly different along the way to show just how easy it is to make this project your own.
Next, a few of you have expressed some hesitation to really get INTO your planners.
Write in them with pens. Cover ’em with stamps and stickers. Get messy! I know, a blank new planner is FULL of possibility and it can be SUPER intimidating, so to help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve created some prompts – use ’em, don’t use ’em. Do your thing, but if you’re stuck? Here’s a place to start:
This week, I’m focusing on all the things I LOVE about my dogs. Sure, I’ll be filling in appointments and reminders, but I’ll also be jamming up all my “blank space” with my favourite things that make Kol and Fe uniquely THEM. What makes your dog special? How are they different from every other dog you’ve met?
I find journalling can be a little overwhelming to the eye, especially in a Happy Planner and if you do a lot of it. I like to use decorative sticker sets to break up the page and isolate specific memories to neat little boxes. I made this set a few months ago using clip art from PrettyGrafikDesign on Etsy. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion and I think you guys making me feel all warm and fuzzy is exactly a perfect reason!
The start of this week’s spread – all about Kolchak and the things I adore him for!
You can download the Bright Puppies sticker set for free by clicking on the image below!
You can either print it on sticker paper (get it on Amazon) or on regular paper and use a glue stick to paste them into your book 🙂
So, how is your Pet Planner shaping up this week?
Don’t forget to share your pictures using the hashtag #BestLifePets