Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Time for a Plan...

I've had a couple of down days from crafting and it's been kind of nice to just regroup.'s time to get back to work and get this blog back on track. In order to help me do that, I've decided that I need to get a little more organized and come up with a 2014 plan for EPJ.  New year, new EPJ!

First's time for a new logo!

I needed something simpler and brighter. It seems to have more pep.

And now for other changes.

Last year, I didn't post nearly as much as I really wanted to. I let all the other little things that happen in day to day life get overwhelming and then spent a lot of time spinning in circles. My biggest obstacle to getting things up on the blog was often my photos. Typically one of two things happened with craft photos. A lot of the time I had photos of projects taken, but I had so many different things on the camera waiting to be uploaded to the computer and edited that I never got any of them ready to go. Other times, I'd get so caught up in the projects themselves that I forgot to take pictures along the way. When it came to recipes, I'd often be cooking after the sun went down, resulting in no natural light and photos that looked less appealing than I wanted them to. plan.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be editing all of the project photos I have stored and will start placing them into the blog as drafts. This will get them off of the camera and out of editing as well as help me figure out which projects need new photos and which crafts were made without photo documentation. For my food posts, I'll be focusing on making recipes for the blog on weekend days. This way I can start earlier in the day and take advantage of the light when it's available.

In 2014, I'll be pushing myself to get back into crafting...especially scrapbooking, which has fallen by the wayside over the last year. I'll be playing catch up so my scrapbook pages won't always be super current, but the memories will be getting put together - which is what counts.

I'm going to start out by aiming for 3 posts per week, including one Summary Sunday post each week (I've missed those). During the week, I'll be mixing it up a little. So what should you expect?

Books :  2014 Book of the Year is already underway! I have set a goal of 64 books for the year. I'll be posting reviews of books rating 4 or 5 stars and will occasionally give updates on where I am in the BOTY process. Darian will also be sharing occasional posts with reviews of his 4 and 5 star rated books. I'll be taking part in a couple of read-a-thons to keep myself working towards my BOTY reading goal.

Crafts : I have a bunch of projects to share from the past couple of years and I have some others in the planning stages that I'll be working on as the months go by. My Pinterest boards are bursting with things I want to try. I'll be sharing at least two finished crafts each month. I'll also be working on getting finished projects together to finally post things up on my Etsy shop. I've been stalling long enough. It's time to get some finished product out there.

Food : After a short hiatus, I'm getting back on the meal planning wagon. I'm going to be redesigning my meal planning process as well as sharing some great recipes, including both new and old favorites. I'm going to be working on our family cookbook throughout the year and hope to have some progress to show as the year continues.

Scrapbooking : I've kind of let scrapbooking fall by the wayside over the last year and I've decided that it's time for a revival of sorts. I'll be reorganizing my scrapbook room and then getting back to it, so I should have some finished pages to show for it. I'll be sharing both traditional scrapbook pages and completed pages for Project Life.

I've enjoyed doing some theme posting in the past, so I've decided to implement a focus for each month. Alongside the topics listed above, I'll be focusing on one item during each month and will have at least one post each week spotlighting that particular theme. Here's what's coming up...

January : Well...the month's not over yet! January has been a lot about regrouping for me and it's about new plans and resolutions for a lot of others, so the remainder of January will be focusing on organization. Among the things in store, I'll be getting my blog planner ready, updating my meal plan, reorganizing the scrapbook room, making plans for my family recipe book, and drawing up the plans for the redecoration of my sewing/craft room. Organizing and planning is bound to run over into February, but I'll get a big jump start before month's end.

February : February is the month of love. My parents will be celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary and Collin and I will be celebrating our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. I'll be sharing some of my favorite memories of my parents and my family, our engagement and wedding photos, our love story - including the story of our wedding day, and some of the DIY crafts I completed for our wedding.

March : March is all things spring. It will be time for spring break and spring cleaning. I'll be undertaking the sewing/craft room reorganization and tackle some other house projects to share. I'll also be doing some spring themed crafts to help balance out our holiday decor stash and keep it all from being just Halloween and Christmas.

April : April is the A-to-Z Challenge. It's "26 posts on 26 days of April, with Sundays off for good behavior". I'll still be posting Summary Sundays during the month, but the rest of the days will be posts themed by sequential letters of the alphabet. It could get a little crazy.

May : May is the first of two book months. Bout-of-Books 10 Read-a-Thon runs from May 12th to May 18th. I'll be doing some serious reading, posting some book reviews, undertaking reading challenges, and seeing if I can keep up with my 2014 BOTY goals. I'll do my best to get Darian involved since he seemed to have a good time with it last year.

June : June is my Pinterest challenge month. I'll be picking projects from my Pinterest boards and actually accomplishing them! Recipes made for the blog and books read for reviews will come from things I've pinned.

July : In July, it's time for vacation! We'll be talking all things travel. I'll be sharing some favorite family vacation memories and showing you how I organize my vacation memorabilia, as well as posting some complete vacation scrapbooking from over the years.

August : August is reading month number 2! The month will be filled with book reviews and updates on my 2014 BOTY goals. Bout-of-Books 11 Read-a-Thon runs from August 18th to August 24th. It's back to reading for a solid week with daily updates and challenges.

September : September is all about scrapbooking. It's time to hit the books...scrapbooks, that is. I'll be sharing how I organize my supplies and photos, what products I like best, where I like to shop for my scrap stash, and of course showing off some scrapbook pages (including Project Life). I'll be working a lot on mini-albums during the year and hope to have a couple to share.

October : If you've been around the blog long enough, you know that October is our favorite month of the year around here. I'll be posting our Halloween Pumpkin Project plans, sharing pumpkin carving progress and debuting the final results on Halloween night.

November : It's time for NaNoWriMo. November is National Novel Writing Month. I'll be working on writing something every day and showcasing a few tidbits here and there on the blog. I'll also be starting the 2014 Christmas Present Project Countdown and checking off those presents as I finish.

December : I'll be crafting up a storm in preparation for Christmas, but there will still be blogging! It will be time for some year end wrap up posts, including how things went for my goals this year and how the bracket is looking for the 2014 Book of the Year. I'll be sharing some ideas for the following year as well as keeping up with the Christmas Present Project Countdown.

Well...that should be enough to keep me busy! I may be adding a few challenges to the schedule here and there to keep things interesting, but it's good to have some goals set out. I'm looking to a fun and productive 2014 here at Erratic Project Junkie. I hope you'll join me!


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