After Christmas Haul

The other day, I had to pick up some things from the grocery store that I forgot to purchase – Babydoll was returning to school and I had forgotten some lunch essentials.  My first thought was to go to Meijer, but that wasn’t really in the area that I was in; Walmart was.  I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I’m not a huge fan of Walmart.  Oh don’t get it twisted, I shop there (I’ll have to talk at a later time about Christmas lay-a-way); but it is NEVER my first place to go and if someone tells me they got something from Walmart that I want, I groan long and loud. 

Ok, so I went in Walmart and I parked on the “Home” side – there was less traffic on that side.  I remembered that I needed to look for a replacement straw for my ThermoFlask cup so headed to that area.  It just so happened that the Clearance section is over in that area also and I never not look at the clearance area of any store I step into.  That day began the 90% off sale for all Christmas related items.  There were ladies over there going through stuff that had multiple –yes I said multiple – carts.  I took my cart over and looked at what Walmart had.  I had already purchased several rolls of wrapping paper and felt I didn’t needed any more.  But gift bags – I could always use those.  I looked for bags that were neutral enough to be able to be used for other occasions besides Christmas.  I also picked up the gift boxes and some tassels (not shown). 



Then I kept perusing all of the Clearance aisles.  I found some white lights (for Babydolls white tree) and stocking stuffers that would be great for my husband next year (I won’t show those in case he stumbles across this page – of course he could forget by next Christmas but I don’t want to chance it).

Then I stumbled across the aisle that had kitchen gadgets.  I didn’t lose my mind, but I was able to score some great finds. 


It was early (I had just dropped of Babydoll at school) and I really didn’t want to wake my mother because they are retired and are no longer early risers.  But stuff was 90% off!  I had to call to see if she needed anything.  I picked up some things for my mom after talking to her; she needed most of the same things I got, but she didn’t get the rolling pin (they didn’t have anymore of them) and she also got two 2-packs of tongs with her colors being navy blue and red.

Finally I went to get the things that I came into the store for and headed to the register.  They only had 1 lane that was manned by a cashier and the line was long, so I went to the U-Scan lane.  I was able to purchase the items that I came in for with no problem, but the clearance items were not ringing up discounted.  I ended up going to a cashiered lane (along with some other people who were having the same issue that I was) and this is where the excitement happened.  First, I need to tell you that the ladies that had multiple carts were in their own lanes and it was comical how they were ringing up all of the items they had acquired.  New registers were opened up because it was going to take a while to ring up all of their stuff.   I let someone go ahead of me who only had a couple of 4 foot trees, some extension cords, and lights – that ladies got those trees for $2 each.

I was able to purchase all of my mothers items for $1.28.  Let’s marinate in that for a moment.  I got 2 sets of tongs, a stainless steel colander, silicon oven mitts, and zester for $1.28

My total for all of the bags, the stocking stuffers (they are not cheesy gifts either), the kitchen utensils, white lights, the gift boxes and some decorative tassels was $17.25.  Yep…$17.25!


I’m not a fan of Walmart, but moments like this keep me coming back (but only very early in the day before people really start to show up. Smile)

Have you had any great after Christmas hauls?  Let me know in the comments section below.  See you guys next week.



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Planner Spread this week

Happy Humpday!

Here is my planner spread for this week.  I am using the SuperMom planner currently and I’m not sure if I’m going to continue.  It’s the dashboard layout and not very easy to make pretty.  I’m struggling with how to decorate it.  I plan on sticking with it until at least the end of the month.


What do you think…should I continue or switch to the standard horizontal layout?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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I’m a planner babe

I am a planner and have been one since college, no strike that since high school.  I graduated from a notebook or journal book to a Franklin Covey planner about 22 years ago.  I have always written down my life to make sure that I get it done. 

I’ve also wanted my planner pages to be pretty and would spend hours going over the Franklin Covey catalog (then later website) to find the perfect design for the year.  I spent time in Franklin Covey stores purchasing covers and accessories, anything to make my planner not only functional, but stylish as well.

A few years ago, Franklin Covey’s pretty designs seemed to go to the wayside with the influx of smartphones and I was left trying to figure out what to do.  I needed my planner, but I liked to look at the pretty.  A conversation with my sister told me about the Arc planner at Staples.  I looked into it and fell in love with the possibilities.  I could customize my pages to include the looks that I wanted as well as have the types of inserts that I knew I used everyday.  I was hooked, and spent a year designing inserts and daily pages, budget pages, you name it.  I was online looking for tools to help with my designs, info on how to print pages correctly, where to go to buy accessories, all of that.

The next year, my sister told me about Erin Condren. 

Image result for erin condren

It looked beautiful (I REALLY like my pretty), but it was spiral-bound and I liked the arc-bound systems because I could add and take away pages with ease.  Then she said that I might be interested in the MAMBI system. 

Image result for happy planner

I got my first Happy Planner and I’ve been a MAMBI user ever since….I LOVE MY HAPPY PLANNER. 


Initially I struggled with the layout because I was such a fan of daily pages.  I bought the daily page inserts and try that for a while, but I wasn’t able to make it as pretty as I wanted.  There were days when I didn’t need a daily page and then felt that I was adding bulk to planner.  About a year ago, I decided to switch to a weekly spread and then I began to play with stickers (that’s what a friend calls it).

I can’t begin to tell you how much I have become a fan of decorating my weekly spread.  The amount of money that I have spent on stickers and washi tape is nothing to sneeze at.  I have bought extension packs and accessories – a hole punch, hard covers, paper punches, and dashboards to name a few.  I have become a viewer of YouTube videos that show different decorated layouts and tips on how to use the planner.  I’ve even attended a meeting for the local group of planners and crafters (and I’m going to go again).

As a result of this planner love that has evolved over the years, one of the new things that I am adding to the blog with be the weekly planner spread.  I may not give a detailed description every week, it may just be a photo; and I can almost guarantee that it will not show up until around Tuesday, but I’ll post the pic.  I encourage you to share you pages too because I can always use some inspiration.   I’ll share sticker book  and accessory purchases and all things planner that I use or hope to use. 

Here is the spread for this past week. 


Another view once I had began to fill in with the pen.


I’m not an expert at decorating like some that I see on YouTube or Instagram, but it makes me happy.  I hope you enjoy this new addition to the site and hope to see you soon. 


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Happy New Beginnings!!!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that you and your family had a safe and restful holiday season.  And now it’s time to get started on this new year running.  This is the first year that I have decided to actually have goals that I’m not just going to say in my head, but write them down and actively make moves to accomplish them.  I’ve written them down so that I can visually see them and I’ve already begun working on them.   I’m calling these goals and not resolutions, because in my mind a goal is something you work towards and a resolution is something that you resolve to do.  To me a goal is a process that can grow and evolve and I want meet my goals and then let them evolve to something more.  So I have set goals and not resolutions.  I will do goal check in’s to see how I am progressing, see if I need to modify my roadmap, or something else.   

One of the first goals that I have is to actually use this awesome blog.  I have had this blog for over six years, and initially I was consistent in my post; but over the years it seems that life has gotten the best of me and my post have come a screeching halt.  In 2019 that ends.  My goal is to post at least weekly. 

I titled this post Happy New Beginnings because I am going to add some new things to the site.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share what my goals are and how I plan to move forward to accomplish them as well as share some of the new things I’m adding to the site.  Please check-in weekly to see the changes and additions.

Comment below to let me know what things you would love to see in the blog.  Or just comment to let me know you’re keeping me accountable.  What goals have you set for 2019 and how do you plan accomplish them.  Let’s be each others goal checkers.  We can hold each other accountable.  Thanks for checking my out and I’ll see you soon.


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Closet Reno Part I

Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great weekend.  I had my first official away Girls Trip with my mother and sister.  Babydoll hung out with us also (Stan had to work), but it was the best time all around.  It was my sisters birthday weekend and we just took a jaunt up to Chicago for some shopping and eating.


I know I said I would post at least once and week and failed to post last week, but I had begun the first phase of my closet reno.  It didn’t happen as quickly as I thought it would, mostly because I was crazy intimated by this first part because it is where the majority of my clothes are being hung; and for that reason, I second guessed myself.  A LOT.  I listened to too many people at the hardware store giving me advice about how to hang my brackets and I didn’t go the way that I learned was best from doing my Babydolls closet.  My older brother came and helped me out, but it didn’t come together until I received a pep talk from God about trusting in myself and doing things the way that I know and to stop listening to others.  At that point things came together and five days later than I expected it to take, I had something that I loved!.  Everything is hanging up there without any problems and I’m just super proud of myself and extremely grateful to my brother for his help in using his strength to get those screws in the wall.


The first step to getting this completed was removing all my clothes and placing them in my bathtub.  I then struggled my way through taking the wire closet shelf out of the wall.  This took some time and a lot of elbow grease.  I then patched up the holes with this awesome spackle I purchased at Menards. 

I already had a can of white paint handy that was used downstairs.  Stan didn’t like the fact that is was a semi-gloss, but my theory was it was in the house, we didn’t have anything that it was slated to be used for anytime soon and I didn’t have to go buy paint.  I painted the wall after I sanded the spackle.  At that point I started putting together the drawer section of the closet.  It took me two days to get this right because I was trying to set it up without using the wall bracket to hang it.  I was told that I didn’t necessarily need the bracket with this system.  But it wouldn’t stay up, and I was afraid I was going to break what I had put together because they kept tilting.  I had them propped up with some stair treads we had hanging out in our loft. Like I said, it took me two days to come to my senses and get the bracket and hang the thing up that way.  After that, things started looking up. 

I lost another couple of days trying to hang by pole brackets up for the longest pole, the top pole, because again I listened to another fellow at the hardware store who suggested I not use drywall anchors but anchor the brackets into the studs.  This would have been great if we hadn’t encountered something that blocked us from actually being able to screw into the studs.  My brother and I were sweating like it was 110 degrees and scratching our heads in frustration at why we couldn’t get those screws to go into the wall.  Finally we settled for toggle bolts and got it done. 




At that point I was still missing three large drawers that will go with the middle cabinets, but I’m adding a drawer a week so that I don’t bankrupt myself.  School starts in a few weeks and I’m currently getting Babydoll ready for school at the same time working on a few other things.  I purchased a drawer last Thursday and put it in there, so now I’m only two drawers short.

This week, today actually, I’m working on the shoe wall.  I’ve taken out the shoes and took down the Rubbemaid wire closet shelf.  Can I say that those things are evil.  I can’t figure out why someone would put them in the closet.  Honestly it would be better to hang a wooden pole and and shelves than to put those systems up.  If you are ever thinking of a closet system to get, I implore you to not do that to yourself of the next person that gets your closet.  If they decide to take the system down and do something different they are in for a world of hurt and frustration.  Don’t do it! 

I’m waiting on the spackle to dry so that I can sand and paint.  I have shoes all over my bedroom floor so, I have got to get this set up today.  So I better get to it.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see more of this adventure.  Everyone have a great week.


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Another project

Happy Monday everyone!

This weekend is was a super busy one for me. My family got together on Saturday to celebrate the graduation of niece number 4. Chaunsey-bear graduated in May and will be leaving in the fall to go to Graham-Webb in North Carolina. I’m super proud of her and was looking forward to celebrating with her because I missed the graduation and open house due to scheduling conflicts.  I also had my monthly book club meeting on Saturday.  This weekend I also started on my closet remodel. This is something that I knew I would get done by the end of the year, but had no intention of starting it this soon. My husband and I talked about projects that we had coming up (him moving back into his office – can some join me with a big WOOHOO; and we wanted to get closets setup – he took the guestroom closet and I kept ours; and eventually we will start on the master bathroom upstairs flooring project). As I said I did not plan to begin my closet reno so soon because I’m in bill payoff mode. We completed our downstairs renovation right before last fall which included the kitchen, new flooring throughout the first floor, painting all of the rooms, new modeling, and custom window shades – I hope to give a tour and description of the transformation, but that will be a post that is several post long. Anyway, completing everything required me getting a new kitchen table and especially a dining room set (because I HATED the one we had – 6 months my eye.). I host Thanksgiving every year, so I needed to get my set before my family descended upon my home. I was able to find the kitchen table quickly from and got the chairs from World Market. The dining table took some searching…I knew what I wanted in my head I just had to find that in a store. I found it a week before Thanksgiving 1 WEEK before Thanksgiving and they just happened to have delivery two days before. The chairs were purchased from I love my table and chairs, but I paid for it a significant amount more than I had set aside…hence the payoff mode I’m in. But man do I love my dining room.


The lighting wasn’t too great here…the table and chairs are gray and the wall color is gray and light silver. I’ll have better pictures when I show the complete renovation. Ok, I’m getting off track…the closet.

You know how sometimes (a lot of the times), your plans do not coincide with the plans the God has for you. Apparently my timeline for my closet reno was different than the one that God had and He let me know Wednesday morning when He told me to design my closet now; and then gave me a modification to my design while I was driving to pick up Babydoll that afternoon. I partially designed it and thought this would give me an idea of what kind of budget I needed and how much money I needed to save. Thursday morning, I had an urgency that could only be God-given to look at Menards website for the list of items I need to put my closet together. Since I hadn’t completely gotten the design set, I didn’t know where this was going. I found an online program that I used to get an idea of a design and the cost of the things I would need. The total was close to $800 and that didn’t include my REQUIRED shoe storage and the second section of drawers that God told me I had to add to my design. $800 was not disposable money that I have hanging around – payoff mode remember?

I was an obedient child and took some time to look at Menards website after I completed my study that afternoon and low and behold I lot of the items I needed were clearance. I couldn’t wait to get to Menards before someone else found out and bought everything I needed. I got to the store after work and was trying to use the clearance items but they were all in cherry and I want my closet to be white (I already have three shoe bins that are white). So I kept walking around the area and started pricing another system by Dakota closets. I ended up purchasing everything I need for the long wall with the exception of four large drawers and the side poles for bottom hanging area because they didn’t have them in stock. I spent $130.07. Can I tell you that this wall was the most expensive one of the $800 design? Can anyone else attest to being obedient to God? He is the design for the major wall.


The blue lines are the hanging poles – the top pole will hold my tops, jackets/blazers and pants and skirts will be on the bottom portions. I will have shelving over the top that will have baskets for my purses, that is represented by the thick gray line. I’ll have six drawers – two 5” deep drawers and four 10” deep drawers. I’m putting drawers in the closet because I don’t believe in dressers in the bedroom because they always manage to become cluttered; currently my bedside table are clutter central. I originally thought that wall was 96” long but found out it is actually 116” when I brought the top pole into the closet to make sure it was too long. I’ll be returning it and getting to adjustable rods that will need to connected. The extra inches has made it easier to find the poles for the bottom hanging areas because I thought I needed to find 24” poles (wasn’t happening either) but now I can get the 30”-48” adjustable poles for that area.

Here’s a picture of the closet in its current state – don’t judge.






It has gotten to the point where I’ve given up on organization, plus my husband just abandoned items. He hasn’t come back to get the clothes so I’m going to presume that they are up for donation.

I’m going to be doing this in phases, because I can’t fathom taking everything out of the closet at one time. I’m already feeling some anxiety about the clothes that still in the master bath tub. The pressure was definitely on to complete it by the time I return to work tomorrow and that didn’t happen; so how much longer is it going to take me?  I’ll keep you guys posted. Keep an eye out on my Instagram page, for some updates.  Has anyone tackled a project like this in a weekend and succeeded? Send me some comments of encouragement, I can sure use them.

Hope you had a great weekend.



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Let’s try this again

When my blog url came up for renewal this year I thought to myself, “you’re paying for this domain name and you have this blog, why aren’t you doing something with it?”  I immediately came up with the excuse that my life is too busy and hectic to be able to sit down daily and compose a blog.  I thought about it more and more and decided that I use my name Red Oven Creations for a lot of things; Twitter, Instagram, my business; I should take the time to be proactive about my blog page.  So here I am once again deciding to post.  There will be a few changes; mainly I will not be posting every day; but I will strive to get a post out every week.  I’m also going to keep my post shorter.  I think when I do a longer post I tend to get bogged down and never finish or get it out there.  And finally, I know that people are visual and don’t seem to click with a post unless there are photos involved; but let’s face it, sometimes a photo does not apply.  So if there isn’t a photo in the blog, please forgive me, but I’m not going to stress out trying to include a photo for your adult mind.  I would love to hope that my audience has grown beyond “picture books”.

So to sum it up, my goal is to post weekly, post shorter blogs (if it needs to be long, you guys are getting multiple parts blogs), and include pictures if it’s required or relevant.  I think I’ve got an interesting point of view of this life I’m living and I hope you stick around to read about it.


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