New Year // New Look!

becca-garber-buellton-ranch-1

On a hike with my family in Buellton, CA, on our friends’ ranch this past weekend. It was so beautiful!

I kept talking about giving this ol’ blog a facelift, and then finally last night it actually happened! I’ve been working on this site redesign since… June? That’s when I first found that purple flower image for the header. A lot of other things, though, came together yesterday (like the profile picture to your left which was snapped outside on Elliott’s lunch break, so maybe a better one will come along in… a couple years?!).

And now here it is. The new and improved Making Room blog! What do you think?

There’s more big news today: I wrote a guest post for one of my favorite blogs, Modern Mrs. Darcy. My post is called “How reading is saving this mom’s life (or at least her sanity).” So if you’ve ever wondered how or why I read so much, look no further! The answers are all here today, from my introverted need for quiet to my craving for a sense of accomplishment as a young mother. Can you relate to this?

One last thing: do you have a favorite planner? Like a day planner, or a notebook calendar, or a personal organizer, or whatever you call it? I heard a talk at MOPS the other day about “organizing you” and decided it’s finally time to invest in a planner I can take everywhere with me: one location for all my notes, lists, goals, appointments, and even meal plans. I’ve had my eye on this one (so classic!) and this one (with rave reviews). Any suggestions for me?

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32 Responses to New Year // New Look!

  1. Jenn January 23, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    Becca! Have you considered writing a post about your favorite blogs? Or some of the resources that have most shaped your views on hospitality/marriage/parenting, etc? I would be so curious to learn about those! And you’re so articulate, I feel like it work give language to some thoughts/feelings I’ve had about those topics. Just a thought! :)

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 8:10 am #

      That’s a great idea, Jenn! I’ll see about doing it next week. I do have a “Blogs I Love” tab but I realized a lot of those blogs are not current anymore and I need to update it… badly! I’ll work on it and see what I come up with. ;) Thank you for the idea!

  2. Emily January 23, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    Found you (and really resonated with your post) at Modern Mrs. Darcy. Your blog design is beautiful. Following via feedly now and looking forward to reading more!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Yay, I’m so glad to “meet” you, Emily! Welcome!

  3. Carrie January 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    It looks great!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Thank you, Carrie. :)

  4. Katherine January 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Found you via Jess (here in Cville) a little bit ago and then was happy to see you turn up on Modern Mrs Darcy today! Another favorite of mine. Loved your post!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

      Aww, thanks so much, Katherine, and thanks for reading along!

  5. Lydia January 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Becca,

    I love reading about all you are up to! I’m a big fan of the Uncalendar, as are a lot of teachers at my school. It gives you a lot of flexibility while also letting you stay really organized. http://www.uncalendar.com

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm #

      I just checked out their website and am intrigued! Maybe that’s a better choice for a mom where the schedule often changes every week? Seems like it could be.

  6. Joy January 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    I have a planner I use for homeschooling… And I’m not a fan. And it’s a different one than I used last year… Which I also didn’t like. So! When you figure out which one is best, I would LOVE to know!!

    And I LOVE the new look! Your blog is great!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement and enthusiasm, Joy! Also… planning homeschool vs. planning everyday life? Not in the same category! I can’t even imagine what you have to schedule and plan and consider! I still remember my mom making her own weekly calendars for our homeschooling lessons with a ruler and pencil on a sheet of computer paper… and holding her head in her hands…

  7. Breanne January 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Great post at Modern Mrs. Darcy! As a mum of two little girls, I loved it and agree so much. Plus you mentioned some of my favourite authors and genres (Kate Morton! Memoirs! France! yes please!)

    I just got myself the organizer from I Heart Organizing, I love that I can fit it in a binder and keep all my misc papers all in one place. Plus its pretty.

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

      Thanks for coming by, Breanne, and I’m glad to find another kindred spirit!

      I just checked out the I Heart Organizing one. I have really enjoyed her blog in the past, and her calendar is amazing! So neat, too, that you can print it yourself. Thanks for sharing; that’s definitely the most budget-friendly option I’ve found so far.

  8. lucy January 23, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    This post is so inspiring. I want to read more, and should. Love your blog’s new look! Those purple flowers in your header are delightful. I’m entranced by the photo collection…love to see all of those photos!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

      Always so encouraging. :) Thank you!

  9. Emily January 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    I’ve used the moleskine planner for a few years now — when I take it out in Northern California people look at me like I have three heads — everyone here uses digital calendars, but I like a good ole fashioned planner!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

      I am totally smitten with this one just from a nerdy, bookish, design-y love of all things Moleskine… ;)

  10. Caroline January 23, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    Yes! I absolutely LOVE planners and organizers and the best I’ve ever had is the Storage It planner (the Japanese really know what they’re doing when it comes to planners). This one isn’t as pretty as my one last year – https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/43/b3/5c/43b35c26fb2d98fc8f6d258925a03912.jpg – (that one was shipped from http://omoionline.com and they have a lovely selection of different types of calendars/planners) but is still the most functional planner I’ve ever had complete with a zip-pocket on the front. If you can’t find one online there is a place in LA that I got mine and I could send one your way!

    Happy hunting!

    http://www.marks-japan.eu/en/collections/bdd/collection/7/produit/1242/ref/STI-NB18-OBK/couleur/1/visuel/1

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

      Wow, where do you even find out about things like this?! You are amazing! I’ll check it out. Love you being so traditional in modern, techy LA! Go, girl.

  11. Meg January 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    It’s beautiful, Becca! Good job!

    • Becca January 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

      Thank you! Your son was very helpful with figuring out a lot of the techy stuff. ;)

  12. Maggie January 24, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    Planners! I looked and looked and looked for a good one for years and years and finally came up with a system that is working for me. Of course, my only children are the four-legged kind, so they are a little easier to manage. At any rate, a friend introduced me to the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. Allen advocates for making lots of specific lists based on where you are when you need to do a particular task as well as lists for the people you talk to the most. When you think of a task you need to do you, you put it on the appropriate list, with a date if necessary. Every morning, I look over my lists and my Google calendar, and I make a list of what I absolutely have to do that day based on this system: http://www.bulletjournal.com/

    Then, once the day’s must-do tasks are complete, I go to the list that’s weighing on my the most and work on that. On Fridays, I review all of my lists and make new ones for the coming week. I’ve really found myself with a lot more time since I started organizing this way. I think the key is to find something that feels completely organic and right to you so that you keep up with it!

    • Becca January 25, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

      You’re so wise, Maggie! Thanks for sharing. The talk I heard at MOPS last week emphasized list-making and then prioritizing each item on the list. The “1s” get done first, the “2s” second, and so on. She also tried to divide her goals for the day into to do before nap, during nap, and after nap, which works well as a mom, but of course could work well for a professional with lunchtime, or before/during/after work, or whatever.

  13. Jackie January 24, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Hi! I am visiting your blog from modern mrs. Darcy. Love your post there! Your favorite types of books are mine also! Are you on goodreads?

    As for planners, I am on my third Erin condren life planner and love it!

  14. SLG January 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    Becca, first I just want to say that I really enjoy your blog — I’m a friend of Laura (who visited you in Sicily) and I’ve heard so many good things about you, and I’m glad to learn a little from you online. Your posts are always an encouragement!

    Second, since you asked about planners, I figured I’d share what works for me! It sounds like you’re looking for a paper planner, but just in case you’d consider digital, here goes. After years of saying I’d never use my phone for stuff like this, I’ve found that a short list of apps for list-making, tracking stuff, etc. makes life so much easier and my load lighter (literally! less stuff in my purse!). Here’s what I use:

    – Google calendar for helping me not forget when important stuff is happening… which otherwise I would do pretty often. My husband and I have viewing permissions for each other’s calendars so we always know what’s coming up for the other person too.
    – Goodbudget for money (three cheers for no more saving receipts, unless I think I might return the thing and the store doesn’t offer email receipts for lookup via credit card)
    – Google Keep for… pretty much everything else! Not embarrassed to say this one changed my life. It’s a super simple list-making app, and since my husband and I have a shared email address in addition to our own emails, we can have a shared login. We use it for grocery lists, to-do lists, “this stuff must happen this weekend” lists, “hey next time someone’s at Walmart get these 3 things” lists, “this huge project has 52 steps and here they are in order” lists, the works. Best of all: I’m never at the grocery store wracking my brain trying to remember what’s on the grocery list that’s still stuck to my fridge.

    So just wanted to throw those out there! Granted, I’m not sure how they would work for yearly goals, etc., but they definitely make daily/weekly planning easier.

    And finally, I’ve gotta share a link to the most beautiful and practical paper planning/journaling system I’ve ever seen: http://www.midori-japan.co.jp/tr/english/trnotebook/consept/ I saw it in person at an event in San Francisco once and was enthralled. The materials are high quality, it’s super-customizable, and it’s just… beautiful, and looks like it will be even more beautiful the longer it’s used. I made myself walk away from the display :-) but I did receive their brass pen as a gift (http://www.midori-japan.co.jp/tr/english/brass/products/) and it’s worked flawlessly for a year and a half so far.

    Well this comment turned out longer than I planned. Hope it’s helpful to someone!

    • Becca January 25, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

      Sarah, thanks for this thoughtful comment! I have been using a combination of Google calendar (which is shared with my husband and my dad, since he lives with us part time), paper to do lists/meal plans, and my email for a few years now, and it feels like it’s time to move onto something on paper where it’s all kept together. I love the Japanese notebook… and this is the second recommendation I’ve gotten for a Japanese calendar! We shall see…

  15. Sarah January 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    Love the new look! For Christmas, Santa brought me this planner: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LPPXKQU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Sadly, it looks like it’s out of stock on Amazon…but there are a few similar planners. It’s purse-friendly, simple design is what I love most – as well as the Psalms and inspirational quotes throughout. Pages specifically designed for monthly goals as well as a “crisis Scripture index” in the back :). Very pleased.

    • Becca January 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

      Haha, love the crisis Scripture index! I am bummed when a Bible doesn’t include a concordance, so I guess this kind of takes care if that!

  16. Karen January 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    The new look for your blog is lovely. I like the clean, yet colorful feel to it.

    I’ve always loved to read, but feel like my reading took a nose dive between the births of my two children (probably because I had gone back to work). But in the last year, I’ve gotten back into it, finding new authors that I love and new places to find book recommendations. One great by product is that I have rediscovered the library. I always went as a kid and treasured my time there. Now I get most of the books I read there and I take my own kids every week for story time and to pick out books.

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  1. My New Trick for Being On Time, Organized, and Remembering Everything (Sorta) - Becca Garber - May 12, 2015

    […] helps, but it doesn’t help me enough. I hemmed and hawed here about getting a paper planner, and finally I just admitted to myself that it would be a passing fad […]

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