Personal Update on My New Life As A Single Mom

Wow. So much change has happened already in 2015. The biggest, and most painful is, of course, walking away from a nearly decade-long marriage. It only helps a little to know it was the right decision to make, the only choice really. But it’s still hard. It still hurts. And I still have days where I call it a win if I manage to remain unconsumed by bitterness. In a lot of ways, I’m lucky that the single mom life is so damn busy. Most of the time I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself, or feel anything but tired. Ha.

I love, love, love the condo rental I’m living in with the Daleks. There’s one short staircase from the front door to the living area, but then everything is on one floor. No more hauling things up and down and up and down. It’s literally two blocks from Big Dalek’s school. I finally got to adopt my fur baby. I’m no longer responsible for snow removal or lawn care. It’s a great layout. I have a brand new dishwasher and more long-term storage space than the old place. Plus it costs less. And, maybe second best of all (best = pet friendly), I like my neighbors and so do the Daleks. Big Dalek even had her first sleepover last weekend with the little girl two doors down from our unit.

I’ve agreed to return to my position in the nursery at the Calgary Unitarian Church. It pays half again as much as last time I worked there, is only a two hour commitment per week, and I don’t have to get child care for the Daleks to do it. ExManDork has promised to continue supporting us (and yes, I’ll be getting that in writing), but I’m still hoping that by this time next year I can support myself and my Daleks if need be. Ideally I’ll be able to make my new gig as a Thirty-One Gifts Consultant profitable enough to not have to put the kids in daycare to work, plus I’ve *just* opened up an Etsy shop after numerous fellow planner addicts begged me to make some homemade stickers available for sale. Three sales in 24 hours isn’t too bad, though I doubt that will ever turn into a particularly lucrative form of revenue. I had hoped to return to school in the next few years, but now who knows what will happen and when. My student loans are finally paid off. I’m not keen on acquiring new ones. There’s a lot of unknowns in my life right now.

I’m a lot busier than I used to be. The kids are only with their dad one day a week. And Baby Dalek is really embracing the spirit of the Terrible Twos. So I have to face the fact that I probably won’t be able to do it all and still fit in four posts a week like I wanted to work on this year. I’ll do my best to post regularly though.


If you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting, it’s because until recently, not all my in-laws were aware that ManDork and I split up. I didn’t really have anything I could blog about that wouldn’t necessitate explaining that we’ve separated and I didn’t want anybody finding out from a blog post or second-hand from somebody else who saw the blog.

I, for once, am at a loss for words. I don’t know how to even begin writing about this. And I’ve been so busy adjusting to all the changes in the last month (separating, moving, oh..and FINALLY GETTING A PUPPY!) that I haven’t had the time to devote to figuring out those words. But I’ll share more as I find ways to say what’s in my heart and on my mind.

In the meantime…


Hello Winner!

Mercedes was randomly selected as the recipient of the Valentine’s dashboard! Congrats! I’ve e-mailed you to get your mailing address!

Erin Condren Life Planner Valentine Dashboard Winner

Valentine’s Gift Ideas for The Planner Addict

In years past I have occasionally done gift guides in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day {gifts for the Geek in your life, and more gifts for geeks + gifts for coffee lovers}. Everybody seems to enjoy getting Valentines gift ideas and I have so much fun putting them together that I wanted to do some more this year! To kick things off, I’m starting with a list of items *I* certainly wouldn’t mind receiving {as I am maybe a little too in love with my planner}. All right, enough with the intro nobody wants to read anyway…ON TO THE GOODIES!

1. REALLY awesome pens.

Frixion Erasable Pens Markers Highlighters

I’ve reviewed pens in the past. But this year I was introduced to the Frixion line and now all my other pens are jealousy collecting dust. Frixion is a line of pens (and markers! and highlighters!) that erase. No, I mean it. They really erase. These are not like those “erasable” pens you had in middle school that really weren’t erasable. I do find some colors erase less well than others {I’m looking at you, Purple} but even then, miles better than any erasable pen I’ve ever used in the past. If you’re in the US I highly recommend JetPens for their awesome selection {though you’re welcome to order them on Amazon and support this blog}. If you’re in Canada you can order them on {that link takes you to my Amazon store with several Frixion selections already organized for you} or you could get them from  For a while, you can snag some of the pens in stores at Target. I’ve also spotted them at London Drugs. Jetpens shipping to Canada hurts a bit, but the prices seem to generally be better than and the selection is amazing!


Etsy stickers! Sticker paper for DIY stickers {Canadians get it here}! Erin Condren Stickers {under “accessories”}! Stickers from the craft store {don’t forget to use the coupons in the Michael’s app}! SO MANY STICKERS! STICKERSSSSSSSS.

How To Organize Your Stickers

And maybe a binder {Canada} and baseball card protector sheets {Canada} to keep them all organized.

3. Washi!

iluvdesign, zakkalover, ChaoticStationary, and WashiTapeLove on Etsy have great selections. In stores you can find washi (also known as “paper tape”) at craft stores, office supply stores, and big box stores like Target and Walmart.

Why does the planner addict in your life need washi?

Exhibit A:

Washi Tape Decoration for Erin Condren Life Planner

4. Functional Stamps!

I have some of the Studio L2E stamps (see above picture).  I also have some of the Heidi Swapp Minis and a Teresa Collins set I picked up at Michaels. But you might also want to check out Sweet Stamp Shop, Pink and Main, or Waffle Flower. I like the VersaMagic Dewdrops for stamping ink. I’ve got them in the planner accessories section of my Amazon and stores.


5. A Good Old-Fashioned Gift Card. 

Not sure what your planner addict already has then there is no shame in resorting to a gift card for Erin Condren, or your local craft store {I prefer Michaels and Joanns to Hobby Lobby}, or Etsy if your giftee is more Plum Paper Planner kinda-gal. And let’s not forget the Filofax fans!

That’s it for the Planner Addict Gift Guide. Check in this weekend to find out who won the giveaway for my Valentine’s planner dashboard! And subscribe now to ensure you don’t miss any of the other gift guides I have in the works!

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