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If you are new to the blog, this is a very simple idea. It is kind of like a little notepad, but with a goal of recording something great from each day. Maybe it is a big event or maybe it is just something small. Recording the joys of each day helps me nurture gratitude in my heart. The calendars were actually created with the idea of giving them as a gift at Christmas. It can be something to slip in with gifts for friends, teachers, family and kids.

The first year we kept this going for a bit with the kids, but then I dropped the ball. This year (and last) the older four our getting one in their stockings. I am hoping by incorporating it into our homeschool schedule we’ll be more consistent. The plan is to start the day recording our ‘bests’ from the day before. In years past, we tried doing these at night and just forgot too often! I think it will be a great practical way to practice gratitude, but it will also be really fun to look back on one day. I keep my own list in my perpetual calendar.

The arrows I used are a free download created by We Lived Happily Ever After. You can download the arrows from her original post by clicking here.

Step 1: Download the pdf files by clicking here (you will need to open each file by clicking on the picture of it, then go to the bottom right corner and click on the arrow, then download)

Step 2: Print each pdf on cardstock paper. The text is teal, but if you wanted to save money by printing it in B&W, it would still look good that way. I print mine at FedEx Kinkos.

Step 3: Trim each page. Mine are cut to about 3 inches wide.

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Step 4: punch a hole in the top corner and add a metal ring12.14bestofmydays-02

And a few ideas for wrapping them up – this is the fun part!12.14bestofmydays-0412.14bestofmydays-0612.14bestofmydays-0812.14bestofmydays-1012.14bestofmydays-13

Click here to download the files

flourish

SnapShops

Registration is open for both January SnapShops (my online photography workshops). Gift certificates are available too!

Phone photography course

January 5-24, 2015 ‚Äď registration open

The next course will be in April/May.

DSLR course

January 5 ‚Äď 31, 2015 ‚Äď registration open

The next course will be in April/May.

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  • Jack - This is a brilliant idea! I’m going to put these in my girl’s stockings this year too. Thank you for sharing.

  • Janel - Thanks! This is so simple. Today I’m grateful for your willingness to give freely.

  • Liz - This is such a great idea! I love that it is simple and the wrapping can be done up to make it more festive! Perfect!

  • Angela - Where did the naughty/nice/borderline tags come from? Did you make them yourself? Because they are hilarious and I would love to get my hands on some!

  • Monica - Hi Ashley, This is a really nice idea, I saw the last one but I didn’t have time to make it, maybe this time I will, but I could not download the files. :(. I will keep trying.

  • Amberly - Hey Ashley I love this idea! I have plenty of ink in my computer and when I am printing these whether on cardstock or regular paper the black is printing as a light gray and it can’t be seen? Any suggestions for this? I am not having a problem printing anything else in black.

  • Donzel - I think my brother is going to order a gift certificate for the dslr course for my Christmas present!! I’m super, 100% excited about this. :-) (I was disappointed to realize I could have put my name in the drawing for a slot in the course, but considering how many entries you had the odds were not in my favor!)

  • michelle hill - This is an adorable gift idea! I agree, the fun part is picking out the cute ways to wrap them up.

  • Helen - Great idea. Am going to print one for me and one for my 8 year old son…..thank you…!!

  • Libby Baker - Hi Ashley, Thank you so much for continuing this journal idea. Now my tradition can continue. Have a wonderful holiday and a fantastic new year.

  • Katharine - The idea is wonderful and the calendar design is beautiful. I’ve been looking for a way to record our good days and this is excellent. Thank you for sharing. Love all the ways you wrapped them too!

  • Tere - So excited. I’m going to print a few for gifts. And thank you for your wrapping ideas. Just beautiful.

    Question: Suggestions on the cardstock weight for printing?

    I’ve never printed at FedEx, will have to figure that out. Thanks!!

  • elizabeth H - my boys LOVED these last year!
    & they’re perfectly timed for my kids Christmas stockings ~ thank you!!

  • angie - ashley… thanks so much for sharing this with us… such a sweet gift idea! just downloaded the files and can’t wait to have them printed! xo

  • Amy D - Thank you, ma’am!

  • Mrs.T - What a fantastic idea!! I am not sure how I missed this last year, but I think my teen granddaughter and both of my daughters (who are busy moms like yourself) would love one of these. Thanks so much for sharing, and the wrapping ideas are a beautiful bonus.

  • Hannah @ We Lived Happily Ever After - Cute! Love how you used my arrows!

    XO Hannah

  • Lauren - These are lovely. Just what I needed for 2015.
    Thank you Ashley,
    Lauren

  • Lisa - Do you use 8-1/2″ by 11″ card stock paper? I didn’t see the dimension listed for the paper. (Maybe I missed it.)

    Wonderful idea that I plan to give to a lot of my family and friends.

    Thanks!!
    Lisa

  • AshleyAnn - Lisa – yes, 8.5×11

  • Jeanine Q. - Thanks so much! I was so happy to see these again. They make such nice gifts!

  • Maureen - I love things this cute and so simple even I can do it! Thank you for this!

  • Thursday Things 12.11.14 - just j.faye - […] track of all the “best of the day” thoughts in 2015 with this fun […]

  • Jessica S - LOVE this idea! Thank you for thanking the time to post this :)

  • stacie - Ashley, thank you from my whole heart. I’ve kept this best of my days log for three full years now. I love that you share this!!! I normally only print every other year (and use the backs), but arrows represent so much to me that I had to print this years. Maybe I’ll need to gift them again too :) Thanks for sharing your life here, for your generosity, and for your kindness. Merry Christmas! Here’s to many best moments in your days of twenty15!!

  • Tiffany - These are wonderful! I’ve already printed a few to give a little gifts and for our house. I’m thinking of making a cover page for them and am curious what font you used for the months… I’d like to be consistent if possible. Thank you!!

  • lovely, happy gift ideas for the last minute shopper : Holy Hen House! - […] 2014 is knocking at our door. What sweeter gift to give than this best of my days notepad calendar?! It’s a place for someone to jot down special memories and thankfuls at the end of each day. […]

  • Natalie @ Being Mrs. Olson - THIS IS FANTASTIC! I absolutely love this idea. I had a small booklet that I use for a place to write down fun things that we did or accomplished (like a fun bike ride to a coffee shop). I think it is so fun to look back and see the different things we’ve done. I think this is a great idea for kids to really be aware of what they are doing and working on. Great idea!

  • krista - Thanks so much for doing this, it is a darling idea and makes such a great gift!

  • 10 New Years Ideas - Somewhat Simple - […] 7. 2015 printable journal where you can write the best part about each of your days, from Under the Sycamore […]

  • Jancy - Thank you for sharing these again this year! I printed these for my children last year and we stuck with it all year. I write it down for them each day after they tell me the best part- often at bedtime or the following morning. They are 7 and 9 this year and both asked if we would be doing it again. What a simple way to remind us of our many blessings big and small each day. I can’t tell you how often we will be doing something and midway they stop, look at me and say ‘this it it, the best part of my day’. I really appreciate this wonderful gift! Happy 2015!!

  • Christmas Gift Crafting & Buying on a Budget (ideas for more than just Christmas!) | Colibri Homestead - […] 2015 Best of My Days¬†& Hopeologie Let’s Do, Let’s Not Do notepads. These notepads were also fun and easy to make. 2015 Best of My Days is a free printable that encourages you to write one thing a day that you want to remember and/or for which you are grateful. The Let’s Do, Let’s Not Do is a printable from my Hopeologie subscription (I’m not a current subscriber only because of the budget, but if you have the funds, I totally recommend it — who doesn’t need encouraging words of hope for their soul, home and family?!). I turned both into notepads using this bookbinding adhesive¬†and viewing a few online tutorials. You don’t even need a fancy paint brush. I used one from my son’s school watercolors, it worked just great, and no damage was done. I like that you can take any free printable and turn it into a notepad!! I have lots of adhesive left, so am excited about future projects. (There are also tutorials to make your own adhesive at home, but it was all a little too much this, that and measuring for me. It might be up your alley though, and would certainly make the project even more budget-friendly.) […]

  • 2015 Goals - […] the Live Life Beautifully journal and a Best of My Days calendar. I¬†started following Gretchen’s instagram feed¬†about a month ago, and¬†have been so […]

Parenting is hard. The laundry doesn’t end. The constant need meeting can be overwhelming. In the midst of all the hard, there are so many incredibly awesome moments. I think those are the moments that often keep me going and bring the beautiful balance to the difficult. Some of those moments are nestled in deep meaning and significance. Other moments are just pure simple fun. I’m pretty boring, my kids bring the fun and whimsy into my life. They bring humor and laughter to my all-too serious personality.

Last week I took a few photos to remember a conversation I hope I never forget. It was one of those “my kid is so awesome I can’t believe I get to hang out with him all the time” moments.

I was getting ready for the day when he walked into my room.

“Hey Mom, the hole in my mouth looks just like the Batman symbol!”

12.14batman-0112.14batman-0412.14batman-0612.14batman-0712.14batman-08Not only does his hole actually look like the Batman symbol – he noticed it on his own. I can picture him in front of the mirror. He was probably flexing his muscles and making funny faces. Then all of the sudden he saw it – BATMAN! It is so like him to notice the unexpected, to bring laughter and fun into my day in the most random of ways. I’m kind of dreading his teeth growing now….good thing I have a camera. Long live the Batman hole.

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  • tricia - So adorable! His happy face brought a smile to mine.

  • jen - too funny!!! it does look just like the batman symbol. As I am reading and the pics are scrolling on the instagram feed on the side bar, I see it in his other pics too :)

  • danielle - That is so cute! It totally looks like batman! My boys would be so excited! My oldest had a “superman curl” in the front of his hair for a while and was so sad when I gave him a haircut!

  • Kelleyn - It took me a second of looking before I saw it, but how cool!

  • Elke - I cannot stop laughing!

  • Meredith N - This is so awesome. lol :)

  • Sandy C - Holy mouth, Batman! I would have never noticed it- but once it was pointed out- it’s a perfect Batman symbol & you can’t be unseen.

  • Seamingly Sarah - This is so totally awesome!

  • Tammy Henderson - That is so totally awesomw!! Love it, and yay for cameras to capture such fun. :o)

  • KSuddeth - That’s just awesome!

  • Bek - this is so freakin funny! As a step mom to 3 boys who all love Batman, i saw this immediately and showed my boys, who all agreed that it was super awesome!

  • debbie - I love that he can see that (like the classic: do you see the old or young women optical illusion). I can’t believe he can see in reverse at his tender age. AMAZING!

  • Heather - Life is so hard. This made me giggle. Long live darling kids and happy hearts!!

  • Crystal - I just said to my husband jokingly that “no ever said parenting would be hard”. then I opened this post and saw the tittle… this one really spoke to how I have been feeling with two teething babies and a laundry pile so large I may lose one under it… haha. Thanks for this.

  • Clare - Hahahahahahahaha!! Awesome!!!! Was not expecting that so just splurted my tea everywhere laughing. Nice one! x

  • Angela - Ha! He’s so right. It totally does!

  • Christine - De-lurking to LAUGH OUT LOUD!

    Thank you for sharing that!

  • Ang - Holy holes, Batman! I LOVE this! What a fun guy. He looks like his oldest brother in the third shot. Handsome boys. =)

  • marie - Definitely a moment to remember…and a lovely chuckle for me!

  • Amy @thelittlefarmdiary - Ashley, I’m so proud of you that you are able to take a much needed break from “life” and SEE these precious moments. So many would miss them entirely! What a blessing!

  • Natalie Lacy Lange - This is awesome–and he is hilarious. Kids are too funny!

  • Caroline - It’s hilarious to me that you consider yourself ‘serious and boring.’ You’re the most creative, whimsical person on the internet!

  • Christina - My son walked up while I was reading this and said “Whoa!” to the first photo. I told him he had lost his four teeth and they were growing in (my 6.5 year old has only lost his bottom two so far, and only just). I asked him what it looked like, and without missing a beat he said: Batman. Kids are awesome. :) What a great conversation to remember when he’s older!

  • Erin - that is awesome! totally made my day and he’s not even my kid :)

  • Jenny B. - That’s hilarious. I will have to show his picture to my boys. They will think that is awesome. :)

  • Crystal - This is definitely pure awesomeness and made me laugh out loud! That had to have been the coolest discovery for him! :)

  • sunwooc - Awesome! My 5 years old son said, “I wanna be like him when I grow up. How can I have teeth like him?” My son is big fan of batman. :)

  • Krystin - That is the cutest thing ever!

This month a lot of gift giving will take place, which means a lot of purchasing done. I’m going to highlight a few different companies today and next Friday. Today I’ve partnered with three companies that ‘give back’. They are also three companies started by women with a vision and passion for making positive change in the lives of others. It is often hard to know the story of the things we buy – how the workers were treated, the ethics of the business, or even where the product came from originally. These are three companies that we get to get a little more of a glimpse into those things and use our buying power with more of the story. Each company provided the items I used for the photos in this post.

The first company is Noonday Collection. I am sure many of you are already familiar with Noonday. “Noonday Collection uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.” They provide dignified jobs at living wages, no-interest loans, scholarship programs, emergency assistance and long term trade. Supporting adoption is also a core value of the company. Noonday Collection has everything from jewelry to home goods – all so beautiful. Below is the Darjeeling Necklace (which can also be converted to a bracelet!).

NoondayCollection.com || www.facebook.com/noondaycollection || www.pinterest.com/noondaystyle || instagram.com/noondaycollection

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The next two companies are Sseko Designs (booties) and Swell Forever (blanket). “Sseko Designs partners with artisans in Ethiopia to create beautiful products crafted from leather and cotton sourced locally from Ethiopian family farmers. In addition to generating revenue that allows Sseko Designs to grow their social impact programs for women and girls, their partnerships are creating dignified jobs and building sustainable economies across East Africa.” Sseko Designs products include footwear, accessories and leather bags. Below are the Caramel Nomad Bootie (size 5! It is so hard to find size 5 shoes!!)

www.SsekoDesigns.com || www.facebook.com/ssekodesigns || www.pinterest.com/ssekodesigns  ||  instagram.com/ssekodesigns

Swell Forever’s founder hopes that the 100,000 children in the US foster care system would find a forever home. Swell Forever products include heirloom blankets and baby/toddler clothing. For each product sold, a contribution is made (in various ways) to financially assist adoptions. Below is the Carolyn Forever Blanket.

www.swellforever.com || www.facebook.com/swellforever || www.pinterest.com/swellforever || @swell.forever.founder on IG

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My oldest daughter is always up for having her picture taken, so it was easy to get her to snuggle with me in our blanket. It was just an impromptu moment, but Chris captured some of my favorite images of us. The boys were playing soccer next to us and my youngest daughter was napping…next time I’m going to have to try to get them all in some snuggle shots with me.

I’ve received several inquiries recently about a Best of My Days 2015. Yes, I will make one and have it ready next week for you to download and gift! I love that so many of you faithfully use those! Happy Friday and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  • kimberly Oyler - oh those last 2 pictures kill me!!

  • Lisa McCracken - I am a faithful reader of your blog and I have never seen the “Best of My Days” post!! What a nice idea. Looking forward to trying it this year. Thank you!

  • Brooke - Love these photos!!! Thanks so much for sharing Ashley!

  • Amy D - Love Noonday and Sseko! Are the booties comfy and do they fit well? I’ve had my eye on those.

  • Jolene - Love the last 2 shots!

  • Emily Collins - i love this!! I’m an Independent Ambassadior for Noonday, here in Tulsa, and I’ve been wanting to connect with you, but I couldn’t find an email. I’d live to share more with you, and talk more about Noonday, especially their heart for adoption and orphan care!! Would you email me, sometime when you gave a minute!?

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh she looks so much like you in those shots!

  • Rachel - Snuggle photos are the best!

  • wynne - love it! thanks for sharing girl! love seeing some noonday love on here! and to be introduce to swell forever!

  • Natalie - Those last two photos are absolutely gorgeous! What did you do to edit these?