The last couple of months, my blog links posts have been shorter than usual. I think this one will make up for all that! Happy reading!

Blog Links

Cooking Related:

Six Ingredient Swaps that Slash Calories

Master Quick Mix (Bisquick replacement) (Learned from the blogger that this mix can be kept in the fridge for 3 months.)

Homemade Poultry Seasoning

Taco Pasta

Waffle Master Mix

Fosters Beer Cheese Fondue

Honey Yogurt Muffins

Mexican Breakfast Burritos (vegan)

Brown Sugar Honey Baked Oatmeal

Easy & Delicious BBQ Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce

Crafting Related:

Ghost Pencils

3 Mindful Ways to Approach a Love of Making

6 Frugal Crafting Tips

Food for Thought:

Cancer Sucks…But It’s Offered Me a Kick in the Ass


Canning Fresh Fruit

Canning Recipes

Backyard Tandoor: the authentic, easy way

Pear Preservation Method

Canning Salsa

House Keeping:

Decluttering Your Home in 7 Days


How To: Starting & Keeping a Personal Journal (video)

Planner Related:

The Ultimate Compilation of Films Featuring Ringed Organizers

Do You Need a Planner Intervention? (videos)

Productivity Related:

The 5 Realities that Distinguish True Entrepreneurs From All Other Business Owners

7 Productivity Hacks I stole from Successful Entrepreneurs

8 Things You Should Do if You Work from Home Every Day

Self-Care Related:

54 Ways to Remain Happy & Healthy

Why Nobody Tells You About Self-Care


Going off directions from another blogger, my husband and I attempted to freeze raw potatoes. Here are the results of our Frozen Potato Experiment.

Our potatoes were un-pealed and shredded hash brown style, instead of cubed. Now we didn’t freeze completely raw potatoes, they were par boiled. Once they were par boiled, we spread them out on cookie sheets and freeze them, per the directions.

We love making breakfast scrambles, and thought this would be a frugal way to get potatoes for breakfast. That may sound silly, but we don’t buy potatoes often because we don’t eat them very often. Hence wanting to stock up and have them on hand in the freezer.

We treated a bag the same way we would a bag of the Simply Potatoes ® brand. We dumped them into a frying pan to make breakfast potatoes.

They turned into fried mashed potatoes!!!

At first, my husband was disappointed (actually, more than disappointed, there was swearing), but then I pointed out that we had mashed potatoes!!! We love mashed potatoes, but again, we don’t buy potatoes too often. I’m very happy that I have frozen potatoes that will turn into mashed potatoes whenever I want mashed potatoes.

There are some readers who will question why I just don’t go buy a few fresh potatoes for mashed potatoes. I like convenience foods. I really do. Keeping fresh potatoes around doesn’t work for my household. They usually go bad before they’re all used, especially if I get a bag of potatoes. And buying the smaller packs of baking potatoes isn’t fiscally smart in my opinion. At least in my local grocery stores, 2-4 large baking potatoes is the equivalent cost of a 10 lb. bag of potatoes.

Here’s a picture of the remaining three bags in my freezer:


© Cori Large 21 August 2016


This post was requested by several readers. If you’re a regular here on Tales from a Polk County Girl, you may swear up and down that I change my planner every week. I promise you this is not true. My editorial calendar at the time was not very fluid and I would end up posting about planners I hadn’t used in a few weeks.

Over the course of figuring out a planning system that works for me (all of 2015 by the way), I’ve used various ringed planners to see what I wanted. I also dabbled with Bullet Journaling in my bound journals. But neither method were making me happy. Yes, they worked, but I didn’t fully enjoy them. My very good friend, Canyon, had been trying to get me to try a Traveler’s Notebook almost since we first met. And up until this past February, I stood fast. I knew I needed the ability to move things around at leisure, so using a ringed planner made the most sense to me.

Then I caved. I bought a cheaper traveler’s notebook (ZLYC brand; TN) off Amazon, and played around with it for a while. The whole concept of a traveler’s notebook is to be able to carry around a couple of smaller notebooks in a traditional leather* wrap. So, uh, yeah, I like them…*looks sheepish* I’ve always loved notebooks. Bound journals as my weakness.

Since February I’ve been using a Traveler’s Notebook, and all my ringed planners are on a shelf in my office and are empty. Keeping track of the ones that are currently in use isn’t hard, because I refuse to duplicate information. Each TN has certain books in it and if I need that book I go get that TN.

Quick breakdown:

ZLYC narrow: monthly, journaling booklet, daily bujo style book




CS Maverick narrow: the master to do list, knitting insert, Collections #1 & 2 books, blogging insert


Fabric Dori I made: Gardening journal, homesteading insert, book notes book


ZLYC passport: story ideas, brain dump, extra notebook


As you can see, there isn’t any duplication in my books.

I hope this has answered the question of how I keep track of my planners. Now, with #oneBookJuly coming up, I may switch things around and see if I can handle using 1 book and 1 pen for a month.

*Midori Traveler’s Notebooks were the original traveler’s notebook, and are made of real leather. There are now a variety of traveler’s notebook covers available on the internet: faux/vegan leather, fabric, duct tape…

**This post was written before the Foxy Fix Marina was added to the collection.

© Cori Large 7 June 2016



My blog posts have their own notebook in my traveler’s notebook system. Big surprise, right? I see posts on the various TN FB groups about getting organized for your blog, etc. While there are some pre-done inserts available on ETSY, I prefer a more free form approach. Here’s a walk-thru of my Blogging Notebook.

I don’t have a Table of Contents or Index, like my Collections notebooks. I start out with a couple of pages for BPIs (Blog Post Ideas), then I started a post immediately (Mel’s Travel Flex), when I should have set up my Completion Charts—whoops!

BPI Lists



Completion Charts.

Highlighted = complete.




These charts help keep me on track of what needs to be done for each post. The letters stand for: Written, Typed, Pictures, Video, Compiled?, Posted. 99% of the time I handwrite my posts in the notebook, but some are written on the computer. Despite starting to do my writing on the computer, I still like having a notebook dedicated to blogging because it is a great way to jot down post notes, video needs, and picture needs.

Here’s a peak at the posts themselves:

My notes for the TN Insert Statistics post:


The handwritten version of this blog post!

See how much has been added!


Spacing between my Completion Charts


How much more I have to go in this insert.

Roughly half-way through.


I also keep an On Deck list of posts that have been compiled and ready to be posted, just in case I don’t have a set post up and ready on my Editorial Calendar, in the Collections notebook.

On Deck List


Editorial Calendar set up


Once this insert is filled up, I’ll be adding a notebook to my B6 EDC. I’ve already experimented with hole punching B6 inserts so I can have my ideal set up. As much fun as having a single bound notebook is, I’ve been keeping my hand-written blog posts in a binder long before I started using Traveler’s Notebooks. And I’d like to continue that.

YouTube video link:

How do y’all stay organized for your blog?

© Cori Large 23 June 2016


When I started using a Traveler’s Notebook, I knew I wanted a Bullet Journal-style collections section, but it was going to have to be a separate notebook. I started one in the Chic Sparrow Wide TN (“Collections”), and have been working on filling it up.

It’s taken me longer to fill up the first notebook than I initially thought it would to be honest. I’m currently up to page 78 of 99 in Collections #1, so it won’t be too much longer. Also, Collections #1 is more for long-term lists.

Cover of my 1st Collections Notebook20160821_145147

Table of Contents


Ran out of room on the TOC, so I started an Index in the back.


Blog Posts on Deck list

If I have multiple posts ready to go, I put them here so I have a reminder.


List of Blog pictures and videos needed.

This is really handy, since I batch sessions of filming and taking pictures.


My Bucket List, which is an upcoming post.


My Blog Editorial Calendar set up


During #onebookJuly2016, I did add a second collections notebook to the CS Maverick TN I was using, with the idea of it being for more short-term / temporary lists.

2nd Collections notebook


Very messy Table of Contents


I left the next two pages blank as well, for the Table of Contents to continue.

An example of my Running To Do list


Blog Post Ideas list


Other Collections pages, where I noted things that would need to be transferred post-#onebookJuly2016. I still haven’t done that…shame on me.


This post was originally written June 23. It’s now Sept. 21. I still have not finished the first Collections notebook. I think I’m on page 83 or 85.

YouTube video link:

If you have long term lists, how do you keep track of them? Phone app? Loose-leaf paper? Post-its everywhere?

© Cori Large 23 June 2016


***I volunteered to do a beta test on a traveler’s notebook insert. I received this insert file in exchange for a blog post review and YouTube video.***


Zeitgeber Planners is a task and project oriented planner. Originally available for ring-bound planners (Filofax, Franklin Covey, etc.), there is a traveler’s notebook insert available. It is still in beta testing and not available for sale yet. The ring-bound planner sets come in three sizes: compact, personal, and classic/A5. These sets are reasonably priced. The webpage has more information.

For the traveler’s notebook insert, I received the Project Management Pages, but not the Daily Pages.

Walk Through:

Front cover: 31 line list w/ a tracker box with 7 squares. I did not use this cover because my folding technique made the tracking boxes virtually unusable.


Month on 2 pages, unlined, with monthly goal or to do boxes on the left for work, home, and personal.


Week on 2 page set up. Left page was broken up into Work, Home, and Personal with boxes for Managing tasks and a Focus box under each. There was also a box to mark down Calls and Emails, and a Go box. Not sure what the Go box was for. Errands maybe?

The right page had a Monday to Sunday vertical chart, running 5 am through 9 pm, in hourly increments. There is a longer rectangle underneath the 9 pm box. This box could be used for meal planning, important reminders, exercise, etc. Also at the bottom of the page, there is an eight line tracker, going Monday to Sunday.



The May booklet had 6 weekly set ups, the last going well into the first week of June.

Back Cover: a simple future log for the upcoming three months, and a blank box for whatever other notes you want to make.


What I liked:

I liked the tracking boxes on each week. It saved me from having to write my routine over and over in tight vertical layout.

I do like the Manage/Focus boxes. The way I used them: Manage was my routine and Focus was something specific I hoped to get done.

What I did not like:

I did not like how small the vertical layout was. I have big handwriting, and even using my Colecto 5mm doesn’t work. I like being more specific with my daily list, and wasn’t able to do that here.

I also had a hard time folding this insert properly. I tried watching the video on the website, but I didn’t find it to be much help.

Take Away:

This insert was the first printable I’ve used, aside from ones I made myself, so I did have trouble getting it to print correctly. This is a nice insert, but it’s not for me. The vertical chart is just too small.

YouTube video link:

© Cori Large 6/17/2016


I have two very fancy pens in my desk. They don’t leave my house because I’m terrified of losing them. Both were gifts from my husband.


Zippo Twist Pen w/ Marble Inlay


This one was a birthday present. It’s a ballpoint, with black ink. It does have some weight to it, but it is very nice to write with.



Parker Fountain Pen


This one was my husband’s personal fountain pen growing up. It had been lost to time amid lots of moving boxes, but was refound a few months ago. It still works, even with the original ink cartridges. And the original box survived as well.  I don’t use this one much because I always end up with ink all over me.



© Cori Large 7 June 2016



  1. Reading…Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell20160913_084329
  2. FINALLY got the website back up and running after it being down for a week.
  3. Journaling Booklet is out! Everything can be put to bed now.
  4. Making progress on a new fiction series I’m writing. Working on Chapter 8 of 15.20160913_08434320160913_08434920160913_084357
  5. Decorated my house for Fall / Autumn!












20160913_084658 20160913_084708

How’s everyone else doing mid-month? Feel free to copy and paste this check-in list into your blog.


Hello, readers! This post is about the Journaling Booklet I have for sale on my ETSY shop.

This booklet comes in 3 editions: 28/29 day, 30 day, and 31 day.

This booklet is a digital download, so the buyer can print the booklet off on any color or weight paper they prefer.



Why did I create this booklet?

I liked the idea of having a daily prompt that helped me get organized for the month. One of the early prompts has you set up a monthly budget. This one is a big one for me. It also helps me see from month to month how much we’re spending in certain categories.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the more in-depth and introspective prompts. If I need to get something off my check or out of my head, I just spill my guts onto a blank page.

Who is this booklet for?

*Beginner journalers who are not sure where to start.

*Journalers who like a daily prompt to fill in, instead of a blank page.

*Journalers who like having a month’s worth of journaling in one place.

What is this booklet?

The journaling booklet is a collection of daily prompt for 28/29 day months, 30 day months, and 31 day months.





Questions range from getting your month set up, activity and financially, as well as reflecting throughout the month, memory keeping prompts, hobby progress, what you read, and how you did financially that month.


Where I can find this booklet?

All editions of the journaling booklet are available as digital downloads on my ETSY shop. I’ve included direct links below:

28/29 Day Booklet

30 Day Booklet

31 Day Booklet

These booklets were originally designed to fit a standard/narrow size traveler’s notebook. They will also fit any other larger traveler’s notebook sizes. At this time, they are not available in smaller sizes and there is no conversion.



There is also a YouTube video to accompany this post. Please view it here.


So for August, I got everyone accomplished except working on the Bobbin Lace workbook and Genealogy workbook. I was thinking about changing up what I was going to do goal-wise for September and October. If you watch the video below, I talk about trying to split my goal to do’s into writing goals and physical goals. All the physical goals were going to be done in September, and all the writing would be done in October while I’m traveling. I changed my mind while trying to split them up and decided to treat September as a regular month, and split everything during October and November.

August 2016 Goals

Anyways, after that long introduction, here’s what my September Goals/Monthly Targets are going to look like:

  1. Journaling Booklet: publish and put to bed
  2. Genealogy Workbook: Why did I decide to put this together?
  3. Recipe Book: write out 5 recipes
  4. Bobbin Lace Workbook: work through first 5 pages
  5. eBay: list planners and journals
  6. ETSY: [on hiatus]
  7. Amazon: [on hiatus]
  8. Craft Show Inventory: Bernat Blanket Plum Chutney
  9. Blog Posts: write 5 posts
  10. YouTube Channel: film 10 videos

I’ve written out October and November out already, but I’m not going to share it just yet. But I’m going to switch up my plan of splitting everything during September and October, and split October and November. The writing plan still stays though. Lots of writing is planned for October. I don’t know if I’ll be using a traveler’s notebook insert or a 1 subject spiral notebook or one of my mini flexes. I’m leaning toward the mini flex at this point, but knowing me, I won’t make the decision until the weekend before we leave.

YouTube video link:

How has everyone else’s goals or monthly to do’s gone for the month?

© Cori Large 28 August 2016