Maintaining composure in stressful moments is truly an art. It’s an art, but it’s something that can be learned and can be harnessed in the moments you don’t expect to need it. This particular skill was needed a month ago when I uploaded what could be considered a “controversial” video, but was meant to be looked at from a business and consumer perspective.

The topic of the video was the frequency of the releases from Mambi and how much product was released. I stated that they had just released a large set of brand new planners and accessories not even 6 months prior, in addition to having a smaller release several months before that. In less than 6 months, around at least 150+ products (if you count each individual product separately) have been released. While I understand the need for variety, I’ve started to wonder if it’s all too much and too fast. 30 new planners (including several not mentioned in the original releases – more on that at a later date) were released between Michaels and Hobby Lobby. While they share a few designs, both stores had exclusives. The mini planners that were released are also all undated, a feature that some love, but most haven’t enjoyed. The accessories were even more spread out than the planners, but there is most definitely a lot of product. All of these products have been added to product that is still currently being produced and still in store. My concern was based on wondering at what point does it become too much? and will there be a burn-out on the creative end and in manufacturing?

As someone who absolutely adores the company and the Happy Planner brand, I didn’t want to see the situation that I had with the Erin Condren Life Planner all over again. I love variety, but I don’t feel that the products should be released on the schedule that they’re on. Most planner brands start to release their 18-month planners around now, but most releases that I follow truly start to begin in May and continue on from there, while also having their 12-month planners available for next year. While I can’t complain about having at least a twice a year release, I do think that particular schedule needs to be revisited and refined. My biggest complaint for the 12-month planners had been that they weren’t out in time for most of the holiday rush in a lot of stores and I felt that should have been addressed well before-hand by both the store and the company in order to ensure a timely set up. However, even though my thoughts were valid, many people didn’t think so.

“This is stupid, why would you care?”

“Why would you even complain about something like this? We don’t get this option here in (insert location here.)”

“If you can’t afford it, don’t buy them.”

“Get a degree and you’ll understand.”

Those are just a select few of the comments that I had received in messages, in comments of a thread I had initially started, and also on the video itself. None of the comments had anything to do with the video itself and more to do with myself as a person. These comments were coming in fast and to make the situation worse, I wasn’t even home to do any sort of damage control. In the thread I had created, I was coming to terms with the comments made against myself, but then people started attacking others in the comments. Like any sane adult, I turned off comments and decided to delete the thread because none of the people who had supported me should deal with the equally as ignorant accusations. The stress that had started to pile on from the comments and the anger that I was starting to feel had dissipated almost instantly. The situation was done, I wasn’t alone and had my message out.

Or so I thought.

“She deleted it because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

“It’s sad that this is something that she cares about.”

“The fact she deleted just shows that she can’t stand people not agreeing with her. Way to be a complete loser.”

“She’s complaining because she obviously has a problem with self control.”

Another thread had returned by someone else who immediately played the card that I had to have blocked them when I did no such thing. I left a comment on the new thread telling her that I did no such thing and laid out the facts of why the original thread was deleted, but apparently that was the absolute wrong answer. The situation escalated to a point that I truly wasn’t expecting and the comments made about me and have been made about me since then have been absolutely disgusting. Since I still wasn’t home and wasn’t set to be home for a few hours, everything I did at that point was in the public eye. Even though I was out in the world, I had to act as though the situation wasn’t bothering me. I set everything I had to not send notifications, or to send less notifications as they never really stopped, and set the push notifications on my phone to off. If I didn’t start setting the situation as far as I could in the back of my mind, I’m almost positive that I would’ve lashed out at someone. While the situation was on-going, at the time it was better to just take a step back and breathe. Take a deep breath in, let a deep breath out. As the tattoo on my wrist says as a permanent reminder, “Just keep breathing.”

When I was finally home, I was able to start on the damage control I had received. Briefly check through filtered messages, delete the ones that were nasty and reply to the people who were supportive and were ashamed at everyone else. I could monitor my video and delete the nasty comments as they came through. I even made a point to message an admin to have the second thread that wasn’t made by me deleted (it never was) in the hopes that situation would just end and everyone could move along. While I hate to admit it, the situation bothered me for a good two weeks after the fact and has been a big reason as to why I haven’t made content recently. In the moments during and following the incident with the video I felt defeated and confused. I couldn’t understand the amount of ignorance and how nasty people could be in regards to another human being. YouTube is a vast space and while it’s easy for some people to post, for others such as myself, it’s difficult.

If this had been a situation that had occurred a few years ago, it would’ve been something I really would have struggled through and would have been bothered by a lot longer. Chances are I wouldn’t have been able to work through the situation and wouldn’t be making this post today as a reflection of the situation and with a message.

There is no reason to be ignorant or make comments on situations that you do not know about. If you think that you know someone, but truly don’t, then do not comment. If you want to have facts, then ask. If you have questions, then ask. If you do not receive the answers that you expect or are looking for, do not get angry. If you feel your opinion is fact, then remember that it is only fact. Words on a screen are often more painful than words said in person, as in person there’s an ounce of courage behind them, whether it be from fear or anger or any other emotion in between. Words on a screen do not disappear as readily as words that are said that can vanish into the air. This message applies to people of all ages, of all races, of all walks of life. In today’s day and age there is no need for any of this, although it is something that needs to be said more often than it should. Bullying does not always end after you graduate high school, but it is still up to you to define what is right and what is wrong. People need to be more conscientious of their words and what they are saying. What you are saying might not affect you, but it can affect someone else.

Be kind to one another. Build each other up, not tear each other down.

I feel like I just wrote my last post on everything new coming out for the Happy Planner. The past few months have flown by faster than I ever could’ve imagined. Even though it’s feels absolutely unreal to be making another post, here we are with a brand new update on the latest Happy Planner products being released by Me and My Big Ideas.

At this point in time, I’m not sure if I’m willing to bet on three different releases this year, but we will all definitely be seeing another fall release this year. While I would rather they release all of their new products at one time, from a business stand-point I completely understand why they’ve done their releases the way they have. Better to take off the winter season where sales are down over-all for everyone and be able to pick up for the spring, summer, and fall. It’s a great marketing strategy, but I hope they learned from last year’s mistake (although not on their part!) and do their fall release earlier than October. All of the new products seemed to sell really well and was met with a lot of enthusiasm, however stores not putting the products out at the correct time definitely put a damper on everyone’s joy.

For the upcoming Spring release, we are seeing a ton of new Happy Planners in addition to some of the most asked for accessories. Unfortunately this release is going to contain Hobby Lobby exclusives which means certain products are going to once again be hard to track down, but do not worry. If there’s a product that you’re really looking forward to, I can guarantee that you will eventually be able to pick it up. These releases are timed early enough in advance so that you will have whatever you need by the time the new planners begin.

If you’re like me, then chances are you are someone who really enjoys and embraces having a 12-month planner. It starts in January, ends in December, things are simple. However, the beautiful new planners that are coming out are dated from July 2017 to December 2018. Depending on your planning style, this can be an absolute pain or it will become something that you embrace. While it’s not the most ideal to have an 18-month planner, I will say that the beauty behind every planner being released is going to make it very difficult to pass up.

When you have a moment, I 100% recommend checking out their Periscope broadcasts to see the products a lot clearer than what’s shown here. Click here to check it out!

To truly begin this post, let’s start with the classic Happy Planner. These are the very type of planner that most very early adopters started on and were the only type of Happy Planner that existed in the very beginning. Each of these planners have their own unique style and their own unique theme, but each one of them is as gorgeous as the next.

March 1st is the release date for the Mambi Shop and set date for Hobby Lobby and March 24th is the set date for Michaels. Please be kind to the retail associates at your craft stores – they will get the products out as fast as they possibly can! Please don’t contact Mambi if the products aren’t out exactly the day of. The set date is designed for when the products should be placed out.

There is truly a healthy mix of Hobby Lobby exclusives and Michaels planners. It’s almost guaranteed that you will find a planner at either location. In addition to the separate planners, they also have two boxed kits that will be released at Michaels for $34.99 USD. The Faith kit has minor differences from its initial Hobby Lobby release, but if you were looking to purchase the kit and missed your chance, now is the time to do so. The updated recipe planner is absolutely adorable and creating it as a kit means it will be a great gift for someone who loves to cook or would benefit from one as a housewarming gift. It contains several bookmarks, sticky notes, and stickers. I can see both kits selling out fast.

 

Out of the classic planners, a majority of them appear to be Hobby Lobby exclusives. These planners will retail for $29.99 USD. I’m still waiting to see if listings show up online for the planners to confirm their availability, but according to the Periscope broadcast, the following planners will be found exclusively at Hobby Lobby:

  • Flamingo (pineapple cover) – vertical
  • Modern Marble – vertical
  • Modern Romance (pink with gold foil cover) – vertical
  • Wildflower – vertical
  • Hello Bright (floral) – horizontal
  • Have Faith – horizontal

The two stand-alone planners for Michaels will be the Stay Positive (white/lilac discs, vertical – “the best is yet to come”) and Live Loud (pink ombre, horizontal) planners.

Let’s move along to theĀ BIG Happy Planners! Compared to the amount of exclusives on the classic planners, most of the Big Happy Planners are exclusive to Michaels! These planners will retail for $34.99 USD.

The Hobby Lobby exclusive planners are going to be the Live Loud planner in a vertical layout and Southern Charm which will also be in a vertical layout.

Michaels will feature the following planners:

  • Hello Brights – vertical (fairly neutral layout, but with pops of color)
  • Lovely Pastels (striped cover) – vertical
  • Day Dream (watercolor cover) – vertical (lavender discs and contains different colors than other Happy Planners)
  • Hello Beautiful Year – vertical (bigger version of mini)
  • You Got This – horizontal (very similar to the undated! – neutral)

Before I show some photos of the new mini’s, I would like to take a moment to mention a few facts. The mini planners are all undated. I know a vast majority of us do not like the undated, but I do understand that there is a niche for the undated planners. The company wanted to get these new planners out and since they were only able to fit 12 months versus 18 months for the minis, they opted to have them undated. The release from October had the dated planners for 2017 and since this year’s first release is early-on in the year, there was no point to have them dated. I had mentioned earlier in my post how I wasn’t sure if there would be a second release in the summer and in ways this answers that question, but at the end of the day it’s still hard to tell. On the plus side, these minis will afford the ultimate flexibility for Planner Babes who don’t mind them being undated and make for great gifts in the future. The minis will be priced at $19.99 USD. As always, all of the minis feature a horizontal layout except for the fitness planner which is vertical.

Both Hobby Lobby and Michaels will be receiving the undated Fitness planners. They feature holographic monthly stickers and the silver discs. I personally love the update to the fitness planner and I believe a lot of you Planner Babes will too.

The minis Michaels will be receiving are:

  • Hello Beautiful Year
  • Live Loud
  • Hello Bright
  • Lovely Pastels

Hobby Lobby will be receiving the Stay Positive planner, also featuring the white discs and holographic stickers and the Wildflower planner.

No Happy Planner release would be complete without some new accessories and Mambi absolutely delivered. These accessories are going to be exclusive to Hobby Lobby and contain a mix of updated products, completely new and sought after products, and some new additions to current lineups. Before talking about the updated and entirely new products, let me focus on the new additions.

There is going to be 3 new sticky note sets that are going to retail for $7.99 USD each. They will have 20 of each design in the set and feature both tall boxes and double-wide boxes. There is also going to be a set of 3 brand new dashboards that will retail for $4.99 USD. The new dashboards are really pretty and feature a gold foil. The snap-in list pads are making a comeback with four new designs with packs of 2 each. They will retail for $4.99 USD and will feature 20 pages of each design. For the Planner Babes who enjoy memory keeping/planning in their minis, you’ll be happy to hear that pocket cards will now be available! They will retail for $4.99 USD and have a huge variety. The pocket cards would be great for any of the other planners as self-made stickers or just punched elements in your planner. New covers will also be released! Two new classic sized snap in covers ($19.99 USD) in white and pink will be released as well as two new big snap in covers ($24.99 USD) in teal and pink. There will also be a deluxe cover for the classic in aqua.

Do you need more dividers for your classic planner? You’re in luck because a pack of 8 new dividers will be released for the price of $7.99 USD. The dividers have been made with heavier paper and has prints on both sides. There will also be 6 new sticker packs that have been given a pretty great upgrade. The new stickers will feature five sheets for $4.99 USD and are now pre-punched. The stickers being pre-punched make me entirely too excited and will fit really well with one of the new products being released. The general themes of the stickers will be bright, faith, “happy thoughts,” budget, quotes, and vacation/beach.

There will be three snap-on zipper pouches that will retail for $7.99 USD. There will be a black and white flora, a brightly striped pouch and a canvas paint-dipped pouch that reads “Happy Things Inside.” As someone who hasn’t been interested in the planner bags, I love these snap-on pouches! It’ll definitely be perfect for when I travel and want to carry a little more than I usually do, but without having the extra bulk of the planner bags. The following products show that Mambi has absolutely been listening to the community. Not only are we getting stencils, but we’re also getting stamps and a sticker storage book. How exciting! There is going to be two different clear sticker sets that retail for $7.99 USD each. One set will be more for lists and the other one will be more generic. The stencils will be a great touch as they’ll be a snap-in and will feature a “To-Do” styled list and a “Check list” styled list for $4.99 USD. The storage book is an excellent addition to the accessory line up. It will retail for $14.99 USD and has the big expander discs for all of your stickers, pre-punched tabs with adhesive for you to put your sticker sheets on, and dividers and tab label stickers. The days of having to sit and create your sticker book have now been made so much easier.

What new products are you excited about? Let me know!

I’m excited about a few of the 18-month planners and will be sitting down to create a new planner set-up as soon as I possibly can. I’m hoping that Mambi will release the covers individually at some point because I would love to be able to just purchase new covers. I love that they offer the additional covers in their three-sets, but being able to choose from what’s already available would be a great option. I’m also excited for the new snap-on pouches because I’ve been wanting a pouch for my notebook. I’m excited to see where the company is going and can’t wait to see what surprises they’ll have for us later on.

 

**EDIT**

Had a chance to watch the new Periscope and there will be 4 new mini planners, 4 new classic sized, and 1 big Happy Planner. Everyday Essentials which is similar to the “Hello Beautiful” 12-month planner, Market Floral which was pulled from the same photoshoot for the Wildflower planner, and A Well Crafted Life which features polka dots. Happy Mind, Happy Life, which is very similar to the Fresh Floral 18-month planner from last year, will feature all three sizes.

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It feels as though it’s been years since I’ve sat down to write a post, but it’s only been a few months. Time has gone by so much faster than I ever could’ve imagined and I’ve truly missed coming on here to spend a few moments with you. Hello again, world.

The truth of the matter is I have felt extremely uninspired. I have felt that anything I have wanted to speak about isn’t worthy of a reader’s time. I have felt sluggish, beyond mentally exhausted, and overwhelmingly uneasy at the fact of creating content and feeling the need to constantly be on schedule. I have 100% been my worst critic.

The expectation of needing to be on a schedule has probably been the most detrimental to blogging. While I’m extremely aware that having a schedule is important to viewership, the constant need to pump out content was a lot more difficult than I could have imagined. Along with feeling the need to constantly have content being released, I also decided I wanted an additional project named Planner Babes. I wanted a secondary location where I could focus on only planners each and every day. In doing so, I created another expectation that I’ve realized I’m struggling to deal with.

I have stretched myself too thin from day one. It doesn’t seem like I have, but between trying to juggle a normal life while constantly moving back and forth and not being able to carry some of the items I need in order to create a balance, it’s been difficult. Some weeks would just become considerably busier than others and I would lose the ability to keep my schedule and then some weeks would be so overwhelmingly empty that I would forget that there was something I needed to do, even if it were written in my planner. It’s been an uphill struggle on a downhill slope.

My mind has been constantly in between remembering things that I needed to do, plans for the future, plans for now, plans that I wasn’t sure were plans, having to come up with content, and so much more than I’ve even listed. The thoughts running through my head have been going at a light-speed that I haven’t been able to keep up with. I’ve definitely seen this even more recently and I can’t even begin to explain the sheer amount of things that I’ve forgotten just in the past few days. It’s terrifying.

In addition to my mind constantly having the gears turning, I’ve felt a strange departure from my strong and confident self. I don’t quite understand what led to this as of yet, but it’s a feeling that currently exists all the same. I’m finding myself oddly self-conscious of situations and find myself less likely to find a reason to go out. To a degree, that’s something that I don’t particular mind because I’m naturally a homebody as it is, but sometimes I truly want more. I’m currently working past that and I’m hoping that I’ll slowly get back to who I was becoming.

Long story short, I’m planning to make content to put on here again. It might just be little posts like this, but that brings the human element back into everything. This blog, as well as my social media, was never intended to be as robot-like as I feel it’s become. I want to incorporate more relatable content and create more genuine relationships with the people I’ve met online and anyone who stumbles upon this site.

Hello again, world. My name is Caitlyn. What’s yours?