Monday, April 21, 2014

Path Publishing: Review and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I recently purchased a blank recipe book to help me get organized. The publisher, Path Publishing, has also provided me with two blank journals for review: Happiness and Kidisms. Path Publishing is sponsoring this giveaway, in which you can win your own blank book of your choice, however, the information contained is purely my own opinion. There are several blank journals available, so read on for the details of the giveaway!

My home is filled with little scraps of paper on which I have written down assorted things that I need to keep track of for everyday life and future reference. I like to write things down so I don't forget them: recipes, cute things my kids have said, stuff that made me smile... Problem is, it's getting out of control. Sound familiar?

A recent goal during spring cleaning time was to get the paper clutter under control! (Even just a little bit of paper decluttering makes a HUGE difference for me.) One area of my life that was a complete disaster was my recipe organization (read disorganization). I had tried a couple different ways of doing this over the years and most recently, I had two overflowing file folders stuffed with loose papers of assorted sizes -- some were computer printouts, some were torn from magazines, others were on index cards, and still more were scribbled on any scrap of paper I had handy at the time. Chaos masquerading as "organization" because, hey, they were in folders, right?

Needless to say, this was not working very well for me. Yet I kept using this chaotic "system" -- rifling through each folder EVERY time I wanted to cook or bake, which pretty much meant several wasted minutes. EVERY. Single. Day. Who has time for that?!

{Recipe Book Table of Contents in Action}

I'm happy to tell you that this is improving! Here is my work-in-progress recipe book from Path Publishing. I've already transcribed 61 of our favorite family recipes (several days worth of work), and there's room for 43 more! This gives me plenty of space for those stragglers that are still hanging out in the file folder (I have it pared down to one much skinnier folder instead of two massive bundles!) and room to grow -- because I am sure to find more good recipes that I simply must save. (The desserts alone take up more than one page in the table of contents, and I don't see my love of sweets dwindling any time soon.)

The pages are just the right size for listing all of the ingredients and directions, even for my more complicated recipes. There is also a spot to note where you found the recipe. (I've already retraced my steps once since I accidentally omitted an ingredient, so this made it handy to find the website again.) My favorite part is that I don't have to rifle through a huge folder or check the Internet for a recipe. They are all contained in one book, organized the way I want them to be. Soups and stews are at the beginning because I look these up weekly for "Crock Pot night" (a.k.a. Wednesday, when Mia has dance class). Next, I listed chicken dishes and other family favorites, followed by those much-loved desserts.

{Recipe Book in Action}

Since it's a blank book, YOU make it completely personalized to your own preferred method of organization! I didn't alphabetize anything because I thought that would take too long, but maybe that's what works best for you. List your recipes and note which pages they are filed on. Put like items together, if you wish. For example, I wrote my favorite sugar cookie recipe on the left side of the book and a frosting recipe on the corresponding right side. This made it so simple when we wanted to make cut-out frosted cookies for Easter. However, you don't have to categorize your recipes if that's not your thing; just jot each one down as you acquire it. Do whatever works for you.

 {Blank Books from Path Publishing}

More Blank Book Options from Path Publishing:
  • Kidisms -- All parents need this for all those cute and clever things the kids say. Give it as a gift, too, because what grandparent wouldn't love getting a journal filled with all of the funny things that the grandchildren have said? Write down the who, what, when, where, and why so that you don't forget! Normally, I write these all in my notebook and then do a blog post when I have several. (Lately, that is at the end of each month! Here's the most recent of my kids' quote posts.) This is quite entertaining to look back on. Now, I'm finding it convenient to keep this little green journal in my van, for when they say their little witticisms away from home! This would make a nice baby shower gift, too. (Those little booties and onesies only fit for so long. Eventually parenting becomes quite the ride, and you don't want to forget the goofy things they said along the way.)
  • Happiness Journal -- This year, I've had the goal of writing down little things that I feel joy or gratitude about. Then, I slip the scraps of paper (more paper scraps, geesh!) into a small jar. Even though I don't come up with something every day (and truly, it seems like there is something to be thankful for each day), my jar is quickly overflowing, and it's only April! This journal is the perfect clutter-free solution to noting these small bits of happiness, and there is NO pressure to do it each day. It would make a nice gift for moms, dads, grads, and teachers.
  • Gardening -- Okay, I will admit that this really isn't my "thing." I pretty much botch every gardening attempt. I like to remind my children that I don't sew and I don't grow, whenever they get the mistaken notion that Mommy can do everything. That said, if I do decide to get serious about gardening (because, after all, we only improve with practice, right?) this journal is just the thing for keeping track of what is planted in each location, when it was planted, where it was purchased, guarantees (if any), and notes on progress. That should help take away some of the guess work! And, if you're not much of a gardener (join the club!), this would be a very thoughtful gift for someone who is.
  • Advice -- I love this idea! Give a blank book to the grandparents and have them share words of wisdom with your children. Or, take the time and fill it in yourself. This would make a nice gift for kids of any age, but I think it would be really special to give as a graduation present or as a baby shower gift -- offering all that acquired wisdom to people who really can use it!
  • Usernames and Passwords -- Handy place to note all of those things that are getting increasingly difficult to keep track of. And it's certainly smarter than using the same password for everything! Perfect for the tech-savvy graduate on his way to college.
Now, here's what you've been waiting for...

Two Ways to Get Your Own Blank Books:
  1. Head to Path Publishing right now and order one (or more)! With Mother's Day, Father's Day, and wedding and graduation season upon us, you probably need some gifts for all the important moms, dads, grads, brides, and teachers in your life. Surely one of these affordable blank journals will be just the thing for helping them keep track of all the important memories. You could even choose to fill them in yourself and make that part of the gift. For example, the recipe book would make a nice bridal shower gift!
  2. Enter my giveaway! (For residents of the United States only.) For an entry to the giveaway, first check out the different blank book options on the Path Publishing site. Choose your favorite one and then come back here and leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know which one you like the best. For additional entries, please share the love by linking to your favorite social media sites!
  • Share this blog post on your Facebook page. Come back and leave a comment here letting me know that you shared -- for one additional entry! (Please make a separate comment letting me know you did this.)
  • Share this blog post on Twitter. Come back and leave a comment here letting me know that you tweeted about the giveaway -- for one additional entry! (Please make a separate comment letting me know that you did this.)
  • Share this blog post on your own blog. Come back and leave a comment here letting me know that you shared on your blog -- for one additional entry! (Please make a separate comment letting me know that you did this.)
That's a total of 4 ways to win a blank book of your choice! The giveaway will run from Monday, April 21, 2014 through midnight (Eastern) on Monday, April 28, 2014. I will draw a winner on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 and share the results on the blog. Stay tuned for the results!


  1. I think the recipe book would be the most useful here. We, too, have a big jumble full of mismatched slips of paper.

  2. I also shared your blog via Facebook. :)