Rachel Newman's Blog Posts

Hi Planner Friends! It’s Rachel and I’m on the blog sharing my travel planner setup for this summer using the Simple Vintage Traveler Collection ! It is never too early to start planning, right? We have two great trips coming up this summer and with a big move as well, I thought it would be a good idea to get this Aztec Traveler’s Notebook ready to go before all the moving and traveling begins!

For both trips, we will be traveling lite, so I wanted to try and prep this travelers notebook ahead time to limit the amount I am bringing on the trip.

To do this, I decided to not only decorate the covers of the inserts, but also a majority of the insert pages. I used the Combo Stickers, papers scraps from the decorated covers, washi, 4x6 stickers and the stamps. With pre-decorated pages, I will be better able to focus on documenting instead of decorating while I’m on my trips.

I have three inserts inside this travelers notebook cover. The first insert is a slimmed-down weekly insert with only the number of weeks I will need for my two trips. To do this, I simply removed the staples from a weekly insert and pulled out the pages I needed. I also added two dot grid insert pages and adhered June and July monthly printables to these pages. I am left with an insert that is totally customized to what I need, and a lot less bulky! I kept the Kraft paper cover and decorated directly on top. I used the Take Detours Paper from the collection and decorated with the Combo stickers and 3x4 card from the SN@P pack that I fussy cut to use as a big label to write the dates and places we will travel to.

One thing I love about this collection is the muted colors, that will easily match any kind of travel photos that I take, or memorabilia I collect. I am also a big fan of the vintage vibes along with the photo real elements. This collection is great for someone looking to just add photos and journaling. With the pre-made clustered elements so much of the decorating “guess work” is done for you, allowing you to focusing documenting the memories!

The second insert is the more “functional” insert . The cover was super simple to put together (again, this collection does the heavy lifting for you!) with a trimmed down piece of the Off the Grid Paper, Combo stickers and SN@P Cards, washi tape and 4x6 Stickers!

This lined insert will house all the logistics of our trips including our flights, accommodations, packing list, agendas, transportation and lists like things to do and places to eat. I have pre-decorated a few pages but, for the most part, this insert will be a lot of pen and paper. It is always nice to include one insert like this that you don’t mind looking a little messy. With very minimal trimming, I can also half letter size pages into the insert, or slip inside the elastic band.

The third insert is my memory keeping insert. This graph insert will be part journal, part scrapbook and part junk journal (for all those receipts, brochures, business cards, map I inevitably accumulate during my travels). On previous trips, I would have separate notebooks for each and would always come home with three, half-completed inserts. My goal is to fill one insert with all my travel memories from this summer, and not hold onto a bunch of items I think I will use later to document(and never do!)

To make it a little easier on myself, I have decided to prep a few pages outside the insert using the the 6x8 paper pad and from the Simple Basics Kit. Having a few unbound pages gives me dedicated spaces to create more scrapbook type layouts that I can adhere into the notebook once they are completed. This is especially helping if I plan on stamping, as it gives me a flat surface to stamp on. For two of the pages, I used the layered frames, removed the extra cardboard from the back and adhere only part of the frame so that I can slip my photos right inside. I will be able to add a little bit of journaling, and those memories will be documented!

We can’t talk about a planner setup without talking about the pocket! I used mostly elements from the bits and pieces and a few scraps of paper. When traveling, my goal is to have pockets that aren’t bulky, with decorated pieces I can add to my pages later. If my pockets are bare by the end of the trip, that is good, because it means I did some documenting on my trip!

I hope you enjoyed this look inside my travelers notebook! What are best tips for documenting your travels?


Hello, again! It’s Rachel and I am back to share my finance planner setup for March!

While there are many wonderful things couples share, one of the more challenging ones is money. Whether you have shared accounts or not, money is something that inevitably gets discussed, reviewed, and may cause a stressful moment or two with you and your significant other. Money can sometimes cause the most stress in a relationship, and this often comes from not having a shared plan when it comes to how and where money is spent and saved. When my husband and I were engaged, one of the first things we did was get on the same page about money. Right from the start, we learned each other’s spending personalities (John’s a saver and I’m a celebrator, haha!), made an aggressive plan to pay off student loan debt and save for the future. You could say we swapped pre-marital counseling for financial counseling!

For the first few years, it was a challenge that required regular tracking of our spending and lots of “no’s” when we wanted to say “yes”. In the end, paying off our student loans in 18 months and putting the loan amount towards savings has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.

Now I have to confess, with slightly higher incomes and no debt except our mortgage, we have gotten a little “relaxed” with our monthly expense tracking. But that’s no excuse! We have some exciting new changes coming up for us that require some big expenses and I am recommitting to tracking and planning our finances to make sure our money is working for us, and not against us.

To get me motivated, I have decided to setup a planner for all things finances, and what better what to make fun and functional than with the new, beautiful, Pink A5 planner! Planner friends, if ever there was a color that spoke to me, it is this one! Putting my finance planner inside this gorgeous planner will definitely increase the likelihood that I will actually use it.

For the setup, I decided to use the new A5 Dated 2019 Planner Printables. These inserts were downloaded, printed, cut, and punched in less than 10 minutes! While I will continue to swear by undated weekly and daily inserts, I absolutely LOVE a dated monthly insert. And for future planning, this is key.

On the monthly pages, I will track pay days, savings deposited, bills due and any future purchases I know I want to keep on my radar.  The Home Sweet Home and Get It Done stamp sets are perfect for marking my known monthly expenses. March is my birthday month, so I know there will likely be some spending to celebrate. I mark it on the calendar and make sure to move some money over to savings to prepare for that.

I know some people are nervous about sharing their expenses with others, but you shouldn’t be. When I first started tracking my expenses, I thought it was really helpful to see a real expense breakdown in action!

To track weekly spending, I am using my horizontal weekly inserts with the boxes split up as an expense log. Each morning, I will sit down with my planner, log the expenses from the day before, and keep a running balance of how much was spent.

At the end of the week, I will write the total spent, the end of week balance, and the type of spending I did most frequently. The notes section also has room to jot down observations, small wins, and ways to improve next week.

Now, to make these pages fun to look at, I included a few stickers from the Good Vibes A5 Tablet and some Good Vibes washi. Fun and functional!

In between the monthly and weekly inserts. I have also included a few basic pages for a running wishlist, big ticket items to plan for, a list of things to sell/giveaway, and other notes that I can reference throughout the month.

And lastly, no finance planner would be complete without a pocket to hold receipts and important information. I used paper from the Good Vibes 6x8 paper pad to make it punch it with the planner punch.

I hope you enjoyed a look inside my finance planner. I am excited to make finance planning a habit again. How do you keep track of your finances? Head over to my instagram post and let me know!


Hey planner enthusiast! It is Rachel again, and I on the blog today sharing my A5 Planner setup for February that I am just SMITTEN with it! I not only love this beautiful blush pink planner, but I am also swooning over the Kissing Booth Collection! The pinks and reds with the pops of black and white - its perfection!

Probably the hardest part of setting up a planner for the month is figuring out which gorgeous papers to use. This collection did not make it easy on me!

This year, I am using the Good Vibes Monthly Planner inserts, but I decided to just alter the February divider a little bit with the element cards and combo stickers. You don’t always have to create a monthly dividers from scratch! Use the dividers you have, and just alter them a little to fit the theme you are going for.

Another trick? Use a removable adhesive on your altered divider. You can always make it permanent later!

This month, I am switching things up in my A5 planner to better fit my needs. I decide to put all of my necessary sections right behind my monthly divider and move the rest of the monthly inserts to the back of my planner. Since this planner is for all things home and personal projects, I made different sections based my needs. To make these sectioned dividers, I pulled out some of my favorite DIY divider tools - My divider templates, a scissor or paper trimmer, my 6 hole punch and my Labels A5 Sticker tablet. With just these tools you can make a planner divider out of anything!

My dividers are pretty simple this month for two reasons. One, I just couldn’t bring myself to cover up these papers (sorry, not sorry)! And two, this planner often bulks up pretty quickly, so I’ve learned to keep the dividers pretty simple so that I have a smooth surface to write on. Plus, that means I can add in some sticker storage, which is a higher planner priority for me!

I mentioned that I moved all my monthly inserts to the back of the planner. While the tab colors are beautiful, they didn’t match my theme for this month, so I decided to add in a 6X8 pocket page with a trimmed piece of paper from the collection to separate the sections. Fun Fact: this planner punch is AMAZING! It is quite heavy duty and punch through pocket pages with ease! I have also used this punch with laminated pages too. I have had my fair share of 6 ring punches since my planner addiction began, and this one is by far the best!

Here is the pocket page inside the planner. The monthly inserts are behind and easy to reference, but are not interfering with this months setup! Added bonus: this pocket page can act as storage for important papers, receipts, and photos collected throughout the month.

Again, that punch for the win! I re-punched a 4x6 pocket pages easily for sticker storage in my planner. If the stickers aren’t with my planner, I’m less likely to use them so onboard storage is a must for me.

And now for the planner pages! Here is my monthly setup for February. I used scraps from the divider papers along the top of the pages and as faux washi to mark off a trip I’ll be taking this month.

I love using the insta square stickers from the 4x6 Sticker pack on the monthly pages and layering label stickers over them.

One of thing I am most excited about this month is the opportunity to attend the Chicago Planner Conference! A weekend with other planner enthusiast - yes, please!

My Monthly dashboard helps me remember the big events for the month, set a few goals and have another place to add all the pretty things! I love that the Carpe Diem version of this page is very simple and easy to customize.

I think it is safe to say that I LOVE how this weekly spread turned out! If you have been following me for a while, then you know I am all about making planner inserts work for you. These appointment inserts usually come with Monday through Thursday on the left side of the page, but my brain likes to Monday through Wednesday on the left side.

Since these inserts have such a simple layout, it was pretty easy to just shift the days of the week over. I used Alpha stickers to mark the days of the week. I even was able to add a sidebar on the left hand-side to track a few things (like happy mail!)

These inserts have an hourly schedule on Monday and Thursday. I didn’t need it, so I covered it with circle stickers to use for daily tasks I left plenty of space on the weekend to record my highlights from the planner conference, too!

I hope you enjoyed this pink peak inside my planner for February. At the end of the month, I will share a flip through of the completed pages on instagram, so make sure to check it out!.