Reading List for 2018

2018 is just around the corner and in planning content for you and in the spirit of diving back into reading, I've shopped inside my own library (except Wheat Belly) and chose one book a month that I will be reading or rereading to share reviews with you under the main topics I will be sharing here on Zook Living: Creativity, Mindfulness and Wellness. 

I thought I'd share the entire list so we can read together.  I've also added links to make it super easy for you to purchase them from Amazon*.  Jump in any month as the year goes on and let me know which book you are reading in the comments below (or email me at because I was thinking that it would be so fun for some of us to gather on a private google hangout and discuss the book.  It would also be a fun way to get to know each other, let me know what you think.  

Let's start scheduling our your reading list for 2018 in our planner! 

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Goalscrapping: Weekly Vlog 01

I decided to share my goalscrapping process via vlogging for at least four weeks.  It's been a week now and it's been helpful to keep me focused on my goals.  The two main goals that I'm working on is preventative health/fitness and mindfulness/mediation.  Goal documenting helps me to highlight when I was inspired to follow my goals and put them down on paper. This helps remind me of the times I worked towards my overall goals. 

Goals are dreams you act on - Click here to Tweet

Goalscrapping: A Way to Develop and Process Goals

For those of us that love journaling, pictures, paper AND we enjoy setting and achieving goals, then goalscrapping is the way to go.  Goalscrapping came about after wanting to scrapbook, but since I'm in a goal minded phase, I didn't feel that I had enough time for both.  Instead of scrapbooking about past events, I thought I would scrapbook my goals that way I can have all the creative fun, but at the same time work on my goals.  I'm sure I will scrapbook in the future, but for now, this is calling my name.  For creative people, we need to process, reflect, make, think and discover and so I feel that goals setting and progress monitoring in this way is a great match for us. 

Goalscrapping has 2 parts:

Goal Envisioning (Goal Setting): This part will show the images, words, sketches, and information that represent your goals.  It acts as a reference for yourself and a reminder of your goals.  We are using the tactile sense as we develop our goals here.  Information can also be important in achieving goals, so this section will contain that. 

Goal Documenting (Goal Achieving): This part will document the progress of your goals. What does working on your goals look like on a daily or weekly basis? What are the results?  Have all the creative fun here, showing all the progress of your goals.  Cut, paste, write, draw, handletter, there are endless possibilities. 

I've made a video where I talk more about the process, you can watch below.  For the next two weeks, I will be vlogging in my studio a bit everyday as I goalscrap and will edit the clips together to make two videos that I will post the next four Sundays to give a glimpse into my own goals which are preventative health/fitness and mindfulness/meditation. I'll also be posting blog posts with pictures, but more than anything, I'd like to see your goalscrapping...if you use #goalscrapping on Instagram I will be able to see how you are doing it! 

Today is the best time to do what we are called to do and goal setting is the first step, so let's get goalscrapping my creative friends!

Make Paper Flowers as a Decorative Planner Paperclip

Making our planners cute makes our creative souls sing and helps us be more productive too. If you have extra scraps laying around make paper flowers to decorate your planner.  Here is how I made them step by step using the July Planner Society kit paper.  

1. Cut two squares the same size and one smaller.  Experiment with different sizes here, you can make big ones as the one here or make tiny ones.  


2. I cut out the flowers without pattern, but you could make yourself a template and trace then cut the flowers. 


3. Place adhesive 3D pop up dots in the middle of the two large flowers.  You will place the them on top of each other and add the smaller one on top.  


4. For the middle part of the flower you can use anything from a pice of paper, a button or adhere sequins.  In this example I choose a button. 


5.  Lift and fold the petals up to give the flower a more ruffled look. 


6. Depending on the size of the paper flower, choose a paperclip that fits best. 


7. In this example, I used a jumbo paperclip since it's a larger paper flower. 


Enjoy making them and especially seeing them on your planners!


I'd love to see decorative paperclips.  If you'd like, tag me on Instagram at @zookpaperco. 


Making Flip Books for Creative Friends - Step by Step

One of the best parts of social media is making new friends online that share the same interests as you.  There's this one thing that connects you and that is art, crafts, and paper.   I recently made two pen pal/snail mail friends and they are the sweetest and kindest ladies.  Kerry May Makes focuses on mixed media, creative journals and you can click here to read her blog post about the snail mail I sent across the ocean!  Rachel from Greeting with Love runs a beautiful stationary Etsy shop and it turns out we have quite a bit in common.     


I made a flip book for each of them and in this post I'll show the the basics of how I make a flip book step by step.  Let's get started: 

First, gather your materials - scrapbook paper, washi tape, a papercutter and scissors.  For Kerry, Rachel, and this flip book, I used paper and washi tape from The Planner Society Kit that I get on a monthly basis.  


Cut the paper in half and then cut those two pieces in half again. You will end up with four rectangles that are the same size. 


Decide which patterns would look the best and arrange it with three rectangles in a row and one of the rectangles on top of the middle piece.  If you want to stuff it with goodies, then leave a space in between the rectangles to give it some room to close. 


After placing the washi on one side, you will turn the flip book and place the washi on the back.  I love how the patterns work on this example. 


To make a pocket, find a small piece of scrapbook paper and cut it down to the size of the the middle rectangle.  Then adhere it to the middle rectangle with washi and some adhesive to make it stick well. 


The end project is gorgeous and I was so happy how they turned out for my crafty friends.  You could also add pockets to the two sides other two sides.  Then you can embelish, stamp, doodle, put a pice of twine around it and it's ready.  I'd love to see your versions of a flip book, so make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see them!


Organization of Past Planner Society Kits

Today I received my 18th Planner Society kit and I've enjoyed every single one to date.  It's my monthly creative routine where I get to simply decorate my daily diary without any complications since the kit is beautifully designed and color coordinated.  Here is my routine and organization of past kits.  

Current Monthly Kit - the current kit is contained in a basket or now in a Martha Stewart tin so it can be out of the way, but also convenient when it's time to use it.  The papers I keep in the basket if it's large enough or under the container if needed.  The entire month, I decorate my horizontal Erin Condren planner and use it as a daily diary.  I write about what major things that I do, lessons learned, and reflections.  At the end of the month, I use up all items that are left and store the rest. 

Kit Storage - I use a large container to keep everything that I have left over.  The paper, stamps, notepads and more.  In the video you will see it more in depth.  I use a TPS bag to keep my TPS washi.  At this point, it's nicely organized, but I will be giving away and using it as decoration for snail mail because I would like to use it all and spread the beauty.  

Setting Up a Planner (Episode 3): Ballerina from the Reset Girl Carpe Diem

The 3rd episode in my mini-series All About Ring Bound Planners is where I've set up the Ballerina planner.  I used all the products that I show in Episode 1 and matched that with the categories that I came up with.  The result turned out to be even better than I had hoped for.  I love The Reset Girl products because I love the vintage style and colors.  These products rolled out to Hobby Lobby in March 2016 so it was fun to shop them in person.  Take a look how I set it up and if you are a beginner in the planner world, I hope you get some ideas. 


Setting Up a Planner (Episode 2): Ballerina from the Reset Girl Carpe Diem

I've been setting up my planners for about 20 years now.  Before, my planner was black and not too interesting to look so that's why I loved when I found this new way of keeping a planner: fun and cute!  I thought of the steps that I naturally went through to set up areas in my planner and broke it down into steps.  

In this video I go through the process of determining categories for any planner.  You want each part of the planner to be useful and used for efficiency.  

Let me know what types of categories do you use in your planner?

Setting Up a Planner (Episode 1): Ballerina from the Reset Girl Carpe Diem

I've had a youtube channel for a year now and posted a small number of videos in between full time work and full time graduate school.  I've really enjoyed it so I've committed to making videos consistently now.  I'm enjoying the video making process from idea to final upload.  So recently, I created a mini series called All About setting up a ring-bound planner.  

The first episode shows the planner materials that used which are the Reset Girl Carpe Diem inserts, stickers, notepads, and other planner materials.  Making a planner cute is fun and I wanted to showcase the items that help to add visual interest.