Saturday, March 31, 2018

March on by...

Spring has sprung and the days are getting longer, which means my days have gotten longer.

I have been working back to back 12-16 hour days, thanks to school concerts and events.  When they say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, they mean the weather and not my schedule.  This month I hit the road running...  Which at 30 weeks pregnant is going as well as could be expected.  Sore feet and back at the end of the night, but at least I haven't completely lost my mind.

I found this month, by super simple weekly layout had to be developed a bit more.

To keep my daily schedules straight I broke out my day by the hour, which helped keep me in the right place.  I kept my task lists, and found that by the end of the month I was able to cut out the food planning/recording part.  I had been trying to track my food intake the past few weeks as I had my Gestational Diabetes test this month, and passed!  So, I figured I must be doing something right, and might not need to track through the rest of the pregnancy.

So next month I will cut out the food tracking part of my daily week.  I will most likely replace this section with upcoming baby needs.

I am reaching the end of my my second bullet journal, just got a new one and am excited to start some new layouts!

Hoping to have time to film a flip through or at least post a few of my favorite layouts from this working journal.... before the baby comes in June!

Happy Spring!  Here's to new beginnings!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The layout I loved!

Since February was the month of love, and today is the last day... I thought I would share the layout I have loved the most in my bullet journal, version 2.

My self-care layout has really evolved this time around,  I really enjoy my icons and color usage.  Bright colors always help pull me from whatever might be troubling me.  I find this page a great check in on the things I want and need for me.

Too often we, meaning I, get busy and forget to take care of myself...  It's something I hear from a lot of people, moms, wives, teachers, friends, and students a like.  We never have time to do the things that make us happy in a day; instead we are faced with what we have to do.

This is my daily reminder.  My mood tracker tends to change based on how much time I have during layout process.  Sometimes my mood tracker is placed in my weekly layouts, however at the end of 2017 I had a full 2 page spread designated to my self care layout.  I even tried to track my moods along with the moon cycle.  Though I have to say I did ok at the end of 2017.  Must be the pregnancy hormones...

I found that checking in on my self care list was important for my mental and physical health.  When the colors start turning cool in my tracker, I jump into my "improve your mood section".  

This section helps remind me to take the time to take the time for myself.  All of the activities listed are free of charge, no stress and no need to purchase any extra items.  

I find that physical activity definitely helps my mental well being.  I've been practicing yoga 3 days a week, swimming 2, and going for at least 1 hike/walk a week has really kept my spirits higher than usual.  Also, helped with my sleeping habits.  When the mind and the body are working, its easier for me to get through the day with a positive light.  

I find it's easier to wake up when the body has been used and the mind has rested.  Not too bad of a way to get through the winter bleakness.

However, when things get really dodgy and I'm feeling low or I just don't feel right about myself or the world there is an emergency flap.  Which lists all of the things that will definitely help me relax or lift my spirits.

However, they cost money....  so I try not to flip that flap too often... but $20 at Staples sure does buy some new bright colored washi tape and post-its!

I've also been able to splurge a bit the past few months and I get my nails painted every 3 weeks.  I'm very lucky a new nail salon opened in my neighborhood, offering 20% off!  To take an hour ever couple of weeks to focus on nothing has really been a special treat!

Try to make a list of things that make you happy... then check in when you find your feeling low...

It's a great place to start!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Where did January go?

Another month is rolling in... as I close out yet another busy month.

Things are gearing up over here.  Some of my journal time has been cut into, while we work on home projects.  At least my posting time has been cut out while we accomplish tasks!

We are expecting a little girl in June and unfortunately our tiny house is in need of some major work.  We are currently working to update the master bedroom and clean out some of the random items in my son's room, to make room for the baby!  I hope to have some process photos up, or at least some final photos closer to June!  Figures crossed.

In the mean time, a little catch up.  Since I found myself short of journal/posting time this month, I decided to continue the "keep it simple" approach.

Here are a few of my favorite January Weekly Layouts:

The goal was to keep it simple, yet enjoy my layouts as best I could.  I experimented with placement a couple of times, how I would break up my daily tasks and reminders for upcoming events and lists.

This month I have found that incorporating the use of stickers, and they have been a huge time savor and easy way to incorporate pattern, font, and inspiration!

Check out The Happy Planner and the Create 365 Sticker Books!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Week 1: 2018

Keeping with the simple plan:

I did not spend 20-40 minutes laying out my weekly page!  This month opting for the daily lists so I could organize my never-ending tasks, only took 5 minutes!

I did keep a few Organizational lists this month:
Upcoming Events: So I knew what I needed to plan around this week. 

A Prioritize section, including a shopping list for items I found I needed throughout the week.

A TO DO list, to focus on a few of my SPECIAL WANT tasks.

This TO DO list featured reminders to make my new ETSY items, list them, and share new Blog stories!  SO far it worked:  Check out my new shop items here!

I also wanted a projects area: THE PLAN.  We are in need of a home makeover, so to keep my projects in mind I created the PLAN list.

Other feature ares this week, my mini Monthly calendar, and my Doodle!

Keeping the week busy, but happy!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 2018!

Trying to keep it simple in 2018... however, that does not mean I don't get to be creative!

This month I chose to keep my layout time under 10 minutes.  In the past: I have spanned pages, put inserts between pages, used half pages, featured original drawings, and researched new layout techniques.  This month I took my usual printed work schedule and taped it to the page!  I did not transfer it to my written calendar page, as my work schedule seems to change by the end of the month.  SO!  This month, I simply added the items that are scheduled outside of work: featuring morning, evening, and all day activities.

I also utilized stickers and Washi Tape!  A great way to jazz up a page without spending time drawing things out!  Trying to keep my goals in mind this month!  I took a few of the goals I had set in my #Goals Page from last week.  As a helpful reminder of the intensions I want to keep this year!

I like it!  Here's to a simple month!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hello 2018!

So far, this year is starting out just fine, minus a few aches and pains...

Work is in full swing, however today is a SNOW DAY!  Time to catch up on all of the work I have to do.  Besides schedules and planning for upcoming events, I have a bunch of new items to post in the shop!  I can't wait to get them all started.

To start things out, it's time to create my punch list for all of the things that need completed in 2018!
The top item for me this year is to post my Bullet Journal #GOALS page!

When I was beginning to layout my page I found myself searching for imagery and information on reflection and goal-setting.  In my search I found this book "Goodbye 2017 Hello 2018" by Selina Barker and Vicki Plavitt.  These two have founded Project Love, a website featuring online courses and coaching projects to promote women empowerment in life, career, focus, sisterhood, community, and so much more! 

Unfortunately, I was a few days too late to order for this years Kickstarter Campaign.  I truly hope they will be back next year!  This #projectlove project seemed like a great way to transition from one year to the next through reflection and help putting your best foot forward.

I've added their book image to my front page for 2018 to remind myself to check out more about them!  I've just started to check them out and have found that they have some wonderful blog posts and podcasts about loving what you do and growing your dreams. 

Thanks Selina and Vicki, I look forward to checking out more about your website and hope to grab one of your books next year!

My goals for 2018 is to keep it simple, and remember what is truly important to me.  My Health, Family, Home, and Creative adventures!  It's so easy to let the things that matter fall by the wayside.  This year I will do my best to remember my goals. 

I have left myself some room on this page as I am sure I will have additional goals this year.  I find that setting goals are a great way to move forward though life!  I hope to keep setting new goals so I can keep growing.

Come back soon!  I have a few more pages ready to share this month!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Goodbye 2017!

Out with the old and in with the new.

Taking some time to look back and realize there has been growth, even though we feel like we are standing still, is a huge accomplishment.  After a year of new challenges and obstacles, finding the highlight is always important.  I will leave 2017 with this last post, even if it's a day late.

I have taken the time to reflect and hope to continue my journey with a new found sense of self and awareness.  Here are some of my favorites this year.  Thank you for sharing them with me.

Goodbye 2017!

A December to Remember...

After taking a break in November, I came back strong in December.  With lists to organize and presents to get, I felt I could start my journal again without making over elaborate layouts.  My simple monthly layout, which only takes 5 minutes to create, is a great way to organize tasks for the month.  Keeping it to one page is helpful and removing the middle schedule pages, helps keep things simple.  I decided a few simple shapes to help organize various lists would be helpful and bring some holiday cheer to my layout, without adding copious amounts of time with intricate designs

The trick to starting back with my weekly layout was to keep them simple as well.  I am happy to say that I was able to do that this month.  Keeping daily lists, instead of making lists for the week saved time.  I was able to start on the day and continue.  I used the same POPPIN pen for everything, I didn't switch between my Straedtler Pens of various thickness.  I used 1 washi tape and the same Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighter for the whole month.  I didn't have to carry around stencils or look into new typeface.  Just my notes in my handwriting.  

The best part of December was ending it with some time off.  We were able to fly to my parents house in Iowa.  Truth be told, I haven't been home in 3-4 years, and it was a much needed trip.  We ate our way through all of my childhood favorites and I was able to share these memories with my husband and son.  I was also able to create a new Tracking List.  One thing my whole family enjoys during the holidays is watching Christmas Movies.  We sit together, eat popcorn, laugh, and cuddle.  This year I started a Christmas Movie List.  We got through most of them, and look forward to next year.  This Christmas Movie List was really simple.  Each day is a new day and doesn't need to be bogged down with design.  When I have time I may create more elaborate layouts, but at the end of the busy year... simple was better.

What Ever Happened to September, October, and November?

One thing that happens to me, quite often, is I get busy.  Like most people, life sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions.  When this happens something always has to drop, normally we drop the thing that we don't "have to do" the thing that isn't necessary to survival...

We have to go to work, we have to go to sleep (I'm not as young as I used to be, when I could work all night)... we have to take care of the house and the children, put food on the table, and pay the bills.  Which means we drop the "frivolous" things, the "niceties" of life...

I drop the following:
I stop going to Yoga.
I stop going to the gym.
I stop brushing my hair... and forget which day I last showered.
I don't even attempt to put on make up or dress in anything other than jeans and t-shirts.
I don't make balanced and nutritious lunches... rather taking any part of a leftover meal or microwave a mac n cheese found in my desk drawer.
I stop making lists, and writing things down in the calendar.

The other thing I do, is stop journaling... part of that making lists and writing things down in the calendar... I stop doing any of it.  I stop communicating.  I have a hard time organizing thoughts, as I am the types of anxious that is slightly obsessive compulsive and have to go back to  the house in the mornings, because I have forgotten something... my lunch, my phone, or a tool for work....  Lists truly help ease my mind and help me focus.

At night I write down everything I can think of for the next day, and pack my bag, pack all the lunches, then remember what I forgot a few times, write them down and then eventually sit down to relax... The alternative to this, is me waking up 3-4 times a night because I keep remembering what else I need to to in the morning, or whatever I may have forgotten to do in the day.  It can drive someone mad...

September started out simply, with a nice big vacation to Jackson, Wyoming to see my sister in law get married to her best friend.  We saw Yellowstone National Park and loved every minute.  Taking 10 days away was great, I was able to take time and layout the month in a way I felt I could manage.  I had inspiration from the mountains around me and how time seemed to slow down.

I was lucky to have the time while in Jackson to layout the month, in the valley of a mountain covered in snow, with a moose outside the sliding door.  I found that writing a weekly list didn't seem relevant, so I make a sketch of all of the things I was in charge of while on vacation.  I do think this layout worked out pretty well.  It made me feel good which is all that matters.  I was in charge of creating chalkboard signs for my sister in laws reception.  Along with keeping track of the places we visited.

However, upon the return to Connecticut I stopped my weekly layouts as all of my evening time was taken up by a side theater project.  Notes written on post its, and scrap pieces of paper.  I found myself covered in paint and staying up till 2 am. This side project lasted up through October.

I found the time to layout my month, however my work schedule kept changing.  Mix in a few dentist and doctor appointments, a new creative work, along with a slew of new 1st and 2nd grade workshops in the mornings, lead to a bit of distraction and confusion.  I ended up just throwing new printout schedules into my journal to keep track of the ever changing information.  That, and I ran out of white out.  I started to feel some pressure creating layouts that were visually appealing.  I had no time to keep track of lists, let alone create new layouts each week.

By the time November rolled around I had decided to take a break.  I took a step back from journaling to see if I was really enjoyed the tasks I was assigning myself and if they were helpful.  Was I being obsessive about my journal.  Trying to outdo myself on every page, constantly updating a d researching new ways to create a layout.  So I simply took a step back.  I created a page to encourage me to stop.  To allow myself a break.  No excuses, I was able to make 1 piece of art to commemorate the month, but I would not track, as usual.  I would fill in an old mood tracker at home at night.  But not travel with this book.