Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Wrap up!

Where did 2018 go?

Last I knew it was August.... and I was sailing into September.  

My goal for 2018: 1 blog post a week, I have to admit, that was a bit too adventurous.  Instead I settled on one blog post a month, which I was almost able to accomplish, minus April, and September, October, November...  

Having a newborn, starting back to work, and keeping up with the blog (and the rest of my activities) proved to be a bit too much.

So, I took a break... from the blog... but not from making, and not from my journal.

Last time we had a chat I was just diving into a Digital Bullet journal, which I loved.  I was able to cut down on how much I was carrying around with me, I didn’t need a ruler, or washi tape, and highlighters... don’t get me wrong, I still love all of my supplies and use them regularly, but didn’t feel the need to always use them.  I could make notes on my phone, iPad, and laptop with ease.  

I was also able to incorporate my work schedule, childcare pickup schedule, weekly recipes, grocery store trips, and more, without having to recreate, or print and tape into my book.  Things seemed to work seamlessly.  I made my grocery lists while watching my 8 year old at ninja class, including recipes, then simply print out the page and take it to the store with me.

So how did I start this journal?  I started noticing digital journals on Instagram, and found that artists were using #keynote and #Goodnotes, so I started with Keynote.

Over the years, I’ve had students use keynote and create slideshows, and was amazed at how they were able to navigate through each presentation using links on symbols for page selection.  So after watching a few YouTube tutorials and googling a lot of questions, I came to create my own Keynote Slide show aka Bullet journal.

I then uploaded my keynote PDF to GoodNotes and started writing.  I was able to create clickable tabs, to section out the journal.  I even started a sticker book, which helps me track my layouts and drawings.

I haven't ventured into image stickers yet, but have been playing with Procreate a bit this holiday and hope to be able to create a few fun designs to get me started.

The downside I had was my tools.  I am very fortunate to have been given an IPad mini a few years back, and that paired with a new stylus

I was able to create some amazing layouts.

However, there was a lag to my penmanship and things sometimes looked sloppy, and I had a difficult time lining up corners and lines.

This Christmas I was fortunate enough to recieve a new Ipad Pro and Apple Pen, so Look out 2019! 

I'm headed into the new year with new tools and a positive outlook!

Keeping it up in 2019!  More to come!

Happy New Year!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Welcome to the digital age of August!



I am beginning the process of a starting a digital bullet journal!

This is where the old journal and the new journal have combined.  I call it the merge!  Looking closely, You can barely tell where I wrote originally in my journal, and where I started writing digitally on top of the image of the page!

I began August with my standard journal... however, with school starting, a new baby at home, pumping at work, and trying to keep everything straight.... I didn't have enough room in my bag or mind for my journal, highlighters, stickers, and washi tape....  Though I love them!  So I am shoving everything into my ipad... and let me tell you.... So Far, I love it!

I am slightly obsessed with making new layouts and learning new programs:

All of these programs are amazing and I'm having so much fun!  For those who like my layouts!  You will be able to buy them in my shop in the new year.  If anyone want to beta test them for me:
email me at


I'll be sending out layouts and stickers over the next few months! Hoping to have digital journals, stickers, and layout pages available in the NEW YEAR!

I love learning new things!

Monday, July 2, 2018

It's July Already?!

Time is going by way too fast...  I thought I was short on time before I had 2 kids...

It's now July.  I've had so many post ideas, started at least 3 different posts, only to be interrupted... Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining in any way.  Instead I am choosing to prioritize my time!

My daughter will be 1 month old on Friday!  It seems like we just came home from the hospital, and yet we have come so far.  Last night she was asleep by 10pm and woke up at 6am!  A few whimpers during the night, to which we woke up to change and feed her, only to find her fast asleep when we reached her.  I will take this small triumph.  I did try to take a nap this morning, as she is currently sleeping... however since I got more sleep than usual I find I am mostly awake today and should spend the time sharing some things here.

So, I'm just going to jump into July.  I hope to have some time this month to share a bit more about June.  I find that I am halfway through my maternity leave and already wishing for more time.  The summer has been scheduled (allowing for as much downtime as possible).  It just keeps going by so fast... I just want to enjoy every moment!  July will bring one month of more "free time".  Today my 7 year old starts summer camp, which will give him awesome adventures outside and me a bit more downtime.  June was filled with mastering the entertainment needs of the mighty 7 year old, while balancing the brain drain of a newborn.  More on that later...  I hope...

So Here it is!

JULY!  Fun in the sun, fireworks, watermelon, manicures, birthdays, yoga, Sunday's floating at the Lake, and to finish it off a family vacation to Martha's Vineyard!

This week: focusing on household chores and needs, bills, yard care, finishing up projects and starting new pick up/drop off schedules for my son at summer camp!  Sincewe wake up at 5am, we have been watching a lot of She-Ra... I may be slightly obsessed with rainbows and unicorns at the moment, as I found my daughter all of these things in her wardrobe for the summer and they have merged into my daily planning... oh! and don't forgot the Narwals too!  To see super cute pictures of the baby girls super rocking outfits, checkout my Instagram feed to the right of this blog, or click here!

July is also brought to you by NEW STICKERS!  While out shopping with my dad last week we stopped at Barnes and Nobel to pick up new summer books for the kids and the beach I found these new Stickers!  Stickers by PIPSTICKS AND WORKMAN.  They also include fun retro inspired postcards in the back of each pack!  I love sending postcards and these are the right vibe for summer 2018!  Message me if you want to receive a postcard this summer!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It's June! It's Time!

Hey!   LOOK! It's June!  I'm going to have a baby this month!  Wait!  I'm having a baby tomorrow!

Since officially starting my maternity leave (yesterday) I have felt a huge amount of relief, and focus.  While the end of the performance season was wonderful and tiring.  Going to work everyday through the end of this pregnancy was the best choice for me.  I have felt powerful and content knowing that I can accomplish my job, while growing a small human.  When it comes to teaching students (specifically my senior girls) it became important for me to be an example of what a woman can do, in life and the workplace.  It doesn't' have to be a choice...

When I was pregnant with my son (7 years ago) I was discouraged with my profession.  I didn't just become a stay at home mom when Max was born, I decided to walk away from my dreams of working professionally in theater.  I had just begun working with Broadway designers, learning new tasks and taking on new responsibilities, and taking work very seriously.  Work was my priority, always placed ahead of my relationships.  I did not know how to set boundaries.  This caused issues in my life, that I still regret.

However, this time around I feel like I have finally found a balance, between work and home.  The most important part of my life is my family, and realizing this has been a life changing lesson.  Teaching my son responsibility, the love of learning, and to be kind has brought out the teacher in me.  My son has given me the opportunity to realize the world needs me, just maybe not in the way I originally thought.

I love being a mother, now I just happen to be more of a mom than I ever could have imagined.  Many of my students call me mom, I feed them, help them, and give them a safe space to come to when needed.  I try to teach them responsibility, the love of learning, and to be kind.... Maybe even that they can do these things through ART!

Being a working mom, while carrying a little girl is even more fulfilling.  Knowing that this little girl I will meet tomorrow, will have a strong woman to watch as she grows up, is even more powerful of a feeling.  I watched my mother and father work everyday while I was growing up.  From them I learned responsibility and to keep going, no matter what.  I thank them everyday for the lessons they taught me.

So, here's to tomorrow... The day is almost here... the future is female... my journal told me so!

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Year with a Bullet

One year ago I started to Bullet Journal...

As I begin to layout my 3rd volume (the start of my second year) I find I have grown in my abilities to organize thoughts and have found new ways to manage my time.  I have learned a few things about myself; I need help prioritizing and finding balance between work and life.  I have also found taking the time to layout each week brings a level of focus and intention to my days, where I am able to reflect on the week that has passed and prepare for the next.

The last 2 months have gotten away from me.  TODAY is the official start of my Maternity Leave and so far I feel like super mom!  I have gone to and made doctors appointments, collected forms, paid bills, budgeted for the month and now, will write this blog post.

Baby Girl is due to arrive Wednesday, and I am trying up as many loose ends while striving to move forward.  I don't think I'd be this calm if I didn't have a system in place for keeping my notes and thoughts in line.

 It's amazing to see how much a layout can change from Month to Month, Week to Week, and Year to Year.  Today I havev decided to feature a few of my layout changes over the past month.  Since I missed posting in April and May, due to super hectic work schedule and baby brain.  I think the changes have made me better organized.

Week to Week- May started out simple and I found I needed to track a bit more, but not spend more time in layout.

Looking back to previous month it was helpful to have my timeline written out, however I didn't need to track additional information, nor did I have the time this month for that layout...

So Simplify.   At the top of each day I broke out the day by appointment/task time.  This helped me keep track where I needed to be each day, without taking up too much space and time.

I usually enjoy using stickers and images in my layouts.  This month was packed with Doctor appointments, work assignments, baseball games, yoga, and more.  So time was sparse.

 I do love my monthly layout.  I've found a way to incorporate my work schedule and overall events into 2 quick layouts.  This overview really helps me focus on the month, I've stopped copying my work schedule, and instead scaled down the schedule I send to my boss.  It fits perfectly into my bullet journal pages.  As I'm now on my 3rd volume, I have found there are several layouts that I re-draw every layout. So, I'm starting to play around with creating some excel forms (because I love excel) that I can easily print off each month and reuse.  With a baby coming... I need to save some time...

One NEW LAYOUT I have really enjoyed is my Yoga Schedule Layout.  This month classes changed and I wanted to make the best use of my class cards.  I have been taking 2-4 yoga classes a week and find it a wonderful addition to my routine.  Sad that I will have the next month off, to recoup.  However, this last month having the schedule handy was super beneficial to finding a time to squeeze in a class.  PS- Favorite teachers are Kami and Doreen if your looking for a new class!

I've come a long way in a year!  Looking back to May of last year and the beginning of this process has been quite interesting.  If you would like to look back with me, feel free to check out these old posts...  May 2017 bullet journal layouts!

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.