New Journal Setup: A Bullet Journalist’s Nightmare

New Journal Setup: A Bullet Journalist’s Nightmare

I had a plan for today’s post. Plans change, and you need to adapt. Let me tell you a story about my bullet journal.

march bullet journal monthly logWhen Disaster Strikes

I worked incredibly hard to bring you the best monthly log I’ve ever done. I was so on point with my calendar wheel and my drawing this week. Then an accident happened.

As you know, I run a home daycare. I’ve got five kids in my care (including my own two) and all of them are boys. Things are very rowdy. Things are very loud. Pretty much all they want to do is go running back and forth with the big toy cars we have in the basement.

I’m all about learning through play. I even created a game where I block them from running and ask them to add and subtract. If they get the answer right, they get a high-five and mosey along their way. If they get it wrong, we count the fingers together to find the right answer, and of course, they get a high-five and mosey on their way as well. The thing to keep in mind is that I’ve got one kinder who can add and subtract double-digits now, and it’s encouraged my almost 4-year-old and the 3-year-old in my care to learn, and it’s incredible. I’m so proud of these kids it’s just unbelievable. They surprise me every single day with the things they’re able to absorb like sponges and how well they’re learning to play together!

Sometimes that doesn’t quite work out. Now and then, when the kids are all getting along, I’m able to pull out my bullet journal and get a little bit of mindless work done (the small things like paperwork, knowing that all my attention is on the kids of course!). So I run upstairs to grab my bullet journal and, naturally, a coffee, and I come down to sit on the couch next to them and get a couple of things done. One of the kids happened to throw a ball as I was walking in, hit me right in the coffee mug. Coffee got everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The scalding hot coffee burned my leg about a foot in diameter and more importantly (don’t judge me. I’m incredibly accident-prone, so a little coffee burn is nothin’!) my bullet journal. The entire cup landed in my Dreamdori.

Leuchtturm, gone. Finance Tracker, gone. Daycare tracker, gone. I thank Dana with all my heart for making a traveler’s notebook I could wash because I don’t think I could face any more heartbreak!

I stepped away from the situation because I was pretty much seeing red at the time, knowing full well that it was an accident and I don’t fault him for what happened! I need to be a role model for these kids, so I stepped away for 5 minutes and asked them to be on their best behaviour while I was gone. I sat at the top of the stairs (where I could still hear them) and just breathed. I went back down, asked everyone to play upstairs so that I could clean up then I had a chat with them about how everyone gets upset, and it’s okay to have those feelings, it’s what we choose to do with those feelings that matter.


2018 calendex bullet journal future log

When Life Hands You Lemons

You know the adage, we all do. Daycare closed and I finally had a moment to just release. I was understandably upset that all my hard work was gone, but there’s no time to be upset because I need to get reorganized!

I went and grabbed my blue Leuchtturm1917 (thankfully I had a spare!!) and figured I’ll just do a skeleton of my spreads for now, so it’s functional, and add decoration later.  As I started work on my calendex, I zoned in, and something happened. I remembered how much I love bullet journaling. Not that I forgot or that I wasn’t enjoying it, but the day-in and day-out of bullet journaling is pretty mundane compared to creating your larger spreads and collections! It’s different! I remembered how relaxing this is. I forgot how happy it makes me.

This analog system is so amazing, but I think it’s essential to remember that it is subject to tears, stains, mistakes or in this case, total write-offs. Bullet journals may come and go but this enjoyment? It’s forever.

So yeah, life handed me a giant sack of lemons, and I’m going to make a crap ton of lemonade from it. I’m redoing every spread, every reusable collection. I’m improving on them, learning from what hasn’t been perfect in my last one and I’m going to make it better.

 


My New Bullet Journal

I’ve kept my calendex bare bones for now as you can see above, just the basic layout. I plan to add some form of decoration to it, but I’m unsure what I’m going to do with it at this point.

Bullet journal reusable collection cabin spread

Reusable Collections

Of course, as always, I need my reusable collections! I decided that I wanted to reduce space where I could to save some space, save some pages. I’ve managed to get my cabin checklist on a single page rather than a double spread. I love this condensed version, and honestly, I didn’t need half a page of random words and sayings anyway. This spread is much easier, much cleaner and I like it better than the one that was ruined!

I’m also working on an improved version of my menu plan and master grocery list but having just shopped; I’ve got a few more days to work it out, so I’m going to take my time and do it right! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see it when it’s done!

 

bullet journal collection period cycle female tracker

Single-Use Collections

Men, sorry, but I’ve also got my Love and War spread here. The same thing, I tried to condense it to a single page, and I love it smaller like this! I realized after almost two months that I don’t track my symptoms every day. Maybe one day I can get there, but for now, I’m not at that point so why waste the space! New and improved, I’m only tracking cycle days, fertile days, expected cycle and intimate days (though half the time I forget to put it in haha). Clean, easy, and serves its purpose to prevent pregnancy. (Can you imagine three boys, because my third would totally be another boy? My soul tells me so. I’m good with two!)

I’ve got a few more collections to get done yet, but I’m on my way! I’m going hard to try and keep the amount of time without my precious bullet journal to a minimum. I’m kind of already feeling like I’m losing my mind!

 


The Moral of the Story

Shit happens. Plain and simple. What you do with it is where you’ll find yourself.

I thought that if anything ever happened to my bullet journal, I’d be ruined! A mess! Instead, I sulked for a couple of hours then quickly got over it when I started getting excited to redo things that weren’t entirely working the way I wanted them to.

I’m not going to say everything happens for a reason because I don’t believe in that, but I feel like this experience has shown me how far I’ve come in letting things go and seeing the positive instead of just dwelling on the negative like I used to. I have bullet journaling to thank for that, even if that means using a system that can easily be destroyed.

Follow me on Instagram to keep seeing the progress of this new journal!

PS: It was a rough day so today, I had that child help me make chocolate chip cookies because he was incredibly upset about what happened. Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie!!

PPS: No longer will I be using an open coffee mug in daycare. Closed Contigo tumblers from now on so this doesn’t happen again!

My Self Care Master Plan: I Forgot About Me. This is How I Plan to Fix It

My Self Care Master Plan: I Forgot About Me. This is How I Plan to Fix It

I Forgot About Me

I’ve realized something about myself: I do not take care of my well-being. My entire life is about being a mom and a wife and a daycare provider. I have a million things to do all the time, and then when I finally get a moment of calm, I want nothing more than to sit on my ass and just do something mindless because my brain is on fire from working so hard. Moms will understand when I say that sometimes it comes down to a choice between working on something for pleasure, sleep or a shower. Many times it’s the former. I have quick 5 minute showers to clean because I would rather spend my precious, short private time doing something that I’m excited about.

I’ve gotten into a rut with no focus on self care. I used to wear makeup every day; now I wear none. I used to style my hair every day; now it’s in a ponytail constantly. I used to take pride in the way I look, and now it’s like I feel I don’t need to try because I’m just with kids all day and they don’t notice a difference. The problem is that now I’m left wearing the same clothes that I’ve had since 2006, they’re old and have lost their shape, colours are fading, and overall I just feel like a slob in them, never feeling like I’m pulled together.

I’m tired of feeling like a slob. I’m tired of feeling unhealthy. I’m tired of stress. Overall, I’m just tired. Something has to give. I decided to start looking into changes that I can make to improve my life and start taking care of myself too. I knew what I wanted to do but needed inspiration. I headed over to Instagram (of course) and lo and behold, the clouds parted, and I found my rainbow.


Bullet Journal Self Care Challenge#bulletjournalchallenge

Upon browsing the depths of Instagram, I found Bullet Journal and Tiny Ray of Sunshine releasing Self Care #BulletJournalChallenge. The challenge runs for two months with a new prompt released every week. Such perfect timing!

While I will be drawing the framework from this challenge, I am making it my own and calling it My Self Care Master Plan. Initially, I planned on saving this in one of the inserts in my Dreamdori but instead chose to put it right in my 2018 bullet journal. I want not only to be able to refer to it throughout the year, but I want it to be a souvenir from 2018, something to look back on and be proud.

 

 

 

 


Week One Personal Care Bullet Journal Spread CollectionWeek 1: Personal Care

Bullet journaling is my most significant form of self care. For the first time in years, I finally feel like my shit is coming together. I have improvements to make yet, but I’m a long, long way from where I started. I’m finally organized, it has gotten my creative juices flowing, and I’m even more inspired and motivated than I was when I started a year ago.

I’m the kind of person who gets a mad rush of ideas then goes into a mad rush to start a million projects, just to have them fall by the wayside shortly after. I wanted to learn to knit, so I went out and got needles and yarn. I learned a standard stitch, got confused reading a pattern for a different stitch and set those needles down never to be picked up again. The same thing happened with crochet. The same thing happened with painting. Bullet journaling is the first hobby I’ve taken up that not only has stuck around but continues to inspire me every single day.

As you can see in this spread, I’ve outlined six items that bring me joy in me-time and six keys to overcome barriers that prevent me from doing said hobbies. The most important thing on that list refocusing on my goals. This pertains to the previous paragraph because I regularly get distracted with new ideas before finishing what I started. I need to start reminding myself to take a step back, add my plan to an “on the horizon” type section in my bullet journal, and continue along with the task at hand. It’s so easy to get derailed, and I just need to focus.

Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s description on this prompt suggests listing a few ways to help you get through a bad day. I’ve called this section “Ready, set, reset” and I’m going to look back on this page anytime I’m struggling. The post also suggests listing triggers, but I want to remain positive throughout this challenge. It’s not that the negative things don’t exist, but I worry that if I lay out a problem, I may start feeling it when I’m not (psychological warfare?)

 


Week 2: Physical Care

This prompt seemed easy to start but became more difficult than I thought. I am creating a goal to begin these items on March 1 so that I can incorporate it into a habit tracker in my monthly spread.

The Feel Good Stuff

As stated above, I haven’t been spending the time to make myself feel good. With that note, my goal is to start doing my hair and make up every single day. I would like to get a haircut before I start tracking this goal but it’s no excuse if I haven’t. I would like to focus on spending a minimum of 10 minutes in the shower and having one every single day. When I’m busy with the kids, daycare and everything else in life, I keep thinking I don’t have the time. I rush through a 5-minute shower every second day, and I’d like to start slowing down and enjoying them. Maybe then I can also improve with hair removal (ladies, I’m sure you understand not wanting to shave your legs every day!) which I’m sure will also help with my confidence!

Sleep

I’m awful for sleep. I’m sitting here at 11:55 pm when I need to be up at 6:00 am to get ready for daycare. I do this too often to count. I wake up and not want to get out of bed, I’m groggy for the first few hours of the day, grumpy because I haven’t had my coffee… the list goes on. I need to make sure I start going to bed by 11:00 pm and read my body’s cues when I’m tired and go to sleep earlier than that. By the time the kids get to sleep, I cram all my side hustle work in between 8:00 pm and whatever time I go to sleep, and the bottom line is that it’s not working. I need to get better at spreading small tasks throughout the day and just work on a significant project in the evenings so that I can stop, take a breath, and get my ass in bed.

Fitness

I am somewhat limited in this area due to my lupus. My primary symptom is vasculitis, which is an inflammation of my blood vessels. My legs start to swell, they feel like they’re on fire and oh boy is it ever painful and I find anything with impact brings this on instantly. When I first got my Samsung Gear Fit2, I discovered that I was averaging 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. It sounds pathetic, but apparently, that’s the national average. Six months later, I was averaging 7,000 steps, and now I’m anywhere between 10,000-15,000 steps every single day. It has significantly helped ease my vasculitis symptoms. My goal is to keep up with this average count, increase it if I can and reintroduce yoga into my life. I used to love yoga, and I still do, but again, I’m full of excuses for not doing it!

Nutrition

Overall, I maintain a balanced diet. We make our meals from scratch where we can, I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, protein, fibre and we keep our fast food consumption to a minimum. What I need to work on is snacking. I’m terrible. I’m addicted to regular chips, pop and chocolate and seem to be eating them every single day. I’m making the goal to only have pop on weekends and reduce the chips and chocolate consumption as much as I can. I don’t want to cut it out entirely because I do believe in having anything you want but it has to be in moderation. I spent my entire life watching what I eat, and I’m finally in a place that I’ve been able to let loose a little. I’m taking it too far though, and I want to get it in check. It’s not because of my weight, but because I don’t wish to an adverse effect on my health.

 


 

I’m so incredibly excited that I found this #bulletjournalchallenge. I would like to continue to share my progress with you. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see more photos and check back on the blog for an update later in the challenge!

Head over to Bullet Journal or Tiny Ray of Sunshine and get going on this challenge too! The beauty of this challenge is that you can do it whenever you want, you don’t need to follow their timeline. If you’re not quite ready, wait until you are, then rock it out!

Are you participating in this challenge? Comment below and tell me how it’s going for you!

How-to Series: Monthly Logs [Mix & Match to Freshen Your Look]

How-to Series: Monthly Logs [Mix & Match to Freshen Your Look]

Many people get into a routine with their bullet journal. It’s quick, it’s easy and we can move on and keep being productive. I find after a while of doing the same thing, I start to get bored. Let’s break down the idea of a monthly log and see where we can freshen up your look and get you inspired again! Mix and match these ideas to come up with your own custom layout!

This is the first post of a new how-to series! I hope you enjoy!


The Foundation of a Monthly Log

The most significant component of the monthly log is, of course, layout out dates for you to fill out. There are many ways you can do this and here are the pro’s and cons that I’ve learned along the way.

January monthly spread bullet journalTraditional Calendar Layout

The tried-and-true calendar style layout is a great option for your monthly log, especially if you’re new to bullet journaling. It’s simple to set up, it’s fast and you really don’t need to be artistic to do it. All you need is a pen and a ruler, though hand-drawn lines also look raw and nice!

While a traditional calendar week begins on Sundays, I do prefer starting my weeks on Mondays. Personally, the majority of my tasks and events happen throughout the week. I tend to make my Saturday and Sunday spaces smaller because I just don’t need the space. This layout is incredibly easy to read, easy to follow and it’s that look we’re all familiar with. I love seeing the days of the week laid out on the page and you always know what day it is! I actually did have a hard time with this layout in my Leuchtturm for a few reasons. The first reason is that if I squeeze it onto a single page, the boxes are simply too small to be efficient. The second reason is that when I do stretch it across a full spread, the layout is slightly awkward at the spine. I’ve seen monthly logs that actually have a day split between the pages but I can’t imagine doing that myself, it would be incredibly awkward to write! For my January 2018 spread, I put 4 days on one page and 3 days on the other. It worked out, but I still feel like the calendar is awkwardly blocked off and just doesn’t look quite right to me. My last thought on this one is that I found that I just didn’t have much space to write in these boxes, though it wouldn’t be an issue if you’re not an extensive user of your monthly! Check out my January Setup post to see the full details.

Pro: Easy to read and follow
Con: Can be awkward across a full spread


Ladder-Style Layout

The ladder-style layout is very easy to set up, and there are countless ways to customize it! All you need to do is write each day of the month vertically (or horizontally to give it some flair!) down the page. You can put these dates on the far left with all your content on the right, put it in the middle and separate items on the left and right (business vs. personal for example) or put the dates on the right just to do something different!

I feel like I always have more space to write when I use this type of layout but sometimes I do get thrown off trying to figure out what day it is! There are a few ways around this. You can write initials for the weekdays alongside the dates, you can use lines to separate weeks, highlight weekends or you can do a combination of these! Overall, I would say that this is my preferred layout for my monthly logs. Check out my Hello February post to see the full details.

This style monthly log tends to be a bit easier when you’d like to incorporate habit trackers or a gratitude log as well! More details on that in a bit.

Pro: More space to write
Con: Not as easy to read

 

 

 


www.instagram.com/as_a_rye

Mini Calendar with List

This layout is a nice hybrid between the traditional calendar layout and the ladder-style. Essentially, you layout your calendar for the month with no space to write. I find most people use a 4 square block for each of these numbers but obviously, it’s completely your choice! Below the mini calendar is where you can list dates and write your appointments, birthdays, etc.

This style was tough for me. On the one hand, I loved the look of it. It was simple, clean, easy to follow yet also had a ladder element to it. The downfall for me was writing the dates below. I started my month knowing birthdays and a couple other things, but after writing the initial entries, anything else that might be added later is numerically out of order and honestly, that drove me nuts! As long as you don’t mind the numbers potentially out of order, then this is a really nice option.

Pro: Easy calendar view
Con: Numerically out of order

 

 


Calendar Wheel

It’s funny. I’ve seen calendar wheels a lot on Instagram, and I even sell printables in my Etsy shop, but I’ve never actually done one myself! *Hint hint for March’s edition of Plan With Me!* I think they look absolutely beautiful and it’s such a fun way to change things up!

Essentially, you draw a couple circles, divide it into the number of days in that month and this becomes your template! This can easily be adapted to include things like habit trackers, weather, etc.

My struggle with this style would be pulling out the lines to note appointments. Decade Thirty does a fabulous job as you can see, it looks beautiful and it’s so different than any other monthly log I’ve done!

Pro: Super fresh, fun layout
Con: Can be difficult to set up

 


The Extra Details

Let’s face it, most people don’t just do a simple monthly log on their page and nothing more. Usually, you add some special touches to make it yours! Here are a few options for you to spice up your monthly!

Habit Trackers

This one is a pure classic. Whether it’s in your monthly log, weekly or you have a year in pixels, I find that most people in this community use a habit tracker in some form in their bullet journal. The concept is easy: Write out your list of habits you would like to track and have the spaces to check them off as you go. This can be applied daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, basically, any way you want.

Common habits to track include cleaning routines, self-care, daily moods, weather, and countless other options. You can do anything you want here! I once even had a reminder to eat all my meals in the day, because when things get busy in my home daycare, I tend to forget about myself!

Gratitude Log

This is a new one for me. In my first bullet journal, I lacked the discipline of filling anything out daily. I didn’t think I would keep up with it, and didn’t want to be left with either blank spots or be struggling to remember what happened on each of those days! Now that I’ve gotten more consistent, I decided to try it out for February and I’m enjoying it so far! I also added a twist to mine: I called it Grind and Gratitude so that I can vent something that’s frustrating me on the condition that I follow it up with a positive. I’m hoping it will help clear my head of negative thoughts because I’m balancing it toward positivity.

To-Do’s and What’s on the Horizon

I love having a space to show items that aren’t due on a certain day but I know I need to get done within the month. It’s easy to forget what’s coming up if you don’t have a place to keep that information. This was a big struggle for me in the past. I would tell my husband I was going to design an ad for him but until he gave me the information for it, I couldn’t do much and we didn’t have a deadline in mind. There were a few that he was interested in designing and I kept having to ask what they were about. Now, I jot it down in my horizon and break it down into tasks. If it winds up not getting a deadline that month, at least I have the information to bring it over to the next month!

Goals

You know what they say: a dream will remain a dream unless you take the steps to achieve it. Having a monthly goal is a great habit to get into. It can motivate you to convert those dreams into reality. I’ve seen people create goals as simple as remembering to stay positive and I’ve seen specific goals like completing a 30-day fitness challenge. It can be anything you choose but it can be that extra pump to get you through the month!


A Monthly Mix and Match!

I’m sure there are about a million other options that I haven’t shown you here today, and I would love to see what you’ve got! Creating a monthly spread can be daunting as a beginner and the best advice I can pass along to you is to try not to take on too much at once. When I first started bullet journaling, one of my first monthly logs had a habit tracker with about 8 items plus a gratitude log and weather tracking. I think I only made it four or five days before I stopped filling it out. When I first started my bullet journal, my consistency was absolutely not there. It was a new system, a new idea to get myself organized and it took about a year for me to turn bullet journaling into a true habit. The better I got at laying out my ideas, the more addicted I was to it and it’s always exciting to open my notebook! It’s because of my sheer enjoyment that it has really caught on!

Take your time, try to do either one or a large combination of what you’ve seen here, and don’t forget to share your thoughts! Tag me in your monthly logs on Instagram at @as_a_rye so I can see your progress!

My Bullet Journal’s Evolution of Style

My Bullet Journal’s Evolution of Style

My style is constantly evolving.

A little over a year ago, I set aside my fears and made my first mark in my bullet journal. Best decision I ever made. I’m probably going to sound like a parrot here saying the same thing a million times, but I spent months looking at bullet journal spreads before I actually did anything about it. It’s been an incredible journey so far and I’m incredibly excited to see where else it will take me. If you’re already an experienced bullet journaler, you already know this but if you’re new or haven’t started yet, here are the ways that my bullet journal style has changed over the last year.

 


Discbound bullet journal

The First Edition

I wasn’t ready to buy into the because I didn’t want to waste my money on something if it went nowhere. I’m cheap. I had an Arc by M (from Staples Canada) on hand that I was using for work before, so I decided to go with a discbound bullet journal.

My very first weekly page… was not pretty. I aspired to be like all the other gorgeous bullet journals out there with the fancy lettering and funky layouts… Having never used a brush pen before, I had no idea what I was doing. It’s squished up, it’s boxy, and oh my lanta, look at those flourishes. I have to laugh at it. Honestly, I’m still proud to show it off here but that’s because it not only shows me how far I’ve come, but it was a cornerstone of my life where everything changed.

Once I did a couple layouts in this discbound, I realized that I really did want to spring for that classic Leuchtturm1917 notebook, now that I knew I would continue! I barely even used the discbound before I made the switch. Here’s why for me: I couldn’t find dot grid paper anywhere. I find this odd. You can get blank, ruled and graph paper but in no store (at least in Winnipeg) could you get dot-grid. I wound up building a dot grid format on my computer and printed it at my local Staples but who wants to spend that much money just on paper? I didn’t have a printer of my own at the time.

So a few days after realizing I liked the system, I ran out and got my beautiful Emerald Leuchtturm1917!

 


When I Didn’t Have a Clue

When I first started my bullet journal, I had no idea what type of style I wanted to follow. I absolutely loved all the artsy ones but I was out of practice. I thought the minimalist designs were boring. I had high hopes for how my spreads would look but they all fell flat. I thought lots of colour would be great, but honestly, most of my spreads ended up looking half-assed to me. I’m also a perfectionist so it wasn’t the best time for me.

I think the biggest takeaway here is the fact that despite those feelings of not making it nice enough, I still kept going. I kept bullet journaling. That’s because it was the most functional planner I’ve ever had. Functionality beat out aesthetic by a long shot!

I tried so many different styles in the beginning that really, I was just replicas of other ideas I had seen, but no identity of my own.

 


Bullet Journal Weekly Log

Okay, There’s Something Here

The week of March 19-25 was a turning point for me. I created a spread that was clean, fresh and pretty all in one. This is one of my favourite spreads still to this day! This is the week that I started to develop my own bullet journal style. It wasn’t perfect, but I’m looking for progress not perfection! I followed this spread with another weekly log that I loved and the first monthly log I really liked!

Another important thing to note here is that I’ve already been seeing a huge difference in the quality of my penmanship! My writing is getting more legible, more consistent and evenly spaced.

The spring and early summer are a key part of my evolution here because I was loving my bullet journal so much that it became something I couldn’t wait to do when the kids were in bed rather than something I had to do to get organized! Figuring out a new layout is incredibly fun and I started noticing my creativity coming back.

My birthday is March 16th and I asked my family to get me bullet journal supplies. I wanted the Zebra Mildliners and brush pens and fancy pens, and I got em!


Bullet Journal Weekly LogThe More Content The Better…Not

This statement is wrong. Just saying. I started cramming so much into every page. At this point, I had opened my home daycare and there’s a lot of items I needed to track: attendance, meals, diaper changes, naps… I was convinced that no matter how many items I had, I had to fit it all into my bullet journal spread because that was the entire point of this system. Well let me tell you from experience, that’s really not the case. Ever since I switched to a traveller’s notebook, I’ve had more flexibility to put as much or as little as I wanted on my pages.

While I would mostly agree that the bullet journal can absolutely be an all-in solution, it’s not right for everybody to be used that way. I was so against the traveller’s notebook system but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Even when I didn’t have as much content or items to track, I still filled every square millimetre of the page with something. Way too cluttered!!

 


Bullet Journal Weekly Log Washi Evolution

 

My Brief Affair With Washi

Funny story. I hated washi tape. Couldn’t stand it. I’m not meaning to be mean but I always thought it made pages look terrible, all broken up. Then I found this absolutely GORGEOUS pack at Michael’s and I couldn’t resist. Granted, I actually used it to make a wallet-type insert for my traveller’s notebook, but I wound up using it on a couple spreads to see how it would look.

I haven’t used it since.

 

 

 


The Artsy Bullet Journal

I moved on to spreads that had more art: doodles, sketches and drawings. It started with the solar eclipse and grew into my favourite monthly spread in September, and my favourite welcome page for October. Feeling inspired, I continued to draw more. I did a portrait of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, Negan and Rick when The Walking Dead season premiered and a portrait of my grandfather in honour of his 10 years since passing (November 2, 2007) and Remembrance Day.

My bullet journal officially got me back into drawing, back to the creativity I had so many years ago. I was in art classes all through grade school and while I didn’t major in fine art, I did take a class at university as well. I fell off the art wagon shortly after deciding that I didn’t want to continue the education I initially started and went on a search to find a career I would love. It’s been almost 10 years since I felt this desire to create art and it’s because of Ryder Caroll that I have.


New Year, New Style

My 2018 bullet journal is heavily inspired by the beautiful galaxy Dreamdori I got from Dream and Anchor. I will be primarily using the colours inspired by space though not necessarily following a space theme.

My intention with this bullet journal is to keep the style simple and minimalist, with a bit of art thrown in. I would like to keep my drawings and challenges out of my bullet journal and instead into sketchbooks where they belong. As much as I love drawing in my bullet journal and I love the portraits I’ve done in my previous one, I don’t love the fact that my portraits are now covered in the dot grid pattern and not available for me to hang on a wall or, dare I say it, perhaps sell one day.

 

 

 

 


The Takeaway: Evolve With Your Bullet Journal

The bottom line here is to remember that your style will constantly change. That’s the beauty of the bullet journal: it evolves as you evolve. It can change as your needs change, as your life changes and as you grow. Let’s evolve together!

Plan With Me: Goodbye January + Hello February

Plan With Me: Goodbye January + Hello February

As January comes to a close…

I’m getting set up for February! This month seemed to just whiz right by. As much as I want time to slow down (there are not enough hours in the day), I’m looking forward to this winter being over! Can February just come and go even quicker than January? Please? We’ve been in a deep freeze for what feels like forever. We just had a couple warmer days, but went right back to a freezing Arctic cold front! I’m talking -30 to -45 degree (CELCIUS!) weather!

Aside from the cold, here’s what’s happened this month so far!


The Fam-Jam

Okay, my 21-month-old is making me cry. He is talking so much that it’s just blowing my mind! My oldest was talking like this when he was 2 and a half! My last baby isn’t a baby anymore and while I’m so happy and excited for what he’s been learning and is continuing to learn, I’m also incredibly sad because these are my last set of firsts! I’m totally allowed to be upset by it, just saying!

My 3.5-year-old has also been making some incredible milestones. He can now add and subtract simple numbers up to ten and he knows how to write quite a few letters and numbers as well! This kid also has the memory of an elephant and it’s pretty incredible to see, of course, it has a downfall sometimes too! Tell him he’ll get some Smarties for dessert later and oh boy, even a week or two later, he’ll still remember! The things this kiddo says will blow your mind sometimes, I think he’s going to be very bright when he starts school!


What Went Well

We are in my second month since I opened this new site and I’m incredibly proud of myself. Not only have I stuck to the schedule that I set out for myself, but I’m actually getting my daily routine down pat and feeling like I’m not as rushed for time.

My 2018 setup has been working incredibly well for me: particularly the reusable cleaning routine spread! I’m still behind in some areas for decluttering and I’m still recovering after Christmas, but the house hasn’t been bad overall because of this schedule! There are a few of the daily tasks that I hope to be more consistent in February.


weekly dashboard bullet journalWeekly Dashboard

I’m absolutely loving the weekly dashboards that I’ve been doing in this book. I have a hard time with dailies alone because sometimes I feel like it’s harder to plan ahead when I only need a day or two. I don’t like putting every single thing into my monthly logs. The nice thing about a weekly spread is that I can change it every week for whatever I need. In week 1, I really wanted a lot of space for notes and brainstorming but week 2 needed some positivity and I filled it with a quote!

What I want to improve for February: more flexible weekly dashboards. I would like to create a design that can be stretched to a full page and also shrunk down to a half page or even less. This would allow me to have more and less room for my dailies and not feel like I need to have a new page at the start of every week. This is the entire reason why I created the dashboard in the first place!

 

 

 

 


Daily and Rapid Logs

I have no regrets moving from structured weekly spreads to daily logs. With the blog and other plans, I simply don’t know how much or how little room I need and I love that I don’t need to worry about how much room I have available to write!

I’ve been experimenting with different looks for the header of each day. As much as I absolutely love Boho Berry’s time bars, they’re just not right for me. When I run a home daycare, everything follows a pretty rigid schedule and I feel it’s a waste to just colour literally the same thing every single day. What’s more is that after daycare hours, I still have kids and I just work on my side projects where I can find a time. It’s pretty impossible for me to schedule something in!

All my days consist of tasks that I can do any time of day and the goal is to just have it done before bed!


What I can do Better in February

My biggest issue is overestimating how much I can get done in a day. I set goals to work towards and that’s great, but I find that I wind up migrating so many tasks to the next day!

I’ll be completely honest in saying that I’m not even sure if I can improve this. What I can get done in a day is entirely dependent on how the kids are, how much attention they’re needing.


February monthly log bullet journal

February Setup

I went with a pretty simple layout this month. I’ve separated my blog and other plans from my home life. Honestly, we don’t get a lot of visitors and I don’t make a lot of plans, so that section is probably going to stay pretty bare!

What’s new this month is Grind and Gratitude. I’ve noticed that January was a pretty emotional month for me. I was very irritable and to be honest, I have no idea why. I love the gratitude logs that I see everywhere in this community but I’m adding my personal twist to it. I’ve always been someone who feels better writing, especially to vent any frustrations I’m having. I hope that most of these will be filled with only gratitude, but I’m wanting to give myself the chance to write something that’s bothering me. Here’s the catch: if I write anything negative, it must be balanced by writing a positive as well.

My hope is that by incorporating this Grind and Gratitude system, it will improve my overall mood in February.

 


Goodbye winter?

Let’s just finish suffering through this winter and I promise my mood will be much better in the warmth!

I hope that my monthly log will inspire you to see what worked well for you in January and build on that!

Review: Galaxy Dreamdori by Dream And Anchor

Review: Galaxy Dreamdori by Dream And Anchor

Review: Galaxy Dreamdori

*Contains affiliate links – if you purchase a product, I receive a small commission, but the cost is the same to you.

My entire life revolves around my family: my husband and my two amazing little boys. Every time I have a bit of room in my budget to buy myself something (which should be new clothes), I go out, and I come home with something for my boys and/or my husband. I don’t spend much on myself and when I do, it’s out of sheer necessity. I even have a pair of flip-flops with my favourite band’s logo on it from the year 2000. They’ve half torn apart, the soles are all wonky and flattened and really, I shouldn’t wear them at all anymore but I can’t bring myself to toss them! Then I saw this amazing dreamdori on Dream and Anchor’s Etsy shop and I nearly died.

I’ve bought a dreamdori from her before (two actually) but this one was completely irresistible! After going back to spy on the listing about a million times to make sure it was still in stock, I panicked and thought I should just go ahead and get it before she runs out of that beautiful fabric! Here are my thoughts on a custom order I received!


dream and anchor packagingThe Unboxing

Dana over at Dream and Anchor never fails to bring a smile to my face with her adorable packaging. Product packaging is a very important factor for customers even if it doesn’t seem like it should matter all that much. It’s all about how the customer perceives your brand.

Her cute little business card with the ribbon on the paperclip is adorable. Tissue paper enclosed with washi tape is such a delicate touch and makes it feel like Christmas morning when you’re opening it!

 

 

 


dreamdori dream and anchor closed galaxyFirst impression

OH MY LANTA, THAT COLOUR THOUGH!

You know when you see something online you want to buy and when you get it, the colour is completely different than it looked on the screen? Let me tell you, Dana does not disappoint! I don’t know what she’s doing to set up her product images but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a case where the colour on the screen matched the actual colour of the product! As you can see, the colour on this dreamdori is oh so wonderfully rich and deep and beautiful!!

I’ve always loved paintings, pictures, artists renderings, etc of anything space related and this is simply heaven to my eyes. I honestly can’t come up with a better description of how amazing this is, it’s phantasmagorical!

 


The Custom Details

I figured if I’m going to get this phenomenal dreamdori, I’m going to do it right and make sure it has everything I need. I learned a few things from my last dreamdori (the amazing coffee-themed one, which I plan on still using!)

A5 traveler’s notebook cover
Boarding pass style pockets
– I love being able to stuff receipts and random papers in here
2x extra elastics
– I’d like to fit my along with 3-4 inserts
Pen loop
I figured that it wouldn’t be an issue since I have so many pens and markers and other supplies that I bring along anyway. I don’t need all my supplies to go to the store, so now I just keep my Micron 005 pen in the loop and I always have it on me!

The new custom touch that Dana added to my dreamdori was a structured spine. The spine of my coffee-themed one bowed because I over-stuffed it. Entirely my fault, but Dana was amazing and figured out how to add a stronger spine to my new one!


Using my Dreamdori

Though I moved into this dreamdori on January first, I’ve also been using it for a bit longer so I can get set up for 2018. I have my Leuchtturm1917 inserted with two elastics, one at each cover and I’m loving the stability. I’ve also got my finance tracker insert, daycare tracker insert and a junk journal inserted here and I still have a few elastics to spare if I’d like to add more!.

The structured spine is making a huge difference in how the book feels. I was a little bit wary of it at first because I didn’t want my dreamdori to just look like a hardcover book with smaller books inside, I love the traditional traveller’s notebook look, but it doesn’t look or feel that way at all! Dream and Anchor did a fantastic job of creating a subtle spine that adds so much functionality.


Final Takeaway

Honestly, I’m feeling like I don’t even need to say anything about this. The first picture here should have convinced you to get you over to her shop and buy one ASAP but alas, not everyone likes a good galaxy theme. She has such a large and varied selection with so many different styles, that I’m sure you’ll find one you love too!

The thing you need to know about Dream and Anchor is this: they are quality-made. The stitching is absolutely perfect, it’s nice and stiff instead of flopping around, which is why I originally hesitated getting a fabric traveler’s notebook, and the selection is just phenomenal.

Dream and Anchor is so easy to work with, just send her a message if you have any questions and she’s quick to respond! Don’t forget to look at the add-ons she’s got in her shop as well because it has made a huge difference in my usage.

The best part: you’ll have it in your hand before you can say dreamdori! Click on any reference to Dream and Anchor and it will direct you to her shop to have a look!


Exciting News!! GET 10% OFF YOUR DREAMDORI!

Dana over at Dream and Anchor is offering a discount for you!! Use the promo code ASARYE10 to get 10% off your order over $21USD until February 8, 2018!

Click here to check out Etsy shop and get your first Dreamdori!

The beauty of a fabric traveler’s notebook is the infinite style possibilities! What is your favourite style? Let me know in the comments below!