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First of the Month BuJo Update: April 2019

It’s that time again, friends!  A newish month means new bullet journal spreads!  Let’s get right to it!

So again, we’ve got some lame photos in here because I was traveling the first week of April (hence why this is also posted on the 12th and not the 1st — oops) so everything was done in a hurry.  I mean, just last night I filled in my bills tracker so that’s where my life is at this month.

March Recap

March went mostly well.  The new meal tracker was pretty much a win and helped me see that I wasn’t eating enough snacks during the day.  Also, I was pretty lazy some days and didn’t even bother filling it in so it also helped me figure out that I’m still pretty much a lazy bum when it comes to using my Bujo every day.

My TV/Movie tracker was maybe not my best idea.  I don’t watch that much TV so I don’t really know what I was thinking.  Instead it was more of a tracker for TV shows that I already knew I liked (Golden Girls, anyone?) and ended up being mostly useless.  That page got scrapped this month but more on that later.

Finally, the book tracker.  Ugh.  That was a fail so I simplified that this month, too.

Ok, on to the April update…

Theme:

I discovered I had a bunch of washi and stickers that related to rain so this month is “April Showers” themed.  Stickers are from all over the place so they are hard to credit.  Please drop a comment if you want to know a specific one.  The little birds and rain clouds are from Michael’s and come from a $1 sticker pack they sold last year.  There’s lots of Happy Planner in there as well!

Spreads:

April starts off the same way as my other bujos: cover page, monthly, goals, and habits.  I wanted to try something new this month to give me a more holistic view of what’s going on in my life.

Being out of work since November, I’ve really had to crack down on my spending.  The budget and spending trackers I introduced last month were amazing.  They did help curb my sticker addiction but I realized I still buy waaaaaaay too much crap I don’t need.  They are back again this month as a reminder that I really don’t need that much craft paper (said no one ever)..

I’m still working on using my meal planner religiously.  So far I’ve already forgotten most of this week.  I’m off to a rocking start.

Because my Netflix/Hulu spread bombed and I was recently diagnosed with PTSD (more on that another time), I added a “Self-Care Bingo” spread to the mix.  I’m so bad at taking care of me, ya’ll.  Yet I regularly speak about the importance of self-care to others.  So I’m upping my game.  I haven’t quite figured out what my Bingo prize will be but I’m pretty sure it will be awesome (or maybe it will just be less stress which is also awesome).

My reading spread last month was…well, ambitious.  Was I ever going to read a bazillion books in a month?  No.  I simplified this month to make me feel less anxious about not reading all the books.  I also removed the section for tracking followers because that was far too tedious for my tiny time schedule.

Then we get back into my “normal” spreads.  I combined my Line A Day and Gratitude spreads into one journaling page.  I upped my creativity on my Currently recap by hand-drawing that sucker (there’s something to be said of the printable though).  Finally, my Wins/Losses page finishes the tracking spreads and we head into my weeklies and dailies.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not skilled at using my journal daily.  MUST GET BETTER!

Supplies for March:

  • Pilot Precise V5 Deco Collection Rolling Ball Pens
  • Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Retractable
  • Craft Smith™ Wonton In A Million™ Sticker Book, Budget 1
  • Craft Smith™ Sweet Kawaii Design™ Sticker Book, Home Life
  • Zebra Pen Mildliner
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First of the Month BuJo Update: March 2019

It’s that time again, friends!  A new month means new bullet journal spreads!  Let’s get right to it!

These are not the best photos I’ve ever taken but I was honestly too excited about my March spreads to worry about getting the perfect photos!

Alright.  March is the beginning of a new journal.  I’m using the LT1917 in “Sand” this time around.  It was a little odd since it’s an older version of the LT1917 so I had to realign my spreads.  More on that in another post.  Let’s get down to the meat of this one.

Theme:

I’m not a huge fan of the traditional “St. Patrick’s Day” and green is my least favorite color.  I went an unconventional route: Firefly!  I grabbed some space themed washi tapes from Amazon and Michael’s.  I was able to grab all the Firefly-themed stickers from Redbubble and they are amazing.  I was able to pull them up and re-position the stickers several times without tearing the paper.  I highly recommend Redbubble for your sticker needs!

Spreads:

March starts off the same way as my other bujos: cover page, monthly, goals, and habits.  I wanted to try something new this month to give me a more holistic view of what’s going on in my life.

Being out of work since November, I’ve really had to crack down on my spending.  To make things more fun, my student loans are coming out of their grace period.  Welcome, budget and spending trackers.  I’m hoping this will help me manage my sticker addiction loan repayment goals and I’ll have a better grasp on where my money goes each month.

The next new spread is the meal planner.  I’ve developed some fun blood sugar issues and need to stay on top of what I’m eating each day.  Plus as a new stay-at-home-mom, I’m in charge of planning all our meals so what better way that dropping it in my bullet journal.

The final new additions are the Netflix/Hulu tracker and my book spreads.  Since I’ve got the tiniest bit of spare time on my hands, I’ve taken to watching some new shows on Netflix and Hulu (Umbrella Academy, anyone!?) and I wanted to note what I liked and didn’t like.  I’m notoriously picky when it comes to my TV and movies.  My book spread is pretty self explanatory.  I read a lot (that’s kind of the point of this blog) and I wanted to track my progress over the month.

Then we get back into my “normal” spreads.  I combined my Line A Day and Gratitude spreads into one journaling page.  I upped my creativity on my Currently recap by hand-drawing that sucker (there’s something to be said of the printable though).  Finally, my Wins/Losses page finishes the tracking spreads and we head into my weeklies and dailies.

Final Thoughts:

We’ll see how this goes.  I’m more of a to do list person which is what pulled me into bullet journaling in the first place.  I’ll check back in at the end of the month with a spread update!

Supplies for March:

  • Glitzy Planet Glitter Washi Tape By Recollections
  • Molshine Set of 8 Galaxy Washi Tape
  • Redbubble Firefly Stickers
  • Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Medium A5 Dotted Notebook [Sand]
  • Pilot Precise V5 Deco Collection Rolling Ball Pens
  • Pilot FriXion Ball Slim Retractable
  • Craft Smith™ Wonton In A Million™ Sticker Book, Budget 1
  • Craft Smith™ Sweet Kawaii Design™ Sticker Book, Home Life
  • Zebra Pen Mildliner

How Bill Belichick and the Patriots Toppled the NFL Empire

Here we are on the other side of yet another New England Patriots victory.  Nobody can deny that Tom Brady is exceptional — probably the greatest NFL Quarterback of all time (as much as it pains me to say that).  However, the Brady and Belichick era is marred by controversy and that dims the shine of their accomplishments more than a little.  Not only does it harm the history of the Patriots, but it’s brought about the end of the NFL’s glory days.

It all started with “Spygate” back in 2007 when the Patriots were accused of filming the New York Jets.  While it’s not against league rules to film other teams, the filming can only be done in authorized areas and the Pats were caught offsides (ha).  There were huge fines and docked draft picks and it was a mess but when it was all said and done, we’d entered a new era of football.

“Deflategate” was the next big issue for the Patriots.  Under normal circumstances, I posit that some under-inflated footballs wouldn’t have been a huge issue in the NFL.  However, with that single incident of cheating by the Pats, normal circumstances went out the window.  Suddenly there was mass pandemonium involving physics, a media circus, and an intense investigation.  Again there were docked draft picks and the incredible suspension of Tom Brady.  And the NFL was tainted forever.

The Patriots keep winning.  Some of that is skill but there’s always that inkling of doubt in the back of everyone’s minds.  It leaves a sour taste in the mouth.  It’s left the NFL open to quite a bit of scrutiny, too.  If the games were more intriguing, if we weren’t guaranteed another Patriots win, would people be so interested in the inner workings of the NFL?

Since the Pats have started their indefatigable winning streak, we’ve seen the NFL attacked for other things that had previously gone overlooked.  The concussions.  The domestic abuse.  The black-listing of players fighting for social justice.  Perhaps people do care more about these issues today.  Though I deeply believe if there was more chance within the NFL standings, people would still be willing to look past some of the NFL’s indiscretions.  Thanks to the Patriot’s striking ability to win at any cost, a Pandora’s box has been opened that the NFL can never again close.

Book Review: What Lies Below

What Lies BelowWhat Lies Below by Barbara Taylor Sissel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What Lies Below by Barbara Taylor Sissel is a mystery novel, a suspense novel, and a romance novel all rolled into one. Gilly O’Connell is a broken woman. She sees things other people can’t and it’s caused her unending heartbreak her entire life. She’s lost friends, family, and even her husband and child. Yet she can’t stop her dreams and must deal with the consequences that come with visions of events she is powerless to stop.

I read mysteries (a lot) and so very little in this book came as a shock to me. There was maybe one “WHOA!” moment in the entire book. However, that didn’t ruin it for me. The characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, and there were times that I thought characters could have asked more questions or probed deeper in a particular situation. Some of the chapters didn’t flow as smoothly into one another but it didn’t detract from the story. Finally, we all know that I hate the tidy bow at the end of a story and this one wrapped up just a little too cleanly for my tastes.

Overall, the book was a good read. It was quick and intriguing and I’d highly recommend it to any fan of mystery/suspense with a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure.

*I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley.*

Life Review: 2018

Holy shit.

That pretty much sums up my 2018.  You may have noticed, I’ve been scarce (again).  Well, you can thank 2018 for that this time.  Let’s recap.

The Good

  • Went to Baltimore and essentially completed my Masters thesis
  • Started bullet journalling
  • Surprised my mom on Mother’s Day
  • Kidlet moved in with us
  • Awesome visit with friends
  • 10 year anniversary with the hubs
  • Had an awesome visit with the whole family
  • New Bean on the way (October)
  • Interviewed my nonprofit role model
  • Led my nonprofit to their most successful event ever
  • Elected as President of a start-up nonprofit
  • Finished several knitting projects

The Bad

  • 5 year anniversary of grandma’s death
  • Got fired
  • Super, super sick
  • Have you seen the state of politics lately?

The Ugly

  • My mom died.

So, yes, Holy Shit is about all you need to know and you instantly understand my 2018.  I’d say I broke even.

There is one silver lining to this whole nightmare: I’ve learned that I am made of freaking diamonds.  I had no idea what I could handle until this year decided I needed to handle everything, pretty much all at the same time.  That whole mom dying, super sick, event managing and getting fired thing happened in the same month, the last three in the same week.  And, yes, I struggled, but I’m still standing nonetheless.

I’d be a fool to say I did it on my own.  Hardly.  I have the most amazing friends and family that anyone could ever hope to have as a support system.  I will be forever grateful to those who held me up when I fell before the finish line.  I couldn’t ask for a better crew.

Finally, a note on 2019.  I’m not challenging you at all.  I really just want to be friends.  If you could cut me some slack next year, that would be the most amazing gift ever.