Yes, yes, I know, I am absolutely painfully late with this. I’ve been busy, okay? Actually, I haven’t. But I haven’t been on my computer in a couple of days, so I forgot to write this. Gimme a break. Geez.
‘Tis now April, and officially spring summer, down here in the south. We get, like, three days of spring. Although, we did have a tornado the other day. Me and my sister walked around the rain shortly after the worst of it, and I felt very redneck. It was great.
Not too much happened in March. TBH, it was kind of boring. I did start a new crafting project and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It is a gift, though, so I can’t share too much until I get it finished. But just know I’m enjoying it. 😄
I made stickers. I found some sticker paper in my mom’s office supplies collection, so I watercolored various blobs of color and cut them out. (That was tedious.) But they’re cute!
I think my obsession with Encanto is complete. My Pinterest board has over 1000 pins. I have a problem, I will be the first to admit. But it’s just so good!! Me and my sisters have been roleplaying the soundtrack. We’ll turn on the instrumental tracks, and do all the singing and such. It’s SO much fun, especially on We Don’t Talk About Bruno and The Family Madrigal.
My sister fell off a horse and she had to go to the ER because Mom was afraid she broke her rib. She was fine, though. Girlfriend’s tough.
My dad got bees. He calls them his girls.
One of my guy friends asked me for my number, and then proceeded to text me SO MANY THINGS THAT MADE ME MELT WHO GAVE HIM THE RIGHT???!!!! I love him to pieces though, and he definitely made my day.
My youngest sister turned 9, and she had a friend over for a sleepover. Said friend is quite loud. I almost didn’t survive the weekend. But, we got to watch Encanto, and I gained a new hat from her piñata, so that was fun.
I’m writing this in the middle of a tornado warning and the power just flickered three times, I am sporadically clicking the save button. I am not in the mood for another power outage.
Bullet Journal Spreads
In honor of my dad’s “girls”, I decided to do a bee theme this month! I think it turned out pretty well. Bees are cute.
They’re so FAT!!!
We actually have a pretty busy month, what with events and stuff. Most of them have to do with Easter. BUT LOOK AT ALL THE LITTLE BEES BUZZING AROUND!!!!
I came up with three new habits to track this month, which takes my total up to 12. But I really enjoy filling in those little boxes, so it’s fine. Besides, it helps me remember specific details of my day, and keeps the days from all running together.
For my mood tracker, I just drew a bunch of flowers for the bees. Red is a good day, and blue is a bad day, with a few other colors in between.
My water log is just the usual, except with bees marking how many glasses of water I’ve had. They’re so cute and tinyyyy!!
And my sleep log is normal, too.
March Goal Recap
1. Finish the plot I’m working on ❌
Nope. I got burnt out again. But if I can keep up my momentum, maybe I can get it done this month. Right now, I’m adding notes to the basic plotline. Working out specifics, jotting down ideas, getting into my characters’ heads, etc. Always my favorite part.
2. Do some watercolor ✔
I mean, I made those stickers. That wasn’t exactly what I was thinking when I wrote this, but I guess it counts.
3. Reply to those two letters that are hanging over my head ✔
I did it! But now I have three more to respond to, with more probably coming in soon. *sighhhh*
4. Watch Encanto again ✔✔✔
We literally watched it three times last month, guys. I probably would have watched it more, but the boys are getting tired of it 😅
5. Catch up on my chemistry experiments ❌
I knew I was forgetting something. Oh well. I did get caught up on a load of math, which is good. I’m only 9 or 10 lessons behind now.
1. FINISH THAT PLOT
I’m getting dangerously close to a YEAR on it. This is definitely the longest an outline has taken me.
2. Write some songs
I miss songwriting so much. Every now and then, I get into random sporadic moods where I feel ✨ inspired ✨ (usually when I listen to a fantastic song), so, IDK, I guess we’ll see.
I have, like, ten books to read right now, so I should probably get caught up on them.
4. Officially get caught up on all of my late projects (besides math and chemistry)
I only have a couple of projects left!! EEP!!! I’ve been behind since. . . . basically the beginning of the school year (thanks, dual enrollment), and I’m almost caught up!
5. Get a job (or at least apply for one)
Since I’ll be caught up on school, I’ll be able to start working without feeling too stressed. I have a couple of ideas for where to apply, so we’ll see what happens.
6. Buy Bea’s book (oh look, alliteration!)
My friend, Bea, and her co-author, LB, finally released their book, The Game, and I can’t wait to read it!! I have to buy it first, though.
Blog posts published: 3 Letters written: 3 Letters received: 3 Art done: 11 Words written (outside of blog posts): 0 Journal entries: 4 Songs in playlist: 475
Welp. I think this is the shortest recap post I’ve ever written. March was shockingly boring. Hopefully April will be more exciting.
Well, ’tis now March. Another month down the drain. I mean, it wasn’t an unproductive month or anything, but it has now been swallowed up by the great abyss known as Time and joins the past 6000 years of history. It must be getting pretty crowded in there.
How was y’all’s February? Did you get anything special for Valentine’s Day? I got candy from the grandparents, and ate it all in, like, three days. It was great motivation to do my math though, so it didn’t go to waste. Although, to be fair, does candy ever go to waste? There’s always someone who wants it.
I barely wrote in my journal this month, so I’m probably missing some things that happened this month. Although not too many exciting things happened, anyway, so maybe it’s not that bad.
I, of course, had some more crazy weird dreams, and I’m currently working on a blog post compiling some of the weirdest ones 😅 So keep an eye out for that!
Ooh, I drew a picture of one of my friends playing the guitar because he likes to do that and I gave it to him after Wednesday night Bible study! I think that was the second time I’ve ever given someone a drawing I made of them, and the first time I just mailed it, so this was my first time giving someone a drawing of them in person. I think he liked it. He unfolded it and went, “Holy COW!!” and I just grinned awkwardly. *facepalm* And then my friend and my sister were teasing me about his reaction 😂
Guys, you’re not going to believe it, but I got over a crush and then remained crushless for a whole month??? Like, that feels cursed. I am the queen of crushes, whether fictional or IRL, and I didn’t even get a crush on a fictional character this month???? You’d think February would be the month of romance, but it wasn’t. *shrugs* Sometimes I just confuse myself massively.
This may not seem like that big of a deal to y’all, but I started wearing makeup, and it’s a lot of fun! I absolutely suck at applying makeup, but I enjoy it. It’s like. . . . therapy, which is weird, I guess, but I enjoy it. And, considering how I was VERY anti-makeup when I was younger, this is a huge turnaround.
Okay, I teased this in my last recap, and I think y’all deserve the story of When, How, And Why I Slapped My Sister’s Friend’s Brother.
So, we were at a youth hangout on a Saturday evening, and all of the middle schoolers were outside around the fire while the older kids stayed inside and played cards. I was with the middle schoolers because. . . . actually, I don’t know why, but I tend to hang with the younger kids more than the kids my age. *shrugs* Anyway, my sister has a friend who has a brother (shocking, right?) and he’s absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I love him to pieces, but he’s so weird. He wouldn’t shut up about a topic that probably wasn’t appropriate for a youth hangout, and I warned him, “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to slap you!” He shut up for all of three seconds, then started talking about it again, and, since I am a woman of my word, I stood up, and slapped him across the face.
I was actually genuinely shocked at my audacity. And I knew it hurt him because my hand was stinging, and I just stood there for a second like, Holy crap what have I done. And then I just started apologizing like crazy, and he just stood there like, “Dang, that kind of hurt. I need a minute here.”
And all the boys were laughing and his sister was documenting the moment and I was just like, I am a horrible person I should run off to the hills and become a hermit what have I done, and my sister was just sitting there like, What the heck just happened.
So uh, yeah, TL;DR, my sister’s friend’s brother is kind of scared of me now. I love telling this story though, because everyone’s reaction is either, “MIA!!!!” or “YOU WHAT???!!!” Except for my mom, who was just like, “Poor guy.” But she’s Built Different.TM
This story gives me flashbacks to the time I was at a family reunion and me and my cousin were arguing with two of our male cousins who we barely knew at all, and I just, on impulse, punched one of them in the chest and knocked the wind out of him, which was funny, but I was also like, I hope he doesn’t tell on me, and, Well, there go my chances of ever being friends with him, but it was fun while it lasted. Also, I beat said cousins in a football game a year later without knowing anything about football, so that was fun.
Gracious, why am I so violent?? 😅
AND NOW FOR MY FAVORITE MEMORY OF THIS MONTH
I had a meetup with my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Liesl Brunner!!
She and her family stopped by our house on their way to Florida and hung out for a few hours. It was THE GREATESTTTT!!!!! I had so much fun showing them around the house and just jabbering and taking random, out-of-context pictures.
Like this one.
And this one. . . . ?
We had a great time, as you can plainly see 😂 And I’m already looking forward to the next time we can see each other. After all, two and a half hours is not nearly long enough.
Bullet Journal Spreads
Oh look, a new section! I figured some of y’all might like to see my bullet journal spreads each month, so voila, here ya go!
This month’s theme is arrows, and, since I had this arrow washi tape that I got for Christmas, I based the color scheme around that. This definitely isn’t my favorite cover page I’ve ever done, but I like it.
Arrows are pretty versatile, I have discovered. Especially when you have arrow washi tape.
This. Habit tracker. Is. Amazing. Like, it’s just so pretty and aesthetic and I feel like it turned out really well! And my mood tracker is fun. For each day, I draw an arrow and, however far it was “shot” is how good my mood was that day.
Since I’d already done something like an arrow shooting for my mood tracker, I wasn’t sure what to do for my water log. So, I imagined the graph like a big field and drew targets at the end. If I drink seven cups of water, the arrow hits the bullseye, and any less, it lands in the grass.
And then my sleep log is just the normal one I do for each month.
I really like this theme, especially because of how calming the blue is. It looks nice.
February Goal Recap
1. ACTUALLY WRITE A SONG THAT’S NOT A LOVE SONG OR A BREAKUP SONG OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT BECAUSE I AM SO DONE WITH MYSELF ❌
Wow, after that novel of a title, you’d think I would have gotten to it, but nope! I started writing some lyrics, but that’s it. Just not feeling that inspired. Alas.
2. Post three other posts besides this one ❌
Just one short! Oh well.
3. Draw two of my friends ❌
Nope. Just the one. But maybe I can get around to it this month.
4. Watch Encanto or something so I can listen to the music without spoilers ✔
Guys, I’m obsessed. My Encanto Pinterest board has 625 pins, and it grows more every day. And I totally understand the hype around the soundtrack. Lin-Manuel Miranda did a beautiful job. My favorite song is “Two Oruguitas“, and my favorite character is Camilo. And guys, even the background instrumentals are gorgeous!! Like, I am obsessed with this movie, it’s a real problem.
5. Reply to that one email from, like, December ✔
Yep, finally replied 😂
6. Not fall in love during the month of love heartbreak ✔
By some miracle, successful! Let’s hope it stays that way.
1. Finish the plot I’m working on
I started working on it some more the other day after going weeks without touching it, and it feels sooo good to get back to my characters. I really missed them. And after I finish the plot for this book, I’ll only have two more to go before I can start writing!!
2. Do some watercolor
I got a new watercolor set for Christmas, but I haven’t used it yet. A couple years ago, I watercolored some pages in my Bible and it looks SO nice. I want to do more, so maybe one of these days I can crank up the Encanto soundtrack and do some watercolor!
3. Reply to those two letters that are hanging over my head
I just haven’t been in the mood to write letters lately, so I need to get on top of that, before more letters come in. I reckon I’ll have more letters to respond in a couple of days. I guess that’s just the curse of having a lot of penpals. I love receiving letters, but sometimes it’s just a hassle to get all my art stuff out and reply 😅
4. Watch Encanto again
I’ve already seen it twice (thrice, we just watched it again today 😂), but like, I’m obsessed guys. It’s a problem.
5. Catch up on my chemistry experiments
Because of the way my curriculum is set up (ugghhh), it is very difficult to find the time to do my science experiments. I think I’m just two lessons behind? I don’t want it to get worse.
Blog posts published: 3 Letters written: 4 Letters received: 6 Art done: 0 Words written (outside of blog posts): I have no idea because I don’t like to take the extra time to count handwritten words Journal entries: 8 Songs in playlist: 405
Welp, I hope y’all have a happy post-Heartbreak Month, and I shalt see you next time.
Wassup, peeps? How is your Heartbreak Month going? Good? Bad? Mediocre? Dragon-slaying epic? The-life-of-a-slug boring? Somewhere in between?
Today, I am going to give y’all some tips on bullet journaling, including my struggles with maintaining my bullet journal and how I eventually found a system that worked for me! I’m not sure if any of y’all needed or wanted this (well, besides Pearl. Hi Pearl!) but maybe it’ll be helpful in the near future!
So, without further ado, lettuce jump in!
I first found out about bullet journaling towards the end of 2019 from my sister, who had found out about it from one of her friends on the online coding community, Scratch. It immediately piqued my interest. I loved art and organization (well, mostly) and bullet journaling seemed like a fun way to document my life. It was different than keeping a journal and I would have a more specific map of what my life was like day by day. As is often the case with inspiration, I jumped in feet first.
I do that a lot.
I found out about AmandaRachLee from the same source, and I decided to watch her videos for inspo. I was thoroughly impressed with her bullet journaling style and she really seemed to love bullet journaling. I was sure it would work for me! After all, it worked for so many people, and they appeared to be having so much fun coming up with themes and making spreads each month. After church one cold Wednesday night, me and my sister forced our dad to take us to Wal-Mart so we could buy a dotted notebook and a few other supplies. We arrived at home with our arms full of pens, paper, and big, fat dotted notebooks. (Mom gave us a weird look.)
I started this new project like I start every new project: by hoarding ideas. I filled up pages and pages of notebook paper with ideas for spreads, from potential monthly themes to “Stuff to Google”. I was thorough. I scoured every result that popped up on Google, watched dozens of videos (mostly AmandaRachLee), and continued writing down ideas. Before long, I was ready to start.
Not gonna lie, it was tedious. I went a little hogwild with the spreads. But I had so much fun imagining myself filling them out and looking through the pages years from then with gray hair and laugh lines. (Really, that was the only thing that kept me going.) It took a few days, but I eventually had all my spreads done, including all my January weekly spreads. (I was prepared!)
However, as January ticked by, I soon became bored with my bullet journal. I wasn’t really using it as much as I would have liked. I was only 14 and definitely not as busy as all the other people using bullet journals. I didn’t have too many tasks and events to keep track of, and I couldn’t understand why it just wasn’t working for me. By the time February rolled around, I was pretty much done. However, I made my February spreads to see if maybe I could do better.
So, for the next several months, my bullet journal sat unused. I was disappointed and confused. Why hadn’t I been able to make it work? It worked so well for all these other people! They were using their journals every day, taking them everywhere they went, writing down everything. The best guess I had was that bullet journaling was too art-heavy to hold my interest (because, although I loved art, I wasn’t in an art mood very often, which made arting hard), and I just wasn’t busy enough to find much use in bullet journaling.
Fast forward several months later to November of 2020. I was attempting National Novel Writing Month for the first time ever, and, on top of that, November was a very busy month for me. I decided that this was as good a time as any to try to get back into bullet journaling. I pulled out my old bullet journal, brushed off the dust, and made all the spreads I thought I might need, this time including some new ones and getting rid of the old spreads that I didn’t see much use for. I was pumped! I was sure it would work out this time. I worked on my spreads for three whole days, without losing inspiration once, and I was very pleased with the finished product. And for the first week or so, I was faithful. I wrote down things I needed to get done, prior commitments, and kept track of my word count for NaNo.
I was pumped!!
And then, I wasn’t.
I got bored with my bullet journal AGAIN!! My spreads sat unfinished and unappealing, and I felt bad and upset. What was wrong with me? It was my fault, right? Dozens of other people were using this exact style of bullet journaling, and it worked just fine for them. It was definitely my fault that I couldn’t get it to work. Discouraged, I gave up again.
In December, I participated in a “Secret Santa” gift exchange, organized by several of my online girl friends. My “Secret Sister” sent me a lovely, light blue dotted journal and some new pens. Since I wasn’t into bullet journaling anymore, I wasn’t sure what to do with my new journal.
Then, I remembered seeing something about a reading journal online.
Excited, I researched reading journal ideas. Keeping a reading journal seemed to be way less intense than keeping a bullet journal, and I was thrilled at the idea of keeping track of all the books I read in a year. I made all the spreads I thought I would need, and set about filling them out.
And then, guess what! I STOPPED KEEPING UP WITH MY STUPID READING JOURNAL!!!!
In February of 2021, I once again gave up.
BUT, there are always second chances! Or. . . . fourth chances. . . .
June was an insanely busy month, what with me attending two summer camps, and us church-hunting. And, I’d recently re-discovered AmandaRachLee’s channel, which meant I’d been blasted by inspiration yet again. I decided to try out bullet journaling yet again. And I actually stuck with it! For all of two weeks. I was using all the same weekly spreads as Amanda and mirroring how she planned out her day, but for whatever reason, it still didn’t work for me. And that was when I gave up bullet journaling for good. I just didn’t understand why I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to do it so badly, but it just wasn’t working out.
Throughout the rest of the year, I carried on with my life. I started taking college classes and continued with blogging and made new friends and just lived life.
But then, something changed.
I decided to watch all of Amanda’s bullet journaling videos over again, because of how relaxing and entertaining they are. However, I noticed something in her first few videos that I hadn’t noticed before. When she first started bullet journaling, her style was very minimalistic. Hardly any color or doodles, and no theme. She said that before she started getting all fancy and going crazy like other bullet journalists, she just wanted to get the hang of the system.
I did a massive facepalm right there at the computer.
I’d been so excited to use pretty themes and add color and detail, I hadn’t realized that it was better to leave that stuff out so I could get the hang of the system first. I made a mental note that, if I ever did get back into bullet journaling (and I doubted I would), I would make sure to START SIMPLE.
Another thing I noticed in Amanda’s videos was that her weekly spreads were very different when she first started. Rather than having a two-page spread with each day of the week in its own little section, she divided one page into the days of the week, and used the other page as a flexible space to write down her daily tasks and events.
Basically, instead of this. . . .
. . . . her spreads looked like this.
I made another mental note about the state of her spreads, and continued watching the videos.
Another story thread comes into play here: A family friend was training to be an organization and time-management “counselor” per se, and she needed someone to practice on. My mom signed me up, and we met together every couple of weeks and worked through her curriculum. In the workbook, there was this interesting sheet. It was a daily task sheet.
It looked something like this (this is not an exact copy of what was in the book because that’s copyrighted, but it’s similar enough):
On the left, the time increments of the day are written out, so you can map out your day. On the right, you have room to write down any phone calls you need to make, letters you need to write, etc. and space for important reminders. The blank space in the middle is for writing out any tasks you need to get done. It’s very helpful.
I started using the daily task sheets to help me schedule out my school. And I enjoyed it! And it worked! I would fill out the sheet each morning, then pin it up on my bulletin board to look at while I worked on all my school projects. (I also discovered that I have a better day when I’m ahead of schedule 🙃)
Why couldn’t I translate the daily task sheet over to my bullet journal? Why couldn’t I use Amanda’s old bullet journaling style and fit it into. . . . ?
I got right to work.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I found the perfect bullet journaling style for me! Would you like an example/journal tour? Then keep scrolling!
Once I found a system that worked for me, I stuck with it! I’ve been using it for four months, and I haven’t changed my style too much. That’s one of the important things I’ve learned with bullet journaling: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Don’t exhaust yourself by switching up your journal every month. (Because trust me, that really is exhausting!)
Each month, I figure out what kind of theme I want to use (preferably something simple to draw and play around with), and then make my cover page! This month’s theme was cherry blossoms, and, since I love cherry blossoms, I went a little crazy with the cover page.
Now, for the monthly spreads! I typically make this mini calendar to stuff all my events on, and the notes area below is just for deadlines and any important details. In December, I used it to work out when I needed to send out all my Christmas cards. It’s flexible for whatever you need! If you want a bigger calendar, you can make a double page spread, but I find the little calendar works just right for me!
On the right is my future log, which is really just a brain dump for things I need to get done. It usually ends up being filled with letters I need to respond to 😅 I don’t think I’ve ever filled it up all the way, but I just like the extra insurance of a large amount of space. I have an irrational fear of running out of room to write XP
Next, I have my trackers! On the left is my habit tracker and on the right is my mood tracker. I just drew little boxes in the shape of the month for my habit tracker and I fill in the box for each day that I complete the task. Yes, I am slacking on a few habits, and yes, I am quite ashamed.
My mood tracker changes each month. Last month, my theme was fireworks, so I tracked my mood by how high a firework shot into the air! (It was fun to fill out) This month, the size of the blossoms reflects my mood. Sometimes I do a color for my mood, and other times I get creative! Trackers are fun to play around with.
My last two trackers are my water log (because I can’t resist a good pun) and my sleep log! I aim for at least five cups of water every day, but I gave myself room for more than that. I’ve tried several different layouts for this, and the graph layout is my favorite. The height of the flower petal shows how many glasses of water I had in a day. Yes, I know it’s painfully low, but we’re working on it.
The sleep log is for tracking my sleep schedule. The dotted lines mark my ideal sleep schedule, and the color is my actual sleep schedule. I know it’s pathetic, but I’m working on that too.
Now for the weekly spreads! These usually look the same throughout the month, but sometimes I spice it up a little. I block out the days of the week (skipping Sunday, because I rarely get out my bullet journal on Sundays), and make a little box for my to-do list, which houses the tasks from my future log that I want to get done that week. Sometimes I do all of them, sometimes I don’t. It just depends on what happens during the week.
As you can see, on the left, in the block for the day, I write down all of my schoolwork for the day, estimate how long it’ll take me (by using those little black-and-white clock thingies), and I check it off whenever I get it done.
On the right, I write a header for the day, then plan out my tasks using my estimates for how long a project will take me. Oftentimes, I end up finishing early because I overestimate the timing for a project, but hey, it feels good to be ahead of schedule!
And yeah, that’s basically it! I’m so glad I finally found a system that works for me, and it’s helped me stay caught up on school and penpaling. I hope this post helped out one or two people who might be stuck in their bullet journaling journey, and let me know any other tips you might have for bullet journaling!
Thanks for reading!
🎵 otherside by Lena Raine (finally got around to listening to this and I was not disappointed) 🎵