Last September, I started a new bullet journal. I was a little apprehensive starting one in September since most calendars start in January, but I really didn’t want to wait! I wanted to start experimenting with a system that works for my brain. One that will keep me from having calendar burnout….where I buy into a new calendar system after giving up my old one after 4 months. Can anyone else relate?
I’ve been using this journal for the past 7 months (kind of a record for me) and it’s mostly because I decided to treat this journal differently.
This journal is my experimental journal.
I’m constantly inspired to see how people make the bullet journal system work for THEM, since it’s really not a one-size-fits-all system.
My intention is to use this journal to figure out what system works for ME.
Did you know that they’re referred to as bujos? So, from now on I will refer to it as my bujo for the remainder of this post!
If you’re interested in starting your own bullet journal, here are some of my supply recommendations:
I’ll share some of my favorite experimental spreads with you soon!
Let’s go through my setup!
If you don’t LOVE your notebook, you’re never going to be motivated to use it. I did A LOT of research on books. One of the hardest things for me to decide is if I want lines, graph paper, or plain pages in a notebook. This Leuchtturm 1917 dotted notebook has been wonderful. That’s right! The pages are dotted and they’re numbered too. You can focus on the dots if you need help measuring out a spread or drawing a straight line. The dots are not offensive to the eyes. Using a dotted journal doesn’t make me wish I had a plain journal or a graph paper journal so I feel like that’s a huge win. That was one of my excuses for abandoning so many past journals.
For this book, I wanted something that would:
get my attention
be able to spot in a sea of other journals
lift my mood
inspire me to write in
which is why I deliberately picked the color
for my bujo.
The funny thing is….. I used to hate orange and now I love it.
There’s a pocket in the back. That’s where I keep my address labels & stamps so I can write letters and mail bills if I’m on the go (and have my bujo with me). The dimensions are 5.75″ x 8.25″ so it fits in my purse.
Pens are super important to me.
I try to stay away from super inky pens (read: SHARPIE) that have a tendency to bleed through.
If you want to see some of my favorite pens, I suggest you read:
For the times when I only have pens and I make a mistake, I use correction tape.
I bought myself a little Pen loop for the journal. It helps hold pens/pencils
On my first bullet journal, I used washi tape to separate the sections. It worked, but the dividers weren’t as sturdy as I wanted. I bought myself some tab dividers and I LOVE THEM. They’re pretty durable and it’s so much easier to go to the current month because of them.
Washi tape can add a lot of character to a page. It can also double as a page marker.
I put a big strip of washi tape down the center of this page so that I could easily spot it when I’m flipping through. See above!
How I add color! When I’m working on my bullet journal at home, I use my brush pens. When I’m on the go, I always keep a highlighter in my purse so I can embellish my journal when I need to.
I always have one or two binder clips hanging onto my bujo. It’s a good way to mark a section in your bujo. I also clip receipts/important things to a binder clip in the back so I can find them easily.
I play around a lot with graphics.
Whenever I stamp this star stamp on my bujo, it means I worked out!
Here’s something I like to do….make lists that are portable! I like to use colored index cards for this. They end up turning into bookmarks…and I tuck them into the current week so I have a visual cue of something I need to accomplish.
My love affair with cooking started when I brought home my first cookbook (ordered from the Scholastic books fair at school, naturally). It was theBetter Homes & Gardens New Junior Cookbook! The image of a red checkered cover with two children on the front will forever be burned into my brain.
There were a few times I found myself talking to other people in college about this cookbook.
Everyone always said they tried the snickerdoodles recipe.
For me, it was the french toast.
This here french toast recipe changed my life.
Making French toast at 8 years old was a major life skill to have. A skill my brothers had not yet figured out. A skill that would serve me well in life, but most importantly throughout my childhood, when I had to barter/bribe my older brothers. French toast, while we were watching Saturday cartoons, could get me out of washing my dad’s car sometimes. I imagine I easily weaseled my way out of clearing the dishes with a batch of French Toast. We’re Italian. Food is our everything.
I have to say, that I had a few things preventing me from reaching my french toast potential as a youth. We only ever had whole wheat bread in our house and margarine was the preferred spread of choice. French bread with and butter was reserved for when my parent’s had people over. And BOY DID WE INDULGE.
Now, our french toast is mostly made from sourdough bread (my husband’s favorite bread) and we use real butter.
One Friday night, with a little extra bourbon in my glass, I inadvertently found my first cookbook on for sale Etsy. It arrive last week!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feast your eyes on some of the illustrations from the book!
I posted a video of this on my Instagram stories and a few of you also cooked from this book too!
Do you remember it too??? LOOK AT THE R in FRUIT!!!
Cooper has been at home this week from school with a really bad case of poison oak. Our schedules have been thrown off and we’re busy doing a lot of catching up with school work.
I thought that it would be fun to throw a Shutterbean cooking lesson in the teaching plan while we’re at it.
(This is an old picture. I would never put a picture of him with poison oak online!)
Yesterday morning we made French Toast together and he said it was one of the best french toasts he’s ever had! It’s an Easy French Toast recipe. Totally simple and uncomplicated. We’re cinnamon lovers in my house so I add a little bit extra on top of the final result.
It’s a special thing to teach Cooper how to make one of his favorite breakfasts. The best part is that we live in the house I grew up in, so we get to be in the kitchen where I learned how to cook. We stand in the same exact spot where my mom taught me so many important life skills I use to this day (Thanks, Mom! I owe you!!)
My hope is that he remembers these moments of magic in the kitchen when he takes these skills with him into adulthood. Maybe eating french toast on sourdough bread in his first college apartment will remind him of staying at home and spending quality time with his Mom, who did whatever it took to help him heal and feel better.
We’re getting a few sunny days sprinkled in with our rainy days!
As I write this, I’m sitting in the back of the car as we drive home from visiting family in Idaho to surprise my mother-in-law on her birthday. We had a blast! I ate and drank too much, but we were with family, so WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
Cooper has poison oak. It’s really bad. The worst of it is on his face. Poor guy.
Also! I had a Ladies Craft Night–Valentine’s Day. I am going to try to put together another one soon. Thinking Easter candy might be a fun situation! Or maybe dyeing eggs?
We’re happy that Billions is back! I’ve fallen asleep during the first few episodes. Sometimes my brain just checks out when there’s too much information to absorb late at night. But I have to say, I love falling asleep while watching something.
We’re also really excited to have new episodes of This is Us to watch. Are you watching it too??? The last episode had me bawling!!!!!
Another great show I watched this month— Z: The Beginning of Everything. Christina Ricci is so fun to watch. I’ve always loved her. The costumes and the set design are just dreamy!
Sneaky Pete has also been good. We’re working our way through it slooooowly.
Casey has been watching This Old House on youtube this month…..it’s always on in the background and I catch myself watching too.
Old cookbooks! Vintage cookbooks! Been reading through old recipes to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. I’m fascinating out simple older recipes used to be. The directions are always a lot shorter with a lot less description of what you’re supposed to do. I also love looking at all the photography. So much has changed in the way people present/style food!
I picked up the book the Tao of Leadership at a thrift store this month. When I was in college, I studied Eastern Philosophy and really loved learning about Taoism. When I’m out thrifting, I feel like the books pick ME. This one has been quite enjoyable. The information is bite-sized, so I read maybe 1-2 pages a day. It’s a nice addition to my meditation practice.
Doing the Whole30 again. Or maybe just going without bread for awhile. I gotta work more on my self-control. I’m noticing that I can be disciplined when I give myself some rules. The problem is I’ll be like…. NO BREAD STARTING TOMORROW!! And then I have toast at breakfast. I’m trying not to be hard on myself, but I also gotta get REAL with myself.
Taking a floral class online. I want my flower arrangements to be less boring. For some reason they always look the same even when I try to do something different.
I really need to color my hair and cut it. It’s overgrown!!!!!! I’ve gotta lot of gray! I NEED A SHAPE.
Nothing fun to report. I haven’t been remembering my dreams when I wake up.
But I am daydreaming a lot. Hopefully, I’ll make some of my daydreams happen.
I’ve been into eating arugula salads with feta, tomatoes, and marinated artichokes (see below!). Sometimes I throw some sunflower seeds up in there. I toss it with a lemon juice and olive oil. I think I’m gonna throw some chicken in this week.
And I gotta get myself back on the kombucha making cycle. I traveled and was thrown off of my routine and I’ve just let my scoby GO/GROW!
SO! Tell me what’s up with you!
How was your February?
Leave your stream of consciousness in the comments