Welcome July 2018! (Week 1: 1st – 7th)

The month has begun, and I am so eager to start filling up these empty spreads! This month I am trying out some new pages and systems that I haven’t tried before, or that I am trying again. Examples of new things are morning pages, brain dumps, and a cleaning calendar; on the other hand, I am trying to use a habit tracker again to keep those recurring, daily tasks from cluttering my spreads.

I have already picked out a good habit, and a bad habit to work on. I am still trying to build a habit of reading a little bit every day. The goal is to read at least 5 pages from a book every single day. I have hardly touched a book since I graduated from college, and I would like to fall in love with reading again. I am even exploring some genres of books (devotionals or lifestyle books) that I haven’t been willing to read on my own in the past. As for my habit breaking goal for this week, I’m trying to be really conscious about picking up after myself. My family tends to nag and complain because I leave a hurricane behind me wherever I go (so they say). Even just in my personal space, I want to get out of that “I’ll do it later” mind set, and take care of it when I see it or as soon as possible.

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At the end of this week, I was so thrilled to find out that I had completed everything! No migration at all! It has helped to have a brain dump where I can toss everything that I want to do, but doesn’t need to get done right now, or is a project in progress. It feels so good not to have to migrate those kinds of things when I don’t plan on completing them yet. But they are still somewhere I can easily find them and work on them at a different pace. I’d rather not have to migrate stuff about thank you notes that I’m waiting on from some one else. (Note: This post is late, so my habit tracker is filled in a bit more)

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How was your first week of July?

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New Habits: Cleaning Calendar

As part of my new bullet journaling focus, I’m trying to build good habits, and break down some bad ones. One of my worst habits, in my opinion, is that I’m not a very clean person. Honestly, I live in organized chaos, and my environment is at the mercy of my periods of depression or my low swings when I have no energy. I recently stumbled across Shelby from Little Coffee Fox, and her video on creating a cleaning calendar. This got me inspired, and now I’ve built a cleaning calendar of my own!

cleaning calendar

This is still a work in progress, I am still figuring out what works for me, and what doesn’t. I haven’t quite figured out what to do for tasks on a yearly level quite yet, but I’m thinking about it! There is always room for growth and change.

This spread focuses on my bedroom and bathroom, not the rest of the household tasks that I do. I tried to keep the tasks small, so I don’t get overwhelmed. My last cleaning schedule I created involved just cleaning the whole space on Sundays, and that just didn’t work for me. Having these small areas to focus on seems to have helped so far, let’s see how long this lasts for, and if I can keep up with it!

How do you stay on top of your cleaning?

July 2018 | Plan With Me

As June is coming to a close, I’m getting to work on July. I recently began adding a brain dump, which I have never used before, and trying to use a monthly tracker again. I have also been going through a short course of articles on bullet journalling, which has encouraged me to become more goal-oriented and spend more time on self reflection.

So, let’s get started!

july title

I am so proud of this title page! I have been learning and practicing hand lettering, and this faux lettering work turned out so much better than expected! I am also experimenting with doodles and decorations. This simple calendar makes me really happy with how clean and simple it is. There’s also room to lay out my goals for the month, which I haven’t quite gotten to yet.

events budget

Early in June was when I originally laid out the month of July. Since then, I have decided that the long list of events is a waste of space, and I could instead use the page to create a two-page spread for my budget, since I often run out of space and end up taping in small sheets of paper as I list my transactions for the month. Though my events sheet is useless now, my budget has been a very helpful tool in helping me plan for the various payments I need to make.

braindump tracker

The brain dump and tracker are new pages I am trying out for this month, and they were added a handful of pages later, so I have a paperclip in place to help me find the page easily. So far, my first experience with brain dumps has been awesome! If you don’t know what a brain dump is, it’s where you write down everything that is worrying you, bothering you, things you want to remember or keep in mind. Just…everything. With everything down on the page, I can focus on taking action and make plans. I’ve already gotten a head start, since I started a few days early.

Previously, I tried using monthly trackers, but tended to lose track of them. Now, I’m using them more as a check list than a tracker, which makes it easier for me to keep up with it. I had used a tracker while my mom was away as a checklist for the various household things that needed to be done every day so it wouldn’t crowd my dailies.

july daily weekly

This is my weekly/daily hybrid layout. I like this because it is separated into different boxes for every day. Since they are all in the same spread, I only migrate my tasks at the end of the week. The events box makes it easy for me to see what I have going on this week, and small marks at the tops of the daily boxes remind me that I have events on those days. The box in the top left is a space for journalling and notes. As I work on sorting out my new goals and habit-busting/building, they will be noted in that section as well.

july memories

This memories spread is also fairly new. I did my first memories page in April on a single page, but have now upgraded to a two-page spread. June’s memory spread went very well, and I’m excited to fill up July’s pages as well. I used similar doodles of watermelon slices and leaves to link it to the title page for the month.

I am so excited to see how this month goes! I’m trying out some new things (including a cleaning schedule and possibly morning pages.

Do you guys have any new things you are trying in your journals?

Discovering: Bullet Journals!

I was browsing Pinterest the other day and stumbled across some pins about bullet journals, which had come up because I was looking for mood trackers for one of my friends. I learned about these journals that were kind of an all-in-one planner, journal, to-do list, and tracker of infinite things. After a little digging, I was absolutely inspired! I had to try this out!

Now, these journals are completely custom to each individual who uses them, and it can be as fancy or as simple as you would like. But understanding the base structure of a bullet journal is important to understand before you dive in. I actually stumbled across the official website and found their get started page to be super helpful as I was preparing for my new journal to come in the mail. It is important to plan space in the front of your journal for your index/table of contents so you can find things easily, like your key that reminds you what all your little marks mean.

Part of my preparation process was figuring out what I wanted out of my journal. My biggest focus was productivity and to-do’s. I wanted a simple way to keep track of my  daily tasks, and a habit tracker has served that purpose well. I have a chart laid out for this month with each day and a list of tasks that I do every single day, simple habits I’m trying to form, or medications and habits I want to track. In my new journal, I’ve also created a second chart for tracking my uncle’s medications and meals since I do most of the day-to-day household caretaking for him.

Habit tracker

I have seen many people include a “future log”, where they make notes about their future plans for the coming 6 months to a year; However, because I live at home with my family, the long-term events and plans are made by my parents. I don’t really feel like I need that section, so I’ve left it out. I actually even leave out a month overview, but I may add that at a later date. What I do use is the weekly planning where I lay out my week on a page of my journal, write down any appointments and events I see on our Google calendar, and leave a little extra space for groceries I’ve noticed we need and notes for the week, as well as what meals we have eaten through the week.

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Now comes my to-do’s and daily planning. At night, I make sure I have appointments and tasks laid out for the next day. Throughout the day, I’m actively marking tasks as completed and checking for what needs to be done next. It keeps me time-conscious, on task, and encourages productivity. I’ve found myself motivated to do more, even when it’s not on my list and I’m already out of space for the day (to prevent me from over-burdening myself or writing things down just so I can check them off).

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So far, I’ve felt my productivity skyrocket, I feel positive, and I get excited for every day. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to spend the day doing nothing, and I feel bad when I haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve also felt like I’ve had a hard time remembering things lately, so having this journal on-hand at all times has made it easier for me to retain information. My little book has already started evolving and changing and being adapted as I learn new things and try to streamline my process. I’ll have another post coming soon about my new discoveries!

You sell what??

Time for a little break from crocheting to talk about what I’ve been up to (besides I’m way behind on projects…). For the past couple months, my mom and I have begun selling some things on eBay; or rather, we are re-selling. We have managed to make a handful of cash off good quality and new-with-tags clothes from the thrift store. Yes, the thrift store!

I’m not kidding. My mom and I go to one of those Goodwill outlet centers where they charge for hardgoods and clothing by the pound. They roll out this huge trays the size of ping pong tables and about a foot deep that are overflowing with clothes, shoes and household linens. We spend about two hours at a time digging through these trays to find unique, well-made items, some of which still have their retail tags on. By the time we’ve checked out and counted up our items, we’ve spent around $1 per piece.

Believe me, I know some people are grossed out by thrift store stuff, with every reason to. I have found some disgusting things in there before. Most of the stuff is just poured straight out of bags into the trays. You find things that smell like urine, are caked with deodorant, or reek of smoke. We make sure everything we bring home doesn’t smell, is in good condition with little to no wear marks, includes all buttons/tassels/pulls, and is without stains or tears. If it passes those checks from what we can see in the store’s lighting and comes from a decent brand or fits our criteria for the season, it comes home.

We then make sure they’re clean, do some research, photograph, and list them at reasonable prices. Prices can range from $.99 to $15 (at the very most for very expensive brands).

With no employment, this little bit of work has kept my spirits up! I have stuff to do, I take part in the entire process, and I’m really enjoying this bit of work. At the end of the month, I make a few bucks for all my efforts.

Thanks for letting me ramble ❤ If you’d like to take a look at what we’re selling, see our store here!

Mood Blanket: Two Months!

Wow! Just last week I finished up nearly two months of squares. The blanket is looking great! I love how all these bright colors come together, and how the colors seem to change scheme depending on periods of my mood. Some sections are bright and warm, other spaces are much cooler and calmer. The past few days I have been happy, excited and motivated since I just got a pair of male parakeets to keep me company. They’ve grown so much in a week!

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Anyway, back to the blanket. I have now completed three rows of squares, which adds up to 48 squares so far. I do still have a handful of squares left to do, but seem to be enjoying making them in batches that correspond to rows. So I will fill out the spaces for 16 days, then start crocheting those squares and attaching them, which is why it does not look like a full 2 months in terms of how much I have crocheted.

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You may see a drop in photo quality for my newer posts. Normally I would lay things out and shoot them with my nicer camera, but I have felt the need lately to be more spontaneous and just do things right away, which means laying things out and grabbing photos with my phone.

So….we got chickens.

So….we got chickens.

We moved into this house a few months ago, and there was already a coop in the backyard. Our landlord said it was okay to have chickens, so we made plans to eventually get some. This weekend we fixed and cleaned up the coop, and brought home a few 5-week old chickens! Our 5 new babies will most likely be hens, but we can’t be sure until they are older. Hopefully we wont’ have to do any chicken exchanging. These lovely ladies are supposed to start laying in December, and they were hatched July 6th. So far, absolutely in love with them!

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They are dual-purpose chickens, which means that they will lay a moderate amount of eggs, and will also be good for meat once their laying days are over. How will that fateful day go? Not sure. Dad will probably have to do the work. Keeping their fate in mind, a few of them have food names. Introducing: BBQ (red), Dinner (white), Miss Fluffy Butt (tan), Nugget and Mary Poopins (black/white).

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They are so beautiful and super soft! I love their little noises that they make, with their little chirps, squeals and trills. We’ve managed to get a few of them to eat out of our hands. Nugget is the bravest little bird, and Dinner is well…the biggest chicken. He tends to hide away under the nesting box when we are sitting in the coop, while the others will eventually come out and scratch around. Nugget will come close and eat from your hand, or peck at your clothes if you’re sitting still enough.

Nugget

Nugget

bbq

BBQ

I am so excited to see how they grow up and what color eggs they might lay. It’s always exciting to bring in a new pet, especially one you haven’t had before. We’ve previously had goats, and we have had birds in the past, but chickens are pretty new.