Bullet Journaling for Newbs

Bullet.  Journaling.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

You guys, this is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!

  • Lists
  • Planners
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Washi tape

I cannot believe it has taken me THIS LONG to figure out the missing piece.

So, as you can tell, I recently fell hard over Bullet Journaling (or BuJo-ing, as the cool kids say).

And to commemorate my newfound love, I wanted to share with you my favorite tools of the trade thus far.

First off, the chosen journal:

Essentials Grid-lined Notebook – This guy is kind of like the poor man’s Moleskine, which is fine with me.  I wanted to get something inexpensive for my first BuJo endeavor because… what if I messed it up?!

bujo

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens – These pens came highly recommended from a lot of YouTubers.  They’re India ink and won’t bleed through pages… unless you go crazy with them.  So don’t do that.  

pitt-pens

Pilot MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen – This is completely unnecessary but super fun. A BuJo-ing friend of mine introduced me to fountain pens… and now I don’t really like writing with anything else.  They’re intimidating as hell at first (yes, I had to watch a YouTube video on how to “install” the cartridge), but well worth it for the writing satisfaction.

pilot-pen

Compass and Geometry Kit – And just for kicks!  After Pinterest searching something like “bullet journal doodles” or something… I came across mandalas.  So, to aid me in my mandala-crafting adventures, I purchased this little kit, complete with compass AND a straight edge that’s small enough to fit in the back pocket of my BuJo.

mandala-makers

And now, some pages from my first BuJo:

15799914_10102223769505303_8823364164184145003_oThis is my pride and joy of the whole damn thing.  I can’t take ANY credit for the creativity aspect.  I searched Pinterest for ideas and merged a few together.  I will pat myself on the back for the execution, however.

15875147_10102233769894443_2143106742246202034_oAfter trying a one-page weekly spread last week, I decided to spread out to two pages this week.  At first I thought, “That’s a ton of wasted space!”  But since this photo, I have filled in the blank space with a Catch-Up Projects type list.

15895827_10102225577033003_2576060691555761745_oMy first monthly spread!  Completely unoriginal, but for my first time, I didn’t want to get TOO crazy.  Originally, I had a whole separate page dedicated to a January Tracker.  But then I realized I had added things to my tracker that other people had in theirs, and they weren’t necessarily things I cared to track.  So, I crossed the whole thing out and added a smaller tracker to my monthly spread page.  Now, I’m tracking the things that really matter to ME.

And if you don’t think I’m crazy yet:

Join my Friends of BuJo Facebook Group and share your BuJo adventures with us!

Affiliate Links:

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens

Essentials Grid-lined Notebook

Pilot MR Retro Pop Collection Fountain Pen

Compass and Geometry Kit

Welcome Ziggy!

For the longest time, Kevin (5 years old) has been asking for a dog.  But Desmond (18 months) is a HANDFUL, and I couldn’t imagine bringing another living/breathing being into this household, knowing that the majority of the responsibility would fall on my already heavily weighted shoulders since I’m the work-from-homer.

But the thought of our boys growing up with a dog lingered in our minds.

Then one day, Kevin was at my mom’s for the weekend, and we went to a new shopping center to check out a taco place because… tacos.  There was a Petco nearby, and I said, “Uhh… should we stop in?  Just to check?”  There weren’t any dogs there then, but the guy said there was an adoption event the next day.

So we went home, looked up the rescue site that was hosting the event, and stalked all of the dogs that were going to be there.  We read up on pretty much all of them.  We (mostly me) had certain criteria.  We wanted a puppy since it would easier to acclimate with our already cranky cat.  But I didn’t want a BRAND NEW puppy that hadn’t been fixed, was going to be teething hardcore (although Ziggy has lost two teeth since he’s been with us), wasn’t house trained at all.  I mean, GIVE ME A BREAK.  I’m tired enough.

So we went to this event, expecting no one to really know about it, maybe seeing ten people there.  And it was PACKED.  I’d say a couple hundred people AT LEAST were swarming the dogs, especially the puppy area.  And right at the end of the line of puppies was “Nova,” a chilled out dalmatian/pointer (so they think) mix, just sitting there mostly ignored because everyone favored the tiny baby pups.  And right when I saw him, I knew he was ours.

He had me at floppy ears.

We filled out an application but were told that many people were already pre-approved.  Damn it.  But then, the next day, we got an email to set up a phone interview.  That went well, and a home inspection was set up.  We apparently got “two paws up” for the home visit.  Then, a couple days later, Matt picked “Nova” up from his foster’s home in Arlington, VA.

Picking a name was probably one of the hardest decisions my husband and I have ever made (I mean, JK….).  I was dead set on naming him Sir Paul.  Matt wasn’t feeling it.  We eventually agreed on Ziggy.

I can’t say it’s been easy adding Ziggy into the mix.  But as far as puppies go, it’s been a BREEZE.  He’s only taken TWO DUMPS in our house (so far).  He’s great about going outside.  He’s adjusting nicely and seems very happy.

Lucy the Cat isn’t too thrilled, however, and it’s been a much harder adjustment for her.  She stays upstairs mostly, and her food, water, and litter box are all downstairs.  I’ve been worried about her, but we’re all doing our best to accommodate her until she’s fully adjusted.

I took Ziggy to his first vet visit the other day.  I knew he needed his third and final distemper shot.  But I also found out that he had tapeworms and a fungal infection in his nail beds.  Awesome.  So, he’s been on a steady regimen of meds for both.  Just call me Nurse Autumn 😉

The boys are adjusting well, too.  Kevin announces daily that he loves his doggy.  Desmond is warming up.  He’s been unsure and upset when the dog wants to “kiss” or even sniff him, causing banshee-like screams.

I’ve been told on a couple occasions that I must be a glutton for punishment.  After all, we adopted Ziggy during tech week of a show I’m rehearsing for.  We open tomorrow, and with Ziggy and the children, plus not getting home until close to midnight every night, I’m not really sleeping.  He’s definitely not as bad as a newborn with waking, but he does wake one of us (or both!) somewhere between 4:30-6:30 in the morning to go out.  At least he doesn’t bark and wake up the children.  He simply nudges us awake.  It’s kind of adorable.  But honestly, I’d rather sleep.

Overall, we’re SO HAPPY to have added this handsome guy to our family.  He’s such a sweet boy, and we’re proud to call him ours ❤

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La-Ti-Do Cabaret in Washington, DC

la-ti-do

Image courtesy of the La-Ti-Do Facebook event page. Check out their page and “like” it!

Last night, I had the distinct honor to be a part of a lady trio, representing my favorite theatre company in Washington, DC, The Keegan Theatre, in the weekly La-Ti-Do Cabaret series. Continue reading

Celery Stalking

I’ve never been much of a fan of celery, but I’ve always been a fan of gardening.  There’s something so magical and satisfying about watching something grow and knowing that you made it happen.  Plus, the added bonus of saving a few dollars every month by growing your own food.  It’s a win-win!

I’ve seen a lot on Pinterest about re-growing celery from the typically discarded bottom of the stalk.

FYI, I’m just starting this process, so I’m showing you the very beginning in hopes that in a couple months, I can show you a finished product (or at least A stalk of celery).

It seems really simple.  You basically just get a bundle of celery (I got mine from Giant).IMG_2718

Cut off the base.  Put it in a shallow container with about an inch of water or so (refreshing the water every few days).

IMG_2755

Put it somewhere to catch some rays.  (My celery enjoys wooded views.)

IMG_2787And then wait.  And wait.

What’s supposed to happen is some leafy baby stalks will start to grow out of the top.  And after a few weeks, you should start to see some white roots growing out of the bottom.  When that happens, you replant the base into either the ground or into a large planter.  I will have to do the latter since I don’t really have a place to dig up outside.

I use at least two stalks of celery a day in my smoothies, so although this won’t save me a ton of bucks, it’ll be rewarding and awesome.  Also, there’s something relaxing and freeing about growing your own food.  Like I said, it’s magic.  Thanks, Mother Nature.

**UPDATE: After only about three days, I started noticing some leafage happening right in the center!

IMG_2790

I’ll keep y’all posted!  Happy stalking!  (Get it?  Celery… stalks… see ya.)

Herb Growin’

Every time I cook an actual meal that doesn’t include a frozen pizza, fish sticks or takeout (which lately has been rare…) I think, “Man, I can’t wait to have a real herb garden.”

There are few things more satisfying than growing your own herbs and food.  We don’t have a fenced-in backyard or a raised deck, and there are a lot of deer around here.  And if I tried to grow anything in the house, Lucy Cat would destroy it.

Here are some photos I’ve come across on Pinterest that pump me up about a future herb garden:

12-Eclectic-kitchen-herb-garden-design-Tea-tin-planters best-soil-balcony-herb-garden-ideas fotor040501713 IMG_8050 herb-garden-tin-can1 IMG_0561

I think waiting a few years until we can build a deck will be my safest option.  That way the herbs will have plenty of sunlight and fresh air and be far, far away from the cat and the deer.

But as always, if you have any suggestions, I am glad to hear ’em!

2014 resolutions.

Okay, so I know January is almost over, but I finally figured out what my New Year’s Resolutions are for this year.

1.) Make More.  I’m a huge fan of DIY, and I would much rather try to replicate a high-end piece of furniture from a thrift store find than pay a ridiculous amount for name brand, but this resolution goes beyond that.  This year, I want to grow my own veggies and herbs (container style) as much as humanly possible.  This might not be possible until we’re able to fence in our yard, with the crazy number of deer lurking around, not to mention a strict Homeowner’s Association.  But it will be done, and it will be awesome.

I want to start making bread.  We go through a lot of it, and it’s not cheap.  So by making my own bread, I’ll save the family a few bucks a month and feel like a regular Betty Crocker.

And lastly, since I’ve been on a huge unsweet iced tea kick, I want to start brewing my own iced tea at home.  Right now, Dunkin’ Donuts has their 99 cents special going on, so I’ve been running there frequently for a large-unsweet-tea-with-light-ice, but once that special is over, ain’t no way I’m shelling out my “personal money” for tea.  Any good bread and/or tea recipes out there??

2.) Debt Snowball.  If you read my post on our Total Money Makeover, you know that I read and re-read Dave Ramsey’s best-selling get-out-of-debt book and jumped into the program head first.  Yes, buying a house set us back a bit, but our Excel spreadsheet budget is still in place, and we’re slowly picking up momentum with our debt payoff once again.  And thanks to an upcoming tax return, we should make a small but significant dent within the next couple months.  Amen.

3.)  “Me Time”:  As a mother, it’s hard to think of putting myself first.  There’s always something that needs to be done for the kid, the house, the job, the show, etc.  At the end of the day, there’s hardly any time for myself.  My to-do list is always a mile long, and it grows as the day goes on.  But I like being busy.  I like feeling productive.  But I need to remember that it’s okay to take a 20-minute bath or read a chapter of a book or run to the store by myself without feeling guilty or that I’m wasting valuable time.  “Me Time” is OKAY.  And necessary.

4.)  Listen to my body:  I am a constant abuser of my own body.  That’s hard to admit, but I always have been.  I overwork myself, over-commit to things, and overall think it’s perfectly normal to do everything possible in a day on very little sleep.  Well, that needs to stop.  Too bad it took a terribly herniated disc in my back, causing nerve damage in my leg, potentially requiring surgery, to finally listen to my body and realize that I am not, in fact, Superwoman, and I cannot do EVERYTHING.  If I need to rest, by all means, rest.  I can’t feel guilty for napping when Kev naps if I need it.  That’ll be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s 2014, y’all, and it’s time to take care of myself.

5.)  And finally, live in the moment and be grateful.  Like I wrote in my last post, we tend to take for granted the times we feel physically well.  My goal is to truly appreciate the times my body feels great, by working out, taking Kevin for walks or to play outside, and enjoying the company I’m with.

#YOLO