Writing and More

Bullet Journal | August 2019

Recs

Hello everyone! Today I am going to give you a peek inside of my August bullet journal. Like the past few months I am really inspired by plantbasedbride’s theme. This month I took from her watercolor ocean  vibe. I am really feeling the deep blues and greens, not sure why because blue is not my most favorite color, but I am going with it. I also changed up my weeklies for the first time in the last few months, I hope it works out well. Anyway, here is my bullet journal!


The image on the left I fell in love with. I did some googling and came across Let’s Make Art  she has an entire kit you can buy or you can use her print out and paint along with her if you have paints already. It is so cute and I loved how she shared her talent. As normal I have a mini calendar on the other page so I can have a quick reference for the month.

I really have been loving this new social media calendar I have been using. It really is great to be able to see everything in one place and visual see when I past because lists of dates don’t really work for me. I added a little quote with my stamp set on top of a water color water image I came across.

Here is my favorite spread of the month, my NEWTs page. I wanted to take a bit of inspiration from Book Roast and her first OWLs bullet journal tracking page. I loved the look of used roughed up parchment. On the left I printed out my desired career and put it down as a little bit of inspiration and motivation and on the right I placed the NEWTs grade I need. I didn’t write in my books from my TBR, which you can find here:___. The reason is because sometimes I don’t stick to a TBR, so I decided I would write in the book title when I read a book that meets the NEWTs requirements. I had a lot of fun doodling the castle and the fancy HP font for NEWTS.

This page is just like I have every month. It works really well for me so I don’t want to change it. I did add a bit of color to tie in the water / ocean theme. On the right I draw a physical representation in the form of spares or rectangles for the days I read a particular book. These books are color coded based upon the color that is assigned to them on the key page.

This is my new weekly spread. I decided that I did not need an hourly breakdown for the upcoming month and I didn’t want to have wasted space and waste my time making something I don’t need. I put all of the days on the left hand side and on the right I left open for notes and reminders. I did put a mini calendar on the top corner and highlight the week I am currently in. It gives me a good visual perspective as to where I am during the month.

This month I also decided to redo my blog kanban board. I found that I needed to redo the order of the steps. I find that it is best for me to write my posts first and then take the pictures. I also gave myself a little more room the blocks are larger and I left a page blank.  On the left side I decided to leave it blank to hold the tabs for the days I need to brain storm topic idea. It is a nice visual for me to see empty tabs with dates waiting for my attention.


What Bujo spread is the most used by you?

Do you track your reading outside of goodreads?

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In

Reading Goals NEW

It is mind boggling to think that we are already halfway through 2019. It feels like it only just begun if you ask me. I almost totally forgot that I needed to do another check in on my year long goals. I felt like I had all the time in the world. Turns out, I only have another 6 months to meet all of these. If you want to see where I was. 3 months ago, you can see my previous check in here; Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

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-My Updates-

  1. I recently did an update post on this goal in particular, Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist. To summarize I have read/DNFed 3 books out of the 6 on the list. If you want to see my reasonings and such, please look at that post I go into a lot of detail.
  2. At this point in the year I have read a books that take place on 4 of the 7 continents. I am still working on South America, Asia (already have a book picked), and Australia. If you have any reconditions from these continents please share!
  3. As of writing this June 10th, I have read a total of 38 books, I am very close to reaching this goal.
  4. At this point in time I have read 16851, so I am once again in pretty good shape and on track to hit my goal!
  5. So far I have read a book from the library for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, and Jun! So I am sticking to this one for sure!
  6. I am happy to report that I am ahead of schedule on this goal, I have read a total of 11 non-fiction books this year. So, more than 25% of my read books are non-fiction. It is my most read genre.
  7. So, this goal I am a little on the fence about, I tried to read a book reccoemnded by Megan Mullally, Milkman, but I ended up DNFing it. So, I kinda did and kinda didn’t meet this goal? I am going to maybe try one more from this list since I only need to read one.
  8. So, reading War and Peace is progressing slowly, but surly I am currently on Book 7 out of 17 sections. I am a little behind, but I plan on catching up over the summer when I will have more time outside taking care of my plants.
  9. So, beat the backlist I have been keeping track of in my monthly wrap ups, As of writing this I only have 9 books still to read from 2018. I stared with 34, so not to shabby.

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-Bujo Spreads-

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How are your goals progressing so far?

Have you changed any of your goals?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | June 2019

Recs

So, this month I was so excited to be starting a new bullet journal. I don’t know about you, but I get super excited about starting a new one. It feels like a fresh start, a sweet breeze, or a clean slate. I can take all the spreads that have worked for me and leave the ones behind that I either don’t use or out grew. It is nice to see it evolve and grow as you do. Well, this time around I will admit I was heavily inspired by the Plant Based Bride over on youtube and her blog, http://plantbasedbride.com. I really enjoy the feel and simplicity of her bullet journal and I have heavily taken inspiration along with the spreads that have worked for me to create this new bullet journal.

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My last bullet journal was a Rhodia goalbook, I HATED it. The pages fell apart just from erasing it, the paper was awful and I will not be buying a new one. Also, their customer service is horrible. I filled out a from and reached out on twitter and they said they would contact me twice and they never did. Not how you handle a situation as a company. This time around I am trying a new company, their notebooks are a bit pricy, but I was lucky enough to get it as a gift from my wonderful BF. I am trying an Archer and Olive notebook.


Before I moved into my new notebook I decided to make a list of the spread I wanted to keep and the ones I wanted to add. Here is a bit of a peak into the spreads I wanted to keep for this bullet journal, as well as add.

Keep

  • Crochet hooks ✔️
  • Weight-loss Tracker ✔️
  • Yearly Reading Goals ✔️
  • War and Peace readalong tracker ✔️
  • Twitter tracker ✔️
  • Blog tracker ✔️
  • Seasonal Bucket List ✔️
  • Grid spacing ✔️
  • ARC Tracker ✔️

Add

  • Period Tracker ✔️
  • Crochet Project Tracker/Wishlist Just Bright Ideas ✔️
  • 5K Training Progress ✔️
  • Owned TBR ✔️
  • Buddy Reads ✔️
  • Study Tracker ✔️

-General Spreads-

This layout is very helpful for me when I move into a new bullet journal, especailly when the brand is new to me. This lets me quickly see where 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 in either direction as well as how many boxes are in each page.

I tent to only keep a bullet journal for 4-6 months, so I only bother putting 6 months ahead so I can easily see how many days are in each month. I also left an area on the bottom incase I wanted to add a particular note for a day. On the other page I updated my eARC/ARC tracker page. I can easily see when a book comes out and if I have reviewed it. In this bujo I only added the ones I am still working on.

While I am not in blogging or on twitter for the numbers, I find it fun to track them. Seeing all the people I can connect with or who want to read my work is motivating in a way.

Alright, these two pages are totally new. On the right I added a different layout for my War and Peace reading this year. This year I decided that I would read W&P on the right hand side I write what sections I should read each month to finish on time. On the right I am writing when I actually end up reading it. I also added a little progress bar at the bottom. On the right I decided I wanted to keep track of all the books Reg, Jenna, Amy and myself read together. I added a bit of a starry night because I messed up, but I really did love how it came out.

Here is my reading challenge tracker, the same as it was in my old bujo. On the right I started writing my seasonal bucket list. I am still thinking up ideas, if you have any suggestions let me know!

I decided I wanted to track my studying my writing in the topic as well as checking off if I actually do study. I am trying to become a bit more structured. On the right I am tracking my period, I find myself needing to track it more now so I figured having an over all picture in one place would be helpful.

If you did not know this year I am really taking the time for myself and my health. So, I have been doing my best to make healthier decisions and lose some extra weight. I really loved the spreads I had in my other bujo so I migrated them over. I took the layout on the right from Forever Good Life.

A bit of a continuation, I am currently doing a 5K training app. I wanted to track my progress through the program as well as the km per week I am running/walking. On the right I wanted to keep track of the crochet hooks I have so I did some googling and found this spread from paperandinkco.heidi on instagram.

On the left I decided to give myself a space to write all of my “dream” crochet projects. I also decided to implement a kanban board for my blog posts. I picked this up from Plant Based Bride, as I said in the start of this post I found a lot of inspiration from her.

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-Monthly-

This is my dashboard page and a bit of a monthly overview. I really enjoy having this monthly overview each month and I wanted to continue with it.

This is my normal book tracker that I have been using for MONTHS and I just love seeing what books I read and on what days. It is a great overview picture of my reading habits without using a habit tracker, which I realized are not for me because I don’t look at them for days and then have to do my best to remember when I did what.

Here is a bit of a view of my other reading tracker. I color in a block for each chapter that I have read. It is almost like a goodreads for my notebook when it comes to progress.

I wanted to try something new for my social media page. I decided to draw a mini calendar and highlight my blogging days, but I want to also color in when I post on instagram. I will see how this format goes instead of a list. On the other page is my TBR, pretty simple and straight forward.

Last month I used this weekly spread and I really loved it. I had to resize it a bit for this new notebook, but I still really like it. It made organizing my day really easy and gave me a clear view of my week. I will be adding some quotes as I move through the weeks, but I also left room to add doodles if I want to as well.

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Well, there you have it, my new bullet journal and my June spreads, what do you think? Have you ever used a notebook by this brand before? Are there any notebooks you think I should try in the future?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 Recap

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe this year is coming to a close soon and it is time to reflect on the goals I set for myself back in December 2017. It feels like so long ago, but at the same time this year felt like it flew by. A few times this year I checked in with my goals, but I have not done so since the first half a the year. I honestly kinda lost track of my goals because one large one I realized was not going to happen. I will get more into that later in this post.

Earlier Posts

Reading Goals | 2018Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review, and Reading Goals | 2018 | 2nd Quarter Review.

DividerThe Goals

  1. Update my blog post headers
    • I loved designing so I want to introduce a few new headers and give myself that time to be creative.
  2. Read 50 books
    • Every year I set my reading goal at 50. It is an average of a book in little over a week and I tend to not stress out about it.
  3. Read 30,000 pages
    • I though this page goal would be fun.
  4. Try new things
    • This year I want to experiment a little outside of what I normally post, spice things up a little bit.
  5. Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

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My Reflection

  1. I did this as soon as the year started and I am very happy with the graphics I created. I also like the fact that I made them in a way where I can change the background images if I ever feel like it and it would not be too much work.
  2. I am happy to say that I read more than 50 books this year, in fact I read 105 as of 12/9.
  3. Once again I can say that I read more than 30,000 page throughout the year. I ended up reading a grand total of 36,985 pages as of 12/9.
  4. This year I felt like I tried some new things on my blog such as posting about My life, DIYs, and Cooking as well as doing a few fun series such as _____ Picks my books, Annotating my Bookshelf , and introducing discussion posts. All of which I had a ton of fun doing. I know in the new year I want to do another round of Annotating my Bookshelf.
  5. This one is where the problem came in. While I love the idea of the pop sugar challenge, it really is not a good challenge for me. There are a 52 prompts and while I did do a majority of them. I am a book reader and I honestly have no interest in reading nordic noir currently. While my goal was to read 50 books, why would I pick a challenge that would assign me 52 books. On top of that a majority of the books on this challenge I did not own and this year I really wanted to read some of the books I had on my shelf the longest. Which I did and now the longest a book has been on myself has been 19 months, less than two years. So I was happy to give up on this goal because it did not line up with my other goals, which were a priority to me.

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Overall, I am very happy with how I did with my 2018 Reading and Blog goals. I achieve the ones that were the most important to me and I am proud of myself for putting aside one that really did not benefit me in reaching my other goals. Goals should be realistic and reachable. While I come up with my 2019 goals, this is going to be in my mind.

How did you do with your 2018 goals?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review

Reading Goals

Since the third month of the year is coming to a close, that means it is time to check in with my yearly goals for my reading and my blog. I cannot believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2018. I feel like this year is just flying by. Anyway, without further delay here are the updates on my 2018 goals!

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Update my blog post headers

I am happy to say that I have redesigned all of my banners and post headers. I love how them came out. This is one is a check!

Read 50 books

Currently I am ahead of schedule on this goal by 7 books. Woohoo!

.

Read 30,000 pages

I am currently at 6519 pages. So that means if I continue on this path I will have 26,076 pages by the end of the year. So while I am making great progress I need to up my reading a bit, but I will admit this does not include books I am currently in the middle of so I might actually be on track. I guess we shall see.

Try new things

I think I am doing good with this one as well. I have started a few new series on my blog. The first being Operation Find a Hobby where I try a bunch of different hobbies to see if I like them or not. I also started a series where I have others pick out the books I add to my TBR.  If you wanted to see what I have tried so far or added to my TBR I shall link them below.

Operation Find a Hobby

Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction

Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery

Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle

_____ Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

I would say that so far I am doing pretty good with this goal. I have 16 down and only 24 more to go according to my spreadsheet.

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How are your 2018 goals going?

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Tags

TAG | The Unique Blogger Award

Tag Tuesday

Thank you Dawlyn and Krista from Little Blind Book Finds for the Tag! Today for Tag Tuesday I will be doing The Unique Blogger Award. I love tags like this because every person creates the questions for the people they tag so no one has the same questions.

The Rules

  1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  4. Ask them 3 questions

The Questions

1.What inspired you to start your blog?

Going right for the hard questions, huh? Well I decided to make my blog because I wanted to talk about books. Now some of you may know I have a bookstagram and I had that first. But, while I LOVE bookstagram and still use it constantly I noticed there is a lack of communication which upset me. So I decided why not create a blog. While I made it a while ago, I really started using it this past January.

2. What advice do you have for new bloggers?

Have fun and post what makes you happy because people who enjoy the same stuff will find you. Also, blogging is meant to be fun, make sure you are always enjoying the content you are creating and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

3. Name a book that you’ve read or want to read that you heard about from the blogosphere?

This is a really great questions, hum. I think one of the main books/series I plan to read because of the blogosphere would have to be A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I heard about it on booktube, but a review I read, which of course now I cannot remember, and it really sold me on the book/series. Apparently, my boyfriends love of commas has rubbed off on me.

My Questions

  1. Is there a quote from a book that has inspired you/changed the way you view things? If so, what is the quote?
  2. Who would you cast as the main characters of a movie adaptation of your favorite book?
  3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I Nominate:

Jess

Nikki

Kristina

Sarah

Misty

Also, anyone else who wants to join in on the fun!

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Wrap Up

JUNE 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

5 Stars:

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I finally got around to finishing A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I have to say the ending blew me away completely. It has me very excited for the next book in the series. I am currently am in line to get it from my library so I can read it at the beach without ruining my copy.

4 Stars:

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Another book I got to during the month of June is The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember. I read this short book in a single day and I was very invested in the main character. This is a LGBTQ+ retelling/twist between Ursula from the little mermaids childhood and Norse mythology. This book would have easily been a 5 stars, but there was a scene that happened between our main character and her love interest that made me a little uncomfortable. Even with that small scene I adored this book.

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The first book I finished in June was It by Stephen King. This huge tome that is over 1000 pages was totally worth it. It was creepy and intriguing, it has me very excited for the remake that is coming out later this year.

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Some of this book I loved, the other parts I did not enjoy at all. I enjoyed all the nods to other words such as Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and more. But, this book just rubbed me the wrong way sometimes. I just got angry at it, not at the characters. I found myself thinking, “Why? There was no reason for this!” Beginning is great, then ending is amazing, but the middle falls a little flat. If you can push yourself through the middle of the book you are golden!

Bingo Update

JulyBingo

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What did you read this month?

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Tags

Try a Chapter | June 2017

BlogSo my TBR is starting to make me a little uneasy. I am not sure if it is because it is half way though the year or I just feel like I need to cut it down a bit. Either way I decided to do “Try a Chapter” to see if some of the books on my TBR are actually something I would enjoy or the description tricked me into thinking it would be something great to read.

 

A Little Life

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

Goodreads.com

Conclusion: Keep

Already a chapter in and I want to know what is going to happen to the character. Even though this book is longer I feel like it is going to go fairly quickly because it is so character driven, or at least seems that way at this point.


Annihilation

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

Goodreads.com

 

Conclusion: Unhauled

This book/series sounded so good. There was a mystery, science and exploration. Sadly, the writing was annoying. For me it took to long to get to the point. Even though I only read the first chapter I already started skimming, which is not a good sign. I do not mind slower books if they actually build up to something now and again, but this did not do it for me at all.


The Circle

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

Goodread.com

Conclusion: Unhauled

Sadly, this was not for me. I really, really wanted to read this then watch the movie. It seems that this book is not for me, I think I will rent the movie so I can see what everyone is talking about. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason I do not want to read it, but I know I do not.


 

What do you think of my try a chapter decisions?

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Wrap Up

May 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

I can’t believe that May is almost over,  but it seems to be true so I thought it was a good time to share the books I finished this month. I have to say that this month overall was pretty average, but there were a few gems!

FIVE STARS:

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I LOVED this book. It was a perfect mixture of history, horror, and science fiction. It follows a high school teacher who is shown a portal into the past. His goal is to stop the JFK assignation. Once again Stephen King has written an amazing book. I will say this monster of a book is over 1,000 pages, but I got through it very quickly. I find him to write in a way that is easy to read and his stories are very gripping.

FOUR STARS:

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A Single Man was a very enjoyable read. I read through it very quickly and I found I was invested in the main character quite quickly. The ending had me thinking  a lot. It follows a man named George following the lost of his partner. There is also a movie adaptation and I plan on watching it very soon.

THREE STARS

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I wrote an entire review for this book you can find that here:Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie. Over all I enjoyed this book and I plan on revisiting in the future. I found myself laughing and very much enjoying most of these short stories.

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This was a great read about the Russian Revolution. I read it quite quickly and I found it very informative. I will say because it is such a large topic there is a lot of facts crammed in. I wrote a review you can find it here:REVIEW: A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Geoffrey Swain

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Notorious RBG was an interesting read. I will say this is a great read about law, women’s rights, and a strong individual. I wrote a bit more about this book in my May book haul, which you can find here: Book Haul: May 2017. Over all if you are interested in law, women’s and social rights, or just want to learn about a Justice this is a good read.


I am happy to say I did not have any two or one star reads this month! I hope you reading was amazing this month!

What was your favorite read this month?


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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Bookstore Travels

A few weeks ago I drove a few hours to Princeton University and walk around the historic campus and downtown. To my amazement when we were walking around the downtown I found a cute little bookstore that I HAD to go into. Let’s just say I spent an hour in here easily.

The Bookstore: Labyrinth Books 

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What cause my eye first about this bookstore was the fact that they had 6 or 7 tables out front piled high with books. Not only were there so many outside they were ALL on sale! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when books are on sale. It means I can buy more and not feel as guilty about spending money on them.

When I finally combed through all of the sale books I headed inside dragging my friend along. The inside was bright and beautiful. There were books on two floors. There were displays by subjects, new releases, ancient texts, and classics. What I liked the most was the wide range of non-fiction that I don’t normally find in my local bookstores. So jealous of people who live a reasonable distance away from this place. Here are a few pictures I was able to take inside the shop.


After spending about an hour in this store I ended up leaving with three gorgeous books. Still so sad I have to travel hours to get to this place!

The Haul:

 


I think I want to plan some more day trips to far off bookstores. On a side note, this campus is just as beautiful as the bookshop!

What is your favorite bookstore you love to visit?

 

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