Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

February 2022 Bullet Journal Spread

Hello and welcome to my bullet journal! In 2022 I really wanted to jump back into bullet journaling because I realized one thing when not really utilizing it. I FORGET EVERYTHING! I do have a regular planner I run around with, but it is hard to add checklists for long tern goals and similar things. So, I have thankfully been using it in January pretty consistently and if you couldn’t tell, I have actually been blogging! Anyway, I am here to show you what I have going for February.

Items Used

Spreads

monthly dash and calendar

First off I really like to have a monthly dash to clearly define where one month starts and ends. I tend to just have the name of the month and an image. This month is obviously February and I added a wintery picture that shows pine branches and two silver hearts in the snow. I really liked how wintery this picture looked and how it tied in love without being over the time for Valentines Day. On the second page I just have the monthly calendar doodled. I highlighted the days I am planning on posting on my blog so they stand out a bit and they don’t pass me by. I decided to use a gray color to go with the cold wintery theme.

Habit tracker and monthly notes

This next pair of spreads start with my habit tracker, I ended up adding it last month because I wanted to really see how often I do the tasks I want to do. Most of these are fun/hobby based such as reading, fiber arts, and cross stitch. The other two are no spend and closing the rings on my watch. I really liked the idea of just layout out the number of the day and just highlighting when I meet it. When I had these in the past and needed to color things in I never did it, but a quick highlight really works for me. On the second page I have a blank page with monthly notes. Here I write down when I finish a book or haul one, a memorable event happens, or really just anything I feel like I might want to remember that happens throughout the month. It is really helpful when I do my Monthly Digest posts.

Weekly schedule and Korean study objectives

These next two sets of spreads are new to me this month. On the one side I ended up adding a weekly schedule for myself to follow. I actually made two schedules to try and then use which one works best for me. I really like having daily goals and objectives, it is just how my brain works. If I don’t I end up being unproductive or I try to be productive and get overwhelmed because I have no idea what I should be doing or what needs to be done. On the second page here I have a Korean Study page. I looked up how to write that in Hangeul, hopefully it is right, I figured I would find out for sure the more I study. Anyway, I really want to get back into language learning, I had to put it by the wayside because life got in the way like it does from time to time. I am focusing on learning Hangeul using Becoming a Hangeul Master by Talk to Me in Korean. So, I broke down the book into lessons that are a good size for me and created a study plan. I know it will most likely take more than this month, but I really wanted to get it in the BUJO!

Secret spread and Kanban Board

The last spready for the month are a bit bland, but needed by me. Sadly, the first one I can’t share so I added a recent knitting swatch to cover the title. The second page is a spread I have used in the past called a Kanban board. It is a way to help with projects by tracking where in the “production” line they are. I really wanted to use this again when it came to blog writing so I made a board with the four categories: ideas, write, photo, schedule. I am going to use tabs to write the titles and move them as I progress through my writing process.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | February 2022

Welcome to my very ambitious post about my February plans. I don’t know why, but I always end up making a ton of plans and lofty goals for the shortest month of the year. With that aside, I do have a few things I want to try and accomplish over the next 28 days.

Reading Plans

This month I would like to finish reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix, which I am buddy reading with @jkimexploring. I am about 30% into it as of right now and I am really enjoying it. Outside of that I don’t want to have any set reading because mood reading and not setting to many specific reading goals for myself last month really paid off since I ended up reading 9 books.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month is all about starting a few projects that will take me some time. The first one is the Saraya Shawl by Saysha Greene. I love how beautiful and playful this shawl looks, I first saw it in my copy of Worsted and I loved it right away. I ended up ordering the same color as the sample. Since a lot of the techniques used in this pattern are new to me I know it is going to take quite a while, but I love a challenge!

The second project I plan to start and I know I will not finish for months if not years is the Scrappy Granny Stripe Blanket by Lucy of Attic24. I have quite a few scraps left over from projects and the like so I was looking all over for fun things to make with them. I came across this pattern and knew I wanted to start it ASAP. So, every time I finish a projects with fingering weight yarn I am going to add to this. I can’t wait to see how all the colors play together as time goes on. In February I am planning on getting all the stripes for the scraps I already have crocheted up. I am going to try to keep up with this by doing scrappy Sunday, which is a thing I found through Crazy Sock Lady on youtube.

Random Goals

I really want to try learning a new craft this month, I am learning towards cross stitch. I also really want to get back into language learning. I was doing really well for a bit, then life got a bit chaotic and I had to let some things go. But, I really want to jump into it again. Outside of those two things, I just want to have some quality time with my loved ones. January was good in quite a few ways, but sadly I was not able to see my significant other the entire month so I really would like to spend as much time as possible with him.

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | February 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a book haul for February. This month was really great for my book buying and I am thrilled about that. I love when I read more books than add to my TBR. But, because I picked up so few books, I am really, really happy about the ones I did decide to add to my shelves. Anyway, here are the books I decided to add!


The Last Negros at Harvard by Jeanna Ellsworth and Kent Garrett, I picked this up at my local bookstore, but I had heard about it on twitter and thought it was a very interesting story. I really want to know the experiences of these very brave and intelligent men who attended Harvard during a time described as “between integration and affirmative action” in the description.

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, this was my BOTM pick for February. It follow a very young family who have traveled from to the US from Bogotá and stay longer than their visa allows because they want what is best for their family. It follows them as they move from place to place and the stress and hardships that follow.

What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis, I am going to be honest here, I don’t know too much about Frida and I saw this on BOTM so I decided to add it to my box this month. This is a nonfiction book about the artist and I have heard that you can really read the passion the author has for this prominent figure. It seems to not just talk about her art, but her life as a whole.

Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, I have had this book on my to buy list for a very long time and I finally came across it in the bookstore so I picked it up. This is a grim book, but I find it to be a very interesting topic. This book dives into the history of books bound in human skin. The author, who is a librarian, goes through the myths and legends and uses science to see if the books that are claimed to have been bound in human skin, really are.

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, I picked up this thriller for a series on my blog called, Someone Picks My Books. I don’t want to say too much, but I did post the review for this book already so you can find that here, Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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Reviews

Wrap Up | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my February wrap up. Another month down, can you believe it? I know February is a short month, but I felt like it went faster than usual. I did manage to read quite a bit this month and found quite a few I really enjoyed.


Our Little CrueltiesOur Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I really hated all of the characters of this book. But, like always Liz Nugent was a wonderful writer.

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a reread for me, this time around I still really loved the dynamics between Aziraphale and Crowley as well as the version of the world that Pratchett and Gaiman have created. It is fun, pokes fun, and at times just turns ideas on their head. This was one of my favorite books of 2019 and it is still a gem and I am so glad I took the time this month to reread it and was so happy to have read it with Lauren.

View all my reviews


This month I read a total of 8 books, not bad for a shorter month! In total that was 2,383 pages, which tuned out to be 4 fiction and 4 nonfiction. I read an ebook, an audiobook, 2 hard covers, and 4 softcover books. One of my reads was from the library and the others were from my own shelves. The rating broke down to: 3-5 stars, 2-4 stars, and 3-3 stars.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | February 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to a shocking good wrap up. I am surprised to say that I read 10 books this month. I have absolutely no idea how this has happened, but it has. This month has been a bit of a roller coaster when it has come to reading. I have read a book from literally every rating, 1-5. While I am not thrilled with reading 1 and 2 star books, it happens from time to time. The good news is I also read a 5 star book and a few great 4 star ones as well. Now, on to the mini reviews!


Read 2

Little ChildrenLittle Children by Tom Perrotta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, now that I have finally finished this book, I can say that I generally enjoyed it. I think what stuck out to me the most about this book is that is a satire, but a sad one in my eyes. The characters that are talked about had different plans for their lives or they are slipping away in a manner. It really is a look into society and people and kept my interest for sure, I read it in four days.

Another thing that stood out to me is how this book is set up, you can tell the author did a great job laying out this novel. The characters seems very tangible and very likely to be real people in your own community. The characters seem to be facing issues that aren’t so unlike what you might see yourself or others you know deal with. The character development as well as the plot and how they interact with one another is well done. I will say, this book will also have to questioning the morals of others and society as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I feel like it is very out of my normal read for me. I don’t always enjoy books like this, but this novel did it well. I ended up giving it a solid three stars and I can see other people really enjoying it if the description interests you. I am really happy that Reg picked it for me, it was a nice change of pace in my reading this month.

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The Starless SeaThe Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am really glad that my friend, Reg, picked this to buddy read, but I am mad it took me so long to read/get to. I really enjoy the premise of this book very much and I can see why people love this book. I was really drawn in when I did read it, but I had a really hard tome actually getting myself to pick it up if that makes sense. I feel like this was due to my mood and I think I will want to reread this book in the future when I am more in the mood for a book like this.

Overall, it was a good book and I looking forward to a reread down the road.

View all my reviews


CujoCujo by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was both a very scary read and a heart breaking read. While Cujo is for sure a book that is well known by many and I was familiar with the idea of this story due to its pop culture relevance, this book turned out to be so much more. This book turned out to be more than one story and more dynamic than I thought it was going to be. I really thought it was just going to be a killer dog, but it explored so much more. I don’t want to say too much and ruin it for others, but it was a wild ride of a book.

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Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderfully written book. Ron Chernow did a wonderful job at exploring the life of one of America’s. founding father’s, but also explored his family and political climate of the young nation. I felt like his biography was fair look at Hamilton, showing both his faults and good characteristics, it was realistic and didn’t just idealize the man. I throughly enjoyed learning more about his early life, which isn’t covered much in my previous reading.

Overall, I can see why this book inspired the popular play. It is a very exciting story of an individual during a very pivotal point in America’s history. Chernow does a wonderful job mixing scholarship with a plethora of sources, but also kept the book entertaining and not bogged down by facts and statistics.

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OthelloOthello by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

More of my review at 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February


Middle Mark Books 2

The Langoliers by Stephen King, rating: 5 of 5 stars

God Country by Donny Cates, rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman, rating: 1 of 5 stars

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, rating: 3 of 5 stars

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg, rating: 4 of 5 stars


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 27


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 10
  • Number of Pages: 4,4466
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 2
  • DNF’ed: 1
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook: 0
  • Paperback: 8
  • Hardcover: 2
  • Library: 3
  • Owned: 7
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 4
  • 3 Stars: 3
  • 2 Stars: 1
  • 1 Star: 1

    What was your favorite read of the month?

    What was the last book you read in January?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the second month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. The first month went so well, I ended up really loving I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This months book was Othello, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play is thought to be written around 1603. I will say, this is one of the play I am more nervous about this book because I have read this before and I did not enjoy it very much. Going into this I was really hoping that my view on it has changed.


My Review

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

But, with that aside I will say I did enjoy this one more so than I remembered the first time I read it years ago. What I did like about this was how it was organized and how it created such a villain. Even at only about 40 pages in I already hated a character and I wanted him to get lost at sea or something. The fact that I felt so much in that way saved this play in my eyes. If I didn’t dislike that person so much I would have rated it a lot lower honestly. Also, the ending is just so tragic and I felt so horrible for the jerks wife, she knew she was doing wrong, but not as wrong as she actually did. She most likely felt sole responsible for what occurred.


Next months play is going to be Hamlet as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for April? 

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reaching check in! This month started off a bit stressful if I am to be completely honest, so I am actually surprised I was able to finish a book let alone more. So, I am very happy with my wrap up, even if I did already have my first low rating of the year. I will say I am forseeing my reading totals to fall from this point forward because I am starting something new I am really excited about and will be sharing soon. But, I will give a very bad hint though: I love learning something new and it being self directed. Like I said a bad hint, but anyway, on to the books! 😂


Read 2

The LangoliersThe Langoliers by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very imaginative take on a children’s night time scary story come to life mixed with the Bermuda Triangle. It was very interesting to see how King’s characters, who were all there by accident, reacted to the situation. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like if I said anymore I would ruin it, but I will say that you can read this on it’s own or inn the short stoy collection of Four Past Midnight.

View all my reviews


God CountryGod Country by Donny Cates

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can’t say for sure why I wasn’t drawn into this volume, but I just didn’t get into it. Not sure if it was the plot, how the dialog was placed on the page or the layout. It just fell flat unfortunately. The artwork was wonderful though and the idea was great.

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Ducks, NewburyportDucks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t want to say much on this book at the current moment because I am going to explore this novel a bit more when I read a few more of the books on the 2019 Man Booker Shortlist. I will say at this time the main reason I did not like this book was due to the formatting. This is a very personal thing, so I feel like a lot of people wont be as bothered by it, but that is what I shall say for now.

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The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very typical enemies to lovers type of book, but I will say I really like the way the author built upon that trope. I really enjoyed the plot and the side things as well, the writing was do very well. I will say there were times I wanted to just skip ahead just because I just wanted to know what will happen and I was not really fully invested in the journey.

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No One Is Too Small to Make a DifferenceNo One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of speeches made by Greta Thunberg.

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Currently Reading 2

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I am currently 37% through. At this point I am enjoying the book once I pick it up, but for some reason I don’t feel enticed enough to pick it up.  I don’t understand why my brain does this sometimes.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, I am currently only 8% through this Tome and I am really enjoying it so far. It is written very well and I am surprised how quickly I am reading it.


 What was the last book you finished?

What book are you currently reading?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | BOTM February 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to my monthly Book of the Month post! This month I picked only one book, I am trying to read all of my backlisted BOTM books so I don’t want to add too many more to the pile. This month I chose something a bit outside my normal reading, but I am still excited about it. Now, on to the haul!


Description

“In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.” –goodrerads.com


This month I decided on The Holdout, a thriller of sorts that is driven via the court system. I normally do not read thrillers or mysteries that have a lot of law enforcement, courtroom drama, or themes along those lines. Normally, my thrillers of choice are more domestic and psychological. If there is law enforcement. it is usually towards the end, not the entire plot.  I will say the exception to this would have to be the Mr. Mercedes series by Stephen King, although it. was a mix of a detective mystery and something else.

I am excited to give this one a go because it seems like it’s a mixture of a detective mystery and a domestic thriller. So, I feel like this would be a good way to see if I enjoy thrillers along those lines, just dipping my toes while still in my comfort zone a bit.

I will also openly admit, I loved the Imitation Game, so that was also a bit of a selling point of this book. If you do get the chance, it is a wonderful story, but totally heart breaking and could be very difficult to watch. Do a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you before giving it a go.


Does this book sound interesting to you?

If you have BOTM what book did you pick this month?

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Bullet Journal Jottings, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | February 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to another bujo post! I know last week I shared my unboxing of the most recently Tombow VIP Club, Unboxing | Tombow VIP Club January 2020, sadly I already had my February spreads all set up already. But, I am planning to use all of those items in next months spreads and really try and add more color. This month I have gone really simple and to the point because I have so much going on, I don’t really want distractions. If I do need more spreads, I will add them at a later date. As for now, here is my February bujo!


So here is my dash page! The flower art was created by Shayda Campbell, I am really loving the floral lately and her stuff is all about bringing in the natural feelings. On the right I wanted a quote and I did some abstract art with some cut up black paper I had laying around. I decided to add a quote I came across online and add a little doodle.

Here is my must have spread, since I starting using this I have just fallen in love with it. I track the books I have read and when I have read them. I color code the blocks with the book.  It is a little hard to explain so I am going to add my January completed one below so you can see.

So, on the book tracker. page you can see on the right I have a book title highlighted in a particular color. I then block off a square or squares for the dates that I read that book. An example would be a Midsummers Night’s Dream in a light purple color. I look at the chart and I can see that I read it from the 12th to the 16th of January. On the right I have my tbr and then I add extra books if I read them.

Here is my super simple and the same as I have been weekly layouts. These were originally inspired by Elizabeth Turnbull months and months ago and they just work for me. In my eyes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. So I am keeping these the same.

I know this month is super short and simple, but like I said, I don’t really want to add to much this month because I have so much going on I don’t want to be distracted by anything. But, I am loving the ones I have created.


What bujo spread is your favorite?

What colors do you think I should start incorporating into my bujo?

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