Writing and More

Bullet Journal | New Bujo & November Set Up

Recs

Hello and welcome to my new bullet journal! I am so excited to be sharing with you how I decided to see it up and the spreads I migrated over. It is really interesting how over time the spreads you need change, that is just the most wonderful thing about bullet journals, they change with you. Anyway, I don’t want to write a huge introduction because I have a ton of pictures to share!


This time around I decided to stick with an Archer and Olive A5 notebook. The main reason being the page quality and I really enjoy the fact that the pages are crispy white as well. I personally do not use an index so not having page numbers is not a big deal. What I need is good quality paper, good binding, a pen loop, and roughly enough pages to get me through 4-6 months. This note book has all of that for me, a nice bonus is the beautiful cover. I found a Tombow marker in the shade 837 that matched the cover pretty darn well and I am using that during the set up as well as November.

I am not a big number person, but I love to celebrate milestone. I had this page in my previous bullet journal and I updated it normally towards the end of the month. As you can see I already needed to update a few since creating this spread. I do have an instagram, but quite frankly instagram normally just stays the same and it is more for me than anything.

These spreads I feel like are going to be used and reference a lot over the next few weeks. I decided to put my buddy read picks and order for Jenna, Amy, Reg and myself because if I don’t write them down I never remember. It is also a fun memory. Underneath this I have decided to start to watch the Outlander series instead of just reading it. I decided to put a little progress tracker because I don’t watch a ton of TV so I tend to forget my progress in shows if they aren’t on netflix or prime since those services keep track for me. On the right I just redid my 2019 goals spread that was in my previous bujo.

I decided to also keep my grid spacing page as well as my period tracker. I did not add the 1/2 and 1/4 points because it was a lot of work that I never really references because my spreads were never broken up like that. Having the number of boxes across and down is more useful for me.

Next and one of my more important spreads is my TBR. I have a box on the left of each title which tracks whether I have started, read, or unhauled/DNFed a book. On the right of the book title there are four boxes with checkmarks. These are codes for audiobooks since all of these books are already owned via print or ebook. A means it is available on audible, S means it is available on Scribed, * means I own it, L means my library has it. This is all for reference so I can decide which books to listen to on my commute to and from work.

I have added a new Read 5, Buy 1 to this bujo, but I am putting this on hold until the new year because I tend to get books for the holidays and it would throw this off a bit. But, I love being prepared so I added it now.

Now we are on to November, I was one again influenced by Plant Based Bride over on youtube. She shared this printable on the left and I just loved the cozy feel and on the right I used more of her doodles to decorate a shelf above the monthly calendar.

Next I have my habit tracker, which is a layout I have been loving over the past few months. This month I decided to track sleeping 7 hours or more, meditation, reading, vitamins, tidying, and nature time. On the right I have a social media tracker to track when I am meant to post on my blog, but I will also mark when I upload to instagram. On the bottom you can see my blog post tracker. On the left is the date, PWS is from my previous bujo, which means pictures, write, schedule. Just so I can track my progress and stay on top of my posts. I really loved doing this last month so I am looking forward to using this again.

So this month I am going back to my old book tracker, I have realized I don’t really care how many pages a day I read, but more so how long it is taking me to read a book. So, if you have not seen this spread before. On the left I will use a color that represents a book and I will color in the blocks next to the days I read that particular book. You can see this filled out in my post called Bullet Journal | May 2019. On the right I used another one of Plant Based Bride print, I thought it was a nice reminder to do things that make you happy and feel good inside.

Next up is my TBR, which I talked about in my TBR post, TBR | November 2019. If you have not noticed already I decided to use the N from the first page of the month as a guide to decorate the titles of each page. I thought it would help tie everything together.

Those are my weekly spreads. I decided to try something new again. I was watching Plant Based Brides November set up and I thought it looked so functional and simple and for me that is the best when setting up my weeklies as of late so I can focus on the items on the page instead of the fluff.

Anyway, this is my new bujo and my November set up! I hope you enjoyed this little peak!


What theme are you using this month?

What do you track on your habit tracker?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2020

Lists

Hello everyone, today I wanted to take a moment to talk about the top 5 books I want to read before the end of 2019. We are officially into the last quarter of the year, which always goes by super quickly. It is a time to focus to meet my goals if I have not already. On top of that, there is one Beat my Backlist book that still needs to be read and I will have read all the books I bought before 2019. Anyway, on to the books!


The one I think I am most excited to get to would be The Institute by Stephen King. It is no secret that I really enjoy creepy/horror reads and I really enjoy King’s works. I am really excited to have my hands on his most recent release and I want to read it before the year is through. 

Next in line would be It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo & Translator Elizabeth Bryer. I am really excited to be reading a book set in South America. I don’t know about you, but it is not a setting I come across often in books and I would honestly like to read more. 

Now, The Overstory by Richard Powers is one I need to read for my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019 challenge so I really need to get my butt in gear. I have two books left to go and for some reason this one is the one I have owned the longest, but have not felt the need or want to read. So, I am hoping putting it on this list will really put my butt in gear. At this one I have the other from the library and plan on starting it within the week. *Update* I have read this since prewriting this post, I am updating this to the final book on this list I need to read, The Long Take by Robin Robertson. This is what happens when I prewrite posts too darn early.

Then, we have Middlemarch by George Eliot. I picked up this classic it sounds so interesting. I decided that I would read it over the summer when I  was enjoying the weather outside… well. Summer is now over and I still have not read it. I would say that now my goal is to just read it before the year is finished. I feel like Classics are really good cold weather reads anyway. 

Lastly, we have Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I am really interested in this series, but I always out it off because it is digital. While I do enjoy reading on my kindle, I always find myself only really using it for library books not for my owned TBR books. I need to change this ASAP and read this. Also, it is the oldest owned book on my owned TBR. So, it is really time to get my butt into gear. 


What 5 books do you want to read before the year is up?

Which one do you think I should read first?

Who things I will actually read all of these before the year is up? 😂

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Third Quarter Check In

Reading Goals NEW

Hello everyone, I am here will a bit of a late Third Quarter check in, but I wanted to check back on my goals so I didn’t lose track of them. If you wanted to look at my initial goals post and my previous check ins, I will link them here for your connivence.

I have to say, that I am really happy with my progress over all, there are just a few goals I have been putting off because I am such a mood reader and I have not been in the mood to read particular books on my shelf. I am hoping that over the next few weeks this turns around and I can get all of these taken care of.


-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.

-My Updates-

  1. Reading a backlist is both my favorite and least favorite challenge. I am having a series love hate relationship with it. I have previously did a catch up post with this goal, Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019, since this post, I have read more of these books, in fact I only have 1 left! So, I am very much on track to hitting this goal. I am planning on reading it in November. Fingers crossed!
  2. I am still in need of reading 3 more continents. This one is another challenge that has been very much affected by my mood reading. I have picked for each of these continents, but I just have not been in the mood.
  3. I have surpassed this goal! I have read a total of 87 books at the time of writing this.
  4. At this point in time I have read 31,931 pages, which means I have also met this goal! It is so nice to be able to check some of these off.
  5. At this point in time I have read a library book every month and I am so happy to be able to support my local library as well as getting to know some of my librarians. It is a wonderful feeling.
  6. At this point in the year I have read at least 16 non-fiction books, so I met this goal as well!
  7. So, this goal was one I was iffy about. I decided since I set the goal of reading one book recommended by someone I look up to, I did do that, but did not enjoy it in the slightest and it stinks.
  8. I have finished War and Peace and I have to admit, I liked Anna Karenina a lot more. It was not bad, but I was not blow away by it.
  9. So, beat the backlist was a huge success for me. As of October I read every book I bought before the start of 2019. I really was not sure if I was going to meet this one, but I am so excited that I did.

-Completion Status-

  1. ✔️
  2. ✔️
  3. ✔️
  4. ✔️
  5. ✔️
  6. ✔️

I can’t believe I only have 3 more goals to work on this year, I am proud of myself for sticking with a lot of these throughout the year instead of putting a lot of them off, which would have been very easy to do. At this time I need to read a total of 4-6 more books to reach each of my goals. I am hoping I can get them all done before December so I have some breathing room and time to do some goal planning for 2020. It is mind blowing to already be writing the year 2020.


How are your 2019 goals going?

Do you have any ideas for your reading goals for 2020?

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Goals

Challenges | Reading 64 Pages a Day

challenges

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share a little challenge with you that I came across when I fell down the booktube hole instead of being a good bookworm and reading. I started reading Books and Lala’s video where she read the same number of pages each day, based upon her average for the previous month or so. If you would like to watch her video, you can find that here: reading 116 pages every day for a month. If you don’t know her channel, you are missing out she is one of the most creative youtubers I know of. Anyway, I really loved the idea and wanted to give it a try and see if this helps to keep my stress levels down while my life gets more chaotic.

Anyway, I did not want to just steal her number of pages a day, so I decided to do what she did. I looked at the previous month at the time of planning this, July 2019, and saw that I read a total of 1984 pages (hello George Orwell!) then divided it by 31 days, the number of days in that particular month. This simple little equation gave me 64 pages a day. So, I am planning on reading 64 pages a day for the first half of September! I am happy with this number, it is neither too much or too little.


-Reading/Page Log-

♣ = Completed on time,  > = Read more,  =Read Less

  • ♣1: 1-64 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣2: 65-128 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣3:129-192 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman
  • ♣4: 192-224 of Tin Man by Sarah Winman, 1-32 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣5: 33-96 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣6: 1-64 of The Tea Dragon Society byKatie O’Neill 
  • ♣7: 97- 160 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣8: 161- 224 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
  • ♣9: 225-270 of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, 1-18 of Coffey’s Hands (The Green Mile #3) by Stephen King 
  • ♣10: 19-82 Coffey’s Hands (Green Mile Part 3) by Stephen King 
  • ♣11:83-90 Coffey’s Hands (Green Mile Part 3) by Stephen King, 1-56 of The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile #4) by Stephen King
  • >12: 1-96…oops I went over my 64 pages a day limit gah! Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
  • 13:(34) 57- 90 of The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix (The Green Mile #4) by Stephen King, (30) 1-30 of Night Journey(The Green Mile #5) by Stephen King
  • 14: (60) 31-90 Night Journey(The Green Mile #5) by Stephen King,  (4) 1-4 of Coffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King
  • 15: (64) 5-68 of Coffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King

-Reflection- 

Okay, even though I only did this challenge for half of the month, I feel like I have some interesting things I realized. Some of these were more of an impact than others, but they all were notable things. Some had to do with my sleep, productivity, and readalongs/buddyreads.

The first one was, some nights I had things I needed to get done so reading had to take a back seat. Sadly, this meant I ended up staying up late to do my required reading and I was not happy when I had to wake up early the next morning.  Sometimes I don’t read for a day or so because life gets in the way and even though 64 pages isn’t a ton it feels like it when you start reading at 10 at night.

The second thing that this really affected was my buddy reads. I really had a hard time planning my reading ahead of time so I could read what I wanted to read, but also make sure I was prepared for my discussions and such. So, I kinda got stressed I was not going to be able to fit everything in, but also not read it to far in advance where I would forget everything.

Lastly, I would say it made me feel very productive. It was nice to check something off my check list all day that was a challenge, but kinda easy and very enjoyable at the same time.

I don’t think I would ever read like this again, but it was really interesting to see how I would do with reading my average every day.


Do you ever take part in a reading challenge?

What youtuber or book blogger inspires you?

Would you try a challenge like this?

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019

revisiting

Hello everyone today I wanted to share my progress with one of my 2019 goals/challenges. We are in the 5th month of the year, I can’t hardly believe it. I thought it was time to do more of a in-depth look at this goal because it is a bit more than a checklist type goal to me. I see it more as an experience or an experiment of sorts. I personally have never much been one to follow book awards and let them dictate my reading or sway my reading choices. This year I kinda wanted to see if I had been missing out because of this. If you want to see my reasoning for why I picked this reading award, you can see that in my original post; Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist.

Without more of a delay here are my reviews and my reflection on this experience so far!

Divider 2

-Reviews-

Washington Black

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.

View all my reviews


MilkmanMilkman by Anna Burns

I wont give this book a star rating because I could not finish it, it was not for me in the slightest. I picked it up and I was bored nearly right away. I can see how other might enjoy this book, but I did not.

View all my reviews


The Mars RoomThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I can’t give this book a star review, because I did not finish reading the book.

I had such high hopes for this book for a few reasons. The first being the description sounded amazing and it seemed like something I would normally gravitate towards. The second reason being is that it was short listed for the man booker prize as well as other noted literary awards.

The main reason this fell short for me was that it didn’t really capture my attention. That is not to say it was not dramatic, because it very much was, but it just was not something I wanted to pick up again after putting it down.

Don’t get me wrong, this book had a lot going for it and I was rooting for it. It had a great concept of critiquing society and how economics have such an impact on individuals lives. I also felt horrible for the main character because no one should have to go through what she and some of the other women went through. I am glad light was shed on a lot of issues in this book. But, a main character that doesn’t really seem in the story, a plot that jumps around too much, and it all left me looking to do something else.

View all my reviews

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-Reflection-

So far my reading has been mixed with this experiment 1 book has been a win and one has not been a win. I am sitting at 1:2 or 33% success rate. Not the best of scores. I am hoping that it will rise higher the more I read. At this time I have 3 more books to go so there are a lot of chances for me to get a good reading experience.

I am expecting it to go up not just because I have more  books to read, but also because I am fairy interested in 1 of them and I already picked it up. So I am hoping since I own that one I like it. I feel like if I do not like this next one I am going to abandon this goal for 2019. I seem to not really like the types of books that they picked for their winner or their shortlist at this point. Fingers crossed this next one is a winner!

-Remaining Books-

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Overstory by Richard Powers – Owned

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? How do you think this experiment will go?

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Goals

Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019

 LetsTalk12:17 So, since the year is coming close to an end I am starting to think about the things I want to accomplish in 2019, it feels so weird typing that. So this is one of the first of many posts that are going to be talking about the things I want to do in 2019 and I hope you enjoy. This will not be the only post about this specific book, so look forward to that!

So in 2019, I really wanted to read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy for a few reasons. The first being I read Anna Karenina in 2018 and I have been loving it more and more as time passes. The second I find Tolstoys writing so be beautiful. The last reason being is it on nearly every “100 Books to Read in a Life Time” lists. So this year I decided it was going to happen. Do this year I decided I was going to break up the book so I can read about a section every 3 weeks and finish in December. I am lucky enough to have friends who want to join me and you can see by the following tweet we are all excited about this year long endeavor.

I think the main reason why I am so exited about this endeavor is because I have made the book manageable by breaking up the book and spread it out throughout the year of 2019. This book is huge, that is one of the reasons it has taken my such a long time to get to it. I thought since I made this book manageable for me I would share the schedule I came up with with all of you.

War and Peace Document

What was the last classic you read?

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