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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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In

Reading Goals NEW

I cannot believe a quarter of the year is nearly already over, but you know that means it is time to check into my yearly goals to see my progress and see if I need to adjust myself to reach my goals. If you want to see the entire post explaining my 2019 goals, you can read that post here: Reading Goals | 2019 Edition. Anyway, I thought I would do a brief list of the goals and then I would do a but of commenting on them. I also want to share my updated yearly goals spread in my bullet journal. I am a very visual person so having that in my bullet journal really helps.

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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.

Divider 2-My Updates-

1. At this time I have only read 1 of the 6 books from this shortlist.

Washington BlackWashington 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

2. At this time I have read 2 books for this goal. I have read for North America and Europe. I have picked up three more books for this challenge. Those being Africa, Antartica, and Asia. If you have any recommendations for South America, please share!

3. At this time I have read 19 books, I am 9 books ahead of schedule!

4. At this point in time I have read 9498 pages, so I am nearly a third of the way to my goal. So theory I should be finishing this before the year is out and I am on track.

5. So far I gave stuck to that, at minimum I have read a book a month from the library.

6. Looking at the 19 books I have read this year, a total of 6 books have been non-fiction. So, I am already 50% done with this goal.

7. At this time I have read 0 books for this goal, I did buy Milkman by Anna Burns, but with recent reviews I am a little afraid to pick it up. I have very similar taste in books to one of my friends and she did not enjoy it, I think she told me she DNFed it or struggled to read it.

8. At this time I have read 2 sections of the 17 I set up for the year. I am a bit behind because I focused on reading Monte Cristo with Jenna and put War and Peace on the back burner. I plan on picking it back up in April.

9. As of writing this I am going very well with my backlist. I have 20 books on my backlist, which I am very ecstatic about!

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-Bullet Journal Spread-

Overall, for only being a quarter into the year, I think I am doing very well for myself. I know with the OWLs Readathon coming up I will be getting though many more books as well. Plus, I do a lot of reading in the warmer months of the year and I have plenty of time.

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How are your goals progressing so far? What goals did you get for yourself in 2019?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2019 Edition

Reading Goals NEW.jpgI still cannot believe I am writing the year 2019, it feels so weird to be thinking we are kinda close to 2020 which used to be put in the titles of so many futuristic and science fiction shows, movies, and such. Anyway, as always I set goals for myself each year and then we see what happens as time progresses. Last year I did not follow through on all my goals, but I am still proud of what I accomplished. This upcoming year I am excited about the things I am going to try to do.

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  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
    1. Reading Goals |Reading a Shortlist
  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
    1. Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
    1. Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    1. My backlisted books are here.

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Bonus Bujo Spread!

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There you have it, my 2019 goals. While they are not too over the top I think they are the right amount of challenging and put me out of my element as well as not to over ambitious like I was with the Pop Sugar challenge I tried to do last year.

What are the goals you have for yourself in 2019?

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Goals

Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019

Reading Goals NEW

Throughout the year I hear about book award and short lists from time to time. One I hear about most often would have to be The Man Booker Prize. It is a literary award that has been around for nearly 5 decades. Over that time works that are published in English are eligible to win. Translated or originally published in that language, I cannot say for sure if that was always the case, but I know that now it is. Some of the notable authors that have been honored are Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, Zadie Smith, and George Sanders to name a few.

Well, like I said I have been hearing a lot about this award from fellow book bloggers and even on some literary interviews. So I looked more into it and I thought I would also challenge myself a little bit in the upcoming year. In 2019 I want to read the entire shortlist from 2018. Obviously, I would be a year behind, but I thought it would be interesting to see what I think about the books that this well known book award and their judges deem to amazing books.

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The Short List

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Long Take

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

Everything Under

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

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I guess, if you want to be technical, I am making this shortlist my 5 books I want to read in 2019. But, I think this will be a bit more interesting than picking books I already want to read. I think reading these 5 titles will  get me out of my comfort zone in some aspects and maybe even expand me reading tastes. Who knows, I might even find a new favorite author. Wouldn’t that be a great outcome? I am really excited about this experience and I will update you all as soon as I read these 5 novels.

What book award do you wait to be announced each year?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 | 2nd Quarter Review

Reading Goals

Well, in my last quarterly update, Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review,  I was already able to check a few of my goals off of my list, but a few I still needed to work on. I just wanted to do a quick little check in to share my progress as well as keep myself accountable. Here is how I am doing on my 2018 goals for my reading and my blog.

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Update my blog post headers – Check!

Read 50 books- Check! As of right now I have read 54 books, I am so excited!

 

Read 30,000 pages

As of right now I have read a total of 18,412 pages, so I am more than halfway to my goal of reading 30,000 pages. This makes me very happy since I was a bit worried the last check in.

Try new things

As I stated in my 1st quarter update I have started a few new series on my blog, these include Operation Find a Hobby,  ________ Picks my Books, and Discussion posts. I always shied from discussion posts due to fear of many people not being interested, but I am so glad I started to incorporate them into my blog.  They are a ton of fun. Below I have linked the series for you if you are interested in reading.

Operation Find a Hobby

Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction

Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery

Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle

Operation Find A Hobby | Scrapbooking

Operation Find A Hobby | Jewelry Making

_____ Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Reading Formats

Lets Talk | Big Books

Lets Talk | Preordering Books

Lets Talk | Buddy Reading vs Book Club

Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge

 

Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

I currently have 24 challenges of the 40, so I am more than halfway through the prompts!

 

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How are your 2018 goals going?

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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!

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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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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018

Reading Goals

A new year and a few new goals for my blog, my reading, and myself. I don’t know about you, but I love setting goals for myself. I find it motivating and I am always excited to see if I hit them at the end of the year. For now I am going to share the goals I have for my blog and reading in the new year.

  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

2018 Reading Challenge


What goals do you  have for yourself this year?

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Goals

Reading Goals | Mid-Year Check-In

Reading Challenge

In March I did a quarter of the year check in on my goals to see if I was either on track or falling behind. Since seeing everyone post their mid-year check-ins, I thought it might once again be a good time to revisit my own goals to see if I am on track.

Top Five Book I Want to Read in 2017

At the start of the year I picked 5 books off of my TBR I wanted to get to this year the most. You can find the post here. I am happy to say I achieved this goal I have read every book I picked. You can find a review of most of those books in my #TBRTakeDown Wrap Up. Since I did so well with this I think I want to add another 5. So here are my new choices.

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

18302455

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

 18302455

Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol 1, 1884-1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

 18302455

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

 18302455

Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

18302455

Giving Up on Series/Books I Am Not Enjoying

Check! If feels so good to just let go of a book I am not enjoying.

Becoming a More Critical Review/Reader

This is more of a reflective goal than a goal you can actively seek such as page count or books read, but I felt it was important for me to become more critical. In the past where I have read if a book made me happy it was automatically 5 starts even if it was not my favorite. I have to say that this year I have become less of a passive reader and have taken time to reflect on my reading THEN rate/review the book.

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Get to 0 by 2018

This goal is something I am having trouble with. At the start of the year I had 26 books on my TBR, which was great for me because it was well over 100 in the past. Currently, I have 34, but I have read 46 books so far this year. In theory I have read more than the books that were in my TBR, but I am not sure what happened. There are to many good book sales plus I went on vacation and picked up about 5-6 books. I think I am going to go on a Book Buying Ban or Read 5 to Get 1. I really crave the idea of walking into a bookstore of library and picking up a book and reading it then and there without adding it to a pile.

Post On My Blog at Least Twice a Month

Check!

Organize My Goodreads Shelves

Check! You can see all of my Goodreads shelves on my post  TAG | The Goodreads Tag.

Goodreads Reading Goal

I set this years goal at 50, which I do every year. I am very much on track having read 46 books so far this year.


How is your reading year going?

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TBR

BookTube-A-Thon | July 24-30th 2017

TBR

The BookTube-A-Thon is a yearly week long reading marathon hosted by Ariel Bissett. Each year there are reading challenges, video challenges, reading sprints via twitter, and there is also a book depository link and coupon code you can use to buy some great reads. This year it is from July 24th – 30th. It starts midnight your time. I did this last year and really enjoyed it.  Without further ado, here are the 2017 reading challenges.

The 2017 Reading Challenges

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

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What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

2/ Read a hyped book.

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra. A while ago I heard this name all over booktube so I do hope I enjoy it and it is not over hyped.

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Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back…

3/ Finish a book in one day.

Using any of the books I mention in this post.

4/ Read about a character that is very different from you.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Myself and the main character, Henry “Monty” Montaque, do not have very much in common.

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

Using any of the books I mention in this post.

6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović. The cover of this book drew me to it right away, but once I read the description I knew I needed to have it.

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All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

7/ Read seven books.

Hehe… we shall see about this one.

So those are the four books I plan on reading this year for the BookTube-A-Thon. I also wanted to share the official announcement for this years booktubeathon. This is where you can find the most information as well as that link and code to book depository.


Are you going to participate in this years BookTube-A-Thon?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY | TBR JAR

diyHello everyone, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t know what to read next. Most of the time I pick my next read based off of what catches my eye, but sometimes that does not work. So I decided to make a TBR jar. Now of course I went to youtube to get some inspiration. I ended up getting inspiration from J. Bookish , although I did tweak it a bit because I did not want to wait overnight for it to dry. Now on to the DIY project!

Step One: Get the Supplies

 photo IMG_9761_zpsxld37w9d.jpgYou need a jar, Mod Podge, gel food coloring, a few paper plates, a paint brush, and any decorations you may want. I picked up wooden letters and a few small paper flowers. Depending on the decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun or super glue.

Step Two: Add Some Color


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For this step you are going to take your jar and add some Mod Podge, I recommend adding more than you think you will need. Then add a little bit of the gel food coloring. For the coloring I suggest starting off with a little and mixing it, then you can add more if you would like the color to be darker. Stir, stir, stir until everything is evenly mixed. This is important because it will show later on if it is not mixed correctly. P.S. don’t stir to quickly you will get air bubbles.

Step 3: Turn That Jar!

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Now that your color is mixed you need to slowly rotate while slowly turning it side ways. This will evenly distruble the mixture inside the jar. If done to quickly you may have uneven coverage and air bubble.

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Once your entire jar is covered continue to rotate it and pour the extra color mixture onto a plate. Get as much of this out as you can because it will speed up your drying time.

Step Four: Let it Dry

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When as much of the liquid is out you place it upside down on a plate. Now at this point you have two options:

  • You can leave it like this and let it dry over night and continue tomorrow
  • Set oven to warm or 175 degrees F. Place the jar upside down for 10 min. on top of wax paper or foil. When those 10 min. are up it is now time to flip your jar over so the opening is facing up and keep in oven for another 20-30 min. If you take it out of the oven and there is still streaking you may need to leave it in for a bit longer.

While it is air drying or you are baking it in the oven now is a great time to either print and cut out the books on your TBR or hand write them. Even though I did not add reading challenges I think that could also be a fun idea.

Step 5: The Fun Part, It’s Time to Decorate!

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Here are a few of the decorations I picked up, you can get whatever it is you like. I did not end up using everything.

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Sorry you cannot really see the color of my jar in this picture. I had to place it on an oven mitt to protect my floor. Yes, I was to lazy to wait over night, I wanted to decorate! Anyway, I suggest planning out what you are going to place on your jar. As you can see in the top left I picked out my letters and flowers and laid them out. Now depending on what decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun, use some more of the glue we used earlier, or you have picked something that already has adhesive on it.

Step Six: Put in Your TBR Titles

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Here is my final TBR jar. I really love how the color came out. It is light enough you can see all the papers inside, but dark enough that it colorful. I hope you enjoyed this little bookish DIY. I love this DIY because it is so customizable and does not require a lot of supplies. It can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.


Do you have a TBR jar?

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