January 2016 Review

The first month of the new year certainly went by fast. This month I decided to try something a little different and actually do a “formal” review in my bullet journal. I followed Laura at How to… Get Your Shit Together’s format because it seemed straightforward. (She also has a video detailing her process.)


I won’t go through everything I wrote down, but here are the main points:

  • I wasn’t as consistent with morning and evening routines as I wanted to be. I know that SAVERS does work for me, but the multi-step evening routine didn’t work to get me to sleep earlier. Instead of SLOWERS, I’m going to simply set a bedtime.
  • Relating to the first point, my general self-care needs work, so I’ve made a couple of simple goals to get that in motion. If my self is well-cared for, then I can care for others better (and the house).
  • My cleaning routine still needs work. (Suggestions are welcome!)
  • Referring to last month’s review: meal ideas got added to the week page, and helped me feel a bit more “together”; the sticky flag blog calendar worked with me transferring the topics for posts to the appropriate week; I added to my collection of pens, but only used the Fineliners and Sharpies for a bit of color, sticking with gel most of the time.

How did the month go for you? Let me know in the comments how you do your reviews.

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Plan With Me #3

Since the new month starts on Monday(!), I’ve started setting it up in my bullet journal. I’ve pretty much ditched doing all my layouts for the entire month, which really cuts down on the amount of time spent setting up.

I start with the monthly log, which I divide into two columns (one work, one personal). I also split off the weeks just to make it easier to find my place when writing things down–this worked well in January, so I’m keeping it the same.. I went ahead and filled in mine and Andrew’s paydays and (after the photo was taken) next week’s work schedules and the dates of a trip he’s going on.


I didn’t add a habit tracker yet. I’m debating if I’m going to, and also what I want to track in February. (In January I’ve only tracked my morning and evening routines, and seeing how poorly my evening routine was implemented has been disheartening.)

As I mentioned in this post, I wanted to try out a new printable for my week schedule. I’ve started filling in one for next week, combining it with this weekly log that Kim from Tiny Ray of Sunshine shared.


And that’s it! A simpler way of laying things out worked well for me in January, so I’m just streamlining in February.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content–thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Goals Check-In #2

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks already! Time to look at my tracking page again…


Obviously I’m still rather hit-and-miss with my morning and evening routines. I’m doing pretty well at getting up earlier, but sometimes I get in a procrastination loop and don’t get my morning routine done. (Weekends are more difficult since I don’t work and don’t generally have too many things to do or places to go at a specific time.) The evening routine goes better if I focus on starting it around 9pm, but again, I sometimes have difficulty switching “off” whatever I’m doing even when I’m tired.

It may not look like I’ve made progress with my tracked routines, but I’m going to stick with them. I do feel like my days go better with an intentional start and end. I just need to convince my stubborn brain to commit instead of getting distracted.

I’m still trying with the cleaning routine, but I think I haven’t landed on something that truly works for me–hence my trouble sticking with anything. I’ll need to put some more thought into it and figure out what really works best for me.

The budget is still going ok. I will need to do some more tweaking to a couple of categories, but that’s just part of setting up a budget. Unfortunately our “snowball” won’t be very big this month because of an unexpected vet trip. (Murphy!!!) At least we had the money to pay out of bank accounts instead of putting on a credit card though, and it didn’t make us run short or anything like that.

How are your new year plans going so far? Let me know in the comments, or leave me your advice and encouragement to keep going.

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Knitting for Snowmageddon

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been a knitting machine as far as producing squares for my leftover blanket. As I write this I have 4 squares left to knit and one that just needs bound off to have enough for a square lap blanket/throw. Of course I still have 4 rows of 12 squares each to attach to the blanket, and the cross “seams” to knit but I truly feel like the end is in sight. Thanks to the generosity of a friend from the knitting retreat, I have plenty of yarn to make my blanket bigger, but I’m ready for it to be done. All that she sent me won’t go to waste though.


The day I’m posting this, we’ve just had a storm system move in that’s expected to dump several inches of snow between now and Monday(ish). Since I have a Subaru (yay AWD!) and don’t want to use PTO for snow days, it’s unlikely that I’ll be snowed in from work Thursday and Friday, but there is still the weekend to spend working away under a cozy knit blanket. 😀

In other knitting news, I finished the socks for my mom. They were supposed to be her Christmas gift in 2014. They were 368 days late. Whoops.


I haven’t made a ton of progress on the Doctor Who scarf, so no updates there. *cue sad trombone*

What projects are you working on now? Do you have any (non-blanket) suggestions for my sock leftovers stash? Let me know in the comments!

As always, don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

January #Planwithmechallenge Day 5

Day 5: layouts and inserts

I mentioned in my Instagram post for this day of the challenge that I’m testing a few weekly layouts. I’ve done weekly layouts before (more than once) and last month I decided to forego them, but I found I missed that space for a bit more in-depth planning. The problem now is figuring out exactly which layout works best.

(See a collage of what I’ve tried at the bottom of the post.)

  • I feel like a week on two pages often goes underutilized, and space gets wasted. I’ve tried 2-3 different ways of splitting up a whole spread and none were “right” for every week.
  • In December, I tried putting two weeks on one page and ran out of room many days. Then I had to flip back and forth to my overflow “day” pages. Still it was an interesting experiment.
  • This past week I had the week on one page, but the facing page had already been filled with daily notes from earlier–meaning more page flipping. I was closer to the “sweet spot”, but obviously I need to leave more space between weeks.
  • The upcoming week’s page is similar to one I’ve tried before, with all the days down the left half. Since I drew it in ahead of time, I’ll have to deal with the page flipping again, but I’m willing to push through to see if this works better this time.
  • The other day Planner Fun and Giftie Etcetera teamed up with a new insert printable that I’m kind of excited to try. Since I’m already printing my own dot grid pages, it wasn’t a big deal to print these on one side to try out. They will have to wait another week to be used though.

Do you have a favorite weekly layout or insert? Let me know in the comments!

As always, don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂



I want to spend a little time talking about…well, you know ^. I’ve always been a bit of a pen nerd, looking for new ones to try out, finding just the right one to use, etc. My discovering the Pen Addict some time ago did not help, as it led me to Jet Pens, and I’m sure you can all relate to being compelled to try all the things they have. (That’s a rabbit hole I’m not going down today…)

In the past 6-8 months, I’ve trialed several types of pens in the search for The One. I’m getting close, and I think at this point that my paper quality (that I plan to upgrade soon) is going to be the determining factor. Here is what I’ve tried:


Paper Mate Inkjoy: These were mostly a disappointment to me due to my dislike of ballpoint pens in general. I love the colors, but the thick line and tendency to spit out gobs of ink turned me off. (I ended up giving some of them to my nephews for Christmas, so they have a fair chance of being used.)

Pilot Acroball Multi Pen: This one was part of my first Jet Pens order, and I used it almost exclusively for the last couple of months. I love the ink formula, and how it writes a fine line at 0.7mm. I need it in more colors.


Pilot Frixion: These are so much better than the erasable pens I had growing up! Sadly, I emptied both the black and blue (I think) within a couple of months. Also, I find the 0.7mm gel pens to be a bit wet on paper, so if I decide to do refills I’ll have to order 0.5mm as no one carries them locally.

Uni-ball Signo 207 BLX: I love these colors, but again, they’re a bit wet on my paper. Still, they’re a nice change from plain black without being too “out there”. I’d like to try some more of the Uni-ball Signo gel pens.

Felt Tip

Sharpie Pen: Quick-drying and available in multiple colors, these are a favorite among the planner community. I need better paper though as they do spread a bit on 20 lb paper.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner: I just picked these up–another favorite in this community. They’re a bit finer than the Sharpie pens so they don’t spread as much. I’ve been using them off and on. I like the color selection (even though I only got a pack of 6).

American Crafts Precision Pen: I picked up one of these at A.C. Moore a while back, and I’m not impressed. Honestly, I forgot I had it.

Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan: My first fountain pen. It’s grown on me with more use, but it’s another indicator that I need better paper. I think I’d also like to have a different ink color. (I decided not to order extra with the pen in case I didn’t end up liking it.) Also, I’m totally jealous of all the Retro Pops people are flaunting–I can’t justify a second fountain pen right now!

Of course these are just the pens I’ve used recently. I used to be a fan of the Pilot G2, but the 0.7mm one kills me. I want to try out some of the other fine point gel pens from Jet Pens, like the Pilot Juice.

What is your favorite or must-have pen? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Goals Check-In #1

I’m 10 days into “officially” working on my new routines. Here is how I’m doing so far:


As you can see from my tracking page, my morning and evening routines are far from mindless habit. I’m not giving up though. I’ve had some sort of cold this weekend which has totally thrown off my normal schedule.

Cleaning is…still a bit of a struggle. It doesn’t help that I decided the cards were unwieldy, and went back to the UFYH checklists (on sticky notes in my bullet journal just to jog my memory). I do pretty well with the daily things and laundry, but the rest still needs work. I haven’t started my Marie Kondo-style de-cluttering yet. I feel like the maintenance part of cleaning needs to be established before I do that.

Our budget is going quite a bit better with the changes I implemented. We probably won’t have much of a “snowball” this month, but some is better than none.

Did you set goals for the new year? How are they going so far? Let me know in the comments!

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Thanks for stopping by! 🙂