March 2016 Review

March is (nearly) over already! Although in a sense, it couldn’t end soon enough… Anyway, time for a review and to plan out next month. See my February review here.

bullet journal march16 review

 

Here are the highlights for March:

  • I need to develop a routine now that I’m not working. This includes spending less time on social media and practicing better sleep hygiene. Depending on the events of the rest of the week, I may get it all sorted sooner rather than later. (Stay tuned!)
  • Self-care dwindled to the absolute basics for a fair part of the month. I need to regain my habit of staying well-hydrated (especially now that I started “running”).
  • I ran into the issue of having lists on more than one spread again. I’ve been experimenting with a different “weekly” spread this week.
  • In light of everything that happened this month, and some things I want to establish habits for, I’m bringing back the habit tracker in April. We’ll see how it goes this time.
  • I’ve experienced some unrest in my Arc notebook, so I may be switching my bullet journal to a new home(!).

How did March treat you? Are you making any changes in preparation for April?

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content (and teasers). Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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My Couch to 5k Journey

I haven’t made any formal announcement anywhere, but the first week of March I was laid off from my job. While I’m deciding which is the best path to take from here I needed a reason to get out of the house and not be a total hermit. I figured there was no better time to start couch to 5k since there is basically nothing else to work around in my schedule.

I’ve never been a runner. I loathed gym class all through school. I’ve gotten into the habit of walking for exercise–outdoors or at the gym–a few times over the years, but I never had the courage to start running. Last week, I thought about it and realized I was the only one standing in my way. I needed to do this for myself, and to throw aside what anyone else thought.

I already had workout clothes from the gym habit I fell out of last year, so I downloaded a training app to my phone and some music to motivate me and just went out there.

The route I picked the first day was the wrong one. The hill wasn’t too bad going down in the beginning, but it was killer coming back up. My legs were sore for days. I almost didn’t continue. I fought off the idea of quitting and (after 3 days of giving my legs a rest) picked back up with day 2. I took a different route and that jog/walk went much better. Day 3 I almost jogged all 8 sections.

I contemplated repeating week 1, but figured it was better for each day to be just a little out of reach so I can keep striving to get stronger. Tuesday (22nd) I did week 2 day 1. I wasn’t quite able to jog all 6 parts, but I did so much more than I ever would have thought before I started the program. It feels so good to be making progress with something that is good for me.

Those who follow me on Instagram have seen my post-jog/walk check-ins. What I haven’t shared before now is my progress tracker that I have in my bullet journal. This is what I teased in my last post. Since my Fitbit is tracking in miles, I’ve marked my tracker off in miles. I’ve put the tracker in to be a reminder of how I’m doing–that I am moving forward.

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At the beginning of the year, I had no clear fitness plan for myself. Is anyone else starting a new fitness routine now? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content–and my post-c25k pics! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Plan With Me #4

I’m doing another “plan with me” post since I haven’t done one in a while.

Since I start my week on Mondays, Sunday is the day I get things ready for the next week. First I put my weekly log header on the left-hand side of the next spread along with a mini calendar with the week highlighted. (Inspired by this photo from Kim, of Tiny Ray of Sunshine.) I’ve been using this style of weekly layout for a few weeks now. It works pretty well for me–at least until I go onto the next spread with dailies, then the flipping back and forth starts. In the photo below, I’ve already written in one “must do” item, and some day-specific notes.

bullet journal weekly log

After that is done, I flip back to last week’s log and daily sections to look for anything that didn’t get completed. I decide if these items should be migrated and move them to the new weekly log.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve added a small tracker to the bottom left to note when I went to bed and how much water I’ve had to drink each day. The space in the bottom right normally gets used as a menu (dinner) list for the week–more for tracking than planning ahead.

The photo below also shows the pens I used to set this page up–Sharpie Pen in black and my Lamy Safari I mentioned in my last post. Today it’s loaded with Diamine Amaranth, which didn’t look this deep before today. Crazy inks.

bullet journal weekly log2

This past week saw the addition of a progress tracker for something I started. The progress tracker idea came from Blue Paper Trail. I’m going to leave you hanging on what it’s being used for. 😉

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content (and possible spoilers). Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

New Pens

Time for an update on the writing instruments I’ve been using since January!

The last I wrote about pens, I simultaneously brought up the paper quality factor. This is not something I have fully addressed yet for my bullet journal. However, I was the recipient of some extra kindness in a pen transaction and have had the opportunity to use some better paper. Paper matters, people.

First, I’ll address the pens I mentioned last time:

Ballpoints

Paper Mate Inkjoy: These are largely out of the picture. Some people love them–they’re not for me.

Pilot Acroball Multi Pen: This is now my dedicated grocery shopping pen. It always writes, and I can scribble prices on my grocery list in different colors for different stores. It’s no longer a daily carry for my bullet journal, but it’s still a favorite.

Gel

Pilot Frixion: I haven’t bought refills.

Uni-ball Signo 207 BLX: I’m still liking these a lot, switching them out for daily use in my bullet journal.

Felt Tip

Sharpie Pen: I’m using these to add some color, along with the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.

American Crafts Precision Pen: This one is totally forgettable for me.

Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan: Still using this one–I finally emptied my first cartridge! I got some blue-black cartridges and an ink sample–using the blue-black at this time.

Additions

Uni-Ball Signo 307: This was a freebie that came in a pack of Sharpie gel highlighters. I love it! It’s been my go-to for bullet journaling, and I was sort upset when I thought the cats lost it a few weeks ago. (False alarm–Andrew, notorious pen thief, had borrowed it.)

Lamy Safari (1.1 nib): I purchased this from another fountain pen user, who generously offered ink samples and a couple of notebooks to go with it. The style of nib has taken a little getting used to, but I like how it adds some style to my normal handwriting. I’m torn between the Midori MD and the Maruman Mnemosyne paper–they’re both great.

pen addict care package

Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop (M nib): I couldn’t resist the turquoise any longer. I tried the larger nib option on this one and I think I might like it better than the fine. I ordered a sample of J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe to be matchy-matchy.

Platinum Preppy (M nib): This one is just to play with as an eyedropper (after I get silicone grease because I forgot to order it). I thought the red nib was really unique, but I like how it writes too.

pen addict order 0316

I’ve been playing around with doodling and practicing my handwriting with my new pens, and I picked up letter writing late into incowrimo.

Do you have a new favorite pen? Tell me about it 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 #5

Apologies for the unannounced (and unplanned) blogging break.

Due to my continued lack of progress after the last check-in, I’m going to put this series on hiatus. Evidently I have some bigger things to work through besides implementing what should be simple habits.

 

I thought that posting this series would provide some accountability and help me build healthier habits, but it’s not working as I thought it would. Time to try something different!

Short post today–I’ll try to get back on my regular schedule this week.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram–where I share more of what I’m doing/planning/reading/watching. Thanks for stopping by!

Finance Report – February 2016

The transition to a new month is when most people review their budget, as do we. See our January review here.

I’ll start with what had the most impact on our budget this month: tax refunds. Andrew and I filed our taxes in January, so we got our refunds early. (Except my state refund, which I’m still waiting for…) We’d talked beforehand about how we wanted to use this money. Part of it was put back for a trip we’re taking in April, and the rest was supposed to go to debt. We did pay off debt #2 on the list as planned, but the rest of the game plan changed somewhat.

My laptop is due for replacement, especially after I dropped it and killed the screen the last week of February. Instead of using tax money to replace it immediately, I started a laptop replacement fund.

Andrew spent a few days in Orlando participating in Extra Life United. His entry fee, flight, and hotel were paid for. We had to cover food, park admission at Disney, and souvenirs–which I grossly underestimated. His mom generously contributed to his trip money, which was a huge help.

The statement for debt #3 arrived on the last day of the month, when I had planned to make the extra payment. I left the money where it was and will bump it to this month’s payment.

Then of course I decided I wanted a birthday fund for myself (it’s quickly approaching), so Andrew agreed it would be ok to set out $50 for that.

Barring all of that, we did pretty well staying within normal budget categories. Andrew being gone for most of a week allowed us to cut the grocery bill to help account for other things.

I didn’t do much to update our budget spreadsheet for March. The main change I made was to split eating out and going to the movies, and increase those budgets slightly. I kept losing Andrew on those being in one category, so they’re split up now for clarity.

Now that we’re doing better at maintaining, I’m thinking about trying You Need A Budget. Back before I met Andrew, I did pay bills with “last month’s money” and I’d love having that security again. People rave about YNAB everywhere so it’s tempting to give it a shot.

I believe that’s all there is to update at this time. Check back next month for March progress!

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