That time I started a bullet journal

That time I started a bullet journal

A few days ago, I was talking to some friends about our Christmas highlights. I mentioned that I was really excited about one of my gifts… a bullet journal.

No one in the group seemed to know what I was talking about, so I went on to try to explain. It’s a blank journal. And you fill it in with whatever you want. And you get to use colorful markers. And practice your handwriting.

They looked at me perplexed. A few of them laughed out loud.

“Explain it again… You do WHAT?!?” was the general reaction.

I thought that maybe if I just gave them more detail, they would catch on to the greatness of this hobby that is the bullet journal. It’s for people who love to make lists… or just love to write on paper… you create your own calendar pages… and you “journal” but in bullet points, I tried to explain.

Instead of falling in love, they became increasingly convinced that I am nuts! So, I guess most people aren’t that excited about a bullet journal, and if that’s you, that’s OK. I get it.

I tried starting a bullet journal back in 2016. I even wrote a few blog posts about my excitement about it! I started following Instagram feeds and blogs devoted to bullet journaling. But the more I learned about it, the more convinced I became that there was no way I could do it!

Some days, I can barely find time to even write out my to-do list, not to mention, create a colorful page with neat handwriting and carefully framed boxes to record my thoughts. But as I approached the end of 2017, I decided I wanted to give it a try. There’s just something about creating a bullet journal that is so appealing to me!

As I mentioned before, I love pens. I love writing on paper. I love practicing my hand lettering. I love planners. I love doodling. This is a hobby that’s also an organizational tool that incorporates all of those things!

I gave my husband a link to the Leuchtturm 1917, which seems to be the bullet journal of choice for many people. The pages have squares like graph paper, which makes it so much easier to plot out what you want to write on each page. The pages also lie flat, and each page is numbered.

He also got me a creative lettering book and some nice pens.

So, I’ve been bullet journaling for a week now, and so far I love it. Also, so far, my kids have been on Christmas break, and I was off last week and had a lot more time than usual to sit around and write in my bullet journal. Honestly, if I can keep this thing going for two weeks, I’m going to be happy!

Just to give you a taste, here’s what kind of pages I’ve created so far.

Getting started is the hardest part because you don’t want to mess up the very first page in your beautiful new journal. I decided to start by creating a record of our Christmas gifts. Not that we need a record of our Christmas gifts. But it’s straight forward. It’s easy. It didn’t require a lot of thought.

That was fun, so I decided to make some other lists from 2017, just as a non-threatening way to get started with my journal.

I wrote down some significant memories from each month…

…a list of the books I read and my favorite podcasts…

…and I started a list of new foods I tried last year… I still need to complete this list…

I was still a little worried about getting into the meat of the journal, so I used a few pages to just write words…

It’s not perfect or beautiful, but I like to try to write in different “fonts.” 🙂

So, finally, I started the calendar portion of my journal…

First, I created a “future log” with one line for each day of the year. This is where you can write all of the important dates of the year, like holidays, birthdays and days off school. I love that my journal has two bookmarks so I can mark different pages. The pages in this journal also are numbered, making it easy to create a table of contents at the front with the page number references for what’s in the journal.

Next, I created my January habit tracker.

You can imagine how much I love filling in these little squares each time I complete one of my daily habits for the month!

And finally, I started working on my daily spreads.

The fun part about a bullet journal is that you can make all of your spreads look different. I’m still a little intimidated, so I just copied this spread format from someone on Pinterest, and I created a week’s worth of pages in this format.

It includes a “to do list,” a box I labeled “healthy,” which includes my weight, what type of exercise I did that day, how much water I drank and how many steps I took that day.

At the bottom is a box marked “gratitude.” This is the “bullet journal” portion of the book, where I jot down in bullet points the highlight of my day. I’ve been surprised how much I enjoy filling in this box!

So, that’s my bullet journal. At this point, you are either laughing, completely confused or convinced this is something you have to try! Whatever the case, I get it. I can’t even tell you I will be bullet journaling a week from now, but it’s been a great excuse to cuddle up under a warm blanket with some hot tea and write with my pretty pens. And that, my friends, is my idea of fun!


Hey, I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever heard of bullet journaling? Have you tried it? Does it sound ridiculous? Or do you think it’s something you would enjoy? I would love to know!

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It’s a rustic, snow-globe kind of Christmas

It’s a rustic, snow-globe kind of Christmas

Hey, there! I know it’s been a while since I updated the blog. The last few months have been really crazy around here, and my poor blog has been neglected. I’ve been working a lot more hours than usual… then we have the usual family stuff, plus that whole deal about me cooking every meal from scratch.

It’s always hard to know where to begin after I haven’t written anything for so long. So it seemed like the easiest place to start would be with the happy, light-hearted topic of Christmas decor! You already know that I’m not a big fan of winter. But thank goodness for the smell of pine and the cozy warmth of Christmas decor to get us at least part way through the long winter!

I’ve continue working on my rustic decorating style by adding some new signs that I’ve painted and other wood elements. This year, I also added my snow globes to the Christmas theme. I usually don’t bring them out until January, just to change things up. I’m really loving snow globes and enjoy buying myself a new one at Christmas time!

I found a random board in the garage and painted this “Merry & Bright” sign. It was so simple. I just stained the board a dark walnut. Then, I cut out the words with my Silhouette and placed them on the sign with adhesive vinyl. I painted over the vinyl with white paint. Then, I removed the vinyl to reveal the words. So fun!

Here’s the whole fireplace, with a blurry view of the “Christmas countdown” sign that I painted this year. It has a little wreath around the number “1” that we can move each day! Dec. 1 also is our youngest daughter’s birthday, so she has been super excited to see that number marked the past few weeks!

You already know how much I love chalkboards. Here are a few that I’ve updated for the Christmas season.

And, you might also know that I’m obsessed with fairy gardens. I made this little Christmas fairy garden in a jar, which I thought was cute with my snow globes.

And remember this photograph I took last year? It was fun to pull it out for a winter touch on my shelves in the kitchen.

You might remember that I used mod podge to adhere the photo to a piece of wood. I glazed it with mod podge, which makes it looks like a painting.

This is my new snow globe for this year.

And here’s one on the coffee bar and shelves that my husband built for me:

I’ve had this white mirror for as long as we’ve been home owners. It was one of the first decorations I ever bought. All of the glass is now broken from having lots of kids in the house, but I still love decorating it for the seasons.


I haven’t done a lot outside this year, and I think I might just keep it simple.

I made this set of ornaments a few years ago with a log from our River Birch tree. I still love them!

And Jayda made this little snow man last year in first grade. Isn’t it the cutest? I want to make a whole family of them to represent our family. That could be happening soon!!

So, what do you think about decorating for the holidays? Do you love it or hate it? Do you have a decorating style or a theme?

I would love to hear! Leave me a comment!

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End of summer home decorating

End of summer home decorating

End of summer home decor

I’ve been writing about some serious topics the past few days, and I’ve loved interacting with many of you on Facebook, Bloglovin’ and through text. I guess I’m not the only one feeling the sadness of back to school, and I’ve also learned that many of my friends have been doing the happy dance now that they have a few minutes of peace and quiet each day!

Now it’s time to move onto something a little more light-hearted: home decorating.

I’ve mentioned a number of times here on my blog that I’ve really grown to love changing out my decor for the seasons. But the “back to school” time of year that we are in right now is the one “season” that has perplexed me in my decorating.

Let me explain.

I really look forward to rearranging my mantel and other decorations to match the mood at Christmas, spring and fall. It makes me feel like it helps me to savor the season. Around the end of May, I usually transition into summer mode by adding American flags and baseballs to my decorating.

I often forget to take photos, but here are a few shots of my July decor from last year:

Once July has passed and Independence Day is a memory, I can’t wait to move on. However, it’s too early to start decorating for fall. I want to hold onto the end-of-summer season just a bit longer.

This year, I was determined to decorate for August and September in some way, but couldn’t really every come up with a decorating theme. I can’t even express my level of happiness a few weeks ago when I found this sunflower wreath, which is exactly what I had in mind.

My decor is full of browns, greens and purples, so I was looking for something that wasn’t too bright. I also love how the texture and bow match the rustic feel that I’ve been trying to achieve with my decorating.

About a year and a half ago, I transferred some of the photos I’ve taken onto pieces of wood. I covered the photos in mod podge to create an effect that looks like a painting. For a while, I had a whole wall covered in photos, but then I had the idea for my husband to build these shelves to go over our coffee bar. I love that I can pull out one or two of my photos to match my current decorating mood.

This was the perfect time to use this sunflower photo, which is one of my favorites.

I still don’t have a lot of decor for this time of year. But I switched out my spring birdhouses for this globe and traded the spring flowers for a bouquet of prairie grass which I picked last year from behind our house.

You also know that I love changing the sayings on my chalkboards to match the seasons. I thought this was a good reminder for my kids as they go back to school.

Now, I can breathe a big sigh of relieve that my transitional end-of-summer, not-quite-fall decorating is done. 🙂

It’s the little things in life that make me happy!


What about you? Do you enjoy decorating for the seasons? Do you change out your decor half as often as I do?

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Look at me! I decorated my house!

Look at me! I decorated my house!

At the risk of sounding like a complete dork, I am now going to write a blog post about how I decorated my house for Valentine’s Day. This might sound like a normal, no-big-deal, just gettin’ ready for February activity around your place. But over here, people are walking around, shaking their heads, saying, “Mom! What is going on?!”

Up until we moved out here “to the prairie” (as we like to say ’round these parts), my idea of seasonal decor consisted of putting up a Christmas tree on Nov. 27, slapping a wreath on the door and a nativity scene on the table, and then putting it all back away on Dec. 26. That was it. A year’s worth of seasonal decor came and went in one short month.

But since we moved out here, I’ve noticed some strange changes in myself. First, this former bird HATER has started putting out bird feeders. I actually get excited and text my husband when a cardinal is sitting on the back deck.


Second, I’ve been trying to add some seasonal decor. It all started on 4th of July when I spray painted those cans in red, white and blue. Then, there was Thanksgiving, when I made my husband cut tree logs so I could use them as candle holders. The Thanksgiving decorations evolved into Christmas decor, and by mid-January, I was finding myself too sad to put things away. Our house was going to look so bleak and barren with NO seasonal decor.

Well, I’m not much of a Valentine’s Day person. And most people know that I despise the color red. I don’t wear any clothing that’s red, not even in support of my kids’ sports teams. I don’t even like to be NEAR red. So I couldn’t really think of a good way to decorate for a made-up holiday that centers around the color red.

Then I had the idea that maybe I could decorate without going all red and pink. I saw an idea to wrap letters in yarn, and before I knew it, I was spending hours wrapping these mongo L-O-V-E letters with yarn colors that gave a slight hint at Valentine’s Day, but still matched the rest of my house. The big cardboard letters just happened to be half off at Hobby Lobby, so I knew this project was meant to be. And when I say I wrapped them for hours, I mean hours. And hours. I pretty much watched an entire season of “Once Upon a Time” while wrapping these letters. But really, no matter how much you despise V-Day, you have to admit that LOVE is an awesome thing!


Next, I saw a super cute idea for a pallet sign on Facebook. I way simplified the idea and cut out a template on my silhouette to make this sign that says, “Love never fails.” People. You are probably thinking I’m the kind of girl who has wrapped cardboard letters in yarn or spray painted a pallet sign many times before. Untrue!


I do enjoy painting walls, and hanging a bit of art that I find premade at the store. But I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done a DIY home decor project. Look how cute my view is now when I look out my window while washing dishes! I spend a LOT of time looking out this window, so this is really making me smile.


Are you ready for part 3 of The Great Valentine’s Day Decorating Project? I still needed a bit more decor to take the place of all of the greenery and pinecones that where all over the place for Christmas. So I came up with the idea to wrap foam balls in twine to make faux Pottery Barn decorating balls.

Look at this! I wrapped foam balls in twine!!! I did this. By myself!


As a final touch to my non-red Valentine’s decorating project, I found these cute little hearts at Michael’s. (They are 40 percent off this week!) They had them in burlap and white. I used them to update my Christmas centerpiece to be a little bit more Valentine’s Day. (Just ignore the remnants of greenery that I failed to clean before taking the photo.) Pretty cute, huh?


I also added them to the candle tray in my dining room. I heart those little burlap hearts.


There you have it! I decorated my house. My family is in awe. And I’m already starting to plan for my spring decor! (Hint: It will involve birds.)

So, tell me… Do you change out your decor for each season?

I’m linking up this post with The Party Bunch

30 Handmade Days
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