Bullet Journaling For The Artistically Challenged

In March I went to a bath bomb making class with a group of bloggers from Portland. While I was there, I met Cindy, from Classic Sidewalk. Her blog is all about planning an adventurous life, a concept that I found intriguing since I had decided to do something new each month. Anyway. We talked at length about bullet journaling. It was then that I decided that bullet journaling would be my something new for the month of April.

When I looked at Cindy's bullet journaling posts, I was a little overwhelmed. Her journal was so neat and pretty. I also saw that she regularly did things like calligraphy and painting with watercolors. I felt way out of my league. I love thinking I'm artistic. I also love trying crafts. But to be honest, I have many more Pinterest fails than successes. Needless to say I was a bit worried about what I had gotten myself into.

PS This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I will make a commission at no added cost to you. 

Bullet Journaling Supplies

Bullet Journal Basic Supplies


Technically you can use any paper or pen for your bullet journal. However, I wanted to make sure I had the best supplies. I wanted to make sure there was limited bleed through and no smudging. Smudging is the worst. I did a ton of reading on which supplies to get. I decided to start with the minimum. If I liked bullet journaling enough, I could always buy fancy pens and washi tape later.

The Journal

Through all of my reading there were two journals that stood out in the recommendation.

The more budget friendly option is Moleskine. It is readily available at a variety of stores. You can buy a soft cover or hard cover version. The paper comes unlined, lined, dotted or squared. It really provides for a lot of options. Ultimately, I didn't pick this one because a number of bloggers mentioned that the paper had more bleed through than other more expensive journals. I didn't want to test out multiple journals so I couldn't tell you from personal experience whether this is true or not.

I ended up selecting the Leuchtturm1917 for my journal because it had the most recommendations. I had a hard time picking between a soft and hard cover but ultimately went with a hardcover, again, because it was the most recommended option.

The Pens

I know this might sound strange, but I love a good pen. I'm pretty particular about the color and size. It must be black and it can't be too fine. However when it come to bullet journaling I needed to think about drawing lines as well as writing.

For my pens, I picked up Staedtler Pigment Liners in .3 and .5. Those sizes where recommended across multiple bullet journaling posts that I read. However, after actually using them, I would have gone with finer points. There were other recommendations as far as pen brand including Marvy Le Pen Technical Drawing Pens and Sakura Pigma Micron Pens among others.

For those that want to use color, all of the posts I read recommended the Tombow Dual Brush Pens and Zebra Mildliners. I didn't buy any color options because I wanted to see if I could get a handle on just the basics of bullet journaling first. The creative part with colors would have to come later, if at all.


The Tools

I cannot draw a straight line even with a ruler. Yes, I said it. How is that even possible? Well the key to drawing a straight line is making sure the ruler is straight. Somehow I can't manage to do that. Mark me down as an artistically challenged loser. I will be showing you how mine looked here in a minute.

While the ruler only improves my ability marginally, I'm betting you all would have much better luck with keeping your ruler straight.

The journal that I purchased has a cute little pocket in the back, so I ordered a cute small ruler to keep in there. This way I will have the perfect sized ruler with me whenever I decided to work on my bullet journal.

The Extras

Of course, the list of extras that can be used when bullet journaling is endless, but I will highlight a few that were consistently mentioned in posts that I read.

A circler: Used to draw perfect circles in your bullet journal
A protractor: Used to divide your circles into sections
Washi tape: Can be used decoratively as an accent or as page markers and dividers
Stickers: Used to decorate your bullet journal
Practice journal: This is for the hardcore to practice new layouts before using them in their official journal

My Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal Monthly Layout


***Disclaimer: All of my pages were made in the middle of the night when I was dead tired. I'd like to think I'd do better when I was a bit more rested***This first photo is of my monthly overview. On the first page you can see I didn't divide my day blocks evenly. Also you can see every place my hand wobbled.

Bullet Journal Weekly View


This is an example of one of my weekly pages. Well it was the page with the least mistakes and you can still see quite a few. The section on the right was supposed to be for meal planning, but really it was too small of a space. Later weeks I thought I would use that space to record how much water I drank, but I didn't use that either.

Overall

I am sorry to say that bullet journaling is not for me and I won't be continuing it after this month. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to devote to it (or the needed skills).Creating perfectly straight lines and error proof entries is time consuming. It is also a bit stressful for me. I actually dreaded filling our my bullet journal and wanted to quit after the first week. The one positive that came from this is my new found appreciation for my planner. It is simple, pretty, and no rulers are needed.

A Guide To Bullet Journalling

So much to do: April Life Lately



Things have been crazy over here. Like I just don't have enough time to do everything that needs to get done. In fact, I should probably be doing something other than writing this blog post.

Reading
Not.A.Single.Page

Watching
I have been watching Life in Pieces on Netflix. A lot of it reminds me of my life except way funnier! I am also looking forward to seeing how they wrap up Pretty Little Liars. I am sad that it is the last season but I'm hoping something new will be coming along that is just as good.

Kiddo
Things with the kiddos have gotten a bit better. We have a new schedule that I am trying out and so far it is working much better. I do need to find more activities for the toddler to do during the day. He is much better behaved when we actually do things than if I expect him to play with his toys and his brother all day.

Wifey Life
This is really complicated. I'm not even sure what to say. After some talking things have gotten a little bit better but we still have a long way to go. I might write a post with a bit more detail about what happened once I have a bit perspective. Marriage can be hard and while I don't like airing my dirty laundry, I want to help you not make the same mistake I did.

Blog Life
I have cut back on how often I am posting here and I have decided it is a good thing. I'm spending more time writing better posts. I am also trying to show more of myself and my personality. I know that I can be a bit private and I write in a way that is a bit formal/boring. I am going to try and work on that, I promise. I am still really focusing on Instagram. I have been doing more stories and posting more consistently. My following has grown quite rapidly too. If there is enough interest, I might start writing about blogging and social media growth. You will have to let me know if you want to read about blogging, otherwise, I won't spend time writing something you don't want to read.

Upcoming
I have a special visitor coming to see me next month and I am so excited. I also have some really great partnerships in the works for upcoming posts. Plus I am going to add a new topic to the blog. I bet you can't guess the direction I will be going....

Guilt Free Games for Your Kids

I know there is a lot of controversy over how much screen time is too much screen time. In fact my doctor recommended that I keep my children screen free until they are two years old. Yikes! My oldest started having screen time around a year old. Sometimes as moms, we just need to be able to get a few things done with out a kiddo under our feet.

I received KidloLand free to review, but all opinions are my own.

I don't feel guilty about the little screen time the boys are getting because I only allow educational games and shows. Currently my oldest is loving the KidloLand app. It is great because it has hundreds of games all in one space. I can cook dinner while my kids are singing, dancing, laughing, and learning.

My old iPad pretty much belongs to the kids now. I can't get it out without them wanting to play with it. My two year old knows how to find the app on the iPad without any help from me. He does need a little bit of help navigating because there are just so many options for him to pick from. He is really into singing and dancing right now so he really loves the music. His favorite is Itsy Bitsy Spider.

KidloLand has tons of fun stuff and can be used until the boys are 5 years old! The early learning games included in the app are great for preparing the kiddos for school. There are games for days of the week, weather, phonics, and more.

While I try not to rely on screen time to often, I know that when my kiddos are playing with the KidloLand app that they are actually learning. That is something I don't have to feel guilty about!

Do you allow your kids to have screen time? How much time do they get?

Download KidloLand here:

iOS
Google Play Store
Amazon App Store


Guilt Free Games for Your Kids

KidloLand: Guilt Free Games for Your Kids

KidloLand: Guilt Free Games for Your Kids
KidloLand:Splat The Veggies
KidloLand:Splat The Veggies

The Ultimate Gift Guide For Mothers

The Ultimate Gift Guide For Mothers



Being a mom can be really hard. I know because I've had those days, even weeks, where I just felt overwhelmed and under appreciated. Unfortunately, I know I am not the only mom that can feel that way. So let's all get that mom in our life something special because she deserves it.

What I love the most about all of these gifts is that they are all a great gifts not matter the occasion. Birthdays. Christmas. Mother's Day. Hence the name The Ultimate Gift Guide for Mothers.
PS This posts contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase, I will make a small amount of money, but there will not be any additional cost to you. PSS I'd really appreciate it if you used my links.

Beauty & Makeup Lovers

If you have been reading my blog, you know I love Birchbox. I highly recommend Birchbox for the woman that loves skin care items over makeup. Birchbox does makeup but they send more skin care and hair items than other subscription services.

I would recommend Ipsy for the mom that loves makeup and isn't afraid to try something new. I get some really unique makeup items from brands I have never heard of before. I also get cool trendy items and unique colors.

For The Fashionista

As a mother, I never have a lot of time. If I am out shopping it is always for the boys or my husband. I pretty much never get to go shopping for myself. Of course, now that I have Stitch Fix, I don't have to shop for myself. Someone else shops for me! I love that they use my style guidelines to send me clothes straight to my door. Plus they provide the return shipping bag for items. Sign up for Stitch Fix for yourself or grab a gift card to give to someone else.

For The Mom That Needs Some Pampering

Last year, I put together a home spa day guide for Mother's Day.  Of course, for those that want to splurge, a day at a real spa can be even more relaxing. If your mama is like me and doesn't prefer to be touched by strangers, you should check out spas with hydrotherapy options instead of a massage.


The Ultimate Gift Guide For Mothers


For The Foodie

I have tried several meal delivery options. They all have their ups an downs.

My current favorite is Sun Basket. I love having the ability to pick between different options like paleo, gluten free, and vegetarian. Plus I can pick and chose the specific meal I want. Not all meal plans allow you to do that. The one downside of this basket is the price. It is the most expensive of all the boxes I tried at around $12.50 a plate. Before that price scares you, a lot of their items are organic and they have many recipes with special, hard to find ingredients.

For those that don't have special dietary concerns, I would recommend Hello Fresh. The meals options are a bit simpler, but still tasty. Like Sun Basket, Hello Fresh allows you to pick the specific meals you want to receive.

If a meal box service doesn't seem like the right fit you can always go with indulgent treats. Chocolate covered strawberries are not just for Valentine's Day. Or if you have a nice bakery in the area, pick up a box of french macarons.

For The Creative Mom

Last month, I took my first fun class. It covered how to make bath bombs and bath salts at Workshop in Portland. They offer a ton of really cool classes like flower arranging and calligraphy. If you are not in Portland, there are other options. Michael's and Jo Ann Fabrics both offer a variety of classes like wreath making and cake decorating.

For The Spiritual Mother

There have been a lot of great book releases that any spiritual mom would love.  My two favorite books to recommend are Present Over Perfect and The Magnolia Story.

For The Mom With Not Enough Time

As a mother of two little ones, I never have enough time. There are always uncompleted tasks on my to-do list. While you can't give a mom more hours in the day ( and to be honest I'm not sure I'd want a longer day) you can give her some help with things that need to be done. You could buy a session with a cleaning service or maybe get the family car detailed. Then instead of cleaning the house, your mama will have time for more enjoyable activities.

A Not So Successful Quarter: April Goals

April Goals


I can't believe the first quarter of the year is already over. I am so behind on my goals that it isn't even funny. January, February, and March have all had their successes and failures. Failure isn't something I handle very well so I am going to need to find some time to reevaluate my goals.

Limit dessert to once a week: Nope. I had two giant cookies in one week last week.

Lose 3 pounds: I only lost 1 stinking pound but I suppose after the cookies I shouldn't be surprised. I have such a bad sweet tooth.

Work out 3 times per week: I only managed to work out twice per week most weeks. Two weeks I did sneak in a third at home ab workout. That's not bad but if I want to see the number on the scale go down, I have to get to the gym more often and do my ab exercises.

Take a fun class: This was the only thing I managed to do this month. I had such a good time taking the bath salts class. Now that I know how to make my own bath salts and bath bombs, I might be able to spend a bit less money at Lush.

Here are my April goals.

Lose 2 pounds: I think this number is a bit more realistic. I can do this by cutting 250 calories a day from my diet and exercising three times a week.

Work out 3 times per week: I am going to try and workout Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I need to come up with a better routine that I can do at home one day a week.

Get back to in-depth meal planning again: I haven't been so good at meal planning lately. I still plan the meals for dinner for the week. When I was pregnant I was good at planning not just dinner, but all of the meals. I also planned them around my diet better. Meaning I would plan out my carbs to make sure I didn't overdue it. A sandwich for lunch and chicken and veggies for dinner, as an example.

Start logging food in my food diary: When I had gestational diabetes, I had to keep a log with all of the food I at and my blood sugar numbers. It helped me with meal planning too. If a certain combination of meals made my blood sugar higher, I would make sure not to eat them together again. Also recording the food makes me more aware of what I ate that day. It is useful but has a built in guilt system.

Something new: This month, for my something new, I am going to be bullet journaling the entire month of April.

What goals do you have for the month? If you don't set goals, why don't you?