my everything books…

In my last post, I mentioned how surprised I was by one of newest projects–I really never thought I would jump on the bullet journal bandwagon. Annie’s been bullet journaling for a while, but it just never captured my attention. That is, until I saw some of the pages that Kara (BohoBerry) had in hers–they most definitely captured my attention. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could take what I liked about bullet journaling and combine it with what I liked about fauxbonichi journaling and just do what felt right to me. I know, not exactly rocket science, but hey, sometimes it takes me a while to figure even the simple things out. ūüėČ

So I’ve done what I think most people do, and fiddled around until I came up with a way I thought¬†would work for me. The truth of that remains to be seen, I suppose…but so far, so good.


These are my books. Yes, plural. And I totally get how many people would likely find that silly. But so far at least, it works for me. One is for 2016 as a whole. And one is just for the month of January. Which yes, means that I’ll end up with 13 separate books by the end of the year. I know–that sounds so excessive. And maybe in the end I’ll find that it feels excessive to me. But for now, I’m going with it. I’m using Fabriano EcoQua spiral bound grid notebooks. They’re fairly small (70 pages, I believe). I love that they’re spiral bound so that the pages can lie flat.


My 2016 yearly journal starts with a simple overview calendar. Following this, I have a two-page spread for my “table of contents.” (I know that in bullet journaling, people tend to call this the index, but it seems more like a table of contents to me, so table of contents it is labeled.)


I generally bury myself in a bazillion goals for the year, which inevitably leads to feelings of complete failure. So this year, I just came up with a few things to focus on, some of a more general nature, some a bit more specific. And I recorded them here, to have one place to refer to to remind myself. And the next page is just a place to record the birds I see this year.

Following this, I so far have a page to jot down future gift ideas, pages to record TBR and TBW additions (and whose fault it is that I now want to read/watch said additions), an “In the Future” page to jot down appointments, etc. that I will need to add to future monthly journals, “Read in 2016” pages (which will be redundant because I also have this in the monthly version, but I don’t care because I just really wanted it in both places ūüėõ ), pages to keep daily(?) track of my “Read a Million Pages Before I Die” goal, and a “new-to-me words” page. And I do have more pages I’d like to add when time permits. (Why yes, I could be doing that now instead of writing this silly post.)


Okay, as much as I do love the yearly journal, it doesn’t compare to the love I have for the monthly version. It too starts out with a calendar, but just for the month, and with a wee bit of space to jot down specific events, appointments, birthdays, etc. (Post-its are to protect others’ privacy while taking this picture, not for decoration.)


This is again followed by the table of contents. And then a spread for my monthly goals. I took it easy on myself for the yearly goals thing; questionable if I can claim the same here. But they’re absolutely doable.


And then I have my Daily Tracker. Some items are definitely there to help me remember to do them, and some are there more to give myself an idea of how often I do certain things. I don’t expect this will stay the same every month.


Next up, what some people call their gratitude log. For me it’s always been “good stuff.” I’ve long¬†kept track of this (sometimes more consistently than others), and by moving it into my monthly everything¬†journal, I can eliminate the separate journal I used to keep just for this.


Next I have 3 1/2 pages of January homeschool prep tasks. (Another separate notebook eliminated.) And those spots where there’s a partial page left are great for adding favorite quotes. (I have one on the half page at the end of my “good stuff” log too.)



And then there are pages to record January’s reads and views (and there’s also a page for what I made in January but it looks just like these ones).

IMG_7900Finally, we’re to the daily pages. Where I have my bullet list of to-dos for the day. I do the little weather thing like many other people do. And any little tidbits I happen to record about my day. While none of my days so far have had a ton of extra journaling or a lot of decorating, I suspect on days when I have more time, they will. One thing I love about having a separate notebook for each month is that I have room to make a two-page spread for a single day if I have a lot I want to journal about.

IMG_7901And interspersed throughout, there will be lists. Because LISTS. Here between days 2 and 3, I made my menu plan for the first week and made a list of thank you cards I need to make. And because of the table of contents, I can easily find any of these lists I need to refer to.

IMG_7902I know my journals are not as gorgeous or fun to look at as some, and that’s totally okay. I think I’ve finally found a way to combine my planner and my to-do lists and my journaling and my endless piles of lists all in one place in a way that really works for me. *fingers crossed anyway*



*So much Dmitri loving going on around here. It’s been a joy seeing¬†the various bits of his personality emerge as the days go by. Affectionate. Independent. Silly. Needy. Aloof. A study in contradictions. What cat isn’t.

*Frustration. Lots of that lately. With lots of things: flare that won’t end, getting further behind by the day with school, inability to get everything organized, the slow pace of gift making. Thing is though, I’m proud of myself. Yes, the frustration is there, but I’m not letting it overwhelm me.

*The search for a dog to fit into our family has begun. I still miss Bacon more than I can say. So many times I have to stop myself from calling him when a bit food falls on the floor, so many times I¬†imagine the sound of this tags jingling, so many times I see that sweet beagle face in my mind and I just can’t stop the tears from welling. He wasn’t there singing “Happy Birthday” with us for Rich’s birthday or for Max’s birthday…and it sounded so wrong without him howling along. Christmas will never be the same; Bacon had more Christmas joy than any person I’ve ever known. No one wants another dog to take his place. Which is good, because no other dog ever could. But I think we’ve reached the point where we’re ready to welcome a new personality into our home. A dog to make her/his own place in our family.

*Enjoying autumn. Finally. (Summer weather both arrived a month early and departed a month late this year.) And it’s been a very mild autumn for the most part thus far. (Though maybe snow this weekend–trying not to get my hopes up.) Anyway,¬†enjoying the goodness of the season, yes indeed. Oh how I love all the¬†seasons. The reds, the oranges, the yellows–all my favorite colors. The pumpkin, pumpkin, everywhere–pumpkin waffles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin snack cake. All the creepy, mysterious, unsettling reads. Oooh, and a new discovery–Tim Hortons’ hot caramel apple cider. Heavenly.

*Flapjack, Flapjack, Flapjack. I can’t help but feel amazed on a daily basis over what a large chunk of my heart you have taken. How did I ever survive the first 51 years of my life without a sweet guinea pig like you in it?!!


*Tomorrow is Dewey’s Readathon. As I started to type those words, I got lost in a million thoughts. Yes, there is still a very real feeling that my heart is being crushed because¬†I miss her so very much. But there is so much happiness in my memories. And so much gratitude for all the things I encounter throughout my days that remind me so powerfully of Dewey. I sometimes envy those who believe in an afterlife, and maybe it’s the fact that I don’t that makes me so profoundly comforted by and thankful for every piece of her that lives in my memories. And, I’m not sure how to put this into words, but I’m comforted also by the fact that all the other people who where lucky enough to know her carry around their own memories, and across this world there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of different memories of her living in hearts and minds of people. I don’t know if that’s weird or overly sentimental, but I know it helps me to know that.

good stuff: early autumn joys…

Oh Debs, you didn’t even get through an entire month of following your blog schedule. But well, that’s hardly the end of the world, is it? Nope. Life, and fibro, just got in the way. So not a big deal. And in this first month, I did learn that I actually like having a schedule set out for myself for the month, and I think I’ll stick with it, at least for the time being. Well, starting this weekend anyway, as I think I’ll just give myself this week offline. But I remembered this draft I had started (that according to my schedule should have gone up yesterday…but you know, I’m trying to get rid of superfluous “shoulds”).


*As much as I love open windows at night, there’s a new sort of giddiness inside me these last few weeks over the fact that we occasionally need¬†to close them because of the temperatures are sometimes getting down into the lowers 40s.

*Oatmeal with dried cranberries for brunch.


*Wow. I’m now a parent to three pretty damn awesome teenagers! (Happy Birthday, Max!!!) How lucky I am to get to be a part of all of their lives?!! Yep,¬†very blessed indeed.

*Jean. Her generosity and kindness. I got an email from her that utterly left me in tears. Tears of utter gratitude for having her in our lives. It matters less than zero that we didn’t take her up on her unbelievably generous offer.

*Wow. And now another email that made me cry. Ecstatically happy tears. One of the many wonderful things about loving people is getting to share their joys. Even if it’s not in person, but across an ocean and through an email. I feel I was witness, if after the fact, to one of the best moments of Ana’s life to date. The ineffable happiness it brought me feels almost criminal.

*Dmitri. He finally got his clean bill of health and was able to come home with us. And you’d swear he’s always been a part of our family. He’s such a lovable¬†kitty, all 20 pounds of him. Nothing makes him happier than being pampered with endless attention; his purr-er works overtime for sure. Five humans completely smitten with this beautiful nine-year-old cat.


good stuff: the almost autumn edition

*the glorious weather over the weekend, with highs in the low 60s Saturday and upper 50s Sunday, complete with overcast skies and lots of gentle rain

*”Sedona” by Houndmouth

*ripe garden tomatoes…finally


*anticipating the library book sale tomorrow

*adding pumpkin to the menu for the first time in many months

*Rich’s first batch of chili for the season


*the library going back to regular hours, which means Rich and I can have our Sunday work dates again

*adding a book to my all-time favorites list (Justin Cronin’s¬†The Passage)

*finally coming up with the perfect thing to make Ana for Christmas this year