My Bullet Journal: 2018 Set Up

Last year I did an entire series of posts about My Bullet Journal journey. It was the first year I started, and I shared my tools, tips, spreads, mistakes, and ideas. You can see the full list of posts in my last BUJO post from 2017.

I am using a Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook with Dotted Pages in Purple for 2018. Since I stopped bullet journaling in September 2017, I do have about 30 or so pages left in my old bujo. I decided to start fresh with a new journal for the new year, and I plan on using those extra pages at the back of my old journal for color testing and practice pages. 

I hope you enjoy my spreads and ideas from my bullet journal. I’d love if you would share your own ideas or photos of your journals with me, too!

This post contains affiliate links. 

2018 Bullet Journal Set Up 

One of my biggest struggles with my bullet journal last year was my supplies. As the year went on, I continually was adding something here or there. Stencils, colored pencils, brush pens. I live in two houses, so packing everything back and forth each weekend became very cumbersome and eventually I just stopped dealing with it and left it behind. One of my first goals for 2018 was to figure out a solution.

I bought two different pen/pencil/marker holders to corral all the Staedtlers, Flairs, colored pencils, and brush pens. Carting them around in their original containers made me nervous the colored pencils were going to break, and I was worried I would lose something because the pen and brush pen packages were falling apart. I bought a 202 Colored Pencil Case for my brush pens, Staedtlers, and Flairs. I bought a smaller 72 Colored Pencil Case just for my colored pencils. I purchased a clear crafting tackle box from Wal-Mart to hold my pencils, black Sharpie pens, erasers, rulers, White Out, and other pens left over from last year. It is very similar to this craft box, except the two fold-out trays are not sectioned off. I bought a jewelry/makeup divider box to house all my loose washi tape. Lastly, I bought a multi-pocketed craft bag from Wal-Mart to hold all kinds of extra things, like stencils, highlighters, scissors, and other odds and ends and also this large carpet bag. The only thing I don’t like is there is only one zipper on the big bag. Now everything fits conveniently in this large carpet bag and the craft bag.

 

I decided to stay with the Leuchttrum 1917 A5 dotted journal. I like the quality of this product. The designers have thought of everything, including a little pocket in the back. I had already bought one in purple last year, so I decided to use it for 2018.

 

I wanted my first page in my new bullet journal to be for 2018. I knew I wanted to do the elephant and feathers. I have a feather stencil, but then I found feather stickers. I like the way this came out, except the number stencils don’t have a zero! So of course I jacked that up and needed to White Out and try again. I can always add something over the year later if I find something I like better.

 

Unlike most people, I didn’t use my first page to make my key/legend. It’s a little ways in on the left side, and my allergies list is on the opposite side of the page.

I used stencils to create the gorgeous key design. Some of the icons I put in my key last year I never ended up using, so put some pre-planning thought into the icons I really needed.

Last year (when I didn’t know what I was doing) I didn’t do a future log. This year I did. I followed an example I researched on Instagram. I think it turned out pretty good! These two spreads did take a lot of time to box out, calendar, and add the drawings. I had to break it up into three sessions to finish.

I only used a black Sharpie pen and my colored pencils to complete the future log. I may go back and add a hint of gray to give the boxes some background definition and make them a little more 3D to pop off the page.

 

 

With my blog and my bullet journal, I wanted to become more active – and followed – on Instagram. Last year I didn’t have too much success growing at a good rate. It wasn’t until I hosted a Black Friday giveaway that my follower number jumped. Every time that happens, I lose between 3-10 folks within a few days. I decided to make my increments smaller and more manageable to track so that I feel I am actually making progress. I broke it down in increments of 25 and did a classic open box.

 

I have three different loans. One is my student loan, one is my Jeep loan, and one is a personal loan which I consolidated all of my credit card debt into three years ago. This tracker is my personal loan, which I am hoping to pay off this year. I decided to do honeycombs because it would be large enough for the numbers and easy to fill in. Plus it’s cute!

I used a different colored pencil to fill in each honeycomb so far. I hope it will turn out into a nice shade of yellows when it’s all paid and filled in.

 

 

I started doing monthly intros in June last year. It was something new and exciting I wanted to try out, but I was nervous I would screw them up. I take a lot of time doing them. This year I am trying to theme my monthly intro to my monthly calendar and trackers. For January, I chose snowflakes in hues of blue. My sleep and habit trackers are also shades of blue, and snowflakes also appear on my calendar page.

       

 

I made a monthly task list to keep up with all of my blog challenges. I sucked last year at linking up my reviews, or sharing my quarterly update, etc. I made a fail-proof list to keep me on track for each one for the year. I’m going to keep up with it by marking each month off with my Midliner highlighters when I’ve accomplished that task. Hopefully this will keep me up to date with my goals!

 

I did some simple weekly spreads to start the year off. I made my wishlist page but I’m not sure else I want to do with it yet.


How did you set up your BUJO or planner for this year?

Do you use stencils or stickers?

If you have any recommendations, I’m all ears! I’d love to hear your ideas. 

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My Favorite…Time To Read

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme, we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it…The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.


Time To Read

I don’t have a set time that I like to read. I try to always read at night in bed before falling asleep, but some nights I don’t even get that far. I just crawl in and go to sleep, or I only get a couple pages read before I’m out. I read the most on the weekend because I am on my own time. I read really late on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. I also try to read a lot during the day if we don’t have anything going on. When it was just me and Baby in our little bungalow house, we’d stay in bed all day. She’d be all curled and snuggled up, the sun would be streaming in through the blinds, and I’d read and have the TV on for background noise.

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: Saturdays at Sweeney’s

first-chapter-first-paragraph

Synopsis ~ Saturdays at Sweeney’s

Members of the Sweeney family, young and old, chart their courses for the future in this final installment of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series.

When the seafood business Lovie Sweeney established sixty years ago is destroyed by fire, she finds herself at the center of an arson investigation. What really happened that night? Is Lovie responsible for starting the fire or is her family under attack from a sworn enemy?

The loss of their family business leaves the Sweeney clan in flux. Samantha faces the challenges of rebuilding the market while her son, Jamie, on track to graduate from college in six months, must decide whether to make his permanent home in Prospect or move to Charleston where a new special someone resides. At age forty-five, Faith, who has never fully recovered from an abusive marriage, is on a quest to find her true passion? Jackie is distraught when her son, Sean, flunks out of college and struggles to find direction in his life without his twin brother to guide him. A medical diagnosis brings the sisters closer together and threatens to change family dynamics forever.

 

Chapter 1 

Sam

The shrill ringing of Sam’s cell phone jolted her upright in bed a few minutes before twelve on a stormy Wednesday night in early May. Blinking his eyes open, Eli propped himself up on one elbow beside hr. She snatched the phone up from her nightstand. Sam could barely hear the man’s voice over the wall of sirens in the background.


Teasers

A young reporter with a microphone stood behind Donna.

“I’m not buying whatever you’re selling,” Sam said and returned her attention to the rubble.

Several years ago, Donna had published a scalding review in her family’s tabloid newspaper, Prospect Weekly, that referred to the recent renovations at Sweeney’s as “Too Uptown for Small Town.” The article had brought a screeching halt to their business a week after the grand reopening.

 

 

“Just because the district attorney is dropping the charges doesn’t necessarily mean I’m ready to give you your car back. I thought you’d be relieved to hear you won’t have to go to jail.”

“What do you mean? I’m already in jail, living in this house with the two of you.”

Bill smoothed out the little bit of hair he had left on top of his head. Jackie recognized the gesture. Her husband was stalling while he gathered his composure.

“You’re mistaken, son. You’ve been living in a detention center since you got home from school. Congratulations, your lousy attitude has earned you a transfer to cell block C.”

Jackie admired the patient but firm way her husband responded to their son.

“If you’d like to continue living under our roof here at Moss Creek Penitentiary, you will abide by our rules…”

 


Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros was created by Bibliophile By The Sea and is now hosted by Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I Read…When I Did

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Books I Can’t Believe I Read…When I Did

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)I grew up with the Harry Potter books being published during my childhood and teen years. I was in 5th grade when my mom checked out the first book from the public library for herself. This was about a year or so into the craze, I think. She started reading it to my youngest brother, who was about 3 at the time. I think she had wanted to read it to all of us, but we all quickly gave her the what for. Personally, as I got older and learned how to read and was quite an accomplished reader, I don’t like being read to. I still don’t. If there is information in a presentation, I will read it on the screen or the notes and process for myself rather than listening to the presenter read it. None of us liked being read to and we all abandoned the books, to my mother’s disappointment. She did lament that we were missing out as she worked through the books. I think my middle brother eventually read them (but I’m not too sure). I didn’t read the first book until the month after I graduated college in January 2013. I read each book the series each of the following months and regretted all those years I missed out on the Harry Potter phenomenon.

Adversely, somewhere around the year after trying to get us all to read Harry Potter, I picked up one of my mom’s books. It was a BIG book, so I figured it had to be good. Who’d publish something that big if it wasn’t? I was 12 or 13 when I picked up and read two books that were the gateway books to romance: Wild Bells to the Wild Sky and Outlander. I can’t remember which one I read first, but at the time and all these years since I never believed my mother knew I was reading them. I’d hide them in the depths of my pillows (yes, depths; I had something like 10 pillows) or under my mattress.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

I was only slightly late to the Twilight party. Honestly, I was dragged to it. In college I roomed with my best friend, and our friend was next door with a new girl who was agog over Twilight. She got them all on board and then they forced it on me. The first book was alright, but as the series went on the writing went way downhill. I was also dragged along to the movies, which I found worse than the books. In fact, some friends of a boyfriend at the time got midnight showing tickets to the third one and as soon as the lights went out I fell asleep. Proof I was just dragged along in the Twilight Saga.

The Hobbit

My 4th grade class read The Hobbit as a class novel. I felt so advanced. It was like a secret from the whole school. Only my class was reading it, and only we knew! … And our school librarian, I’m sure. 🙂

I don’t recall a lot from the book, but I remember being so into the story at the time and feeling like our class was something really special.

I started reading Junie B. Jones books when I was in high school. When my youngest brother was learning to read, he wanted to read these books. Surprised at his pick, but not surprised because my mom helped him pick them out. The original idea was they would read together. I don’t know exactly how, maybe because I had to read with him one night, but he and my mom both wanted me to read to them. I suppose my level of sarcasm matched Junie B. Jones’ voice.

 

Which books are you surprised you read when you did?

Discussion: Sexuality in YA

Sexuality in YA 

Recently I read a post complaining about the blurred lines between YA and NA, and the mix of sexual content now cropping up in YA. I agreed with the blogger, who entirely disagreed with any sexual content in YA. Afterward, I started thinking on it. There are a couple of YA books that I thought of that do blur that line. It wasn’t meant to be shock value in either book. Rather, it was part of the natural progression of growth into young adulthood.

Bildungsroman is the term used to classify what I would consider the wide range of books that fall into YA literature. Bildungsroman focuses on the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist, commonly referred to as coming of age. The ultimate goal is maturity, and it is achieved gradually and with difficulty but is extremely important. Often the main conflict is between the protagonist and society. This covers every book YA book I know.

The first novel I thought of for this post was a book I read in middle school. I remember the book’s title and premise spreading like wildfire through our school. It was the whispered talk of the town. And I had to get my hands on it. Walking into that library up to Mrs. Almquist to ask if Detour for Emmy was in was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was sure I was going to be struck down or she would deny me to have it. Even better, she knew the book and what it was about – she had to buy it – and her facial expression didn’t change whatsoever. She was most helpful in getting me the book. What is more of a moral and social lesson than becoming pregnant as a teen? Being ostracized and criticized was a great learning lesson for me. It opened my eyes beyond the friendships, loyalty, and back-stabbings I’d already experienced.

Sometimes maturity, growth, and morals comes in direct conflict with what a character has been taught or raised to believe, including sex and sexuality. In Luna by Julie Andrew Peters, Liam is a teenage boy who transforms into Luna in his basement bedroom at night. It is a coming of age that is solely focused on sexuality, gender, and identity.

Another YA novel that hones in on morals and loyalty, identity and maturity is John Green’s Looking for Alaska. Pudge is sent to a boarding school with Alaska and the Colonel, along with a small cast of supporting characters. The novel caused an uproar in many school districts since it was available in their high school libraries and had a scene about oral sex. I didn’t read this book until I was halfway through college, but it had a great impact about being your true self. The educational sex scene was not designed to be subversively teaching teens how to perform oral sex. In fact, the entire lesson ruined that sexual exploit for the character.

The last YA novel that comes to mind that contains a sexual element is a beloved series, Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. In this series, young Mary Faber goes through adolescence. She learns what it means to have her monthly cycle while at sea with a bunch of men. She grows up at sea and learns all she needs to about the birds and the bees there, while experiencing some compromising situations and exploring her own identity as a budding woman. For me, the story of Jacky’s notorious fame as a pirate was a stronger pull than the sexual identity and content.

These are not books that establish intimate or sexual relationships for the point of sexual content. In these books, the sexual content is a part of adolescence, exploration, and maturity. It is a natural element of the teenage years. These books are far from erotica and for most of them the sexual content is only a blip in the book.

So, I disagree that there should be absolutely zero sexual content in YA. I believe that it should fit the stage of life for which it is written for, primarily the 15-18 year range. There is a line, and in my mind explicit content crosses that line into NA and not YA.

How do you feel about sexuality in YA? Some? None? Doesn’t matter?

Review: The Scot Beds His Wife

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Scot Beds His Wife
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 2017
Length: 394 pages
Series?: Victorian Rebels #5
Genre: Historical, Romance 

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

My Thoughts

When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure what was what. The first chapter, the prologue, was extremely strange. I was wondering if the publishing house attached the wrong cover to the book. The contents of the prologue didn’t match a historical romance book. It was quite gruesome.

Samantha Masters grew up in America’s Wild West. After her parents’ death, she was taken in by a family that worked her hard. She married to escape that life and dreamed of the coast of Oregon. That’s what her husband has promised her…after the Masters Gang pulls their last train heist. When her husband steps into her car and shoots a man dead, Sam makes a decision to save a life and is thrust an opportunity to start over and lay low in Scotland at the behest of Alison Ross. She is to live and work the family land for one year so that Alison can legally retain. Only thing is, Sam enters Scotland as Alison Ross. She is to under no circumstances sell the land or let it fall into the hands of a Mackenzie. Alison agreed she would offer Sam the chance to buy her out so Sam could stay in Scotland.

Gavin St. James is determined to separate himself from his laird brother and his father’s name, Mackenzie. He is divorcing himself from the family name, intending to purchase the Ross lands for cattle business and sell his portion of the distillery back to his brother to cut all ties. He wants to be entirely separate, change his name to his mother’s maiden name, and not be indebted to his laird clansmen. Since his impromptu meeting at the train station didn’t win Alison Ross over to straight out purchase her lands for a godly sum, he sets his sights on wooing her. He is, after all, a more prolific lover across all of England than Casanova and Lord Byron together.

This isn’t your typical Highland read. There’s cussing and LOTS of it. Particularly the f word, used mostly by Sam but also others. When used in conversation as an adjective, it was quite funny dialogue. Otherwise, it was quite a turn-off. As one reviewer put it: “I don’t fuck my husband, and I don’t talk about people fucking each other. It is not a turn-on for me.”  I could say the same.

Sam is so confounded and put off by Gavin St. James, or Lord Thorne as he insists. She puts her skills to good use to make something of Alison’s land and scattered herd. She makes it quite clear that Gavin should stay clear off her land, being very handy with her pistols and a better shot than any man. She rallies three local men, all quite different. Two argue and bicker like a married couple, and the third lives in a cave and is Gavin’s friend.

Despite Sam’s equal determination to keep Alison’s land and make something of it, her deceit starts catching up with her. She should be a heroine you dislike or maybe even hate, but it was impossible to dislike Sam. Soon she must make a choice, a choice she readily said she wouldn’t have made if circumstances had been different. Meanwhile, Gavin’s beef with his brother Liam continues to pop up throughout the book and comes to some very heated scenes. Speaking of heated, the Masters Gang sure is heated themselves over the death of one of their own during the train heist. Soon Sam realizes she may have escaped to the ends of the earth where no one will go looking for her…except the Masters. Life becomes dangerous in the Highlands.

This was a very sensuous read – more so than others. Byrne can write with true emotion and realism in steam scenes – and they are steam scenes! The fire and determination that Sam and Gavin both face off with over the Ross property sparks chemistry between them. Just as Sam’s past is catching up with her, so is the present and her deceit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

If you’re anything like me, the best night is one spent with a brawny highlander, a mysterious werewolf, a conflicted vampire, or a hot-headed Irishman. My stories span the spectrum of romantic fiction from historical, to paranormal, to romantic suspense. But I can always promise my readers one thing: memorable and sexy Celtic heroes who are guaranteed to heat your blood before they steal your heart. Lose yourself in the enchanted Celtic Isles, you never know who, or what, will find you…

Find the author: GoodreadsWebsite | Facebook | Twitter 

Sunday Post ~ Feel the Burn

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a weekly news post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase the books and other goodies you’ve received, and share news about upcoming events on your blog. Be creative and personalize it! To get in on the Sunday fun day, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


This week was a strange week. I don’t remember much. I am still tired from being sick last week. One morning I almost didn’t get out of bed. I stayed at school really late on Tuesday trying to get caught up on some things. I spent half the day Wednesday proctoring UIL Writing and it was a nice change of pace. Friday was a relatively smooth day and I was able to catch up and get all the grades from last week entered. My yearbook kids also submitted our first spread to the plant. They are working diligently on finishing up the student portraits so we can submit those next week. We are behind schedule, but it is what it is.

On Thursday night we celebrated my baby brother’s 18th birthday. He wanted to eat at this steakhouse our aunt took him to. The place was waaaaay out in the boonies. I didn’t get home until 9:30. The food was good even if it was out of the way. My oldest brother tried to start shit about not being invited. He’s about 500 miles away on military training. Oh, look, he can talk to his family. Huh.

Yesterday The Man and I had a big scare. He had just woken up and was in the bathroom. The dogs kept going in and out to the backyard, and then all of a sudden I heard a loud crash and dogs. I threw my phone and bolted out the backdoor. I came running around the side of the house – sans bra – and slid right in fresh dog shit and planted my face right into the fence gate. Apparently Baby busted down two panels and went after a neighbor’s dog. This neighbor lets them run all over, and the smaller one is notorious for getting out. Cera followed and just wanted to play, but Baby was being aggressive, which is not her nature or personality. The fence is temporarily fixed and will be reinforced, but I ripped her a new one and then fell apart. I finally kind of got it together by the time he had to leave for the jail. Baby moped around all night and Cera went back and forth between us, trying to comfort us both.

I didn’t get much reading done this week, which I’m really bummed about. I did get some blogging tasks taken care of and those reviews written. I have to read two books on my NetGalley list this month in order to meet one of my challenges. It’s starting to look like that may not happen, but I’m holding out hope.

I got my first bullet journal and discussion post written yesterday, so those will be rolling out this week.

  • Monday
    • Review ~ The Scot Beds His Wife
    • Discussion ~ Sexuality in YA
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books I Can’t Believe I Read…When I Did
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ Saturday at Sweeney’s
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • My Favorite ~ Time to Read
  • Thursday
    • Beyond the Books ~ Best Moments in Blogging
    • My Bullet Journal ~ 2018 Set Up
  • Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 2.2.18

My 5 Year Blogoversary celebration and giveaway is still going on! If you didn’t get a chance to enter, you still can. 

@sissybearla