Lifestyle

My Winter Essentials

My Winter Essentials - Trying to get through the colder months easier

When you live in the south, cold doesn’t come often. Usually winter consists of more rain and temperatures inching closer and closer to below 60. But once sundown hits, we all become popsicles. This is why you know it’s fall in the south when there are bonfires after football games. But for a person that is already always cold, creating things that help you get through the cold winter nights is essential. So for this post, I’ll share the items that are essential for me to get through the winter. Continue reading “My Winter Essentials”

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DIY · Lifestyle

Setting Up my Bullet Journal for 2018

I have always had an office supply addiction and that includes planning. I love the concept that I can have my entire day planned out and scheduled, despite that it never works that way.

Until recently, I have never been able to keep up with a planner, and have come to realize that I am more of a to do list type of person. So for the last year and a half, I have been trying out the system of Bullet Journaling. The best way to check out Bullet Journaling is from the video by the system’s creator Ryder Carroll

The aspect that I love most about the Bullet Journaling system is that it is customizable for what you need, and it can be a series of trial and error until you find what works best for you. When I transition into a new journal, I like to go through the spreads that I want to keep for my new journal.

The main ones I like to keep are my Debt Tracker, Self-Care Tracker, Clothing Measurements, and my Self-Education Tracker. Each one has it’s own importance in my life and have been helpful in keeping my sanity as well.

For my Debt Tracker, I originally had it set up like a brick wall where I would fill in a brick each time I sent in a payment. Now I am getting closer to paying it off completely, I am able to try out a new spread. This time I’m trying the thermometer approach with the goal being medical debt free at the top.

I also have a full page spread for my clothing measurements. This has become vital when it comes to ordering clothes online since I am of a petite size and often clothing is made for people much taller than me.

My self-care tracker is spread across two pages: one for my list, and a second for my daily tracker for it. I created this in hopes that I will be able to keep my anxiety under some form of control and use the self-care to keep me going in harder times.

The final spread I created is my Self-Education spread. This is something I created based on the reading list from the book The Well-Educated Mind by Sue Wise Bauer. I like my attempts at making a bookcase, but sadly I’m not all that artistic. I’m gonna need some practice.

I do also have two new spreads I am trying. An Emergency Number spread, and a Cleaning Spread.

I got the idea for the emergency numbers spread from a blog post by Preparedness Mamma, and thought it would be great to have on hand. I have times where I may not have my phone or my phone is on the fritz and wont be able to pull up the numbers I need, so this list is super handy to have. I also included things like the phone numbers for my local police (not dispatch) and fire department. Something from the list that was not among the suggested in the original post that I added is the phone numbers for the local and national suicide hotlines. It’s a resource that many people with depression don’t think about but should definitely have in their phone for the times where you are having the thoughts but don’t think you can reach out to those you know.

The Cleaning Spread just seemed a little daunting as I was making it, because I got the list idea from The Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook. I have it set up by room and then by either it being Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc. It’s just a good reference to have on hand, especially since I want to start getting into routines again.

Finally when it comes to my monthly, weekly, and daily spreads; I am trying to get it fine tuned. I believe I have the daily spreads how i want them, I just need to work on the weekly spreads again to fine tune it as well.

What have you set up in your Bullet Journal for 2018? Do you have a plan with me video you want to share? Please let me know in the comments below!

Jess

Magical Life

Starting My Year and a Day Over

At some point, we all go back to square one. To gain hold of our foundation again. For a long time now, I have been saying that I’ve been doing my Year and a Day, but in all honesty. . .

I haven’t.

I’ve been inconsistent on a lot of things lately, especially my Year and a Day. Then I read a post from The Traveling Witch about how inconsistency isn’t a bad thing. Though I do agree with Avery, I have been inconsistent with my learning in general. It has been almost like I am blindfolded and swinging my arms around looking for the door.

I have read through books that were meant to be a framework, or lesson plan, for self-study, but none of the provided the information that I craved. Nor did they do it in a way I could completely follow.

So I’ve decided to create my own Year and a Day.

But what is a Year and a Day?

The idea of the Year and a Day is inspired by the story of Cerridwen and her cauldron. In the story, Cerridwen has a son who is by no means beautiful and in order to help him to be able to find love she created a potion in a cauldron to give him a vast amount of wisdom. For the potion to be complete, it needed to be stirred constantly for a year an a day. For the complete story, here is a good writing of it from Ancient Origins.

Where I’ve had troubles up to this point.

Most, if not all, of the books I have read through so far have been of an eclectic approach and have used a handful of random gods from multiple pantheons. At the core of me, I am a Celtic Pagan and follow the path of the Tuatha de Danaan and other Celtic gods. Unfortunately, most of these books mentions them and other Celtic legends very little if at all. If I want to know anything about them, the only way I will is if I do my research myself.

I have always had issue with the level system that is associated with Wicca. It really doesn’t fit with me, especially since I am solitary. Every book includes an initiation ritual to enter the next level of a coven. Since it doesn’t work for me, a dedication ritual feels like it is enough for me.

My biggest issue has been that the books I was using all take a very shallow approach upon each topic they try to teach. It’s essentially a quick summary of something and an associated “activity” to go with it before it moves on to the next thing. I am the type of person who wants to be as knowledgeable as possible on a topic before I move on to the next thing. I love research and my goal is to have full understanding of each aspect of what I believe and practice.

I decided to start it again on Halloween this year and took my time assessing how I want to approach it. I can only hope that this will bring me to a deeper understanding of who I am and what I believe.

Hopefully by November 1st of 2018, I will be a different person.

Wish me luck

Jess

Lifestyle · Magical Life · My Story

What’s on my Charm Necklace?

Every woman I have met has their signature item. The one piece of clothing, jewelry, or item that makes them, them. For some it’s their favorite lipstick, or a sentimental ring. For me it’s my necklace.

The necklace I wear everyday tends to attract a little bit of attention. It isn’t a big statement necklace; it’s actually rather small. You wouldn’t notice it unless you heard me walk down a hallway or were standing in front of me. It also isn’t the normal necklace you would find in the jewelry section in Target.

I call it my charm necklace, and the charms I keep on it represent specific things that are important to me but also have a purpose to get me through the day. For the most part, it’s to keep my hands busy when I get anxious to keep me from biting my nails, but there are other purposes.

To get to know me a little better, here are the five items on my charm necklace. Continue reading “What’s on my Charm Necklace?”

Holidays

The Ultimate Halloween TV and Movie List

The Ultimate Halloween TV and Movie List_The Road of a Small Town Girl

We all know October is the time of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, chunky sweaters, Jack-o-lanterns, and thankfully Spooky-tainment! (Now just imagine that last part said with an echo or something cool like that.) In the last few weeks Freeform released it’s line up for 13 Nights of Halloween and using the word underwhelming has become an understatement. So instead of watching the same 3 Halloween movies and 5 non-Halloween movies set on repeat for 2 weeks, I thought it would be better to create my own Halloween TV and movie list to get me through this spooky time of year. In order to keep it from being too long, I am not including the well known horror movies like Poltergeist, The Exorcist, etc. because we all know that they are needed and we all probably have them. If you would like to check out a much more extensive list, obvious movies included, check out the list of best Halloween movies from Halloween On Earth that also include release dates and what type of movie it really is. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated since 2012 but then again their may not have been any new movies that should be on the list since then.

TV Shows

The Scariest Places on Earth – This is the only ghost related show that I will recommend. It was a perfect combination of interviews, history, and of course ghost hunting. Also Linda Blair.

American Horror Story – Of course this needed to be on the list. It has been more than a cult favorite over the last few years. It is an amazing horror anthology series that has a new theme each season. Everyone has their favorites, but mine is still season three’s Coven. A lot of people thought that I would like the most recent season (Roanoke) simply because I am from North Carolina, and in reality, I don’t like it.

The Munsters – This early 1960s TV Sitcom classic was a favorite of mine growing up and along with The Addams Family created my love for all things spooky.

The Addams Family (Original Black and White or Animated Series) – I grew up on three television versions of everyone’s favorite spooky family. Though no one likes to speak of the live-action show made by Freeform (Then called Fox Family) back in the end of the 90s. It made weird people who liked the odd dark things seem not so scary, and poked fun at some things like horror movie tropes from that time.

Penny Dreadful – I honestly feel like this series brought back the Gothic Horror genre. It reached in to all of the dark tales we know of and brought them into one universe. It is a great, cohesive, dark story that I just don’t want to look away from.

Supernatural – Maybe I am biased because I am a big Supernatural fan. It’s a great series with stories that stick with you and characters you really root for. Of course there is all the monsters they go after in the first few seasons, but I still love this series even though it has evolved quite a bit in the last 12 seasons.

Movies:

The Original Creature Features – In my opinion, this needs to be the base of all Halloween movie collections.  Dracula, Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, all amazing black and white films. Though today the current generation will feel like the pacing is too slow, these movies are classics for a reason, and helped create the foundation of scary movies. Thankfully they actually offer the collection sets for each creature now.

Halloweentown I and II – Out of the series the first two are the best ones. They have the original cast and they are both fun stories. If you haven’t seen them yet, you need to.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – There will forever be the debate as to whether this movie should be played during Halloween or during Christmas. My thoughts are why not have it at both? Tim Burton movies in general are amazing for this time of year, but this particular one is the absolute best.

Trick ‘r Treat – This horror anthology movie is a favorite in our house. So much so that Sunshine dressed up as Sam last Halloween, and probably will again this year. Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology movie where everything in it happens in one small town throughout the night of Halloween. It does incorporate a lot of different Halloween superstitions like razorblades in the candy bars, and having Jack-o-Lanterns out to keep the bad spirits at bay. It’s gory and scary but I can’t help but watch it every year.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – If you have ever watched this movie, you know exactly why it’s on this list. Going to a viewing of Rocky Horror with everyone in costumes is one of the best things about Halloween.

Hocus Pocus – Another movie that doesn’t need explaining.

Kiki’s Delivery Service – This is my favorite Studio Ghibli film. Sure the only thing that relates to Halloween in it is the fact that the main character is a Witch, but during this time a year a cute movie that makes you feel good isn’t a bad thing to have. It gives you a break from all the horror movies.

Crimson Peak – In the theme of Gothic Romance/Horror like Penny Dreadful, this movie is beautifully done. The creatures that Guillermo del Toro created are absolutely terrifying and the story itself is unexpecting when you first watch it. Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam being in it does kind of help though.

Addams Family and Addams Family Values – Just like the TV shows I mentioned earlier, these two are the best out of the ones aired. Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci are perfect actors for the characters that they play. Sadly Pugsley and Grandma Addams were pushed a little further into the background.

Tower of Terror – It took me forever to find this on DVD! It was one of my favorite Disney Halloween movies growing up (along with Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus) and riding the Tower of Terror at a Disney Park is actually on my bucket list, but who knows if I will get to now that they are changing the rides to Guardians of the Galaxy.

Young Frankenstein – So I will admit, I watch this movie at least once a month and have it almost on repeat when I am sick. A Mel Brooks movie that pokes fun at the old creature features is sometimes the best medicine during a fall and winter cold.

Practical Magic – This is another movie that is a staple in our family. We don’t watch it just during Halloween, and I’m pretty sure that we all watch this one at least once a month.


So what are your must haves for this time of year? Were there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

See you soon!

Jess

 

Books · Magical Life · Reviews

Reading Corner – September 2017

I haven’t been able to read much as of late but this past month I was finally able to finish something.

Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World by Deborah Blake

Everyday Witchcraft - Deborah Blake

Living a life where I have a day job, work on this blog, and have the side hustle of book editing through Fiverr; it is difficult to create the time to put aside for my own spirituality. When I picked up this book, I had heard about Deborah Blake and read her articles in different pagan magazines.

The focus of this book is connecting with Spirit in even the most mundane of moments, and has an entire sections on creating 5 minute mini rituals that are easy to incorporate in the day, as well as ways to incorporate magick in your cleaning tasks, and connecting with you chosen Diety regularly. In the final section of the book, she includes a list of amazing Wiccan and Witchcraft books to continue from from the classics of Raymond Buckland and Scott Cunningham to more modern books by Christopher Penzack.

I really enjoyed reading this book and have even put little tabs in it for the sections I want to incorporate more in my life to hopefully bring some balance back. It has amazing tips for taking the steps to make you life more magickal and helps keep it from seeming so daunting a task.

One of the main things that I’m going to begin incorporating into my life is connecting with a Diety. The steps she includes in this section from Chapter 2 are things I know that I am able to do in the small moments of stillness I have within my day. Things as simple as trying to just talk in the morning when I’m drinking my coffee will help me create a connection again, as I have been feeling a little lost as of late, as I used to talk to Diety all the time.

I felt like this book was something I needed at this point of time, to try to help me come back into focus as to who I am and what I want to be.

What have you finished reading this month that has really spoken to you? Please let me know in the comments below, so I can check it out!

Jess

Holidays · Magical Life · My Story

My Fall Essentials

 

My Fall Essentials

Ever since I was small, autumn has been my favorite season. School was about to start and it wasn’t nearly as hot as it was during the summer. Halloween was in the air, and in the stores, and all things spooky were on the TV. It’s the time of year for warmer sweaters and extra blankets. It feels like home to me. Over the last 25 years I’ve come to have a set group of items that I have around me every autumn that just make the season much better and probably easier for me.

Wood Wick Candles

Though bonfires with friends and family are the picture of summer and autumn nights, many states have a burn ban in effect. As well, in most states it’s still too hot to get your fireplace going. Having a wood wick candle is a perfect substitute since they don’t emit the heat of bonfires but you still have the crackling of burning wood. A lot of stores now carry them and they are often made as soy candles as well, making them a little safer to burn chemically.

My favorite scent for this is the Nature’s Wick candles in the scent Bonfire Nights (pretty obvious huh?). I love the smell of this and the way this brand’s wicks burn are amazing and I haven’t had any popping outside of the candle yet.

Lots of Hot Tea

In my house I am considered the Tea Queen, so much so that I got a tea pot with infuser and a travel container for my teas for Christmas from Sunshine’s parents last year. My mug always has either some sort of herbal tea or coffee in it. I even have a bag of herbal tea bags that I keep in my purse for when I’m at work to drink.

For this time of year, I am usually drinking a detox tea or even a tea meant to help with the immune system as cold and flu season never sleeps. (But I do use these as a supplement to a healthy diet and other things as there is no proof by the FDA of the help of herbal teas and the immune system.)

Heavier Body Lotion

Dry skin is never fun during sweater weather, so during this time of year I start using a heavier body lotion daily. Though this does get me to use up project pan lotions, it does help to have a scent that you really enjoy.

Currently I’m working through my Sweet Pea lotions from Bath & Body Works,  but I love the fall line of lotions from them that also have pure honey in them. My favorites from that line are the Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte and Autumn Blooms, and I only got travel sizes because I wanted to test them out before I would buy a full size. Having one at your desk or in your bag that is your favorite scent helps not only ward off dry skin but helps a little bit with a positive attitude.

Entertainment of the Spooky Variety

I used to love watching 13 Nights of Halloween on ABC Family (now Freeform) but in the last few years they have become very disappointing when it comes to their selection. I love Addams Family and Hocus Pocus but they are not the only movies that you can watch for Halloween. Growing up with shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Truth or Scary and movies like Teen Witch and Tower of Terror, have caused me to become reliant upon myself for quality spooky-tainment. Between myself and Sunshine, we have quite a Halloween movie collection. He has more horror movies and I have more family friendly ones, and of course the entire series of the Munsters.

Nightmare Freddy and Spookytainment
Nightmare Freddy looks ready for some spooky-tainment!

When it comes to reading, I am still working through Stacy Schiff’s Witches, but I have realized that I have a couple of spooky reads as well. Of course we have the staples: Frankenstein, Lovecraft, and Poe. We also have some newer stuff, like the Five Nights at Freddy’s novels, Welcome to Nightvale, and the Sweep novels. Having our own spooky-tainment helps when you can’t rely on regluar TV, or if you are like us and decided to cut the cable anyway.

The Color Burgundy

Burgundy Fall Flatlay Items

I have no idea why but I become almost obsessed with this color during the fall. From my makeup and nails, to my clothes I usually have the color burgundy somewhere around me. This color makes me feel confident as well as safe but it also may be because this the time of year where I need this color in my life. Reds are the colors of the Root Chakra and this is the time of year where it definitely comes into play as to feeling grounded and rooted into yourself and the world around you.

Cleaning Supplies

Pretty odd to have this on the list but I do major cleaning and decluttering in the fall.You can have your windows open and not worry about pollen that you need to clean. Also you are starting to switch out your summer clothes for something a little thicker and warmer so it is the perfect time to get rid of things that don’t fit or you just don’t like anymore.

This is also a great time of year to start doing energy clearing. Summer is usually a very stressful time of year for both me and Sunshine with our jobs getting busier and we do bring those frustrations home. During this time of year things start to slow and calm down, so it is a good time for us to get those frustrating energies out of our home so we can bring more positive ones in. Everyone has their own way of doing it, for example I really like doing some deep cleaning and also have a purification blend go through on my diffuser all day.

A great book to help is Debroah Blake’s book Everyday Witchcraft as it has an entire section of the book dedicated to cleaning, grounding, and protection you can do for your home during this time of year.


So these are the essentials that I have to make autumn more special and easier for me. What are your essential items?

Beauty · Budgeting

How Project Pans have Changed my Spending

Right before I started my Largest Project Pan Ever in 2016, I was on the lookout for a new makeup case. I needed something large enough to hold my pallets but also compartmentalized enough to help keep everything organized. What I ended up with was a fishing tackle box. I’m not kidding.

When I brought it home I was excited to fill it up with all of my makeup items, and come to find out I had more than enough. I grabbed my box in the bathroom closet and off of the counter to start organizing. Doing this brought me to the realization that I had way too much stuff. I had samples from IPSY bags that I received almost a year before, and of course all the items I purchased at Ulta when I had a bad day.

This is where the idea for the Largest Project Pan Ever came from. I wrote down every single item that I had  and come up with 143 items in total. My goal being to finish them all, no time limit, and only purchasing if I need to replace something.

Since October, I have used a lot of the items in this project pan, and I have kept up pretty well with my low-buy, but I have seen a change in my spending when it comes to those items I’m starting to repurchase.

When I finish an item on the list, I decide if it is something that I know I would want to repurchase I would mark it and write it down on my repurchase list. Doing this helps a lot because if I know I already like something I am much more willing to repurchase just that item and not deviate.

With that I try to wait to order those items when they are on sale or have a free gift with purchase. Usually the gift is a sample of another item from that line. Also ordering it online helps because you get extra samples. I rely heavily on samples if I want to try a product out, that way I don’t have to purchase a full size and worry if I don’t like it. It saves a lot of decluttering in the long run.

This also helps with wanting to do my research before I try a new item. Having a sample or a travel sized version of the time does help, but I also check the reviews of an item or even beauty blogs. They often have visuals of the item in use as well as the results.

Speaking of visuals, having a way to completely visualize the amount of products I have helps because I know I don’t need more products. More than likely I have 5 similar eyeliners in black, I don’t need the newest liquid eyeliner from L’Oreal.

I cancelled my subscription to IPSY and limit my interaction on Influenster. I decided to do this so I don’t have to deal with a constant supply of makeup arriving at my doorstep. A good portion of the items on my list are from IPSY, and with some of them being full sized items,  it is going to be a while before I finish them all.

Finally, I’ve changed how I approach going to the beauty section of a store or a beauty store. I can now say that I am capable of going into Ulta just to look at stuff but to also not have the urge to go to Ulta on a bad day.

I’m not purchasing nearly at much as I used to and I’m currently experimenting will all the items I have. It’s more enjoyable this way because I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the new items. More than likely I already have something similar that I really enjoy. Hopefully, I can keep finishing items so my stash can be minimized and I can invest the money that I was spending on beauty items on things that I really need. Like getting an apartment.

For my other project panners out there, have you seen your spending change since you’ve started doing project pans? Are you willing to do one to see if it helps yours? Let me know in the comments below!

Jess

Lifestyle

Learning to Have a Side Hustle – and Taking It Seriously

Side Hustle

Having a side hustle has become much more popular as of late. It’s more than selling AVON or Mary Kay makeup at your house. It’s a way of life that just seems money smart. For me I’m going to take serious steps towards developing my side hustle so I can get the benefits of not only having a day job but also still doing something that I love. Continue reading “Learning to Have a Side Hustle – and Taking It Seriously”

Lifestyle

11 Period Hacks That You Probably Already Know

11 Period Hacks You You Already Know

If there was a way to make a woman’s period easier to deal with, she would probably do it. Some of us have it down to a science, while others still struggle. After being diagnosed with Endometriosis at 19, I spent the last few years trying to make it easier for me so I’m able to function like a normal person during that time. These are 11 tricks that I found have helped me, that more than likely you’ve figured out too. Continue reading “11 Period Hacks That You Probably Already Know”