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

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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

 

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

Beauty · Cleaning · Homemaking Skills

Stress Cleaning and Finding Out I’m A Hoarder

Stress Cleaning, Finding I'm a Hoarder

 

The past month or two has been really stressful for me. My grandmother has been in and out of the hospital, I was in crunch time on finishing a blanket, and my day job is going through major changes where we are put under even more pressure. Now my fiance and I are starting to look for our own place so our budget needs to be a lot tighter than it is.

On a day where I had hit my peak of stress, I decided to start cleaning. I thought that it would be a productive way to get my stress out, and well, my bathroom needed a really good deep clean anyway. The clean itself took me a total of 3 hours to do, and I believe that the bathroom hasn’t been this clean since we moved in a few years ago.

My process of cleaning the bathroom was take everything out of it, clean the room itself and then clean the items as they were brought back into the room. As I was bringing items back into the room I saw that I was putting back container after container of beauty products. Doing this made me physically see the amount of items that I have accumulated over the past couple of years that is just stored in my bathroom. I’ve tried, and failed, with Project Pans before thinking that was a way to get me to use products up, but I realized that I was still purchasing items to use, or try, or just to get the samples that would come with it. (I am a sucker for samples. It’s a problem.)

Physically doing this made be think. How much do I really have here? I often have things that I own hidden in containers and in the cabinets which makes me appear organized. With this thought in mind, I grabbed an empty notebook and wrote down every single beauty product that I owned. Well…..it took me over two hours to write it all down, and I had filled five pages of the notebook with all of them. A page and a half was nothing but SAMPLES!

This is insane! I physically own a few hundred dollars worth of beauty products of all natures, most of which are in my bathroom closet. I don’t need to buy another beauty product for months, or maybe a couple of years.

I’ve come to the realization, that I’m showing some habits of a hoarder, particularly involving beauty products. That makes me wonder if I’m hoarding in other areas of my life as well. *coughcoughBOOKScoughcough*

I definitely want to keep doing these deep cleans and work on going through items that I have. Every few months I donate my clothes, but I still have way more than I actually wear. I have books that I’ve read once but likely wont read again. With all of this, I really want to downsize and save money.

So to start that off, I’m on an official Beauty-No-Spend. Unless I have to replace an item that I have no backups of that type of item, I am not allowed to buy any sort of beauty products. If I use an item I’m marking it out of the notebook that I have. Having it all written down and going over it often will hopefully keep me in line. But I definitely want to keep you all informed with my journey and how I majorly downsize my beauty items. Keep an eye out for a major Project Pan post soon!

Do you have an type of item that you think you hoard? Or are you more along the line of a minimalist? If you are what is the best way to keep it all down that works for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Budgeting · Homemaking Skills · Lifestyle

Lessons Learned from My Budget Failure

Budget Failure

A part of my New Years Goals was to be able to only spend half of my income each month, mainly so I can have more go into savings.

And I failed.

Last week I had to pull a couple hundred dollars from my savings account to make sure my bills were paid. Sure I’m glad I’ve been saving so I had a bit of a cushion, but I feel like crap that I had to pull money out of my savings. I was using that money to help me get back to school for my Masters in English, and because I couldn’t say no to shopping I had to pull out $200.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to do it but I was so close to my goal that I needed to take a moment and figure out what I was doing.

Continue reading “Lessons Learned from My Budget Failure”

Home Management Binder · Lifestyle

Trying Out Bullet Journaling

I’m a stationary addict. There. I said it. I have an obsession with journals, and it’s killin‘ my bank account.

I also strive to be as efficient and organized as I possibly can, and I always think I can do that if I had a new journal, or a new planner. No matter how often I try to keep with a new journal, I see something shiny and think I need a new one. For a little while I’ll fill it with lists, or try to make it a normal journal that I would come back to once in a while to fill in more, but sooner or later I realized I had too many and it wasn’t organized.

I’ve tried just about every organization system I’ve come across, and now I’m trying Bullet Journaling.

Bullet Journaling is a combination of a regular journal, a planner, and an organization system in one book. The best thing about it is that it is completely customized to you, and that there is no such thing as a mistake. Each page is blank and you have the freedom to whatever you want with it.

The idea of this appeals to me because I’m a avid list maker, but I also use regular journaling to help with my depression and anxiety, it would be a good place to have both so I can refer to just one place when I need to.

image

At the moment, I’m just starting out, but I’m already seeing a positive impact. I usually take a little time every morning before I go to my day job to set up my daily page and get my thoughts and plans together. When I get to work, I already know exactly what I want to accomplish and I feel focused, which is hard to do when working retail.

Over time, I do want to want to write updates on how this system is working for me and how I have it customized for my needs. Also, I will definitely be posting pictures on my Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me and keep an eye out!

Though I’m still figuring it out myself, the best video to learn about the Bullet Journal is from the creator himself!

Have you tried a Bullet Journal? How is it working for you? Do you post pictures of it on your Instagram? If so, let me know in the comments below with your Instagram handle so I can add you and see your amazing pictures!

Jess

Cleaning · Homemaking Skills

Why I Make My Bed

Why I Make My Bed

Ever since I was little, it was reinforced in my head to always make my bed in the morning. With my mom it wasn’t “Make your bed or you’ll be in trouble,” it was more “Make your bed so wont have an extra thing to do.” So at first I did it because I had to, and I was really bad at it. As I got older, I took a little more pride into making my bed every morning. Continue reading “Why I Make My Bed”