Bullet Journal

May 2020 Bullet Journal Spreads

It’s May, guys.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!

I want an April redo, please. I feel like that month was nothing but fear and anxiety.

And Easter … where did that go?!

Anyway, here we are, in the month of May. And I’m still working on my Corona virus podcast because your girl has THINGS TO SAY. But I’m trying to keep it real while keeping it fair and I’ll be honest, it’s hard because all I really want to do is rant like a crazy person. *ahem* Anyway …

Here is my May bullet journal set up (or Bujo for the cool kids).

I’m doing the vision board thing. I’m picking out pictures from Unsplash that make me happy and putting a collage thingie together. (I send the files to Staples and have them print off the pages for me – it’s like ridiculously cheap doing it that way). This one sucks, but remember, I don’t have a crafty bone in my body so cut me some slack. I learned I don’t care for cutting around the pictures and haven’t done that since. Next month’s vision board page is better … but not much.

Anyway – I picked the proverbial May flowers theme because I have to get the cheesy themes out of the way first before I get artsy-fartsy. (Don’t hold your breath on it getting better, though). But then, as you will soon see, it actually turned into a sunflowers theme because IT’S EASIER – GET OFF ME.

I like flowers, I just don’t want flowers. Why? Because they’re freaking expensive and last for a week – I can think of 999,999 more things to spend my money on, thank you very much.

But I like looking at them – just don’t buy them.

Here’s my brain dump and step tracker. I think these pages turned out cute-ish.

It was my first time using the white gel pen and … meh, not a fan. I have to go over it about ten times for it to show up and then it looks like a child wrote it. Who am I kidding, that’s actually my handwriting.

I love these types of pages. I’m thinking of expanding the brain dump into a monthly thoughts page, maybe two pages, next Bujo because again, I’m using the Bujo more as a journal as opposed to a planner. Cause I’m boring and never have much scheduled.

I’m also going to start a sleep tracker next Bujo, too. I really don’t care much for the overall habit trackers that everyone else does – just mood, step and sleep is all I care about. I have to say, it’s fun coloring in the step trackers every month and it really does motivate me to walk more. (If I have more “not enough” categories than 10K categories? Oh hell no).

My calendar page. See that mason jar of flowers stamp? LOVE. I freaking love stamps, but not a fan of letter stamps. Wait until you see September’s spread – I used stamp letters and it really does look like a kindergarten project. I’ll get better … maybe.

I have mixed feelings on calendar pages. Again, I don’t really use them because I’m boring as hell and never really have anything to write in them so they feel sort of a waste. I’m toying with the idea of making full page calendar artsy spreads in my next Bujo and just making a small monthly calendar but the thought of planning a full artsy spread triggers my productive gene and …meh. We’ll see. I actually had a few things to add to the calendar this month – look at me – I’M BUSY – so that’s satisfying. I got the sunflower stickers from Hobby Lobby which was a nice touch, in my opinion.

The yellow highlighted days are days off – I’m taking one long-ass weekend off around Memorial day – can’t wait! We don’t have any plans and I’m cool with that – days off mean I’m not at work so WINNER.

Weekly spreads are still the same – I like this layout. It givers me room to write some thoughts from each day. The little squares on the left are to track weather. I think in future weeklies, I’m going to skip the “important” section at the bottom and make a seven-day weather and fasting tracker. Hey! I have a few more tracker ideas. I lied.

(And can we all just stare at the awesome watering can stencil? Cause I am …)

I have mixed feelings on these question pages. I type up a question/answer private message to be read by whomever is reading my Bujo, (after I’m dead, of course) and putting that piece of paper in the envelope and gluing it to my journal. It makes it bulky and that sort of bugs me, but I’m going to continue doing it for this year, at least. I’m not anything if not consistent … actually, I’m not consistent, evidenced by the spotty posts on this blog, but you know what I mean! Again, LOVE this stamp. I wish I had put more ink on it.

And lastly, a page for the many, many, MANY blog post ideas I have but never get around to writing/posting because I’m lazy. I tried to use that cute stamp again but I didn’t put enough ink on it and it was spotty and looked like crap so I stuck on some sunflowers to cover it up. Bask in my creativity, people.

The next page is dedicated to our 30th wedding anniversary which is May 26th. I haven’t colored it yet – I’m savoring it (nope, lazy again), and I’m leaving a spot open for a picture of me and Kevin. which I can now confidently take on my new phone! Yep, I finally caved and bought a new phone. I traded in my old as hills Samsung 5 for a Samsung A51. I like the phone so far, I haven’t even had it for a week (a Mother’s Day gift to myself) and I’m still waiting on my phone cases I ordered (which I wish would hurry up because this sucker is SLIPPERY – I’m going to drop it), but so far, so good. It has a pretty freaking awesome camera on it which I’m most excited about because my old phone had a crappy camera.

But I digress.

I’m currently working on my November spread. Yep – I’m that far ahead. And I’m already thinking about my January 2021 spread. I’ll probably stop working on this Bujo after I finish my December spread though because now that I’ve written my yearly goals in my Bujo and have only done two of about 15, I’m feeling the pressure to get some more stuff done. I want some check marks, yo!

Here are some bullet journal videos I’ve been watching lately:

I really enjoy Planning with Kay’s videos. She has a shop where she sells her cute stickers and I REALLY enjoyed her book spreads. I will likely buy these stickers from her at some point because OF COURSE, I have to make book spreads. Duh.

Also, I’m totally doing this Productivity Board Spread next year. DAMN IT, another tracker! (I would do this tracker sooner but I already have my 2020 Bujo planned out for the rest of the year and I’m out of pages so … )

But is this not the cutest idea?? And I’m guessing I’m a visual person judging by my motivation to do more walking when I see my step trackers and I’m thinking this would motivate me to be more productive, overall. Hey, it couldn’t hurt!

AND – I bought this cute reading tracker stencil from Erin Floto Designs that I will be using instead of my reading bookshelf next Bujo. The bookshelf is cute but I need more room to write the names of my books and this stencil will give me plenty of room to do that.

And – OMG – ANOTHER TRACKER IDEA. I suck.

And lastly, I really enjoyed this May plan with me video – I’m totally doing these mason jars though mine won’t look at cute as hers.

Happy journeling, everyone!

TBR

May To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Here is my May 2020 TBR stack:

 

  1. In Bed with the Earl (Lost Lords of London Book 1) by Christi Caldwell
  2. Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert Book 1) by Melinda Leigh
  3. The Star and the Shamrock by Jean Grainger
  4. Winter World (The Long Winter Trilogy Book 1)by A.G. Riddle
  5. Wall of Silence by Tracy Buchanan
  6. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
  7. She Can Tell (She Can Series, Book 2) by Melinda Leigh
  8. The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Jan Stocklassa, Tara F. Chace (Translator)
  9. In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

 

At the Moment

Stuck at Home? (Aren’t We All?) Bored? This Might Bring a Smile to Your Face

What the heck, it’s been 11 days since I last posted? I SWEAR it feels like three days ago.

Anyone else losing track of time with the quarantine?

Missouri has been on city/state lock down for … three weeks now? Honestly, I’ve lost track. I believe Kansas City / St. Louis / Springfield were the only cities in the state that went on lock down, the state of Missouri followed suit … last week?

AARGH, time is hard!

I also feel like I’ve aged ten years since this nightmare started, too.

Fortunately, I’ve continued working so I haven’t really had time to be bored, but I know a lot of people are not as fortunate so I’m sharing a fun YouTube video of the Eh Bee Family. I was going through my subscriptions and when I saw their name, I thought, “what are they up to now?” And of course, they didn’t disappoint. They are a cute family that do cute family stuff together.

Anyhow, enjoy this video of fun things to do if you’re bored at home during this quarantine. I’m currently working on a podcast where I talk about all things COVID-19 and how it’s affecting me, my family, and my job as a healthcare worker.

Stay healthy, friends!

TBR

April To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Here is my April 2020 TBR stack:

  1. The Last Sister by Kendra Elliott
  2. Last Day by Luanne Rice
  3. When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal
  4. A Cold Trail by Robert Dugoni
  5. Protecting What’s Mine by Lucy Score
  6. Sweet Temptation by Cora Reilly
  7. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  8. The Neon Lawyer by Victor Methos

Happy Reading!

Bullet Journal

April 2020 Bullet Journal Spreads

It’s time to share my April bullet journal spread:

I went with the cliché РApril showers.

I actually got the idea from watching the hundreds of bullet journal videos on YouTube and it all started with a vision board. The idea of a vision board appealed to me immediately. It’s basically a collage page of pictures that inspire you or make you happy, or something you aspire to do or feel.

And after stumbling across Unsplash, a site that offers royalty free pictures, I was instantly hooked.

After looking through the photos on Unsplash, I decided April showers would be my theme.

I’m continuing to prefer an actual calendar page as opposed to a vertical calendar page. Though I’m tempted to do a full monthly cover page with a small calendar in the future because let’s face it, my social calendar is virtually always empty so it seems a waste to use two pages for a calendar I rarely use. I may try that option in my next bullet journal.

I found the cute, sparkly cloud stickers at Hobby Lobby and an idea was born.  (Though it looks like the cloud stickers are out-of-stock currently. Our local Hobby Lobbys are closed, which .. bummer).

Remember, my bullet journal is all about experimenting with different mediums and I really liked this picture of the woman with the red umbrella, though I wish it wasn’t as dark. I like how the red gives it a “splash” (see what I did there) of color.

You know what’s funny? I didn’t realize until I went back later to put Easter on the calendar that my numbering is off. GAH! Oh well, I’ll laugh about it … at some point. (Easter is on the 12th, not the 13th – see my note at the bottom? That’s why I chose the “it’s the little things” sticker – lol).

Here’s my April vision board. The woman with the red umbrella and the street lamp was actually one picture, I cut it apart and thought it turned out cool. I love the picture of the child stomping in the rain because it makes me feel carefree and young. I also liked the rain-streaked window because watching the rain fall relaxes me and it’s interesting to see how your world changes when it rains. I love this vision board idea and I plan on continuing this every month. I am not, however, crazy about the washi tape I stuck on there. I like washi tape, I just haven’t found a use for it yet. But I’m not giving up.

Again, I was playing around with pictures and though I really like the colorful umbrellas, I’m not crazy how bright they are when compared to the rest of the spread. I plan on making a rainbow spread at some point and using this umbrella picture would have been better suited on that spread.

Here is how my weeklies turned out. All of my weeklies look the same. I’m really enjoying this horizontal spread and I’ve been keeping up with summarizing my day on each one. At some point, I think I will make them bigger and do away with my notes at the bottom. I haven’t really been utilizing them at this point and I would rather make notes on my calendar spread than on my weekly spreads. We’ll see.

I think the step tracker page turned out cute, though my clump of clouds in the middle look an elephant with snot coming out of its nose. haha! I’m also really using my brain dump pages and I think I might make them two pages in my next bullet journal because again, I use my bullet journal as more of a journal than a planner.

And lastly, here is my quote – tell me this isn’t true!! Again, hate the washi tape element here. Washi tape frustrates me!

I finished my August spread today and will likely start my September spread tomorrow. I already have tons of theme ideas for upcoming spreads and can’t wait to start my 2021 bullet journal. I want to work ahead while I’m still enthusiastic because I know me and the novelty of this will wear off and I won’t want to do anything else with it for months. This way, I’ve worked far enough ahead that when the bug bits me again, I won’t be discouraged when I have to catch up.

I’m learning a bit more each time I put a spread together and I feel like the spreads are getting better, overall. Remember, I’m one of the least artsy people you’ll ever know so that fact that I’m doing this at all feels like an accomplishment to me.

I learn something each time I watch a bullet journal video so it’s hard to give you just a couple to watch here. Instead, here is a link to a ton of videos that will hopefully inspire you to do something fun with your own bullet journal.

Happy Journeling!

Work Stuff

Thankful to Still Have a Job

Isn’t that picture pretty?? It’s my hope to some day go to Washington DC and see the cherry blossoms, to walk this path, breath the fresh air, feel the sun on my face and just EXIST, stress free for a few moments.

Alas, that day is not today.

But it’s a nice place to visit in my imagination, especially right now.

I hate to be yet another person talking about this damn Coronavirus, but I wanted to document the crazy that our world is right now so that at some point, hopefully, in the near future, we can look back at this time period and think, “WHAT THE F*CK….”

First off, I’m so sorry, I’m so TERRIBLY sorry for anyone out there that is not working right now. I feel so bad for the people whose companies have shut down leaving them without a reliable wage. I can’t imagine, and I pray I never have to imagine, what that feels like. I’m sure there are a lot of scared, freaked out people right now and the sooner we can get back to normal, the better for all of our mental health.

I’m so very thankful, SO THANKFUL, that so far, we have not been asked to stay home. It was touch and go for a while, there was talk that the hospital would disperse us and “re-allocate” us to other areas of the hospital and my first thought was, “but I don’t WANT to wipe patients’ butts!” Translation: working the floor terrifies me. Largely because I have zero experience working the floor and I know I would be more of a hindrance than a help because people would have to spend their precious time training me and then going back later and re-doing what I did because it was wrong.

And let’s not forget the wiping peoples’ butts thing …

We have been given the option of working from home. We can check messages, call patients back, work on upcoming schedules, etc. and I’m very, VERY thankful that we have this option. I haven’t had the chance to take advantage of that option yet, but I hope to soon.

The week of Spring Break, when our doctors were out, was the longest, darkest week I’ve had since working this job. It was the uncertainty, and the rumors, and the daily updates and changes that were being made so fast it gave me daily headaches just trying to keep up with it all. I tried not to get sucked into the vortex of doom, but I’m only human and I too have bills to pay and retirement to save up for so I would be lying if there weren’t times my heart beat a little faster out of purely selfish fear.

But then, our doctors came back, ready to work but no surgeries to fill their time. And they’re bored and they want to see patients, but the hospital has cracked down on the number of people being allowed in so running clinics as usual was out of the question.

My doctor, who is freaking awesome and whom I just adore, is always open to new ideas. And our mid-level, who is like a spunky little sister, suggested Telemedicine. GENIUS! So, we started looking into our options. And we trialed our first Telemedicine clinic on Wednesday and I think it went pretty good for our first time trying something completely different and out of our comfort zone.

Our team has been the guinea pigs of the clinic – if what we do succeeds, then the other doctors will follow suit. And a few of them have already tried it.

My lovely daughter-from-another-mother nurse and I have been SUPER busy vetting patients and setting them up to try this Telemedicine. The technology is there, the problem is people don’t know how to use/activate their webcams and/or microphones, so I spent a large portion of my day trying to talk them into finding the right settings and then basically using it.

However, I’m proud to say that we “saw” nine patients via Telemedicine on Wednesday and it went relatively well. Sure, there were glitches and things we needed to improve, but I’m confident it will only get better the more we use it.

And patients seem to LOVE it.

And my team seems to really like it.

And it gives me an excellent excuse to go to work every day and keep my job.

WIN-WIN!

So, for the foreseeable future, until this craziness passes, we have found our new normal. And I predict just when we get used to our new normal, get everything down to a science, this craziness will pass and we’ll go back to our old normal.

I’m okay with that. I’m nothing if not flexible.

In addition to the hospital not allowing unnecessary visitors in, they are now taking our temperatures every morning to ensure we are not exhibiting flu-like symptoms. I get it, they have to protect the workers and patients, but I confess, I breathe easier once I have “passed” the test and get the colored sticker of the day on my badge. (We have colored stickers put on our badges every day to mark who has passed the screening).

The hospital has also erected a huge triage tent just outside the ER entrance so that can ensure they are not allowing someone with symptoms into the ER waiting room to potentially infect all who are sitting in the waiting room.

The hospital is also constructing a floor within our hospital to serve as a “MASH” unit, so to speak, to house potential Coronavirus patients. Which, on the surface, sounds admirable, but then my mid-level pointed out that it will actually bring the hot zone to us because of all of the nurses and personnel that will have close contact with the infected patients and then go to the cafeteria to mingle with the rest of us poor unsuspecting saps.

We honestly can’t win for losing here.

I do have hope, though. Watching President Trump’s latest press conference where he talks about ending the shut down soon because we HAVE to get back to work, is encouraging. The government is just trying to figure out how to go about that. I don’t envy them that job.

And side note: Did you know that CNN and other news outlets are either cutting away from the press conference in order to avoid the hopeful message that the president puts out there or they have stopped airing the conferences all together? Why would they do that? It’s almost as if they WANT to prolong this hell … (answer: they do)

In other news, Brandon’s 25th birthday was yesterday. He turned 25 on the 25th and we didn’t even get to go to his favorite restaurant to celebrate, though we did order take out from his favorite restaurant. We had a very lively discussion about the current state of affairs and I think we gave him a lot think about. To our chagrin, he thinks a lot like the majority of young people nowadays and we do our best to give him a dose of reality while trying not to sound too adult-ish.

Though it was a small, low-key birthday, I bet he doesn’t forget his 25th birthday.

Hang in there, peeps, this too shall pass.

In the News

Don’t Trust the Media

Gah. It’s raining here. I’m ready for warm weather and sunshine, 1. because I’m sick of the doom/gloom as I’m sure you all are, and 2. so that the warmer weather will start burning off this virus.

Just a quick word out there about the news media; DON’T TRUST THEM. Assume that whatever you’re being told, on whatever network you’re watching, that it’s cut and edited to push their own agenda.

I’ve been watching President Trump’s DAILY news conferences. He’s answering media questions for HOURS just to prove to us that he’s being transparent. He doesn’t have to do this, but he’s doing this to effectively communicate with the American people what is being done and what the future holds. He’s doing this because he CAN’T trust the media to accurately report anything because Trump does not represent their agenda – chaos and control.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

What part of Trump’s narrative was bad? He was talking about potential drugs that are looking promising for combating this virus. What part of that is bad? It shows the administration is making strides toward a solution and that can’t be anything BUT hopeful. And hope is EXACTLY what we need right now.

This reporter is disgusting in that he’s trying very hard to hang on to the fear. He’s trying very hard to inject another dose of fear into people when quite honestly, fear is exactly why we’re in the state we’re in now. The media has worked the people up into such a frenzy reason and critical thinking have gone out the window. It’s evil and wrong.

I watched this particular news conference and the reporter deserved what he got. Stop being an asshole. We don’t need politics right now, we need to pull together and combat this thing. And I really hope we learn some valuable lessons and prepare for the next virus – because there will be another one, it’s just a question of when it happens. (Hopefully, not for a very long time).

Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you to pick and choose your “news” sources carefully. Go to the source. Watch President Trump’s conferences. Check the CDC website. Forget these news outlets and “opinions” because let’s face it, these “news” outlets are reporting very little “news”, it’s all about sensationalizing what’s going on and continuing to scare people. How is that helping? Do you think organizations with that agenda exist to HELP you?

Seriously, think about that.

Stay healthy, friends.

AudioPlay

My Latest Playlist

Let’s lighten things up around here, shall we?

Music / Dance is a good place to start. I know I find it interesting to listen to other people’s playlists, perhaps you’d like to hear what I’ve been listening to lately.

(You’ll have to sign on to Spotify to hear the full songs – you only get 30 seconds worth here).

Happy listening!

Abundant Life

Got Time on Your Hands? Make Your Relationships Stronger

Good Sunday evening, everyone.

We just got done watching this video from the Truth or Tradition YouTube channel and I thought I would share it. I think it’s a timely subject and one that a lot of us typically don’t take the time to think about or work on.

Since we have some time on our hands with our self quarantine, why not invest in building your relationship with your spouse and children? Spend some time together. Talk to each other. Make plans, play games … this is the perfect time to do the things with your family that you otherwise never have time for.

This is a stressful time for everyone but stay positive, pray often and remember – THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Stay healthy, friends.