Our Halloween

No matter how much you plan, things never go as planned. When you have kids it’s like when do things go as planned?

We went to the Halloween store to get some last minute stuff for me and mister officer. Then I had to go to Michael’s to get some paper for an order made. I really got distracted and to top it off the line was long!

So afterwards we planned to just get a quick dinner at McDonald’s but they were severely under staffed so we waited for about 45 minutes. By the time 5:15 pm rolled around I knew we were doomed!

Lily had to get dropped off at her best friends house and Kay was severely constipated to the point she was in agony and tears. So me and him couldn’t get ready nor could we even give out candy or take the boys trick or treating. Our neighborhood sets up a yearly Halloween sort of parade where they line up and all trick or treat together.  This year they had started at 5 pm so we pretty much missed it all.

Kay was all better by 8 ish. By that time the boys were done and I’m so glad my niece came and was able to go with them around as me and mister officer dealt with our sick little one.

See how life throws you curve balls without expected. And even though I felt like the night wasn’t what I wanted or how we had planned I’m just glad that when Kay did feel better, she enjoyed her Halloween and loved her bumble bee outfit.

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I was still able to pull off my creepy doll look that I had spent the night before looking up how to do this look.

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Was I creepy enough?

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My zombie officer and the creepy doll duo.

I wasn’t able to capture the others on my phone. But I am glad they had fun and can still wear their costumes to play.

Hopefully next Halloween we can actually all go around and have it not be so late or a disaster. But that’s life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Hope you all had a happy halloween.

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New bullet journal weekly setup and update

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It’s a new week so that means it’s time to update and set up my new week in my bullet journal. I had this cover from my first planner which was a mead planner from target and look, it came in handy for my bujo! I was very excited for Sunday to roll around to try a few new things that I felt inspired by tinyrayofsunshine. Can you tell I’m totally loving her blog?! Well, click the link to feel just as inspired as I am!

So, I decided that I did need to do a weekly layout to “test” and to see how I feel about it because there is so many options, so if something doesn’t feel “right,” I can easily go back to how I originally have always done it just on a day to day to day basis. Photo below.

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Above photo was my last week. For two days I tried the banner header and I totally screwed that up! It’s all a learning process and I left it like that because I am human and I am not perfect by any means.

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Above photo I’m showing my monthly were I am doing the drawlloween challenge. I don’t draw and can’t draw for the life of me, but hey its fun to try! I added a project life card with a Calendar sticky note from my minds eye to track my pain. I like it this way and will continue to put it like this because I can take it out if need be for my doctors.

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In the monthly list I just added some Halloween stickers. Can’t ever go wrong with stickers and washi tape. I use the monthly as a short summary of the day.

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Above is a copy that I found off pinterest.

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I started a quotes collection since this month’s #bulletjournalchallengeoctober is all about collections. I am excited to see what other collections I will be doing and hopefully I can surf that handle via instagram and feel more inspired. I kid you not, I look at the #bulletjournal every day!

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To keep track of what’s being clean and when, I decided on doing a monthly cleaning tracker. So far I see this as helpful because I can switch what gets clean if it was already done etc. I can go back and see also if something needs to be cleaned more often. For us mommies this is helpful especially with our hands so full.

Now it’s time to show you this upcoming weeks layout!

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I decided to do it on a two page spread. I used the above with 8 blocks vertically and horizontally. I put my water tracking in the bottom of the day. I’m only putting the three major tasks done that day in those blocks. I then used the last section to keep track of the meals for the week. I really like how the top came out and I hope to stick to it. Then under the first section of the first page I used a sticky note to make it as the header for my major tasks of the week. I can look back to my monthly major tasks and write them on here so I know it has to be due that week. Then on the other side I have my notes and my social media tracker. The tracker stamp is from tiny Lil stamps via etsy. I placed a quote on the corner that’s a printable I found a while ago via pinterest.

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Close up on the quote.

I am glad to continue to share my bullet journal journey with you all. And as I learn and grow, I hope to help others.

Stay blessed,
Vanessa

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October bullet journal

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I was using the field notes sized in my fauxdori to bullet journal. But September was not a kind month to me health wise so I decided to put my miquelrius journal, purchased at Barnes and nobles, to use. I was saving it to start in January but I was like eager to start in it as soon as I could and already on my first day, I have no regrets.

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Above photo is my key system. The key system is essential to have when bullet journaling to know what is what. I will be using red, purple and black to color code and make certain things to stand out to me. I don’t want to color code each of the kids just yet but I hope to gravitate to color code more later on.

Below you will see the field notes layout I was using for September, which half and some pages remained empty, which drives me nuts! Who else dislikes blank pages?

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I really did try my best to get it together and shake the flare ups off and cold but it just wasn’t a good month for my lupus.

I was searching the #bulletjournal on Instagram and visited a few blogs like tinyrayofsunshine’s and misszoot’s and I was like, “time to move it and use this journal asap vanessa!” I grabbed it after I settled my nerves coloring the October calender from misszoot’s blog and glued it onto a page. I haven’t yet numbered the pages or done my index in the back of the book but I’ll get there, for now I don’t find it necessary since I’ll be using tabs to find my away around my bujo.

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At misszoot’s she also has the year 2016 monthly printable so I have saved that file to print later. Woohoo!

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Inside the cover, since it is soft bound, I used a card stock cut down (I’ll add washi to the side because the space will irk me.) To make it more harder and not so flimsy, I did the same to the back but with a different pattern paper.

Then I started my collections, this is my first time doing a collections so I’m very eager to see how it is for me in my bullet journal. I’ll be doing one every month and sometimes different ones, depending on the month and what I would like to record and track. If youre wondering what collections are, collections are just a list of things like books read, movies watched, projects completed, blog ideas and so forth.

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These are my collections above. I made sure to draw in pencil, just incase I messed up.

Now after I did my collections,  I was ready to do my monthly and daily. I didn’t do a weekly since I’ll still be using my happy planner for the family planner and just one that’s always out on my divider.

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Above photo is my happy planner layout decorated for the week.

So as you can see I’ll be using two planner systems and it’s okay! I just like to be able to record the little things over just only planning and that’s how and why I continue to use the bullet journal. It was the first system I discovered back in January 2015, that I’ve stuck to and I’m content with having both the bullet journal and the happy planner.

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The photo above is the October process after the collections since this month starts on a Thursday, I didn’t want to do a fancy weekly layout and like I stated, don’t need it so I just did the same October bullet journal layout written out. I’ll be writing down a line of the highlight of the day or things that are important etc.

I hope that I’ll enjoy this journal and will be doing a YouTube video once I’ve spent two weeks in it. I’ll even show the process of how I do my dailies every morning before my day gets started. Hopefully, October is a better month where I can record more and do more to have better memories for myself and my children to look back to as they get older. With my memory being so bad, I know I’ll appreciate this effort I make every day for them.

If you would like to learn more about the bullet journal system visit http://www.tinyrayofsunshine.blogspot.com I feel like her blog is hands down the most helpful for beginners.

Stay blessed everyone,
Vanessa

Setting up my August fauxdori

  

  
Ever since sweet Peggy gifted me my beautiful field notes sized fauxdori, it has been my number one love planner wise. I love how I can just change the notebooks and use others with designs. There’s so many variety that you won’t be held down by just a lined page because there’s graphs, dotted and even plain. The possibilities to find something that fits you are endless as long as you give it a try. 
You don’t need to conform to a typical planner because the bullet journal is about you and what works to make your life as simple and organized as possible. I enjoy it so much! Once I saw all the tons of videos and photos of it I just had to join the Facebook group called bullet journal junkies. It’s nice to see everyone share their layouts and ask each other for help and suggestions. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to bullet journal. 

Below you will see photos of how I set up my August graph field notes and you can even check it out in my YouTube video Click here

  
I made a folder pocket from a file folder to hold receipts and little odds and ends. 
  
 I purchased the midori official card holders and it has a zipper pouch where I keep a few cash in for emergencies. 

  
This was the index from jury’s notebook & the key I was using at the time.

 I am really loving the field notes graph over lined notebooks to bucket journal. That will be my preference from now on. I decided to jazz it up with glitter numbers to know it’s from 2015 and a few words to make my own quote. 

Just beautiful possibilities…

 
And so the journey begins…

  
This time I used the Marion smith planner stamps to form the keys. I just wanted it to look neater and well I love stamping, so it was a good excuse to use them. 

  
I kept my monthly pretty simple because I don’t necessarily use the monthly so dividing it up into boxes would not work for me. I just used the same system Ryder Caroll did (he is the creator of the billet journal system.

  
If you haven’t yet noticed. I stamped a circle No. Stamp to number my pages. Also, I used project life cards to make my running tasks list a little spice. 

  
I was glad to have achieve mostly all my goals in July so I did a whole new set of goals for August. This time I used a project life card and folded it in half. 

  
Of course I just couldn’t forget my pain tracker! I love the letters I used which I got from an etsy shop. Who said just because you have a painful disease that you can’t have fun with it? Well, not I! The whole month didn’t fit on the first page but that didn’t bother me so I continued towards the back and gave me enough room to add another quote. Can you tell you tell u love quotes? Now you do! 

  
I also included an expense tracker which I have never done before and it’s my first time so wish me luck with that one because I have a shopping problem! 

  
This is what my daily pages look like. Very simple! Put the date over the label and in the label stamp added the day. Went down 3 boxes to add the weather and inserted my water tracker that I printed for free off Pinterest, just simply search free planner stickers. 

  
Don’t worry we are almost done here, so here u have my meal plans because u like to jot down what u cooked for dinner just so we won’t get stuck in a routine. And then I track my steps because it’s good for me especially with my lupus. I have an app on my phone, hence why my phone is always with me and I hope to invest in a fit bit. If God would love to touch your heart to bless me with one I would greatly appreciate it more than words!

  
Here’s the page of my lists which is the I need lists which is currently blank, I don’t really feel the need that I want something oh so desperately but a full size midori would be super nice! 

And the other page is for the craft projects I need to do due to the swaps and groups I am that I enjoy very much because they keep me super stressed free. 

 I’ve decided to place the index towards the back of the field notes notebook. Simply because I pretty much know where everything is at. Also I put I little bit on wash in the middle of my daily pages to know that those are my daily pages. But remember you do what works for you! 

  

I hope this helped you and inspired you to become a part of the bullet journal family. Since I’ve joined and done this I have never been happier, content and organized. I even have a notebook for my book log! 

Hopefully, I will begin journaling in it. August will be the month where it all comes together for me as a writer, journaler and artist. 

Be sure to check out the YouTube video to really see the bujo in action. 

  


 

Cranberry muffins recipe 

I had some cranberry in jars and kept thinking how can I use this stuff? Ever wondered what to do with it even though it’s not thanksgiving? Well, I know I sure did! At first I was like thinking like hmmm pancakes, cake and even cookies. But then I remembered how much my kids adore muffins and come on, cranberry muffins you just can’t go wrong with that combination.

At first I was a bit hesitant but then I was like hey I can tackle any recipe and make the best of it. I found this one via Pinterest. Here’s the recipe below and a photo of my results. 

Tip: if it’s too moist add extra flour and mix. I had to add a bit more flour to mine 

  

Bake at 350 for 28/35 mins just check the center with a toothpick 


  

On mines, I didn’t add any frosting. Just wanted something easy for the kids to grab and go. This batch made me 24! And it was very tender and delicious. 

My process was I put a scoop of batter inside then about half a table spoon of jellied cranberry that I had mushed and blended. Then I added more bater up top. That way the cranberry jelly will be in the center of the muffin. 

You can choose to add the frosting that is in the description photo above but to me these came out exactly perfect that there was no need for it. Hope you try this recipe and enjoy it with your family or friends. 

  

Kicking off vacation bible school 

Sunday was the start to our church’s vacation bible school week! The theme is Mount Everest and we actually volunteered and went 1 day two weeks ago and helped decorate for it, which was really nice to have been able to do. 

We gathered before it started and held a beautiful but simple picnic. Kay ran around and played with their out doors toys. The kids ate a few hot dogs but kept to themselves and didn’t mingle much because they were pretty hot. 

  
Then, I got their name tags and bandanas. Lily is in the red group, Branden in the green and Ethan in the yellow. We sat and watched the start of it all. I really love how miss Kelly (the pastors wife) incorporates sign language when getting the kids involved in the songs and learning the songs. I enjoy it so much and hope to learn more sign language this coming year, it will be in my to do list! 

As they parted ways into their sections and learning, me and Steven headed off to target to get some much needed start off to our school supplies shopping. Buying for three children is not easy, so the sooner we get it done the better. 

When we picked them up, their excitement was very evident. They love it and I am so glad they do! Not only are they getting out of the house and doing something good and productive with their time by learning about the bible and also crafting and being with other children. 

I think it’s very important to instill in a child the bible. It is a part of our soul that we need to feed and I know as they grow older, that me taking them to church and letting them know about God that it will have a lasting effect on them and their well being and how they turn out as adults. 

Once the week is over I will do a small recap of their week! 

  

Book review: Grey by E L James

  
I have been waiting for this book since I heard of its launch date a few months ago. The anticipation was so worth the wait. I received it and started it the same day it was launched. I was so thrilled, hopeful and even more ecstatic then when I read the trilogy set of the fifty shades of grey books. 

I loved his version way more than anastasia’s version. I guess because I am a hard core James Patterson fan and always read from a males perspective that I found grey’s version to be more suitable and more my style. It really was everything I had hoped and expected, and then some! 

I so don’t want to ruin it for anyone but this book is definitely better then Ana’s version of their story. He is way more descriptive of their love making and time together and it really was amazing seeing their story from his perspective. And you also get to see the dark side of him, the side he warned Ana about, his fifty shades of “fucked up” pardon my French. 

I do recommend this book and give it five stars. But please bare in mind that it has a darker side then the other 3 previous books because it is his version. Also, be sure to read it at night before bed because well you’ll need your partner after certain scenes, if you catch my drift! If not, then a nice cool shower… It’s a page turner so get ready for a great read.

Hope you all enjoy my book reviews because I really enjoy showing my passion for books and slight thoughts and what I hoped and didn’t like without ruining books because I do hate reading book reviews that spoil the book for you. To me, it ruins the whole concept of a review and leaving to you want to read it and explore the words of the authors.