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Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Content Journal - Bullet Journal

A new year is upon us and I'm excited to start a new organizing adventure.  As part of my effort to manage the content in my life towards more contentment, I needed to find something to keep it all together.

What am I adding? -- My Content Journal

Usually I am annoyed by Pinterest notifications, but when I saw a friend of mine created a new "bullet journal" board I was curious as to what that even was.  Basically it is a notebook planner that you customize as you go.  It is perfect for list makers who still enjoy pen and paper along with a dash of creativity.  Sounds right up my alley.  I have no idea if it will stick with me throughout the year, but it is worth a shot.

My bestie always starts off her year with a disciplined goal setting strategic plan for the year and I am happy to join her with my own planning tool for the year.

I'm not crazy about bullet journal as a name for it, so I'll be referring to mine as...My Content Journal.  Seeing as Content is my word of the year, we'll go with that.

This little journal looks like it just might cover what I'm looking for:
  • A planner
  • A difficult way to do things
  • A creative outlet
  • A place for my thoughts
  • A tangible record of the year
  • A place to list goals
  • A place to put the other 1000 lists I create a year
I've been looking at how to set mine up and I'll be back soon with how I have started mine. 

If you're asking yourself what the hell is a bullet journal anyways, watch this.  Beware though, mine is pretty different thanks to being able to customize it as I choose.

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

Happy New Year! I last left you with how 2015 ended and was pondering where 2016 would begin.

Maybe I do have a word for this year's goal after all:

This past year I did a decent job keeping mindful of the world around me, but I found that I there were still some things in my life that needed tossed or added to.  This has led me to decide to work on evaluating the contents of my life so that I can become content with it.

Just like a good ol' family recipe chalked full of ingredients, that is what makes me who I am, but this year I plan to take a look at just what those ingredients are.
What can I get rid of?
  • Things that don't bring me joy would be a good place to start perhaps this means more restraint on my Target runs.
  • Pounds.  They are always on in the "toss it" pile.
What can I add?
  • Time with loved ones
  • More time with my hobbies 
  • Workouts
What can I replace?
  • Screen time with family time
  • Negative Energy/People  with positive ones
  • Poor Food Choices with nutritious ones
What can I mix together and create?
  • How can I benefit my students more? 
  • What can I learn this year?
  • How can I post more on my blog?
So there you have it.  Here's to another great year ahead.  I'm not feeling empty by any means these days, but this is just one approach to a more positive me.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 - Where did I end up?

Well it is that time again to see where I ended up with my 2015 Goals.

2015 was a pretty great year.  A clouded one, but a good one.

I had the best year of my teaching career thus far thanks to a group of spectacular students that graduated last spring.

Helping clear my mind the second half of 2014 I think really set me up for a clearer mind in 2015. I made this my ONE goal for 2015.

Where did I end up?  Let's take a look...

Mindful of what my negative mind was saying.

Then--You’re not OK 
Now-- Um, actually I am 

I was much kinder to myself this year, and frankly I don't have time to be so hard on myself these days. I didn't seek out validation for my feelings this year like 2014 seemed to consume my mind with. 

Then--You should be doing ________ instead
Now—I need more time!

This was so freeing!  In fact I think I found out more things to add to my plate because I actually enjoyed what I was doing and the choices I was making versus what I think I should be doing. 

Then--I’m worried about them
Now—I’m here for them

Withdrawing myself from drama finally seemed to clear up around spring of 2015.  I removed my judgy pants and only get them down for special occasions now.  The big picture got clearer for me of what I can and can’t control in other people’s lives.  Separating myself from negative situations and really embracing the positive relationships that make me feel good I think has helped with this.  I think I needed to work through this issue a lot and constantly reminding myself about boundaries and perspective really helped me attain it.  The result of this was so much less stress!

Mindful of what my body is saying.

Then—You’re fat and lazy
Now—Could do better, especially at eating your feelings

This, as always is still a work in progress.  I still found my eating habits mirroring my emotions.  Sigh. I played around with a couple of things to try to get my body better this year but things were still not clicking.  However, my OCD tendencies over my body have simmered down.  It is a lot of energy wasted and that then gets me upset, and well, when I am upset I eat.  Vicious cycle.

I did take up the hobby of Tennis and I am loving every minute of that and will be continuing it.
I made some headway on sleeping better, but backtracked a little this past month.  I need to still stay on top of that.

We shall see where this ongoing saga goes this year. 

Mindful of when my heart is full

Then -- I feel great!
Now – I feel great!

Depression isn’t the way I’m ending this year and kept it at bay much more than 2014. 
2015 got pretty frickin’ crazy in the real world with events and this and that happening.  I am trying to keep my head up and going forward, even if I am choosing to put on blinders here and there.  “I can’t hear you….” This will continue into 2016, but to what degree I am not sure yet.

I don’t know if I can keep the 1 word resolution going for 2016. No word is sticking out to me yet and I have a million little things I want to accomplish so I might revert back to a list.  I’ve got two more weeks to chew it over and get back to you all.

So there you have it.  I’d call my performance a win for 2015.  Hope you’ll stick around for 2016 to see where I go.
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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Kids Christmas Gift Ideas

The season is upon us and how my children haven't caught on that the UPS man is Santa, I'll never know.  I started out as I did last year with the small list of ideas, and well, my deal seeking ways got the best of me and they are getting spoiled once again.

Anyways, below is a list of gift ideas for my kids.  Hopefully you can find something that sparks an idea for your little one(s) too.

So there you have it, this years spoils for the littles.  What are your kids getting this year?

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

DIY valence/cornice/pelmet box

Or whatever you call it.

Slowly but surely I'm getting the final things checked off in the kitchen. We have 3 windows in the kitchen and I thankfully by mistake bought too many curtains last fall at Homegoods. I only planned on using curtains on the largest window by the table and since I'm used to curtains being sold as only 1 panel in my rush I grabbed 2 and they turned out to be sets. With that I used curtains on both the side windows. We soon realized with the early morning sun that the window above the kitchen sink needed some shade.  Thankfully I realized that the leftovers rements of hemming my curtains could be used to cover a peplum/cornice box.  You say tomato, I say tomato.

I'd fallen in love with the peplum boxes on pinterest and it looked like an easy DIY. When I started searching them, nearly all of them were made of foam board.  I quickly changed the design from foam to wood to make it more sturdy.  I originally was going to go with plywood, but as I cut through the aisle for shelving I realized that a shelf was exactly the dimensions I needed.  I found the size I needed for about $7 and fetched a very helpful employee who ended up cutting the board to the lengths I needed as well as the two sides.
I made my board about 40 inches long, so that left me 2 inches outside the window frame and the 2 extra pieces were each 4 inches which covered the depth I was looking to achieve.  We are talking that this was just a perfect fit for my window, I am horrendous at math so I am not sure how I got so lucky with it working out.
The only additional hardware needed were corner braces and mounting hangers.  There are lots of options for mounting, but I wanted something secure and flush.  We already owned a drill, electric screwdriver, and the screws that were needed for the drywall.  A staple gun was also a huge help, although a PITA.
Here I made the edge piece flush to the board and marked where my corner braces would be screwed.  Give yourself a tad of leeway here because the braces will shift when you screw them in.

I marked where the brackets would be, about 2 inches from the top, and drilled slowly to get the depth I needed.  **Alert you don't want to split your wood here so be careful!  Take your time!
This blanket was 2 fabrics sewn together.  I separated them and wrapped and stapled what I needed around my board.  It can be messy because the fabric will cover it, but just make sure it is smooth.

After the batting I repeated the process and used an X-acto knife to cut away the fabric to reveal the mounting brackets.

DIY valence/cornice/pelmet box

Tools and materials:

1 shelf  = front face board and 2 side boards
Batting (old blanket)
Staple gun
4 corner braces
2 hangers
2 dry wall screws
Drill / screwdriver
Tape measure
Curtains (Target had the length I needed)
Tension curtain rod (a heavy duty one since the curtains will be moved daily)


  1. I first measured my material again to make sure my math was correct. I then attached the 2 side boards flush with the edges of my front piece and attached them with the corner braces. *I pre-drilled my screw holes so the wood wouldn't split.
  2. I stenciled where I wanted my hanging brackets to go and drilled and notched out enough room for the screw head to fit flush. (Drill slowly to not crack the wood!)
  3. I laid down my batting. For my batting, I have about 200 baby blankets lying around so I took one with my middle son's permission and used. It was just the right size and saved me money and a trip to the craft store. I then just stapled it all around making sure it was smooth.
  4. I then covered the board and sides with my fabric, again making sure all was smooth.
  5. Drilled anchor screws to the wall, making sure they were level,  hang up box.
  6. Attach a tension rod and hang curtains   
  7. Admire your work!


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