2016 Bullet Journal Setup

Since letting go of our employees last year, and having worked almost every day since then, I have learned there is a difference between being busy and being productive. I noticed I was not really taking an active part of my life because it was the same thing day after day. This made me want to put things into perspective. I wanted to "track" aspects of my life so see what I was actually doing with my time and see how I can be more PRESENT in it.

I snagged myself a Traveler's Journal Notebook by Midori and started a Bullet Journal. Bullet journaling was something I debated doing when I started my planner (and even started a diary), but I didn't think the format was what I needed at the time. It is now.

If you aren't familiar with Bullet Journals there's a great video here and here, which can explain it a lot better than I can.

The flexibility of this type of journal allows me to use however much space I need for any one day (not what a week-on-two-page planner has separated out for me) and I change change things up as needed. For instance, in August when I set up my monthly pages I used one whole spread for the month (the left page for the monthly calendar and the right page for events, notes, etc) and I really only used the left page. When I set up September's calendar I only used the left calendar page and started my daily entries immediately after that, so there was no wasted space.

On a side note, am I the only one who gets stressed out about unused spaces in planners? For some reason I feel this pressure to use every inch of a page so if it's left unused I feel bad about it. Any one else feel that way?

Some of the things I wanted to keep track of was how much time I spent at work, how much time I spent in car, how many hours of sleep I'm getting, the amount of quality time I'm spending with Dean, and how much time we're spending together as a family. I wasn't sure if what I felt I was doing was what I was actually doing. Does that make sense?

So I've been using this for going on three months now and I do think it has helped me get a better understanding of what I'm doing with my time and how I can better spend it. Not only that but I feel more in control of my life. Definitely more present in it. There are definitely things I still need to work on, but this journal has helped me get on the path I want to get on.

How do you keep track of your time? Do you keep track of it even? What are some things you do keep track of? ♥

Shared Toddler and Mama Meals - Pizza Biscuits

The three of us have been under the weather the last few days and I have had close to zero motivation to make food. It doesn't help that I don't even feel like eating. Well, except for the occasional overdose of plain carbs... plain pasta, plain waffles, plain crackers. Since I have responsibilities (i.e. Deano Bravo) I dragged myself to the kitchen and turned on the oven not knowing what I was going to make with the only food that sounded good to eat- biscuits. After staring at the pantry for too long, I grabbed a few items out as well as a muffin pan and threw it all in the oven. What came out of the oven was a perfect storm of yumminess that Deano and I ate very enthusiastically.

1 package of Grands Flaky Biscuits
3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1 cup of shredded cheese
1/4 cup of sliced olives
Ground Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds (optional)
Any other toppings you'd like- this is all I had on hand.

To Make:
- Preheat oven to 350*, spray muffin pan with non-stick spray
- Pull a biscuit in half and shape into bottom of each spot.
- Top with a little tomato sauce, flax seeds & chia seeds, followed by your toppings.
- Bake for 13 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes and then serve with sides. We had yogurt and avocado.

What are some of your go-to easy recipes for when you're under the weather? ♥

The Savings Jar

Having a bunch of money in my savings account has always seemed like a pipe dream to me. Since it is so easy to transfer money from savings to checking to spend there's really no reason to separate it. My thoughts were that if it's in there I can spend it. Terrible money saving thoughts, right?

Recently Aaron and I have been talking about getting serious about saving money. We have a goal in mind and we're hoping within the next year or two to reach it. (And no, it's not another trip to Japan, that's still a few years off). Since we're getting serious about money saving we're going about it a bit differently.

Introducing our Savings Jar. Every night Aaron and I empty our pockets and purse of all our change and we dump it in here. When I'm paying for something I'm going out of my way to pay with just bills to guarantee I get change back. It's only been a week and I am surprised at just how much change we've saved up! Deano even gets excited about it- "Can I put coins in the jar, Mommy?" He has this way of pronouncing coins in a way that melts my heart so I always say yes.

This little corner of our bedroom has been almost ignored since we've moved in and in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to do something with it but wasn't sure what. Making the Savings Jar the focal point of this corner makes it a special spot in our house, and since it's one of the first things I see in the morning, it will help me stay motivated to fill it up.

Do you have any unconventional ways of saving money? I'd love to hear of some other ways to save money. ♥

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