Bullet Journal 101- TREND

Towards the end of 2016 I had a lot of time on my hands that led to scouring Pinterest for hours.  I kept stumbling upon this idea of a bullet journal and researched it for a while and dove in with the start of 2017.  I’ve been using it for 7 days now and have already seen tremendous benefits personally.

So what is a bullet journal?  A bullet journal is a cross between a journal, task list, sketch pad, and a place to keep all of your ideas. Your bullet journal can be completely customizable. When researching, I found so many page ideas.  Some I used, and some I found were not necessary for me and what I wanted to get out of my bullet journal. Some people use their bullet journals to track everything from bills to chores to savings to bucket lists and everything in between.  Some people choose to make a mini planner for each week inside their bullet journal.  Since I already have a daily planner I use for things like appointments and bills, my journal was more of a fun thing for me to create.

I went to my favorite piece of Heaven on earth, Target, to search for a bullet journal to use. A lot of people recommended the Moleskin dotted notebook, which Target didn’t have. I am not a very patient person and didn’t want to order it online, so I just found a basic, blank notebook.  You don’t want a lined notebook for something like this (typically, but everyone’s idea of a bullet journal is different).

If you read my last blog post, you know my word of 2017 is GROW.  I found some cute Lilly Pulitzer paper from an old planner and decided that was what I was going to start my bullet journal off with.  This way I’m reminded of my yearly inspiration every time I open the book.

img_3576

The next pages in my bullet journal are my monthly to-do lists and daily task charts for all 12 months of the year. The monthly to-do is such a big help, because it shows me everything I need to do long-term for the month (aka I’ve been trying to set up a dentist appointment for months, but now I see it every day as a reminder). You can also make these pages super fun and themed.  For instance, January is blue with snowflakes for me. February is red with hearts. And March is green with shamrocks.  Again, totally customizable.

img_3577

The daily task chart is my favorite thing.  This is the biggest thing that drew me to bullet journaling in the first place.  I love organization and charts.  There’s something about seeing things visually and recognizing patterns that just makes my Type-A personality so happy. Think of this as a sticker chart for adults. I’m a very reward based person, and since starting my bullet journal, I’ve made my bed every day just because I know I get to color in that little box.  Call it dumb — but it works.

Disclaimer — if I did this again, I would 100% go with the recommended dotted notebook alone, if for no other reason than this page.  I hand drew and measured the dots and it took forever. img_3575

Now the fun pages!

img_3578

img_3580

Draw a bookshelf and color in the books as you finish them!

img_3581

Two pages for movies: one for movies I go to see & one for movies I watch at home…Those are supposed to be pieces of popcorn, hopefully you’re more artist than me 

img_3582

Do you ever want to go out to eat & forget all the new restaurants you’ve been wanting to try? Same with when you have no idea what to cook for dinner?

img_3583

I cheated on this one a little. I knew if I tried to draw the U.S. it would be terrible, so I printed one out and glued it in.  But the goal here is to color in every state I visit this year along with a date!

img_3584

img_3585

Fun things to do each season & color them in when you complete them!

There are so many different page ideas out there! From doctor’s appointments to house projects to meal planners to sleep trackers to packing lists to exercise logs, yours  is TOTALLY CUSTOMIZABLE to what you want your bullet journal to be and how you want it to fit into your lifestyle.  I have had so much fun making mine and using mine so far.  It holds you accountable to the goals you set for yourself and I’ve already seen results in both, my time management and health.

It’s the start of a new year — get out there and bullet journal!!

Word of the Year

IMG_3542.JPG

2016 was a huge year for me and I can’t wait to continue to expand upon what I have already accomplished.  I have declared 2017 as the year of growth.  I want to grow and extend my roots here in Charlotte, making new friends and increasing relationships with old friends.  I want to grow and mature in my career.  I want to see my creativity and new projects bloom and flourish.

We never know what the year to come has in store for us, but I think 2017 is going to sprout many opportunities.

Happy New Year Friends!

XOXO

Top 5 Books for a 20-Something To Read

Since taking my job back in March, I’ve traveled almost every weekend.  The perfect past time on planes and in hotels for me, is reading.  I started reading about one book a week, sometimes even more than that! I’m always looking for a new book to read that’s perfect for my age with a catchy storyline, and I wanted to share my top 5 books that I read in 2016.

5. The Program (series) by Suzanne Young

I bought The Program a few years ago at a book sale and was so captivated by the story.  I was looking for new books to read and recalled this series.  Since I bought the first one, Suzanne Young had written a sequel and then a prequel and the sequel to the prequel.  I recommend reading them in the order above, since that’s how it was written, but you could read “The Remedy”, “The Epidemic”, “The Program” and then “The Treatment”.  I will inform you, it is a YA series, but it is very sci-fi-y and reminds me a lot of series like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

4. Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

unknown

I saw this book in PEOPLE magazine this past fall as a top book to read.  It caught my eye, because to nobody’s surprise, I love babies.  I have to say, I couldn’t put this book down.  I found it so interesting and suspenseful.  The title itself has a double meaning, as the couple struggled for a long time to have a child, now that she’s pregnant via sperm donor, she has a suspicion that the sperm donor is on the most wanted list for serial murder.

P.S. a lot of the book takes place in Pennsylvania in the West Chester area 🙂

3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

 unknown

I had seen this book on so many shelves and finally I bit the bullet and picked it up and never put it down.  The book follows three mothers in an Australian suburb on different paths of life.  Liane Moriarty used an interesting writing style, where she told the story in both the past and present of “Trivia Night” where a murder takes place. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say, you don’t know what happens until the very end.  On February 19th, HBO is going to release the first episode of their short series based off this book.  The show will star Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley and I’m excited to see how it compares! I’ve also read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and am looking forward to reading some of her other books in 2017!

2. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

unknown

As a huge-fan (obsesser) of the Bachelor, this book really peaked my interest when I found out the main love-interest was a doctor on the Bachelor-esque show, Eligible.  It’s a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  I always think it’s fun to read new versions of classic stories we {were forced to} read in High School.  A long time ago, I read the book Jane by April Lindler, which was the same premise but for Jane Eyre. Since I liked Jane, I gave this retelling a chance and I LOVED IT!

1. The Assistants by Camille Perri

unknown

OH MY GOD. This book was so good! As a twenty-four year old, recently out of college, with amounts of college debt, I could largely relate to this book.  The protagonist faces many challenges regarding her morals and secrets kept amongst her workplace when she develops a scheme with a few co-workers to help underpaid entry-level employees, including herself. Another “can’t put it down” book, perfect for millennials.

BONUS: The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines

Unknown.jpeg

Because I love them, that’s why. Their story is so honest and inspiring, not to mention an incredibly easy-read. I may have cried four separate times on the airplane, but I don’t regret it for a single moment.

Leave a comment with any book recommendations you might have for 2017!

Rowdy Rieland’s Bachelorette

My best friend is GETTING MARRIED!!! With this, obviously comes a Bachelorette party! Dani picked Pittsburgh, PA as her location, but other than that, she had no idea about anything! Leading up to the party, we all tried to throw … Continue reading

Freedom of the Seas – Photo Book

A week ago, Drew and I were just getting back from a wonderful vacation, in which we spent cruising to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico.  We had an absolute amazing week, spending a lot of quality time together.  As you probably now by now, I love creating Shutterfly photo books with our photos to keep all of the memories together.  This trip was no different, so I would like to share with you all, the book I created.

123456789101112

Jenna visits the Queen City!

This weekend, I did not have to travel for work due to it being the Fourth of July weekend.  Up until about Tuesday, I was going to just have a low-key weekend but then Jenna decided to come visit and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER SHE DID 🙂 🙂

She arrived Friday night really late cause she drove straight from work and we didn’t do much that night but have some brownie sundaes and go to bed.

Saturday morning, we woke up and went to Amelie’s French bakery for breakfast and it was so cute and fun (S/O to my squad). I had a delicious blueberry and cream cheese muffin and a salted caramel brownie café mocha coffee, which made me want to die cause it was so good. Afterwards, and basically the whole reason Jenna came this weekend, we went to David’s Bridal to pick out and try on our bridesmaids dresses for Dani’s wedding #teamtino.

imageedit_6_8365979317.jpg

After, we went to some cute and fun shops that I have been dying to go to, but are more fun to shop in with friends.  So we went to Swoozies (literally heaven on earth).  So its kind of embarrassing but Jenna and I were literally so obsessed with this store that we were psychopaths in there.  If I can give you any indication of how much of a psychopath, I took photos. We also went to some cute boutique shops with the most adorable clothes, and went to Park Road books, which is funny cause Jenna has called them multiple times to book appearances for her authors for work.

After we went shopping, we went into Uptown to explore.  Drew had to go to work for a few hours Saturday afternoon, so we wandered around the city and I showed Jenna things like the Epicentre and Romare Bearden Park and things like that until Drew was done working. When he was done, he gave Jenna a little tour of the ballpark.

For dinner we went to Cantina 1511 and it was DELICIOUS.  We ate entirely too much guacamole but it was so so so good.That night, we went out to Whiskey Warehouse to have some drinks.

Sunday morning we went to Duck Donuts to get some freshly made donuts (once again delicious).  Afterwards, we drove around and looked at beautiful homes and then took a walk through Freedom Park.  We spent our afternoon lounging by the pool and then decided to make corn on the cob and burgers for our little Fourth of July dinner.

After dinner, Drew had to go to work for a few minutes so Jenna and I went along to hang out in the park across the street and then we all went to get ice cream at the Elizabeth Creamery! I had a cone of black raspberry and it was so good, and whenever I eat it, it makes me think of my Nana ❤ Finally, we came home for the night and just hung out together and watched a movie.

IMG_1904

Unfortunately Jenna had to leave Monday morning and wasn’t able to stay around for the baseball game and fireworks afterwards.  They were legitimately the best fireworks I have ever seen in my life, and I had such a great view of them.  The Knights have fireworks every Friday night and I never get to see them because I’m always traveling, so it made me so happy to actually get to see some fireworks for once!

 

It was such a wonderful weekend spent with Jenna.  So much so, that I constantly kept asking her when she was going to come move to Charlotte.  I’m so happy that she decided to make the trip to visit and that I have such a wonderful friend ❤

April Showers bring May Flowers and May Flowers bring a June Recap!

I’ve been a little AWOL for the last couple of weeks (months).  Whoops. Here’s what (&where) I’ve been up to during this time.

APRIL 2016

Macon, GA – April 9th

Fort Myers, FL – April 16th

Palm Coast, FL – April 23rd

Lawton, OK – April 30th

IMG_1226IMG_1236

Other things I did in April:

  • Went to a Checkers game with Drew!
  • Went on some beautiful walks in Freedom Park

     

  • Went to some baseball games (obviously)

     

  • Got upgraded from friend to Bridesmaid

    IMG_1210

 

May 2016

Loveland, CO – May 14th

Sarasota, FL – May 21st

Charleston, SC (round 2) – May 28th

Other things I did in May:

  • Went home for Mother’s Day weekend and spent time with my family & friends
  • Went to (more) baseball games & free concerts in Uptown

  • My parents came to visit & you guessed it, we went to a baseball game!!IMG_1369IMG_1370
  • Drew happened to have a Monday off from work, when I was home as well, so we took the opportunity to go hiking at Crowder’s Mountain

 

  • Drew and I got to go to the Coca-Cola 500 Race in Charlotte and thanks to some of his nice co-workers we were able to use hot passes during the race and go behind pit row!

June 2016

Knoxville, TN – June 4th

 

Cape May, NJ – June 11th-16th

As always, I literally have the best week ever with my family in Cape May! It was a smaller group this year, but hopefully next year, they’ll be able to join us again! ❤

 

Lincoln, NE – June 18th

Evansville, IN – June 25th

Other things I’ve done this month:

  • Saw my puppy and my friends before going to the beach

     

  • Drew grew a mustache because he lost a bet…technically this isn’t something “I” did this month, but it definitely had an impact on me 😂

    IMG_1754

  • Drew and I went on a day-date to see Finding Dory, buy a new pillow and then ended the day with a walk at Freedom Park
  • Drew and I went to see a friend of mine from High School play in a baseball game for the Columbia Fireflies
  • My company had our half-year outing at a Charlotte Knights game.  It ended up getting rained out, but we still had a really great time!

 

So that’s my recap, hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with it better in the future 🙂

Marching On

I’m a month into my new job and so far things are going great.  I’m still learning a lot each day, but each event is getting easier and easier with experience.

Long Beach, CA – March 5th

IMG_0859.JPG

Charleston, SC – March 26

Tuscaloosa, AL – April 2

IMG_1030

 

Some other things I’ve done in the last month:

  • Went to a Hornets game!

IMG_0845IMG_0847

  • Painted and decorated my office at work
  • Steph visited the Queen CityIMG_0905
  • Got my nails done with the girls from workIMG_1019
  • Booked a cruise for this upcoming fallIMG_0902 
  • Started going to a church and got all dressed up & pretty for Easter

Music City

Last weekend I traveled to Nashville to visit Jenna since I hadn’t been there yet.  I was so excited to see where she lived and worked both currently and last year when she was interning.  Even though we talk to each other most days, it was also really nice to get to spend some time with her and catch up since we haven’t seen each other since Christmas.

I arrived on Thursday when Jenna was finishing up work and saw her cute apartment and met her roommate and the cats. We hung out at the apartment for a while and ran to the post office for an errand and then decided to go to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner since I had never been there (S/O to rural PA). Everything was so delicious!! I got Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta and Tiramasu Cheesecake! It was to die for!! Jenna got Miso Salmon and Salted Caramel Cheesecake!

That night we went home and stayed up late talking and then fell asleep cause we both had long days.

Friday morning, Jenna didn’t have to go to work so we had the whole day for adventures! We started our day off at the Pancake Pantry.  It’s famous in Nashville and the wait didn’t end up being too long since we were there on a weekday. I tried the Banana Bread Pancakes and Jenna had Apricot-Lemon Delight.  They were both really good and we left there stuffed!

Afterwards we walked around some cute shops locally and then drove through Vanderbilt’s campus and I got to see where Jenna lived last year and see the Barnes & Noble and Starbucks she would frequent.  Then we went to Centennial Park which is a really beautiful park with a replica of the Parthenon representing that Nashville is the Athens of the South.

IMG_0725

IMG_0720

Afterwards we drove through other parts of the city including, Music Row (where all the record labels are located) and 12 South where theres cute shops and also Draper James!!! Draper James is Reese Witherspoon’s store and let me just say it is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to buy literally everything!!

After all of our driving around and window-shopping, we went back to the apartment to watch the #TGIT episodes we missed the night before.  We went to get dinner at a restaurant in The Gulch called Bar Louie. The food was okay but they had a good happy hour special so we got cocktails and this delicious bruschetta that had shrimp in it!

After dinner we were really tired and stuffed with food, but we rallied and went downtown to go to all the cool bars.  This was probably one of my favorite parts.  We went to Honky Tonk Central (my fave), Tin Roof, and Tootsies.  All of the bars have a different live band on every floor of the bar and theres so many people! Its such a cool atmosphere to experience and we had a lot of fun!

IMG_0752IMG_0753IMG_0757IMG_0760

Saturday morning we woke up and grabbed some Dunkin Donuts (of course) and went to a mall.  We did some shopping and Jenna was able to FINALLY visit the American Girl Doll Place!! When we were growing up the only ones were in Chicago and New York and she never got a chance to go, so we were finally able to make all her dreams come true! We grabbed a light lunch and then drove back to the city.  We headed downtown so I could experience it in the daylight go in the souvenir shops.  There happened to be a Predators game and it was really warm so there were swarms of people everywhere!

IMG_0769IMG_0772IMG_0774IMG_0781IMG_0783IMG_0784IMG_0787IMG_0795

We debated a lot of places for dinner that night and ended up picking a restaurant called The Aquarium Restaurant.  There were lots of live fish, baby sharks, and even a few (disgusting, repulsive) eel inside of a tank right in the middle of the restaurant.  We both ended up getting a seafood cannoli and it was really good.  We both cleaned plate.

The restaurant was located in Opry Land so after we walked over to the Grand Ole Opry and took pictures.  We tried to go inside since a show was letting out and we didn’t think there was any security but we were wrong and they didn’t let us in. I really wanted to see the Opry while there cause it holds so much history and is so famous.  Next time I visit I would love to see an awesome show there.

As the trip was closing to an end, there were still one thing on our list to do and that was to visit the Bluebird Cafe.  The Bluebird is where Taylor Swift was found and so many songwriters go there to share their music.  Its a pretty iconic space in Nashville. After we got breakfast at The Perch, which had delicious crepes.  We both had strawberry and nutella!IMG_0833IMG_0836

Sunday afternoon it was time to head home. I had such a great weekend visiting with Jenna and I can see why she loves Nashville so much! There’s so many cool things to do there.  I am already excited to visit again!

Until next time Nashville!

IMG_0740