2017 Bullet Journal Setup

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I’ve done a detailed Bullet Journal Set-up post the last two years, but as I started to set up this year’s, I realized that over the course of those two posts, I’ve really sort of settled into the system that works for me. So this year, I’m not really changing much up from last year, and as a result this post will be a bit more brief than prior years.

I’m using a different size notebook this time – last year I tried to stick with the standard Moleskein size, but without actually using a moleskein, and I ended up rather unhappy with my selection, and ultimate choice. It was cute, but kind of boring, and I didn’t end up using it as much as I should have as a result. Because I’m fussy like that for whatever reason.

This year I went with a slightly larger size journal from Design Works Ink and I am in love with it. The size is perfect for me, I love the Month/Day listing at the top of the page for daily to-do lists, and the paper is thick enough that I can even use my sharpies and heavy duty markers with minimal bleed through.

monthly

As for the setup, I have some pictures for you, but it’s pretty similar to what I’ve done in the past (>here’s 2015, and here’s 2016). Once again I used the free monthly calendar pages from The Handmade Home’s 2017 Planner. They’ve worked very well for me over the years, and I suspect this year will be no different.

Bonus of the larger notebook size, I didn’t have to fuss with folding and getting the pages to lay flat like I did in the past. I printed them at 93% of full size, and they fit perfectly at one to a page.

Yearly goals

Next up, I’ve got my yearly goals, which you can read more about here

accomplishments

And then the one actually new page for this year is this monthly accomplishment tracker. Basically I’m trying to be more positive, and I think if I go back at the end of each month and list my overall accomplishments, at the end of the year I might feel a whole lot better about how things went than I did this year. I hope, anyway.

book and savings log

Next I’ve got my book log, and a savings tracker (as per my 2017 goals, I have to get my savings happening again).

monthly goals and habit tracker

Following that, I’ve got my individual monthly goals (I suppose that this is a new-to-the-blog feature, as I only started including it AFTER I posted last year’s set-up) and habit tracker.

daily

And then I’ve got my monthly detail calendar for more nitty-gritty planning purposes. (See either my 2016 or 2015 post for why I need the printed calendar AND this).

I’ve enjoyed experimenting a little to match my writing styles with the overall more polished look of the notebook itself, and I think planner-wise, it’s going to be a good year!

How about you? Do you use aspects of the Bullet Journal system? Any fun new spreads you’re using this year?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Review

Harry Potter

So look what I bought and read yesterday!

Warning: Spoilers, ahoy – so scroll no further if you haven’t read it yet and don’t wish to be spoiled (although they will be on the mild side).

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Okay, so last warning, seriously, there be spoilers ahead…
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Alright. So.

I kind of really liked it, and I wasn’t really expecting to.

Let me explain.

I was kind of disappointed when they announced it was simply going to be a release of the play script instead of a novelization but frankly I wasn’t super duper hyped about the announcement either way. Because while I love the Harry Potter series, I do need to be honest about the fact that I enjoyed each of the last few books a little less than the last. One through four remain sort of the pinnacle of the Harry Potter world for me, with five through seven each being slightly more “meh” than the last.

And I was expecting the same sort of “meh” from this, so I wasn’t super excited. I didn’t even pre-order it. In fact, I was basically operating under an “I’ll get to it when it comes out in paperback” sort of attitude until my friend Kathleen read it and said she was super upset and disappointed with it.

And of course, I’m a rubbernecker at heart, so if it was that much of a disaster – I HAD to read it.

So to the bookstore I went.

Four hours later I was done with it, and was pleasantly surprised. It seems that I really liked it, for all the same reasons that it seems a lot of die-hard Potter fans didn’t.

To be honest, the plot itself was sort of meh in the big picture. I’m kind of over the whole time-travel-messes-things-up-in-the-past-gotta-fix-it trope, to be honest. But that’s not what really shined for me in this script. What was the true gem of this was the dialogue and the character writing. I love the way the adults have grown slightly complacent, and how their flaws are allowed to shine. I love the way the cruelty of kids is laid bare. I love the slightly melodramatic conflict between Harry and his son, and how Albus’ teenage angst is handled in a FAR less annoying way than Harry’s was in Order of the Phoenix. I love how they handled the first few scenes, establishing the conflict and resentment that grows between Harry and Albus, and how both Albus and Scorpius are having a rough time at school over the first few years using short snapshots to move time along. I even love that Ron has become king of the Dad jokes (I ALWAYS knew that would happen).

I think a lot of what I’ve been seeing in terms of disappointment is that people aren’t taking it for what it is… a script. It seems to me a lot of people really built this up in their heads because of the way its been marketed as the “8th Harry Potter book.” But it’s not a book. It’s meant for a stage performance, and I think maintaining sight of that as I read through it helped me enjoy it. Because I can see how upset you could end up if you were expecting a story of the magnitude of the novels. I really can. And in that sense, I think me not really having high hopes for it to begin with really helped me avoid disappointment and just have fun reading.

Because that’s really what it is. A fun little read.

Final Verdict: 4/5 stars.

Flea Market Finds

Market scene full

So I found these beautiful watercolor paintings at an indoor flea market a few weeks ago.

bridge scene full

The guy who sold them to me said they were from the 1930’s, which would make them pre-war productions (he re-matted and reframed them). They seem to be somewhat mass produced – the outline of the painting is pressed into the paper, and then an individual artist added color.

Market scene closeup

He may have been full of shit (although he was a super nice and interesting guy who seemed to know what he was talking about – we spent a lot of time talking about the fossils he was selling and he def knew what was up), but even if he is, I don’t care. I love them and can’t wait to get them hung up. I haven’t decided where to put them yet – but I’m thinking near my craft area.

That said, I really wish I was more advanced in my Japanese studies – they’re going disgustingly and frustratingly slow without any access to formal classes or a tutor of some sort – because maybe then I could read what the text says… It might give some clue as to exactly what these are, when and where they were made, and who painted them.

Writing closeup on market scene

Anyone read Japanese?

Arts on the Square

Arts on the Square Sign

Saturday me and the boys drove down to Scranton (NEPA’s largest major city center) to attend the 2nd annual Arts on the Square, which is essentially a gigantic craft fair that wraps all the way around Scranton’s Courthouse Square. The event is organized by ScrantonMade, a group that does an amazing job promoting the arts in the area and which has made some amazing strides in the last couple years.

I hadn’t known about the event before a few weeks ago when my favorite etsy store, Tiny Galaxies (who’s owner I just happen to know and love to pieces – I promise the fact that it’s my favorite is unrelated to this fact – you’ll understand when you see what I bought) posted that she was going to have a booth there this year. So we, not knowing much about Arts on the Square, decided to head down to see her figuring that after we stopped by and said hello that we’d walk around a bit, grab some brunch, and make a nice little afternoon of it.

scranton courthouse

Well, let me tell you – a beautiful afternoon it turned out to be, and I was quite impressed with the event. The weather was perfect, they had a TON of amazing venders, some great live music, and it was just a really great time overall.

panda chalk drawing

The Pop Up Studio was handing out free sidewalk chalk for people to decorate the sidewalks, resulting in everything from the cute to the sublime to grace the sidewalks of the square, and there was yarn bombing on lamp posts, benches, and my favorite: the historical markers.

Yarn Bombed Historical Marker

Two of my favorite things: yarn and history. How can you go wrong?

But anyway, onto the really good stuff: What I bought! My main intent when we went down was that I was going buy a pair of earrings from Sara at Tiny Galaxies, and nothing more, but instead of one pair I ended up walking away with three BEAUTIFUL pairs, plus some other stuff.

So I wasn’t really a good girl Saturday. But it’s okay, because my financial situation is finally looking up and I’ve actually got some money to burn… or at least that’s what I told myself.

But whatever my justification, I don’t feel bad about it. Because, well, just look at these beauties!

fine silver earrings by tiny galaxies

First these lovely Fine Silver earrings – a pair of which I’ve been wanting basically since we met Sara and I found out about the store. They’re like the perfect everyday work earring for me. Formal but still simple, and sparkly without being too super dressy. You can find similar in gold here.

glitter orbs by tiny galaxies

Next are these awesome multi-color glitter globe earrings. These are her biggest size at about 8 mm, and these are just my absolute favorite. I have several pairs of these in my collection already, and they’re basically just the perfect everyday earring. I’m particularly pleased with this pair because they’ll go with pretty much everything and anything.

Black and gold big dangly earrings by tiny galaxies

And then the last pair of earrings are these big black and gold danglies. I’ve been looking for a new pair of concert earrings for forever – it’s hard to find black earrings that really stand out and sparkle without ending up distracting to the audience – and these will be just perfect. While I definitely CAN wait for concert season to be upon us again, I really can’t wait to wear these.

Along the way as we walked around and left Sara to her sales, I also picked up two things for my office – a ScrantonMade mug and a hand painted matryoshka. The mug, I just couldn’t not – it’s so cute, I’m a big sucker for anything with the PA map on it, and ScrantonMade is definitely the kind of organization I want to support. As for the matryoshka – apparently there’s a Russian Art Gallery in Scranton! Who knew? It’s hand painted, and comes from Igor’s Russian Art Gallery (which doesn’t have a website). She’ll have a lovely new home in my office, where astoundingly, even after 4 years, I still don’t have a matryoshka. May not be astounding to anyone else, but, well, matryoshki have been a decorating constant in my life since, well, forever.

mug and matryoshka

Overall, Arts on the Square was an amazing time. And I’ll definitely be stashing more money and carving out the day for next year’s event!