Tips for Starting and Keeping a Bullet Journal

Diary meets planner meets to to-do list. Bullet journals have become quite popular recently. So many of the kids at school as well as my teachers have started using bullet journals to organize their thoughts and lives. I too, have started a bullet journal and it is one of the most fun things I do. Bullet journals make great planners and the possibilities are honestly endless as to what you can do with a bullet journal. Here’s a few tips for keeping a nice bullet journal.

  • Get a nice journal. You should pick a journal that reflects you and your personality. I recommend something smaller, that is easier to carry around.
  • Get a collection of pens, calligraphy pens, markers, colored pencils, etc. Having a variety of writing utensils to work with makes working on your journal so much fun. Color-coding things is a great way to stay organized too.
  • Keep a daily/weekly/monthly planner in your bullet journal. Currently, I use my bullet journal as more of a monthly planner because I’ve established a separate system for my planner. There’s a lot of people that use their bullet journal as their planner, and honestly, I think that’s the best way to go. This helps you stay super organized and on-top-of your schedule from a day to day basis. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to create each weekly and daily planner.
  • Create a key and stick to it. This adds to the organization aspect of the journal but also helps with consistency of it overall. With my journal, my key is set up that certain highlighted things represent different parts of my life like: tennis, work, school, and so on. Different symbols also mean different things, like a light bulb may represent an idea or a heart may represent a birthday or special occasion. For tasks, and this goes specifically with my to-do lists, I typically use boxes and when they are completed, they are checked off. If there’s an appointment, that typically gets a box as well, but then it receives a special additional symbol to remind me that it’s an appointment. There’s a lot you can do with a key, just stay consistent and actually use it.
  • Let your creativity run wild. Bullet journals are a fantastic way to express yourself and work on your artistic abilities. For those who aren’t quite art-oriented, Pinterest and the internet in general are great resources for inspiration. Some pages in your journal should be dedicated to doodling or coloring or drawing pretty pictures, and so let your mind do it’s thing.
  • Don’t stress over a bullet journal. Bullet journals are meant to be something you want to do and something you’re willing to spend time on. If you’re stressing about your bullet journal or freaking out about it, you might want to reconsider having a bullet journal.
  • Share bullet-journaling ideas with others. Several of my friends and I spend time weekly showing each other our bullet journals. This is a great way to bond and also a great way to see how others work through their bullet journal. I’ve gotten a bunch of creative and fun ideas from collaborating on my bullet journal. If none of your friends have a bullet journal, there’s Facebook groups for bullet journaling as well as plenty of ideas on Pinterest.

Organization is key when it comes to bullet journals and I strongly believe that they are a great way to help organize your life. There’s so much you can track in a bullet journal too, from your sleep habits to your mood and even the books you read and the movies you love. If you want something fun to do and a great way to get your life together, try a bullet journal. If you’d like additional information on bullet journals and even more on how to get one started, click here. Happy journaling!

Bullet Journal

Eighteen Lessons I’ve Learned So Far…

My eighteenth birthday just happened on Friday. Yay, adulthood! With the arrival of this wonderful occasion, it seemed like a good idea to reflect on my life so far. I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot with my time here on earth already, so here are eighteen lessons I’ve learned so far…

  1. Chairs that aren’t rocking chairs shouldn’t be rocked. Rocking an unrockable chair may result in you or a loved one saying hello to the edge of the fireplace and cracking their head open.
  2. Tennis rackets should not be used to hit people in the face. Not trying to call anyone out on this one, but there was a girl at a tennis camp my sister and I went to back when I was maybe seven or eight. This girl wasn’t paying any attention and she hit my sister in the lip with her tennis racket and my poor, sweet little sister had to get stitches in her lip.
  3. Gum does not make a cute or pretty headband. It gets in your hair that way and then your grandma has to cut off a solid chunk of hair.
  4. You can get Coke to reach the top of a car if you shake the bottle hard enough. There’s a nice stain on the inside roof of my dad’s car to prove that I did that, if anyone wants to see!
  5. Grasshoppers make great pets, just know that they don’t live incredibly long. RIP Sensei Bobby.
  6. Climbing trees is quite fun. If you ever decide to try this, be careful, have a good grip on whatever you’re climbing, and watch out for weak branches. My sister and I used to (and rarely, but sometimes still) climb our grandpa’s peach trees in his backyard. SO FUN!
  7. Be careful when picking pictures off of the internet for PowerPoints. One time, I was making a PowerPoint off of Microsoft and I went to select a picture. When I clicked on the picture, it downloaded a whole bunch of viruses onto my laptop and that was the end of that laptop… Just be careful on the internet.
  8. Sisters make the best of friends. It might be evident after that last post, but my sister is actually my bestest friend ever. Whether you have a brother, or a step-sibling, it’s really important to establish a great relationship with them, so please do. It makes life so much more wonderful and enjoyable.
  9. Try so many things. This might sound kinda vague, but it really isn’t. My parents have done a wonderful job teaching me to be open to trying a wide variety of activities and hobbies. This has helped me become the well-rounded (at least I hope I am) person I am.
  10. Know that change is okay. When my parents surprised me with the fact that I was switching schools for high school. I thought my life would be over. I thought a new school would be awful and I wouldn’t make any friends and that I would always be miserable. Wow, was I wrong. Going to the school I’m about to graduate from changed my life for the better. I’m out of the drama that built up at my old school and I’ve learned so much more about myself and life in general. Whenever you get the chance to try something new or if something like a new school is thrust upon you, know that you will be okay. Everything that happens, happens for a reason.
  11. Patience is key. For those of you who have been around my blog for a while, you know I went through the wringer for about two years with my foot and ankle. For stuff like that, you have to know that healing and recovery takes time. And not relating to injuries, things like learning new material in school or trying a new sport or hobby will also take time. You can’t master something right off the bat and the beautiful but messy process of trying and becoming better is what truly helps you in the end.
  12. Help your community. I have been extremely involved at my high school and through various non-profits in my area. It feels amazing to know that doing something is helping others live a better and safer life. I find satisfaction in volunteering especially in knowing that my hard work will make someone else’s job or life easier. Being selfless is one of the best feelings.
  13. Dogs are great creatures to talk to. Honestly, Marty and Boo have been the best little dogs I think I’ll ever know. They are both so loyal and so understanding. Even if they can’t understand a lot of the things I say, dogs can definitely pick up on emotions and they are amazing creatures for the support and happiness they bring to us. Talking to my dogs has given me a lot of comfort and if there’s ever a secret I need to spill, I share with them because how could a dog ever share it? And even if Marty is pretty sure, considering he is a dachshund, he gives the best hugs. Boo gives the greatest little kisses and his wagging tail is always a pick-me-up.
  14. Let go of the past. I almost feel like I live by “Let it Go” from Frozen. I dealt with a lot transitioning from middle school to high school and with my freshman and sophomore year as well. Something that has become very important to me is the idea that you should forget what hurt you in the past but never forget what it taught you.
  15. Work hard in school. Now that I’m wrapping up my grade school career, I’ve really seen how hard work can take you places. Being a straight-A student all the way up until sophomore year of high school, I’ve done a lot to put myself ahead of my peers by taking advanced classes, asking questions, and taking responsibility for my work and actions. Working hard in school will prepare me for college and then a job after college.
  16. Bullet journals are fun and a great way to organize your life. At the beginning of this month, I decided to start a bullet journal and they are honestly so much fun! They’re a great way to keep track of your goals and plans and homework as well as track your lifestyle habits and mood. I’ve also found that working on a bullet journal is a great stress reliever too.
  17. Little kids make life so much fun. After acquiring a childcare staff position at my church, I realized how happy little kids make me! They’re so goofy and innocent and happy all the time and that has aspired me to be more silly and think more positive. Something I also admire about little kids is how creative they are and how honest they can be. Sometimes the truth hurts but its a good kick in the right direction, so sometimes you need the truth.
  18. Have courage. When I switched schools, I had no idea who anybody was and vice versa. I feel like I went from the confident, social butterfly I was to a shy, awkward new girl. Freshman and part way through sophomore year I was pretty afraid to speak up or do what I wanted because I didn’t know anyone. Regardless of that, it’s important to not be afraid of what others think of you and it’s important to have courage and say what you want to say. I’ve gained back the more outgoing side of myself and I’m so glad I did. There have been a lot more opportunities and I’ve enjoyed my life so much more because I’m not afraid.

Wow, that was a lot of writing and a fairly deep reflection on my life. There’s plenty more things that have made my life the life it is and that have made me the person I am today. Have a good week! 🙂

Getting Ready for the School Year

Summer break is coming to an end for students all over and now it’s time to get back to school. Getting back into a routine for school and being prepared for the school year can be tough. Here are a few ways you can prepare to tackle the 2016-2017 school year.

Get to know who your teachers are early on. When classes finally start, introduce yourself to your teacher and make a good impression. You want to get started on a good note!

Get all of your supplies within the first two weeks of school. My sister and I went to get our supplies this past weekend and school doesn’t start for us until this Friday. By now, we both have a pretty good guess as to what we will need as far as notebooks, spiral and composition, folders, binders, and other things go. Teachers will let you know if there’s specific materials you need in class.

Train yourself to start getting up and going to bed earlier at least a week before classes start. You wouldn’t want to sleep in on the first day! It makes it easier to get up in the morning when you train yourself to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.

If you have a special email account for school, make sure you’re able to access it before school starts. Many teachers like to get right to business on the first day. With technology being a big part of our lives today, it’ll be easier on yourself and your teachers if your account can be accessed easily without having to get assistance.

When you get your schedule, see if you have any classes with friends. It’s always nice to see if you have classes with your friends so you can walk to class and even sit together, as long as there isn’t as seating chart.

When classes start, start off strong. Do your best to get started on the right foot. Take care of all of the first assignments your teachers give you, stay organized, and if you have questions, it’s better to ask them early on so you don’t get lost or confused.

Have fun and study hard! School can be miserable sometimes and it can get really frustrating. Just remember that school doesn’t last forever and you’ll want a strong education to be able to go to college or do whatever you want to do with the rest of your life.

Good luck heading back to school everyone. Have a great week. 🙂

getting ready for school

 

How to Stay Warm After Tennis Matches

High school girls’ tennis season is in full swing here in Colorado! This week we had our first two matches, and thank goodness we didn’t get any snow! However, we did get to enjoy (notice the sarcasm) the freezing cold temperatures, wind, and even rain. It can be extremely difficult to get warm after your match let alone stay warm. The last thing you and your team wants is a bunch of sick, cold girls. Here are a few tips on how to stay warm after tennis matches.

-Bring layers of clothing. As ridiculous as this may sound, it really isn’t. It gets COLD after you get off the court. You may be warm right after you play, but you’ll cool down real quick. Bring extra pairs of socks, gloves, hats, sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, thin and thick, warm jackets, leggings, sweatpants, and whatever else you might need to layer. For my match on Monday, I had my windbreaker, tennis hoodie, and winter jacket on. While managing to look like a big, fluffy marshmallow, I also kept myself comfortable and warm.

-Blankets are a necessity. Fleece blankets work great to keep a person warm, however they don’t work well for the outdoor world of tennis. With the dirty, muddy ground, rain and snow, something thick, washable, and water-resistant will be better off. Some of the girls on my team have recommended bringing sleeping bags. Not too bad of an idea!

-Get into your sweats immediately after you get off the court. Like I said earlier, you may feel warm and comfortable right after you finish your match, but you’ll cool down really quick. With your sweat and the sun going down, you’ll want to warm yourself up in your clothes/blankets/sleeping bag as soon as possible.

-If possible, bring or have access to warm food and drink. Not only will your stomach be pleased with the nourishment, but your body will be warmed up inside and out. Make sure to load up on carbs and potassium so that you keep your energy up and prevent yourself from getting too sore the next day. I recommend warm pasta or bread of some sort for carbs. Soup, like chicken noodle soup wouldn’t be bad either. Bananas are great sources of potassium.

-Stretch and move around. Stretching will most likely only help your muscles relax and feel good after a long match but it could also warm your body up. Move around by jumping, walking, or doing a little jogging. Get your blood flowing and your muscles working. Just make sure not to overdue anything or hurt yourself.

I hope these five tips will help you all survive your tennis matches in the cold, end of winter weather. Spring is on its way soon and we won’t have to deal with the yucky, freezing temperatures much longer, so hang in there! Good luck to all of you with your seasons. Stay warm!

How to Stay Warm After Tennis Matches

How to Write an In-Class Essay

Whether it’s a history class or an English class, in-class essays are becoming more and more common. When you aren’t prepared, and even when you are, writing an in-class essay can be stressful and chaotic. Here are a few tips on how to be successful while writing an in-class essay.

1. Take your time but pace yourself. This might sound confusing, but it really isn’t. I would suggest taking the first few minutes to plan and get organized. For some people this might be an outline or organization map of some sort. Others simply write down what ever helps them get their ideas on paper. Do what works best for you. After planning, keep your eye on the clock, take time to think about word choice and if the statements being made makes sense with the topic/prompt. You wouldn’t want to have rushed through the entire paper only for there to be grammatical and spelling errors all over the essay.

2. Make sure your paper gets in before the deadline. The deadline is usually the end of class. Some teachers won’t even look at your paper if it’s late, so work efficiently and save the last few minutes to get the essay turned in. If you’re typing your in-class essay, this is a good idea in case your computer has technical issues. You might have time to fix it and still get your essay in on time.

3. Come prepared for anything. It depends on the teacher, but sometimes they’ll give you the topic. If they give you the topic, practice writing your essay at home if you can. Work on your introduction, thesis, and conclusion. I suggest preparing your arguments too. If your teachers allow you to, bring in material that you can reference while you write and support your arguments with. Supporting your arguments with textual evidence helps make an essay better. If you aren’t given a topic, the in-class essay will most likely be on something you’ve covered recently in class. You can still prepare by going through your notes and past material.

4. Read directions and answer the prompt in your essay. Answering the prompt in your essay is crucial to receiving a good grade. Reading the directions will help you understand what you have to write about and help maximize your score.

I hope that these tips help you write a solid in-class essay. Remember to take your time, pace yourself, complete your paper before or at the deadline, prepare for the essay, answer the prompt, and read the directions. Good luck writing!

How to Write an In-Class Essay

Tips for Blog Writing

Blogs are super fun to read and write! If you’re interested in starting a blog or even already have one, here’s a few tips for blog writing:

1. Have a day you regularly post on. For me this is Sunday’s. This way your readers will know when you post and they look forward to it every week. You can post more than once a week, but I feel like it’s lighter on the writer if you only post once.

2. Write about lots of things. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to one topic but wouldn’t it be more fun to write about all kinds of things? Writing about many topics is not only fun, but entertaining for you to write and the readers to read.

3. Use pictures to help with the blog posts. Pictures make reading much more interesting and enjoyable to everyone. They can also help support your points and arguments.

4. Keep it sweet and simple. When blog writing, I find it super easy to get carried away and go on and on and on forever. For the readers, this can get boring sometimes, unless they’re really into the topic or something like that. All you need to do is make your points, say what you need and want to say, and be done. If you’re sharing a research paper or something longer, that is okay, just don’t post something like that regularly.

5. Have fun with it and get creative! Writing a blog shouldn’t feel like torture or the worst thing you could possibly be doing. Enjoy it and be creative with what you write. Maybe you add little videos to your posts, or you end it with signature. It’s all up to you, and there are plenty of ways to make the blog your own and have fun with it.

I hope all you blog-writers out there found these tips helpful. Even if you don’t keep up a blog, it might be something fun for you to try out. Have a good week! 🙂

Tips for Blog Writing