Bullet Journaling simplified

My overall 2018 goal is to lead a more efficient life. To me this means getting rid of unnecessary clutter and keeping things simplified so that I have more time to breathe and live.

I was very excited when I heard about bullet journaling late last year. I lovemaking lists, writing down my goals and the things I have learned.

The idea of incorporating a creative element to my lists really appealed to me. However, I found the bullet journal process to be taking up a little more time than I could spare. I want to only keep one journal for the year and not have to keep transferring things from one journal to the next each time the journal ends.

So here is my simplified bullet journal for the year:

I started by listing all my 2018 goals, IMG_20180209_103620which I call my adventure list and placing it in the insight cover of my journal. Having it right at the start of the journal allows me to see it easily every time I open the journal. This keeps me on track with the plan for my year.

The INDEX page is truly a great idea. By numbering each page in the journal, I can write down the page number for each item in the index page. Going to the right page has never been easier.

 

You can list whatever you want to keep track of in your bullet journal and can IMG_20180209_103732decorate it as much or as little as you want. As you can see, I am more on the little side.

How my journal is different from most, is that instead of writing my daily to do list in the journal, I write it on a

IMG_20180209_103853separate piece of paper and then paper clip it to my journal. A lot of times, I write items that are not urgent, and need to be completed in a few days, so I can just move my to do list from one section of the journal to another.

When most items get done, I create a new to do list and add it to my journal after removing the old list. I feel that I save journal pages this way. At the end of the year, I do not need to remember  that on the week of Feb 5, I had to print some documents. This way when I look back at my 2018 journal, I can be reminded of things that were important to me.

If you like writing list and journaling, I definitely suggest trying a bullet journal. It can be very calming and fulfilling to see your goals achieved visually.

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Recycled Christmas art

Christmas is truly my favourite time of the year. The lights, Christmas trees, decorating the house, time spent with family, eating, school concerts, more eating and all the magical events that go together with the season makes this truly the most wonderful time of the year for me.

With decorating, comes an opportunity to make some Christmas crafts. This year, I needed to add some decorations to the mantle in my family room and I was waiting for inspiration to hit. It came when I was at my local craft store- I could paint some festive quotes. My next question was what would my canvas be? I do love to make my craft out of recycled materials and I was running down a list of things that I had at home, when I realized that I had some boxes to get rid of. I cut up the box to make my canvas. In fact, I feel that painting on the boxes gave this artwork a more rustic feel.

I used the last of some ribbon that I bought over 10 years ago to finish off the project. I certainly feel merry and bright when I look at my new artwork. It brings me comfort and joy!

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Repurposed=Organization

Last week, my goal was to reorganize my hall entryway unit. I was quite pleased with myself for up-cycling some items around the house and turning them into organizational units.

I felt like I needed a small tray to put some key in. One of the items that I wanted to get rid of was an old glasses case that was coming apart. “Eureka!” I thought. I could re-purpose the case into a little tray. It was easy enough. I removed all the covering on the case to find that the body of the case was made of metal. I pried the two sections of the case to come apart with some plyers. Then, I cut out the insoles of my running shoes (new insoles, that I never will use since I have orthotics, also wanted to get rid of this) to  provide some cushioning for the metal case. Lastly, I cut out a piece of paper and pushed it down on the insoles, providing my new trays with a pretty finish. No glue, no fuss, no muss. I can change the paper out when it starts to look uninspiring.

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The other thing that I used was plastic salad containers to house all the bits and bobs in my drawer. I glued on paper to the bottom side of the lid and lined the container with a matching piece of paper.

Both my organizational  items were quite stress free to make. The part I like best, is challenging myself to think of a new way to use an item that I might not want anymore.

DIY Luggage tags

We are redoing our laundry room and part of the process has been to figure out what counter-tops, cabinets etc to purchase. Thankfully all the decisions have been made and now we need to install all our purchases.

We had some leftover counter-tops samples and I figured that they could be recycled into luggage tags. Using some hot glue, I stuck two pieces together, covered the sides with tape and stuck on some fabric decorations that I had.

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Easy Coaster pattern (Crochet)

My 11 year old daughter has become quite a crocheter. She has been crocheting many mini-sombreros, coasters  and  dish cloths, as gifts. She came up with this coaster pattern that take her under 30 minutes to make.

 

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Abbreviations:

ch- chain

hdc- half double crochet

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

sl st- slip stitch

 

Magic circle ch 2

Round 1: 8 hdc in the circle, join with sl st

Round 2: ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch join with sl st

Round 3: ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch join with sl st

Round 4: ch 2, sc in each stitch

Round 5: switch colours,  ch 2, * sc in first 2 stitches 2 sc in next* repeat from * around, join with sl st

fasten off weave in all ends

Easy ways to add colour to the garden

I was a little tired of the lack of colour in the garden before the flowers started to bloom. So I decided to add some colour in the garden with some easy painting projects.

I stacked some painted terracotta pots that I had on hand. To make it more stable, I put a rod through the pots. Added some soil to the top pot and planted a little perennial plant.

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For my second project, I used the trunk of my last Christmas tree. I cut off the branches and hung some wooden flowers on it.

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This should brighten my garden a little until all the other flowers come in.

Christmas Star decorations- recycled

Every year after Christmas, I always feel a little nostalgic. To extend my Christmas spirit, I find that I usually make a Christmas decoration for the tree or house.

This year, I found a decoration for Christmas stars, and put my own twist on it. You can use any cardstock that you like. I used some Christmas cards and flyers to create these Christmas tree decorations.

Instead of a 5 point symmetrical star, you can draw a star or use a template to draw an unsymmetrical 5 point star.

You will need a bone folder and a ruler to make the ridges.

 

1. Flip the the star over to the back. Using the bone folder and ruler, draw a line from each point to the middle.

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2. Flip the star back to the front. Using the bone folder and ruler once again, draw lines from the non-points to the middle. (Hope this makes sense)

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3. Press along each fold along the star.  Tie a little ribbon and you have a Christmas tree decoration.

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These decorations are so light, it is great if the branches on your Christmas tree are thin. They also make cute tags.

 

Enjoy and have a great 2015.

Easy and practical homemade cleaners

With Earth day coming up, I decided to make some household cleaners. I have been wanting to do this for a while, but was not sure how best to proceed. I wanted this endeavor to be easy and stress free. Therefore I needed to find a few cleaners that were easy to prepare and would not require me to get a bunch of additional ingredients that I did not have around the house.

I am starting with three homemade cleaners
1) Handsoap/ dishwashing soap. This is not for the dishwasher. Instead it is for the kitchen sink.
I diluted Dr. Bronner’s castile soap 1:10 with water. (http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=1127)
I used the lavender castile soap, for a lovely fragrance when washing the dishes.

2) All purpose spray. I got this recipe from David Suzuki’s Queen of Green
(http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/2011/QueenOfGreen-Green-cleaning-recipes.pdf) There are other recipes here as well.

This spray uses- castile soap, borax and essential oils. Once again if you use a castile soap with a scent, you can probably leave the essential oils out.

3) Vegetable wash. Just soak your vegetables in a bowl of water with 1/8 -1/2 cup of vinegar for about 10 minutes and rinse the vegetables well.

I am hoping that with these few simple and easy recipes, I will be able to make the change to become a little greener.

Happy Earth Day!

Easy Christmas decoration

As I am hosting Christmas dinner this year, I needed to have a few additional decorations to make the house look festive.  I really like this easy and inexpensive idea. I used bottles and vases that I had around the house and filled it with Epsom salts (represents snow). I got some inexpensive red berry decorations from the craft store and placed it in each jar. These bursts of red really liven up the house. You could also use any Christmas decorations that you have to put in the vases/ jars.

Now after Christmas, I can look forward to relaxing and having many baths with all the Epsom salt that I have.20131124_172205

Recycled funnel

I buy a lot of things in bulk and often have trouble putting the contents into bottles. This recycled milk funnel is fantastic and has saved me from a lot of wastage.

I cut of the top part of a 2 litre milk jug and wash it.

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When inverted, this make an easy funnel. You can even use it to fill small bottle. Just make sure that the mouth size of the bottle is the same size or bigger that your milk jug.

 

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