• March 22, 2017

    Bullet Journal

    Feature-Image

    I am willing to bet that you’ve already heard about bullet journaling – it seems to be all the craze right now.  I wanted to try it out before giving my assessment and thoughts on the idea, so I’ve been using my journal since the new year and am ready to share my experiences with you.

    First, though, for those of you who are not yet familiar with the system, here is a video from the original creator to help explain the idea/process:

    Ok, got it?  Pretty simple, right?  And fairly ingenious, really.

    First, my journal is a simple Moleskine, dotted, in the extra large (7.5×10) size.  My favorite thing about this journal is the dots.  While setting it up, I had considered a lined journal, but opted for the dots which afford wonderful guidance as I draw and create graphs and date boxes.  I think a lined journal could work, but you’ll have more obvious horizontal lines in your open spaces and you’ll struggle more getting the vertical lines at proper right angles.

    As I use it, I am finding that it’s a bit large to carry around and use away from home.  I like that I have room for my little drawing and such, but might give a smaller size a try next year.  I also am finding that this journal’s pages are quite thin and ink shows through so that  I can really only use one side of the page.  I have heard that the Leuchtturm brand has a bit thicker paper.

    Now, for the set up: I kept to the, sort of, standard way they recommend to start.  I have key, yearly calendar, and index pages:

    Key

    Index

    Year

    Pages to track goals, books, movies, and travel:

    Resolutions

    Books

    And then I start my months and calendars.  Each month starts with a page that includes a habit tracker, a month calendar, and space for goals that I have that month.  I also include a picture or quote here to liven the page  up a bit:

    Month

    After the initial month page, I have a page to write daily gratitudes.  These pages go along with the theme of the first page or with a holiday/feeling that I associate with the month (so, for February, it was hearts and for March, it was thistles and tea).

    Thankful

    Finally, after the gratitude page, I have each week for the month drawn out.  These pages include space for each day, a menu for the week, and a space for notes or a to-do list (this is where I use the transfer system with the >, <, X, etc symbols as suggested in the video and my Key page.

    Week

    Overall, I really like this system.  It has helped me to hold myself accountable and to remember things like sending birthday cards and scheduling appointments.  The set up time is a bit long and the book is less convenient than having an app in my phone, but I find the time setting it up and physically writing or drawing in the book is sort of meditative and does help my brain to slow down a bit.  I’ve also discovered that I am in love with washi tape and I really love experimenting with different hand lettering styles and art!

  • January 25, 2017

    January Round Up

    OOoooh man.  This month isn’t over yet?  Really?  Still going for about one more week, eh?

    I’m pretty darn over it.

    First of all: the snow.  Good gracious God in heaven, the snow.  This January we’ve broken records with the snow.  Now, I am a mountain girl and totally ok with snow and all that…. But this city of mine ain’t really ready to deal with what Mother Nature is layin’ down!  I actually shoveled the street in front of my house a couple weeks ago.  Yes, you read that right, I shoveled the street.  Frankly, there were no other options besides staying home for all of January.  So. Yeah.

    You’d think with all that snow, I would have had lots of time to read lots of books.  Joke’s on you though, because I was shoveling all that snow in my street instead of reading.  For January, I was only able to just keep up with my book club requirements with A Day of Honey by Annia Ciazadlo and Gulp by Mary Roach.  I enjoyed A Day of Honey, but I really loved Gulp.  She is super provocative and sarcastic – it actually made me think about Jenny Lawson’s books a lot.  Can’t wait to see what the other ladies at book club think about it!

    There were a couple of new (well, new and new to me) shows I have been enjoying.  The first was A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix.  Can I just say that Neil Patrick Harris is a genius?  And that I love him?  It. Is. So. Good.  The second show I’ve been obsessing over is Jane the Virgin, which I never thought I’d say.  Actually, I never thought I’d watch it, let alone love it.  For those skeptics like I once was… just give it a try.  It’s way too complicated to really explain here, but it’s basically an Americanized telenovela with all the drama you’d expect, but also with lots of great humor to balance it out.  Please, just go watch a few episodes, ok?  Ok.

    This month we are also starting up a new D&D campaign, so I’ve been doing some character building.  I’ll be playing a gnome wizard named Moonie Mugglewump and I’m really excited about her!  Think, Luna from Harry Potter mixed with Kvothe from the Kingkiller Chronicles and a bit of Judy Hopps from Zootopia.  Fun, right?  First game is this weekend, so we’ll see how I get back in the swing of it all!

    Aaaand the last thing I have to share with you for January is that I’ve started a Bullet Journal.  I’ll do another more detailed post sometime about bullet journaling, but suffice it to say that I like the layout options and tracking method a lot so far.  I have been enjoying the creative aspects and also use it to help with mindfulness.  I am not a great artist, but there is hope, I think, for me yet!

    So, there you have it.  This was my… interesting… January (sans political issues/concerns/ fears/hopes/whatever because this should be a happy place for me and for anyone out there who is reading).  Here’s hoping that February will have better surprises in store!

  • January 18, 2017

    Hope

    Feature-Image

    Hope.  This year – 2017 – I decided that I would focus on hope and make it a priority to stay positive in all the varied aspects of my life.  Since then, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about this post and trying to figure out how to convey all of the things I want to you.  I’ve wracked my brain and started this a hundred times in my head.  But, if I’m being completely honest, I have also been fervently avoiding this post.

    You know how when you ask for courage, life tends to give you all kinds of terrible challenging things to be courageous about?  Or you ask for patience and life presents you with trials that make you feel… not so patient?  That’s kind of how I am feeling right now about hope.  Sometimes I just don’t feel very hopeful.  Sometimes I think it would be better to pull the covers over my eyes and pretend the world doesn’t exist from the comfort of my bed.

    Perhaps that is just it, though.  Perhaps hope (and love and gratitude) is not meant to be a feeling so much as it a choice.  Perhaps hope means dragging yourself out of bed when you’d rather stay hidden.

    In 2011, Michelle Obama addressed a group of young women leaders in South Africa and said “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”  She goes on to say that when people start asking questions and begin having these conversations… these are acts of hope and the ripples grow exponentially outward from there.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that if the world is overwhelming, and you know you can’t solve all of the problems you dearly wish you could; If there seems to be no good or joyful thing to keep you going; If you’re struggling – choose hope.  Choose to crawl out from the protective covers of bed and begin again.  Find a thing that you care about,or a thing that gives you peace and let that be the first stone dropped into the water and watch how the ripples spread.  Your question or thought or passion may ripple so far that you become a source of hope for someone else who needs it.

    In the coming months, I implore you to find your hope and spread it around like wildfire.

  • January 4, 2017

    Resolutions

    feature-image

    Well, friends, we survived the dumpster fire year of 2016!  Pat yourself on the back and wave a banner – you did it!  No matter how bad things got, you stuck it out with me and came out on the other side battered and bruised, but alive.  Good job!  Depending on where you and and what your life philosophies may be, 2017 is either looking really good or really scary for you – but you know what?  We’re gonna survive it (and hopefully thrive in it…) just like we did in 2016.

    Every new year, my husband chooses an overall theme for the year.  I’ve never really done that before, but I think this year deserves a theme: Hope.

    If you’ve been reading my blog in recent months, you will know I went to Hawaii with a dear friend back in October and I learned a lot of things about worldviews and lifestyles.  I learned a lot about the idea of Aloha and it struck me as something very hopeful.  Since then, I’ve been sort of working towards a lot of my resolutions in wishy-washy, nebulous ways, but I want to really make them a priority this year.  I want to make real, concrete change in my mind and my life:

    Be more present
    - Bullet Journal
    - Meditation
    - Less phone/tv time

    Be more grateful
    - 1x per month, do something nice to thank the awesome people in my life
    - Weekly gratitude journal – bullet journal section
    Be less “busy” and more productive
    - Less distractions – tv, Facebook, etc.
    - Set real goals and try to meet them

    Be more open to people and opportunity
    - Check in with friends and family
    - Think outside the box more – try new things

    Be healthy
    - Less sugar
    - More water
    - More exercise

    To me, these things really represent hope.  Being real and grateful, opening myself to the universe and what’s in it, and moving forward with positivity in my heart, mind, and soul.  This will NOT be easy.  It’s not necessarily all things that can be measured, but it’s things that I  know can make a real difference between dumpster fire despair and hope.  Find hope, ya’ll and cling to it for dear life because life is dear.  And YOU are dear.  Take care of yourself this year.  <3

  • July 27, 2016

    30 Before 30

    Feature-Image

    A friend of mine has had some health issues recently and we were talking about how everything kind of went to hell when she turned thirty.  That got me to really thinking about those 30 before 30 lists and how maybe enough people know that everything craps out on you after you turn 30… so I figure I better get my crap together this year and do some amazing things!

    1. Go for a wine tasting at a vineyard
    2. Sit on a beach
    3. Run another 5k
    4. Take a class
    5. Have family photographs taken
    6. See a ballet
    7. Learn to make pizza from scratch
    8. Eat vegetarian meals 2x week
    9. Make an incredible cosplay costume
    10. Find the perfect little black dress
    11. Play a video game all the way through with my husband
    12. Learn calligraphy
    13. Take better care of my skin and hair
    14. Research family history
    15. Have a homemade Christmas
    16. Buy myself a beautiful piece of jewelry
    17. Cover my home and office with art
    18. Clean my home with all homemade cleaners
    19. Fully embrace my inner nerd
    20. Do something that scares me
    21. Put up fantastic Halloween decorations
    22. Stop letting fear run my life: Be assertive when appropriate, Stop waiting for someone else to approve or tell me it’s ok to do what I want, Open up to people – maybe make a friend
    23. Complete a 30 day photo challenge
    24. Make something that makes my heart happy
    25. Learn about meditation and give it a try
    26. Learn how to make cheesecake
    27. Go to a theme park
    28. Take a girls only trip
    29. Read 30 books in the year
    30. Start an Etsy shop

    Some of these things are silly, some serious, and some are pretty freaking ambitious.  I hope to accomplish all of these things in the next 365 days, but at the very least have a plan in place to move forward!

    Wish me luck!  *grin*

  • April 6, 2016

    Geek Girls Guide to the Gym: Staying Motivated

    Feature-Image

    Okay, geek girls… how’s the gym treating you these days?!  If you’re anything like me… you’ve lost some of your enthusiasm and you’re ready to eat a pint of ice cream and take a nap.  Don’t give in, ladies!  Don’t fail yourself!  You can totally keep up the good work!

    When I started faltering, the best thing I did was to find a group of like-minded people who encourage me and check in about my progress.  They help me stay motivated and not feel bad if I mess up a little once in a while.  My group takes the form of several ladies I work with.  We meet once a week to review our goals and progress.  We also try to incorporate an educational element like how much water a person should be drinking every day or how to read nutrition labels.  This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not!  If everyone shows up and brings a little tid-bit to share, the group practically runs itself!  And, because we all know each other’s goals, we can also encourage each other as we think of it during the rest of the week!  We go for walks together and check in about workouts and water intake.  I’d be lost without these ladies!

    Weights

    In addition to a support network, you can work with a personal trainer or go to the gym with a friend.  It helps to have someone there in the moment to push you just a little harder.  It’s more fun, too!  Some people work with their trainer every week, but I prefer to check in with her every few months or so – I’m pretty good about pushing myself as long as I know what to do.  So, take the time and really weigh what will be the best fit for  you!  The same goes for working with a friend – find someone who will push you, not hold you back.  If you’re at the gym but hardly working… it isn’t worth your time, is it?  Make the most of your time – it’s one of the most valuable things you have!

    Another thing you can do is find a fun group or event that you can attend.  Where I live, there are lots of breweries and wineries, so someone started a workout & wine/beer group where you lift kegs and run around the brewery in order to get a glass of the good stuff when you’re all done.  If boozing and sweating doesn’t sound like fun to you, check out other classes like pole dancing or yoga or biking.  Figure out what appeals to you most and make your workouts fun!  You can also sign up for a fun run like the Color Run or something that benefits a cancer society or other cause you believe in.  This will push you to train before the run and will reward you with a rewarding day of running and celebrating the thing you did.  Most fun runs I’ve been really excited about are about fitness and fun, so they don’t worry about timing you and walkers, joggers, and runners are all welcome (check this out before signing up if you are worried about it).

    Yoga

    As important as it is to have outside encouragement, it’s also important to have plenty of intrinsic motivation.  This can be hard, especially if you have plateau-ed  in your progress.  Some things that help me are:

    • Remember why you started going to the gym in the first place.
    • Make weekly goals/challenges for yourself.
    • If you can’t make yourself go to the gym, make yourself do some exercise at home: youtube yoga videos (Adriane’s is my favorite), Wii fit, bike ride, walk the neighborhood, get some home weights, etc.
    • Treat yo’self – go on a hike, swim in a lake, or some other fun form of exercise.

    The most important thing is to keep trying.  You won’t always be perfect – I know I’m not!  But if you work at it and do your best, that’s all anyone can really ask of you, isn’t it?

    Yoga-Mat

  • January 13, 2016

    Books of 2015

    Feature-Image

    In 2014, I challenged myself to read a book with a title from every letter in the alphabet.  I wasn’t able to complete that challenge in 2014, so I continued it in 2015 (and will finish up in 2016).  Jeeze, I feel like I’m a really slow reader!  I think part of it is that I’ve read all of the Game of Thrones books in the last two years, and those books take forever to get through!  So don’t blame me, blame George RR Martin!  ha!

    Anyway, at the end of 2014, I had read letters A, B, C, F, G, H, I, K, O, and S.  In 2015, I read letters D, F (yes, again), J, L, M, P, Q, U, W, Y, and Z:

    Feast-for-Crows

    Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

     

     

    Dance-with-Dragons

    Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

     

     

    The-Joy-Luck-Club

    Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

     

     

    The-Lovely-Bones

    Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

     

     

    Me-Talk-Pretty-One-Day

    Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

     

     

    Paper-Towns

    Paper Towns by John Green

     

     

    Quiet

    Quiet by Susan Cain

     

     

    Under-the-Udala-Trees

    Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

     

     

    Wild

    Wild by Cheryl Strayed

     

     

    Yes-Please

    Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

     

     

    Zel

    Zel by Donna Jo Napoli

     

     

    In 2016, I’ll be looking for titles that start with E, N, R, T, V, and X to complete my reading quest!

  • January 6, 2016

    Resolutions

    Final-Feature-Image

    As you probably know by now, I like to take time every year to consider the progress I’ve made and how things have changed in my life.  I like to write resolutions and really do try to stick to the changes being made.  Of course, this year shall be no different!  *grin*

    Last year’s resolutions and progress:

     

    1. Continue updating blog on time and improving content.

    Mostly met – things fell apart a little when we moved into the apartment and then again when we moved into the house.  Guess I’ll need to keep working on this one!

     

    2. Take more pictures and improve quality; improve Photoshop skills.

    Mostly met – pretty good progress, but still have a lot to learn!

     

    3.  Practice better self care.

    Met!  In 2015, I started working out, read a ton of books, and did better with taking breaks and time off when I needed to!

     

    4. Go somewhere new.

    Met!  I had no idea how real this one would get when I wrote it!  Not only did I go somewhere new, I live somewhere new!

     

    5. Renew old relationships and cultivate new ones.

    Partially met – I did meet some new people and am in the process of building up those friendships.  I didn’t really renew old relationships so much, though.

     

    Aaaand my new resolutions for 2016:

    1. Improve photos and content on The Bliggity Blog.

    2. Cook and bake more – experiment.

    3. Give generously.

    4. Prioritize meeting new people and developing friendships.

    5. Take a vacation!

     

    Wish me luck!

  • January 7, 2015

    New Year’s Resolutions

    2015

    Happy New Year!

    I am coming to enjoy this time of year for its reflective and forward thinking sentiments.  Last year was really the first time I’d done New Year’s resolutions, so this year it has been exciting to review and reflect on how that shaped my thinking and actions.  I was surprised that I actually tried to keep my goals and that I met most of them!  Probably, I am the only one who remembers what those goals were last year… so lets review!

    Last year’s resolutions:

    1.  This year I will update the blog on time (Wednesdays)

    • Mostly met – messed up pretty badly in September, but have usually been consistent otherwise. 

    2. Take more pictures

    • Mostly met – lots more pictures, but not quite as many or as candid as I intended. 

    3. Have more adventures and try new things

    • Met!  Went to Canada, had an archery lesson, went to my first renaissance faire,  went tent camping for the first time, did some great hiking in new places, and went to a concert.

    4. I will make more health conscious decisions with regards to food and exercise

    • Met!  Started walking 1/2 mile in the mornings and stick to a clean eating diet

    5. I will practice more self care (e.g.: yoga, relaxing with a book, walking the dog, etc.) to help cope with stress and anxiety

    • Somewhat met – I always read, but still struggle to allow myself to really relax – there is always something that “needs” done! 

    6. Read my way through the alphabet (in no particular order, because that would be really hard)

    • Working on it!  More on this later…

     

    With the progress from 2014 in mind, I have revised and added new resolutions for 2015:

    1. Continue updating blog on time and improving content.

    2. Take more pictures and improve quality; improve Photoshop skills.

    3.  Practice better self care.

    4. Go somewhere new.

    5. Renew old relationships and cultivate new ones.

     

    So, here’s to a new year, filled with new opportunities and experiences!

  • July 31, 2014

    Bucket List

    It seems like there are a million and one things I want to do, so it was surprising how difficult this little list was to come up with!  I am sure this list will grow and change and become more specific as I go through life… but for now, this is what I came up with:

    Travel – Western Europe, all 50 states, Asia, New Zealand, a beautiful beach somewhere…

    Learn and “Perfect” New Skills – Archery, Photography, American Sign Language, Writing

    Read a Lot

    New experiences – Get in shape and hike all over the place, zip Lining, tent camping

    Meet people I admire – J.K. Rowling, John Green, Simon Pegg, Joss Whedon, Emma Watson, Felicia Day…

    The great thing about writing a bucket list, and revisiting it frequently, is that there are real, tangible goals right there in front of you!  And the great thing about real, tangible goals is that plans can be developed and goals can be met!  If there is one thing I’ve learned over time, it’s that you can’t possibly do what you want or live the life you dream of if you don’t plan and make it happen.

    So.  Make it happen!