How to Half-Ass a Bullet Journal

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Iceland Journal that I haven’t touched since… (see Moleskine Chapter Journal for more… in plum). 

Guys, I’ve sought advice on the ever-loving Instagram AND on its cruel twin, Twitter, but I can’t seem to understand how to attack or accomplish the mysterious bullet journal.

If I showed you the amount of quarter-completed journals I own, and high school mathed a total of how much was spent on each one, I think I could make a grown man on a budget cry.  No adult should be able to spend this much on journaling and not actually have at least a square of completed Ikea shelf to show for it.

(Mathed is an awesome verb)

I would show you pictures, but honestly, it’s at hoarder level and I mean that totally as a reference to the TLC show. And the worst part is that people know this about me so they give me journals.  One of my students for Christmas gave me this adorable and charmed striped nautical journal.  My cousin just gave me the 52 Lists for Happiness journal. I buy Moleskines like the company’s stock is plummeting and they’re ready to shut down any second.  (The stock reference is overdramatic because I’m not even sure if Moleskine is privately owned).

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This is what I call “The Main Chick” because she’s the biggest and got the Sylvia Plath sticker.

What I’m saying is: I’ve tried everything.

Here’s a few of those trials and errors:

  1. Keeping the journals next to bed to write in before I sleep — but I prefer to read before I sleep.
  2. Subsequently carrying them around with me everywhere like I’m going to take a quiet moment everyday outside some quaint Parisian-inspired coffee shop and doodle my way to productivity.
  3. Refused to buy a new one until I finish an old one — for this I just get squirrel tendencies and shiny-object my way to failure.
  4. Admitted I have a problem.  Don’t they say this is the first step? I’ll admit it all day.
  5. Bought smaller journals for carrying to transfer to said huge journal to manage my life every day.
  6. Colored in my journal at work which is totally UNproductive.
  7. Bought journaling how-to magazines and magazines with just a bunch of journal photographs for inspiration.
  8. Also, Pinterest.
  9. I follow like 97234 bulletjournalers on Instagram and hit the little flag on all of their pictures to save them and use their weekly spread (or whatever spread) in my own journal.
  10. Given up my coveted Poketo agenda for a week to see if I could agenda in my bullet journal.   (I may or may not also be creating a plan to hoard these).
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Now I’ll have TWO incomplete 52 List journals. BAH

Tonight, I asked people how they #bujo on Twitter and Ayla Jae said she has one big goal and she uses her bullet journal to track that one goal into little steps.  I think she’s writing a book, just assuming from her Twitter bio, but how would I even start? Like … track my writing everyday? I’m sure that’s productive and I should be doing that (HEY, failed Nanowrimo attempt) but should I add that to my other bullet journal’s list of “To Do’s” for the day.  What I’m saying is, how does this not become a chore? 

I get that there are some really awesome people who do bullet-journaling for a living on Youtube.  But what about us folks that work a full day and come home to make dinner and walk the dog and have no … time. I know what you’re going to say.  This is YOUR time, this is the time for YOURself.  And I want that time, but where in my day do I put it.  And if I want it to be fancy (don’t we all) and I almost care about that more than actual productivity, how do I quiet the idiot in my head?

SEND HELP. 

If you’re like me and you need to join the Bullet Journalers Anonymous and get your shit together, FA’REAL, sign up below for something that will be planned halfway in my journal.  How do we make a plan? Should I write this plan in my bullet journal.

Oh, Lawd.

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Gluten is the Devil (and other things I’ve said when I can’t just eat a chicken tender).

grid-cell-18586-1446153561-13So, let’s get honest:

In the past year and a half, I’ve probably gained twenty pounds.  Living with and loving with a dude who eats whatever he wants and looks like a mix of swag from Gerald Johanssen and dapper from Jack Skeleton hasn’t helped. However, that’s not my only problem.  I have a thyroid autoimmune disease and it causes a lot of really exciting problems, but one of them is that it’s hard to lose weight. And although, studies haven’t shown that there’s a connection between gluten and thyroid diseases, a lot of experts and just generally other women in forums online have recommended giving up gluten.  The People’s Pharmacy did a whole show on recent studies dealing with thyroid disease.

I feel a little bit like I’m a walking talking believe for a connection between hypothyroidism and gluten sensitivity.  I stopped eating gluten cold turkey in August.  I cheated my way through Iceland and the other night wanted to cut my stomach out a little bit when I got a sampler platter of fried food at Buffalo Wild Wings, but other than those two cheats, I’m hyperaware of whether or not I’m partaking in gluten. And since gluten stays in your body for sixish months, cheating isn’t recommended because you’re just starting all the way over.

1332341647187_4274930I am that person at the brewery that always asks if they have gluten-free beers.  I always apologize for my goobness, but my health is at stake here.  Since August, I’ve lost ten pounds, my thyroid has produced more hormones, and my medicine hasn’t needed to be changed.  Before going gluten free, I cried weekly, was gaining weight significantly, couldn’t remember things or would go through moments of fog where everything in my mind just lapsed. I was miserable. I also had to up my medicine every three months for the last six years.  As a girl who swam uber competitively in high school, anywhere from three to five hours a day, I couldn’t get past the weight gain. I know we’re supposed to love our bodies and turn our insecurities into positives, but that’s easier said than done.

I find a few things outside of going gluten free have helped me be a generally more happy person and better eater.  The first is that I recommend not eating things that you would normally eat that are labeled “gluten free.” Just because they make gluten free pretzels doesn’t mean you should eat them or that they taste good. There’s plenty of pastas (quinoa, rice, black bean) that taste just fine in gluten free versions, but you could replace those with cauliflower or spaghetti squash.  Pizza is the same way.  There aren’t a lot of delicious take-out gluten-free pizzas.  I used to be cool with Dominos on pizza night with Bae, but lately I’ve been making zucchini pizza boats and those suckers are delicious.

This, of course, will not work for everyone and I’m still very much in the beginning stages.  In the New Year, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to learn more about being gluten free (regardless of reasoning) by reading blogs and books.

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The other thing I’m trying to do as a resolution (of sorts because I never stick to them if I label them) is to plan our meals every week.  BJ and I have totally different tastebuds so it’s difficult to plan together but I refuse to be defeated. I created this Weekly Meal Planning Guide in Google Drive. I keep a bullet journal, but it was just too intense to keep track and keep it well in my #bujo.

Here’s the plan:

At the top of the document is our weekly plan, but also our grocery list.  It’s long this time because we have to gear up with the essentials.

Next in our Weekly Meal Planning Guide is PREP.  I’m really, really, incredibly bad at eating if my eating isn’t practically instantly prepared.  I like my food like I like my snapchat or my 24 hour news.  Our fridge winds up looking like a plasticware outlet, but I’m not mad at it. This section just lets me know what I need to do throughout the week to make my eating easier.  This is arguably the most important part of the whole thing if you’re trying to live healthier or gluten free.

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Lastly, I included the recipes for what we’re cooking this week and organized them by Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  I’m going to be real with you, I’m no casanova in the kitchen.  BJ cooks in this house. I try, but the disappointment overkills the hard work when it doesn’t look or taste like I expect it should. I want to get better at cooking and the only way to do that is to cook.

This weeks recipes come from the following blogs:

I color code so that I know what we already have in the cabinet or fridge and what I need to add to the grocery list at the top of the document. And it’s watermelon colors because that’s just cute, right?

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As I discover more about food, cooking, and the devil of gluten, I will post everything here. This is one of those times where I’m supposed to talk about the journey even though I’d rather be at the finish line. If you have a thyroid disease or have any gluten free knowledge to share, feel free to comment below!

Also, if you’re a sister who just plain craves chicken tenders, but you have a gluten issue, COMMENT because I HEAR THAT.