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Rocking My Happy {3.21.18}

Just a few things that have been rocking my happy this week…..as we are hit with another snow storm today!

*Seeing my son perform as one of the leads in his school musical.

*Ruby Red Grapefruit Sorbet from TCBY!

*My mom’s homemade Irish Soda Bread.

*A traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner!

*Visiting with family this weekend.

*Conveyor belt sushi.

*Dinner with me and the kids with enjoyable conversation and no fighting.

*No lines at Walmart the afternoon before a big storm.

 

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Rocking My Happy {3.14.18}

Here are some things rocking my happy this week:

*Giving our bedroom a deep clean including a major dusting and vacuuming and clearing off my nightstand.

*Eating the most delicious dumplings.

*A mother-son movie date.

*Getting to bed early on the weekend and not feeling affected by daylight savings.

*Signing up again for the Ipsy Glam bag, even though I’m wait-listed.

*Getting back into Yoga with Adriene.

*Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup.  I love finding new books to read!

$2 medium beverages at Dunkin Donuts Happy Hour.

*Getting to sleep a little later on a work morning because of a 3-hour delay!

 

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Rocking My Happy {3.7.18}

Today we are enjoying another snow day as we get hit with the allegedly worst snow storm of the year.  Within the past few days we have received a lot of sad news from our family and our community.  It’s very difficult when you know people are in pain and you can’t do anything but offer words of encouragement.  These events have made me even more grateful for everything I have.  While it’s been difficult to be “rocking my happy” this week, I realize that self-care also includes mental health. Although these past few days have been rough, I’ve found that the little things can bring a smile or help me make it through the day.

Rocking my happy this week:

*Coffee and strawberry milkshakes.

*Not losing electricity during the bad Nor’easter we had last week and hopefully not losing power today as well.

*Giving up on reading a book that I wasn’t enjoying.

*Finishing reading A Wrinkle In Time with my son, right before the movie comes out.

*Having my parents over for a weeknight dinner.

*Not having to set the alarm clock last night.

 

 

5 Inspirational Fitness Quotes {Self-Care Saturday}

5 inspirational fitness quotes to help motivate you when you need a little encouragement with your exercise routine.

Although January is coming to an end, I will be continuing on my fitness journey as part of my year of self-care.  I always find quotes to be motivating.  I’ve collected some inspirational fitness quotes for those times when you need a little extra motivation and encouragement with your exercise routine.

 

 


What is your favorite inspirational fitness quote?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise Classes: A to Z Guide {Self-Care Saturday}

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Exercise is important.  Our bodies need to move and burn calories for optimal health.  However, running on the treadmill, or taking the same classes over and over can get boring.  Here is an exercise classes A to Z guide of the different types of classes out there.  Unfortunately, some of these classes are gym specific.  However, many of these workouts are also available for purchase on DVD or even free on YouTube.  Get out there and mix up your exercise routine!

*Note:  By all means, this is guide does not include EVERY exercise class out there.  New ones are being introduced all the time.  Please check with gyms and websites for specific details. 

20-20-20 –  A combination class that typically includes 20 minutes of cardio, 2o minutes of strength and 20 minutes of core work.

A:
AcroYoga – a practice that combines acrobatics, yoga and healing arts.

African Dance – Explore and learn the movements of traditional African dances. Most of these high-energy classes are held at dance studios and accompanied by live music on traditional instruments.  Workouts are available on DVD.

Animal Flow – An exercise routine that, “includes a wide range of exercises and movement combinations that are grouped into six components, each designed to elicit specific results.” The components can be mixed and matched to your workouts.  These workouts are available through the website or at select Equinox gyms.

Aqua Bootcamp – A total-body aerobic workout that takes place in the pool for a different environment and full-body resistance.  Classes are held at select gyms.

Aqua Yoga – A yoga class that takes place in a pool.  Classes available at select gyms.

Aqua Zumba – Combines, “the Zumba philosophy with water resistance.

Ashtanga Yoga – A yoga practice that performs the same poses in the exact same order.  This is a physically demanding form of yoga.  Classes are held in studios throughout the country.  DVDs are available for at-home practice.

B:
Ballroom Dance
– These are partner dances of different styles including waltz, tango, Cha-Cha, Jive, Rumba and more.  These classes are often taught at dance studios.  Many DVDs are available for purchase online.

Barre
– Exercise class that, “uses a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and pilates.”  The barre is used as a prop to assist in balancing.  Classes are offered at most gyms and barre and studios.

Belly Dancing – Belly dancing is an Arabic expressive dance that emphasizes movement of the torso.  There are traditional belly dance classes available as well as belly dancing fitness classes. DVDs are also available if you want to practice this in the privacy of your home!

Bikram Yoga – A sequence of 26 postures and two breathing techniques that are completed in a 90-minute session.  This is also known as “hot” yoga, as it is done in a 105 degree F room where you will sweat and detoxify.

bodyART – This exercise program is, “based on the five elements of Chinese medicine and regards the person as a unity of body, mind and soul.” Exercises work on flexibility, strength and balance.  Classes are held at Equinox Clubs and select gyms.

BODYATTACK – A 55-minute Les Mills, “sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina.”  The class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises.

BODYPUMP – A Les Mills barbell workout class.  It uses light to moderate weights with high repetition movements. Available as 55, 45 or 30-minute workouts.

Bokwa – In this class, participants, “draw letters and numbers with their feet while performing an energizing and addictive cardio workout routine.” Classes are held in gyms throughout the country or a 3 pack DVD set is available for purchase online.

BodyBlade – Using a BodyBlade with rapid contraction technology, you increase strength, balance and coordination.  The more you flex, the more resistance you get. Classes are available at select gyms or via DVD for purchase. The Classic Kit includes the BodyBlade, a DVD and exercise wall chart and is available for purchase online.

BollyX – A 50-minute Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness program inspired by the music and dance of Bollywood.

Bootcamp – These classes vary but generally include a mix of strength training and aerobic elements.  Many DVDs are available for purchase online.

BOSU – An acronym for “BOth Sides Utilized,” this piece of equipment is a balance trainer that helps you work on balance, stability, strengthening the core and more.  DVDs and BOSU trainers are available for purchase online.

Burn – A cross-training class offered at NYSC uses intervals of strength and cardio training to burn calories. Focuses on flexibility, stability and regeneration.

C:
Capoeira – A martial art that, “combines elements of fight, acrobatics, music, dance and rituals in a very elegant and magnetic way.”  DVDs are available for purchase online.

Cardio Sports Training – A high-energy cardio class offered at NYSC that uses the training techniques of professional athletes.  The 60 minute class uses sports specific drills and equipment like agility ladders, cones and jump ropes.

CrossfitA fitness regimen of, “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.”  Driven by data, scoreboards are used to keep records of performance. There are thousands of Crossfit gyms, aka “boxes” worldwide.

CXWORX – A 30-minute Les Mills workout that focuses on exercising muscles around the core.

D:
Drums Alive
– A high-energy workout that combines,  ‘traditional exercise, a stability ball, and drum sticks.”  Classes are 30-45 minutes and are a combination of aerobic dance with the rhythm of drums.

E:

F:
Fight-Do
– A fitness class that, “combines boxing and martial arts.”  It uses punches, kicks, blocks and sometimes a jump rope.

Forza – This is also known as Samurai Sword training and combines two Japanese sword-fighting techniques, Kendo and Aikijujitsu.  This class is only available at select Equinox gyms, but a DVD and samurai training bokken is available to purchase online.

G:
Grit  – A 30-minute LES MILLS HIIT workout available in 3 different focuses (Strength, Plyo or Cardio).  Uses a variety of equipment including barbells and plates.   Classes are available at gyms throughout the country.

H:
Hard Knocks – A kickboxing cardio workout set to hip hop music.  This is a 45 minute class at Crunch Fitness.

HighX – Created by Gabrielle Reece, this is a, “high intensity explosive training and conditioning program designed to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat, build muscle and optimize the body’s hormone and physiological response to exercise.”  Classes are available at select 24 Hour Fitness gyms.

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts involve short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short recovery period. Many exercise classes incorporate HIIT. Many DVDs are available for purchase online.

Hip Hop Yoga – A Vinyasa yoga class set to hip hop music that brings a different, more upbeat energy than traditional yoga.  Held in select studios throughout the country.

Hula Hooping – Some classes use a regular hula hoop, others use a weighted one for an energetic workout.  Classes are at select studios throughout the country.  Weighted hoops and DVDS are available online for purchase.

I:
Indoor Cycling – Also better known as Spinning, this is 30-75 minute class.  The intensity of the classes vary depending on the different body positions, pedal speeds and resistance used.  Regular indoor cycling riders may wear special sneakers that can clip into the pedals.

Insanity – Insanity is part of the Beachbody program that is offered as a class in some gyms.  This is a workout based on “max interval training” that provides HIIT with short rests in between.  No equipment is used, just your body weight for resistance.  The Insanity Base Kit DVD workout program is available online for purchase.

J:
Jump – An exercise class that uses mini-trampolines that maximizes the benefits of rebounding.  Rebounder trampolines and DVDs are available for purchase online.

K:
K Kardio
– This is a 60-minute cardio dance class set to K-Pop (Korean Pop music).

Kangaroo Jumps – These are specially designed rebound shoes that you wear during the workout.  Jumping fitness classes are somewhat limited, but free exercise videos are available online.

Kettlebell – Using a kettlebell you will work muscular and cardiovascular systems with dynamic, total body movements.  DVDs and kettlebells are available for purchase online.

Kickboxing – An exercise class that combines the punches of boxing with the kicks of karate.  This is a class held at many gyms across the country, sometimes called Cardio Kickboxing.  Many DVDs are available for purchase online.

Ki max – This utilizes a free-standing kickboxing bag and special gloves.  Techniques include boxing, Muay Thai and kickboxing.  Classes are either 45 or 55 minutes.

L:
Line Dancing – This is a choreographed dance class with repeated steps and sequences.  People dance in one or more rows of lines to country western music. Many DVDS are available for purchase online.

Lyra – This class uses a suspended aerial hoop in which you twist, turn and wind your way through.  The class is offered at select Crunch Gyms as well as private aerial and acrobatic studios.

M:
Metabolic Training – A high-intensity class that uses exercises that work many muscle groups.  The goal is to maximize calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after the workout.

Muay Thai – Thai boxing, known as, “the art of eight limbs” because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.  DVDs are available for purchase online.

Muscle Pump – A strength training class that works the body using free weights and bars.

N:
Nia – A practice that combines, “dance, martial arts and mindfulness.”  It tones your body while transforming your mind.  These are 60 minute workouts that combine 52 simple moves.  A DVD is available for purchase online.

O:
OULA Fitness – This class, “combines the depth and soulfulness of of a mind-body practice with the carefree playfulness of a living room dance party.”  The two official studios are located in Montana, but classes are offered throughout the country.

P:
Pilates – A mind-body exercise that uses a floor mat or a variety of equipment.   It builds strength and tones while improving flexibility and agility.  There are all types of Pilates DVDs available.

Piloxing – A fusion of boxing and standing Pilates, creating both a physical and mental balance.  DVDs and the Piloxing System is available for purchase online.

PiYo – This is part of the Beachbody program that is offered as a fitness class at many gyms.  It’s a 60 minute class that combines, “the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.”  The Chalene Johnson PiYo Base Kit is available for purchase online.

Pole Dancing –  Uses a pole to build and strengthen the core and upper body.  These classes can also be empowering and bring body confidence.  Classes are held in gyms and studios throughout the country.

POP Pilates – Developed by Cassy Ho, this is a, “total body, equipment-free workout that sculpts a rock solid core and a lean dancer’s body.”  Classes are held in gyms throughout the country.  DVDs are available for purchase online.

POUND – Using lightly weighted drumsticks, this full-body workout, “combines cardio, conditioning and strength training with yoga and pilates-inspired movements.”  The POUND system is available online for purchase.

Punk Rope – A mash-up of, “jump rope, recess, and rock ‘n’ roll.”  Using a jump rope to workout you improve cardio, endurance, coordination, agility and speed.  Classes are held at select gyms throughout the country.

Q:
Qi Gong – An ancient Chinese health method that includes gentle movements repeated a number of times. Some consider Qi Gong to not be exercise, but dynamic mediation.  DVDs are available for purchase online.

R:
R.I.P.P.E.D.
– Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, Diet.  A 50-minute workout that combines a cardio routine with weights and resistance.  An online DVD is available.

S:
ShockWave Workout
–  A circuit challenge, total-body workout that includes a specially designed WaterRower machine.

SoulCycle – SoulCycle is a 45 minute indoor cycling class held at the branded studio.  This class focuses not only on the cardio ride, but also is a mind-body experience.  Rides take place in candle-lit studios with one-of-a-kind playlists.

Step Aerobics – A classic cardio workout that incorporates a choreographed routine with an adjustable rectangular platform.  DVDs and step platforms are available online.

Strong by Zumba – This class, “combines body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training moves synced to original music that has been specifically designed to match every single move.

SurfSET – This is a surf-inspired workout that takes place on a specially designed board.  The 45-minute workouts, “build balance, core strength, stability, agility, aerobic conditioning, power, lean muscle & coordination.”

SWERVE Fitness – Swerve is team inspired indoor cycling.  Classes are 45 minutes and are HIIT full-body workouts. Progress is tracked and team stats are posted during the class. The studios are currently based only in NYC.

T:
Tabata – A, “HIIT workout featuring exercises that last four minutes.”  You complete eight sets of each exercise, pushing yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds.

Tai Chi – An ancient Chinese martial art practiced for defense training and its health benefits. It’s a mind body practice that involve certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus and breathing.  DVDs are available for purchase online.

Throwback Fitness – This is actually a fitness studio that focuses on fun, “by incorporating childhood playground games into our unique and intense full-body workout classes.”  Classes have a phys ed component and a recess component.

Tone House – An, “extreme athletic-based group fitness studio aimed at unleashing the inner athlete in everyone.”  Sessions are team oriented and no two training programs are exactly alike.  Studios are currently only located in NYC.

Trekking – An instructor-led class that has you walking/running on a treadmill and includes hills, sprints and/or power walking.

TRX –  TRX is suspension training bodyweight exercise that requires the use of a TRX Suspension Trainer that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight. It uses seven basic movements and over 100 exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability.

U:
U-Jam Fitness  – An, “athletic urban dance fitness workout that combines dance and high energy music.” Classes are held at gyms throughout the country.

Urbhanize – A dance fitness program, “based on the urban moves from street dance and Hip Hop.”

UrbanKick – This class combines, “sports conditioning with kickboxing to give you a full body workout.  Classes take place in gyms throughout the country.

V:
Vinyasa Yoga – A style of yoga, sometimes referred to as “flow” yoga.  It involves synchronizing the breath with a continuous flow of postures.  DVDs are available for purchase online.

W:
Water Cycling – Like a regular spin class, but it takes place in the water.  Classes are available at select gyms.

Whipped! – A class that combines HIIT and circuit training.  You visit ten separate stations and use various equipment (kettle bells, exercise balls, etc.)  to complete exercises.  The 45-minute class is only available at Equinox gyms.

X:
Xtreme Ride 
– An indoor cycling class that includes HIIT.

Y:
Yoga – An ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice.  Most unspecified yoga classes are Hatha yoga, which features a series of asanas or postures. Classes are held in gyms and studios throughout the country with many different variations (some are included in this list).  Many DVDs are available for purchase online.

Yogilates – A fusion of yoga and pilates with positive effects on the mind and body.  DVDs are available for purchase online.

Z :
Zumba – A mix of, “low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party.”  Many DVDs are available for purchase online.

Zumba Sentao – Using a chair as a partner, this class combines, “strength and resistance training with innovative dance moves.”

Zumba Step – Combines, “the awesome toning and strengthening power of Step aerobics, with the fun fitness-party” of Zumba.  DVDs with steps are available for purchase online.

Zumba Toning – By adding resistance with Zumba Toning Sticks or light weights, this class puts extra emphasis on toning and sculpting.  Online DVDs that include toning sticks are available for purchase online.

Zuu – A high intensity interval training class using primal moves in a 20 minute workout.  There are over 100 unique moves that target major and minor muscle groups.

Which of these exercise classes have you tried? 

4 Fitness Podcasts for Motivation {Self-Care Saturday}

4 Fitness podcasts to help motivate and educate you on all things fitness and health.

As many of you know, I love to listen to podcasts.  As I focus on exercise this month, I have been listening to different health and fitness podcasts to help educate and motivate myself.  Here are the top four fitness podcasts that I’ve been listening to.  These are all podcasts that are still producing new weekly episodes.  When I try out podcasts, I often listen to the most recent couple of episodes as well as the first couple.

Ascend Lifestyle Performance Podcast

Ascend Lifestyle Performance Podcast – This podcast is hosted by Tanja Shaw. Formerly known as the Fit and Vibrant You Podcast, it features conversations about, “fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, mindset and inspiration so you can think better, eat better and move better.”  There are currently 98 episodes to listen to with a mix of interviews and just Tanja talking on selected topics.  This podcast has recently only been releasing new episodes on the first of the month.

FIT CHICKS Chat

FIT CHICKS CHAT–  This has become my favorite fitness podcast to listen to.  Laura Jackson and Amanda Quinn host this podcast where they, “talk all things fitness, nutrition and wellness for women to help you live your healthiest and fiercest life inside and out.” Some episodes they do interviews, other times it’s just the two of them talking.  It’s like a conversation with friends and not preachy at all.  They have a website where they feature show notes from their podcasts and include resources and links to things that they talk about during the show.

Fitness, Food, and Freedom

Fitness, Food and Freedom – Jordan Stolz hosts this three times a week podcast that focuses on fitness, food and freedom.  The weekly episodes include Motivation Monday, Workout Wednesday and Foodie Friday.  Each episode is only about 20 minutes. There are 146 past episodes that you can catch up on! Check out the podcast’s website for additional resources.

Get-Fit Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up

Get-Fit Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up – The Get-Fit Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up are just like the title states – quick, short episodes (about 20 minutes each).  This is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips franchise.  Brock Armstrong hosts more than 370+ exercise-focused episodes.  Although the podcast sounds scripted (which it is since he also has a written post with the same exact info on his website), he packs a lot of useful info into a short amount of time.  This is not a podcast that I can listen to every week.  Instead, I like to pick and choose topics of interest to me.

What are your favorite fitness podcasts to listen to?

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Building an Exercise Routine {Self-Care Saturday}

(This post contains affiliate links.  Please read our Disclosure Policy for details.)

Welcome to Self-Care Saturday!  As I explained in this post, my goal this year is to focus on self-care.  Each Saturday I will be posting about different self-care topics to hopefully give you ideas to help you focus on yourself, and to hopefully keep me on track as well!  Today’s post is all about building an exercise routine.

January is probably the worst time to focus on exercise.  Everyone makes new year resolutions to lose weight and the gym is packed.  However, it is one of the areas of self-care that I really need to prioritize.  I’ve had a gym membership for almost a year and a half now.  I’ve been regularly using my membership (go me!) but I’ve been super lax about it.  I’ll take a class here or there but have not gotten into a routine or been very serious about going.

First, I know I need to choose exercise that I enjoy.  I prefer taking exercise classes over running in place on a treadmill for 30 minutes.  Even though I can’t dance for the life of me, I love the music in the Zumba classes.  As an Obliger (for those of you who are familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies), I also respond well to an instructor telling me what to do.  She wants me to do 20 squats, I will do 20 squats.

Part of my goal with exercising is to lose weight. Although technically not overweight, I am currently at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been.  My sporadic gym attendance has not helped me get in shape and I know that overall, I am not as healthy as I can and should be.

 I’ve learned that an effective exercise routine includes both cardiovascular exercise and strength training.  While I hate that treadmill, I may have to overcome my adversity to it.  I’ve also read that as a beginner (yes, I’m calling myself a beginner) I need to aim for at least three 30 minute workouts a week, where I’m giving 100%.  So, my goal is to get to the gym at least three times a week.  “Too busy” is a myth and we make time for the things that we find important.  I need to prioritize exercise on my “important list” and truly make it a habit.

One week into January and I’ve made it to the gym twice (check!).  One day I did an elliptical-like machine for 25 minutes (I know, not the recommended 30 minutes!).  The second time I took a boot camp class.  This was the first time that I’ve ever taken this class.  Two days later and I am still sore ALL over.  This was a full-body workout that my body was not used to.  Although it was killer, I feel good, and I want to go back again next week! I honestly think I would have gone to the gym at least one more time but, “bomb cyclone” winter storm.

In addition, this week I started the True: 30 Day Yoga Journey with Adriene, from Yoga with Adriene.  This is a 30 day journey that you can start any time.  So far, I’ve done all four days.

If you don’t belong to a gym, I suggest checking out YouTube videos.  You can workout right in the privacy of your own home.  I personally have not tried enough of these workouts to recommend any, but if you have, please leave recommendations in the comments!

For some additional motivation, check out a fellow blogger friend Tanya’s post, “How an Avowed Exercise Hater Started Regularly Working Out.”

By putting it out here in the blogosphere, and holding myself accountable to you readers, I’m hoping that my Obliger self can stick to this exercise routine!

Here’s to getting in shape in 2018!  What does your exercise routine look like?  

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Year of Self-Care

Happy New Year!  2018 has arrived!  The past two years I picked a word for the year (happy, growth).  I used that word to help me try to live intentionally.  Honestly, I’m not sure how well they worked.  In lieu of choosing a word this year, I am vowing to focus on myself and practice self-care.  Like myself, I know many of you are probably super busy, tired and under-appreciated. I realize that I spend so much timing making sure everyone else in the family has everything they need that I don’t always prioritize myself.  This year, I have big goals for myself and to help me achieve them, I have to make sure that I am physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.  Each month,  I will be sharing a self-care post focused on one specific area.  I will be sharing resources and ideas that have or will hopefully assist me on my quest.  Throughout the year I will be working on all of these areas, but will be doing a monthly post focused on each.  I would love any resources or tips you have in the below areas to help me on my journey!

Exercise

Marriage

Diet

Decluttering/Organizing/Minimalism

Blogging

Reflection

Fun

Relaxation

New

Family

Gratitude

Home

These are loosely in the order I will be posting about them on the blog in future “Self-Care Saturday” posts.  Is anyone else interested in a year of self-care?  I hope you join me on this journey in making 2018 a great year!

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How I Use My Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal

I love to make lists!  Or, more specifically, I love crossing things off lists…..especially my to-do list.  I used to write daily to-do lists on pieces of scrap paper.  Other random pieces of paper noted books or movies I wanted to watch, spices we needed to restock, days the kids were buying lunch, and even a list of hashtags for Instagram photo challenges I was participating in.  Like almost every blogger out there, I was getting ready to purchase one of those fancy designer planners.  That is until my friend Ashley, fellow Supper Club member and food blogger at Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen, introduced me to the Bullet Journal.

So, what is a Bullet Journal, you ask?  It’s more of an organizational system rather than a “journal.”  The below video gives a quick overview of the system.

The beauty of it is that a Bullet Journal can be ANY notebook of your choosing.  I chose a black squared Moleskine notebook that I purchased at Staples for under $20.  As for pens, I have been happy with Pilot G-2 0.7 gel pens.  I bought a variety pack at Walmart and enjoy switching up the colors each day.

The first page of my bullet journal is the index.  Here I list the different lists and page numbers that are in my bullet journal.

Bullet Journal Index

I found the below free 2015 printable calendar pages from Zoot that, with a little trimming, fit perfectly in my bullet journal. I started out with three of these in my bullet journal.  One for the family’s activities, one for my menu plan and one for my blog posts.  However, I’ve actually phased these out since I wasn’t using them consistently.

Bullet Journal Calendar Page

I use my bullet journal mostly for my daily to-do list.  Every day I create a new “to-do” list with the day, date and what we are having for dinner.  I then draw a box and write each task that I need to do and list any events or activities going on that day.  If I end up not completing a task that day, I draw an error in front of the empty box and carry it over to the next day’s to-do list.  I try not to do that too often though, since it’s so satisfying to put a check in each box!

Bullet Journal To-Do List

I added a weekly breakfast and lunch calendar for the kids at the bottom of the pages.  This helps the Weekend Chef who prepares the kids’ “main” part of the lunch before he leaves for work.  Since I like to mix things up and not give the kids the same thing every day, I now have a record of what they’ve eaten for breakfast and lunch.  They also can’t complain that they’ve had pretzels EVERY day with lunch, since I can show them that they indeed have not.

Next to tasks that require payment like registering for cub scouts or sending in money for a class trip, I write the dollar amount that was spent in red and circle it.  This allows me to loosely keep track of additional expenses.

Bullet Journal Kids' Breakfast and Lunch Calendar

I like that I have a record of my to-do lists.  I used to throw out my scraps of paper each night.  Now, I have a daily diary of sorts.  I also list tasks that I need my husband to do.  I leave the bullet journal open on the counter and he checks it daily!   It’s become our daily household organization system.  My son accidentally spilt a cup of water on the counter and my husband was most concerned about saving my bullet journal from getting wet!

After having using my bullet journal now for five months I can say that I am a big fan of it.  Yes, the outside of my journal is not as pretty or as personalized as some of those fancy designer planners.  However, the inside can be as personalized as I want.  If I was motivated enough, I could decorate the pages of my journal with washi tape, stickers and other accessories that I often associate with traditional planners.  Sometimes I’ll tape my fortunes from fortune cookies in the journal or glue or write in inspiring quotes.  It’s literally a blank canvas for your own creativity and organization.

For additional information on the Bullet Journal:
Check out the blog Tiny Ray of Sunshine.   Kim hosts a monthly Instagram Bullet Journal challenge.  Check out October’s challenge here.  Her blog is focused on bullet journaling and productivity.  She features pictures of how different people use their bullet journal.

What type of organization or planner system do you use?