Battle of the Books: The Bullet Journal Method vs. Dot Journaling

Recently, I got into bullet journaling. In quarantine and remote learning, I quickly learned that my beloved Lilly Pultizer Agenda just wasn’t what I needed. I need a place where I could keep all of my tasks and random thoughts. Basically, a place to brain dump.

I had dabbled bullet journalling earlier. In October 2018, I bought a superrr dot grid journal from Walmart on a whim. I *hated* how my spreads looked. I was so frustrated that they didn’t look like the picture prefect spreads I saw on tumblr and pinterest. Long story short, I quit.

I’ve been using my bullet journal (bujo) off and on since then, mostly as a collection of to-do lists. Little did I know that that’s exactly how you’re “supposed” to use a bullet journal. Anyway, since quarantine, I re-entered the world of bullet journaling, and in true Marie fashion, I turned to books to help guide me.

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The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

Rating:☆☆

Ryder Carroll is the creator of the bullet journal method. He started this whole trend. He is to bullet journaling what Kim Kardashian is to naked bathroom selfies. Essentially, he need a framework to organize his life that was simple, effective, and ultimately analog. Working in tech, he needed a break from screens (as many of us do) and choose to pick the mode of pen and paper.

That’s all great, but you know what’s not great? This book. Urgh! This book was great, until I was like page 250 with what felt like no end in sight. Allow me to number my thoughts so this some incomprehensible rant.

Number One

This book is so dang self congratulatory. He spends a solid fifth of this book raving about how amazing the bullet journal system is. He also goes on these pseudo-intellectuctual tangents about matters about philosophy for example. That particular tangent felt completely out of pocket because isn’t this a book about bullet journaling?

Number Two

For a book about bullet journaling, this books talks surprising little about bullet journalling. The second fifth of the book is consumed by Ryder’s absolutely random life stories. If I wanted a memoir, I would’ve bought one. The third fifth of the book is stories of people who had wonderful, life-changing experiences with their bullet journal. Like, great, bullet journals are amazing – we have established that. Now, will you finally tell me how to make and use one???

Number Three

This isn’t necessarily a complaint, but the advice in this book is just fine. It’s really not anything special. It’s perfectly satisfactory. If I was rating this book solely on the advice given in book, I’d give it a solid 3 stars.

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Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Rating:☆☆☆☆

I liked this book! I really enjoyed it. Compared to Carroll’s book, this book is fun, interesting, and concise: three adjectives you could not use to describe Carroll’s book. I enjoyed this book for three main reasons:

Number One

Rachel Wilkerson Miller is seriously funny. There were moments while was reading this book where I had real laughs out loud. In this except, Rachel talks about a list she started called “Wins” in which she writes things that went well.

“As you may recall, 2016 was a garbage year (although calling it that honestly feels a bit unfair to garbage), so I did except to find [many wins]. But I ended up filling four pages with all the good things that happened to me in 2016″ (Wilkerson Miller 152).

Number Two

This was a quick read that taught me everything I needed to know. I feel that productivity books, in particular, ought to be as concise as possible. Why delay the positive gains from reading said productivity book because it takes you a month to get through it?

Number Three

Practical Examples. For every major idea introduced in the book, there are also accompanying pictures to show you how to do it. I wouldn’t consider myself a visual learner, but seeing examples was incredibly helpful in deciding how I wanted to organize my bujo. Additionally, Rachel also shows multiple ways of accomplishing the same spread (ex. 5 different ways to do a habit tracker).

Final Thoughts

Obviously Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller wins! I just really enjoyed this book. It’s 172 pages compared to Carroll’s 320 pages. This is pretty trivial considering the whole point of a bullet journal, but Wilkerson Miller’s graphics are just so much more visually appealing.

Originally, I was skeptical of Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide. I thought “If I’m gonna try bullet journaling, I should go straight to the horse’s mouth”. I was wrong. Ryder Carrol’s book is truly a waste of money. That should be your big takeaway from this post. If you want to learn bullet journaling for Ryder, himself, check out his youtube channel. I do think his youtube videos are helpful. He comes across far more approachable and humble on his youtube videos than he does in the book.

The Verdict: If you’re going to buy a book on bullet journaling, byDot Journaling: A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller. But you really don’t need a book – Ryder’s youtube videos will be more than enough for a beginner. However, Rachel’s book is a delightful read and has new and interesting ideas and spreads.

Links to buy (Amazon):

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Happy journaling!

Sincerely,

Marie

Book Review: Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

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Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead by Cecile Richards

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Some Background

I had never heard of Cecile Richards until April 28, 2020. I was watching a virtual livestreamed interview of Stacey Abrams, the former gubernatorial candidate for governor in Georgia. Her ultra-corrupt Republican opponent, Brain Kemp, stole the election by voter suppression. It was shameful! This fact was kindly pointed out by Cecile Richards during the interview.

As soon as Richards called this out, I was like “Who is this older Southern white lady who is totally hip to the goings-ons?!?” Turns out it was Cecile Richards, daughter of Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas (my home state!). I was sold on this lady. When I saw she had written a memoir, I checked it out as an audiobook from my local library using the Libby App. (Bonus the book is narrated by Cecile, herself!) 

It should also be noted that my mom was a huge fan of Ann Richards. As a young girl growing up in Texas, she looked up to Ann Richards. I remember watching a PBS documentary with my mom about Ann Richards and being just as enamored by this powerful woman as my mom was!

My Thoughts

I loved this book! It was so inspiring and down right interesting! It was a riveting ride (mostly) from start to finish! At times it felt a bit boring, repetitive, and cliché, but that’s typical of memoirs. Still, I didn’t find that it really impacted my enjoyment of the book too much. I highly recommend. Also there is a young readers edition for all the future reproductive health activists in your life! Linked here. There were some real gems in this book:

“If you’re not scaring yourself, you’re probably not doing enough.”

“It shouldn’t be up to women to dismantle the patriarchy, but we can’t sit around and hope someone else does it either. Feminist is not a passive label; it means speaking out and standing up for women everywhere, and also for yourself. One woman calling out an injustice is powerful enough; when we raise our voices together, we can shake the status quo to its foundation.”

“There is a takeaway here for aspiring hell-raisers: We get only what we’re willing to fight for—nothing more and, I hope, nothing less.”

“This is your life. It is the only one you get, so no excuses and no do-overs. If you make a mistake or fail at something, you learn from it, you get over it, and you move on. Your job is to be the very best person you can be, and to never settle for anything less.”

Firstly, as a Texan, I was so proud to listen to the story of a great Texan!

I just really enjoyed hearing some old stories from a different perspective. For example, the story of Wendy Davis’s filibuster to stop a bill restricting women’s right to abortion in Texas. I remember Wendy Davis from when I was a kid; my grandfather always talked about how he believed she should be governor “instead of that clown Rick Perry”. My sentiments, exactly. I also watched pieces of her filibuster in the Netflix documentary, Reversing Roe. Still, I was moved to tears, listening to Richards describe the experience having been there!

This book is also a great resource for learning more about the struggle for safe and legal abortion access in the US. This is so so incredibly important. I learned a lot about what other women in different states have to endure to access adequate reproductive healthcare. It made me want to go punch Mitch McConnell in the face, but then again, it really doesn’t take much for me to feel that way…

Towards the end of the book, Richards begins recounting the final years of her time as president of Planed Parenthood. Of course, much of this time was consumed by campaigning for Hilary Clinton. This whole part of the book, I held back tears. I was completely swept away by the hope I had felt at the time. I was also reminded of how spectacularly my dreams came crashing down. This was one of the most heartfelt, visceral, and gut-wrenching parts of the book, but it totally made me want to get outside and go canvass and door knock for my candidates! So, I emailed a campaign I had worked with in the fall, and I’ll be working with them this summer!

If nothing else, this book is a call to action – and a damn good one at that!

Sincerely,

Marie

P.S.: Be strong and kick some serious ass!

Currently Coveting No. 1

This the beginning of a series dedicated to what I’d rather be wearing and/or pieces I’d love to own.

Since quarantine, I have been trying to be very intentional about my spending habits. I realized I was spending wayyy too much money by the sheer number of amazon boxes arriving at my front door. I am resolving to spend less money on frivolous, unnecessary items. This doesn’t mean I’m not buying stuff; I very much am. For example, last month I bought a pair of hiking boots. This was a necessary purchase because I didn’t previously have a pair and the ticks this year are really bad! (I saw one jump out of the grass on on to my dog! EEEEKKKK!!! I scraped it off with a stick, but Jesus was it terrifying!) Anyways, long story short, this is a series where I can statisfy my need to try out new things, outfits etc without actually buying anything. Win-Win!

shirt | belt | hot pink bracelet | beige bracelet| shorts | sandals | nail polish

Many of these items are recommendations from other bloggers.

  • Shirt – This shirt was recommended by Amanda John from Strawberry Chic. I love her youtube channel, linked here. She shares great recommendations for luxury looks and affordable prices! I highly recommend her blog and youtube channel.
  • Belt – I think this belt would be such a cute accessory to any outfit. With a little French tuck here and a little French tuck there, this belt is just a darling addition to any outfit. You could pair it with jean shorts, a flowing midi summer dress, or a short and fun summer romper. The sky is the limit! Also, I just love anything scalloped (including my potatoes)!
  • Bracelets – These bracelets were recommended my Kate Bowman from Lonestar Southern. I have to say, I think she’s my favorite blogger. I just love her posts, and personality. 10/10 would recommend. Quick Note: these bracelets are expensive at over $60 a piece. I wouldn’t buy them for myself, but I think they’re so cute!
  • Shorts – Confession Time: I was straight up LUSTING for these shorts! I think they’re so cute. I want them so so so sooooo badly. The catch? They’re $128! I don’t even pay that much for an entire full-leg-covering pair of jeans. I’m saving up for these bad boys! Also these were recommend by Amanda John who swears by them. She says they are her go to. Recently, Krista from Covering the Bases reviewed these shorts and says she loves them more and more each day!
  • Sandals – These sandals were recommended both by Amanda John and Katy Roach from Living My Best Style. Katy is another great resource if you’re looking for affordable stylish clothing options.
  • Nail Polish – This is my all time favorite nail polish color. I love it with all my little baby heart. It’s just so good! I wear it in the winter, fall, spring, and summer.

Sincerely,

Marie

 

How I am Studying for the AP Chemistry Exam

Photo from Unsplash.

This year has been crazy. Amidst all of the craziness that happened this spring, I totally blew off studying for my APs. This year I took two APs: AP United States History (APUSH) and AP Chemistry (AP Chem).

APUSH has been one of my favorite classes this year, so I didn’t really study for the AP as I had done well on all of my assignments (DBQs, SAQ, MC, tests etc.).

Chem on the other hand is a whole other beast. I love chemistry. I really hope. I hope to minor in chemistry in college, but boy has this class kicked my hiney this year. It’s been rough. I love my teacher, but it often feels like I don’t know what I don’t know. This is the scariest position to be in as a student because it’s unclear what you should do when you don’t know where your weaknesses are.

And ladies and gentlemen (+ non binary gentle-folk) , that is why I have put off studying for the Chemistry AP until 6 days before the make up exam. (I decided to take the make up exam because I was seriously unprepared for the May date)

Anyway, now I have no other choice, but to prepare for this exam. Also, studying chemistry is a very convenient excuse to not focus on my very, very sad math predicament right now.

Y’all. I promise I really am a good student, but this quarantine is doing stuff to me.

The Plan, as promised

I made this plan based off of the idea of active recall. I’ve been exposed to this idea from many different youtubers. If you want to learn more, I highly suggest you check out Janice Studies, UnJaded Jade, and Ali Abdaal.

Step 1

Make a plan. I created this google sheet so outline my goals and tasks for the next week until my exam.

My plan made using google sheets. I’m using the “Karla” font – my current fave!

As you can see, I have listed all of the units being covered on the exam this year.

Step 2

On AP Classroom, my teacher has opened all of the FRQ practice problems for us to do, so that’s my first step of studying. By taking the FQRs I can check my knowledge and see where the gaps are. Although I hate being and/or feeling unprepared, the act of grasping for the information, even if you can’t find it or it’s very time consuming/hard is valuable to building up the pathways in your brain to make the retrieval of that information in the future easier. Geez, what a sentence!

Step 3

I check my answers for the FRQs. When I check my answers, I write down the correct answer, the explanation, and where I went wrong/why. This process helps you identify where you went wrong, and helps you to have better reference materials in the future. I’ve actually gone back and looked at old practice problems and seeing where I went wrong helped me avoid that mistake or recognize it when I made the same mistake again.

Step 4

If I am understand the content, I will move on to take the Schoology quiz my teacher posted to make sure my understanding is solid. For those of you who don’t know, Schoology is an online school management system similar to blackboard, delta math, classroom dojo, and google classroom. In Schoology, your teachers post materials such as syllabi, study guides, test scores, quizzes, and homework. Schoology is the backbone of my school.

Step 5

If my understanding is incomplete then I will watch the AP Live Videos on youtube, linked here. These videos are a fantastic resource, and I highly recommend them, but they are super time consuming to watch. However, I have not found another source of such high quality videos that teach to the depth of APs. I also like Bozeman Science videos, but they’re a bit hit-or-miss with AP Chem, linked here.

Step 5

I label my mastery on the google sheet. Green is good, I definitely understand it. Yellow is a bit unsure, but I kinda go it. Red is Oh my Jesus, send help!

Overall, this is my study plan, we’ll see how well it works. I’ll update y’all in an upcoming blog post post June 2!

Having a plan is so important. It just makes everything feel more manageable. It’s like you’re no longer shooting into the dark. With a plan, you can see the target. It may be a tough shot, but you can see the target. That’s all you need.

Wish me luck!

Sincerely,

Marie

Dealing with Disappointment

Yesterday, I competed in an online Congressional Debate tournament. It was States. I was so amped up and excited. I thought I had a real chance at placing in the top three. I didn’t. I got sixth.

I was incredibly disappointed, sad, frustrated, and angry. I spent the rest of the day “licking my wounds” and processing my own disappointment.

First, I yelled and screamed. That lasted like a minute because I was pretty beat from a long day of competition.

Second, I sat in bed, wallowing. My mind ran in circles beginning and ending with “What could I have done better?”, “What’s wrong with me?”, and “Why did the judges like x competitors’ speeches over mine?”

Third, I cried. I had a nice good cry. I refuse to cry in front of other people, but when I’m alone and need a release crying is a great option.

Fourth, I journaled. It was a short entry about half a page in my A5 size notebook.

Fifth, I took a nap. I genuinely think there isn’t a single problem that can’t be made better by taking a nap. I loveeeee sleeping. I think I might have been made to sleep. Sleeping is key 🔑!

Sixth, I ate my favorite snack: strawberries and Nutella. There’s nothing like your favorite snack to cheer you up when you’re feeling low. Be careful not to overeat as that might make you feel even worse. Remember: there’s NO shame in going back for seconds, thirds, fourths or even fifths!

Seven, I declared to myself and my family that I was “over it”. This declaration was helpful because I decided to be done with wallowing and self-pity (which is fine in moderation). At some point, you just have to move on, so I moved on.

Writing this post now feels cathartic and renewing. I’m letting go my disappointment and resolving to spend my time on things that will make me feel good!

Disappointment is shitty, but you’re not! You will get through this!

Sincerely,

Marie

It’s OK if you’re struggling.

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It’s okay if you’re struggling. I am too.

This is a hard time. It’s hard to be productive and feel good all the time, most of the time, or even some of the time.

I struggle to focus every day. I have a hard time even starting my work, much less actually doing it. And that’s okay. We have to be kind to ourselves. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to get through this time.

Here are so ways I’m practicing being kind to myself

  1. Not beating myself up when I have an unproductive, depressed day.
  2. Eating healthy foods – so I can avoid the groggy and gross feeling I have when I eat too much junk food. Some of my current favorites are celery with peanut butter, carrots with raspberries, and orange slices.
  3. Journaling – I already have a whole post on this linked here, but this saves me every day. Having a place to air your feelings unfiltered is essential.
  4. Going on walks – Sometimes I have to force myself out of the house, but when I get outside, I feel so much better.
  5. Reading – Right now I’m reading The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. So far, I like it a lot.
  6. Crocheting – the simple repetition of crocheting helps me to quiet my mind. I also like to listen to an audiobook while crocheting. Right now I’m listening to James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney (former Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife).
  7. Writing letters – I have started pen-palling to my reverend and friend. I absolutely love it!
  8. Meditation – I can’t say enough good things about the Headspace app! It’s a gamechanger!
  9. Maintaining personal hygiene – No one wants to admit that their hygiene has fallen off a bit since social distancing began. I definitely don’t! However, taking 15 minutes to wash your face, brush your teeth, do your hair, and slap on some mascara and lip balm will make you feel soooo much better!
  10. Acceptance – accept the uncertainty and just focus on what you can do to make yourself feel better.

These are hard times. I won’t lie to you and say I’m doing well. I’m not. I’m nearly three weeks behind in my history and chemistry classes. My motivation is nonexistent, and frankly, I’m depressed. I just have to accept what is and work on making tomorrow better.

PRACTICING SELF-CARE IS THE FIRST STEP TO GETTING BETTER.

Sincerely,

Marie

The Great Outdoors + Best Hiking Equipment on Amazon

Trail to Sengekontacket Pond

I never thought of myself as particularly outdoorsy, but social distancing has changed that. I have always enjoyed spending time outside whether that was hiking, spending time in a beachside cabana, or kayaking on a lake, but I seriously HATE bugs! I would attempt to do my homework outside, but as soon as an ant crawled on my leg, it was time to pack up and go inside.

Intellectually, I knew going outside and getting those exercise endorphins were critical to my mental health. Still, I opted for TV, YouTube, and Instagram instead of a walk.

Since I’ve been stuck at home, I’ve taken more time to explore my soundings, walking down streets I’ve never been on and seeing neighbors I hadn’t seen in years.

Being outside gives yourself time to decompress. Think about all the content and information you take in every day. For me that’s YouTube videos, Instagram posts, episodes of 30Rock, music by my favorite bands, text messages, emails, news articles, homework, novels, textbook reading, and so much more. Spending some quiet time even if it’s only 10 mins can help reduce your mental clutter and leave you feeling less groggy.

Since I have been spending a lot more time outdoors and finally have the time to go hiking consistently. I decided to pick up some new gear. Here’s why I’m planning to buy and/or bought.

Number One: SPF jacket

This jacket both protects your skin from the sun and provides a lightweight layer for those cool moments in the shade. Also, it’s light even to tie around your waist or stuff into your backpack without weighing you down.

Number Two: Hiking socks

You cannot underestimate the importance of a good pair of socks. Enough said.

Number Three: Flat belt

Belts are great! I’m slim hipped, so I wear belts daily. This is a great belt in general, but is even better when hiking because it isn’t bulky and is light weight.

Number Four: Hiking boots

These came highly ranked on the Strategist, my go to website anytime I need to buy something online.

Number Five: Mosquito Repellent Balm

This is a wonder product! I was hiking in July in Camden, ME when I began to sweat off my bug spray. I had every imaginable insect buzzing around my ear. I felt like Zeus! (haha) This stuff is amazing. I lather it on to my neck and ears before hiking. Because it’s a balm it doesn’t just slide off with a little sweat. I highly recommend. Pro tip: Make sure you wash your face as soon as you get home from your hike because it will clog your pores.

Trails at Point Lookout in Camden, ME

Number Six: Hiking pants

Convertible pants are kinda dorky. I get it. But they are so so so functional! I was planting trees in Puerto Rico in the Summer of 2017 and being able to unzip my pants and wear shorts for when I got over heated was invaluable. Functionality over everything!

Planting Trees in Humacao, Puerto Rico

Number Seven: SPF shirt

Protect yo’ self! No, but seriously. Skincare is healthcare. The skin is the largest organ of your body. Take care of it.

 

Happy trails!

 

Sincerely,

Marie

Biology Study with Me + Tips

My Biology Tips and tricks blog post pic 4-15-20

Hi y’all!

Today, I will be sharing a time-lapse of me answering some questions to study for my upcoming biology quiz and some of my favorite tips for studying biology. Link to my study with me. 

Right now, I’m taking Honors biology as a junior. Honors Junior biology at my school goes into the same depth as AP Biology, but covers fewer topics and doesn’t really have the label emphasis that AP Bio has.

Bio has been my hardest class this year, so I’ve really had to sharpen my study skills. Here are my tips!

Read the textbook before class.

This is huge. I cannot emphasize this enough. Biology isn’t really that hard conceptually, but there are so. many. freaking. details. To keep ahead of the curve, preview the material (if you can, take notes) the night before, so you’re not totally blindsided in class the next day.

Study early and often

Units such as biochemistry, cellular respiration, and digestion have a lot of moving parts. As soon as you complete learning a concept, begin to study it even if the unit (or the test) isn’t near. This is when you should start making your flashcards. I didn’t listen to my biology teacher when she told me to study the Lewis diagrams of the functional groups every day, I got a D+ on that test. Don’t make the same mistake I did. If your teacher gives you a practice test, do it! Make sure you study before taking the review test though, so it will be a truer description of what you actually know. Do it a day or two before the test, and review your mistakes and correct them.

Go to office hours

This goes without saying, but don’t wait to the last minute to clarify a concept you don’t understand. If your teacher says something you don’t understand in class, jot it down, and go to office hours at the earliest possible time and ask about it. Teachers often explain concepts so that the largest portion of the class can understand, but they know some students won’t get it and will likely be able to explain it another way. But you’ll never know unless you try.

Online resources

I don’t think I can say enough good things about Bozeman Science! Honestly, some of the best content for AP Science classes. 10/10 would recommend. I have a system when it comes to watching online videos in biology. I watch the Amoeba Sisters first because their videos provide easy-to-follow but basic explanations of concepts. Then I watch the Khan Academy videos to get a bit more detail. Lastly, once I kind of understand what’s happening, then I watch the Bozeman Science videos to cement the knowledge in finer details.

Make comprehensive study guides

Biology is a memorization intensive class. You can’t get around studying, so you might as well get good at it. I recommend using the provided study materials such as a list of topics that will be on the test and working from there. Make study guides by using your lecture and textbook notes together to explain the topics and concepts on the test.

Good luck with biology. It’s my least favorite science, but I hope with these tips it won’t be as miserable for you as it is for me. Haha.

Buena suerte,

Marie

My Journaling Tips & Tricks

I love to journal. I’ve kept a journal off and on, mostly off, since I was about eight. For the past 5 years, I have been writing entries into my journal/dairy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it about once a month at least for multiple times a day at most. I really enjoy just writing down my thoughts. I typically journal when:

  1. I’m stressed and need a release.
  2. I’m sad and don’t want to talk to someone else.
  3. My therapist tells me to.
  4. I have very intense feelings (either positive or negative).
  5. Something awesome happens, and I just have to record it.

For journaling some of my favorite supplies are:

Journaling has been such a great way for me to get in touch with my feelings in a safe, low stakes environment. Here are my tips to be successful in journaling:

Number 1: Keep It Low Stakes

It’s absolutely OK if you don’t journal every day. I’ve gone months without a single entry – that’s okay. It’s ok if you misspell a word. Lastly, it’s ok not to journal about every single thing. One of my friends records every single thing she does every day in her journal. That could never be me. It’s also OK is you’re the person who wants to record every moment in your journal, but you don’t have to.

Number 2: Find a Style that Suits You

It doesn’t have to be perfect, pretty, or aesthetic. It just needs to be functional and work for you. Until this week, I only really ever journaled in one way; just blurting out my thoughts on a page. I don’t really even have paragraphs – just my sentences on a page. Occasionally, I write in my journal as if I’m writing to my future self, or to someone who may be reading it. One of my favorite entries are my “State of the Union” entries. In these there are two columns: In and Out. On the “In” side are things that I’m enjoying: this could be anything (people, movies, pens, activities) and on the “Out” side are things I’m over or are upsetting me. Last, is a style I’ve just recently started. One night, I was lying sleepless in bed around 12am, and I decided to journal to get all my thoughts out in hopes out actually getting some rest. But I just had too many thoughts, so I just started a numbered list of everything that was running through my head. I keep writing until I get all my thoughts out or get tired, normally the latter.

Number 3: Set a Time to Journal

Generally, I journal before I go to sleep. I do almost all of my journaling in bed, so I keep my journal on my nightstand. Setting a dedicated time to journal helps to cement it into a part of your routine.

I hope these tips can help you in writing and maintain a journal!

Sincerely,

Marie

Pieces I’m Loving: 2.10.18

This winter has totally been all over the place! It does from 45 degrees to 10 degrees in one week! It’s been crazy. Here in Boston, we’ve been getting snow only for it to melt the next week and battling wicked ice. Just yesterday, I fell outside and cut my hand on the ice. Winter is normally one of my favorite seasons, but this year, I can’t help but to wonder when it’s going to be over. Groundhog Day was last week, and Punxsutawney Phil said six more week. I sure hope it not six more weeks like the freezing New Years’ temperatures or the temperature wild ride Boston has been on.

Nonetheless, there have been some pieces that have stood by me this crazy winter.

  • Patagonia Women Los Gatos Fleece Vest: This Christmas present is the gift that just keeps giving. It’s the perfect winter accessory: versatile and warm. I like to pair this vest with sweaters and sweatshirts (when I’m feeling lazy). Also, this vest is super fuzzy which makes this all the better!
  • Sperry Saltwater Duck Boot: This is an amazing boot, and it’s fleece lined! Although, I did have trouble with the first one. I got the very first, orginally duck boot about two years ago, but I didn’t wear it often. Then for some reason, the zipper would randomly start unzipping for no reason while I was wearing the boot, so I went to the store to see if they would replace. Luckily, the store clerk was very gracious and offered me a new pair of the boots! This new pair has been amazing–I wear them all the time and they’re great. One complaint: the laces are weird and a bit of a pain, but besides that no complaints!
  • Adults’ L.L.Bean Boot Socks: These socks are super warm! I love to wear them with my duck boots. These socks are just amazing! Everyone in my family has some. My only complaint is sometimes, these socks are just too warm. And no one wants weird sweaty feet–ew!
  • Women Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka: I got this jacket two years ago, and I still love it! This isn’t the exact jacket I have, but it looks pretty similar. This new jacket has a little pouch that you can roll the jacket into when you’re finished using it. That’s a really nice feature: my older version doesn’t have it. This is a fantastic coat for 20-40 degree weather. However, on the colder days you really want more length like this coat from L.L. Bean
  • Barbour Flyweight Cavalry Quilted Jacket: I got a jacket similar to this. I got it from T.J. Maxx or something, so the exact one I have isn’t being sold anymore which totally sucks because it’s an amazing jacket. Something to note: since Barbour is a British clothing company, they use European sizes which on average (or at least for me) are about two sizes above your regular size. Additionally, you might want to have extra space for sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. , so this is probably something you should try on before you buy.
  • Built-In Sculpt Rockstar Jeans for Women: I am 85% sure this is the same pair of jeans I own. This are good jeans, but not my favorite pair. I like these because they’re nice and reliable–they’d make a good boyfriend. 
  • Patagonia Women’s Re-Tool Snap-T® Fleece Pullover: Another item the company doesn’t sell anymore. My jacket is red with navy detailing. I love this fleece! It is super warm and easy to wear–it goes with everything. I love wearing this fleece with my North Face windbreaker. My only complaint is that the fleece is knit together, so that is has these really tiny holes like the ones in knit sweaters. This feature is nice if you want to cool down, but it terrible when it’s windy out which is why I layer this fleece with a windbreaker or a coat often.
  • Sorel Women’s Joan of Arctic™ Boot: This boot is so warm! I love them! They’re great for snow and ice and generally those really cold days. All in all, these are just fantastic boots.

These clothing items are all been made really well. I am so fortunate to have them. I hope the can help you this crazy winter as they’ve helped me.

Love,

Marie