New Year, New Journal

The Bullet Journal

Many of you, I’m sure, will have heard of the bullet journal. It’s a way of organising your life, but old school – analogue; using a notebook instead of Google Calendar. I’ve been doing a version of it for years. I don’t fill my journal with tasks and planning, because I don’t like to have my work life in my journal, so my journal is more about recording. I love being able to look back and see how I felt, what I was doing and how my year unfolded.

1. The Notebook:

I use a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted notebook. I find the dots really help me set the spreads up. However, the pages do bleed through a bit, they’re very thin, so if you want to do a lot of colour and even paint, I wouldn’t recommend this one.

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2. Monthly Spreads:

I have a few ‘spreads’ which I use every month. I use a ‘month at a glance’ which is basically a calendar which I make for myself and populate each month, and I have a ‘line a day’ page where I write one line for each day of the month.

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I love having the month spread out before me, and the process of adding in events and birthdays really helps me not to forget anything important. I also like looking back on these years later to see what I was getting up to that same month but 3 years ago.

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My line a day is my own mashed up version of what other bullet journalers call a mood tracker and a gratuity log. A gratuity log is where you write a line a day on something you’re grateful for, while a mood tracker is a means of plotting your mood and emotions over a month – it useful for working out what might be triggering low moods. However, I don’t want to stick to either of those two things as a focus so I simply write one line about anything that happened that day, but this will often be a statement about my mood, or something I’m grateful for.

3 Weekly Spreads:

After you’ve created your monthly overviews of anything you want to track and log that month, the weekly spreads then follow. These can be highly functional – an overview of tasks, appointments and to do lists, or can be more more about journaling. I tend to do a mix. I have a whole separate notebook for work bullet journaling, and that’s where my most functional spreads live.

I decorate my spreads with stickers, washi tape, magazine cut outs and some of my own photos which I get printed as ready made stickers from my redbubble account.

4 Get Creative:

This step is very much optional, but I personally try to use my journal as an opportunity to be creative. So, sometimes, I add paintings and spend more time on the aesthetic of it. But other people keep their bullet journals very functional and don’t worry about this step.

5 Enjoy!

It’s very easy to get bogged down with trying to make your journal ‘perfect’ but remember that it’s just for you, and the process should be calming, satisfying and enjoyable.

 

To help with some ideas, click here to watch my 2020 set up!

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5 Things to do this Autumn

Wow it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I’ve had a busy term at work. But now Autumn is in full swing, and I’ve been absolutely loving the change in the season. I normally hate the cold and the dark, but I’ve been trying to embrace each season for it’s own beauty, so here are some things I’ve been doing to welcome in Autumn.

 

1. Drinking hot Apple and Cinnamon Tea. No drink smells as Autumnal as apple and cinnamon.

Apple and Cinnamon Tea

2. Harvesting. Whether it’s walking along an English hedgerow and harvesting the blackberries, or digging up veg from the garden or allotment, nothing is more heartening than cooking with something fresh out of the earth. Somehow it tastes so much better.

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3. Eating porridge – I’ve never been that much of a fan of porridge, I find it rather claggy. But I recently tried putting blackberries into it to make ‘purple porridge’ and ohmygoodness, it’s so good. Add pumpkin seeds, blueberries, chia seeds and maple syrup for extra sweetness, goodness and crunch.

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4. Welcoming in the darker evenings by stringing up fairy lights, and lighting candles. Make a little Autumnal display and change up some of the cushions for a cosier Autumnal feel. Try adding warmer tones, and cosier textures, it’s amazing how a change as small as cushions and throws can change the feel of a room.

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5. Reading. I’m not much of a reader, and in Summer I always feel like I ought to be outside, not reading. But in Autumn and Winter, it’s often too cold or wet to be out, the perfect time to re-kindle you’re love of books.

What traditions/rituals/routines do you have for welcoming Autumn?

How to plan a Hen Do in Bath

How To Plan The Perfect Hen Weekend In Bath

Recently, I helped plan a hen weekend for my best friend whose getting married next weekend. I’m Maid of Honour, but I had ALOT of help from the two amazing bridesmaids. If you are looking at planning a hen weekend, my first piece of advice would be to enlist help.

We decided on Bath as a perfect hen location for our bride as our remit was: ‘country walks, but somewhere we can also get dressed up and have a night out’. Bath did not disappoint. So let me break down the steps we took to create the perfect Hen weekend. I’ve added links in each section to locations and purchases etc.

Number of hens: 13
Cost per hen: approx £300. Our bookings and accommodation were £170 upfront, and then it depended on what each girl ordered and how much they spent on drinks etc. So call it £300 but with savvy meal selections and light drinking it would be less.

Accommodation:

We booked two of the properties on New Leaf Farm. It’s about a 6 minute drive from Bath and, since Bath has Uber, this was very straight forward. The accommodation was beautiful – we booked one property that slept 10 and one which slept 4. Very high spec, and perfect for hosting large groups. When we weren’t out we did all our own cooking, and the kitchen was stocked with everything we could need.

 

Afternoon Tea:

We began the weekend with an afternoon tea. Many had travelled far and we wanted to welcome them with food and drink. We put on a spread of sandwiches and cakes which catered to vegans and veggies alike. (Let me know in the comments if you’d like a post about what we served). We also created a ‘pimp my prosecco bar’ with cordials and fruits. Finally we borrowed some vintage china and brought some pretty napkins. It made for a beautiful spread which went down really well with hungry weary travellers.

 

Goody Bags:

Also on display upon arrival were the goody bags we created. These were really important for creating a sense of belonging amongst people who’d not all met each other before.

The bags contained:
A badge
A face mask
Team bride temporary tattoo
A detox tea (for the hangover the following morning)
A paper straw
A personalised T-shirt.

I used Team Shirts to create each personalised T-shirt. They had the name on the front – very handy when trying to get to know 13 people, and a slogan on the back from the Bride to Be’s favourite TV show Rupaul’s Drag Race. Both the goody bags and badges came from Not on the High Street – they do a wonderful range of Hen Party Goodies.

 

Decoration:

Almost all our decorations came from Tigerlilly. We got cheap, tissue thin bunting, but it was so effective and made the house look really jolly.

 

Saturday Night Out:

For our night out, we booked Ubers to take us to Great Pulteney Street where we’d booked a private dining room at No15 Great Pulteney. This was such a great experience. The room was beautiful and the food and service really good.

 

We then had a room at the Opium Bar. It was hard to make this reservation since they don’t reserve past 9pm. Thankfully they phoned me and agreed to keep it a little longer – a few of us dashed off to hold the room while the others finished coffee. It was well worth it. The room at the back for private groups had low down coffee tables and floor cushions to sit on, the room was plastered in paintings on the walls and ceilings and had incense burning in the corner. Very Bohemian and great for adding the wow factor.

Use their tour feature to have a look around this unique bar:

http://www.opiumbars.com/tour/

Sunday:

After a lie in, and a home made brunch, we walked along the canal path into Bath. This was a lovely walk. We didn’t then stay in bath, but got the boat straight back to Bathhampton, where we were staying, as we had a Sunday Lunch booking, but this could easily be adapted to include some shopping and leisure time in Bath.

 

The boat back to Bathhampton moors at the pub, Bathampton Mill where we’d booked a Sunday Lunch for 3pm. The food here was fantastic, I’d highly highly recommend it. The boat was £5 one way or £10 for a round ticket.

 

On the Monday we then all packed up and got Ubers back into Bath, some left to get the train home, while others stuck around for a spot of shopping. All in all it was a fantastic weekend.

I hope you find some of these ideas useful, even if not for a Hen, but just for a visit to Bath.