Bullet journal: The supplies I use

Researching bullet journaling can be pretty overwhelming, some people use a LOT of supplies and it’s easy to be sucked in and assume you need all of it too. Stamps, washi tape, page flags, dozens of multiple kinds of pens in every color (ballpoint, felt tip, gel, erasable, etc), highlighters, stickers, multiple notebooks… The possibilities! Your planner will be color coded and you’ll have mood stickers for each day and you’ll track how much water you drink and how many steps you take and you’ll fill all the white space with tiny drawings and notes about your day and you’ll be the most organized ever because you’ll write everything down.

Except you probably won’t write everything down because you got too caught up in accessories and you spend your time decorating your planner instead of actually keeping track of plans. You’ll burn yourself out and all those supplies will be shoved into a drawer, eventually forgotten.

Just grab a notebook and writing implement, worry about decorating later. If you stick with it, you’ll experiment as you go and eventually decide what you want out of a planner. Maybe you’ll realize you really do want pages full of stickers and doodles, maybe you’ll realize you’re fine with a plain black pen and enjoy the negative space.

I’ve made a list of the supplies I currently use. I also use a date stamp, I forgot to add that. This list is minimalistic enough that I feel it’s a good recommendation to someone who wants to start bullet journaling.


This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided.

Notebook: Peter Pauper Press Essentials graph notebook
Pens: BIC Atlantis Exact (Fine point), Sharpie Pen (Assorted Colors), Staedtler Triplus Fineliners
Tabs: small repositionable Post-it tabs
Misc: Westcott 6-inch Stainless Steel Ruler, Tombow Correction Tape, Mini Paper Clips by Tim Holtz Idea-ology

Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 2 – house hunting)

Things are happening.

A photo posted by Heatherface (@hthrfc) on

(If you missed it, click here to read part 1.)

It’s early-mid February 2015. A realtor comes to the door and asks my mom if we’re considering selling the house, because he has a buyer interested. She thinks to herself “What the hell, why not” and takes his card. We discuss it as a family and have the same reaction: What the hell, why not. We get the ball rolling, and everything happens so fast we’re lucky we didn’t leave anything important behind. We did, unfortunately, leave a lot behind because we just ran out of time and didn’t think to double-check drawers etc before leaving, but as I said, luckily none of it was important. Mom left her kitchen knives, I left my apron, as an example. Annoying to have lost, but nothing irreplaceable.

I thought we’d have a year or so to settle everything, I started making Pinterest boards to help me plan. I was going to make a binder full of checklists and important information. I never got around to printing even a single checklist, but did still get some great tips. Instead of a year, it was almost immediate. We officially sold our house February 20th, which was the same day I started house hunting.

I’d never moved before, I’d never even house hunted for fun, this was all brand new to me. I had to learn as I went. I do not envy those who had to look for a new home before the internet made it so easy, I almost lost my mind as it was. My parents had enough to deal with, so house hunting was my job. We decided on a general area of the country to move to, not wanting to go too far south (intense heat) or too far east (intense cold) and agreeing we wanted more land but not too much. They told me their price range, and I took care of the rest. Using multiple realty sites, I looked at between 700-800 houses all throughout Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota. I favored Zillow.com, it was the easiest site to navigate in my opinion, and I liked all the options it gave me to narrow the search. I could specify my price range, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, and lot size. That’s one reason why I ended up looking at so many, I hadn’t specified lot size at first and found a lot of potentials that ended up being on a small chunk of land barely bigger than our L.A home.


I was hoping to find something in Montana or Wyoming. I’d seen pictures online of the landscapes and just fell in love. My parents didn’t really have a preference for location, but they did tell me what they wanted in a new home. Dad wanted an enclosed garage & maybe a workshed, and no fixer-upper homes. Mom wanted a large-ish kitchen with an island and either a deck or a large porch so we could spend time outside. Both Mom and I each wanted a separate room we could use as a croffice (craft room + office) if possible.

I’d started house hunting on the 20th. On the 25th, I found our dream home. It was hell, but only took five days. In early March, my parents flew to Montana to check out the city and house in person, while I stayed home to watch after the dog. They loved it and made an offer before flying back to L.A, the owner accepted right away. In mid April, Mom and I made a road trip so I could see everything in person (that’s right, I was completely going by pictures until we actually owned the place) and to start setting up necessities like buying beds and getting the electricity turned on. We spent the next month cleaning and decluttering and packing, then next thing we knew, it was over.

I found us a beautiful house with a breathtaking view in a wonderful little city that’s so quaint it feels silly to call it a city. The dream I barely knew I had came true, I live in Montana.

Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal

In 2009 I bought myself a Wreck This Journal*. I slowly worked on it and came up with some fun ideas, but ultimately didn’t like a lot of what I did and didn’t even complete a lot of the pages. Here’s some of what I did:

* This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided.

Before the creativity began.

Before the creativity began.

Poke holes in this page using a pencil.

Poke holes in this page using a pencil.

Drip something, close the book to make a print. (I used food coloring.)

Drip something, close the book to make a print. (I used food coloring.)

Write your name in different ways.

Write your name in different ways.

Fill this page with circles.

Fill this page with circles.

Place sticky things here. (I used stickers after a failed attempt of using chewing gum.)

Place sticky things here. (I used stickers after a failed attempt of using chewing gum.)

Collect fruit stickers from fruit you bought.

Collect fruit stickers from fruit you bought.

Cover this page using only office supplies.

Cover this page using only office supplies.

I ended up throwing it out since there was food inside (one of the pages says to document your dinner, for example) so I never got around to finishing the rest, but then purchased a new one in 2011 to start over. I haven’t done anything with it in at least a year if not longer, but I got a pretty good start on it. Come back in a few weeks to see more WTJ photos!

Bullet journal: Intro & how I started


If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about my love/obsession for the bullet journal method. It’s about time I properly blog about it.

A bullet journal is a daily planner with tons of options for customization. You can keep track of whatever you’d like, there are no real rules. Well, except for one: When abbreviating the term, call it a BuJo. Never ever refer to your bullet journal as a BJ, for obvious reasons.

If you’ve never heard of a bullet journal before, let’s start from the very beginning. Here’s a video by the creator explaining how the system works:

I’ve tried unsuccessfully for the past few years to keep a daily planner. I like to document my life as much as possible which is why I love blogging and social media, so I figured a planner would help with that. Except I kept abandoning them halfway through the year. Finally I heard about bullet journaling thanks to Pinterest, and started researching like crazy.

The best thing about this method is it’s completely DIY and you fill it in as you go. I’m not dealing with a premade layout, there’s no obligation to write something every single day and there’s no limit to how much or how little I can write each day. The beauty is in the customization.

I use a Peter Pauper Press Essentials graph notebook*. Originally, I chose this notebook simply because I’d already owned it, it’d been sitting in a drawer unused for years and I finally had a great use for it. It’s hardbound, gridded (graph paper), and the paper is a good thickness. That alone is the reason why I went for the same brand when I needed a new BuJo. I’m heavy handed and like to use colored pens, and wanted minimal ghosting. Ghosting is not the same as bleeding, bleeding is when the ink actually seeps through the paper but ghosting is just being able to see what you wrote on the other side of the sheet.

* This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided.


I started my first BuJo in November 2014 and have stuck with it almost daily, which is almost unheard of for me. That first notebook lasted me almost a year, and for the first time in my life, I finished a planner and filled an entire notebook. I started my second BuJo in October 2015 and because I’ve picked up so many ideas over the year, I estimate I’ll fill it a lot quicker than a year from now.

One of the joys of a bullet journal is the ability to use it as both a planner and a scrapbook. Not only do I keep track of what I do every day, I also keep mementos taped inside such as ticket stubs, pictures, stickers, and leaves. When I was decluttering my bedroom in Los Angeles before moving, a lot of little things found their way into my BuJo. I also occasionally write down notes or thoughts about my day, inspirational quotes, and lots of lists.


This is the first of a series of posts where I’ll explain bullet journaling in depth. I’ll discuss the supplies I use, my complete setup, how my bullet journaling has changed over the year, reviews of notebooks and pens, and where I find my inspiration. If you’re starting out or just interested in photos for inspiration, come back for part 2 in two weeks!


In 2016, there will be more nail art.

In case you’re not already aware of it, I have a blog dedicated to nail art. The idea began in early 2010, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to start painting my nails more often since I finally had healthier nails. For the majority of my life, I had pretty weak nails, I could bend them almost like paper and they’d break very easily. In late 2009 I started taking vitamins to help strengthen nails, they did wonders within months. I’m now taking Nature’s Bounty Hair Skin & Nails. My nails are still strong and my hair is now longer than it ever had been. My hair isn’t as healthy as it could be because I dye it, but the length is impressive.

Painting your nails helps keep them strong because of the layers of polish, so I decided along with the vitamins, I should start painting my nails to help avoid breakage, and started the blog to document the simple art I was doing. I have a steady hand, but don’t have the patience for crazy complicated nail art.

Now that my nails have finally grown back out after all the damage that happened during the move, I’m making an early New Years resolution for 2016, same as the one I’d made for 2010 and again for 2012. I’m going to make it a point to do more nail art. So if you’re interested in nail art, feel free to keep an eye on that blog if you don’t already. And don’t forget to Like the Facebook page for Nailed!

I moved from Los Angeles to a small city in Montana. (Part 1)

Seven months ago, on my 31st birthday, I officially became a Montana resident. In the span of four months, my parents and I (plus the dog) moved 1,300 miles away, basically on a whim. I’d never moved before, had never visited Montana, had never even heard of the place we moved to. It’s all worked out very well for us, and I can finally say I genuinely love where I live.

I wasn’t kidding about the timeframe. It started in early February when we decided to sell the house and move out of L.A. We decided to move, sold the house, bought a new one, and moved in at the end of May. It took months for our brains to stop spinning and to get used to this being our home as opposed to a long vacation. Although to be honest, I think the dog still wonders when we’re going back.

When we broke the news to our loved ones, the reactions were all over the place. Some were pleasantly surprised, some were completely shocked, some were confused on why we’d want to leave Los Angeles. All wished us luck, with the exception of my paternal grandmother who remained in shock for days. She eventually wished us luck. Everyone wanted to know “Why Montana?” My answer is two simple words: The beauty.

Left: My backyard in Los Angeles.  Right: My backyard in Montana.

Left: My backyard in Los Angeles.
Right: My backyard in Montana.

Obviously there were a lot of reasons for moving, the biggest reason in my opinion is we were all miserable. I used to like L.A but after high school I developed a strong dislike for the city, without the constant social life I’d had in school I realized I didn’t actually like it there. I hated living in a huge city where I had to drive two hours to see nature, I hated dealing with the rude people who live there, I hated the filthy air, I hated all the traffic, I hated all the crime, I hated the constant sound of sirens and helicopters. All of that’s changed here. I now live in a four square mile city with a population of just under five thousand, there’s nature everywhere (including an unobstructed view of the lake from my deck), everyone here is very friendly, the air is clean, there’s barely any traffic, and the only helicopter is when the hospital needs an air lift, which is rare. There aren’t even any skyscrapers here, the tallest building in town is a three story hotel.

I thought I’d experience such a culture shock, but I’m adapting pretty well to the changes. I’ve even acclimated to the weather, I’m currently experiencing my first real winter and I’ve been loving it.

“It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life, for me. And I’m feeling good.” — Nina Simone

Hello, again! Time for a fresh start.

photo source

I first started this website in August 2011 after learning about lifestyle blogging. I could stop trying to force myself into some random niche just so I could keep a blog. I only knew about photography blogs, craft blogs, fashion, food, and “mommy blogs.” I’d had previous attempts of two failed daily photo blogs that only lasted about four months each, but I just couldn’t find my groove, everything felt like a chore. Lifestyle blogging was the answer. I could write entries about whatever I wanted and toss in the occasional craft post or photography post. It went strong for a while and on-and-off for a while longer, but now after almost a year long hiatus, I’ve decided to start over. There were too many entries on this blog I’d never been happy with, too many months trying to stick to a schedule where I posted a few good entries and a lot of crappy ones just so there was content. I want to stop doing that.

I’ve gone through all my entries and deleted the ones I didn’t like, and made the rest private. I intend to start blogging regularly again, new posts along with reposting some old ones. I apologize if you’ve come to this blog from a search term referral that led to a 404 page. My most popular entries will all be back eventually, but for the moment, I want to stop obsessing over numbers and put that energy into better content.

The reason this blog was on hiatus is because my parents and I have just moved from Los Angeles to Montana. Naturally I’ll be blogging all about that experience as well as life in Montana so far. You can also expect to see posts about my new obsession, bullet journaling. And of course, crafting and photography. I’m not going to start back up just yet, I’d like to try that whole “writing in advance” thing and as of now, I have exactly zero blog entries written. But for now, I wanted to give an explanation and share my plans.