Wreck This Journal: In progress part IV

(Originally posted February 27th 2012)

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A place for your grocery lists.

Chew on this. (Whoops, apparently gave myself a papercut.)

Make a paper chain.

Create a drawing using a piece of your hair.

For that last one, I dragged a piece of my hair through some acrylic paint — Liquitex Basics if you’re interested — then placed it on the page. Then I closed the book and slowly pulled the hair out from between the pages.

Bullet journal: A peek into my week, 6/7 – 6/14

peek into my week

I had the idea that I should start sharing weekly spreads, both to give inspiration and because I know I love looking at what sort of things people did or planned each day. It probably won’t be every week, but I’ll try to do this at least a couple of times each month.


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Postcards instead of photographs.

Click photo to enlarge.
Top row: Miami Beach, FL | Middle row: Jamaica | Third row: New Orleans, LA

I found an old photo album which had belonged to my maternal grandmother, evidently the majority of the memories inside were from her 1969 honeymoon with her second husband. Instead of photographs, the scrapbook was full of postcards. Nothing’s written on the back of any of them, they were simply purchased to keep as a memory in lieu of pictures. My grandmother was never much of a photographer, so it was a clever idea to collect postcards for a scrapbook.

Unfortunately, she didn’t write the correct year, so I wouldn’t actually know as much as I do if it weren’t for my mother. Grandma wrote “1979 honeymoon” on the first page, and that’s all. So I just assumed maybe they took a second honeymoon and went to Miami Beach. Mom told me their honeymoon was actually in 1969, and not only did they go to Miami Beach, they also went to New Orleans and Jamaica. So while I just thought these postcards were from trips, it turns out pretty much all of them were from their honeymoon.

I do wish there were some actual photographs to go along with the postcards, the cards alone are extremely impersonal and therefore not sentimental to me at all. A friend of mine collects vintage postcards, so after making sure it’s okay with mom, I sold these all to her. It’d be one thing if these were pictures my grandmother or grandfather had taken, but honestly, I looked through all these and simply shrugged. I can look up vintage postcards online, but the trip through the eyes of my grandparents would’ve been a lot more interesting to me.

This is why I’m very surprised when I meet people who aren’t interested in documenting their life at all. They don’t take pictures, they don’t make scrapbooks, they don’t keep a diary or blog, they don’t write letters or emails. In fact, for a lot of people, the closest they come to documenting their life is a Facebook status or a couple of sentences on Twitter. My grandmother may have had a scrapbook full of postcards instead of photographs, but at least she documented her honeymoon and was able to verify my mother’s knowledge on where they’d gone. I don’t know any more than that, but at least I know something.

Click photo to enlarge.
Top row: Solvang, CA | Middle row: Mazatlan, Mexico | Bottom row: Coronado, CA

Bookmarks using the corner(s) of an envelope.

Sometimes I discover an idea and recreate it, and have so much fun with it that I want to make tons more. In this case, I might actually do that since it’s a bookmark made from an envelope and bookmarks never take up a lot of room.

I saw the idea on a couple blogs, I probably found them through Pinterest. One was a monster and the other said “You fell asleep here.” I took the ideas and made them my own, adding a tail to one and “hair” to the other so something sticks out of the books when they’re closed. I almost put googly eyes on the monster but immediately decided I’d better not, considering they’d obviously end up denting the books.

I can already tell I’ll end up having a big collection of these, I’m always reading multiple books at the same time and these are super easy to make, all you really need is a glue stick and scissors. The envelopes can be from junk mail, and you can glue pretty much anything to the edges or corner to have something stick out of the book. This would probably be a fun craft to do with older children who enjoy reading, I’m always keeping an eye open for crafts for kids since so many of my friends have children.

Bullet journal: Information I include.

Key (also called a legend)

In the very front of my notebook, just after you open the cover, I have a small piece of paper with the symbols I use. As time passes, I look at the sheet less and eventually don’t need it at all anymore, but I still consider it an important addition. Just because I know what all the symbols mean now doesn’t mean I’ll remember when I eventually go back to read my old bullet journals.


Probably the most important feature for me. Since a bullet journal is more than a daily planner, the index helps me keep track of other things I included, such as lists or notes.

Birthdays, deaths, anniversaries, and holidays

Simply dubbed “dates to remember” in my index. I don’t keep track of every American holiday, just the ones I feel are important or that don’t always fall on the same date.


Calendar + index. This is how I keep track of future planning.

Monthly overview & to-do list

At the start of each month, I have a page to keep track of anything happening that month, plus a page for a general “brain dump” of things I want to try to do.

For the past few months, instead of a mostly-unused list for a monthly overview, I’ve been using a small calendar. I’ll make simple notes and use little symbols to keep track or remind myself of certain things. For example, I use the same symbols that I use on my “dates to remember” page so I’ll know to flip back to that page to see what’s going on, I keep track of my Duolingo progress (which I restarted this month), and I use it to remind myself of my city’s trash day (which I didn’t need to remind myself of before, but here, trash day is two days earlier than Los Angeles).

Habit tracking

This is where I keep track of things I want to make a regular habit, things I’m trying to cut back on or stop, or things I just want to know “How often do I do this?”

A photo posted by Heather (@justsomehandwriting) on

Time tracking

As I mentioned in a previous entry, this is something new I’m trying. For this month, I added more colors, though I can’t make up my mind yet if I enjoy all the colors or if it’s overwhelming.

Daily pages

Some people call these their “dailies,” though I don’t care for that word. This is where you start keeping track of each day. Some people only write down their to-list for the day, and then there’s those of us who keep track of practically everything that happened for the day. I have my to-do list that normally gets added as I think of things, important notes or things I think I’d want to remember, and I also keep track of where I went for the day.

Other information I add into my bullet journal:

  • Bucket list
  • Goals for the year
  • Social media passwords
  • Blog entry ideas
  • Reading challenges
  • Notes about my health

“Get mad, then get over it.” — Colin Powell

Five years ago, after hearing about a great sale at a nearby furniture store, we finally replaced our old sofas. We got two big recliners and an L-shaped loveseat. One of the recliners was for me, the other recliner and the loveseat would go in the living room to replace the sofa and loveseat that were as old as me. They weren’t exactly falling apart at the seams, but there was no support anymore so if you sat down too hard, your butt would thump against the insides of the couch and you felt like you’d hit the floor because it was so low. Watching my tall friends attempt to sit in them was always hilarious. Buying the furniture went without a problem, but there was a whole lot of fighting throughout the day of delivery.

My dad and I both have really short tempers, but also really short attention spans which is one aspect that helps us get over our anger pretty quick. One of the best pieces of advice my mother gave me as a child is never go to bed angry, either settle things or get over it. It’s pretty rare that either me or my father stays mad longer than a few hours at most. But when we get mad, we breathe fire. Especially at each other. When dad and I piss each other off, all you can really do is stay out of the line of fire and let us verbally battle each other to the death. The death of our anger, anyway. Something will be said that rubs the other person the wrong way and we’ll spit tacks, and a few minutes later we apologize and continue what we were doing.

“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” — Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Our biggest fault regarding our anger is getting so riled up that we can’t properly listen. For instance, when mom and I were talking to him about the furniture sale and how we’d found pieces we liked, mom mentioned she’d asked the salesman if they’d haul away the old couches and was told that’s not part of their services. Dad immediately became angry and ranted breathlessly about how for a $50 fee the guys can’t even take the old stuff out of the house, and where do they expect to put the new stuff. Mom was just trying to calm him down and get him to stop yelling, I yelled over him to get him to hush — something that can make us more angry, but it has to be done sometimes — long enough for me to say “We didn’t ask about them moving the couches to the driveway or the curb, all we’d asked was if they take the old furniture away.” Just like that, dad calms down and says “Oh! I thought you meant they said they won’t even help us move the old stuff out of the house to make room for the new stuff. Of course I don’t expect them to take it away, they’re not a dumping business!”

At one point, while I was helping mom frantically clean the room because the delivery men had shown up two hours before we’d expected them, dad sat in my recliner. He was convinced that that recliner should stay in the living room with the new sofa and I take the one we’d bought for him, because my recliner matches the new sofa better. See, the new sofa is a dark brown. My recliner is a couple shades lighter, and dad’s recliner is a light tan. On one hand, my recliner does match the couch a bit better, but the light color looks good next to it as well. Besides, on a more selfish note, they’re two different chairs and I like mine better. I took one look at my dad sitting in my chair and like a disgruntled Baby Bear, told my father in a demanding tone to “Get out of my recliner.” He looked at me with an expression of “Excuse you?” and didn’t budge. So I repeated myself. I can’t remember what was said next or even who spoke, but it turned into a five second screaming match. The yelling stopped and we were staring daggers at each other, poor mom was trying to be the peacemaker but we weren’t hearing it. I left the room, and not two seconds passed when dad followed me and started calmly brainstorming with me about how we were going to get my recliner where I wanted it as if he hadn’t just threatened to punch my face to the back of my head.

I don’t enjoy yelling or being mad at my father, but the adrenaline rush during a fight and then the almost audible whoosh of relief after the anger’s gone helps me realize what a great bond we share. I know my temper has ruined some past friendships and relationships, but I have plenty of friends who can handle it or have learned to give me my space until I’m over it. Those are the friendships that count, not the ones who assume I won’t get angry anymore because they’re in my life now. My anger is just part of who I am, and I suppose in a way it’s helped me weed out people who didn’t deserve to be in my life. And if nothing else, it’s given me some funny stories over the years from situations where I overreacted.