How To Make Critter Bookmarks – A Quick and Easy Craft

This week Bean and I decided to play with paper and make some critter bookmarks.

For those of you new to the blog, I love crafts, but don’t have a ton of time. I love finding quick and easy projects that add a little fun to our day.


Think of Bean and I as your craft testers, our creations may not be the most perfect, but they are real and made with love.


BOOKMARKS
We do our best to find the easiest, cutest projects, and these critter bookmarks totally fit the description!

bookmarks

You don’t need much at all in the way of supplies. Grab some paper, scissors, a glue stick, markers and googly eyes.

bookmarks

Because who doesn’t love a reason to put fun eyes on things?!

Your paper to be in the shape of a square. We happened to have some origami paper on hand, so we used that, but you can easily use card stock or construction paper and just cut it into a square.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to make these super cute bookmarks:

  1. Fold your paper in half to create a triangle.

bookmarks

2. Fold the top point (just the front layer of paper) of the triangle down to meet the bottom edge of the paper.

bookmarks

3. Fold in the left and right corners in to meet the middle triangle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

4. Open up your side folds, so that they look like this:

bookmarks

5. Then fold both of those sides up, along your middle triangle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

6. Next, tuck in the two new folds that you just made into the middle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

7. Take a second piece of paper, and cut another square. It should be the same size as the square you just folded.

bookmarks

8. Then tuck that square into your folded paper, and secure it with a little glue.

bookmarks

9. Finally, glue on some googly eyes, and a little tongue.

bookmarks

There you have it! Your critter bookmark is ready to help keep your place in the books that you are reading.

bookmarks

bookmarks

bookmarks

Now, you don’t HAVE to make a frog. Bean had fun just making some little monster bookmarks and then decorating them. I also made a vampire one. Just pick your favorite critter and start creating!

bookmarks

I hope you found these critter book marks fun, and will give them a try the next time you are looking for a quick craft. I know the ones we made will definitely give some character to our reading time! <3

xo, Melissa

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8 Books That Will Help You Keep A Journal (even if you are busy)

I’ve been writing about my passion for using a journal quite a bit recently.  I have even had a few people say that I have inspired them to start using a journal of their own, and that makes my heart so happy!

But what if you feel like you are way too busy to keep a journal? Or maybe you just don’t know where to start.

As a solution, I’ve made up a list of some great books for you to check out that might help give you a little help in finding the time to make using a journal part of your day.

Most of these would make good companions to your daily planning, and a lot of them have short and quick exercises that you can do. Many of them can even happen right in the book itself!  There are so many wonderful options out there, and if you are looking for a little inspiration, I’ve got you covered.

books

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

START WHERE YOU ARE: A JOURNAL FOR SELF DISCOVERY

booksThis is one of my favorites. It is an interactive journal that contains beautiful images and hand lettering. It will help inspire you to become self-motivated and show your creative side a little love.

HOW TO BE HAPPY (OR AT LEAST LESS SAD) A CREATIVE WORKBOOK

booksThis book contains a series of prompts that can help readers see things in a different perspective.

THE HAPPY BOOK

booksThis is a book that can help show you how to practice happiness by using different prompts and activities. There are places to make lists, paste pictures and fill in the blanks.

WRECK THIS JOURNAL

booksThis book is fun because it challenges readers to make mistakes, be messy, and to destroy things. It is a fun and different way to get creative!

THE LIFE ORGANIZER: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO A MINDFUL YEAR

books

This book gives you a more in depth way to explore your needs and dreams by using daily prompts and strategies. It isn’t a fill in the blank type book, and helps you delve a bit deeper. It is a wonderful guidebook to use as a companion to your daily planning.

CREATIVE DOODLING & BEYOND: INSPIRING EXERCISES, PROMPTS, AND PROJECTS FOR TURNING SIMPLE DOODLES INTO BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF ART

books
Maybe you don’t feel like writing – don’t forget that being creative is a fun way to add to your journal. This book will inspire you to get your creative juices flowing with its projects and prompts.

DOODLING FOR CAT PEOPLE

books

Here is one just for doodling fun. This is an entertaining way to experiment with ways of drawing furry friends. Yes – they have a dog book too 🙂

MY BOOK ABOUT ME

booksThis is one that I loved as a kid, and is a fun way to introduce kids into exploring the world of self discovery, and writing about themselves.

I hope at least one of these might be a fun tool to pair with, or help you to start using a journal. Do you have any favorite books about journals? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

xo, Melissa

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Continue reading

7 Self Care Pages For Your Bullet Journal

Self care is an important part of life, but can be hard to find the time to fit it in.

A few months ago I wrote about a few simple ways to sneak self care into your routine. This month, I will show you how you can use your bullet journal as a tool to help you with your self care.

self care pages

Self care is all about being in tune to your own personal physical and emotional needs, It is about nurturing your mind, body and soul. It is something that should be done regularly, so it makes it a great thing to incorporate into your bullet journal pages.

So how can filling out pages in a book help with self care?


Here are seven different self care pages that you can make that will help keep you on track with taking care of yourself.


JOURNAL OR BRAIN DUMP PAGE

Keeping a journal is one tool that you can take care of yourself. Simply taking the time to write about how you feel is important. It will help you clear your mind, and discover the things that are bothering you, or better yet, inspiring you.

If you have the time, try to set aside a time in the morning or evening to write a few pages. Just start writing your train of thought, working to empty out everything that is on your mind.

You might be thinking that you do not have a big chunk of time to spend writing. I totally get that, and I have a solution for you.

The brain dump page. 

I covered this wonderful page in my post about how bullet journals can help with depression and anxiety. The brain dump page is a good quick substitute for writing a few journal pages. You may not have the time to pour your heart out into a journal.

Instead, try pouring a cup of coffee and jotting down a few words or sentences about what is on your mind. It will help you approach the day with a clear mind.

self care pages

Plus, participating in that little morning routine counts as self care!

GRATITUDE PAGE

This is another page that you can add to your journal that will help you keep a good perspective.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all that is going wrong or bad in your life. Eventually, if that is what you focus on, nothing seems to go right!

Keep a page in your bullet journal where you write the good things that happen to you. It doesn’t matter how big or how small, just try to find ONE thing that you can be grateful for. Maybe it is a compliment that a friend gave you, or a nice text message you received. It could even be that the sun decided to shine.

self care pages

Refer back to it often, and remember those good things that happened. They are good for the soul.

SELF CARE PAGE

This is an easy one. It serves as a good reminder to take time to care for you.

Make yourself a reference page in your bullet journal where you list ideas for self care activities.

self care pages

Since you will always have it handy, try to refer to that page each week and pick something that you can do to show yourself a little love.

DOODLE PAGE

I like to doodle. I find it calming and relaxing, and it definitely counts as self care.

Make a page in your journal to doodle, or sketch. Breathe slowly while you color, and be mindful as you make your lines.

self care pages

The result will be a page full of doodles that make you happy and might cheer you up on a day that you feel down.

REALITY CHECK PAGE

This page is a good way to help put the negative thoughts that run through your mind into perspective.

There are times in my day where my brain starts freaking me out and I perceive things in a way that are not true. When this happens, I use this page.

There is one column to write my fear, or the irrational thought that I am having. Then, there is another column to replace it with a more positive thought and perspective.

self care pages

Using this page is similar to the gratitude page, as it helps to refocus negative thinking into something more positive.

AFFIRMATIONS PAGE

Fill a page with positive thoughts and affirmations about yourself, or about life.

self care pages

Start out slowly if you need to, but set aside a time at least once each month to light a candle, put on some good music and say these affirmations out loud. Ideally, working towards saying them at least once a week, and then every day, would be best.

YOGA POSES PAGE

One of my goals this year was to work on fitting yoga into my self care routine. I know by doing this it helps me stay relaxed, and it is another good way to clear the mind.

However, I don’t typically have a ton of time to watch an entire video or attend a yoga class. I remedied this by making my own little page illustrating a mini yoga routine for myself.

self care pages

Now it is always handy in my bullet journal, and I see it often, so it reminds me to take a few minutes and stretch it out.

I hope that some of these self care pages might help you find a way to making self care a priority in your life. Remember, these are only examples. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You WILL make mistakes. If you don’t like to draw, and prefer lists, just make lists.

The main point of a bullet journal is to have a system that you can customize for yourself. 

If I happened to inspire you and you would like to share, I would love to see it. Or if you have favorite self care pages that you like to use,  please share them in the comments!

Check back in soon,  or better yet, sign up for my mailing list, because I will be sharing about how my use of a mood tracker is working out, and I will be sharing more information about how to use trackers in your bullet journal.

xo, Melissa

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*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂


How To Make Reading Wands – Another Quick and Easy Craft!

reading wands

We have been working very hard on learning to read in our homeschool classroom.

Sometimes, my daughter starts feeling overwhelmed, distracted or bored. She has trouble keeping her place while reading out loud.

To help combat this, I decided that we should make some magic reading wands with our craft sticks.

As you know I am a fan of quick and easy crafts, and this one doesn’t disappoint.

They are the perfect way to add a little excitement and sparkle to our reading practice.

To make these reading wands, you will need the following supplies:

reading wands

Modge Podge

Glitter

Medium Sized Craft Sticks

Buttons

Craft Glue

Paint brush

Sharpies (for decorating – opitional)

Washi Tape (for decorating – opitional)

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Reading Wand Instructions:

First, place some glitter in a small container to make it easier to paint on the craft sticks.

I have discovered that muffin liners are perfect for this purpose!

Dip your brush in a bit of modge podge, and then in the glitter, and paint onto your craft sticks. You can also dab the glitter to help get a good thickness so the reading wands are nice and sparkly.

Set aside and let it dry for a little bit.

reading wand

It is also fun to try a few different ways of decorating the reading wands.

Sharpies, stickers, washi tape, and paint, would all work. Just dig into your craft stash and see what you can find.

If you use sharpies to decorate your reading wands, I recommend painting a layer of modge podge on your craft stick first. It helps the ink not bleed into the wood.

reading wands

The final step is choosing the perfect button for the top of the wand. Use a little craft glue to secure them to the top of the wand.

If you don’t have buttons, but have craft jewels or foam stickers, those would also work as a good accent.

reading wands

Once the glue is dry, your reading wands are ready to help make reading time fun.

They are a great way to help keep young readers focused on keeping their place while reading.

Best of all, they are super easy to make!

reading wands

Happy reading!

xo Melissa

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My Favorite Bullet Journal Supplies

bulletjournalsupplies

Today, I thought I would share my favorite bullet journal supplies with you.


If you are not sure what a bullet journal is, check out my bullet journals for beginners post.


*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

One of the best parts about a bullet journal, is that you can create your own personalized system. You really only need a notebook and a pen, but there are also many fun supplies that really can help personalize your journal.

So let’s start with the journal itself.

JOURNALS

Just do a search on Amazon and you will find tons of adorable blank books. Many people use this Leuchtturm 1917 journal, it seems to be the tried and true go to.

However, I like to be able to rearrange and remove my pages, and I am unable to do this with this particular style of journal.

To solve this, I use a simple mini binder.

It has clear sleeves in the front, so that I can switch up my cover often. Plus, if it gets damaged, it is very inexpensive to replace.

PAPER

There is plain, dotted, lined, and grid paper available in loose leaf form.  I like to use all of the types of paper since I prefer the grids for my trackers, dotted for my calendar, lined for writing and plain to do little doodles and drawings.

By doing this, I am able to have everything together in one notebook, and it is easy to switch it up if I get tired of my layouts.


You might want to invest in a 3 ring hole punch as well. It comes in handy sometimes.

PENS

Next you need pens.

If you like basic, just invest in some nice black pens.

However, you may want to add some color.

Last year, I did most of my pages in simple black and white. This year, I wanted to branch out and play with color.

Brush pens are a wonderful way to add a little variety to your pages. The set that I have been using recently has a wide and a thin tip. I have been having fun experimenting with different brush strokes.

Sometimes, your colors will bleed through your pages, which can be frustrating. Colored pencils are another good way to get a little creative, without the frustration. I like this set because you can also get the pencil wet and get a watercolor effect.

STICKERS AND WASHI TAPE

Stickers are another fun way to add some fun to your bullet journal pages. There are tons of etsy shops that sell custom stickers, as well as amazon. I am working on my own sticker pages, and will be sharing them here on the blog soon.

I also have become a bit addicted to Washi Tape. For example, I found some super cute Totoro Washi tape that I have been using to decorate the top of each of my daily calendar pages for this month. There are so many different styles and patterns, it is fun to stock up so you have a bunch of options for your decorating.

CLEAR SLEEVES

There are a few pages in my journal that I don’t access often, like my color key, and blog information, but get a little beat up because I refer to them often. I found some clear protective sleeves to put those pages in, and it helps keep them in good shape.

DIVIDERS AND TABS

Because I keep a lot of different content in my journal, using tabs and divider pages helps me easily access my different sections. I like these dividers because they are made of plastic that is a bit sturdier.
These self adhesive tabs are also great because I can easily label them and stick them on specific pages that I use often.

I hope that this list of my favorite bullet journal supplies is helpful in giving you some good ideas for your own book. Don’t forget that Instagram and Pinterest both have wonderful ideas for layouts also. Be sure to follow me, as I am always adding fun stuff to my feeds.

Do you have any favorite bullet journal supplies? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

XO, Melissa

bullet journal supplies

 

How to Make a Puffy Heart Pin – Quick and Easy

Today I am going to show you how to make a puffy heart pin with felt.

puffy heart

I needed a cute, but quick craft for Valentine’s day because we had some unexpected medical stuff come up in our house that put me behind.

These little hearts fit my need perfectly, and I even had all the supplies on hand!

Of course February has Valentine’s day, but it is also heart month. I have always had a fondness for hearts, but they took on an additional special meaning when my daughter had open heart surgery.

I will proudly wear this pin, not just for the holiday, but to honor my strong heart warrior, Miss Bean.

puffyheart


To make these puffy hearts, you will need the following supplies:

puffy hearts

Felt

Scissors

Embroidery thread (or regular thread)

Safety pin

Polyfill stuffing


First, you need to cut a heart shape out of the felt.

puffy heart

I used a scrap piece of paper to create a pattern. Then I used it as a guide and cut two heart shapes out of my felt.

puffy heart

Next, cut a small rectangular piece of felt. This will be used to secure the safety pin to the back of your heart.

puffy heart

Place the felt piece over the base of the safety pin, but make sure that you can still open up the pin to secure it to your clothing.

Use your thread and stitch all the way around the small piece of felt. Now your pin is attached, and you are almost ready to wear your puffy heart.

puffy heart

Take your two hearts and place them together, with your safety pin at the back. Begin stitching the two pieces together.

Be sure to leave a little hole so that you can stuff it with the poly fill.

Fill your heart with the stuffing, and finish stitching it closed.

puffy heart

There you have it! It is a fast and easy craft, but is a perfect accessory for Valentine’s day. It would also make a great gift as well.

puffy heart front puffy heart

If you are feeling adventurous, try making other shapes. I made these cute cat pins with little beads for their eyes too.

puffy heart
Enjoy creating and spreading the puffy heart love!

Xo Melissa

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Hope – Thursday Writing Prompt

​I had hope that I would get a good craft blog post up this week.

Instead, I took this week off of my main blogging activities to spend a little extra time snuggling my family. It was much needed, and even gave me a bit of planning time.

I will be back next week with a fun heart themed craft to share.

However, I did not forget this weeks writing prompt.  It has been another week of political drama, and it has made me revisit the word hope.

hope

There are many things that I could write about, like a day without phone calls, or arguing siblings.

Most of all, I hope that people will start coming together and show kindness, love and support to one another.

What would you write about?

xo Melissa

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Thursday Writing Prompt – A Challenge

​Since my last writing prompt, I have had some pretty crazy days. When I sit down and think about all that I pack in to each day, I realize that I am pretty good at multitasking, and taking on different roles.

I am a teacher, a mother, a wife, a blogger, and work two jobs. Somewhere in these roles, I also try and create, as it is something that makes me feel happy – so I guess I could also be an artist. I know that most people have full days and do various things, and I think it would be fun to hear what others consider themselves to be.

So I thought it would be fun to make this weeks writing prompt a little challenge.

challenge


Mine is: Coffee!, eat, work, teach, write, create, clean, love, smile, repeat!


Take some time to do a little brainstorming. Figure out your description and let me know in the comments.

 

xo Melissa

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How Using A Bullet Journal Can Help With Anxiety and Depression

 

Anxiety and depression is something that I often deal with.  Last year, I started a bullet journal in hopes that it would help me ease my busy mind. I am happy to report, that I have noticed a huge improvement. While I still have my moments, I now know that I have a good tool to help me cope and work through things when I start feeling overwhelmed.

I want to show you that creating a routine with your bullet journal can help you feel more stable, and give you a more positive outlook.

anxiety and depression

 


Not sure what a bullet journal is? Check out my beginners guide to bullet journals


Here are some ways to put your bullet journal to work for you and your mental health.

BRAIN DUMP PAGE

This is one of my favorite pages to create. Each morning, as I am drinking my coffee, I take some time to breathe and think about what is on my mind. Things that are bothering me, things that make me happy, and things that I want to do. I create little mind maps with all of these things that accumulate in my head, and once I do that, my mind feels a little more at peace.

It doesn’t have to look pretty, and it can be in any form, just find what works best for you. The goal is to quiet your mind.

anxiety and depression

 

TO-DO LISTS

I usually have a brain full of things that I want to do and need to accomplish. It can get a little cluttered, so being able to have a running list written out, helps me clear my head a bit and have a visual of what I want to do.

However, those lists can also get long and become overwhelming, which leads to shutting down.

One solution would be to make short to-do lists for each day, or for the week. Choose two or three main things that you would like to accomplish, and start with that. Use your brain dump page to jot down other things on your mind. Then, when you sit down to work on your goals for the day, pull items from that page to add to your list.

Another suggestion would be to create a DONE list, instead of a to-do list. Write down thing things that you did accomplish. This can help turn a negative thing, such as a long overwhelming list, into a positive thing.


However you create your lists, just make sure it is achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure.


GRATITUDE LISTS

Sometimes, when anxiety and depression strike, it can make everything feel so hopeless. Like there is nothing good happening.

Take some time each day to think about and write down 1-3 good things that happened in your day. Even if it is just something like just getting out of bed, or that the sun came out for a few hours. I found once I practiced this, that over time, the good things became easier to think of.

Keeping a gratitude list can help focus on the positive, and put things into perspective.

SELF CARE PAGE

Make a page that lists various activities that you can do to take a few minutes to focus on yourself. When you start feeling overwhelmed and need a break, refer to your list. Often, when I start feeling really upset, my brain doesn’t seem able to think of what I can do to help get out of that rut. If you have a list, it makes it easy to just pick something and go with it.

anxiety and depression

If you need some ideas to get you started, check out my post about quick self care ideas.

HABIT TRACKERS

These have everything that you need to do on a daily basis available at a glance. Use grid paper and track things like exercise, food, medicine, housework, or vitamins.

A good one to start with is water intake, as staying hydrated is important for the mood.

Trackers are handy because they can help put things into perspective for you. You might discover that you need to work harder to make something more of a habit, or better yet, you may realize that you are doing a great job, and that things aren’t as bad as you think!

Again, just remember to set realistic goals for the things that you want to track.

MOOD TRACKERS

I wrote a little bit about starting to track my mood last week. Even though this is a tracker as well, I feel like it deserves it’s own category. This one is helpful to see if there are certain times which you are prone to feeling depressed or anxious, it gives you the big picture of how you are feeling.

I have enjoyed tracking my moods so far. When I grab my colors to fill in my box for the day, it gives me a moment to think about and recap my day. Often I think I had a bad day, but once I think about it, I realize that it is usually a mix, and that something positive typically happens. (of course I try and remember to add that to my gratitude page!)

anxiety and depression

At first I was worried that all my squares would be grey for sad, or dark blue for anxious, but I discovered that wasn’t the case.

QUOTE OR MANTRA PAGE

Finally, I like keeping a page with inspirational or motivational quotes that I like. I can glance at them when I start feeling dark, and usually there is some kind of quote that will help uplift me.

It doesn’t need to be fancy, I just keep a lined page in my notebook so that I can just write it down when I find a quote that I like.

anxiety and depression

Mantras are also nice to add, work them into your morning routine and start the day right. Remind yourself that you are a strong, capable, and smart person.

I hope that this shows you that organizing and creating a system in your bullet journal can be therapeutic and can help when emotions start feeling out of control.

Do you have a favorite page that you use to help combat anxiety and depression? I would love for you to share it in the comments. I am always trying to think of new pages to add.

xo Melissa

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Thursday Writing Prompt – Book Characters

One of my goals this year, is to try and fit reading back into my days again. There is nothing quite like getting lost in a book, and getting to know all of the different characters.

My writing prompt today is inspired by that love.

characters
I think I would like to be Hermione Granger so that I could get my chance to attend Hogwarts. Or, maybe Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. She has such a quick wit, which I lack. There are so many different options, that I may end up writing about a few different people, but it is sure fun to imagine!

Which characters would you like to be?

xo Melissa

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