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How a Bullet Journal (and Coffee) Can Help with Cleaning

CLEANING

*Disclaimer: I received a product for free in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. 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! 

Cleaning is something that I have not always been great about keeping up with. I live in a house with six people, so you can imagine that sometimes things can really pile up.

Enter the bullet journal, my new favorite tool.

As I have explained in some of my past posts, the bullet journal is a great tool for tracking habits and keeping yourself in check. Using a cleaning calendar is similar, and it can help make staying on top of cleaning easy and painless.

If you stay on the schedule that you come up with, and keep up the rotation, your house will stay organized and clean!

I decided to create my calendar page while recovering from a procedure. I was on orders to rest and not move around, which is not an easy task for me. Luckily my family was helpful in assisting with the cleaning while I could not. So, I used my down time as an opportunity to come up with a plan to keep us organized going forward into the future.

Here is what I came up with:

cleaning

As always with a bullet journal, you can customize your schedules and lists to work for you. Don’t forget that you can add or leave out anything that you would like.

Also, I prefer to keep my cleaning calendar at the front of my journal, where I include the pages for my morning routine.  So, when I pour my first cup of coffee (more on that later!) and go through my daily pages, I am reminded of what I need to do each day.

You may notice that I try not to give myself too many daily tasks. This is so I don’t get overwhelmed and just decide to put everything off.

cleaning

I have assigned a different chore for each day of the week. Doing this helps to add a little variety to my daily routine.

At the bottom I included a rotating schedule of things to do each month. These are larger house projects, like the dreaded washing of walls and baseboards, but when they are broken up over the year, it becomes much easier to get them accomplished.

cleaning

And just how does coffee come into play?

Well, quite honestly, it is the fuel that keeps me going. I manage to pack a lot into each day, and in order to get things accomplished, I need to be energized. When I work on my bullet journal pages, or decide to take on any kind of project, a cup of coffee is usually in my hand. Or, at least nearby.

I received a bag of the Sabertooth Roast from Caveman Coffee Company to try, and I must say it is quite delicious. They even sent me samples of MCT Oil, and while I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first, they had recipes on their website. Adding that to my morning brew gave me some amazing energy!

cleaning

I am sharing this because they have an awesome monthly coffee subscription box available. Which means not running out of coffee. Plus, who doesn’t like fun goodies delivered to your door each month?

I would definitely recommend giving this fun company a try and make your life easier with delivery each month!

Finally, do you want to take your cleaning routine one step further?

Add your daily routine and monthly chores to your bullet journal tracker. If you aren’t sure what a tracker is, check out my Beginners Guide to Using a Tracker.

I love to check off my accomplishments, so this is the extra security that I need to motivate me to stay on top of not only my daily personal goals, but also my cleaning goals.

cleaning

If you are struggling to keep on top of your cleaning projects, pour yourself a cup of coffee and try making a cleaning calendar. Having all the tasks listed and planned out, gives you one less thing to think about each day!


XO,
Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Thursday Journal Prompt

Writing stories or even long entries in my journal was something that I used to do often. There was even a point in my life that I wanted to be a writer. However, somewhere in my crazy life, and all the upheaval, I lost my words.
I miss that part of me.

I have been doing a pretty good job keeping up with my bullet journal the past few months, and I am loving it. But, I miss actually sitting down and just writing for myself.

I have been spending all my time writing for my blog and jotting down simple thoughts, but I am not doing much in the way of indepth writing.
In an effort to change this, and renew my love of writing, I am assigning myself a weekly journal prompt to complete. It is a small goal, and one that I should be able to achieve.

I thought that I would post the same prompt here each week. Maybe it will inspire some of my readers to write along with me.

Here is the first prompt. Be sure to come back next Thursday to find a new one!

Enjoy!

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Lessons and Activities for November

lessons and activities november pin graphic

November has arrived, and that means it is time for some new books, experiments, lessons and activities in our homeschool classroom!

In addition to our regular work, we will focus on being thankful, and the history of Thanksgiving, which I will be incorporating into our lessons and activities throughout the month.

I found a great resource on the Scholastic website. It has a ton of information on The First Thanksgiving, so we will definitely be using that as a resource this month.

LANGUAGE AND READING

We are continuing to use our sight word list from our word hunt last month. They have been helping Bean learn some key words that she is seeing more often now that she is reading.

We’ve also been working on identifying long and short vowel sounds. I have a little game I found at the dollar store to help her with that.

I also selected some books that fit well with the Thanksgiving season:

Being Thankful by Mercer Mayer

The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose

The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola

Please and Thank You Book by Richard Scarry

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston

Pete the Cat by Kimberly and James Dean

SCIENCE

Another fun part of Thanksgiving is the food, so I have picked out a few food experiments for our science lessons.

Bendy Bones

When you make turkey, set aside some bones for this fun experiment (chicken bones would work too, you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving turkey time for this one).

First, make sure to clean and scrape any meat off of the bones.

Then, make some observations and discuss your findings. Are the bones strong? Do they bend? What color are they? How long are they?

Next, fill a container large enough to submerge the bones, with vinegar.

Place the bones in the vinegar and let them sit for four days. If it gets smelly, cover the container with a little plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

After four days, remove the bones from the vinegar. Observe and discuss again.

Because of the acidic vinegar, the bone should bend because the calcium has been broken down.

You can even try other acids, like lemon juice or soda.

Re-Grow Food

lessons and activities green onion experiment image

Find a fun recipe that calls for green onions, and when you use them, leave about 3 inches of the root .

Place your trimmings standing up in a glass container.

Fill the glass with water, leaving an inch or two above the water.

Find a sunny window, and set the glass nearby.

Change the water every other day, and in a few days, green shoots should begin to appear.

Once you have some growth, trim and use in another meal. Leave your roots in the jar, you should be able to get a few cycles of re-growth. See how many you can get!

Bouncy Rubber Egg

lessons and activities bouncy egg experiment image

Grab a glass jar, an egg, and white vinegar.

Place the egg carefully in the jar, and add enough vinegar to cover the egg.  Let it sit for 24 hours.

Once that time period has passed, carefully remove the egg from the jar, and dump out the vinegar. Replace egg and cover again with vinegar. The wait is a little longer this time around, let it sit for 2 days.

Remove your egg from the jar, and observe. What does it feel like? Does it look different? What happened to the shell? What do you see?

Now is the fun part! See if it will bounce! Gently bounce it from a short distance- it is still fragile and could break.

Because an eggshell is made of calcium carbonate, the acid in the vinegar reacts and produces carbon dioxide. The egg membrane may absorb some of the vinegar, which will make the egg larger.

CRAFTS

lessons and activities art supplies image

I found a few fun activities on Pinterest:

Paper Bag TeePees

Paper Bag Turkeys

T.P. Roll Totem Poles

Herb and Spice Play Dough

Handprint Turkey

You can also find these on my Arts and Crafts board. Follow me for easy access!

I hope you found these November lessons and activities helpful. I would love to hear about what is happening in your homeschool classroom too, tell me about it in the comments and be sure to link your blog so that I can visit!

 

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. 🙂

 

 

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Bullet Journal: A Beginners Guide

 

bullet journal

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 home school classroom. 🙂

The Bullet Journal.

This calendar system has become quite popular these days.

However, creating your own calendar system from scratch might seem a bit intimidating when you first begin.

So I decided to create this beginners guide to bullet journals.

Everyone needs to start somewhere right?

What exactly is a bullet journal?


“The bullet journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” – Ryder Caroll, Inventor of the bullet journal


Basically, it is a self-customized calendar system that typically has three categories: tasks, events, and notes.

What do I need to start my own bullet journal?

All that you need is a blank notebook and a pen.

It is that simple!

bullet journal

Just pick out a size that works best for you.

I use a mini binder, loose notebook and make my own calendar pages because I like to have the ability to move things around easily.

Markers, colored pencils, tabs, post-its, and graph paper are also fun to have on hand, but certainly not required.

I found an awesome set of gel pens on Amazon. They add some color to my pages and even have glitter in them! It is my opinion that everything is better with a little bit of sparkle!

The bullet journal has 4 main concepts:

1. THE INDEX OR KEY     

This is where you organize the contents of your notebook.

Think of it as a table of contents for all of your information.

It could simply be a page containing a key of symbols that you use in your journal.

Or, if you are extremely organized, you might use page numbers for your entries and subjects.

I’ve even seen some journals that use washi tape to color code the side of the pages for quick access.

2.  COLLECTIONS

Entries in your bullet journal are called collections.

A collection might take up only one page, or it can be comprised of several pages.

Each page has a topic, which helps to group and organize your ideas.

Typically, there are three main collections:

  • Future Log:

    This contains the monthly calendar and tasks.

    I usually prefer to use a pre-printed monthly calendar page to write out birthdays, holidays, and appointments.

    Additionally, I make a monthly page to write down the goals that I would like to accomplish for each month.

    This is one of my pages before I filled in my goals.

    bullet journal

  • Daily Log:

    These pages contain your day to day events, specific tasks for the day, and notes as they happen throughout the day.

    In addition to adding tasks, I like to track the weather on my daily pages.

month

  • Other Collections:

These are special lists, such as long term goals, places you would like to travel, books you want to read and any other trackers you might want to set up.

tracker

Currently, my favorite is my books to read page.

I drew some books stacked on a bookshelf and filled in the titles of all the books that people have suggested. 

Once I finish a book, I color in the title.

tracker

This month, I also made a page to keep track of the things that I am grateful for.

Taking a bit of time to fill in a few things that make me happy and helps to keep things in perspective.

self care pages

The options for different journal pages are truly endless.

Get your journal started by picking something that inspires you, and take the leap to making your first page.

Since I am a beginner, my drawings are pretty basic, but I did have fun making them. 

Doing a search on Pinterest will turn up tons of inspiration for different designs to try.

Simple numbered lists will work just fine if the creative feeling isn’t there.

Again, this system is created by YOU. The goal is to find what works best and then go with it.

If you find that you don’t like what you did for the month, switch it up when you plan out the next one.

3.  Rapid Logging

Rapid logging is the language that the bullet journal is written in, or the symbols that are used to make notations in the journal.

You can choose what works best for you, just make sure that you have a system in place. Also, be sure to notate them in your index.

My go-to symbols for my journal are as follows:

<3  things that inspire or motivate me

* –   items that are a priority to complete

!  –   stuff that I would like to research or explore more in the future

o –   tasks that I still need to complete

x  –  completed tasks

Because I have a family and put their schedule in my journal, I like to use specific colors to represent the different family members.

4. MIGRATION

This one is my most favorite step! It always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

At the end of the month, review all of the tasks that have been completed and checked off.

If there were ones that weren’t finished, be sure to move them onto the next monthly calendar.

Although I would like to, I do not always manage to get everything that I had planned, accomplished.

But, taking the time at the end of each month to review my goals and lists is very helpful.

By re-writing them in the following month’s pages, I am able to keep motivated and moving forward, which is my ultimate goal.


Be sure to check out my Beginners Guide to Starting a New Month in Your Bullet Journal.


A couple of months ago, I shared the start of my bullet journal process.

The main goal at the time was to experiment and find out if it was going to be a good system to help me stay organized.

It has definitely kept me moving in the right direction!

I find that I feel less overwhelmed and anxious about the things that I need, or want to do since I am writing them down and checking them off on a daily basis.


I hope that this guide has been helpful, and has provided some inspiration for starting your own bullet journal.

Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know about the pages you have created or share your favorite tips. I would love to hear from you!

xo Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Menu Plan Monday and Success!

mealplanmonday_v2

Monday has arrived again, which means it is time for another menu. This past week, there were a few changes in plans, which resulted in switching up our menu plan. I confess that one of those nights we escaped to the state fair and treated ourselves to the traditional fair food. At least I managed to stay away from the deep fried Reeses Cups this year.

On Wednesday, I broke out my slow cooker to test out this Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli recipe.

It was a major hit!

The teenager had one small complaint. He wanted more soy sauce. That was easily remedied by letting him add more to his own dish. By the end of the meal, all three of my family members gave their approval, and requested that I add it to our regular menu rotation. Yay for success! The best part, was that it was quick, easy and made the house smell delicious all day.

Here is what I have on the menu this week:

menu planning struggle

Monday: White Bean and Avocado Baked Burritos. I plan on making these during the day. That way, my husband will have something to eat while I am at work. Plus, there will be some waiting for me when I return!

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Tikka Masala. This is one of Miss Bean’s favorite meals, so I am excited to try this version.  It gets bonus points from me because it can be made in a slow cooker.

Wednesday: It’s breakfast for dinner day! I am going to try this Quick Breakfast Casserole recipe. I will add red or green peppers so we get some veggies, and serve with fruit on the side.

Thursday: Another work night for me, plus the kids will be at their dad’s. So, this means it is leftover night at our house.

Friday:  It is our family night at the Symphony on the Prairie. Which means we usually get gyro fixings, and pitch in various side dishes and desserts. Yum!

Saturday: I work in the evening, and plan on cooking up some black beans, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and quinoa. This will give me a healthy little casserole to take to work.

Sunday: I think this will finally be the week that I will get to try this Egg Roll Stir-Fry. I believe it will even give me some leftovers for lunch the next day!

Do you have a menu plan this week? Let me know in the comments, I would love to check it out.

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Beginning Again

Once upon a time, I was an organized person. As a mom of two children, one of which has down syndrome, I needed systems in place. I was on top of life, and filled it with menu plans, budgets, blog entries, completed knitting and craft projects, and I was exercising regularly. Then, life got a little crazy. Things started slipping. I went through a divorce, and some pretty rough life moments. My depression and anxiety really brought me down, and what was my normal life, full of routines, went down the dark hole with me.

Fast forward about five tough years, and I am now happily married to a man that has my back and helps me out, even when I am in my worst anxiety girl mode. (I even got to plan my dream Dr. Who wedding!) I’ve met some incredible people that have helped created an awesome village of love and support, and have the best co-parenting relationship with my ex and his wife. Life is improving, and way less dark. It is time to keep moving forward and crawl out of that spiral of sadness and discombulation.

Writing has always been a good outlet, and form of therapy for me, so I have decided to start blogging again. With this blog, I want to chronicle my journey back to my organzied, routine thriving self. I want to share my homeschooling adventures, menu plans, my pinterest successes and failures, knitting projects, and living a thrifty life. I’m also hoping that some of those wonderful members of my village will guest post and share their insight too.

So, welcome to my little corner of the world. I hope to re-connect with some of my favorite blog writers, and am looking forward to gaining some new readers too!

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