Experiment in Bullet Journaling (w/ Video!!!)

On March 6, 2015, I decided to attempt bullet journaling in my current diary. I wrote out a month at a glance bullet list that spans two pages. I use the left over room on the second page to make notes about the next month and any big reminders.

On the following six pages, I wrote out my categorized To Do lists: Personal, Crafts by Cori (my side business), Writing/Blog, YouTube ideas & notes, House stuff. My private diary pages come after that.

I realized a few days in that I missed the week at a glance layout. I had bought one of those tear-away weekly calendars at the beginning of the year. I tore off the current and following weeks and glued them onto the pages.

I recently saw in one of the Bullet Journaling Facebook groups another weekly layout. Instead of using washi tape to separate my squares, I used highlighter.

There are also daily things I want to keep tract of (exercising, doing the dishes, Bible reading), so I repurposed a chart from a weekly planner layout I had created. It is set up a daily checklist that goes by the week.

This is the video link where I go through my March 2015 bullet journal set up.


Of course, I have come up with some other layout ideas, but that’s another post.

© Cori Large March 6-14, 2015

Featured on another blog!!!

Good morning everyone!

I’m sorry I’m so late getting this week’s post out. I’m still editing the post I have for this week, so I’m going to have to push it to Monday or Tuesday.

However, I am very please to show you that I was featured on another blog: Life as a Fleek.

Cara interviewed me and has allowed me to share the piece here.

Just in case the link doesn’t work, here’s the post:

Friday Fleeker Feature!!

Hello Fleekers!I am so glad to introduce a new friend on my Friday Feature!  This is Cori from http://talesfromapolkcountygirl.com

She has some great ideas on planners and home  management.  I’ve poked around her cite a bit and it was very informative!  Go check it out!

1. What kind of planner do you use?
I am currently experimenting with bullet journaling, and have been using it for exactly one week. So far I’m enjoying it. This will be my third journal go ’round this year (I know!). I started 2015 with a Franklin Covey Sierra ring bound planner with Blooms vertical column inserts. It was beautiful, but the one thing I really wanted was the ability to bend my planner back like a spiral notebook. I then moved to creating my own inserts and putting them in Mead Flex binder, which I was really enjoying using except for the size. The Flex binder is a full size binder and doesn’t fit in my purse.
2. Have you always used planners and what got you using them?
My first memory of having a planner was first grade when my mom gave me her old one and I wrote “I ❤ JTT” all over it! (JTT = Jonathan Taylor Thomas for those who weren’t a part of that craze.) The private school I went to encouraged us to have Assignment books to write our homework in. These were very simple “planner” of the undated variety. In middle school, we were no longer required to use them, but I still asked my mom to get me one. In high school, I graduated to a simple At A Glance planner from Walmart. I used these throughout high school and most of college. When I got a full time job, I decided I needed to upgrade to something more professional. With the go big or go home mindset, I got a Desk size DayTimer Avalon, 7 ring. I used it for about a year, but those 7 rings were a hindrance. Also the size was a mistake. So I downsized to a Franklin Covey Sierra Classic size (5.5×8.5). LOVED IT! Until my desire for being able to bend it back like a spiral notebook became to great.
3. Do you use accessories for your planner? If so what do you use?
Yes, I do use accessories, stickers and washi tape mainly. I like using them in the diary section and write around them. I do use different color pens, but I don’t consider that an accessory. The pens I use are Sharpie No Bleed pens.
4. Would you be willing to try out other planners or are you satisfied with your planner?  How often do you change planners?
Ha Ha I believe my first two answers will answer this question. I’m really enjoying the bullet journal process right now, especially since my set up is a bullet journal/diary combo. I plan on carrying this on. Wish me luck! I am getting tired of hoping around. The quest to find Planner Peace is a long one with a lot of trial and error.
5. How do you organize your planner?  In other words would you be willing to explain your system?
I’m going to answer this question with how I’ve set up my bullet journal. I started it as an experiment so it is in my current diary. (Also, I don’t care for graph paper, so my bullet journal is one lined paper.)
1. Monthly chart: mine spans two pages, and the extra space is where I write upcoming events in the next month and reminders for month (like buying birthday presents).
2. Weekly slips: I bought one of those magnetic calendars with the tear off sheets at Walmart. It is The Big Bang Theory themed. These are glued in and double as decoration.
3. Daily charts: I created these little charts where I can check off daily things like exercising. These are also glued in.
4. After the calendars, come my categorized To Do lists: Personal, Crafts by Cori (side business), Writing/Blog, YouTube Channel, House list. Each list is assigned 1-2 pages.
5. After all of these, are my diary pages. And since I do one month at a time, I’m not limited on how many diary pages I need.
Because this set up was started in the middle of a diary, it will change when I start a new diary. I’m thinking about putting the To Do lists at the very beginning and giving them about 5-6 pages each to last the entire length of usage. I’m halfway through my current diary, so I have some time to thing about this.
6. Any advice on using planners or finding the right one?
Take a few minutes and write out what you’re really looking for in a planner. What are you going to organize? How to you want to organize? Are there any format functions that the planner MUST have (zipper closure, multiple pen loops, ability to add and take stuff out at will, bend back like a spiral)? How much are you will to spend? Are you happy to spend money on what’s already out there or is nothing speaking to you and you need to make up your own combination.
Thank you Cori for joining us today!
If you would like to be featured please email me at lifeofafleek@yahoo.com
Happy Fleeking!

And thank you, Cara, for allowing me to share!

March 2015 Meat Haul

Back Story: There’s a local meat market that does really good bulk deals. My husband and I had gotten a few of the smaller deals when we lived in our apartment, and joked that one day we were save up for Meat Deal #8.

After we moved into our house, he brought it up again. Problem. Meat Deal #8 equaled out to 120 pounds of meat products. The freezer in our refrigerator would only hold a small portion of that order, and that’s if meat was the only thing in the freezer.

So we saved up and bought a 10 cubic foot chest freezer. And a week later, I had placed the order (you need to give 24 hours’ notice) and set the pickup time for 8 am Saturday morning.

Just so everyone knows how much meat we’re dealing with, Meat Deal #8 consists of:

8 lb.s T-Bone steaks                                                                        8 lbs. Top Sirloin Steaks

8 lbs. cubed steak                                                                            8 lbs. ground beef

8 lbs. pork steaks                                                                             8 lbs. country style pork ribs

8 lbs. assorted pork chops                                                            6 lbs. Boston butt pork roast

3 lbs. rolled sausage                                                               5 lbs. chicken wings or split breasts

5 lbs. chicken drumsticks or thighs                                            5 lbs. smoked sausage

3 lbs. hot dogs                                                                                   3 lbs. bologna

3 lbs. of bacon

AND!!! 1-40 lb. box of chicken leg quarters comes FREE with Meat Deal #8.

It took about 2 hours to break everything down and repackage it in more manageable quantities. Here’s what we ended up with:

8 bags of cubed steak (2 steaks per bag)

5 pkgs of ground beef (1.75 lbs. per pkg)

7 bags of T-bone steaks (2 steaks per bag)

5 Top Sirloin steaks (individually packaged)

4 pkgs of bologna

3 bags of chicken drumsticks (5 drumsticks per bag)

12 bags of chicken leg quarters (2 legs per bag)

3 bags of chicken wings (5 wings per bag)

4 pkgs of hot dogs

5 pkgs of bacon

8 bags of boneless pork ribs (3 ribs per bag)

2-3 lb. Boston butt pork roasts (individually packaged)

7 bags of pork chops (2 chops per bag)

7 bags of pork steaks (2 steaks per bag)

5 pkgs of smoked sausage

Additional meats that are in the chest freezer, but not part of this meat haul:

1.5 lbs. ground beef

2 rolls of Jimmy Dean sausage meat

25 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breasts

25 lbs. of chicken tenders

The whole point of this exercise is to try to buy meat twice a year. I’ve typed up a complete inventory sheet and we’ll be using that to keep track of what meat we use and enjoy eating. I do know we’ll have to supplement chicken breasts and ground beef most likely.

Here’s the video link: March 2015 Meat Haul if you’d like to see all the meat before it was broken up.

© Cori Large March 11, 2015

Ways I’ve Found to Save Money

Back Story: These are ways I’ve found to save money. Some of them may be repeats from a previous post or well-known ideas. If you would like to adopt them, please feel free!

Hand Washing Dishes

After we stopped using our dishwasher, our electric bill dropped by $20 a month. Granted it’s just the two of us and I understand that dishwashers are a God-send for moms, but I’m doing without it for now.

Using a Clothesline

A clothesline or a drying rack. We have both. A clothesline rigged under our carport and a drying rack in the bathtub of our spare bathroom. (This only happens when we don’t have long-term guests.) The clothesline is weather-dependent, but it’s great when you can use it.

Using the Dryer—the smart way

Contract your electric company and see if they have peak hour pricing. For example, if your electric company’s off peak hours are 9 pm to 6 am. Go ahead and wash the clothes, but don’t start the dryer until after 9 pm.

Coupons (you knew it was coming)

I used to coupon for every conceivable item I ever thought I would buy. It took up a lot more time and effort than I really wanted to put in. The TV show Extreme Couponing has made some shoppers feel inadequate because they are not getting $2000.00 for pennies. Honey, anything you save at the grocery store is awesome!

I now only cut coupons for items I know my household with use, and I don’t mean ALL of the laundry coupons. I mean I use specific types of laundry detergent because I have sensitive skin, so those are the only coupons I cut out. It has saved me a great deal of time, and I’m not wasting money on buying items my household doesn’t want or need just because it’s on sale and I have a coupon.

Cash Budgets

This is still a new concept to me, but I’ll try to explain it the best I can. I withdraw a specific amount of money at the beginning of each month. It gets divided between the cash budgets for the month: $300 for groceries, $100 for home stuff including health & beauty, $20 for fun for each myself and my husband, $50 for pool and grounds maintenance, $50 for Christmas gifts, and $20 for birthday gifts. There are other items in the budget, but these are just the categories that I stick to using cash for so I won’t overspend.

Buy Generic

Look into purchasing store brands instead of the name brand. Just because the name brand is on sale and you have a coupon doesn’t mean it’s still a better deal that buying the generic store brand.

General Shopping

My husband and I have gotten to the point where we only buy something is we absolutely need it. If we can borrow a tool or piece of kitchen equipment, we do that instead. Or try to find another way to do something if we don’t have everything we need to do something.

Flea Market Produce

This tip may be regional: Fruits and vegetables can be cheaper at the flea markets. This is the case where I live.

Garage Sales/Thrift Stores

Look for gently used household items and clothes at thrift stores and garage sales. You’d be surprised at what you can find at garage sales and thrift stores. But remember!!! Just because it’s cheaply priced, doesn’t mean you need it.

Free Books, Movies, etc.

Utilize the library and/or other used bookstores for books. You may have to wait a little while sometimes, but you’ll pay less or nothing at all for books. Libraries are also great places to get movies and music.

For full disclosure, my husband and I aren’t living paycheck to paycheck like a lot of people do. We’re very fortunate for that and we know it. We’ve had distracters tease us about our ways, imply that we’re cheap, and flat out tell us we’re being dumb. Well, we live in America and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

Our goal is to save as much money as possible to hopefully buy a house with cash. And spending money on nonessentials is the quickest way to make that not happen.

So for those of you who are saving for something specific (a house, car, vacation, pay off a debt), don’t let the naysayers get you down. It won’t last forever. Every penny you find of the street helps.

Good luck!