50 Things I Did in 2017

So we may or may not be more than two weeks into 2018 already and I may or may not have been so damn busy with everything life (AKA procrastinating my uni work and watching Jane the Virgin) to write or even think about writing a blog post. But I was absolutely determined (ish) to get this particular one written and published, mainly for my own sake to look back on and reminisce and whatnot.

I hope you (whoever reading this) have had a brilliant 2017 and a fantastic start to 2018, and I know these few weeks are supposed to be like super depressing and gloomy than all the other months in the year or something, so we could all use a bit of cheering up. And what better way to cheer up than by looking back at all the cool sh*t I did last year, even though some things definitely did not go to plan.

So here goes nothing, here’s 50 things I did in the year 2017…

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What’s In My Bag? / 2016

I told you this was gonna be girly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you’re not into all this girly beauty/lifestyle type of content then feel free to stop reading, I won’t be mad. But if you are, then I hope this post makes a good start on my road to being one of those bloggers.

And the reason for this post even being a thing is simply because I freaking love being nosey about other people. I’ll happily watch a hundred of these videos on YouTube and read these types of blogs so, I thought I’d give it a go.

So, without rambling too much (still will a little bit, this is me), let’s get into it!

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The Bag

So, to start off, my actual bag was bought from eBay earlier this year (and is still available here). When I found it, I was looking for a proper grown-up bag. I wanted small enough to carry around everyday, but also big enough to 1. take to college (when I went to college) and 2. fit overnight stuff in for when I stay at the boyfriend’a house. And I found exactly the right one! (And it was less than £20). It’s got three zippy pockets – and loads more inside each one – gold hardware, is waterproof and has a long handle as well (which is a must for me, ain’t nobody got time to use those little handles constantly).

The Contents

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Item 1: Purse

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I recently changed from my summer to winter purses (yes, I do that), and I’m still as in love with this as when I first bought it. It was a New Look purchase, and unfortunately is no longer being sold as it was from 2015. But, it’s super sturdy and pretty with the gold hardware (anyone feeling a gold theme?) and rose details. It’s got enough space for all those stupid cards you carry around, as well as change and TONS OF RECIEPTS (guilty). It’s fab. I love it.

Item 2: Sunglasses

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Finally, a recent purchase that I can actually link you to! Try not to explode with excitement, as I know you all will. I recently went on a bit of a major spend at a few places and H&M was one of them. These little beauties were on sale for £3.49 and I thought they’ll be perfect for when it’s cold af, but still so sunny that you can’t actually see. Really simple purchase, but very worth it.

Item 3: The Notebook(s)

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One being my bullet journal (take a look at this post for more info on that!), the other being my work notebook that they gave me because it was floating around the office. I cannot go anywhere without a notebook (and a pen. Obviously.), just in case of those ‘Eureka!’ moments (and by ‘Eureka’, I of course mean when you remember that you forgot to get deoderant and need to go get some because you smell).

Item 4: The Necessities

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Pretty bog standard stuff, to be honest. Umbrella (because I live in England), and keys. House key, car key and Tesco Clubcard fob. The basics.

Item 5: Glasses

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My lovely glasses. Constantly need to be in the bag because I need them for driving (when I do actually get a chance to drive) and for when I get headaches at work. Also, they make me look clever.

Item 6: The Teccy Bits

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As we all know, these are of course the most important items in any bag. My phone, a beautiful little HTC One Mini 2 which suits me perfectly  (because I, too, am mini), my iPod Nano, Gummy earphones (I cannot be doing with those funny bobbly earphones that don’t fit in my ears, so I stick with the Gummys), and my portable charger. The charger was from Amazon (find it here) and was slightly more expensive than others I’d found, but so worth it. It can charge my phone fully about five times before dying. I recommend!

Item 7: The Beauty Bits

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So, in the middle zippy bit (the technical term) of my bag, I like to keep all those little things that we always wish we had when we don’t. That includes:

Finally, the last thing I like to keep in my bag is… More bags. Carrier bags. British people can relate. The struggle truly is real with carrier bags.

And there you go! Possibly the girliest thing ever to grace this bonkers planet, and its now on my blog! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you want more posts like this (or if you hated it and want me to go back to rambling about Lena Dunham) then leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading, see you Wednesday!

Jess

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My Bullet Journal // 2016

The Bullet Journal has become more and more well-known over the internet in the past few years, after digital product designer Ryder Carroll first implemented the idea, in an attempt to organize his life in a way that normal planners and diaries just couldn’t cut.

Since then, the idea of the Bullet Journal (or ‘BuJo’ (yeah, I don’t like it either)) has been changed, adapted and turned around by each and every person who has adopted the initial idea, in an attempt to create something specifically for them, in a time where phone calendars and reminders rule.

I’ve been meaning to make this post for such a long time, but my reluctance to let anyone see just how unorganized my life is kind of stopped me. Because, in reality, the whole point of what I’m about to show you is to try and organize my life. And I’ll be honest, it has not gone to plan.

So, as a disclaimer, to anyone who has, or is thinking about creating a Bullet Journal for themselves, it does not have to be perfect and beautiful like those people on Pinterest. If you’re a perfectionist who can also draw, and you want your journal to be beautiful and artistic, that’s great. But for most of us out here, a simple, personalized planner is all we need. It’s all about who you are, and what works for you (and also how much time you have to make each page of your journal like the Mona Lisa).

So, I’m about to show you what my bullet journal (if you can call it that? I don’t even really use the bullet points…) looks like, how I (try to) use it, and maybe it can give you productivity nerds out there a bit of inspiration.

I started my “Bullet Journal” in May this year, so I’ve had a fair amount of time to get into the rhythm of things. I started attempting to create this journal after seeing countless Buzzfeed posts and pictures on Tumblr of beautifully organized and decorated planners that I would kill to be able to make.

I also started because, while I used PoundlLand weekly planners throughout college to record homework and exams, etc, I wanted a place that I could plan my weeks, but also a place to record my random thoughts. Before then, I’d been using countless other, extra notebooks to write down to-do lists, plan blog posts and other little things I needed reminding about. I found myself getting lost in a sea of them, and never actually remembering what I needed to, and accomplishing those tasks. I thought that, if I created this all-encompassing diary, I’d just have one thing to carry around, and that would be that.

Of course, I never stick to these ideas 100%, but using the BuJo has been incredibly useful when I have to remind myself of something for the coming weeks, and writing weekly to-do lists (far better than daily, as I never have enough to do daily to even warrant a list).

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For my first Bullet Journal, I decided to use a notebook that my best friend Sophie bought me for my 18th birthday. I’m not sure where it’s from, but I thought it was perfect. It’s A5, lined (which I prefer) and just really simple and cute, with this shiny gold pattern on the front and back. It’s super discreet, which I like (being very secretive about my many many notebooks).

So, when I first started trying to make my bullet journal, I downloaded and printed a bunch of blank month-calendar things, and stuck them into the page at each month. Here’s what it looked like:

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I really loved this, as it gave me a chance to be creative with making flip-out parts, and decorating the blank templates. However, eventually I felt a bit restricted size-wise with my cutouts. Admittedly, I could have just printed them a bit bigger, but I fancied a change, And that brings me to how I set out my months now:

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I find this way a lot more spacious, and it also gives me a lot more creative freedom than the cutouts. However, if I wanted to go back to being more minimal and neat in my approach (which is just so not me), I think I’d stick with the print-outs.

Then onto the weeklies. These are a lot less pretty, and a lot more ad-hoc, unfortunately for those neat-freaks out there. Because I’m a disorganized mess, I tend to write out each day of the week, and the date, every month in advance, using a two page spread. On one side, I’ll write the dates and things that I need to do/remember/or what’s happening on that day. Opposite this, I’ll write my weekly to-do’s, which tend to be extremely varied.

 

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While this method might make some of those who like prettiness cry (I’m sorry, I’m not artistic or neat), this method works for me. It’s quick and easy to update and check when I need, it allows me to jot down random thoughts as well, such as blog post ideas and when I might post it, and just works for me.

As you might have noticed, I don’t actually use any of the real Bullet Journal techniques, such as trackers, bulleting events and such differently, but that is just me. It’s the eay I work, and I don’t have the patience to sit around faffing with decoration and trackers. But if that would work for you, then please do give it a go!

There are a few more little bits I wanted to share with you that I included in my journal over the months, and one of which was my revision timetable.

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Now I cannot, for the life of me, stick to a timetable like this. It didn’t work for this one, nor has it worked for any others I might try to stick to. I’m a waffly, flaky person (much like an ice cream cone), and I can’t stick to schedules or anything, because honestly life is just too short. But, I was really proud of this page and this idea when I was studying for my A Levels, and it might offer some inspiration to those who may need it this year.

Another little, more personal part, of my Bullet Journal is my ‘Memories’ pages. This is one I’ve actually stuck with since the beginning, and I’m really liking how they turn out. At the end of every month, I write down the previous month’s main events (generally the ones that made me happy, but if something big happens, I’ll still record it). I started doing this because, at the end of 2015, so much had happened that I wanted to remember, but I knew I never would just from memory alone. So, along came the memories page. I’ll sit and have a rethink over what’s been going on, read through my previous pages in the journal, and just chuck them onto a pretty page, with some drawings to remembers (cause, come on, they’re cute!). Here’s the one I made for March this year:

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And there you have it. That’s my (not so) Bullet Journal, 2016. I hope no one cried at how messy it is, and I hope it’s given some that little push they needed to start their own.

I was thinking of making this a regular type of post, maybe seasonal, so that I can post updates on things that have changed in my journalling system, and any tips and tricks I’ve found. If that’s something you’d be interested in, like or comment on this post!

Thanks again, hope everyone’s October is off to a spooky start!

Jess