2018 Bullet Journal Flip Through

I rang in the new year with a household of germy humans.

We took turns sharing flu symptoms. I must admit it was not the ideal ending to the winter break, but I was able to get a few things done around the house as I was confined within it.

Today I wanted to share with you a Flip Through of last year’s bullet journal. In 2018, I set a goal to maintain a regular schedule in my bujo and I’m happy to say that apart from some short setbacks I was able to complete the journal. I’m really pleased with many of the pages and I’ve learned some techniques that I plan to incorporate into my 2019 bullet journal.

Here is a look at some of my favorite pages:

 

Which spread is your favorite?

The Ameri Brit Mom

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September Plan With Me: Bullet Journal Updates

August was a big month for me. I returned to work after a lengthy maternity leave, I arrived back in the USA after a month abroad, and my oldest daughter started kindergarten. With all of these additions to my schedule over the past thirty-one days I am pleased to say I stayed pretty consistent in my Bullet Journal routine.

Over the past few months my journal has been a refuge for me. Planning, scheduling, and making lists as a form of creative release has benefited me in so many ways. I worried that getting back into a busy routine would cause me to use my bullet journal less, but as I look back over my August pages I can tell that I still kept it a daily priority.

August Recap

I filled in my Habit and Anxiety trackers everyday! I also added a page for Arianna’s soccer season statistics and another for Bible Study notes as I read through the book of Jonah. I love the way these pages all turned out.

September

This month my pages were made using the following tools: PaperMate Flair pens, Veritas metallic glitter pens, Tombow Monodraw pens, brown and navy Cardstock, images from the Cricut Design App, and the Cricut Air 2.

September Theme: Football Friday Night

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On my title page for this month I used some metallic pens in gold, brown, and blue to create a sketch of my theme. The school colors for my local team are gold and navy so I used those colors to set the scheme for the month. This is a simple title page that highlights my lack of sketching ability.

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My weekly pages follow the color scheme for the month and include space for planning each day, journaling, and recording my meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to make sure that as the school year starts that I am still eating well and one way that motivates me is to keep record of what I am eating. Having to write down a horrible meal is reason enough to skip it for me. I used my Cricut to create embellishments this month. I’ve never used cardstock in my journal so I will see how well I like it.

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This month my Anxiety tracker takes the shape of a goal post. I added the cardstock football to help clarify what shape I was intending for the anxiety tracker. Each day of the month has a line on the goal post and I will color each according to my level of anxiety each day throughout the month.

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My fitness log follows the same outline as the past few months. It’s working well for me to track this way so I’m going to stick with it.

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I love the way this Weekly Review spread turned out. Each week this year I have recorded highlights from the week and something for which I am grateful.

One of my goals this month is to create a recycling plan for my family. Once I’ve established that I will post a picture. If your family recycles I’d love to hear tips and ways to make it fun for kids. I’m also looking for ideas for my October pages.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Seasonal Blocks

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I don’t get in crafty moods often, but when I do you better watch out. This weekend I decided to finish a DIY project I started over a year ago. This is something I saw at a craft show last Christmas and decided I would try to make for myself. It’s fairly simple and requires little time, money, and skill. And because I love to decorate for the seasons I decided to go with a seasonal theme. Here is a look at my finished seasonal blocks:

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What you need to make these seasonal blocks:

-six wooden blocks of varying sizes

-white paint (or a paint color of your choice)

-4 seasonal pages of scrapbook or patterned paper

-1 black Sharpie (or letter stamps if you prefer not to free hand the lettering)

-Mod Podge

-paintbrushes

How to make these blocks: (Warning: It make take more than one day to complete this craft due to the amount of time it takes for the paint to dry. I started out just doing each season as it approached and over the course of the year finished it. However, it can also take just two days to knock out the whole thing.)

  1. Start by painting the surface  of each of the wooden blocks. I chose to paint my blocks white to match the woodwork in my living room, but you may choose to stain or paint your blocks in other colors to match your decor. I’ve seen this done with black blocks before and I think it looks really crisp and nice as well.
  2. As the paint is drying, begin to cut out six rectangles from each of your patterned papers.
  3. Once the rectangles are cut you can go ahead and write out or stamp the letters on to each piece of paper.
  4. Once the paint has dried evaluate whether the blocks require multiple coats. Mine did. And so I really only got through the painting process in the first day of crafting.
  5. After the paint is dry, you can begin with your first side of mod podge. Before you begin with the sticking you want to arrange your rectangles in an appealing way. If they are different sizes you will want to play around with how to organize them.
  6. When you have organized the order of the blocks, you can begin with the mod podge. I always add a dab of mod podge to the block first to adhere the paper like glue. Then, once the paper is stuck onto the block go over the edges and the entire paper with the mod podge. At first it will look very gluey, but mod podge will dry clear. You want to make sure you have enough mod podge that the paper is secure, but not too much that the paper bubbles.
  7. Repeat the mod podge process for the entire name of the season.
  8. Then, before moving on to the next face or season make sure the entire mod podged face is dry.
  9. Important: When adding each new season be sure to keep the letters in the order you originally arranged!

This was a fun little project. I plan to make some more in the future because it was so simple and I like the look of it. I know people who use a similar method to create Christmas calendar blocks counting down the 25 days of Christmas. I’ve also seen this as a popular gift for new parents who use blocks to either countdown to the arrival of their bundle of joy or to announce the time since their child was born in monthly photographs. I’m looking for some new ideas so if you have any other ways that simple blocks and mod podge could be used please share!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Stand In The Place Where You Live

Lately, I’ve been on the prowl to find some unique pieces for a couple of gallery walls in my house. Currently, there is a wall in progress in the living room and one in the kitchen of more themed pieces. Over the weekend, while on a shopping escapade I had a wonderful idea: why not use some unique regional pieces which showcase our family’s heritage?

Marrying a man from England has truly shaped my worldview. I’ve learned to think and love outside of my small corner of the world. I may have never lived more than an hour from my home epicenter in any direction, but being married to Sam has helped me to see that there is more to be explored beyond the Ohio River.

I’m an Ohioan through and through and that will not ever change.

Sam is a Southampton boy and that will never change either.

So I’ve been thinking about bringing the ameri-brit part of our family into our home decor. What better way to highlight that uniqueness to our children and guests than to incorporate knicks and knacks from both of our backgrounds in the aesthetic presence of our house.

Below is a mood board of some pieces I would love to see join our gallery walls.

  1. Blue English Canvas
  2. Ohio Pallet
  3. Ohio Stuff from Simply Vague
  4. London Canvas 

Love and Grace

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This Sunday morning my husband is on the road with a basketball show and I am nursing my daughter back to health after an ear infection. This winter has brought sickness after sickness for my little girl, but on Friday we received some potential answers as to why. It looks like our little girl has allergies and all of these upper respiratory issues lately are rooted in that condition.

For the third time in the past month I’m missing church again today so I won’t be posting a Covenant message. However, I do look forward to catching up via podcast later in the week.

Today, my message was brought to me from my biblical coloring book, Live Loved.

Jeremiah 31:3- I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Because God loves us with an everlasting love it means that He always has and always will continue to love us. No matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done His love for each of us is eternal. His unfailing kindness refers to the fact that while we may not deserve it He has chosen to love us anyway.

When God looks at us He chooses not to see our sins and mistakes. Out of His unfailing kindness He chose GRACE. And His grace covers all of our weaknesses.

I’m so thankful for a God who loves, forgives, and covers us with grace!

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Live Loved

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This Valentine’s Day I received a copy of Margaret Feinberg’s Live Loved: An Adult Coloring Book. This book is so much more than a booklet of motor skill refining pictures. Rather this book is a walk through some of the most intimate scriptures which highlight God’s love for His people.

Some people (like me) are wired with creative tendencies. For those of us who enjoy artistic expression we need to make sure we find creative outlets for those personality traits. It’s easy to get busy and to keep from expressing ourselves as artists, but it is imperative to spend time rewinding in a creative activity.

This book is really a cutting-edge idea.

I journal and write about what I am learning in my journey through God’s Word, but I’ve never put much thought into reflecting on what I read in a more creative way. The whole idea behind this book is to spend extended amounts of time creating, praying, memorizing and reflecting on passages from God’s Word.

Over the next several months I intend to begin Bible Journaling. (If you are unfamiliar with what all that entails check out this post by Rachel Wojo.) Working my way through this book, however, is a great segue to that process. I will openly admit that while my mind may be wired in a creative manner that my abilities may not be top-of-the-line. As I work my way through this book I plan to share with you some of my pages and reflections. So, please, no judging the artwork.

Today, I read and reflected on 1 John 3:1.

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After completing my illustrative page I turned my attention to God’s Word. I was led to a passage in the following chapter (1 John 4:16-18) which also focuses on God’s love and what that means.

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Today, my prayer is that I begin to live a life more focused on the fact that I am loved by my God. That in doing so I may experience love without fear. That I might accept the only love which makes me complete through seeing myself as lovable is my prayer. Lastly, I pray that God’s love spills over into the way that I love others around me.

The Ameri Brit Mom

A Family Art Date

It’s so easy to get into ruts. Every area of our lives is susceptible to the mundane. We can become so stuck on foods, routines, and shops that we begin to lose the excitement we once held for those things. In Ohio, the winter time can become a season of over-repeated family date nights. There are only so many things you can do in the great indoors with a toddler. When all else fails my husband and I resort to traveling to a mall so that we can walk, talk, and enjoy time together with the promise of a play area trip if our daughter is on her best behavior.

As much fun as a trip to one of the area’s malls can be this past weekend we felt the need to branch out and try something new. The temperatures were cooler and the prospect of flurries lingered in the forecast. It was a weekend for indoor activities, but we were so over the idea of spending another Friday night window shopping and supervising our daughter in a sea of rambunctious children.

After a quick Google search I found an Art and Clay Cafe in a neighboring town. Our daughter is absolutely in love with arts and crafts so it seemed like a trip that would be right up her alley. Indeed, the new adventure was well worth it.

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The first thing we did once we entered the eccentric cafe was browse their shelves of ceramics. My daughter chose a bird ornament and a balloon-shaped dog. I wanted to create a decorative piece for the house so I chose a plate. My husband wanted to try his hand at painting intricate details so he selected to paint a ceramic wizard. This also makes more sense if you know my husband and his extreme addiction to Harry Potter. (He did grow up in England in the 1990’s so you can’t really blame him. That was Potter country back then.)

With our ceramic selections made we made our way to the paint table. Each of us filled a plate of vibrant colors and then took a seat where the baristas served us coffee and juice while we worked.

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I’ve forgotten how therapeutic painting can be. It’s been years since I just sat down and painted. All three of us were in such a zone as we focused on the projects at hand. I had completely forgotten about the nerve-wrecking Active Shooter Training that had happened in my school that afternoon. Our daughter had watched a program the week prior about mixing colors to make others so she really enjoyed experimenting with her colors. Somehow in the process of mixing multiple colors she manufactured the most beautiful shade of purple. She used this color to coat her dog and used so many other colors on the bird piece she worked on.

For nearly three hours our entire family worked on our individual projects while talking, laughing, and sipping on cafe drinks. Several people stopped by our table to compliment our daughter on her use of the paintbrush and her impeccable behavior. Art really is one of her gifts. As parents we have tried to embrace this talent. (I admit sometimes we embrace this interest with a little of selfishness. Arts and crafts are really the only thing she will sit down to do. If we want peace and quiet we give her paper and markers and she is occupied for a good bit of time.)

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When we finished with our projects we turned them in to the front desk. The pieces were queued for the kiln. The Art and Clay Cafe take all pieces and place a finishing gloss on them before heating them up in the kiln. Upon check out we received a ticket and a pick-up date. Next Saturday our beautiful creations will be done and ready to be brought home. I look forward to picking up our masterpieces.

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It was a unique Friday night. A family date for the books. We really liked the Art and Clay Cafe.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Coffee Filter Butterflies

Summer has begun and the search for toddler-friendly activities is in full bloom. Over the past couple of weeks my daughter has shown an expressed interest in art. She loves to sit and draw and her artwork is really beginning to resemble the objects she is intending to replicate. For example, earlier this week she drew this rain cloud for her dad. She explained that the dot in the middle of the cloud is all the rain getting ready to make us all wet.

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She also has been drawing caterpillars galore. This is her favorite thing to draw and she is getting really good at it.

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My daughter is only two and a half, but she is extremely interested in arts and crafts. For me I am a little challenged by this talent. I appreciate good art, but cannot create my own. Obviously, my daughter has inherited her abilities from my husband’s side of the family. Now that I am on summer vacation I’ve planned out several ways to cater to my daughter’s artistic needs to help her expand her skills and learn some fun art forms. I went a little pin-crazy on Pinterest earlier this week and pinned a ridiculous amount of toddler friendly crafts. You can check out my board here.

For our first craft I chose something that seemed easy enough for me to not mess up. We made coffee filter butterflies. I already had all of the materials necessary for creating these colorful works of art. We had a great time painting the filters and watching them dry. Once dry we gathered the filter in the middle and wrapped a pipe cleaner around it to form the body of the butterfly. I was very pleased with the way these turned out. Below is a list of the materials needed for this project:

-coffee filters

-water color paints

-paint brush

-pipe cleaners

-cup of water

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