“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” -William Blake

Hello everyone! I apologize for going MIA for two weeks, I was busy helping my friend, the one who was hit by a car. She is doing well and she’s at home with her family. She has a new brace that allows her to bend her knee and it helps her get around. This is not what this post is going to be about, though.

Thanksgiving is coming up, so this is my topic today. First, many people don’t know when or why Thanksgiving started. I went to Google to get more information so that I can correctly inform anyone else. I don’t claim to know all about it but I did know a few things. Google directed me to the Channel’s site, to see it, visit here. But, here is a small excerpt from the site:

“In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations”

The site goes on to discuss when Thanksgiving became an official holiday until almost 200 years later. That’s a long time but it has been changing since then, into what it is today. From what was eaten in 1621 to now and the reason is was celebrated vs. why we celebrate it today.

They menu in 1621 did not include turkey or cranberry sauce nor did it have pies. Instead they had venison (deer), corn, fowl, and barley. Today, many households do have turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, potatoes (sweet and mashed), various pies, as well as other food choices. In 1621, the reason Thanksgiving was celebrated was because the pilgrims wanted to celebrate their first successful harvest in the Americas. They then decided to invite the Native Americans to join in the three day festivities. Today, however, we typically associate Thanksgiving as a day to spend with friends and family as well as think about all that we are thankful for.

Every family has their own traditions, my family’s traditions are slightly different than my husband’s family’s traditions and I’m sure our future family traditions will combine both as well as new traditions. Traditions also differ depending on what area in the United States you live in. If you are in the south, you have more southern food but if you go further north or west, you get a different menu.

What are your family traditions? What is your favorite thing to eat during the festivities? Comment below to share. Happy Thanksgiving from me to you! Enjoy your time with those you love.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” -Louis L’Amour

Today is day three of NaNoWriMo and I wanted to share my progress. As of last night, my word count was over 4,000. I’m on top of my game, with a goal of 2,000 words each day and so far, I’ve done more. It definitely gives me cushion on my busier days, like Thanksgiving. 

In my local NaNoWriMo group, many of them were so amazed that I was writing long hand. To me, it’s easier. If I typed it all, I’d have Facebook to distract me and pull me away. With a notebook, there’s not much there in terms of distraction. 

This is a short check in/countability post. Comment below with your word count so far.

If you’d like to be my buddy on the NaNoWriMo site, look up CarraSkye. I’ll buddy you back 😆

“In this town we call home Everyone hail to the pumpkin song” -Nightmare Before Christmas

If you know me, you should know what my number one favorite holiday is. Yes, HALLOWEEN! Some people may not like the holiday for their own personal reasons but I absolutely love it. The dressing up, the candy, the decorating, the haunted houses, it’s all wonderful. Last year we had a big Halloween party and all of our close friends came, we had trick-or-treaters coming to our door for a few hours, so much was going on. This year, we did nothing. We bought some candy, hoping someone would stop by but they didn’t. Oh well, more for me.

Anyway, I saw a meme last night that made me sad. Halloween may be my number one holiday but as soon as it’s November, I start counting down to my second favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.

You thought I was going to say Christmas, didn’t you? Honestly, Christmas isn’t even my top five. But this meme made meno pretty sad because every year, people skip over Thanksgiving. Yes, they celebrate it but all they are really worried about is Christmas. I just don’t understand why such an amazing day gets skipped over every year. Stores advertise Christmas for 6 months of the year, yes there may be a small isle or two of Thanksgiving int he craft stores but for the most part they got from Halloween to BAM! Christmas the next day. Just like Disney does in this video. I understand that it’s a big holiday but it’s overrated. It’s all about buy, buy, buy. I’m sick of it and if it didn’t mean so much to my husband and his family, I would probably boycott Christmas altogether because of how sick I am over the over advertisement of Christmas.  It’s great that there is a holiday somewhat dedicated to the birth of Jesus Christ but honestly, it’s so overdone with presents and Santa Clause that He gets forgotten. I’d rather celebrate Him another way and separate it all. Yes, giving gifts to those you love is great but there’s just so much pressure on what to get, how much to spend, where to buy, what will they really like, etc. I’m just over it, I was over it in August. Yes, there was Christmas stuff out in August.

Anyway, this is why Thanksgiving is so wonderful. Yes, there may be pressure on the people cooking the wonderful dinner but if you divide it up, no one gets overly stressed. It’s a holiday all about coming together, you don’t have to give anyone anything, you don’t have to spend millions on decorations just so your house will look as good as the neighbor. It’s not about competition, it’s about being thankful.

I apologize if I rambled, I just wish there was less Christmas and more of other holidays. Sometimes Christmas overruns everything else in life. Please, feel free to share what your favorite holiday is in the comments.

“First steps are always the hardest but until they are taken the notion of progress remains only a notion and not an achievement.” ―Aberjhani

November is fast approaching and with it comes new chapters for the year. If any of you are writers, you probably know about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. If you have never heard of it or if you aren’t sure of what it is exactly, it’s where you write out a novel in one month. Your goal is to write at least 50,000 words in the month of November. You can also get more information on their website here.

For some writing 50,000 words seems insane. Why would anyone do such a thing? How could anyone do such a thing? For you, I say this: yes, it is insane but when you’re doing something you love, it’ll always seem insane to someone. There are thousands of people who do NaNoWriMo and succeed. Some of them have full-time jobs, some go to school, some do both. It’s all a matter of time management.

You may ask “How did you come across this? I’ve never heard anything about it.” I hadn’t, either, until this month. It’s been going on since, according to their website, 1999 but I never knew about it until now. When I first found out about it, I fell in love with the idea but told myself I’d wait until next year to do it because it’s just not enough time to prepare for it this year. Well, I changed my mind and joined this year. I have the rest of this week to finish any preparations for my story before it officially begins. I made myself a new bullet journal for my book and I have made a few different helpful spreads so far.

Spreads I’m including:

  • Master list of characters
  • Master list of settings
  • Word trackers
  • List of essential items for the month
  • Notes from meetings with my local NaNoWriMo group
  • Brief outline for each chapter
  • Weekly review pages
  • Anything else I find useful from YouTube videos

This may not be your cup of tea but for me, it’s exciting. I feel like it’s that extra push I needed to get me to write what I’ve been thinking on for the last 6 or more years. IT’s better late than never, though, right?

If you have any Pro-nano tips, please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear what your experiences have been for NaNoWriMo. I hope you enjoyed this! Check out what it’s all about, you may want to join, too!

NaNoWriMo survival kit videos

Plan a novel

NaNoWriMo 2016 videos

National Novel Writing Month YouTube Channel

“A Caterpie may change into a Butterfree, but the heart that beats inside remains the same.” -Brock

By the title of this post, I’m sure you all know I’m going to talk about Pokémon. Over the summer, Pokémon Go was released and it was bigger than Niantic thought it would be. The servers kept crashing and players couldn’t log in so they could play, the screen would freeze and players would lose awesome Pokémon, the tracker wouldn’t work. No game is ever perfect and Pokémon Go is no exception. Months after the release and they’re still working on making it better. There is a lot of suspicion on what they will do next for the game, Pokémon trading with other players, generation 2 Pokémon release, gym changes, there’s so much they can do. Many people, however, have stopped playing the game. My husband is one of those people. He got to level 16 and hasn’t played since. I will admit, I don’t play as often as I did when it was first released but I still play. We went on a weekend trip to San Diego a couple weeks ago and it was the first time in a while that I opened my app. I am so glad I did, too, because I caught a few Pokémon I didn’t have yet, like Ninetales and Tauros. I forgot how exciting it was to catch the ones I don’t yet have. Just last night I caught one down the street from our apartment that I didn’t already have; it was Hitmonlee.

pokemonThis week they are making a special Halloween update and those of us who still play are excited. From October 26 to November 1, Pokémon trainers will be able to get more candy for just about everything and (the best part in my opinion) we will see more of Gastly, Haunter, Gengar, Zubat, Golbat, Drowzee, and Hypno. I can do without an increase in Zubats and Golbats because you get them often enough now but the rest, I’d love it. I don’t currently have a Haunter or Gengar so it’d be pretty awesome to catch a few this week.

I have a few favorite Pokémon, as everyone does. Growing up, my number one favorite was always Pikachu and still is. I know that there are a lot of great things coming for the game and I can’t wait to see them. I’m really excited to have all of my husband’s Pokémon, too, because he doesn’t play anymore.

Share what your favorite Pokémon was/is and your favorite catch so far. Also, check out some of my Pokémon below and the Pokémon Go website. Thank you for reading!

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“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” -Vince Lombardi

On Facebook, there are groups to join for everything. For Bullet Journaling, in particular, there are a lot of groups to choose from. There are even Bullet Journal groups for specific regions in the world. However, there wasn’t a group for California Bullet Journalists so I made one. It’s not my first group but it is my first group on the topic. I hope that it can grow into a great group. Right now there are only about ten members but as the word spreads, I know more will want to join. California is big and I know there are more people into bullet journaling than we think. Please spread the word! The group is Bullet Journaling California.

Thanks for reading. I know this is a particularly short post but I hope to see all of my California followers in the group.

Also, if you don’t want to get on the actual Facebook app, there is a Groups app that you can download so you can skip all the drama on Facebook and just check out all of your groups.

fb-group
This is a screenshot of the group from my Facebook Group app. I covered the pictures and names but this is what it looks like right now.

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” -Bo Bennett

It has been a rough week. An update on my friend, they found more broken bones and are doing a CT scan to determine the extent of damage and whether or not surgery is needed.

Anyway, I had posted on my favorite group page about what happened and asked for thoughts and prayers. I also asked for everyone’s favorite quotes to put in a positive jar and for her Bullet Journal. Well, my post was removed by an admin before I could read any of the quotes submitted so I made a post saying my post was deleted (for being off-topic) and that I’d still really like the quotes. Well, the admin took offense to it and removed me and personally blocked me so I can’t send any messages to the admin to understand why I was blocked.

What I don’t understand is how me asking for quotes is offensive and why it resulted in my being removed and blocked. Has the world become that insensitive? I’m very upset right now and I wanted answers. I really liked the group and had very few problems in it and refer it to everyone, I’ve even referred to it on my blog. I just don’t see the problem. And I made the post last night before I went to bed so I was unable to write down any of the quotes because by the time I woke up I was removed.

Whatever, it’s over. I’ll get over it. Just be wary when posting in a group on Facebook, you really could offend anyone with anything you say.

I apologize for taking my frustration out in this post. I’m just confused as a bit hurt. Thank you for reading and putting up with my ramblings today. Enjoy the rest of your day!

“I do believe that if you haven’t learnt about sadness, you cannot appreciate happiness.” -Nana Mouskouri

The headline read “Mother, infant critical after collision” and I knew who it was about. I called her earlier in the morning to talk about college stuff. Only, her voice wasn’t the one on the phone when answered. It was her mom. “Hey!” I said, excited to talk about school stuff. “This is her mom. [She] was and [her daughter] were hit by a car this morning on the way to daycare.”

Isn’t it funny that when it rains it pours? People say that famous people die is threes, or that bad things happen in bunches. Well, I’d like it to stop now. First my aunt went into the hospital and we were told that she wouldn’t make it more than a week. She ended up recovering and she’s going home from the hospital next week. Then it was my husband’s friend; he was in a motorcycle accident while I was visiting my aunt. He has a couple broken bones and had to have surgery but he’s at home recovering. Now, my best friend and her 1 and a half year old daughter were hit by a car as they were crossing the street. His excuse? According to an article in the local newspaper “The driver…said the bright sun and pillar in his vehicle prevented him from seeing the woman and child as they entered the crosswalk.”

My heart aches right now but I know she will be ok.  My friend’s little girl is at home with dad, she has a fractured skull but she’s doing ok. My friend, though, is still at the hospital. They are waiting to see if physical therapy helps before they do any surgery.

I don’t have much to say right now, I just know that I needed to express my feelings before I burst. I wasn’t there but I keep seeing her little girl, hurt and lying on the ground helpless while my friend is trapped under the car. I just don’t know what to do right now.

I ask that everyone who is religious to pray for her and her little girl. If you’re not religious, please just send positive vibes and thoughts their way. Thank you.

“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

School is an important part of everyone’s lives. No matter what, you will go to school, whether it be unschooling, homeschool, public school, or private school, you’re going to some form of school. Once we are done with the required 12 years of school, we are faced withe the choice to continue on or stop and look for a different path. Sometimes we don’t even get to make that decision for ourselves, sometimes our parents had already chosen our path.

For me, I always knew I’d go to college but I didn’t feel like I could get into a university, I’d always felt that I wasn’t smart enough. I settled for the local community college while many of my friends went to UCs or CSUs. Don’t get me wrong, I did have friends who joined me at the community college.

Let me tell you, college is hard. They make it seem so wonderful, so fun, so enlightening. No, just no. My first semester I took 15 units (or credits): Math, English, Communications, and Psychology. I did ok, I passed 3 out of 4 of the classes. I had failed my math class, I was upset but I could take it again and next time I’m pass the class. The next semester I took 17 units: Math (same one, again), English (I was an English major so I took a lot of English classes), Political Science, and Astronomy. I didn’t do as well that semester, I failed my math class AGAIN (you only have 3 tries at passing a class, I needed to pass it next time), Astronomy (it involved a lot of math and science), and Political Science. My third semester I took 16 units: History, Photography, English (2 classes), Physical Education, and Child Development. That was the worst semester of them all. I was sick with a fever almost every week, I got into 2 car accidents (neither were my fault), my family moved out of the state, and my relationship of 6 months ended because I was stupid. It was all bad. I failed everything, I stopped going. How could I go with a fever all the time? I would try again next time.

There wasn’t a next time for a long time. I failed miserably in school and I took a break for a couple of years. I went on my mission and realized what I needed to do when I got home. I was going to actually make school a priority. And that’s just what I did.

When I got home from my mission I took a good hard look at my grades, so much failure, and vowed it would never be that way again. I was on academic probation, the restrictions sucked but I deserved it. I took 2 classes each semester for my first 3 semesters back at school. I retook as many classes as I could. My first semester back, Spring 2015, I took 2 new classes: 2 child development classes. I had declared a new major and wanted to pursue it at full force. I passed both classes with A’s and B’s. I took my first summer semester, summer 2015, with 2 classes: swimming and the child development class I had failed before. I got my first ever 4.0 (all A’s) in my whole life, I was thrilled. Next, Fall 2015, I took a lower math class and another child development class, passing both of them. In Spring 2016 I decided to take 3 classes so I took my failed math class again (for the last try) and 2 child development classes, passing them all. I finally passed my math class. Over the summer I was supposed to take the next math class, a failed English class, and a child development class but a lot was going and the school decided to change my schedule without letting me know so I had to drop the classes. This semester I am taking three classes: History, English, and photography, all of which I had failed but plan on passing this time.

I am now on good academic standing, which is a relief, but now that we moved out of the area I am going to be transferring to a local college. I’m still planning on taking 3 more classes through my current college in the Spring but in the Fall of next year, I will be transferring. I am hoping that I will continue to do well, I know I can. Here is a picture of my failed classes:

grades

I don’t share this to make a fool out of myself or to prove that young adults aren’t smart. I share this because I’m human, I make mistakes. I also learn from mistakes and make them right. School may not be right for you, at least not right out of high school, and that’s ok. If you do feel that college is your place, do it but don’t slack off like I did. You’re better than that, so was I but I had no one to tell me that. If you’re struggling then get help. If you are overwhelmed, drop out the right way. Talk to your counselor, do what you need to do. Maybe take a break and do something else for a little while. Just be you.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great day and do great things.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” ― Bruce Lee

Many people have heard about the new phenomenon taking the world by storm, or so it seems. I’m not talking about the United States election. What I am talking about involves a notebook and a writing utensil. This phenomenon is BULLET JOURNALING! I’m sure most of you have heard about it, whether from a friend or through the internet. I first learned about this technique on Pinterest.com, which has many amazing ideas to get you started. Pinterest can be pretty overwhelming, though, so it would be a good idea to find like-minded people who are into the same thing you are into. If you are not so lucky as to have a nearby friend, most people don’t, so there are many Facebook groups you can join (if you have an account), or there are many people on Instagram if you’d prefer to be on there. The main Facebook group page is Bullet Journal Junkies where there are people all over the world sharing their own layout and everyone is very generous.

I would like to share my story of how I began my journey into this marvelous realm of bullet journaling. It started in July of this year (2016), I know it wasn’t very long ago but it has changed my life. I have trouble falling asleep some nights and I toss and turn, not even feeling tired. When this happens, I typically go on my phone until I do start feeling sleepy. One night in particular, in July, I was on Pinterest not doing anything useful. I stumbled upon a couple of pins about bullet journaling. It was interesting because I had no idea that my best friend was into bullet journaling and had been for months. So, she introduced me to the Bullet Journal Junkies group and off I went.

Many “newbie” questions are asked on the group so it was quite helpful for me. Yes, questions get asked more than once and yes, you can use the “search” function in the group but with so many new members added to the group almost daily there are so many more takes on the subjects. I will give you little start in the right direction with a few of the “basic beginner” questions that I’ve seen or asked.

Q: What exactly IS a bullet journal?
A: The best place to start with this question is to visit the creator’s website, bulletjournal.com. He can go more into detail about why he started it and how it has helped him. Anyone you ask will give you different variations of what a bullet journal is but it’s because they have adapted the original format to meet their needs. The website says, “It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” For some it’s a way to keep track of their work, whether it be teaching or accounting or nursing (which is hard because you can’t just carry a notebook around with you on the job) or even a stay at home mom (which is still a very difficult, very rewarding job). Some people use it to stay on track in school, I personally do that. To put simply, it’s like a do-it-yourself planner. As you move forward in your journey, you, too will learn what bullet journaling is to you.

Q: What items do I need to buy before I start?
A: There are no specific items you need. You just need the two basic items: a writing utensil and paper of some kind. Anything else is just “fluff” that makes your bullet journal even more personal but you can get those later, as you get a deeper feel for your system.

Q: What notebook do I buy?
A: Many people in the group use Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook or the Rhoda notebooks but they can be a bit overpriced and many people will tell you that the best thing to do, especially if you are a little iffy on bullet journals, is to either buy a cheap spiral notebook (the ones that are less that $1 at Wal-Mart) or to use loose-leaf binder paper as your very first bullet journal. I don’t particularly like spiral or paperback notebooks so I went to Wal-mart and saw the perfect $10 journal to start my bullet journal process in. Of course, I waiting and missed out on a few days of what could have been productive so don’t wait to have the perfect notebook or pen, just start!

Q: What writing utensil(s) do I use?
A: What writing utensil do you feel most comfortable using? I have seen some members of the group use pens (of all colors), pencils, crayons, markers, you name it you can use it. The beauty of the bullet journal is there is not specific way to do it so you can use whatever make you feel most comfortable.

Q: What if my bullet journal isn’t any good?
A: The only one who needs to see it is you. Your journal doesn’t need to be the next Instagram model. It’s yours and yours alone. Everyone makes mistakes. People in the group do it all the time, their handwriting may not be what they want (I know I hate mine most of the time), they misspell words, their lines aren’t straight, they aren’t artistically inclined. None of that matters because it’s yours and you’re the only one who needs to like it. If you make a mistake, it’s ok because you’re human and if you hate it that much then you can do what some people, myself included, do and print an inspirational quote or picture and glue it over and try again. Just don’t give up!

Q: What do I include in my bullet journal?
A: Everyone includes different things in their bullet journals to make them personal to themselves. Most people have an “If lost, please contact…” page at the very front followed by an index, so that you can see everything you have ever included in your journal. Other possible spreads to include are: year at a glance, monthly spreads, weekly spreads, and daily spreads. You can even include more lists/spreads that aren’t typical for a planner, like books to read, movies to watch, tv show log, what your toddler says, anything and everything can go in your journal. Its a representation of your life so make it feel like it.

Q: When should I start my bullet journal?
A: That answer is simple…NOW. Many people get stuck in the “I need to wait for the right ___” (You can fill in the blank). I was one of those and I lost time waisting away desiring for the perfect journal. Don’t wait, you can start being productive today. Even if it’s on a Wednesday int he middle of the month, you can still start today. If it stresses you out too much to start in the middle of the week, start with other spreads for a few days and then on Sunday or Monday (whichever day you choose as your beginning of the week) start then.

I can go on and on with Q&A’s but I won’t. You should do some personal research too. You won’t be perfect right away (or ever) but you’ll get better and find your niche as you do more and more in your bullet journal. So, run wild and have fun. Here’s a few pictures of my bullet journal, too. I included my index, year at a glance, page ideas, Pokémon Index, traveling page (what states I’ve been to and where in the world I want to go), my first weekly spread (I don’t do dailies), and next week’s weekly spread with trackers and an area to write all of my school assignments for the week. I have more than this but I’ll have to save those for another time.

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What makes YOU want to start up a bullet journal? Where did you hear about it? How long have you been doing it if you already are? What other tips can you give to people who may still be on the fence of doing it or not? Comment below and thank you for reading!