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Posted in goal setting, lifestyle, Planning and journaling, Setting goals and intentions

Monday Matters: An introduction to the lunar cycle and using its magic to transform yourself and your life

Last month, I mentioned that I’d started to learn about the moon cycle, the impact it can have on mind and body and how we can work with the energy of the moon to make positive changes to ourselves and our lives. I’ve now finished reading my book, the bestselling Lunar Living by Kirsty Gallagher and feel ready to share a basic introduction to this spiritual practice which makes use of some of my favourite transformative strategies such as making vision boards, setting goals and intentions, creating affirmations, shadow work, reflecting on what you are grateful for and journalling your thoughts, feelings and ideas for self-improvement.

The basic premise

Rather than setting new year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year and forgetting about them by the end of January, working with the power of the moon and her phases involves practices such as regularly reflecting on what you want, setting intentions and working on creating an action plan that helps you to manifest your desires each month. It also includes regularly assessing your progress, thinking about things that are standing in your way and what you can do about these barriers. By doing this, you become clearer about what you see as important to you and what you want to prioritise in your life (based on your values, wants and needs), whilst having a framework of guidance which teaches you what, specifically, to focus on during each phase of the moon to fully utilise her lunar magic. And, of course, by spending time thinking about and visualising your goals along with using supportive and encouraging affirmations, research has shown that these desired results are more likely to come into fruition.

Although I’ve only recently begun to use the moon and her phases as a guide, I’ve always recognised the importance of setting aside time to slow down and reflect on my life including the aspects I want to work on and changes and improvements I would like to make. I’ve regularly made vision boards for my personal life and also one for my business which I have on display in my craft room / office. I’ve also done plenty of journaling about my progress towards goals and any difficulties I’ve faced, plus written my own affirmations to repeat each day. What I found particularly interesting was how, according to ‘moon magic’, our energy levels change throughout the cycle, meaning that there are optimum times for self-care, resting and recharging, periods of great wisdom and clarity which enable us to set our intentions and make plans for working on them, higher energy times when we can celebrate our achievements and show gratitude for what we have in our lives whilst also evaluating our position with a view to recognising what is holding us back and then finally, opportunities for releasing and letting go ready to start the new cycle.

The quote below, which I’ve taken from Kirsty’s book, also emphasizes the control we have over our lives if we tune in to the cyclic and flowing nature of life.

Lunar Living brings us home to ourselves, our dreams and visions and goals, month after month. Working with the magic of the moon is a tool of immense self-awareness, self-care, nourishment, empowerment, manifestation and purpose.

Kirsty Gallagher, Lunar Living

Waxing and waning moon – the science bit

The moon is always whole in the sky but the part that we can see changes throughout each month according to the position of The Sun. When the moon is waxing, the illuminated part is getting bigger in the sky. The moon appears to grow until it becomes full – when the whole of its shape can be seen clearly. Following a full moon, the moon begins to wane, which means the visible surface area gets smaller and smaller until it can no longer been seen in the sky. When the moon is completely invisible it is referred to as a new moon.

The eight phases of the lunar cycle

The new moon marks the beginning of the lunar cycle and is often referred to as the first phase. Throughout the month, our view of the moon changes and we describe this using eight phases or shapes as follows:

  • new moon
  • waxing crescent
  • first quarter
  • waxing gibbous
  • full moon
  • waning gibbous
  • last quarter (also known as third quarter)
  • waning crescent

The New Moon

As I said earlier, this is generally considered to be the first moon phase and is a time for new beginnings and starting afresh. Energy levels will be low right now so it’s important to take time to rest and do self-care activities (I like to write a list of these in my bullet journal that I can choose from). Tune in to your inner world with some quiet meditation and reflective journalling. Set goals and intentions for the weeks ahead, visualising and imagining your inner desires, hopes and dreams. You might also like to spend a few hours creating a vision board of images and words which represent the direction you wish to take as inspiration and motivation. Another good activity is to create a small number of affirmations (3 is ideal) which are based on your intentions and use them daily during the waxing moon. Some examples could be:

  • I release what no longer serves me to make space for new beginnings
  • I am successful and fill my potential
  • I am grateful for everything I have in my life right now

The waxing crescent moon

Spend time looking at your vision board, visualising and contemplating what life will feel like when your hopes and dreams become a reality. Depending on how much work is involved in reaching your goals, you might just choose one or two of your intentions to focus on, writing them down clearly and succinctly. Start to make plans and points of action to work towards your intention(s) – try identifying and writing down small and achievable steps to help you on your way. Gather the necessary resources and gain the knowledge you need to enable you to make a start. Water your seeds of intention and repeat your affirmations daily.

The first quarter

Pause and take stock – are you moving in the right direction towards the intention(s) that you are currently focusing on? Do you need to tweak your plans? Recommit to your visions and dreams and continue with the strength and determination that this moon phase brings. Be open to whatever comes your way. Face adversity with a resolute mind – you can do this! Think about any challenges you are facing – what are they teaching you? Remember, the moon doesn’t do the work for you, it merely guides you on your way and gives you the energy you need to get to where you want to be.

Waxing gibbous moon

The moon is now almost full and becoming more so each night. This is a time of high energy which helps you give that final push towards your goal(s), making the last steps needed to get there. Meditate and reflect on the process so far – what is working? what isn’t? what last minute changes might you need to make? Continue documenting the process in your journal. Practice patience and trust in your ability to succeed.

Full Moon

Photo credit: Mike Petrucci for Unsplash

The moon is completely full in the sky once again – if it’s a clear night go outside and bathe in her light. This is the time of the month where your energy levels are at their peak. If you’ve been working hard towards your goal(s) you should feel a huge sense of achievement. Remember to celebrate every single one of your successes no matter how small. If some things have stood in your way and held you back, make a list of them and think about what you want to let go of or release as the moon wanes. Remember, some new moon intentions take time and lots of work, but as long as you’re heading in the right direction and are trying to increase your awareness of what needs to change then this is a huge positive. Use the full moon creative energy and vibes combined with your intuition to reflect, evaluate progress and maybe come up with new ideas and ways of working.

There are some interesting full-moon rituals in Kirty’s book which sound like they could be really helpful and I’m definitely going to try them at this point in the next cycle.

Waning gibbous moon

This is the start of the second half of the cycle, when the moon loses a little of her fullness each night. Continue to develop your understanding of what holds you back and begin the process of releasing them. Consider your experiences so far and think about what you can learn from them. Are there any difficult conversations that you need to have with particular individuals to discuss what you have learnt, how you feel about something or any changes you intend to make and why.

Last quarter

The last quarter moon falls exactly one week after the full moon. This is the time to work on things you want to release to make way for new beginnings. Think about what or who is holding you back such as illness, negative people or situations, bad habits, self-doubts, fears, procrastination, people pleasing or unclear boundaries etc. Currently, your energy levels will be getting lower so your attention should be directed inwardly so you can rest and quietly reflect on everything that has happened in the process so far.

Waning crescent

The waning crescent is considered to be the last phase of the moon. This is when a small slither of moon is visible in the sky and it is nearly time for a new moon. During this phase, you should consider if there is anything else that does not serve you which you need to release in preparation to start anew. This is a time to slow down, rest and refresh. You might also begin to contemplate what you would like to focus on next.

And then it’s back round to the new moon to continue the cycle.

This is just a small part of what I learnt from reading Kirsty’s book. I also developed my knowledge of the 12 signs of the zodiac and their impact on the moon. According to Kirsty,

Each zodiac sign brings different influences, lessons, opportunities, challenges, positive and testing aspects, traits and a different focus and life area into the moonlight. This helps us to keep flowing with the rhythm of life as we use the different energies, characteristics and symbols of each sign to help us explore, heal and delve deeper into the relevant areas in our own lives.

Kirsty Gallagher, Lunar Living, 2020.

Final words…

I must admit that life has kind of got in the way of some aspects of using the magic of the moon this month as my husband and I went away for a short holiday and I’ve had lots going on in my life. However, I have been working towards my goals and I have made progress, I just haven’t documented it or reflected on how I’m doing. I think it might be time to create a new vision board which includes the spiritual practices I hope to develop so that following the lunar cycle becomes part of my focus every day. I think I might also benefit from setting aside a small amount of time each evening to check in with myself and consider how things are going – creating a dedicated space in my bullet journal would aid this and adding the activity to my running task list for each day of the week will help to cement the habit. Kirsty includes some questions to reflect on during each phase and these would be really useful to answer as part of my journalling. I definitely think if you’re interested in learning more than the very basics of moon magic, then her book is well worth a read and a good one to regularly refer to as you develop your practice.

Previously I’ve been rather skeptical about the information contain in horoscopes and the idea of The Zodiac but I’m trying to be more open-minded with this too. I would love to hear from anyone who is involved in using the lunar cycle to good effect and also anyone who has doubts or reservations about the ideas contained in today’s post.

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Posted in art, bullet journal, Bullet journaling, creativity, Planning and journaling, watercolour painting

Setting up my Bullet Journal for October 2022: Moon phases theme

For my BuJo theme for next month, I took inspiration from an article I read in one of my magazines which focused on awareness of the lunar cycle and how you can use the various stages of the moon to transform your life and become more in touch with your spiritual side. I read with interest and wanted to learn more so I bought a book called Lunar Living by Kirstie Gallagher.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

Every morning, I spend about 20-30 minutes reading, highlighting and learning about the magic of The Moon. Today, I’m going to share the spreads that I’ve created and when I’ve finished reading, I hope to create a series of blog posts which begin to touch on some of the many things I’ve learnt. For now, here’s what I’ve currently got set up for October.

My cover page

It’s been a while since I did any watercolour painting so I decided to have a go at doing the full Moon. I found several tutorials on YouTube and decided to follow one which involved using the wet-on-wet technique. This was my second attempt and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Watercolour full moon

As watercolour paper is really thick, I didn’t want to stick the actual painting into my bullet journal so I photocopied it and glued it in, inside a diagram of the moon cycle (which was inspired by Amanda Rach Lee’s October 2019 YouTube video). I added the quote ‘Stay wild, moon child’ which as well as referencing this month’s theme, basically means keep being you and doing what you’re doing.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

Calendar pages

I originally planned to draw the changing moon for each day of the calendar and use black fineliner or white gel pen to add the dates. However, this wasn’t easy and in the end I just did black circles and use my white Gellyroll in 0.8 to add the numbers. I then added 4 of the 8 monthly phases of the moon to the appropriate boxes for reference. I’ve also downloaded an app which shows the % of visible moon each day on a calendar and contains information which explains when there is a new moon, full moon and also when the waxing (growing bigger) and waning (getting smaller) period is.

Moon Phase Calendar app

For this month I added a small notes section and a space for goals. I’ll then work on some actionable steps to achieve my goals throughout the month in keeping with the teachings of the lunar cycle. I printed a brush letter title for the page and used black paper to add some interest behind it. Mini letter stamps from Hobbycraft were used to create the days of the week headers and other titles. A mini star stamp and my own doodles added interest to the white spaces and I also used some moon and stars washi tape I got on Etsy a few weeks ago.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative

Finances – income and outgoings

I’m continuing to keep track of my finances next month and I’m finding this set up really useful. I wanted to stick with mainly black and white for my theme but light grey Tombow pen was useful for these pages.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

Reading Log

On this page I keep a record of fiction and non-fiction reading and also add a hearts rating for how much I enjoyed a novel or how interesting or helpful I found that particular non-fiction book.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

Manifesting with the moon

On these pages I created a mini guide to each of the eight phases of the lunar cycle and how they can be used, according to Kirstie, ‘for self awareness, self care, nourishment, empowerment, manifestation and purpose’. I found it difficult to create circles that looked good, so in the end, I printed titles and mini circles, which I coloured in and cut out to stick in. Even getting the crescent moons right was a source of difficulty but I got there in the end and my perfectionist self was happy!

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative
Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

Rolling weekly

This is a set up which I’ve recently started using. Basically, it’s a list of tasks for the week and you assign them to specific days using task bullets. It means you can keep your weekly to dos separate from your weekly event calendar and you can add tasks as and when you think of them and then choose a days or days to work on them whenever you like. If you want to know more about this system, I recommend checking out Plant Based Bride’s video on YouTube.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

Week 1 set up

These pages are pretty self-explanatory. A place to record events and appointments plus make notes about anything that I’m getting delivered or that I’m waiting on to arrive. I might also do a little bit of journalling at the bottom of each box if I have room left.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping it Creative

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my spreads and like the way they’ve turned out as much as I do. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them. I always get a warm feeling inside every time someone shares their thoughts or experiences on one of my posts.

Posted in compassion, lifestyle, meditation, mental health, Mindfulness, self care, wellbeing, wellness

Monday Matters: Wheel Of Wellness – Spiritual

This week, in my series on The Wheel Of Wellness, I’ll be looking at the Spiritual segment. This section, which is the last to be covered, is all about finding life’s meaning and purpose whilst developing understanding of your personal values, beliefs and morals and using these to guide your actions and inform your way of living. Spiritual wellness does not necessarily involve being a deeply religious person or believing in the supernatural, rather, it is related to the human spirit or soul, as opposed to material or physical things.

A focus on spirituality involves learning to be more self-aware and recognising our existence in time and space. It’s also about becoming more familiar with our personal beliefs and values and how they affect the way we live and what we see as our purpose in life.

We all have a spirit within us which is constantly guiding us, looking after us and showing us the way to go. When we start to tune in to and listen to our inner voice, we’re using our spirit, and this is what can help us to lead a life in keeping with our wants, desires and passions. Connecting with our spiritual side can also help us to feel happier and healthier which I’m sure is something we all want.

Ways in which you can connect to your spiritual self

There are a number of ways in which you can really tune in to your spirit and think about what you really want for yourself and your life.

Quieten the mind – meditation is a great practice to develop but other mindful practices include writing in a daily journal, doing relaxing breathing exercises, taking a walk in nature, doing a meditative activity such as drawing, painting or colouring in, stretching exercises such as yoga, Pilates or mindful movements and praying.

Practise gratitude – identify a number of positives in your life each day, expressing and reflecting on them

Take a Mindful approach – focusing your awareness on the present moment, whilst calmly acknowledging and accepting your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations is at the core of mindfulness as is a great way of becoming more in tune with your spiritual side.

Consider your personal values – values identify what is important to you in your life and how you wish to interact with the world. When your actions align with your core values you will immediately start to feel more content, fulfilled and satisfied. To help you do this, I’ve created a Pinterest board full of links to core values lists and related activities – try scanning the pages to see what resonates with you. You’ll see so many different ideas and the ones which you choose to add to your personal list will influence your decisions and life choices in many ways including:

  • your job or career path
  • your hobbies and pastimes
  • where you live
  • how you manage your money
  • your friendships, romantic partners and relationships
  • where you shop
  • compromises we are willing to make
  • how we parent our children
  • the ways in which we treat ourselves (both good and bad)

Whilst I was researching this blog post, I came across lots of worksheets, workbooks and exercises to try which focused on your values. One of these invited you to split your values into ‘Valuing myself’, ‘Valuing my relationships’ and ‘Valuing my work’. I had a quick go at this below but added ‘my life’ to the first category:

Valuing myself and my life

compassion, creativity, enthusiasm, open-mindedness, acceptance (self and others), creativity, happiness, health (emotional, physical and mental), learning, intelligence resilience, fun, wellbeing, respect for animals

Valuing my relationships

loyalty, thoughtfulness, love, playfulness, understanding, usefulness and humour

Valuing my work

contribution, commitment, professionalism, achievement, work/life balance

Spend time reflecting on your beliefs – these may have a religious focus or might be related to your core values. Examples of non-religious beliefs could be:

  • family comes first
  • we must take care of our planet
  • honesty is the best policy
  • everything happens for a reason
  • work/life balance is a priority
  • I should always try my best
  • community service is a central part of life
  • the different phases of the moon have particular influences on my life
  • breaking a mirror gives you seven years bad luck

Think about your dreams – not the ones you had in bed over the past few weeks, but your deepest desires and wishes. As part of this, you could do some journalling or have a go at creating a vision board. Afterwards, you might spend time reflecting on small but positive life changes that you could make right now to help you work towards these dreams.

Final thoughts…

Cultivating spirituality has many benefits for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Getting to know your true self can help you begin to live in alignment with your core values and beliefs which is fundamental for a long and happy life. Psychologically, spiritual practices can develop your understanding of your inner self, leading to a greater sense of purpose. They can help you to think positively and clearly, lower your risk of stress, anxiety and depression and generally give you a better outlook on life. Physically, being more connected to your spiritual side can improve your immune system, help you to fight off illnesses, lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also help you to make better choices in terms of diet and find other ways of looking after your body and your mind, for example by exercising regularly and finding time to relax. The peace and calmness we invite into our lives can also help us to get a restful night’s sleep.

I hope you have found today’s post useful and have enjoyed learning about The Wheel Of Wellness over the last few months. I would love to hear about your hopes, dreams and ambitions for the future and the ways in which you think you can bring these into fruition. In keeping with having an open mind, I’m currently learning about the magic of using the phases of the moon as a tool to develop self-awareness, self-care, nourishment and empowerment to live with purpose and to manifest my deepest wants and desires for life. You’ll see in my next blog post, in which I share my October bullet journal spreads, that this has inspired my theme for next month and provided me with lots of ideas.

Posted in lifestyle, mental health, wellbeing, wellness

Monday Matters: Wheel of Wellness – Emotional

This week, as part of my series on the Wheel of Wellness, I’ll be covering the emotional segment. This section of the wheel is all about your feelings and includes how well you are able to identify, manage and engage with your emotions and how successfully you can deal with any emotional challenges which arise from time to time.

In the Oxford Dictionary online, emotion is defined in two ways:

  1. a strong feeling derived from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.
  2. instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.

Assessing your emotional wellness

The following are some signs of good emotional wellbeing that you can use to assess your current health in the area.

  • you feel good about yourself and who you are
  • you have feelings of contentment most of the time
  • you treat others well, showing them compassion and understanding (if you do this, you are most likely to treat yourself well, if you are critical of others, you will likely have a tendency to be harsh and critical towards yourself)
  • you feel you have a good support network e.g. you have friends / family or colleagues that you are able to open up to and a sense that there are people in your life who care about you
  • you are able to rest and relax (including being able to wind down for good sleep)
  • you are able to assert yourself, recognising that your opinions are valid and being able to say no when you need to without feeling guilty
  • you consider yourself to be someone who manage stress well
  • awareness of the main signs of poor emotional health – anger (which presents itself in various ways, including irritability, short temper, being argumentative), feeling hopeless (feeling low / depressed, helpless, worthless, seeing small things as ‘the end of the World’, not being able to see things are capable of change etc), losing interest in activities you used to enjoy, becoming socially distant, poor levels of productivity, blaming others for your mistakes and failings and repeatedly having trouble in relationships (friends, family and romantic partners)
  • flexibility – you are able to change and adapt well to different circumstances
  • you are able to name and embrace all of your emotions (such as sadness, anger, joy, fear, excitement etc) as a natural part of who you are (rather than suppressing or ignoring them
  • you lead a purposeful life (do you feel that you use your strengths to your advantage to make a difference?) (see my post on Occupational wellness for more on this)
  • you are grateful for many things in your life (particularly for people and situations in your life rather than just your possessions)
  • you value your experiences more than you value your possessions
  • you regularly engage in self-care activities such as doing activities which make you happy, using breathing techniques to help you stay calm or calm yourself when anxious, practising mindfulness, journalling about how you are feeling, showing yourself plenty of compassion, developing a regular meditation practice, scheduling ‘me time’ into your day, do something altruistic and explore how you feel as a result.

Some ideas for improving your emotional health

  1. Make sure you’ve got the basics right – eat healthily with occasional treats, get enough quality sleep, move your body on a daily basis and use vices in moderation (e.g. alcohol, social media, junk food etc). If you think you need to make changes in one or more of these areas, try setting yourself small, achievable targets and celebrate all of your achievements.
  2. Try CBT. If you think you need to learn more about your emotions and how they affect you, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is really beneficial for many people. There are plenty of books on the subject but it’s best if you work through your particular issues with a trained therapist.
  3. Make use of self help resources. A book that I’m currently reading which I’m finding super useful is ‘Why has Nobody Told Me This Before’ by Dr Julie Smith. I spend around half an hour reading each morning after breakfast and I always have a Mildliner highlighter pen at hand to mark up anything which especially resonates with me. The website https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/ has lots of resources which might prove to be useful too.
  4. Develop a daily reflective journalling habit – spending 5 or 10 minutes each evening recording how you feel your day went is a great way to record events and interactions with others and explore how they affected you emotionally. When you’ve finished writing, spend a few minutes considering what you wrote thinking about the decisions you made, whether the experience was positive or negative, what you can learn from what happened and what you might do differently next time.
  5. Become familiar with ‘Unhelpful thinking styles’ and use them to identify and rationalise particular thoughts you have. Type the above phrase into Google or YouTube to learn about them and consider which particularly resonate with you. Once you know about them, you’ll start to recognise them cropping up in your day-to-day life. You can then begin to challenge them and create more helpful alternatives (a trusted friend or therapist can help with this too).
  6. Be realistic when you’re not feeling 100% – There will be certain times of the year when you’re not feeling quite yourself, maybe you’re feeling under the weather, perhaps you’re stressed out at work or you’re planning an event or holiday which is taking up lots of your time and making you feel super busy. Or, like me, you might have a mood disorder which causes you periods of difficulty. Whatever the cause, it’s important to look after yourself during these times (ramp up the self care and self compassion) and definitely lower the expectations you place on yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to say no if you feel like something will be too much for you right now.
  7. Start a self-care routine for your emotions – this could include meditation, mindful movements or stillness, yoga, Pilates, stretches or different breathing exercises to calm your body and your mind. If you keep a bullet journal like me, a great idea is to create a page of self-care ideas (with pictures/doodles if you want) as a reminder of all of the things you can try.
  8. Remember some things are outside of your control – there are many things in life that happen to you which you can’t change e.g. the loss of a loved one, a global pandemic, a health diagnosis etc, but we can choose how we respond to those circumstances, e.g. by being kind, self-compassionate, hopeful and accepting.
  9. Reach out – if you’re feeling lonely, down or isolated, seek out supportive family members, friends, colleagues, online or in person support groups to let people know that you are struggling. Also, try to find out what is going on in your local community so you can seek out social connections. If the thought of social interactions makes you feel anxious right now, try to choose one of the options that feels easiest such as inviting a friend over for coffee or chatting to someone via text message or on the phone.
  10. Set clear boundaries and learn to say no. If you say yes to things that you really don’t feel like doing or you don’t have time for, it can lead to feelings of anger, resentment or overwhelm. In her book which I mentioned above, she explains about ‘people pleasing’ “We say yes when actually what we want and need is to say no. We feel resentful of being taken advantage of but unable to change it by asking for anything different. On the other hand, having clear boundaries makes you feel in control and is a way of showing yourself respect. Being assertive can be difficult for some of us, especially during periods of mental illness, so it’s a good idea to develop your skills when your mood is stable. Only say yes to what matters to you the most such as a get together with close family and friends, learning opportunities or new challenges at work which will further develop your skills or increase your knowledge (but not too far from your comfort zone!). There’s a wealth of information online about assertiveness (some better than others) so if you need help in this area or want to know more about what it means to be assertive, try checking out NHS resources such as this one which includes a very useful download, worksheets and information on www.getselfhelp.co.uk and this article from lifehack.org. Again, qualified CBT therapists can help with assertiveness too.
  11. Read up on emotional resilience – emotional resilience is the ability to adapt to stressful situations and cope with life’s ups and downs. You can learn about it and develop the associated skills in books, online, with a therapist or through doing a course at a local recovery college like I did.
  12. Go outside – studies have shown that being in nature has powerful effects on our mind, body and soul. There’s lots of ways to fit in some time outdoors including taking a walk in your lunchbreak, enjoying your morning coffee in the garden or wandering through your local park or woodland at the end of a busy day.

Final words…

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog post. I hope you have found it useful and are thinking about trying some of the ideas I mentioned. Let me know in the comments if you think your emotional health is quite strong or if you feel it’s an area you need to work on. As always, if you have any questions or anything to add, please do get in touch.

Posted in art, bullet journal, Bullet journaling, creativity, Hand lettering, Planning and journaling, watercolour painting

Setting up my Bullet Journal for September 2022: Coffee theme

Next month in my bullet journal, I decided to go for something I absolutely love, which is coffee. During the summer, I always try hard to keep myself well hydrated and as it’s been particularly hot this year, I’ve developed a liking for iced coffee along with all my usual cold drinks. I hope you enjoy looking at my spreads – I’m really pleased with how they turned out and although I did a coffee theme already back in November 2019, the pages are very different to the ones I did then.

My cover page

I wanted to have a go at doing some coffee rings on this page but I experimented with real brewed coffee and it soaked through the pages really badly. In the end, I created the effect using brown paint and although it doesn’t look the same, it worked okay and more importantly, didn’t soak through! I printed a range of small photographs of coffee related images I found on Google and Unsplash. However, despite using glossy photo paper designed for my printer, the darker colours smudged even after being left to dry for ages. So, in the end, I used just one photo in colours to match my theme but with no darker shades. Using just one collage image meant that you could see the rings that I spent lots of time on better than if I’d included more. The little coffee beans are stamps which are from a really cheap set I purchased from The Works. I used StazOn jet black ink which dries really quickly and doesn’t soak through the page.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative blog

Calendar pages

As usual, I drew out a large calendar over two pages so I could fit all of my appointments and coffee meet ups in! I also used some more stamps and added some drawings of my own too. The title is created using one of my new Pentel brush sign pens which I bought with some of my birthday money this month.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative blog

September Finances

Last month, as part of my Monday Matters series on The Wheel Of Wellness, I wrote a post about Financial wellbeing in which I mentioned the benefits of keeping track of your incomings and outgoings so you can learn more about your spending. I thought I’d give it a go and have created a spread for the last three months. I try to fill it in on a weekly basis so that I can keep running totals more easily.

Photo credit: Laura Jones for Keeping It Creative blog

Final words…

That’s it for my September spreads so far. I’m thinking of creating weekly 2 page spreads when I start working with the university but I will draw those up as and when I get some hours. I’ll probably do some little coffee cup illustrations to decorate but will otherwise keep the layouts pretty basic using a horizontal set up. I might add them at a later date so watch this space!