So Obsessed With: The 2020 Gift Edition (Pt. 2)

Nov 26, 2020

With more online shopping and delayed shipping times, getting all my Christmas gifts purchased has been a priority. There are gift guides galore online, so you definitely don't need one more to read. However, I thought it might be fun to share two holiday-inspired editions of So Obsessed With: one with the things I'm eyeing for my boys and one with the things on my list this year. I planned to share my list yesterday but didn't get it done in time. Whoops! So Happy Thanksgiving, and here's what I'm so obsessed with for myself this Christmas:

One of my family's traditions growing up was opening one gift on Christmas Eve – a pair of pajamas. I always loved getting ready for bed in something new! Nick and I decided to continue the tradition, but I decided to add one more thing: a new book, partly inspired by the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve.

I gravitate more towards nightgowns than pajama sets (#tallpeopleproblems), and there weren't many festive options for a good price. But this looks so cozy or I'll go with this striped flannel nightgown for more festive cheer.

2. Various Books ($15+)
Here are a few December releases that I'll send to my husband to pick from: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus, The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn, How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams, and Admission by Julie Buxbaum.

In the past, I've struggled with stocking stuffers. So many list online have suggestions that are either too expensive for a stocking or something cheap that we don't even need. It's easy for me to go overboard, buying "just one more" thing until the stocking is practically falling off its hook. So, this year, I decided to use six categories:

I'm pretty sure that I saw Rachel from Helly, Chelly mention this little cell phone stand, and it's been sitting on my wishlist ever since. I mostly want it so that I can FaceTime my bestie while my phone is charging!

I'm not a huge fan of scrunchies, but I've been wanting to try the kind that look like a ribbon/scarf in your hair. I like the look this one! And I keep clipping my hair back with cheap alligator clips, so I need something more stylish.

When people ask me for my favorite candy, I have a hard time choosing because I love so many – chocolate, gummy, sour, etc. But if I had to pick one to rule them all, I'd go with seasonal Reese's peanut butter cups. YUM!

One of my favorite ways to relax is taking a bath, especially if I've got a book with me! I'm addicted to  anything from LUSH, but my shampoo and conditioner are rosemary mint scented so I'm pretty tempted by this bubble bath.

Honestly, I can never have too many black Papermate Flair pens. They're my favorite, and I use them for everything! Whenever I get down to two, it's time to restock. And color coding dots are my most-used planner sticker.

So, I'm probably going to buy this for myself and wouldn't put something this pricey in my stocking. But it fit too perfectly in the graphic! I got this o-ring last year with this card case but have discovered I prefer the ID case.

And finally, the main event: the gifts! As I mentioned in the post with gifts for my boys, we'll be doing three gifts on Christmas Day. So I won't be getting all of this from Nick! But our families often ask us for gift ideas, and my birthday is right around the corner in February so it's nice to have some options. The items above are just some things I've saved throughout the year with a few things I've found while browsing recent sales!

Every summer, I think about how I want a new pool bag but forget to look up options. The time has finally come! I love these Bogg Bags and am hoping to get one, though they're currently all sold out. I'm keeping an eye out online.

10. Hatch Restore ($130)
Have I been influenced by the ads I've seen for this clock? Possibly so. But I love the idea of using this to establish a better evening routine, a more consistent bedtime, and to make waking in the morning just a bit more gentle.

This is the only item on my list that makes me a little nervous because I have no idea if I'll like the feeling. I think I will, but it's still an investment! There are cheaper options but none are as aesthetically pleasing to me as this one.

This is so much money to spend on a chain, but I just love how it looks. I'm not a big jewelry person but do love investing in a few classic, timeless pieces that I'll wear forever. This will probably end up on my birthday list!

Last year, I got a Sonix case. I love it but am ready for a new look! I'm torn between this beautiful one from Burga or a Loopy case. I don't like how the loop will affect the phone mount in my car but love the loop's purpose. 

I really like the look of climber earrings – maybe because it gives the impression of a second piercing without the actual commitment? These are a dainty and delicate version, which is my favorite style of earring.

I've got a flat iron that still works, but it's a wider style with a more square edge. My hairdresser has this flat iron and uses it to curl my hair, and I want to be able to do it that way at home, too! So, onto the list it goes.

Of all the things on my list, I absolutely don't need this item... and yet. I have a shelf full of polish and can't tell you the last time I painted my nails. But omg, I've read rave reviews and the system looks so good!

18. Coffee Table Books 
I rarely treat myself to the coffee table books and always have a few that I save for my Christmas list, like Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard and Classical Mythology A to Z  by Annette Giesecke.

Last year, I put a Madewell denim jacket on my Christmas list. Although I loved the look, it just didn't fit right. Whomp, whomp. So, I'm trying again with this GAP jacket because it comes in Tall. Fingers crossed it works!

My sister recommended the repair cream in this set last year, and I fell in love with it. I've been hoarding the last little bit of mine, so I'm excited to get another and try the eye cream and serum at the same time. 

What's on your wishlist this year?

So Obsessed With: The 2020 Gift Edition (Pt. 1)

Nov 24, 2020

If you're anything like me, you've already purchased a lot of your Christmas gifts this year! With more online shopping and delayed shipping times, getting all my gifts purchased has been a recent priority for me. There are gift guides galore online, so you definitely don't need one more to read. However, I thought it might be fun to share two holiday-inspired editions of So Obsessed With: one with the things I'm eyeing for my boys and one with the things on my list this year. Here's what I'm so obsessed with for my boys this Christmas:

One of my family's traditions growing up was opening one gift on Christmas Eve – a pair of pajamas. I always loved getting ready for bed in something new! Nick and I decided to continue the tradition, but I decided to add one more thing: a new book, partly inspired by the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve.

1. Vintage Village Pajamas from Hanna Andersson ($30, on sale)
The quality and softness of Hanna Andersson pajamas are hard to beat! I couldn't resist this print in such a lovely green, especially when I found them on sale. But most of the boys' everyday pajamas are from Baby Gap, and I love many of their Christmas pajamas this year (like these with holiday donuts).

2. Various Books ($10+)
I would typically buy one book, but couldn't resist recent "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" sales. I bought All the Colors of Christmas by Matthew Paul Turner for both boys to enjoy. For my big boy, I got Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know by Melissa B. Kruger, Llama Llama Loose Tooth Drama by Anna Dewdney, and Goodnight, Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle. For the baby, Who Sang the First Song? and Don't Forget to Remember by Ellie Holcomb.

In the past, I've struggled with stocking stuffers. So many list online have suggestions that are either too expensive for a stocking or something cheap that we don't even need. It's easy for me to go overboard, buying "just one more" thing until the stocking is practically falling off its hook. So, this year, I decided to use six categories:

My big boy loves matching his little brother, and he loves trying on the baby's hats. So, we decided to get them matching beanies! This will be perfect to keep them warm on walks or at the playground on chillier days.

4. USE: SmileFrida ($8) and Spinbrush ($8)
I want to get a nice electric toothbrush for our big boy but decided to start with a cheaper one to make sure we like it first. And the baby has two teeth now, so it's time to add brushing in to our routine with him, too. 

You've got to have some kind of treat in your stocking, right? Our big boy will get some of his favorite candy, and the baby will get one of his favorite snacks – Puffs! I'm sure both will be totally gone by the end of the day.

6. BATHE: Crayola Bath Bombs ($5) and Boat Bath Toys ($5)
Our big boy always wants to use my LUSH bath products, so I was excited to find these Crayola bath bombs last year. They were a hit! I'll get those again for him, plus a set of boat bath toys that both boys can enjoy.

7. REPLACE: Ubbi Tweat Snack Containers ($16)
We usually have at least one thing that's broken / been outgrown / etc. that needs to be replaced, so I'm going to try this category as a stocking stuffer. This year, it's more snack containers after we accidentally broke one.

And, of course, you've got to have at least one thing in your stocking from your wishlist! Our big boy will probably get these playing cards from Target for our family game nights, and I think the baby will love these stacking cups. 

And finally, the main event: the gifts! In the past, we tried the "Want, Need, Wear, Read" tradition but decided it's not our favorite. We're trying something different this year! Growing up, my parents gave us three gifts on Christmas day because baby Jesus received three gifts. One present would be wrapped in green paper, one in gold, and one in red – we'd open green first (go), gold second (slow down), and red last (stop). The last gift was usually the biggest and most exciting! I'm excited to try this with my boys and see how it goes.

The items above are just some things I've saved throughout the year, and it isn't a perfect representation of what the boys will be getting from us or our families. But you'll definitely find many of these items under our tree!

For My Big Boy
My big boy loves all things animals and dinosaurs, and he loves to create "figure setups" all over the house and outside. If you've got an animal lover, I highly recommend this barn and safari research station. They're his favorite toys ever! Our big boy also loves books, games, and building forts. So, his list this year includes:

9. AirFort Barn ($60)
My husband makes awesome forts using blankets and furniture, but we love the idea of this easy-to-use airfort. I've looked at tents for our playroom before, but I prefer something that can be stored when not in use. 

Last year, my parents gifted our big boy with a BookRoo subscription. He received two books a month and adored it! This year, we're trying Amazon's subscription because I want to preview and choose the books.

11. Honey Bee Tees ($20)
My son just went through a growth spurt and suddenly outgrew all of his clothes. While I love play clothes from Walmart/Target with a few nicer things from Gap, I splurge on a few tees from this company. I love them so much!

This is the gift I'm most excited for my son to open because he doesn't know it exists! We look at lots of animal toys online together, but this is new release will be a complete surprise to him. He's going to be obsessed. 

13. Dinosaurs from Schleich and Safari Ltd. ($7+)
For the past two years, our big boy asked for "animals and dinosaurs" for every occasion. He has more than he possibly needs, but it's always at the top of his list... and this year is no exception!  So, he's getting more!

14. Wild Kratts Game ($15)
We've started doing monthly family game nights in 2020, and our big boy loves it! We have lots of classics, like Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders, but we can't resist a game inspired by his favorite TV show.

For My Baby
Our baby doesn't need much and generally prefers to play with things like empty water bottles and TV remotes. Plus, we had so many baby toys saved from our big boy! So, we decided on a mix of useful stuff we already intended to buy, things our active baby can climb over and through, and a few heirloom-quality toys, including:

Our baby's room gets chilly at night, so we bought him one of these wearable blankets a few months ago. It's a lot longer than others we'd found, and we love it. We're buying a second so we've always got a clean one to use.

The box says Ages 3+, but I think our baby will adore this tunnel (with supervision, of course). Now that he's crawling, nothing can slow him down! He loves sneaking into all sorts of spaces, we this seems right up his alley.

17. ezpz Mini Mat ($20) and Tiny Bowl ($15)
We've noticed that our baby is happiest at mealtimes when he's completely in charge. To continue to encourage independent feeding, we're getting him this plate (and a bowl, too) that will suction to his high chair tray.

18. Keys ($26) and Other Wooden Toys
We didn't want to get a bunch of toys, but I can't resist a few wooden ones! I love things like the keys pictured, this Rattle & Teether Bundle Set ($32), and these Crate & Kids Etched Wooden Blocks ($70). 

I've read rave reviews for the dimpl, even though it doesn't seem that entertaining to me. But what do I know? Our baby's favorite toy right now is a drink coaster. Ha! This set at Target is a nice price for these two toys. 

This is our baby's big gift this year! We looked into the Nugget, but I'm not ready to commit to one yet. This smaller climber takes up less space and seems like it will be a big hit for a baby that's always on the move.

What's your favorite gift for kids?
Check back tomorrow for my personal wishlist!

November 2020 Goals

Nov 10, 2020

I finally found my groove! After hitting a lull in August and September, it was nice to get back on track in October. I didn't necessarily check off every goal on my list, but I made more consistent progress. And I just felt more aware of what I wanted and needed to do! Reading, blogging, cleaning, planning – it all went much more smoothly, and I'm so thankful. We had fun adventures as a family, and some unexpected changes, too. Nick got a new job, which happened very fast and wasn't totally planned. But we're celebrating that new opportunity and excited for all that's to come! As we near the end of the year, I'm focusing on finishing strong and beginning to prepare for 2021.

On My Calendar:
– Voting on Election Day
– Mountain weekend with my sister
– Thanksgiving festivities
– Decorating and preparing for Christmas

Currently Obsessing Over:
– I've spent forever trying to choose what bookmarks to buy from Lauren Naylor Design Co. Every time I think I've decided, I add "just one more" to my cart and the debate starts over. But the Classic Couples set is a given!
– Do I need another mug? Absolutely not. Do I want this Gilmore Girls one? You better believe it.
– I'm in love with this Simple Modern 32 oz water bottle with a straw lid. I prefer ice-cold water, and this keeps it that way. I take medicine every morning and can fill this up the night before and wake up to ice still in the cup!
– My sister got me this adorable "One More Chapter" sweatshirt, and I never want to take it off.

Yearly Goals:
(These should stay the same all year, so I'll just do month-to-month progress reports!)
– Read through the Bible in one year.
– Read a devotional every morning.
– Track my spending in the Goodbudget app.
– Blog 2x per week.

October progress: 
– October was a much better month for me, and I only missed a few days of Bible reading!
– Similarly, I maintained steady progress on my daily devotional reading.
– I got back into this habit and realized, once again, how much tracking helps me stay on budget.
– YES! After two months of failing at this goal, I'm happy that I got back on track in October.

Revisiting My October Goals:
Schedule a monthly planning session. / I finished this up a few days into the new month because I didn't get to sit down with my PowerSheets until then! But everything else was wrapped up and prepped in October.
Complete Eight Months in the baby's journal + take monthly photo. / I got both of these done on time!
– Complete Eight Months in my big boy's journal. / I procrastinated this and just added it to my November goals.
Cull, download, rename, and backup September 2020 photos. / Yep! I got this done early in the month.
Have a fall adventure as a family, like the pumpkin patch or apple picking. / We had a few! We visited a local pumpkin patch, which included other fall activities like a hay ride and corn maze. On a perfect fall day, we loved walking through an animal sanctuary. My big boy loved pointing out all the spooky decorations, too. And we were able to trick-or-treat on Halloween, too, though it looked a bit different than normal. 
Go through Lazy Genius' The Clean Slate, The Holiday Docket, The Meal Plan, and The Swap. / I'm so glad I added this to my goals. Because I pre-ordered The Lazy Genius Way, I received these four digital downloads and had been meaning to go through them. My favorite was The Holiday Docket, which was particularly timely.
Blog about my 2020 planner lineup. / This has been on my mental to-do list for ages, and making it a goal was the motivation I needed to actually get it done. In my "If You Give a Girl a Planner" blog series, you can can read about my daily planner, my goal planner, my reading journal, and my bookish notebook.
Re-read one comforting book that feels like fall. / Just what my reading life needed! I decided to re-read The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. There's something about this book that's so cozy and comforting to me.
– Finish planning Christmas gifts for the boys. / I made some progress on this goal but not enough to cross it off my list. Now it's time to start ordering, so I've added a version of this goal onto my November list below. 
Add school extension activities to my big boy's daily routine. / This was a success, and I plan to continue the rest of the year. My son's teacher has done an amazing job at his virtual pre-k, but I realized that I could extend those lessons through the books we read, conversations we have, and adventures we take. It's been so fun!
Buy new 2021 Powersheets! / The easiest goal to check off my list! I got the color Clear Skies.

My November Goals:
– Schedule a monthly planning session.
– Complete Nine Months in the baby's journal + take monthly photo.
– Complete Eight & Nine months in my big boy's journal.
– Cull, download, rename, and backup October 2020 photos.
– Do a daily Thankful Turkey with my big boy.
– Start Christmas shopping.
– Have a family game night.
– Go on a reading weekend trip with my sister.
– Work on my 2020 reading goals and Fall TBR.
– Blog about my Christmas wishlist / gift ideas.
– Re-organize four spaces: laundry room, kitchen, mud room, and guest bedroom.
– Begin my PowerSheets Prep Work.

Do you have any goals for November?

October 2020: Recap + On My Shelves

Nov 6, 2020

Hello, November! It felt like October passed even more quickly than September, which is sad because this is the season I want to soak up. Give me all the gorgeous fall temperatures and perfect days spent outdoors!

1. Corn Maze + Pumpkin Patch – One of my goals for October was to go on a fall adventure as a family, and we did it! We visited the local corn maze and pumpkin patch, which also had a petting zoo, slides, hay rides, and lots of other fun activities. I love that this has become a tradition, and our big boy talked nonstop about how much he had! My favorite part was getting hot boiled peanuts – salty perfection – and getting pumpkins for our porch.

2. Animal Sanctuary – Some of the adventures we planned for 2020 had to be changed due to pandemic, so I was excited to find this animal sanctuary to visit. It's one that my family visited all the time when I was a little girl, but it had become very rundown until new owners took over this year. The weather was perfect, and we saw so many cool animals like lemurs, foxes, bears, and more. We loved it so much we walked through twice!

3. Brunch with My Boys – There were other bigger moments in October, but this delicious, spur-of-the-moment brunch was one of my favorites. After running a few errands, we were all getting hungry and decided to try a brunch place I'd never noticed before in an area we often visit. It was so good, and we couldn't believe it had been there for years. Sitting on the patio and looking at my boys, I felt so grateful for this little family of mine.

4. Happy Halloween – Our big boy changed his mind on his costume so many times in the weeks leading up to Halloween! But finally, about two weeks before, he declared that he was going to be Batman and that Lala (Nick's mom) would be making his costume. And sure enough, she did – cape and all! The baby was Robin, a $5 Facebook Marketplace find. Score! Trick-or-treating looked different this year, but it was still a lot of fun.

Read 15 Books | Favorites:
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel
The Trespasser by Tana French

“They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. 
But that isn’t true, at least not entirely, because if our past was all that defined us, 
we’d never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves 
that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. 
That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.”
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

“The truth of course is that if people really were as happy as they look on the Internet, 
they wouldn’t spend so much damn time on the Internet, 
because no one who’s having a really good day spends half of it taking pictures of themselves. 
Anyone can nurture a myth about their life if they have enough manure, 
so if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, that’s probably because it’s full of shit.”
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

“What haunted people even, perhaps especially, on their deathbed? 
What chased them, tortured them and brought some of them to their knees? 
And [he] thought he had the answer. Regret. Regret for things said, things done, and things not done. 
Regret for the people they might have been. And failed to be.” 
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

“It occurred to me then that to be a child is to know 
the cradle rocks both toward the parent and away from them. 
That is the ebb and flow of life, swinging toward and away from one another, 
perhaps so we build up the strength for that one moment we will be rocked so far away,
 the person we love the most is gone by the time we return.” 
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

“A girl comes of age against the knife, Betty. But the woman she becomes must decide 
if the blade will cut deep enough to rip her apart or if she will find the strength to leap 
with her arms out and dare herself to fly in a world that seems to break like glass around her.” 
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

“She hears all the voices from when she was little, soothing, strengthening: Don’t be scared, 
not of monsters, not of witches, not of big dogs. And now, snapping loud from every direction: 
Be scared, you have to be scared, ordering like this is your one absolute duty. 
Be scared you’re fat, be scared your boobs are too big and be scared they’re too small. 
Be scared to walk on your own, specially anywhere quiet enough that you can hear yourself think. 
Be scared of wearing the wrong stuff, saying the wrong thing, having a stupid laugh, being uncool. 
Be scared of guys not fancying you; be scared of guys, they’re animals, rabid, can’t stop themselves. 
Be scared of girls, they’re all vicious, they’ll cut you down before you can cut them. 
Be scared of strangers. Be scared you won’t do well enough in your exams, be scared of getting in trouble. 
Be scared terrified petrified that everything you are is every kind of wrong. Good girl.”
The Secret Place by Tana French

“I live inside my own skin. Anything that happens outside it doesn't change who I am.” 
The Trespasser by Tana French

“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one.”
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I finally got my blogging mojo back on track in October, so that's something I'm celebrating! I kicked off the month with my September 2020 Recap and followed it up with my October 2020 Goals, two posting staples that always help me start the month strong. Then, I shared seven things I've been loving lately in my So Obsessed With: Mini Edition #10. I read some great books the previous month and shared my mini reviews in Quick Lit: September 2020. And my sister is still tearing through books, as evidenced in her latest Tales & Tiger Lily: September 2020

One of my favorite posts from the month was a discussion that I'd had in mind for ages! If You Don't Like These Books, Then I Have Questions was fun to write because I imagine all readers have at least one book they love so much that they question anyone who doesn't like it. And finally, I'm most proud of myself for sharing my 2020 planner lineup! This was one of my October goals, and I felt so accomplished checking it off my list. My If You Give a Girl a Planner series included my Dapperdesk daily planner, my PowerSheets goal planner, my reading journal and my bookish notebook. I love all things paper and sharing a few of my favorites!

Favorite Album: Rescue Story by Zach Williams
This album came out in 2019, but it wasn't on my radar before October.
But it was exactly what I needed! I particularly love the collaboration with Dolly Parton.  

Rebecca starring Lily James and Armie Hammer –  Kelly and I chose this new release for our October BFF long-distance movie night, and it was a fun selection! I read and loved the book in high school, and Kelly read it before our movie night. We both thought the movie was visually gorgeous but so much less atmospheric than the book. The book had a lot more tension and mystery! An enjoyable watch, but a little forgettable overall.  

Bookstore: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, Jane Was Here by Nicole Jacobsen, Devynn Dayton & Lexi K. Nilson, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, and The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Amazon Sale: A Better Man and Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, Stories of Extreme Picky Eating by Jennifer Friedman, Fable by Adrienne Young, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser, Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry, Austen Years by Rachel Cohen, Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel, The Searcher by Tana French, and Stalking Jack the Ripper, Hunting Prince DraculaEscaping from Houdini, and Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

Used Bookstore: In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, and The Witch Elm by Tana French 

Audible: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (not pictured)

If You Give a Girl a Planner: Bookish Notebook

Nov 2, 2020

If you give a girl a planner, she's going to ask you for a pen, some stickers... and maybe a notebook to go with it. I'm so obsessed with all things paper! I love trying new things and then blogging about it. So, for the last few days, I've shared my 2020 planner lineup. I talked about what I've been using for my daily life, personal goals, and reading journal. Today, I'm wrapping it up with my favorite: my bookish bullet journal / notebook!

This notebook is from The Happy Planner line called Happy Notes. They come in different sizes, and this is the Classic. I believe they all have the mini size rings, three tabbed dividers, and 60 sheets of paper that are either blank, lined, or dot grid (depending on the notebook you choose). I usually buy dot grid because that's my favorite, but you can also buy refill paper in any style if you fall in love with a certain notebook but want different paper.

I usually refer to this as my bookish bullet journal, even though that isn't quite accurate. I tried bullet journaling but never got the hang of it. The format became time consuming for me because I tended to overthink it, but I loved the concept. That's when I got the idea to use my Happy Planner as a pseudo-bullet journal. Instead of drawing everything by hand, I'd make printable pages. And with the disc binding, it was easy to move pages around until I had it just right. It's basically my bookish notebook that's completely customized to me.

When I posted about this notebook back in 2018, I used actual Happy Planner pages for the bulk of my blog planning. Now, my entire notebook is printables that I made for myself. I'm so excited to show you some highlights! My reading notebook is divided into three sections, and I'll show you photos of a handful of pages from each section + will list out what other pages I've included in each. Here are the three sections:

+ Section 1: Challenges, TBR, and Trackers
+ Section 2: Blog Post Planning
+ Section 3: Brainstorming

Let's start at the very beginning!


The very first page of this section is for my Goodreads Challenge. I make my goal 100 books, even though I typically hit it long before the end of the year. I love having a goal but don't want to make it such a challenge that I become too focused on the quantity of what I'm reading versus the quality. When I finish a book, I draw a heart if it was a 4.5/5-start read, a check mark if it was a 3.5/4-star read, or a blue x if it was 3 stars or below. It's fun to see a quick glance to see how I've felt about what I've been reading lately. When I meet the goal, I fill in the date at the bottom.

Next are the pages for the various challenges that I've set for myself or joined. This changes from year to year! There are more pages than the two above, but they're all similar. Here's what you'll find in my 2020 notebook:

+ 2020 Re-Read Challenge: My goal was to re-read at least 12 books, so one per month. I had space to fill that in + an area to brainstorm potential re-reads. I'd completed this goal by May.

+ Picky Pledge Challenge: This is something Alexa and I do every year, which you can read about here. I've got all 12 categories listed with space to write what I've read for each. I've still got a few left to complete!

+ Non-Fiction Challenge: My goal was to read 12 non-fiction books in 2020 because I own a lot of non-fiction but don't frequently reach for it. I shocked myself by completing this goal in June (the letter after each title indicates the month I finished the book) and have finished an additional 16 non-fiction books since then. I'll redesign this page for 2020 so that it isn't tied to a specific month, since that wasn't how I ended up using it.

+ Read or Die Challenge: Alexa came up with this back in 2018, and I decided to do it, too. At the start of a new year, I list anything that's been on my shelves from before the previous year (for 2020, anything I've owned since 2018 or before) with the goal of reading it before the end of the current year. If I don't finish it, the idea is to cull it.

+ My 10 in 20: After my successful 10 in 2019 list, I decided to do it again in 2020. I picked 10 books from my TBR to focus on finishing this year. So far... this year might be a bust. I've only read three and DNF'd one. Whoops! 

After my Challenge pages, I have several pages devoted to my TBR based on the format of the books.

First, I have pages dedicated to my physical TBR. I have three bookshelves in my notebook: one for my Non-Fiction TBR, one for Adult Fiction, and one for Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction. The latter is pictured above. For all my TBR pages, I only write down the titles of books I own. I use Goodreads to save books I'm interested, but I only want to actively track the things I've purchased and plan to read. When I buy a book, I add it to my shelf. Once I've read it, I color it. If I DNF it, I just color it black. And when I fill up a page? I print a new one! 

After making the bookshelf, I decided I wanted something else for my e-books. So, I made a Kindle TBR printable! I write digital review copies down on one printable and digital books I've purchased on their own. Since I try to read review copies by pub date, I like separating them. I do a green check when I've read a book and a red X if I DNF it.

And finally, my favorite page in the TBR section is the audiobook printable I designed! I'm most proud of this page because I was able to replicate the look of the Audible app. I write down the title, author, narrator, and length in those spaces. And in the spot where the book cover would go, I color it orange when I'm done listening to a book and write down the date I finished it. And I only use this for audiobooks that I own, not library books!

The last few pages in this section are related to tracking things! Here's what I've got currently:

+ Book Spending Tracker: What I bought, where I got it, and how much I spent on it
+ Review Copy Tracker: Title, release date, and I've read, reviewed, posted about it, and sent to publicist
+ Series Tracker: Series name, author, number of books in series, and color what I've read so far
+ Movie/TV Tracker: Title, number of episodes (if TV), and whether or not I've watched it

Okay, that's all for my challenges, TBR, and trackers! Now, it's time for the blogging section.


With my goal to post on the blog twice a week, this is a quick way for me to see how I'm doing at a glance. With two months per side, I love that it only takes up three pages of space. This is my first year using these page, and I'm liking them so far! I don't plan out potential blog posts – just write down things I've published.

I use the same categories in my recap posts every month, so I created a printable that I could fill in throughout the month. It's made it so much easier when it's time to write the post because I'm not looking in various places (photos / my planner / Goodreads / Spotify / etc.) to joy my memory. It's double-sided, and you can see both above.

The front has four categories: Loved (favorite memories), Read (just favorites, not a full list), Heard (music or songs I had on repeat), and Watched (TV or movies, old or new). For 2021, I'm going to try adding a fifth category: Bought, for writing down favorite purchases from the month. The back is for the books I acquired, since I always include that in my posts. I've divided it into five categories: Bought, Gifted, Gift Card, and Review. 

I don't think I had this page in 2018, and it's one of my favorite additions. I write down the title of books I finish that month, and then I have boxes to the right so I can mark when I've taken a Photo, written a Review, updated Goodreads, and Logged it in my reading journal. It's a simple but effective way to stay on track with reviewing what I've read.

There are some posts that I write at the end of every year, similar to the way I post a Recap and Quick Lit every month. So, it was worth it for me to create printables for those posts! The first is my My Year In series, and I have pages for:

+ My Year in Books: My favorite reads each month
+ My Year in Adventures: My favorite memories and activities from each month 
+ My Year in Music: What I listened to each season 
+ My Year in Movies & TV: Movies and tv shows that were new-to-me or rewatches
+ My Year in Beauty: My favorite makeup, skincare, and hair products
+ My Year in Obsessions: My favorite finds throughout the year + a new page for baby/big boy faves

Plus two additional pages:

+ Favorite New-to-Me Authors: A Top Ten Tuesday topic that I do every December
+ Perpetual Page-Turner's End of the Year Survey: To fill in potential answers throughout the year 

And that's the end of my blogging section!


And finally, I have some blank dot grid pages behind the last tab. I love having blank paper to jot down ideas, flesh out discussion posts (like my favorite bookish memories in the photo above), or sketch potential printables to create for myself. 

Do you have a bullet journal or bookish notebook? 
Of all my planners, I think this one is my favorite!

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