Twenty things…

I recently celebrated my twentieth birthday. My little brother, along with my family, sent me a birthday card. He had written that he was “still trying to comprehend [me] being 20 years old because that’s insane”. I agree. It is insane. While it felt no different than any other day (besides for the unusual number of notifications lighting up my phone),  I thought it would be nice to sit down and reflect on what I had learned in the past two decades of my life. So here it is. Twenty things I learned by the age of twenty.

  1. While your family may be annoying, cherish them because once you move out, you realize how much they really love you. Even if they have a weird way of showing it.
  2. It is never too late to strengthen connections with those around you. It wasn’t until recently that I started talking to my brother rather than only dropping in to say hi when I went home for the holidays. While it is still strange, it is nice to really try to connect in some ways as siblings.
  3. Having a disorder is not something that you should be ashamed of. Being able to wake up and go about your day, even while wearing a mask, shows that you are so incredibly strong.
  4. Never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be searching for ketchup in the grocery store or seeking medical attention for physical or psychological problems.
  5. It will take some time to move on from the past. It might hurt and it might be frustrating but it won’t last forever.
  6. Get rid of people in your life who are toxic. It may seem frightening, having to make new friends or cut long-term ties, but it is worth it for your happiness.
  7. Do not let your parents dictate your future. Respect them and their opinions but you are free to pave your own path and choose your own career. They will come around eventually because, in the end, they love you and just want what is best for you.
  8. Being comfortable in your own skin is being free. Be confident in yourself and don’t let your insecurities keep you from enjoying life.
  9. You can be comfortable in your own skin and still wear makeup or dress up. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
  10. You don’t have to be the best at school or your job. As long as you work hard in all you do, you can be proud of yourself.
  11. Harmful coping methods are never the answers to your problems. They are merely temporary solutions to your current situation.
  12. What people think of you and your work should not matter so much. Unless it is constructive criticism. Then you should take that into consideration and learn from it.
  13. Take responsibility for your actions. It may not be fun to do but to take responsibility is to learn from your mistakes.
  14. Keep striving to be a better version of yourself. You are only so many years old. Don’t cut your life short because you are not who you envisioned yourself to be.
  15. Take control of your future. Work hard to make it happen. Don’t give up when a door closes in front of you because you will never be stuck, boxed in, with no options to turn to.
  16. Do not assume your common sense is the same as everyone else in the world.
  17. Some days you will feel 10 years older than you really are, and other days you will feel like a 5-year-old again. Embrace it.
  18. Procrastination is inevitable. Learn to accommodate for that to avoid the last minute panic attacks.
  19. Look up from your phone once in a while. The world is so interesting and you’ll miss it if you never look away from your phone. Don’t let your phone take you away from meaningful conversations and building relationships. Those connections last longer than the satisfaction you get from the likes on your latest profile picture.
  20. Take care of yourself. Keep yourself healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There is only one of you. There is no replacement.

I could go on, but I’m only twenty years old.

tiffany sign off

P.S. I hope this was interesting and offered some helpful advice. Thank you to my family, friends, and wonderful boyfriend for being there for me and sending love and well wishes on my birthday. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the people who always loved me and believed in me. I love you all ♥

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Plan With Me: October

I love October and all things Fall because I get to wear cozy sweaters and look at all the pretty leaves. I also hate October because midterms are always scheduled around my birthday so it leaves little time for me to celebrate with my friends. I guess that’s just life of a university student!

This month, my set up hasn’t changed too much. I did a monthly review page to see what worked and what didn’t for me last month and found a few things that didn’t work. If you saw my September Plan With Me, you will notice the differences.

october-monthly

What worked for my monthly spread:

  • The October page with the mini month view!

Here is what what didn’t work for me for my monthly spread:

  • Splitting up my calendar into academic and others. I found there wasn’t enough room for my appointments and sometimes I wasn’t sure if something fell into academic or others.
  • The to-do and notes sections stayed fairly empty because they were so big and I didn’t have much to write in them. I minimized them into two smaller boxes because I knew they would still be big enough to fit whatever I had to write in them.
  • I had a small expenses box that I didn’t use so instead I made it into a food budget box for the October spread.

This is what I added:

  • I added an upcoming box for November events so I wouldn’t have to keep flipping to the future log to quickly see if I had to prepare anything for November
  • The goals box is especially for this month because I have three exams this month so having goals about how I am going to do on those exams have really been a great motivation.

For my weeklies, I have been modifying it slightly each week to make it more efficient. My weeklies tend to be a one page spread on the left consisting of a weekly overview, a tracker, a to-do box, an upcoming box, a mini month calendar, and an empty box that kept changing until I found the best thing to put there. In September, I started with trying a meal planning box but found there wasn’t enough space and I didn’t use it to plan my meals. I then changed it into a readings box for all my class readings I needed to do, which worked, but as I fell behind, I found that I needed more room for all the readings I missed, and I needed to separate those from the readings I needed to do for the next week.

What worked for my weekly spread:

  • Weekly overview! One of my favourite parts of my weekly spread.
  • Mini month overview calendar
  • Upcoming events box
  • Dailies on the right page
  • tracker box worked for the most part (I sometimes got lazy ~ hehe)

What didn’t work for my weekly spread:

  • Meal planning boxes
  • Certain habits I was tracking
  • To-do boxes still were too big with a lot less things to put on there
  • Reading/homework box worked but was a little small with the increasing workload

october-3-9-weekly

What I added:

  • Split the readings box into two columns (this week and next week)
  • Made the readings box bigger and the tasks/to-dos box smaller
  • I tried the picture habit tracker…I love it but I can’t draw at all haha
  • Instead of using washi tape for my headers, I switched to just a strip of highlighter. I don’t know if I will switch back or not, but I love both styles.

october-10-16-weekly

This next week’s spread is probably one of my favourites. I know it doesn’t look any different than the last week’s spread but the colours are so pretty and I am just overall very happy with it. I think I have finally gotten over my bullet journal craze of trying to make everything colourful and pretty and have instead embraced the simplicity and minimalist bullet journal style that still reflects my own personality. I think this is an important lesson to learn. Everyone’s bullet journal is a reflection of what works for them and it is easy to get caught up in the craze of trying to make yours as pretty as others’.

Hope this is helpful and inspirational for you!

tiffany sign off

P.S. In the next couple of weeks, I hope to start some of my other sections in my blog. Send me any of your suggestions of what you would like to see me post about!

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Bullet Journal 101: Choosing a Notebook

A major component of Bullet Journaling is…well…a notebook of some sort. While I will continue to stress that the notebook you choose does not have to be special in any way, expensive, or look a certain way,  I also understand if you want a good quality notebook so that your bullet journal experience can be documented and kept for years to share. You may choose to start off in an inexpensive notebook to see if the bullet journal system is for you before making an investment in a more expensive notebook.

Whether you choose a $2 notebook from Target or a $30 notebook from a specialty stationery store, here are some things to consider when choosing a notebook:

  • Size of your notebook (A6, A5, A4, B5, etc.)
  • Paper type (lined, grid, dotted, plain)
  • Paper quality or gsm (grams/square meter; the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper)

Size of Notebook

The size of your notebook is based on your personal preference. An A6 or pocket notebook is small and can fit in your pocket. However, if you are wanting to fit a lot of information on one page, it may limit your abilities to create spreads to your liking. An A5 is the most common size. It is small enough to stick in your purse but large enough to give you the room to fit your creative spreads. A4 and B5 are larger, more like the size of printer paper or loose leaf lined paper. This may be good if you want to use your bullet journal for school or you are always carrying a backpack with you. Since they are large in size, they may not be as convenient to carry around and use day in and day out. The balance is to find a size that is large enough for you to fit what you like and small enough that its size won’t hinder you from using it every day or bringing it out.

Type of Paper

Lined, plain, dotted, oh my! There are so many choices. You would think that the easy option would be to go with the most commonly available type of paper, lined. Surprisingly not! Dotted paper is common in the bullet journal community due to its flexibility and invisibility. The dots can be connected to create the shapes and spreads you like and are easy to make straight lines with. The unconnected dots fade into the background and can become unnoticeable. The same can be said about grid paper with the exception of the invisibility factor. If you like structure, lined paper would be your best option. It doesn’t have the flexibility of grid and dotted paper but is still a popular choice among those who like to keep their BuJo designs quite minimal. The only downside is that you will need a ruler if you plan on making spreads that go against the grain of the paper lines. Plain paper is for the creative cats who like to freely create and draw their designs. In many cases, those using plain paper opt for thick sketch paper or watercolor paper so they can use different mediums to decorate their bullet journal. Try them out and see which type of paper is best for your needs!

Paper Quality

Will ghosting or bleeding irritate you? Ghosting is when you can see the previous page’s information but it is not clear enough that the page is deemed unusable. Bleeding is when the pen’s ink has bled to the other side of the page, either disrupting the next spread or making the next spread unusable. If ghosting bothers you, opt for higher gsm paper. The Moleskine is approximately 71 gsm so there is a fair amount of ghosting when using fineliners and darker pen colours. Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia both have 80+ gsm and have shown to have less ghosting. My personal favourite is the Personal-Planner Notebooks. These are 140 gsm and while mine has a lot of bleeding, it is mostly due to my tendency to press really hard when using more liquid inks.

While there are so many choices and many recommended notebooks out there, it all comes down to your own personal preferences and how much money you are willing to spend on your notebook. Now go forth and experiment!

tiffany sign off

PS. Sorry for missing two weeks of posts 😦 School work finally caught up to me and so my mental health came first…and then I got sick so I had to take care of my physical health as well. I hope everyone is doing well and I will try to go back to posting consistently! Love you all!