Semester 2 Bullet Journal Spreads

College Life with EG: Part 11

Hello everyone and welcome back to College Life with EG! I paused this mini-series in November when semester one ended, but now that school has started back up, so will the series. I love to relate these posts to what is going on in school, so today I will show you some bullet journal spreads to get you prepared for the semester ahead! I hope you enjoy the second “round” of my mini-series, and please do not hesitate to give me some suggestions on what you want to hear about!

Grade Tracker

This first spread is perfect for keeping track of big assignments in all of your courses. It isn’t meant to track every grade, just the major ones: essays, tests, and quizzes. It’s a pretty simple design but can keep you on top of all your classes. With just a glance, you see what classes you are doing well in, and what classes might need some help. To make this spread, just write grades at the top of the page along with the semester name right below. I said winter/spring because it goes through both seasons, but you can call it anything you want. Next, divide your page into however many classes you have. After the title, my page was 48 boxes tall, and I have 4 classes, so each class takes up 12 rows. Then, make a box for each class, leaving one row for the class name. For example, mine were only 11 boxes tall. Once you have the boxes, write the names of your courses on top; you can either write the entire name (like American Government) or just the department and course number (PSI 101). In each box, I made sections for what the assignment was, the date, the weight/value of the assignment, and what grade I received. You can section these off however you like. Then, draw vertical lines to separate each section, and you’re good to go!

Semester Overview

If you read my other post on college bullet journal spreads, you have seen this one before. I mixed it up a little, but I think this spread (or something like it) is crucial when beginning the semester. On this page, I write down all the dates of my major assignments throughout the semester. You can use it for any assignments you want, but I only use it for tests, quizzes, essays, and BIG assignments (anything I should prepare for far ahead of time). I did this in two pages for the last spread, but I wanted to conserve room this time so I condensed it into one. It shows what the assignment is, the date it’s due, what class it’s for, along with mini calendars for each month so you can visualize everything at once. To make this spread, start with a fancy title, as always. I used my favorite brush markers, the Tombow Dual Brush Pens! Then, I divided my page into four equal sections by dividing it down the middle vertically and horizontally. For each month, I started by writing the name of the month in the middle of the section and a calendar below. Each day of the calendar took up one box in my spread. For the rest of the space, I made a big box (which ended up 19 by 16, so I can write down 16 assignments). At the top, I made one legend to show what each assignment was and one legend to show what class it was for. For example, sociology is orange, and tests have a box around the date. I use the shapes (for what type of assignment it is) in the mini calendar around the date. Then, I write the assignment in the box below and highlight the assignment (based on the legend) for whatever class it is. If you want to make another section in each box for the due dates, you can do that as well.

Before the Semester Starts (.5 pages)

This is the perfect spread for getting last minute items checked off your list before the semester starts. If you’re like me, you want to be overly prepared by the first week of classes. If you start off ahead of the game, it boosts your confidence for the rest of the semester. It make seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it really helps. I wouldn’t copy my spread entirely (obviously) because I am doing things that pertain to each of my classes. However, you can totally use the layout AND this can help give you an idea of what you might want to get done. I would start doing the items on this list a week before your first class, so you don’t have to rush anything.

If you noticed, I don’t have a space to buy any binders, notebooks, or folders on this list! That’s because I like to buy everything like that in the summer, when everything is really cheap for back to school. I buy all the supplies I will need for both semesters so everything will be ready to go when winter semester starts. Here is a list of my favorite school supplies (I did these off of Amazon because I know a lot of people are more comfortable doing online shopping right now).

Anyway, here is how to make the spread! I started off by writing “what to do before class begins” at the top of my page. I would choose a different color combination because mine doesn’t really match. Then, I made sections of different categories of what I need to do. For example, I do need to buy a few things. Then, I want to customize different items, prep for my math class, etc. However, you can make any categories you would like! The one I would highly suggest is prep work fir each class. Sometimes professors send out an email of a few things you can do to get ready for the first day, and I would always do that so you can start the class ahead of the game. As you noticed, this spread is only a half page, and the other half is a broken down description of each class schedule, so I will discuss that next!

Class Schedule (1.5 pages)

I made this spread into one and a half pages because I had extra room on the bottom of my “Before the Semester Starts” page. However, you can make it as long (or as short) as you like. This spread gives a layout of the entire course schedule, from course topics to due dates. This is different from the overview spread because it focuses on just one course at a time, and it shows exactly what I will be doing for every class period. For this spread, I pulled the information right off the syllabus. I just copied any information with dates onto here, which is why the sections are different for each class. This page will change a lot based on the class, but I will break down each of mine for you. To begin, I wrote the name of the course, the time, and the Zoom ID and password. Since all my classes are online this semester, I figured it would be a good idea to have all the Zoom information in one place. Below this information, I made a big box and started to section it off.

  • MATH 140: I made three sections: week of, Tuesday, and Thursday. Under the week of, I simple wrote the first day of the week we have class (Tuesday), Under the Tuesday and Thursday sections (the days I have class) are the planned topic for the class. Then, I highlighted every time we have an exam.
  • PSI 101: this class only meets once a week, so there is only one topic for the whole week. My sections were: week of, subject, quiz?, assignment, and read. We have a quiz every couple weeks, so in each box I either write what quiz it is or a simple line if there is no quiz. We have mini papers and discussions that go in the assignment section, and I write what chapters I have to read and take notes on in the read section.
  • SOC 101: As you can see, there is no meet time for this class because it’s truly all online. For each week, we have assignments, lectures, etc., and we are expected to get them done by the due date. So, my sections were: week of, topic, and due date. To save paper, I put two weeks into each row (meaning I wrote each of those sections twice). When there was a paper or exam, I didn’t section off the columns but instead kept the row as one whole section.
  • GEO 102: the outline of this class is a little different because each topic takes a couple weeks. Instead of breaking it down by individual weeks, it is in sections of a couple weeks at a time, which is why I just wrote the date range under the “week” category. My other categories were: topic, read, disc. (discussion), and HW (homework). Under read, I just write the chapter that we have to do for that topic, and under discussion and homework are the due dates of each.

Office Hours

This spread is nothing more than the office hours my professors posted for each class. I wrote it down because I had a little space at the end of the class schedules!

Thank you for looking through my spreads! I hope these can be helpful to you all as we start the semester. If you are not in college, I appreciate you just taking the timne to look through this and support me:)

As always,

wtih love,

EmmaGrace

Supplies

  • InkJoy Gel Pens: In “Grade Tracker,” I used this for the accent in the title, the boxes, and all of the pink writing. In the “Semester Overview,” they were used in making the boxes and the legends. I used them ifor all the writing in “Before the Semester Starts” as well as in “Class Schedule.”
  • Pentel Brush Pen: I used these for the calendar and month names in “Semester Overview” as well as the course names in “Grade Tracker.” I also used them in part of the title for “Before the Semester Starts” and the course titles/schedule/zoom information in “Class Schedule.”
  • Tombow Brush Pens: these were the title and the legend in “Semester Overview.” I also used them in the title of “Before the Semester Starts” and to highlight in “Class Schedule.”
  • Paper
  • To buy sticker in “Before Class Begins” (from Happy Planner seasonal stickers)

A Review of 2020

Hi all! First off, I want to say that my entire post got deleted on Sunday morning. I worked so hard to rewrite everything because I know you look forward to the Monday morning posts. That being said, if there are a few extra errors in the post, please understand ❤

Anyway, today I wanted to look back on 2020 (blog-wise) and everything I did/ accomplished! I was thinking about doing this last week, but I wanted to get those bullet journal spreads out so you could start using them right away! Now, there were a lot of things I did in 2020 that I was proud of, but today I just wanted to look at the year of my blog. As many of you already know, I just started this page last January, so it has officially been a full year! When I began, the only people who read the posts were probably my mom and my boyfriend. Besides them, I didn’t really tell many people about it, and I was lucky to get one or two other people off the internet. Honesty, that didn’t really bother me. I started this page to help other people and spread creativity, but I also did it for myself. It gives me something to do and allows me to spread my love of the bullet journal. If people read it, I love that! If there are only a few people reading it, I was okay with that as well. However, my long term goal was (and still is) to reach out to as many people as I can. Even if you don’t do my bullet journal spreads, I would love if you could read my page and be inspired to create anything you please. Or, to just use your creativity in everyday life. Over the past year, my page has grown so much in new followers and views, but also in what I post. I only wanted to do bullet journaling in the beginning, but now I post about anything and everything. I am by no means a “popular” or “famous” blogger. In all honestly, I still have less than 100 followers, but that doesn’t bother me! I have started to connect with more people, and for that I am thankful. For each and every one of you reading this right now, I am thankful that you are here and I would LOVE it if you would reach out to me in the comments! Let me know if you have a blog as well so I can share the love 🙂

Well, I guess I should get into the REAL post now!

January 2020

I officially bought my first website! If you didn’t know, you have to buy the website domain (lifewitheg.com) and the “customizer,” which is what I use WordPress for. I had a free Google website before WordPress, but it did not have much to customize so I quickly switched over. I didn’t have any posts that month yet… not sure why!! I did begin to do my daily quotes, however.

February 2020

I still hadn’t officially started my blog in February. I planned on beginning to post then, but I guess other things in my life got in the way. I did have a few people viewing the page during February, and I began to customize the homepage a bit more.

March 2020

The blog began to take off in March. I finally began posting a few different things, but I focused mostly on my bullet journal spreads. I gained my first follower which meant a lot to me because it meant the page was beginning to take off. I posted a monthly spread for the first time and now I post them at the beginning of every month. I had nine different visitors and received my first like on a post.

April 2020

For the first time, I had over 100 views in a single month. 100 is a big milestone and I would love to keep growing that. In April, I posted even more, with a lot of to-do bullet journal spreads. This is because we were in quarantine so I really wanted to focus on getting stuff done. Honestly, I played a lot of video games, but each day I made a list of at least 5-8 things that I wanted to get done. I posted spreads about this so you could be productive as well! It got me to clean out all my messy drawers; I know that isn’s a blog-related accomplishment, but I am still proud. I also created the “Quotes From the Year” tab so you can see all the daily quotes I have ever posted. I still update this now:)

May-July 2020

I actually took a little break from blogging at this time 😦 Luckily, I still had a few viewers!

August 2020

I finally got back into blogging! When I moved into college, I decided to dedicate more time to the blog to give me something else to do. I really missed blogging because it gives me space to get out all my thoughts. And, I hope to be inspiring many people along the way. I decided to start the “College with EmmaGrace” miniseries with a bunch of tricks and tips for college. This was everything from getting settled in to surviving the first week. The miniseries was something completely new for me as I wanted to incorporate a little more variety into my page. I related each post to something that was going on in school at the time. Even though I was posting a lot more, I still didn’t have a true schedule. At this point, everyone coming to the blog was doing so through a search engine.

September 2020

September was by far the best month for the page. I went from about 50 views in July, to 100 in August, to over 300 in September. I am still so shocked by all the support. I also had some viewers from people all over the globe, such as Romania and Germany. I love that I can connect with people outside of my country through something as simple as a blog! I started to post twice a week, every Monday and Thursday. That was the first time I had ever made a set schedule for the blog. I enjoy posting regularly because people can always count on having a post up on a certain day. Even though I only post once a week now, I want you to rely on me in being able to read a post on a set schedule.

In September, I used a photo-editing software for the first time to blur out personal information on my bullet journal spreads. I saw other bullet “journalers” do that before and wanted to try it out for myself. I posted quite a few bullet journal spreads for college, which were really beneficial in keeping me organized, so I hope they helped some of you as well. I also started to use “tags” which is just like a hashtag on Instagram; it shows what the post is about. I think this attracted a lot of new readers, especially other bloggers with similar interests! Finally, I started posting on my Instagram once again. I created my Instagram in 2019 just to show off my bullet journal spreads, but I linked it to my blog in September.

October 2020

October was another great month for the blog! After starting my Instagram back up, I had a lot of people coming to the website from the Instagram page. I also began to post on Twitter and Facebook, so people were coming from those sites as well. When I began the blog, I didn’t know how to promote it at all, but then I realized social media is a great opportunity! It was really awesome to see so many people coming because they were referred from social media! I still posted twice a week and at least one of the posts was always from the miniseries. I received my first comment which was really special to me because it meant people were engaging with my posts. By the way, I always LOVE to hear from you all in the comments. I almost had 100 different viewers, and the number of countries they came from continued to grow as well. Finally, I started to change up the posts a little bit to make them more appealing. I used different blocks (this is what WordPress calls things to organize the post such as headers, tables, lists, etc.). I think a well-organized post is much easier to read, so hopefully you agree!

November 2020

I stopped doing my miniseries this month. I usually made the posts about what was happening in school, such as posting “Surviving the First Week” the first week of school. So, when there is no school, there is nothing to relate to. However, I plan on restarting it when school starts back up next week. I also to started posting only once a week. I thought that I could put a lot more heart into it if I only posted once. Hopefully you notice that!! I received a lot of views from the WordPress reader, which means that other bloggers are reading my posts. I love to connect with other bloggers to see what they have to say. Plus, sometimes you get great ideas from other websites on how to improve your own. If you have a blog, please drop the link in the comments because I would love to connect with you.

December 2020

I closed out the year with a bang! I had six people comment on my blog! To some, that may not seem like a lot, but it honestly means the world to me. I never knew how many people would see or enjoy my blog. Slowly but surely, I am getting there! Again, I had a lot of people coming from the WordPress reader. Without the miniseries, I needed to come up with something else to post about. I decided to make a theme for December, so I did a lot of holiday posts. I also posted an update on me, which I like to do every few months. I don’t talk about myself all that much, and I figure my followers should be able to know a bit more about me! I received 46 likes from posts that I didn’t even publish in December. It’s great when you see people liking posts 3 months back because that means they are really exploring your page. So thank you for that!

Thank you all for your endless support in 2020, let’s make it an even better 2021!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Happy New Year!!

Phew! Can you believe is FINALLY 2021!? Everyone keeps saying they hope 2021 will be so much better than 2020. In some ways, I agree, but I don’t think you have to count on an entirely new year for a better life. Yes, there we many many MANY horrible things that came out of 2020. However, that doesn’t mean it was all because of the year 2020, and it does not mean we cannot start recreating out lives before the new year. While the new year is a great time to start something new, I am a firm believer in not waiting when you know you want something. If you want to start living a different life in December, why wait another month? All that being said, I did make a “new year” goal spread and year in pixels spread, but feel free to start them whenever you please. I also made a 2021 “at a glance” page, so let me know what you think!

2021 At-A-Glance

I decided to keep this spread pretty simple, but it’s a great way to see this year’s layout all in one place. As always, I started with the title, doing a little bit of calligraphy that you can make as fancy as you please. Then, I counted my boxes across so I could have even spacing between each month. I did four columns and three rows, but you can flip flop that if your paper is a little more narrow. I divided my paper into four equal vertical sections, starting with January. I wrote all the days out just like a calendar and put “JAN” above it as centered as I could. I used a highlighter to make the month titles pop out. Then, obviously, I did this with the rest of the months. You could make each number of the month a 2×2 box if you wanted the spread to be a little bigger. As you can see, mine only takes up about half a page and it was a little difficult to fit the numbers into just one box.

Next, I made a section for important dates (if you decided to make your days of the month bigger, you might want to make this part its own page). This time, I sectioned my page into 3 vertical parts, and made the months go down four rows. I simply wrote the abbreviation for each month with a line underneath. Next to the title, I have a legend for all my important dates. For example, blue is for holidays, purple is for birthdays, etc. You can create a legend with any categories you would like.

My “Anytime” Goals

The beauty of this spread is that you can start it whenever you would like. The simple design reminds you of all your goals in many categories of your life. I started by writing the title, then sectioned the rest of my page into six equal sections. In each section, I basically just used a brush marker to write the topic, then did an outline in black pen. Then, I made a little bubble around the title and some arrows that will have the goals at the end of them. I only made a few arrows because this page is only meant to have a few of my MAJOR goals. Some of them aren’t really “attainable” in a certain time, but more of a life habit that I want to keep up on. For example, in my social life, a goal might be to reach out to a new person at least once a week. If you would prefer goals you can finish and cross off, do that! A few other categories might be fitness (pretty similar to health), blog-related, creative, spirituality, or kindness.

A Year in Pixels

Again, you can really start this spread at any time you would like, even in the middle of a month. Since it just goes through one full year, if you start in August, it will just end in August! Like always, start with a fancy title! I even added some pixels to the top for some decoration. Then, I wrote the first letter of every month (J for January, F for February, etc.) in a row. In the next column over, I wrote the days of the month going down, all the way to 31. Then, I made the boxes for each day of the year. In each box, you will fill in a color depending on how the day went. I usually do this at the end of the night before I go to bed so I can judge it from my entire day. Plus, it gives me something to look forward to right before going to sleep.

I also made a legend on the side, with 7 different “types” of days. You could make it even more elaborate with many more colors and types, or even less. Here are the descriptions of my days, as well as another example of how you could do this spread.

Year in pixels: my way

  • Angry, frustrated: it wasn’t the WORST day ever but you felt just angry at the world for most of the day. Maybe someone at work wouldn’t leave you alone, or your dog ate food off the counter.
  • Successful, confident: you did amazing and got stuff done! You felt happy with yourself and everything you did that day. Maybe you woke up early and marked off everything on your to-do list before lunch.
  • Normal, average: not an AMAZING day, but also not a bad day. It went by without any major positive or negative events.
  • Tired, bored: you didn’t really do much or everything you did was just boring. Not necessarily a bad day, but no exciting events occurred. Maybe you cleaned the house all day, which needed to be done, but was extremely boring.
  • Sad, gloomy, down: a depressing sort of day. Maybe a few positive things happened but for the most part your emotions just felt like a rainy day. Maybe it really was rainy outside!
  • Happy, pretty good: an above average day. You were in a positive mood and things went your way for the most part. That doesn’t mean NOTHING bad happened, but you didn’t let it ruin your whole day.
  • Exciting, amazing, perfect: the best day you can have! Everything was just how you wanted it to be and you felt great throughout the day! Pat yourself on the back for that one, but remember it’s okay to have bad days too:)
  • No date: this is just when there is not a day of the month, for example the 30th of February.

Year in pixels: using numbers to rate the day

  1. Very above average day: This is just the absolute perfect day. You did everything you wanted, you felt amazing, everything just seemed to fall into place.
  2. Above average: it wasn’t the best day you’ve EVER had, but it was pretty special none the less.
  3. Average: not really a good or a bad day. Nothing special happened but nothing horrible happened either.
  4. Below average: not a horrible day, but it definitely could have been better.
  5. Very below average: this was just a TERRIBLE day (and that is okay). Nothing went your way, you felt down or angry all day, and you just couldn’t wait for it to be over.

I hope you enjoyed these spreads and have an amazing rest of the week. Let me know if you decide to try any out. Also, don’t forget I am putting my supply list for my spreads at the very end of my posts from now on.

Finally, sorry for the delayed post, but I should be back to my normal Mondays next week. Thank you for your patience!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Supplies

Markers and pens

  • InkJoy gel pens: In my “2021 At-A-Glance” spread, I used these for the black in my title, as well as the titles of each month, and the days of the month. I also used them to write “special days” and the categories for the special days. In “My Anytime Goals” I used these for the black in the title as well. I also used them for the arrows and the outlines of the categories. Finally, in “A Year in Pixels” I used them for the quote at the bottom and the boxes. I believe I used them for the angry and exciting categories as well.
  • Zebra Mid-liners: I used these for the legend and to highlight the months in my “2021 At-A-Glance” spread.
  • Tombow dual brush pens: In “My Anytime Goals,” I used these for the titles of the categories as well as the bubble outline. I also used them for the word present at the end of “A Year in Pixels.”
  • Pentel sign pen: I used these for the word anytime in “My Anytime Goals.” They were used for the title and most of the legend for “A Year in Pixels.”

Paper

Delayed Post

Hi everyone! The scheduled blog post for tomorrow won’t be out until Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest. Sorry! Have a great start to your week tomorrow ❤

As always,

with love,
EmmaGrace

Christmas Updates

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an amazing Christmas and a relaxing weekend afterwards. Were you able to take some time off work to spend with your family? I had Christmas Eve and Christmas off, but was back to work on Saturday.

With Christmas being over, I can finally post all of my homemade cards on here (I was waiting so my family didn’t see their cards online before they got them in person). Along with those, I wanted to show you how well we did on the Christmas car scavenger hunt as well as where I am with my winter bucket list!

Christmas Cards

Here are a few of the cards I made this year! I got so many ideas form all over the internet, but gave each a little special touch of my own. My favorite one is the Among Us theme ;). Let me see your best cards in the comments!!

Snow mountain card
Among Us themed card
Scrapbook paper trees
Washi tape Christmas tree

Winter Bucket List

I have gotten to do quite a few things on the bucket list so far! Unfortunately, we haven’t had enough snow where I live to do a few of them, like sledding and walking in the snow. Have you guys had any snow yet, and if so, what activities have you done?

Car Scavenger Hunt

Here is everything I have been able to find (so far) in my car scavenger hunt! Have you done the hunt yet, and were you able to find more items than me?? I had to change the reindeer projector to a twinkling projector because I realized the reindeer would be too hard to find… of course I did end up seeing one! I am still on the lookout for the few things I have not found yet. If you can find an outdoor gingerbread house, please let me know!

Happy Holidays! Next time I post it will be 2021, and I could not be more excited! So stay tuned as I will be posting some new year bullet journal spreads next Monday!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Merry Christmas Eve!

Have a wonderful day everyone! No matter what you’re doing or who you’re with, I wish you the best. And, for those of you who are having a hard holiday season, I am keeping you in my thoughts. My email is always open ❤

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

How to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Let’s face it.. 2020 hasn’t been the happiest or most festive year… to say the least. Not only has it been a rough year, but many people tend to get seasonal depression during the holidays for a variety of reasons. Even though it’s the “happiest time of the year,” sometimes it’s hard to get into the spirit. For me, I tend to get overwhelmed with making gifts for others. I love to handmake gifts, but I get stressed about having everything done in time for Christmas. I also tend to rush because I either don’t start on time or just try to do too many gifts. What I’ve learned is that I just need to slow down and make sure the gifts I do get done are perfect. It doesn’t matter the number of gifts, but how much heart I put into them. If I finish one amazing gift instead of five decent ones, that is okay. For you, there are probably other things that get you stressed around the holidays, and that is totally fine! Well, I am here to help. So, use these ideas about getting into the holiday spirit for yourself, or share them with friends who need a little pick me up!

1. Listen to Christmas songs

Some people listen to Christmas songs all year round, however, I prefer to listen to them after Thanksgiving. In my opinion, if you listen to Christmas music 365 days a year, it takes away the value. It is meant to be something you enjoy during the holidays, and supposed to be special. I love the happiness these songs bring to my life! What I love about music in general is that you can listen to it almost wherever you go whether it be in the car, in the shower, while wrapping gifts, etc! Christmas music is a sure way to reduce your stress and improve your mood. Plus, I think it might be the only playlist that is ALWAYS singing about something happy. Here is a short Christmas playlist I made to get you started! Feel free to listen to mine or make your own, and tag it in the comments.

EmmaGrace’s Holiday Playlist

2. Go shopping for others (and yourself!)

Maybe all you need to get ready for the holidays is to start shopping for Christmas gifts. I know that can be stressful for some people, but there are many ways to make it more fun. If you hate going to the store, you can online shop, and most places are doing curbside pick up right now as well. If it is the money aspect of shopping, there are many ways to give a great Christmas while staying within budget. Check out “December Spreads” for a budgeting bullet journal spread (I also posted the picture below) or read this blog! Another great idea is to handmake gifts, which people always appreciate. Also, don’t forget to get yourself a little something while you are out there shopping for others! You deserve to treat yourself. Plus, the earlier you start buying/making gifts means the earlier you can get in the Christmas spirit and the earlier it’s done. When all the presents are under the tree, I promise it will be a big weight off your shoulders!

3. Bake some holiday desserts

This is by far my favorite one because I love desserts… all kinds of desserts! Baking is amazing because you get to have fun of making it and eating it after. You can even share your creations with friends and family. To be honest, it feels amazing when people tell you how delicious your dessert was. My favorite thing to do is make and decorate sugar cookies, which I do for almost every holiday. A few other ideas are:

  • Chocolate covered Oreos
  • Brownie Christmas trees: bake brownies in a round cake pan and cut them into triangles. Then, decorate like a Christmas tree with green frosting. I did this in the picture below with this kit, but you can make it yourself with brownie mix, green frosting, and some sprinkles
  • Red Velvet Cake balls
  • Cranberry scone
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Caramel apple pie
  • Peppermint bark (one of my favorites!)
  • Wreath cookies
  • Peanut butter snowball
  • Peanut butter blossoms
  • AND so much more!!
Brownie Christmas tree

4. Watch Christmas movies and snuggle by the fire

I have en entire list of Christmas movies I want to watch before the season is over! There is nothing better than a feel good movie when you want to get into the holiday spirit. Plus, if you can get cozy by the fire (and maybe drink some hot chocolate), it makes the experience even better. Christmas movies almost always have a happy ending that will boost your mood for the entire day. Whether you choose to watch one Christmas movie a week or one a day is up to you! I love to watch kid movies as well as the adult comedies, so here are some of my favorites for every age group! Or, just throw on the Hallmark Channel!

GPGPG-13R
Charlie Brown Christmas Elf Let it Snow Office Christmas Party
Polar ExpressThe GrinchFour Christmases The Night Before
Muppet Christmas Carol Home AloneNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Bad Santa
Santa Buddies A Christmas Story Daddy’s Home A Bad Mom’s Christmas
Miracle on 34th streetIt’s a Wonderful Life Scrooged Love Actually

5. Drink hot cocoa and cookies

Honestly, I love hot chocolate and cookies all throughout the year but they taste even better around the holidays. A warm cup of hot cocoa can make you feel all nice and cozy from the cold outside! A lot of places are selling hot chocolate bombs right now, which are balls of chocolate with hot chocolate mix inside them. When you pour hot milk over them, they slowly open up and release all the hot cocoa. They are somewhat expensive, so you can make them at home with this simple recipe! Pair it with a holiday cookie (maybe even a fire and a movie) and you will instantly feel more in the spirit.

6. Decorate the house (and a gingerbread house)

When you are surrounded by happiness in your home, how could you not feel happy yourself? So, put up that tree and the lights and all the decorations you have! I usually do this right after Thanksgiving so I have the house decorated for the entire month of December. Something that can really help is making your decorations meaningful (not just buying crap like I tend to do). For example, some people get a new ornament every time they go to a new place, some people collect nativity scenes, etc. That way when you decorate for the holiday season you can reflect on some amazing memories as well. Plus, nothing is more fun (and messy) than making a gingerbread house. You can make it yourself or have competitions with the rest of the family. Not only is it fun to make, but it also serves as a great decoration, such as a centerpiece on the table. Just make sure your cat doesn’t eat it… I have a naughty kitty at home! Here are pictures of mine below!!

7. Make gifts and cards for others

I love to make gifts for my loved ones because, as you know form this site, I love anything creative. Plus, it is a cheaper alternative that shows you really care for them. Anyone can go out and buy a present, but handmade gifts always come right from the heart. There are so many gift ideas online, or you can just draw/paint something! As you know, I am all about being creative. Making gifts will not only make others happy but can also help release your stress. So, take your mind off everything going on in the world, and just create. If you don’t have the time to make a lot of handmade gifts, start with a few cards. There are so many simple card ideas out there, and all you really need is paper, markers, and some scissors! After Christmas, I will post a few of the cards I made this year. Gifts.com has some great ideas for DIY Christmas cards!

8. Read classic Christmas books

Before he passed, my grandpa used to read me ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve. That was an amazing tradition that I looked forward to every year. Even now, I still love to read that book to remind me of him, and because it is a great, light hearted story. However, there are so many more classics you can read just for a little pick me up. Most of them are picture books that don’t take very long but can put you in a better mood for the rest of the day. Instead of waking up early to read the negativity on the news, read a Christmas story! Here are some books I found on Amazon:

9. Take a tour of the lights

One thing that can really get people down during winter is the fact that it gets dark so early. It barely hits 6 o’clock and looks like it’s midnight outside. However, Christmas lights always make the night feel so much better. To get rid of the seasonal blues, take a slow tour around the neighborhood, or do a Christmas scavenger hint, like the one from my post, “Another Christmas Blog.” The lights can really “light up your life”…. ha! I always try to find the house with the most lights and blow ups. There is one house in my city with over 140 decorations. Besides houses, there are many other places around the city that usually decorate for the holidays, such as downtown areas, libraries, etc.

10. DIY ornaments

Have you ever made ornaments in the past, or do you usually buy ones for the tree? Like I mentioned before, some people buy ornaments from every place they visit, and some people just collect them. However, making DIY ornaments can be a cheap alternative., and you can do it with the whole family. Plus, you can make them into whatever you would like. You could make a snowman themed tree, or a blue themed tree. There are so many types of ornaments to make, from the glass globes to a felt Olaf! There is seriously nothing better than a craft to get into the holiday spirit (of course I would say that:)). Country Living has a great blog of “72 DIY Christmas Ornaments” here! Also, I had an idea for a tree: you could make a few ornaments every year, and then have sections of the tree for each year. For example, the top of the tree might be from 2010, and by the time you get to the bottom, you are at 2020. You could use homemade and store-bought ornaments for this tree!

11. Do something for others

When you do something for others, it can put them into a Christmas spirit as well! You can start a chain of awesomeness. You know how amazing it feels when someone does a kind gesture for you, so why not give back the love? Whether it be holding a door or making a donation, every small action counts. For example, the holidays are a great time to get rid of items you dont use anymore and donate them to families in need. There are many places out there that will take gently used toys and give them to families who are struggling for Christmas. Chances are if you start helping others during the holidays, it may turn into a habit! Here are a few of the many ways to do something for others during the holidays (this is a broad list, but some ideas may be hard with COVID this year):

  • Start a toy/can drive in your neighborhood
  • Adopt a family
  • Volunteer at a retirement home
  • Serve meals at a soup kitchen
  • Volunteer at the animal shelter
  • Find virtual organizations that need help
  • Grocery shop: there are plenty of people who are uncomfortable leaving their houses right now. You could do their grocery shopping so they don’t have to! If you have a neighborhood group site, this would be a great place to find someone.
  • Put lights up for someone who is struggling to do it themselves
  • Smile!

If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments!! Happy Holidays!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Another Christmas Blog

At the beginning of the month, I showed you all some gift giving bullet journal spreads. If you have not seen that post, you can read it here! Today, I am staying in the holiday spirit but focusing on something other than gifts: a holiday bucket list and a scavenger hunt that you can do in the safety of your own car! I know it’s hard to go out and do a lot right now, so these ideas are COVID safe to get you out of the house and having some fun. I also wanted to add that I will be linking my supplies in the END of the blog posts for my bullet journal spreads from now on. So if you want to see what I use, scroll down for the links:) With that being said, my first spread today is a bucket list for the winter months.

Bucket List

I chose to make this bucket list into a tic-tac-toe board! However, the goal is to cover the whole board, not just one line ;). Every activity is “COVID conscious” (most you can do right from your home, but a few are outside, such as taking a walk in the snow or having a car scavenger hunt). You can choose to make this spread yourself, or just use some of the ideas for a weekend full of fun. Either way, I hope you enjoy! If you have any other fun ideas for the winter months, leave them in the comments! I love being adventurous and trying new activities.

P.S. I posted my fall bucket list below to show you how I did. I wasn’t able to do everything on my list that I wanted, but I think I did pretty well! If you read the post with my fall spread, go to my Fall Spreads post.

Winter Bucket List
Fall Bucket List

Car Scavenger Hunt

I heard someone talking about doing a Christmas scavenger hunt at my work, so I knew I had to make one for you all to try! Do this scavenger hunt with just your family or have a race with a bunch of your friends (safely in your cars!). I love this because there are so many COVID safe ways to play, and it allows you to do something with others. Here are a few ways to do this scavenger hunt…

  1. Go with just your family: try to find as many of the items as you can. Either set a time limit (maybe an hour?) and see how many you can find in that time, or see how fast you can find all 25 items.
  2. Go with a few families (part 1): start off by making point values for each item. Harder items, such as an outdoor gingerbread house, have higher point values. Everyone goes in their own car and you give everyone a limit of one hour to find as many items as possiblele. At the end of the hour, everyone counts up their points to see who won. If you really want to be competitive, have everyone take pictures and show each other on a Zoom call so you have no liars!
  3. Go with a few families (part 2): everyone starts at the same time and the first family to find ALL 25 items wins!
  4. “Advent calendar” style: every day, you go out and find one item on the list (sorry, you will have to go a little after Christmas because it didn’t come out at the beginning of the month). There are 25 things to find, so you will have something to do for 25 days!

Just to clarify a few items on the list: the “projectors” category means finding the houses with projector lights. They have many different patterns, so you have to find all five. A saying would be a light that projects something like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” The outdoor gingerbread house will probably just be a blow up, same with the candy canes!

Thank you for reading! Let me know how you do with your bucket lists! And, if you do the scavenger hunt, let me know how it goes! I haven’t done it yet, but I plan to next week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Supplies

  • Dotted grid paper
  • Seasonal stickers-I bought it at Walmart, but I think they discontinued it
    • Happy Planner website (19.99, on sale now for 15.99)
    • <a href="http://<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=lifewitheg-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07YN3K1SY&asins=B07YN3K1SY&linkId=f74d0eac2fad3b25582f469fa23b4fd7&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff"> Amazon (16.41 + 5.08 shipping)
  • Calligraphy markers (fall bucket list page)
  • Brush markers (heading on car scavenger hunt)
  • Erasable pens (winter bucket list page)

The Background on my Blog

Good morning all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for an amazing week ahead! Now that school is done, I have a lot more free time and a lot more time to blog. However, I have to come up with some new ideas besides the College with EmmaGrace miniseries. I have decided to pause the miniseries until class starts back up again in January. I like to do the posts based on what is happening in school, which is difficult when you aren’t in school! So, if you have anything you want me to talk about, please let me know in the comments! With that being said, I wanted to take today to talk to you about why I started this blog, and what I hope to do with it in the future.

When did I start the blog?

I bought the website domain in January 2020. In December 2019, I started to use a free Google website builder but upgraded to this WordPress site about a month later. I wanted to really take off with my site, and I needed more customization than with Google Sites. However, if you ever want something free and easy to use, Google Sites is a great place to start.

(PS: we are coming up on the one year anniversary of this site!!)

Why did I decide to start the blog?

In the beginning, the blog was just a way for me to express my creativity. I did not mean for many people to read it (but I hoped that one day it would grow a lot) but instead just blogged for something to do. I love to bullet journal, so why not combine it with my other love of blogging? The entire blog was supposed to be dedicated to my bullet journals and the different spreads I made. In order to spice things up, I added the daily quotes (which I will talk about in the next question). I also hoped that people would be able to look at my posts and be inspired to start their own bullet journals.

Why do you do the daily quotes?

I started doing the daily quotes as a way to give inspiration to everyone reading my blog. With the quotes, you can log on to the blog daily and just have a little happiness to start your day. The quotes come from a quote book that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas last year. I’ll have to admit that I do forget to update sometimes, so I am very sorry about that! Anyway, I think the quotes are a great addition to the normal blog posts and and something I hope you all look forward to reading. If you cannot make it to the blog to read them daily, I also keep a log of all the quotes from each month. You can look up each month in the search bar, find each month under “Quotes from the Year” in the homepage header, or I have linked the December quotes here! Hopefully my boyfriend gives me another quote book for Christmas this year and I can continue to do daily quotes (hint hint;)).

How has the content evolved?

In the beginning, I was only writing about my bullet journal and posting daily quotes. I posted every couple of weeks and it was very inconsistent (besides the quotes, which have always been once a day). I just posted my bullet journal spreads whenever I got them done, or shared other posts if I had something really important to say. Over quarantine and the summer, I didn’t blog much but decided to get back into it when I went to school in the fall. In August, I decided to start my College with EmmaGrace miniseries as well as post twice a week. I wanted to really start diving into the blog and growing my influence. Each week, I usually posted once about the miniseries and once about something else, such as my life or my bullet journal spreads. In October, I decided to start posting only once a week so I could focus on bettering the content. Most of the time, I did posts for the miniseries. Now we get to the present. I still post once a week, and I usually post about anything and everything. I decided to pause on the miniseries until I go back to school. Also, at the beginning of each month, I post monthly spreads. Throughout the month I post a conglomeration of many different things. Also, I hope to start sharing my weekly spreads more in the future. Maybe do those twice a month? Let me know what you guys think by giving me an email or commenting below!

What would I suggest for others wanting to start a blog?

Do it! I started this blog with absolutely no experience and you do not need it. Whether you want to do a personal blog or share it with the world, it is a great way to express your thoughts while improving your writing skills. You can literally talk about anything you want! There are so many types of blogs out there and I know there is something for everyone. If you want to talk about really personal information like a journal, you could just make the blog for yourself. Or, if you want to write book reviews or talk about your experiences or anything in between, you can blog for the world! You will start off with a really small following, but make social media accounts to promote yourself. Let people know when you are going to post and get your voice heard. I would even send a message to your friends and family that you are planning on starting a blog and would love their support. Unless you dont want anyone you actually know to read your blog, which is that case for some. If that is you, no worries! You can start following and connecting with other blogs you like, and chances are they will connect with you as well. Also, promote yourself whenever and wherever you can!

What is your hope for the future of the blog?

Honestly, I really just want to reach and inspire more people. It would be amazing if thousands of people could read my blog and be inspired to start a bullet journal, a blog, or anything in between. Even though I do a lot more than bullet journaling now, that is still where I started, and would love if all my followers began their own! I love to bullet journal because it organizes my life as well as lets me be so creative. If bullet journaling is not your thing, I just hope to inspire you to be creative in any way possible. Furthermore, I plan to continue the miniseries once school starts back up and hopefully help some other students out there! One day, I would love to make a little money off of my blog but that is pretty low on my priority list. I blog because I love it and want to reach many people, so money doesn’t have a very big influence on me:)

Thank you all for reading this post. If you have any questions about my blog, always feel free to ask. Or, if you have any suggestions for the future of the blog, please let me know. I am always up for advice! Have a wonderful rest of your week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

December Spreads

It’s that time again! The end of the month, which means the beginning of a new month, which means…wait for it…new bullet journal spreads! I usually wait until the month actually starts to post my spreads, but I really want you to have them this Monday, instead of next. That way you can get the spreads ready for the month a little early! I have done many monthly spreads in the past from habit trackers to goals to expenses. If you want to see some of these, take a look at these posts:

Now for this month’s spreads! These aren’t my typical “monthly” spread that you can use for any month. Instead, I have made spreads that just relate to the month of December and the season of giving. No matter what holiday you celebrate, you will be able to use these spreads to help buy gifts for everyone on your list! For the first spread, you can plan out what gifts you will be giving to each person. In my second spread, I have stocking stuffer ideas for all of you. The bottom of the spread includes a place for you to plan out your own stockings. Lastly, I have a spread to plan out gifts for people, how much they were, if you already bought them, etc. This is my favorite because I can track the prices of everything and make sure I am staying within budget. It also shows me if I already have everything, and what else I need to buy.

Gift Giving

This is a pretty simple spread but allows you to plan out exactly what you want to buy everyone. I started with the simple “Xmas Gifts 4 All” title. Of course you can change this to any holiday you are shopping for, and use any type of fancy calligraphy you can do. Next I planned out my boxes (I wanted six) for everyone on my list. I did combine some people that I will shop for together. If you have a lot more people on your list, you may want to do 8 or 10 boxes. Then, I made a little header for each of my boxes, three rows deep. I tried to make each box look like a present so I drew a bow in each of the headers, and a tag with the person’s name on it. I used the bow drawings below for inspiration. Finally, I just wrote presents for everyone inside of the “presents” (boxes). I took a picture of this spread before filling in the presents because a lot of people on my list read my blog (thank you for the support:)).

Stocking Stuffers

This spread is mostly just to give you some ideas for stockings stuffers for everyone and anyone. I started writing stocking stuffers at the top (in my best handwriting, but you can probably do better)! and drawing a stocking. I stuck to a pretty simple stocking drawing, but may I say I am pretty proud it? Then, I have lots of ideas for you guys to shop for anyone on your list! You’re welcome;). If you did want to recreate this spread, in the bottom I just wrote names of who I am buying stockings for. I simply wrote wrote name with a line under it. I am only making two stockings this year, so I did not have much to write. If you have to do stockings for an entire family, you could take up a whole page for this. Under the names, I have a section for the gifts and the prices. Finally, at the bottom is a total box so I can see exactly how much I spent.

Money Spread

Like I said before, I want to make sure I know just how much money I spend for Christmas. I love to go all out for Christmas, but I am still a young college student which is why I love budgeting spreads. I can track just how much I spent and how much more I would like to spend. I actually went and got most of my gifts this past weekend because there were Black Friday deals going on all weekend. Anyway, to make this spread you want to start out with a column for the name of the person you are giving it to. If you want to organize the spread even more, you could do one person for the first ten rows, the next person for the next few, etc. However, sometimes we add presents for people way later on, so if you just make a name column and write in names as you go, it may be easier. Next is the column for what the item is. You want to make it somewhat large in case you have a gift with a really long name ( I accidentally split the column in half.. don’t do that!). The next two columns are how much you wanted to spend, the “budget,” and then what you actually spent. Then you have boxes for bought and wrapped. After you have done these things, you just put a check mark in the boxes. This allows you to make the spread before you go shopping, then cross things off as you buy them. This year, you will probably do a lot of online shopping with COVID, so you could also add a column for “received.” This way you can track when the package has actually arrived at your house. Lastly, I just wrote a column for extra notes. Maybe you need something else for the gift, it will be here late, etc.

When you’re out there buying gifts for others, don’t forget to treat yourself a little bit as well! Have fun and be safe:)

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace