Bullet Journal – September 2020 Cover Page & Monthly Spread

Happy September everyone! We’re a little more than halfway through the month and there isn’t really much to update everyone on. Although everything is different because of COVID, I feel like I’m starting to feel sort of normal? I know, crazy right?

This is definitely a new normal, but it doesn’t feel quite as suffocating as it did before. Does anyone else feel this way too? I feel like I have some what of a routine again. I’m still working, Fall is basically here, football is on. I don’t know, it just feels like something I can get used to.

Personally I haven’t gone out to eat and I really don’t go to any stores unless it’s for groceries or alcohol. I haven’t really seen any friends since March, which is really weird, but I’m also kind of a homebody so I don’t really feel like I’m suffering too much socially. I actually feel like I’ve been talking to people more often than I would have because we’re checking in with each other to see how we’re doing through everything.

Obviously my dating life has halted completely. I’m okay with that though. I don’t think I have the time or energy for anything new right now and it’s good to just have this time to work on myself.

Anyway, my theme for this month is Alice in Wonderland. I have the phrase “It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then” from Alice in Wonderland tattooed on my back. It’s something I always go back to whether I’ve had a good/bad/normal day. I use it as a reminder that I’m always growing as a person and to not look back on things that have happened so much because I’ve grown from whatever experience.

I feel like with everything going on, it’s more important that ever to remind myself that everything I experience makes me grow and that I need to keep looking forward rather than looking to the past and wondering how I could have changed things.

I don’t have too much going on this month. The planets are certainly active, so that should be interesting! Also, as you can see, I’ve been terrible about reading. I know, I know. I’ll get on it. Sorry!!

Hope everyone’s having a good month! Happy almost Spooky Season!!

Bullet Journal – July 2020 Cover Page & Monthly Spread

I wanted to do something fun and summery for July. I see a lot of lemon themed spreads, but I find it really hard to see yellow when I use it in my actual journaling, so I decided to go with oranges!

I’ll admit, this isn’t my best work. I’m not sure what I was doing this day, but I really wasn’t feeling like setting up the month so I was trying to do it quickly. I haven’t decided on an August theme yet. Maybe I’ll make that one a bit more artistic.

This month wasn’t too bad overall. I need to read more!! I decided to take meditation off of my tracker. When I was actually going into the office every day, it was easier to have a routine at night and make time for meditation. Now that I’m home all the time I find myself doing more at home at night and wanting to get other things done. My routine has just changed and I haven’t found a good time for it. I do want to continue with meditation. Maybe I’ll download the Calm app, has anyone tried it?

My goals are a little personal this month. Three years ago in July I met this guy on Tinder who ended up becoming pretty important to me. We were mostly just friends, but there was always a little bit more to it and if I’m being honest with myself I always had hoped for more.

In the last three years, that relationship had a lot of ups and downs. There were quite a few times when we wouldn’t talk for extended periods of time until I would give in and reach out.  It was always me doing the reaching out and re-kindling the relationship.

At this point, we haven’t talked for months and I feel like it’s time for me to work on moving on. Some days it’s definitely strange, but it wasn’t working out and I need to learn how to keep going without thinking about him.

My goal this month was to keep working on that and to remind myself that if he’s never the one to reach out then I shouldn’t waste my time trying to have some sort of contact with him either. Sometimes the people that we care about and want in our lives just don’t feel the same way about us, and that’s been a difficult lesson for me to learn.

Anyway! This month I also did a 3-day juice cleanse. I lost 4 pounds on the cleanse and have continued eating healthier and losing weight! I signed up for HelloFresh next month, so I’m really excited to start cooking for myself more and having healthier meals.

I’m feeling really good about myself right now and I’m actually looking forward to August!

Before by Anna Todd

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about reading Before after reading the rest of the After series. I really didn’t want to read about the way Hardin was before Tessa, but I’m glad that I did read it.

At first I was a little put off by this book. When it started out with the back stories of Natalie, Molly, and Steph I definitely wasn’t sure I would finish it. I really didn’t want to hear the details of their hook-ups with Hardin, so I’m glad that it didn’t go any further, but then also it made the introductions to their point of view seem really pointless.

It was interesting to see the first book from Hardin’s point of view. It was kind of surprising how much Molly was actually being helpful and trying to protect Tessa. I thought there would be more from Molly’s perspective and Steph’s too, so it was disappointing that we didn’t get to see that during their relationship. Again, it made it really pointless to introduce their point of view in the beginning.

I really didn’t care about Christian’s part in this book. It didn’t add anything to the overall story. Seeing  what happened with Zed after everything was alright, but again not necessary. I did like the little glimpse into Smith’s world though.

I actually preferred the “Hessa” ending in this book to how it ended in After Ever Happy. The little glimpse into how they ended up was much better than all the time jumps. I don’t think I realized that they never got married until Hardin said it. I guess I just assumed that they had done it at some point.

I read some reviews for the Landon books and I’m not sure that I’m going to read them. Landon was an okay character, but I don’t really feel like he needed his own series. The reviews were basically what I expected and I think I’ve read enough of the universe. We already know that he becomes a teacher, gets married, and has a daughter. I think that’s enough really. I just feel like his story would be much more “vanilla” in comparison to Hardin and Tessa’s story.

After Ever Happy by Anna Todd

What a roller coaster this series has been. The fourth book in this series definitely had more ups and downs than any of the others. Major spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned.

So the story picks up with Hardin finding out that Vance is his father. He absolutely loses it and ends up on a bender and abandoning Tessa yet again. She’s fed up, ready to be done with Hardin and goes home only to find her father dead of a drug overdose in their apartment. WHAT? I swear my jaw dropped when I read this part.

Hardin comes back and is finally ready to change, but Tessa isn’t ready to take him back. Really who could blame her? It’s not like he has a great track record and he apologizes over and over for the same things. It does seem like he’s changing this time.

Tessa ends up moving to New York with Landon and Hardin comes for a visit. Everything seems good UNTIL she finds out that he’s written a book about their love story. She reads it and seems to love it, but then we time jump and find out that she didn’t take him back yet.

They still love each other and decide to get married, but then they don’t. The ending time jumps a few more times (not a fan, by the way) and eventually you find out that they did get married and they have two biological children even though the doctor told her she would struggle to get pregnant.

I’m happy with how the story ended. I wish they didn’t have so many time jumps at the end. It would’ve been fine I think to just have one time jump in the epilogue that showed Hardin with little Emery and Tessa pregnant with Auden. We didn’t need the rest of that really.

I’m going to read Before next just because I’m interested in what that could possibly be about and how it’ll make me feel about Hardin now that I love the new and improved version of him.

I may also read the Landon series. I haven’t completely decided yet, but I like how Anna Todd set it up and didn’t really tell us who he was married to. I’m guessing this was in anticipation of the spin-off series. Are Tessa and Hardin in it too? I’ll definitely read it if they’re in it too.

After We Fell by Anna Todd

Finished with book three! I can’t believe there’s only one left to the series (not counting the one that’s about Hardin’s life before Tessa). I purposely tried to drag this one out because I really don’t want these books to end.

These books really are like a soap opera, which I guess is why they’re so addictive. There are so many twists and turns, so many secrets, so much betrayal. It’s kind of crazy because I definitely felt like Tessa deserved better when I was reading the first book, but now I’m 100% in support of their relationship because I really don’t believe anyone could love Tessa more than Hardin, even if his love is kind of all consuming.

I’m about to get into spoilers so stop reading if you’re actually going to read these books.

The thing that happened with Steph at the beginning was crazy. I definitely was not expecting that and couldn’t believe that this whole time she had a thing for Hardin and was mad that he was with Tessa. I did question why she didn’t tell Tessa about the bet if she was truly her friend, but I didn’t really think that she would go this far. Anna Todd did set up everything with Dan though, he obviously would try to get revenge. I also owe Zed an apology for thinking he’d actually send texts from Hardin’s phone.

Everything at the end with Vance was pretty shocking too. It kept being hinted at that Vance had loved someone other than his first wife and Kimberly, but I’m not sure I would have guessed that it’d be Trish. Once Hardin caught them together I absolutely knew that this was where it was going. I also couldn’t imagine reading that and then having to wait for another book to be released. I need to keep reading to find out what happens.

I mentioned already that I fully support their relationship now, which is kind of funny because it’s definitely something I didn’t expect. I could understand the attraction to each other, but they seemed so toxic. I’m sure this was done on purpose, but with all the other people in their lives having toxic relationships as well it almost makes theirs not so bad. Yes they fight and Hardin is way too controlling of Tessa, but for the most part they don’t lie to each other and they don’t cheat.

I’m really rooting for them in the next book. I hope their relationship continues to get stronger and that Hardin comes around and finally agrees to marry Tessa. Also hope that they make this book into a movie as well. I need it to be a movie.

I found out that there’s a book series about Landon too. I’m kind of curious how that one is and whether or not it’s worth reading. I wonder if Hardin and Tessa make appearances in those books. I might actually read them if they do.

After We Collided by Anna Todd

When I read through a book really quickly sometimes it’s hard for me to figure out what exactly I want to say about it. I think it’s safe to say that the After series has me hooked.

At first I was a little put off by the perspective changes, but it was kind of nice to see things from Hardin’s point of view. I always think back to this creative writing class that I had in college where the professor told us that switching the narrator is lazy writing, but I think sometimes it can be done really well and add to the story.

The relationship between Tessa and Hardin in this book was definitely a roller coaster ride. They have so many highs and lows, it’s hard to keep up with. It’s exactly what I was expecting to happen when I finished the first book, and I plan on reading the others, but I really hope it’s not the same thing over and over again. I want to see these characters grow and stop being so toxic to each other.

I kind of wish that Anna Todd would have built more into Zed being a bad guy. I feel like until he took Hardin’s phone to text Tessa I really didn’t believe that Hardin was telling the truth about Zed not having good intentions. I wish there was some foreshadowing to this. Maybe there was and I just missed it?

I really am curious to see what could possibly happen in the next two books. I’ve seen that the fifth book takes place before everything, so that should be interesting to read.

I’m sure I’ll be back soon with my thoughts on the third book.

After by Anna Todd

I’m really not sure where to begin with this one. I guess I’ll start with a little explanation.

My mom told me a few months ago that she had watched a movie called After on Netflix and she thought I would like it. Honestly it didn’t sound that great from the description, but after spending an hour trying to find something to watch I decided to give it a shot.

Honestly I was surprised at how much I actually liked the movie. I guess I think that since I’m an adult I won’t like these teen love stories anymore, but really I should just admit to myself that they get me every time.

Obviously, I was excited when I found out that it was originally a book series and that there were multiple books in the series. UNTIL I stumbled across the Wikipedia page where I found out that this was originally written as Harry Styles fan-fiction.

I will say, I’m a big Harry Styles fan and definitely had a crush on him when he was in One Direction. I’m just not really usually impressed by fan-fiction and honestly would never have put two and two together that Hardin Scott was modeled after Harry Styles.

Even after reading the book, it’s hard for me to understand why Anna Todd would turn Harry Styles into this horrible, manipulative character. I mean, are we really supposed to believe that the guy who wears flowery suits would act this way towards a woman that he truly loves? I definitely had to disassociate my idea of Harry Styles from the character of Hardin Scott when reading this book.

That being said, I actually really enjoyed reading it. Hardin is horrible and Tessa definitely shouldn’t have stayed with him this long. He’s crazy manipulative and controlling, and the way he is with her is borderline abuse, but I found myself unable to put this book down. Honestly Tessa isn’t much better. They both overreact whenever they argue and even though she tries to see things from his point of view, she still seems to be unwilling to change for the relationship even though she asks him multiple times to change for her.

This really isn’t some great work of literature, but it is entertaining. I’m definitely going to read the next book. Since there are 5 of them, I’m assuming she forgives Hardin again and takes him back. I’m sure they’ll fight more and break up about a million more times, but I do kind of need to know what comes next.

So even though I’m conflicted about the inspiration for the story, I have to say Anna Todd does really know how to keep someone interested with her writing. Maybe it’s sort of like a car crash you can’t look away from? Anyone else feel this way reading it?

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

I’ve been going through this weird sort of dating thing with a guy for the last two years. It really doesn’t make any sense to my family and friends, and I know that it isn’t healthy for me anymore, so I’m working on ending it completely and letting go.

I’ve avoided love stories for this reason, but I actually think reading Dear John may have been what I needed.

John is in the army and has really struggled throughout life. He meets Savannah, they fall in love quickly, but then he has to go away. They write letters, but eventually the distance becomes too much and she ends it. She moves on, gets married, but it’s obvious that they both have a lot of love for each other.

I think reading this book made me really think about how you can have these intense feelings for someone, but that they might not be the right person for you, or that the timing may not be right and it just might not work out for that reason only.

I think it’s important to recognize this and use that as closure so that you can move on. John wanted the best for Savannah and was okay with letting go of his own desires so that she could move on and hopefully be happy. I really like that. I like that they didn’t have their happy ending together, but they both could be happy with how things ended up. It’s more realistic than the fairy tale stories about love.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

This is maybe the first time that I actually like the movie better than the book. The movie was so much better than the book, that I almost think they had to have read it and thought “I could do this and make it better” and that’s why a movie even exists at all.

I really hate when I don’t like a book that I’m reading and I hate to be negative, but there just wasn’t anything that I really liked. I didn’t like Pat, which is maybe why it was so bad. It’s possible that if I hadn’t seen the movie and known about what had happened between him and Nikki, I’d like it more, but I really can’t decide if that matters at all.

Is Pat supposed to come off as boring? He’s so uninteresting as a person and really doesn’t seem like he has anything going on in his brain other than being with Nikki. I understand being obsessed with something and your whole life revolving around it, but I feel like I know nothing about him other than that he’s a Eagles fan and he wanted to get back together with his wife.

His dad was always super distant and I feel like that’s something that could’ve been written about and resolved rather than this weird story about a dance competition and a woman who likes him. The whole dancing part was weird in the story. In the movie it was a major plot point, but in the book it was just something he did for awhile to be able to talk to Nikki and then it was over and done with.

The ending also happened really fast. It was like they had the dance competition, he ran into his friend Danny randomly, watched the wedding video and remembered Nikki cheating, saw her with kids, and then got over it and was ready to be with Tiffany. I have a hard time believing that if he was so convinced he was supposed to be with Nikki and had to improve himself for her, that he would so easily accept that she was happy with someone else and leave her alone. I don’t buy it at all.

It was pretty disappointing to read this and not like it. I had actually read so many things about this book being great and good for someone going through a break up. I don’t think this would resolve anything for me if I was in a relationship that had just ended. I was actually really happy that I wouldn’t have to read any more of it, as harsh as that sounds. Would not recommend.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern


Here’s yet another book that I decided to read because I was obsessed with the movie. Don’t worry, I promise it won’t be the last 😉

When I decided to read Love, Rosie I had no idea that the entire book was made up of letters, emails, and instant messages. At first I was a little put off by it, but it actually made it a lot easier to read and it was a good way to show the personalities of all of the characters.

Man, this book was frustrating. They loved each other for SO long and it took SO long for them to finally be together. At least in the movie they were still pretty young when the ended up together.

I guess this story really resonates with me because I have a “friend” in my life right now who for awhile was someone I only communicated with through text messages. We seriously went for about 9 months texting every day before meeting and so love stories like this remind me of it. I hope that if I’m going to end up with this person, like Alex and Rosie *eventually* did, that it happens faster than it did for them.

I was glad that Alex’s kids were grown up by the time he finally ended up with Rosie. It would’ve felt wrong if Rosie had broken up his family so that they could be together.

I did have to re-watch the movie after I finished reading and I just have to say, it’s so crazy how much they sped the whole story up! I mean, I totally understand why they did it, it’s just insane how quickly they went through everything!