27 Jan 2022

what's in my bag #25: my work backpack by sweaty betty

The majority of my work days, I carry this Sweaty Betty quilted backpack. It's pretty functional and quite well built and considering that it's on the pricier end for a backpack, I would hope so! I also really like the two pockets at the side. On rainy days, one side is useful for an umbrella and the other side usually has a folded up tote bag. 

Contents (top left, clockwise): work ID and pass, a pair of socks (as I wear theatre clogs at work with scrubs on the days where I'm in theatre), pencil case (usually a fountain pen, a gel pen and a biro are its core contents), a one litre flask, my work notebook (a surgical mask enclosed within it of course), chocolate covered rice cakes, a rollerball of peppermint and lavender essential oils gifted to me by one of my seniors a few months;' ago and a tote bag. 
I feel like I've managed to really decrease how much I carry around in my bag which my back will be grateful for in years to come. 

My work bag often has my lunchbox in as well - I like to meal prep as the lunch options are not great at the hospital I work at. There's usually a fair few more snacks in my bag including a piece of fruit. If I'm on-call (which are usually 12.5 hour shifts), they are often hectic and I find myself craving something sweet or salty and definitely not good for me. As a result, I try and carry a healthy sweet and a healthy salty snack. 

Unfortunately, we don't get allocated a locker at work otherwise my socks and snacks could be stored at work.

12 Jan 2022

bullet journal collections of mine

Collections are a core part of most bullet journals I've seen online and mine is no exception. Today, I'm going to talk through a few of mine, how they are used and why they are useful to me.  

Mood Tracker

Pretty self-explanatory! We've had a tough two years or so and a mood tracker has been good for me to reflect on what can affect my mood positively and negatively. This is so I can keep doing the stuff that makes me happy and minimise the stuff that makes me unhappy. It's also good to see if my bad and good days all come at the same time or if they are just here and there. 

As I've got older, I've figured out what things help my mood (for instance, sport, running, baking!) and what things do not (going to bed super late, not exercising and the early, dark nights in the winter). This helps me figure out an action plan to maximise the happiness-inducing activities to try and give my mood a boost. I find doing this right at the beginning of the week helps the most. 

The Worry Tree and a Master Packing List

The worry tree has been a core part of my bullet journal over the last two years and I'm not transferring it to my 2022 one. My mental health is much improved and as a previously self-confessed worrywart, I'm definitely a lot more laid back than I used to be.

A master packing list is useful as I often head away for a weekend at the last minute. I tend to pack the same things for each trip so this is useful. Later this year, I'll be doing on-calls at the hospital which will require an overnight stay, if not longer, so this list will be useful then too. 


My reading has been terrible this last year and I don't know why. I think I've poured all of my effort into running and fitness and my concentration levels when it comes to reading have dropped off a lot. I'm hoping to rectify that in 2022 though...

My 100 goals for each year

Each year, I keep a list of 100 random things I want to do. They can be easy and instant or may take a bit more perseverance or effort. It's to keep me motivated as there's nothing better than checking something off a list! I've written one for 2022 already so hopefully I can achieve at least 60% of it. 

These are the core collections in my bullet journal from 2021 and it will be interesting to see how these evolve in 2022. I've left off my Animal Crossing ones (i.e. fossils, statues, paintings, fish, insects and sea creatures left to find for the museum!) as it's a little too nerdy...! 

What collections do you have that are essential to your bullet journal? 

21 Dec 2021

christmas planning and card writing

As a huge lover of Christmas and festive tidings, every Christmas, I take great pleasure in ensuring a Christmas-appropriate ink is in situ in one of my fountain pens. Last year, it was De Atramentis Santa (which confusingly smells of chocolate) and this year, I've opted for a personal favourite within the collection: J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor. My full review of it from 2018 can be seen here

I also make a note of who needs a Christmas card as my worst nightmare is leaving someone out by accident. This allows me to spend one afternoon, sat in my lounge with the heating on and a lit candle, writing out Christmas cards ready to post out. I still can't let go of pen and paper which I know is terrible for the environment. However, growing up giving out Christmas cards every year at school, it's a tradition that I can envisage carrying on for decades in my household. 

Now the next question is, which ink to use for next year? Do I purchase a new one or see the festive qualities in one I already own? Guess we'll find out next year!

Do you do something similar with your inks at Christmas time? 

9 Dec 2021

planning ahead with a bullet journal

The one thing about bullet journals that I struggle with is putting in important dates for the year after. Because I'm not buying a planner every October in preparation for the next calendar year, I knew a set-up within the current year's bullet journal was essential. 

So this is how I plan my year ahead. 

Each six months' get a double page spread of their own. This is to ensure there's plenty of space for important dates and also any other things I wanted to make a note of. 

To-dos for those specific months are noted, as are important dates where renewals may be coming up or appointments made in advance. I also make a note of upcoming blog posts and as you can see, there's a few coming up for next year! 

The other thing I like to do is make a note of things that need to be in a future future planner. For example, my passport renewal will be due in September 2031 - I'm still yet to work out whether this belongs on the first page of my bullet journal or in this future plan spread. Likewise with my mortgage! 

I'm still working through how this works for me and there's definitely room for improvement. However, this seems to work at present; allowing me to keep my planner neat and tidy whilst ensuring I still feel organised inside my head. 

Do you do your future planning another way? I'm always on the hunt for a better and more logical way!