Bullet Journaling

Remember how I was obsessed with planners? Well I have a new planning obsession, and its definitely going to stick. You know why? Because it’s one notebook, undated, that has everything in it. It’s apparently a big thing, and it’s definitely not new. Actually some of my engineering friends have done it for years, on their own before it became a “thing”.

I decided to wait until I finished my first notebook before I wrote about it. Because knowing me, I’d get bored and try to buy another planner or something (which I’m known to do, don’t judge, I like pretty notebooks and paper). But nope, I stuck to it and am pretty reliant on it. It comes in very handy, since I can’t use my personal phone at my new job. So no more digital notes, or calendars at my fingertips.

Basically its a journal that you can just dump your brain into, and organize it the way you want to. And since its a blank notebook, you can also get creative with it, with all the space you allow yourself. Currently, mine is mostly black ink, because I’m on the move so much I don’t have time to doodle or color code. But seriously, its no pressure! I love it.

For the official site and structured information on how to do it, visit BulletJournal.com. Then after you understand how it works conceptually, check out pinterest for more inspirations and collections you can use with it. The possibilities are endless. I write everything in my bullet journal…quotes I come across, meal plan, things to do, blog topics, random notes and numbers, keep track of bills, questions for the pediatrician… EVERYTHING. I also have a separate one that I use for work that keeps track of projects, and meetings and notes.

The best part is that you can use whatever notebook you want. So now I can go through and use up all the pretty journals I’ve been hoarding. Plus if you keep them, you can always look back and memories and notes for those days! I love paper and pens and this method is perfect. It can be anything you want it to be. There’s really no wrong way to do it. I even tape business cards or other pieces of paper related to that day in there to keep track of it.

Some of my “collections” aka brain dumps are things like.. books to read, movies to watch, brainstorms, event plans, home renovations, expense tracking etc. The index is helpful because now you know exactly where you dumped all your thoughts on a certain subject.

How about you? Have you tried it? Are you using it? What are some other planning methods you are doing to keep track of LIFE?

7

Shrimp Quinoa Bowl

My husband loves the chicken citrus quinoa bowl I make him. I personally don’t, don’t ask me why, I’m weird. So I decided to make one for myself, that I’d like to have for lunch, and decided to go with a lemon-y shrimp one.

There are not enough quinoa bowls in my life. They are so simple. Quinoa, veggies of your choice, dressing, protein. BAM.

For my bowl, I had a base of the same quinoa, cooked in chicken broth. Then I added sweet corn, avocado, red onion, cucumbers, oranges, and cilantro. Tossed it all together with a lemon vinaigrette then topped it with cajun seasoned shrimp. So easy there really isn’t a need for a recipe. But here’s one for the lemony vinaigrette!

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons worth of juice
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
honey to taste
salt and pepper

Directions
Whisk all the ingredients together. Pour over bowl when ready to eat! I eat it cold and its a perfect no heat lunch.

Apoterra Skincare

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Let’s be real, after (and during) my pregnancy my skin was horrible. I did not have this pregnancy glow that everyone was raving about. It was dry, yet broken out. When you are pregnant and growing a tiny human inside you, you have to think about everything that comes in contact with your body, so you can’t really use harsh chemicals on your skin. Then after the baby was no longer physically tied to me, I was breastfeeding, and still had to think about what I was putting in/on my body.

I couldn’t use normal acne fighting stuff like salicylic acid or even Mario Badescu Drying lotion. So then I had to look at au naturale ways to take care of skin. I landed on Apoterra Skincare among the million natural beauty companies and decided to give it a shot. I have weird skin. Normally oily skin gets broken out, so you use a range of “drying” concoctions to rescue it…but I was also super dry (maybe because my body is using every bit of moisture to produce breast milk) so if I only used acne stuff I’d probably just crumble and die.

With this skincare line, I was able to mix a system that worked for me. And now that I’ve used it long enough to EMPTY OUT some bottles, I figured, yeah, I should probably write about it, because I trust it on my skin!

At first, the pimples were my first priority. I’m too old to be breaking out like this. I used their activated charcoal soap with sea salt. It came in a black bar. Washed my face every night with it, then I used the moisturizing night treatment. In the morning I would use the rose oil, after washing my face with just water. This method worked so well. My skin finally rehydrated and calmed down.

Now that my skin is back to normal and not as broken out I’ve changed my system. I now was with a moisturizing bar soap. If I have broken out spots, I use their toner on the trouble spots. And then I use their clarifying oil on trouble spots, then the night treatment every where else. When I wake up I still wash with warm water and use the oil under my regular spf. It might sound like a lot, but it’s really not, and I’m finally glad to have my skin back to normal!

apoterra

**All opinions are my own and I don’t even think Apoterra knows I exist. I bought all products with my own money and was not paid to share this honest review.

Pittsburgh Rick’s

I like grilled cheese sandwiches. I think anyone who is American likes grilled cheese sandwiches. As a kid I would just make it with white bread, butter and slices of Kraft American in a skillet. I’ve since matured my palate and upgraded my kitchen tools, panini pressed sandwich anyone? So when my friend told me about a place near her, that Yelp says has THE BEST GRILLED CHEESE, I was intrigued.

On one my visits, we stopped in Old Town Leesburg and grabbed a bite (to go!) from Pittsburgh Rick’s. He allegedly has the best grilled cheese.

When you walk in, you walk straight into the counter, and who was there to take our order? None other than RICK himself. Pretty cool. He’s owned a few restaurants, and it was nice to see that he was there taking orders and talking to guests. He actually recognized that we were new there (how long as this place been open?) and made us feel welcomed.

Rick invited us to check out upstairs while we waited. There is a bar, and a tiny balcony overlooking the street below. Looks like it’d be a happening place in the summer. We definitely want to check it out when it gets warmer…wonder what the parking situation would be like then though.

We took the order home, because babies, so keep that in mind when I talk about the food. There were other type of sandwiches on the menu, but we were there with a purpose. I ordered the Loaded Grilled Cheese, which comes with bacon and 3 types of cheeses. All the sandwiches are topped with french fries, apple cider slaw and tomatoes. You also get this orange sauce on the side. Spicy, tangy and a favorite for my husband. I also got wings, because I LOVE WINGS.

When we got to her place the sandwiches were a little bit soggy. Maybe because of the ride home in styrofoam, or maybe because it was loaded with butter. It literally dripped when I picked it up. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, I personally didn’t think it was a bad thing, but then again I love butter, and I clearly don’t care about my weight or health. I started off with the wings, which were good, but they were wings, nothing special to write about. I forgot to ask for ranch, and I believe it comes with bleu cheese. Womp.

OH YEAH he ALSO FORGOT MY SIDE OF FRIES that I paid extra for. BOO.

The main event. Since I ate my wings, I could only down half of my sandwich. It wasn’t what I expected. Maybe because I don’t know what Pittsburgh style grilled cheese sandwiches are. The bread was only lightly charred with grill marks and the sandwich was barely toasted (again, maybe because it took a ride home with us). It was a BIG sandwich. Surprisingly though, I liked it. That’s saying a lot since, 1, I don’t like coleslaw, 2, I don’t like tomatoes in my hot sandwiches and 3 I like my bread super toasted. The flavors were definitely all there, and the crunch and tang of the coleslaw added another element to balance out the sogginess that it turned in to be (the fries were mushy too). It all tied together well with the sauce. You have to eat it with the sauce.

Altogether I’d like to give this place another shot, eat there, enjoy the view and have it come out at the right temperature and texture…as well as have my side of fries that I ordered and never got.