ShoesDay — The Ones That Did Me In

It’s ShoesDay! Happy Summer! We are having fun reminiscing absolutely it our favorite shoes— and our least favorite. I wrote about Pink Mary Jane Chunky heels, black athletic DKNY Mary Janes, and the versatile Patricia Slides. My dear friend Dani waxed poetic re: her platform espadrille wedges. And now I am going to tell you about the shoes I was wearing on the day I fell splat on my face last summer.

When I bought these the previous autumn, I was enticed by the soft step. I had the same brand in a patent leather Mary Jane flat, which was great for work, play, and singing at church. In fact, I rather liked the fact that they didn’t click or clunk as I walked from behind the piano to the center aisle, then up steps to the lectern to proclaim the Psalm. No Harriet Hardheels for me! So I was intrigued to find the simple gold flat. The bottom was a neutral “old scotch tape” color— you know what I mean. It was hardly committal in its translucence, it sort of ended up looking like the color of yellow rubber cement, which blended by default into the neutral gold. Comfortable as tennis shoes, I could even run in them. The neutral color looked nice with dresses, being similar enough skin tone, as short girls know, they almost make you look taller, by visually extending the leg.

Truth be told, I wore them too often. If I had to go to the soccer field or the softball field, they were already almost the same color as dirt. It’s not like they became cloudy as my aforementioned black patent leather mary janes did!

The problem with wearing them everyday is that they wear down. There were holes in the athletic gummy soles, but not in the inside of the shoe. So I kept wearing them. I remember thinking, I need to replace these soon, but school had started, as well as soccer season, and marching band season … I had to pre-order the darn high school school yearbook for freaking $75.00– so I decided to wait until my next credit card cycle to replace these shoes.

So it was only the second day of the school year, but still August. In that in-between time, when we are still in denial of our summer being usurped by school and all that comes with it. I had just dropped off both kids at their respective schools, then decided to stop back home to pick up dear daughter’s soccer bag, since we’d forgotten to pack it before school. It was supposed to be a real quick stop, then I would resume my trek to work.

I should state here that my driveway is an incline.

Sometimes if the garage door clicker isn’t working, we press the wall button and run outside under the closing garage door, careful to step over the sensor just at the bottom of garage. We’ve done his hundreds of times, without problems.

But not this day.

I remember thinking I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! as I stashed said soccer bag in my parked, running car, as I ran back into the garage, getting ready to do the under-door dash. I pressed the button with my left hand and started running.

I thought the door was coming down faster than usual, so I started running faster, struggling to stop (while remaining hunched over) and step over the empty space where the sensor reads.

I heard the sensor catch and the door stop as I tried to stop my fall. There was my running car on my left and a row of prickly thorny roses on my right. My legs kept running, down the driveway incline (read HILL) and I went splat in the middle. On my face.

I remember lifting my head up and seeing blood. My whole head throbbed. I remember thinking I wanted to put my head down. In all honesty, I think I passed out. Because my next memory is picking myself up off the sidewalk.

I somehow got my bleeding self into my car as my neighbor rushed over to check on me. He kindly offered to take me to the ER. I said it was ok, my husband was working from home that day, as he would take me. I moved my car out from blocking the sidewalk, to park in the driveway somewhat properly, then I grabbed a couple of wipes to clean my hands- bleeding from both my palms and my knuckles. It was then that I caught my first glance of my face in the rear view mirror. Yup. Huge gash in my nose. I parked and turned the car off. Ran inside to get my husband.

Thankfully it wasn’t worse, and I was able to get 7 stitches and come back home. I took the rest of the week off and enjoyed a 3 day weekend. Benefits are a beautiful thing. Thankfully my family was able to handle the school, soccer practice and marching band practice drop-offs and pickups.

But you know that when I got home from the stitches, the first thing I did was throw those shoes in the trash. Even dear hubby said they had Bad Juju.

One final word of wisdom– see your local shoe cobbler, before it’s too late! It is often less expensive to repair a worn shoe, than it us to replace it. (Sometimes, you’ll find that it is even out of stock.) I’ve taken handbags to my local cobbler, as well, to repair broken straps. (Ooh- should we do purses next?)

Moms, especially: don’t be a martyr. Wear good shoes.

Happy #ShoesDay!

Friday Friends: Ursula & Cham Glam Botanika

Happy Friday, Friends! I love to share interviews with inspiring creatives entrepreneurs! Today we welcome the delightful Ursula from Cham Glam Botanika of Guam 🇬🇺 Ursula’s Healing Balm is what inspired me to get back to writing my book! Seriously– this stuff is the greatest! I knew I wanted to interview her someday. Today is the day! As they say on the island of Guam- Hafa Adai, Ursula!

1.     So, can you tell us a bit about your business? 

·        In a dukduk shell, ChamGlam stands for Chamorrita Glamour. We are a local green beauty, eco luxe brand. Our products are made in small batches and hand poured. We use organic and fair trade shea+mango butters and feature Maracuja oil (highly regenerative) into our products. We are proud to be a Farm2Face brand, supporting local farmers on island. I am an Herbalist and I have been blessed to apprentice with our traditional healers here in the Marianas. I wanted to honor the sacredness of healing plants while looking dudus* simultaneously (editors note- dudus means feminine/pretty) . ChamGlam Botanika is inspired by the beautiful floral hues of our islands and the maga’hågas who have guided us.

 

2.     Do you have a favorite creation? 

·       Wow! That’s hard to choose. I love cooking up all of them! I do love infusing the achote in healing oils as the base for the ‘Dudus’ lip butter. I can watch the colors change all day!  Such gorgeous hues of deep red and coral. Actually, my mother is the inspiration for the brand as well as Dudus lip butter. She wears coral so beautifully and I thought to myself, ‘hmmm I can create that using achote!’ I also love the process of making the ylanylang perfume solid. Visiting with my mali’ and daydreaming under her magical tree. We then pick the flowers and then I infuse it and blend with other healing plants. Our ancestors have historically used Ylangylang for ceremonial purposes. Perfect for anointing and lifting your spirit.  There’s a sacredness that’s involved and I feel honored being in this space to pay homage to our ancestors this way.

 

3.     How did you decide which plants to use?

·       They tell me! I have a deep love for our healing plants. They’ve been healing and anointing us for thousands of years. They provide us with food, shelter and medicine. I love the emolliency of shea and mango butters. Have you ever smelled mango butter? It smells like to’a mango. Brings you back to totchi’ing it in donnè and salt in your nana’s outside kitchen. I also use Maracuja oil, which is luxurious healing oil. She’s derived from the seeds of the passionflower and is highly emollient. High in essential fatty acids, she soothes dry cracked skin as well as helping sun damaged skin recover. And she boosts collagen production too! I love her!  

 

4.  What do you like to do for fun?

·       I love hiking with my son and fiancé to visit our sacred, ancestral sites. I love doing little åmot hikes and demos with kids to share our healing plant knowledge with them. I hope that by learning about them they will be inclined to protect them. I love to go to the beach and indulge in sunset swims with my ladyloves. 

 

5.     What is one unusual thing about you?

·       Only one? LOL!! There are many! I’m an unusual being!  Here we go: I love the sound of phone book pages flipping (calms my soul!), I love slowly peeling off stickers and price tags (soo satisfying), I talk to my plants like they’re my best friends, I love love love love cilantro, and last but not least I have a corn beef key tattoo. Ox & Palm! It’s my comfort food. 

 

 

6.     What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days?

·       So many! I can’t stop watching Chambers! Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is my other favorite. I love to cook! The Big Family Cooking Showdown is soooo good! I always end up crying LOL! Grown-ish, Black-ish, Claws, Handmaid’s Tale, She’s Gotta Have It, Insecure are my other favorites. ! I recently watched Pachamama with my little love bear so it’s on repeat. It’s about this little boy in the Andes who dreams of becoming a shaman. Oh! And Maisa, the CHamoru girl who saves Guåhan, another fave of my love bear. 

 

7.     Do you have a theme song?

·       Theme soundtrack! La Raza by Kid Frost and Suavecito by Malo and Brujas by Princess Nokia and Kiss of Life by Sade and Lookout Weekend by Debbie Deb Everybody Loves the Sunshine by Roy Ayers Uptown Ranking by Althea and Donna

 

8.     What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

·       Don’t get boo’d up too quickly mamas. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your hustle. 

 

9.     Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

·       Keep supporting eco-friendly products Bonitas! You can’t be Dudus on a depleted planet, let’s do our part! 

 

Stay Dudus yan Biba Green Beauty!

www.chamglam.com

IG: ChamGlam

Farm2Face, Eco-Luxe, Organic

Be sure to check out our other Friday Friends interviews! Here are just a few from earlier this year.

Katie & LuLaRoe

MeganReneePlans

Katie *Your Writer Big Sister* Masters

Mo Quintana & tomiandcleo

Friday Friends: Aimee Brown & The Last Dance

Happy Friday, Friends!

I’m delighted to share with you today an interview with returning guest Aimee Brown. Aimee’s new romance debuts this month and she’s graciously offering us a special double ebook. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/145642292/?

Without further ado, welcome back, Aimee!

1. So, what have you written? Hi there!! I’m a romantic comedy and contemporary romance author who’s thus far written 3 books (2 published, one in editing). My first was Little Gray Dress, which was rebranded by a brand-newpublisher and republished as The Lucky Dress. My second is The Last Dance, released in April.

2. What has your publishing journey been like? Rocky at first. I had some issues with my first publisher and had the rights reverted back to me just six months after it was published. Luckily for me I was already in the works with a contract by my current publisher (Aria/Head of Zeus) and they have made the publishing experience SO much better than it had been.

3. Which character of yours has received the most fan love? Definitely Liam from The Last Dance. He hardly had any lines, was just a distraction for the main character but somehow even with his few scenes, readers fell in love with him. He’s got so much love that he has his very own book coming out in January 2020. It’s in the editing phases right now and I can’t wait for you guys to meet him and his leading lady!!

4. What is your favorite writing snack? Popcorn or Reeses. Or sometimes both! lol

5. How much time do you spend writing? I write everyday of the week for the most part. It’s just something I do. I love creating characters and storylines.

6. Do you use an outline? Nope. At least not until I’m near the ¾ mark. I am such a pantser it’s not even funny sometimes. Once I know where the story needs to go or what it needs to include as it progresses then I make some rough notes. But no outlining for me, I let the characters lead me which can be interesting…lol

7. What’s one thing that surprised you when writing The Last Dance? How attached to the characters and story I got.I had a book hangover for MONTHS. I had such a hard time even writing Liam’s story because I was still so hung up on Henry and Ambri. I still have them in my head and I still absolutely adore these guys and their story. It’s easily the favorite I’ve written yet.

8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?Anywhere tropical. I live in cold Montana so I’d love palm trees, sandy beaches, and no snow.

9. What music do you listen to while writing? I actually make playlists for my books as I write. Songs help me find the emotion I need on the page so when I’m writing a scene, sometimes I spend more time finding the right song to inspire it than I do writing it. You can even find my book playlists over on my website at authoraimeebrown.com – I’m listening to The Last Dance playlist as I type!

10. What books have you read recently? Not many sadly. I’ve been on a lot of deadlines, and had a lot of both good and bad going on in life, so I haven’t had much time to really read.  But I’ve got a list a mile long.

11. When will Liam’s story be published? The publish date has been pushed to January 2020, which seems a long way away but it just gives me that much more time to perfect him. You guys will love him. My editor actually saidshe loves Liam more than Henry and she REALLY loved Henry so…yay!!!

12. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today? I just so want to thank my readers. You guys have made this so rewarding for me. I write for myself, but the fact that so many readers have fallen in love with my words is so exciting. I just can’t thank you guys enough.And thank you for being such a supporter of my work. I appreciate all you do for authors. We couldn’t do this without amazing bloggers and readers like yourself! ❤

Thanks Aimee! Great to have you here again!

Aimee’s previous features here on Friday Friends at Key of Dee:

Book Tour: Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown (Guest Post)

https://denisederrico.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/friday-friends-aimee-brown-hello-chicklit/

Friday Friends: DesignedByMeg

Happy Friday, Friends! On Friday, I like to feature artists and entrepreneurs. It is my way of giving back to the community. I hope you enjoy meeting these lovely people and their wonderful creations, as I do! Today I am delighted to introduce you to my sweet cousin, the talented Meg Norris of Designed By Meg. She is a delightful woman, and her craftsmanship is impeccable. Her work and materials are truly top quality! Welcome, Meg!

1. So can you tell us a bit about your business?

Designed by Meg is handmade business specializing in Wood Enamel Jewelry.

2. Do you have a favorite creation?

The Pine Trees are my favorite! The enameling takes a good amount of finesse and the pine trees were my effort to take it to the next level. I had to “build” it in my head first and then lay it out with the powdered glass. When I pulled them out of the kiln the immense relieve and pride I felt was awesome!

3. How did you get started?

Wood: My parents build custom furniture, so I was raised around wood. When we got the laser engraver, I decided to design and cut out pieces with it.

Enamel: I took a workshop/class at the Tacoma Metal Arts Center. It was supposed to be just a fun day. When I got home that evening I told my husband “Buckle up, Love. This needs to happen in my life!” He gave my first kiln for Christmas that year… and the rest is history.


4. What do you like to do for fun?

All kinds of things:

Hiking

Archery

Movies

Road Trips

Being with my family

5. What is one unusual thing about you?

I was born and raised in Hawaii and have a Hawaiian middle name.

6. What music inspires you?

This is going to be a lame answer, but it really depends on the day.

Right now the album Live From The Woods by NEEDTOBREATHE is my go-to.7. What tv shows/movies are you watching these days?

I really love Baking Challenge shows

Comedy Sit-Coms like Brooklyn 99 and Superstore

As far as movies… I don’t really like anything new that has come out.

So I am revisiting old favorites: Princess Bride, EdTV and Soapdish.

8. Do you have a theme song?

Desert Song, by Hillsong

It’s a song for every season of life… and a good reminder.

9. What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

It’s not as bad as it seems.

10. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I feel extremely lucky to get to do what I do.

Check out Meg’s creations at http://www.designedbymeg.com/

And on Instagram @designedbymeg

Friday Friends: Katie * Your Writer Big Sister * Masters

Happy Friday, Friends! I started featuring the writing community on Fridays as a thank you to those who helped launch my first book. And I found I just loved it so much, I wanted to keep doing it! I’m delighted to feature Katie Masters today. Read on to meet Katie!

So, what have you written/created?

I mean, if you wanted to go back far into the archives in the life-of-Katie, you’d find sailor moon fanfiction and whole spiral notebooks full of stories written from the age of twelve onward! But since I’m pretty sure you don’t want to read those (and really, you probably shouldn’t), I can thankfully point you to the things I have had published! 

 

The first (literally, my very first!) book I wrote was picked up by Fire & Ice YA, a modern-day Irish mythology book entitled, Brenna Morgan & the Iron Key. It’s kind of my baby and while I do intense research for all of my books, this one is near and dear to my heart as it’s part of my heritage. Most recently my modern-day sci-fi thriller Beacons, got picked up last year by Pandamoon Publishing and is slated to come out this year! I’ve also self-published a novella that’s the first in a series I’m creating entitled The Bone Dancer.

Currently I’m working on my lesbian Victorian romance and hoping to pitch it soon. I’m also probably the worst person in the world to ask what I’ve created or what I’m working on because I’m always creating and my answer today might be different tomorrow! I’m also juggling two different  Middle Grade series, and a lesbian slice of life graphic novel (done in Japanese manga style). 

 I’m also writing full news articles on my Patreon page for my Enchanted Forest News updates that I do on twitter!

…..Yeah. That sounds like a lot even to me. 

I don’t know how I haven’t gone insane either.

Where can we find you on social media?

You can find me practically everywhere but especially on twitter! I also have an Instagram and authortube channel on youtube! I’m pretty sure the links to them all will be down below.

What inspired you to start tweeting as Your Writer Big Sister?

 

Oh man! I think you’re the first person to ask me that! As it happens, I’m in fact, a big sister in real life! But as I went on twitter I realized I was spending a lot of time (worthwhile time!) cheering on a lot of writers on twitter, and giving a lot of advice and doing a lot of beta reading and I realized—all of these wonderful people didn’t have a ‘big sister’. They didn’t have someone to cheer them on in their life, or tell them they weren’t crazy and to not listen to their close minded parents who put padlocks on their dreams.

 

So I took it upon myself to be everyone’s Writer Big Sister. 

I was lucky that as a teen, I had the opportunity to be coached by some writers and I wanted to do the same thing—to be the cheerleader for the writer who doesn’t have someone to do it  forthem in their life.

 

What subjects and causes are near and dear to your heart?

 

SO. MANY. Note the cap locks! But I know I should narrow it down to two. LGBTQ is right on the top of my list—right there with conservation. I’m an ally, always have been, always will be. But I would like the world to remain habitable so that we can all still be alive to read books, explore nature, and love whoever the hell we want. Which is why I so strongly support conservation. I spent half of my childhood in apartment and the other on boats on the ocean and a tipi on a lonely mountain. Nature and keeping it around and leaving it better than it was is huge for me.

 

What’s the first piece of writing that you remember being proud of and why?

The first piece of writing I was ever truly proud of was a fantasy book I was writing in Jr. high. I was very serious about it and it was the reason I learned to type so fast on a computer! I wanted to write it as fast as it was running around in my head! I was proud of it because I wrote a truly great villain and even my mom (who is the hardest person in the world to impress) was impressed with her. 

 

Looking back at it now I can say “oh yeah, I was definitely thirteen” and even pinpoint what author influenced my word choices or plot development. But even now, it’s still something I’m proud of, since I was so young and taking on a huge world building project.

How many books did you read last year?

 

I um….I didn’t keep count exactly but maybe 30? I felt I wasn’t reading enough though and I’m trying to fix that this year!

 

Which of them stood out?


Well, I’m sure not everyone will count it, but The Prince and the Dressmaker, which is a graphic novel by Jen Wang. The art is freaking gorgeous, the story doubly so. It’s just such a wonderful blend of fashion and heart! I just wish it could’ve kept going!

 

How did you get the idea to tweet Enchanted Forest News?

 

I honestly don’t know! It was just sort of something that kind of lighting flashed into my brain one day. I wrote one news flash and it took off like crazy on twitter and people started asking me if I was going to do it daily—so I did! Initially (and to this day) I was using for a fun background/easter egg plot drop to my Enchanted Forest middle grade series I’m working on. It’s meant to take place a few years prior to the start of the first book, andsets the stage for a lot of the plots in the series! 

It’s honestly grown to be so much more than I thought it would be, mainly due to the many people who comment on it and tell me how much the updates mean to them! It’s really kept me going, to be honest!

 

What is your theme song?

Oh that’s so hard! It depends on the day and the mood I’m in! But I would say overall my theme song is “keep your head” by Andy Grammar. Although lately it’s been “high hopes” by Panic! At the Disco. Pretty sure you can see a theme forming at this point right?

What is your all-time favorite movie?

 

Okay firstly, you need to know something about me. I love movies as much as I love books. I’ve grown up watching silent films, old film noire, musicals…you name it, I’ve watched it. Soto pick only one is impossible for me! I don’t think I could even pick one in one genre! But I’ll say one of my favorite movies of all time is the 1990’s version of Pride and Prejudice because they did that book so much justice and to this day it’s the best book-to-film adaptation I’ve ever seen.

Fight me!

 

What songs can you play on the ukulele?

 

I can play all kinds of songs! I love playing Rebecca Sugar songs (I mean, really who doesn’t?!) on it, but I also write my own songs, and I like learning modern day songs too. I think one of my favorite bands to play from is Of Monsters and Men (from the Little Talks album).

 

What plants do you have growing in your garden?

 

Asking that is like asking a booktuber how many books they have on their shelf. You’ve entered dangerous ‘list’ territory my friends! To those who don’t know me, by the way, I garden! I’m like…maybe a little obsessed with gardening. I don’t want your eyes to glaze over, so I’ll give you the shortened version! I have seven different kind of berry bushes, an apple tree, plum tree, 2 kinds of grapes, rhubarb, strawberries, and three raised beds filled with seasonal veggies (and onions and garlic).

Fun bonus fact: all of my berries and trees are in pots because I rent and can’t plant anything permanent in the ground!

 

Ranch or Blue Cheese?

Ranch. Always ranch.

 

Name one faraway place you would like to visit.

 

My life goal since I was twelve years old is to go to Japan. I’ve literally learned to read and write and speak the language since I  was a kid and I still haven’t gotten to go. I’m hoping to fix that someday soon (I say that, by my book sales just laugh at me).

What’s your favorite tea?

My favorite tea is the Private Reserve from the Los Rios Teahouse (they sell their teas online too, bless them!)!

 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Yes There is! This writing business is tough. If you’re writing a book right now, you know that. But I want you to know you’re not alone. The worst things you can do are withdrawal when you’re stuck, and give up. If you’re having a hard time, there’s a community on twitter for your going through the same thing—or have gone through it and lived to tell tale.

You are not alone, and people want you to reach out. I know that can be scary because a lot of you might be introverted or feel you don’t have the right or the ‘standing’ to ask for help or advice.

I’m here to tell you, you are. You are worth the time people invest in you. You are worth the time you invest in yourself. And your books are worth the time you’ve put into them. If you feel stuck or lost or frustrated, reach out. Reach out to me, or to the writing community.

But you are not alone. Please keep writing!

 


Thanks, Katie! I’ve always wanted a big sister!

Here’s where you can find Katie and her books!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Katie_Masters29

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katie_masters/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/KatieMasters

Brenna Morgan and the Iron Key

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAKV7lMmK10

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2GBnEzY

The Bone Dancer: https://amzn.to/2E7gTnT

Friday Friends: MeganReneePlans

Happy Friday, Friends! On Fridays I like to feature individuals who are creative. Hope you enjoy this week’s spotlight on MeganReneePlans!

I discovered MeganRenee via Etsy as I searched for decorative stickers for my planner. I fell in love with her Beauty and the Beast Kit, which includes inspiring quotes. My daughter and I also use her sports stickers in my planner for notating practice and games. I particularly appreciate these because they were customizable. I chose the hair color as well as team color for the stickers.

Read on to meet MeganRenee!

1. So, what have you created and produced? 
For the past three years now I have been creating planner stickers and inserts for my Etsy shop. 

2. What subjects & causes are near and dear to your heart?
Autism Speaks has been my number one cause since college. They are my sorority’s philanthropy and I’ve tried to keep them on my donation list since then. 

3. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
It varies and changes all the time. I usually try to work on at least three or four projects at a time. Sometimes I’m just burned out with all the mom life duties that I rarely design. I try to find artwork that hasn’t been used too much in the planner community and then put my spin on putting it together. 

4. What do you like to do for fun?
Designing sticker kits is actually fun for me. Other than that I love reading, going to the ballet or just out to dinner with my husband. 

5. What is one unusual thing about you?
I hate mustard! With a passion. I don’t know why exactly. But just thinking about it makes me nauseous. 

6. What music inspires you?
I love music! Almost any genre, except country. Lately I’ve been finding more inspiration from contemporary Christian. 

7. How many books did you read last year?
I think I only read 10 or 11 last year. 

8. Ranch or Blue Cheese?
Definitely ranch!

9. What are you working on right now?
I am working on prepping for my shop’s 3rd anniversary sale. Also finalizing details to being foiled stickers to the shop. 

10. What tv shows/ movies are you watching these days?
I don’t watch much as my sons usually take over the tv. But I make sure to keep up with Arrow and The Flash. 

11. Do you have a theme song?
I don’t think I do. There’s always multiple songs running through my head during the days. 

12. What is one thing you would tell your younger self?
That it’s ok to let yourself be who you are. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. 

Website : http://www.meganreneeplans.com
IG : http://www.instagram.com/meganreneeplans

Wednesday Wellness: Journaling

Welcome, Friends! I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesday’s as I noted many of my friends an creative types struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my journey as I explore mental health and self care, stumbling along the way!

Even before I was an author, I was a writer. I vividly remember when I was six years old, I insisted that my dad drive me downtown to buy a diary. I have always written in one form or another: journals, stories, blogs. (If you write a blog post and nobody reads it, is it a journal?) Did you have a pen pal when you were a kid? I had several. Some of those letters were epic, let me tell you! It was a form of journaling.

Currently I am journaling in no less than five journals. And that’s not even all of them! I can think of two more which I have only temporarily abandoned, and one more which I would like to replace. (Then there’s a really fun one I might want to start up again!) Let me explain.

Each journal has its own function and purpose. I can keep five journals simultaneously because each has its own design and intention. First, I’ll start with my daily planner. Sure, I use it to organize my future plans. But I also use it to keep track of what I do from day to day. See my posts on creative, decorative journaling and how it helps me manage my anxiety. #PlanforMagic Journal No. 1.

Journal No.2. This is my work notebook. Similarly, it is my list collection of daily activities, but at work. This is something i reference often something when I have a similar instance, and want to recall how i processed something. Recently, I changed the way I use it. I now refer to it as my Success Log. See my post here on how to keep a success log. Basically I now track what I did, instead of listing what I have to do. I find this mindset helps keep anxiety at bay. Of course, I till need to track my To Do items, so I write them on Post it’s and stick them on the facing page. This practice reminds me of the Word Banks that we used in creative writing in school. Use these words. Do these things. But it’s okay to keep moving them to the next day, accordingly.

Journal. No. 3. At my birthday brunch a couple of months ago, everybody gave me a journal. How delightful! My besties know me so well. Here is one of them. Isn’t it gorgeous? This one reminds me of Lucy’s journal in the TV series Timeless. I am using this one for traditional journaling, by this i mean recording feelings and processing difficult subjects. Like what, you ask. Oh just the basics, you know, inspiration and mortality…

Journal No. 4 is my book journal. This is a entralized place dedicated to my book writing. It is part organization, part freewriting, part collage. I cut and paste in images, doodle, list, the like. I have some larger worksheets that I fold and insert in the back. I may list questions that I have for further research. I may list websites which have been helpful to reference.

Journal No 5. I received this one as a gift. With my success with my work journal and my personal daily planner, I decided to try this one. It is basically an interactive goal-setting workbook. I appreciate how it guides you. This one is designed for career and professional goals, but I think I am using it more for personal goals. It is like having a personal coach in your back pocket. In the past, I have used Leonie Dawson’s guides for this purpose. Here is a link to the Acheivement Journal I am using now. Here is a link to the Life Goals workbook I have used before.

Not pictured: Gratitude Journal. Last year I used a guided gratitude journal that was in almanac style. I realized quickly that my daily planner (journal no 1) was the source and reference for completing my gratitude journal. Although you can use a gratitude journal daily, I found that I would often have Gratitude Sessions, in which I would sit in a cafe and open my daily planner to where I’d left off in my gratitude journal. I’d review the planner, taking one thing per day to write about in my gratitude journal. I found it to be a great way to savor my memories, as well as my coffee or tea! I began to look forward to my practice of self care in this way.

Travel Journal: I always encourage my children to keep a journal when we are on vacation, just as my parents did for me, when I was a kid. Last summer my daughter and I each created our own travel journals: smaller booklets with diary entries, weather tracking, memorabilia and photos. This is a good, first activity if you are overwhelmed by the idea of journalling, because it is contained and limited in scope. Read my post “Dear Diary” about how special it was to read my friend’s travel journal after she died.

Training journals: I keep a notebook for professional trainings I attend. I keep a separate notebook for personal development sessions- coaching, podcasts, or webinars.

Collage Journal: This was a favorite activity I started in 2011. The memorabilia and paraphernalia is what makes the collage journal magic. Here is a sample of my collage journal spread.

Bullet Journal: this is a modern minimalistic journal practice. It is very trendy now. I have seen examples that are simplistic habit trackers and goals/ lists, and others with ornate doodles and drawings. Usually done with a small journal with grids, you make a table of contents and may use a code. Bullet Journaling/ Bujo also has a cult following. This is another good introduction into journaling. This can be an “everything” journal, in which case you may need to replace it every month. Try it for 30 days. See if it works for you!

Do you journal? What kind of journalling do you practice?