Journal Writing and Journal Entry Ideas

I have been trying to be happier. It takes work, but everyone needs to be happier. The happier I am, the happier everyone around me is. Or maybe that’s just because I’m the Mom. Writing in a journal helps me stay positive sometimes and helps me look back at how I was positive before and it reminds me that I can stay positive again.

I have a few rules for myself when journaling. The first rule for myself is to keep everything positive. There is enough negativity as it is, and I don’t need to hold onto it for the future. Sometimes I need to rant about negativity and doing it on paper helps. I just make sure to do it in a cheap notebook and throw it out immediately after it is written.

Another rule I try to follow is to date my entries. It makes it so much better for if you ever want to look back at them.

I also keep most journal entries very short. I usually don’t have time for much and I won’t write at all if it takes too long so a short list or small quip about something is usually perfect. The one main exception to that is when I wrote down my son’s birth story. I realized I was already forgetting some of the small details a few weeks after he was born so as I nursed I wrote every detail I could remember. It was pages and pages and it took me days but it is worth it to me and it might be to him later on.

One last thing I try not to do while writing in my journal is to back track. Unless it is a big event (like my son’s birth) I won’t let myself feel guilty that I haven’t written in a few days, months, years, etc. And I won’t try to remember what happened for yesterday or for the last three years that I didn’t write a thing. I just put down today’s date and move on.

Here are a few ideas to get you started writing in your journal:

Things Accomplished Today List

Top 5 Good Things About the Day

My Favorite Things (in my house, kitchen, from my vacation, foods, clothes, anything)

Reasons I am Happy with My Life (or My Children, or My House, or my Neighborhood or anything else you can think of)

Reasons I Love My Spouse (or Child, Friend, Co-worker, Pet, whoever!) {See My  Reasons I Love My Husband Post Here} {And My Reasons to Love My Dog Here}

Reasons I Love Myself (what personality traits or quirks do you love about yourself?)

Reasons I’m Happy to Be Home (or on vacation, or any change you are experiencing. Think of why you are happy to be there. Another I have done is Reasons I’m Happy to  Not Be Pregnant)

My Bucket List (Keep a few blank pages after it and you can add to it at any time) {See Mine Here}

A Quick Story From My Day (Or week, month, vacation, etc!)

I’m Feeling: (positive emotions! and why)

What I Did For Exercise This Week

Child Updates (Check out this post at I Can Grow People for a great layout of it!)

Memories of a Lost Loved One (See my latest post here for more ideas)

I recently made some beautiful printable bookmarks with a shortened version of this list- to make it easier to remember and have these tips in your journal or near it whenever you need them. The bookmarks can be downloaded for free, please click here to view them and then scroll to the bottom to download them. Thank you!

Other Ways to Work on Happiness:
Resolve for No New Year’s Resolutions
How to Stop Shopping
Happy Wive’s Club: 21 Days to a Happier You
This vs That
My New Workout Plan

What I Forgot on Our Cruise

I usually am very prepared when I go on vacation. I have multiple lists to remind me of what I need to bring, and I use them almost every time. This time we went on a vacation during our vacation and apparently traveling without my toddler makes me forget a lot of stuff.

More Money- We spent tons more than I planned for. It was worth it though!

Stuff for Sea Sickness- We ended up buying Sea Bands and a small vial of tea tree oil, both of those totaled $30

Camera Cards- We had one, but forgot to transfer everything to the computer before we left

Laundry Soap, Quarters- I knew I needed to do laundry but forgot this stuff

Beach Bag/Purse- I haven’t been carrying a real purse, just a small clutch but I needed one while traveling. I ended up buying one at Bubba Gump’s.

Sun Screen & Aloe- Closer to the equator you burn easier.. we were in alot of pain for the last few days of the cruise!

Case of Water- We found out later that you could bring your own water to keep from buying their bottled water. I would have used the free water but it really didn’t taste that great.

Books/Magazines- I usually just read stuff online but without internet I was a little bored at times.

Walkie Talkies- We didn’t need these all that much but they would have been useful to use because I wasn’t paying to use my cell phone

Ballet Flats- I brought sneakers, flip flops and heels but I would have liked something to wear on formal night when my feet were done with heels.

Jacket- I would have really appreciated having a nice looking jacket with me, I was cold most of the time but didn’t want to dress down with my one long sleeve shirt

Watch- I needed mine because I wasn’t carrying around my phone. We always needed to know the time so we could get to dinner and shows and stuff on time.

Hair Ties/Clips- I took these with me but I needed the reminder to keep one on my wrist at all times, incase we wandered to an open deck

Swim Cover Up- I should have used this dress as one, but I just forgot it.

Goggles- It was so cool to see things in the ocean once we bought some goggles. I just wish I brought some from home instead of paying a ton at the beach

No Soda Card- We paid for the soda card for the week but found out it wasn’t worth it. It might be worth it daily but the days we spent at the different ports we didn’t order any soda or anything. The days we did order soda it was still kinda iffy about if we would have saved money on it or not.

Other Travel Tips:
Eating Out Of a Hotel Room: Vacation Money Saving Ideas
Airport Traveling Tips
DIY Personalized Suitcase
Motivational Credit Card Sleeves {Saving for Vacation Idea}

Road Trip Packing List Printable- Toddler Edition

Toddlers need a lot when they go on road trips. Not quite as much as babies, but to keep them happy and entertained for hours on end they need plenty of stuff. After I worked on my regular road trip packing list, I realized that I should just have a second one for the toddler’s stuff. He is pretty spoiled. I bring movies for me, and separate movies for him. I bring snacks for me, and separate snacks for him or else he eats all of mine. It goes on and on, but with the separate list it is easier to get it all straight.

One of my tricks for road trips with toddlers is that if they are drinking real milk regularly you can buy cartons of shelf milk that don’t have to be refrigerated until they are open, or I like to give him the pedia sure milk replacements. They are expensive, but cheaper than buying a big thing of milk and wasting it because you can’t refrigerate it. Also, I have found that it is hard to get whole milk most places, so I really like having my own milk with me.

Another thing is that I like to buy a few new toys or books. They don’t have to be “new” I usually get them from yard sales or kid’s resale stores but something new keeps him entertained for longer. The good thing about getting them at yard sales is that if you don’t want to keep them after the trip you can turn around and yard sale them again or it won’t hurt as much to donate them. It’s worth spending a little bit to have more sanity while traveling. I put some of his toys for the car in his backpack, so that they are easy for him to get to. If we are going to a family’s home that don’t have little kids, or staying in a hotel, I bring my playmat full of toys so that he is entertained the few days that we are there too. I just try not to bring anything sentimental or irreplaceable as toys are more likely to get lost when traveling.

I have a large rubberband that I use to hold his diapers together. It keeps them in one spot and is easier than a half empty bag later on.

Meal Planning Made Cute


I’ve been seeing these cute meal planner boards all over the blogosphere and in stores. I wanted one, so after my intense yard sales day I found a frame to use. This would make a great Christmas Gift Idea for those of you planning Christmas early.

I forgot a before picture so this was after one coat of cherry stain. I found the stain in a small 2 ounce bottle on clearance at Wal-mart. I bought it because it was only 50 cents and we needed to cover up some scratches from moving our table.

The frame was much too light to match our kitchen so I brushed on about 5 coats of stain. I then brushed the edges with a stiff brush to make them look a little bit darker. I did this to the crease also. Distressing the frame would work well here too, but I wanted to save myself a step.

My husband came home right after I had finished painting the frame and wanted it for his office. Good thing I bought 2 frames!

In between coats of paint I worked on the paper arrangement. I chose to layer the butterfly paper in the back, the strip of tan textured paper on the left and a title of the leafy accent scrapbook paper. This could be done to look amazing in a million different ways.

I created the printed Jamer’s Dinner Menu on Adobe Photoshop. The question of the day was, If you were a restaurant what font would you be? I figured we would most likely be a steakhouse. My husband was teasing me, we have a western room (the guest bedroom, not the kitchen) and thought I was going to put it in there instead of the kitchen. You can buy the printed design on my etsy or order a custom one if you don’t want to make your own.

I used scrapbooking tape to arrange all the paper against the backing of the frame, and cut and pinned the vellum down with a brad in each corner. I even mod podged my marker to look cute.


I have it standing on a metal picture frame holder now, I might try some super duty magnets later. Now I can be organized in my kitchen and it’s cute! If you want one already finished for you, click here.

Ribbon Memo Board

Many people have done this project, and if not, you need to try it. It was easy and it’s useful.


Mine were both made from what I had around the house, left overs from other projects. The first one I did I used a wooden picture frame that had held a mirror (used on the wanted poster). It was from the dollar tree. I put cardboard inside the frame to back it since I had taken the mirror out.

First you want to find fabric, batting and ribbon. The fabric needs to be a few inches bigger than your frame on each side. The batting should be the same. I didn’t have batting, so I used stuffing. It came out a bit more lumpy, I like to think of it as cloud-like. The ribbon is tricky, measure your frame diagonally (I got 17 inches), add 2-3 inches (20). Multiply that by 4 (80).

Lay down your fabric and then your batting. Fold around the edges of your frame and staple them down. I used a staple gun, but a normal stapler can work also. Make sure you pull the fabric tight.

Next you will cut your ribbon. Of your total length, cut it in half. Then cut one of the halves into a quarter of the original length. Now you have a half piece, and two quarter pieces. Take one of the quarters and staple the edge onto the corner of the back of your frame.

Pull the ribbon across the front of the frame (over your fabric and batting) and staple the other side to the back of the frame. Make sure that the ribbon is laying flat. Do the same thing from the other two corners.

Next take the half piece of ribbon and staple it on the back between the two side corners. Pull the ribbon across the front of the frame to the middle of the top of the frame and staple it on the back. Fold the ribbon to go over the front of the frame and pull to the next side and staple it on the back. Fold it over, and pull it to the bottom middle of the frame. Staple and fold again. Pull it over back to the original side of the frame and staple it next to the other end of the ribbon. Confusing? The first picture is of the finished back of the first sample and the pictures below that are of my second sample. The thinner black ribbon is the first two quarters you stapled on, and the thicker brown ribbon is the single half-piece of ribbon.


That was all that I did on the first sample, I liked it just the way it was, I pinned on a cute flower and cute pin for whatever I wanted to hang on it later. The second sample I added a little more. I used pins to hold down the ribbons a bit tighter and for some cuter looks. On the backside after I pushed the pin though the cardboard I bent them and put a piece of duct tape to hold them down better. (If its on the back who cares what it looks like 🙂 I also stapled a loop of ribbon at the top to use when I went to hang it up. There are all sorts of variations you can do for this idea, just be creative and use what you have! You can find the first sample on etsy.com. Thanks for reading!

Dad's Old Magazines- Refridgerator Magnets

My dad was having a hard time throwing away his old magazines, so he felt better giving them to me. They were going out the next recycling day, but I decided to cut them up and make some word magnets from them. His magazines were all too ‘manly’ and it was hard trying to find words that weren’t “appliances”, “powerful”, or “software”.

First, gather all of your supplies. You will need magazines, magnets (those ones businesses give out to advertise and are stuck on your phone book), glass gems (mine were bought at the dollar tree craft section), scissors for paper, scissors for cutting the magnets, mod podge, and a paintbrush.

Next, you can start looking for words. Try to find a good selection of words, plenty of adjectives, verbs, nouns and pronouns. Think of how you would make sentences with these. Measure with an average sized gem to see how your word will look with it.


If you are using the free magnets from your phone book or from other businesses it helps to peel the advertisement part from the magnet. It usually leaves the white paper stuck to it, but that looks like a better background than the ad for your smaller words.


Once you find plenty of words its time to start getting messy. Dip your paintbrush in the mod podge and paint the flat side of the gem. Then stick the word onto the gem so that you only see the backside of the word. Paint over the word, and then stick the gem plus the word onto your magnet. Cut out around the magnet and then you can let your finished magnet dry.

It’s important to cover the whole back of the gem with the magnet or else it won’t be strong enough to stick to your fridge. Also, make sure that you don’t use too thick of paper, it can also make the magnet too heavy. If you don’t want to worry about it, buy some magnetic tape or magnets from the craft store.

Now you have a whole set of cute word magnets and you can leave fun (or funny!) messages on your fridge (or magnet board…. tutorial still to come!) Here’s my listing on etsy.com if you would rather me make these for you. Special orders are available. Thanks for reading!