2016 Operation Deepen Faith

Hosted by Becky @ Operation Actually Read the Bible

This is probably my favorite reading challenge. Not because I’ve been particularly successful at completing it, but I LOVE the concept. This is my 3rd year and I plan on getting a lot accomplished in 2016. I’m really excited cause she’s added some new stuff this year :))

For full details, check out the original post.

Here are the 7 parts in this challenge:

  1. Wonderful Words of Life. Goal: Read the Bible.
  2. Sweet Hour of Prayer. Goal: Pray daily.
  3. How Firm A Foundation. Goal: STUDY (meditate too!) one book of the Bible throughout the year.
  4. Deep and Wide. Goal: read multiple books of the bible in multiple translations.
  5. Meditate or Memorize. Goal: Choose about a verse a week–or a verse every other week–to reflect and meditate on.
  6. Choose a Research Project.
  7. Christian Nonfiction.

Optional Choices:

  1. A. READ THE ALPHABET.
  2. B. BINGO.
  3. C. We Believe.

I’ve chosen the following categories:

  • Wonderful Words of Life.
  • Sweet Hour of Prayer.
  • How Firm A Foundation.
  • Meditate or Memorize.
  • Choose a Research Project.
  • Christian Nonfiction.

Progress:

 

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

2016 Grown Up Reading Challenge

The new year is fast approaching which means I’m thinking about all the books I want to read in 2016. Which means I’m making lists in my head. Which means I’m also thinking about reading challenges.

I finally decided to make one of my many lists into an actual personal challenge. And I thought it’d be fun to share it here on the blog. This is my Grown Up Reading Challenge for 2016

2016 Grown Up Reading Challenge

Find out more about why I named it the Grown Up Reading Challenge HERE

I’m trying to transition from my original book blog, Unscripted, so this is kind of weird and awkward. I’m putting this up here for my own personal accountability but if you’re interested, just leave a comment saying something like “Yes, I’m in!”. and I’ll add guidelines and fun stuff and we can have a group challenge :). 

UPDATE:

Guidelines:

It’s quite simple — Read one book for each of the 20 categories on the list between January 1st, 2016 & December 31, 2016. Super duper easy. If you’ve got a blog, you can link your post below 🙂

I’ll be posting book reviews on a master list here on the blog. When it goes live, I’ll have a link widget and you can add your reviews as you read through the year. I’d love to see what you’re reading!

And if you’d like some graphics, then here you go!

2016. 20 books. Challenge yourself next year to read differently than you did this year. Your creativity & intellect will thank you 😉

Happy Reading!

4 Ways To Read Like a Grown Up

I have always been a big reader, ever since I was a child. I have my mother to thank for this for all the hours she spent reading to me through the years. Now, while I love to revisit some of my old favorite books now and again, reading as an adult is and should be much different than it was 15 odd years ago.

After looking back at what I’ve read in 2015, I decided to be a bit more intentional next year. I want to be more mature about my reading habits. How is that done, you ask? Oh, let me tell you the ways! Well let me tell you the 4 ways I’ve come up with to read like a grown up ;). 

4 Ways to Read Like a Grown Up

Read Broadly

We all like our comfort zones–even as readers. But you never get anywhere in life by remaining comfortable–even as readers. Do you lean toward the same genre or two and never venture out to read more challenging books? Step out and try titles that will that will challenge your intellect, your thought process and opinions. Try something that will inspire your creativity or boost your faith. Don’t cage yourself in with only one kind of book. If you’re not hooked right away, that’s fine but don’t give up! Put the book away for a bit and then come back and try again. Some books take a few tries before your mind settles in.

Reading outside of your comfort zone is like traveling to a new place. You’ll never know all the wonderful things there are to discover if you never embark on an adventure.       

Schedule Your Reading Time

‘I don’t have time to read’ is rarely a legitimate excuse not to crack open a book. Sure there are busy seasons in life but it’s rarely about not having time as much as it is about making time. Let me tell you something: if you’ve got time to watch TV, then you’ve got time to read. If you have time to surf the net, check Twitter, post on Instagram, scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, and binge watch YouTube, then honey, you have got time to read. If you don’t have time to engage in those time-suckers, then yeah, I can believe you don’t have time to read. 

If you really want to read more, then schedule a time. Can you work 20 minutes into your morning routine? Maybe tuck a book into your bag for a read during lunch? Or 30 minutes before bed (great way to relax and decompress FYI)? Replace Netflix with a paperback? Being intentional about setting a specific reading time will get you into a comfortable groove and you’ll be knocking titles off that reading list in no time!  

Take Notes

I don’t mean to make reading sound like a chore but taking notes is a great way to retain more of what you read. We all know it from school. Those note taking skills you mastered can come in handy when reading something you want to learn from. And if you weren’t a great note taker in class then this is a good way to brush up. Some people like to keep a notebook while others write in the margins of the book. It can be as simple or as intense as you’d like but either way, if you’re reading for a little more than just pleasure, get out a pencil and put your own words on paper. 

Set Goals

One book a week. Two books a month. One hundred books a year. Decide what’s realistic for you and set some goals. I like to make a list of books I want to read for a month. I don’t always finish all of them, sometimes I’m in the mood to read something totally different. But because I’m the kind of reader who reads, like, 20 books at the same time, it keeps me somewhat organized. And there’s nothing like the satisfaction of checking off that box when you’ve reached that goal!

 


Whether you’re a bookworm or one in the making, reading is an important enough activity to treat it with intention–like a grown up. If you need a place to start, check out my challenge for 2016: 

Challenge yourself next year to read differently than you did this year. Your creativity & intellect will thank you ;).

2016. 20 books. Challenge yourself next year to read differently than you did this year. Your creativity & intellect will thank you 😉

How to Use Multiple Planners | December Boot Camp

CHECK OUT THE EXPANDED, UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST HERE 🙂

(This post contains affiliate links)

I’ve recently made a discovery: one planner isn’t going to cut it for me. Now, I know that men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti (it’s a book by Bill and Pam Ferrell, check it out 😉) but there’s something about me that is very un-spaghetti like. Some things just need to be compartmentalized in order for me to function. Which is why one planner isn’t going to work.

After coming to terms with this fact, (I literally thought there was something wrong with me when I couldn’t seem to function with my one DayTimer) I finally decided to join the land of multiple planner planning.

And then it happened.

Corie, The Reset Girl, did a scope on her master planner list in her main planner. You can watch the replay on katch.me/therestgirl. My mind was blown and something inside my noggin clicked and I knew I’d found what I’d been looking for. So over the past few days, I’ve been developing a master planning system of my own.

Here’s how it works:

I’ve recently made a discovery: one planner isn’t going to cut it for me. Now, I know that men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti but there’s something about me that is very un-spaghetti like. Some things just need to be compartmentalized in order for me to function. I finally decided to join the land of multiple planner planning.

 

1. Determine how much time you have to invest in planning.

Be honest about your time. You may want to have time for multiple planners and notebooks but your reality doesn’t match up. Maybe you can count on a whole Sunday afternoon or just a few minutes during your lunch break. An awareness of your time will keep you from setting yourself up for failure and unnecessary disappointment.

2. List all your planning needs.

This includes all the areas of life that requires you to make lists, schedules, and notes. Examples include:

  1. Daily planner
  2. Home management
  3. Work
  4. Prayer/Bible Study
  5. School
  6. Home business
  7. Food Journal
  8. Exercise tracker
  9. Homeschooling
  10. Church
  11. Goal tracker
  12. Brain dump
  13. Family schedules
  14. Reading
  15. Finances
  16. Recipes
  17. Projects
3. Decide whether or not you can group your needs together.

For example, if you’re keeping a home management binder, would that include your recipes and finances? Or do you want your recipes in a separate binder? Decide how far you want to compartmentalize everything and make sure that everything flows and functions well.

4. Determine what planning and note taking methods work best for you.

Going for something simple or do you like all the frills and furbelows? Do you need a planner with monthly and weekly spreads? Binders? Composition notebook? Spiral bound? Disc-bound? Erin Condren? Filofax? DayTimer? Midori Traveler’s Notebook? Kikki K? MoleskineFranklin Covey? Happy Planner? Bullet Journaling? The possibilities are endless! And It doesn’t have to cost a whole ton of money. If you have the desire and the funds to splurge, have at it! But there are a myriad of inexpensive options everywhere. If you really want to get creative, hop on Pinterest and YouTube and see what other planner girls are making and using!  

5. Match method with need.

Maybe you keep track of health and fitness in a spiral bound notebook. Better make it a 3-subject because you’ve got some detailed notes to keep about health issues, routines, and supplements. Maybe you’ve got an old Franklin Covey binder lying around somewhere and you could use that to keep track of your home business.

Consider the functionality of the method you use. Maybe a bulky planner won’t fit in your backpack so you choose something more compact for keeping track of school assignments. Or you’ve got small kiddos who can get messy so don’t sink your money into an expensive homeschool binder.

6. Choose a dashboard.

This is the planner or notebook from which your planning system will operate. This is the fun part for me and why my mind blew when I saw Cori’s master list.

Now that you know your needs and methods, create a master list to keep track of each one and their functions. I find it best to choose the planner that goes with you everywhere. For me, it’s a 365 Happy Planner.

And here’s what my master list consisted of:

  1. Master Planner | Happy Planner
  2. Personal Notebook | Single Subject Spiralbound Notebook
  3. Prayer/Bible Study Journal | Mini Binder
  4. Writer’s Notebook | Steno pad
  5. The Student Life | 3 Subject Spiralbound Notebook
  6. The Reader’s Notebook | Mini Binder
  7. Health and Fitness | Composition Notebook
  8. Home Management Binder | Binder
  9. Blog/Business | Binder
  10. Church/Ministry | DayTimer
  11. Brain Dump | Fauxdori

Master Planner Key - create a master list to keep track of each of your planners and their functions. I find it best to choose the planner that goes with you everywhere. For me, it’s a 365 Happy Planner. Inspired by The Reset Girl

Whew! I know, it’s a lot!

Of course, I’m not going to be using all of these every single day, but I wanted to have designated spaces to keep track of the various things in my life that are important to me. Like I said in yesterday’s post, this is the way I engage best with tasks and goals. My eye is drawn to color coordination, my brain is alert and excited when pages turn or when ink glides across paper, and my interest and creativity are peaked when I see the row of notebooks and binders ready to be used and filled. It’s nerdy, I’m totally aware, but it works!


As part of my boot camp, I’m going to go through some of my notebooks and planners and show how I use them. Maybe that’ll give you some ideas and inspiration! Stay tuned!

Happy planning!

8. My Writer’s Heart | 31 Days

This is post 8/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

I love pencils. Brand new #2 pencils. Ticonderoga are my brand of choice.

I love fine tip pens. I have a hard time with ballpoint. Pilot G-2 07s are my staple. 

I love books. Stacks of books. Stacks and stacks. They follow me everywhere.

I love new notebooks. Spiral bound are comfortable, old friends but legal pads and stenos have quickly found there place in my writer’s heart. 

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season and one of the biggest things I miss about my Chicago childhood. Texas season just aren’t the same. 

I love peppermint tea. And ginger tea. Oh yeah, ginger tea!! And I love hot cocoa. With sweet cream.

I love the way handwriting looks on paper. There’s something about long hand writing that has such beauty. Perfect type on a screen doesn’t convey the same unspoken feeling as an individual’s personal handwriting. Emails and texting have earned their place but I wish letter writing was still a thing. 

Did I mention I love books? I love how they look lined up on my shelves.

I love libraries, and office supply stores. I love quiet coffee shops and bookstores humming with people perusing shelves and flipping through periodicals. 

I love words. Written and spoken. The way a painter must paint and a scientist must experiment, I must write. It’s an interesting pull. It’s insatiable. It’s natural. It’s lovely.


I think anticipating NaNoWriMo is making me extra reflective and introspective and a bit nostalgic for years gone by. But I dug this old piece out 3 years ago. It’s not very good but it’s still true.

I Write In the Morning

I write in the morning when the sun peeks through the trees.

When the air is brand new and the world revived.

When my words are fresh, when my slate it clean.

I write in the morning.

I write when there’s a song in my heart.

When His Word is foremost in my thoughts.

When birds sing.

When wind blows.

When all is peaceful.

When all is well.

I write.

#write31days

September TBR & Book Blogging

Okay, so I’ve been deliberating over this for several months:

Should I combine my book blog Unscripted with Purple Ink Studios?

This has been a struggle for me because I’ve been blogging at Unscripted for a almost 5 years and it’d be like abandoning a friend. But alas! blogging in two spaces is too inconvenient and time consuming and not great for building a brand soooooooo,

I’m going to quit writing at Unscripted and continue all book blogging here at Purple Ink Studios. 

Ahhhhhhhh!! Seriously, this is such a struggle but such a relief!

So shall we talk books?


I found this great Instagram book challenge for September hosted by @silenceofthreeparts.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 8.15.48 PM

I have a TBR for 2015, which I’ll post up soon, but I haven’t done monthly TBR lists and I should’ve.

In any case, here’s my reading list for September:

  1. The Aviator’s Wife//Melanie Benjamin
  2. Daughters of Inheritance//Wellesley Muir
  3. Orphan Train//Christina Baker Kline
  4. The Art of Work//Jeff Goins
  5. Eight Twenty Eight//Ian & Larissa Murphy

I’ve already finished #3 and #5 and am now working on #4. I’ll be posting reviews later this week of what I’ve completed so far.

And here are a few snapshots from Instagram:

What are you reading this month? Any books you’re looking forward to getting to this fall?

Yay for September reading!! 🙂