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When I decided to dive into the programming world without going the formal four-year computer science route, I knew I was going to need to find a way to keep up with the direction technology was heading while I buried my head in learning one thing at a time. I followed a few blogs and started learning some of the common names in web development, and then I found out some of them had podcasts. The first one I found was Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier’s Shoptalk Show and I’ve since become something of a podcast addict. If it’s about web design, JavaScript, or high-level programming – it’s pretty likely I’ve at least heard of it somewhere. Though, being an addict, I’m always looking for more.

My podcatcher of choice is Player.FM because it has web and Android syncing so I can listen anytime or anywhere, and I am currently subscribed to 26 different programming and web development podcasts. If I’m not writing or reading something that needs one-hundred percent of my attention, I’m probably listening to a podcast. In the car, at the grocery store, cooking dinner… I even canceled my Google Play Music subscription because I’ve pretty much stopped using it for the time being. Maybe that sounds a little extreme to you, but it has allowed me to immerse myself in the culture, learn the lingo, terminology, and “the way developers talk”. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but coming from a completely different industry and knowing that that industry itself had its own dialect, it seemed in my best interest to assume that the web and software development communities would as well. Knowing the dialect may not be paramount when you want to ask a question – but it sure does help when you want to ask it right. That is, in a way that gets you the most helpful answer, the first time.

That being said, out of the 26, I have 2 favorites. I’m always happiest to find they have updated and almost never find myself skipping their episodes (even if autoplay happens to go through to reruns!).

ShopTalk Show 

Back in 2012, Dave and Chris set out to cut through the monotony of the typical web development podcast with a simple question-and-answer format that would be accessible to anyone willing to tune in. 266 episodes and a myriad of guests later, they are still going strong. I’ve learned a ton from their show alone and can’t recommend it highly enough. However, it is focused on all things web development so if that’s not an area of interest for you, you might not get as much out of it. (Though you’ll probably still get something.)  My favorite episodes are the Rapidfire episodes: when just Dave and Chris run through a bunch of listener questions. The informal feel of those episodes is as endearing as it is information packed.

Developer Tea

Jonathan Cutrell runs a chill podcast that talks about tons of topics related to web development and software engineering as well as soft skills useful both in the workplace and during your search for one. Each episode is only about 20 to 30 minutes long, designed to fit into your “tea break”. I think it’s a great concept and he really does put out some thought-provoking content.

Bonus: JavaScript Jabber | My JS Story 

Very informative overall, honestly. Obviously, this is JavaScript-focused, but my favorite episodes are the My JS Stories. Hearing how so many people came from completely different fields and have become successful (not to mention the things they can do with JavaScript) gives me life!

Other podcasts I listen to frequently include Software Engineering Daily, ToolsDay, Codepen Radio, and Front End Happy Hour. There is honestly a TON of content out there for developers and engineers at any level, so if you’re looking to learn, level up, or stay current in an industry that is advancing daily, I’m sure there’s one out there for you.

Have a great weekend! Oh – and if you have any recommendations, please comment below and let me know!


Bullet Journal : May Recap

I mean, honestly… I’m not ready, I didn’t even have time to get used to writing “5” in front of my dates! But here we are. And I thought I’d do a little recap of how some of my May spreads turned out. 🙂

* This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t clearly used myself and love!


I debated a lot on whether to add any color to my monthly view, but ultimately decided against it. I really like the minimal design and all the space. Some spreads can be so busy that the important things are hard to single out, and I found that I wasn’t using any other goals or notes sections on my monthly pages so I stripped it down completely and it worked perfectly, I’ll be continuing this format in June.


Classic tracker on the left, the red squares on the bottom are things I will continue tracking in June, and then mood, energy, and weather at right. I started this because I wanted to see correlations in my moods with the weather.


I love how it turned out! Clearly the weather was extremely unpredictable all month. Note my extensive use of white-out.


House Keeper spread and Time Log a la Boho Berry.


As you can see, I sort of fell off with tracking near the end of the month. I changed it up a tiny bit for June, we’ll see how it goes!


My favorite result of the month, by far. I’m so happy I decided to try it despite my minimal doodling skills. It’s not too terrible all together once it’s done! I’m going a little more top-down for June so I’ll (hopefully) have more room.


Contrast that with this, biggest #fail of the month. Completely fell off and just didn’t make time to catch up.


My little Garden Tracker.


And a layout so we can remember where we put things next year and rotate accordingly.


And last, but not least, I got Peggy Dean’s Botanical Line Drawing the day it came out and here’s a bit of my practice… Seriously, if you think you can’t do this, Peggy will prove you wrong. Look at those flowers!

That’s it for May!


DIY Weekend

It’s no secret, I like to do things myself. If I can make something in a decent amount of time for less than it would cost me to buy it – most of the time – I’m in. I’ve always been a bit of a kinesthetic (hands-on) learner, so I usually get more out of something if I do it myself anyway. This weekend was no exception.

My best half was away for the weekend so I had more hours to fill than usual. Admittedly, I had planned to work and try to get ahead for the week, but I’d also been feeling jaded and a bit burnt-out. Running didn’t help, as it usually does, and I decided to take the weekend off in hopes of a reset. So, Friday morning, I piled some projects on top of my regular weekend to-dos and set about distributing them over the next two-and-a-half days. (I did do a little work on Friday. It couldn’t be helped.)

One of my main goals for the year is to get my herb garden established from seed and overwinter perennials indoors. I had a tiny bit of success with this last winter, meaning I got two plants to survive. But, in so doing, I spoiled myself for using store-bought dried herbs, and buying them fresh just gets expensive more quickly than is justifiable. So, of course, I just decided to grow them myself.
The overhead can be a bit much, buying pots and good soil and so on – but I expect the payoff to be worthwhile, as the pots are the biggest expense if I want nice ones but I don’t intend to have to buy them again for a very long time. I’ve already learned more than most probably care to know about container gardening, yet I find myself learning something new almost daily.

Anyway, I’ve found myself with a little gang of assorted sized pots and nowhere to put them outdoors where they’d be safe from most of our passing critters. I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching for a plant stand that would suit my needs and found nothing that didn’t cost a great deal more than it was worth to me, so I started searching for a bench of some kind to set them on. Again, nothing. I didn’t need it to change my life, I just needed somewhere to set my little plant babies to sunbathe for the summer. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this: I made one. I figured out from googling and youtubing a little for techniques that I could make one for under thirty dollars – and it would probably only take me an afternoon. Perfect.

After a little math, one 2×4, a 2×8, some wood glue, finishing nails, and two hours, I had this:


Note the pots at the top, haha. Poor guys. That covering is hollow after the first eight inches or so, they’d been perched there quite a bit more precariously than I preferred for most of the week. On windy days I was sure the little guys would get blown over so I’d bring them in. Now they sit closer to the ground on a nice sturdy surface and, between the walls of the deck, they are safe from the wind and happy out in the sun.
I gotta say it’s much more sturdy than I expected, but it won’t travel well unless I replace or supplement the nails that are holding the legs on with screws. I don’t have a saw or a drill at home so shoutout to Joe at Lowe’s – he didn’t bat an eye when I requested they cut the lumber for me.

I had one other big project that I can’t mention yet, as it was for someone else and I haven’t given it to them yet, but that took up the entirety of Saturday afternoon.

Smaller projects included weeding our garden (a good day to break in that new forked hoe), making cake mix cookies with Greek yogurt in place of butter, testing out a recipe for a white bean chili, and fertilizing all our plants, both in-ground and containerized.

On that last one, I found that a couple of my larger pots weren’t draining as well as they should. I gently dug the plants out to find that the soil was compacted near the bottom of the pot and also filling the drainage hole. I consulted my lovely and helpful Aunt Cathy – who’s experience and wealth of knowledge make her my number-one go-to for all things plant life – and after a bit of back and forth decided to mix in some buckwheat hulls to aerate the soil and increase drainage. She had originally suggested vermiculite, however, I didn’t have time to get to the store and the buckwheat hulls were all I had on hand. But, after putting a piece of drywall tape over the drainage hole to keep it from being filled again, I repotted my little babies and it worked just perfectly. It’s also so much prettier than plain ‘ole soil! Here’s an example on one of my little bay laurels:

IMG_20170605_112214 (1)

That was Sunday, it started to rain right as I got everyone settled and my deck swept off. So I came in to do some laundry and veg a bit on the couch with a smoothie while catching up on Jessica Jones and beating my scores on Mario Kart 8.

All-in-all not a bad weekend.


June Bullet Journal Setup

Hellooo 🙂

I’m back to show you my setup for June. I finally got ahead of the ball a little bit with my planning routine so I was able to set up in time to post about it before we actually get there! You’ll see this month I’ve changed a thing or two and will be trying some others. Also, it’s been raining for two days so I’m sorry the pictures are a little dark!

* This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t clearly used myself and love!


I’m not super artsy outside my imagination, so I usually don’t do a welcome page. I’ve thought about it countless times, but I have yet to end the month with an extra page and I like to have a full two-page month so I guess we’ll see in the future. This month I added a little baby July calendar in the bottom corner. I like that it looks like a tiny puzzle piece that would fit this one.


More than anything the changes involve the order of things, for May, I had my tracker right up against the month, but this time I decided to put my housekeeping and time log spreads there instead since I go back to the month page when I do my daily planning and so I won’t skip them that way, haha. Even though I have been pretty good at checking the housekeeper off, I’ve been kinda bad about scheduling bigger things in.


Next is my tracker, so it didn’t go too far. Note the whiteout from marking too far down the page. *sigh* I’ve trimmed my tracker yet again and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the extra space, maybe I’ll put a quote in there or something.

I’m most excited about the changes to my weather and mood tracker though. I started it in May as a two section spread with one for weather and one for mood and energy and I’m very interested to see how this month goes as well. I’ve got a post in the works with my June pages filled out so you’ll see.


I haven’t decided on a color scheme yet, I may just keep the same one, but I’ll be tracking the actual high and low temps at the end of the day, as well as a visual (hence the doodles) in conjunction with my mood and energy level. I’ve noticed a few correlations in May so far and I’m interested to see if the trend continues.


This month I’m also jumping on the mood mandala bandwagon. They turn out so beautiful and I find myself looking at them and thinking I want one so I finally gave myself a little scolding, bought a compass and protractor, and decided to just do it. We’ll see if I keep up with it. I honestly kind of like the circles as a pattern on their own!


I am loving the way my gratitude page from May is turning out so I’m one hundred percent doing another. And I tend to write little notes and good things on my dailies, but I decided to also start writing one a day here. Like a highlight of the day type thing. Good handwriting practice if nothing else. 😛


Last but not least, a reformatted editorial and Instagram planner/tracker. One column for each blog and one for Instagram and one last column for stats. I really like how clean and neat this turned out despite the fact that I drew all the way down the page again instead of stopping at the thirtieth day!

I do still have quite a bit of coloring and color scheming to do, but I have some new mildliners coming(!) so I put it off until they arrive. I love stationary supplies, but I’m really trying hard not to get anything I won’t use so I’ve just had the one set for a few months and finally decided it’s time to expand.

That’s it for now! But, by the way, does anyone else feel like this year is flying by?



Supplies Used:

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook Royal Blue 

Steadtler Triplus Fineliners

Zebra Mildliners

Faber-Castel PITT Artist Pens – sizes F and S  

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens

Student Drawing Compass and Protractor 

Kyle Simpson

Serious developers in other languages expect to put in the effort to learn most or all of the language(s) they primarily write in, but JS developers seem to stand out from the crowd in the sense of typically not learning very much of the language. This is not a good thing, and it’s not something we should continue to allow to be the norm.

From You Don’t Know JS: Up & Going 

For anyone who’s still following for my coding learning journey, I’m currently putting all my study time into working through these books. They are fantastic. Short, but super rich and packed with practical knowledge.

Weekly Bullet Journal Setup

It’s so funny how we look forward to things once we get into certain habits, isn’t it? Just about every Sunday evening, I sit down somewhere in my house and listen to my Honey laughing and yelling upstairs as he plays an online game with his friends while I plan out my week. This is one of my favorite routines of the week, as I love this time to doodle and “play” as much as I love hearing his laugh.

I’ve been bullet journaling in some form or other for about 8 years, not knowing there was an entire community until very recently. Since I discovered this community and began an intentional bullet journal back in February, I’ve been inspired to change my layouts again and again, but I think I’ve finally found my groove so I decided to finally do a little more sharing. Here’s my current weekly routine! Sorry, the images are a bit on the dim side, it’s been raining for several days and I don’t have any good lights! 


I make my year and monthly pages with Sunday starts, but mentally, my weeks start on Monday, so that’s how I do them. And I split the days into two columns, time-sensitive and all-day. It helps me focus each day and saves space. I’ve gone through a weekly goals section, weekly trackers, home/work/personal sections, you name it… Nothing stuck. Priorities changed throughout the week and keeping up with a big monthly and a little weekly tracker was too much hassle. The only things I regularly used besides a simple task list were a “notes” box and a “next week” box for things that come up in the meantime that I might not have time to add to my Calendex. So I moved my weekly tracker items into my monthly tracker and switched to a big “brain dump” instead, and it’s worked much better. I can add to it throughout the week and I have yet to run out of space.


After my week is set up, I flip the page and make my meal plan and grocery list side by side. I have a tiny challenge with myself to see how much I can reduce our grocery bill in the next month so, when I’m trying to decide if I really need something, it helps to have my menu right next to the list! This week, I’m working on making some changes to our diet, so where I might normally have a “prep” section, I made a “remember” one instead. We already do a lot of this stuff, but I’m really focusing on areas where I tend to be lenient. Here it is filled out:

IMG_20170507_192938 (1)

Bonus: We’re planting our garden this week so I also made this tracker. We really had very fuzzy memories when it came to the varieties that we planted last year, which in turn made it a little tougher to decide what to get. Sort of being back to square one in terms of what does well in our area, so I decided to track the dates of each of the first four columns, then make tick marks each time we harvest – so, hopefully, we’ll have at least an idea of the overall yield and whether the seed packaging was accurate.


That’s about it! I like to keep things pretty simple. Thanks for checking it out.

I’d love to know: Do you have a weekly planning routine? What’s your favorite part?

May Bullet Journal Setup

Happy May, guys!

It’s about time I do a little bujo update and I can’t think of a better time than the beginning of the month – with a slew of fresh spreads, so here I am 🙂



I switched from the traditional bullet journal monthly spread last month to a calendar spread and that worked so much better for me. My brain organizes days in boxes so this was perfect. It’s a little plain. On April’s spread I had a notes box and a tasks box that I never touched, so I’m planning to come back in with some decorations or something. I just haven’t decided what yet.


This is the thing I’m most excited to try this month. In addition to my monthly tracker, which I slimmed to a single page but didn’t picture due to the personal nature of its contents, I have two line graphs. I’ll be tracking my mood and energy in conjunction with the weather. I’m interested to see if and how one affects the other, especially as it warms up since I’m really all about the cooler months. I can’t wait to see what these look like all filled out…


I’ve been trying and failing to keep up with a tiny weekly tracker for regular cleaning tasks. Having lost track of bigger cleaning tasks altogether, I decided to bring in my trusty bullet journal to help and made this little House Keeper spread. The (very poorly drawn and irregular) circles are days on which I plan to do weekly and monthly tasks, though obviously, I can just check them off whenever I do them, so it also provides an answer to the all-important “when did I last…?” question – which I love!


I completely lifted this from my muse, the lovely Kara, over at BohoBerry. I’ve been using a double time bar (Expectation vs. Reality) on my dailies and I wanted to 1. Trim that a little, and 2. Have a place to track working hours specifically so I can watch for trends and time-sucks as well. So shout out to Kara for figuring this one out!


Another great idea that I got from BohoBerry is the gratitude doodles page. I toyed around with the idea of a memories page or a list like one line a day, but I knew I wouldn’t end up using them. I saw this spread in her (crazy) February One Month In My Bullet Journal videos and it seems perfect. As a visual person, this is 100% up my alley and kind of condenses both of those ideas into one for me, so I’m pretty psyched to try it out this month even though I’m terrible at drawing. That being said: I also got Peggy Dean’s Botanical Line Drawings so I’ll be working through that as well and hopefully getting better!

Seems I’m trying quite a few new things this month now that I look at it, I’ll be taking the Rock Your Handwriting Challenge, too!


I don’t know why I didn’t think to make an editorial calendar sooner. With my love of planning and plotting you’d think it would have been the first thing to come to mind, but no. Recently, in my quest to be a better and more consistent blogger, this is something I came upon in several places I can’t even remember – but when you see it enough times it’s like “okay, Universe, I get the point”… I went back in to add some color and filled it out a little more after I took the picture, and I highlighted the posts with color coding. I’ll take a picture of it all filled out at the end of the month. Now to stick with it!

What’s your bullet journal monthly like? Are you trying anything new this month?

P.S. Hi, New Followers! Thank you for hanging out. Clearly, my name is Allison. I’m a full-time student working on transitioning into a career in web development after over a decade in the customer service industry. I’m also obsessed with bullet journaling and I run a little meal planning blog, too. ❤ I’ve got more and better content coming to both blogs this month so stay tuned and feel free to comment and say hello 🙂