Channel Update

Hello bullet journal lovers and others!

I’m currently sitting at my desk and I can see the most adorable, tiny wax-eye bird playing in my apple tree. I just had to mention it!

Anyway, the reason for this update is that I need to make some changes to my channel and I want to tell you about it. Don’t worry – the content will still be about bullet journaling. The change is my upload schedule.

With my graduate diploma rolling along and field practices coming up over the next six months, I feel my current schedule is taking time away from my studies. Therefore, I have decided to throw my weekly video schedule out the window and try something more flexible. Which is code for “I no longer have a schedule and will upload when I can.”

I feel a great sense of love and pride for my channel. I’ve worked really hard over the last year creating content that I love, and that I know other people enjoy (because they told me in comments and stuff). I adore the little community that’s build up around it. I love seeing familiar names in the comments, as well as on other social media. You are a truly great bunch of lovely, supportive people who I am so grateful have in my life.

There is a part of me that would love to do YouTube full-time, so I’ve made this decision reluctantly. I’ve known for a couple of months that I probably should do it because of how constantly busy I am. If I’m not planning, filming, editing or uploading a video, I’m reading through my course-work, or writing an assignment, or at my daycare centre volunteering, or working at my daycare centre, or helping family, or spending time with my fiance and our cats, or organising my life, or or or… You get the idea.

Like most people, there’s a lot going on and with my current commitments, I have to prioritise. As much as I’d love to put YouTube at the top, it’s not my primary source of income, it doesn’t have externally imposed deadlines, and the only impact it will have on my studies or work in early childhood education is negative (that is with my until-now upload schedule and while I have a lot going on with studies).

I’m serious about my graduate diploma and work as a teacher, so I want to give it as much as I can. The workload is basically a three-year degree squashed into just over a year, so it can be intense. I want to keep getting good grades and develop myself as a teacher over the next 8+ months.

So, while it’s not goodbye (I still have a video about using a bullet journal to help organise your studies that need to be edited), it’s see-you-less-frequently-on-YouTube.

Don’t forget you can keep up to date with personal and bullet journal happenings over on my Instagram, @samjgranger, and my channel’s FB page, Sam Granger.

Have a great day and I’ll see you soon! x

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September 26-30 Weekly Spread & Channel Updates

September 26-30 by Sam Granger

Hi guys, today’s video is about the spread I’ve been using this week. I didn’t do a full week, just the last 5 days of September so that I can start fresh for October! I’m obsessed with little cacti and succulent doodles, so they feature again in this spread. I’m going to be trying something new for my weekly and daily setups once October hits, so keep an eye out for that next week.

In the video I mention a couple of house-keeping things, so please do watch. I’ve also written about it below in a little more detail for anyone interested.

The housekeeping announcements in the video are important ones, I feel. As many of you will know from previous videos and also blog posts, in September I began studying for my Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) which involves working in a childcare centre for a minimum of 16 hours per week. Despite this new development, I stick to my September goal of uploading a video twice every week, but let me tell you, it has been a struggle! Particularly this past week as I have an assignment deadline looming and I adjust to the exhaustion of teaching 3- and 4-years-olds. I’m probably still recovering my strength from a nasty cold, as well (thank God for flu shots!).

This level of commitment and activity in my study and work life means that I have decided to drop back down to one upload per week, on a Friday at 10am New Zealand time (click here to find out what that time will be in your country). I’m a bit disappointed because I love making videos and it was so much fun to plan and upload twice a week, but I don’t want the quality of my content to suffer for the sake of quantity.

The other housekeeping issue I talked about is also related to a lack of time. Some of my recent uploads, particularly long and wordy ones, do not currently have proper Closed Captions on them. There is an option to view automated ones, but these are generally not good because it doesn’t recognise my accent properly. I’m hoping that by going back to one upload per week, I will be able to ensure all new uploads have CC at the time the video goes live. Additionally, I do want to go back over all my bullet journal videos that do not currently have CCs and add them. I will start with the most recent videos and work my way back. Obviously, this will only apply to videos in which I am talking.

Ok, that is all for the housekeeping stuff!

If you want to see a list of what I use to bujo, please click here.

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September 12-18 Spread + 1k Subs

September 12-18 spread by Sam Granger

This Friday’s video is of my September 12th to 18th bullet journal spread. I went for another mostly black scheme with a little pop of colour for the weather icons. I like this layout a lot, actually. I like having a spread header again, so I will probably try to incorporate that again.

For information about all the tools I use to bujo, please click here.

Now, onto some news: Overnight I reached 1000 subscribers on Youtube! This is a really exciting milestone for me. It was back at the beginning of August that I reached my 200 subscriber goal. That was the goal I set back in February that I wanted to reach by the end of this year. My other major goal was to make enough revenue on YouTube to reach the threshold of being able to receive a payment, which will happen soon. Those were the two goals I had, and to be honest, I haven’t really considered what other milestones and goals I want to strive for. So reaching 1000 subscribers is like icing on the cake, and icing I wasn’t expecting any time soon! It feels quite unreal right now and I want to enjoy this moment.

One of the things I’ve been loving about growing my audience is the interaction with everyone. There are people who often comment, either on YouTube or Instagram and so now I’m recognising them, and actually conversing with them. I love being able to talk to people about bullet journaling, planning, and whatever else. I think the bujo community is a really awesome one to be a part of!

Anyway, that’s all for now! I hope your week is going well and that you have an amazing weekend. xo

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Starting Study & Getting Hitched

Us by Sam Granger

I think the last time I did a life update was when I announced that I was applying for a year-long Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) a month-and-a-half ago. I think it is definitely time to update you on how that, and other things, are going!

Firstly, the application process for applying had a few hiccups, but it was all done in the end. About four days later, on a Monday, I got the call I had been accepted and that an official offer of placement email was heading my way. And that I would be starting the following Monday. In seven days! SEVEN. So, I had seven days to get my life together, basically. Or, that’s what it felt like, anyway, ha! That Monday start was this Monday, the 5th. Because I’m studying online, I got access to the study materials for my first course on Sunday. On Monday, I also started my compulsory placement at the daycare centre that will be my home centre. I have to work there for a minimum of 16 hours per week throughout my diploma. So I work there on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 year-olds. It’s been a crazy week adjusting a new schedule and the busyness of working with young children, but it’s also been deeply rewarding. I love working with the children so much. I’ve definitely had moments of feeling very emotional because it feels like I’ve found the thing that I should be doing.

I won’t talk about my work with the children because I obviously want to protect the privacy of the centre and the families that attend. I might write about how I’m finding the study, but I will never share details about anyone relating to the centre. I will say that, so far, I am very happy there and I think it’s a great place to gain experience and learn all about the field of early childhood education.

Onto the second bit of news! Which, to be honest, if you follow me on social media or YouTube, you will already know about. My boyfriend asked me to marry him! Insert lots of happy dancing and squeals here. On August first, our anniversary, he asked me in the most “us” way I can imagine. It was perfect and lovely and so incredibly special. I’m not going to write a whole story about it because I want to keep that a bit private. But it was great and I cried and then spent the day with a grin plastered on my face as we rushed around telling all our family and friends.

We haven’t set a date yet and we’re not sure when we will. This is mainly because we have no money for the wedding and we’re both studying, so getting money for the wedding will take a wee while. It’ll be in the next couple of years, hopefully. To be honest, fiance would be fine with a registry office wedding, but I want the “proper” wedding and a dress and a party. A small party, yes, but a party nonetheless! It’s weird to me because, when I was younger, I rarely daydreamed about having a wedding. I daydreamed about marriage and I 100% used to draw future wedding dress ideas when I was 12 and 13, but I’ve never had this ever-lasting idea of what I want my wedding to be like. I’m glad, though, because I think it leaves a lot more room for it to be a very “us” thing rather than a “my big day” thing. It’s not about me, but about us. If I’d had this whole thing planned out for years, I imagine it would be a lot harder to have a Tardis photobooth* or something.

Engagement ring by Sam Granger

Anyway, above is a photo of the engagement ring, which is a family ring of Andrew’s. It does need to be modified to have more claws, for securing the diamond better, and it will be plated in yellow gold (it used to be but it was badly tarnished so cleaned back to its white gold base, which is not my colour). Or, we’ll get a new setting for the diamond if it’s easier.

Until next time, friends! xo

*Not something we have talked about. This is an example that popped into my head, and to be honest, I would actually be ok with that so maybe I’ll mention it to Andrew. Haha!

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Finally Figuring Things Out

Finally figuring it out by Sam Granger
Finally figuring it out by Sam Granger
Dear Diary, which direction is my direction?

Have you ever woken up one morning with an idea for a change of direction in life, and immediately get to work putting things into motion? That was me last week.

When I finished university in March of 2015 I was considering studying to become an early childhood teacher. I decided not to go down that path because, at the time, the idea of studying again straight away was utterly unappealing to me. I wanted to get on with my life, and be an adult with a full-time job and a social life. So, I began to pursue that and eventually got a job as a receptionist for a company in the city. It sounded like a great fresh-out-of-uni job, but by the end of my first week I was beginning to be acutely aware that this was not the environment for me (offices) and these were not my people (corporate types) and this was not a good use of my brain or experience (organising someone else’s dry cleaning is not ‘living my best life’). Eventually, I left, and then began the tedious journey of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.

Finally figuring it out by Sam Granger
Imagine this is me, trying to figure it out.

The question of what to do with your life is not always an easy one to ask yourself or one with consistent answers. I’ve wanted to be so many things in my life – clinical psychologist, artist, entrepreneur, YouTube creator, and so much more (teenager: photographer or actress). I still want to be so many things in my life! My goodness, there are endless options. But the one thing that I keep coming back to is my interest in child development and wellbeing. Children fascinate me. I love being around them, getting to peek into their worlds and see things from their perspectives. I love to teach them new things, be it throwing a ball, counting, or writing their own name. I love seeing them discover the world and learn new things. Alongside this fascination is the fact I’ve always had an immense urge to be a mother. Above all other things I could do with my time, eventual motherhood is the one I am most excited about. I like to nurture people, especially children.

Last week on Monday two things happened that were the catalysts for my change of direction. One was that I ran into a family friend who was asking me how I was doing and what I was up to. I admit I felt a deep sense of embarrassment as I admitted to not actually doing very much at all. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed. There are reasons I’m not working full-time, and I don’t actually have to be in the same stage of life as other 28-year-olds (full-time job, house or near to it, married, maybe kids). But, I felt shame and embarrassment, and I felt a sense of urgency to get the ball rolling in a direction I felt good about. The second event was a new book club that I attended with other 20-somethings. I listened as some of them talked about their studies and careers, and I felt, again, that acute awareness that I had stalled in my life. I felt a sense of urgency to make some kind of change and move in some kind of direction.

Finally figuring it out by Sam Granger
This direction, apparently.

That night I stayed up too late and trawled through local job listings to see if anything came up that I could a) do, and b) would get me going in a direction that felt good. Mostly what happened was that I realised I can’t drive trucks, weld, and probably can’t lift 20kg boxes in a factory. My other realisation was that there were quite a few job openings in Early Childhood Education and that I wasn’t qualified for any of them. I felt sad, because, I realised, I would really like to teach kids and have a meaningful impact on their lives.  I went to bed that night with a niggling sense that this might be the direction for me to go in. This might be the best option for me.

I woke up and the feeling was still there, a sense that this was a direction that felt right for me. I spent Tuesday researching different study options and finally settled on a college that specialises in Early Childhood programmes. They have a distance learning option so I don’t have to go to campus except for a couple of workshops, and they have a one year Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) which you can start at any time. I emailed them to enquire, found out I would qualify to apply for the Grad. Dip. and began the application process on Wednesday. Part of the application process is contacting early childhood education centres to see if they would be willing to be your ‘home centre’ – the place you work at throughout study, which is a requirement of the diploma programme.

This morning I phoned my first centre of choice, one that a nephew of mine attended. I’ve been there and really loved it, the atmosphere was always so warm and lovely. I spoke with the manager and she was amazing, and hopefully I will have a place with them! I’m really excited to go and meet with the centre tomorrow and fill out some paperwork. I can hopefully complete the college application process after I have that paperwork done. Then it will be a case of wait-and-see with fingers crossed. I don’t foresee any issues with my application, but I don’t want to assume anything just yet.

Finally figuring it out by Sam Granger
Teaching small kids, duh!

So, what does all this mean for YouTube, and this blog? I would like to continue with both if I can. I will certainly be busy with studying and working, but I enjoy doing YouTube too much to give it up just yet. The only reasons I can think of that might induce me to quit would be if they interfere with school, it becomes too much work to manage, or if my YouTube and social media presence (which is really minimal, let’s be honest) has a negative impact on my ability to work in early childhood education. It should be ok since my channel, blog and social media platforms are pretty family-friendly. I avoid swearing as much as possible (except maybe on Twitter – I should work on that) and sharing questionable content. I try to share only things I wouldn’t mind my grandparents viewing, for example.

I’m feeling excited and really positive about this new direction. It feels really good to be doing something that I know is going to benefit me in the long-term. I got into such a stagnant spot and felt really stuck with my life. It was affecting my mental health a bit and just generally felt really icky. It’s not at all fun. I’m the kind of person that likes to have a purpose and to have things that I’m working toward. Tangible things, especially, like a fixed-term for something,  a specific end-point, or a particular kind of experience. It feels good to have a little more of that in my life again.


Images are from BarnImages.com

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Nanny

A Post A Day Challenge by Sam Granger

Just before 1am. I can’t sleep. My mind won’t switch off because I’m reading a fascinating book right now (Bringing Up Bébé  by Pamela Druckerman, about how the French typically raise children), I’ve had a busy week with family things, my seasonal allergies are annoying my throat, and, apparently, I’m having a lot of ideas. Like blog post ideas. And career ideas. And how-can-we-make-enough-money-to-have-babies-tomorrow ideas (so far I have bank robbery and something involving selling my body and/or spare organs, neither of which really appeal).

I figured I might as well start with one of the blog ideas: post every day for a week. This space doesn’t get the attention it should, especially when I consider the time, effort, and money I put into building it. To be fair, it wasn’t much money, but time and effort were the equivalents of  spending a fafillion dollars. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes. My previous track record for completing blog “challenges” is very poor.

It’s only seven days.

Old makeup by Sam Granger
’80s power makeup.

The above photo was taken yesterday at my grandmother’s house. She moved into a rest home a while ago and now we are preparing her home for rental. She was born in England in 1929 and despite living in New Zealand since the 1950s she has always considered herself absolutely English. Even though her accent is quite Kiwi-ised now. Another thing to note about her is that she is a hoarder. Not in the clinically diagnosed, needs-an-intervention sense, but she’s definitely sentimentally attached to lots of items. They all have rich stories and memories, so she rarely parted with these things – just stuffed them in a drawer or cupboard to stumble over at a later date while looking for something else. She also kept things that “might be useful”, which I think can be attributed to living through a world war, on rations and having to be thrifty.

Back to yesterday, I was sorting through the stuffed-to-bursting linen cupboard with a fafillion sheets (all flat ones, no fitted, which is my idea of hell). Tucked in among pillow cases and the aforementioned sheets I found this makeup palette, á la 1980s. It has powder blue eyeshadow and crème eyeshadow stacks, along with blushers and lipsticks (or “lipstacks”). I shared the photo on my Instagram and then one of my sister’s commented to say she thinks it was her’s when she was young! Imagine that! A preserved beauty item from your youth hiding in your Nan’s linen cupboard. This is one of the reasons she’s such a great grandma to have. Her quirks are so adorable. Most of the time anyway. The stuffing of tissue-wrapped biscuits into her handbag and forgetting about them until her bag is a cookie graveyard/ant banquet is slightly less charming.

But we wouldn’t have her any other way.


Black rose by Sam Granger
Blackish roses.

Later the same day.  The above photo is of some amazing roses that my sister and I saw at the mall today. How beautiful are they?! I wanted to bring them all home, but pricey. I will subtly hint about them to the boyfriend, I think. Our anniversary is coming up.

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Plan With Me #3

Plan With Me #3 by Sam Granger

I have a new Plan With Me video up. It’s a purple and turquoise themed one to go with the April Erin Condren theme.

I’ve also tried something new – making a time-lapse of the decorating, in case you don’t want the chatting and just to see how it all came together. You can watch that below!

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