The One Line Journal

Back in December I started what I call a One Line Journal. It has since become part of my nightly routine and I absolutely love it. For Christmas I created a One Line Journal for my friend Maile and she has found it to provide her the same level of joy. Maile says that she loves the art of routine and her One Line Journal has helped her create a nightly routine that excites her.

What makes the One Line Journal so great?
If you’re anything like me you probably have a container or draw that is full of partially full journals. I always get excited about the idea of a new journal and the endless blank pages dying to be filled with words. I’ll spend hours decorating my new journal or listing inspiring quotes on the inside of the cover. Then when it comes time to actually “journal” I start off really strong, I commit to writing every night and begin to fill up page after page. Sure enough, a few days/weeks will pass and one night I just don’t have the energy, then the next night I’m not as invested after already skipping one night, then by the third night I’d have too much to write so I don’t even know where to begin…. You see where I’m going with this? On top of that when I go back to read my old journals (if I ever do), I find that my thoughts and experiences 1.) aren’t really as exciting to me now as they were to me then and 2.) always make me chuckle because they really have no purpose or meat to them. The One Line Journal is a simple and fun solution to all of that.

So what exactly is a One Line Journal?
It’s actually quite simple, and something you can start today.


Step One: Write the date.

Step Two: Reflect and think about the events of your day.

Step Three: Write one line that sums up your day or one line that jumps out at you about your day. These can be a synthesis of your day, a question you’ve been pondering, a feeling you had, something you or someone else said, a Haiku (sure, we can count that!), a song lyric, a quote ect… (it can even be a run-on-sentence… hey, after all, it is your journal)

Step Four: Make it count. You only get one line a day, what was most important or impactful? What do you want to be sure to remember?

Step Five: Do it again tomorrow.

What I love about doing this is that it provides an opportunity for me to reflect on my day & determine what is most important by helping me put my life into perspective. It also forces me to get creative & think more visually rather than just being focused on the product of writing. It helps eliminate the boring details of my day that aren't important but that I had felt compelled to write about for the sake of “writing.” Along with all of this I love going back and looking at my writing as if the lines were little snapshots of my days or experiences. Some entries are very reflective and insightful; others may just be a funny quote... none-the-less that simple one line always takes me back to that feeling or experience (good or bad).

It’s kind of a like a more personal and purposeful Twitter.

The sweet wouldn't be as sweet without the sour.


Saturday Swag

Wine Lounge Girl's Night

Wine Lounge Girl's Night by brittanytoll featuring a military style jacket

A girls night at a chic wine lounge affords the ultimate opportunity to tune into your inner sophistication. For me that looks like deep red lips and a chunky stack of bracelets that I just barely manage to squeeze into the arm of my military blazer. I may live in Tulsa but I'm finally starting to grow into my own style. Oklahoma provides me the perfect landscape to take just enough of a risk and try new things out. 

Don't let your environment determine your style, let your style* determine your environment. 

*style isn't just a garment or something you wear.

late night talks & mismatched socks,


Saturday Swag

Forever Young Saturday Swag

Lazy as can be and looking forward to the OKC Thunder vs. the NY Knicks game with some of the greatest company I could possibly imagine tonight. I drank my first soda in 2012 with my mac& cheese lunch (thanks to Mike) and it was delightful. I slept-in & took a nap all before 2pm. I've been wearing my charm bracelet again & today I'm going to wear my frozen yogurt charm since this has become my greatest obsession lately (Mmm... Cherry Berry).  I love enjoying every second of my youth.

have a fabulous MLK weekend,


voices & choices

Pinned Image
shel silverstein

I've recently become very interested in my "voice" and have made more of an effort to listen and control it.  Perhaps this newly discovered fascination has been provoked by the article The Secret Rule of Changing Anything combined with the book I'm currently consumed by, The Art of Choosing (both are very insightful reads). Every time I'm about to do something that I know I may regret, or that I know isn't important, I force myself to pause and then answer the question "DOES THIS MATTER?" Almost 99% of the time it doesn't....& then I move on and carry on. I always end up feeling much better than I would have after I'd chosen to do whatever I "thought" I wanted to invest my time and mind into. I'm not perfect with this practice yet but I try to be a little bit more conscious every day & I'm starting to feel really good.

Today as I was walking out the door I caught myself thinking about all of the things I end up regretting at the end of a day. This discomfort prompted me to stop,  put my things down, and sit down at my desk for a moment. I grabbed an index card and a Sharpie and wrote out 5 non-negotiable rules for January 12th, 2012. I folded up the index card, tucked it into my pocket, and then continued back out the door to start my day. All day long I could feel the card in my pocket, and I could feel the weight of the rules above me. I was determined to not break any of them.

Sure enough I followed all of my rules and I'm sitting in bed much happier than I have any night this week. I have nothing to regret about any of the choices that I made today. I also managed to be more productive, healthier, and more responsible by following these rules. By addressing them and writing them down before my day started I managed to keep myself much more accountable and committed. I'm eager to write another set of rules tomorrow...

love & learning,


Stackable Resolutions

2012 I resolve...

It’s none-too-typical that one finalizes their resolutions mid-January. With traveling and readjusting from the holidays I find it much easier to start off on the right foot after I’ve set the foundation to do so. Now that I’m back to the swing of things in my little ole life in Tulsa, Oklahoma I’m finally ready to unleash my resolutions in full force. This year I’m trying a new approach- stackable resolutions

Every year it’s the same song and dance… sometime in late December I sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and write out a long lofty list of resolutions… and then every year in January I am usually so overwhelmed that I can’t even strive to resolve even a handful of them. Well, this year I’m stacking them & making them happen as best I can while making the most of the adventure of learning new skills and enjoying more opportunities. 

Though I’ve only merely read the first chapter of The Happiness Project I was intrigued by the method of the creator. Focus on a new skill or area of growth each month, and let each be mastered before tackling a new one. As one month’s goals are mastered it’s time to move on to the next month, while still maintaining the resolutions from all previous month(s). Sheer Brilliance! So here is what I’ve got in my effort to do things better & make 2012 as exceptional as it’s destined to be….

Each month I’ve picked an area of focus, and then crafted a list of mini-goals within that focus. This way my energy is narrowed into one place and I can truly make the changes I’ve been longing for year after year.
Financial Fusion
  • Create a budget and stick to it
  • Make a plan to be debt free by December
  • Spend only the money I possess, no more credit cards
  • Journal gratitude every night, depend less on materials
  • Give generously
Romance Myself
  • Write my own manifesto/mission statement
  • Figure out what I truly want
  • Journal 3 things about myself that I love every night
  • Plan outfits & wear more colorful lipstick everyday
  • Be content in the approval from myself rather than others
Healthy Habits
  • Eat more fresh fruit & vegetables daily
  • No texting and driving
  • Exercise 6 times a week for 1 hour+
  • Get 7 hours+ of peaceful sleep per night
  • Floss teeth nightly
Create Order
  • Clean out closet & purge all items I haven’t worn in a year
  • Make iTunes playlists that I actually enjoy
  • Write a list of all of my hopes, dreams & ambitions and then prioritize the most important ones
  • Organize all files on all of my computers
Seek Wisdom
  • Read the news for 15 minutes each day
  • Listen to NPR in the car
  • Study something new once a month (prepare for the GRE)
  • Listen to a TED Talk at the start of each week
  • Read at least one book of my choice per month
Love What I Do, Do What I Love
  • Take more risks at work
  • Wake-up every morning energized & inspired by the movement
  • Infuse more of myself into my efforts at work, be more creative with my job
  • Plan a very detailed approach for the 2012-2013 school year
  • Write a vision that I’m utterly passionate about
Live Young
Spirituality of Life, Self & Creation
  • Meditate every morning
  • Live in the present, read Be Here Now
  • Study a new religion, commit to openness & learning
  • Breath more
  • Listen to others, really listen
  • Create & adopt affirmations
Happy Brittany
  • Plan my blogs a week ahead
  • Make a new friend
  • Paint weekly
  • Celebrate my 26th birthday in bliss and pure excitement
  • Plan a trip to somewhere new
  • Create an audacious goal and draft clear & measurable steps towards achieving it
Fear Less & Plan Ahead
  • Decide on and apply to graduate programs I want to pursue
  • Make more choices, be less passive
  • Be open to new and unplanned opportunity, positive thinking
  • Speak up more about what I believe in or think
  • Figure out what my next adventure will be
For the Love of Others
  • Get to know my brothers better
  • Seek to understand the perspective of others, ask questions
  • Reconnect with someone from my past every week
  • Write a card to a friend or loved one every day
  • Smile at strangers 
Awaken Self
  • Reflect on another blessed year
  • Enjoy the company of the ones I love & who love me
  • Plan for 2013
  • Celebrate progress & growth and embrace memories of sweet adventures & happenings from 2012
I know these are quite vague & some are even ambiguous but I plan on drafting an even more in depth plan before each month. At the conclusion of every month my hope is that I can share my experiences (in all of their vulnerability). Things may change, life may reroute, but in any case this is my projected plan. There are also things on these lists that I’m trying to begin already (ehem, no texting & driving) but it is the hope that by the end of their respective month I will be a master of said skill or effort or at least to have learned valuable lessons.

I’m incredibly excited about all of these resolutions and 2012. I've got a really good feeling about this year. 

What are you resolving in 2012?


Winterfy Your Humble Abode

I’ll be the first to admit that I dread the cold. This year I am taking proactive steps to combat ole Jack Frost and winterfy my cozy little loft…

Stock up on candles- No doubt the dim flickering of a candle automatically makes me feel warm. But even more satisfying is the sweet aroma of winter. I’ve fallen madly in love with the Cranberry Pear Bellini holiday scent from Bath & Body Works. It’s subtle yet sweet & clean and of course, and even better that the wax is a soft pink so it fits right in with my d├ęcor.

Draw the blinds- I only put my blinds down during sunset but I especially love that I keep them up through the winter. First of all I love falling asleep by the glow of winter nights. Second, I love waking up to blankets of white outside my window. And third, letting the sun in during the day will actually cut back on heating costs.

Keep your slippers by the door- After you’ve trudged through snow and wetness all day the first thing you do when you get home is take off your dreary boots. Be prepared by leaving your slippers by the door on your way out- your toes with thank you.

Stack up a pile of books- Need an excuse to read? Stack up the books that you want to read and put them next to your bed. The calmness of the winter nights and the fear of leaving the indoors will draw you back to this stack consistently and please your somber little heart beyond words.

Pull out your winter sheets- Wherever they are wash them and prep them so that you are one step ahead of the cold. Nothing makes me happier than a fluffy, cozy bed on a cold January night.

Always keep the kettle full- Make it simple enough to just turn the knob. Keep your water warm and your tea bottomless. Warm your belly as often as you can. Sipping tea can also be a meditative opportunity, try this: sip slowly and calmly and meditate on the taste of the tea, the present moment, or the sound of tea flowing into your lips. Take deep breaths and breathe in the aroma.

Hang a hook for your pajama sweater- I’ve found that hanging up my night sweater leads me less towards the “UP arrow button” on my thermostat. Having it within arms reach makes my life all the more simple, and having a place to put it before bed also allows me to wake up to less clutter.

Get a plant- I love the satisfaction of giving my plants water and life. I have simple generic house plants from Home Depot but I really do enjoy the life they bring to my home, especially during the dull months of winter. 

snow globes & silk robes,

*All photos taken using Instagram


Lessons Learned on New Year's Eve

just a few lessons learned from a fabulous New Year's Eve....

have no expectations, epic is what you make of it: 
One thing 2011 taught me well is that from limited expectations come bountiful bliss. Why I forgot this on New Year's Eve is beyond me. Fewer expectations gives greater outcome, you're often less disappointed & more open minded. Now this can't always be the truth but I must remember to know when expectations are necessary or not.... this will be my experiment for 2012.

do wear sparkly shorts instead of a skirt: 
What a beautiful thing it was not having to constantly battle with a skirt that hikes north. I did not envy girls with their restricting outfits, no sir I did not. Low-maintenance is always in fashion. 

make friends: 
So often New Year's Eve puts you in new places with an abundance of strangers, which was no different last night. Embrace the company and have a good time. Given that I'm usually shy around large crowds of new people (it's all a forceful act people, I really am quite shy), but this New Year's Eve would have been miserable if I didn't open out and enjoy the fine company I was surrounded by. This is always a good game plan. 

don't punch the wrong passcode in your iPhone multiple times: 
My phone crashed on me last night after the strike of midnight thanks to this foul party move. I was completely helpless. Apparently if you punch in your passcode incorrectly too many times your phone decides to reset, costing you all of your data until you can connect to WiFi or iTunes. Bad news on NYE. #lessonlearned

do yo thang: 
Who are you? What do you want? Then do it. Remember how much fun you are? Don't forget that. I know this lesson all-too-well... and if my phone hadn't gone all Y2K on me this may have been easier... but let's be real, I can't blame my phone for this. Lesson learned and reaffirmed for the year ahead. 

play the dancing game: 
I love to make up games and this is one of my favorites. Get behind an unsuspecting male victim and get jiggy with him without him knowing. It's HILARIOUS. I'm going to make more attempts to do this more often off the dance floor too. Have more fun. Be more child-like.

don't be dramatic: 
You're not the starring role in the hottest new romantic comedy.... so don't act like it. Do you want me to repeat that Brittany? No, you've learned your lesson. The cocktails and flashing lights probably didn't help though, in your defense. 

don't wear red lipstick: 
I had it on & took it off. No way did I want to deal with that gnarly red outline and endless reapplications. It's beautiful and all but- thanks but no thanks. Not on NYE.

do celebrate a blessed year: 
Going with the flow of no expectations don't forget the beauty of the year you bid adieu to. Celebrate a new year but don't neglect the past. You've learned too much to start over.

live & learn and do it better next time: 
So you added a lot of pressure, had expectations, and forgot a few rules. Oh well. Another experience learned, try something new next time and use what you've learned to make it better. Don't dwell on what has already happened, it's not worth it. That baggage can be left in the old year. Remember how you actually had a really great time? 

resolutions start on January 2nd:
Make them count. End of story. 

Well that was fun. What's next? Here we go, 2012...


keep calm the new year is here,