A peek at my on-the-go planner (so far)...

So... I've been pretty happily using the MAMBI Happy Planner for a good number of months with no major issue or incident. I've felt like it truly attends to all of my planning needs and it's also a discbound system (that means it binds with ridged circles vs. rings that clamp/snap vs. a spiral binding) and I am SUCH a fan of anything discbound because I consider it to be pure "good design." 

All of this said, I've been using my Happy Planner for pretty much everything and this has made my Happy Planner quite... how should I put this nicely... *ahem* well, it's quite LARGE as much as it's very much in charge!!! EVERYTHING (and that's no exaggeration) gets punched (with an Arc desktop punch from Staples - but don't pay full price and get it with a coupon like I did last year!) and then I snap it right into my Happy Planner. It's really really held up well, too! And I have stuffed it so full that I had to get the expander discs (they are 1.75") but even those are not big enough to accommodate it's every expanding "girth." And with the added weight, thickness, and large-and-in-charge -ness that my Happy Planner is so chock full of anymore... it just hasn't been working in an on-the-go capacity as much as I need it to be AND, I don't... It's just hasn't been working as well as it once was for me. 

Perhaps this is all is about the rhythm and cycle of things and especially since I'm now in a new year that also brings about a whole "new me" type of thinking? I don't know. However it works though, I've branched out beyond using just the Happy Planner and I've decided to give my old ring-bound (read: Filofax and Kikki-K brands) a try again. And? I. LOVE. THEM!!!!!! See below for some recent instagrams of how my re-imagined Filofax personal (in canvas heart print) is working out beautifully for me as an on-the-go planner. In case you are wondering, the inserts are of my own design...

This is what you see when you open up my planner. It's a Filofax "fly sheet" (basically a thick transparency page) embellished with MAMBI scrapbook stickers (from my "stash") and then various and sundry sticky notes. The word at the top of the page is my "One Little Word" (OLW) for 2016 and the bottom has a quick reminder good for any given day. 

Here is a shot of the monthly planning set-up I'm using. I suppose I could have done a month on two pages but I like how concise this presents as just one page with no center gutter interrupting the visual design and functionality of it all. Also, I have found that I just don't ever do much with a monthly view so why make it bigger than it needs to be? This allows me to note "bits and pieces" in the way of planning the way I know I normally do (and I know this from experience). 

And here's a decent shot of the printables I'm using currently for my week on two pages in horizontal layout (vs. vertical the way the Happy Planner is set-up) . The visual style/design matches the monthly view and it's all very "clean" and graphically modern in how it presents with the fonts and colors I selected that can easily translate with slight changes from month to month. 

And this, my friends, is a shot of my inserts in action. Yes. YESSSSSSSS!!!!! And the stickers you see there are designed with functionality in mind as much as they are for the purposes of getting a very quick "visual read" on things because I am all about being able to quickly read in the most visual (and cursory) way. I don't want to have to sit and read a ton. I want to be able to see things quickly so that I don't have to spend more time reading what my plans were and I can spend more time DOING what I planned. 
 All of this said, I'm not abandoning my Happy Planner. I am just expanding (as a way of adjusting) my approach to planning to include things that I think will continue to help me be more organized, clear thinking, and focused in order to (ultimately) accomplish what ever I might be planning to do. Because that's the whole point, right? To not just make plans but also to make them happen. 

Just tryin' to keep it real, (son)

So... I'm not one to "air my dirty laundry" as it goes but... I don't know.

I feel like now that 2015 is wrapping up, it's about time for me to have some much needed closure that means I'm going to end up doing a great deal of the aforementioned. Also, up until this past year, I've been forced to live in/of ways that have been completely almost in secret and to say that it's been oppressive would be a ridiculous understatement.

To Silhouette or not? THAT is the question.

Did you hear that Silhouette America is running an insanely good Black Friday special on all of their machines? Yep. The Mint, the Portrait, the Curio, AND the Cameo are all bundled and/or singularly priced at super low prices.




And I might be interested in dropping the cash on at least the Silhouette Portrait except I just dropped as much as I would have spent on ready-made sticker sets from Etsy and all of them were priced to sell at Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday price points so much that I don't feel guilty in the least for the ridiculous amount that I bought. *shrug* I have sticker sets to last me at least the next 4-5 months and maybe even six months and I spent the same amount I would have on a Silhouette Portrait.

Here's what I think about when I consider buying myself a Silhouette...

  1. (-) I'm kind of tired of having so many gadgets and gizmos. (a plenty...)(Yes. I went there.)
  2. (+) It would be kind of nice to have the creative freedom and range that my own Silhouette would afford me.
  3. (-) Buying from Etsy helps me to support others who need/rely on their Etsy income to support their families and/or be work-at-home moms. (Something I admire but am not sure I could ever do myself!)
  4. (+) I really like helping others' entrepreneurial ventures. Seriously. To me, buying from Etsy is not unlike contributing to someone's Kickstarter proposal and I do love Kickstarter...
  5. (+) Even though I can make my own sticker sheets, I love just having ready-made and beautifully coordinated sticker sets that require little to no thought for me to have to use because of how beautifully matched and complementary they are.
  6. (-) I simply don't have the funds to drop on a Silhouette right now even with them being as super cheap as they are. If I am going to drop that kind of cash, it's going to be on Christmas presents for others and not me buying an expensive gift for myself. I mean... We're pretty much in December by now. 
  7. (+) It would be fun and cool to use with my daughter to make planner items and/or gifts for her friends. I KNOW my daughter would be the most popular little gal in her grade because of how rockin' her customized sticker sets would be (amongst other things) for her little pals at school.
  8. I don't like that I will be buying sticker paper and back to having to buy ink cartridges. *pffffffttttttttt* 

I don't know what I will do about it. I know at least I don't want to open an etsy store and so it would be strictly for my personal use. Other than planner stickers, what in the world would I really use it for? 

My dream paint holder for my studio

I'm beside myself with excitement right now because I just found a local A.C. Moore that has that ^^^ in stock for only $19.99 and they are holding it for me!!! And I'm even going to get it for less than the aforementioned priced once I apply a 50% off coupon to it AND my educators discount card.


In case you, too, are interested in the paint rack that you see above, you can do what I did and call around to your local arts and crafts supply stores and tell them that you want the following: a wire rotating fluid acrylic bottle storage unit that rotates by a company called Provo that is probably in either the craft storage section or with the fluid acrylics - also, it holds about 120 bottles, I think. Or, if you have money to burn, you can buy it on Amazon HERE for close to $70.

Mission: Make my house more of a HOME

I have a real love-hate relationship with what should otherwise be my humble (and otherwise beautifully kept) abode. On one hand, I love and insist upon "good" design as much as possible. On the other hand, "good" design doesn't always foster the easiest living. Here's what I mean in terms of the aforementioned...

"Ghost" chairs
Aren't they so nice to look at? I mean, I'm not trying to be riding the fangirl bandwagon about them but clear, acrylic furniture is so appealing to me whether they are in chair-form or not. But? Completely not child-friendly and they are clearly (no pun-intended) lacking in being cushy and comfy.

Ikea's MASKROS Dandelion Pendant Lamp
I think this lamp is AMAZING. I mean, look at it! It's a freaking huge dandelion!!! But, also, it's a huge freaking dandelion. I mean. That's kind of freakish when you think about it and when you take in account how huge it is, you can't just put that thing anywhere you want. Also, look at the shadows it casts around it when it's illuminated. Kind of looks to me like child's nightmare of "shadow" spiders coming to get you. *shudder*

Space Saving Spiral Staircase
I really appreciate spiral staircases. I don't know what it is about them. Perhaps it's because they remind me of the amazing Slinky toys? Anyway. I think the real fact of the matter is I like the idea of spiral staircases but in actuality (meaning: functionality, I guess), I don't like them very much. Have you ever tried to walk on one before? It's actually very unnatural feeling when you're doing it because you're constantly trying to go up and straight the way you normally do on a regular staircase but at the same time, you're always facing a direction that isn't straight and doesn't make you feel like you're going up. And then for something like what's pictured above? Maybe I'm a big wuss but for as much as that ^^^ spiral staircase is very aesthetically pleasing, I get scared just thinking about trying to climb it. Maybe this is because I kind of feel like this when it comes to any stairs without railings? I don't know. My point is it's good design but not good for living (for me at least).

So where does all of this leave me? Well... I don't know. I just know that my house is hardly a home in part because of my obviously first-world problem of liking "good design" so much but knowing I could never actually live with it.

Documentaries on Youtube (especially Lisa Ling's work)

Not sure why/what it is I enjoy so much about documentaries but I think it might be that they are the most refined (or lazy even?) way to "people watch." I'm sure it doesn't hurt that I studied anthropology and sociology in my undergrad years but people watching is just about my favorite thing to do when I don't have anything else to do.

Anyway, long before I discovered documentary television, I discovered Lisa Ling (in my middle school years) when she was hired as a Channel One correspondent on a made-for-schools new network that was broadcasted in select classrooms across America. I was always so delighted to see her on the show because there were very few Asian-American women for me to look up to (other than Connie Chung, who is also amazing as well). Anyway, I'm still very much a fan of Lisa Ling's work now in my mid-30s.

Some of my favorites of Ms. Ling's of all-time was the work she did in a series called "Our America." I don't know that it's on television anymore but I've found a number of her episodes on Youtube. (I'm convinced Youtube is a gift from God. Seriously.) Here's a recent one I have enjoyed about some young women who have found their life's joy and place by joining a nunnery in the mid-west region.

Here's another one that Ms. Ling did for National Geographic where she was able to cross into North Korea and show as much of a candid look at life in communist North Korea as possible.

And here's one more documentary series called "This is Life" that was originally done for CNN that is a bit of a spin-off of "Our America" with a lot more room for discussion of the more taboo topics of American Life. This one is on the subject of "Sugar Babies" - a topic that has fascinated me to no end.

Anyway, we don't have the traditional cable television hook-up in our house anymore. (We ditched out on Comcast in November 2014.) We do enjoy streaming videos-on-demand via Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon Prime. My favorites are usually found on Youtube though.

This is my new soft place to land

So... I'm not gonna lie.

I'm a very flaky type who classically does the following:
  1. Gets really excited about an idea
  2. Goes full throttle in the direction of making "it" happen
  3. Does "it" for an unreasonably abbreviated amount of time
  4. Loses interest in "it" and then gets distracted
  5. Just as quickly as I started "it," abandons and quickly exits toward a new direction in order to start at number one all over again. 

Case in point: This is one more blog I'm establishing (of more than a half dozen in the last half a decade) in an effort to simply do what I feel like should be simple to do - share and share freely on this big ol' worldwide web. And here's how I always think about ideas, if I have one that I want to go hog-wild on doing, I gotta have a website/blogsite/official online presence in order to do anything with it. 

Realistically, this could be another one of my ideas that I will flake out on. I mean, let's not throw red herrings and call a spade exactly what it is, right? This website though... I'm thinking that it has a lot more potential to be something different that I can't/won't abandon so easily because this particular great new idea of mine is going to be something that all of the others never were: a catch-all (or, less eloquently, a dumping ground) for all of the things that I have done incrementally prior to this. That's right, rather than this being another niche website like what I've always done before, this one is going to have everything a whole lot more in one place. 

So that being said? Welcome to my new website! And hopefully I won't be as flaky as I have always been and just up and leave this place as quickly as I founded it. ;)