Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's Planner Time!


I don't know if any of you know this, but I love planners. Well, actually, I love notebooks in general. (I have an unhealthy obsession with paper. I tend to buy notebooks and then never use them. LoL) The planner I blogged about a few months ago (this one) was meant to be my personal planner, but as my to-do lists for work got more and more complicated and I was using more and more post-its all over my desk to keep track of it all, I realized that something needed to be done. So, I turned my planner into my work planner (which I can't show you unfortunately, because of some confidential stuff that's been written in it) and then started my hunt for a new planner.

I originally was going to make a new one, just like I made the other one. It took me about a week and I set up a new planner (with the same formatting, taking inspiration from the Erin Condren Life Planners) except that I was using an 8.5x11 paper size. Then I went to print it. Because of all the color pages, I realized that it was going to be quite on the pricey side to print it out as I wanted it. So I started to print the month-at-a-glance pages in color and the weekly pages in black and white since I was planning to use stickers to decorate anyway. So...taking into consideration the number of pages (there were well over 100 pages total) plus the cover, plus binding, plus the paper (since I had used almost all of my cardstock stash on the last planner), and the was still going to be pricey. I think I had it estimated at almost $45. Way closer to the price of a Life Planner than I wanted.

Back to the drawing board!

I then started to look at other planners. The Plum Planner...DayRunner Planners...planners I found at Wal-Mart and Target...I looked at a ton of them. I even considered giving in and getting a Life Planner. But then I saw this post on the Ben Franklin Crafts blog about custom planner inserts for the Happy Planner and realized that the planner I wanted could possibly be closer than I thought.

Because I live in Hawaii, shipping is always relatively crazy. Not only the cost, but also the shipping time. I had come across the Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) several months ago and had always thought that maybe it may be a good alternative to the Life Planner. But the price still made me take a moment to think. When I came across the blog post, I immediately wondered if my local HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts store carried it. I commented asking if it was available in the stores and to my surprise, I was told that yes, the stores were now carrying the Happy Planner. A few days later, off I went to see if the location nearest to me had it in stock.

And they did!

While I was trying to decide which one I wanted (they don't carry all of the different designs, just a few...I think there were four when I was there) one of my former co-workers (I used to work at BFC a few years ago...if I hadn't mentioned that before) said that they were going to be having a 20% off sale on Sunday with a coupon. Coupon? 20% Off? I like Sales! She went to get a coupon for me and I happily went off, deciding that I was going to get the planner.


(Photo credit:  Me & My Big Ideas)

This is the one I settled on...after contemplating for three days at home and then another 45 minutes at the store. (Hey, I'm relatively indecisive.) Although I loved all of the other ones, this is the one that had the most copies left, which to me meant that it was the one that the least amount of other people already had. Regular price was $33.95...slightly more than on the MAMBI website, but still pretty reasonably. And I got 20% off. Can't really tell you how much I paid because I bought a bunch of other stuff (not planner related) that day as well. 

I've had it for about a week now and I love it. No, I haven't written much in it yet (I need to get used to having a personal planner again) but I have decided that stickers are needed to spice it up a bit. However, I'm completely a cheapskate (must be the stereotypical Chinese blood in me) and I don't want to spend a lot of money on stickers. Some of those stickers in shops on Etsy are pricey! (I totally get that it takes a lot of time to design the stickers and then to print them and cut them out, but $5 for a half sheet of stickers?) There also weren't a lot of downloadable stickers that I really cared for. The majority of the stickers are designed for the Life Planner. The Happy Planner boxes are slightly longer. 

So I decided to design my own. 

Ta-Da! These are just experimental stickers. I have another sheet of little boxes with New England Patriots helmets on them so I can mark game days as well as full boxes to write down the bills I paid that month, but I cut them all up before I could take a picture. The sheets on the left are washi-type strips that are in three different sizes (the smallest being header size and the largest being full box size) and the ones on the right are full box checklists and a few more washi-type stickers. I was worried that they weren't going to fit right, so I decided to try them out in one of the months that I wasn't going to be using:

Pretty good, if I say so myself. I showed these to some friends who have the Happy Planner and they asked if I'd be able to design other washi-type sheets with additional sizes along with game day stickers for other teams. Sure. Why not? I'm slowly working on those designs for them and want to also have them available to other people when they're done. (I tend to work on sticker design late at night when I'm not playing Tsum Tsum on my phone, haha.) But I'm also looking for other ideas for stickers. There's going to be a separate post on my whole sticker journey and what I'm planning to do with them (how I'm going to offer them to others and things like that) because this post is getting a little long. I just wanted to let you know what I've been up to. If you have any ideas for stickers, please leave them below!

I have a few other posts that I'm planning on doing soon. Honestly, though, I'm a little surprised I found enough time to sit down and write this long of a post for this. I have NaNoWriMo that I haven't started yet (great...I'm already a day behind) and I need to work tomorrow but this is something that I told myself I needed to do. (I should have written it in my planner. Haha.)

See you soon!!!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

So That Didn't Happen...

I was hoping to start posting on a regular basis this past Monday, but things came up and that just didn't happen. I ended up needing to work a little longer on Monday and by the time I was done at work, I wasn't feeling the posting thing (not when I had just spent most of the day trying to work on three different websites for work...) and Tuesday I went to Kona with my brother because he had a job interview and on and on.

I am making some design changes on this blog, though. First, I changed the template. (I'm kind of disappointed that there are WAY less options than on Wordpress, but I'll just deal with it until I have time to create my own layout and design.) I'm adding pages for various things (I just added an About Me page...which has a very long list of things about me...I got a little wordy) and things are still coming.

Hopefully some other things will start happening as well. I'm currently working on making things for an Etsy shop that's been in the works for a while. (Sticky flags...decorative tape...index's a lot of paper-based stuff...for really inexpensive...) I'm hoping to get that up by next weekend. I'm also cleaning out my craft room and crossing my fingers that my sewing machine still works (if it does, I need to get it serviced, if it doesn't...I should probably look into getting a new one...)

Plus, my mom and I are going to be doing the Ben Franklin Craft Fair this year for the first time since I left for grad school in 2013. She's planning on doing the familiar (cookies, loaf cakes, mochi, party mix...) but I'm also hoping to include some items that are gluten free or sugar free. (Maybe gluten free...) A friend is thinking of making some pet treats as well. We'll see what happens. I need to experiment with recipes first.

Busy busy busy. But I love my job so far (and if you're not getting the Discount Fabric Warehouse VIC E-blast and you live in Hawaii, you're missing out! It's more of my rambling!) and I think once all of the websites are up and all of the social media pages are put together, things won't be as hectic.

But thanks for sticking around!! I really appreciate it!!!

See you soon!!



Monday, August 10, 2015

Oops. I Went Away Again Didn't I?

Hi Guys!

I'm so sorry about my disappearing act again. I started a new job and honestly, I wanted to make sure this thing was updated so my new (at that time, potential) boss could see that I know how to update content on blogs and stuff.

However! Starting next Monday, not today Monday, but Monday, August 17, I'm going to start posting again on a regular basis. I have some things for a journal article I was working on for school (yes, I know that I graduated, but I'm still working on an article that some classmates and I are trying to get published) that I need to finish by August 15, and then after that, it's back to this blog.

I have some content that's being put together (some Try-It Tuesday stuff, some recipes that I made that I wanted to post, things like that) so it's just a matter of me sitting down and actually posting it all.

If there's anything that you'd like to see, something you'd like me to try, an update on anything I've posted previously, please leave it down in the comments.

I'll see you soon! I promise!

(And, if you're in Hilo, come by Discount Fabric Warehouse to say Hi! I'm actually in a little office in the back of the warehouse across from the store, but still...they can always give me a call to let me know someone's here to see me. :) )



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Work-In-Progress Wednesday: My Planner

Hi Guys!

So I've decided to rename Wednesdays to Work-in-Progress Wednesday where I'll just share with you a project that I'm working on. This week is something that I've been working on for a while now (since I moved back a little more than a month ago) and is always going to be a work in progress.

This week's WIP is my planner. I've used a planner to keep track of what I'm doing for the past few years and typically I just purchase one already made or make one using a composition tablet, a ruler, and a few pens. Unfortunately, I had inadvertently put the planner I had been  using into the container with all of my stuff from my apartment and I really couldn't find one that I really liked for a reasonable price. I wanted one of the Erin Condren Life Planners but I couldn't see shelling out $50+ for a planner. So I decided to make my own. Using the images of the Life Planner that I found online, I based my planner pages on the Erin Condren ones. The planner is approximately 8"x10" and printed on a lightweight cardstock (I'm not positive of the exact weight because I had an unwrapped stack in one of my paper drawers in my craft room) using my ink jet printer. The covers are laminated with just my little personal laminator and then I had it coil bound at OfficeMax for around $4. It took about 2 weeks for me to set up June through December (I'll set up January through May later) and a couple of hours to print it out. Right now there really isn't anything fancy about it. I'm going to add some tabs for the months later but for now it works.

 I use just a regular ball point pen to write basic things, like birthdays, important things I need to remember, and things like that. If it's something I really need to remember, I'll color the box in with colored pencils. The image above has a birthday party, my brother's birthday, and the day I pay my bills colored in. Fun stuff that I wanted to remember, like lunch dates or things that I need to be aware of, are written in with a marker. The container with all of my stuff arrived this month so I had to make sure I was home for that.
Unfortunately, I was in a little bit of a rush when I set up the months, so the boxes aren't completely even, but it doesn't make too much of a difference.

Each week is on two pages. This is just one side. Each day is separated into three sections:  To-Do, Work, and Other. When I was working, I found that having a separate area to put my work tasks for the day helped when I was looking at my planner. I highlight things in different colors, like personal stuff (laundry, etc.) in blue, errands in pink, and blog posts in green. Sometimes I use transparent tape in different colors to highlight things I want to make sure catch my eye. Most days, if I'm running errands, I'll use a sticky note to make a list for myself to make sure I don't forget anything. 

 And that's about it. I think the total cost was around $20 only because I had to buy a new color ink cartridge in the middle of printing. I love it because it's completely customized to what I wanted and what I need. There are a few note pages in the back if I need them but I don't know if I will since I always carry a separate notebook for just random ideas. 

If you have any questions or comments about this planner or how I made it, feel free to ask. I know it's not as fancy as some others, but it works for me. I wanted something simple and I like it. 

See you tomorrow!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Try-It Tuesday: Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candy - Blood Orange & Honey

Hi Guys!!

This week's Try-It Tuesday product is the Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candies in Blood Orange & Honey. I found them at Longs (CVS) for $3.89 but you can also find them at natural food stores or online at various places like this one.

So the candies come in a cute little tin and there are 15 per container. The tins are sturdy and close really well. The candies themselves are small, maybe slightly around the diameter of a dime, but they're just enough if you just want a tiny sweet treat.

The Good:  They're super yummy. Not too sweet and overly sugary. It's also slightly tart, which was unusually good because I typically don't go for tart candies. They're also not horrible for your health. The candies are gluten-free, no corn syrup, and have no artificial dyes. Plus they're only 12 calories each piece. The blood orange flavor isn't overpowering and neither is the honey. They are well balanced and complement each other very nicely. Also, they last a long time. I think I had one in my mouth for almost 20 minutes before it completely dissolved. Yum.

The Bad:  They're a little on the sticky side. I opened one just as I was walking out of the store and already it was a little gooey and sticking to the paper. But that's just a minor irritation. There wasn't anything majorly bad about the product.

The Unfortunate:  They're a little on the pricy side. There are only 15 in the container and it was just under $4. But it's okay. It's not like I was planning to eat a ton of them at once. They should last me a while because it's just a little treat every so often.

The Organic Hard Candies also come in other flavors, including pink grapefruit & Tupelo honey and Myer lemon & raspberry.  According to their website, there are 5 flavors all together.

These are the two I currently have in my bag. I have the pomegranate & nectarine along with the blood orange & honey. I saw one other flavor in the store and may order the rest from online. Would I suggest these to others? Definitely. If they weren't so on the pricey side, I'd always keep them in my bag.

See you tomorrow!!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Polish Pick of the Week: Sinful Colors Morning Star

Hi Guys!

I'm here with my first Polish Pick of the Week post! Yay!

This week's polish pick is Morning Star by Sinful Colors. It's this really pretty light blue color with a slight shimmer to it that does not really show up in pictures I'm afraid. To me it looks like a Cinderella blue.

The Good:  It's a really pretty color. I'm not quite ready for the bright summer colors yet (especially since I'm currently job hunting) so I'm sticking to lighter colors right now. It'll just be spring all the time. Also, contrary to what other reviews have said about this polish, I did not find it hard to work with. Yes, it was slightly streaky, but I didn't find it to be as goopy as some other reviewers have noted.

The Bad:  I had to use three coats to get it to even out and be as opaque as I wanted it. From what I understand, this was from a sheer collection and I definitely found it to be sheer. And, like I said before, it was streaky. But not so much so that I wasn't able to get it to smooth out with additional coats. I'm just an impatient person who wasn't thrilled with having to wait to finish my nails. :)

The Unfortunate:  I was hoping to be able to link where you can buy this polish. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anywhere online that still sells it. From what I was able to tell, it was a part of a collection a few years ago and it's not even listed on the Sinful Colors website anymore. But you never know if it'll pop up somewhere.

For a nail polish that was $1.99, I'm happy with it. I only put it on a day ago, though, and I have some cleaning and moving things to do. The jury is still out about how it'll hold up. I'll let you know.

See you tomorrow!!


New Posting Schedule...Let's Go!

Hey Guys!

Wow, only a few days into this new posting thing and already I'm behind. LoL. Nah, I just wanted to start at the beginning of the week instead of in the middle. So I wanted to take a minute to kind of explain the new posting schedule and talk about some changes that might be happening in the near future.

So the posting schedule can always be found on the left hand side of the screen. I'm working on trying to find categories and general topics that I can actually stick to so I'll be posting more often. I think this may work, so I'm going to try it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

Sunday:  Sundays are Week in Review posts. I like to think of my weeks as Monday thru Sunday. I know some people consider Sunday the beginning of the week, but I think it's the end of the week. So on Sundays I'll do a little summary of what I did during the week, if there's anything interesting going on, that sort of thing. (And I know this current post looks nothing like a Week in Review post but I didn't take any pictures of anything this past week so I'm doing this instead.)
Monday:  Mondays are my Nail Polish Pick of the Week posts. I'm going to switch the day I paint my nails (it used to be Wednesdays for some reason) and move it to Sunday afternoon/nights so I can get the post up on Mondays.
Tuesday:  Try-It Tuesdays. I like to try new things and share them with people. So this is like a product review day. If you have anything you'd like me to try (like food, products, etc.) let me know and I'll look into it. That being said...there's a whole bunch of new Chips Ahoy cookies that I got a glimpse of at KTA the other day...
So those may be experimented with. Haha.
Wednesday:  What's Going On Wednesdays. Okay, so I haven't completely figured out what to do on Wednesdays yet. This one is definitely a work in progress. (Work in Progress Wednesday?) We'll see what happens.
Thursday:  Random Post. Who knows what could happen? It may be observations of the world, it may be a recipe, it may be something completely off the wall that I'm not even sure what it's about. Only time will tell.
Friday:  Friday Five! This was something that I used to do with some of my friends. We used to e-mail each other five random things about some topic. Most of the time it was just five questions that we used to determine at the beginning of the week and answer on Fridays or just five random things about ourselves. Any questions you want answered?
Saturday:  I decided to give myself Saturdays off. Usually if I have any plans, they take place on Saturdays and I didn't want to miss a post because I had something else I needed to do. So it's the one day you won't see anything from me. Well...right now anyway. LoL. I may post anyway.

So that's the new posting schedule. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm hoping I'll be able to stick to it. You may be wondering where the craft posts are going to go. I'm thinking they may be on Wednesdays. Possibly Thursdays. Maybe both. We'll see.

One of the changes that I wanted to bring up is that I'm thinking of moving this blog over to WordPress. I haven't decided yet. I think I need to think about it some more. 

I will see you tomorrow (okay, okay, later today) for the first post of this new schedule. Take care!!!