Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tieks! The Ultimate Ballet Flat!!

I have been looking for a fantastic flat since leaving the corporate world. While in the corporate world I loved my heels. I could wear heels for 10 hours and enjoy them all day. They are sexy and make me feel stunning. Now I'm a mommy and gave up that part of my life. I still want to look cute!! So I scoured the internet for the perfect flat. I tried Tory Burch, which unfortunately scared the back of my heel. I tried Target ones, and ones from Merrell and Kohls and Gap and any other place I could find them. All of them just hurt my feet or I felt as though there was no support!

Well one day I stumbled upon Oprah's wish list and Tieks were on there. What are these Tieks I wondered. Read the website and I was blown away by this company. Not only are the shoes made of 100% Italian leather but they are also hand made. The shoes come in so so many beautiful colors and patterns. I quickly began adding to my cart, until I noticed the price $165!! Yikes!! I thought for sure these would be the answer to my solution. After about a year of thinking about these shoes I finally bit the bullet and here is what I got....

My 'Dear Diary' Style of Writing

I have had journals for many many years. In fact I remember when I was maybe 7 or 8 in my bedroom at night writing in a notebook. I filled tons of these notebooks and decorated them with stickers and doodles. It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized what a fantastic tool this book was.

In high school is when I had my first serious boyfriend. My life was changing as I was getting older and I found that my journal quickly became a best friend. Initially I would turn to friends and blab to them about my personal relationship and quickly found that it wasn't such a good idea that I did that. It took one time and I was completely turned off from sharing something so personal with this person. My journals are not only a best friend but they don't judge me and I can talk/write in them for as long as I want to. You might argue that it doesn't talk back to me and give me advice but I have found a way that it actually does give back.
After scribbling secrets, feelings and arguments to my journals I found that when I would go back to learn from my experiences I would grow as a person. I was actually learning from myself. I had a relationship once where my boyfriend did alot of communicating through email. I would copy down those emails in my journal and then work it out in my journal. I also would quickly jot down arguments that I might have with a friend or a boyfriend and quickly found that I could work through my problems better than going to someone.
When you are heated or angry or sad about something you may want to step back and journal it. Try it! See if you come to a conclusion or if not a conclusion perhaps you can think more clearly. Do you find that maybe that person could have been right? I find that journaling prevents me from exploding at people. I'm able to process my feeling better in a journal and then discuss my issues rather than just shouting or yelling without thought. Are there patterns or bad habits that you are noticing? Write it down! What did you find? Is there a trigger?

Try this style of writing and watch as you grow! It's pretty incredible but has been working for me for over 15 years and I love it more than anything in the world!!

Check out my video for more thoughts on this style of writing!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: A book Review

I was recently talking to my next door neighbor who is a huge Stephen King fan and he was telling me that this was a must read. To be honest I was eyeballing the book at Costco and very interested but when my neighbor offered to lend it to me I couldn't wait to get into it!!

Aside from the impressive cover, the book is fantastic. I will let you know right off the bat that it's one of my favorites!!

The book is part 2 of the Shining. If you were a fan of the Shining you will definitely want to pick this up. This is Danny Torrance as an adult. Didn't you wonder what happened to that little boy with the shining?? I guess I didn't realize how much I wanted to know what happened to him until reading this book. I think that Danny or Dan as he is now as an adult turns out to really be a very loving character. Initially he is struggling with some issues and turns to alcohol to deal with them. I'm not completely surprised because of all the childhood abuse as well as the terrifying images as a child. 

In the book we learn how Dan managed to control his shining as well as how to not be frightened of the haunting images. Dan makes contact with a little girl, Abra, who is a very loving character as well as a tough little cookie. She gets in touch with Dan and at first he has no clue who she is or where she was she just left him little messages here and there. 

A group of Vampire types, The True Knot are introduced. They mainly scour the US in Winnebagos for children that have the shining and torture them for what they call steam. The steam is what keeps these monsters alive for a very long time. They as well have telepathy and use it to find their victims. Children just seem to disappear until one day Abra finds out and it doesn't sit well with her.

Dan and Abra make a great team together in going against these monsters. It's fairly tense in some parts of the book. There is no blood and gore. I would say the worst part is learning what the True Knot does to children and the rest is a fast paced moving story.  Characters are well developed and I grew found of them very quickly!!

I highly recommend this read to you if you are interested in what happened to Danny Torrence!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

An A5 Cousin Hobonichi Cover for My Fauxbonichi!

I have really been loving the Hobonichi style of planning. I mainly keep it as a visual diary but I absolutely love it so so much!! I have had it for a little over two months and I am noticing that because the beautiful leather cover is so soft and supple it's getting a bit dog eared looking! I am projecting that I will have this journal for about  2-3 years so I want to protect it. After a few failed attempts of making one I decided to just go to the Hobonichi website and see what my options are. It wasn't all that helpful initially because most of it is not in English. Luckily there are alot of blogs out there that you can read through and I found that Hobonichi came out with an A5 size planner which is the same size as my fauxbonichi. The covers are really adorable on the website but unfortunately alot of them are already sold out.  The one that wasn't my first choice but I still think is very cute is the bright yellow one!

It's very bright and cheery and I look forward to using it every single day. The inside has a gorgeous blue cover! I did not get the plastic cover to go over because I think that this nylon material is durable enough. I did look at some of the leather ones and thought that they are beautiful but unfortunately are sold out on the website. 

When flipping the cover on the left hand side there are pockets to keep anything that you may want to journal about later or some stickers. The pockets are on the shallow side but are plenty for me.

On the right side or the back of the planner there is another pocket. Plenty of room to slip any little keepsakes that you may have. I have not had any issues with the fit of the planner and it seems like a glass slipper fit. 

Here is an unclose shot of the journal closed and there is no buckling or creasing of the journal. I did not have to alter the cover or anything. It just honestly seems like a great fit. 

The journal looks great and protected when open. I love the two little bookmarks as well. At the end of each book mark there is a triangle and rectangle. This is really great because it doesn't make it easy for it to slip out. It really stays in place.

I have no complaints about this cover. The fit on my fauxbonichi, which is a Miquel Ruis journal from Barnes and Noble seems to fit perfectly. I do wish there were more choices but I will just be more aware for future releases!!

If you would like to see more please check out my video!

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Art Supplies I use in My Journals!

I absolutely love stationary and have always loved it. I have loved pens and pencils and notepads, notebooks and journals since I was a little girl. I just can't get enough. I tote around a fair amount of things with me that I use daily and thought I would share that with you!

In order to tote everything around I have this great shopper tote that I found on Amazon.
I love this thing!! It really helps me stay organized as well as keep everything for journaling all in one place.

It's called the JanetBasket Twilight Large size. This basket is great to store as well because it collapses down completely. It's large enough to carry everything but also light enough that it's not too hard to carry around. 

Fountain Pens are a MUST for me. I love using fountain pens and I have been since I was a sophomore in high school so it's been about 16 years that I have been loving them. One of my favorites that I have been using is a Lamy Safari in the neon yellow color.

It is extremely light weight and writes very very smoothly. I purchased a converter because I like to draw up my ink in my pens.

I recently picked up a Pilot Metropolitan and I think that this writes even smoother than the Lamy. I LOVE Love this pen. I actually like the weight that the pen has and I just think it writes very very smoothly!!  If you are new to fountain pens I highly recommend using this one or try the Varsity Disposable fountain pen because they are inexpensive and great to use!!

Where do I buy pens from?? I think that is fantastic for fountain pen knowledge. I check these videos constantly whenever I am purchasing or looking to purchase a fountain pen. The owners have a youtube channel and they love their products and talk about them all the time so I highly recommend their online store. I also love jet They are fantastic with their pens as well and are very picture heavy so you should be able to find something that you love!

After drawing my images I always love to color them in and for then I always carry a water brush with me. The water brush I love to use is a Koi water brush pen.

It's great to carry around because I can do a quick water color sketch where ever I am. I do alot of sketches on the couch and it works great.  My choice for a water color set is a Windsor & Newton travel Palette. 

I have had this palette for about 6 years and I love it very much. I use it every single day and I really love love using it!

Some other pens that I like to use aside from the fountain pen is Stabilo pens. I love the size of the these pens and the yellow body!! Just love it!!

Of course LePen is a fantastic pen. The 'wetness' of the pen I absolutely love and I love the way it writes and how slim the pens are. I love them.

If you do alot of cartoon like drawing and you enjoy that type of thing then you will love Faber Castell pens.

I hope this inspires you or helps you with your supplies!! To see more please check out my video!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Easy DIY Candied Popcorn!

My sister is getting married in July and was having her bridal shower over the weekend. I wanted to make something a little different for her guests to take home with them. I looked all over Pinterest and finally stumbled upon a really cute Pink popcorn recipe!!

I also thought it would be really cute to place them into little popcorn boxes that I found online at the Oriental Trading Company for a very reasonable price. The saying that I used on the popcorn boxes say 'Rob "popped" the question now Julie goes from Miss to Mrs'. Just a fun play on the words! The pink popcorn recipe is quite yummy and it looks really cute too!!

Here is what the boxes looked like tied

and what they looked like at the tables

What does the recipe call for?

Ingredients to make the popcorn:
2 bags of microwavable popcorn or whatever you like
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
3 tbsp of Butter
1/2 tsp of baking soda
Kool Aid to your liking for color

It's really fun and a great treat that you can make for kids parties, showers or just for yourself. 
Please check out my video to see how easy it is!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How I stay Motivated to Journal!

I recently received questions about how I find the time to journal as well as the motivation. I get ideas everyday throughout the day and you probably do as well but don't realize it!! So in this post I want to share with you how I get my ideas down as well as continuing to keep my journals alive!

The first thing that is so important is that you love your journal/journals. You have to love the size, shape and how it feels in your hands. You really do and it is important because you will want to use it. It's always a chore for me if I don't care for the journal. Another important thing is that you have to have your journal with you! It needs to be easily accessible or you won't use it! How do I make it accessible??

I tote around this shopper tote. I found this on amazon for about $20. It is really quite compact if I'm not using it and I just love this thing!! I live in a multilevel home so this makes it so easy for me to have everything with me at all times. I carry all of my journals and my filofax as well as any pens or anything I might need. I find that if I have them with me I am more tempted to use them and by using them I get more ideas and more inspiration.

What's inside that basket? I thought you'd never ask!

The first item that you will notice on top is my instax mini polaroid camera. I love this thing!! It's so great because you have to stop and think about the picture you are going to take! I know that sounds silly but we all get so crazy with our phones and take a million photos and then you have to sort through them with the polaroid I take pictures and then stick them into my journal!! A great way to journal!

This color comes in a few different colors but I like the white. It's really simple and easy to use. It's lightweight and I love the pictures that it takes!!

Once I take the picture I stick it behind the elastic of my journal so that I don't misplace it and also so I can journal about it later!

Because life gets int he way of things I will use post it notes. I get ideas of things all the time like  I mentioned before but I don't always have the time to do it so I just jot down my ideas and then put them on the pages that I intend to journal on!

I also keep my 'Dear Diary' journal with me in case something strikes me. I get an idea or a piece of gossip or something I need to work out and so I like to write things like this out. If I don't have it next to me then I tend not to use it or just forget about it all together. 

As you can see when I add a photo I keep it simple and just journal around it and add stickers or washi tape to decorate it up. 

I get ideas for YouTube as well as hearing about books and things like that and I don't want to forget. I carry around a fauxdori that I found on Etsy and I just love this little guy!! He is so awesome and just is perfect for jotting down these types of things. 

I also always love carrying around  my watercolor brush and watercolor set because you never know when I may want to do a quick drawing!!

Please check out my video to see more details about staying motivated as well as links to find all the above items!

Decorating My Filofax Pages with ClipArt!!

I LOVE looking at peoples decorated filofax pages. People have so many great ideas and stationary items that it looks like a beautiful scrapbook. I want pretty pages too!! I love having pretty pages because that makes me want to use it!! I would love to just keep buying stickers and washi tape but that definitely starts getting really expensive!!

Sooo...I came up with another idea! Clip art and printing!! What I found the pros to be with this is that I have more room to write. Because you can't really write over washi tape and stickers it ends up taking up alot of the space in the box for you to write you tasks and events. Well, if you print on your papers then you can just write over it!! I tend to fade alot of the images so that I can write over things and see them easily!!

Here is one of my spreads.

Please watch my video to see the step by step process that I use to do this!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Inside My Midori Travelers Notebook!

I was on the fence about getting a Midori Travelers Notebook. I even bought a passport fauxdori on etsy and I made one as well! I really enjoy the system and how beat up and rugged the book gets. There is just something about getting the original that is so appealing. I just could not shake the obsession and so therefore I did it and purchased one. The fact that I noticed a price drop on Amazon really helped with that decision as well!!

I love the scuffs that appear on the leather. I did notice the stronger smell initially when I purchased it but that went away very quickly. I searched endlessly for videos on making my own inserts even though the refills are really not all that expensive. I found a tutorial on how to make a 6 pocket folder and I just love it. I love how customizable it is and it really helps spark my creativity. I think at least for me it makes a really big difference  whether or not I am using a journal I really love and one that I am not so excited to use. 

 I love how chunky this little guy has gotten. The thicker it is the more I love it. I love how it feels in my hands and I just keep finding things to stick inside of it.

I just had to share another angle of the book because I love the chunkiness of it!!

What do I keep in here? It's something I love to know and it's one of the reasons I am on youtube for hours because I love to know what people are filling these books with. I love to look at pictures on flickr as well as instagram. It's very inspiring and lots of other peoples ideas have really helped me with my creativity as well.

In the first insert that I have it is the notebook that came with the book. I love the midori paper and I use this first insert kind of as a notebook for any subjects that I am interested in or studying. I have recently been into the moon phases and I spent some time learning about the blood moon. Things like that go into this insert and I use an index and number my pages so that I can easily find any subject that I may be interested in. I love having this section because there are so many ideas or things that I'm interested in and then I may or may not write it down and then I forget about it! So having this insert I have a home for all of it!!

In the second insert I have an insert that I made with left over water color paper that I had from a pad. There are tutorials all over the web that show you how to bind these inserts and it's very easy to do so I just followed that and made my own! I love having the space for this because I always get some idea in my head and I like the size and space to do these drawings.

In the above photo I did this drawing with pen and water color while watching the movie the Great Oz. That movie with Mila Kunez and it was cute and there was a scene that I really loved and decided I wanted to capture the Emerald city with all the poppies and the yellow brick road!

In the third insert I cut down a Moleskine Volant to fit into my Midori because I love the paper. This insert is primarily used as a bullet journal as well as a 365/30 prompt journal. This is a group on Facebook that gives daily prompts for art journaling. I thought that having these two incorporated just made sense but it is becoming a bit too chaotic. I may be changing this notebook and making separating the two but I am not completely sure just yet!!

I like using washi tape to separate the days for bullet journaling. I also draw pictures sometimes with the journal prompts from the Facebook group. 

In my last insert it is a DIYFish inset that I purchased from etsy. The woman who designed this is really very brilliant. I don't know how she created them but she is fantastic. I like to use this insert to track my media as well as fitness and spending. I love the graph paper and the ability to see my progress or it helps me see if I am not doing enough. 

Everything is color coordinated and I can see at one glance all the information that I need!! 

All of my inserts are held with three bands. One is from the band that comes with the book and I also use the elastic that holds the leather together and then some elastic cord that I had left over from another project. 

This is my Midori and I love it! I love changing things out and I love having this with me everyday. It's a purchase that I do not regret. I love all of the creative people that are out there and getting inspired by all of them!

If you would like to see my video of me flipping through it please check it out!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray: A Book Review

I have thoroughly been enjoying this series. This is the second book in the series and I have absolutley fallen in love with all of the girls. Gemma Doyle is our main character and she is just so smart and courageous and these books are just a great read.
In the second book we are still at Spence and Gemma is not sharing that she can still use her magic. She is afraid to use it again and the girls keep asking her if they can all use it again.  Christmas break is nearing and everyone will be heading home to london so getting together to see Pippa is a concern.

While in London the girls do get together and Gemma deals with her family and her dad and brother. A new suitor comes into the picture for Gemma . The girls discover some big secrets and believe that they know whoo Circe is. The mission of the book is to bind the magic so that it does not get out of control. There is adventure and a few scenes that are nail biters. Some twists in the plot were exciting and add fun to the book. 
The book series is fantastic! It is written well and as a young adult novel I believe it will keep adults very happy as well. The characters are developed beautifully and the story moves at a beautiful pace. I thoroughly reccomend this read for your summer reading list

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bath & Body Works Spring 2014 Haul!

I thought I would share with all of you what I got on my spring shopping spree at Bath and Body works!
I always enjoy looking at what people buy because it helps me when I do my shopping. The main draw for me this time around was the Mother's Day gift that you get for $15 if you spend $20. Well that was a no brainer because their candles are 2 for $22.

The Mother's Day Candle I received:

When I purchased this candle I didn't even know what the scent was but so pretty in the package I just had to have it! Since then I am currently burning the candle and it has a slightly sweet, cherry like, smell to it but not offensive in the least bit and it looks so so pretty on it's stand!!

I am pleasantly surprised by the scent but I love the little cake stand candle holder. It goes really perfectly in my kitchen with the other decor. 

There is a Chicago collection that I was drawn to because I just thought it looked neat and I live in Chicago so of course a no brainer!!

The scent that I liked he most was Michicagn Ave, Big City chic collection. The smell of the candle definitely has a masculine cologne scent to it. I love candles and home fragrances that have that musky cologne like smell to them. I feel as though it's neutral enough to have in the home and I just like  it!!

The Hawaii collection that Bath & body works has is just incredible. If you have been to Hawaii you will know that as soon as you step off the plane your nares are filled with the scents of the most fragrant and beautiful flowers along with fresh ocean water and sand. The smell of this candle is again a bit more on the masculine cologne side but it's very fresh. It does remind me of Hawaii. Scents are a very strong memory sense for me and therefore anything that will trigger memories for me is always important and great!

I'm not a huge fan of candles that are too sweet. I like how they smell in the jar but then when you light them the scent is so strong and overpowering that I just can'd handle it and it end up giving me a headache. With Honeysuckle I purchased a wallflower and I LOVE this scent. It's on the sweeter side but it is so soft and delicate with kind of the honeydew melon scent in it that I just love having this scent waffle through my home.

The last candle choice for me is Bloom. First off I love the color of the wax but the smell just screems spring time to me! It has the fresh cut flower scent along with peonies which are my all time favorite flowers! I love peonies. Again it reminds me of my childhood becuase my mom always had huge bushes of them in the backyard and I remember just sitting there and inhaling the perfume of the flower!

I did purchase a few of their hand soaps. I love their hand soaps and have one in each of my bathrooms as well as at my kitchen sink. When I spoke to the sales associate I asked her about the new bottle shape and size referencing the sleeves that I already had purchased for the 'older' size. 

The sales person had informed me that if you bring in your old sleeves they will happily replace them with the new ones! This is fantastic so keep that in mind!! These hand soaps are infused with more Vit E so they are suppose to be more soothing on your hands. I don't have any issues and I wash my hands a millioni times a day with a baby and two dogs!! 

Please check out my coordinating video: 

I really enjoy Bath & Body works products! How do you feel about them?