Planner Layout Share: July 27-August 2 plus August Monthly

Welcome to a new series on the blog called Planner Layout Share where I show you how I decorated my weekly layouts. This first installment will also have a bonus monthly layout share as well! Let’s get on with it!

I’ve been using Homemadekraft’s free vertical weekly layout for the past couple of weeks and I found that I’m really liking how it’s laid out. I can design what sections I want per day, and I can even put background decorations on the columns themselves as you’ll see in this week’s layout. The idea is using my clear stamps to decorate the page as well as labeling the sections, then adding the washi tape to round out the design. This week the theme is red with pastel butterflies and birds.

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Here is a closer look at the design. You can see the butterflies and birds more clearly here, and I added the plants on the bottom to round out the design. I used the two clear stamp sets shown above, plus the Studio L2E Plan-It set for the words (To Do, Appointment), the stars, and the boxes. Another thing to note is that I printed some carefully measured matte stickers to cover up the calendar in the original freebie, since that was still for June 2015, and use that space for an inspiring message for myself for the week.

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The pink stamp ink I used for the birds and butterflies turned out to be too faint to photograph, but in person it’s pretty visible. This ink is part of the Pastel Versamagic chalk ink set which I really love to use for backgrounds like this.

Since it’s the last week of July, I needed the August monthly calendar ready to use. I turned to Homemadekraft once again, and found this lovely free undated monthly layout that I did not really need to decorate anymore since it already comes decorated.

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I just wrote the month and year with brush pens and the dates with a regular black marker. The color scheme looks really lovely and girly. August, I’m ready for you!

Pilot Fountain Pens for Beginners

This post is actually just a disguise to show you my Pilot fountain pen collection, but it can also be a nice guide to the beginner fountain pen line for Pilot. The only low-end Pilot FP that I don’t have yet is the Pilot Varsity (disposable FP). Anyway! Here are my pens, in the order that I acquired them (from top to bottom).

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My first Pilot FP is a Pilot Plumix. I bought this second hand from Eula, but it writes and looks as new. It is the only pen I have that has an italic nib, which is great for practicing calligraphy but not as great to use everyday. I have not seen this being sold in any mall stores, but there are IG sellers that can get these for you. Actually, most of these are not sold in mall stores. My second Pilot is a Pilot Kakuno, touted as the beginner fountain pen for kids because of the quirky nib (see nib photos below). I got this off a group buy by Tintin Pantoja, but I’m not sure if she still does those. This and the three other pens below are all in nib size F. I like the quirky nib, but it’s a little hard to write with because of the shape of the section which is hexagonal.

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My third Pilot is a Pilot Prera. I bought this through preorder from PenmasterPH on IG. This is my most expensive Pilot (at about Php1.6k) and is possibly my favorite among the five. I really like the clear body and the nib is fabulous. My fourth Pilot is a Pilot Petit1 which I got at Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Cafe (Tomas Morato), which happened to have a bin of CreatecraftsPH items. This is the tiniest of the Pilot FPs at only 11cm long which makes it pretty unique and quite portable. The only disadvantage of this pen size is that it does not use the standard cartridges but instead has its own special refills. The Petit1 is also the cheapest, clocking in at an astounding Php150! Lastly, my most recent acquisition is the Pilot Metropolitan. This is the only pen of the five that can be bought in a mall; I got this one from National Bookstore for something like Php480. The Metropolitan is the longest and heaviest of these pens. As it writes very similarly to the Prera, this is now my second favorite FP.

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Here’s a shot of the nibs of all five. Unfortunately I arranged it in the opposite order, but basically the leftmost nib is the Metropolitan and the rightmost is the Plumix. Again, all nibs except the Plumix is fine <F>. Check out the quirky smiley face on the Kakuno’s nib (second to the right)! Also, the Metropolitan’s nib has a nice pattern, while the rest of them are plain.

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Here’s a writing sample of four of the five pens (unfortunately the Kakuno is dry at the time of this writing). I really enjoy writing with fine nibs, and the Prera and Metropolitan are both nice on the hand even with prolonged writing. The Petit1, also with an F nib, seems to give a slightly fatter line but it’s still something I am comfortable using.

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Here again is a shot of all five. I’m really happy with my current collection, and I’m quite surprised that I ended up with either blue or black pens (by the way, all of these pens have other color choices). When I bought the Metropolitan I felt that my collection is complete, and do not feel like I need any more Pilot FPs, except probably for the Pilot Capless aka Pilot Vanishing Point, which is unfortunately is in a price range outside of my comfort.

Have you used any of these pens? What do you think of them?

The Sunday Currently #14

It’s been *gasp!* two months since my last Sunday Currently! There has been so much that happened in those two months, the main one being another hospital stay, boo. This time it’s an infection that turned into a persistent cough that I’m still battling at the moment. Diabetes is making recovery from even just cough a lot longer, so I really need to take more care about my health moving forward.

Reading

Image Credits: ComicVine.com

Image Credits: ComicVine.com

I’ve been reading mostly comics recently. The ones I have finished are Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) Collected Volumes 1 (No Normal) and 2 (Generation Why), The Immortal Iron Fist The Complete Collection Volumes 1 and 2, and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Volumes 2-4. All of them are quite enjoyable to read, and I am quite excited to read the next volume of Ms. Marvel which was just released last month.

Writing

I’ve been having a lot of fun journaling in my Blue, and have been more or less successful doing a daily entry. I’ve also been dabbling with the popular #listersgottalist challenges, although I dropped the ball for the June lists. I’m doing okay with July, so I’m quite happy with that.

Watching

Youtube has sucked me in. There are a lot of channels I’m following avidly, and to be honest they are mostly planner, journal, and scrapbook related ones.

Playing

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I’ve successfully weaned myself out of Township, which is great since it’s just basically a farmville-type game. Right now, I’m hooked into this Japanese game called Neko Atsume (which roughly translates to “cat gathering”). The premise is basically you have a backyard of sorts where you put out some cat toys, and these toys attract cats to come and play with them. When you catch them currently playing with the toys you can take photos of them, and I think that’s part of what you are collecting (the cat pictures). The art is in the hand-drawn style, and it’s really absolutely cute.

Wanting

For some reason I’m finding myself lemming for some locally-made fauxdoris, even though I am completely satisfied with my Blue. I just want to see how the workmanship is, and I really enjoy supporting local artisans. I already have a list of fauxdoris I want to buy, and I’m just trying to schedule it so that I don’t bunch up my purchases.

Feeling

Generally shitty, health-wise. I can really feel the damage that the infection did on me and still doing to me, and it sucks that I can’t bounce back as quickly as I did before (which, to be honest, wasn’t really quick either). I’m taking extra care and all the meds, and I’m also taking the time to visit my internist to solve this infection issue, but yeah it still pretty much sucks.

Happy sunday to you guys!

DIY Accessories For Your Traveler’s Notebook

When I got my Blue, I only got a blank notebook insert with the kit, and I neglected to order the usual accessories that one might like with one’s traveler’s notebook. I had been previously successful ordering accessories for my Midori Passport from pencils.jp, but this time I thought I would try making my own accessories first. If it failed, then maybe I’ll go place an order.

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The first thing that usually comes to mind when accessorizing a traveler’s notebook is the zip pocket to hold various items such as stickers, sticky notes, and even pens. I went to my trusty local bookstore (National Bookstore) and found a few items that might be good candidates for such a project.

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This is a clear zip pocket from Lihit Labs Aquadrops line, and it measures about 11.2x21cm (4.3×8.25″) which is rather perfect for the Midori regular size. The material seems to be sturdy and the zip mechanism is good. It comes in a variety of colors, and costs Php95. I bought a couple of these, in pink and blue.

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I attached the pink one to a relatively small pencil case I found in the same bookstore. I just basically used some clear tape to connect the two cases, but giving ample room in between (about 1.8 cm or 0.75″) as I was planning this to be the outermost in my Blue. Here they are in action.

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The pink Aquadrops zip pocket holds Post Its, a few sheets of stickers, and some other ephemera. This is the first one you will see when you open up the Blue. The partner pencil case is located all the way at the very back of the TN. This one holds the random pen that I sometimes slot in, some page flags and a few loose stickers, and some extra elastic bands.

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I also wanted a few extra pockets in my traveler’s notebooks, the type that can be considered dashboards if I wanted it, or just plain pockets if I need extra flat things to bring along. I found these clear card cases of various sizes, also at National Bookstore. They come in the standard paper sizes (A5, A6, etc, B5, B6, etc) and the measurements are clearly stated in the cards that are inserted. These are not really very expensive; the A5 is Php13.75, the B6 is Php11.75, and the B8 is Php5.50. In this particular example, I used a pair of the B6 clear card cases to make a dashboard insert.

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This is the finished dashboard insert. Again I attached the two sides with strong clear tape, but this time the separation is just 1 cm or 0.5″, as I was only intending this to go around a single notebook insert. The B6 size is quite wide, so I trimmed the outer edges, cutting out around 25mm worth of plastic. Here it is in action.

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As I mentioned it goes around only one notebook insert, in this case the journal insert. As you can see the bottom photo shows the pencil case side of the first DIY zip pocket insert I made.

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The third accessory I wanted to make is just a plain sort of sleeve that I can slide a card or something similarly sized in. I used the B8 clear card case, and basically just used a glue runner around the edges and attached it on the cover of an insert.

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As you can see, here it holds one of my cute paperclips (this one was a freebie from @dolcesonline IG). It can also hold an ID card or any B8-sized item that I wanted to slot in. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect this can be removed and reglued into another location since I just used a clear adhesive.

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Lastly, I wanted the option to replace the elastic closure of the traveler’s notebook. I found a couple of these colored elastics (still at National Bookstore, in their sewing materials section), which I unfortunately have forgotten how much they each cost. They should not have been more than Php50 each, I am sure. There’s a good amount of elastic in each pack, more than enough to make a few replacement elastic closures for your traveler’s notebook. What I did is to just measure the same amount of elastic as the one that originally came with my TN, which I took out and measured. I then made a simple knot, and threaded it the same manner into the back of the TN, and now I get a new elastic closure!

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These elastics are not as good quality as the original one, but since I have a lot of leftover elastic it should be no effort at all to make new ones once the old ones wear out. I’m on the hunt for new colors now!

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I keep my extra elastics in the pencil case insert. Just as a reference, here are the two adhesives that I used for this DIY post. A strong clear tape with a width of 1.8cm (0.75″) and my favorite brand of glue runner.

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If you have any questions about any of these DIY accessories, just leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as best I can!

Midori Passport as Wallet

When I got the Blue, I immediately moved in to it from my previous setup in the Passport. That left me with the Passport not really doing anything, so I decided to see if I can turn it into a wallet. I’ve seen many others in the internet do something similar, and I was tickled with the idea that my notebook is actually my wallet. Here’s how it is currently set up as of July 2015.

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One of the easiest components was the money-holder part. I knew that my Midori Refill 004 (zip pocket + card holder) would become the heart of the wallet: the zip pocket will hold the cash, and the card holder will hold, well, the cards. The challenge is determining what else I wanted in this wallet.

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I ended up with basically two parts. The top (left) part is the wallet component and the bottom (right) part is the notebook component.

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The wallet component is basically just two inserts. The inner one is the aforementioned Midori Refill 004, which holds my cash in the zip pocket and a couple of cards and some loose paper and a travel magnifying glass in the card holder.

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The outer insert that is wrapped around the Midori Refill 004 is a felt 4-pocket card holder that I got with my Alunsina traveler’s notebook. It is actually a field notes sized TN, so this felt card holder is slightly too tall for the Passport, but I thought it’s not such a big deal. I wanted additional space for extra cards, so this went into the setup. It holds my driver’s license, my health card, and most-used merchant rewards cards.

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The notebook component of the wallet is again composed of two inserts. The outer one is a yellow kraft folder that I got from a Planners and Journals kit, and it contains my medicine prescriptions (left pocket) and a set of neon page flags and some random loose paper (right pocket).

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The inner insert is a Midori Refill 006, a monthly diary layout for the passport size TN. Here is where I use those neon page flags for events that are not yet 100% scheduled. I make sure to keep this updated from the larger monthly diary I have in the Blue, since this is the one that I carry everywhere. I also put a larger page flag on the side to denote the current month.

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And that’s basically it! I am at present quite happy with the setup, and all in all these make for a TN wallet that is a smidge less than 1 inch thick. I also make sure I carry a small pen which is usually just slotted into the elastic band by its clip. I’m enjoying the fact that it does not look like a wallet from the outside, and yet it carries everything I need inside it in a very compact package.

I’d love to see your TN wallet setup as well! Drop your links to your photos or blog posts in the comments below!

Planners and Journals July Planner Kit

It’s that time of the month! I received my PnJ July Planner Kit just in the nick of time, on the last day of June. It gave me just enough time to set up my planner for July. These are the contents of the July Planner Kit.

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July’s theme is Japanese, which I absolutely love. I’m a huge fan of anything Japanese. This month’s kit came in the usual kraft box, and the kit contents are neatly wrapped in this wax paper bag sealed with a washi tape. I like that the PnJ kits are starting to be similarly packaged as the popular international planner kits that I’ve been seeing around the internet.

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Inside that big wax bag are these. Some of the contents are wrapped in smaller wax bags, which are a nice touch.

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Here are the contents, in no particular order. First we have a duo of products from the instagram shop @dolcesonline: a Pilot Juice 0.5 pen in Baby Pink and an MT slim washi tape. It’s my first experience with a Juice pen, and I’ve been hearing a lot of good feedback about this pen so I’m very happy to get to try one. I’m also a huge fan of MT brand washi tape, and also of slim washi in general, so this MT slim washi tape just hits the spot!

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Next we have a super cute planner charm from @genndesigns. It’s a tiny wooden kokeshi doll decorated with a few beads. I love kokeshi dolls and this was immediately attached to my Midori Blue.

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Next we have a handmade bookmark from @bookmarks.planners, who is a paper recycling advocate. This ningyogami (Japanese paper dolls) bookmark is absolutely stunning, and made with different paper products.

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I just also wanted to show the back of the bookmark. The detail work is just awesome, as you can see that her hair goes all the way down her back, and still shows the back of her kimono. I’m a little afraid to use this because it’s just so beautiful!

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The next ones are a couple of cardstocks designed by the PnJ team. I always appreciate the cardstocks as I can always use them for all sorts of things such as pencil boards and bookmarks. This month we have origami designs on pale backgrounds.

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There is of course the insert. This month I got the regular sized insert for my Midori Blue (as opposed to the previous months’ passport sized inserts). The cover is a beautiful blue wave design with a cute kokeshi doll in the corner. That writing on the side is actually my name written in katakana, such a great touch!

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What was interesting about this month’s insert is that it’s printed! It has an undated day-on-two-pages layout, which is similar to my June insert layout. I love the overall Japanese aesthetics, and the boxes all seem to be things I can use and there are still enough space to add my own decorations.

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It also included a flyleaf filled with kokeshi themed transparent stickers! Stickers are of course always welcome, and I really love the theme here!

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Lastly we have the contents of the second small wax bag, which is from Planners and Journals themselves. It has a couple of nicely designed pockets that can be used for various purposes such as project life or even for planners. One is a pink floral square pocket with a string closure mechanism and the other is a blue and white wave pattern pocket. Pictured with these are a pack of cute printed origami sheets that can be used for many things as well, and a Fullmark Japanese gluey tape (!!!).  I love this glue tape to bits! I have a few backups of this already, and am quite happy to add one more to my stash!

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There we have it! I can see myself using all of the items in this box, and in fact I have already settled myself in the July insert. I’ll show you my July setup in a separate post. Here again are all the contents of the July kit.

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I paid a total of Php830 for my box, which is broken down as follows: Php700 (standard TN size, trial subscription) + Php80 shipping fee + Php50 Paypal fee. I really feel that this box is super worth it with all the cute contents, and the theme is absolutely lovely. You can check out more about Planners and Journals and their products at their Facebook page.

Midori Blue Edition Initial Setup

It’s pretty clear at this point: I’m addicted to Midori! About a few weeks ago I got myself the regular sized Midori, the limited release Blue Edition. Here she is.

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My first impression is immediate surprise at just how much larger it is compared to the passport sized one. I’ve been used to the passport size for so long that the much bigger regular sized one seemed gigantic. Here’s how it compares to the passport one.

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It took me quite a while to determine what I wanted to use the Blue for, since I thought I already had everything I needed in the passport one. For the initial setup and basically taking it out for a spin, I decided on two inserts and I’ll show them to you. The first one is a daily planner. Since I got all the extra space, I decided to see if I can work better with a daily layout instead of a weekly one. There are a lot of available free printables for Midori inserts, but I picked out this one from Wendaful.com.

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I specifically chose this because of the little boxes for different things, most especially the dedicated box for journaling, and also for the nice brush calligraphy font that she used. To make this insert, I basically just downloaded the file, printed it out on regular letter sized paper, and trimmed it to the proper size. I actually didn’t even bind this insert, I just left it as is and trust that the elastic will keep the pages together. My main issue with this layout is that it’s actually a day-on-two-pages (DO2P) layout, which means this whole thing is just for one single day. Which means, there are around 30 pages in total for a whole month’s worth of planning.

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The whole June planner insert is this thick. I don’t really mind it but I would like a thinner insert so I would have the option of adding more books in the Blue if I wanted to. As it is, with two inserts (plus a few extras), the Blue is pretty much packed.

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My second insert is the included blank notebook when I got the Blue. I decided it will be a journal, with the caveat that I will not be so hung up about the neatness or contents. If I wanted to put stickers in it, or maybe use it for brush calligraphy practice, or attach things in it ala scrapbook, anything goes! The only decoration I’ve done to the cover so far is to stick my name in the corner. Just a quick note, that’s another one of my DIY clear card case inserts (this time I made it for the regular sized Midori) and it’s holding a bookmark from a Korean stationery brand called Choo Choo Cats (Jetoy). I really love the art style and I have a whole set of these bookmarks and also stickers.

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And look, I put another one of these bookmarks at the back because why not. The calendar is a free printable from Ray Blake, and the back of it is another one of his printables called a writing guide. I laminated it myself, and it’s pretty much in use every time I write in my journal.

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Here’s a sample page from my journal that I just wrote today in fact. As I said I like putting random quotes in brush calligraphy in there, and journal around it. I love the bigger area in which I can write in, and I can attach all sorts of things in here (like movie tickets, etc) without worrying about them jutting out.

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Aside from these two inserts, I also put in a zip pocket insert that I DIY’d. The front is a pink Lihit Lab plastic zip case that is the exact size of a regular Midori. I put mood stickers, post it sticky notes, and some cash in this pocket.

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The back is a pink pencil case that I found at National Bookstore. It’s slightly smaller than the Lihit Lab zip case. This one has an actual zipper, and has some mesh partitions inside. I have a set of page flags, a sticker, refills for my Muji multipen, and some random paper in there. I also put in the Muji multipen in there near the zipper. One of these days I’ll take the time to write a tutorial on how to assemble this insert and the clear card case insert.

At the moment I’m content with this setup, since it’s working. I’m not entirely happy about the thickness of the planner insert, so I have plans to either find a similar layout but a day-on-one-page (DO1P) instead or design my own layout. If you know of a nice DO1P printable (doesn’t need to be free), please leave me a link in the comments below, I appreciate your help!

My traveling craft supplies storage box

The very first question is, do I carry a craft box every day? Prior to my getting this storage box, no, but I did carry with me a crap ton of craft supplies in various pouches and envelopes that clatter around in my work bag. It is for this reason that I went around looking for a box to begin with.

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This is the box I’ve been talking about. It’s a three-tier plastic box measuring 15cm x 15cm x 13 cm. Each tier is customizable, up to six compartments if you use all dividers, and connects to the tier above (or to the cover) by two clasps on the sides. You can actually extend the levels of this if you buy more, just attach more tiers since all the tiers are constructed exactly the same. This was originally intended for loom bands and their components, and that’s in fact where I found it, in the loom band section of Toys R Us!

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For size comparison, here is the box compared to a single Daiso washi tape. (Note my really cute wallpaper. No, that’s not my cat.) Let me show you what I currently have in this box.

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The first tier holds a few of my smaller washi tapes. In particular I really love the slim MT washi tapes in the lower right corner. I was able to squeeze in a couple of wooden stamps in two of the top compartments.

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The second tier is my stamping supply storage. I have two Artline stamp pads in the lower left corner and four smaller Love Qiao Shou stamp pads squeezed in everywhere. There’s a roller phrase stamp on the bottom right and a Muji rectangular label stamp in the upper right. Those things in the upper left, when spread out, are these:

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That’s a square acrylic block for mounting clear stamps, and the lid of a Muji puncher container to protect my acrylic block. Below are a few of my clear stamps. A Hello Kitty set and a couple of bunches of clear stamps that I am currently liking. I just cut out those clear folders from card cases.

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Lastly, the third tier is my stickers storage. I keep all my loose stickers here, which basically means all stickers that don’t come in a sheet. This includes sticker flakes (stored here separately in small plastic bags), my own DIY stickers, and random other stickers that I got from kits and boxes. There’s a lot of room in here, which means I probably will move these stickers around or something, or put in even more stickers!

I really love this storage box! To be honest I don’t bring this around with me everyday. I just bring this to work on Mondays, and bring it back home on Fridays. One of the perks of this box is it keeps my stuff in one place instead of several pouches, it’s fairly light, and it’s easy to just bring in and out of bags. The best part? I paid only Php100 for it, as it was on sale!

The Beauty Scenario Tag

I was tagged by Rae, prompting me to finally do a beauty post after a long series of paper-related posts. Thanks Rae! The Beauty Scenario Tag is basically just a bunch of scenarios/questions that I have to answer.

You have to get rid of all of your foundations and keep only one high-end and one drugstore, which would you keep?

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I don’t really have any high-end foundations, so I’m not considering that. For midrange I’ll go with Ellana Minerals Loose Mineral Powder Foundation in Caramel Latte (I need a pressed version of this!) and for drugstore it will be Pixy UV Whitening Two Way Cake.

You go for an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?

As an interviewer (part of my job), I wouldn’t really mind if the interviewee mentions it or not. I would, however, mind if he/she keeps looking at it and being distracted from the actual interview and not telling me about it. If I were the one being interviewed, I’ll definitely just ignore it completely.

You’re not feeling yourself and you need a pick-me-up lipstick, which do you go for?

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A pink would always feel like a great pick-me-up because it’s fun and bright. In my stash, one of my favorite pinks is Ofra #205.

You go back in time for a day to your teenage years, how would you do your hair or makeup differently?

The only thing I would change is to use sunscreen more often. I didn’t wear makeup back then, and I have always gone with a wash-and-wear (or wash-and-tie) hairstyle until today, and I wouldn’t change that at all.

You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length Pixie Lott hair cut but they hear wrong and give you a pixie cut, what do you do?

A) Smile, say thank you, call your mum and cry hysterically
B) Cry in the chair and things get awkward
C) Complain to the manager and demand a refund

Like Rae, I had to google who Pixie Lott is. I couldn’t really relate to this question though, as I never had hair longer than shoulder length. I wouldn’t at all mind if they gave me a shorter hair than I asked for, most especially since my husband is a huge fan of short hair. I would call my mum though, just so she can have a laugh with me about it!

Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have one hour to pack, which ‘Do It All’ palette do you pack in your makeup bag?

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I will take my Clinique All-in-One Colour Palette with me, as not only does it have all the makeup I need but it also has usable brushes. Perhaps the only thing it doesn’t have is eyebrow makeup, but I can always diy the eyeshadows for it. This palette is in fact living in my glove compartment at the moment.

Your house has been robbed, don’t worry everyone is safe, but your beauty stash has been raided. What’s the product you really hope is safe?

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As again, I do not really have a lot of high-end makeup. Perhaps the one I would hope is safe would be my Colourpop items, as these aren’t really available locally yet and are pretty hard to rebuy.

Your friend borrows makeup and returns it in an awful condition. Do you:

A) Pretend you haven’t noticed
B) Ask them to re-purchase it
C) Secretly do it back to their makeup

I’ll mention it to her/him just so they are aware of the state of the makeup, but beyond that I wouldn’t do anything. It was probably an accident of some sort.

So! I choose you, Pikachu!

Tellie

Bea

Eula

Kira

Krissy

 

My Diabetic Journey: First Three Months

So I briefly mentioned earlier in a Sunday Currently that I’m diabetic. The journey started last February at an annual physical checkup mandated by my office. In a great coincidence the doctor doing routine checkups for hundreds of APE goers recommended that I take a fasting blood chemistry test due to the possibility of me being diabetic. The symptoms she noticed? The fact that I’m overweight and that I have wounds on my arms and hands that, when asked, I said doesn’t really fully heal. If you look at the wikipedia article, these are but two of the many symptoms of diabetes, and these are symptoms that are not unique to diabetes. Thank the gods that she registered that recommendation, for it does turn out that I’m diabetic, specifically type 2 (adult-onset diabetes mellitus). For those interested in numbers, here are the relevant ones:

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What these basically mean is that I have thrice the normal recommended blood sugar and some issues with triglycerides, but strangely enough none with cholesterol. (Author note: If you guys are interested what these things are, I can talk about it in a separate post so let me know!). I got myself an internal medicine specialist and luckily I think I got a good one. His main thrust for my treatment was upfront: it will have to be a lifestyle change, and that meds will only be an assist. It is his goal to wean me off the meds completely if I respond well to treatment.

I can tell you that at this point I had not yet fully realized the implications of the treatment nor fully accepted the diagnosis. It was going to change my life and I didn’t know how much yet.

My doctor put me on Fenostat to address my triglycerides, and a low dosage of Metformin (any diabetic will recognize that) for the blood sugar. But more important than the meds is the lifestyle change. You know the old chestnut about healthy eating and exercise? Yup, that’s exactly what I needed to do, and laziness is no longer an option. My main drive back to health is my family. I need to stay healthy to be with them, and I don’t want any of the diabetic complications to develop.

Firstly, exercise: there is no set schedule, just a commitment to do anything active for 30 minutes straight at least twice a week. This for me is the difficult one, as I am dreadfully out of shape and out of time. Desperation breeds ways, and I managed to squeeze in walks, play time, and other things in my life. I should be doing more, and this is my goal in the next few months.

Secondly, healthy eating. As my main problem areas are sugar and fats, I simply eliminated these from my regular meals. In specific these are the changes I made:

  1. No more sugary drinks, specifically iced tea. (I don’t drink softdrinks and alcohol.)
  2. Switch to Splenda or Stevia to sweeten my coffee. (Sorry, I’m not ready to give up coffee just yet!)
  3. Any skin is off limits. Chicken skin, pork skin, they’re out!
  4. Avoid fried. My ulams are now usually grilled, steamed, boiled, or stewed.
  5. Avoid pork and beef as much as possible. I’m probably down to eating those maybe once a week. I focus on chicken, fish, and seafood.
  6. Incorporate fruits and veggies into meals. No explanation needed here.
  7. Cut down carbs, but not totally avoid it. Usually I only now eat half-cup rice instead of full cup, and avoid pasta and bread.
  8. If possible, switch to whole grains.
  9. Desserts? Almost none, unless it’s sugarfree, which is pretty rare.

It is now May, and my doctor scheduled me for another round of blood tests, to see how these problem areas are after three months. This is what came out:

diabetic2

Great results! While I’m clearly still quite diabetic (I don’t really think this will go away, to be honest) as per the Hb1Ac number, I’m in much better shape than three months ago, most especially the big decrease in blood sugar. The doctor removed me from Fenostat as my triglycerides are now normal, while increasing the dosage of Metformin.

The happy bonus to this? I lost about six pounds and am able to keep to that weight! While a six-pound weight loss isn’t amazing, I’m quite happy with it and am aiming to shed a few more before I come back for another round of testing.

Best of all, I feel great! Even though occasionally I will have cravings for pastries or ramen (Hi Kira!) that’s not really often so it’s not such a huge impact to my health. I remain positive and ready to fight, and I’m hoping three months from now that I can report a continuing trend.

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Thanks for staying with me for the whole entry, which turned out to be quite a lot! I’m just very happy about this and wanted to share with you my journey.