Updated TN Wallet Setup

I’ve moved a lot from the last wallet setup, so I figured I’d do an update. My last TN wallets were the Midori Passport and a Macata TN. I am currently in the Sunday Leather Craft TN Wallet as I’ve mentioned and previewed here.

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As I mentioned in the previous SLC TN Wallet post, I have nine cards in the eight card slots of the TN Wallet. Five of them are in the front. There is enough room to fit two cards per pocket, and the cards actually give a nice structure to the TN (where otherwise it would be quite soft and pliable). My insert of choice in this case is a Field Notes Snowblind edition, and you can see how grubby mine has become. I’ll show you what I use this insert for.

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On the front cover I have two medium PostIt notes that hold my shopping lists. These are usually non-urgent items, and I like to put that here in my wallet for easy access. I used sticky notes because I like the ability to swap it out when I’ve used up a shopping list.

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I have various random things in this insert mostly, since I do my planning in the Hobonichi Weeks. Samples of these random things are book recommendations and the most current updates to my diabetes numbers.

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I also have some random recipes, tentative lists, some notes on a badminton racquet I was eyeing, and some random doodles by my daughter.

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At the back cover of the Field Notes insert I attached a Leuchtturm pen loop to hold my pen. This pen loop is not as elastic as I had hoped, so I had to find a really thin pen to go with it. I was able to find this Pilot Birdie Ballpoint Pen which is super slim and light and writes smoothly enough. I do have a Pilot Birdie Fountain Pen which is just as slim but this insert is not friendly to fountain pens unfortunately.

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The next insert I have is my standard wallet inserts: the Alunsina felt card holder and the Midori Refill 004. In the front of the card holder I have two cards (which I really have to move out of this wallet), and the zip pouch of the 004 are two packets of my favorite sugar substitutes. I used to hold my cash in this zip pouch but it is getting alarmingly damaged. I did buy a replacement refill but I now could not remember where I put it. >_<

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The other side of the 004 and the back of the card holder holds my most used cards (five), while my cash now resides in the slip pocket at the inner portion of the 004.

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Lastly I have four more cards at the back of the TN, and random papers in the full length pockets behind it.

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Overall this makes for a relatively compact package, and I can theoretically be able to have everything I need with just this TN (and my phone). I like how rugged the leather is; it looks like it can take on any situation. Perhaps the only way this could be better is if I also had my planner in this TN, but as it is I’m quite happy about my current setup.

 

 

The Sunday Currently #23

Reading

It has been a great month for reading! For some reason I’ve gotten so much reading in for the past month, and I love it! I wish I can sneak in this amount of reading every month!

First up! I’ve been curious about this series for the longest time since I’ve been seeing it on bookstore shelves on prominent display. That, and I’m quite attracted to the cover art. I did what I always do with untried series: I bought the first book to see if I would like it, and if so then I would buy the rest. The photo below clearly shows what happened. The day after I finished Throne of Glass (author Sarah J. Maas) I went and bought the rest of the series. I powered through the next three books within one weekend and came out really happy and itching to read the next in the series (which, unfortunately, won’t be out until September this year). The Throne of Glass series basically follows the story of master assassin Celaena Sardothien from the time that she was taken out of the prison she’s been in for a year to compete for the title of Adarlan’s Champion. There are lots of intriguing storylines and characters and the writing is fantastic and made it quite hard to put down. It is classified as Young Adult, although I think this should really be in the Adult category not because there’s a lot of sex, but because there’s just so much violence. It’s an excellent series and very engaging. For some reason I’m having trouble reading The Assassin’s Blade, which is a collection of prequel stories that go before the events of Throne of Glass.

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As a fan of snail mail, it was a no-brainer for me to get Griffin & Sabine (author Nick Bantock). It’s an intriguing format in that the story is told through the correspondence between the two protagonists in the form of postcards and letters. The letters are actually in a separate paper that is inside an actual envelope attached to pages of the book, while the postcards are printed in a way that you can see both the front art and the back. I really enjoyed the first book (which is actually a 25th Anniversary Limited Edition reprint) that I went and got the other two books of the trilogy. At first it seemed like a straightforward love story, but there’s a lot more depth and intrigue that’s the story of Griffin and Sabine, and Nick Bantock makes devastating use of cliffhangers. Even if the story didn’t turn out to be engaging, just the books themselves are worth getting because of the wonderful production and art. The detail that tickled me the most is that it looks like Sabine writes with a fountain pen (and you know how much I love fountain pens!). There’s actually a second trilogy which I intend to also purchase.

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I also was able to finish reading books 1-7 of the Amulet series (author Kazu Kibuishi), which is a comic book aimed for kids supposedly. We bought it for my daughter but she seemed very unwilling to continue reading it. I was intrigued, and read it for myself. The story itself is quite engaging, but is unfortunately very depressing and the setting and circumstances are quite bleak. The story follows what happens to Emily when she inher I saw almost immediately why my daughter was uncomfortable with it. I did enjoy it though, and the art is quite beautiful especially the full spreads. I’ve claimed the series for my own, and will continue getting the succeeding books.

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There’s a last book I wanted to mention which is the comic Thor: God of Thunder, which I think I’ve read last month but forgot to mention. It’s a trade paperback book collecting all the issues that are included in this story arc. It follows Thor as he battles the God Butcher who is out killing all the gods. It is a really well written and well illustrated comic, and I like the fact that the book finishes the arc.

Listening

My husband and I started listening to the podcast The D6 Generation in the car again. It’s our favorite boardgame podcast and we like listening to this and helps pass the time very nicely. It almost makes the two-hour commute feel like 30 minutes.

Watching

My family watched Civil War and it was quite an enjoyable movie. The introduction of Black Panther and Spider-man is really nicely integrated, and made me look forward to their individual movies. The idea of the Sokovia Accords sparked some interesting debates and discussions. Before that, we were also able to finish watching the previous movies Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and about half of Avengers 2.

Playing

I have finally decided to uninstall Magic Rush because it was eating up too much memory. I’m still playing Spellstone of course, but I started playing a new mobile game called Zen Koi. It’s a beautifully rendered collecting game where you try to collect and breed the different varieties of koi fish, and maybe ascend them into dragons. It’s quite a relaxing game with nice music!

Boardgame wise, we have broken out a new game called Suburbia. It’s basically a tile-laying game where you build up your metropolis to be efficient and profitable and attract more population. It shines in a two-player mode, and I can see that with more players it might make the game unbearably long.

Thinking

Wondering if I have swallowed more than I can handle at work.

Wanting

 

I’ve been following @veganorganizer at Youtube and she has a nice cover for her Hobonichi Weeks that allows her to keep her wallet stuff with her planner. I want that cover!

Feeling

Mostly amazed. My daughter is starting middle school this June, and I can’t believe how much she’s grown. She’s practically a teenager (well, not really) and I feel like time is running way too fast. She continues to grow in unexpected ways, and I am enjoying every minute of it!

 

FoxyFix Wanderlust Traveler’s Notebooks

Around early April Foxyfix held a Platinum sale, where you choose a size and you get a random TN in the pack. It’s usually on sale because of some issues with the construction of the TN, and it is cheaper than if you buy a specific Foxyfix TN. I thought it was the perfect time to try out the brand, so I got myself two pocket sized packs. Here is what I received:

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It turns out to be two very similar TNs, made from the same Wanderlust leather. The textured black one on the left is called Licorice, and it came with white elastics and white stitching and nicely contrasts with the black one. The dark brown one on the right is called Espresso, and it came with turquoise elastics and matching stitching.

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Both TNs have the closing elastic at the spine, and both have four inner elastics. I immediately personalized my new Wanderlust TNs with my chosen charms.

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Foxyfix marks their sale items with a dash near their branding on the back cover. This is to distinguish it from their regular offer which has better quality control. Honestly though I could not tell what was wrong with either of my TNs; they felt and looked (and smelled!) very professional.

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The characteristic of the Wanderlust leather is that it is pretty thick, about 3mm. In contrast the Midori leather and most other leather TNs I’ve seen are just at 2mm. This means that the leather is expected to be on the stiffer side, yet the Wanderlust is quite pliable and bendy. The Espresso one keeps its marks and shows it easily, while the Licorice doesn’t show it as much, being black and naturally textured. As you can see both can hold four inserts each easily, and it looks like they can fit two more without overhang.

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The inside of the Espresso is smooth, while that of the Licorice is more suede-like.

Overall I’m very happy to receive both, and very glad to not have received the exact same thing. I was hoping for pockets, but experiencing the thickness of the Wanderlust at first hand makes me glad they didn’t come with pockets. I probably don’t need to keep both since they are essentially the same thing; in that case I would tend toward the Espresso because of the ability to keep marks.

 

 

EDC TN: May 2016

A lot of new TNs has landed in the past month, and I immediately fielded two of them in my EDC.

My Purse

My purse carry remains the same as last month’s, so no changes here.

My Work Bag

This is where I got my new TNs. I’ve finally received the Foxyfix TNs that I snagged during the last Platinum sale, and it turned out to be the same leather (Wanderlust) in two different colors and textures (Espresso and Licorice). I’ll be writing more about them in detail in the next post, so do watch out for that!

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Elias Paper Pocket Inserts

One of the things I enjoy making are my own pocket inserts. I’ve recently discovered the Elias Paper, available at Everything Calligraphy in loose sheets. Actually Elias makes inserts, but only in standard and passport sizes, so I am happy that I am able to buy loose sheets to make my own pocket sized inserts. This paper is quite amazing! It is about as thick as standard copy paper, but it is versatile in what sort of media it can take. Elias paper is known to be very friendly to fountain pens, which is really the main reason I wanted Elias paper inserts.

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I use a variety of cardstock as my cover. This particular insert has been my journal for about a month, after which I switched over to another of my DIY Elias paper pocket inserts.

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Here is how the paper performs with different pens/pencil. I used a variety of nib sizes of fountain pens as well, and practically none of them bled through the other side, and there is also barely any showthrough either.

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I like using this paper for my brush calligraphy practice.

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I also tried using watercolor on Elias paper, and it also behaved quite nicely. In fact, the watercolor dries pretty quickly on this paper. I used a Simbalion watercolor set with a water brush.

Suffice to say, I am quite in love with Elias paper, and I am happy I got quite a bit of sheets left to make me journal inserts for the rest of the year or so. I’m also happy that I can easily get more from Everything Calligraphy, although it would be nice to also buy ready-made inserts.

 

Planning in Hobonichi Weeks

A few weeks ago I previewed the Hobonichi Weeks which I got secondhand from a local planner group. I got this on the 4th of April, and immediately moved into it the next day, so I have already been using it for about a month and a half now. Let me show you how I’ve been using it for the month of April.

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The monthly view is mainly used for tracking appointments. This gives me a good view of the whole month and immediately see where I have some free spots for setting more appointments or events. I also use this month to track my no-spend, where I put a translucent circle sticker for the days I did not buy things on my no-spend list, and list what I bought if I failed. April had been a sad month for that, with a lot of days of weakness. The bottom area of the page is used to track monthly goals or reminders, as well as a very short wishlist.

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Most of the weekly views will be the same. The horizontal days on the left page are used to track appointments and major reminders, and I use the right page/grid notes page for my to-do lists. I put each day’s to-do list roughly in the corresponding horizontal area as the days on the left. If my lists are running too long, I make a second column and go from there. I rarely go beyond the twelve slots for each day.

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Sometimes I use sticky notes for lists that are not part of the to-do list. The idea being I can remove this list later on if I so choose.

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I also use the notes page for keeping track of some events that I want to remember. To distinguish between my to-do list items and the memory keeping, I use check boxes for the to-do list and tiny circles for events.

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I have also started using highlighters to mark unfinished items that need to be transferred to the next week’s lists. This makes it easier for me to spot unfinished items when I do my week’s initial planning on Mondays. I also do use correction tape if I make mistakes.

Overall I’m quite pleased with my current planning system with the Hobonichi Weeks. The fact that the Weeks is super light actually makes it easier for me to keep it in my purse, and I am able to refer to it at times. It helps that I have a lot of extra pages to play with, so I can keep notes and other lists with me as well. The only thing I may have some issues with is the fact that I am using only one color of pen, and this is only because I am choosing to use a fountain pen instead of the Pilot Coleto to do my planning. It is a trade-off I’m willing to take for now.

 

Midori Passport Camel 2016 Version

Along with the 10th Anniversary Tin, I also got myself a Traveler’s Notebook in Passport size in the newly released regular color, Camel. Camel had once been a limited edition color, and was released in the 5th Anniversary of the Traveler’s Company (the edition was also called Star Ferry). Since then, the Camel has been a much sought after color and I did not at all think I would be able to get one. Fortunately, Traveler’s Company added the Camel color in their regular lineup (along with the Black and the Brown), so I was able to get myself one. I chose the passport size because I’m really  more of a tiny TN girl and my two regular Midori TNs (Black and Blue) are already more than enough for my large TN needs.

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The Camel color is a really nice caramel looking shade. The leather is quite similar to the other colors, and as with the Brown, it retains scratches quite easily. Some are disturbed by this, but personally I am happy that my TNs obtain some character as they age. The enclosing elastic is basically the same shade as the TN.

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The stamp at the back now reflects the new branding of the Traveler’s Company. The enclosing elastic of course still originates from the back.

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Here is a shot of the whole leather. As you can see, it already has so many marks from the non-careful way I’ve been handling it.

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Here is a shot of the inside of the leather. The feel of the inside is quite suede-ey, and also retains scratches easily. There is still the included bookmark, and the stringing of the inside elastics is still the Midori style.

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Here is the Camel side by side with my older passport, the Brown. As you can see here, the Camel color is really so much lighter than the Brown, and is not as similar as I had originally feared. I have not changed the enclosing elastic of the Camel, but I probably would soon as I like the contrast like the one on the Brown.

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Here is another shot of them together. The Brown is really such a dark shade that beside the Camel it appears almost black.

I’m really looking forward to spending a lot of time with my new Camel passport TN. I even put in some of my pocket sized inserts even though it shows at the top and bottom. Again, I got this and the 10th Anniversary Tin from Crafty Lane on preorder.

 

My Diabetic Journey: 15 Months

The last time I updated on my diabetes, it was the first anniversary of my diagnosis and generally I was not feeling very hopeful about things. I have hit a plateau, and I didn’t really see any other adjustments I can do to start bringing down my numbers.

The quarterly wellness check came up in early May, and I held my breath for the results.

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Holy amazeballs! I have been able to actually hit normal levels for all of the numbers! After a long, grueling fifteen months, I’ve finally reached safe levels for both my fasting blood sugar and my triglycerides! What an amazing surprise that was! My doctor was just as happy as I was.

What led to this? I could not really pinpoint it, but I did get a more regular frequency of exercise (usually badminton and some dance classes at my gym) and consciously chose to eat on the healthier side. I also attempted a diet delivery service (Gourmet Kusina, if you’re interested) for a couple of weeks, although that was a bit hard to get used to. I got the 1200-calorie plan, and I kept feeling like I wanted to eat maybe twice what I got for most of the first and second weeks. It definitely takes some getting used to, but I’m glad to say that the food is mostly tasty. I’m planning to get the shorter plans (3 days per week) for the coming weeks, just to get my body used to that level of consumption.

My doctor did not reduce my blood sugar maintenance medicine, so it is still at the maximum safe dosage for the next few months. He did adjust the medicine that targets my triglycerides, reducing the frequency to only every other night instead of every night. He said he will start reducing my blood sugar maintenance meds by next quarter if I can keep up these numbers. I’m very excited about this development! I really really want to get off the meds eventually.

 

Midori 10th Anniversary Tin Mini TN

There has been a lot of buzz around the 10th Anniversary of Traveler’s Company, formerly branded as Midori. The two main releases here are the Camel color (then limited edition, now regular color of the passport and regular size traveler’s notebooks), and the limited edition Tins containing the traveler’s notebooks in the Mini size. I got both, but let me show you first the 10th Anniversary Tin. I got the blue tin, which contains the Camel Mini.

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The tin itself is a marvel! It is beautifully and tastefully designed. When empty it’s really light, and the blue color is quite striking. The tin is just the right size to hold regular sized refills as storage, which is awesome. Upon opening, we are greeted with the one below. A plastic insert cradles three items: the actual traveler’s notebook package on the topmost, a matching TN charm in the middle, and some papers to make actual refills on the bottom.

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Underneath the insert are the following: a specially made postcard self-addressed to the Travelers Company giving access to the 10th Anniversary Raffle (one of which prizes is the super rare White TN), a poster of the history of the company, an assembly guide, and a sheet of 10th Anniversary themed stickers.

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Here again are the three contents on the plastic insert. I included a Pilot Coleto for size reference. You can see just how small the Mini TN is supposed to be!

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Interestingly, the package of the Mini is the exact same as that of the regular sized package, down to the cotton bag and paper flier. Inside the cotton bag is the actual Mini TN.

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The Camel color is gorgeous! It’s quite lighter than the brown Midori. It is stringed in the exact same manner as the regular or passport size, and the charm looks perfect in the band. The string hanging out from the top is supposed to be used to anchor the TN, to be used as an actual charm itself.

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I assembled a few of the refills, and each refill has 5 sheets of paper, a cover with the Traveler’s Company logo, and a heavy kraft cover. The refill fits perfectly in the TN.

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The back of the refill has the exact same details as the regular and passport size refills.

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I of course experimented and found out that 2 refills is the perfect amount that the Mini can hold. Three is already overstuffing it, and begins to show overhang.

 

Here is the Mini beside the passport (also Camel!). As I said, the Mini is ridiculously tiny, and is really meant to be a charm itself.

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The Mini on top of the Passport.

My Camel duo. The Midori Mini is ridiculously cute! Thanks @craftylaneph for the transaction!

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

Here is the Mini acting like an actual charm.

My Camel Mini on my Jitney!

A photo posted by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I preordered my Tin and my passport Camel from Crafty Lane. The items arrived after about two weeks. I really love this Mini even though to some degree it feels quite expensive (it does not cost too far away from a passport size). I attribute it to the fact that it’s a Limited Edition item.