The Sunday Currently #22

I actually had about a week’s hiatus from the blog, because I went on a week-long vacation. I did not really go anywhere; just stayed home and tried to do a lot of things that I am not able to do because I am too busy with work. That week went by awfully quickly, and there are still so much more I need to do!

Reading

wee free men
From Google Image Search

I recently finished three of Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith) and I really enjoyed it as much as most of Pratchett’s work. I’m surprised that I have not yet read this particular trilogy, since it’s basically within the witches storyline and I’ve read most of that. Tiffany Aching is a young witch (she started out at 9 years old in The Wee Free Men) in training, honing her natural skills and hoping to eventually step into the shoes of her village’s previous witch who was also her grandmother. The three books I read follows her through increasingly challenging adventures and sees her slowly maturing as she grows older and into her power. Hopefully I’ll find copies of the last two in the series to round out the reading.

From Google Image Search
From Google Image Search

I also finished William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, and that was also a good read. I enjoyed his Neuromancer before, and it came as no surprise that I ended up liking Pattern Recognition as well. This particular story is about Cayce Pollard who has a unique trait: she reacts to brands and logos as one would to allergens. This trait allows her to be a trendspotter and is highly regarded in the marketing field. This brings her to an adventure as she tries to use her skills and experience to find out the maker of a mysterious series of short videos that was appearing on the internet. Very intriguing, and the writing is very engaging. Researching more about William Gibson, I am shocked to find out that both Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition are each part of two separate trilogies!

Watching

In an effort to prepare to watch Captain America: Civil War with my daughter, my husband and I decided to rewatch the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies starting from Captain America 1. We’ve basically gotten as far as Thor 1, and we are planning a marathon this weekend to make sure we are ready to watch Civil War as well. I’m very gratified to see that my daughter finally became a fan, as she had an adamant anti-superhero movie stance before.

Playing

Still hooked on Spellstone at the moment, while also still keeping up with my Magic Rush account.

Eating

In an effort to control the food I eat, I started signing up to a food delivery service called Gourmet Kusina. I first tried out the shortest program they had, a three-day, two-meals-a-day program that gave me healthy, 1200-calorie meals straight to my office. The food was actually delicious, although I still need to get used to smaller meals. I like that they occasionally give apples and other fruits along with the order. I was happy enough with that trial period that I signed up for another week. I’m hoping it will have a positive effect on my health!

Wanting

More vacation time! There are still a lot of pending things that needs to be done around the house, and I could not attend to it while I have work.

Feeling

Very tired of all the election-related posts in Facebook, so much that I uninstalled the app from my phone. I’m keeping it off my phone until at least the elections are done, which thankfully is soon.

 

The Sunday Currently #21

For some reason, this is going to be a post full of mini-reviews. There seemed to be a lot that happened this past month or so!

Reading

sunday21-3

I’m still on a Mercedes Lackey reread, because I want to get on and read the newest series she has of the Valdemar world. I’ve also finished reading a black little book of short stories by Ryuunosuke Akutagawa. Unfortunately I did not really like those as they seemed to tend toward the depressing side of things, but I did enjoy the little black book format. I’ve also started reading a book of short stories by Isaac Asimov, in preparation for reading the Foundation trilogy, which I confess to never have read before. Lastly, my husband discovered a new comic book called The Unwritten, which is kind of a homage to the Harry Potter universe, but takes it a lot further into the strange and exciting. We only have the first book, and I can’t wait to get the next of the series!

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Watching

I was not able to include Zootopia in the February update, but we did watch it towards the end of last month. It was amazing! It is quite possibly one of our all-time family favorites! On the other hand, Deadpool was indeed enjoyable to watch as the reviews say but did not hold up to post-movie discussions. We felt that the message it was trying to say wasn’t really good (PS this is the only movie on this list that my daughter did not watch). Gods of Egypt was the next on the list, and this one was something my daughter was really looking forward to. She’s a big fan of the Egypt mythology and it was a treat for her to see the gods in action. Lastly Kung Fu Panda was great initially, but like Deadpool it did not hold up to post-movie discussions.

Playing

I’ve installed Star Realms for some time because I was told it’s a step up from Ascension, but I found that there are some specific issues with it that make it unplayable for me. Not to mention, it is rather heavy on the memory and my phone cannot really handle a lot so I ended up uninstalling it. I still wanted a game I could play offline and I found 94% and 94 degrees, which are fun puzzle and trivia games. They both remain installed as they aren’t that heavy memory wise. Lastly, I discovered Spellstone through my wanderings around the Play Store, and it got both me and my husband hooked! It’s a nice combat card game that has upgrading elements, which make it really engaging!

Eating

We’ve recently rediscovered Faburrito, a very healthy place that offers fresh ingredients in burrito and bowl formats. I feel like it had gotten a lot tastier than I remembered, and it is now a personal favorite for both me and my husband!

Creating

sunday21-1

I love it when two of my interests combine! Recently I’ve attempted what are called box inserts, which are basically custom-built trays for boardgame components. We have a lot of boardgames with a lot of components, and box inserts make it a lot easier to organize the components for faster set up and clean up. I’ve so far made two, and there are still a lot more that I can learn about making them.

Feeling

Very very guilty. This month hasn’t been really good in terms of my no-spend goal, and I spent so so much. I need to reign in my wishlists and adhere to them strictly. You’ll definitely see what I got in future haul posts.

Also feeling quite tired. I’m entering my busy season at work, and I can already feel it. I’m just relieved that I don’t have to wake up super early in the morning as my daughter is on summer break and that gives me about an hour or more of sleep.

 

Boardgame Sunday #1: Dune

Introduction

Boardgame Sundays is going to be a new series I’ll be writing about. Playing boardgames is one of my bigger hobbies, and it’s only natural to want to write about it. I’ve been wondering if I should be writing about it elsewhere, but I wanted my blog to be a repository of my hobbies. So here we are!

dunegame1

Theme

This game, of course, is based on the novel of the same title, by Frank Herbert. Now if you have not yet read it or watched the films based on it, then I really encourage you to do so! From this point on there will be spoilers. Dune is set on the desert world Arrakis, the only source of the spice melange which is a very valuable drug in this fictional universe. Paul Atreides and his family have been assigned by the Emperor as the planet’s stewards. Rival families and other factions come in and try to wrest control from the Atreides.

This is an area control game; the aim is to be the one who controls at least three of the five cities of Dune. Each of the six factions who are trying to gain control each have its strengths and unique characteristics, and if used correctly will pave the way to victory.

Components

This is actually a print-and-play version of a boardgame that has long been out of print. The images for the actual board, player mats, cards, and combat dial can be found on BoardGameGeek, and the ships are taken from another boardgame called Cosmic Encounter. All of the images were printed on photo paper through a printing service (such as Fujifilm), cut and assembled manually. The combat dials need a small snap button to allow it to spin, but a brad can do as well.

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The reason why the Cosmic Encounter ships work so well is because of the colors and number of ships per color, which match the requirements of Dune quite well, and the fact that they stack so neatly. The idea is that each faction needs twenty ships of their color, except for the Fremen and the Emperor which need 15 of their color and 5 of a different color (preferably different from the other 6 colors already mentioned) to represent special forces. Other components required are something to denote spice (any kind of token can serve here), something to mark the current location of the storm (see more below), and something to mark the round number.

How It’s Played

As I mentioned earlier, this is an area control game. Each player’s objective is to be the one who controls at least three of the five cities of Dune at the end of any round.

Each round starts with the perpetual storm moving around the planet killing and destroying everything in its path, after which spice appears on a certain location on the board (Spice Blow phase). A bidding for item cards begin, facilitated by the Atreides player since his special power includes being able to “foresee” what is being auctioned. Each player then gets to revive dead forces and leaders. Shipping and movement comes next, where each player in turn lands their ships onto Dune and move their forces around the board according to simple movement rules. Any location that has one or more hostile forces will be having a battle, which occurs after all shipping and movement.

Battles are an all-or-nothing affair. The losing player loses all of his forces and all the item cards he played for this battle. The winning player kills off his “committed” forces, but in return gets a chance to pick up any item cards up to his hand size and of course gets control of that location. The turn ends after all the battles have been resolved, and players check if anyone has reached the win condition. Another round begins with the storm.

At the end of each round, if any single player controls three cities they win the game. This is modified if alliances are made, wherein a two-player alliance requires control of four cities to win, and a three-player alliance requires control of all five cities to win. Alliances can only be made upon the arrival of a sandworm during the Spice Blow phase. There are certain special circumstances where certain players can win, depending on which faction they are playing, if no one has won yet after 16 rounds (note: we usually reduce this number to 8 rounds to keep the game short).

My Rating

This is one of my all-time favorite games. It has been designed to be very asymmetric given the differences between the factions, and yet it manages to be fairly balanced. The rounds go by pretty fast too, once everyone gets the hang of the gameplay. The game is best played at 6 players of course, so all factions are represented, but it is playable at 4 or 5 players. The best Dune games I’ve seen are the ones where the alliances are fluid. It’s quite fun, but it does take some time to explain all the nuances.

Postscript: I think I chewed off more than I can swallow here! Dune is such a deep boardgame and maybe should not have been the first one I featured. As it’s one of my all-time favorites, though, I couldn’t choose anything else!

The Sunday Currently #20

February has been really bad to me. Some bacterial infection swept through my family, and hit me twice! In fact I’m still recovering although I’m done with my (second) run of antibiotics. My doctor did say that my diabetes gives me a slower recovery time. This edition of Sunday Currently is going to be a really short one.

Reading

mercedeslackeybooks

Mercedes Lackey is one of the earliest fantasy authors I became obsessed with, and I have a very extensive collection of her works, most notably of the Valdemar fictional universe. I had a craving to reread books that I’ve already read very many times, but it’s something that’s very comforting to do. These are the five I’ve finished rereading so far. I guess in a way, it’s a preparation for reading the latest series she published for that universe, which I’m just beginning to collect.

The Valdemar universe is centralized in the Kingdom of Valdemar, of which most of the stories are centered on Heralds and their Companions. Heralds serve as Valdemar’s peacekeepers, justice-dispensers, and occasionally fighters as needed. They are considered universally to be good, primarily because of how they come to their positions. They are chosen when in their teens (although some are chosen younger, or even much older) by creatures called the Companions, who are benign spirits in the shape of white horses. The reigning monarchs of Valdemar are required to be Heralds, and this keeps the kingdom to be generally honest and trustworthy. According to Lackey’s bibliography, there are already 30 novels and 7 anthologies in this universe.

Watching

Image credits: Gravity Falls in Wikipedia
Image credits: Gravity Falls in Wikipedia

It is with sadness that I watched the last ever episode of Gravity Falls. The series finally ended after two seasons, and for the most part I was really afraid of how rushed it might seem considering the episodes leading to the finale. Without elaborating further, I would say that it turned out to be much better than my expectations, and it is quite the fitting end to what will be a classic. If you have not watched Gravity Falls, I highly highly recommend this series!

Playing

Image Credits: store.steampowered.com
Image Credits: store.steampowered.com

I’ve gotten hooked into another mobile game. This one is called Ascension. It’s actually originally a deckbuilding card game that has been translated to a mobile app. It seems like a good translation, never mind that I haven’t actually played the real world version of this. It’s a fast time burner where each (offline) game lasts only about 5 minutes. It loads fast too, mostly! I like to play it for those times where I have to wait a bit, such as waiting for my lunch order to arrive.

Feeling

My self-control has been really bad in the last week or so. I’ve been craving sweet things so much it’s scary. I didn’t really have this degree of craving in the past few months so it really took me by surprise. How I’m combating this is making sure I have the correct (and delicious!) foodstuff available on hand whenever I get cravings like this. I’m hoping that this blows over soon; it’s really very hard to resist!

State of the Journals

I’m a compulsive journal writer. I love writing about what happened to me for that day, my thoughts and feelings about certain things, anything! This is why I have several types of journals that I try to maintain, but as you can very well imagine, I really don’t have enough time to regularly update those. In this post I want to list down the various journals I have, and what state are they currently in.

Daily Journal [pocket blank insert by Planners and Journals] – This is probably my most updated journal. In this journal I try to write about what happened to my day. Sometimes if I’m too busy or tired, I skip some days and I just try to catch up on the next available day. I also like writing with this journal because I get to use the various fountain pens and inks.

stateofjournals1

Prompted Journal [pocket blank Tomoe River paper, DIY] – This is where I journal about specific topics, usually from prompts that I find from Instagram or blogs or the Paperblanks Journal app. I don’t get to write here as often as I like, primarily because I am very choosy about the prompts I use.

pocketinsertsjan08

Letters to My Daughter [pocket BenCab blank notebook] – As I mentioned before, this is where I write letters to my daughter with the idea that she’ll read this when she’s much older. I make sure to write only about positive things, so that she will find this to be a comforting read. I also consider this as a journal because I do write about particular events here.

pocketinsertsjan06

Gratitude Journal [A6 BDJ Petit Planner, weekly] – This is one of the “failed” journals that I have. I got this weekly planner around December, and started writing down three things I’m grateful for at the end of the day. I got things going well for the first few weeks, but fell off the wagon hard when I encountered a tiring and difficult couple of days where I could not really come up with things I’m grateful for. I honestly got depressed about it and was not able to get the inspiration to continue even if my days did get better eventually.

Memory Keeper [standard blank insert by CN Papercrafts] – I started this around October of last year, and was really pleased by how it turned out. It was very nice to look at when completed, and I was able to get maybe three completed months before I ran into a roadblock. The biggest difficulty I found with this memory keeper is the amount of time I have to dedicate into choosing and editing the photos that go into the layouts. The other thing is that for the most part, the photos I take most frequently are the ones connected to my hobbies, so eventually the overall look of the layouts are rather single-minded. I do hope that I can still update this journal because I really like how it looks.

memorykeepingoct1

Creative Journal [A5 CBTL planner, weekly] – I’m really a big fan of creative journals, which is one of the reasons I did the memory keeper. However, as soon as I realized I cannot regularly work on the memory keeper, I wanted to try a non-photo-centric type of creative journaling. I decided to use the CBTL planner which was in a weekly horizontal format, with a notes page on the opposite side. I thought this is a great way to make things as I wish. Unfortunately the paper wasn’t that good, so I could not use fountain pens or brush pens, which defeated a lot of the reasons I wanted to creative journal. The space was also much too big that I ran out of ideas of what to write or stick on the pages, and since I could not do brush calligraphy a lot of the space was left sadly blank. I stopped doing this after a couple of weeks of the mostly-blank layouts.

stateofjournals2

Moving forward, I still want to have some form of creative journaling because I think that the daily journaling is not really the place for all the bells and whistles that I wanted to try. I had already purchased a pocket sized printable from Growing Up Goddess in Etsy, and I have printed it on my choice of paper which based on previous experience is pretty friendly to fountain pens and brush pens. I’ll be starting on it next week!

stateofjournals3

As for the gratitude journal, I am thinking of incorporating it somehow into my Hobonichi planner. There are still quite a lot of space left over in a lot of my daily pages, so there might be a way to put in a line or two of gratitude journaling there.

Do you do any journaling?

My Diabetic Journey: One Year Anniversary

So it’s been a year since I was first diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. I figure this is a good time to refresh what this series is all about. The most obvious question is, what is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2? A Type 1 diabetic has a basically impaired pancreas; it is unable to produce insulin, which is used to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Without insulin, glucose gets accumulated in the bloodstream which makes it toxic. Type 1 diabetics need insulin from an external source, otherwise they will die. [Wikipedia]

Type 2 diabetics, on the other hand, are insulin resistant. Cells in the body are unable to use insulin effectively, leading to high blood sugar. The pancreas produces even more insulin as a response, which leads to high blood insulin levels. Initially Type 2 diabetics don’t need external insulin, but might need to eventually if the blood sugar levels are not managed properly. [Wikipedia] This is what I have, and so far I am able to manage it adequately that I don’t need to take insulin yet (and hopefully will not ever need to!). I of course went in for my quarterly check up and blood tests, and here are the latest results.

diabetic5

Unfortunately my latest results did not show as great an improvement as the previous quarters, which means I have reached a plateau. In fact, my FBS (fasting blood sugar) and Triglycerides are slowly creeping up, which are bad. My liver ultrasound showed no worsening or improving of my liver situation; it is still fatty. My doctor says that my current maintenance medicine is already at the maximum he’s willing to prescribe. He did not really change my medications except to add a midday pill that contains a very small amount of what my other meds have. I’m also supposed to increase my exercise even more.

I’m beginning to feel the effects of the plateau. I have already been sick twice since 2016 started, which is not really a good sign. It’s also harder to throw off simple things like colds, and takes me longer to recover. My doctor says this is a direct impact of the Type 2 Diabetes, since it is an auto-immune disease. I really need to be more careful and make sure I am well protected. I’m generally watchful of what I eat, and I don’t really eat a lot of sugary stuff. What I need to improve is the intake of carbohydrates, which is what I find more challenging.

The Sunday Currently #19

This edition of The Sunday Currently is going to be rather massive, as it will span both December and January.

Reading

I’ve finished reading the (depending on your view) infamous KonMari book in about a couple of hours; it’s a pretty light book, both in content and in actual physical weight. It’s a book about tidying, and the biggest controversy about it is how much discarding you will be doing to achieve the best results. While I don’t prescribe to the whole philosophy, I can see the advantages to making sure that your house is kept tidy, and all your belongings are where they are because you want them to. In fact I’ve started going through some old clothes, old hobby stuff, and other things in an attempt to get a bit more organized and to reduce the general clutter in the house. It does feel good, but it is quite a lot of work involved.

sundcurr19-2

Much of my holiday vacation was spent reading the entire Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer (please note, this is different from Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo CEO). The series follows the adventures of a well-known girl mechanic named Cinder, who happens to also be cyborg, and her friends in their efforts to oppose the machinations of the evil Lunar Queen Levana. It draws from a lot of classic fairy tales, and retold in a sci-fi setting which I thought was a pretty good innovation in fairy tale retellings. The story was quite gripping, and I spent several times surfacing from reading to see the sun rise as I could not put the books down once I started on them. For an author’s debut series, this is quite well done and thoroughly enjoyable.

sundcurr19-1

Writing

I have to say that I attempted some kind of gratitude journaling, in the BDJ Petit Planner that I previously got. The weekly format seemed well suited to writing down a few lines per day, and I thought of penning down three things I’m thankful for daily. I got most of December, but stumbled towards the end and never came back up. I think this sort of thing might not exactly be for me.

Trying my hand at creative journaling. This is my first week in the purple The Giving Journal by @cbtlph.

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

I also recently started experimenting with creative journaling, very similar to what is currently popular in Instagram. The CBTL The Giving Journal’s weekly layout (horizontal week-on-one-page with notes on the opposite page) follows the current trend, and I thought I’d give it a shot. Here’s my first week. While it does need quite a lot of improvement, I feel like it might be something I can do on the regular. I just need to remember that mine does not need to be as pretty as the ones on Instagram, considering I just started!

Playing

December saw me playing Magic Rush quite a lot on my phone, and it’s actually rather enjoyable. It’s an MMO with elements of tower defense and rpg combat, and the character designs are pretty nice. It’s also a free-to-play with a lot of in-game optional purchases, and I have to admit that there were several times that I was tempted to get micro purchases.

sundcurr19a
Image credits: Google Image Search

In January I revisited an earlier game I had bought from Humble Bundle, Kingdom Rush: Frontiers. It’s also a tower defense game and I thoroughly enjoy it. Since it reminded me where I bought it, I visited Humble Bundle again and found that they are running some hefty discounts in their store, and I took that opportunity to buy three mobile games that amounted to about Php250 in total. The one I am currently playing is called Detective Grimoire, an adventure puzzler similar to Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. I’m nearly done with it, in fact, and left me wanting for more chapters!

Image credits: Google Image Search
Image credits: Google Image Search

Creating

I bought some Tomoe River paper in loose A4 sheets from Pengrafik, and immediately attempted some Tomoe River paper inserts in pocket size. I assigned one to be my prompted journal insert, and gave another one to my sister in law. I really like this paper, and I can’t wait to start my daily journaling in one!

Wearing

As I mentioned earlier, I KonMari’d some of my clothes and in the process I rediscovered my stash of office wear back when I still worked for a company with a dress code. Score! I had been wanting to upgrade my work wardrobe for a while to something less casual and more suited to my station, and the discovery of this old set of clothes means I can use the money I’d been planning to spend on clothes on something else! And most of these old clothes still fit!

Thinking

Having a lot of hobbies and not having enough time for all of them makes me think of which hobbies I really want to focus on. The problem is, I’m not sure if I’m willing to let go of any of them! The reason why they are my hobbies in the first place is because I really enjoy doing them a lot. The workable solution I have come up with is to rotate hobbies or scheduling them such that I can pay enough attention to each one. This way, I can find out naturally which hobbies I really want to do when I have time time and which ones I actually just think I like but am not willing to spend time on it when I do have the time.

Wanting

Since I don’t need to spend on clothes, I probably will try to get a new pair of work shoes. Something that I can wear socks with, since I can’t really go around without socks anymore. Boots have always been a staple, and I might go and get myself a new pair.

Feeling

Generally I feel sad that the holidays are over, and the next one will probably be during the easter weekend, when my family usually goes to the beach. It’s back to the grind, and unfortunately traffic is getting worse by the day. As always I’m in desperate need of sleep!

 

Why Pocket Size Is My Preferred TN Size

Towards the end of 2015, I have discovered that my preferred TN size is the pocket size (otherwise known as field notes size). Unfortunately, this was after I had gone on a wild rampage buying standard size TNs from the local makers. That exercise, however, finally drove to me exactly why I preferred the smaller size, and here are the reasons why.

Portability

This, for me, is the number one priority when considering my notebooks/TNs. The TN has to be portable for me to be able to consistently use it, otherwise I find that I tend to shelf the bigger/heavier ones. To a certain extent, anything from the personal size down would be considered portable, but the reasons below this would narrow down to why the pocket size is ideal compared to the others (personal and passport).

Availability of Premade Inserts

While I do love my DIY inserts (I did make them!), there are a lot of times where I would rather just buy premade ones so I can use them right away. In this regard, the pocket size shines because there are quite a bit of locally available premade inserts in the big box stores such as National Bookstore. The ones that come to mind are the Venzi pocket notebooks (Flexy2 is my preferred insert) and the recently released limited edition Bencab pocket notebooks. There are also some readily available inserts from online shops, such as the actual Field Notes brand notebooks from Everything Calligraphy, and the refills for the Alunsina Mini Kislap.

Form Factor

small insert sizes

The pocket size also has the best form factor, in my opinion, with just the right rectangular feel to it. In comparison, the passport size feels quite square-ish, while the personal size feels quite long and cheque-book-ish.

Nostalgia

When I started seriously planning, I actually went directly to pocket size with the Moleskine planner. When I transferred my attentions to the traveler’s notebook world, the very first one I bought was also in pocket size, the Alunsina Mini Kislap. It’s as if my first instinct was really to go with that particular size, and it’s the size I eventually returned to after trying almost all of the other available TN sizes. It would be great if the actual Midori brand released a TN in this size as I really like their leather, but since they don’t, I am perfectly happy with the wealth of options in the fauxdori world.

Becoming Sleek 2015 Year In Review

Becoming Sleek 2015 YiR small

2015 has been such an eventful year for Becoming Sleek as a blog. It was the year I decided to move from being a beauty blogger to a purely stationery/traveler’s notebook blogger, and it’s a decision I am very happy I had made. Makeup and skincare will continue to be part of my everyday life, but my obsessive thoughts are now on stationery and traveler’s notebooks. What is a blog but a reflection of the mind?

Monthly Highlights

January was definitely still in beauty blogging mode, but it was also when I posted about how I used my then-planner, a Moleskine. February was probably the turning point of when I was deciding to move out of beauty blogging, and wrote this short article on what to do when in a blogging rut. March was when I got my very first Midori, the passport, and showed my unboxing. April was when I shared my first free printable. I hope to make more and share it with you! May was when I showed how I set up my Midori Passport. June was my slowest month with only two posts, but one of them was my initial setup of the Midori Blue. July was when I wrote about one of my favorite posts even until present, how to make your own TN accessories. August was the first time I made my own traveler’s notebook, and this was made of paper and is in personal size. September is when I wrote about a controversial topic in the TN community: Midori vs fauxdori. October was when I finally finished my haul of TNs from local makers, and wrote a round up post. Looking back, it now makes me sad to discover that my preferred size is pocket instead of regular, and I wish I knew that before I started buying up all those regular sized TNs! November‘s highlight was when I learned how to do memory keeping in a TN insert. It’s what works for me, and I hope to be able to continue doing this until I fill up the insert! December was when I got my first Zenkraft, which now houses my 2016 Hobonichi. It’s part of my EDC (everyday carry) and I couldn’t imagine being without it!

Blog Statistics

  • Blog posts published: 96 (80 are on-topic)
  • Total pageviews: 44563
  • Average pageviews per day: 122
  • Top five posts:

DIY Accessories For Your Traveler’s Notebook

Midori Passport as Wallet

How I Use My Moleskine Planner

Midori vs Fauxdori

Midori Blue Edition Initial Setup

What’s Coming in 2016

2015 has been a year of acquisition, and I feel like I have enough to go on for 2016. I will definitely be reducing the rate I have been buying stationery, and increasing the usage. 2016 will see a lot of posts about stationery and traveler’s notebook usage, and I intend to go back to doing DIY posts again as well! I would like to also introduce some printables for your TN.

I am quite open to suggestions! What would you like to see on Becoming Sleek this year?

The Sunday Currently #18

There’s been a quick hiatus for this blog for the past week. My brother got married to his long time girlfriend, then things got busy at work immediately afterwards. Unfortunately I did not have any posts prepared and I was not able to find the time to write and take proper photos, and I would really much rather not post than post bad content.

I’m back though! So let’s get on with it!

Reading

girlboss

I finished #Girlboss by Sophia Amuruso a couple of weeks back, and I really like it. It’s basically half an autobiography and half an entrepreneur tips book. I really enjoyed reading through Sophia’s journey to Nasty Gal fame, and while I don’t really see myself being an entrepreneur, I admire her determination and drive.

Writing

goal page 2016

I’m starting to formulate my goals for 2016. There’s been a recent trend to do “16 for 2016” which inspired me to start writing down my goals, but I doubt I will do that many. I’ll take it easy (in fact I only have one at the moment, haha!) and really have goals which motivate me. As I am a management professional, I can’t help but make sure that my goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Playing

Image credits: Argent Kickstarter Page
Image credits: Argent Kickstarter Page

I’m back into playing boardgames again! I have sorely missed this, especially the really heavy thinky eurogames. I’m especially into the eurogame called Argent: The Consortium, where each player is trying to be the new Chancellor of the Argent University of Magic by garnering enough votes from the influential board members. You gain a board member’s vote by achieving the highest or most in his/her chosen criteria, and you do this through gathering supporters and magical items, increasing your spellbook, and gaining influence. It’s a pretty involved game, and can last for a few hours depending on the number of players, but it’s quite enjoyable especially if eurogames or worker placement games are your thing.

Creating

I’m currently experimenting with various forms of traveler’s notebook inserts, which is definitely one of the things I will be offering in my shop. It’s actually an enjoyable process, but I’m a bit challenged by the amount of time it takes to make one. I’ll be streamlining the process a bit more.

Thinking

It’s funny, but recently I’ve been thinking about the future, that is, the far future. It got me to thinking about what I want to be doing 10, 15, 20 years from now, and while that might be a depressing or scary thought, I really want to get down into the details. I don’t want to be going around without a plan; in fact, right now feels like it’s already too late to start a super-long-term plan, but it needs to be done. Have you thought about something like this?

Wanting

It is crazy, but it seems like there is no end to the desire to have more things. I definitely have way more than enough traveler’s notebooks and clear stamp sets, yet I want more. I need to read that book about decluttering (KonMari) to help me cope with this.

Feeling

The past couple of weeks have been really hectic and tiring, and I feel like I have not yet caught up on rest. Then suddenly I realize that Christmas is less than a month away, and I have barely made a dent in my shopping list! Traffic is going to get progressively worse as well the nearer it is to Christmas, which is increasing my anxiety. I need to calm down and take things a step at a time, and planning will definitely help as well.