Dear Kevin, yesterday you took me on a surprise date for free ice cream and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed ice cream more. Dear community garden, you make my mornings just a little bit better, even if you aren’t doing so well and I have no idea why. Dear terrible bout of rain, thanks for reminding me how much I love the sunshine. Dear living room windows, thanks for providing light to my favorite spot in the mornings and allowing me to see our beautiful roses. I think you’re my favorite feature of our home. Dear Chloe, you look pitiful when we don’t take you on walks or give you enough peanut butter. I return the favor when you don’t let me hug you. Dear stack of books on my nightstand, I promise that I’m coming for you. I wish the library had a four week check out option instead of just two. Dear hubby, today you told me that a land cruiser is your dream car, I can get on board with that, but only if you choose a white one.
Today I’m linking up with Kristen over at Taz + Belly where lots of friends will be sharing their little letters!
I’m at the point where I feel like I’m running out of things to photograph around the house and then I find just one more detail, like a lady bug on a lamp. Having a new camera is really pushing me to look at things differently – instead of grabbing something to maneuver the bug outside, I grabbed my camera.
If we were on a coffee date, I definitely wouldn’t be drinking coffee. Even though I love every darn thing about coffee shops, I just can’t bring myself to drink bitter brown water. I’d ask you when you started drinking coffee and how it happened. Hopefully you’d offer me some advice, because I so badly want to enjoy it but I can hardly even choke down a traditional latte unless it has 5 million pumps of syrup. I’d tell you I’m trying to quit soda and that I obviously need another caffeine outlet. Today I’d be drinking a chai latte instead.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d reluctantly admit that my phone problem really hasn’t improved since I gave it up for lent. I’d tell you that it’s the number one thing affecting my relationship with Jesus right now and that I should probably set better boundaries for when and how I use social media. I’d ask for your suggestions and joke about downgrading to a phone that doesn’t support the internet.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d probably encourage you to use the candles, notebooks, wine, and all of the good smelling soap that you reserve for guests. I read a blog post a while back (and I apologize, I can’t find the link) about lighting candles and how one day your home will be full of things that are too precious for you to use. I’d ask why we think we aren’t good enough for those fancy things and I’d remind you that you are good enough. This little chat with you would be doing my heart just as much good and it would remind me of all the blank journals that are waiting at home for a worthy trip or some good idea to fill them up.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d probably change the subject to KonMari and the idea of minimalism. I’d laugh while telling you that the other day someone called me “kind of a minimalist”. Even though I don’t love to keep items that I don’t need or use regularly, I’m not really sure how I feel about the connotation that brings about. We’d talk about the joys of a fresh, clean space and I’d wonder aloud if there’s a better word for it. Then I’d ask all the questions about what makes you feel comfortable in your space.
If we were on a coffee date, we’d talk about my new camera. I’d tell you about all of the specs and how many photos I’ve already taken of our dog, Chloe, but I wouldn’t be embarrassed by a number well over 100. I’d show you the amazing wifi feature that allows me to send photos to my phone and I’d probably ask if I could take a photo of you with your coffee. Chances are, I’d IG that so fast.
If we were on a coffee date, we’d talk about what Jesus is doing in our lives. I’d admit that I’ve been having a hard time seeing my purpose and the bigger picture and how I feel like life is passing me by as I stand to the sidelines watching. It’s not that I don’t love my life and the things I’m doing, I just want to know that the life I’m living is what God has for me and not what I want for myself. I’d probably go on to explain that I’ve been prayerfully evaluating a lot of things I do on a regular basis to figure out my “why” for doing each of them. The only thing I can say for sure is that I’m supposed to keep blogging. The rest is still up in the air.
What would you tell me if we were on a coffee date?
Today I’m linking up with Erin for her monthly coffee date linkup. Join Us!
Last October, I purchased a new traveler’s notebook from Chic Sparrow. It’s a beauty, but I bought it in a pocket size (3.5″ by 5.5″) because I wanted something less heavy for my EDC (every day carry). I filled it up with notebooks – both purchased and handmade – but often felt myself wanting to go back to the larger more creative-feeling standard (4.5″ by 8.25″) size.
For Christmas, I asked for monthly planner notebooks made by Moleskine as well as some Field Notes journals to fill it up and get me inspired, and started doing research on how to make it the most functional for me. After falling through the black hole of set up videos on YouTube, I found that a lot of people have cute and functional accessories that help them get the very most out of their notebook regardless of what they use it for!
After ample research, here are my favorite accessories. Ones with * denote the ones that I currently use, all others are things I’ve tried previously or are on the to-buy list!
- Field Notes* – these notebooks have quickly become my favorite I’ve used. The paper is good quality and I love that their website has lots of cover design options. I’ve seen some TN folks cover the front with scrapbooking paper, which always works as well. These have 48 pages and don’t allow much bleed through on regular pens.
- Moleskine* – these notebooks are a quick go-to that are ALWAYS available to me at local stores such as Target and Barnes and Noble. They come in a three pack and the pocket size is the one that fits the pocket sized TN. When I used a regular size or the “narrow” I bought the large cahiers and trimmed the edges so they would fit. These are a great option but I find that there is often bleed through with my favorite inky pens.
- Tomoe River Insert* – I bought my Tomoe River insert through Chic Sparrow when I purchased the notebook cover. The paper is absolutely delicious, especially with watercolors, but it bothers me that I can’t use ephemera without worrying that I’ll rip the page. These notebooks are also twice as expensive (if not more) than the ones listed above and I found myself being hesitant to write in it because of the price.
- Yellow Paper House – I am a HUGE fan of the inserts that YPH produces. The variety is unparalleled and I’ve used many different ones from the coloring book to the mixed media insert. I can’t say enough good things! The downside and why I’m not using them right now, is simply the price since I use about one per month.
- DIY Notebooks* – I used the video linked to create some of my own inserts. I went through all of etsy one day looking for an editorial calendar insert and ended up making my own. I thought it was going to be pretty tough, but you should be fine as long as you have access to word and a printer. I generally print on copy paper (because the inserts I created are only meant to last a month) and use a stronger card stock for the cover.
- Dashboard* – I bought this recently to add to my field notes/pocket size and I’m a huge fan. Basically this is just a clear plastic cover that you can slide pictures/scrapbooking paper into. I like to put it around my most used notebooks to protect them and give homemade ones a little more stability.
- Felt Paperclips – Although I don’t own any of these, I absolutely LOVE them and have seen them recommended a lot.
- Adhesive Card Pocket* – I purchased this recently but haven’t decided what part of the notebook I’m going to attach it to. I’ve see it done onto the inside of the leather and on inserts. This is particularly great if your TN doubles as your wallet.
- PVC Pouch – I purchased one of these for my narrow sized traveler’s notebook and it was a game changer. I didn’t have a pen loop, but because of the size, I was able to zip a thin pen right in the pouch. Many also come with card slots as an option.
- Folders – You can either check out all of the options for pre-made ones or you can did what I did and use a tutorial to make your own.
- Charms* – there are a TON of planner charms on the internet, but I purchased one from Hobby Lobby. The clip at the top looked super awkward, so I removed it by separating the jump rings using a pair of needle-nose pliers. There are a ton of ways you can make your own, but I liked all of the charms, so why not stick with something simple and use a 40% off coupon while I was at it!
- Washi Tape* – Washi tape is my favorite thing for just about every project. Sometimes I use it for tip ins and sometimes I just use it for decoration. Linked is my current fave.
- Watercolors* – As I mentioned above, I love using watercolors and tend to use them the most behind general writing to make the pages pretty.
- Photos – This probably goes without saying.
- Ball Point – I’m the most boring person ever for listing a ball point pen as my favorite. I particularly like this one because it has four ink colors in one pen and I really like to write in red at work. Someone the other day told me that they hadn’t seen a multi-ink pen since 1st grade. I felt so cool.
- Rolling Ball – I’ve been using this pen in the fine and extra fine point since college. I love the way it writes and always get compliments when people borrow these.
- Fountain Pen – I purchased this about a year ago and am absolutely obsessed with it. This pen with the Tomoe river paper is the best combo. If you have one of these or are considering buying one, I would definitely look at the care instructions. I went way too long before cleaning mine which resulted in a super mess.
Have a favorite accessory or notebook that I don’t know about? Let me know, I’m always looking to add to my collection!
Happy May! Although we had a relatively mild winter, I am so looking forward to warmer and brighter days ahead. We ended April on a VERY rainy note this year, so I feel pretty confident that we’ll get to enjoy those May flowers. I can tell you my rose bushes have already started opening and it is making me so excited.
Reviewing Goals for April:
Complete Project Life and One Little Word for April– Killed it and started being a little more intentional about how I complete project life, so this was a major win. Finish Lent Strong with No Social Media –This was tough, but I’m so glad I did it. It definitely helped put in perspective how much time I was spending on my phone.
- Edit Wedding Photos – I’m about halfway done, so I’m going to continue this goal into May.
Workout –Twelve workouts on the dot, how bout dah? Continue Covering Others in Prayer –I’m glad I kept this practice up, I’m really enjoying it. Gardening –You guys. By far the best news about my goals is that Sarah and I decided to start a garden. I’m so pumped.
New Goals for May:
- Complete Project Life and One Little Word for May – As always, I love sitting down to print photos and work on my creative projects. I’ve noticed that my supplies are adding up (without being used) so I’m not buying anything else until I make some headway here.
- Plan a Day Ahead – I’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out how to make my life more efficient so I’m going to try planning my days out the night before. By looking at my calendar and my to do list (things I WANT to be spending my time on) I’ll be able to make sure that I have enough time for them. A lot of my problem lately is that I can’t decide what to do next, so I spend a lot of time trying to make a decision. I’ll let you know how it goes.
- Edit Wedding Photos – My goal was to have these done in April, but I only got about halfway! Hoping to schedule in a little time here and there and have them done by the Omaha trip.
- Workout – I’ve loved how I’ve felt since getting back to the gym, I’m going to try again for 12 workouts in a month.
- Continue Covering Others in Prayer – I’ve chosen someone new to intentionally cover in prayer for this month,.
- Trip Minibook – We’re going on a trip this month and I’m going to make a minibook with my pictures and the fun things that we do!
- Give Myself so much Grace – I’m anticipating a busy month here, so I am just taking it easy when possible.