Stationery and Card Punches

11:20 AM

Whenever I visit the Japanese grocery store, Oto's Supermarket, I'm always passing by their Daiso isle in hopes to find something cute. There were several times I've struck out, but yesterday's visit proved to be successful.

They had these sticky notes/memos and they are $1.50 each. They also had a cute notepad, but I decided against getting it. I wanted a cute notepad that I can holepunch to fit in my personal size Filofaxes and in my A5. The notepad was too small, so I just opted out for these.

Aren't they cute?

I've also been collecting paint cards from Home Depot after finding a project on Pinterest where the crafter punch those cards with a heart punch and glued them onto a piece of cardboard foam. I've done the same and adding wedding anniversary date to it in calligraphy.

I thought I would have used up all the cards, but no. I still have a big stack, so I decided to punch butterflies and glue them onto a board in a shape of a heart. I took a pice of pink ribbon and glued it to the back of the cardboard foam to act as a hanger.

Even with this project, I've still got a lot of paint cards left and I needed another idea. Thanks to Florence (@livelifeandcreate) on Instagram, I've found another purpose for them.

On Monday, I bought a couple of things at Michael's, one of them was the Martha Stewart Balloon paper puncher. I originally thought that the ballon was big enough that I can actually make some kind of wall art like I had with the previous two, but after punching one paint card, I found that it's big enough to use in my scrapbooking and card making projects. So I got out one of my old sketching books to do start the project. This is what came out of it.


My Week #45

1:33 PM

"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

This week had been so busy with election season in the States. I had to get as much of my housekeeping chores done on Monday since most of Tuesday would be spent working on elections.

For a while, I've contemplated about posting videos on how I do my journalling and decorating, but there are quite a few videos out there already. So I decided to just go over my week with you.

In my organisers, I've dabbled with a few different pens. As much I love the felt tip pens from Marvy's LePen and Staedler, I just don't like how the pens bleed through the sheet regardless whether or not I use the Filofax sheets or my customised sheets. I do like the variety of colours and it's vividness.

For this week, I've used both the Staedler, Marvy LePen, and Pilot Frixion pens. I've also used a couple of different washi tapes. I've used the Post-It note and a Sanrio's Little Twin Stars washi on top of the week and also on Friday. The triangular stickers on Wednesday are cutouts from washi tapes as well. I've thought about buying the stickers at Michaels, but it's far economical to just cut out the triangles from the washi tapes. As far as my doodling, I used the the black Staedler Triplus Fineliner pen to outline the drawing, and for the fill-in colours, I've used Crayola Pencils. 

So, there you have it. My Week's decoration in a nutshell. How was your week?


My Week #44

4:45 PM

A little over a week ago, I've had wisdom tooth surgery. At my age (which I'm not going to divulge), the oral surgeon told me of the risks when getting it removed. I could have left it alone, but the position of the tooth, it was necessary that it should be extracted.

Post-surgery, the right side of my lip and chin are still numb. Panic set in since I know that there is a possibility that that the nerve might have been cut, but I've learned to deal with whatever life hands me, thus the reason for the quote "It doesn't get better, you just get better at handling it" on the notes section of my week.

Today, I did feel a slight tingle in my lips and it burns a little. I do have a post-op appointment with the surgeon this week and he'll advise as to how to proceed.

In any case, after being laid up in bed and dosed with pain meds for five days, I'm ecstatic that I'm slowly getting back into my schedule. I hadn't done any journalling or time management last week. This week, I laid my hands on my Filofax and did some time management and journalling.

Monday was not a busy day for me. I'm still suffering a bit, but I did drive with Michael to the Bay Area. Whilst he attended his meetings, I went ahead and read up on one of the issues of Writer's Digest that I haven't opened and compiled a list of Literary Agents that I would like to work with. Also, I've started to research universities for my post-graduate degree.

For the next two days, I've been trying to get my household chores in order. I haven't done a thing since my surgery and my house is a big mess. I've also scheduled in to organise and edit the 2,000+ photos I took whilst on a holiday in the East Coast last month for my birthday.

I've also started creating a few Filofax A5 inserts. I'm still a bit in a fog as to how I'm going to print these sheets on regular size paper. I've been tinkering in iWork Pages with the A5 size, but when I go to print, the bottom keeps getting cut off. I've lucked out on the diary pages.  I do want to start selling inserts on Etsy, so I need to buckle down and get it figured out.

So, how was your week?


James Hook & Co., Boston

10:40 PM

This is by far, our last lobster roll of the trip. Since arriving here in the East Coast two weeks ago, Michael and I have been eating quite a lot of lobster rolls. I'm slightly allergic to shellfish and have been popping Benadryl pills like they're Tic Tacs just so I can enjoy this delicious treat.

We found James Hook & Co. on our first day in Boston whilst we were taking a long walk back to our hotel from Flour Bakery. Michael looked at the menu and thought they were a bit pricey and we went on our way. I didn't think he'd want to eat here, but since it was lunch time, we had to stop and decided that we'll have our final lobster roll at this establishment.

Michael wanted the lobster roll, which he ordered and I wanted the lobster mac and cheese. Unfortunately, they sold out, so I settled on the lobster bisque and Michael ordered a cup of clam chowder. We shared the lobster roll and for the price (I don't quite remember), it is worth it because they pack on the lobsters to the point that it was falling off of the bread. 

The lobster bisque is rich and creamy with a little bite to it. There's some chunks of lobsters in the bisque, which made it perfect. 


Modern Pastry Shop, Boston

10:00 PM

Today was our last day in Boston. As we toured the last half of the Freedom Trail, Michael and I remembered that we haven't had a Boston Cream Pie. We've seen an episode on the Food Network about a restaurant serving the dessert, but we didn't remember what the restaurant's name was.

As we headed over to Paul Revere's house, we manage to find a pastry shop called, Modern Pastry Shop. The Boston Cream pie we ordered is not the traditional kind. It's more of a cupcake, but with the same elements. If you're wondering what a Boston Cream Pie is, it's not really a pie. It's a round, two-layer cake filled with either a custard or a cream and topped with a chocolate ganache.

The cupcake tastes like the pie. It's filled with cream in the centre and the chocolate ganache is slightly sticky, almost caramel in consistency.

The other thing we ordered is a Black and White cookie. I haven't had one of these in such a long time and seeing it in the bakery made my mouth water for it. This cookie is different though from the one's I've had. This one has chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream on top when other black and white cookies are dipped in either chocolate and vanilla fondant or melted white and dark chocolate.

Michael wasn't at all impressed with the cookie and I had to explain to him that this bakery probably bakes the traditional desserts in their own interpretation with a slightly modern twist to it. Maybe that's why it's called Modern Pastry Shop.

I have nothing bad to say about the bakery. The desserts were good, but one staff member kept on chitchatting with her friend in front of one of the displays. I was trying to see what the desserts were, what flavours they had, but the worker and her friend refused to move. Other than that, it's a good place to stop for a sweet snack before finishing the rest of the Freedom Trail.


Flour Bakery, Boston Massachusettes

12:43 PM

I love the FoodNetwork and since planning our trip to the East Coast, I've been recording several shows on my DVR in hopes to find a place that I can try whilst I'm on holiday.

Flour Bakery in Boston came up on the The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The bakery's Sticky Buns was featured and Michael and I were salivating just watching the show, so made a note of it in my Filofax to visit the place. On our first full day here, we decided on brunch (without the mimosas) at Flour Bakery. My eyes immediately immediately captured by the sticky buns. Michael and I knew that we just had to order one, but we did need to get something remotely healthy. So, we ordered a breakfast sandwich along with two sticky buns and a vegan chocolate cake (which is pictured behind the sticky buns).

The Breakfast Egg Sandwich with bacon, cheddar, tomato, arugula and dijonaise was amazing. The egg was light and fluffy and the sandwich had the just the right amount of dijonaise that it didn't overpower all the flavours.

The sticky buns were great. I'm not going to say it's amazing like the sandwich, but I expected the buns to be bigger. I should have expected that it would be different from what I've seen on the show. it's not as big as I've seen it on television, but the art of food photography is that you always take it on an angle to make it look big. It was decent size and it was good. I'm not a fan of nuts on my food, but they were covered in ooey gooey caramel sauce. Anything covered in caramel sauce will taste amazing. The buns were fluffy and moist. They're sweet but not overly sweet.

The vegan chocolate cake (which we weren't aware was vegan) was amazing. It was light and fluffy and very chocolatey. I had no idea vegan chocolate cakes tastes so good. Now, I'm tempted to make one as soon as I get back home. 

If you're ever in Boston, check out Flour Bakery. They have a few locations and getting one of those sticky buns or the Egg Breakfast Sandwich is definitely worth it.


Week #41

12:29 PM

Week 41 was spent in Washington DC and a dozen states along the way as we drove up to Maine.


Week 40: Travelling

12:21 PM

So, as I'm typing up this blog post, I've scheduled it a little behind since I'm already home and unpacked from my two week holiday in the East Coast.

Since I didn't have my A5 Filofax with me during the trip nor did I bring my personal size one due to trying to travel light with my carry-on tote bag (I had a dSLR camera, lenses, iPad Mini, and such in my Michael Korrs tote bag, it won't hold anymore than what I had put in it), my Personal Size Saffiano stayed behind. I did however have an app called Day One in my iPad Mini which is almost like a travel journal. It has GPS, weather, etc loaded on to each diary entry I make.

I know it seems a bit odd that I'm posting the latter half of the week, but there wasn't much during the first three days as I was at Lake Tahoe in Nevada, holed up in the room trying to write and study for the CSET exam that I need to retake. The only exciting yet nerve-wracking thing that happened was that I thought I lost my iPhone and that it was stolen. I spent at least half an hour combing a field by a rec centre (I had some of the employees helping me look) since the Find My iPhone option is telling me my phone is in a field somewhere. Turns out, it was back in the hotel room after all.

Anyway, back to the week.

It is my birthday week and for my birthday, Michael bought me a trip to the East Coast (it just so happens that he's got a conference to go to in Boston, so it works out). We left California on the day of my birthday on a redeye flight to Washington D.C., which was our first stop. The flight was delayed by a few hours and we luckily made our connecting flight in Atlanta just in time.

We arrived in D.C. the next day at around 9am. The original plan was to drop off our stuff and make our way towards National Mall since check in isn't until 4:00 PM. Our hotel was about a mile away from the White House, so it was perfect. We didn't need a taxi to get to the National Mall. 

As we're going through our stuff, emptying out our carry-on bags to put into our suitcase for our walk, the hotel got a room ready for us in record time. The woman at the reception desk also gave us a free upgrade to a suite, which meant we have a kitchenette. Michael was excited since we're able to get three days worth of groceries. He was more concerned for breakfast.

So, with getting our room early, he and I decided to take a nap since we didn't sleep at all on the plane. The couple behind us were bothersome. We napped for a few hours and finally getting up at around two o'clock to head down to get lunch and walk around the National Mall.

I'm not going to go into detail of what we saw since it's already written in the journal page, which is posted below. Needless to say, by the time we finished walking one half of the National Mall, we were dead tired and was glad that we had bought some food at the grocery store to heat up in the hotel.

I'm also going to blog about some of the food places Michael and I went to on this trip.


Week #35

4:30 AM

This week, I've been running all sorts of errands. Even with that, it's still a light week.

I've also started counting down until Downton Abbey's premier. Unfortunately, it's not going to air in the States until next year, but I'm fortunate enough to know an expat like myself who's still got accounts active in the UK and is gracious enough to let me watch it on her dime.

Also, the deck is still currently in the works. It's such a big patio deck that it takes a couple of weeks for two people to get it done. It's all the cleaning, sanding and then painting, but this week was the last week of working on it and it's done. We've been pushing through it since it's Michael's mum's birthday and we always have a barbecue dinner at our place.

What about you? How was your week?


Week #36

9:00 PM

This week has been has been relatively light and easy. My main focus is to continue to look for employment and with the economy in the States being in such a horrid state and I don't necessarily live in a big city ... well, it's big in their standards, jobs are hard to come by.

This week's quote is from T.S. Elliot. "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." There really isn't a rhyme or reason to which quote I choose to use every week.

It's a month before my holiday to the East Coast, which I'm excited about. I've started to compile a list of what outfits I'd like to bring. Michael has been reminding me on a daily basis that we can't bring too much since the airline charges us $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second checked bag. If I can't fit it all in one suitcase, then I can't bring it. There's also the issue of weight. If I'm to bring one bag, I have to leave enough room for the stuff I'm going to be buying whilst I'm there.

The only busy day this week was on Wednesday where I catered desserts to about 40+ people for a meeting. I've made chocolate mint whoopie pies and brownies. Other than that, Michael and I have been prepping to paint the back deck patio of the house.

My week was light. How was yours?


Week #35 - Journalling

1:17 PM

It's late in the year when I decided to use my A5 Filofax The Original in navy blue. My life has been organised and operating in the Compact Saffiano for the last year and a half. I figured, why not use the A5 as my journalling binder. 

For the last four weeks, I've been using it as my journal.

The inserts are my own. I've finally figured out how to make and print inserts on iWork's Pages for Mac after a few trial and errors. More on that on a different post.

In the diary pages, I've put a quote in the notes section. It's to remind me to stay positive and to get through the week if it seems hard. I've also put a few appointments and somewhat colour coded my week. I've got an entry for Outfit of the Day which is in purple. Chores are in orange. Holiday is in pink, since after all, travelling and exploring different places is fun.

 I haven't got the journalling quite figured out yet. I have been doodling in it too. 

So, how do you use your A5 Filofax?


Kate Spade Agenda: Summer 2014 Setup

7:21 AM

I have been consider switching from my beloved Filofax Compact Saffiano in Aqua to my Kate Spade Agenda. I love how light and slim the compact Saffiano is, but I wanted a change and only for the summer. I will switch back to the Saffiano when I leave on holiday to the East Coast in the autumn.

My set-up has relatively changed since I last posted, which was quite a bit ago. I promise to post more frequent. 

On my dashboard I have a clear flyleaf that came with the agenda on top of my quotes page. I love looking at this page when I first open my organiser as it gives me motivation to go through the day. On my Saffiano, I actually had quote page and the Filofax registration page in a protective covering, which I made by slipping them in a quart sized Ziplock Bag, cutting it and putting washi tape on the corner to punch the plastic better as well as to protect it. With the Kate Spade Agenda, I have no need to put the registration page on it.

After the quotes page, I have a "Keep Calm and Click On" DIY Project Life card that I downloaded from MissTiina. I pasted it on a 3x5 index card, punched holes and used the Recollections corner round punch I bought from Michaels, which sadly the corners a bit too round, but it works. I wanted to add a pop of colour to the plain Filofax dividers.

Next up is my diary. I know this page is blank, but I had so many private details in the week prior and is too lazy to blur out the info, I decided that this is a much better route.

Right before my To-Do list, I've got another DIY Project Life Card with the caption, Life is Good. I've placed the card on there to remind me that life is indeed good and also add a bit of colour to the otherwise plain divider.

I've also changed up the divider tabs. I'm using the Martha Stewart Tabs. The Filofax Divider tabs are so small. Using the Martha Stewart tabs, I'm able to get to what I really need quickly.

In the Notes section, I have some Filofax Note inserts and a few sheets of Post-Its. I used to carry the whole Post-It pad, but I find that I really don't need all of them. So I decided to carry a few sheets at a time within the notes section of my organiser.

The last tab in my organiser is the Reading Challenge. The divider is made out of heavy scrapbooking paper and I've also added another DIY Project Life card. This time, I was able to find a smaller round corner punch that made all four corners of this card a bit more neater.

The Reading Challenge Insert has also changed. I wanted to keep it simple, so I changed it to add a blank space to insert the year of the Reading Challenge. So far, I've read ten books ... no make that 11 since I just recently finished "Single in the City" by Michele Gorman.

In the back, I've got all the Info Sheets that came with my Filofax. I could have omitted these sheets, but I like to refer to them. The States still uses the Imperial system. With these sheets, it makes it easier for me to convert from Metric to Imperial and Imperial to Metric without pulling out a calculator.

In the back, I've also got a business card holder that holds my library card and two Starbucks gift cards. In my Saffiano, the Starbucks gift cards are held in the front pocket so I can get to them easier, but since this organiser doesn't have that option, the cards were moved to the back.

Lastly, I've got a few Martha Stewart Peel and Stick labels (if that's what it's called. I purchased it a long time ago and have misplaced the packaging) as well as a post-it note with my initial. I bought the post-it note at the Dollar Store a while back and haven't been able to find it since. The post-it coincidentally matches the agenda.

So, this is my Summer 2014 set-up. I'm planning to go back to my Saffiano or possibly my Finsbury at the end of the season. Do you have a summer set up? If so, comment below.


Filofax Saffiano: My 2014 Set-up & Week #6

10:31 AM


I've been wanting a compact Filofax and something that's not in the colour range of purple and pink. Since my other organisers are in Lavander and Raspberry, I decided to go with Aqua.

Since my decision to go to a compact size Filofax, I thought about getting a leather one, but decided against it. This Christmas, I received a leather iPad Mini case with a bluetooth keyboard. Since I take my iPad and my Filofax everywhere with me, my bag started to get heavy. I switched from the Finsbury to the Metropol, but even with the vinyl material on the Metropol, my bag was still heavy. That's when I realised that the problem lies in with the slightly bigger rings that the personal size offers which leads to overstuffing. It made my decision to switch to a compact Saffiano easier.

When the Filofax Saffiano came in the mail, I was a bit disappointed when I opened the box. Filofax no longer packaged their organisers in pretty packaging. Instead, it's covered in hard plastic. I remember when we used to get the organisers in the box.

I do love the pop of colour that the Saffiano offers. The tabbed dividers are in purple and aqua colours and I love the frosted ruler. I've got way too many of the black ruler that the frosted one made me jump up and down for joy. Not only does the Saffiano have coloured dividers, it also provided an array of coloured paper ⎯ one of them is in grey.

However, I am not a fan of the diary inserts it came with. I'm used to the Week on 2 inserts without the "This Week" section. I like a lot of room to write in and adding that section shrinks down the days. Since I'm already using the inserts I purchased for my Finsbury, I didn't think it was necessary to switch them out and start over.

My set-up starts with the Information Tab where I keep my personal info, registration number, and the information pages such as measurements, temperature, etc.

In the diary section, I wrote down the colour codes on a small Hello Kitty notepad just to remind me or if someone wants to check out my organiser, they'll have a pretty good idea why the diary pages are so colourful.

Here's Week 6, which isn't complete yet. I have so many post-it notes running around my desk that I haven't had the chance to pencil them in. I also don't need a full year in my organiser which made it slightly heavy and packed. If I need to plan ahead, I have a little Hello Kitty notepad in my purse to jot down future appointments.

In my diary pages, I also use the StudioL2E, Plan It stamps. I don't use all of the stamps in the collection, just the Hydrate and To-Do stamps.

I've also decided to keep the To-Do section in the binder. I used the Martha Stewart coloured tabs to section off my stuff.

I've also created my own Blog Schedule insert using Photoshop by using Hello Kitty brushes and images to create a washi tape like border. The font I used is my own creation on the iFontMaker app on the iPad. I do apologise for the sloppy handwriting. I normally come up with blog ideas whilst I'm out and about. Whenever those ideas come up, a flat surface for me to write on isn't readily available.

I also keep a business card holder in the back of my Filofax to hold my gift cards and a couple of tabs -- as you can see the orange, yellow, pink, blue and green from behind the Starbucks and Target cards. I don't really have room for them in my green Coach wallet since there are only enough slots for my ATM card, two credit cards, and my driver's license. 

I'm really excited to use the Saffiano to free up some room in my bag and organise 2014. Let me know how you're going to organise 2014.


DIY Cute Paper Clip

8:35 AM

Cute paperclips have been popping up on Etsy and people have been posting their cute clip purchases on Instagram. I wanted one of those cute paperclips, but they're expensive. It's $6 not including tax or shipping for two paperclips. Since I have an abundance of paperclips, I decided why not make one. All you'll need for this easy project are large sized paperclips and 3D stickers.

I bought these stickers at the Dollar Store a couple of years ago to use to decorate my Filofax pages. They're 3D stickers so it made it hard to write in the pages. I had no clue what to use them for after I decided that I won't be sticking them onto my diary pages. I don't scrapbook anymore, so off to the box they went ... until yesterday.


The process is fairly simple. Just grab a sticker and stick it onto the paperclip. Make sure that it's right side down or else you won't be able to clip it onto the page.

Take another similar sized sticker and flip the paperclip over. Place the sticker onto the other side of the first sticker and voila! You've got a cute paperclip!


Bella Foster for Kate Spade Agenda 2010

11:02 AM

***warning: image heavy post***

After using my Filofax Finsbury for a whole year, I decided to give it a break and use my Metropol for a while. The Metropol is made out of vinyl and it gets scratched up easily. I wanted an organiser that will withstand the wear and tear of being hauled everywhere in my bag. So, I started looking for another diary. I wanted another Filofax organiser, but I just don't have that much faith in Filofax anymore.

I found the Kate Spade 2010 Bell Foster Agenda from Poshmark, which is a place where people can buy and sell straight from a mobile phone. There were a couple of Kate Spade agendas, but the Black and Green one caught my eye. There was a pink one listed, but I'm not a fan of hot pink.

I bought the organiser for $20.78 including shipping (I had $7 credit with Poshmark and it took care of the shipping).

The organiser arrived via mail and it's in good condition. It came with the address, birthdays, travel, restaurants, and a to do tabs along with the inserts as well. Since I bought the item used, it didn't come with 2014 inserts. I wanted to buy the Kate Spade 2014 inserts, but they are a bit pricey...$38.

The only gripe I have about the organiser is that it doesn't lay flat. It's hard to look at my schedule if I have to constantly press down on the left side to write and glance at my schedule. It's even harder than the Finsbury.

Even after putting the diary towards the back, it still didn't lay flat and the buckle kept getting in the way. I'm not quite sure if I want to use this as my everyday organiser, but for $20, I'll keep it.


Week #2

10:40 AM

First, sorry for the blurry photo. I took the snapshot of the picture so fast with my iPhone that it didn't properly focused.

I love light weeks, but that's not the case with this week's schedule. It looks like I don't have much planned, but the truth is, editing the manuscript takes time as well as going over all of my photos. I've also adopted a new year's resolution to drink more water and the only way that I'm going to remind myself of that is to stamp it on each day on my schedule. I'm hoping to see where it goes from there.


Week #1

12:30 PM

First post of the year! Happy New Year Everyone!

This week had been relatively easy especially with the New Year. 

I haven't really done anything for NYE this year since I've been sick...sick...and sick. This flu strain hit Sacramento County really bad since there's quite a few people I know that got sick even after a flu shot. Just when they think they're getting better, the flu comes back with a vengeance. I was one the people that suffered a relapse. It seemed like I was sick for the whole lot of December.

I haven't been decorating my Filofax lately with washi tape. I'm only doing stickers. It seems that I'm spending too much time taping and cutting, so I decide to minimise the washi tape use and just use my stamps that I got from Plan It to organise my to-dos during the week.