Planners Galore and Planner Problems

9:04 AM

First of all, M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S ! I hope everyone had a wonderful and festive time filled with food, laughter, and love.

As the year comes to a close and we're all getting ready to move out 2015's diary pages out of our current organisers and replace them with 2016's or perhaps use one of the planners we either purchased or received from a friend or family member. This year, I am plagued with the problem of which organiser to use. Just a couple of weeks ago, I've purchased 2016 diary inserts for my Filofax Original with the intent of using it on my desktop and giving it a break from the wreckage that is my daily bag. Around September, I've acquired the Domino Personal in Aubergine Dots as my on-the-go organiser. Herein lies the problem, I just received a 2016 bond Eccolo planner from a friend this christmas eve and with three planners, I don't think I'd be using all of them. At the most, two, but not three. That's borderline insanity.

So what do you do when you've got three planners to use?

Stick to your original plan. I'm planning on using the A5 Filofax inserts, but using them in my Carpe Diem organiser on my desktop and the Domino Aubergine Personal Filofax as my every day and on the go organiser.

When you get a new and unexpected organiser/planner, think about how you're going to use it. As a person who've used organisers since the nineties, I know how I keep myself organised. Ask yourself this question, will this unexpected planner help you get organised? Since it was a gift, I know we might think it's rude not to use it. If that's the case, there is an option. You can use it as a memory keeper.

Using the new planner as a memory keeper is a great way to facilitate creativity. The one I received last night is a pretty planner complete with quotes. When I discovered those who decorated their diary pages with washi tape and stickers, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon on decorating my Filofax pages, but it didn't look professional and important information got lost in the clutter. Within weeks, I've returned to using my Filofaxes as I did for years, as a functional tool. Though I still love looking at the "pretty planning" pictures on Instagram and Pinterest.

By using your new and unexpected planner as a memory keeper, it acts as a scrapbook diary where you can go all out on decorating, stamping, washi taping, and stickering without sacrificing space and losing important information. I still decorate my Filofax pages with some washi and stickers to keep it colourful, but its minuscule compared to the others I've seen out there on social media.

There are a ton of ways you can use your extra planner. It can be a blog schedule if you're blogging quite a lot and want to keep that separate from your personal planner. It can also be a menu planner that you can keep in your kitchen where you can write ingredients you need for that day for meal prep and cooking. It can also be a fitness planner. The possibilities are endless. As for me, I'm using the planner as a way of memory keeping, perhaps a journal of sort. As far as meal planning, fitness journal, blog schedule, it will all go into my A5 organiser as I like everything in one one place.

The choice is up to you. Have a Happy Christmas and I will see you all in the next week when I upload a post on how I set-up my organisers for personal and university for 2016.


Winter Make-Up Essentials

7:30 PM

As much as I love make-up and can't seem to walk out of my house without wearing it, this winter season, I'm limiting the days I slap on war paint.

With the winter season in Northern California being cold at -1°C at its lowest, the air is cold and dry. Despite moisturising daily, the effects of the weather still dries out my sky. So this winter, my go-to essentials for make-up are simply the foundation primers and face powder.

My first go-to is the Prime Time foundation primer from Bare Minerals. I love using this primer as it feels smooth on my skin and evens out my skin tone. It's $24 and a small amount goes a long way.

Another favourite foundation primer is Rimmel's Stay Matte Primer. Compared to Bare Minerals, which is a translucent primer, Rimmel's is not and it's priced between $4 to $7. I love wearing it during the winter time since it can be worn alone or with foundation.

With both of these primers, I pair it with Bare Minerals Mineral Veil pressed powder. Paired with the either primers, it evens out my skin tone and when I walk out of my house, I don't look like I've just gotten out of my bed (though these days, I wish I didn't have to get out of my bed and comfortable duvet). 

So with the harsh winter weather, give your skin a break. Add some dark kohl liner to your eyes to add a little more pop. It's an easy routine and all it takes is five minutes. It's perfect when you're running out of time or simply want a break from putting on your make-up.


Avocado Tomatillo Salsa (Recipe Review)

2:07 PM

Whilst on holiday in the Hawaiian Islands, I was craving Mexican food. Since there are hardly any Mexicans in the islands, there aren't any good taquerias around. For this craving, I wanted to be back in California just to have some authentic salsas.

To cure my craving, I headed over to one of the big chain grocery stores called "Safeway" to purchase a jar of salsa. As I perused the Latin food isle, I came across Herdez's Creamy Tomatillo Avocado salsa. Needless to say, my craving was cured and I was instantly addicted.

When I returned to California, my first mission was to replicate the salsa. I've read the ingredients on the jar and it seemed simple to make. Still, I needed a base recipe to follow and off I googled the recipe before driving over to the shops to get the necessary ingredients.

I found the Avocado Tomatillo Salsa from All Recipes. The reviews were so so, and one user said it was easy but it was lacking something. I figured, I might as well try it and purchased the required ingredients. Here, I'll go through over the recipe and also go over any tweeks and additions I made.

Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

- 6 ounces fresh tomatillos - husked, rinsed, and halved.

- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced serrano chilis

- 1 large avocado, halved, seeded, and flesh scooped out

- ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves

- ½ lime, juiced

- Salt, to taste

let's get started!

Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend!

The end result of the recipe wasn't as smooth as the store bought salsa and one of the reviewers was right. It was missing something. I followed directions with a bit of eyeballing. The key ingredient I thought was missing was cumin. I added a few sprinkles of cumin one at a time, tasting it to get the right taste. Once the right amount of cumin was added in, the salsa was perfect.

It's definitely worth making and it's so easy that you can just throw it together in fifteen minutes.


New Planner Stamps

2:29 PM

Last year, I've discovered Sweet Stamp Shop and I was instantly hooked on their clear planner stamps. It's so cute, compact, and inexpensive that I've ended up purchasing quite a few. However, my first clear planning stamps were from Studio L2E, which I found were too expensive.

When I started the semester, I wanted a set of school themed stamps. I wanted to purchase the ones from Sweet Stamp Shop, but upon further inspection, these stamps were made for mums to plan their children's schedule. So, I decided to search through Studio L2E's website and find the stamps that will fit my needs.

Studio L2E now has an assortment of stamps and their Study Plans clear stamps coupled with the Hi-Light It stamps will work great in my Month on Two Pages inserts in my Filofax to schedule and organise my post-graduate life. The font or lettering size is bigger than Sweet Stamp Shop, which I really like and it's in the Serif type font, which gives my planner a polished and refined look.


Pens! Pens! Pens!

2:17 PM

It's been eight days into the semester and I'm feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, my pencil case situation has got me a bit down. A few months ago, I acquired this cute pencil-slash-makeup case from Kipling (one of my favourite brands).

The case holds 100 pens and I was ecstatic to use it. I've put all my Pilot Frixion Pens, Pilot Frixion Markers, Pilot Frixion highlighters (see the trend), Pentel gell pens, and Staedtler pens into this case along with some clear planning stamps and washi tapes. The case is a bit overstuffed and with the composition books, handouts, notes, iPad and Macbook that I carry for school, the 100 pens case wasn't a viable option for me.

So, I've decided to downsize a bit to a pink Kipling pencil case. It's much smaller and more compact than my larger case. It's also able to fit as many pens as I want without adding the bulk. Plus, it's in a pretty hot pink colour.


Post-Graduate Supplies

2:04 PM

Since the semester of post-graduate university began this Tuesday, I needed to get my supplies in order, which meant trips to the stationery or office supply shop were needed.

There are five things a postgraduate university student needs: paper clips, binder clips, tabbed paper clips, coloured pens, and a composition notebook.

The paper clips serve to mark or section off any pages and since postgraduate studies can be tedious and the pages plain, I've decided to purchase the cat paperclips from Staples. The other two clips pictured below, I purchased from discount stores such as Marhsall's and Tuesday Morning. The tabbed paper clips will serve to mark the chapters in my textbook I am required to read weekly and the mint coloured binder clips will simply bunch up the pages I've used in my Filofax.

I've also purchased a few composition notebooks and a Staedtler ballpoint pens that I will use for revision notes. Revision notes are a great way to study and relearn the material after it was presented in class. Colour coding revision notes makes it pretty as well as making certain sections or terms pop out.

It might seem that using these many stationery supplies clutter your work, but as a student, these are important tools in studying.


Reading List 2015

9:18 AM

With the summer season finally came to a close and with Post Graduate studies beginning today, I decided I would do a post on my summer reading list.

Earlier this year, I've planned to read as much "fun" books as I can before I start post grad studies. Honestly, I'm pretty surprised I punched through thirty-six books starting in January. I've still got a quite a few more to read, but I doubt I'll be able to read those books at all this year.

I do have some literature I need to read for this coming academic semester. As much as I want to add those books in my already read list, I'm not. Call me biased, but I've reserved this list for the fun reading. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a couple of non-academic based books in during the winter break. But for now, the list is complete.


What's In My Bag #3

4:37 PM

With summer already here in California and in full swing, I might as well do a "What's In My Bag" post.

I'm always changing what bag I use since I somewhat coordinate it with what I'm wearing or what I feel like using for a week or two. This summer (or at least part of it), I'm using my Kipling crossbody bag (not pictured). I like the bag since I can wear it over my shoulder and it's hands free. It's a medium sized bag, so I have to strategically think about what I'm going to put in it. Below are some of the things I like bringing with me during the summer.

1. Filofax Original A5 in Navy: This is a definite must for me. I plan my life in this organiser. I tried digital planning, but it just doesn't work for me. I love lists and I love crossing out things on my list. Plus, I can look at my schedule quicker than having to swipe.

2. iPhone 5: Also a must. What more do I need to say? 

3. Roxy JBL headphones and battery pack. I always keep a pair of headphones with me since I love listening to music, especially this summer. I also keep a battery pack with me. I've had this since I got my iPhone 3Gs (and that's quite a while back) and it's been handy.

4. Coach Sunglasses. I'm pretty light sensitive, so I've got to have sunglasses with me at all times. This constantly changes since I have few pairs of them, so for now, I've got this one with me. The case is quite large and bulky and doesn't fit in my bag, so normally, I just leave the case in the car.

5. Pink Camo Knife. I didn't use to carry one, but I found it handy especially when dining at a Chinese restaurant. They don't quite cut up the vegetables in bite size pieces, so this comes in handy when I need to cut something up. Plus, you'll never know when you might need it to break something open.

6. Makeup Bag. In my makeup bag, I only carry my BareMinerals Mineral Veil, eye drops, Burt's Bee's tinted lip balm, EOS lip balm, anti bacterial and SPF 55 Neutrogena suncream. I don't like carrying an arsenal of makeup in my bag, since it gets quite heavy. Once I've applied my makeup, the only thing that would need touching up are my lips and face should it get shiny. I'm all about simplicity when it comes to the things I carry.

7. iPad Mini. Thankfully, it's a mini. I always carry this with me since it contains ebooks. I'm always reading so if I'm ever stuck at a doctor's or dentist's office, I have something to read.

8. Purse (or wallet as my friends call it). I love this purse that I've purchased from Target. Most purses have quite a few credit card slots and I don't quite fill all of it. I only have two credit cards, a bank card, driver's license, medical card, and roadside assistance. Since most wallets have either less than five slots or more than ten, I'm quite at a loss. So when I found this, I had to buy it. It's also light.

9. Car and House Keys.

So, what do you guys carry with you daily? Let me know in the comments below.


Post-Graduate University and Stationery

1:03 PM

Earlier this month, I've finally received a letter from my chosen university that I had been accepted into their post-graduate program. I was overjoyed and the same time a bit relieved since it's the only university I've applied to. I know, I should have had a back-up university, but it was the only one that offered a fellowship at a community college.

After getting the admissions letter, I began prepping for the Fall Trimester. I knew I needed different coloured pens and Pilot Frixon highlighters, though I've already have them. My first stop was Staples where I purchased these items.

I love using the Pentel Energel pens since they write smooth and does not smudge easily. I was using this brand in my Filofax a few years back (along with others as I experimented with what pens would work). I stopped using them since I wanted the ability to erase any mistakes I make when writing in my Filofax, so I opted for the Frixion Pens. Although I can erase pretty much everything I write in my Filofax, I still cross things out when it's cancelled.

With the Pilot Frixion Highlighters, I absolutely love them since I can highlight and erase if I've gone too far on the text. Back in the late 1990s, I've discovered an erasable highlighter by Crayola and I've been hooked since. So when I found the Pilot Frixion Highlighters several years ago, I bought a packet since they had colours other than yellow.

I also purchased refills for my Pilot Frixion pens since I use the black one in my Filofax quite regularly.

Now that I'm in post-graduate university, I've started to think about the way I plan in my Filofax and the many stationery items I've purchased over the years.

Since acquiring more stationery stuff, I've decided to put it on a wicker basket on top of my desk so I can start using it up. I know it doesn't look like I've got a lot in there, but trust me, I do. And last week, I purchased some tabs from Tuesday Morning.

I've also somehow acquired quite a bit of washi/paper tape and I know there is no chance I'll be able to use this all up

As much as I want to use washi tapes and stickers to decorate my inserts in my Filofax, I'm going to have to refrain as I need to see what I have going on in the week. Thesis, research and homework must be on the forefront of my Filofax rather than have it littered with cute decoration.  So, today, I'm going to revise my Filofax set up for the coming season. I'll post about that this coming week.

I'm also going to take a cue from Angela at PaperLoveStory and add my journey through post-graduate university.

So for now, ta-ta and I hope you had a great weekend!


DIY Midori Traveller's Notebook

9:17 AM

It's been a month since I last posted to this blog. If I'm supposed to be a lifestyle blogger, then I should be posting daily, but life kind of got in the way and there is no excuse for that. Yet, I'm still going to offer up the excuse that I've been busy writing and editing my admissions essay for post-graduate studies, which I am glad to say that I've been accepted. I start my first trimester this coming autumn.

So, on with the post.

For the last year, I've been crushing on the Midori Traveller's Notebook. I do a lot of art on the side and this notebook would be a good way for me to carry and do art. I normally carry a Filofax Original A5 organiser and doing art in that is not a good idea. Sure, I doodle in my weekly pages and slightly decorate it with washi tapes and such, but the sketching, the list challenges, I'd like to keep that separate. My Filofax is made to organise my life and I wanted a Midori to facilitate my creative side.

So, I've looked around the web for the notebook and decided that Amazon might be the place I should buy it, since I've already got a few items in my cart. After inspecting the reviews and most of all, photos of the product, I was highly disappointed where it's made. It's a Japanese product, yet it's made in Thailand and quite expensive. I always advocated for locally made products, so I decided to search the web for a DIY Midori Traveller's Notebook post.

After a day of searching, I found Julie Strietelmeier's post on The Gadegetter. Her instructions were simple and she's even totalled up how much she's spent on materials.

It took me about three months to finally decide to make the notebook for myself. Yes, for a person who's into time management and absolutely despises procrastination, I've procrastinated on this. I've even procrastinated in visiting Tandy Leather.

Making this notebook is very simply and it only took me around fifteen to thirty minutes. Here are the materials I've used and they're all US and UK made materials.

Black Leather Trim - $3.99 (I had a 50% off coupon to Michael's)
2 mm Elastic Cord - $1.49
Travel Charms - $2.99

Total with tax: $9.14

The first step in making the notebook was to measure it out. I didn't think I needed to measure since the trim I've purchased was already pre-cut. Thankfully, I've already got all the leather sewing materials and didn't need to purchase them.

I've placed two Moleskin notebooks next to each other allowing some space in between and the edges. Then I've punched two holes in the middle top and middle bottom in between the two notebooks.

I cut a 26 inch length and a 10.5 inch length of elastic cord. I love the cord I bought since it's variegated and rather colourful. It goes well with the black leather trim. The longer piece, I've thread it through the bottom two holes on the right side of the leather fabric, then up the top two holes and back through the same top two holes. It was a bit difficult to thread it through since the hole I made wasn't quite big and the leather trim was a bit flimsy.

With the two elastic cords threaded through to the inside of the leather fabric, I tied two knots to hold it in place. Next, I made another hole in the middle of the right side of the fabric, threaded the shorter piece of elastic cord with the charms already looped through it and knotted the cord.

I'm pretty happy on how the traveller's notebook turned out, though I'm a bit unhappy that the moleskin notebooks were slightly large and bulking out of the leather. The material was flimsy and the next notebook I make, I'll need to make a trip to Tandy Leather and buy what was recommended to make the notebook.

What about you, do you own a Traveller's Notebook and what do you use it for?


Review: 5 Ingredient Blender Muffins

4:29 PM

Right, so I've not blogged for over a month. I've been quite busy lately with going through my digital photos, reading applications from high school students for college scholarships, and preparing to apply to post graduate school.

I've been on Pinterest for quite some time now. I pin everything from sewing projects, scrapbooking, fashion, home solutions, recipes, etc. Since I'm on a kick on eating healthy, I happened to come upon a pin which featured a Five Ingredient Blender Muffins. There's no flour or cane sugar involved. I thought, why not try it. If it doesn't work, then no harm done.

Technically, the recipe called for six ingredients, possibly more depending on what type of muffin you want to make. I'll link the recipe at the bottom of this post.

It was the perfect time to make the muffins. I had one very ripe banana and one last egg in my refrigerator. I took out my trusty Vitamix blender and combined the ingredients together.

My batter didn't look quite near the batter Happy Healthy Mama made. It was very watery. I assumed it was from the oil from the Almond Butter.  I made a few different recipes with the muffin base -- chocolate chip, white chocolate and cranberry, cinnamon raisin, and coconut and placed them in mini muffin tins.

Surprisingly enough, they turned out pretty good even though I've slightly burned the sides. I had my oven at 400°F. My tip would be watch your temperature. Not every oven runs the same temp. Overall, it's something I would probably make again. As promised, here's the link to the recipe. Five Ingredient Blender Muffins.


The Danger of Impulse Buys

12:29 PM

We've all been guilty when it comes to impulse buys, whether it's in the form of a pair of shoes or a cute handbag. 

A few weeks, possibly a month ago, I purchased some scrapbooking stuff from Tuesday Morning. They were inexpensive and at the time, I think it was worth the buy. I went home thinking this would be an amazing addition to my scrapbooking stash. So on to the review or perhaps the regret on buying these items.

When it came to the two stamps I've purchased, I had the idea of using them in my Filofax. Obviously, I didn't need the date since my Filofax is already dated. I wanted the stamps for the captions.  The ink, I also needed to use with the stamps.

So, I went ahead and tried them on my Filofax. First, the ink pad was made out of sponge which got into the blank areas of the stamp. The caption on the stamps were too small. If we're using this to create scrapbook memories, how was one supposed to see the caption?

I decided then not to use the ink pad, thinking my nicer ink pads would do the trick in making the smaller captions pop. It did, but it's still pretty small and since the captions are tiny, stamping it was difficult. Not worth it for journalling in my Filofax or in my Moleskin notebooks.

Even with the Dew Drop Memento ink pad, the stamp still look shoddy. I know it takes some practice, but I've owned stamps since I was a child and am still using them today. These journalling stamps just won't work at all.

Lessoned learned: Think it through before buying something. Just because it's cute doesn't mean it's going to work.


My Week 8

10:47 AM

As I post this week's My Week post, I've realised that I haven't numbered them properly since I started posting my Filofax weeks. I should have number the first My Week Post as "My Week #1" back when I started blogging about Filofax, Time Management and Organisation. So, in this post, I will number it correctly, starting at Week 8 as its numbered in my Filofax and continue on numbering them without restarting it as Week 1 of next year's My Week post.

Anyhow, as you may know, I made my own custom inserts since getting the Original Filofax in A5. Since I'm living in the States, it's hard to get a hold of Week on Two inserts from the Filofax USA store. I ended up with a Week on Two with Appointments.

I made and printed my own Week on Two inserts on leftover Dot Matrix Printer paper. It worked, but the quality of the paper is quite shoddy and since it's old, it a bit greyish in colour. I used my printouts for about a month until I decided to move into the Filofax Week on Two with Appointments. Compared to my dot matrix paper, the Filofax inserts are a much better choice despite the hourly rows printed on each day.

I did make it work, moving my appointments from the month before to the new inserts. I originally thought that decorating these inserts would prove quite a challenge, but it isn't. I was able to washi tape blank areas and add stickers. Next year, I'll make sure to pick up the Week on Two early!


Too Much Stuff

11:51 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I've gone through my home office and cleared up some of the stuff, especially scrapbooking/craft stuff I've got lying around my home office.

I tossed things I didn't need. I organised my rubber and acrylic stamp collection, placed all of my washi tape and stationery into two boxes. I've even gone as far as organising my coloured pencils and pens into different desktop containers. I've kept my stuff pretty organised, but the desk has become another mess as I'm sharing with Michael.

After I've finished organising my pile of stuff, I realised that I have too much stationery and washi tapes to last me a long time. I don't know how I managed to get this much stuff, but as I looked through my iPhone photos and my Instagram account, I found that it's all because I've visited two discount shops and always have left the shop with something for my Filofax.

Don't get me wrong, I love decorating my Filofax. It makes my pages look a little less plain, but when I'm spending all my time decorating something that is meant to be a tool to get my life organised, I'm not being productive and I'm not managing my time at all.

I'm not at all ragging on those people who take decorating their Filofaxes very seriously, but as for me, I know I need to use my organiser to be productive. I'm not going to spend hours washi-taping the sides, using stamps to write down my chores and such. I do have some stamps from The Sweet Stamp Shop. I use them to remind me what day of the week is waste and recycle collection or when it's laundry day. I'm always the minimalist, using a personal sized Filofax until last summer when I moved into an A5 Original since life became a little more busy and I wanted to journal in my organiser as well.

Okay, I've gone a bit off topic. But back to the original subject of this post.

In the last two weeks or so, I've managed to visit two discount shops close to my house. There's a Marshall's and a Tuesday Morning, each a mile away from me.

This is the first purchase I made this year. After using both stamps, I found that I'm not going to be using them at all. The ink pad was a good buy since I have stamps that I use for scrapbooking. The Project Life Cards, I have every intent to put them in my Filofax, but realised it's just another worthless thing to add in the organiser and it will make it quite heavy. All in all, this was an impulse buy.

I went back to Tuesday Morning again, the following week. In this week, I was looking for thick scrapbook paper to make my dividers with and I wanted them in somewhat of an golden and teal colour since my Filofax Original is in navy blue. I needed to add a pop of colour to it, though I've already had dividers in that colour range that I made last year.

I also bought another packet of Project Life cards. I don't do Project Life, but the colours of the cards were in the colour range that I was looking for, so in went the box into my shopping basket. The only purchase made on here that wouldn't be called an impulse buy would be the acrylic blocks.

Recently, a friend told me that she's having a baby and I bought her the Plan Baby stamps from The Sweet Stamp Shop. Since I saw the acrylic blocks the last time I went to the shop, I bought it since I didn't know if she had these kind of stamps. It was perfect. She was having a baby and she recently bought an Erin Condren planner.

The last shop I visited was Marshall's. It's a discount department store that sold designer stuff and practically everything under the sun. My sole purpose to visit the shop was to get some loose leaf tea, but after walking past the stationery isle, a set of pink and gold washi tape a long with a notepad caught my eye and I couldn't help myself. I picked up the note pad and the box of washi tape and headed for the checkout queue.

This past Monday, I read Angela's (from PaperLoveStory) post on "Pressures of Blogging" and how she ended up with too much stationery/washi tape. I think I had all the intention of buying these items so I can post them on Instagram. I know I need a much more solid post, solid material to put on my blog instead of just posting what I do with my Filofax. I need to get back into book reviews and recipe testing as with my previous blog with (except without the knitting).

So, what about you, have you had bought too much stationery stuff and have no idea what to do with it?


Week #2 - Getting in the Swing of Things

10:07 AM

With the Christmas holiday over, life is starting to go back to normal.

My fist order of business is to get all the necessary items to apply for post-graduate studies as well as getting all of last years files in order and filed away.

Although there isn't much on my agenda this week, I'm beginning to fill them up again along with some journalling in my Original A5 Filofax. 

I'm not quite used to the big clunky thing, but I love the room. In 2013, I've downgraded my Filofax from a Personal Finsbury to a Compact Personal Saffiano. I don't know if my switch to an A5 would be called upgrading, but nonetheless, I need to get used to a large organiser since this year would be a busy year. If all goes well and I'm accepted into post-graduate school, I know my agenda would be filled with assignments along with every day life.

This week, I've also dabbled in the art of pasta making.

The dough turned out rather dense and doughy, but the fillings which were red pepper herb ricotta cheese and pork and beef were good. This coming weekend, I will try to practice making the dough again with the same fillings.

So, my week had been productive. How was yours?


Year in Review and 2015 Goals

12:16 PM

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely, festive, and safe New Year.

This year, Michael and I celebrated New Year's Eve in East Coast Style. Our December was quite a hectic month and we haven't recovered. He was in bed and asleep at around ten, whilst I tried to stay up by finishing my last book of the year.

In January of 2014, I started a reading challenge. I didn't set a goal on how many books to read, but just to read. For the year, I've read twenty books. Some I've purchased and others I've borrowed from the local library.

In June, I've published a novel on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. I don't want to go on a sad note, but the novel only generated three sales party because I'm new to the publishing world and I wasn't sure how to market the book.

October brought in some much needed pick me up. I've gone on a holiday to the East Coast and visited around twelve or so different states. It was an amazing trip and I've expanded my photo library because of it.

In November, I've also learned that Advantage Rental Car isn't a good company to hire car when you're on holiday. In Washington DC, we've hired a car to get us up to Maine and back down to Boston. The first economy class car they've given us, the interior was dirty. The upholstery had Cheetos residue on them. They gave us another car, but this time, the car was wrecked. There was no other vehicle to choose from and they said to go ahead and take it, but make sure we've documented the damage. Thankfully, after an article I've read on USA Today, I made sure I took photographs of the damage on my phone (since it gives a time stamp and gps) and I've also videoed the damage.

A month after our holiday and the return of the car, Advantage was suing us for wrecking their vehicle. We informed the adjuster of the noted damage prior to rental and she said she'd contact Advantage for said paperwork. Advantage did not contact her back. I kept everything including the photos and videos. I e-mailed it to her and within a week, the claim was closed and we were not liable. So, note. Do not rent from Advantage!

December, life had gotten a lot busier with Michael's Union christmas party where I was hired to be the photographer. We've also catered a holiday luncheon for CSLB, then off to San Francisco for the Moose Feed. 

All in all, it was a good year.