Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review update - aliexpress travel notebook

I did it, I moisturized the leather to see if the scratches would buff away easier. I like the look of it now, the leather is darker and I can still see the colour variations. Sadly right after I moisturized the leather it became much easier to scratch or at least more noticeable because the scratches are really light and the leather is now dark. I'm letting it dry  a bit now and will see how it wears over the next week. 

Here are pictures of the now darker leather. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review - Handmade Vintage Traveler's Notebook Genuine Leather Cowhide diary spiral looes leaf journal

Today I am reviewing a Fauxdori I purchased from Alice's Sweet Castle on Aliexpress. I selected the 22x12cm Standard size in Red Brown for US $24.90.

I was really impressed with how fast the shipping was, I ordered on the 22nd and it arrived on the 31st. The parcel was well packaged in a padded envelope with extra padding inside. The deal I got included extras which aren't always included with a fauxdori. There were a lot of options go go through before finalizing the order.
1. select the size you want,
2. pick one of 7 colour choices, Order and then in notes indicate the following:
3. pick which notebooks you want, there are 4 options for passport size and 9 choices for standard size.
4. select which of 3 folder options
5. choose one of 12 pendant/charm.
The company also sent some extra elastic for repairs, a brass pen holder, and a leather bookmark. I selected 2 dot grid notebooks and a blank monthly notebook along with a pvc zipper pouch, and a clock charm.

The notebook is quite nice, the leather is stiff but will soften with use and some rolling. I did notice a very strong leather smell with a slight chemical tinge to it. I had to air the cover out for a few hours before  completely moving in.I really like this warm brown colour and the tab on the closing elastic is growing on me. The 'dori has the closure elastic on the spine which I prefer and come with 1 internal elastic so it's good that they sent it will all 3 inserts and the folder pre-inserted along with extra joining elastic. The charms at the bottom of the booklets are attached to the extra elastic loop. I found that the closure elastic was very tight and pulling in the edges of the notebook so I untied it and loosened it after I took these pictures.

The leather is sturdy enough to hold itself flat when empty but you can see how tight the elastic is when you take off the tension and allow it to curl, So far it seems to be the correct amount of tension for the notebook. I will need to find some leather conditioner to give this cover some moisture as it seems quite dry and is taking scratches and scrapes very easily. It will definitely show the journey I take it on through life and the dangers of my purse will be obvious. Over all I am quite pleased with this purchase. It is my first Midori style traveler's notebook and I think I made a good choice for my starter cover. My homemade inserts and kraft folder look pretty good inside it too.


Edited Aug 2, 2015 to add more pictures.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Caught the Planner Bug

I have felt like I needed something more than just the calendar on my phone for a while. In December I started to use the Family Planner version of a Plum Paper Planner and it has really helped to be able to see the monthly overview and a whole week at a time with a row for each member of the family and extra rows to decorate or use for activities for the whole family. I fell down the decorating rabbit hole too with washi tape and functional stickers from Etsy. I love my small collection of stickers and clips and bookmarks but I don't like how big the book is. Often I would set up my week on Sunday and then not look at the planner at all until the following Sunday. I need something that I can take with me so that I remember all the little things that I have to do during my lunch breaks and after work before going home, I would sometimes get home and then have to leave again because I remembered the 3 things I forgot to pickup as soon as I parked the car.

I started to stalk the facebook groups to see what other people were doing to keep track of their lives. I had seen the Midori travelers Notebooks (MTN) on Goulet Pens a few years ago when I was looking for fountain pens but didn't see the point of a small journal since I hadn't kept a journal since college and for a year after hubby's accident, I also couldn't handle the price it seemed like a lot of money to spend on a piece of leather with a blank notebook. With my new searches into planners I saw new inserts with monthly/weekly/daily calendars and some great layouts which just might work for me. I picked up a field notes sized fauxdori, a knock-off journal cover based on on the MTN to give it a try. The cover was on sale and the small size seemed good to me. I printed up a montly calendar and a gid notebook to give it a try. I love this colour and the size was definitely handy, I even printed off a monthly calendar and made some inserts to fit in it.
Purple PocketJot
Inserts for fauxdori
This PocketJot worked pretty well for a while, but it was too small to put in more than just the basics and I never did figure out what to do with the grid notebook. So I kept looking. 
I came across Bullet Journaling which seemed just simple enough to work for me. I looked at facebook groups and youtube to see how other people were using this system and saw that some of them were using MTNs and making changes to match their own lives. I decided to try bullet journal insert in the 'standard' size just to see if it would work for me I love the free inserts from My Life All In One Place by Ray Blake. I have used this insert for about 2 weeks and it has gone everywhere with me to make sure nothing gets missed. So far it has worked for me. I have added a weekly overview so that I can still see where everyone is each week and catch overlaps which could trip us up. I think this is going to work for me.

In the Blink of an Eye - Part 2

It's been a crazy few years since I posted last. My husband spent from August 30, 2011 to February 2012 away from us while he was in VGH and GF Strong recovering and getting the physio and training he needed to deal with all the changes in his life. He was lucky that he had a partial spinal cord injury so that he has some feeling and movement in both legs instead of being paralyzed from point of injury down. He can now walk again with the help of forearm crutches. We have a lift so he can ride upstairs if he is too tired to climb up, he hasn't used it since the first months it was installed, but perhaps he should be. We are all getting use to our new life and how we work together as a family. I think it has brought us closer together and given our son an up close view of continued how hard work can make big changes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye - Part 1

It's been a while since I've blogged. A lot has been going on that has kept me away from the the computer for the most part and from blogging in particular.

On August 30, 2011 my life changed. It was about 4:30pm, I was working when I received a phone call from my husband, I couldn't answer because I had a patient on the phone booking an appointment and another in front of me waiting to pay. I continued with my day not too worried since he had already told me he was on the way home on his motorbike and would be picking up our son soon. I thought he just wanted to talk about patio furniture some more and it would be fine if I called him back later. I checked his voice mail and it was all road noise so I sent him a quick text asking what was up and kept working. Not long after this I received a phone call from a nurse at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) saying that my boss's husband had been in an accident and she had to come to the phone. My boss to the call and then came out looking pale saying it was a motorbike accident, not her husband but mine. The nurse told me that my husband was in Emergency and I should come right away. I took about 10 minutes to calm down and say goodbye to my boss and then left. Son was at a friends house so I didn't have to worry about him, I knew he would be taken care of while I looked after Hubby.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reiki News

If you know of anyone who needs or wants to try Reiki in the Burnaby, BC area, please pass this information along. The linked post has all the needed details!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chinese Steamed Buns (Bao)

Well I did it. With all my Dutch heritage and genetic baking inheritance from my Grandfather (Opa) I mastered (well... sorta) the art of Chinese Steamed Buns.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reiki Renewal

I just spent a wonderful 3 days with Mari of Jikiden Reiki with Mari. I felt it was time to re-take the Shoden and Okuden levels of Reiki, to make sure what I thought I knew was actually what was being taught. There is always some new aspect to learn, and new questions asked by the other students.

I repeated the Shoden (first level) training in Chilliwack and saw the lovely set up she has in her Reiki room. It was great being able to review my training and meet new Reiki people who were just learning about Reiki and how powerful it can be. Taking the training again brought more depth to my knowledge and reminded me of some of the nuances that I had missed or forgotten from my first training 3 years ago. The entire experience was definitely worth the 3 hr a day travel time! If I decide to repeat my training in Chilliwack again I will be spending the night there instead of driving home each night. I was much more tired than I expected on the 2nd day and actually fell asleep during the 1 hr Reiki session I received while another student practised his new skills. It was a good healing nap though. ;-)

The Okuden (second level) training was offered in Vancouver so a much shorter drive for me. Two of us were reviewing and one was new to the Okuden teaching. It is always interesting to see how the same words mean different things to different people. There were some good discussions about distance healing and how we can use it to help those in need.

It was an excellent experience going through the training again with smaller groups. I feel connected to the Reiki world once again and ready to grow my practice.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review - Pocketbook 360 Plus

Near the end of April when the screen cracked on my original Pocketbook 360 (Christmas present from hubby) the only thing that kept me from being devastated was the fact that I had a backup eBook reader and that the Pocketbook 360 Plus was due to come out soon. The videos of Doom II running on the eBook reader seemed to be a good indication of the increased processor speed. I couldn't wait, I pre-ordered my very own as soon as I could: April 29, 2011 I placed my order, May 3, 2011 it shipped, and May 18, 2011 it arrived!!!

Don't be concerned about the fact that the screen on my original 360 cracked, I have owned both versions of the Cybook Gen3, a BeBook One, a BeBook Mini, the 360 Original, and now the 360+, that's 6 eInk devices since 2007 and all but 1 of them are still going strong. Yes there is a glass substrate, yes we need to treat these devices with care and no we don't have to wrap them in bubble wrap and read them in a padded room. The only time I ever wrapped one of them in bubble wrap was while I was waiting for the cover to come in for my BeBook Mini. I really wanted to take it with me but refused to transport it without some kind of protective covering. I have taken them camping, read in the bath (don't fall asleep!), read in the car, read on an airplane, and on the ferry. I take them with me everywhere I would take a paperback. I'm just a bit more aware of how I pack it in my bag. The only reason the screen cracked is because I got careless and left the 360 on the coffee table with the cover off. This is a dangerous thing to do when there is an active 7 yr old in the house! I didn't see the 360 get landed on, but some things you don't need to see to believe.
The Review

Monday, March 7, 2011

Read an E-Book Week: March 6-12, 2011

Did you know that it's the 40th anniversary of the E-Book? That's right, they've been around for a long time!

Head over to the Read an E-Book Week website and take advantage of the great deals and give-aways that are going on. There are some great partners this year and I know that there will be something for everyone. If you haven't tried reading an E-Book yet, now is the time to find great Free E-Books to test the waters with.

Most Smart Phones have apps that will read a variety of E-Book formats along with dedicated Readers like Sony, Cybook, Kindle, and Kobo. Of course you could always read an E-Book on your iPad or Computer/Laptop as well. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter is still here

Weird white stuff falling from the sky seems to be happening more often lately. First we had a Hail Storm on Thursday which lasted for almost an hour and accumulated enough that in the picture I took it looks looks like snow. I really should have taken a closeup so that you could see the tiny, and not so tiny, balls of ice that make up those snow drifts. Was quite odd driving through a blizzard of hail, and then later that night hearing thunder followed by the ping and thud of hail instead of the steady rhythm of rain.

Now there is actual fluffy snow falling, if it sticks I'll take another picture. I knew it was cold this morning when I bundled Son into his winter jacket, but I really wasn't expecting to see snow. The weather man so rarely gets the predictions right that I really didn't believe him today, I thought it would warm up and we would have rain instead. Oh well, the kids will enjoy it during their breaks from class today. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Snow Warnings

I always find it a little funny when we get snow warnings on the coast. We are expecting a massive 5cm-10cm of snow, or just over 4 inches. That shouldn't be enough for a snow warning, but since it will be "widespread snowfall of the season" we are warned about it.

There was some snow in my rain on the way to work today, but none on the way home. We shall see what tomorrow brings. I'm not worried though, it's the weekend so most drivers will be more patient and I already have my snow tires on so I don't have to line up with the rest of vancouver to have them installed.

I plan to have a quiet relaxing weekend no matter what the weather is like. Snow will just result in more hot chocolate and perhaps the first fire of the season.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodbye and hello

We said goodbye to a longtime friend last week. Spooky, the cat I'd had for 12 yrs, passed away on Thursday. He went quietly at the vets office. I have to think that he is in a better place now. He had CRF and had been failing slowly over the past few years. The past months the changes were happening faster, he was slowing down a lot, wasn't coming to meet us at the door anymore (he use to be waiting for us before we got up the stairs), and seemed to forget where the litter box was more and more often. His overall behaviour was degrading as well, he had always had sooo much patience for Son, lately Spooky had been nipping at him almost before Son could say hello. It was very sad. He was not a happy kitty. We would sometimes let him outside to explore with supervision, but more and more he was going into the bushes and hiding instead of exploring. It freaked Son out when he couldn't find Spooky right away, he hated the thought of him going missing.

We spent a lot of time over the last year warning Son that Spooky was very very sick and might not get worse for a while, but that he would never get completely better. He knew that eventually the illness would win. This isn't to say that he was completely ready to say goodbye, neither was I. I still look over to side of the living room where Spooky's cat tree was expecting to see him curled up there. I still look for him on my bed to warm my feet. It is a very odd thing to put a pile of clean laundry down on the bed and know that when I come back there won't be a cat curled up on it.

We will miss you Spooky.

One of the things that helped Son cope with the idea of loosing a friend he had known for his entire life was the idea of getting a new pet. He knew it wouldn't be a dog or a cat, but a fish might be OK. He had seen his cousin's betta fish and thought that might be something we would get him. I was thinking a small 1 or 2 gallon tank with a couple of plants and a single fish. After reading more about Betta fish I realized that it would need about 5 gallons, still a fairly small tank, not a problem I thought just more room for plants or decorations. That was before Hubby started looking into Betta fish and tanks. Those of you who know Hubby know that he doesn't just do something, he researches and reads and falls in love with the process. This is what happened in regards to the fish. We now have a lovely "Nano Cube 12 Gallon Deluxe" fish tank, lots of plants, and some wood for interest. The one thing we do not have is any fish.

We have been researching and learning and following instructions from the fish store.... then following new instructions from actual keepers of fish. The result of following the new instructions is an almost crystal clear tank with actual oxygen bubbles coming from the plants instead of a cloudy tank with sad looking plants. For some reason they didn't like the salt we put in the first batch of water, who knew? The addition of bio-and-fertilizer-infused gravel couldn't have hurt either. According to all we have read, we might actually be able to add in a fish or two in 3 weeks. Son is very very sad, he keeps asking when we are going to get a fish, any fish. I hate to make him wait, but really I'd rather not kill any fish... not this soon after loosing the first pet we had.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Treat for Myself :)

I spoiled myself today. I took a trip into Vancouver to a lovely little penshop on Cambie, Perks. I have been interested in Fountain pens for ages and since I've decided to improve my penmanship I figure I deserve to have a nice pen. I've been lurking on The Fountain Pen Network for a while now and had a very clear idea of what I wanted for my first pen and what colour I wanted for ink. I had decided ages ago that I wanted to buy ink in a bottle rather than using cartridges, it's more cost effective and soooo many more choices!

My first choice in ink colours, Midnight Blue by Noodler's, wasn't available so I got a lovely very dark purple called Purple Martin again by Noodler's. I took a picture of the ink but the sample doesn't show the purple shading that I can see in person.

I had a good time in the shop looking at all the lovely pens well out of my price range and am very pleased with my purchase of a Lamy Safari pen the colour of which is "Al-Star Purple." I'm sensing a theme with these colours. *Grin* I also got a couple of Clairefontaine notebooks. I've read a lot of rave reviews about these notebooks and didn't really understand why until I saw them in person. The paper is so smooth and so soft feeling, the pen just glides over the page with no resistance from the paper. I know I'm going to enjoy practicing my printing and cursive in these notebooks.