Mini Monday & Outlander

This weeks #minimaniamonday spread in my Mini Happy Planner features black, mint/teal, and red colors. Like another planner by the internet moniker of By Rochelle, I like to use a certain type of sticker in one of the MAMBI sticker packs so until I can find an alternative sticker combo for work disignations, I’ll be introducing some more color into my spreads.

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As you can see, I’ve used up nearly all the cool hues/colors of these stickers – I guess it’s time to start thinking outside of the box! Or maybe it’s time to start thinking about making my own stickers? Hm… Choices, choices…

Recently, a typical element to my spreads is layering random stickers with the boxes mentioned above to designate my work days. These are usually stickers from The Planner Junkie from Summer’s Junkie Samplers. Out of the few Etsy shops I’ve purchased planner stickers from, hers just seem to be a better quality product and she produces things I prefer and will use so I highly recommend buying from her (yes, I realize her stuff is pricey, but I think it’s worth the money). Some splashes of floral motifs are littered throughout this weeks spread to round it out.

My goal next week is to do more stamping in my Mini to save on sticker usage.

Outlander – A Mini Review

Moving onto the bookish aspect of the blog, I’ll be doing mini reviews instead of full-blown ones as I think having to go back and review an entire book makes my brain overthink things. Splitting up my thoughts through quarterly reviews I think will make the project more manageable. That said, my thoughts at the halfway mark on Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander:

Pacing/Style – It’s not horrible; Neither too slow or too fast. Gabaldon writes in a style that’s about the same; She’s not wordy and doesn’t spend an unecessary amount of time giving history lessons (which was a concern of mine given that the book is 200 pages shy or so of 1,000). There are a few instances where I found myself eye-rolling, but like real humans, characters are not perfectly written, either.

Story – I’m enjoying it and there are been a few reading sessions where I tell myself, “just one more chapter,” until I realize it’s four-in-the-morning and I have to be up in three or four hours for work. I am at a point where I’d like Claire to make a choice, but given that this is the first book in the series, I suspect the remainder of the book will be spent in this Zone of Indecision for a while longer? (I only assume this based on what I’ve seen in the series /sheepishlook Clearly she made a choice, whether she was conscious of it or not.)

There were some instances in the story and it’s affect on characters that I was uncomfortable with, but those are thoughts I’m saving until I’ve completed the novel.

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Let’s Dust This Blog Off…

The last time I posted here was in April showing how I used a discbound notebook with the Bullet Journal system. Since then I’ve gone back to using the planners by Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI)—The Happy Planner—because I missed doing all the decorating that comes with it. There was also the fact that it was difficult to gauge how much space was going to be used and needed for each week and therefore future planning pertaining to my work schedule (despite the fact that Ryder addresses that issue). The Future and Monthly Log simply wasn’t working for my needs and as a retail worker, it’s very important to be able to refer to my schedule for the next week. That said, I still highly recommend the system to people looking for ways to be productive.

2017, so far, has been a somewhat surprisingly busy year for me. March saw me attending the Spring Scrap Camp even though I wasn’t scrapbooking, but yarnbending—and I was not the only one not scrapbooking this time!—and this year also marked a significant life event. Not for me, but my cousin! Sometime last year (I think?) he announced his engagement to his girlfriend so my mom and I spent one weekend this past May attending his fiancee’s bridal shower and then the end of July we attended their wedding. I am so very happy for him and his wife and wish them all the best ♥!

So what have I been doing in the reading and crafting department? Admittedly, my progress has been slow to non-existent on the projects I want to complete, but I have been picking at them. In the yarnbending department, I’m working on four projects—two shawls and two blankets—and they’re all at varying stages that I’ll post about in the near future. As for my reading endeavors, I have not been as successful at completing books this year as I’d like to be. I’ve been participating in a traveling book project with marginal success, but I’m hoping to get Outlander read this month and reviewed. Yes, you read correctly—reviewed. It’s my intention to make more of an effort to get books read and completed more often so that I can review them.

Other plans I have in mind for the blog are planning related. I don’t think I’ll be doing any tips or tricks because there are plenty of awesome planner babes that do a far better job than me. On the planning front, I intend to use my Instagram as a springboard for more detailed posts here. That being said…

What kind of content related to books, crocheting, and planning would you like to see here? Please comment below with ideas and requests and I’ll see if I’ll be able to implement it on the blog :).

Photo by Austin Ban on Unsplash.

Pink Carnations, Jack the Ripper, & Robin Hood, Oh My!

I’ve been reading a book on-and-off by Lauren Willig called The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The book was pitched to me a while back when Waldenbooks and Borders was still around as a historical fiction novel. That’s true, to some extent, but the true focus is on the romance between the two leads, which is why I’m semi-dragging my feet in completing the novel. I don’t mind romance in my books, but when you’re lead to believe one thing and you get another… So, I’m only really picking the book up and progressing with it when I need something on the lighthearted side.

Instead, I recently purchased a couple YA novels titled Stalking Jack the Ripper and Shadow of the Wolf. The contents of the former is rather obvious, but I found the twist rather intriguing to pick it up: Supposedly, the main character falls in love with Jack? WHO KNOWS! The premise is kind of vague on that, but the back of the hardcover hints at it? I’ll see once I crack open the book and start reading. However, the book I’m more excited about is the latter because I’m a sucker for Robin Hood adaptations and that’s what Shadow of the Wolf is. Plus, it’s the first in a trilogy and it sounds ominous which is perfect for October, so bonus!

What books do you plan on reading in October?

Bookish Thoughts & Other Stuff

24612163I recently started reading The Girl on the Train. At this point, I’m about 44 – 45 pages in and I’m on the fence on whether or not to continue. The book is interesting, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not compelling me to consistently turn the page, so to speak. If I have to be honest, the trailer for the movie grabs my attention much better than the book is, so I wonder if it’s just me or if the book just has a slow start? Again, I suppose I’m still too early in the book to make such an assessment, so I’ll try and get into at least triple digit page numbers before I make a decision.

Continue reading “Bookish Thoughts & Other Stuff”

How to Hang a Witch

Written by Adriana Mather, a 12th generation descendant of Cotton Mather, How to Hang a Witch introduces us to Samantha Mather, a fictional descendant of Cotton. Samantha and her stepmother, Vivian, have recently moved to Salem after her father mysteriously slips into a coma. Upon her arrival and attendance to the local high school, Samantha quickly realizes that the Mather name doesn’t inspire much toward positive interactions for her. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as Samantha is bullied by a group of students dubbed The Descendants. You won’t need to be a genius as to why this group of students are named such.

Bullying is one of two prominent themes throughout the book. It irked me quite a lot that the Descendants were incredibly quick to judge Samantha based solely on the fact that she was a descendant of Cotton instead of getting to know the girl first. Her neighbors son, Jaxon, is the only student that, from the beginning, is actually nice to her. However, the Descendants treatment of Samantha only continues to feed into the second theme of the book: History repeating itself.

As the book continues, Samantha is frequently accused of being the cause of various incidents not only in school, but around town all involving various family members of the Descendants. Once a ghost by the name of Elijah makes his presence known to Samantha, the two quickly discover the correlating events of present day Salem with that of it’s past as the hysteria surrounding Samantha’s presence continues to escalate. A large chunk of the novel is Samantha and Elijah trying to solve this “curse” while she also tries to mend some bridges in order to get some help from some of the Descendants.

Continue reading “How to Hang a Witch”

I’ve been too long, I’m glad to be back

Yes, I’m let loose/From the noose/That’s kept me hanging around

Ok, perhaps not, but it’s time to return to WordPress. In the eight months that I’ve been away, I’ve been trying my hand at posting to Instagram and Tumblr since I see a lot of activity on the feeds there versus what I see here. The results, however, have been mixed, if I’m honest.

Instagram has been great as an easy way of getting images of my WIPs out into cyberspace and I get what I consider a decent amount of interaction (I always get at least one “like” and sometimes a few comments). Tumblr, while easy to use, is not great at showing stats unless people are, again, interacting with the post. I found on that particular platform, I was only getting the interaction I was seeking when I mentioned or tagged certain users. Then I would get a lot of likes and even a couple of reblogs. That’s great, but not what I was looking for on a regular basis.

In the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that WordPress really is the superior blogging platform (I even tried Blogger for a little bit, but found limitations there that I did not like). I get to see who visits and I get to see who interacts with posts. That is, essentially, what I’ve been searching for (and, I think, what every blogger craves). So, congrats, WordPress, you’ve completely, 100% won me over. I’ll never leave you again! Continue reading “I’ve been too long, I’m glad to be back”