New Pens

Time for an update on the writing instruments I’ve been using since January!

The last I wrote about pens, I simultaneously brought up the paper quality factor. This is not something I have fully addressed yet for my bullet journal. However, I was the recipient of some extra kindness in a pen transaction and have had the opportunity to use some better paper. Paper matters, people.

First, I’ll address the pens I mentioned last time:


Paper Mate Inkjoy: These are largely out of the picture. Some people love them–they’re not for me.

Pilot Acroball Multi Pen: This is now my dedicated grocery shopping pen. It always writes, and I can scribble prices on my grocery list in different colors for different stores. It’s no longer a daily carry for my bullet journal, but it’s still a favorite.


Pilot Frixion: I haven’t bought refills.

Uni-ball Signo 207 BLX: I’m still liking these a lot, switching them out for daily use in my bullet journal.

Felt Tip

Sharpie Pen: I’m using these to add some color, along with the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.

American Crafts Precision Pen: This one is totally forgettable for me.

Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan: Still using this one–I finally emptied my first cartridge! I got some blue-black cartridges and an ink sample–using the blue-black at this time.


Uni-Ball Signo 307: This was a freebie that came in a pack of Sharpie gel highlighters. I love it! It’s been my go-to for bullet journaling, and I was sort upset when I thought the cats lost it a few weeks ago. (False alarm–Andrew, notorious pen thief, had borrowed it.)

Lamy Safari (1.1 nib): I purchased this from another fountain pen user, who generously offered ink samples and a couple of notebooks to go with it. The style of nib has taken a little getting used to, but I like how it adds some style to my normal handwriting. I’m torn between the Midori MD and the Maruman Mnemosyne paper–they’re both great.

pen addict care package

Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop (M nib): I couldn’t resist the turquoise any longer. I tried the larger nib option on this one and I think I might like it better than the fine. I ordered a sample of J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe to be matchy-matchy.

Platinum Preppy (M nib): This one is just to play with as an eyedropper (after I get silicone grease because I forgot to order it). I thought the red nib was really unique, but I like how it writes too.

pen addict order 0316

I’ve been playing around with doodling and practicing my handwriting with my new pens, and I picked up letter writing late into incowrimo.

Do you have a new favorite pen? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Goals Check-In #5

Apologies for the unannounced (and unplanned) blogging break.

Due to my continued lack of progress after the last check-in, I’m going to put this series on hiatus. Evidently I have some bigger things to work through besides implementing what should be simple habits.


I thought that posting this series would provide some accountability and help me build healthier habits, but it’s not working as I thought it would. Time to try something different!

Short post today–I’ll try to get back on my regular schedule this week.

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Finance Report – February 2016

The transition to a new month is when most people review their budget, as do we. See our January review here.

I’ll start with what had the most impact on our budget this month: tax refunds. Andrew and I filed our taxes in January, so we got our refunds early. (Except my state refund, which I’m still waiting for…) We’d talked beforehand about how we wanted to use this money. Part of it was put back for a trip we’re taking in April, and the rest was supposed to go to debt. We did pay off debt #2 on the list as planned, but the rest of the game plan changed somewhat.

My laptop is due for replacement, especially after I dropped it and killed the screen the last week of February. Instead of using tax money to replace it immediately, I started a laptop replacement fund.

Andrew spent a few days in Orlando participating in Extra Life United. His entry fee, flight, and hotel were paid for. We had to cover food, park admission at Disney, and souvenirs–which I grossly underestimated. His mom generously contributed to his trip money, which was a huge help.

The statement for debt #3 arrived on the last day of the month, when I had planned to make the extra payment. I left the money where it was and will bump it to this month’s payment.

Then of course I decided I wanted a birthday fund for myself (it’s quickly approaching), so Andrew agreed it would be ok to set out $50 for that.

Barring all of that, we did pretty well staying within normal budget categories. Andrew being gone for most of a week allowed us to cut the grocery bill to help account for other things.

I didn’t do much to update our budget spreadsheet for March. The main change I made was to split eating out and going to the movies, and increase those budgets slightly. I kept losing Andrew on those being in one category, so they’re split up now for clarity.

Now that we’re doing better at maintaining, I’m thinking about trying You Need A Budget. Back before I met Andrew, I did pay bills with “last month’s money” and I’d love having that security again. People rave about YNAB everywhere so it’s tempting to give it a shot.

I believe that’s all there is to update at this time. Check back next month for March progress!

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February 2016 Review

The end of another month means time for another monthly review. See January’s here.

bullet journal febreview

Here are the highlights for February:

  • I need to develop my own routines that I can stick to daily. While I didn’t strictly follow my “bedtime” this month, I did do better with being mindful of what time I went to sleep.
  • For some reason I was still feeling run-down this month, and I was in an absolute funk for the last week of the month. So self-care is a priority.
  • Let’s not talk about how little cleaning I got done… It’s a priority as well.
  • I tried the printable for my weekly layout, but decided I’m going back to the weekly log I tried at the end of December. I genuinely missed it this month, but wanted to give the printable a fair chance.

How did the month go for you? Let me know in the comments how you do your reviews.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Favorite Pop Culture Podcasts

I’ve posted before about my favorite book-related podcasts, so thought I’d share my favorite pop culture podcasts.

Pop Culture Happy Hour – Mentioning this one again as it’s really what got me started on pop culture podcasts

Appointment Television (NSFW) – One of the hosts (Margaret) often guests on PCHH, so I had to check out her podcast once I heard she started one

Pop Culture Case Study – Dave relates psychological concepts to movies; I’m way behind as I’m watching the movies before listening to the episode

Skip to the End (NSFW) – This is a fun podcast with 3 British guys (with occasional guests) reviewing movies, playing pop culture trivia games, and generally having a good time

TV Crimes – I started listening to this one more recently, and there aren’t many episodes, but if you’re a fan of Wil Wheaton at all it’s worth checking out

This list may be updated in a few months once I’ve caught up on some podcast backlog. I know I have a few more pop culture podcasts I want to give a shot.

Let me know in the comments if you listen to any of these podcasts, or if there are others you think I should check out!

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Goals Check-In #4

Let’s see how things have gone since last time. I decided to focus on the things that make the biggest difference in how I feel on a daily basis: going to bed on time, drinking enough water, and meditating.

bullet journal tracker feb1602

I do ok with meditating most of the time as long as I don’t decided to lie in bed after my alarm goes off, or get caught up in looking at stuff on my phone. I could still improve.

Since I’m only tracking when I go to bed by 10pm here, the progress I did make doesn’t show here. I have a separate page where I’ve been taking notes related to my sleep: what time I went to bed, if I had a headache that day, if I had caffeine that day, and if I took a nap.

I’ve done a little better with drinking enough water, but again, I could still improve.

I’m thinking of adding a couple of mini habits to the three I’m keeping track of now, inspired by the book of the same name.

Are you making progress on your goals? Let me know in the comments!

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Discbound Bullet Journal: Archive

As I’ve mentioned before, I switched to an Arc discbound notebook for my bullet journal. I’ve switched up the arrangement a couple of times, but have stuck with this iteration. The only aspect I hadn’t addressed was archiving past months. There was no question I was going to be pulling them out as I don’t want to carry around a notebook with larger discs, but what to do with those pages was still up in the air until I’d used the notebook long enough to need archiving.

For the first month I simply clipped the pages together (there weren’t many) until I could figure out a solution.

bullet journal archive 1

The obvious one was to buy more discs (I did), but that didn’t solve the issue of being able to locate a note I wanted to reference as I wasn’t numbering pages. At least not until I ran across a trick that was posted in the Bullet Journal Junkies Facebook group. (I apologize, I tried to find the post so I could give credit, but failed.) Now I have started numbering my pages as “last two digits of the year two digit month number.two digit page number” (i.e., 1602.01 for the first page of February 2016). EDIT: This page numbering technique is from the brilliant Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine (I should have known!)!

And now my archive has notes indexed and I can find them again!

bullet journal archive index

I thought this little hack for using a discbound notebook worked out well and wanted to share in case it will help someone else.

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