My New Planner for 2018-2019

October 19th, 2018 Posted in Organization, Paper Planners | No Comments »

As a long-time planner enthusiast, I find it tough to commit to the same type of planner year after year.  There’s so many great ones out there and also ones you can customize yourself.  You must also consider that your needs might change from year to year e.g. student, personal, entrepreneur planners are very different from one another.  Therefore, there’s no shame in giving other organizers a try.  I began 2018 with a half letter sized planner I created on my own and began using the small spiral bound one by Katie Daisy once August rolled around.  I didn’t have to experience the guilt over switching since I had always printed just a small batch of the pages beforehand.  While I do find that the KD planner is convenient for toting around in a bigger purse and that its pages is pure eye candy, I must admit I’m missing my bigger daily pages from my previous printouts.  That being said, I can make due and commit to finishing out the entire book.  The KD planner covers from August 2018 until December 2019.  I’m attaching pics below of mine so you can get an idea (keep clicking to enlarge photo).  I purchased mine from Amazon.com and snagged it on discount at $9.07.  It’s still a sweet deal even at regular price.

P.S. I’m planning to do a chronology of all my past planners or at least as many as I can find.  I think it’ll be fun to take a trip down memory lane.  Stay tuned for that post :)

*Photos by NYCupcake

 

2018 Hallmark Mini Haul

October 19th, 2018 Posted in Holiday | No Comments »

I usually purchase these Hallmark ornament series in July but this year it slipped my mind until now.  I’m so excited to be able to say that they are on their way to me.  As an aside, I was so sad to find out that my local free-standing Hallmark store closed it’s doors for the last time during this past Spring :(.  I had really loved this store too.  I have to travel much further now if I want to see any Hallmark items up close.  Though they have an online presence, it’s not the same since another issue is that there are ornaments which are only available for in-store pick up.  I’m really disappointed :/.  Another bummer is that I believe they have discontinued the gnome home series since there are no new designs which can be found for the holiday season of 2018 :(.  Where are you elemental/gnome lovers out there???  Hallmark needs to hear your voice!  Anyway, to end this post on a more positive note, here are pics of what I purchased.  Can you tell I’m a big admirer of Marjolein Bastin yet? ;)

*Photo Credit: Hallmark.com

The Raven

October 13th, 2017 Posted in Cool Gadgets, Handbags | No Comments »

We were really there for my husband… to help him find a day hiking backup at Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna, New Jersey.  It’s one of those times when you find something special for yourself too ;).  Fairly often I find myself slightly dehydrated and fatigued on longer hikes despite bringing along a bottle of water.  No longer do I have to take such conservative little sips hoping to reach the car before running out of water.  I believe my new Raven will definitely level the playing field for me.  There’s also ample space to carry other little necessities AND I was able to find it in a lovely purple violet (Royal Purple) as well!  Because I’m a stickler for cleanliness, I bought a perfect fit Osprey Bite Valve Cover for it.  The cover is compatible with other Osprey products like a few of their water containers etc.  Recently I purchased a raincover to protect my backpack from inclement weather; its ever so slightly big but it’ll do.  Both the bite valve and raincover were purchased from Amazon.com.

*Photo Credit: Ramsey Outdoor & Amazon.com

Ornament Trees, Stands, Displays

August 3rd, 2017 Posted in Holiday | No Comments »

A great alternative to tabletop trees either real or faux are the numerous ornament trees, stands, and displays on the market.  Some are also easy to build and customize to your heart’s content.  The one I recently purchased from eBay as old new stock is the 2006 Spring Ornament Display.  It is perfect for storing most of my Marjolein Bastin ornaments and has the added bonus of taking up very little space on my shelf.   Yes, I still owe you a picture of mine ;).

*Photocredit: Hooked on Hallmark

Here’s another design which could easily be hung on a wall or you could build your own to accommodate larger ornaments.  If mounted on a wall, it wouldn’t even consume any table space!

*Photocredit: Hooked on Hallmark

If you have other great ornament display ideas, please comment below.  I would love to hear from you :)

Other Very Cute Hallmark Keepsakes

August 3rd, 2017 Posted in Holiday | No Comments »

About a month before visiting the Hallmark location at the Wayne NJ Preakness Shopping Center, I was mailed a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Premiere Event July 15-23 mini catalog.  On the first page was their Merry Music Makers Collection by Kristina Gaughran.  Each are priced at $24.95 US currency.   They are so adorable and great if you normally have a big holiday tree.

Swingin’ Sax, Groovin’ Guitar, and Playful Piano (my fave of the three):

*Photocredit: Hallmark

I especially love them because they remind me of a documentary I once saw regarding unique ice cave music concerts such as this one, Classic Concerts in Ice Cave.  I was able to see all of the ornaments at the Preakness Center and they most certainly didn’t disappoint.

A New Season of Hallmark Keepsakes

August 3rd, 2017 Posted in Holiday | No Comments »

Here’s another mini haul during Christmas in July ;).  I picked up three to add to my collection while wandering around New Jersey’s Preakness Shopping Center:

Eighth in the Series: 2017 Candied Christmas Rose from Hallmark’s annual cupcake collection (please see my Hallmark cupcake ornament post for more information),

*Photocredit: Hallmark

Floral Birdhouse by Edythe H. Kegrize, which is a Spring ornament for my garden themed collection,

*Photocredit: Hooked on Hallmark

and Welcoming Wreath by Nature’s Sketchbook: Marjolein’s Garden/Jim Kemme.  I will add this ornament to my Marjolein’s Garden post.

*Photocredit: Keepsake Caboose

They bring a smile to my face every time I look at them.  I always store all my Christmas ornaments away once the holidays are over but I normally keep my spring/summery ones out year-round unless I need extra space for other things.  I will include a picture soon on a separate post.

Project Life Planning

May 22nd, 2017 Posted in Cool Gadgets, crafts, curiosities | No Comments »

In the past two years I began delving into Project Life and all it has to offer.  It is the very clever invention of Betsy Higgins.  BTW, her website is a wealth of crafting tips!  Like many crafters Project Life appeals to, I love documenting my experiences and treasured memories but don’t always work well under the pressure of having to find creative ways to dress my pages.  I’m a novice level crafter who started not too long ago so I don’t have an arsenal of crafting skills under my belt or the supplies to go with it, nor want to due to space limitations.  Project Life has been a great fit for me in the craft projects I have endeavored to complete in countless ways…

  • My pages look beautiful with minimal effort
  • Affords me a potentially quicker process time overall; no more big backlogs for me ;)!
  • I can choose to further embellish or not (a potentially neater process as well).  The cards come pre-printed with very cute or pretty designs.  Many are even lined for easy writing.
  • The pages can lay flatter with less layers of embellishment (I very often tended to overstuff)
  • I can concentrate on my documentation without becoming overwhelmed with decorating the pages; this was a big point of frustration for me.
  • the kits are reasonably priced (I prefer the smaller Value & Mini Kits over the Core Kits)
  • I can use 6×8 albums instead of the huge 12×12 albums
  • the supplies are stocked by many retailers
  • I can change the pages/themes much more easily than if I used the traditional scrapbooking method
  • I can easily make my own cards with a paper cutter, patterned cardstock, and the optional corner punch
  • I haven’t tried this yet but there’s an option to have digital PL albums made then sent right to your doorstep
  • The supplies are easily transportable to craft crops etc.

Recently, I was researching ways to print pictures from my phone on a whim (I’m mainly an iPhone photographer *blush*) and found an affordable, light-weight option called the HP Sprocket.  It uses Zink photo paper.  Since my birthday is coming up in June, it makes a most opportune time and excuse for me to buy it :).  I was considering other similar devices but overall I was most impressed with it.  I’m including a link so you can see for yourself if you’re at all curious.

HP Sprocket: https://www.amazon.com/HP-Sprocket-Portable-Printer-sticky-backed/dp/B01LBWELHI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1495486507&sr=8-3&keywords=HP+Sprocket

HP Sprocket Case: https://www.amazon.com/Storage-Carrying-Polaroid-Sprocket-Portable/dp/B01MTBG9SL/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495486507&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=HP+Sprocket&psc=1

HP Sprocket Demonstration versus Other Similar Devices: https://youtu.be/mfs2qIaN11s

*Photo Credit: Hewlett-Packard Development Company

 

My New Obsession: Rompers

May 22nd, 2017 Posted in Fashion | No Comments »

I normally don’t wear many dresses or skirts.  I’ve always been a mostly pants kinda girl but lately the romper trend has inspired me to try new things and get out of my current fashion rut.   I bought one to give it a try.  It’s from Nordstrom Rack online, by the brand Fraiche by J, and is labeled their floral tie-neck version in Aster.  What do you think?  I just love those floral prints!  The neutral blush color and blouson sleeves make this piece eye-catching and uniquely beautiful!  I’m planning to pair this with either summery espadrilles or tan wedges ;)

*Photo Credit: Nordstrom Rack

Nature’s Sketchbook by Marjolein Bastin (Marjolein’s Garden)

December 29th, 2016 Posted in Holiday | No Comments »

Here’s another very cute ornament collection from Hallmark called Nature’s Sketchbook designed by artist, Marjolein Bastin and rendered by Hallmark Keepsake Artists, Julie Forsyth and Jim Kemme…

P.S. You can find out more about Ms. Bastin’s work here: https://marjoleinbastin.com

2014: Simple Gifts #1

2015: A Home for Wren #2

2016: Winter Wonder #3

 2017: Welcoming Wreath #4

Fantasies of Bite Beauty’s Lip Lab

November 29th, 2016 Posted in beauty products | No Comments »

We were on the way to have dinner in Manhattan with my husband’s old college buddy and his family this past Friday.  Since we arrived earlier that afternoon to expressly browse through some shops, like McNulty’s Tea & Coffee on Christopher Street, I happened to also tack on a quick walk to Bite Beauty’s Lip Lab located in Soho.  Too bad they were getting ready for a private party since I would have had an old favorite lipstick remade… a beautiful mid-tone pink I can’t seem to find a good dupe for believe it or not though I’ve looked everywhere and driven various SAs mad over it in the process.  I will have to schedule an appointment one of these days.  I heard that they do an amazing job so I can hardly wait ;)!