Thursday, October 20, 2016

Three Things

3 has always been a weird favourite number of mine. No particular reason I don't think, I just like 3s. I am one of 3 kids, my mum is one of 4 so I always had 3 aunties and uncles, and they all had 3 kids each (no family on my dad's side, that would have screwed with the 3s obviously). I have 3 cats here (Penny, Chelsea & Millie) and 3 pets at home (Aggie, Pacey & Zeus). So when Steph posted this, I knew I'd be copying too. 

Three things I'd never give up
Books, travel and yeah, stealing Steph's here with my independence. 

Three favorite vegetables
Spinach, potatoes and onions.

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end
Charmed, Dawson's Creek and Friends. Yeah, they are all old because in the last 5 years or so, my attention span just isn't that long. Grey's Anatomy is one I've always been a huge fan of, but I'm behind a season. I also really like Once Upon A Time but I think I am behind 2 seasons? My most recent obsession is Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries which I'm sure I've mentioned like 100 times, but that doesn't count, because it's not the end of this show (well it bloody better not be).

Three places I want to visit inside the US
Seattle, San Francisco and Charleston.

Three places I want to visit outside the US
Scotland, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Three things I always have with me
Water, book and chapstick.

Three things that are always in my car
Tissues or napkins, pen and clothes/shoes. I have this awful habit of taking an article of clothing or my shoes off in the car, and then leaving them when I go inside (yes, I walk in my house barefoot I'm classy as all get out don't ya know) and then that happens a few times and KC is like wtf why do you have 10 pairs of shoes in your car.

Three most recent phone calls were to/from
KC, mum and a window company.

Three books I read and loved in college
Well I didn't go to college (I went to Uni online but the only books I read were directly related to my degree, so non fiction and no thanks), but I think around that age I read and loved Pride & Prejudice, The Time Traveler's wife and The Bronze Horseman.

Three most often used makeup products
Maybelline instant age rewind concealer, mascara (either better than sex or a drugstore one, current favourite is the l'oreal voluminous original), and milani nude creme lipstick

Three things that make me laugh
Babies eating lemons, cats doing silly cat things and bad jokes.

Three things that make me cry
Thinking about my cats dying, commercials, especially anything to do with family - state farm always kills me, and also have you guys seen the Toyota commercial where the brothers are driving and competition made them friends? OMG I cry every time. Um, what else, this thing called 'everything' because I am an emotional mess most of the time.

and not because posts need pictures but because I like sharing random pictures of my cats:

^ our house is a mess right now, which means a whole new crazy playground for the cats.

^ we don't have a nightstand next to the bed in the spare, but when I watch Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries TV in there, I need somewhere to put my drink, so I fashioned one together with a cooler and a plastic tub that holds our files. Millie loves to sit/sleep on my nightstand, so she does the same thing with this makeshift nightstand. 

^ Penny is my least weird cat and also the hardest to photograph, but here she is on a box. If there is a box in my house, there is most likely a cat nearby or on top.

I should stop at 3 but I don't wanna.

^ Chelsea cuddles - she never, ever, ever, ever cuddles with me. She loves KC and loves being held by me, but hates my lap. Once a year or so, I get some cuddles and they must be documented.

^ Took the cabinets off to install a new faucet and Millie was like well thank you for my new bed.

^ Chelsea being a weirdo.

^ New TV stand! Millie is a fan. Obviously that little cubby thing will have to stay clear so she can lay in it whenever she wants.

What's your favourite number? Any reason why?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What makes me feel peaceful

Watching birds fly.

Waking up without an alarm.

Lots of blankets.


The opening music to Pride & Prejudice.

A brand new notebook.

Fluffy kitties.

The sun.

Hanging up from a long phone call with my mum or Nana.

Ticking things off the to-do list.

The ability to say 'screw the to-do list, lets do nothing today'.

A clean house.

When my cats actively get along or love on each other.

Dancing like a lunatic, with or without music.

The first step into the ocean.

Looking back and realising how much I have grown or changed.

Looking back and realising some things will never change, and being totally okay with it.

Our wedding song.

Hot cuppa and a good book.

What makes you feel peaceful? Linking up with Alyssa for her back to blogging non challenge.

Monday, October 17, 2016

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

I loved my 2016 planner, but I had a few issues with it and knew I wanted to change those things for 2017. I knew I liked Plum Paper though, and the price is what I am comfortable spending. There is always a coupon code online, so make sure you google for it (none from me this year, couldn't be bothered) and save 10%, especially because you have to pay for shipping (rude).

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

I got a very similar design - stripes. What can I say, I like stripes. Right off the bat, the 2017 planner is a smidge bigger than the 2016 one, and feels a bit better quality but that could be in my head because it's all shiny and new. I like the font for my name on the 2017 better than the 2016 one.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)
2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)
2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

You can see in the above photo, I use my planner as kind of like a binder for all the paperwork that I get and shove in my bag. This keeps it all semi organised until I periodically empty it and file things appropriately. I shove all the mail, invitations, handouts, whatever and that keeps it kind of controlled in my handbag and I know where everything is.

The front clear cover feels pretty much the same, maybe a bit better/different (kinda more like something laminated) but the inside cover (where your name/monogram goes) feels a lot thicker. Also, the inside is different.. just a pattern, but still.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)
2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

The planner starts the same - with an overview of the whole year. I like the 2017 much better. Side note, KC and I were talking about this other day and we don't know if it's an American vs Australian or husband vs wife kind of thing - do you say two thousand and seventeen, or twenty seventeen?

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

Then, the 2016 planner jumped straight into the months. The 2017 planner has the 'special dates' page and then a new page called 'ideas, plans and goals'. The 2016 planner had the 'special dates' page at the back, and I literally never used it (partly because there was a flaw on the page and it annoyed me). I'm more likely to use these now that they are at the front.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

The passwords and my contacts pages are the same in both planners (in the back), you can add more, but I don't use my planner for things like this.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

My favourite thing about the 2016 planner was the 'my bills' page, I kid you not. I love using to track our spending and budgets and all that, but having all of my bills on one page made me ridiculously happy, I have no idea why. June was missing this page which made me extremely cranky, especially because I didn't discover it until June. So that was the first thing I checked in my new planner, they were all there (yay) and it looks exactly the same.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

My least favourite thing about the planner was the way I had the weekly/daily layouts. I thought vertical would be great, but I discovered I hated it in like .2 seconds. Or more like a week. It's just not for me. I don't like that writing something like 'appointment with Jenni' took up like 5 lines. It made me not want to write things there. 

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

I ended up using my monthly spread more often. I used that mostly for blog posts, but I would occasionally throw things in like birthdays and travel. 

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

The monthly layout in the 2017 planner is pretty much the same, except the birthdays, events etc are not there anymore because of the highlights page (shown further down).

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

Already, I love my 2017 layout more. I can write appointments, birthdays etc and they only take up 1 line each.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

Something I want to note with my 2016 planner - I don't know how or why this happened, I don't *think* I ever got it wet, but this happened to November & December:

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

It doesn't bother me because I don't use that side of the my bills page, I use the other side, but still. It's kind of a bummer. I'm sure it was something I did though, because it didn't happen to all of them.

One thing I absolutely love about the 2017 planner is this new highlights page at the beginning of the month. I was looking at that on their website and trying to figure out how to add it for like 15 minutes before I realised it was included, ha. 

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

I am horrible with birthdays and remembering them, regardless of whether I do it electronically or paper-ally. I am even worse with all my Australian birthdays, because I will remember the day of in America, and it's already over in Australia - and my Australian friends & family get cranky at me. So I love that I can put the birthdays at the front of the month and organise cards and the like right then and there.

Lets see, what else. I love looking at stickers and such, but have never actually used any. I am definitely going to buy some soon though (I blame Kathy). I use these erasable pens because I make mistakes and change my mind a lot. I am the kind of person that will rip out a notebook page if I make a mistake, and you kinda can't do that with the planner so yes. These pens are the bomb (side note, this is why I love blogging! I didn't even know erasable pens existed until Biana shared them ages ago, and I have been using them ever since. Got everyone at work hooked on them too!). They come in fun colours too, but I am partial to blue, black & red.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

I have toyed with using smaller planners, but I actually like how big it is, because I am not very nice to my things and a smaller one would get destroyed and bent a lot quicker than a big one. As you can see, the 2016 has a bit of wear and tear, partly because like I said I'm not nice to my things, and also because I smooshed it into a too small bag for a couple of weeks. The corners are bent and the tabs got a little worn as well.

2017 Plum Paper Planner review (and comparison to 2016 planner)

My planner fits perfectly in the side pocket of my handbag. In the above pictures, I have both planners in that side pocket and it looks a bit wonky when undone, but when zipped up it is fine. I love that I can put my planner in it's own little spot. 

I think that's about it. From what I can tell, you can buy from Etsy or Shopify, I got mine from the shopify website because it had options that the Etsy website didn't. This post is 100% not sponsored at all. I got the regular sized weekly planner in the horizontal layout. You can use ebates if you buy on etsy.

I obviously loved my 2016 planner if I bought my 2017 from Plum Paper. The issues I had were easily fixed by choosing a different option. I use this thing almost every day, though it might not look like it, so I definitely think it's worth the cost - especially because it's not as expensive as some other options. Of course you can also get a $10 planner from Target, but mine has my name on it okay.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Page turners from Hello Book Lover

I was gifted a box from Hello Book Lover for review, but as usual, all opinions are all mine.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks over here, let me tell you. For some reason KC and I decided to paint half the house, plus the kitchen cabinets, buy a bunch of new appliances and tackle some other projects around the house. It's been a madhouse. I'm finally burning out on my show - okay, that's a lie, in reality things are finally calming down enough for me to 'find time' to read and watch TV - so this box from Hello Book Lover couldn't have come at a better time.

Hello Book Lover - subscription box perfect for book lovers!

If you'll remember, I got a box from them back in August and absolutely loved it. I was thrilled when I saw the books offered this month included one I hadn't yet read but really wanted to - The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain. I've actually never read one of her books, though I have seen them everywhere. The other book offered this month is The Lake House by Kate Morton, which I read a couple months ago.

The theme for this month's box was Page Turners. I've been in a bit of a rut with reading lately - partly because of being obsessed with my show, and partly because of the 'library book that got spoiled and was missing pages debacle of 2016' that turned me off reading. I started this book last night though, and if I didn't have to go to work today I have a sneaking suspicion I would have stayed up all night to finish.

Page turners - October box from Hello Book Lover

The other goodies I got this month included the yogi tea pictured above. I had never tried it before last night, I had the stress relief one - fitting after my busy couple of weeks. I've heard great things about the bedtime one, I'll try that next time I feel like I'm not going to get to sleep easily. Unless of course it's a book keeping me up and I don't have to work the next day... then what's the harm in losing a little sleep?

yogi tea in the October box from Hello Book Lover

I also got some bath salt and lip balm from this adorable Etsy shop, Little Flower Soap Co.  Lavender is pretty much my favourite in any way I can get it, so I can't wait to try the bath salt.

lip balm & bath salt in the October box from Hello Book Lover

And then of course this adorable pot of honey that I don't want to use because it's too adorable to disturb.

honey in the October box from Hello Book Lover

All in all, another fabulous box from Hello Book Lover.

For more details on how this subscription box works, please see my previous post or visit Hello Book Lover's website. It's pretty simple, you subscribe, you pick a book and receive a box. Be sure to follow Hello Book Lover on Instagram so you'll always know what books are in the next box!

Speaking of, the books for the November box - theme is Around the Table - are Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The School of Essential Ingredients.

November book selection from Hello Book Lover

I love a good book with food involved. Truthfully, I just like to eat whilst reading (or, you know, breathing) and I love a book that combines the two. I actually haven't read either of these - have you?