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So I have to admit that since my first B6 size purchase of the ZenKraft old man comfort I have just been enamored with this size of travelers notebooks. B6 fist off is such an amazing size, it’s approximately the 7×5 size but it varies depending on the company. It’s shorter than your average TN but wider. It’s just the perfect size to have in front of you for writing!! I love the width because it allows me to be able to rest my hand comfortably. The size is not intimidating for those folks who don’t feel comfortable with larger spaces.  After exploring the B6 and just being so in love with this size I purchased an A6 size Gillio.  I very quickly became obsessed with this size too!! I think it’s the width that I love so much with these TNs but also the portability. The A6 size is also great for those of you who love making your inserts. To make them you simply fold a letter size piece of paper in half and that is A5 then fold that A5 in half and you have an A6! It’s that easy and I feel like you are not wasting too much paper. With the more awkward sizes that are out there I just feel like this makes it so easy and you don’t have to take out your ruler to make sure that your measurements are correct!

While on this journey of looking for more unique TN’s I purchased from three different sites. Two of them can be found on etsy and one has their own site.  To start with I went with a company called Speckled Fawns.DSC_0145 DSC_0140

I initially began seeing these beautiful little chunky notebooks show up on my instagram and of course I jumped on the band wagon and just endlessly stared at all the beauty that they were. I also joined the Facebook group which is always the route you want to take whenever investing in a beautiful TN. The reason I say this is because many of these pieces are pricey and you want to make sure you love and cherish these little notebooks. The FB groups give tons of inspiration and help you to choose the correct one and not create orphans!  The Speckled Fawn that I went with is the Nubuck Huggable leather! I can not even express to you how huggable this leather is. It’s like a wonderful little pillow that’s soft and squishy but yet will hold alot of your love on it. It’s not like any other leather that I have ever felt. It’s something you could easily bring with you to bed and write it and if you fall asleep it’s cuddly enough that you will feel as though you are holding a luxurious little piece of heaven. The stitching on this notebook is very precise and beautiful. The notebooks can also come in all different leathers and the spine can be doubled in size, so if you are someone who loves carry around about 10 or so notebooks you can comfortably do this! DSC_0149 DSC_0146 DSC_0151DSC_0148

DSC_0147Terri is the owner and she is really great to work with. I had a little hiccup with my shipping but she fixed the issue and I had my TN very quickly!! I can’t even express how happy I am with this little notebook. I have just been carrying it around and touching it and smelling it all day long! Love this little guy. It’s perfect to bring with you in your purse and carry around to jot down thoughts and ideas!

The second purchase that I made was with Sojourner. DSC_0158 DSC_0152I first found the company back last February and I just had to place an order! I since then have been following Rowena (the owner) and has constantly been amazed and inspired. She is a wonderful human being with a huge heart. She does mission work and shares her work on instagram and has been doing periscopes to share little helpful tips on how to add color to your TNs. Once again the importance of following people on social media behind these notebooks. It helps you to have an appreciation and to better understand where the notebooks origin is from. I personally love that the notebook comes with a story and then develops and longer tale in your hands! What makes the Sojourner so unique is that it comes in a B6 slim size! Something I had never seen anywhere else on the market! DSC_0153 DSC_0157 DSC_0156 DSC_0154

I love the B6 size and to have it in a slim means it makes it the perfect size to take with you. Again the added width allows for more journaling space but not so bulky that it becomes difficult to carry it around with you! I LOVE this size so much and I always come back to this little TN. It’s perfect for quick sketching and jotting down ideas. You will be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to love on this TN and to begin filling the pages. If you were concerned that you would not be able to find inserts have no fear because Rowena sells some pretty beautiful inserts with Tomoe River paper. This paper is amazing for wet media and fountain pens. That is my favorite medium to use in TNs and it’s just the perfect little combo!

The next purchase and certainly not the last is from Pellestudio. A company I had seen floating around on Instagram with some delicious looking Tns. What made their TNs stand out to me is that they come in some beautiful colors almost like a candy shop! If you get bored with the browns and the blacks this might just be your cup of tea! I felt like I was dropped into a land of Willy Wonka and the Travelers Notebook Company. Just could not get over all the candy colored leather! I opted to get two because they did come from Hong Kong. I just adore these! The leather is beautiful, lightweight and just makes me smile. With the beautiful peachy pink color I just wanted bright and happy. The smell is just divine and I just Love love the color!! The blue wax jean one is something that not only do I love the color but the wax will begin to fade and the leather will take on that worn jeans look!! I am so excited to watch this take place. I really love when TN’s tell their own story. I already have a few more from this shop that I have on my wish list so I have to say I am beyond happy. The company also includes a charm and so many other wonderful little goodies. My tip for you is to opt for the expedited shipping and it takes about a week from the time you place your order and for it to show up on your door step!

Do You have any TNs’ you feel like I NEED to have in my collection? If so PLEASE include it in the comments!!

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So the great thing about the challenge this year is that there are two versions!! At first I felt hesitant having a second version but I think really it’s a great idea because this way if you have an established planner set up there is no need to disrupt anything. If you are unfamiliar with the challenge please be sure to check out years past because it has been going on since 2014 and each year more and more people are joining and coming up with some amazing ideas and have seen some great improvements!!

So for the second version it focuses on more of a project and you can interpret that however you would like. I personally love creating journals that have everything all in one also known as a omnijournal or a commonplace book. I love the idea of having what is in the news, daily chronicling and notes about anything and everything. I also thought that I would create lists and do my brain dumps in there as well. It’s just a great way to time capsule your life. I did this, kind of, a few years back and I love having it on my shelf and looking back through it. With this set up I don’t need to disrupt my planner setup and I’m creating a wonderful keepsake. I decided to call this the fauxbobujo. Fauxbo- is the name I made up when I came up with the my own version of the hobonichi and using the Miguel Ruis journal to do this, and the bujo is for my own spin on the bullet journal.

Week one has been wonderful and I have been in LOVE with my setup and what I decided to use to do my work in. I decided to go with a leatherology junior pad folio that I had DSC_0100purchased a while back from amazon. The reason I went with this because I have a minor obsession with zip cases. I want to be able to carry this around with me wherever I go and so having it be a zip I know I won’t lose pens or anything else that I stuff in there. The notebook that I chose to go with is a Baron Fig. This notebook I had purchased several years ago. It was a kickstarter company and their mission was to come up with the perfect notebook. I would agree that it’s the perfect size and works well with all media. The only thing with watercolor washes is that the paper can pill if you use too much water but otherwise it is able to take fountain pens and really anything else I have tried. DSC_0102

The inside pocket I have kept very simple. I placed a bullet journal stencil in there because there are so many cute icons in there that really come in handy whenever you want to point something out or use in a journal page. I also just threw in some sticky post it notes because they are great for quickly jotting down ideas or a list to later come back to and really make sense of it in my fauxbobujo. I love post it’s to help capture quick things you are thinking so that you don’t forget about them later!

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I have a relatively simple setup to represent the month. I do not use this for planning or anything like that it’s really to jot things down to commemorate the month. I like to remember when things happen, even little things like a doctor appointment or a really fun day at the pool. For me this keeps a really wonderful time capsule that I can look back on and really enjoy the memories. Time goes by so quickly and days can feel like they blend into one another so having this helps me to capture those moments forever. Some of the things that I love to capture in my journal are new recipes. It’s just a great way to keep them as well as fun to see what I was cooking and when. I love following Jenny Penton and she has a blog with so so many wonderful recipes that ALWAYS turn out great!DSC_0104

This Lasagne recipe was so incredibly delicious that my husband thought it was restaurant quality. The one thing that is better is that you know exactly what you put in it and using the freshest ingredients makes it so incredible!!

Sometimes I don’t always color the pages and will come back to them to color. I made the mistake of using a paper mate flair and so when things splashed onto it somethings got smeared but I quickly realized this issue and moving forward I’m using my carbon ink. DSC_0105  I added a cute coral reef drawing from one of my daughters favorite books. She loves anything and everything under the sea but especially all the different coral reefs and I wanted to capture that. Here you can see that I used some watercolor and the pages crinkled beautifully and I love how they feel but again too much water will pill the paper. No bleed through and the paper dried very quickly.  The colors also don’t show their true vibrancy but it’s ok it’s the moment that is captured and what I wanted the most.  We went to a birthday party for my cousins daughter and it was so much fun because they had a petting zoo. My daughter of course had an immediate connection to the turtle and chicken so of course I had to draw them into my journal. DSC_0106I left these sketches in black and white for now but I may come back and color them in at some point and time. I like to leave things sometimes in their simplest form and then other times I want to come in with color and make things come to life. I also decided that I wanted this journal to come with me everywhere that we go this month so I took it with me to the beach. I’m still relatively shy when it comes to drawing in public. I feel so ‘naked’ and exposed so I am still  really getting use to it but I am trying to venture out and do this more and more whenever I can.DSC_0107 I managed to do two quick sketches just to capture the day. It’s hard with a toddler running around but when my husband took my daughter into the water I felt like this was a great opportunity to catch some moments.  Oh the page next to my beach sketch I had just come in from walking Hankie and I just absolutely love the summer symphony. I love all the little critters outside that make all the beautiful sounds I could listen to it all night long. Whenever the locusts sing out I just feel like summer is really hear and I love and am so thankful for all the little critters that make summer so wonderful.

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Planning things  out for the summer can be really fun and enjoyable. What I decided to do was draw some suitcases and backpacks and list out what I want to pack up in each. The beauty of doing this in a bullet journal style is that I have the pages numbered with the index in the front. This index is such a vital tool because I can so quickly and easily find what I am looking for. You can of course use tabs which I am still tinkering with the idea but for now the index is providing me with the perfect way to navigate my notebook!!

This is what my first week has looked like so far. I will continue to update on my Youtube channel as well as on here with more upclose photos. Are you taking part in the challenge? How is it going for you?

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I know this is an odd title but really it’s very true. You wouldn’t think that a paper good could act as a wingman, after all a wingman is someone who comes along with you and keeps you company at a bar or wherever so that you can score a date. I know it’s a strange thing to bring up but I promise you that the point to my story is real and could be very helpful!!

I have share before that the planner is more than a place for me to write down appointments. It’s a place for me to get creative, write down to do’s, organize my life and most importantly allow me to write out the life that I want. I have always used my planner in this fashion. Since I was a kid I would sit with my planner open at my desk and write down quick notes of things that I wanted to do not only in school but things I wanted to do at home as well. Things I wanted to look up at the library or books that I wanted to read because the teacher mentioned or kids talked about at school. It’s a place that acts like a part two to my brain. It handles all the little details so that I don’t have to stress about forgetting them.

Planners really helped me all throughout high school as well. As a rebellious teen ( no not really) I decided to get my cartilage pierced on my ear against my parents wishes and by doing so it became very infected. I needed to go to the emergency room to have it drained and cleaned as well as placed on IV antibiotics for several days. Being that I wasn’t really ill and could walk around with my IV pole I remember very clearly sitting in the hall way of the hospital and looking at the nurses station. I sat there watching these men and women walk back and forth always looking so busy. When my dad came later to visit I shared with him that I wanted to be a nurse. I quickly turned to my planner and began to figure out how to make this happen. Back at school I met with my counselor and took the next steps to apply to colleges and make visits to make decisions on where I should go. Every little detail was poured over the pages of my planner. I could not imagine not having a planner. I have had a planner every single day of my life since I was 8.

Once I got into nursing school I began scripting out what kind of nurse I wanted to be. I began working at the hospital as a nurses aid at the age of 18 and observed each of the units. I took copious notes of things that I learned and where my days were spent. Believe it or not it helped me decide that I wanted to work as a surgical nurse. I loved the idea of people coming in with something broken and usually watching them recover fully. It felt very gratifying to work with people who had a great chance of a full recovery. I even documented patients that had passed on my shift. I would write down questions that came up so that I could google them later when I went home. My planner is and was an extension of me. Again, I could not imagine life without it!!

Even now as a mom I use my planner all the time. I use it  to track my babies sleep and any patterns I notice. Any time there is a behavior I don’t care for I write everything down to see if there are patterns or things that need to be changed or things that act as triggers.

So you see, a planner is so much more than just a place to notify you of events, it’s a place to open your mind up in. It’s a place to help you write the life that you want. It’s a place for you to write all the details out to make things happen. Only YOU can make things happen and if you don’t write down the action steps to do them, then chances are they will just always remain a dream!

Grab your planner and get to know it! It’s your best friend, your wingman, there to really help you live the life that you want. Look at tomorrow in your planner and write down what you want to happen. Do you want a raise at work, what do you need to do to make that happen? Do you want a different job, what needs to happen? Do you want to be a better parent tomorrow, what can you do to make that happen? Use your planner each and every day and all day, you will quickly grow very attached to it and realize that it makes your life so much better. It’s a place to help you be a better you. It will never judge you or steer you in the wrong direction. Believe me my planner has always been by my side and I could not imagine a better life. I’m so grateful each and everyday to have had this amazing tool with me all my life. It’s been through the ups and downs the good the bad and ugly but it’s always been there!!

Now, do you see your planner in a different way?

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This thought recently came to me because I was at a wedding and someone asks ‘ so what are you up to these days? ‘ ‘ do you miss working as a nurse?’. When I try to share my excitement about how I have a youtube channel that focuses on paper planners people get this glazed over look. They suddenly lose interest in what I have to say. Many say ‘ that’s so 90’s’  or my favorite ‘ why bother writing it down, put it in your phone’.  If people are genuinely interested I will share with them how paper planning has scripted my life, how it has completely changed my life for the better.

From the time I was 8 years old I have had a paper planner. The obsession honestly started with Chandlers planners. I remember having one each and every year and just changing out the colors. This was such an essential tool for me in school. It was on my desk or on my stack of books, always went home with me and each of my classes was color coordinated with an ink joy pen. This helped me to never miss assignments. Always be prepared when tests and quizzes might happen, what text books I would need to take home with me. I could not imagine life with out one. How in the world do you function without one?  The images featured below are not my images because all of my Chandlers were unfortunately destroyed but this is to give some eye candy of just how great these planners were. chandlers

chandler 2When I really thought about how planners changed my life one of my first memories was trying to lose weight. I was a chubby kid and new I wanted to change that. The journey was a long one and it took me a long time to figure out how my body works. I had to write down in my planner each and every day what I was eating and tracking physical activity. I needed to make sure that I wasn’t depriving myself of anything and enjoying life but also enjoying and feeling comfortable in my own body. Tracking all this in my planner ultimately turned me into an adult that was fit and heathy.  Don’t believe  that story? Well, luckily I have several more. When I was 15 I went ahead against my parents’ wishes and got the cartilidge of my ear pierced. I knew that it was infected but I still went about a week without telling my parents that it really hurt me. I finally approached my mom and well ended up having to have it drained and cleaned and put on antibiotics for several days. While I was on the unit I remember clearly seeing the nurses station. I watched them all day long and when my dad came to see me after work I told him I wanted to be a nurse. I went back into my room and wrote down questions for my counselor. Back at school I set up and appointment with my counselor and he pointed me to the career center. I spoke with the helpful ladies in there and wrote down all the information I needed to get into nursing school . I set up appointments in my planner for all the different universities and all their options. I then went through my acceptances what I could afford and made a decision based on that. Without my planner I’m not sure how that would have panned out. My planner is my right hand man, it is always close by. It holds all of my secrets, notes, thoughts, basically my brain. I feel as though my brain would not be able to process as many new things if I did not have my planner.

In college my planner was ESSENTIAL!!   I had almost 18 credit hours ( the equivalent to a full load, all day classes ) for my four years in college. I had many social activities as well as taking part in as much as I could with the school of nursing organization. We had a dance and fundraisers as well as open houses. I had clinicals that I needed to schedule. Each and every minute I could spare needed to be dedicated to studying. I think I went through a pack of highlighters and notecards a week. The planner was essential and the bigger the planner the better! Studying for boards, the planner helped me to schedule study times and give me a count down until it was time to take them.

The planner has been essential to me each and every day. It is not just a place to write down appointments it’s a place to script your life. It’s a way of living. It’s a way to make your life happen. Make things happen. Make your wants into something attainable.

I could not imagine life without one!

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I LOVE my travelers notebooks. I love my dogs. Why not combine them? How might you ask? Well the other day I went to my P.O. Box and received a wonderful package from Glenda who is the shop owner of bypaperflower on etsy. Now I am no stranger to Glendas’ work because she was kind enough to send me a beautiful cover for my hobonichi that I absolutely love and adore. I still use it each and everyday because I love how it feels in my hands as well as the wonderful leather aroma that it has.

This time I was so shocked at the gift that I received that I squealed and jumped up and down. My husband was definitely giving me an interesting look to say the least. Once he did see the gorgeousness that Glenda had gifted me he could totally understand. I immediately ran to my camera and filmed the unboxing. 

Here are some close up looks of the travelers notebook.

IMG_20160525_155543     The leather on this travelers notebooks is very floppy, and supple. This will show beautiful age and will scuff so nicely. The aroma of the leather is once again intoxicating. The picture of Nacho is one that Tracy Reinhardt had done for me and it’s absolutely amazing. She did an incredible job of capturing him and she sent me the original copy that I have hanging in my home. I just love to have his picture with me at all times. Our pets are so beloved to us and I have had Nacho for 12 years now. He has been with me since I was a senior in college. I have lived in several apartments and houses, several relationships and jobs kids and other pets. Nacho has been there right by my side to see me through it all. To have him on a notebook is just everything. I LOVE looking at this notebook and it just brings a big smile to my face.

The attention to the pockets is always a favorite of mine when it comes to travelers notebooks. Some folks love to keep theirs simple and I of course can appreciate this but with the way that people are now using TN’s with stickers and as wallets it makes lots of sense to include pockets to house all of these items.

DSC_0059DSC_0053The charms are also such a great little touch. Many really love to personalize their TN and charms are really the perfect way to be able to do this. I love that the charms are really light weight and a cute embellishment. The elastics are really great and sturdy. That’s something that actually is important because if the elastics are flimsy and not right then your notebooks are not placed nicely and can make for a really uncomfortable experience with your TN.

The pockets in the back have a thinner piece of leather that has an almost gold shine to it. Being that it is a thinner piece  is really great because it doesn’t add to much weight or bulk to the notebook. If you start to put in your notebooks and pockets and folders and organizers etc, then you will see how beneficial it really is to have slimmer pieces of leather to make up your pockets. DSC_0060

Of course the best for last, the photo of Nacho! Nacho is actually printed onto the leather and then that same gorgeous leather fabric that makes the pockets on the inside is stitched around his photo! It’s a really beautiful touch that I just love so so incredibly much. The amount of heart that went into putting this beautiful gift together for me is just amazing and I don’t know how I could ever thank her for giving me something that I can treasure forever!

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