Moleskine Planner

I wrote about the wonderfully efficient relationship I've had with my Franklin day planner last year. That was all well and good for many years. But I've discovered that I just don't want to carry it around so much these days. I've been looking for something lighter and leaner.

Don't even talk to me about electronic options. Not even my glorious EYEphone. {JK - I know how to spell it}

I LOVE paper and pens. But if you've spent any time here, you already know about that.

So I sort of flopped around for awhile with a planner, without a planner, with a tiny notebook, without a tiny notebook, never really satisfied with any of them. I need a calendar to keep life in order and I also need just some paper to jot down random thoughts, ideas, phone numbers, and the like.

One day I had the brilliant idea that I could make my purple Moleskine Volant into a planner-notebook-brainstorming book. And I was right.

Armed with a nice metal ruler, colored Sharpies, glue, and a piece of ribbon, I transformed the simple Volant into my secret weapon for staying on top of things (aka SWFSOPOT). I was afraid to post about it right away, because what if it didn't work? What if I didn't like it? What if it became another in a long line of it seemed like a good idea projects? But that didn't happen. So I'm at last willing to commit this to the blog.


Each page covers a week. I don't need loads of space for appointments, because there just aren't that many most of the time. But I do want a system where I have room for other notes, tasks, and ideas. So I left myself some space at the bottom of each page to accommodate those needs.


In case this notebook wasn't big enough to handle an entire year PLUS the randomness that makes its way onto paper from my brain, I only created a six-month planner. As I get nearer to June, I think this might actually make it an entire year. So I might to ahead and create the July - December pages. If not, that's okay, too. Fortunately, these lovely Volant Moleskines come in packages of two color-coordinated notebooks. This purple book has a lovely lavender friend. And they're only $12.95 a pair. Not a bad price in the world of day planners and calendars.

Of course, there's the ever-important page marker. I nabbed a piece of pink ribbon from my scrapbook supplies, dabbed some glue onto the end, and pushed it down into the spine.


In case I want to plan on getting out for any full moon shots.


As you can see, I make good use of a weekly page.


This notebook is 5 x 8.25" so it won't fit in a small purse, but I carry a bag that's big enough to handle it quite well.

Last, but not least, is the pen. Because you know, I'm all about the pens. And the paper, but Moleskine has lovely paper, so that's all copacetic.

The pen is from Jet Pens (of course!) because that's pretty much the only company from whom I purchase writing instruments these days. Just a quick little shout out - they are AWESOME! They have terrific products, ship super duper fast, and fabulous staff. You just can't go wrong with them, imho.

This particular pen is a Pilot FriXion Retractable Gel Ink Pen in Violet. When it's erasable, you don't have to just stick with a pencil. It's the latest and greatest in erasable ink. Only it's not like those old, smeary erasable ink pens from the...80s? 70s? Sometime. It erases with friction. And that funny little end at the top? That's the eraser. It works supremely! And it writes supremely! It is my new favorite supremely awesome pen. It comes a a plethora of colors and sizes, too. Sadly, they are out of stock on some right now, but you can sign up to be notified when they're back.


The only thing that's missing is a way for my pen to stay attached to my planner. Right now, I just slip it inside and clip it over the cover. That works for the most part, but I think I'll be adding something to it. Either to this one if I extend it through the end of the year or the lavender, part 2 version.

So there you have it - my personal Moleskine planner hack. If you haven't found something that works for you, give it a try!


Wordless Wednesday - Birthday Sweetness

bday decor
Check out more wordlessness at Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.


Meeting Lisa

Most bloggers I've met online live somewhere else. Like Texas. Very few ever make it to Colorado and I pretty much don't go anywhere. So of all the bloggers I know, I've only met a handful of them. Last year I discovered The Pennington Point blog and the woman of the blog, Lisa. Which I found out about from her designer, Karen at Simply Amusing Designs.

Lisa is absolutely hilarious, people. When I first read her blog, I laughed myself plum silly. I couldn't stop reading the craziness that is her life. She quickly became one of my favorite bloggers.

And then she joined the team at The Homeschool Post. I was pretty excited to have her join us.

She recently posted that she'd be stuck in Denver due to an 8-hour layover. Well, I surely wouldn't be a very hospitable team member and bloggy friend if I just left her sitting at DIA under the weird white jester thingies for eight long hours. So I did what any friend would do. I wrangled my mom into a trip to Denver and we headed north this morning to pick her up at the arrival curb.

Since we got there just a little early, we had to go into a holding pattern around the terminal until she was able to get her 175-pound suitcase (her words, not mine) and get to the Southwest curb. They really don't like you hanging out at the curb waiting for someone. Either your party is there or the guard will come shoo you away. Yes, I was shooed away.

The first loop around the airport, we were on our own. But for the remaining four trips, we had this very cool Jaguar to follow. I wonder if he was worried about weird stalker women in a mom van. Taking a picture of his car probably didn't help.


lisa reading

At last we found poor, tired Lisa and whisked her away for a leisurely lunch. Mom and I were pretty excited because we decided to take her to McGrath's Fish House which is a treat for us since there's not one close to home. Well, that was a bust, because apparently they've closed. Much sadness ensued for Mom and me. Even Lisa had a moment of silence for our loss.

So we went across the street to On The Border. We still had a tasty lunch, even if it didn't include prawns. It was nice to just chill out and visit for awhile.

Lisa even had an opportunity to whip out her Bible.

Or maybe it was her iPhone.

Nah. I don't think so.

After we wore out our welcome at On The Border, we headed back to the airport. But not before a quick stop with a lovely backdrop for a little self-portrait. Thankyouverymuch, La Quinta.

Pardon the grain - it's instagram.

lisa mom me

Back to the airport for our last loop through the terminal and we dropped Lisa off with her 175-pound suitcase (her words, not mine). Hopefully she was able to relax a little before heading back to Texas.

I'm happy to have another IRL blog friend and really happy that it's Lisa.


This Makes Me All Giddy

We have apricots!!!!!


This will be the fourth summer we've had in this house. The first year, the enormous tree on the south side of our house had tons of beautiful flowers that smelled fabulous. They lasted about 4-5 days and were gone.

The next year, the same lovely flowers returned, smelled wonderful, and were gone.

spring blossom

Only a few weeks later, I discovered a little ovalish piece of green fruit on the ground. An apricot, perhaps?

160-apricot perhaps_1

Turns out they were apricots. I was thrilled. You can check that out here.

So last year, I was very excited when the apricot tree bloomed.

But then, nothing.

I know little to nothing about apricot trees (you'd think I'd have read up on them, right?). But I have learned that if we get a freeze at the wrong time, the fruit won't be happening. I assume that's what happened last year.

We've had an incredibly mild winter this past year. The apricot tree bloomed a bit early. Colorado is notorious for bad weather in March and April. This had me a little worried.

apricot blossom-framed

And then I walked around the south side of the house and discovered little green fruit. And lots of it! While we're not beyond freezing, it's looking pretty good for my apricot tree this year. I've even been diligently watering it - juicy fruit requires plenty of water, after all.

There's a lot of fruit out there. The little cluster below is a teeny little fraction of what's on that tree. I realize we won't get to harvest all of it, but I'm sure looking forward to a nice big apricot harvest this summer!



My Manly Man

Remember this tree?

peep tree-1

Well, other than peeps, it's borne no fruit . . . or leaves . . . or anything. So we've already been talking about taking it out of the yard for some time. Granted, the boys will have to find a new place to hang targets, but they're creative. They'll figure out something.

So John mentioned bringing the jeep out back to pull the tree out.


He don't need no stinkin' winch.

He's a manly man.

He'll just take out with his bare hands.

peep tree-2

peep tree-3


peep tree-4


Wordless Wednesday - Apple Blossom

Always fascinating to see the variance in camera settings. Both are SOOC.

apple blossom diptych

The image on the left was shot at f/6.3, 1/125 sec, 200 ISO, 246mm
The image on the right was shot at f/7.1, 1/320 sec, 200 ISO, 270mm

For more wordlessness (at least mostly!), check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.


The Pansy Ride

That's pretty much what I felt like when I got home. No, actually that's what I felt like during the ride.

A big old pansy.

Probably because that's pretty much what I am. My level of physical activity in recent weeks, er, months...years (?) won't even register on a scale of any sort. Unless you count the numerous trips up and down the half flights of stairs in our tri-level home. Right. I didn't think so.

But the weather here in beautiful Colorado has been gorgeous lately. And last year - sadly - I never even got the bike OUT, let alone ride it. The dream of riding everywhere, saving money, getting exercise, not contributing to carbon monoxide pollution . . . well, that pretty much stayed packed away along with the bike.


So this year I decided it will be different. I asked John if my bike was easy to access. Yes, it was. So he was sweet enough to get it out for me (remember - I'm seriously out of shape!). After taking some more apple blossom photos, popping in the house for a little bit, and checking my email and facebook, I told the boys I was going to the store. Yes, I had keys and purse in hand. And then I remembered my bike. And I looked at the beautiful day. And I changed my mind.


So I grabbed a rag and went outside and wiped two years' worth of dust off, got a water bottle, and told them I was taking a bike ride instead.

Oh yeah, the tires were a little low on air. Never fear, I have a handy-dandy pump attached to my bike. So I promptly pumped some air in and started off across the back yard. But when I arrived out on the sidewalk, I looked down, and to my dismay, the tires were a little on the low side.


Side note: I'm pretty sure my arms and shoulders will be crying tomorrow because of using the handy-dandy pump. So I rode around front and promptly let my dear husband use his air compressor to fill my tires. Turns out that was a good thing. They should be filled to 100 psi. I only managed 50 in the back and 20 in the front with the manual pump. I wouldn't have been able to hold onto the handlebars had I actually filled the tires completely. Then if I wasn't well-balanced, I'd have fallen in the street with no strength in my arms to catch myself. That wouldn't have been good at all. So you can see how letting John air my tires was a much safer option.

Tires filled to 100 psi? Check.

Helmet securely on my noggin? Check.

Water bottle in my basket? Check.

Phone, ID, and a couple bucks in my pocket? Check.

And I was off. Sailing down the street with nary a care. The operative word here being down. We live at the top of the neighborhood, as it were. Not that it's an enormous incline or anything. In fact, if you were driving, you'd hardly notice. But it's noticeable when you're on a bike. Primarily because you don't have to pedal. Ever. In fact, you better be getting on those brakes before you get to the stop sign. Which came up pretty quickly, given all that downhill momentum on 100-psi-filled tires.

Made it through the stop sign, onto a slightly busier street and headed west...or something. So far, so good. And then I turned to come back up into our neighborhood. The operative word here? UP. And by up, I mean minimal-barely-detectable-in-a-car incline. But for an out-of-shape, scary-how-old-I'm-getting me, it about killed me.

{okay . . . for those of you who KNOW where I live and KNOW where I'm talking about riding, you can get up off the floor and stop the howling laughter, RIGHT NOW! Let's see you be in my bad shape and do better.}


So I'm huffing, puffing, and pedaling up this great incline past all the little neighborhood children out playing, thinking how much I really need to stop and breathe a little, but also thinking how pansy that would be, given how little I've actually ridden. And then it occurred to me. These children don't know how long I've been on my bike. Nor how far I've ridden. Perhaps I'm on the last leg of a 30-mile ride back across town, for all they know. In fact, these children don't know anything about me, except I'm the overweight lady with weird hair cruising by. Although I doubt they even noticed that much. Because really, when you're a kid playing outside with your friends, do you even pay any attention to some woman riding up your very steep street? Probably not. And even if they did, why did I care what they thought of me? Clearly, the lack of oxygen to my brain was causing me to think irrational thoughts.

So I once I was clear of the children, I pulled over and downed some fresh cold water. See, forcing myself into exhaustion is good, because then I'm very thirsty and then I will drink the water that I otherwise don't intake much of. And I practiced deep breathing again. After my nice little water and oxygen break, I was off again. I made it all the way up the rest of the mountainous climb, around the corner and toward my house.

I'd probably been gone for all of five minutes. Okay, maybe six. Seven at the absolute most. Go home already? Sheesh. What a sissy thing to do. So I passed my cul-de-sac and went around another little portion of our neighborhood. At least I had the foresight to take the long way for the downhill part, to ensure that the uphill part was shorter.

I made it all the way back home, up the second less-than-enormous climb.

I may have ridden a mile total. Or not.

No matter.

At least I rode.

And now that the bike is out, clean, and has 100 psi in its tires, I may even do it again.


p.s. - My mom keeps asking me to go to Zumba with her. Yeah, right. I would obviously drop on the floor in the first three minutes and remain there for the rest of the session, possibly tripping up the other Zumba junkies. Which could cause great damage to me if they fall on me.

Maybe after a few hundred bike rides...

p.p.s. - The photos were all taken before the de-dusting. It's much prettier now. Because that really matters to the content of the story, right?


Wordless Wednesday - Peep in a Tree

peep tree

The rest of the story to follow...

Check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub for more wordlessness.


Wordless Wednesday - Yellow


For more wordlessness, check out Live From Waterloo and the Wordless Wednesday hub.



My handsome son.

cmg bw

cmg profile bw

Never know where you'll find good light. These were shot in the breezeway at Hobby Lobby.

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