April 24, 2017

BIG PICTURE CLASSES: BEYOND PLANNING

Guess what lovelies? I'm running a new class over at Big Picture Classes for all you planner babes! I go through a number of ideas and tips in the class that you can use in your planner for more than just planning!



The class is live now and you'll be able to sign up to get a one week trial with access to all the amazing classes they have on offer. Click on this link here to be directed straight to my newest class. Exciting times are ahead. I'll see you there!

April 14, 2017

OLIVE MIDORI TRAVELER'S NOTEBOOK


Oh, I've been waiting for the arrival of this beauty ever since I saw its announcement. My favourite colour has always been green and when Midori decided to pull this one out of the bag, I knew I had to have it. They're currently out of stock from Notemaker, but never fear, word is, they'll be back for sale in May! Do sign up for their notifications so you'll know when to get your hands on it. The ballpoint pen accessory is still available for sale though (you'll get a look at it in the pictures below).

I have a love affair with Midori's packaging for the Traveler's Notebook, and I love that they've customised the opening sheet in olive green to match the TN inside. It came with the usual dust bag and extra string, but once it's opened, here's how it looks like:


I tried to make the picture as true to the colour of the TN as possible, but alas, there's something about the camera and the olive colour that does not seem to work! Do check out Notemaker's photos to get a better depiction of the actual colour. What I can say about it though is that it's luscious. 'Inspired by the dense old-growth of forests', as described by MTN, the Olive really is one of a kind. I can tell that it will age nicely with time, and there's just something about the colour that makes me want to venture out far and wide with it.

Here are a few styled shots (which I must admit, made the MTN look more brown than olive) that I took at sunset:



Like its brothers, the Olive is fully customisable. The olive pen holder and ballpoint pen came separately, but because I had to have the matching pair, in my cart they went!

If you're a MTN fan like I am, you have to get your hands on the Olive. It will be a great addition to the collection, and you definitely won't regret the colour!

April 1, 2017

APRIL GOALS


I'd like to say that March flew by, but in retrospect, I think it was one of the longest month I've had in a while. I can't seem to put my finger on why it was, but it seemed to drag on with no end in sight. But now that we're well into April and I haven't even written my goals up, I can say that this month will be the complete opposite.

Either way, let's look at how March went:
  • READ: Ok, so I actually managed to finish a book this month - albeit it took me a while. I picked up A Man Called Ove in stores after it was recommended by Kelly Purkey, and it was actually a nice read. The end was definitely a heartbreaker. But despite this, like I said, it took me a while (almost a whole month!) to finish it, only because it didn't pull me in from the start. I miss reading books that hooks me in from the beginning and keeps me wanting to read it till the end. Maybe my reading interests have changed as I grow older, but it also seems as though I'm migrating towards reading hobby / self-help books more often than not. I'm reading books like Love x Style x Life where if you told younger me I'd be picking this book up in the future, I would probably laugh in your face. I've actually found these real-life experience books a whole lot more interesting than the fiction section, and I think I'm ok with that. Besides, it only means I'll be able to get through books faster.
  • ADVENTURE: I'm still planning but failing at going through with any adventures recently. Sad, I know, but with a possible wedding coming up in the next few months, I'm happy to postpone this little goal till a little later in the year.
  • WORK: March's work schedule ended up being just as hectic as any other month. There are always people dropping shifts, and I am always there picking them up because why not? Hah. I'm still enjoying work though, and I guess that's a good thing. I haven't quite burnt out just yet.
  • CREATIVITY: I may have picked up my scrapbooking / crafting in the beginning the month, but it died sooner rather than later. A little disappointed, but oh wells.
  • EXERCISE: I have cut down a little, I must admit. I'm now only doing exercises once every two days, etc, but I haven't abandoned it completely.
  • SELF DIRECTED STUDY: I got my books and I tried to get organised, but every time I want to start it, I always find an excuse to procrastinate. I'm not even in uni and I somehow manage to find time to do that. At least with self-directed study, I don't have any guilt or deadlines coming at me.
I'm a little here and there with my goals for March, and I must admit, that's not good. I think I need to change the way I insert these goals into my life. It seems like everything's just everywhere and it's only because I don't have a solid way of documenting my life recently. Either way, here's a look at April's goals, and hopefully there'll be a better outcome:

  • READ: Still on the reading boat, and hoping for better outcomes this month. I'm currently happy with just one novel being read this month (as it seems that's the fastest I can only read), and probably a mix of lifestyle books
  • EXERCISE: I'm going to try to head back to exercising once a day like I used to in the first two months, because it seems like it's getting harder to do things that I thought I was getting used to now that I've slacked off.
  • MONEY: Ok, I've been spending a little too much again, so I think it's time to cut back. I've done a whole lot of Treat Yo Self recently, and with my money rapidly depleting, I think it's time to tighten the belt until the next month. I'm not going to put a spending limit because I know I won't stick to it, but just mentally noting that I have to cut back does make a difference!
  • WORK: Forever picking up shifts and not regretting it ~
  • FRIENDS: I know I made a goal this year to do something different every month, and 'friends' aren't really a goal, but I think it's high time I started to reconnect with some of my high school and uni friends again, and possibly make more friends too. Although I've been working too much, it has also meant that I'm now close to a whole lot of people in ED too. I guess it helps that I've been working with two Drs that are as close to me in age, and because of that, I've been able to learn from them as much as I've been able to mess around with them. It's nice that I'm actually getting closer to people I never thought I would be able to.
It should be an interesting month ahead. Let's see how it goes.

March 21, 2017

LIFE IN PICTURES

I keep telling myself to update this place, but alas, 3 weeks has gone by without a peep. Sorry. To be fair, I have been on the creative rut lately. I haven't been taking too many pictures daily (which is disastrous, in my mind), but life seems to be repeating itself over and over again with most of my days spent working (to the point where Drs I only see in the hallways asks whether I'm there 24/7. Hah). So really, you're not missing much. I guess I shouldn't use that as an excuse, but when you're spending 6 days of your week at work, you tend to cherish that one day off, in which I spend most of it catching up on my thoughts. I have been documenting some of my days in a notebook, and to be fair, I think it's going quite well. So in order to give you an update of my life and a peak into my notebook, here are some pictures to tell the story:





Hope everyone's been well
xx

February 28, 2017

MARCH GOALS


If you've noticed that I've been slightly quiet on the social media front, you're not wrong. Remember how my goal was to continue with my crazy work schedule? Well, I can say that that goal worked quite spectacularly. It's probably illegal from how much overtime I'm doing, but I'm actually quite enjoying it. I'm still waiting for the moment where I burn out, but so far, I haven't come to that stage just yet. And that's great.

This may very well be my first (of three) days off where I've been able to sit, recollect my thoughts and do something creative (which so happened to consist of a mad rush to finish off my projects before March). I must admit though, I have been in a slight creative rut too. I've been fiddling around with my planner (again), second guessing my Traveler's Notebook and failing at my daily memory keeping. I'm hoping that a new month (and season) will bring a change to my creative life.

But anyway, here's a look at how February went and the hopes that March will bring about some new changes:
  • (FAIL) READ: Still not reading. I probably touched a chapter when I was waiting around at work, but that was it. Oops.
  • (TICK) WORK: Yep, still going strong. Not too sure how March will be though. Maybe I might cut down slightly to focus on new adventures with a colleague, or to catch up on my memory keeping, but I can't guarantee that!
  • (FAIL) BLOG: Fact is, I'm running out of blogging ideas. I do need to create before I blog, and if I'm not creating, I'm sorry if my blog follows!
  • (TICK) EXERCISE: I have faltered on days where I've been exhausted from working, but I've more or less exercise every day of February. I'm not sure if there has been any difference, but I'm hoping there is (even minimally!)
  • (TICK) JOURNAL: I'm still going strong, but have missed out on journaling the last few days of February (which I will update right after this!). I have noticed that my Hobonichi has become just a recunt of my days. My deep and personal thoughts always seem to end up on scrap pieces of paper because for one, I don't carry my Hobonichi with me everywhere, and for another, there's just not enough space. The amount I write each day really depends, however. I have been thinking about a few things in my life these days, which have caused my influx in writing. Come next year, and I'm sure it'll die down again with an A6 Hobonichi being adequate enough for both my thoughts and daily happenings. For now, I've decided to recount my days in my Hobonichi while keeping my personal thoughts in a grid MTN.
  • (TICK) EXPENSES: Fact is, I've been making about the same as a junior doctor (I've checked), and I'm not too concerned with spending much these days. Not working in the city means I haven't been impulse shopping much (which helps), and online shopping doesn't seem to be too interesting these days either. I'm not saying I haven't spent a bit in February, but I think it's been declining, which makes it a win for me and my bank account. So for the first time in probably a year, I'm going to scrap keeping a low expense sheet for March!
  • (TICK) UPCOMING CLASS: Every time I try to start early so I don't have to rush before the deadline, it fails miserably. I must admit, my mad rush was mostly due to the fact that all my weekends have been spent working. I have managed to finished everything just on time though, so I guess that's the most important bit!
I'm actually quite amazed at how well February went (despite the fact that I thought otherwise). I'm hoping March will be somewhat different though, and I have opted for some new goals that I hope to achieve with the new season:
  • READ: No more excuses! Autumn calls for sweater weather with a new book in a park.
  • ADVENTURE: I'm still missing an adventure buddy, but now that my colleague is back from her holidays, I'm hoping that we'll be able to squeeze in some adventure time in the cooler month.
  • WORK: It seems odd that my March work schedule isn't as full as it was in February, but I think I need to cut down my work time too (as much as I disapprove). I'll probably end up picking up shifts as we go, but for now, I think I need to settle on the fact that I have a 'normal' work schedule
  • CREATIVITY: I need to pick myself up from my creative rut and get a move on with documenting again. After all, these memories are not going to document themselves! I'm hoping that March will see me going back to documenting memories in my Traveler's Notebook, including keeping a separate notebook on all my personal thoughts
  • EXERCISE: When March is over, it will be 90 days since I first started my weight training routine. It might not be so evident physically (because I haven't really changed my lifestyle much), but I'm hoping it's still progress. It might take another 90 days before progress is perceivable, but I'll at least be halfway into my goals than I was before I started.
  • SELF DIRECTED STUDY: I'm going to aim to do something new every month. I used to have similar goals each month last year, but I think I need to fit something different in my life to better myself. This month would be self-directed studying. It's been the best not needing to study eversince I ended my degree in 2015, but now, I'm itching to get more knowledge in my head. I've been mixing around a lot with ED doctors and nurses lately, and sometimes, it sucks that despite the fact that I'm a medical professional too, I don't exactly have that in depth knowledge of the drugs / terminology they use. I've picked up a few books from Book Depository recently, so I'm planning to study some drugs / medical emergencies when I can. Hopefully that will bring me up to speed and with the crowd.
Let's go, March!

February 1, 2017

FEBRUARY GOALS


Oh my, that went by quick. We're already in the second month of the new year, and I'm (admittedly) disappointed that I haven't actually done anything major this month. I think I'm gonna aim for something each month, something I can remember and know that that was the highlight of the month. It doesn't have to be specific, and it doesn't even have to be something great, it just has to be something different from my every day norm. I think that's the only way we know we're improving with our lives. Anyway, here's a look at how my January went:
  • Read: FAIL
    I'm actually disappointed that I didn't pick up or flick through a single book this month. Let's hope February will be different.
  • Work: TICK
    I must admit, the last week of January would probably be the highlight of the month, if only because my boss noticed how much I was working. Hah. I'm still excited to take on crazy workloads for the time being, so forgive me if I'm away from social media for a bit!
  • Blog: FAIL
    I tried. Really.
  • Exercise: TICK
    I'm actually pretty proud that I managed to go through the whole month exercising in my room, missing just two days of exercise for very good reasons (once it was 37 degrees celcius, and the other, I was just too exhausted from work). Hoping to keep this up for another 70 days to see if there are any major changes to my body by day 100.
  • Journal: TICK
    I'm actually still pretty up to date with 3 of the journals / planners I'm planning to use throughout the year, so yay!
  • Expenses: TICK
    I'm not too sure how much I spent this month (and I don't want to calculate), but because the sales have died off since Boxing Day, I feel like I haven't actually spent much on things I don't need. I hope to keep this up in February and with all the extra money I'm making from my crazy work schedule, my savings would be getting a great boost.
February is a short month, no doubt, but I'm hoping to get things done to its full extent either way:
  • READ: Unlike last year, my reading seems to be taking a backseat. I can't seem to find the motivation to pick up a book or my kindle. Let's just hope I can fit some time for reading this month
  • WORK: I'm still on the work all day every day ride, and haven't burnt out yet.. which is a good thing. I still have all the energy in me and I'm hoping to go just as hard this month
  • BLOG: I'm going to try to keep this blog up to date, but forgive me if I fall behind!
  • EXERCISE: I'm aiming for at least 100 days of weight training, and I really want to see if there is any difference by the end of those days. I love that I've kept up with it for the whole of January, so let's hope February stays the same
  • JOURNAL: I'm loving journaling in my Hobonichi as it allows me to keep everything in one place, and I can't see February being any different!
  • EXPENSES: I think I'm going to relax my expenditure just a little. I haven't actually been spending much, and with all the overtime shifts I've been picking up, I think it's fair that I reward myself at the same time
  • UPCOMING CLASS: It's still under wraps, but this month's goal is to complete my upcoming class with BPC (before due date!). Details on what the class is about won't be unveiled till closer to release date, but do expect one in the near future! I just need to buckle down and write it all up before due date at the end of this month!
It's going to be a full month again and I can't wait to see what happens by the end of it!

January 22, 2017

GILLIO COMPAGNA

Oh my. I know the price was (and is) steep, but I think every planner addict should own a Gillio Firenze planner once in their lifetime. Believe me, you won't regret it. And it's probably bad superficial to say that it's made me love ring bound planners again, but it really has (to the point where for the first time in years, my MTN is taking a backseat!). I unfortunately purchased the Gillio a few hours too late as apparently they increased the price right after. But as I didn't quite know what the price was before the rise, I'm happy to live in ignorant bliss. I purchased the Gillio Compagna Medium in Epoca Gold as for one, that was the one I actually wanted, and for another, all my second choices weren't in stock (and I wanted it now!). So in the middle of the night, under my covers, I decided to purchase the one thing I never thought I'd buy.

Fast forward exactly one week later, and the much coveted Gillio Compagna was in my hands, faultless and beautiful. But first, here's a look at it unwrapped:


It came in a strong brown box that Filofaxes used to come in. I must give credit to Filofax for bringing those infamous boxes back with some prestigious models though (like the Heritage). What Filofax lacks, however, is this dust bag that the Gillio also comes in in the box:


One last unwrapping and here it is in all its beauty:


I must admit, the pictures were taken a day after its arrival (as it decided to arrive when I was working late that day), so the insides are already filled with my current planner refills. While waiting for my Gillio to arrive, I read a number of blog reviews on this particular model, and trust me when I say that none of them were exaggerating of how well made the planner is (not to mention, it smelt wonderfully leather). Just from holding and feeling it between your fingers, you're able to tell how luxurious, heavy and thick the leather is. Accidentally scratched your planner with your fingernails? Just rub them off with your fingers. That's how amazing it is.

But apart from the leather, the Gillio Compagna is famous for its pockets, especially the full length pocket at the back (seen below). Admittedly, I'm not much of a pocket user, but given the chance, I'd fill them all up nevertheless. Hah.
When it comes to the rings, compared to Kikki K and Filofax, you can tell that the Gillio is on a different level of strength and quality. It snaps nice and shut with no gaps in them whatsoever. It seems to be made of thicker and sturdier metal too, so I don't expect it to bend anytime soon. Not to mention, the ring diameter comes in at 25mm, so you're free to stuff it as you will.

As I've made the move from my MTN to this planner, I'm planning to fill it with everything that my MTN used to hold, from a diary, art, scrapbooking, expenses and the likes. The one thing I've missed with ring binders is your ability to keep the pages you need over and over again, and throw out the ones you dont. Not to mention, the ability to shift pages around and add in little ephemera when you fancy.


I can't see myself converting back to my MTN anytime soon, although I do wish the page size was a little bigger for more information coverage. But hey, it's nothing I can't get used to. I'll be throwing in some planner peeks throughout the year, so keep a look out for that. And if you're still contemplating over whether or not you should press the button and get that Gillio, I say go for it. You won't regret it, I promise!

January 11, 2017

30 DAY MONEY CLEANSE

Ok, so as much as I'd like to forever spend on anything and everything I go 'ooooh' at, I know I can't. I must admit, I have been working quite a bit of overtime at work lately, but that doesn't mean I should spend it all at the end of pay period! So recently, Personal Capital started a little 30 Day Money Cleanse guide with tips to help you save. You can keep track of your weekly and monthly budgets with their free personal finance software hereI've shared the image below and hopefully you'll be able to take some advice from it too:

I'll be setting this Money Cleanse Guide up in my Personal Planner - where all my expenses are located - and hopefully, I'll be able to stick to it for the month. There are some bits of information on there which doesn't quite apply to me as yet, but I'm sure they'll be required in the future. A look into the layout of my Money Cleanse for inspiration will be available to view at the end of each week, and hopefully that will motivate you to take this challenge with me too!

Stay tuned!

January 7, 2017

2017 PLANNERS (UPDATED)


I tend to always update my planner list during the first month of the new year (like I did last year). I guess we never know what we need and how we'll be using it until we're actually using it.We can plan on how we want to use them all we want, but in the end, it always comes down to practicality. But anyway, here's a look at the initial 2017 planner line up and their uses:
  1. JOURNALING - A6 Hobonichi: This is probably my third year trying Hobonichi out, and I hope the third time's a charm. Compared to the last two years, my use of Hobonichi has always been vague - not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it, its use faltered and was soon thrown aside or sold away. In 2017, it's role is plain and simple: journaling. Nothing more, nothing less. The page size should be enough for my daily ramblings and the grid set up will help get my journaling done without worrying whether or not my lines are coming up straight.
  2. TO DO - Small Daily Moleskine: I was at first struggling to find a role for this baby. It was an impulse buy, thinking it would fit in the leather cover I bought in Toulouse, but I realised soon enough that I didn't actually have a notebook to replace my daily to do's that used to take place in an undated passport sized notebook. With it being a dated day-to-a-page, together with its small size, it will be perfect to write all my daily to-dos (without cramping), keep track of my activities and plan ahead if need be. Wonder why I never thought of this earlier!
  3. EXPENSES & WORK - Kate Spade Personal Planner: I must admit, I was all for using my new Kate Spade Planner (which hasn't even arrived yet!), but then I saw the Filofax Original Burnt Orange Personal size and my fingers are getting the itch to buy them online! Either way, Kate Spade or Filofax, as this will be a ring planner, I'm sure other subjects will be added in once I discover them. But for now, both my work hours and expenses will be kept in this planner to help keep track of my life.
  4. VISION PLANNER - Bloom Daily Planner: I won't be surprised if my usage of this falls off eventually. With it being a Vision planner, I know, can be taken in two ways: the literal and the metaphorical sense. As the planner is laid out like an Erin Condren / Happy Planner, it's perfect for me to make planning pretty again by using sticky notes, washi tape and the such. It will basically be the 'hobby' planner. A place to let loose, try out new materials and document my days. It won't be done on the go, with spreads created every weekend (or so I hope). This planner will also be used as the 'Vision' planner it's intended to be - setting out goals for the month, reviewing them at the end, etc. although this will be a minor part of the planner.
  5. DAILY DOCUMENTATION / NOTES - MTN: Lucky last, my Midori Traveler's Notebook. It currently holds my week on one page (with grid on the other). Unlike before, I'm going to keep this diary loose. I used to decorate and put so much pressure on the spreads that it ended up being a weekend project (that eventually fell behind). I'm going to use this on-the-go and forget about trying to make things pretty. This will be my thought process (and hence, 'messy') area
Not much has changed, with majority keeping their role, but here's the updated version:
  1. JOURNALING - A6 Hobonichi: I'm proud to say that this is still going strong (for now). Lol. And I must admit, I don't know why I've never done this before. The size is perfect, and I'm able to scribble down my thoughts in one place, in depth, compared to the 45890345 notebooks I used last year.
  2. EXPENSES, WORK, GTD - Gillio Compagna Medium Planner: At first, I was focusing on just keeping this strictly work related. But as I was using the 2017 Kate Spade inserts, there were just too much blank spaces hanging around going to waste. So in my to-do list went under each corresponding day, and when the space is not enough, a blank note page will be inserted in between my weekly spread.
  3. DAILY DOCUMENTATION - MTN: My MTN is still doing its good ol' job of daily documentation, but as I was so focused on my personal planner, I kinda left this behind for a while. But never fear, I'm back into the MTN groove, and can't wait to be documenting in it again.
  4. MEMORY KEEPING - KAISERCRAFT: I realised that I didn't actually have a memory keeping book around (blasphemy!), but since I was gifted a Kaisercraft planner (which you can check out the review here), I thought that this would be a perfect size and area to do so!
And there you have it. There might be changes again in the near future, but let's hope this sticks!

January 2, 2017

THE FILOFAX REVIVAL


It's been exactly three years since my obsession with planning began. Don't get me wrong though, I've always been a planner - I just didn't know it yet. But it was 2014 when I purchased my first Filofax, needing to be more organised but not knowing where to start. Fast forward three years later, and I'll be able to tell you everything about them, and supply a whole village with the tools required to put a spread together. But in those three years, my planning game has morphed and taken place in 43587 different diaries, in a variety of ways. I began using Hobonichi and Traveler's Notebooks, completely abandoning the Filofax and ring system by the end of 2015 and 2016. I adopted Bullet Journaling, and tried to keep everything in one book, but alas, nothing seemed to work. I know that 2017 has an air of change to it though, partly due to work and partly due to Filofax bringing out a new range that were just too hard to resist. Once upon a time, Kikki K rose to extreme fame with the Mint planner, but it soon died out, with Traveler's Notebooks being the current trending item. Filofax seems to have taken a back seat, but I'm sure it will be revived into its golden era again. After all, things goes in cycles. With people forever looking for something sturdy, reliable and nostalgic, Filofax will always be there to quench those desires.

Which brings me to this post: I think this year holds some change for me in terms of the planning front. I now own a Filofax Heritage Compact, and I've never been more excited to use a Filofax since I first got a Malden. The 2017 planners I listed in the previous post will no doubt change in the next few days (I can already feel it), and my ring binder may very well take the wheel when it comes to plain, straight forward planning - like how it's meant to be. These days, we're so overwhelmed with different pens, stickers and embellishments that we forget the main purpose of these planners. Sure, these embellishments adds life and colour to your pages, but what's the point if they're not doing what they're supposed to do so initially? I'm gonna go for a simple approach this year, keeping things as they are, writing out raw and unedited emotions as they happen. And if I ever were a one word kinda person, I think 2017 is going to be the year of Simplicity. Exciting things will be happening this year, and I'm looking forward to it all.

January 1, 2017

JANUARY GOALS


Hey there and happy new year! Hope everyone is having a great new start to 2017, with plans and goals for a better year. I'm back to the daily grind with a new set of goals to tackle for the month and year, so let's get to it:

  • Read: 2 books / month
    Finish reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
  • Work: ~ 6 days / week
    I used to pass up my overtime and on-call shifts to people when I got the chance, but I've been on a crazy work bend lately and have been picking up shifts from everyone when I possibly can. Call me crazy, but I've been a little bored at home with no real impending deadlines, so why not just work? Hah. I'll probably burn out half way through, but while I'm young and energised, I'm aiming to work ~6 days a week. So forgive me if I'm a little absent from my blog and Instagram. I'm just being a workaholic!
  • Blog: ~ 6 posts / month
    I sometimes forget to update my blog for reasons inexcusable (like being lazy), so I'm hoping this will keep my blogging life a little more active for my wonderful readers.
  • Exercise: Everyday
    I've started this in-room exercise routine where I manage to get my heart pumping and sweat pouring without the need to do cardio. I used to pass off my exercise routine as it required going downstairs and prepping up the treadmill (I'm just that lazy), but now that I can do my routine before / after work, I'm hoping to keep at it till I see some results.
  • Journal: Everyday
    Realistically speaking, I know I won't be able to do it every day, but as long as my journals / planners are up to date, I'm happy with that.
  • Expenses: < $1000
    Let's face it, I can't make a goal of lesser than $1000 knowing a purchase like a Gillio Compagna is a straight $400 deduction. Hah. But lately, I have been spending a little lesser than usual with sales ending with the new year. So who knows, I might be spending lesser than $500 this month (doubt it)!

So how are your goals for the new year and month looking?