What I'm Into (May 2017)

These are five things I'm seriously grooving on this month...

1. Design Blogs

I am in a slight(ly massive) overhaul of the two upstairs bathrooms, my bedroom, and my living room. I have never asked for help from a professional before, and decided it was high time. It’s been an eye-opening experience, for sure, and I’m at once overwhelmed and totally raring to go to get things finished.

The fun thing is, less is definitely more, so we’ve been slowly paring back years of furniture buys from Target and Pier 1 in favor of a single new piece here and there. The rooms feel bigger, airier, more comfortable. There’s been lots of looking at Pinterest boards (a favorite pastime anyway) and reading design blogs.

My favorite that I’ve been following for years is Desire to Inspire. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve found there. Great photos, excellent curation. You can’t go wrong.


decluttering

2. Serious Decluttering

I’ve had to remove every stick of furniture in my house twice in the past year—once to get the floors laid, and once again to have those floors re-stained. (don’t ask…)

The first time, we took bags of stuff to Goodwill. It’s easy to part with inanimate objects that are old and ready to be repurposed by clever people. This time, I was surgical about what went back, and we coupled it with the elimination or replacement of major furniture pieces.

I’m Marie Kondo-ing again, and this time, I’m getting into the artifacts of our life—gifts, trinkets, pieces that are out of style or frayed around the edges. It’s a difficult process, but it’s created a brand-new workflow in our house, which is in turn making my words flow.

Feng shui? Decluttering? Out with the old? I’m doing it all. 


3. Lechtturm Pen Loops

These little beauties are sheer perfection. They stick to any notebook (permanently, so be forewarned) and fit my Palomino Pearls perfectly. I set up my a fresh Bullet Journal last week, and popped one of these in the back of my Habana, and off I went. 


4. Steagle Laptop Webcam Covers

They’re watching…. You know they are….

For the longest time, paranoid me has used a stick-on silver star over my laptop’s camera, edging it off when I needed to Skype or FaceTime. I saw these recommended on Tools and Toys and decided to try them out. They work perfectly. Thin, unobtrusive, they slide open and closed easily, and don’t interfere with the lid. Now I can work with confidence, and there’s none of the sticky, nasty residue other methods leave behind. I got one for my iPad, too!


Being True to Myself

5. Being True to Myself

This isn’t a material item, but it’s something I am really plugging into. I’ve realized that I just don’t have the stomach for a lot of social media right now. I’ve been popping on, talking to my friends, doing some updates, then leaving and going off to read a book. My Lenten break really altered me this year, altered the way I work, the way I approach my Internet time. I am the first to admit I was succumbing to Internet addiction, and it’s not healthy. I decided to nip it in the bud now, before I get lost. To instead read books, to learn and form my own opinions and historical backgrounds, to help my brain heal from the blue backlight, and stay away from the vitriol of disagreement that never seems far away. I wasn’t back on Facebook for a week before I was being bullied by someone for refusing to get into the mud with them. That’s not what life is about. It’s not what life is for. 

I’m not quitting social media, or anything so drastic. If anything, you may see more of me. I’ve simply found my balance with it, and with what I’m trying to accomplish as a human being, and in my interactions with others. Our lives are so short. Our hearts are so full. There are more ways to truly experience life that don’t involve the ubiquitous screen, and I am exploring them in new ways. 

So here’s a little "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" for you today. "May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."

Namaste.

LOST CRATES: A Review

Let me tell you about this really cool concept I've just become aware of. It's called LOST CRATES. The idea is brilliant - once a month, a package arrives in the mail - a lost crate, as it were - with goodies inside. Conjures up a simpler time, when people traveled with steamer trunks on grand adventures into the wilds - Africa, Egypt, Turkey. Honeymoons could take up to a year of travel around the globe - and of course, those hearty travelers came home with treasures. So when I heard about Lost Crates I was over the moon. Combine the lost art of traveling the world for priceless artifacts with office supplies, and voila! you have a winning concept.

I filled out the personality quiz and waited breathlessly for my crate to arrive. Yesterday, at long last, it appeared on my doorstep.

Clever packaging helps personalize the box. Inside was a list of the contents - personally, I would have liked to be surprised by unwrapping the goodies and finding the contents card on the bottom, but that's just me.

Love the crackly tissue paper - really gave a nice touch.

The contents of my crate are as follows:

1 Lamy logo mechanical pencil  retail $18.00

1 Quo Vadis Habana Notebook (4x6 pocket) retail $14.25

1 package of Bob's Your Uncle Sticky Page Markers retail $10

Retail total $42.25

The reason I'm including prices is for market comparison: LOST CRATES is a monthly subscription service. The cost is simply $38 a month. That may seem steep on the page, but as you can see, it's less than what you'd pay for these items individually, plus you don't pay shipping.

I love the Lamy pencil. I'm a big fan of all things Lamy, and it happens I use mechanical pencils, so a score there. I'm also a huge Habana fan, and who doesn't need fun sticky notes?

So is it worth it?

Absolutely. This is a brilliant gift for the stationary and pen connoisseur in your life. I think it would also be a fun way friends could trade items they might not be as fond of for more glamorously perceived pieces. And if you don't like an item - well, I can guarantee you that a little gift to your favorite person wouldn't go amiss.

One litte con that I can see off the top.

I must admit, I had been hoping for something a tad more exotic than what my crate contained. I completely bought into the mythology of the Lost Crate concept. It's a huge selling point, one I imagine might be difficult to always fulfill. But if 6 of 10 crates have something truly unique and special in them, the service fufills the promise. And from what I can see from the teaser email, there were some really special items in this month's crates. Which tells me I screwed up the personality test. : ) (Yo, left brain - take a hike!)

As you can tell, this is a tiny issue. Overall, this is a hugely fantastic idea. Lost Crates is a wonderful way to capture fun and innocence, plus, you get to try some of the coolests products on the market today. I really appreciate Sarah Ostman from LOST CRATES giving me the chance to see what the service is all about. I'm hooked, and I hope you will be too. This is an elegant, unique and sexy concept that will appeal to all of the penmonkeys out there.

Now. Can I retake that test???

Sign up for LOST CRATES here!