My first week in my Plum Paper Planner!

Plum Paper Planner

Sorry I missed fiber Friday this week. I’ve just been too distracted to knit! Anyway, here is my first week in my Plum Paper Family Planner!

I’m very glad that I left the sections blank. It is allowing me to figure out what’s going to work, and what isn’t. So far what I’m doing is great, but we will see as time progresses. 

 

I’ve made a bit of progress with sticker making, as you can see! I need to do some more, though. I’m also trying to be okay with not getting everything done, but it’s hard! 

 

 

Happy Tuesday! My favorite water bottle is a Camelbak!

A couple months ago, I noticed a super cute water bottle on Ravelry. It had knit, crochet, and sheep on it. You can’t really beat that! It was Ravelry’s Sheep Camelbak water bottle! It was just too adorable not to order. I’d never used this type of bottle before, and I have to say that I love it. I found the bite valve easy to use, and like that the straw goes all of the way to the bottom of the bottle.  It also doesn’t leak.  At all.  I can throw it in my purse, leave it on the bed, etc, and not have any issues with it at all.

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All in all, it’s horribly adorable, and I only need to drink 3 of these babies to get all of the water that I’m supposed to drink in a day!  I think I’m going to have to order another one soon, as a back up, because if this Camelbak ever dies, I’m going to be very sad.

One Planner to Rule Them All: Plum Paper Planner Overview and Comparison

Welcome to my One Planner to Rule Them all mini-series!  I’ll be going over the two planners that I will be receiving, and giving the pros and cons of each, as well as a comparison of both.

After a few weeks of waiting, I finally received my Plum Paper Family Planner!  My experience with the company has been great.  Communication has been awesome — every question I’ve sent in has been answered in a timely manner (within about a day).  My planner also even shipped at the lower end of the time frame given!  You can’t really beat that.

It’s very obvious that this company cares about their customers, and making them happy.  Some people in the planner groups I’ve seen have mentioned a few little issues here and there.. Colors off on their customized covers, or they wanted to add in another insert, or switch around their order. Plum Paper has been very accommodating from what folks have been reported, making their mistakes right, sending corrections out to people really fast, etc.

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As you can see here, the planner came very well packaged.  It was wrapped in a generous amount of bubble wrap, and inside of a sturdy box.  It arrived without any kinds of damage, no dings, or scratches or anything like that.

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Plum Paper has a variety of covers for you to choose from, and you can even customize some aspects — whether or not you want a monogram, what name, quote, etc, you want on it, if you want a photo on it, and even what colors you’d like.  I went with owls, as you can see, but it was a hard choice!  There’s a lot of fun things to pick from!

The cover itself is made out of a decent card stock, with a frosted plastic over that. Some people choose to laminate their cardstock cover, and remove the frosted one.  That, however, involves uncoiling the planner, taking off the cover, taking it to get laminated, and then recoiling it all.  That terrifies me, so no thanks!

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The first page of the planner is a place to jot down your contact info in the event you should lose your book.  But seriously, who is going to let that kind of a thing happen?!  The paper used for the pages is just epic.  It’s nice and smooth, silky to the touch.  I just kind of want to sit and pet it….

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After that, you have a year at a glance, followed by next year at a glance.  The back of the last page of these is blank.

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After this you have your first month’s divider.  Since I was getting my planner right before the start of March, that was when I decided to have mine begin.  With Plum Paper, you can pick your starting month, and even add on extra months!  These month dividers are nice cardstock as well, they don’t feel as heavy as the cover, but they’re still great.  The tabs have lamination over them for protection. The backside of the divider is blank.  Some people like to use this space to decorate, or plug in some sticky notes to use later, etc.

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Right after the tab, you get a page for your notes.  There’s also one of these pages at the end of the month as well.

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And now we’re starting to get into the good stuff…. After your notes page, you get your monthly spread!  I’ve seen most people use these, and I’ll be using mine to note important things such as appointments, so I can see, at a glance, what I have coming up.

20150221_131442Here is the meat of this beast — your weekly layout.  Plum Paper has several versions to choose from.  You can do time slots, just one big column for the day, break it into morning, noon, and night, etc.  I went with what they call the Family Planner.  This one gives you several little sections that you can use for whatever you like.  Plum Paper gives you the option to have printed labels here, but I decided to leave all of mine blank, as I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to divide up my days yet!

20150221_131512At the end of your planner, you have this Special Dates section.  Honestly, for me, this probably wont see much use.  Any kind of special date I need to note is going to end up in the monthly/weekly spreads.  Though I can see the benefit to having everything all together like this.

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You also get a page to stick some contacts, and a list of holidays.  Given that I have a cellphone, I probably wont ever use the contacts page, since I store all of my numbers digitally.  I think most people do these days.  Having a list of holidays is nice, but again, these are something that’s noted through out the planner.

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Another calendar for next year, and a cardstock pocket to put some things in!  I think it’s a little redundant to put another calendar in the back of the book like this, when there’s one in the front.  I did order extra months, so it’s possible that’s why mine has 2016 in the front of it.  The pocket is double sided.  Good if you’re on the go, and still want your favorite stickers with you!

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And here is the back! Like the front, it is heavy cardstock, with a frosted cover over that.

To break it down-

Pros: Good size to write in, can customize, good quality, feels sturdy, can add in your own extras with coil clips, nice layout.

Cons: Big and bulky, a bit weighty.

Now to compare the two planners…. This one is a bit hard, because they’re both sort of designed for different things.  All-in-all, I have to say that the Plum Paper wins for me.  I just cannot deal with the time constraints that the Passion Planner forces you into.  That, and the shoddy quality of the product and the poor customer service is enough for me to advise everyone to stay far, far away from it.  The Passion Planner IS more compact.  Much more compact.  Plum Paper is about 9×7″, and at least an inch thick, where as the Passion Planner looks to be about 5×7″ and 1/2″ thick.

The freedom you get with the Plum Paper Planner is just really hard to beat, especially when you can pick out which layout will work best for you, and option that is not available with the Passion Planner.


All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

Fiber Friday: Fair Isle Fun!

My local yarn shop (or LYS) has started a year-long knit-a-long (or KAL!) for a very awesome project.  It’s called My Favorite Things, and you can find the pattern by following this link here to Ravelry.

The project is an infinity style scarf, worked with Fair Isle.  The concept is to do each section, or pattern, as one of your favorite things!  I’ve been working on this off and on for a few weeks now, and I’ve just been having a great time with it!

For my first section, I had to do Zelda!

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And then for my second section, foxes!

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My third section is pretty unicorns!

unicornI’m currently plucking away on my fourth section, but you guys will either have to follow me on Ravelry, or wait and see what it is in a further update. 🙂

 

 

Happy Tuesday! Frixion pens are full of win and good!

I was recently turned onto Pilot’s Frixion pens, and pretty much fell in love with them right away.  A gel pen.  And erasable?!  you can’t really beat that!  They erase pretty good for pens, not 100%, which is to be expected with a pen.  They also come in a variety of fun colors!  Right now I have pink, purple, and a tealish blue color.

Those of you who are pen and paper junkies, like I am, definitely wont be disappointed with them!  They write like butter, the colors are nice and vivid, they don’t bleed, and all around they’re just a lot of fun to play with!

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All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

The Joys of a Die-Cut Machine

This week I received a Silhouette Cameo, so I’ve been playing around, learning how to use the software, and printing stickers!  My first few attempts went rather poorly (and I wasted a lot of paper 🙁 ), thanks to a wonky blade that came with my Cameo.  Thankfully, I got a bundle deal that included an extra blade.  Popped that in, and it worked perfectly!

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So yeah… those of you who are ordering these Silhouette machines… definitely pick up an extra blade!  You never know if you’ll have the same issue I did or not!  Not to mention, it’s a great idea to have an extra blade on hand anyway.  Paper will dull blades, though the question is how quickly!

weatherstickersI’ve been working on my first set that will be for sale. 😀  This is a weather icon set, with 6 different designs – cloudy, partly cloudy, rain, snow, sunny, and thunder storms!  I’m just waiting to receive my planner so I can size them appropriately to fit the box below the day of the week in the family version of the planner.  Since they’re size to fit there, they will be quite small, so there should be a good few on the sheet!  My sheets are a little smaller than half of a regular piece of paper.  Unfortunately, I use some due to the way the Silhouette cuts, and where it will cut.  You see all of that cross-hatched area at the top?  It wont cut that at all.  I’ll also be trimming off the registration marks on the top and bottom, so I have nice looking pages. 🙂

The software was a little odd at first, but after watching a few YouTube videos I quickly got the hang of it.  It’s really pretty easy once you figure out what you need to do.  All-in-all, I’m having a lot of fun with this machine and working on stickers, and can’t wait to get my planner so I can work on even more designs!

 

Happy Tuesday! Lovin’ Media Center Master!

Disclaimer: This is a product that benefits me directly, as this is something my husband has created and sells. All opinions, however, are my own.

Media Center Master is digital media management software for those with home theaters, HTPCs, or those who watch their shows and movies through their XBOX, Roku, or other devices that allow streaming from a file server of some type or a hard drive.

What Media Center Master does is help your organize all of those digital files.  It’ll rename things pretty, including season information (Example: s02e10 for season 2, episode 10 of something), and also include available metadata for the file, so your media player (We use Kodi, formally XBMC) can pull the information from the file, such as the name of the show, episode title, tags, summary, etc.  The program will also find images to use within your media player software, such as actor photos, or covers of movies.

For those of you who like to keep backups of your DVD collection on your computer, you can tell Media Center Master to go search through usenet or torrents for those movies or episodes and it will download them for you!  It will not only even find current episodes of shows, but back episodes as well.

I have to say, it is absolutely lovely being able to watch TV with no commercials, and not having to get up to put in a new DVD.  I can just select a new show or movie within Kodi and hit play, knowing that Media Center Master has already found all of my media for me!

For more information about Media Center Master, you can check out the website by following this link.

One Planner to Rule Them All: Passion Planner Overview

Welcome to my One Planner to Rule Them all mini-series!  I’ll be going over the two planners that I will be receiving, and giving the pros and cons of each, as well as a comparison of both.

Last year in November, I came across the Passion Planner.  I have to admit, it got me very excited.  It looked lovely, and had some really good features about it, which definitely drew my interest.  I prompted placed an order via Kickstarter.  Unfortunately, after the campaign ended, it was all down hill from there.

Let me start off by saying that this is a fairly new company, that sold planners last year.  This year, they completely blew up.  They got thousands and thousands of orders.  Which is great for them, but not so great for people who ordered planners.

When I purchased mine it was slated for a January delivery.  I was okay with missing a couple weeks of the planner.  I did not receive mine until almost February. An entire month out of it, I wasn’t happy about.  It’s a planner that is dated January – December 2015.  Many other people have waited much longer, and are still waiting to receive them now.

What the company should have done, was to stop taking orders.  It was basically a girl running it out of her garage, she should have known that she couldn’t handle the capacity that she was getting.  It would have been the responsible thing to do, anyway.

I was fortunate enough to not get a planner with any notable flaws.  Many people have received planners that were printed incorrectly, and missing months or weeks, or even having duplicate months.  Several others have received planners that are coming off of their covers, or with pages just falling out of them.  I suppose that’s what happens when you outsource manufacturing to China and have them made cheaply.  You can read more about people’s woes on Passion Planner’s Facebook page.

passion plannerHere’s a shot of the cover.  It looks pretty nice, though it does feel rather thin, and doesn’t really feel like a quality material.  If you compare it to a Moleskin, for example, you can tell that the material used here wouldn’t stand up like a Moleskin would. I don’t have a ruler handy, but I’d have to guess it’s about 5″x7″ and maybe .75″ thick.

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This is the main feature that got me excited about the Passion Planner — Goal setting.  The planner walks you through setting up lifetime, short-term, and longer-term goals using this neat little chart system.  I was hoping to use it to get some things on track, like my business stuff, my blog, crafts, etc.  The paper feels okay, not super quality, but definitely better than average printer paper.

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Here’s a shot of what the monthly layout looks like. Again, more stuff to keep you goal oriented, which I liked!

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This would be the weekly spread.  More goal-oriented stuff, and I do like the little quotes that you find on each weekly spread.  Some of them are kind of fun!  What I don’t like about this, is that it’s broken down into a specific time.  That aspect of this book would never work for me, as I don’t run a typical schedule, and don’t really have things I have to do at a particular time, past be at an appointment or similar circumstance.  I also don’t wake up anywhere near that early, so my day does not end early either.

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After the end of the next monthly spread, you have these reflection pages.  I don’t know why they’re after the next month, rather than just before it, but it is what it is.  This is another aspect that I liked, it gives you some things to think about in terms of how the month went.

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In the back of the planner, you have this expandable pocket.  I have to admit, this thing feels very cheaply made, and I kind of expect it to just rip apart at some point. Also in the very back of the book you have some blank pages, and some grid pages, for notes or doodle or whatever.  I think I’d of opted to have these not included, since there’s a good amount of them.  Having more months, or not having them at all would of been better options.

I had actually emailed to cancel this order and get a refund because I got tired of waiting.  In the three weeks that I waited for a reply, my planner showed up.  I got an email a few days later saying that they couldn’t refund me because I received the item.  Well, of course I did, because they don’t answer emails in a timely fashion.

So, to break it down –

Pros: Good concept, goal setting, nice monthly spreads.

Cons: Timed weekly spreads, cheaply made, poor customer service, poor quality product with lots of issues, no way to add pages or expand the planner.

Given the issues that this company has had, I would not suggest purchasing from them, especially if you want your planner any time soon.  In fact, I’d probably run far, far away from them and over to a better planner and company!

Stay tuned for part two of my series in a couple of weeks, which will be on the Plum Paper Planner!


All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

 

Printrbot Metal Plus Unboxing and First Prints

My Printrbot Metal Plus 3D printer came yesterday, woo! Well, I suppose I’ll get on with the photos!

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It’s a pretty beastly thing with a 10″ square print area. So far I’m working through expected first-time-user issues with it, but hopefully I’ll get it all straightened out soon!

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Initial test print went well… Once I remembered to mark in the software that I have the heated bed (oops).

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First real attempts… Not so much. I’m thinking it’s yanking from where I had my filament spool placed. I’ve moved it and currently have another print going. Here’s hoping!


All views expressed here are solely my own opinion.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, and have not received any benefit from writing this review.

Writing more….

I completely have the intention to start blogging more. I was browsing other blogs today for ideas, seeing what other people tend to write about. What I found was almost disturbing.

Many people simply reblog stuff from other places (which were probably reblogged from somewhere in the first place….), or reviews of products and websites that they don’t really use or care about. Finally, the last type I came across… The saying a lot of stuff but not really saying anything at all.

I know I tend to ramble probably more than the average person, but sheesh. Long tangents about nothing.

I think one of my goals when I start blogging on the regular will be to do none of these things. Reviews will be of products and sites that I actually use and have experience with. Reblogging will be kept to a minimum – those recipes will only be shared if I’ve made and enjoyed them myself! And most of all… No posts just to post something!

Wish me luck!

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