Archive of ‘Life’ category

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! 

 

 

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.

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.

 

Diablo 3 or “The quest for all the LOOTS!”

Let’s face it, I like loot as much as the next person, but the Diablo games have always taken it to the next level.  In Diablo 3, if you want to play their “end game” stuff, you pretty much have to have the perfect gear. T6 rift?  No problem… as long as you have the right stuff.  And here is where my QQ comes in.

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In most games, especially online ones that are multi-player in some aspect like this, there is going to be some kind of a grind.  Grinding for levels, grinding on bosses to get that one piece of gear, and so on.  In Diablo 3, you don’t grind on a select boss.  You just kill a bunch of things and HOPE that you get the piece of gear you want.  And it’s all completely random.

There are some things you can do to increase your chances for legendary finds… Such as playing at a higher difficulty (which can bring us back to the initial problem – not having the right gear to survive), play with friends for a little bonus, up your magic find, and so on. However, there is one thing fundamentally wrong with grinding in Diablo 3 —

You keep getting the same stuff.

Over and over again, my husband and our friends have gotten the same crap legendaries.  Saffron Wrap, anyone?  You get all excited for that belt to drop, because you’ve been farming for a Goldwrap (or insert your choice belt here), and then you pick that thing up… And you don’t even have to identify it.  You know it’s a damned Saffron Wrap just from the picture.

All of those rifts you’ve been running?  You spend all of those shards at Kadala, only to get crap.  From my experience (or perhaps my poor luck) her drop rate is extremely poor for legendaries.  I have so many level 70 materials now, just from gambling with her, I don’t even bother to pick up blue or yellow items anymore.  Seriously.  She just eats all of my shards and gives me junk in return, which I just break down.

We’ve been playing Seasons, and pretty hardcore.  Several hours most days.  We hit 70 on our third day of playing.  Since then, it’s been pretty much nothing but loot grinding.  At the start, it’s fun, because you don’t have anything… but as you get pieces, and then need only a select few… It’s nothing but a big ball of frustration.

But you might find Kulle-Aid

But you might find Kulle-Aid

There are a couple of things that I feel Blizzard could do to help alleviate some of this frustration.  For example, you could pick a slot when entering rifts, and get a slight increased drop chance for that slot.  Since I’m wanting belts, I could pick waist, and get like a 20% greater chance for waist slot items.  You know, instead of getting two-handers, staffs, crossbows, and other crap I wont use on my Witch Doctor.

It’s nice to dream, right?  Needless to say, I’m going to take a break from the grind for a couple of days and go putter around in ArcheAge….if I can ever get through the queue.

Update: 2014 Action Plan

So, earlier this year I posted my goals for 2014, you can see them in depth here.

The list:

Goals for 2014, in no specific order:

  • Learn C#
  • Spend more time doing hobbies
  • Keep the house cleaner
  • Get mostly out of the glider community
  • Play more games
  • Lose some weight
  • Furnish downstairs

So far I’ve only managed to complete one of these — I’m down to 3 glider groups, that I help admin.  Sugar Gliders, Gliderslist, and Safe Sewing for Suggies.  I’ve also been playing more games lately, but I don’t feel it is worthy enough to mark off at this point.  We’ve been playing a fair bit of MineCraft, and are currently enjoying the Skyblock mod.  We’ve also been tinking around in ESO.

 

I’ve been trying to do more hobbies more, and have been plucking away at my craft room, but haven’t been very successful there.  The other stuff I haven’t even attempted yet! LOL.

March Update

I suppose I should do an update for March before the month is over, eh?  I’ve been going to/doing PT for about a month now, after seeing the pain doctor who referred me there.  The short of it?  PT isn’t doing diddle for my back pain.  I guess it will be back to the pain doctor. 🙁  Not much to update other than that! LOL.

Another January Update

I’m currently on pill… I don’t know what number it is anymore.  Zoloft, woo.  It seems like it might be working a little bit, but definitely not enough.  I don’t know if upping the dose will do anything more, but who knows.  Still wish the psychiatrist would just let me take Xanax daily, cause that actually WORKS.

The next things she wants me to try is something where I have to do blood tests every few months… and the other one can give me some kind of a VERY bad rash that can be fatal or some crap?  The rash one is totally off the table.  And I don’t really want to diddle with blood tests, either.  I see her next week, so I’ll have to ask if there are any other options.

Living Room Planning

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So I’ve been putzing around with slowly working on redoing the living room/kitchen area (open floor plan, whee!).  A few weeks ago I found the fancy owl pillows from target, and fell in love with the color scheme!  I dug around on a few websites and found some things to toss with it.  Defnitely need to find a cheaper console table, and more doodads for the walls.  I can also find a LOT of kitchen goodies in the colors, too!

 

Here’s the current list of what is in there.

Table: $150 TJ Maxx (Already have!)
Dandelion Wall Art – $16 Target
Sconce – $32 Antropologie
Curtains – $34 Urban Outfitters (the color is pretty off, and at $34/ea I’d probably make my own!)
Console Tabe – $1125 wayfair.com (Probably find something similar, and paint/stain ourselves. Just wanted to find one that fit. Or heck, may end up with something totally different!)
Owl Pillow – $15 Target (Already have 2x)
Pansy Vase – $18 Anthropolgie
Bunnies – $10.90 Pier 1
Lamp – $199 Pier 1

 

I do want to find a decent looking quilt rack at some point.  And as mentioned before, I need more stuff for the walls, art, whatever.  Pete wasn’t fond of the metal letters, so they will probably be out.

 

Here are a few links to cute things I’ve found for the kitchen:

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/25442534.jsp

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/870056.jsp

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/B20744306.jsp?color=040

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/23864820.jsp

 

I for sure need to find a bit more with the gold/yellow color.

This will be one of those ongoing projects that I will grab things for as I find them

As far as walls go, I have a large one on the left of the couch (if you’re facing it), which is where I would like to put the console table with the dandelions and maybe something above it.   It is a pretty large wall, though, so I don’t know if that will eat up enough space.

Directly across from the sofa is the projection screen, which takes up most of the wall.

On the right of the couch is the fireplace.  That’s where the tall floor lamp will go, and I already have some nick-nacks on the mantel.  Need new art for above (pears right now!).

I’d also like to grab a couple, taller accent tables to put behind the couch to hold the speakers and get rid of the cheapie ones we have back there right now.  Something maybe a lamp will fit on too.

I also may or may not paint.  Our paint color now is pretty close to what I want.  The color I want is a little deeper.  We’ll see. LOL

 

Ugh.. It always comes in threes!

So…. I got the joy of going to the dentist on Monday for what I hoped would just be a filling…. And let me note here that I am damn near phobic when it comes to the dentist.  I hate going.  I hate being there.  Anxiety and stress are both on HIGH.  Anyway, my hopeful filling turned into a couple hours worth of a repair, and a return trip the next day — I needed a root canal.  Lovely.  He had cut out all of the bad parts of the tooth, filled them, and put some medicine inside.  The gas made it seem like it didn’t take too long, at least.

I was already scheduled Tuesday for a cleaning.  A cleaning I can handle, that’s not a big deal.  She pokes at my gums, polishes my teeth with some minty tasting stuff, and then scrapes at them.  HORRIBLE sound, but it doesn’t bug me much.  Didn’t even need the gas for it.  Then I get moved into one of the Doctor’s rooms for the root canal.  Oh, and I forgot to mention they decided to extract one of my wisdom teeth too.  Lovely.

Most of the root canal went okay.  I was a little freaked out cause I didn’t quite understand EVERYTHING that was going on.  I knew the basics of what the root canal was, but there was rubber, and needles, and all kinds of other junk I tried not to pay attention to and just watch TV.  Apparently I was doing really good until about 20 minutes or so before they were done, and then out of no where I had to vomit.  Which was lovely.  And terrible.  I didn’t have an upset stomach or anything like that… just blat.  And then a couple of more times.  Ugh.  I was horrified.  Having to do that while laying down, with your mouth propped open, with all kinds of junk in it?  Dear lord.  After that mess, they finished up fairly quickly, and went onto the extraction, which was more uncomfortable from him having to really wedge his tools in there and pull at my cheek to get that tooth all of the way in the back of my mouth.

Couple days later now.. Extraction side is fine, just a little sore from where the injections were.  Root canal side is still kind of tender if I bite, but I think it’ll be fine in a couple of days.

And to top that all off, I lost Winnie’s joey.  She was rejected, and I found her on the cage floor Tuesday night when I went in to feed. 🙁  I keep trying real hard not to blame myself, even though I SHOULD have checked more, like I usually do, but with the dentist and the way that stresses me out I slacked on it and took naps and junk.  Ugh.  I keep thinking I could of caught her, and hand fed her or something.

Winnie and Mal will both be going into the vet soon for their well check and fecals, and I’m also going to have a pouch swab ran on Winnie to make sure everything is okay there.  I really think she just isn’t producing enough milk like she should be.  I’ll be letting her have another litter, and being extra vigilant about it.  If she has problems with that one, too, Mal will be getting the ol’ snip and I wont breed her anymore.

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