The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2011-10-23

Friday, October 28, 2011

Want to see a greyhound run?

Ventura can run at my dad's because he has a fenced in yard.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

My spending diet - Part 1

The Spending Diet (the first 5 rules...)

1.  Go through my closet (and drawers); get rid of what doesn't work or doesn't fit.  

Why I think this will help:  My closet is very full  and my drawers are busting with....Okay, well I'm not entirely sure.  I've got no business buying anything if putting the clean stuff away gives me a migraine.  Once the drawers have space I'll be able to put away clean clothes and I'm sure I'll think twice about adding something new.

2.   Go through my make-up and get rid of what doesn't work.

Why I think this will help:  For many years I had one compact of face powder, two eye shadows, and a mascara.  Not that I've rekindled my love of all things cosmetic my life (and house) are lousy with make-up.

It's seriously all over several rooms.  I have at least eight mascaras alone; if pushed I'd say I wear three of them.  Nail polish; at least 20 (but I'm guessing more) and lip products... dozens.

I'm not sure how it happened but it's time for me to start shopping in my own stash.  

3.  No planners, just no.  

Why I think this will help:  I think this is an evil, awful idea.  You can never have too many planners because they bring joy and light to the world.  Notebooks are balm to my soul but I'm going to assume that I shouldn't buy any during my spending diet although I can't quite figure out why.

4.  I'm going to go through my books.

Why I think this will help: Books take up a lot of space and I just cleared off my bookshelves (again) this week.  The dust alone books collect! Holy, Bring me an inhaler, Batman!   I don't have a lot to get rid of because I've gotten rid of so many already but this alone will serve as a reminder - NO BOOKS DURING MY DIET!

5.  Use what's in the pantry.

Why I think this will help:  I've got stuff in there that's lost, I just know it.  If I cleared out he pantry I bet 37 cans of tuna would show up.  I'm pretty sure I'm buying what I already have; it's time to use what I've got.

I'm fairly sure there are also 3 staplers and at least a dozen pairs of scissors around here...  but I'll save that for next month.


If a Filofax and a Moleskine and a Franklin Covey had a baby what would it look like?

Before I start this post, a message to Lin...  You're right and if you know of a Twelve-Step Planner Group - Shoot them my email.

I'm still smarting about the loss of my A5 Filofax especially since it was to be my last purchase before the spending diet.

I considered tossing the diet to the curb but that didn't set right with me so I decided to work with what I already had.

A while back I asked for an A5 leather Filofax on Freecycle.  No one answered with a Filo but someone offered a complete Franklin Covey (*See the aside that the bottom for my feelings about Franklin Covey overall) set.  It wasn't leather but it was the right size (classic), had this years pages, and had a lot of extras (zip envelopes, card holders, bookmarks, etc).  so I picked it up.

I hated the planner right off because it had a zipper, so I offered that back up on Freecycle.  The set also came with another 'storage' planner.  A plain vinyl, no-frills thing.  The closest one they have is this on line is  here.  Mine is the same color but has nothing  inside.

franklin covey

I also disliked the dated pages so I cannibalized a Moleskine dated planner I'd sewed buttons on when I first got it.  I ripped the thing apart, punched some holes and VoilĂ !


I also sewed buttons on the inside cover so you didn't see the back side of the sewing.  I like the inside  more the front.    I included the return to: page ....


And the months that were left in the year...


... And some lined paper...


... And the back pocket...


I have all the Franklin Covey accessories.  The retro looking thing is my address book.

address book

Another zip pocket has my Eames Chair Stamps.

planner space

One of the great things about the A5 size and the reason I thought it would work so well for me is that with a few hole punches so many things can be added, without drama.

This is my Kumihimo instruction book.

craft planner

This is my  Nutrisystem Meal Planner

meal planner

This is Ventura's Original Adoption Web page...

pet section

See what I mean?

A5 is half of a sheet of paper.  If you fold a regular sheet of paper in half, that's A5, and so many things are that size because the paper is pretty standard in the US.

I gave the old collage try to printing Filofax personal pages but for the life of me I couldn't get them to print right; it also involved a lot of cutting.  This is so much simpler.


Here's one of the three bookmarks with my tabs all ready to mark things up.  You can put Filo things in here but in requires extra punching - This books a melting pot.

And another book mark and a sort of half pocket/bookmark thing I put some other business cards in.  This is a big planner; heavy without the elegant bones of a Filofax but it should be serviceable.

It should also be helpful.   I will know once and for all if the size is perfect (or not).  It cost me nothing to make so I'm still good with the spending diet and it will give me some insight.

Will a Filofax this size work?  Is the whole shebang just too big?  Am I better off with the personal size or am I better off with multiple small notebooks for different jobs...

*The aside - I've been doing favorites for the last week or so, just so you know this isn't one.  I'm winging this to see if the size works.  Nothing negative against Franklin Covey but I can't  find anything from them that makes me sing...

They may have something that I could live with or might make me function better but throwing flowers on  planner pages and naming it Blooms doesn't make it fun.  Maybe I'm shallow but I want fun.  


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Favorites - Pelle Journal

I've posted (more then) a few notebook and planner posts because for me there's something soothing about writing; the act of putting pen to paper is a balm to my soul.

Not to mention what drawing does for me - yes, doodling counts - Art works magic on my endorphins .  I draw on anything but when I find something that elevates it; it's magic.

I love technology.  I love computers and I'd marry my iPhone if it were legal but no matter how many planners and note taking apps I download they don't work for me.  I need to use ink, turn the pages... Look at what I've done, full size.   I can't just --- Click or use a virtual keyboard.  For some reason it doesn't work on my wiring.

I post my planners, doodles, and lists to my Flicker Account.  A few months ago Andrew wrote to ask it I wanted to try a Pelle Journals and of course, I said yes - Who turns down balm to one's soul?

Pelle Journals come in four sizes, I picked the medium size, and  a variety of insert papers (weights and styles).   The leather journals are handmade in the United States - As are the notebooks and the packaging.

It comes presented very nicely ( just sayin' since gift giving season is coming up!)


This is how it looks when opened.  Each notebook comes with a protective cloth bag.

Pelle packaging

The journals are lovely, fabulous logo type.


On the left is the Medium Pelle, on the right in the Midori.

pelle vs midori size

The Pelle is much easier to fit into my purse, believe me.  The color looks the same to me as the brown Midori.  


The Pelle is built to fit three notebooks and I love that.  I seriously, seriously love that.  

pelle journal side

You can never have too many notebooks plus, there are so many to choose from.  I have  the grid...


I prefer it over lines because I can color in the squares...  Yeah, don't know what to say about that except, I know...Weird.   (Pardon the big black squares over the personal info)

pelle back

This is the back side of the grid paper.  I'm showing a picture because I had an especially wet ink in a fountain pen.  While it didn't make a total mess, which is fabulous - It does shadow through on the grid paper.  

The plain (brown) notebook is wonderful for drawing, the pages are smooth and it takes colored pencil beautifully if you love to draw and doodle like me.  With a wet fountain pen you get a bit of a shadow but much less then above.  It's a pleasure to write and draw on - Your thoughts glide....

pelle todo

The linen (red) notebook is the heaviest paper and I didn't get anything on the back side of the page.  I used wet fountain pen ink, pencil and a highlighter.  This is beautiful paper - I'm thinking of trying some collage on here because I'm sure this could be art-journal paper.

pelle to do

I plan to use the red notebook as an art journal.   I think it will come out wonderfully.  Check out the website.  To order write Andrew at  The different journals available vary and I'm sure Andrew can help you out!

Oh! and P.S! I just found out he has fountain pens now because apparently feeding my notebook addiction wasn't enough.....

Leather Journal Specifications:

  • 100% high quality USA oil tanned leather (5-6oz)
  • Individually handmade in California, USA.
  • All leather journals has its own individual distressed look and feel
  • Available leather colors: Black and Brown (Expresso and Cognac coming soon as a limited edition)
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, and Large (X-large available in 2012)
  • All leather journals are refillable which include (1) linen plain notebook but can accommodate up to (3) Pelle linen notebooks
  • Each journal has a stringed book marker and comes with a protective cloth travel bag and extra elastic band.
  • Actual journal dimension: 3-7/8” width x 5-1/4” length (Small), 4-5/8” width x 7-1/8” length (Medium), and 4-5/8” width x 8-9/16” length (Large)
  • X-Large (A5) size coming soon (2012)

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    *Pelle Journals provided me with the items *


Monday, October 24, 2011

Mmmmm, Tea! October Favorites

I think tea is a great gift.  It's a fabulous stocking-stuffer and a really special tea is something a lot of people don't buy for themselves - Many wouldn't know where to start.

I love tea, I  drink it because it's great for me and deeeelicious. All tea (green, black, white, etc.) comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis.  What's makes the difference is the processing after picking; it produces a different level of oxidation.

All tea is good for you; from the cheapest tea bag to the most expensive blend, and all colors - Not just green tea.

It's the  flavonoids (antioxidants) in tea that act like little crime-fighters battling evil free radicals in your body.  There is a lot written (books,even) about the health benefits of tea but a consise list can be found at the Naivetea site, their flavored oolong teas are my favorite.

The Lychee Oolong is sublime.

But then so is the Rose Violet Calendula, Strawberry Oolong,and the Wen Shan Bao Zhong Premium.  It's always hard for me to pick a favorite from Naivetea because they are just beautiful teas.  I've never tasted anything like them, plus I just want to sit and smell them.... 

 They really are a whole body experience. They are the best teas I've ever had. 

Check out their tea samplers.  You won't be sorry.  

If you're looking for an herbal tea, which isn't a tea at all....

I just found this one and  loved it so much I went to the Republic of Tea website and made a bulk order.  I bought Coconut Cocoa Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags in my grocery store.  It was about $9 for 36 bags.  

When I realized I'd snarffed half the can in a weekend I went to the site and ordered the bulk 250 bag size...  The ingredients are:  Roasted carob, caramel malted barley, roasted chicory, dates, coconut flavor, cocoa powder and chocolate flavor.  It's got a sweet and creamy taste. Very coconut and I love coconut. 

I wanted to try all the teas in this line so I ordered this...

The chocolate gift assortment  and it comes wrapped up for $5.95.  I thought it would make a perfect stocking stuffer or work gift.  The teas are:

2 - Red Velvet Cuppa Chocolate
2 - Coconut Cocoa Cuppa Chocolate
2- Strawberry Cuppa Chocolate
2 - Peppermint Cuppa Chocolate

I got this as a gift once and it was wonderful....
I really love Teaforte products.  Their tea is delicious and the products are classy, there's just something about the whole package...  I even kept the box it was so nice.  It's on my bookshelves.  Their 'tea bags' are pyramids with a green leaf on the end and it's just...  I don't know.  Art.

They have something for everyone, they even have a line of cocktail infusions that I want to try really badly just because they are so darned pretty!  

That's the lavender citrus but there are three versions,  Lavender Citrus, Lemongrass Mint and Silkroad Chai.

If you've never given tea as a gift, try it this year.   It's delicious, relaxing, and the givee with think of you lovingly every time they sip. 

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If you focus on the scale you miss the other gifts!

Each week on Nutrisystem I learn a valuable lesson.  You might think this week's lesson is on patience because I'm so close to another Nutribear I can see him coming out of that next box of food but nope, still a pound away!

The lesson was about missing the gifts that are already there when you're focused on something else.

This last week I was on and off the scale like I used to be in and out of the fridge on a boring day but it didn't budge, not an ounce.   Normally, I don't care about things like that.  I take the ups and downs well and plateaus get a big Phheeeeft! because those things are normal.  And long plateau happens to me sometimes, my body needs time. 

Maybe it's the years of playing the scales, up and down, up and down, up, up, and up - I don't know - but I've had some long periods of not budging.

But this week with the Nutribear dangling before me - Oh! I really wanted to get to 20 pounds down.  To say I was preoccupied is putting it mildly.

The funny thing happened when I decided to order some pants; being down to about one pair of jeans and a pair of capris that fit.  I placed an order, not thinking  I ordered my old size -  2X. (Tall, cause I'm tall).

  I don't know what I was thinking but I know I've had a general feeling of 'fatness' over not reaching twenty pounds....

So I get them and wow! I immediately gained an appreciation about my nineteen pound loss because I was swimming in my old size.  Suddenly not getting to twenty meant nothing and I was thrilled with how far I'd come.  

 I reordered the pants in a 1X and an XL and who knew?  The XL fit!

As much as I love my Nutribears ... this moment might have been a schooch better.  A smaller butt is pretty fab.  And I learned a lesson.

If I'm only focusing on one way to measure success I'm missing all the rest!

Check out Nutrisystem, they have some great specials going on and take a look through the website if you haven't, the forums are fab and their Facebook page is terrific you don't have to be a member to ask questions!

And as an aside, a tiara for the maple brown sugar oatmeal on this frosty morning!

Ventura and I walked this morning at about .... maybe 5:07 and it was breath-freezing cold and after our walk it was WONDERFUL! 

If you want to lost weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem click HERE! or call 1-888-853-4689

*This post was sponsored  by Nutrisystem who is providing me with the food and program materials in exchange for blogging*


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