I love this blog………….

I just want to plug Positive Outlook Blog.  I love this blog.  I get the posts on my FB feed every day and there is always something that speaks straight to my heart.  Today’s post was:  You are Good Enough.  It is so easy with media inundating us with the ideal of perfection in body, mind, job, and family for us to feel as if we never measure up.  We are all amazing, magnificent creatures and our very existence on this earth is a miracle….check out the blog, it’s very inspiring.

Lamy vs Kaweco Fountain Pens

I love fountain pens, I love the feel, the way they write, the flow of ink on the paper, the variety of colors of inks.  I even love how fast they use up the ink!  My two favorite fountain pens are the Lamy Safari and the Kaweco Skyline Sport20150228_152714 ~ both in medium nib.  However, they feel very different in my hand.

The Lamy has a ‘seat’ for your fingers to ensure you always hold it correctly for the perfect writing experience….it’s very good for those who are using a fountain pen for the first time.  I’ve used them for years and it is still my go-to pen, I love how long and graceful it feels in my hand.  I have the Safari in Pink, which apparently is now a limited edition color.

My other favorite is the Kaweco Skyline Sp20150228_152652ort. This is a very compact pen, as you can see in the pictures.  The pen has a screw-on lid and the lid fits securely on the end of the pen when you are writing.  I find putting the lid on the pen end necessary when I write with the pen because the pen is so small otherwise.

Both pens write exceptionally well, no skipping or puddling of ink and neither of them leak on my hand.  Changing cartridges is very easy as well.  I have a converter for the Lamy which I rarely use as I find converters a very messy business.  The Lamy currently sells on Jetpens for $28, the Kaweco is $23.75.  I know it seems like a lot of money for a pen however, I find writing in my TN with a fountain pen to be a rather meditative experience and feel the cost of having something so perfect and sublime in my hand to be totally worth the money.

Blog Planning Insert for the TN

I’m pretty new to the blog world and realized very quickly as I was planning the blog that I needed to organize my ideas (I have a zillion of them), publish date goals, resources for each post etc.  I created a very basic TN insert for this specific purpose.  It isn’t complicated and can easily be printed out, covered and stapled into an insert.  You can download it here if you would like a copy of it.  It is formatted for the regular size TN. You will need to crop it as with almost all printable insert files.  Enjoy!  Inserts I am in the process of creating:

  • Family History
  • Gardening
  • Recipes
  • Book/Movie Reviews
  • Health Record
  • Wine Log
  • Knitting/Recipe
  • Gratitude

Keep checking back for new inserts,  they will be posted on the free download page.

The 2 by 4’s of Your Life

Just as a house is built with 2 by 4’s, you too have an infrastructure to your life.  Your infrastructure is built on your core values.Core Values Street Sign  Everyone has core values, very few have identified exactly what they are.  Core values guide our choices, help us know when we are making decisions that aren’t in alignment with our values and our true north.  Once you have identified what your core values are, you can look at common threads that have run throughout your life and see how they guided you, protected you, helped you succeed and grow.  Knowing what they are is a life affirming action that will show you that you are taking care of yourself and trusting yourself.

So how do you identify what they are?  I have a very easy, five minute exercise that will help you figure it out.  We should all have three core values.  In this exercise, you will dowload this document that is just a list of many different core values.  I’ve listed the most common core values, and some that are not so common.  Once you have the list, I want you to spend a few minutes and circle the twelve (12) most important values to you.  After you have done that, cross off three (3)…I know, not so easy but you can do it.  Now, cross off three more, you can do it!  Now cross off your final three and what you will be left with are your three most important core values.

Core values can change as we grow, mature and have different priorities in our lives.  Maybe in your twenties family was not a core value and now in your 30’s it is.  It’s ok for your core values to change as you age.  Now that you know what your core values are, you can use them as guideposts, as a gauge for those big life changing decisions you may be faced with, to help you know if what you value most in life will be well served by one choice or another.  Figuring out your core values, as you have learned, is not a complicated thing at all…take the list, share it with family and friends, it will be an easy way to get to know those in your life better!

52 Different Uses for Your Traveler’s Notebook

I’ve seen a lot of people asking about ideas for using their TN’s.  I’ve been compiling a list of ways you can use it.  Some are self explanatory…..most won’t fit your needs but maybe some of these will ring a bell for you!  Enjoy!

  1. Blog – Keeping it up, starting a new one, ideas for one
  2. Planner – Work schedule, appointments, tasks, projects
  3. Travel – Where you want to go, where you’ve been, pictures, paper ephemera
  4. Baby – Your pregnancy, baby’s first year, baby care for babysitter
  5. Cooking – Recipes, great meals, recipe ideas, learning a new skill
  6. Pets – Taking care of your pet, pets you want, names, medical care
  7. House Remodel – Who your contractors are, plans, problems, schedules
  8. Job Hunt – Companies you want to apply to, skills to highlight, interview questions, networking
  9. Scrapbooking Ideas – Resources, websites, supplies, ideas, page designs
  10. Books To Read – Authors to follow, reading/book blogs, great books you’ve read
  11. Family – Family care, medical care for each member, stats for clothing purchases, school needs, food likes/dislikes/allergies, birthday/holiday present ideas
  12. Movies – You want to see, you’ve seen, reviews, favorite actors/actresses
  13. Wine – Favorite wines, upcoming wines, inventory in rack/cellar
  14. Medical Diary – Health care, specialists, diagnosis, medications, procedures
  15. Craft Projects – Websites, supply list/needs, project pages
  16. Writing Ideas – For blogs, books, articles you are writing
  17. Sewing Projects – Patterns, sources for materials, supplies, sketches of design ideas
  18. Knitting Projects – Patterns, sources for materials, supplies, sketches of design ideas
  19. Exercise/Marathon/Workout Plan – Accomplishments, weights, schedule, races
  20. Diary – Daily diary
  21. Dreams – Dream Interpretation
  22. Sketchbook
  23. Disneyland Trip – Plans, rides, hotels, food, packing for it, tickets20150206_120612
  24. Camping Plans – Campgrounds, food planning, supplies, dates
  25. Your Boat – Repairs, trips, upkeep
  26. Your Business Plans – New ideas, growth, hiring, resources, needs, repairs
  27. The Beach
  28. Fashion and Makeup
  29. Finances – Bill paying schedule, goals, investments, savings, stock, credit card paydown schedule
  30. Your History – Writing down your life history for your family and children
  31. Gratitude –  At least three things you are grateful for each day
  32. One Good Deed a Day –  Do one good thing a day and record it
  33. Note Taking for School
  34. Quotes – Favorite quotes, what they mean to you
  35. One line a Day – In a year you will have an amazing snapshot of your life
  36. Spiritual/Faith – Prayer Journal, spiritual goals, yoga, meditation
  37. Wedding – Plans, dress, reception, ceremony, vows, shower, bridesmaid/groomsmen plans, food
  38. Weight Loss/Food Diary
  39. Dating Ideas with Your Partner – Special memories, where you want to go, restaurants
  40. Your Bucket List
  41. Hobby Journal – Resources, ideas, pictures, progress
  42. Your YouTube Channel – plans, videos, schedules
  43. Photos/Instagram
  44. Your Garden – Planting schedule, goals, harvest, best/worst crops
  45. Home Decorating Projects
  46. Astrology
  47. Inspiration – for goals, life, hobbies, children, family, parenting, food, exercise
  48. Your Politics
  49. Doomsday Prepper – Supplies, locations, emergency bugout plan
  50. Elder Care – Medications, drs, appointments, therapies, foods
  51. Tea
  52. Family Traditions – So your children, grandchildren know what they are and why

The Traveler’s Notebook….42 different sites for all your Notebook Needs!

I get asked all the time where I got my planner.  I go to meetings and trainings and it becomes a topic of conversation.  Then the conversation naturally turns to…where did you get______ that you put inside it.  I decided to take a day and compile all the resources I know of for my planner aka FoxyDori and here they are.

First, most importantly, is my cover.  There are many covers out there, the two I am using currently are both  FoxyDori.  Kelly Strong-Marco owns the shop and makes them herself.  A good cover is the jumping off point for anything you want to do with your planner. I know there are other traveler’s notebook covers out there.  Some people may prefer a more flexible cover, I like the leather firm, it provides structure and support for the elastic that holds the inserts in.

Next comes the inserts.  I can’t possibly cover every single resource out there for the paper inserts.  Many are DIY (do it yourself) printables and many are pre-made.  Some of my favorite pre-mades (all Etsy Shops) are:

1.  YellowPaperHouse

2.  May Designs

3.  Molsmum

4.  MorganLeFaesTrinkets

5.  MarsiaBramucci (she has DIY but will also print them for you)

6.  KiddyQualia

7.  OnicaHanby

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list, there are many more sites out there that sell pre-made inserts.  A simple search on Etsy or Google will give you a huge list.  Of course you can also purchase inserts from Midori as well.

DIY inserts are as plentiful as the pre-made ones.  DIY inserts do require you to cut and bind them yourself.  This is usually stapling, although some people get fancy and sew them together.   You can find a lot of YouTube videos on putting printable inserts together.  My favorite Etsy shops that sell DIY’s are:

8.  AndreaGomoll

9.  RebeccaMeyersDesigns

10.  JaneDIY

11.  DIYfish

12.  Essikulnserts

13.  KellyBangsCreative

14.  ButeoBunker (he also sells pre-made)

15.  PapierMyDay.

Again, this is not an exhaustive list.  There are many more on Etsy.  Additionally, MorganLeFaesTrinkets has a blog and FREE printables you can download.  I use a couple of them in my blog Dori…they are great.

Once you have your inserts figured out then you will want to accessorize…that can mean stickers, folders, stamps, pens, charms, clips…your imagina20150222_163405tion is the only limit.  Here is a list of some resources, again hardly exhaustive.  My favorite go-to shops are

16.  JetPens

17.  MochiThings

18.  SeeJaneWork

19.  GirlofAllWork,

20.  HappieScrappie.

21.  AlexStudios

22.  Yoobi

23.  GouletPen

24.  OliBlock

25.  3SpeckledFawns

26.  LadyendeVagehond

27.  MyPaperShoppe

28.  OllieEmily

29.  LobsterBisqueVintage

30.  StickersKingdom

31.  PrettyTape

32.  CharlottesWeb86

I have a zillion pens, pens are my thing.  My favorite pens however, are:

33.  Lamy

34.  Kaweco

35.  Pilot

36. these Tombow pencils (love the color)

37. this Zebra Mini ballpoint pen

38.  this Pilot mechanical pencil (again the color…)

39.  these Pilot erasable pens

40.  These Pilot Maica fine point pens (you can buy individual pens)

41.  this Sharpie for writing on stickers and washi tape.

42.  JetPens just posted these…a really nice alternative to Sharpies….

I know there are MANY more resources out there for Traveler’s Notebooks…please feel free to list yours in the comments if they aren’t here!  Stay tuned for Part II….compiling another list of the best DIY sites for instructions on making folders, inserts and more.

I’m Fine…………..really……….part 2

Have you ever identified a lie that you tell yourself to justify something in your life that you don’t want to change? I’ll give you an exalow-self-esteem-380x2601mple. I was a very skinny kid – a rail if you will. When I grew up and started having kids I started putting weight on, just a little at a time but it added up until I found myself at 40 years of age with about 40 extra pounds….a lot for a 5’4″ woman. But I always had thin wrists, tiny if you will and I would tell myself I wasn’t that overweight because my wrists were so thin. This is an example of telling yourself a lie to justify something you are or aren’t doing, in my case to justify not having to confront my weight issue. It sounds silly to say it or even to see it written down but I actually used this ridiculous lie for years to not confront my weight issue. And truthfully, the lie harmed no one but myself.

Lies we tell ourselves appear harmless on the outward appearance but they can be life damaging because they keep us in a rut. Ruts can be very comfortable and feel safe when in fact they are holding us back from true joy and success. You may tell yourself lies about your job or the relationship you are in. No one else in your life may even be aware of these lies and you yourself may not be fully cognizant of the lies.

Look at areas in your life that may cause you discomfort or stress. Are you lying to yourself to stay where you are? The lie may make you temporarily feel better about the situation and may make you stop thinking about it for a while but it will pop up again. Confront these lies and lay out the truth of the situation….my wrist size has nothing to do with my overall weight and health. Once you clearly see the truth through the lie you can then write out a plan for change based on the truth – not the lie.

Now is the Point of Power, are You Here?

How often have you gotten in your car and left for work or left for home from work and suddenly you are there? You know you arrived at your destination safely but don’t remember the actual drive, sipping your coffee, listening to the radio or the traffic you encountered. This phenomena is common in this day and age. So often we go through life not present. We may be ‘listening’ to someone talking to us but not ‘hear’ what they are saying. We go out on a date but are thinking of other things or people. If-not-now-when-saying-pictures

True gratitude and joy in life requires that we be present for all of it – even the boring drive to work. When you pay attention (what we always told our children to do) you squeeze so much more out of life and don’t waste any of those precious moments.

Being present takes practice especially if you habitually have not been. When you find your mind wandering, bring yourself back to the moment. Pay attention to your breathing, how your body feels, the sights, sounds and smells around you and remember, this is the stuff that life is made of. The very moment you are in is the point of power and all you have. This moment you are in is where ALL of your life is happening.  It isn’t the future, or the past it is right now.  If we are lucky we get millions of moments to live. You are not guaranteed that next moment so enjoy and fully live in the moment you are in. You will find yourself being so much more grateful for the little things in life, for the magic moments we all commonly miss and your life will feel fuller, richer and infinitely more satisfying.

I’m Fine……………….really.

The average person tells 4 lies a day, that’s 1,460 per year, for a total of 87,600 by the age of 60.  We all, at one time or another have told this little lie.  There are multitude of reasons you say you are fine when you aren’t.  There may be rules of confidentiality that restrict conversation, there may be reasons you don’t let your guard down to certain people, there may be time constraints or you don’t want that level of intimacy with the person asking how you are…maybe your barista asked and at the risk of getting horrible latte’s thi'm finee rest of your life you say you are doing well when you aren’t.

However, there is a monumental problem with saying you are ‘fine’ when you are not.  What is that you ask?  Simply this: when you say, out loud, that you are fine and you are not, you are really trying to convince yourself you are.  It is well known that some women and men who experience child sexual abuse never tell, never speak the words of the abuse out loud.  The reason for this is that if they never say the words out loud they can pretend it never happened…..so saying “I’m fine” is really the opposite dynamic going on.

The bottom line is, we all have moments, days even, where we are not fine by any definition.  Struggling, sadness, loss, helplessness, aggravation are all part of the human condition.  You have permission to not be ok, to not be fine.   So next time someone asks you how you are, and you don’t feel so fine, find other words to respond with, words that will not betray your heart and soul, words that will be true to your feelings.  The more you are genuine and honest about how you really feel, the more you will experience joy and peace.

Ancora Imparo

I have been asked in my workshops by students, ‘How do I know when I’ve arrived…when I’ve ‘fixed’ myself.’ My answer to that is ancora imparo or ‘I am still learning.’ We never stop learning, growing or moving forward. The place you think is an ending to a dream or goal is really only the beginning of a new dream or goal. Personally, I think we never arrive. The very reality of being human invites constant learning, growing, changing and evolving. Every moment we are in gives us the opportunity to change anew and alter who we are. Every person we meet irretrievably alters our lives as we take a part of that person with us. When you think you are finished simply say – ancora imparo.

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