Category Archives: Uncategorized

Now Click This! a Link Roundup

Time for a semi-periodic roundup of links I thought were cool!  I always want to share nifty stuff with people, but given Facebook (and apparently Twitter now) is determined to keep people who follow me from actually seeing what I post, I figure that’s what m’blog is for.

Et voilà!

How to Use Pinterest to Meditate.  The title sounded so odd I had to look (score one for the author’s marketing acumen), but it’s a neat concept – everyone has a Pinterest board of inspiring quotes or pretty scenery, but what if you made one specifically to use as a meditative trigger?  BRB, gotta pin.

France has banned supermarket food waste.  One of the big obstacles in battling global hunger is distribution; it’s one thing to have a football field full of food to give away, but if you can’t get it to people who need it, it will rot.  There is plenty of food grown on this planet (or there would be if we weren’t feeding so much of it to animals to kill later), but there also has to be cooperation between producers, distributors, and charities.  Often supermarkets want to donate, but can’t spare the manpower, transportation, and time without screwing up their entire supply chain.  But France is making markets work with food banks to come up with a larger-scale system, and it will likely provide a model for future efforts in other countries.  Notice that the article says “no such law is being considered in the US” even though supposedly we’ve pledged to reduce waste by half.  Color me shocked as shit.  Go France!

This Hobbit House is adorable and beautifully made, but what really got me about it is that the door is made from a giant cable spool.  Anyone remember the spool, aka your first coffee table in your first college apartment?

5 Ways to Teach Body Love to Children and Teens in the Real World by Jes Baker, one of my favorite people.

The newest thing in nondairy ice cream: Avocado-based.  As someone who hates avocados, the very idea makes me queasy, but they’re such a big deal right now I guess it was only a matter of time.  Avocados have been used in nondairy desserts like cream pies for years. I say BLECH, you might  say YUM!  I wonder if they have a guacamole flavor.  *shudder*

By the same token, I am SO EXCITED for the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s flavors.  The Coffee Caramel Fudge sounds amazing.  Those are three of my favorite things on Earth in one pint!  I can’t wait for them to get here to Austin.

One day I brought home some french fries and sat down on my bed to check my email while nibbling at them.  I looked up and saw this:

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(That’s another dog in the hallway, and the other two cats are behind me.  Clockwise from the white dog:  Daisy, Stella, Rory, behind him Shelly, and Rabi.  Owen and Gypsy bring up my rear.)

Every time I finish writing a book I think, “Wow, I’m gonna take a break from that storyline for a little bit.”  Then this happens.  Yes, gentle reader, Book 7 is underway – in fact this image is a couple of weeks old.  Chapter 1 is almost done.  In fact, if you’re one of my wonderful contributors on Patreon, you’ll get to read it as soon as I have it ready.

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Lastly, happy birthday to the lovely and immensely talented Tom Hiddleston, who turns a whopping 35 years old today.  He and Hugh Laurie will star in the BBC’s adaptation of John LeCarre’s The Night Manager very soon, but in the meantime, let’s have Tom read us Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:



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Planner Friday: At Last I See the Light

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No, I’m not throwing in the planner-fever towel because of some existential realization; I’m referring to one of my favorite Disney Movies, Tangled.  I actually love it way more than I did Frozen, which makes me the worst middle aged white lady ever, but there you have it.

(Though I did love Frozen.  A lot.  Tangled just occupies a place it doesn’t; I couldn’t really articulate why.  The whole chapter with the lanterns, from the King & Queen comforting each other about their long lost daughter to the actual “I See the Light” sequence itself, gives me goosebumps even now.)

I’ve been slowly assembling a Tangled planner theme for weeks, and I finally got it together.  It’s mostly stickers I made myself from movie stills or quotes, but the watercolor of Rapunzel’s tower on the left page came from Pink Paperplane’s shop on Etsy.

I apologize for the wonky shadows in these photos – I was in a weird spot at Starbucks where there was some direct sunlight and some indirect and it all got kind of weird.

Oh, and I realized I’d been forgetting to include resources and links to stuff I use – most of them repeat, but I do use things other people make.  I’ve also been asked to list the fonts I use when I make headers and such – you’re in luck! I love fonts! Best of all 95% of the ones I use are totally free.

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I really like how all the little lanterns turned out – I took the image and made three sizes, printed out a half dozen or so of each, and tried to space them like they might be floating.  Technically I guess I should have made plain ones too, since the only one in the movie with the sun on it was the one Rapunzel’s parents released (which she catches momentarily during the song).  Oh well.

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I had a devil of a time with the Weekend banner – for some reason those things are always SO FRUSTRATING.

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Tools and Supplies:

Sticker sheets from OnlineLabels.com
Stix cut out with Silhouette Cameo
Stickers designed in Pixelmator
Font used for headers:  Dumbledor (free)
Skinny washi tape from Michael’s

(Psst…for next week I’m working on a theme based on Neko Atsume.  I have a sickness.)



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Planner Friday – Bye Bye January

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Not the most promising start to the year, but at least I had some cool planner pages, right?

Let’s have a review, starting with the week of New Year’s:

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The left side of the page was empty in the new month, so I filled it up with pretty things and wrote myself a letter.

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Week of January 4-10

Not a whole lot went on that week – it was kind of uninspired, though I did use my favorite washi tape.  I’m always reluctant to use it (it’s the green one with blue and purple) because the artist doesn’t make it anymore.

Cute, but not inspired. I was aiming for "cheerful" and it just sort of felt "meh." I barely even remembered to do my habit trackers all week.

Cute, but not inspired. I was aiming for “cheerful” and it just sort of felt “meh.” I barely even remembered to do my habit trackers all week.

Seems like every time I leave a lot of white space I end up not doing anything that week.

Seems like every time I leave a lot of white space I end up not doing anything that week.

This of course begs the question, what do you do when you have a lot of white space in your planner pages?  If it’s a regular thing, obviously you could switch to a smaller page size; or you could do what a lot of people do and cover the entire page with stickers so there is no white space.  That always seems a bit excessive to me.  What I tend to do is fill the space at the end of the day or week with a few notes on what went down that day – a tiny journal, basically.  Sometimes I fill the space with doodles.  You could always add more pictures after the fact – it kind of depends on if you keep your pages or not.  I plan to remove each month as it’s finished, but keep the pages for six or so months in case I need to look back.  Since I keep track of a lot of symptoms and my memory is shit, I find those notes useful later on.

Week of January 18-24

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This was the first full week theme I made and printed from scratch rather than putting it together from stuff I already had.  I really like how it turned out – I’ll probably use it again later on in the year, since there were additional stickers I didn’t have room for.

Week of January

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Another theme I assembled and printed.  I switched to a daily self-care box this week instead of a sidebar so I could use the weekly checklist over on the left – I’m not sure I’m going to stick with it, though.  Staring at that box every day just makes me feel like I’m failing at something.  I don’t need any more of that in my life.  I think I’ll probably get rid of the “currently” box, since it’s not really important, or shrink and move it elsewhere.  We’ll see what mood I’m in when I go to do next week.  I also added “money coming in” strips so I can track my weekly income; I’m in a spot where every dollar counts right now so I want to have it right in front of my face.

That’s it for this month! Here’s to a gentler February (or at least some awesome pages).



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10 Five-Minute Mood Boosters That Even Work for Me

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Don’t you just want to back over her with your car?

Even if, like me, you have a bona fide mental illness that sets your mood dial at a baseline of “fuck everything,” it is possible to turn that dial up to “meh” or thereabouts at least temporarily.  Over the years I’ve developed a list of boosters – quick actions requiring little effort or commitment but providing a reliable return.

Now, a warning, for other neuroatypical types:  These are not miracle workers.  If you’re already in a really bad place, they might make it worse.  “Not only am I worthless, I can’t even get it up for internet kittens!”

We’re talking about good old fashioned shitty moods here, not intense depressive crashes.  If you are prone to the latter you likely know the difference.  Even if you’re a well-adjusted neurotypical, though, I would wager you can use the occasional smack on the ass from Cheer Bear.

Not all of these will work for you, but they may spark off some ideas for your own list; it’s good to add a handful of these to your self-care arsenal, and to vary them as widely as you can so that no matter what situation you’re in at least a couple will be doable.

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Planner Friday – A Week in my Plum Paper Planner

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I’d like to say there’s some kind of sophisticated magic to how I make my planner pages pretty, but really, it’s a lot like how my grandmother cooked – she just sort of threw stuff in a pot and SHAZAM! culinary magic.

I guess what sets my “method” apart is that I usually make my own stickers – not every week, as I have a bunch of premade things from both my own and other people’s shops in case I’m not feeling inspired or don’t feel like going to the trouble.  When you make your own stix your options are basically a) cut them out with scissors or b) crank up the machine, which can be aggravating if the light sensor isn’t behaving (anyone with a Silhouette can testify to this).

So, I took pictures this week of my process, but they’re not terribly exciting.  *laugh*  Still, I do tend to do the same thing every week, and if you’re new to all this silliness and don’t know where to start, it might help.  Most of the wild and crazy, gorgeous, or terrifying planner pages out there start from a set of steps the person uses every week.  For example:

If I print and cut my own stickers, I start out with something like this:

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Note that I’m not at home while I’m doing this, and I ended up forgetting some of the most important stickers (my sidebar and TV shows), so you won’t see them until the end.  There are pretty obvious spaces where they should go.

The little book on the right is a wallet album where I keep itty bitty stickers I use every week.  I made it out of the credit card insert from a man’s wallet; I’m actually working on a couple for my shop.  They’re pretty cool – I tried carrying around a 4×6″ album but I just really didn’t need it, since there were only four or five stickers I might need day to day.

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The first thing:  Basic structure.  I use the same headers every week.  I don’t tend to have a lot of events, but do have a lot of writing and other projects underway, so I needed more space for those.  The Top 3 is for those events and important to-dos, and any others go directly underneath it.

I’m finding I don’t actually use the water trackers at all, so I think I’m going to stop making them for now.  Sure, I need to drink more water, but on the list of things I need to worry about right now, it’s pretty near the bottom.

I’m kind of a font slut, so getting to make new headers every week indulges my addiction.

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Like I said, I forgot my TV stix, so I just penciled in what went where until I could get home – it turned out okay anyway because I needed to make new sets for Agent Carter and others.

Most of the decorative boxes you see came from Vectoria Designs on Etsy, specifically the Writing Images domino-sized printables.  Their printables are of amazing quality and aren’t the usual sunshine-and-bunny-farts colors (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes I don’t want to be brightly colored and Kawaii).

I use washi of some kind to divide the weekend from the rest of the week, and the sidebar from Monday.  I tend to mash together Saturday and Sunday and make one big “day” out of them.  I actually printed “washi” this time since I didn’t have what I wanted – I used text from my own book, just because I could.

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Finally, this is how they ended up looking once all the TV and sidebars and such were added.  This is about midweek so it’s not all filled out yet.

You can see the wee stickers from my wallet album up at the top of Monday; in case you’re wondering, the flying saucer with the heart is my symbol for “the Mothership,” meaning I talked to my mom on the phone.

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That’s it!  By the end of the week it’ll be a total mess, with doodles and scratch-outs and ink blots galore, although this week might end up being a little more sparse than usual since I’ve been on a depressive slide and have gone entire days without writing down anything.  I’ll go back and jot down anything that happened on those days just so I can look back if I need to.



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