Of Food, logs and food logs….

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, nutritionist, nurse, physical trainer, nor anyone else you can think of who can give medical/nutritional/physical advice on a professional level. The views and experiences in this post are entirety personal. Please consult a professional before making decisions that will affect your health. 

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The story can be long or it can be short. And sometimes it can be both.

It is not an uncommon reality for many women today. I have PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome). I’ve been battling it most of my life, between meds, diets and lifestyle changes.

After two miscarriages, I was tested very early on in my third pregnancy, confirmed for gestational diabetes and placed on a very strict diet, blood testing and med regimen for most of the 9 months. I started my pregnancy at 227 lbs, arrived at delivery day with 226 and weighed in at 204 after baby.

One thing that helped me a lot during my pregnancy to keep on top of things, was a food log. And, although calories are important, in this case it was the carbs that were my main enemy. So I kept track of the second and kept the first in the back burner (my nutritionist approved). It was hard trying to find the right combination of foods that wouldn’t cause a blood sugar spike, along with the meds that would help. Add pregnancy hormones to the mix, and my pregnancy wasn’t much fun. But EB makes the whole ordeal worth it. 

At this point, the facts stand as such: I’m 5’3″ and weigh 220 lbs. I’ve gained most of the weight back and I definitely feel it. 

So I’ve decided to make an effort and rerun to the food log. I threw it out after delivery, because as many mothers out there can confirm….it’s hard enough finding the time to eat while taking care of a newborn, much less the time to write it down. 

I know there’s newfangled apps that help you keep track of food. I’ve used a couple in the past, but I find them a little too constricting. These days, I use them only from a research point of view (looking up brands, specific foods or creating ‘recipes’ to see what’s their combined nutritional value). 

I’ll be returning to the style of food log I followed while pregnant (minus the blood tests). Because in my history of dealing with PCOS, it has been the one thing that helped me the most. 

My old logs were kept in Moleskines. I filled three of them up in little less than 9 months (I was crazy detailed, haha). 
I’ll be using my Hobonichi this time around so I can keep everything together from a planner point of view. 

Hobonichi 2016 Lineup.

Disclaimer: Hobonichi is not sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you.

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Hobonichi released the covers for their 2016 lineup as a preview. The 2016 store will go live on September 1st.

The preview is in Japanese, but per their Facebook release:

The English descriptions will be available once the English 2016 online store is all ready. For now you can poke around the photos in the Japanese site, and we’ll be introducing covers on the Facebook page as we go along. Once the 2016 English store is live, you will also be able to purchase the Weeks and avec books without having to go through the Japanese store.

Being able to order the Weeks and Avec through the English site will be a nice update for many people. It wasn’t an impossible task to accomplish through the Japanese site, but this makes it handier.

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I’m actually wavering between the A6 and A5 planners. Functionality, price, size, portability, etc. All are factors affecting my decision. I might hold off on buying one on release day and use September as my personal “One Book” in terms of planning.

I’ve also decided to get a Hobonichi cover for my next planner. I’ve watched many video reviews and they’ve won me over. Cover-wise, the new lineup is nice, though I wish the same colors and designs were available for both sizes of planners.

I love the basic navy and red covers in the A6 size, but they are not available on the larger one.

A6 navy and red

There is a Hello Kitty cover available for both sizes and I can hear some of my friends hyperventilating and camping out at their computers until September 1st so they can be the first to get it.

A6 hello kitty

Also in the A6 size, “run run run” is pretty cute.

 

A6 run run run

In the A5, “Marinière” is pretty and colorful. From the date on top, I asume that it will be available in November.

A5 Mariniere

Much pondering, much anticipation. If you’re a Hobonichi fan, which covers do you look forward to the most? Which size will you be buying?

Have a great day!!

 

One Book July 2015 finale…

…a bit late, but better late than never.

Hope everyone’s doing well. In the last couple of weeks we had visitors and EB turned 1 and  learned to pull himself onto the couches in our house. So a whole lot of childproofing has happened.

Anyway….One Book July 2015 came to an end almost two weeks ago while my brain was going wild.

What has happened to the Hobodori system?

Let’s recap how it began and how it changed midway.

The original concept was very compact: A Kokuyo cover holding an A5 Hobonichi Avec and two Moleskine (one for notes and one for a food log). The pen was the Jetstream included with the Hobonichi and I had a jarrito charm hanging on the side.

Hobodori 1.0

 

Midway through July, the Hobodori had split up into two books: the Avec was alone in the Kokuyo cover (with the food log Moleskine piggybacking in the outside cover). I had also acquired a Vandori cover which was sporting two Moleskine for writing. The Jetstream valiantly trudged on.

Hobodori 2.0

 

Where am I now?

The Hobodori 2.0 goes on with some additions. Shall I call it 2.1?

Hobodori 2.1

The Avec still rides solo in the Kokuyo cover. I removed the food log for practicality, but more on that below.

The Vandori has expanded into 4 Moleskine, which fit comfortably in the cover. Why did they multiply? I belong to a FB group for planner enthusiasts who also write. There was an ongoing discussion one day on how to keep track of more than one series or book. Some said they kept a planner for each, some used a binder or arc system and dividers. And some people said they used a Midori cover with an insert per book. The idea struck me as interesting and I decided to use the Vandori as my writing notebook. I have a Moleskine per subject: novel, short stories, brain dump and journal. I recycled the food log into the brain dump insert

 

Vandori

 

I also used some washi to create tabs for each month in the Avec so I could jump easier between them.

tabs

 

 

The Avec has become part food log, part bullet journal, part etc. I filled out a mock page on a July daily I forgot to use to give you an example. The hourly breakdown column on the dailies is my food log. The 5 item to-do in the header is used for appointment/birthdas/anniversary reminders. The blank portion of the daily is my bullet journal planner and daily notations.

I got rid of the food log insert because the Avec was already open to a daily page every day and since I don’t make many appointments, I needed something to write there. While I initially thought about keeping the log separate, if I need to submit my log to the doctor, I can just transcribe everything to a template [note to self: design a template].

mock page

 

The Jetstream is still rocking and while I don’t plan to change it, occassionally a Sharpie pen makes its way onto the pages. My “One Book” changed a lot during the month and I’m glad I participated in the challenge. You can’t find out what will/won’t work for you unless you actually put it to the test. The Hobonichi 2016 store is set to debut on September 1st and I’m looking forward to getting next year’s planner.

I hope you had a fun OBJ 2015 and your planners went through this month with flying colors.

Have a great day!

Papas con chorizo

There are many dishes in Mexican cuisine that can serve a variety of purposes.

I bring you as an example, Papas con Chorizo. It’s a very basic dish that can be used in tacos, as a breakfast side, empanadas, sandwiches, etc.  When Taquizas happen, papas con chorizo are a vital element on the table.

What’s a taquiza? A taco potluck. The rules are basic: the host buys all tortillas and sometimes salsas and garnishes (though sometimes those are divided amongst guests too). Guests bring the taco fillings. Taco fillings are wide and varied: carnitas, papas con chorizo, scrambled eggs, pork cracklings in salsa verde, all sorts of grilled seasoned meats, etc. If you can chop it enough to be bite-sized in a taco, you can probably use it.

Need to clean out your fridge? Have a small leftover taquiza at home. Go wild :D

PAPAS CON CHORIZO

THE BITS AND PIECES:

  • Potatoes, cubed. Skin on or off is up to you.
  • Chorizo (see Notes below).
  • About a tablespoon of oil.
  • Half an onion, chopped finely.
  • About 2-4 garlic cloves, sliced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dry parsley.

HOW TO:

  1. Put potatoes in a pot with some lightly salted water and set to cook.
  2. In a wide skillet, heat up the oil. Add the onions, garlic and chorizo. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the chorizo as it cooks. As the liquid evaporates and the fat renders out it will slowly start frying a bit. Stir often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.
  3. When the potatoes are just about cooked, scoop them onto the skillet. Save the boiling water they cooked in, in case you need to add some moisture to the dish.
  4. Fold the potatoes and chorizo until well combined. Don’t stir too forcefully or the potatoes will break apart too much.
  5. Taste the dish. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle on some dry parsley and fold in. If the mix looks too dry, you can spoon on some of the potato cooking water.
  6. Continue cooking, allowing the mixture to crisp a little, without burning.
  7. Enjoy!

NOTES:

  • Papas con chorizo means “chorizo and potatoes”.
  • There’s more than one type of chorizo. Many are cured and can be sliced. The one we’re working with in this dish is Mexican chorizo. It is a raw, loose mixture of ground pork and spices, characterized by a bright reddish color. It is traditionally made with pork, though you can find beef and soy varieties as well.

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Brain….dead.

Pretty much describes me right now. I was going to write a post about the end of One Book July (I even thought about recording a video!), or some form of fun writing. I’m also re-evaluating the Café Roundup section.

But in the last few days, my son has started drinking regular milk, which resulted in some very interesting diapers, our windows need replacing, my stomach and head are having a party without my consent, and I’m just….drained.

So, no fun post, other than wishing you a great weekend. I leave you with two cool things….

This guy lives in our city and does fun vlogs.

If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman, and haven’t watched “Behind the trees”, it’s cute. I talk in my sleep too, but I doubt I am that clever. Mostly, I snore loud enough to wake myself up.

Have a great one everyone!

Café Roundup #4

Disclaimer: None of the companies mentioned in this post are sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you. 

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Instead of spamming social media with things I find, I’ll do a weekly post with some of the things that get tangled up in my brain. Or hair. Really, it has a mind of its own.

 Aperture, shutter speed and ISO infographic. Pretty self explanatory. I got a camera a couple years ago and I really need to explore the ins and outs of it before it grows grey hairs. The site is in German, but the infographic is universal.

13 ways to hack your writing.

There’s a new Good Omens hardcover on the way. I’m so very tempted.

Some years ago, I ran into Hybridworks while looking for interesting computer icons. I’ve used their Japanese set (Yoritsuki and Sakura) on my computer ever since. They also have an iPhone/ipad app called Yoritsuki which simulates the view from a traditional Japanese bathhouse. It’s a paid app and it does not give you points, it’s not a game. It’s just…..downright relaxing. You can set your view as you wish, and enjoy. Setting it on a timer, with their rain mode has helped me unwind many times. Do you have a different set of icons you want to use to change the look of yours? This is how you change them in MacOS.

Have a good week, everyone.

Quick chicken and peppers

Every week we plan a menu and almost every week, we have a moment when we run out of ideas. So we just write ‘chicken and veg’ in the empty spot. We never have a set idea of what this will be and it usually gets improvised on the day we’re having it for dinner.
This one came out better than I expected, so I thought I’d share.

THE BITS AND PIECES

  • About 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • 1 large red bell pepper.
  • 1 large green bell pepper.
  • 1 med-large onion.
  • 4 garlic cloves.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Your favorite seasoning blend.

HOW TO

  • Heat oven to 375°F. 
  • Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, your seasoning blend and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss well and set aside. 
  • Roughly chop the peppers and onions, then slice the garlic. Toss all together with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasoning blend. Spread vegetables on a baking dish and put in the oven. 
  • Heat up a skillet and sear chicken breasts on each side. You want a good char on them. 
  • Place chicken on top of the vegetables in the oven. 
  • Bake, uncovered for 40-50 min. Ensure chicken is cooked thoroughly before serving  
  • Serve with your favorite side. The pan juices are pretty good over it all. 

NOTES

  • While I’m not a big fan of big store pre-packaged seasoning blends, I used Mrs. Dash’s Fiesta Lime on this dish. I like the flavor combination. 
  • Have leftovers? Chop the chicken in bite size pieces and make yourself a chicken and peppers taco. Or quesadilla. Yum!


Buen Provecho!

Café Roundup #3

Disclaimer: None of the companies mentioned in this post are sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you. 

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Instead of spamming social media with things I find, I’ll do a weekly post with some of the things that get tangled up in my brain. Or hair. Really, it has a mind of its own.

Midori Travelers Notebook review from a man’s perspective. I love color, but when it comes to journals, notebooks and planners, I like for them to be plain. I get easily distracted, plus I want the option of decorating vs not decorating a page to my taste. There are so many reviews for the Midori out there that are covered in stickers, washi, scrapbook paper and other paraphernalia, and while they are beautiful, I feel like you can’t really get the bare bones essentials of the notebook from them. I liked this review for that exact reason. It’s to the point, without any sparkles. He also put together a pretty good video with suggestions on how to improve your handwriting. I see many people in the planning/journaling community concerned with their penmanship. 

Questions posted to the NYPL pre-Internet. If you’ve ever been in the business of providing information to others (be it as a teacher, customer service, librarian, etc), I’m sure you have a list of oddballs. While you’re on a roll, look up Richard Lederer’s “Anguished English“. 

Tim Hawkins is one of my favorite comedians. He has a book coming out. In a world where cussing, adult themes and body parts are a source of hilarity (which in general, I have no issues with, though it can get boring when it’s the main source of material), it’s good to find someone who doesn’t need them in order to be awesome. 

Have a great day!

Hobodori 2.0 and One Book July 2015 update

One Book July 2015 is halfway done. If you participated this year, what have you learned about your planning style?

My Hobodori planner has become my Hobodori System. The Hobonichi and Moleskines combo work very well, but they needed to split up. Why?

I ended up feeling the need to separate my daily planning from my journaling and writing.


So, the Hobodori 2.0 is in fact a split system that works together.
Allow me to break it down, along with my One Book July 2015 update:

1. On Day 1, I forgot to add: a pad of sticky notes. I always keep one in my purse.

2. The Hobonichi side:
Now flying solo in the Kokuyo cover. I absolutely love this notebook/planner. From the Tōmoe River paper to the grid. I’d often heard the Tōmoe described as “Bible paper”, and I agree. It’s very thin and smooth, and it feels wonderful to write on it.
I only write with a pen, so I can’t attest to Tōmoe’s abilitiy to take just about every single writing/color/art media around.

Because it is so thin there is some shadow of a ghost on the backside of the page; and it doesn’t particularly bother me. When it comes to writing pressure, I’m somewhat average. You can feel it on the back of the page as well, but I like the “used” texture it creates on the pages.

Unlike the full 12 month Hobonichi Cousin, the Avec does not have a weekly layout. I did not think this was going to be an issue for me, since I don’t have many appointments, but I was surprised to find I actually miss it.
I started listing/notating holidays, events, etc on the monthly layout and journaling on the dailies.
I found I missed the weekly layout for appointments and other week to week occurrences.
I even though about getting a weekly calendar to use for the rest of the year, but I think I will make do with what I have in the setup for now. Sticky notes can help me with appointments.

I have, however, decided that I will be getting the full year Hobonichi Cousin for next year. I like the A5 size and I have plans for the layouts.

Sorry about the lack of interior pictures. I’ve been journaling personal material and you’d just end up staring at a blurred out picture if I put them online.

The Avec on its own in the Kokuyo cover fits quite nicely. I’m hoping the full Cousin will fit there, considering that the Avec and two Moleskines fit comfortably. Just in case, I’ll start saving money for an actual Hobonichi cover.

3. The Midori side:
I really, really love the concept of the Midori Travelers Notebook. I wish I’d found out about them years ago.

Why didn’t I get one now?

– Size. The regular size seemed a bit awkward. The passport seemed a bit small.

– The placement of the closing elastic on the back cover. I’ve never held a real Midori, so I don’t know this for sure, but I feel like it would bother writing on that side of the notebook. Real Midori users, please feel free to correct me. I’m curious.

– Availability of inserts. I know that there’s 1000+ tutorials on how to make your own inserts. But I have a limited amount of time in which to work. I type up posts, edit and upload pictures for this blog on my phone, between baby naps, meals and other housework. My crafty endeavours need to be very easy and very small. Measuring, cutting and binding inserts would take too long for me at this point.
I could, of course, order Midori inserts or Etsy inserts, but I’d still end up with shipping costs and wait time.

{……….I really need to open my own stationery store}

I like using Moleskine in part because I can just go to the bookstore and buy a couple of packs of three cahiers, and they work well with my A5 setup.
I’m sure that if I had found out about the Midori when we were stationed in Japan, I would’ve had the opposite situation. Moleskines would’ve required shipping and the MTN inserts would’ve been a drive away. In the end, it’s more an issue of availability over size.

So…..the Moleskine are out of the Kokuyo cover. Where have they gone, you ask?

I’ve been doing a Konmari purge/house cleaning (more on that on another post). I found a couple of things I could sell, so I went ahead and jumped into the Fauxdori wagon.


The Vandori, sold by VanHook and Co. , is made from tooled leather, has 4 elastics, spine closure and is beatiful. It popped up on Instagram as one of the more affordable leather Fauxdoris.
I ordered the A5 size and it fit the Moleskines nicely. I don’t have a lot in it right now, just two different writing notebooks. I’m trying, within the limits of my randomness, to remain with my One Book July setup.
I do plan on adding more to it after July. There are good tutorials for folders that seem quick projects.

Do I still long for an original Midori TN? Kind of. It is the doom of your hobbies. My husband has the same issue with camera equipment.

I know myself well enough that at least a passport size Midori might end up on my table someday. I’ll have to keep up with the Konmari cleaning and sell more things, haha.

What else has changed in my setup?

– A quick pen loop for my Hobonichi. Quick project by Robyn Lott.
– My food log hasn’t gone into the Vandori. I’m leaning towards keeping daily life in the Kokuyo and writing in the Dori. I have, however, left the food log in one of the cover’s outer sleeves, so I can grab it easily.


The Hobodori System 2.0 has expanded and morphed some, but I am definitely enjoying it!

I wish you all a great day!

Café Roundup #2

Disclaimer: None of the companies mentioned in this post are sponsoring me. They don’t even know who I am. The views and blunders are my own. Thank you. 

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Instead of spamming social media with things I find, I’ll do a weekly post with some of the things that get tangled up in my brain. Or hair. Really, it has a mind of its own.

Kids can join Camp Google for free! – Brought to you by a collaboration of Khan Academy, National Geographic, NASA, and the National Park Service. My boy is too young to appreciate it yet, but I’m hanging on to this as he slowly relaizes what it means. Growing up, I would’ve loved every second of this. 

Japanese notation to keep a notebook better organized. I loved this idea and plan to implement it on my writing notebooks. 

We were stationed in Okinawa when the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami destroyed part of Japan. It was horrifying to be sitting in front of a TV, watching as a giant wave razed the land, being unable to help. The destruction went beyond just infrastructure. Thousands of lives, so many families…. Amidst the ongoing rebuilding, there are projects that offer services and use proceeds to help their community. Two of these are sister projects Megumi and Nozomi. 
The Megumi Project takes kimono and refashions them into shawls, ties, ribbons, scarves, and book covers. 
The Nozomi Project takes pottery and turns them into jewelry, bookmarks, key chains and other pieces. 

On another part of the world, we have Sudara, which employs Hindu women who have been rescued from the sex trade and gives them the opportunity to make a living on their own terms. Their Punjammies are very comfortable :)

There’s going to be a Victorian Sherlock special. It makes me fangirl. Oh, my goodness does it ever make me fangirl. They even tortured us with a teaser.  

Have a good week! See you Friday with a One Book July and Hobodori update!