April 2022 Playlist

I was surprised to see the magnolia in the backyard bloom. A few years back only a few flowers bloomed, so I thought this bush was on its way out, but I’m so glad it’s still thriving.

I finished Camp Nano and hit over 100K words so I’m really happy that I was able to get that far. My goal was 80K. As a gift to myself, I purchased quite a few celebrity perfumes. Once I receive them all, I’ll probably share some photos.

Something was in the air in April and I got hooked on the song “Never Enough” from the movie, The Greatest Showman. Have you seen the movie? What did you think? It came out in 2017 but I only watched it a year ago and I wish I had seen it sooner. I knew how popular a lot of the songs were, but there is so much more meaning in having watched the movie. I love the original “Never Enough” version by Loren Allred, but also love Morrissette Amon’s version as well as Kelly Clarkson’s. If you get the chance, watch Morrisette’s version. It’s very beautiful. Here’s Kelly’s version. I believe they’ve played this on the radio. I remember hearing it driving the kids to dance practice when oldest daughter was still in high school. She’s now finishing up her second year of university!

Here are a few other songs I listened to:

Into Dust” by Mazzy Star

Je T’aime Till My Dying Day” by Enigma

Glass Palace” by Jens Gad

Unboxing Falcon Travelers’ Book of Faerie Traveler’s Notebook + Photos

I’m so excited to finally have this beautiful leather notebook cover in my hands! I ordered it early in February, and because this is a small business owned by Monique (aka Lady Falcon) and Martijn in the Netherlands, I expected some wait time. The company is called Falcon Travelers and they make leather traveler’s notebooks and folios. What’s unique about them is that they not only make your basic leather notebooks/folios, but they also make artistic-work notebooks.

The one I ordered is called “Book of Faerie.” I had been visiting their website for awhile and at one pointed wanted to get their “Pendragon” notebook cover, but by the time I was ready to order, the Pendragon leather was no longer available, however, something else caught my eye, and it was this very lovely engraved book-style cover.

I got it in the classic B6 size. Classic means there are no pockets. I regret not getting pockets because I’ve actually come to really like them, but I still love this one without pockets, nonetheless.

Book Review: Bartholomew

Decided to try something different and make a video of books I unbox and review. Let me know what you think.

Title: Bartholomew
Author: Mark Lages
Genre: Fiction; Literary; Memoir
Year Published: March 17, 2022

Date finished: April 23, 2022

This story is written like a memoir and opens with the main character, Rick Harper, celebrating his 65th birthday. He reflects on his earlier life, remembering his invisible friend as a child, and how that friend visited him again in adulthood.

Rick comes across very nonchalant. He tells us all the mistakes he’s made through his life. He doesn’t really give reasons or excuses as to why he did the things he did. He does, however, show us that he doesn’t understand how he ended up in his life with all the mistakes he’s made. He shows us that he doesn’t understand what happiness is because his life had been both good and bad but not too extreme in either direction. He seems to just exist and thus his confusion with what happiness means.

Bartholomew is Rick’s invisible friend, and he (Bartholomew) is sort of a guiding energy for Rick. He makes Rick think about his purpose and his definition of happiness. Along the way, Rick begins to understand what it really means to live.

I got so much out of this story. My favorite scene was when Rick cheated a co-worker out of a job, and then a few years later, he helped a co-worker earn a spot in the company even when he was on a tight deadline of his own. I totally understood that. It wasn’t because he liked one co-worker over another, but because it was timing. The first situation, he was a young person just out of college and needed to do what he needed to do to gain status. Later, when he was experienced and had gone through a lot in his career and in his personal life, he then sacrificed his time to help another. This speaks so much about humanity. No one is perfect, yet we tend to judge others as though they have to be perfect, forgetting to look at ourselves and see that we too have faults.

This was a wonderful read. I think everyone can learn something from this book, but even if that’s not something you care for, you’d still enjoy the humor.

Who should read this book: I’d totally recommend it to everyone.

Unboxing and Photos of the Lancaster Leather Notebook Cover

I don’t normally use the personal size leather covers because I just find that they don’t have enough room to write, but the Lancaster Traveler’s Notebook cover was so tempting that I had to get one. I already have a personal cover for my address book, etc., but went ahead and switched the notebooks out into the Lancaster. I really like the button closure and I think it works better for the address book.

Here’s the unboxing video if you want to watch it. It’s a no-talk video with music in the background. It’s just shy of two minutes.

Here are the photos of this gorgeous leather cover.

These photos were taken after I had put in the notebooks.

This leather scratches easily but it’s okay because sometimes I just want a very rugged scratched up leather. Right now because it’s still pretty new, it looks smooth and divine, but given time it will show all the wear and tear it’s meant for.

March 2022 Playlist

The movie “Free Guy” came out last year and at first I didn’t have any interest in watching it because I’m not a fan of Ryan Reynolds, but I ended up watching it and it’s become one of my favorite movies. It is soooo good! I loved the storyline and all the great actors. Even though Ryan basically played himself, I think he meant to let all the other talents shine, and they did.

The song “Sweet Fantasy” by Mariah Carey is pretty much the main theme song. However, the version below is so beautiful. I didn’t know this happy and bubbly song could be turned into something so heartfelt. It’s played near the end of the movie when the main character was separated from his friend on the platform going across the water. I learned that the actress who played Milli/Molotov, Jodie Comer, sang it. That made the movie all the more amazing. So, March’s favorite pick from my playlist is the cover of “Sweet Fantasy.”

Other songs from my playlist were:

Snow Day (Photos) and Unboxing Video of 3 Notebook Covers

Daughter had a snow day today, which means no school. She’s both excited and bummed. Excited because she can relax and not worry about doing homework, and bummed because she spent an hour yesterday making Crepes for French class and now she’ll have to eat them by herself (and with me of course) or throw them away. She made about 20 crepes.

The snow is soft and light and it’s not that cold out. I went out to take photos in my short LL Bean boots, leggings, and sweater and wasn’t cold at all.

Here’s me crossing the lawn in the deepest part trying to get over to the pine tree.

As I was taking photos, this person comes by on cross country skis just enjoying the wonderful weather and snow.

And I had to share this notebook cover with the snow in the background. The little white sprinkling things is the snow coming down. This is the No. 8 Extra Wide in American Bison hide. The unboxing video below will have a closer look at all the striations and folds. It’s such a pretty leather!

January 2022 Playlist

I was given this CD Walkman to try out and review and I’m really liking it. The sound is excellent. What I found super cool was that the walkman stores the songs somehow so the CD doesn’t continue spinning like the ones back in the day. It doesn’t store the music permanently. It seems to store just the CD I’m listening to. I haven’t tried the radio but I’ve heard it wasn’t that great. I’m not worried though. I mainly just listen to my CDs. While everyone probably got rid of all their CDs and went digital, I kept most all of mine. They’re in storage though, so I need to get them out. The two in the photo are what I kept out. I have no idea what I did with the Sarah McLauchlan insert/booklit but I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere around the house. It was nostalgic listening to her music and Adele’s first album as well.

Here’s my top three songs for the month:

  1. “Possessions” – Sarah McLauchlan
  2. “Someone Like You” – Adele
  3. “Dirty Laundry” – Don Henly

Currently, on repeat is “Beyond the Moon” by A.M.R. feat. Ai Takekawa while I’m writing.

Snow + Unboxing Video: Woodhouse Personal and Huckleberry B6

We got snow today. It’s beautiful but slippery. This is a view from the study, where I spend the majority of my time writing, recording, and crafting.

Here’s a video of my unboxing of the Austen Woodhouse Personal and Creme Huckleberry B6. They are both leather traveler’s notebook covers by Chic Sparrow.

I just love the feel of these leathers. They smell awesome too. Photos coming soon.

Unboxing Video: Black Beauty Creme and Dark Brown Scout

I ordered quite a few notebooks from Chic Sparrow late December and earlier this month. I’m a little backed up on unboxings but I’m getting there. This unboxing is of the Black Beauty Creme in the B6 size and the Dark Brown Scout in the narrow size. The Creme leather is their thickest leather. It is full-grain (the best leather out there) and soft to the touch. Some Cremes are pebbly, but none of mine are. I have five Cremes and all are very smooth except for the Chocolate, which is slightly pebbly, but still soft to the touch. The Scout is what Chic Sparrow called Maverick previously. I have a Golden Maverick in the Classic style and in the standard size. Classic just means stitching is optional. I went with optional with the Golden Maverick back then because I didn’t want the pockets. Now, I love the pockets! The Scout has pockets made from the Creme leather. I also have a similar style of leather to the Maverick and Scout but by Foxy Fix. The one by Foxy Fix is called Le Voyageur. It’s a dark brown (lighter than the Scout) color in the wide size. Maverick, Scout, and Le Voyageur are all from Asian Buffalo hide. Leather thickness is very similar to Creme.

December 2021 Playlist

My backyard on January 1, 2022

Hope everyone had a great start to the new year. We got snow and that felt great! We’ll see how the year goes, but I’m hoping for a lot less sadness. I don’t say much about that side of life because it’s just depressing, but I’d really love a year free of heartbreak and pain.

Let’s move on. In December, I listened to a lot of Christmas songs, but there were moments when I wanted to just feel epic and fuel my imagination with stories of far away worlds and speculative conflicts that are not anything we are familiar with in our world right now. My husband thinks I spend too much time in my “fiction world,” but I can’t help it. I love imagination. He didn’t say it in a mean way. He said it to reaffirm that he gets me.

Anyway, here were the songs on my playlist in December 2021.

“Frozen Motion” by Bob Bradley

“Embers Glow” by Bob Bradley and Thomas Balmforth

“Enchanted” by David Michael Tardy

I wish you all happiness and good health in 2022!