SEPTEMBER GOALS + PLANS | Reading List, And Updates

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Happy Wednesday, and Happy September!

September has always been my favorite month. For one, it's my birthday month. This month is also pretty exciting because I'm finally moving to France! I feel like this process has taken forever since I was accepted in April, and I'm leaving later than I had originally wanted, but I am so excited to move. There's a lot that needs to happen between now and when I leave, but that's what goals are for!
Last month, my goals were broken up by category, which worked pretty well! My notable goals were to post to Paper Macaron twice per week (which I didn't do - ended up only posting twice in the whole month), taking another calligraphy class (which I did do! Should I write a blog post about it?), and to read 5 books (I read three!).

This month, my goals are very similar, but more focused on preparing myself to leave at the end of the month.

1. Read 5 books.
Instead of just making a goal and not having any plans for achieving that goal like last month, I decided to set out which 5 books I want to read this month. Check out my Reading List section for my list of books, and let me know in the comments what you're reading this month!

2. Pack. Everything.
I'm the worst at packing. However, there is a week in between the day I leave my current job and when I have to board a plane to France, so each of those days will be devoted to one category of things I need to go through so that my room is empty when I leave.

3. Start planning some travel!
Moving to France is also such a great opportunity to travel and see places in France and Europe that I've been wanting to see forever.
I've already started (and finished!) some of the books on this list, but this is my somewhat ambitious reading list for September:

1. In Order to Live, Yeonmi Park
I've been reading a lot about North Korea lately, and I definitely read this book in less than a day. It was so heartbreaking, but also very uplifting. It was about this girl's escape from North Korea through China, and it highlighted how horrible humans can be to other humans, but also the resilience and kindness that humans can bring out in other humans. It was a quick read, and very worth it.

2. The Light of Paris, Eleanor Brown
I will always read books about Paris. This one follows two women - a grandmother and her granddaughter - in a sort of parallel timeline of the grandmother's adventure in Paris at the same time as the granddaughter is figuring out what she wants in her life and for herself. It's about art, Paris, and loving yourself.

3. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
I've actually started watching the series and I am addicted! It's about a woman who travels in time from WWII to 1743 and to the Scottish Highlands, falls in love with a rugged Scot, and basically learns how to live her life in a different century. I love the mix of history, romance, and action. It's long, but not terribly difficult, so hopefully I can get through it pretty quickly!

4. The Crown's Game, Evelyn Skye
This is another one of those history remix books that I adore, but this time set in Imperial Russia. Two sorcerers are trying to become the Imperial Enchanter, and the one who doesn't win will die. History mixed with fantasy is so much fun!

5. How to be Parisian Wherever You Are, Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Carline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas
Following up my favorite book from last month, Flirting With French, I decided to read another book about being French, and the language, culture, and fashion of my favorite country.

What are you doing this month? Any interesting books or plans? Let me know in the comments, or on Instagram!

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AUGUST FAVORITES | Pens, Notebooks, Tea

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Happy Thursday!

Overall, this summer has been pretty quiet, what with moving to France occupying most of my time and energy. However, August was by far the  most adventurous month, as I was able to take a mini-trip to Los Angeles! But today I'm sharing some of my favorite things, experiences, and events this past month before preparing for September!

Make My Notebook (

I bought one of these notebooks at the Denver Art Museum gift shop with quotes from the artists of Women of Abstract Expressionism. I must say that I was surprised how much I loved this notebook. I used one up, and then bought another. And then bought one in a different design. They are cute, made in Colorado, and the paper is pretty good quality! All of the notebooks from the DAM shop are a combo of lined, grid, and sketch paper. I wish the lined and grid paper were more fountain pen friendly, but most of my finer pens work pretty well. I use the sketch paper a lot for calligraphy practice and just general sketching. I'm considering buying one as my next bullet journal, that's how much I love them.

Bottom line: I love these notebooks.

Yellow Lamy Safari (M) 

I bought this pen because it caught my eye at an art store, and it just looked so happy! I don't usually go for yellow anything, but I have been loving this pen all the same. I reach for it a lot, whether I'm taking notes or just journaling.

Fortnum & Mason Queen Anne's Blend - Loose Leaf Tea

I bought a set of tea bags of this tea when I was studying abroad, and blew through them. So when I noticed that Williams Sonoma was carrying this type of tea, I definitely bought a tin of my favorite blend.

Field Notes Notebooks

I have been loving the pocket size lately, especially with Field Notes notebooks. I actually got a Fountain Pen Day traveler's notebook, and I have been using this size for my journal (my dear diary type stuff), brain dump, and list notebook. They are so cute, and when I carry a smaller purse I can just throw it in there and go!

Copperplate Calligraphy Practice

I took my 2nd ever formal calligraphy class this month, and I am so glad I did! I personally love the whimsical and unique style of more modern calligraphy, but learning the Copperplate alphabet was such a fun and unique challenge that I enjoyed every second of the two day class. Plus, it was at my favorite stationery store in Colorado.


This is kind of broad, but my particular museum favorites from this month were the museums I visited in Los Angeles - especially the Getty Center.

That's it for August! What did you love last month?
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

If you remember my adventure studying abroad in France in 2014, or if you have any experience with trying to move to France/study in France/work in France from the US, you might be familiar with the fact that in order to apply for a French visa, you have to have an in-person appointment at your regional consulate. Which means that I had to travel to Los Angeles to apply for my visa for TAPIF.

I was a little bit grumpy about going to LA at first, because traveling to another state for a 20 minute appointment seemed ridiculous (and still does). But I decided that if I had to go to LA, I was going to make the most of it. I haven't travelled since my trip to Japan in March, so I was feeling like getting out of Colorado would be a good idea for my psyche, and I was totally right.

I'm a little bit surprised at how much I enjoyed my trip to LA. I knew I would have fun going to the places I knew I would like - but I also had a ton of fun finding new places and doing things I haven't done before. These were my top 5 experiences from my trip to LA! I was only in LA for about 24 hours, so I was surprised at my ability to cram everything into that amount of time.

5. Stationery shopping!

Stationery lovers know the "big three" - Kinokuniya, Muji, and Daiso. I went to all three, and it was marvelous. There are none of these stores in Denver, so it was such a treat to get some great stationery items that I couldn't get at home, especially from Muji!



My trusty Lamy Safari fountain pen and black Traveler's Notebook with my breakfast in Japan town.

4. LACMA + Japanese American National Museum

On Tuesday afternoon, I went to the Japanese American National Museum in Japan Town, and then to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Both were fantastic! I had never been to the Japanese American National Museum, but I completely fell in love with the exhibition of origami they had on display, as well as the permanent exhibition. This was my 2nd time at LACMA, and I didn't get to see any special exhibitions, but I love their permanent collection.

3. The Getty

The Getty is in a league of its own. If I ever lived in LA, it would be because I worked at The Getty.

2. Getting my visa appointment done.

Obvious. It's the reason I went to LA in the first place, and it feel so good to have that done. Now, I'm just waiting for my visa to be returned to me. This whole process has been a game of hurry up and wait.

1. Evening at Venice Beach.

No matter where I end up in my life, I hope it's near a beach. After an exhausting day of travel, stationery shopping, paperwork, and museum visiting, I sat on the beach and watched the sun set. It was so peaceful, so relaxing, and I don't think there is a sound more wonderful than that of waves on a beach. It was as close to perfect as I could have imagined.

So that's it! What do you think? What would you do with 24 hours in LA?

Also - let me know if you think it would be helpful or interesting to have posts about the process of applying for TAPIF or studying abroad in France! I know it can be daunting and scary, so it's nice to have resources. Let me know in the comments, or send me a message on Instagram.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

On the second day of the month, I can happily say that August has started out great. I've already bought my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and started reading it, plus I have found my way back to the Bullet Journal and am loving it.

This month is crunch time before I go to France. A lot needs to happen between now and September in order for me to feel like I can make the move and feel good about it. In my Bullet Journal, I created a page for my monthly goals and divided my goals into three categories: Lifestyle / Personal, Creative, and Blog.

+ Read 5 books.
In June I read 4 books, so this month I'm going to do one better and read 5!

+ Yoga twice per week.
I have found a yoga studio I really like, and I'm going to go more often on my days off. I've already put the schedule in my planner, so now I just need to stick to it!

+ De-stash craft supplies and books.
Getting rid of stuff is always the hardest part of moving. I've made decent progress on my clothes, but I have A LOT of craft stuff and books, and I always use the same things over and over again. It's time to get rid of some stuff.

+ Practice calligraphy 3 times per week.
Probably on the weekends or my days off.

+ Take another calligraphy class.
I took a calligraphy class in July, and loved it! I decided to sign up for another one later on this month.

+ Draw something every day.
I'm not talking a crazy drawing, but a doodle or a flower. It might be time to find one of the many Instagram doodle challenges to follow up on.

+ Post twice each week.
I used to aim to post three times each week, and always hit the two times per week mark. I'm a quality over quantity person, so I feel like two times per week is a good amount to create quality content that I'm proud of.

+ Research monetizing.
I haven't monetized my blog (yet), and I'm wondering the best ways to go about it. It seems really intimidating to monetize a blog, yet something that I would really want to do for some extra income and to be more serious about it.

What are your goals this month?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

Every month, I feel like I'm always so surprised at how fast time flies, and July was no exception. It was a very busy month, and August is guaranteed to be even busier, so I'm definitely going to be needing my Bullet Journal system to keep track of everything - especially my prep for moving to France.

Last week, I did an overview of what worked and what didn't work for my July planner set up, as I had attempted a One Book July-esque setup where I combined my journaling with my Bullet Journal and planning set up, but it didn't end up working for me. So this month, I'm returning to a system that I know works for me: my Bullet Journal.

I started a new notebook in August, and I'm using the "official" Bullet Journal notebook from Ryder Carroll, made by Leuchtturm1917. Please note, you do not have to use the official notebook, or even a nice notebook, to Bullet Journal. All you need is a notebook of your choice and a pen.

Whenever I set up a new notebook, there are a couple spreads that I always migrate and make sure to have in my notebook at all times. They are mostly inspirational spreads that I always carry, but some of them are functional as well.

The nice thing about the official Bullet Journal notebook is that it has the Future Log spreads built into the notebook at the beginning. I set up a 12 month future log, even though I'm certain this notebook will not last all 12 months.

I like to have a year at a glance spread, just to be able to reference and use while setting up my monthly spreads, as well as for future planning.

I am also sticking with using my little Moleskine weekly notebook for future planning. I adore it, and it's easier to carry around everywhere than my larger Bullet Journal.

I found this list "to read every day" on pinterest, and decided to copy it over. It's always there, so if I'm overwhelmed or stressed, I can just flip to the front of my journal and find it.

I had put my 2016 goals on a two page spread in my old journal, so for this journal I made it one page and a little more streamlined. I'm making pretty good progress on these goals! On the opposite page, I found this affirmation in pinterest as well, and it's a great reminder for when I feel overwhelmed, or just need a little encouragement.

My final "permanent" list is my wishlist, although there is not much on it right now. I did not transfer the items from my old journal because they didn't quite fit, so I started new.

This month, I wanted to keep my spreads simple and minimal, and went with green ink for my headers and accent colors.

This is one of those fun features that I have added to my journal over time, and it's always fun to look back through the months and see how I was feeling or what I was thinking about.

I decided to use Ryder Carroll's list view for my monthly overview, mostly because I just use it to keep track of my work hours and a highlight of the day. I do use an iCal so if I need a monthly overview I use that. On the opposite page, I have listed my goals broken down into three areas: Lifestyle/Personal, Creative, and Blog.

These two facing pages are used for my gratitude log, and my memories log. I'm trying to be a little less structured about these two pages, as in the past I have numbered every day in my gratitude journal, and made boxes for my memories page. I'm hoping that the lack of structure will make it more fun and spur-of-the-moment, but it is not usually in my nature to not have everything blocked out already.

I keep track of three challenges in my Bullet Journal: #PlanWithMeChallenge, #RockYourHandwriting, and #Quoted. You can find prompts for the #PlanWithMeChallenge and #RockYourHandwriting on Boho Berry's blog, and #Quoted from Onica Hanby. (As of my writing of this post, only the #PlanWithMeChallenge prompts have been released...)

Follow along on my Instagram!

I like to keep track of incoming and outgoing packages. I'm not anticipating a lot of incoming packages or orders as I'm moving in a month and trying to get rid of stuff, but it's nice to have just in case.

Project planning is a big topic among planner users and bullet journalists, so I thought I'd share how I keep track of my own projects. My next big project is getting my French visa, so I made a spread devoted to that. I like to break down a big task into smaller tasks, and to make sure I have everything needed I make lists like nobody's business. I guess that's my project planning style: List, break down large tasks into smaller tasks, and keep it simple.

Side note - I have to go to LA to get my visa... any suggestions on stationery shops? I'll mostly be in West Hollywood... but any suggestions welcome. :)

How are you setting up your planner for August? Let me know in the comments, shoot me a tweet, or share a photo on Instagram!

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