Friday, January 15, 2016

First Impressions: Midori Traveler's Notebook

So this year we started off by getting ourself a Midori Traveler's Notebook after much contemplation last year. The ability to customise how you wanted the notebook to be was really what appealed to us in the first place.

Only...getting a notebook wasn't so easy, as we either had to try our luck at Kinokuniya (we haven't been inside to look for it yet...) or order it online from a local supplier like Pipit Zakka. Ok so it probably isn't as difficult as needing to order from Amazon and wait ages for it, but we're still pretty much the kind who prefers walking into a store and checking out the physical product.

But oh well. We placed our order with Pipit Zakka, it got posted to us soon enough (well packaged too we must say!), and now we are a proud owner of a Midori Traveler's Notebook as well.

With...only a blank notebook insert that came with the notebook, a lined notebook we bought, a zipper pocket...and that's pretty much it (it's so popular the online store was out of stock of half of the accessories).

Thankfully we've been watching some video reviews of the notebook and got some ideas from them. A particular useful one was on using rubber bands in place of the official bands meant to hold the notebook inserts together. Apparently the official bands aren't as hardy too and snap after a while. So we didn't bother with waiting for the online store to stock the bands, and went to Popular to get some rubber bands.

And since the choices of notebook inserts were rather limited to start with, we decided to find printable alternatives online and make our own. Found some pretty good ones to start off with at Wendaful so now we have a nice thick notebook to work with.

And we did hopped over to all three Muji branches to check out their stationery to see what we could get. Ended up with a 3-colour refillable pen and a pen holder, couldn't find any of their notebooks that fit what we wanted.

Let's see how well we adapt back to using a hard book compared to jotting everything down on our iPhone!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Resolutions 2016: AppRes/16/0105

Oh hey look, it's exactly a year since we've posted our last resolution!

And how did that turn out?

Well, we did tidy up our workspace - but admittedly only in December as a sort of 'spring cleaning'. Nevertheless it is now much more roomier at our wee cubicle and so let's look to this year's resolution:

Learn a new craft skill.

There's actually a bit more to that but we'll keep that under wraps for now.

Easily enough we already know what craft skill we are looking at - quilling. The inspiration for this came from 'Nic and LiL's wedding cards, which they made some 80 to 100 pieces by hand.

Pinterest definitely has a LOT of lovely quilling art, but we will start small or go crazy. We're starting with simple shapes with a definite eye on monogram quilling.

So we've gotten ourself a starter kit, and instead of buying more quilling paper we bought a manual hand shredder from Muji and shall see if that will be cheaper in the long run. Admittedly the only issue we have with quilling is glue. We hate the messiness of normal glue, and have been experimenting with the Norino Plus honeycomb dot tape - not ideal but we'll work on it.

We actually did make birthday card with a quilling pattern in the front for LiL's birthday, but due to cruel irony we dropped the entire thing into the drain outside her house yesterday when we intended to deliver it.

That...may actually be a sign.

Monday, January 04, 2016

4,204,800 Minutes

All right. 2016 and it's time to recap the last year, however this time we don't have the convenience of checking back our Instagram what we've done every day as we kinda stopped the 'photo a day' thing (maybe we ought to start that back again this year, and do away with the editing the photo to place text in...).

But then again we've upgraded our iCloud account for the 200GB storage plan (one of the best things we've done, no more worries about our photos and videos hogging all the space on our iPhone), so that means we have all our photos on our iDevices for easy referencing!

2015 was a pretty great year - we felt as if there were more things happening. We made new friends and caught up with some very old friends, had lots of fun and games, got careless, got sloshed, got super busy (there were quite a number of near-overnights in the office)...
  • Upgraded to the iPhone 6 Plus. Stocks went out crazy fast then compared to the iPhone 6S Plus!
  • The Chief brought us to Genting to celebrate our birthday, complete with the Genting Behind The Scenes Tour. Quick fun getaway!
  • Boardgames galore, in terms of playing and purchasing! We bought Power Grid Deluxe, the Street Fighter Deck-Building Game, Dead of Winter, and 504 (which until now we've yet to bring out to see play!). Printed our own copy of the very beautiful PnP Dune: The Dice Game by Heiko G√ľnther. Got to try a good number of games thanks to wingedman and meetups with our regular group at All Aboard, YCA and even McDonald's BU!
  • And on the digital side of boardgaming, we've started playing multiplayer Ascension with nejustmo and hckerl. Honestly we find deckbuilding games to be better as a digital game - no need for shuffling and tabulating scores.
  • Experimented taking protein powder. Limited by lactose intolerance. Too bad it gets kinda jelak drinking it, making it hard to take every day.
  • After a couple of years with no broadband and cable tv (read: Astro) at Chateau le Chief, we finally signed up for Maxis Fibre Internet with Astro B.yond IPTV! Now instead of watching Chinese serial DVDs the Chief records Astro tv shows and movies for later viewing (we have almost used up the hard drive at one point).
  • Bought Monster Hunter 4 from Kyo, who had a launch event at Tropicana City Mall. Went with the Chief and lad (although only lad and us plays), got our copies, bunked a while at Starbucks for a quick session. Biggest 3DS timesink of the year.
  • Bought a new Mac Mini and iPad Mini 3 just before GST was implemented. The iPad Mini 3 replaced our iPad 2 and was definitely lighter to carry around, but at times we sorta wondered if we ought to have gotten a MacBook instead...there are times when we still lug our first Mac Mini around from one place to another (and quite glad that it's actually easy to lug a Mac Mini around to use in other places provided there's a monitor there to plug it into!).
  • Bought the new Apple TV. Not really necessary, and heh we've not yet started gaming properly on it.
  • Another trip to Bangkok! It has been three years since our last trip, and this trip we decided to end with a nice dinner at Sirocco @ Lebua. Awesome experience.
  • And there was the day trip to Malacca as well! The last time we were there was possibly for savante's Christmas party eight years ago!
  • Got our Pebble Time! No regrets here as we had no problem adjusting to wearing back a watch (especially one we have no problem sweating with and wearing into the shower), plus honestly the long battery life is a winner. We're also happy to have backed it on Kickstarter as it was cheaper (also before the exchange rate made things less enticing), hence we got one for the Chief too!
  • Got a wax gun (pretty much like a glue gun) that definitely sped up the process of our card-sending! No more breathing in smoky fumes from a wax stick!
  • Worked more on our calligraphy (not much improvement though), and finally found flexible nibs for copperplate handwriting!
  • After half a year of not seriously joining the choir (our reason then was less of wanting to take a break and more of worrying that the performance date would clash with work), we joined for the Illuminations concert and the Illusion opening! It helped that this year's production had no choreography making it easier to join at a late time. We weren't interested in joining earlier for Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton and started our break by joining the Christmas concert only as part of the audience. This year? Still on the ropes.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal ended. This reboot makes us cry sometimes due to the quality. Sigh.
  • Terry Pratchett's 'The Shepherd's Crown' was released and devastated us.
  • Went for Bon Jovi's concert! Exhilarating!
  • Couple of weddings. Lad tied the knot, and we got to take another 'Il Divo' photo (although everyone's older and, if not wiser, then wider). Memorable in that us guys were not involved in the gatecrashing, and that during the wedding dinner there were lucky draws to keep the guests entertained. Fun! Then there was Zherrie's wedding, which was definitely a YKLS wedding with lots of singing and performing. Initially we meant to only sing Seasons of Love with the ensemble, then mubbles asked us to duet A Whole New World with her and that started the whole shiok sendiri fest (especially during Yaya's It's All Coming Back To Me Now).
  • Managed to surprise the Chief with a slightly stressful birthday celebration as well as with a magic show dinner!
  • Experienced our first fun run. Good to know we managed to finish it within a decent time.
  • Got ourself a pair of Sketchers Go Walk 3 to replace our 9-year-old Off-Road Crocs. Truth be told our Crocs have been in need of replacing for years, considering how the treads have all worn bald making it a hazard on wet surfaces, but we've not found a suitable replacement till recently.
  • Had a Christmas party at Chateau le Chief again after taking a break last year!
And that's just recapping from photos we have on our iPhone.