Index Update: Book Journal

Last month I revealed that I was going through all my books and writing my memories of them within a book journal (you can read the post here). Since then not only have I catalogued over 60 books but I also customized my index.

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The paper base is made up of pieces of a replica of a 1908 Sears Catalogue. The letters are stickers I had from a planner set from 2011. Black Acrylic makes up the black rectangles  and I used Metallic Silver Sharpie to write in the numbers.

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Before I seal the index with full-page cold press lamination, I will fill in the back sections of the notebook. I have 10 blank square pages to fill, which is where I am considering putting short stories. I also will need to fill in the perforated To-Do pages where I am currently in the works making my Top Ten lists (Top Ten Young Adult Novels, Top Ten Novels of all Time, and Top Ten Dramas of all Time). You will also see that I went nerdy and wrote in textbooks I thought would be useful later down the road i.e. parenting.

Winter Storm Stella & Spring Cleaning

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{Some Stella Artois to celebrate the snow day}

Stella was a bit of a disappointment since it did not reach two feet of snow within New York City, but everything was still pretty much cancelled. Schools closed, above-ground train tracks were closed, and only mean bosses made their employees take taxis to work.

I stayed inside and ironically began spring cleaning (what else have I been doing the past two months?). I went through my winter capsule closet and purged items that I did not get much use  out of: some black tank tops, many cardigans, and duplicates of black blazers. Then I stored it all. Unfortunately at the moment my storage system consists of black trash bags piled in the corner, but this summer I am planning to buy some storage containers from the Container Store (divided between these or these) to help me with my off-season storage options. But the good news is that my entire winter collection, sans shoes, fits into a single black medium sized trash bag. Score! Now to make the other seasons match that amount!

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I realize that Spring does not officially begin until this upcoming Monday, but I just couldn’t wait to dive into my spring collection. I am still keeping out all my black for work, but I will only be wearing white, light grey, camel, and pastels in the months to come.

Book Detox

A downsize-needed area that I have been avoiding on purpose has been my overflowing book collection. I have been collecting these books since I was a child. Some were gifts, some mind blowing, and others an integral part of my education. It pains me to have to part with any of my old friends, but moving books is not only expensive but painful to both your back and storage. I decided to only keep those with extreme sentimental value to myself, and donate or sell the remainder.


In an attempt to save my memories, I opted to create a Book Journal  and have an entry for each book I was parting with. In the future if I have the money and unlimited amounts of space, my plans will be to buy the books back in hardcover.

I bought Moleskins’s Square Pro Series Workbook, and used the format of Moleskine’s Book Passion Journal for guidance.

Unlike the official Moleskine Book Journal which only gave me six pages to fill in for each letter (156 books total), I was able to create a journal that allows me to write about 4 books per page for 6 pages (624 books total).


My first couple journaled books:

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Jewelry Organization Redux


After going through all my clothes and accessories earlier in January, I realized that I  did not need to wait to go through my costume jewelry and hair accessories. I am very aware of what I do and do not wear in these categories and I like to display all my items at once. To give my jewelry a fresh look (and to cut back on dust collection) I ditched the green desk organizer and opted to have  hanging organizer similar to those used to display jewelry at Free People. The glass box was a freebie found on the street, the base cardboard, and the fabric plain flour sack dish cloth. I spruced of the rest of the table with some greenery. You can find my former organization here.


Inside the box: All of my hair accessories arranged in acrylic organizers.


What’s in my bathroom cabinet?



{Philip has the top shelf: Arbonne’s Men RE9 Advanced Set, The Art of Shaving Razor and Brush Set, Mod Cloth Cup(sold out: similar here), Bamboo Toothbrush, Arbonne’s Pure Mint Toothpaste, Uppercut Hair Paste, Givenchy Pi Cologne, Arbonne Sky Cologne, Arbonne Pure Mint Deodorant}


{I have the second shelf: Modcloth cup (sold out: similar here), Bamboo Toothbrush, Arbonne Pure Mint Toothpaste Arbonne Pure Mint Deodorant, My Morning and Night Face Schedule Items}


{Mostly storage and spill-over items: Arbonne’s Pampermint Footscrub and Foot Cream, Arbonne’s Aromassentials Awaken Body Mist, Estee Lauder Brush bag converted to a Nail Kit bag, Nail Polish remover, our prescription toothpaste and dental floss}

Fashion Jewelry Organization

[Inspiration from Martha Stewart]
My friend Grace has called my storage for my fashion jewelry as Kitsch. Really it was a creative solution to an item that wasn’t really working out. I bought the green organizer years ago from Goodwill with the HomeGoods tag still on it. At the time, it was perfect for the top of the mini fridge in my dorm room. After it was just a weird piece that didn’t really fit anywhere. The shelves were small and it appeared that it could only fit desk items like envelopes and pens.  Thanks to my cats playing with my teacup collection i.e breaking either the cups or the saucers, I had some mismatched intact pieces that I repurposed.



What’s in my fridge?


P and I usually go shopping for groceries early Sunday morning at Trader Joes. Getting there early means we don’t have to deal with the mad crowd, but also so we have enough time to make it to mass by noon in Manhattan. You will notice that our fridge is only half full, that is because the right side is our roommate’s space of the fridge. He would rather eat-out than eat-in but we still respect his boundaries.




Door Shelves [Top to bottom, left to right: Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Spreads, Salsas and Salad Dressings. Margarine and Butter. Yogurt, Cream cheese and Hummus. Reusable Water Bottles, and Half & Half. Whole Milk.]


Top Shelf [Reserved for Blue Apron ingredients.]


Second Shelf and Drawer Insert [Eggs, Shredded Cheese, Fruit. Cold cuts and sliced cheese for sandwiches.]


Third Shelf and Bottom Drawer [Sealed meats and Brits Filter (just to the right). Assorted Vegetables.]

What’s in my desk?


My biggest pet peeve growing up was going to my mom’s supply drawer and not being able to find anything I was looking for. It really should have been called a junk drawer. The same scene happens every time I go home for a visit, I head to the drawer looking for tape and it take 10 years to find it, if I find it. Due to this constant annoyance (in my opinion), all my drawers are super organized so I know where everything is and others who borrow know where to find

[Left-Calligraphy Set, Rulers, Glass Calligraphy Set, Post-Its (in acrylic desk organizer), Hole Punch, Glue, Face Tissues, Scissors, Calculator and paperclips (in a polish teacup)]
[Right-binder clips (in an Italian paper box lid), tape, white out, stapler remover, erasers, tabs, pencil sharpener, swiss army knife, writing utensils (in utensil drawer from Walmart with the bottom painted)]

Keeping Collections Under Control

Surprise! I live with someone who has a collection. P has been collecting elephants since he went with his father to China when he was 13. The elephant he brought back, apparently wrapped in a stolen hotel towel, was 8 inches tall and carved out of one piece of wood. Since then countless friends and family members have gifted him all sorts of items with elephants on them. All are very generous and kind people, but P and I did not have the space for most of them. P didn’t have the heart to downsize some of them because they were all gifts, but we didn’t have room. Together we were able to make it manageable. But the question is how do you know what to keep, and what to count as clutter?

  1. Who gave it to you?
    • Presents from close family members, or beloved relatives are worth keeping if they hold sentimental value to you.
    • If you bought it at a garage sale and you really wouldn’t notice it missing, you might want to reconsider keeping it.
  2. Why did they give it to you?
    • Was it a present for graduation, did your niece specifically beg her mom to buy it for you, or did someone buy it on their travels? If so, you might want to keep it because the person went the extra mile for you.
    • Don’t keep gifts from Ex’s unless you truly are in love with it.
  3. Can it serve a purpose somehow?
    • Keeping an item just because you received it as a present isn’t the best way to determine what should be kept or not.
    • Can you use it as decor in your office, your kitchen, or outside?
    • Is it of good quality that will last that will not potentially harm your animals or children (think size and toxicity here).
    • Can you use it for something other than display?
  4. Can it be properly displayed if not functional?
    • Realize that many collections are utterly useless. One collects something they like that has meaning to them and them alone. My grandmother collected crosses and miniature glass elephants, and my mother collects rhinestone Tiaras, Teddy Bears and vintage hats. I collected Porcelain dolls and miniature tea sets when I was younger- all are now gathering dust.
    • Only keep and display the best.  There is no point in your keeping something that is broken, unsightly, or cheap unless it is collectible or vintage. Everything else isn’t worth showing to others.
    • Display properly or not at all. Either place all your items in a curio, in predesignated areas, or in a cabinet where they are safe. Don’t have it out if you don’t want people to touch it.

Remember not keeping an item doesn’t mean that you have to throw it away. You can always donate it, sell it, or store it.