First Impression: MD Grid Notebook from Midori

As you all know, I have a gorgeous new Roterfaden and I was online searching for quality A5 notebooks to use as my next bullet journal.  I love the Leuchtturm1917, but I also dearly love trying new things.  I’ve been curious about the MD notebooks from Midori so I thought it was high time to try one out!

Here is my first impression video…

Overall, I am very impressed with the paper quality.  Midori has some of the nicest paper, in my opinion.  I love the paper for the Traveler’s Notebook and official Traveler’s Notebook inserts and the MD notebook did not disappoint.  None of the pens and markers that I tried bled through!  None!  I am still stunned!



As compared to the Leuchtturm1917, the pros and cons are…


  • MD has better paper quality
  • No bleed through
  • Grid guidelines every 2 (dash)  and 10 squares (dot)
  • More grid boxes per page
  • Less expensive


  • No page numbers
  • Less pages (just under 200 as compared to Leuchtturm’s 250)
  • Only 1 ribbon marker

Neutral differences

  • Slightly yellower paper
  • Grid rather than dots
  • Bluish markings rather than grey
  • No hard cover
  • Exposed spine, I personally like this



Personally, I am very excited to finish my Leuchtturm and start using the MD notebook for my bullet journal.  A big part of that excitement is not being so limited in my pen choices due to bleed through.  And not having page numbers is just fine with me, I rarely use my index as it is and I prefer having the extra grid boxes for journaling.

Once I fill up my Leuchtturm and get to switch over, I will keep you all updated on how it holds up over time.

The pens I used for the pen test are*:
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica black in 0.4mm
Pilot G-2 black 05
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen in Fine, Pilot black ink
Sakura Micron 01
Staedtler Triples Fineliner
Stabilo Point 88
Paper mate Flair M
Mildliner in purple

My current bullet journal is a Leuchtturm1917 Dot Grid in Lemon.

The MD Notebook by Midori in grid.

Happy Journaling!

*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!

Simplifying my BuJo routine

As I enter my last month of pregnancy, I’m finding that I am even more exhausted that I thought possible.  And it’s a double edged sword because I’m also the busiest I have been since this journey started!  I feel a sense of urgency to finish the baby’s room, get our hospital bags packed, finish shopping, doing laundry, cleaning, etc.  And, with the pregnant belly, every task takes more energy than it should.

All of this preparation while being so exhausted has really pushed my drive for simplification.  So how do I simplify without losing accountability, intention, and purposefulness?  One easy way is in simplifying by bullet journal.

I don’t want to lose any of the mindfulness and reminders that my bullet journal provides on a daily basis because those are the things that keep me grounded.  So there isn’t any content that I want to eliminate, but I can make using the journal easier.

There are a few small changes I’ll be making for April with my setup and dailies to make things easier and faster.  I’ll do an April Setup post and video and show you more about that later.  But for now, one of the biggest changes is with my radar chart for wellness tracking.

I’m not getting rid of it!  I love it too much!  I also find it very useful to see how events influence my overall wellbeing and it helps me to adjust my vision, outlook, and attitude.  But, I can make it easier to use.  Rather than doing a radar chart, or spider graph, which requires a stamp, stamping ink, ruler, etc. I’m incorporating wellness tracking into my daily header.  There were too many days where I was ready to update my tracker but I wasn’t at home with all of my supplies and it was frustrating.  I’ve decided that if anything gets frustrating, it isn’t worth it!  So I’m changing it!

I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from bullet journalists on Instagram such as @bujo.auslife and @logthatlife for their beautiful minimalism and @trekkiechickplans for how she implemented the wellness tracker without using the spider chart.  This is the idea page that I used to test out different ways of graphing my happiness, calmness, fulfillment, physical health, and energy directly into my daily header.


This provides all of the data and information that I need, a splash of color, and it’s a more calm, serene, faster, and easier way to start my dailies.  Plus, I love looking at it.  It’s not as busy and gives me a sense of peacefulness to see it all day.

I’m testing it out over the last few days of March, I’ll let you know how it goes!  Also, stay tuned for my April Plan With Me video to see the other changes that I’m implementing in an effort to minimize, simplify, and declutter by bullet journal.

The supplies I used in the photo above are the following:*
My BuJo: Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Dots
Pens: Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica

Happy Journaling!

*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!


Most of my Traveler’s Notebook planner pages are pretty cluttered.  They are a wild creative collage of what has happened during my week.  But sometimes, I just want something a little cleaner.  A little less busy.

Last week, I started down the path of trying to simplify.  I dearly love the aesthetic of minimalism, but it is not natural for me.  I tend to want to fill every tiny space of a page with something.  I see my own blank spaces as emptiness and lacking.  But I see others’ blank spaces as beautiful, minimal, and serene.  Weird isn’t it.  For me, this spread is minimal, and I have to admit, I quite like it.


In a, perhaps futile, attempt at further simplification, this week I’m going to pare down to one pen and embrace open spaces.  Wish me the very best of luck, because I’m going to need it!

I started the week with an inked reminder towards Simplicity.  We’ll see how well it works out.


In the photos above, I used:*
Midori Traveler’s Notebook
Midori Traveler’s Notebook Free Diary Weekly and Memo
Sakura, 24 Assorted Watercolors
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen
Stabilo 88 Point 30 Color Wallet
Design Tape by Tim Holtz, Passport, 3 Rolls
Design Tape by Tim Holtz, Correspondence

*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!


Daily radar chart for my BuJo

For those of you who don’t know, I am 6.5 months pregnant!  And what an adventure it is!  I’m finding that my general overall sense of how I feel, both mentally and physically, fluctuates pretty wildly from day to day.  And we all know that our energy and stress levels are related to our physical health and overall happiness.  Some of my goals for this year are to feel more fulfilled, present, and healthier so I wanted a way to quickly record how I felt at the end of the day.  My immediate thought was ‘I wonder if I could graph and track this?’ and my radar chart was born.

When I set up my daily, I stamp the circle for the radar chart (more on the stamp in my next blog post) and draw in the spokes.  At the end of the day, or the next morning, I score my wellbeing on a scale of 1-10 and record it on the chart.  I also total up all 5 categories and add that total radar score to my habit tracker so that I can quickly see fluctuations and correlate them with events.


The 5 things that I track are Happiness, Calmness, Fulfillment, Physical Health, and Energy.  But, you can track any attributes that are important to you.  I’m sure mine will change over time, but right now these are the most important aspects of my overall wellbeing.


The photo above is my radar chart explanation page.  If I’m not sure where I fall on the scale of 1-10, I can refer to this page as a guide.

The nice part about a radar chart is that you can change what you are tracking, how many things you are tracking (but remember that odd numbers are more aesthetically pleasing than even numbers), and what your scale is.  You can use radar charts to describe anything that you can measure!  You can track recovery from an injury (pain, physical therapy, range of motion, etc.).  You can use one for hobbies like wine tasting (sweetness, earthiness, fruitiness, etc.).  If you suffer from migraines that may be lifestyle triggered you can use it to track your water intake, caffeine intake, migraine intensity, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

In my next blog post, I’ll share how I made the circle stamp and how I set it up in a step-by-step tutorial.

The supplies I used in the photos above are the following:*
My BuJo: Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Dots Lemon
Pens for color: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
Writing pen: Sakura Micron-01

Happy Journaling!


*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!

Traveler’s Notebook

For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been using a Midori Traveler’s Notebook and I am in love!  It’s one of those strange things that seems so simple, yet you can’t get enough of it.  If you are interested, I have links at the bottom of the post for the supplies and Midori that I purchased.  I initially got one to be my daily planner, but I found that it just wasn’t working for me.  I saw the notebook more as a creative and personal space, so trying to use it at work and for regular planning, just wasn’t doing it for me.

After a few months of playing around with different inserts and intentions, I finally found my perfect set-up.  Half of the notebook is for my personal journal and the other half is my daily creative outlet for recording life.

Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of what I mean…




If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen all of these photos.  I try to post every week and I’m going to aim for posting more on the blog about how I created the spread, the supplies I used, etc.  I’ve also begun using a bullet journaling system for my everyday planning, so look out for those posts coming soon as well.  I’m really excited to start sharing them!

In the photos above, I used…
Midori Traveler’s Notebook
Sakura 24 Assorted Watercolors Field Sketch Set with Brush
Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen
Sakura Micron Pen Set
Stabilo 88 Point 30 Color Wallet

Happy Crafting!

Racing the sun

Ever have those days where it seems like every time you go to do something, you forget the purpose?  Well, I had one of those days.  As we were making dinner, I was planning out the bento that I was going to immediately make and photograph using the leftovers.  Once dinner was finished, I put the leftovers in the fridge, cleaned the kitchen, went to sit down, and suddenly remembered that I didn’t make my bento!

So there I was, racing against the sun!  I only had about 10 minutes of good sunlight left to get this bento put together and photographed.  It’s not my greatest work, but it’ll do in a pinch.  I apologize for the blurry photo!!  For some reason, I couldn’t get my camera to focus right.


In the bento: grilled chicken, sautéed kale, green beans, cherries, and a mini-Babybel cheese.

The fabric under the bento is from a little shop on the street going to Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto.  I thought the cat looked just like my stinker strolling along the streets of Kyoto under the cherry blossoms.  I couldn’t resist getting it!

On a technical note, I finally got the RSS feed to work with Feedburner!  Yay! 🙂  I’m still working on adding my old photos to the photo gallery, but it’s almost done.

Happy Bento-ing!

Getting ready for summer

I am so ready for summer.  Long sunny days.  Grilled foods all week. Bright fruits and vegetables.  Swimming in the pool.  What’s not to love?  During the summer we grill a lot.  I mean a lot!  Since my husband likes to cook on the grill it gives me a much needed break in the kitchen.

6_7_15We started our summer feasting with grilled pork chops seasoned with some Montana Mex Picante Salt that came in my Love With Food box.  It was delicious!  Nice and spicy.  I did add some kosher salt to it, because I was afraid of using too much of the blend.  I wanted it to have some heat, but not be too terribly spicy.

In the bento: grilled pork chops, rice with a pickled plum, strawberries, blueberries, and carrots.  Clean, simple, bright, and colorful.  🙂

Happy Bento-ing!

Photo Gallery

I am working on getting all of my old bento photos up on this new website.  Uploading them takes a good bit of time, so it will be a work in progress for a while.  So far, I have all of the photos from 2015 and 2014, which really is only a handful.  But it’s a start!  For earlier years, I am going to have to split the galleries into multiple pages so it doesn’t take too long to load.

Check out the new Photo Galleries here!

In the meantime, all of my old photos can be found on my Flickr page.

New bentos will be coming soon! Don’t give up on me yet 🙂

Happy Bento-ing!

Fiesta lime grilled chicken

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday 🙂  We had my parents over for dinner to celebrate and I made this bento from the leftovers.  In the bento: fiesta lime grilled chicken, cucumbers, green beans, tabouleh (with cilantro, avocado, red onion, lime juice, and tomato), and watermelon.


For the grilled chicken, I marinated it in a lime and garlic sauce.  Then served it with sautéed assorted peppers and red onion with cilantro and lime juice.  The topping is really what made the dish.  It has to be done on extremely high heat so that it sears.  Add a little salt and pepper and… delicious!  It would have been great with some chopped jalapeños!

Happy Bento-ing!

Keep it simple

I’m not sure how much I’m liking WordPress, it ate my blog post, lol!  This bento was supposed to post on Monday but got lost somewhere in cyberspace.  Oh well, here it goes again.

My general outlook to bentos has always been to keep it simple.  Using leftovers, easy fridge-to-bento items, and trying to cook as little as possible.  These days I’m so busy that simple is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.


This easy bento makes use of a leftover steak sandwich, a simple salad, fruit, and a mini Babybel cheese with a sakura cutout.  It ended up being a lot of food because the bottom tier of this box is really deep.

Happy Bento-ing!!