Rhodia Drive Notebook Review

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It’s back to school time, which is one of my favorite parts of the year. Growing up, I was always excited to buy new school supplies. I still feel the need to buy school supplies even though I’m no longer in school. However, we happen to be in the middle of shopping for a house, so major stationery splurges are strictly off-limits. Luckily, during my drought of new office supplies, a hero came to my rescue. Her name is Laurie Huff.

Laurie Huff is the current blogger for the Quo Vadis blog (of Quo Vadis planners), but I have been reading her posts for years on her personal blog, Plannerisms. If you are currently in the midst of trying to find the perfect planner to organize your life, then I highly recommend going through the archives of her personal blog. The Quo Vadis blog also has ideas and inspiration for planner and journal users and often has giveaways. I happened to win one such giveaway.  

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I won the A5 medium Rhodia Drive notebook, and I will be giving you my unbiased review on it. Rhodia Drive and Quo Vadis are both made by the same company, and both have the same creamy and delightful Clairefontaine paper (which is made in France, so it’s fancy, right?). I have tested this paper in stores previously, but this is my first personal experience with it. The cover of the notebook reminds me of a #2 pencil, specifically the soft-leaded ones. (These pictures appear a bit lighter than the real thing.) It measures 6 x 8.25 inches and has 48 pages of 80 gsm extra white paper. The covers of the notebook are coated cardstock and are also waterproof. (I did not test this detail.) You can also see this notebook on the Rhodia Drive website in  black and white.

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I used different inks and colors on the first page to test the opacity of the pages. I’m not sure that you can tell from my pictures, but the Marvy LePen and Sakura Gelly Roll bled through too much. The rest of the pens had an acceptable amount of visibility for me. However, as I continued using the notebook, I noticed that the Sharpie pen and G-2 also were too dark on the back side of the pages. This may be because I write too hard, which is why my writer’s wart is roughly the size of a small mountain. I stuck to writing with Uniball Sigmos the rest of the time, although I did smear a couple of letters because the pages are so smooth.

The spine experienced some wear after a few weeks in my cotton quilted backpack. It was in there with a personal-sized leather planner and a reusable water bottle. 

All in all, I really like the Rhodia Drive notebook. My favorite aspect of it is the size. I really prefer wide notebooks over narrow ones, which are harder to write in for people with large handwriting. (Also, now that I’m thinking about it, I might like it because it is the same size as our elementary school composition books. Remember those?) I love the texture of the paper; it really is smooth with a good weight.

Have you ever tried any Rhodia notebooks or Quo Vadis planners? Let me know in the comments! Also, I have been putting off writing a post about my personal planner. Let me know if you are interested in seeing how I try to stop wasting my time.

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Mani Monday: Nude with Sparkles

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Zoya Taylor is my nude color and Zoya Alma is the orange sparkly color that disappointed me with its lack of opacity. As one of my fave beauty bloggers says, it’s “sheeritating.” (Amber Katz is totally brill at coining helpful beauty-related phrases.)

I’m almost finished with my Butter London topcoat. I’m thinking about trying out the Zoya one. Have you tried either?

 

 

 

 

Mani Monday: Finger Paints Artist’s Sapphire & High Kicks in a Quarry

 

Happy Monday! Today I am wearing a beautiful royal blue from Finger Paints called Artist’s Sapphire. I only have two Finger Paints nail polishes, but both are well-pigmented, non-streaky, and long-lasting. (See Finger Paints Psychedelic Pop here.) Okay, this manicure did have a few chips after trying out a ropes course this weekend, but I think that is to be expected. Usually, I get a full five days from this nail polish, which is why I am surprised that I don’t have more Finger Paints colors. I guess it is because I don’t live close to a Sally Beauty Supply.

So why was I at a ropes course? Well, we went to an event sponsored by our Alma Mater, Regent University. Our alumni association sponsored a Georgia event at Stone Mountain Park. It was pretty fun. We climbed through ropes, rode the train, played mini golf, rode the gondola, climbed part of the mountain, walked the Sky Hike. I don’t have pictures of most of this because we were too busy having fun. However, I do have pictures of me running into an old Quarry site.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to star in a  best-selling YA dystopian novel that is turned into a multi-million dollar movie franchise? I have too! Well, I think that running through a granite quarry is the closest I’ll ever get to being a star.

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If I get to the top of the hill, I can save the world!

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I better get started. 

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Which way should I turn?

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I’m the only girl who can save the world!

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Must. Run. Farther.

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I made it!

High Kick!

  

Take that, Capitol/President Snow/W.I.C.K.E.D./all bad people who stand in between me and freedom!!!!


 

Thrifted Thursday: Striped Dress 5 Ways

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today I am wearing a thrifted Loft dress with black and beige stripes. (The beige doesn’t show up so well on my professional DSLR camera, uh, I mean iPhone.) I don’t usually wear beige or any other warm colors for that matter, but I couldn’t resist this adorable dress because it is petite-sized, in perfect condition, and made of packable rayon material. (I just made three alliterative points. Maybe I should’ve become a pastor? Just kidding.)

Looking over my pictures, I wish I had accessorized with some purses too. However, I had a small window of time to force ask my husband to take pictures of me since he’s working two jobs right now. Oh, well. Let’s take a closer look at the pictures anyway. 

Day 1: You are having tea al fresco with your delightful in-laws. Keep the sun out of your eyes with a cute straw hat, but still keep it classy with gold t-strap sandals and pearls. A classic white button-up is always right for a tea party. Tie it in a knot at your waist to show that you are crisp yet casual.

Day 2: Ignore my awkward pose and imagine that you are going to see a local play. Hurrah, you are supporting the arts! Subtly let your inner artsy side out by wearing your trusty striped dress with a Mandarin-inspired shrunken jacket, black leather strappy sandals, and black and gold suede tassel earrings. Feel free to say things like, “The director’s view of Marxism is clearly shown through the existential angst of the lighting choices,” while nodding smugly at your bewildered friends. 

Day 3: You are exhausted from pretending to be pretentious last night (see Day 2). You decide to throw on a hoodie over your striped dress. However, your friends have decided that you must go downtown with them to see an improv troupe to lighten up your newly acquired artsy mood. You elevate your outfit by choosing a button-up knit hoodie, gold sequined tennis shoes, and dangly gold earrings. You laugh all night at the improv show. Unfortunately, most of your laughter is pitying because none of the performers are funny. Your friends chose this sad show on purpose to punish you for last night. 

Day 4: You repent of your pretentiousness and decide to do something normal and healthy. You throw a denim jacket over your striped dress and drag your husband to the farmers’ market to buy eggs that are still warm from the fannies of cage-free, hormone-free, free-range hens. Ankle-length cowboy boots, a studded leather bracelet, and beaded hoops let people people know you are serious about buying organic. As you munch on a lactose-free, GMO-free, cilantro-basil-raspberry-corn-hemp milk popsicle, you realize that you are back to normal. 

Day 5: Your book club is meeting at the library. Show your fellow readers you serious you are about books by wearing a shirt with leather elbow patches. This shirt will also help you combat the chill from the frosty stares of the other book club members when you bring up existentialism again. Pretend not to see their glares as you lower your black felt hat with gray bow. Dangly black and silver earring and black pumps with gray stacked heels complete your book lover outfit. 

I hope you enjoyed my second Thrifted Thursday post. (See the first Thrifted Thursday here.) If you enjoy talking philosophically about art or like/need to eat healthfully, I hope you know that I am just having a little fun here. Actually, I am allergic to many foodstuffs, so you might see me at the farmers’ market this weekend asking local sellers if they use pesticides. Let me know if you have found any super cool secondhand scores lately!

 

Mani Monday: OPI Sample Sale

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Hello, beautiful people! I didn’t mean to take last week off, but I had a deadline that popped up and took all my time. I’m glad everyone liked the inaugural “Thrifted Thursday: Pink Peplum Dress 7 Ways” post. It is my most viewed post ever! I write this blog as a fun hobby, but it’s still fun to see that people are reading. Anyway, I have more Thrifted Thursdays lined up for the future, and I hope you all will share with me your thrifted finds too.

My nail polish today is OPI’s Sample Sale. Sample Sale is a shimmery candy apple red. I had problems with it bubbling during application, which is a disappointment because I love a good red. Sample Sale is one color from a huge box of minis that I got for Christmas a while ago. The set got bad reviews, but it is still fun to try out so many colors. (Also, mini polishes are great for traveling.) Many reviewers have said that the colors in these minis are inferior to the formula of the regular-sized bottles. So far, I have found that to be true of all of the pink polishes. The oranges and purples have been fine so far. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve tried every color yet, but I’m going to try to this year!

What are you wearing on your nails today? Let me know in the comments! I love to hear about new nail polish colors.

 

Thrifted Thursday: Pink Peplum Dress 7 Ways

 


It’s the inaugural post of Thrifted Thursday! This is where I will be showing off my second-hand treasures. My first find is my Easter dress, a hot pink Lilly Pulitzer. This showstopper was in mint condition. I wasn’t sure about the peplum, but I am personally always sold on gingham. Maybe it’s the country girl in me? Anyway, this dress was such an amazing find that a posh-looking mom followed me around Goodwill, hoping that I would set it down. Seriously, she was like those vultures at the Lilly for Target sale!

Anyway, I only wore it for an hour and a half at the Easter service on Sunday, so I decided to wear it again to Bible Study on Monday. I wore it differently each time, which gave me an idea to post how to wear the dress 7 different ways. I don’t think I will be doing this every Thursday because I still haven’t fully cleaned up the bedroom from the aftermath of styling so many outfits. Also, I don’t have a nice camera, so my pictures don’t really look that great. And it’s really hard to smile and “smize” for an hour. It’s even harder when you are an awkward picture-taker and not Tyra Banks. 😉 Anyway, on to the outfits!

I decided that I would make a week’s worth of outfits for my lifestyle using this dress. It is very bright, but I’ve added a considerable amount of color to my wardrobe lately. It’s way too hot to wear all black where I live. Also, sorry for the lighting. The sun peeked in-and-out, so sometimes the lamp lighting was all we had (and that’s why my skin is orange).


Day 1: Easter Sunday calls for being a classy lady, so I topped the dress with a small white cardigan. I pulled out my pearl jewelry and an envelope clutch (a gift from my favorite and only sister) to match my bow-bedecked, gold peep-toe shoes. (Fun fact: I wore these shoes to my wedding.)

Day 2: A Monday meeting calls for professionalism, but a writer also needs to look fun and creative. I paired my sweet pink dress with a well-cut blazer. Suede pointy-toe black pumps and a black foldover clutch match my black suede tassel earrings.

Day 3: A night of board games on Tuesday calls for something comfortable and casual. The cut-outs on the back of this sweatshirt give it visual interest. Wearing tennis shoes with a dress isn’t something everyone likes, but I think it’s a fun look. Note that I matched my purse because my matchy-matchy is my middle name. Actually, it’s not, but my middle name will never be printed on this blog. Who are you, my mother?

Day 4: Wednesday is the Lord’s half day, which means you can be a bit more casual at church. Ha! Mixing this vibrant green sweater with a hot pink dress is not for the faint of heart. The sweater is a bit longer than the peplum on the dress, so I belted the sweater in place. I’m wearing a vintage enamel pin to show that I am a proper church lady. Ballet flats help keep the outfit casual. (Second fun fact: my husband gave these shoes to me before he proposed to try to confuse me. They were supposed to take the place of some other pink shoes I had when I was little, which is a story for another day.)

Day 5: Okay, so we don’t go to the fair every Thursday night, but let’s pretend. I love to go to the fair! The fair is still country even if you live in a big city like we do. If you’re about to pet bunnies and watch pigs race, then you better get in touch with your inner cowgirl by wearing a denim shirt. A big necklace, cowboy hat, and cowboy boots are also required. If you don’t have a cowboy hat, you must tease your hair. Big hair makes you closer to God. (Third fun fact: during grad school, a friend confided to me that she had a dream of walking into a thrift store and finding a great pair of cowboy boots for a great price. A little while later, this dream came true… for me.)

Day 6: Friday night is date night. I stepped the dress up a notch by belting a sequined wrap over it. A beaded choker and earrings, a beaded clutch, and stiletto sandals elevate your dress from last night’s fair to tonight’s opera. Okay, I’ve never been to the opera. Usually, we go to a really nice restaurant and then go back home because I ate so much I can’t walk anymore.

Day 7: Saturday afternoon I don the dress for a baby shower. Everyone will be dressed up nicely, so I wear the gingham peplum dress. I keep it casual with a jean jacket. Everything else is silvery or clear: beaded hoops, large crystal necklace, small crystal bracelet, candy purse, and jelly flats. I may or may not be obsessed with accessories you can see through.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing one thrifted dress styled 7 different ways. I feel funny about posting so many pictures of myself. I’m going to go hide in my bedroom now. Oh, wait! I can’t because of all of this!

This is the ugly truth that style bloggers never write about on their blogs (not that I consider myself a style blogger). I better go clean it! Happy Thursday!

Oh, and don’t forget to tell me about your thrifting finds in the comments!

Mani Monday: Wet ‘n Wild Fresh White Creme & Fingerpaints Psychdelic Pop

 

Hello, friends! Did you have a happy Easter? I sure did. We went to church, dyed eggs, ate a delicious meal (ham, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, green salad, and ice cream with strawberries), watched a movie, and played games. I pretty much had the time of my life!

We watched the new Left Behind movie starring Nicolas Cage on Netflix. This movie got a lot of flack on my Facebook feed, but we liked it. It was entertaining, and ol’ Nic C. is always good. Also, my husband and I thought the special effects were great. Whether or not you believe in the rapture, it’s still a fun Sunday afternoon watch. (Personally, I think people should not be focused on the end times. The important thing is what we celebrate on Easter: Jesus’ death and resurrection, which pays for our sins.)

I had a fresh manicure to match my new-to-me Easter dress for church. It’s a hot pink gingham Lilly Pulitzer I found at Goodwill. I love to shop at thrift stores! Do you? I’m thinking about starting a series about my thrift store finds as I am trying to revitalize my wardrobe. Would you be interested in reading a series like that?

Anyway, back to my mani. The white is French White Creme by Wet ‘n Wild. This white usually wears for about three days. It takes three coats to become opaque, otherwise it is streaky. The pink dots are Psychedelic Pop by Fingerpaints. I really like this color. It is opaque and bright. It also has good wear time. I would definitely recommend it.

Have a happy Monday!

Just a Little Dangerous Nail Polish & a Day in Augusta

Last weekend I had an opportunity to go to Augusta on business. I was delighted to go because one of my college friends lives there. I spent Friday night at her place and painted my nails a dark purple called Just A Little Dangerous from Sephora by OPI from her nail collection. It is a dark purple creme, and it was very smooth.The wear time is good too. Unfortunately, Sephora and OPI have parted ways, but you can still find bottles of Sephora by OPI at TJ Maxx sometimes. 

While I was in Augusta, I had lunch at the fabulous Boll Weevil. This cute hole-in-the-wall is known for their generously-proportioned cake, but I thought their fresh salad was delightful as well.

The Boll Weevil is conveniently located near the Augusta Riverwalk. Since it was a perfect spring day, I popped some allergy medicine and took a nice stroll. The pollen there was kicked up into mini-tornadoes by the wind, but I bravely soldiered through my walk with the help of my friends, the bees. 

Gorgeous, right? I also did a little shopping. I accidentally spent too much at Ulta. I bought 3 lipsticks/glosses despite the fact that I have enough lippies to last me until I retire. I guess it’s like buying shoes. Shoes are easier to buy than pants, so shoe-hoarding happens. Anyway, I’ll share my lippie haul at a later date. Have you ever been to Augusta? What did you do this weekend? Let me know in the comments.