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Audio / Visual:

The Minimalists-podcast

Crafting Related:

6 Frugal Crafting Tips

Knitted Wrap Pattern

Finance Related:

You Know You’re Frugal When…

Frugal Living Doesn’t Mean Choosing Poverty

Regrowing food from scraps


Minimalism is Tough


10 Things You Should Do Right the First Time /

10 Homesteading Ideas that Can Save You Money

10 Smart Ideas My Redneck Neighbor Taught Me

Planner Related:

The 8 Stages of Bullet Journal Addiction

How I Bullet Journal in a Traveler’s Notebook

How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide

Good Idea & Find!

My First Planner Obsession

Make Your Own Midori Folder


How Extroverted Introverts Interact differently With the World

What’s Your Massage Style?

Nine Reasons I’m Afraid to Have a Baby

18 Undeniable Things All People Who Are Obsessed With Journals Know To Be True

Mason Jar Madness


Parsnip & Potato Hash

Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip

Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins


29 Famous Writers’ Writing Rules

Work Related:

How to Manage Your Home Based Business On the Go

When Your Passion Isn’t Your Paycheck


March 2016 Knits (1) March 2016 Knits (2)

This is a new series I’m testing out on my blog. Once a month, I’ll be showing off what knitting projects I’ve been working on for my crafting business: Crafts by Cori. I’ll also throw in some personal projects as well, when they show up.

Baby Blankets

2 Bernat Plum Chutney

Bernat Baby Plum Chutney (1) Bernat Baby Plum Chutney (2)

1 Bernat Little Royals

Bernat Baby Little Royals blanket (1) Bernat Baby Little Royals blanket (2)

1 Bernat Little Petunias

Bernat Baby Little Petunias blanket (1) Bernat Baby Little Petunias blanket (2)


12 Bernat Freshly Pressed

Bernat Freshly Pressed DC


1 Bernat Freshly Pressed

Bernat Freshly Pressed Scrubbie

If you do any crafts, what have you been working on?

© Cori Large March 20, 2016


CS envelope

Hi everyone! My husband has bought me a Sparrow for my birthday!!! HOWEVER, my birthday is not until May, but he graciously let me filmed an unboxing video so I could share my first reactions with you. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures either.

Here’s the YouTube link for your amusement:

Some quick facts I jotted down after the video:

Make, Model, Size: Chic Sparrow Maverick, Narrow Size

Color: Golden Brown

# of pen loops: 2

Leather response: BEAUTIFUL!!! Reminds me of John Wayne movies!!! The leather is stiffer than the ZLYC narrow I got off Amazon (duh!) and the Extra Wide Crème and the Wide Crème (own post coming!).

I hope you enjoyed the video! I will be filming a more in-depth video once I get it back in May.

© Cori Large 3/17/2016



In my previous post, First Impressions of Canyon’s Extra Wide TN, towards the end of the post I went through what I was doing for inserts and I also said I had some bound journals I wanted to see how some of them would fit.

I tried four journals: Jane Austen Novel Journal (JANJ), Pink Peacock Journal (PPJ), Harry Potter Green Slytherin Leather Journal (HP), River Song’s TARDIS Journal, and Eccolo Sea Green w/ Silver Filigree Journal. The first two are more pocket sized, and the last two are half-sheet sized.

1st try: Jane Austen Journal & River Song’s TARDIS Journal



The TN is as bulky as when I had 6 Piccadilly inserts in it. Don’t like how the JANJ is pulling the first elastic. It’s OUT! TARDIS Journal is okay.

2nd try: Pink Peacock Journal & River Song’s TARDIS Journal



The PPJ is too small for an Extra Wide TN. It’s OUT! TARDIS Journal is still okay.

3rd try: Harry Potter Green Leather Slytherin Journal & River Song’s TARDIS Journal



Same problem as the Pink Peacock Journal. It’s too small. It’s out!

4th try: Eccolo Sea Green Journal & River Song’s TARDIS Journal



I could make it work if I wanted to keep both in there, but I’m going to put the Piccadilly’s back in.

That was an interesting experiment! You never know unless you play around right?

YouTube Video link:

© Cori Large February 26, 2016


My very, very, very sweet friend Canyon has loaned me her Chic Sparrow Crème Extra Wide Traveler’s Notebook in Dark Chocolate. The evening I opened it (I unfortunately had to work late), I jotted down some first impressions I had of this TN.

  • The leather is thicker than that of my ZLYC Narrow. Duh! It has pockets and the leather is cut thicker!
  • Smells amazing! Nothing like the good smell of real cow!
  • Stitching is well done. I knew this was a no-brainer. I’m glad I get to see the stitching up close.
  • Dual pen loops. Very handy! Currently only using one of them.
  • Leather is heavier than my Narrow. Again, duh! The leather is thicker and the TN is bigger than my Narrow.
  • The pockets are nice. Slots/sleeves seem like I could slide my cards in and out easily.
  • Long pocket along the back of the card slots/sleeves: easy to get stuff out of.
  • 4 elastics!!! My Narrow really only has 1, so I’m excited to have more elastics. More about the insert adventure below.
  • I’m going to carry it around with me and wait to be inspired/told how it wants to be used. I’ve learned the hard way about forcing a notebook/planner system to try to work.

Insert adventures!

So I decided to play around with what inserts or notebooks would fit in the Extra Wide. I’ll be writing about the Piccadilly inserts in this post, and I have a separate post about the journals I tried.

I had had thoughts (which my husband deems dangerous) about those 4 elastics…I’ve watched many a video showing stuffed TNs. I stocked up on Piccadilly notebooks from my university bookstore, where they are on clearance. I have Midori bands…how would 8 inserts look?

IMG_2537 IMG_2539

IMG_2535 IMG_2536

8 inserts = do fit, not well, and is heavy!


So I downsized to 6 inserts…

IMG_2534 IMG_2532

6 inserts fit much better! But the weight was still unacceptable.

(Had the notebooks set up like this: 2 notebooks banded together on the first elastic; single notebook on the second elastic, single notebook on the third elastic, and 2 notebooks banded together on the fourth elastic.)

I downsized again to 4 inserts. One on each elastic. The weight is acceptable and I’ve been carrying it around with me. So far the inserts are like this: Bullet Journal; Short Story notebook; Blog Posts; waiting-to-be-used ruled notebook.

YouTube video link:

© Cori Large February 25-26, 2016



My very, very, very good friend Canyon sent me a lovely package of goodies along with a TN insert she gifted me to use in my Narrow TN as well as her Chic Sparrow Crème Brule for me to borrow (separate post).

We both have a love of foxes and woodland creatures.

Here is what she sent me:

Owl Stickers

2 cute pens

2 rolls of fox themed washi


1 roll of woodland creatures’ washi

Lots of page flags—fox and woodland themed



Some animal dye cut mini sticky pads or stickers—fox, chick, polar bear, and penguin


A Happy Scrappie Narrow size TN insert

Loan of Chic Sparrow Crème Brule in Extra Wide (has its own post)


You are such a sweetie!

YouTube video link:

©Cori Large February 27, 2016


I hinted in my Field Notes Traveler’s Notebook Observations post that my failure with the Traveler’s Notebook concept was most likely a size issue. (This is not in the video for that post because the video was filmed awhile ago.)

I consulted my friend Canyon and she was of the opinion that I needed to try a different size. My other planner sizes are a personal size Day-Timer Malibu and my Mini Flex (8 ½” x 5 ½”). She suggested a Narrow or Standard Size TN, which ends up being in-between these two sizes.

I found this TN on Amazon. It’s a Narrow size textured leather. Including shipping, it was about $36.00, and I was willing to pay that small amount to experiment with.


Company/Brand ZLYC Creative
Color Dark Coffee
# of elastics 2, but 1 is unusable because it is too short

I added another elastic later

Included with TN? 3 inserts: blank, ruled, calendar; all Midori inserts

Orange elastic (used to create a 2nd insert line)

Muslin bag

Amazon link:

I’ve set mine up with 4 inserts: 2016 monthly from Yellow Paper House, a daily insert I made myself, some folded notebook paper for scribbling on, and the blank insert that came with it. I’m enjoying making my own inserts for it.





I like the size and how it fits in my hand. I carry it in its bag, not because I’m being precious with it, but because I’m concerned about the dye rubbing off on the inside of my bag.

YouTube video link:


Comparing the Narrow TN to my Mini Flex.

© Cori Large February 22, 2016


I made the video to go along with this post back in December, and then promptly forgot to write the post. Ironic since I blog mainly about planners and being organized, but what can you do?


If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve dabbled in bullet journaling and that I enjoy the concept. However, I couldn’t get past just how unstructured the system was. I need a little bit of structure. So I decided when I started a new journal, I would set it up how I thought a bullet journal should be set up—well, to make it work for me at least.

Here’s the video link so you can see what it looked like before I started using it:

I’m about half way through the journal, which isn’t saying much, since all my set ups took up about 2/3 of the pages. This journal is also college ruled, something I don’t care for in journals, but I loved the cover sooooo much I made an exception for the paper.

How I set this journal up:

MO2P—24 pages for December 2015 to December 2016 monthly set ups.


WO1P—52 weekly set ups. I tried to vary the design.




Then I started the collections/journaling/dailies section. I didn’t do any official collections or lists, just used this section for journaling.



I did start my Index, in the back, but don’t keep it up to date. I only make reflection sections or if I do a pro/con or Compare&Contrast of some planners.

This set did not work for me. Mainly because I didn’t remember to use it. That’s my own fault. I love the bullet journaling concept, especially the collections, so I think I’ll just take that part of the system and run with it.

© Cori Large February 19, 2016



At one point in time, I contemplated getting a degree in Creative Writing. I’ve had the dream of being a writer since I was four years old, and now that I’m “grown up” I figured I’d look back and see what I would have had to put myself through for this degree.

It is assumed if you get a degree in creative writing that you will spend your days penning the Great American Novel or teaching (2). You are not necessarily boxed in with these two careers, there are other career options out there: advertising, technical writing, ghost writing, family history writer (3, 4). [Link number 5 has a list of 20 careers a Creative Writing major could pursue.] The beauty of this degree program is that you are not limited to any industry in particular.

So what does it take to be a Creative Writer?

Being self-driven and have the initiative to pursue projects on your own is a great start. It isn’t very often paid writing opportunities fall in your lap, especially if you are a freelance writer. Also, being prepared to do a lot of freelance work and sponsored posts you may not completely agree with in order to earn money, get experience, and build your resume. Having a blog, maintaining a posting schedule, and providing relevant content has worked in the favor of some.

Two websites give some realistic advice on what may be like pursuing a Creative Writing Career. “The writer has to stumble through a number of odd-jobs to figure out how much they…need [in terms of] stability vs. flexibility” (2). Stability vs. flexibility could vary from work load to income to paid work vs. personal projects. Link number4 is an answer thread where one of the commenters made a good point about what life may be like for Creative Writers. You have three options: support self via writing; writing is your side hustle while working a bill-paying job; or move where artists are government subsidized. Supporting yourself with your writing is a long and difficult path. Unfortunately, it’s not one most have the luxury of sitting around writing all day. Most creative writers live by option 2: they have an outside job that pays the bills, and writing become either a hobby or side hustle. The third option is one that I feel is radical and may not pay off in the long run. Not many countries subsidize artists. The link has more information on this though. So if this is a change you’re willing to make, please do your research before making a hasty decision.

2014 wage estimate: $28.30 per hour / $58,850 annual income

I did a quick informal interview with someone who pursued a creative writing degree. Here is what she had to say:

Michelle J. Interview:

  1. Why did you choose Creative Writing as a major?

I love writing and plan to eventually be a published author so I thought this would be a helpful and enjoyable BA.

  1. What was your intention with this degree?

To get a BA so I could get my Masters.

  1. Did you research career options and earning potential?

Eventually, but since it was a means to an end, not originally.

  1. Were either in the previous question a factor in your decision?

Yes, it was a BA I would enjoy while checking the bachelors box on the path to masters.

  1. Have you achieved, on any level, what you intended to achieve with this degree?


  1. Is there anything you’d like to say to someone considering getting a creative writing degree?

Do it because you love it, not for money, and maybe double major in something more marketable.

  1. Would you go back and pursue something else, knowing what you know now?

No, but I might focus more.

© Cori Large February 9, 2016


***This is a sponsored book review***

I received this book in exchange for an honest review of it.


Dessert & Booze Hack by Peggy Wang

I picked this book because of the cover: Gummy Bears in a Clear Popsicle. When this book showed up, upon first flip through, I was very happy with what I saw: Easy Thin Mints, No Bake Ice Cream Sandwich Cake, No Bake Reese’s Cheesecake, Kit-Kat Brownies, Gummy Bear Popsicles, Grilled S’mores Sandwiches, and Drunken Gummy Bears.

And that’s just 7 of the recipes that initially caught my eye. This book was become quite popular among our friends. I haven’t tried any of them but I plan on having a tasting party. This is a fun and easy cookbook.

I recommend this book. It’s fun just to look through. It looks semi-childish, but has adult-geared recipes.

© Cori Large 1-17-2016


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