Favorite Things

It’s the 250th blog entry on The Great Big Jump! This means I get to share with you some of my favorite things!

Call it a midlife crisis, but my favorite things of the moment are the ones that I would have indulged in decades ago when I was still young and fresh. Here’s a sampling of those:

Collecting office supplies and stationery. Just when I thought I was only going to use up the old notebooks that I never got around to filling up, I started picking up cheap but cute notebooks from the stationery shops here in Los Banos. Couple that with the orphaned colored pens that I had left over from my graduate studies (RIP my Faber Castell gel pens) and a sudden urge to schedule and organize everything with Post-Its, and I’m one step away from being a straight-up office supply hoarder. Now, if only I could wait for the 2018 planners to come out…

Bullet journal videos. Speaking of planners: Yes, BuJos intimidate me, which is why I stay away from the videos with the fancy layouts and gorgeous lettering. (Also, Leuchtturm notebooks are hella expensive.) That’s why I love watching the ones with simple DIY layouts, since they’re more relaxed and fit more into the spirit of the BuJo. That said, it still might not be enough for me to consider the system, since most of my activities can fit into regular planners. I don’t know, though–check with me after a few months?

– Google Calendars. I don’t use it to schedule everything–right now I use it to keep track of our family investments–but I like how it syncs to my iPhone so that I can have a record of the dates when said investments are supposed to produce interest income. It’s another way for me to say, “Time to go to the bank!”

– The Steal Like an Artist Journal, by Austin Kleon. I’m a fan of the original Steal Like an Artist book, but when I first opened the pages I thought it was a little too gimmicky, a little too artsy. Then I started playing around with the blank pages and the creative activities, and pretty soon I was doing an exercise every night. Still kind of gimmicky, but at least it’s less painful for me than actual journaling.

My Chuck Taylor All-Stars. I’d been seeing girls wearing sneakers with long skirts around town, so I thought I’d jump into the trend myself. The new Chucks are so much more comfortable than the original ones (thanks to a more structured insole) which means that I could wear them practically anywhere. Though I do like them with skirts for church, I also like to wear them with pants whenever we go to Manila for our occasional trip–comfortable enough for walking through malls and supermarkets while still looking classic and stylish.

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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