28 Nov 2013

rhodia notebooks; substance over style

I'll be the first to confess that I used to be quite fickle when it came to notebooks but one notebook changed my opinion. The notebook in question is a Rhodia one I found in the sale at Paperchase.

Rhodia notebooks aren't ugly - they just appear a bit... masculine and macho. For some reason, black and orange are colours I associate with the male population. However, orange (on its own) is one of my favourite colours (hence why this Pantone notebook just had to be mine) and with these Rhodia notebooks at such a good price, it was one bargain I couldn't pass on.

The only ones in the sale were the black Rhodia A5 ruled hardback notebooks with the logo in orange.

The design isn't unexpected - it is a black notebook with the Rhodia name and logo in orange on the front. I like how it is quite minimalistic as it will lend itself well to being jazzed up a little.

I'm intending on washi-taping the spine to label the notebook.

As soon as I opened the notebook, I think I fell in love. The paper is a lovely bright white with a purpley grey rule and when you stroke the paper, it is so smooth. If I had to design my own notebook, I am pretty sure I would want the inside to look like this. The paper is quite similar to Oxford notepaper and that is definitely not a bad thing. At the back, it says that the paper is 80g in weight.

To end this blog post, I have done a pen test on the paper - after all, no notebook review could be complete without a pen test, right?!

Overall, I am very impressed with the paper quality, but with the Rhodia brand strongly associated with the Clairefontaine brand, I wouldn't expect anything less than a high quality notebook. And the not-so-pretty design? Not a problem - the spines will look lovely on my bookshelf once they are jazzed up!

I know there are a lot of Rhodia fans out there and I also know that I am very late to the Rhodia party but boy, am I glad I found these notebooks. Please note that I bought these notebooks earlier this year - I've only just started to use them; hence the delay in posting about them!

26 Nov 2013

my week round-up #47

Here was my week and here are the blogs taking part in this week's round-up:

{1} Life of Kitty
{2} My Purpley Life
{3} The Simple Life
{4} Miss Mai's Adventures
{5} She's Eclectic
{6} Star Gardener
{7} Sailor Mouth
{8} Innocent and Twisted
{9} The University Project
{10} Little Red Moose
{11} Addicted to Stationery
{12} My Organized Mayhem
{13} Filofax Is My World
{14} Break of Light
{15} Coffee and Stationery
{16} Miszapatosmetenruido
{17} Everything IB
{18} Rain by XOXO
{19} Lucy Wonderland
{20} Ginger Fox
{21} Askatla
{22} Cider With Sophie

Want to join in? Click the button below for more info :)

NB: Inclusion on my weekly round-ups do not mean that I endorse any of the products or services sold by readers in the list and I do not get commission from any sales that may be the result of a click-through.

24 Nov 2013

my week #84

This week, I had nothing timetabled for Wednesday but it didn't feel that way. Because Monday and Tuesday were full days and evenings, I had left all my work (due on Thursday) for the Wednesday and that made my 'day off' less enjoyable. However, exams are in three weeks so I would most probably have been revising anyway!

Catching Fire was released this week (if my planner isn't lying to me) and my friends and I are hoping to see it sometime soon. Because we don't get each week's timetable until the start of the week (Monday at 12pm), plans are often shuffled and re-shuffled until a better week crops up. 

How was your week?

21 Nov 2013

review: introducting Katie Leamon

If you've never heard of Katie Leamon - don't worry. By the end of this blog post, you'll hopefully have heard of them and seen some gorgeous bits and pieces they have to offer. 

Katie Leamon are a greeting card and stationery brand but what sets them apart from other brands offering these products is the fact that their stuff is very pretty and I'm sure will be appealing to many of you (especially if your tastes are anything like mine). 

Georgia, from Katie Leamon, kindly sent me a small selection of the products they have to offer and it came packaged like this:

The (very cute) striped string is a lovely touch and the included products look like they were designed especially for my tastes (they weren't - in case you were wondering ;) ).

First up, I thought I'd start with the greeting cards. I was sent two:


I definitely prefer the second 'You're lovely' card but that may be because I'm biased towards handwritten block letters. The quality of the printing on the front is very good and when you turn over and see the Katie Leamon stamp (no picture of this unfortunately), you can definitely tell that it is handprinted as it is slightly wonky on the first 'J'adore, amore, love' card.

Next up are the gift tags. They also feature the striped string but instead of being red and white, they have burgundy/brown and white stripes.

The tags are ten centimetres in height and 4.9cm wide. The prints are appealing too and when you turn them over...

They have a 'to' and 'from' section. The tags are made of thick card (the website says they are made from 350gsm ivory card).

Finally, a notepad:

Due to its size, this notepad is designed more to sit on a desk at home than something you would slip in your handbag and take out with you on a daily basis. It measures 22.7cm in height and 10.1cm in width. There are 100 pages in this notepad and the paper is ridiculously thick for a notepad (120gsm!).

With regards to the design of the notepad, I love the pink and white/cream stripes and also the design of the 'notes' section at the top. This is definitely one product that I think looks too pretty to use!

Overall, the products are high quality and are definitely geared more towards the female market. They would be great for personal use and would also make great gifts (stocking fillers, anyone?). Another thing is that the products have a premium appeal to them but they don't come with a premium price tag and are actually very reasonably priced.

Katie Leamon also offer notebooks but I can't comment on them as I've not seen one in person. From the greeting card, tags and notepad points of view, the products are unique and would make a lovely gift for someone who is into pretty stationery and things that have a tinge of vintage about them.

Thank you again to Georgia and Katie Leamon for sending me these products to review. This is one brand I will be hunting down in London as there are another few bits and pieces I want to purchase from the range.

NB: Although these products were supplied as samples, it has not affected my opinion in any way. Also, I don't receive commission from any links from this blog post.

19 Nov 2013

my week round-up #46

Here was my week and here are the blogs taking part in this week's round-up:

{1} The University FF Project
{2} Little Red Moose
{3} My Organized Mayhem
{4} Hop Skip Jump
{5} Filofax Is My World
{6} Making Life Beautiful
{7} Coffee and Stationery
{8} Amy's World
{9} Roses in December
{10} Miss Mai's Adventures
{11} Life of Kitty
{12} Just A Girl Atlanta
{13} Askatla
{14} Addicted to Stationery
{15} Cider With Sophie
{16} Sailor Mouth
{17} Star Gardener
{18} Lucy Wonderland
{19} Innocent + Twisted
{20} She's Eclectic
{21} Ginger Fox

Want to join in? Click the button below for more info :)

NB: Inclusion on my weekly round-ups do not mean that I endorse any of the products or services sold by readers in the list and I do not get commission from any sales that may be the result of a click-through.

17 Nov 2013

my week #83

This week, we got our mock exam results and considering I had done no revision for it (as it was a mock and because I didn't want to waste time revising the wrong things as we weren't told what the questions would be like), I was very happy with my results. Hopefully, I can do better in the real thing after some revision!

At the end of the week, I developed a massive cold (again!) which is really annoying. I'm rarely ill and if I am, it's usually only one cold per winter season! However, it has appeared to have cleared up now - probably thanks to the flu jab I had last month.

Here was my week:

How was your week?

14 Nov 2013

revising my lecture notes

So, I know that not everyone is a fan of washi tape but I'm going to try and illustrate how useful washi tape has been for my revision notes.

On my course, we basically do a clinical case each week. The case can be something as simple as hearing loss to something more meaty such as puberty disorders. At the end of each week, we are given an 'official' list of learning objectives that the tutorials, lectures, anatomy sessions, clinical skills sessions and communication skills sessions should have covered. When I get this list, I try and go through it while writing out my revision notes to ensure that each learning objective is covered.

With so much to learn and so little time to make these notes, I could have made them quick and messy... but instead (and being the perfectionist that I am), there was no way I was going to let that happen and my notes have ended up looking like this instead:

I use thicker washi tape (10mm) for the titles and then the thinner 5mm washi tapes for the subtitles. There is no colour coding and I usually just pick whichever colour takes my fancy at that moment in time. In addition to this, I also use a lot of colour in the form of my Muji gel pens.

I try and make the notes as condensed as possible and to do this, I abbreviate things, write in note-form rather than in proper sentences and use tables or pictures whenever I can.

However, the notes can get a little messy as I go back to them and add in some annotations... This is especially true for my anatomy notes. Quite often, I will make the revision notes and then find out something new in the dissection room during the anatomy sessions. This will result in me returning to my notes and adding in new things!

For my anatomy notes, I cheat a little and tend to print out images as there is no way I will be able to draw a pelvis (as above) and make it look as good as those pictures!

Overall, my tips for good revision notes would be:

- keep it as condensed as possible and write in 'note-form';
- use pictures and COLOUR whenever you can!;
- if you make them look a bit nicer, you'll find yourself 'enjoying' revision a little bit more.

I've actually ended up being quite proud of my revision notes and I have had a lot of compliments about them from fellow students and also lecturers and teaching staff!

12 Nov 2013

my week round-up #45

Here was my week and here are the blogs taking part in this week's round-up:

{1} Little Red Moose
{2} Hop Skip Jump
{3} Fi-Lily, Fi-Lo
{4} Ginger Fox
{5} My Organized Mayhem
{6} Lucy Wonderland
{7} Addicted to Stationery
{8} Filofax Is My World
{9} The Simple Life
{10} Star Gardener
{11} She's Eclectic
{12} Miss Mai's Adventures
{13} Sailor Mouth
{14} Innocent and Twisted
{15} Everything IB
{16} Coffee and Stationery
{17} Amy's World
{18} My Purpley Life
{19} Life of Kitty

Want to join in? Click the button below for more info :)

NB: Inclusion on my weekly round-ups do not mean that I endorse any of the products or services sold by readers in the list and I do not get commission from any sales that may be the result of a click-through.

10 Nov 2013

my week #82

This week, I finally got to celebrate my birthday with some friends from medschool, my previous uni and also my sister. It was nice to chill out in a casual environment and just have a laugh and joke about things. We went to Burger and Lobster in Soho (London) and it was amazing! Considering the price of dinner and the amount of food we got, I was very impressed and my belly was very happy. 

Also, it finally sank in that two of my exams are in five weeks' now; signalling that I should make a start with regards to revision. And that is exactly what I will be doing from today onwards!

How has your week been?

7 Nov 2013

how I set up my binder for university and why

My bag gets ridiculously heavy even on the best of days so I decided to move into a Filofax Compact Metropol at the start of term. My Smythson is currently sat on my shelf holding my 2014 inserts but unfortunately, I don't see myself going back to it anytime soon. 

Here is a tour of the Compact Metropol and why it is set up the way it is.

The first page is a quotes page that I found on Google images. On the left and in the card slots are some A6 notepages from Ruby and my Oyster card.

After this quotes page is a page where I've noted down the bus times. I commute to university from home (it's only about an hour on the bus at the most) and it's handy to know when the buses are as there are only four buses an hour.

The month planning pages follow this but I'm not finding them particularly useful if I'm honest. I've not really used them since the start of term and I'm considering foregoing them for 2014.

Here is evidence of a barely used October:

I have slotted in a flyleaf where I've put in a few strips of washi tape:

And onto the meat of the planner - the diary pages. I find that WO2P are actually working okay for me now that the term has calmed down and no longer subjected to countless 'Introductory' sessions. The planning space for to-dos is limited but as long as I am wise with that, it's fine.

As my course is a 'problem-based' one, I have a separate notebook for the problem-based-learning tutorials and then use a separate post-it note to write to-dos for those tutorials. The post-it note is stuck on the current page I am on in my notebook and I am finding that this works pretty well.

Another quote (again, from Google images):

And then a section for my to-do lists. I have gone through so many of these since the beginning of December!

And right at the back are a few sheets of notepages. This is where random bits of information are jotted down. In the next picture, I wrote down the netball fixtures for this season - but I've pixelated it out for safety reasons as I don't want everyone knowing who I'll be playing, where, what time, etc.

Overall, I've found that the Metropol is working pretty well for me. The rings are smaller and I'm not finding this too much of an issue; and with the organiser being made of PU, it is far lighter than my other leather binders. I also love the colour of it as it definitely brightens up my day when I see it!

I hope you've enjoyed this 'mini' tour into my binder and I hope I've explained (well enough!) about how it is working for me :-)

5 Nov 2013

my week round-up #44

Here was my week and here are the blogs taking part in this week's round-up:

{1} The Simple Life
{2} Even Artichokes Have Hearts
{3} Leesh
{4} Star Gardener
{5} Lucy Wonderland
{6} The University Project
{7} Little Red Moose
{8} Student Spyglass
{9} Fi-Lily Fi-Lo
{10} Hop Skip and Jump
{11} Amy's World
{12} Ginger Fox
{13} Miss Mai's Adventures
{14} Coffee and Stationery
{15} My Purpley Life
{16} Everything IB
{17} Sailor Mouth
{18} Star Gardener
{19} Addicted to Stationery
{20} Lucy Wonderland
{21} Making Life Beautiful
{22} She's Eclectic
{23} Life of Kitty

Want to join in? Click the button below for more info :)

NB: Inclusion on my weekly round-ups do not mean that I endorse any of the products or services sold by readers in the list and I do not get commission from any sales that may be the result of a click-through.

3 Nov 2013

my week #81

Thank you for the lovely comments last week (regarding my birthday) :) Sorry I've not replied to them - I've just been so busy with barely any time for myself, let alone replying to emails and the like. I only got around to doing some life admin yesterday!

Anyway, I had a mock exam this week but I think I was one of the few in my year who didn't revise for it (as my plan is to gauge what level to revise at for the real exams, rather than waste energy potentially revising the wrong things). I've been quite chilled out this week but you wouldn't know it from my timetable. 

Unfortunately, I think my weeks have been going downhill and I don't see them improving dramatically so you'll be subjected to a diary that is used by someone who has (almost) no time to relax!

How has your week been?

1 Nov 2013

october review

This month, I went through an extraordinary amount of paper and ink. Here are my essentials to explain why:

Avery tabs, Muji gel pens, Staedtler Lumocolor permanent pen, Zebra Bepens and washi tape.
The Avery tabs were useful for dividing each week into separate sections and they have also come in useful for bookmarking pages in various textbooks. The pens and washi tape are super useful for when I write out my notes that will be used for revision. One of the pens shown is the Zebra Bepen 05 and it isn't a pen you can get here in the UK (as far as I know). My mum bought a few when she was last in Hong Kong and I really like how it writes.

The next picture shows my written out notes and you can see how I've used the pens and washi tape shown in the previous picture.

Another thing that I found useful for studying was the Medscape application on my phone. It has been invaluable for looking up various conditions and just generally browsing when bored on public transport.

Finally, I made flashcards for each clinical examination as we went along and due to their portability, I look at them when I can and then run through them in my head. They also come in handy for when I actually practice them on a friend as I can look at them after doing the exam and then see what I missed out/didn't do as well, etc.

My life has become all about studying and due to the amount of pens I end up going through each month, you might well be seeing all kinds of pens and stationery in the next few months!