[I’ve Got 5 On It] Dandy Tools to Draw and Doodle

If there’s one thing I’ve had a lot of recently – it’s downtime; me time; well, every now and again, the downtime comes with moments of anxiety – others, it turns into a few moments of existential freakout time, but for the most part – these last few months have been exceptional for my mental health, for grounding myself, and for my hobbies.

When I was a wee little one, which at 6’0″ might be hard now for some to imagine, my absolute favorite store trips weren’t to Toys’R’Us or the Disney Store, they weren’t to FAO Schwartz or Macy’s; they were to a little homegrown shops in the Bay Area, Kepler’s Books and McWhorter’s Stationary, both of which I lament are now closed, but both were full of whimsical worlds of wonder to me.

Best Notebook:

Paperage Blank Notebook – Hard Cover – Medium – Thick Paper: $9.95

When it comes to writing and sketching notebook’s, admittedly I’m a little picky. When you’re obsessed with using bright, vivid colors – you also end up suffering from color bleeding from page to page, often times ruining a piece of work that you would have preferred to preserve. Enter the fantastic hard cover journal from the esteemed company Paperage. Whether you want a lined, blank or dotted journal – they come in oodles of sizes and colors, each with the same high quality paper. I got one to turn into a ‘bread making journal’, and I love the size and feel of the notebook, and how the paper is silky smooth to the touch.

Best Organizer

Passion Planner – Weekly Annual Planner – $35

Raise your hand if you felt a bit dumb for getting a planner in 2020! Okay, let me amend that statement – because I actually got two planners. I wanted to dabble around and see what was good and new with planners, and deviated from my norm to the Law of Attraction planner but soon remembered why I had stuck with the Passion Planner as long as I have.

For starters: the ease of kicking it off, the sleek and sexy design, ways to build out goals, whether you want it dated or undated, Sunday or Monday start; the Passion Planner is simply the best planner around and I can’t imagine straying from it again.

Best Writing Pens

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens Medium Point, Assorted Colors – $9.99

Now that we have your journals all lined up and ready to go, it’s time to discuss something a little closer to my heart – PENS. You might think I’m a bit nuts, and you might be right – but there’s something so soothing, so relaxing, about finding pens that glide like an ice skater over your pages, without leaking through or smudging as you go.

I stumbled across these Paper Mate Ink Joy pens when I was back in school at the beginning of the year, and was beyond thrilled at the rainbow array of colors; it made taking notes not only easy – but incredibly fun!

Best Highlighters

Zebra Pen Mildliner – Double Ended Highlighter – 15 Pack: $15.99

When it comes to highlighters, there are some colors that always feel more bold than necessary – in a sense, almost drowning out the monochrome text behind it with a dazzling, technicolor display dripping in neon ink. Vibrant and beautiful, yes; but often becoming hard to re-read, as well. Enter Zebra’s line of Mildliners – a one two punch, with either a fine end and a bold end, or super fine on one side with a brush tip on the other.

Be warned, these mildliners are highly addictive; you can ask my husband, and he’ll agree – getting one set of Zebra Mildliners is a gateway drug to more.

Most Fun to Doodle With

Pentel Arts Krazy Pop Iridescent Gel Pens: $9.27

Last, but not least – my favorite drawing supplies to just doodle with. I’ve gone back and forth on this, and finally have concluded that sometimes, you can’t pick just one – like me right now, deciding which pens I would take to a desert island if I could only take one brand. So, for the win we have Pentel’s line of fantastic sparkly pens.

Whether they’re the RSVP Krazy Pop, Sparkle Pop or Solar Pop pens, or their incredibly vivid Dual Metallic Hybrid stylings, I’ve always been a fan of the ergonomics of the RSVP pens and the boldness of their colors. Add to it some technicolor sparkle that shimmers in the sun, or on black paper, or acts chameleon-like and I’m SO DOWN.


When it comes to drawing and doodling, what are some of your go to supplies that are in your bag? Share your favorites in the comments below!

[Reading is Sexy] Wind a Whimsical Web Between Mathematics and Mysticism with Pickover’s ‘The Loom of God’

the man cave: The Mandelbrot Set & Fractals

“Mathematics is the loom upon which God weaves the fabric of the universe. The fact that reality can be described or approximated by simple mathematical expressions suggests to me that nature has mathematics at its core.”

― Clifford A. Pickover, The Loom Of God

With quarantine still pushing on, and Summer officially coming to a close without anyone getting a real vacation in – it’s important to me to at the very least, explore those things we can still explore. If we can’t adventure outwards, I firmly believe it’s our duty to venture inwards – with all physical and celestial frontiers conquered, to me this is the last sort of true exploration still out there; a sort of ‘manifest destiny’ of the mind, and a conquering of the ego and self as our final frontiers, if you will.

Growing up, I was all about a good detective story a la Lilian Jackson Braun; as I flowed out of high school and into myself, I started finding strength in characters in Danzy Senna’s coming of age tales, the seductive mysteries of Lauren Henderson, or a twisted dystopian view of reality from the likes of Jerry Stahl or Arthur Nersesian. Maybe it’s a symptom of age, or want of information – but now that I’m firmly in my thirties, I’ve noticed a mental shift – I ebb and flow towards books on science, mathematics, religion and philosophy, and haven’t picked up a work of fiction since powering through Richard K Morgan’s impressive Altered Carbon series. After finally making it through Livio’s impressive read on the ‘The Golden Ratio’, I got turned on to (and by) some of the quips that Livio proposed from Pickover.


The Loom of God: Tapestries of Mathematics and Mysticism: Pickover,  Clifford A.: 9781402764004: Amazon.com: Books

The Loom of God is part science fiction adventure as you traverse through the history of the world with your partner in curiosities Mr. Plex, part love story as Theano and last but certainly not least – part mathematical and mystical history of the world, and part philosophical conjecture. Throughout, Pickover’s passion for all topics is palpable and oozes through his writing style, as he poetically propels the reader on a journey befit with companions, pesky antagonists in the form of transfinites and a plethora of knowledge on the history of mathematics.

From Mandelbrot Fractals to Vampire Numbers, Logarthimic Spirals to Stonehenge, the history and philosphy of the multiple cultures, and a lovely marriage within the chapters between the science behind the fiction – this is a fantastic read, that’s difficult to put down and easy to digest.

The Edges of Nature | EcoTone: News and Views on Ecological Science

If this Pickover classic piques your interest, take the following books for a spin. Each weaves a unique, and beautifully explained web on the rich and diverse history and culture surrounding mathematics.

Whether you’re remotely into or completely enchanted by either Mathematics, Mysticism or the magical relationships between their two worlds – I couldn’t recommend this book enough. Find the book on Good Reads, snag yourself a copy from Amazon – or simply head down to your local libraries to see if they have a copy to get your mind into. Before I head on my next literary journey, if anyone has any fantastic pieces of fiction to share, please leave some recommendations in the comments below

The Loom of God: Good Reads | Amazon | Local Library

What are some examples of fractal patterns in nature? - Quora
Earth's Most Stunning Natural Fractal Patterns | WIRED
Fractals – Mathigon

[Reading is Sexy] Find Strength in Solitude with Thoreau’s Walden

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 10384105_10103741275590557_5249204759292188541_n.jpg
“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Thoreau

Admittedly, between moving four times across three different states in the last two years and starting up school again at the beginning of the year – I haven’t had much ‘downtime’ to read much. However, in light of recent events, I was finally able to finish Thoreau’s Walden, a book I started before my wedding, wayyyy back in 2017. Around America, 41 states have currently issued either a ‘Stay in Place’ or ‘Shelter in Place’ order – with another 4 deploying the order at a more local level. And we’re all trying to figure out how to adjust to this hopefully temporary new ‘normal’. Whether in comforting or in trying times, losing yourself in the lyricism of a fantastic book is always a novel idea; to be honest, with the current state of the Coronavirus pandemic in the world, I would even consider reading a necessary habit.

An exceptionally poignant read, I finished Walden with a snail’s pace that I’m sure Thoreau would respect, and feel like a better person for doing so; over and over, I have been humbled by the bits of knowledge that it doled out onto me. It’s a dense read, and by that I mean that each sentence is a meal worth truly digesting before moving onto the next – and after every paragraph, you were still left hungry.

Thoreau’s seminal work of Transcendental philosophy, Walden delves into living simply and solitarily, all the while finding personal resolve and strength. As Thoreau chronicles his life at Walden Pond, we’re brought in for an intimate journey of self reliance and societal retrospection on a newly industrialized world. Written originally in 1854, Walden gives a timeless analysis that’s just as important today as it was back then.

What book has helped you in a time of solitude or self-reliance?
Let me know in the comments below!

Some of my favorite quotes from Walden:

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” 

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” 

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.” 

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” 

“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” 

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple-tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer?” 

Buy Walden on Amazon | Discuss Walden on GoodReads