Monthly Archives

November 2016

TPJ Craftie Pick for November: Empress Rome Dela Cruz

November 30, 2016

TPJ Craftie Pick is an avenue for The Paper Junkie to feature fellow planner/journal girls and let readers get to know them better through answering a couple of questions!

This month’s Craftie Pick is one of the first few planner girls I’ve followed during my noob times in the planning community. I have also brought a kit from her last February and I even wrote about it here: TPJ Reviews: Planner Lookbook Kit. I’m pretty sure a lot of people know her already. She’s @empressrome across all her social media handle and no, that’s not just a pseudo-name. It’s her real name!

Get to know Rome more in this month’s edition of TPJ Craftie Pick!

  1. Hi Rome! Tell us a few things about yourself.
    • Hey there! I’m Rome a cray-cray mom to Brielle and a weirdo wife to Pao. I go by the handle @empressrome all across my social media accounts. I’m a moon child who’s very into flowers, hearts and everything pretty (to my eyes – LOL). I love crafting, doing DIYs, and upcycle old stuff since elementary (though I didn’t know that I was already crafting, all I know was I enjoy making them). β™₯
  2. What made you decide to pursue creative planning?
    • I decided to get into creative planning simply to infuse my love of crafting with planning.
  1. What are the benefits of it to you so far?
    • It definitely helped me get my schedule organized and see how are things going: in terms of the mom and wife duties, home, small business, and everything in between but on top of that, it gives me a time off to destress, relax and hone the itsy bitsy creativity in me.
    1. Who are your #plannerspirations?
      • I have several planner girls that I stalk on Instagram and you tube and my top faves are:
        • Belinda Selene – I have always been her fan! Watching her videos made me purchase a Mambi Happy Planner which (of course) I didn’t regret on buying.
        • Jessica of MrsMomNextDoor and Kiara @PaperPrincess; I love their planner set ups!
        • LoveCynthia- a Filipina based in Paris. I have always been her fan prior the creation of the happy girls and I miss her commissioned works posts. I love how she creatively take photos in her Instagram feed.
        • And last but never the least, fellow Filipina planner girl, Belle Fenix @the_craftroom_project her spreads, crafts and planner set- ups are all so inspiring; It’s like a ‘one-stop hub’ if you want to get yourself inspired with your planner.
    1. How many planners/journals do you currently have? (If more than one, please specify what each planner/journal is for and explain how you manage to keep up with it.)
      • I have very few planners that I try my best to switch to every month; but what I normally use regularly are:
        • one Personal/Medium-sized planner for my over-all planning; expense tracker, chores, and the like
        • undated Mambi Happy Planner- Overview of my day’s to- do’s aaaand lastly,
        • hardbound NBS notebook that I have for years now which me and hubby fondly call ‘the book of ideas’ Bwahahahaha! 
      • But here’s a few of the planners I own:
        • Kate Spade Pink Bonnet
        • Kate Spade Mikas in Cliff Grey
        • Kate Spade Wellesley in Ballet Slip (still in transit–lol lol lol)
        • Kate Spade Wellesley in Black
        • Kate Spade Wellesley in Cabaret Pink
        • Kikki k Medium Mint Perforated Planner
        • Kikki k Limited Edition Medium Gold Planner
        • Webster pages Color Crush in Blush – current planner in use
        • DIY Mambi Happy Planner –  current day one page planner
        • Undated Mambi Happy Planner
        • NBS hardbound notebook a.k.a book of ideas (lol)
    2. How would you define your style in designing your weekly spreads/planner/journal?
      • Decorating my planner spreads/planner set-up is dependent on two things: my mood and available items on my stash thus my style is “anything goes”. I use decorative stickers on a minimal when there’s a handful to write and decorate my heart out when there’s not much to write on. Also, I am still in search of my “signature” designing style like when you see the spread, you’d know it’s Rome’s but uh-uh! Don’t have that just yet or maybe will never have. LOL.
    1. Top 3: What are your top 3 planner essentials?
      • I can’t start planning without stickers, washi tapes, and frixion pen/s. Once, I tried to jot on my MAMBI the things I need to accomplish in the next hours but would you believe that I just couldn’t write anything without a piece of sticker or washi tape on it. So, it took me another 30 minutes to one hour just to write the to-do’s. (I’m sure, only planner girls would understand.)
    2. Top 3: What are the top 3 items in your wishlist?
      • Kate Spade Stripe 
      • Webster’s Pages Traveler’s Notebook in Blush. I don’t have any TN hence I would like one. 
      • More, more time to craft!

    1. For you, what is planner peace? 
      • Planner peace is a long term process that is somewhat hard to obtain for most planner girls especially that our needs constantly change; but for me planner peace is not just finding the right planner per se but the right system that you may find yourself more productive. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a notebook with bullet format or TN with hyperdex or ring binder with decorations. As long as you feel happy and you see yourself more productive then you probably have found your planner peace.

    2. If there’s one planner stuff you can’t live without, what would it be?
      • I could’t live my planner life without stickers. Stickers then (in highschool), stickers now.  Stickers forever. β™₯
    I hope you had fun reading Rome’s answers!
    Disclaimer: Planner photos are not mine. They were submitted to me by Rome for posting purposes. I edited the banner image. 

    TPJ Reviews: CNS Designs’ 2017 Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

    November 29, 2016
    Hi everyone! We’re basically a month and a few days from 2017. Phew, boy, did 2016 went by so fast! And with every coming year comes the fervent desire to have everything planned out and figured out. Am I right or am I right? LOL. One of the planners that really caught my attention is CNS Designs’ 2017 Design Your Life (DYL) Back to Basics Planner. I wanted to share to everyone what’s in store for them once they decide to jump into the planner and DYL bandwagon!


    The 2017 DYL Back to Basics Planner is a 12-month weekly planner and measures 7.75 x 8.5 inches with binding. It also comes in a bigger size than it was before which means more writing space and has 180 full-colored pages with thick book paper so there’s no problem about the ink of your pens blotting on the pages. I also fell in love with the gold protective corners to prevent the corners of your planner from being damaged. The DYL Back to Basics Planner starts on December 26, 2016.

    No Tear Double-Sided Pocket

    I love that the pockets are back to back. It means more space for all my bills, receipts, notes, and other important papers I need to slide in my planner. I can also keep the stickers I want to use for my spreads and some sticky notes here. Although I love its clean, white look, I would love to personalize the pockets more! I’ll probably post about that soon.

    Super Cute and Unique Stickers

    Stickers are a vital part of my planning process. I believe that they don’t only add creativity and beauty to planner spreads, but they also help out in inducing productivity. There’s also a Christmas gift card just in case you have plans of giving this as a gift to someone! A nice thank you note from the people behind CNS Designs is included and oooh, I love the motivational bookmark that also doubles as a handy ruler!

    About Me

    I believe “About Me” or Personal Information pages are really important for planners just in case you leave it somewhere. We all hope for that someone who’s kind enough to return it to you. My planners are my life, well, basically, they contain EVERYTHING that’s going on in my life so it’s really important to have all the contact details, personal or emergency, in the front page of your planner!

    Contacts + Manual 

    There’s a page allotted for you to write important contact information or you can write down the information of your favorite online shops for you to always be able to find it immediately. The right page is a space for you to plan out and create your own system for the coming year. You can write down keys or codes, color schemes, and what-nots that you’ll be using in your planner spread for 2017 to make it a more personalized experience.

    Calendar Overview

    As per usual planners, we have the full 2016 and 2018 calendar. This gives us more ease in trying to remember important day and dates for the past and next year. I also love the 2017 full-page events. It’s a space to jot down important dates and events so you can have an overview of how your year’s going to be.

    Last Times + Monthlies

    Always stay updated on when you did something for the Last Time. A visit to the doctor and dentist, perhaps? You can also keep track of your monthly recurring activities, due dates, and appointments in the Monthlies page.

    Monthly View

    I’m the kind of person who really appreciates wide spaces because I really write a lot. This gives me the chance to have a glance at what’s going to happen for the month and prolly doodle on it. You can set one major Monthly Goal and have a quick overview of all your Pending to-dos from the next month that will be transferred to the current month. There’s also a space beside the month for you to possibly write a mantra or quote you want to inspire you for the month. Jot down all the Noteworthy things that happened to you during each month!

    Weekly View

    Vertical spreads started to become my thing ever since I tried it out in the Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) Happy Planner. I’m glad that there’s a local planner brand now with the same system. It has a wider space now for you to write down all the things you need to do and remember. There’s a weekly inspiring quote, a space for you to write down your Power Word, Week Goal, and Major to Do list for the week. Like the monthly page, it also has a space for you to write down all the Noteworthy events that transpired throughout the week. You can also track your water intake through the glass icons situated in each day.

    Expense Tracker

    Whether you agree to it or not, tracking your own expenses is really helpful especially if you’re trying to save up for something. The DYL Back to Basics Planner gives you the chance and space to track your monthly expenses and incorporate it to your end of the year Cash Flow spread.

    2018 Planner

    You can already start taking down notes of the important dates for the next year with the 2018 Planner pages at the last part of the planner. This way, you can pre-plan events and just migrate them next year.

    Cash Flow

    Project Keeper

    Having taken Project Management for a semester in college and having it applied to work, I realized that not only is it vital to Information Technology but also to my own life as well. It may sound funny for some but there’s a big difference in proceeding to do something without tracking its progress and actually knowing how far you’ve come in that certain project.

    Sleep Tracker + Travel Checklist

    Having tracked my sleep for the past months, I believe this is really vital so that you can know how many hours you’ve slept and make up for lost sleep during the weekend. Hey, sleep and rest is really important for a person’s health!
    There’s also a Travel Checklist page for you to write down your constant musts when you travel.

    Travel Planners

    There are Travel Planners for at least three trips you might take this 2017. Just in case you have more than that, you can prolly just copy the format of it and stick it in your planner or maybe use the Notes pages for it? Entirely up to you! πŸ™‚


    Doodle on it, write down poems, scribble songs, or treat as your brain dump – anything goes for the wide pages of notes at the end of the planner.
    Here’s a quick review and overview of the 2017 DYL Back to Basics Planner I uploaded on my vlog! Hope you enjoyed this review! 
    The 2017 Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner is currently available for order on their website and it’s worth P595. You can also order from the United States! You might also want to check out more of CNS Designs’ products: Design Your Life 2017 Planner, Design Your Life: Limitless Planner, Planner Accessories, and Stickers
    P.S. Tell CNS Designs I referred you: once you decide to get this planner because of this review, alright? πŸ˜‰

    CNS Designs

    Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. CNS Designs sent me a Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner for review. All thoughts and opinion are completely mine.

    TPJ Shop Feature: Bits to Pieces

    November 11, 2016

    TPJ Shop Feature is a monthly blog series wherein I showcase random shops where you can buy stuff for your planner needs!

    For the month of November, our featured shop is a Filipina-owned and made brand that has also sparked the attention of planner girls from all around the globe. Her very detailed and intricate works and sneak peeks always have me gushing and squealing inside because of awe. I’m pretty sure most of the planner girls in the Philippine planning community feel the same way too! The spotlight is on Bits to Pieces!

    Bits to Pieces, owned by Kay Fanlo, simply coined from her shop’s slogan, “From Bits of clay to memorable Pieces“, started back in 2011. Although I’m quite sure that a lot of us already know it, I want to dwell more on Kay’s story.

    Kay relays, “I have been in love with arts and crafts since I was a child. I grew up surrounded with relatives who are very crafty. My mom is a dressmaker and my dad being a DIY expert sparked my interest and love for arts and crafts. I was brought up without any new toys to play with so as a child I played with what was available at hand (my dad’s tools and my mom’s materials – buttons, beads, retaso/excess cloth). This taught me how to be creative and resourceful. I remembered feeling so excited when my mom would allow me to go with her to fabric shops for some fabrics,ribbons, laces, buttons and beads.

    A photo posted by Kay (@bitstopieces) on

    She even mentioned that when her mom made wedding gowns, her mom would ask her and her sister to put beads on the gown and pay them P500 ($10.32) for the work. I must say that creativity really ran in the family! When Kay was in college and she started earning from her own crafted beaded accessories like butterfly, dragonfly and spider necklaces, some of her crafts were displayed for consignment at a souvenir shop in Eden Nature Park. She continued making those beaded accessories till she graduated from college and had her first job as a customer service representative where she also enjoyed selling beaded accessories to her officemates. Her crafts even reached Cebu because she was transferred to another branch and worked there for almost five years.

    A photo posted by Kay (@bitstopieces) on

    Kay also had the opportunity to sell her accessories to some souvenir shops in Bohol like the Bohol Bee Farm Resort when she and her husband went there for a vacation. When they went back to Davao in December 2010, she told her husband that she would like to take a rest and have a good a break before looking for another job. While enjoying her break, Kay searched for things that would make her time more worthwhile.

    A photo posted by Kay (@bitstopieces) on

    Would you believe she initially searched for the keyword “pottery” on the internet? She had this dream of making her own pots but unfortunately she was not able to look for some resources available in Davao, then she bumped into polymer clays. She discovered that with this material, she could make whatever bead color, style, and charms she wanted using it. So out with the usual selection of seed beads and semi-precious stones from the bead stores, and in with clay! At first it was just a hobby and the love over art and crafts until friends expressed their interest in buying. This is when her brand Bits to Pieces was created last 2011. All the orders kept coming in just by word of mouth and through her Facebook and Instagram account. She then made souvenirs for every occasions and different kind of charms.

    Kay also said,  “I love what I do. It’s my passion. It feels like I’m not working at all. The best part of it is being able to spend quality time with my kids at home.” She values quality and customer satisfaction the most. It always gives her joy whenever a customer compliments her work and how her craft made their day more special.

    And look at these awesome charms and clips! This angel and Kikki.K Pause charms are perfect for my Kikki.K Pause Planner! I specially love the intricacy of the details though they be but little. Etsy listing of Angel Charm here and the Kikki.K Pause Planner here.

    Angel Charm

    Kikki.K Pause Planner Charm

    I have a thing for moons, honestly and I love color of this clip in person! One clip set consists of one big paper clip moon and two mini paper clip stars while one charm consists of one moon main charm, two stars mini charms. Etsy listing of Moon and Stars set here.

    Moon and Stars Set

    Since I’m starting to fall in love with watercolor, I think this next set is just a perfect reminder for me to practice more! Palette and paint clip set includes one big palette clip and one small tube clip. Etsy listing here.

    Palette and Watercolor Set

    And last but not the least, my favorite, favorite fox. I really squealed in delight when I saw this! It’s really cuter in prettier in person! This was previously part of the Fall Set clip!


    I can say, upon seeing these items in person, I really am fortunate enough to feature such a creative lady who has a deep love for crafts such as Miss Kay of Bits to Pieces. No wonder a lot of Filipina planner girls are going gaga over her products: they really are beyond beautiful!

    You’ll also be happy to know that Bits to Pieces ships worldwide! I’m pretty sure every planner girl would want dibs on these lovely clips and charms!

    Bits to Pieces

    Want to be featured next? Feel free to send me an e-mail: and let’s talk about it! πŸ™‚

    Disclaimer: Bits to Pieces sent charms and clips for review and this feature. All thoughts and opinion are completely mine.

    TPJ Reviews: FILED Keepsake Planner

    November 7, 2016
    We’re nearing the end of 2017 and that means scouring for new planners, right? Well, let’s save you some time! If you’re looking for a change in planning style and want to write more this coming year, then I believe that the FILED! Keepsake Planner is for you!
    I pre-ordered mine last September 30 and got it last month, October 26 (two days after my birthday, hooray!) and I was really controlling myself whether or not to open it up (I actually opened it up the next day because I was too tired when I got home that day). Let’s go ahead and discover what it has to offer, shall we?

    Keepsake Planner Sleeve

    This was what made me really decide to pre-order the Keepsake planner: limited edition planner sleeve! It’s made of crosshatched leatherette with golden corner clips, gold foil stamping, interior sleeves, and a pen loop. I love that it comes in the shade of my favorite color plus all that gold makes me want to admire it more! I’m not quite sure if they will still be making more of this but as of writing, it isn’t available when you order through their website anymore.


    I really love the dainty back-to-back cover so I wanted to show both sides of it. The Keepsake Planner is an undated, journal-type planner so you can use it anytime of the year. You can even start using it once you buy it but I prefer to use it for next year. It’s perfect for journal lovers like me and those who prefer to write their thoughts instead of just jotting down to-do lists.

    Custom Name

    I have a huuuge thing for personalized stuff. I’m so glad there was an option for the planner to have my name on it so I said yes. If you order online, you can also have your planners customized with your name by @oatsdiy for an additional P100.

    Year at a glance

    Three calendars can be seen: 2017, 2018, and 2019, and also the Dates or Holidays to remember for the next year. I find this really helpful in planning out vacations and the rest of the year. You can also plan ahead for the next two years, just in case.

    Bucket List

    This year’s half of the bucket list was filled out by Filed with suggestions for what to include in your list. Don’t like the other suggestions? You can cover it correction tape and write over it instead. But me? I’m going to just let it be and be game for the challenge! I would definitely want to tick off “Travel solo” this 2017!

    Monthly Inspirational Artworks

    I only took four out of the twelve monthly inspirational artworks illustrated by Drew Europeo of @calligrafikas so as not to spoil everyone and just see the rest for yourself. My favorite page is the first quote because it really encapsulates what I want to do when 2017 comes, “Let go of regrets and start over.”

    Spacious monthly spread

    Plans or doodles? Whatever you want, you can do it with this spacious monthly spread! I love that each box is wide enough for possible dates to remember or if you just want to doodle each day.

    Spacious dotted weekly spread

    I’ve said this in our Bullet Journaling (BuJo) group once and I’ll say it again here: these dotted weekly pages are really perfect for BuJo! So if anyone of you would like to try out BuJo this 2017 and still can’t seem to find the “perfect notebook” yet, well I suggest you buy the Keepsake planner if you’re not the type of person who wants to design a different spread for each week. 

    Monthly “I’m currently” page

    I’ve seen this trend in a lot of blogs both locally and globally, except their posts were on a weekly basis but for the Keepsake planner, it gives you the chance to get a hold of what’s currently happening in your month. This is a good activity to keep your mind productive instead of wasting away time aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (even I am guilty of that lol).

    Year-end Review

    This is something I really do every end of the year so I’m glad the Keepsake planner has this feature. It gives you the chance to evaluate what happened the entire year. Did you meet your goals? Did you accomplish all the things in your bucket list? What did you realize for this year? Any lessons learned? You know, that sort of thing. I really love picking my mind and writing down all those lessons learned and realizations I can carry with me for the next year.

    Year-end best moments and 2018 year map

    Print out the photos of your best moments or if you’re really artsy, you can draw it! Immortalize 2017’s best moments, write down captions, and think of a perfect quote to sum up your whole year! This would be a really nice thing to look back to in the coming years.
    Feeling more than motivated? You can even start mapping out the next year! Jot down some important things, major events, or even small monthly goals you would like to accomplish for the next year!

    Well there you have it! I’ve decided that this planner will be a documentation of some sort as I attempt to do daily “artsy” journaling. I must say that I’m really happy about this planner. By its features alone, I’m pretty sure it will play a major role in achieving my own #GoldenGoal (goals, even!) for the next year! Oh, and btw, I recorded a quick overview of the Keepsake planner. Enjoy!

    A video posted by Rej The Paper Junkie πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­ (@thepaperjunkie) on

    The FILED! Keepsake is currently available on their website for online orders and Fully Booked! It’s worth P545 both online and in bookstores. 


    Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I pre-ordered the FILED! Keepsake Planner last month. All thoughts and opinion are completely mine.