9.27.2016

BUJO 101: COLOR CODING



Through my year of bullet journaling, I’ve learned one thing: It will always evolve. As you work your way through a bullet journal, you start to come up with your own systems that work for you. Some things will seem like a great idea, but fall flat later. For me, it was tracking every single thing you could think of so I could remember it. However, I wouldn’t remember to track the things I should remember. The one thing that did stick for me was color coding my life.  Not only did it help me remember things at a glance, but it made my bujo easier to navigate.

I color code in two separate ways in my book. The first and quickest way I color code items is with page flags. It helps me navigate my bujo easier than referencing the index for a certain page of notes. Looking at my reference guide (technically my key,) below, you can see I separate my pages into six categories.



Green is a yearly page, Hot pink is a monthly spread, and yellow is the start of a new week. With these in place, I can quickly reference a particular month without having to flip to my index. It also let’s me see where my weekly spreads begin since I don’t log those in my index.

I also mark my work notes in Orange. This makes it easier for me to quickly flip to last week’s notes from a meeting for reference as I tend to be the minute taker for our sessions and will have to flip back to various pages quickly. My personal notes are flagged in blue. These can range from blog ideas to the floorplan for my house, and I typically only flag personal notes that are referenced often. Lastly, I have shopping lists flagged in purple. I don’t really use this any more, as I’ve switched my shopping lists to post-it notes stuck to whatever day I’ll be doing the shopping. This way, I don’t have to tote the book into the shops, I can just grab the post-it and leave the book in my bag. Remember, I said things evolve.



Now going back to my Reference page, you’ll see that it sits conveniently beside my year at a glance. There’s a good reason for that. I color code life events as well. This code makes its way through all of my spreads, yearly, monthly, and weekly. It’s a quick reference, without having to write lengthy notes on a spread about an event that can just be saved for a daily page.

Pink is for a birthday, Hot pink is for a payment, Orange is for my vacation and paid time off, Yellow is for holidays, green is for a payday, blue is a special event, and purple is for an appointment.

This code first makes an appearance in my year at a glance. Typically, since I use my bujo for both work and personal lists, I can fit four months comfortably in a medium Leuchtturm 1917 journal with 249 pages. I set up my year in an altered version of Eddy Hope’s calendex. My main purpose is not to make notes, but to add in blocks of color as events come along. (I do have a follow up spread with actual notes of the event, like who’s birthday it is or what bill I’m paying, etc.)

My year at glance, lets me quickly note my monthly spreads as well. In the beginning, my code rested beside a monthly calendar as a quick reference for that month. However, as things have progressed, I’ve dropped the calendar. I just didn’t use it. So, I combined Ryder Carrol’s original monthly spread with my coded Calendex for easier reference this month. As you can see, the color code still is in full force.



Again, the color code appears on a weekly page as well. This happened when the column I used to track the water I was drinking became something I didn’t care about. Now, each weekly spread has the option of a quick note of color reminding me to reference my follow up yearly notes spread when planning my day.



LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT MY SYSTEM

There have been a few issues in using page flags in my bujo, however. Not necessarily with the system itself, but the actual page flags. In the beginning, I was using post-it page flags. While they worked perfectly fine for a while, two things started to happen. One, the adhesive started to wear off, and my flags would just drop off of a frequently referenced page. Sure, it could be fixed with a little cello-tape, but then the inevitable happened. The post-it flags were, of course, made of paper and after a month of my book being tossed into my work bag everyday I’d find that they began to rip and just look ragged.


I thought I had found my solution in some plastic page flags I found at Paper Source. Unfortunately, as you can see in the picture above, the color seems to be rubbing off on them. So it’s back to the drawing board once I’ve finished out this year. If you have any suggestions for page flags, by all means, leave me a comment below.

BREAKING UP ISN'T HARD TO DO.


Recently, my friend, James, asked me to help him get his first suit. He’s not really a suit kind of guy, and only needed it to attend a wedding. He wanted something he could wear to several events, and to job interviews here and there. “I’m trying to look like a responsible adult,” he said. Generally, my go to suggestion for your first suit is a cotton tweed three-piece suit. It works for both casual and more formal affairs, especially when it’s navy blue; so that’s what we went shopping for.

While we were shopping, he got a little nervous. “I don’t think I’ll wear this as much as I hope I will,” kept popping up as he went in and out of the dressing room, “But I’ll trust you.” The reason, I tell people to grab a more casual three-piece is for its versatility. Just utilizing the three pieces in their standard combinations gives you several different looks.

Wearing all three pieces together gives you a more polished look. Your vest (or waistcoat,) will nip you in a bit, giving you a more finessed appearance. Remove the jacket and just wear the pants and vest, and you’ve got something to wear to the office. Remove the vest and you’ve got your standard two-piece suit that can be worn to job interviews.

But what about guys like my friend? The jeans and tee-shirt kind of guy who just needs a little something extra? I didn’t want him to think these were the only ways he could don his new suit. I could just see him picturing this thing collecting dust in the back of his closet. I had to give him other options to play around with to make him see that, yes, he really could get some wear out this.

This is where the more casual cotton tweed suit comes into play. As a general rule of thumb, most men tend to say outside of the three basic modifications to a three-piece, that’s it. You can’t go any further. That’s true in the case of a worsted wool blend. That’s way to formal to break up. However, the suit we grabbed for my friend James is perfect for breaking up and pairing with some non-traditional items to give him quite a bit of freedom to play around with his style from weddings, to dates, to days around the office. Some of the ideas I came up with, I wanted to share with you. Here are six ways to break up that casual three-piece suit.



With the Prep, we’re utilizing the vest and pairing it with a pair of slim-cut chinos to continue the slimming effect that the vest provides. This look makes the vest more business casual, when paired with your typical pink button-down and, of course, a polka dot tie. (We all know I’m made about dots.) Complete the look with brown accessories, and these oxfords from H&M, and you’ve got a solid outfit for the office.


The Beatnik look is perfect for a gallery crawl around Charlotte. It mixes the standard blazer with even more casual pieces. For the Beatnik, you want to pull in your vintage coffeehouse references. The dark washed denim, (again, slim cut,) and pair them with the staple of the Beatnik society wardrobe, the Breton Stripe. Skip the motorcycle boots, and slip into a pair of tailored dress boots with a little edge to them. Throw on a scarf and you’re good to go.


We’re heading back to the office with the Optimist look. Pairing the suit slacks with a gingham shirt and vibrant sweater. It’s an update on a 1950’s standard. Think of it as Ward Cleaver meets Warhol. Keep it casual with a pair of simple leather chukka boots and understated belt. You can even throw on some tortoise shell frames to add to that good dad appeal. See you at the PTA conference, bring a sweater.


Military inspired looks have always been my favorite. Perhaps it’s my penchant for navy blue. This look keeps it on the dark side, pairing the slacks with gray and black. Top it off with your best peacoat and you’re looking quite dapper on the city streets.


The neo-dandy style always has a place in my heart and closet. I realize this look isn’t quite for everyone who may stumble upon this look, as I’ve recently been told my personal style is a little hard to relate to. The Dandy style mixes a bold floral in neutral colors with a bright pop around the neck via a go to bow tie. Pair it with the vest from your suit and these fantastic two tone wingtips and you’re on the way to being, at the very least, the most noticeable gent at the company’s engagement festivities.



Last, but not least, we have the Collegiate. This look features my color dujour  of the moment, rust. It’s an effortless pairing with the Navy Blue blazer and trim khaki chinos, and who couldn’t resist those loafers from Aldo? I have to admit, they’re already being shipped to my house as I type this.

And with that, good sirs, I have given you six different options, six different style personalities, all with one simple cotton tweed three-piece suit. Breaking up really that hard to do, especially when it comes to a suit.

Trying one of these looks yourself? Tag us on Instagram, with #TheHandsomeSavage. We’ll see you there!

9.21.2016

BRUNCH FOR TWO

I live for Sundays. These are the days I get to spend with my best friend, Lula, and I couldn’t think of a better way to start up a new week on a positive note. Sundays we brunch, we shop, and chat about the previous week. It’s when we go into detail about our co-workers stealing coffee creamer and packs of ketchup from the break room. It’s also our chance to show off something new we’ve learned.

Recently, at the Handsome House, I’ve been trying to expand my culinary repertoire beyond my go to recipes. I am many things, but an excellent cook isn’t one of them. I usually leave the cooking to Lula, being a trained chef and all, she’s the leader of the pack in that respect. I just make everything pretty. This time, however, I wanted to tackle both sides of the spectrum and present her with a stay at home brunch, my style: colorful, casual, and easy.


I don’t get home from work until after midnight on a Saturday, so this Brunch had to be quick and easy. After perusing a few charity cookbooks, I found Aileen’s Make Ahead Breakfast Bake, a relatively simple casserole with just five ingredients. It was quick and I could make it in advance after work and still allow me some time to sleep in just a bit before Lula got in. I also added in store bought cinnamon rolls for a touch of sweetness, and of course, the glue that holds every brunch together, Mimosas.

AILEEN'S MAKE AHEAD BREAKFAST BAKE

INGREDIENTS:
6 Eggs
2 Cups breakfast sausage (I used apple smoked breakfast links)
1.5 Cups Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (16oz) Can of biscuits
Half Cup of Milk
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Start by separating and cutting your biscuits into pieces. I found that using my pizza cutter made it easier.

Cook your sausage links as per the brand. Cut these into small pieces as well.

In a 3QT casserole dish, layer biscuits, sausage and cheese.

Beat together milk and eggs. Pour over your layered pieces and top with your remaining cheese.

Cover casserole and place in the fridge overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for thirty minutes, or until eggs are set.


As you'll see throughout this blog, I don't believe nice things have to be expensive. If you like it, buy it. Who cares if it only cost a dollar? I like mixing high and low end pieces along side vintage finds on my table. For this brunch, I really wanted to make the focal point my color scheme: Yellow, Blue, and Red. Primary colors are typically my go to choice for everything, brunch included.

The first layer on my table was a white tablecloth with a basket weave design I found lying around in my linen closet. I have no clue where I picked that up, however. To define each place, I threw down a mustard place mat from Target's Design Imports collection. Our striped dinner plates were also from Target. The cool thing about these plates from Cheeky is that each purchase gives a family in need something to eat as well. The salad plate is from the Pioneer woman. Both the succulent napkin ring and napkin were from World Market. (As a quick tip, always... Always buy your buffet napkins from World Market. There isn't a color they don't have.) The diamond tufted silverware was another find I can't quite remember where I purchased, but I felt it went with the tonal pattern of the tablecloth. Drink ware is easy. My champagne glasses for the Mimosas came straight from a dollar store, and the hobnail glasses came from a picnic set I purchased at Hobby Lobby earlier this summer.

As far as the centerpiece, it was a quick DIY. I threw a few faux flowers in a blank white vase from Todd Oldham's craft section at good old Target and plunked my owl butter dish from West Elm in front. To continue my pattern play on the table, I served the Make Ahead casserole in a vintage Pyrex dish.

Despite my oven dying halfway through the cinnamon rolls being finished, the brunch went over successfully. It was full of conversation, drinks, food, and best of all: a great time catching up with Lula. What more could I ask for?