Archive for August, 2012

Food gathering

Posted August 31, 2012 by
in Cabinet of Curiosities, Where to Go? | Add your comment »

One of my favorite things about vacationing in Westport are the opportunities it offers for water-based culinary adventures. We don’t fish on a line, but we do lots of shellfish gathering: steamer clams, quahog clams, oysters, and mussels. It’s so satisfying to base a meal on ingredients you’ve actually worked for! And work it often is: you go out at low tide, dig around in the muck or pry things off of rocks… oysters are actually the simplest, provided you know where to find them, since they sit on top of the riverbed near the shore and aren’t often attached too firmly.

Above is a picture my husband took with his phone of our steamer clam appetizer… holding the clam by its dark colored “neck,” you dip it in a bowl of warm water to get rid of any sand, then dunk it in butter and pop it in your mouth. The clams around here barely need the butter — they’re salty-sweet and super juicy — but it’s part of the ritual, so we do it.

Do you hunt or fish?

| More

Foreign Language Editions

Posted August 30, 2012 by
in Editorial | 7 comments »

Quo Vadis makes planners in 15 different languages, including French, English, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Danish, Czech, Hungarian and Catalan.

Should we import some non-English editions to the US?   If so, which ones?


| More

Congrats to our winners!

Posted August 29, 2012 by
in Announcements | 11 comments »

Many thanks to all who entered our academic planner contest! I’m going to blame this on new motherhood-induced forgetfulness, but I realized after running the entries through that I never asked people for their email addresses…

Fortunately, I have everyone’s mailing addresses, so the winners will still get their prizes. But with the exception of the clever soul who entered his/her email address in the “Name” form, I’m afraid I’m unable to communicate with them by any other means… so if you see your name on this list and there’s anything you’d like us to know, please get in touch and we’ll write back! Otherwise, you’ve got a surprise in the mail to look forward to.

The winners:

  • Lani M.
  • Mary Jane
  • Ryan S.
  • Sarah L.
  • Monica L.
  • Carlos P.
  • WilliaJ2
  • Alice de S.
  • Belen R.
  • Christine A.
  • Marco R.
  • Min Ye S.
  • Chris R.
  • Sarah O.
  • Garrett L.
  • Marcia S.
  • Aisaziah H.
  • Yee M.
  • Cristina R.
  • Christina W.

As usual, check back soon for more giveaways…

| More

College Bound

Posted August 28, 2012 by
in Editorial | 1 comment »

Ten years ago, my son was getting ready to head off to college.   I was prepping for  the “big talk”– full of advice, wisdom learned the hard way, and most of all, a pep talk  on studying hard, doing his best, and  being a gentleman to everyone.

Rather than the long-winded talk I was planning to give, I gave a small talk and handed him a poem to read and hopefully,  keep.   It was called, “The Man in the Glass.” You can read it here.


In the decade since he went off, I forgot what I said, but I was more than happily surprised when Robert told me recently  he has the poem in his wallet.

Isn’t it great when they listen!

To all the parents preparing to send their sons and daughters off to college—my best.







| More

E-Books, A Breakup

Posted August 27, 2012 by
in Editorial, Pens, Paper & People | 7 comments »

A great article on e-books vs. paper books  appeared on the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal – you can read it here.  

Basically, a dedicated e-book reader went back to paper books.   He discusses what he didn’t like about e-b00ks, and what he’ll miss about them. While I  have no way of knowing,  my bet is he’ll eventually buy another Kindle.

I have a split household:   my wife sticks to her Kindle.   I will not be parted from my paper books and home library.

Since my experience of reading is so intimately bound with touching the pages  and the smell of the paper, the  thought of just  processing an electronic flow of words makes me mildly depressed.

Plus, one of the places I enjoy reading the most is relaxing in the bathtub.

Where are you on the e-book-paper spectrum?


| More

Tiny notebooks

Posted August 24, 2012 by
in Planning Tips | Add your comment »

I wouldn’t say I have a ton of time to read these days, but in the weeks after we got home from the hospital, when Ian nursed for long, sleepy stretches at a time, I did manage to catch up on a fair number of old New Yorkers. In this 2011 piece on tiny houses, one passage in particular caught my eye:

He makes lists of errands on small pieces of paper, because the small size makes the lists look more manageable. Once, I saw him writing on the wrapper of a drinking straw.

A nice trick, if it works!

| More

Win an academic planner!

Posted August 22, 2012 by
in Announcements | 1 comment »

In honor of the fast-approaching school year, we’ve decided to raffle off 20 academic year planner to our lucky readers! Winners will have their choice of the following formats:

Enter by Tuesday, August 28th at midnight EST by completing the form below:

| More

Guest post: 750 words

Posted August 15, 2012 by
in Editorial, Pens, Paper & People | Add your comment »

Longtime readers of this blog will remember guest blogger Kate Marshall, who’s back this morning to introduce us to what sounds like a great new tool for writers:

You know, had I only confined my obsessive collecting and acquisition tendencies to ONE habit, I might have been okay. But no, I had to go and hoard all manner of writing implements besides fountain pens and cool notebooks. You think I keep Scrivener and MacJournal around because they’re fun to use? (Okay, that’s part of it). The newest addition to my Collection of Writing-Related Tools is [insert drumroll] Okay, so it’s kind of hard to “collect” an entire website (but don’t think I haven’t tried). According to 750Words founder, Buster Benson, the site was inspired by the idea of “morning pages”– writing at least three pages first thing in the morning, to get the creative muscles warmed up. Benson’s is an electronic realization of that exercise. As much as we’re all about pen, paper, and writing in longhand over here, many writers are more comfortable composing with a keyboard instead (heck, I often go back and forth between the two methods, depending on what I’m working on). Also, maybe you have a situation where you can’t always have *your* computer (or phone or tablet) with you but you have *a* computer with an internet connection: Time to write some pages!

I started using the site about three weeks ago. Each day that you write at least 750 words, you get points. At the beginning of each month, your score resets (Benson compares it to bowling scores). Racking up so many consecutive days worth of writing gets you different badges on your profile, for fun. You can also friend other users and participate in site-wide challenges.

I do A LOT of “personal” writing but I was surpised by how easy it was to create a habit out of 750Words. The site has fun motivational messages after you write and it taps into the same “task/reward” system that gets me through National Novel Writing Month. Heck, sometimes, I even write my pages in something like MacJournal or on my Alphasmart and then copy them to 750Words (since internet access is the only requirement, your scores could be affected by say, a week’s vacation at a place without Internet access).

Wait, the Alphasmart? What’s that, Kate? Oh sweetie– next time. *Trust me*.

Happy writing!

| More

Grid Edition for Habana Notebooks?

Posted August 13, 2012 by
in Editorial, Pens, Paper & People | 8 comments »

We recently received this request from loyal Quo Vadis customer in New Hampshire:   “Could you please add a graph paper or engineering grid paper to your selection of notebooks.   The lined are great, the unlined also helpful. But a graph paper style, lined or even dot graph would be a great addition for folks who need to do more precise graphs, charts or engineering drawings.”

Before I propose this type of edition, I would like some feedback from you:

-Would you use a grid Habana?

-Large isze or pocket?

-Black cover or other color(s)?

-Grid line color – violet? blue?

I look forward to your feedback!   Thank you.



| More

Notebooks everywhere

Posted August 10, 2012 by
in Planning Tips | 3 comments »

I always make sure to carry a notebook in my pocket or bag to capture ideas when I’m on the go. I’ve also got one next to my bed and in the kitchen for jotting down midnight bursts of inspiration and shopping lists, respectively.

Ever since the arrival of my bundle of joy/distraction, however, I’ve had to resort to scattering notebooks throughout the house to make sure I can put my hands (or one hand, as the case may be) on one whenever I might need to. These are true all-purpose pads, serving as a catch all for ideas, to-do lists, and whatever else needs to be remembered, because Lord knows I can’t rely on my memory anymore!

Do you keep random notebooks around your house/apartment?

| More