A little journaling backstory: I used to keep a Lot of diaries when I was growing up, but stopped around when I entered high school, because I started using LiveJournal (whatmakesyouhahaha.mp3). Those diaries contained silly things, for the most part—crushes, “friend drama”… Though there were some, er, not-so-pleasant entries about not-so-pleasant experiences. In the end I didn’t have enough discipline to write in them regularly, so I’d usually use them as notebooks instead. (Sometimes I’d find the occasional stray diary and see some old short stories/poetry in them, and it’s like. Peak きもっ lol)

I started using a journal regularly again last year to keep up with school work after my sabbatical. I used a weekly journal from Typo and liked it a lot, but found that I didn’t have enough space to write and schedule everything I needed to. Ingrid introduced me to the Hobonichi after letting me draw in her copy after the Kawaii PH workshop we attended, and after that I pretty much just fell in love.

After spending 5 years nearly a month in customs, I received our Hobonichi package! And after a decade (I got it in… October? September? I can’t even remember, it’s been THAT long) I finally wrote about it lololol Unfortunately they made us pay around 30% the total amount we spent on the ~goods~, because the customs thing that says they won’t tax things under 10 000 didn’t exist when it arrived in the Philippines. :’))))))

:’))))) Goodbye, 2000 PHP.

Since my mother decided to get her own journal this time, they gave us a bigger box to hold all our stuff LOL. I liked the color of this year’s box better than last year’s! Hobonichi boxes are very, very sturdy, and I use them to store stationery items.


The contents of the box were layered—the journal covers and my mother’s pencil case were on top, followed by a sheet of brown tissue paper(?), followed by everything else.

This year’s freebies are a pen (as usual) and a tiny trinket tray shaped like buttered toast! It’s adorable and pretty sturdy—I was afraid the plate would be made of breakable material (I don’t know why. I’m just nervous all the time okay lol) but it’s made of really hard plastic.

As for the Hobonichi pen… it’s actually a Uni Jetstream! My pen from last year actually ran out of ink (yes, all three colors) last September. For a three-in-one pen the body isn’t heavy nor too thick to use comfortably. It writes really smoothly and you don’t have to use a lot of pressure to make your handwriting look nice! I’m not a big fan of ballpens (I’m more of a fountain pen kind ofchild), but if I could use this for the rest of my life, I would lol.stickers

I decided to get a bunch of stickers and washi tape too! I held back the first time I ordered from Hobonichi, but this time I decided to go the distance lol. I ordered three kinds of KITTA’s pre-cut washi tape because the designs were soooo cute. (THEY’RE ALL MY #AESTHETIC, Y’ALL!) They came neatly packed in bubble wrap, protected from the world. lol. I got Hobonichi’s cat stickers too, just because I thought they were cute and funny.

As tempted as I am to use them already, I’m actuallu kind of stingy when it comes to stationery! 🙈 If you take a look at my current journal (scroll down!) I don’t use a lot of stickers nor washi tape because I generally want to save them for special occasions… I currently own at least 15 rolls, but I share them with my mom! #TheDream is to design my own washi tape, but that’s pretty much as far off as I am from getting great grades this term lolol

I decided to get the Avec because the one I’m currently using can feel pretty heavy inside my bag )): I cut and paste way too many things in it, haha. The Avec is basically the original split into two anyway!

They changed some of the things in the page layouts, and listed these changes on the plastic the journals came in. The colors of the avec are sooooo cute, too bad I have a cover lol

Like last year, I got a MOTHER 2-themed Hobonichi cover, although I have to be honest and say that last year’s designs (1, 2) were cuter… My mom got the Memories version, but I liked the simplicity of the patterned MOTHER 2 logo. I actually planned on making my own Clow Book Hobonichi cover, but I am awful at sewing lol. Well, we’ll see. Maybe next year? Though there are so many nice planners nowadays that are making me think extra hard about switching! … Though tbh I just want a weeb planner with my 2D idol boys LOL

(… I’m not even joking though, please buy me a planner with my 2D husband’s 2D idol group in it. )))): )

As always, it came with a plastic cover protector. Unfortunately, I… kind of broke last year’s. There’s a resealable portion for the pocket at the back of the cover, and I left it open so often that it tore;;; So pro-tip! Remember! To seal! The protective cover! Of your Hobonichi!!!!!! Otherwise it won’t be so protective any more!!!!!!!!!!!
namida-no-v-sign mr-saturn
Last year’s MOTHER 2 freebie was a bunch of bookmarks, and this year’s is a Mr. Saturn vinyl sticker! I really love the little logo on the inside of the cover. The planner’s insides come with a bunch of pockets that I use to store postcards and post-its!

The Tomoe River Paper is so smooooth and all my pens just glide across the surface. I also like the fact that it uses grids and not lines! Likewise I like how there are different colors for different months!


At the beginning there are two kinds of calendars! A monthly and a… I don’t know how to describe the other one LOL. I use the monthly to chart birthdays and figure skating events, and! The other one I use as a checklist for my daily things—medicines, when to use face masks, lip scrubs, etc. Though as you can probably tell I kind of… lagged behind on the checklist HAHA. My daily routines are pretty much mechanical now anyway, so I don’t really need to take note! (… is what I like to tell myself. HAHAHA)

There are a bunch of extra pages at the end of the book that you can use for various things! There are blank pages (I use them to test my pens) and address books and recipes and stuff. It’s all really cute, and really useful. The pen tests are especially nice because it helps me figure out drying time! (Tomoe River Paper isn’t so forgiving re: drying time. )

it-me comix food-page ahrt
I see a lot of people use the Hobonichi as a scrapbook, but I draw in it a fair amount! I prefer drawing and writing in it because otherwise I feel like it’s… a waste of paper lol. It doesn’t hold up so well with hecka watercolor (like the bottom-right page on the above image), but I’ve learned not to go overboard with the water. Otherwise, my fineliners and dip pens (I use Dr. Ph. Martin’s Black Star HiCarb India Ink) don’t bleed through it and write veeery smoothly. Fountain pens and fountain pen ink are a bit of trouble because of their drying time, but sacrifices must be made for love. LOL

I also used to use it to practice my Japanese! My first few entries are entirely in Japanese, but after a while I… I don’t actually have an excuse. I’m just so, so rusty now.
red-red nikki fffood-ish

I’m starting to cut-and-paste and use stickers a lot more now, simply because illustrating every page gets really exhausting LOL. Plus it’s an easy way to add snippets about your day without having to use a lot of words! Or energy!


…Though there are some days that need no words at all.

buddies tomodachey
Whenever I meet up with friends (and by this I usually mean the #WalwalWednesday squad HAHA) I like trying to get them to write or draw something in my journal for me just to say like. “I was here!” or something. Though I tend to forget to ask people to help a brotha out… lol.

Not photographed: I don’t usually write my to do lists on the paper itself, instead I use post-its . Sometimes my work backlog gets so bad I have pages filled with post-its. Pages, guys. That’s good though because that means I don’t use up paper space, and it leaves me with more space to draw on!

To be honest, keeping a journal (a daily one, to be precise) is a lot of work. But as you can tell, I don’t feel very pressured to make it look pretty, because it’s something personal. I also like things a little rough around the edges to give it an ~authentic feel, whatever that means.

I used to think that I’d have to write in it daily, but that’s really not the case at all. There are a bunch of pencil drafts for journal entries in it that I’m probably never going to revisit. I keep things in the cover’s pocket to paste in the journal when I have free time, but sometimes I don’t make time for it. It’s kind of a commitment, but at the same time, it’s nothing you have to feel pressured about! Personally, it’s helped me appreciate some of the simpler things around me. Dogs and cats I see on the street, flowers I see during my commute, the food I eat, the tea I drink… getting to log them somewhere just makes me all the more thankful to have been able to experience them. Truthfully there are more blank than filled pages in my Hobonichi, but las they say, a blank page is a story in itself. 🙂

It’s pretty much universally agreed that 2016 has been An Awful Year™️, and although it hasn’t ended yet, I’ve had a lot of fun documenting it. Hopefully, next year will be better. I can’t wait to use you, Hobonichi! 😀


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