Monday, December 12, 2016

Inky Mondays: Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Review

For my first ink review, I will be going with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts.  I ordered this as a sample from Goulet Pens (an AWESOME place to start if you are looking into getting into fountain pens) and of course I paid for the ink myself.  When I first got into fountain pens, I used Noodler's inks because they seemed to be extremely popular.  However, I noticed that I was having problems with them compared to other brands, especially in my Pilot Metropolitans.  Noodler's Inks, especially their bulletproof inks, often tended to clog up my pens and they were very difficult to clean out of the pens.  Just when I though I'd gotten all the ink out, I would find that even more was hiding in the feed or somewhere.  Because of my past issues, I've mostly stayed away from Noodler's inks since then.  However, I feel like I'm missing out on opportunities for some really great colors, so I decided to order some samples and see if I could handle them better now.

I was actually surprised by how well I enjoyed this ink.  The color is lovely.  I think it looks quite blue, but I've seen other reviews saying to them, it looks more black.  I definitely see that compared to other blues, but this is the lightest blue-black ink I have, as you can see in the above comparisons to other inks.  This ink performs quite well in my Conklin Duragraph with Medium Nib.  It is not overly wet, but it is not a dry write either.  That being said, it does produce a very wide line in this nib compared to other inks, which is surprising because this usually only happens with the wettest of inks.  The color really is gorgeous and unique though.  I think it has an almost vintage quality due to the muted hue.

The ink flows quite well, unless you leave the nib uncapped for any longer than a few seconds.  At that point, the ink tends to dry out in the nib, which will cause hard starts when you go to write again.  I have heard some people say that this alone frustrates them to the point where they do not use this ink.  If you are a student, or in a situation where you take a lot of notes, this ink may not be the best for that purpose.  Also, this ink is a pain to clean out of pens.  In order to get it all out, I have to remove the nib and feed from the housing - mere flushing just doesn't do it.  I suppose if I let the pen soak all night in water or even pen flush, the ink might work its way out, but it's faster to just rinse it out myself.  This could be problematic though if you feel uncomfortable removing the nib from your pen, or if you have a pen where the nib cannot, or should not, be removed.
All in all this is a nice ink, but it will not be my go-to blue black.  I will finish using up the sample, but after that I think I will mainly stick with other brands.  If you need a water resistant ink, though, and you do not mind giving your pen a deep cleaning if you want to put a different color in after using this one, then it is definitely something to consider.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


It arrived!  My awesome box from my Secret Santa!

This is my second year participating in a Secret Santa hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  It is known (and hashtagged) on Twitter as #TBTBSanta and even though this is only my second time participating, its kind of becoming a yearly tradition to look forward to.  I was surprised today to find a package on my doorstep from my Secret Santa.  This is PERFECT!  It's really starting to get cold and gloomy here in Michigan so receiving a surprise like this was just perfect timing!

Out of respect for her privacy I will not be revealing who my Secret Santa was, at least not on my blog (though I have thanked her on Twitter and will be sending her a thank-you card in the mail), but let me just got through what was in the box!  First let's cover the three books - one graphic novel and two regular novels.  I LOVE that each book came from a different genre!  The graphic novel, Gotham Academy, has been on my list for awhile and it was a super fun surprise to open that one today!  She also sent me Finnikin of the Rock, a YA (I think!) fantasy that I've seen mentioned from time to time and that people seem to have high opinions for.  And finally...The Night Circus!  I've been wanting to read this one for years, ever since I found out the author wrote it during NaNoWriMo, and I have heard nothing but good things about it.  I know all three of these will keep me busy over the break!

My Secret Santa also sent me some PLANNER STICKERS which contain hundreds of stickers for different seasons and occasions, and will be absolutely perfect for my bullet journal!  Also, fuzzy socks, which I happen to be wearing right now, as it's freezing, and they're super comfy and cozy!  A Gilmore Girls mug dipped in glitter, because she knows how much I LOVE and adore Gilmore Girls, a Ron funko pop (the version of him in the Christmas sweater), DavidsTea ornaments, one filled with Sleigh Ride and the other with Apple Cider tea.  I haven't opened the ornaments yet but I have tried the teas and they are both awesome!!  Can't have too much of these flavors!  And finally, some of my favorite candies - Toblerone and Hershey's cookies and cream bar!  

So if you are my Secret Santa and you are reading this, THANK YOU!  You really put a lot of thought and effort into this box and it really brightened my day!  I hope you are having a wonderful time leading up to the holidays!

I still haven't mailed my box out to my Secret Santa (the one who I gift to, obviously) because I'm still waiting on a few gifts to come through the mail (USPS is already getting backed up due to Christmas it seems), but I'm hoping to be able to send it off at the beginning of next week!
Finally, I cannot end this post without a picture of Harry, Ron, and Hermione all together :).  And...Snape...lurking in the background haha!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Hey all!  So sorry for the long absence!  I actually went back to school!!!  When we moved here to Michigan, I was afforded the opportunity to finish out my degree, and I knew I would be stupid not to.  So I'm now studying Psychology and so far I'm loving it, though I have been SO BUSY with this studying thing (and re-learning HOW to study) that I just have not had the time to maintain this blog. But that's about to change.  My semester comes to a close next week, so I will have all Winter break to write some catch-up posts, and hopefully in the Spring I'll be able to manage my time better (now that I've got a better hold on this studying thing) and still post regularly :).  So here are some things that have happened since August:

  • I started a bullet journal!  Actually, I started and finished one.  This all started with my looking for the perfect planner to stay organized, but when it was obvious no such thing existed, I sort of stumbled into the bullet journaling world.  I have kept a journal since I was in Kindergarten, but this was a new thing for me, and I found a way to combine planning, list making, and journaling all into one notebook.  I'm really digging the Leuchtturm notebooks.  Maybe I'll do a blog post (or a few) totally dedicated to bullet journaling and my method to the madness :)
  • My fountain pen collecting took on a new vigor.  I've been collecting fountain pens since we moved to Colorado, actually, but with going back to school along with the bullet journaling thing, I've cared even more about my writing instruments (hint: fountain pens are the only things I ever use).  I've acquired more fountain pens than I care to admit this past semester, and I've got two more on the way (one is a Christmas present from my husband, and the other is a reward to myself for my good grades this semester).  I definitely plan to do several blog posts about fountain pens in the near future!  
  • I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family in North Carolina, which is always nice.  That used to be a given, but ever since I moved away from home, spending holidays with my family is always a special treat.
  • I still hate my house.  But I've learned to tolerate it.  
  • I've discovered that I DESPISE grocery shopping in this town.  There are simply not enough grocery stores to accommodate the population here, and I've taken to getting meal delivery services like Sun Basket and Blue Apron (trust me, for someone who hates shopping and lives in a place where all the stores near her feel like the day before Thanksgiving no matter what day or time you go, these are WORTH IT!).  I'll probably review some of those boxes as well.
  • I've been in kind of a reading slump.  Part of that is due to reading so much for school that I no longer want to read ANYTHING when I'm done with it.  So it's taking me forever to get through books and therefore I kind of lose interest in them.  I hope I can remedy this over the break.
So yeah, that's it for this quick update, but I hope to post some more detailed blog posts too (and no this isn't a false promise)!