Things That Spark Joy

I like the KonMari method and have been thinking about some of the things I have that “spark joy” in my life. But then I thought about the items in terms of, “If I lost this item, would I buy it again?” and the list got a lot shorter than it was originally. So here’s the list of items that I use regularly, that spark joy, and that if lost, I’d buy again.

I’ve written a short explanation of why each item is on my list, but you can also use the search box in the sidebar to the right to find blog posts where I talk about them.

Just to be transparent, the product links are Amazon affiliate links, so if you buy something using the link, I’ll receive a small kick-back. 🤗 Win-win!

  • Fujifilm X100 Series – I bought my Fujifilm X100T back in 2015 and it’s still my favorite camera and I bring with me every day. It’s the camera that made me realize that simpler is better! If this ever breaks, I’ll replace with another X100-series camera.
  • Instax SP-1 Printer – The instant photos that this little printer produces are so cool and stylish. I love its compact size and convenience. It really brings images to life in a quirky and fun way.
  • Kuru Toga 0.5 mm Pencil – My go-to pencil for sketching and writing. The 0.5 size with B lead is super-versatile.
  • Staedtler 925 09  0.9 mm Pencil – The 0.9 mm size coupled with 2B lead forces me to sketch loosely, plus it’s lots of fun.
  • Kuru Toga 0.3 mm Pencil – 0.3 mm is so thin! I can use it to write tiny in my A5 notebook.
  • Apple iPad Air 3 – For drawing digitally on my computer. It’s such a joy to use and I even though I bought my first tablet back in 1995, the technology still amazes me.
  • LAMY Safari (B) Fountain Pen – The broad nib puts down so much ink, it’s almost like painting. Fun to use with my favorite Iroshizuku Ama-iro bright blue ink.
  • Pilot Kakuno (F) Fountain Pen – The fine nib allows me to write small, and practicing writing my name in Kanji is actually fun using this pen. Plus it’s so cute and the nib has a smiley face etched into it.
  • Sailor Fude De Mannen Fountain Pen – By holding this pen at different angles, you can achieve varied widths when writing or sketching. Adds a lot of variety to simple sketches.
  • Ain Black Eraser – It’s like magic how quickly this removes pencil marks.
  • Sakura Arch Eraser – This one not only erases nicely but the eraser “shavings” clump together and are easy to swipe away.
  • Mono Zero Eraser – For getting into tight areas of the sketch, or erasing edges of lines with precision.
  • Procreate – Instant sketching on the iPad. So convenient and fun.
  • Seiko SKX007 Dive Watch – Chunky and classic design. The watch’s power reserve is generated by your body movement. How cool is that? This has traveled with me to Africa, Europe, and Asia, so it’s my #1 watch. Someday I’ll go diving with it to give it its street cred. 😄
  • Seiko SNK809 Field Watch – Another automatic (no batteries needed) watch, but this was my first Seiko and its cool, classic, and clean design and modest size make it a keeper. Plus the display back lets you see the heartbeat of the watch.
  • Kindle Paperwhite – I love reading on my electronic devices, but the Kindle Paperwhite’s backlit e-ink display is so nice, plus it’s light, thin, and the battery lasts for weeks before needing to charge.
  • Manual Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer – Okay, this is a little odd, I admit, but it’s so small and I like things that don’t need batteries. (like my automatic watches)
  • JVC HAFR37D Marshmallow Earbuds – These wired earbuds are cheap but have great sound quality. Plus the old-school wired-type doesn’t need charging like the fancy new blue-tooth models.
  • Birkenstock Arizona Sandals – Comfy and classic. The shape conforms to the owner’s feet over time, so each pair is special.
  • Zap-it! – This little device creates a little spark to give you a small shock right on your mosquito bite. For me, the itchiness goes away for a few hours. And no batteries needed!

Saturday Shopping and Sketching

"IKEA" Round Rock, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.9500000476837mm, f/0, 1/inf sec, ISO0
“IKEA” Round Rock, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going? Today Bay and I went to IKEA to do a little shopping, mainly for a light for his room, but also I wanted to find a clipboard for drawing. We found a nice light for him, but I didn’t find a clipboard, however, I did find this wooden hand which, although labeled as decorative, is realistic enough and poseable so I should be able to use it to practice drawing. Comparing it to my own hand, I can see that the wooden one lacks some the main curvature where the palm meets the bottom of the fingers but I think it’s close enough. At any rate, it’s pretty cool to look at!

"Wooden Hand" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Wooden Hand” Cedar Park, 2018

Later on, I did a quick sketch and refilled the ink in a couple of my fountain pens. It’s fun to be semi-creative, even if they are just quick sketches and scribbles. I really enjoy it, and it’s so liberating for me not to always be pursuing perfection.

"Sketch" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Sketch” Cedar Park, 2018
"Sparkly Emoji" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Sparkly Emoji” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a wonderful Saturday!


Stationery Shopping at Kinokuniya Austin

'Kokuyo A5 Binder" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
‘Kokuyo A5 Binder” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening Bay and I went to the art store to buy some supplies, and on the way back, we stopped by Kinokuniya. It’s probably my favorite store here in Austin for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I can fantasize that I am in Japan – the country I enjoy the most, and secondly, it has such a great selection of high-quality stationery such as notebooks, paper, pens, etc. They have a good selection of fountain pens and ink, including brands like Pilot, Sailor, Kaweco, LAMY, and Iroshizuku. They even sell Traveler’s Co. supplies!

I’ve been searching for a good-sized binder to use instead of my spiral notebooks and found one that I really like. It’s an A5-sized 20-ring binder from Maruman that comes with 5-subject dividers and a few sheets of lined filler paper. I also bought 100 sheets of graph paper, and I love it! I think it looks so nice and sharp, and A5 fits nicely in my Patagonia MiniMass messenger bag.

'Kokuyo A5 Binder" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO3200
‘Kokuyo A5 Binder” Cedar Park, 2018

I also stumbled across these awesome Kurutoga pencils with Studio Ghibli artwork on them. They are so cool! But at $12 per pencil (and the fact that I have no need for another mechanical pencil) it wasn’t difficult to resist buying one. Perhaps if my current Kurutoga breaks, though… 😈

'Studio Ghibli x Kurutoga" Austin, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/20 sec, ISO1028
‘Studio Ghibli x Kurutoga” Austin, 2018

I hope you had a nice Monday!


Before the Freeze

"Hanging Vinyl" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Hanging Vinyl” Cedar Park, 2018


The imminent freeze has been in the forecast since last week, but I was genuinely surprised that the weather models were so accurate! As I type this, the temperature is at 40° F and dropping, the wind is howling, and the rain is coming down. All schools have been canceled for tomorrow and it looks like everyone in my company who works in Austin will be telecommuting. Snow day!

But before the town freezes over, I dropped off Koa at the movies, then went to the bookstore and did some shopping. I was particularly interested in looking at some records, but they didn’t have anything that looked good. However, I did take a photo of a bunch of color vinyl that was hanging from the ceiling. I thought it looked pretty cool so I had to take a snapshot.

The weather at the time was still pretty good: warm and just a little breezy. But two hours later, when I went to pick up Koa, it was starting to rain and the wind was picking up. It’s crazy how quickly the weather can change in Texas!

Take care everybody!


"Storm Coming" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/40 sec, ISO6400
“Storm Coming” Cedar Park, 2018

Sunday Shopping

"Record Shopping" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Record Shopping” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today Bay and I went downtown to do a bit of shopping. We found everything that was on our list, and also a couple bonus items. Here’s a bit of our haul:

There were a couple more things on the list, but I can’t remember the names of the other books and album that Bay bought.

We went to the market to buy some essential oils for Bay’s aromatherapy mist thingie, and it was fun sampling all the different scents. Check out the funny names of some of them in the last photo in this post. I love the name “Panic Button”. 😅

It was a nice way to spend a Sunday downtown, but unfortunately, I must go to work tomorrow. But the kids have the day off. Lucky them.

I hope you had a nice weekend!


"Moleskine Shelves" Austin. 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/110 sec, ISO6400
“Moleskine Shelves” Austin. 2018
"Essential Oils" Austin. 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO320
“Essential Oils” Austin. 2018