What do you do with a Moleskine?

**Congratulations to Schmidty, who commented on the BlogHer site.  You’ve won the Moleskines!  E-mail me at dwellintheland at gmail dot com with your info and I’ll get those out to you!  **

You may notice a stack of the little wonders as you wait in line to check out at your favorite bookstore.

At the airport.

At a mall kiosk.

In the feverish hands of a journalist at the scene.


When I see a Moleskine, I think of the literary greats and their “little black books” open on the cafe tables in Paris.

Here is my husband looking scholarly at Les Deux Magots, a cafe where Hemingway and Sartre frequented.

I believe that’s Sartre in the frame above him.

Although I’m relatively new to the serious writing gig, I can say that the Moleskines, especially the XS ones, are handy when…

… you meet a future character and need to remember his features

…a conversation at the table next to you stirs a prospective dialogue

…an idea for a post creeps up in your mind.

I don’t carry one on the elliptical at the gym or running out on the road – maybe I should — but I admit that I’ve  jotted down those a few thoughts-that-must-be-documented-now on my phone in between reps on the weight machine.    I suppose that along with the endorphins come ideas.  No, I am not texting! ;)


I first heard of Moleskines a few years ago via a church planting podcast by  Mark Driscoll, a pastor in Seattle.  He suggested that couples “study” their significant others and that something like a Moleskine was a useful tool to record one’s notes.

Let me say that this is GREAT for introverts. We have little meetings from time to time, where we write down concerns or general thoughts over coffee and then discuss.  It may sound dorky, but it works.

Please note: if you are getting married, you most likely will receive a set of these as part of your wedding gift as they have been a lifeline in our marriage.

And, along the memorization/study vein, they are great for memorizing: vocabulary, play lines, Scripture.  See Ann Voskamp’s idea.

Among its hundreds of uses, a Moleskine can be…

A birthday book.

A Journal.

A financial notebook.

A mini sketchbook.

A science notebook for the homeschooler to record experiments & discoveries.

They’re the perfect size to tuck away; they’re inexpensive and tightly bound in many different colors.

I am featuring the XS ruled Moleskine but there are many different styles – blank and lined, hard and soft covered large and small, planners, calendars, & address books.


I am giving away one set of Moleskine Volant Extra Small Ruled Notebooks (set of 2).

Here are the rules:


Leave a comment saying how you would plan to use your XS Moleskine and/or what color you would choose.

I will randomly select 1 winner and post on Tuesday, February 21st.

You can also go here to purchase your very own Moleskines (and remember, you’ll help me out by going through my link).

I happen to like the Emerald green ones – something about the freshness the color symbolizes.

*Please note: I have not been asked by Moleskine to review their products; I simply like these little guys and want to share ’em with my readers.*

Granola On My Mind

Even though the calendar says that it’s fall and pumpkins appear in store windows and on porches, our “summer” has finally arrived! In July and August, it wasn’t unusual to have my son bundled up in his winter coat & hat on morning walks.  If you ever plan a visit to San Francisco/Sonoma/Napa, I suggest coming in September and October. The mornings are cool and sometimes foggy but mostly the fog hits during the summer months, hence “June gloom.” The afternoons right now are bright, clear, and warm.
“Perfect 10” days beckon us outside. Who wants to be inside?
This explains why I haven’t been much in the mood to bake, but a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to bake something fall-ish and was inspired to make my own granola. I’ve tried various brands of granola over the years and haven’t found one I’m crazy about; they’ve been either too sugary or too expensive.
So, I figured why not try it for myself?