Pens, Pens, Pens. I love Pen.

Though technology is great for many things, I find their are times when paper and pen are just better. I’ve tried changing over to a digital calendar, but my paper planner is just better. I’ve tried saving my recipes on my tablet and using my iPad as a cookbook, but that didn’t work so well. My paper cookbook never dims, never sleeps, never needs to be refreshed nor looses its page.

With all the paper I use, I’ve been able to try a variety of pens as well. Some had too think of a line, others had splotchy pigment and uneven ink flow, but others were just right. So to help you find which pen is the right one for you, here are my favorites.

Assortment of my favorite pens.
Just a couple of sets I have.

(Just click the name or the image to check them out on Amazon.)

1. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Marker Pen. I’m not going to lie, these are my all-time favorites. I have three sets in the house for just myself and had to buy another because my husband kept taking them! They work great on a variety of papers and don’t bleed through. They have a nice fine tip and the ink doesn’t spread or smear. They also come in tons of colors and at some art stores you can even buy them individually instead of a set.

2. Paper-Mate InkJoy Ballpoint 300RT 1.0 M. These you will find all over my house as well. They are inexpensive and come in 10 bright colors. Since I share these with my kids, I like that they are retractable so they don’t loose caps and being ballpoints, they are great for check writing when you need to use a little extra pressure on the paper. They write really smooth and the kids haven’t been able to destroy them!

3. Jot Ballpoint Pens. If you want a truly inexpensive pen, head to the DollarTree. These pens don’t last as long as others, but they have a really smooth ink and come in variety of ink colors. So if you are apt to loose pens, you won’t go wrong with this 6 pack of pens for a buck!

Great inexpensive pens!

4. Pilot G-2 Gel Pen. This is my favorite gel pen. It writes incredibly smooth, so much so, that when I let others use it, they always comment on it as well. They come in 15 colors in a variety of packages.

5. Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen. Not too many people use a fountain pen, but I enjoy it. They aren’t my go-to for every day things, but when writing a thank you note or something that I want a little more flair with, I grab the Varsity. As all fountain pens, if you are not used to writing with them allow yourself some time and practice. The ink flow can be fast and can create splotches, but using the right pressure of pen on paper, these pens will up your correspondence game! They come in 7 colors.


Do you have a favorite pen? Please share in the comments below!



Happy Pi(e) Day!

This is one day I just find fun. How can you go wrong for celebrating math by eating pie?!  So in celebrating this day, here are some of my favorite pie pans, in no particular order:

Emile Henry Made In France HR Modern Classics Pie Dish, 9″, Blue

ComputerGear Pi Day Pie Plate Math Mathematical Symbol Stoneware Pan Dish 10″

Pyrex Watercolor Collection Blue Lagoon 9.5″ Pie Plate

Polish Pottery Dish Pie Plate 10″ From Zaklady Ceramiczne Boleslawiec 879-1085a Classic Pattern, Height: 1.8″ Diameter: 10″

So, what kind of pie are you having today?


Miami, Key West and Palm Beach in a Week!

I can’t believe it was just last week that I was in warm and sunny Florida! I’ve been to Florida before, but this was my first time to Miami, Key West and Palm Beach… I’m in love!  We, my mom and I on a girls trip, packed a lot into just 4 days!

We flew into Miami and stayed at the DoubleTree Grand Biscayne Bay. Our room was beautiful and overlooked the bay. It was so nice to go to bed with the bridges lit and wake up to see the water with beautiful boats below.

One of many bridges in Miami.
Morning wake up at the DoubleTree Grand Biscayne Bay.

The second day we checked out and headed south towards Key West. On the way, we stopped and toured Viscaya.  It was amazing and if you are in the area, I recommend it! The architecture, décor, ocean views, tea house and gardens were just beautiful. We could have spent more time there meandering through the property, but we wanted to see the sunset at Mallory Square so we had to go.

Beautiful stained glass at Viscaya.
Replica of Ponce de Leon’s ship at Viscaya.
Just one of many orchids on the grounds.
Concrete detail found at Viscaya.

The drive to Key West, though long was lovely. Lots of traffic getting around Miami, but once we hit the first bridge, I couldn’t put my camera down. The turquoise water and the boats held my interest the rest of the way.

The beautiful ocean and islands on the way to Key West.

We finally checked into the DoubleTree Resort Key West and took the shuttle down to Mallory Square just in time to see the sunset. Naturally, there was a band of clouds low over the horizon, so not much of a sunset was seen, but that’s okay. We walked through the rest of Mallory Square and enjoyed people watching and the performers.

Sunset Pier next to Mallory Square.
One of the many performers at Mallory Square.
One of the many ships out on the ocean trying to catch the sunset.

The third day, we went back to the historical area of Key West to walk Duvall Street, tour Hemingway’s house, go to the Southernmost Point, eat Key Lime Pie, check out the marina and just enjoy the Key for the day.

Key West Lighthouse
Hemingway’s Home
At the marina in Key West.
Smather’s Beach

In the afternoon, we headed back to Miami and stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This time, our room view had the best of both worlds… the bay and the city. Both were just gorgeous lit up at night.

City at night from the hotel room.
Bridges at night back in Miami.

The fourth and final day, we hopped in the car and toured South Beach. I loved all the Art Deco buildings, it is such a neat place.

Bright and sunny Leslie!
The Breakwater at South Beach.

Then we headed north to Palm Beach to tour Whitehall… again, I highly recommend it. A gilded mansion right on Lake Worth! We toured the whole house, saw the private train car and had afternoon tea overlooking the lake while drooling over the yachts!

Walking up to Whitehall.
Private rail car at Whitehall.
Enjoyed afternoon tea here.

Afterwards, we drove through Palm Beach, checked out the Breakers and the ocean front then headed back to the airport. I have no idea how many miles we put on our rental car, but it was a great week and I look forward to going back.

Of course, when planning and packing for the trip, I used my Packing List, saved so much time and I was confident I had everything I needed. Check it out at my store on Etsy.

Travel Collection
Packing List

Now live on Etsy!

I am so excited to share with you some of what I’ve been working on!

When I first started Rogue Wave Designs years ago, I was doing freelance graphic design work… but then children came, sidelining the business. During the years that my kids were home (pre-Kindergarten), I found that keeping things simple and organized helped to keep life from getting too stressful and allowed me to spend the most amount of time with my family and friends. I found that I kept creating similar lists over and over or thought, ‘if I only had something like…’, so I decided to design it. Then when I needed a certain sheet, I just had to print it out and everything I need was right there… no wasted time! But, the side-effect of being a graphic designer, is I wanted it to look pretty too. So I refined the look and now I’m making it available to you!

The sheets that I have created (so far) are now available on Etsy! I have, what I’m calling the “Party Collection” and the “Travel Collection”, available right now.

The Party Collection, currently features the sheets: Party Planner, Thank You List and Recipe Card. All are instant downloads and can be printed on your home printer. All feature a coordinated, modern, nautical feel with plenty of white space to write your own notes.

The Party Collection
Thank You List, Party Planner & Recipe Card


The Thank You List has spaces to write down the gifts received, from who and even a checkbox to help you keep track of sending thank you notes. The Party Planner, has areas for keeping track of your guest list and RSVPs, planning your menu and a prep schedule to make sure everything gets done so you can enjoy your company! The Recipe Card has room for  all the ingredients and directions while giving your recipe collection a cool nautical feel.

The Travel Collection, features the Packing List. I found that whether I was going away for a week or a weekend, I seemed to always pack the same things. Then packing for two little kids on top of it, I was constantly writing out the same check list… now I just print out three copies and we are good to go!

Travel Collection
Packing List

The Packing List has sections for Clothes, Medical, Toiletries, Electronics, Misc. with plenty of extra lines and space for you to add your own items as well.

As mentioned this is what I have ready for you so far. I’m working on refining more organizational sheets and will be releasing them soon. Please sign up for our newsletter (on the right) so you can be in the know for when we release new products and other Rogue Wave Designs news!

I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or send me an email at You can also follow me on Instagram  and Pinterest.



Sailing Lit

Today is not going quite the way I planned, so while I’m stuck home sick, I thought I’d share some of my favorite nautical books. I find that when my little boat comes out of the water and the lakes begin to freeze, the nautical books come out.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I’m currently reading “Sextant” by David Barrie. Its full of history and sailing adventure. I’m enjoying reading about Barrie’s own sailing across “the pond” and he interjects nautical history and the technological advances that developed through the ages.

Sextant: A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World's Oceans

For a quick interesting read, I suggest “Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Expressions of Everyday Life”, by Bill Beavis. I was surprised how many sayings and items come from nautical terms. Did you know that “Blazer” is a nautical term? I did not!

Salty Dog Talk: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions

For those who want a little history thrown in, check out “Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat and the Sea”, by James Graham.

Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea


If you ever wanted to know what its like to sail as a couple with no sailing experience, try “The Box Wine Sailors: Misadventures of a Broke Young Couple at Sea”, by Amy McCullough.

The Box Wine Sailors: Misadventures of a Broke Young Couple at Sea




Fun in Fish Creek

Last weekend was the 14th year that I have been going up to Door County, Wisconsin to attend the Fish Creek Winter Festival. 14 years!!! I started going with a group of friends whose family had been attending even longer. Well, out of that group I met my husband and that family tradition has now extended to our family and our children.

Door County is beautiful in the summer (as many already know), but it’s just as beautiful in the winter too. This year we made a long weekend of it and arrived on Thursday; we basically had all the towns to ourselves! It was so quiet and relaxing, just what we needed.

On Friday, we decided to take the kids sledding. We were the first and only ones there! The sledding hill is pretty great and can be found at the north entrance of Peninsula State Park, between Fish Creek and Sister Bay off HWY 42. It’s called Hill 17 (in summer it’s a golf course) and across the road is parking.

Sledding on Hill 17 with no one around!
Creating a sledding plan.
First one up the hill.

Afterwards, we were ready to warm up and grab lunch. So up to Sister Bay we went to try out Wild Tomato.  I don’t know what else to say other than we all loved it! The kids enjoyed the homemade cherry soda and had a great view of the pizza chef twirling and tossing the dough about. We had the Sausage & Pesto pie and it was amazing, I highly recommend it!

Wild Tomato Sausage & Pesto Pizza
Enjoying a cherry soda.
Making critters out of pizza dough.

Next, the kids wanted to go ice skating, so we went to the Teresa K Hilander Community Ice Rink in Sister Bay. Unfortunately, they were busy getting it ready for the weekend and laying new ice so we weren’t able to skate. However, I did notice they have a warming area with concessions and looks like an outdoor fire pit too. We will definitely try it out next year.

Saturday, the day of the Winter Festival we had a great time. We got to do a bit of shopping and found some great deals. Then off to the games! The kids enjoyed the minnow racing, my husband and father-in-law both tried their hands at the football toss. It was amazingly crowded in the tent, so it was great to spend some time outside by the firepits and play the games out there too.

Minnow Races at the Fish Creek Winter Festival
Football Toss

Saturday night definitely became the highlight of our weekend though and we can’t wait to do it again next year. The Candlelight Ski/Hike in Peninsula State Park was fantastic. They lined a mile walk around the park with burning candles. A bonfire was setup with benches half-way around to rest and warm up. The kids made snow angels as the snow began to fall. It was just perfect… a great way to finish up a fun day and just enjoy the winter season.

Candlelit path.
And then it started snowing.
Warming up by the firepit mid-walk.


We look forward to the Fish Creek Winter Festival and all that Door County has to offer next February as well!

Sister Bay, WI
Northport, WI

If you want to find out more about the area and what we enjoyed, here are some links:

Fish Creek:

Wild Tomato:

Hilander Community Ice Rink:

(None of these links or businesses have paid for this. These are my own comments and experiences that I chose to share.)




Welcome to the new Rogue Wave Designs!

Nautically inspired design.

Hello everyone!  I’m so excited for all the changes coming to Rogue Wave Designs this year. Not all things are ready yet, but I’m so excited I just had to share a few things.

First, you’ll notice this blog and our redesigned logo. Blogging is quite new to me, but I feel its important to connect with you. So leave comments and ask questions! (Please keep it all clean though!) Through this blog I’ll be announcing new products from Rogue Wave! Yes, you heard that right, and that’s the second big announcement. Rogue Wave is in the process of finalizing some great, nautically inspired items to help keep you organized and inspired as you go about your day.  The third change is that you can now follow us on Instagram (@roguewavedesigns) too!

So, please pardon our dust as we make changes and grow!