Journal of a 40-something year old wife, mother and chicpreneur.

Instagram is dangerous. I’m serious.

Instagram is how I found out about the Kokuyo Jibun Techo. I was just surfing around the usual #planneraddict hashtag, ogling on how others are setting up their planners when I saw a post on the Jibun Techo. I did a quick check on google, fell in love with it and ordered one for myself the next day. I hate you Instagram.

My Jibun Techo arrived on the 26th of January, just one day shy of my 41st birthday. So, I consider it as a birthday present to myself. Purchase justified, hurrah!

About the Jibun Techo

To be honest, there is not much information I could find on the Kokuyo Jibun Techo since the site is in Japanese but through google translate, I tried to understand as much as I can about the planner and how it came to life. So some of my information may need correction cause you know… google translated.

The full Jibun Techo is a 3 in 1 Life Log Diary that comes in a set of three books; the ‘Diary’ is the yearly planner, the ‘Life’ book to record your personal notes and the ‘Idea’ book which is a grid notebook to jot down ideas or for note-taking. Each booklet has a specific purpose and can be used together or separately depending on the users’ needs.

The usual practice for most planners is that you would need to migrate key information on a yearly basis at the end or start of each year into your new planner. The Jibun Techo’s concept is that you can keep important information in the ‘Life’ booklet forever, so it saves you the trouble of transferring information every year and you only need to change the ‘Diary’ section on a yearly basis.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Jibun Techo sections:

The Diary section –>

This is where you can plan your life for the year. This booklet has:

  • A four-year calendar
  • Weekly and yearly schedule
  • Age chart
  • My dream 2017
  • Money plan
  • Map of Japan
  • Favorite phrases
  • Book and movie list
  • Gifts received and given
  • Promise list

The Life section –>

This section allows you to record personal information that can be carried forward for years to come. It’s made with high-quality Mio paper suitable for long term use and allows for a smooth writing experience. The Life booklet is broken into:

  • Life dream
  • 100 wish list
  • Personal motto
  • Life Plan
  • Monthly anniversaries
  • Travel map
  • My news
  • Family tree
  • Emergency contact list
  • Password hint list
  • Financial management
  • Medical record
  • Favorite photo

The Idea section –>

A slim grid notebook that can be used as a memo pad. This notebook uses the Tomoe River Paper, well known for giving users a smooth writing experience.

First Impressions

What I received with my purchase

I ordered all three booklets for the Jibun Techo. My purchase also came with two clear plastic covers. The clear plastic cover is used to hold the three booklets together. The cover has a lot of pockets where you can store cards or planner stocks. The purchase also included a pencil board that has a elastic band attached to it. You can slot the pencil board at the back pocket of the cover and use the band to hold the books in place over the plastic cover.

Picture ref 1: I’m using the plastic cover with the gray insert. At the back is the pencil board with the elastic band attached to it. 

Picture reference 2-4: The plastic cover and the many pockets for you to slot in name cards, craft paper, stickers or whatever else you need. 

What I immediately liked about the planner is the size. I am currently using a Hobonichi A6 as my daily planner and I’m finding it a bit too small for everyday use. The size of the Jibun Techo is just nice and a bit more comfortable to write in. I also like the weight of the planner, it’s not heavy and has a solid feel to it despite it being three separate booklets.

I really liked that the ‘Diary’ and ‘Life’ booklets have detailed sections to cover almost every aspect of life but in all honesty, I don’t think I’ll make use of all of them. The ‘Idea’ book is really a notebook. It’s in a grid format, which I love and will definitely use for bullet journaling and note-taking.

Left: The Jibun Techo in my Traveler’s Company notebook cover. Right: The Jibun Techo in my fauxdori.

I’m also considering the option of carrying only the ‘Diary’ and ‘Idea’ book around with me. I don’t really see a need to carry the ‘Life’ section with me everywhere I go. The clear plastic cover works fine and still holds two booklets quite firmly. I also tried using my Traveler’s Company notebook cover but the notebooks jutted out slightly, and I don’t really like it when that happens because the elastic band will leave a dent on the notebooks. However, it did fit in one of my wider sized fauxdori slightly better than the Traveler’s Company cover.

If I do decide not to carry the ‘Life’ section with me, I might consider using two ‘Idea’ books instead; one for doodling and one for meeting notes. Probably makes more sense to carry two notebooks around with me as I do write down a lot of notes when I’m out and about or in meetings.

Finally, here is a picture of the Jibun Techo size against my 4-month-old baby girl. As you can see, the techo is probably a little bit more than a quarter of the size of my baby girl… lol… I’m just playin’ with yah…

Baby vs Jibun Techo

Anyway, these are my initial thoughts. I’ll probably do one or two more posts on the planner after I’ve fooled around with it for a bit.

Where to purchase the Jibun Techo

As I mentioned, the Kokuyo Jibun Techo website is in Japanese, so I was not able to purchase it from the site. Anyway, I was lucky to be able to get an Etsy supplier who sells products from Japan to get me the planner. I usually get all my Japanese stationery supplies from her. I think there are some people who have also made their purchases via eBay, so thats another option to look at purchasing the Jibun Techo.

If you are interested in purchasing the planner for yourself, you can also try the Etsy store I purchased it from called Japaneseeasyshopper. It took about three weeks for my planner to arrive from the date of purchase.

Other reviews

When I was researching about the Jibun Techo, Belle Beth Cooper’s blog was the first I stumbled upon and I found her post to be very informative. You can read her review of the planner here. She also created a video review of the planner which is more detailed than her blog posts. Belle also created a Facebook group for those who share the love for Jibun Techo’s. You can request to join the group here.

I also liked Hello Kyoto’s youtube channel on how he moved from a Midori Traveler’s Notebook to the Jibun Techo.

About a week ago, I came across this Jibun Techo review at Rogue Mom’s Blog which I thought was also pretty detailed.

Ok folks, that ends my very brief overview of the Jibun Techo. Happy planning and have a great week ahead peeps!

Sometime back I wrote a post about how I felt that my general health was declining after I delivered my third child at the age of 41. There were a few things that I noticed changed drastically in terms of my physical appearance and strength after I gave birth: I was tired all the time, I suffered from constant backaches, my joints cracked and my muscles ache when I made sudden moves, my body felt heavy and I got out of breath doing simple tasks. 

I usually do a physical exam every year on my birthday month. A practice I started since I was 30 years old. The tests that I do religiously is a breast and cervical exam to detect breast and cervical cancer. I didn’t manage to do a full physical exam when I turned 40 due to my pregnancy so I decided to do one last month. 

Seeing that I had a lot of health concerns, I decided to list out all my worries and also did some research to see what other types of physical exams I should consider doing seeing that this would be my first full physical post 40th birthday. Suffice to say that I shocked the doctor with my long list (she must have thought that I was a hypochondriac with my long list of questions lol) Anyway, after much discussion with the doctor, I ended up doing a detailed medical check-up.

The results: The good, the ‘not so bad’ and the ugly truth

I’ll start with the good news first:

I was suffering from GDM (Gestational diabetes) during my last pregnancy. I had this during my second pregnancy too but it went away after I gave birth. The doctor did tell me that there was a chance that my diabetes might not go away this time around post pregnancy due to my age. Thankfully, my blood sugar level came back normal and I am in the clear. Diabetes is something that I really fear and want to avoid badly. My father is a diabetic and his siblings who have passed on, all died due to chronic diabetes.

Most of my other results also came back clear. So phewwww!!!

Now the ‘not so bad’ news:

The doctor said that my results were not so bad and pretty much expected for a 40-something female. To be honest, I was comforted to hear this knowing that there are other 40-year old females who are in the same boat I am. Anyway, after all the prodding and pricking, these were the doctor’s diagnosis:

Cholesterol: Test results indicated that my cholesterol was “borderline” but that I should not be concerned at this stage. She provided the usual exercise and diet advise including a recommendation to start taking red yeast as a supplement. I haven’t had the chance to research on this yet but once I do, I’ll share whatever information I gather on this blog.

Plantar Fasciitis: Ok. I struggle to remember this and honestly, I don’t even know if I’m spelling it right but I mentioned to the doctor about the pains in my feet and heel every morning… well, it is Plantar Fasciitis. I’m still trying to understand what this is but my doctor explained that the condition is common and all I needed to do were some exercises before I take my first steps in the morning. I’ve been doing that since I got the diagnosis and thankfully, the pain does seem to be subsiding.

Bad eyesight: I used to be able to tell people that I have perfect vision, now I can only tell people I HAD perfect vision. I’ve been struggling with night time driving and reading for the past year and have been delaying doing an eye exam. Finally checked my eyes and as expected, I need glasses. The only comfort I take in this is that I had to shop for new glasses and ended up with a beautiful Kate Spade frame. I’m rocking the new Kate Spades by the way.

Not so bad right?

I also consulted a specialist on my joint and muscle pains and they told me it’s nothing serious. The reason why I am experiencing pain in my knees could possibly be due to my carrying the baby weight during the pregnancy. I also had severe and constant pains on my left shoulder blade and after further checks, I was told it is most likely because I rarely nay, NEVER exercised and sat in front of the computer for long hours.

I’m currently undergoing sessions with a chiropractor to improve my backaches and muscle pain. I’m still feeling the pain but I’m feeling much better now compared to how it was a month ago.

The ugly truth, I realize after doing my medical exam, is that I need to commit to a healthier lifestyle. If I’m feeling terrible now, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in my 50s, 60s and so on. God willing I live that long. Gone are the days where I can eat anything and never exercise but still feel and look good. The high metabolism levels I had in my youth is GONE. I’m no longer a nimble 20-year old but a 40-year-old who’s walking around like an 80-year-old. AND I seriously need to start hitting the gym.

I’m glad I did a full medical check-up, even though I had to see a few doctors to make sure I got everything covered. It’s forced me to re-asses my current state of health and create a plan to improve my overall well-being in preparation for the next stage of my life.

If you are in your early 40’s and you haven’t done a medical check-up yet, please do yourself a favor and go see your GP. It doesn’t matter if you have a health concern or not.

By the way, are you aware of the medical tests that you should be taking once you hit the big 4.0? If you’re not, don’t worry… I got you covered. Before I met my doctor, I basically listed out all my health concerns and did some research. I’ve compiled a list of basic medical tests and procedures every female who turns 40 should consider taking. It’s not a long list but you can use it as a point of discussion with your doctor and they will recommend the best test for you.

These are some of tests that you can consider discussing with your GP. Your doctor will advise which is necessary for you once they’ve reviewed your medical history.

  • Mammogram – what I’ve read so far is that this is a MUST for anyone who turns 40. Where I’m from, the Malaysian government actually gives you a free mammogram check-up voucher on your 40th birthday. A mammogram helps with the early detection of breast cancer.
  • Breast check – test to also detect breast cancer. I do this every year without fail since the day I turn 30. A trained professional will be able to detect any abnormalities that may have been missed by the mammogram or if you’ve decided not to do the mammogram. In addition to this, you should do a self-breast check on a monthly basis.
  • Pap Smear and pelvic exam – this procedure is to detect cervical cancer and should be done every year. I have been doing this test yearly since my 30’s as well.
  • Pap Smear plus HPV test and pelvic exam – this test should be done at least once every five years or as required.
  • Blood cholesterol test – this procedure will help measure amount of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL, and “good” HDL cholesterol circulating in the blood.
  • Blood pressure check – measures blood pressure, an indicator of heart risks.
  • Fasting plasma glucose – blood sugar test, diabetes indicator.
  • Eye exam
  • Dental exam

The list I’ve compiled were collected from a few websites. I’m not a medical practitioner, so please use this as a guide and a point of reference to discuss with your GP. Please feel free to print the guide as a checklist by clicking on this link: Health Screening Checklist

As you grow older, there are other tests you should consider adding to the list. You can view the full list of tests and procedures in WebMD’s website.

In the meantime, stay healthy and be happy.


Last year, I sent my kids to pre-school for the first time. My closest friends would tell you how I cried my eyes out sending the kids to school on the first day. My eldest adapted well to his class from the beginning. My second son who was only 4 years old at the time, however cried his eyeballs out. It took all the strength that I had to stay calm and not cry in front of him and to leave him behind at school.

This year however, I was happy to send my kids back to school after a month-long break. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids but school helps occupy my kids for half a day and gives me freedom during that period to catch up on my to do list with little distraction. This year, the kids are in their second year of pre-school and thank God they were happy to be back in class.

So what did I do with my free time when the kids are back at school?

Well usually I’d clear up things on my to do list, you know… important things like; Facebook-ing, napping and/or catch-up on the latest Life in Pieces episode… I’m kidding but today being the kids first day back at school I did celebrate.

After dropping the kids off I switched on George Michaels’ Freedom to the max and sang out loud while I drove to my favorite neighborhood café.

I ordered the biggest breakfast meal on the menu and ate in peace while scrolling the news on my phone. No multiple questions thrown at me, no listening to the kids complain about 1001 things, no fighting, no crying, no kids pulling on my clothes for attention … just one and a half hours of breakfast, alone, in silence… BLISS!

Then I went back and took a nap with the baby.

I think I gained my sanity back… until the next school break that is…

By the way, have you seen this video by Whoa Susannah? I saw it last year and this video is so me right now!

Title:                    Younger
Author:                Pamela Redmond Satran
Format:               Audiobook
Duration:             6 hours and 48 mins

Sometime back, my husband introduced me to a TV series called Younger, a program he was certain I would love. My husband knows me too well. I was hooked from the first episode of the first series and binge-watched the first two seasons back to back. The finale for the third season had just ended last week and I am looking forward to watch the fourth season in 2017.

Anyway, I didn’t realize until about a couple of weeks ago that the TV series was based on a book of the same title written by Pamela Redmond Satran. I was browsing Audible and stumbled on the book and realized it was the same as the series. I don’t usually bother to read books when I’ve seen the screen version already but I decided to purchase the book anyway for fun.

While the premise for the book and the series were the same, there are of course some big differences in terms of characters from book to screen.

The book is about 44 year old Alice, who had recently gone through a divorce and was finding trouble to look for a job. In desperate need to make a change in her life, her best friend Maggie helped transform her looks through a make-over. Thanks to the make-over Alice now can pass off as a younger girl and she managed to secure not only a job but also a younger boyfriend.

I’ll start first with the differences between book and screen:

First, the book character is called Alice and the screen version is Liza.

Secondly, Josh is a 25 year old game designer who had just broken up with his fiancée. In the book, he is just getting ready to head to Japan to learn more about game design. Whilst the Josh from the tv series is a well known tattoo artist who owns his own tattoo studio or ‘parlor’ as Liza had called it the first time she met him at a bar in the first series.

Thirdly, there are more characters in the show than in the book. Which makes sense cause a TV series would allow you to expand the characters and the storylines better than a book of only 300 over pages. Plus, the Diana in the book is a mother of three whilst the Diana on screen is a single lady in her 40’s still in search of love. I much prefer the Diana on screen that the bitchy bossy Diana version from the book.

Younger is a short book, only six hours of listening in audiobook format and about 300 plus pages in the paper format. I finished listening to it within two days. It’s a light and easy read. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the book as much as I do the TV series. I find Alice’s character in the book to be shallow and annoying and much prefer Liza in the TV series. I gave it a two-star rating in Goodreads.

Rogue One was not a movie that I expected.

A few days ago, I went into the cinema expecting to be entertained with the classic styled Star Wars movie that I have grown to love. Rebels fighting for a cause with Jedis showing their skills with maybe a few awesome lightsaber fighting scenes and my most favorite part of all for Star Wars is the light banter that happens between the characters that made the movie so much fun to watch.

Rogue One is different. It’s much darker and more serious in its story-telling style.

I struggled to enjoy the first half of the movie. Waiting for the film to fulfill my expectations. I can’t help but felt a slight disappointment. BUT, the final act of the movie was when the action began. AND, I have to say the unexpected ending made such an impact that it made up what I felt was lacking the traditional Star Wars feel in the first half of the movie.

I really had mixed feelings about the movie when I exited the cinema but I saw it for the second time today and I’ve come to appreciate the movie more. Rogue One is a stand-alone movie from the Star Wars franchise and has its own style.

Once I accepted that fact, I realized that it is a great movie.

Fun fact: It’s the only Star Wars movie that did not feature the original music score.

Favorite character: The blind warrior monk, Chirrut Imwe; played by Donnie Yen.

Favorite scenes: Darth Vader being a badass killer in the only lightsaber scene and of course the surprising ending.



I am a bit worried about my general health. Since I hit my forties, there have been drastic changes happening to my body. It’s been especially obvious since I gave birth to our baby girl in October this year. If my body is feeling rusty now, I can’t imagine how I would feel when I hit my 50’s.

There are a couple of things that I need to concentrate and recover from:

Upper back pain
For almost two years, I’ve had a consistent pain on my left shoulder blade. It’s been getting worst after I gave birth. Possibly because I carry the baby mostly with my left arm. It gets really bad that sometimes it gives me headaches. I’ve tried physiotherapy in the past but not consistently. I think I may need to go back for treatment and stick to the exercises more consistently this time.

Bone and Joint pains
This is going to make me sound VERY, VERY OLD but my knees makes crackling sounds when I walk up the stairs. It’s terrible and it started after I gave birth.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that my bones ache when I wake up in the morning. The first steps I take getting up from the bed, is really painful. I’m literally walking like an old woman because my feet ache. I reckon this is due to lack of calcium and also exercise. I’m not sure if taking extra doses of calcium would help.

Slow recovery post delivery
When I gave birth to my second son four years ago. I was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy size within a few weeks. NOW however, I still have my baby weight and my flabby tummy looks really really bad.

My husband took a candid picture of me last week and I was pretty shocked to see my flabs sticking out everywhere. I mean I was a bit flabby after giving birth to my first son but this time around the flabbiness looks really bad. I might not be able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight but I’d really like a toned body. A flabby figure is not what I want to live with.

During my pregnancy, I was also suffering from dry, flaky skin. Unfortunately, the dryness has not recovered post-maternity especially on my face AND… I HAVE ACNE! AT 41! ACNE! Can you believe it? If there was one thing I loved about leaving my teens, it was the fact that I didn’t have to deal with zits anymore.. but then this happens. Sigh.

General Health
I can’t climb ten steps of stairs without panting. Enough said.

So, this is my plan of action:
1. Consult a medical practitioner on what I should do for my back-aches, joint pains and brittle bones.
2. Research and find the right exercises suitable for people in their 40’s that I can do to help me lose weight and improve my general health.

I will be using this blog as my journal to chronicle my journey to fitness. I intend to make 2017 the year for me to start taking better care of myself and become a healthier person.

I’ve just watched back to back episodes of Younger’s season 3 finale. If you haven’t watched the final episode then be warned, there are spoilers ahead.

Breaking down the key events in the double episode ending:

  • Liza and Charles kissed
  • Josh sees them kissing which ruins the marriage proposal he had planned
  • Liza tells Kelsey the truth about her age

Point number 1: Liza and Charles
Oooooo Liza. Liza. Liza. How could you?

I know it’s tempting with Berlin singing ‘Take my breath away’ and all but still….

Anyway, I do think that Charles has more in common with Liza than Josh does but that makes it such a boring relationship if they were together. I doubt they’d last long if they did end up together. I love Charles but I’m not a fan of Liza and Charles together. I do have to give him credit for his excellent taste in music, I mean who doesn’t love Berlin!

Point number 2: Liza and Josh
If you can’t tell yet, I’m a BIG #teamjosh supporter. The guy is patient and has put up with so many of Liza’s issues. If that’s not enough proof that he loves her, I don’t know what is. I really do feel sorry for the guy though. Walking in on his girlfriend kissing her boss on the night he planned to propose to her, that’s a big smack to the face.

I’m heart broken with the way the relationship ended. I really love Josh and Liza together and hope that there is still a chance that they’d get back together again in the next season; though I don’t know how Josh is going to look pass all of Liza’s screw up.

Photo: Worn On TV

Point number 3: Liza and Kelsey
Honestly, I don’t know how Liza managed to keep the lie that she is a 40 year old posing as a 26 year old for so long from Kelsey. Anyway, I’m so glad she finally told Kelsey the truth albeit for the wrong reasons; maybe to make herself feel better and come clean to Kelsey after Josh had called her a liar.

I guess we’ll just have to wait for the next season to see how Kelsey reacts.

Before I end this post, can I just say that I absolutely love, love, lovE, loVE, lOVE,LOVE Sutton Foster in the white conrad dress by Ronald Mouret in this episode. The dress looks so beautiful on her and really shows off her endless legs.

Now… what to watch next to occupy my time until season 4 returns…

I started blogging maybe about ten years ago. My first blog was a book review blog called Ulat Buku in the City; obviously inspired by my favourite show then, Sex and the City. Yup, that’s how creative I am with blog names.

Anyway for those who don’t know, Ulat buku in my native language means book worm. When I blogged at Ulat Buku in the City, I blogged for fun and enjoyed socializing with the blogging community discussing the latest book launches and reviews.

After I got married, I still blogged but not consistently. Then when I had kids, I kinda stopped writing and blogging all together. I tried to go back to my blog a couple of times but somehow I felt that I outgrew the blog, specifically the topics I covered. I wanted to write about so many other things plus I was no longer a single girl living in the city, so the name Ulat Buku in the City felt like a misrepresentation of who I was. I started a couple of other new blogs after that but it all died after a few posts.

In the past couple of years, I have been thinking about what to blog about. I kinda wasted time on the thinking and planning that I never got around to the actual writing and blogging.

I just love to write. 

I do. I love to write and blog. It really is my hobby. And in the years that I did not write and blog, I missed it. I missed the process of creating a blog, making friends and communicating with other like-minded bloggers. So I’ve decided, I’m just going to start writing and blogging. No more thinking and planning. I will commit to writing and blogging at least two posts a week in 2017.

My strategy to keep this blog alive is just to write, blog, connect with other blogger and then repeat.

Why 40 and Above?

Well, I’m currently 41 years old and am going through a lot of changes in my life. So I thought why not share what life in the 40’s is like from my perspective. This blog will cover my personal interest; from books to family to food and fashion (or lack thereof).

I have so many things to share about life in my 40’s and I think it’s enough to keep this blog running for a long time.

Our little princess is almost three months old. Time really does fly by. I feel like it was just yesterday that my husband was rushing me to the hospital to give birth to her.

Not even three months old and she’s already smiling when she sees me and hears my voice. I love babies at this age. They’re so small, so innocent and so pure. My favourite moment is bonding with the baby during breastfeeding. There’s just this magical feeling when you hold them in your arms and they look you straight in the eye while they nurse. I love it.

Like I said, time passes by so fast. I hope I’ll remember this moment forever.

Don’t grow up too fast baby girl.


I thought it was apt that my first post for this blog be a quick review of what I’ve achieved in 2016.

This will obviously be a short post.

In late 2015, I decided to break the bank, quit a job I loved and take a break from my career to spend time at home with my family and pursue my personal interests. I’m very blessed to be able to take time off from work.

This past year, I completely took my career hat off and became a full-time mom. I spent quality time with the family especially the kids; I was there for them when they needed me without worrying about work responsibilities and that felt really great. I did activities with the kids that I wasn’t able to do much off when I was juggling a career; simple things like – playing with the kids, reading to them, catching a movie with them – like I said simple activities that has become precious moments for me.

On a personal level, I have to admit that I have wasted my year off. I had a list of things I wanted to do: explore business ideas, exercise, read books, start a blog – literally had 10,000 things on my to do list for the year. I did none of them.

The only thing I did however, was binge-watch TV shows. I caught up with old and new TV series that I never had a chance watching when I was working. So, I guess on a personal level I achieved being a successful couch potato with the ability of binge watching a whole season of a TV series within two days tops. Woohoo! Pat on my back.

So, I asked myself:

Could I have done more and striked-off some of my 2016 to-do list?
Exactly, what did I achieve this year?
Am I disappointed with my achievements this year?

The answer:

Well, of course I could have done more to achieve the personal goals I had set out for myself in early 2016.

So, what have I achieved this year?
Reviewing the past year, I believe my achievement is more focused on relationships. I feel that I have spent quality time building relationships and memories with the people that matters to me the most; my family.

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