Friday, 25 November 2011

Dividers - Designed by Marcus...

Well, well, well - the young 'uns are certainly not trying to get rid of paper technology, as shown by Marcus' efforts in the joys of Filofax dividers.

I decided at the weekend that, although I haven't yet found the paper and card that I want to enable me to start on task 84 of my 101 things to do in 1001 days "Make dividers for Filofaxes in various sizes", I would at least have a go with normal paper to see what I could come up with.

I basically just created by folding and sticking the paper, punching the holes and slitting the edge to allow me to use a Post-It tab for the tab of the divider:

OK - so the style is distinctly lacking, but the colour is good :-)

Basic info re what has been done
 Within a few minutes of realising that Mummy has a hole punch Marcus decided he should put his dividers in his Filofax - along with a few other bits...

Opening the filofax correctly...
The blue divider (his 2nd) is already in, and his little red one that he did first is waiting patiently.
In goes Woody
This is very serious work... 
And in goes the red one :-)
Needless to say, that having discovered the holepunch, the filofax now contains rather a lot of coloured paper with random holes punched in :o)

Christopher was more interested in eating Rice Crispies before bed to be playing with paper and hole punches, but didn't want to be left out of the action:

Note to self: when the nice paper/card is found for making dividers, do not let the children see it until the dividers are completed...


Capsule Wardrobe - Great Afternoon!!!

After the disastrous shopping morning, Ben met me and took me to the Tivoli shopping centre for lunch and then we went for a bit of a wander around a few shops to see what we could find...although by this point there had been a slight change in the shopping list...

Trousers x1
Skirt x2
Dress x1
Top x2
Shirt x1
Scarf              (order online from Next - not urgently required)
Necklace      (order online from Next - not urgently required)
Belts              (I use belts to hold up my jeans, as an accessory they really don't suit me and just serve
                        to make my hips look even bigger, and they really don't need any help on that score)

I thought I'd give H&M another chance, and found the layout in this one is much better than the one in town, but didn't see anything I wanted to try on. They had a couple of blazers that looked quite nice, but I didn't like the finish on the lapels as they had obvious stitching, clearly part of the design, but just not for me - I think it just looks like it's not finished nicely.

The shop that I had forgotten? C&A!!! How could I forget this haven of sensible work wear (I never thought I would ever find myself feeling so grateful for C&A).

I found black boot cut trousers (I have given up on grey or patterned trousers as they just don't suit me at all, no matter what style I try), and a pair of teal cords which are a beautiful colour and will work perfectly well with grey, black, cream or chocolate.

Unfortunately I had worn a dress to go shopping and only had trousers to try on, which I didn't realise until I was in the changing room, and hence had to call to Ben to grab me a top of any kind :-)

He came back with my worst fear - a striped blouse which doesn't button right through but is fitted and a slightly stretchy material. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these tops, they just hate me and serve to make me look like I'm bursting out of them (and I really don't have big boobs at all...).

But.... he is amazing. The top actually fitted really nicely!!! Result, so I picked up 2 of those - one in a dark teal and one in red.

I then went on to scrub the skirts and dress from the list (it's almost winter, and will be just too damned cold for that kind of thing - although if I do happen to stumble across a long jersey skirt while I am out I may have to get one). And the blazer? Although it would mean that I would have more looks available in my capsule wardrobe, it is not essential, so I may get one at some point in the future, but it is not really needed.

As I now intend to wear proper shoes and trousers for work I figured I should also have some of those tights style socks (whatever they're called) and when I went over to the hosiery section I spotted a beautiful purple necklace and then a gorgeous little silver one, no need to look online for those now :-)

 So all in all, I now have a complete capsule wardrobe for work - result!!! Goodbye task 55, and hello task 56 I think. Although my clothes for work are mainly based around trousers, the tops, shoes and accessories make it all feminine, and so the 4 weeks of wearing feminine clothes shouldn't be such a struggle, although I will still need to think about it a bit so that I don't forget and go into work in my jeans and trainers...

No pictures to prove this one I'm afraid as I have just taken some photos to add and have discovered that it is actually quite hard to photograph clothes and get them to look good...


Capsule Wardrobe - Disastrous Morning!!!

Blimey!!! What a morning!!!

Tuesday morning after reading this post on How to Look Good at Any Age, and this one on Penny Golightly I decided I needed to put together a list of what I need for my capsule wardrobe and this is my starting point:

Trousers x2
Skirt x2
Dress x2
Top x3
Shirt x1
Jumper x2
Cardigan x3
Blazer x1
Shoes x2
Boots x2
Scarf x2-3
Necklace x1
Belt x2

My next step was to go through my wardrobe and see what was actually in there, so I could work out what shopping I needed to do...

Found for my capsule wardrobe:

Trousers black wide leg x1 (must stitch the hem on these, been on my list to do for a while)
Dress black, suitable for work? Check
Top longer line long sleeve black
Jumper black V neck, and grey in same style (must stitch the seam where it has come undone)
Shoes  - Mary Jane style in black, leopard print kitten heel
Boots - block heeled ankle boots, knee high flats with buckle detail, both in black
Cardigan - black basic cardigan, chocolate brown loose thing...
Scarf - black and white floral long scarf, pale blue floral square scarf

Time to shop:

Trousers x1
Skirt x2
Dress x1
Top x2
Shirt x1

Well, I got myself all ready to go. Shopping list in filofax - check, cash for bus - check, positive attitude and ready to shop - check...

Got the bus into Baden, no problem at all. First stop Coop as it is at the station and contains New Look, S Oliver and quite a few other brands. Quite a bot of time was spent browsing in here, but nothing I liked enough to actually try on.

Next stop, H&M, they have everything in there - surely even I can manage to buy something to wear for work in there... They must have the most unimpressive store layout ever, the only way to find anything is to literally go through every single rail... fine if you're looking in a big sale, but other wise - no, no, no!!! I tried on 3 pairs of trousers, one shirt and 2 tops, hideous, hideous, really hideous, and more of the same. I did a second round of the rails, but just couldn't face trying anything after that.

As H&M was my main hope I was pretty demoralised by this point, so decided to check out Manor, figuring that if I couldn't get clothes at least I'd be able to cheer myself up with some stationery :-) It must have been a really bad day, the clothes there didn't inspire me to try anything on, and I couldn't even bring myself to get excited about new pens :-(

I had planned to meet my other half in town for lunch and have the afternoon exploring and chilling together, but after about 2 hours in town all I wanted to do was go home, so back on the bus I went.

Did I mention how much I hate shopping for clothes? Oh my God, somebody help me...


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Hmmm - can I do it...further progress?

It's Sunday evening and I have the whole week stretching ahead of me with no work - bliss!!!

So am I spending my evening relaxing? No, I'm trying to plan my capsule wardrobe for work... aaargh!!!

Why did I ever think that would be a good idea? I have no idea where to go to try to find clothes over here (other than H&M), I can't order online as whenever I do I always end up sending the whole lot back anyway (apart from accessories), and I can't stand clothes shopping...

Maybe I should delay this particular task until next year and go to bed with my third classic book - Great Expectations :o)

However, number 89 can now be crossed off the list - I have had my appointment with my financial advisor (how grown up does that sound) and sone what needed doing.

I am tempted to change number 90 (save at least 60% of tax rebate) to 'spend at least 40% of 2009 tax rebate' as Ben & I never go out anywhere to do damage to the bank account anyway (apart from my splurges on Filofaxes - which are always at reduced prices, and I can stop at any time - really, I can...., and Ben's guitars, but I don't think he'll be getting anymore).

That way I can try to kill 2 tasks in one go - spending money and going on holiday :o)


Task 90 completed - from the meeting with the financial advisor I am not committed to saving more each month, and I have worked out that 3 months of the increased payments covers the 60% of the tax rebate. Woohoo!!!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

And the Winner Is...

Thanks to all of you who voted to help me decide which filofax to use as my happiness binder.

The proud winner is...... personal aqua Finsbury!!!

Unfortunately this has meant that I had to move out of the comfort of my Fins which I take everywhere with me. But she is going to be put to good use as my happiness binder.

My first ever Filofax in all her glory

Yeah - she still doesn't lie flat, but I don't care - I love her :o)
So I have now part completed task 49 - I have read the book, got the filofax ready and have even started to put a few things in - more about that one when it is a bit more loaded.

And so to the next dilemma - what do I move into... well... a picture speaks a thousand words...

Pretty box...

Can you guess what it is yet?

The cat is almost out...

Check it out...

So beautiful and stylish...

Moving home...

Side view - excuse the pen

Top view - so fat!!!
OK - so it was more than one picture (how could it only be one with a Malden?)

I know, this was supposed to be part of (or all of) my Christmas present, but I really needed it... :o)

I am so glad that I was allowed to have it early (OK, so I may have put a tint bit of pressure on, but come on, look at this beauty!!!) So soft, the colour is divine, the wonderful stitching and even the Filofax press stud looks posh. Now all I need to do is find a pen that I like that fits the pen loop as obviously this is way too posh to have been designed to fit my faithful BIC 4 colour pen in it :o)

Thanks again - you have chosen a very worthy winner in the Finsbury, and now I don't feel at all bad for moving into the Malden.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Danish Inserts... We Like!!!

I included some pics of my two new filofaxes that I managed to get in the Filofax Denmark sale the other day, and must now share with you the beautiful inserts that these came with. They just seem so much nicer than the ones that come from the UK.

As I got two sizes of filofax I can treat you to pics of inserts of both A5 and personal size - prepare yourselves for a picture heavy blog...

First up the A5:

Dividers - black, lovely!!!
A-Z Dividers
 For the dividers you get a set of 8 plus A-Z dividers. The 8 are labelled 'Kalendar', 'Info', 'Private' and 1 - 5.

WO2P diary with lines.  
Beautifully laid out with lines that are split in the middle so you can plan the day how you like, use them as a 'normal' full line or use left hand side for appointments and right hand side for reminders. The red writing on the Sundays and other holidays just give it that little something extra.

To do lists
10 of these babies came in my A5 and they are great for lists. Less space to write in than the UK ones, but more tasks to a sheet, so I guess it is a case of personal preference, but I may have found mine

Activity Planner
10 of these lovely ones too... Even I can work out what Aktivitetsplan translates to :-)  It's split into 3 sections, and I'm not sure but they may mean Activity, Time and Place, but to be honest, I could call them whatever I want to as long as it makes it suit my needs... and as if by magic

Folded Out
 It folds out to reveal some special list type thing 'What', 'Time', 'Who', something else and a tick box (Google translate clearly wasn't feeling very helpful today). But who needs to know what the sections are actually for when you can make up your own uses - the fact that the back of this is the fabulous quadrille paper makes this sheet a winner.

Contact details
Possibly too little space for me, but I will give them a go as they look prettier than the other ones I

And on to the personal:

Complete with 2011/2012 diary
I haven't taken photo's of the dividers for this one as they don't show up as well against the purple 
of the Finchley, but they look the same as the A5 ones, the difference being that along with the
obligatory A-Z dividers, you get 1-6 numbered dividers so no predefined categories on these ones.

WO2P diary
Again the WO2P diary is made to look that little bit more special with the use of the red, I also really like the fact that the lines are quite dark, it makes it all seem a little more defined.

Now these I found a little strange, they are very nice and can be quite handy, but the days are all in English - I have no idea why this is. No problem, it just struck me as a little odd. Although, if you have a Filofax then I think many people automatically assume you must be a bit quirky, and therefore having your timetable in a different language is totally logical :-)

To do lists

Notes pages

Address pages
And there you have it - a summary of the filofax inserts from Denmark - they rock!!!


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Being Nice... Fail !!!

And I thought I was doing so well... having a cold and two small children whilst trying to stick to the plan of being nice? Not a great idea...  although to be fair to them I think that I may have been a bit generous to myself thinking I had made it through the first two days.

Although I hadn't been unfair, I have to admit that saying something factual can also be classed as not being nice - not necessarily mean or horrible, but not really nice in the strictest sense of the word.

However, having now read most of The Happiness Project I have realised that trying to achieve perfection regarding being nice for 2 whole weeks is a pretty tough challenge for anyone (apart from those people who are born that way...).

I will be re-attempting this task again in the future (working from home today and being allowed to say things to my computer about various emails I received during the day made me feel a lot better), but will define better what my measure is going to be as I realise that it is not always possible to be nice constantly.

Time to rethink this particular challenge...


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Votes Needed - Please Help

Hi Everyone,

I have now managed to add a poll so you can assist me in the big decision of which filo to use for my happiness binder as per my earlier post.

Please vote for whichever ones you think would be best - I am not averse to buying a new one for this :-)



Work Filofax - More Decisions

As some of you already know, I managed to leave my laptop bag on a train the other week which wasn't one of my smarter moves, especially as it had my aqua A5 Finsbury filofax that I use for work with hours and hours of planning stuff in.

I know, I know - if I'd have done it on my laptop it would have been backed up, but 2 hours in an airport and an hour or so on a plane is way more conducive to writing than typing. And on paper you can sketch stuff out as well, hence I had managed to make changes to the diary template that I was already using. That along with the fact that I just love my FFs and writing things down - colour coding all the way, just means that I will probably never be a technology girl (apart from my iPad and my Kindle and my MacBook - what is it about stationery and FFs that just may writing such a joy).

Anyway, after a few weeks I had to come to terms with the fact that it wasn't going to be returned to me
and so I had to search for a new one.

The aqua Fins hadn't been bought with the purpose of being my work filo, in fact I had decided that it could only ever be a spare as I already had the aqua Fins in personal size. I was using an A4 Metropole in brown as I have always used an A4 day to a page diary as I need that much space to write my task lists.

I had been on Philofaxy one day and read a few posts where people were using the A5 for work and wondered if it could work for me... As it turned out, yes it could!!! All I had to do was to take my A4 templates (designed by me using Excel so easy to reduce in size to fit the A5). The bonus about this was the fact that I had a smaller page size without losing any lines. Yes, it meant I had to write a bit smaller, but as I only write on every other line anyway this wasn't a problem.

Finding a replacement has been tough, I loved the Fins, tough, pretty and practical, and decided that another Fins would be the perfect replacement, but in raspberry as I don't particularly want 2 the same. However, after searching and being unable to find any major bargains I decided I should consider other options.

Philofaxy stepped in again with a notice that the Filofax Denmark site had a sale on, and on there I spied an A5 Graphic in red (looking very similar to the A4 Logic that I had got from the Germany sale - see post) which although not leather appears hardwearing, practical - and very heavy!!! I also saw a bargainous A5 Chameleon in raspberry which will be with me next week, and although these are leather I am not sure if it will be sturdy enough to be my work filo, which will be a great shame as it is beautiful. And so the dilemma starts...

A5 Graphic - sturdy, scratchproof, actually quite attractive
A5 Chameleon - soft, leather, soooo pretty
The second part of the dilemma is the setup of my new work FF. Do I print out my usual day to a page diary sheets which were working rather well for me, or do I try to use the Danish inserts which look like they may actually be up to the job... here is what I'm talking about:

My templates (mostly from in my A4 and not the most recent version, as they were in my missing FF, but close enough).

Month on 1 page
Day to 1 page
Notes page

An A5 page that I had in my bag from using to scribble on after I updated the design I wanted
And then the inserts that came with the Graphic from Denmark:

Black inserts and quadrille paper
Fold out activity plan with quadrille reverse

To do lists
Week on 2 pages
As the Graphic comes complete with July 2011 - December 2012 diary I think I shall experiment with what I have and see how it goes. I have a trick up my sleeve that I already started using when I had a day to 1 page in my work FF, that may even make it possible to move to a week on 2 pages ;o)

I am looking forward to blogging about this one as without an A5 FF for work I have been a bit lost (which is pretty weird as I'd only been using it for a few months). I have been using the personal Fresco for the last couple of weeks to try to ease the pain, but will be so glad to move back into an A5.

Any advice, recommendations? Bring em on!!! :o)


Happiness Binder - Filofax Decisions...

Well, well, well - what do you know? A decision is now required regarding which of my lovely filofaxes I should use as my happiness binder...

I have read about half of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin now, without making any notes - I prefer to read first and then go back through and make notes later. I know this means that these things take twice as long, but it works for me and lets me pick out the bits that resonate with me the most.

Having read a fair bit now, I can see that quite a few of the things that I would be looking at doing for my happiness are covered in my 101 things to do in 1001 days list. However, this does not put me off setting up a happiness binder.

For the things that work for me and that I will continue to do, as opposed to those which are just one off events (eg a tandem skydive), I will include these in my happiness binder. Although I think that, at least initially, my happiness binder will be somewhere to store things that make me happy or inspire me - pictures, postcards, photos, quotes...

But to do this I need a storage device - and this is where my filos come in. I have already decided that I can't use a pocket FF for this task, so my options are out of the personals and A5s...

Personal Fresco

Personal Piazza in Sunflower

Personal Panama in Maroon

Left - personal Domino in green, right - personal Finsbury in Aqua (personal Finchley in Imperial Purple has already gone as this is my 101 in 1001 days FF)

Personal Botanic
A5 Graphic in red
As well as these, there is also the A5 Finchley in vintage rose that is currently being used as the family FF, and an A5 Chameleon in raspberry which will be arriving next Monday.

The other option is to buy an A5 domino (eBay preferably), as I would have no problem with covering one of those with stickers that make me happy.

The aqua Fins is currently my main personal filo, and is the first one I ever bought, but I will be getting a crimson Malden for Christmas, so could swap my Fins to my happiness binder.

The Piazza would have been a good one, but the colour isn't really bright enough to be classed as sunflower, so I'm not sure if it's bright enough to be a happiness binder...

Any input to assist me in this decision would be gratefully received - it took me days to decide which to use for the 101 in 1001 days, and I didn't have as many then :o)

I have now added a poll if you would like to vote.


Classic Book Number 2 - Done

Yep - you read that correctly, I have now finished reading the second of my 10 classic books.

Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd was much more suited to me than Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

It had the drama, the beautiful language that one would expect from a classic book, and a fabulous character with whom to fall in love in the guise of Gabriel Oak.

It actually makes me want to read more classics, which considering I have another 8 to read to complete this part of my list is a very good thing :o)


Being nice...

Woohoo!!! I am actually shocked at myself... Although I decided that the whole being nice for 2 weeks would have to wait until near the end of my 1001 days, I have started it much earlier than planned.

Thursday morning I arrived to work at around 9:15 (having decided I deserved a later start and would like to actually see my children at some point this week), only to discover that the postman had just left - and what was Sabine putting on my chair? - none other than my parcel from Filofax Denmark - I was so excited that it had finally arrived after the whole saga of non-delivery, being sent back and having to be resent - and here are my new babies:

A5 Graphic in red - potential new work Filofax

Personal Botanic - pretty!!!
 I actually ordered 2 of the personal Botanics as my brothers girlfriend is apparently an obsessive list maker, so I thought it only fair that she should be introduced to the delights of Filofax.

The fact that they had arrived, and that the inserts were so nice compared to the UK ones just made me ridiculously happy (so I don't actually understand what all the words mean as they are in Norsk languages - that is a bonus, as it means I can take them to mean whatever I want them to mean).

I will post about the planned use for the Graphic shortly... :o)

Coming up to 11am and I realised that I hadn't yet felt stressed out, and was still almost delirious about my Filofaxes, hence no need to be horrible/grumpy/sit at my desk uttering profanities - could this be the start of my being nice for 2 weeks?

I actually discussed the options with Raffael (works for me and sits next to me and knows exactly what I'm like), should I class this as the start of my 2 weeks, or should I waste the half day already won so easily on the basis that I was unlikely to be able to keep it up for the rest of the day, let alone 2 weeks (it is planning time at work, which tends to get me very stroppy, and quite vocal). However, I decided that I would give it a go. There were a couple of things that came up during the day which would normally make me a prime candidate for paying fines into the swear pot (thankfully we don't have one of those, or I would never be able to afford to buy another FF ever again), but just looking at my new babies took the stress out of everything - there were a few knowing looks from Raffael, along with big grins and a "I can see this is really hard for you" - but nothing was going to wipe the smile from my face that day.

Friday involved more working on the plan for 2012, and still no stress... it is now almost Sunday lunchtime and I have allowed myself the fact that I can't be overly nice to the children constantly - tears and tantrums still have to be dealt with, although I am trying to explain more (not easy as the littlest chap brought home a shocking cold, and now we all have it - apart from him, he appears to be much better than yesterday - thankfully it's one of these ones that are harsh, but over quickly).

This coming week I have to be quite dedicated to the 2012 plan, and know doubt someone higher than us is going to say that all the figures need changing again - and will I get cross/upset/frustrated. No. I may feel disappointed, but will not allow it to ruin my week (or at least I'll try not too) - I don't want to have lost these 4 days towards my target.

Wish me luck.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

101 List - Progress Check November 1st 2011

Hmmm... how am I doing? Not that great... but I may be on a roll soon (especially as I have a week off soon so will actually have some free time - yippee!!!)

So, I thought I'd start nice and gently with my classic books, oh my God - really!!! Did I really think that was going to be a 'nice, gentle start'?

Here is the list I gave myself:

  1.                Wuthering Heights                                     Emily Bronte
  2.                Northanger Abbey                                     Jane Austen
  3.                The Picture of Dorian Gray                       Oscar Wilde
  4.                Crime & Punishment                                  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  5.                The Great Gatsby                                       F Scott Fitzgerald
  6.                Jane Eyre                                                   Charlotte Bronte
  7.                Great Expectations                                     Charles Dickens
  8.                Lady Chatterley's Lover                             DH Lawrence
  9.                Tess of the D'Urbervilles                            Thomas Hardy
  10.                Far from the Madding Crowd                     Thomas Hardy

Now I don't know about anyone else, but I have never read any of the classics, they didn't come up in the syllabus at my school, and although I read a lot outside of school, it was generally more modern stuff. Unfortunately this means that I had no idea what I was going to be facing...

Being the good girl that I am I decided to start from the top of my list, so Emily Bronte was first up. For someone who loves reading it was quite an experience - the first 2 nights I fell asleep within a few pages as I just couldn't get into it and it involved turning my brain on (a huge bonus for Ben who hates me reading at night as he can't sleep when the light is on - which I think is just weird!!!).

Thankfully, when I was reading on the train on Monday morning I managed to get the hang of it - although trying to understand what Joseph is saying when he goes into his rants is quite beyond me at times. All those random vowels strung together, or just consonants - not sure what was going on for some of those bits at all. 

So now Wuthering Heights is now over (to be fair it was quite good, although not quite the love story that I assumed it would be - I've never seen any screen adaptations so had no real idea other than that it evolved around Heathcliff & Cathy, thanks Kate Bush) and I now Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd is currently the book of choice on my Kindle.

Now this one has been much easier to get into (Gabriel Oak - hello!!!), in fact I have already read 29% of it according to the Kindle (I really must give it a name - I can't keep calling it "the Kindle"  - I sound like such a pretentious muppet!!!    

Off now to eat some of these chocolates that we've got leftover from Halloween, whilst reading some more of the lovely shepherd ;o)