Wednesday, 28 December 2011

One Life One Filofax... Really?

Hmm, I saw an interesting post re David Popely's GTD setup here and am now thrown into a quandary as to what to do.

As you will have previously seen, I own a number of Filofaxes in various sizes, and as simple as one life on Filofax sounds, I just don't know if I can do this...

Currently I am using a personal one for me, one to track my 101 in 1001 days challenge, a happiness binder (which will be used properly shortly), an A5 for the family (although I have to wonder if I am the only one who uses it...), an A5 for work, a mini as a wallet, and... I think that is it at the moment.

Now the idea is that all my planning should go into one binder, this would knock out the family binder, the work binder, the 101 in 1001 days binder, and my personal binder - and then all this would go into one place... can I do this?

There are three problems that I have to overcome to do this:

  1. My obsession with my filos means that I want to touch more than one each day - could I get round this by having a 10 minute gazing session at the end of each day? Or as suggested, I could swap the binder I am using regularly so that I don't feel that any of the binders are feeling left out.
  2. I temporarily used a personal size FF for work after my A5 went missing and found it very hard and it didn't really work for me, so I really need an A5 for work. However, I don't want to be carrying an A5 round with me everywhere and I only have 3 A5 binders.
  3. I like buying stationery, and want pretty things to go in my FFs as I am now at the stage where I can think about pimping them up (inserts only, I can't do anything to the outsides - that would just be weird), what will I do with fewer binders to play with?
Can I get round this by sticking with my A5 for work (this is kept mainly at work except when I have to do planning at home as I never have time to do it while I am in the office), whilst using one binder for everything else?

Clearly I will still try to use as many binders as possible for other things (eg the happiness binder, photo albums, recipe books - like I'll ever get round to doing that), but for planning purposes, can I manage to use just one for personal/family etc?

Hmmm... time to get my thinking cap on before I do my 2012 setup (although I think I may be going with the WO1P with notes so that should be able to cope anyway...)

Ooh - could a slimline cope with being a one file one life filo? Although having just got my Deco I think I can guess where I'll be heading first...

Any advice will be gratefully received.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Year End Stock Check - A Work in Progress

I am a bit lax when it comes to organisation, hence I have not yet got my set up for 2012 planned yet. I have been meaning to do this for a while now, and sort out my collection of filos to see which ones I want to use for what...

Getting my two new beauties for Christmas has given me the prod that was needed, and so on Boxing Day I started to go through all the FFs and take out all the inserts to see exactly what I have. I have been saying for some time that I need to get myself some more inserts so that I can have a box of them to raid whenever I feel the need for new bits and pieces in my FFs (and just to look at occasionally as just seeing a box of various sized and coloured papers would make me smile).

Oh my word, having taken out the inserts from my personals, pockets & minis, I now see that I actually already have quite a lot of stuff - admittedly quite a lot of it is made up of 2011 and 2012 diaries, but that is fine, I am sure I will find a use (or a new home) for most of them. I still need to package the subject indexes as I couldn't even think what they were called, and then have to pull the inserts from the A5s, A4s and the slimline, but as there are fewer of these they won't take as long.

Here are a few pics of the work in progress last night.

OK - a few more than I realised

The Ben 10 jigsaws are not mine :o)

Maybe I need to get a bigger table...
And then I labelled some and packed it all away ready to carry on today after I have taken the boys into town and worn them out.


Christmas Fun

Warning - too much writing in this post I'm afraid, Christmas is great!!!

What a lovely Christmas we have had this year. The boys are both that little bit older so were excited in the run up to the big day (although thankfully not over excited).

DF's dad came over to spend Christmas with us, which is fabulous - unfortunately last year there were problems with the weather in the UK and he couldn't get here.

Christmas morning came and the boys were up at 6:15am, which is OK as that is the time they always get up (yes, even at weekends - I really need to train them better). And for the first time in quite a while I got ready and did my make-up (with only one week to go until completion of the make-up part of my 101 things to do in 1001 days there was no way I was going to leave it until later and run the risk of forgetting altogether).

The boys were very pleased to see their little Christmas bags from each other in their bedroom and had come downstairs and taken a sneaky peek in the front room with their torches before coming through to ask if it was morning yet. They hadn't even opened the bags in their room, bless them :o)

They opened most of their presents before anyone else started, but that was fine, we had a trick up our sleeves for them, but the hit of the day has to have been the walkie-talkies... which were and will continue to be a tad annoying at times, but they are happy

And then came the adults presents - DFs dad got a digital SLR camera, which he is loving (and which will be used for some of the photos for this post shortly), while DF got a winter coat (thankfully he does  actually like it - so now I can breathe again) and some more of his fave Jean Paul Gaultier shower gel and perfumey stuff.

So what did I get? I am so totally spoilt!!! My ruby Deco and London 2012 Line Burst in blue were boxed, and all ribboned up under the tree (I was allowed to know these as I had placed the order myself).

I had a sneaking suspicion that I may get an extra present under the tree as it had been feared that I would have no presents under the tree as my filos had been lost in transit, and I had bought myself a coat from DFs dad (white, puffy and full of feathers - just like wearing a duvet - the coat, not DFs dad...) to wrap up and put under the tree but DF clearly thought I deserved even more special things - I must have earned myself lots of Brownie points at some point...

But what was that...? - a third FF box...? At that point, being a total FF fan, there are a few thoughts that pass very quickly through your head:
  • Ooh - another FF, what is it...?!!!
  • Oh, please don't let it be an Apex... DF knows that I almost stalked someone because I thought they were going to buy one (and not for good reasons either)
  • Oh - maybe it's a cunning ruse. Two FFs arrived with boxes, paper and ribbon for wrapping, but the Deco already had a box... maybe he is toying with my Filofax emotions...
Box 1... the fabulous blue Line Burst, I just love the inserts. There is a good chance that this filo will never be used and will just remain as a fabulous piece of memorabilia, but it is cute - and that today marker - love it!!!

Box 2... the long coveted ruby Deco in all its glory. So beautiful that until it came to time to take photos I couldn't bring myself to remove the protective plastic from that sophisticated clasp. It is so soft, the insides are divine and the whole thing is just pure luxury. I was however, quite fine with ripping its guts out to sort all my inserts ready to decide what I want to use where.

And so it was with trepidation (and a warning that he had better get ready to start running if it was an Apex) that I opened box 3 to find...

He is amazing and I do love him!!! I kept thinking about getting an iPhone, not because I wanted an iPhone specifically, but because the thought of all those apps to play with just appeals to me - lots!!! Being the workaholic that I am I have never actually looked at what the iPod does, I was thinking music, music and er... music. How wrong I was!!! All those fun apps are available on the iPod - I think I may have just died and gone to Heaven :o)

The boys were very surprised (and thrilled) to find that a football table had appeared upstairs when we went back up after opening the presents -  our 6 year old clearly gets to play this way too much at his lunch club at school as he is pretty good already and delighted in taking everyone on :-)

On returning downstairs it was noticed that there was an envelope stuck in the tree... and now the boys think we are the best... tickets to see Batman Live when it comes to Zurich in February. They saw the posters ages ago and got very excited, but haven't mentioned it for a while and so were very pleased when they saw what the tickets were for. We are now all looking forward to going to see the show :o)

The rest of the day passed with no calamities - the boys went out with their Grandad and the walkie-talkies while DF and I cooked lunch, and the afternoon was sunny, fun and relaxing (mainly - come on, the boys are 4 and 6, it's Christmas, it had to get a bit hectic at some point).

Boxing Day just served to remind me how lucky we are to live here in Switzerland. Although there was no snow, the sun was shining, the sky was clear and on our afternoon walk (those extra calories have to go somewhere) we even saw a horse and trap... lovely.

Enjoy the rest of the Christmas season and New Year.



Monday, 26 December 2011

101 List Progress Check - 26th December 2011

Well it's the Christmas season and I'm using that as my excuse reason for getting a bit behind with blogging about my progress, but will keep this short and sweet as I also need to do a Christmas post...

  • Make-up - I have now managed a full 3 weeks of wearing makeup every day, even putting it on before opening presents on Christmas morning, 1 more week to go - woohoo!!!
  • Skincare - a big fat fail!!! I am rubbish at following a skincare routine, and almost never remember to take my makeup off before going to bed. Although I am getting into a routine in the mornings, so I guess it could be worse...
  • Classic books - Jane Eyre is now finished, and was as suspected a damned good read. As it was Christmas week I figured that I should read Dicken's - A Christmas Carol (it wasn't on my list so in theory I can take one of the others off - I'm not sure how it was on my Kindle when it wasn't on my list, but I can live with that). I finished reading it last night and so think I may move on to Tess of the D'Urbervilles next - although I may have to see if I can change the font size as it is quite small - not ideal for reading in bed.
  • Films, new releases - a friend of mine came over last weekend and brought a few films with him, so I have now watched Captain America (fab, shame about the ending, but I understand why they had to do it), and Horrible Bosses (quite amusing in parts, but not one I would be likely to watch again and again). I'm not sure if these count as new releases, I need to check when they came out on DVD, but believe it was the second half of this year... we'll see.
  • Flylady habits - I'm still on just the 2 habits at the moment, but am very pleased with myself for managing to get the whole place clean and tidy and keeping it that way over Christmas - can we make it through to New Year? And I'll be working on bringing in a third habit soon... maybe sorting out clothes the night before...
  • Shows - now that all the Christmas presents have been opened I can reveal which show I managed to get tickets for. We're off to see Batman Live when it comes to the Hallenstadion in Z├╝rich in February - the boys were very pleased when they found out :-)
  • Cooking with the boys - Christopher and I started off nice and simply with some shop bought sweet pastry for him to roll out and cut animal shapes out of to have as biscuits - does that count? I've also bought in some biscuit dough from the shop so that we can make some today, he loves cutting out the shapes. I really must learn where I can get self-raising flour from over here (and what it's called...)
I am going to start planning when and how to get all my 101 things in 1001 days done to try to make sure that I complete all of them (or at least most of them - 101 things is a lot to get through...)


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dividers - Shopping for Materials


I got an afternoon off work on Wednesday and I was so excited, and I know it's a bit sad to get so excited about the chance to go shopping for stationery, but I had heard about a shop in Zurich that may sell scrapbooking papers, cardstock and all the other bits and pieces that go with scrapbooking. So when twelve 'o' clock came, I was out of the office faster than you can say "Malden rocks" and on the tram into the city.

I got to the stationery store at 2pm as I wasn't sure if they'd be one of the places that shuts for two hours at lunchtime, which is quite common in Switzerland. They had quite a good selection of stickers, and various bits and pieces, along with patterned origami papers, Success personal organisers and inserts, plain coloured paper and some rainbow stuff. Unfortunately though, they didn't have what I was looking for. No patterned scrapbooking paper, and their plain coloured paper could only be bought in packs of ten, and as I don't want to be making a load of dividers in the same colour I didn't really want to be buying these packs. But I did manage to buy metallic pens to write on my black dividers, and some packs of coloured pipe cleaners for the boys to make things with, as they love them.

But what had I done with my two hours between leaving work and arriving at the stationery store...? As I was on a stationery mission, I thought I would check out the stationery sections of a couple of the department stores (Co-op and Globus). I was impressed with both as Co-op had a good selection of A4 coloured papers available individually for only 50rp each, and they also had boxes of photo corners which I will be needing soon for customising my dividers, and I will potentially be using one of my FFs as a photo album.

Globus on the other hand... oh my word!!! They stock Filofaxes!!! Admittedly I would never buy a filo over here as the prices are extortionate, but they had loads. Amongst the shelves of inserts and pens, they had a glass cabinet devoted entirely to FFs - stunning!!! I longed to touch them, but they were locked away - but I had a good look to check out their stocks, Chameleons, Maldens, no Deco, but what did I spot, top shelf as it was so exquisite - THE OSTERLEY!!! Please excuse shouting, but IT IS GORGEOUS!!! The plum Osterley will be the next filo on my list of coveted filos to own. As the Deco is coming for Christmas, then maybe I will be lucky enough to get the Osterley for my birthday.

And then, what did I see to my right, on the open shelves running along the side of the stationery department...? Dominoes in all colours and sizes, along with... eeeuw the dreaded Apex... in all it's vile colours. I actually picked one up to see why anyone would buy one (unless it was their first one, and then they know no better), and really cannot see the appeal. While I was looking at the dominoes - the orange one is very nice and isn't available on the UK site - a lady came over pushing a buggy and went straight for the black Apex, I felt a wave of panic come over me and moved off slightly to the inserts. She then picked up the frightening green one, it was like she knew what she was looking for and just couldn't decide which colour to get. All I could think of was how I could approach her (with my very poor German) without seeming like some total freak!!! If she was buying for herself and has that bad taste, then fair enough, or if she was buying for someone of school age, but if she was thinking of buying for someone because they love filos, then it would be the worst decision ever. Thankfully she stepped away from the Apexes, and went off to another area.

Is it wrong that I had to fight an urge to stalk her until she left the store to make sure she didn't buy it as a present for someone?


101 List Progress Check - 11th December 2011

Well, there has been limited progress this week, although I am now a whole week through the challenge of wearing make-up every day for 4 weeks :o)

Unfortunately, as sensible as it would have been, I am rubbish at taking my make-up off each evening and have never successfully managed to follow a skincare routine. However, I have now decided on a simple routine that even I should be able to fit in:
                        am       -        Pulp Friction fruity foaming body scrub while in shower
                                             Nivea make-up remover wipes

                         pm      -        Cleanse with cleansing lotion/baby lotion
                                             Tone with Simple toner

I started this morning, so need to keep it up until January 7th - wish me luck!!!

On Friday I bought the newly released Bad Teacher on DVD and actually managed to sit and watch it with Ben in the evening. Not sure that it should really be a 12 rating, but amusing enough, although it is probably one that I wouldn't watch again for quite some time. I will never be able to think of Justin Timberlake in the same way ever again either, which is a bit disappointing, but I'm sure it won't affect me too badly :o)

I actually managed to get an afternoon off on Wednesday and went on a stationery mission to find materials for making dividers for my Filofaxes, but I will write more on that in a separate post.

I have also bought tickets to take the family out to see a show in February, but as it is a Christmas present you'll have to wait to find out what special treat I have in store for them - I can't wait, it'll be great.

Christopher has finally started showing an interest in learning to read, so I'll be able to start the challenge of teaching them to read, as they will only be taught to read German at school. I'm pretty sure that once Christopher has started, Marcus won't be far behind - although he is far more into doing physical stuff than Christopher is, so we'll see.

My Flylady/SHE habits are slowly coming along, although I do have days where I don't do them religiously. I am keeping my kitchen sink shiny, and swishing and swiping in my bathroom most days. So 2 habits into the challenge, and I am not going to beat myself up for not doing the chores every day as I work long hours and have 2 young children. I believe that as long as the habits are being followed often enough to make a difference to our home, then it's all good. It will be time to add habit 3 soon, hmmm - which one to choose...?

And blogging my 101 in 1001 days - I am managing to stay on track - yippee!!!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Surprise Pay it Forward...

I have just spotted this great idea on Miss Oakden's blog Vintage Giraffe for a surprise pay it forward. This is how it works.

I will send a surprise gift to the first three people to comment on this post. This gift will be made by me and I will send it sometime within the next year. Exactly when you will receive it will be a surprise (it will probably be a surprise to me too :-D). Seeing as I'm just not that creative, what it will be will also be a total surprise to me.
Of course there are some rules in this game. Here it goes:

Rules:1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people that comment on this post. It will be a surprise and may arrive at any time in the next 365 days (yes, a year).

2. To sign up to receive a gift from me you must play along too. Share the giving love on your blog by promising to send a handmade goodie to the first three people that comment on your blog post.

3. You must have a blog.

4. After commenting on my post, you have to post this (or similar) on your blog to spread the love. If you haven't posted in 48 hours then the next commentor will be chosen.

I don't know if three people will even get around to commenting on this, but I will say that if you find this post 6 months from now and only 2 people have left a comment, you can still be commenter #3 and get a random goodie from me! When you comment, I'll email you and get your address and then you will get something from me sometime before next December 2012.


Make-Up ... Fail

I know, I know - how could that one have lasted...?

I was doing so well, thinking I only had two days to go. Full make-up was religiously applied yesterday (a Saturday - totally unheard off except for a night on the town), even re-applying the lipstick a few times, as my DF has told me that the way these other girls/women still look immaculate at the end of a day is because they re-apply... - seriously? Who has time for that when they're at work?!!!

Well, yesterday afternoon, my youngest chap decided to empty the entire contents of his stomach across the floor (thankfully we don't have carpets and he missed the rug) and ended up sleeping on a mattress in my room for the night in case he was ill in the night as he sleeps upstairs from us. Poor little chap was exhausted when he finally fell asleep about 8:30pm, but we had quiet until 11pm, when he was ill again, but it wasn't too bad and he went straight to sleep again (though I'm not convinced he actually woke up). I was woken up at 4am by a voice at the bottom of my bed saying "My tummy's all better now" and there he was all bright and breezy and full of the joys, ready to play.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased that he is fine, but couldn't he have slept for another couple of hours before realised? Sigh...

Needless to say the last thing I felt like doing was putting make-up on this morning and grabbed the opportunity when I could of going back to bed for 90 mins. I was then woken up for lunch and figure that putting it on now won't really count. Having double-checked my list I have also discovered that the time for this task was 4 weeks, not 1 - ouch!!! What was I thinking?

Do I start again tomorrow (surely the run up to Christmas is a good time for this challenge)?


Saturday, 3 December 2011

101 List Progress Check - 3rd December 2011

It's been a while since I've done a proper update on how this is going. I must remember that, as not all tasks are one off events, I need to write the progress checks to see how I'm doing with the repeating activities too.

Reading the classics is going well, faster than I'd planned in fact. I've read Wuthering Heights (a bit tough going due mainly to language), Far From the Madding Crowd (enjoyed this one), Great Expectations (poor Pip), so I thought I'd read something else to break it up a bit. But flicking through my Kindle to decide what to read next made me realise that I'm quite liking the slower paced style of these books, rather than the books that I'm used to, where I find it really hard to stop reading until it is finished. And so the book of the moment is Jane Eyre which I think is going to be pretty good.

One of the guys from work yesterday told me of a big stationery/craft supplies shop in Zurich who have (or seem to have) scrapbooking supplies, so I will be paying them a visit to have a search for nice card to make my dividers and some adhesive film to protect the tabs.

As a start in my quest to become a domestic goddess (anyone who knows me knows just how laughable this is - I managed to burn out a hoover by sucking up a T-shirt and the whole of upstairs ended up full of a weird smelling smoke - I didn't even notice, I was too busy trying to hoover the dust from under the bed with the hose attachment...), I have managed to add two Flylady habits to my daily activities. I now shine my kitchen sink every evening and swish & swipe in my bathroom every morning or evening - although I must confess that the sink didn't get shined yesterday as I was just too lazy...

Surprisingly, I have actually managed to watch two new releases on DVD already, one of which wasn't planned at all (Thor), but still counts so I'm happy. The second one was one that I desperately wanted to see - Harry Potter Deathly Hallows - Part 2, such a good film!!! I will be watching this one again very soon I think :o)

Wearing feminine clothes for a whole week... how frustrating is that one? I was doing really well this week, and wore clothes from my new capsule wardrobe Monday - Thursday and then Friday came, what was I thinking. For some reason I had it in my head that I was supposed to wear feminine clothes for 4 weeks and as I felt like wearing jeans for work I figured that my 4 weeks could start again some other time. It wasn't until I got home last night and did my progress check that I saw that it was only supposed to be for a week - aaargh!!!  But I think I will wait until the summer to complete this challenge. Even though my capsule work wardrobe should help me to wear more feminine clothes, it is a bit chilly out at the moment, and some days all I want to wear is my jeans and a jumper - summer is definitely more conducive to wearing feminine clothes.

Thankfully when I gave up on the feminine clothes challenge yesterday morning I still put the make-up on as it turns out this one is only for 1 week as well, so 2 days and I am free!!! One question though, how do other people put make-up on and it stays all day and looks immaculate? I put mine on in the morning (face powder, or all in one foundation, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner and lipstick) and by the time I get home all I have left is eyeliner which is smudged under my eyes and making me look worse than if I hadn't bothered.

Christmas cards and presents by the end of November - not this year!!! I have bought all my cards, and most of the presents, but haven't done any more than that, although the Christmas presents for the boys re sorted (or will be when I get round to going to the main station to get the tickets for the Batman show).

Best I get those cards written this weekend or I'll end up having to use them for next year instead...


Friday, 2 December 2011

Filofax Taunts Me...

What a fabulous start to my week - I arrived in work on Monday to find a Filofax box on my chair containing my beauties from the Filofax Sweden sale. I am  now the proud owner of a slate Domino, a pink Hearts and a yellow Hearts - they looked so lovely sitting on my desk that I was tempted to keep them there as "art".

All arrived complete with the same inserts as seen in the filos from the Denmark sale (including the black dividers), so I am a very happy bunny.

My assistant Raffael - stop reading now Raffa!!! (how important does that make me sound, it's not that cool, it's just finance, but he is a superstar) - actually quite likes my A5 red Graphic that I got from Denmark so I had ordered one for him, and he is really rather impressed with how good it is (or so he tells me).

Filofax fixes for the year done now, right?

So there I was on Thursday, sat at my desk, minding my own business and working hard (it is monthend after all), when what should pop into my Inbox?  An email from Filofax VIP stating Filofax 50% Sales Ends 4pm...  aaaarrrgh!!!  I had done so well.

I had seen the post on Philofaxy letting everyone know of the bargains to be had, had a quick look, and then decided I didn't need any more. But surely just a quick double check couldn't hurt...?

But there it was... the one that I have coveted since I bought my first FF 9 months ago - the personal ruby Deco. That beautiful finish, that fabulous clasp... no, I could resist, but a pocket crimson Malden to go with my personal, that would be nice.... no, resist!!!

So I resisted, whilst Raffael and my boss both sat and laughed at me, totally not believing that I would be able to resist... Then Sabine asked what I had got - nothing!!! Honestly, these people have no faith in me whatsoever...

But I need the blue Olympic as my Christmas present for myself from my boys, best I log in... and I do need to order an annual vertical pull out calendar for next year, the tabbed month on 2 pages would be useful too... best I get those... oh, and the Cuban slimline in ink as Sabine is getting one and I would really like one, and they are half price... job done. Oops - did how did that Deco get in there?

Roll on Christmas day!!!