Thursday, 26 July 2012

TK Maxx, and a Fabulous Paper Shop - Wow!!!

Hi all :o) Another stationery post I’m afraid.
After seeing the notebooks that you can get in TK Maxx in Weymouth I was rather gutted that I couldn’t buy loads of them, as there would be no room in my case to carry them all home.
However, I went shopping in Salisbury with Josie and Marcus, and discovered the TK Maxx there – oh my, I think I was in heaven (poor Jo thought she was never going to get me out of there – while Marcus helped me choose what I should get, including two notebooks for Jo for her birthday – ha ha ha!!!).
I realised a very important thing while I was there with them. No – I probably couldn’t fit them all in my case, but I have to fly back to the UK for a long weekend next month to pick the boys up, and I won’t need many clothes then so my suitcase will be fairly empty. Therefore I could leave some of my stuff from this visit in the UK and take some notebooks home with me (there is no way I was leaving notebooks behind – not with my boys –Marcus already picked one from the shelf for himself).
So here are they beautiful notebooks in all their glory, including a fabulous planner…

Pretty, pretty, pretty...

Emma Bridgewater - 3 pocket journals (blank, ruled & quadrille), A5 ruled notebook with elasticated fastening, and Jan Constantine B5 ruled notebook - I have a smaller blue one somewhere, but I can't find it... all at less than half price
Pretty paper inside :o)
Chelsea Home hardback, hardback bird (the one with the nest), paperback bird, and butterfly "My Life" planner from Life Canvas - major savings on the Chelsea Home one (70%+ savings) 
Bird nest top and Chelsea home bottom - cute 
"My Life" planner - pretty paper and great tabs.
Top tabs - Notes, To Do, Ideas, The Best
Sample paper 1
Sample paper 2
The Best section contains 7 side tabs: Music, Books, Films, Websites and 3 blank
Super cute planner for a bargain price of £3.99 - what a find!!!

And I just had to include a little note about a stationery shop I found in Freiburg on the way back from Karlsruhe. We stopped at a shopping centre so we could grab a bite to eat and a drink, and take a little walk to stretch our legs. Imagine my delight when I saw Die Papeterie when we stepped out of the shopping centre, obviously it would have been rude not to at least have a little look (especially as I still hadn't managed to find a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook in the flesh anywhere, even though I had asked in a few places). 

Honestly, this shop was like an Aladdin's cave of stationery heaven. They had Moleskine, Leuchtturm, Lett's, Montblanc, various pretty silver stuff, washi tape and last, but definitely not least - a fabulous selection on Filofaxes (and not hidden in glass cases or anything). I had a chance to hold and open so many beautiful filos (they even had the Osterley out on the shelf). Obviously I wasn't looking to buy a new filo while I was there, and unfortunately they did have the ruled Leuchtturm notebooks in the pink or the aqua, but I couldn't leave empty-handed so got these...

Aqua blank notebook (but it comes with a ruled and a quadrille guide, so it may work for me), and a red ruled notebook (I'll definitely use it one day...)  

Leuchtturms and some pretty washi tape (along with a couple of new tins, red Zen for my Tick Tock Rooibos teabags, and the cherry blossom one for storing stickers in
I hope you enjoyed looking at my new things, I am very pleased with them.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Really!!! I Did That?!!!

Oh my word!!!

I have to say, that after my holiday I actually feel very relaxed and calm, which makes a huge change for me I can tell you.

Well, I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning when I got to work and opened my lovely Holborn to see what I had outstanding from before I went on holiday so that I could plan my time as monthend will be upon us in a couple of days. This is what I opened it up to find...

In the chilled out state my mind has retreated to during my break, it found it almost impossible to decipher what on earth was going on - did I really do that to myself...? As much as my fun paper makes me smile, I really don't think that it is ideal for my work stuff, so this evening I have been trying to sort myself out into something more workable. I love my Holborn Zip, I really do, but I think if I use something with smaller rings I will be more inclined to reduce the amount of stuff that I keep in it.

I have also come to the conclusion that I really don't need my work and personal stuff with me all the time and am going to split myself across various filos.

Ideally I would have a compact A5 for work, but as there are none of those around I will move (for now) into my aqua Chameleon for work, using my old set up and then work out what I actually need and want in there. I really wish there was an A5 compact as part of the reason I keep so much stuff in my work filo is just to pad it out to make writing on the diary pages easier...

Maybe I should just print out inserts so that I always write only on the right-hand side...


New Arrival!!!

Woohoo!!! I have now got the wonderful pocket Ochre Malden from Lady Tammlyn - thank you!!! It was waiting for me to get to the UK and I haven’t been able to blog about it until now. I am still deciding what set-up I want and whether to separate my work stuff from my personal stuff. I have loved having all my stuff in one place (and I know it’s the sensible option), but if I don’t need to carry it round with me all the time, then is it really the best option for me…?
However, I came across two problems when I thought about this new baby:
i)                    I don’t have any pocket inserts at home as I gave them all away, so need to get a value pack of the standard ruled paper
ii)                   The ‘reason’ for purchasing this little beauty was so that I could put my iPod in the secretarial pocket at the back – it wasn’t until I put it in there and it fell out that I recalled that Steve’s post showed it being used for an iPhone, not an iPod – doh!!!
Complete with message from Ashlene

Lovely front pockets :o)

Doh!!! It's not an iPhone - muppet!!!
As I had a Saturday to myself in the UK I decided to check out all stationery haunts in Weymouth (to be fair, there aren’t many of them – although I was impressed with the selection of notepads in TK Maxx). Unfortunately the only Filofax stockist in town (WHSmith) only had the small packs of paper, and I refuse to pay that amount for 25 sheets of paper that isn’t actually that great, so I figured I would order some online… with the rubbish internet connection I have had during my holidays so far that wasn’t going to happen in time for anything to be delivered to my delivery man.
So, here we are in Karlsruhe after the Grand Prix and I mention to Ben that my iPod doesn’t stay in the pocket of my Malden – his response “Buy a cover for it, it should fit then”  - how did he get so smart (or should that be – why am I such a muppet…?).
Today was shopping day, and as we were walking through the shopping centre I spied Thalia (which also has a store near us that stocks Filofaxes), so I thought I would pop in and check out there offerings. Ben spotted the Filo stand as soon as we got through the door (he is getting good) and there they had a good selection of filos (although rather scratched) and to my surprise they also had the value packs of pocket sized paper available in lined or quadrille at 5.50 Euro, not a bad price – so obviously I got both.
I am looking forward to brightening some of these up with stickers and washi tape once I have decided exactly what I want my filos to do for me.
We then went into Media Markt to check out the iPod covers and as I couldn’t find anything special I went for a reasonably stylish black one with some rubbery bits to help it stay in the pocket of the Malden.
iPod cover with rubbery bits - ooh!!!
My purchases...
Fits like a dream - I think it's settling in for a sleep...
This post wouldn't be complete without a Malden family photo :o)

Visit to Germany...

As many of you know I have had some time off over the last couple of weeks, and I am currently in Karlsruhe, Germany enjoying the last of my time before I have to head back to work (where is that lottery win when you really want it?)
So, why Karlsruhe? Well, as we have no children until the middle of August Ben and I thought we would spend some time doing things that we want to do, and it just happened that the Hockenheim Grand Prix was this weekend, so obviously we had to get ourselves along to this fabulous event J
We flew back from the UK on Friday and drove from Zurich airport directly to Karlsruhe (there was no hope of booking a hotel nearer, but this has worked out well for us so all is good), arriving at the hotel about 1am. Luckily for us, although there is a pretty full programme throughout both days (starting at 8:35am on Saturday, yeuch!!!), the F1 stuff starts at a much more civilised time.
Breakfast on Saturday consisted of bagels from Coffee Fellows at the station, before getting a direct train to Hockenheim station. There were shuttle buses running from the station to the Hockenheimring and the service was excellent, quick and easy.
We watched the qualifying rounds and it started raining in Q2 and then seriously chucked it down in Q3 so the times for Q2 and 3 were much slower than in Q1. Thankfully we were in the covered area of the Sud-Tribune so didn’t get wet (although it was windy and a bit chilly). We watched part of the GP2 racing, by which point the track had dried up again, but didn’t stick it out for too long and missed the GP3 racing as we were both shattered and wanted to be sure to be up for the main race on Sunday. I think the grid girls were very pleased that the rain had stopped before they had to come out, it can’t be much fun for them if it’s raining. Much fun was had on the way out where we spent some time at the merchandise stands deciding what to get. I wanted to get a Maclaren top of some sort, but wasn’t that keen on any of them. However, Ben and the boys all have tops now – check out the one for the munchkin that doesn’t support Maclaren – Ferrari for Marcus, can you believe it?!!!
Lewis in the wet - Q3

Merchandise and mementos
               After a particularly bad nights sleep on Saturday (partly due to injuries from Centerparcs) we couldn’t face rushing to get to the track in time for  the final GP2 and 3 races, but did make it there in time to see the Porsche racing. They looked like little Matchbox cars, and with all the different liveries they had they looked very pretty.

And they're off!!!
First corner carnage... :o)
The winner...
The weather was fantastic, although the wind picked up again over the course of the afternoon so it was a bit cool in the stands at times.
The build up for the F1 race was great, first we had the drivers parade, in which all the drivers get on the back of a lorry that takes them round the track. Ben took photos and was very disappointed that he couldn’t see Lewis Hamilton (we eventually spied him on the photos – obscured by the giant F1 flag).
Jenson's head poking up on the right in the red cap :-)

Lewis hiding at the back behind the flag...
This was followed by the grid presentation, which we missed part of as we thought it a good time to get a bit of sunshine, ice-cream and stretch the legs a bit before the two hours of racing to follow.
Then it was time for the national anthem and the main race. We had a big screen to our left, so we could see what was showing on the TV, and we had a pretty good view of a few sections of the track. We had a great view of the guys going into the pits as well, so saw the state of Hamilton's tyre when he came in towards the end of lap 2. We didn’t hire Fan Vision, as I figured we’d just get totally distracted by it, and to be honest with the noise of the cars as they go round I doubt we’d have been able to hear the commentary anyway – we certainly couldn’t hear the commentary that was being broadcast around the track (German or English).
Grid girls happy with the better weather on race day
Ready to go...
Mr Hamilton has a touch of tyre trouble lap 2
OK, so Button was a lap ahead, but it made a good photo :o)
Alonso on his lap of honour
Schumacher on his way back in
All in all, a fabulous weekend – and definitely worth doing again. Would I do anything different next time? Probably not – other than maybe design some tops for Maclaren so there would be one that I would wear more than once.

Oh, and Ben and I also went for dinner on the Monday evening at the hotel - complete with a candle, so that's one to cross off my 101 list :o)

Monday, 23 July 2012

101 List Progress Check - July 23rd 2012

Hi All,
Super quick check-in today as I will be out to dinner shortly – loving time off work J
Make-up daily  -              I am so good, two more days to go and it’s completed… I am amazed J
Skincare              -              I am surprised (and very pleased) to be able to say that I have managed 13 days without fail so far – go me!!!
Supplements    -              Not going as well as the other challenges as I have missed a couple of days now while I’ve been on holiday (it’s much easier when I’m at work as I can keep them on my desk as a reminder to take them). Being at work has to have some benefits, right?
Family holiday   -              Completed. We all had a fabulous week at Centerparcs and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The swimming complex is fabulous (although I somehow managed to injure myself on quite a regular basis – including bashing my coccyx rather hard going down the steep slide – in the process of which I managed to melt 3 small holes in my new swimsuit…).
Being nice for two weeks            -              OK, so not as much success as I’d have thought considering I was on holiday, but much better than I would usually be, that’s a good start. But I started again on Saturday (after the family holiday was finished) and can proudly report that by the end of today I will have managed three whole days of being nice (or at least not being horrible). I will be back at work on Wednesday ready for monthend and Cognos, so we will see what happens… fingers crossed I will be allowed to wear a gag for 10 days, and maybe boxing gloves to stop me typing my horrible thoughts on instant messaging J
Off now to prep my other posts, take a few photos and enjoy the rest of my time off.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 12

Things that motivate me…
-          the thought of achieving something
-          Ben, he gives me the encouragement I need
-          my boys, keep me going on a daily basis when I’m wondering what it’s all for
-          cold, hard, financial gain helps sometimes. Although as a longer-tern motivator it’s not so great.
-          pretty things :o)
-          ticking things off my To Do lists
-          time out
What motivates you best? Looking for ideas :o)

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 11

Favourite things about this time of year…
Hmm, this is a tricky one, as I am not at home and the UK is having the wettest July imaginable. I believe the weather in Switzerland is warm/hot with thunderstorms.
-          longer days
-          going outside for lunch
-          being able to walk along the beach in the sunshine
-          longer days (yep, we get those too)
-          walking in the cool forest when it is just too hot to do anything else
-          the weather
-          the thunderstorms, the whole family love them
-          getting in the lake, must start that again this year
-          sitting on the balcony just chilling (for all of five minutes)

What do you love about this time of year?

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 10

At This Moment…
-          everyone else is asleep (6am Sunday)
-          the patio door is open
-          birds are singing
-          raindrops are falling off trees
-          the sun is not shining, but I am hopeful  that it will be later
-          I need to check out the land train route as we are going on it this morning
-          swimming stuff needs to come off radiators ready for later
-          boys are both going to wake fairly soon, two hours in the pool yesterday has worn them out and they have been asleep since 8pm.
-          it’s Dads birthday today, and I need to find his and Josies cards (they were packed, I am sure)
-          it is so peaceful
-          time for a cup of Rooibos tea with honey
-          whoa, about an hour later and there was a red deer just past our patio happily grazing away. Stunning!!! Obviously I had to wake everyone up to tell them.

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 9

Weekends Plans:
This weekend we will be at Centerparcs so it’s a short list:
-          Sub-tropical paradise for swimming
-          relaxing
-          food
-          possibly the aerial challenge
-          exploring Centerparcs
-          lots of cuddle time (Ben & boys)

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 8

Things that remind me of my childhood:
-          the Cotswolds
-          green turtles
-          frigate birds
-          Lancashire cheese
-          home-made cakes
o   rock cakes when I was little
o   others   -   Wharfside
-          Lancashire cheese
-          Lancashire hotpot
-          Simon & Garfunkel
-          tree tunnels
-          Kennet & Avon canal, Devizes area
-          Avebury
-          Jigsaws
-          Enid Blyton books
-          Dr Seuss books

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 7

I am not very good at…
-           many things
-          talking about serious things
-          getting things done
-          knowing what I want
-          creative stuff
-          staying in touch with people
-          outdoorsy stuff
-          sticking to my exercise plans…

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 6

Favourite Colour Combinations:
Orange & turquoise (since forever)
Purple & turquoise (ditto)
Turquoise, purple & Orange (ditto)
Red & black
Purple & black 
Purple & ochre (Pennybridge & Malden) 
Purple & pink
Blue & white (my favourite cardigan, jeans & a white T-shirt)
Black & grey
Pink & aqua (Chameleons) - no photo in my archive of these I'm afraid

What's your favourite colour combination (especially for filos...)?


30 Lists in 30 Days – List 5

I need an app for…
Loading all my scrapbooking papers on and Filofax divider templates so I can decide what dividers to make
Building my Goddess Circle year plan so I can mail it to myself for printing
German grammar
German vocabulary
German phrases
Spanish phrases
Logging my work hours

What fab apps do you use that help you?

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 4

You may have noticed that I have failed to publish list 3. List 3 is titled “People I Love” and I don’t feel like baring my soul and leaving myself open to criticism for either people I have included or people I haven’t included. I could make sure that I write the things that people would expect me to write, but then that defeats the whole purpose of writing things for me.
So, straight to List 4 - Things to do on a Sunday:
Walk in the forest
Visit the zoo
Go to the skatepark
Watch a film with the whole family
Go to the airport for Starbucks (one of the boys favourite treats)
Play with my Filofaxes
Go swimming
Have a lie-in and a lazy breakfast (that’s in my dreams anyway)

30 Lists in 30 Days – List 2

I Am Happiest When:
There is no drama
My boys are happy
Ben is happy
Any of the above give me hugs for no reason, just because they feel like it
Music triggers old memories
The sun is shining
The landscape is beautiful
I am seeing/learning/discovering new things
Spending time with friends
I have watched a stimulating musical
I watch a film that makes me cry (I feel lighter afterwards)
I have achieved something
I have direction
Someone I know/love/miss hugs me like they mean it (Lisa/Washy/Rhos/Lynnie)
I visit places that hold memories for me and I can just wander round and soak it up
I’m singing and no-one else can hear me
Starting writing on a fresh sheet of paper
I smell the season change

What makes you happy?


Monday, 16 July 2012

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 1

This Months Goals:

Relax and enjoy my time off (don't rush around trying to fit as many people/things as possible)
Spend some time thinking about what I want to do with my life
Complete/start some of my 101 in 1001 challenges/tasks:
          - finish reading Midnights Children and one other prizewinner book
          - 30 lists in 30 days
          - read final Shakespeare play
          - watch at least one classic film
          - 1 week family holiday, woop woop!!!
          - wear only feminine clothes for a week
          - skincare routine and make-up for four weeks
          - manicure
          - facial
          - be nice for two weeks (surely that'll be easier if I'm not at work, right?)
Dinner out with Ben at least twice (we will have no kids!!!)
Try to keep blog up to date while away
Dowload/print Goddess Circle resources
German school vocabulary


101 List Progress Check – July 15th 2012

Happy Sunday!!! (OK, OK – It is Monday now, but I wrote this on Sunday)
No time to write loads, too much fun to be had here on my holiday, so here’s the list:
Make-up daily – still going strong, even on a Sunday at Centerparcs, which feels a bit weird… lol
Skincare was restarted on Monday 10th, and is going well so far, though I can’t believe I said I’d keep this up for a month. But once the month is done I should be able to keep it going afterwards, which is a good thing – it is something I should have started when I was much younger…
Supplements – yay!!!
Midnights Children – woohoo!!! 83% down according to the Kindle. Thinking about it, this may not be the longest book in the world, it may just be that I have only been able to read a little each day. I may have to check out a bookshop to see how big the actual book is.
I have now done 13 of my 30 lists in 30 days, and will start publishing them soon… depending on the internet access here and the amount of time I have available to myself to hide out in Starbucks  – ha ha ha!!!
We are on our family holiday at Centerparcs now. We arrived in a deluge of rain on Friday afternoon (ooh, is that our private pool? Oh no, it’s just a very large puddle by our door).
Friday evening nobody fancied doing the cooking, so we all went to CafĂ© Rouge for dinner, which was really nice and the boys were very well behaved. They drew pictures for each other (see, I knew that being apart for almost two weeks should make them be nice to each other for at least ten minutes), and were kept entertained by the fish swimming around, although I was expecting one of them to fall in…
Saturday was pretty wet, but we went out to explore a bit and the  boys were fascinated by the bones and animal poo in the Rangers Lodge (nice), and they loved the outdoor playground. After a late lunch we took them to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. We were there for two hours, so by the time we left both boys were shattered. Dinner and ice-cream were soon followed by bed at 8pm, and they were asleep within minutes, not waking up until I woke them up after 7am to see a deer outside our villa. They will be swimming every day!!!
Have a great week,