Saturday, 25 August 2012

101 List Progress Check - 25th August 2012

And here goes for the latest update...

Supplements... woohoo!!! I now have three completely empty tubs, and a couple that are started so I think I'm good to say I'm done, although I will obviously continue to take them to use up all the ones that are in the cupboard. :o)

I have read The English Patient, which was a book with really interesting characters and left you wanting more - so I have now read five of the ten prizewinner books that I have to read.

I started to de-clutter our apartment last weekend - it's something I've been meaning to do for ages and just never got round to, but having read David Allen's Getting Things Done book I felt it was time to at least get started. There is still a lot of paperwork in the cupboard to be filed properly, but I know that there is no paperwork that I have anything outstanding to do with. I now have all the paperwork that was lying in various random spots about the place in three trays - bills to pay (thankfully this is a very small pile as I am good at paying bills monthly and on time), filing, and requires action.

As part of this de-cluttering and wanting to create space generally we went to IKEA (again) and bought some drawers to go in the bottom of our wardrobe and some shelves so that all out tops could be folded up and put in it. I threw out all my clothes that don't fit me or that I have no use for and freed up three drawers worth of space (one of which was rapidly filled with scrapbooking supplies) - so I can now mark off the task "Clean out my Closet" as done - yay!!!

Today I went to town to buy a few things to help with my filing, so had a good hunt around in Thalia and found a few essential pieces...

Monthly dividers and alphabet dividers
And being on my own at the time I also managed to find a few pieces that have nothing to do with my filing at all, but are obviously totally essential to my Filofax habit...

A5 notebook, 2013 A5 Year Planner, white sticky labels and rainbow pencils
(three as I figured the boys would steal mine if I only got one) 
Side view of the notebook - 8 colours
Not a very good photo unfortunately, but the sheets are perforated for easy removal,
the paper is quadrille with a header box at the type in the same style as the Filofax
notes pages
 This paper is fabulous, although thin - the make is Miquelrius from Spain. One thing about living in Switzerland is that you pay a huge premium on most things, especially paper products for some reason, but sometimes I just see it and have to have it there and then without the hassle of going home, finding it on the internet, getting it shipped to here and then having to pay a separate bill for duty. It often is still cheaper to do things this way, but is just to painful sometimes to make that kind of effort - and you miss out on the instant gratification that sometimes a girl just needs.

I tried to get a picture of the scrawl from the rainbow pencil, but it doesn't show up well in the picture. Needless to say it will feature in a future post when I use it properly :o)

One last pic before I finish...

This was the view from our balcony when we got home from shopping!!!
Off now to do a bit more de-cluttering before I can sit down to set up my home A5 filo :o)

Have a good week.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Ooh – New Pretty/Functional Things…

Wow, wow, wow!!!
Last week was a fabulous week for me. Not only did I get my boys back after their holiday at Dad & Jo’s (my dad, not theirs – he was with me enjoying the peace and quiet), but when I got there to pick them up I had fun stuff waiting for me :o)
Alison had blogged here that she was selling some of her precious Filofaxes, and mentioned that she may also be parting with her raspberry Compact Chameleon… Now, I don’t have a compact (apart from the Pennybridge, but I don’t count that as it’s more of a purse), so it would be rude not to put myself forward as a potential owner for said compact in case Alison did decide to sell. Luckily for me, soon after I asked Alison to keep me in mind if she did take the leap, I received an email saying that it was indeed going to be leaving her and was I still interested? Of course!!!
Here is the stunningly attractive Cassie the Chameleon in all her compact beauty - I’ve not named any of my other filos, so don’t know why I had the overwhelming feeling that she should be called Cassie, but there you go!!! I think it’s the whole compact and beautiful thing, and I know someone who fits that description and she is called Cassie.

She has arrived complete with the Swedish/Danish insert that I love so much more than the UK ones (who wouldn’t?). And check out her dividers…
I also had a present from Graham, who plays badminton with Dad & Jo, which he dug out for me after he heard that I love all things Filofax. Check this out…

It is an insert holder (holds personal size inserts) from Time Management International from a course that he went on. It cam complete with dividers for the holder (I’m not sure what all the symbols mean), a few plastic dividers that will fit in a personal Filofax, and various inserts.

I am really looking forward to storing my inserts in here. Maybe I will move back into a personal filo for a while so I can try and use them properly J
My third parcel (yes, I am a very lucky girl), was one that arrived while I was at Centerparcs, but his was the first time I’d been to Dad’s since to be able to get it.
This is what Alison sent me as a thank you for the Sunflower Piazza that I sent to her... TA DA!!!
Huge stash of scrapbooking stuff!!!
Boy stuff ready for pictures of my little chaps
The pretty stuff for doing pretty things with :o)
I am so pleased to have got these – I now have papers, brads, ribbon, buttons, photo frame, letters, stickers and everything I could possibly need for my first scrapbook project, and for many others if I don't do too badly on on my first attempts. I am so looking forward to printing out a photo of my two gorgeous boys to use, and when it is finished it can live on my desk at work.
Signing off with huge thank yous to both Alison and Graham for their kindness and thoughtfulness.

Can I Live in a Pocket...?

Blimey – it’s my 100th post already, so what more fitting thing to blog about than one of my favourite things – my pocket Malden!!!
As I showed in this post I was recently the recipient of the wonderful pocket Ochre Malden.
Looking a bit chunky!!!
I was desperate to try out this little gem of a Filofax as it can hold my iPod so I can have it with me everywhere I go.
I set to work setting it up, working out everything I wanted it to do (everything except work basically).
I wasn’t too sure what diary layout I wanted, so threw together a basic WO2P using my quadrille FF paper.

I knew I wanted some pretty dividers, but wasn’t going to make them with proper tabs for the first ones, just cut some dotty scrapbooking paper to size and use some post-it tabs. How hard could it be? ...not very, if I could add up!!! I measured the size I needed using my pocket today marker (why don’t I already have the table of sizes printed out from Philofaxy? – note to self: must do that), and proceeded to cut the paper using my rotary cutter, which doesn’t have the measurements going high enough along the side that I needed them on – (really? I must check that out before I hit publish for this post…). Once I had cut them all out (schoolgirl error, cut one and check before continuing) I discovered they were too small – significantly too small.
At this point I was given the helpful advice “Measure twice, cut once” – yeah, thanks!!! The fact is, it wasn’t my measuring that was the problem, it was the adding to get it correct on the cutter that was the problem – OK, OK, I’m an accountant so I’m supposed to be good with figures – it was late…
So I got some of my Sentimental Circus notepaper and cut those to size instead, and here they are looking lovely in my filo.

Confession – these were actually the second attempt, the first attempt I got all the papers lined up so I could cut the bit I didn’t want off and do them all in one go, and then put them into the cutter the wrong way round and cut the wrong side off – it wasn’t one of my finest hours :o)
I’ve been using the Malden as my purse as well as my carry around filo at the moment, as I lent my Pennybridge to a work colleague to try out, so I’ve had it with me at all times, but still haven’t finished setting it up.
This is the grand plan for the layout:
1                    Capture pages

As you can  see, this has mainly been used for info from Web Finds posts
2                    Diary pages – WO2P with a section for my Flylady zone as cribbed from DEM
3                    101 in 1001 days – just a simple list for monitoring and to check when I have a spare few minutes to do some planning.    

4                    Flylady – 6 sections using my 1-6 Paperchase tabs (again cribbed from DEM)  

-          Routines
-          Weekly plan
-          Zones
-          Menu plan
-          Crisis cleaning
-          Quarterly/seasonal tasks
5                    Logs & info – sectioned using my Paperchase London buses tabs (love them) 

-          Exercise
-          Food
-          Work hours
-          Addresses
-          Birthdays/anniversaries
6                    Section for photos to carry around (none in it yet – I need to print some).
This evening I figured I would actually get round to finalising the setup (or at least get the Flylady stuff written in ready for use).
So what happened?
… Oh my God!!! How is it possible to write properly on paper this small???
That pretty much sums it up. I could do it on paper and then add it into my filo, but surely the point is that you should be able to write on the paper that you already have in there…
But… I worked out that I don’t need my work stuff with me all the time, so… how much of this do I really NEED with me?
Answers on a (very small) postcard please.

Monday, 13 August 2012

101 List Progress Check - August 13th

Sorry!!! I have got behind (seems to be my general state of being at the moment). Work seems to be getting a bit hectic again with project work, and I have just got my boys back from the UK and the started kindergarten and school today. Tonight they are back to normal, not going to sleep and getting out of bed every ten minutes because daddy's not here to give them a talking to - joy!!!

So, here is the lowdown on my 101.

Prizewinner books - I have now completed The Color Purple and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is definitely one I would read again in the future.

Classic films - I finally got round to watching the rest of Taxi Driver. The ending is not quite what I was expecting (although, to be fair, I'm not sure what I was actually expecting), but was done in proper bullet fest mode :o)

Supplements - still ploughing through these babies... yum!!!

Ripped abs - OK, so I have totally fallen off the wagon with this one (mainly thanks to my dad and his feeder personality - and my obvious lack of willpower). I have now put back on five of the eleven kilos that I lost. However, today Ben came home with one of these body fat scale things and apparently I have a body fat percentage of 38%. Having since looked on the internet and discovered that in most guidelines this puts me in the 'obese' category I have decided that:

                 a)       the scales don't work; or
                 b)       38% isn't actually obese (although that sounds pretty high...); and
                 c)       I really need to get back on the healthy eating and get some sort of exercise routine
                           re-established (stopping recording that in my filo was a bad move - I lost all

                 No-one needs to worry that I am suffering from any illusions as to my size, I know I am not huge and have no intention of trying to lose three stone or anything drastic as that would make me officially underweight and in danger of malnutrition. Just for info, I currently weigh 59kg (approximately 9st 2lb), and am 5'6".

Seeing Jessica Ennis in team GB has also helped my motivation - she is stunning, and those abs? Utter perfection.

Skincare routine - four weeks done, and I have kept it up since I finished (apart from one evening), so there is hope for me :o)

Finish work on time with no work to take home 2 days a week for 3 months - I have finally got round to checking my work log (I have been monitoring as I am trying very hard to leave work on time every day, apart from monthend, and have been doing pretty well). I have discovered that I completed this particular challenge quite early in June, and have further success regarding the third of my working hours challenges.

Work very late for 2 nights at monthend, and 2 'normal' late nights per month with no work to take home for 2 months - I managed this for March, April and May, but it messed up by one extra proper late night in June due to some project work, but as the challenge was only for two months then it's all good - yay!!! In fact, the last few monthends haven't even needed 2 very late nights, just the one for the close itself - double yay!!!

And the final work one...? As above, but with hours back in the form of working from home on Fridays with an early finish... Well - for the monthend close nights I have been having the hours back in  the form of time off, I don't do that with the standard late nights though as I don't see a need to. When this challenge was set my working hours were excessive to say the least and I really didn't think that the working hours challenges were going to be achieved so early in the 1001 days, and that these hours have now pretty much become the 'norm' for me is pretty amazing.

I am happy therefore to say that all my working hours challenges have been met, and as much as everyone likes to laugh at my Filofax collection and how much I love them and praise them, it is pretty much entirely down to the use of them for work that I have been able to achieve this more balanced work/life thing. Go team Filofax!!!

Ooh - almost forgot!!! I successfully completed my two weeks of being nice. The last day was a bit of a struggle, so I just had to remember how much effort I had already put in, and that I didn't want to have to do the first 13 days all over again just for one mindless comment :o)

Have a good week,


Sunday, 5 August 2012

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 30

I am proud of myself for:
  •     helping to create two utterly gorgeous boys
  •     continuing to work towards my 101 in 1001 days challenge
  •     inspiring another person to start their own 101 challenge :o)
  •     coming up with a dream job list, despite previously having had no idea what I want to do
  •     achieving my goal of being an accountant, and where that has got me
  •     finally feeling like I am growing up and gaining confidence in my abilities
Today specifically:
  •     managing to continue to be nice, even though it is Day 1 of monthend
  •     keeping up the makeup even though I have finished my four weeks
  •     having almost finished my list (I have a couple to add to)
And that is the final of my 30 lists in 30 days - all additions completed.
Feeling pleased, now all I need to do is get them typed up and on my blog...

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 29

Things that were awesome about this month:
  •     Our first proper family holiday where we all had a fabulous time.
  •     The Hockenheim Grand Prix
  •     The HR Geiger museum
  •     Spending time with Ben
  •     The chance to leave work behind (most of the time) for a while
  •     Going to the Weymouth Seafood festival with my mate Rhos
  •     Seeing my friend Lynnie who I hadn’t seen for ages, and meeting her new addition to 
      her brood (the gorgeous Alice) and her lovely man

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 28

If I ruled the world:
  •     Filofax would listen to their customers, have fabulous inserts, on great paper, and have a big selection of A5 compact binders. 
  •     Children would have the opportunity from a young age to get involved in clubs etc  aimed at the things they would like to work as when they are older. Eg. Christopher really wants to work at a zoo.
  •     Children would never have to go without. 
  •     Prisons wouldn’t be nice places to stay. I have no problem with people getting training etc, but they shouldn’t get non-essentials.
  •     Old peoples homes would be nice, and the people in them would be well looked after, both physically and mentally.
  •     Mental health problems would be treated/dealt with before it’s too late. If the people who need help in these areas got it sooner, there would be far fewer people with serious problems due to their mental health problems.
  •     People on benefits would not be in a position where they can buy a great big telly an drink lots, while not looking after their children.
Don’t ask me how I would actually achieve any of these things, that would be a whole other matter :o)

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 27

My over used words and day phrases:
  •     Seriously...?
  •     Muppets
  •     To be fair...
  •     Lazy mfc (this is my monthend special when I am really annoyed)
  •     OK, so...
  •     Excellent!!!
  •     Cool...

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 26

Things to do before my next birthday:
  •     finish reading my list of prizewinner books
  •     watch the rest of my classic films
  •     plan/book our next family holiday
  •     buy myself some flowers
Lots of nice things o)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 25

Todays to do list... (Sunday July 29th)
My only thing to do today (apart from personal hygiene and getting dressed) is to go to the HR Giger museum with Ben and Paul.
Other things that I will do later if I feel like it are:
  •     finish some work stuff
  •     go through my personal Filofax to see what needs to be copied across to my pocket Malden
  •   blog my 101 (or leave until Tuesday)
  •   do some of my 30 lists to catch up

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 24

Things I do when I’m sick...
         (this depends on what type of sick I’m feeling)
  •     watch films
  •     trawl the internet
  •     stay in bed
  •     read
  •     do some planning
  •     try to sleep

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 23

If I won the lottery...
-     do the usual sensible thing of making sure my family have what they need
  •     consider having another baby.
  •     buy a house here in Rüthof, with a garden (unless the boys wanted to live somewhere else). 
  •     have a few big holidays (initially)
         -      family to Centerparcs again, but maybe in the posh accommodation
         -      Mexico with Ben for two weeks
         -      Vegas (a week or a long weekend)
         -     Disney off-peak
  •     get married quite quickly, without silly amounts of planning
  •     take a sabbatical
    Lifestyle changes
  •     stop working full-time
  •     take some cookery lessons - I used to love to cook
  •     if not possible to work part-time for DEK consider other options
         -     volunteer work
         -     low paid job doing something I would like to do
  •     travel more - a new country once a year (even if it’s just a weekend break)
What would you do?

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 22

Things to do to avoid housework
  •     planning a housework timetable.
  •     deciding I need a new structure for storing my paperwork, and therefore that this 
      should take priority - and then spending an age planning how it should be.
  •     research on the internet (about anything else that I need to be thinking about...)
  •     get bogged down in reading about Flylady (again)
  •     realise that my blog needs updating and that I need to check my emails.
  •     ...oh, and that I need to look at my FF setup,because it isn’t right at the moment, or it 
      could be better
Anything really...

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 21

Shows I wish would come back...
  •     The L Word
  •     Hustle
  •     Friends
I’m not a big one for shows to be honest...

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 20

My dream space would include...
Now this was tricky and I could probably add a lot more to it, but have split into my dream indoor space and my dream outdoor space.
Indoor (large space arranged into different areas):
  •     crafty area with scrapbooking papers and supplies      
  •     ‘study’ area with calm space for journalling and filofaxing
  •     cosy area with comfy chairs, cushions, nice mix and match tea set, and bookcases
Outdoor (large space):
  •     a big open grassy area (soft)
  •     nice weather (not too hot, just nice)
  •     running water of some kind (stream maybe)
  •     a stage for live music
  •     lovely flowers
  •     comfy chairs with side tables for reading
  •     blankets and cushions
  •     trees to chill under
Welcome to my space :o)

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 19

Inventions I wish were real..
  •     Bernard’s watch (I never saw this, but James told me all about it and we figured it was
      the best invention ever.
  •     time machine (without the bad effects of screwing up history and stuff).
  •     cars that you programme to take you from A to B, and do all  the driving and thinking
      for you so you can sit and read.
  •     upgraded to a camper van...
  •     a beam for your car that you can use to move the car in front of you to:
  1.       if they are driving really badly... the middle of a desert
  2.       if they are just ridiculously slow... to the next service station, and won’t let them back
         onto the road until after you have gone past.
  •     a filter for brain to mouth action
  •     a self tidying and cleaning house (including all appliances)

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 18

A few of my favourite things...
  •     Filofaxes, do you want to see some pictures? Do you, do you...?
  •     Stationery - paper, notepads, sticky notes, stickers, washi tape - pretty much all of it 
  •     Craft supplies - scrapbooking stuff, papercrafts.
  •     Kindle (amazing bit of kit)
  •     iPad
  •     iPod
  •     bedside light - stripey from IKEA
  •     the flowers that my boys made for me
  •     books

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 17

Fictional characters I love...
  •     Shane, The L Word (pure awesomeness)
  •     Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory
  •     Leonard, The Big Bang Theory
  •     Drew, Rock of Ages (stage show)
  •     Lonnie, Rock of Ages (stage show)
  •     Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  •     Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  •     Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  •     Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  •     Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  •     Moonface, The Faraway Tree
  •     Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre
  •     Minnie, The Help
  •     Aibileen, The Help
  •     Celie, The Color Purple (as far as I have read...)
  •     Zizzerzazzerzuzz, Dr Seuss’s ABC
  •     Snoopy & Woodstock, Peanuts

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 16

Dream Jobs
  •     working in or running a stationery store (or possibly owning one).
  •     business analyst dealing with the systems side if things (at DEK).
  •     working with animals (rescue centre, zoo, farm...).
  •     helping people to believe in themselves, and have confidence in their skills (would
      probably need more confidence in my own first).
  •     teach - or assist in a teaching role.
  •     be creative - design and create beautiful stationery.

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 15

I have never...
OK, so this is pretty much an infinite list (and I don’t have that much time or willpower), but I will put some of the bigger items.
  •     been to Glastonbury festival
  •     been in jail
  •     written a book
  •     taken a cookery course
  •     driven a VW camper van
  •     gone camping in the wild
  •     written a proper journal
  •     been sacked
  •     won the lottery
  •     wanted to be a size zero
  •     been able to dance on pointe
  •     been able to do the splits
  •     gone mountain climbing
  •     made cake pops
  •     been able to write well with a fountain pen

30 Lists in 30 Days - List 14

Favourite outfits:
  •     new jeans (flared) with new Mandalay top (pink & purple), grey converse.
  •     my “London outfit” (I bought it all when I was there in February). Black tights, black
      flared skirt (short), flat lace up short boots, grey log sleeve top, and baggy black
      jumper - completed with my grey bag.
  •     pretty butterfly dress with black tights and heels
  •     funky butterfly skull dress
  •     blue boot cut jeans, white vest, blue checked shirt and converse
  •     blue boot cut jeans, white vest, black waistcoat, pale blue office scarf and heeled boots


30 Lists in 30 Days - List 13

Things I do to procrastinate:

          -     hmmm...procrastinate, or just waste time...?
          -     research everything to the nth degree, although I have heard that this may just be the way I
                need to do things to be happy they are done properly.
          -     Facebook!!! I would delete my account to remove this distraction from my life, but as I don't
                live near any of my friends or family anymore, this is how I stay in touch.
          -     cleaning and tidying.
          -     planning rotas for cleaning and tidying.
          -     talking to myself (whole conversations), and often when other people are present.
          -     play with my Filofaxes and paper.

What do you do to procrastinate?


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

101 List Progress Check - August 1st 2012

Hi Everyone (Anyone...) and Happy Swiss Day!!!

Yep, August the 1st is the national day over here and there were fireworks going half the night last night and it sounds like firecrackers are currently the order of the day (lots of bangs going all evening so far, and as it's still light out I'm guessing it's not full on fireworks).

So, what have I achieved since I last posted a 101 progress update... let's see...

Shakespeare - complete. I read The Taming of The Shrew last week and I have to say it is probably the most enjoyable of the five plays that I have read.

Prizewinner books - I have now started reading The Color Purple, and it's shaping up to be pretty good. I a looking forward to see what happens next.

Make up daily - yay!!! Another challenge completed. I wore it every day for a whole month and am still going even though I no longer have to.

Skin care - yep, that one is still going on, have I noticed any difference in my skin? I'm not sure, but then I don't look at it that carefully - maybe I'll check it out properly at the end of my month :-)

Being nice - wow!!! Today is day twelve of my two weeks of being nice challenge (it sounds better than day twelve of my not being horrible challenge) and I am doing remarkably well. It is monthend at work, which is usually the time when I am most horrible, and I'm not. Two days to go... maybe I can arrange to work from home on Friday...?

Supplements - is there no end to these things...? Although to be fair the challenge is for three months, but I think I got about six months worth.

30 Lists in 30 Days - another achievement. I have one which just needs a bit to finish it off and need to get them posted on here, but I am done.

Classic films - I haven't actually watched any more yet (fingers crossed for this weekend), but I have bought Scarface starring Al Pacino...

Dinner by candlelight - we had dinner at the hotel when we were in Germany, complete with lit candles on the table. It wasn't actually dark yet, but it still counts, right?

I need to check my work hours and dates to see if I've completed another of the challenges for those, fairly sure I have, but as I have decided to have a separate work Filofax I need to remember to bring it home to check.

And the piéce de resistance? Wearing feminine clothes for a whole week. I started this one on Wednesday last week (including wearing feminine clothes at the weekend) and finished it yesterday. It was so nice to get a pair of jeans on for work today, but I may be back to dresses for the next two days as it seems to be easier to be nice when I'm wearing feminine clothes. And here is the proof that I really did do it...

Wednesday - red H&M dress and lily-white legs 
Thursday - black and cream River Island retro dress , again with the lily-white legs
Friday - H&M casual butterfly dress, legs hidden
Saturday - ready to shop in black skirt and top, lily-whites are on show again
Sunday - black skirt, girly top from Next
OK - so that wasn't the best outfit for going to the Giger museum, but how was I to know that it was going to be all sloping cobbled streets - oops!!! Although I did (eventually) manage to spot someone with even more inappropriate shoes than me there :o)

Monday - new butterfly dress from H&M
Tuesday - newish swallow dress from H&M
That's me for now.

Enjoy the rest of your week :o)