Sunday, 28 October 2012

An Amazing Find!!!

Wow, wow and wow!!!

Super short post now about an amazing find I had when I went to the Thalia book store last weekend. I tend to drag the DF there every time we go to the shopping centre (which has been more often in the last couple of months as the boys have discovered the Kinder Paradies play area which they love). We went in on Saturday, and the first stop as always was the Filofax stand... where, horror of horrors, there wasn't a single Filofax!!!

Obviously my first reaction was to start hyperventilating whilst spinning my head through 360 degrees to see where they were - thankfully I spotted them pretty quick (that could just be that they have a kind of magnetic pull to my soul...) and then looked to see what could possibly have displaced them.

Well, it's almost the end of October so Christmas is coming, and sure enough, they had been moved to the normal shelves to make way for the Christmas gifts (to be fair, they look better where they are and have more space so is easier to see them)... but be still my beating heart, the most amazing sight accosted my eyes...

A whole box of Peanuts and Moleskine loveliness... my immediate reaction was to whip it off the shelf and hug it tight to my chest so no-one else could possibly even see it, let alone buy it.

This box set contains 6 large ruled cahier journals (3 black and 3 kraft), stickers and postcards, all inside a beautiful keepsake box. No more words needed - here are the pics of all the fabulousness...

First sight of the inside

Under the cover...

Cahier notebooks and stickers and postcards envelope
 I was a bit disappointed not to see Woodstock in the collection, but as I have the pocket Moleskine with him on I can live without him in here... just...

3 postcards and sticker sheets

The keepsake box after removal of the cover

101 List Progress Check - 28th October 2012

So - what have I managed to do this week?

Well, I finished "The Sea" by John Banville - another book that although I enjoyed reading it, I found it quite disjointed (lots of flipping from one time to another) and although I can follow what is going on, it's not a style of writing I particularly like so I'm guessing I probably won't read this one again. I have just ordered "Wolf Hall" for my Kindle as it is the final prizewinner book on my list and am kinda wishing I'd read the reviews before doing so, or at least not read them after I'd ordered it... I have a horrible feeling that I'm going to find this particularly hard-going. It sounds that there are quite a lot of grammar issues, which are likely to totally do my head in. Fingers crossed I won't get too frustrated as I will insist on completing the book even if I don't enjoy it... Happily I don't have to start it immediately as I am currently reading "Glory Bus" by Richard Laymon. I try to read at least one book in between my "challenge" ones to keep me sane... I'm not sure that's working out so well... oops!!!

My exercise hasn't gone too well this week and therefore my abs are totally in hiding. I really need to give myself a big kick up the butt and get on with it!!!

One that I forgot to include in my post last week was my purchasing of a posh/designer handbag. Technically it could be said that it's not a handbag, as it is a manbag. However, surely a manbag is just a handbag for a man... I was looking for a proper handbag (girly and everything), but spied this fantastic thick brown leather Fossil manbag and was immediately seduced... The first thing I checked was of course if I could fit my A5 Kendal in there (I checked that at the shop before I bought it) - it wasn't easy to get in, but it is a chunky thing, although it's not a bag to put your A5 in if you don't want it getting scratched by the zip - that's one chunky zip too...

I have started on my quest to get all my Christmas cards and presents sorted by the end of November. I have ordered some of the presents I need to get already, have found what I'm getting for the boys for their main presents, and will be sorting out nieces and nephews on-line during November. I was hoping to order cards from the UK to come across with my mum, but really can't find anything worth ordering, so I'm just going to bite the bullet and see what I can find over here this year. The intention is to get them and write them all out before Mum goes back to the UK so she can take them back to post for me. :o)

I have also been doing my Christmas planning in my Dodopad, so it's all going well at the moment.

I am still considering doing the Fabulously Frugal challenge from November 1st, although I'm not sure yet. I need to write my declaration and list my exceptions, or a detailed declaration. For example, I could choose to eliminate all spending on stationery items and not specify anything else, or I could plan to be frugal on everything and list only the exceptions . I think I may be going to the UK at the end of January for a family get together, obviously flights etc will cost money, but I won't exclude myself from going just because I am having a frugal 3 months. Likewise, I don't intend to cancel Christmas, just stop spending as much on myself :o)    And that sounds like I usually buy myself Christmas presents... that's just weird...

I have half of number 92 on my list completed - all the electrics have been signed off in our house in the UK, so that's one less thing to worry about, just the gas to get done and then I can cross that task off.

The fitting of the new shower has also finally happened, and there is no need to re-do the whole bathroom at this stage, so that one can now be crossed off - yay!!! The extra good news about this is that if I stay with Dave again at any point, I now know that I shouldn't get scalded in the mornings by a temperamental shower that hates me. Yay!!!

There is one other item that is currently in the pipeline and which I will be able to mark off as complete when I do my progress check on November 11th, but you'll just have to be patient to see what that one is - in fact, I am so excited about this one that it may get it's own miniature post on the day that it is done :o)

Have a great week,


Monday, 22 October 2012

2013 Setup Options - Diary Layout

Now this is where the fun really starts... what diary layout(s) do I need/want for next year...? Lots of brainstorming and not a photo in sight :o(

One thing that I know I will always need is my year planner - I don't care what size it is... personal is just fine regardless of what size binder I choose (unless I decide to be ridiculously brave and go for mini or pocket, but I really can't see that happening).

In theory the month on two pages should also be there (preferably tabbed) so I can see my overview for the month really easily, however... if I'm honest with myself I never look at it, and rarely write anything on it apart from every now and then when I have an hour of trying to get myself more organised. Maybe if I used the tabbed one though it would kind of jump out at me Should I put one in again this year and try to make myself use it properly, or just save the space for other things that I am more likely to use?

This year I have been using week on two pages Swedish style, which has been working OK, but I tend not to write my to do's on it any more as otherwise I just spend too much time moving tasks around. I usually have to do sheets interleaved between. So... do I really need a week on two pages, or is that just taking up more room than it needs to? Would I be better off with a week on one page instead, or a week on one page with notes maybe...? Or even two diary sections - one for work and one for personal, but they would need to contain to do's as well otherwise I would basically have two diary sections with very little written in them...

I already have the Dodopad 2012-2013 A5 and am using it to monitor things (water consumption, exercise,  fruit & veg consumption, weather, over/under hours worked) - unfortunately I am rubbish at this sort of thing and constantly forget to write anything at all in it at the weekends. The other problem I have is that monitoring these things doesn't actually push me to actually change anything - eg. I need to drink more fluids and most days I manage 3-4 glasses of water, and that is it. Maybe I should just have a sheet in smaller filo or even just a small general notebook, that I can easily write this type of thing in and then transfer it to my main filo at the end of the day.

Is the sensible thing to do to look at what I currently have available and take it from there, or make the decisions first, buy/make/print from Philofaxy (where there are a huge selection to suit all your needs) new inserts and hope for the best? I guess I should take a look at what I have anyway, as I know I have quite a few diary inserts (many of them 2012).

2013 inserts that I already have:

                A5              -      WO2P standard white       
                                          WO2P vertical standard white        
                Personal      -      WO2P standard white      
                                          WO2P vertical creamy (Sweden?)   
                                          Year planner (somewhere - I remember buying it)

2012  inserts - could I use these for 2013 if I just changed the numbers alongside the days, or would that bug me way too much?

                A5              -      WO2P Sweden
                                   -     WO2P vertical standard white        
                Personal      -      WO2P lined standard white      
                                          WO2P Sweden
                                          WO1P standard white
                                          MO2P white tabbed
                                          Year planner   

I also have some 2011 year planners and MO2P tabbed inserts.
So I've just rambled away to myself and am not sure I've got any closer to my decision. Thankfully we have a bit of time before 2013 rolls around. Maybe I should change my current setup as a taster to see if I can find what will work for me next year...


Sunday, 21 October 2012

When is it Time to Stop?

Deep breath... "Hi, my name is Lindsay and I am a Filofax addict..."

I bought my first Filofax in February 2011, it is now October 2012 and I have 42. And there are another two on the way (along with a couple of flex folders), which are going to be amazing by the way!!!

I am simply unable to resist these beauties, but it's getting worse. It wasn't until I saw a Temperley on Philofaxy's Adspot page for £150 and (despite not wanting a Temperley) I came very close to emailing the seller to buy it, that I realised that I may have a bit of a problem. But... it was the Guinea, not the Affair, and I have held one previously, ... and actually it was rather nice (super strokeable)... maybe it was only really the £400 price tag that put me off...

Oops, just got distracted as I thought I should check out the Guinea again and look for some reviews, so have just lost about 45 minutes of my day...

Is it time for me to stop adding to my collection? Or would the Guinea be the crowning piece in my collection? It would look beautiful on the top shelf of my display case with the minis and pockets worshipping it...

Maybe all is not lost - after all, it's not like I'm starting to feel the need of the Apex or the iKat...


101 List Progress Check - 21st October 2012

Well, I don't seem to be making a huge amount of progress in my 101 in 1001 at the moment. I'm feeling a bit lacklustre about the whole thing for some reason - more planning required methinks!!!

So what's happened this week?

I've started reading The Sea by John Banville, I haven't got that far in it yet as I haven't done any reading the last couple of nights, but am planning on going to bed reasonably early with my Kindle tonight :o)

I did some more exercise this week, although still haven't managed to get into a routine yet. I did Tummy Tuck from the Brazil Butt Lift programme on Wednesday morning (my ribs felt like I'd been in a fight from Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning, and still feel a bit bruised now), and yesterday I did Kenpo X from the P90X programme which is great!!! If I can get into doing at least three workouts a week (even if I only do 30 minutes) then the abs should begin to do something...

Transferring my CD's to iTunes - well, I had Friday off work so thought if I switched on the pc then I could just swap CD's each time I walked past... using this method I managed a grand total of zero CD's, as I didn't actually get round to even turning the pc on - useless!!! I guess I just wasn't designed for multi-tasking :o(

I am aiming to get all the Christmas cards and presents sorted by the end of this year , so I've pulled out my Dodo Book of Christmas with all my lists from last year ready to go. I'll also be using this to plan everything else for Christmas - food, what to get, cooking plans etc.

Yesterday we I spent too much money and think that, as well as wanting to complete a Frugal is Fabulous 3 months challenge, I am beginning to need to. Despite previously being a total anti-shopper (I could go into town knowing what I needed to find, and by the end of my shopping trip I would be grumpy and would have decided that I didn't really need anything on the list anyway), I am now a bit of a shopaholic, it is time for intervention...  Thankfully my DF has taken over the anti-shopping mantel. So I think I need to make the decision regarding when to start my fabulously frugal challenge, I will be going back to Caribbean Princess' blog to check out the rules and tips.

The question is, do I start my challenge next month, or should I wait until after Christmas? I will still be allowed to by things for Christmas and I will need to work out exactly what my official declaration will be, and what is excluded (eg buying Christmas cards and presents for people).

Have  a fab week.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Notebooks - Which to Use...?

OK - I admit I'm a bit OCD at times, but really, this is getting ridiculous.

For the last couple of days I've had random reminders pop into my head which I haven't written down in my filofax. Just before I went to bed last night I realised that I still hadn't done any of these things and that I should therefore write them down to do today (most still aren't done yet by the way - I will get them done this evening...). I thought it would be really nice to use a nice notebook to write down tasks that just pop into my head and then I can transfer them to my filofax later - I know, I know it's doubling the amount of writing time, but notebooks can be lovely too :o)

So here is what I was faced with... only a small selection, how hard can it be to choose...

I narrowed it down to bound books (not spiral bound), and discounted those which already have a clearly defined purpose, so it was down to these...

Leuchtturm, lined or plain, Flex by Filofax (photos below), Moleskine and a few other lovely notebooks (including Jan Constantine & Emma Bridgewater) most of which were bought at TK Maxx and details and further photos you can find in my other post here.

Now, the Flex is fabulous, versatile, nice paper, changeable layouts, pen loop - what more could you want? Although possibly a smaller size, as this one is A5 (but more about those in another post).

Magenta A5 Flex

Ruled notebook slipped into the left inside pocket, and
pen loop inside the right hand outer pocket

Another ruled notebook slipped into the right inside pocket

Open it up to display the jotpad...
So, let's see what happened...

A load of sticky notes stuck to the front of my Star Wars Moleskine notebook that I use for blog notes.

To be fair, they are nice sticky notes (Paperchase), but so sticky that they curl up when you pull them out so they don't actually stick to anything that well (thank heavens for the Moleskine elastic).

All the inserts in the pack - rather nice
So why did this happen - I am too OCD!!! I can't bring myself to use one of my pristine notebooks for something as trivial as random reminders of things I need to do (not that any of them were trivial...). I think I need help...


2013 Setup Options - Binder Options

It seems to be that time of year - time to consider the appropriate filo setup for next year and order/make  inserts.

For next year do I try for the one life one filo approach that I started at the beginning of this year with, and am pretty much back in again now after splitting earlier in the year.

           -     everything would be in one place
           -     no need to try to remember where I had written anything down, and no need to flip 
                 between binders

          -     it's too bloody heavy!!!
          -     fewer of my babies would be fulfilling their life's destiny...

If I was to opt for keeping everything in one place again I am pretty sure I would stick with my Kendal, as it is so rugged (have I mentioned that before - there really is no other word to describe him) and I would never need to worry about him.                  

I have tried to do all my planning in one place for a while again now, but find it hard to keep my work and personal stuff together. When it is all sharing the same sections I end up confused (it doesn't take a lot to confuse me) and need a way to separate it, but if I keep them in separate sections then I just keep forgetting to flip to the personal one and I remember that I found this particularly annoying earlier in the year. Colour coding is great for some people, but I either forget which colour means what, or just get fed up with having pages full of black ink as everything seems to be work related. This year I am going to try to have more fun with pen colours - just to make it nicer to look at.

But what if use separate binders? Well, I love my A5s, the writing space suits me better and I love the fact that you can cram so much into them as they have plenty of ring space...but... Unless I have everything in one, I don't really need all that ring space... a compact would probably have rings big enough to meet my needs. Personal size - I just feel cramped and end up taking the paper out to write on it and then putting it back in (or just living with the fact that my writing gets very messy...

What do I really need?

                                    Work - small diary space, plenty of To-Do lists and planning space.
                                    Personal - v small diary space (I have virtually no appointments ever) and space
                                            for planning, to do's, shopping etc, year planner for school holidays,
                                            monthend closes etc
                                    Home - addresses, boys timetables
                                    Other - 101 in 1001 list (could go in personal), holiday planning, 

Hmmm... next stop... diary layouts...


Ooh - something new?

Wow!!! Look what arrived from Jen... picture heavy post I'm afraid - like everyone hates that... :o)

In his box, but what colour is he?
My A5 Cuban - isn't he gorgeous? He's smooth, sophisticated and smells divine :o)

Chilli Cuban from the front - check out that fabulous
contrast stitching
Why he's chilli of course - the colour on this is the most deep, luxurious red. It is simply beautiful, and I have coveted one of these for some time now. I am so pleased to have finally been able to get my hands on one.

Inside - plenty of card slots, nice zipped pocket and a
notepad slot at the back  

Viewed from the back - the contrast stitching here is even
more effective 

A shoddy photo I'm afraid - but I love how
the contrast stitching runs the length of the
spine and goes around the Filofax f
Here's a quick comparison of Mr Chilli alongside the rest of my red brigade (although the colour differences aren't showing up so much in the photo...).

The only one deeper than Mr Chilli is the delightful ruby Deco.
Mini Topaz is much brighter.

Usually I am tempted when I get a new filo to move into it immediately and give it a trial run, but unfortunately he has arrived at just the wrong time as I am still totally awestruck by the ruggedness of Mr Kendal.

My only worry with the Cuban is that he will get killed in my workbag.

I am considering using him with nice respectable paper for journalling, but I think a bound book would suit me better for that (although I am more than happy to only write on one side of the paper...).


Sunday, 14 October 2012

101 List Progress Check - October 14th 2012

It's that time of the week again - what progress have I made this week?

Prizewinner books - this week I read Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. I thought I'd have a quick check of the reviews on Amazon to see what to expect and was very wary when I saw that it only had 2.5 stars (many of the lower marks appeared to Ian McEwan fans who compared this book negatively to his previous books). However, I read it cover to cover in a couple of days, and it didn't feel like a chore at all. If that's Ian McEwan at his worst, then I'm definitely going to check out some of his other books :o)

Music - CDs to iTunes. I decided to get a few of these done on Friday evening, and had forgotten how quick and easy it is to do this. I'm going to do a few each day and hopefully it won't be too onerous and won't take too long to complete.

I've just ordered a tape to MP3 converter from Amazon ready to transfer my tapes to iTunes - that's going to take some time, but at least it means that I'll be able to listen to all my old music again.

Ripped abs - I'm finding it hard to get started on this one again. I did the P90X 2 Core workout on Sunday (which nearly killed me) and the Brazil Butt Lift Cardio Axe workout on Tuesday. P90X Chest & Back was planned for Thursday, but I ended up pulling an all-nighter at work on Thursday (it's been a long time since I've had to work through to the early hours of the morning - and boy did it knock me for six!!!). Unfortunately this scuppered my chances of getting a workout in on Friday or Saturday as well. However, I'm feeling a bit more alive today, so am planning on doing P90X Shoulders & Arms later today (that's going to hurt tomorrow as I've done no upper body work in ages...).

That's it for this week. Catch you next time. Have a fab week.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

101 List Progress Check - 7th October 2012


It´s time for another update...

OK - so the prizewinner book "Paddy Clarke ha Ha Ha!!!" by Roddy Doyle did grow on me. I found the style of writing quite off-putting at first, but as the character gets older you notice the changes and it is very cleverly done.

Ripped abs - hmmm, well today I have started again and taken my Day 0 photos ready for comparison. Thankfully the work I did earlier in the year, despite only being for a short time, wasn´t all wasted - I lost 11 kilos at the time, and have only put 1 back on, so hopefully the exercise will be able to tone me up reasonably quickly. I did my first workout today which was X2 Core from the Beachbody P90X2 programme - it nearly killed me, but that´s a good sign right? Anyway, I think I´ll leave the P90X2 to Ben and stick mainly to P90X myself - with maybe a bit of Brazil Butt Lift thrown in for good measure. The main question though is do I do the full 90 day programme (exercising six days a week) or do I just try for three workouts a week...?

Scrapbooking - nope I still haven´t actually done any yet, but I have discovered Jessops photo books, which I can use to have my photos printed into books for posterity - how did I not know about these? I love looking at old photos, but since going digital I hardly ever print any out at all, but with this I can upload photos, design all my layouts, add text, borders etc. It´s not quite scrapbooking, but to be fair, it´s not a million miles away from digital scrapbooking. I may make up a few books and then save physical scrapbooking projects to be done for special occasions.

I also had a proper look into the world of digital scrapbooking and found the app ScrapPad for the iPad. Unfortunately I don´t have any photos on my iPad yet to be able to create any meaningful pages, but it is so simple to do and there is a pretty good selection of backgrounds and borders. My two boys also had great fun playing with the app and creating pages, just using the backgrounds, borders, embellishments and stickers that are in the app. For only 3 pounds it has a good selection, and you can get more kits for around 99p each, although you don´t need to. I´m going to be looking to see if I can get this app for the MacBook as well, who knows, I may even be able to print some pages out to go in my filos or on my desk at work.

Hope you all have a great week.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Have I Damaged My Child?

Hmmm, maybe it's time to start worrying about my youngest boy. I came home from work on Tuesday to have some "mummy & Marcus time" as Christopher is out at sports club when I get home on Tuesdays, so Marcus and I have an hour before he gets home.

I got home to find him sat on my bed watching Shaun the Sheep, and he didn't want to do anything else, just wanted me to sit with him while he did so - even I can manage that!!! I figured that as I was going to be sat there I could take a look at making some changes to my current filo set ups, so popped into my room and picked up a few.   

Upon entry into the bedroom Marcus looked at me in a very stern manner, and said in what I think has to be his most disapproving tone "Mummy..... have you got new Filofaxes....?" - honestly, who does he think he is, the Filofax monitor? Obviously they weren't new ones as they are in use, so I said "No, I've had some of these a while now, but I have got three new ones in the front room... do you want to see them?" - perky as you like, I don't want him thinking he is allowed to disapprove of me just yet - I mean, really, he's only five...

So here are the three newbies and the reactions they got from said munchkin:

First up... the Domino Snake personal in bronze (on sale Filofax Germany) "Ooh!!! It's shiny!!! I love it!!! I want to kiss it!!!" and then he did... weirdo...

It is shiny...

And the inside - dark and sultry... I wasn't expecting that
Next up... the Domino Snake A5 in brown (another sale item). I did warn him that it wasn't as shiny as he did seem to be totally enamoured with the bronze one. "It's shiny too!!!"... followed by much kissing...

Yes, it's true - I took the picture of the back instead of the front - oops

More dark insides - lovely
And then came the Kendal (thanks Jen :o) )... as I slid it out of the box towards him there was a totally different reaction, it was as if he knew that there was something special about this one. He just stroked it very carefully and said "Oh, nice..." whilst gazing at it with a look of total adoration.

Personally I think I may have found my ideal filo - although if it came in A5 compact it would be totally perfect, I am thinking about my setup for next year already having seen this rugged beast. It just looks as though it should be dragged about everywhere, thrown into bags without a second thought (this may require the purchase of some bigger bags admittedly), preferably bags with rubble in or something because this just looks like it wants to be beaten about (without damaging it internally at all of course). It has a couple of minor marks already, but it is just screaming that it wants everyone to know how tough it is - it is wonderful!!!

OK - not looking so tough on the girlie chair...

Relaxing for a while
Once all three had been checked out, Marcus decided that it was time to have a full investigation into the bronze Domino Snake. He noted the black ring protector that it came with (instead of the white ones that come with the other Dominos), he looked through the inserts and then declared "it's boring inside, that means it's for a boy" - crafty little chap. I did explain that he already has a filofax and asked how many he needs... at which point he replied "five"... OK, *holds hands up* I can't fault him. He is five, he needs five filos...

Gazing wistfully...

More kissing...

Time for another look inside...
Distracted stroking

OK, and hugging...

OK - now that's just mean. He's guarding it...
Looks like I'm going to have to try stealth tactics...
I eventually managed to get it back off him, after he hid under the duvet with it.... I think I may have to  see if they are still on sale and get him one ready for Christmas...