Sunday, 25 November 2012

101 List Progress Check - 25th November 2012

Here we go for the latest update with where I've got to this week...

I've started reading the final prizewinner book on my list of ten, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. The first few pages are basically a huge list of characters as if it was a play, and there is no hope of even attempting to remember who is who, so I just don't bother trying. However, despite occasionally getting a touch confused about who people are (it's not so easy to flick back to the list of characters when you're reading on a Kindle) I'm finding the book rather interesting and am looking forward to finishing it this week and crossing another task off my list :o)

Last weekend I finally admitted that I was never going to manage to drink 2 litres of water a day (often I drink 2 glasses of fluid a day and that seems to do me just fine), so I have lowered my expectations to 1.5 litres a day for two weeks instead. I went back to work on Tuesday (after a fabulous two weeks off) and decided that I should start the challenge immediately. I find it much easier to increase my fluid intake while I am at work as I can pick up a 1.5 litre bottle of water (not that sparkly nonsense either - bleurgh) and have it on my desk to remind me to drink it. Yesterday was Saturday and I thought I would struggle to manage, but I drank three 0.5 litres bottles of water (just about) and am planning on doing the same today...

Another change I am considering making is the "go skiing" challenge. It felt like something that I should put on the list as I live in Switzerland, but the thought of doing it doesn't actually interest me, and to take the whole family skiing is so expensive that I have to really think if it's worth spending that much money on something just because I said that I should try it...

The try snowboarding challenge is a bit different as I'll probably do that in the UK on the dry slope at Warmwell with my mate Michy who goes there a lot and has said I should go with her. The other thing which is different about that is that I wouldn't mind trying snowboarding - I think I would find it preferable to skiing... for a start your feet are both attached to the same piece of equipment so you can't get forced into doing the splits!!!

I am now about half way through the task of copying my CDs to iTunes - thankfully I don't have too many. The next thing will be to copy all my tapes to iTunes - that will take significantly more time, and it would start a lot sooner if I actually got off my butt and went down into the cellar to find my tapes.

Last Sunday I baked a couple of types of biscuits with the boys, but it did involve cheating as I bought packets of biscuit dough and sweet pastry - and we slightly over did the cinnamon stars as they have so much sugar in they turn into rocks if you don't get them out at exactly the right time. We still have a pack of Ovomaltine biscuit dough, so I'm planning on making those ones with them today (huge glasses of milk at the ready to soak them so no-one breaks their teeth). Next stop will be to dig out a basic biscuit recipe so they can make them from scratch.

I still have the same Christmas cards outstanding as last week - I really must sort those out today...

My no shopping challenge is still going OK, but I keep seeing blogs with notebooks and Filofax inserts that I would love to have. Maybe I should stop reading blogs while I am doing this challenge. The challenge will be officially ending on January 25th rather than the 31st, as I will be going to the UK and will be visiting TK Maxx and Paperchase in Bournemouth. As I have no idea when I will be able to go shopping in the UK again after that, I will be making some purchases while I have the opportunity - I already have my eye on the Hoot Sweet range.  :o)

I was hoping to take the family to London for a long weekend in February with the intention of taking the boys to see The Lion King and Shrek as the remaining two shows that I am going to take them to. However, when I was on the tram to work the other morning I saw a flyer for Salto Natale which is running here until January 2nd, and am thinking about taking them to see it sometime over Christmas - I'll be investigating further...

I am currently racking my brains to work out how Ben and I can have a two week holiday with no children before the end of the 1001 days. For us to be able to do this in the school summer holidays then we both need to be able to take three weeks off work so that we can spend a week with the boys as well. If we do it during term-time then we would need to have someone come here to look after the boys for two weeks. What we'd ideally like to do in our two weeks is go to Vegas, get married and head on to Mexico.  I'm struggling to fit more than one week off during the summer, and whatever happens Ben will still have to log into work every day to do all the stencils design work... feeling a tad trapped by our jobs at the moment... even if I can sort out my side (possible, just a bit tricky - maybe I should try for a three month sabbatical and have done with it...), Ben has no cover to be able to completely forget about his work for one week, let alone three.

Anyway, that's where I'm at this week. Fingers crossed I'll work some things out this week :o)

Have a fab week,



Sunday, 18 November 2012

101 List Progress Check - 18th November 2012

Hi Guys,

Time for the progress report re the 101 :o)

So this week I have been mainly on holiday from work, so have been able to have a bit of me time to get things done - and have actually achieved stuff.

As I had the time and I had recorded them last Christmas (and could really do with making space on the hard-drive before Christmas comes around again) I watched the musicals Half a Sixpence (Tommy Steel) and Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly), it was so nice to be able to just chill out and watch these. The dancing is fabulous and the perfect way to spend a day off :o)

My only problem now is - do I put Singin' in the Rain under Classic Films (which it undoubtedly is) or under Musicals...? Would it be cheating to put it under both, or does it just show that I sometimes choose very sensible time saving options...?

On one of the days off I managed to copy another 16 CDs to iTunes - I will get there eventually :o)

My Christmas cards are almost done now, I have to post 2 more, and order a couple on Moonpig and then I am finished.

Christmas presents are almost complete also. I have one to order for the UK (when it's back in stock at Argos), presents for the boys from each other and something for Ben (nothing huge as he just got a new bass which is his main present). I may start wrapping the presents that I already have shortly...

Most of my Christmas planning is now done (all in my Dodo Book of Christmas), including food for Christmas day and other bits and pieces.

Have a great week,


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Personal Organisation Binder Setup - And Failure...

OK - this is the reason for the flurry of posts this morning, I needed the others to be posted before this one, but as I had unforeseen problems with my set up I needed to get this one out there - if only to relieve the pressure build up in my head...

As the only place I really go to is work, I don't feel the need to carry my personal stuff everywhere with me. All I need is my wallet, a notepad (or Filo/wallet combination), which means that for my personal organisation I can stuff a filo as full as I need without giving a thought to the extra weight.

I thought long and hard about what I needed to (or should) put in here, and here is my list...

                 -       101 in 1001 list and planning, with maybe a month per page or month on two pages
                         diary to plan the timing of everything

                 -       exercise programmes (each of the workout programmes we have has a calendar of
                         which session to do when, so having that written out and in one place would be nice)

                 -       timetable, to try to plan my personal time better

                 -       to do lists

                 -       wishlists

                 -       business cards

                 -       one line journal so that I can write in it each day and then move to my happiness binder
                         once a week/month

                 -       various logs.... food, water consumption, exercise

                 -       finance pages (for the first time ever... you'd never guess I was actually an accountant..)

And here is the final(ish) result... is what I'd planned to be able to say, but I started the set up and everything went wrong :o(

I had already put some inserts into the Holborn, in the full knowledge that they may be moving out, but I could live with that - I have 2 year planners (1 horizontal, 1 vertical), month on 2 page tabbed inserts, the standard 6 dividers, and my original 101 list in it's full form (6 sheets of paper).

I wrote up my 101 in 1001 to have a fresh list that shows only the items that are currently outstanding (3 sheets of To Do lists). I wrote out the timetables for the Beachbody exercise programmes P90X Classic ( 3 pages), Brazil Butt Lift - Slim & Shape (2 pages) and Classic (2 pages), 10 Minute Trainer (4 pages), and Rockin' Body (3 pages).

Can you see where this is going yet?

I then threw on some finance sheets and wrote in my expenses since November 5th which I have been scribbling into my blog notebook until I got round to moving them.

Time to attack the various logs... this was when it all really came unstuck. I fairly successfully recorded my food and water for a few months earlier in the year using my A5 Dodopad calendar pages, but I stopped as I kept forgetting, then decided that I wasn't actually using the information anyway. I know I don't drink enough fluids (of any kind), but logging it wasn't making me drink more - although writing down everything I was eating did stop me eating junk - I'm not sure if this was actually because I was writing it down, or just because I had decided that I was going to stop.

I started to write down my food log to start getting into the habit from today, but it just looked really pants if I'm honest, which got me thinking again - what is the actual point of logging this stuff if it is just  something that I write down on the day and never revisit to see what impact it has had... probably no point whatsoever right?

So now it's time to revisit my planned sections again...

                  -       101 in 1001 list and planning, yes I will use this (9 pages) - undecided about the diary
                          requirement as yet

                 -       exercise programmes, yes (14 pages), this is ideal as I have included the length of time
                         for each workout and if I don't want to stick with one programme I can easily pull
                         substitute sessions in

                 -       timetable, this would be useful as I really need to force myself to plan my personal time,
                         but it is only 1 page

                 -       to do lists, yes (10 pages...?)

                 -       wishlists, yes (5 pages max.)

                 -       business cards, why would I need this? The only business cards I have are one for my
                         hairdresser that lives in my wallet (the card, not the hairdresser), and the ones from
                         Artbox and Modes 4 U which are cute, but I'd rather keep them in my happiness binder

                 -       one line journal so that I can write in it each day and then move to my happiness binder
                         once a week/month, like I'm going to actually do this... I started it at the beginning of
                         the year and managed about 7 days.

                 -       various logs.... food, water consumption, exercise - NO!!!

                 -       finance pages, yes, at least until the end of my 3 months of my Fabulously Frugal No
                         Shopping challenge.

So in total I actually only have about 50 pages and a few dividers that I need in here... that's never going to fill up my beautiful Holborn zip. So what are my options...?

I could move to a pocket size, but then there really is no point in keeping it at home...

I could add my blog plans in, but then I would feel bad for my Star Wars Moleskine, and I would only need a few pages as I don't plan that much in advance - I just get an urge to blog and there it is really.

Or I could just take up all the rest of the space with frivolous stuff (stickers etc), but I'd end up with a binder that has too much clutter in it for me and then I'd have to change it all again...

Any ideas gratefully received - it could just be that I need a good kick up the @rse today :o)


Spread It All Out

Hmmm... having thought about what seems to work for me and what really doesn't I have decided to set up a few binders with specific purposes.

I will have:

         -     emergency grab fax (A5 or A4)
         -     personal organisation stay at home fill (personal)
         -     work (already separated, compact)
         -     scrapbooking plans and ideas (A5)
         -     happiness binder (currently personal aqua Finsbury)
         -     Goddess Circle binder (currently A5 purple Malden)

I am considering combining the happiness & Goddess Circle binders as I think these two would go very well together.

Wish me luck.


GTD - bleurgh!!!

No, no, no!!!

It all seemed to be great - I read the book, sorted through everything to get all my To Do's listed. I even did all the really important ones (filing, banking etc)...

Well, the filing was already on  my list to do so that would have been done eventually anyway, reading the book just gave me the jump start I needed to pull out all the paperwork that was hiding away (or blatantly lounging around the house...), sort through it and file it away properly. The banking is always on my list to do, as it's something I do regularly, otherwise things don't get paid which would be no good at all.

I got myself some trays so I would have a "things waiting for action" tray, a filing tray, and a bills to pay tray. I also wrote all the things that I needed to do on one sheet of paper each (including the items on my 101 in 1001 days challenge - that may not have helped) and kept them all in my filofax so that I knew where everything was and so that I could look in it and pick off the items one at a time - no prioritising system at all so no need to spend time going over the same tasks again and again while I re-prioritise them all.

So what went wrong...? Well, the filing tray is empty (not because I file everything as it comes in now, but because I still have a very bad habit of dumping it all on the table), the bills to pay tray has a few bits in it, and the "action" tray has seen very little action and is therefore full (too full to put anything else in...). The filofax pages have barely been looked at because just looking at such a muddle of total randomness really doesn't work for me... it is hideous and impossible. I know I have to look at it today to at least write a list of all the items in there that are not related to my 101 in 1001, otherwise I may find that I have missed something that is vitally important... fingers crossed I haven't already.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Stickers, stickers, stickers!!!


That was just in case you missed the title of this post :o)

I mentioned my delivery of stickers from Australia in my last post that I was incredibly lucky to get, and now it's time to give them the picture space they deserve. I was very surprised how fast these got to Switzerland - if they'd have been posted from the UK they'd have taken a lot longer, which is rather bizarre.

Anyway - here we go...

My Airmail package that arrived at my work :o)

This stuff just couldn't wait to meet me!!!

Big sticker sheets

Christmas stickers - 3 different types:
small mixed, snowflakes, large mixed

Football (soccer) stickers - I have a feeling
there will be 2 boys after these... they will
be great for scrapbooking though

Party stickers

Cats, dogs and Winnie the Pooh

Holiday stickers, Spooky stickers, reward stickers and cool
guy stickers

Now these are my favourites - these robots are super cute, and
the scene stickers are awesome!!!

And finally we have... nope, not more stickers, but some other lovely bits and pieces - a fab Keep Calm card, which is likely to be either framed or used on a divider in my filo, some Filofax post-it style tear off tabs that I haven't seen anywhere before, some sticky notes from aap (to be honest, you can never have too many sticky notes -  they are just so useful), and some large Avery note tabs. I have these in a smaller size and they are great :o)

Thanks again to John Edgar McVey for such an amazing gift :-)


A Quick Overview...

Wow - I got a bit behind with my blogging recently, only having to time to squeeze in the 101 updates unfortunately. Thankfully now I have a few days free, so spent a bit of time this afternoon taking photos of my new toys :o)

I have taken in three deliveries over the last few weeks (pre the Fabulously Frugal No Shopping Challenge) and am going to give you a quick run through to show you all - I will be doing more detailed posts on some of the items as I have plans for them already.

Here is my pile of fabulous stuff, yes, you can see filos in there, I won't deny I have an addiction...

My first delivery came from Filofax Germany. All my resistance to this purchase (which to be fair I did resist for a number of weeks - not a very high number, but a number all the same) was totally futile when I saw Anita's post on Philofaxy..., so here is my beautiful A5 Bronze Domino Snake...

Shiny sophistication
Love the black interior - potential scrapbooking filo...
Next came my amazing parcel from the marvellous Alison of Filo Obsessed fame. I was lucky enough to spot her list of items for sale on the Adspot page on Philofaxy, and decided that I just needed all of it... seriously, anyone looking for a Filofax or related products (diaries, paper, Flex, etc) should check this page out first, you can get some amazing bargains here, and in my experience they are in very good condition as the people here look after them very well :o)

First up - the personal Holborn zip in Wine - gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!

Definite personal organisation potential...

This bundle of gorgeousness contained 2013 inserts, and a lovely bundle of other stuff, including a complimentary pack from the Filofax shop in Neal Street.

A more detailed pic of the other bits and pieces that were included - a fab owl card, he is too cute (I really am struggling i my No Shopping challenge when I see this as I know that there will be stickers and all sorts of other stuff in this range - thankfully I managed to save myself by buying some for my niece ready for Christmas to go in her Paperchase filo that will also be winging its way to her via Santa). There were also five different styles to do list and some cool card which is crying out to be used as dividers, and stickers to go with it - I am so excited it is quite ridiculous!!!

 Also in the parcel were... not one, but two Filofax Flex, a slimline and a pocket in Magenta. I was thinking about getting one of these sizes in the new leather editions, but as these were just sat there pleading not to be separated from Mr Holborn it would be mean not to take them, and use the opportunity to see how well they work for me before putting the leather ones on my wish list ;o)

Slimline complete with notepad, contacts pad and jotpad
I have ordered (before the shopping ban) a notepad to go
in the pocket - should be here soon...

And check these out... I have never had anything from Mum's Office before, but these are great, although the shopping list on our house should read Dad's Shopping List as he goes every week, I don't drive and apparently I spend too much whenever I go... oops!!!

Must Do, Should Do and If I Have Time...

Meal Planner plus detachable shopping list

And my third delivery? I know there were a lot of people who hoped to get there hands on these, but I am pleased to say that I was incredibly lucky to benefit from the generosity of John Edgar McVey from the Filofax for Philofaxy Fans group on Facebook - thank you again if you are reading this :o)

Lots of stickers and a few other bits - I'll be doing a separate post on this shortly, I've kept them hidden so far so the boys couldn't steal them before I'd taken photos :o)

 Will be back with updates soon - take care all.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

101 List Progress Check - 11th November 2012

Wow - I am pleased with myself this week.

My most exciting achievement that I new about last week but couldn’t write about on here was being featured as the Reader Under the Spotlight on Philofaxy on November 5th, yes, that was me!!!  I am now famous - yay!!!

I am now on day 11 of my Frugal is Fabulous No Shopping challenge and it’s not been easy so far. Firstly, too many people blogged about lovely notebooks during the first week - stop it, you’re not helping!!! I really am going to have to start a wishlist ready for investigating when the three months is over... 

Ben and I stayed at the amazing Kempinski Mirador hotel at Mont Pelerin for four nights to have some time for ourselves and it was fabulous, and all booked through so a vast saving on the standard room rates. The view from our balcony was outstanding and the sun was shining and it was about 9 degrees outside, but felt much warmer - hence the lying on the sunlounger in shorts and vest - so relaxing. We browsed round the shops in Vevey where there was a fair bit of temptation and I did well. But on the Thursday we hopped on the train to Geneva to meet up with Antonella (lovely relation - too complicated to explain...) and she took us round Geneva - oh my word, I almost postponed my No Shopping challenge until next year. The shops there are amazing, and we sniffed out stumbled upon the most wonderful stationery selections and specialist shops!!!

Today I have written out and addressed all my Christmas cards apart from a special one that has to be done via Moonpig and most presents have also been bought or ordered - I’m on a roll. Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be done - if the other half has any idea at all about what he’d like for Christmas... what can you get for a guy whose hobbies are band and working out when he already has more guitars and fitness equipment that you can shake a stick at??? 

I have also been using my Dodo book of Christmas for my Christmas planning. I have all the Christmas day food list, and nibbles list, Christmas cards lists, presents list, and have even bought a couple of new tree decorations (the intention is that the boys will get a new decoration to put on the tree each year) and have got the advent calendar, chocolates for the tree and the Pannetone - I am rather impressed :o)

Have a great week,


Sunday, 4 November 2012

101 List Progress Check - 4th November 2012

Hello :o)

Well this should be quite short as I've been really busy at work this week so haven't had much time to try to do anything (things that I need to do as well as any of my 101 in 1001) - oops!!!

Thankfully, when I finish work tomorrow I have a good few hours before Ben brings our visitors back from the airport so I can get some stuff done - and then Ben and I go to Montreux for four days, woohoo!!! I have two whole weeks booked off work at the moment, so should actually be able to get some of my tasks completed - or at least planned.

This week I have:

-     received my tape to MP3 converter, so I now have the equipment to start that challenge
-     bought my Christmas cards ready to write out
-     started my Fabulously Frugal challenge.

I am following Caribbean Princess's example over on her blog as posted here for my declaration, and am facing a No Shopping Detox Challenge. For full information of her various tips please look at the Frugal is Fabulous posts on her blog here.

So as my starting point, here is my declaration:

              "From November 1st 2012 to January 31st 2013 I will not make extraneous and
               unnecessary purchases, particularly of filofaxes and stationery. I will appreciate
               the things that I own, and will spend more time doing and less time buying."

Hmmm... this could be fun....

Have a great week,