Saturday, 28 December 2013

101 Progress Check - December 28th 2013

Hi Guys,

I hope you have all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to a fabulous New Year. I had a lovely Christmas day, and was spoilt, and then caught a cold which really sucks. I scribbled a few notes to write this post on Boxing Day, but then felt too rough to actually post anything lol :-)

It's been a while I'm afraid, but as you can see below there has been movement on my 101 for a number of reasons, so very little to post.

I tried to carry on with the classic films by watching Some Like It Hot, but unfortunately I've only been able to watch an hour of it so far (in two sittings) so still have a way to go on that one. I have recorded a few classic films over the last couple of days (Christmas is a great time to record films on the telly), so just need to find time to watch them. They're not ones that were on my initial list of ten that I would like to watch, but they are still classic films, and I would like to watch them. Now I just need to find the time to watch them - a bit trickier as they are on the Cablecom box in the front room, as opposed to being on a DVD that I can disappear off to the bedroom to watch while everyone else is busy with other things (TV or games).

I attempted to make shortbread with my boys on Christmas Eve, but they decided that the only bit they wanted to do was to shape the shortbread. However, although I can't class it as baking with the boys, it was a new recipe for me so I got one base covered :-) It wasn't a total success as we made them a bit thicker then specified and therefore they were under-baked, but they tasted great and were easy to do. Maybe we'll have another go at those soon...

I had planned to embroider a sampler in December, but unfortunately I have struggled to find a template that I like. This hasn't distracted me from the job in hand, but I have bought a different template to use, which arrived on Christmas Eve, so I'll be doing that in the New Year.

I'm still taking my fish oils and iron tablets, and have only missed one day - quite an achievement for me :-)

We received the P90X3 workout programme from Beachbody just before Christmas, and as I struggle to make exercise part of my normal routine unless I have a programme to complete, I have decided to add P90X3 to my 101 list. It's a 30 minute workout, 6 days a week, concentrating on different things each time, and is another programme from Tony Horton, who is a joy to work out with (at least while you feel like you can still breathe).

I also know that when I workout regularly I feel much better in myself, and feel it's time that I climbed back on that horse :-) All I need to decide now is decide which of my other challenges is not as important to me at this time and that can wait until the second half of 2014.

Have a great week,


Sunday, 1 December 2013

101 Progress Check - December 1st 2013

Hello Everyone!!!

Well, I can safely say that his week I have achieved very little and am now behind where I had planned to be.

Things I need to catch up on are:

          Photo session with the boys
          1 hour walk on my own (I had the opportunity, but was just too lazy and didn't want to go
              out in the cold on my own)
          Family day out - I had intended for us to go to the zoo yesterday, but completely forgot that
              Christopher had to go to Jubla, so that scuppered that idea.
          Wearing heels - I had planned on wearing my higher heeled boots to work with my new trousers
              but just can't face tottering round, especially as we're now getting snow, so I think it will be
              safer to save that one for the spring now
          Plan the story that I am going to write for my boys

However, although I haven't done anything big on my list this week, I have continued to take my fish oils and iron tablets :-)

I cant's see next week's update being any more exciting either as it's month end at work so I'll be pretty busy :-)

Have a great week,


Friday, 22 November 2013

101 Progress Check - November 22nd 2013

Hi All :o)

Sorry for the lack of update last weekend, I had family arriving on Sunday afternoon so was a bit busy. We all had a fabulous time, including going to see Biffy Clyro on Monday night, which was absolutely amazing!!!

I had my first proper Wednesday afternoon with my boys last week, and it went (almost) as planned. After a bit of a session of stropping, sulking, and shouting (by the older one) we were all in the kitchen chopping onions and pumpkin to make pumpkin soup, which actually turned out really well. As I've never made pumpkin soup before I can count this towards two of my tasks; cooking with my boys, and trying a new recipe - result!!!

I've continued with my short German book of quotes and sayings, despite the frustration, and am planning on getting this finished this week. I'm hoping that when I move from this book to a proper book, i.e. one with an actual storyline, that I will understand it more quickly as the sentences will be in context to the situation. If that doesn't help then it's going to take me a very long time to read the books that I have. I've also started using my Back to School Filofax to write in new words :-)

Yesterday afternoon I had Marcus at home with me, so he wanted to do crafty stuff until Christopher came home from school, so while he was colouring in wooden letters I took the opportunity to make a picture to go in one of my IKEA photo frames. I used various patterns of scrapbooking paper to create a picture in the style of a small child (I'm really not creative enough to do anything more than that). It's not perfect, but then it wasn't expected to be, but I had fun making it. Marcus has decided he'd like it up on the wall in his bedroom - we'll see...

I also watched a classic film from my list yesterday - "The Sting" with Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was half expecting it to drag a bit, but it was really nice to see something a bit different - without the high aggression levels that seem to be almost a requirement of most films nowadays.

I've still been taking my fish oils and iron tablets, not forgetting at all since my last post - I am very pleased. Maybe the fish oils are improving my memory :-)

I have a lot to try to get through before the end of the month to stay on track with my 101 list, keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep it up without dropping a whole host of other balls that are about to be launched in the air... Christmas cards etc. :o)

Have a great week,


Added:       Just watching the 1955 version of Oklahoma - excellent!!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

101 Progress Check - November 10th 2013

Hi Guys & Gals :o)

Wow, I feel like I have actually achieved stuff this week, since spending a bit of time last weekend gong through my outstanding tasks and working out which months to do what.

I finished reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher-Stowe, which was such a well written piece, that had me almost in tears on the train on many occasions, and it is one that I will definitely read again.

On Wednesday I pulled out all the boxes (and bags as it turned out, including an IKEA bag full of used wrapping paper from last Christmas...oops!!!) from the end of the hallway, and between my other half and myself we got them all bundled up to either return to IKEA (our job yesterday), or put in the cellar ready for the next cardboard collection day.

I've been taking my fish oils and my iron tablets every day - although somehow I managed to forget the iron tablets on Friday.

I've been feeling pretty rough the last few days with a skanky cold that I think I must have picked up from work or the train, so yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours in bed watching Cabaret - I did like watching it, and I don't know quite what I was expecting, but that wasn't really it. I probably will end up watching it again, but I can't see it becoming one of my favourites.

I started to read my first German book today, and thought I start of reasonably gently with a small book of lovey type thoughts and sayings. I managed to get through two of them, and I have to say, it totally sucked. This may be partly because I'm feeling rubbish, and it was way too early in the morning (around 6am), but I just found it ridiculously frustrating to have to keep checking my dictionary. I love to read, but I read mainly for pleasure and relaxation, neither I which do I currently believe that I will ever feel whilst attempting to read in German.

I really want to improve my German vocabulary, but am really not thinking that I will achieve this by trying to force myself to read these books. There must be a simpler (and more enjoyable) way. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Have a great week,


Sunday, 3 November 2013

101 Progress Check - November 3rd 2013

Hiya :o)

It's been another busy week with a couple of late nights at work as we're now at month end again, and I haven't done a huge amount relating to my 101. However, I hadn't planned to get much done this week, so I'm not beating myself up about it.

I finished reading The Memoirs of Fanny Hill, and almost gave up on it even when I was almost finished as I found it really hard going (no pun intended). The language was the hardest thing I think and there are only so many descriptions of the male parts that you can read before you begin to get a bit bored with it all... especially when it's in a flowery, long-winded style.

I am now reading Uncle Tom's Cabin which has almost had me in tears on the train, and I am dying to see what happens to each of the characters - it is heart-breaking.

Apart from that I have actually managed to keep on top of the basic cleaning this week so I haven't had to do a massive clean over the weekend - which is great, as my boys have been up at silly 'o' clock both mornings and I am now absolutely shattered - where do they get their energy from? Maybe I should stop feeding them or something... joking, I don't feed them now as my cooking isn't safe :-)

I have quite a few items on my list to do in November, so later today I will be planning when I'll be starting/working on each one... fingers crossed for November.

Have a great week,


Sunday, 27 October 2013

101 Progress Check - October 27th 2013

Hi Guys,

Well, no tasks to cross off this week, although I have made a start on quite a few.

Sorting through the boys clothes - I have been through their drawers and wardrobe, and now have a whole big IKEA bag full of clothes to go to the clothing bank down the road. I have also been through most of the shoes and binned the old ones (they were hiding in the junk at the bottom of the stairs). I still need to go through all the hats, gloves, scarves, coats and snow trousers, and then I'm done - yay!!!

On Monday I started taking my iron supplements and fish oils, which reminds me, I really need to take those this morning as soon as I've finished writing this post.

I started reading Fanny Hill and am struggling to get into it at all - as it's such an old book the language style is so different from today and this makes it trickier. I was considering changing it for something else, but as I'm 25% of the way through then I shall keep going. So far though - it is just rude!!! lol

The main reason I haven't got further through Fanny Hill is that when I finished Black Beauty the new book by Alison Morton was launched. Perfiditas is the second book by Alison, her first, Inceptio, was launched earlier this year, and I have to say (because it's true, not because someone is making me), I just had to make this book my priority, and am so pleased I did. I loved reading Inceptio, I love the writing style, and the book is based on such an interesting idea and characters (I'm giving nothing away, just read the book), so was sure Perfiditas would also be good. I was a little concerned that it may not be able to live up to it's older sibling, but within minutes my fears were allayed as I held tight for more action, mystery and intrigue - love, love, love it!!!

Time to go take my supplements now - enjoy the recommended reading :-)


Update:     It is now Sunday evening and I have finished sorting the boys clothes, and started on the hallway cupboards - go me!!!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

101 Progress Check - October 20th 2013

Hi Guys :-)

After I write my last progress update I had a good look at my list to see what was still outstanding, and how long I have left to get it all done in. I have approximately eight and a half months left, and thirty six items waiting to be completed and crossed off my list.

If I could do these at a rate of six per month I would easily get this finished, but there are a number of longer term things on here (e.g. there are still six date nights remaining, so realistically that is six evenings, not just one), so I went through the outstanding items to see which ones need to be spread out over the remaining time, and which can be given a date to be done as a one off and am very pleased to say that it is all looking possible :-)

You may recall that in my last update post I was considering a three month Facebook ban and a Keep In Touch project (to actually write to, or call people) during this period. I have decided that this is something that I would really like to do, and as there were a couple of items highlighted in my review of tasks to be changed that I had down as a "leave on the list for now", I feel that it would be right for me to swap out two of my current list items for these new ones. In a way I'm tempted to remove the job of transferring all my music from tape to MP3, and there are two reasons for this. Firstly, it will take a long time to do, and secondly, as I haven't used the converter yet I don't know if it actually works. However, it is something I really want to do, so I will leave it there and instead I will be removing two of my fitness items "Do 4 sessions of Your Shape (Kinect) or Wii Fit in one week" and "Do 3 sessions of Just Dance or Dance on Broadway in one week. With the fitness programmes that I have found in the last couple of years I feel that the Wii Fit & Your Shape don't really exercise me and so would be nice to do, but really a bit pointless, and I still have no idea where my dance games have gone...

This week I had planned to sort through the boys clothes, but it's not done yet. However, I have bought some more clothes for the boys ready for autumn/winter, and I may get a chance to at least start on sorting the clothes later today.

I read Black Beauty on the train to and from work this week. I have some vague recollections of watching it on telly when I was little, but had never read the book at all. I was surprised by how much I liked it - it is beautifully written from Black Beauty's point of view, and is just lovely. I have a feeling I will be reading this again in the future :-) So only two banned books left to read.

Yesterday I went out in the forest with the youngest boy as the older one had Jubla all afternoon, and we both took our cameras out with us and I was surprised this morning when I went to upload them and found that I had taken sixty four photos. Here are a few below:

On the way to the forest

In the forest - I love it here :-)

Marcus photographing mushrooms

Diddy mushrooms :-)

My happy boy :-)
 Tomorrow I will be starting taking my supplements (why start today what you can start tomorrow, lol), and as I'm changing my working hours from this week, and we no longer have Migros down the road to buy lunch so need to start planning properly what I'm eating and drinking again, I will be sorting out my Plannerisms planner to record everything as I know that when I am using it I am much better at keeping to routines and habits.

Have a great week,


Friday, 18 October 2013

2014 Diary Pages and Set Up

Check me out!!! Not even in the last month of the year and I'm thinking about my set up for next year - yes, I know, there are many of you out there that were set up and ready to go months ago, but for me this is very impressive. Please excuse the pictures, Ben has been using the timer on the camera and I have no idea how to turn it off, and getting the tripod out was not an option... oops!!!

Admittedly this decision was not something that has been plaguing me, and it was a snap decision that I made this morning, but I have a feeling that it's not going to come crashing down around my ears leaving my life in tatters :o)

When I saw the fabulous Debbie at the Philofaxy meet up at the end of September she gave me a set of A5 Gillio day to a page diary inserts (thank you Debbie!!!). So I did what any pretend organised person does and thought, fabulous - they'll be great for next year, I'll keep them wrapped up safe until then (see, pretend organised, a real organised person would have opened them up, put them in her Filofax/Gillio/other, and started writing in appointments and reminders the same day). But I was sat at my desk this morning, and there they were, looking at me - I'm sure they were bursting to get out of their wrapping.

Obviously, at this point I had to open them, I mean, come on, who could resist? I am so pleased to report that they are lovely. The day to a page layout has timed appointments 08:00 - 19:00 down the left hand side of the page, with space for tasks or other lists on the right, and spaces for notes and phone calls at the bottom of the page. Admittedly, I don't have many appointments, but I do like to assign time-slots to my tasks for the day in an attempt to get through as much as possible, and with this layout I can have a whole spaghetti junction of lines assigning tasks to time slots - awesome!!! As well as this there is also a memo page after each month so that non-date specific items for the following month can be jotted down ready for when you come to plan the days of that month, or maybe you could use it to note the highlights of your month so that at the end of each month you have a list of happy reminders.

The inserts come wrapped in two sections (Jan-Jun & Jul-Dec), I mean, who is going to want to carry around a full year of day to a page diary inserts...?  OK. maybe I will... but it's very sensible to split them into six month packages as many people don't want to carry that many.

Currently I have all my basic set up (personal & work) in my medium Gillio (personal sized in Filofax-speak), but as great as it s to carry just a personal around with me, when I saw this I realised I just have to move back to an A5 for work next year - I love them.

Having looked at them again I'm seriously considering lugging an A5 round with me everywhere again (not literally everywhere - it will be for work and home, not for me to take with me when we go shopping) and having my work and personal stuff in there.

The phone call section would also be perfect for a keeping in touch project, so I now definitely need to change my 101 list to avoid Facebook, and to keep in touch with people via letters and phone calls.

Time to get planning... thanks for stopping by :o)


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

101 Progress Check - 16th October 2013

Hi everyone :o)

Sorry for another lengthy pause between posts (maybe I should just aim to update monthly instead of weekly, so I don't have to feel so bad) - I've been away for two out of the last three weekends. Needless to say that progress is still slow.

I should have even done a post on my first weekend away as I was away with the Philofaxy gang and we were very privileged (don't laugh oh ye who are not of the Filofax persuasion) to be invited to the Filofax headquarters down at Burgess Hill where we had a fab time talking with the heads of various departments there, seeing potential new patterns for next year, fondling some of the older Filofaxes, and generally having fun. We all came away with a bag of Filofax goodies (and yesterday my friend also took delivery of a nappa Flex from them on my behalf - so looking forward to receiving that).

On the Saturday most of us headed to Vapiano (highly recommended - very relaxed atmosphere and lovely food cooked right in front of you), where we got to play with each other's Filofaxes, shortly followed by the obligatory shopping trip to Paperchase :o)  

Being up in London I got to see my brother, sister-in-law and their cool kids as well which was great - we lost touch for a while (nothing bad happened, we're both just utterly useless), so it's been nice to catch up again over the last six months or so.

Anyway, back to the topic of this post... although my 101 has been moving slowly recently I have two more tasks to cross off.

While we had a weekend free with no children around I went with my husband (I love saying that) to see Rasta Thomas's ballet of Romeo & Juliet - it was amazing, the music was cool, the moves were slick, and the bodies were hot... oops, did I just say that out loud?!!!

Before I went away last weekend I sorted through my stationery and packaged up seven RAKs - so that's another task that I've been meaning to do for ages that I can cross off my list - I'm sure if I hadn't put it on the 101 list it would still be waiting at the end of the year (and not necessarily just this year). This means that I can now leave the FiloRAK group. As much as I love the idea of the group, I just keep seeing lovely things, which send me off trawling the Internet, and the next thing I know it's three hours later and I've spent the whole evening looking at pretty stationery or crafty stuff.

I am seriously considering adding a three month Facebook ban to my 101 list (although I will still be allowed to check for private messages as this is how my family and friends contact me. Over the last couple of weeks my Facebook usage has been much less than previously, and it feels so nice not to feel that I must check into all the groups every day - in fact, I have left some already to remove the pressure (which is only from me, no-one else - just my own freakish OCD fault). There will be no checking groups or reading the news feed allowed, even though this does mean that I may miss out on actual news (not just the trash photos, hoaxes, game requests and adverts). Maybe I should also add a task to keep in touch with people and start writing letters and picking up the phone...

I finally got round to searching Amazon to get my three remaining banned books to read, so have downloaded Black Beauty and Fanny Hill (OMG, I wish I'd read the reviews before putting that on my list - I think it's just going to be rude!!!) onto my Kindle. Unfortunately Catcher in the Rye doesn't seem to be available on Kindle, so for now I've downloaded Uncle Tom's Cabin instead as this was banned in the Southern United States due to it's anti-slavery content. The Catcher in the Rye will definitely be read at some point though as I think my next reading challenge (either after the 101 list or alongside it) will be either the BBC top 200 or the Telegraph 100 - I'm sure there will be overlaps, and I'm also sure that I will have already read some of them, but I am looking forward to my next list of books :-)

That's me done for now, have a great week,


Sunday, 22 September 2013

101 Progress Check - 22nd September 2013

Hello :o)

Today I am feeling motivated to really start working on the rest of my 101 - although maybe nothing to stressful today as I'm recovering from a dental op on Thursday which has stopped me sleeping too well, so I'm feeling pretty tired.

As I said I would do in my last post, I have reviewed the outstanding tasks in my 101 list to see what things are still relevant/wanted - there is no point in keeping tasks on the list if I don't want to do them anymore.

I am also adding a few household type bigger chores to the list as recently I have been easily distracted (and not particularly motivated), so if they are on here I am hoping it will encourage me to do them :o)

Firstly though, what tasks can I now cross off?

Drinking Rooibos daily for 2 weeks, the plan was to have this while I was doing my journalling, but I did it alone as I'm not ready to start the journalling yet. Thankfully I like my Rooibos with honey after it has cooled significantly (often it's completely cold by the time I drink it) as after my op on Thursday I was told not to eat or drink anything hot, so it didn't interfere with my challenge.

As part of my review I spotted some challenges still on my list that actually I have already completed:

-      camping. Yes, I have finally decided that the stay at Europaparc does count as camping.
-      concerts. I went and watched two of the Rock Highway competition rounds for 2012 (finals and
       semi-finals), and despite saying that they counted I hadn't crossed the task off.
-      Bake cupcakes - yes, I'll admit they weren't super fancy, and weren't quite what I visualised when I
       set this challenge but they were cupcakes, they tasted good, and they were decorated.

So, let's see what's outstanding...

4.      Play keyboards 10 times   This is to be removed...
6.      Load all music on tapes to iTunes tape to MP3 converter received Nov 2012 keep for now
8.      Have music playing all day & no TV/computers for whole family (x 3)
10.    Watch 10 classic films - films identified, got to find them, 4 down 6 to go
                      Brief Encounter
                      Taxi Driver
                      The Graduate
11.    Watch 10 musicals (films) - musicals for watching identified, 5 down 5 to go
                      Rock of Ages
                      Half a Sixpence
                      Singin' In The Rain
                      Les Miserables
                      Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
14.    See 2 dance productions - 1 down, 1 to go
                      Rock the Ballet
15.    Read 5 banned books
                      A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
                      A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway
16.    Teach boys basics of reading English to be changed to listening to/teaching them to read for 10
         minutes a day.
17.    One big family day out every month
19.    Teach boys to swim (or arrange swimming lessons)
22.    Cooking/baking with the boys monthly - done 4 times so far... to be changed to 10 times
23.    15 photo sessions with the boys reduce to 10 times
24.    Make a den in the forest with the boys to be removed, they don't want to
25.    Take the boys to 3 shows - 1 down, 2 to go (to be identified)... to be changed to 1 show, they
         don't want to go to any others, therefore this task is complete
28.    Write a short story for the boys
31.    12 'date' nights with Ben (at home or out) 6 date nights so far
32.    Have 4 massage evenings to be removed
34.    Take a 1+ hour walk on my own (x3)
36.    Do 4 sessions of 'Your Shape' (Kinect) or Wii Fit in 1 keep for now
37.    Do 3 sessions of Just Dance or Dance on Broadway in 1 week keep for now
41.    Try snowboarding to be removed, really not that interested
42.    Learn to swim confidently to be removed, I should do this as some point, but don't see it as a 
         priority at the moment.
43.    Be as comfortable as Christopher is on roller-blades (as he is now at 6, not as he is by June
         2014) to be removed, again, it's not something I really feel the urge to do
48.    Become confident enough to hold a conversation in German getting there Aug 2013
49.    Embroider a sampler
50.    Read 5 books in German (basic please...) books bought
51.    Write a poem
58.    Learn 6 new recipes - 3 down
59.    Take camera on days out and use it started Aug 2013
63.    30 mins per day to relax/meditate for 2 weeks (while on 2 week holiday with Ben does not
65.    Learn to use a proper camera - camera bought (digital SLR)
66.    Buy some nice high heels and wear them
68.    1 evening a week for me for 3 months (possibly for a course) to be removed
69.    Give more praise (at home & at work)
71.    Bake cupcakes
74.    Journal daily for two weeks (15 minutes minimum)
77.    Do a tandem skydive to be removed, I really don't see how I'm going to find time to fit this in.
         If by some miracle I do then I will add it back to the list
79.    Keep to a basic household routine using my Plannerisms planner - started Feb 2013
80.    Set up a recipe binder
85.    Blog re the 101 in 1001 project - started, clearly :-)
88.    Manage bank accounts properly, update Excel weekly (not monthly/quarterly)

So I have a few tasks to change, and eight to be removed. Obviously this means that I need to add eight in, so here we have the new arrivals:

-       Sort through the boys clothes (Marcus seems to have a ridiculous number of clothes now, they
        can't all still fit him, and I'm sure that some of the boys clothes have been killed in the way that
        only small children can kill clothes). Time to sort, throw and list anything that we need to get
        (probably nothing).
-      Make a crafting picture in one of my IKEA picture frames.
-      Sort stationery supplies/stickers and post out some RAK packages.
-      Sort through the hallway cupboards (these end up storing junk and need a bit of work).
-      Package up the big boxes in the hallway and office for recycling (can't sort the cupboards without
       doing this... oops!!!
-      Sort through the boxes upstairs that have still not been unpacked... do we really need to keep this
       stuff? If so, sort it properly into labelled boxes for storing, complete with an inventory of what's in
-      Take fish oils daily for 3 months
-      Take iron supplements twice daily for 3 months

Time to go and update the main list and get started :o)

Have a great week,


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

101 Progress Check - 17th September 2013

Hiya - is anybody still there?

It's been a bit slow going over the last few months, but I had some news the other day that, while making things a bit tricky initially, may actually free up some of my time in a way that I can work on these challenges (especially with the ones involving my boys).

The boys love going to childcare after lunch club/school, but unfortunately the lady who has them needs to cut back on the number of days that she can have our two - have I mentioned before how Switzerland is really not set up for families where both parents work outside the home (especially if they both work full-time)? It's really not ideal - I won't go into full details here, there's enough for a whole post on this, but let's just say that even though Christopher (my oldest) is now 8 and in his second year at school (after 2 years in Kindergarten class) my oldest boy is still only in school every morning and two afternoons a week.

Thankfully they can still go to the childminder on Mondays and Fridays, so it's only Tuesday - Thursday that we need to deal with. I'm looking at this as an opportunity to see if I can change my working hours. As much as I would love to be able to cut the number of hours I work I doubt that this is possible, however, if I can juggle them around a bit I may be able to work from home 7:30 - 13:30 on Wednesdays so that I can be home for the boys when they get home. This would mean that basically I will have an afternoon each week where I can do things with my boys and catch up on bits around the home, leaving the majority of my weekend free so that I'm not trying to get everything done at the same time - yay!!!

Anyway, back to the progress so far...

On Sunday (after a manic afternoon entertaining small boys for Marcus's 6th birthday party) I thought it would be nice to watch a musical, so I looked down my list (having crossed Fame off the other day as not actually being a musical - I was very disappointed when I realised that it was just a film with a few musical numbers in it - and not a very good one at that). Oklahoma was next on the list, hmmm... a nice bit of Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipton? Yes, that'll do nicely - until I realised that the version I have isn't that one. OK, so South Pacific... I haven't seen that yet... three minutes of black screen and music before the credits start (yep, old film, so many of the credits are at the beginning), then three minutes of credits before the film starts (starting to lose the will to live now), but then it starts... and I really just couldn't get into it, I was gutted, I was expecting to really love it, but I couldn't seem to understand a lot of what was being sung and it felt quite slow going. I may try it again another day, but not just yet. So what did I do? I watched Hairspray!!! Yes, I have seen it before, but I like it, and it is a musical and by the time I got to that point I really just wanted to watch something that I would definitely like :o)

I started my challenge to drink Rooibos tea every day for two weeks on September 8th, and I'm still going strong. I like Tick Tock rooibos tea, so will have to pick up another box when I'm in the UK for the Philofaxy meet up at the end of the month.

I discovered the other day that, yes, I CAN walk in high heels. I have a pair of heels that I used to wear sometimes for Salsa and they are fairly high, and a bit chunky, but not so chunky that they lose the feeling of walking in high heels. I put them on to see how they would look with a dress that I have, and I managed to walk (like a proper lady and everything, instead of just wobbling around) through the apartment - now all I need to do is get some high heels (not stilettos, I have no need to try to break my ankle) and wear them. I'm not sure yet where I'll actually wear them, but it will happen :-)

Next - a very exciting announcement - on Monday morning at 9am as soon as they went on sale I got some BIFFY CLYRO TICKETS!!! They announced on their Facebook page on Saturday that they were adding a venue in Zurich into their tour schedule on November 18th, and because it's an additional venue it's quite a small venue - perfect!!! Now all I need to do is sort out a baby sitter, which could be fun as it's a Monday night, but I will find a way :o)

I feel that it's time to review the outstanding challenges that I have - it's all very well setting 101 challenges, but during the course of 1001 days, things change, what you thought you would really like to do, you realise you actually aren't that fussed about, you discover new things that you'd rather do instead, you realise that there are other things that are more important than some of the things you had originally planned, or your children aren't actually interested in the things you thought they would be.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be doing some more planning and reviewing and will make some changes to my list. For example - taking the boys to three shows... they've been to the Batman show which they loved, but do they want to go and see two others? No? I've tried The Lion King, Shrek the Musical and a couple of other things I thought they may be interested in, but they don't want to go... so I am thinking that will be changed to "Take the boys to see a show". Others may just not be practical to do in the remaining time, I could just say, "oh well, I didn't do it", but if I do that to one thing it's so easy then to climb onto the slippery slope of not bothering to try to achieve the others - I think it is more sensible, and challenging, to change the challenges to things that are actually do-able.

One thing on the list that may go is "camping" - realistically I can't see it happening this year now, and it is very unlikely to happen in the early part of next year. There is also the issue of the initial layout - is there really any point in buying all the gear, to only use it once? We went to Europapark in May and stayed in a covered wagon (no, nothing like a caravan, more like a tent with a wooden floor and small bunk beds), Ben keeps asking if we can just class that as camping - I'm really doubting that, although we were cold, had to walk across to the toilets in the night, and walk in pyjamas to the shared shower block, so it wasn't totally dissimilar. But... and this I feel may be the main issue, we missed out on the whole "trying to put the tent up, getting stroppy, finally managing to get everyone in, only for it all to collapse during the night" experience...

Anyway, that's me done for now - time to stop waffling :o)

Hope you're all having a great week.


P.S. Apologies for any spelling errors - I haven't read through this to check it's all OK, and spellcheck isn't working for some reason...

Sunday, 25 August 2013

101 Progress Check - 25th August 2013

Oops!!! I have got a bit behind recently. I tried to post my update for August 11th on the 12th and Blogger was freaking out and wouldn't actually let me type anything, then last weekend we had a visitor, and now I'm finally updating for the last few weeks...

Update for the week ending August 11th:

I've been struggling a bit with the banned books as it turns out that quite a few of the books I read when I was younger were banned (Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, American Psycho), and although I'd happily read them again I'm not sure I can count them if I've read them before... It's quite odd that there are so many books which have been banned, but many of them have only been banned in, for example, one state in the USA, and nowhere else in the world. This made me wonder if I should just look for books that had been banned in most places, or just use ones that have been banned regardless of where.

I have however for 3 more banned books that I could read (they were just random ones off the list):
     Black Beauty, I must be one of the few females my age who didn't read this when I was little, but
     apparently it was banned in South Africa where they took offence because it had black in the title.

     The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger, apparently banned for profanity and references to sex.

     Fanny Hill - banned for the prostitution in the book.

Taking photos on days out - I actually managed to take the camera with me and use it when we took the boys up to the school house to play in the sunshine on Sunday, and took a couple of the flowers outside as well.

I did take quite a lot of photos of the boys while I was out and tried to get some decent photos, so although it wasn't a proper "having a photo session with the boys" it was a start. I definitely need to learn more about our camera so I can take more professional looking photos.

One of my other challenges is to learn how to use the camera properly so it goes hand in hand with the photo sessions - I am considering buying the book about the camera from the For Dummies range to pick up some basic tips and instructions.

Before the boys came back to join us after their summer holidays in the UK Ben and I managed to have a couple of date nights. The first one was just a film night at home - we considered going to the cinema, but there was really nothing that we were desperate to see showing. Instead we moved the sofa, pulled out the big screen, and got the snacks and drinks in, and settled down to watch Skyfall - a perfect evening. The next night we decided to go out for dinner and to the casino, but as we left early we thought we'd do the casino first - oops!!! Over three hours later we realised how long we'd been at the casino, and decided that we didn't really want to go out to dinner by that time, so instead stopped off at MacDonald on the way home (don't say we don't know how to treat ourselves), and then popped to the restaurant at the casino the following day for lunch as the food there is fantastic :-)  So all in all a very relaxing weekend.

Becoming more confident in conversing in German - I do converse in German, and although it's not as great as I'd like, I don't do too bad, so why do I have no confidence in doing this? I am thinking that part of this may be down to the fact that although I speak a reasonable amount of German, I live in Switzerland, so the language is Swiss German, not German. I manage to speak reasonably confidently with some people too, and don't feel stupid, so really I think my main thing to do now is to learn more vocabulary, which I already have the perfect Filofax (in green) ready to write new vocabulary in.

Journalling daily - this hasn't started yet, although I am starting on the 5,000 question survey as I think this may get me in the habit of writing. Some of the questions are a bit silly, and some of them are short answer questions, but many of them you could write as much or as little as you like. I am planning on getting into the habit of doing some of these daily, but getting started in the habit is proving tough. The other thing is that I read Ray's posts re journalling (it is written as a short course, and as well as following it on the blog at the time, and then went on to pick it up from Amazon to have on my Kindle). This is great as it gives you homework to do, and is much shorter than the 5,000 question survey, and would probably give me a bit more structure to my thoughts.

But, before attacking the journalling too much I need to sort my house and cellar - there seems to be so much clutter and I would like things to be a bit more organised and peaceful. Children's toys and clothes outgrown, boxes never unpacked (we've been here for over 2 years now, how much of this stuff can we actually need?). Maybe I should swap some of these things into my 101. Maybe that will give me more motivation to get them done.

At the moment I have 46 of the 101 outstanding (either part done or not started). Of these, the easier ones to complete (e.g. films, books, quick stuff) there are 10. Which leaves me with 36 longer / trickier ones that require a bit more planning and thinking about. I have less than a year left - best I get a wiggle on...

Update for the week ending August 18th:

It's been a busy week - but I finally got round to buying some flowers for home and took a few pics to prove it.

That's it as far as the 101 goes I'm afraid folks.

Completely unrelated to my 101 however, I found a fabulous stationers shop in Zurich (Bookbinders Design) and bought some fabulous things. Their stationery is pretty plain, but totally stylish, and I picked up some washi tape, some pencils (which have a very intense colour), and some cool clips.

Update for the week ending August 25th:

And here we are - finally caught up and ready to share my achievements from this week...

I may have mentioned that when I went to see Rock the Ballet earlier this year that I also saw some flyers for Romeo & Juliet which is coming to Zurich towards the end of September, which I intended to buy tickets for. I am so glad that I forgot to book them, as I came home from work the other day to find mail from the Maag giving me a discount code for 20% off - will be booking those soon and then I will have been to see two dance productions - so exciting!!!

My attempt at reading five books in German may be starting soon. I still have the book that my friend lent me, but am not sure if I'm brave enough to try reading this one, but as books over here are so expensive I didn't want to buy any, and also wasn't too keen on trying to find my way round the books in the library to try to find something that I may be able to get through (apart from children's board books). Yesterday I was in the local shopping mall and saw that the Ex-Libris store had some huge discounts (and it's not a massive shop, so not too intimidating) and picked up six books. I had picked up five (two small, one book of nice quotes, one in between size book and one standard looking chick lit book. I was about to pay when I thought I'd check out if they had any Enid Blyton (they didn't) but I spotted a  rather large book called Das Phänomen Harry Potter, and as I could understand the back cover, and thought I may find it a fun read, I stuck that one in my bag too :-) Feeling a bit brave now. I'll break myself in gently with the first of the small books - but not on the train. I need to be at home with my dictionary by my side (and my Filofax to write in the new words I am picking up each day).

Last night I went to a Gonis presentation (a bit like an Ann Summers party but with craft products). I found that as well as doing the presentations and selling the products, the lady who does it holds workshops once a month. I am considering the possibility of going to these to learn more about the different uses for these products and the different techniques, and doing this instead of the using one evening a week for three months for a course or something. I find the stuff we were shown very interesting, and these are things I could also do with my boys, and it's good fun :-)

Have a great week,



Sunday, 28 July 2013

So Much Stationery... :o)


Now that I have posted my Filofax purchases catch-up post here it's time to do my other catch up post - this time featuring the stationery I have acquired over the last few months...

Alphabet stamps from Migros supermarket
Pen holder from Kent from Oz (visit his great blog here)
Divider notes that I had admired from the lovely Alice (visit
her blog at The Wonderful Life of Alice)
Stickers from Alice for me to share with my boys :-)
These were my first purchase when I went to look for weddings dresses - somehow I ended up in TK Maxx before I actually looked at any dresses - oops!!!

Dragon notebook, Pantone notebooks that I had previously seen
on Angela's fabulous blog, and button brads - the final notebook
was from Thalia in Switzerlnd (half price, still too expensive, but
cheaper than anything else I was going to find on that day)
A present from China - one of our financial controllers knows how much I love planning and stationery supplies (she gave me all her A5 inserts last time I saw her - she is so sweet :-)
6 Monthly Planner
The white paper is ruled with space for date, day etc
and the coloured paper is plain. I am very tempted to
use this is my Filofax when I have no diary pages :-)
Ruled with other spaces
The next load of stuff is my Mother's Day present from my boys (yes, OK, I picked it all out myself, but they were very happy with my choices).

Two sets of stamp pads in lots of colours and a set
of heart stamps - it turns out one was missing from
the box, but I can live with that :-)
Block of heavy duty scrapbooking/crafting paper to be used for
various crafting projects, or Filofax dividers
Below are a few samples of the pages that come in this pad:

Pip Studio school planner
Yes, I know I don't go to school anymore and haven't for many years, but I have never seen proper school planners before - we didn't have them in the UK (and probably still don't generally). There were so many different ones to choose from (including a Love Is... one - too cute!!!). Below is a sample of the types of pages this contains:
Timetable pages
Week on two pages diary
Random things to do
Notes pages
Various stickers - Peanuts, owls and chicks :-)
Finally, my purchases from IKEA yesterday - loved IKEA before, love it even more now that they have the stationery section, complete with washi tape - yay!!!

Washi tapes, stickers, and paperclips :o)
It really is time for me to sort out all my supplies :-)


Anniversary Filofaxes and Later Purchases...

Hi All,

OK - so, many of you know that I bought a load of Filofaxes off eBay back in February, but I had to wait for many of them to arrive, and then got distracted by a host of other things so didn't get round to doing posts about them all individually.

Since then I have also bought a few others, so rather than doing lots of posts I'm just doing one which will be VERY picture heavy...  I'm not going to do lots of photos of each one as there are plenty of full reviews out there, so sit back and enjoy :-)

(I'll apologise now for the picture quality as well as I was totally unable to get the flash to work today for some reason - very annoying).

Pockets - green Botanic and brown Domino

Personals - brown Kendal and blue Piccadilly
Personal Clangers and pocket Bagpuss
Bagpuss inserts - complete with cute quotes including
"A ship? In a bottle? Where would it sail to?"
Clangers dividers - complete with indexed address pages
The Clangers inserts are well worth a quick review - this came with Communication/Meeting, Expenses, Goals/Notes, Monthly Planner, Weekly Planner, Diary Planner (???), and Projects sheets, along with ruled paper.
Clangers inserts
Monthly and Weekly Planner sheets (undated)
Diary Planner (labelled 8 - 19, any ideas?) and Project sheets
I have no idea what make the next planner is, but I can tell you that it is the softest planner I have ever felt - it just feels utterly luxurious.
Personal - black lambskin non-Filofax planner.
Flat, flat, flat - and did I mention... super-soft!!!
These are the last of my eBay finds - a fabulous group of vintage items
Writing cases and lovely old Filofax
Writing case layouts
Missing cap - I may try to fix this, or I may just leave it
alone - it is old and has obviously been well loved :-)
I love the inside of this - small rings, model...? I'm not sure
This may offer a clue... but not to me :-)
And now on to my non-eBay purchases...

Firstly, the lovely Chrissie, from the wonderful blog Chrissie's Universe, had this little beauty up for sale, and as I'd swapped out my ochre one i just couldn't resist...

Unfortunately the lighting was shocking, but this is
the fabulous purple Malden, along with the lovely
Vogue postcard that Chrissie sent with it :-)
My final (until now) purchases came from Margaret of Write at Home - a great online shop that stocks various stationery items, ships internationally and is very helpful. If she doesn't have it available on her website it's always worth sending a mail to see if she can get hold of it :-)

Back to School in green - looking forward to writing
my name on this one (and possibly adding a bit of
Originals - A5 in patent Fuschia and personal
in yellow (a proper bright sunflower yellow)
Not Filofaxes - but Margaret also stocks some of the
Gorjuss range, so I just had to get some
Now all I need to do is find somewhere to store these new gorgeous beings... maybe I can rent a shop (not to sell anything, just so I can have it all beautifully displayed). Tee hee hee.