Sunday, 31 March 2013

101 Progress Check - March 31st 2013

Hi All,

Just time for a quick post this Easter Sunday before I get my butt moving ready for lunch (which Ben is cooking because no-one wants food poisoning).

There is not much to report on my 101 challenge as I have mainly been concentrating on getting through the Les Mills Combat programme. There are 11 days to go and I have been struggling over the last week or so, due to being very tired, and the last few days of not eating so healthily probably haven't helped. Today's supposed to be a rest day, but tomorrow I'm down for Combat 45 Power Katas, which I love so I may be tempted to do that this afternoon. In fact I may try to push myself to complete the rest of the programme in less that 11 days so that Ben is here when I finish my last day :-)

I have seen posters up for a couple of contemporary ballet performances that are coming up shortly, so I am planning on investigating the possibility of going to see at least one of them, although I would really like to see both if I can. One is in Zurich (near work) and I think the other is in Baden (near home) so could be perfect.

If you saw my Easter post this morning you will have seen that I have been looking at scrapbooking supplies again in preparation for scrapbooking a few pages of my boys, so hopefully it won't be too long before I have those started.

Using my Plannerisms planner for my household routine is starting to work for me. Even if I don't do an area on the day it is down to be done, I can still see that it needs to be done, and am making sure they are done at some point during the week. I haven't been logging my food so well the last few days as it's Easter and I know I'm not eating the things I should. I know that's no excuse, but as I log in terms of proteins, carbs etc it's too much effort to work out what the bad stuff should count as.

I'm being called for lunch now, so that'll be me signing off.

Have a great week.


A Lazy Easter Morning

Happy Easter everyone :o)

When the weather is like this (wet all day, snowing every night) what is the best way to spend Easter Sunday? Yep that's right... being as lazy as possible.

It is now 11am, and I'm sat on the sofa in my PJs and finally doing something (blogging, obviously).

I was up just before 7am with the boys, they watched Madagascar 3 while I checked emails and stuff while half away, sorted breakfast & then we ate the ears off our chocolate bunnies, before Ben came through to join us.

Christopher then asked if he could have computer time, at which point Marcus got very upset as he didn't want to play Lego Lord of the Rings again, so Christopher played on his own for  half an hour, and then I got to have my first ever go playing Skylanders Giants - we completed the first chapter, go us!!!

Since then I have mainly been browsing the scrapdeco website and putting oodles of stuff (books, kits, papers, stickers, ribbons etc) in my basket. I really need to try to see if they have a wishlist function, otherwise I'll forget what I wanted to get and it'll take ages to find it again, otherwise my finger may just slip on that checkout button ;-)

This is the kit that I want to get to do a couple of scrapbooking pages of the boys.

Picture from scrapdeco website

Today I saw a link posted on Facebook to Project Life, which looks like a fabulous way to store memories and write little journal notes (thanks Laura for posting about this, it looks gorgeous). There are a couple of places that do similar things, but for low effort, this one is particularly awesome.

Picture from Project Life website

One of the others that has lovely looking products for doing this sort of thing is Simple Stories, where you can input more of your personal style with customisation, choosing your layouts, sticking extra bits on etc.

Picture from Simple Stories website
Hampton Art also do a journalling range called Ditto, which has journals, inserts, tabs, stamps, stickers etc. All of these systems tempt me, but at the moment I am resisting as I have specific challenges to meet first and am going to try to concentrate on those (ha ha ha!!!).

Picture from Hampton Art website
 So that's what I've been up to this morning - I guess I really should get my butt in gear and actually do things this afternoon (including writing some outstanding blog posts, which I have finally taken photos for).

Enjoy your day :o)


Sunday, 24 March 2013

101 Progress Check - March 24th 2013

Hi Everyone :-)

Sorry for the lack of an update last weekend - I was away in London for the Philofaxy meet up, and spent the weekend with my brother and his family in Basildon, which was great.

It's been another busy couple of weeks, but I have actually achieved stuff - hurrah!!!

My first stop in Basildon was to Hobbycraft to pick up knitting and embroidery supplies, so I can start on those two challenges. Unfortunately, although they sell embroidery threads, I couldn't find any kits or even the material to go with them, so have given those a miss for now.

Surprisingly I have since managed to knit not one, but two scarves (one was a short fat one for me, and the other was longer and thinner for Marcus). As Marcus is the same as I was when I was younger it is unlikely that he will ever wear it (despite nagging me to make it) as he finds it tickles his neck. Thankfully that means that Christopher can have it instead and I don't need to make another one. I used a thick wool, which required knitting needles that I'm sure were designed for use by elephants (or maybe even as legs for elephants). They are 2cm thick, which is just crazy!!! The good thing is that it takes less stitches though, so I'm not complaining.

My boys have now decided that they want to learn to knit and want me to teach them - that's fun as I don't really know what I'm doing, and definitely don't hold the needles or the wool in a way that's going to be easy... However, Marcus decided to do a trial using the big needles and a length of wool that was left over from his scarf. He only did about five stitches, and got the long tail tangled in amongst them, but he did manage to do them all by himself, so is very pleased.

The boys playroom is now completed, with a couple of extra toy boxes to put all their stuff in - somehow we seems to still have managed to accumulate a box of toys in the front room where they keep bringing more toys downstairs, so now we just need to educate them to take things back upstairs and put them in the toy boxes...

 I'm still doing my Les Mills Combat programme, and although I missed two workouts last weekend I have added them into this week and caught up. I now have 18 days left until I finish - yay!!! Then it will be time to decide what to do next. :o)

I'm still pretty rubbish at taking my camera on days out and actually using it and I had a bit of a breakthrough at the Philofaxy meet up, followed by a total fail in my lack of photo-taking of my brother and his family, despite my nieces and nephew being totally fabulous and gorgeous - I am utterly rubbish. Thankfully it's a family thing - I hadn't seen my brother in nine years, and after moving here in February 2009, I didn't get round to calling him until Christmas 2012. To be fair, he hadn't called me either, so I don't feel bad - we are both rubbish and we know it :o)

Here is the evidence that I did actually take photos while on a day out (admittedly I did only actually remember to get my camera out while we were in the restaurant, and it didn't see the light of day again, but it's a start, no?).

Kate & Susie
Paula, Angela, Imy & Lorena
Sharon & Tracy with Tracy's fantastically organised pocket
Filofax which she keeps everything in.
Ray & Steve, our insert kings :o)
The money shot!!!
If anyone reading this wants somewhere to eat in the centre of London, without it costing a fortune, Vapiano is the place to go. It's easy to find (even I managed to find it really quickly, so had time to do a little shopping before popping back at the right time to meet with everyone) and it was such an exciting moment when I got back to see all the Philofaxy bods stood outside waiting for it to open :-) Vapiano's card system, where you get given a charge card on entry to the restaurant and everything you order gets charged to it as you order so you can pay on the way out, is a perfect system for a group of people eating out. No trying to divide the bill or work out who owes what, which is always a total pain. The food is so good, and it's all cooked to order. I had the pasta carbonara, it was cooked right in front of me, and tasted absolutely amazing.  

This was a fab day out, meeting people who I've only chatted with on Skype or online before, visiting the Filofax store, Mulberry (you can read Imy's account of their shocking service here), and Artbox before finally heading off for the station. The Mulberry service would have been bad enough if it had just been that the sales guy clearly didn't know the products, but to come back with an iPad to show us that what we were looking for didn't exist, whilst having it on the page for the exact item Imy was looking for makes me wonder whether he had actually had any training at all, or if he'd had a very heavy night out on the Friday...  Tracy and I spent most of our time between Mulberry and Artbox spotting all the pubs and saying that we really should stop for a swift one. At one point we had got left behind a bit (we spotted some lovely owl dresses) and said that if we came across a pub before we caught up with everyone else that we would pop in. And then we spotted it just across the roundabout, looking totally inviting it - another pub!!! Yes, it was meant to be :o) And then we spotted the Philofaxy group stood outside waiting for us to catch up... foiled!!!

But as we were both going in a similar direction on the Tube, once we left Covent Garden, we dived onto the Tube back to Oxford Circus, took the first turning as we emerged from the station and found a pub, with tables and chairs outside - just what we both needed. A perfect end to a perfect day :-)

Have a great week,


Sunday, 10 March 2013

101 Progress Check - 10th March 2013

Hi Guys,

Very quick one today and possibly no post next Sunday as I may be away at the Philofaxy meet up in London :-)

Les Mills Combat is still going strong I am one workout down at the moment as I was feeling a bit rough towards the end of this week, but I'll be catching up on that one in a few minutes.

I have started to draw up plans for what I want to include in my event planner that I have yet to set up.

I'm still using the Plannerisms planner to help with getting my household chores done (not managing to get it done every day, but it's written down, so at least it's a start, right?).

That is all for this week.

Have fun,


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A Cheerful End to a Stressful Day

Phew!!! The worst part of monthend is pretty much over (it is manic at work), and although I had planned on leaving work on time yesterday, due to a few issues that arose I ended up getting home almost two hours late, which meant that the boys got to bed before I got home. To be fair, this isn't always a bad thing :o)

My oldest boy, Christopher, had been waiting patiently and checking the post box each day as he was waiting for his black Finsbury to arrive from the king of Philofaxy himself, Steve. So my first question was to ask Ben if Christopher's parcel had arrived, and it had. Ben was under strict instructions that I wasn't to look at it until the morning, bless him. However, the initial response had me a bit confused "Yes, there's a parcel for you as well...", who could be sending me a parcel?

Then I saw the name on the parcel "Micheline", how on earth could I have forgotten that the rather pink looking Winchester was on it's way to me? I have to say, for an old girl, she is looking mighty fine. Way more refined that some of these flibberty-gibbets who try to flaunt themselves at every available opportunity (yes Temperley's I'm talking about you).

In the pictures that I had seen of her she looked like she (yes, she is definitely a she) may be quite hard, and she is quite sturdy, but still feels very supple and strokeable, like any female should. She even felt kind of warm, hence I ended up cuddling her for quite a while - she is just such a love, and straight away feels like an old friend.

Anyway, I beginning to weird myself out now, so time for some pics )obviously none of the actual unwrapping, because I couldn't wait :o)

Lovely card which was on the front of the beautifully
wrapped box - complete with washi tape 

Lady Winchester

Still looking slim, despite the years :o)

Inside (with post-its and stickers). The dividers are a coated card
and are therefore seem really durable. What's hiding behind
that flap? 

Pockets!!! No credit card pockets (who needed
loads of those?)

Warner Bros to do lists - fabulous, so many different ones!!!

WO2P diary inserts with perforated corners to remove so it's
easy to find where you are... love this feature

Inside back - another flap, love the way these protect both the
rings and the outer leather so there is no chance of bulges

My first filo with a gusseted pocket I think
I think you will agree, I have just got myself a bit of a legend - she may be my first Filofax to receive a proper name.

This morning I was very privileged, when Christopher came downstairs and showed me his new filofax. He is very impressed with his personal sized Finsbury. He was also very impressed by Steve's Philofaxy business cards, and he shared them, he said that Marcus and I could both have some and he shared them out amongst the three of us, giving three to me, four to Marcus and keeping four for himself (including one that was larger than the rest with smaller writing on it which he'd noticed straight away). I am so proud of my boy that he shared them all - he can be such a sweetie. Before I left for work I was on a bit of a mission to dig him out some inserts, and found a complete set of 2013 WO2P inserts and full divider sets for him to put in. As I handed them to him he said "All of those?" as if he thought I would just give him a few pages to go in, and then went off to the dining table with Marcus to help him open his Filofax properly so he wouldn't damage the rings (there was no way Christopher was going to put those inserts down to allow him to have both hands free). Tonight both boys have gone to bed, Filofaxes in hand, and put them on the table between their two beds - so cute :o)

Sweet Filofax dreams everyone,


Sunday, 3 March 2013

101 Progress Check - March 3rd 2013

Hello :-)

What's the progress report this week?

Well, I have been mainly concentrating on my fitness challenge to complete the Les Mills Body Combat programme. I am now on Day 21, and it's going well - so well in fact that I noticed this morning that my butt has risen and no longer hangs quite so low (sorry for that visual that's now been planted in your head - quick, look away!!!).

I have now booked us into a covered wagon in May at Europa Park for two nights, so our family weekend away is definitely all set to happen.

Yesterday I spent a large part of the morning sorting out the boys bedroom properly so that I can get started on setting up a play room for them. This is what their room looks like now (unfortunately I don't have any before pictures).
Clothes storage

Skylanders posters in pride of place

A tidy room with no toys in... how long will that last?
Today I actually made lunch (cooking stuff and everything), I'm surprised Ben didn't have a heart-attack... I made tuna fishcakes, and as it is the first time I have actually made them, despite having them very regularly when I was younger, I can now say that I have now learnt three out of the six new recipes in my challenge - result!!! They actually tasted good too, even though we had too much tuna for the amount of potato we had :o)

The one task that I can mark off as completed this month is my donation to charity. I thought it was going to be hard to decide which charity to give to, but actually, just as I was starting to think about who to donate to there was an update on Philofaxy about a charity called Chimwemwe who you can read more about Chimwemwe and the great work that they do here. When people sell their Filofaxes via the Adspot page of Philofaxy, they make a donation to Chimwemwe, which is their chosen charity.

I didn't want to donate to one of the big charities that everybody knows for a couple of reasons. I wanted to be able to give some money that would be enough to make a difference to them, and I also didn't want to give it to a charity that spends a huge amount each year on advertising (in particular those ones that send you a nice leaflet in the post, complete with form to fill in, pen and envelope to send it all back in) - I can see why they do what they do, but I just find it such an offensive waste of donations that are supposed to be going to a good cause.

As I wasn't donating to one of the big charities, am a huge Philofaxy fan, and admire Amanda who blogs about stationery etc here for her huge involvement in Chimwemwe, it made total sense for this to be the charity that I donated to.

That's me for this week. Have a great week.


Saturday, 2 March 2013

My 2 Year Filofax Anniversary :-)

Hey :o)

I was sat at my computer a couple of nights ago and realised that it must be almost (if not already) 2 years since I bought my first Filofax. I logged into my Filofax account and saw that my first Filofax was ordered on February 20th 2011, so I must have received it around the 24th-25th. It's taken me longer than planned to get the pictures to post, so technically it's been two years and one week now.

It turns out that this coincided quite nicely with my weekend of Filofax splurging where I realised the joys of eBay and buying from other Filofax fans (clearly my subconscious knew it was celebration time, even if I hadn't realised it). In fact. I had started celebrating early, and to be fair and am still celebrating a little bit now... when you get to my age you have to just take a little longer over certain things... (I can't wait for how long I'll be able to celebrate for when I'm 50, ha ha ha!!!).

Unfortunately it's going to take quite a while until all my new arrivals get to me, so for now I shall leave you with the pictures of the first two that were waiting for me when I got home on Wednesday - thank you so much Sussana Duner for parting with these gorgeous compact Luxes, I just hope the photos do them justice :-)

One red and one ebony (very dark brown)

Pocket layout

Beautiful texture

Clasp close up 
I hope everyone else is enjoying their Filofax journey as much as I am enjoying mine :o)