Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Goodies!!!

Hi All - I hope you have all had a fabulous Christmas :o)

I wrote the beginning of this post earlier, and Blogger ate it so here goes at attempt two... Christmas here was fabulous (although started a tad early for my liking, when I got woken up by small child at 4:30 all full of the Christmas spirit and ready to start his day). Trying to keep two young boys quiet for three and a half hours on Christmas morning isn't the easiest thing to do - especially when they both have whoopee cushions that they have never seen before and are giggling their heads off

The morning started properly at around 7:30 with the usual Christmas breakfast of croissants, bacon and Buck's Fizz before the boys started handing out the presents at 8. They were both so good, and seeing their little faces light up as they opened their presents was a joy. They were both very excited about giving us the presents they had made for us at kindergarten and school, very proud little boys, and very proud parents.

They didn't get their main presents (new bikes) until Boxing Day as they were both too lazy to leave the house and wanted to play with their toys on Christmas Day - who am I to argue with letting them play with things when they are very happy and not arguing with each other? :o)

I was a very lucky girl as you can see from the pictures below...
Silhouette Cameo, Smashbook, cute pen & case, Big Bang Theory
Season 5 (I have managed to watch to episode 13 already), mini
Filofax year planner and organiser stickers (perfect to go in my
mini Chameleon wallet), books, Smashbook, and exfoliating
gloves from my brother, who clearly thinks I need a bath :-D
7 sets of various papers and cards and a huge pack of cute
stickers from my boys
A large part of my afternoon was spent playing with my Silhouette Cameo to see what it can do. This baby is fantastic, and for first attempts I am very pleased. I didn't manage to get everything off the cutting mat in one piece (the links in the joined up writing from the first cut didn't fare too well, but I did another with larger writing and it came out perfectly, and I broke a piece off the snowflake), but am very happy with the results. I am looking forward to setting up templates for cutting dividers for my Filofaxes, and I think I will do some with pockets on the back too - I am quite excited about these, I just need to work out what measurements I need to programme in and how to get the tabs on and I'll be good to go.

First cut - I think I may put these into my Smashbook :-)
Second attempt to get the words done, not stuck down as I
don't know what I'm going to do with them yet
On boxing day I pulled out my box with some mementoes from the shows I saw when I was on my course in London at the beginning of the year and smashed them into my orange Smashbook from K & Company. I have to say, these are so great!!! I comes with cool, varied papers inside (different designs in each colour book) and includes a pen/glue stick. They have so many more things in their range that I would love to get, but thankfully I have lots of washi tape already.

Off now to have dinner and sort my work stuff ready for tomorrow before starting my templates on my new toy.


2013 Work Setup

As you may have already seen, I need to upsize from my Compact Chameleon for the new year. Unfortunately I know that my current set up will end up in a big, fat, planner fail if I try to keep it going for 2013 as I ave a fair amount of project work coming my way.

So, what do I need? Obviously I need to have my staples of a diary and some To Do lists. Without my to do lists what happens...? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I end up swamped and lost in my thoughts of what I need to get done.

As I don't have a huge number of meetings my diary space doesn't need to be huge, but it is nice to be able to see what I need to get done and my appointments / deadlines at the same time. I did this for part of last year using the Swedish WO2P diary and found that having them both available did help. I have set up a WO1P with To Do's / Notes, and at the moment I feel pretty confident that this will work for me. I also have a basic MO1P as well, to plan out the main dates in the year. The time I am usually focused on getting a lot of smaller tasks done is monthend, which we have a separate timetable for that is in a shared Excel file so I never write any of these tasks in my Filofax. Any other time I may need more room for tasks I can easily slip in an extra sheet to give me the space I need.

I have included a section for capture pages so that as emails come in I can write down what needs to be done before moving the mail from my inbox to the relevant actions folder.

Yep - that's right, the paper in here is currently address
sheets. I have quite a few of these and I rarely use them...
There is also a project section, which will contain a section for each project I am working on at the time so that everything that I have scribbled relating to it will be together instead of dotted about all over the place (including Post-Its on my monitor, and random bits of paper hiding in the debris that is known as my desk). This has standard quadrille paper in which you can pick up in most stationery stores, and we have in the stationery cupboard at work. When we get our next order at work I will replace the paper in my other sections with this - for now I am using random inserts.

Also in my work filo I will keep my A5 dodo pad inserts for tracking my food intake and exercise as it's definitely time to get back in action. If I keep it at home I find I don't fill it in, hence I have pretty much nothing written in here from August through until earlier this week.

At the back I have a section for spare paper, a spare divider in case anything comes up that warrants its own section, and a notepad in the secretarial pocket ready for notes and meetings.

And which lucky binder have I chosen to start my year with...?

Fairly full, but no so full that I can't move stuff around when
I need to
Domino Snake!!!


Personal Setup 2013 - What To Do?

Hi guys and gals - pull up a chair and prepare for a long post (no photos today I'm afraid)...

As some of you may recall from my post here, I was getting a tad stressed with the whole personal setup debacle. I ended up just chucking in a basic setup (no changing of the divider labels to suit what they were being used for or anything) and seeing where it went, and this is where it went...

My beautiful wine Holborn Zip was the obvious choice (I'd only just got it) and the inserts were pretty standard and things that I had in my stash already. Here beginneth the review...

I started with the following things in my filo:
  • Horizontal year planner, for school holidays, family plans, work trips and bank holidays. Useful? Anything that wasn't known when this was set up at the beginning of the year didn't make it onto here, so not really that useful...
  • Vertical year planner. Useful? this only had one entry written in it and has now been recycled for 2013 as shown in this post here.
  • Tabbed monthly inserts. Useful? These were used a bit at the beginning of 2012, but much the same happened as with the horizontal year planner at the top of the list :o( 
  • Blank/lined sheets to use as capture pages. Useful? I have referred to these, and also used some of them for to do lists. 
  • WO2P diary with lines. Useful? If I'm honest, not really as I haven't used them much. I tend to think of the diary pages as for tracking appointments, and as I have very few personal appointments they don't see much action.
  • Notes section (for To Do lists). Useful? These have barely been looked at, hence the overwhelming lack of check marks against the tasks. The 101 list items are checked off and some of the things from other lists have been checked off too, but this is mainly from luck than from me actually using the lists.
  • Projects (for my 101 in 1001 challenge). Useful? This section contains my full original 101 list, and also a version as it stood when I did the setup. I look at this section every week when I post my progress check, and have been using it to plan what I need to do.
  • Information. Useful? This contains the workout schedules for all the Beachbody workout programmes that I have so I have the information ready so that when I get started on my fitness again I can use this to help me decide which programme I want to do and then follow it using the schedules. Also, if I feel like mixing it up a bit and doing a random hybrid of workouts, I have all the information I need.
  • Financial. Useful? I decided to start using these for the first time ever when I started my Fabulously Frugal No Shopping challenge, so started when I was on holiday in November. I kept it up for about two days after the holiday ended, which isn't great, or particularly useful. 
So, what am I going to take through to my 2013 setup?
  • Diary / planner layouts. The horizontal year planner and tabbed monthlies barely got used, so I clearly don't need those. The vertical year planner can stay, purely because I have recycled it ready for use - let's see if it gets a bit more use this year. I have used the WO2P with lines successfully for work before, so although it didn't get used much this year I am going to give it a go for 2013.
  • Information for exercise - I think is still good for me and will be used.
  • Projects (101) - if I am to stand any chance of completing my 101 challenges this has to stay.
  • Capture pages - I think I still need these, but need to make sure my sections are labelled appropriately so I don't forget what these are for.
  • Action Lists - if I have a separate section for my capture pages and use it properly (and have top tabs for the various types of actions) then I should remember to look in this section and actually do the things on the list.
My original plan was for my personal filo to stay at home and be fat, as my mini Chameleon comes everywhere with me because I use it as my wallet, However, looking at how rubbish I am if I have too many areas to look at I think my filo will stay pretty slim, and then I think about my action lists and realise that important calls etc need to be made while I am at work..., maybe I should move to something smaller and take it everywhere with me...


101 List Progress Check - 30th December 2012

I have to admit that I have achieved very little this week, although I hadn't intended to (it being Christmas and all) so I'm quite happy.

I can now cross one item off my list (planning Christmas in my Dodo Book of Christmas), and I am pleased to say that I will definitely be using this again next year (or at least the inserts).

I also received a most fantastic Christmas present that will help with at least one of my other challenges, more about that in my Christmas post later.

Have a great week,


Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

It's that time again :o)

Two very excited boys went to bed at 7:00 and were asleep by 7:30 - result!!! Admittedly, Ben did have to stay in the room with them until they fell asleep, but they did :o)

Today has been a bit of a crazy rush of cleaning and tidying, so that everything is conducive to a relaxing evening before the big day (well, as relaxing as it can be when Santa is on his way).

Sprouts were prepped in the lounge whilst listening to Carols from Kings College on BBC2 - very rock ´n roll, and Ben has just finished in the kitchen prepping the carrots and parsnips.

We had fun making crackers (which are now sat on the tree waiting for lunch tomorrow).

Christmas tunes will be playing shortly, Santa sacks are hanging from the door, and the tree is ready for Santa to arrive and add the finishing touches.

And finally... mince pies, carrots, and milk are ready and waiting to provide sustenance to help Santa and his reindeer along the way.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!!


Current Work Set-Up


I´ve been thinking about my work set-up for 2013 recently as I need to upsize again to allow for all the project work that is likely to be coming my way over the course of next year. Whilst doing this I realised that I never got round to posting pics of my current set-up, so here goes.

I moved into my raspberry compact Chameleon in mid-October and to be honest I am a bit gutted to have to move out. It is small with a simple set-up that works well at the moment, and it is easy to stick it in my bag whenever I need to take it home.

I wanted it to be simple, practical and nice to look at, so the logical place to start was to see what sections I needed. Although I have the standard six numbered dividers I only set up four sections and left the other two in the back blank in case I needed them.

I have a Diary section which contains a WO2P with lines format - for me this is more than enough space for entering meetings, appointments, and deadlines.

My To Do section contains some lined paper and various To Do sheets. I am currently using some that were given to me (I think they are TMI inserts) and have added post-it markers to identify the sheets as emails, calls, monthend/do not forgets, project list, and to do's.

I then have a planning section which contains Filofax day planner inserts. To me these are probably more suited for personal stuff on the odd days when I have lots to do outside the home. I haven't actually used this section at all.

My final section is my capture pages, which is full of blank paper. I haven't used this section much since I moved into this binder, but it is a section which is very handy to have and I have a feeling it will get a lot of use next year.

I wanted to pretty it all up a bit, but not do anything permanent as realistically this was always going to be a temporary move until I decided what I needed. As you can see from the pictures, I labelled the dividers rather than the tabs, using washi tape and my Rotring Rapidograph pen.

Looking forward to playing with my 2013 set-up.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Planning 2012

Thanks to some of my 101 in 1001 challenges, namely having my Christmas presents and cards bought and written out by the end of November, and using my Dodobook of Christmas to plan everything, the run up to Christmas has been a lot less fraught this year.

Using the Dodobook of Christmas has made things so much easier. This is a fab organiser and has dividers for sections Holiday Planner, Cards, Gifts, Festive Fare, Decoration, Children, Parties & Events, and Traditions, all of which are complete with traditional Christmas pictures. All the dividers have a handy slip pocket on the back for storing recipes, ideas from magasines, cards, receipts and a variety of other bits and pieces that you may accumulate on your Christmas planning journey. In true inimitable Lord Dodo style, each of the pockets is adorned with relevant quotes.

As well as these great dividers, the organiser includes Christmas Card List inserts. These are set up with five years of columns for received and sent, so each sheet lasts five years.

The inserts for all other sections are based on that classic favourite... quadrille paper, complete with a pic of Lord Dodo delivering presents in the bottom right corner of the page. It is just enough to give it that Christmassy feeling, while not being so intrusive that it distracts you, and it doesn´t take up enough space to get in the way either.

Lord Dodo and his team at Dodo Towers have clearly designed these inserts for long-term use. Not only is the card list template set up for five years, but all inserts are printed on a lovely, smooth, heavy-duty paper - in fact I´d say it´s thick enough to be classed as card. I was thinking of setting up a Filofax for next year for all events planning and adding Christmas planning to that, but then I think my normal Filofax inserts may get a major inferiority complex... oops!!!

The only sections I have really made much use of are Cards, Gifts, and Festive Fare, but maybe today I will use the holiday planner section to write out all the things that I need to do on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning.

How do you plan for Christmas?


101 List Progress Check - 23rd December 2012

Wow - this is going to be a very short post as it has been a very busy week.

I have done some more of my Christmas planning in my Dodobook of Christmas, so that is another task almost completed.

That is all!!!

Have a great Christmas,


Sunday, 16 December 2012

101 List Progress Check - 16th December 2012

Well, we´re at the end of another week already - time seems to just be racing away at the moment.

I have been rubbish recently with writing my blog - managing the minimum for my 101 progress and very little else. I guess that was the main purpose of the blog in the first place so I shouldn´t beat myself up about not posting more.

So anyway, here´s the latest update on my 101 in 1001 days :o)

I have finished reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and have therefore read all 10 of the books on my prizewinner books list. It wasn´t until I wrote my update last week where I mentioned that I had broken my Kindle and don´t want to be carrying my iPad everywhere with me. I also mentioned that at least it meant I was listening to music each day, but what was I listening to it on...? My iPod... and until that point it simply hadn´t occurred to me that I could just download the Kindle app onto my iPod and carry on from there (temporarily of course - it will never replace my Kindle). I thought I may struggle to read regularly using the iPod seeing how much I hate reading books on the iPad, but actually, I much prefer it, so my life isn´t over :o) The book was fab and I was browsing in the bookshop at the station the other day when I saw another Hilary Mantel book which appears to follow on from Wolf Hall, so it is written in my Filofax ready for the end of my Fabulously Frugal No Shopping Challenge.

Transferring my CDs to iTunes is being continued today, at last - and I seem to be making a fair amount of progress. In fact, I am sat at the pc instead of my MacBook today and therefore have the CD folder right next to me, so am swapping out the CDs as each one completes - yay!!! Once the the ones in the folder are finished I will attack the pile that are in the computer cupboard to transfer across any that haven´t all been done, and then I will get my DF to bring in all the ones that he has in the car as I know that at least some of those haven´t been done yet - and I desperately need Biffy Clyro - Revolutions back on my iPod (everything got wiped off it on Friday when I pulled my Christmas playlist across).

The first of my Flylady habits seems to have kicked in properly now - my kitchen is now gleaming most nights. The only times it isn´t is when I have made a conscious decision not to do it as other things are ore important and I have made sure it is done first thing in the morning so it isn´t lingering in my conscience. As I´m still in the process of decluttering various areas (including cupboards which I am still terrified to open) I am not intending to add a new Flylady habit each month, but will add a new one as and when I feel ready - as she says, babysteps :-) I have started giving my sink area in my bathroom a once over most days, but it is not a habit yet. It will definitely be my next one though - swish and swipe!!!

I felt I had cheated on my Fabulously Frugal No Shopping Challenge on Saturday, but I actually hadn´t. I went into Manor to get small prizes to put into  the crackers that we will be making for Christmas this year and I had a 20 Franc gift card from the last time I went there to buy some gifts for new babies. Unfortunately I couldn´t use it towards the prizes so I found a scarf (paleish turquoise with mainly white and a few pick swallows on - lovely for any time of the year, and some legwarmers - haven´t worn any of those since the 80s... which were reduced to half price). The card was due to run out on December the 24th so I couldn´t use it after completing my challenge, and I guess it is still frugal as I didn´t spend any real money...

I started on my two weeks of taking lunch to work with me on Monday, completely forgetting that I had booked Thursday and Friday off, so to make up for this I shall extend it to cover my working days between Christmas and New Year.

I´m still trying to work out if I am allowed to purchase a new Kindle to replace the one that I broke last week - I am managing without it, but it´s not good for my eyes and I can get a cheaper one as it is a replacement. Does it fall under wear and tear...? I need to decide pretty quick as we have a visitor coming over for Christmas and I would have to get it delivered to them before they come over... hmmm...

I went to a concert on Friday night, although it wasn´t what I had in mind when I wrote it on my list - picture a huge venue with Biffy Clyro or Metallica playing and that´ll give you an idea on what I was thinking. I attended the semi-finals of the Rock Highway competition and saw 8 bands play, including The Real Deal with my fabulous DF as their bassist. It was a really good night, with a few really good bands. The outcome was a bit disappointing, but there is still hope - I may write a separate post about that.

As Christmas is nearly upon us I have spent a bit of quality time with my boys decorating the trees (they have an artificial one upstairs and we have a real one downstairs) - I´m sure there will be a Christmas post coming up soon :o)

Have a great week,


Sunday, 9 December 2012

101 List Progress Check - 9th December 2012

What a week - it has been tough!!!

Let's start with the good news though:

      I finished my two week challenge to drink 1.5 litres of water a day on Tuesday!!! I am very pleased that I managed not to actually drown during this process, and despite the good intentions of trying to keep to it, I spent the last three days in a planning meeting which isn't exactly conducive to drinking that much (I couldn't really disappear off to the loo every hour without everyone assuming that I'm pregnant), and then came the weekend, which is the hardest time for me to remember to drink. However, back to work tomorrow, so I will try to drink 1.5 litres each day that I am in the office.

      For my Fabulously Frugal No Shopping Challenge... I have been a total angel :-) I resisted the lure of a vintage green Windsor filofax, which was particularly tempting as it was in perfect condition, green and I don't have any vintage filos...  I then had to look for Silhouette Cameo suppliers as this is what my wonderful DF is getting me for Christmas, this obviously led to me having to browse various scrapbooking sites to try to get together a list of the other bits and pieces I need to go with it, and I have found some amazing designs and scrapbooking kits, and all the other paraphernalia that goes with it. So far I have been able to resist, although totally unable to let Ben know what I actually need - I am totally loving the SMASH book stuff from KandCo, I really can't decide which things are most important to get. I have seen so much fabulous stuff that I'm almost tempted to say that I can wait until my birthday for the Silhouette Cameo. It is just so tempting to sneak in an order...

      My kitchen is still (mostly) getting it's final clean of the day before I go to bed so that when we get up in the morning it is nice and tidy - lovely!!! I had a bit of a moment this morning and started cleaning and rearranging the cupboards (rearranging the contents of, not physically moving the cupboards, that would just be crazy - they are fitted...), and now we can get to the things we need most for cooking easily, let's see how long they manage to stay in the right places. Next stop sorting out the food cupboards - my OCD really needs to kick on on those bad boys, instead of just closing the doors and ignoring them :-)

      And this is where it all goes wrong... :-(  I still haven't finished reading my final prizewinner book (Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel), because I had a bit of an accident on the way to the bus stop for work on Monday (imagine full on comedy, slip on ice, legs right up in the air, landing flat on the back and then smacking head on the floor). The accident itself was kinda painful but my neck and head are both OK again now and my lower back is almost back to normal, but my Kindle wasn't so lucky :-( I was carrying it (in its cover) in my rucksack, which was thrown over my right shoulder and took quite an impact when it hit the floor. It wasn't until the end of the day that I realised that it was broken and why (yep, that knock on the head made me pretty useless for most of the day, I was really struggling to think). I had tried turning it on at the bus stop, but the picture wouldn't change, I tried restarting it and still nothing - I figured it was just having a funny five minutes (being totally unaware that it was likely to have been battered in the fall - I'm sure my brain must have fallen out you know).

      Thankfully I can still read it as I have the Kindle app on my iPad, but I hate reading books on the iPad, and simply refuse to carry it to work and back each day - so there goes pretty much all my reading time each day until I can get a new Kindle... why did this have to happen while I'm on my 3 month no shopping challenge - bah, sucks!!! Maybe I will have to give in and start taking my iPad to work... bleurgh!!!

But looking on the bright side - I have been listening to music on the way to and from work, which is really nice as I don't get time to listen to much music usually :-)

Have a great week,




Whilst having a bad Filofax day the other day as posted here, I decided that I could manage to set up this filo in a way that would work for me - I would not be defeated.

My first stop (and only in the end as I had wasted a stack of time getting stroppy first) was my year planner. I find these so useful to have and although I had both the horizontal and vertical layout ones for 2012, I really only used the horizontal one and had only written one thing on the vertical one.

Maybe I could recycle it for 2013 (no shopping allowed remember, I am attempting to be good for 3 months - no more buying things I don't need for me...). I thought I could get away with just changing the days or the numbers, but soon realised that his wasn't going to work for me as the weekends are shown in a different colour to the rest of the week, so got to thinking a bit to see what I actually need it for.

Do I track appointments on it - hell no!!! Do I track specific dates on it - not really. Mostly I use it to show which weeks are school holidays and when I am off work or away visiting one of the other offices. So does it really matter if I don't have all the dates and days showing - nope!!!

So, I now have a lovely 2013 vertical year planner that cost me nothing (although the months all still say 2012 above them as I can't find a way to change it to 2013 which doesn't involve me hating how it looks),

And here is how I did it:

Washi tape to hide (or at least cover to a certain extent) the days and dates.

Week commencing dates instead of full dates (although I did start using the old Sunday line for this I managed to forget what I was doing and messed a few up, and then totally changed the day later in the year - oh well, nothing I can do about that now and I can't get a new one so I will have to just live with it.

I have added stickers to show school holiday and term start dates (from Dodpad), Easter, Halloween, Christmas (from the selection that I was sent from Australia as blogged about here) and a few special dates re bank holidays and no school (Filofax).

This satisfies my needs and looks pretty - now I just have to see how much the 2012 on the end of each month annoys me... fingers crossed I will get used to it.


Updated: Sorry, it took me over two weeks to get round to taking the pictures for this so this post is a touch late...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

101 List Progress Check - 2nd December 2012

Hiya :o)

Happy day today - I have almost completed my 2 weeks of drinking 1.5 litres of water every day, I am so pleased with myself. It's been a pretty tough challenge for someone who usually manages less than 1 litre per day unless I really make an effort to drink more. It's not that I usually drink squash, tea, juice, coffee, fizzy drinks etc - I mainly drink water, I just don't drink much. I have been told many times that I should drink more, but I just don't feel the need to. But - here is the big question, have I felt any better for upping my fluid intake...? In a word, no. I pee more (unsurprisingly), but that is the only change so far (apart from at times feeling as if I'm going to drown, oh, and a strange feeling on occasion that my head is about to explode...). I may carry on trying to drink this much after the challenge has finished to see if it does have any impact longer term, in a way I'm hoping it doesn't so that I can go back to drinking an amount that I feel comfortable with.

Have I finished reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel yet so that I can mark of my "Read 10 Prizewinners books" as complete - no. I am finding it a fascinating read, and am reading pretty much every day, but still have quite a way to go. Today I thought I'd have a quick check on Amazon, and it turns out the book has 559 pages, so I don't feel too bad for taking so long to read it. The book includes historical figures (Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn), and has made me think about reading more about that period - more than any of my history lessons achieved,,,

I have also started on the Flylady path (admittedly I haven't done all the decluttering yet - honestly, I swear that as soon as you've done a room, I start on another area and then the first bit needs doing all over again...) and have been "Shining my Sink". I started doing this when I was off work and hoped to carry on when I went back and haven't done badly so far. I had a couple of nights where it wasn't done due to late finishes at work for month end and I know that I will have to let it slide for a couple of nights this coming week as I am out for dinner on Tuesday and the works Christmas do on Thursday.

As for the Frugal No Shopping challenge - what was I thinking? 3 months? Really??? This is even more tricky now that Moleskine have launched their Hobbit notebooks... Why did I think this was such a good idea? I can see me asking this question lots over the next couple of months, although I have made it through a whole month already. Surely the run up to Christmas and gearing up for yearend will stop me having time to think about buying anything, and then January will be manic at work... maybe it will go quickly :o)

Have a great week,


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.