Monday, 27 May 2013

My Week #21

So this week has been excellent, due to the fact that I had a day off work on Friday which I have been looking forward to for weeks. I only get 20 days annual leave a year, I always feel drained by the time my days off come round.

My boyfriend and I went to Nottingham this weekend to see Whitesnake, Journey and Thunder. Whitesnake and Thunder are on my 'Bands to see before I kick the bucket' list, so that's two I can tick off, and it was definitely worth it, I loved every minute of it. There's something spectacular about seeing your favourite bands play live, it makes them much more real and able to see how talented they really are. Was really impressed by Whitesnake's lead guitarist, Doug Aldrich. (He's yummy, too).

Anyway...! Back to my week.

This week I used a bright pink and lime theme to cheer myself up a bit. It was an exciting week, and I wanted to use colours that represented cheerfulness and excitement. The patterns at the top and bottom of the pages are rub-on transfers from Basic Grey - they are so easy to add to pages and look really effective, especially on notebook-style paper. It just gives it a really nice pop of colour and pattern, and a really clean, smooth finish.
I added various stickers from my collection (all of the animal stickers are from Artbox), and the doll, rabbit in a frame, keys and butterfly are from a Paperchase set (I think it was Alice in Wonderland themed).
I sketched out the logos of the bands we went to see, I thought this would be a nice touch and I had a little room left over on my notes page. I co-ordinated the colours of the logos with my theme for the week.
Here are a few close-ups of the rub-on transfers:
This is one of my favourite weeks yet, not just because the weekend was excellent, but I love the bright colours and how neat my writing was. I seem to have crammed a lot of info into one week just by writing neater and smaller!
Here's a preview of what I am going to use for Week 22, I found some old wrapping paper I bought from Paperchase which I have never used for anything, and matched with some co-ordinating masking tape sheets.
Make sure you come back next week for more weekly goodness :D


Friday, 24 May 2013

My Home Filofax Setup

I was donated a lovely red A5 Domino about a month ago, which I decided I wanted to use as a home binder. I never imagined I would ever have a red binder as it's not necessarily my colour of choice, but it's really cheerful, and in a more practical sense, will be easy to locate in an emergency, as there are not a lot of red things in our house!

At the moment, I store all my household information, bills, gift receipts etc. in A4 lever arch files. I find them bulky and a little aggressive-looking. My plan is to use my A5 for current docs (the latest bills, payslips, receipts etc.) and have a clear out each month, using the A4 lever arch files as archiving for the documents we definitely need to keep hold of (P60s, payslips, important letters, tenancy agreements). It will make it much easier to locate things when I need to.

So here she is, my lovely beacon of the household:

I think setting up a home binder seems like a huge chore, but once it's set up it will definitely help organise your home life and make your filing system much tidier.
Here are some of the things I included:
The dashboard was something I had in my mind for a while. I wanted somewhere I could place important things, so I could see at a glance what bills needed to be paid, and any important memos regarding home checks or to submit meter readings, etc.
My dashboard consists of a personal size credit card holder (which I punched one extra hole in, at the bottom) with my cleaning schedule, and an A5 plastic sleeve for those important bills. At the moment I have my tenancy renewal form which I need to sign and return on 7th June (the post-it note refers to the deadline and who I discussed this with when I phoned the property management company). The credit card holder is my cleaning dashboard, it reminds me of the cleaning tasks I need to complete each week/month/year, and also some chores which I will do every other week, so there is a list for weeks 1 & 3, and weeks 2 & 4. I also have a list of what I need to check when someone comes to stay with us.

I used standard A5 tabbed dividers for my sections, I decided I didn't need anything fancy. I have made a contents page from a piece of scrapbooking paper and added a piece of personal grid paper to write on. My sections are: Home, Utilities, Food, Travel, Events, Medical, Contacts, Money, Shopping, Car, Work, Manuals and Media.

As I found colour coding very successful in my pocket Filofax, I have carried the theme over to this binder. I also love using colours because it brightens the pages up.

Cleaning Tips
I never thought I was very good at cleaning. When I found these printables from Curbly I decided they'd be a really useful addition to my Home section. There are tips for cleaning different areas in your home, and also alternative uses for household items such as olive oil, coffee grounds and baking soda.

Click here to browse the free printables at Curbly.

Other Printables
Amongst all the wonderful printables on the internet, I also made some of my own (very basic) to record home information. This one shown below titled "living room information" states the paint colour, flooring type, and any cleaning tips we've discovered. We rent our home, so it's always important to know how to solve nasty stains and scuffed paintwork.

I added some project sheets - I often reorganise our room layouts, so I thought it'd be good to record these, what worked and what didn't. You can download this free printable pack from Pinch A Little, Save A Lot.

The stain removal printable is from

Home Organization 101
I found this AMAZING blog called A Bowl Full of Lemons. She has a series called Home Organization 101, it's a free online course that lasts 14 weeks, and gives you some excellent tips on organizing 14 different areas of your home. I've started writing notes on this as I plan to put it into action... one day.

Coupons and Receipts
I love coupons, they are saviours of modern-day shopping. I wanted somewhere to keep them, I don't like carrying coupons around in my purse as they always fall out and become bulky. They are in my home binder, kept together, and divided between food and non-food coupons. I used another personal sized credit card holder for these.

I used an A5 plastic pocket for my home purchase receipts (for things like the TV, new curtains for the bedroom, etc.). I also have one of these in my 'Events' section for receipts for gifts I have purchased for other people.

Apologies for not going into great depth on the other sections, some of the information is personal and it takes a while to erase all the name and address information! I hope this has inspired you somewhat, and even if you don't have kids you can still fill a whole A5 binder with home information.

Check out the links to the free printables, they are gold dust!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

My Week #20

Every week, I have nothing planned, except maybe a few small to-dos that I need to remember. This week is one of those weeks where events just developed and I ended up being quite busy, which in some ways was quite nice.

My mum went on holiday this week with my grandparents (I got to see them last Friday which was really nice). She has gone to Szeged - my granddad is Hungarian, which makes me.... a quarter Hungarian I would assume?! Anyway, she said there was a massive thunderstorm the first night they were there, but she has been having a great time. As my mum lives on her own I had to drop some milk round for when she gets home, and check her little house was okay. I was supposed to water her plants... I forgot.

Monday, was supposed to do yoga with my Fitness Evolved Kinect game, I've had it for a few months and not tried it out yet, and I know I need to do something about the state of my joints, and the fact that I'm about as balanced as a blindfolded kitten on a bouncy castle.

My dad visited me this weekend which is always lovely, he lives in Wales but does a really good job of visiting me and my sister once every three/four weeks. We had home-cooked takeaway last night (bought a few pizzas, potato wedges and garlic mushrooms from the supermarket and cooked it all at home, much cheaper).

I used some of the masking tape I bought last week to do my pages. The blue polka dot tape is so cute, and I used my elephant stickers from Paperchase, which are also super cute. The rain cloud stickers are from Paperchase as well.

The stamps, "dated", "notes" and "details" are by Elle's Studio, as you will see in next week's post I had a bit of an incident with bleed-through, but should be able to disguise it. See picture on the right, on Wednesday :( Sneak preview of next week's page!

We're going to see Boyfriend's grandma today as it is her birthday next week, we bought her some gorgeous flowers which she will love, Boyfriend has great taste!

I spent a bit of time yesterday afternoon making her a birthday card, she really appreciates homemade things. It's got a kind of vintage theme. I used Prima's Tea Thyme range for the background paper.

Looking forward to next weekend, have Friday off and Monday is a bank holiday!!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Colour Coding Filofax Sections

My Pocket Filofax consists of three main tabbed sections: Diary, Me and Notes. This was what I started out with and I liked the setup, but in the 'Me' and 'Notes' sections I kept forgetting where I'd written things that were specific to a particular part of my life.

Due to using Moleskine pages in my Filofax, there would only be room for top tabs, of which I already have three, and I didn't want my sub-sections to get in the way of the main tabbed sections. So, inspired by DIYfish's Index Page Tutorial I considered adding colour to the edge of the pages somehow.

Last week I purchased this Solid Colour Masking Tape Set from, not for this purpose initially, but after colouring in several sheets of white labels I realised the solution had been right in front of me all along.

In this little tin of sticky delights, you get 27 sheets of different coloured masking tape stickers. Don't be fooled, because when I ordered them I thought the sheets would be photo print size (4x6in), but they are actually credit card sized. This isn't a bad thing, it means they're portable if you decorate on the go, and the sticker sizes are very pocket size-friendly.

This picture below is the Paper version, but it shows you the layout of stickers on each sheet (2 narrow strips, 4 wide strips and 4 sticky dots).

I started by creating a contents legend on the back of the divider for my 'Me' section, using the sticky dots from the Masking Tape set. They are:
Red - Shopping (wishlist, list of Pandora charms I would like)
Orange - WWW (web links, etc.)
Yellow - Contacts (what it says on the tin)
Light Green - Finance (bill dates, annual renewal reminders, monthly budgeting)
Dark Green - Media (films to watch, books to read)
Teal - Music (to listen to/buy)
Light Blue - Food (meal planning, favourite family meals)
Dark Blue - Gifts (ideas for gifts for people)
Dark Purple - Blog (post ideas)
Lilac - Home (cleaning schedule)
Pink - Fitness (Fitness Evolved)
I've also added 3 more sticky dots since I took this photo, Black, Grey and Brown, in case there are other sections I feel I need to add in the future.

 I find that I really respond to colour and remember things better if I can assign colour to it, which makes colour coding a great way to identify different sections in my Filofax. Without these sections, you can imagine the jumbled mess of shopping lists, finances and to-do's.

So here are the pictures of each of my sections, you can see the sticky dots on the edge of the page.

Sections 1-3 I cut down some personal size address pages I had and rounded off the corners, so they would fit with my Moleskine size pages, and repunched the holes.

 Sections 4 & 5I trimmed down my personal size Organised Mum inserts that I used for budgeting and finance. I love these inserts, so easy to use.

Sections 5-8I've added some coloured pocket-size paper in the sections that co-ordinate with the colour of the paper, just for important notes. Again more trimmed down Organised Mum inserts for my meal planning.

Sections 10 & 11
The two last pictures show the co-ordinating paper and a close-up of the sticky dots being applied to the pages. It's that simple, it took less than a minute!

Overall a success, I absolutely love this setup and can't wait to fill in all my info!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you so much to Planning with Printed Portal for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award, I am breath taken and excited!

A bit about the Liebster Blog Award from

"The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  What is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome."

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

My 11 Random Things:
  1. I love my Filofax!
  2. I play guitar, but my family have never heard me play.
  3. I used to be a Goth!
  4. I am a qualified interior designer.
  5. My signature dish is Toad in the Hole, it's the only savoury dish I can make!
  6. Frogs are my favourite animal creature.
  7. I have published my own poetry book.
  8. I write my own songs and music.
  9. I have 27 different varieties of tea on a designated tea shelf in my kitchen.
  10. My dream job would be to teach art to college students.
  11. I love all things purple.
My Answers to Planning with Printed Portal's questions:

  1. What are your favourite flowers?
    Roses, I really love deep purple-red ones. I used to keep roses for days after they had died...!
  2. What coffee do you order in your local coffee house?I love a nice vanilla latte, although my favourite at Christmas time is a cinnamon latte. Oh, and white hot chocolate. And all tea.
  3. Where is your favourite writing or blogging retreat?At home on my sofa - words just come to me, I'm very lucky.
  4. What has been your greatest achievement this year… and what else do you want to do?I got a promotion! After being unemployed for six months at the end of 2012 it was a big achievement just to get a new job, but I pushed myself to be the best I could and was rewarded for it. I would like to travel this year, see some live bands and spend more time with friends.
  5. If you could have any superpower what would it be?The ability to change the weather (I live in England, it's cold 11.75 months of the year). Boyfriend tells me Storm from X-Men does this. Nice one.
  6. What is your favourite meal to cook?Toad in the hole! As mentioned above, it's the only savoury dish I am any good at, but it always turns out yummy.
  7. What movie can you watch over and over again?UP! Yep, it's a DreamWorks animated film but the story is so, so cute.
  8. If you had an extra 2 hours a day – what would you do?Wow, that would be brilliant! I would get a lot more done... Or just chill out for a while. I would finish those projects that are not completed, and my house would be much tidier!
  9. What is your favourite thing to do on the weekend?I used to hate Sundays when I was younger, it was always the day before school or work. Now I love it! I very seldom get out of my pyjamas on a Sunday. So my favourite thing is to chill out in my pyjamas, drink copious amounts of tea, browse Pinterest and watch a nice film in the evening.
  10. What is your end of the week routine?When I get home from work on a Friday I clean the house. (I know, I'm 24, what a loser!) But I like it to be out of the way so I don't have to worry about it at the weekend. I also do a load of washing, then I pick Boyfriend up from work at 8pm, have dinner and often sit with a few drinks and relax.
  11. What gadget could you not live without?My phone! I get quite a lot of random ideas, and am one of these people that needs to find something out right now, so having the WWW at my finger tips is very useful.
I am nominating the following blogs for the Liebster Blog Award:
  1. The Wonderful Life of Alice -
  2. Roses in December -
  3. It's My Life -
  4. Filofancy -
  5. LJ's Blog of Stuff -
  6. Filofaxuations (Kent from Oz) -
  7. My Summer Touch -
  8. Friday I'm In Love (Yay for Fridays) -
  9. Organized Heaven -
  10. Carolyn Shares -
  11. Lime Tree Fruits -
Here are my questions for my nominees!
  1. If you could have a room filled with any object, what would it be?
  2. Choose three words that mean 'happiness' to you.
  3. If you were a Disney character, who would you be, and why?
  4. If you could only see one colour for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  5. Tell us about a strange or ironic incident in your life.
  6. If you could invent anything, what would it be?
  7. If you're stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 objects with you, what would they be? (Must be 1.a type of food, 2.a gadget, 3. a sentimental object.)
  8. Do you have any irrational or odd fears?
  9. Why are you, you?
  10. Name something you would do if you knew no-one would judge you.
  11. Jaffa cakes: biscuits, or cakes?
Thank you again! xx

My Philofaxy Story

I have been meaning to write this post for a while, it has been on my mind for a few weeks. I first came across the Philofaxy blog probably about 18 months ago while searching for templates for my Filofax. At the time I was using a personal domino in Grape, but had been a user of Filofaxes since I was about 14. I loved the versatility and design of the binders, the way they felt in my hand, and the fact that I was pursuing my desire to be more organised. It worked.

After a few weeks of reading the posts on Philofaxy and trying out the free files, I started speaking to some of the community members about their ideas, their Filofaxes, and the sections they marked in their planners. So many options, so many ideas and lots of incredible inspiration.

Now, 18 months later, I am part of the Filofax for Philofaxy Fans Facebook page. I check the page daily, read new posts and comments, and keep in touch with like-minded organisational buddies. It's not just Filofax that I have an interest in, it is the people that make this group so fantastic.

Slowly over the past few years it seems my social life has gone down the pan. This isn't because I've done anything awful and driven everyone away, it's because a full time job draws you away from having a life. There is always something to be done. Housework, washing, working, food shopping. There is always something that needs paying for, and no longer can pay checks be spent on a heavy night in the local pub, or a nice meal with friends in our favourite restaurant.

I really miss having a social life, and I miss having things to write in my Filofax. I've become a bit of a recluse, started to feel like I don't want to go out, I just want to stay in my nice little house where I know everything is okay and I will be safe, there's food and drink and things to keep me busy. It's not the way life should be lived though, we have to have adventures and experiences, to inspire us and make us better people.

Back to the community, I consider all members very good friends, better friends than a lot I have had in the past. Reliable friends, generous friends, people who go out of their way to find something that will make you happy. A purple Malden, an orange Osterley, a pink Washi Tape with snails on it.

The community is about sharing our passions and ideas, asking for opinions and advice, using each other's creative and organisational minds to make ourselves better at life. When I've had a rubbish day at work, there is somewhere to escape, something that probably doesn't matter to most people, but means a lot to some.

It is finding 'me' time. Sitting in bed on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea and reading the Web Finds. Watching videos of setups when there's nothing interesting on telly.

I just wanted to say thank you to all my Filo-friends who are part of the community, for sharing your busy lives, and including me in this wonderful community. <3

Laura Jane

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Product of the Week

NEW FEATURE ALERT! Product of the week.

There are so many beautiful products out there in the stationery world, I thought I would review one each week.

First up, I stumbled upon this gorgeous Bird Nest Journal by Dorothy Jane on

The Bird Nest journal is very reminiscent of a Victorian lady's notebook. It is beautifully illustrated with birds, butterflies and insects, with gorgeous vintage-style page flags peeking out of the side. It even has little pockets for notes and memoirs, and a variety of lined and patterned papers.
This journal is for anyone who adores the delicate ways of Victorian style, and would make a fantastic poetry book or writing journal.
The description on Etsy confirms the journal has eight heavy cardstock pages, all of the images from Victorian greeting cards and books. There are also 80 lined Moleskine pages incorporated into the book. You also receive tags with the journal which are co-ordinated.
You can purchase the Bird Nest Journal for £25.42, Dorothy Jane ships worldwide.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

My Week #19

Here are my pages for week 19, still love the layout of the Moleskine hack.

Not a very busy week this week, although a lot of birthdays to buy cards for, and lots of baking to do. We made Nutella croissants and some Yorkshire puddings to go with Sunday lunch.

Some sunshine this week, so I took a few photos down by the canal (I walk past here every day on my way to and from work).
You'll see I've been doodling on my pages, I wanted to use stamps but I've had an issue with bleedthrough from the ink pads. I did an ink stamp test earlier while I was preparing my layout spread for next week but unfortunately still experienced some issues.

Top to bottom: 1: Memento ink pad; 2: Pretty Color ink pad; 3: Colorbox ink pad.

The image on the right shows the back of the page and how much bleedthrough occurred. The Pretty Colour ink pad doesn't really count, as it didn't stamp very well.


I decided to try the Color Box ink pad on my new page, here are the results:

A little bleedthrough in one area. The slight outline of the stamp on the next page doesn't bother me but I don't like big clumps of ink. I guess that's what stickers and washi tape are for!
Talking of washi tape, I purchased some Masking Tape decorative sets from Amazon this week. They're a lot smaller than I imagined, but perfect for decorating my pages. More on those next Sunday when I show you the completed page!
Have a nice Sunday - make sure you rest, have a hot chocolate and spend 30 minutes planning your coming week!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Personal 'Me' Smashfax

I have two empty personal domino's which I love, sitting on my bookshelf unused. One is grape colour and the other is aqua. I pondered over the weekend about how I'd put them to good use, and for the grape one, I decided I would turn it into a 'Me' smash-fax.

For anyone who doesn't know what a smashbook is, here is a short video by K&Co, who first invented an official brand to go alongside the art of smashbooking.

I tried scrapbooking in my A5 domino, but have had a switch around, eliminated the A5 Identity from my collection, and am now using my A5 domino's as a household binder and a crafts binder. The ring size is brilliant, it holds so much (blog posts on these when they're fully set up!)
So I wanted to 'smash' on a smaller scale. I like keeping little mementos from life, I like scrapping about things that matter to me, and I like doodling things that don't matter. All of this adds up to a brilliant idea, scrapbooking or smashing in a messy but beautiful and effective way. Once the personal domino gets too full I will archive it and keep it for years to come.
Here's a mood board of some inspiration images I found on the internet:
And some ideas I had on pages I wanted to create:

Have you smashed in your Filofax?


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Meal Planning with Filofax

Every Thursday night, I sit down and decide what we're going to eat for dinner the following week. our weeks run from Friday to Thursday, because we divide up our food spending money into 4 or 5 weeks (depending how many weeks in the month), and top up that amount of food spending money every Friday.

For example, I got paid on Thursday 25th April, so I would top up on Friday 26th, Friday 3rd May, Friday 10th May and Friday 17th May. Then I would get paid again on 24th May, and so on.

I use my Filofax to plan our dinners for one simple reason:

I will never lose the list.

It has happened before, and it's not good. I either lose it all together, or forget to take it with me. And that's awkward when you claim to be stupidly organised.

So, anyway, I start by writing down the days of the week:


Then I check what we have in the freezer, what we can use that we already have, or anything we didn't eat last week (sometimes if an unexpected dinner with friends arises then we essentially have spare ingredients to make a meal the following week.)

So I assign dinners to the days of the week, and it does matter, because sometimes boyfriend gets home earlier and can take a bit more time to make something, other times it'll be a quick easy one, or something comforting and slow-cooking for the weekend:

FRIDAY - Chicken, chips and beans
SATURDAY - Pizza Express
SUNDAY - Chilli and ginger salmon
MONDAY - Lamb kebabs
TUESDAY - Quorn chicken style curry
WEDNESDAY - Mushroom pasta
THURSDAY - Swedish meatballs, chips and soya beans

Boyfriend gets to take part in this when I say, "I want carbonara, what goes in your sauce for carbonara?" Yeah, I literally have no idea. He uses egg, cheese, cream or crème fraiche or something... So the ingredients go on my master shopping list. And so does everything else that I know we'll need.

I then add up the prices of all the ingredients using the Tesco food app (or website, depending how tired I feel), and there we have a really good idea of how much our food shop is going to cost.

It's never exact, but it's not far off, we try and keep to what is on the list as much as possible. We cook pretty much everything from scratch, boyfriend is an excellent cook, and it's enjoyable picking recipes you'd like to try. It helps you actually think about what you're going to eat, rather than just buying ready meals.

How do you plan your food for the week?

Note Paper for my Pocket Moleskine-Filofax

I received my three pocket notebooks from Moleskine on Friday, ready to trim down and use as notepaper. I'm quite fussy about my pages, I wanted all of them to be the same size, and as I had used a Moleskine diary for my weekly schedule, I decided to buy more Moleskine notebooks and add them to my Filofax.

Here are the notebooks, I ordered mine from Paperchase but you can get them pretty much anywhere that sells stationery. Moleskine quality is second to none, however slight ink bleed through occurs when using Stabilo coloured fineliners.
As the books are so thin (about 30 pages each), I just removed the spine with a crafting knife and punched the pages.
Now all of my pages are the same size, which looks much neater. I like the rounded corners of the pages too, gives it a nice professional and finished look.
Here it is fanned open so you can see all of the same sized pages.
And just a last picture, because there is some sort of craze going on at the moment... This is my New Look lace-cut satchel with my pocket domino baroque. A match made in heaven =) 

My Week #18

I have decided to start doing a blog post each Sunday showing you my completed page for the week just gone. Here is my week 18.

Unfortunately I don't have much washi tape at the moment, so I drew beehive patterns instead, and a little bee drawing (which, yes, is a bee and not a stripy cashew nut. I like adding little quirky bits to my pages like this.)

The card is from Pizza Express, we went there for dinner last night and it was really tasty, thoroughly enjoyed it. It's nice to keep little mementos of your week in with your pages.

As you can see, the right hand page is covered in ramblings...

"There will always be someone better than you, and you will always be better than someone else, but you are the only one who is you." Something that popped into my head this week when I got upset that someone at work was creeping up on my high achievements! Petty really, but sometimes you can't control the human mind, only calm it with little quotes and notes of reassurance.

DINNERS THIS WEEK: Meatballs and rice, jacket potatoes, vegetable cashew stir fry, carbonara and flatbread, gnocchi with chorizo.

"I will follow her on a path, Scarlet's walk through the violets. Just tell your Gods from me, all debts are off this year. They're free to leave." A quote from one of my favourite albums, Scarlet's Walk by Tori Amos. This is kind of where the bee drawing came into my mind. The album is one I listen to in Summer, it's beautiful.

The next rambling is just a to-do list for the weekend, none of which I've actually done. I did some pages for my crafts binder yesterday, but ran out of A5 paper so will have to cut some more before I continue.

Hope you've enjoyed my non-eventful week!