Monday, 31 January 2011

A guest blog by Mr P

Ok, this blog has (along with the iPad) been temporary hijacked by no other than Mr P - yes I am a real person complete with an unknown blogging style, as this is my first attempt. I'm hoping readers will find this interesting and amusing. But if you have come here to read about more obsessions with Filofaxes and lists, you might be disappointed.

So readers, you might have a few questions, I like to refer to them as FAQ's:

Why have you hijacked the iPad?
To be fair it's not been hijacked, simply the lovely L has lent it to me for my short duration of stay in hospital. I thought hijacking sounded more entertaining. Hopefully by next week I should have an iPad to call my own, yet again thanks to the lovely L and the company she works for.

You are in hospital?
Yes, I am currently under going my first lot of chemo as have been recently diagnosed with cancer.

You have cancer?
Yes I have cancer. I'm sort of getting used to saying it now. Its very strange as everyone knows someone who is effected by this in your life, but you never really imagine it going to happen directly to you. The important thing to focus on is that it has been detected and treatment is being carried out to rectify. The strange pains I have been having in my back for the last few months should hopefully start to go, and I should be able to sleep on my sides again... something I took for granted and miss very much. There are lots of things we take for granted, so I have been making a list of things you should appreciate everyday:

Your heath
Might sound a bit strange from someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer, but there is nothing better than feeling well and normal. There are so many people in the world who are a lot worse off than me, and my thoughts are with them.

Loved ones, friends and family
Need I say more? The people who are there for you when you need them (or even when you don't).

Being able to eat what you want, when you want. I realised this one after my recent loss of appetite.

Doing what you enjoy
For me it's spending time with the gf, entertaining people playing bass in a band, playing on the PS3, skiing, fun holidays, festivals or just watching a movie curled up on the couch.

Fully working limbs and appendages
Currently I have a needle in my left hand, this seems to make simple everyday things like opening a bottle of squash or eating difficult.

I think that's enough rambling for now, and as they are turning the lights off on the ward, I better put the iPad down. If you like I might blog again. TTFN - Mr P x

EDIT - This blog was written 3 weeks ago, I have only just got around to posting it. I have been out of hospital for a couple of weeks, and doing well if not slightly tired. The strange pains I had in my side have indeed gone, and I'm managing to sleep on my sides again. I'm due to go back into hospital again this week for chemo round 2 of 3. I might well blog again to let you know how I get on.

Now normal service of Filofaxes, lists bags and shoes will be resumed....

- Posted using BlogPress

Manic Monday? It all starts with a list, simples

Well this is my first scheduled post (be impressed, I know if it works I will be!) and as this is to be yet another busy, busy week - cue crazy work diary, lots of driving and amazingly some lovely social things to attend, my Deco will be working overtime for me :0)

My favourite mug, a present from Mr P - coffee always tastes better in this mug

So coffee at the ready this is my Top 5 for the week ahead:

1. This week I am due to meet up with ex work colleague for lunch today, this makes a Monday far more fun than the normal manic reporting/analysis/planning hotchpotch that it normally consists of

2. Enjoy seeing oldest friend (as in known the longest) for dinner on Tuesday to belatedly celebrate her birthday huzzah (MUST remember to take present to work with me that day and not leave at home on sideboard like I normally do on these types of occasions!)

3. Implement the idea of working a more organised wardrobe ALL WEEK. Inspired by reading several blogs over the past few weeks where they post piccies of their daily outfits using much more colour, far more patterns and accessories than I ever do but look far more co-ordinated than I ever do as well I have planned out my outfits for the week. A tad OCD perhaps but should make getting dressed at 6.30am every morning far easier!! So the next step would be to blog about them - possibly with photos eeeeek. Well one step at a time, lets see if this post scheduling lark works if outfit number one works as well!

4. Concentrate solely on making the Pocket Deco experiment work and not carry on using 2 planners so only giving the pocket a half hearted attempt at success (sorry Chameleon that does mean you being retired for the week)

5. Go to the gym. At least once this week. Remembering the challenge I set myself at the start of the year I seriously need to start kicking my own butt.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

My Filofax Family

So there I was the other day chatting away on Twitter to CP and SM who I have met through the blog site Philofaxy and we were talking about our Filofaxes (funny that!) and I got to thinking about how many I own, I thought about 5....until I thought about it some more and counted up and realised the actual total was 11. Not many compared to some Philofaxers but quite a few none the less.

So then I went on the hunt to get them all together and revisit each one (apologies in advanced to any non Filofax fans you may want to stop reading now!) and here they all are (can you tell I have a passion for the red/pink ones??) so how did I end up with so many? And do I use them all?

Any guesses to my favourite colours?

My Filofax Family

One of my first Filofaxes was a gorgeous Pink pocket sized one, unfortunately this was in my handbag when I was mugged living in Croydon one October. The loss of all my addresses, notes and diary was shocking and made me use back up systems at home in case of a repeat disaster.

Her replacement came in the shape of another Pocket Classic in red courtesy of my lovely Mother for Christmas that year and many a happy time were had. But after a while it became evident that a Pocket just wasn't big enough, I then trialed several Personal sizes, some have been donated away or lost in transit (I have moved several times over the past few years (I particularly miss a red Personal Domino that I was given as a leaving present from one of my former jobs several years ago that has gone AWOL). The Finsbury in the orange was one of these tests to see if I could use one planner that was portable enough for every day but large enough to contain everything, however the orange colour just wasn't for me and so the hunt for the perfect planner began in earnest.

My Personal Dream Team - Chameleon, Finsbury and Adelphi

At this time I was working again in London and my diary was chaotic so I decided to upscale to an A5 Finchley in red. A gorgeous Filofax, roomy, luxurious and every time I whipped out my planner in meetings it gave me that added extra wizz of confidence. But, I travelled with that job. A lot. And my gosh the Finchley was heavy, so I started looking at other alternatives for an everyday planner that I could have on me with the Finchley relegated to desk use only.

A5 Tastic with Finchley and Domino

That's when I went back to the MIA Domino personal in red. And the 2 binder system worked well, separating my work and my home meant I had portability and space. Result!

And then my life changed. I split with my partner of 9 years and decided I wanted a new life. I quit my job, I left London and retreated home to Somerset before moving 2 months later to Dorset to work at my current position (you know the amazing firm that gave all its staff FREE iPads. Still can't quite believe that!! Amazin). Anyhoo I digress...

So new job, new home, new set of friends, new social life = ?

Yep new Filofax. This is when I decided I needed something smaller/lighter and more portable. And I found the Adelphi Slimline in Damson. Lots of space as it was Personal sized pages, but light because the small rings meant you couldn't get as much in it. I loved the Adelphi she was gorgeous, however the slimline is never going to work for me as I just can't get enough in it. Even though I was still using the red A5 Finchley for work.

Super Slim Adelphi

And then Filofax bought out the Adelphi in Magenta. OMG it was love at first sight. Large enough to hold a week on one page with notes format diary for a whole year, notes, addresses etc and it was such a gorgeous pink colour. My every day planner was sorted. Well for a few months at least.

Chameleon, Finsbury, Adelphi

However having both planners on my desk made my eyes hurt. Red and Pink together - clash central. And then I read this guest post on Philofaxy by Jess and I loved it. So I ordered the same A5 binder, pink and bronze do not clash thankfully.

A couple of months after this in June I was in Paperchase in Exeter (a stationery lovers emporium) when I spotted a Pocket Domino in the most gorgeous shade of blue. Now while I am not normally a blue person this cornflower gorgeousness could not be left behind. I figured she would be perfect for my "onthego" filofax at events such as Glastonbury Festival and while going to gigs in London. Large enough to have phone numbers (in case of dead/lost mobiles) and travelcards and set lists etc but really light and not holding all my most important (and secret) stuff like the Adelphi.

The original Pocket rockets

So now to the Autumn and I noticed that my poor Adelphi had started to look a little rough on the corners where the soft leather being tossed about in my handbag was starting to wear. And this was bad, she is pretty and lovely so I started considering trialling another Personal sized planner, which is when I spied on eBay a Raspberry Chameleon (BNIB) and got her for a steal :) and so I moved over all my contents to the new Chameleon with her gorgeous insides of pastel dividers and frosted ruler. And all was well for a couple of months...

At the same time I visited Staples who were selling off lots of Filofaxes very cheaply which is where I picked up the patterned Indie and a mini Urban - the Indie remains in the collection while I gave the Urban to a dear friend as a leaving present when she moved jobs recently, well what else would you give?

This leads us to now and the current experiment to downsize to a Pocket Deco....

The latest Pocket addition

Now there is a lot more I could (and probably will in future posts) say about my (obsession) Filofaxes but for now at least I am loving my little family, although a Purple Finchley in A5 really would complete the set no?

So what does your Filofax family look like?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I've been bad - the shopping bug has bitten again......

So I woke up today feeling chipper, checked to see if my mobile DD had come out or not today (with it being a LONG LONG month and not due to be paid until Monday I like to double check that someone hasn't stolen my card and gone mad clearing out all my money and leaving me liable to bouncing DD's) and to my delight find that I have been paid early. Oh the joy. The depressing 6 week wait to be paid post Christmas splurging has ended. Huzzah huzzah huzzah.

So what did I do to celebrate? Count my money and transfer it immediately into non accessible savings? Did I heck. Curses to the ease of online shopping and the prevalence of discount codes....

Yep that's right, I shopped :0( However no Filofaxes were purchased (on this occasion) and they are all core wardrobe pieces, bar purchase no 1:

Courtesy of Amazon I ordered Professor Layton and the Curious Village for my super cute DSi that the lovely Mr P bought me for Chrimbo. He also got me the Forgotten Future with it - another PL game - but we had completed that one, and today on Amazon it was only £17.99 for the highly recommended Curious Village so click I went. These games are amazing for whiling away time together when waiting around at appointments etc.

Then I made the mistake of visiting Oasis, just to see what was new. Honest. But with a free delivery code when spending over £75 popping up on screen (is it just me that sees that as a challenge?) and 15% off it was new jeans (dark indigo wash, favourite ever cut, and I wear jeans almost constantly for work as well weekends and on the rare occasion I go out) ballet pumps in navy with cream bows (c'est chic n'est pas?) a lovely new jeans belt in tan (I've needed a new belt for my jeans for months now honest so this was an essential purchase) and finally a silky wear everywhere plum coloured vest that I expect will become a wardrobe staple in no time to perk up the shades of grey and black that I am often found in. It should also tone in nicely with my purple shoes :0)

All simple, classic items that will work well within my current wardrobe. And due to the savings the belt was essentially free....I am of course toying with the idea of the 15 items for 5 days wardrobe mix (see here) and figured the belt, vest and pumps would slot in well with the items I'm considering wearing with the jeans no doubt being essential wear from when they arrive. So all in all very solid investment shopping.

Now if I can just back away from the French Connection sale site we will be onto a winner...........

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Things on my mind or flutterby Wednesday

So today has been another one of those days that involved an early start, a fair bit of travelling, tons of waiting around, a large amount more travelling and therefore all in all achieving very little. Grrr. I know it can't be helped but some days you just think eesh can something just go my way for a change? And that was just the traffic getting out of our little seaside town!

However all this alone time in the car gave me some time to think, well actually I did have Mr P with me but he has this knack of going straight to sleep in the car when I drive us anywhere - either he a) feels so comfortable with the smoothness of my driving he is calmed into such a serene sense of relaxation he nods off or b) the sheer terror of being in a car with me while I drive initiates the conk out escape clause!!

Key topics for today's thinking?
  1. What to wear to work tomorrow? Lame perhaps but as we have important people in whom I may be meeting requires looking slightly more well put together than normal. We have a so casual it is virtually student like clothing style in my office (I blame the large number of young people hehe) so a typical day's outfit is jeans, boots, vest/t-shirt and cardigan (it's chilly at the moment). Very unexciting. However tomorrow calls for something reflecting my stature of Manager (well something clean, ironed and not clashing would be a start!). I'm thinking black long jeans (these are new so I'm excited to give them their first airing) with a black blouse and my new purple patent shoes. The red heart print scarf will add some colour and some simple silver jewelery to set off the look. Combined with my grey check bracelet sleeve length jacket should look smart but hopefully media style trendy.
  2. The 1 million work things I needed to achieve this afternoon/tomorrow. Big tick on being productive as working from home means virtually no phone calls or anyone to gossip with and therefore a chance to mow through the marketing plans, schedules and outstanding emails. Tick tick tick on the To Do list hurrah and a good place to start with a fresh list tomorrow.
  3. Blog posts - I have a list of about 10 new blog posts that I am keen to crack on with this weekend. They involve lists, photos and some of my favourite things so I think you'll love them! So I needed to get them down on paper as a list before I forgot all my inspired new ideas.
  4. Capsule wardrobes...I have written before about my wardrobe rut here and how I was trying to overcome this with focusing on key items/looks/words to reflect "my style". I have been doing lots of research in this manor and been following some great blogs of people who snap what they wear everyday - amazing inspiration. I especially love What Would a Nerd Wear,and Ephemera for these types of posts with Musings of a Caribbean Princess and SBV for really fab Fashion blog posts on what they wear/love. But then I read on Paper Rush Blog about a capsule wardrobe challenge for February inspired by a post on Make Do Style. What a fantastic idea. 5 days, 10 items of clothing/shoes, 5 accessory items (scarves/belts etc) A complete wardrobe snapshot which would make me wear my clothes in a different way (perhaps) so I read on and ended up on The Small Fabric of My Life where the challenge idea began. And then I read and read and read...a fantastic blog, really well written, witty and fab pictures which makes me feel all inspired to work through my wardrobe and see how I can start wearing some of those lovely pieces I have that never get to see the light of day! Could I manage the 5 day capsule challenge - that is one to think on for a while as I wear more than 10 pairs of shoes a week let alone with clothing thrown in...
  5. Lastly and probably most consuming today has been the Personal vs Pocket Filofax debate. I'm having a wobble on my planner size change!! I have covered at length previously the Pocket Deco, but to recap: I LOVE my pocket Deco; she's classy, gorgeous and so much more portable. BUT I miss the personal size Chameleon. More room to write on the pages, the week on one page with notes diary which is my favourite format (I have the same in my A5 work Filofax), what feels like double the ring size to cram in all the information and the jolly Raspberry colour. I miss the larger sized stickers I use in it, the Day Planner pages, the decent sized To Do list pages.....will I ever be able to downsize totally? Have I made a massive mistake? Should I revert back to the Chameleon (But if I did OMFG the amount of money the Deco cost - bad girl!!) A quandary to be sure. Before I make any rash decision however I am staying calm and trying to bear in mind that new habits take 6 weeks to bed in and this is only week 2. A bit like starting a diet I guess I need to stick at and not cave and binge on personal sized planning just yet......

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Things I Love Friday....

So it's Friday evening after yet another hectic and stressful week with travelling, work and general stuff getting in the way of the serene and calm lifestyle I wish to adopt (who am I kidding eh!). And as Mr P is napping on the sofa - I am making him watch girl programs to be fair - I got to thinking about the things I love/am grateful for this week. So here they are:

1. My new Brita water filter - nerdy I know but I've never had a water filter before or really seen the point in one. After a request from Mr P I sourced a new one in the sale in Debenhams and now we are a filter family. So after a rocky start with the filter (I mean you have to piece it together, flush it out so many times, work out how to turn on the magic water measuring thingamy etc it is not a quick process) I wasn't at first able to really tell the difference from tap water. However I am enjoying have ice cold water straight from the fridge while feeling mega virtuous - surely filtered water being the epitome of health fads means the consumption of chocolate orange is nullified yes?

2. The Philofaxy meet up - I am so ridiculously excited about this. With twitter conversations with other meet up attendees and emails from potential train buddies for the journey up to London town I am embracing my inner stationery nerd and have already started my shopping list for the visit to Filofax Mecca.

3. Sarah Millican - comedienne extrordinaire. Her self depreciating, real life comedy just tickles my funny bone to the core and watching her on Graham Norton tonight with Vince Vaughan and Diddy (Puff Daddy/Sean Combs or whoever he is now) was just ace. Poor old Diddy just didn't know what to do during the curry/fart/sex segment. Here is hoping I can get some tickets to see her while she is on tour as I think that will be a right old giggle.

4. Worse than my Filofax obsessions this week has been my excitement at finally collecting my gorgeous new handbag - the Fiorelli Black Loretta supplied courtesy of Mr P (another free iPad guilt moment hehe). I am loving this bag - it is large enough to fit all my daily clutter, plus with the 3 main compartments it means the iPad has a safe, clutter free location to reside when travelling out and about. There is the short shoulder/elbow crook handle and then a lovely long strap that does the long shoulder/cross body thing so well. I'll accept it is a BIG bag - I could probably fit a good mid week Tesco shop inside it for example, but it still looks (I think) sleek and lovely. Therefore a more than suitable accessory for the new glamorous and well put together me inspired by owning the mega classy Deco I need to up my fashion game to match her good looks so I don't let her down in public. A whole post dedicated to handbags may be looming!!!

5. Another highlight this week was Mary Portas Secret Shopper. The Queen of Shops excelled herself again illustrating that fast fashion comes at a price far higher than we realise. Don't get me wrong I love a good Primark rummage (strictly during the non busy periods however as I do not do jumble sale Saturday Primarni if I can help it) but as Mary so clearly showed being able to receive good customer service makes shopping so much more pleasurable instead of being a chore, plus we spend more because we feel valued.....simple lesson huh retail peoples? I also love Mary for her unflinching style and dress sense - while I can't afford her Louis Vuitton scarf my Warehouse equivalent rocks just as hard!!

So there are my loves this week. How's your week been? Anything really tickled your fancy or driven you to distraction by it's gorgeousness?


Couple more shots of the yummy new bag with Deco and iPad plus a Frixion pen for fun :)

Friday, 21 January 2011

Ooh it's a change of scene.........

So I have a new blog design thanks to Mr P :) He of the creative mind just updated my headers and even created a little WeeMee that he thinks looks like me (freakily enough it really does and I am loving the little purple top/dress). Phase 1 of the blog redesign complete! Well least he could do seeing as I came home from work yesterday with a free iPad for him (which also more importantly means I get sole custody back of my iPad huzzah)

I've been thinking about developing the look and feel of my blog for some time and even quizzed the owners of some blogs I love the design of how they did them - and then found out that my very own Mr P could tweak the changes I wanted. Am I a lucky girl or what living with not only a musical genius but also one that can work his way around a pastel pink background!!

So what do you think?

More layout changes etc to come over the next few weeks I'm sure but I'm loving the new style - makes me smile just looking at it and I feel all inspired creatively so lots of new blog posts are bubbling away in my head now too....


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Downsizing Experiment Continues - otherwise known as how do I cram my life into a Pocket Deco?

So I am coming to the end of week 1 using my beautiful Pocket Deco in Ivory as my main Filofax. You know the one that we have surgically attached to us, have panic attacks about should it be out of sight for more than 15 minutes and that should we ever suffer the misfortune to loose it our lives would be over (or at least a mystery as we wouldn't where or what we were doing).

So the story so far, I have been a committed Personal size Filofax fan for many, many years to organise my personal life (my work Filofax is A5 - nothing smaller could cope with my list making/project writing/note taking OCD) and until recently this was working out really well - I was happily in love with my Chameleon in Raspberry and she came in my handbag everywhere with me. And here was my problem, I carry about so much stuff in said handbag that it was starting to need it's own heavy load sticker. And then Filofax emailed their Sale newsletter just before Christmas - and there it was. The Ivory Deco half price. And an idea formed - maybe by treating myself to the most gorgeous Pocket Filofax I could start to downsize. After all how much did I actually need to carry around with me 24/7? And so with the threat of discontinuation nudging me almost as much as the enablers commenting on my blog about the indecision see here I bought the Deco. In Pocket size. And thus started the Downsizing of Loulou.

So how have I set up the Deco? (I LOVE reading about how other Filofaxers set up their planners so here is hoping my description lives up to the posts by Caribbean Princess and Plannerisms - very unlikely it will so I recommend that you should check their blogs out for inspirational planner set ups).

So a couple of shots to show how gorgeous she always the photos are taken with my iPhone, in the kitchen so the quality isn't brill but you can get the idea......

How gorgeous is that clasp!!
And here is the clasp open...

And here she is open - I have some pretty business cards for jewellery sites in the card holders (left) and then a photo of my favourite building in the world - The Chrysler Building in New York so it makes me smile every time I open my filo up :)

Close up of the gorgeous suede interior with the business cards/stamps etc. Note the zipped pocket - I keep my secrets in here (well I would if had any!!)

So if we flip over the clear pocket containing New York you can see I keep vouchers behind the Chrysler - currently a discount voucher for Oasis. Then on the right is a business card holder insert - currently showing the business card of the lovely Mr P's band Hybrid.

Then we have the ESSENTIAL post it notes, so cute!!

And so to the diary my Personal and in my work A5 I favour the week on one page with notes format where I can record all meetings/events in the diary page on the left hand and then have notes/to do's/things to remember on the notes page on the right. However with a Pocket the size I think would be just too small to have this format so I am trialling using the standard week on two pages. And so far it is working out ok....

The cream diary that was supplied includes a little notes section at the top of the left hand page - so essential to do's can go in there. I then use coloured pens to distinguish between what the notes/appointments are. For example all social events like Hybrid gigs are in purple (or a reminder that the new Mary Portas show starts tonight - love her!) PM in blue refers to a work meeting taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. And things to do with appointments are in pink. I favour the Pilot Frixion pens as they are lovely to write with, come in fab colours and are erasable - so when plans change you can rub the pen notes out. AMAZIN!!

Close up of the diary in action (cue dramatic music) dum dum dum

I am currently using the standard sections of Diary, Notes, Information, Financial and Addresses...

Under Notes I have 2 clear dividers I love these as they help to mark out my sections nice and neatly. I have in there Randoms - notes just taken while on the move, Lists - of movies, books, blogs, to do's etc and then Fashion - lists of things I'd love to buy, outfit combinations that work etc.

Next is Information which currently contains all the important information on a special project - timings, contact details etc etc. Plus my London Underground map .

Then we have Financial where I am aiming, in conjunction with the Spend Free app on my iPhone, to track all my expenditure each month with a view to working out how I can save more.

Then we have the Addresses tab - where surprisingly I have people's addresses (shocking!!)

We then reach the back of the Pocket Deco:

Here you can see my stickers (love them for brightening up the diary pages) and the suede popper pocket which currently looks after my Oyster card for when I visit London town.

So that is my set up and so far it seems to be working well. I have to admit I am missing my personal size filo purely for the amount I could get in it and store within it BUT I am loving the portability of the Pocket size and the gorgeousness of the binder more than makes up for the lack of size that I am used to.

Let's see how we get on next week do you organise yourself, please do share


Friday, 14 January 2011

Things I love Friday...or just an excuse to wax lyrical

Well another week lurches to a close and it's been a busy old one for me again. However this week had a silver lining in finally some good news so to honour the fact that I am feeling positive and sparkly today I thought a little blogpost for a Things I love Friday was in order...

1. My gorgeous coffee machine - I bought a Philips Senseo Original in the Comet sale post Chrimbo for the bargain price of £29 and OMG it is lush. Yes it is more expensive to buy the pods than drink instant, yes it's an extravagance but I so love it it is amazeballs. Frothy coffee - mug sizes - at the touch of a button to be enjoyed in my super Starbucks mug (a Chrimbo pressie last year year from the lovely Mr P) hmmm must time for a second cup by now :)

2. Re-organising my Filofax planners. So this week I have started the downsize from Personal to Pocket for everyday planner-ing and started reviewing my A5 work Filofax (just waiting for a sneaky eBay A5 Strata to arrive so I can start archiving some of the work notes and streamline it a bit as currently it weighs almost as much as me!!) Massively long and indulgent blog post coming soon...

Cue gratuitous Ivory Deco piccie stolen from Filofax's website as I seem incapable of taking decent photos:
3. My new heart print scarf from Oasis which I bought this week in an aim to add some colour and fun to my winter wardrobe - there is only so much grey and rainy weather in my black coat I can cope without adding some kind of fun (slight issue in that it clashes with my glasses and they spangly pink arms but hey ho!!)

4. Twitter and blogs - I read and follow lots of blogs now and it is amazing how much you can feel you know someone via their thoughts and writings. Which, when you are trying to learn more about a topic or find kindred spirits who have traversed the same sort of issues (or obsessions Philofaxy and Plannerisms I mean you!!) can be invaluable. So thank you to all the bloggers out there expressing their secret truths or just expressing themselves you have been such a comfort as well as source of entertainments (and also driving more shopping Laurie at Plannerisms - the Paperie is just the most gorgeous website ever for pens, journals etc)

5. Finally and most importantly this week I have fallen in love my best buds even more - with so much going on at the moment it has been fab to be able to (again) rely on super lovely Miss B and Mrs L without them I quite possibly may go nuts so thank you ladies for being my sanity...

So there are 5 things I am loving this Friday...what are yours? Anything to be especially thankful for or that you love that helped you get through this week?

Until next time x

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The downsizing of Loulou's life

Well it has been a hectic couple of weeks to say the least. And with big life things comes planning and list making - 2 things that my Filofax is indispensable for. I mean seriously my life would free fall without my trusty side kick - key example came this week when I realised I don't even know my home phone number without it!!!

So this probably isn't the best time to try and downsize from a personal size Chameleon to the lovely new pocket Deco - but what the heck.

I figure keep the Personal as a catch all life planner (particularly good for reference, blog planning, Resolutions maintenance etc) and the Pocket my essential take everywhere/contains my life in it planner. So while Mr P is having a nap on the sofa and I'm trying to be quiet so as not to wake him and with a handy glass of vino on the go - here goes wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

For the love of accessories.....

I have mentioned before about my Filofax addiction, I'm still currently desperately awaiting the arrival of the Pocket Ivory Deco purchased just before Christmas and no doubt caught up in all the delayed post chaos of the past few weeks just to torment me over my extravagant purchase.

Plus I have wittered on about my deliberations whether to purchase an iPad or not - to then finally bite the bullet and then find out we are to receive a free one from work (eesh the irony).

I have also blathered on about what to wear, pack, shop for at length...So it is clear that I am the sort of girl who dithers a lot before buying things, if you are new to my blog then read this and shake your head, preferably with loud tutting. I would say this is my only vice, being a dithering shopaholic, but alas I do like a glass of vino (vodka/cider and the rest) and I love my food. I do not smoke (hideous, smelly and expensive habit that I have never really understood) but I do love my accessories.

Beads, belts, scarves, shoes and most of all handbags. My general clothing tends to be simple and classic (well lots of denim and black t-shirts) which I like to jazz up with my accessories. As you can never have a fat day with a handbag, nor decide that a scarf makes your thighs look huge - however I digress.

The reason for this particular ramble is the current lust object of a new bag. It is by Fiorelli and pretty expensive (see here for the bag) BUT unlike all my other bags (honest) it is large enough to accommodate the essentials (Filofax, make up bag, iPad, iPhone, pens, tissues, purse etc etc) which admittedly many of my bags are - BUT it has divided sections which none of my current collection do.

The main reason for a segmented bag - so I don't scratch the exposed corners of my iPad by throwing my keys in the bag while it is in there.

Is this justification enough for the bag - um probably not. But I have been looking for ages for something classic, simple and good looking (much like the beloved Mr P, only joking should you read this) but large enough for using for work and when travelling for meetings etc etc

However it is January, the month of austerity...what to do?

P.S. for fans of fashion maths, I have worked out that by not parking in the car park adjacent to my office and instead walking in the 15 minutes from the free residential parking road I aim to use (apologies residents of that road) it would only be 10 days of parking spend to purchase said bag. This in itself is a welcome revelation as a) blimey that's a lot of money why on earth am I parking there so often? And b) think of the healthy exercise/fresh air bonus by always doing the walk.

Hmm maybe I'll just get a scarf instead and bank up a few rainy car park days....

Monday, 3 January 2011

2011- Resolutions, Goals and all things positive

So it is now day 3 of 2011 and so far I have managed to accomplish the following:

1. Recover from hangover due to NYE excesses
2. Cook the emergency snow turkey for a lush Sunday roast
3. Get very drunk with Mr P on vodka while playing Buzz (and Singstar apologies poor neighbours for our out of tune warblings at 4am this morning)

As you can see this is not a list packed full of notable achievements. So today after recovering from said vodka binge I pulled out my trusty Chameleon Filofax and decided a quick reorganisation of the layout and voila My Charter for 2011 (or new year resolutions) is born...

As you can see I've used a traditional To Do list to start entering my wish list for 2011 or to make it sound less formal and more fun my 2011 Charter. On this list will be things that I want to achieve this year, to push myself into trying new things but also to be used as a reminder to focus on the people in my life as well. So they are not really resolutions, more future achievements to live by if that makes any sense. By having them in my trusty Filofax it also means they will always be with me :)

So the key ones, for if I say them out loud here on my blog then I really have to do them are:

1. Visit my family in Oxford - I have a large number of relatives hat live in the Oxford area all on my Dad's side but we only ever seem to meet up at funerals so I want to spend a weekend enjoying the sights of Oxford as well hopefully enjoying some time catching up with the family.

2. Go to Warmwell - a dry ski slope nearby in preparation for...

3. Book a ski holiday with Mr P for next season. Mr P has skied a few times, me never, but his passion for the sport means it is something I really want to try. So step 1 is booking the holiday, then later on this year get in some sneaky lessons at Warmwell which will hopefully at least get me used to wearing the kit!

4. Complete a half marathon - now this will come as a massive surprise to anyone who knows me in real life, I have a gym membership and for a while I was very good at going but I have been bad for the past couple of months. But reading the blog Hang on Little Tomato has given me the courage and conviction to think if I put my mind to it maybe I will learn to love running, and having an ultimate goal in mind while we train should give the project a purpose.

5. Go to Snowdonia - I've never been, heard it is lovely and think it is worth the trip. Simples.

6. (an easy one) Enjoy the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury Festivals. I'm lucky enough to have tickets to both of these festivals with Mr P. And with a different mix of friends also attending each I think they will be fantastic experiences. Fingers crossed for the weather!

7. Learn a mixture of songs on the piano. Mr P and I for Chrimbo this year purchased an electric piano. I've never played, he played Organ when young so we are both novices (albeit he is so musical he can replicate tunes very quickly when he hears them and I am struggling to remember where C is) but I always wanted to learn. And now we have the piano there is no excuse not to be able to learn how to play and build up a repertoire of tunes to amaze the family.

So that is where currently I got to on my 2011 Charter list. But the plan is to also have a running monthly target list to help not only achieve these bigger goals but also allow for smaller achievements along the way. January for example includes which songs I want to learn this month on the piano, what the training targets are for the running task, finishing/reading a couple of books and also a loose x lbs target to remove the excess Christmas blubber layer I added to keep warm this winter.

And this is where my Filofax comes in (cue bad picture of gorgeous Chameleon)

As all the different goals and targets can be safely stored in easy to find sections but also be ever present to be the motivator that I know I'm going to need. As readers of this blog will know there is nothing I love more than making a list after all!!

If anyone has any tips on how to keep motivated with big goals and targets then please do pass them on I think I'm going to need all the help I can get!

And coming soon a full review of how I use my Chameleon Filofax, I love seeing and reading how other people use their Filofax so I thought I'd share my current set up with you. Of course this could all change as soon as the pocket Deco arrives (eeeee excited squeak) hopefully she should arrive this week once the postal service gets back to I better finish that post asap