Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday Tastic

Courtesy of google images
So another week has rolled around again bringing with it that purveyor of doom that is Monday morning, unless of course you are a positive person like me who thinks this is one Monday closer to her man feeling better and hopefully getting the all clear.

However for those still feeling a little negative just remember it is virtually March and therefore Spring is in the air (I have 3 daffodils outside my front door which proves it) so in that fresh springy frame of mind here is my Monday list for the week:

1. Busy Bee work wise
So we have nearly finalised the mega huge and important process at work and assuming that while on holiday my boss has not done himself a mischief snowboarding last week this should be the week that he reviews all my final numbers/plans/explanations - as I've said before I love this part of my job - creating the lists and plans of what we are going to do (and achieve) over the next 12 months. Makes me very smiley

2. Penultimate Chemo
This Wednesday is Mr P's penultimate chemo session. This is fantabulous news as we are coming to the end of a very long, very difficult few weeks for him with feeling like crap and weekly 125 mile round trips to the hospital. While he's not out of the woods yet we are hopeful that there will be good good news at his review in 3 weeks (altogether now fingers crossed people)

3. Battle of the Bands
Last year Mr P's band Hybrid played in a local venue's Battle of the Bands contest - and won!!!! This is because they are fantastic :0) And this Thursday they are back in action competing again. As it is only a tiny short set Mr P should be playing so it will be fab to see him out and about and playing again - being house bound most of the time is boring for him (there are so many Filofax conversations he will allow me to start) but it also means I get to go out too - purely in a transport/supervisory capacity you understand though!!

4. Heading up to the big smoke Friday
On Friday afternoon I am due in London for a meeting regarding data pooling. This is far more interesting than it sounds I promise! But it means a very long train journey (3 hours) living by the seaside is fab but it is a LONG LONG way from the big smoke....however this does also mean I'll be in London, near to SHOPS (might have to leave my bank cards at home to prevent temptation!!)

5. Sarah Millican new tour?
I had an email this weekend from the Sarah Millican newsletter - and she will be announcing a new tour and dates soon. Fingers crossed there will be some nearby to us so we can rock along for some giggles soon. Also she is on My Life in Books on Thursday - yep I'm obsessed. She's funny. Love her!!

I'm also looking forward to getting home tonight and finding hopefully Jessie J's cd awaiting me having preordered it from Amazon. Loving her cheerful tracks I've heard so far and I'm thinking it will be perfect singing loudly in the car music. Apologies in advance to all fellow drivers should you have the misfortune of pulling up alongside me at traffic list when I'm in full swing!!

So how is your week shaping up? Is the first week of March going to be a good one for you?


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Oooh Filofax you are bad

Courtesy of Filofax UK on Facebook
So y'all know I'm a mega obsessed with my Filofaxes. I'm currently trying very hard not to panic buy a Personal size Deco in Ivory (after the disaster downsize test ) as it is allegedly being discontinued and I stupidly didn't buy while half price. I absolutely cannot justify the price tag for a full price one (I'm currently watching an Ebony one on eBay though...) but I was perfectly happy with my Chameleon, many happy hours spent rejigging the set up and page changes. Making lists, more lists and then lists of lists....happy sigh.

And then Filofax leak some new product pictures on their Filofax Facebook page and OMG I'm now obsessing about the Malden in Vintage Rose. It looks so pretty and all the reviews I've read about the Malden have been so complimentary about the soft leather etc.

Aaah I surely don't need any more binders do I? Or is it that the Malden could become the new must have bible for me? Is the Malden leather really that amazing that I need a new Filofax? And if so what could I use my Chameleon for?

I really do need FA (Filofax anonymous)


Saturday, 26 February 2011

I'm a winner..........

So there I was innocently catching up on my blog reading this morning and then I see the very lovely Caribbean Princess has given me an award - OMG cue gushing acceptance speech. But in order to be able to accept there were a few rules:

1. You must proudly display artwork above (hmm it may not be pretty but it is my first award so I'm not complaining and hey it has balloons and a star!!! )

2. You must list 5 things about yourself and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies (nothing new there then lol)

3. You must pass this award on to at least 5 other bloggers. (Hmm which lucky victims recipients will I choose....)

4. According to CP if we fail to follow any of these rules then someone is going to come and get me (good luck with the roadworks around where I live hope you've got a good sat nav!!)

Anyway onto the 5 things about me - which do you think are false...or true? This is where you have to do some work by posting what you think is the true one in the comments :0)
  1.  I once sailed a boat around the Ireland
  2. Is an IT genius and can take apart a computer and put it back together blindfolded
  3. I once partied backstage with the Spice Girls at the O2
  4. I spent a year working in Thailand teaching English
  5. I swim 20 laps a week
Hmm which lucky bloggers do I pass this award onto? Well I would nominate the following as faboosh blogs that everyone should read:

  1. S.B.V
  2. Lauren Loves
  3. Things a Boutique Owner Sees
  4. Ephemera
  5. Make Do Style
  6. and of course you should all be reading Caribbean Princess 's blog!!!!
CP lists many of the blogs I read and nominated them already so I picked some different ones - but you should definitely check out her list!

So back to the nomination/award, CP mentioned attending the Oscars for her recent hit film (see here) and showcased some frocks, should I ever be lucky enough to attend such a function I would steal inspiration from this trio of gorgeous ladies....

First up the stunning Carey Mulligan - how amazing is this frock? Super delish:

You can't have a good frock list without SJP and this fairytale frock is simply gorgeous:

My favourite ever Oscars look has to be this from Kate Winslet - just beautiful:

So there we go, should I need to go all it will take is a little red fabric and a sewing machine, simples!!


Friday, 25 February 2011

Things I Love Friday....

So Monday flew by so quickly I totally missed it! To make up for that here is a Things I Love Friday for a Friday morning!!

1. Holiday Planning
This week I have been perusing the pages of my new Lonely Planet guide to Paris that arrived from Amazon last week in anticipation of a weekend in Paris in May and reading up on Whistler in Canada using the Whistler Traveller App and the Whistler website. I have so many lists in my Filofax of things to do in each place, packing lists, things to buy for skiing (um everything from trousers to thermals) and savings plans for squirreling away the pennies to pay for it all. After the grim start to this year having these lovely trips to look forward to and plan has made getting through these winter months so much easier.

2. Del Monte Fruitini Pineapple Pots
I found these on Monday in Tesco in the fresh fruit aisle in the chiller (where they keep chopped melon and the like) and they are delish. I am trying really hard to inject more fruit and veg into my diet which is quite difficult in the evenings with Mr P and his strange eating habits at the moment. So I am endeavouring to eat more good stuff during the day and these easy to transport pots of fresh pineapple which are remarkably good value make that so much easier - I mean hacking apart a fresh pineapple at the moment is too time consuming for a Monday evening!!

3. My Gorgeous Valentines Flowers
Yes I know I mentioned these last week but since then all the lilies have come out so when I get up in the morning the whole house smells delicious and they look amazing. And considering they've been going for over a week and half impressive staying power for a bunch of flowers too ;0)

4. Twitter
I have been on Twitter for a while (follow me @Ninny279) but the past week I've started following a lot more people and magazines and read some fascinating articles and had some hilarious conversations. I am particularly liking Stylist and their cover story debate this week on the lost art of living in the now I even commented on the story and they tweeted about it!! Wired's twitter feed also highlights a lot of interesting articles and news stories - computer chip in the eye anyone? I am trying to tweet more too - although I appear to be so boring I'm not sure it is worth people reading but hey this is Twitter unfollow me if you no likey.

5. Debating a Filofax diary change????
Returning to my Chameleon - personal sized Filofax planning once more has been an utter joy all that space. BUT I do miss the gorgeousness of the Deco. But the pocket experiment didn't work and Deco is going to be relegated to being a travel Filofax with lists of to do's and sees the such like - but then I had an email from Filofax that the pocket City Dweller pack was back in stock. Could that work in a Personal size for me? Maybe I should order the Gourmet Gift Box as blogged about by Caribbean Princess here and see what the personal size version is like? As the Gourmet card and the diary means you get the binder for free wayhey....The search for the perfect planning system continues!

So what was good for you this week?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Techno Gadgetry vs The Filofax

So I may have mentioned that I am a tad obsessed with Filofaxes - I currently have 11 of the gems - and my entire life is organised and encased within I perish the thought of what mishaps would occur if I mislaid the current Raspberry Chameleon bible I rely on for remembering all the what, wheres and whys needed to maintain my everyday life.

But I am also a massive gadget nerd. While some things, like the PS3 and how you can stream movies from a laptop to the telly via it mystify me, I adore my iPad and iPhone (currently only a 3GS but upgrade looming so possibly the 4 or even 5 if that is a September launch hopefully). I avidly follow Twitter feeds and blogs about the latest Apple rumours of what technological greatness they are coming up with next and I am constantly rooting my way though the App store to find new App gems that I surely can't live without (current faves are BBC iPlayer App, Whistler Traveller for our trip on January, Zinio for downloading magazines from all over the world and The Times and I for showing how newspapers can evolve into tablet devices).

Now the big question rolling around the office at work since the great iPad giveaway is what To Do app is the best. As one everyone at work has their own iPad the option to use it as the organisational tool of choice over Outlook, iCal or a notebook has risen. And there are several contenders vying for title of King of Organisational Apps and being the nerd that I am I've been wondering, which is the best from a functionality standpoint but also could an electronic Planner ever take the place of my trusty Filofax sidekick? My gut says no but let's let the science speak....

Option 1 - Awesome Note
I have this on my iPhone so I added it on my iPad as well, cost for the iPad version is £2.99. I love the look of it, the customability of it - you can change headings, colours, layouts etc. All your sections have their own diary view as well as to do/list view and it is easy and quick to add new lists or items. You can also add a pass number lock onto individual sections in the App so you don't have to log in every time you open it. Perfect for storing passwords/registration details etc.

I like being able to see everything on one calendar from all my sections (these include such riveting finds as To Do List, Event Planning, Fashion Stuff, Skiing and many more). 

Option 2 - Toodledo
I tried this one and was disappointed. It kind of does what it says on the tin in that it is just a basic to do list. You can set reminders/priortiy but it is not especially dynamic or exciting and I think for the money (£1.79) you can get a lot more functionality from other apps.

Option 3 - Pocket Informant
This is the professional App of choice of many of my colleagues. It syncs with desktop calendars, has a fab year/month calendar view and even looks like a Filofax in some ways with the pages and tabs.

It is however £8.99 - quite a lot for an App especially if you aren't sure you will use it. But it does work along the GTD methodology so will work really well for those following this style of organisation. If I was to ever give up my trusty Filofax this could be the App that would replace it..

Option 4 - Daily Notes + Todo
This is another App that has created a "journal" style to do list/calendar. It is made to look like leather (apparently) and you can have customised tabs, easily add in photos and view tasks either individually or all together. But it just doesn't feel as fun to use as Awesome Note or as organised and well thought out as Pocket Informant.

There are of course hundreds of Apps that can be used for organising yourself and these are just the ones that are discussed and used by me and the people I work with. But could an iPad App ever replace the trusty Filofax?

  • Interactivity - Being able to copy and paste web links, photos, email copy, instructions etc quickly and easily into a Task is great for archiving information, or compiling project outlines. You can quickly save the links and articles you think you might need without having to write them down. And then copy the links back into Safari - or link directly depending on the App
  • Synchronisation - Being able to sync your calendar with Outlook or iCal is a benefit if you have a diary that other people manage or that contains a lot of repeat meetings. Also being able to link meeting information and Tasks together easily like this would be a dream.
  • Scale - You can save and store so much more in an App like this potentially than you could in a Filofax. As you wouldn't need to archive so much as the volume of content does not increase the weight or size of the iPad in the same way that extra pages in a Filofax does.
  • Flexibility - Each App is individual in its design so finding one to suit you is key. However while you can customise colours or layouts the actual Apps aren't that flexible. Unlike a Filofax where you can change your sections, diary format, layout as often as you like to make it fit your life and schedule demands.
  • Power - The iPad being an electronic device while it has exceptional battery life does need plugging in and recharging.
  • Bulky - The iPad while slim, and relatively light is still relatively large (much larger than an A5 or Personla Filofax for example). Will it fit in a small everyday handbag? Not easily. So transportation can be an issue - I have to have mine in a bag I wouldn't be able to walk around carrying it as I'd put it down and loose it!!
So what's the verdict? For me - paper wins out (I think we all knew that was coming didn't we) but I do think that the iPad will become a very important organisational aid for lots of people. And I certainly do use it for certain project planning - where saving links/content/photos/pages is so easy. Will it ever replace my trusty Filofax to do lists? Unlikely, but a hybird paper/iPad model of organisation is sure to emerge!!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Things I Love Friday

Is this not the best V Day card ever?

So another Friday has arrived with another week flying by (OMG is it really nearly March?) so therefore it's time for another Things I Love Friday post...I can hear the celebrations and cheers from here :0)

So here are my Top 5 this week:

I was lucky enough to receive the most gorgeous bunch of flowers on Valentine's Day from the lovely Mr P. A combination bunch of red roses and lilies (my absolute favourites) arrived for me at work bless him, with a lovely card all Vegas like - he's a keeper this one!! But even better than the flowers and card Mr P's appetite was back in full flow after feeling dodgy all weekend. So we had a romantic meal in of steak and chips plus garlic butter (him) and Diane sauce (me) yummy so a truly perfect V Day.

My gorgeous flowers and all his get well type cards!!

Along with the many other side affects of chemo Mr P's tastes have changed quite dramatically and rice is currently banned from our house. He's no idea why really but the idea of it makes him quite queasy. Not a problem, only I've been craving Singapore Fried Rice from our local Chinese for weeks now (absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that) so this week while Mr P sneaked out for a long overdue escapade from the house I binged in Chinese and it was amazing. Even if I did eat it with all the windows open and scented candles burning to make sure that my contraband dinner smells didn't give away the fact that I'd riced it up for tea. Simple pleasures are the best.

While the big holibobs plan is for a trip to Whistler in Canada next January we are thinking of lots of lovely things to do this year to celebrate being here (Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals are a given of course) we needed something just slightly nearer to look forward to and a jaunt across the pond seemed just the ticket. I've always wanted to go and see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Élysées while he wanted to see what Euro Disney is like - and with it being such a short hop, skip or train ride away a potential May trip would be perfect. So I now have in my possession a Lonely Planet guide for Paris (we loved the Vegas one so this brand new 2011 guide just slipped into the Amazon basket so easily) this weekend will include lots of researching and list making, bliss.

I mentioned on Monday about taking part in the wardrobe challenge - well I sort of did - only I didn't blog about it so a massive round up blog post tomorrow of how I got on, photos and the such like coming up. In brief it was far more fun that I expected and I clearly love stripes, maybe a bit too'll see all tomorrow!!

Thursday night involved accompanying Mr P to a band practice (he is a uber fab bass player with a brilliant covers band much in demand in our town) they had a couple of gigs planned before he got poorly that they didn't want to cancel (good upstanding boys these) so they have enlisted the services of Ben - the hardest working bass player in the world. He currently works full time and plays bass in 4 bands already and is now a special guest star standing in for Mr P in their band Hybrid (see their myspace Hybrid for lists of gigs and to see photos and hear some of their stuff or why not like them on Facebook sorry shameless plug over!!) So while they had a practice session all together to make sure everyone knew what songs they were playing or when to come in I quaffed 2 glasses of very nice vino (Temperanillo) and got quite squiffy. As I've not been drinking much in the past couple of months the vino went straight to my head - but despite that (because of that?) it was a most enjoyable evening hanging out with some friends listening to some good tunes. And on a school night too!! Thank goodness we have the half day Friday policy at work is all I can say.

So anyone done anything good this week and fancy sharing? Right beef noodles for tea to prepare - yummy


p.s. Am currently watching Mr P play LBP2 and I want to adopt a sackboy, just too adorable

Monday, 14 February 2011

Monday Tastic


So another week rolls around, but at least here in my spot of Dorset we saw sunshine last week so I take that as positive hope that Spring will soon be flourishing. I am ever the optimist.

So this Monday what are my Top 5 goals??? Well I failed miserably last week on 1. Go to Gym, 4. Make sushi and 5. Eat more fruit and veg. 4 and 5 were mainly down to Mr P and his superhuman sense of smell that has developed recently so both of these roll over as does 1. I am struggling with when I can gym it at the moment - before work is not an option as my gym in the hometown doesn't open early enough that I can go and get into work on time (due to the 1 hour commute) the post work workout isn't really an option due to getting home for Mr P (well if you were to spend all day on your tod at home even you would be pleased to see me!!) And weekends tend to be a bit hectic with housework and visitors and stuff. However that is an awful lot of excuses!!!

I did however have a very productive week at work and sort of managed the capsule wardrobe-esq idea so not all was lost!!

Anyhoo....the new Top 5 (then +3 from above rolling over) are:

1.  Well seeing as it is Valentine's Day today what else could be number 1 other than make sure I tell everyone who I care about how much I love them this week. I want to catch up with some old friends who I'll admit I've been very lax in speaking to recently as everything has been so hectic. And of course hopefully Mr P will be pleased with a certain V Day Splurge I got for him (fingers crossed I bought the correct thing - I spent far more than I meant to but I'm so easily led by the salesmen in Solutions Inc that I'm an easy customers)

2. It is Capsule Wardrobe week as inspired by The Small Fabric of My Life this week I am rocking only 10 items of clothing and 5 accessories - see here for my mix in a post all about it :0) And find out next week if I cave or if I manage it!!!

3. I am also planning on make up splurge this week - I am finally going to muster up the courage/time to pop into Beales and purchase the Mac Lippy in Girl About Town as seen in this post on Lauren Loves. I also need some new moisturiser - I've been seduced by the promises of Jennifer Garner in the new Neutrogena advert so might give that a whirl. I have been using No7 but it feels too heavy for me so going to try sommat new.

4. Fingers crossed Mr P will have band practice tomorrow (have I mentioned he is in a band?? He is a bassist extraordinaire) This means on Tuesday I could a) go to gym and b) sneakily have Chinese flavoured rice that I have been craving for ages but is smelly and made of rice - 2 things that are persona non Grata in Casa Splucy at the moment...

5. Book haircut! My hair is now totally out of control and so long it can go up in a ponytail. This is not good. I have thick hair that left alone bends (not curls, curls are pretty) in very strange directions. It needs urgent pruning so I can again have a) a fringe b) a do rather than a mop and c) something that requires only 5 minutes as opposed to 30 to fix in the morning. All of this is incredibly vain and vacuous, blame the Internet, or glossy magazines. Aim -to look more like this:

Lily Allen rocking her messed up bob

And less like:


Which is exactly how I feel after being caught in a rainshower!!

Have a lovely week y'all


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Pocket vs Personal - the challenge continues

So quick recap - I've been a diehard Filofax fan for AGES and especially of the Personal size. Plenty of room, flexible, lush range of inserts and binders.

But on the cons, heavy, bulky and do I really need to carry everything around with me?

So I splurged (in the sale) on a Pocket Deco in Ivory. It is stunning, gorgeous. BUT IT'S TOO SMALL.....

It's not easy to write in the spaces, note pages are difficult to use too (in comparison with the Personal) I miss my week on one page/notes format diary, the Day Planner pages, the proper sized stickers, my coloured dividers.....

Help I'm wavering. How do you use your Pocket? Is it really going to work for me? Shall I admit defeat and revert back to the Personal and if I do what on earth can I use the Deco for?


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Are things really that different?

So last week I did something I'm really not proud of, I got involved in a Facebook row with someone. As you all know my lovely Mr P is a bit poorly with a spot of cancer at the moment. But throughout all his treatment, the drugs, the travelling and just the shock of his diagnosis he has remained the same upbeat and positive Mr P throughout. Even when he feels at his weakest he still smiles and says "I know it won't last forever". He is an utter inspiration. I say this not to garner sympathy or show off just saying it how it is.

Over the weekend he used this inspiring spirit to try and boost up an acquaintance of ours who it appears is going through a bad patch unable to find work. His advice was no matter how bad things get you can get through it if you keep a positive mental attitude. Sound advice I'm sure you would agree. Unfortunately this acquaintance did not see this and carried on with the feeling sorry for themselves with a "poor me" attitude.

I did not get involved, while Mr P was aiming to show that even in his position being positive about the future is the key to changing your life I did not know this person well enough to want to comment.

However on Monday this same person updated their status to something that rankled me so much, especially after everything Mr P had tried to show her, after he took the time to explain and try and help that I just saw red. Do I regret what I wrote? No I stand by criticising someone for being lazy (this person has only worked part time in the two years I have known them and despite the best efforts of other people trying to help them secure work in the past at no point bothered enough to actually secure a full time job. Hence being in a spot of bother now needing assistance from the DSS) I stand by saying why not try doing some volunteer work or educating themselves with all that free time they have.

And from here it cascaded into myself being criticised for mentioning that I used to work full time and have a second additional part time and weekend job - this was because I needed the money to pay rent etc.

This whole episode I have found distasteful for several reasons,

1 - I'm angry at myself for letting myself get upset about someone's lifestyle choice. Just because I believe in working hard and being positive I can't make everyone follow that ethic and nor should I try in certain cases.

2 - I find it incredible that someone can not find a job for 2 years in our lovely little town. A tourist destination during the summer with expanding businesses I appreciate that while not all jobs are appealing when you need work things have to be done I've worked in pubs, packed cheese in a factory, glued strange silver things onto circuit boards, potato and strawberry picked and been a cleaner over the years. I see this as testament to being a hard worker and not something to be denigrated by a generation who see hard work and paying your dues as beneath them. I also know of several other people who over the past 6 months have secured work from office to post graduate to part time cleaning. So work is out there.

3 - I find it shocking as well that so many people see handouts from the state as just one of those things you do instead of working. I simply don't understand that. While I think our welfare system is amazing and for people truly in need they should absolutely be able to get access to immediate help. I also believe that nobody should expect to be given money instead of working to provide for their own future.

If you need any more justification a Quote came back saying "at least I haven't had a baby to get a flat" I rest my case.


Friday, 11 February 2011

Things I Love Friday

A view of Glastonbury Festival 2010 - the sunshine was amazing!!

So it has hurtled round again and wooohooo it's Friday! This week has been a strange one, what with a v poorly feeling Mr P, mega hectic work schedule, slight anger management issues (more of that to come in a later post) and abysmal weather. But being the beacon of positivity I am here are the Things I Love this Friday...

1. SUNSHINE - just in time for me getting home from work today at lunchtime the rain ceased and out popped the sun. (I had to look it up in google just to make sure it has been so long) Doesn't everything seem so much better when the sun shines? Almost time to crack out the flip flops and wedges again HURRAH. So inspired was I by the reappearance that I dug out the photo above to maintain the sunny joy after the clouds came back over!!

2. EATING - this week has been a difficult food week for Mr P and therefore me. He has the nausea I get the earache (only joking, I get that all the time) Anyway with the Big Battle (see here) currently going on there are days where he is extra sensitive to smell/texture etc etc. So this week I have been banished to eating my tea in the kitchen, door closed, windows open - and this is having salad and bread - not even mildly stinky cheese. But along with the sunshine it seems Mr P's appetite has returned so I may be liberated from the kitchen and allowed to eat again RESULT!!

3. FRIENDS - my friends are amazing. They are there when you need them, rally round in a crisis and say the most hilarious things to cheer you up when you are stressed or angry. Love you all :0)

4. VALENTINE'S DAY - I know I'm a very lucky loved up lady and even though this year we won't be going out for dinner and the such it will still be an occasion to cherish and celebrate just being together. But I think Valentine's day is also about showing your friends and family how much you love them too. So even if you are single embrace all your loved ones and lets celebrate life on Monday in all its shapes and guises.

5. NEW FILOFAXES - OMG I think I actually squealed when I saw this post on Philofaxy about new binders, notebooks and colours. I can't wait to see what new styles and colours are available and especially if any of them will be out in time for the Philofaxy meet up in March (squeaaaaaal) I may be a total stationery nerd but hey everyone needs a hobby!!

So that's my Top 5 Things I Love Friday. What's yours?


p.s. Beyonce for Glasto - I may be in the minority but WOW I'm really excited to see what she does. Bet it will be an awesome close to the festival....

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Thursday Positivity

So inspired by Mr P and his Positive Thinking blog post here are my Top Thankful Things for Thursday

1 - Heavy Rain - yes I got drenched walking to the office, yes my feet squelched in my probably ruined shoes BUT it does mean I can put off washing the car for another week as she's not looking quite so filthy = :0)

2 - Tesco - currently my second home after work as I nip in to try and purchase anything that might entice Mr P to eat but as well as all the food you could ever need they sell cool stuff too - so I have a nice new top to wear to work tomorrow therefore no ironing needed = :0)

3 - BBC iPlayer iPad App - watching BBC telly on the iPad in bed wayhey nothing more to say other than come on C4 and ITV players follow suit please = :0)

4 - Half day Fridays - where I work we have a half day every Friday. This is more than amazing it's unbelievable - still - after nearly 2 and a half years that doesn't loose its appeal and at the moment it's even more fab as it means I'll be home to annoy Mr P by 2pm = :0)

5 - Spectacles - since purchasing my new posh specs at the end of last year I've been regularly giving the eyeballs a rest wearing my bottle tops instead. And I feel tres glam and intelligent while wearing them - until I open the oven and steam up granted but I have much healthier eyes than I ever used to = :0)

So there are 5 little things I'm thankful for today - it's not an exciting list but these are the simple pleasures that make me smile. What about you, what little things make your everyday that little but better?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Monday Tastic

So it is Monday. Again? Already? Blimey!

This was me on Sunday see here

Aren't the weeks flying by or is that just me? Thank goodness for planners and especially my super stuffed Deco otherwise who knows what mischief I'd be getting myself into trying to make sure I got everything done!!

So last week I started my Top 5 for the Week Monday posts - this is something I want to do every week - a motivator and reminder for me and a mind numbingly boring list for you dear reader but stick with it I'll try and add in a couple of witty comments if I can...

So this week's Top 5 are:
  1. GO TO GYM this was number 5 last week but I failed in my mission. I will however endeavour to change that this week. Go Team Loulou Go!! Plus I have added incentive of potential ski trip that I need to get fit for :0)
  2. Have a super productive work week - it is budgets time at my place of work as I expect it is for many, many others of you. This involves extensive planning, list making, spreadsheet creating and number crunching. All in all my favourite time of the year as it involves all the best aspects of my job. I'll be out gallivanting on Wednesday and I have some of my team off this week as well for holibobs (I can be a nice person see!) So it will be even more hectic than normal. Bring it on. To Do list I will conquer you this week!
  3. Continue the Planned Wardrobe idea that I started last week. This started well - hit a minor roadblock with things not ironed but hanging in wardrobe - doh! So Sunday night was ironing and planning night and I have all the ensembles for the week laid out (this may seem tragic but when you leave the house at around 6.45am and only get back at 7pm it makes life so much easier) So the week's outfits includes:
    • Smart Casual Monday - long indigo jeans, Breton stripe top, red heart scarf, and cropped black jacket. Tres Parisien and chic n'est pas?
    • Professional Tuesday - grey trousers, black blouse, purple patent shoes in preparation for proper work meeting type thing with a supplier
    • Comfy Wednesday - travelling day where I drive around 130 miles so it is jeans, Converse sneakers, white t-shirt and cream chunky wrap cardigan with grey leopard print scarf in case of chills
    • Productive Thursday - smart jeans, purple patent shoes, grey and purple flowery blouse,
    • Funky Friday - indigo jeans, black boots, cream cape coat, purple vest, black longline cardigan
  4. Have first go at making something from my new Yo Sushi cook book I love sushi for lunch from M&S or Tesco (we have no Yo Sushi or anything resembling it down here in my corner of Dorset) but it can work out mega expensive. I saw in the gigantic Tesco Extra that I shop at they sell all kinds of sushi making ingredients - it has it's own special section no less - and they were all so cheap I figured I'd get some easy recipes under my belt, lunchtimes sorted :0)
  5. Eat Better. I've been a bit lax lately at having my 5 a day, or some days any a day unless there was lettuce in a shop bought sandwich. It is hard at times to find the time to eat well or make something good for me - especially with Mr P and his heightened sense of smell and nausea that pops up a lot but this week will involve consuming fruit, actual real vegetables and drinking lots of water (in addition to my coffee and pop addictions)
So there we go, my Top 5 goals for this week. Nothing too earth shatteringly interesting lets see how I get on this week. Anything you are doing this week that is new or being improved?


Mmmmm yummy

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Resolutions am I doing vs the charter?

Gorgeous Notepad see here

So on the 3rd of January I posted a blog about Resolutions and what mine were for the year. Some challenges and goals to keep me motivated for the year to acheive new and exciting things ahem (read here). In a regular feature here is how I'm getting on with these since I put them out there into cyberspace...

Overall report on January's progress is must try harder!! (ooh gosh how I remember that and "if she applied half as much effort to her school work as she does to talking she would be an A student" from my school reports)

So a quick refresh on what were the goals -
  1. Visit Oxford Family
  2. Go to Warmwell (dry skiing place)
  3. Book ski holiday
  4. Train to complete a half marathon
  5. Go to Snowdonia
  6. Enjoy IOW and Glastonbury festivals
  7. Learn piano
So where are we at?
  1. We will hopefully be going up in May to Oxford for a party (plenty of outfit planning time huzzah). So Mr P can meet the whole of the clan in one fell swoop yay
  2. Clearly with Mr P being sub-par at the moment a trip to Warmwell is on hold for now, but I think a trip in maybe April/May time for a starter lesson for me on skis (seriously he would hate to miss the chance of seeing me tumbling down a slope at speed) will be on the cards!
  3. We have started talking/planning/costing up a January 2012 trip woohooo - although ages away the looking forward part of a holiday is almost as good as the actual holiday so I'm glad we have ages to plan (LISTS and LISTS and LISTS oh the joy I love, love, love it!!) Plus this gives me ample time to track down all the things I will need and purchase them over time so I can hunt out the bargains and not do a last minute expensive emergency panic shop.
  4. Hmmm - epic fail here. No training. None whatsoever. Not even stuck my nose inside the gym. Not even driven down the road with the gym on it. I could blame the crazy life at present but that would just be an excuse as I haven't been for ages before things all went mental so - MUST, MUST, MUST TRY HARDER.
  5. Again no actual progress on this one, not even in the discussion phase, but possibly this is a latter part of the year, post summer type trip s I'm not too worried.
  6. Clearly can't do until June - however am avidly following all twitter updates for any hint of a line up announcement on Glasto (U2, Coldplay and Prince to headline possibly? Who knows) and IOW's line up is looking awesome
  7. The piano playing has actually made some progress for a change...I have worked my way through my first beginner's piano book - it is so adorable I think it is actually aimed at the under 10's but made learning the notes/finger placement/dual hand playing so much easier than I thought it would be! So I am now available for all social occasions requiring a piano player to play Happy Birthday, Good King Wenceslas and Help! by the Beatles. A strange repertoire maybe but one that is very satisfying for me.
As for my other current challenge - the downsizing from Personal to Pocket Filofax, after last week's wobble I'm doing better. I've bought some more notepaper and to do sheets for the Deco and am trialling a new set on that to follow

So how are your New Year Resolutions going? Fallen off the wagon yet or are you steadfast in your missions? Tell me all....


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Overdue self-maintenance

I have decided that being a girl is hardwork. Far more preparation and work goes into a girl leaving the house than your average man (I know some boys are uber high maintenance but I'm going with the average here work with me).

My usual routine on a work day thus involves getting up 3 hours before I start work (I have a LONG commute) and runs as follows:
  1. Waking up, snoozing and then hurtling out of bed at speed as I realise I have over snoozed and am running late
  2. Shower - washing and conditioning hair everyday as I wake up looking like I've slept upside down with small animals pulling at my hair all night
  3. Usual face washing, contact lenses in, teeth cleaning etc
  4. Blow dry hair
  5. Straighten hair
  6. Moisturise and put on foundation (the rest of my make up while limited is applied in the car upon parking at work - I leave the house at 6.45ish am every second counts here!)
  7. Dress (change, change again, scowl at lack of ironed clothes and change for final time)
  8. Peg it out of house and curse should car need defrosting as by now I'm running REALLY late
  9. Drive to work for between 1 to 2 hours depending on a) traffic leaving hometown b) insane roadworks around my hometown c) any delay in leaving hometown meaning I hit all the school traffic in worktown slowing me down even further
  10. Arrive at work parking, put on makeup and rush to inhale coffee before starting day
A standard man morning (or my man's standard morning) incurs a total time from start to finish of about 30 minutes so his morning runs like this I believe:
  1. Waking up, snoozing and then hurtling out of bed at speed as he realises that he has over snoozed and is due at work in 20 minutes
  2. Showers
  3. Dresses
  4. Walks to work arriving around 5-10 minutes late (they pay him for what he knows not what he does apparently!!)
My boy is more a wash and go type, he doesn't need to spend hours in front of the mirror to look naturally good - extremely annoying!

So as well as the morning routines us ladies also have to invest in the following to avoid being pelted in the streets with bread rolls by passers by according to the glossy magazines ;0)
  1. Exfoliation
  2. Epilation
  3. Hair colour refreshing (if like me the odd (thousand) greys are attempting a coup on your barnet
  4. Body brushing
  5. Moisturising face of course and body
  6. Manicures
  7. Pedicures
  8. Fake tanning (this I am incapable of without resembling a satsuma that has bathed in digestives while running in a rainstorm)
  9. Eye/night/serum/wrinkle de-crease creams
  10. Face masks
This of course is not a definitive list just the one that rolls off the top of my head the quickest. And many of you naturally gorgeous types will not need the full list above. Me however as I am knocking on a bit am starting to include more and more of these items in my routine - prevention is better than cure being my new mantra.


While desperately overdue for a haircut the marauding mob of grey has broken ranks, so I am trialling a new home kit - the nice'n easy Foam in medium brown. This is not my usual choice (and it is a permanent instead of semi-permanent colour like I normally do) but it was a) on offer for just £5 b) promises "Tones and highlights in a drip-free foam you can easily apply with your hands" - thus hopefully preventing any future hair dye on the woodwork disasters happening again (ooh I was in trouble then) and c) came in lots of brown shades

So here it is:

And here is how it works:

So the verdict?

Strange but good would be my overall review.

Easy to mix and apply. The foam pumper is good (even if you do have squeeze from the middle of the bottle which gets a bit slippy) it was easy to apply and smooth into the hair. I found it did drip a bit but the end result is really shiny and good coverage plus having 2 conditioner sachets in the box is a nice touch. Sold :0)

The big reveal.....

So the big secret is out, finally, thank goodness. Mr P's recent guest post will have alerted you to some of the chaos currently filling my life at the moment. Now I won't be talking about that in much detail - as due to the overwhelming response he has received to his most fabulous blog post he is started his own blog to talk about boy things on. But what I will say is this..

(Hang on to your seats as its another list made up of 5 things....I do love a good list after all....)

1) Our NHS is amazing. Yes they get it wrong sometimes, yes it takes forever to get things done, yes they sometimes forget about you. BUT the care that Mr P has received in his current hospital (we tried out several in our journey for the truth) has been fantastic. Amazing consultant, fantastic doctors and nurses that are simply wonderful. I thank you all for looking after him so well on what as we often hear are abysmally low wages (especially compared to the obscene amounts of football money spent this week - sickening)

2) Once people know about the Big C the head tilt "are you ok" referenced in Friends by Tom Selleck's character Richard actually exists. Hilarious every time it happens, usually at inappropriate times with people I don't know well but I urge you to check that episode out and then try and not do the tilt. It is impossible not to!!

3) Being "strong" for your other half comes very easily when they are such a nice person. (Being angry at the injustice of it all also very easy) but it can be difficult. And the teary poor me moments take me by surprise when they hit. Thankfully just like the burn from drinking a good quality shot of liquor they very quickly pass. Just as well, as I really can't stand people who feel sorry for themselves and don't try and make the best of things. Point in fact - I get to eat all the chocolate that currently he can't stand. Winner for me (unless you are asking my waistbands as I think they are conspiring against me)

4) Most of the time no I don't want to talk about it. But thank you for asking. But yes please come and see us, talk to us, about anything. Lets remember that Mr P only has me a lot of the time for company - and have you any idea how boring I truly am dear reader? However all this time together is allowing me to demonstrate my multiple Filofax systems to him to try and wean him off his google calendar and back into using pen and paper!! Unlikely but I do love a challenge!!

5) Fripperies - many people may feel that my ramblings about Filofaxes, handbags, clothes etc recently could be deemed to be bad taste with the current state of affairs. I disagree, if I don't write them here then Mr P would have to listen to them instead of being able to scroll and ignore. That would be far worse for him I'm sure...

So there we go, apart from whining on about fuel prices or the hospital car parking debacle which I do, A LOT, that's my synopsis of what it is like to be a cancer sufferer's WAG.