29 Oct 2014

A Planner Pickle

Guess who's back...after a huge amount of time and a bit of a rollercoaster of a year.

I last posted back in May just before my whole changed forever.
I'd just started a new job, then less than a month into that new job my father passed away very suddenly and very unexpectedly. I was away from work for the next month and during that time my priorities changed and my Filofax fell my the wayside, I guess I hadn't got into using it seriously enough and with nothing to do but recover from what had happened I just didn't feel the need for it.

Then only one month after the lowest time of my life two major highs came along, we bought a flat and got engaged!!

Now you'd think that preparing to move into a new flat (it's still being built and won't be ready until Dec 2015) and planning a wedding were perfect ways to get back into my Filo...but here comes the planner pickle...

I'm just finding my Filofax too bulky to carry around in my bag with me, as well as the full pencil case.
I'm a great lover of excel spreadsheets and I've got them coming out of my ears with wedding planning details on...but I feel like I need to have something with me that's more of an overview of all the wedding details.

So what to do next...here are the options:

I found this online and thought it was the looked perfect
It covers all the main wedding areas, looks nice and has well planned out sections.
It also has a pouch for loose bits of paper etc.
Vital flaw 1: it has no diary
Vital flaw 2: the pages are 

A Plain Diary
May not have enough note pages
Wouldn't have the structured sections - without that I'd just get messy
Nothing to hold loose paper

Has the diary and notes sections
Wouldn't have the structured sections
Has a storing pouch

A Plain Notepad
No diary
Not structured
Nothing to hold loose paper

So what do I do, what combination do I put together?
Do I stick with the Filofax that I'm not using?
So I have a diary and the Moleskine?
The Moleskine has printable sections on their website, could these be somehow incorporated?

I'm also trying to save every penny I can for the flat, the wedding and Christmas so I don't want to spend a lot of money.

And my biggest worry, will I use it?
I'm always buying notebooks, diaries, downloading apps, trying online calendars...anything to organise myself, but for me everything turns out to be a fad.
How can I find the right thing for me?

Advice please!!

3 May 2014

Photo Friday #8

Sorry it's a day late!
Been really busy with the new job this week and didn't get a chance to post :(

Someone at work made this AMAZING cake this week!

28 Apr 2014

Weekend Round Up #7

Friday 25th

Had to include this, went to see McBusted the combination of my two favourite bands EVER. Amazing!!

Saturday 26th

Had a nice last day, bike ride and some TV.
Made a rather tasty Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese for dinner.

Sunday 27th

Went and got a million second had DVDs and had a bit of a movie marathon!

25 Apr 2014

Photo Friday #7

I'm a bit behind this week!
I have posted on #fflovephotoaday for ages and I haven't posted on here.
It's been a really busy week for me, as it's my last in my current job and I've been doing handover and working on a computer that doesn't load blogger correctly (so I'm doing this on my phone).

The best news is, this is my last day in my current job!!

My photo pick for this week is one that I'm yet to post for #fflovephotoaday

22 Apr 2014

Weekend Round Up 6

Friday 18th

  • Went out for a bike ride with BF on our new bikes!
  • Stopped at the pub (for a coke, sadly) on the way home

Saturday 19th

  • Went to Kent to visit my parents for Easter
  • Had a lovely BBQ for dinner

Sunday 20th

  • Easter in Kent, hot cross buns for breakfast and crackers with dinner (we missed out on Christmas due to the floods

Monday 21st
  • Back to London and a lovely relaxing day with BF
  • Finished the day at the pub for a drink and going to see Divergent at the cinema

20 Apr 2014

Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni

A recipe from Save with Jamie, who has helped us with a few tricks to lower food bills, includes the calories in the recipes AND has made me fall in love with frozen spinach.
Yep, frozen spinach, and this is coming from the girl who hates spinach.

We roasted a chicken a couple of nights ago and were deciding what to do with it - the standard roast is pretty unhealthy - and opted for one night of chicken salad and then we decided on this recipe to last us for a couple of nights.

Now as always my pictures are a little thin on the ground...but I did remember to take one of the leftovers (yeah, sounds nice right?)

This is what Jamie made it look like...you'll see mine later

Serves 6

1 onion
olive oil
500g frozen spinach
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp english mustard
200ml semi-skimmed milk
150g left over chicken
1/2 bunch fresh basil *
60g cheddar cheese
16 dried cannelloni tubes
1-2 pinch dried chilli
2 cans chopped tomatoes

* I ommited this, as it meant extra money spent and BF doesn't like herbs much

  • Preheat the oven to 180°F.
  • Peel and finely chop the onion and put it into a large saucepan on a medium heat with a small amount of olive oil - I sliced the onions rather than finely chopping, but it made the stuffing more difficult

  • Cook for 8 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly and adding a splash of water, if needed, then stir in the spinach.

  • Cook with a lid on for another 8 minutes to defrost, then stir in the flour and mustard.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes, or until you have a nice creamy green sauce.
  • Remove from the heat and season to perfection.
  • Finely chop and add the chicken and basil leaves (reserving the stalks), then grate in half the Cheddar and mix well.
  • A nice trick to get the filling into the cannelloni tubes easily is to transfer the mixture to a sandwich bag, snip off the corner and pipe the mixture into the tubes, or you can use a teaspoon, if you prefer - I tried using a tea spoon, but it was too big, I ended up using the smallest measuring spoon I had and my finger, burning them slightly!
  • Once filled, place the tubes in one layer in a baking dish (roughly 10 x 12 inches). Wipe the saucepan out and return it to a medium heat.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic and tender basil stalks, and put into the pan with a a bit of olive oil to get lightly golden.
  • Add the chili flakes, tip in the tomatoes and half a can’s worth of water, bring to a boil for a couple of minutes, then season to perfection and pour over the pasta.
  • Shake the dish to distribute the sauce evenly, grate over the remaining Cheddar, and bake at the bottom of the oven for around 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Left overs - one whole dish and 2 spare tubes

I had to split mine into 2 dishes (one with 10 tubes and one with 6) as I didn't have a dish big enough fot all 16 tubes.

Overall I really enjoyed the dish and I would definitely have it again (but maybe as a lasagne to avoid the cannelloni stuffing).

18 Apr 2014

Photo Friday #6

I love the look of my Personal Swift, which I've just moved into, when I open it!

And I like my little reminders to save, which are also reminders of LA and Vegas!

(Although I may have broken my no spending month by buying some stickers from Paperchase - but we're glossing over that, they only cost £1.)

17 Apr 2014

DIY Money Box

After Christmas we picked up some bargains in the form of containers of nibbles (Twiglets/Mini Cheddars)

I had already been thinking about turning the leftover container into a money box, as we have loose change everywhere and mugs full of coppers.
As we've just decided to go on holiday to LA and Las Vegas later this year, that was the push I needed!

Here's the finished article, and guess what...no glue!

I cut some scrap paper to the right high to match the container and wrapped it round.
I used some washi tape to seal the join and then, as it didn't quite reach the top and bottom or maybe my cutting wasn't quite straight. So I put a strip of washi around the top and bottom too.

Then I had to try and cut a slot in the top, which was not so successful.
It involved a wine bottle opener and some very bad attempts at cutting with scissors. It's a pretty shocking attempt, hence why there's no close up of the top! But it does the job even if you can only put in one coin at a time.

But now I can free up the mugs that were holding coins and put change straight in our holiday fund!

16 Apr 2014

Moving into my Personal Swift

So I've finally made the move into my new Personal Swift after getting it for my birthday.

I've basically kept everything the same for the moment, but I've taken out some stray bits of paper and other bits that were tucked in the pockets. Oh and the Swift has a notepad in the back which The Paperchase Planner did not!

Before the move...
The Paperchase Planner and Personal Swift together

The Swift all moved into

A peek inside

What I have realised is that the Swift has bigger rings...every planners dream!
And the pockets are much studier and deeper.
It doesn't lay flat yet, but as I have it open next to me on my desk everyday at work, we'll see if it gets there.

I'm enjoying it so far, we'll see how it carries on.

15 Apr 2014

Cath Kidston Sticky Notes

I got given some Cath Kidston stick notes for my birthday...they are amazingly pretty.
I love Cath Kidston stuff, as the patterns are so gorgeous and I'm a sucker for floral patterns!

I thought I'd show you some pictures, but as they're bigger than my Personal, I'm not sure how to fit them in...

And a larger one to see the detail

Aren't they lovely.
Too nice to use

14 Apr 2014

Weekend Round Up #5

Saturday 12th

  • Had a lazy day, popping to the shops for a few things and sorting a few things around the house

Sunday 13th

  • I enjoyed eating my porridge from the pan in the morning (it saves on washing up!)
  • We did buy a table tennis set and use our dining room table to play table tennis for a bit
  • We also booked hotels for our trip to Vegas - EXCITED!

11 Apr 2014

Photo Friday #5

I'm posting my favourite photo(s) of the week...which are technically not my photos, but ones I've been pinning this week!

It's a big birthday for BF later this year and we decided we should do a big trip for it.
We've decided on LA with a trip to Las Vegas in the middle.

Needless to say I am SUPER excited, I can barely contain myself.

Does anyone have any tips on where to go in LA/Vegas whilst we're there?

10 Apr 2014

My new Personal Swift

I finally got a chance to snap a few pics of my new Personal Swift that I got for my birthday.
I still haven't moved into it, too scared to start using it!

Here it is...(sorry, I don't think the pictures are great quality!)

Front Cover

 Back Cover

With the lovely Filofax 'F'

 Inside Cover - Front
I also got an extra set of diary inserts, I'm not 100% sure why and
I haven't busted them open yet to have a look

 Inside Cover - Front
As you can see it doesn't lay flat yet, but I'm hoping in time it will
I love the birdcage details in the front cover and I also love the colour of the dividers

 Inside Cover - Back
I love the note pad, it's not something the Paperchase planners have

Inside Cover - Back
No notepad

I need to move into it soon...all ready for Spring! 

8 Apr 2014

Day 4 - Day 7: 30 Day Challenge

I do keep finding myself behind on this, both with the instagram posts and the blog posts.
Although in my defence, I had a very busy 4 day (Birthday) weekend!

Day 4: No. 1

My first ever Filofax!

Day 5: Up Close and Personal

...with my plans for the day!

Day 6: Writing With

...many, many pens! I may need to work out a better system...

Day 7: List it

My reminder list in my planner for the #fflovephotoaday challenge!

Using my Filofax for Meal Planning

I'm technically still using my Paperchase planner at the moment, as oppose to my Filofax, as since I got the beauty last week for my birthday I haven't had time to set up and move in. It's also too pretty, and I'm scared to start using it!
But I did think that 'Using my planner for meal planning' didn't really work as a title...

Anyway, onto the main event!

I was thinking about getting some fancy inserts to use for this, but realised I'd never find something that worked perfectly for me, plus that meant shelling out more cash or having to grapple with printing my own inserts (and as I still don't have a personal hole punch, it's not a great option!)

I decided to use some note pages and stickies to make my own.
This means I can reuse the pages, and be flexible with the meals in the week, easily changing things around if I need to.

I chose to do them in two weekly blocks, as we originally thought that we'd be doing our online shops that regularly. In reality we haven't been doing them as we've been buying meat from the local butcher and fruit and veg at the market. So we only have a few extras to buy at the supermarket.

I also have a To Do list as a shopping list on the page after this to jot down anything extra we might need to pick up.

I track what meals we have in my daily pages in the diary as well, so I can always check back to see what we've eaten recently...and if we're eating out (Pizza Express above).

A really simple idea to keep track of meals, and the only cost is replacing the sticky notes!

7 Apr 2014

Weekend Round Up #4

I'm going to do a long weekend round up here, as I had Thursday and Friday off work for my birthday!

Thursday 3rd
My Birthday

Birthday Presents from BF, I'm so lucky!

Amazing Burger for dinner at TheMeatMarket in Covent Garden

Friday 4th

Birthday cake made by two of my friends...it's The Barricade from Les Mis!
(I am a HUGE Les Mis fan!)

Saturday 5th

Wedding no.2 of the year, one of my friends who I've know for 20 years!

Sunday 7th

Birthday present from my parents - my first real life Filofax!!
My Personal Swift

4 Apr 2014

Photo Friday #4

I decided on this photo earlier this week, mainly because it really meant to much to me.

Wednesday was my last day in the office before I had 2 days off for my birthday.
I off went to make a cup of tea and found this on my desk when I arrived back.
Having just moved teams, and only being part of this new team for a mere 2 days, I was overwhelmed and really touched that they did this for me.

3 Apr 2014

Day 3: 30 Day Challange

Day 3: On my Dashboard

I don't really have a dashboard, but as it's my birthday today
I've put a couple of my cards there to make me smile :)

Day 1 & Day 2: 30 Day Challenge

Day 1: I Heart

I heart my planner (I couldn't pick one single bit that I liked the most)
Sorry the picture is a bit blurry!

Day 2: Something Beginning With 'A'

A for April and Annual Leave as it's my birthday on 3rd!
(Both techincally the day after the 2nd, but hey!)