A-Z of Family

I had a bit of bloggers block when it came to writing today’s post for some reason but after having a bit of time out with a cup of tea and playing with the kids, a little light-bulb came on after the kids where arguing (for a change) over the alphabet (as you do) and so today’s post came to be – an A-Z of my family.img_1059

A is for Anya. Anya is my youngest. She is clever, talkative, outgoing and a complete diva. She wants to be both a princess and a superhero and loves both equally.

B is for Baking. We love baking cakes and buns and gingerbread and, well just about anything. We usually bake at least once a month if not more and although my diet doesn’t appreciate it, my OH’s work colleagues usually do.

C is for Corey. Corey is my only boy and my middle child. He’s clever and extremely articulate and will go into great detail about the smallest of things. He’s also the total opposite of Anya in that he’s quite an introverted and sensitive soul. He currently wants to be a dinosaur and loves anything Batman related (I blame his Dad completely).

D is for Dyspraxia. My OH was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia about 3 years ago, and at the time we were advised to watch for signs in our children too, although as yet nothing is too obvious in either of them.

E is for Elves. Every year since Corey was born we have some magic elves that come and live with us during December. They can be a little mischievous but generally mean well.

F is for Finnish Spitz. We used to own a Finnish Spitz called Rylee but sadly he had to be put to sleep in 2015.

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G is for Girl Power! Unfortunately for my OH and Corey, the girls outnumber the boys in our house 5-1 (if you include the rabbits!).

H is for Hilarious. My kids regularly come out stuff that have us in hysterics, so much so that we have considered getting them their own reality TV show.

I is for Ice-Cream. Almost every meal is followed by a request for ice-cream, especially by Corey; Anya prefers yogurt.

J is for Jigsaws. You can’t beat a good jigsaw; the kids love them although Anya prefers taking them apart over putting them together.

K is for Ker-Plunk. This is the one game in the house that the kids love and Mum and Dad hate, mainly due to the amount of time is takes to put it together.

L is for Lucky. I sometimes look at my family and feel like the luckiest person in the world.

M is for Mummy. This is my current job and my most demanding but I wouldn’t swap it for anything (although a spa weekend would be considered some days).

N is for No Fear. Unlike Corey and Olivia, Anya appears to be completely fearless. In the past couple of months alone she has made friends with a snake and decided she wants a horse after she got to sit on one of my friends.

O is for Olivia. Olivia is my eldest daughter and is currently at University. She has turned into a lovely young lady and I’m extremely proud of her.

P is for Punta Prima, Menorca. This is where we had our first holiday abroad last year with our youngest two and they loved it.

Q is for Questions. Constant questions are part and parcel of my day as a Mum. Some are pretty standard (mum, can I have …?), some are strange (mum, do rabbits eat carrot cake), and some I am unable to answer either because I can’t stop laughing at the question or I just don’t have the answer.

R is for Rabbits. We currently have two, Nibbles and Poppy.

S is for Swimming. Both Corey and Anya started swimming classes when they were only a couple of months old and they love it.

T is for Tantrums. We have our fair share of these and they are usually over something very bizarre such as not being allowed to go shopping wearing slippers, or not being able to eat the stalk of an apple before school.

U is for USA. I love America have only managed to get their twice. Our dream family holiday would be DisneyWorld, Florida and the surrounding theme parks. It’s on our family bucket list.

V is for Vodka. I’m pretty sure this stuff was invented specifically for mum (and dads) so they can recover from ‘one of those days’.

W is for Why? Again, questions. This is one questions that drives me completely insane on a regular basis as we generally just go around in circles. I truly do feel sorry for my mum now considering this was my question of choice when I was young too.

X is for X-Rays. I still have copies of Olivia’s x-rays from when she was 11 and managed to break both her wrists whilst on holiday in Cornwall with her best friend. It’s safe to say she doesn’t do things by halves.

Y is for Yorkshire. We’re all Yorkshire born and bred.

Z is for Zoos. We love a good day out at the zoo looking at all the animals.

Until next time

Debbie x

My Favourite Inspirational Quotes

Everyone loves a good quote, even one that has been misquoted or mis-attributed. Today the Planner Girls Collective will be taking a look at some of our favourite inspirational quotes/sayings and how we use them on a daily basis.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are ten of my favourite inspirational quotes. Check out my Pinterest board for more.

  1. No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. Be yourself; everyone else is taken – Oscar Wilde
  3. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work – Thomas Edison
  4. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw
  5. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! – Audrey Hepburn
  6. Whatever you are, be a good one – Abraham Lincoln
  7. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  8. Be the change that you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Ghandi
  9. Believe you can and you’re halfway there – Theodore Roosevelt
  10. Just do what works for you, because there will always be someone who thinks differently – Michelle Obama

As for using the quotes, the possibilities are endless, especially when it comes to planners.

I have made them into stickers to use in my planners, I have made dashboards with them, I have used them as decoration. Here are a selection of photos showing my uses.

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Also, don’t forget to check out the other awesome ladies from the collective via links below.

Until next time

Debbie x

My 2017 Reading Challenge

In 2016 I decided to make a concerted effort to read more, I mean it’s something that I love doing so why not. I scoured the internet for reading challenges and found that they all seemed a little too ambitious for me at that time so I set myself a target of reading 25 books.

However, the challenges I’d seen kept popping up and since I also wanted to try and get myself out of reading the same types of books so I set myself my own little challenge to try and broaden my reading experience.

I’m pleased to say to say that I exceeded my total book target by reading 29 books in the year, however my additional challenge fell a little flat (I managed 11 out of 25) so I have decided to try again this year. I have updated my list slightly and added a few more since I want to try and read 50 books this year. I haven’t decided what books I’m going to read for each category yet, and to be honest some might not be filled in until I come across a book that appeals but nevertheless I am going to try my hardest to complete my own little challenge this year.

For those of you who are interested, here is my 2017 challenge which I will be attempting alongside my book target of 50 books.

  1. A ‘classic’ book
  2. A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read
  3. A book about an interesting woman
  4. A book based on a true story
  5. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
  6. A book by an author you love
  7. A book by someone who shares your first name
  8. A book from a charity shop
  9. A book from a nonhuman perspective
  10. A book in a genre you don’t usually choose
  11. A book involving a mythical creature
  12. A book of historical fiction
  13. A book on spirituality
  14. A book recommended by a friend
  15. A book set in Europe
  16. A book set in the future
  17. A book set in the wilderness
  18. A book set in two different time periods
  19. A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017
  20. A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long
  21. A book that’s published in 2017
  22. A book where you learn something new
  23. A book with a cat on the cover
  24. A book with a colour in the title
  25. A book with a female lead/heroine
  26. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
  27. A book with a one word title
  28. A book with a red spine
  29. A book with multiple authors
  30. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
  31. A book you loved as a child
  32. A book you started but never finished
  33. A book you’ve always wanted to read
  34. A non-fiction book you own but have never read
  35. A novel set during wartime
  36. An autobiography
  37. An espionage thriller
  38. An inspirational book
  39. The first book in a series you haven’t read before

Have you set yourself a reading target? How many books are you aiming for? Do you participate in any reading challenges and if so, which ones?

Until next time

Debbie x

Time To Get Organised – My GTD Implementation

I’ve been a fan of David Allen’s methodology for years having come across his book Getting Things Done back when I was working full time in a busy office as an office manager in an engineering consultancy. My work there saw me juggling many different hats and using GTD helped me get them all under control and made sure that I hardly ever missed a deadline both at home and at work

However, just over 5 years ago I gave up work to become a full time mum and my execution of the methodology slipped (as can be expected when you’re juggling motherhood on 2 hours sleep).

Anyway, fast forward to last year and I began to see references to David Allen and GTD popping up all over the place so I decided now was the time to give it another try, especially since I want to make some pretty big changes in my life over the next few months.

Before Christmas, I pulled out the book and started to re-read it and it all started flooding back, however this time it just didn’t really gel with me. Maybe it was the fact that I kept relating it back to the corporate world, or maybe just the fact that it seemed to be like I would have to find a block of time to incorporate the changes (which is something that it in very short supply in a busy household). Reluctantly I put the book down and vowed to find a system that would work for me.

I googled the heck out of it and during that time I came across April Perry and The Power of Moms program and I realised that I was going about it the wrong way. Instead of trying to make my life fit the structure of the standard GTD set up in the book, I should be trying to transfer the methodology to fit my life. And there it was, my lightbulb moment!

I found my old GTD notes and set up guides and spent a little time brainstorming my possibilities. David Allen suggests you block out between 2 and 6 hours to set up the space and tools that you need to fully implement GTD (yeah right, I struggle to find time to go to the toilet most days when the kids are around). However, this time I was determined and convinced my OH that he really could do with spending some quality time with the kids on Saturday as he’s missed out recently due to working overtime nearly every night for a month and suggested that maybe he could take them to the local soft play while I worked on my new set up.

I decided that whatever I couldn’t get set up during this time would go on to my to-do list for the following day and I would aim to spend at least an hour a day working on my implementation, even if I had to set my alarm so I was up before the kids (no mean feat believe me as they are early risers, but I was determined!)

I’ve been spending an hour or so a night this week after the kids had gone to bed making space for my office setup so I had a clean start for Saturday. Fortunately, I’m a big stationery addict and had most of the things I needed for the perfect setup.

One thing I would like to point out is that although GTD is marketed as a business book, the principles within it can be applied just as easily to your home, after all we all want to manage our time better and be more efficient. At the end of the day, the principles taught by David Allen are all about getting a mind like water and actually being in control of all our thoughts, actions and projects, rather than them controlling us.

Over the next few weeks I hope to walk you through how I have implemented GTD for my own personal circumstances. I’m aware that this isn’t the traditional setup from the book but it’s what works for me and my family.

Next week I will talk you though my desk/workspace set up and the beginning of the collection phase.

Until next time

Debbie x

Third Time’s A Charm!

Every January I promise myself that by the end of November I will have decluttered and organised the entire house, needless to say most of the time I fail miserably as the amount of clutter than comes into the house generally outweighs the amount of stuff people are prepared to part with, such is life with a husband, a teenager and two small monsters.

In 2015 I came across the Nourishing Minimalism challenge of parting with 2015 items during the year and although I managed to part with quite a lot of junk I fell very short of the 2015 items expected of me.  Not prepared to admit it was impossible (as my OH kept telling me) I attempted the same challenge in 2016 (adding an extra item to my list), however by this time I had also begun reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

For those of you not familiar with the book, where have you been! Seriously though, Ms Kondo has developed a bit of a cult following with organising junkies everywhere testing out her method. Now it’s not for everyone and I admit to being a little sceptical at first with some of her processes (touching everything to see if it ‘sparks joy’) but nevertheless I decided I had nothing to lose made plans to get started on my life changing KonMari journey.

I found a Facebook group that were making the decluttering process a challenge while offering support. They broke down the categories over a 26 week period and aimed to work on one area each week until they were all completed approximately 6 months later.

I wrote out the checklist in my bullet journal and began to put together my vision statement. All was going well, and then it wasn’t so I waited it out and began the challenge again at the end of the 26 weeks for the second time around. This time I completed it, or so I thought.

I worked through all the categories and parted with just over 2016 items, I also made some extra cash in the process. However, my house still doesn’t spark joy so I think I may have gone wrong somewhere so I have decided to try for a third time to see if I can get my house in order once and for all but this time I will be working at my own pace as I’m hoping to complete it in less than 6 months. I will also be participating in the Nourishing Minimalism challenge again this year I like to see how much you have actually got rid of throughout the year.

I will be documenting my journey over the coming weeks and hopefully by the end of it I will be able to see a difference.

Until next time

Debbie x

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Birthday Questions

Every year since his 3rd birthday we have asked Corey the same questions on his birthday and this year was no different, apart from the fact I was a day late!

Last week Corey turned 5 and in keeping with tradition we asked him the questions – here are the questions and his responses.

  1. What is your favourite colour?

Blue

  1. What is your favourite toy?

Imaginext toys

  1. What is your favourite fruit?

Apples

  1. What is your favourite TV show?

Team Umizoomi

  1. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

McDonalds

  1. What is your favourite outfit?

Batman stuff

  1. What is your favourite game?

Lego Batman on the computer

  1. What is your favourite snack?

Buns

  1. What is your favourite animal?

Seal

  1. What is your favourite song?

Don’t know

  1. What is your favourite book?

All of the ones in my middle drawer

  1. Who is your best friend?

Alfie

  1. What is your favourite cereal?

Coco Pops

  1. What is your favourite thing to do outside?

Play on climbing frame

  1. What is your favourite drink?

Fizzy Vimto

  1. What is your favourite holiday?

Menorca

  1. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

My teddies

  1. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

Cereal

  1. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?

Birthday cake

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A dinosaur!

Until next time

Debbie x

2016 Planner Review/2017 Planner Setup

Welcome to the first Planner Girls Collective (formerly Confessions of a Plannerholic) post of 2017. This week’s post is all about reviewing our planners for 2016 (what worked, what didn’t) as well as looking forward to 2017.

At the beginning of last year I was happily planning away in my square moleskine notebook, which I was using as a bullet journal. This worked really well for me until around August when the school holidays found me completely losing my planning mojo and to be honest, despite several different bullet journal setups , I never really found it again.

What I did find though while reviewing my options was the world of Traveller’s Notebooks/Fauxdori’s and became a little obsessed (I now own 5 in various materials, sizes etc) and have decided that this will be the way forward for me in 2017.

I love the flexibility of the Travellers Notebooks as you can add and remove the inserts to suit your needs at any given time.

My set up is still a bit of a work in progress but here’s what I’m using at the minute. I have decided to stick with bullet journalling and am currently using my new Uglydori from the fabulous Michelle Mills (and Trevor) over at UglyBugPlans.

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Inside I have 3 large squared moleskine cahier notebooks which make up my bullet journal – one is for my overall monthly/weekly/daily planning, one contains short term collections (next 12 months goals/projects) and one for longer term collections (projects/goals likely to take longer than 12 months) . I know this isn’t the conventional way to bullet journal, but one of the things that deterred me previously was having to transfer collections every time I finished a notebook.

I also have a week on one page with notes from Travelers Times which I think will be used as an on the go blog planner (although I’m still playing with this setup).

In addition to my Uglydori I am also using a 5-year memory book, my Attitude of Gratitude Daily Journal and my Weekly Reflections Journal, all of which were Christmas gifts from my family (they know me so well!)

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I will be trialling this set up throughout January and will let you know how I get on and what changes, if any, have been made.

I’m still working on what other planners/notebooks I will be using but I’m pretty sure there will be some additional of memory keeping in there as well as some creative notebooks, all will be revealed when I’ve made my mind up!

Don’t forget to check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs via links below and see what changes they have made from last year’s set ups.

Make sure you don’t miss any instalments from the Planner Girls Collective by joining our Facebook Group

Debbie x

Blog Schedule

I’ve been a bit of a busy bee today, I mean three posts in one day is almost unheard of but I thought that while I have the time to spare I would spend a bit of time trying to get myself in front as far as my blog is concerned because, as I mentioned previously over the past few months I’ve kind of let my blog slip and haven’t really been posting.

I’m hoping that now we are getting back in to a routine at home with the kids are school etc I will be able to spend a little bit more time on my blog and with that in mind I decided to put together a blog schedule to help with things and also in an attempt to hold myself accountable.

My overall goal is to post on a daily basis but at the minute I’d be happy with at least three posts a week until I get myself into the swing of things. However in order to avoid posting on one particular subject every day for a week I have devised a bit of a timetable to maintain some variety to my posts.

After some deliberation I have decided on the following schedule, however it may be subject to change depending on how things go.

Monday – Planner Girls Collective formerly know as Confessions of a Plannerholic
These will be predominantly planner/stationery related, however there may be a few surprises in there too.

Tuesday – Family Life, Parenting and Relationships
This could be anything from craft activities with the kids to family days out to date night ideas.

Wednesday – Home and Lifestyle
This could be anything from room redecoration to cleaning tips and anything in between. I have a lot of projects/ideas I want to try and finish this year and will also be looking for ways to make money in order to reach these goals.

Thursday – Stationery, Planners, Productivity and Organisation
I could be covering anything from reviews and set ups to unboxings and my latest hauls. I will also be covering my journey to increase my productivity by following David Allen’s Getting Things Done.

Friday – Anything Goes
Fridays will cover anything that doesn’t quite fit with my other days really so could be anything from book reviews to fashion, personal development to health and fitness and everything in between, basically whatever takes my fancy.

Saturday – Goal Updates
Anything related to my goals such as my weight loss, project zero etc. I will be aiming to cover a different subject each week.

Sunday – Weekly Roundup/Reviews
My aim on a Sunday is to post a weekly roundup of things I’ve been loving over the course of the week. This could be blog posts, Instagram photos, TV programs, You Tube videos etc.

The plan is to start working from this schedule on Monday with my first post for the Planner Girls Collective and then we’ll just have to see how it goes from there.

Personally, I can’t decide if I’ve been a little bit over ambitious but as the saying goes ‘Go Big or Go Home!’

What do you think of my schedule? Is there anything you’d like to see discussed? Feel free to drop me a comment with your thoughts.

Until next time

Debbie x

My New Planner Baby

In my earlier post I mentioned about perusing Etsy prior to Christmas in order to spend some of my Christmas money, which I did on a subscription box from Ugly Bug Plans. I also purchased one of the gorgeous leather Uglydori Travellers Notebooks.

I had been coveting them up since their launch in October of last year but for one reason or another the time just wasn’t right, until now.

I spent a good hour or so considering the size and colours I wanted but finally decided on a regular in First Kiss (purple) on the outside and Skyscraper (grey) on the inside. I also choose grey elastics and stitching.

She arrived on Wednesday with my subscription box and I immediately fell in love. The smell of the leather, the feel of the leather, the colours, the workmanship – everything is amazing.

I haven’t really had much time to get her fully set up yet but I’m happy to share some photos of her in all her naked loveliness.

Once I have finalised my set up and added all my notebooks I’ll be back with a detailed set up post.

I’m now eagerly anticipating the shop relaunch on Monday at 9am as Michelle has been teasing everyone with some new products and four variations of the Uglydori. I might be tempted to place another order in time for my birthday!

If you want to have a look for yourselves then pop over to the shop in the morning.

Debbie x

 

Ugly Bug Plans Subscription Box

Before Christmas I made the decision to spend some of my anticipated Christmas money on some new stationery/planner bits for delivery in the New Year in order to help overcome the usual slump that happens when everything finally gets back to normal.

After browsing Etsy for what seemed like forever I finally decided to purchase the January subscription box from Ugly Bug Plans which arrived on Wednesday.

This is the third box I’ve had from Michelle and again I wasn’t disappointed. The theme for the January box was Shine Like a Diamond and I love it.

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Inside the box there was some lovely purple gem themed washi tape, a rose gold gem pen (which I’ve already had to fight my eldest daughter for), some gem sticky notes, a motivational planner charm and four sheets of planner stickers with an Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Audrey Hepburn look/feel to them.
Michelle is currently running a giveaway to win one of her boxes and you can find out more about it here and if you want to see for yourself what else she has to offer, check out her shop, Ugly Bug Plans, over on Etsy.
Debbie x