Clean Slate: Bullet Journalling likes and dislikes

health, Organising, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget, weight loss

January always feels like a clean slate. Maybe its that everything looks dead but there is lots of promise growing beneath the surface. We just need to patient and soon we will have spring, blossom and all its glory.

It has come around so quickly.

After The chaos of Christmas we naturally have a clean out, put all the decs away, fill the house with more candles and look sadly at the corner where the tree used to live.

January is full of plans and promises.

New years resolutions are generally held for the month, even if they disappear into the either after that. I like to sit down and start my new planner. Although I didn’t need any new pens I couldn’t resist my new Staedtler fine liners.

Is anything better than crossing off a list.

If you have completed a bullet journal and are onto the next then this is the most exciting part

So I thought I would share with you my pages I use and love and the ones I started but never looked back at.

Love:

Year at a glance, it’s a yearly calendar so you can see the dates, circle any birthdays or holiday you have booked. It easy

Bill tracker. Yes I could do this all on my phone looking at my accounts but when the bills get mixed up with payments I like to tick them off. It makes me happy and feels like I am doing something. Also it makes me aware of my budget for the month.

Order tracker. I use this at work. I have my orders I have to put through every month. This makes sure that I don’t order things twice. I have to go through different systems so this little tick method reminds me of all my suppliers as well as all

Blog tracker

Again this one is for work. It helps me know what I am writing, when what images we need. Although we love other peoples work and always credit it in our blogs we know how important it is to create our own images but it takes time. Lots of planning and then follow ups on our social media.

Monthly spread

Again this is me seeing my month at a glance. This is especially good for planning my weekends, birthdays and other event. I always write when I have a workshop planned, parties just everything. When my friends meet up for a meal every so often, I can tell them when I am free. I am more likely to put in in my Bullet journal then in my phone.

Savings

We all know ( I bore you enough) that I am saving for my wedding. This fills me with Joy, I am already halfway through my target and still have 8 months of savings to go- so I am going to do it.

14 day meal plan

Okay so Gav loved this one. After every evening meal I would ask him what he wanted and he would always say I don’t mind. I love to cook and Gav loves to order takeout. We are trying to be healthier so I tried something knew.  I wrote 14 meals which are generally our favorites. I wrote out what I needed in each meal and then combined it to make a super grocery list. There were enough ingredients to make 14 meals but we weren’t a slave to it.  Take out was also an option on it! So after dinner I would ask Gav to choose and if he couldn’t decide I asked him for a number and we chose it based on that.

No wasted food, no extra food to buy for.

Not used

I tried a reading tracker. I am a big reader I generally read a book a week (the benefits of commuting) So I wrote a list of books I wanted to read and ended up ignoring them all and just buying books on my phone whenever the next one ran out. I also tend to read more than one book at one. At the moment I have a thriller on my phone for commuting, an organizing one in my bag in case I get bored of the phone one. A book about the army, which I bought because I had to wait two hours for my phone battery to be replace and then a murder mystery which I forgot I started reading.

Netflix tracker

Hmmm really don’t need this. Lots of people love it I guess its just the pure joy of ticking something off. Again I have a bout 4 series on the go at once. Me and Gavin live different things so Lemony Snicket, Diablo and The Protector we will watch together but You, The Sinner and The Staircase he is not interested in. But Netflix stores all the info for me so I don’t worry about loosing my place.

Water Tracker

I am trying to be heathy and drink more water. Now putting on its own page doesn’t make me look at it but I do put a mini tracker at the bottom of each day I find a lot more useful.

Weight tracker

Oh shoot me. No I am only kidding. I have a weight loss app on my phone and as I have to log my food I didn’t end up redoing it. Also seeing a list I am not great at completing makes me reach for a donut and fold over the page. I didn’t like filling out this page at all but I don’t mind the clinical aspects of the app.

Mood tracker

Ha ha ha ha not going to even try. I am a Scorpio, enough said.

Conclusion

I think a clean slate is great. I think a simple bullet journal is better. This year is going to be jam packed enough without fancy pages and more trackers but I am generally happy with it.

Living with Dyspraxia

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning

Firstly, I didn’t know I was dyspraxic and mildly dyslexic until I was university, in my second year. It wasn’t a shock, it just made sense.

I had to do my research about what it meant and means. The truth was I was 21 and fully functioning. I chose an Art degree because I am a practical thinker and a problem solver and super creative. I was articulate enough that I never really struggled at school except when it came to essays.

I love to read and have always read a book a week. When it came to writing however it is sometimes like my brain is not connected to my pen. I would think something, write it out and assume it was fine. It rarely was and is.

My dissertation was written by me then read and rewritten by my best friend who then asked me to go over it again. If I had handed in my second draft, I would have failed my degree. Without her help I never would have been able to write something that my tutor said was one of the most interesting reads he had read in years.

I have always needed help

At college I had special help, where I sat in a room and read out my essays so I could see that they didn’t make sense. No one diagnosed my learning disability but everyone was aware I needed help. They said I was too passionate and my mind ran a mile a minute.

It is weird to say I have a learning difficulty because although I struggle there are harder things in life.

At school they just called me lazy… again I got the grades excelling in every oral exam, drama and art.

Mr French teacher said I chose to sit next to the smartest girl in the class so I could copy them, charming!

Most teachers liked me as I could discuss and talk about the subject, they knew I was intelligent. They were a bit confused when I handed in my homework but like I said, I got the grades. So, they never worried.

Writing, spelling and grammar

My spelling is shocking, my sentence structure is appalling Gavin says when I write something it sounds like English is my second language.

I struggle with spelling, learning how to spell a word always escaped me. But once I learn it, truly learn it then that’s it. I can’t unlearn it.

Ironically, I love to write I always have. Stories poetry it never held me back. I never thought I was dumb because it never affected my ability to learn I just get distracted easily, super easily.

I store random facts for years and year but struggle with a simple spelling of a word.

Living the dream

I am definitely a dreamer, a forgetful uncoordinated dreamer. I am a person who chases a million dreams and has a million ideas. They never get completed, or even started.

I know a lot of people have it a lot worse than me. But generally, when you are not good at something you are better at something else.

Living with Dys, is never generally an issue. Unless my poor spelling comes up at work or home. Or I get a messages asking what I meant, because nothing makes sense.

I don’t mind the teasing, I also don’t mind people correcting my spelling and grammar. I learn from it.I get frustrated with abbreviated words in text. they frustrate me because of the laziness but also I have to learn another code to understand them.

Planning

I was pulled aside by an old manager and told my organising skills were atrocious and he was right. I would focus and prioritise on what I wanted to do most, not was most important. He bought me a moleskin and fancy pen to inspire me. It was my first step in bullet journaling and he was right.

He said you need to find your own rules and way through this. a way for you to complete your own tasks in the right order. He was a great boss and I will never forget his advice.

Now I have a system. I put everything in my personal planner. I sometimes move this into my work notebook but i find it constrains me too much. it is to formal and I don’t like blank pages.

It works and makes me happy.

Planning makes me happy.

My dys is just a part of me.

Its why I am a dysfunctional Planner

Because I try.

 

 

Setting Goals: Happy new year

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Wedding, Wedding Budget, weight loss

I am not a fan on overpriced New Year’s Eve parties. I feel they are a waste of money and energy! You can enjoy the same evening on a normal Saturday night out!But I don’t mind a house party or a  nice meal with friends. I have had some great New Years.

Two Hogmanay’s in Edinburgh

A pie fight at a Bugsy Malone party

A meal with friends and cocktails

And then one New Year’s Eve where we had a bottle of champagne and played computer games all night.

Other than that, can’t say I have had many great ones. Like Christmas I think that it is all about family. About sharing a kiss with your loved one, Jools Holland on the tv and a big smile on your face.

Also I love my bed! If I can spend New Year in my bed with food and booze and fur babies then I am a happy girl. Sadly, my other half is very outgoing so we take it in turns.

One new year my choice, one his.

Generally, it’s like most things, a big pressure to do something to talk about. I have never been a fan of any of that. I hope I have never been or never will be, a show off. Although rooftop parties in New York look amazing I would love to experience that, I am not someone who feels left out if I choose not to go.

New Years is just a big rip off

Tickets to your local pub! Drinks doubled in price, Leery men hoping to scoop up the single girls at the end of the night. (This was my late teens clubbing in Camberley and Fleet).

This year I get 4 glorious days off.

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday…. Pure heaven.

I can’t wait. We have some tidying to do which Mrs Hinch and her Minky have prepared me for. Some wedding planning (although that may be on hold till after the break.

But a break nether the less!

Exploring and Travel

I also am not the biggest fan of setting New year’s resolutions. except this year we actually have a goal to work towards… the wedding. Planning this year is key and we are so excited. My brother called me asking me to join him and dad on a road trip to our house in France. We are taking a van and picking up some bits before Mum sells the house. This also means that we can buy some French bits for the wedding which I am so excited about. Gav may kill me.

 

Travel Plans this year:

  • Bulgaria
  • Road trip to Jarnac
  • Madrid
  • Munich

My Goals

Well I have been good at maintaining my weight but I haven’t lost any more so I still have a stone to lose and when my ankle heals, I am going to start running again. Get my whole body toned and back into shape.

Skin care

Well I have already started this journey so it is time to get back into the habits and truly look after my skin. This means from the inside out so I will be drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruit and its bye, bye to chocolate as this makes me break out. I just need a new serum (praying Elizabeth Arden goes in the sale)

I still need to find a beautician and book my bridesmaids there’s. I am leaving up to them if they want it done. Hair and makeup.

Hair

Well I got all my grey hairs coloured and covered and Gav wasn’t impressed with my blond skunk streaks as they are fairly bold. Now I am thinking of going a bit warmer and red. Not Bright Aerial red just a dark Auburn which is closer to my natural colour. I am growing it as long as it wants to grow and thinking of having it half up and down.

Still need to book a hairdresser for the wedding which is super stressful as I have never ever found someone who is good with curls. I get hairdressers who cut my hair really well but I leave with my hair frizzy and fly away.

Saving

No one likes to talk about money but weddings are expensive and we all know that. I am saving money on flowers, ceremony and booze but our venue is ridiculously  expensive.And its our dream to get married there. It will be totally worth it.  I have less then half my time and less then half the budget to save for. I have been working really hard to scrimp and save. Turning down nights out because of fares and expenses without neglecting my friends too much. Working overtime and extra Saturdays are making a difference to my saving now.

Makes: Getting Crafty

I have a lot of things to make. Napkins to dye, table clothes to hem. Photobooths to build and paint, and invites to cut up. The list is pretty impressive. We have a lot of details to finalise. And in a few months’ time I have to book the civil wedding.

I am hoping to make the majority of items before June so that I can fix any issues if any arrive. And not get too bogged down by it all.

Writing that list makes me a wee bit sick.

We are getting married in 8 months

8

Ocho

Cannot believe it and I cannot wait.

I almost wish I had another year to plan and make.

But I don’t.

Christmas Panic Consumerism: None of it matters

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning

It’s Friday 21st December

Christmas Day is in 5 days. If you are working right up until Christmas you may not have as much time as you think. Online shopping is now not reliable not even Amazon Prime delivers the next day anymore ( it sometimes does, but sometimes isn’t reliable). It is time to hit the shops on foot. Until that item is in your hands then you can’t guarantee it will be sitting under the tree.

Don’t let the panic set in!

Let’s be honest it is not the end of the world if the kids/ family/ cat doesn’t receive what they wanted on Christmas day.

Will there be tears and tantrums, maybe but probably not. Not getting a gift isn’t devastating or traumatic. Drama first thing in the morning is soon forgotten by lunchtime. Christmas is not about getting the biggest gift we know that. It is easy to get swept away in the Guardian top 10 of presents. Christmas is about friends and family and that is the most important part. It is time to really appreciate Christmas and what it is actually about and that will be you and who you are to them. The person running around like a headless chicken trying to give a wonderful day has tried! So let them enjoy it with you. Teaching your family patience and to be grateful is the best gift you ever give someone.

We have all lost someone and would give up every gift in the world to have them for just one more day, one more conversation.

My Nephew has asked for Venom Costume for Christmas. My sister is going crazy trying to find one. He declared the other day that it is alright she didn’t need to worry that Santa was going to get it for him. My sister is still in a panic but knows that Sebastien will understand that Santa may not be able to deliver that item just as mummy struggled to do. We will get over it and quickly. Kids are resilient. They are on to the next fad, costume or toy in a blink of an eye. And learning that you can’t always get what you want from an early age is a good lesson.

I have lost a fair few people over the years

But it is my uncle who I miss every year. We are family who just loved the meal, the turkey sandwiches, my brother loosing at Trivial Pursuits to his inferior sister ( thats me). We celebrated our Christmas’s in Jersey, France, Germany Scotland and all over England from North Yorkshire to Hampshire.

If we have to travel to be together then we will do it.

I don’t get to spend time with my family at Christmas as we live so far apart. So don’t even try to tell me that not receiving a gift is important. It’s not.

Love is

Family is.

Friends are.

So before you email or call a place of business to complain about a late shipment remember a few things.

  • It was never devastating, dramatic or upsetting not to receive a gift.
  • You obviously left it too late…. did you forget it gets busy at Christmas and parcels get lost and damaged all the time! Postal systems go crazy this time of year, did you forget that?
  • The person at the end of the phone is not responsible for your parcel they just represent the company they work for.

So I truly hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with laughter love and Joy. I hope you squeeze your loved ones a bit tighter this Christmas, look them in the eye and tell them how much you appreciate them!

and if your parcels don’t arrive on time…..

…….. well, its not really the end of the world, is it?

Giving up Pinterest

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

There comes a time in every brides life when they have to stop looking on Pinterest and giving it up completely.

I love wedding blogs I read them on my lunch breaks, bus ride home. Commuting means a few minutes of wedding planning a day. I read them mainly for advice from real brides rather than companies repeating generic shit.

Pinterest crazy

I had about four wedding boards filled with completely different weddings including Harry Potter wedding, a zombie wedding, if I had all the money in the world wedding and the dream wedding! I loved them I poured my hopes and dreams into them. Then a few years ago when I thought that it was never going to happen I deleted them.

I felt like they were mocking me.

Perfect brides with happy faces.

Gone.

Now that I am engaged and am much happier I started my boards again.

I still have a few boards but I have had to cut them down and now I have to stop looking.

A great source

In the first few months I started lovingly filling my boards. The wedding dress was the most stressful, as I said the prices of my perfect dress where way out of my budget.

But the worse thing was the excess! Do I need milk jugs filled with flowers?

Um no, I am not milkmade and sadly was not brought up on a farm. Don’t get me started on Prosecco walls ( it’s called a waiter!!!) donut walls etc etc.

Looking at peoples weddings is great but you don’t need anything that isn’t perfect for you.

You don’t need it!

I don’t need it!

Too many ideas and no clean message!

Pinterest is a great dream to escape into

I still have a private board for my final thoughts but now I don’t go searching for ideas.

Me and Gavin are getting married even without all fluff and stuff!

No this blog shouldn’t contradict with the details blog because that is all about personal things to us!

Have what you want at your wedding. if you need acrylic table plans and hand calligraphered quartz name tags and it’s in your budget then go for it.

Just don’t do it because it’s a trend on Pinterest!

Downside of Pinterest

There is a downside to inspiration and that is achieving the same results within your budget. I have heard of brides you have spent 20k on an Instagram worthy wedding for 40 people!

Great if that’s what she wants! But it’s such a lot of money for one day!

The other downside is people not linking there photos to original sources!

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I have no idea what brand these shoes are. If you know please let me know!

For example I love these shoes!

Can’t find where they are from!

If you know please tell me, I have tried googling, eBay but I don’t know what brand or what country they are from.

I love them but I may never find them.

Pinterest is a great place for dreaming but you don’t need to get bogged down by it, or hyped up by it!

For me it is time to give up Pinterest! I don’t need any more ideas in my head!

Achieve what you want within your budget and time limit!

Enjoy

Bulgaria travel: Snowboarding plans for next year

Planning, Travel, Wedding Budget

With all the wedding planning and budgeting, I didn’t think I could squeeze in a ski trip this year. It’s our 10 year anniversary so Gavin is treating me to a week snowboarding in Bulgaria.

I have never been to Bulgaria.

I can’t wait.

Planning the Snow Trip

When our snowboarding group started to talk about where we wanted to go I knew that the Alps were far out of my budget. I turned down the holiday and then they started looking further afield. I am not a great snowboarder but I have been doing it for long enough that I am confident on most slopes and situations. Unless we are talking about a sheet of ice I can pretty much tackle any slope. Just really really slowly.

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Photo by Borislav Krustev on Pexels.com

Bulgaria is cheap, super cheap. We are talking half the price of the French Alps in a hotel as well. We normally rough it in a french Hostel and so far I haven’t missed any luxuries. After 10 years of UCPA’s  its a hotel for us this time. The price tag is also great!

We are planning on renting a Chalet at some stage as most of us have our own equipment. We had a chalet in Samoens 4 years ago and it was so beautiful. I still have the same jacket I bought at the start of my Snowboarding life. I invested in a good coat and its only now that there is a bit of wear and tear in it. I also have amazing armour after I broke my wrist on the flattest slope on Samoens!

Borovets Ski Resort

The Apres ski is supposed to be amazing which I didn’t expect. The town has enough entertainment for us with restaurants and bars. The actual slopes are supposed to be great nothing too challenging so I will hopefully get a few more red slops under my belt. the only downside it the chairlifts as that is what they mostly are. My favourite thing to do each holiday is to board from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Then I reward myself with a nice vine chaud or Peche beer.

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I will pay for lessons for the first day to act as a warm-up plus it will just be me and my cousin in the glass. we will have some constructive tuition and then join the others on the rest of the holiday.

We are spending our evenings planning routes and looking on tripadvisor for restaurant recommendations. We like to slip out one night and just spend the evening alone. I really looking forward to not spending 40 euros on 4 bottles of beer! The pricing all over Borovets seems amazing value for money.

Living in London means I am used to spending £4-5 on a beer and £10 on a gin and tonic. With wedding planning and budgets I have been limiting my nights out but I still budget for a few.

Otherwise, what’s the point.

I am looking forward to dressing in cosy knits and sampling the sumptuous Bulgarian cuisine. I have already my guidebook as I like to be informed.

If you have been to Borovets Ski resort and have any advice let me know!

France, Mum, Food and Wedding Talk

Flowers, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Wedding

My mum is my biggest cheerleader. She is impressed by pretty much everything I do which is great and much needed when you are feeling blue. France is one of my homes, her home. An army brat learns to make a home where ever they can!

This little blog is just about me and my mum, France, food and a bit of wedding talk. Hope you enjoy!

Lazy me

When I get to Jarnac I turn into loungy French me. I swan around the house drinking Kronenburg, nibbling of french bread and Port Salut. I am happy as Larry coming back home to France.

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We normally don’t stray to far from Jarnac as my breaks to see my mum are all about relaxation and family not travelling frantically about. We normally end up on the veranda, have big life talks or curled up at night on the sofa chatting nonsense.

Until my parents moved to France I didn’t think of it as a holiday destination which is crazy. I think for couples France is so romantic, chateaus, champagne and amazing food. France doesn’t have to cost a fortune and from Britain it is just a short flight.

Most people tend to go straight to Paris, the French Alps or the south of France and they miss out on all the beautiful cities and towns in between. If you want a relaxing, meandering, brocante filled long weekend then visit France.

I spent a long time on the lawn sipping passion fruit gin and tonics going through my mums floristry books. It so peaceful and beautiful.

All the weight gaining alcohol

This trip was a lovely lazy trip. We went to a vineyard and picked up Cognac Champagne which if you are ever in the area you must try. It is delicious and very rare even in the area. I bought all their stock they had left which was two bottles!

Yum.

My mother is kindly supplying our toasting Champagne from a local vineyard and we cant wait. It is light and not bitter at all, we had it at my brothers wedding in proper champagne glasses ( which I wont be having: tiniest gripe).

All the yummy food

Mum has been learning more french recipes and Eggs Mimosa  is definitely my new favourite. This was one of the best lunches of all time, light and refreshing and enough left overs that I could have it for tea the next day.

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We went to a few restaurants and had amazing steak at both! our aperitif was a lovely Cognac Schweppes.

Although my mum is a wee bit stressed about making my bouquet everything else she is really relaxed about. She cant wait. We had a slightly stressful conversation about the legal part of our ceremony which I am still annoyed about. Annoyed that I have a legal ceremony not the fact that she was talking about it.

It has kind of grown from two people to immediate family but hey, thats okay. It just means our super fancy meal at the Holborn Dining rooms will be at a great affordable London Pub instead.

My sister referenced Kate Winslet’s wedding and I said yes, just like that! Well we all know I love Marianne in Sense and Sensibility!

We also talked about Videographer’s and prices and my brother suggested that I stop focusing on creating these magical Youtube moments and just pay someone to capture the whole day. I think he was right and me and Gav discussed it and we are now just looking for someone to capture our day.

Nothing Fancy

Just withing our budget.

And that’s what I need to focus on. Not creating a stupid Pinterest wedding I need to create a beautiful wedding for me and Gav. A moment in time when our friends and family can drink and be merry.

That’s what we are focusing on, oh and our budget.

At this moment in time I would like to be under our budget not over it!

when I left France and my mum is was so hard. I had to say goodbye to so many of my family in such a short time. My mum is coming over to help with the invites and wedding planning but that’s not till the new year.

Till then it will just be Skype!

Bon voyage mon ami!