Monthly Archives: July 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

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I read alot of different blogs and just yesterday I am came across this post on Sweet Vintage Kisses :-

http://sweetxvintagexkisses.blogspot.com/2011/07/30-day-blog-challenge.html

it is a 30 Day Blog Challenge and it really appealed to me and so I thought I would start it from tomorrow!  I will try and blog every day but if life gets in the way and I miss a day or two, please don’t give up on me!  I like challenges and this sounded  a really interesting one!

So here goes!  For the next 30 Days this is what will be blogged!

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.
Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date.
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.
Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.
Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.
Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently. A letter to someone who broke my heart.
Day 23 – 15 facts about you.
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – What’s in your purse?
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 27 – A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Day 28 – Your favorite movie.
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of youself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Day 1 post!

Filofax Lightbulb Moment!

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That is a really odd title and I agree, however it is not without reason!

I have like most been really struggling with diary layouts for my Filofax and also my purse!

Recently I started using my Pocket Malden as my purse and it seemed to be working well, until I realised the weight of carrying both my personal and pocket Malden’s as well as everything else is just nuts and really taking it’s toll on my shoulders and back!  I needed to find a way to reduce the weight, but still be able to have it all with me!

Ping ‘lightbulb’ moment!  Why not make my Personal Malden my purse as well as my diary!  Of course!

But before I get into my current setup lets just recap what I have tried in 2011!  Beware this is picture heavy!

The year started with the lovely Day timer Flavia range in Page per Day!  As wonderful as they are to look at, practically they just weren’t doing the job, as much as I tried, and I sure tried!  I missed not seeing my weekly view and the spaces just weren’t big enough to record everything I wanted!

To overcome the not being able to see my weeks, I added :

Cream week on one page view!  LOVE the paper quality however after just a week or so of using it, I HATED the 5 languages!  Do I care what Monday is in anything other than English?   No I don’t!  It really bugs me that Filofax UK won’t do this paper colour and layout in English only!  So after a few weeks that got scrapped!

 Onto something new, but what?

Week on one page with a to do list between each week!  Great I thought, can see my week and have my to do’s for the week right to hand!  Heaven, I thought I have finally found the layout that works!  Or have I?  Surely it can’t be that easy?  Well of course it isn’t!

I soon realised the space to write in each day, just was not working!  How am I meant to fit everything in?  Not to worry I will try……………………………

Week on 2 pages in Cream.  Loving the paper quality again, and space, which is good, or so I thought!

How much does a girl need to record in a day?

Well looking at mine, one hang of a lot!

So after a few months I found myself yet again reassessing my Filofax setup and getting frustrated at the inability to find something that worked!  Or so I thought.

After rummaging round in my Filofax Stash, yes you read that right I have stash!  I found my 2010 2 pages per day layout!  Argh I thought lets give this ago!

I think I have finally cracked it!

I am currently using these and also a week on one page in English and loving it!

I have enough space to monitor EVERYTHING I need to, as well as my to do’s and it just seems to work!  I am not even tempted to think of another layout right now!  The only down side, is that this refill is £20.50, which is a alot of money, but when I see how much I have spent over the last year to FINALLY get to a layout I enjoy, it really isn’t that much!

I have also yesterday drawn up some 2 days per page layouts, just to see if I can maybe use these instead of 2 pages per day, but I am not sure it is going to plan!

So this is my current setup:

Crimson Personal Malden

2 pages per day layout

week on one page layout

Now I also went a bit made on Pilot Fixion Pens in early 2011, if you remember?  Here is the picture if you don’t!

I do like these pens, but I HATE having to carry so many pens around with me!

With the Bic 4 colour pens I am able to carry all the colours, purple, pink, light green, turquoise, red, black, green and blue in just 2 pens and better still in my Malden!  I am now over the fact that I hate crossings out in my diary!  If I have to cross something out if it changes so be it!  It reflects, that life does change, so why shouldn’t your diary and show it?!?!?!

I also decided to put my credit cards in my Personal Malden and use it as a wallet / diary!  I don’t need to carry my envelopes around for the cleaners, windows and zumba as those are activities that always take place at home.  The only envelopes I need are other and Mcdonald’s and they fit into my makeup / pill bag.


I have the Filofax postit pad holder at the front, then I have the 2 credit card holders I bought today next and then it goes into my planner etc.  I love it.  For me it just makes sense!

Rather full isn’t, but oh how I love it!

Have I found my perfect working diary?  I think I have, but then again never say never!  I am sure one day I will see someone else’s layout and think, ‘Oh that could work!’  But in the meantime I shall continue with my current setup till Sept 24th when I meet my other Filofax friends in London and can discuss before heading off to stock up on my 2012 refills!

Before I end off, here is the stash I bought today!  Oh I do so LOVE the PURPLE limited edition Bic 4 colour grip pens!

What have I been upto?

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People always say that time flies when you are having fun, but I have to be honest and say time for me is just flying!

I wish I could just stop some days, catch my breath, re-evaluate and carry on!  But that shan’t happen so I just keep going with the chaos and see where it gets me!  Most days it gets me doing quite a lot, others I feel tired, lethargic, fed up, stressed, happy, elated, loving life, oh the mixture of emotions!

So what have I been doing since my last post?

Well I have been plodding away on my other blog :- http://sharonsnotshopping.blogspot.com/ detailing my life on the Fab Frugal Challenge.  A challenge it certainly is but one I am embracing and enjoying!

I have been doing really well with my gym attendance and general exercise, I am really proud of myself,  although I am not sure I can manage 5 sessions a week, just because it sort of throws my week!  So I will continue doing Mon, Thurs, Sat at Gym with Wed being Zumba and in Sept when Luke starts Nursery I will do a Friday morning as well at gym!  To be honest I just need to really look at when I get my sessions in and the best timing for me!

Crafting, I have been doing a bit of crochet and mainly cross stitch!  I started this last week :-

  I am really enjoying stitching this, mainly because Lizzie Kate designs seem to go so quickly!  However I do struggle a bit as it is stitched on Linen (2×2) and so I really need to concentrate.  So I tend to not do it in the evenings and instead only work on it at the weekends!  that being the case it will be taking me a while todo, but I need to speed it up as I have a Christmas present to stitch that I haven’t even started! LOL!

A few months ago I bought some Drops Muskat yarn :-

As I decided I need some colour in my life, I started my Hexagon blanket!  My idea is to make 6 hexagons out of each colour, making a total of 90 and joining them in a blanket.  I am currently doing Round 1, which is time consuming but I am enjoying it and it seems to go quickly.  I will then do Round 2 and 3 and join them together on Round 4!

Not sure how long this project will take, but I am enjoying it, so I don’t really mind!

Ok, that seems to be my craft update (another one!) so I shall leave it there.

Please do go and check out my other blog http://sharonsnotshopping.blogspot.com/ as I really could do with the following!

Graze Box!

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I have had these wonderful boxes before, last year!  I decided to give them a go when I was doing Cambridge Diet and as I fell off the wagon so spectacularly I never really got on with them.

Roll forward 12 months and I am back again to try them once more!  This time though, I am calorie counting and as these boxes come with all the nutritional information you will need and they are portioned controlled I thought I would give them another go!

So this morning, this arrived on my doorstep!

  Is that my Graze box I see?

 Doesn’t it look good?

My box today is the nibble box and contained :-

Apple and Cinnamon flapjacks

Green olives with fresh basil & garlic

The herb garden

Sticky chocolate pudding!

Here are the flapjacks and I can confirm they are absolutely scrummy!

As these had the highest calories in my box this week, I decided to eat them first as I had done the exercise today to counteract them! LOL!  Don’t you love my thinking!

This is the information booklet that comes with the order.

I love the quality of the paper it is printed on and also the fact that it is actually addressed to me personally!  I love personal touches!

All the nutritional information about the box is contained inside!

Pretty!

Originally when I signed up I went for just one a week being delivered on Monday’s, but I decided today, that I should have one delivered on Thursday as well!  That was I have a punnet a day and an extra one for the weekends!  So I am going to give that a go for a while, if I find I am not eating all of it, I will reduce it back down to 1 box a week.

At the moment I get the nibble box on a Monday and the eat well box on a Thursday!

This is such a great idea and is suitable for everyone whether you work from home, in an office, travel alot, have kids, it is just so neat to have snack punnets already packaged etc to hand, rather than having to go to the corner shop and buy something or rummage through the kitchen!

If you wish to give a go, why not use this code : – V9F5RPB  and you get your first box for free and the second one at half price!

Or use this link :- http://www.graze.com/p/V9F5RPB

If you do use the code please let me know how you get with them!

Craft Update – July ’11

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I can’t believe that I am still on track to do a project a month for the year of 2011!  I have gone slightly off my original list, but as long as projects are getting done, I really don’t mind!

So for the month of May I completed, this Father’s Day card :-

 I never managed to get all the back stitch done, but I still think it looks rather cute!

Towards the end of May I started another cross stitch, that was not on my 2011 CJC list but I managed to finish this in the month of June, keeping me on track!

Winter Wishes, this matches my Peace to All cross stitch pretty well!

So that is where I am on projects so far!

Plodding along nicely I’d say, although I am keen to start some new ones this week, so watch this space!

 

 

I have since started this project :-

 It is a lovely Lizzie Kate chart and so far it is going really well, although I wish I could focus more on it!  I tend to always think of other things I should be doing instead of stitching!  But I am enjoying it, when I go get the chance to work it!

    These are two other charts that I have all the stash for, which I am hoping to do at some point this year.  I just love Lizzie Kate!

I have also indulged in a few kits, but they were before I started my challenge, which you can follow here :- http://sharonsnotshopping.blogspot.com/  If you want to see how I am doing!  Of course the new kits are African themed, naturally and they are :-

  Anchor kit that was about to be discontinued, and I just had to get it.   The stupidity of it is, I bought this kit off Ebay but it was partially done, and I did not like the way it had been stored or anything about it, and as I had the other two in the series, Zebra and Giraffe, I decided I needed a new kit, if I was ever going to get it done, so I bought it!  The other kit, is by Maia and is this one :-

  I have been watching this one for well over a year now and have always wanted it, then I saw it at a great price, that I couldn’t pass up and bought it, again BEFORE my challenge!

So that is my craft update at the moment!

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor!

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Seeing as I have covered Filofax’s and Mobile Phones I just couldn’t let pass the opportunity to talk about my Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)!

When I exercise there are 2 things that I really enjoy!

1. competing with myself and always making sure I work out better than the previous time I was in, and

2. details!

Yes I love to know how many calories I burnt, how long did I exercise for, what was my heart rate, etc, etc.

So I looked into various options of devices I could go with.

First off I looked at the Ki Fit system, which is totally awesome, but boy does it come with an awesome price tag!  You have 3 options to buy this system :-

1. a one off payment of £300+ which gives you the equipment and a yearly subs

2. £99 initial payment and then (based on 12 mths) £20.87 p/mth

3. £199 for the equipment and then £10.87 p/mth

The subscription fee is so you can download all the data off the device, and it is great.  You wear it 24/7 except with bathing and swimming and it monitors, calories burnt, duration exercising, sleep patterns, the whole thing!  But at those prices, a little out of my price range!

The other snag about it, is, if you buy it and use it for 1 yr then decide actually no I don’t want the subscription, well you may as well through away the device because there is no other way to get the data off, so they kinda have you!

I pushed that idea out my head very quickly, when I saw those numbers and decided a HRM was the way to go!  But which one?

Have you ever tried to buy a HRM?  Where do you start?  I started with a post on Twitter, and anyway I eventually settled on the Polar FT7.

This is a great little piece of equipment.  The strap is no longer the hard plastic one it used to be, but is instead leather, and the transmitter now clips onto it, making it so much more comfortable to wear under a bra.

I went for the Red / Sliver version as this is being sold as the ladies version and I really like the colour combination.

I received it on Monday 27th June and promptly used it for my next gym session on the Tuesday.  It was great and gave all the details I had been looking for :

Total work out time

Total calories burnt

Minutes in fat burning

Minutes in fitness

Average heart rate

Maximum heart rate

This truly is a great piece of kit and for the bargain price of £68.99 is totally worth getting!

HTC Wildfire S

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I have now swopped from Filofax posts to Mobile Phone posts, aren’t I just a bag full of surprises!

I have been running a Blackberry for well over 3yrs now and to say I have gotten a little bored of it is an understatement.  Whilst I still think Blackberry email is the best out there, the lack of apps and useless internet viewing capabilities was really getting to me. Especially as I also run an iTouch and found all my apps were on there and so tended to use that for everything except make phone calls for obvious reasons!  (No phone other than Face Time in case you were wondering!)  But I don’t like walking round with too many gadgets on me.

As I am still in contract, yes darling Vodafone must sign you up for 24mths these days in order to get the most out of you, I couldn’t upgrade my phone for another 9mths.  After doing some investigation I realised that I have a really good package for the money I pay and to get that package now would cost me £18 more a month.  As I am on a  frugal challenge I wanted to find a way to cut my current phone costs.  My costs are not cut in the short term but in the long term they are!

My options were :-

1. buy myself out of my current contract at a cost of £200 and then buy a new handset and if I go Android or Iphone take off the monthly BB charge of £5 per month,

2. if I waited till the end of my contract in Jan I could upgrade, with a reduced cost of a handset but then I would be tied in for another 24mths!

3. buy a new handset outright, remove the BB package off my current tariff and ride out my contract, then at the end remain on contract but not actually signed in for any duration, if you see what I mean?

4. ride out my contract then go PAYG!

I thought long and hard about this and finally settled on buying a new phone, the HTC Wildfire S in Purple (of course!) for £180, then taking off the BB part of my package and riding out my contract for the next 9months.  At the end of 9 months I shall reassess my situation and see if it actually isn’t better for me to go PAYG.

I know you are thinking I am nuts, but I love APPS and I love my phone and it suits me so well to have it all in one device.  Iphone cost is out the window, the contract deals are nuts and to buy outright are crazy!

So I know run an HTC Wildfire S and I love!  Honestly I never thought I would, but I do!  Ok, so I do run out of internal memory sometimes, because I run so many apps, but that is easily sorted!  The speaker phone usage is crystal clear, the phone quality is miles and miles better than my BB.  The email side is not as good, but hey, I still get my emails, in a format I can read and I can still deal with work things outside of my office, so I am happy!

The apps available are great, and I have taken the approach, to try and use all the standard apps that came with the phone, ie calendar, I am using HTC calendar rather than downloading another one! SMS messages I am running the standard Message program rather than Handcent SMS, still works just as well!

I am overall really happy with this phone.  I have found some great apps, however I am missing one, that I just can’t find and that is a good Money Tracking app, so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments section!

Best of all………………….my phone is PURPLE!

  

I did get a great little cover off Ebay for it, of course also in Purple, but it just protects the phone so well!

So if you are considering an Android phone and don’t want to spend the big bucks, this is a great entry level phone and I highly recommend it!