So Long, September!

Hey guys,

I can’t believe we are nearly into October already. Last month was a total whirlwind for me and the family with my eldest starting her first year at university and my little boy starting Reception, this left me and my youngest a little bit lost, especially as she thought she got to take C’s place in Nursery which meant lots of tears for the first couple of days.

I think we’ve just about got ourselves back into a routine (just in time for the October half-term no doubt) and it also means that I am able to get back to spending some time on my blog and what we’ve been up to over here.

As you may have noticed the first couple of weeks in September were none existent as far as posting here was concerned for one reason or another but I can assure you that I have been doing a bit of work behind the scenes trying to work out where I wanted to go with my blog and hopefully I will be above to keep up with my new schedule.

So, let’s take it back a few weeks to when I joined the ladies in the Confessions of a Plannerholic group and posted my first post of the month my Autumn Bucket List, which I’m slowly working through. This was quickly followed by my Autumn Planner Set up.

We’ve been experimenting with new foods and tried Fairy Bread for the first time which the kids loved, me not so much and we had a fab day out at Kirkhamgate Scarecrow Festival where we met up again with the lovely Laura from Olive & White.

September is also the month I got the opportunity to join a lot of the lovely ladies over at UKPA for their second round (my first) of 6 months to change my life and I set myself some goals for the next 6 months which you can check out here. I will be updating you guys regularly to try and keep myself accountable, so check back at the beginning of the month for those.

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My third Confessions of a Plannerholic post was all about my favourite films, you know those movies that you can watch again and again.

Finally, I received my Ugly Bug Does subscription box earlier this week and shared my thoughts with you earlier today.

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I’m still pretty new to the blogging world and I’d love to know what you think of my topics so I can work to improve my content. I feel like I cover a reasonable variety of subjects but would love to hear from my readers. What’s your favourite? What would you like to see more of?

Debbie x

Ugly Bug Does Subscription Box – October 2016

Back in July I ordered my first subscription box from Michelle at Ugly Bug Does and I loved it. I had been contemplating ordering again but felt that as I didn’t really use stickers all that much in my planner (which was a bullet journal at the time) I couldn’t really justify ordering every month.

Anyway, I’ve now switched my planner from my bullet journal to a ring bound planner using DIY Fish inserts (you can read more about it here) and can finally start ordering all the fab stickers that are available, starting with an Ugly Bug Does subscription box.

I was late ordering the October box and snuck in just before Michelle shut the shop for a few days so I didn’t have quite as long to wait at some customers. My dispatch notice pinged on my phone on Monday and my box arrived safely through my letterbox on Tuesday.

As with my previous box the contents are a perfect mix of stickers and other planner related items. This month the theme is Autumn/Halloween and along with a selection of stickers there was a roll of washi tape, a fox paperclip, a pen and a planner charm. There is just the right mix between the Autumnal items and the Halloween bits and I love that everything in the box is both pretty and functional which means that everything gets used and isn’t just left in a drawer waiting for the right moment to be used.

So let’s take a closer look at the items, firstly we have the stickers which are from Ugly Bug Does. There are four sheets in total, three sets of functional stickers and a set of Halloween countdown stickers. The functional stickers include a fab selection of useful icons, checklist banners, flags, habit trackers, headers and half boxes and apart from the colours (which I personally associate with Halloween) isn’t really Halloween themed, which is perfect for those of you who aren’t a fan of all things spooky.

Michelle has also made the planner charms for the boxes and again it’s the perfect mix of Halloween and Autumn with a mix of spooky charms (mine had a skull, a witch and a skeletal hand) and acrylic leaves in gorgeous greens and browns, offset with some co-ordinating beads. The kids said that it sounds like the rustling autumn leaves when moved.

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Next up is the decorative fox paperclip from ScarlettMoonCrafts on Etsy. I love this little guy but think I one of my kids must have caught his tail at some point as it’s looking a little delicate. Nevertheless, he’s gorgeous and will be going into my planner where hopefully he will be safe from little fingers.

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Keeping with the autumn theme there is a lovely gold pen with bronze crystals. I’ve seen these pens around but this is the first one I’ve owned and I’m pleased to say that it writes really nice. This will probably find its way into my blog planner as the colour fits in well with my dividers.

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Finally, we have the washi tape which is a lovely autumnal watercolour with leaves, pumpkins, acorns and mushrooms/toadstools on. The colours are quite subtle and work really well against the white background.

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So there we have it, yet another fabulous collection of stationery from Michelle, all of which I will definitely be using and I can’t wait to get started with my stickers. I will also be anxiously awaiting the reopening of Ugly Bug Does ready to get my hands on the next subscription box.

Debbie x

Olive & White

Back in the summer we were at a local school fair and came across a lovely lady by the name of Laura who was running a small stall at the fair selling personalised gifts and keepsakes.

Her stall caught our eye and the products were really pretty, we got chatting about an upcoming christening we were attending and mentioned that we had an idea for a gift but couldn’t find anywhere that could produce anything close to what we wanted. Laura however was amazing, she made a note of what we were wanting and set to work with some ideas of how we could achieve it and I’ve got to admit her finished product was gorgeous and received lots of praise from the recipients.

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This then led to us looking for a gift for close friend’s birthday who is notoriously difficult to buy for. Between us we brainstormed some ideas and eventually Laura came up with the idea of a cocktail recipe. We worked together to produce the wording and again the final article was beautiful and loved by the birthday girl.

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With both our gifts Laura kept in touch with us throughout the design process and ensured we were happy with everything each step of the way. Both gifts were beautifully wrapped with brown paper and tied with string, and I can honestly say that they are becoming some of our favourite things (I feel a song coming…)

Laura is currently our go to person for all things crafty and different, especially for people we find hard to buy for and she is currently working on gifts for us for an upcoming new edition to the family, a wedding and something for our daughter’s bedroom.

If you want to check out Laura’s products, then pop over to her Facebook page Olive & White

Debbie x

Family Fun at Kirkhamgate Scarecrow Festival

I’m a little bit late posting this but on Saturday 17th September we visited the Annual Scarecrow Festival in Kirkhamgate, a little village just outside Wakefield.

It was the first time we’d been and I must say that we had a really good day, although it may have been a different story if the weather hadn’t been in our favour.

This was the festivals 7th year, although this is the first year we’ve visited, and each year there is a a theme to the scarecrows; this year’s theme was song titles and nursery rhymes.

We arrived just after lunch and purchased a route map from the Church Hall for a small fee (£2)  and begun our journey around the village searching out the scarecrows and guessing the answers to the clues.  Overall I think we did quite well guessing most of them although there were a couple in the cryptic corner that had us stumped. In the interest of fairness I must point out that not all the entries were what I would class as scarecrows but they were creative nonetheless.

My personal favourites were Wrecking Ball and Agadoo, while the kids loved Incy Wincy Spider and Bananas in Pajamas.

Unfortunately we didn’t take many photos but if you want to check out scarecrows then nip across to their Facebook page for more fab photos of the entries from this year and past years.

After walking round the village and checking out all the scarecrows we heading back to the Church Hall to hand in our voting slips and also picked up our own scarecrow for our garden before checking out the craft fair in the Village Hall where there were some fab stalls selling everything from chutney to books, toys to home wares (watch out for a review of one of the sellers later this week).

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If you were wanting food there were a few options including the fish and chip shop, The Star Inn and the Cafe. If you only wanted a light bite you could pick up an ice cream from A Taste of Italy’s Ice Cream trikes along the trail or a coffee and a cake from the Church Hall. We had eaten before we got there so didn’t partake although we may reconsider stopping for dinner next year since our youngest fell asleep on the way home and missed her tea.

All in all we spent a good few hours there and the kids loved it (despite their initial reservations) so it will definitely be making my bucket list for next year  (16-17 September 2017) where the theme is Famous People/Celebrities and planning is already underway to make it the best year yet!

Debbie x

My Top Rated Must See Films – Confessions of a Plannerholic

This week’s post is all about our must see movies, ones we have seen and highly recommend to others and for me they must be films I can watch again and again.

My full list of must see films is very long and extremely varied as I love watching everything from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to Se7en (although I’m not a big horror fan).

2016-09-25-10-01-13Lost Boys (1987)

This was one of the films I watched at any given opportunity when I was younger. I was a big Kiefer Sutherland fan as a teenager and loved everything about this film, even asking my mum if I could change my name to Star (she said no!). That said my favourite character in the film had to be Grandpa.

Sam Emerson: Look at your reflection in the mirror. You’re a creature of the night Michael, just like out of a comic book! You’re a vampire Michael! My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait ’till mom finds out, buddy!

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Next on my list has to be Pulp Fiction. Again I love the soundtrack and everything about this movie. This was the first Tarantino film I saw and left me wanting more however for me it remains one of his best. I went to see this at the cinema when it first came out and knew then it would be making it onto my favourite movies list.

Mia: Vincent, do you still want to hear my Fox Force Five joke?

Vincent: Sure, but I think I’m still a little too petrified to laugh.

Mia: No, you won’t laugh, ‘cus it’s not funny. But if you still wanna hear it, I’ll tell it.

Vincent: I can’t wait.

Mia: Three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooshes him… and says, Catch up.

2016-09-25-10-01-04Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The third film on my list is The Shawshank Redemption and this is up there as one of my favourite movies of all time. Compared to a lot of films it’s quite simplistic and I think that’s the charm. There aren’t loads of stunts or special effects, just a great story with amazing actors.

Andy Dufresne: You know the funny thing is, on the outside I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook.

 

2016-09-25-10-00-55The Waterboy (1998)

This was a difficult decision to make as I love so many Adam Sandler films (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and Big Daddy). However, this made the final list mainly because of Henry Winkler and Kathy Bate’s characters

Bobby Boucher: Now that’s what I call high quality H2O.

 

 

2016-09-25-10-00-27Coyote Ugly (2000)

One of my all-time feel good films. I love the story, the characters and the soundtrack. It’s a chick-flick with attitude.

Girl: Can I ask you somethin’?

Lil: What?

Girl: What – Oh, what does Coyote Ugly mean?

Lil: Did you ever wake up sober after a one night stand, and the person you’re next to is layin’ on your arm, and they’re so ugly, you’d rather chew off your arm then risk waking ’em? That’s coyote ugly.

Girl: My God. But, why would you name your bar after somethin’ like that?

Lil: Oh, because Cheers was taken.

2016-09-25-09-59-56A Knight’s Tale (2001)

This film ticks a lot of boxes, eye candy, soundtrack, likeable characters, comedy. It’s a funny, tongue in cheek movie that never fails to entertain.

William: Oi sir, what are you doing?

Chaucer: Uh… trudging. You know, trudging?

[pause]

Chaucer: To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.

William: Uhhh… were you robbed?

Chaucer: [laughs] Funny really, yes, but at the same time a huge resounding no. It’s more of an… involuntary vow of poverty… really.

2016-09-25-10-01-22Elf (2003)

This is a must watch film at Christmas in our house. Wil Ferrell is brilliant as Buddy every year without fail I laugh my cosy little socks of at this movie.

Buddy: SANTA! OH MY GOD! SANTA’S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!

 

 

2016-09-25-10-00-04The Dark Knight (2008)

Having a hubby who is a huge Batman/DC Comics fan does tend to have an influence on the movies we see at the cinema, although after all these years I must admit that his love of all things Batman is beginning to rub off a little especially after seeing this film. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was incredible

The Joker: Why so serious?

 

 

2016-09-25-10-00-19Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

I love this entire film franchise (although Tokyo Drift doesn’t quite live up to the rest) and not just because of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel (although they do help a little). This is my favourite of them seven films but it is a very close call between them.

Roman: [a tank appears on the road] Who’s got a plan B?

Tej Parker: Plan B? We need a plan C, D, E. We need more alphabet!

Brian O’Conner: Hey! We do what we do best. We improvise, all right?

Suicide Squad (2016)

This made it onto my list in part because it was the last film I saw at the cinema, and partly because, unlike many of the critics, I loved it.

OK so the main characters are criminals and the relationship between Joker and Harley isn’t really what we should be aiming for in terms of relationship goals, but at the end of the day it’s a movie based on a comic book and for me it was highly entertaining and left me wanting more.

Rick Flagg: Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you people?

Harley Quinn: [takes a purse] We’re bad guys, it’s what we do

So there are my top 10 and there are so many I could have added. What movies are on your ‘must see’ movie list?

Don’t forget this is a collaborative post so please check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs via links below

Make sure you don’t miss any instalments from Confessions of a Plannerholic by joining our Facebook Group

Debbie x

 

6 Months To Change My Life: Week 1 – My Goals and Actions

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Back in March of this year a group of lovely ladies from UKPA decided that they were going to set a bunch of goals to make improvements to their life. Unfortunately I missed out on the first round but, since their 6 months were up last week they  temporarily opened their doors again as they prepare to start a second round and this time I am made sure I was there with a vengeance.

As the name suggests the idea is to set yourself realistic goals that can be reached within the given timeframe and will then hopefully propel you forward with your longer term goals. Personally, I have been ‘winging it ‘ a little over the past few months with many areas of my life so this seems like the perfect solution for me to start moving forward and I now have a group of wonderful people who are looking to make their own changes and will be there to offer support and accountability.

I have broken my goals down into my Level 10 Life categories and at first glance there may seem to be quite a few, but I am confident that I can achieve them and as they say ‘Go Big or Go Home!’

Anyway, here are my 6 month goals which I hope to have achieved by 18 March 2017. I have also broken them down further into 90 day goals and the further still to 30 days goals.

I’ve seen a few of the ladies in the group break down their goals on a weekly basis too which I think is a great idea and one I have decided to follow, although my current list covers this week and next.

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For the first time in ages I feel a lot more positive and motivated about my life and I’m hoping with the help and support of the ladies in the group and my readers this will continue and come March I will have made some amazing progress towards my long term goals.

There are a few ladies from the UKPA group blogging about their goals, if you want to read about them you can check them out here.

Do you set yourself regular goals? What are your plans for the next 3-6 months? I’d love to hear from you and hopefully we can support each other on the road to reaching our goals.

Debbie x

Food Trends: Fairy Bread

Earlier this week I was browsing the September edition of the Asda magazine looking for some inspiration when an article about 2016 food trends caught my eye.

Number 1 on the list was Fairy Bread. Now this is something I’ve never heard of but it looked like my kids idea of heaven as they would have sprinkles on everything if they had the chance.

According to the article ‘no Australian children’s party is complete without a plate of fairy bread.’ What is fairy bread I hear you ask, well in short it’s bread and butter covered in hundreds and thousands.

My kids are always hungry straight after school pick up so I thought that this may be a nice afternoon treat for them and it turns out that for once I had all the ingredients in my cupboard to make a recipe from magazine (go me!) so on Tuesday we gave it a go.

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The verdict: overall it was a hit, although I’m still cleaning up the hundreds and thousands from around the house as they got everywhere. The kids loved it and have already asked if we can make it again which is fine by me. However I will probably use something a little more sticky to hold the topping in place (peanut butter, jam or chocolate spread are possibilities) and I may also add some healthier toppings.

And in case you’re wondering what hip foodies are eating this year, here’s the full list

  1. Fairy Bread
  2. Chic kebabs and Prima Doners
  3. Hoppers (Sri-Lankan street food, similar to a crepe/pancake but in the shape of a basket)
  4. Poke (Hawaiian sushi)
  5. Spam!
  6. Cold pressed melon juice
  7. Freakshake (milkshake make with cake, toppings and cream)
  8. Raw desserts such as cacoa
  9. Salad cakes
  10. Rose slushies

And one more for good luck

  1. Sweet potato toast

What do you think of the list, is there anything there you’d like to try/avoid?

Debbie x

Autumn Planner Set-Up – Confessions of a Plannerholic

Welcome to my second post of the Confessions of a Plannerholic series. This week we are sharing with you our autumnal planner setup which for me is currently in transition, and therefore not very seasonal with regard to decoration etc, as I have decided to move away from my trusty bullet journal after nearly 2 years and into a ring bound planner using using DIYFish inserts.

Last week I had the hair-brained idea to ditch my bullet journal and purchased a trial of the v2.2 do2p inserts from DIYFish on Etsy which I had previously used before I started my bullet journal, and was originally planning to use them from the beginning of October. However patience is not one of my strong suits when it comes to planners and last night I decided to try and adapt the inserts so I could start using them from the beginning of this week. I had seen a post on Facebook suggesting printing out December’s inserts as the day/dates correspond to September and that’s pretty much what I did with a couple of tweaks here and there to save paper and some stickers and washi tape to cover any reference to December.

I have got to say that I really love these inserts as there is so much space to write and plan and it’s open to personal interpretation as to what you use it for (although some people have mentioned that there can be too much space). That said I’m not completely sure how I’m going to use my pages this time around as I’m hoping to incorporate some of the aspect of bullet journaling into my set up as well as my GTD lists once I finally get my system up and running, therefore at the minute it will be a work in progress but I’m hoping that over the next two weeks I may have perfected it enough to be productive for the rest of the year. I’ve got some ideas in the pipeline for the spaces but until I actually start using my new set up I’m not sure what will work and what won’t as there have been some changes since the last set of inserts I used.

One thing I have already decided is that I need more stickers. I have an Etsy basket full of stickers and I have also decided to attempt some of my own as I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for from UK suppliers  although I’m not looking forward to cutting them out.

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My Zone Cleaning Stickers – a work in progress

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I Love Autumn stickers from A Beautiful Plan

My only complaint at the minute is that I’m not overly happy with is my choice of binder (I’m currently lusting after an ochre or purple Malden) but lack of funds means I’m having to make do with whatever I have to hand so I have re-purposed my home binder until the planner fairies bring me something better.

I will post an update in a couple of weeks to let you know how I’m getting on with my new set up and also to go over the inserts in a little more detail once I’ve fully moved in but in the meantime here are a few photos showing my current setup.

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I’m must admit I’m really looking forward to using my new setup and incorporating some decoration into my pages again as I didn’t use stickers very much in my bullet journal.

Don’t forget this is a collaborative post so please check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs via links below

Make sure you don’t miss any instalments from Confessions of a Plannerholic by joining our Facebook Group

Debbie x

Autumn Bucket List – Confessions of a Plannerholic

Apologies for the blog silence, I’ve been having a crazy time at home with one thing or another, but am hopefully now everyone’s just about settled back into a routine I should be able to get myself a bit more organised with posting.

With that in mind at the beginning of last week, I joined forces with a group of other like-minded bloggers who all contribute to a weekly blog carnival called Confessions of a Plannerholic. Every Monday they post on various topics, although as the name implies it is usually planner related.

I’m a little late to the party with this post (it should have been posted last week, but life got in the way) but since the topic is something I already have put together I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. So without further ado, here’s my list.

  • Go pumpkin picking – this is something we started doing last year once my two youngest were old enough to appreciate it and it will be something we continue doing for as long as we can. There are several farms local to us that offer pumpkin picking along with other seasonal activities and we are really looking forward to it again this year.
  • Take the kids on an Autumn scavenger hunt – my kids love being outdoors no matter what the weather and with the weather we are having at the minute we want to make the most of it so I have put together a list of things for the to try and find while we are out exploring the woods and fields nearby.
  • Jump in leaves with the kids – I used to love doing this when I was younger (actually who am I kidding, I still love doing this) so naturally it had to be added to my bucket list J
  • Bake apple pie – this will be something new to me this year as although I love baking, I’m not great on pies/pastry (no GBBO for me I’m afraid) so I thought I would give it a go although it may end up being blackberry pie since my OH doesn’t like cooked apples
  • Buy an Autumnal scented candle – I love scented candles and especially love switching them out seasonally so I will be on the lookout for a new one for Autumn.
  • Switch up the décor in the living room – I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m sure some of my fellow plannerholics can relate to the fact that we have been known to get bored easily with our current setup. For me this also applies to things in my house, I’m constantly moving furniture, switching round cupboards etc much to the disapproval of my family who then can’t find things. To try and avoid, my OH has allowed me to switch up our accessories seasonally to give our home a new look. As this is the first Autumn we will have done this I will be looking for some cheap bits to give a warm and cosy look to the room.
  • Navigate a corn maze – We live pretty close to the York Maze and we are hoping to get there during the October half term holidays to see the remnants of the Roald Dahl maze they had earlier in the year. This will be the first time we’ve been and I will be sure to let you know when I go in case you need to send out a search party J
  • Bake cookies with the kids – As I said earlier, I love baking, as do the kids so I thought we could make some cookies for them to decorate.
  • Try a new seasonal hot drink – I’m not a massive coffee lover so I’m not sure if I’ll go for the pumpkin latte I’ve seen but I’m definitely going to try something new and seasonal.
  • Take the kids to a fireworks display – Pretty self-explanatory really.
  • Make spicy butternut squash soup – one of my favourite things about this time of year is the comfort food and to me soup is just that so I will be cooking up some big batches of this to see me though.
  • Do some autumnal crafts with the kids – I have been scouring Pinterest for some inspiration and I now feel like my head could easily explode, however I have some fab ideas which will keep the kids occupied over the coming months.
  • Try out some new slow cooker recipes – I love my slow cooker and when the temperature drops and the nights start closing in I love knowing that I can enjoy some lovely warm food as soon as my OH gets in without having to spend ages cooking.
  • Switch out my capsule wardrobe – I usually do this towards the beginning of October as for the past few years the weather in September has been changeable to say the least and its looking like this month is no different. I still need to pick up a few new pieces before I can finalise everything but I’m on the case and will hopefully be ready to share very soon.

So there’s my list and here’s how it looks in my journal. I’m very new to the whole creative journaling process and as you can see with my bucket list I need to let go of my inner perfectionist and try to go with the flow a little more rather than trying to be neat and tidy all the time, although it doesn’t help that I don’t really like my handwriting.

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The bucket list sticker is something I designed and printed myself and the additional stickers and washi tape are from Kelly’s shop, A Beautiful Plan, over on Etsy.

Check back later for this weeks instalment – My Autumn Planner Set-up and don’t forget this is a collaborative post so please check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs – links below

Make sure you don’t miss any instalments from Confessions of a Plannerholic by joining our Facebook Group

Debbie x