Change of Plans

So it seems that all the plans I’ve made for spending the week attending spooky Halloween relating events with the kids (and friends) were for nothing as last night Anya started showing signs of the dreaded chickenpox, followed by a couple of spots on Corey this morning.  We’ve been expecting it for a couple of weeks now ever since we spent the day with family, one of whom erupted in spots later that same day, but we were hoping we’d be lucky enough to escape the half term holidays.

To be honest, apart from a bit of a temperature they are both pretty much their usual selves which is the worst part as they don’t quite understand why they can’t go places so I am now frantically trying to find things that we can do at home during our week off (Pinterest is my best friend ). At the minute we have decided to decorate the house for Halloween, make some Halloween cupcakes and biscuits, do some Halloween crafts and watch some Halloween movies.

I’ll be going out later today to stock up on some essential supplies, such as lavender and tea tree essential oils, popcorn and Calpol (and maybe some wine and chocolate for me!) and the I’ll be gathering what bits I already have around the house ready for the coming week.

One positive note (for me at least) is that I won’t be doing this on my own as my OH had booked the week off work so we could have some time together as a family. I’m not sure if this is exactly what he had in mind or whether he’s regretting this decision yet, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be more than glad to get back to work on Monday.

What plans do you have for the half term holiday?

Debbie x


Planner Update

Back at the beginning of September after a bit of a planner funk during August, which I think was mainly down to the school holidays, I had the hare-brained idea to switch from my trusty bullet journal to an A5 ring bound planner using DIYFish inserts v2.2 do2p. Now, don’t get me wrong I love the DIYFish inserts and have used them in the past without any issues; I love the space and flexibility of them, however this time around I just couldn’t make them work no matter how hard I tried so I finally admitted defeat and began to brainstorm what I wanted/needed from a planner.

I thought long and hard about what worked for me before with my bullet journal and tried to pinpoint where it all went wrong and what I decided was that although I loved the concept of the bullet journal on a day to day basis but I didn’t like drawing out my weekly/monthly pages, especially when life got busy. This left me with a bit of a dilemma; I contemplated going right back to basics and follow Ryder Carroll’s original bullet journal set up but for me that felt a bit too plain and I realised that I didn’t like having to rewrite collections. So what’s a girl to do?

Well this one decided to make her own booklets! I did a bit of research on the internet and found a video explaining how to make your own booklets using Microsoft Word (when your printer doesn’t have the booklet options) and off I went.

I decided to do one booklet per month (well every 4 weeks as it turned out easier to do that way); each month has an overview page and monthly projects list followed by my monthly review, memories, gratitude and tracker. After this we move onto the weekly/daily pages. I have a double page spread for each week which is one that I’ve tried and tested previously and works well for me. After each weekly spread I have seven blank pages for my daily pages followed by my weekly review questions. This repeats itself for 4 weeks and then I have a couple of lined pages for notes. I have currently printed inserts for October, November and December and on the whole I’m pretty pleased with how they have turned out, however I need to improve my cutting skills considerably.

I love the fact that I have spreads that work for me, but I don’t have to spend the time drawing up week on week. I also like the fact that I can add decoration/stickers if I choose and can switch up my fonts/colours etc each month should I wish to as my lettering skills need a lot of work.

My collections are kept in two separate notebooks. One contains long term collections such as vehicle maintenance logs and medical notes while the other is for short term collections and things that are date specific such as party planning etc. These inserts are standard squared notebooks from Travelers Times on Etsy.


Once I’d done my inserts I needed to find somewhere to keep them all together and decided to use my Websters Colour Crush Travelers Notebook temporarily but I have my eye on an Uglydori  from Ugly Bug Does which I’m hoping Santa might bring me (once I choose from the gorgeous colours available) so I can put my creative journaling inserts back in their home.

I’ve not got much in the way of decoration in my planner at the minute except my lovely owl and ghost paperclips from Cherry Blossom in the Market Square, my fox paperclip and planner charm from the Ugly Bug Does October subscription box and my little owl charm from the first bookclub box from The Stationery Geekette.

I still need to add a couple of notebooks to finish off my GTD system as that’s still a bit of a work in progress at the minute but I have made a project planning notebook and will do a separate post on my full system once it’s completely set up and working well.

Well that’s my set up at the minute and I’m really happy with it. I’ve got my enthusiasm for planning back and am slowly getting back on track with everything so I think this could be my planner peace (for the next month or so at least).

Have you ever found planner peace? Did it last?

Debbie x


My Favourite Recipe – Confessions of a Plannerholic

Welcome to another instalment of Confessions of a Plannerholic. This week we are moving away from planning and onto cooking as we are sharing with you our favourite recipe. This was another hard one for me for two reasons, the first being I have lots of favourite recipes depending on my mood, the season etc. Secondly I rarely work to a recipe, I’m the kind of cook that chucks stuff in a pan/slow cooker and hope it tastes OK at the end (it doesn’t always, in case you were wondering!)

As I’m attempting to get back on track with Slimming World I have decided to share with you one of my favourite SW recipes and one that is loved by the whole family – Cowboy Pie. I’m not sure where it got its name from because in all honesty it’s just a cottage pie with added beans and a bit of spice, but nevertheless it’s a family favourite in our house and if I can get the kids to eat something other than chicken nuggets then it’s definitely a winner a far as I’m concerned.


Low-calorie cooking spray

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 celery stick, thinly sliced

500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp dried red chilli flakes (I personally don’t use these)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

500g passata with basil

300ml beef stock

200g baked beans

220g can red kidney, drained and rinsed (I use a larger can)

200g can sweetcorn kernels, drained (I use a larger can)

2 level tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

950g floury potatoes, such as Desiree or King Edward, peeled and roughly chopped

2 medium eggs, beaten

½ tsp dried parsley


Spray a frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Fry the onion, celery and mince for 6-8 minutes. Add the paprika, chilli flakes and garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes.

Stir in the passata and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, sweetcorn kernels and cornflour mixture, season and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Drain, return to the pan, then mash with the beaten egg and season.

Spoon the mince mixture into a pie dish and top with mash. Spray with low-calorie cooking spray and garnish with the dried parsley. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Divide the pie between 4 plates.

For those of you who are wondering the syn value per serving is ½.

Please be sure to check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs via links below and see what their favourite recipes are

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

Debbie x


An A-Z of Planning – Confessions of a Plannerholic


First of all apologies for the  absence this past week, things have gone a little bit haywire over here and have had a knock on effect with regard to finding the time and energy to get anything drafted let along published on my blog. Hopefully we have turned a corner and I should be back with you on a regular basis very soon.

Anyway, I’m very late with this week’s Confessions of a Plannerholic post in part because it almost had me stumped before I started as I’m a very basic planner and not fully versed in the whole planner world.  Initially I was just going to do a list of things you could plan/track, however I decided this was too easy and would not be so easily defeated so after a lot of thought I have finally got my list.

America – they always seem to have a better selection of supplies for planning than the UK.

Bullet journal – my preferred way to plan.

Creative journal – one of my favourite journals at the minute which houses my art journal and book journal. I’m currently looking to see what else I can add.

DIY Fish – my latest insert purchase. I have used them before and I loved them, however this time around they’re just not working for me.

Etsy – the best place to find planner supplies such as stickers, insert, dashboards etc.

Filofax Malden – this is currently on my wishlist and hopefully if I’m good Santa may be forthcoming. The only problem is I can’t decide between the ochre or the purple.

Getting Things Done – this applies both to the book by David Allen and the fact that without my planner to help me there is no way I would be able to get anything done

Hacks – every good planner knows of one or two hacks that can be used to make your life easier, if you don’t there is always someone in the planner community that can help.

Instagram – some of the photos that can be found here are like porn to plannerholics – here are a small selection of my recent favourites

Journals/Journalling – there are lots of ways to use planners and journaling is one such way.

Kikki-K – another big name in the world of planners/planning but one I have yet to have first-hand experience of. I’m still a relative novice when it comes to ring bound planners.

Lyra and Co – My go to Etsy store for all things fabric/planner related. I love her products.

Money (or maybe that should be lack of) because once you become a plannerholic your money will be unable to stay with you for long due to the call of the planners and all things planner related, which leads me nicely onto my next letter.

No spend – many plannerholics have tried (and failed) at no spend weeks/months. Personally I don’t like failing so have never attempted one.

Organised – every planner wants to be organised, however sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan

Paperchase – I love browsing around the products here, although for me personally their collections can be a little hit and miss. That said I’m currently loving their Gothic Garden range.

Questions – every newbie to the planner community invariably has lots of questions and there are loads of groups, blogs, vlogs out there to answer them

Rings – rings or no rings is one of the biggest decisions a planner can make, closely followed by the brand. Personally I use both but I think my preference is no rings at the minute

Stickers – with so many amazing Etsy shops it’s hard to say no to stickers in your planner. It is, however, very hard to decide which ones to choose.

Travelers Notebooks – this is the collective name for one of the more recent additions to the planner world and is a cover with several books inside. This type of planner speaks to me because you can have all your things together while at the same time keeping them separate.

UglyDori – a new creation from Michelle at UglyBugDoes. I’m currently trying to justify to myself why I need one.

Van der Speck – this is a new name for me in planners but in the interest of this post I have done a bit of research and they look gorgeous.

Washi tape – like stickers, if you like decorating your planners, washi is your friend.

X-rated, no not the planners but some of the conversations had by the planner ladies on some of the Facebook groups.

You Tube – there are some fabulous planner tutorials and flip throughs as well as inspiration for every kind of planner

Zen – that long awaited feeling you get when you have reached planner peace. Personally I’ve yet to reach that state and if/when I do I fear it won’t last as the planning world is an extremely fickle place and there is always something new and exciting just waiting to pull on the purse strings.

Well guys, I made it to the end and didn’t have to cheat (much). Hope you enjoyed reading it and be sure to 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

September’s Stationery Haul

Welcome to my first stationery haul post. I truly believe that part of being a planner addict is embracing all the wonderful supplies available and I’m hoping I can make these monthly haul posts a regular occurrence however I apologise in advance to any of my readers who are attempting no spend months.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, here’s what I bought over the course of last month.

Half way through September I decided to switch up my planner and move away from by bullet journal and into a ring bound planner. I also purchased a trial set of DIYFish Inserts v2.2 do2p to see how they worked for me (you can check out my initial set up here and I will be doing a full review later in the month so you can see how I’ve been getting on with the new set up).

Following the switch over to my DIYFish inserts and ring bound planner I have been lusting after some stickers to add some fun to the functional and this month the ones I went for were from A Beautiful Plan and Bits of Stationery.

I purchased a set of autumnal stickers (I Love Autumn) from Kelly at A Beautiful Plan and they are gorgeous.


I also purchased the Halloween Plan with Me Kit and Coffee and Cake stickers from Bits of Stationery which I love although I haven’t got around to using them yet.


In addition to my stickers I have purchased a couple more decorative paperclips from Cherry Blossoms in the Market Square. This is the second order I’ve placed with Kayleigh and I’ve got to admit I love her paperclips. Aside from being gorgeous, they are extremely well made and can withstand being manhandled by my curious kids (who have asked if they can have their own)


I have also been on the lookout for some bits and pieces for use in my creative journal and purchased some washi tape from A Beautiful Plan which will also be used in my planner. I have used some of the stickers from the ones above but will be keeping an eye out for some other items to use.


In addition to the above I also ordered my second stationery subscription box from Ugly Bug Does this month and I love it. I’ve already got next months box ordered. Check out my full review of the October box here.


I’m always on the look out for recommendations so feel free to comment below with your favourite shops

Thanks for reading

Debbie x

Review: The Stationery Geekette Bookclub Box – September

*Disclaimer: This is a totally unbiased review of a product I purchased myself. I am in no way affiliated with Emma-Louise Smith or The Stationery Geekette

Well this month’s box has arrived and I’m as impressed with the packaging and contents as I was with the August box (check out my review here). As last month we have the little paper doily with the address on and some washi tape securing the box, which I think is a lovely touch.

This month’s theme was mystery and we had received a few spoilers on Emma’s social media outlets over the course of the month so those people (like myself) who have no patience can check out the book and check we haven’t already read it.


So this month, the book we received was The Lake House by Kate Morton and I’m really looking forward to getting started reading this, although I need to finish my current book first. As last month it was wrapped in a gorgeous purple patterned tissue paper and secured using a really cute book themed washi (which I own).

The other items in the box included:

  • A gorgeous Holmes candle from Meraki Candles. Its a lovely musky candle with sandalwood and amber undertones and it smells divine. I’m not a huge fan of overly floral scents so this is perfect for me.2016-10-05-11-40-37
  • A Uniball Signo Sakura 0.38 with a cute moustache clip. I love these pens and they write really well on all the paper I’ve tried so I’m really pleased to have received another one for my pen collection.


  • Finally we received some book review inserts from PlanwithHannah. To be honest, I’m a little torn about these as I already have a book journal that I keep in my TN so initially I was unsure if they would be used. They are also a little plain for my liking, however the quality of the paper is fantastic so I have decided to use them in my blog planner for making notes on book reviews for my blog.


This month’s note was handwritten which gave a slightly more personal touch and the challenges are back, only this month they are on the website. I will be trying extra hard this month to complete all the challenges in the hope that Team Cassiopeia can win this month. I’ve already downloaded mine and they are printed and in my planner.

Emma has knocked it out of the park again with this months box. I did wonder if we would end up with the same kinds of things with a different theme each month but I’m pleased to say that we haven’t.

If you are interested in purchasing next month’s psychological thriller themed box then head on over the the TSG: Bookclub Box group over on Facebook or check out TSG Bookclub on Etsy where the October box is now on sale (but only for a couple more days)

If you want to know more check out the website here

Thanks for reading

Debbie x

Children’s Book Haul – Scholastic

A couple of weeks back I received one of the Scholastic book leaflets from school. Recently I have been chucking them straight in the recycling because the kids have enough books at the minute. However, this time around I decided to have a browse through as I was on the lookout for a few new Autumn/Halloween books for the newly rearranged playroom as well as a couple for Christmas.

I usually get my books from The Book People or The Works but on this occasion I came across a couple of titles that I thought would be perfect for the little monsters so I placed my order. I was initially going to send the order back in to school but had second thoughts at trying to hide the books from the kids while I struggled to get them home so I went with the online option which still enables the school to benefit from your purchases.

So what did I buy I hear you ask, well let’s have a look.


First up was a pack of five autumn pictures books which included

  • Alone in the Woods by Ian Beck

Although this book came in a selection of books about autumn, the book actually opens with the line ‘It was a perfect Spring day.’ Aside from this the story is lovely story about a little bear who gets lost.

  • The Large Family: A Quite Night In by Jill Murray

I love this story, probably more than the kids, as it’s something I can relate

  • Oliver’s Wood by Sue Hendra

We have several books by Sue Hendra and they are regular fixtures at bedtime. This book is more suited to Anya (who’s 2) than Corey (who’s 4), who was a little puzzled at the end. He may like it better when he can read it himself.

  • Winnie and Wilbur: The Amazing Pumpkin by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

This is the first Winnie book we have read and it’s safe to say it’s a hit with everyone.

  • Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury

In all honesty this book is a little strange, however it teaches animal noises and we did have some fun making the different sounds.

I also bought a selection of other books including

  • The Scarecrow’s Wedding by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

This is the first of two books by Julia Donaldson and we love it. Personally I love books which rhyme and especially love Julia’s books and this one is no exception.

  • Spinderella by Julia Donaldson & Sebastien Braun

Julia Donaldson books are always a hit in our house and this is no different. It’s a lovely story about a spider that wants to learn to count and both Corey and Anya loved it and took it in turns counting to 20.

  • Potion Commotion by Peter Bently and Sernur Isik

Again we have a couple of Peter Bently books (The Shark in the Dark being one of our favourites). Again this gets my vote mainly because of the rhyming but the story too is fun and lead us to make our own (pretend) potions using things from the play kitchen.

  • Winnie’s Haunted House by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

Again this was a big hit, especially once my little boy realised there was a page of jokes at the back, which is now his favourite page.

We’ve read all of them more than once now and the kids definitely have their favourites. Corey like Spinderella and the Winnie the Witch books while Anya is loving Potion Commotion and The Scarecrows Wedding.

All of the above books have been put in our reading nook in the playroom, although they also make the trip upstairs at bedtime too.


In addition to the above I also purchase three Lego DC Comic Super Heroes books for Corey for Christmas/his birthday as he is a big Lego/Batman fan. We already have a few Lego DC Super Heroes books and I was expecting these to be of a similar format however they are more like comic books than stories so I was a little disappointed. That said I’m sure my little boy will love them regardless and I’m hoping that instead of me reading to him he will be able to use the pictures to tell me his own version of the story.

Have you read any of these? Which was your favourite?

Thanks for reading

Debbie x

Films I Want to Watch – Confessions of a Plannerholic

Following on from last week’s post about the films we love and can watch again and again (check it out here if you missed it), this week over in Confessions of a Plannerholic towers we are discussing films we want to see.

I’ll be honest here and tell you that I don’t really keep up with all the new movie releases and I don’t really get to the cinema as much as I’d like so a lot of my films will be older films that I haven’t gotten around to watching. That said my OH and I have been attempting a movie night at home every Friday in an attempt to actually spend time together after the kids are in bed so having a list of films to watch makes it a little easier to decide what to watch.

Anyway, let’s get started with the current releases that I may or may not get to see at the cinema.

Finding Dory

My eldest loved watching Finding Nemo when she was little and I think it would be pretty cool to watch Finding Dory with my youngest two.

Bad Moms

I saw the trailer for earlier in the year when I managed a rare night at the cinema to see Suicide Squad (read more about it here and they had me howling with laughter.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I love Tim Burton films for their dark, quirky style (and partly because Johnny Depp regularly pops up) and this looks pretty good.

Next we have the upcoming movies that haven’t yet been released but I’ve heard about and want to see.

Fast 8

I’m interested to see where this film franchise will go following the untimely death of Paul Walker. Personally I think they should have ended on a positive note at the end of the last film, but we will see.

Anything starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

I saw recently that there were rumours that they were planning on making a spin off from Suicide Squad starring Margot Robbie and if so that will definitely be on my watch list. I loved her in Suicide Squad.

All of the upcoming DC Comics movies – Justice League, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Deadpool 2

OK, so Batman v Superman was one of the most boring films in the history of films but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see the rest of the movies. Hopefully they will have learned from the mistakes and the future movies will be a whole lot better.

Bad Boys 4

I know that once film franchises churning out film after film the quality sometimes tends to take a nose dive but I have two words that, for me, will make this film worth seeing …Will Smith!

Moving on we have films that I already have on DVD but haven’t managed to watch yet (mainly because I completely forgot about them until I was looking through my DVD collection for last week’s post)


To be honest the storyline looks a little shaky but it stars Paul Walker so I’m sure I can get through it

The Usual Suspects

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this, although have a feeling that I’ve missed some of it and I know my OH has never seen it so it’s on the list.

Finally, we have a two films that I’ve added to my list after reading the other posts from last week’s Confessions series


This was on Emma’s must watch list and I’d never heard of it but it sounds like something I’d enjoy so I’m adding it to my watch list.

My Neighbour Totoro

This was on Kelly’s list and was another film I’ve never heard of but and intrigued by.
So that’s my list so far, and in true Plannerholic tradition I have a 2016-10-03-08-06-10page in my planner. What films do you think I should add to my lists

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 – Update/Plans for October

A couple of weeks ago I joined forces with some of the lovely ladies over at UKPA and set some goals for the coming six months in the hope that we could support each other and make some positive changes to our lives (you can read my full goals here).

I’ve been working on my goals now for two weeks and have been doing OK.  However, there are still some areas I could improve on but overall I have been making progress toward my goals.

So what have I accomplished in the last two weeks.

  • Read two chapters of The Chimp Paradox
  • Cleared the breakfast bar
  • Celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary with a meal at Jamie’s Italian J
  • Had 2 child free dates and 2 home movie nights
  • Put together a menu plan for October
  • Put together a blog planner and planned out posts for October
  • Started to draft my blog posts for w/c 3 October
  • Started to update my cleaning schedule
  • Started working on journals for the kids
  • Taken a car load of stuff to charity shop
  • Started a list of RAK’s
  • Started a list of things to do and places to go with the kids
  • Updated Corey’s notes ready to review

I admit I haven’t accomplished everything I set out to by the end of September and to be honest I maybe was a little too audacious with my plans, but I’m happy with what I have achieved so far and am definitely feeling motivated to push even harder in October.

So what am I hoping to achieve by the end of October well, hopefully with a bit of hardwork and effort I will be able to say I have done the following by the time I check in next month.

  • Read 2 books
  • Completed my workspace set up
  • Updated my Christmas planner
  • Had 2 nights out without the kids
  • Got back on track with my Slimming World plan
  • Lost at least ½ stone
  • Drafted out an editorial calendar for my blog until the end of December
  • Drafted blog posts for remainder of October
  • Given blood and book next appointment
  • Completed 1 RAK
  • Reviewed Corey’s notes with Rik and made appointment with doctor
  • Set up and stayed within our budget for the month
  • Cleared 3 boxes from shelving behind door
  • Sold pushchair and travel system
  • Completed my cleaning schedule and started using it
  • Completed at least 2 spreads in my creative journal

I’m feeling positive about working through my list and am already starting to see a difference in myself, albeit a small one, from a couple of weeks ago. I’m much more motivated and hopefully this will continue.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to see how the others are getting on with their goals.

Debbie x