Thursday, 30 May 2013

365/30 Lists- June!!


Here is June's 365/30 list for your delectation, courtesy of Jane (Butanben) of

  1. Goals for the Month 
  2. My good deeds of the day are/were………? 
  3. My favourite poem is…………….? (Write it out!) 
  4. My favourite periods in history are…………? 
  5. The best gifts I ever gave were………..? 
  6. The best gifts I ever received were…………..? 
  7. Complete this phrase in less than 30 words. My life is……….?
  8. The best sandwich fillings ever are………………?
  9. The best Summer picnic location in the world must surely be……..? Which foods?
  10. I am thankful for…………………….?
  11. SIT STILL. STILL YOURSELF FOR 5 MINUTES. Calm and be-calm your chattering mind and let go of all else except this moment. Now ask….. if my soul were whispering to me now, it would be saying…………….?
  12. My personal role models are……..?
  13. My favourite flowers are….? If you can afford it treat yourself to a bunch today. If not download the loveliest photograph/painting of those flowers and pin that picture nearby, to give yourself a boost.
  14. Today I am taking a blissful shining hour out of the day, just for me. I am going to……..
  15. My earliest happy memory is………?
  16. The best musicals of all time must surely be……?
  17. The most comforting meal for me is………..? (Now make it today!)
  18. A piece of music I always dance to is…….?
  19. A piece of music I always sing along to is……..?
  20. A piece of music which always relaxes and de- stresses me is……..?
  21. One free thing I can do just for me today is……..?
  22. My favourite things in my Filofax are….…?
  23. Midsummer’s Day: My one mid-year resolution is……….? Whatever your one resolution… it is yours to know and stick to. Make it achievable 1 step at a time.
  24. The best inventions by mankind, in my opinion are………?
  25. My best qualities as a person are…………………..?
  26. The best things about summer are………?
  27. The biggest lesson life has taught me is……..?
  28. My favourite piece of wisdom, or wise saying is……..?
  29. My favourite Shakespearian quote of all time is………?
  30. Review of the month!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Liebster Blog Award Nominations and my 5 favourite blogs!!

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award!
They are:
Clara at My Summer Touch
Angela at LiveLoveOrganize
Andrea at Little Life of Andrea
Mzelle at Mzelle's World
Ella at Nerdzilla
Joseph at Joseph David Quinton
Lori V at Purple is my Happy
Hetty at Hetty Stratton

I know you are supposed to answer the questions the nominators set, but that would be a lot of questions and I really don't like sharing personal things on the internet!
I haven't really been following the Liebster award thing, so I won't be sending out my own nominations, but here are my Top 5 favourite blogs/bloggers (and it was VERY difficult to narrow it  down to 5, there are a lot more blogs that I LOVE!!!)

Philofaxy- courtesy of Steve, Laurie, Nan and Anita
Plannerisms- Laurie
Crazy Suburban Mom- Tracy
Imysworld- Imy
Paperlovestory- Angela

New videos May 2013 :)

Hi everyone!

I've just uploaded a couple of videos to youtube! I filmed them on Friday but it has taken me ages to upload them!
The first video is to show you what I got for my birthday which was a few weeks ago!
The second video shows what I got in my swap from the lovely Tracy from, and also a few bits which I bought in Paperchase earlier this week!

Sorry I wasn't able to embed the videos into this post, but blogger wasn't behaving!


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Review: Filofax 'The Original' A5 Yellow

Hi guys!
Another review for you all!!

I'd like to firstly say thank you to Jess from The Ideas Network for sending me this sample to review, and Steve for his support! P.S. All opinions are my own, and I wasn't paid to do this review!

It arrived in a box, wrapped in some lovely blue tissue paper, with a note. I must say I had already opened the package and unwrapped the Filofax, and then had to rush off to work, so I rewrapped it quickly- it was wrapped much more nicely than it is in this photo!!

I chose the 'Original Yellow' colour because I wanted something a bit different from all of my pink, red and brown Filofaxes! It is a lovely warm colour, very sunny!

The Filofax is wrapped in a plastic covering, as you can see above. This is a new type of Filofax cover which I haven't heard of for any other Filofax, and I don't know if Filofax intend to use this type of cover for all of their new Filofaxes, but I have to say I prefer the traditional boxes. I understand that this cover means that the Filofax can be handled in a shop without the leather being touched too much by people's hands, but I think that if this is the only cover being used to protect the Filofax when posted to you from Filofax directly or by Filofax online stockists, it wouldn't protect the Filofax and the ring mechanism as much as the traditional box!

With the cover off, the leather is gorgeous! It is very smooth and supple, a lot more so than I thought it would be, as I expected it to be stiff, similar to the Domino! There is no cardboard type 'stuffing' inside the leather as there is in other Filofax- just 100% leather! In fact, the leather is made by The Leather Satchel Company, a UK satchel company, so you know if should be great quality leather! You could even get a satchel to match your Original Filofax!
I'm excited by the fact that this Filofax was made in the UK, where the majority of Filofaxes were made in their heyday in the 1980s and 1990s! This is something people have been asking for for a while, so Filofax UK is listening to us, on this and a number of other features I'll talk about later.

The leather is so supple that this Filofax lays perfectly flat... not only that, but...

... it practically bends back on itself without any effort!

The Outside:

I think The Original binder has clean, classic looks. There is definitely a close resemblance between this style and the older Filofax binders of the 1980s and early 1990s, with the simple design, small clasp and button popper, as it is supposed to look like, being called 'The Original'! Many Filofax users love the 'vintage' binders of Filofax's heyday, and I think Filofax are trying to recreate that style to meet their users' desires. I hope that the quality of The Original is as good as the vintage binders!

I really like the button/popper- it has a very classic but cute design, and gold writing, which is a lovely touch to an otherwise plain exterior.

Down the spine you can see the rivets of the ring mechanism, similar to on the Domino.

The Interior:

I think this is the most controversial topic about this Filofax among the Philofaxy community. Many people haven't been impressed by the interior pocket layout, and I have to say I agree with them.

On the front inside cover, there are only two card slots- these are not pockets, because the card goes straight through to the underside of the yellow strip of leather, there's no fabric or leather lining or pocket that the card would sit in.
The elastic band in the middle is divided into three, with two pen loops and a wider 'loop' that is designed for a phone or something similar. In several of their products, Filofax is trying to sell to technology lovers by encouraging smartphone and tablet users to also use their paper products by making it possible to integrate their phone or iPad within a ring binder organiser, such as in the Pennybridge ipad case with ring binder attachment, or this strip in The Original to hold your phone. I'm not sure how effective this elastic strip is- once you insert your phone, you will have a big strip of elastic over your phone's screen/keyboard, so this feature must be designed for phone storage rather than being able to use the phone while in this holder. Also, I tried to insert my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone into the elastic band, but it wouldn't fit, as my phone is quite wide at 7cm, and trying to do this left the elastic almost out of shape- so I think this strap is designed for a narrower phone like the iPhone.
The placement of the pen 'loops' isn't well designed, in my opinion, as the loop on the left is too far inside the binder and the pen pushes down on the divider tabs when the divider is closed, and when a pen is in the right loop, it sits against the middle of the pages and creates a lump, which is especially annoying if trying to write on the left-hand pages when the pen is still in the loop. Moreover, it is difficult to get any cards out of the slots when a pen is in the right loop.

I love this stamped area, which also attests to being 'Made in the UK'.

The layout of the interior back cover is simple, with two slots into which the cover of a 'jot pad' can be slotted. There are two slots, so theoretically you can use the binder upside-down, with the pad on the left for left-handed users, as with the Domino. The slots aren't big enough for to insert a traditional A5 notepad that most A5 Filofaxes come with, however, with some cutting down of the backing card of this A5 notepad, it would be possible to insert an A5 pad!
There's no zip pocket on this Filofax, however in the inserts of this binder, Filofax have included a zip-lock pocket insert.

The cover of this Filofax is 100% leather, and besides the pocket area of the interior, the remainder of the interior is made up of the very smooth underside of the satchel leather. The photo above shows some marks in the leather of this binder, which are barely noticeable!

The ring mechanism on this binder isn't too bad, the 2nd and 3rd rings don't come together completely, but they don't snag on the paper, which is the important thing. I do wonder how the plastic cover will really protect the ring mechanism of The Original binder during transit and shipping!

The Inserts:

There are some very interesting inserts in this Filofax!

The first insert is the flyleaf, which on first glance looks like it has this partial Union Flag design on it, but on closer look it's a plain, regular flyleaf, with the Flag design printed onto paper underneath it.

The dividers are 1-6 blue and green dividers, similar to the ones available in the Chameleon range. Interestingly, there are no A-Z dividers in this Filofax.

The paper inserts in this Filofax are different than inserts available in previous organisers.

The organiser comes with lined white paper, which I suppose is intended to make up for the lack of the lined white notepad. Additionally, they have provided sheets of gridded paper- interestingly, this isn't squared paper like normal, but rectangles! The Filofax also comes with plain paper inserts.

The coloured paper inserts provided are three colours- dark blue, green and pink. I've never seen green coloured A5 paper made by Filofax before, so this is new! In fact, all of the inserts in this Filofax are dated 2013, so they are all new; Filofax isn't just using up its old stock, but making new inserts for us!

The To Do and Contacts pages are white, but are based on the design of the cotton cream personal pages. Members of the Philofaxy community have been asking for cotton cream inserts for the A5 size for ages, because the cotton cream paper is much better quality, and the layout of the cotton cream for personal size diaries are generally better designed than the white diary inserts.

The diary inserts provided in this Filofax are the WO2P horizontal 2013 July to December multilanguage format, and the 2014 WO2P vertical format. It's nice that Filofax would provide 18 months of diary, but I think it's a little strange that they provide two different types of diary! 
The vertical format is based on the cotton cream format with its fonts and non-capitalisation of the names of the days, again on white paper, which is interesting! I've tested this paper briefly with some inky fountain pens, and I must say that, on first look, it looks like it handles ink much better than existing white Filofax paper! I will be doing more paper tests on the inserts provided in this Filofax in another blog post. I would say that Filofax have been listening and trying to carry out Filofax users' wishes for future inserts!

I'm quite pleased that the Filofax comes with a frosted ruler and an ziplock pocket insert. Until recently, I had never seen a frosted ruler for A5, and had to buy two of them in the Conduit Street store because I had never seen them for sale anywhere else. Many people have complained that the black rulers that are typically provided with Filofaxes are annoying because they get in the way and you can't see through them, so it's great that Filofax have started to provide this ruler as standard! It does seem like Filofax are listening to their customers! Also I've never used a Filofax brand ziplock pocket, and as there is no zip pocket in the Filofax itself, it's a great touch that Filofax have provided one in here.

All in all, I really like The Original Filofax Organiser! Filofax have tried hard to listen to their customers and make positive changes, such as manufacturing this Filofax in the UK, using 100% quality leather, and making improvements to their inserts and the accessories they provide with it!

Thanks again to Jess for providing me with this sample of The Original!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Review: Life Canvas stationery and organisation products!

Hi guys!
Today I'm reviewing some samples kindly sent to me by Emily at Parragon, from their new range of stationery called 'Life Canvas'!*

Life Canvas is a range of stationery and organisation products, designed to help you organise your life in style. They have many products, including A5 journals, A6 organiser notebooks, notebook organiser sets, notepads, sticky note sets in tins, more sticky note sets called 'Stickipedia', colourful notebooks, travel journals, family journals, drawing, doodling and scribbling books, and sentimental books, including 'The Story of me and My...' (Dad, Mum, Grandpa or Grandma), 'Memories From Your...' (Mother or Grandmother), and 'It's All About...' (Me or You)!
Their designs are pretty and cute, with butterflies, birds, and even a Pop Art style!

Emily sent me an A6 organiser notebook, a notebook organiser set, and a colourful notebook!

Colour Notebook-

I really like this little notebook! It's called 'Purple Rain', I'm guessing after the Prince song! The other notebooks in this range are called 'Blue Sky', 'Silver Fox', 'Sunshine Yellow', 'Red Hot' and 'Acid Green', and their covers are the appropriate colour. I love the colour of this notebook, a true purple, darker than the above photo shows.

But what I really love about this notebook isn't the cover; it's the inside which counts! I've seen so many notebooks where it seems like the designers and manufacturers have concentrated on what the cover looks like, and just leave the inside pages looking boring! Life Canvas' notebooks are just beautiful in comparison!
The inside cover invites you to unleash your creativity...

And each page, with its lilac background, pale purple dotted lines and purple borders, has a quote or fact about the colour purple! Each page is different, no quote repeated, and the pages are well-designed so that the quotes aren't in the way of your writing, and don't distract you! I really love this attention to detail, it makes each page special even before you start writing on it!

Pen test:

The paper doesn't perform so well with some of my inkier pens, including fountain pen ink, rollerball ink and highlighters, and of course a Sharpie! So I would use a ball-point or gel pen in this notebook. However, I think the beautiful pages with the lilac pages and cute quotes make up for the poorer paper quality!

A6 Organiser Notebook-

I really like this little organiser. Like the colourful notebooks, it's really well designed, or even more so!
One of the best things about this notebook is that it's divided into sections and subsections with cut-out top-tabs and side-tabs!

The top-tabs are 'Notes', 'To do', 'Ideas', and a larger section 'The Best...'

 ... which sub-divides into 'Music', 'Books', 'Films' and 'Websites'. There are also 3 blank sections, which you can label to write more of your favourite things, following the pattern of the 'The Best' section, or you could make your own sections.

Sorry for the blurryness!
 Each section has approx. 30 pages to write all of your notes, lists etc!
My favourite thing about this notebook is how beautiful and detailed the pages are! Each page is different, with lovely butterfly designs and coloured backgrounds, including pink, lilac, blue, green and cream.

In the notes section there are some lined and some blank pages, so that you can write, draw diagrams, draw pictures, etc.

 The A6 Organiser Notebook retails for RRP £8.00

Last but not least, was:

The Notebook Organiser Set-

This is so beautiful! My favourite of the bunch!!

The front cover has an elastic, although I don't really know how it is supposed to hold it closed, because it's not well designed...
... but that's all made up for by the beautiful inside!!

It's made up of three sections:

Sticky notes on the left

An A5 notepad in the middle, which is perforated at the top for easy removal of the papers

And an envelope on the right to hold all of your important bits of paper!

When closed, this set would be perfect to hold your important documents, tucked in between the closed flaps, to carry in your handbag, at work, and store on your desk. It's effectively like a desk on the go- you have everything you need except for a pen!

The sticky notes are beautiful, and I did a little experiment with them: I removed a sticky note (the bigger purple one in the middle on the right), and stuck it into the purple notebook. As I was hoping, there was no sticky residue left on the sticky note below from the one I had taken off! I've experienced a lot of other brands' pretty sticky notes leaving residue, so I'm very happy that these don't!

I then unstuck and restuck the sticky note five times on the page. When I restuck it for the final time, I tested to see how well-stuck it was to the paper- barely any lift-off!!

The Notebook Organiser Set retails for RRP £10.00

I really like these products, and I think the whole Life Canvas range is really beautiful, well-designed and creative! Thank you to Emily from Parragon for sending me these products to review!

*I was not paid to write this review, however the samples were sent to me to review free of charge; all opinions are my own.