Monday, 31 October 2016

November Bullet Journal Set Up

As promised, here is my Bullet Journal set up for November. Yes, it doesn't already have a Christmas theme. No, I am not sorry.

I have been using the same layout for a few months now, and I completely love it. I've made it my own, the whole point of Bullet Journals, and it works for me!


First of all, I start off with a monthly spread. This means I can see what I have planned for the month, when I will be working and therefore when my days off will be. I do prefer to be able to see it all in one go, then I can transfer it to my weekly spreads when it gets to that week. It also means no forgetting what may be happening in a few weeks time! Plus, planning needs to be pretty, therefore I have added Christmas washi tape and a decorative banner!


I then have my Weekly spread, I always pop a calendar for the month in the top left hand corner, and I list the days as I go along, along with tasks to complete that I can check off and what I am doing that day. I don't use a key so to speak, as I tend to know what I mean when I write it down. I do use stars for events though! I also find that one page a week works perfectly for me.


After my weekly spreads, I have put an editorial calendar for my blog. My aim is to blog 3 days a week and I have already got some ideas planned. I find it helps with motivation, to have to fill in all of the days with my blog posts I am going to write!


I also wanted a double spread for blog post ideas, one I will use for the month on November and I am also aiming to do Blogmas, so I blog everyday in December...let's see how that goes...so I have a page where I can write down all of my ideas and check them off as I do them.


Please don't leave now..I have started my Christmas planning, just because I want to spread the cost this year and keep track of what I am getting everyone. I am doing an Advent Calendar for Phil (my boyfriend), so I want to figure out what I am giving him and what days I will be doing it, so I can put it all together. This is 100% filled in, but I have obviously blanked it all out so he can't see (soz babe). I have also made Christmas present boxes on the right hand side, which I am filling with the main presents I have gotten my family and boyfriend. This goes on for a few more pages too, and are also partially filled in!

I will be adding more pages as the month goes on, but for now this is all I need!

What are your must have spreads for November?


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Friday, 21 October 2016

24 Bullet Journal Spread Ideas


As a huge fan of planning and of course my Bullet Journal, I am constantly thinking of new spread ideas I can do to keep my planning in order. I even have a spread dedicated to spread ideas, necessary? Oh of course it is!

As it nears the end of the month, end of the year, end of my notebook even, I wanted to share some Bullet Journal Spread Ideas in case anyone needed any inspiration!
  • Blog Post Ideas
  • Blog Post Schedule
  • Seasonal Activities
  • Meal Planning
  • Meal Ideas/Recipes To Try
  • Packing Lists - perfect for going away
  • Yearly Review - this also works for the end of the Month too
  • Start/Stop/Continue - working on yourself? Think of things you want to Start, Stop and Continue doing!
  • Birthdays/Dates to remember
  • Wishlist's
  • Spending Tracker
  • Income Tracker
  • Current/Future Projects
  • Brain Dumps
  • Someday List
  • Places To Go/Places You've Been
  • Memories
  • Mood Tracker
  • Dreams
  • Weight Loss Tracker
  • Present Ideas
  • Spending Ban Tracker
  • Savings/Debt Tracker
  • Mega To Do List

I will be sharing my November layout with you at the end of October, it's one I've been using for a couple of months and it is working perfectly for me!

What are your must have Bullet Journal Spreads?


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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Blogging Update


I think it's about time I addressed my blogging situation with you. If you have continued to read my blog, well I cannot thank you enough, it means a lot! You will also have noticed that my blog posts have been few and far between for months now. I would be lucky to do 1 a week and it never felt like my heart was truly in it. However, I am back!

I fell out of love with blogging and writing and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. That being said, not a day went by without me trying to think of new things to write about. Everyone gets into those ruts I think, and that's ok.

Recently I've been thinking about it a lot more and it seems that the blog posts have flowed more naturally, which I am very happy about. 

I have created a blog schedule in my Bullet Journal which is now full for October so expect lots of blog posts for the coming months!

For all of you wondering, I will now be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week.

Happy Reading!


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Monday, 17 October 2016

Blogger Box Of Lame

It's that time of the year again that That Lame Company have released another Box of Lame and they have not disappointed. This time around they released three versions: the Small, Big and Blogger Box of Lame. Obviously I knew I had to get the Blogger version and I was so glad that I did.


In the box I received:
  • A5 Wirebound Notebook
  • A4 Blogger Mail Notepad
  • A5 Notepad
  • A6 Notepad
  • A6 Art Prints
  • Recipe Cards
  • Snail Mail Cards
  • A5 Art Prints
  • A5 Sticker Sheets
  • Rose Gold Prints
  • Gold Print
  • Gold Foil Pencil

Unfortunately I did not get a photo of it all wrapped up pretty as I was far too keen to see what was inside!

If there is one thing that is great about That Lame Company is the thought that goes into every product they make.


I was first greeted by loads of prints. Both of A5 and A6 size and they are so cute! I absolutely love the gold foil prints and the "celebrate all the little victories" is one of my favourites which will be going above my desk. I love all the other little A6 postcards which are motivational and I will be putting these in my Bullet Journal!

Also with the postcards and prints were some Snail Mail cards and recipe cards! I think these are great and I cannot wait to use the Snail Mail cards as sending mail is so underrated these days but I absolutely love getting post through my letterbox! (Just not credit card statements...)


The next thing I pulled out and the thing I was looking forward to the most because I do have a slight obsession, as the incredible selection of stickers. Some were by That Lame Company and I must say they did an amazing job as they are great quality, and some of stickers were from Lilac and Dot, one of the guest Etsy shops for this Box of Lame. You obviously already know that I love my Bullet Journal and I am constantly doing new spreads and updating it, so these stickers are perfect. They are all different which means I can use them all for different things. The words are perfect for when you need that bit of extra motivation, can I just have a sheet of 'Kick Butt' stickers? No, seriously, please. The Lilac and Dot stickers are so cute with the bright colours and glitter, give me all the glitter. I cannot wait till payday to buy more.

Ok, I could seriously write about stickers all day so lets move on.


The next selection of products I made my way through was the selection of notepads and notebooks and there was also a pink gold-engraved pencil! There were 3 notepads: a Blogger Mail one, a generic 'either way I haven't done this yet' notepad and a weekly notepad. Plus a spiral bound 'Notes and Dreams, Thoughts and Schemes' notebook. I think all of these will come in handy and I particularly love the Blogger Mail one as it is so unique and I don't have anything like this already.

I ams so impressed with the Box of Lame this time around, it is so diverse and I don't feel like I've got too much of one product which is great! I love all the products and I cannot wait to see what That Lame Company bring out next.


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Friday, 14 October 2016

Halloween Crafts with Viking Direct #2


I am back with part 2 of #spooktacularcrafts*! In case you missed it, you can find part 1 here which included Lollipop Ghosts and Pumpkin Treat Bags.

Todays craft is slightly more messy but oh so fun! We're using papier mache!


You will need:
  • Coloured Tissue Paper
  • Glue
  • Water
  • Balloons
  • A couple of bowls
  • A Paintbrush
All of this will make you your own Halloween Sweet Bowls and Candle Holders.
  • Mix the same amount of Mod Podge glue and water to make your papier mache mixture.
  • Blow up your balloon to the size you want for your bowl. Top Tip: we found the smaller the better, also rest the balloon on a bowl to make it easier to papier mache.
  • Rip up your tissue paper and coat in your glue mixture and layer on the balloon, coating it into a bowl shape and layer it up.
  • Repeat until you have got enough layers.
  • Leave to dry.
  • Pop the balloon and remove it.
  • Use your bowl for sweets or light a candle in a jar to put in the bowl!


I hope you have enjoyed my week of Halloween themed posts.

What are you favourite things to do for Halloween? Let me know!


*This post is in collaboration with Viking Direct

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Halloween Inspiration


Over the years, I have done plenty of different things for Halloween. From the most amazing kids parties when I was younger, to going out when I was at Uni. For the past couple of years I haven't done much and I wanted to change that this year. I've pulled together a few low cost ideas of things to do for Halloween.

MOVIE NIGHT
This is the one that I have opted for this year. Netflix have a great selection of Halloween films that you can watch. Phil and I are opting for renting Hocus Pocus on iTunes. Head down to your local supermarket or somewhere like Poundland and put yourself together a Spooky Feast! Set up a little pick and mix selection for you and your friends to fill up some sweet bags to eat during the movies.

TRICK OR TREATING
If you have some younger ones in your family or you know someone who does, get everyone you know round your house and get dressed up together. It's not hard to find some cheap face paint and create some great costumes! Take the little ones out trick or treating, put them to bed and eat their stash! [ok, seriously this is what happens when you work in a kid's store, but still I bet this would be so much fun]

SPOOKY FEAST
Following on from movie night, if you have a bit more time then you can make a full on feast. Invite your friends over for dinner and decorate your table in a Halloween theme, with candles and everything! Look up some spooky winter themed recipes. Followed by plenty of sweets, because what is Halloween if there are no sweets involved?

Check out my Pinterest Halloween Board for more ideas.

What are your Halloween plans this year?


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Monday, 10 October 2016

Halloween Crafts with Viking Direct

About a month ago now, I was emailed to ask if I would like to take part in a Halloween Craft Project with Viking Direct* and create some #spooktacularcrafts.


Naturally, I took to Pinterest, created a Halloween board and filled it with potential ideas of what I could create, of course all dependent on the box of craft materials Viking Direct supplied.

Today I want to share with you two crafts that I made inspired by Pinterest.

The first I knew I had to try, Lollipop Ghosts! I headed out to grab a bag of lollies as these were quite important! Because, hey, what is Halloween without sweets? Out of my box of goodies I grabbed the white tissue paper, the black marker and some of the fun scissors. I also had some twine I used to create a more rustic feel to the ghosts, can that be a thing?



I took a squee of white tissue paper and used the scissors to create a fun edge to it! I cut off a short piece of twine to tie the tissue paper around the lollipop. Next, wrap the tissue paper over the lolly, putting it directly in the middle of the tissue paper. Wrap the twine around the stick and tie a knot. Take your marker and draw on two eyes...ta-dah! A lollipop ghost! Repeat as many times as you want, depending on how many little ghosts you want to make.


My second craft for today is little pumpkin treat bags. This one is very simple.
  • Cut out orange circles of tissue paper, as small or as big as you want. Note: if you cut small ones you won't fit much in, if you cut big ones, be cautious of the weight of sweets.
  • Wrap the tissue paper around the sweets. Keeping it circular and pumpkin-like - technical terms right there!
  • Leave enough around the edges to twist at the top.
  • Grab some green or black tissue paper, you only need a small rectangle and twist this around the top of your orange twist. This forms the top of your pumpkin.
  • And there you have your pumpkin treat bags!

That is both of today's crafts! I have two more Halloween themed posts coming this week, so stay tuned!

What is your favourite Halloween activity to do?


*This post is in collaboration with Viking Direct

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Friday, 7 October 2016

Capsicana Cook Sauces

I have been enjoying some amazing cook sauces recently! Capsicana* kindly sent me their three cook sauces to try out, and for me, they are the perfect dinner! These sauces inspired by Latin America are packed full of flavour.


They come in three different flavours:
  • Chilli & Honey Mexican Cook Sauce - Mild
  • Chilli & Lemon Peruvian Cook Sauce - Medium
  • Chilli & Coconut Brazilian Cook Sauce - Hot
I started off by trying the Chilli and Honey Cook Sauce, as I was also cooking dinner for my boyfriend who is not overly keen on spicy food, and we thought it was delicious, for him it was slightly too hot, so if you are not a fan of hot food, then this is not for you. However, I thought it was perfect as you can taste all of the flavours and there was the perfect amount of chilli coming through. 


For each cook sauce, there is a recommended recipe on the card inside, for the Chilli & Honey recipe I used Chicken, Pepper and Onion. I chopped up the pepper and onion and fried this so that they both softened, and took these out of the frying pan. I then fried off the chicken until it was cooked through before adding the vegetables back in. Then add the sauce and heat it through so all the flavours are combined. I served mine with rice which I cooked while cooking the vegetables and chicken, so it took less than 20 minutes for a meal. I also think this would taste delicious on some warm nachos with melted cheese on top! 

These sauces are great for when cooking for friends, offering a selection of flavours and side dishes would make a great dinner party. You could make up the sauces with different meats and fish, offering vegetables to go with it, serving it with tortillas, nachos and rice would be amazing! So who wants to come round for dinner?

Each cook sauce costs £1.99 and you can find stockists on the Capsicana website here.


*Product kindly sent to me in exchange for a review

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Monday, 3 October 2016

Homemade Salt and Pepper Chips with Herbamare

It has been a long time since I have done a recipe on my blog, this one is my go to comfort food, and it is so simple to make, you will have delicious homemade chips within an hour!


INGREDIENTS
  • A few good sized King Edward potatoes
  • Low Calorie Cooking Spray
  • Pepper
  • Herbamare Salt*
METHOD

  1. Start a pan up with boiling water ready for your potatoes, and set the oven to 200C to heat up
  2. Chop up your potatoes, you can have these as thin or as thick as you might like
  3. Parboil your chips for 7 minutes
  4. Take the potatoes off the boil and put onto a lined baking sheet, I use baking parchment and it does not stick to the food and for me, works a lot better than tin foil
  5. Spray with the low calorie cookie spray and add the pepper and Herbamare salt, toss the potatoes to make sure they are covered with the seasoning!
  6. Pop in the oven for 35 minutes, or a bit longer if you prefer them a bit more crispy
  7. Serve as a side or with your favourite dip, and enjoy!

Herbamare is the perfect alternative to your standard salt. It is a seasoning salt made from sea salt and 12 different fresh, organically grown vegetables, herbs and iodine rich kelp. They are great if you are someone who wants to cut down on salt, without taking away any of the flavour. Herbamare comes in 3 different varieties: Original, Spicy and Low Salt. It is great for livening up a meal as it has the 12 added extras, I love alternating between the varieties, depending on whether I fancy adding a bit of spice or not.

I was challenged by Herbamare to see if using their products made a difference than using regular salt. The simple answer is yes, it did make a difference but definitely a good difference. You get a slight herby taste from using the products and you can definitely smell it when you are cooking, it smells incredible. I love it, I prefer using it to normal salt when cooking, I love using it in Bolognese sauce as you are seasoning it with all kinds of herbs and it comes through. It is now my secret ingredient!

What do you think of Herbamare?


*Herbamere kindly sent me their range of products to test out using my own recipes

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Where Do I Start?


It feels so strange to be writing a post on here again, let alone an actual life update, it's been so long. I have thought for days, weeks, about how I was going to start this post and I guess I've decided to just take the 'dive in head first' approach. My last life update was Let's Talk and actually got a bit of a backlash, and since then it hasn't felt entirely right to post anything. However, I absolutely loved writing my last post on Autumn, and it was so good to get back to where I started. So here we go..

Unfortunately it doesn't feel like a whole lot has changed. I've been completely caught up with my new job that I haven't been able to focus on the right things. But now, I have a week off, I'm already 3 days in and I need to make the next 5 days count.

HEALTH

This is becoming an increasing worry for me. I have admitted it. I'm considering going back to Slimming World, and of course I have the oldest excuse in the book, I am trying to save money, and this isn't necessarily an expense I can afford. I do however, have about 6 months worth of their magazines, and I am working my way through them to find healthy recipes and healthy alternatives to foods I already eat. It's the first step in the right direction, and maybe in a few weeks if I am super careful, I will be able to afford to start back at Slimming World. I have such a negative relationship with food, but I can and will do this. I am also going to be exercising more, I haven't completely decided how I will do this, but it releases happy hormones, and I need all of those that I can get.

Health goes further than the physical side of things too, my mental health just hasn't felt right for a couple of weeks, I have felt very much all over the place. I will be doing everything to help myself with this, I have already done one thing to help, and it does make the world of difference. Exercising will also help this and eating right. So maybe soon I will have some good news on this!

MONEY

Oh my goodness, I've never truly opened up about this, but while we are being honest, I am SHOCKING with money. I am so bad at saving, and I will give in to every temptation there is. But NO MORE, I have had enough of missing out, and since my relationship is moving forward, we are looking to move in together, there is no messing about. I have given myself no choice but to get a grip of this. Hello, savings!

AUTUMN CLEAN

Yes, a good old Spring Clean in Autumn. I find this so therapeutic, and with the help of my wonderful Boyfriend, I finally managed to get rid of lots of clothes and belongings I was holding on to for no reason. I have 4 bags to go to charity, and 1 bag I can sell on eBay to go towards savings. It felt so good to get rid of lots of old things, but it did mean I had to go shopping as I had no jacket or jumpers, any old excuse eh?!

BULLET JOURNAL

Ok ok, so this isn't strictly a life update, but I do feel like I need to address this. I really think Bullet Journals are the way forward, I feel like I can really keep my life together and plan towards my future, whether it be a week, month or even a year. I have everything in one book, and I get to make it pretty, win win!


WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM ME FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
  • Bullet Journal updates - I really want to be able to share how I've been planning and getting on top of my health with the use of this
  • More Alphabet Dates -  they are happening again, and I have a few more to share!
  • Recipes - I desperately want to get back to doing weekly recipes again
  • Subscription boxes reviews
  • Favourite Food Product reviews
  • Christmas! - the dreaded C-word, I am aiming to do lots of Christmas posts and my attempt last year was not all that
  • 2016 wins and fails!



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