19 Dec 2010

Culmination of Term One

And what a hectic one at that! A test and two lab reports due in for the last week of term, yep, that is exactly how my university chose to wish us second years a 'merry christmas'. Several of my friends pulled all nighters in order to finish the lab reports on time - something I don't quite understand as I had them done and dusted in just under twelve hours in total?! Maybe I'm just a machine... I'll leave that for you readers to speculate.

As it is, it is six days until Christmas day and I'm feeling extremely festive. Having had a few Christmas dinners of late, not to mention present exchanges and also the snow (more on that later), I'm ready for Christmas 2011! I've never felt more like a kid (and I'm definitely not a kid anymore by age) yet all I want to do is mess around like one. I know this isn't possible, however, as I have two exams as soon as the second term begins (boo!).

Anyhow, these pictures were taken a few weeks back. The first one is of the view from my window from my parents' house. I came home for the weekend on a Friday night and upon waking up on the Saturday morning, this was the sight before my eyes as I drew my curtains

And getting back to London on the Sunday afternoon was hell. My train was delayed by an hour so by the time I got back to my place, it was all dark - but no snow.

Obviously, I spoke too soon as in fact there was snow. This was the view outside my window in my place in London:

Can't say I liked it as I can fall over easily when there is no snow (I'm really quite clumsy, if I have to be honest) but with this gracing the pavements; well, that was a definite hazard. Needless to say, for the few days we had of snow, I lived in my Ugg boots and thick winter coat if I had to go out.

I left London on Thursday morning to come home for the holidays and there was not a snowflake in sight, however, I am told that on Friday, there has been a lot of snow with six inches being the figure I was quoted from a friend! Not sure if that is a reliable figure though as well, as with most things, I have to see it to believe it.

With that, I will conclude this post with a MERRY CHRISTMAS. I hope your Christmas hasn't been spoilt too much by the snow if you're travelling and I will post again in due course (provided revision goes well...)

(Also, apologies for the picture quality - they were taken on my phone which has, quite possibly, the worst camera known to man.

12 Dec 2010

So, I've been a bit AWOL recently

...and my Filofax says it all if you open it up randomly. With netball matches twice a week and training once a week, this leaves me four nights in a week to get some work done - be it revision or a lab report. I had a hectic November where there was one lab report after another and netball three times a week but things are set to get quieter now with my first lot of second year exams around the corner in January.

With these looming exams, I have found myself turning to my Filofax to organise my revision schedule (as well as various Christmas events going on with several societies I am a part of).

I'm glad to say though that this time next week, I will be home and dry for the Christmas holidays...where I will attempt revision for two exams...

5 Dec 2010

2011 inserts; got yours yet?

Without meaning to sound boastful... but I have mine and have had them since April 2010! I know, I am so eager (or organised? Or unwise? Wishing I had heard of Quo Vidas then as I really want to try some of their inserts).

These are my 2011 inserts - cotton cream, week on two pages, and boy, am I excited to use them. The space for each day is so big - perfect for term time when I'm rushed off my feet doing one thing or another! I've put a quote in the 'this week' box to try and motivate myself. I am not sure if this will work but you never know until you try, right?

What are your inserts of choice? Feel free to mention even if they aren't Filofax inserts - I'm always on the lookout for other brand inserts which also fit in a personal sized filofax ;)

For The First Time...

I set foot in Paperchase! Prior to my first visit, I had heard many good things about them but just shrugged them off having never actually seen a physical store. However, I was Christmas shopping on Friday in Westfields, London only to find myself outside a store, admiring some wall calenders I had seen. Little did I know, this was the start of myself spending an hour in the store (bear in mind I only had four hours to do my Christmas shopping) admiring everything in every single aisle! How have I not come across this store before?! Have have I managed to fulfill my stationary needs in the past?!

They also had a section for Filofaxes and refills even though the store was small (when I say small, I mean small. The aisles were so narrow, it was hard to turn without knocking into something). Nothing Filofax related caught my eye, though, some other cute (non-stationary related) things did. They had cute food containers (I bought them as I needed some anyway) amongst other things, such as oyster card holders, the cutest sticky notes ever - but having raided freshers' fair and careers' fair earlier in the term, I had no valid reason to purchase them (unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my bank balance).

On the other side of the tiny shop, they had a stand full of Moleskine diaries, and having held one in my hands, I have to say that I am actually quite tempted by them! Having had a look online since, I really do like the look of the ones which have a different colour for every month - though come the end of a month and the time for a changeover to the next colour, I may start to go crazy; as planning things more than a month in advance may become difficult. Then, I thought of a solution - I can use both Moleskine and Filofax! Moleskine to carry around with me and Filofax for at home, laid flat on my table at all times. Thoughts on this? Good or bad idea? 

Needless to say, now that I know of Paperchase, I will never pass up an opportunity to have a nosy instore again!

NB: For obvious reasons, I have not posted pictures of my purchases and some of them make up Christmas presents :]

2 Dec 2010

is a filofax the ideal christmas present?

In my eye, it is. Here are my reasons:

  • There will be a model which suits everyone - from the Metropol for vegetarians who want something with a leather feel but without being real leather; to the Classic which is, a classic.
  • There is a wide variation in the price range, from uber expensive to the very much affordable.
  • Different models have different colours! Something to suit everyone, surely.
  • The ring mechanism means that it can be personalised to how one wishes. Reading the various blog posts around the internet say it all; everyone has a different set up.
  • It can be re-used time and time again; all that it needs are new inserts once a year.
  • The Filofax is a practical gift that will never go out of fashion, despite the continuing emergence of more and more smartphones (which aren't guaranteed to not break down, unlike a Filofax).

As if these reasons aren't enough, Filofax do a Beauty Box which makes an ideal Christmas gift!

This is pretty much the perfect present for me... The Domino in snake (already have a pink Finchley, thanks, can only have so much pink in my life) and the pen with the built in atomiser! Genius. Seriously. I honestly wish I had invented that.

25 Nov 2010

a month til christmas!

Because it is now exactly a month til Christmas (to the date, not the day - did I get that right?), I am allowed to mention the C word now, right? Yippee.

For me, Christmas means time off from school/university and is also time to relax and be away from the hustle and bustle of London for a few weeks (though, this may not be true come Christmas of 2011). I like the cold weather as I like layering clothes; I like the feeling of cuddling up in bed with a hot mug of something, be it hot chocolate, a cup of my favourite green tea or whatever and then just sitting there, either chilling (yes, I just used the word chilling), reading or even browsing the internet on my laptop. (I know the latter is a fire hazard but I have a bedsite table, you know!)

So, how have you guys been planning Christmas with the aid of your filofaxes? This year, I think I'll be hitting Winter Wonderland again one night with my friends (like I did last year, except this year, we are a bit further away. We walked there and back from the halls of residence last year!) and I hope it will be just as eventful and funny. It really was a good night last year. It was even snowing that night! Was literally, the perfect winter wonderland.

Any plans for you all this year? Anything exciting that you are doing? (So I can nick your ideas of course.)

21 Nov 2010

Slight Hiatus

Sorry for the wayward posting of late. I've been swamped under with uni work and other sport commitments so have not had much time (hence the (badly) scheduled posts).

Hoping to be less busy from next week or so onwards, so normal service will be resumed then :)

17 Nov 2010

shopping ban update!

Well, it's been three and a half months (more than a quarter of my way through this ban!) and it's gone pretty well; if I do say so myself (cue a proud face). I've not actually had an urge to spend money on clothes even though I've still been browsing shopping sites and if I do feel a slight urge to whip out that credit card, I immediately start thinking to myself "is this coat/dress/top/pair of trousers/skirt/pair of shoes/bag (delete as appropriate) really worth breaking the ban for?" and usually the answer is a big, fat, resounding NO. And I'd like things to stay this way, thanks.

It also helps than in my Filofax, I have a sticky note on the 'Today' ruler saying (oh so very imaginative) "No shopping allowed" and to be honest, I will probably keep that there for longer than this shopping ban goes on for because... I love the feeling of having money! Thank goodness for my Filofax and the Today ruler :)

2 Nov 2010

start of my vegetarian month...

I have decided to do a month where I go vegetarian which means under no circumstances am I allowed to consume meat in any shape or form. Note that I said vegetarian, not vegan which means I am still allowed to eat eggs, cheese, etc. With this month bound to be a difficult one for me, I will be turning to my filofax like it is a lifesaving buoy while I am trying not to drown from starvation. A weird analogy I know, but it's the best I've got!

As I am not allowed to eat meat for this month, I wrote down a list of protein containing foods, as well as iron containing foods which are vital for the well being and health of a woman (I can now call myself a woman as I am no longer a teenager!).

The meat substitutes I have so far found are: quorn, baked beans (forgot their real name! Starts with a 'c'?), nuts, eggs, fish, tofu (yummmm), soya beans and lentils. If anyone has anymore suggestions, please do do do comment! I want to eat a variety of foods this month, not churn the same meals out over and over again. I am also a fond lover of stew or a casserole in the winter months so any suggestions for what I can replace the beef with? I am thinking maybe lentils or chickpeas but still undecided.

High iron foods include brocolli, spinach and eggs and I don't really know what else... With regards to eggs, I will only be eating a maximum of two a week due to some things I have read about eating too much eggs. I'm not sure if it's true but I'm not willing to take a chance!

With this in mind, I have to be super organised with weekly meal plans and this is where my filofax comes in. On each day of this month, I will be pencilling in the protein containing ingredient I will be using for that night's dinner. I'm pretty much a health freak and last year, I cooked every single meal and when I didn't, it would be for an ocassion such as someone's birthday or something.

To aid my determination to complete a meat free month, I also have a food diary going. I have been recording what I've been eating since the 10th of August this year and I will continue to do so. My main reason for doing this diary was to see where I could save a bit on my weekly shop and also see what aspects of my diet were going wrong (maybe eating a cookie for lunch was not such a good idea due to my constant snacking in the afternoon after...). I also any unusual goings on with my body that may affect weight gain or a feeling of being bloated.

My Food Diary.
The beauty of being at home is that I can eat whatever the hell I want for breakfast!
And lunch - as you can see!

29 Oct 2010

using my filofax for revision

This post is somewhat late (if you had exams in the summer) or early (if you have exams next term) but for me, this will be the perfect time to blog about it as it gives me time to tweak my revision schedule before I need to start the actual hardcore revision itself.

Here is a picture of my revision schedule from my summer exams. I will explain everything and how I used this to my advantage! The inserts are currently not in my filofax due to the fact I changed my inserts.

As you can see, there is a lot of writing. I will first explain the writing itself!

There are initials of my modules written down as shown: MB, MCB and PE. I was quite lucky in that I only had three exams (but they were spread out over three consecutive days! One each days! It's a miracle I passed considering how much I had to learn...) as other people I knew had as much as six or seven.

I have smudged out the names of my lecturers for their privacy and also mine ;) But as you can see, alongside each module, I would have written down a few lecturer's names or maybe a topic's name (for example, 'Recombination' on Thursday the 10th). This is an indication of what I was planning to revise on those days. I would cross each name out once I'd revised it to my satisfaction. If I failed to finish revising the stuff that day, I would rewrite the module or lecturer's name again but for a later date.

This is not a full proof method as I actually had some gaps in the things I revised (I only found this out during the exams themselves...revision fail!) so I'm actually looking for a new way to revise, but still using my filo as I feel it keeps me organised.

Any suggestions?

26 Oct 2010

a year older, but not necessarily wiser

So, it's my 20th birthday today and I feel quite old... Apologies if I am offending anyone here saying that but as I after being a teenager for seven years; being able to say I am twenty years of age now feels like something new!

To celebrate, a group of my friends and I have plumped for dinner at a nearby hotel restaurant. Being in South Kensington, this won't be cheap but thanks to a Taste London card, we'll get 50% off the food bill! This discount helps a lot as being students, we rarely get to eat good food, but this time, we can but for half the price. Let's hope the food comes out as good as it would at full price!

Apologies for a lack of commenting on blogs and stuff. I've been really, really busy with uni stuff; you just wouldn't believe!

23 Oct 2010

ugg boots...to hate or not to hate

So, the famous (or should that be infamous?) Ugg Australia brand. Famous for their pricey (but comfy, I must add) sheepskin boots, boots which have enough influence to be made by a cheap factory and passed off as the real thing. The real question is though, to hate or not to hate? Until about a year ago, I never liked them. I thought they were overpriced and that people only bought it for the label; not to mention the fact that in my local area, only chavs wear them (and normally fake ones at that). However, my opinion changed when I tried a pair and actually bought two pairs off shudoo.co.uk (taking advantage of a 20% discount code). Obviously, I bought the classics as they are, in essence, what they say on the tin - of a classic style; meaning that they will not go out of fashion.

Not entirely convinced that the above picture is of real Ugg boots, but nevertheless, I am too lazy to take a picture of my own.

Having spent the majority of my teenage years slagging off these boots, I have found myself in love with them (only in the winter though, mind you. I would never wear these out when the sun is shining at the temperature is above 15 degrees celcius!!!!). I literally lived out of my two pairs last winter due to the sheer amount of snow that fell at home and in London. Walking to college every day was turning into an obstacle course with the ice in Hyde Park and so I need something cosy but also safe. Although they don't look it, the grip on them is pretty good. Not once did I find myself skating through Hyde Park instead of walking through it.

Don't get me started on the cosiness either. If you buy a real pair (made from sheepskin and whatnot), they are very, very, very comfy. I cannot emphasise that enough. I did not need a single pair of thick woollen socks in the winter as the boots did the warming themselves! My feet never froze and it also meant I rarely had dry, chapped skin on my feet - win!

So, what do you think? I know the price is a little outrageous but if you wear them for many years, the boots pay for themselves (especially if you feel the cold as easily as I do). Go on, share your opinion; I won't be offended if you hate them ;)

19 Oct 2010

a filofax in china/hong kong?!

I'm a big fan of watching Hong Kong dramas (my parents are from there and I've been born and brought up in the UK but with a love for anything Hong Kong/China related! Well, mostly...) and whilst watching this one, I spotted what looked a lot like a Filofax! Here is the first screencap...

In this one, only the rings are visible but from the size, it looks like an A5 filofax. The character (name is Hoi Leung) is using a verrrry nice pen too, but in this drama, he is a rich businessman who was formerly the CEO of his own company. It's too complicated for me to explain the events that unfolded which caused him to no longer be the CEO so I'll leave it at that.

The next shot was of what he had written and from looking at the paper, it looks like non-standard Filofax paper but it does have an air of cotton cream-ness to it! And it is lined! I'm loving this paper as it looks like it is high quality paper and would love to know where Filofax sized refills are sold in Hong Kong! Next time I am there, I will have a hunt in stationary shops (of which there are many, but mainly independant ones!).

The final shot is of Hoi Leung's son (Hoi Sing) reading what he had written before he passed away. Hoi Leung had been using the 'Filofax' as a diary and that was his first, and last, entry. In this shot, I think it looks like an A5 model, but which one I am not sure. Nevertheless, this is my first time seeing a Filofax-esque product in a Hong Kong/China drama (this was a collaboration between TVB, a Hong Kong based TV company and some China one - I've forgotten the name of it).

I'll keep my eyes peeled for any further spots of Filofaxes in Hong Kong dramas from now on!

16 Oct 2010

what pen to use for my lectures?

With my second year of uni starting a few days ago, I feel now would be a good time to do a post on pens! I am, though I dislike admitting it, very much obsessed with this writing instrument. Fountain pens, gel pens, rollerballs, biros... I love them all. However, my utmost favourite at the moment are either the Uniball eye pens or the standard Muji 0.5mm gel pens.

Last year, I usually used a blue Papermate biro, a Uniball eye (in blue) or a Muji 0.5mm gel pen in a deep blue shade. This year, I will probably resort to the same pens but I was wondering if any of you readers out there had a recommendation for a good pen to use? In lectures, I need a pen that will, if capped, be able to sit uncapped for around ten minutes but still write as well as it would do if in full flow, if I decide to use it after period of leaving it to 'dry'? This is where I find the Uniball eye pens appealing as they can sit for a while, uncapped, but still write smoothly when required. The papermate biros are okay if I have to write non-stop (which I did have to for a few lectures) but took a time to get going if I took a pause from using it. The Muji pens are just the same as the Uniball eye pens in terms of quality.

So, any suggestions? Please also let me know if your suggestion is a cheap one as being a student, I would like to save as many pennies as possible! (The ones I currently use aren't cheap either so any suggestions put forward would be greatly appreciated :) )

13 Oct 2010

filofax cameo on gossip girl!

Well, due to immense boredom one day, about two months ago, I decided to re-watch Gossip Girl in preparation for the new season (which is so far so good!) and guess what I saw on it? A filofax!!!! Imagine my excitement (my last on screen filofax spot was on the film 27 Dresses so it has been quite a while.). I found these screencaps in my laptop's Pictures folder and realised I had yet to blog about them!

To prove that I was not seeing things, here are a few screencaps I took. (Apologies for the quality as I had to download the episodes as I have no idea how to rip from a DVD!)

From this first screencap, you can see that the girl (her name is Serena in Gossip Girl) is holding a red Domino filofax which actually belonged to her teacher. Now, at this point, I wasn't convinced it was a Filofax, but then...

She opened the filofax up and there it was! Filofax branded refills! I knew then that the model was a Domino due to the tell-tale elastic showing in the previous screencap I took.

And the last screencap, just to emphasise my point and to also prove that I was not hallucinating! From these pictures, I'm guessing that it is a Personal sized Domino?

So there you have it :) Any other interesting Filofax spots? I have another, more dubious one, coming up too! Stay tuned.

6 Oct 2010

what's in my bag #4

Apologies for my editing of the first photo. The photo was taken badly in the first place and I am just too lazy to take another shot!

In my bag (first picture:

My trusty Filofax, my Oyster card (in IKEA holder) and my 16-25 railcard.

Second picture:

My phone, iPod, camera, Luella purse, notebooks, throat lozenges, Shiseido make up bag, plastic fork, my college ID card and my keys.

All in my Cath Kidston bag :)

29 Sept 2010

the finsbury: an outsider or the ultimate insider?

The Finsbury is the cheapest leather Filofax, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, that was the reason why my first Filofax was a Finsbury! I wanted leather but didn't want to splash out on something I may not love; but I needn't have worried. I fell in love as soon as the package arrived from John Lewis...

Because the Finsbury is the cheapest leather filofax, does this make it an outsider or the insider? Let's consider this...

It could be an outsider due to it's lower price point in comparison to other leather filofaxes, for instance the Malden (which I LOVE), the Eton and the Adelphi. Therefore, it is an outsider trying to find its way in - sort of like a desperado wannabe. However, it could also be considered an insider due to the fact that it offers pretty much the same, and possibly a bit more than other more premium filofaxes. Firstly, it is leather, which is always a bonus in my eyes, and then there is the fact that it is priced lower than other leather filos. It also comes in a variety colours - something which other filos do not. In this sense, the Finsbury has a bit of a fun factor.

Consequently, the Finsbury is a mixed character. It can be seen as someone desperate, like that leech of the telly, Piers Morgan (a so called tv personality I despise) or it can be seen as someone who has all the features of being premium, but also has a bit more to offer than their said superiors.

25 Sept 2010

my own six items or less challenge

So, on the 11th of August, I undertook my own six items or less challenge. I didn't follow the dates that the official wordpress blog used and just did it to my own agenda as I know that if I tried to do it in September, I don't have the time to 'remember' that I am on this challenge!

Well, basically, I managed to succeed! I picked six items from my wardrobe:
  • A Traffic People dress (for the young adult in me)
  • A pair of mink coloured tapered trousers from Topshop
  • A Topshop striped breton style capped sleeve tee shirt
  • A Uniqlo mink coloured A line skirt
  • A sheer cream silk blouse
  • A pair of jeans from H&M
I kinda cheated a little in that I didn't count a camisole which I wore under the silk blouse - but I had to for decency's sake. If I hadn't worn the camisole under the blouse, I would have been arrested for indecent exposure!

I found that instead of resorting to my usual 'throw on a random dress' attitude (that's how many dresses I have...), I found myself reinventing ways I could wear the six items I had chosen. For example, the sole dress I chose could have been tucked into the skirt; the silk blouse could be tucked into the tapered trousers or it could have been worn as is with the jeans... There were different options for me to choose from, and these different options were enough for me to not have to recycle the same outfit over and over!

All in all, this challenge has been good for my wardrobe and for my own creativity. Usually, I open my wardrobe and say 'Argh, I have nothing to wear' but now, knowing that I managed to live a month with only six items, I know that the phrase no longer stands. This challenge has also allowed me to consider what clothes I really love and need to keep, instead of 'oh I should keep this, just in case'. In case of what? Most of these in case scenarios rarely, if ever, arise so now I have a good idea of what to go and list on eBay!

22 Sept 2010

The Amazona... As Never Seen Before

The Amazona. A continental delight who takes great pride in her appearance. She is tanned and has perfectly manicured nails and also an immaculate pedicure.

She would have dark hair and dark eyes and with a name like 'Amazona', she would be of South American origin.

In essence, this is who she would be if she were to be real:

Next week, it's the turn of the Finsbury, which will be the last one for a while. With my second year of uni about to commence, I want to commit fully this year and not mess about as much as I did last year. However, there will still be occassional personifications and I will still be an active blogger and commenter on various Filofax blogs; just not as often as I have been in the summer, I guess!

20 Sept 2010

change of 2010 diary inserts

So, I've changed the 2010 inserts I am using. Previously, I was using the Week on Two pages but in the standard white colour. However, I've found the paper a bit too thin for my liking and due to my purchase of a Filofax from Filofax France (prices aren't bad with shipping to the UK), I dug out the inserts that came with them. They only supplied 2010 inserts (bit stingy if you ask me - would it have killed them to slip in some complimentary 2011 ones?!?!) but these 2010 inserts were of a format I had never seen before on the UK site.

They were of the cotton cream variety (I already purchased 2011's inserts in cotton cream due to my love of the colour so these ones would go well with everything else in my filo) and were also of the week on two pages. The 'week' box where anything general could be written down was instead in the lower right page, as opposed to the upper left in the english version and what really got me was the fact that each day was LINED!! The only downside is, of course, that the inserts are in french - but that's ok. It means I'm putting my A grade in GCSE French to good use :) (unfortunately, back in the day, my french speaking was dismal, bringing my overall grade down). Next to the lines are numbers, numbers which, I presume, represent the hours in the day from 8am through to 7pm but I just write over them as the hour by hour is unnecessary for someone like me.

Needless to say, I am now in love with these inserts and just wish that I'd known of their existance before I bought my 2011 inserts (also in cotton cream, but not lined). If they are still around in mid 2011, I may just have to put in another order with Filofax France for my 2012 inserts! Unless, I change to the Moleskine one colour per month... Something which I was soooo tempted by earlier this year!

15 Sept 2010

The Domino's Elastic Waistband

So today, I actually move into my private accomodation for my second year at uni, hence this scheduled post. In the UK, we are only guaranteed accomodation in the first year of our degree - something which I hate and wish they would change to be more in line with universities (or colleges) in the US where accomodation is guaranteed for the duration of the degree. I actually quite like the Greek sorority stuff even though I don't fully understand it - but either way, uni in the US sounds so much cooler than in the UK!

So, this week, it's the Domino's turn. The Domino is a simple filo, but by no means boring. In fact, I'm quite tempted to buy an A5 Domino for use as a diary or journal, but will have to hold this thought: until the 1st of August 2011 at the earliest...

Now, the Domino comes in a wide range of colours - an indication that it is of a laid back character and that it does not take itself seriously. This is further emphasised by the piece of elastic keeping it together - a sign that it may also be a bit of a couch potato with a tendancy to snack, thus the elastic waistband. This allows for his/her belly to grow in size but without the necessity of buying new jeans/bottoms/trousers (delete as appropriate). In essence, we can say the Domino would be a bit of a lazy character. His character of a couch potato is further re-inforced when we consider that other Filofaxes fasten with a clasp whereas the Domino is just a piece of elastic. This design means that no exertion is required to open and close it!
(Remember, this is all for one - I'm merely describing the Filofax, not the Filofax owner!)

13 Sept 2010

freshers' fair!

I'm heading back to London on Wednesday for a few days to get settled into my new accomodation for the next academic year and boy, am I excited! And part of the excitement is for the chance to use my Filofax properly again (after giving it somewhat of a rest this summer) and also for the stationery opportunities. Let me explain the latter.

At my university, there are various fairs throughout the year: freshers' fair (not entirely sure that the apostrophe is in the right place), careers' fair, housing fair, science and technology fair, engineering fair, etc. Sometimes, the fairs are restricted to people doing certain subjects (such as the engineering fair) but more often than not, anyone can enter provided they hold an Imperial College London ID card.

Last year, I went to near enough every fair, and it was serious freebie heaven. I managed to bag enough pens, highlighters, sticky note pads, page leaflet stickets - I don't know its official name... I got so many freebies, I didn't need to buy a single pen, nor did I ever run out of mugs and glasses.

From freshers' fair alone, I came away with chocolates, boiled sweets, numerous pens (varying in quality in that some were amazing rollerballs, some were gel, but most were biro), two lots of page leaflet stickets, four mugs, one glass tumbler, two lots of sticky notes and not the mention the free bags. Obviously, I felt obliged to leave my college email address to the various societies I took things from, but that wasn't much of a problem as a lot of them didn't email me anyway!

Next was careers' fair. I went round this with a friend who, seriously, has no shame when it comes to lifting freebies - a good trait to have as freebies are exactly what they say on the tin - free. I came away with some goggles (a perfect replacement for the standard ones issued to me), countless bags, more mugs and glasses, a set of mini screwdrivers, more pens and highlighters and also, a lot of useful information if I ever decide to pursue a career in law, engineering, chemistry, banking or pharmaceuticals.

Housing fair was not so good - I only came away with a handful of stuff but that was probably due to the small number of stalls there were.

Thinking back to last year's fairs, if there is one thing that I will be doing this year... Well, you know it. I will be at those fairs, ready and poised to snag a few more bagfuls of freebies. I remember from careers fair that I had so much stuff (around four large bags), I had to take the tube home! My hall was only a twenty minute walk from campus but the amount of stuff I had was far too much for my weak arms :(

11 Sept 2010

heavy use of the filofax

Lately, I've found that I've been using my filofax a lot more than usual; even more than during courseworks and essays. I move into my new accomodation for commencement of my second year at uni in about two and a half weeks time (second year doesn't start til October, mind you) and there is a lot of prepare.

Firstly, I need to organise lists of what I need to move down first as my mum and I will be taking the train down to London as she detests driving in London. This means I am limited to two suitcases worth of stuff so I have to plan wisely. Then, I need to write lists of what I need to buy when I get there, from food to essentials and homewares. Thankfully, making lists seems to be a new hobby of mine as I seem to find it fun?!?! Tell me I'm not the only one out there who has this same overwhelming feeling of happiness when writing things down in the list format??

Secondly, I need to arrange amenities such as the phone line and broadband internet. I am, as of yet, undecided about whether or not to go ahead and install a BT line because I'm not sure if the line has already been connected and that all that is required is a change of name... however, I can find this out if I schedule a time and day to phone BT! Of course, I will write this down in my filofax. Also, with internet, I am sharing with three other people so we would need certain features to the package but as of yet, we haven't decided on one... Not good as time is running out! But with my Filofax, I can jot down important information I have found by speaking to customer services and researching on the internet.

Oh yeah, I've changed the inserts I'm using for 2010, but more on that in another post!

Lastly, with regards to the heavy use of the filo: I've had to write down things I need due to a change of circumstances. Having lived in halls of residence last year, I have a pretty good idea of what things I need and what things I don't need. But also, I have a new laptop due to the breakdown of my last one and so will need a new laptop bag. I gave my old one (which still looks new, might I add) to my sister as she has a 15 inch laptop (as was my previous one) but now, I own a 13 inch so the bag ended up being too big. Plus, I need to buy a new hairdryer because my sister has taken the current one we own; which is fine with me because I am a member of quite a few survey sites and have saved enough vouchers to buy one for free!

But all in all, if it weren't for my filofax, I wouldn't be able to have planned everything in advance and stay as calm as I am now. It also lets me see which days I have free and what things I may have missed out.

I love Filofax :)

8 Sept 2010

Life As An Adelphi

The Adelphi comes in two forms - the usual and also the slimline. I'll refrain from using the Slimline for the purposes of this post because I may become bitter about it's 'eat as much as I want but won't gain weight' nature.

Having googled Adelphi to see the origin of it's name; I saw that there was an Adelphi University in Long Island, New York. Now, I have no idea how good it is but I'm under the impression that you have to be well, almost swimming in cashfilled pools. Correct me if I am wrong here! My view of America is pretty warped after researching doing my undergraduate degree there and finding that it was completely unaffordable! (Cue sad but bitter face.)

To me, the Adelphi is a young female in her twenties, maybe early to mid. She has flown the nest and is maybe embarking on a life changing experience - maybe university/college or her first job. She's of the laid back nature and dresses more on the feminine, than the tomboy, side of fashion. She'd have long, straight hair and would be immaculately groomed.

Maybe Emma Watson before she chopped all her lovely hair off??

1 Sept 2010

Beneath The Surface Of The Eton

Now, the Eton is a no nonsense filo which comes in the standard black colour which immaediately screams to me, MASCULINITY. Or an attempt to show it off anyway. (Apologies if you are of the XX kind and have an Eton, this is by no means an attempt by me to try and say you are masculine for I am only personifying the filo, not the owner!). The name 'Eton' is also a bit masculine. I'm sure most of you know that Eton is a boys private (or is it public? The labels we give schools in the UK has always confused me.) school and is the epitome (or so they like to think) of posh, the well mannered and discipline. I'm not entirely sure that past sentence made sense, but then again, not much in the world makes sense!

So, back to the Eton. To me, if he were to be a person, he would be a guy who was well groomed and in an expensive business suit. The suit may or may not be pinstriped but it would always be immaculate with little or no creases to it. He would wear patent black lace up brogues (or brown if he is feeling brave).

In fact, his suit may well be from Saville Row tailors...?

Anyway, this business man would carry a briefcase or an A4 filo around with him. Black of course, and leather, which goes without saying. He carries a Blackberry and has an air of self-importance. His wife may or may not be the Deco (as personified before) but as she's quite high maintenance, he has to earn a high salary - which he does in the city's banks. People either loathe him or want to be him and he likes to come across as 'just a friendly chap'.

Somehow, what I've described sounds a lot like our UK's PM - David Cameron? Not sure I would deccribe his wife as the Deco though - she's always seemed a bit more down to earth than that, in my opinion. Hmmm....

NEXT WEEK: The Life As An Adelphi

30 Aug 2010

what's in my bag #3

So, I went shopping for some more uni supplies I'd need in my second year and this is what I took with me and why:

This was what was in my bag from my trip a few days ago :)

A purse - money obviouslyyyyy

FCUK Cool Down spray cos it was so darn hot that day (what is with the British weather?! Last week it was so hot, now it's pouring with rain!)

iPod and phone - former for entertainment on the journey, latter for communication

Paracetamol - in case!

Vaseline - dry and chapped lips are never a good look.

Eye drops, plasters, medical tape - Eye drops cos I wear contact lenses; plasters in case I cut myself somewhere, somehow; and medical tape for my feet as all my shoes make my feet blister otherwise (oh the things we women do for fashion).

Tissues - goes without saying?

Natural cola cubes - I can't get enough of them clearly...

I just took my normal high street River Island bag with me... by no means my favourite bag nor my least favourite but it does the job and is big enough for everything!

Oh and I forgot to mention the Filo ;) I did it on purpose. In it, I had lists of things I needed for my second year at uni (as some things I threw away after first year, no longer usable, etc.) and needed something trusty to hold the lists and was also durable enough to be bashed around in my bag. Enter, the Finchley Personal. Ahhhh, I'm in love.

27 Aug 2010

filofax rotation?

I got asked by my sister today why I keep changing which Filo I have in use.

Well, I couldn't quite answer it without my obsession coming out into the open so I eventually confessed to a *slight* obsession...

After all, we change the type of clothes we wear when autumn/spring nears, don't we? When autumn commences, we don a lightweight mac for those blustery days where it's too cold not to wear another layer but not quite cold enough to wear a full outer layer. And when winter comes, we often opt for trousers over skirts (more the females than the males here) and closed shoes rather than open toe pumps or sandals, don't we? Well, that is what I do with my Filofaxes.

When autumn comes, the Teal is much too bright, so I will probably keep it as my home Filo, but will instead opt for the Vintage Rose or the Jade Green as that seems much more autumnal, right? And then when winter comes, I may or may not choose to once again change (depends on my exam schedule... if I have an exam straight after Christmas holidays, I will most probably change Filos, purely for procrastination purposes!). 

So, I'll ask you all, if you own more than one Filo, how do you choose which one to use? And why? Do seasons have an effect on your Filo changing schedule? Or is it just because you are bored of your current colour/design?

25 Aug 2010

The Piazza Personified

Following on from last week's post about the Deco as a person, this week sees the Piazza's turn.

I know the Piazza is no longer sold in the Personal size on Filofax UK but personifying the Piazza actually gave me the idea for this feature!

As far as I know, the Piazza comes in a range of colours from the green shown above, to a red, to the bog standard black, lilac, yellow, pink, blue... I might have missed some from that list, or I may have even made a few up! But either way, the point is that it comes in a wide range of bright colours.
Anyway, to me, the Piazza sounds Italian so for me, the person would be Italian or from a Mediterranean country of maybe even Spain. But either way, they'd be tanned. They could be male or female, but for the purpose of this, I will call it a he and the Piazza will be a man.

He would be someone who had an idea of what fun is - a bit of a daredevil if I may say so. He would whizz around the city in a Vespa and he would look good in a helmet while riding it around the city. The girls would swoon at his feet and the guys all want to be his friend, or even be him. Sound like a teenage movie? Yeah, thought so too, but what can I do; this is how I imagined the Piazza!

With regards to his wardrobe; he owns t shirts in a variety of colours and he also owns quite a few striped polo shirts with an alternating colour pattern - some of which have clashing stripe colours - yet he would look good regardless of what he wore. He would rarely carry accessories around with him as his main accessory is his attitude and confidence. People love being around him and everyone likes him.
Although, he sounds like a playboy, he is anything but. He treats others with respect and he is reliable, and although he seems to only live life for the purpose of having fun, he has a serious side as well.

Next week: Beneath The Surface Of The Eton

24 Aug 2010

Inspiration Filofax

I decided to turn my Finchley Vintage Rose into an 'inspiration' filo. It's always open on the little table next to my full length mirror which is next to my wardrobe - but the reason for this will become clear. The inspiration filo mainly contains things that are clothes and fashion related and include cuttings from magazines of well dressed models/celebrities/strangers. This allows me to have a quick flick through while getting dressed if I feel uninspired or bored of my wardrobe. It helps me see ways of wearing a dress or top a bit differently, for instance, I could wear a top over a dress with a belt, or whatever else.

Also, I found that during the making of this inspiration filo, I didn't need to use any spare paper; all I had to use were old inserts which were blank. I purchased a filo which had an 2010 diary in, but seeing as I already have one, I saw little need to have another. This meant minimal wastage of precious inserts!

Anyway, this filo is best explained with pictures, so here they are (there are about ten pictures so sit tight).

A list of designers who I made separate pages for.
One of the designer pages.

More designer pages.

Theme: Safari/beige/nude colours. You can also see the insert I used for this!

Photography from some clothes labels from Urban Outfitters. I love the vintage feel to it. However, I dislike the fact they rip the labels when you purchase something instore!

From the Mango lookbook. I think it was 2008? Gives inspiration for how to wear the same item in different ways.

From the Mina lookbook, 2008 again I think or 2009. Can't remember. I love the model's hair in this series.

High street on the left, shoe inspiration on the right.

20 Aug 2010

filofax finchley jade green

What can I say? I just can't get enough of the Finchley style :)

I am currently using my Jade Green as the 'diary' holder for 2010 and 2011 along with some notepaper for bits and bobs I may want to write down there and then but don't have a notepad with me. So in the place of my vintage rose is this jade green!

18 Aug 2010

if this filofax were to be a person...

So this is the new feature. I've not seen it on any other blogs or anything so this is, what I would call, an original idea of my own. The basis of this feature involves, well, Filofaxes and partly, humans.

Basically, it's a chance for me to ask the question: "If the Filofax x were to be a person, how would you imagine it to be?" Insert a Filo model where the x is. Each week, I will be tackling a new model of Filofax with the person I've imagined it to be in real life and I'll even post if I think I could be 'friends' with it according to the traits I've given it. Of course, this isn't limited to just me; feel free to post your own via your own blog or through comments to this post and other ones in this series.

Now, I'm only going to be sticking to the more modern models as the vintage ones don't leave much for imagination with it's lack of variety in terms of colours (don't get me wrong, the vintage models are to die for, but just not practical for me to post about!).

One last disclaimer before my imagination starts giving a persona to a Filofax model: if you have one of these models, please don't think I'm judging you as a person, I'm not. This is just a light hearted exercise and no harm is intended and least of all, a Filofax with the imagined characteristics does not necessarily reflect the owner, unlike what people say about dogs and their owners (not sure I buy into that concept myself though).

Ok, so first up this week will be the Deco. For the benefit of this series, let's keep the sizes uniform and as a Personal.

Now, being a high priced and premium model, I envisage this model to be a female in real life. She would carry a Mulberry Bayswater handbag as she would have a taste for classic items.

However, the Deco has a slightly twist on it with the unusual clasp detail so I would also hazard a guess at having a taste for the different in terms of detail as the Deco is pretty much classic in design but with a slight flash of wanting to be individual. I think she would channel this by either wearing Louboutins with the flash of red in the soles, but also, note the peep toe detail.

She would be a classic dresser but would maybe wear something that stands out a little by the way of a necklace or a statement bracelet. She has a taste for finer things and would probably reside in Notting Hill or Chelsea in London.
Next week: The Piazza personified!

17 Aug 2010

filofax finchley teal

So, what do I use my Finchley Teal for? It is currently my Home Filo but also contains other bits and bobs. Currently, I am keeping anything that doesn't need to be carted around with me in it, for example, recipes, phone numbers and addresses.

16 Aug 2010

why is one Filofax not enough for me??

That is the question I've been asking myself... And I am going to try and answer it briefly in this post!

You see, I, like many others I suspect, started off using one Filofax but then found it was getting too bulky to carry around with me everyday, wherever, whenever. It weighed more than the rest of the contents in my handbag put together (and if you have seen my 'what's in my bag' posts, you'll see how much stuff I really do lug around!). So, I went and purchased a second Filofax - my Finchley Vintage Rose. This became my new favourite and had transformed into my everyday portable Filo. It had my diary, notes, to do lists, personal pictures, etc. in it, but then I found it had also grown in size. Although the Filo itself was lighter than my previous one (a Finsbury Raspberry), I ended up carrying a lot more in it than I did in the Finsbury.

So then I found myself ordering two more Filos - two Finchleys in colours which have since been phased out in the UK - the Teal and the Jade Green. One of which I will be transforming into a 'home' Filo with addresses, telephone numbers, recipes amongst other things that can stay at home with my Vintage Rose being my everyday Filo once again carrying my week on two pages diary and some spare note paper in case I needed to jot something random down. This still left two Filofaxes - a Finchley and a Finsbury.

Because the Finchley lies flat (comes in many appealing colours, supple leather, need I go on?), I have decided to make it into my 'inspiration' Filo. It will become the place where magazine cuttings go, where inspirational quotes will go and anything else which is motivating will go.

Finally, this just leaves me with my Finsbury. For the time being, this holds my 2009 diary and some other note paper sheets which have been used and no longer needed.

Even though it seems that I have my system of four Filos sorted, I think I can safely say that this is only temporary. I am predicting another major overhaul in six months time when I decide I want a certain colour to be my 'main 'fax' for the time being, or for whatever other reason. After all, we change the types of shoes we wear by the season, right? It's just right for me to change Filos when autumn/winter comes!

15 Aug 2010

easier on the eye

I decided to re-model my blog as the previous layout was a bit dark and not so easy on the eye. I hope this one is better as the colours seem more fresh even though, in reality, I only changed two or three things!

Anyway, there will be a new feature post on Wednesday as the what if idea is a bit crap... There are only so many decent what ifs in the world. However, don't worry, they may make a reappearance if I can think of a decent one, which I do from time to time! And when I think of it, I'll definitely write it in my Filofax to remind myself.

normal service has resumed

So, got my replacement laptop so updates should be frequent with few gaps in between.

Also, I have a few new features lined up which I don't think have been done before: one of which involves the F-i-l-o-f-a-x! I'm quite excited about that one to be honest...

12 Aug 2010

courseworks part II

After reviewing last year's coursework system, I've decided to change some bits of it. I will also elaborate a bit more upon the previous coursework post.

I was asked about how I actually used the index cards, to do sheets and post its when it comes to courseworks. Note that this can also be applied to any project that takes a while to complete, so is not only limited to university students!

Index Cards
Index cards are punched using my Filofax hole punch as and when I need them. I usually have at least one for each week as I like to make shopping lists and the like. However, when it comes to courseworks such as essays or something that needs forward planning (like an oral presentation), I tend to stick another one in. I don't have a picture of this as it appears I actually threw the coursework ones away but I can make a mock one up quickly for an essay I did last term.

The way I used index cards for courseworks is by making lists of things I want to include in the piece. I'll use my essay as an example (purely because I got quite a high mark for it so the index card must have helped!). On one side of the index card is what I want to include in the essay and in what proportion as you can see in the picture.

And on the other side of the card would be the list of references I need to include. I haven't written those on as I used about nine references and it is too much of a hassle to write all those down as the details include journal title, journal issue number, page numbers, and the like.

Post - It Notes
I would use these for important things required, for example, the line spacing required, the maximum word count or number of sides allowed and also the style of references. These are things that need my immaediate attention which is why I'd use a bright coloured sticky note. Also, if there was a requirement needed to be fulfilled which I hadn't done yet, I would also write that on a sticky note and stick it on the 'today' ruler. Each thing that needs to be done would be on an individual note so I can take it off the ruler and bin it once done (so as to not overcrowd that week's 'things to do').

To Do Sheets
To do sheets are an important part of the process. Each piece gets it's own side of a sheet unless it is a big project, in which case, it will get two sides or however many as it needs.The first thing 'to do' is almost always 'to start x' with x being the piece of coursework and the last thing is always 'hand in x'. Even though these seem like silly things to write on a 'to do' list, it does help with the motivation and the want to see these items crossed off the list. The first thing helps to get the ball rolling and the last one is kinda like 'closure' on the piece of coursework so it's officially out of the way. The list would also comprise of things that require doing, such as 'brainstorm some ideas for the bulk of the essay', 'write intro', 'first draft', 'review first draft', etc. These may seem trivial, but I find the want to cross them off helps with the motivation issue. The more the piece is broken up, the more crosses I can make and the more fulfilled I feel. Consequently, motivation increases ten fold with these tiny little tasks.

Sometimes, with the bigger tasks, I write these twice. Once on the to do list, and once in the diary. This means I see it twice, and because it is more important, it is more at the front of my mind which increases the chance of it actually being done.

Percentage System
After reviewing my percentage system, I've decided to give it somewhat of an overhaul. In the past, I just did it off the top of my head, randomly pulling a number out of the air with how much I thought I had did. From now on, I think I will use a bar system. I will draw a bar and colour in how much progress I have made after every task. When the bar is filled, the piece should be completed and ready to hand in. Because I haven't done this before, I am going to try it out with some projects I am doing this summer before I head back to start my second year at university. This will enable me to tweak the system until it is perfect and see what flaws and benefits there are with it. If I need to, I can also put a percentage number with this bar but with the bar being finitely long, it probably shouldn't be needed.

11 Aug 2010

New Feature: What If Wednesday

From every Wednesday onwards (or maybe fortnightly, depending on how easily ideas come to me), I'll be doing a 'What If' Wednesday, just for fun of course. It's always fun to answer 'what if' situations...well, it is in my head! Feel free to also post how you'd deal with the week's situation!

This week's is: What would you do if you won the lottery?  
We could actually elaborate on this by: how would you spend the money? Would you share it? Spend it all? Save most of it? The answers you give may also give us a glimpse into the sort of person you are too ;)

Personally, I would probably stick half of it in the bank so I can live off the interest for the rest of my life! Then with the other half: buy a new house for my parents as my sister is also fleeing the nest this autumn (or fall, for you American readers :) ) so they don't need such a big house as this one, and with the rest, give to my sister so she can fund her degree without the need for loans, buy myself a flat in central London so no need to rent while at uni (one can only wish) and then split the remainder of that to give to my Aunts and Uncles who I am closest to.

I know I shouldn't have favourite Aunts and Uncles, but I do. Everytime I go back to Hong Kong to see my family, I can tell who really cares and who doesn't. Not to mention the fact some of my family back in HK could really do with some financial help and I would be happy to help with that, if only I had the darned winning lottery numbers ;)

So that's what I'd do. Let's not put a number on how much you'd have scooped by winning the lottery, after all, this is a what if situation. So what would you do? Feel free to share yours :)

NOTE: Also, this is not a scheduled post, so even if I am using the slowest computer ever, I am still posting!

9 Aug 2010

laptop problems

Eurgh, I've been having some laptop problems (even though this one is barely a week or so old) and so has to be sent back for a replacement to be made (as it was a custom build laptop) which means a three week wait or so for the new one to arrive.

However, never fear, for I have scheduled posts to last until the end of August. Yep, you read that right. The end of August! All thanks to my new organised self, purely down to the Filofax of course ;) And I've borrowed my parents' old computer too so I should still be able to edit and update as and when!

8 Aug 2010

what's in my bag #2

This was taken before I went out today. I volunteer once a week and thus is what I had brought with me. If you compare it with my previous 'what's in my bag', you can see that I don't travel light!

Oh and for those who are curious, I always pack my bags in advance (having so many has its advantages!) hence why on flickr, it will say that my picture was taken on so and so date, etc.

6 Aug 2010

how I use my filo for courseworks

As you can see above, I write in what tutorials/lectures (if important) and other uni related stuff in the relevant day in my Filo. As you can see above, I had a tutorial on the 27th of April at 2pm. I've smudged out who the tutor was and what room it was in case anyone from my uni stumbles upon this blog ;)

On a side note, I have also written in when to watch the new episode of Gossip Girl and 90210. I always watch the latest episode the day after it was screened in the US as the UK is pretty late when it comes to showing American dramas.  I think the week shown above was also influenced by the Tangible set on Flickr, but obviously not a patch on the creativity shown in the aforementioned set!!!

Now, onto the real bulk of this post. Coursework. Oh oh oh how I dread that word (though funnily enough, I don't mind the word 'essay' as much? Call me crazy, but I actually quite like writing essays...). When I get a new piece of coursework, I note the deadline it is due in and I write this into my Filo in a certain colour ink or just use whatever pen that is nearest to my hand at the time. I write in the piece of coursework, the doctor or professor it is for, the time it is due in (usually 5pm) and whether or not it needs to be uploaded onto the Blackboard portal most unis use in the UK (as far as I know? Correct me if I'm wrong :) ).

After the is done, I get down to the real nitty gritty. I figure out how I will structure the coursework. For example, if it is a lab report, I will write down the components needed for the finished article which are usually: an introduction, the results, analysis of the results and then a conclusion. Sometimes I'll also be given some questions to answer in relation to the practical that corresponds with the coursework. Once all this has been sorted, I will write in my filo, on a post it note, what needs to be done. I will then space out the days in which to do each bit. I usually do a bit every two days. So in my Filo, if the coursework was set on the 14th (for example), in the 15th or 16th space (depending on how motivated I am), I will draw a box and then next to it, a goal to accomplish in relation to that coursework. So that could be 'Sort out results of lab report and display them neatly on a graph'. Then on the 18th, I will draw another box and then next to it, I could put 'Introduction and analysis of results for lab report' and so on until the lab report is done and handed in.

If I use an example of an essay, here is how the system would work. I'll number each stage to make for easier reading!

  1. Write in the deadline, plus other details, with a box next to it which I can tick when I have handed it in.
  2. The first tick box would be something along the lines of 'brainstorm the essay title to see what sort of things I can write about'.
  3. Second box would be 'research the better ideas and one or two of the lesser ones'.
  4. During the research, I would keep an index card in my filo with any references which I need crediting.
  5. The next box would be 'do first draft of the essay and check'. For this stage, as said, I will do the first draft. I will then print this out, highlight the bits which don't quite make sense or need more elaboration. These would be the first things I change in the second draft.
  6. 'Do the second draft and check once more'. If at this stage, the essay is fine (hardly ever the case), then I will add the references and diagrams, etc.

Thinking about it now, it all seems a bit complicated and I will think how I can refine this system. Although it has worked for me, it must be noted that I rarely had multiple courseworks on the go at the same time. I remember, at one point, I had an essay due in, some multiple choice questions (harder than it sounds, trust me. All the options (usually five options) all seem plausible and there is negative marking for wrong answers!) to complete along with a genetics problem to be done. To juggle this, I use another post it note or index card and wrote down the title of each piece and then I noted the percentage progress of each as I completed each one bit by bit. That also worked quite well, so I think I will stick with the percentage progress system I have been using.

It must also be noted that I use the To-Do sheets as well. As mentioned before, I colour code the urgency of the item but with courseworks, I also take the level of coursework into account as well as the deadline. For instance, some courseworks need more work than others - an essay would obviously need much more work than some multiple choice questions!

Overall, although this system has served me well, I think I can still tinker this method. Oh, and another thing, this post can also be applied to those who do projects at their workplace or anything similar. If anyone has any suggestions, please do speak up! The more options available for tweaking this coursework system I have (or others may have), the better!

2 Aug 2010

what's in my bag #1

31st of July 2010

I went to London that day to visit some friends and this is what I had brought with me. The Cath Kidston bag is necessary as I like to carry the kitchen sink along with me wherever I go (for those 'just in case' situations - which never arise until you don't bring that thing you needed with you!).

1 Aug 2010

no shopping challenge!

So, as of the 1st of August 2010, I have decided to do a personal no shopping challenge which I want to last a whole year. Yep, a whole 365 days! I hope this will be achievable seeing as I will still be getting vouchers from survey sites so instead, I will be using vouchers instead of cash. When I say no shopping, I mean no buying the following:

  • Filofaxes (sob sob), but inserts are exempt if they are   n e c e s s a r y  and only if they are;
  • Clothes or any other article of clothing unless necessary (underwear, socks, etc. are exempt as these are necessaries and wearing underwear with holes in is just, well, purely disgusting);
  • Shoes - oh oh oh how hard this one will be!!! Shoes are the one thing I cannot resist and cannot have enough of, which is why this challenge is necessary. I just have too many pairs and will instead have to make do with what I have instead of buying a new pair when I decide that I have 'nothing to wear';
  • Bags - again, I have too many and honestly speaking, I only need two or three anyway (when I have about ten times that number...). A day bag (large enough to take into university every day for things like lunch, lecture notes, notepad, etc.) and a clutch bag for evening/formal events are the necessities and I have numerous of the previously mentioned two types of bags! 

More things may or may not be added to this list as time goes on; but the rules of the challenge are clear to me:

  • No buying unless necessary;
  • No buying with cash, only vouchers;
  • This will last for 365 days;
  • Any saved money will go into my savings account!

Simple really...and I hope I can keep this up! For the sake of my bank account anyway... roll on the 1st of August 2011!!!!

how my finchley rose is organised: part 3

Welcome to part three of how I organise my Filofax :) I hope you've been interested in parts 1, 2a and 2b thus far and I promise you this is the last part!

To begin the end of the 'how my filofax is organised' series, I will start on the recipes tab. Here, I actually write down recipes by hand because this not only gives it a more personal feel, but it also makes me remember (for I have a photographic memory) what recipes I have written down and thus, make me more likely to use them.

The above is my record of courseworks and exams I have taken. The colour coding down the left represents the module each coursework or exam was for, the name of the coursework or exam comes next, then the percentage score and finally the grading (i.e. first, upper second, lower second, etc). For privacy reasons, I have blurred (or rather, smudged) it all on photoshop. I find having this in my Filofax can often make me more productive. I can see at a glance how I've done in certain courseworks and thus, I will want to improve on that score. After all, no one wants to go backwards, do they?

Next in my Filo is the 2011 vertical planner. Birthdays, rent due dates, bill due dates and other important things have already been written in. The vertical lines mean that only one, or maybe two if I wrote small, things can fit in a line which will have to make me think what is really important before writing things down willy-nilly.

Above is the 2011 diary week on two pages in cotton cream. Down the side I have made my own tabs for each month (up to August) but not necessarily in the right order. I have done this for ease of reference instead of flicking and then having to turn to the right page to get to the month desired.

Finally, the end is in sight! Welcome to the back of my filo. I have a transparent envelope here which on one side has my dad holding me when I was a baby and on the other, my mum holding me when I was a baby. When I was younger, my parents were not really that well off and we had to work hard to get to where we are now. I use this as inspiration for myself to remind me that nothing comes easy, but with hard work, we can get the fruits of our desire. The Oasis escape card just makes me want to go on holiday, so for the summer, I felt it was fitting so I slipped that in too.

Inside the zipped mesh compartment are any gift vouchers I have. I do survey sites so I accrue a fair number of high street vouchers so to keep them safe, where better to put them than in my Filofax!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed seeing how my Filo has been organised. It has been lengthy, yes, but I feel that in order for me to give a full view to the reader, I must fully dissect my beloved Finchley vintage rose! After all, I love it when other bloggers do that about their Filo as things that work well for others may also work well for me!

31 Jul 2010

how my finchley rose is organised: part 2b

Following on from the beast of the post 2a, here is the second part of part two. (Can I be any more confusing? Stay tuned and find out!)

As you can see from the picture, you can see a sticky note with the title 'The Drive of Life' and the numbers 1-60 written on it. This is because I am currently watching a Hong Kong drama from a few years back which I never finished. I am crossing off episodes I have seen as I watch them to make sure I can carry on where I left off.

Next, the week of the 19th of July. This is just to show you how I use my Filofax. As you can see, I use boxes and a to do list for each day if necessary and then I tick the box if I have accomplished that. Then I have sticky notes with various things stuck all over the place! I use the brown ruler as the 'real' today ruler and I use the black one for my lists tab as I am always adding to my 'to do before I die' list.

Onto my to do list. I colour code things according to urgency. Orange for things that need to be done before the start of my second year at uni, green for short term things (i.e. up to one month), pink for long term (up to 5 months), blue for immaediate (the coming week), purple for urgent (one to three days) and gold for other (the time frame specified). I can tick it off in the box when I've done the stuff. The urgency is written in it's required colour and then the actual to do item is written in my normal blue or black ink as that contrasts the colours best.

Finally, I have 'main' tabs which are: projects, diary and notes. I have found no use for the addresses tab apart from being a waste of space and the to do tab is not necessary for reasons explained in part 2a.

30 Jul 2010

how my finchley rose is organised: part 2a

So far, you've seen part one of how I've organised my filo. And honestly speaking, it was nothing interesting, yes? Well, here's part two, which I hope will be of much more interest to anyone who reads my blog.

Now, as you can see, I have used my leaflet stickets as mini tabs down the right hand side of my notes section. I actually got inspired by Gala Darling with this idea so I take no credit for this, except hers looks so much better than what mine do! But it will do for now until I can be bothered to be more creative with the tabs. Currently, I have eleven mini tabs but this will go down when my new filo comes as that will be my 'home' filo so a lot of the stuff can be transferred. Anyway, let me introduce my tabs to you:
  • To do list
  • Lists in general (Let me tell you, I looooooove making lists...)
  • Survey records (more on this in a bit)
  • Chinese
  • Finance Stuff
  • Blog stuff
  • London stuff
  • Next year's stuff
  • Intern, work experience, career 
  • Recipies
  • Biochemistry course information
Firstly: the to do list. I know there is a proper tab I can use for this but I feel to give a main tab of its own to only a few sheets of paper is silly and a waste of space, hence the mini tab.

Lists in general... well that kinda says it all really! I love making lists. Lists of things I want, lists of jars of sauces and cooking ingredients I have in my cupboard, lists of places I want to go to, a bucket list...anything!

My survey record is the mini tab that gets used on a daily basis. I do surveys for money online and I record what I did that day, what the survey code was, how much it was for and for which survey site. This way, I know my time doing those surveys wasn't wasted and I can chase them up if necessary.

The Chinese tab has a bit of history to it. Basically, my parents are both from Hong Kong (but I was born in Scotland!) and so my Chinese has a lot to be desired. I can speak Cantonese fluently and I can understand it fluently, however, my reading and writing are only at about 70% so I'm trying to make this 100%. I am also self teaching myself Mandarin Chinese though this method and I'm at about 40% fluency in Mandarin so far. As the Chinese say, 加油! Or, add oil which is kinda the English equivilant of 'Come on' or 'Keep going'.

Next, my finance tab. This is where I keep a record of how much I have spent, where and if I have any money coming in. I find this useful as sometimes, when it comes to checking my bank accounts via online banking, I sometimes forget where the money has gone and the codes the banks use for online banking can be hard to decipher.

Onto the blog tab which is pretty much self explanatory. Ideas for blog posts, ideas for a new layout, etc.

The London tab is useful as during term time, I'm in central London every single day. I have lists of places I want to see, useful numbers for taxi firms as well as other info which I might need while in London. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to transfer my London underground map into this tab...

The next year tab is for where I'll be living next year. Here, we only get guaranteed university accomodation for the first year of study so next year I have had to find my own flat with friends. This means we will be moving into a different area to where we were last year (as last year, I was in Paddington and the daily commute into university for lectures meant walking through Hyde Park... but don't envy me for this as I was punished via hay fever in the summer!!). This tab has information for the new area, numbers of gas suppliers, etc.

My intern/work experience/career tab is basically a 'looking into the future' tab as I have no idea what I want to do after university. It looks like it is heading towards a Masters right now, but it's still good to explore career opportunities and the like.

Recipes are new things I want to try next year. I was pretty much conservative in what I cooked last year (i.e. low salt, low fat, yada yada) and next year I want to be a bit more adventurous with my palate.

And finally, the biochem course info. This is information including second year modules, third year option modules and other related information. Exam info also goes under here and sometimes, comments about lecturers I dislike!

28 Jul 2010

how my finchley rose is organised: part 1

I am going to start from the left to the right in terms of how I have organised my filofax.

Upon opening my filo, the first thing you will see are the business card insert to the right and the six card slots on the left. On the card slots, I have my National Insurance number card (everyone in the UK gets one as soon as they turn sixteen years of age...an age I have left behind for many years now for those who are curious), an organ donor card in case anything happens as my filo is always with me (morbid, but a fact of life that no one can predict the future and what will happen next), my NHS medical record card which has my NHS number on and finally, some gift vouchers from the charity shop I volunteer in every week.

I keep these things there because they are part of my identity and if I ever need them, they are on hand. The fact I had these things with me actually came in handy when I was filling in a registration form for a dentistry practice and needed my NHS number.

Next, the business card insert. This actually came with my Finsbury Raspberry Personal filofax but it has become so indespensible that I've transferred to my everyday filo. In the slots, I have the business card of my landlord (the white business card of which I have smudged all the details as I do not need people stalking me, not that I'm that interesting a person anyway...), two Luella cards which came with purses I bought from them and in case I ever want to sell those purses so I can guarantee authenticity and also some leaflet stickers and post it notes cut into halves.

The leaflet notes come in handy when I need to bookmark something in my filo for the next use or if I need to refer back and forth. The post it notes come in handy when I need to write something as a to do for a certain week, but have no space left. (This will become clear in part 2).

Next, is a London underground tube map. As a student in London, I may end up venturing into the east of London, of where I have no knowledge of! So this map comes in handy. As you can see, I made use of my personal filofax hole punch as this map is free from any underground station! Of course I'm not going to pay for an insert such as the London underground when it will most probably expand and change on a yearly basis with stations not in use, under reconstruction, etc. Or should that be construction? What on earth they are doing with Blackfriars station I will never know...

Finally, to conclude the first part of how my filo is organised, one of my clear plastic wallets. I have inserted a cutting I found in the Waitrose weekly paper which was to do with getting the ideal beach body. Even though I'm not planning on going on holiday this summer, I would like to become more toned seeing as I will not be playing sport as regularly as I did for these three months as I would do if I were to still be at university/in London.

So, this is just a glimsp (no idea how you spell that word!) into how I have arranged my filo. Part two coming soon...

27 Jul 2010

An Introduction

Hello :)

Somehow, you've stumbled upon my blog where the main topics will be shopping and fashion, as well as something called a Filofax.

Firstly, I'll introduce myself. I'm currently studying biochemistry at Imperial College and my timetable is pretty hectic with the workload heavy. Therefore, I need to be at my most organised in order to profit from the little time I have available to me. This is how my Filofax comes into play. Now, I don't have one Filofax...nor do I have two, but I have four! Well, four when my newly ordered ones come. I will be justifying this choice in another blog post, don't worry!

Secondly, for those who don't know, I love shopping and clothes. I like to study trends and how I can incorporate them into my current wardrobe. However, I am more of a classic dresser than a trend follower though occasionally, I do fully incorporate a trend. A few seasons back, there was the 'nude' colour trend which I loved so much, I still have plenty of 'nude' items in my wardrobe which I still wear now. This is how the classic dresser in me comes in. I wear what I think looks feminine, yet comfortable but also fashionable. Hard to illustrate this without pictures though and currently, I have none! My Filofax also helps here in that it helps me figure out what's currently in my wardrobe and it's also where I jot down outfit ideas for the coming week or according to weather, i.e. snow or heavy rain.

Finally, let me introduce you to my Filofax which is currently in use. It is a Finchley Vintage Rose which I got quite cheap, but new, off eBay. I pretty much love it; it lies flat, the leather is supple and it does exactly what I want it to do.

This is all I have to say for now. Expect the next post to either be Filofax related or fashion related :)