31 Oct 2012

october review!

October came and went with some memories that I will always remember. Graduation, my 22nd birthday (although I couldn't get all my friends together, it was nice to spend it with family for a change) and city hopping (well, London hopping) with friends. Also, the changing weather meant that my daily outfit was unpredictable (layers one day, a sleeveless top the next?). As a result of all this, my October review is a bit mixed in the five things I chose.

1) My Phone

I'm notoriously bad at keeping in touch with friends who are far away but I've been trying really hard this month! A faster phone definitely helps (my old one was really laggy and texting became a chore) so I've found myself texting more than usual. Facebook also helps - short messages through the messaging function is something I'm pretty good at too (and has proved to be a lifesaver in the past).

Also, the camera on the phone is pretty decent too so overall, it has been literally stuck to my hand during October. However, this phone was a present from my parents but they specified that I would not be receiving a birthday present this year, next year, a Christmas present this year or next year and that it was also a graduation present! That is fine with me - I rarely ask for presents anyway, and I didn't ask for this phone so I feel quite lucky.

2) Washi Tape and other stationery

I used a lot of this in October. To decorate my weeks (I use washi tape instead of highlighters), to use it as a way to stick things in my Filofax and to decorate. Stickers make everything more lighthearted and coloured pens make my pages prettier :)

3) My Laptop!

My laptop saw a lot of use as I've used it for the online courses I'm enrolled for, catching up on TV dramas and also other self-learning I'm doing too.

4) Sultanas

In a bid to keep healthy, sultanas have stopped me from snacking on sweets and chocolate. They are just as sweet and a lot better for you too.

5) Aloe Vera Drink

I bought a massive 1.5 litre bottle in Chinatown and it has lasted me for a while. I don't drink this on a regular basis, but it was definitely a treat for this month :)

So, my October review is kinda technology-filled, which sucks a little. Hopefully, November will be different (it should be!) :)

30 Oct 2012

all stars guest post: Vanja of Vanjilla!

Today, I'm featuring an All Stars guest post from the lovely Vanja. You might know her as the blogger over at Vanjilla :)


Uh oh... as if page fright wasn't enough by itself, now here's Angela's blank page staring at me.
Can you imagine that? Geeee. :)

Is there possibly a way of not messing it up?!
(must not think of her ever immaculate chic posts, must not think of her ever immaculate chic posts...!) 

Well, I'll try and do my best and play it safe: I'll show you my favourite Filofaxes.

1. Mini Balmoral in Black and a Personal Malden in Vintage Pink: my current daily Filofaxes.

The Balmoral is one of the Filofax "dinosaurs" that I wish were still produced: stylish, glossy, hardwearing, screaming quality! I was after one for a long while - having been seduced by Cat's magical one - and I say: if you encounter a Balmoral, grab it without thinking!
I love it as a wallet and have therefore rewarded it with a Filofax pen - and now they shine together in my handbag! 

And the Malden? Ahhh, the Malden! :) Need I say more, majority of you has, just like me, been bitten by the Malden Bug last autumn! 
It wasn't love at first sight though (I bought it online without seeing it in person first), I loved the colour and the leather, but not the pockets for some unknown reason. So I kept it in my drawer for a year, installed it recently because of my longing for its creamy colour  - and now it's a fresh romance! Go figure! :)

2. Personal Amazona in Black and in Almond.

They are my two princesses. Seriously.
When still fresh in Filofaxland, they were THE OBJECT of my dreams and I kept watching them and daydreaming about them. I'm not sure, maybe I even said good morning and good night to them during some periods of time! :)
Then along came Imy with her uber-cute Amazona series; she mercilessly pushed me into acquiring the Black one and when I got it, the Almond one was just a question of time: pure love!

 3. Personal Piccadilly in Apple Green.

I'd probably never know about the Piccadilly hadn't I incidentally seen this. I was intrigued, yes, but as it was nowhere to be found... well, it was obviously meant to be, though, because my mother got me one as a present! Mind you: a person without a clue about Filofaxes stumbled upon a brand new Piccadilly in 2011! :) 
I called it my ultimate love affair and it still is; because of its racy colour (how I miss this in current Filofax range!), cute button on the clasp (a thing of mine...), perfect pocket layout (there are 7 horizontal pockets on the left and I cannot tell you how very different they feel compared to those vertical ones - sorry Malden and Baroque!) and beautifully padded soft grained leather. And the sentimental value and beautiful memories, of course! But there's also something irrational about it, like some supernatural powers to it! :)
I keep it in my collection but I don't use it currently; it got some scratches and I began to panic about it!

 4. Personal Baroque in Teal.

My very own enchanted forest, gained after much sacrifice and pain. Need I say more? :)

5. Personal Finchley in Vintage Pink.

Courtesy of Angela's. :)  I wasn't into Finchleys until I saw Angela's Finchleys in use. When I saw them, I was smitten. How she manages to make them supercute and so ladylike both at the same time is beyond my understanding. :)   This one is brand new, I got it extra cheap just two days after loosing one extremely expensive on eBay - again, talking about meant-to-be-s! I plan to use this one as my next everday planner, its warm colour could be perfect for wintertime!

6. Personal Finsbury Zip in Pink.

My journal. And one of the prettiest models around, if you ask me, which by some strange injustice just didn't get the attention it deserves: it is beautifully shaped and sleek and the zipper - oh the zipper! I know many of you don't like it, but to me it feels like a lock on the door of my untidy creative studio: I can leave it the way I want to and when I return, all is still the way I left it.
And if I didn't convince you, try this! :)

Well, now I have really let you directly into my Filofax soul - I hope you have enjoyed the trip! :)

Angela, thank you so much for letting me appear on your blog, I feel like a really grown up blogger now! :)


Thanks, Vanja for this lovely post! I really enjoyed reading it and you're way too complimentary about my posts! My personal favourite in this post is the green Picadilly. The colour is amazing and it's a model rarely blogged about.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did :)

29 Oct 2012

stationery staples

Like the punny title? Anyway, moving on swiftly. I was in town a few days ago for blood tests and thought I'd pop into Staples. And, without meaning to sound too fangirl-like, oh em gee, the Martha Stewart range has been discounted?! It just so happened that I am in need of A4 dividers and a new notebook as my diary (my current one only has three pages left!) so I stocked up.

Here is what I ended up with:

A4 plastic dividers:

I couldn't resist these bad boys. Sticky notes, and in a cute shape too. I was worried that my current ones would run out so I had to get another pack!

Two journal notebooks. More on this in an upcoming post!

And yet another journal! Again, more in an upcoming post.

I justified this spend as I recently sold some goods on Gumtree and eBay :) Stay tuned for a closer look at the journals!

28 Oct 2012

my filofax week #28

Some of you may know that I voiced my frustration at how this feature is no longer unique to Paper Lovestory. It's frustrating because when I started it, it was something that no other blog had done and I wanted it to be something individual to this blog. However, it seems, like fashion, that nothing ever stays original or individual. I don't think my frustration will lessen as it is hard to come up with original ideas when it comes to blogging but the response I got overwhelmed me.

Thank you to everyone who replied on Twitter :) Because of you guys, this feature isn't going anywhere. Here is this week:

{ It is quite boring as I've been quite busy, but busy with impromptu things as opposed to planned events/meetings! }

{ Watch out for an upcoming post about my graduation :) I've tweeted some sneak pics already but there are a few extra ones in the post; for example, a picture of the inside of the Royal Albert Hall! }

{ I decorated my week with a sticker from Imy on the Friday, as well as a Korilakkuma book mark at the top of the right page and two stickers from Artbox and Paperchase. }

{ All in all, a plainer week than usual - but there really has been nothing interesting to record! }

26 Oct 2012

my filofax diet: slimming into the deco

This is a scheduled post as it is my birthday today (22 years young!) and so I'll be celebrating that somehow. I took the pictures in the first week of October and luckily, not much has changed (understandable considering how small the rings are, right?).

If you haven't already, may I first direct you to this post where I showed off my new Slimline Deco from eBay. It really was a bargain as it was listed as new and this was confirmed when I received it. Anyway, with the Deco having only 11mm rings and my main Filofax (the personal Osterley) possessing 23mm rings, I had to undertake one hell of an inserts diet.

I knew that cramming 12 months worth of 'week on two page' inserts would not be possible so I would have to compromise. Having already tried slimming the inserts I carried around with me already, I knew the move wouldn't be too taxing but not having more than 6 months' worth of inserts was a bit concerning for me. As a result of this, I decided to use both side by side. My Deco will be the binder I take everywhere with me and the Osterley will be my 'stay-at-home' binder which will house the rest of the year's inserts and any other extra sections that I only used at home.

I will now run you through what is held in my Deco as I've already done a few posts on the Osterley setup. The Osterley also holds some 'information' inserts that I can transfer to the Deco if I were to go away and require them and so, my Deco really is quite lightweight. You might notice some inserts previously seen in the set up posts (one; two; three) in the following pictures.

Firstly, I transferred over the Temperley page. I quite like the design and it adds something a bit different to my Filofax. On the left, in the card slots, are notepaper sheets, my Staples reward card (fitting, eh?!), some stamps and my 16-25 railcard - as this is my 'take-everywhere' Filofax, the railcard is therefore a necessity.

Next is the personal information sheet - currently blank as I'm anticipating a change of address in the new year. And then overleaf, there is a reference sheet with train times to and from London.

After that are two sheets of lined cotton cream notepaper as due to the limited space, I opted to cut down the amount of notepaper I carted around on a daily basis.

The blog section comes next - but is a much smaller section compared to the Osterley. It only consists of two 'blogpost idea' sheets and a sheet of notepaper. After that is a mini sheet of notepaper with things I need to make either for myself or a friend.

I will inevitably need to make notes of some kind when out so I have a dedicated notes section for when I need to, quickly, flick to some blank paper. This also has my '101 in 1001 to aim for in 2013' section…

Followed by the cute picture my sister drew for me. I then have a transparent flyleaf insert, which might become a dashboard soon - but possibly not as it is movable and I might choose to use it for something that requires regular movement.

The diary inserts come next and I managed to fit in diary inserts all the way to the beginning of June 2013! You can also see an Expenses insert and after that, a survey record insert too.

The final section consists of some to-do list sheets. The first sheet has a list of inserts I plan to design, plus two sheets of 'to-do' list inserts. I used another transparent flyleaf to protect these inserts at the back.

And to round off this post, the back pocket has an Orla Kiely clothes tag and a money off voucher for Staples (which probably won't be there for much longer…!)

There you have it. It was a bit of a headache slimming down into the Deco, but it was one headache I actually quite liked having (organisational headaches are the best!).

Have any of you tried binder downsizing? How did you find it? If you haven't, would you consider it?

24 Oct 2012

what's in my bag #9

I'm actually at my graduation today so this is a scheduled post! I won't be carrying a bag (at least, I'll be trying not to and will just wear something with deep, deep pockets!) but here is a 'what's in my bag post' anyway.

Bet you thought these posts were extinct on my blog! Here is what I recently carried in my Bella hobo. 

First, the bag (obviously). It's just so beautiful!

And here is what I lug around with me:

My Osterley plum in personal, Luella purse, pocket mirror, Strepsils cool (hay fever gives me a really bad sore throat), mint Mentos, eye drops, my Kindle K4, hand cream and my medicine and health bag.

I've really tried to cut down on what I lug around, but sometimes, I throw in the odd extra, such as a bottle of water. However, this is the minimum I would go out with as these are pretty much all essentials!

What have you been carrying around with you?

22 Oct 2012

osterley filofax set up: part III!

And here is the final part! If you read part I and part II, my hat goes off to you guys. The sheer amount of pictures in those posts must've meant that your bandwidth took a hit!

Let's move on swiftly so more pictures can be seen.

The end of the year and the beginning of the next is marked with another blank tab. I have marked the last day of the year with a quote, and have noted that it's a 'new year, new beginning' - maybe a little too optimistically ;) This was inspired by eunyroe over on Flickr (I copied her design with the quote thing and also the 'happy new year' in bubble writing. I take no credit for this!!!).

I have diary inserts until May 2012 in my Filofax cos I find the rings a bit annoying if the Filofax isn't at least filled to it's minimum capacity of 23mm (to coincide with the ring mechanism size!). On the right is also a list of my weekly schedule.

Next, my book section. Books to read, books read, ratings, etc. At first, I decided to use the Filofax to-do sheets...

But later resorted to my own homemade ones. They aren't so pretty though so I'm going to re-design them once I finish these. These inserts are also ideal for my book challenge.

And another version of my homemade book tracker inserts. They are quite faint in this picture but they were made in Photoshop. I didn't optimise it for 95mm x 171mm paper so everything came out pixelated! A project to try on another day I guess.

Then a section full of to do/to read/to buy lists - before I made my own book tracker inserts, etc.

Finance tracker...

Survey record and if the payment has come through yet.

And those old-diary-but-oh-so-cute inserts again. I still can't bear to write on them. I guess it's only a matter of time before these are removed from my Filofax as I just can't bear to write any old rubbish on them!

Then a section for my '101 things in 1001 days' list.

A list of 'great dates' that I printed out for future reference ;) some of these are also fun to do with friends.

Another pocket, but this time with pictures of me as a baby and my parents. My dad is on this side, along with a drawing of a duck by my sister.

And another drawing by my sister but of a bear this time, and my mum and I in the house I first lived in (until the age of 5!). I don't tend to use the card slots in my Filofax but the slip pocket under houses some money off coupons and plasters!

Unfortunately, this is all I could fit into my Filofax so no part 4! I can tell that you're either breathing a sigh of relief or a groan of disappointment ;)

Hope you enjoyed it! Maybe my set-up will change again next year/when I next have a major change.

How has your Filofax evolved over the past year or so?

21 Oct 2012

filofax week #27

This week, I'm featuring Annabelle's week and she also tweets here


Hello! I'd like to introduce you to my lovely personal finchley in mustard, I love her so! She's lovely and chubby and I wouldn't have her any other way. ^_^ My first filofax was a mini identity, but I soon upgraded to a pocket finchley in teal, then a personal red metropol, and a few weeks ago I upgraded to this as I missed the soft leather of the finchley, and I'm in love :) I use my filofax to mainly keep track of college, my UCAS application, webdesign-work and personal commitments.

I use a week on two pages format, which I think works best for me as I can see everything throughout the week at a glance, without flicking through page after page. I use a border to outline the days I'm in college (I'm studying for a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design) and at the top of each week, naming which module I'll be doing that week in the same colour as the border. As an art student, I occasionally do brief sketches in my filofax of design ideas or sketchbook page layouts, incase I have trouble wording or remembering visual ideas which popped into my head (I think I did the sketches on Tuesday the 16th on the train home, just goes to show that inspiration can hit you anytime!) Another main thing which you may have noticed is that I use a lot of colour in my filo - I use this colour to help text stand out, it feels less like a 'wall of text' and makes it easier to find a select piece of info/task quickly.

When I have a lot of overdue tasks or a busy day ahead, I use either pocket-sized note paper or holepunched pieces of lined card to plan my day, writing times alongside a task which needs to be fulfilled. This week has been extremely busy (illness, boyfriend staying over this weekend, modules ending/starting) so I am slightly behind unfortunately! D:

Towards the end of the week I make a list of things I need to catch up on, going through my week and pinpointing out anything I need to re-do or complete in the next week or on Sunday. Being a creative person I like to make my text look pretty - anything which is important or exciting I put in big blocky text. On Saturday I wrote 'Ear Plugs' in this blocky text, as I need to look at ear stretchers/plugs because I am planning on expanding my ear lobe from 12mm wide to 18mm wide, as well as finding a flesh coloured tunnel for job and university interviews ;) body modifications ftw! On previous weeks I have stapled in things like bus tickets or train tickets (when I go to see my boyfriend for example, who lives a good train & two bus journeys away from me D:) to both fill space and add some cute little memories to my filofax. :)

I think thats about it from me, I hope you enjoyed reading how I use my filofax :)!


Thanks, Annabelle, for sending in your week :) I personally LOVE the 'blocky' text she used, and all the colour! Love, love, LOVE! 

How has your week been? Would you like to be featured? Email me at paperlovestoryblog @ gmail.com if so :)

20 Oct 2012

custom undated filofax monthly plan inserts

To add to my custom inserts I blogged about last month, I decided to make my own monthly planner inserts. I looked at the ones Ray and Steve had made before making them to see if any of them were suitable for my needs as unfortunately, I wanted a horizontal planner as opposed to the month planner as boxes.

So, I made these. They are undated and I've found them perfect for blog planning. I tend to schedule posts well in advance (because sometimes, I'm in the mood to write loads of posts or have many ideas and so, I schedule some of them) and I found these planners very useful. As a result, they have gone straight into my 'blog' section of my Filofax.

Not only are they ideal for bloggers, they can also be ideal for normal use too. I know most people prefer boxes but personally, I prefer this kind of layout.

Here is a slideshow showing the ones I made (I decorated the top with washi tape and wrote the month on):

The download links:

28 days / / download

29 days / / download

30 days / / download

31 days / / download

Again, please may I ask that you do not redistribute these. They are fine for personal use though. I don't anticipate them being popular but still.

19 Oct 2012

the best and worst stationery companies

So, I've decided to review some sites I have bought from in the past and do a bit of naming and shaming, as well as praising!

I'll start with the bad first, as this way, you can see how good the great sites are!

I only have one site here and that is Tudor Office Supplies. I'm not even going to link to their website as they don't deserve the web traffic! They operate from a website and an eBay account, which gives them two chances to screw things over, I guess.

Anyway, this is speaking from personal experience. I recently bought an A5 Filofax hole punch from them. It was from eBay at a 'buy it now' price so the transaction is still covered by Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs). However, it wasn't in the stated condition ('new') as, those of you who own a Filofax hole punch will now understand: the black end bits were worn! There was a hole in one (the silver metal was visible under) and on the other end, there were scrapes.

Now, I already own a personal sized Filofax hole punch, but I have had it for over two years and the condition is nowhere near as bad as this 'new' A5 one I received! Obviously, I messaged them about it after receiving it (the hole punch mechanism was very stiff and I had to put my hole body weight on it to punch one sheet of paper - is this common? My personal one is actually quite good in comparison.) but it took them three days (after I filed a Paypal dispute) to respond. Coincidence? I think not.

So, I returned the hole punch and as per DSRs, I expected a full refund, including a reimbursement of the return postage I paid for the item. The full refund was recovered by Paypal as I sent the item by recorded delivery but Tudor Office Supplies are refusing to admit that the item was not as described! I even sent them photos to prove the condition as they say the hole punch works - well, yes if you're a body builder with massive arms - and they denied that the pictures showed anything!

Well, readers, here you are:

Now, I could probably have lived with these cosmetic flaws if the hole punch actually worked properly, but it didn't! And if this is the wear and tear from an allegedly 'new' Filofax hole punch, then the one I received from City Organiser (the aforementioned personal one) must have been absolutely pristine. 

I have still yet to see a return postage refund and to be quite honest, I do not think I will. The service and communication I received was appalling and as they have clearly broken the law by not following DSRs, I took further action by contacting Trading Standards. Oh, the joys of not being employable until January - this spare time gives me enough time to fight on behalf of others who may not have been able to take further action against this 'company'.

You might say I am being pedantic about things, but I fight for what I believe is fair. And the way this company have treated myself and other unsatisfied customers really isn't fair. Poor communication? Poor customer service? Not following laws? Yeah, these are just to name a few - and I can vouch for all three.

Bottom line: Tudor Office Supplies are top-notch jokers when it comes to running a business. AVOID at all costs.

In comparison, my 'best' list is going to be quite short and sweet. These companies include: City Organiser, Artbox, Moo-t and Washi-Tapes.co.uk.

Staples would have made it onto my list if they fulfilled their promise of next working day delivery - but they are still pretty decent as I received my goods within two working days. Not too shabby.

The 'best' companies mentioned above make it onto that list for the following reasons:
- excellent prices - pretty much unbeatable on most products
- fast dispatch! Especially with City Organiser. They are super speedy and super friendly too if other reviews are anything to go by - always a bonus!
- excellent communication
- customer service is top notch.

18 Oct 2012

osterley filofax set up: part II!

So, here's part II! Part I is here if you haven't read it yet. The reason as to why I've split the set up into three posts is because I've taken an extraordinary amount of pictures - but I always think that pictures help illustrate a set up much better than text does.

Now, what comes after the resolutions page? Well, there is a tab. Blank as of now, but that might change if it doesn't move for the next few months!

It's my blog planning! I've marked this with a Martha Stewart x Avery x Staples tab at the top as you can see. I love those bad boys.

So, a blog post idea checklist. Any random ideas that come up on a tube ride or commute? It goes in here. I try to think of original things to blog about and to come up with new content is hard! However, when you do get a lightbulb idea, you end up with a smile that no one can wipe off (like my Filofax Week series - something I'd not seen on the internet when I did it and something I'd like to think is associated with Paper Lovestory just as people associate 'Web Finds' and 'Free for All' with Philofaxy :) ).

Then custom made inserts for detailed blog post planning. Title, main points, pictures, scheduled for and done spaces.

This was more for last year and with it being blank, you can see how successful this page was. I have used a Rilakkuma page marker (top left of the right page) and isn't it adorable? I always forget the duck's name but he's just as cute as Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma in my eyes.

Then an outfit planner. Blank as of the moment as, lately, I've not been in a rush to get dressed in the morning.

And a drawing my sister did ages ago - it's so cute!

And another tab... On the left is sensitive info such as addresses, passport numbers, etc.

And the Temperley for London x Filofax year planner. I coloured it in to make it a bit more interesting.

My personal information - most of which has been pixelated for obvious reasons! This page is invaluable though cos I've referred to it so many times of late. It holds passwords for sites I regularly visit (and so can't be bothered to go to my 'me binder' for) and also my NHS number, National Insurance number, etc.

Graze box codes on the left and more sensitive info on the right. More addresses and more passwords and usernames!

A sticky note with a list of book sites (other than Amazon) and my 'to iron' list. On the right, the binders I have at the moment and what they are storing or what they are used for. However, a lot of the inserts have since been moved out as I'm selling quite a few of the binders on that list so I need to update this record.

Another list and a post it of writing a CV. A few sheets of lined cotton cream paper on the right.

And to conclude... the start of my diary pages!

Part III, and the final part, coming in the next few days. I apologise for taking so many pictures, but like I said before, it's the best way of showing you guys how it is set up, and, I, for one, prefer to see pictures in blog posts than text anyway! I know it's bad but I rarely read posts if they are full of text. I prefer at least a 60:40 split between text:images (but the more images, the better, for me!).