Monday, 30 September 2013

Money Monday #2- Food Shopping

I remember when I started university last year, food shopping seemed like a really difficult thing and I admit the first time that I went, I spent the entire time on the phone to my mum asking her what I needed to make certain meals that I liked so much at home. Luckily while I was on the phone to my mum she warned me about the tricks that supermarkets can play in order to try and get you to spend more money!

So a word of warning freshers, that pack of biscuits that is on offer at the end of the isle, there is probably a much cheaper alternative down the biscuit isle! Also, try and avoid branded products and instead look for supermarket own varieties, or even their value ranges. Depending on your loan situation, you probably have £10- £15 a week to buy your food, that sounds a lot but in reality it is just over £2 a day, so use your money wisely or else come the end of term, you will be the person whose meals consist of something on toast because that is all you can afford!

Never go food shopping when you are hungry and always try and plan out your meals for the week ahead. Make sure to look in your cupboards before you go shopping and make a list of what you have and what you need to buy, otherwise you may well find yourself with three bottles of soy sauce (yes really!) It is also worth shopping around, certain supermarkets are cheaper than others- use websites such as in order to work out where your weekly shop will be the cheapest!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

My Week #2

This week was the Freshers week at my university but for somebody who doesn't really drink or like going out, it was quite a quiet week for me! 

We got our first bills for the student house we have just moved into! Which was fun trying to sort out meter readings etc 

Here's a closer look at the start of the week

And the latter half of the week :) 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

My 21st Birthday!

Last weekend it was my 21st Birthday and I am not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about the prospect of turning 21, it just sounds grown up and I wasn't quite ready to let go of my youth just yet! Despite that, nothing drastic has happened since I turned 21 (although I did find one grey hair!!) and I had the most wonderful birthday ever!

I woke my entire family up at 8am in a burst of excitement (well technically I woke the dog up, who did the rest) and then my brother went and got me pancakes from McDonalds- he has his moments! Then came the presents, my parents have been asking me for months if there was something special that I would like to mark my 21st and the only thing that I could come up with was a laminator! However I ended up with a beautiful handbag, a complete new set of Harry Potter books (my old ones are now mostly held together with selotape) as well as lots more wonderful things (including a laminator, don't worry!) 

Then I went out for Lunch, I chose Ed's Diner in Cheshire oaks near my hometown- I love vintage, Americans, Ed Sheeran and the colour red so this place seemed the obvious choice (that and the fact that my dad and brother are the kings of fussy eaters!)

Look how NICE my chicken burger looks! and I can vouch that it was equally as delicious in person!!

Overall I had a really great day and got to spend quality time with my family which is always nice- what did you all do for your 21st? :) 

I love the Filofax community!

Despite having used Filofaxes for about 6 years now, I have only recently discovered the online community of fellow Filofax users and well guys, I'm in love!!

When I wanted to try the A5 size of Filofax and upgrade from my Personal size- Janet Carr came to the rescue with her Filofax Project and kindly sent me a beautiful A5 Burde organiser stuffed full of inserts.

Then I found a Filofax with inserts that I had never seen before, Steve from Philofaxy quickly told me what they were and even scanned in old catalogue pages to show me that they had once been sold by Filofax UK (sadly no more!)

There is also all of the lovely people over on the FiloRAK Facebook page where I have participated in the travelling european RAK and have even gotten a few RAKs from very generous people!

Finally the icing on the cake, I took the plunge and started my own Filofax blog and thanks to Philofaxy I have had hundreds of page views and lots of lovely comments and emails from fellow Filofax users!

I'm going to my first Philofaxy meet up in Manchester next month, who else is going?!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Monay Monday #1- Student Loan Day

Image from

This is a new series that I am starting on my blog as for students, money is (or should be!) always at the forefront of your mind. For most students, their first student loan instalment is the most money that they have ever had in their bank at one time and the temptation to immediately go out and splurge is overwhelming (trust me!) but before you do, here are a few of the expenses that you will most likely encounter in the next few months (I'm not trying to scare you, I just want you to be prepared)

1. Rent
The biggest proportion of your loan will probably go on rent (particularly if you live away from home) and if you live with your parents then you should offer to pay some keep, a big part of university is learning how to handle your finances!

2. Books
Now I am not saying go out and buy every single textbook that your lecturers mention but I found buying the two core textbooks for my degree was a very good move as come deadline day, these things were like gold dust in the university library! In terms of books that will only be useful for a short time, USE THE LIBRARY, whilst you may not be able to get your hands on the book immediately after the lecture, you will be able to get your hands on a copy before you have an exam on the topic!

3. Food
If you want to live off something other than supernoodles and beans on toast then you will need to allow £10- £15 a week for your food shopping.

4. Nights out
The costs of these can escalate quickly and the best advice I can give you is to LEAVE YOUR BANK CARD AT HOME- take out how much cash you can honestly afford to spend on your night out, and remember to put some money aside for a taxi home (if you need one!)

These are the main expenses that I came across in my first term but there are of course other expenses like buying printer credits, days out (you and your new friends will more than likely want to explore your new town or city), birthdays, public transport (remember  to budget for your train ticket home at Christmas if you need to).

If you have never budgeted before then my best advice is to take away all your known expenses from your student loan- things like rent, phone bills, books you need to buy etc and then divide the leftover amount by the number of weeks your loan has to last you.

In the next few weeks I will be doing a post on how I do my budget so stay tuned!

My Week #1

One of the first blogs that I started to follow was the wonderful Angela's Paper Lovestory blog and I loved seeing her weekly posts!

So here it is, my first attempt at it! As you can see this week it was my 21st birthday (!!!!) and so there were several meals (and cakes) taking place this  week. I've also started to note down eventful things that happened that day in black/blue so that is what all the block text is about.

This week I am moving back to university for Freshers week, so my pages should look a little different- what have you all been up to this week?

Friday, 20 September 2013

Fresher Friday #2- What to take to lectures

Above is a picture which shows what I consider to be the bare minimum of essentials to take to lectures with you.

First off we have a drink- ideally this will be something simple like water or sugar free juice as I found drinking sugary drink left me having a sugar crash and becoming lethargic after an hour, not ideal when you have 2 or 3 lectures in a row. A drink is also useful if you develop a cough during a lecture (trust me, it happens) as the last thing you want to be is that annoying kid who is coughing so loud nobody can hear the lecturer. 

The next thing I recommend you take with you is a diary, in my case I use a Filofax,  but lectures will often mention things like useful documentaries to watch (I do a science degree) as well as upcoming deadlines and exam dates :) 

Next you will need a pen, I carry two- a 4 colour Bic pen so I can easily add colour to my lecture notes without rummaging through my bag and I also carry a free pen that I got a freshers fair in case somebody asks to borrow a pen. 

Finally I have a notebook to take my lecture notes in as this keeps them all together. I use the same notebook for all of my modules as I tend to rewrite my notes up when I get home so carrying multiple notebooks just added unnecessary weight to my bag.

Other things that people like to bring to lectures is a voice recorder so that you don't miss anything said in lectures, although maybe wait until after your first week of lectures to invest in one of these as some universities use programmes like 'Panopto' which record the lecture for you and are then uploaded online. 

Some people also like to print off the lecture slides in advance and take those with them as well. 

Finding the best system for you to take lecture notes is a process of trial and error and some university students don't find their 'perfect' system until their last year of study, so don't get frustrated if you find the method that you used at sixth form and have been planning on using all summer falls short in your first term. Just evaluate what your current system is lacking and try to implement these into your next system to trial.

Lastly good luck! The transition into lectures can take some adjustment, so if you have any questions then comment on here or email me at and I will do my best to answer your query :) 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

TK Maxx Treasure Find!!

I have known for a while that from time to time TK Maxx stock Filofaxes at discounted prices and so whenever I pass one I always pop in and have a look at what they have- today I was in a rush and quickly grabbed a Personal grey Domino (as I previously posted that I would like a Domino for nostalgic reasons) as it was only £13 and came with a 2014 diary! I didn't look at the other inserts as I just assumed that they would be the usual lined paper etc but when I got home and opened him up (I've decided it's definitely a him) I felt like all of my Christmas' had come at once! This beautiful Domino came stuffed with no less than 22 different inserts (and that isn't counting the diary pages!)

I've taken these pictures on my phone and at night time as I was in such a rush to share them with you so I appologise in advance if some of them are of a poor quality!

Here he is (yet to be named)

You would never guess what treasures lay within this binder from the outside (I certainly didn't!). Anyway, on to the treasure inserts. 

1. Family Member information

This follows on from the Personal information page and has space for Address, Driving info, Medical info and Other info and there were 2 double sided pages of this insert which would be enough space for 4 family members.

2. Party Time
This is a page designed to plan a party or event- the sections are the occasion, date, time, location, guests (with a check box for RSVP), budget, menu, drinks, decorations, to do and any other details.
I am not convinced that you could fully plan a party on this one page but I imagine that it would be great for an overall summary that could highlight areas which still need attention and you get 3 double sided pages of these- which is a lot of parties!!

3. Home Sweet Home
This page has space to list all of your utilities providers, handyman/decorator etc, rubbish and recyling collection and insurance information and again would be a great summary page for easy reference and with one double sided page- you can even move house!

4. Pet Information
This has space for vet, groomer, walker, medical, identification, vaccinations, boarding, food and treats and walks and routines- everything you could possibly think of! However there is only one double sided sheet of this in the organiser (certainly wouldn't be enough for my family!)

5. Sports and Clubs

This is to record contact info, the day/location and other information- with 2 double sided inserts (and each insert can accommodate two sports) I imagine this would be ample space for a family to keep track of after school activities and the like.

6. Budget
This insert is fairly self explanatory and is like most of the other Budgeting inserts I have seen from Filofax and you get 4 double sided pages which I feel is a great start up amount.

7. SOS
This is basically an Emergency Contacts page and has space for contact info for various people in such events such as hospitals, family members, neighbours etc. The organiser contains one double sided sheet which is plenty!

7. Travel Itinerary
This is again a great summary page for any trips you have planned and it has space for flights, hotel, visa, insurance and travel agent information- there are enough inserts to accommodate 8 trips- which unless you are a regular flyer, should last you a while!

8. Dilemas

I do love making a good pro con list and with 4 double sided pages, I should be good for a while!

9. Birthdays and Anniversarys
This comes with 2 months to a page and has space for year of birth, occasion and gifts- all highly useful!

10. Expenses

I like how Filofax included 4 of these sheets in addition to the Budget sheets- great for Business people!

11. WWW

This is a page to record websites, I have omitted the picture for this one as it is fairly self explanatory and my phone was refusing to focus on it! There were 3 double sided pages of this insert provided with the organiser.

12. It's a chore

Each row is designed for a different chore and there is space for the chore, who should do it and by when and then a tick box to say whether or not it has been completed. There were 3 double sided pages if this insert in the organiser.

13. Shopping list
This is very similar to vintage inserts and inserts that I have seen other filofax users create, nonetheless it is useful and you get a whopping 8 double sided pages of it!

14. Addresses

I have again omitted an image of these inserts as I am aware this post is very picture heavy and I feel the address pages are very similar to standard ones, the organiser had 10 double sided pages of inserts but interestingly did not contain A-Z dividers.

15. To Do

Again an image of these would be needless and you get 5 double sided pages of the inserts which I think is similar to what 'normal' Filofaxes contain.

16. Notepaper
There are 10 pages of a mixture of lined and plain note paper included.

17. Commuter games
On first glance I thought this said 'Computer games' and I was highly impressed by the wit of the Filofax creators, then I realised it said 'Commuter' and I was slightly less impressed- there are 4 double sided pages of games to keep the Filofax user amused and might well save you forking out airport prices for a puzzle book if your flight is delayed!

18. Top Takeaways

This has space for you to record the Takeaway and then there is a series of stars for each takeaway so  you can rate it!!!!- the organiser has 2 double sided pages which should be ample space.

19. Outfit Planner

This is quite possibly one of my favourite inserts- it has a drawing board, space for beauty treatment and the reverse has space for more detailed info such as the event and dress code- sadly you only get 3 of these inserts!

20. Personal MOT

Strangely there is not a designated page for a car MOT, yet this insert is designed for keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments and body measurements, allergies, sleep tracker etc- there are 2 of these inserts in the organiser.

21. Fitness Planner
This insert is reasonably simple yet ingenious as numerous Filofax users seem to use their organiser to monitor their weight- there are 2 double sided pages of this included.

22. The Little Black Book

This was buried in the middle of my organiser and I assumed it was something advertising new Filofaxes so I didn't look at it until the end! But low and behold it is an incredibly risqué insert (for Filofax anyway!) in which one can record and rate their encounters- this insert cannot be viewed unless you remove it from the rings and so holds some discretion! I am not quite sure I would be brave enough to use it, although it did amuse me that on the back it says 'Filofax takes no responsibility for broken hearts'.

So that is it, all of my treasure like inserts. I am not sure I will use all of them yet as I feel that being a student I would not get the full use out of them and as I have never seen anything like them before I am currently planning on saving them for when I have a family of my own! The inserts are dated from 2009, so they are not part of the relaunch of the Filofax website as I thought that they might be so I am confused! Does anyone know if they were sold mainstream once upon a time?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Do I really need another filofax?!

I currently have 5 organisers: a red Personal Butterfly, a Personal Retro one, a Mini Malden, a pocket ranger and an A5 Finsbury.... yet recently I've been lusting after 'The Original' and 'Domino' in personal size. These may seem a strange combination of Filofaxes as they are opposite ends of the spectrum so to speak! The fact that I want a personal size is also rather strange as I am currently using (and incredibly happy with!) an A5 organiser, the Burde that I was kindly sent by Janet Carr as part of her 'Filofax Project' and I found that using a Personal sized organiser for university last year left me with having to use page a day inserts to avoid cramped pages but this left me unable to keep as much information as I would have liked to in my Filofax.

Not all of the Filofaxes listed above are currently in use, in fact I tend to be a one organiser at a time kind of girl but I will flit between different organisers depending upon how busy I am and how many tasks I need to keep track of.

Picture courtesy of

The Original appeals to me for several reasons but mainly because of its British heritage, the real leather and the fact that you can have it personalised with your own initials (the latter is probably also the reason that I want a real leather satchel too!). After much deliberation I have decided that the colour organiser I like the most out of all of the Originals is the green, with the personalisation I would like, this organiser would set me back £67.95, which on a student budget, is not a decision to be made lightly! It is however my 21st Birthday on Saturday and I have been dropping hints left right and centre, so we shall see what happens… if not, there’s always birthday money!

Picture courtesy of

Then there is the domino, my favourite out of these is a toss-up between the ‘Deep Pink’ (and I’m not usually a pink kind of girl!) and the ‘Violet’. This organiser has a special place in my heart as it is the Filofax that my mum used for years which inspired me to purchase my very first Filofax (a pocket denim- which I can no longer find but I am promised  that it is in the loft somewhere!) Although this organiser cannot be personalised, and it is not leather, it does carry a much lower price tag of £24- much friendlier on a student budget, but even then it is the equivalent of two weeks of food for me and so I am struggling to justify buying it simply because I would quite like it for reasons of nostalgia and do not have a designated use in mind!

Despite this, I will undoubtedly spend hours of precious procrastination time reading blogs about these organisers and searching eBay in the hope of finding one of them at an incredibly low price that I would be foolish to refuse (or at least that is what I would tell myself!) Realistically though, I can’t see myself purchasing a new Filofax until the new year, when I will undoubtedly come up with some kind of resolution that I will decide absolutely requires me to buy a new Filofax!

How do you justify purchasing a new Filofax?! 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

My first post for 'The University Project'

As I mentioned previously, my main motive for starting this blog was in preparation for taking part in Janet Carr's Filofax project, well my first post is up and here is the link:

I highly recommend taking a look around Janet's blog whilst you are there, it makes for a very good read :)


I started this blog with the best of intentions of posting regularly and then well, life happened. My nan got diagnosed with the C word and was given 3-6 months to live and so the past few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride but now I'm starting to get back on track and hope to resume normal business on the blog; and with the new university year ready to start I should have plenty of inspirations to keep the posts flowing, so thank you for bearing with me! :)