Monday, February 20, 2017

Ramblin' Mom Returns

Goodness golly it's been an awfully long time since I've posted! I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this little corner of the web. It was the first place I started on my "Mom Blogging Journey" almost 6 years ago now. Unfortunately, I had some things arise in my personal life that kept me from growing this little blog the way that I wanted and as a result, I deleted a lot of my personal blog posts. The fact that I felt myself restricted from what I could write about because of this external interference, it made blogging...well...unfun.

I'm hoping now since life has settled back down, I can find a private/public balance to life and that I can continue what I wished to do with this blog years ago. I want to talk to other strong women, other writers, other crafters, other lovers of life.... So here's to you, dear reader. I hope you trust me to take you along on this journey and hopefully we can both teach each other something along the way.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 A Year in Review

2013 has taken me through a lot of "firsts" planner wise. I've used a planner since I was in grade school to help me keep my assignments in check and to help remember things. These days, I use it to keep up with work tasks, home/personal to-dos, and, once again, school assignments. Since I have a lot more things to keep up with these days, my planner system needed a major upgrade. Those $7.99 spiral planner books from Walmart were just not going to cut it anymore. Plus, they're just not very pretty to look at, are they? So I'm going to take you through a review of my year and how I ended up where I am now. Sit back and enjoy the crazy ride!

I have used a cheapie spiral planner for YEARS! It served its purpose at the time. It was lightweight, slim profile, could fold back on itself so it took up little desk space, and was CHEAP! I could be as rough or careless with it as I wanted because it was inexpensive and the plastic covers were very durable.

The layout of this Mead Planner is a week on two pages and a month on two pages. Each month had a tab. You would tab to the month, see your month on two pages and immediately following the month would be the all the weeks on two pages in that month. This was the format I used for a long time and it took me a while to get used to using Filofax and having my month on two pages and week on two pages in separate areas.

Month on Two Pages with Tabs

Week on Two Pages
While snooping around in Walmart one day (can you tell Walmart is the only place to shop where I live?), I happened upon the Day-Timer Family Plus Planner and loved the layout of the inserts. I thought this would be very helpful in keeping track of everyone in my family's schedule. Oh, and did I mention it has a menu planner for each week incorporated into the weekly insert?! Genius! I used this for several months over the summer and it worked out beautifully until I started school. Once I began classes, I found that the little block reserved for my tasks just wasn't big enough. I needed more room for my things!

Day-Timer Family Plus Binder
 Family Plus Month on Two Pages with tabs.
Family Plus Weekly view, Left Page. There is a block for each family member.
Right page has a menu planner and a generous notes section. The to-do lists on the top were great also!
At this point in time I had discovered Filofax. This is where the downward spiral began (MUAHAHAHA!). I began looking for a personal size binder that would be easy enough to carry around in my bag but still have enough room for my assignments. I lucked up on a personal sized Raspberry Finsbury that had a week on two pages included. This was familiar territory for me and reminded me of my old Mead spirals. I went ahead and purchased a month on two pages to add to my Filofax because I can't function without my monthly spread. I was so happy with the fact that I could rearrange my planner at a whim and totally customize it exactly how I needed. While my Meads usually came with printed designs already on them, the Filofax weekly inserts were completely blank so I was able to decorate as I wished.

Filofax Week on Two pages in my Gillio Compagna
I used these for several months, but once I again I was in the same pickle. I was running out of room! So towards the end of the year I started thinking about switching to the day per page inserts but wasn't sure if I would like them. My gillio came with some great quality "Appointment" pages that had appointment times listed in a left column down the page with a wider column on the right. There was even a notes section on the bottom. They looked like great pages to try a day per page on without investing any money (well besides what I paid for the Gillio, LOL). I used the appointment column on the left for appointment times, and the wider right column for to-do lists. These appointment pages were used throughout the whole month of December and what did I find out? I'm a day per page girl! Yep, it only took a year of searching but I finally found my place!

Gillio "Appointment" Pages turned into a Day Per Page.

Now I finally have enough room for pretty much everything! I never knew it would be such a relief to finally find what works for me and my circumstances. If only these pages were pre printed with the date, I would be all set.

For 2014, I have purchased the Day-Timer 1-Day-Per-Page inserts. I'm still pretty unsure about them if you want to know the truth, but I will do another blog post on the specifics. I guess if it comes down to it, I could just stumble on over to Philofaxy and download some of Steve and Ray's wonderful inserts!

What inserts are you using for 2014? Have you used them in the past or will 2014 be the first year?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Personal Holborn Zip! Zip, zip away!

*Quick Note* If you prefer a video, feel free to watch my video at the bottom of the post. Like a good long read? Continue on, dear friend!

I recently told you all about how I used my personal size Filofax Malden as a wallet. I can say that I did successfully use my Malden as a wallet and quite enjoyed it! I had to make a few little changes in order for it to work like putting 2 credit card sheets in the front to hold my extra cards (since the Malden only has 4 built in slots), keeping the back pocket empty so I could load my receipts in it, etc., but those changes were only minor and didn't bother me at all. I could still be using the Malden quite happily, but something happened....

The Holborn Zip went on sale on the Filofax USA website! I've eyed the non-zip personal Holborn in the past and even contemplated purchasing it as my first Filofax, but the price was way too high for my first purchase. I've just been eyeing it....and eyeing it. I never even contemplated the zip model of the Holborn because it just came across to me as something someone quite older would carry, nor did I ever consider it could be utilized as a wallet. Back then I never even thought about having a planner be my wallet; such a thought was not even on my radar!

Here I was in front of my screen researching the personal Holborn Zip on Philofaxy and Youtube to see if it was a planner I would like to get. It's 50% off after all! I was sold after I saw the inside! 7 card slots (8 if you include the small bottom pocket)?! Vertical pocket behind that for cash?! Vertical pocket on the back for more cash...or receipts...or stickers with a zippered pocket behind that?! Yes, please! I purchased it right away.

Four days later, my beautiful personal Holborn Zip in Wine arrived and it was love at first sight! I know I used to roll my eyes when I would read about people on the Philofaxy Facebook page being "in love" with their organizer, or referring to their Filofax as their "dream Filofax" but really, I get it! I instantly moved all my things out of my Malden and into my Holborn and I have yet to move out! Sometimes I get a little smidgen of guilt that I didn't stay in my Malden long and get the urge to move back into it for a while, but then I pick up my Holborn and I just can't. I can't quit you, Holborn!!

When I posted about my dear Holborn on the Facebook page, many people had questions about the features, color, layout, etc. I decided to try my hand at making a video (my first one, please be kind). If you would like to know more about the "guts" of the Holborn, or are thinking of taking advantage of the 50% off (better hurry) then you might want to take a peek at the video.

All in all, I guess you could say, I'm completely enamored with my Holborn Zip. I even contemplated giving it a name (yes, I know), but haven't brought myself to that just yet. Will I go out on a limb and say this is my favorite Filofax to date? Yes! Will I go even further to say it may even be my "dream Filofax?" The thought has crossed my mind several times, but there are so many models out there that I have yet to set hands on so I will leave that up in the air just now.

I did love it so much that I had to have its "Mommy" while she was still on sale.

Don't they make a beautiful little family?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How I use a Personal Malden as a Wallet

So sorry it took a while to get this post up. We spent last week in Florida which gave me a great trial run of using a Filofax as a wallet. Unfortunately, while I was there my son got sick so we had to cut our trip short by two days and come home a little early. Oh well, you have to do what you have to do. I'm sure every parent understands that!

Two weeks have gone by since I've received my Malden and I must say I'm very happy with it. The color just pops, and the leather is so darn touchable! Like I mentioned in my previous post, I got the idea from a couple other Filofax users to utilize my Malden not just as a planner but also as my wallet. The thought took some getting used to, and I must say it felt a little funny the first day or so to be without an actual "real" wallet. Things worked out great though and I never really hit any snags with the set up. Using it in this way was actually a bit of a pleasure. Whipping my beautiful leather planner out in public gave me a hint of joy....okay...a lot of joy!

This is how I have everything set up. I put all my coins in the zipper pocket, bills in the slot behind the zipper and my 4 most used cards in the 4 card slots on the side. Since the Malden only has 4 actual card slots, I used 2 credit card sheets in the rings of the binder to hold extra insurance cards, loyalty cards, etc. In the large vertical pocket that's behind the card slots I just kept stickers, post-it notes and other odd things.

Just like in a regular planner, I have my diary/calendar plus all the extra dividers for specific sections. I've had a lot of people ask me if I actually keep a REAL planner in here since I'm using it as a wallet. Yes, I do. I have a Month on Two Pages AND a Week on Two Pages. I couldn't function without these.

The first divider I have in my wallet/planner is the "Expense" tab. Under this section I have finance pages from Filofax and also lined paper. As you can see in the picture above, I used a finance sheet to keep up with all our spending while on our vacation last week. We used tons of gas and ate LOTS of good food! I use the lined paper to keep track of credit card spending and have one sheet with all my bills listed and their due dates.

If you decided you want to try using a Filofax as a wallet, I would suggest buying a pack of these finance sheets. They're set up in the same style as a checkbook register, but unlike a checkbook register, these have quite a bit of room to write. I love them!

Some people like to add a top loading envelope to their rings and keep receipts in that. I, on the other hand, found that the back pocket of the Malden was perfect for me to slip my receipts into. The leather in the Malden allows for the pockets to open nice and wide so I had no trouble reaching in there to fetch them all out when it was time to balance my checkbook. For a brief moment I contemplated keeping my checkbook in that back pocket. I even slipped in in there and was able to snap the clasp but it was a tight fit and I just didn't feel right expecting all that of my poor Malden... ;)

These two, my checkbook and Malden, were my dream team while vacationing in Florida and gave me no problems what so ever. Don't you just love how my Vera Bradley checkbook cover matches my Malden? It's as if they were meant to be!

I would like to say that this dream team is still with me and going strong, but I'm a fickle Filofaxer and wanted to try something I thought might fit my needs even better (I'm not expecting too much, right?)!

I'll update you all on my newest acquisition and "wallet/planner" in my next post.

 Do you have a Filofax that you are using as a wallet? If so, how is it working for you? What tips/suggestions would you give for those thinking of going this route?

Friday, September 27, 2013

My New Aqua Personal Malden

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "That crazy girl Ashley just bought a Filofax!" Well yes, I did and I love it, I really do. I'm really happy with it, but I have been spending way too much time on the Philofaxy Facebook page...and well...people get to bragging about Maldens and next thing you know  I've pulled up a website and am ordering it myself. I don't even remember keying in my card info, I must have been possessed by some uncontrollable force of nature at the time! Okay, I'm just being silly now, and you probably want to hear about this gorgeous piece of work. Not me, the Malden, of course! You can tell I've had way too much coffee this morning...

I ordered this lovely from Pens and Leather originally on 9/15 and received it super quick on 9/19. I was very disappointed when I received it because as you can tell in the picture below, the rings were gapped so badly that the pages got stuck with every turn. This was something I couldn't accept, especially since this was a brand new filo. 

I immediately sent an email to Pens and Leather and got a response in a matter of minutes. They apologized and said I could ship it back and they would have a new one with perfect rings out to me ASAP. I voiced my concern about them  selling out before they received my return, but Richard assured me that he would ask the warehouse guys to set aside the perfect Filofax for me before they sell out. I must say I was so impressed with their customer service. Kudos to you, Pens and Leather!

I received my replacement on 9/25 and opened it with much hesitation. I'm always scared when I return things that the replacement will be as bad as, or worse than, the first one. Much to my surprise, she was perfect! Perfect leather (no creases) and the rings were close enough to perfection for me! Lovely!

First thing I noticed beside the gorgeous color (which is more green than it's showing in the pics), is the quality of the leather and how squishy it is! That is my absolute favorite thing about it! There's no "breaking it in." The leather is so soft that it lays flat straight out of the box.

I decided to do like some other Malden users, and turn my Malden into my wallet and planner in one! I actually got the idea after reading Jordan's experience with her Malden as a Wallet. (You can read her blog at I'm in love with the idea, but scared about how well I will execute it. I will be using it a lot this upcoming week so I will do a follow-up post on how well I get on with it.


The back pocket is so pliable and you can fit so much in there! I'm thinking about sticking my checks in here, but have all my stickers and such in there for now. The pen loop is wonderful and fits my Vera Bradley pen, no problems!

Here is the back, just as perfect as the front. I had another Filofax come in the mail today (I have a problem, I know), but I'm just not as excited about it as I was before I recieved the Malden. The Malden just feels right. 

 So there ya have it! If you're curious about my other addition, I will be posting about it very soon so keep an eye out for that. 

If you have a Malden or a post about yours, tell me about it in the comments below! I'd love to see yours!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Filofax Goodies- My Mini Haul!

Ever since I've gotten my Filofax Finsbury I've been a bit consumed with anything and everything it takes to make my Filofax just as gorgeous as those I see in all the Filofax videos on YouTube. I've raided office supply stores, Wal-Mart dollar bins, and desk drawers for tabs, sticky notes, beautiful papers, paper clips, flags and the list goes on and on!

I'm also a little guilty of combing the internet for some special things I can't find here at home. A lot of what I've gotten arrived in the mail last Friday. Wanna peek at what I got? Well, if you insist...

Leuchtturm 1917 Pen Loop

The first thing I needed to find a fix for was that small leather pen loop. To save my life I could not find a pen that would fit in that tiny thing! I watched a few YouTube videos and saw that some people bought the Leuchtturm1917 pen loop to solve this problem. It is completely self adhesive on one side and it's supposed to stick to the back of your planner, journal, notebook, etc. to provide you with an extra pen loop. As suggested by other bloggers/you tubers,  I stuck this to my transparent fly leaf so I wouldn't damage my Filofax. A funny thing happened though, a day after I ordered this pen loop, I happened upon a video that teaches you how to stretch your leather pen loop to fit whatever pen you have. Kent of Oz made this video and you can find it here. Now that my leather pen loop has stretched out to accommodate my Vera Bradley Pen in Dogwood, the Leuchtturm provides me with an extra pen loop!
These are some masking stickers I got from Amazon which you can get here. I got the "basic" set and they come in all kinds of cute designs! There are also different sets by this brand so you can find the one that goes with your color scheme, if you should have one. I don't have a specific color scheme in my Filofax other than fun colors. Teals, purples, yellows, greens....just a mix. I like to open my Filofax and be visually stimulated!

I was getting low on my Stickopotamus stars I use for color coding so I bought another package. I also picked up a pack of the small flowers for decoration. Both of these are at Walmart for $1.00 per package. If you wanted some of these, you might want to try there first.
I didn't go into Walmart for Hello Kitty stickers, nor do I particularly like Hello Kitty a whole lot, but look at these stickers!! Aren't they just the cutest things?! I got a basic pink set, but also lucked up on the Hello Kitty dressed up in different animal costumes PLUS these SUPER DUPER cute Hello Kitty Halloween stickers! The Halloween stickers just make me smile. :) Ms. Kitty is definitely going to be on my October month calendar. LOVE IT!
So there ya have it! My small little mini haul! Have you gotten any fun goodies lately? Please feel free to tell me about them in the comments below!
OH.....and one more thing....I have a little big surprise coming in the mail tomorrow! Can't wait to share it with you all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Filofax Finsbury-My latest Obesession!!

*Warning* This is a picture heavy post! Enjoy!

Anyone that has known me for, well, any length of time will know that I have a small unhealthy obsession with office supplies. They may also know that I keep a very detailed planner and write down just about every to-do, birthday, major/minor life events, etc. in said planner. They could go on to say I may be a little....weird...about it, but hey, we're all a little weird, right?

My newest obsession takes two of the things that I LOVE (planners & office goodies) and combines them. This new obsession is a FILOFAX! If you don't know what a Filofax is and you're not clued into the frenzy, just head over to Pinterest, YouTube, or Instagram and do a little searching. Just beware! If you're like me, you will soon find you've spent hours searching through other people's setups, decorations, videos, and blogs and will quickly find yourself pining for one yourself.

After having a Day-Timer Family Plus for a few months, I decided I needed something a bit smaller. The Family Plus was a bit cumbersome to lug around every day with it's 8 1/2 X 5 1/2 size and found with all my decorating, dividers, and notes, it was soon the weight of a brick. While scouring Youtube one day for "Planner Decorating" I came across my first introduction to Filofax. Ahhh....then I fell in love! One week of heavy researching later, I ordered a Personal sized Finsbury in the color Raspberry! *Drumroll* Annnnddd.. here is my lovely beauty...

Isn't she pretty?!
This is what my Finsbury looks like when you open it. Many people use the 6 cards slots on the left cover to put business cards or even use it as a wallet, but I just stick all my cute sticky notes in there. ;)

My Color Key.
I've just started in the last month using color coding. I tried at first with different colored pen ink and I just didn't like the look of it and found it hard for my eyes to read. I changed things up a bit and now use my Sharpie Pen to write everything in, then I go back with the appropriate color and highlight it.

My card slots all neat and tidy. 
In total disarray.
Week on 2 Pages
For right now I'm using the Week on 2 Pages. The planner didn't come with a Month on 2 Pages like I'm used to seeing in my old planners, so I ordered some from the Filofax website. As you can tell, I've jumped on the "Washi Tape Bandwagon" (is there a blog with this name? If not, someone please make one! lol). I have lots of fun getting out my washi tapes, stickers, tabs, etc to decorate my pages every week. It keeps me coming back to my Filofax (not like I'm having any problem with that...I LOVE IT) and also makes it fun to stay organized. Who knew that was possible, right?

Tiiiiny Pen Loop

One thing I find a bit disappointing is the pen loop. It is entirely made of leather and has no give what-so-ever. I watched a few videos on the Finsbury where people said that it was a generous leather pen loop, but I'm not finding this so. Even my skinny sharpie pen isn't fitting. In this pic, I have my Vera Bradley pen. It has a VERY strong clip so I put the clip in the loop and this holds my pen. I just ordered a self-adhesive pen loop from Amazon so we will see how that goes.
My handmade dividers
The Finsbury came with boring beige dividers that I knew right away had to go! I took the Filofax dividers and traced them onto photo scrapbooking paper which I then glued together to give it some weight. I really think they turned out pretty good. I might eventually make some printed labels for them. I was also supplied lined paper in each of these colors (minus the green) and put that color under its coordinating divider.
Back Zipper Pocket
The Finsbury also comes with a full length zipper pocket on the back that I use to store my stickers and tabs in. I've played around with the idea of using this as a wallet and if I do, this would be where I would store my cash and coins.
So there you have it! My new Filofax Personal Finsbury! I've only had it for 3 days now so I'm still "moving in" and figuring out how I want everything placed, but that's the most fantastic thing about Filofax! It can be totally personalized to fit your needs! No two are exactly the same. I can't wait to make this one totally unique and well...totally me!
Do you have a Filofax...or two....or three? If so, what was your first Filofax?
Don't have a Filofax? How do you keep organized?