2016 in review

I tried a fountain pen ink sample subscription.
Read 31 books
Created an Adobe Indesign and PDF tutorial that now has 8600 view on YouTube

Books Bought
Mindful Meditation
Rags & Bones – Short Stories
Conversations with Myself – Nelson Mandela
Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Callanish – William Horton
Fred Green Tomatoes – Fannie Flagg
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas
I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson
The Executioner – Chris Carter

4 Jan – Pete got locked in bathroom
10 Jan – RIP David Bowie
14 Jan – RIP Alan Rickman
17 Jan – Walk around snowy Bletchley
19 Jan – stationerygeek.com
30 Jan – Sara Hennesey’s 40th

7 Feb – Bought paintings for bedroom and dining room from The Range
14 Feb – Whaddesdon Manor
18 Feb – Laura left AFB
18 Feb – 5 Love Languages
20 Feb – Mole removed from chest
28 Feb – Homebase sold

6 Mar – New Vivarium for Vash
7 Mar – Wine tasting @ H.M.S. President in London with AFB
10 Mar – Skin Cancer diagnosis received
13 Mar – Beili Helyg B&B, Brecon Beacons, visit Goodrich Castle on way
14 Mar – Hill Walk – Four Falls Train in Brecon Beacons
15 Mar – Penderyn Distillery
15 Mar – Marine Hotel, Aberystwyth
19 Mar – Painted tree on dining room wall
22 Mar – Brussels airport and metro attack.
25 Mar – Hill Walk – Ivanhoe Hills
27 Mar – Easter Sunday egg hunt
29 Mar – Dad’s broke leg falling off ladder

1 Apr – Dad knee surgery
2 Apr – Build cross trainer
3 Apr – Sand and stain IKEA Moppe draws to convert to apothecary drawers, Pete repaired outside room roof
4 Apr – Elena resigned
8 Apr – Dinner @ Banana Tree when I got date wrong for dinner with Laura
18 Apr – Bath plugs fit on the overflow #mindblown
21 Apr – RIP Prince
23 Apr – Left arm tattoo by Philip Milic
28 Apr – FS Awards – The Belfry

1 May – RIP Keegan van Staden
2 May – Tring Museum
4 May – Pete invited me to business conference call by accident
5 May – Won full Tombow Brush Pens set
10 May – Pete’s pay rise
12 May – Wide Local Excision * Sentinel Lymphnode Biopsy
18 May – Third Massdrop gift box 3
19 May – Mattress for guest bed
20 May – MK11 night out
21 May – Massdrop gift box 1 & 2
25 May – Morning with Digital Design Team
28 May – Parents Arrive

3 Jun – Last day working with Elena
3 Jun – Biopsy results clear
4 Jun – Family Reunion
7 Jun – Smart Metre installed
8 Jun – Orlando night club massacre
8 Jun – Berwick
9 Jun – Elgin, Scotland
10 Jun – Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, Culloden Battlefield
11 Jun – Fort George
11 Jun – Eddie’s 70th party
12 Jun – Berwick
14 Jun – Mum & Dad made shelf above desk, wall mount TV, new curtains
15 Jun – I scratched girls car at Dunelm
16 -19 Jun – Arthur & Sue visiting
18 Jun – Dinner @ Swan for Dad’s Birthday & Parent’s Ann. Arthur ill.
19 Jun – Parents 45th Anniversary
24 Jun – Brexit
24 Jun – Parents Leave

Jul – Camp NaNoWriMo – 10,000 words writing in July
3 Jul – New shed
15 Jul – France massacre
18 Jul – Resigned from AFB
24 Jul – Drink with Tom K @ The Three Trees
26 Jul – Mum wrist surgery
28 Jul – Corner cabinet for dining room
30 Jul – Lisa’d wedding, Rugeley

1 Aug – Annetjie knee replacement
5-6 Aug – Stranger Things on Netflix
6 Aug – Back to red hair
12 Aug – Shadow had his teeth removed
13 Aug – Diner & drinks @ Tom’s house
21 Aug – Pilot Vanishing Point
29 Aug – Stowe visit
31 Aug – Last day in AFB

1-6 Sep – Galway, Ireland
2 Sep – Sainsbury’s buys Argos
3 Sep – Beth & Alan’s Wedding
4 Sep – Beth & Alan’s cottage
8 Sep – Start in Digital
21 Sep – Massdrop giftbox 4
28 Sep – My first bath bomb

1 Oct – Swatched my fountain pen inks
7 Oct – Pete’s climbed Skaffel Pike
9 Oct – Made new friendship bracelet
10 Oct – Hive installed
15 Oct – Hononichi Techo
15 Oct – New fireplace grate
22 Oct – PS4 & The Last of Us
23 Oct – Walk in Emmerson Valley park with MacBook
30 Oct – Adam Hills @ MK Theatre

5 Nov – Garden shredder
9 Nov – Trump wins US election
12 Nov – Mini sewing machine
16-20 – Sigrid visit
23 Nov – switched to using a menstrual cup.
25 Nov – Hip spasm

17 Dec – New dinner set

2015 in Summary

Wow 2015 has been INSANE! Overall it’s been an amazing year.


5th Jan – Pete started a new job in Digital Operations

7th Jan – Gilbert, a long standing friend of Pete’s father, passed away.

9th Jan – Contracts were exchanged to purchase our first house

16th Jan – We got the key to our new home.


28th Jan – Saw Cirque du Soleil @ The Royal Albert Hall, London


16th Feb – Shadow the cat adopted us



3rd March – Jimmy Carr @Milton Keynes Theatre

7th March – Nikki Hall/Larwill’s wedding

22nd March – Bought my MacBook Pro


25th March – Internet Retailer Expo for work


24th April – bought huge nail varnish haul from colleague

? – Pete started a new Jiujutsu class

29th April – Pete went to the Abode Conference and saw Brian Cox, Benedict Bumberbatch & Bastille


3rd May – Reginald D Hunter @ MK Theatre

13th May – New dining table delivered

28th May – Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman @ Hackney Empire

30th May – Dylan Moran – Off The Hook Tour @ Hammersmith Apollo (Great train ride home! Simon Murray lost his friend Chris)


22-26th June – BUDAPEST


2nd July – Rescued abandoned baby hedgehog

4th July – La-Z-Boys deivered


16-28th August – FAMILY HOLIDAY with the in-laws. 1 week cruise around the Mediterranean & 1 week in Croatia.


28th September – Joined a yoga class (short lived)


2nd October – Got MacBook Pros at work

3rd October – Rugby World Cup @ Campbell Park

4th October – New Ikea mattress delivered

8th October – Mark turned 40.


1st November – Put black streaks in my hair


12th December – Pete bought his BMW 325i

12th December – Karen’s 50th

Others things

This year I got a bit more serious about learning about Buddhism and started a daily meditation practice.

I expanded my interested for fountain pens, inks and nibs.

My Bullet Journalling really came into it’s own. This system is so wonderful!

Shadow truly became a part of our family and we absolutely love him.

I read/bought some great books. Highlights were:
The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

I was still painting my nails; and I finally swatched, photographed and catalogued ALL 340 of my nail varnishes!


I focused of improving my hand writing and lettering

I coloured stuff in

I probably spent way too much not enough money on stationery, but it was a creative year thanks to it!


Lists of Lists

Have I mentioned how much I like lists? Well I do. I like lists, a lot. Listing things make me feel really organised and clears my head.

One of the other things I love about Bullet Journalling is compiling brain dumps into lists. Lists about music, travel, food, wish lists, anything! If you are list lover like myself, there is one other things I love as much as lists, and that is inspiration for even more lists. Yes,  a list of lists.

So here you go, a list of lists to inspire you!

  1. Future pet names
  2. 5 Secrets
  3. Most humbling things I’ve seen/experienced
  4. 10 typical daily activities
  5. My hobbies
  6. Favourite places
  7. Places I’d like to travel to
  8. TV characters I’d want as friends
  9. Things to accomplish this year
  10. Things to accomplish in my life
  11. Favourite desserts
  12. Things most people don’t know about me
  13. If you could have dinner with 10 people (dead or alive)
  14. Favourite drinks
  15. Favourite websites
  16. Top TV Shows
  17. 10 Things you’d rescue from a fire
  18. Simple pleasures
  19. Superpowers you wish you had
  20. If I rules the world…
  21. Favourite foods
  22. Things I want to learn
  23. Things I loved doing as a teenager
  24. Favourite movies
  25. Worst movies
  26. Best childhood memories
  27. Top 10 Songs
  28. If I had all the money in the world for just one day
  29. Concerts/Gigs/Shows I have been to
  30. Things that annoy me
  31. Favourite artists
  32. Pets I have had
  33. Funniest things I have ever seen
  34. Things to do on rainy days
  35. Books I want to read
  36. I should really just…
  37. Best purchases I’ve ever made
  38. Places I have visited
  39. Jobs I have had
  40. Jobs I would love to have
  41. Favourite words
  42. Books I have loved
  43. My creature comforts
  44. My essentials
  45. Things I should feel proud of
  46. Things that remind me of home
  47. Current/future goals and dreams
  48. Things I want to make
  49. I am grateful for
  50. Favourite quotes
  51. Beside my bed
  52. Favourite albums
  53.  Current (mood, music, watching, eating, drinking, browsing, dreaming…)
  54. List of firsts (kiss, road trip, school, car)
  55. Bucket list
  56. People I admire
  57. Inside my bag
  58. Everyday carry items
  59. Things I collect
  60. Fictional places I’d like to visit
  61. Fears
  62. Favourite smells
  63. Facts about me
  64. Reasons to make lists
  65. Things I love to touch
  66. Favourite poems
  67. Things I’d rather be doing
  68. My strengths and talents


Share Your World – 2014 Week 23

Sweet DreamsThis is my first time participating in Share Your World 🙂 I’m sure it won’t be the last. 🙂

Would your rather be stuck in a small plane with mild turbulence for 2 hours or be a passenger in a car racing the Daytona 500?

Definitely be a passenger in a Daytona 500 Car. I hate flying and find turbulence quite terrifying. I’ve already experienced being a passenger in a dirt rally car and I loved it, so am sure the Daytona experience would be a thrilling once in a lifetime opportunity!

Would you rather be alone with nobody in the vicinity for one month or never be alone not even for a minute for one month?

That’s actually really tough! I LOVE my own company, but a month would feel like a VERY long time. Though without any time alone I might go insane too. Maybe if the person I was forced to be with was quiet it would be OK though.

If I was in my own space at home I’d choose to be alone. There’s plenty I could do 🙂

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?

I’d choose the tree. It would have lovely views and I could quietly watch people going by from my lookout spot.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I prefer to be a passenger. I like to take photos along the way and relax. Driving takes a lot of concentration, and that’s quite tiring over long distances.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

The Saturday before last I sold my car, so that was awesome; and my husband successfully climbed Ben Nevis and came home safe and sound. This week… probably buying my husbands birthday present 🙂


Want to take part in Share Your World? Head over to Cee’s Website to get the latest questions and more info 🙂


1999 – A good year for cinema

Do you know how many awesome movies were released in 1999?

Thanks to a recent Mashable article about Napster’s ’99 release, I discovered that 1999 was a pretty damn good year for cinema. I looked online and put together this list of some of my favourite ’99 films.

Which were your favourites?


Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Being John Malkovich The Blair Witch Project The Cider House Rules Cruel Intentions Fight Club The Green Mile The Matrix Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace The Sixth Sense	The Talented Mr Ripley Toy Story 2 The World is not Enough 10 Things I Hate About You American Beauty American Pie


My favourite? Hmmmm… Fight Club was phenomenal, but so was The Matrix. Both films which twisted my brain and made me rethink what I knew about cinema. The Green Mile made my cry like few other films have before, and to this day I still totally adore the Cruel Intentions OST.

But if  I really had to to pick just one, I’d probably have to choose 10 Things I Hate About You. The character of Kat really spoke to my 18/19 yr old self as I was in a serious transitional phase in my development and growing into my own skin. This was the first movie I ever watched more than once in the cinema; there have been others after it, but this was the first. Julia Stiles was amazing as Kat, and really connected with my own rebellion against society at the time, and I really wanted to “not give a shit” like her (though we know that’s not actually true). It was in this film that I also developed a massive crush on Heath Ledger, and was gutted when he passed. Some of the young actors from this film took there careers to wonderful new heights after it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was amazing in (500) Days of Summer, and of course Inception, and well, Heath… there will never be another Batman villain so sinister as Heath as The Joker in The Dark Knight. So yes, it was a teen movie, but I was actually a teen back then, and I LOVED this movie. If ever I see it on TV when channel surfing I will always watch it over again, as for me it’s still just as good now as it was back then. 🙂

Bullet Journalling

So it started when I clicked a Book Riot article and started adding some books to my goodreads reading list, then I bookmarked the page in Instapaper, then decided to organise my Instapaper a bit and move articles in folders. Then I spotted a saved article from Lifehacker about journalling and opened it, which sidetracked me onto a bunch of articles about paper journals (Heaven!) and then finally another article about Bullet Journalling.

The rest of my night from that point on, is history. As you can see I’m easily distracted and my mind is all over the place. This is a normal everyday scenario for me, and that’s why I’m an obsessive note-taker and also why Bullet Journallying is my new favourite thing in the world, and I’ve only been doing it for about 1.5 hours. Why? Because I know it’s really going to work for me. I LOVE keeping analogue notes and scribble lists and ideas on scraps of paper all over the place on a daily basis and I’m sure this will help me keep them more organised and more productive.

Here is what I have put together so far:

I’ve only just scratched the surface of bullet journalling and look forward to developing my own methods, but the basic structure is already a really great starting point and I can’t wait to do it more.

To learn more from the man whom invented it, check out the stunningly designed official bulletjournal.com site here.

More inspiration from other people using this method (adding more as I find them):

BTW, I still haven’t finished reading that Lifehacker article, or sorting out my Instapaper folders, but I’ve got it down on my bullet journal 🙂

Present Ponderings – Sun 11 May ’14

For a while I’ve been trying to think of a recurring post I can use for a quick post and update about what I’m up to at any given time. Back in the yesteryear of my website I had a small area just called “Current” where I listed what was current for that day. Since I love lists I thought why not keep the same format. I’d like to do it as a weekly thing but am not sure if I really have enough to say each week  as generally I lead a rather routine life, but we’ll see how it goes. So introducing the first post of:

Present Ponderings

Watching: Game of Thrones, 24 (SE3), Gogglebox (Hilarious!)
Listening: Pixies – Indie Cindy / The Black Keys – Thickfreakness / Whip It OST / Garbage – Girl Talk Single
Reading: Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Laini Taylor
Feeling: Unfit
Writing: Addresses on envelopes to post a family DVD to cousins & aunt
Loving: My Gorjuss iPad Mini cover
Wanting: Embroidery Floss to make a friendship bracelet to replace the one I lost in Dubai Airport 🙁
Crafting: A Zentangle Mandala
Playing: Elder Scrolls Online
Wasting: Precious time not getting shit done
Wishing: My car was sold
Dreaming: in Elder Scrolls Online because we played so much yesterday (11 hours!) 😮
Enjoying: Podcasts – Check out Books on the Nightstand & Book Riot
Trying: To lose weight as part of a work challenge
Waiting: for a wheel cap centre to be delivered for my Dad’s Beemer in South Africa
Looking: Forward to my 3rd tattoo session on Wednesday!
Liking: That I’ve finally got this post together
Bookmarking: Lots of blog related infographics on Pinterest
Laughing: At this!
Following:  About a million blog related Pinterest boards and websites


Laini Taylor Book Signing & back to Red Hair

So 2 cool things happened today.

Firstly, I started the day terribly hungover due to an impromptu night out. A “quick drink” after work turned into a session with some lovely company and a bit too much wine was consumed. So I woke up with a banging headache, had some paracetamol and a glass of water which promptly came up again 15 minutes later, then I slowly sipped an Alka Seltzer before going back to bed for a few more hours. Thankfully the headache was gone when I woke up and I only arose at 11:30am! Shocking behaviour!

Laini Taylor Book Signing 3rd May 2014

Once I was feeling a bit more human again my day properly kicked off by going to the Laini Taylor book signing at the Milton Keynes Waterstones. I got there half an hour early and there was only a small queue of about 10 people so I picked up my copy of the new Dreams of Gods and Monsters and joined the queue.

Laini Taylor Book Signing Queue
Queue for the book signing.

My colleague, Laura, and her Mum soon joined me. It was Laura that recommended the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy to me, and her Mum that recommended it to her. We chatted with the store staff and our fellow queue-ees (hmm signees?) and had quite a few laughs while we waited. After a brief delay, Laini arrived and we soon had our books signed.

Me and Laini Taylor.
Me and Laini Taylor.

My encounter was short and sweet as I normally get nervous and don’t have much to say; but I thanked her for coming to Milton Keynes and she thanked me for coming to the signing. The store staff took our photo and I was done. I waited near the desk for Laura and her Mum to get their signing done, and I had to take a step back so I didn’t hear Laura’s Mum reveal any spoilers while she happily chatted to Laini (She’s already finished the book!). Once they were done we watched a few other people get signed and then went about our separate ways. I love book shops so couldn’t leave without spending at least an hour in the store first and finding about a hundred books I wanted to buy. Leather bound Poe! Oh and stationery, how I love the stationery! I can’t wait until I fill my moleskine journal so I can buy a Fabriano dotted one.


Signed Book
My autographed book.

If you’ve never been to a book signing before you might be interested in reading Your Basic Book Signing Procedure

Back to Red Hair Dye

So the second cool thing to happen today is this:

Red hair is back!
Red hair is back!
Red yeah!
Red yeah!

I’ve been thinking about it for months and after looking at some old photos last week I finally decided to go back to deep red. I actually want to go more vivid than this and this particular shade is more orangey than I’d hoped but I’m still VERY happy to be back to a deeper red colour. It just feels so… me.

Other things I need to blog about:
– Our holiday in South Africa
– My half sleeve tattoo