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!


Bullet Journal, an Update

If there was ever one thing I should blog about regularly it’s Bullet Journalling. I’ve been using Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journaling system for a year and half now (I blogged about it when I first started) and it is the only system I’ve adopted that fits my needs so perfectly. It’s flexible and adaptable and the community has grown massively since I first started and provides a wealth of inspiration, tweaks and ideas. It’s wonderful! So here’s a current look at my set up.
My lovely husband bought me a Midori Traveler’s Notebook in Aug last year for my birthday and I’ve been using it ever since. I love the flexibility of the inserts, which come in a variety of styles (lined, grid, blank) and the paper is fountain pen friendly. I have 2 sections inside, one for my bullet journal with tasks on monthly/weekly/daily entries and a second for collections and lists. My insert of choice is the grid for my BuJo and lined for collections.

Midori Traveler's Notebook

Midori Traveler's Notebook

As you can see I actually have 3 inserts here. The first is a full BuJo insert and I just haven’t taken it out yet as I still need to migrate my forward planning calendars. I also need to bring the monthly tabs at the top up to date.

The first thing I have inside the cover is a Kraft File insert. I keep a Year Calendar to track certain tasks, and also a Spencerian reference sheet.

Inside Front cover

The first few pages of my BoJo are for forward calendars. One for birthdays and anniversaries, and the second for future events.

Forward Planning

At the beginning of each moth I insert a calendar for the month printed from My Life All in One Place. They are the Month-to-view Diary inserts. I will then input everything relevant to the month from my forward planning calendars I have at the front.

Monthly calendar


This is a typical weekly spread I will prepare at the beginning of each week. On the left I would then migrate any tasks from the previous week that were not completed, and add any new tasks as the week progresses. As I complete a task I put it on the relevant day on the right and use the right to log any other notes from the day. I’ve used this style for many months and it’s worked really well for me as I don’t have lots of mandatory tasks to do for each day. I also try to maintain a gratitude journal here and list 5 things each week I am grateful for.

Weekly Spread



Ok so after explaining my monthly calendar and weekly spread above, this month I am trying something new! I have gone back to the traditional BuJo method of the monthly spread with the month on the left and tasks down the right. I have still copied birthdays and events from my forward planners.


October Spread

And then I’m trying out ditching my weekly spread and just keeping daily entries. This has come with some pros and cons. Pros: I like having as much space as is required for each day. Some days are just a few lines and some are a whole page. Cons: I miss having a weekly tasks view and I find I’m not flipping back to the monthly spread very often, so I’m finding the tasks out of sight, out of mind. I’ll have to figure a way around this next month.

Another new thing I’m trying is daily logging, inspired by Austin Kleon, and I’m really loving it. Though as a result I find i’m not writing in my diary as often as I used to. I haven’t decided if this is good or bad yet.

Daily log

Onto the Collections insert (badly labelled “notes”).


The first 2 pages in this insert is reserved for the Index. This lists the collections in the following pages and the relevant page number.

Collections Index

Here’s an example of a collection. This one is really simple and lists the movies I want to watch or have been recommended. This one is pretty simple in it’s layout but others are more creative and intricate depending on what it is for.

Collection Example

So that’s a really quick overview on how I’m using my Midori and the way I layout my inserts. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about my methods of layout 🙂