Filofax Planning

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a stationery geek. I love it, whether it’s a new pencil, notebook or my school planner, I am in heaven. As I was coloring in my timetable and updating my calendar with new school dates and events for the next academic year, I decided that I needed to pimp up my Filofax (similar one here) a bit. My Filofax is my life. It’s where I put all my jobs for school (and I always have lots!), as well as addresses and other bits of useful information so it’s important that it looks good and colourful.

My Pretty Week Filofax dividersFred and Bell planner stickersFilofax planning

It definitely needed new dividers, as the old ones were very, very dog eared. After a quick search on Etsy, I came across My Pretty Week, who have a massive range of dividers. I went for the geometric patterned ones, which are doubled sided. I am so impressed with the quality of the dividers. They’re stronger than the ones the Filofax came with, which is great, as I hope these last a long time because I love them! I’m really happy with them.

I also saw a tweet about Fred and Bell planner stickers and thought that they would be a great addition to my Filofax. I got a mixture of the everyday icon stickers and the flag stickers, which I’ll use for blog planning. I also use specific colour pens for certain things, green for holidays, red for school events and deadlines, and I highlight appointments to make them stand out. I use washi tapes in two different ways. I make tabs that stick out for appointments and I also fold it over the edge of the page for special occasions, holidays, that kind of thing.

In September, I’m going to be full time at school and the need to be organised, or at the very least, feel organised, and I’m hoping that my colorful and stylish Filofax will help with that!

Easy vegan, gluten free chocolate chip

One of the drawbacks (or benefits, depending on my mood!) about being vegan is that when you’re craving a specific type of junk food, you might not always have easy access to something. This was how I was feeling the other day. I fancied some cookies but didn’t have anything and had no where close by to buy them from. So I had to make my own.

Easy vegan cookiesFor my birthday, I was given some oaty cookie mix, which only needs spread and water adding to it for the dry mix to become to become cookie mix. I also picked up some dairy free chocolate chips from somewhere and thought these would make great cookies that even the laziest baker could organise! Both are also gluten free and incredibly delicious, even before they’re baked.

chocolate chip vegan cookies

It is incredibly easy to make the cookies. You simply add some melted dairy free spread and water to the dry mix. Then throw as many chocolate chips into this that you think your stomach can handle. In my case, this was quite a lot. What I didn’t think about was putting melted butter into cookie mix with chocolate chips. About half of them melted, which I thought would ruin them, but was actually a happy accident. The mix states that it makes about 10 cookies, but I only managed to leave enough mix for about 7! They were incredibly moreish and great broken up and mixed in with ice cream. Well, it is the holidays!

Colby Woodland Gardens, Pembrokeshire

After walking what felt like all the miles while we were in Pembrokeshire, I wanted our last morning to be a little more gentle and it seemed like the weather agreed (drizzle… again!) For years I’ve been driving past the sign for Colby Woodland Gardens but I’d never been so after a quick walk around Carew Castle and a spot of geocaching, Poppy and I headed for Colby.

Colby obelisk Colby woodland garden Poppy at the Cobly obelisikI didn’t realise that the woodland garden was a National Trust property. Admission is £6.50, but while dogs are allowed almost everywhere, they aren’t allowed int he admissions office, which was tricky as I was on my own and never want to tie Poppy up and leave her outside (because, obviously, the second my back is turned, someone will steal her!) When I went into the admissions office, the lady asked if I was a member, which I wasn’t, and she asked if I wanted to join, but I said that it would take too long and I didn’t want to leave Poppy outside on her own for too long (There were some shifty looking pensioners out there!) The lady offered to come outside and organise the membership, which I thought was really lovely, as I had been meaning to join for some time (Wish I’d joined before parking at Bosherston Lily Ponds – £5!). So I joined the National Trust and got a ton of maps etc, then we headed into the gardens.

tree of coins at colby woodland garden The valley at Colby woodland garden Colby lodgeWe headed up to the left of the valley, to find the obelisk. You can walk down to Amroth beach from the gardens, which I would love to do next time. Dogs have to be kept on leads everywhere but they can’t go into the walled gardens. Poppy really enjoyed exploring the valley, as there are a few ponds and lots of things to smell, apparently. While Poppy is still nervous of the sea, she is super confident in shallow, clear water and now seeks it out!

Poppydog at Colby Woodland Garden Amroth beach from Colby bracket fungus Pamela Chance memorialOn the other side of the valley, the walks get steeper, and there are loads of different walks around this side. One shows great views to Amroth beach and there are lots of different aspects of nature to see. We spotted a jay, some bracket fungus and an owl pellet, which Poppy ate. Nice huh?! It’s a lovely place to visit and I’ll definitely be going back there, especially in a different season, where the tress are changing. There are tea rooms there too, which I didn’t visit this time so naturally I need to go back for that!

TV Recommendations – August 2016

There’s been very little to watch and with the summer holidays in full swing, I’ve made it my mission to rewatch Gilmore Girls and anything else Netflix can throw at me. In the mean time (and because Phil hates Gilmore Girls!), we’ve been watching a few other things.

TV recommendations_August

[Stranger Things – Netflix || Bloodline – Netflix
Ray Donovan – Now TV || The Catch – Now TV]

I saw lots of people tweeting about Stranger Things and when faced with a TV drought, Phil and I thought we’d give it a go. I didn’t know what it was about except that it was set in the 80’s, which is fine by me. It is brilliant! If you haven’t watched it, add it to your watchlist and set aside some time for it. There are only eight episodes, so it leaves plenty of time for other shows. It’s kind of a mix of The Goonies, ET and Stand by Me, with a hint of Pretty in Pink. It’s definitely worth the hype. Plus, it stars 80’s queen, Winona Ryder, who is great in it. Though, it’s the kids who are the out and out stars here. They are fab!

I’d seen Netflix advertise Bloodline and even gave it a bit of a go a while back, but it didn’t really stick. Phil saw a recommendation on Twitter, so we’d thought we’d give it a go. I’m going to warn you here, it is a bit of a slow burner. The first few episodes are a bit dull, none of the characters are that likable (even the wonderful Coach Taylor) however, we stuck with it and it was worth it. It is so tense and so gripping that I feel like I’m holding my breath the whole time. I cannot stand Danny, one of the main characters. He is pure evil! Netflix already has series 2 available and I saw that series 3 is coming next year, so there’s plenty of TV to be had here.

We’ve been watching Ray Donovan for a while and I’m so glad that it’s back. It’s quite dark in places, as it deals with child abuse from within the Catholic church, and Ray is a ‘fixer’ for the wealthy and powerful in LA. There are times when he has to do horrible things, including dealing with his spoilt kids and his rather offensive father. His brothers are the real gems of the show though, as they are brilliant characters. This is definitely one not to miss.

After all the drama and darkness of the other shows we’ve been watching, you need something lighthearted. The Catch is the latest hit from Shonda Rimes and revolves around a female private investigator who finds out the love of her life is not what he seems. As you would expect from Shonda Rimes, it is light, breezy and very glossy. While it’s not quite Scandal or the classic that is Grey’s Anatomy, it’s still a good watch.

I’m looking forward to a few shows coming back on TV, including The Walking Dead and the new (hopefully not final) series of Gilmore Girls. I have them written in my Filofax. Yes, I’m that much of a nerd!