One little word - A year long journey

One little word 2017 2

Do you know Ali Edwards? If you don't, you need to! I have long admired her style of memory keeping and life documenting and although I have joined in by choosing 'one little word' each year, I haven't ever documented the journey. When she offered a REALLY good shipping rate on the one little word kits I thought it was a great opportunity to do just that. So I signed up for the class, ordered my kit and set about choosing my word.

For me the process usually starts in October, when I watch the garden die back and the leaves fall off the trees, I reflect on the year that has passed, and what changes I want to make to the way I live my life. Sometimes the word is influenced by a book, one year I chose Gratitude as my word after reading The Secret, and wrote one thing I was grateful for each day in my diary. Boy did that make me realise just how many good things I have in my life! 2016's word came to me after I started seeing a counsellor at the end of 2015.

This year my word came about as a sat with a pen and paper and did some word association, starting with my 2016 word, ENOUGH. After being drawn to a word, I thought I would mull it over for a few days. And then when I started to see it everywhere (!!) I knew it was the right one for me.


For two years running I have also worn my word. Last year I had a hand stamped silver pebble on a chain and this year I have a silver bar on a chain. Both are from the online shop Tiny Silver.

I will share my pages and story on the blog and also instagram under hashtag;cjmonelittleword throughout the year.

One little word 2017 3

The kit has arrived and it is FAB! I have printed off the first lesson. I'm ready to GO! Ready to SHINE!

C xx

Planning in 2017

CD 1

CD 2

When I started my planner journey on the 1st of January I knew there would be lots of experimenting as I found the right fit for me. How I do things today is very different to how I did them 8 months ago, but all the changes I made have led me to the most efficient method for me. If it doesn't work for YOU then it's not going to make your life any easier or help to reach your goals.

Last year I wrote a diary every day. It was a Moleskin page a day soft cover A5 diary, like the ones I have bought (and not used) for years. Once I knew that I was able to commit to a daily diary/planning regime I treated myself to the Carpe Diem planner. The plan was to use the planner for appointments and daily plans alongside a Moleskin for memory keeping. This worked well for about 5 months.

Then I felt a shift.......

I missed paper crafting and memory keeping but knew that I wasn't going to get back into scrapbooking in the conventional way any time soon. The CD planner lends itself to 'making pretty' and with the addition of the daily page (ie page a day) inserts I had a great memory planning tool. At the end of each month I file the pages in a simple stories binder adding photos (see the CHEERZ category to get details of my photo printing) and elements. At the end of the year I'll have an album of 2016, I guess it's a little like project life!

Of course this meant I didn't have a planner. And I loved planning, even though i'm not hugely busy outside of my work day, I still enjoyed the process of planning and wanted to keep doing it. SO.....I treated myself to the Get To Work Book by Elise (link at the bottom of this post)! I was so tempted to buy this last year but really wanted to stick to the Moleskin. It's a brand I know and love and my CD planner was going to be my planner anyway.







I bought the 2016/2017 edition of the book although I much prefer January to December planners and diaries so I'll be buying the 2017 version as soon as it's on sale. With that is mind I did think long and hard because this isn't a cheap book, especially when you're not using half of it. It comes in at $55, and the ruler and book band are priced individually, in addition is international postage. BUT the hefty price tag is so worth it when you open the package and take the book out of the box! Firstly it is so well packaged and presented, and the little postcard of dashboard images is just perfect to pin up at my desk. The coaster I punched and put in my CD planner on the day the GTWB arrived, another great little piece of inspiration. Elise has written up the story behind each dashboard image which I love. Great thought has gone into every part of this product.

The clean lines and total lack of colour means there are no distractions. It's a book designed to keep you on track to reaching goals and getting things done, one day at a time. For me there is no making pretty, it's not for embellishing, it's functional and I love it. It's combined a planner for life, goal setting for yarn craft, blog post planner and budget keeper.

It's a great size book too. Lots of space for writing lists and setting tasks for the day as well as action items for the week and planning larger projects. It's been a great tool for me to keep track of my exercise too. There are great walk though videos on the Get To Work Book website so if you're undecided go check them out.

Top Tip: I stole the idea of using a highlighter to score off done items rather than crossing them out. It's so evident what/how many items have been ticked off, and is just visually vibrant!

So getting back to this blog posts title - Planning 2017 - I've decided to carry on this way of planning and memory keeping in 2017, and I have already had a little shop for 2017 supplies (although i'm not going to set up my 2017 planner until the week between Christmas and New Year). I've been using the two books alongside each other now for two months and i'm so happy I made the change. This fits my life and that's why it works!

Get to Work Book

My Carpe Diem Planner story

C xx

Websters Pages Traveler Notebook

Websters travelers notebook
Websters travelers notebook 1
Websters travelers notebook 2
Websters travelers notebook 3
Websters travelers notebook 4
Websters travelers notebook 5

I decided to treat myself to a Websters Pages Traveler Notebook. I love the idea that you can have a couple of notebooks on the go at once but still keep them neat and tidy in one folder. I didn't dither over colour choice at all and absolutely love the bling of the rose gold!

Now if I'm totally honest I do NOT need another notebook. I am a notebook addict and have enough to see me through to at least 86! But another reason this book is so great is that you don't ever use it up, you just keep replacing the books inside. I really really love that concept.

Like the Websters Pages planners, this notebook comes in a lovely sealed box with a HELLO vellum greeting when you first peek inside. The book is also protected from the elastic closure which is so great as you don't want a dented book before you've had a chance to admire it.

There are four elastics to hold the notebooks, i'm not sure yet if 4 books is practical and I've not seen any mention of replacement elastics although the Midori ones may fit in case of breakages. I also haven't seen the kraft cover books sold seperately, although again i'm sure the Midori ones will fit. Planners are pretty standard so mixing and matching is totally doable!!

I'm not sure I'll be able to just have the one so watch this space, haha.

Ciao xx

**All opinions are my own and I do not receive anything in return**

A month of planning

01 02 planner post 2

01 02 planner post 1

I'm pleased to say that I survived the first month of using a planner alongside my diary and totally loving the process.

Initially I wondered if I was making a big mistake outlaying cash on the Carpe Diem planner. Don't get me wrong it's pretty as heck and I love it but not knowing if it would sit on a shelf after a lousy few weeks of use was scary. Especially considering my planner track record!

It didn't all fall into place immediatly and I made a few blunders that would usually have left me feeling dissapointed. The first month of my planner doesn't look like I imagined. 
This is a huge learning curve for me, as I'm the type of person that wants to perfect a new hobby or craft or process before I've even picked up the tools. I over research and over analyse. My urge for something to be perfect on the first attemp often stops me trying new things.

The great thing about this style of planner is that the layout and options of style and design are flexible. I have moved a few things around as January progressed and have a much better feel for the pages I use most and those that I need and want but not all the time.

Initially I wanted to have four months in the planner at a time so I could add photos and ephemera and it not get too bulky. Then remove each month as it finishes, archive and bind it all together at the end of the year into a mini scrapbook. But it turns out I want to see and use the whole year. This became apparent when we booked a weeks holiday in September and I wanted to add it in my planner straight away. So i've added the month to view pages back in but not the weekly pages. This makes the planner less bulky and I get to access the whole year. A planner has to work for you and be adaptable to what's going on in your life, if it can't, then it's not the right planner for you.

One thing that irritated me was the 'curling' of the last page when I closed the book. It seemed to get a bit scrunched and bent and that was annoying. So I used a sheet of clear binding acetate, cut to size, and punched as a 'back page'. It slides against the inside fabric covering making the book close better protecting that last paper page.

Having found the perfect planner for me, I needed to form habits to make it work for me and ensure I use it. Of course it comes everywhere with me but if I don't take it out my bag and use it then it's just extra weight I can do without. Here's what is working for me so far:

  • Every morning when I get into work I get my desk draw key, pen (I'm very particular about the pen I use and mine comes everywhere with me!), phone and planner out of my handbag.
  • While my laptop is firing up I open my planner to today and check if there is anything to do or add to my days plans. I chose the weekly pages because I work full time and don't have a huge amount of 'out of work chores' in my life. This planner is for me and not work. I also glance back at yesterday to see that everything was done and carry over anything that wasn't and needs to be rescheduled.
  • My planner stays on my desk as a reminder to do any of the days tasks. If I have calls to make I take it with me to lunch or to the kitchen if it's a quick call that can be made while the coffee machine whirls out a cuppa, ie calling/texting to order wood, or book a car MOT.
  • I usually have a quick glance when I get in from work and if there is nothing left to do I don't look at it again until the morning. If however there are things to discuss with dear husband then I leave it out as a reminder.
  • On a Monday I have an hour after work before an appointment so I sit in a lovely quiet Hitchin pub, with a coffee and do some 'making pretty' on my planner. It's me time and a good opportunity for me to add any goals and review my yarn craft lists.
  • The weekends are slightly different. Saturdays can be quite busy, so although I'll add tasks to my planner I tend to also add them to a separate slip of paper that I can take with me. I have a quick look at the planner first thing and grab the slip of paper. I don't like to plan too much for a Sunday so I don't schedule any tasks on that day. I do however have a quick look first thing for birthdays.

This may not be how I manage my planner at the end of the year and my methods may evolve but this is working for me now. Good habits are the key to effective planning, ticking off tasks and reaching goals.

If you have an effective way of using your planner or ideas please share!

Ciao xx

Carpe Diem Planner - Part 2

CDP front of month page

CDP monthly quote page

CDP this month page

CDP month ruler

CDP March

CDP today ruler

A bit like diaries, I have had my fair share of planners and not managed to use one all year, or even for a few months at a time. I decided that if I could keep a diary in 2015 then I would treat myself to a new planner. I really wanted to split the appointments & plans and my daily thoughts into two separate books.

As this year has moved on and my commitment to daily diary entries has been proved I started to allow myself to do a bit of planner research. I read all the reviews and scrutinised each planner on the market and finally settled on the Carpe Diem planner. There are so many amazing planners on the market and this is such a personal choice but here's what I loved about this planner. I can add, move and get rid of stuff. Simple as that. I wanted a planner that I could adapt to me, that I could use for my yarn projects and blog planning as well as the every day. There are so many great planner printables that can be added to this folder too. This is a great base for me to adapt to suit me.

I am having the most fun getting the planner set up to start using in January!

The monthly divider tabs are plastic coated and is of a sturdy thick card with each page sporting a lovely image or quote. There is a double page month view, which is undated for you to personalise. Each month has a THIS MONTH page for birthdays, goals, important dates and don't forget. The planner came with weekly inserts but you have the option to buy daily pages. I have stuck with the weekly pages for now as i'm at work for 8.5 hours a day and don't need to plan that! The daily/weekly pages are undated too so you can stamp, handwrite or sticker your dates on!

The options for making this planner your own are endless and even though I won't be using it until January, I already have it in my handbag and can't stop admiring it :) Silly I know but I LOVE it!


Ciao xx

Carpe Diem Planner - Part 1

CDP planner

CDP plastic cover

CDP stickers in pocket

CDP sticker sheets

CDP stickers

Today I want to share some details and a little pre-use review of the new Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner and products. I will split this post into two (check back next Monday for part 2) so it's not information and photo overload!

I ordered my planner from The Homemakery who offered a pre-order back in July (or was it June??), and chose the Robin's Egg colour. In October Simple Stories released better photos of the products so Homemakery offered the opportunity to amend your colour choice and we could start to get an idea of what additional items we would want to buy on release.
The Simple Stories blog had a few posts showing how each of the team had set theirs up. Of course by this time I was dreaming about my planner popping through the door!
Because I had pre-ordered I had the chance to order some accessories, and do the final planner payment, before the planners landed so it would all be shipped within hours of arrival. I was feeling slightly overwhelmed at that point so just ordered the number and icon stickers. I knew I would want more but needed to see the planner first. I had a little panic about the planner size, I was worried it would be too small to use as a planner/memory book combined, so didn't want lots of stickers I couldn't use.

The lovely team at The Homemakery shipped the goods with such efficient speed and when it arrived I was NOT dissapointed!
The binder itself is of excellent quality and well made, I always worry about dodgy stitching! The front plastic sheet is nice and thick and there are plenty inside cover pockets to keep the sticker sheets in! Of course there is a handy pen holder and cute little camera charm.

A few days after the planner arrived I placed another little order for some more bits:
Bookmarks - there are three in the pack. I have used one as a current month marker, one for the current week (I opted to stick to the weekly pages) and one to mark the next month so I can look forward every now and again.
A5 notepad - for a few extra note making pages that I can keep in the current month.
Dashboard inserts - these are great adding some dimension.
Insta quote, clear and reinforcer stickers - just cause you gotta have them.

I split the sticker packs in two so I have a batch to use in the second half of the year.

See you next week for more!

Ciao xx

A small celebration

I am celebrating 10 months of daily 2015 diary writing.

Diary update 02 11 15

I feel so great about this considering I have bought a diary every year for all of my adult life and never used it! I knew it would happen one day :)

I've pre-ordered the Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner from The Homemakery, which should be ready for dispatch mid November. The plan is to move diary entries ie.appointments, events, anything yarn or paper craft related and the blog post schedule over to the planner, leaving the diary a more personal space.

I'll share what I buy as soon as it arrives!

Ciao xx


I love to write lists and make them almost daily. Grocery lists, to do list, to make lists, Christmas card lists, Christmas gift lists, clothes packing lists, Saturday chore lists, BBQ party lists (guests, food and decorations), book lists......You get the picture.

And while I was out on Saturday (armed with a list of stores to visit and things to buy) I came across a journal called Listography, your life in lists.

Listography book

Journalling, memories and lists all in one book! Such a fun idea.

On the top of the right hand page is a list prompt - 'List the things you like to do one your day off', and on the left hand page is a hand drawn picture that relates to your list. I would love to know if these are things from the illustrator's lists or just made up things.

I am so looking forward to filling it up. I love this note from the author...'I believe everyone should have an autobiography, if only for their loved ones to read and even in the simplest form: A list' Lisa Nola.

love lists xx

Just Write - A Project

This weeks Great Scheme of Things colour palette is black and white, and inspired such beautiful projects from the team and our Facebook followers. As my focus in 2015 is all about the written word and being inspired to write every day, I saw the prompt as black ink on white paper.

Just write title page

And that got me thinking about a new little project!

This project is about forming habits and inspiring people to write. It's about taking 5 minutes out of every day to Just Write. Write Anything. Write Something. Do it every day.
Write one word over and over, write a poem, write out your favourite quote, write a To Do list, write 'I don't know what the hell to write', Just Write.

I'm using a small, 24 page (using both sides of the paper) note book and a uniPin fine line pen.

Just write note book

Will share progress on Instagram under #justwriteproject

Ciao xx