Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Filofax Flex Slim

You'll have to forgive my sudden barrage of Filofax related posts this week. It's just got to that time of year again when I've started thinking about personal organisation for 2013 and how I'll have to do it differently now I'm a mum. Needs change and no longer am I keeping track of shifts at work, meetings & nights out - but Drs appointments, health visitor clinics and play dates (whilst planning a wedding!).

I love my personal sized Filofax, I really do. But the Flex caught my eye some time ago, however back then I didn't really see a place for it in my life. I used to carry a massive handbag to work and everywhere I went, so along came the Filofax. These days that handbag is a baby's changing bag and room inside it for myself is at a premium. Enter the Flex.

I opted for the 'Slim' because as I mentioned I wanted it to be compact and it really lives up to it. I know lots of Filofax fans who don't like these, but the thing is you need to let go of your preconceptions of the brand to embrace it. The fact is - I like it so much I may even get an A5 to use solely as my wedding planner. The Flex is never going to replace my 'traditional' Filofax, but it's a great & compact planner/ notebook to compliment it.

Organised Mum for my Filofax

I've been torn between one of the lovely 'Organised Mum' Life Books (with gorgeous faux leather cover) and my Filofax for years. Until this point I've always stuck with my Filofax as it's offered the flexibility I needed - but now I no longer have to choose! The 'Pick N Mix' range fits my personal sized fax perfectly. I ordered a few sets of stickers (I never found the Filofax brand very useful, but these are perfect!) and the Shopping, Family & Finance packs.

When it came to assembling them inside my fax I couldn't fit everything in - but lots of them (especially the shopping lists etc) are repeats, so I've stored them carefully away for when I need a refill. To be honest I was impressed with how many pages came in each pack and they'll last a good while. Part of this is also how much I already had stashed away in there!

I'm REALLY pleased with these - with spaces for for Christmas lists, party & family planning, family clothes/ shoe sizes, weekly routines, holiday planning, gifts & thank yous, menu & shopping planners, monthly finance planning and shopping lists (plus loads more!)they've really made my Filofax less business orientated and a million times more useful!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Baby Compote For Your Freezer

Since I started making my own baby food I've found keeping some stored in the freezer infinitely useful. I like to make my daughter fresh food, but don't always have the time. It's also handy to have some made up to provide to my mum whilst on babysitting duty!

Peach & Banana

Skin one banana and two peaches - chop into small chunks. Steam the fruit for 5 minutes (water level 1 in a babycook).

Tip away and excess water and place into blender. Give it a few pulses until smooth.

Makes enough for about two pots (I use Tommee Tippee available in most supermarkets). Cool as quickly as possible and store straight away.

I use a drywipe pen to write the contents and date on the pots as food should only be kept for a maximum of one month.

Other Flavours - You could also try many more combinations. My daughter loves Strawberry & Banana, Apple & Pear, Beetroot, Peaches, Peaches & Pear..... When cooking 'harder' fruits like apples and pears they'll need to be steamed for a little longer (Babycook water level 2 = 10 mins). Always remove the skin from the fruit as it contains too much fibre for babies!

Baby Parsley Mash

My daughters favorite food at the moment is mashed potato. A nice alternative to this recipe is to replace a bit of white potato with sweet.

For 6 + Months


One medium sized baking potato

Alpro Junior 1+ Soya Milk - around half a cup

A few sprigs of parsley

1 tsp fortified nutritional yeast flakes


I use a Beaba Babycook to prepare meals, but this could easily be done using any other steamer and blender.

Wash, peel and chop potato in to evenly sized small chunks and place in the steamer basket. Cook for around 15 minutes. In a Babycook this is water level 3.

Once cooked, get rid of the excess cooking water and tip potato into blender. Add the washed parsley, nutritional yeast and enough of the soya milk to blend to a smooth consistency which is right for your child.

A Note - Alpro Junior Soya Milk 1+ states on the packet that this can be used as part of weaning from 6 months +, but not as a child's main 'milk' drink until after one years of age. If you don't want to use this, made up formula can be used instead.

Monday, 22 October 2012

My Dirty Filofax Addiction

I like some things which other people find really bizarre. I love lunchboxes, bento decorations, travel cups (I have a collection which is quite getting out of hand) and most of all I love Filofaxes. My obsession goes back a long way. I was about 8 when my first FunFax landed in my hands and over the next few years I amassed quite a collection of inserts on trips to WHSmiths to spend Birthday/ Christmas book vouchers.
Fast forward to today and I own four Filofaxes. My use of such often meets quizzical glances from onlookers - they just can't understand why in the age of the Iphone/Ipad/Icloud wizardry I use an organiser 'from the 80's'. I love technology and it very much has a place in my life, yet nothing can quite replace having everything in one place - in an order of my choosing right there in my hands. It's true @mrflibbletweets finds it plain odd (even though he prefers 'old fashioned' pen and paper notebooks for meetings) and funny in a quaint kind of way. It just really works for me.
The organisers I own are - a cherry red personal Metropole, a yellow personal 'Hearts', pocket purple'Birdsong' and my current in use - a personal 'Swift' in sage.
In terms of 'classy' faxes suitable for vegans the choice isn't always that great, most of what they produce that could be considered 'high end' is made from leather. The metropole I own is fake 'leather' and as my first has long been abandoned due to cover becoming tatty. The 'Hearts' doesn't get used as it doesn't really have any card pockets and due to the type of elastic closure I was always getting bits of stuff dropping out.
So my main current organiser is a 'Swift' in personal size, and I use a pocket 'Birdsong' for my handbag. I love these mainly because of the durable canvas covers and the fact that they just feel like a nicer fax to the 'Apex' that's also currently out. I also customise with inserts from Organised Mum. Their 'Pick n Mix' range fit Personal sized binders - I have the Shopping & Menu planning, Finance & Budget and Family planning sections. I also find their sticker sheets infinitely more useful than those that Filofax produce themselves. In fact I've really been tempted by their 'Family Life Book' organisers and synthetic leather (states suitable for vegetarians) covers - but just love the customisable nature of the Filofax.

Really don't dismiss them. Filofaxes are still used and loved by many. I have my eye on an A5 binder next - I just need to find a use for it!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

REVOLT! (Feminist Zine Night) @ Taylor Johns House Coventry

So I went along to this night totally not knowing what to expect! I had some copies of my zine to give away, and some roller derby girls were going along - so what's not to like?

Whilst I placed my zines on the 'free' table and got on with the evenings drinking there were lots of lovely grrls there selling there zines including the lovely Sarah- Beth of Ellipsis and Marching Stars Distro. Whilst some excellent entertainment happened in the next room I drank cider, wrote on myself and encouraged people to read zines.

To get your hands on a paper copy visit my store HERE