Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Biting Isn't Nice

The other day, my daughter bit me. She was being the teacher and explaining that biting isn't nice and saying, "You wouldn't like it if someone bit you, would you?"

Then she leaned in for what I thought was a snuggle. Little Girl Nice Guy opened up her little rosebud mouth, showed me her pearly little teeth, and !@*!@*!

She looked very surprised at my outburst and asked, "Why did you yell?"

I said, "Because you bit me and it hurt."

She plaintively said, "I didn't bite you. I was showing you it is not nice to bite. You wouldn't like it if someone bit you." Then she tried to bite me again! This time I was quick and dodged those sharp little teeth.

"Mommy, I was just trying to show you." She shook her head sadly--like she was disappointed. Probably thinking her lesson went unlearned.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just Do It!


Finally I've been well enough to get off my feet and get back to life! Bronchitis, asthma and stretched rib cartilage do not a fun Mrs. Nice Guy make.

After being virtually bed-bound for a few weeks, I woke up with energy and joined in a few family adventures. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon and all the rest of the weekend a whirling dervish of a domestic diva!

I cleared, cleaned, sorted, and purged--a place for everything and everything in its place.

I also learned something very interesting. Rib pain slows you down, and when you are a disorganized thinker like I am, this is a good thing.

I am a list-maker, over-thinker, heartbreaker--don't you mess around with me. (Sorry, Pat Benetar is one of the other voices in my head who sometimes makes unexpected appearances.) I like to daydream, fantasize, plan, list, and diagram almost everything I do. Mostly, I get stuck in the fantasy stage. But eventually the ideas make it down to paper--every last detail. That is not to say that I follow each of the maps I create, I just like to make them. But after weeks of being an invalid, I was ready to jump into action and I had so many plans in my head about what I wanted to do with my house. Ordinarily, I would laze about with some tea and my Filofax and plan out my day. Then by 3pm, my plans would be laid out in writing, and I might be too tired to actually get the work done. Or there might be other distractions--like my daughter or TV.

But not this weekend, dear readers. This weekend, I hardly gave thought to any plan. I simply saw one corner of the house I wanted to tackle and tackled it. Simple as that. Then I moved on to the next project. And the next.

It was great! Usually, when I have about 4,362 plans in my head, I want to do them all at once. I end up starting lots of little fires and completing almost nothing, leaving the house a complete and utter wreck. But my poor bruised ribs have actually served me well because they've forced me to slow down, take everything one step at a time, and now I have about 7 completed projects, instead of 4,362 half-started ones.

This weekend, Mrs. Nice Guy, Former Invalid: cleaned and organized her closet, reorganized the linen shelves, organized Mr. Nice Guy's closet, tidied Little Girl Nice Guy's toys, did about 5 loads of laundry and even put it all away! (the laundry usually sits for a week or so), tidied up the bookcases, dusted all the rooms, reorganized my vanity/dressing table, and with the help of Mr. Nice Guy, tidied the kitchen, dining room and swept all floors.

I realize that this is probably totally unimpressive to most people who are in general clean, tidy and organized. But this is a major triumph for someone who is by nature lazy, but likes to give the appearance of being tidy and organized. I think I may have cracked the code to keeping house. Don't plan it--just do it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sick Day

I've been sick for over a week (bronchitis? pneumonia? some kind of chest infection, I'm sure.) I suppose I should see my doctor, but I'm always slow to call. (However, the second my daughter's temperature goes above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I am on the phone harassing the front desk for an appointment RIGHT NOW!)

When not sleeping, I've been obsessed with television shows from the early 2000s, like Coupling (UK version), Gilmore Girls, Charmed (hey, I never claimed this blog was high brow.) I miss the fashions from that era, which means I am old and will soon turn into one of those women who insist on wearing what they looked best in 10/20/30 years ago. Which, of course, means I am doomed to sport pointed boots, one shouldered tops and flat ironed hair for the rest of my life.

I suppose it could be worse--at least I don't miss the fashions from my teens. Mile high bangs and frosted lipstick never did suit me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Here is my adorable A5 Adelphi in Scarlet or Hot Lipstick Red.

Even thought I'd just bought the Spring Green Chameleon, I couldn't give the Adelphi up after I held it in my hands. I made up all kinds of excuses: I'll need an archive binder anyway; I'll use this one in winter and the other in spring; Buying this Filofax is good for the economy.

The thing is, I didn't need to make up excuses. The Adelphi is just gorgeous as a personal journal for when I get into a seriously scribbly mood. I've also been fiddling with collage for my photographs and this little book gives me a safe space to experiment.

I am seriously loving how versatile Filofax is. If I get struck with inspiration during the week, I can jot down the idea in my "everyday" Filofax (the Chameleon), then transfer it to my "journal" Filofax. And vice versa--if I put together something that makes me smile and I need a pick-me-up during the week, I can transfer the page to my Chameleon.

So there we are. Two Filofaxes, one tired credit card, an exasperated husband, and a happy, happy me!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Two Are Better Than One

The sensible shopper, when faced with two equally attractive possibilities, weighs the pros and cons of each item, examines true need versus impulse, and eventually arrives at a sensible decision.

But I wouldn't know because when have I ever been a sensible shopper?

That's right--check it, bay-bee. I bought the A5 Chameleon in Spring Green AND the A5 Adelphi in Scarlet!

OK, I did try to compare one to the other and had hoped, rather briefly and not all that sincerely, that one would come out on top. But in the end, I loved them both and feel no guilt and no regrets!

Even better, I found perfect uses for both, so now I will share my systems (and expose my not-so-inner-geekery.)

First up is my Chameleon, lovely, unique, just the right size.

This is my "cover page," a silly photo strip of my daughter that never fails to crack me up when I look at it, and a homemade birthday card (made of supplies from his office) that my husband gave to me.

Then comes another top opening clear envelope in which I keep things I don't want to forget about, a credit card holder page for ID, cards, etc., a personal info page that I just made using the remnants of scrapbooking papers I used to make my tabbed dividers (not pictured.)

Then come the dividers themselves. I didn't label them because I am fickle and change things around too much to be able to commit, but I don't have a lot of sections (and no subsections at all) so remembering what goes where isn't really a problem. Here is my Goals/Projects/Lists section.

Then comes a section for Blog Notes (I know--two blogs and no readers outside of family, but I'm a scribbler and my blog notes get their own section, OK?).

Then--isn't this clever?--my diary pages.

I'm using the week-on-two-pages format that came with it. It felt a little odd using the column format, but I think I could get used to it. At least till the end of the year. But I think I might go to the day-per-page format in 2012 as my week still looks like a hot mess.

Then a section for notes that might go into my personal journal.

Then a section for inspiration--art, fashion, hair-dos I might try.

Finally a section for key information (key--get it???): websites I use, encrypted passwords, contacts, medications, etc.

I love looking at my tabs.

And I love how much room there is to write--my handwriting stays largely intact even with the rings. I find that the binder lays flat quite easily. But it could be because my diary pages are pretty much dead center in the binder so there is equal weight distribution when it is open. It's not as heavy as I thought it would be and fits perfectly in my handbag.

I also have the Post-It insert (it was dismantled by my daughter so I just replaced the Post-Its), a jot pad, the portable hole punch, and an extra pen, but I didn't want to bulk out too much, so I keep those things (which are handy but not used daily) in a small mesh bag.

So, that's my Chameleon. Perfect for everyday/work needs and not too heavy to lug around. Stay tuned...I'll introduce you to my Scarlet Adelphi next.

Filophile: Filofax Part 2

So, I've revealed far more than anyone should ever want to know about my history with Filofax. The above photo is of my gorgeous Personal Piazza, and I should probably seek psychiatric help for my obsession. She's just the right color, has just the right set up, feels great in my hands.

And yet...

...Lately I've been feeling that she just isn't giving me enough space. What! you say? If she didn't live in your handbag, you'd be stalking her!

No, I mean space!

Consider, my typical week looks like this:

I like to have appointments, deadlines, and daily tasks all right there in front of me, but really, all those little scraps of paper are ridiculous! I thought about switching to a day-per-page format so that I could use it as both a planner and a diary in the English sense of the word (keeping record of past events), but even if I switched to a day-per-page format, there would still be the problem of my hand bumping into the rings more often than I like. 

Also, I've been watching this You Tube video obsessively and this one, and I convinced myself that I NEEDED an A5.

In fact, I needed this one.

Poor quality cell phone image--will do this one justice someday soon.

Meet my A5 Chameleon in Spring Green. She's lovely, unique, and just the right size.

But in my research, I came across this beauty on Flickr. Holy Hot Red Lipstick, Batman! What a gorgeous color! And did you see what she did with the dividers? I love seeing how Filophiles kit out their own. Well, what's an addict to do? Get both, of course!

Now, my intent was to decide between the two and return one. Yes, well, so easy to do in theory...