The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2012-03-04

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Have you twaddled up your Filofax?

My Mobile Junk Drawer (Filofax refers to it as a Zip-lock envelope) carries a number of bizarre, some would say useless, things.  


I had two zips but went down to one because, really...  How many canceled stamps, old Broadway tickets, and used labels does one need....  Which is a trick question because  I think I'd quite enjoy a Filofax filled with nothing but stuffed-to-busting zip envelopes.  

I do realize that defeats the purpose of the whole thing; no one needs to carry a scrapbook 24/7 and hey!  I carry a purse that, if full, would hurt me.  I got plenty of space for bits of twaddle in there...

Am I alone in this obsession?  Am I the only person carrying all manner of outlandish falala and hooey in something meant to simplify or has your Filofax transformed into a be-ringed  tchotchke holder,  too?

Here's some things that survived the zip cut.




Money I can't use...

box folded

Maybe the strangest thing; an unmade box.

I have an explanation though; I'm a glass-half-full sort of person. My family finds my desire to find the positive in all situations annoying; optimism being a drag when you're not done complaining.

I get it, I just can't help it.

The word  optimism come from the Latin, optimum - Which means best.  Optimism is expecting the best outcome in all situations.  

That said, I have bad days.  Days I don't have the time, room, or energy for one more thing, good or bad.

filofax box

That's why I carry the makings of a box; to remind me that no matter what, I always have space for one more good thing.

And a place to put it.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Filofax's amputated inserts

As my choice of Filofax inserts dwindles I've had to look elsewhere.   I don't understand why  my choices get increasingly limited year after year, it doesn't make sense.  And I don't mean I can't make other things work, I do, it just makes no sense to me from a business model.

Just look at what Apple did with iTunes.    iPhones aren't cheap but people aren't buying them to make calls. I have an iPhone and love it to pieces but being an actual phone is what it does least well.  People want iPhones for the stuff beyond the phone.  I have no proof of my theory but seems to me that iTunes is the real money-maker.  

Who doesn't buy songs, apps, audio books, TV shows,... ring tones,  wallpaper...Whatever else that sparks their fancy the second the iPhone is activated... What you can buy is endless and gets bigger every day. 

 I'm sure Apple makes a profit on the iPhone itself but it's what people do to customize after that has to be the real windfall (or there would be no reason for an iTouch - Think about it).

There lies my confusion.  As Filofax decreases the line of accessories while expanding their line of planners they are doing the opposite.  Perhaps they will get a wider audience by expanding their low end models (Apex) and adding high end lines like the Temperley but where will these new customers go to customize their planner? 

Other companies fill the void left by Filofax.   

While making my recent Filofax Videos I noticed most what's in mine has nothing to do with the Filofax Brand.  I think it's a shame, I'd like to support them but what they put out beyond the calendars simply doesn't work, or is difficult to obtain, or doesn't take ink well...  Or.  Well, everyone has their own reasons so fill in that blank yourself.

I've got some examples of things that work for me, things I'd probably buy from Filofax if I could.

clairfontaine paper in a5

My to-do sheets are graph paper, there's a specific one I like and it's no longer available in the US.  I ordered some good quality graph paper, micro-perforated and top bound from Goulet Pens.

clairfontaine paper in a5 close

There are a lot of Clairfontaine Notebooks in A5, I got the graph.  There are 80 sheets, it's 90g paper - so ink doesn't come through the back and it only cost $6; cheaper then the Filofax paper and if you add in what I'd pay in shipping - Dirt Cheaper.

It fit's fine. As you can see it's a bit short on the bottom but it's simply a joy to write on.

I also bought a Rhodia dot pad, same size.

I didn't like  the feel of the paper nearly as much, but that's me.  It feels like a frosted drinking glass and I just hate the way they feel - It's a weird quirk.  There is nothing wrong with this paper, it's pretty great.   This is also 80 sheets and 80g weight.  I got the dot-pad and I like that almost as much as the graph.  

The Rhodia takes pencil better, due to the finish I'm sure.  The Clairfontaine seems to do better with ink, it's like writing on a cloud. And with gel pens it's heavenly.

I've got some Moleskine paper in there too.

gift section

You have to dismember a notebook (posted how I did it, Here)  to get it but I've bought quite a few I never used, or used up.   The nice thing about Moleskine is you can find some interesting things inside.  For my Gift Idea section I ripped out an entire section, giving me tabs.  

All I had to do was punch a few holes and add labels.  As you can see above there's a Birthday Idea section, Christmas, Random Gifts, and my own wish list.

random wo2p

When I switched to personal sized WO2P to save space I was missing all the pages after March.  I tried to find the Filofax Insert only to be told they don't discount calendars.  The store told me Filofax takes them back for credit so they don't knock the price down during the year.  I checked Staples and they wanted $12.47 for a DayRunner week on two pages, no discount during the year either.  

That's the silliest thing.  Why just collect them and...  destroy them?  What a waste of paper.   

I wasn't sure what I was going to do but was in a drugstore last week and the planners were heavily discounted.  I found one in the right size for less than a dollar.   I cut and punched the pages and they are just as good (sad isn't it?) as the Filofax branded inserts.


martha stewart office

There was a plastic book jacket over the whole thing.  I punched holes in that to keep my Martha Stewart sticky note planner from coming apart. While the notes are pretty sticky the part that sticks to the plastic insert isn't and my first one devolved. 

This is the one planner product I found that fit in an A5 Filofax without having to add holes or cut the corner.  If Martha is listening you have a whole Filofax Community itching for more things...   

martha office

The Martha Stewart tabs had no place to live either, there's no sticky on the back which seems - Kind of odd.  

I used these in my Personal Portand they now live in my Malden.  They are called Dayrunner Plastic Storage Pouches.

slash pockets

And my phone book fits in the other side.

midor insert in A5

My newest find was the Midori Traveler's Inserts fit perfectly if you manage to get the holes through them.  That was a real chore but not when you compare it to finding Genuine Filofax products in suburban New Jersey.  That adds a whole new set of insert possibilities and for art journaling this or one the Pelle inserts would be perfect, the paper is amazing.

This got much longer then I intended and my intention isn't to bash Filofax, I kinda love them.  I just think as they concentrate on expanding their binder line while amputating the inserts they are all but assuring their customers will go elsewhere.

And it makes as much sense and Apple closing iTunes and saying, "Hey! guess what? You got a nice $500 phone but all that  iFalala wasn't working so much for us.... "

No sense.  No sense at all.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Filofaxes, the good, the bad and the gusseted

I talked about some of the differences between new and old Filofaxes  in my last video so I thought I'd pull them together and show you what I meant.

My addiction to Filofaxes goes back decades.

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Nutrisystem strawberry shakes saves the day!

With my toothache and the subsequent TMJ falala, I haven't done a Nutrisystem update in a month.  I'm still not back to normal and don't have any idea why, neither does my oral surgeon.  

All I know is eating anything I can't suck up a straw or down with a spoon is a big issue.  The few times I attempted a salad or (and this was really bad) dry cereal I had to go back on prescription pain meds for a few days... Instead of just the Aleve  I take everyday.  

The reason I'm posting is because dental pain can be part of life,  but my commitment Nutrisystem  is a commitment to myself, my health, and even my family -  I'm crossing my fingers that with in a few weeks I'll be on food that doesn't feel predigested.  

A lot of people see Nutrisystem as a temporary diet but it's so much more; it's the blue print to how I will eat well beyond when I need to order the meals.    Nutrisystem  is learning portion size,  eating mindfully, and feeling better about yourself every day you're on it.  

A piece of advice my oral surgeon gave me was to make sure I was having protein shakes during this time, do I have any? He wanted to know.  Yes, yes I do.  

In a bit of fortuitous timing Nutrisystem just came out with protein shakes and they have been the only thing assuring some well needed, good nutrition lately.  My favorite is Strawberry.

They help you add some fruity deliciousness to your weight loss program.  Each is packed with 15 grams of protein to keep you feeling satisfied, and it really does.   A shake makes feel satisfied for hours, not stuffed to busting like an evil drive-through shake would.

There are 4 flavors; strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and coffee to enjoy.

Since my eating has been so bizarre - whatever I can get down without Percocet basically - I'm taking a vacation from the scale because I don't want to aggravate myself over something I can't control and more importantly,  getting healthy is a process not a number.

If you want to lost weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem click HERE! or call 1-888-853-4689

Click on my favorite way to start the day for more information on how you can have success, shakes and donuts for breakfast kind of rocks.

*This post was sponsored  by Nutrisystem who is providing me with the food  and program materials in exchange for blogging. 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Freecycle SCORES! in the last year...

I've never posted my all-time best ever, TOP Freecycle  SCORES! in one place.  The other day I was looking at my new Freecycle clock and decided to do just that.

changing the world 
one gift at a time™

In case you don't know about them:   The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,027 groups with 8,881,416   It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free.  

And their stated mission is: "Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community."

If you're interested go to their website or just live vicariously through my membership and scroll down....

General Electric wall clock 2150 circa 1960

My cute flower 60's kitchen clock by GE


Ginger was unimpressed...

coffee table

But look how cute she looks back there bundled up in her muffin behind my Freecycled Heywood-Wakefield Coffee Table.

vintage corner table

This is my newest find, last weekend.  A corner tiered table that I love, love love...

corner table

Look how nice my thrifted lamp looks on it...

small retro lamp

I rewired it last week-end.

corner table and lamp

The lamp wasn't free but at eight dollars, it was close!

reto lamp base

And speaking of lamps...

retro lamp

This is the big brother of the other one, they look so similar.

fiberglass lamp shade

Except this one has a FIBERGLASS SHADE.  Never thought I'd see one of them in person in a million, million years.

table treated 5

Before getting the corner table and lamp this was my favorite Freecycle thing.

Freecycle treasures

My dining room table...


And these amazing chairs (from different SCORES!)

diningroom table

I keep a table cloth on it most of the time, it needs refinishing.  I get water and heat marks if it's bare.

Of course, there's also these...

There's no end to the things you can get from Freecycle, check 'em out!  You won't be sorry.


Monday, March 5, 2012

The moral of an inky story

A few months back I joined Goulet Pens Ink Drop which, if you like pens, is more fun then Glitter Nail Polish and Chocolate-Covered Peeps combined.  If you need a less girly description, here's the way they describe it:

For only $10 per month (or $12.50 per month outside the U.S., Canada, or Mexico), you'll receive 5 fountain pen ink samples as well as access to a special club page with extra discounts and promotions.

Every month you get little vials of ink and for me, the only thing better then  ink... Is ink with a theme.   Last month being February it was Valentine's Day so the inks were pink, purple, red, and chocolaty.  

ink drop

My samples live in an old Chanel No.5  jar...

This month the theme is Spring Cleaning which sounded promising.  

When I read the info card, these were vials of the most unpopular inks and some pen flush in case the samples didn't rate well on my Giltter-Peeps scale.  Hope springing eternal, Brian added the caveat that maybe I'd find a gem.

I was scared, no lie.  They sent inks so bad I'd want to chemically sandblast them from my pen?  Something by the way, I'd never done.  

I went to Goulet and looked for reviews on these inky pariahs and hey! The reviews were good!  With a here goes nothing attitude and a deep breath I added Private Reserve Foam Green... because I'm a total sucker for green anything.  

Foam green looked green in the vial, on the sample page, and the reviewer described it as a fun neon highlighter color.  Sounds perfect! So up it went into my Lamy Converter. 

Looking forward to neon green, I was confused  to see dank and swampy


Figured there was some inky left-overs in there so I do what I always do when I think that.  I  wrote and wrote and wrote but no matter what I did the color  read:  Okefenokee.

This morning I cleaned my pen.  I sucked up about 15 converters of water before the bog cleared... But then my pen started oozing violet.  I was confused.

Reluctantly I pulled out the Pen Flush, don't know why that seemed like  such a big deal; it was easy as Sunday morning - only took one converter full for the pen to be clear.

foam green ink

Now that's what I call fun neon highlighter green!

I haven't tried the others yet but I know what I'll be doing between converter-fulls.  It's possible I'll love some of the other colors too but Brian was right, I did find a gem.

I just wasn't expecting it to be this...

I learned a few lessons.  First, don't be afraid of my ink drop samples.  Second, I haven't seen an accurate color since each of my pens were new.   And third,  there's more to caring for a fountain pen then just filling it when it's empty.

Colored ink with a theme is fun but the moral of this story my friends is, flush. 

 Pen Flush might not be as much fun  as Chocolate-covered Peeps but without flushing, you're Peepless.


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