Ramblings of an Old Kitchen Witch

More Organising – Jumping on the Bullet Journal Bandwagon…

I am an inveterate LIST MAKER.  I make to-do lists to organise my to-do lists.  They are on backs of envelopes, on post-its, in spiral notebooks, hell, even on the back of my hand.  I have been looking for a better way to do these things FOR A VERY LONG TIME.  Honestly.  It’s on several of my to-do lists.  And then I discovered BULLET JOURNALS.



Are you BuJo-ing? It’s the in thing, you know.  Just go Google Bullet Journal.  Go on.  I’ll wait.  Unless you decide to stick Bullet Journal in the Pinterest search bar, in which case you will disappear down a rabbit hole and not be seen for three days, and I will have got bored and wandered off (seriously, if they ever make Pinterest 3D and totally immersive, there will be DEATHS as people forget to eat and drink.  I mean it.  When it happens, you heard it here FIRST.)

So, for the few of you who are going “Eh? What the heck is a Bullet Journal?” (Hi Mum!) there is a fabulous site by the original Bullet Journal creator here, which will walk you through the basics.  And a great YouTube video here.  Simple, huh?  Yup.

Well, there’s some amazing Bullet Journal people out there.  With some crazy talents.  And a hell of a lot of time on their hands, because it takes TIME to make stuff look so beautiful.  They really can’t have children, or jobs, or cats, or husbands, or wives, because that stuff must take ALL DAY.  It’s beautiful.  It’s bloody ART, dammit.  In fifty years, some of this stuff will be WORTH A FORTUNE.

One of my personal favourites is Boho Berry.  Kara is amazing.  She has the sort of website I could only dream of creating, and the artistic Bullet Journalling ability that makes me green with envy.  I don’t know how she does it.  If you don’t hate her already because she’s so damn good at it, look at this page of hers, telling you her top twelve Bullet Journal tips.  Yeah, I hate her too.

But anyway, back to me.  Because while I may not have the talent of the Amazing Bullet Journallers, I am at least giving it a go.  And I’m doing it on a budget, because new house/TAs don’t get paid much/kids gotta eat/did I mention TAs are paid sod all?

So I found an old journal with plain pages (yes, it would be lovely to have those dots or squares in PROPER BULLET JOURNALS, but I can’t justify dropping £15 plus on a gorgeous Moleskine or Leuchtterm) and HAD A GO.  So this is my Bullet Journal.  I’m not sure how useful having the weather on it will be, or even tracking my reading habits, and I’m not sure how much better than my old back-of-an-envelope-to-do lists it will be at keeping me organised, but hey-ho – it’s another attempt to get ORGANISED.  I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t organise EVERY DAY in this way, but I’m going to do the best I can.  So, I’ll check in with a BuJo post every month to show you what I’m doing with it, what I’ve discarded, and how it looks.  Don’t expect works of art.  I have too much to do to make it look pretty.


For those who like to know the details:

Plain hardbacked journal found several years ago in The Works outlet at Junction 32, Castleford

Pens are Scribblicious Rollerball pens, also from The Works (and CHEAP!! CHEAP, I tell you, CHEAP is GOOD in this house!)

So, do you BuJo?  What do you put in yours?  Show me pictures!  Make me hate you!


Cover image found here…


I’m Gonna Get Myself Organ-a-sised!

Before I go any further, I need to tell you something. I USED to be organised. I used to be really, REALLY tidy. I also used to live alone with no husband, kids or cats and had far more time on my hands than my thirty year old self knew what to do with. But now I do have all of the above, and disorganisation and untidiness appear to have attached themselves to me like a bad smell. But lo! I spy a brand new year (hence a good excuse to start afresh) and (more importantly) I’ve just moved house so if I don’t do it now…

… I’ll be drowning in crap and you’ll be seeing me on an episode of Hoarders shortly.

First things first.  Last year I began using a yearly planner, which I found here.  This appealed to me for several reasons: it’s free, there are lots of choices of styles and colours, it’s free, you can print it in large (letter or A4) or A5 size and did I mention it’s FREE?

(There are also amazing other printables on The Handmade Home which are well worth a peruse, too!)

Unfortunately I drifted away from using it, much to my chagrin, but I’m going to try again this year.  I’ve got a lever-arch file that was hanging around not doing much, so I stuck a picture I liked to the outside.


First page inside is a full 2017 calendar.  I tend to use this to count up weeks to go before the next school holiday.  Which is VERY IMPORTANT to me.


Inside I now have twelve months all perfectly printed out.  At the beginning of each month I’ve printed out a monthly overview, to which I can add all the events, birthdays, anniversaries, school events and anything else I know in advance:


After each monthly overview there is a two page weekly view, and this is where I can add stuff like days the kids need PE kits, school clubs, music lessons, quick notes – whatever we might need to know that week:


And after all the monthly and weekly spreads are some more specialised pages – contact details, emergency contacts, and this one – birthdays and anniversaries:


And there’s some inspirational quotes dotted about through it.  Y’know, the sort of thing that will keep me going if I’m having a positive day, and probably make me want to throw it out of the window if I’m not.

With this MAGICAL planner, I will NOT miss another birthday.  Or anniversary.  People will get cards on time.  People will GET CARDS.

(People will be shocked.)

The MAGICAL Family Planner is being left open on the weekly view in the kitchen, so everyone can see what is happening that week.  Sports kits will be in school ON THE RIGHT DAY.  Bins will be put out ON THE RIGHT DAY.  The CORRECT bin will be put out ON THE RIGHT DAY.  Cats will be de-flea’d and wormed on schedule.  Rather that when they start scratching…

(If this actually works, this will indeed be The MAGICAL Family Planner.  Because no other system has yet managed to keep the chaos that is my life in check as yet.)

Just to add more pressure another challenge, I am trying to do the 52 week savings challenge (find it here).  I like this one because the amount you save goes up each week right until the middle of the year, which is when it starts decreasing again.  I’ve always fallen foul of these weekly savings challenges before because they build up through the year and then by December you’ve got to find fifty-odd quid a week in the month where I SPEND THE MOST MONEY, NOT SAVE IT, DAMMIT!


So, there’s my first part of getting organised this year.  Whaddaya think?  Bets are being taken on whether I keep this up by the members of this household, so I’m going to need you to keep me accountable.  And if there is anyone out there who is reading this who is organised (unlike me) and wants to share any hints or tips – all are gratefully received!


Organisation! My new middle name! (Stop laughing.)

Ahhh… I love the peaceful days between Christmas Day and the New Year. For me, it’s the time the New Year really begins – with rest, multiple cups of tea and PLANNING. This year, (I say to myself every year) I’m really going to get my shit together. I’m going to be ORGANISED.

I’m going to glide through this coming year with grace, a smile on my face and I am going to achieve ALL OF THE THINGS.  The witchlets will be happy.  The house will be clean and tidy.  The Hubster will be in awe of his organised, beautiful wife.


(Jewel Staite.  The reason The Hubster has watched Firefly countless times…)

But I end up sliding exhausted into an anxious, overwrought heap in the middle of the lounge floor at 2 am Christmas morning, with greasy hair, at least half a dozen presents to finish wrapping and wailing (quietly, because my DARLING children, who can sleep through an earthquake, choose this night of the year to wake to the sound of a mouse farting) “I HATE MY LIFE!”

I don’t (of course) hate my life.  Actually, I have a comparatively brilliant life.  But in those exhausted last few moments of a year that ALWAYS sees me descending into disarray, frustration and panic, I really do.  I look at my snoozing cat and vow to return as a feline.


Or a man.

Now I have read my fair share of self-help books.  I scour Pinterest on a daily basis for life hacks and WAYS TO GET MY SHIT TOGETHER.  And one thing that seems to come up time and time again is ACCOUNTABILITY.

Hal Elrod summed it up well in The Miracle Morning:

“Accountability is the act of being responsible to someone else for some action or result.”

Yup.  If someone is relying on me to do something, I get it done.  The witchlets need to eat, so I cook every day.  Everyone in the house needs clean clothes – the washing gets done.  No biggie.  I do this without any issue.  You won’t find me curled up on the sofa hiding in yet another adventure down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest when it’s tea time, or the washing basket is full.  THAT SHIT GETS DONE, DAMMIT.

So I need some accountability in every other damn area of my life.  So here we are.  A new year, a brand spanking new blog.  Of course, there are several million blogs out there doing just the same as me – I know, I read many of them! – so I am under no illusions that there is any body ACTUALLY reading this, but I’m hoping –



that writing this blog will give me some accountability.

Now, what I SHOULD be doing is finding a REAL, LIVE, HUMAN BEING to be accountable to.  If you read ALL ABOUT MOI here you will probably understand why I can’t do that.  Well, not yet.

(That’s something else I’m trying to do.  Add the phrase “Yet,” on to the end of every “I can’t do it,” I utter.)

So, here we go.  Welcome 2017, I’m coming to getcha!