Where am I planning? An honest review of the MAMBI happy planner

So, I wasn’t going to jump on this bandwagon -I don’t have much (any!) disposable income while I’m off on adoption leave, I purchased a ban.do from MrsBrimbles etc etc.  BUT… I won a happy planner in a RAK giveaway on the UKPA Facebook page – and loads of goodies to go with it.  I’ve been using it for 2 weeks now (where is the time going by the way?!) so thought I’d do a review.


When it first arrived I fell in love with it – which is quite rare for me with planners -normally I’m slow to warm up and need to customise before I can imagine using it.  But it seemed to offer me all the benefits of a ringed planner (taking things in and out and changing the order) without the added bulk of the actual filofax or whatever.   It came with a cover pack (this was such an awesome RAK!) So I’ve changed the covers to suit me a bit more:


In the two weeks I’ve been using it though I’m no longer sure whether it really does give the same flexibility – firstly you need a special punch to add pages (I don’t have one and everything happy planner seems to be difficult to buy in the UK at the moment).  It is simply a planner – I like some notepaper and address pages in my filofax – it is possible to buy add ons from MAMBI but see earlier point about no spare pennies!  Also, turning the pages does tend to mean they pop out of the rings and sometimes fold over.  I’m going to try taking July’s pages out to see if a little more room around the rings prevents this.  I did get large rings with it but they’re black and I rather like the gold ones. 

I’m also not sure about how the day is split in this (MAMBI offer a few different happy planners and as as being different on the outside the inside pages are also different and are not all split into morning, afternoon and evening like mine).  While I’m on leave from work my day isn’t quite as formal as this and I kind of do things as and when I can steal 5 minutes.  It’s not a huge issue,  I’ve used stickers or washi to cover them when I’ve needed to.

This is the weekly view:


The monthly view starts on a Sunday which I don’t like at all, I like my weekend to be together on the monthly spread – the fact that on the weekly page it starts on a Monday bugs me as well – if it’s going to be split on the monthly page then make sure the weeklies are in the same format:


Despite these issues I do love it – the paper quality is good and I like that it’s given me a bit of a creative outlet.  I go back to work in December and I’m not sure I’d take it out with me (it’s pretty big and without a hard cover or band I think it’d get pretty bashed up) but for what I need now it’s working for me.  They’re well priced too which is always good – once I’m back in work and have some money I will probably purchase the extra pages.

Here are my page layouts so far:




Weekly planning

Happy Sunday!
So… I’ve been spending some time each day on my listers gotta list and I feel good for it.  It’s only been ten minutes each day when the baby is in bed but I feel a bit more like the old me – someone with something to say and not just a mum.  It’s been really nice to make a mess and create.




And while I’ve been impatiently waiting for July so that I can start using my Ban.do I’ve even found some time to decorate my filofax.


I wasn’t writing my blog when I did it but I couldn’t find any A5 inserts that I liked – the Filofax ones are way too thin for me and Paperchase didn’t have any inserts in store or online so I had to create my own.  Basically I just bought a spiral bound planner from Paperchase, cut off the holes down the side and punched.  The paper quality is really good.

Missing in action

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog – a lot has happened since September and I lost my mojo for a while. Since my last post I have adopted a little girl and have been off work on adoption leave since March.  She is almost 2 and up until now I just haven’t been able to fit any ‘me time’ in.  But – I must admit I’ve suffered for this -I feel like I’ve let an important part of myself wither a little bit.  I’m loving being a mum and playing and making things with my daughter but being creative just for the sake of it is massively important for me and for my psychological wellbeing.  So from tomorrow I’m making a conscious effort to take some time to make and to document it here. 

Manic September, planning and teaching

I haven’t updated my blog in the past week – sorry about that.  I’ve been crazy bust with work and getting new students and new classes and so just haven’t found the time to get over here and update.  There’s a whole load of confusion about work at the moment and that’s not really helping me to think about anything else.

I have kept up with the #ohsnapaday challenge over on Instagram though and have faithfully been uploading my photos everyday.  I haven’t been as good with the journalling class I signed up for though, it’s day 4 or 5 and I haven’t started it yet, but I do plan on sitting down today for 10 minutes and starting so look out for really badly drawn journalling stuff on my instagram page.

I’m currently loving the Teacher Planner I bought to record where I am up to with each class and I’ll try to do an blog post on how I’m using it sometime this week.  I have some multiple classes (where I repeat the same material) but it gets tough to remember how far I got with each class and so I end up having to ask my students which isn’t great.  So I’m using the Teacher Planner to record it all, so hopefully it’ll help.

I have also fallen in love with the Filofax Original in dark teal – I need it in my life in personal size but am forcing myself to wait for Christmas to see if Father Christmas brings it for me.  Given all the uncertainty around work I don’t want to spend £60 on it just yet.  If anyone has one and wants to tell me about it or send me pictures feel free to make me drool by commenting below!

I have been faithful to my Finsbury for ages and love decorating my pages in it but think I need a little more colour – I rarely buy anything black – my handbag is a bright yellow Cambridge satchel, so I think I need to make a change.  As I said though I have been updating my pages in my Finsbury so images are below of the past week and this week if you’re interested.

wb 08-09 wb 15-09

New Year’s Resolutions in September – family, creativity and planning

September means a lot of things for me – there are loads of birthdays to remember, lots of weekend plans (there’s always a food festival and I’m still supposed to be doing Alphabet dates with my husband) and of course teaching starts again.  If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I’ve been busy enrolling (if I have to write enrolment in my Filofax one more time I think I’ll go mad) and this week is the last week before teaching starts.  For me, as a result, September is full of good intentions, a fresh start and a new year.  My ‘New Year’s resolutions’ are therefore made in September.  By October they have normally gone out of the window but I continue to make them every year.  I read somewhere recently that if you write down your goals you are 40% more likely to achieve them, so we’ll see if it works.

My goals for this academic year are:

* To spend at least one day of quality time per week with my husband

* To do something creative on at least one day of the week (I’ve made a good start with this, I’ve been decorating my weekly plans each week and have signed up for a couple of online classes, including the journalling one I mentioned last week)

* To spend more time on lesson planning and less time on marking (I really enjoy planning lessons, it’s the creative process of it, I think)

Hopefully I’ll last beyond October!  Here’s this week’s inserts:

wb 01-09 mon wed  wb 01-09 thurs sun


I’ve also been taking part in the #ohsnapaday photo challenge on Instagram so head on over to my Instagram page to see my very poor efforts so far!

Do you view September as a ‘New Year’? Let me know in the comments, how do you make new plans, and do you stick to them?

Back to work planning

Hi again, I’ve been meaning to add this week’s pages to the blog but it’s been a mad week of enrolling and trying to prepare for the first week of teaching.  This week’s pages were inspired by this journalling card:

wb 25-08 inspiration

So last week’s pages looked like this:

wb 25-08 mon wedwb 25-08 thurs sun

This week I’ve received some lovely happy mail from My Pretty Week after winning a competition on Facebook:

photo (1)


they were gratefully received after a hard week in work.  I recently bought the dashboard and dividers that are currently in my filofax from My Pretty Week’s Etsy shop here: My Pretty Week on Etsy

This week I’ve also signed up for an ‘At the End of my Pen’ workshop with Tangie Baxter (here) and the idea is you art journal for 21 days from 10th September so I’m looking forward to starting – i’ll try and post my pictures here as I think this’ll motivate me to actually do it each day.

Hope you’re all ok and having a good weekend so far.




August plans


So time seems to have disappeared and I don’t really know where to! I did spend some of the summer creating but not as much as I would have liked.  I’ve also been buying furniture for our house and basically getting it baby ready for whenever a little one arrives.  I made a few things for the nursery – a cloud mobile that I’ll try take some good photos of when it’s in situ and when the room has been decorated.  I’ve also been quite good at updating and decorating my planner.  I’ve had a filofax for years but only recently have I started decorating it so that I remain motivated to use it and look at it every single day.  Below are the photos from the past few weeks and my plan is to use this blog to record my weekly pages – I’m making it my priority to use this blog much more and to update at least weekly.

wb 11-08 wb 18-08 mon wed wb 18-08 thurs sun


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My Purpley Life

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An attempt at creativity

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