Monday, 11 June 2018


Hi lovely people. If anyone has signed up for the email notifications and not received them for the last two posts, can you please let me know at 

Thank you. xxx

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Sara’s Philosophy on Life

While reading the fabulous book, “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Petersen, I started thinking about my own “rules for life”. Do I have a set of ideals that I live by? Do I have a kind of philosophy that I aspire to? Well yes, I do.

Some of the way I live my life is based around positivity, confidence and kindness and some around self –preservation. I believe self –preservation is important and not nearly as narcissistic as it sounds. You cannot be any good to anyone else if you don’t look after yourself.

If I summed up my way of life in short paragraphs it would look like this:

·         Walk with confidence. The old adage of walking into a room like you own it serves me well. If I feel and look confident I will come across better. I urge people to try this because, even if you are having a bad day, it can lift your mood. I have also taken on board Jordan Petersen’s “stand up straight with your shoulders back”. This instils a sense of purpose to your stance and, again makes you look more confident. ( Ladies, a little tip, it also makes your boobs look better J)

·         Smile at as many people as possible, you will feel so much better and so will they. You never know, you may be the only person who has smiled at them today; you may actually make their day. If nothing else it just makes the world a happier place.

·         Take time to do something for someone else, it really will make you feel good. This is not a myth, it is a fact and I am speaking from experience. No one wants to be that selfish, bitter person who is totally self-centred and thoughtless. There are many of them about; I have come across a lot in my life.

·         Take time for yourself. This is not selfish, it is just essential. Self-preservation is important. If you are falling apart you will not be able to help anyone else.

·         Look after your health as much as you can. I know it does not stop you getting ill, but just do what you can to help yourself.

·         Make every second count. If you are resting then that is essential so still counts. Don’t look back in twenty years and realise you attached yourself to the sofa and did nothing.... you will regret it. If you want to go on a big adventure then do it but even the small things are worth doing.

·         If you have something you don’t want try giving it away to someone who needs it or giving it to charity. Giving rather than selling something feels so much better and it is a good way of recycling too. In my past I have had others help me when I really needed something and I have also done the same. When I downsized three years ago I gave away so much stuff that I didn’t need. It felt fantastic every time someone took something away that they needed.

·         Never give up! However low you feel keep trying, keep pushing and always try really hard to get on with life. I know this is not possible for everyone, but at least try. If you know you gave it a go then, however small the achievement, you will feel better about it.

·         Talk to someone if you are not feeling your best, never isolate yourself even if it is the only thing you really want to do. Pick up the phone and call or message someone. It helps and you will be surprised how many good people are out there

·         Be passionate about people, life and whatever makes you smile.

·         A strange one but something I do..... Always check out the room. I like to know where I am, get my bearings, and see who is there and what is going on. This is also helpful with people watching.

·         Be the best person you can possibly be, the very best version of you. Never be a clone, you are not someone else; you are a unique person.

·         Be open to new ideas and be adaptable. You may not think you can do something or want to do something but you never know what the future holds. Trying new things can be fun, it can be interesting and it can be scary. You never know until you try and you never know what you might achieve.

·         Never be anyone’s second choice. If you are not important to them, then walk away..... Self preservation!

·         Be organised, be efficient and be clean. You can’t live in mess and chaos. Get the jobs done first and done efficiently and you will have so much time to enjoy life.

·         Read the books you want to read, listen to the music you like and watch the films that interest you. If something is popular but does not appeal to you that is fine. We are not sheep or lemmings, we are individuals. Always take opinions on board but don’t compromise your choices.

·         Finally, be happy, be cheeky, have that glint in your eye and that smile on your lips. 🗢

Friday, 8 June 2018

GDPR .....stop yawning, it has to be mentioned...... and how it effects my readers.

Hello lovely people. This may be a dreadfully tedious subject, but it is sadly necessary. 

In this day and age of reliance on electronic devices and the major headache of lost, stolen or sold data, the Data Protection Act has been totally overhauled. We now have GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This has caused major headaches for smaller organisations and will probably not stop our data being sold or stolen. 

I do believe in personal  responsibility in that we must be careful what we sign up to. If you sign up for a quiz on Facebook and agree to the app having access to your data,  then don't whine when they then distribute it...... that is what you agreed to!  However, I don't think anyone has the right just to use or profit from our data, that is wrong.

So, how does this effect my blog. To be honest, not a lot. I think I have all bases covered and will update  this post as necessary.

  • All the people I have written about in my gig or business reviews have given me permission to do so.
  • In all other pieces I have not used identifiable data. So basically I have mixed fact and fiction to create unidentifiable characters. (This is especially true in posts like "You Couldn't Make it Up- 7 Disastrous Dates." By mixing up the traits of certain people they could not now be identified even by themselves.
  • I don't have my comments open so no one else has input in my blog.
  • If you sign up for email notifications of my posts, this is totally run by Blogger and I have no knowledge of who use this facility. Blogger will have their own GDPR policy.
  • If you search for my blog under any search engine, their GDPR will cover your search as, again, I have no control over search engines.

My blog is basically for fun and not profit, I do not have adverts and anything I review is because I like it and no other reason.My blog has absolutely no connection to my work and I don't discuss my work on here.

If anyone had any questions please feel free to email me at 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The Ecological Waste of Disposable Fashion and What We Can Do About It.

I have come to realise that there is a huge waste of resources in the worldwide clothes industry. So much fashion is almost disposable because it is cheap, specific and easily replaced. Fads in fashion create a need for a large turnover of garments and cheap clothes shops make this possible.

Unbelievably you read about people who buy clothes and put them away in the bags and never wear them. They are generally people who are addicted to shopping, but this gross waste is not just caused by consumers with an issue. I recently read of shops in France that throw away clothes they cannot sell. With people all over the world who have little or no clothes, this is a huge waste. It does make you wonder if this happens in other countries too. Do charity shops not exist in France?

Of course the waste is not just in the garments themselves, but the resources used to manufacture the material and, subsequently the clothes the material is made into. It takes an incredible amount of water to produce cotton, for example, I only found this out last year. How did I not know this? I also wonder just how much waste there is from manufacturing of material through to the shop floor and beyond.

Of course there are many controversies surrounding the world of clothes and fashion, including child labour and anorexic models, but this piece is about the diabolical waste of resources and ways we can personally do something.

I was totally horrified to read criticism of the Duchess of Cambridge for wearing a dress to Harry’s wedding which she had worn twice before.  I think it is fabulous for people in the public eye to lead by example and keep wearing something because it looks good or they like it. With certain aspects of the media having such a ridiculous attitude to clothes, no wonder there is an issue.

I am still wearing things I bought 6 or 7 years ago. They may have had times where they have sat in a box in the wardrobe when I was heavier, but I can wear them again.

There are, of course, ways we can help stem the tide of clothes going to the dump or being bought and discarded in the bottom of a wardrobe.

·         We can think carefully before we buy .... will we wear it?
·         We can buy from a sustainable clothes range.
·         We can buy second hand clothes.
·         We can give clothes away.
·         We can swap with friends.
·         We can up-cycle and alter clothes.

Personally I buy mainly second hand because I hate mainstream shopping, all the racks of garments can be quite overwhelming. Even though I buy second hand I will say that over the last few years I have bought too many clothes. This is partly to do with my weight changes and partly to do with going into the charity shops too often. Now that I have lost 38 pounds, I have given away loads of clothes to friends or to charity. I am now being more discerning about what I buy and really thinking about it before making a purchase.

I recently decided, after always thinking I was horrific at sewing, that I would give it a go. I have clothes that need altering to fit and decided to buy a sewing machine in the sale and try. I do have a bit of a Russian roulette approach to sewing. It will either work or not. So far I have taken in two dresses and both have been successful.  

I also want to try up-cycling. Basically you can change and customise clothes to be whatever you want. I have, for example, a dress which does not suit me, I am too old for a handkerchief hem....... it just looks wrong. I do like the fabric so I am going to make it into a top. I do not know how successful it will be, but I can try.

Despite needing to buy new material to do it, I am going to try my hand at dressmaking. too. If I don’t make garments from scratch too often it will not be too wasteful and it will be a good skill to have. I think it could also be useful to use parts of a dressmaking pattern when up-cycling or altering clothes. So often I will see a dress, for example, that is made of a gorgeous material but is too big. With sewing skills I can re use the material to create something different. I am also looking out for decent material in second hand shops too.

So as not to waste the leftover material from altering and dressmaking, I am planning to make fabric gift bags. This will save money, save resources and be a nice way to present a gift. Also, the recipient can either re-use the gift bag or use it for something else. I am even thinking that smaller off cuts can be made into patchwork gift bags.

Not everyone has the time to learn a useful skill such as sewing, but I have and I am giving it a go. I do feel passionately that we waste an incredible amount of resources on things that are not necessary. No one needs a new outfit every week, no one should have so many clothes that they do not know what they have and spending money on yet another disposable fashion item is pointless. Shop carefully, buy second hand and be aware.

Once I have altered a few more pieces,  I will do a blog piece highlighting what I have done. 

Any comments to:

Sunday, 20 May 2018

My updated Filofax collection and my new hobby planner.

My large collection of Filofax and ring bound planners is an ever changing collection. At my last count I had 75 planners and most of them had an active purpose. Since then I have been having a bit of a change around with what is in each Filofax and how I store my spare inserts and dividers.

I have moved all the personal inserts and dividers into a fabulous shoe box size box from Hobbycraft. (2 for £4.) I chose the boxes with a cool map design on them purely because I like the imagery of maps.  My pocket and mini inserts are in the second box along with spare Filofax rulers. I have kept my spare A5 inserts in the two black A5 Filofax boxes which I already had and deskfax paper is in my desk faxes and A4 in my A4 Filofax. This is purely because I only really have what I need in both sizes.

I have recently managed to get a boxed, orange, Finsbury personal in a charity shop and a thin pocket 4 ring Filofax from the late 80’s, also from a charity shop. I have included a picture of the 4 ring Filofax but not the orange Finsbury. I think the Finsbury needs its own post once I have decided on a use for it.

I also was, very kindly, given a personal purple Malden by a friend just before Easter and I am using it as my diary/main planner. (This will also be included in another post). A couple of months ago I bought an M2 and am using that as a wallet and I also received a beautiful Carpe Diem planner free on the same day. (Again, they will be on another post.)

I need to do a re-count of my planners as I have also given away a few planners too, non branded and Paperchase brand. These are ones I won’t use and I am hardly likely to go short. 

The main reason for today’s post is to show my newly converted sewing Filofax. I was using my zipped, A4 Pennybridge for recipes but have changed the use as it is really better suited for my new hobby. I have taken up dressmaking and altering clothes. This is only for me as I am very new to it and need lots of practice.  

In the rings of my beautiful, blue Pennybridge I have put the printed copy of my sewing machine instructions. (It is do much easier to print the booklet than view it on line.) I have also put a divider marked notes, and have started to put in relevant notes I need for sewing.

There is a big pocket in the Filofax where I have put the two dress patterns which I have bought so far and a smaller pocket containing the DVD which goes with the sewing machine.  There is a long pocket behind this where I am storing warranty details.

A new hobby definitely warranted a change of Filofax and this is perfect for my sewing notes. I may also set up another smaller Filofax to list possible dressmaking projects and ideas. I haven’t yet decided which one so I will work on that. I may use an A5 as it will contain pictures and maybe material swatches.

Coming soon on Orangecoffee69:

·        My new hobby..... Up-cycling clothes, altering clothes to fit and dressmaking. (Including before and after pics).
·        Inside the bag.... an in depth view of the contents of a handbag of the not rich or famous. J
·        Updated Filofaxes...... as mentioned in this post.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Chameleon Upholstery, Craftsmanship at its best.

Have you ever looked at old pieces of furniture and realised that they last so much longer than modern pieces and are far better quality?  Have you inherited that amazing old chair from your Gran but it doesn’t fit in with your style or have you ever considered that you could own a bespoke sofa instead of that tired old thing that is identical to everyone else’s sofa?

A re-upholstered piece of furniture is a fabulous way to wake up a tired piece, to make use of that stool that has been in the family for decades but has that nasty old pattern or to finally have a chair to match that brightly coloured sofa that you bought on a whim.  

Chameleon Upholstery in Guildford, Surrey is a fabulous business that can turn your tired old furniture or junk shop find into a magnificent statement piece for your home or office.  This rapidly growing business is owned by Mark Stanley, a very talented craftsman who has been in the upholstery trade for 20 years. He will carry out all aspects of upholstery from cushions up to full sofa revamps. Mark can re-upholster a loose seat, re-cover a whole three piece suite and even touch up or refurbish the woodwork on a piece.

 Mark’s work is exceptionally professional as you can see by the pictures on here. His topstitching, leather work and double piping all finish off his pieces perfectly and he uses top quality materials. These include leather in various textures and colours and other materials from places like Romo, Blendworth, Ross, Linwood and Designers Guild. Samples can be seen at the first appointment and quotes are free.

 In this day and age of recycling, up cycling and trying not to waste resources, taking a solid piece to a skilled upholsterer is a brilliant way to stay eco conscious and be stylish. Rather than repeatedly buying new sofas and discarding the old ones, give yours a new lease of life, add that colour pop to your living room or use it as an excuse to add a unique piece to your home. Just because a seat is a little saggy does not mean it cannot be restored to its former glory.

If you have considered finding an upholsterer or are now thinking what a fabulous idea it would be to sort out some old furniture then please contact Chameleon Upholsters through their website, Facebook page, Instagram site or the contact details below.
The website has information, pictures and links to Facebook and Instagram.

Phone:  01483 493523

The office manger at Chameleon Upholstery.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

My First Filofax Meet UP

On a snowy day in March I boarded the train to Waterloo. I wasn’t going to London to look for gold ... just Filofax enthusiasts.

March 17th was my first Filofax meet up. For anyone who is unlucky enough not to have been to a meet up, it is when people who follow the Philofaxy blog and collect ring bound planners, meet up to discuss their planners and other related topics. Yes, I have friends who think it’s hilarious, but I do not see the difference between anyone’s hobbies. Some people knit, others go running, some collect stamps and others are organised and love planners.

The man behind the very popular Philofaxy blog, Steve Morton, came over from his home in France for the meet up and, very kindly, met me at Waterloo station. Yes, this feisty, independent woman does not like going on the down escalators and gets lost on the tube. I have decided that next time I will be brave and do it on my own!

I did get to Waterloo an hour and a half early as I was concerned that the snow would cause an issue with the trains. What I hadn’t realised was that the station would be so cold or that Nero’s was only a take away hut. Sadly it was also too loud to write or even to read. Needless to say I did get talking to a few random people and also enjoyed some people watching. Waterloo station on St. Patrick’s Day when Ireland are playing Rugby, that’s an interesting place to be. I saw a Leprechaun, a dancing Pikachu and someone in a Dalmatian outfit.

Steve, myself and a lovely lady called Ana, who had come over from Spain, were the first to arrive at the venue. Vapiano in Great Portland Street, London is a fabulous location. They don’t mind how long you stay, their individual swipe card system is perfect for groups of people who want to pay separately, the food and drink is great and the service is fabulous. This is an Italian restaurant with quite a wide choice on the menu. We commandeered a couple of big tables upstairs at the back and waited for the others to arrive.

There were 13 of us at the meet up and one reporter. The reporter from PC Pro magazine was doing an article about people using analogue and/or digital. I think he was quite surprised by the level of commitment that we have to the world of planning and our planners in general. We are clearly an organised bunch and he was also astonished to see the number of us who have business cards to advertise our blogs. I am very interested to see what line his article takes.

The meet up was a brilliant way to catch up with people you have talked to online, make new likeminded friends and discuss planners and anything else that comes to mind. Though there was, quite rightly, a lot of discussion on Filofaxes and other related topics, the various conversations did evolve into many other subjects. It is easy to believe that people with a hobby are single minded, but this group were definitely not.

I have to say that the dedication of people travelling from France, Spain, Leeds, Cambridge and many other places was really good to see. There was a discussion about Planner Con in Europe and some people had been before, however I can’t see myself doing that right now. (I will tackle the escalator issue first).

Over the years I have seen the meets ups advertised but this time I was determined to go. I am very glad I did attend as I met some fabulous people and really enjoyed the day. I was very lucky to be escorted back to Waterloo by a lovely man, Darren, who was going in approximately the same direction; however I abandoned him at Waterloo for the fast train. J It was nice to have someone make sure I didn’t get lost going back. A big thank you to Steve and Darren for their help on the escalators and for navigating the underground for me.

Before the meet up Steve announced that he was giving away two Carpe Diem planners and I was lucky enough to receive this beautiful planner. I have not yet decided what to use it for but I am sure I will think of something.

Sadly the pictures I took on the day are not very good as I didn’t realise my phone was on live photos. (New phone). The pictures below are courtesy of Steve Morton.Thank you to Steve and Jeni. ( Who I believe took some of the photos)

 If you want to find out more about the Philofaxy blog, please go to