Declutter December – Are You In?

Last year in December I did a little “Declutter December” through my twitter account.  I loved it and it helped me, even if no one else, so I decided that it might be nice to share here this year too.  This post aims just to introduce the idea and give you a hint at what is to come.  Each day of December will give you a little area to sort through and make sure it is all perfect – tickity boo – ready for the start of 2018.  I love decluttering, but find the idea more than a little overwhelming sometimes.  These little jobs make it all much more achievable!

So welcome to:

Declutter December!

Every day in December, try and go through one group of items as listed below, and if you are happy with them, skip it!  If you want to add more or go further – go ahead!  Your decluttering process, your rules.  Sorting at this time of year really can make you feel more in control and on top of the crazy that happens around this time of year, so use it as a guide, but not a punishment.  Use it as a ego boost enterprise that helps you feel better – not worse!

The assignments!

  1. declutter your bag
  2. go through your pen pot
  3. Phone
  4. junk drawer/dumping space
  5. old christmas decorations
  6. beauty products.
  7. paperwork
  8. tinned foods
  9. clothes
  10. email
  11. books
  12. medicines
  13. matches and magazines
  14. baking supplies
  15. finances
  16. TV recording box
  17. towels
  18. fridge
  19. freezer
  20. DVDs
  21. make up
  22. kitchen appliances
  23. bed linen
  24. alcohol/drinks
  25. wrapping paper
  26. tupperware
  27. crockery
  28. ornaments
  29. documents on the computer
  30. CDs
  31. hobby supplies

Will you be joining me?  Are there any things you would modify?  Do please let me know!

Beginners Bullet Journalling

Welcome all beginners at Bullet Journalling.  Also known as #BuJo by the kids.  So I am told.

Today I am showing you my first attempts at bullet journalling.  I am VeRy much the beginner in this past time, but I have enjoyed:

  • the colour coding
  • the colouring
  • the prettifying
  • the updating
  • and the planning of all the above!

My journey as described for Bullet Journal Beginners

Monthly bucket list

First up we have my first attempt at a monthly bucket list:

I wasn’t very good at completing the actions on the actual bucket list – (See? – only 2 are coloured in), but I enjoyed making it, and planning it.  The outlines of the notepad pages were made with a stencil from Etsy, and I love them.  A little quirky and unusual, but a stencil I feel that I will be able to use and use again (see below!).  I changed some of the shapes but used the top part of the stencil each time.  Recently I went back and put a coloured outline round the left and bottom side of the shapes and think it really added to it.

Next up we have a similar affair with the notepad stencil for November:

It might not be clear, but I went over the lines of the “page” with a blue fine liner in a reminiscent of the paper in notebooks way.  Super pleased with this one.  After the disappointment of not doing many list things in October, I decided to pair down, and now we are mid way, I have already completed 2 of them!


Reminder lists

I have ordered a new phone and as it is not due to arrive until December (!!!), I was having a mini moment about remembering all I will need to do when I transition from old to new.  Anyway to stop me worrying about not remembering everything, and make it more exciting than a list we have…. the list on a phone screen!

I coloured it an orange shade as my phone will be a copper colour.  I love how it turned out and the shadow on it too.  This shadow seems to lift it off the page. Really pleased with this one.

Quotes pages

Now we have two quotes pages that I did today.  This notebook is one that I had in stock, as money is a liiiiiittle (lOt) tight, and some of the felt tips have bled through the pages… I like to think of it as extreme colour saturation… Anyway, I have left some of the pages blank and have decided to washi tape some bits and bobs in on this pages.

Today I made these:


I washi-ed (is that possible?) these in with my Russian doll tape that I found on Etsy – I adore Russian dolls and washi tape => happy me!  I do love them, and how it is making my journal personal, and relevant to me.  As you may be well aware, my name is Zoë, and I am a colour addict.  However, I jam absolutely rubbish at drawing, unless it is a cartoon caterpillar.  A few years ago a kid in my class asked me why I had drawn Mary riding to Bethlehem on a goose…  With this context I think I am doing quite well!

Inspiration pages

Finally for today I am including my weight loss inspiration sheets.  On the left is my reward chart – which I have again washi-ed in with bunting washi tape, and will post about another time.  I have also put some motivational stickers on the blank part of the folded insert too.  I imagine it will be referred to an awful lot in the coming months, and I hope it will become a most loved and used part of my journal!

So that’s it for now.  What do you think?  Have you any beginners pages you could share?

PS here are the Amazon Affiliate links to the stationery I have used:


The notebook was Sainsbury’s and the stencil is this one from Etsy.  A full list of desirables can be found here.

Becoming a Reading Ambassador

It’s nearly that wonderful time again, and I do mean that sincerely, Christmas!

It’s an open secret that I love to read and that I am a practicing History Geek.  And as a self proclaimed, loud and proud bookworm I love to give books as gifts, especially for any littlies on our gifting list.  One year my brother-in-law actually said

“Thank goodness for Auntie Zoë, Santa seems to have forgotten books this year…”

Yes that’s me.  The boringly predictable one who can be relied upon to produce bookie gifts with plenty of enthusiasm.  So as a Reading Ambassador, here are my top tips for joining me in this endeavour, and Christmas is the perfect time to start!

Reading Ambassadors

A Reading Ambassador promotes reading for pleasure and really the only qualification you need is a passion for reading and spreading this gospel!

It isn’t something you have to apply for.

You don’t have to make banners or campaign.

There are no demands for any money.

You just need to practice what you preach.

So here is my little guide and the time to start is now!

Becoming a Reading Ambassador

  • Give books as presents instead of disposible gifts such as cut flowers or chocolates.
  • Take a book with you and read it at every available opportunity – especially in public.
  • Give book tokens.
  • Join AND USE your local library.  They have books (obviously), DVDs, CDs, magazines, internet uses, classes, audio books and that’s just the list of the top of my head.
  • buy your books from a local bookshop rather than online. (guilty as charged).
  • visit your local charity shop and buy/donate books.  Oxfam have specialist book stores with all sorts of gems in – even first editions.  My other local charity shops sell paperbacks for 75p – buy one get one free.  Even those on the tightest of budgets such as myself can afford that!
  • talk about your love of books.  Recommend books to friends and pass on the b
    ooks you’ve read to them.
  • model reading to the younger generation.  Monkey see as Monkey do.  At school it’s all about modelling everything for children from trying out new fruit taste to how to write and count in real life.  So many times I’ve had parents come in and “confess”  (though they should feel no shame) that reading is a struggle.  More often than not their kids will be struggling too.  Kids need to see the point.  Why are you teaching me to read when no one reads?
  • accept that reading doesn’t always mean stories.  It means: magazines; blogs; articles; newspapers; signs; menus; posters; leaflets; receipts; biographies; cookbooks; non-fiction books; bibles; packets; television; internet; the list goes on….

So that is my plea.  Let’s all get stuck in and get reading.  Whatever form that may take.

Love, Loathe, Wish

Normally I just think this stuff in my head.  Today (not sure why) I thought I’d share.

Love, loathe, wish


  • love my husband and believe in and love God.
  • Laughing is fantastic.
  • We love our little compact house.
  • I love being a yarnie.
  • Teaching is awesome, especially reception classes.  I enjoy making resources for school and I love to colour code.
  • love reading and find fabric irresistible.
  • I enjoy playing board games.
  • love yellow.
  • I prefer dresses and bright bar shoes.
  • Learning gives me as genuine thrill.
  • love Makaton.
  • Colour is my jam, it rocks my world.
  • get a thrill when decluttering and I’m proud of trying to follow the Simple Living Model.
  • love jigsaw puzzles and practical crafts.
  • Baking is brilliant, and I am learning to cook with more confidence.  Tea and cake are two of my favourite things.
  • adore tactile things that make me itch to touch them and I have to stroke smooth wood when I see it.
  • like playing vinyl records and playing the violin and piano (in private).
  • I love birthdays, Bonfire Night and Christmas.
  • Disney is awesome.
  • My wedding was the best day in my life.


  • The amount of paperwork involved in the teaching profession is hideous.
  • don’t like my body. I hate being obese.
  • It irritates me that I default to TV to pass the time.
  • Blocking knitting is not in my skill set.
  • don’t like feeling lost and I don’t like that I enjoy gossiping.
  • resent the time, money, debt, and potential I squandered at uni. It feels like I could have done so much more if I’d focused on me, my learning and being wiser with money. Looking back, however, I was more interested in being the life and soul of multiple friendship groups and trying to fit in.
  • I hate feeling guilty, and that it happens so much.
  • loathe debt which worries me a lot, like all the time.  Paying our mortgage off will be like a led weight is being taken off my chest.
  • I have a thing about eggs that makes me flinch when I crack one thinking a chick may be inside.


  • wish I wasn’t so focused on other people’s views on me, because deep down I know they aren’t important.
  • hope one day I wont be so self-conscious and I will be able to play my instruments in public.
  • need to budget better and spend only a minimal amount on life.
  • I’d like to be more confident with using my sewing machine and making stuff, or just do it anyway.
  • I wish I could enjoy exercise.
  • I’d love to be a Godparent.
  • I’m working on I was more ecofriendly, and it wasn’t such an effort to me.

Everyone has likesloathes and wishes.  I just need to stop beating myself up about them all day everyday.

What do you love, loathe or wish for?

Stages of handwriting – a Uniball collaboration

Just a little note to let you know of another collaboration I did with Uniball pens!  This one is all about the different stages of writing – from pre emerging mark making, to coherent handwriting.


The Stages of Handwriting Development in Children






Please note that I am not paid for these articles, I just love to spread the teaching love and the little bit of knowledge I have!

teaching, crating, loveling life
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