X by Trollbeads: Review and Bracelets!

X trollbeads linksIf you’re a Trollbeads fan like me then the new concept, X by Trollbeads, won’t have escaped your notice. I first heard of X when it came out last year but having just found out I was expecting I had other things on my mind!

Now that we have baby safely home with us I have plenty of time in the night for web surfing and looking at Instagram for Trollbeads inspiration, and the X collection recently came back to my attention. Realising that you can wear a complete bracelet without too much upfront cost, it suddenly held more appeal. Back when I first started collecting Trollbeads I began with a necklace as I didn’t want an empty bracelet – I waited until I had enough to fill one before investing in a chain.

With a birthday coming up, I sent out some hints to my nearest and dearest, asking hubby for a black and bronze starter bracelet and a few blue links. This was joined by some bronze, a single bow and a double silver link from my parents. Lucky me!

X by Trollbeads packaging

Playing about can take a bit more time than with regular Trollbeads, but great fun as you can make a double chain using one lock and even add other charms quite easily if they fit on the links. I was also lucky enough to receive a Links of London ‘R’ charm from baby Rosy, so I’ve added this too. So far I’ve had my links arranged three different ways – check them out:

X by Trollbeads with Links of London

X by Trollbeads with Leather

X by Trollbeads Bracelet

X by Trollbeads on wrist

X by Trollbeads Bronze and Silver

X by Trollbeads and original trollbeads

I find them really wearable as they’re light and they go with everything – especially if you just use black rubber instead of blue. They also look great stacked with a regular Trollbeads bracelet in leather or silver!

Next I plan to add Sound Wave and a few more blue links, which would give me enough for a fully double wrapped bracelet or a necklace 🙂

I really hope we see some additional colour rubber links as I think purple or red would look amazing!

Have you experimented with X yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments…

Buy your X by Trollbeads on Amazon UK here!

Filofax Review: Temperley Ikat

I wrote the following post just before I went into hospital back in March and haven’t had a chance to post it until now.  Sadly I have now broken the zip on the Ikat and have stopped using it – I’m really sad about that as it was working so perfectly in my changing bag as a purse/diary/clutch.  I’m pretty sure the reason it broke was because I was putting the pen in the top and was stretching the zip around it.  A word of warning to anyone else doing the same!…

Ikat Filofax Review

I mentioned in my last post that I’d bought a new Filofax to use when I become a yummy mummy in a couple of months’ time – a Temperley Ikat.  I decided to move into it early to see how it would work for me and I have to say, I like it!!

Firstly I needed a diary, but since I was just testing, I used an old insert I had in the drawer and just crossed out the dates – a quick, simple and cost-effective hack!  Next, I had to really think about what I’d need on a day-to-day basis and only copied across the info I felt I’d really need with me out and about.  So far I haven’t come unstuck!

Temperley Filofax Ikat

My Setup:

  • Diary (week on one page) – I’m using a small 4-colour Bic, coding baby appointments in green, social events in red, birthdays and anniversaries in blue and to-dos in black
  • Projects – here I store lists of the books I’m looking for in the charity shops, music I want to download when I’m feeling frivolous, National Trust places we’ve visited (we’ve recently joined and want to ensure we get our money’s worth!) and various lists for baby – hospital bag, clothes, nursery items we need to get, etc
  • Addresses – this tab is actually housing general to-do lists!
  • Birthdays – birthdays and anniversary pages, plus a log of presents we need to buy/have bought
  • Notes – this section has plain white paper to scribble on when I need to make quick notes that won’t be kept in there for long
  • Expenses – has a log of my current account, savings, extra card wallets and a couple of pockets for vouchers and work expense receipts

The binder has very small rings but holds this little lot easily and I like the fact that if I want to write in it lying flat, I can just remove the whole section and get it out on the table!

The left hand section is the purse/wallet and has ten card pockets as well as three sections for putting notes, vouchers, etc and a zipped section for coins.  It works really nicely as a purse, or even an evening clutch, which I’ve done a couple of times by taking out the binder and popping in my phone and a lippy!

So that’s the good stuff – what about the bad and the ugly?

On the whole it’s working really well for me, but there are a couple of niggles.  Firstly, the card pockets are too deep, causing the cards to slip down out of sight and reach – why??!  I don’t know how that got through the prototype sign-off, but anyway, my solution has been to put the cards I use most often sideways in the back pockets so that I can grab them easily.

Secondly, if you put a pen in the pen loop, you can’t close the zip!  Madness!!  This is my biggest bug-bear, as I’ve had to resort to using a mini-pen and placing it sideways at the top, meaning that sometimes it drops out if I’m opening it up in a hurry.

One other thing that doesn’t bother me, but might bother you is that because the binder is removable, it does move about a bit inside, so it could be a bit askew when you unzip it.

In a nutshell?

I’m really enjoying using this Filofax, but I can see it wouldn’t work for everyone.  Having bought it in the sale I’m very happy indeed, but if I’d paid £45 I might have been disappointed.  I’d be interested to hear your views if you’ve used one – let me know in the comments!

Cat 🙂

Check out the Ikat on Amazon UK here – as I type it’s currently down to £20 in both colours 🙂

Trollbeads Day 2014 at The Diamond Gallery

Friday 1st August saw the first ‘Trollbeads Day‘ and I was keen to take part, despite having a teeny tiny baby in tow!  Sadly my local jewellers no longer stock Trollbeads so I ventured out to The Diamond Gallery in Bracknell, my nearest participating store.

The Diamond Gallery Jewellers

This was my first trip to The Diamond Gallery and I wasn’t at all disappointed!  On first arriving I was seated and was shown the limited edition bead…

Trollbeads Day 2014 Bead

…but then Rosy started crying for her lunch so we made a quick exit to the nearest coffee shop!  I was bouncing up and down, desperate to get back to the store, but we had a lovely lunch together and made it back with plenty of time left for browsing.

When we arrived for the second time we were greeted by a lovely man who seated us and gave me a fabulous homemade Trollbeads cake, glass of bubbly and a goody bag!!

Trollbeads cakes

Trollbeads Day 2014 Goody Bag

Love this goody bag, thanks Trollbeads!!  Among the goodies were a book, polishing cloth, pen, trolley coin keyring, chocolate, sweets and biscuits.  Fab 🙂

The store itself had a fantastic selection of stock and I spent ages looking through several trays of beads.  Among the goodies were some retired beads and I snapped up a ‘Beige Blue Dot‘ and a ‘Pastel Bud (which was half price, yay!!).  It was also the first time I’d seen a lot of the more recent kits as I haven’t seen beads in a store for such a long time and although I was only going to allow myself two beads, I fell in love with ‘Purple Rippling Bubbles.’  Fortunately hubby had said I could choose a bead for our upcoming anniversary, so I snapped it up, but I have to wait a couple more weeks for this one!  I decided not to buy the limited edition bead because I worked out I could have all three of my chosen beads for less than the price of just that one – and since I’m on maternity leave at the moment I couldn’t justify buying all four!!

The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, and even gave Rosy a balloon to take home!

Trollbeads balloons

As well as having a comprehensive stock of beads, The Diamond Gallery also offers a loyalty card, giving you one free ‘price one’ bead once you’ve purchased nine.  We will definitely be going back in the future 🙂

Thanks Trollbeads UK and The Diamond Gallery for an exciting and entertaining day, roll on Trollbeads Day 2015!

Did you go to a participating store?  Let me know in the comments about your Trollbeads Day!

Cat x

Buy Trollbeads on Amazon UK here

An Important Announcement!

Sorry for the radio silence for the past few months, I’ve been rather busy 🙂  I announced in my last post way back in February that I was expecting a baby in June.  I had a few complications and baby ended up arriving earlier than expected!  Introducing my beautiful baby girl, Rosy…

Rosy was born on 17th April, just over nine weeks early, weighing just 3lbs 14oz.  She spent five and a half weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) before coming home to her adoring parents!

I’m very happy to report that at 12 weeks old she’s now over 8lbs and thriving, with no major health issues – we feel extremely blessed indeed!

Here’s a snapshot of the first eight weeks:

As you can imagine, I’ve had my hands full since she came home, but I’ll try to keep the blog updated more often once we’ve settled into our new routine!

I hope you’re all well, thanks for reading!

Cat 🙂

Some BIG News and the Resulting Filofax and Trollbeads Combo!

If I’ve been a little quiet of late it’s because I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past few months.  Not to worry though, it’s all in a good cause – I’m expecting a baby!  Hubby and I are very excited to meet our little one, who is expected in June 🙂

trollbeads maternity pregnancy

Here’s my Trollbeads maternity combo, which combines several OOAKs with a few artisans, plus Maternity, the anniversary ‘Beginning of Life,’ a German edition ‘Tulip’ and ‘Forget Me Not‘ as well as ‘Grandma’s Favourite‘ and a cheapy but lovely ‘Mum To Be’ charm from Amazon!

If you know me at all you’ll know I can also turn any event or celebration into an opportunity for a new Filofax and, of course, I did just that!  I was in TKMaxx a few weeks back and happened upon some Filofax Temperley Ikats in the sale at a bargain price and had to grab one to see what it’s like.

filofax temperley ikat-yellow

I wasn’t attracted to these when they first came out – the build quality seemed cheap for the price point and all the ones I saw seemed a little out of alignment, a bit squashed if you get my meaning?!  Lurking at the back of the shelves I found one in perfect order and it was the only one marked down to £10 so it was clearly meant to be!

So what’s the plan for it?  Well I’m not using it yet, and I need to get a personal diary insert, but the plan is that when I move out of a handbag (my beloved Mulberry *sniff*) and into a changing bag (an uber-amazing SugarJack bag!) I won’t be able to lug around quite so much of my own stuff (read 20 lip balms and glosses, several hand creams, huge purse, fat Filofax, etc).  The iKat is a great size and shape to fit my purse items, diary (obvs) and my smartphone.  Apart from my keys and maybe a pot of lip Vaseline, that’s pretty much my essentials all in one place, easy to grab in and out of a bag full of baby bits!

I’ll write a more full review once I’ve been using it for a while.  In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you’ve used an iKat and what you thought, or what your baby friendly Filofax solutions are!

Cat 🙂

Find a Filofax bargain on Amazon UK here

Filofax Dashboard: Hacking a Day Planner Insert!

I went to Paperchase to pick up a 2014 Filofax insert at the weekend and spotted their Day Planner inserts, which gave me a light bulb moment!

I tend to use post-it notes to jot down shopping lists, to-dos and reminders and pop them in the front of my Filofax so that I can see them at a glance.  Lots of other Filofaxers use this method and I’ve seen all sorts of innovative ‘dashboards’  – check out some great ideas on Filofancy, Vanjilla and Imy’s World.

The day planner inserts are Paperchase’s own brand and are priced at just £1.75 for 50 x the pocket size.  The front side has spaces for day and date, appointments, to-dos and reminders, while the back is for notes (I’m using that for my shopping list).  This lends itself perfectly to my needs as a dashboard, and I’ve amended this for weekly use – it’s working great!!  All it needs are a few stickers to brighten it up and you’ve got yourself almost a year’s supply for less than £2!

Let’s take a look…

Filofax Paperchase Day Planner Dashboard

What do you think, would it work for you?  What do you use as a dashboard?  Comment below and share your experiences!

Cat 🙂

Find a Filofax bargain on Amazon UK here

Trollbeads: Fantasy Necklace Pink Pearl

Some years ago I had the opportunity to purchase a Trollbeads Fantasy Necklace with a pink pearl and I snapped up the chance!  Though I wear it infrequently, it looks very special and unique and always gets me plenty of compliments!

One combo I really love is a huge artisan bead (which I bought years ago, but I think was from Luccicare on Etsy), with a Fantasy Elf perched on top:

Mine is the shortest length, so I can’t double it up, but that doesn’t bother me, I love it!  It’s very quick to match with any bracelet combo too, just switch over the glass bead(s) and you’re good to go – not even any clasps to fiddle with!

Do you have a Fantasy Necklace?  How do you wear yours?

Cat 🙂

Check out Trollbeads Fantasy Necklaces on Amazon UK here >

Trollbeads: Monochrome Halloween Combo!

Time for a Trollbeads Halloween combo!

This year I’ve gone for a few silver trolls and some ghostly black and white beads, including OOAKs, instead of my usual oranges!  And since Christmas is only around the corner, I’ve also thrown in some festive beads so I can wear it for longer…

What do you think?  Have you made a Halloween combo this year?

  Buy Trollbeads on Amazon UK here

Trollbeads: Amber Bracelet Update!

One of my local Trollbeads retailers has recently decided to stop stocking my beloved Trollbeads *sniff*!  The silver lining to this though is that they sold off their remaining stock at bargain prices!  So bargainous, in fact, that hubby said  I could choose some beads AND a leather necklace as wedding anniversary gifts – whoop!

I was very excited to see two amber beads (far left in these pics) reduced to an amazing £9 each, so I snapped those up right away!  Previously I had two alternative brand amber beads on here to fill it up, but I’ve moved those onto my new necklace so that I have a matching set – love it!

Amber is so much lighter than glass, making this combo really well suited for everyday wear. Check it out…

 Get your Trollbeads on Amazon UK here

My Filofax Collection :)

If you’ve been here before you may have noticed that I like a Filofax (or ten!), so for all you other hardcore Filofanatics, I thought you might like to see my *ahem* collection…

The mini Finsbury has recently winged its way over to a new owner in the US, leaving me with a selection of 12 red, black and grey to choose from!  I hadn’t realised I’ve been so colour selective until I saw them all out like this – funny considering I love bright colours and purple is my favourite colour!

How about you, do you have a ‘collection’ of Filofaxes?  Or a colour theme?

Find a Filofax bargain on Amazon UK here.