Filofax: Which hole punch?

People tend to ask for advice as to which is the best hole punch to get and I thought I’d share my input on which hole punch I use and like.

I have a KW-trio hole punch. It’s a very good quality hole punch made of metal and importantly it is adjustable. I love that because it means I can punch A5 to mini and EVERYTHING in between  with just one hole punch. I don’t need another one as it covers all my needs.


This has a set of six metal punches which cut 7mm holes extremely smoothly. There is a pull out guide which is useful for punching a5 size and unlike the Rapesco punch it will punch a5 in one go without having to flip and turn the page, although I bought mine off Ebay and it is more money than I’ve seen some shops sell the Rapesco.

I do have a couple of downsides to this punch, I would love for the guides for ages smaller than a5 to have been a little more clearer – either to have been put on the base or have a little pull out, push in guide built it. I also wish that the holes were a tab smaller and punches 5mm holes. I solve the problem of line guides by putting a bit of washi tape down when I go to punch and it helps to line the pages up.


At £25 it is quite expensive for a hole punch, but I only need one to suit all my hole punching needs which means I only had to buy one and not multiple hole punches, which also saves on clutter.

It also works a lot better than my previous hole punch which I bought years ago. This was the little plastic filofax own ones – which are designed for like on the go hole punching. These are really not worth buying, even if you think you’ll just use it for on the go punching. They are plastic so they do not punch a clean hole into the paper and often crease it whilst trying to punch it. I just do not rate them at all so would really suggest not wasting your money on them.


Stationery Idea: Washi Tape Stationery

I have a very small collection of Washi tape that I use to use to decorate my planner with. However this year, with my paper being good quality I don’t really need Washi tape to reinforce the holes. So I am left with Washi tape that is not being used. The tape itself is pretty so it’s a shame to waste it. A great option is to use it to decorate some plain paper and envelopes. This is a great way to have pretty stationery without sending a lot on stationery sets.




Triple 9 (2 Stars)

I was bitterly disappointed by this film, I think it was because I saw it had Kate Winslet in it and I thought it was going to be a great film. Only it just seemed to be really bitty. There was hardly any back story, there’s not real character introduction or character progression and you sit there wondering why certain characters have behaved the way they do…and you don’t really know why.

I think as a film it just didn’t work too well and maybe it was because it was too complex a storyline to fit into two or so hours.

I think this story would work much better in a television series. I was just really bored and was more interested in the film finishing so I could head over to my new German course.

Rosenstraße (3 1/2 Stars)


This film is based on a true story. In 1943, after the defeat of Stalingrad. The tables were turning for the Nazis and it was the beginning of the end. However, that did not deter the Nazis from their persuing of the ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question’. The Nazis rounded up the remaining jews from Berlin, from this group approximately 1,800 were housed in Rosenstraße (Rose Street). There was something special about this group, because they were an inter-marriage. The majority of the men were married to German or Aryan women. This had to some point protected the men from being deported earlier. Although they were still subjected to the rest of the Jewish laws, such as having to give up their jobs, being refused entry to the cinema and being forced to wear the Star of David – marking them clearly as a Jew.

This round up would have almost certainly marked them to go to the East, almost certainly to a death camp, such as Auschwitz. However the wives of these men did something remarkable, the never divorced their husbands, even though it would have been incredibly easy for them to do so. Even more, when their husbands were taken, they found them in Rosestraße and they waited – day and night, they waited. Faced with opposition against the regime and their plan to remove the Jews from Berlin, what will they do?

This is a lovely retelling of the story, seen through the eyes of one of the women who helped save her husband. Although, it must be noted that this is a fictional retelling, and whilst the event did occur – it did not occur exactly as how it did in the film. It is very much worth reading about it.

The film also gives the sense and the hope that it was seemingly relatively easy to get the Nazi’s to back down, simple stand in the cold for a week, resist the fear of standing in front of a machine gun and voila, you will defeat the Nazis. It was not that easy in reality – the regime was big and thousands of people who protested and resisted against the Nazis were sent to Concentration Camps and killed, such as outspoken members of the Church and he White Rose group to just name a few.

It does pose an interesting question though, if faced with an injustice such as a stranger losing their husband because of their religion or whatever the reason – to see his deportation. Would you, a stranger, stop and say this is not right. Would you help fight to right an injustice even if it was not an injustice against you. Or would you walk past Rosenstraße and go about your day?


Ostalgie is a very whitty pun and a merging (well really it’s dropping of a letter!) of two German words Ost, meaning east and Nostalgie, meaning nostalgia. It is a term that is used to refer towards showing sentimentality for the east, particularly for the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or as we called it, East Germany.

In 1989, The Berlin Wall fell and Germany ceased to be two divided countries and reunited into one. Although it was seen as a victory for the West, it was often quite traumatic for those living in the East, especially as parts of their cultural identity had been stripped away. This led in part to a turning back to the DDR with fondness and nostalgia. Today, elements of DDR life such as TV Shows (such as Unser Sandmännchen), Food, and the Ost-Ampelmännchen (The green man on crossing signals) still play a part in daily life.

I have a friend who was born in the DDR and still lives in former-DDR territory. He is a die-hard lover of the DDR and he jokes that he hates leaving the DDR to go to the West. Over Christmas, he went home to his Mum’s house and showed me some old coins and DDR maps that he had. I adore old coins and maps and I saw these and instantly decided I wanted to get a DDR map and some coins and join the Ostalgie bandwagon.

I was able to pick up some lovely items.

First is a 1 Pfennig coin dating from 1961. This was the year the Berlin Wall was established. I thought it would be perfect to set it in a coin mount and have my own lucky penny necklace. At first I couldn’t find a coin mount to fit with the standard English penny coin mounts, but luckily I live in Birmingham, home of the Jewellery Quarter, so I was able to find someone to make me a bespoke one. I really love this necklace.


Second, I found a 1990 5 Pfennig coin, this one is slightly bigger than the 1 Pfennig, and 1990 marks the final year these coins were made. This one sits in my Filofax. I don’t really have a set use for it, but like some of my other coins I collect, they are just nice to pull out occasionally and look it.



Finally I have this beauty, a wonderful map of Berlin, complete with red line marking the Berlin Wall and a little icon for the Brandonburg Gate. My absolutely favourite feature of this though is the refusal to even draw West Berlin on the map, leaving it instead blank. Under the Hallstein Doctrine, West Germany had refused to acknowledge the existence of East Germany as a separate country. In addition, any country that formally recognised East Germany and established connections with it, would be denied diplomatic relations with West Germany. Although by the time this map was created the Hallstein Doctrine had been abandoned in favour of Ostpolitik, relations between East and West were still frosty. Hence the refusal to acknowledge West Germany on a map. I am currently looking into a frame so I can hang this map up on my wall.






Update: My Filofax as a purse

My setup for how I use my Mini Malden as a purse has changed so I thought I would do an update. In my previous post, I showed how I kept my German day word of the day pages in this purse. I have removed these out because they were getting quite a beating and I didn’t also have my purse to hand to always write them in. They are now housed in my personal Filofax. I also have a Mini Baroque which houses them when they are filled. So now this is fully a wallet.


With the rings no longer being used I thought I would take out the cards from the card slots on the front and the back of the Malden. I purchased a card holder, really cheaply on Ebay and had it sent over. It was a beautiful little wrap around. I really liked the look of it so I have carefully detached the plastic sleeves from the outing. I am thinking of maybe turning it into a mini Traveller’s Notebook but that’s for another day.



I largely followed Kent from Oz’s video to remove them the plastic sleeves. As I do not have Austrialian manliness and a single hole punch I followed his earlier video:

Although I did remove the studs on the holder and made the metal smaller in an attempt to stop ripping a bigger hole into the card harder. If you are not precious about getting it the card holder you can skip this step.



I cut the seal off and used a Mini sized piece of paper to mark the centre hole with a Staedtler pen. I set my holepunch to Mini sized and lined up the wallet with the holes. Once I was happy with the line up, I took a piece of scotch tape (slightly more sticky than washi) and lined it along one side of the plastic wallet. This meant that for the other ten card holders they would line up perfectly. I punched all ten individually.


I have moved my coins, as I don’t have that many at the moment back into the zipped coin compartment and attached my keys to the lower ring.

My travel card fits nicely into the back card slot, although the rings do rest on the leather travel card holder. At the moment I don’t close the clasp to avoid putting too much pressure on it, it maybe that I move it into the black pocket where my notes are.

My most used cards, my bank card and my Cineworld card are kept in the front card holders in the Malden to save excessive wear and tear on the plastic sleeves. It is relatively flimsy but considering it would have cost me over £10 to buy the Filofax ones to put in here I am happy.



I was seduced by Commercial Toner

So earlier this year I wrote a blog about my homemade skincare products and shared my experiences about why I made the switch from store bought to natural. Whilst I’m not entirely natural, I do have a exfoliator I use that is store bought, I do use a homemade cleanser, toner and moisturiser. However my mum was given a little sample of two store bought toners as a gift with purchase. I liked the pretty little bottles and thought that it had been at least four, possibly five months since I had used a store bought toner. So I thought I’d give these a go.

My first impressions of them were great, my skin felt so clean, like it tingled because it was so clean. I used them once, occasionally twice a day for about a week and boy did I start seeing results. Not good results, but results none the less. My skin started breaking out. Now I do get spots at least once, if not twice a month, but using this store bought cleanser my skin got three times the amount of spots I had experienced from the past couple of months. Nothing else had changed to my routine, I didn’t put on more makeup than normal. Just changed the toner.

Needless to say I am back to homemade toner and after about a two weeks my skin was back to normal and is currently spot free. I’ve learnt my lesson to stick to my homemade stuff…no matter how alluring the pretty packaging looks.

Duolingo on completion


On Sunday (14th February) I completed Duolingo, which is no easy task. I guess I have been doing it for about two years, but I have restarted the course maybe 3 times during that period…but on Sunday it was the first time I completed it. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to review more fully now.

I think Duolingo is a great tool for helping to learn a language, I love the competitive element and seeing how your friends are doing. Often trying to beat my friends score keeps more doing Duolingo.

I like the game style element, with the trial and error format. I think it is a great way to learn a language. However I do not think it is the only way to learn a language. I think to use it within different ways to learn a language is the most successful way to use Duolingo. I think you need to read, speak to native speakers, watch films, listen to music, and attend a regular class.

I love that Duolingo has little notes that explain each section and the rules of grammar. However whilst these are good towards the beginning of the tree, some of the lessons towards the end, which need explanation do not have as much (or any) information to them. Which is why I think you need someone, such as a native or a teacher, to help you understand more.

That being said, if you want to learn the basics of a language and be able to get by in a country where the language is different – I think you can very easily do that with Duolingo. Natives have told me they can understand me, even if I do not get the sentence right perfectly.

What happens once you finish Duolingo? Well I have just started getting involved with the Immersion/Translating section of Duolingo. So this is a great way to develop your language skills even further. I also took a Duolingo test and scored 3.48/5.00. So I am not fully comfortable with all of the Duolingo lessons yet and I knew I wouldn’t be. So I will continue to practise words until I am fully comfortable with them alongside translating documents.

If you fancy brushing up or learning a new language I really recommend giving Duolingo a try!

Dad’s Army (1 1/2 Stars)

I wasn’t overly looking forward to this film, something told me it just wasn’t going to be all that great. I suppose it was because I was never really a huge fan of the television series, whilst it was funny and there was the odd laugh, it just seemed all a bit too silly – I mean no one could be that stupid and incompetent really?

Well the film is much like the TV series and I don’t think you have to be a fan of the TV show to appreciate this film. I just felt that despite a great cast that has some of Britain’s finest actors in it: Bill Nighly, Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Paterson, Sarah Lancashire, Mark Gatiss and Alison Steadman, I just wasn’t that inspired.

Throughout the film it almost seemed like copyright prevented some catchphrases and the theme music being used but perhaps the sustained cloak and dagger references to the tv show were just there to entertain those who were a fan.

As for the storyline, I just felt that it was worthy of a 30 minute TV episode but it had been dragged out to make a feature film, and it was painfully too long.

Whilst I did enjoy the moderate nostalgia trip, it did make for an incredibly dull two hours at the cinema.


Deadpool (4 Stars)


Now this is a film that doesn’t take itself seriously. I find it very reminiscent of Scream and it is almost of is Marvel are mocking their traditional Superhero film franchise with this film and it works. Ryan Reynolds, an unlikely role, at least I think so given I usually associate him with the Proposal, one of the view Chic Flicks I have seen. It’s great that he can adapt and change out of a genre.

The generally script of this film is formulaic in terms of a traditional Superhero storyline, yet it is made refreshingly different with Ryan Reynolds personification of a witty script and writer’s ability to have some fun with this film. I particularly like the sustained references to this being a superhero movie and Reynold’s charm as the rather loveable Anti-hero Hero. This film is more closely linked to the Happy upbeat Vibe of Guardians of the Galaxy and a welcome departure from the more tedious and getting old Iron Man 3 saga of the Franchise.

I actually really look forward to seeing a sequel of this Superhero.