Using Asana in everyday life

Asana is an online organisational tool that I have mentioned in a previous blog post. It can be an amazing tool for the busy mother/worker/mother of a large child (wife/girlfriend!) that just can’t seem to find enough hours in the day. I work full time, have a partner who works nights and am a full time stepmother to an 8 year old. If I didn’t find planning tools to help me keep on top of work to do lists, dentist appointments and all the wedding ideas currently floating around in my head I think I would just have to curl up in a dark corner and rock myself gently.

I discovered Asana through work when looking for a tool to help me manage not only my work load but also the workload of the two people I manage. I was delighted when I discovered not only could I access it online at work but it also has a private, personal section only you can see. There is also a mobile app so even when I’m not at work my phone will ping with reminders I’ve set in both my work and personal sections and I can update and access my task lists through the app.

The very best part is it’s free! This is not an affiliate post it’s just a great tool and a great way to keep all your thoughts in one place. Think of it as a combination of Google calendar, notes and evernote. The home screen looks like this:


Firstly you create a project then you can assign tasks and subtasks to this project. At work I can use it to assign different tasks and due dates to different people and it updates me when they are completed so I don’t have to constantly chase people for updates as long as they keep Asana updated.

In my personal life I also utilise the same structure of projects, tasks and subtasks but obviously they are all for me #deepjoy. An example would be to create a project called Medical Appointments, a task would be Dentist and a subtask would be book a new dentist appointment or to set a reminder of when the next appointment is.

Mr Clack and I are currently engaged and considering eloping versus a big family wedding as he’s not really a suit and speeches type man and I just can’t bear the idea of all the organisation, sign me up for a wedding for three on the beach (Master Clack included of course). I have projects set up of potential ideas floating around my idea, I can add into the notes section different websites I’ve seen and can build in costs by attaching brochures or downloads with prices on for each idea. If I see an idea in a magazine or while I’m out and about I can take a quick picture on my phone and add the photo to a task using my app so I don’t forget it.

I also use it for keeping my Master List of ideas to do in the house on with any measurements for things like windows as one task I’ve currently got is looking for a new window covering option for Master Clack’s bedroom as his current curtains are very thin and I’m not sure whether to go for a blind or a blackout curtain. So with those details in the app if I’m out and about and see a great deal on some Spiderman curtains or a blackout blind I can quickly check the window size on my app and see if they will fit.

Unfortunately at the moment you can only be in a ‘team ‘ with people who have the same URL email address as you as my Asana is linked to work it’s my work email address which means I can share tasks with people I work with but not Mr Clack it would be great if they could develop it so you could use it for personal use and choose who to add into your team regardless of their email address #hinthintAsana.

I hope that this information is helpful and please let me know if you found this helpful or use any other great tools through my twitter or comment below, always welcome to new ideas!


Printable Monthly Calendar Sheets

I use monthly calendar sheets printed off and attach them to my fridge so the men in the house know what’s going on.

I use Google Calendar for maintaining my calendar digitally as I can access it through my work Outlook Calendar, online and through an app on my iphone. The men in my life though have no concept of birthday or important event record keeping so I feed it to them in bite size chunks with a monthly calendar sheet stuck to the fridge where I know they will see it.

I have personalised monthly calendar sheet for my family but it is so simple to create one yourself even using Word. Grab a background you like and create a table that can be customised with the dates for each month when printed off. I transpose the important information for each month onto a fresh sheet at the start of the month and then use one of these magentic document holders to attach it to the fridge.

I use the other half of my calendar to add important notes or things I really need to get done that month. The space which is the size of an A4 sheet in my house is currently holding a picture of Deadpool drawn by Master Clack so it can also be used to store artwork of the month!

Go crazy and add whatever background you like and create your own or just use the free printable if you’re a fan of the humble chevron like myself!

Date Night Coupons Printable

As part of my #30presentsfor30 I have done a free date nights printable that I intend to print out, cut into individual coupons and after sticking to a piece of card to strengthen them attached them to a hinged ring and voila a cheap, home made, thoughtful present. Only 29 to go!

For the printable date night coupons, I tried to think of what my partner would enjoy and based them on that. I also did a cover coupon, a note coupon and a blank coupon so you could add your own coupon ideas.

I kept the design season neutral so could be given for birthdays, Christmas, Valentines…Wednesdays!

Hope you and your partner enjoy these cheeky little printables!




Halloween Party

Free Halloween PrintablesMy little man is 8 years old and wants to go out trick or treating, however I was NEVER allowed to go out trick or treating and I’m not sure I want him to go either. My Mum always used to say would you knock on a stranger’s door and ask for sweets any other time of the year?

Now I am responsible for my own little (step)person I see where she was coming from and the values she’s tried to instill in me. I would rather throw a halloween party for family and his little friends than have him trawling the streets begging strangers for sweets! I’ve been looking through my favourite ideas site Pinterest and created a Halloween party board. There are plenty of ideas on here for simple, DIY food and decoration ideas that would be easy to throw together.

There are plenty of free printables out there so to save you and me the legwork I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite free printables to get the party started.

Have fun and please feel free to share the photos of your spooky halloween party with me on instagram!

Christening Present Ideas

I was recently made a godmother for the 4th time, I now have one godson and three goddaughters ranging from the ages of 1 – 22!

I was struggling to think of a Christening present for my goddaughter Georgia last week before her Christening and after scouring Etsy for something that would be a keepsake but feel personalised and home made rather than a generic silver rattle from Mothercare.

I settled on making a name poster featuring her birth details which I made myself in Photoshop but this could also easily be done in Microsoft Word using text frames and adjusting the font, colour and size if you didn’t have Photoshop.

Home Made Gift

Home Made Christening Present

All I needed to purchase was a lovely oak frame to make my hand made gift feel more expensive and ‘wall worthy’ and I was done. I enjoyed the fact I had made a keepsake for her myself rather than buying a personalised one and decided to do a Pinterest board to show you some other home made ideas they include items such as:

  • personalised egg cup or christening details plate (all that’s needed is a blank canvas (egg cup or plate), set of sharpie pens and a hot oven to bake the ink on once you’re done!
  • personalised name posters
  • if you’re handy with a needle and thread the options are endless…blanket, stuffed toys, bunting, cushion etc;
  • a framed quote or image
  • Wish jar with all your hopes and dreams for them, could become almost a bucket list for them

Using sites such as or are great options if you’re either a) not that handy, b)don’t have time or c) want something with a more professional image. I love this personalised book idea.

30 presents for 30th birthday

30 presents for 30

My other half works very hard for his little family in a night job which he hates so for his 30th birthday I wanted to go big or go home! I’d seen 30 presents for 30 years on pinterest before and seen some other examples of the 30 presents other people had chosen.

I know he wants a watch  from WatchShop which seems like a suitably blingy 30th birthday present! But I wanted to get 29 either home made or low cost presents to do the #30presentsfor30years idea. His birthday is in January next year so I need to start pulling my finger out and get my act together really!

So far the ideas I have are:

Gift No. Gift Note
1 Starburst I’m bursting with happiness every day we’re together
2 Coffee Hope this perks up your day
3 Picture Book You’re picture perfect
4 Maryland Cookies you’re one smart cookie
5 Smarties You’re a real smartie
6 Chewing Gum We’re mint to be
7 Daim bar You’re Daim fine!
8 animal crackers our house might be a zoo, but i always have you
9 Gummi Bears life would be un”bear”able without you
10 mixed nuts i’m nuts about you
11 Date Night Coupons You’re my perfect date
12 Millions sweets You’re a million in one
13 4 pack of pot noodle I’m potty about you
14 fanta you’re fantastic
15 hair gel we gel together
16 King for the day hat You’re my king
17 Aftershave You always smell good
18 Bottle of Jaegermeister You’re the (jaeger) bomb
19 Scratch card I feel like I won the lottery with you
20 Co-ordinates poster I will go anywhere with you
21 New socks You’re my perfect pair(ing)
22 Zippo lighter You’ve got a special spark
23 Doritos and Dip I’m dippy for you
24 Refresher Bar You’re so refreshing
25 Mars Bar You’re out of this world
26 I love you 52 reasons There will never be enough ways to tell you I love you
27 Maoam You’re so sweet
28 Stella Artois I love you ‘beery’ much
29 Humbugs Cos you’re mint
30 WATCH  I wish I could stop time with you

It’s a work in progress but I like the idea of giving notes with the presents. We’re not all sweet and mushy most of the time so I thought I’d go for it while I had the chance!  I’ve pulled a pinterest board together showing ideas other people have come up with in case you feel like doing this and need some more inspiration!

I’ve created my own 1 love you cards and date night coupons and will be doing a post with free printables for these items shortly. Let me know if this inspires you to do #30presentsfor30 and what ideas you come up with!

We survived the first week back!

I’ve read a lot of blogs from Mums seeming to come across as perfect that all you need is a structured routine and everything will go absolutely smoothly. Well newsflash kids have a mind of their own and some weeks absolutely everything goes wrong!

Firstly this week started off not great when he told me at 7.30am just before leaving the house for his second day back he needed to take a toothbrush to school as they were teaching them how to brush their teeth, which leaves me feeling like the parent/teacher boundaries might be being blurred why am I doing an hours plus reading with an 8 year old every night let alone teaching him how to multiply and divide fractions in YEAR 3! While you’re teaching him how to brush his teeth? Surely this should be the other way round?

He also chooses this time to produce a letter he’s been secreting god only knows where up til this point which says he’s going on a school trip in two weeks and there’s a ‘voluntary’ payment required of £17. I don’t mind paying for trips to enhance his education but I object to these letters based on the fact it says ‘voluntary’ payments and then it is automatically added to the online school payment system and shows up as overdue followed up by phone calls chasing me for the ‘voluntary’ payment. Think we need to redefine the word voluntary.

I myself have even recently written a post with a free printable for helping with that back to school routine. I practice what I preach so I have that same printable stuck in Master Clack’s bedroom and on the fridge in the kitchen, did it work this morning? No!

Firstly he got dressed and the socks he found weren’t the ‘right’ kind of socks. Apparently to an 8 year old there are difficult socks to put on and easy socks to put on. I’m guessing the easy socks are mine as they seem to disappear into a black hole and it’s me going about my day in Ninja Turtles socks, the ideal accessory for a working 35 year old woman!

15 reminders later he gets round to brushing his teeth and downstairs notices the TV is on and goes into a trance while holding his lunchbox in his hand which yes I did prep the night before. All he had to do was take it out of the fridge and put it in the bag, simple right? Holding the lunchbox in hand in the living room he needed several reminders he might need the school bag which is in the kitchen to put the lunchbox in. Then we had a struggle to find the school shoes RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE and needed several more reminders to actually put them on!

We seem to have struggled this week despite the best of intentions but he has still come home every day glowing saying his teacher is saying she’s proud of his attitude and hard work (miracles do happen!) the mornings are hard as you’re rushing around trying to get the kids to school on time before going and doing a full 8 hours at your paid for job because yes, snotty mothers at the school run, I unashamedly work for a living, shock horror! But the afternoons soothe away my morning worries with his beaming face because his teacher has said she’s proud of him. I tell him that all the time and I never get that face in response!

Here’s to next week…… may have won the battle Master Clack you will not win the war!

Utensil Drawer Madness!

Utensil Drawer Dividers

Yes I am ashamed to say the image above was my utensil drawer which used to drive me mad everything I opened the drawer! I mean what is a dishwasher cutlery basket divider doing in this drawer! #ilivewiththreemen

One day I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to utilise an idea I’d read about somewhere in blog land in the past and create my own dividers.

Firstly I removed everything from the drawer and kon-maried it so I was only putting back what I wanted to keep. Then I cleaned the drawer out and I had a fresh palate to start with. I grabbed a cardboard box I had lying around and cut it up into strips to create dividers as high as the drawer and laid them out until I was satisfied with the layout. IMG_1066

I used shorter pieces in the front of the cutlery tray to keep the cutlery tray from sliding about and create two smaller sections. I then chose to create diagonal dividers as a lot of our items are quite long and I wanted some smaller sections as well for smaller items.

I then removed the strips and covered them in some wrapping paper I had to add some interest to the drawer.


I then used sellotape to hold the pieces in place.

And voila! Tidy drawers with lovely home made dividers that didn’t cost me a penny as I used bits I had around the house, bargain! PS apologies for the darkness in the pictures sun had gone down by the time I had gone m


Back to school tips and free printable

Back to school routine

Can we just take a moment to marvel at the cuteness from his first ever day of school, I can assure that level of cuteness has gone, albeit replaced by a different level of cuteness that involves discreet cuddles at breakfast club and making sure I don’t walk out without a kiss. #toocoolformummykissesnow

Anyway back to the post! You can be guaranteed that any day in the school holidays Master Clack (age 7) gets up at 6.30am absolutely no problem, bright as a button.  However when school starts and the mornings start getting darker it’s more difficult to get him up and ready for school on time without repeating instructions 15 times.

I’ve read a few great articles on preparing for back to school recently as I prepare for Master Clack to go into Year 4 and have found Honey We’re Home’s ideas of a printable for him to refer to and the idea of alarms on his phone to be the most useful. Her article is full of great ideas that I intend to implement.

A little bit of preparation from me the night before in terms of laying out a bowl for breakfast, putting the right kit in his bag and prepacking his school lunch and leaving it in the fridge for him to get rather than scrambling around in the morning buttering sandwiches could make our back to school routine a lot easier.

The idea is we set alarms on his phone with titles like ‘time to get up’ , ‘time to come downstairs’ and ‘time to leave’ on his phone should ensure we’re out the door by the required 7.30am each morning as we intend to walk to school in the coming school year.

I’ve done one printable to stick in his room for his Get up for school routine such as get dressed and make bed (as well as a 7 year old makes a bed!) and an I got ready on time one for downstairs to stick to the fridge with items on such as put on shoes, eat breakfast, get lunchbox and get school bag.  Hopefully these should prompt what’s next on his list without me having to remind him over and over.

Now I’ve got a printable for his room and one to put on the fridge to help him with his routine in the morning I’ve just got to do the other million things on my list before he starts including:

  • Check his PE kit and school trainers still fit (if not go and buy new)
  • Check his school shoes still fit (if not go and buy new)
  • Label his school uniform
  • Put his lunchbox in the washing machine for a thorough deep clean (put it inside out on a cool wash and it comes out sparkling)
  • Check if it’s still cool to have a Ninja Turtles school bag if not check what’s cool today and hunt down a new bag
  • Buy at least three new school jumpers (already bought all new trousers and t-shirts)

Right I’d better get on with it! Good luck with establishing your back to school routines and I hope the printables help.

Review of Exante

Exante VLCD ReviewAs previously disclosed I may be carrying more weight than the average momma bear! In fact according to my BMI calculations I am nearly 11 stone overweight, which to be honest feels like too big of a number to achieve so I’ve decided to concentrate on the smaller goals rather than the bigger one.

I had read about Exante and I was intrigued by the number of milkshake flavours available and also the fact that it’s not JUST milkshakes, yes you can eat actual food! Well Exante food, but the point is not just milkshakes.

Groupon regularly do great deals for Exante and you can pick up a months worth of milkshakes (3 a day) for £39.99 which is an absolute steal compared to the regular price on the Exante website.

You can have milkshakes, bars or ‘meals’. I say ‘meals’ as they also come in powdered form in a sachet.  You can even have pancakes, pizza and scrambled eggs. With three products a day on Total Solution you consume 600 calories a day. A helpful aid is to buy ketosis sticks from Amazon or somewhere like Boots, peeing on these in the morning will tell you if you’re in ketosis which is the goal as that’s when you’re not hungry so the meagre portions won’t bother you anymore.

I’ve been on the diet since the end of June and have had plenty of cheat meals and even had 6 weeks off where I nursed my partner after a hernia operation and it was too hard to do it while he was around eating tasty things all the time! In total I have lost 4lb off 2 stone.

The first week you tend to have a big drop then it tailors off into more reasonable losses each week, every 4 weeks you have a ‘food’ week where you have your three products and add an additional 200 calories a day.  Some people take this increase in milk which I intend to do on my next food week as it threw me off the wagon having some normal food again.

In my 6 weeks off I was still careful about my fat and carb intake and managed to remain the same weight for the 6 weeks which was a blessing as it could have all gone back on and it showed me when I’m down to my desired goal I should be able to maintain (fingers crossed!)

I’ve taken some pictures of the food so you can see the befores and afters for the some of the meals and also the bars.  I’ve found the bars extremely difficult to eat they have an extremely thick texture or the texture is like rice krispies but they all have the same funny taste, soya like would be the only way I can describe it.

I definitely intend to stay on the diet and shift more weight, I’ve found it easy to stick to and once you’re in ketosis you’re not hungry although preparation is the key to making sure you’re not tempted, I’ve even sat in a Pizza Hut drinking one of my shakes rather than pizza as I took one of my sachets with me.

If you decide to go ahead with Exante there’s a really supportive facebook group which I’d recommend joining and GOOD LUCK!

Exante Shakes

Exante Shakes

Double Chocolate Bar

Double Chocolate Bar

Exante Shepherds Pie Before

Exante Shepherds Pie Before

Exante Shepherds Pie After

Exante Shepherds Pie After


Exante Spaghetti Bolognese

Exante Spaghetti Bolognese

Exante Spaghetti Bolognese After

Exante Spaghetti Bolognese After