Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 - Organisation!

Source - whimsy and wild

Things got a little crazy in the latter part of 2013. I've started 2014 determined to 'get a grip'. In all areas.

I always remember Nigella (yes, she) saying that you could be a great mother, a great wife and a great businesswoman but you could only be really good at 2/3 at any one time. I know what she means.

It's easy to forget balance and live to work - not, as it should always be: Work to live. Spending time with family and a lot more time with your children soon makes you remember what's important.

I've made my usual lists for 2014 and spent the best part of the last two days having a major sort including:

  • Iphone contacts updated - I had people in there I have never met (don't ever make the mistake of syncing your contacts with LinkedIn!).
  • Properly syncing all my accounts.
  • Using to get rid of/organise the 322 (!!) email subscriptions I had. 90% of which I had never subscribed to. Bar Stewards!
  • Using Boxer to organise my email accounts even more so than I already do. It's genius. Try it.
  • I'm going to the trouble of finding 'unsubscribe' in other unwanted emails instead of just deleting.
  • Updated the Filofax paper diary with Icloud - just as well - I had 3 could-have-been-embarrassing clashes in January alone.
  • Made an appointment with my accountant. Alpha are great if you need one.
  • Made blog 'to-post' lists! YAY!
  • Made a shopping/food list that included buying fresh every day and ordered a big 'cupboard' shop online. We spend far too much and waste far too much time when we actually do the big shop in store.
  • Updated and fine-toothed my financial spreadsheet.
  • Already sent the birthday cards for the first 2 weeks of January (THIS is HUGE for me (shut up Family!))
  • Ordered those CD's I'd wanted for ages.
  • Ordered a new juicer!
  • Organised supplements in the cupboard, office and handbag.
  • Taken down the Christmas cards and checked for new addresses.
  • Joined the National Portrait Gallery - been meaning to for years, finally did it.

Now I just have to deal with THIS:

*Puts kettle on*


  1. Wow. All I've done so far this year is get over my NYE hangover. Feel slightly ashamed having read your list Caroline! But well done!

    1. Tell me about it... _I have hangovers and for the love of god my skin dries like in Sahara when drinking wine :D

  2. Thanks for introducing me to unroll me. AMAZING!!! I have been unsubscribing for MONTHS.

  3. Actually unsubscribe from unwanted emails?!? What a wonderful idea!

  4. Great post, going to look at now.

    re the christmas tree, I saw this on Facebook yesterday and was definitely tempted!

  5. is genius! Have just unsubscribed from A LOT. Thanks for the tip

    Daisy x

  6. In relation to your 'to post' list would you be able to make a post on skincare for women in early 20s? This is more on how to keep the skin looking good for longer rather than breakouts. Thanks in advance!! :)

  7. Perhaps I should order those CDs I've wanted for a long time without waiting for next Christmas? I actually could do that straight away ...

  8. Haha - Yep, my Christmas tree is coming down this weekend! I feel the need to de-clutter and re-organise......could there be a spring clean coming on? Possibly......
    Love your list of things to do.......

    (Dear Thirty)

  9. Good on ya! I've been de-cluttering like a mad person. Tree down, charity drop off done but now I am staring at a scary Ebay pile! I think New Year is the new Spring clean..

  10. Jeesh, look at you go! Good luck with the rest of the year! Going to take after you today and get at least one thing off my list, perhaps my blog post to do list for January. Thanks for the motivation! :)

  11. But the 12 the night isn't until the 6th so no rush on the tree ;)

    1. The wreath on the door stays up for 12th night. The tree is coming down. I want my room back!

  12. That is a seriously good start to the new year, I hope that you continue as you have started (and that some of your incredible organisation rubs off on me!)
    Poppy | far away

  13. I love having a 'done' list as well as a 'to do' list! Not that it happens all that often...

  14. Holy cow, the only thing I've done since Christmas is make a list of all things I PLAN to do. You're way ahead of me.

  15. Brilliant! Thanks for the nice article,


  16. Thank you for the recommendation for unsubscribing to PR emails! Brilliant idea! Definitely given me some much needed motivation for this January! X.

  17. Wow, unroll me is such a great idea, thank you! :)

  18. Hi, some great suggestions here ... I've been manually unsubscribing to all the e-mails I get... it's ridiculous! Just looking at the now - thanks!

  19. Using as we SPEAK!

    LOVE getting organised with lists. Totally hooked on my calendar which links between my laptop, phone and ipad.

    Georgina at

  20. 'puts kettle on' my strategy for everything, Just reading your list had to go put kettle on. Love you

  21. Oh how I love the tidiness of the whole process :) I wish you strength to keep it up through the year, I always end up slipping the wagon and I am not at all involved in such activities as you and a mom !
    May 2014 be a great year for you and your loved ones and bring much joy and health and success dear Mrs. Hirons! And tons of good advice for us avid readers!

  22. Wow, you've taken such good steps, and I'll be stealing some of these tips!


  23. :D thanks for posting this Caroline (from a mom-wife-worker, that today will face the Christmas tree)!

  24. I'm kicking myself (virtually) up the backside to get more organised in my personal life this year too!
    At work I'm insanely organised, but at home it all gets a bit forgotten about (more than I'd like)!

    The tip is amazing, thanks.

    now just to start a new diary, sync my phones, delete pointless contacts (ditto the linked in thing but add in Facebook too!!).

    It WILL be much better!! X

  25. Dear Caroline,

    I've been a regular visitor on your blog for a while now - I absolutely love it and follow your advice religiously. I first started my current routine back in the summer and for a while my skin was getting really good, but recently has relapsed, despite no obvious changes. Is it okay if I quickly run through what I'm doing, and if you have the time it'd be great to hear any further recommendations/suggestions for what I'm doing wrong? I'm 24, I have combination skin (oily forehead/t zone, but normal cheeks) and I get (seemingly hormonal) breakouts on my chin/jawline and occasionally cystic ones on my forehead... Recently my skin has been absolutely dreadful - cystic acne (sore, deep spots) on forehead/sides of chin, regular white heads, I seem to constantly have 5+ spots, alongside the red marks that are left behind - which leaves me looking and feeling like a teenager :-( At the moment I follow this routine:

    Cleanser (either Alpha H balancing cleanser or Korres White Tea Cleanser)
    Acid tone (Pixi GT or Clarins Brightening Toner)
    Hydrating tone (La R-P Serozinc)
    Indeed Labs Peptabright
    Indeed Labs Hydraluron
    La Roche-Posay Mat (light moisturiser)

    Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, followed by Alpha H cleanser (above) or Korres cleanser (above)
    Acid Tone (same products as above)
    Hydrating toner - Serozinc
    Alternate between: Clarins Lotus oil, Decleor Ylang Ylang night balm, occasionally Neal's Yard Wild Rose Balm
    Every three days: Alpha H Liquid Gold

    I use Aesop's Control gel directly on blemishes and Balance Me Radiance face oil. I also use the Body Shop roller most days.
    If (and this is pretty rare) my skin seems/feels dry I use a Pai or REN moisturiser.

    As you can see I'm using pretty good products, and trying to follow your advice. I have cut out dairy (completely stopped drinking milk etc but do admittedly have the occasional treat - cheese/cheesecake) and do keep a generally healthy diet (although probably have chocolate almost daily as it's my real weakness -is that where i'm going wrong?!)

    I'm sorry for the massive essay, I've just reached the end of my tether. I've been battling adult acne for about five years now and it's really getting me down. I've tried various creams from the GP and nothing has worked (or if it has, it's resulted in unacceptably dry flakey skin which is perhaps worse than spots in the first place!) I'm sorry for the essay, but any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

    All the best, and thanks again for all your help,


    1. Hi Daisy
      Just offering my pov... I often find if my skin is acting up then the Decleor and Neals Yard balms can exacerbate it slightly (perhaps they're too rich).

      You seem like you have a really substantial routine in place. Have yo tried pairing it back for a month to the essentials? With such young skin maybe you could remove the Liquid Gold and any of the 'harsher' products?

      Hope you get sorted. :)