Snapfish Calendars

Now that I’m working in an office again, with my own desk, the idea of getting a desk calendar was one that had crossed my mind in the run up to Christmas. I have had them before, and I usually go for page a day calendars that have something fun on them. But when Snapfish let me choose some personalised calendars from their website, I realised that I could have something on my desk with all my favourite photos in it!

Frankly, that’s easier said that done, because I have a lot of photos that I love, and a lot of people that I am happy to have smiling at me from my desk. Luckily, there are lots of different templates to choose from, so while there are only twelve pages, as well as one cover, you can fit up to nine photos on each page if you want, so I made use of them a couple of times. I was particularly happy to put nine photos of my family in, and then used the caption you can see above. I’m so funny.


I also ordered a kitchen calendar for my dad for Christmas. I’m labouring under the assumption that he won’t read this; the truth is that I’m not entirely sure he completely understands what I mean when I say I have a blog, so the chances of him finding his way here are minimal. Anyway, he has a calendar hanging in the kitchen that saves him from missing every single family birthday, so I made one with family photos for each month. I tried to match people with their birthday months, but when your family is as big as ours, there are five birthdays alone in July, so it got a bit hard. I like it though, and I hope my dad will too!


Finally, with the rest of the credit that Snapfish had provided, I snapped up some personalised stocking fillers – some coasters and a photo mug. I apologise for the quality of the photos of the mug; the quality of the photo on the mug is great, but I had real difficulty photographing it! As you can see, I’ve gone with my favourite photo of all time the year for my mug, because I’m going to be taking it into work, and I like to fuel their suspicion that I’m a crazy person (just for fun).

The coasters were a bit of an afterthought, because I didn’t know what else to order, but I really like them. The photo I took of the Hilton in Manchester, with a handy Instagram filter applied, is a photo I love. I just think it looks so dramatic! The coasters are really good quality, so I’m pleased I decided on them!

There are so many options when it comes to personalised photo products, and while I think some of them can be a bit cheesy, I do love the idea of filling a calendar or a mug with my favourite photos. It’s a talking point at work, if nothing else!

* Snapfish provided me with credit to order some personalised items free of charge. All reviews on Is That You Darling are fair and unbiased.

33 Before 33 (Part III)

Having shared the first two instalments of my 33 Before 33, I can now reveal the final eleven!

{Part I} {Part II} {Part III}

23. Recreate some old photos
It’s quite the thing to recreate old photos – take a photo from years ago, and wearing the same clothes, take the same photo in the same location. In my case, it’s easy enough to do, it’s just a case of actually doing it. My sisters are keen too, so we just need to pick some photos and get to work!

24. Get a scaffold piercing
I’ve wanted another piercing for a while, as I only have my earlobes done. I spotted someone with a scaffold (or industrial) piercing, and decided I wanted one, but did nothing about it, so figured if I put it on my list, it might actually get done!

25. Learn to play poker
After finally learning chess, I wanted to put another game on this year’s list, and frankly, Backgammon was never going to be an option. But poker should be easy enough to learn; I already have a basic knowledge of the hands, so I just need to learn about betting!

26. Get a mention from every Radio 2 DJ
You know, it wouldn’t feel right not to have some sort of Radio 2 related item on my list. As far as I can tell, there are around 23 DJs who could conceivably mention me, and though I’ve had mentions from a couple of them already (Simon Mayo, Janice Long, Michael Ball, Steve Wright), I will be starting afresh and trying for mentions from everyone within the next year. Some will be easier than others!

27. Get a tattoo
This is one of those items that has been on multiple lists; every year I think I’m just going to do it, and every year I fail. I know what I want, so I really hope it happens this year, but I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

28. Visit a town called Ugley
Ugley is a town in Essex, and there is a Ward Thomas song about it, so I want to go and visit, take a photo of me by the sign, and tweet it to Ward Thomas. I told Anna, Jen and Hannah that I was putting it on my list, and we’re now planning a roadtrip in the New Year.

29. Learn the ukulele
I have a ukulele, but I’ve never learnt to play anything on it! I tried to learn the chords and got disheartened when I wasn’t very good at it. A win for this would be just learning one song, so we’ll see how it goes!

30. Volunteer
This was on last year’s list, and didn’t happen. I have ideas for what I want to do, but I’m not sure how feasible they are. We’ll see!

31. Be a healthy weight
This has been on every list since the beginning of time. It’s boring, but it’s necessary.

32. Visit Westminster Abbey
Visiting Westminster Abbey appears on every list too, simply because I can’t believe that I haven’t been. Especially when you consider that my dad regularly does work for Westminster Abbey. He’s taking me this year, I’m going to make him.

33. Ride a horse
Now technically this wasn’t going to be on this year’s list, because it was on last year’s and didn’t happen. Then my friend Jen texted me and said that she would take me out riding, and because I was already having second thoughts about an item on the original list, I didn’t to swap them, as there’s a chance that this might actually happen. And I do love the idea of horse riding, even if I’m slightly scared of horses.

So there you have it – all 33 items have been unveiled, and it’s time to start work on them! I’m much more confident with this year’s list, I’ve already got some things planned, and while I’m sure I won’t get them all done, I’m going to try really hard. I would ideally like to get two thirds crossed off!

I’ll be adding a page at the top of the page, and I’ll be adding the list to the side of the page, as I usually do. I’d love to hear what you think of my list, and if you have any tips or ideas about anything, please let me know! I need all the help I can get!

33 Before 33 (Part II)

Following on from yesterday’s Part I, it’s time to reveal the next batch of 33 Before 33 goals.

Highgate Cemetery London 030 courtesy of David Holt via Creative Commons

{Part I} {Part II} {Part III}

12. Watch ten documentaries from the BFI list
I decided that this year I wanted to watch some documentaries for my film challenge, but I had a little trouble finding a list. Fellow Wittertainee Chloe suggested the BFI/Sight and Sound list, voted for by critics, curators and filmmakers, and that’s the one that I’ve gone with, though I am slightly worried about how easy it will be to find the films.

13. Watch a film outside
It’s probably a slightly romantic notion, but I do love the idea of watching film outside. Preferably in the summer, of course, so if I can find an open air screening of something fun next year, I’ll be there.

14. Apply for a gameshow
People are always telling me I should apply for a gameshow (I know how arrogant that makes me sound, but it’s true!), and the honest truth is that I think I could probably do quite well on a couple. I had an email through about Richard Osman’s show, Two Tribes, and that’s one that I think I could probably win, given the right circumstances and a lack of nerves, so I’m going to apply with the next few days!

15. Read a graphic novel
Graphic novels and comic books intimidate me to a certain extent, because I simply don’t know where to start. I need guidance, so if anyone has any spectacular recommendations, please do send them my way.

16. Read ten novels from the Guardian top 100
Ordinarily I am not a particular fan of lists like this; I much prefer lists that are bit more specific. But I know that I don’t read enough ‘classics’, so I thought this list would be ideal to try and help me on my way. I’ll be putting everything that I haven’t read from this list into my book jar, and reading them as and when they come out.

17. Visit Highgate Cemetery
This is one that is carried over from last year’s list, and the truth of the matter is that I have made tentative plans with my sister to do this in January, and that’s why I have included it again. I hope it happens!

18. Have a photo taken with Mark Kermode
Does this one come across as slightly weird? I hope not! I have a photo with Simon Mayo, and I’ve been to two events hosted by Mark Kermode, but am yet to have a photo with him. As a devoted Wittertainee, this is just not the thing, so I’m going to be trying my hardest to attend another event in the next year, and meet Dr K and have a photo.

19. Write one letter a month to personal heroes
I realised that there are a number of people who I would love to write to, to tell them how wonderful I think they are, and including this challenge means actually making it happen! If I pull my finger out, the first one will be in November, but if I don’t, the last one will be next November.

20. Go to the London Film Festival
Of course, this doesn’t mean going to the entirety of the London Film Festival, but I want to try and go to at least one event next year. I’m always jealous when I see the tweets and blog posts rolling in, so I want to be a little part of it next year!

21. Take a trip to London without planning anything
Whenever I go to London, I plan it meticulously. Or at least, I plan lots of different things to do and then end up wandering around, trying to fit them all in. So I’m planning to head to London without anything in mind, and just see what happens.

22. Start my novel
Another one that is a hangover from last year, and the year before, and the year before that! Clearly not something I have much dedication to, but I’m hoping this is the year.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the final instalment!

33 Before 33 (Part I)

It’s finally time to unveil my 33 Before 33 list! I have been saying ‘unveil’ and ‘launch’, which I think makes it sound as though I think it’s a bigger deal than it is. But it’s just that I am really excited about it; it takes a lot of time and thought to get a list of so many things that I want to achieve throughout the year between my birthdays. As always, I am splitting the list into three, so that I can give a little bit of detail to each item without making a monstrously long post!

Date and Dateless, image courtesy of Gulan Bollsay via Creative Commons

{Part I} {Part II} {Part III}

1. Knit a blanket
I’ve been deliberately vague about this, because while I would love to knit myself a blanket, I think I will call this a win if I successfully knit a baby’s blanket. i just want to start knitting something and actually finish it, and this seems more achievable than a piece of clothing!

2. Visit Bognor Regis
I haven’t told my friend V that I am putting this on the list, but she is the sole reason that it’s here, because she lives there, has done for some time, and we are still yet to visit her. There were tentative plans to go down and stay at the Butlins there, to avoid descending on her as yet unfinished house en masse, but it didn’t happen this year, so I’m hoping we can rearrange for next year. One way or another, I’m going to Bognor!

3. Go to a Book Festival
This is another slightly vague one; while I would love to go to Hay-on-Wye, Cheltenham or Edinburgh, the chances are minimal, so I’m saying ‘Book Festival’, and will hopefully get along to at least some Essex Book Festival events again this year.

4. Read ten novels on which films are based
I was so disappointed not to complete both of my book-based challenges last time, so I’m determined that I will this time. Ideally I would like to read books for which I haven’t seen the films, so I can then follow through and watch the adaptations, but really I’m easy. I’m hoping that The Shining and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will feature here (the latter of which I read some of for university, and have always meant to go back and finish).

5. Visit ten bookshops
This was a late addition, after I read The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. It just described so many wonderful bookshops that I would love to visit, and while I know I can’t go to them all, I do want to explore the ones that are local to me. I hope I can get to ten throughout the year.

6. Visit Cambridge or Bristol
I really wanted to go to Cambridge last year as part of ‘Visit a new county’, but it didn’t happen. It’s pretty close to where I spend half my week, and Hannah wants to go too, so hopefully we’ll make it there. Alternatively, I’d like to visit Bristol, which is a lot harder, because it’s further away, and would probably necessitate an overnight stay. But it’s not entirely impossible, so we’ll see.

7. Raise £200 for charity
This was inspired by an item on Penny’s 30 Before 30 list, though she is aiming for £750. I’m not particularly experienced at the whole fundraising thing, so I thought I’d aim low and see how I go. I have a number of charities that I would like to raise money for, ones that I know would be really grateful for even the smallest amount; now I just need to start thinking of ways to do it.

8. Go on a course to learn a new skill
This is one of those things that it wouldn’t surprise me at all to get to the end of the year with it still outstanding. I really want to learn to do something new, and I have a vague idea of something that I would like to do, but I don’t know if it’s feasible yet, so I’m keeping it under my hat! I’ll probably have a little look in the new year to see if there is anything local.

9. Go on a date
Do you want to know how long I ummed and ahhed about putting this one on? A long, long time. I’m sure that it makes me seem tragic and spinsterish, but it has been a long time since I went on a date. There are two sides of my brain; one still has the fantasy that I’ll meet the person of my dreams and settle down, and the other side thinks, “Nope, that’s not going to happen for you. Ever.” But the truth of the matter is that I don’t do anything about trying to meet new people, and waiting for stuff like that to happen is probably not the best idea in the world. So while I think that a large part of ‘Go on a date’ is out of my hands, putting it on the list might encourage me to try and find opportunities where I might meet someone who might be interested enough in going out on a date, even if nothing more comes of it. And now that I’ve been as awkward as humanly possible about describing my reasons behind this one, let’s just move on…

10. Declutter
If you could see the state of my bedroom right now, you would need no convincing that decluttering is a very good idea. I usually steer clear of these open-ended kind of goals, but I felt that I needed to include this. It’s going to be the first step on a goal for 2015 of having a better, more organised life.

11. Make a book jar
I got the idea for a book jar from Bee’s blog, and I think it’s perfect for me. I toyed with the idea of filling it with my to be read books, but in the end I decided to use it for the other book challenge on this list – not the film adaptations one, another to be revealed tomorrow! Mine won’t be as pretty as Bee’s, but it’s the idea behind it that I love, and I think I’ll be ticking it off really soon!

So that’s the first eleven, and I’ll be back tomorrow with the next lot!

32 Before 32 ~ The Results

Well I’ve finally reached the point where I can round-up the final results of 32 Before 32. I am aware that it’s all I have talked about on this here blog for a while, and I do apologise if it has got tedious! It’s just that some of the things on the list only come to fruition at the end of the year, when I have a last minute rush trying to get things crossed off! Next year I’ll try and space them out more throughout the year. (I’ll inevitably fail.) I also apologise if you think that doing a big round-up is slightly redundant, but I like to finish it all up properly before I move on to the next list!


I spent a while thinking that I’d failed both of my book challenges, but as it was, I completed number 1 – Read ten non-fiction books shortly before my birthday. I’m really pleased that I managed at least one of the two, because reading is such a big part of my life! I was also massively relieved to finally cross off number 8 – Learn to play chess, because it has been on every single list I have made since I started in 2010!


Number 10 – Complete a Photo an Hour post monthly was probably the easiest one to do, because it was an ongoing one that I just had to do once a month and wait until the November one rolled around! I really liked doing it though, and I’ll be carrying on doing one a month, even though it won’t be part of a challenge in the future. Number 26 – Watch twelve films from the AFI 100 Years… 100 Laughs list had me watching a film on my birthday, as ever! It didn’t prove to me that comedy is my thing, but it did throw up a couple of films that I think of fondly, namely Broadcast News and Good Morning Vietnam.

How attractive is this image of me? Number 27 – Make a video for my blog was one that I crossed off a long time ago, right at the beginning of the year, and while it wasn’t the most professional video you’re ever likely to watch, I was quite proud of it. I made a second one, that I also like, but that is far too long, and I like to think I’ll make some more in the future, but we’ll see.


I’m so glad that I included number 30 – Go to Broadcasting House for a tour, because I actually did it, and it was such good fun. I’m thinking about doing it again next year, with my sister, because it really is a lot of fun, and I do so enjoy looking out for famous people. I really do. And finally, as I wrote about very recently, I was very pleased to tick off number 32 – Do something awesome for my birthday. It won’t go on next year’s list, but I’m now dedicated to making sure that my birthday isn’t rubbish, because it makes me feel too awful.

So there you have it, I crossed off a paltry seven items out of 32! Not great, but I’m pleased with the ones that did get crossed off. I’ve been working hard on my 33 Before 33 list (to be unveiled this week), and I’m trying to make sure that they are more easily achievable than last year’s bunch.

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