To The Birthday Girl : Maycie is 4

Where on earth have the last 4 years gone? It honestly feels like the blink of an eye since I looked down and my massive belly and happily told everyone that I was pleased you were showing no signs of being born today as I didn’t want you being the youngest in your class at school and I was happy that I’d have you at home to myself for a whole extra year. Little did I know that a few hours later you’d make your very speedy entry into the world, all 8lb 12.5lb of you.

This past year you have been at nursery in the mornings and you have really enjoyed every minute, you have made some lovely friends and are turning into a confident little girl with an amazing imagination. Your end of school report was a pleasure to read and I’m pleased that you have made such a positive impression on your teachers.

Your love of animals has really developed this year and you show kindness and compassion to all animals big and small, you even show concern over the fat slugs and snails that come into our house, you make me promise I will take them back out to their family. Mummy and Daddy wanted to develop your passion for animals and so far you have loved having the chickens, you are always out in the garden with them but you can’t understand why they can’t come inside for a cuddle. Your favourite present today has been your guinea pigs, so far called Salem and Frank, but your shopkins have come a close second.
Art is another one of your favourite things to do and you love to write in your planners like mummy, you do everything with your left hand and that sometimes confuses you when writing your name and you write it backwards, but thats OKAY we’re working on that. You can count really high and know most of the letters in the alphabet, you really cannot wait to be in reception in September so that you can start learning to read properly.

Out of the 3 of you, you probably like rugby the least, you go every week and you look forward to it, you play all of the games up to tag rugby and then you would rather come and sit with me or run around with a ball, and thats perfectly OKAY, we try and encourage you to do what you love and what makes you happy.

I have had the best day today with you my beautiful girl, we might not have a big family but who we do have make our lives even more amazing. I hope you lots of lovely memories from today.

Love from Mummy.


Chicken Escapades

Just about as far away from planning and organising as I can get with todays post, well I suppose it actually does have a tedious link there somewhere seeing as I’ve been writing my 5 year plan and the main part to that plan is to own a farm! I shall explain all…

.. we have been talking for a while about adding some chickens to our family, we have researched them and have spoken to some local people who keep chickens themselves. Our vision for keeping the chickens went something along the lines of dancing out to the hutch every morning with a straw basket in hand and plucking fresh free range eggs from the nesting boxes, scattering handfuls of chicken feed around the garden for them to graze upon during their day and having them come running to the children for a pet and a cuddle… we are 3 days in and its nothing like that ha!

We purchased the Coop from eBay for £89.99 + £1.99 delivery, it came flat packed and really was simple to put together, we purchased all the straw from a local company who delivers to your door. The chickens we purchased from Durham Hens who had been recommended to us by one of Trevor’s friends. On the drive over we discovered that the sat nav isn’t always right after it literally tried to take us across the country, we ended up down a really tight lane that ended up impassable, It felt more of a quest from The Lord of The Rings than chicken picking but we had a laugh once we’d managed to turn the car around and find the correct path.

The children picked and named their own hen and settled them in to their new house, we didn’t expect any eggs for a while, the hens are 22 weeks and we were told they would be ready to lay any day but it can take a few days for them to settle into new surroundings. Trevor only managed one hour of leaving them in their new house before he went and peeked, he was so excited to see they had laid 2 eggs, I’m not sure now who we brought them for!

Watch our chicken escapades so far, from coop building to egg collecting.




Confessions of a Plannerholic : Dissapointing Purchases


For someone who hops between a shopaholic and a skin flint there is no wonder that I suffer from buyers remorse on pretty much every purchase I make, it usually kicks in as soon as the transaction appears on the bank statement and disappears when the postman knocks at the door with the package, unless the husband is in to see it arrive and then I have to play the parcel down as “work supplies” or something along those lines which kills the buzz a bit.

I’m an impulse buyer so I rarely research anything and my decision is usually based on what will arrive the quickest (I buy a lot from Amazon just to use Prime) which means if I am pondering 2 planners and 1 is available with next day delivery on Prime, even if I like it slightly less, thats the one that is getting ordered.

As far as actual disappointment in a product goes the only thing that springs to mind was my very first purchase of a brand new Erin Condren Life Planner, which I previously blogged and vlogged about, but the issues I had were resolved quite quickly and efficiently and I am still using and loving the planner.

With all the hype, that Kikki K arriving in the UK brought, I think I was expecting to hear Angels singing or bells chiming, maybe a few butterflies flying out of the box when I ordered my large yellow planner but when it arrived there was nothing outstanding in the box, just a lovely planner… does that count as disappointment?

I hope you have enjoyed reading this, please go and check out the other ladies in the series and if you have any suggestions for topics we’d love to hear them.

Peace and Love

Michelle aka Ugly Bug

Katy Evans – YouTube

Kelly Vizma

Emma Smith –

Vicky Buckley –

Jo Whight –

Emma Hinks  –


Plan My Week : #36

I am super excited about this week, I have managed to round all orders up and clear my schedule for the whole week. This means I can concentrate on the children and enjoy the last week of their holidays. It’s Maycie’s birthday week so we are going to make it a super special one!

We have some new additions to the house (well garden) this week, chickens, so I made some cute stickers to track how many eggs and any behaviour/activities.

Seeing as it’s the beginning of September it had to be a Harry Potter week to mark all the Wizards going off to Hogwarts, and seeing as the children will be back at school soon I will be back to using my daily planner as well as my Erin Condren.

I have been thinking about goal setting and habit tracking for September and I’m really going to try and get back to a routine… But there will be a whole post about that later this week.

Thanks for reading
Michelle aka Ugly Bug


Papergang : August Stationery Subscription Box

Price £9.95 + £1.95 p&p

Available monthly or as a rolling subscription, you can earn free boxes by referring people using your own unique links.

Click here to purchase your own box

Click here to watch my unboxing/review on youtube.

Wowsers, Papergang you little gems, this is how you do a stationery subscription correctly!! After last months subscription box left me debating my subscription, this months has wowed me again!! It seems I like the “themed” boxes and my stationery senses atingle when all the goodies match and co-ordinate…. well thats no shocker really haha.

So… this month… wanna know whatcha get?

The sleeve of the box is a funky, marbled, galaxy looking, navy blue and comes as always with an origami shape. This month everything is wrapped in a couple of sheets of red tissue paper.

The first thing I noticed was the amazing A4 quarter bound notebook, it has the same stunning colour as the box sleeve and has rose gold detailing to the cover and the edges of the pages. The paper is thick and feels a really good quality, one side is lined and the other plain, its too nice to use yet so i haven’t tested it with any pens (and will probably hoard this for a while before I actually use it). I’m not sure what steals the show this or the rose gold metallic wash tape. I tested the tape as I find it really hard to find metallic washi, they are usually either too sticky and leave residue or they don’t stick at all, this is perfect! There is also a September calendar card and a greeting card which is blank on the inside.

I absolutely love this months box.


Review : School Uniforms, Coats and Shoes : Tesco, Asda, Wynsors

I feel I need to start this post off by saying two things… 1) I paid full price for all items in this review, I haven’t been asked to provide this review and received no payment. All opinions are my own. 2) I’ve finished uniform shopping… Net ner Kerr ner ner *does smarty pants dance*

I always do the majority of the school uniform shopping online as I can never find the right sizes in the shops. This year I had pre-saved the money for their uniforms and decided that I’d order it early so I could relax knowing it was all brough! I had looked at Matalan as I love their clothes but they came out quite a bit more expensive than Tesco and I struggled with the sizes I needed.

Both Maycie and Frazer are in full time school in September and Eadie will go up to nursery in November, so for now I only needed to worry about the older 2. I do have bits and pieces left over from last year but I like them to start the year with 4 sets of outfits each.

For Maycie I brought 4 cardigans, 4 pinafore dresses, a pack of 5 white polo shirts, a pack of tights and a pack of socks all from Tesco. The dresses are excellent quality and fantastic value for money, the sizes are pretty spot on, I ordered her a 4/5 year olds and it fits her nicely with a bit of growing room , even though she won’t be 4 until the end of the month I do think they will fit her until the end of the year. The cardigans are £3 each and have lovely details on the trim, they are quite thin but do wear really well and don’t go out of shape. The polo shirts are £5 for a pack of 5 which is amazing value, again this is the same as we had last year and they wash really well without stretching or going out of shape.

Frazer is a typical boy and loves to be outside climbing trees and sliding on his knees so his uniform is really put to the test. Last year his trousers really held up to the test and apart from needing reheaming they needed no maintenance at all, I think the reinforced knees helped so I was really keen to buy the same this year but I could only find them in grey so went for that. They come in a 2 pack for £6 and have the elastic on both sides of the waist band to adjust them even down to fit Frazers skinny waist. I decided on pullover type jumpers rather than sweatshirts this term as they had the navy blue rather than the royal blue which I found stained really easily. They do feel thin, which will be a bonus for fitting under a coat in the winter, the ones I purchased were £3 each.

Because my order was over the minimum spend my delivery was free to my home and it arrived within a couple of days.

I like the children to have a thick “school” coat which they can get mucky and then a “posh” coat for weekends and Asda is fantastic value! The girls chose their own coats and decided on matching, they are shower proof and feel lovely and thick and warm, they come with attached mittons which will probably be lost by September 7th but look lovely for now. I ordered a 3-4 year £14 and 4-5 £16 Asda is one of the l few shops I’ve found which sell the “between” sizes, most other places sell 3-4 then 5-6 years old and I really struggle to find a nice fit for both the girls. Frazer opted for a navy blue coat which feels just as warm and has reflective patches on the back £16. Again delivery was free as I spent over the threshold and they arrived within 4 days of ordering.

The last thing we had to buy was shoes, I knew Eadie had a growth spurt as her size 6 trainers we brought her a few months back feel too small, so we took the children to Wynsors in Stockton. We were both really impressed with the range of items they sold, they cater for all budgets with school shoes starting at aroun £7 right up to Kickers and a few other top brands. We’d been in the shop all of 20 seconds when Maycie set her heart on a paid of leather “dolly” shoes with a strap across the top and pink flashing lights that you can turn off and on, at £16 they feel thick and sturdy and she loves them. Frazer was so much more difficult and we had a debate in the shop before deciding on some Velcro strapped shoes £8 for when he goes back and a pair of “monkey boots” £14 for when the winter weather sets in.

We also managed to pick up a pink book bag for Marcie £1.50 and a drawstring bag for Eadie £1.50 which are excellent value for money. My purse is no longer crying and I can relax for the last 2 weeks of the holidays, well until I try them on them and they don’t fit that it!


What do I want to be when I grow up? : My 5 year plan!

I always thought that one day I would wake up and I would know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I’d find a job or a course that I’m in love with and I’d be able to make a decent wage doing it. I studied Business and Marketing in 6th form, which I unfortunately never completed. I’ve had roles in Management, Human Resources and Finance and, although I have loved all my jobs, I never loved them enough or had the opportunity to turn them into a lifelong career.

Earlier this year I found a Graphic Design course at the New College in Durham and I applied, was interviewed and accepted onto the Foundation Degree. At my interview we spoke about career options and what the 2 year course would involve, I came away disappointed. My children are still small and I didn’t know if I would be able to commit to the work experience.

So now I’m back to the big question of “What do I want to be when I grow up?” at the grand age of 34 years old, I’m torn between Business and Finance and IT (although this is just because I want to be Felicity Smoak.


I actually spent most of last night pondering this topic and eventually I decided to give in to sleep and to ask my dreams to guide me… seems my “guardian angel” is an arse.. I had dreams of working in the local coop all night, thanks twat!!

This morning I have had a whats app conversation with fellow blogger and soon to be mature student Emma over at The Stationery Geekette about how she chose her course that she starts in September and while having the conversation with her an email came through from a blogger, Emma who I used to know when I lived in Cyprus,  which had her update on her 5 year plan. Everything tied in and I decided to write this post and set my own 5 year plan seeing as we actually have one now!

These are the questions I asked myself (the first one is totally stolen from Emma’s blog, thanks chick):

Where were you 5 years ago?

I had a 2 month old baby and we were in the process of shutting down ur business in the UK and relocating to Cyprus, we wanted to be closer to both sets of parents and we wanted a better life for ourselves and our son.

Where will you be living in 5 years?

On a farm, in the North East of England. A small farm with enough land to have a couple of horses, some chickens and enough freedom for the kids to play outside from dawn to dusk without worry!

What Job will you be doing?

I hope that Ugly Bug Does is still running and going from strength to strength, I hope to still be blogging and Vlogging and to have a bigger audience on both. I’d like to be working full time in either business or finance, maybe even as a CFO! Trevor will have his own business fully set up and will hopefully be at the stage where he employs staff.

What 5 things are most important to you right now?

  • The health of myself and my family
  • That my children have a safe and happy childhood
  • That I am a positive influence
  • That we work together to set and accomplish life goals
  • The growth of my business

Top 5 Business goals:

  • Ugly Bug Does grows and the monthly kits sell out, I find UK sellers to contribute and make them more amazing every month.
  • To learn as much as I can about Adobe so that I can take designing to the next level and finally have punk unicorns on my planners
  • To be earning a full time income while working around my family.
  • For Ugly Bug Does to be a known and respected business in the planner community.
  • To be in a position where I can be a positive influence on new businesses and help them to start up and grow.

Top 5 Family goals:

  • To have happy and healthy children
  • For our family time to be quality time
  • To have 1 foreign holiday and 1 caravan holiday a year
  • To take more educational trips and days out
  • For my children to have lots of interests and hobbies and to have a passion for learning

Top 5 personal goals:

  • To be at a comfortable in my body, to not worry about whats on the scales but focus on health and fitness instead
  • To continue playing rugby and to continually better myself within the sport
  • To get back to being organised, I need to plan my time between work and family better, i need to stick to a schedule for cleaning and write daily To Do lists to stick to
  • To learn to “let things go” life is too short to sweat the small stuff
  • To be more confident in my abilities and decisions

So there it is, I’m excited at what the next 5 years brings but also sad that in 5 years time my children will be 10, 9 and 8 and will no longer be babies 😦



Unorganised Chaos 

I never though the school holidays would have things so out of whack, although my children are still small and very demanding I really thought we’d stick to a schedule and I’d still be able to keep my work/life balance. Frazer has just finished reception so he’s been full time for a year and the girls have been in on mornings, I’ve perfected the art of prioritising my To Do lists to fit my more important tasks into the 3 hours the girls ar at school, usually going to the gym, working on orders and anything else which I find hard to do when they are here.

Maybe I was slightly more than naive when I pictured the mornings dancing round the house armed with dusters, toys out perfectly back in place the second they are finished with and three children content with a paper and pencils while mummy works at her desk!

Reality has been somewhat different, I’m struggling by on the minimal amount of house work to keep a TV show like grime busters away and I’m taking a day or 2 longer to get all order out the door.

One thing I have managed to do is to buy all the children’s uniforms, including coats, shoes, socks, tights and bags. I may have cheated and done most of it online but I’m going to allow myself a smug dance anyway.

How do you manage to keep organised through the holidays? Do you stick to schedules or do everything go to pot like me 🙂

Peace and love

Michelle  aka Ugly Bug


Plan My Week : 15/08/16

Instead of filming a Plan With Me video for YouTube this week I decided that I’d only blog about it and will probably stick with this for the next couple of weeks… coincidence that this coincides with the kids going back to school and me having time to film and edit or a move to save my sanity for the last few weeks of the holidays? Either way it means I can plan as and when I need to and not go off the rails too much.

So this week I am expecting to be out and about a lot with the children so as well as planning in my ECLP, which stays at home on my desk, I have entered everything on my personal Paperchase inserts which live in my Red Zipped Pennybridge which serves as my every day purse, I usually keep the next 4 weeks in my Pennybridge and I remove previous weeks so that it doesn’t become too big and bulky. This system works really well for me, as long as I remember to update both planners everyday.


I decided to try and co-ordinate both planners this week by using only these three sheets in both planners and I am overjoyed that it worked, with plenty of stickers left over.

I tend to write more detail in my Erin Condren Life Planner as there is usually more space and any flyers, info sheets or appointment letters which correspond to appoints arena the back folder section, making it easier for me to refer back to them for more details if I need them.


I’e gone for a simple and fresh look this week as the stickers are dark and have a glitter effect so I didn’t want the page becoming too dark. IMG_5631.JPGIMG_5632.JPG

As I use this planner as my purse I have decided to keep track of any spends here, it seems logical to me and I’m going to try to update it at point of payment.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this blog Vs my normal PMW video.

Peace and Love

Michelle (aka Ugly Bug)


Brutally Honest Confessions : My Teenage Years


When we first started this series we agreed that we’d cover any topics put to us and that we would cover them honestly, boy am I regretting that with this weeks topic, to say I was a “handful” in my teenage years would be a drastic understatement. Although I am a firm believer in living your life without regrets, embracing the decisions and life choices we make as they help us to grow and learn and become better people, I often look back on my teenage years and which I had done things slightly differently.

My first 2 years of senior school I was a bit of a swot, I loved to read and learn and joined every sporting team, I loved long distance running and ran cross country for my school and the district, I also represented my school for the 1500 and 3000 meters in any events we entered into. I also played hockey and netball for the team for a short while. I had a great group of friends who lived locally to me and we all “hung out” after school and at weekends.

The I hit the third year, year 9, and I discovered boys.. or more to the point they discovered me, or my boobs!! I had a growth spurt which left me “well endowed” in the boob region and although I was more of an athletic build running left my legs toned and muscular and very on show in the short school skirts which we all chose to wear. Now I have painted myself as quite a harlot, I wasn’t, in fact much the opposite, I was actually quite naive when it came to boys and boyfriends and didn’t have my first proper boyfriend until I was 16.

Unfortunately the legs and boobs made me look a lot older than I actually was and meant that I could go out drinking at 15, this is probably the only part of my teenage years that I regret, “clubbing” became the focus of the weekend, which in turn became the focus of the week, we spent all week planning the weekend and which pubs and clubs we’d go to. At the time none of us had jobs so we would drink cheap alcohol whilst getting ready……anyone for a MD20/20, White lightening or Diamond White… BORK!!! We thought we were having fun, getting mortal drunk and making fools of ourselves, we thought we were grown up… I wish I had realised that there would be plenty more years of “nights out” to come.

When we turned 15/16 a few of my friends had left school due to pregnancy, the town I grew up in actually had one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the country at the time. I was still running for the district and In May the year i turned 15 we left school. I actually pulled some alright-ish GCSE’s and shocked my teachers, despite having played truant most of the years 10 & 11. Looking back now I’m not sure what made me play truant from school, I hated the discipline and school bored me, I coolant stand the repetition of going over the same things and only a few teachers in a few subjects could engage me and keep me there, It got to the stage where teachers would simply let me leave class if i wanted too as i was more of a disruption there than when I was away. I’m certainly not proud of the way I behaved in school and without a doubt if I could go back I would do things so differently.

Not only had my results shocked the teachers but my decision to stay on in 6th form and study business studies left them stunned, and I must admit I loved 6th form, I loved the course and the freedom of studying at my own pace.

While in 6th form I took a Saturday job in a new sports store in town, I loved working, I’m a grafter and worked any shifts I could, I loved the money at the end of every month and the sense of pride knowing I had earned it myself. I couldn’t see the woods through the trees and gave up 6th form to take on a full time supervisor roll in my store. I watched all the other “Saturday staff” leave for college or University without regret, I never knew what I wanted to do for a career and couldn’t imagine studying for 5 years for a job I was unsure i’d be happy in. However I did complete my NVQ levels 2 & 3 in customer services and retail management and went on to compete other courses such as “Train the Trainer” I had found a passion for staff training, admin and leadership and quickly worked myself up in the management team.

If I could go back to visit myself as a 13 year old I would tell her that everything WILL work out to be ok, you’ll never change anyone else opinion of yourself and it really doesn’t matter what they think of you… so wear that top if you like it, even if your friends don’t, experiment with your own style, dance to your own music and make each and every day your greatest…. ohh and I’d probably give myself a little shake for thinking I was fat..!!

Please stop by and check out Emma’s heartfelt confession on this topic this week, if you would like to join in with this series or have any topics you’d like to hear us confess to then please get in contact, we’d love to hear from you.

Peace and Love

Michelle  (aka Ugly Bug)