Category Archives: AllStars

AllStars Guest Post: Fit-o-fax by Zoe

Yeeesss!!!!! Continuing with the Philofaxy AllStars Guest Post Tour, I have another guest starring on my blog! 
Zoe from The Zeitgeist of Zoe is here to show us her fit-o-fax juiciness! Let’s get in shape, peeps! 😀


Rememberwhen I was in that pink Filofax buying frenzy and I bought both the Personal and A5 Deep Pink Domino’s with the intent to use one of them as a fitness planner?  Well, the dog has been called, the day has come and the Fit-ofax is finally up and running!

Originally, I was doing Weight Watchers and had intended to use my new Fit-ofax to track that (food & exercise point daily summary only & the rest using WW online), and my intent was to use the Personal size Domino.

However, I was recently looking through some old photos and realized that the fittest I have ever been was when I was on Body for Life (BfL) back in 2001, so I decided to switch to that program instead.

(I won’t go into the details of the program; if you want to check it out further you can go to for more information)

Thing is, BfL involves tracking a LOT more than just one’s daily points, and there is no “app for that”, so it’s pretty much all pen to paper. They do sell a “BfL Success Journal” for that very purpose, but we are Filofax people…we don’t need no stinkin’ Success Journals!

BfL is much more workout intensive and just more specific all around than Weight Watchers. There are a total of 4 daily log sheets; one for eating, one for your upper body workout, one for cardio, and the last for your lower body workout. And the items tracked for each respective daily eating plan & workout would never in a zillion years fit, in a visible/usable manner, on a Filofax personal size page.

The A5, however, proved to be an ideal size : )

I set about using MS Excel templates for each log sheet and customizing them for A5 paper. I then printed out one month’s worth, trimmed & hole punched them and placed them in my A5 Fit-ofax, along with some tabs to keep everything…say it with me...organized.

Only say it like RenHoek. Say it, “Orrrrrrrrganized”, as if you were a Chihuahua who speaks like Peter Lorre.

Good. Thank you.

Anyway, all that trimming and hole punching struck me as kind of a lot of work, given that I will have to do a new set of refills each month (a total of 60-62 pages depending on the length of the month) and given that the $70 Filofax A5 hole puncher will only do one page at a time and requires you to take it apart and empty it, like, every five seconds…but anyway, one thing at a time, and here are the results to date:
oh SNAP!

I’ll probably sticker this baby up more as we go along, but for now I think this one says it all ; )

In the bin, I had plain old, boring Filofax blank tabs, but I had used them before and they had writing on them. This tweaked my OCD big time, so I cut up some colorful tabs I had bought for that Studio C notebook I scored for free at Staples a couple weeks ago (which sadly were too narrow to use on their own) and glued them to the FF tabs. Not ideal, but enough to quiet the Type A twitching for now.

Body for Life has two key elements; Eating for Life (EfL) and Training for Life (TfL). Behind my first tab, “efl info” (eating for life info) are a couple key pages from the book pertaining to how to carry out the eating program. Any recipes or other informational food related items I decide to add later will ultimately go here as well.

Though, I don’t know who I’m kidding with the recipe bit, because we all know I don’t cook…
my 1st three tabs: “efl info”, “tfl info” and “efl track”
behind the 1st tab, “efl info” are copies of sheets from the Body for Life book on the eating program
Tab #2, “tfl info” (training for life info) similarly holds key informational pages from the book on the workout component of the program. Any good articles from Fitness magazines, or other training info I come across will find a home behind this tab.

can you BELIEVE this workout schedule? boy, am i gonna be buff or what?!

Next come the Tracking tabs:

* “efl track” (eating for life tracking) is where my daily food logs are located.

as you can see, on the left you PLAN what you are going to eat & when and on the right you record your actual food intake

* “upper” has the tracking logs for the upper body workout
again, first you PLAN your workout in the left column & record what you actually do on the right

* “cardio” has, as you may have guessed, the cardio log sheets same deal…plan it out on the left, record what you do on the right. i did not “prettify” the cardio tab because, to be honest, once i get the hang of the intervals i probably won’t record more than the fact that i did the workout for the day & this tab will go away

* “lower”…I bet you already know what’s behind this one, you smarty pants.

blah, blah, blah…plan the workout on the left, record what you did on the right

After all that, I found I had plenty of room for the Week on Two Pages inserts that came with the Domino, so September through December 2012 weekly pages are located at the very back behind a Transparent Flyleaf.

At this point, I am thinking I will track general things here, like any supplements I take, my mood, the weather…and best of all STICKERS!!!!!

Gotta have stickers : )

I’m all jazzed up to start my program on Monday August 27th, so stay tuned for progress reports and maybe, if I’m brave, some pictures.

(Don’t hold your breath for pictures though, seriously!)

One more thing I thought of today (but didn’t feel it was worth holding up the blog post in order to complete) is to find a cheap-o, used copy of the Body for Life book on Amazon with the intent to take it to Staples and have them cut out the Exercise Guide, which has about 20 pages of photos & descriptions for the exercise techniques, and trim/punch them to include in the Fit-ofax.

I’m sure eventually I will get the hang of the exercises, but it’s a good idea to switch things up every 8 weeks or so to prevent plateaus, and having the different options for each muscle group right in my Fit-ofax for quick reference would be wicked cool.

There you have it, the much anticipated, long awaited Fit-ofax. What do you think?!


I love it Zoe! You are rocking all around and I need to get going on my fitness as well! 
Thanks for such an inspiring post on my blog! 🙂



AllStars Guest Post: Agatha Christie Challenge

Hello Dear Readers!

I am SO honored to have my very first guest featured on this blog as a part of the Philofaxy All Start Team!!!!

I couldn’t be more pleased to have a book addict talking all about her life-long love for Agatha Christie! Hercule Poirot was a constant and vivid presence throughout many years of my life and her post brought many warm cozy feelings back 🙂

***Ladies & Gentleman I present you ——– drum rolls, please ——> Helen from Fennell Books:


Firstly I want to say thank you to Lime Tree for hosting my guest post, it is lovely to be invited to contribute to someone else’s blog. I have a little bit of an Agatha Christie obsession. Just a small one you understand, I wouldn’t go so far as to re-enact any of the story lines, just so we are clear.
I first became aware of Agatha Christie when I was around ten years old. The fantastic BBC series, Miss Marple, starring Joan Hickson was being broadcast, and the English village setting was not dissimilar to where I lived. I was instantly hooked, and borrowed as many Christie books from the library as I could. By the time I went to university I had probably read about half of the eighty or so crime novels she had written, and then as I was busy with studying, my reading dropped off significantly.

Fast forward a decade or so to 2009, I started a book blog, and my Great Agatha Christie Challenge.  I am lucky enough to own a complete set of Agatha Christie books, some of which are beautiful first editions, so I decided that I was going to read all of them in order of publication, and blog about them.
I have now read the first seventeen books, some of which are novels and some are short story collections. When I set out on this reading adventure, I had assumed I would be in for a binge on standard Christie fare: Tea and cakes at the vicarage and murder at the village fete. What I hadn’t expected was to appreciate Christie’s character development, and also a really interesting social commentary.

I started with her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. We meet Poirot and Hastings for the first time. What struck me was how horrible Poirot is to Hastings. There is a real feel of Sherlock Holmes about him, which definitely softens over subsequent books. We all know Poirot has a big ego, but I hadn’t realised just how mean he was at the outset. Later books see Poirot starting to appreciate his friend’s qualities, including his loyalty and bravery. Christie starts with very one dimensional characters, the focus was all on the quality of the puzzle and clues, but quite quickly within a half dozen or so stories, she starts to flesh out the regular characters and gives them more depth. This helps the reader feel more involved and the books start to become more than just a fun riddle to solve.
The most interesting aspect of my wander through Christie’s world is how the social backdrop changes. Most of her books are set in the English upper classes, with many discussions over dinner, games of bridge and afternoon tea. As the characters chat together about the crimes committed, their assumptions about what the motive might be change. In the early books we see revenge and money being the prime motives, and then it moves on to suspecting strangers, probably due to the turmoil of the war. In later books psychopaths become a popular topic of conversation as ideas around the science of the mind are coming to the fore.  In some ways the books are a record of the massive changes that Britain saw in the early years of the 20thcentury through to the 1960s.

Ruth Rendell said of Christie stories “None of the plots could possibly happen in real life. And yet when we read her it doesn’t seem to matter, because we’re in Christieland”. And that is really the point, the joy is in the who-dunnit, and the added extras are just bonuses.

Tea anyone?


I will have a sip 🙂

Thank you so much Helen!