Goals for 2018

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I rarely make my yearly resolutions or goals public.  I normally think about some things I’d like to do, maybe I’ll write them out but then I’ll just see where the year takes me. I really don’t mind doing that and have quite enjoyed going with the flow.  However this year is going to see some big changes in my life and I think I need to introduce some forethought and planning into my year if I want to come out of the other side still feeling like myself.

In June we are expecting our first baby and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given so far is to try and continue living life the way you want to.  If you enjoy travel, travel with the baby. If you like eating out, you can take the baby along! Knowing myself if I don’t push myself to get up and get out of the house, I’ll just laze around all day and do nothing and that’s not good for me or the baby.  So I’ve set myself 8 goals for the year.  I’ve been fairly kind to myself I think, but still tried to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

1. I’d like to read 50 books*.  I did this in 2016 without too much trouble so lets give it another shot.

2. Visit 3 new places.  I’ve left this fairly vague for a reason, practically speaking I’m not going to be jetting off to new countries this year with a big baby belly or a tiny tot in toe.
But England is a beautiful country and one that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen very little of. Closer to home even, I’ve really seen very little of Norfolk and East Anglia so I need to plan some weekend trips out!

3. Sew an item of clothing.  I know how to sew, and I know how to sew clothes.  I made a dress for the evening do at my wedding so I know I can make things I like wearing and want to do this more.  But this item of clothing doesn’t have to be for me.  Maybe a tiny baby bonnet is all I’ll manage this year but that’s OK too.

4. Learn a new skill.  Again a fairly vague one but there’s a whole year for me to figure out something new I’d like to learn!

5. Do something new every week.  I work part time and so unless I make plans to do things my free time can end up being wasted.  I don’t feel like I push myself out of my comfort zone enough and what to try and make sure that I don’t waste my last few months of child freeness. When baby is here I’m sure there will be a ton of new things I’ll be doing.

6. Blog and Vlog more.  I’d like to pick up my YouTube channel again and get back into the good blogging habits I started at the end of last year. Lets see!

These next two are things I’d like to do BB (Before Baby)

7. Declutter.  We’re about to introduce a small human and all its associated paraphernalia into our home… There’s not a lot of space.

8. Do a waste free month.  This ones going to need a bit more thought but we actually throw away very little general waste so what can I do to reduce that even more?  This one really excites me and will probably come with a bunch of blog posts and videos *fingers crossed*

*I’m going to do a YouTube video about my reading goals for the year.  Got a few prompts for myself.

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Autumn Bucket List

I’ve seen a lot of people doing a kind of seasonal bucket list and I really like the idea.  It can be really easy to miss out on the changing seasons, what with work and life taking up so much time.  Having a small list of things you’d really like to do and planning time to do them is a great way to ensure you really appreciate your time.  It can be so easy to make no plans and waste a weekend or day off.  Here’s my Autumn to-do list!

  1. Have a snuggle picnic.  I totally made up the name of this. I wanted to go for a picnic during the summer and never did.  So I’d like to pack up loads of blankets and cushions and snuggle up in a park with an autumnal picnic!
  2. Bake Parkin and/or Gingerbread. Parkin is a traditionally northern English cake or biscuit.  Like gingerbread but made with black treacle.  Perfect for nibbling around a bonfire.
  3. Go fruit picking. Any Norwich based folks with tips on where to pick fruit hit me up!
  4. Have a dinner Party. For me, Autumn feels like the perfect time to fill your house with friends and delicious food.
  5. Carve a Pumpkin. Ok so it’s cliche but I do love carving pumpkins and it lends itself perfectly to my last one…
  6. Make pumpkin pie (and make mum try it). I love pumpkin pie and it shocks me that my mother has never had it. (although that would explain why I never had any until my 20s).  This year I’ll be sure to get mum to try some.  This is my favourite recipe


It’s taken me to the end of this list to see that I obviously like food in Autumn…. All food based!

What’s on your Autumn bucket list?

Favourites September Edition – Summer Memories

This summer brought with it a lot of change and a lot of excitement. Of course my birthday should be the highlight of summer for everyone around me, but this year we had other things to celebrate.

Since I’ve been married I have been sharing my husband with another being.  I think it’s fair to call it a being because it’s taken up so much of his time and energy, has caused us excitements, stresses and disappointments. This summer my husband finished his PhD and is now officially Dr Mundy.  We attended his graduation in Manchester and it felt like some kind of birth/funeral hybrid. 


This trip also brought with it another excitement, driving. Earlier in the year I passed my driving test (second try, all the best drivers pass second time).  We bought an old car from a work friend and the 5 hour drive from Norwich to Derbyshire was the first long drive I made.  I had to do all the driving, it was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. 

We moved house (again. We have lived in a different house for every year we have been married). Moving brought us closer to our allotment from which we got our first (and last) harvest! We’ll still be eating the potatoes at Christmas.  We also abandoned the idea of an allotment in favour of a container garden.

Plus there was A LOT of great coffees and brunches with Laura from Rose and Weston. More of that in Autumn please!

My Hair – A Love Hate Relationship

I think it’s fairly safe to say that at some point everyone gets a hair cut, or a colour (or maybe just wakes up one day with hair) that they hate. I pretty much live in a constant state of hair hate.  I might like it for a little while but I get bored or I change shampoo and suddenly my hair does nothing the same as it used too.

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When I was young my hair was straight, I normally wore it in a bob with a fringe or long and shapeless, all in all it was OK hair.  It’s always been very fine, but generally speaking there was nothing wrong with it .  When I was about 12 I took myself along to the hairdresser and thus began my hair issues.  I had about 3 or 4 inches off and without that extra weight my hair sprang into some kind of wavy, kinky mess.  I think I saw people from school on my way home and they laughed at me, never before had anyone laughed at me for my hair so I knew it was dreadful.  Truth be told, looking back now, it wasn’t that bad, I just didn’t know what to do with it. After years of washing and air drying with no issues I now had to put thought into it. I survived this haircut by scraping it back into a ponytail and ignoring it.  (I won’t talk about the time I crimped it for the school disco… people who didn’t go asked if it was true I really had an afro…)

It wasn’t until I was 16 or so that I really started to think more about my hair.  There had been a few bobs and fringes, but up until I hit my Emo phase I just let it do what it wanted.

Emo brought with it very short hair with a long fringe, black hair dye, lots of product and for a short time, a bright red fringe.  In a lot of way this was some of my favourite hair times.  Keeping it short and messy meant there was very little for me to do with it.  Maybe run a straightener over the fringe, but that’s about it. Only thing I didn’t enjoy was my hairdresser telling me the photo I’d brought in was of a boy and did I know that… And did I still want the haircut? Maybe some pretty layers instead, with a bit of feathering?

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This opened the way to keeping my hair pretty short through my late teens and early twenties, and a particular favourite of mine was my platinum pixie cut. I’d have that back in a shot if I still had the face shape for it!

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My latest trick is growing out my fringe just to cut it back in as soon as it’s reach the right length.  On occasion I even cut it myself, I think I got pretty good at it.  I’m currently in the growing out stage, having returned to the bob with fringe look, again.

The most recent disappointment was when bleaching it straighten out some really lovely curls I was just getting the hang of.  And of course I got bored of the blonde and home dyed it ginger, which I also got bored of and dyed it, what was supposed to be brown but turned out red.

I’ve had some great hair ideas, I thought about rainbow coloured hair. For a while I wanted some kind of mermaid blue/green wavy look.  I’ve thought about and actually attempted to dye the underside of my hair green… I do sometimes consider just shaving it all of but I’m scared I might have a weird head.

Cliche time… It’s just hair! It grows back!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned and I’m sure will continue learning it’s that it really doesn’t matter what you do. It will grow back,  and if things get really bad there are some fantastic wigs out there.

 

Favourites: July Edition

For my July favourites I want to focus on my favourite household objects.  More specifically my favourite objects in my favourite room.


We have recently moved house and are working our way through the rooms getting them just the way we like them.  The first room was my dressing room / office, I might do a post on that another time.  We are just putting the final touches to the living room, this is the room that’s quickly become my favourite.

We don’t have a TV (we watch a lot of Netflix and DVDs) so we normally just load whatever we want to watch up on a laptop.  Our living room is very minimal and I love that your eye isn’t drawn to a massive black rectangle as soon as you step in.

For our anniversary we bought ourselves a new radio/CD player/Bluetooth speaker system.  We are in love with it, it looks really sleek and a bit retro and is super simple to use and set up.  The sound quality is great and it comes with a whole load of features like an alarm and a sleep timer that we’ve not really looked into yet.

We have a lot of green in our lives. Hubby’s parents recently adopted our cats and since then we have felt a real lack of life in the house – plants are the next best thing to pets I think. They lift your mood and they can be interesting to watch grow and change.  They will fill the four legged gap until we are ready to welcome a new fur baby into our lives.

I’m a knitter, and, as such, I make many many blankets, cushions and sometimes foot stools!  Knitted fabric is a wonderful texture and when it’s a nice colourful pattern it can be a real feature in your room, we have a table/basket (we got ours from IKEA) that holds all our blankets when it’s too hot for them.

Everyone loves a candle, right? I particularly like The White Company for candles. At the moment we have Ocean Tide.

We are planning to add a chair and a coffee table to this room and then it’s done done done!

What’s your favourite room and why? Let me know down below!

 

What do I keep by my bed?

As I was getting into bed I knocked over a large pile of things, which made me realise quite how much I dump in the floor.

   
 At the moment I have a stack of magazines, two books, a notebook, my Filofax, a bottle of water and a dachshund soft toy from IKEA (I currently can’t remember what I call it). I also keep my slippers and a hot water bottle close by.

  
It’s so easy to forget what’s here! I don’t think I’ve even read two of these magazines and one of the books is definitely yet to be started, perhaps I need to invest in a good bedside table so I can store things properly.

Tidying

I picked up ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ from Waterstones a few weeks ago after having heard a few bloggers talk about it.

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In general I think of myself as a fairly organised person and I like things to be tidy – note that I didn’t say that things were ever actually tidy.  This book gave me a totally different idea of tidy. The author has invented a fairly extreme method for tidying that involves you taking every item you own in your hands and only keeping those which spark joy.  It sounds like a wonderful idea, I love the idea of only having items which make me truly happy and I can think of so many things that I’d be happy to get rid of and I have! So far I’ve thrown away 4 bags of things I don’t want any more and we have some things to donate too.  It’s very liberating to reduce your belongings and I find it helps me focus on things really care about.

There are some elements of the book which don’t speak to me as much, for example, the author suggests communicating with your belongings: thanking them for all they have done for you.  This isn’t something that I feel I need to do, however I did try to acknowedge every item and made the effort to be aware that even though I didn’t want it any more I was grateful for the item and that getting rid of it doesn’t mean I think it’s useless or worthless.

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I strongly agree with her idea that even gifts that were not really wanted have still brought joy, and have still served a purpose. Their purpose was to be gifted, the giver felt the joy of giving. If you receive a gift with a positive outlook and consider the thought that went into the purchasing or making of the gift rather than whether you like it or not the receiver can still benefit from the joy of receiving: of knowing someone cared and was thinking of them.

I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I only have items that bring joy or to a point where everything has a definite place, but then I actually enjoy sorting and reorganising. Reducing my stuff has cleared my mind and I find myself spending more time doing the things I love.  The book was a joy to read and it’s something that I will definitely be keeping in my home.

Making it Festive

Decorating the tree has to be done at just the right time, if I do it too early then I lose my festive feeling and the wait until christmas day seems to go on forever, if I do it too late then I rush it and I’m disappointed with the result. I’d say the only disadvantage to getting a real tree is that you need to get it early in the season – to ensure you get a good one. This means running the risk of early decorating, but if you don’t decorate then it looks sad.

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Yesterday was tree decorating day for us, maybe a little earlier than normal (Andrew would have us wait until christmas eve if he got his way)! I wanted to record the decorating so it needed to be done in good light which meant picking a day I was off work, yesterday seemed like a good day!  I’m pleased with our little tree, you can watch me decorate it over on my YouTube channel or down below.

Six books, 3 knitting projects and my laptop.

beachWhat would you take with you if you were going to be away from home for nearly two months? Over the past few weeks I’ve been packing and re packing suitcases and boxes trying to decide what the most important things in my life are.

We are moving house, we’ve done it before but never on this scale and it’s normally been a fairly basic move from one house directly into another. We’ve moved boxes of books and cases of clothes with the help of friends and relatives. This time we are moving across the country, cats and furniture in tow, to a house we applied for without seeing with our own eyes.

In July I applied for a transfer at work. We thought things would take a little time to process, we were right, but then everything seemed to happen at once and they wanted me in a different city asap.  Our house in Derbyshire is preventing us both from moving to Norfolk for a few months so I’m staying with my parents until we are free to move into our new place.

How do you pick what you need to be happy?  Without wanting to sounding too soppy, how can items replace the happiness I gain from simply being with my husband and our pets.  I think I’m going to learn a lot about myself having only the bare minimum of my stuff with me for a while. Already I’ve learnt that I want what I can’t have.  I’ve brought books, knitting and games with me, but of course, I want all the other books, knitting and games that I have back home instead.  I’m trying to think of these weeks as an opportunity to finish the unfinished and I think it will be good for me.

It’s kind of like my ‘Desert Island Stuff’.  Six books, 3 knitting projects and my laptop.