38 Things Plans

Today I want to chat about my 38 things plans – how I intend to finish as many of the activities on my list as I can before my birthday in October. Specifically the activities that need more thought and consideration.

Earlier this week I shared my progress with my 38 Things list – the things I’ve completed and others that I am confident will be done. You can read that here.

You can see the list in its original format here.

38 Things Plans image

38 Things Plans

These activities need to be reviewed and plans put in place if I want to complete them by my 39th birthday…

Finish New Zealand Story (Memoir)

The plan with this is Camp Nanowrimo in July – I need to figure out a goal for July to make good progress. I then intend to edit and polish over August and September…

Submit my New Zealand Story to at least 1 publisher or agent

…and submit a query before my birthday in October.

Move to an 80% whole foods diet (most of the time)

At the moment I’m tracking my food using an app. I don’t want to go down the “diet / must lose this much weight every week” route so I’m recording what I’m eating to be more mindful and to collect data. I then hope to start making some swaps (particularly for snacks) to more whole foods.

Go to the Isle of Skye

I want to feel hopeful that this will happen but it’s not looking likely. I may change it to something more local for this year and aim again next year.

Get published (& paid!)

I’ve been doing lots of training and learning around Freelance Writing lately and I now want to start pitching ideas to publications. If you or someone you know needs some help writing newsletters, blog posts or something else – get in touch!

Celebrate son’s 10th

This one will happen (we wouldn’t just forget his birthday!) but at the moment it’s a little fuzzy how we can and will celebrate. I’m thinking a garden tea party – perhaps one with local friends and another with family. There will definitely be cake and presents!

Make plans for my 39th

Again – fuzzy on the details and I think I will leave this until much closer to the time to think about.

Figure out Pinterest as a blogger

I did some good work around this late last year following an awesome training day with Grow & Glow but I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. I might need to do a refresher and try to get a routine in place to be consistent with my pinning!

Blog 50+ times

I got behind with this with no posts in January or April. But this post is my 26th since my 38th birthday. I’m hopeful I can get another 25 published before my 39th…

Reach 1k IG followers and aim for 2k!

This is a slow one. I’m currently sitting at just under 650 followers. I’m not sure that this one is still my aim. I think I’d like to look at increasing my engagement instead. I’ll make some notes of what my engagement is right now and try to increase this over the next few months.

Come and give me a follow to help me achieve my 38 Things Plans!

Visit the Essex Tiptree tea-rooms I haven’t been to yet (Billericay, Colchester and Saffron Walden)

Lockdown definitely affected this one! And I think the Colchester tea-room may have shut down because of it. I hope to make it to the other 2 as they reopen. We did order in an afternoon tea from Tiptree when they were shut so that can be in lieu of visiting Colchester!

Make my own candles and/or soap

I’d asked a friend who makes soap to give the kiddo and I a lesson but that hasn’t happened due to lockdown. I may see if I can find a simple kit so we can try it at home over Summer.

Have a spa day

This was scheduled for March but got postponed due to lockdown. It’s currently rescheduled for November which is after my birthday. Instead this will change slightly and be completed once I’ve had my hair cut, brows done and pedicure appointment after lockdown!

Visit Norfolk

I’m still hopeful for this one – it’s only a couple of hours from us so may be possible as lockdown eases. The original intention was to stay overnight but it may end up being a day trip.

Do some kind of course/learning on writing

I’ve been doing bits and bobs with this but don’t want to mark it complete and then stop learning! So I’ll be keeping this on the to-do list and making a note of all the training I complete.

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It’s been great doing this review and coming up with my 38 Things Plans. I think it’s important to review goals and plans regularly to make sure they are still appropriate and achievable.

What I’d like to do this year is have 38 things completed (not necessarily the original items). And then think about what I will carry over to my next list…which may be 40 before 40 rather than 39 at 39.

What would be on your list? How have you dealt with plans and goals that have been affected by lockdown and COVID-19?

38 Things Progress

I’ve been meaning to share my 38 Things progress for a while now. Today I want to share what I’ve achieved and the items still in progress.  I will also have a follow-up post sharing my plans for the remaining items. 

38 Things aged 38 is a list of activities that I want to do while I am 38. My birthday falls in October so I have 4 months to go. Some things on the list have been affected by lockdown so I need to decide if they are still achievable. 

You can see the list in its original format here.

39 Things Progress Report

So first up let’s look at what I’ve managed to complete and tick off…

38 Things Progress – Completed Items

  • Visit Hobbiton – this was one of the many highlights of our NZ trip
  • Take my son to the place where he was born – we saw friends from our antenatal group too!
  • Visit Wellington Zoo – a firm family favourite
  • Meet some Kiwi dogs (that belong to Kiwi friends!)
  • Look for beach treasures on Wellington’s South Coast – we were able to stay right on the coast which was amazing!
  • Summarize the decade (I did this in my Bullet Journal rather than as a blog post)
  • Collage I changed this one to Home-Learning with the kiddo during lockdown. I wasn’t excited to collage when I had time to do it so I changed it
  • Celebrate hubby’s 40th – there was cake, presents, decorations, singing and videos of his nearest and dearest wishing him a happy birthday!
  • Host Kiwi Xmas – we‘ve been doing this annually since 2016
  • Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour with friends and see the Gringotts extension – loved it!
  • Take part in and record A Day in the Life – you can see that here
  • Visit the V&A Museum – this one was unlikely to happen so I changed to Take Part & Record a Week in the Life. You can see the blog posts about it here and I also completed a paper scrapbook for a keepsake as well.
  • Finish reading the Harry Potter books with my son – we did it!
  • Take a creative class – I did a Valentine’s Mandala Dot Painting class in February
  • Ride a horse – I don’t think this will happen this year – I might carry it over to next year. So I changed it to Rehome a Dog (which we’ve done and he’s settling in)
  • Visit Silverstone – husband had a (running) race there in November and we all went
  • Make reusable kitchen towels – and we are using them!
  • Take a make-up lesson – it wasn’t a ‘formal’ lesson but my lovely friend Liz gave me lots of pointers and I’ve been watching some online videos as well. 

38 Things Progress – I will get these done!

These activities are in progress and I am confident they will be done…

  • Soundtrack of 38 – I’m adding a song each month
  • Get a dishwasher – we are in the process of getting quotes for the plumbing and electrics to be done
  • Spend time outside celebrating each Solstice & Equinox – 3 down, 1 to go
  • Finish rainbow-ing the back fence and gate – Have you seen the rainbow fence of dreams hashtag on IG? It’s all been painted once – some bits need a second coat
  • Document our New Zealand trip – I wrote a New Zealand Happy List. I also want to create a video made up of 1 second snippets (I’ll use the 1SE app in Freestyle mode). And I’m keen to get a photo book 

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That’s 18 things complete and another 5 items in progress. I’ll be back soon to share more about my plans to complete the remaining 15 items. 

Finding the Good in Lockdown

Hello! It’s been a while – it’s definitely time for a little life update so I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to and how we’ve been Finding the Good in Lockdown.

What we’ve been up to

  • We’ve been staying at home since around mid-March. Official lockdown in the UK began on the 24th March.
  • My husband is working at home. He usually works from home a couple of days each week anyway and his company is well set up for remote working.
  • I have a son in year 5 so we’ve been learning at home. (This is the biggest reason for my absence from the blog – I’ve been busy supervising the learning and coming up with fun ideas to keep us busy. Plus he’s using my computer for school work!)
  • The dog is settling in well (he arrived in January) but all the work we’d previously put into leaving him at home and overcoming any separation anxiety has gone out the window! We will need to gradually build that back up as and when we can.

Finding the Good in Lockdown

Finding the Good in Lockdown square pinnable image

I thought it would be interesting to share how we’ve been Finding the Good in Lockdown. Hopefully it might give you some ideas. And I think this will be great to document to look back on in the future.

Getting outside –

As part of the lockdown rules we are allowed outside once per day to exercise. We’ve been making sure we take this opportunity every day. The dog gets walked twice a day (once by each adult and our son goes with one of us). It’s great to get out of the house, get some fresh air and spend a little time in nature.

Other exercise –

We’ve also been having a go at some of The Body Coach’s youtube exercise videos. We found the first few of the daily 9am sessions a little too full on so have been trying some of the lower impact stuff which has been good fun.

Keeping some kind of routine –

During the week we try to keep a routine going. It’s flexible when needed but we usually do school work / home learning in the morning until lunchtime. After lunch we do a few more low-key things before finishing mid afternoon. Having this routine means we tend to just get on with it rather than having to convince ourselves to do it!

Planning the days –

As well as planning my to do’s (and very few appointments!) in my Bullet Journal we also have a daily plan for learning. We spend a few moments each weekday working out a plan for the day using activities jotted down on post-its. This is flexible but gives us a guide when needed. I also spend a little while on a Friday roughly planning the next week.

Keeping track –

I’ve created a few lists and pages in my Bullet Journal since lockdown began which I think have been helpful:

  • Postponements and other reminders – I’ve kept a note of anything cancelled or postponed because of lockdown. I’ve made sure to note down anything that was pre-paid as well as other things that will need to be rescheduled at some point.
  • Orders and Things We are Waiting For – I’ve used similar lists in the past. Here I track anything we’ve ordered or we are expecting to receive. Good for those online orders from various places. I note down the date ordered, item, where it’s from, the due date and then have a tick box for when it arrives.
  • The Positives of Lockdown – I’m trying to celebrate the things that have been good about this whole situation. For example – learning to make flat breads and slower mornings with no school run.
  • Looking Forward To – this is a list of things I’d like to do after lockdown – visit the seaside, see my Mum (and actually be able to go inside and not just drop things at her door!), the spa day with a friend that has been postponed etc. What would be on your list?
Time Out –

It’s been important that we each take some time to ourselves so we don’t go crazy. Some afternoons I take myself upstairs to read or have some quiet time. And we’ve all found our own ways of finding down time.

Being Gentle with Ourselves –

This can be tricky but it’s so important. I’m sure I’m not alone in having good days and bad days (in normal life, let alone lockdown!) and I am trying to remind myself that this is unprecedented and some days won’t go as well as others. That’s okay.

Stick with what works –

I’ve also tried to keep up with some of the things that help me Find the Good throughout the day. Things like morning pages and my gratitude journal. For more tips on Finding the Good throughout the day and at special times please click here.

Coming Up

Next week I am intending to play along with Week in the Life.

This is a project that Ali Edwards runs yearly. I love documenting our lives and looking back on previous times to see what’s changed and what has stayed the same.

I have taken part a couple of times before. You can see my last documented Week in the Life from May 2018 on the blog. I also completed Week in the Life in 2017 and 2011 (you can read a little more about those attempts here.) Most recently I took part in Day in the Life early March (before lockdown started).

My plan is to do a post for each day of Week in the Life. I will probably post the detail of each day the following morning. I’ll play this by ear depending on how this works with the kiddo being at home and doing school work.

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I’d love to hear how you’ve been finding the good in lockdown. Please share in the comments below or drop me a line. 

Find the Good in Lockdown pin image

Self Portrait Challenge – #AEPiecesofUs

Last week I took part in Ali Edwards’ Self Portrait Challenge over on Instagram. If you follow me over there you may have already seen these images and captions but I wanted to document them here on the blog as well.

I’ve followed Ali Edwards on social media for many years now. She’s a story teller and memory keeper and comes up with some great projects to capture daily life. I enjoy taking part in her Day in the Life and Week in the Life projects and plan to take part in those this year.

Her #aepiecesofus project was a little different though – all about getting ourselves in the frame. When she posted the idea earlier this month I decided to play along and set a daily reminder across the week that the project would be live.

Here’s a look at the photos I shared…

Monday – Feet
Self portrait challenge - feet

Monday’s prompt was FEET. Here are mine…in socks that say ‘Believe’ with a hole in the toe. Around this time of year I usually start losing socks at an alarming rate due to holes in the toe. My feet get fed up being cooped up over Winter and long to be barefoot & in sandals again! I really need to learn how to darn socks.

Tuesday – Hands
Self portrait challenge - hands

HANDS – As a creative I like to constantly use my hands… for writing, for typing, for sewing, for baking. Lately these hands have been achy and sore and I feel sad that I can’t do everything I could a couple of years ago. I’m still grateful for everything they’ve helped me create so far.

Wednesday – Face Forward (let your face fill the frame)
Self portrait challenge - Face forward

FACE FORWARD – Hello – it’s me!

Thursday – Eyes Closed
Self portrait challenge - Eyes closed

EYES CLOSED – it’s tricky taking a self portrait with your eyes closed! I look tired… that’s pretty standard since 2010

Friday – ½ Face (take a photo or crop a photo to include a portion of your face)
Self portrait challenge - Half face

HALF FACE – Fun fact – I find balance and symmetry fascinating – I wonder if it’s because I’m a Libra?

Saturday – Full Body
Self portrait challenge - Full body

FULL BODY – This is the closest I could manage while still taking the photo myself! I had hoped to get a self timer shot by the #rainbowfenceofdreams but Storm Dennis put paid to that idea!
I took this by holding the phone between my teeth and using the 3 second timer.

Sunday – Reflection
Self portrait challenge - Reflection

REFLECTION – I assumed this would be a photo taken in a mirror when I saw the prompt earlier in the project.
But Storm Dennis provided me with lots of puddles – I peeked in a few but an eager-to-explore doggy didn’t give me much time for snapping photos. Here’s one I did take.

So – what did I think of the Self Portrait Challenge?

I’m really glad I took part in the challenge. It got me thinking about how to frame the photos and I definitely shared photos I wouldn’t usually choose to. It felt like a little step out of my comfort zone and little steps are just right at the moment.
I’d recommend giving this a go – you can take part at any point. And I’d suggest checking out the #aepiecesofus hashtag on Instagram for some great ideas for how to get yourself in the frame.

I do love a photo/memory keeping project.

Day in the Life

The next Day in the Life is scheduled for Thursday 5th March. Of course – you can do this at any time you choose but I enjoy the camaraderie of taking part at the same time as people all over the world! Do let me know if you’ll be taking part!

Things Currently Making Me Happy – early 2020

Hello! It’s been a while. Today I want to ease myself back into my little internet home with a list of Things Currently Making Me Happy. 

Things Currently Making Me Happy Pin Image

January was the longest month wasn’t it? I am happy we are now in February but I also want to take time to think about the good things in January and the things I’m enjoying at the moment. 

Things Currently Making Me Happy – early 2020

1 Our New Dog – 

In January we adopted a greyhound from the Dogs Trust. He’s three and a half and likely an ex-racer. He’s a cutie who gets a little worried (the world is a big place) and we’ve been working to settle him in to life at home. We’ve all got lots to learn about each other and I forgot how tiring welcoming a dog can be! But every day he’s making us smile and laugh. (I’m sure I’ll be sharing photos of him on Instagram every now and again if you want to see more of him!)

Our New Dog Mosaic
2 The Ordinary Skincare – 

I’ve been meaning to try this skincare range for ages but always got a little overwhelmed visiting the website and trying to work out what to buy. When I spotted a counter pop up in a nearby Boots I went in and had a chat with a staff member. So far I’m using Buffet and the Surface Hydration Moisturiser. And I’ve just bought the caffeine eye treatment. It ticks my boxes of cruelty free and vegan with no parabens and it’s not too expensive either. And so far my skin seems happy with it!

3 Sewing – 

I took a learn to sew course back in September and October and thoroughly enjoyed it. As part of the course I made a fabric box, a tote bag and a zipped cushion cover. A lovely friend has lent me her sewing machine and I’ve been trying smaller projects for beginners. I’ve made teabag holders, headphone keepers (great to prevent tangled headphones and cables), placemats and drawstring bags (to use instead of gift wrap). I’m enjoying the process and seeing the things I’ve completed makes me very happy! 

Sewing Projects Montage
4 Call the Midwife – 

The back catalogue of Call the Midwife is currently available for free on BBC iplayer so I’ve been working my way through a rewatch right from the beginning. I have loved this TV series since I first saw it when my son was a baby. Many of the storylines have led me to finding out more about the time period the show covers and the health concerns featured. 

5 Charity Shop Bargains – 

I’ve found some great bargains recently in the local charity shops. I found some white cotton sheets which I have re-purposed for sewing projects. As well as some as-new clothes (some still had labels attached) in just the right size for a tiny fraction of the cost they would be brand new. I am also keeping an eye out for other sewing supplies like zips and fabric. It’s like going on a treasure hunt when I visit them!

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So that’s some of the things currently making me happy. Happy Lists are a favourite of mine – why not check out these posts all about them:

And do let me know what’s making you happy right now!

It feels good to be back. Now to come up with some other blog posts to share with you soon. Do let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see.

10 Insights from 10 Years of Marriage

Today I want to share my 10 Insights from 10 years of Marriage.

10 years of marriage pin

On the 2nd November 2009 I married my husband. We stood on a cliff in New Zealand overlooking the Cook Strait with South Island away in the distance. My voice shook as I spoke my vows. But my intent was steady.

We’d been together as a couple for almost 10 years when we said our marriage vows. Our relationship began as the millennium rolled over. We were engaged mid 2004 and finally got around to the wedding over 5 years later.

Our relationship has covered a lot of ground – in time, in distance (we’ve lived in 3 different countries and 7 different houses) and life experience (including emigration, becoming parents, relocation and returning to the UK.)

I do like to reflect (as you may already know) and I’ve found myself looking back at our marriage recently as we reached the milestone of our 10th anniversary.

My 10 Insights from 10 years of Marriage

  1. I believe intimacy is related to nuances. All these small actions and behaviours add up. When you’re in a long term relationship – intimacy is often more about the small everyday nuances than grand actions.
  2. It’s important to celebrate individualities whilst having common ground.
  3. Change is inevitable so there has to be some flexibility – this comes back to those nuances again – we change gradually over time and being aware of the nuances helps it not be a shock.
  4. The wedding day is just one day of celebration – make sure you continue celebrating your marriage – not necessarily with big parties and the rest of the world but as a couple.
  5. He’s one of my favourite people…unless he’s not – it’s important I work through why he’s not instead of taking action because of it.
  6. Make big decisions together. The times we made big decisions together have formed the milestones of our marriage.
  7. We must call each other out when our behaviour isn’t acceptable. And yes, sometimes that happens.
  8. Respect each others values and beliefs. And remember – they won’t always align.
  9. Humour and comedy is a common ground for us and we enjoy it together. Especially in the mundane or bad moments.
  10. Him being lighter makes me lighter and vice versa – we must make the effort to keep lifting each other up.

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I wonder what insights I will glean from the next 10 years?

10 Insights from 10 Years of Marriage pin

If you like reflection type posts you may also enjoy 20 lessons as 35 year old and 2018 in Statistics.

38 Things Aged 38

It’s time to share my 38 Things Aged 38 list with you!

38 Things Aged 38 Title Image

Following the success of my 37 Things List (click here to see the original 37 list and the final review is here) I decided to write a 38 list. Three items were carried over from last year’s list. Some items are similar to entries from the 37 list. There’s also lots of new and exciting things on there too!

Read on to find out more…

38 Things Aged 38

  1. Finish New Zealand Story (Memoir)
  2. Submit my New Zealand Story to at least 1 publisher or agent
  3. Move to a mostly whole foods diet (most of the time)
  4. Document our New Zealand trip
  5. Visit Hobbiton
  6. Take my son to the place where he was born
  7. Visit Wellington Zoo
  8. Meet some Kiwi dogs (that belong to Kiwi friends!)
  9. Look for beach treasures on Wellington’s South Coast
  10. Go to the Isle of Skye
  11. Soundtrack of 38
  12. Summarise the decade
  13. Collage
  14. Get published (& paid!)
  15. Celebrate hubby’s 40th
  16. Celebrate son’s 10th
  17. Make plans for my 39th
  18. Figure out Pinterest as a blogger
  19. Host Kiwi Xmas
  20. Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour with friends and see the Gringotts extension
  21. Take part in and record A Day in the Life
  22. Visit the V&A Museum
  23. Visit the Essex Tiptree tea-rooms I haven’t been to yet (Billericay, Colchester and Saffron Walden)
  24. Make my own candles and/or soap
  25. Finish reading the Harry Potter books with my son
  26. Have a spa day
  27. Take a creative class
  28. Get a dishwasher
  29. Ride a horse
  30. Spend time outside celebrating each Solstice & Equinox
  31. Visit Silverstone
  32. Visit Norfolk
  33. Finish rainbow-ing the back fence and gate
  34. Make reusable kitchen towels
  35. Do some kind of course/learning on writing
  36. Blog 50+ times
  37. Reach 1k IG followers and aim for 2k! (Come and visit me on Instagram!)
  38. Take a make-up lesson

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That’s my 38 Things Aged 38 List. I’m excited to see how it goes and will be sure to update along the way!

Which activities do you like the sound of? And what would you put on your list?

37 Things Aged 37 Review

It’s time for a 37 Things Aged 37 Review. Happy Birthday to Me! Today I turn 38.

This time last year I created a list of 37 things I wanted to achieve whilst I was 37. Today I’m reviewing how the whole thing went.

You can see my original 37 Things Aged 37 post here. And my mid-way 37 things aged 37 review here.

37 things aged 37 Review

37 Things Aged 37 Review

1 Choose a Song each month for my 37 compilation COMPLETE

This was a fun thing to do at the end of each month. Some were easy to pick. Others took a bit more effort. You can check out my 37@37 playlist on Spotify.

2 Visit New Zealand CHANGED TO Book New Zealand Trip COMPLETE

Whilst I didn’t fit in a trip to New Zealand whilst I was 37 I did manage to book one and it’s happening soon!

3 Reach my target weight CHANGED TO Work towards an 80% Whole Foods Diet IN PROGRESS/MIGRATING TO 38 LIST

This was changed at my midway review as my focus changed during the year. I’m not quite there with eating whole foods most of the time so I’m looking to carry this over into next years list.

4 Fit into size 12’s CHANGED TO Get a Style Analysis and start to update wardrobe COMPLETE

This was also changed at my midway review. I blogged about the Style Analysis here. I’ve started updating my wardrobe and this will be an ongoing process.

5 Finish my New Zealand story IN PROGRESS/MIGRATING TO 38 LIST

I didn’t work on this as often as I would have liked. I did a decent amount of work around the outline after reading Fast Draft Your Memoir earlier this year. And I still have to fill in some gaps and edit/rewrite my existing words. This will be carried over into next years list.

6 Submit my New Zealand story to at least one agent/publisher MIGRATING TO 38 LIST

I did start doing some research around publishers and how to query them. But as the story isn’t finished I haven’t approached any yet. This will also be moved to next years list as it’s still relevant.

7 Visit Glasgow with a friend COMPLETE

I had a lovely weekend with friends in June – we went to see the Spice Girls! I also visited Glasgow with family in July.

8 See some live music COMPLETE

I saw:

  • Love Actually in concert back in December
  • MUSE in June
  • Spice Girls in June
9 Take Mum for afternoon tea COMPLETE

We did this twice. The first on a whim at a local Tiptree tea rooms (highly recommended if you’re in or visiting Essex) after my son’s sports day. And also a special Harry Potter themed Magical Afternoon Tea to celebrate my son’s birthday in August.

10 Get a dog COMPLETE (KIND OF)

We did try to rehome a rescue dog back in January but it didn’t work out. We hope to try again in the future – with a dog better suited to living with children.

11 Get a running medal CHANGED TO Collect Seaglass at Seaham COMPLETE

I stopped running at the start of 2019 due to hip pain. And didn’t get back to it. So I changed this to something I really wanted to do which wasn’t on the original list.

12 Run 5k (no walking) CHANGED TO Take Beginners Sewing Lessons COMPLETE

Another change – I’ve wanted to be able to sew for ages. I tried teaching myself years ago and it was a disaster. When I found a fairly local class I decided to go for it. I really enjoyed the lessons and I’m pleased with my makes. I am hoping to take some more lessons to develop my new sewing skills!

13 Run 10k (some walking allowed!) CHANGED TO Give up Chocolate for a week COMPLETE

This was a challenge and I’m glad I did it!

14 Make plans for our 10th Wedding Anniversary COMPLETE

Our anniversary is early November 2019. We have very special plans which I’ll probably be sharing on Instagram next month.

15 Make a Christmas wreath CHANGED TO Replace the fence in back garden COMPLETE

I didn’t get around to making a wreath. I looked into taking a class (see number 21) but found them all quite pricey. So I bought a metal wreath ring to try myself at home but didn’t manage to gather greenery to do this. I decided to let it go and changed it to something I did complete (in January) instead.

16 Blog at least 50 times COMPLETE

I did it. Since 22nd October last year I have published 52 posts (including this one).

17 Get a new front door COMPLETE

It’s black on the outside and white on the inside.

18 And an interesting door knocker for the new door COMPLETE

I got a dragonfly door knocker. I’ve shared a photo of it on Instagram.

19 Decorate the hallway COMPLETE

We went for white walls and we refreshed the gloss work too – it makes it so light and airy!

20 Get new bedroom curtains CHANGED TO Get a Bike and Use It COMPLETE

We do still need to sort bedroom curtains but as it hasn’t happened I’ve changed this to something that did happen during the course of the year. My son got bike-mad over the summer and was keen to cycle to school and further afield. Luckily my friend found me a FREE bike her neighbour was getting rid of. So we’ve been cycling to school at least once a week and I’ve been re-familiarising myself with cycling!

21 Take a creative class COMPLETE

I went along to the Felixstowe Book Festival at the end of June and attended 2 writing workshops. I also went along to the Martha Brook Stationery Social in September and attended the mini workshops.

22 Plan an adventure for my son’s 9th birthday in August COMPLETE

My son managed to have the longest birthday celebrations! We started with a Pokemon themed birthday party before school broke up for summer. Then we celebrated with family in Scotland. We went for dinner on his birthday and Afternoon Tea the day after!

23 And for my husband’s birthday in June COMPLETE

We went out for dinner on the day and up to Scotland for a marathon in July (his idea of a celebration!)

24 And for my 38th COMPLETE

So excited for what my birthday is bringing – I’ll be celebrating in a little while and will share more on Instagram soon.

25 Host a dinner party COMPLETE

We hosted our annual Kiwi Christmas in December. And I made Chocolate Orange cheesecake for dessert. It was delicious!

26 Go sugar free for a week COMPLETE

I did it! So chuffed with myself for this one as it wasn’t easy (sugar is in so many random things!) and I’ve actually continued it on (most days) this month.

27 Explore a place I’ve not been to before COMPLETE

We explored the city of Exeter in Devon over Easter. We also explored Fort William and the Scottish Highlands in July.

28 Get FTGE Instagram to 500+ followers – aim for 1k! COMPLETE

I reached 500 in May and I’m slowly working my way towards 1k. I’d love it if you came over to have a look. If you like what you see please follow me!

29 Go to the Suffolk or Norfolk seaside COMPLETE

We visited the Suffolk coastline in May. I also revisited for the Felixstowe Book Festival in June.

30 Submit to one of my writing group anthologies (or similar) CHANGED TO Complete the Allbright Academy 5 week course for Freelancers COMPLETE

My writing group didn’t organise an anthology this year. I also looked into the MIND Short Story competition but didn’t get a story written before the deadline. I’ve changed this to something else that has arisen recently that has helped me develop as a writer (although more on the freelance side of things). I found the course interesting and picked up lots of useful information – especially around branding.

31 Go on the London Eye COMPLETE

We did this during the Summer break. I used Tesco Clubcard vouchers (which are worth triple on the Eye) and saved the £76 which it would have cost without the vouchers! I really enjoyed it.

32 Paint the back fence in a fun way SEMI COMPLETE

The first panel has been painted in rainbow colours. I want to do the other panel and the gate to match – I had to get the gate fixed first and now that’s done I need some good weather for painting!

33 Read at least 12 new (to me) books COMPLETE

This was the first thing I ticked off! And I now have a Goodreads account to keep track of the books I read (when I remember to update it!).

34 Do Adriene’s January Yoga programme COMPLETE

I spread this over January and February.

35 Be a guest writer somewhere COMPLETE

In April I guest blogged over at The Reading Residence sharing a tutorial for making a mini book from 1 sheet of paper. I’m also going to be featured in Emma’s What’s in your Pencil Case series over at A Cornish Geek this month.

36 Get to 1000 days of yoga COMPLETE (but changed to Yoga/Meditation)

I reached 1000 days of yoga/meditation in September and I blogged about it here.

37 See an inspirational speaker COMPLETE

I saw Danielle La Porte (who wrote the Desire Map and created the concept of Core Desired Feelings) in London in July. It was good.

Summary

So that’s 33 items completed and of these 9 were changed from their original idea. 1 item is partially completed (painting the back fence).
I want to carry forward the 3 remaining items.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 37 Things Aged 37 Review. What would be on your list?

Soon I’ll be sharing my plans for 38!

37 Things Aged 37 Update (mid-way)

Today I am sharing a 37 Things Aged 37 update.

My birthday is in October and last year I created a list of 37 things I wanted to achieve whilst I was 37. This was based around a similar list back when I was 27 (you know – in the olden days!) The midway point recently passed and it is time for a review.

This is supposed to be a fun way of challenging myself. So as the year passes if something isn’t right for me anymore I won’t be forcing myself to do it. But I do intend to replace it with a different item. As you will see below – that’s already happened a couple of times and I’m sure it will again before my 38th birthday.

37 Things Aged 37 Update

37 Things Aged 37 Update

1 Choose a Song each month for my 37 compilation IN PROGRESS

So far, so good. One song picked each month. A mix of newer songs and older ones.

2 Visit New Zealand

Nothing booked…yet!

3 Reach my target weight Work towards an 80% Whole Foods Diet IN PROGRESS

I’ve changed this one. After initial success with Slimming World I really struggled through much of 2018 and early 2019. So I’ve left Slimming World and I am now learning more about nutrition and trying to focus mostly on whole foods. I may share more about this soon.

4 Fit into size 12’s Get a Style Analysis and start to update wardrobe IN PROGRESS

I decided to change this one too. Instead of focusing on being a specific size I want to concentrate on health. But I also want to feel good in what I wear so I’ve recently purchased a style analysis and will be gradually updating my wardrobe with items I feel confident and happy to wear.

5 Finish my New Zealand story IN PROGRESS

I have been working on this on and off. I did a lot of work on the outline after reading Fast-Draft Your Memoir and now FTG30 is done I am hoping to carve out more time for this.

6 Submit my New Zealand story to at least one agent/publisher

I am still hopeful to do this.

7 Visit Glasgow with a friend BOOKED

This is booked for the summer time!

8 See some live music COMPLETE

I saw Love Actually in concert back in December. And for a bonus I have tickets to see Muse next month!

9 Take Mum for afternoon tea

Nothing booked…yet!

10 Get a dog COMPLETE (KIND OF)

We did try to rehome a rescue dog back in January but it didn’t work out. We hope to try again later in the year.

11 Get a running medal

I haven’t changed this yet…but I probably will. I stopped running at the start of 2019 due to hip pain. And didn’t get back to it. At this point – I’m enjoying walking so I may change this to a specific step goal over a month.

12 Run 5k (no walking)

I’ll probably change this too.

13 Run 10k (some walking allowed!)

And this one is most likely to be changed.

14 Make plans for our 10th Wedding Anniversary

Our anniversary is in November 2019. No plans yet.

15 Make a Christmas wreath Replace the fence in back garden COMPLETE

I didn’t get around to making a wreath. I looked into taking a class (see number 21) but found them all quite pricey. So I bought a metal wreath ring to try myself at home but didn’t manage to gather greenery to do this. I decided to let it go and changed it to something I did complete in January instead.

16 Blog at least 50 times IN PROGRESS

So far, so good. I am up to 29 with this post.

17 Get a new front door COMPLETE

This happened as part of some building work in February.

18 And an interesting door knocker for the new door COMPLETE

I got a dragonfly door knocker. I’ve shared a photo of it on Instagram.

19 Decorate the hallway COMPLETE

This happened as part of some building work although I do need to touch up some parts.

20 Get new bedroom curtains

Soon!

21 Take a creative class

I’ve had my eye on a few different things but I find creative classes to be expensive in the UK. I am determined to do at least one though!

22 Plan an adventure for my son’s 9th birthday in August IN PROGRESS

Plans are in motion – I just need to make some bookings.

23 And for my husband’s birthday in June IN PROGRESS

We have something planned in July for my husband’s birthday and will probably go out for dinner on his actual birthday.

24 And for my 38th

No plans yet. My birthday usually falls within the half-term break but doesn’t this year.

25 Host a dinner party COMPLETE

We hosted our annual Kiwi Christmas in December.

26 Go sugar free for a week

I’m hoping to try this as part of my move to a Whole Foods Diet (see number 3)

27 Explore a place I’ve not been to before COMPLETE

We explored the city of Exeter in Devon over Easter.

28 Get FTGE Instagram to 500+ followers – aim for 1k! IN PROGRESS

I’m getting there…currently around 465-475 on any given day.
I’d love it if you came over to have a look. If you like what you see please follow me!

29 Go to the Suffolk or Norfolk seaside COMPLETE

We visited around the Suffolk coastline last weekend.

30 Submit to one of my writing group anthologies (or similar)

I am considering entering a short story competition this month which will make this one complete.

31 Go on the London Eye

Hopefully in the summer…although my son isn’t too keen!

32 Paint the back fence in a fun way

I’m thinking rainbow or cornish blue and cream.

33 Read at least 12 new (to me) books COMPLETE

This was the first thing I ticked off I think! And I now have a Goodreads account to keep track of the books I read.

34 Do Adriene’s January Yoga programme COMPLETE

I spread this over January and February.

35 Be a guest writer somewhere COMPLETE

Last month I guest blogged over at The Reading Residence sharing a tutorial for making a mini book from 1 sheet of paper.

36 Get to 1000 days of yoga IN PROGRESS

I’m on target to do this! I reached 850 days at the end of April.

37 See an inspirational speaker

Nothing booked yet.

Summary

So that’s 12 items ticked off and 9 in progress. I have already amended 3 and will probably change 3 more.
How many can I complete before my 38th in October?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 37 Things Aged 37 update.

What would be on your list?

A Day in the Life Documented (26-02-19)

Yesterday I took part in DITL (Day In The Life) along with Ali Edwards. Ali recently shared a blog post about the reasons why some people take part in Day In The Life which is worth a read.

Last year I took part in her Week in the Life and documented it here on the blog. I really enjoy taking part in these projects and have done Week in the Life several times. A few times a year Ali also documents a Day In The Life. A shorter timescale than the full week but still great for capturing and celebrating daily life.

The most recent Day In The Life was this week – Tuesday 26th February 2019 and I decided to play along. I used the same prompts from my previous week in the life projects as I love being able to look at comparisons and differences of our daily lives over time. These prompts are similar to the Everyday Life Journalling Prompts I shared recently.

My Day In The Life Documented – Tuesday 26th February 2019

Theme for the Day – Sunshine & tidying up loose ends

Weather – High of 17 (unexpected!) / Low of 2 / Sunny

Wake up – 7.15am…turned off the alarm & snuck back to bed until 7.40am!

Day in the Life - 26 Feb 2019 - Food

Breakfast – 2 slices seeded wholemeal with Pic’s Peanut Butter (a kiwi brand!) and an apple

Lunch – Sausage, Cheese and tomato omelette with cucumber, pickled onions and a bag of crisps

Dinner – Lamb Ragu followed by mini Creme Egg Cones

What I did

Day in the Life - 26 Feb 2019 - Morning
Morning

Got up, ready and said hello to the builder who was finishing the painting (that’s why I took a photo of the toilet!). Out for the school run, did my TOMM level 1 and level 2 jobs, did yoga, menu planned and wrote the shopping list.

Day in the Life - 26 Feb 2019 - Afternoon
Afternoon

Prepared and ate lunch with hubby. Went to the supermarket then school pick up time. Took my son to buy some Pokemon cards. Home to open and admire the Pokemon cards. Had scones for afternoon tea and spoke to a friend on the phone.Supervised school work (reading, spelling and times table practice) and then my son played outside with friends. I watched a writing podcast on youtube.

Day in the Life - 26 Feb 2019 - Evening
Evening

Prepared and ate dinner then tidied the kitchen. Husband went out to running club. Put my son to bed (we are still reading Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire). Had a shower, did a face-mask and updated my bullet journal. Husband home just after 9pm so chatted to him and then went through all the photos I’d taken to create DITL collages for IG and this post. Dried my hair, hopped into bed and read some more of the memoir book.

Through the day I kept notes and took photos as I went and faffed a lot on social media!

I am grateful forRachael Herron’s Memoir book and writing podcast

No. of steps – 6.2k…can do much better

Today’s Yoga practiceYWA Dedicate Day 30 – Liberate (36 mins) – loved this free flow practice and I finally finished the January programme!

Today’s Self Nurturing Activity – taking part in Day In The Life and a face mask before bed

Currently Reading – Fast Draft Your Memoir by Rachael Herron

Bedtime – 10.03pm – tucked in. Read for a while and lights off at 10.22pm

*

I’m grateful I took the time to record this day. It’s a mix of normal life right now with some unusual things going on. I didn’t get to any writing during the day but I was able to do some Memoir research.

Did you take part in Day In The Life? Is it something you’re keen to do? If so I’d recommend heading over to Ali Edwards’ website.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this snapshot of my daily life!