Tomorrow is My Birthday

Around this time a few years ago I finally got round to writing a bucket list. Things I wanted to achieve by the time I was thirty. Well some were a bit daring and crazy so when I found out that I was expecting Jaxon in October 2014 (18 months ish before the finish line) some of the choices had to be changed, some of which were easy to change out and others weren’t so easy.

It’s my birthday tomorrow. A couple of presents have arrived and there are a couple of birthday cards waiting to be opened too.

So here is the list of completed goals:

  1. One thing that scares me – DONE
  2. One thing that I’ve always wanted to do – DONE
  3. Become a Mum – DONE
  4. Get a new job……or vocation – DONE
  5. Trust God to provide me with something bigger than I’ve ever trusted him before (money, house, etc) – DONE (but still ongoing!)

Yes all that time and that’s what I have to show for it!

But other things have happened in that time too. I left my 9 to 5 to have a baby and then rather than going back to work I became my own boss. Yup kind of scary but I did it. I regularly do networking as part of that, some of which is face to face, which also isn’t exactly in my comfort zone – it’s easier to network from behind my computer at home in my pyjamas (Well sometimes!). I join in with BedsHour nearly every week and made some good friendships with people that I’ve met through there. At the beginning of the year, we started the motions to move to a new church. We’re now semi-settled in our “new” church having finished up various rotas and duties at the “old” church. We popped by the old church for the AGM last weekend and were despatched off to our new adventure! We’ll still keep in contact with our lovely friends from the old church though.

Getting to my target weight had been on my bucket list or at least to be the healthy bracket – I think at the last check I’m still about a stone overweight before reaching the normal bracket (I’m back over 11st as of today’s weigh in. That puts me at 1st 9lbs lost). I seemed to stall a month or two ago and sort of loose all motivation for it. Yes, I wanted to the lose the weight but my will power to fight cake and biscuits was too little. So that’s one for pre-31. One stone, one year – that’s more than achievable. I need to do more research into low syn/syn free snacks – fruit is obviously a good choice but some days it just doesn’t cut it. At the beginning of March I ended up working at home all day on the Saturday, Chris had cut up lots of fruit and vegetables so that I had a selection plate of sorts – in the end, I didn’t finish all of it. We’re still going to Slimming World but because of how it clashes with Jaxon’s tea time and bed time we’re not able to stay for Image Therapy – maybe this is why I am unmotivated – who knows. I’ve been trying to get out more and exercise more and so far it seems to be working. Two of my friends and I are having a bit of a crazy moment and in September are walking a marathon. You can find more info here. Since Chris moved job back in October, he ended up taking the car 99% of the time so when the weather is on my side I walk lots, actually sometimes when the weather isn’t on my side I’ve ended up walking home – one time Jaxon was all snug wrapped up in his buggy and I think he dozed off while I fought a down pour to get us home. I think the furthest I’ve walked in one day is around the 10 mile mark so need to get working on it. Tomorrow we have a rest walk to figure out how quick we can cover a mile. 

So tomorrow I turn 30 and I want to start on my next list. Let’s do this thing…

Mini Planner Con

I’m a Planner Nerd!

Yes, there I said it.

This time last year I went to Sherlocked and this weekend a friend of mine is at StorybrookeUK. I went hopped over the county line into Cambridgeshire for Cambs Mini Planner Con. I guess it technically started on Friday with the pre-Con Dinner. Some of the ladies who were travelling from further afield were staying in a local hotel overnight so there was a gathering organised – as it wasn’t too far from my house I decided to go along for the dinner. Our Sidekick was on babysitting duty as Chris was also out Friday evening. After dropping Chris off rather than coming home again to kill time I headed to the pub where we were all meeting. I grabbed a diet cola and sat with my crochet and my planner – figured that would identify me as someone friendly! I sat there writing in my planner and playing on my phone when Anna and Jon (Mrs Brimbles and her lovely husband) arrived. I waved at them – realised a bit later that it was probably more of a fangirl wave than a “Hello nice to meet you” kind of wave. It’s really funny – Kelly also said about how it felt like were all being a bit fangirl and Anna thinks we are all completely bananas for being like lol.

I snapped this picture while I was at church. There was a table top sale there and we stopped by to drop off some cakes that I had baked for the sale and to check in Vicky who was organising the whole event.

After running a couple of errands with Chris and Jaxon, I dropped them both off at the church ready for the prep stuff Chris needed to do for the concert in the evening – he was using his skills to do the lighting for the concert.

The drive was nice and straight forward – out of Bedford to Black Cat and up the A1 – Simples!

I arrived at the venue and it was easy enough to find a parking space and get to the venue. I’d expected that I might have had to park further away and then walk to the venue but as it happened it was easy to find a space. I found my way into the building and first person I met was Anna – well that was good – I knew I was then in the right place. I sort of abandoned my stuff and tried to figure out what to do next. I knew that Becca was due to arrive at any moment so I tried to figure where we could sit together and make sure there was space for her sister too so she wasn’t on her own.

I handed in my washi samples and started handing out letters that I had written to people who were attending. My intention had been to write a little note to every person but I ran out of time and so could only do about a quarter. I did actually end up coming home with some of the letters as I wasn’t able to identify everyone. I think I’ll have to go on the FB group and see if I can track them down.

I was hovering near the door and Becca arrived. I did squeal a little as she came through the door – something along the lines of “BECCA IS HERE!!!”. Anna was stood right near me so turned round and said “I guess you two know each other!”. Yup well just a bit, I actually know that our first Twitter conversation was November 18, 2009 when I went to 140Conf (Post One, Post Two). That’s how long we’ve known each other! Crazy times!

After a bit of socialising, Anna called order and got everyone to settle down. She did a quick introduction to what the plan was for the day and emergency information like in the event of a fire where we needed to go and things like that.

We started with a meditation exercise of sorts. We were all so excited and nervous, Anna kicked off with the exercise to calm us all down. It was a good idea and certainly made me feel calm – instead of pinging off the walls in excitement!

Geraldine (From GeraldineJayne) spoke first about creative journaling and how it had helped her to achieve goals but also her dreams. In fact speaking in public like at the conference was one her dreams and here she was achieving it with us! YAY! It got me all excited about getting home and getting out my paints and felt pens and getting on with being creative and journalling. She also talked about making sure that you make time for yourself. She recommended The Miracle Morning book. The idea of trying to get up before Jaxon seems a little crazy but I’m willing to give it a go – I just have to get myself organised and into bed earlier. I am so rubbish about going to bed early.

Geraldine talked about taking more risks and ditching perfectionism. Sometimes we see these beautiful journals and planners on IG or FB and can get bogged down in never being perfect enough. But sometimes it’s about allowing yourself to make errors, not striving for perfectionism.

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Next, up we were back to Anna who was speaking about SMART goals. (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Achievable/Attainable, R – Relevant, T – Timely). So breaking that down:

S – be specific with your target. Goals and aspirations are different things. An aspiration would be “To lose weight” whereas a goal would be “to lose 10lbs”.

M – Measurable – how are you going to measure your goals? Make sure they are quantifiable – Lose 10lbs, run a 8 minute mile etc.

A – Achievable/Attainable – How achievable is your goal – do you need more time or a smaller goal?

R – Relevant/Realistic – if it’s not relevant – why are you doing it? If you have a goal or an aspiration that is no longer relevant due to your circumstances – can you remove from your list even though it’s not complete.

T – Trackable/Tangible – What’s the main goal?

Life can get in the way of your goals but make sure you’re not continually postponing what needs to be done. Sometimes doing the jobs that you don’t want to do first then you can spend more tie on the things you enjoy. I’m hoping to apply this a bit more. I’ve been breaking down my crochet projects into the individual squares so that I can see what I need to do and cross them off as I go – some days it can be a little overwhelming given how many are there but it means that I can get my head round it. I’m also hoping to apply it to work goals because some days I feel like a duck – I’m calm above the water but my legs are going like crazy under the water.

I’m hoping to apply this a bit more. With Jaxon running around now and not taking naps (unless he dozes off on the bus), planning out my day is even more important. What can I achieve when he’s awake vs What do I have to do when he’s asleep or looked after by someone else. I’ve started by applying this to my crochet projects into the individual squares so that I can see what I need to do and cross them off as I go – some days it can be a little overwhelming given how many are there but it means that I can get my head round it. I’m also hoping to apply it to work goals because some days I feel like a duck – I’m calm above the water but my legs are going like crazy under the water.

Lunch was a buffet which was great. There was a good choice and they’d been able to organise Vegan food for the vegans and vegetarians. These were the lovely ladies I was sat with. There’s (clockwise round the table from the empty seat) Gemma (YouTube/IG), Debbie, Loretta, Kate, Susan, Ashley-Janne (She popped over for a chat during the workshop bit – Etsy/IG/Facebook), Sam and Becca. This was a lovely table and I felt so welcomed. During the workshop I got onto decorating my week view – I got a few bits done but I am thinking about keeping my A5 as a desk diary of sorts and then using my personal in the changing bag when we’re out and about. It does mean that currently I’m keeping two paper diaries along with the digital diary on my phone. I’m starting this way but going to tweak the system and see what works. img_0230Following the workshop, Becca, Sam and I went for a trip to the Cath Kidston Outlet Store. It was funny because we arrived and another car of Planner Con People arrived and as we were leaving a second car arrived. We went round the corner to the local Costa to grab a drink and have a proper catch-up. Becca stood in the queue for us so I was able to chat to Sam for a little bit which was lovely – I talk to Becca at least once a week whereas I last chatted to Sam when I last saw Becca. All in all I had a lovely day and really enjoyed myself, I really hope that Anna goes ahead and organises another one (I’ll volunteer if she needs a team next time).

#The100DaysProject: Day One

When will I learn that sometimes no is probably the better answer…

Yesterday morning a post appeared on a FB group that I’m part of discussing #the100daysproject. My “crochet by FB” buddy Jo tagged me in a comment about doing a granny square a day. Well that’s not a challenge. I can do that. That is until you see my to do list for crochet projects and then you see that maybe it’s not so easy but that’s another thing to come back to another day!

Anyway, so on my way to Lemon and Ginger this conversation is going backwards and forwards and we formulate a plan.

Hannah and Jo’s 100 Day Challenge is to crochet an Elmer blanket (a bit like this one by Lucy at Attic24) but not just one pattern of crocheted granny squares we are using the book 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans as we both have our own copies.

Oh and the sneaky thing is that technically there is 108 squares in the Elmer blanket that we’re following.

So here we go, Day One…let’s do this thing!

Are you joining in? Have you come up with a plan? 

Currently: 18th April

Currently - 18th April

This post was originally started using the Currently prompt from RUKristin. Have a good week!

Watching: Still working my way through Doctor Who but have caught up on Scandal and Madam Secretary this week as well as watching Pixels.

Reading: I’ve been attempting to finish the books I’ve already started before starting something new but again that’s not happening. This last week I started and finished reading The AssassinEdit by Laura Teagan. This is the first book in the Cassie Morgan Series. There is a sequel in the pipeline I believe so am waiting for that one. I’m now heading back to my Currently Reading list on Goodreads to try and clear some before starting new ones.

Listening: When I’ve been working at the computer I’ve been alternating between last week’s Throwback Thursday playlist on Spotify and my own playlist. Last week I added Polaris by Emily and The Moon to the playlist. She’s currently taking part in CBC’s Searchlight competition – if you like the song please vote for her here.

Making: I finished one project on Monday and have started planning another while making a third. This is another thing I’m trying to finish before starting new projects. Not sure it’s entirely going to work out that way but I’ll keep trying. 

Feeling: Better than last week. The sore throat went away eventually. I’m also super excited about the next two weeks. I’m off to Cambridgeshire for a Mini Planner Con meet. I get to catch up with Becca too. 

Planning: Another crochet project. Need to finish current ones though. Also planning packing and stuff like that for the weekend. It’s not far away but you can guarantee I’ll forget something! 

ALP: Your Ideal Day

ALP Creative Team
Some weeks the prompts for ALP Creative Team are really simple and straightforward. Other weeks I am totally floored and up to the wire because I just don’t know what to do.

I headed to our little chat thing where we can discuss the prompts and things like that and mentioned that I had been to London with the boys at the weekend and that I’d been writing in my journal about it. I was a bit nervous about it not being right but having shown a taster page in the group they were all really positive about it so I’ve gone ahead with it.

I’d stuck in the train tickets, a section of the shopping map from Cabot Circus at Canary Wharf and bits of map (printed from Google and cut down and tweaked to fit in).

So although some moments were stressful and less than ideal, the day was about spending time with Jaxon and Chris and doing fun stuff even if the bits between the fun things were stressing me a little bit!

You can read about the trip to London along with more photographs here.

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