Wednesday 30 June 2021

My goals for June - update

I can't that believe another month has come and gone! It's been a quiet month over here hasn't it, but I've not forgotten about the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the month. Here's how I got on with them:

Don't obsessively scroll the news websites. This has been a failure. All sorts of emotions lead me to scrolling - anxiety, boredom, tiredness - and having made a good effort at breaking my Twitter addiction, the news websites have unfortunately become a replacement. This month we've also signed up for an Apple News+ subscription which has massively increased the number of news stories that I now have instant access to. I need to find a better outlet than my scrolling but I'm struggling.

Throw away or recycle at least 5 things per day. This on the other hand has been a major success. I do well with a daily target of items, it really encourages me to root around in the back of cupboards and find lots things to get rid of, and usually more than five each day. 

Just some of the things that I put in to the recycling or threw away this month - instruction leaflets for things that we no longer own and unnecessary ones, old bank and credit card statements, old electrical items that go out with the general waste for separate recycling, Gu ramekins, recipes that I won't try, broken kitchen utensils and cardboard boxes that I was saving in case they came in useful. 

Think about taking part in the local garage sale trail. I'm all signed up and already have several boxes ready of things to put out! It's a decluttering exercise for me rather than a money making one, so most of my things will go in a big box out the front marked 'Free', and after lunch I'll probably move most of my sale items to that pile too just so that I can get rid of them.

Try three new recipes. I sorted through all the recipes that I had cut from magazines over the last goodness knows how many years and found three to try. One was a big success - a Mexican dish with beans, sweetcorn and spicy wedges. Another was also really good - pasta with a cheesy, buttery sauce and lots of green veg. Only one didn't work out - butternut squash and gnocchi. I like gnocchi but this recipe tasted very plain and the butternut squash is a pain to prepare, so I won't be making that one again!

Don't pick up my phone as soon as I wake up. This was a failure. The trouble is that I find it very difficult to get myself up in the morning and I find that the brightness of the screen as I scroll through the latest headlines really helps to wake me up. If I avoid the phone I end up falling back to sleep!

Play the piano every day. Another great success, I have played the piano every day and found some old favourites and new pieces to play. One piece in particular that I've really worked at was A River Flows in You by Yiruma which is a beautiful piece and that I can now play to a decent standard.

Tidy up the front garden, in particular the area around our front hedge. This is an area that we can't see from our house or driveway, so I'm keeping the area tidy more for the benefit of the neighbours than us. I hope that they appreciate it, because it was quite a bit of work to start with and now that I've done the initial work I'm feeling the pressure to keep it looking tidy!

Marigolds growing in a white painted planter in the garden

So a bit of a mixed bag this month. I am finding setting myself these monthly goals really helpful, it definitely gives me something to focus on, and so I'm busy thinking about how I want to challenge myself in July, stay posted!

Monday 14 June 2021

Enjoying the sunshine

I am so enjoying the sunshine and the warm weather that has finally arrived! We've had a lovely weekend eating pizza in the garden, doing a bit of tidying, and watching the poor plants as they start to recover after being blasted by the cold wind a few weeks ago. I even have some flowers starting to appear on my marigolds.

Marigold plants in tin cans in a white painted pallet planter

My vegetable patch is starting to look a little healthier too, the tomato plants in pots are growing nicely and although the ones planted in the main vegetable patch are still looking a little worse for wear I'm hopeful that they'll start to bush out a bit soon. 

Tomato plants growing in pots against wall

This morning I went for a run first thing and it was still so warm. I was running without a jumper for the first time in ages, and it was so nice to feel the sun on my shoulders. Afterwards I took my mat out into the garden and did some outdoor stretches. 

Let's hope that we are treated to this sunshine for a little while longer yet!

Thursday 3 June 2021

My goals for May - update

The last month has gone by so quickly! We seem to have been very busy, we've started to go out and about a bit more and see friends and family now that the restrictions are gradually being lifted. 

At the beginning of the month I shared my goals for May, and so here's how I got on with them:

Publish a YouTube video - Perhaps a bit of a cheat this one but I got a video published! I hunted through the family home video archives and put together a video from our visit to Euro Disneyland, Disneyland Paris as it is now, back in 1994. I've published similar videos from other Disney parks and they've done well so I thought it would be nice to share the footage. 

Don't go on Twitter - I have managed this very well. The only time that I went on Twitter was to look for photos of Mia on a school trip that were being published throughout the day. It's definitely made a big difference to my phone use. I didn't do quite so well at the second part of this goal which was to avoid looking at the news constantly. I have cut down though.

Read at least two of the books stacked up on my Kindle - This was a fail I'm afraid. I borrowed so many good books from the library this month that I didn't even pick up the Kindle! Perhaps when the library stops doing free reservations I'll get back to the Kindle books. 

Get even closer to my flexibility goal - I've been continuing with the daily stretches and am still noticing improvements, I'm getting close!

Publish at least two crafty blog posts - I've enjoyed working on some bloggable crafts this month. I've shared my Hama bead flower upcycled tin cans and my white painted pallet planter.

Make a start on the border of my cross stitch - I've not worked a huge amount of my cross stitch this month but I have begun the border. It's more difficult than it looks, and the whole thing is going to take me a very long time!

Olde World Map cross stitch border in progress

Make Mia's birthday special - I hope that she had a lovely birthday. We were finally able to host the sleepover that she has been looking forward to since it was cancelled last year. Her best twin friends stayed over and they did everything that she wanted to - they played a game where they had to eat doughnuts suspended from string, went in the hot tub, played Roblox together actually in the same room instead of online and ate lots of party food. 

For her cake she requested a chocolate cake themed around her Roblox YouTube channel. I can bake a decent sponge but I'm not very good at cake decorating so I cheated a bit and ordered a printed fondant cake topper from Amazon. I think that it fulfilled the brief!

Roblox birthday cake with printed cake topper

You can see my new goals for June here.