Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Snow, Veggie burgers, Illness and hairstyling, banana pancakes, January the unprocessed month leading into February the month without internet

 It was all lovely and snowy last week. College was closed for most of the week, so the whole world came to a stop. I spent lots of time cosied up with the girls from 4 doors up, watching films and baking, and just generally enjoying doing those indoor activities which keep the cold away. It thawed last night, though, and has been raining ever since.

I made veggie burgers last week, using this recipe I pinned for inspiration. I really like the idea of using quinoa as the base for burgers. But I couldn't find kale anywhere in the supermarket, so I used savoy cabbage and spinach instead. They turned out to be delicious! The cabbage isn't overpowering, but adds a lovely flavour and texture to the burgers. The burgers don't taste like meat burgers at all - but they do taste amazing!

I spent some time playing with the Octopus' hair last week as well. She's been ill all week with tonsillitis, so she was quite content to sit and watch a film while I played with her hair. I did a German braid for the first time! It worked quite well too, I think. Her hair is very fine, and lovely and long, which makes it great to play with. It was so nice to work with cooperative hair, too, rather than wild hair like my own!

 This is two strands of hair, each twisted one way, then twisted the other way around each other so they hold. My sister has done this many times, on various people - hence why I knew how to do it - but I'd never done it before.

This is just two of the same twisted strands as above, then twisted back against each other again. It looks a little messy here, but I think it looks quite clever close up!

See what I mean? you get all those twists of hair diving in and out of each other, a bit like a piece of rope.

Here's the German braid I did! See! How awesome is that?! I've never even managed to do a French braid before, but I remembered preferring the look of a German braid, so I decided to do that instead. I did big strands pulled in, and then once I tied it off, I teased the actual braid out to make it a bit bigger. I also did one starting at one side of her head, and twisting round the back of it to come to below her ear on the other side of her head. It worked okay for a first attempt, but I managed to forget to take a picture of it!

This is the last style I did. It's another of the twisty things, but I did it with a small strand of hair, coming round the side of her head. Then, once it was twisted and tied, I reached through between the two twists and pulled strands of loose hair back through. I actually really like this style - it just looks so pretty!

I made banana pancakes today. See, I saw this recipe and just had to try it! It works really, really well. They taste like banana pancakes, and have the texture of scotch pancakes. I'm still slightly amazed at how well it worked. They were delicious pancakes, and really quick and easy - I know pancakes are quick and easy in general, but these were even quicker!

A fuzzy picture, I know, but you can see that they basically look just like normal pancakes. I gobbled them all up! They made an excellent lunch. Do I feel guilty? not even remotely. Containing just banana and egg means that I would consider these to be extra healthy!

So I'm coming to the end of my unprocessed month. It's been both easier and harder than I expected. It was easier in that a lot of my meals are unprocessed anyway, so I didn't find it too difficult with regards to cooking for myself; it slid into my life quite easily. On the other hand, it was hard to find certain things, like bread, as most of the stuff in the shops was processed. I did find one which wasn't, but it was three times the price of the bread I usually buy. Otherwise I would have had to make bread for myself. It was also frustrating to not be able to just eat some chocolate if I wanted it, or a yoghurt. Snacking was harder. I managed the first three weeks fine, but the last week has been quite hard. I slipped up a couple of times - once with baked beans, once with a biscuit I just really wanted! I don't feel bad though, because it wasn't a resolution or anything. It was a goal, and I feel like I've learnt a lot from it. I'm confident in my ability to make healthy food choices for myself, and I'm also more aware of the way we eat things without reading the label to see what extra unnecessary chemicals we're eating with it. the bread really hit me with that!

So next month I have said that I'm going offline - yikes! I think it needs to be specified that I will still be checking my emails, as important information comes through to me that way. But I will not be on facebook, blogger, pinterest etc. for the month of February. This should mean that I will have lots of time for old-fashioned entertainment, such as reading, sewing, knitting etc, I really enjoy doing these things, but they often take a backseat to surfing the Internet. But for the month of February, they will be pushed to the fore, I hope, by all the free time I have to fill! And I will update on how it went in March, at which point I will be aiming to take at least 1 photo everyday. I'm feeling really good about this method of making goals, as I can try new things for a decent amount of time, and feel the benefits and drawbacks without trying to commit to it for so long that I get bored, and without feeling the pressure of it hanging over me.

I'm going to go now, and get some sleep! I have some more recipes I want to try this week, and I'll try to update once more before I'm gone.

Love love xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

Getting to know me for the Crappy Day present Exchange

I will update with what I've been up to recently soon, but for now I'm doing a 'get-to-know-you' post, because I'm participating in the Crappy Day Present Exchange! So here's some information about me:

  • I'm vegetarian. I love all food, literally - there is not a single type of food that I don't like. But I'm vegetarian, so I don't eat meat. I do eat fish, though. And I prefer chocolate to sweets.
  • I love elephants. I don't know why, I just think they're really cool!
  • I have a cat - or at least my mum does. I adore my cat. She's very cuddly, and very warm. And very furry. She moults all the time!
  • I love bright colours - cheerful colours. I#m particularly fond of purple and teal, although I love orange too.
  • I like watching rom-coms, or Disney movies!
  • I spend my free time knitting, sewing, baking, writing letters and reading. I especially like sewing and baking. For my birthday, I asked my parents to get me baking equipment, as there were none provided in the student house I'm living in. They did brilliantly and got me most of the things I would want/need. I don't have measuring spoons, measuring cups or a rolling pin.
  • I'm currently a student at Nanny College. I spend one week in college, studying; and the next week working in a placement with children. At the moment I'm working with children aged between 2 and 4. I also do babysitting in the evenings and at weekends. One of my normal jobs is with twins aged about 14 months. I love working with children; they make me unbelievably happy. When I'm in college, I have some lectures and some practical lessons - cooking, sewing, practical skills and personal development.
  • I'm Christian. I love going to church on Sundays - the church I go to is really fun, and I find the services really interesting. I also go to a student night on Wednesdays at church, where we have a meal and fun chats!
  • I'm a very tidy person. I hate mess! My stuff is all organised into boxes, box files etc.
  • I don't drink much alcohol. I like to go out and dance, but I'm just as happy at home with a brew and friends to laugh with.
  • I love to laugh!
  • I don't generally bother to straighten my hair, wear makeup or do things like that. I like to for a night out, but I'm too lazy to do it normally. I prioritise other things instead.
  • I'm very serious about dental hygiene - three of my top front teeth are false, and after all the surgery I've had for them, I don't want to risk compromising them by not brushing properly and regularly!
  • I have no seasonal preference - I love how warm summer is, but I love cuddling up under a duvet in winter!
  • I prefer showers to baths usually, although I like a bath as a way to relax on occasion.
  • I have my driver's licence, but no car. I catch the bus everywhere at the moment, but I love going for walks.
  • I love musicals. Last summer I saw Les Mis on stage with the wife. The year before we saw Wicked. Both were amazing - as was the film of Les Mis!
  • Beth isn't actually my first name. My first name is Margaret. But I go by my middle name, Elizabeth shortened to Beth.
  • My favourite ice cream flavour is Ben and Jerry's half-baked.
  • I like colouring in. It's really fun, even as an adult! Adults don't get enough time to do pointless things like colouring in, and it's a shame!
  • I can't play any musical instruments, but I wish I could play piano and guitar.
So hopefully there are things here that you didn't know about me before that you know now!

Love love xx

Monday, 7 January 2013

Back in bath, Church, Belated Christmas Present, Mini Mug Rugs?, A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm back! I'm back in Bath, and tired with it. I arrived back late last night, having spent all day travelling. I managed to get plenty of reading done, though - I'm really enjoying The Shack Revisited, but it's hard to take in everything it's saying. I know it'll need re-reading a few times! But then, I found The Shack the same. Every time I read it I glean new meaning or understanding from it.

I went to Church this morning. I've missed it - it's been so long since I went. During the singing I felt sort of detached, and distant; but the sermon was really entertaining and full of messages. It was about John 15 - 'I am the true vine' and so on. I laughed a lot through it, but I felt like there were some really good messages.

I got to unwrap a lovely Christmas present from my parents today. I know, I know - awfully late for a Christmas present, but my mum brought it down for me before Christmas, so I couldn't open it until I got back, and I was too tired last night! It's a printer!! I'm especially glad, as it means now that I can do printing onto fabric whilst I'm here. Unfortunately the power cable that was meant to come with it - didn't. So I can't use it until my dad sends one down to me. But never mind!

So - you remember these mug rugs I made?

I have them with me in Bath, and I love them - they're so pretty and colourful! well, our landlady got us a new table for the kitchen, which is wood. It has a lovely feel to the wood and looks beautiful. But I have this aversion to putting any crockery straight down on it, as I worry that it will ruin the finish to it. So I've been using the mug rugs as placemats, and they work very well. They're just the right size for a bowl or plate. However, I have drinks with my meals. I've been using a second of these for my cup, but it seems oversized for just that. They're great for a mug and a snack, but just a mug? So I want to make a few coasters in the same style.

And one more thing: I joined a flickr group called A Lovely Year of Finishes. This means that I am aiming to complete at least one project per month for the next year. Well, since my other quilty projects that are unfinished are currently at my parents' house, I thought a collection of quilted coasters would be just the ticket! The challenge, of course, is that I don't have a sewing machine, which means I need to find time to use the one at 4DU - and when it's convenient for them! So that's my goal for January!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

 Right - I'm off to bed. I have my first day back at College tomorrow, and a lot to do!

Love love xx

Friday, 4 January 2013

Journey to Bath, Chats with friends, 2 QATWII blocks, the Third Block, Packing

I'm headed back to Bath tomorrow! I'm looking forward to getting back very much. I've missed all the girls, and my church, and my life, really. I can't wait to go back and see the girls from 4DU (4 doors up), and catch up on their lives. I want to get back to my room, and sort all my stuff from my backpacks out. I want to really get my teeth into 2013, and it's felt so far like I'm holding back, waiting until I'm independent again. Tomorrow I have a long journey from Manchester to Bristol - 5 hours - and then I'll need to catch a train to Bath, and then a bus home. I have my new book from the wife to occupy me, so I should get through a lot of that. Knowing me, I'll probably sleep a lot as well. I fall asleep on transport really easily, which is always a source of great amusement to friends.

One of the 4DU girls has been quite down over Christmas. I think she's finding life hard to balance between Bath and her home. She doesn't feel able to just be herself at home without being judged; and she's missing a friend terribly who moved back to South Africa halfway through December. But I think the real problem is that she got to be so happy with the South African boy, because he made her feel like she was worth something. And normally I think she secretly has really low self-esteem and self-worth. So now that he's gone, she's back to feeling like that. And the way she feels judged at home - not by family, but by friends - just makes it worse. I'm looking forward to seeing her and chatting. I hope I can help. I love her very dearly, and I want her to be happy.

In the meantime, I've made 2 of the QATWII blocks I needed to make, and I have one left. I know what I'm doing, it's just a matter of cutting the pieces and sewing them together. here are the 2 I've done:

This one asked for bright, spring/summer colours, a white background and some kind of star preferably. I used this pattern tutorial from Crazy mom quilts. I changed the way the colours go, though, so that it looked really sunny and starry and... I dunno, I preferred it this way!

And then the second one:

Sorry - not a great picture, I know! This one I created myself. They asked for colours in the range used in their own starting square, and geometric blocks. At some point I will put up the measurements and some pictures of how this one goes together - it's really simple actually. Lining up the diagonals felt scary but turned out to be really easy-peasy!

So those are the 2 I've done, so I have one more to do. It's based on a block pattern I saw on Quilter's Cache, but I've scaled it up to the right size. I know which fabrics I'm using and where, so I really do just need to cut them out and sew them! Pictures will follow at some point.

I have to get back to packing now. I'm really tired, but I know I'll run out of time tomorrow if I'm not careful. So the next time I post I will be in Bath!

Love love xx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Random retrospective thought, Truffles and Gingerbread Houses, Fabric and Themes, New Year Goals

So I was transferring some pictures into a folder on my computer, and I happened to flick through the old ones in there and I came across this particular image:

It feels crazy now to think that this was a part of my life for an entire year - and to think that I've been without it for 9 months. Looking at it now, it seems almost sort of grotesque. Yet at the time it was a part of me, much in the same way that my glasses or contact lenses are. I need them and so they feel like a part of my body, yet I can remove them. I think back over that year and I don't know how I did it. And I know that I did it because there was no choice, there was no option about it. You deal with what you have to in life. But, now that I don't have to deal with that, I don't know how I managed to do it. it feels... foreign, somehow.

Anyway, randomness aside, I thought I'd show you some pictures of the gingerbread house I made, and the truffles I made just before Christmas!

 These are the truffles - aren't they beautiful! I think so, anyway. I love how smooth the white chocolate turned out on the outside, albeit for the little lump on top of each of them. That's where they were speared on a cocktail stick for dipping.

 And dark on the inside! I love the contrast of the outside shell against the dark inside. The filling was rich with almond liqueur and dark chocolate, so the white chocolate coating balanced it really nicely. I gave some of these as Christmas gifts, and the rest were gobbled up by family!

 And the gingerbread house:

Not bad for a first attempt, huh?! I've never made one before, so it was all new to me. I used this recipe - I've got to be honest, it didn't really work so well for me personally. But it did work in the end, it's just I got a soft gingerbread rather than the biscuity, crunchy affair I'd been expecting! And it turned out alright, I think. It was really fun thinking of quirky twists to make to the house, like:

The cat-flap - can you see it? That way a gingerbread cat can come and go as he may please! Also a shed on the back, which was decorated in the same way as the front door and shutters:

I used a pastry brush to brush the melted chocolate on. It gives it a bit of a texture which I think looks quite like wood.

The last thing I did was to make these Christmas trees for the garden. This is done by cutting out 2 trees from the dough; then, once they're cooked you cut one of them in half whilst it's still hot. Once they're all cool, you glue the 2 halves to the other tree at right angles so it has four branchy bits. I used caramel as the glue for both the trees and the house. Then I sifted icing sugar over everything to make it look like snow.

I went shopping today with my mum. We went fabric shopping for Nanny College first. Our next sewing project is a play mat which is both double-sided, and doubles up as a bag for carrying the treasure baskets we make. Since I'm theming all my work under the theme 'Once Upon a Fairytale', I chose fabrics which look like The Little Mermaid:

See, they're all shades of turquoise. The one on the far left is mottled to look like the sea, and that will back-to-back with the one with spirals on. The other I got a scrap of, as I figured it would come in useful somewhere in this project.

I also bought this fish appliqué, as I felt that some appliqué and extra bits like that would look really good on this. Technically, students don't normally do things like this on the project. But the projects that we do are designed to ensure that all students learn basic sewing skills. Since I've been sewing all my life, the majority of what we do and learn is just reinforcement for me. I like to be stretched; I don't like things to be too easy. So I've been doing a few little extra bits like this here and there to maintain my interest and focus. I think that brushing up on my appliqué skills will do this - it is something I've done before, in a couple of different ways, but I know there's room for improvement, and the practise will help.

I bought one other fabric whilst i was out with mum. I didn't need it really, but when I saw it, I knew I just couldn't leave it behind:

 See what I mean?! It's so bright and cheerful, and the bobbins and needles are just so darn cute! I don't have a use for it right now, but I'm sure I will find one at some point. For now it will join the stash.

I also went clothes shopping with mum, and I bought some boots and a winter coat. and then I came home and made broccoli soup for supper. Yum!

This leads into my wacky New Year Goal for January: go unprocessed. By this, I mean that I plan to eat foods which contain natural ingredients only, and have not been processed so much that they are unrecognisable compared to what they started out as. I know, this sounds a little confusing. But basically it means that I'm going to aim to eat foods in their original, natural state. And for anything that isn't, like cheese, or butter, or pasta, I want to be able to read the ingredients list and recognise and understand what every ingredient is on there. And I want there to be no more than about 5 ingredients on the list, too. If there are too many then I will consider it processed. Obviously, I'm on the second day of this. I've not got into it quite yet, but that's because I'm still at my parents' house. I can't expect them to be okay with all my weird things that I like to try out and experiment with. So instead, I'm trying to use these few days to wind myself down to this goal; starting by reducing the amount of processed foods I eat and increasing the amount of natural foods I eat. So I'm not worrying about it too much until Saturday, and that's when I will get serious about it. We'll see how it goes!

Other than January, I've written down an initial plan for my wacky goals for most of the months - a couple are still empty. None of them are set in stone. A lot of them are things I've always wanted to try, like learning the piano or fasting or running. Some of them are challenges for me, which I think I will enjoy tackling, like no Internet for a month, or taking a photo everyday for a month. I expect the order I do them in will change, and some of them will be changed for new ones as I come up with things that I want to do more. The idea is to strive for things that I would otherwise think of doing but never actually do. That's why they're wacky!

With regards to my other goals, I have the new book I'm going to read for January already. It's my Christmas Present from the wife: The Shack Revisited. She was the one who originally lent The Shack to me, and I loved it. It gives understanding to some of the harder questions surrounding faith, and I've found ever since that if I'm struggling in life, I can often relate my problems to some part of The Shack, and see where my understanding is missing. This in itself can allow me to see how to solve my problems. Plus, I find it's always a great book for reminding me of what an amazing God I love. So the follow-up story was a brilliant gift to receive from the wife, and I'm really looking forward to reading it! I started it straightaway, but then I stopped myself, as I remembered that I have a 5-hour coach journey back to Bath on Saturday, which will be ideal for reading.

I will also be doing my January craft project tomorrow - I will be making as many of the QATWII squares as I can, whilst I have access to my mum's sewing machine. I've been really neglectful of the group since I went to Nanny College. But my aim is to get back into it! It's being able to access a sewing machine that is the challenge. so now is a great time to do as many as possible. This is also my second post on here for January, so hitting that goal pretty easily. that one's mainly about the stamina to maintain it all year, so we'll see. My letter writing and responding will have to wait until I'm back in Bath, but I'm confident about it. I really like my miscellaneous category - it's full of those things that I always want to do but never get round to. So hopefully they will happen at some point throughout the year.

I'm going to go to bed now! Tomorrow I want to be up early to tidy and sort my room; pack a few bits and pieces; and do lots and lots of sewing!

Love love xx

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, new start, Nanny College and Children, Assignments, Practical Skills, Making Friends, Christmas and Friends, Festive Food, Resolutions, Realistic Expectations and Positivity

New Year, new start. That's not to say a new start as in I've had a bad year, because I haven't. It's a new start because I haven't really posted at all since I started at Nanny College. Life has been so busy, and so hectic, and I've been working so hard at trying to get all my work done and make friends at the same time, that I've neglected all my writing outlets. I've barely written any letters since I began in September, my diary still lies open at an entry from 6 months ago, and the evidence of my blog is clear.

Even though I haven't written about it, I've had an amazing few months. Nanny college has been non-stop, and intense, and I've loved it all. I've had an incredible placement with a year 1 class. The staff there have been beyond helpful, showing patience and thoughtfulness, and helping me to grow in confidence. when I first started, I was terrified. I doubted everything I did and worried about using my initiative or doing anything without checking it first. But the staff were so friendly and encouraging, and I felt really comfortable and confident by the end. The children melted my heart everyday that I went in. They made me laugh, and smile, and sometimes I felt like crying when I knew there were problems in their lives that I could never even begin to solve. And yet even when I worried about them, I knew that by being there, by listening to them, and reading with them, and loving them, I was helping. One of the best things about working with children is that you are reminded each and every day that everybody deserves to be loved. Especially children. And if you're anything like me, you won't be able to help loving them. Of course, the downside is that your heart will break for every one of them, every time they have a problem. Your heart will break every time you leave them, and you wonder if they will grow up to be as amazing as they could be, or whether life will break them. Your heart will ache for every child you care for. But that pain is worth it, to know that you love them.

Sorry, got a bit corny and sentimental there! But I do mean every word. And that has, perhaps, been the best part of my first term. My placement has been a roaring success, and I received lovely appraisals. Other than that, I handed in my first 2 assignments. I know, compared to other people's university courses, 2 assignments doesn't seem like much. But these are beefy assignments which tie up more than just a module of the course. They're designed to be 80% independent study, and research, combined with practical aspects from our placements which make up primary research - although they have to be backed up with the secondary research, as we were constantly reminded! But that's okay, because I think it was helpful to be reminded to find sources and references to back up our inferences. I don't know how I've done in the assignments yet, but I'm expecting to get the results of the 2 of them over the next 3 weeks. I think I've done okay, though. As long as I've passed them both. I'm more confident about one of them than the other. But I've avoided thinking about them, as there's nothing I can do at this point. I did as well as I could, and hopefully that's enough for now. At least once I get them back there'll be criticism so I can understand how to do better next time.

The only other lesson I've had work to hand in for really has been practical skills. I got full marks for hand-washing homework, which was nice, and I've got a few more pieces of work to do for that - nappy changing, topping and tailing, and bottles. I love practical skills - it's my favourite subject. The teacher is really lovely, she always starts the lessons by discussing how we're all doing at the time, with placement, and work, and anything else we want to talk about.

I've made friends. Boy, do I feel like a child saying that. But it's true. Things have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with my housemates - we've had a few issues, but we've also had some fun together, too. But I've become really comfortable with some girls up the road. They're second-years, and really fun. I feel like I don't have to put on a face for them, I can be me and that's okay. I've missed them over Christmas, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again when I get back to Bath. I've also got to know a few girls from my year, with whom I'll be living next year. They're all very sweet, and I think we will at least live tolerably together next year, if not fairly happily.

Some photos from my first term in Bath...

 ...With 2 of my future housemates at the Roman Baths...

 ...A second-year from 4 doors up...

 ...And one of the other second-years from 4 doors up...

 ... And the snow"Nanny" we made together!...

 ...A visit to Thornbury to stay with SW, a close friend and future housemate...

...And my friend's beautiful baby boy! He's 4 weeks in this photo, and my heart was utterly melted! I could hardly bear to part with him, I was so attached. Plus, my friend seemed to get at least a bit of a break, I think - she not only trusted me to be the only person who'd ever held her baby and been with him whilst she was out of the room, but she said he was less grumpy than normal with us! He had a huge thing for curtains, too...

I've had a nice Christmas. It's been so, so good to see my family again! Everybody else from College (foreign students aside) went home at least once, if not multiple times, in the past 4 months. But I didn't. I didn't miss my family, and I'm glad to have saved the money. But I was very happy to come back and see them all. It's been a quiet Christmas, but very sweet. And of course, I got to see my friends from the area again. I saw BM and her new baby boy!! I was sure it was a girl, but it's a boy, and I'm so glad, and he is a beautiful baby boy, absolutely stunning! The wife and I went round for a few hours the other week, and I held that cutie for a loong time! It was a lovely catch-up with BM, and so amazing to see that, though tired, she is very happy with her baby boy. I also saw EH and she is doing well at the moment, still with her boyfriend and happier with her housemates than the last time I spoke to her, when she was having trouble with one in particular. And I saw the wife, who was as darling as always. We caught up nicely, and talked for a long, long time. I miss her so much. I miss the days when we were actively in each others' lives, all the time. I know life can't stay the same, and i enjoy my life as it is now. But I do wish that the wife and I could see each other more often.

I have baked some. We had Christmas on the street, between 3 houses of nanny students. I made profiteroles, cheesecake and chocolate cake; and I helped peeling and chopping vegetables and sorted out the chicken. That's right, the vegetarian basted, stuffed and put the chicken in the oven. and we had a brilliant meal. And then since I've been at my parents' house, I've made gingerbread nannies, and the pieces for a gingerbread house, and truffles which were really pretty! I have pictures of the truffles, and I will do a post really soon with pictures of them and the gingerbread house - once it's no longer flat-packed! I will also then tell you all about Postsecret with the wife.

So - a good year on the whole. I've made friends, kept friends, started my course which felt like it was never going to happen! I've learnt about living with others, and how to care for my own house. I've learnt to budget, and I've started eating healthily. It's been a busy year, and I've enjoyed it. It's had its downsides, of course, but I would not give this year away at all. With regards to last year's resolutions - I do get out of the house every 2 days at least; I eat lots of fruit and veg every day; and I'm more honest about my feelings with people. I don't exercise very much, but I haven't really had time. And my bedtime was really good, right up until this Christmas period. My writing pretty much vanished completely, but hopefully I can bring that back. And I read lots of new books at the start of the year, but that has waned in the last 4 months.

so - the new year's resolutions. I want to progress from last year's, so I want to base it on those. But life is different now, as I am at Nanny College, so I need to take that into account. and of course, there are different issues to life which I want to prioritise, like my time management, and my health since I have gained a lot of weight which has left me feeling sluggish and tired...

  • Exercise twice every week
  • Eat 4 fruit/veg everyday
  • Get to bed by 11:30 pm at least 5 nights a week
  • Lose 3 pounds a month
  • Write in my diary at least twice a week
  • Respond to letters within a week of receiving them
  • Write at least 3 blog entries per month
  • Start and complete at least one crafty project a month outside of lessons (knitting/sewing/arty)
  • Read at least 1 new, unread book a month
  • Clean one room in the house per week
  • Change my bed once per week
  • Save £10 from my weekly budget every week
  • Work at least 1 babysitting job per month
  • Find out my blood type
  • Create a youtube video
  • Read my Bible at least once a week
  • have a picnic
  • play 10 children's games
  • learn to make chocolate
I'm feeling positive about these. I realise, as I did last year, that I probably won't achieve them all; but they give me a good aim, and a good focus. I feel I can start things freshly this way. And each one has a timer to it, so even if I don't achieve it one week, or one month, I can achieve it for the next month. In that sense, it feels realistic. We'll see. I also want to set a wacky goal, one for each month. Just something silly, or crazy, or somehow selfish, that I want to accomplish, a different one every month. So twelve crazy ideas. I'll get back to you later with what they are. That'll be, 'later when I've figured out what they are'.

I'm going to go and glue my gingerbread house together, as best I can. Looking forward to a new year of blogging!

Love love xx
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