2011 Resolutions Update

I’ve found last years list so have decided to have a review / tick / culling session –
  • Do more on folksy – add 3 new items a month 
Miserable fail on this one. Have not added anything in the last year. I’ve decided to mothball this idea for the foreseeable future (that’s not a never though!)
  • Go to EuroDisney (and arrive this time!)
Yes! Managed this one in May
  • Keep a journal
I’ve been sporadic throughout the year. When things get bad I go back to my journal to just get all of the thoughts out of my head. Journalling has been discussed as part of my fellowship and I know I need to journal and reflect on a serious basis. I struggle to do it regularly and I feel I also write things down without asking ‘why’ and getting to the heart of things. I’m making this subject a priority for January.
  • Blog at least once a week
Initially I thought I hadn’t achieved this but again its been sporadic but nearly 50 posts over the year so not tragically off the mark. I’m looking at online blogging projects to help keep my momentum up and keep me going next year. I also hope that the journalling habit unleashes amazing creativity in me but being realistic it won’t!
  • Make a list of UFOs (unfinished objects of a creative variety) and finish them
Another craft-related fail. I’ve done very little sewing this year. I gave up going to Stitch and Bitch as I was struggling with going every week due to tiredness. I’ve joined the WI as a compromise as a monthly evening out that keeps my hand in with creativity.
  • Learn to meditate
Not managed this. Still want to though and will keep looking for a course. Will go and google the Buddhist Centre now……
  • Decorate our bedroom
Yes! Still needs the finishing touches – Christmas presents helped here 🙂 Needs some shelves and sorting but the difficult bit is done
  • Think less (I know this sounds woolly – I know what this means to me!)
Yes! Promise I have done this. Wobbled lots around November but now know not to listen to middle grade registrars who aren’t qualified to have serious conversations about me that scare the hell out of us all.
  • Spend less time on the internet – have 2 internet free evenings a week in January
  • Finish thinking of 101 things for my dayZero list
Still not there. I think I’m on 80-something. Will keep going. January is always a productive 101 month for me.
  • Complete 25 things on the DayZero list
I did well this year. 16 completed and more in progress. I’m enjoying this project. Feel the countdown is looming already though.
  • Send 365 postcards (random – why did I think of this?!)

Why, why why? Gone, dead, forgotten. Never will be seen again.

So where will 2012 take me? Will definitely be thinking about this over the next few days and do a post.

Beat the Heat round up

A very late post – I’m sorry.  The last two weeks have been really busy. All for good reasons but so busy I just haven’t had the time or energy to blog.  So here I am!

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

Feeling very pleased with this one. I start my reduced hours at work tomorrow. Getting it all sorted out was more difficult than I thought but it all got sorted in the end. In general work is better, I’m happier, have more confidence in myself and my ability as a manager/leader and feel things are balanced well with home.

2. Get back into reflective journalling

Dabbling with this but the thought is there. Its helping with work but I’m not really committing to anything personally. I still keep looking for an altered book course. I would love to do a reflective altered book.

3. Lose 5lbs

Had a number of social occasions recently that have given me trouble. We also keep seeing reps at work who arrive laden with food. Overall I’ve lost 4lb during this challenge. I think I will carry this onto the next challenge and put it a little higher on my priority list. Someone at work is doing Lipotrim much to everyone’s horror. I’m not sure if her continued boast of 8lb loss in a week is a help or a hindrance.

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax

Absolutely nothing!

5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project


Did really well here –

  • decorate our bedroom – its starts on Friday so can I have that one?
  • join a book club – found a group and go to first meeting in October
  • run 10k – done
  • join the WI – done
  • put 5 books on bookcrossing – done
  • get mobile device at work – done
  • buy Eloise an alphabet poster for her bedroom – done
  • fix the toilet – done

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)

Very nearly there – Jack’s quilt just needs binding now and I’m planning to do that tonight. Will post when its done.  Also thinking about the next project and knitting away on my wrap. Feeling like my mojo is returning 🙂


I’m pleased I made it to the end and will definitely look out for the next one.


Beat the Heat – week 8

My Goals

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

2. Get back into reflective journalling

3. Lose 5lbs

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax

5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)


1.       What did you do this week to work towards your goals?

Failed miserably on the work/life balance. I’m in love with my work laptop as it makes things much easier but the downside is I can now work from home. Things were mad last week and I ended up sitting doing a pile of work Saturday night – not good. I’ve found a new nursery so just have to get Samuel signed up there ready to change in November and I think everything is sorted there.

I lost 1lb. I don’t feel very worthy of that pound and was surprised but I will take it thank you very much. Will just be a bit wary of next weeks weight but happy to have lost 5lbs in 3 weeks.

Also on a random note – join a book club is on my DayZero list. I’ve been looking for a while with no success. Out of the blue I was followed on twitter this week by Northampton Literature Group. Not sure why, I do not display any literaery skills! Anyway, I had a look at their website and they have a reading circle. Had a look  and they meet very close to where I live. I’ve made contact and will be going to the next meeting 🙂

2.       What did you do this week to make yourself feel fabulous?

Nothing. Still struggling this week. Decided on an impromptu trip to Mum and Dads caravan for bank holiday weekend so looking forward to that.

3.       What has been your biggest challenge this week?

Our washing machine died on Thursday. I’m just really fed up and feel we’ve had 4 weeks of continual rubbish and upheaval – nursery, illness, Steven’s bike and the garage.  I came home from work and Steven told me about the washing machine. After my pathetic attempts to fix it it was clear that best case scenario was paying someone to fix it, worst was a new machine. I wasn’t happy. I went upstairs, locked myself in the bathroom, cried, got it out of my system and then came downstairs like nothing had happened. It can’t be fixed for a reasonable amount of money and we were advised to just get a new one.

I spent the weekend taking my washing to my sister in laws and neighbours so we have clothes to wear. The new one arrives on Wednesday so we’re just getting on with it now 🙂

4.       Do you need neatness and order to feel good or does a bit of untidiness not bother you?

I like order but I am very untidy. A room can look like a total tip but I generally know where everything is.  I can’t handle too neat – it feels a bit clinical and OCD for my liking. I need some kind of system but its fine if that system is organised chaos.

5.       Would you rather be attacked by 20 duck sized horses or 20 horse sized ducks?

I am still totally puzzled by this random and bizarre question. I’ll go with the duck sized horses – I’ll be bigger than them and hopefully can run faster than them.

Positive picture

A random one. My car started making a horrible noise on the way to work this morning. Eventually I found a piece of wood with a nail through it stuck in the front wheel. It was on the edge so I thought I was now going to have to get a new tyre.  I managed to get to work. The little garage by my office didn’t do tyres so he recommended someone round the corner (didn’t know this place existed). He looked at it, said straight away that he could repair it and I could leave the car there and he would fix it all whilst I was at work. I left very happy, feeling much more positive with a bill far better than a new tyre.

(Please note, this isn’t my actual wheel – mine are filthy. It does look like that though for accuracy)

Beat the Heat – Week 6

Weight Wars 

Is this half way?? Still going strong. Last weeks dire week is behind me. Nothing great to report, the ongoing issues aren’t resolved but hey-ho. I’m plodding on!

1.       What have you done this week to help you achieve your goals?

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

All systems go to start reduced hours on 12th September. I’ve gone public with the rest of my team and the response was positive and supportive – I had a fear there would be cries of ‘what about me?!’ but there wasn’t. I spoke to my manager about the nursery situation. She can delay the change if I need to but I’ve said to keep going and I will sort nursery between now and November.

2. Get back into reflective journalling

Nothing on this

3. Lose 5lb

My new goal. Setting a small achievable target with a long term plan tied into my plan online. Lost 2lb this week so pleased with that 🙂

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax


5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project


I went to my first WI meeting last night and had a great time 🙂 Saw people from my sewing group that I stopped going to a few months ago due to stress and tiredness. It was great to catch up with people I’ve not seen in a while and I’m aiming to get back to sewing group sooner rather than later.

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)

Not finished the quilt yet! Jack was born last Wednesday so I’ve got the rest of the fabric and will get that sorted this week.

2.       What have you done this week to make you feel fabulous?

Nothing that I can think of! We are both so tired and run down we have decided tomorrow we are having a take away and will be in bed by 8pm. I can’t get any time off work so we’re trying to do little things to recharge our batteries at home.

3.       Do you feel you get everything out of your life? Would you like to change things or are you happy where you are (I know a bit deep but I’m thinking about major life achievements this week achieved and not!)

Hhmmm……. that’s a question to ponder. In general I’d say yes.  I think its easy to sit and think ‘what if’ and you’ll never know the answer. I wonder why beat yourself up over things that haven’t been achieved. It’s not necessarily about making do with a situation but being more proactive to make that change. I’m happy with where I am.

4.       What’s your ultimate favourite food? Is it healthy? Can you make it healthy?

My ultimate is parsnips, preferably roasted. Surely a vegetable is healthy! I also do a mean parsnip cake. I keep thinking I haven’t made one in a while so may have to do one this weekend.

5.       Fun Question: What do you want to be when you grow up ?

I can remember being at playgroup and telling people I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up so I achieved what I wanted. Career wise I’m happy where I am and where I’m going. The only other dreams I have related to highly unlikely lottery wins!

Positive picture –

The London riots have just totally stunned and angered me. I really do not get attacking innocent people in an attempt to attack the state. Totally inexcusable. Today the people are fighting back against the rioters and this photo cheered me up. I really hope tonight is quieter with less trouble and the majority of people send out a strong message to the mindless minority who think they are above the law.

Beat the Heat – week 4

Weight Wars 

I’ve had a grotty weekend and feeling all doom and gloom but lots of good things have happened so I’m thinking of them and not my tonsilitis!


1.       What have you done this week towards your goals?

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

I’m now settled on dropping my hours and not worrying. Eloise had a trial ballet lesson last week and loved it so I’ve booked her into start those in September and they will be on my day off so it’s all starting to come together. I’d also had problems with my tax credits hanging over me with a very large overpayment being talked about and causing most of my stress. On Saturday I had the final letter relating to it all saying I don’t owe any money, and they owe me so a big relief all round. I think this has helped settle my mind on the money side of things.

2. Get back into reflective journalling

Had a good go at this and its helped me put together my application form for the clinical leadership fellowship. Struggling to get down to the word limit and need to get it sorted and submitted this week.

3. Run once a week

Missed this one again – busy and ill. Same old excuse!

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax


5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project

Join the WI has been on my list. I like the idea of the WI but don’t really fit into their typical stereotype. A couple of years ago I rang them and asked for a ‘young’ WI they could recommend. They pointed me in the direction of one which really wasn’t me. Anyway, getting to the point, I’ve heard that there is a new WI being set up in Northampton by a group of people my age, people that I know from my sewing group so I know it will be my cup of tea. I missed the first meeting as we were away so I’m planning on going to the next one.

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)

No real strides made here but I’ve already rung in sick for tomorrow. The kids are at nursery so I will have the house to myself. Sewing machine will be out and I WILL tackle the quilt for sister in law’s impending baby (still no sign much to her frustration).


2.       What did you do to make yourself feel fabulous?

Cleansed, toned and moisturised and its made a big difference to my skin so I will be sticking to that for the next week. Clearing my rubbish has been stifled as I’ve been ill and really not in the mood. My mum is coming next week so she is acting as a good motivating factor 😉

3.       Do you exercise? What is your favourite kind and why?

Not really. Exercise is not part of my genetic make up (my family will vouch for this inherited trait). The only thing I’ve ever really enjoyed is aquaerobics. You feel like you are working really hard, ache like mad afterwards (I view this as progress) but don’t get out of breath. You also don’t get sweaty. My perfect exercise.

4.       There are loads of fantastic bloggers here in the Beat the Heat competition, which blog or blogs have you discovered through the challenge that you particularly enjoy? Show that person some love!

I’m loving Munchberry at the moment – you’re making me smile! 🙂

5.       Fun Question: What song makes you want to dance at the moment?

My ipod is cluttered with Eloise’s playlist of songs. Some I can handle (Beauty and the Beast theme) some make me want to scream (Dora theme tune) but some are tolerable.  After our holiday in February I spent several days googling the songs that had been at the mini disco each night. This is the current favourite – we all have a good sing and dance and it reminds us of holidays


Right, positive picture time and I’m excited! Got another round of results for my masters today and here are mine –

The blue highlighted bit is me 😀 with 85%. Very very chuffed about that. I didn’t think it was that good so now desperate for the feedback to be emailed to me!

10k Photos

The photos for my 10k went online this week and I’m quite pleased with them. I’m running in more photos than walking which is a good reflection. It meant I could say to Steven ‘see, I DID run’ – his ongoing pep talk was that I should never walk, just run until I died. I didn’t find it that helpful!

You can have a look at the full selection here

I also got a free download from the finish line. Its not the most dynamic photo (I’d sprinted the last bit!) but its proof that I finished!





Beat the Heat – week 3

Weight Wars

1.       What have you done this week to work towards your goals?

I’ve adopted the ethos of slow and steady and pottering along with things rather than screaming in all guns blazing. I think this is working. I’m proud that I’m still here at week 3 and not fed up yet. I even managed to blog on another occasion this week (a rarity!)

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

My change in work hours has been approved. Not entirely comfortable with this for financial reasons. The last 2 months have been a struggle and I’m wondering if I’m mad but have started practical things to reduce costs. Last week at work was good, my diary this week is also the best it has looked in months 🙂 Eloise is off nursery sick today. I contacted my manager and asked for annual leave as I would usually do. She has given me the day as paid carers leave so I’m feeling that’s a good example of a good work/life balance today.

2. Get back into reflective journalling

I’ve found my journal that I started last year and got the book out of the library that inspired me last time. I’ve decided to apply for the clinical leadership fellowship so will use reflection to help put together the application. There’s a fair amount of things to consider when putting in the supporting statement so I think putting it on paper and working through it will be a helpful experience.

3. Run once a week

Not been this week – lol. The kids have been ill and the weather has been very grim this weekend. Have barely left the house!

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax

I went to the library and got a great book

Its very basic and simple but very practical and easy to use. There are loads of quick things in there that I feel I can easily use so will put some of them into practice this week.

5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project

Finally got Eloise an alphabet poster for her bedroom. I’ve had a sort out of the list and completed more than I had realised. I still haven’t got 101 things on the list so will try and complete that one by the end of this challenge. My gentle pottering mentality means I’m thinking about a few things at the moment rather than focusing strongly on a couple.

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)

Not really any further forward on this. I sat and had a knit last night for the first time in months. I started a cabled wrap for myself last year and really want to finish it in time for winter. I’m past the half way point so I think this is an achievable target

2.       What have you done this week to make you feel fabulous?

Nothing springing to mind! I’ve been busy but haven’t been stressed at all which is a nice feeling in itself. I was dreading going back to work as I usually return to too many emails and messages. I hate the voicemail light on my work phone. It gives me a sense of dread and I worry about how many messages are on there. Sometimes I ignore it as I think its better not knowing how many messages are there. I was brave, first think I did was check my messages and was rewarded with a very nice ‘2 messages’. One had been dealt with already so I started off on the right foot.

3.       I wrote about gadgets this week (my fav one anyway), do you have any gadgets that help you to your goals or are you a low tech kinda person?

I sit in the middle. I like my gadgets and would be lost without my netbook but thats it really. Still dreaming of an iphone. I’m sitting and waiting for the cost to come down to something more manageable.

4.       We are half way through the year, what have you achieved so far (in all aspects of life)?

I’ve achieved a huge amount at work – this has only really become obvious to me in the last few weeks. I was concentrating too much on what I hadn’t done rather than giving myself credit for what I had done.

5.       Fun Question: Tell me one of your secrets to achieving goals and living a happy life?

Remember that you’re just as important as everyone else.