My 2019 Bullet Journal Setup

After falling out of love with my bullet journal last year I was finally ready to jump back in for 2019.

For inspiration I treated myself to a brand new bullet journal. Which I now realise I didn’t take a photo of. Oh well. It’s red. Use your imagination. Or look at it here.

Last year I found that even when I tried to make my spreads super minimal it still didn’t make me want to fill it in any more than when I recorded every little thing. So I decided to find an in between. Here it is.

I had some cute stickers I wanted to use!

I love making Year at a Glance spreads and this one was no different. This time I used some skinny washi tape to mark out different things like holidays etc. Pretty!

Of course I had to display my 19 for 2019. I’ve even managed to tick one of them off already!

Topher and I both love our food and the food scene in Manchester is great, but we’re always stumped on where to go. So a restaurants to try list was a must for this bullet journal. I also added in my usual running to do list for general.

My next couple of pages I dedicated to targets. Firstly my target weight tracker. As I mentioned in my 19 for 2019 post, I want to get to my happy weight this year and stay there. My goal is to get to it or as close as I can to it by the time I go to Japan. Firstly because a scary nurse told me to or she’ll switch my meds and secondly because I want at least some hope of being able to buy something from Harajuku that will fit.

The second page is for savings for Japan. We’re a little behind savings as we borrowed some for some super cheap flights for another big trip this year but we’ll get there. I definitely borrowed this design from my last bullet journal.

I want to actually keep track of the books and films I consume this year so plan on keeping this spread up to date. The book one I just roughly sketched out and will make it prettier as I go along. And the films one needs my film strip washi tape adding to it and it will look way better.

And now for the monthly spread. Unlike previous bullet journals, I’ve tried out doing a double page spread instead of stretching it across a few pages. I’ve included spaces for key dates, my goals, memories, trackers for specific goals (yeah not doing so well on a couple of those so far!), steps and a motivational quote. I like the way it looks and will probably continue sticking to a double page – though I may switch up the layout itself in future months.

Another change from previous journals, I’m now doing a weekly spread across two pages instead of a day per page. I like the layout but I think I might use my skinny washi tape in future to make the lines a bit cleaner.

And that’s it. If you’re interested in other bullet journal posts I’ve written, check them out here.

Continue Reading

Operation Getting More Organised

organised
Source

There is still time to get 2019 off to a productive start. Rather than committing yourself to unrealistic aims like running 20 miles per week or giving up booze, why not focus on getting organised?

After all, a greater sense of organisation will enhance virtually every aspect of your life. Here’s how to take greater control in 2019 by incorporating a few simple ideas:

1. Organise your home with a thorough decluttering session. Unwanted goods can be sold online to raise some much-needed funds. Moreover, personal storage facilities allow you to think about things while redesigning the home. If possible, you should look to go paperless with various bills too.

2. Get your finances under control. Poor financial management is easily the most common form of bad organisation. Take a look at your bank statement and see where you’re wasting money. Whether it’s ditching the morning trip to Cafe Nero or changing broadband provider, those changes are huge.

3. Make a list of aspirations for the year. It’s impossible to follow the smoothest pathway if you don’t have one eye on the destination. My #19for2019 will hopefully give you some inspiration, but it’s ultimately about organising your life to help you lead the life you wish to lead.

4. Learn to organise your foods. Keep the items that are nearest to their expiration date at the front of the cupboard and you should see your food waste fall. This will also enable you to avoid buying too much of an item before it’s needed. It’s great news for your budget, space, and waistline.

5. Start using technology to aid your life. Using your calendar, reminders, and various downloadable Apps will force you to be organised. Perhaps the best thing you can do, though, is set a screen curfew. Stop using your phone after 9 PM, for example, and you will see positive outcomes.

6. Unsubscribe from promotional emails that you don’t want and quit any tasks that are wasting your time. Time is the most valuable resource at anyone’s disposal, which is why you must ensure that it is being spent in the best way. This one simple change can transform your world.

7. Find a good work-life balance. Your career is important, but it should not prevent you from enjoying special moments with loved ones. This is particularly pertinent when you’re self-employed or a business owner. However, even those in traditional employment must take note of this.   

8. Try to think ahead. Whether it’s planning your meals for the week or being ready for your child’s schedule doesn’t matter. Thinking beyond today lets you put the most logical plan and strategy into place. This will inevitably work wonders as you look to make the most of your time and resources.

You might not want to incorporate all eight of those ideas, but there should be something for everyone there. They’re all manageable, realistic, and destined to make a positive impact in 2019. What more could anyone ask for?

This is a collaborative post

Continue Reading

2018 Slightly Sweaty Goals – How did I do?

2018 goals

So you may or may not remember my Slightly Sweary Goals of 2018. Here’s an update on how I did:

Fuck the Target Weight – Get to Happy Weight

Nope. Not even a little bit. I actually put on weight. I got off a bit of it before the end of the year but it’s safe to say that this one was a complete fail…

Earn some fecking money

Yes. I definitely did this. I ended up deciding in April that I had had it with self employment and by the end of May I had a job. A nice job with nice people and one where I earn a decent wage. It’s lovely and I feel better now.

Stop farting around and book that trip to Japan

Done and done – we’re going in April! The earning some fecking money definitely helped with this one! I’m ridiculously excited for this one.

Get rid of crap…like seriously you have way too much shit

I got rid of a load of stuff. Did car boots, gave to charity and threw a bunch of stuff out. Feeling a hell of a lot lighter. And we can actually put suitcases in the airing cupboard now. But there is still a way to go! It’s a process.

Stop feeling so bloody inadequate – you are enough

This is also a work in process. I took a big nosedive this year but by the end I felt like I was coming out the other side. We’ll get there.

If you want to see my goals for 2019, check them out here.

Continue Reading

19 for 2019

Happy new year! Instead of the usual resolutions, I’ve decided to do #19for2019 instead. It’s pretty much the same kind of thing but more of a list of things to do. 19 things to be precise. I want to tick off as many as possible. The cool thing about this list is you can put anything on it big or small.

#19for2019 comes from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast “Happier” and I remember listening to last years 18 for 2018 lists from her and all the listeners and wanted to take part. However it wasn’t on the cards for me – I definitely wasn’t in the right frame of mind in 2018.

I’m all for it this year though, so check out my list for #19for2019:

  1. Go trampolining with mum
  2. Get to target at Slimming World (the happy weight not the super skinny one)
  3. Finish Florida 2015 scrapbook. Yes you read that right and no I haven’t finished it yet!
  4. Make and finish wedding & honeymoon scrapbook
  5. Finish Tangled jigsaw
  6. Visit York
  7. Make 5 recipes from Mowgli cook book I got for my birthday this year
  8. Get a denim jacket and sew my patch collection onto it
  9. Vlog Japan – Currently I just do musical roundups of trips. I partly attempted to vlog our honeymoon but kept chickening out. This time I want to go for it.
  10. Put up a towel rail and fix the towel hook in our ensuite. A niggly job that I’ve been putting off!
  11. See something at the theatre
  12. Archive and organise my mountain of paperwork
  13. Scrapbook and organise the giant box of sentimental bits and bobs I’ve accumulated over the years.
  14. Take the tape off the walls, polyfill the holes and touch up the paint in the living room. I can finally call the room finished when I’ve done that!
  15. Do a 30 day yoga challenge. Long time readers will know my back/arm/repetitive strain issues so I want to see if yoga will help at all. I’m not doing the gym any more so need to do some kind of activity
  16. Finally do indoor skydiving – this has been on my list for years
  17. Get a savings app to track my spending better
  18. Rejig blog layout and transfer photos to new storage platform. I’m currently with Flickr and with all the new changes, I have just over a month to get all my 7 years of photos off there. A huge job!
  19. Open a new savings account and actually have something in there at the end of the year.

Have you made any resolutions this year?

Continue Reading

2018 in Review

Balance. That’s definitely a word I’m going to live by in 2019. You may have noticed that my posting this year has been somewhat erratic. Hopefully that’s something that’s going to change next year. I’ve got a bunch of posts planned for the new year so let’s start by looking back on the old.

You can see my previous years in review here: 201220132014,2015, 2016 and 2017.

January

January was a bit of a quiet one. After coming down with the flu on New Years Eve, I spent the next couple of weeks in bed. Eventually I ventured out to Bake with a Legend and go out for a couple of meals with Topher.

February

February despite being freezing was a much better month for my physical health. Mental health though, not such much. But I did go out for a few meals and the highlight of the month was flying to Disneyland Paris with Topher. He got the flu while we were there but we still had a great time.

March

I spent most of the month writing about our Paris Adventures here and here as well as finally finishing our honeymoon video. It only took me 5 months… Improvements in the house slowly came along as well as we got a new (to us) bed in the guest room as well as a new cat tree for Pickles and Luna which they appreciated. The old one was dead!

April

April was the month where I started getting serious about turning my mental health around. I made a big decision and decided to start hunting for a 9-5. I needed some structure, some cash and less pressure on my creative side. Topher and I went to one of our couple friends’ leaving party (they moved to Japan for a year), had some tasty ramen and bubble tea and I finally put up some more frames in the hallway of our house. I also joined the library and got a new car!

May

May is definitely the month where things started to look up. I got a job and started at the end of this month. A celebratory pizza was needed! I also sorted out some clutter at home by doing a car boot with Emma. In terms of the blog, I barely wrote anything!

June

A bit of a big thing happened in June. I turned 30! I celebrated in style; Junkyard Golf, dinner and cocktails with friends at the weekend and then on my actual birthday after work I went to a Japanese restaurant with Topher and Emma. Here’s 30 things I learned in 30 years.

July

July started with Claire and I going to the Manchester Eats Festival which was really fun. A perfect day out for two foodies. Topher and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary by staying in a treehouse in Anglesey. And finally at the end of the month, Topher’s step-brother Adam turned 18 so of course that involved a few drinks!

August

My oh my was August a busy one! Most of it was taken up by our annual Jordan trip which Emma came along to for the first time. Check out our adventures; The Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Petra and Amman. I’m still working on the video but I’m hoping to have that done by the end of January. The big event during our Jordan trip was my cousin’s wedding. A great evening. Other highlights of the month included going to a Premier League football match with my parents and celebrating a friends birthday.

September

September was the month where I finally made an apple crumble from the apple tree in our garden. So tasty! I also wrote about doing One Second Everyday for a whole year. And then I dropped off the face of the blogging world.

October

A busy month for travel (I’ll use this as an excuse for the lack of blogging) I visited both Leeds and London. Leeds was a great time for me and Topher. He had a gig to go to in the evening so we made a day of it and spent way too much money on all the pretty things. And then London was a trip specifically for Topher and our friends to go to ComicCon. I just went down so I could wander around London which was really good fun. I finally visited Camden and a bunch of shops we don’t have up north. In other news, we finally bought Halloween decorations for our house.

November

Lots of food and home improvement this month. I tried to do #BEDM and failed miserably. We put up some frames in the living room – I might finally be able to show a finished room next year! And I also bought a pin flag which since this photo has a few more pins on it… Topher and I went to the Doki Doki festival in Manchester and bought so many pretty things for our house including this print. I’m really hyped for our Japan trip now!

December

And finally December. This is my first blog post of the month so I have nothing to link. Just lots of photos. As you can see, we ate all the food, went to all the Christmas parties and played all the games. Topher and I went to his mum’s for Christmas day and then drove over to my parents for Boxing Day with the cats and stayed over for a few days. We just got back yesterday morning and went out with some friends in the evening.

New Year’s Eve this year is being spent at home for some peace and quiet and I’m chuffed to bits. 2018 wasn’t the best year in the world but it could have been a lot worse!

Here’s to 2019!

Continue Reading