Here’s to the new year!
This year I have decided not to set any goals or resolutions, but pick a word, theme or phrase for the year.
I wish that I could claim this idea as my own. I first heard about it while listening to Happier with Gretchen Rubin, my favourite podcast.
The idea is you pick a word, theme or phrase to focus on for the year.
I have cheated, choosing 2 themes to focus on.
This theme is directed more towards friendships, but I also want to build stronger relationships with my family & colleagues.
I have a major idea in mind to help me tackle this.
In the last two years, most of my friends have had children. None of us have had much time for ourselves let alone time to catch up or a night off. So I plan to host a mum’s night off once a month for us all. The first one will be held at my house. Going to a restaurant is another idea too. I’ve also suggested to my husband that he also do something similar with the other husbands on another night.
I think the relationship I have with my immediate family is so strong at the moment but I want to extend that to the rest of my family. I’d like to visit my nan a bit more regularly. I’d like a regular catch up with my in-laws.
Mine en place is the French phrase meaning the preparation of dishes & ingredients before the beginning of service in a professional kitchen.
But I’m going to use it a bit differently. I am taking it to mean everything in its place. So that means at the end of the night putting things away, organising areas of the house & decluttering.
I also want to take the time to put things in their proper place for each room in the house, & make better use of the space. Trying to be smart, I think I can tackle one of these areas per month:
Here it is, my 2017 review! To quote Katy Perry: that was such an epic fail! (Firework by Katy Perry).
Read – Reading is hard when you don’t have much time for yourself! I read a lot more books to my daughter than I read to myself. It turns out I read/listened to 15 adult books in 2017. You can see my abysmal) progress for the Popsugar reading challenge here.
Actually take a lunch break – I quit my job back in May, so I can’t say I’ve worked through my lunch break much lately. Even while I was at work I was just as busy that I still ate at my desk.
Grow this blog – I think I have made real progress on this. While I’m still not posting as often as I would like. I am putting much more effort into things like content, graphics & social media. I have a ton of half finished posts & even more ideas.
Sewing – I did make that singlet that I had been planning make. However, it did turn out to be a bit smaller than I would have liked. And because of that, I haven’t actually worn it yet. That & the fact that the weather is only just picking up again now.
Financial – Since I didn’t have a goal, technically I didn’t fail here! However, I did start paying my husband & I some pocket money each week. It goes into our separate accounts so we can spend it on whatever we like.
Have a bath – I did actually use all the bath bombs that I had, so I purchased some more. It was great to have a bath at the end of the working week.
RELATED: 2017 Goals
Challenge myself – I have completed 2 challenges this year, see them here. I do really love this idea but so many of them need to be planned around different parts of the year. For example, 30 days of only water would be best done in the warmer months.
Running – Sigh. This really needs to stop appearing on my goals lists. I really must not be as keen as I think I am to make any progress with this. While I am still envious when I see people out running, thinking I wish that was me.
But to quote Gretchen Rubin: Onward & upward (closing phrase to her podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin)
We often have an excess of fruit at work from the weekly delivery. At the end of the week we are encouraged to take home any fruit that is still in the fruit basket.The common leftovers are mandarin, apple, pear, orange with the occasional banana. It really depends on what fruits are in season as to how many that we get, also determining what’s leftover.
I love having a variety of fruit to choose from. It means I don’t have to worry about remembering to bring snacks to work. Because of this, I often eat 2-3 pieces of fruit when I’m in the office. The other obvious benefit is I get my recommended daily serves of fruit.
I decided to put the leftover oranges to good use, making Orange Marmalade. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make!
If I have a choice between jam or marmalade for my morning toast, marmalade wins every time! It was rare that we had marmalade in the cupboard growing up, so I take advantage of it whenever I can. It will probably be on my toast every morning until the jar is empty!
As it’s the end of the year I needed to come up with something to give to my daughter’s childcare educators. I know they don’t expect anything but I just want to show my appreciation for helping my daughter to learn & develop so many new skills. And homemade food gifts are especially well received.
Juice the oranges.
Combine water, sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 40-60 minutes.
To test if the Marmalade is ready, dollop some Marmalade on a plate & let cool in the fridge for 5 minutes. If the Marmalade goes crinkly when touched, it is ready
Around the beginning of the year I decided that I wanted to give my husband 30 gifts for 30 years. One gift for each year of his life so far.
This birthday present has been months in the making & I’ve been working on a list of gifts since the start of the year. I’ve asked friends for suggestions & even called upon the help of Google.
RELATED: A Different Birthday Gift
It was really hard coming up with 30 different yet useful things. Lets just say I’m just glad that I didn’t wait until he was 40 to do this! I did my best to try to find things that were useful, but I ended up needing quite a few gag gifts. I also did my best to keep track of how much each item cost because I was curious what the total might be.
I was originally going to give him a gift voucher for the Apple Watch so he could pick out the one he wanted. However once the series 3 was released he decided that he really wanted one. I had no choice but to reveal that was what I was going to buy one for his birthday. He chose the one he wanted then I ordered it online.
It was quite a feat to wrap everything but it was well worth it. The dining table was covered in gifts and what a spectacular sight it was. My husband was so surprised by all the gift and the amount of effort involved.