Category Archives: Life Plans and Goals

And we start again.

Now, I’m not usually one for diets, as I love my figure. However, I have a bridesmaid’s dress to get into in July, and several things between now and then that require more stamina and fitness than I currently have. I’ve been wanting to improve my fitness for a while, so hoping that by doing that I’ll automatically shift a few pounds (ok, quite a lot of pounds) and look amazing in the dress almost by accident.

Yeah, right.

But seriously, it’s been a while since I’ve actively tried to be healthy about eating – I use the excuse (and it is an excuse) of working in London and being busy and blah blah blah… yes, I’m out of the house for 14 hours a day and yes, I often can’t be bothered to cook when I get in because I’m exhausted. I also have issues with portion size – if it’s normal time, I eat normal portions. If I get home from work late, by the time I’ve cooked I’m so hungry I just inhale the food without even really tasting it, and I eat far too much because I’m so hungry I don’t wait to find out if I’m full or not.

I also snack too much at work – which would be fine if it was on healthy stuff, but actually the amount of chocolate my floor gets through is frightening!

So. It’s freezing cold but once I’m out there I’m usually fine, so I’ve set myself the following targets:

  • Walk, run (not yet… I’m building up to this) or rollerskate for at least 30 mins at a brisk pace, 2-3 times a week
  • Use the bloody iJoyRide – it sits in my living room and it requires just fifteen minutes for one setting. It tones your legs and stomach, and your arms too if you’re not reading a book in the process. There is NO EXCUSE for me not to be using this, especially not given how long I wanted one for.
  • Cut down on the chocolate and the Pepsi Max. If I could make myself come off the caffeinated fizzy drinks altogether I would – I think I’d notice an instant reduction in waistline from the lack of bloating! I’m not suggesting cutting chocolate out as I know from bitter experience that just makes me crave it.
  • Stretch. I used to be a dancer, ergo I used to be really flexible. I’m not entirely sure when that stopped being the case, but I’m determined to get it back.
  • Use the slow cooker. I bought one for a reason – with planning, there’s no reason why dinner can’t be ready ten minutes (twenty at the most) after walking through the door – this is much healthier than trying to cook at 9pm and getting stressed because I’m overtired, or grabbing fast food on the way home because I’m anticipating cooking and can’t be bothered.
  • Cook properly whenever possible. As I (re)discovered over New Year, I actually really like cooking – I just need time and space to do it properly. So when I have a weekend off (i.e. not dashing madly around the countryside visiting people or doing stuff) – I’m going to cook!

I think all of these are achievable, although if any of you lovely lot who follow me on Twitter are reading this, I’d massively appreciate the odd guilt-trip or poke to make sure I am in fact doing it. I can be very faddy, and will do something for a couple of days then crack and open the Maltesers. (Mmmmm. Maltesers. You see the problem I have?!)

I won’t check in on a particular day of the week, but I will try and post regular updates, for myself as much as anything else. My targets and incentives are my USA trip (9 February – I need to stop procrastinating!); my 26th birthday (21 February – ditto); a canal boat trip in May (I need to leap on and off of boats. That’s not even slightly going to happen at the moment) and Julia’s wedding in July. She and her bridesmaids are pretty much all a size 8, and I’m never going to match that (nor would I want to, I’d look really weird) but I’d like to have pin up curves rather than squidgy bits by then if at all possible!

So we’ll see how I do!

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Filed under Healthy Living, Life Plans and Goals, Planning

Things that make me happy Thursday – overdue edition!

Ooops, I don’t appear to have done one of these since before Christmas! So, the run up to 2012 and the first couple of weeks of it… They have made me smile muchly…

Catching up with family over the festive break
Having a festive break – in my adult life I’ve never had more than four or five days off in a row due to work, and this year I had ten!
Getting unexpected Christmas presents
Celebrating New Year for the first time in a long time
Experimental cocktails with Rob’s new blender (notes: lime is good in SMALL quantities. Do not always follow the recipes to the letter. It is perfectly acceptable to mix two litres of lychee daiquiri, take it to a party and drink it all yourselves.)
Cooking from a Jamie cookbook. Several times. And succeeding!
Starting 2012 how I’d to continue it
Swapping socks with Holly
Seeing Anna on new years day :)
Enjoying the commute with my new toy
Dan not recognising me from behind because my hair’s so long
Amanda’s zombie app comment
Wearing floral trainers
Two of the girls who keep me sane at work going permanent
A label on a pack of ibuprofen tablets instructing me to remove all packaging before microwaving. Sure.
Catching up with Val via email
Making my resolutions/hopes/thoughts/dreams list for the year ahead

From the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous and back again!

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Filed under Baking, Christmas, Family, Friends, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Technology and gadgets, Thinking

Hello 2012 – we’re going to get on famously

This will have to be quick, because I should have been in bed half an hour ago… oh, how I have really not missed the 5.30am starts at all over the break!!

I’m starting 2012 in an incredibly happy, uplifted and motivated frame of mind. I am surrounded by people I love who love me, I have my little haven of a flat and my much adored Poppy-car, changes at work in the last couple of months of 2011 mean I’m much happier there than I thought possible to begin with, and I’m ridiculously lucky that my main stresses are usually that I have too many people and fun things to fit into my social life. Terrible, isn’t it?!

But genuinely, I’m very lucky and well aware of this fact. I’m also intending and hoping for 2012 to be my best year yet… full of all the things I love to do, all the people I love to see and empty (or emptier, at least) of things that make me sad and stressed out. I’m not completely in la la land, I know that various things will be impossible and hard and tearful through the year, but right now things are rosy and I intend to make the absolute most of that.

Things I am muchly looking forward to this year:

Julia’s wedding ~ this is the big one, my best friend and twin soul is getting married on 7th July and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of her bridesmaids and I’ll do everything I can to make sure her big day is perfect.

USA road trip ~ a road trip round the southern states with my parents that we have been talking about doing for close to ten years, we’re flying out to Texas on 9th February and I’m so excited I can barely breathe!

CAE 2012 ~ Camping Auto Extravaganza with the ROC boys and girls is always a highlight of the calendar – this will be my third one, and each one makes me marvel that a bunch of people who only met each other because of their cars can be such very good friends and have such an awesome time.

Neverwhere ~ one of my favourite books by the awesome Neil Gaiman, and my best friend Lou of Contrariety Rose has been working on the costumes for the play for months and months. I’m off to see it on 20th January and am very excited!

Goodwood Revival ~ another one of those things I’ve been threatening to do for ages, Lou & Paul said they’d like to go and much to my surprise so did Rob when I mentioned it the other day… and dressed vintage too! So I’m hoping we’ll get to do that in September… fingers crossed!

My 26th birthday ~ not a traditional landmark I know, but I feel like I’m hitting my prime, and will be taken more seriously once I’m in my late twenties, and I’m hoping to celebrate with lots of friends and lots of family.

Unofficial Ireland rally with Rat Patrol, Team Allegro and Bucket of Doom ~ Assuming we actually manage to get this organised, I would completely adore to see the others again. I am perfectly prepared to abandon the idea of a banger and just go in Poppy if that’s the only way I can afford to go (as the £250 banger car spending limit would probably pay for most of my petrol and camping costs, lol). I’ve missed those guys!

And last but not least, launching Teasets to Typewriters, rejuvenating Ducking Fabulous jewellery as part of that and hopefully becoming involved with a new website, What Simon Said, with a friend I met on the rally and have kept in touch with via Twitter. I have many, many goals this year… some of them are listed on the 2012 Things page of this site, which can be found on the tabs at the top.

So, enough photo-free waffling from me – it’s been wonderful blogging and tweeting and ‘meeting’ people (I’m mostly looking at you, @craftyguider,@fairlyairyfairy@meanyjar, @CraftyThINKer, @MissJimJams, @ShhimUK, @LucyMoose ) in 2011, and I hope the friendship and support continues into 2012 and beyond! Happy 2012… enjoy it!

xx

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Business Wafflings, Collecting, Creating, Driving, Family, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Love and Stuff, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Planning, Poppy, Projects, Recording, ROC, Thinking, Travelling, USA Road Trip 2012

Hey… it’s nearly Christmas!

Quite how it’s got to be 13 December without my noticing and making a massive song and dance about Christmas, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the weather. Yep, we’ll blame the unseasonal lack of snow, ice and general cold misery that usually characterises December in England.

However, it does mean it’s almost Christmas. Now I am usually a Christmas fanatic – I love it! I love the build up, the songs, the decorations, the food, the preparation, the licence to wear glitter during the day, the ridiculous novelty earrings – the lot!

This year, a lot of this seems to have passed me by – I’ve been so busy with all the things I do that I’d barely noticed it was December! I have managed to put up my wreath, thought I’ve not yet had time to make another one and post a tutorial; I have decorated my little Christmas tree but haven’t put many of the rest of my decorations up yet; and I’ve been to two Christmas dinners and one Christmas party. So I’m not doing too badly, but I need to up my dose of the Christmas spirit!

So, some things (not all Christmas related!) to do before the 25th:

Put up the rest of my decorations ~ Decide what to wear ~ Buy token gifts ~ Send out email greetings ~ Make donation to Macmillan (in lieu of presents and cards this year, as we lost my godfather to cancer in July) ~ Go to a carol service ~ Go on the charity SantaLash pub crawl round London ~ organise Julia’s hen weekend ~ research sewing machines ~ research tablets and contracts ~ make some more Christmas jewellery/jewellery to wear at Christmas ~ go skating on one of London’s many outdoor rinks.

Then a few days of peace, and then it’s New Year!

I’m heading up to Nottingham for New Year, which I’m really excited about, especially as I haven’t celebrated it for about three years now. While the rest of the world (or so it seems) parties, I usually curl up with a blanket, wine, a really good book and a large tub of Haagen Dazs. Not bad, but I can’t wait for this one! I  will be taking a notebook on the train (I’d prefer to drive but it depends on the weather) to make resolutions and plans for 2012. I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to see some fireworks – I ADORE fireworks even when it’s freezing cold outside!

What are your plans for Christmas? New Year’s Eve? New Year’s Day? I hope that whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re with and however you celebrate, you have a glorious few days :)

All images link back to their original source.

 

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Decisions, freedom and infinite possibility…

I am typing this on the train, sitting next to a woman with an ipad and an iphone. I feel a strange mixture of clunky (my laptop is ENORMOUS in comparison and I don’t have mobile broadband) and smug (I can type so much faster and more accurately than she can, mweeheehee).

The last few weeks have changed my life, overwhelmingly for the better. For various reasons I can’t talk about any of those reasons in detail, but one of the net results is that I have signed up for a season ticket loan for a train ticket, which means I’ll be at work for at least another year. This will give me time to get my finances straight and live my life a little without worrying so much about the future and what’s round the next corner (in the job and finances side of life, anyway).

Secondly, I have decided to put my shop plans on hold for the foreseeable future and concentrate on making things for fun and learning, rather than pressurising myself. The same with vintage homewares and clothing – I’ll buy them for me or for presents, and I’ll continue to research them and blog about my finds because I find them fascinating, but I need to remove the pressure for a while so I can focus on other things.

2012 contains, among other plans, my best friend’s wedding, my parents’ long awaited move into their new home and another rally, closely followed by a Canada trip to watch ice skating in early 2013, so now is not a good time to be starting up. Quite apart from the fact that although I know I’m capable of running a business, my finances are most definitely not, and I’m not sure I’m yet ready to sacrifice my social life in favour of it.

Thirdly, but possibly most importantly, after the weekend that’s just passed I am left with a feeling of happiness, peace, freedom and infinite possibility. My sense of self is fully restored and my inner pin up is well on her way to being part of my everyday life! Although I am never taking a train that far again – driving is SO much more fun and less hassle!

So I’m going to make the most of feeling like that, use the sense of purpose to get my flat and my life in order, and then focus on doing fun stuff… and blogging about it all, of course!

Sorry, this is somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness post, but it does feel good to write it down rather than just have it floating around in my head! A little part of me still can’t quite believe I’ve come this far and made this life for myself. When I look back to how I was four short years ago, and realise just how much I love my ‘new’ life… I wonder how the Carla I am now and the Carla I was then can possibly be the same person. I wouldn’t go back now if you paid me, I love who I’ve become and everything that I do. It’s amazing, empowering and really rather lovely. Ok, enough of the soppy crap now.

Right. Before you all throw up, I’m going to get off the train and go and make sausages and chips for dinner :)

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Filed under Blogging, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Planning, Recording, Thinking, Thrifting, Vintage

Happy Thursdays… times two!

A double dose today, as I don’t think I was organised enough to do a post last week…

Last week:

Unexpectedly meeting Val for lunch at Nandos

Corsets – hehe, see my posts on Project Pin Up

Tentatively enquiring whether our drunken ‘yeah, let’s do a rally round Ireland’ could become reality and getting a very enthusiastic response from the other teams. Hey, plans made at 3am in an obscure part of Europe under the influence of alcohol are clearly the best ones!

Spending an entire evening talking boys and horses with Lizzy

Type-writing a letter to Dan (another one – I’m improving!!)

Treasure hunting with Mum

Awesome numberplate on a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream van

Deciding we should drink the last bottle of Romanian rum and toast Rusty sometime

Starting my Vivien of Holloway dress fund.

This week:

Lunch with some of the girls from work last Friday, which was fab, as I got to speak to some of the ones I never see during work time

Going through the R2R photos again and reliving the whole thing

Mum coming round and making me soup after a truly hideous migraine on Tuesday

The sense of achievement that comes from having almost built a whole website for a dear friend

Vintage hair and makeup workshop (I really need to blog about this separately too) at Make Do and Mend in Chelmsford with the lovely Mimi and Lou, led by the equally lovely Hannah

Spotting a hedgehog under a tree on the way home from work one evening

An unexpected, glorious, sunshine-filled, warm roof-down blast round the Suffolk countryside on Sunday afternoon

Extended phone and text conversations – I have wonderful people in my life

Finally booking a haircut – I don’t want to lose any of the length but it’s long overdue, it’s lost its swish!

Lights near Bishopsgate in the evening

The general soaring happy feeling I’ve had most of this week :)

 

Fully aware I should have photos in this post but I’m absolutely shattered so may have to add them tomorrow. But really can’t go two Thursdays in a row without posting or next week’s will be utterly ridiculous!

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Filed under Adventuring, Beauty, Blogging, Friends, Hair, Inspiration and inspiring things, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Planning, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Recording, Shopping, Staying in touch..., Thrifting, Wearing

Ticking things off The List

I don’t think I’ve ever actually posted about The List before. A working copy of it is here, which I will update and add to as things occur to me. There are more than 300 entries, so please don’t feel obliged to read it! (also, none of them are crossed off on this version – Google Docs is thwarting me)

This is a list I started, partly inspired by Mike Gayle’s book The To Do List, and partly motivated by a knowledge that there are an infinite number of things I would like to do and achieve in my life, plus I’d like to be organised like a proper adult (hence some of the smaller things on it) and I wanted to have some of those things in written form. Plus, I’m the original list addict and it would be odd if I didn’t have things written down (honestly, I cart half a ream of paper around with me each day, all covered in lists).

So. Today I reviewed it for the first time in a while. And you know what? I ticked off 49 things I’ve done this year, not including the things that were already ticked off. For someone who has spent the last six months panicking that she’s not done anything to be proud of… well, it’s changed my mind somewhat!

Admittedly, some of those things are as small as ‘put screwdrivers back in the hall drawer’ (it’s concerning how long it’s taken me to do that) but some are lifechanging. Doing a rally was on there, way back before Rob asked me to go… living on my own was on there, and so was (weirdly) buy a typewriter.  And I’ve done all of those things in 2011.

So I must be doing something right… I’ll review it again (and one of the things I meant to do with my blog was post when I’d achieved something on the list, so perhaps that’ll become a regular occurrence?!) at the end of the year, along with my new year’s resolutions and such like.

Maybe I’m a bit too introspective, but I do like being able to look back at what I’d hoped and dreamed and see that despite everyday appearances, I’m moving in the right direction towards the life I want to live :)

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Things I’d like to have achieved by the end of October

A list I found in my notebook just now – it’s the sixth and I’m not doing too badly! (Clearly, there are a whole host of things to add to this now, lol… but it’ s ok, at least some are crossed off!)

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Journals…

I’ve been massively inspired by journals lately, and especially art journals. I’ve always loved the idea of recording your life, and probably my only regret in life so far is burning my teen diaries and deleting my typed uni diaries, which I did for reasons I won’t go into here.

There’s something magical about keeping snippets of your life between pages, to be kept and remembered and looked back on in days, weeks, months and years to come, and it also leaves a record for future generations.

I once came across a box full of tiny notebooks in an antique shop, and, intrigued, asked the owner what they were. She said she had another two boxes in storage and they were the handwritten diaries of a young lady who had started, in the twenties, aged 9, to keep a diary each day, and had written faithfully every single day until she died in her 90s. At the time I was still a student, and this collection was on sale for £250 – well out of my price range (although the lovely owner did say I could pay a bit at a time and she’d keep them aside for me, it was still more than I could justify spending on non-necessities at the time. But I sat in that shop for a good couple of hours, reading the living history of this lady who had lived through a war and through unimaginable changes in her world, and had recorded it all, huge world events and things that were important to her (first kiss, meeting a friend for lunch, all sorts) for us to look at.

On my 25th birthday, inspired by that find, I started a five year diary. I’d like to think I’ll keep it up till I’m 30, although I’ve already missed the odd day – I love that it’s laid out so that each year you can see what you wrote the year before, and it’s a small enough book to carry around. My own little piece of magical history.

Recently I’ve also started to see lots of art journals – Ashley at The Creative Place did a fabulous post recently about her completed travel journal, which made me think I could (and should!) do something similar for the rally. I have been meaning to create a scrapbook/journal of my life since just before my 18th birthday – bought the albums but never quite got round to putting things in them. (Actually, with hindsight that’s a good thing, if I’d completed it age 18 it would have been mostly full of my first love… while he is obviously an enormous part of my past, he is entirely unconnected with my recent past, my present and my future, and I feel a journal I make now will reflect that).

I also love the idea of keeping a journal of my creative inspirations – at the moment my laptop and Pinterest serve for those  ‘squee’ moments where I can keep snippets, and this blog records my wafflings and thoughts and other things, but I’d love to have more physical things to look at when I need inspiring. And of course, a diary-journal (as opposed to a scrapbook or a journal for a specific event or trip) would show you how your crafting has grown and shaped and developed over the time you take to complete it.

So this weekend I shall be buying (or repurposing) some box files – they shall live in my studio and into them shall go anything relevant – photos, notes, fabric scraps, labels, broken but significant jewellery… anything that might help shape my journals, and perhaps in 2012 I’ll be able to put them together and make something wonderful to look at.

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October – the month of buying nothing unnecessary

I haven’t even looked at my bank account, because although today is pay day, I know that the total is going to be massively depressing (once I’ve extracted my monthly rent & bills, my £400 train ticket and my credit card bill). There is a transfer to be made from savings to cover the credit card (because it’s the flights from the rally), but otherwise it is what it is. Obviously I’ll be using the overdraft as I do most months but the intention is to bring this usage down slowly over the next few months. (with Christmas and my car insurance due… hah, who am I kidding?! But worth a try, certainly).

 So… Buy Nothing Unnecessary, aka phase 2 of Project Thrifty Chic. I have an enormous amount of stuff in my flat, most of which I don’t even know that I still own. Quite a lot of which is makeup – cue some more beauty blog posts!

I have some lovely things planned this month for which I’ve already budgeted, but outside of those I am going to try, very hard, for just one month, to not buy any more stuff. (I also have a freezer full of food, which I’m going to use up before buying any more. Apart from vegetables, which I’m nearly out of.)

 Now just to test this theory, I am going into town tomorrow (1st of the month… whoops) and there are some things I need while I’m there… I have a small separate budget for the beginnings of Teasets to Typewriters, but aside from stock/packaging for that (and the packaging I really should buy in relative bulk, online), I’m going to be good. Well, I’m going to try!

(and in the evenings, I intend to skate, blog, work on the secret projects ready for launch… lots of things! Hopefully none of which will involve too much money… also intend copious use of the slow cooker for both convenience and thrift :D )

PS I would apologise for the continued thrifty posts… but I keep getting good reactions so I won’t :)

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