June 2015 Goals

Hello!

I hope you’re all doing well 🙂 I can’t believe June is here already! Where is 2015 going??? Almost half way there already! Anyway, here is the roundup of my May goals so you can see how I did, as well as my goal setting for June – these lists seem to be growing and growing!

May Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – In May my aim was just to fill in the square for that month and I managed that without any problems. I seem to fly through these at the beginning of each month then it gets shelved and almost forgotten until the next month comes round! It’s a shame because it is such a lovely project and I do want to dedicate more time to it to get all of the extra elements in but until the Barcelona Sunset is out of the way it will have to wait!

Storytime Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – This month I wasn’t too far off my goal. I still had some of the third quarter to finish off which I did, then I wanted to complete half of the next quarter. Ideally, I wanted to get the lizard stitched in so that I just had the big grey wall at the bottom to finish off this month. I didn’t quite make it there due to illness and various other things taking up my time in May, however, I’m really pleased with what I achieved. If I hadn’t been full of cold for the last five days I would have managed to fill in that grey section that I’m working on, and I would have felt satisfied with that, but I’m prepared to let it go because I still feel rubbish! Continue reading

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May 2015 Goals

Hello!

A little later than anticipated but here is my round up of my April goals and how I did! Also, goal setting for May too!

April Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – No progress on this one sadly! I didn’t manage to get those last two frames in because I was spending all of my time working on my Barcelona Sunset as that is my priority right now. I am staying with my parents this weekend though so I am packing my sampler with me since I obviously can’t work on my Mum’s present! I have saved this month’s design to stitch while I am here but if I get that done before the end of the weekend I might have time to add a frame too.

Storytime Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – I am so close to finishing this quarter right now! i just have a block of grey across the bottom that no matter how much I stitch it just doesn’t seem to get any smaller! However, I should be on track to finish this quarter by the end of next week at the very latest (since I am losing this weekend!) so then I’ll be ready to tackle the final one. Continue reading

Raining Cats and Dogs!

Hello!

My latest Lucky Dip Club subscription box arrived this week and I wanted to share all of the amazing goodies with you! This is a really cute box with a sweet cats and dogs theme. See what wonderful stationary and accessories are inside and let me know in the comments what is your favourite item in the box!

***WARNING*** for anyone who hasn’t yet received their box, it does contain spoilers.

April 2015 Goals

Hello!

Last month I set myself some monthly goals to try and achieve everything that I wanted to in March. By setting myself the deadline of the end of the month I hoped that I would feel motivated to complete everything on my list to get it all done. Overall it didn’t pan out quite as I had hoped! However, I’m not going to let that put me off setting monthly goals; here I have written a summary of how my March goals worked out (or didn’t!) and what I want to achieve in the month of April. Hopefully although I didn’t get as much done as I was hoping to last month, I will still be able to achieve big things this month!

March Outcomes:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – Last month I set myself the goal of stitching the four remaining frames on the bottom of the sampler. Unfortunately I didn’t get all four done but I did manage two so that it something! Easter Weekend also spurred on my productivity with this project as I dedicated it to stitching this month’s design so I feel like I am off to a good start with this one in April, even though I didn’t manage to do everything I wanted to with it in March.

Storytime Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – Again, I had hoped to get a bit more of this done than I did. You can see from the photo below that I did make progress, but I was hoping to have that big gap in the middle filled in by the end of March! I just really wasn’t in the mood for cross stitching in March for some reason, but I do seem to have been bitten by the bug again the last few days so hopefully April will see a lot more productivity! Continue reading

March 2015 Goals

Writing my 23 Before 23 Review last week has got me motivated to set some goals for myself. I’m the kind of person who works much better if I have a deadline and I am super productive if I set myself a challenge. I have set myself some long term goals to achieve this year which I will blog about shortly, but I have also decided to set myself some shorter monthly goals too. These monthly goals will sometimes be ones that help the general progress towards my long term goals, or will otherwise just be shorter goals or jobs that I want to complete before the end of the month. I have tried to pick a range of goals from different areas of my life such as crafts, reading, fitness and blogging, to help inspire me to achieve everything that I want to achieve by breaking it down to regular milestones each month.

Crafts:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – So far I have been making good progress with my sampler and keeping up with each month well. This month I want to stay on track and complete the design, I also want to add the bottom row of 4 frames which I am still yet to add. So far I have stitched the first 8 frames, so if I can add the last of the frames this month, it only leaves me the banner at the top to complete at a later date ,then I am definitely on track to complete each design per month! If I can keep up with my plans, this will be the first year that I don’t have to play catch up…fingers crossed anyway!

Once Upon A Time Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – February was a good month for this project! I have been working on a ‘2 month’ basis for each quarter of the project, meaning that I had given myself February and March to get to the half way point. Luckily though, the quarter that I chose to do featured a lot of the sky, and as this feature large blocks of the same colour, as well as some blank areas, it stitched up a lot quicker than expected. This meant that I flew through this quarter in only one month! I was thrilled to watch the progress but the project is starting to take its toll now. I’m struggling to find the motivation to press on with this project, and as the remaining half features a lot of colourful areas that will require a lot of colour changes I know that progress will be slow. However, I don’t want it to go on the back burner since I am working to such a tight deadline, so this month I just want to complete half of the next section to feel satisfied. Continue reading

2015 Reading Challenge

Hello!

As you might remember from my 23 Before 23 Review, I mentioned that I had committed myself to a reading challenge with some of my colleagues from work. My colleague Marie spotted the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge on Pinterest before the new year and decided that she was taking part, and from then on the number has grown across our office of people getting involved. I wanted to sign up to the challenge initially because I had got out of the habit of reading. I have a pretty reasonable commute to work (averaging around 45 minutes each way but can be well over an hour depending on traffic) and shortly after I started work I put this time to good use by reading. I got so into reading on the bus that I managed to fly through 7 books in 2 weeks but then as the mornings and nights grew ever darker I just felt sleepy on the journey and couldn’t really pick myself up enough to read. Since taking on the challenge though, I am getting back into the routine of reading on the bus once again and I am (slowly) making a dent in the massive backlog of books that I have to read!

Here is the list of criteria for the challenge, and I have highlighted those that I have been successful in fulfilling so far:

Reading Challenge update 1

Click image for source

I have made the decision to only count one book for each of the criteria (meaning that I have 50 books to read to complete the challenge!) whereas some people have opted to tick off all of the criteria that their book meets. To me this feels a little like cheating myself to do it this way, so I’m playing hard and fast by my rule! I have allowed myself to relax a little bit about the seriousness of the challenge though. Usually, if I set myself a goal I will work at it no end until I achieve it, but I fear that this may take the fun out of the challenge so I am approaching it with a relaxed plan, and my challenge is not to cross all of the books of in 2015, but to see how many I can cross off in 2015. I don’t want to force myself to read books for the sake of them, so I am using this as a checklist to manage my attack on the book collection that I already own as an excuse to get some reading done! And any that I don’t cross off in 2015? They’ll simply roll over into 2016 instead!

As you can see from the image above, so far I have managed to tick two of the criteria off the list and I am working my way through my third. The first book that I read was The Winter Book by Tove Jansson, meeting the criteria of ‘A book that was originally written in a different language’ as it was first published in Swedish. It is a collection of short stories for adults spanning the whole of her adult fiction writing career, from her first collection The Sculptor’s Daughter, published in 1968 to seven of her later short stories, the latest dated 1996.  Continue reading

23 Before 23 – The Review

For those of you who have been with my blog for a while, you will know that for the last few years I have done a challenge every year, setting the same number of goals as the age I will be on my next birthday. Last year I turned 23, so after my 22nd birthday, I set my 23 before 23 goals. As we all know, 2014 was absolute chaos for me, so I didn’t end up dedicating any time to my goals at all! However, I am going to review them all the same, but I’m not expecting any spectacular results!

1. Make a dress – This one is still on the list! I’m ashamed to think of how long I have had the supplies ready and just not made any progress with it! It is a little more tricky now, as never having made clothes before, I want my Mum to help me through the steps to make sure I’m doing everything right (Mum’s know best of course!) but now that I have moved out, we haven’t yet managed to arrange a day when she can come over and help me through it! I’m hoping to get a day arranged soon though so I can make a start on all of the dressmaking projects I have in mind!

2. Complete 10 cross stitch projects – Looking back at this, ten projects was probably rather ambitious! At the beginning of the year I was on a bit of a roll and manage to complete 4 projects, which you can see in my 2014 Project Gallery, and at the end of the year I went on to finish my Once Upon A Time Sampler and my Liberty kit, which can be seen in my 2015 Cross Stitch Projects post. I don’t think I completed anything in between that I haven’t included, so I’m going to say that I managed 6, which I don’t actually think is that bad! This year there is no way I will achieve 10 as the projects I am working on are so big. However, if I can finish all of the projects that I have got planned for this year, I will be very happy to call that an achievement.

mothers-day-card

Continue reading

The Book Publisher’s Toolkit: A Review

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Authors: Independent Book Publisher’s Association Contributors
Genre: non-fiction, publishing, hobbies, reference
First Published: 2012
Pages: 57 (advance ebook version)

As a person who dreams of being a novelist, self-publishing is something that I have considered. With the rise in ebooks and e-reader devices it is becoming increasingly popular for writers to self-publish ebooks. But whether you’re self-publishing online or in print, this book has some great tips for everyone. Continue reading

My Week in Pictures #9

 

1-4. Two weeks to uni and still a pile of reading to do! Locking myself in the room for the week and I can’t leave until it is done!!!

5. As if I didn’t have enough reading to do…I am helping judge the Waterstones Children’s Prize! 49 more books to read…how much sleep do I need really…

Maybe squeeze a few craft things in too if the reading goes well 😉