My other ramblings

17 for 2017 February Round Up

February didn’t feel like a very productive month, but I’m hoping that looking at my goals may prove me wrong (or perhaps prove me right, in which case I’d better pull my socks up!) The fact that it was a shorter month might have had something to do with it too.

17 cupboards/drawers/storage areas sorted (6.5)

Our house seems to feel more and more cluttered and I’m sure we don’t even need half of it. Drawers bursting at the seams with leads for mobile phones which we no longer have, cupboards with coats the children wore two winters ago, a half pack of mini dominoes from pre millennium Christmas crackers, you get the picture. One step at a time seems to be a good approach here!

We are now up to 6 and a half cupboards and drawers tidied and sorted, so one and a half more than last month. Sorting the baby stuff was a big step but a close friend is having a baby in June so lots of items are going her way, and charity shops are having a lot more. I also found some items worth ebaying, which was an added bonus!

16 new recipes tried (6)

I’m not an enthusiastic cook really, or an especially good one. However, practice makes perfect (or at least a hopeful slight improvement). In order to achieve my slimming goals I think I need to keep things fresh by trying new recipes, whether that is for family main meals or a twist on my packed lunches. Blogs and magazines will be my friend here!

I was up to three by the end of January, and I’ve added another two Slimming World recipes this month. Rice pudding in the slow cooker, using almond milk (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!) and spicy sausage pasta bake, which was absolutely awesome and everyone ate it without fussing or demanding to add ketchup (a massive win for me as even Mr C is partial to adding extra sauces to things I’ve spent ages cooking, which is a real bugbear of mine). I also made a completely non slimming recipe, which was white chocolate rocky road. This was the result of a hurried conversation with Mr C, where I asked him to buy the white chocolate (as in the cheapest value brand which comes in a white packet) and he bought actual white chocolate. It went down very well as Messy Church so I may repeat it for parties as it’s nice and simple.


15 minutes per day on household admin

Please don’t think I’m a slob, I already do chores! This is on top of what I already do, I just think 15 minutes of clearing/sorting areas that seem to attract clutter, such as the kitchen worktop, will prevent me from having to have massive tidying and sorting splurges. Just an area a day, or an extra mini tidy up before bed, scanning and checking that things are in the right places will hopefully help the house to run more smoothly. (Especially on school days when there are letters to be returned, money to be put in envelopes etc.)

I’m getting better at spotting potential clutter and clearing it, just spending a few minutes picking up things as I go along. It may or may not add up to 15 minutes as I don’t do it all in one go, but I’d say we are definitely improving. I do need to get better at dealing with the pile of documents that need shredding though, as it tends to get moved around and looks untidy.

14 blog posts per month

It sounds ambitious on the surface, but looking at my stats for the months where my blog has performed best it seems that posting fairly regularly is the way forward. Updating this each month will count as one so that’s only 13 more each month!

I only managed 13 posts in February, but I’m not beating myself up! It was a short month and that massive blanket has kept me really busy.

13 tutorial posts in the year (4)

This follows on from my last target, and my tutorials so far seem to be the most popular posts so it makes sense to continue. At least if I know I want to publish one I can plan it further in advance. I’m not sure whether I will stick to one craft e.g. crochet or a variety, i guess we will see as the year goes on.

I’ve written 4 tutorials so far, I’m pretty happy with that. I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve too, I just haven’t got the posts written yet.

12 frugal things

Whether I use leftovers wisely, make the most of buying bargain items (that I will use and that I need!), or do a spot of upcycling, I want to try and live a bit more frugally so that should work dry up in the summer we are well prepared.

We’ve picked up a couple of bargains again, including the free compost for the allotment. Mr C also changed our internet provider, saving £20 a month. I bought myself a countdown at Slimming World which means I paid for 10 weeks, got 2 free weeks and a free recipe book. We are certainly on the right road, though February felt expensive with my car needing an MoT and four new tyres!

11 photos of the whole family

I seem to be really good at avoiding being in photos, which is quite sad. I’m going to make more of an effort to make sure the 4 of us are captured on camera more times this year! (Hopefully losing weight will make me a bit happier to be in the photos too.)

Still a no, oh dear. This is one we need to partly achieve in March. I have got selfies of the children and I on our adventures, but I was the only one looking at the character and my daughter was doing her ‘photo face’ which is a kind of grimace. More a photo for her 18th birthday than the photo album!

10 comments/likes/both on other blog posts per day

I really value the comments and likes on my posts, and I follow an awful lot of brilliant blogs which I need to make more of an effort to read and comment on.

I think I do this most days; if I miss a day I tend to make up for it. I could still do more, perhaps i need to make time during the day as I tend to read blogs at bed time and fall asleep before I’ve read as much as I’d like to. This is one I could easily achieve more with, but I find my WordPress Reader doesn’t show as many of my followed blogs as I’d like so I need to look at ways to make sure I ‘get to’ the ones it doesn’t show me.

9 crochet projects completed

Well, it had to be included somewhere! I haven’t aimed for 1 a month as some projects I have planned are quite large.

I’ve still only completed one, however another is almost done and a second is half done.

8 times more spent setting up photos than taking them

Random, and probably tricky to take literally, but I do need to work on my photography. I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s something I still want to get better at. ‘Santa’ ( via Amazon) bought me a light box so I should be able to get better quality (less yellow) photos during the winter of my smaller projects. All I need to do now is figure out Mr Craft’s camera!

The lighting at home is better in the daytime now for photos, particularly in the conservatory, so I’ve not done as much work with the light box. Also, the blanket is a bit large for it. I’ve been working on the editing side and discovered that ‘cooling’ the temperature of photos reduces the yellowness of the artificial light somewhat. March will bring with it some cardmaking opportunities and therefore the need for the light box. I may even venture as far as setting up the tripod!

7 patterns written

This is another area I’d like to develop more. I’m not sure how this one will pan out, but I have enjoyed the mental challenge of figuring out what I want to achieve and how I can do it.

No more patterns this month, although a fellow blogger pointed out last month that some of my tutorials count as patterns! Once my large blanket is finished I think I will have a go at a few smaller projects and maybe a pattern will develop out of those. 

6 new places visited

We do like to get out and about, though I suspect more progress will be made with this one on holiday as we’ve been to most of the local attractions several times. It’s always good to find a new place to explore, and we have National Trust and Wildlife Trust membership. One of the places I know I want to see is Donna Nook in November when the baby seals are born.

Only one and a half still, but I did take the children to the dentist on the train instead of in the car, which was a brave move on my own (especially when playing potty training/public toilet roulette!)

5 outings with friends organised

Although we are in regular contact, I don’t see my friends nearly enough. It is challenging with distance, work and children being factors involved in organising a meet up. I shall definitely be making more of an effort, too often I think about sorting things and then get distracted and completely forget.

We spent a lovely day with friends in the half term holiday, but I still need to work on planning to see everyone and perhaps have some evenings out.

4 cards made per month

I am so disorganised, half of the time the glue is still drying when I write in a card. I need to make a list of birthdays and make 4 cards per month so I’ve always got a stash ready. Of course, I also need to keep track of where these are so I can find them when I need them!

I’ve been so engrossed in this crochet blanket that I’ve barely done any paper crafts. March is full of birthdays, Mother’s Day and so on, and I will try to make a few spares whilst I’m playing with my stash. 

3 seasons of harvesting on the allotment

This year I want to keep my harvest going for longer, for example having early varieties of carrot, cabbages ready for late autumn/winter and parsnips waiting to be dug up for Christmas lunch. It will take a bit of planning, and we will have to stagger planting a bit more than last year, and of course we cannot control pests and the weather, but we can try our best. I also want to plant some heirloom varieties, depending on seed availability.

The allotment has seen a bit more action in February, and we’ve been looking at different crops we can plant. Although we’ve not done any planting, the planning phase has stepped up a gear. Mr C is fully on board with the idea of getting more from the plot this year too, which helps as he does a lot of the research.

2 workouts per week

Ideally it would be 3, but I have to be realistic given the amount of other things I have on. I have been doing 2 a week since September so I am aiming to keep that going and do more when I can.

Again I’ve only managed one workout a week, mainly due to juggling work and kids. It’s still better than nothing.

1 Slimming World Target certificate

This is a biggie, but I’ve already lost 1.5 stone out of the 4 I wanted to lose so I’m on a mission to make this my year. Ideally I will achieve it before the summer so I can treat myself to a couple of nice outfits.

I’ve lost another few pounds, but need to work a bit harder if I’m going to do this. I think more speed food is the answer, and a bit more determination with workouts. We’d got a bit bored of having the same things for tea each week, so I could do with trying to plan meals each week that give us a bit more variation. Also Mr C took me out for a Valentine’s meal, which was delicious but not Slimming World friendly in the slightest.

0 unnecessary craft purchases

I added the unnecessary clause as some purchases are needed to get the best from a project, e.g. buying the same type of yarn when you run out near the end. However, I do need to use up some of my stash. Basic supplies like double sided tape are ok, but if I have something that will do the job then I will make do, as I really do need to declutter and reduce the space I use to store craft items. Hopefully my other little goals will help me with this!

I got myself some inks, which I’d planned on buying, and bought the wool for my friend’s baby blanket. Overall I’ve been very restrained though!

I’m slightly scared now by the fact we are one sixth of the way through the year and some of my goals show no progress at all. Having gone through all of them again, it looks like my school report would say ‘could do better’! How are you getting on with your New Year’s resolutions? Are you taking part in 17 for 2017? How’s it going?



32 thoughts on “17 for 2017 February Round Up

  1. I know what you mean about goals not getting anywhere! I feel as though I’m not going to get my March (and maybe even April) stocking finished, and I haven’t started learnin the two juggling tricks I want to. Unfortunately, life gets in the way surprisingly often! There’s still a long way to go, try not to beat yourself up over it too much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Janey Mac, this is impressive! My ambitions couldn’t touch yours. Family photos is a great one and particularly touches my guilty nerve as I perpetually avoid them. I need to get with your plan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I dislike having my photo taken as I never look very nice. But we need some photos so I will have to grin and bear it! I think I’ve been a bit too ambitious with my goals.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems like you are doing good to me! I also have problems with the WP Reader and it drives me mad. For example, this post showed in the Reader on my PC but not on the tablet, and sometimes posts don’t show up in either one! Anyhow, well done, and get cardmaking!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You absolutely flabbergast me. I don’t know how you keep all those plates spinning, while juggling five balls and dancing out a music score on one of those piano keyboards on the floor like they had in the film Big (with Tom Hanks – who made a wish to be big).

    But… you’ve inspired me to perhaps try a little harder at some things too. So, I’ve made a decision that this year we’re going to sort out the cupboards/drawers and general storage in our cottage. Starting with organising our loft. For that drives Mr. Cobs crackers. So that’s going to be the first thing.

    Next … I’m going to take family photographs at every opportunity. Now this is a BIGGIE for me because I don’t like having my photograph being taken. But … I’m going to suck it up and do what’s right for my family.

    I’m already on a mission to try and keep up with my reading and commenting on others blogs and posts, but because I’m still not quite fighting fit, I’m still finding myself getting behind. The smallest exertion totally wipes me out, and I end up falling asleep or Mr. Cobs ends up putting me back to bed.
    I’ll be so glad when things finally get back to normal. (if they ever do!)

    Ahhh now the next one is one I SO want to tackle .. visiting new places. We moved 5 years ago to a totally new place to somewhere neither of us had ever been before – not even on holiday. So the surrounding areas are all new. We’ve managed to do so little ‘discovering’ that I’m putting this idea of yours firmly at the top of my list. We have to visit places we’ve never been to before. I’m sure we could perhaps do one a month. That would be enough. (taking into account my health problems at the min.)

    So … yes, you’ve absolutely inspired me to make some changes.

    With regard to your light box …. if it’s the sort of photographers light box that I have then I just have to give you a warning. Those spot lights that you set up next to your big ‘light box’ …. don’t ever leave them alone when they’re turned on. The heat up REALLY quickly and I’ve heard of them starting fires or setting alight themselves. Don’t leave them where children are either. They’re fine to use for a few minutes while you’re taking your photos. But make them the thing you turn to last. Set everything up and then turn your lights on right before you’re ready to click the shutter. Be safe my fabulous blogging friend.

    Thank you for being so inspirational. You’ve set me on the right path and given me some personal challenges.
    Have a fantastic weekend. ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, some days I think I could just join the circus, it’d be far less bonkers! Glad I’ve inspired you, hope you achieve all of your goals. I rarely use the photo cube when little people are about as they’d probably flatten it! The spotlamps do get warm, though they aren’t on for very long. I really do need to get better at setting them up though!
      Thank you so much again for sharing your plans, hope Mr Cobs doesn’t object to the tidying!
      Take care and have a lovely weekend x x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Charity shops have such good finds these days! It’s great that you can get a little back from helping great causes!

    If you’re interested in Charity shopping, I’ve just written a review on Octavia Foundation, Tooting. Have a read and spread the word on the good work that they do:

    Happy blogging x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi , the year is definitely speeding by! In awe by the amount you are getting done , keep it up , Is definitely rubbing off on me , I have more crafting done and house looking tidier , and have donated quite a bit to the charity shop too – oh for an un-cluttered life ….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For Lent this year we decided instead of giving something up we would ‘fill a bag’ any size, old clothes, shoes, toys, rubbish. Some to be donated, some tipped and binned. A 40 day clear out, it’s going well so far. I don’t know if you have an incinerator/fire bin at your allotment but we used to start ours with the letters that needed shredding (after our shredder broke).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great idea for Lent! I think I will save the letters for the allotment fire, we have an incinerator but last year had so much rubbish we had a bonfire on the bare earth at the end of the plot.

      Liked by 1 person

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