At the start of the year, I wrote myself 19 goals for 2019. Most of them are ongoing, so I thought I’d write a progress post to keep myself accountable and remind myself of any that I may have forgotten! Here’s how I’ve been getting on, nine months in.
We’ve kind of reset this target in a big way! Over the summer holidays, we remortgaged as our fixed rate term was coming to an end. Simply remortgaging onto a lower interest rate has saved us over £120 on our monthly repayments! It’s also a bit of a relief as I feel like we’ve protected ourselves from the as-yet-unknown effects of Brexit, by fixing our mortgage rate for five years. We’ve now built in an overpayment to our mortgage payments, by keeping our direct debit the same as it was before.
This is still very much ongoing! Since the start of September, M has been at preschool for five mornings per week, so I’ve been trying to use the time productively and have done some more sorting, especially of the girls’ toys, where I’ve created a toy rotation system in the living room. The kitchen/living/dining area toys are still on the to do list, though!
I’ve also carried on selling bits and pieces on Facebook Marketplace, which is enabling me to refresh my post-postpartum wardrobe a little bit.
I was doing really well with meal planning, then we totally fell off the wagon over the summer holidays. Since the new term has started I’ve been back on it, though. I’ve found it helpful to plan for two weeks at a time, rather than one. It saves time on the food shop every other week (I do mine online) and it means that I plan in more variety to our meals, so that we don’t end up eating the same things week in, week out. We’re definitely getting to grips with our flexitarian diet and I’ve been trying out more vegetarian meals. My two favourite cook books are still undoubtedly my Slow Cooker cook book* and Jamie’s Superfood Family Classics*. Lots of delicious veggie/pesci meals in both!
I haven’t really put as much effort into this as I should have done, partly because I’ve been focused on decluttering first, and partly because it costs money, and I’d rather spend it on nice days out as a family!
I have recently bought a desk and chair so that I have somewhere ‘proper’ to sit while I’m blogging, and Matthew uses it too, for any bits of work that he needs to do at home. I’ve bought this absolute bargain of a lamp from Wilko, and a print that I ordered arrived today to go above it, too. I’ve also designed a little slogan print for myself, so now I just need to get some frames for those and maybe a couple of other trinkets to go with them, to make it into a little office corner in the living room.
I also have grand plans to paint the living room in a bold colour, but Matthew keeps vetoing them!
I think I’m pretty much there with this. I’ve accepted that I’m not going to be a perfect mother (I don’t think anyone ever is!) but I’m quite prepared to describe myself as a stay at home parent (or even a housewife!) without an ounce of shame.
We haven’t been visiting the library every week as we don’t have as much time now that M is at preschool every day. However, we do still go once every few weeks, and we’ve dramatically reduced the number of books that we’ve bought since we’ve been going to the library more regularly. Great for the trees and great for our wallets!
Our weekly routine has changed a lot this month due to M being at preschool every morning. I’m really enjoying being up and out of the house earlier, although we don’t have much structure to the time when M isn’t at preschool. I’m not sure we really need it though, as at the moment M is tired from her morning so is quite happy to chill at home or do whatever little jobs need doing.
As I write this my bedroom floor is surprisingly clear! I’m getting much better at putting things away and using the bottom draw of my bedside table, which is my it-doesn’t-need-washing-yet drawer.
The BBC Good Food* slow cooker cook book is still my absolute favourite for this. I’ve been using the slow cooker at least weekly all through the summer months – our current favourite is the Aubergine Tagine, with rice. Delicious!
For me, the Kon Mari fold is absolutely what keeps the washing under control, and our drawers are all looking nice and tidy. Even though the weather is starting to turn a bit now, I’m trying to hang the washing outside to dry, and only using the tumble dryer as a last resort. We have a couple of drying racks (which unfortunately have to go up in the living room) so they are in almost constant use at the moment!
I’m pleased to report that this is getting a lot better! There still aren’t any pretty decorations and matchy matchy accessories like other people seem to have in their children’s nurseries, but I have made a huge dent in sorting out that bookcase that I talked about in the last update, over the past couple of week. It’s feeling a bit less dumping ground and a bit more child’s bedroom.
Oh gosh I still haven’t done this. I went to a stockist for the paint I wanted and even placed an order, but it never turned up and I’m not sure that shop is even operating anymore. So that kind of put a halt to my enthusiasm for doing the job! I still want to do it, but I’m not sure it will happen now that the weather isn’t so great. I think I just need to buy some different paint and get it done as soon as we have a dry day, as our front door is looking really scrappy now. We’re letting the neighbours down!
I’m still doing this! I’ve also recently had my hair recoloured, too. It’s really nice to have a bit of ‘me’ time to do this, and I’m enjoying feeling a bit smarter.
Pondering Playtime is my blog series of play and learning ideas. Over the summer holidays, I switched from tuff spot activities to writing about days out that we had as a family, like this day out at Africa Alive. Last week, though, I got back on track with this alphabet rice tuff spot activity, and I’ve got another tuff spot planned for this week. I still need to sit down and have a good long term Pondering Playtime planning session, though!
I still haven’t been doing very well with this one, so I’ve booked another photoshoot with the wonderful Beth Moseley photography, who we reviewed for last year. I’m really looking forward to having some up to date photographs of us all together!
I have given up all hope of being able to have an evening out (a combination of unwilling babysitters and B still being reliant on my boobs to go to sleep!) but Matthew and I did enjoy a lunch date at the weekend to celebrate our birthdays. Yes, birthdays… he’s exactly one week older than me!
This is quite near the bottom of my list of things to improve about our house, but I still haven’t sorted out the shelves in our wardrobe. There is so much wasted space in there, but I tend to just close the door and forget about it! In terms of decluttering our clothes, we’ve done quite well, and as I’ve already mentioned, my routine folding helps to keep things tidy, day to day.
Now that M is at preschool every morning, I’m really enjoying getting out of the house for that short walk at 9am. It makes a real difference to my day and I’m finding myself to be much more productive.
I’ve still been using the One Second Everyday app to record snippets of our outside time to keep us accountable. Unfortunately there are a few days where I’ve been having so much fun, I’ve completely forgotten to take a video, but most of them are there! You can watch our One Second Everyday video for January to September, below. As well as keeping us accountable, it’s creating a lovely year of memories to look back on.
In my last update I wrote about how I’d recently had an online style analysis done. I’ve continued to follow the advice in the analysis, which has made me feel more confident in my clothing choices and given me the confidence to try different accessories, too.
I’m trying to focus on my best points and not get bogged down with the rest. Easier said than done!
Have you set any goals or resolutions for this year? How are they going? Let me know in the comments!