Feb 2020 - A Update

Hello again and welcome back to my blog, I hope that you are all well and that so far 2020 has been good to you.

So, we are now almost at the end February and the worst months of the year are nearly behind us. For us January wasn't too terrible this year, I was a little poorly for some of it but it was nothing that some self care and antibiotics couldn't cure. Otherwise we had just had a lot of quiet and chilled out time at home. Tom has started back on the overtime again which has meant days at home alone for me but I have been putting these to good use by having a good clear out and tidy up of the flat. We now have a few bags and boxes of stuff that are no longer of any use to us, usually we would do a charity shop run with it but we are actually considering doing a boot sale this time to see if we can raise a little cash to put towards our next trip fund. Now we haven't done a boot sale for many, many years so we will need to do our research if we do decide to do one. If you have any top tips for doing boot sales please leave me a message in the comments below, are there are must do's or don'ts??

So far this year I have been making good use of my planner by writing lists each week of things that I want to do and ticking them off as I go along. So far so good - I am on top of the housework and chores etc which is always a good thing. I have also been weekly menu planning for us and so far we have pretty much managed to stick to it. I don't know about you but I definitely find that it makes life less stressful if I know what I am cooking each night rather than getting home from work and having to rummage around the cupboards and fridge/freezer for ingredients to make dinner. In the coming weeks

Another thing I have been spending some time on is my craft room. I am going through all my stuff with a fine tooth comb and getting rid of anything that I no longer use or need. Some has gone straight in the bin as its utter rubbish that wont ever get used but some things are being put to one side to try and sell. I have also rearranged my room a little and have moved the desk. I need to give it some time to see how it works for me but I really like it this way as it gives me more room to work plus by having the desk this way the lighting is much better. All I need to do now is convince Tom to decorate the room for me (and yes that is something I have been saying for a very long time!). Last weekend I attended my first crop in ages and finally managed to complete a few more layouts for the Florida 2018 album, its almost done now which I am really pleased about as that means I can now start to think about the 2019 one! Below are pictures of a couple of layouts I completed, they are quite simple but that's my style and I really like how they have turned out. For the Purple Wall page I used my Cricut to cut the brickwall background and then I used some water colour pens and colour sprays to create the splatters.
The inspiration for the layout below came from my friend Jules who I was at the crop with. I used papers from the Cocoa Vanilla studio Midnight collection which are just beautiful. This page was the perfect way to use up all those odd bits of paper left over from other pages.
That's about all for now, I will be back with another post very soon.

Love and hugs,

Jane
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2020 Goals

It seems like just about everyone is posting about their goals and plans for the year ahead of us so I thought I would join in and share mine. To be honest I don't really have that many and what I do have are not that fancy or ground breaking. Last year wasn't the best for me with my Dad being so poorly and due to that a lot of things just got pushed to one side or forgotten about. Hopefully this will be a much better year all round and I can start to be more organized and motivated again.

Planning
As a lot of you know I do love a planner/notebook/journal. I use them to make notes for just about everything that I/we need to do, from daily life planning to holidays I have a book for it. I have a little basket that sits besides my sofa and they are all housed in their along with a selection of pens so I can make notes and lists whenever the fancy takes me. My 2020 planner this year is a Me and My Big Ideas Happy Planner that I picked up last year while we were in Florida. Its not actually the type of planner I was looking for but its so pretty both outside and inside, plus I loved the layouts and pages. Usually I go for something that's more of an oversized diary but this is so different to that and has lots of areas for journaling & list making. I am hoping that I can keep on top of it and at the end of the year I will have a full and complete book.
Menu Planning
Something else that fell by the wayside last year was my menu planning, subsequently because of that and various other factors our diet suffered enormously. I now have a notepad that lists everything in the freezer and I update it on a regular basis. Knowing what we have makes it so much easier to meal plan for the week and for us to start to be a little healthier. I am determined to make this work so we are not reliant on last minute trips to the local Sainsburys for something unhealthy and costly. With this in mind I also want to start making breakfast and lunches to take to work, this again is for the benefits of having something healthier as well as saving some £££. I am going to dig out my cookbooks and look for some new recipes to add to our regular meals. Another thing I want to try and do on a regular basis is batch cook and freeze some staples like curries, chilli's & cottage pies etc so there is always something in the freezer that we can have.

Save Money & Pay Off Debts
Being more organized in regards to food is one way that I know we can save money. If I am organized with what we are eating then I can make a list of what is needed for the week(s) ahead and just buy that rather than make nightly visits to the supermarket on my way home from work and end up buying needlessly. No more random stsuff will be added to the basket, if its not 100% needed then it wont be bought! In addition we have both made changes to our spending habits and I have cancelled several subscriptions I had to various monthly craft & beauty boxes, they were nice to have but were really not necessary. We are wanting to start planning another trip to Florida, so with that in mind we are going to cut back and reduce the amount we spend. Meals out (except for birthdays) will be replaced with nights in with a home cooked meal and something on Netflix! We both have plenty of clothes too so nothing new will be added to our wardrobes unless its to replace something that is no longer wearable and is 100% needed. I know we can do this and am confident that as the year progresses we can pay off some debts and add to our savings.

Craft Time
As most of you know I am an avid crafter and love nothing more than a day in my room creating scrapbook pages etc. Last year my crafting was sadly neglected but this year I am really wanting to spend more time being creative. I have finished my 2019 album off and am now ready to start the 2020 one. However I do still need to finish the Florida 2018 album and the Florida 2019 travel journal as well as start the Florida 2019 scrapbook. - phew, that should keep me going for a while. I would also like to get a bit more creative my with Cricut and use it to make some t-shirts and home d├ęcor. I have had a little play and added some glitter HTV (heat transfer vinyl) to a couple of t-shirts using designs I bought on Etsy and I have to say I am really pleased with how they have turned out. I just need to practice a bit more with the design placement.
I think that's enough goals for me, I don't want to over commit and bite off more than I can chew. Hopefully as the year progresses I will be able to update you on how things are going.



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New Year & A New Decade

A New Year & A New Decade
Happy New Year! Although I have to say it feels a bit weird saying that as NYE feels like it was ages ago. Anyway I hope that you all had a great Christmas and New Year and that this first full week back to normality isn't too much of a struggle. Ours was very nice although it was very low key and quiet as the run up to the festive period was a little stressful due to my Dad being back in hospital. Thankfully he was released on Christmas Eve which was a huge relief to us all.

Apart from Christmas & Boxing Day when we visited family we didn't do much at all other than relax at home and eat far too much!! We popped out to Bluewater once as Tom had to change a gift and we went for a walk by the river but that was it really. We just made the most of the break and stayed home watching Netflix and some You Tube vlogs - we finally finished Season 2 of Stranger Things so now we can move on to Season 3. We have also started another Season of Line of Duty and I am watching You (although I am not sure if I like it - the first couple of episodes freaked me out a bit!).

Our Plans For 2020
We don't have many plans for the year yet and there certainly isn't a trip to Florida happening despite us searching the internet for a bargain. Instead we are planning a couple of mini breaks at home along with some time out at Toms sisters apartment in Spain for our anniversary in June. As is the norm for most people this time of year we are both looking to lose a few lbs and get a little healthier. I am going to be getting back to menu planning as well as trying to get out and walk a little more at the weekends, Tom isn't a very motivated person so its going to be up to me to drag him out and keep him on the straight and narrow food wise. Wish me luck as he can be a stubborn old so and so at time - especially when the weather isn't at its best and he just wants to stay home in the warm.

I lost a lot of focus on my crafting last year but my mojo for it appears to have returned so I am looking forward to getting some older projects finished as well as starting some new ones. I am off on a Scrapbooking retreat later this year which I am really looking forward to as the last time I went on one of those I came back full of ideas and inspiration. Watch this space and my Insta page for pictures of what I get up to and create.

I haven't really set myself any goals for the year yet, there are things that I want to do more/less off but I will save that for another post as I am still working on what I want to achieve.

I would love to know if you have any plans or goals for this year, leave me a comment below if you do.

As always thanks for stopping bye to read.
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