new year, old habits

My first post of 2013 – happy new year to all my lovely readers! Here’s hoping you’ll all continue to enjoy my half-finished projects, environmental experiments, pictures of old tat and occasional ranting for the next twelve months.

The sky at dawn on New Years Day

I’ve read heaps and heaps of new years resolution posts lately – and I have to say, this time around, I made absolutely none. I don’t smoke, don’t really drink much, tend not to go out to clubs and whatnot and we can’t really afford takeaways, so that counts out all the usual things. I could have said I won’t buy as many magazines (absolute sucker for The Simple Things), or I’ll stay away from charity shops, but I already know in advance that neither of those things are going to happen. Neither is any of the following:

1. Become an excellent good competent cook. I’m rubbish in the kitchen, honestly I am. I’m not too bad with baking, but when it comes to meals I usually churn out the same (easy) stuff. I am going to try and attempt some new things, but don’t wait with baited breath, because it’ll probably look like a turd on a plate.

2. Watch less TV. I can guarantee this won’t happen. I like nothing more in the evenings than curling up on the sofa with the Husband, crafting away while we watch telly. Usually it’s a box set – at the moment, we’re working our way through Fringe, and it’s ACE – but occasionally we’ll catch something wildlife-y or funny. I never watch soaps. Cough, cough.

3. Stop buying yarn. I can’t. It’s an addiction, a disease. There should be some sort of helpline.

4. Stop eating so much chocolate. It’s a bit like expecting me to stop breathing.

5. Limit my internet time. I have an ongoing battle with this – I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook, but I do read a LOT of blogs and articles online. I’d like to spend less time connected, and have one of those detox thingys people are always talking about, but I really don’t think I could manage it. Perhaps I’ll try having one evening a week where I turn my phone off and leave the laptop in the other room. Or perhaps I won’t. Ahem.

This ties in quite nicely to something else I’ve thought about a lot over Christmas – my Twenty by Thirty project, where I basically made, on reflection, the worlds most unrealistic list of things to do by my thirtieth birthday. Which is in six weeks time.  While everything on the list still stands, and they’re all things I hope to accomplish, the time frame was beyond ridiculous. How on earth did I think I was going to achieve so much, in such a short space of time, with two children to look after? I was talking about it with the Husband, and he asked why I kept trying to cram so much in to my days. When I replied that I didn’t want to waste any of my time, he said, “but you spend so much time rushing about, that you never seem to enjoy anything. You just end up cross.” I had to admit, the man talked sense. I think it’s taken me four years to realise that being a parent is tiring, time consuming, stressful and hard. Setting time restricted goals is ridiculous, and I’m just setting myself up for failure – not to mention the fact that I seem to keep missing the enjoyment in everyday things.
I did manage to tick off a couple of things from the list already though – namely, the haircut. Behold, my short, red barnet:

I’m going to just come out and say it – I don’t like it. The novelty of a ‘proper’ haircut wore off after about two weeks. It takes longer to do – my hair has a natural curl, and if I don’t do something with it, I end up with a ‘fro. The fringe is too short – see how I’m trying to tuck it behind my ear? I do that on average 6454729246 times a day, and it never stays there. My Mum pointed out that it was just loads of dead ends, and really needed the chop – I don’t care, I declared, I want my ends back. I’m also fed up with the red – I did it over Christmas, and now Christmas has been and gone. I want it to be more browny-red (think Florence meets Alys Fowler) but I’m totally off the hair dye after reading up on the chemicals *shudder*. Sigh.

I have got aims for the year, though – the biggest being to really up my environmental and activist game. I stumbled across the Craftivist Collective way back last year, and have finally decided to join in with them on the #imapiece project, which supports Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign. I’m going to do a separate post on this in a couple of days, when I’ve finally finished my crafty piece, but it involved embroidery (which I’ve only just learnt but LOVE – ha, take that knitting, in your woolly face. I don’t care that I can’t master you, I’m a dab hand with a needle and thread) and feeling like I was actually helping to make a difference, which was ace in itself.

I’ve finally, finally got round to making some homemade laundry powder, thanks to Hannah’s recipe from her blog. I’ve swapped my usual make-up for something more eco-friendly, and I made my first visit to Lush (and possibly my last, since it’s pretty pricey and we’re pretty skint-o. I was actually drawn in by a table full of leaflets and a big banner that shouted, ‘CLIMATE REVOLUTION’. I got a free badge too! Simple things….). I’ve got all the ingredients to make my own liquid hand soap (thanks to that Mel Wiggins), I’ve got loads of seeds to grow enough veg to feed us through the warmer months (and I’m hoping for some gluts to get us into next Winter as well) and I’ve sorted the garden ready for planting.

PS: Happy New Year!

PPS: I also managed to make some little pelmet-ish kitchen curtains. Finally.


  1. Helen - sittinginthekitchensink
    January 8, 2013 / 10:18 pm

    Your kitchen looks fab! And as for the dawn sky on New Year's Day…wowzer! Being up early when the sky is like that is worth it (mostly…!)Have you tried the hair hennas from Lush? I have no experience of them personally, but have read a lot of good things – a mix of the brown and the red could give you the colour you want without the chemicals? luck with your resolutions – I go through phases of thinking I should cut back on screen time…and then facebook/blogs/twitter etc draw me back in!Happy New Year! x

  2. Lisa-Marie
    January 8, 2013 / 10:24 pm

    My thirty by thirty list was ridiculous as well. RIDICULOUS. Your husband sounds like a sensible man.I think the thing about life is we keep expecting it to be like a magazine. Or the particularly shiny blogs we all love. I'm guilty of it, and I'm going to try not to.Here's to keeping the good stuff and changing little but doing it well. x

  3. Kate
    January 9, 2013 / 2:12 pm

    Hello, hello! I've been reading your blog for ages but I've only just managed to get my bum in gear, start blogging myself and start to officially follow the people I like. Your youngest is just a little older than mine and I used to follow your pregnancy thinking "yeeps, that'll be me next!"I love your take on New Year's resolutions, far more sensible to realise the things that are going to be impossible for you. And I had no idea it was even possible to make your own washing powder, I can't wait to give that a try! I vouch for Lush's henna bars, they're excellent. If you're watching the pennies (like me) they're far more thrifty than buying regular colour as one bar will last for ages (depending on the length of your hair, obviously). Personally I favour the black colour as I'm not so keen on the coppery look that you sometimes get with henna. On me anyway, on other people it always seems to look far nicer! Their shampoo bars are great as well, around £5 a bar and they last for yonks and don't contain any nasties. Gentle Lentil is my favourite, smells amazing and my husband thinks it's soap so he doesn't steal it!Have a great day!Kate @ Just Pirouette and Carry On…P.S I don't work for Lush, really I don't!

  4. LandGirl1980
    January 9, 2013 / 4:58 pm

    Aaaaaaah – a very happy New Year to you too! I bloody love reading your blog. I always check if it's a long post and if it is, I go and make a cup of tea so I can sit down and enjoy it 🙂 Your kitchen is SO tidy. I need to adapt this approach.

  5. my little red suitcase
    January 9, 2013 / 7:25 pm

    wow, happy new year! it all looks good, and interesting and funny! look forward to hearing more! Heather x

  6. Mum in a Hurry
    January 10, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    I love this post. You talk such sense. Oh, by the way, making bath bombs is dead easy and cheap. I could send you some ingredients if you like to make a batch with instructions on how to do it. I have tonnes left over from my bath bomb making days.

  7. KatGotTheCream
    January 13, 2013 / 11:46 pm

    It sounds to me like you've got 2013 off to a pretty good start! Your husband says the same things mine does. He's very encouraging and supportive but he also reminds me that I don't need to try to do EVERYTHING. He's right about just trying to enjoy the little things (and the little people) in our lives. PS Your hair looks great y'know!Also, I have the same radio in my kitchen too x

  8. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 / 3:46 pm

    You are on a ROLL! This is my 30th year too. Mega – EEEEEK. Sounds scarier than it probably is. I want to be thirty I think. It sounds proper grown up and like we should be taken seriously as wives, mothers and lovers of the earth. Or it just makes us sound older than our young spirited ways might have us seem.CRAP. I've just commented myself into a panic.x

  9. harriet gray
    February 1, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    i'm alllways writing unrealistic to do lists so i can sympathise with you there. i used to have a 'proper' haircut too, a short bob with a fringe. it was so much effort, in the end i just let it grow and now i can spend an extra haf hour in bed 🙂 .. i love your jumper in the photo by the way! x

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