Moving on

This post is a little different. I’m writing it on the spur of the moment, no planning or scheduling. Why? Because after a couple of months of planning, applying, scheming and dreaming, I’ve finally secured a job and somewhere to live! I’m moving back out of the family home and on to the next adventure in 4 days…

4 days?!

Its one of those things, for the last 10ish weeks I’ve been waiting. Waiting for interviews, waiting for the results of the interviews, waiting to hear back off agencies. Weeks and weeks of hanging around. Now suddenly its all systems go, exciting but also a little scary.

A quick back story for anyone who hasn’t read my previous posts. I’m a nanny. I spent 2 years working 250 miles away from home and living with the family I was working for. I returned home at the end of summer with plans to spend a few weeks at home, then move away again to work for another family. With 2 little changes. Firstly I wanted to be closer to my hometown and second I wanted to rent nearby instead of being a living in again. I decided on these changes as I wanted a better work/life balance. Finding the right job took me longer than I would have liked but at the same time I wanted to be sure it was the right fit. Finally I can get myself together and get going!

Planning and stuff

As you can imagine my do-to list is getting huge! There’s things to pack, addresses to change, registering at a different doctor/dentist etc. Some of my things are still packed in boxes from when I moved back home all those weeks ago. I always planned to move on soon so I only unpacked the essentials. Everything else is being sorted into bags or boxes but I’m pretty happy with how its going. I feel a lot more relaxed this time, I’ve done it once so I can do it again. Moving to a different city alone is a big deal but also an amazing adventure. I’ll have to write a post about it some time.

I’m planning to stick to my blogging schedule of Monday and Friday but in all the chaos of the last week or so (and also that I’ve had a horrible cold for the last few days) I’ve ran out of scheduled posts… Oops! I like to be at least a week ahead. I’m going to try to rectify that over the weekend but if my posting gets a little wobbly over the next couple of weeks, please bear with me!

So that’s everyone caught up on my news, have you got any to share? Let me know in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

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Bullet Journal weekly spread for beginners

A couple of weeks ago I explained how I use my bullet journal to plan for the week ahead.  I love using my bullet journal but I do remember how overwhelming it was at first. Seeing the stunning layouts on Pinterest (my bullet journal inspiration board is here) and wondering where to start. Which notebook/pens did I need and did I start with drawing a daily or weekly layout? To answer the notebook/pens question, any will do to get started. The supplies I use or have used in the past are linked further down the post. Any purchases made through those links will give me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Bullet Journal weekly spread for beginners

A simple weekly layout

I prefer to draw one weekly layout rather than daily pages. Its easier, I sit down at the weekend and draw out a layout that will get me through the whole week. I normally spread it out over 2 pages as shown in this post. For this post I’m going to draw a really simple weekly spread on one page, perfect for beginners! Just grab a notebook and a pen and copy me!

Level: Beginner

Pros

  • Very easy, perfect for a first attempt!
  • Quick to do
  • Can see your whole week at a glance

Cons

  • Not much space width ways in each box. A spread set over 2 pages would provide more room.

  You will need

    • A notebook. Any will do but my instructions will be easier to follow with a dotted notebook. This spread was drawn as an example in my old Bullet Journal by Leuchtturm1917. These days I use a Lemome journal. Both are linked below.
    • A pen. Any pen or use a pencil first if you prefer. I use micron pens, this spread was drawn with the 03 pen from the set linked below.
    • A ruler.
    • Washi tape. Optional, I used washi tape to add a bit of colour but it works fine without it too. The autumn leaves tape I use on this spread is part of the washi tape set linked below.

Instructions

  • First up, turn to the page you will be using. From the top of the page count four dots down and mark the first dot on that row with your pen.
  • Follow the row all the way along and mark the last dot on the same row.
  • Go to the bottom of the page and mark the first and last dot on the bottom row.
  • Join the four dots together using a ruler to make a large box. Now flip your notebook sideways.
  • If you are using washi tape, roll a length across the top of your box. Now your page should look like the picture below.

  • Now we are going to make 7 sections, one for each day of the week. Starting from one side of the page count 5 dots along then draw a line from your washi tape (or top line) to the bottom line.
  • Do this until you have 7 sections. There should be 4 dots inside each column with a line on either side. Look at the photo below for reference.

  • Now write the day of the week at the top of each column. I put the letters between dots 2 and 3 to keep them centered. You now have a section for each day of the week! All that’s left to do is fill up our schedule.

  • I’ve added a few things as an example. The bullet points are tasks. Turn the dot into a cross when it is completed.
  • Triangles are appointments. Shade the triangle in when it is done.
  • Circles are events. Shade the circle in once it has passed.

So there you have it! One quick and easy weekly layout. Hope its helpful for someone out there. If you want more step by step bullet journal posts, let me know in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do.

Take care,

Hayley x

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Changing habits: Caffeine

We’ve all been there. Its a busy day, you’re rushed off your feet and fueled almost entirely by caffeine. Pick your poison; coffee, tea, energy drink? My personal low was gulping half a bottle of energy drink at 7.30am… the sugar rush was great for about 20 mins but it was all downhill from there. I don’t even really like energy drink so I must have been desperate. Also before anyone asks no, I wasn’t hung over but I must have been feeling particularly sleep deprived!

The problem

I can’t get going in the morning without a cup of tea, for many people its coffee but the feeling is the same, that need to drink something to wake us up. Recently I saw an article that stated that people who drink 6-8 cups a day of tea or coffee are likely to be dependent. It suddenly made me think, how many cups of tea do I drink a day? One first thing in the morning, then another when I eat breakfast. One with lunch and one with dinner obviously and usually one before bed. I thought “That’s not too bad, 5 over a whole day is nothing.” But over the next few days I started to pay more attention and realised that drinking tea with my meals was just the start.

A coffee when I’m out shopping with a friend. A cup of tea and a biscuit when I call in to see my grandparents. Every time I come home from wherever I have been, what is the first thing I do after taking my coat off? Put the kettle on. I realised that its easy to misjudge how many cups of tea or coffee we are drinking because it is so deeply ingrained into our daily routine. Normally I switch to decaf after dinner but I’m still firmly in the 6-8 cups a day bracket.

The benefits of cutting down

There are many benefits for decreasing our dependency on tea and/or coffee including:

  • Better sleep. It’s well known that caffeine messes with our sleep patterns. On an unrelated note, watch out for my next “Changing habits” post. Wonder what it could be…
  • Better mood. Too much caffeine can make us jittery, grumpy and generally moody.
  • Save money. The cost of grabbing a drink when you are out and about or on the way to the office soon adds up.

I’ve decided enough is enough so as I explained in my last post, I’m using my Bullet Journal to make a note of how many caffeinated drinks I’m having a day. I’m alternating with decaf and trying to stick to 3/4 regular cups of tea or coffee a day. I’ve been doing this for a few days and so far so good. I haven’t experienced the dreaded withdrawal symptoms. I don’t know at the moment if cutting down the way I am is going to make a big difference to my sleep pattern and mood but there’s only one way to find out. I’ll check in in a couple of weeks. Do you drink a lot of tea and coffee? Have you lowered your intake or considered it? Let me know in the comments.

Take care,

Hayley x

 

 

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Never be afraid to try something new

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Life is busy and complicated. I’m not complaining, it would be kind of boring otherwise. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of learning something new and if what I learn could help make life feel less busy and complicated, then even better! My main flaw is that whenever I have a brainwave and think “I’m going to do this/learn that!” I get overexcited, try to take on too much too fast and end up quitting, through either frustration or burnout. Or both in equal measure. Ever been there? Enthusiasm is good but I’ve come to realise that planning and organisation are crucial too. Throwing myself head first into something without really knowing what I’m doing is exciting at the time but in the end, unlikely to work out.

That is the purpose of this blog, to help me keep on track with what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It’s a place to talk honestly about what I want to achieve, what’s working, what isn’t and what I’m going to do next. I have lots of goals and ideas floating around but almost all of them fall into three themes. I want to save myself time, money and effort.

Time. It’s something that you can’t buy and for most people, including myself, there never seems to be enough of it! I hope that by working on skills that improve my time management, I’ll have more time for the important things.

Money. My never ending quest to save for a house deposit. I’m doing my best but there’s always room for improvement. I’m a single buyer and don’t have a high income. I’m a nanny by trade, which I love and wouldn’t want to change any time soon, however childcare generally isn’t a well paid profession. It just means I have to save harder and look for more inventive ways of scrimping or  earning extra money. Like I said earlier, I enjoy a challenge, which is good because getting a mortgage in my circumstances will be a big one!

Effort. If a habit or skill can make life easier then fantastic. However often to save time and money you need to make an effort. That’s why effort is my third category because at the moment time and money are my priority.

I decided the best way to add a bit of order was to get everything out of my head and onto a scrap piece of paper. I sat for 10 minutes just scribbling down every idea that came into my head. Skills I want to learn, habits I want to make (or break!) goals I want to pursue, things that I want to research in the future, basically dumping everything out of my head and onto paper. When its all laid out in front of you its so much easier to group things together and make sense of everything. When I was done I had 3 main goals, 2 areas I want to research more into and a few skills and habits that I clustered together based on type.

Goals

  • Save for a house deposit: Not much more needs to be said about that, I need to save and earn as much as I can if I ever want to be a homeowner.
  •  Learn new skills: The whole reason I’m starting this blog is to teach myself new skills that will hopefully help me out with reaching my other goals.
  • Feel more organised: I just want to feel like I know what I’m doing and that my life isn’t disorganised chaos basically!

Skills/habits

  • Meal plan, meal prep and eat better. I’ve grouped these 3 because they all tie in together. I want to plan what I’m eating, prep beforehand so its easy to grab and go and that should mean eating better as a result.
  • Declutter, organise, make a capsule wardrobe. I have done all 3 of these before a couple of years ago and I was very happy with the results. Unfortunately then life happened and the clutter and clothes slowly crept back in. I’m going to try again but change my approach so that this time the habits stick.
  • Make a budget, shop smarter. I want to get a better understanding of how much I’m spending, what on and find ways of spending less.
  • Bullet Journal. I used to adore my Bullet Journal. It went everywhere with me in my bag and I always knew what I had to do that day and what was coming up that week. But then once again, life happened, habit slipped and then stopped completely. I plan on writing a full post about this soon and starting up my bullet journal again, I actually felt like an organised adult when I had one!

Research

  • Mindfulness
  • Forming habits

I plan on researching the above topics as they are both things that I’ve had an interest in for a while.

So that’s why I’m here! Feel free to join me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. In tomorrows post I’m going drill down into what I want to achieve in different areas and make an action plan! Have you taught yourself a new skill recently? If you could choose one new habit that would change your life, what would it be? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care,

Hayley x

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