Mar 14, Monthly Goals

Monthly Round-Up: March

I’m into third set of monthly goals now, but how did I get on with my second bunch?

  1. Have two conversations in Welsh (with two different people)
    - FAIL! I only managed one conversation (gyda Catrin) and I left that quite late in the month. I did take steps to try and find new people to converse with via the SSiW forum but one potential partner fell through last minute. Even though I only had one conversation it was a really good one! I need to work on answering questions and responding but the fact that I could understand what Catrin was saying 95% of the time gave me a massive confidence boost. We’ll hopefully arrange to do it more regularly from now on, I just need to find another person or two to do the same with.
  2. Complete the Sass Basics deep dive on Treehouse
    - COMPLETE! I really enjoyed getting stuck into this. It’s very straightforward but extremely powerful when used properly. Now I need to practice using it in some of my own projects.
  3. Leave 31 blog comments
    - COMPLETE? FAIL? Officially, it’s a fail as I only managed 30/31. However, I was quite proud of the fact that I managed to get to 30 considering I rarely ever leave any comments on blog posts. I’m not really sure if I’ve got much more out of it. My stats on my own blog haven’t really increased, but I have found a couple of interesting blogs to read now. Here’s the full list of comments I left.
  4. Do 8 yoga workouts
    - FAIL! Again, it wasn’t a complete fail. I managed 7/8 but I was scuppered at the end of the month by my sinuses hitting me hard. It meant I couldn’t do my planned workout on 30th March and left me with two to do in one day, which would have been a bit pointless to me. I’m glad I managed 7 though, and I’ve enjoyed getting back into it. So much so that I’ve added 2 sessions a week into my calendar. Every Wednesday and Saturday have yoga penned in. 
  5. Do 3 Parkruns
    - COMPLETE! I managed all three runs and all in half decent times too (including my season’s best of 25:16 on my second one). I don’t always feel like getting up for Parkrun in the mornings but I’m always glad when I do them. My times have improved steadily since January so I’m hoping to aim for a new PB in the next month or two. 

So, another mixed bag I’m afraid, but I’ve learnt a valuable lesson – don’t leave things to the last minute!

2014, Mar 14, Monthly Goals, Musings

March Goals: 31 Blog Comments

One of my goals for March was to leave 31 blog comments (one a day). I though it would encourage me to read more blogs and also to interact a little bit more with the ones I liked. SPOILER: I only made it to 30.

The biggest problem I had was the lack of blogs in my feed reader. It mostly consisted of blogs by people I know plus a few others that weren’t really updated very much anymore. To rectify this I re-organised it, removed any old ones and a few I don’t really read anymore, and let Sarah loose on it to add some of her favourite blogs that I might like.

I still found it quite hard to actually find something I wanted to comment on. I figured there’d be at least one a day but that wasn’t the case. I did have a few days where I left 3 or 4 comments though so it evened itself out over the month.

So yeah, in the end I only made it to 30. I could have just left any old comment to hit my target but I didn’t want to just do it for the sake of it. Anyway, here are links to all the articles I left comments on over the past month.

1. Monthly Goals February & March Update [Link]
2. Fake Trouts or Crispy Pancakes? [Link]
3. The First Time I Actually Raced [Link]
4. Secretly Healthy Seven Layer Bars [Link]
5. Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies [Link]
6. New Goals and Lunchspo [Link]
7. NYC You Later [Link]
8. Travel – Exploring the Hues of Bergen, Norway [Link]
9. Daim Bar Tarts [Link]
10. Donna Margherita [Link]
11. Perfect Soft Boiled Egg [Link]
12. Freezer Pantry Fresh Pasta [Link]
13. Jamie’s Italian Cardiff – Searching For Cardiff’s Best Burger [Link]
14. Running Blog Weekend Debrief [Link]
15. Home Buying Moment – Oh No, What Have We Done? [Link]
16. Think For Yourself [Link]
17. It Takes A Lot To Phase Me. Consider Me Phased [Link]
18. Portraits of Kylie in London with the Samsung NX30 and Sony A5000 [Link]
19. Happy 3rd Birthday, Blog! [Link]
20. She Cooks, She Eat A Little Less [Link]
21. Kano [Link]
22. The Sloppy Jo Burger Challenge [Link]
23. Retain Code You’re Learning [Link]
24. Egg Yolks Are Fine [Link]
25. Colorful NYC Art Prints by Remko Heemskerk [Link]
26. Devil’s Cookies [Link]
27. Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Mint Buttercream [Link]
28. The End Of An Era? [Link]
29. Grace In Small Things [Link]
30. Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies [Link]
Apr 14, Monthly Goals

April – Monthly Goals

More monthly goals!! I should be getting the hang of these going into my third month doing them but I’m not really sure I am? I didn’t quite manage last month’s goals (more on that later!) but it’s time to set some new ones for April.

  1. Complete the iOS track on Treehouse
    - More learning and more coding! I haven’t delved into iOS apps yet and it’s an area I’m keen to try out as a possible avenue for future work plans. I think I’m going to like it but there’s only one way to find out!
  2. Prepare the garden and plant some vegetables
    - We grew some of our own tomatoes in the garden last year but we planted them quite late because we didn’t move into the house until late April. We’d quite like to be as self sustainable as possible in the future so this year we’re planting a few extra vegetables and hoping that a few grow. I just need to pull up the paving slabs and get some decent soil down first!
  3. Hangout with at least 5 different friends (5 different times)
    - Sarah is always telling me I don’t make enough effort to stay in touch with my friends and as much as I nod and say ‘I know, I know’, I don’t really do a lot about it. So this month I’m making an effort to see as many friends as possible.
  4. Do at least 8 HIIT workouts
    - If I’m ever going to get that 6 pack I’ve always joked about then I need to burn a bit more fat down into lean muscle. Lifting weights in the gym and the odd short run here and there will only do so much. If I’m really going to shred these love handles down then I need to get on the Tabata train.
  5. Attempt 2 new baking recipes
    - I’m rubbish at baking. Cookies are my nemesis. I’m going to tackle them head on and try and expand my repertoire at the same time (and hopefully get to eat something tasty at the end of it!).

There you have it, my monthly goals for April. What are you hoping to achieve this month?

2014, Musings, Writing

Short Story: Refresh

Grab the handle. Push the button. Squeeze and turn. Open. Feel the air rush in. Feel the cold on your skin.


Shake the shiver free.

Turn the hot tap. Open the valve. Listen for the rush of water through the pipes. The creak, the groan. The water makes its way, squeezes and gushes.

Watch it stream into the bath, around the basin and run down the plughole. Hold your fingers underneath. Feel the temperature. Too cold. Let it run. Warmer. Warmer. Too hot.

The steam billows from the bath where the streams batter against the enamel and echo around the room. It rises and hovers towards the ceiling, swirling in the breeze of the cold air as it catches and pulls it all around.

Turn the cold tap. Slowly. Gradually. Hold your palm open. Feel the temperature. Adjust. Bit by bit. Cooler. Cooler. Just right. Steady.

Step in. Step under. Let the water fall around you. Feel the itch rise under your skin as the heat beats off your back. Close your eyes as you hold your head under the downpour and let the warmth engulf your body, rippling pimples around every inch of you.

Feel it drizzle down your neck, over your shoulders, down your arms, over your hands and fall off your fingers.

Crouch. Breathe deeply. Let it consume you. Keep your eyes closed and sense it. Inhale the heat, the steam.  Let if cleanse you.


Photo Credit: gomattolson via Compfight cc