18 for 2018 // Plans for the new year

18 for 2018 - Plans for the new year

In January last year I wrote a post about my hopes, plans and goals for 2017 and as it turns out I managed to do quite well with them. I was going to write a similar post this year, and then Lucy from Mrs H’s Favourite Things invited me to join her and some fellow bloggers in writing an ’18 for 2018′ post – part goals and plans, part bucket list with a focus on putting yourself first. Read more

Looking back at 2017 // Hopes, plans and goals

2017 Goals - How did I do?

Back in January last year I wrote a post about my hopes, plans and goals for 2017. Now I have to be honest and admit I never really looked at it again for the rest of the year but I did kind of have some of the things in the back of my mind as the year went on.

Anyway, I decided that before I started making some new plans for 2018 I would take a look back and see how I got on with my 2017 goals, plans and hopes…
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2017 // Hopes, plans and goals

I know I’m a bit late to the party with this one, what with us being three weeks into 2017 already, but I’ve been thinking a lot this last few weeks about what I want to achieve over the next year.

If I had to pick a word to describe 2016 it would be survival. Getting through the days on very little sleep, surviving a house move with two little kids, managing on one wage after my maternity pay ended in May. It’s not been the easiest of years but it’s done now and I am determined to make 2017 more about actually living than merely surviving.

Hopes plans goals 2017

I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, and often I don’t have much of a plan for life at all but I’ve been thinking about where I want to be this time next year and I thought I would share some of my hopes, plans and goals for 2017. Some of these are personal and some are blogging related, and I suppose some are a mixture of both… Read more

The New Year Tag

So I’m a bit late to the party with this post but seeing as I only went back to work today I think it’s allowed! Thanks to Donna at What the Redhead said for the tag. (If you’ve not seen Donna’s shiny new blog yet you should definitely head over and have a look by the way!)

What was your highlight of 2014?

It’s really hard to pick one highlight of last year. Nothing really major stands out as a highlight. Of course there were lots of highlights watching Toby grow and develop from a six month old baby who could only just sit up to a fully fledged, walking toddler. On a more personal note, losing weight and getting back on stage for Aida in October was brilliant and also winning my battle for redundancy from the council I worked for before my maternity leave when then couldn’t give me a job to go back to.

What are you excited for in 2015?

I’m going to be a bit cryptic on this one, hopefully there will be some very exciting times ahead for both Toby Goes Bananas and us as a family in 2015 but I can’t tell you any more than that at the moment! One thing I am definitely excited for in 2015 is finishing school for the summer holidays at the end of June, I’ll be counting down the days!

Any new year resolutions?

Not really. I’ve never really been one for new year resolutions. I have a vague idea that I want to try and find more time for blogging but unless work gets a bit easier as the year goes on I can’t see that I’m going to be hugely successful with that one.

Blogging high?

I think it would have to be working as a brand ambassador for both Lindam Munchkin and Konfidence this year. I was absolutely amazed when I was asked to work with such big and respected brands. I was sure my little blog wasn’t good enough or big enough but I was delighted to work with them, and in fact all the other brands I’ve worked with this year too. Apart from that I’m just proud of the record of Toby’s life that I’ve created. I don’t write as often as I’d like and sometimes I wonder if it’s really worth the effort but then I look back at all the memories I’ve captured here in my little corner of the internet and I know I’ll be glad that I did it, and hopefully Toby will enjoy looking back at it too when he’s a bit older.

Picture of the year?

This is so hard but I think this picture is one which will always, without fail, make me smile. The two people I love most in the whole world.

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I’m not going to tag anyone else because I figure most people have done their New Year posts already but if you fancy answering the questions then go for it.

Plans for 2014

2014 plans

I know we’re a few days into the new year already so I thought it was about time I wrote about some of my plans for 2014. These are not resolutions as such, just some things I hope to achieve in the coming year.

1. Continue to lose weight.

I’ve not been back on the scales yet but I’m pretty sure I’ll be back to square one after my Christmas eating! I’m not going to do my usual trick of just giving up though. My Fitness Pal was working well for me before Christmas so I’m going to carry on the calorie counting and hopefully try and fit in some exercise too – even if it’s just making sure I get out for a walk with Toby in the buggy a couple of times a week. After years of faddy diets and crazy exercise regimes I know exactly what I need to do. I’ve found a really simple way to lose weight. Shall I let you in on my secret? Here it is: Eat less, eat better, move more. That’s it. You can have that one for free!

2. Watch our spending.

I’m to used to having two pretty decent salaries to go at so although we’ve never been well off, before Toby came along we didn’t have to worry too much about our spending. I’ve always been quite money savvy and make sure I find the best deals for things like the mortgage and car insurance. Where I’ve been getting a bit slack though  is with the supermarket shopping. Now we only have one salary and maternity pay though I need to be a bit more careful. I always used to plan our meals for the week before doing the weekly shop, and I still have been, in my head. But without a proper list I always seem to forget something, and when I go back to Tesco for one thing I always end up spending twenty quid and a lot of baby clothes manage to find their way into my basket! So from now on it’s back to meal planning and proper lists and hopefully, therefore, a reduction in our day to day spending.

3. Continue blogging.

I’d like to try and post more regularly and I’ve got lots of ideas for new posts. I want to write some more about cloth nappies; I know I found reading other peoples’ experiences helpful when we started out using them. We’re also just starting weaning with Toby so there’ll be plenty about that too. I still want to join in with Silent Sunday and The Ordinary Moments and maybe find some other linkys to join to. I really want to work on the design of my blog too – I’d love to get a custom illustration done. If anyone knows someone who could help with this without it costing the earth please do let me know! To this end I’m also going to look at going self-hosted this year. I’ve got my own domain name already but I think moving to wordpress.org will give me more options design-wise.

4. Go back to work.

My employment situation is quite complicated and as I’m a teacher working for the local council I can’t really go into much detail here. Basically I was on a temporary contract before maternity leave so I still don’t know if I will have a job to go back to, or if I do then I don’t know where it will be. If everything works out though I should be going back to work in August and hopefully back to the school I was at last year. I initially thought I would want to go back to work part time (and that would still be my plan in the long run) but I’ve started to think that, due to new year’s intention number 5, I might be better going back full time for a year. Which brings us to…

5. Baby number two!

I know Toby is only six months old but we’ve always said we want two kids and I’d like them two years apart. The main reason for this is that my brother is exactly (to within one day!) two years older than me and we got on really well growing up. So, if we want our kids two years apart then I need to be pregnant again towards the end of the year. And if I go back to work full time then I’ll get full maternity pay instead of it being reduced to part time pay. I know I might change my mind when it gets a bit nearer, and we might choose to delay things a bit, but at the moment this is the plan.

And that’s it. I think I’m going to leave it at five. Of course I want to have lots of family time with Toby and the hubby – hopefully that will include our first family holiday abroad too! I know this year is just going to be amazing watching Toby grow and develop. The first six months of his life has been the most awesome, overwhelming and brilliant six months of my life. I can barely imagine how exciting the next year is going to be!