Been very remiss with this goal – each month checking to see if my ‘earnings’ were about to expire, and promising to get scribbling anyway before they did. But, between job apps and laziness… not so much! Seemed even less likely with the new job starting…
Then yesterday I saw it was the last day of the ‘short and sweet’ competition – and decided I could rattle out a very concise little piece and break the long gap.
And lo – got back from my shiny new job to discover I’d won second place in the comp! Wheeeeeee :)
Gosh, bit of a whirl of activity over the past couple of weeks! Culminating in a massive change for the month: a new job! :)
I’m equal parts terrified and excited. I’m not just going to be the new girl (tomorrow, eeep!) but I’m starting over in a whole new industry! I’m either mad, or astounding myself with my own bravery, but hey – I’ll never know unless I give it a go, so here I am. Squeeeeee!
Happiness project, then, is job-centric and all about getting back into the working routine in a happy and healthy way!
Habits-wise, nothing desperately new, but all worth revisiting and improving.
- prioritising sleep – no more random late nights on school days! ;)
- exercise – going to have to re-figure the gym (Sundays? I’ll get more settled for evening stuff soon), but I can do little bits at home (zumba, etc) to maintain a little
- eat well – ooh, healthy interesting lunches challenge!
- in the first week, absolutely nothing! I have a planned schedule of lazy cooking, movies and tv, and early nights with my book!
- ongoing, my new job (eeee!) is totally ‘pooter-based: perfect opportunity to break my nasty internet habit and do more of my ‘proper’ hobbies – couple of cards I want to make this month, for a start! Plus, playing with all that stuff gives me something to look forward to :)
- lunchtimes – getting a fixed hour for lunch now (I think?) which might be a great time for more reading, and some scribbling…! :)
Overall: the past week involved me getting a whole pile of stressed about ‘running out of (holiday) time’ – and it sucked. This constant push push push to be doing/achieving/whatever really doesn’t seem to work for me – I end up lazy anyway! So I am uber-happy now that work fits one of my main life-goals so very well (I hope! Fingers crossed :)) and this will be the first time in years I’m not ‘meant’ to be studying in the evenings/weekends – so time to relax, enjoy my spare time (!) and see what comes out of it without the pressure.
Dear old Delia – followed her recipe here, more or less! ;) Mine didn’t have any seafood, and I didn’t bother removing the chicken (diced breast in my version) from the pan. My quantities were also a little rough and ready, not least ‘cos I was cutting the whole thing down to a single portion. Oh, and it got a slug of wine at one point ;)
I’ve had goes at paella before, but this was far and away the best effort yet! Biggest difference, I think, was that I wasn’t in any rush and just let it cook and cook until I was happy the rice was good. Mine was a bit soggier than ones I’ve had in restaurants, but overall I was pretty chuffed.
Not really an effort I’m going to go to on a regular basis, but hey – I’ve got another 3 mini-chorizos to use, so either another of these or I find some new recipes…! :)
I am loving the wording of this goal, especially with a new job, new career direction, and generally new life all set to commence – next week! Squeee!! It’s taken me a while to get past the sheer terror, but thankfully I have some great friends talking me up on (a) bravery and (b) opportunity. So – la! :)
Also currently reading a book on the ‘Growth Mindset’, about seeing challenges as a chance to learn and why that’s a good thing – THAT is what I’m doing. So while I can see there might be some stress ahead, I must keep the right attitude and – indeed! – bloom and grow :)
Can’t say I’m not really really nervous about it, but… eeeeep!! :)
Yesterday I went to my first ever craft show! Fortunately I wasn’t thinking ahead too much and thus didn’t have enough cash with me (few of the stands took ccs) to go too mad ;) Came away with a few new things to play with, and a lot of inspiration – man, some of those examples were good!
So, plan now is to ease myself back into a bit of making before my next ‘big’ card is needed for a birthday at the end of May. I figure now is a perfect time to start on my Christmas cards by way of practice! And maybe a few birthday ones for a stash, so I don’t get caught out again like last week – if you’re known as a crafter, turning up with a bought card simply doesn’t cut it ;)
Hurrah for getting back into my hobbies! :)
Nervous about the interview I have tomorrow, and for hearing back about arranging the interview for the job I want more! ;)
Yeah, I drew out that last one for long enough, but still!
While not the best thought-out program in lots of little ways, overall I really appreciate the concept of this. With or without external prompts it is so worth taking just five minutes – or just a second! – each day to fully focus on the moment, to express gratitude, or otherwise reset your perspectives of life.
Be calm and happy! :)
Well, hoping ;)
I’m going to put down what was swirling through my brain for March but I chickened out of even vaguely committing to – aren’t we funny creatures?!
For April, then, my happiness goal is to begin to reconnect with my passions. I feel – and fear – the years of study leached them out of me, so I read these great books about achieving your goals, living the life of your dreams, etc and sit there with shrivelled ambitions.
Changing that isn’t going to happen overnight. I need to remember how it feels to live, not just stagger from one ‘need to do’ to the next deadline or task at hand. I need, I think, to dabble a bit – to shut down those little voices saying it’s silly or pointless or anything else. Who cares – is it fun, does it make me smile? Then it’s worth doing.
New month, new quarter, new season – and new bootcamp! :)
This one really speaks to me, just the right time for the phrasing – and I don’t intend to take it in the classical sense of spring cleaning (although really, I could probably do with a bit of that!). I have a two-pronged plan of attack:
- Dust away the mental cobwebs: it’s time to take back control of my life, and a good start on that would be banishing some of the negative thoughts!
- Declutter some of those annoying, little tasks – y’know the ones, the silly but lingering bits. Shaking off a few of those would help with overall progress, methinks.
Here’s to spring and new starts :)
4-6 servings. Okay, just 4. Ahem.
about half a packet of jaffa cakes – okay to use stale-ish ones
half a packet (~70g) of orange jelly, and
half a pint of hot water to make it up
half a smallish tin of mandarins
200g (half a tin) of custard
up to about 125g mascarpone
~150ml double cream
- Line the bowl you’re making the trifle in with jaffa cakes – I had one in the bottom and five around the edge. Chocolate side out, I’d say. Use what you need/can fit, or even cut/break them up. Alternatively, make individual portions in separate dishes, maybe with a jaffa cake each?
- Add the mandarins, but not too much of the liquid.
- Make up the jelly according to pack instructions – it’s about 1 pint of hot water for the full block, so I was using half. Feel free to be naughty and replace a wee bit – but not too much! – of the water with vodka or cointreau or grand marnier.
- Pour jelly mix over the jaffa cakes and mandarins – I suppose the aim is to cover, although little bits of my cake stuck out at the side. Leave to set, in the fridge.
- Whisk the ready-made custard with mascarpone. You could do the whole making-your-own, but I’m lazy! ;)
- Top the set jelly-mix with the custard-mix, and top this with the whipped up cream.
- If you like, decorate the top with sprinkles, chocolate curls, or mandarins – whatever floats your boat :)
I sort of made this up as I went along, as you can probably tell!, cobbling together hints from several different web sites and using the mascarpone/custard mix from another recipe! The above was a test version, hence the rough ingredients quantities.
The driver was mainly using up stale jaffa cakes, which replace the more standard sponge in a traditional trifle. The chocolate really adds something, and goes well with the orange – well, jaffa cakes! :)
Adapted from this
1 onion, chopped
little garlic (puree)
300g red split lentils
4 large carrots
full head of celery
2x veg stock cubes
2.5 pints hot water
- Soften the onion in a little oil, with the garlic puree
- Add the stock/water and lentils, bring to the boil
- Add the veg and seasoning, and allow to come back to the boil
- Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes
I seem to have recipe blindness: I read the ingredients, I nod along, and it’s only when I’m done cooking and/or tasting that I go: “Dude! This is totally my bog-standard carrot and lentil recipe, but with more celery, no potatoes and missing a bit of kick from some spices and ham stock!”. Ah well – tasted nice anyway, and wasn’t difficult :)
makes 14 bars
50g dried apricots, chopped
60g mixed seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin)
1 tablespoon golden linseeds
25g ground almonds
2 ripe bananas (medium-sized)
3 tablespoons clear honey
- Mix the dried ingredients
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat, with the honey
- Pour the mixture into the dried ingredients
- Mash the banana (I suggest mashing it in the saucepan – ‘cleans up’ the butter and saves washing up another bowl!)
- Mix everything well to combine, and then spoon into a lined (rectangular) cake tin. Firm down well with the back of the spoon
- Bake for 30 minutes at 180C until golden brown
- Leave to cool before cutting into bar form
I’ve been unsuccessful in breaking my cereal-bar habit, so I figured it was time to try making my own. These are pretty good, quite soft with a definitely banana taste. Certainly a good base to experiment with – sultanas or other fruit, for instance.
The downside: makes 14 bars, lasts in an airtight container for 3 days. Hah…! So, going to try freezing half the batch.
Squeeeeeeee – I feel like the lack of a good name is the only thing stopping me cracking on with this! Any suggestions?!
I’ve already got the bare bones of the database and search tool (from last year’s coursework) – you can type in one or two ingredients and it’ll show you a list of matching recipes. However, the title – “Calypte’s Recipe Book” – isn’t really working for the bigger idea :)
Which encompasses a blog so I can introduce/waffle about new recipes, different experiments, and hints and tips for new and more experienced cooks. At the moment I sort of think that’ll be on Wordpress and I’ll link back and forth to the database/search tool/’catalogue’ of hints, etc (yeah, I’m a bit new to all this) – open to better suggestions on that, too! o_O
So excited – a chance to combine my love of waffling, cooking and learn some better web design as I go – I have hopes for that in the future, methinks. As a plus, I’ll get to practice and hopefully improve my photography skills taking pictures of food!
I’ve had this really possibly insane idea…
Dabbling in writing groups (FB) or reading writing blogs, you sometimes come across those impressive maniacs who switch between two or more WIPs when they get a bit stuck with one. And I’m wondering if that might work for me – certainly, it sounds kind of appealing!
One plus would be the need to be more organised. I really would have to have better notes and plans before I start this kind of arrangement – but what better forum than Camp NaNo?! Certainly, the 50K (yeah, I plan to at least start with the ‘old school’ target, despite the increased flexibility) limit would chivvy me to put words down somewhere, so I wouldn’t get away with being stuck on both, really!
The downside, of course, would be the ease with which I could set up half a dozen different ideas, and end up with sub-10k words on each. On the other hand, is that really a downside?! I’m a total beginner, with lots of ideas and no deadlines/promises, etc, so now might be exactly the time to scribble at least something on each of the myriad ideas in my head – and see which have the legs, at least right now.
Hmm… very tempting! :)
Oh wow, look at the date on that last entry – and I’m still looking! Still, one plus of impending desperation is that you do get a whole lot less picky! So, since I’m still waiting to hear back about the saga-like applications to date, it’s time to just randomly apply for pretty much anything that catches my eye, ignoring the little voice pointing out possible downsides to them, and keep my fingers crossed?!
Wish me luck! o_O
Today sees the start of a challenge from Oprah and Deepak – daily free meditations available! The theme is ‘perfect health’, which seems entirely appropriate :)
Why I never seem to keep to a habit of meditation…! So it’s very good to have this challenge to get me back to it a bit :)
Today… I’ve had a lousy weekend, feeling blue and unmotivated. Today started out with a headache and that sense that I still couldn’t get myself moving. After meditation, I just… lightened up. Stopped seeing everything so negatively, so dramatically.
Yup, more please!
I have been doing better with this, having discovered the ‘best’ time for me is before I start the day. I do want to keep trying for an evening session – right before bed doesn’t seem to work, so I must make an effort to try afternoons and/or early evenings.
My plan right now is to double up as many days as I can manage to ‘make up’ the time – but no pressure! Currently sitting on 12/20 days.
Day 5: Bedtime visualisation
This has been my favourite so far – I do love getting the full ‘walk-through’ of a visualisation by senses, and the beach is always a goody. Alas, the whole thing wasn’t too well planned and a few of the comments jarred my suspension of disbelief – probably says more about my brain than the thing, though!
Day 6: Connect with the moment
A 5-minute mindfulness exercise. Fine, nothing exciting.
Day 7: Counting breaths
Familiar, but always welcome :)
So, week 1 was all about mindfulness and relaxation. I found the hint from day one – noticing my surroundings more – actually stayed with me all week, and I’ve repeated the breath-counting again today. I’d call the week a success, if just the reminders on being more aware and finding calm.
Looking forward to seeing what week 2 brings!
Okay, so I’m figuring out how photo-centric the whole ‘programme’ is, as every day has asked for an upload. Hmm.
Day 3 was a gratitude exercise. Unfortunately it was focused on my ‘daily work or study’ – hah. Anyway.
Day 4 (today, Saturday) challenged you to take one thing from your environment – something you see every day – and change it. I like this one: the possibilities and the insinuations…!