woensdag 26 maart 2014

Around here

We have been having some ridiculously fabulous weather. Winter consisted this year of fall-like weather. We probably have had maybe 7 days of below zero in total and no snow whatsoever.
And as a bonus; spring came early this year. I have been spamming my Instagram account of pictures featuring the nice weather, sunshine and flowers. I've been spending lots of time in our garden and soaking up the sun. I even already have somewhat of a tan. Yay!

I am not a very organised person. I do try but after a few days/weeks I get overwhelmed by all the little notes and the system I thought would be perfect and little bits of paper start to pile up. A few weeks ago I read about the Bullet Journal method. It is insanely simple. 
So I decided to give it a try; I still had a notebook in my stash that was perfect for this. I have been using it for 3 weeks now and so far so good. I plan to do a blogpost about this method in a few weeks. I need some time to see if it works for me long-term.

The deadline of my market debut on the 23rd meant lots of last minute creating. I really wanted to make some of my own stationary and see if it would sell. In case you're wondering; it did not. I'm adding it to my etsy-store this week so you can decide for yourself. Because working upstairs in "my" room isn't really an option when I'm home lone with Abby (she gets very restless, starts being annoying and I can't focus) I brought all of my stuff downstaris and spread it out all over the diningtable. This is the mess I made.. 
I had everything all cleaned up by dinnertime and we ate at the table 

I have an enormous amount of nailpolish. At my last count I hade 12 bottles. I mostly tend to be attracted to pinks and reds. But with all the cute manicures I see coming by on Instagram I decided to try something different. I really liked the green. Also I'm trying to use all of the nailpolishes instead of just having them sit there. Most of them are really cheap brands so they only last for a day or 3. Wich means I have lots of room to try new combinations. When my no-spend-march is over no.1 on my shoppinglist is a sparkling topcoat.

I have sent my very first "Pay it Forward" package this week. I really had lots of fun putting it together. I finally got to use my typewriter and added a little letter to the package. It consisted of a box of watercolors, 2 brushes and I made a small notebook filled wih watercolor paper. My friend was really happy with it.
So 1 package down, 3 more to go.

Almost a year ago I finally got my drivers licence. But now, almost a year on, I still find driving scary. I do good with roads I have traveled often. So going to work is not a problem. But when I have to drive somewhere I haven't driven to before I get really nervous.
Last Monday I had to go to Heiloo, wich is about 35 minute drive. I've never driven there myself and was really nervous. But it went really well and I was super proud of myself. Especially because I was thinking up loads of excuses to take the train instead. But I did it and it went super!

One of my intentions for this year was to take better care of myself. Part of that is to stick my my diet (no dairy, no beef and no pork) and taking my (homeopathic) meds. So every monday, after walking Abby and having breakfast I make myself a nice cup of coffee and set upon the task of getting my pills ready for the whole week. It has become somewhat of a ritual.  I've noticed that my fybromyalgia has been getting better and I have less pain. So it's working.
Now comes the hard part; keeping this ritual up.

So that's life around here.
What's happening in your life?

maandag 24 maart 2014

Market day

Yesterday was the big day; my very first market day with all of my Bits & Bobs. 
The market started at 10.30 but the doors opened at 9.00 to give you enough time to get ready.
Typically me, I was there right at 9.00.. way too early!  I always keep all of my "shop-stuff" neatly packed in a pink crate at home so the only thing I had to pack was my pink crate, a nice tablecloth (tip from my mom; you always sell beter with a nicely covered table) and lunch.
As you can see I pinned all of my charms onto some canvasses covered in black fleece. It always helps to have little bits displayed in a way that makes shopping easy.
So by 19.30 I was all set up. I spend the rest of the time until opening seeing the other stalls and chatting with my neighbors. 

When the doors opened the first people in were bargain hunters. Not my target-group. I hoped things would pick up later in the day.. But it didn't really. It was a tough crowd.
Lots of little old ladies just strolling around but not really wanting to part with their cash. And when they did they wanted to spend as little as possible.
I did sell some bits and pieces; mainly notebooks but also some charms. But most people where looking for cheap household products instead of handmade items. 
*Also my mother-in-law stopped by and did some major shopping.. <3

The vibe among the sellers was real good but the buyers were not my thing. I got a lot of odd looks (sometimes even disdainful) and an old lady even told me that nobody can make money from their hobby.
Take that!

By the time the market closed at 14.45 I was really ready to go home. I didn't expected to take the critisisms so hard...It really bummed me out.
So this was the first and last time on a market like this.
Lesson learned.

Next month I am planning to have a small stand at the huge flea market here in Hoorn on Kings Day ( formerly Queensday) This will be on the 26th of April. Traditionally we celebrate the birhtday of the King on this day. The flea markets are huge on these days and fillend with anything and everything people want to sell. So I'll try again then. Lets hope it will be more of a succes then!

vrijdag 21 maart 2014

Currently 21.03.2014

Each week I take a moment and record what's happening right now.
Here is this weeks card:

Other current events:
I am in full preperation-mode for this sunday.
This coming sunday is the first time I am taking my etsy store into the real world. 
I have a stall on a small jumblesale in Purmerend.
That means I'm busy packing things, labeling them, making a cute display for my charms and 1001 little things I need to organise. Like getting enough change for example.
I also have some new bits and bobs. 
I am really excited but also a bit nervous. What if I don't sell anything?!
Wish me luck.
And if you're in the neighborhood come by and say hi!
You can find me at Concordia in Purmerend.

For those of you on the other side of the world; I'm updating my etsystore next week so you too will have a chance to see ( and order) the new goodies.

maandag 17 maart 2014

Currently 08.03.2014 and 15.03.2014

Each week I am taking 5 minutes and record the right now.
I haven't been feeling very well lately. My fybromyalgia has been acting up and I have had a cold for weeks now.
So I'm not really on top of things.
It totally slipped my mind to show you last weeks Currently-card.
So today I'll show you last weeks and the one from the week before.

I hope you are having a lovely monday!

woensdag 12 maart 2014

30 day of lists; almost halfway through

I've just finished writing list no. 12.
We are 3 days aways from the half-way mark and I wanted to share the lists I've made so far.
I try to do 1 list a day bt notice that somedays I just don't get around to it.
So somedays I do 2 or 3 lists. I am fully up to dat at the moment.

I try to make the lists as honest as possible.
I am really liking the way the black album is turning out. I've found some neon pink tape for my Dymo Label-thing ( at HEMA). In combination with the black paper and white ink it really looks clean and simple but different.

Have you joined in on the listing?
How is your album coming along?
And most important; are you having fun?

maandag 10 maart 2014

The garden

Spring has arrived here in Holland.
And with the arrival of warm and sunny weather we are spending more time in our garden.
We have a very typical dutch suburban garden.
It's 5 meters wide and 10 meters deep.
When we bought the house it was overgrown with lots of huges shrubs and bushes. Also there wasn't really a fence; between our garden and the neighbors there was a line of thin prickley bushes. Not ideal when you have 2 dogs.. So it neede some work but it faces south-west so that is ideal.

Over the past 2 years we have made some improvements. We've added a wooden fence along both sides, cleared most of the big shrubs and planted bushes of our own. We also gave the huge Japanese Cherry tree in the back of the garden a good trim. The tree was one of the reasons we bought this house. I love the shade it provides in the heat of summer. And the blossom in spring is beautifull!

There are still some more improvements to be made. The plan is to put in a big terrace in the next few weeks and someday we will replace the blue fence along the end of the garden.
We are both outdoors kind of people and at the first sign of sunshine and warm weather we are in our garden. Tending to the plants, mowing the grass , sit in the sun with a drink or light up the bbq.
We try and light it up when ever we can..

This is my little herb corner. I bought most of them from a nearby gardencentre, except for the Mint. That is one of those sad supermarket herbs which I planted in good faith. it's really doing well. The Oregano is thriving so I repotted that last saturday. The Rosemary and Mint also needed new pots.

This is a insect hotel; it is supposed to be an ideal nesting place for ladybugs, butterflies and solitair bees. But so far it only houses spiders.. I love havind all sorts of insects in the garden. I've already stocked up on a special ladybug attracting flower mix. And have some left-over bee mix from last year. 

Right next to the door is the best spot to sit, especially early spring and late fall.
Most of the time it's wind-free and the sun makes it lovely and warm. In the front of the photo you can just see some of my Lavender; one of my favorite plants. The small fence is to keep Abby from the grass. The middle part is open in summer but we close it off in the fall to protect the grass. She runs around on it like a little mad-woman and she wrecks it. 

The view from the master bedroom. As you can se the small fence is still closed off; it is still a bit muddy. The stack of stones is our soon-to-be terrace. Across the picture is my washing-line. +This way the laundry hangs above everything and is never in the way. We brought the stepping-stones that are in the grass home with us from our last vacation in the Belgian Ardenns.
It is all still a bit bare since it is still early in the season. But the weather is supposed to be good all week so everything will start to grow soon. 

woensdag 5 maart 2014

No Spend March

Yesterday I posted about my intentions for this year.

One of them was to be a smarter spender. And spend less money on buying stuff I want rather then spening my money on stuff I need.

As I wrote yesterday I am very good at convincing myself I really "need " something. When I can probably live without it very well. So I spend a lot of money on things I don't really need.
Which leaves little room for saving. Or buying things we really need.
I found that I often go into town and browse the shop just to be out of the house.

I would really like to be a smart spender but I fear that I might have become addicted to buying stuff.
So I have decided to do a whole month of not spending.
Today I made a list detailing things that are allowed and things that are most certainly off-limits. As you can see I am not going down to the bare minimum. And I'm not affecting others with my not-spending.
For me this challenge is more about breaking a shopping habit as it is about saving money.

We are now 5 days in and I am finding it harder than I expected. My mind keeps thinking "oh I could go into town and pick up..." So I am keeping myself busy with cleaning, napping and taking Abby for long walks which she doens't enjoy that much.. she is a lazy doggy..

I'm hoping I can break this thinking and keep this up for the whole of March.

dinsdag 4 maart 2014

One Little Word: Intentions

It has taken me some time but I have finally managed to get myself into action and do something with this.

The sketchbook was just laying here on my desk the whole time but it just didn't feel right. I kept moving it around because it was in my way .But never felt ready to start.
Until this weekend when I saw a "no spend march" picture on Instagram.
In that moment it all just clicked into place and I knew where I wanted to go with my word.

I ditched the sketchbook; it just felt restrictive. I repurposed a folder I had laying around and filled it up with some blank paper and lined paper.
First up after that was to write a list of my intentions for my word over the whole of 2014.

My intentions for finding the balance between all and nothing:

I really want to change my spending habits. I have what we here in Holland call a "hole in my hand" and am very good at shopping small little tidbits I don't actually need. Which means I have a very hard time saving money for things I do really need. I really want to change this.
I want to find a happy medium between spending nothing and having some money to spend but leave enough for things I need. Inspired by all the people who are having a "no spend"-month I am going to give that a go. Just to break the habit of going into town when I don't actually need things but come home with stuff.
More on my no spend challenge tomorrow.

I really want to spend more time togheter with other people. I spend a lot of time home alone during the day and would really would like to have a more active social life. But that means I have to get out there and I'm not quite shure where to start. I made a small step by going to a monthly game-night at a local game store Not a playstation/xbox type gamestore but with actual "old fashioned" boardgames and stuff like that. It was really lots of fun! And I am making plans to do stuff like that more often.

I have a massive amout of hobbies. And for all those hobbies I have stuff. And some of it wasn't cheap. But because I have so many things I want to do; I don't have time to do them all. Which leaves me feeling hugely guilte for the things I don't do often enough. And I have an enormous to-do list filled with projects I want to do.  So I feel I might have to edit it. And make a selection of a few things I really love. And file the rest under "maybe/someday"

As a result of my hobbies and spending I have a lot of "stuff" no need to call a hoarders-helpline, it isn't THAT bad. And all that stuff is weighing down on me. So I need to clear it out. And select which things I really need and what can go. My study or the "reat room; since that is also where the rats live has become somewhat of a dumping ground. And is in need of a clear-out.
I hope that with having less stuff my brain will feel less cluttered.

I want to watch less tv during the day. That would give me more time to do things that I want to do. I also found that watching less tv during the day helps me feel more energised and less depressed.

And last but not least I want to pick up yoga again. Apart from walking Abby 2-3 times a day and having my bike as my main mode of transport I don't get much excersise. I did yoga for a while and found it really helped with my fybromyalgia. But when we moved I never got around to finding another yoga studio.
I am going to try and do yoga at home.

So these are the ways In which I am going to try and find some balance in my life in different area's.
Some will be easier to do and some will be a challenge to incorporate.
But we will see how it goes.