Blogging · Knitting · Uncategorized · Updates

Daily Greatness – Self Planning

So next year is going to be so ridiculously busy with so many balls in the air I was starting to wonder how I was going to not drop any of them… including the baby… I heard that’s not a great idea….

Anyhow, I’ve seen this Journal on my Instagram feed quite a few times now. It’s a planner that allows you to set goals and then plot how you’re doing against them.

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It is a really beautiful journal and I’m actually really looking forward to writing in it – although that will mean waiting until Jan as that’s when it starts. However, there are some exercises I can get started on now. The first is a letter to myself in a years time. I thought I’d write it on here and share it with you all. Part of the working theory is that if I share it I’m more likely to actually do it….

Dear a probably very tired me,

You’re now the mother of a nearly 1 year old bubs and you’re at the end of what was probably the most challenging and rewarding year of your life. Fingers crossed you managed to not lose bubs anywhere… in which case win! Honestly, if bubs is happy and healthy by this point then this has been successful year. Bubs should have also had most of the Harry Potter series read to bubs already 🙂

Hopefully by next year the blog will have also grown. In 2016 we hit the 100 followers milestone, the plan is to double that by the end of 2017. If we can get there then that would be awesome. With the arrival of bubs I would like to start earning a little bit of money off the blog so that I can start funding advertising and get the blog it’s own URL. With bubs there is unlikely to be any money to self fund much. The hope is that I can do some guest blogging and potentially get some paid gigs out of it. If I am funding my own craft habit by the end of 2017 then the other half will reward with serious brownie points 🙂

So on the job front: the plan is to start back at work around the end of March/ beginning of April time line. By then bubs will be about 3 months old and should hopefully be sleeping through the night (fingers crossed). The plan is then to start hunting out a promotion at work by about the middle of the year. My plan is to have a career, being a working mum is going to be really hard, but I know it’ll be worth it in the long run.

By the time you’re reading this, that book will be finished and actually published on Amazon. Because this is getting seriously ridiculously stupid if not as if this is still not done by now you have definitely need to take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. This has now been in editing for half a decade and it needs to be published.

I don’t have any massive hopes for my knitting this year (I’m pretty sure that in my sleep induced haze I’ll be struggling to count rows and stitches). But if I can get in a few cute knits for bubs then all will be well. The plan is also to really improve my sock knitting – I’m thinking by now I’ll have knitted at least 12 pairs (1 a month on average). They’ll have been good sized travelling companions this year and I will hopefully have a few cute pairs of pretty socks. Recently I heard of a woman who donated a load of blankets she’s knitting to the Salvation Army, so that would be cool if I could have some spare knits by now to donate.

By now you should have actually completed your first 10K race. After having to put the first one off from April 2016 (turns out that exhaustion was due to bubs!) you should now have got your fitness up enough to be able to run 10K again. If not then I am very disappointed as I feel like the exercise will help keep the stress levels to a minimum and keep some sort of sanity together. You’ll also be going climbing at least twice a month in an attempt to tone up some core muscles again – and climbing is super fun.

Financially I would really like to reduce how much I spend. If I could do that then we could save a lot more. So hopefully by the time I’m reading this I will have some savings and reduced how much I’ve been spending. But fingers crossed… I might have even be able to siphon some off for yarn…

So future me, I hope you’ve managed to at least meet most some of the above. With bubs keeping you busy I imagine you’ve had some sort of serious adjusting to do. But fingers crossed you’ve managed to stay on top of most of it!

Bye me and I hope you’ve had an exciting 2017!

MrsKirstyHoll

x

So what I’m going to do is take a copy of the letter and schedule that to appear on the blog at the end of 2017. That seems like a long way off, but I bet it will be here stupidly quickly!

So that’s the hopes for next year 🙂

Baby brain signing off,

MrsKirstyHoll

x

 

 

 

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Blogging · Knitting · Learning · Updates

Digital Eagles Day

So burning the late night oil again (I wrote most of this blog Thursday night) – I made the mistake of taking a nap on the way home in the car (I wasn’t driving). Basically, I’m up at silly o’clock again because my body sleeps at funny hours. But, on a positive note, I have tomorrow off work so I don’t need to be able to have 100 % focus… and can go to bed at a relatively normal hour. But the perk of the drive is I did get some knitting done on the way up… I then finished it sat in Marks and Sparks this morning while have coffee with my family.


Anyhow, on the more exciting note, I spent yesterday at the most amazing Digital Eagles day up in Birmingham (hence the driving). Left the house about 6:15 and got back about 21:45. A very long day – but completely worth it!

Basically, the day was very tech heavy. Which was really awesome.


The first presentation of the day was from Philip Colligan, the CEO of Raspberry Pi. This was super exciting and he gave us loads of advice on additional reading materials. I’m still really early days with coding, so all extra advice is really welcome. I came away from the presentation feeling really inspired.

During the day I also attended a cyber security workshop. I’ll do a separate blog post on that as there’s some really helpful tips for protecting yourself against online cyber threats which I think you will all find useful – especially if you’re running a small business. My plan is to do some additional research first.

We also picked up some really awesome freebies too. Including this Micro:bit Lanyard (with a battery pack)… So now I can code on the move! With all this coding info this session, I’m looking forward to getting some coding in this weekend! I also picked up a really cool battery charger – ideal for my pokemon Go! outtings.

Another great talk of the day was from a pair of Youtubers – Carl and Alex. They run a very successful fishing channel on the site. Especially where our channel is so small, it was inspirational to hear from others who had managed to grow the channel. It made me feel much more excited about ours – Although I still need to finish my episode for Monday…

I was hoping to have this up earlier today (it will probably be Saturday by the time you actually read this!), but I had that weird nesting urge kick in. I have literally spent the majority of the evening tidying the house and couldn’t settle until it was looking less like it had been hit by a tornado!

Having now settled I have now been able to finish the blog (it’s now 11:15pm!). I’m out in Southampton tomorrow… so hopefully I can get some more knitting done in the car…

Baby brain signed off…

Mrskirstyholl

x

BABY · Blogging · Knitting · My WIP Projects · Updates · Writing

A Catalogue of W.I.Ps – Baby, Gaming and Knitting

So here we are at the end of another busy week. It has been a really exciting week though. There has been some really interesting stuff going on at work – I ended up at the Ageas bowl on Tuesday morning, which was really stunning (even though I have no idea about Cricket). Home is exciting – the kitchen is being redecorated – and a complete state of chaos as a result. But it will be worth it and I promise to share pictures when it is finished.

Baby is nearly the end of week 16. Solidly into the second trimester now. My bump is getting bigger (to the point of having to shop for maternity dresses as normal dresses are getting a bit tight). It’s getting heavy in the morning now – but I look properly pregnant and not just fat (which is lovely!).

The less pleasant symptoms (search as the morning sickness) are starting to subside and this pregnancy thing is starting to become a little more enjoyable. Although the thought of holding my baby in my arms makes it all worth it.

About 24 weeks to go. Seems like there is a massive amount still to do. It also means I have 24 weeks to finish all outstanding long term projects and complete the planned baby projects…

Arrggghhh!!! That will literally have to be the fastest I have ever worked on a project…. Wish me luck! I will, of course, keep you updated.

On a more exciting note, we’ve started buying baby clothes already 🙂 I’ll share them on another post as they are super cute.

Gaming is starting to pop up again.

I say pop up…. but my husband and I are starting to launch our own Youtube channel (Other Half Gaming). Both of us enjoy creating content – me in writing and my husband with video. He’s been creating content and uploading it onto the channel for the last few months. Now we want to try and grow it. It should be a bit of fun for both of us and we’re looking forward to growing a joint project.

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So this is hopefully going to be the start of something exciting. I’m hoping it will give me a good challenge of writing something different – we want to launch a blog and do some guest posting where we can. I’m going to sneak in bits about tech in there too. Tech is something that is getting me interested right now.

So watch this space is all I can really say about that for the moment. I have a pin board and a wall planner – this is getting serious 🙂

For the first time in months, I ‘m back on knitting that is vaguely technical again – aka the squares. This time though I’m being rebellious and not going in order. I’ve jumped from square 20 something to square 70 something – just because I can. My thinking is hopefully this will get my motivation back for the project and I can get it finished ASAP. The project is about 90ish squares, so I have about another 20 magazines to arrive (full of new patterns!) before I can truly actually finish.

But at least I can try and catch up. I’m hoping the blanket will be great for the nursery, although not for the baby to use as I don’t think it will take washing particularly well…. But hopefully I can use it 🙂

Square 73 should be finished today. So that will be another update for the weekend.

My next major problem is how to organise myself so that I can get all of this done. Time wise, I have from about 9am in the morning until about 12:30 in the afternoon. Then I work from about 3 until late into the evening. So I need to find the balance between seeing family, me time (which I count as blogging for on here and crafting as those things keep me sane), Other half gaming and still be rested enough for work. I’m hoping the wall planner can start getting that sorted. I personally think that I need to start booking myself in for my own time to ensure stuff actually gets done.

Anyway, wish my luck and I will keep you updated with my progress!

Baby brain signing off

MrsKirstyHoll

x

 

Blogging · Book Review · Uncategorized · Updates

Book Review: Dick Francis – Comeback

This author was a new discovery for me. It was yet another charity shop find (I very rairly ever pay full price for a book). Anyway, with the sun making an appearance, I’ve been able to enjoy reading with a cup of tea in the sun!

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The main character was someone who instantly got my attention. He’s a son of a diplomat who’s followed in his footsteps. Like my other current favourite accidental hero (Jack Reacher), Peter stumbles into this scenario quite by accident. The events quickly escalate from being involved in a standard mugging to a conspiracy veterinary horse-racing ring. To add a little bit more excitement to the mix, there is a brilliant twist when the villain’s identity is revealed.

I really enjoyed Dick Francis’ writing style. It didn’t feel like to much work to read and overall it was a great experience. The plot was engrossing and I loved how, both characters and myself, knew nothing about the answers until the last few chapters.

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Blogging · Social Media · Uncategorized

Hello…? Is anybody out there?

Hello all. I’m back!

Sorry for going quiet on you all. I had a presentation to put together at work (Social Media Marketing for Beginners) – which you can watch below if you like. Anyhow, it has meant that knitting has taken a bit of a break.

But I have been up to a few other things though…. I’ll update you over the next few days.

 

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Blogging · Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography · Photography 101 · Running

Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day12 – Talents and Memories

Day Twelve: Increase Your Commenting Confidence

Today’s task: read six posts written in response to the same prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them.

The two blogs I really engaged with contained topic I could relate to on a really personal level.

Comment 1: A number of Things.

YESTERDAILY POST: TALENTS I WISH I HAD

I totally have the same problem. I can never quite focus on anything. It’s so fun to be able to dabble in stuff. I’m a great believer in just doing something that you enjoy and enables you to jump between all of those things.

What I tend to do is swap between 5 or 6 projects for a year. This stops me getting bored and by the end of the year I’m getting to a point of being to be able to say I’m actually quiet proficient at some of them.
So glad to know I’m not the only one though!

Comment 2: Running with Reality

The Hopelessly Voiceless Starlet

Personally, I love to sing and jokes are made that my voice will break windows. I am in awe that they were able to be in a play of Les Mis – it is one of my favourite musicals. Watching it live a few years ago in Southampton was such a fantastic experience. But the singing is such an essential part of the whole production and plot.

Day Twelve: Architecture & Monochrome

Today’s Tip: As we explored yesterday, color is a powerful element in photography. But let’s not forget black and white, or monochrome, which can be very dramatic! Black, white, gray, and shades in between interact in the frame in dynamic ways.

In some very excellent news, my friend (who I am planning on doing the 10K with) actually managed to drag me out for a jog. They’ve added in some of those exercise machines. Thankfully she did exercise science at uni and so could show me how to use them without hurting myself. As a result, I had a lovely jog – and actually managed to keep up with her without killing myself! So definitely starting to feel like this change in lifestyle is paying off.

I took my little point and shoot camera out with me for the jog – a panasonic lumix. So all the pictures today are on that.

Today’s picture was of the old gas works near to where I grew up in Branksome, Poole. This gas structure is now no longer used and was bombed during the second world war. I think it’s kept in memory now of those who died. There is no board or anything there, but I remember a remembrance service at church when I was young.

For me, this structure is a familiar sight that I’ve always been slightly in awe of.

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This is a close up:

Pic 2 Pic one pla

What do you guys think? Personally, I love the way the monochrome reinvents the lines.

Blogging · Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography · Photography 101

Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day11 – Prompts & Pictures

Day Eleven: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

Why do this?

  • Learning to interpret prompts is an invaluable skill for when writers’ block hits.
  • The best way to become a better blogger is to blog — and prompts force you to do that.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Practice Makes Perfect?.”

This prompt is to write about a skill you want to have but don’t at the moment.

A skill I would love to be able is computer programming. What keeps renewing my interest is the discussion in Artificial Intelligence. I listened to another today on BBC Radio 4 (Artificial Intelligence) about whether we should be scared of the possible implications of creating human intelligence.

This is why I would love to learn how to program. Not that I think I could be good enough to actually program AI, but I would love to have a better ability to understand it. Some of the theory behind it I bet is really fascinating. I feel like a kid who’s been denied a sweetie jar.

I haven’t really got very far at the moment. But I have been writing about my experience of setting up my Raspberry Pi and some very basic programming. I’ll move it over, but for now, check out my progress on my Blogger page here. Once I’m all moved, I hope to have it set up permanently in the spare room (which is to become my den). Then I hope to make some serious progress with the programming ideally. But there is so much else I want to do this year, that I’m not sure home much I’ll actually get done.

Day Eleven: A Pop of Color

Today’s Tip: As you train your eye to look for color, keep it simple:

  • Choose one bold colour against a neutral background, instead of several colors competing for attention in a scene.

There wasn’t a lot of places I could go for pictures at 9pm at night. However, while I was out watering plants I did spot this very yummy, ripe, looking strawberry. Which was very yummy and very also looks fantastic.

Strawberry