Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Candles that smell like apple pie
  • Silly games to while away the time
  • Yellow bookshelves
  • Dim sum with friends
  • Tidying

See a list of my favourite Grace in Small Things here. What’s on your list this week?

Ps. I know it’s been a long time since I posted! Still around just struggling a little to find the balance while work is busy. Not a terrible problem to have, for sure.

Happy 32nd Birthday To Me

Posted by in A Little Conversation

It’s my birthday! Yay! Hopefully as you read this I will be eating a large Belgian waffle in Brussels, exploring and enjoying the break.

Contrary to my last couple of birthdays, I’ve decided not to write a 32 for 32 this year. My 31 for 31 was fun, but not quite as fun as my 30 for 30 and I definitely don’t want to get caught in a loop of doing things just because I have to rather than because I want to.

Instead, I’ve decided to pick 12 things from my Life List that I want to try to achieve or meaningfully work towards this year. If I don’t complete them, that’s okay. I need to learn to give myself fluid deadlines. So, here’s my list for the forthcoming year:

Things to do as a 32 year old:

1.Taste 100 cocktails

I’m on 87 already, so this one should be fairly do-able!

2. Read all the ‘Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction’ winning and shortlisted books

I don’t think I’ll get all of these done this year (there are over 100 shortlisted books alone and I’ve read very few of them), but I’d like to make a sizeable dent in the list and hopefully discover some wonderful new female authors along the way.

3. Publish 10 issues of Telegramme [8/10]

I’ve published 8 issues of Télégramme so far and I’m thinking that 10 might be a good place to stop. It’s a big job every issue and while I love doing it there are so many other things that I’d like to learn/do/see. I might keep the blog up, I might not. I am undecided as of yet!

4. Learn how to poach an egg

I still can’t do this but it really cannot be that hard, lots of people do it all the time.

5. Develop a good meditation practice

I feel like this would be so good for me.

6. Learn a card trick

Because don’t you think it would be fun?

7. Learn how to reverse park

You are an adult, Sarah, this skill would be useful to you.

8. Buy a set of chefs knives

This is kind of a cheat one since I only need a bread knife to complete our set, heh.

9. Go down the big slide in Roath Park

Because slide.

10. See the sunset/sunrise in 15 countries with Q [2/15]

It’d be nice to tick off another couple of sunsets and sunrises, since that means we’ll have been able to travel somewhere new, and I like to travel. We’re in Brussels as you read this so maybe I’ll catch one there!

11. Visit every city in the UK

I like visiting people, I like little road trips and I like not having to get on a plane so this goal is perfect for me. Maybe Scotland this year, I’ve only been once before, when I was a teenager, and I really don’t remember much about it.

12. Complete the French course on Duolingo

I’m not sure I’ll finish this but I’d like to be a hell of a lot closer than I am now. Oui?

So there you have it. I’ve ticked eleven things off my Life List so far in 2015 so 12 in a year seems fairly doable but really, if I don’t complete them I think I’ll be okay.

I actually often forget that the joy of the goal is also in the journey towards it. This year I’m going to make an effort to keep that at the forefront.

Happy birthday, me.

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Sushi
  • Long, swishy maxi skirts
  • Nice dreams about rain
  • Making travel plans
  • New bedding

See a list of my favourite Grace in Small Things here. What’s on your list this week?

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear tattoos,

Thank you for giving me something amazing to look at, a way to express myself and an urge to create. Strange how so much can come from a splash of ink, but every time I see an amazing tattoo it makes me want to up my creative game. Here’s to finding inspiration everywhere, right?

Love

Sarah

See the full list here.

31 for 31/Life List: Take a Ballet Class

Posted by in 31 for 31, My Life In Lists, Projects

When I was a very small child I took ballet classes with my sister. I loved the wraparound cardigans (still do, I should pick up some of those) and the leg warmers and the silky soft shoes. But when the teacher casually remarked that I’d never be tall enough to be a professional ballerina (she was totally right by the way) I lost all interest and stopped going.

Fast forward 26 years and I found myself itching to get back to first position. There’s something calming and disciplined about ballet that I enjoy as a workout – it’s hard but it’s structured. Less panting and running, more holding poses. Presumably this is why I also like yoga and pilates but am less keen on runny jumpy ball sports.

There are a few adult ballet classes in Cardiff (am I the only one who thinks ‘adult ballet’ sounds kind of dirty, btw?) but we plumped for Wonderland Dance Studios (be warned: their website is awful!) as you didn’t have to book and I am big fan of not committing fully to things, apparently.

I roped in Jen and Liz to come with me because I’m too much of a wuss to go on my own (thanks guys!). It was actually a really fun hour although the studio was very, very warm and our temporary teacher decided to take us through a routine which left me feeling as ungainly as a rhino in tap shoes.

However, even when the other people in the class were twirling and pirouetting much more daintily than I was, I was still finding it a fun, joyous experience so I will gladly take that as a win, thank you very much.

I’m not sure if I’ll go back – I don’t want to do it every week and I feel like maybe I wouldn’t see the benefit (or really improve) if I didn’t do it regularly, but it was definitely a fun one to try! ☺️

ps. If you’re wondering about the header photo, it’s from an unexpectedly muddy walk that I took in Cambridge about ten years ago probably. I had to throw my shoes away at the end 😂

31 for 31/Life List: Swim in a Lido

Posted by in 31 for 31, My Life In Lists, Projects

Ah, this was such a fun one to tick off! Swimming outdoors is my number one joy and I hardly ever get to do it. There’s something so calming about being in the water and being able to feel the sun on your skin, no?

I added ‘swim in a lido’ to my Life List a little while ago – I knew there was one in Bristol but I had the vague idea that there would be one closer to home, after all, who doesn’t want to swim outdoors?

Turns out the people of Cardiff clearly don’t because there isn’t a lido for miles around (altho they’re redeveloping one in Pontypridd which is re-opening in September) so off I trotted to Bristol instead. I mean, in all honesty it wasn’t that much of a hardship, I got to hang out with Hayles which is always fun and the train journey there was totes easy.

So, Clifton Lido! At £20 a pop for non-members it’s not exactly budget friendly, but it’s a pretty cute place and the staff were charming and friendly throughout. Getting back into the pool after being in the hot tub was an error in hindsight tho – the pool was only 25°C and it was bloody freezing, ha.

While it’s a shame the weather was cloudy and grey (it threatened to rain but didn’t, boo) I still had a lovely time splashing about and chatting about blogging and boys with Hayley. If Cardiff had one of these I’d be in it every day. Who do I petition to get that started?

Swim in a lido was one of my Life List goals. See my full list here!

Grace in Small Things

Posted by in Grace In Small Things, Projects

  • Warm, still nights
  • Bobby pins
  • Ice cold apple juice
  • Coral lipstick
  • Mute functions

See a list of my favourite Grace in Small Things here. What’s on your list this week?

Friday Thanks

Posted by in Friday Thanks, Projects

Dear Couch to 5K,

Thank you for pushing me to stick to a plan, even when I haven’t wanted to. When you’re goal orientated it can be tempting to pick up new items that you know are easy to complete, instead of goals that challenge you. So thanks for every time you kicked my ass because now I’m standing on the other side it feels pretty great.

Love

Sarah

See the full list here.

Life List: Complete a 5K

Posted by in My Life In Lists, Projects

I only added this goal to my Life List recently, but it’s one I’ve been considering for a while. It’s not one I ever thought I’d be able to tick off and honestly, before the start of the year I had very little inclination to achieve it.

Which makes it all the more surprising that last week I ran my first ever 5K. I ran 5 kilometres, in one go, without stopping. It doesn’t sound like much but having reached the age of 31 before I hit that achievement, I’m feeling pretty happy!

First ever 5K

I didn’t mean to do it. I was only on week 8 of Couch to 5K – I was supposed to be running for 28 minutes. Except I’m stubborn and (apparently) competitive (if only with myself) and once I hit 28 minutes I knew I just wanted to get my first 5K out of the way. It’s a big mental hurdle, I think, and I was struggling with the concept of completing it because previously my longest distance was 3.4km and after that I was tired.

I didn’t want to have to go for another run and get to another 28 minutes and then try and run a bit further, I just wanted to get it done. So I did.

I ended up completing it in 40:40 which is pleasing to the eye if not the fastest time on the planet. I still don’t feel like I’m fast enough to run Park Run, but that’s my next goal (that and sub 40!).

I’ve been posting ‘post-run selfies’ on Instagram as motivation (I don’t know why it works, it just does) – come join me there if you want to see a photo of my sweaty face every couple of days. Sounds appealing, right? ;)

2015 Goals: May Round-Up

Posted by in A Little Conversation

I’m doing a monthly round-up of how my resolutions are going, as a way to encourage me to stay on track and plan goals, rather than leaving everything to the last minute! Here’s my May round-up. 

Progress Made – May

  • 200 sugar free days: 25 (102/200)

I passed the halfway mark in my sugar free goal this month – it’s continuing to get easier altho finding snacks still proves to be problematic when I’m out of the house. I’m finding that if I binge on sugar now I actually feel really rough the next day, like a sugar hangover, which makes it easier not to eat it as I don’t really enjoy feeling like that, ha.

  • Clear my ‘to read’ shelf: 2 (16/48)

I managed to finish Bad Feminist this month – it’s given me a lot of food for thought! I also sped through The Time of Your Life by Cecelia Ahern which wasn’t the most amazing book I’ve ever read but also not the worst. I’ll take that.

I’m now at the point where I’ve read like, 16 books and…am back to my original number that I started with at the end of the year. I didn’t, however, buy a single book in May so at least that number didn’t increase? Heh.

  • Read 100 books: 9 (54/100)

Slow book month. I had a run of terrible books at the beginning of the month, sigh. It seems to be on the turn tho, thankfully! I haven’t quite finished Bel Canto yet but I’ve been loving it so far. Plus isn’t the cover pretty?

  • Watch 100 films: 7 (54/100)

I barely watched any films this month. Yawn. The only one worth noting was Short Term 12, which was a definite must watch.

  • Watch 26 films at the cinema: 4 (12/26)

The lack of interesting films at the cinema continued. I watched Age of Adaline, Top 5, Pitch Perfect 2 and Man Up. None of them really did much for me (even PP2. I mean, it was fun but nowhere near as good at the first one.)

  • Weigh no more at the end of the year than I did at the start: -3lbs (-11lbs overall)

The running and calorie counting continued and is obviously working. Whoo!

Push against my comfort zone

I ran a 5K! Comfort zone, pushed.

Spend less at the supermarket than we did in 2014

This goal is continuing nicely – we’re looking like we’ll be saving around £1000, which is kind of nuts, no?

Be kind!

I gave a friend some fun flavoured Oreos because I know that he likes them, because I am nice like that ;)

Be productive!

More progress made on the remaining 31 for 31 tasks. We went UV bowling (the UV part was actually pretty lame, sadly) and the cookbook is almost ready to print. Plus I’ve been learning sign language, which is really fun :)

Have more patience

Maybe? Or maybe my patience just hasn’t been tested as much this month. Who knows.

No Progress Made

Finish the library

Hahahahahahahahaha.

Build a WordPress theme

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

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