PROJECT 365 – JOY IN THE MUNDANE

In a nutshell Project 365 is committing to taking a photo a day for a year. I have given this a lot of thought, as I think a year long project is something that could potentially allow me to focus in on something new in 2014, and a theme that came to mind is the idea of capturing joy in the mundane each day.

In 2013 I learned a lot about my mental health, I realised a way out of years of oppressive and obsessive anxiety and with the help of my family and friends, some counselling and a hugely supportive husband started so see that even on the rough days there were moments of joy starting with my daughters energy and passion for life and filtering into those every day moments where I’d previously fill my time with list making planning and worries, like doing the dishes, making a meal and tidying the toys.

So today, day one, starts with doing the dishes, a bright mobile above the sink and the radio playing in the background, mundane? Definitely, but a moment to enjoy free from anxiety.

So what of days when I don’t blog, don’t feel like doing much or struggle to see the light? Well I suppose those days I’ll work harder to find it, and it will be interesting to track the nature of the photograph over the year, through finishing my Masters, late nights, early mornings, some big important birthdays, special days and new opportunities. Day one…

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New years resolution

So they say it takes 30 days to form a new habit, I am an organised chaos sort of person, I don’t keep a diary, make lists and lose them and put things down and forget where they are, absent minded I think its called!

The system I use in my head works really well, but that falls down with lack of sleep and a toddler and the number one reason my system is starting to fail? When you work part time and spend part of your week with a child you remember Thursday and Friday are work days, Tuesday is swimming and Wednesday toddler group… then you hit Christmas and realise you have no idea how it got to December and you forgot to do x,y, and z…you make a Doctors appointment, yeah 23rd at 11 is fine, to find it clashes with swimming…

So this is the year of the Organised Mam, or Organised Mum, for that is the diary system I’ve bought myself! Having tried and failed to find an app to do this, I resolve to try to keep all my appointments, ideas and notes in one place! It’s a great design with weekly perforated shopping and to do lists and a smart divider system with pockets for my notes too!

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Having had success in 2013 at Slimming World I know I do have some willpower lurking under the desire to eat biscuits and live a life of chaos, so here goes, I’ve written it now and have to try to stick to it!

Get your geek on…

Christmas was a time of rest for me, for a change I think the hard work I’ve put in has finally started to pay off and I’m pretty well on top of things.

I am a self-confessed geek, especially when it comes to data, and so it was only a matter of time before I could hold back on my data analysis no more, one Carrie Mathison style wall of colour coded post-it crazy, two types of data, three pens, four weeks and five+ interviews ahead of me I’m going to be very much occupied by this over the next few weeks – and I can’t blooming wait!

If I achieve something half as good as this piece of sheer genius from Homeland I’ll be pretty happy!

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New PJs and blog admin type stuff

I’m a little quiet at the mo because I have some blog admin to sort through and want to spend some time planning some post ideas for the New Year. Normal service has resumed at home however following a visit from Father Christmas and as you can see someone really enjoyed the festivities in this house!

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Back to full service soon!

Magical days out

We’ve planned a few days out over the Christmas break, and started with a toddler group trip to White House Farm. Joss is shaping up to be a real animal lover, what a treat to hold and stroke some of the animals, see the huskies and experience the magic of Christmas in Santa’s grotto.

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How much does she understand?

Not a lot, but she has learned the words to When Santa got Stuck up the Chimney beautifully and recognises robins, snowmen and ‘reineers’ in her books so I know next year is just going to be amazing!

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Looking forward to 2014 we have our 30th Birthdays, Joss’ 2nd birthday, perhaps a family holiday and my graduation from this masters that has taken over my life, with my research placement starting January, a busy year but much to look forward to including weddings, births and new friends to be made!

Crafty goodness…getting the house ready for the big day with One Stop Craft Shop

Ah, I have finally finished all 60 hours of interview transcription, and had the afternoon off that I’d promised myself. Luckily I always have a crafty activity or two to keep me busy so I picked up one of my works in progress and foot to the pedal I quickly felt all festive.

With White Christmas playing gently in the background and two hours to myself I set about looking at the two gorgeous fat quarter bundles I was sent to roadtest by family business One Stop Craft Shop. A crafter’s treasure trove their website stocks a huge range of materials, and hints and tips along the way, great customer service and regular tweets with top tips to boot this is the place to come for a crafty hit!

The two fat quarter packs were a great heavy weight quality and I was impressed by the quality of the design particularly the metallic printed fabric as this can sometimes blur but these were great quality – packaged neatly with ribbons what a treat, I think these FQ packs would make a great gift too!

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I decided to make something to perk up our Christmas table, our first Christmas at home and inspired by napkins and tableware made recently on the Christmas edition of the Great British Sewing Bee I picked out this metallic Christmas tree print in vibrant red.

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And here is the finished article, with three more to follow to make a festive set I measured out 11″ by 11″ and ironed and hemmed with a 1/4 inch hem, two hours and a little pressing later our Christmas table will look really festive and now all that study is out of the way, let the bells ring out for Christmas time!

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I’m planning a patchwork table runner with the complimentary coloured fabrics, watch this space for more on that and check out One Stop Craft Shop too!

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to road test, along with a giant stocking which I’ll be decorating for Joss later this week and showing off soon, all views are my own.