My 2017 Goals | An Update

It has now been two months since I last updated you on how I am getting on goal wise. My goals cover all aspects of my life and whilst I may not be actively working towards each of them every single moment of the day, I take solace in the fact that I have definitely done really well on some of them and am continuing to do so. So how am I doing?

BLOGGING GOALS

  • To find a better balance – This always crops up in my goals list as it is one I really struggle with. Whilst I still haven’t got it completely figured out yet, I am slowly getting there.
  • Relaunch Keene On Saving – This has been a major fail but I’m hoping with the big changes we’ve got coming up, I’ll have more time to spend on the site.
  • Guest post on 5-10 blogs in 2017 – Yes, this hasn’t happened – but for a good reason – I’m writing tons of freelance blog posts instead.
  • Stick to my guns – I’ve been quite good about this and even recently raised my prices when designing my new media kit. I’ve now got clear rates for absolutely everything you can think of so hopefully I’ll start to see my sticking to my guns working for me.
  • Build up on my Youtube and Instagram – My Instagram is growing at a steady pace and I’m very happy with it. I have started utilising Instagram stories and am loving Instagram as a social media. YouTube I’m making some headway with but not as much as I would have liked.
  • Complete some blogging/money/organisation related e-courses or projects, free or paid for – I’ve done a few but I have a few more in mind that I would like to try out.

FREELANCING GOALS

  • Get some more long term clients – I now have a few different long term blog clients, one long term freelance client, four bloggers who use me regularly for VA work (two use me at least a few times each month) and have just picked up some more freelance work too. I’m loving working for these different clients as it provides me with a varied working day – I’m not doing the same thing day in, day out and I’m always writing on something new or doing something different. I’m very grateful.
  • Get back to using my work website – I haven’t updated this in ages and definitely need to make more of an effort as I push my freelance side of things more.
  • Finally get a staff writing job for another blog – This has been my freelancing aim for a few years now. One day I will achieve the goal!

HEALTH & FITNESS

  • Lose the baby weight – This is coming off slowly and steadily. I’ve been struggling the past few weeks as we’ve just been so busy with things but hopefully with a couple of SP days this week on the Slimming World plan, I can get back into it properly again.
  • Get back into exercising – I’ve barely exercised for months. The most I manage is walking but now that Olivia is a bit older, I plan on getting into my running again and perhaps doing some workouts at home.

PERSONAL

  • Enter more writing competitions – I’m yet to enter one but I am always checking the site I know of which lists competitions and will enter those that really take my fancy.
  • Complete my GoodReads challenge – I’m woefully behind on reading – haven’t picked up a book in months as I just don’t have the time with Olivia, Jack and my freelance work.

FINANCIAL

  • Get debt free or as close to debt free as possible – We are whittling this down bit by bit. Hopefully it will soon chip away to nothing.
  • Increase my income – This is definitely a major win. I’ve increased my income exponentially from last year and I am very happy about this.
  • Minimalise my belongings and sell what we don’t require – We’ve been selling loads, donating loads and throwing away loads. This is actually a goal that I am starting to make headway with.

This is how I’m doing with my 2017 goals. If you set some goals or objectives for this year, how are you doing?

Win 1 of 2 jars of Organic Coconut Oil from Indigo Herbs

Coconut oil is so popular nowadays for a variety of reasons. Some people use it for cooking (my brother in law is a big fan for using it when making his dishes), it’s great for skin and hair and has so many other uses if you take the time to browse Instagram and Pinterest – it can be used to treat leather, silence squeaky hinges, condition furniture and even prevent the dreaded chafing that so many of us suffer from during the summer months.

As it is the summer holidays and I am holding some summer giveaways, I thought such a multi purpose item would be great for my readers to win. If you are a big lover of coconut oil and use it in many aspects of your life, perhaps this is the giveaway for you.

The team at Indigo Herbs have kindly offered 2 tubs of the 100% virgin organic coconut oil – 1 each to 2 lucky readers. Indigo Herbs are passionate about premium quality botanicals and are committed to empowering optimum health and nutrition and assisting you to take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing, by having access to many of nature’s healing botanicals.

For your chance of winning some of their gorgeous coconut oil for yourself, just fill in the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is UK only and ends at 23.59pm on the 5th of August 2017. Good luck!

 

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WIN | A Boys Waistcoat From Dobell In The Size Of Your Choice

Summer has hit and I’ve got a few giveaways coming up for you. First up, I have a lovely boys waistcoat in the size of your choice from Dobell.co.uk.

Dobell is the home of stylish, high quality and affordable formal and smart menswear for both men and boys. Our products, value and service are 3 things we really pride ourselves on. Dobell really does offer stylish and quality formal menswear, for less than you would expect was possible.

Today you can win a boys waistcoat in the size of your choice from the very site – so what do you need to do to be entered? Just fill in the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is UK only and ends at 11.59pm on the 30th of July 2017. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Essentials You Need for a Newborn

Congratulations! You are soon to be parents! Once you are over the initial shock, you must prepare yourself for the onslaught of well-meaning advice from friends, family, and once the bump starts showing, from strangers on the street. You are now entering a new world; one which you have never had to notice before, but it has always been there – lurking. In this new world, you will be made aware of unexpected gadgets and gizmos that apparently a baby needs in order to thrive. However, amongst all the products out there, there are some essentials that you will need straight after birth.

Clothes

First things first: when the baby is born, they will need to be clothed! You are going to need clothes for a baby whose size is a mystery. Newborn clothes are very, very cute; however, your baby will not be in them long, and may even never wear them depending on his birth weight, so do resist buying too many. It makes far more economical sense to buy 0-3 months, otherwise, the baby will be dwarfed by them initially. Note that sleeves can be rolled up, and legs left long. Buying secondhand or accepting hand-me-downs is the ideal because babies just don’t wear these sized clothes for long. Remember to buy a quality washing detergent that will be gentle enough for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Nappies

Whether you choose cloth nappies or disposable ones, be prepared. You will use up to 15 a day at first. It is best to buy small packs of different brands so that you can find the type that suits your baby – some may irritate your baby’s skin or not fit as well as another brand. Be mindful that baby wipes, while they get your baby’s bottom clean, are very harsh on their skin – warm water and a cloth is the gentlest. Remember to pat your baby dry, and use a diaper rash ointment to not only prevent nappy rash, but to treat it too. Choose one that is free from any chemical nasties.

Car seat

How are you going to get the baby home from the hospital? The baby needs to be transported in the safest way available, and now there are a vast selection of car seats available on the market. You need to think about whether the seat is suitable for your car’s make, or if you have more than one car, make sure the seat fits both. Consider as well whether the seat will fit safely in the front and the back seats of the car – you may have a 3-door, in which case you need to think about how easy it is to lug the baby seat in and out, and be able to fix it securely from a front viewpoint.

Cot

Current advice is to have your newborn sleeping in the same room as you, placed on their back, for the first six months of life. Choosing a Moses basket or crib provides a cozy and confined space for your baby, however, you may prefer to go straight to a cot. Make sure to think about whether you will want to have the baby sleeping near you when they have their daytime naps. Remember that it is always advisable to replace the mattress if you have a second-hand Moses basket or cot – it is inexpensive, but may prevent your baby from getting ill or worse from lingering mattress bacteria from another child.

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Our Childcare Plans For The Future

With the big changes happening in our life in the next few months, we have really got to start thinking about how we are going to use our time and what we will do in regards to childcare. With Jack being in full time school apart from the holidays, we don’t have to worry about him but of course we still have Olivia to think about.

Currently I work from home and look after Olivia whilst Steve works full time outside of the home. He’s moving to part time work and will be studying so I will be needing to make up the rest of the money that he would usually earn. We know I can do it but this will require me to have more dedicated work hours and whilst Steve will be able to look after Olivia when he isn’t working or studying, we have to consider that we may need to utilise some childcare if he is working or studying during my working hours.

Of course we have family and friends that will help us but we are also considering putting Olivia’s name on the waiting list for our local pre school/nursery. It is very sought after and we know that we need to get her name on the list asap if we have any chance of getting her in there.

But obviously we would need to make sure that it is the perfect childcare setting for our child. Safety outdoors in nurseries and of course indoors is paramount (play area surfacing is SO important) and the quality of the childcare needs to be 100%. I know that everyone raves about the place so I am positive it will be the right place for her if we do decide to place her in childcare for some days of the week if needed.

Do you utilise childcare around your working life? Let me know what you do.

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