101 things IN

and other things thrown in between

101 Things in 1001 Days: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Day in My Life

You know how you have those (rare) days when everything just slots into place and you are just so happy about the day and about being alive? Well, I had one of those days yesterday.

It was packed with activity and I actually got to do things for me… which doesn’t happen so often. I was woken up as usual by my daughter at 6:15 am, but this time instead of lounging in bed until a less ungodly hour, I decided to jump out of it and start my day.

By nine o’clock, I had done some ironing, cleared out my husbands home office under the stairs to make room for my sewing machine and other sewing odds and ends (what a shock he’s going to get when he returns to see that I have taken over), contacted an overseas supplier plus made a full English breakfast which my daughter and I were now settling down to consume. With great gusto, I might add.

Two hours, and lots of little tasks, later, I bundled us off to our local swimming pool for a morning swim. The sheer excitement on my daughter face and screams of delight as I lifted her down into the water was enough for me to decide that this is going to be an activity I will be doing with her more often. Note to self: I must invest in a new swimsuit!

Got back home, she went straight to bed for her afternoon nap and I had the next two hours to myself. I washed and styled my hair (sounds so professional but it was nothing more than a quick blow dry and passing my straighteners through), gave myself a pedicure and manicure, caught up on reading some of my favourite blogs and generally chilled out.

Then it was off to the park with the two of us for a few hours of bicycle riding, ice cream eating and duck feeding.

By 9 p.m I was pooped. But a very happy pooped.

My Power thought cards also arrived through my letter box yesterday. They are lovely and so beautifully illustrated. And today I have up on my fridge the card that reads 'I am in the process of Positive change'. How apt!

Why I Live Where I Live

...my TALE of Why I live where I lIVE...

Ahh, how this takes me back.

I have come to live where I live quite by chance and under circumstances which at the time were very heart breaking but now looking back was merely God working hard behind the scenes to pull things together for me. This is a story of ultimatums, hard decisions, trusting God and good old fashioned love winning out. So sit back and enjoy my little tale.

Having met my husband in my final year while he, on the other hand, was just in his first year of university and knowing almost straight away that he was the man I was going to marry (isn’t it amazing how a woman just knows when she meets THE ONE), I settled in for a long wait before the question would be popped. Hmm, I reckoned, I would give him six years. Four years to finish university and another two for him to settle down and plant his feet down in the real world.

Ten years later I was still waiting.

Oh, its not that he didn’t love me. On the contrary he was crazy about me. We were soul mates – we did everything and went everywhere together. But, as I believe it happens to many men, when it came to marriage a case of cold feet stepped in. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Many tears, tantrums, threats and hours and hours of discussions between us and discussions with myself later, I decided to issue an ultimatum. Marry me or else…….

Four weeks later I am sitting on a plane and heading 6000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to England. Oh, did I mention that the ‘or else’ won out?

Heartbroken but determined to make the most of it; I flung myself into building a new life in England. I moved into a shared house, fortunately one of my best friends was living there as well so that made things a lot easier as she showed me the ropes and was a shoulder to cry on on those days when wave, upon wave of self doubt plagued me. Did I do the right thing? Am I ever going to adapt to life here? IIIIIIIIIII miiiiiiiiissssssssssssss hhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmm!!!!!!!!! This was the killer.

But then something happened: many months of telephone calls ( my phone bill was horrendous), hours spent on MSN messenger and a couple of visits to see ourselves in-between, my husband realised that the pain of being without me far out weighted the pain of being with me. Plus and this is a plus, he loved me more than anything on earth. And one sunny summer day, while chatting on the MSN messenger, he popped the question. Now isn’t that romantic and a first? Do you know of anyone else who was asked for her hand in marriage via MSN messenger? I still have a print out of that conversation as proof. Hehehehehe.

Six months later, we where married (back home) in a lovely little evening ceremony surrounded by family and friends. We came back to England were we had our week long honeymoon after which he flew back again. Please don't ask how much we spent back then on air tickets. Considering we were flying between continents, I can assure you it was A LOT.

It was another year before we were finally together - in England. Yes, we remained here and now it's our adopted home and we love it. We’ve been married almost five years now, have a gorgeous little three year old, bought a house and are planning for number two. We look back now at those days and laugh about it. But I can tell you we weren’t laughing much at the time.

And that’s the story of how I have come to live where I live.

Disclaimer: Issuing ultimatums do not always work and may backfire on you. So unless you are almost 100% sure it will work in your favour, don’t do it!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Going for my dream - At Last!

Wow! I’ve been so wired these last couple of days its unreal. It’s like a light bulb has finally gone off in my brain and its spurring me on to at last fulfilling a dream of mine.

I have always had a passion for sewing and I get so excited just looking at fabrics, zips, buttons, threads, interfacing, felt… okay, okay you get the picture . All through my university years, I made almost all my clothes and many of my Christmas presents were handmade by me as well. And because it was just such a part of me, an activity I could lose myself in, I have never quite been able to figure out why I suddenly stopped sewing. Just like that. And it’s been many years now since I did anything related to sewing – sure I’ve made the odd set of curtains and cushion covers, but nothing that I'll callreal sewing.  

For a the better part of 6 years, my dream (lurking around vaguely in my brain) has always been to start a line of business selling goods that I have handmade myself . However, I have never really serious pursued it .. that is not up until a week ago when a book came through my mailbox called ‘The best year of your Life: Dream it, Live it, Plan it’ by Debbie Ford.

Now I am not a major fan of self-help books – most of them are just churning out the same information – but this one has really struck a chord with me and has caused me to take a long hard look at my life and where it is today, and where, if I continue the way I am today, it will be in 10 years time. And what I see, I am not happy with. I am a good mum, employee, wife, member of my community but in all this, I realise that these are all aspects of me related to other people (my daughter, my job, my husband and society) and none of them relates to ME personally. In other words, I am losing my identity by doing for other people but not doing for myself. I have been blessed with so many talents that I am not putting to use and just letting lay dormant. Well, that’s about to change. I am tired of sitting around waiting for the life I want to happen. I now know it's up to ME to make it happen.

So, the last 48hours have been a frenzy of cutting out patterns, choosing fabric, sending out business related emails and generally kicking my butt into action. I have finally decided to quit the excuses and go for what I want. And what I want is my dream.

A couple of days ago, I posted an entry asking for (free () advice from anyone who has set up an online business. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted it when I was editing my template. So the plea for help still stands. I would love to hear from you if you are an online business owner (or are in the process of setting one up). I have so many questions for you. Please leave a comment or mail me at yummumblogs (at) yahoo (dot) com if you can help in anyway. Thanks!

Monday, April 24, 2006

'Baby Stepping' my 101 list

So here I am once again casting a critical eye over my 101 list and thinking hmmm.... No, I am not about to alter it yet again but what I realised was missing was a STRATEGY for achieving the things on my list. So today, I sat down and chunked my list into baby steps which hopefully will lead me to sucessful completion thereof. I haven't done it for every item listed, just a few of them. Funny, but breaking them down into little bits gives me the illusion of them being more obtainable.


1. Eat two pieces of fruit a day

a. make a list of the fruits I want to eat each day.
b. Cross off when done
c. Try something new

2. Join a Pilates class

a. check local listings for classes
b. Book a class

3. Go for a walk twice a week

a. determine the best time to walk: a.m.
b. rotate the days each week
c. plan a route

5. Detox every other month

a. months will be 28 days
b. first detox commences April 21 – May 19
 2nd July 1 – 28
 3rd September 1 – 28
 4th November 1 – 28
c. Set new dates at end of year
d. Draw of a daily menu

6. Drink 2 Evian sized bottles of water a day

a. Buy said bottle
b. Keep in a position of high visibility
c. Start the day with a glass of water
d. End the day with a glass of water
e. Keep bottle of water beside my bed at night


7. Listen to one sermon tape a week

a. make a list of my tapes
b. chunk them into tapes for the month (i.e 4 tapes per month)
c. Take notes when listening
d. Don’t just listen, ACT
e. Tick off list when done

8. Listen to two motivational CD’s a month

a. make a list of CD’s
b. chunk them into CD’s for the month
c. Take notes when listening
d. Don’t just listen, ACT
e. Tick off list when done

9. Read Bible from cover to cover

a. Pick a reading plan
b. Decide what time of the day works best for me
c. Tools – prayer journal, highlighter, concordance


13. Learn to build a website

a. Start with frontpage
b. Order MS step by step Frontpage
c. Search WWW for ideas and inspiration


19. Learn about stocks, shares and investing

a. Read Books
b. Buy the Financial times (learn what all those numbers mean!!)
c. Search WWW for info
d. Join an investment club
e. Get a mentor or someone who knows their way around the money market

21. Find two alternative sources of income

a. make a list of all my talents
b. Determine which two are my strongest and would enjoy turning into a money making venture.
c. What am I passionate about?

FAMILY – daughter

23. Swimming classes

a. Call up a swimming group and enrol her
b. Visit swim baths to assess them first (and their trainer)

24. 1 Hr uninterrupted play time

a. think of activities and games that will engage her (see if there are any books on games to play with toddlers that hold their attention for more than 10 minutes!!)
b. Switch off TV
c. Ditto PC
d. Visit the park
e. Wacky warehouse
f. Trips to the library

25. Cut down on TV viewing

a. Make a note of the programmes she loves to watch and their times and limit her to only those ones. Repeats not included!
b. See #24

26. Enrol her in a ballet class

a. Get contact # from R
b. Call up ballet class and arrange a visit
c. What’s their criteria?

FAMILY – Husband

28. Go out on a date every other month

a. Mark off dates in my calendar (plus the main one in kitchen!)
b. Plan dates: Movies, dinner, walks etc (other ideas welcome…)
c. Arrange babysitter (what are the options)


32. Membership @ Botanical Gardens

a. complete application form, write cheque and send off!!


42. Start off Olivegirlthings

a. Cut out bag patterns and sew
b. Research the marketing and sales thereof.
c. ‘How to’s’ of setting up an online business
d. Payment methods – look into


77. Write at least one poem/article/piece of something a week

a. make a list of ideas/topics that speak to me
b. write on them without thinking – edit later
c. Stick to my daily journaling and morning pages to loosen up my mind
d. look around me for inspiration

Saturday, April 22, 2006

An Artists Date and a Bud Stage Business

The place was a riot of colours, textures, patterns, FABRIC!!

I went out on my first Artists Date yesterday. I didn’t plan it to be – it just happened. Personally I think sometimes the best days turn out to be the ones that haven’t been planned.

After dropping my daughter off at nursery, I was overcome by a strong urge to go into the city. After all, were I to make my way straight back home it would only be to immerse myself in housework - (something I find myself doing almost without thinking – loading the washing machine, clearing out cupboards, dusting and so forth. Things that just eat your time but don’t add any real value of sense of accomplishment except having a tidy house) - until it was time to go back to the nursery to pick my daughter up. And no, I wasn’t going to do that! Sure it was dull and grey and rainy but I decided to go anyway and spend the morning at a haberdashery that I have been meaning to visit for ages but never gotten round to. And I am so glad I did.

For ages I have been wanting to start up a small home based business (making customized fabric handbags) but it’s been one excuse after the other – ‘where am I going to find the time to sew with a toddler on my hands’ or ‘I can’t find the exact fabric I need’ or ‘who’s going to buy my stuff’ or… you get the picture – so hence the trip to the haberdashery.

Oh it was wonderful just stepping through the doors. The place was a riot of colours, textures, patterns, FABRIC!! It took me back to the good old days when I used to churn out a new outfit every week for myself. I used to spend hours down at the market stalls looking for just THE perfect fabric to suit my outfit of choice from my many Burda magazines.

After about an hour of touching, running cloth through my fingertips just for the shear pleasure of it’s feel, tugging and pulling to see if it had the right stretch (or no stretch at all), comparing my swatches with accent colours, I made my choice (orange, black and blue canvas), had them measure out the required amounts and then made my way to the till where I proceeded to spend a small fortune – quite happily I may add – and left the shop a very happy lass indeed. So this weekend my ‘how to make handbags’ books come off the shelves and my sewing machine comes out from under its dust cover because it’s show time!

Sunday Scribbings: CHOCOLATE!

...when I saw the PROMPT for this week I thought OH NO...

When I saw the prompt for this week I must admit I cringed and thought ‘Oh no, not chocolate’.

I don’t eat chocolate.
Whhhhhhaaattttttt???? * I hear the screams of disbelief*
I don’t like chocolate *lots of gasps and incredulous looks!!*

I know, I know I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t particularly like chocolate. It has nothing to do with watching my weight or anything; it’s just that I’ve never acquired a taste for the stuff. However, however … I may be able to redeem myself here ... I love hot chocolate. One of my favourite drinks to have before I go to bed or on a cold, wet afternoon. I especially love the way it’s served in Starbucks with whipped cream and marshmallows (have I convinced you now that not eating chocolate has nothing to do with watching my weight?)

I have always loved hot chocolate but my passion for it quadrupled right after I watched the movie Chocolat. I mean, who could resist the way Juliette Binoche’s character made up a mug of the lovely, creamy stuff. Just watching the way it was served up was a work of art and the thought of drinking it a piece of heaven.

So, I may turn my nose up at a bar of chocolate, but a mug of the steaming, liquid stuff? Anytime.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Being Free

Sometimes I think I take myself too seriously. No, I’ll change that to I take myself too seriously. Drop the ‘sometimes’.

I have to learn to relax a little and begin to see life as something to be enjoyed; not to be bound by timelines and deadlines and the niggling voice that keeps saying ‘what would people think?’. This enjoyment of life should flow into the way I approach my faith (way too serious and heavy, sometimes I think God just wants us to have fun with the life He has given us), my work, my plans for the future, my marriage, my homemaking, my relationships, my health. I don’t want to live by a set of rules anymore – both self imposed and rules devised by society and so-called experts.

It’s time for me to be FREE!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Morning Pages

Wrote my morning pages for the first time today (see The Artists Way by Julia Cameron) and it was an amazing experience.

I was a bit sceptical when I sat down and opened up the first page of my journal – the main thought being ‘Three pages? What am I going to find to write about that will be three pages long?’ But I tell you, as soon as my pen hit the page it just kept moving. My wrist was aching and my fingers were cramping up (made me realise just how long it’s been since I’ve written in long hand for any length of time)  but the pen just kept on going.

I am absolutely amazed at how many things are going through the mind at any one time. It’s crazy. It flirts from subject to subject – from the mundane, to the aggressive to the exciting, to the upsetting. Millions and millions of thoughts. I could have gone well past three pages had my daughter not woken up and interrupted me.

The bottom line? It was wonderful. Freeing, liberating, it was an exercise in mental de-cluttering. Fantastic. It’s like it gave my mind room to carry on with other things – things and thoughts that are more beneficial and uplifting to me. I cannot wait for tomorrow morning to come.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Home Alone and The Artists Way

It is 9:00 pm and the house is so quiet. My daughter is fast asleep and I can hear the faint tinkle of the classical music she loves to fall asleep to. The only two sounds I hear are the music and the faint hum of my computer. We are home alone.

My husband traveled yesterday and will be gone for two weeks. In the one week run up to his trip, I was really looking forward to having two weeks on my own. Not that I planned to do anything special but just the thought of being on my own and having some space was something I was longing for. I think all marriages need some down time and for couples to be apart from time to time, to recharge the batteries and just delight in our own company. I think it’s crucial.

...I began to miss him from the day before he left. This has surprised me. A lot.

However, the funny thing is now that I have the house to myself and this much longed for time on my own – I miss him. And I began to miss him from the day before he left.

This has surprised me. A lot. I knew he would be missed, but not in the ‘I wish he were here, heart wrenching’ kind of way. I mean we have been together for fourteen years now; I should be over that stage, shouldn’t I?

I miss his smell. I miss his voice. I miss the energy of him which fills every room of our house. I miss not having him around to have idle chit chat with. I am almost at a loss with what to do with myself. I am consoling myself with the fact that it’s only been a day and a half and that my emotions will settle down by the end of the week. I guess we just haven’t been apart in so long that it’s been a bit of a shock to my system.

On a cheerier note, my copy of The Artists Way arrived through my letter box today. I was intrigued by it when I first read/heard about it through Kats Paws Blogging the Artists Way project which she had going. I was sorry I missed it but that made me even more determined to get the book and read it for myself. It was just so inspiring reading through all the participants’ blogs and see the major creativity that was going on.

The reviews of the book on Amazon were amazing, so I didn’t have any hesitation about clicking on the ‘add to basket’ button. I’ve had a quick flick through it (the first thing I do whenever I purchase a new book) and now I am going to settle down to read it properly. So far, it looks right up my street and I think I am going to enjoy the exercises very much. Another plus is the fact that she credits God with creativity and this really strikes a chord with me, because of my faith and strong belief in God. What I am hoping though is that someone will start up another Artists Way support group just like Kat did.

Good night.

Start project: Letter to My Younger Self - Done

I posted this mini project on my other blog and didn't get the response I had hoped for (sometimes it's so hard drumming up interest) but a few people did respond so I'm glad I did it. At least I get to cross one more thing off my list.;-)

Write letter to my younger self - done

See this post

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunday Scribblings

...the PROMPT this week ... when we were WEE...

When I was wee
My parents said to me
When you grow up
You can be anything you wish to be

Life was full of adventure
The world was mine to explore
Fun filled days with play and friends
Uncomplicated and simple, no twists or bends

Running through fields, yelling loud with joy
We were all bold and curious not shy and coy
There was always something to do, to be found under that rock
Another party to go to dressed up in a pretty frock

Oh, how I miss those days gone by
Surprised at how the time does fly
But I am glad I have my memories to treasure
That I can look back at my wee days with such pleasure

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Getting the creative juices flowing

At just the point in my life where I was beginning to feel that the last creative bone that I possessed had finally left my body, I have been stumbling across soooo many blogs out there kept by some very creative people. It’s like I’ve been down a gold mine these last few days unearthing absolute gems. There are so many challenges and mini-projects going on in the blogosphere and I would love to join them all. Alas, time is not kind and she would not permit me to do that, so I have to narrow it down to maybe 3 or 4 but I am finding it so difficult deciding which ones I would like to be a part of.

For a long time now, I have been finding it very difficult putting pen to paper to write anything – even a simple letter. I get all excited at the thought of creating something with my words but when I sit down to actually translate those thoughts onto paper, the words just don’t seem to come. Something that once was so easy for me has become quite a painful process now.

I have wanted to keep a journal for years now. I did used to keep journals when I was in my teens and early twenties but somehow life got in the way and I stopped journaling. But part of me has always missed putting my day, thoughts, experiences- and anything really – down on paper. And it’s sad to think that in my thirties when some of the most life changing events have taken place – immigrating to another country, buying a house, getting married, giving birth – not one of those experiences or the emotions I was going through at the time, did I record anywhere. Sure I have pictures but pictures, for me, are not the same or as emotional as putting things down on paper.

So wanting to rectify this, I dusted off a spiral bound journal I bought years ago from an art shop that was closing down and ‘wrote’ my first entry as a Visual. It was the first time ever I had ever tried visual journaling but I just loved it. I must admit though that it was a lot harder than I thought but after a few attempts (and a half full paper bin later), I got it to just how I wanted it. And it was a pretty decent attempt for a first timer, even if I do say so myself.

I couldn’t find one, but if you know of any weekly (or monthly) visual journaling challenge going on, let me know.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Making Minor Alterations

...rethinking my list gaining knowledge adding VALUE PRIORITIES

I had a long hard look at my list again and decided to edit it a bit. There was some stuff that I had put down that on second thoughts, were things I don't really feel are important or would add any value to my experience of life. For example, do I really want to figure out how Wordpress works? No. I’d much rather learn how to build my own website for my business. So it’s all about gaining knowledge, fun and priorities.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Get in touch with two old friends - DONE

phone callsCONVERSATIONS and ... FRIENDships!

Yesterday I called up two of my oldest friends both of whom I have not spoken with in a long time, thus allowing me to cross another task off my list.

It was good talking to the both of them although the conversations were pretty short as we were all at work. But promises were made to call each other up over the weekend.

I have very few friends – by choice. And the few I do have, have been around for a long, long time some for as long as 30 years (which makes me sound so ancient). But what I enjoy about these friendships is that they are very unobtrusive and not demanding. We can go months without making contact but when we do get in touch again, we simply pick up where we left off. With not even a blip on the graph. This is what I enjoy most – the freedom we give each other to be who we are.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Having fun

Discovering ... some new... fun things... to do... with my blog!

Just discovered how to do this and i think it looks really nice.

Write bio for and submit poem to Palava Soup - DONE

Officially day two of starting this project and I seem to have got off to a good start with two tasks already stuck off my list. I wrote up my bio and submitted a poem to Palava Soup,so I’m quite pleased. I do realise I still have a way to go but hey, tiny drops make an ocean.

Moving along with another one of my set tasks, I have started on my list of self-discovery/development workbooks which I will place in my side bar and cross off as I complete them.I have also begun working on a fun project (I hope)that I think people may enjoy (another set task on my list) – if I can get enough of you interested. It’s called ‘Letter to my younger self’ and I will be posting details about it soon.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It starts here...

Phew! I have finally completed my 101 list and it was more difficult than I thought. When I first stumbled across the project I thought ‘oh, that’s easy I have loads of things that I want to do’. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

When I first sat down to write it, I whizzed though a couple of sheets of paper frantically recording every thing that sprung to mind. Then I typed it up and found to my dismay that I had only about 50 things on my list! So then it was back to the drawing board and this time I gave it a whole lot of thought and it caused me to take a look at some of my priorities and also what I hope to achieve by doing certain tasks.  It’s taken me almost one week to complete the list.

Straightaway though, I know that it’s going to be a work in progress – adding new tasks as I go along and taking some off which I feel I can no longer relate to. After all, a lot can happen in 2.75 years. I will cross out tasks as I accomplish them. I will also print out a copy of the list for me to carry around so that I am constantly reminded of it. That way I don’t always have to log on to this blog to see it.

Whatever the case, this is one project I am really looking forward to accomplishing!