Tag Archives: achievement

What’s a goal if you can’t change it?


Water lily

As mentioned in my previous post, here are the goals on my 101 things in 1001 days list that I feel need to change so that my goals reflect my new circumstances more closely…

#11: Grow my hair to my waist – I’ve outgrown this goal, I reckon. My hair was waist length when I was younger, and it was lovely and all, but I don’t think it’s ‘me’ anymore. I’m happy with the short crop I have for now. We’ll see!

#13: Get a belly button piercing – I should’ve done this a decade ago. It’s a bit corny to do it now. And I don’t need it anymore in order to feel sexy 😉

#19: Go horseback riding on the beach – I definitely still want to do this one day, but I live far from the beach and I don’t foresee I’ll afford a holiday anytime soon. So I’m moving this to my ‘someday’ goals list.

#21: Go for a walk in a forest – No forests nearby… moving this to my someday list.

#28: Go on a road trip – Like I said, no holidays expected anytime soon! Someday…

#31: Go camping – Well, we’ll be selling our tent before we’ve used it even once, because we need the dosh. Doubt this will ever come up again, so I won’t put this on my someday list.

#32: Go to a concert – There’s nothing wrong with this goal, but I’ve been to concerts before, so why am I just repeating myself? Besides, it’s pretty rare for bands I like to hit SA, so this can happily go on my someday list, to be fulfilled ‘if and when’.

#36: Go vegetarian for a month – You know, I’ve just realised I don’t want this enough. I still want to eat fish, chicken and the occasional slice of pastrami. And yes I know that it’s pretty impossible to claim to be cruelty free if you still eat animals, but there’s just too much else going on in my life right now. I can’t face the thought of fundamentally changing my diet and cooking on top of all the other major life changes going on at the moment. At best I can make gradual changes over time in this area. I also want to make gradual changes towards more natural, healthy and cruelty-free cosmetics choices too… but that’s a thought for another post 🙂

#47: Do a punk photoshoot – It has taken and is taking me a long time to let go of my awesome punk years! But I think it’s time for this goal to finally go. This goal is only here because I was longing for my past instead of looking forward to my future.

#51: Spend a day without technology – Hah! There’s no need for me to have this as a goal. Our national power supplier (Eskom) will arrange it for me!

#57: Go to Sun City – I don’t know if I should take this off the list or not. Part of me says there’s no way we’ll afford it during this next season of our lives, but the other part (plus my husband!) says it’s still worth aiming for, even for a day trip… someday…

#60: Go on holiday with friends – Can’t go on holiday for the foreseeable future. With or without friends. M’kay?

#67: Visit Namaqualand in flower season – Someday!

#71: Holiday in the Drakensberg – Sheesh, I really did dream big huh! Also moved to the someday list.

#72: Do a 30 x 30 challenge – You know, I tried valiantly to do this. But halfway through I realised that I’ll never stick to it, because for at least one week out of every 30 days, I feel far too unwell for exercise. Hint: Maybe I’ll attempt this one day after menopause! LOL 😀

#73: Get a zoom lens for my camera – Argh. I really wish I could. But I don’t know if I can justify the cost when we’re scraping together every cent to pay off our new home. So I’ll stick this on my someday list… but you can be sure it’ll be right near the top!

#74: Go on a boat ride – I’ve been on a boat ride! Gah! Can I just stop repeating old goals? Where’s my imagination?

#80: Visit Knysna Wolf Sanctuary – Be still, my heart. Someday, hopefully someday soon.

#82: Take the tourist bus around Cape Town – The which to do, I must needs get to Cape Town… someday…

#83: Go on holiday by bus – Someday

#84: Learn to touch type – Erm, shew… not all that inspiring! Striking through this one. If I do learn it one day, great, but it needn’t be on my fun goals list.

#86: Publish my best poems – Someday, when money allows.

#87: Spend a night in a fancy hotel – When money allows, I’d love to still do this too 

#101: Brainstorm an overseas trip – Why brainstorm something that could be light-years away? Rather just stick it on my someday list and plan it properly when it does finally seem to be a possibility.

Well, those are the changes. I’ll be taking the next few weeks to work on a new 101 list that works for my current season of life. And then I’ll share it with you, whether you want me to or not! Hehe 😉


Nibbling at the goalposts


I’m sure I’ve said this before, but some achievements come in little steps. Recently I’ve nibbled away at a few more achievements on my list of 101 goals.

For Goal #54 I decorated my hand with a new design in henna, as you know I enjoy mehndi designs like this:

Goal #54b - henna

Goal #54b – henna

And to chip away at Goal #55, I recently got two new button badges for my special hat.

Goal #55 - button badges

Goal #55 – button badges

Ninja won the cute smiley face badge for me during a recent date night at the games arcade, and the floral badge I bought at a super South African craft market called Kamers vol Geskenke (lit. ‘rooms full of gifts’) 🙂

Speaking of Kamers, I discovered another great find there… but that’s for the next post.

30 x 30 (x 30) challenge


So! Who’s up for a challenge? :mrgreen:

30 x 30 x 30 challenge

Earlier this week I decided it’s time to tackle Goal #72 on my 101 things in 1001 days list, namely the 30 x 30 challenge of doing 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 consecutive days.

I planned it strategically right at the start of a blazing South African summer, of course.

And that wasn’t enough, so I decided to add another ‘x 30’ on the end of that challenge too. Along with the daily physical exercise regimen, I’ve committed to a personalised detox.

It’s nothing hectic – nothing like my 21-day sugar detox – but I’m cutting out as many fatty foods, processed carbs and sugars as possible for the next 30 days, and I plan to eat a salad for at least one of my three main meals each day. I’ve reduced all my portions too, and I’m stocking my pantry I don’t have a pantry fridge and cupboards with the healthiest foods I can afford.

Or at least I will be, once payday rolls around 😀

But like I said, it’s a personalised detox. I know myself well enough to accept that 30 days without any sugary treats at all is going to be counterproductive – I’ll just give up that way. So each morning with my cup of unsweetened rooibos tea I indulge in a single, small vanilla biscuit. Treat? Check 🙂

Over time I’ve come to accept that some diet fads and detox ideas will never work for me. For one thing, I don’t do low-fat dairy. Period. It’s yucky and a waste of money and full of unhealthy additives. I’d rather enjoy a smaller portion of a full-cream product than mess around with low-fat and fat-free options.

Also, I’ll never stick to a diet plan that involves foods I’ve never even heard of, let alone eaten. If I can’t find it in the shops I usually buy from, it’s just going to be a stumbling block in my detox. Ditto if it tastes gross. You can keep your kombucha and your tempeh, thanks very much!

And finally, I’ll probably never stick to a diet plan that cuts out one or more food groups altogether. Yes, I do intend to give a month of vegetarianism a go e.v.e.n.t.u.a.l.l.y (despite my repeated failures in that area), but I still don’t expect it’ll become something permanent. I like my food, and I love variety in everything, so that’s what my current diet plan is based on 🙂

I started the challenge on the 13th of November, so that it ends the day before my dating anniversary with Ninja… at which point I believe we can celebrate with a well-deserved, detox-destroying romantic dinner.

The salads have been easy to fit in and perfect for the hot weather, but the exercise is obviously the harder part. I often get to walk for more than 30 minutes during lunchtime at work, and there are stairs to climb and weights to lift at home. No excuses!

Being the pedant that I am, I laid out all of this in a handy checklist. And here it is, free for you to download should you wish to attempt something like this for yourself 🙂

My 30 x 30 x 30 challenge

Here’s to good health and achieving our goals!


83 things in 751 days


1.         Keep a photographic record of this list

2.         Update my blog at least once a week

3.         Read the Bible through in one year

4.         Knit something colourful

5.         Get to my goal weight and maintain

6.         Finish a scrapbook

7.         Volunteer at or donate to an animal shelter

8.         Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years

9.         Go on 3 hikes

10.       Go on 3 motorcycle rides (1: 21.03.13)

11.       Grow my hair to my waist

12.       Dye my hair black

13.       Get a belly button piercing

14.       Work through the Love Dare again

15.       Get a pretty girly camera bag

16.       Paint every nail a different colour and leave them be for a week (09.12.12)

17.       Paint 5 artworks on canvas

18.       Assemble a disaster/emergency kit

19.       Go horseback riding on the beach

20.       Visit a cave

21.       Go for a walk in a forest

22.       Bake 5 different cakes (1: chocolate cake 03.04.13; 2: custard cake 21.04.13; 3: lime, sour cream & coconut cake 09.08.13)

23.       Make a list of 100 things that I am grateful for

24.       Read all the Twilight books (11.03.13)

25.       Design room themes/colour schemes for my future home

26.       Participate in a 5km run/walk

27.       Complete a 1000+ piece puzzle

28.       Go on a road trip

29.       Go on a rollercoaster

30.       Visit a planetarium

31.       Go camping

32.       Go to a concert

33.       Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor

34.       Read 101 books and keep a list of them (16 so far…)

35.       Host a dinner party (16.02.13)

36.       Go vegetarian for a month

37.       Make a custom recipe book

38.       Visit 5 different museums and/or monuments

39.       Have a sleepover party

40.       Go for a bicycle ride

41.       Take 101 different photos of my new pet rats

42.       Eat 5 things I’ve never tried before (1: soya milk, 2: cake pops, 3: curry pizza, 4: shrimp, 5: coconut flour)

43.       Give someone a handmade gift (25.12.12)

44.       Grow a plant from a seed

45.       Invite 20 different friends/couples over for a visit (6 so far…)

46.       Cook 5 new veggies (1: Swiss chard, 2: patty pans, 3: purple carrots, 4: brinjals, 5: pak choi)

47.       Do a punk photoshoot

48.       Try 5 new cocktails (1: mojito, 01.05.13)

49.       Decorate for a holiday

50.       Write a letter to my favourite author

51.       Spend a day without technology

52.       Make a 7-course dinner (13.12.12)

53.       Get some rat-themed merchandise

54.       Apply henna 5 different times (1 = 01.02.13 ninja kanji)

55.       Get 10 more hat badges

56.       Surprise my mom with flowers

57.       Go to Sun City

58.       Buy myself a bottle of expensive perfume (13.12.12)

59.       Stay up for new year countdown with friends (31.12.12)

60.       Go on holiday with friends

61.       Navigate a maze

62.       Use up a sheet of temporary tattoos

63.       Write a list of 101 things I’ve already achieved in this lifetime

64.       Send in a photograph to a contest

65.       Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find

66.       Take part in a colour run

67.       Visit Namaqualand in flower season

68.       List all family and friends’ birthdays and anniversaries

69.       Get more pet rats (Four new boys due 31.08.13)

70.       Eat at 5 new restaurants (1: Catalino’s, 2: Gingko)

71.       Holiday in the Drakensberg

72.       Do a 30×30 Challenge (30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days)

73.       Get a zoom lens for my camera

74.       Go on a boat ride

75.       Take photos of 101 different birds (90 so far…)

76.       Go to Gold Reef City

77.       Make a playlist of 101 of my favourite songs (07.04.13)

78.       Celebrate 5 obscure holidays (1: World Sparrow Day, 2: World Rat Day)

79.       Make a time capsule

80.       Visit Knysna wolf sanctuary

81.       Visit bird of prey centre

82.       Take the tourist bus around Cape Town

83.       Go on holiday by bus

84.       Learn to touch type

85.       Revisit our wedding venue

86.       Publish my best poems

87.       Spend a night in a fancy hotel

88.       Go to a Lipizzaner show (24.02.13)

89.       Go to a movie by myself (29.04.13)

90.       Watch 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the alphabet (13 so far…)

91.       Kiss someone at midnight on New Year’s (Ninja, of course: 31.12.12)

92.       Read Pilgrim’s Progress in the old English

93.       Go on a picnic (17.12.12)

94.       Have professional photos taken (27.04.13)

95.       Revamp my lingerie collection

96.       Enjoy another spa day with my best friend

97.       Photograph 10 old buildings in South Africa

98.       Play the lotto with numbers from a fortune cookie

99.       Put away R5 for each completed task – the total to be spent shopping at the end of my 1001 days

100.     Write 5 letters to 5 people who changed my life (1 so far…)

101.     Brainstorm an overseas trip

Shifting the goalposts (again)



I’ve done it again. I’ve decided to update and tweak some of the goals on my 101 things in 1001 days list.

Now before you sigh, just hang on a minute…! 🙂

What’s the point of making goals when you’re in a certain season of life, and then being too rigid to adapt them when your circumstances change?

When I started the list late last year, I was a new housewife with all the time in the world and no real plans to head back to full-time employment. So many of the goals I chose were things I could easily achieve in those circumstances.

But life changed, as it always does, so I updated my list in the hopes of making it more realistic. And now life has changed again, and I feel it’s time for a fresh take on things once again.

At this stage of our lives it looks like I’ll have to keep working outside the home for the foreseeable future. So if this 101 things list is going to be of any use at all, it has to fit in with my ‘new normal’. I really don’t see the point in having a list of goals that just depress me because I doubt I’ll ever get to them this side of retirement…

So without further justification, here are the specific goals I’ve reworked (along with reasons for the changes, as though I owe you any!) 😉 I’ll post my complete new list separately.

Goals that are changing

Goal #4: Exercise at least 30 min/day, 3 days/week, 3 weeks/month – This is the first goal to change. Why are we not surprised? I had a wonderful time exercising daily when I was at home, but my new schedule allows for much less routine. Although I’m still aiming to get in a decent amount of exercise, I’ve removed it from this particular list. The replacement goal is: Knit something colourful :mrgreen:

Goal #7: Volunteer at an animal shelter – I’ve tweaked this one to Volunteer at or donate to an animal shelter, since I may not have much time to volunteer, but if I can help by donating then I will look for ways to do that instead.

Goal #10: Go on 10 motorcycle rides – I’ve reduced this down to 3 rides, because Ninja’s bike is getting a little long in the tooth, so we’re trying to preserve it and stretch out the time between services and such. A pity, but that’s life eh? At least one of these three is already done 🙂

Goal #14: Read one passage per week from my German Bible – It’s difficult enough keeping up with my daily readings in my English Bible (for Goal #3), so sadly this one will have to go. I’ve replaced it with: Work through the Love Dare again. For those of you who don’t know, the Love Dare is a book for strengthening marriages, linked to the lovely movie Fireproof.

Goal #15: Make an origami animal – Of all the brainless goals, I wonder how this one made the list! Instead, here’s something I really want to to: Get a pretty girly camera bag. I can’t very well pitch up at special events in heels and a backpack!

Goal #17: Paint 10 artworks on canvas – Ten is a hefty number for someone with my new time constraints. I’ve changed this to Paint 5 artworks on canvas. In fact, I recently finished one (a gift for my parents), which I hope to post about soon.

Goal #25: Work through my entire ‘Teach yourself Hindi’ textbook – It’s a realy shame that my language goals are some of the first to fall away (I recall my brother, also an avid language learner, warning me about this when I first added language goals to my list…). Instead of this goal, I’ve added: Design room themes/colour schemes for my future home.

Goal #38: Visit 10 different museums and/or monuments – Can we make this 5? Please? At the current pace of our lives, Ninja and I are unlikely to fit in even that many visits before September 2015 (when this list ends).

Goal #41: Take photos of the same item in 101 different locations – Oh, this one never got off the ground! I started it and then it just faded out of the way… But because photography is still an overall goal of mine, I’ve replaced it with a similar but much-more-likely-to-be-achieved goal: Take 101 different photos of my new pet rats!

Goal #47: Get my passport – To go where, exactly? I don’t anticpate that we’ll have the means to travel outside our country at any point in the remaining 751 days of this challenge, so this goal is just wasting space on my list 😦 Instead, the new Goal #47 is: Do a punk photoshoot, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, preferably with my bro 🙂

Goal #53: Photograph a landscape from the same location, capturing all four seasons – I was reluctant to change this one because it’s still something I’d really like to do, but I don’t have much regular access to inspiring and seasonally changing landscapes at this point in time, so I know my pics would just disappoint me coz they’d fall short of the images in my mind. Maybe one day if we have our own garden, Lord willing… For now though, this has become: Get some rat-themed merchandise. You know. As in, ‘been there, done that, got the rat, got the T-shirt’? 😀

Goal #55: Go skinny dipping – Considering the fact that I can’t even recall the last time I had access to a pool or swam at all, I don’t even know why this is still on my list! Of course I can always still do this, but you’d be the last to know… 😉 So, the fun and sensible replacement for this one is: Get 10 more hat badges. Remember my cool hat from this post? It still has plenty free space on it.

Goal #66: Send a message in a bottle – Again, the impracticality of this goal is just overwhelming all of a sudden. I’d have to (a) get to the sea and (b) get far enough out to sea to drop the bottle and avoid it just washing straight back to the sand at my feet. Plus, um… isn’t it kinda like deliberate water pollution? Far be it from me! Instead, I aim to Take part in a colour run. Perfect. I’ll go for air pollution instead.

Goal #72: Clear out all my junk – Now what on earth is a mundane goal like you doing on a fancy list like this?! In its place, how about I Do a 30×30 Challenge (30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days)? At least, it looks achievable on paper.

Goal #73: Find the perfect fitting pair of jeans – There isn’t just one; there are many. There’s the slinky new pair I buy each time I drop a dress size (OK, that’s only happened once in the last two years); there’s the comfy old pair that I can wear around the house; and there’s the stretchy accommodating pair for when PMS or overindulgence have added some nasty bulk. So to take the focus off me, I’ll replace that goal with this one: Get a zoom lens for my camera.

Goal #85: Make my own outfit – Who?! What?! When?! Where?! Why?! How?! Instead, I hope Ninja and I can Revisit our wedding venue. Awwww 🙂

Goal #86: Finish writing my book – Once upon a time, in a life far away, I dreamt of writing a marriage book to help Christian newlyweds. But the warp speed of life since then has seen almost all my friends married long before I finished half the chapters. I think it’s time to bury this goal for good. Yet I’ve always wanted to publish something I’ve written, so I think I’ll try to Publish my best poems instead.

Goal #96: Learn the basics of self-defence – Meh. Not going to happen any time soon, and it’s not particularly measurable or motivating either. Instead, I’d like to Enjoy another spa day with my best friend.

And finally, Goal #101: Start planning an overseas trip – This just seems too far away now to even be on this list. Ninja and I do hope to have the privilege of travelling overseas together one day, but the more practical goal of getting a home of our own ranks higher on the list. But since this goal list is also meant to inspire, I’ll just tweak this one to: Brainstorm an overseas trip.

Now I’m freshly motivated to reach for 101 goals that I stand a chance of achieving 🙂

Bringing home Beastie


I know. I owe you an update on the major leap of faith I made a few days ago. It’s just been such a crazy week, wow! Nevertheless, I am SUPERBLY happy with my ‘rash’ decision to get this camera :mrgreen:

No regrets! Here’s a little of the unboxing…

Unpacking the beastie

Unpacking the beastie

Although I bought this beautiful camera with the old Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D prime lens (all they had in stock at the time), I had to exchange it the next day for the newer Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G lens (and boy am I glad I did!).

Nikon D7100 unboxing

Nikon D7100 unboxing

The new 50mm G lens is far quiter, focuses faster and can focus closer, too. The lens is a bit heavier than the old 50mm D, but it’s the superior choice.

Speaking of weight, the whole camera plus lens is wayyyy heavier than my old Fujifilm prosumer… but I’m already adapting to the way the D7100 feels in my hands. I like the solid build and the fact that the weight helps to steady the camera for handheld shots.

Here it is: brand spanking new 😉 (I hope that’s not just a South African expression, or you might be wondering what I’m talking about!)

Out the box

Out the box

The funny thing about the beastie is that Ninja is more intimidated by it than I am! His hands are bigger and stronger than mine so from that perspective he’s fine, but the plethora of dials, buttons and screens make him nervous. Tee hee hee 🙂

Here’s a pic of the D7100, with the 50mm G lens attached, taken by my Fujifilm FinePix:

A not-so-great shot of a fantastic camera

A not-so-great shot of a fantastic camera

And here’s a pic of my faithful little FinePix, taken by the D7100:

My old camera

Look at that gorgeous bokeh (blurred background)! The 50mm f/1.8 G is famous for this, as well as being beautifully sharp as most primes are. I am very impressed with the results (and so far I’m only shooting in JPEG because I don’t have time to process my RAW files, but I can imagine the RAW will be even lovelier).

Anyway, I’d love to spend hours going into more detail here, but there are plenty chores calling my name this evening…

Will be back soon!


Cannot believe I did that…


A couple of weeks ago I left you hanging at the end of my last dream camera post regarding the possible cons to choosing the new Nikon D7100 as my first DSLR camera… but this is not that post.

The beastie

You see… I did something totally crazy and out of character today. Despite the sensible budgetary advice of my dad and mom playing in my head, despite my initial good intentions of waiting for the ‘right‘ time, despite my long-standing notion that anything worth having must be earned through long hard toil… I just went and straight up bought the D7100.

Yup. I just bought the D7100. Today. Just like that.


I still cannot believe I did that!!! *cue hysterical laughter* 🙂 It’s just not like me at all! 😀

It’s hands down the most expensive item I’ve ever paid for. And I don’t part with my money easily. Ninja had to patiently convince me that buying it now or buying it in a few months’ time would not really make a huge difference in terms of saving – either way, we’re going to have to do a lot of careful saving and frugal living this year!

Perhaps the main reason I’m still a bit gobsmacked by my own behaviour is that I don’t actually have the camera yet. So reality hasn’t hit home yet. They’ll only be delivering it tomorrow evening, so part of me will only be convinced it’s real when I finally physically own the machine. But it’s a done deal: the beastie is mine 🙂

I am so humbled and blessed and excited and surprised! It felt as though it happened so quickly, yet it wasn’t a rash decision. I have been researching this for months already. I have been pushing my current little Fujifilm superzoom camera to its limits to prepare for this. I have been watching so many vids and reading so many articles on the various functions of this camera. So when I first handled the D7100 in the shops today it no longer intimidated me; I flicked through the buttons and menus as if I knew them by heart.

When I handled it today, I realised two things at once. One, this is by far the biggest and scariest purchase of my short life. And two, it won’t be wasted on me.

Some people have warned that the D7100 is ‘overkill’ for newbies and ‘wasted’ on beginners, but that’s only if you’re happy to stay stuck in the beginner mindset. I want to be challenged and I want to excel. I know I have tons to learn, but I’m keen. And I’m not competing against anyone other than myself. I don’t have aspirations for professional photography, but I also don’t want to be stuck with entry-level dinky toys forever 😉 The D7100 is my middle ground, and Lord willing it will be with me for many years to come.

When Ninja and I prayed about the purchase beforehand, I found myself praying for a balance of wisdom and the courage to live a little. I’ve always been Ms ÜberCautious with money; I hate credit cards and debt (thankfully those didn’t feature in this purchase) and I shy away from large luxuries. But today, with Ninja’s counsel, I realised that risky spending can have its place.

Sometimes in life – only a very few times – Nike is right, and we should just do it.

Yet I still cannot believe that I did!

Twilight saga and strange veggies


This week I’ve crossed off two more goals on my 101 things in 1001 days list 🙂

I completed Goal #24 by reading all of the Twilight books, loaned to me by my MIL:

Goal #24: done!

Goal #24: done!

This was one of those fun, random goals on my list. After reading each book I watched the corresponding movie, which complemented the books well. Of course, I now have that beautiful song of Christina Perri’s stuck in my head too.

I’m not exactly a Twihard, and I’ve discovered it a few years late, but on the whole I’ve enjoyed this series. It’s not that the writing is the best I’ve ever read (it’s definitely not). And there were a few things I didn’t agree with, such as Bella’s lack of concern for her soul (being a Christian, that just jars for me), the suggestion that good works should get a person to heaven, and the silly undercurrent of feminism in some places. But I was impressed at how ‘clean’ the series was, considering prevailing modern morals and all. There are also some universal truths about guys, girls and relationships that are cleverly explored in the Twilight saga.

In a way it’s almost like the girly version of some of the Marvel comic superheroes that Ninja and my guy friends are always going on about. It’s also refreshing to have a heroine like Bella Swan who’s not perfect; I’m sure part of the series’ popularity stems from the fact that so many fans can identify with her. I don’t know if I’d consider myself a fan per se; I’ve got the movies on my shelf and now I’ve read the books, but that’s about it. It didn’t consume me in a teenage daydream the way Jack and Rose from Titanic did back when I was a teen… hehehe. But I suppose if there have to be Twilight teams, if I’m not hopelessly too old for teams, I’d probably be Team Jacob. What can I say – I’ve always had a thing for wolves 😉

Anyway, I’ve also completed Goal #46 by cooking the last two of my 5 new veggies I’d never cooked before. I’ve posted previously about the Swiss chard, patty pans and purple carrots I’ve tried. Last week I also cooked brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) for the first time, and the other night I steamed some pak choi.

Goal #46: Brinjals

Goal #46: Brinjals

I’ll post separately about the delicious moussaka I made with the brinjals. Here’s a pic of the pak choi… I must say, neither Ninja nor I enjoyed it much. The white parts at the bottom were quite sweet, but the rest was bitter. Maybe steaming just wasn’t the best way to cook it?

Goal #46: Pak choi

Goal #46: Pak choi

It’s been fun to stretch my tastebuds and culinary skills with this simple little goal. I suppose it’s similar to Goal #42 (Eat 5 things I’ve never tried before), but what I had in mind for that goal wasn’t necessarily veggies, or me cooking them myself. I’ll be on the lookout for other interesting things to try out for that goal.

Speaking of food and stuff, wowwee… this ‘month of vegetarianism’ has not been easy. Even though I don’t eat much red meat in general, cutting out chicken and meaty snacks such as dried or cold meats has been tough. In fact, yesterday I caved in to the best dried beef sausage ever… and blew my vegetarian month in three mouthfuls. Sigh. But hey, though I haven’t managed to stick to it this month, it’s not the end of the world: my deadline for my 101 things is only in 2015. Better luck another month 😛

Ooh yippee, another award!


What a lovely blogging week it’s been so far. Many thanks to Shiotadesu of Rilakkumadesu for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Be sure to check out her site for a real cuteness overload 🙂 🙂

Versatile Blogger AwardSo the rules of this award are:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Link to 15 other blogs to nominate them for the Versatile Blogger Award.


Another 7 things about me:

1. I have a knack for getting wild birds to sing back to me, and have even sung to shy birds like coucals and owls 🙂

2. I look good wearing virtually any colour except red, ochre and olive green.

3. My favourite childhood book was Jack London’s White Fang.

4. This year will be my 5-year wedding anniversary with Ninja.

5. I wear glasses, but use contacts for special occassions.

6. Some of my favourite flavours include vanilla, chutney, pineapple, coconut, spices and coffee.

7. My hands are so small that I’ve not yet met anyone who can fit my rings on their fingers. Weird but true.


My 15 new nominees:

I decided to broaden my blogpool (argh, what a word!) and search for some new blogs on various topics that interest me…

1. http://schutzhundphotography.wordpress.com/

2. http://ourhealthylifestylejourney.wordpress.com/

3. http://feedingyourappetite.wordpress.com/

4. http://theforesterartist.com/

5. http://theaccidentalbirder.com/

6. http://mrsmalin.com/

7. http://robindeutschmann.wordpress.com/

8. http://debsdiscoveries.wordpress.com/

9. http://forever1955.com/

10. http://ownedbyrats.wordpress.com/

11. http://collectingtokens.wordpress.com/

12. http://museandsparrow.wordpress.com/

13. http://lensaddiction.wordpress.com/

14. http://georgeweaver.wordpress.com/

15. http://simpletombornhigh.com/


What fun 🙂 Thanks again for the award, Shiotadesu!

Grab bootstraps. Pull up.

Wildflower © Sunshine Scrapbook

Wildflower © Sunshine Scrapbook

I don’t know about you, but getting to the end of a month always makes me want to pause and take stock of where I’m at. I feel it’s time for some big changes and challenges in my life. So far this year has been busy and fairly pleasant, but the progress I’m making on certain goals is decidedly underwhelming.

Such as Goal #5 – Get to my goal weight and maintain. All the wonderful dinners and parties and special meals I’ve been indulging in (not to mention the random baking sprees) have done little to improve my diet, health or weight.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not the kind of person to have a complex about my weight. I’m not obese or anything, just not as fit and trim as I’d like to be. Nor is my diet as healthy and well thought out as it ought to be. It’s something I want to change. And instead of continuing to say I want to change, this time I actually want to do what it takes. Time to grab the proverbial bootstraps, and yank!

“I think I’ll start tomorrow,” she says, finishing off one of the last currant whorls…

Seriously though. Tomorrow a new month begins. Don’t-mess-with-me March. I plan to take action for my health. Here’s how:

1. Go vegetarian for a month. Or in my case, pescatarian. No beef, no lamb, no pork, no chicken. I’ll still eat eggs, dairy and fish, though. March is a good month to tackle this goal (#36). I don’t foresee that it will be too tough to accomplish, since I don’t eat much red meat anyway. But cutting out bacon and chicken will be a tad depressing. On the upside: maybe in achieving this goal I can learn to cook two more new veggies and cross off Goal #46 at the same time 🙂 Ninja won’t want to join me on this, though, so I’ll continue to cook meat for him.

2. No baking. Sheesh. A whole month without sweet creativity in the kitchen? A bleak prospect indeed! One exception to this will be the Minnie Mouse cupcakes I’ve been asked to bake for a kiddies’ birthday party around the middle of March. I’ll just try not to sample too many of these myself then…

3. Keep a food diary. Hey, wait! Don’t run away! I promise not to spam your inbox with my daily diet 😛 This will be for my eyes only, to keep me in check.

4. No unhealthy takeaways. On the rare occasions that I do need to eat out, I’ll order the healthiest meals I can find. Nothing deep fried, cheesy, meaty or sweet. That includes drinks such as the KFC Very Berry Krusher, which has single-handedly krushed my diet this summer. *pines away*

5. Stick to my exercise routine. I’m doing a variety of exercises (I’m no gym bunny, so I do it all at home), including weights, cardio, jogging and stretching exercises. I’ll be aiming to stick to it for at least 30 min per day, 3 days per week, for 3 weeks in March, as Goal #4 stipulates.

6. Reduce salt, sugar and refined/processed foods. I’m not ready yet to go on a total health-freak whole-foods organic-only diet. There will still be times when I need to use refined flour or salt or other modern evils. But I’ll limit these as best I can.

Overall, I just want to take a step in the right direction, not make an idol of my healthy diet. As Jesus said, what goes into a person’s mouth doesn’t matter as much as what comes out of it, from their hearts (Matt 15:10–20). So my diet changes will be sensible rather than sensational. I don’t want it to take over my life. Still, I’ve got a good feeling about this. I look forward to seeing some positive changes over the next few weeks 🙂