101 Goals in 1001 Days

Firstly Happy New Year! How is it the 1st January 2015 already!

I’ve decided to start my new year with the 101 Goals in 1001 Days challenge. I saw this idea on Anne from Love the Here and Now’s blog and decided it was something I would like to have a go at.

I am terrible at completing tasks like this but figured that 1001 days is a long time to do everything on the list! As I complete my goals I will try and blog about them and leave the link but also will cross through the completed goals.

Here’s my list and details of when it starts and will end:

Start Date: Thursday 01 January 2015
End Date:  Thursday 28 September 2017

1. Qualify as a Solicitor in Australia.
2. Sell one of my photographs.
3. Visit Bali.
4. Learn to sail.
5. Start studying the subjects need to qualify as a Solicitor in Australia and pass them all.
6. Get over my fear of public speaking.
7. To still be blogging on 28 September 2017.
8. Visit Kakadu National Park.
9. Keep using the planner that I bought so that I can plan my life out better, not forget things and do all the things that I want to do.
10. Plan out my blog posts better so that I can run a bit more to a schedule.
11. Become better at using social media like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.
12. See more of Australia – I want to visit at least Perth, Adelaide and Sydney.
13. Buy a car.
14. Learn how to style my curly hair nicely.
15. Invite friends over for dinner often.
16. Get my visa sorted so I do not have to worry about visa’s expiring or deadlines.
17. Pay of my debts in the UK.
18. Save money! There’s so many things I want to do but I need to get saving first.
19. Cook 101 recipes from the recipe books I own and have been given.
20. Learn and understand the rules of AFL.
21. Take my DSLR camera out with me more and actually use it so I don’t miss the photo opportunities.
22. Complete the challenges I set myself via blog, photography etc.
23. Take more time to keep in contact with people to make sure that the distance between us doesn’t seem so big.
24. Reply to emails, texts, calls and what’s app messages within 24 hours at the very most.
25. Wear sunscreen all the time.
26. Walk more and enjoy it.
27. Get better at saying what’s on mind rather than bottling it up.
28. Learn to enjoy red wine.
29. Spend Christmas in the UK with my family and friends.
30. Visit the penguins on Phillip Island.
31. Send a letter, card, postcard to someone as a surprise each month.
32. Visit the turtles.
33. Get up early and take a photo of the sunrise.
34. Take a good photo of lightening.
35. Read 5 classic books I’ve never read before.
36. Redesign my blog.
37. Personalise our home with photos, pictures and things that are important to us.
38. Get my mum to teach me to knit (again) and remember how to do it.
39. Go to the ballet.
40. Attend 3 music concerts.
41. Have the root canal work done/tooth removed in 2015.
42. Complete the Goodreads reading challenge each year and increase the number of book that are too be read each year.
43. Have an allergy test done.
44. Print and frame my own photos in our home.
45. Watch Les Miserable in the theatre and read the book.
46. Learn how to make macaroons from scratch.
47. Visit Thailand with the Aussie.
48. Re-learn how to play the keyboard properly.
49. Practice playing the keyboard at least twice a week.
50. Buy a beautiful coffee table and bookcase(s) for our home.
51. Study for at least 10 hours a week when courses start in March 2015.
52. Dye my hair regularly so the roots don’t show.
53. Get hair cut at least 5 times a year and take better care of it.
54. Take a book out of the library once a month and read it all.
55. Buy a bike and use it often.
56. Go out dancing more.
57. Hang the washing out when it’s finished not leave it so long it has to be washed again.
58. Open a joint bank account with the Aussie – we’ve been meaning to do this since August 2013.
59. Write a will.
60. Change my Super Account and move my existing super to it.
61. Take a helicopter ride over Darwin.
62. Go on at least one “girls” weekend a year.
63. Read a book in a day.
64. Spend the day at the cinema watching as many films as I can cram in.
65. Take a day off work in the middle of the week to just stay in bed reading, watching movies and sleeping.
66. Make someone a mix tape of my favourite songs.
67. No eating out for a month.
68. Drink 6 glasses of water a day for 2 weeks – I really should do this already but I am terrible at drinking water.
69. Take a picture for every letter of the alphabet.
70. Start and complete a project 365 photo challenge.
71. See 10 classic movies I’ve never seen before.
72. Ask 20 friends to recommend a book each and read them all.
73. Go on a completely unplanned road trip.
74. Get a pedicure.
75. Watch the sunrise and sunset in one day.
76. Volunteer.
77. Plant a balcony herb and flower garden.
78. Blog at least 3 times a week.
79. Read 10 non fiction books.
80. Learn to make pasta from scratch.
81. Send a card or flowers to someone going through a hard time.
82. Climb the Eiffel Tower.
83. Do a Yellow Water Cruise.
84. Get a tattoo.
85. Donate blood at least once.
86. Host a wine and cheese party.
87. Send 20 postcards through Postcrossing.
88. Hide a note in a library book.
89. Set up sponsorship on my blog.
90. Create a guest post idea and have someone write a guest post each month.
91. Visit 10 museums.
92. Have a picnic with the Aussie.
93. Write and send Christmas cards preferably with personalised cards.
94. Donate $10 to a charity every month.
95. Have professional photos taken with my family.
96. Visit and comment on 10 blogs every week.
97. Take home made lunch to work for one week every month.
98. Organise photos on computer, phone, hard drive.
99. Buy a film camera and use it.
100. Go on a photography tour.
101. Put $10 into savings for each goal accomplished.

I’m looking forward to giving the challenge a go and think it is all achievable given the timeframe. If you are interested in giving it a try you can get lots of inspiration for your 101 challenges from the Zero Day Project.

If your going to give the challenge a go please leave your link below so I can follow your progress.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’ve discussed before on the blog how much I love to read and that I am participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2014.

I originally set myself the target of reading 40 books in 2014 but decided that wasn’t challenging enough for me (like a fool!) and so I increased my target to 45 in 2014. Doesn’t seem to hard does it!?!

I just checked and I have currently read 29 of the 45 books. The website kindly informs me I am only 9 books behind schedule, which bearing in mind I have 16 left to read for the year, seems kind of daunting.

goodreads

It’s also a bit of a challenge to read at all because it seems like “I have to” but then I remember how much I enjoy it and it doesn’t seem quite so bad, especially when you get into a good book and want to know how it will end and also don’t want the story to end.

I am pretty terrible at finishing challenges that I set myself and so I’ve decided to post here as a reminder to myself to keep on going and that I have to finish because I blogged about it!

Summer Book Swap

Wow what a week that was, very hectic with work especially on Friday! Friday night drinks after work with my work friends and then dinner and drinks with the Aussie and brother were just what the Doctor ordered and now its holiday time for 2 weeks!

I love reading as you all know and so whenever I see anything reading related, especially book swaps I am always keen to take part.

I saw a post on the Endless Bliss blog asking for bloggers to take part in a book swap during June because they also love reading. The rules were simple, you sign up for the swap and are then matched with someone else who is participating and then spend a few weeks getting to know their books likes and dislikes as well as a bit about them generally. Then post the book by 15 June ready for it to arrive before 20 June for the link up.

I was matched up with Felecia from the Hello Felecia blog. Felecia is from Florida and loves to write, she is currently working on publishing her first Young Adult novel which sounds like its going to be fantastic!

It’s been really lovely getting to know Felecia and it was such fun choosing a book for her that I hope she will enjoy! The book I chose (I won’t reveal it here yet in case it hasn’t arrived yet) is one I really enjoyed reading and is part of a series so I hope that Felecia enjoys the book and reads the whole series as it’s really thought provoking but also intriguing, making you really question what you would do in the same position.

I was very excited to receive the book she chose for me which is called Water Walker by Ted Dekker.

Water Walker

The back of the book says:

“My name is Alice Ringwald, but the man who kidnapped me says that’s a lie.”

Thirteen-year-old orphan Alice Ringwald has no memory beyond six months ago. The only life she knows is the new one she’s creating one day at a time with the loving couple that recently adopted her and gave her new hope. That hope, however, is shattered one night when she is abducted by a strange man. In a frantic FBI man hunt, the kidnapper vanished with Alice.

So begins Water Walker, a modern-day parable that examines the staggering power of forgiveness, and reminds us that it’s possible to live free of the hurt that keeps our souls in chains.”

This sounds like the perfect book for me based upon the books I would normally choose and it’s on my kindle ready to read as soon as possible and I plan to do a book review on it once completed.

Summer Blog Swap

Books ‘n’ Blogger Swap

I love reading and talk about it quite often on my blog as well as discussing how well (or badly) I am doing with the Summer Reading Challenge.

I saw that Chaotic Goddess was running a book swap for bloggers and knew I had to participate as this kind of thing is totally up my alley so to speak!

The rules are simple, after signing up and confirming where you live and what kind of books you like to read you get partnered with another blogger with similar likes and I have been partnered with Chiara from Books for a Delicate Eternity and then you get to know each other before sending three books as follows at the end of June:

1. A book that you love
2. A book you haven’t read but are interested in
3. A book from your partners wish list

This is going to be the perfect way to meet new bloggers but also discover books that you haven’t heard of or read before. My wish list is small at the moment as I just started it and need to work out what books I don’t yet own from my “to read” list.

I’m looking forward to the challenge of choosing 3 perfect books for Chiara as well as getting to know her better.

Grateful Heart Monday Part Three

I am terrible at sticking to challenges or projects, other than blogging itself it seems, so I have been terrible at participating in Grateful Heart Monday which is run by Emily of Ember Grey.

This Monday I wanted to participate and talk about how grateful I am to have such a supportive family.

I’m often in this little bubble here in Darwin living my life with the Aussie, doing all the fun things I enjoy doing and so it’s easy to almost forget that yes moving abroad is a huge deal for yourself but it’s also a big deal for your family who are used to having you there, doing things with you and just having you nearby.

We’re very lucky to have so many different ways to communicate and luckily my Mum and Brother are computer whizzes so we can communicate frequently about what is going on.

However I know it’s tough for them and I am so grateful that even though it’s hard for them, they still support me 100% in what I am doing even if they probably would prefer things to be different which is completely understandable so for that reason I am very grateful for my family.

Ember Grey

Summer 2014 Reading Challenge – End of Month One Update

So I’ve been doing the Summer 2014 Reading Challenge for a month now and have accumulated 35 points! Here is my updated list of books showing what has been read and what is waiting to be read.

My original post is also here so you can see how well I am sticking to my initial list of books!

I think I might revise my list this month as there are some other books I would like to read first, also one of my books is over 700 pages long and we have to read a book with a minimum of 200 pages so that’s almost the equivalent of 4 books! To be able to achieve the target I think I’ll wait to read that one.

Here’s my progress so far though:

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
The Hundred Year Old Man who climbed out of the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (400 pages)

BEGAN READING: 21/05/14 FINISHED READING still reading
POINTS ACQUIRED TBC

10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (336 pages)

10 points: Finish reading a book you couldn’t finish the first time around. (You must have at least 150 pages left in the book to use it for this category.)
The Monuments Men by Robert M Edsel – I like to try and read the book before watching the film but couldn’t get into the book and really wanted to see the film. Hopefully now I’ve seen the film I can finish the book! (512 pages)

10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore.
The Mortal Instruments 6: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – hopefully a Young Adult Book will count as I have been waiting for this book to be released (it’s out on 28 May so perfect timing). (753 pages)

15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times’ Best Sellers List when you begin reading it.
I’ve got you under my skin by Mary Higgins Clark – I love a good crime thriller so this seems pretty good for me. (320 pages)

15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown (336 pages)

15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge.
To be confirmed!

20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title.
Thursday’s Children by Nicci French (432 pages)

20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – I have this book on my Kindle ready to read so it’s the perfect excuse to give it a go now! (368 pages)

BEGAN READING: 04/05/2014 FINISHED READING: 10/05/2014
20 POINTS ACQUIRED

25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.
Dead Blow by G.m. Barlean (250 pages)

25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir.
Is it just me by Miranda Hart (337 pages)

30 points: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles.
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (276 pages) and Up Close by Henriette Gyland (356 pages)

A Long Way Down: BEGAN READING: 10/05/14 FINISHED READING: 21/05/14
POINTS ACQUIRED: 15

Grateful Heart Monday Part Two

The Grateful Heart Monday event is run by Emily of Ember Grey and today I wanted to post about how grateful that I am that my family and friends both in the UK and Australia have taken the time to help us with this damn visa application (it gets called various insults these days as it’s taking so long to get everything together).

Whilst we float along on a bubble of, maybe we’ll be ready next week and then another week passes they have been writing statutory declarations about me and us as a couple to help support our application. As I have mentioned before we have to prove we have been in a serious relation for more than 12 months and that we are a genuine couple so these statutory declarations are so so helpful.

I can imagine how hard it must be to write them as well, when doing so and having my application accepted, means I will be staying in Australia beyond August this year but they have done it and written such lovely things I have felt extremely touched.

So I am grateful for their help and also want to say thank you as it means the world to me.

Ember Grey