30 Things for my 30th Year

Last week I shared that in my 30th year I have a list of goals I’d like to achieve – or at the very least work towards.

My goals come under 3 main headings:

Health                     Wealth                    Happy Life

I won’t share the whole list at once – it would be a bit boring for you, and sharing them as I really think about how I am going to achieve them helps me stay on track and keep motivated.

Today I’ll talk about a couple of my goals that come under health.

All over the world people use January as a month to try and get fit and healthy after the excesses of the festive season. Personally I have always thought they were mad, to me January is a month for hibernating. A month where getting out of bed is hard and doing anything remotely healthy is hard because when you get up to work in the dark, go home in the dark and the days hover around freezing all you really want to do is eat things like macaroni cheese and wear every fluffy cosy item you own.20141207_135927

I admit I’ve not exactly shaken off those tendencies. However the week of my 30th birthday I made 2 large purchases which are helping me on this journey of becoming the best me I can be. These were my Jawbone and my first dip into the world of essential oils. These two purchases are helping me with a few of my health goals.

This week I am going to talk about the Jawbone gadget and next week I’ll share my experiences with Essential Oils so far and the goals that they are helping with.

So the Goals that my Jawbone is proving to be a handy tool for are:

* Start doing some form of exercise 5-6 days a week.

* Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps a day

*Get enough sleep

* Find an exercise class

A Jawbone is little piece of high tech that comes in the shape of a band that goes around your wrist. I got a snazzy blue one, other colours are available including a much less noticeable black but I thought the bright colour would catch my eye and serve as a reminder to get moving.


I also went for the Jawbone Up not the 24 model as I didn’t want to commit to spending the money on the more expensive model until I was sure it was worth it. The main difference is that to sync my jawbone to the app on my phone I have to plug it in via the headphone socket. I quite like it as it means for a few seconds before it syncs I have a little moment where I wonder if I have achieved my goal for the day. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, other days I am not. Basically the Jawbone records your steps and sleep. It can also record food & drink and you can program it to a timed mode so you can enter specific activities. You then use an app on your phone to look at all this. I love the little graph and the little motivational tips.


The Jawbone has transformed my daily activities straight away. I spend hours at my desk every day. Before I would have guessed I moved around maybe every hour for a little dander around my library. I was wrong, it turns out I can easily be on my bum for 4 – 5 hours. I now have my jawbone set so it vibrates if I have been inactive for an hour. Sometimes I take this little hint and go for a dander, other times I don’t. It has made me think about walking places more. Now I relish the opportunity to walk to and from work (most days, still not Mondays or when it is snowing, or raining, I am only human after all!). When I get home if my step count is low I will go on the cross trainer. An hour on the cross trainer doesn’t seem so bad when I am going at a steady pace and watching something on my Kindle (I have Amazon Prime and now I am making full use of my membership!). I don’t use the food & drink facility (yet) but I do use the sleep function. Wearing the band in bed has proved to be easy peasy and I am now concious that I was not getting anywhere near enough sleep. I know plenty of people who get by no problem with less that 8 hours a night and I am aware that if we have children then I will look back on this and laugh at my naivety. However, be that as it may I am someone who suffers from migraines. As you may recall one of the reasons I started this blog was a tool to help combat my chronic headaches and migraines. Turns out getting more sleep is better for me all round! I am less grumpy, I have way more energy, I am enthusiastic about things, my head doesn’t hurt and I am just a much nicer person. So whilst the Boyo and I are child free we should really make the most of being able to get as much snooze time as we need. When I look at the Jawbone and it tells me I only had 6 hours sleep the previous night, I make a firm attempt to go to bed early that night. So yes I’d recommend a Jawbone or another one of the fitness bands on the market just now if you too are trying to get a bit more active. It helps with 4 of those goals I listed, I record my steps with it, I track activity (so daily exercise other than steps, eg cross trainer, swimming, cycling) and when I start going to a fitness class I’ll use it then too and it definitely makes me aware of how much sleep I am getting. Very handy indeed!


Now on the topic of exercise classes… I have previously tried Jazzercise and liked it but due to other commitments at the time I didn’t pursue it. So I could try that again. Or I could do Scottish Country Dancing… I used to be pretty good at this in my teenage years! Or there is a Zumba class with very convenient times and location for me. I wanted to try Pilates but the local class is full and I would love to do Aquarobics but there isn’t a class to suit. What have you tried? Any suggestions? And do you think Zumba will be ok for an unifit clumsy me?


I will post photos along the way for my various goals on instagram. #30for30th


Tomorrow – Foodie Friday! Tartiflette, goals and cookbooks!



Happy Days 2015

Since my last blog post I have been super duper busy. The end of term mayhem, turning 30, Christmas preparations and a nasty flu all kept me pretty occupied.


Since turning 30 in November I have been reflecting on my 20s and what I would like in my 30s. I have done an awful lot of growing up since I turned 20 and I feel that it is time to really think about things I would like to improve, achieve and be during my 30s.

In my last degree we had to do a lot of ‘self-reflective’ stuff in order to make us better practitioners and whilst at the time it drove me mad (mainly as I had not worked as a librarian at that point so reflecting on how to improve when you are so new at a profession is hard as you have to basically improve everything) I can see that there is value on that. So I am thinking about a list of 30 goals I would like to at least try in the year I am 30. I won’t share them all just now but I’ll give you a bit of a flavour of them as I intend to use this blog to help me along my way.

Firstly something that won’t be a surprise to anyone is that food is involved.

A nice easy to document goal (but perhaps more difficult to achieve) is that I will attempt to cook one new thing a week for the entire year. I attempted this back in 2012 and that is when I first tried out blogging. My first blog attempts fell by the wayside but I did more or less manage to complete my goal. A family bereavement threw me off for a month or two but cooking multiple things in other weeks evened things out. This time I have changed it slightly as I now have my own massive cookbook and cookery magazine collection, so my aim is to cook at least one new thing a week from my collection.

Other goals involved with food are more about being healthy – trying to keep eating veg (previous posts talk about my food aversion), eating more fish, reducing meat consumption and trying to cook as much as I can from scratch and using as little processed food as I can.

I’ll document this kind of stuff in my Foodie Friday posts.

Other goals involve improving my personal flaws. An example is that I am terrible at interrupting people. It is very rude and definitely something I should work on not doing.

Health and fitness feature prominently – upping my exercise is very important and I’ll talk another time about my Jawbone and new found love of Essential Oils.

I am also thinking about learning and using my brain so being more focused at work, completing my chartership and learning new things are all in the list as well.

And finally but maybe most important; having fun, enjoying my life. Be that in doing new things, having fun with my hobbies or spending time with my friends and family, and most importantly just enjoying proper time with my Boyo. I start something next Monday directly related to this and the Boyo and I have already implemented a technology free night every week in the house so we actually do spend time together during the week.

To finish off this blog post for today I’ll share a few photos from our festive holidays. We split our time between Northern Ireland (Boyos family home) and S-W Scotland (my family home). We had a lovely but busy time, Dog walking and Baileys were involved so I was quite happy. Everyone seemed very happy with the presents they received (and I was very happy with what I recieved, lucky girl!). This year I focused less on ‘stuff’ and more on things we can do together. So I have a spa weekend, meals out, Canoyoning, A Murder Mystery night and Kayaking all to look forward to with some of my favourite people this year. How exciting!

Happy New Year!


Belfast Causeway 1 Causeway 2 Hogmanay Maggie Moncrieffe Hill Portballintrae