My Month In Photos - December 2017.
Well well well we've come to the end of the month and the end of the year - isn't it satisfying it's ending on a Sunday and the new year is coming in on a new week? The stars have aligned my friends.
It's been a long time I've been writing these posts, well over a year and I don't know if they, like my Friday Favourites, will be joining us in 2018. I just feel like they're a little stale these days and often I'm just repeating in one what I wrote on the other so idk where they're going, whether they'll come back in a new form or I'll just sack it off altogether.
But anyway, less about what's to come (or what's not) - in the spirit of ending the year right, here's what I got up to in the last festive month.
What I Did;
If you read this blog religiously (and I thank you) you'll know November was a killer for me. I didn't stop working, babysitting, travelling or just generally being busy and I wasn't sleeping and I had many a message from concerned pals after writing this post. Luckily December really slowed up, and whilst I still did a lot I managed to get more sleep and do more fun things for myself and I feel like I'm bouncing and skipping into the new year not being dragged half asleep.....
We started the month after my return from Manchester with a 4 cider events in a weekend which was a killer but when it was done we were pretty much finished for the year. I did my normal share of childcare for my niece and we did fun things like making and decorating the Christmas cake, going to a local garden centre to see the festive bits and bobs and having my cousin down. This month I also did a lotta lotta chores from cleaning the house from top to bottom to lots of Christmas shopping trips and many a run to get all of you your Etsy orders before the big day. I've also managed to squeeze a lot of time in for fun things too, like seeing my old university flatmate at the beginning of the month to catching up with school friends and foundation friends alike at the end of the month. Joss and I have really and truly got into the Christmassy swing of things with Harry P nights every weekend, a day for shopping, the annual house decorating and family meals with his parents and siblings. We road tripped to Birmingham the weekend before Christmas and we spent lots of time with my family too from my cousins and uncle to Boxing Day and Joss and I hosted them all at our house yesterday. It's been a properly sociable month and whilst it's been busy, it's been lovely and made me determined this will be my focus for 2018.
What I Watched;
My TV recordings now sits at a pretty 123 programmes and counting and that's even with watching something most nights. The festive period brings up a lotta Christmassy telly and we've recorded every Attenborough documentary, every stand up gig, every Christmas special known to man and I legit don't know when we're going to get through it all. I mentioned in this week's Friday Favourites that we'd watched Big Fat Quiz of 2017 which was ace and I had a day of wrapping where I watched all kinds of festive treats like world's most expensive present. We've dipped our toes into the comedy specials like Live at the Apollo and Would I Lie to You but we've barely made a dent so I suspect we'll be watching festive themed things till about mid February at this rate. Joss is away the whole of the second week of January so I am actually quite looking forward to catching up with all the reality shit I watch when he's not around and I'm going to have a big Grand Tour marathon with my Dad. That being said we've also just bought the latest season boxsets of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones so maybe we'll never watch TV again who knows.
What I Worked On;
Not a hell of a lot. December and Christmas is always the time when my season finishes up and January is normally a dead month. The first fortnight of the month is often frantically packing up Etsy orders and cards ready to send out and then it just hits a wall about the 14th and dies off, not to be seen again until Valentine's. Everyone is last minute ordering their cards and then normally everyone is done and I can shut up shop. I actually quite like this time of year because I myself am busy preparing for Christmas and it gives me time to work on the admin side of my business more, so I did things like my tax spreadsheets and filing and other joyful activities. I do however have a stash of thank you cards on my Etsy so if you're feeling grateful for what you received last Monday it might be the place to be....
What I Journaled;
Don't you worry your pretty little heads - there's a January look through of my new bullet journal coming your way soon I promise. I actually had 2 new Leuchtturm's for Christmas this year, one in Berry one in Yellow as 2017 proved I can only go half a year before filling one. I am starting off in my yellow one cos I think it'll be nice and bright to take me into Spring and I am currently working through all the layouts and spreads. In December though I came very close to finishing my journal, leaving only a handful of pages I didn't fill which I plan to add photos of the year to. As well as my normal weekly and monthly spreads I actually added a lot to this journal, which is unsurprising when you consider the amount of planning that goes into the big day. I created both a December and January blog schedule at the beginning of the month as I wanted to fit in my Christmas blog series as well as some normal content but soon found it looking like I'd be blogging every day. Instead I transferred some of my content to January so if you're worried (lol) at the lack of NEW YEAR NEW ME content on here, it's coming to ya next week.
I used four yes FOUR double page spreads to plan my Christmas shopping as Joss and I buy for a mere THIRTY people between us. I created a spreadsheet in my journal with the recipients name, present ideas, budget, actual spend, notes (eg. collection dates for things I'd ordered to store) and then a tracker for bought, wrapped and sent. I then created another spread for our shopping day in Cardiff where I wrote down all the individual gifts and which shop they were in so I knew when I went to say John Lewis, exactly what I had to pick up. I included some blog bits in this months journal like a tracker of how far along my Christmas series I was and also bits for my Bumper Friday Favs. There was also a Christmas card tracker which included tick boxes for when the card was bought, who it was for, when it was written, whether I'd bought stamps and when it was posted and I added page for wrapping too, to make sure I hadn't forgotten anyone! I didn't travel this month so there were no packing lists which are normally a feature of my journal but instead I wrote down directions for Joss' auntie's house in Birmingham, which he promptly didn't use and I did it on memory instead.
Toward the end of the month, in the last week or so I have also been adding spreads that will see me into my new journal. I created a January 2018 calendar (and accidentally wrote 2017 on it) so I could visualise the month ahead and start adding in plans and events that we'd committed to. I created a big old list for Christmas Day as I was travelling back and forth mine and my parents houses and had a lot to ferry about - luckily my handy bujo meant I didn't forget anything! I trawled Pinterest on Christmas afternoon for bullet journal spread ideas and created a dream list of things I want to track and pages I want to include and that also helped me inform my layouts for the new journal. I took a few pages to work out my goals and resolutions for 2018 too. I revisited my blog posts on my 2017 NYE resolutions and how I'd failed most of them and I set myself new goals, some with number so they felt more like a solid plan and some just aims that felt like I was working toward something. I also ticked off what I'd done on my 2017 bucket list and created a 2018 one which I'll no doubt be sharing on the blog in the coming weeks. In the last few days I've added a thank you cards tracker for me, Joss, my brother and my niece where I wrote down who'd gifted us what as soon as we opened the presents so there's no confusion when it comes to putting pen to paper and I started a master to do list for January which will be migrated to my new journal now I have it. Other than that it's just been shopping lists and meal planning lists for the party we hosted yesterday and the start of a list of things I have to organise before Joss goes away.... A lot has been journaled in December it would seem!
What I Blogged;
December was a bit of a change on my blog again after I'd said I was cutting down on content. I made that decision knowing full well December wouldn't fall into that category because I'd already planned, and already started working on, my 12 Days of Christmas series which was 13 consecutive posts. I had a busy end to November which saw me fall behind a little on my regular series which pushed them back into early December which in turn pushed back my festive content like my DIYs and decorating and hey whadda ya know I'd blogged 8 consecutive days before I even got to my blog series. I wouldn't say I have a particular favourite blog post this month as it's all been fairly Christmassy but what I would say I'm proud of is how far my photography has come since I had my new camera and invested in a lens for it. I still have a million things to learn on how to use it and what it can do but I feel like I've come on leaps and bounds in the last month or so and I'm excited to see what else I produce in 2018.
What I Bought;
Mainly Christmas presents and food! Needless to say most of our cash went on presents this month as we didn't start properly till the second week of December and I barely bought myself anything at all. Joss and surprises don't mix so I tend to choose myself a few things he can buy me for Christmas so that satisfied my need to buy all the chunky knit cardis and I had 2 pairs of boots for Christmas too. I've socialised a lot this month which has meant my fair share of meals, party food and cups of teas or a drink out but my bank balance has stayed reasonably happy.....until I bought a phone. My iPhone 6 is on it's way out and I'm not on a contract so the fear of it dying before I can back it up or sell it is real so I caved and invested in a new phone which will be with me next week. I can't bring myself to go back on contract when my sim is only £7.50 a month but I don't have a lot of cash so an iPhone was out of the question and so was anything relatively new and thus this is why a Samsung Galaxy S6 will be mine in a few days. Still not sure how I feel about it.
And lo and behold we've come to the end of the post once again and omfg it's so satisfying to say it's also the last day of the year. So all that's left is for me to wish you, yes you, the happiest of starts to 2018 - may it be everything you hope and more. And if it's not and Trump blows up the world then heck it's sure been nice to have you here anyway. Happy NYE!