I’m starting work on a new website start-up.

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about this until the election. I conceived this idea back when I was building indie party people, because that’s what I do; new business ideas spawn even more business ideas when I’m in a creative place. Unlike some of my other ideas, this one has remained in my mind for almost two years. Sometimes I’m actively thinking about it, other times it sits in the background, remaining a good idea to be thought about another day. Some of my business ideas start as a burst of energy and fizzle into the worst idea ever. This one began and has remained, always a perfectly practical good idea.

I’m going to build a social network centered around childcare professionals and parents finding each other. It will not be extortionate.

It will be exactly what people actually want and need when they have a space to fill or need childcare. Simple.

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I’m starting asap because the results of the election mean that universal credit plans will go ahead as intended. Maybe even harsher. They will be rolled out in my area at some point between September and February, at which point we will be sanctioned because doing a PhD is not good enough for them. We receive working tax credits only but at that point we will receive nothing. The dream of an academic job and homeschooling our children could be dead in the eleventh hour.

My husband’s PhD will be submitted by then, but there are viva’s, corrections and finding a job will be an uphill battle.

This site needs to happen now and ideally I need to be able to split my energy solely between it and childcare so that the PhD will be finished faster and we might be able to skip the stress of running against the clock in September. However that seems unlikely so we will continue to plug along and get on with life until things change.

I will try to blog through the trials of a getting a start-up going while also caring for children. There will be blood, sweat and tears, I promise!

If you want to sign up for my email list so that I can let you know when it’s ready, go here.

 

 

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Enter Epic Thread Love!

Meet my new website Epic Thread Love where I share all my favorite clothing, accessories and maybe a few home accessories here and there too. This is what I’ve been working on instead of blogging for the past two weeks, in between chilling out and watching a bit of TV!

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Quilted Biker Coat

 

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Bold Floral Skater Dress

 

 

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Sun Moon and Stars Dress

I hope you like it and please follow me my page on Facebook too so you can get updates of what I’m sharing!

I’m going dark

It’s time to accept that my ambitious optimism is actually unrealistic expectations this time.

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As I’ve said before, this blog was intended to preface some self employment opportunity. I’ve been working toward some things to that end, the internet marketing diploma I just did and the website I’ve started, as well as the t-shirts I tried to get sold and the few bits of clothing I tried to get orders for. What I’ve found is that it’s going to take a lot more time and energy than I have at the moment.

I’ve barely been able to keep up with this blog, which I love having as an outlet, never mind get properly started on anything else along with it. Also, even though I’ve not really accomplished all that much I’m totally exhausted. I never really relax. Every evening I’m here blogging or doing social media, or doing course work (which is done for now thankfully) or staring at my computer screen feeling guilty that I’m too brain dead to be productive. Sometimes, I spend time with family or friends, but very rarely do I have a night to just veg out in front of the TV and do nothing. When I do, I feel guilty because I’m always behind on what I want done. Once every few weeks I pass out at 7:00 putting my daughter to bed and stay there until 6:00 in the morning.

I’m taking a break. I want to watch the fourth season of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and maybe something else after that. I’m going to pare down blog posts to a couple a month, and they will be more documentary than commentary. I’ll try to stay up to date on Facebook and maybe will be more communicative there than I have been in the past, kind of like micro-blogging. I’ll try to keep up with Twitter a bit if I can too. I have this clothing website I’m working on which I was really excited about so I’ll get that finished and launched and see how much time it takes to keep it up to date before deciding what to do with it. I’m hoping it will take no more than one evening a week or so.

We’ll see how I feel in a month, or three, or maybe more. So maybe I’m not really going dark, just a bit shadowy. Hope you all understand.

Where is this blog going anyway?

I’ve had a week or so off from blogging due to being stretched too thin, tired, having house guests and a cold. I’ve spent some time trying to clean up a long post on some thoughts on me and my life with regards to feminism, but I’m trying not to be whingy and it’s not working out very well. I don’t want this blog to be about me complaining all the time. I do have opinions and complaints about a lot of things, but for the most part I’m an optimistic person. I want to be uplifting and full of light, not all dark and moody.

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Missy Vintage posted my guest post for her blog today, about my love for 70’s fashion. As I reflected on my writing in someone else’s very cool, successful, purposeful blog, I pondered what’s going on with my own. What is the point and where is it going? I know the answer to the first question, but not the second. I’m not a fortune teller and you’d have to be one to know where my whim is going to take me next! The truth is I have lots of ideas about where to take this blog and it depends on my mood, my tiredness, the time of day, week, month, what I think at any given moment.

I like to have this blog as a creative outlet because I’ve always wanted to write. I used to write journals and stories and those types of things but this stretches me to write a little bit better because people are going to see it. I have a long way to go, and one of the things I’m looking at doing is writing courses (as in, taking courses to help me write better, not creating courses), but the one thing that experts say is just keep writing as much as possible. It’s hard going when the only chance to write is at the end of a long day, but I try.

I started this blog with the intention of documenting the creation of some kind of micro business. It was either the ground breaking clothes buying platform (not micro), or the t-shirts that would open into an entire line of clothing. I’ve found rather quickly that it will take a lot of writing to get enough followers who might also be interested in my t-shirts. Like, years. That’s ok though, I can shelve that and look at it again in a while. I have so many more ideas about how to spend my time anyway!

I’m building a new website where I can share all my favorite clothing, so virtual shopping will feature here a lot less once it goes live. I also have an idea for another one, but hey one thing at a time right? Anyway, here are the different directions I may take this blog as time progresses:

More recipes: I do keep intending to post some of my favorite recipes more often in here. I have so many healthy and not-so-healthy favourites!

More feminism: Sometimes I just want to keep on about feminism and how it can do better. I think it’s been hijacked and perverted in places, but I still agree with the majority feminist opinion that it’s just about making women and men equal.

Kids and homeschooling: I’m not sure how much writing I want to do about this, but I can’t promise it won’t sneak its way in as the years progress. My oldest turns four in March and should officially be in school the following autumn, but there’s no damn way I’m sending her there. I’m a rebel that way.

MOOC’s: Massive Open Online Courses; these are free university courses! I love education and thought about blogging my way through a few, or more than a few. Maybe I can put together my own undergrad degree. I mean, only I would recognise it, but who cares?  Those are the only rules I live by anyway.

Digital marketing education: I’m about to finish my second diploma course by Shaw Academy, in Online Marketing this time, and I really quite like it. I’ve ordered the text book the Chartered Institute of Marketing use in their industry leading Digital Marketing Diploma and thought I’d self study it for a while, along with a course I found on SEO and a couple of MOOC’s on the subject.

I’m not sure I can mash all this stuff together into one blog, but maybe I can? Why not? I’m not a laser focused kinda person, why would I have a laser focused kinda blog right?

My diet break

Can I just take a minute to celebrate that I have now broken some sort of mental set point I had going on for something like five years! I could never get under this number and somehow, while I wasn’t really paying attention I just broke it! Woot!

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Image source

That happened of course before my diet break. I just finished my first diet break this weekend and I’m sure I’m a bit higher again. I’m not worried in the least though because it will be just water which will be lost again before the end of the week along with a bit more fat. I found last year that the best pattern for me is two and a half weeks “on” and then four days “off”. This was the most measured and reasonable break I’ve ever had though. I put that down to the relative lack of sugar in my diet right now.

I started “dieting” on 14 July, counting calories to under 2000, but usually under 1800. I had already cut out most sugar from my diet so what I was focusing on is eating enough veg and controlling the high calorie foods. I tend to have greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast, unless I’m really hungry and craving carbs then I have porridge. Lunch is quite varied but I try to go for veg heavy soups or salads. I had falafel, hummous and salad in a whole wheat roll a couple days in a row which was so good. I’ll have to remember to do that again this week. I lost about two and a half pounds so that’s quite a good result. By the time diet break rolled around I felt so in control and not at all in need of it, but I know from experience it’s best to do it anyway, have a few indulgences and get back on the wagon.

Normally I have all sorts of sweets, snacks and cakes on my diet break and end up feeling sick by the second day. This time I didn’t have much interest in filling up with sugary things. I had some nice food that doesn’t fit well into a diet, I relaxed about having two glasses of wine in an evening and I enjoyed a bit of ice cream too.

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This is not my photo. Image source

Thursday: I decided to eat as normal until dinner which was to be home made pizza. I love this pizza and will have to blog about it someday! I had roasted red peppers, portabello mushrooms, and pepperoni on my half. It was looovely! I also had some wine which of course was also lovely!

Friday: Breakfast was cinnamon raisin toast with butter! Lunch has been forgotten about! Dinner was steak and spicy chips! More wine! Yum!

Saturday: Breakfast was more cinnamon raisin toast, brunch was bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches (2!), dinner was chicken parm with spaghetti. We had wine too and late in the evening before bed we dug out the ice cream out of the back of the freezer. It was a bit old but hey, scrape off the edges and yum yum!

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 This is my photo

Sunday: Breakfast was regular whole wheat toast with peanut butter, lunch was a picnic with the kids at the Dino park, roast beef and cheese sandwich, pom bears, some raw pepper sticks. Dinner was mac & cheese with bacon and roasted chicken stirred through. We were going to have margaritas to send off the diet break but my littlest one decided she wasn’t tired and gave me a hard time so I ended up in bed by 8:30! Boo!

Today I’m back on the wagon and not feeling too bad about it. I think I’ll be right back into the swing within two or three days. I’ll let you know if not though.

Have you ever dieted this way? I find that most people think it’s silly to “take a break” but people who do it have better results because you’re not faced with months of deprivation!

Half way to my nutrition diploma!

I am now half way through my diploma course in Nutrition, which is awesome. I happened to see a Groupon for this course with Shaw Academy and jumped at the chance for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve been self-studying this stuff for years and I kind of want to prove that I know what I’m talking about. Two, I have for a long time wanted to help people in their weight loss efforts. I’ve had a hard time myself so I totally understand the epic struggle it can be but I see people making so many mistakes and never really feel like it’s up to me to tell them. I still won’t interject where my opinion is unwanted, but I will be able to tell people that I can help; I’m not just another girl with an opinion based on an article I read in a magazine.

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Image  credit

So far, not much has surprised me in this course, except for just how bad for you alcohol is. But that must be very large amounts right? Right. As I said I’m half way through and it’s no big deal because it’s mostly all just a memory refresh. I will revise for the exam at the end, just to make sure I pass as well as possible, but I’m not at all worried or nervous about it. I’ve definitely had a good refresh though and I thought I’d go through where I see I can make improvements in my diet. You may have similar issues.

  1. I could eat more fish. I’ve known this for years. The guidelines state that you should have fish twice a week and one of those should be oily fish for it’s heart protective effects. Ick. Trout, mackerel sardines, and salmon are all examples of shit I don’t want to eat. I’ve been taking fish oil pills for years for this reason.
  2. Eat more fibre. I used to track this but haven’t for years now. I don’t think I do too badly really but I should remember to choose my black bean stews and lentil soups more often. I love these but extra cooking is such a chore at the moment with the two little ones.
  3. Increase my iron intake. I’m pretty sure that I’m iron deficient most of the time. I should go out and grab a supplement to take daily. Maybe I’ll stop craving beef all time.
  4. Water. I’m quite good at drinking enough water when I’m at my desk at work but at home chasing kids around I just forget. This is not an excuse; it’s so so important to get enough water, for everything from feeling fuller longer to higher energy levels. Oh yeah and proper body functioning too.
  5. Fruit and veg. I’m pretty good about eating my 5 a day actually but there is always room for improvement on this one, unless you are literally a rabbit
  6. Sugar. I’ve gotten into a bad habit recently putting sugar in my coffee in the morning. It’s so hard to get away from because it’s so much tastier! Besides that I’ve been mega good about avoiding unnecessary sweet treats like brownies, cakes and sweets.

All these are in addition to the very obvious things like I eat too much processed ready meals, probably too many processed carbs, and rely on the fryer too much. This is all for convenience sake, and will change once both my kids are out of the toddler and preschool phases and everyday is less like an assault course.  The current daily priority is just getting through the day!

What kind of changes do you think you should make to your diet?

 

Life’s been hard

For weeks now, if not months, I’ve been planning to open a web shop. Partly I’d like it to help support my t-shirt design plans, but also I never wanted to stick with t-shirts anyway. True to form, I don’t dream small, I want to try everything! I’ve been planning this shop, in which I want to have quirky and sometimes trendy items of women’s clothing, I’ve been sourcing suppliers and trying to figure out how to create the website, and all the other plans that go along with putting a web shop business together. There’s a lot to think about.

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I love this stuff though, if I could make a living just helping people with their start up plans I would be a happy lady I think. However I am not a happy lady all the time because I have no time to do this and I find it such a constant stress. I work in an office 24 hours a week, come home to two small girls who need a mum, there’s at least a bare minimum of housework that needs doing of course, a husband and don’t forget my own mental health because sometimes its crying out for a break too. My 15 month old has been terrible about going to bed the past few weeks, she takes from one to two and a half hours and believe me that takes its toll on a persons resilience. It’s hard to come downstairs after that epic ready for a new challenge. Usually I feel down, depressed and exhausted. Last night I realised that quite clearly this is not the time to start an online shop that’s open 24/7.  I’m not sure I could keep up if it went well and I am really quite passionate about customer service. I used to be a restaurant server back home (as well as a restaurant owner for a short time) and my pay depended on good service so its practically in my blood now.

HOWEVER, I now have this stuff I’ve found that I want to share with you so what am I supposed to do?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do; I’m going to make it available anyway, just not in the way that a shop would. Between now and next Monday, 7 July, if I get enough people to order 15 pieces of the following items (any combination) I’ll get them out to you. If we don’t get that many orders then nothing gets sold, so if you want something make sure you let me know and share this with other people who might want something.

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These three items above I have as I ordered them as a test and in all honesty I love them all. The skull shirt is a wide, oversized, comfy and soft t-shirt. The glitter panel leggings are nice and comfy as well; I’m between a 12 and 14 so ordered a large and I think I could have gotten away with a medium really. The leopard print trousers are like stretchy skinny jeans and I love them.

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Then we have the further selections which I don’t have:

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I don’t have these but I want to so thought some of you might too. If you’re interested see the next post and then my Facebook page to let me know what you want.

I have not been great about keeping up with the challenge, but I’ll get back to it asap and report back to you later.