My Month In Photos - October 2017.
Oh don't mind me over here just heavy breathing over the fact it's November tomorrow and where the eff has the year gone but also omg does that mean it's appropriate to start thinking about Christmas now.......
October shot by in a blaze of days out and not blogging and working damn hard and planning time away and being burnt out and house guests. I keep banging on about the fact I'm busy now every weekend until the new year but really I don't know if I've ever had a calendar so full.
October, whilst being hellish busy was fun. The past few days the weather has really turned and we're down to single figure degree temps and I am living for it. I've had the fire on twice in two nights, we've got the winter throw on the bed and I have driven in mittens a healthy three times this week.
What I am not living for so much is how dark it is because although I loooove a cosy night with fairy lights, getting up in the dark is fucking hard no? But weather aside (did I accidentally turn 45 not 25 this month?) - let's get onto the round up.
What I Did;
Oh lordy what a busy month. I basically haven't stopped and whilst I lead a pretty buys life most of the time, October has really taken it out of me. For those of you that don't know I'll mention it again; we live on my boyfriend's family farm from which my boyfriend and his Dad run a cider company and for those who don't know much about cider it's a v seasonal thing. This time of year they're both hideously busy picking, pressing and bottling next years stock which I don't get involved with but we also sell every weekend at the moment too, which I do help out with. Generally with farmers markets and christmas markets ramping up this side of the year we're at several events every weekend so Joss and I worked some local ones this month, with a LOT more to come in the next 8 weeks. It's also the busiest time for my own business (more to come on that further down this round up) so with weekends taken up with cider my business has become a more traditional 9-5 in the week. This month my brother and his fiancée got the keys to their new house so we've popped down there twice since they've been doing it up and we went to town after seeing them at the beginning of the month to get all our Halloween decorations. Every Sunday is family day with a roast at my Mum's house so we've been there every weekend and this weekend they also came to me for a Halloween hunt for my 2 year old niece - more on that to come in my next Friday Favourites post. We've had a lot of guests in our house this month too who've all stayed for several days and back to back so it's been full on but I enjoyed having my Mum over and being able to cook for her. I've also this month had my niece as normal (I'm her childcare a few times a week) and we've made the most of the good weather going to Pyle Garden centre, Cosmeston Lakes, Margam Park, Llanelli Wildfowl & Wetlands and Dyffryn Gardens. And if that wasn't enough I also had my 25th birthday mid month which I spent in West Wales with Joss, I did a million and one trips to the shops and the post office, I deep cleaned my house, I met up with friends and I visited my Nan. It's been a wild one.
What I Watched;
Oh hi I have 79 programmes on my recorded list on my TV and a further 35 on iPlayer how about you? The problem with me and TV is I don't have one taste; I want to watch everything. But the other problem is I'm too busy to dedicate 5 hours a night getting through it all so I just record everything and then am too busy to watch the recordings. Among the things I have yet to watch are entire Series' of Crystal Maze, Educating Greater Manchester, Real Housewives of Cheshire and Louis Theroux. I also have documentaries like Sue Perkin's going down the Ganges, Blue Planet ll and something on farming in Scotland sat pretty alongside Gunpowder, Gogglebox and QI. What I have managed to stay on top of though is GBBO (final tonight omg), The Last Leg, The Apprentice and Taskmaster - all of which I love. I am now v excited to settle down to Man Down, Josh and the Gogglebox special with Corbyn on it. Film wise we made a cracking total of one film this month, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas when we were carving pumpkins and baking Halloween treats on Saturday night.
What I Worked On;
Oh man it's been a busy month for my work. The run up to Christmas is always my most manic time and this month the jobs have really kicked up a notch in pace. I have finished the personalised children's book I have been working on since September 2016 and they're printed, in my hands and look great so that's a big job done and dusted. I also worked on a commissioned set of Christmas cards who order from me every year with a pun filled brief which I LOVE working on every year and they've also just come back from the printers and are ready to be sent to the States. I have just in the last week been commissioned to make a one off new baby card which is a welcome break from all the snowmen and holly I've been drawing and I am excited to get on with that this week. October also marks the end of the year for my regular design job working for a local society managing their website and social media so it was nice to have the confirmation they're going to employ me for another 12 months to continue to October 2018. It's been a big post week too with all my Christmas merchandise arriving which has now been listed on my Etsy!
What I Journaled;
This month, despite being busy hasn't drawn up anything overly new and exciting in my bullet journal. I've been filling in my sleep tracker religiously and it's shown me that on average I get 3 restful nights sleep a month - except in October when I haven't had a single one. I mentioned in last month's round up that I cut master to do lists from my bujo as they were taking up precious space I didn't have and I wasn't finding them so useful any more and that's something I've stuck to for October too, with most spreads being back to back weekly journals. I also think because I was SO busy a lot of the time I needed to update my bujo, with little time to do it in so I found myself making quick lists for the day on a post it or on the notes on my laptop rather than digging my journal out. In October I used my weekly spreads as normal, my blog calendar took a back seat when I decided to make a change to my content and my monthly introduction worked like clockwork with no change. I did create some new spreads of things I already have in my bujo that had been filled up like my Friday Favourites list page and my parcels tracker. There were some new additions to my journal this month like a list of things I'd like for my birthday and Christmas, a schedule for when I had guests and when that meant I needed to get the bedding and towels washed and dried and when I needed to make up the rooms (absolute god send of a page). Other than that it was v much business as usual but I anticipate November will be much more exciting with a few trips away and the start of my Christmas planning.....
What I Blogged;
On the 22nd of October I wrote a post about the changes I was making to twenty something meltdown for the rest of 2017 and have posted a mere three times since then. You can read the full post here but basically I decided I was generating too much content for my readers to engage with it properly so I am bringing my schedule down to 3 or 4 posts a week rather than 5,6 or even 7 which I have been doing for around 18 months now. I think with life being so busy and work being so busy this will free me up and get rid of the blog guilt, and make me more excited to create content and to promote old content I still think is good. That being said I have big plans for a Christmas series which will probably be near on every day of December so doesn't look like this is going to last very long. In terms of what I did post in October I got some solid pieces out that I was happy with and that you all seemed to enjoy - the most successful being my wishlist posts for homeware and my birthday which I got a lot of "omg need" comments to. My personal favourite posts this month were my list posts; 43 things you remember if you grew up in Wales and 84 things we all think in Autumn. I love writing these posts, I write them quickly without much thought and they always get a good share and I like to remain relatable (and funny hopefully).
What I Bought;
Uhh actually not a hell of a lot? It's that time of year when my spending habits are very predictable; I have a birthday mid October and Christmas in less than 2 months so I tend not to buy much for myself like clothes and shoes and receive them, or put them on my gift list for other people. What I do spend my money on in the next few months is presents, seasonal and experiences. Obviously there's Christmas coming up, it's November tomorrow and there's no point denying it and sure you might be all bah humbug but I personally love it and start early. And the biggest reason for starting early is that I am self employed and my income is NOT reliable so I have to split the cost as thinly as I can over a few months. I started on the Christmas shopping just after my birthday as I'm going to see my friend and my godson at the end of November and as our birthdays are 2 months apart and we have Christmas we're doing a massive celebration of gift giving so I want to get everything for them done and out of the way first. Obvs I went and got Halloween decorations and I have started on my annual Christmas dec haul (although Talking Tables v kindly sent me a LOT of goodies which made it a bit easier on the old bank). I also at this time of year spend money on experiences and memories as I try and get round every friend and family member before the year is out. Whilst we're not going on our annual pilgrimage back up to uni in North Wales I am in Manchester at the end of the month with Dorset before it and last night went made and booked my entire family tickets to see Wales play in the rugby. It's also that sexy time of the calendar when my MOT, tax and car insurance are due so yeah, not so much flashing of the cash on my end this October.
Happy Halloween you little witches you - now pass me the sweeties.