Challenge Update – December 2017
I can’t believe that it’s time for my first challenge update, December 2017!
Well, it’s pretty fair to say that has been a busy month! It’s all a bit manic this time of year, isn’t it? Trying to balance home, kids, work, Christmas preparations.. That’s before you’ve managed to find the time to actually have some Christmas fun yourself! With that in mind, I have to be honest there has really been very little progress on the challenge front! Other than trying to get out of my pyjamas before it gets dark… (I can’t tell you how challenging I find that some days working from home!)
So here we go! A little update for December 2018!
Fit by 40
Hmm as you can imagine not a great deal going on with this one! I’m trying to be reasonably restrained over the Christmas period. So that I’m not starting from an even more challenging position! But, if you’ve seen my Instagram you’ll know that the gin and prosecco are taking their toll!! I’ve also had quite a nasty virus, that really wiped me out at the beginning of the month, until my lovely doctor sorted me out! So I haven’t really felt like doing much.
I’ve managed to get out a bit with the dog, and I’ve been trying to make sure I eat proper meals, but to be honest, all I’ve really done is start to think about putting plans in place for getting started with this challenge in the New Year. It’s such a big challenge for me, it’s the one that I know I’m going to really struggle with, so I definitely need a plan.. More of that later!
Empty Nest Survivor
This month Empty Nest Survivor has all been about getting this blog up and running. Challenge Clare really is my little project to get myself focused and developing new interests so that I’m not left totally in despair at my empty nest! Challenge Clare launched on the 27th November and has been going a month! I’m not going to lie, I am so excited by it! I’ve even managed to have a guest post! Thanks to the lovely Lynsey, Queen of Clean!
So far I have joined quite a few blogger groups online, started to make some connections with other bloggers which has been really encouraging. I also went along to Cotswold Bloggers and Influencers Christmas Social, which was just fab! We met at The Stable in Cheltenham for some lovely pizzas and cider! I got to meet some other bloggers, and just chatting with them really started to make this whole madcapped idea of mine more real and even better, possible!
Myself and Mr Challenge have also made some plans for fun-times in the New Year to make the most of our child free status! Tickets to see John Bishop and Mark Thomas in Bristol have been booked, so that will mean a night stopover and cocktails! There are tentative plans for a European train trip in February, and a trip on the sleeper to Dundee/Aberdeen.
We’ve also just bought a Berlingo to replace my poor abused Punto, I wasn’t convinced, until I found out you can buy a pod to go into the boot and turn it into a camper! There are quite a few options available but my favourite at the moment is the campal, it looks brilliant, a convertible bed, mini cooker and washing up facilities! What more could you want?! So, now I’ve started planning road trips in my head, much to the dismay of Mr Challenge!! He wants us to use it to transport apples for our cider making!
World by Train
So I ordered my European rail map and guide book for 2018, does that count?! We’ve started to think about our summer trip, which we’re hoping will take us to Italy via Germany and Eastern Europe. Not quite sure yet. We might just follow one of the itinerarys from the guide book, but we do quite like making it up as we go along… Watch this space
Mortgage Free by 50
Again, a bit like fit by 40, mortgage free by 50 is a long term project that I’m just starting to think about. The first stage of that project comes in September when our current mortgage deal comes to an end. We have just started to look around for a new deal. I have been using comparison sites like compare the market to start getting an idea of rates and costs available at the moment. Just so that we have a rough idea of what we might be able to get, when the time comes. A big priority for us is trying to work out if we can reduce the term of our mortgage. When we do remortgage we will have 23 years left, and we would love to be able to reduce the term by 5 years.
So, in the New Year we’re going to start formulating a plan to see how we can make that happen. Money making and money saving ideas are going to become really important. I’m planning on setting myself a target and then look at planning how I can achieve that.
So, does following lots of people who have lovely homes on Instagram and Pinterest count?!! Collecting Ideas? No?! Ah well! In all seriousness, I have started following lots of people’s home improvement journey’s on Instagram and it is so inspiring! But then I end up with so many ideas in my head that I don’t know where to start!
So this month we’ve gone with practicality.. The shower in the Jack and Jill bathroom died.. With our tribe and a full house for Christmas we had to crack on and replace it.. Which is a bit of a nightmare, because that bathroom was on our list ‘to do’ in the new year, but we literally just had to replace the shower like for like so, it wasn’t too bad.
Now, I need to get myself together and plan out the priorities for jobs in the New Year!