Here we are at the end of March…well almost… and time for the monthly check-in.
The month began how February finished – with a lot of rain, although nothing like the February totals. In many other ways, it’s been a busy month and once the rain stopped I’ve been loving the colour in the morning skies.
Anyways, we’re not here to talk about sunrises – WOTY is all about keeping the focus on, well, the word of the year:
You might recall that the resolutions I set myself were:
- Move daily
- Do something fun once a week –something that doesn’t involve work.
- Send out an author newsletter each month.
- Book our UK trip and take the entire month of October off work.
These were all intended to help put me first – my health, my wellbeing, my writing career.
So, how did I go? I’m glad you asked.
In addition to the above, during March, I set myself the following mini targets each week:
- 10,000 steps a day x 5
- Strength sessions x 3
- Yoga/Flexibility x 1
- Swim x 1
- Alcohol free days (AFDs) x 2
Other than the week we were in Sydney (more about that shortly), I ticked most of the boxes I needed to tick. I haven’t, however, been swimming. For the first half of the month the weather was, quite frankly, crap, raining heavily on the days I was due to swim. While I quite enjoy swimming in the rain (it’s an outdoor pool) I don’t swim in the pouring rain or when thunderstorms are forecast.
Anyways, on those days I simply reverted to my Plan B’s so all is well.
I’ve also finished the month a couple of kilos lighter than when I began it. The single biggest change I’ve made this month is going back to planning weekly menus – and sticking to them. I’m also experimenting with time-restricted eating (TRE) – sort of a 16:8 thing. I’m still only a couple of weeks in, but I think it could suit me. My tummy is definitely feeling better.
I’ve written absolutely nothing new this month. I did, however, complete the copy edit on Philly Barker Investigates and sent it out to my beta readers. I have the structural edit to work through for It’s In the Stars and am on track to have that back to my editor in a couple of weeks.
I’m so happy with Philly Barker and, largely because I don’t yet have a cover for her, have bitten the bullet and have sent out pitches to agents and a couple of publishers. I figure I’ll give it three months and if I hear nothing, I’ll go it alone with Philly and future books in the series. After all, I’ve already published eight books independently – it’s not that I have an issue with that, it’s distribution and marketing I’m completely crap at.
On the blog there’s been:
- Something about a French cooking class
- 55 somethings about me
- Something about what I’ve been reading and the wrap-up of our book club’s journey through Bronteland
- My recipe for fruit scones (which also appeared in this month’s author newsletter)
- And my recipe for Yorkshire Puddings and Yorkshire Pudding Apple Crumble
Wellbeing and looking forward
So, I’ve tripped up a tad on the whole not working on my days off thing… let’s not talk about that.
In other news, I have a few days booked in Queenstown at the end of June, and a weekend in the Tweed Valley for the May long weekend to look forward to. Plus everything is now booked and in place (including a house-sitter for Kali) for our trip to the UK in October.
We travelled down to Sydney early in March to attend the wedding of a close family friend. It was also a great opportunity for everyone to (finally) get together to (belatedly) celebrate Mum’s 80th birthday at my sister’s place.
The pic below is one I posted on Instagram of me with my parents and siblings. I’m teh short one with the scarf.
Then on Monday it was off to the wedding.
Sydney has had a wet March, with about a quarter of that rain falling on the day of the wedding and the day after the wedding. While got wet walking from our hotel to the train station, thankfully it had stopped raining as we walked along Circular Quay to grab some lunch at the Opera Bar before the ceremony.
It was even still dry as we walked through the Botanical Gardens to where the ceremony was being held – although the gardens themselves were certainly wet.
It remained clear for the ceremony and for the bridal party to have their photos done, and for those of us who decided to risk it and spend the couple of hours before the reception back at the Opera Bar.
The heavens waited until we were walking back through the gardens to the reception venue before opening up. And open up they did. We got completely drenched. I gave up, took my shoes off, hitched my (long) dress up into the side of my knickers and splashed through the puddles.
Wet clothes aside, the wedding was, however, beautiful. There’s something so (and I’m going to use the word again) beautiful about a couple who have both seen how things can go wrong, still having more than enough hope, faith, and optimism in their love to take the leap and make the vows. As I said, beautiful.
It was a very private wedding so I didn’t share any pics on my socials, but I can show you the reception and some of the fabulous Luke Nguyen created food.
We regrouped the next day in the rain for an lovely afternoon tea at my friend’s home with the happy couple and other friends and family. I’ll say it again – beautiful.
While in Sydney we also caught up with other friends – although sadly due to rain my planned dumpling fest with Sammie had to be rain-checked (no pun intended).
I ate dumplings with Grant and Sarah instead.
We were home in time for my birthday and after a 1100km drive I was very happy indeed to spend it relatively quietly. We had brekky out,
and went to dinner at a seafood restaurant in Mooloolaba I’d been wanting to try since we first moved up here 5 years ago. The food was as good as I’d hoped with the ceviche starter (below) with lime sorbet possibly the best plate of food I’ve eaten (so far) this year.
In between Kali and I spent the day lolling about bingeing on The Sister Boniface Mysteries (on Britbox).
This is me
I really dislike photos of myself so had intended on confronting that and posting a selfie each month. About that… Anyways, here I am – with Sarah (who also doesn’t like getting her photo taken). (I’m the one holding the phone…)
On the last Friday of each month (Southern Hemisphere), the co-hosts of What’s On Your Bookshelf hold a link up for readers to share their reflections and actions inspired by their Words of the Year (or goals/intentions for 2022). Sue, Deb, Donna and, of course, myself are looking forward to you joining us and sharing how you have focused on your WOTY during the previous month. The linky is below.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
What a lovely post Jo! Your photography is beautiful and you certainly managed to stay on track with your WOTY ‘ME’. I’m so pleased you could celebrate your Mum’s 80th albeit a little later than planned. Great work on your health and wellness achievement for the month. So many positives in your post so thanks for brightening my day and for being a super co-host for WOTY. You’ve inspired me to book a couple of get-aways. xx
What a time…and of course, the wettest time for a wedding and back & forthing to the Botanic Gardens. How lovely it was to see that you finally got to celebrate Mum’s 80th in person. I am glad you have booked some breaks. Well-done. Thank you for link up too. Denyse.
Hi, Jo – I can officially attest that your Yorkshire Pudding Apple Crumble is amazing! And that selfie of you and Sarah — totally brilliant!
Congratulations on all that you have achieved on your WOTY goals. That is truly impressive!
Hi Jo, this was such a fun post to read, full of lovely bits of YOU. I smiled at your words throughout and your photos are spectacular as always.Upcoming getaways sound like fun and we too have now booked and all is organised for our trip to UK to see my daughter and granddaughter, we’re all so excited! You are doing great with your health challenge and your books! Another great month for you.
Hi Jo thanks you for sharing an insight into your life. I love all your photos on this post, particularly the flower shots. I think I will treat myself to a bouquet for the weekend, I am also suddenly craving custard and crumble!
Sounds like March has been very kind to you Jo. This was a lovely read. Great to see you have travels planned. Isn’t it great to see life getting back to some kind of normal, well almost normal. Your photos are really lovely, especially those afternoon tea photos. I do love an afternoon tea. Really great post Jo.
I totally laughed out loud over that last photo! It looks like a delicious month and the wedding sounded lovely; aside from the pouring rain. We had pouring rain the day of our wedding too but it held off for us until after photos so I was thankful. Great job on keeping up the exercise routine. I’m just logging my steps each day this month to see if I can figure out any sort of pattern and then I hope to set goals for myself– 5 days a week sounds like a good one.
Oh my, that Yorkshire Pudding Apple Crumble looks wonderful! I laughed at your final “selfie” (I feel the same way about my selfies) but that picture of you with your family is lovely.
Love this look into your life… and it makes me wish I had your eye for photography. We also went to a lovely wedding this month and nope, not a single picture was taken by me. And although our wedding food was good, your’s looks divine!
Jo, Congrats on all your achievements on your WOTY goals. So glad you got to celebrate your Mom’s birthday with your family. The birthday cake and food photos look so good. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.
Sounds like a great month and well done on your goals.
I love how you punctuate your post with pictures. Thanks for sharing.
Jo…your new book sounds great by the title. I like her name. Gorgeous photos of your trip to Sydney. Your food photos always make me drool, and I seriously need to get out more! Have a great week.
Thanks Kirstin. You have a fabulous week too.
It sounds like a good month for you! Except for the weather, that is. How lovely that you were able to have that 80th birthday party! Such things aren’t obvious anymore, that’s for sure.
You really can’t take anything for granted anymore. Hope all is well with you.
Hi Jo – wonderful post to catch up on what you’ve been up to. I caught some of it on Insta but not all. Love your photos too btw. So nice you got to spend time with your family for your Mum’s 80th and also the family wedding which I must say looks beautiful! Love the venue and the table settings etc – looks fabulous! Shame you didn’t get to catch up with Sammie while in Sydney especially since she’s heading back to the UK soon (not sure exactly when tho). The weather has been terrible hasn’t it and more of it today! Ugh! Take care and hope you have a great week.
I’m hopeful of getting back to Sydney before Sammie leaves… otherwise I might have to have those dumplings with her in the UK.
What a wonderful month of birthday celebrations and a wedding – something we could only dream about a year or so ago. It all looks lovely and happy and that life is good (hope things on the work front are looking up too). Loved your selfie at the end – all I could see were the dogs until I paged down!
I reckon I captured my best side in that selfie lol.
What a beautiful morning sky!
P.S. – I’m hungry now after seeing all of that delicious food 😀
The skies have been well worth getting up early for. Thanks for dropping by.
I love Botanic House! It’s one of my favs!! And next time you’re in Sydney I’d love to crash your meet up! As for the more fun, I’m trying to focus on that. Lockdown really sucked the life out of me (though better than COVID doing that) so I am working hard on having a good time! Need to work more on the moving but the weather is not helping me at all! #LifeStories
You’re on! (re crashing the meet-up…!)
A busy month or two. Lovely pictures as usual and I love the table settings – I really need to buy more flowers now I’m working again. They cheer me up no end.
I used to do ‘outfit of the day’ pics a few years ago and mostly shared what I was wearing to work. I started doing it after I read about someone posting similar pics in an attempt to become accustomed to ‘seeing’ themself. I tend to look at photos – particularly of my body – and am horrified. I notice all sorts of things but realise others don’t see the same flaws I do. I’m not sure I ever got used to seeing those pics and often felt obliged to include self-deprecating comments lest anyone thought I thought I looked good, but….
I always thought you looked good in those pics. I just look dumpy and frumpy. Ugh.
Nope nope nope. Don’t say that.
Thank you so much for linking your blog post up for Life’s Stories my “now” fortnightly blogging link up at Denyse Whelan Blogs.
I appreciate your support and continuing blogging connections and friendships.
I will be back with the next #LifesStories link up on Monday 11 April 2022.
It sounds like a lovely month of “ME” for you, Jo. And you captured it beautifully.
Thanks Christie. I hope you have a lovely April.
The wedding sounds well.. beautiful, in spite of the rain and the tea table looks like a scene from one of your books! Celebrations with family, friends, and food are always a good idea. Looks like progress on all fronts in regard to your WOTY. Take care.
Thanks Suzanne…and you too…
Oh wow that wedding looked amazing! I was so disappointed that I didn’t get to see you but hope we’ll fit in dumplings before I depart! Very excited about your UK trip – will I be lucky enough to see you in both hemispheres this year?! So pleased you got to spend such a special time with your family and friends.
I was so disappointed too… who knows, we could get the double hemisphere thing…although with scones rather than dumplings!
You had quite a whirlwind of parties in March. Such beautiful settings. I would never lose a pound with all that luscious food. One drink or something sweet and I’m up 1.5 pounds or .68 kilos. Great WOTY post. I’ll post mine tomorrow, which will be too late for the link party but I’ll include a link to this post
It really was a whirlwind of a month – and I hear you about the kilos. I swear I only need to be in the vicinity of calories for them to attach to my belly.
LOL, I’m lauaghing in agreement with that.
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