WOTY – April Check-in

Here we are at the end of April…well almost… and time for the monthly check-in.

April began where March ended – in Hervey Bay. In between there’s been sunshine and rain – both weather-wise and figuratively speaking. 

In many ways, the month has been good – because of public holidays (Easter, Anzac Day and Labour Day) we’ve had four short weeks in a row… gotta love that! On the downside, we don’t get another long weekend until October… sigh.

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about public holidays and long weekends – WOTY is all about keeping the focus on, well, the word of the year:

Me – author, baker, sunrise-chaser

You might recall that the resolutions I set myself were:

  1. Move daily 
  2. Do something fun once a week –something that doesn’t involve work.
  3. Send out an author newsletter each month.
  4. 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.


Okay, I’m going to cut straight to the chase and confess that if there was a wagon to fall off in April, I fell off it. To be honest, I didn’t just fall, I jumped with wild abandon.

While I didn’t stop moving and managed to hit my step, strength and cardio workout targets for the month. I did, however, undo most of the dietary gains I’d made the month before.

Alcohol-free weekday targets? Time-restricted eating? Minimise starchy carbs? Yeah…about that. I achieved some days, so the month wasn’t a complete write-off, but a massive meltdown in the middle of the month put me right off my game.

It was one of those meltdowns that I imagine we all have every so often – those ones that have their basis in absolutely nothing rational but generally end in a chuck-all-your-toys-out-of-the-cot-what-is-the-point-of-all-of-this-hard-work-anyway type of moment. And everything seemed like hard work – from the day job (which, come to think on it, usually is hard work) to my daily exercise sessions to meal planning to pretty much any other commitment I’d made during the month. I was even resenting my morning beach walks. So I did what I usually do when in those situations – sabotage myself.

Naturally it didn’t last – I don’t have the focus required to maintain either a good rage or a good grudge – but it certainly put me on the back foot for a bit, but I’m back to doing the Pollyanna thing again now and haven’t grumbled about the 4.30am alarm at all this week.

In any case I’m trying not to beat myself up too much – I might not have given 100% every day, but I did show up.

Fun stuff

We managed an outing most weekends. As tends to go with us, most were food-related:

An early morning long walk to brekky at Salt in Urangan while in Hervey Bay – how good is that view?

A new restaurant at the top of Buderim Village – Dee Den. So so pretty and the food is good, but I think they’re still working out what level of spice their market can bear as it was a tad toned down for us.

A new Vietnamese cheap eat in Buderim Village – excellent pho, great Vietnamese salads and spring rolls served the street food way – with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

Dinner and the first fire pit for the year with friends in the hinterland.

High tea in the hinterland on a grey, rainy day. (Keep an eye out for next week’s What’s On Your Plate for more about this.)


Another tick in the box for an April newsletter – that’s two in a row!

I also finished the structural edit on Alice Delaney’s story, It’s In the Stars. That will be off to my editor this afternoon after I finish my final read-through.

I think I’ve found a cover designer for Philly Barker Investigates – hopefully I’ll have an update on that next month.

Also for the first time, all my books are now available on all digital platforms, Borrowbox, and in print. If you’re after a paperback copy you can order through Amazon or your favourite online store. (Just how pretty do they all look?)


This month I baked cheese scones, vegemite and cheese scones, and a Turkish yoghurt cake

In book club, we’ve begun our journey into the novels of Jane Austen and this Dorset Apple Cake was the first bake inspired by Persuasion.

I made a couple of new soup recipes – the roasted spicy pumpkin in the pic with the scones, and a rather fancy pants onion consomme that was super healthy, super clear, but took hours of stock making and onion chopping and clarifying. It was, however, worth it. With some asparagus and snow peas, it made a posh starter.

I also tried a few new to me recipes for evening meals. One was this 15-minute spicy pork with instant noodles that I found on Instagram. The best pimping of instant noodles I’ve yet met and it didn’t use those nasty chemical sachets that come with the noodles.

Finally, I made this baked feta with olives as a starter with a difference one night when we had friends over.

Sunrise Chaser

We’re completing much of our walk in the dark these days, with the sun peeking out from under the covers until after we’ve done the walk and coffee thing and are heading home. There have, however, still been some cracking early mornings. Here are some of my faves.

Your turn…

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). SueDebDonna 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!

Click here to enter


Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

21 thoughts

  1. Wow what a month Jo! You sure packed a lot in, even including a meltdown in the middle!! You knocked this month’s post out of the park and achieved so much, I’m so happy for you to see that pile of books with your name on them. I’m off to check BorrowBox has them and will tell all my friends who use that service they can now borrow them! Here’s to a great month in May.

  2. Hi, Jo – Congratulations on having all of your books available on different platforms. The print copies look fabulous. I am not familar with Borrow Box but I will definitely check it out.
    You’ve had a very big month and managed to cram so much in. I agree that a complete meltdown is needed every once in a way to get it all out, reset and remind ourselves that we are human.
    And yes to all of your delicious treats featured in this post — plus a double helping of the baked feta with olives. Yum!!!!

  3. Congratulations on having all your books widely available! That’s an amazing achievement especially when you have a day job too! I’m so glad someone else had a meltdown down this month. I usually love April but it’s been a bit of a rocky month this year. Hey ho onwards to May!

  4. Fall down 7 times, get up 8. That’s been my mantra. Look at you and all you’ve accomplished, Jo! I’ve read one of your books (thanks to Donna) and enjoyed it very much. Now to seek out the rest!


  5. Hey Jo what a month you’ve had but I love your honesty. We all fall off the track and have meltdowns that is just part of life and it seemed April was like that for a few of us. However, I love your underlying commitment to your health and well being and I know that you will get back into it all. The venn diagram and showing up daily image are spot on. You are an inspiration Jo. You achieve so much with full time work, writing, baking, seeing daily sunrises and your weekend outings. You are certainly living your WOTY even if sometimes the track isn’t always a straight line. Take care lovely, and have a wonderful May xx

  6. Lovely and honest read Jo. Thank you. Meltdowns you say?? I am “not familiar” with these…(I lie)…I managed a small one yesterday and wondered ‘what the heck was that’….turns out no coffee nor food can trigger an already stressed person. Moi. You are to be congratulated on the books in ‘reality’ pile. Wow. You wrote them..such a gift. Well done. Denyse.

  7. Oh, the meltdowns. I know all about them. But the important thing is to get back on track and not beat ourselves up for falling off the wagon. Just accept it and move on. That attitude has helped me a lot!
    Your Showing up daily graphic is so spot on… and you have some lovely photos there from your walks (despite what I say about sunsets in my own WOTY post!).

  8. It’s like you were me this month! I also fell far off the food wagon and chastise myself in a huge way. I find it hard to pull myself out of gutter. It’s surreal how much this post feels like my life. Well except I have never actually written a book in reality just in my head! Your’s look so amazing in that stack! Congrats on all you did achieve this month. Bernie

    1. Thanks Bernie… I think we all have months like that. I try not to beat myself up for too long, but sometimes, well…

  9. Loved the venn diagram and daily achievement meme – very relatable! When you said the day job was always hard I thought about my new little job and the sensation of paddling like crazy to keep my nose slightly above the waterline and just waiting for a wave to sneak up and submerge me. I know it’ll get easier with time – but man! I’m wondering what I’ve done to myself!
    As far as exercise etc goes, when I see the amazing food you cook and the places where you eat, you must be doing something right to not be a ten ton Tessie by now – and 4:30am is a ridiculous time of the night (not morning!) to be getting up, so Go You!!

    1. I giggled at that – I really do exercise so I can eat – and also to clear my head… but mostly so I can eat.

  10. Your books so lovely all stacked together! I have done awful with my step goals this month as our weather is still very cold and wet and just icky and my foot is still giving me issues. I did drop nearly 3 lbs though so I’m trying to just remind myself that it takes time to heal and I should/could focus on other workouts…. though I’m not doing much of that either. I just feel so lazy lately!

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