31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone!

It was so cute, I couldn't resist.

Typically, I try not to do actual blog posts over weekends, particularly long weekends. It's the time I usually try to set aside for catching up on reading, drafting future posts, commenting, and IRL things. But it didn't feel right not to wrap up my New Month New Goals list properly before going into my next list and the A to Z challenge which kicks off tomorrow.

I look back at my list and I think how clever I was to really limit what I wanted to accomplish. Honestly though, it was my subconscious applying all the information I had learned over the last couple years about goal setting, the biggest lesson being Focus. As big as my Master List is, and how much I want to do everything, I need to narrow down exactly what I want to accomplish and limit myself to an average of one goal a week, or even one part of a goal per week.

That being said, this is still a process I'm trying to refine. When I look back at my paper list that I kept next to me, 3/4 of my goals were accomplished in the last ten days of the month. Good average there. I've drafted a list of goals to complete and I'm giving myself until the Summer Solstice to complete it. The list doesn't exactly follow the one goal/task per week rule I'm trying to implement: completing the A to Z challenge will be spread over a number of weeks, and taking my multivitamin daily will be obviously a daily challenge. 

Before getting to the next list tomorrow, here's a quick goal recap of March, in order of completion:

1. Read one book. Finished reading "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen on March 6. My Goodreads activity can confirm this, although you'll have to sift through the many books I've marked as "to read" before you can see it...
2. Visit Stonehenge, Woodhenge, and Old Sarum. Three separate goals all in one day. I posted some pictures about this here.
3. Participated in another blog hop. Alex J. Cavanaugh's Top Ten Movie Countdown.
4. Submit an entry to the LasCaux Flash contest. My entry can be found here. Didn't win but I will keep trying!
5. Participated in the a TKD tournament. Picture of this can be found here.
6. Write three more chapters for Elisa's Thoughts. I've written them by hand and need to type them up. I know it's not an efficient way to write, however, it's what I resort to when I'm struggling to write something. I will post the new chapters over the next week once I get my Betas to have a quick look at them.

They are only one-sided pages, fortunately.

Did anyone else complete a goal in March? Did you do anything differently with this goal? We'll talk more seriousgoal stuff once the A to Z challenge is over. Good luck everybody!

29 March 2013

Thanks For The 100

Routine has been out of my reach this week and I have felt very unproductive. I'm trying not to stress about the lack of routine because the next few weeks will be a continuation of the last couple: everyday something different. I know a lot of people are hoping break from routine, but when you can't properly allot a good few hours to even house work you feel like you're just barely keep afloat.

It's funny too, because I never thought I'd turn into that kind of person that would want to cling to structure either.

So in the best way I know how to bring order to my life, I will provide a list of updates.

1. Tae Kwon Do training has continued and last night was an intense training session focused more on fitness than on technique or theory. I woke up sore this morning. I wanted to die. It will be a leg conditioning day tomorrow modeled after the following routines:

2. Continuing on the fitness vein, I started running again. Under strict physio orders, however. I was only allowed to run ten minutes max per day, once the first week, twice the second week. No more than three times per week until my next physio appointment. I have followed this. Sort of. I haven't run more than three times per week, but I have been running twenty minutes total in the format of Warm up 10, run 10, walk 5, run 10, walk 5.

So far, very little discomfort.

My physiotherapist is going to hate me.

3. I went for a job interview last week that was unrelated to nursing, though still in a hospital. I didn't get it. I was disappointed. The manager was very kind to phone me and explain why I didn't get the job and if I would be OK if he passed my resume along to another manager.

That would be a "Hell yes!" though I answered with a far more dignified "Yes please, I would really appreciate it."

4. The next conclusion would be surrounding my UK nursing registration: I still don't have it. Apparently processing will restart April 2. Fingers crossed.

5. Lastly, but not leastly, thanks for the 100 follows!

I admit, I did a little celebratory dance when I logged in again and saw the number. So I just wanted to give a little shout out of thanks to everybody who's followed me back on the various social media and in particular, my blog.

25 March 2013

English Championships

Yesterday the Taekwon-Do Association of Great Britain (TAGB) hosted the English Championships in Coventry. I had signed up for Ladies Patterns and Light Heavyweight sparring.

After practicing my patterns for the dozenth time that morning, I finally managed to convince myself that I knew Won Yol and I wasn't going to forget it when the time came. I didn't watch anybody else's patterns and I didn't look at anybody else's score. My inner monologue was varying forms of "Breathe. Make sure you slow down. Breathe. Add power." before, during, and after my pattern.


When they called up two women to do their patterns again for the bronze tie breaker I was disappointed that my name wasn't called. I thought for sure if I didn't get bronze then I didn't place at all. I was over the moon when they called my name (though mispronouncing it horribly) for the gold medal.

Sparring for my division was directly after patterns, though the light and middle weight divisions were first. It was enough time to get my head back in the game and let the jitters return. There ended up being only one heavyweight lady so the ref asked myself and the one other light heavy lady if she should bring out the scale to definitely determine our weight or if we would be OK with the heavyweight joining us. We unanimously agreed to leave the scale where it was and just spar.

Nope, no scale. Not when you look this seksy.
I sparred the heavy weight  competitor first and then had a thirty second rest before I had to fight the next competitor. My cold made it difficult to catch my breath and I felt like I was hanging out of my rear. The husband unit, who was there and cheering me on along, said I looked pretty good. My coach told me I looked like I was a deer in the headlights. I won't contest that: I was nervous as hell.

Without the risk of making this too much a feelingz post, I'll just say it's difficult to describe what I was feeling. My hands and legs were vibrating after the whole thing was over and I was on some sort of a high. My coach put it aptly when he said, "You've put a few demons to rest." Though, he won't know exactly how many and what kind.

(I was going to put a picture of me with my sparring medal
but it has my coach standing next to me. My coach has his FB security
settings on max so out of respect for my coach I won't put it up.)

I reveled in my gold medals for the rest of last night and while I could revel in the glory of it all for a little while longer, I won't. Training continues tonight. There's another tournament in six weeks time and in three months I will grade for my blue belt. Before I get my head back into training I wanted to say thank you for all the support and encouragement I've received to take this very big, and scary, step back into Tae Kwon Do training and competing. I appreciate it all.

22 March 2013

Novel Challenge

Stephanie M. Pawley has challenged me.

We are going to blog a novel/novella/story of some length between May and October. We are setting ourselves the goal of posting three chapters a month. It's open to anyone else who's interested, but we hope you help keep us accountable by pestering us on Twitter, FB, G+ or any other social media.


The Capillary
Stephanie M Pawley

+The Capillary
+Stephanie Pawley

21 March 2013

Busy and Productive? Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s post, so go here to read part one.

The last couple weeks have been far, far busier than I anticipated between moving, having my mother visit, going for job interviews, and trying to achieve all my goals. Granted, I knew it was going to be a busy month so I purposefully kept my list of goals shorter and for a shorter time period.

As always, I accomplished some goals I hadn’t intended to, such as visiting Stonehenge and so forth. What frightened me is that I almost forgot what I had actually set out as goals at the start of the month. Because of the chaos, I wasn’t able to have my list of goals handy to look at every morning that I had gotten into a routine of doing. It reminded me of the importance of not only writing down my goals but having them visible to me on a regular basis.


The rest of this week has been gearing up for my tournament. It's mostly a mental thing and make sure I get enough sleep thing and don't stress too much about it thing because that will just become exhausting and I'll get absolutely nothing accomplished.

So I started Googling: I wanted to know how to stay productive.

I wanted to see if I could put my mind at ease about being very busy with things that were beyond me (like moving) and not accomplishing my March goals. I found this interesting article that sort of guided me in some self-reflection: Am I just busy or am I actually being productive? Or am I both?

While I'm happy with my March goals in that I think ultimately they are going to add to my greater life vision (which is vague, granted, but it's still there), I couldn't say the same with my tentative April goals. I'm not one to back down out of a commitment lightly, however, I had to admit to myself that participating in the A to Z challenge this year will ultimately make me busier and less productive than I can afford to be.

My vague aim is to be employed, be active, and write a bit more. With the amazing community spirit of A to Z I feel like I have bitten off more than I could chew and I won't be able to visit as many other blogs as I would like. I mean, all, ideally, but not going to be feasible. The A to Z challenge won't contribute to the vague employment, fitness, and writing aim I have in mind presently as the hours I would spend blogging and visiting other blogs needs to be spent elsewhere. Lack of prep this month has made me dread the challenge, which is not a good start.


I will still participate. I will blog A to Z and visit as many people as possible, but especially those who visit and comment on my blog. This just means that for the next A to Z challenge I will either not participate or find a way to make A to Z productive for me. But it all comes down to re-evaluation of my goals and keeping my vision visible and at the forefront.

Enough of that seriousness.

Who else is participating in A to Z? Feeling overwhelmed or ready for this?

20 March 2013

Busy And Productive? Part 1

Life! Settle down!

Difficulty coping all at once!

Not really, I’m just getting into the spirit of complaining. After a few wonderful days of sunshine last week, it was all just a rouse before the heavens opened and water poured from the sky like somebody was dropping water balloons onto the earth.

Ok, not that bad, but you know, getting into the spirit.

Before I get into my thoughts, just a quick life update:

1. My mom came for a week’s visit. We caught up, drank wine, drank a shed load of coffee, shopped, and sight saw. It was awesome.

Shopping at Festival Place in Basingstoke.

2. Getting settled into my “new” house and finally driving around the UK much more on my own. I am hoping the confidence will provide me with some additional momentum for various goal setting.

3. I visited Stonehenge, Woodhenge, and Old Sarum.

On a hilltop. Middle of nowhere. Yep
Obligatory tourist paraphernalia. Hands in pockets because it was
windy, rainy, snowy, and freezing. People immigrated to
this area pre-historically, I don't understand why they stayed...

Apparently there is evidence that Woodhenge was involved in
ceremonies that were connected with ceremonies to Stonehenge.
It's not unrealistic since they're only 2-ish miles apart.
(Also, still freezing over here...)

That moat is far, far deeper than it looks...

Remnants of the cathedral. It lies beyond the moat.

The interior of Old Sarum. It was still windy up here, in fact, more
so, but when I hid between two of the walls I couldn't feel a draft.
I imagine it would have been fairly airtight or a wind tunnel with
all the walls standing.

Salisbury and Wiltshire countryside.

4. I have a job. Two, actually. Not registered as a nurse yet, but it’s income along with another job interview at the end of this month. Huzzah!

5. Alex J Cavanaugh’s Top Ten Movie Bloghop happened this week past. You can read my contribution here. Also apologies if I haven’t gotten around to your blog yet.

6. Submitted an entry to Lascaux Flash. Fingers crossed because there are so many great entries.

7. Preparing for my TKD tournament this Sunday… I’m feeling nervous about this.

8. A to Z prep? Hasn’t happened yet. Trying not to panic.

9. More chapters for Elisa’s Thoughts? Nope, nothing there either.

10. Setting up a challenge with Stephanie M. Pawley. More to come on that later.

11. I was going to leave my thoughts about being busy and accomplishing my goals here, but it seems a bit too long to hold anyone's attention, so I'll split it up and be more serious tomorrow.

18 March 2013

Top Ten Movie Bloghop

OMG, a third bloghop?


So, Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a blog hop counting down our favourite top ten movies. Simple enough, though I feel like I'm repeating my favourites a lot. But then, it can't be helped that some of the movies I find awesome cross over into other blog hop categories. Right?

Before I count down my list,  check out the list of participants on Alex's blog and share the blog love.

10. The Matrix, not the trilogy.


I loved The Matrix when it was first in movie theatres. I had to watch it twice before I really understood it, but once I got it, I got it. I still ignore that two sequels and a number of video games emerged as a result of the original genius.

9. The 13th Warrior

 An old favourite for reasons of myth, magic, multi-culture, and the ever persistent action and adventure.

8. Gladiator


Rome is fascinating. Stories about Rome are fascinating. Epic stories about underdogs from Rome are the best and a fit Russell Crowe is the icing on the cake.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl


Clearly, re-popularized pirates by combining them with zombies, but had everything I could want in a movie. Besides pirates: action, adventure, humour, romance, and magic. While the first one was brilliant, the first and second sequel I can acknowledge. The last PotC movie I’m having difficulty accepting. Like a stain in the carpet you try hiding with the couch…

6. Lord of the Rings trilogy (and inevitably, The Hobbit).


Peter Jackson has made me fair weather Tolkien fan. In other words, I consume the media produced as a result of the movies.

5. Brave

Tough chick. Magic. Action. Adventure. Humour. Best “family movie” in a long time.

4. Pitch Black

 An old favourite that was brilliant for many, many reasons. Not just because it was released on my birthday. Sadly, with the release of sequels and a rename to be included in a series of media, the original awesomeness has been forgotten.

3. Transformers Trilogy


OMG. LUV. Although, the least love for the third installment: Rose just isn’t Meg.

2. Mulan


The last “family movie” Disney made before switching totally to computer animation. What a wonderful creation it was. Also, ignoring the sequel.

1. The Crow

While the theme is love, it’s not sexy-love. It’s ever-lasting, through the ages, through dimensions, through different states of existence sort of love. I could embrace that as a teen and even now as an adult. Brilliant of all kinds and tragic for a number of reasons (and totally ignoring the sequels).

If you didn't get a chance to participate in the bloghop, let me know anyway what some of your movie favs are.

16 March 2013

Liebster Answers

When I set out my New Month New Goals the other week, I didn't actually expect to finish one so soon. After the post, I finishing listening to the audiobook of "Pride & Prejudice" while doing a bunch of organizing and packing. It's a much shorter book than I recall seeing on bookshelves and after listening to it don't understand why I was so intimidated by it.


Maybe because people have built it up so much? Perhaps everybody I had ever spoken to made it seem like such a complicated literary work of English? Who knows?

Finally reading the book I recognized the artistic liberties the 2005 "Pride & Prejudice" movies took, particularly to plot and I'm curious to watch the BBC version with Colin Firth. I have to say though, the 2005 movie did cast and present Lydia Bennet quite accurately. It's a bit crude, but all I could think of was "Lydia Bennet: the original Base Bunny, since 1813".

I'm also really curious to read the Pride & Prejudice mash up. I have great expectations...

Two more things before you go! One, my mom is visiting so updates will be spare this week. And I wanted to answer Jolie Du Pre's Liebster questions, so I'll leave you with the following:

04 March 2013

New Month New Goals

Somehow I've managed to get my second bloghop of the year under my belt.

Someone on the Blog Hop of Joy mentioned that what brings them joy is the first day of the month. I apologize, I can't remember who said it but if it was you, let me know so I can throw up the link. There is some sort of epic feeling when a new month starts. Really one day is similar to the next but it does feel like another opportunity to initiate a goal, plan, or change when you see "1" at the top of a page.

I know it's not the first of the month, but the first Monday of the month is a pretty good start for my new list of goals. 7 Things in 7 Weeks until I'm 27 really reinforced that I need to keep the bigger picture in mind while breaking down my goals into manageable chunks. Sure I want to finish Elisa's Thoughts, but just putting "complete one unfinished project"on my list hasn't given me much direction in the past. So while that's my overall goal, setting out "complete three chapters this month" allowed me to keep the big picture in mind, set a realistic goal, and make progress even if I didn't accomplish exactly what I originally wanted.

Keeping that concept in mind, overloading myself with goals hasn't done me any favours either. When I started making goals I wrote out a list of 101 Things to do in 1001 Days. I failed at that not only because I thought I had a lot of time but also I felt like I had a cliff face to climb without the proper equipment. Over the years other opportunities and interests cropped up and I tried to include them on top of my 101 goals. Another problem of mine was that I was far too inflexible to just change my damn list.

So March 2013 has come with a preset list of goals ready to be crossed off my list.
  1. As part of my "participate in 10 competitions or challenges that aren't NaNo related" I will participate in the Lascaux Flash competition. Submissions open March 6 and close on the 30th. I'm throwing this out as an open challenge to everyone but I'm particularly looking at Crystal. Only because I know she struggles a lot of with flash fic. I'm a good friend. 
  2. A fitness goal of mine is to participate in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. The English Championships will be in Coventry March 24. Last week I handed in my registration form for patterns and sparring for this event. Between my move, physio, and my mother visiting training will be a challenge to fit in but I'll be ready for it.
  3. Read 1 book. I managed one last month I feel pretty confident about this one. Even with everything else going on.
  4. Write 2 more chapters for Elisa's Thoughts this month.

I know I did a Three Goal Recap last week, but I missed listing a few inadvertantly accomplished goals.
  • Edit YouTube "About Me". So this happened when I updated my G+ profile, but then I realized I meant "Edit YouTube Channel page". So I did. You can see the work in progress here.
  • This was part of my 7 Things challenge, but I did forget to mention that I managed to complete my "Drunk 8 glasses of water a day". Though it turned out to be herbal tea more often than not, I did significantly increase my fluid intake. Surprised, I felt better and a little less hungry than usual.Though I am always on the lookout for a toilet when I'm in public...
  • I also read, well listened to the audiobook, of Jane Austen's "Sense & Sensibility". I have decided to keep track of all my reading goals by using GoodReads. It makes sense, doesn't it? I'm going to try and get a widget set up in the near future but until then, GoodReads friends, why do you all have to mark and list so many interesting looking books. Do you know how long my "to read" list is now??? 

Tell me how is your goal progress so far. Any new goals set for this month?

01 March 2013

Joy Joy Joy

Kyra Lennon & Clare Dugmore are hosting a blog hop. A blog hop of Joy based on Russel Howard's List of Joy and the rest of the details can be found on Kyra's blog.

My list of Joy
  1. Sunshine. All day long. I miss it.
  2. Watching the husband unit get away with a haggle.
  3. Naps. All afternoon.
  4. Having a good hair day.
  5. Swimming in outdoor swimming pools. In sunshine.
  6. Weddings.
  7. Getting away with a haggle myself.
  8. Seeing somebody in a similar outfit and knowing I wear it better.
  9. Turning on the radio and hearing my favourite song.
  10. Inadvertently finding the right comeback without meaning to.
  11. Walking into a bookstore. Not a Chapters or a WH Smith, a real bookstore.
  12. Watching comedians live on stage.
  13. Puns
  14. Trying on a bra and it fits like a glove.
  15. Videos of giggling babies.
  16. Ikea
  17. Videos of kittens
  18. Stationary