This 2012 Thing

So my working year officially starts this week. School starts on Wednesday and for a change I will be there on the first day. I’ve decided this week I will also be refining our admin procedures at the office. You can imagine how excited Stephen is about this.

So as I’m starting the year I thought it would be a good idea to revive my blog too. I will be, once again, attempting to write a few times a week. I actually have a number of plans and projects for 2012 and should probably use my blog as a method of public accountability. Many of the projects are scrapbook related but all of them are related to a life well lived and then, by extension, documenting it.

My first project is an Album or Photobook dedicated to my BOM (book of me) and the 2012 title is: This is my Story. I want to document my life as it stands right now. I don’t want re-hash troubled little girl stories but rather tell the story of a rather confident woman. My OLW (one little word) for 2012 is ‘EXPERIENCE.’ The idea is to incorporate the story of who I am in 2012 with that of all the things I experience this year.

                       Ibelieveinpink credits

Next is PROJECT ME! I’ve decided that I am worth it. I will be taking better care of myself and, to use my quote of the day, dress with intention. I will look after my body, my mind and still follow my heart. So far the major step has been signing up at the gym. Of course the minor steps are also important, like removing the laptop from the bedroom and eating breakfast.

Project 52: The P365 idea never appealed to me. The idea of taking a photo a day seemed like more of a chore than a hobby. I pick up the camera a few times a week and usually take more photos than is necessary. So the idea of documenting my week seemed a lot more appealing. Not to mention, a whole lot less intimidating.

                    week1 credits

I will be continuing my ‘Notes to my daughter’ series this year. My daughter will 13 this year and perfectly capable of documenting her story, her way. She has no interest in scrapbooking but loves taking photos and she does journal. The Project Life Kits would be ideally suited for her. I figured though, her life story from her perspective would mean so much more to her than my stories about her. So I am focusing on all the things I want her to know. Pearls of wisdom which might not all come up in conversation, if you like. I want her to have something useful for when she eventually leaves home.

                       credits

The 2012 Time Capsule. I am so in love with this idea and so thrilled to be on the Design Team for this project. I am in awe of all the work gone into it and will be following all year. If you have purchased the book you may notice that I have 4 layouts in it. I am so honoured to be a part of this project.

DE-CLUTTERING!!!! I’ve joined a group on FB called ‘27 Gone’ this year. The idea is to get rid of 27 things every day. It could be anything from taking the recycling away to losing some emotional baggage. The way I see it if you cannot get rid of 27 things try getting rid of just one. Even at a minimum of one thing a day, your life will 365 things lighter by the end of the year.

Last but not least I WILL write more. And I don’t mean just blogging. I will put actual effort into my, as yet Untitled, novel. I will have it ready to be proofed by the end of the year. I will write more fan fiction and actually finish them. I will blog more and make an effort to get into editorial writing.

I have to admit, that if I was reading this list as a 3rd party, my first thought would be “How does she intend to manage it?” The simple answer is that I don’t. Besides being, a wife, mom and general homemaker, I also have two jobs, one that fills my pocket (slightly) and one that feeds my soul (completely). Everything listed above is what I intend to do with my free time and I will not put any pressure or rules on that. So if it does not get done on time so be it, there’s always tomorrow. A case in point, this week I have felt more inclined to scrapbook than write so that’s what I did. Next week I might want to write and I know once I find that zone I could write for days without coming up for air. Then the laptop might actually find it’s in the bedroom all week. This is my time, I will enjoy every minute of it.

Springtime in the Miller Household

Springtime in the Miller Household!!

I love Spring… Actually I love any time of the year when long sleeves are not required. Fortunately, I live on the South African Highveld, which means only two months of cold, miserable weather. And whilst Summer always means school holidays and Christmas, and Autumn in Joburg is simply beautiful, Spring would have to be my favourite season of all.

I tend to take the notion of spring cleaning very seriously. Between now and Christmas all sorts of cleaning and organisation tasks will tickle my fancy. A fact which bugs my husband since it means one or other room will have to be re-arranged or redecorated. I am leaning more towards re-arrangement since we are considering moving in the next few months. The thought of putting all my creative energy into a room, just so some stranger can undo it doesn’t seem very appealing.

Also I start thinking how I want things to work next year. Who will handle what in the house, and with Nikita getting bigger, she can handle a little more responsibility. I also try and envision a plan for all the events for next year. And with two weddings, three trips to Cape Town, a 13th, a 60th and an 85th birthday in 2012 this is probably not a bad idea from both a logistic and a financial point of view.

For next year I had decided to use a binder system. I have seen many of these on Pinterest with either ready-to-print or customisable fill sheets. These are all very handy and great for ideas but none of them actually suit me. Or more to the point, bits of all them suited me and my family.

The most important part for me is that it needs to work in conjunction with my laptop. We’ve spent the better part of the last few years trying to get our bills and correspondence electronic and I refuse to print them all out just to put them in a binder. Of course some leading retailers and the City of Joburg have not yet cottoned on to the whole planet-saving schpiel so some of our bills will have to go into the binder. So as opposed to having everything in the binder, I want reference sections for those things either on my laptop or the net.

Which brings me to my next point. The Net!!! I see an interesting recipe, and copy and paste into word. I do this mostly so I don’t need to go hunting on All Recipes for that cheese cake recipe I saw six months ago. The thing is that this takes up space on my HDD. Should anything happen to the HDD then I’m right back to hunting. My solution is anything that can be pinned at Pinterest or noted on Evernote will be moved there. This clears up the HDD for the important stuff like scrap supplies. Oh, yes, and work stuff.

I am not by nature a very organised person and usually work best with To Do lists. In fact when travelling I usually pack in my packing checklist so that I have a list of all the things that need to come home with me. This is a system I’ve been using since going camping as a Girl Guide and seems pretty effective for me. I also like a list of everything I need to do for an event and a list of what everyone else is doing, if I am running the event(bordering on control freak, I know). If I’m running the event, I think I can be a bit of a nightmare without a list. My husband can tell you stories of how many times he’s had to pop out to get serviettes/paper cups/ the birthday cake we forgot to pick up all because I chose to not work from a list. I cannot count the amount of times we’ve had to forgo photo’s because ‘camera’ was not on the list.

To do lists need to be portable and while I can take my binder to the venue of an event and even on holiday, it’s not exactly practical to take with me to go grocery shopping. So this needs to be taken into consideration.

The next thing I need to consider is my personality. If a system is not working for me, I will abandon it and start fresh next month. My husband likes knowing what to expect each week. These two things would need to be taken into consideration. I’m on the Governing Body and volunteer at Nikita’s school so she assumes I know everything and rarely hands me flyers or newsletters. Her afterschool schedule changes from term to term as well so my organising system needs to suit all these things.

Most importantly it needs to be pretty and I want full control of how customisable it will be.

Taking all these into consideration, I turn to my husband who builds systems for a living. I figured he turns paper systems into electronic versions, so how hard can it be to reverse engineer this and create a binder system… he read through all my requirements and this was his solution.

“A smart phone with an app that syncs to outlook & ms skydrive.”

Not exactly the answer I was looking for. However, a lengthy conversation, a few dirty looks and some flow charts later I had to concede that he may be on the right track.

So now, I have a systems engineer building me an electronic Home Management System. It will incorporate calendars, events, lists, finances and best of all these things will all be connected. It will be a windows and Web based so I can access the system while doing groceries. It will import my ingredients for a recipe on to a shopping list.

As for prettiness, he’ll make it so I can change the graphics and icons as I wish. The only concern is that he wants a proper specification and he doesn’t want me to behave like the rest of our customers. That, and apparently I need to get a smart phone.

So, too all my mommy friends, what things would you not leave out of the specification.

Chantal

PS: Ok, I’ll update the header tonight

Hi,

Hi,

Welcome to my new Blog. My place to rant, share and ponder the state of the universe. I suppose with all the changes I’ve made this year and embracing the new me it was time to get a fresh canvas as well.

I probably won’t blog every day, but it will be frequent. My topics will cover whatever’s on my mind from my addiction to scrapbooking supplies to why I think the aliens actually aren’t interested in us 😉 Also I’m a mother of a pre-teen drama queen and wife to a ‘humble’ software developer. I manage the admin side of my husband’s business (talk about slave labour) and I volunteer at my daughter’s school. That alone provides ample material for ranting and pondering.

I should warn sensitive readers though, I’ve finally reached THAT stage. You know, that stage where you really don’t care what anyone else thinks. I am opinionated. And while I will attempt to keep this blog free of judgement, there will be “you have got to be kidding me” days. Generally, these usually revolve around the atrocities we, as women, allow ourselves or are forced to put up with.

I have a few things in the pipeline too. One of which, will desperately need your input.

Chantal

PS: I cannot find the PSD for my blog header, so I’ll design a new one in the morning.

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