Saturday, January 30, 2010

101 things in 1001 days

Recently I heard of the concept of 101 things in 1001 days. Basically you write out 101 things you would like to do/accomplish in 1001 days. Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching to me.
My start date is 30th Jan 2010
My final day is 27th Oct 2012
I have been trying and trying to think of things and it is surprisingly hard. It took me a while but I got there. I tried to break it up into categories to make it easier to read.

So far I have completed 30

Health and Beauty
1.) Get to and maintain a size 10 – healthy and toned though, not just skinny
2.) Have a full day or weekend at a health retreat, massage, body wrap, that sort of thing
3.) Do a manicure and pedicure every month FAILED
4.) Get to be able to do 100 push-ups in 1 go
5.) Get to be able to do 100 crunches in 1 go
6.) Get my teeth fixed – whitened, wisdoms out
7.) Go for a walk 3 times a week of 20 minutes or more FAILED
8.) Keep a food diary for 1 month to see how much crap I eat DONE
9.) Do a proper 10 day detox 16/7/10 DONE
10.) Have no take-away at all for 1 month, even if we travel to Sydney

Self Improvement/Spiritual
11.) Read the Bible (Part way through it now)
12.) Donate Blood 02/08/2010
13.) Keep a gratitude diary and write in it at least weekly FAILED
14.) Donate to Kiva DONE
15.) Have a monthly inspirational quote to put up in the lounge room (Doing, and I will post all these quotes at the end)
16.) Have a TV free month DONE
17.) Give flowers to 5 people for no reason
18.) Do 101 hours of something for charity DONE
19.) List 101 things I like about myself DONE
20.) Donate $10 to charity for everything on my list I don’t complete (Started for the already failed ones, including those I have changed!)
21.) Write in my journal weekly FAILED I am blogging regularly though!

22.) Go on a family snow trip and make snow men DONE 23/08/2010
23.) Go on holidays to QLD - will be happening Nov 22nd 2010 - uh, not anymore!
24.) Create 5 family Christmas traditions
25.) Get a family pet, I’m thinking fish whilst we’re in the unit then
26.) Rescue a dog from a shelter when we have a house here
27.) Have a pretend emergency camp
28.) Family Christmas in July
29.) Read a book to my daughters every day FAILED
I decided I can read 1001 books in this time frame, so am switching to that.
30.) Get a family photo
31.) Have a fortnightly date with my husband FAILED We separated for a while
32.) Have a family activity every week FAILED changed to 143 family activities

33.) Buy a house here (We wont be buying a house to live in here anymore, but may buy something before my 101 days is up. We'll see)
34.) Develop a veg garden
35.) Grow fruit trees
36.) Get chickens
37.) Get Bees

Sydney House
38.) Renovate the kitchen
39.) Render the house
40.) Sand the floors
41.) Get new doors
42.) Clear the garage
43.) Finish the “odd jobs” that need doing

44.) Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge - Done 11th Sept 2010
45.) Have a MASSIVE Halloween party
46.) Eat at the Centre point Tower restaurant in Sydney (I don't like their menu and now I know I am gluten intolerant, I am a bit nervous about restaurants.)
47.) See a whale in real life in the wild, either by whale watching or in the Harbour or wherever
48.) Go camping 3 times
49.) Build a large sandcastle with my daughters
50.) Climb Mt Kosciusko
51.) Hold a How to host a murder party
52.) Go on a road trip with no specific destination
53.) Glass works Museum
54.) Picnic at Sunrise at a particular spot we have spoken about for 2 years
55.) Have a dinner guest every month FAILED
I decided I can have 33 dinner guests in this time. (9/33)

56.) Publish 2 books - 1 published, 26 Ingredients, came out Monday 15th March
57.) Do our my will DONE, now need to redo it!
58.) Get life insurance
59.) Have 200 followers on my blog Aspiring Millionaire
60.) Sell 1000 things, not including my book. 461/1000
61.) Host a small business expo
62.) Create a website DONE
63.) Save $1001 to spend on anything I like at the end of the 1001 days
64.) Buy shares DONE
65.) Blog every day for 1 month on Aspiring Millionaire (I won't be doing this as I won't be blogging on Sundays anymore.)

66.) Create a vision board DONE How to create a vision board
67.) Get an address book and put everyone I know in it DONE
68.) De-clutter completely and keep the house de-cluttered (Pretty much de-cluttered, now to keep it that way!)
69.) Finish the toy box DONE
70.) Finish the lounge storage DONE
71.) Ensure the entire house is clean before I go to bed every night for 1 month
72.) Keep the dining table clear of everything except what should be on there, like food or centrepiece for at least 1 month
73.) Write and stick to a cleaning schedule
74.) Be ready for Christmas this year by Dec 1st
75.) Clean out our fridge properly every 3 months (we have had it over 1 yr and I have NEVER cleaned it out properly and it NEEDS it!) I have been cleaning it now.

Cooking and Craft
76.) Try 50 new recipes Done
77.) Finish 10 craft projects I have started and left
78.) Learn to knit and knit a scarf
79.) Do Halia’s scrapbook (I don't like scrapbooking, so instead put all their photo's in an album each)
80.) Do Mele’s scrapbook
81.) Make lounge covers sort of did, had to throw out 1/2 the lounge
82.) Do project 365 – take 1 photo every day for a year
83.) Learn to make Austrian horseshoe biscuits from Oma

Things to Learn
84.) Basic service on our car
85.) Take at least 10 dance classes in some form of dance (5/10 done)
86.) Learn to talk Tongan enough to be able to hold a conversation with some of my husband’s family
87.) Learn sign language enough to do the same
88.) Learn 3 songs on the guitar (Almost got 1 song downpat)
89.) Learn 3 Polynesian dances
90.) Change a tyre all by myself. I know how to do it but have never had to do it myself.
91.) Learn to surf with one of those 1 day surf classes in Manly/Bondi wherever
92.) Learn 10 things so I take better photos
93.) Learn 10 things to improve my blogging DONE, now just implementing them
94.) Learn to shoot a gun properly

Things to Buy
95.) A nice outdoor setting, not a plastic one
96.) Get a bike
97.) Get my own basic tool kit
98.) Buy an expensive piece of clothing or shoes that I really want and not feel guilty about it DONE
99.) Buy a BRAND NEW fridge and Freezer when we have our own house DONE even though we don't have our own house.

2 random things
100.) Do 1 thing every month that pushes me out of my comfort zone FAILED
Changed to do 33 things that push me out of my comfort zone, I will list these separately.
101.) Visit somewhere in Australia I have never been

To view what I have done click here

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bathroom photo's

Here are the before and after photo’s of my bathroom/laundry. It was badly in need of tidying and no, I did not just throw everything in the storage room, as tempting as that was!

This picture is of the bathroom/laundry from the bathroom side before I did anything. As you can see my craft cupboard has a lovely pile of stuff on top.

As you can see, there is just stuff everywhere.

It is amazing how much better it feels to walk in there and see no mess.

The room feels so much bigger and I only wish I had done it sooner. It just seemed like such a big task I never wanted to tackle it.

Now that my craft cupboard is clean I aim to keep it that way. I want to use the top as my work bench for cutting fabric out and things. I am not going to put stuff back on there.

Now I just have to train my husband to not leave things on it. He saw it as an open invitation to dump things from his car. Not on! This was followed by our daughter putting things on there as well.

I will train them and I will have my cupboard back! lol.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My understairs storage

We are fortunate enough to have a small storage room under some stairs in our unit. We haven't really been organising it all that well though.

This is what it has been looking like for some time. Everything is basically thrown in there. So yesterday I spent some time organising it all.

Now it does still look crammed full of stuff, but it is a whole lot tidier.

I now have alot of my craft things in there. All my hairdressing stuff is together in the green bag. My husbands tool box is in a position where we can actually open it easily.

Having this area more sorted makes it easier to do the rest of my house. Next step is the laundry/bathroom.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My little place

I wanted to give everyone an idea of what my place is like since there is always interest in it. It is not always tidy. Actually, it is normally untidy. The sofa bed is usually out due to my husband working shift work. So my lounge room often looks like this

I am not a fan of doing the dishes. My husband and I have an agreement, I cook he does the dishes. They don’t always get done and somehow stuff just ends up all over the table and bench so our kitchen often looks like this

Our bathroom and laundry are combined and we have my craft cupboard, which as you can see below really needs sorting. I have all my hairdressing stuff in there as well.

It is surprisingly big and I am so glad about that.

I am in the process of resorting and organising our place. I guess I am “always” doing that, but I think I have worked out how I can do it with the best use of space now. It’s taken me a while, but I have a specific plan and I think it will be done faster and smoother than when I have tried to organise before. I’ll post before and after pictures as I do things.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Utilising Space

Are you using all the space available to you? There are many ways in which space can be utilised even if you are renting.

1.) Go up not out with furniture. In any small unit there is not a lot of floor space, but if your bookshelves are tall instead of wide, you can store just as many books, but have more floor space.
2.) Use under and on top of furniture. Do you have space under beds, cots, is there a gap under the lounge? On top of the fridge if organised is useful. Look everywhere. We have a large box with all our important papers stored under the cot. All the papers are in various folders or files so we can easily find what we are after and come tax time it is simply a matter of grabbing the tax folder. It does the same job as a filing cabinet but is not using extra floor space.
3.) Take a good look at your entertainment unit. Do you store DVD’s or is there a lot of wasted space? If there’s room, could you fit things behind the DVD’s such as photo albums, candles etc... things that don’t get used a lot. You could even store things like toothpaste or soap as they come in boxes and would be easy to stack so they are not seen by anyone in case you are worried what other people will think.
4.) Get rid of anything you are not using, don’t need or don’t have any specific use for. So many people hoard things for “one day” which rarely comes.
5.) Have a place for everything and keep it there! This is probably one of the biggest problems for many – stuff everywhere. Clear out like I said above then organise your living space.
6.) Use over doors – you could make an over the door storage thing or buy one. How many doors do you have that you could do this too. You could even use these for your paper work. Have a separate pocket for each thing e.g. bank statements, insurance etc...

When you are sorting and organising make sure you know where you are putting things. Maybe write a list so you can keep track. Use clear boxes where possible or write on boxes what is in them so they are easy to identify and you don’t constantly waste time rummaging through 10 boxes to find things.

Also places like IKEA and Howards Storage World are great for getting ideas.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More storage ideas

Here are a few more things I use for storage. I like to buy in bulk my rice, flour, bread flour etc... Which means I need things to store it in I have 2 things I use generally, 1 is Tupperware

I use modular mates rectangle 4’s for my bulk storage. That is a 10kg bag of rice in those 2 containers. I was surprised how much fit in there.

I use lots of Tupperware containers because they are air tight and store everything better, they stack well, and they have a lifetime guarantee and keep my pantry tidier

See I use it for everything! Actually, living in a small unit it has been a lifesaver due to its stackability. I have containers stacked on my fridge, on my heater (we don’t use it) on top of the pantry, everywhere I can think of. They are sturdy and stay where I put them and I can stack them quite high without a problem.

Another thing I use a bit of is food buckets. Places like Donut King get their icing and things in these buckets, which once washed make great food containers which also stack well. You need to label them yourself so you know what is in them. I have some stacked next to my fridge and they are brilliant.

The reason I like containers so much is because to me they make life easier. If my pantry is neat and sorted, I can cook quicker since I can find what I need with a glance. Having containers that stack utilise space better and means I can buy more in bulk.

One tip if you are looking at Tupperware, if you join it is much cheaper to buy for yourself. Also, they no longer cover against impact damage, so if you drop it and it breaks, too bad.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting organised

Survival for Busy Women

This book is one of the best books I have read. I am hopelessly disorganised in my home and I know there is so much more I can do to keep my house clean and organised. For some reason this book really helped me and it was like a light bulb switching on in my brain with many of her ideas.

I originally read about it in The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How They Do It. Michelle Duggar uses it and has used it for years. I figured with as many kids as she has if she recommends it and uses it then it must be good.

No book is going to guarantee you are more organised, but if you apply what’s written in this book I can guarantee you will be more organised.

My unit size

Since there is such an interest regularly about how I live in a 1 bedroom unit with my husband, a 2yr old and an almost 1 yr old I thought I would write a bit about it.

I measured my unit this morning. It is above average size, which makes things easier.
Bathroom/ laundry – 2m wide, 4.5m long
Lounge room/kitchen/dining – 5.5m wide, 4.5m long
Bedroom – 3.3m wide (with a bay window making one part almost 4m wide), 4m long
Walk in robe – 2m wide, 3.5m long

I didn’t get in to measure the storage room; it is under stairs and holds the hot water system as well. It is so full of stuff; it is too hard to measure.

As you can see though, for a 1 bedroom it is quite large. I will be taking pictures later, it’s just that my husband is asleep on the fold out sofa (he just came off nightshift). That’s fairly usual though, to have the bed out.

I know we don’t utilise our space as best we could and we are working on it. I have gotten rid of/sold lots of our things as there is just not the space for it. That being said I do still have things like clothes I used to fit, as I am losing weight, clothes for my girls to grow into, gadgets like slow cooker, bread maker etc... I have bulk things like 10kg rice etc...

I figure where there is a will there is a way. This unit for us is stability. The landlords wont kick us out, rent is unlikely to go up, if it does, it won’t be by much, I can grow some herbs in pots outside, I have easy access to the washing line which saves me money by not using the dryer and since we still own a house in Sydney and it is fixed, we don’t feel like we have to sell it yet to buy one here, as we can keep living where we are.

Obviously it feels cramped at times, but all in all, it is the best unit we have lived in. It only really gets hard when we see out house in Syd and look at how big it is. We don’t miss Sydney though. We like where we are.

I’ll post more on what we do later, but this is just to give you an idea.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2 of my storage solutions

I have mentioned before that I am living in a 1 bedroom unit. As such I have had to get a bit creative with some storage in my place. I have lots of ideas I am going to implement; I just never seem to have the time.

To start with though I made these

They hold my utensils. They are formula tins wrapped with paper and nailed to the side of my pantry. My pantry is an old stand alone cupboard, so I have no qualms about bashing in as many nails as I like to hold things. In fat I will be doing more of this for other things, such as packets e.g. taco seasoning, yoghurt mix, French onion soup etc...

By putting my utensils in these I freed up a kitchen drawer. In that kitchen drawer I put my cook books leaving room on my bookshelf to store all the books I am selling online, making my life easier.

Another thing I did was make this over the door storage thing. I have seen these, smaller ones, with fewer pockets for around $35 and you only get storage on one side. I measured up my wardrobe doors, cut up some old calico curtains I had and sewed it altogether. I made one for each side of the door, sewed them together and looped them over the door. One side is for my 2 yr old, the other for my 10 month old. Each pocket has something different, e.g. undies, singlets, summer tops, winter tops, shorts, pants etc...

Doing this has freed up a tallboy in my wardrobe (we have a good sized walk in robe). Now the tall boy stores my linen, some games, bigger clothes for my girls and a few random things.

I have many more plans for creative storage in my place, so stay tuned as I do it all.

2010 Goals

Yes, it is that time of year again, where everyone starts doing their new year’s resolutions. I don’t do resolutions, because it seems everyone breaks them. I do goals. A goal is something written down with an actual plan as to how you are going to achieve it. They are realistic and not just said on a whim.

That said, my goals for this year are
1.) Continue with my million dollar challenge
2.) Buy a car
3.) Publish my book
4.) Set up a website for my book and set up my other website idea
5.) Take time out for myself every month to treat myself. Manicures, pedicures, facials etc...
6.) Lose the last 13.5kgs to get back to my pre-wedding and kids weight.
7.) Save hard out and hopefully have enough for a house deposit by the end of the year.

How will I do this?

1.) Continue with my million dollar challenge.
I will be publishing my book, setting up the website for it. I will be selling the jewellery I just bought. I will be continuing to do everything I have been doing to earn money and keep saving it. I aim to be purchasing a house at the end of 2010 or early 2011.

2.) Buy a car
We already have the money set aside for this and plan on doing it in the next month. We have been looking but are yet to find the car that is right for us. We would like a Toyota Landcruiser.

3.) Publish my book.
I have contacted some publishers and just have to wait a few more weeks until everyone is open again and responding to emails etc... It is all ready to go and I am pretty sure I have decided who I will go with. It’s just a matter of waiting for them to start operating again in 2010.

4.) Set up a website for my book and for my other idea
I have already purchased the domain names and have webhosting for 1 of them. I have written out a plan for the book website. I have someone on hand to help me with it. I have installed Dreamweaver and just need to set time every week to work on it. Once it is up, there isn’t much I have to do to it. I will have pictures I need to change each month and will put up some bonus recipes, but other than answering emails and filling orders, it won’t need much. The other website idea will need more time, so I will be doing that one after I have built the book site. I would like the book site done by the end of January. I would like the other site up by the end of April.

5.) Take time out for myself every month for manicures, pedicures etc...
I have discussed this with my husband and requested that he watch the kids for me for a few hours so I can do some self maintenance. Since he does shift work, I won’t be able to have a set day each month, but I will be booking a day each month and marking it on our calendar so I can do it all.

6.) Lose the last 13.5kgs to get back to pre-wedding and kids weight.
I have been drinking chlorophyll and this has had the biggest effect on my weight loss, but I need to focus on my muscle tone and general health more as well. I will walk up the hill near me twice, if not 3 times a week. I will do my pilates DVD 1 – 2 times a week and I will have 2 weights sessions. I do not do weights to bulk up. I do them to covert the fat to muscle and have a nice tone in my body.

7.) Save hard out and hopefully have enough for a house deposit by the end of the year.
I am doing a lot to save money and with my million dollar challenge, I am hopeful. I need around $52,000 for the basic sort of house we would like, but I would prefer a larger deposit. It will be bought in partnership with my husband according to percentages. We will own whatever percentage we put in. If I have 75% of the deposit, I will own 75% of the house. This also means I will need to come up with 75% of the repayments, so I will need to have money coming in steadily by the time we purchase. I say 75% because I know with his 1 over time shift, the money we save from his regular wage and his tax return; it is not 50% of what we need, so for me to achieve this goal I will need to do most of it.

I feel this is all achievable. It is still aiming high in some aspects, but not unrealistically high. Obviously I will let you know how it all goes.