The 40 bags in 40 days Challenge

Every year I take part in White House Black Shutters  40 bags in 40 days challenge. It runs for the duration of Lent ( this year March 1st – April 15th) and it is a decluttering process with goals that are set on a daily basis by yourself using a worksheet you download from the site. The plan is to get a bag of stuff out your house each day whether to charity, the dump or by selling it on. This is the 7th year of the challenge and it’s well worth taking part (only as much as you can feasilbly manage though), I never do amazingly well, but what I do achieve is totally worthwhile and good for the soul. There is a suggested list of areas in your house to address on the website, which is really helpful, you can also sign up for a newsletter and there is a private Facebook group to join if you wish for extra tips and encouragement. Today I have started the challenge early early due to having to clear out a cupboard for plumbing work this week. I’ve recycled and taken stuff to the dump and the charity shop, it feels good and the house is happier for it.

If you would like to take part in the #40bagsin40days challenge, sign up here >>



Serial and Missing Richard Simmons

Earlier this year I made a film with my friend Ryan in Cambridge, on the long drive down we listened to my first ever podcast – Serial. We played  through the whole of Series 2 on the journey. It was all about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for 5 years, he is charged with desertion by the US army. The documentary is presented by Sarah Koenig, an American journalist, along with Mark Boal the screenwriter of The Hurt Locker who has already conducted a series
of interviews with Bergdahl, which are sometimes astounding, sometimes unbelievable and also sometimes so believable, how can he possibly be lying?.


Listening to a podcast instead of music was a first for me and I totally enjoyed learning something new whilst we embarked on our very long journey. I listened to the first series of Serial about the murder of Have Min Lee when I got back to Glasgow, which I found equally gripping. I have started today on my first ever “on demand” podcast “Missing Richard Simmons”, yes I have to wait until next week for the next episode!!!  Here is the write up of the podcast from the Finding Richard Simmons website ”

On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared. He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Slimmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world. Nobody has heard from him – and no one knows why he left. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a Slimmons regular and a friend of Richard’s. Missing Richard Simmons is Dan’s search for Richard – and the deeper he digs, the stranger it gets.”

I have listened to the first 2 episodes and it is so far brilliant, the crafting of both of these documentary podcast series is superb, the descriptions, your personal connections with the people and generally the sifting through all the info and carefully constructing a real life mystery with twists and turns and shocks along the way is so impressive. I can’t wait for part 3 next week. This is a man whose catch phrase was “sweat is just fat crying”, how can I not want to know what happened to him?

You can listen to Serial Series 1 and 2 here >> and find Missing Richard Simmons here>>


The Business Bakery -100 Day Goal

I started doing the Business Bakery’s 100 Day Goal on the 1st January this year. I don’t have a lot of time outside of my day time job, but really felt the need this year to ramp up my Etsy business to the next level, and this plan seemed perfect. You set out how to achieve your end goal by making a series of micro-actions, my aim to be getting to 800 items in my vintage shop and pay off a small loan I have with the profits. This to me seems achievable by the 7th April this year. Today is day 52, so pretty much halfway through and I’m sitting at just below 500 items in my shop with the rest sitting in my drafts ready for tagging and titling. I’ve increased my sales to 1 a day in my vintage shop which is pretty good going for me, especially for February, and I also have a clear plan in my head on how to keep up this momentum for the rest of the year.

For the next 48 days I will be sorting and stocking my other shop and getting it to work and yay, my loan is going down quite considerably. I’ve loved doing the 100 Day Goal so far and have found it totally achievable to keep up with, which is always the difficult part for me with these things. There are encouraging emails every day and an inspiring Facebook Group of motivating, fellow participants all trying to achieve different end goals. I would thoroughly recommend doing something like this to everyone out there, as long as you are honest with what level of achievement is possible for yourself from the outset. I shall report back at the end with how I got on but now it’s set in stone on my blog, I can’t possibly allow myself to not to achieve my goals.

Follow the Business Bakery on twitter here >> for handy business hints and tips, and join the 100 Day Goal here>> The next one starts on 1st May 2017.