Tagged: Flowers and plants

Plans for 2015?

We are halfway into January, and you’re wondering, do I have any plans for 2015?

Yes, off course 🙂

I have plans within the areas of decluttering, finance, exercise and life in general! Why don’t you let me tell you all about it 😉

Declutter
In 2014, the focus was mostly on decluttering, and I’m afraid I still have ways to go 😦 Seems like decluttering and getting less stuff, inspires me to want less and less. So I will continue this in 2015. Last years goal was to declutter one item a day (365 items) and I far succeeded that, so I thought maybe I should try that one, one more time.. I think it will be harder this year to find the 365 items, but I’m sure gonna try 😉

I don’t know if you remember! Just like I’m reading myself out of my bookshelf, I’ve decided to watch myself out of my movie collection, and I also have this big, actually huge, photo project which I mentioned for you guys in November, that I will be spending time on this year.

My declutter goals for 2015;

  • 365 items
  • 100 Movies – that’s half of my collection
  • Cut my physical DVD series collection by 30% (yeah, that’s a lot, I have a lot, a lot of series)
  • 34 books –  I did 82 or something like that, out-the-door last year, but now I’m getting into more of the books I love…
  • Photo collection – oh lord…  I can’t even tell you what my goal is for this year! Half maybe?
    My overall goal is to keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. Now having several thousand photos, this is a task that will take time, and most likely spill over into 2016…

Only buying necessities
My focus last year on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!) served me very well, as I had to spend quite a bit on medical treatments instead. It served me so well, I think I’d like to continue the focus this year. But with a small change compared to last years – I will add an allowance;

  • Books – I can still buy up to 10 books/magazines – preferable as e-books
  • Eating out – We did pretty good last year – we will try to squeeze even more this year, by reducing another 25% on last years results.
  • Flowers and plants – stay at the same level of last years result
  • New allowance: I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year 🙂

Other financial goals
Last year I managed to pay off my car (a few months early) and I’m pretty happy with that 🙂 My ultimate goal on the other hand, is to have my house mortgage paid off, in 16 years or less, compared to the 25 it was originally. I’m 7 years in and have almost halved the mortgage so far, which is phenomenal! But it’s getting harder now that I’m on a severely reduced pay due to not working so much. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage, so my goal for 2015 is to save up 60 000 NOK for my lump sum in January 2016. If I manage that on my reduced pay, I’m doing very well.

Activity and exercise
Due to illness I have not been the most active person the last few years, every time I think I’m ready to start exercising, I’ve managed to screw that up somehow, and I’ve gotten worse again. Now on the other hand, I’m feeling better than ever and I think it’s time to give it another shot. But this time around I’m going to be careful about it and take my time!!!

The goal for this year is to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.

  • By activity I mean something that gets me up and going and preferable out of the house, like a walk in the neighbour hood, work in the yard, run around playing with kids… just about anything that gets me out of that couch, gives me some fresh air, and brings me into a moving state 😉
  • With real workout I mean an activity like for example going to the gym, yoga, biking, running, Rollerblade … you get the drift.

Other activities/projects this year
I have a few other things on my agenda 🙂 Like; travel, projects in my yard, other projects, throw a garden party, ++
But these, I think I’ll tell you more about, as we move into the year 😉

So that’s it for my 2015 goals… enough don’t you think?

 

My 2014 goals – how did I do?

In 2009, after having lived in the US for two years, I came home with enough stuff to fill up a entire house (after having furnished an empty condo in Houston), and I already had a house full. Since then I have slowly but surely gotten rid of stuff, and I’ve dwindled it down to one household again. But as good as I had been at it, I felt that there was still more that could go out of the house. Which is why I decided a year ago that I would make 2014 a year to declutter and living with less.

And to be accountable – I started this blog 🙂

I decided my main goal, would be to get rid of an average of at least one item a day, all through 2014 – yepp, 365 items!

I also made a second goal, a promise in my post I want. I want – I want it now!!! – to make an effort to buy only necessities, needs rather than wants.

Have I managed what I set out to do? The short answer – YES!

So here it is – my MAIN goal;

2014 tally of items out-the-door  – 634 items, 2200 bookmarks and 14485 emails 🙂

Curious about what items I shed? Check it out;

  1. January tally – 63 items
  2. February tally – 45 items, 2200 bookmarks and 2450 emails
  3. March tally – 12 items and 7535 emails
  4. April tally – 58 items and about 4500 emails
  5. May tally – 126 items
  6. June tally – 22 items
  7. July tally – 22 items
  8. August tally – 45 items
  9. September tally – 103 items
  10. October tally – 7 items
  11. November tally – 23 items
  12. December tally – 108 items

My second goal – only buying necessities; 

I did better on this during 2014 than I did in 2013 (which was the first time I tried this). I replaced broken items, only if I had too. I used up before replacing or even did not replaced at all.

I did really good at not buying anything but necessities, until my trip to US in September, when I ended up buying some clothing I didn’t really strictly “need”. I do however have an excuse as my luggage was lost for several days, and I got sick of walking around in oversized men’s clothing that I had borrowed. So I caved and bought some ladies things 😉 And it’s not like the clothing won’t come in handy, when I wear out my older stuff…

Other than that, as far as I know, there are only a few other items I got, that were strictly not a necessity. 1 small box set I thought was really cute, that I really haven’t found a use for, yet! And then I got a a few cheap IKEA wine glasses for my birthday grill party, as I did not have enough glasses for the champagne toast! (thinking about it, I believe this could be considered a necessity 😉 )

I did have some allowances for the year! Things I could do and things I could get that aren’t really necessities;

Books – I could buy up to 10 books/magazines – I bought one physical book, and two or three e-books

Eating out – the goal was to cut down to half the amount of times we (a friend and I) eat out compared to 2013 – we didn’t quite manage, as we only cut 39% on times. But what we did manage was to cut the amount we spent, with more than 50%, which was ultimately the goal.

Flowers and plants – The goal for 2014 was to cut down to procuring less than half of what I normally wouldDone 🙂 I did even better than half as I cut my procurement of plants for the garden closer to 70% compared to any other years.

So all in all, I would say that I passed my goals for 2014!

Did I pass with flying colours? Hmmm, probably not, I’m sure I could have done better, but I’m pretty happy 🙂

 

Packing up for winter…

It’s been getting colder and colder outside, and it’s time to prepare the garden for the winter season.

On the west coast of Norway we never really know what winter we will have. A couple of winters ago we had so much snow it wasn’t funny (well actually it was 🙂 ), then there is the no-snow-freezing winter and last year we had a mild wet winter. So you see.. it’s hard to know what to prepare the garden for.

Last weekend, I cleaned up my water-feature and packed away the power, pump and lining. I packed away the pump/filter for my automatic watering system and cleared away some pots and plants.

I’ve started to pull my Begonias from the ground (have one big pot left I’ll take care off this weekend), I store the tubers indoors during winter. And I have one big pot of Dahlia which I’m keeping outside until the first frost and then it’s going in, just like the Begonias. Fortunately for me I have a friend that have a storage room that I can keep bulbs and tubers in (you see, my storage room is warmer than my house 😦  )

I’ve washed all my patio furniture and yesterday they were all packed together under the furniture cover (living in 807 square feet.. I have NO storage for my outdoor furnitures, except the pillows).

I have to admit, I’m not to fond of this time a year, when I have to pack “summer” away. It makes my patio (and me) a little sad 😦 The view from the living-room isn’t quite as cosy as it it during the summer months.

It’s not like I don’t like winter. Winter can be really beautiful, especially when we have those beautiful cold crystal clear days.

I’m just not quite ready to welcome the winter yet 🙂 Fortunately, I don’t have to, as there are still plants that are flowering in the yard, so I’m hanging on to “summer” a little while longer 😉

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July tally

I have to admit, July was an appalling month when it comes to decluttering, which you probably have noticed, since I haven’t written about a single thing I shed.

So what have I been doing with myself in the month of July? Well as I wrote in the beginning of July, I was taking an hiatus to focus on my health.

So July month have been filled with trips to the osteopath, loads of rest, beautiful days in the garden and not to forget…

Loads and loads of time occupied with Molly, my furry friend 🙂 With her around I seemed to get “nothing” done. When I sat down to read, she wanted to play. When I worked outside in the yard, she hated being on a leash so I made “borders” so she could go loose, but I still needed to keep an eye on her whereabouts, just in case… When I ate, she wanted food. When I watched TV or had friends over, she wanted to “play” or go out for a walk, or was hungry or something.

So you can see why I got nothing done… right? 😉

Even so, when I think about it, there are actually a few things that have gone out-the-door in July…  Not only have I not written about them, but mostly I have even forgotten to take pictures of them 😦

But let’s see if I can’t manage a small recap anyhow!

JULY TALLY of things “out-the-door” =   22 items

  • 2 reasonable sized Boxwood plants in planters – 1 given to a neighbour, 1 given to my step-mum for her new cabin
  • 8 plastic planters/pots – given to my neighbour
  • 6 books – I’ve actually read 12 as part of my read a book program – but, I’m getting into some of my favourites and they are harder to part with… maybe next month 😉
  • 1 roll of plastic flex pipe
  • a bunch of small plastic plant pots – counted as 1 (no photo)
  • 2 terracotta pots (no photo)
  • bunch of plastic pipes leftover from earlier garden constructions – counted as 1 (no photo)
  • bunch of wood bits and pieces leftover from earlier garden constructions – counted as 1 (no photo)

Let’s see… I think that was it.. I can’t believe I ended up with the same amount of items as in June! And NO it’s not a copy/paste error – it just turned out that way!

Hmm.. if I could part with one extra book, I could beat June tally… Nope, I don’t think so.. not quite yet, gotta think about it first 😉

So her we are – 22 items – just like June!

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June tally

We are all in agreement that the month of June have been a bismal month for decluttering. But even though I haven’t written about them, there are a few things that have gone out-the-door anyhow!

So let’s see what this month have amounted to on the declutter scale:

JUNE TALLY of things “out-the-door” =  22 items

  • 2 hanging baskets – given to my step-mum for her new cabin, including the
  • 2 linings for the hanging baskets and the
  • 2 hooks for the hanging baskets
  • 1 big bag of shredded papers – I normally do a yearly shred after I’m done with the taxes (late shred this year)
  • A bunch of kitchen drawers utensils no longer (or ever) in use – counted as 1
  • 1 red empty leather notebook – also for my step-mum
  • 1 toilet bag after dad
  • Some outdated medication – counted as 1
  • 1 indoor water fountain feature set
  • 9 books – I’m still chugging away at my read a book program
  • and another book that I read and gave to mum while I was in London in May – that I forgot to tell you about, but I’m counting it anyway 😉

Hey, this wasn’t quite as bad after all… for a non declutter month… 🙂

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My morning visitor

When I opened my front door this morning, I was welcomed by this friendly visitor, who seems to have fallen “head over heels” with one of my plants.

Visitors like this, brightens my day, and makes it feel like summer is here.

Thought I would share, to brighten your day 😉

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Happy as a clam…

I can’t even begin to tell you what wonderful weather we have had here the last week, it feels like summer (actually, you never know, it might be our summer! )

In my post Spring cleaning a month ago, I cleaned up the wall around my raised flowerbeds. After this, my patio looked a little forlorn 😦 probably wondering if I had forgotten all about it.

Well I’m happy to say that with this great – and I mean GREAT weather – the perfect opportunity presented itself for a little patio TLC.

He never knew what hit him, before he had time to take a breath, he was stripped bare of furniture, plants and stuff.

One proper clean-up with cleaner and a pressure washer, and my patios hair was standing up in pure shock.

Well we couldn’t have any of that, could we! So next day when everything was dried, out came the sanding paper and my Black and Decker sanding mouse. Throw in a few hours of “elbow crease” and my patio was smooth as a baby’s bottom 😉

Fast forward a couple of days, and about 40 minutes ago I finished putting on the last lick of oil!

The patio is positively radiant! Happy as a clam, in mud at high tide 😉

And here it is! Before and after – and a couple of more, for good measures 😉

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A vase or two.. or ten?

I did mention, that I really like flowers and plants, right?

I love surrounding myself with flowers, both indoor and outdoor. So what does this have to do with today’s post? Well, one of the curses with being a little “obsessed” with plants is that, before you know it, you have filled up the house with vases and flowerpots.

So I decided it was time to weed down the amount of vases… How many do I have?

Well, after getting rid of the bunch you see in the picture below, I still… have another bunch, left… 🙂

And yes, as you can see from the keep pile, it’s still waaaay to many 😉 But about 6 of them are on “probation”, and if they are not used sometime this year, they will be going! So, hopefully next year I’ll be down a few more 😉

But at least for now, 15 pieces of flower related things, are going out-the-door.

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There is Spring in my step!

We are having some really pretty days here this Easter, the sun is out, and I can’t help but hang out in my yard 🙂

Walking around this morning I suddenly glimpsed a tiny, tiny bit of red out of the corner of my eye, and it stopped me cold.

Could it be? No really.. could it be my first Ladybug of the year?

I stopped and took a closer look, and there – hidden in the middle of some dead leaves still hanging on my “blood birch” – was the first Ladybug I had seen this year.  I don’t know what it is, but for some reason that first Ladybug in my yard each year, put’s a smile in my heart. It’s almost like that – for that tiny moment – all is well in the world.

Maybe it’s because seeing a Ladybug, brings back a moment in my life, a good memory from when I was about 6 years old. When my best friend at the time and me, ran around in the neighbourhood (in the middle of urban city), picked summer flowers (that we would “sell” to strangers walking by) and “hunted” for ladybugs to count their spots, and see which one of us would find the most “spotted” one 🙂

This years Ladybug inspired me to take some pictures of my tiny garden (with my phone) – and I just thought I wanted to share my joy of Spring 🙂

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March tally!

Month three! My gosh I thought I had spent February focusing on my digital clutter, but February don’t even hold a candle to the month of March.

Unfortunately, getting that focused on digital clutter, have taken away some of the focus on tangible decluttering, and it’s time I step it back up in the month of April!

Looking at my monthly tally this month, you’d think I’ve done nothing. I might not have been decluttering to much, but I have still been up to a couple of things 🙂

MARCH TALLY of things “out-the-door” =  12 items and 7535 emails

  • 1 ice cream spoon
  • 1 leather vest
  • 10 bottles of hotel “candy
  • 7535 emails at my work mailbox

So what else have I’ve been up to? Well let’s see, there is:

 

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