Simply Your Life Challenge – Week 1

So Deb from Home Life Simplified has given us our first Challenge of the 52 Weeks to Simply Your Life Challenge.  This week, we’re focussing on what went “right” in 2011.

Excellent question that!  I guess alot of things went right in 2011, and looking back, I really can’t think of anything I’d change (except maybe the dentist trips and cheese & milk allergy but even they have a bright side.)

At the end of 2010 we had decided we wanted to “create” our outdoor living space – by which I mean work on the garden and build a back deck.  During the Easter break hubby & our neighbour ripped down the walls to the old laundry and built us a lovely timber deck.  It immediately gave the house a whole new feel!  Rather than walking down into the dingy laundry, we can walk out onto the deck and are greeted by mother nature.

We also made progress in the garden.  I have a small corner veggie garden in place, and successfully grew some potatoes, tiny carrots and snowpeas during the year.  I also grew celery, onions, and broccoli but not quite so successfully!  My garden however is currently full of weeds and needs some TLC to bring it back to life.  I have some sweet potato planted but no idea how it will go against the weeds!  We managed to cut down some trees and pull out old vegetation from along the back garden, ready to breathe new life into it.  We’re a long way from done but it’s been greating spending time outside in the garden with hubby and working together on our little projects.

Even with the weeds, it’s so peaceful to walk out and sit on the back deck, or take a chair out into the yard and just sit for awhile.  There’s always heaps of birds around, and hearing the kids next door laugh and play is wonderful.

We also made the decision to start trying for our first child.  Though we haven’t officially kicked that off yet, the decision was made and we were both happy that it was.  We’d spoken about it, but there was never any ‘yes, okay lets start trying “insert timeframe here” ” type decision until mid-year.

I had already spent plenty of time (as you do) reading about what i should be doing to get my body ready etc.  So with that came the decision to try and eat (and shop) better.  This has resulted to alot less take out meals and frozen meals, and alot more visits to the butcher and my cook books!  I’m not the most creative cook, but we have a small number of simple recipes that I rotate around throughout the week.  I am hoping to expand on this during the year though, as there are some nights the thought of steak & vege or stir fry really isn’t appealing!

I mentioned before that the only thing I *might* change was dentist & doctor visits.  Well, even though they’re never great fun, I have to admit finding out I had a milk & cheese allergy has also played a big part in my diet and improved my health I think.  I always knew my body wasn’t keen on alot of dairy, but it wasn’t until I kept getting sick from even a basic spag bol with grated cheese that I bothered going to the doctor about it.  (There was even one day I went home sick from work due to the pizza I’d had for dinner the night before!)  Feeling crook and having bad stomach pains makes it hard to snuggle up with hubby, so after a doctors visit and blood test to find out what the problem is, I can honestly say I’m feeling better.  I’ve avoided cheese and my body i think is thanking me for it!  (Although I do miss it some days!)

During 2011 hubby and I also spent many nights curled up together on the couch, watching telly and just enjoying each others company.  Or perhaps he would build some left or sort out some dvds while we watched a movie, but it was time spent together which was wonderful.  I’m hoping for many more nights like this while it’s still just the 2 of us!

On the work side of things, hubby started volunteering towards the end of November and has loved it.  I think having time to dos something he really enjoys has agreed with him!  My boss sat me down and told me how much I was appreciated and how lost she’d be without me, the payrise she gave me was a just a bonus to hearing that I was appreciated!


All in all, 2011 wasn’t a bad year for us.  I think it was a good year and we’ve each grown, both individually and as a couple.  With any luck, 2012 will see us grow even more.




8 thoughts on “Simply Your Life Challenge – Week 1

    • Amanda, not too bad with the dairy free. It’s really only milk and cheese I’ve cut out of my diet. I haven’t really drank milk in years anyway so that was easy (have been drinking soy milk for the last few years instead). Cheese however I miss! I have grown up eating it and love it, but although sometimes I crave a cheeseburger or toasted cheese sandwich, I manage to carry on without 🙂 The hours of pain and sickness eating it causes really isn’t worth the few minutes it takes to eat!
      My friend used to have coeliac disease, some of his mum’s home cooking was fantastic! Better than what we classed as “real food”! 🙂

  1. Kat, how wonderful to be trying for a baby this year! There is nothing like the joy a baby brings (although the teenage years are a whole different story, trust me!) May 2012 bring you all that you hope for 🙂

  2. it is hard to cut out a major part of your diet! (i had to cut out wheat, kill me now!) but I am glad you are seeing the benefits of it and feeling so much betteR! that makes it all slightly easier 🙂

  3. Good luck with the baby making when the time is right. How exciting.

    I need to cut out dairy – it makes me sick and I have had problems with it since my teens but i give in and suffer the pain afterwards. One part of the challenge I am personally looking forward to is the health part as I have slacked on dairy, sleep requirements, and more and need the accountability and public bit to commit again.

    Your deck and garden sound lovely – enjoy!

    • I’ll have to get some pics of the deck and garden up at some point 🙂
      I think knowing that hubby hates seeing me sick as there is nothing he can do to help in that situation definitely helped with the decision to cut dairy out of my diet. I feel bad enough when I do eat it, but knowing he’s suffering too isn’t a good feeling!

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