It’s agreed then.  I’m going to jot down my sewing thoughts and plans so I’ve got some sort of written record of them and, hopefully, I’ll feel a little more motivated to actually get some of them in the wardrobe!

But before I do that I thought I’d take a wee step backwards and lay the foundation with the stuff that driving my plans for the year.   Namely, my priorities for 2016.

I haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions this year, because frankly, I don’t have the bandwidth for that kind of pressure at the moment.  But there are four main areas of my life that I want to tackle, other than the obvious ones of keeping the family fed, watered, educated and alive by the year’s end.

So here we go!



Unless you’ve been living under a rock or should’ve gone to SpecSavers, you can’t help but notice that I’ve packed on a pile of weight over the last 12 – 18 months. This was triggered by a change in medication that prompted a huge and rapid weight gain that has proven particularly tricky to lose.

This has partially been due to menopause (can I just say here that I loathe and detest menopause.  Hot flushes…I’m looking at you in particular!), but also partly due to recurrent chest infections last year necessitating repeat doses of steroids and antibiotics.

All this means that I’m starting the year feeling uncomfortable in my skin and determined that this year will be healthier.  I’m focussing on the health in the hope that the slimmer will follow.  Health has to be the focus.  I was ill for nearly half of the year last year and I’m not doing that again.  Also the amount of steroids I’ve been ingesting are detrimental to bone density, which I can’t afford to lose any faster as I get older.

So here’s the plan:

  • I’m eating predominately gluten and sugar free.  I did this for about 6 weeks last year and lost weight but more importantly gained energy and slept better.   It’s not that difficult to do.  I don’t feel deprived.  I just need to be organised.
  • Move more.  I’ll be honest that I loathe exercise.  I’d rather be knitting or sewing. Or, truth be told, cleaning the oven.  I just have to suck this up and do it.  I’ve already added a little gentle yoga to the mix, but not enough, and Hubby and I have started to learn to ballroom dance with the same guy who teaches the kids.  But I need to find more ways to up the movement ante.
  • Top of the movement list (other than yoga and dancing) are swimming, pilates, Zumba and weights.  I need to bite the bullet on a gym membership and get my arse in gear. 



This is the year we are moving house.

It’s going to happen.

It has to happen.

Half of our life is in boxes.  We have outgrown this little house of ours.   I’m longing for a dedicated sewing room and an office for the hubby.  And the tidier more organised home that this will bring.  Both of those things are carved in stone as “must haves” for the new house.

Our little home is back on the market. I’ll share more when there’s more to tell.

With a bit of luck and a fair wind we’ll be in our new home for the summer.   Watch this space.


I’m currently retraining to be an accountant.

This is the funniest sentence I think I’ve ever typed.


Of all the jobs I ever thought I’d do, accountant never even entered my head. And retraining as I approach 50 is something I never thought I’d do.  But my husband’s business needs an accountant and we might as well spend the money on training me to do it than keep paying someone else.  That’s the whole reason for having our own business. We’re working for the benefit of our family, not lining someone else’s pockets.

So accountancy training it is.

It turns out I’m pretty good at it.  That’s coming from my tutor not me.  But I’m immensely proud of the work I’m doing on this course and the results I’m getting.

So this year I intend to pass my AAT Level 2 and commence my AAT Level 3.  It feels good to be supporting my family in a more tangible way than food/drink/cuddles/clean clothes, even though they are undoubtably all they really need and want.

But this…this is good for me!



With the house on the market and life in boxes I have limited access to my sewing supplies, BUT I will still be sewing.

It’s been a long slow road to get to the point where I know what I want to sew, what I need to sew and what actions I don’t want to repeat in my sewing life going forward.

My next post will start to lay out my thoughts, rationale and plans.  With some specifics on patterns and fabrics.

What do your plans for the year look like?

Do you have specific resolutions or simply some clear priorities?

18 Responses to Priorities

  1. Brilliant plans – manageable, flexible and realistic! And healthwise I’m in the same place as you – maybe I should give the gluten free thing a whirl. When I travelled a bit in Asia 10 years back I ate a very gluten free diet and lost weight without trying so perhaps it will work for me. Good luck and stay sane and happy 🙂

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I find I’ve got more energy if I give the gluten and the sugar a miss. To be fair, the sugar makes me feel the most rubbish. Got to be worth a try, no!

      Good luck to you too!

  2. Those are some really clear goals- good luck with them! I totally second swimming as a recommended sport by the way… It’s a bit of a hassle to get to the pool and everything, but it doesn’t put as much stress on your joints as running would do and you use a lot of different muscles at the same time! I try to swim for an hour a week and it makes me feel so much better 🙂

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Oh thanks for that. I haven’t been swimming for years but used to really enjoy it. The main problem has been that our municipal pool is decidedly unsavoury, but I’ve found a little gym that also has a pool and doesn’t expect you to sell the children to pay the membership. The kids can also go swimming so they get to have fun too.

  3. Nadine in NC says:

    I have found I do better when I make exercise a habit. This might sound somewhat silly, but I when go grocery shopping I always park farther back in the parking lot and walk every aisle two or three times, time permitting. I also make a point of going multiple times a week. While it’s not life altering, it is an easy habit to develop and doesn’t really feel like exercise to me. You can also incorporate lots of little habits into your life like doing leg lifts while you brush your teeth, or doing a few exercises, like bridges, before you even get out of bed. It does take some effort to develop it into a habit, but for me it was a lot easier after that.

    If you haven’t been taking probiotics, I would highly recommend that you give them a try. I generally just buy a store brand that has a basic assortment. I had difficulty taking them at first but found that starting out small (like 1/4 to 1/2 a pill) and building up to the recommended dose was the best way to go for me. Just an idea to consider given that you’ve had to be on antibiotics & steroids. I hope you are successful in your quest for better health.

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Probiotics are such a good idea! I was taking them last year but could really do to get back to them. Thanks for the reminder.

      I love adding in the little extras, like stairs instead of lifts, but you are so right that it needs to become a habit. Once you’ve got into the habit it becomes easier to build on it.

  4. Kim Hood says:

    They all sound both sensible and achievable. I also need to lose weight for health reasons, although once my medication is sorted that may be easier. My daughter runs ridiculous distances on a virtually vegan and gluten free diet. She isn’t really strict about it, but she looks both strong and healthy. Bones are also an issue here – I’m told weight bearing is the way to shock them into staying strong so jogging is how I’m attacking it along with some weights in the gym.
    Good luck with your plans.

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I would love to be able to jog but my knees are buggered. But weights are really good for building bone density and I absolutely love doing free weights.

      It’s so hard when they’re fiddling with medication. I was doing fine till NICE changed the rules on dosage and we had to swap. Took me ages to get back on an even keel.

      Good luck to you too!

  5. Wow brilliant plans for the year. I love the sound of the accountancy exams. As well as in-house I bet there are lots of small creatives that could do with an accountant that understands where they are coming from. I am pretty much in the same place as you health-wise. My meds made me put on a fair bit of weight. That was 14 years ago and nothing I can do has shifted it. Not helped by the 2-bag of crisp dinner every night last year. The joys of commuting. Going to try low carb. Lots of the folks in my old work swore by it. Looking forward to seeing your sewing plans and good luck with the house hunting. Xx

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Crisps for dinner! Perfect. Preferably with a glass of wine.

      Seriously though, when you’re as busy as you are the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is cook. I get it.

      Carbs are the devil, I’m sure. The fewer I eat the fewer I want. Pity they taste so darn good!

  6. K-Line says:

    OMG: That’s so awesome that you’re going to have a new career! It may not be the one you imagined, but if you enjoy it that’s all that matters. And what a useful career that is! We should all understand our money and the tax system as you do.

    And I’m with you on the hateful of menopause train. Lord, what a fucking disaster. Every month I work through something new – something I’d happily have never considered. So I really understand where you’re coming from Evie.

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I read today that the average woman take 7 years to work through the menopause symptoms. 7 YEARS!!!!!!! I nearly wept.

      I saw my doctor about it this week and as well as ordering a rack of blood tests to make sure all is ok, she recommended ginseng, black cohosh or red clover as alternatives to HRT. I did some reading and am going to give the ginseng a go. She tells me she’s been having some good results with it.

      As for the accountancy….gotta love any job you can do in your pyjamas at home! 😉

  7. Anne-Marie says:

    Good plans Evie! My husband and I are in our mid-sixties; we began social dancing (American ballroom) 3 years ago and I can honestly say that, if you have good teachers who teach technique as well as steps, you will get fitter and stronger and more toned. We love it and this year, for the first time, learned a routine with two other couples. Many hours of hard work for about 2.5 minutes of dancing but oh such fun!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      Oh congratulations on your dancing achievements. I was in fits of laughter last week after we’d had our class, I had muscles aching that I didn’t know existed. But it is such enormous fun.

      We are learning with the same teacher who teaches the kids, so this weekend they have a private lesson and we’re planning to commandeer a corner of the studio and practice ourselves.

      I’ve wanted to learn to dance for so many years, it’s just wonderful to finally put my dancing shoes on.

  8. VIcki Kate says:

    Oh Evie, These all sound like really good goals to have. I’m joining you on the first but I’ll skip the accountancy! I’m really glad its something you’re enjoying though, there is something really rewarding about learning a new skill and finding out it’s something that comes naturally and is enjoyable is even better! I really hope the house move comes off for you this year too, I understand the frustration of not enough space and living in boxes, it will be good to have room to breathe. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned for the sewing side of things, I need to be more realistic about how much time I have but it doesn’t stop the dreaming!!

    • Pendle Stitches says:

      I think you have more than enough on your plate without accountancy. Have you finished all your studies now?

      Things are progressing slowly on the house front. I’m very optimistic about this and very much looking forward to it all being done and dusted.

      I hear you about time…there are simply never enough hours in the day to do all the things we need to do and leave space for the fun.

  9. Jane G says:

    hope all works out for you, get the health issues sorted out and the rest will be much easier to deal with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *