27 before 28

Isle of Mull - Loch Na Keal

Today is my 27th Birthday. Oh eck. I’m leaving behind that period known as your “mid twenties” which when you’re younger looks so full of hope and joy (it’s a lie, avoid them at all costs) and moving on in to the “late twenties” tag. Where the pressure to “settle down” and “get your life together” steps up. Well, that doesn’t look like it’s happening any time soon, so pass the gin and cake. In the meantime I’m going to set myself some targets. These will be in the form of 28 things to do before I turn 28. I have done similar before (over on Tumblr though, this time I’m going to properly do it on here and track them). I’ve already got some general goals for 2015, but these are more “do such and such” sorts of things.

1. Climb a new Munro

I’ve climbed Ben More (on the Isle of Mull) twice now, and I was supposed to climb Ben Cruachan last year for WaterAid (it fell through). I have an itching to climb as many of these as possible, so it has to happen.

Loch Na Keal 08

2. Get my bakes stocked somewhere

I’ve a couple of things in mind here and hope I can get the ball rolling.

3. Go on a walk/hike challenge.

Something properly long, for instance 30 miles plus. I want to properly challenge myself. (this may be sorted at the start of May)

Treshnish 12

4. Do a sponsored event for charity.

Someone find me a 10k or something. I want something to aim for and work towards.

5. Send out a Cake Care Package once a month.

This is already well under way. I’ve already got a couple planned in for March and I’m aiming to keep them going. If you want one, drop me an email. I’ve got an every growing list. It has priorities (I send it to people that are down more than I do just for the sake of it).

6. Try 5 completely new foods.

Last year I ate a few completely new things. Not talking dishes, but items of food that I previously couldn’t bring myself to eat. I am historically a picky eater, so this is all about me trying to improve how I eat. I mean last year I discovered a love for radishes, kale and quinoa, who knew?

7. Go bouldering/climbing.

This is one I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. There’s a climbing place near my office but it just comes down to confidence, or a lack of it.

8. Read 5 new books by 5 new Authors

I have a habit of getting stuck on an author and re-reading them again and again (See: Weel of Time Saga – Robert Jordan or anything by JRR Tolkien). Suggestions please.

9. Make my own alcohol.

This is either going to be beer, gin or wine. I really want to try my hand at it and have for a while. (Without even knowing I was writing this my fucking amazing friends clubbed together and got me tickets to the Ginstitute in London)

East London Liquor (16 of 26)

10. Get a penpal.

I like writing letters. Wanna volunteer, tweet me or email me.

11. Get my first tattoo.

Sorry if you’re reading this Mum & Dad. I’ve had the concept decided on for ages and have a couple of artists in mind (it just comes down to money).

12. Have a driving lesson

I started learning when I was 17, as most people did. Then one day, my driving instructor just didn’t show up. I never got back in the swing of it, but I need to, or various reasons.

13. Try and do a Video Recipe (Vlog)

We will see with this one. I’d need the equipment and a more stable living situation.

14. Read 3 classics which I’ve not read before.

I read a couple last year, I want to read a couple this year. Any suggestions on which of the classics are must reads?

15. Take an evening class in something new.

Drawing? Painting? Spinning on my head?

16. Have a “yes” day

I’m a pretty negative person. Having a day where I said yes to everything would possibly kill me.

17. Go clean shaven for a week.

See how the other half live, ya know?

18. Go camping

I love camping. I also haven’t done it properly in years. Festivals do NOT count.

19. Do a minimum of 12 “cooking” posts

I want to mix things up and start doing more meals/cooking on the blog, rather than just baking. I’ve done a few in the past and they are usually quite well received.

CUrry Crumb Cod

20. Increase my “prop” collection

I currently have very little to use for when I’m taking photos etc for the blog. I need to start scouring charity shops etc to try and increase this.

21. Random act of kindness

Do this for a complete stranger. I’m not just talking about something small, or being polite. I mean go the whole hog and really help someone.

22. Re-skin my blog

I’ve been unsure about my theme for a while now and I want to change it, my main bugbear is that there is no proper content on my front page. While that looks good I feel it doesn’t draw people in too much.

23. Network

Since starting this blog it has helped put me in touch with some other wonderful bloggers. This year I want to try and meet a fair few of them.

24. Run

I mainly exercise using my exercise bike. When it gets a bit warmer though I am going to force myself to mix thing up and go out for a couple of runs.

25. Be happier in myself

This is a more broad/vague one. I have… dips… sometimes where I get really low. I want to make a conscious effort this year to try and make myself more happy and do things that make me happy.

26. Live perminently outside my overdraft

The move to London made me take a massive step back in my finances. This year I am determined to tackle that.

27. Watch a WWE PPV without complaining, once.

This may be the hardest one ever.

Triple H anger
Does anyone have any suggestions for more? Do you have your own personal goals?

2015 Goals

2014 bought about a fair bit of change and adventure for me. With a move from “North” (Yorkshire) to “South” (London) finally taking place, trips to Chicago, Belgium & Mull and various mini adventures and escapades along the way it was all together a fairly successful year. So I’m going to set myself some targets for 2015. Some of these may come across as modest, but that is, in part, down to having such an extravagant 2014 and my wallet needing some downtime.

  1. Learn to bake

Cinnamon Buns
Yup, you read that right. Twice every year I get people badgering me to enter The Breat British Bake Off (GBBO), when it airs and when they accept entries, and every time I say the same thing; “I’m just not good enough. I don’t have the basic technical knowledge required.” Etc. I’m also very good at following a recipe, or adapting a recipe, but I wouldn’t say I could just make one up or wing it too successfully (I can to a point, but not as much as I personally would like).

So, this means I am going to spend some time this year teaching myself the basics. What makes a good cake, and why? How to make pastry, of all different kinds, pies and the like. And so on and so forth. This also means I’ll be documenting my adventures.

  1. Learn how to use my camera

You guessed it, there’s a theme here, I want to better myself. I have a Nikon D70s which I inherited from my dad when he upgraded a few years ago. I have a couple of good lenses, and I can take a passable snap. I want to take GOOD photos though. This year I fully intend to step my game up and teach myself just how to use the camera I’ve been heavy-handedly using for the last few years. I’ve been recommended Plate to Pixel and I’m going to give that a go.

  1. Sort out my financial situation.

It stinks; I want it not to stink. This means an actual budget. I have plans in place to get this sorted, which I’ll share if they are successful.

  1. Sell my bakes

I’ve been wanting to do this for ages. As I knew I’d likely be leaving Leeds it wasn’t really going to happen there. I’ve been thinking about ways of doing it, from doing bespoke orders all the way through to having my own stall. I’m currently wanting to look in to setting up a market stall somewhere in London at one of the weekend markets.

This is one I’d love some help with. If anyone has any suggestions on how to go about it, from set up, to places or even just business help/advice that’d be amazing.

  1. Get to a better fitness level.


Cor, check out that belly (this was when I was in better shape, using better loosely)

Ah, the standard one you’ll see everywhere. This isn’t an “oh my god I wanna lose 50lbs” it’s more of an “I don’t wanna get out of breath climbing the stairs”. I was doing pretty well last year before I got derailed by life things happening, and I want to get back to it.

These will all go along with other lifestyle changes that I’ll be looking to make throughout the year. What are your goals for 2015? Do you have anything to say or a way you could help me with mine?