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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Happy New Year!

This beach belong to the house we used to live in when I was 
pre-school/early primary scool age.

We spent Christmas and New Year in Norway with my family. It was the first time the four of us had been together since August as Emily has been living in Spain since August. We had a lovely family time with my parents, a bit of snow and a lot of ice. And we all caught a sickness bug but other than that we had a great time.

2018 was a great year, a very busy year! I didn't achieve all my goals but I achieved some of the most important ones. One personal goal that was very important and will be top of my priorities in 2019 is my health. I have been overweight all my life and as I'm approaching 50 (later this year), my weight is starting to affect my health. So a year ago I decided to do something about it. In January 2018 I'd been suffering from a bad knee for six months and I was limping when I walked. Physio wasn't sure what was wrong and the exercises he gave me didn't work so I was finally referred for a scan and finally last summer (a year after I started experiencing pain) I was finally diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in one knee and told I needed a knee replacement. Ironically when I saw the doctor I had been mostly pain-free for a month and I wasn't limping anymore but my knee still locked at times and it didn't feel right so I knew the diagnosis was correct but I put the operation on hold for now.

So what made a difference was purchasing a stationery bike last January and consistently using it 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes of interval training plus some strengthening exercises. I also started watching what I was eating in an attempt to lose weight. In the summer I was a bit dis-satisfied with my weight loss progress so I finally decided to cut down on sugar, cut down on Diet Coke (mainly drink it if I go out for a meal and rarely drink it at home anymore), start eating lots more vegetables, cut down on refined carbs including pasta and rice. I lost 2 stone (28 pounds/12.5kg) last year which I'm very happy with. I'm about a third of the way to my weight loss goal. A lot of my eating is emotional so I'm learning to use my essential oils for emotional support rather than turning to chocolate. 

So my main personal goal for 2019 is to continue to improve my fitness. I'm still cycling 3-5 times a week but I've increased it to 25 minutes interval training and I walk the dog once or twice a day. My step goal per day is 7000 steps and if I walk the dog twice I usually go a bit over but if I only walk him once I struggle to achieve that goal. I'm continuing to improve my diet and learning more about how to avoid emotional eating, which means using my essential oils to support me emotionally.

One of the most important goals I achieved in 2018 for my health was probably halving the amount of pain killers I take for severe, chronic upper back and neck pain which I've suffered from for 19 years. With the help of DoTerra supplements and essential oils for pain support, I've cut down to 4 of each of two strong pain killers a day. I was previously taking 8-10 of each. I've also halved the amount of anti-inflammatories I take. I've tried cutting down on painkillers before without any luck but over the last 18 months I've gradually cut down. I use essential oils and a range of amazing supplements daily to support my body and I know this is the reason I've managed to cut down. I feel so much better and less 'foggy'. If you'd like to know more about this, then please e-mail me on

This photo was taken two hours before I came down with a sickness bug,
 two days before Christmas.

Below are some of my personal and travel highlights of 2018  - from top left: Edinburgh, Edinburgh Yarn Fest classes, our new dog Alfie. Middle row from left: London and the DoTerra European Convention, me and the girls at the Eden Project for my birthday, Madrid. Bottom row from left: the Costa Blanca, Scotland and essential oils/knitting.

On a professional note, 2018 was busy. I taught a lot of classes and was lucky enough to teach at some amazing events including Unravel, Edinbugh Yarn Fest and the Knit Tea Retreat. 

I self-published 14 new patterns, plus a few former magazine patterns. A few of my favourites are below (see them all in my Ravelry Pattern Shop). I did fewer magazine designs last year but I did release my second book, Easy Lace Knits, which I'm very proud of and a huge thank you to all the amazing feedback I've received and to everyone who's bought a copy. You can get your signed copy here.

My professional goals for 2019 are to release two patterns per month, continue to teach workshops, record two new online classes, build my DoTerra essential oil business. If you'd like to learn more about essential oils and natural solutions, join my Natural Living Facebook Group or e-mail me on

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