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May 2017

Personal, Projects

29 before 30 – The Second Quarter Ploy

29 before 30 challenge - Plans for quarter two

For my 29 before 30 challenge I wanted to work on a quarterly basis. At the beginning of every quarter (going from the 24th to the 23th) I’ll post a list with goals I want to work on specifically in that quarter and at the end of every quarter I’ll give you an update. My second quarter started a couple of weeks ago, so it’s high time I shared my goals for the second part of my 29 before 30 challenge.

Ok, but before you can peek at my goals for this quarter, please take a second to appreciate the illustration I made! I spend two days in Illustrator for this baby and for once I’m fairly happy with what I created. The illustration is also the reason I’m late with these updates. #scaredtostartbecauseofexpectations #drempelvrees

29 before 30 challenge - Plans for quarter two

Now, let’s have a look at my goals for the next three months. I’ve tried being precise, using exact numbers where I could, because this makes actually reaching (or not reaching) easier. If you forgot what my complete 29 before 30 challenge looked like, you can find it here.

29 before 30 challenge - Plans for quarter two

  1. Ecological footprint: I still don’t feel like I’ve informed myself enough, but it’s also time I start taking action. So in the next three months I want to undertake at least 5 concrete steps to consume less. It might be changing all the light bulbs in my house to LED lamps or finally making the re-usable vegetable bags that have been on my to do list for ages.
  2. Lettering: I started with a #100dayalphabet challenge at the beginning of April, but after 20 days I fell of the boat. It’s time to get on again, because I need the daily practise! I also want to digitise five pieces of the 30 Day of Lettering challenge to sharpen my Illustrator skills.
  3. Illustration: In the illustration department I’m also going to be ambitious. I need to get over myself and make that damned cat family illustration. I also want to make the “29 before 30 – quarter 3” illustration before the start of the third quarter. 😉 Ah and create some more illustrations, although I’m not sure which topics I want to cover. Any ideas?
  4. Travel more: I’m going to visit Warsaw with my boyfriend and afterwards I really want to start planning another trip. It needs to be really low-budget though and I’m dreaming of Marrakesh, not sure we can do this for the real cheap.
  5. Garden: In the last year I think I went maybe twice in our garden. It’s a small, wet patch of mud surrounded by a concrete fence. At the moment, it’s completely overgrown (which I secretly like, because birds & bugs love this), but it would also be nice to be able to put, I don’t know, a hammock in there when the weather is nice. So, I’m going to make a plan, figure out which (native, bee loving) plants I need and start making it happen. Ditto for our balcony.
  6. Sewing: A couple of years ago (you can barely see it in the archives) I was really into sewing. I still have all the dresses, skirts and tops I made back then, because #quality. It’s been age though since I made something new, so I want to make a new dress from scratch
  7. Health: I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet for a while, but took a break for a few weeks. It’s time to get back at it though! I also want to do the 30 Day Shred and start doing yoga regularly. Anndd work on my self-esteem/hermit issues. Or at least start figuring out how I’m going to work on these.
  8. House: I started with a make-over of our entryway, which needs to be finished.  The hardest part is stripping the front door and painting it. Other than that it’s putting up decoration, which sometimes takes ages with us.
  9. Random: Finding a good breakfast spot in Ghent and finally making a video (of at least 3 minutes) are also on my list this quarter. Along with the usual “keeping up with reading, watching new series and seeing new movies”.
  10. Side-hustle: This is going to take a big chunk of my time, because I’m trying to set up a full time hustle. It’s scaring the shit out of me + makes me feel very lost, because this was not The Plan. So I’m going to design a collection for Studio Maddy and make a basic branding for that blog. I intend to release the first collection by the end of the quarter. This is also why I feel I need to be really ambitious with the lettering and illustration goals, because keeping the pressure on makes me more productive.

There you have it, my ambitious planning for this second quarter of my 29 before 30 challenge. I’m all good hopes and optimism at the moment, so we’ll see how this goes. Did you make some ambitious plans lately?

Personal, Projects

29 before 30 – Looking back on quarter one

For my 29 before 30 list I wanted to work on a quarterly basis. At the beginning of every quarter (going from the 24th to the 23th) I’ll post a list with goals I want to work on specifically in that quarter and at the end of every quarter I’ll give you an update. Which makes this post ridiculously late.

If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, check my original 29 before 30 birthday list. You’ll find all my goals for this year in that blog post.

Looking back on quarter one

Those first three months of the year flew by! I can’t even, when I realise it’s already May (or worse: halfway May. Eep!). I didn’t get to all the things on my quarterly goal list, but I still made some good progress.

Ecological footprint

Shrinking my ecological footprint isn’t something I’ve been blogging about. I really wanted to a couple of times, but I always felt like I’m not doing enough yet and I’ve just been gathering knowledge on the topic. I did read De Groene Meisjes book, which didn’t really go into depth about anything, but did provide a couple of interesting sources I need to check out.

I also noticed I’m getting very conscious about the amount of waste we’re producing. Last time we went to Ikea we only picked up a couple of items, but the amount of plastic waste this created really made me cringe. So did the image of a turtle with a straw jammed up its nose when it popped into my mind the last time I wanted a straw in my drink. They’re not really reusable, so I’m never buying plastic straws again. I guess baby steps is the way to go here.

400+ pages book

I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses which is 421 pages long. Goal reached. I also started (but still need to finish, although I’m over the 400 pages point at this moment) A Court of Mist and Fury. I’m not sure about this series though. I was hooked, but then discovered this was going to be an 8 book series instead of a trilogy. I’m not sure there is enough world building for that.


I did started weight lifting (got to 8kg) and then it fell flat. I always forgot about it when I’m at my desk, although actually doing a couple of lifts costs me no time at all. I’m also trying to get into the 30 Day Shred again, because all the muscle building exercises in there will surely help (and it’s something I actually need to do to keep my knees from hurting).

Illustration & hand lettering skills

I started a 100 Day Alphabet challenge for my lettering (+ did a 30 Day of Lettering Challenge in February) and made a couple of illustrations for drawing school. Not as many illustrations as I had hoped though.


I started the bookstagram account, but getting into regularly publishing content is harder than I thought. I’m still buying books and I’m reading, so I’ve got content to share.

Yoga Revolution

I didn’t get into the Yoga Revolution. Yoga is one of those things I actually like doing, but never make time for. Booh.

Draw a family portrait

Didn’t draw the cat family portrait. Booh.

Radical Self Love

Didn’t start the Radical Self Love course. Also boo. I still reallllly want to do this as soon as possible though.

Make a video

I did make a video. It was quite short, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. It’s in my 30 Days of Lettering wrap-up post.

30 posts on // 16 posts on Studio Maddy

I just got to 30 posts on Plutomeisje (because April has been one big blogging slump, otherwise it would’ve been a breeze). I didn’t get to the 16 posts I wanted to write for Maddy. Seriously overshot myself there. I do have ideas, but actually writing them down seems to be hard for some reason.

More Instagram pictures

For a short while I did post more often on Instagram, but I’ve slumped again. Although I am taking way more pictures than before, thanks to my new(ish) point and shoot camera.  I always carry it in my bag and I love that I can make really decent pictures at any time. Only posting them online is something I find hard, especially coming up with decent captions. I did start using Instagram Stories a lot more. I find this more fun, because there’s little pressure about perfect shots and how your feed looks. You can post crappy shots, but still tell your story on the go.

More fun adventures

Yes to small adventures! I went on a blogger date with Kathleen in Brussels and asked an old school mate to go to Let’s Talk Design with me. Those are both things that are somewhat out of my comfort zone, but it was fun!

I also read one book from my unread shelves (I went to the library too many times), made my playlist for random dance parties and I finally watched Moana and Nocturnal Animals. And I just finished watching Stranger Things. Oh. Em. Gee. I can’t wait for season two to air!

I already feel this method is working better than the way I tried completing my goals last year. I only need to focus on a couple of small things at a time. And the list is right above my computer monitor. There is no escaping! Did you make a list of goals for this year? How are you faring?