Week Eleven – Collect for charity

This thought process of “try new things” really opens up my eyes to possibilities. I feel like Jim Carrey in “Yes Man”.

I was reading my local paper and there was a bright red advertisement requesting charity collectors. If I was going to collect for charity I would want it to be a cause I believed was good. This was for the blind foundation to help train puppies to become guide dogs. Sounds good to me!


How could you say no to those eyes.

I volunteered for two hours and it really went by super quick. A lot more people donated than I thought they would especially since it was mid afternoon and most people would be at work.

It was a cool experience – it made me realise it is so much better to just say hi and keep walking if you don’t want to donate. The number of people who stared the opposite direction at the vending machines was laughable! As the afternoon went on, my confidence grew in saying hello. It’s definitely a good experience for someone nervous of rejection!

In the end the other man and I raised $68 over the two hours for the wee puppies.

You can donate at this link.

xx Hannah




Week Ten – Donate Blood

I am in a completely different space than I was when I first started this blog. I needed something to motivate me to keep going each day. Life has been enough recently that this blog was the last thing on my mind. Which is a good thing.

I do want to continue this list and I will. But I won’t be so strict on the one-per-week idea [obviously].

Last week I felt I was back in groundhog day – repeating the same things on a different day. I remembered this blog and decided to do one of the things on my list.

I couldn’t donate blood until recently as I was still breastfeeding my son. He has now weaned and this has made me eligible. There are a few things that exclude you – which is to keep you and the eventual recipient safe. They are not arbitrary exclusions – they are based on research.

I was nervous about donating blood as I don’t like blood tests. Something about the needle going somewhere it shouldn’t! Blergh! But everybody was lovely and kind and my fears were made to feel valid even if they were silly. I ticked off a few forms and filled in a questionnaire, and then had a private interview with a nurse. I could clarify a few embarrassing points and she was completely understanding about it all.

Prior to donating, she does a finger tip prick test which I think was to measure haemoglobin levels. Mine was 127 – if it was lower than 120 [for women] you are excluded.

The blood donation was done in a large room full of lazy boy style hospital chairs. The needle they use is slightly bigger (according to my mother, not sure if it’s true!) and they insert a catheter style tube which does hurt a little more than a blood test. But it was temporary and the actual blood donation is pain free and only took about 5-10mins.

I waited in the chair for about 10mins as I didn’t want to faint when I stood up! And then got to eat [4] chocolate biscuits and have a cup of tea.

It felt so nice to help somebody else and at little cost to yourself. I am living on very little money currently and it was nice to donate in a non-financial way.  The blood is also used for a wide variety of people I did not know about. Cancer patients are the highest recipients!

blood donate

I got an email to say thank you and they let me know my blood type. I am O+. This means my blood is used for all other blood types except O- (the magic one!). And that it was important for me to keep donating. I do wonder if they send that to every blood type though ;).

Hope this inspires you to donate.  I’m happy to answer any questions. This is based off my experience in New Zealand – I’m not sure what it is like overseas.


Week Nine – Decorate a Cake

A rough few months. Started work again. Moved house twice. Ex-husband has re-initiated contact. FAR OUT!

September was my son’s birthday. One of the ideas on my list was to decorate a cake for the party. My new flatmate (and old school friend) actually does it for a hobby and she was able to help me out.

I baked Chelsea Winter‘s Coconut, Lemon and Passionfruit Cake and it was insanely delicious. Larissa ended up doing the white and blue icing and I did the triangle bunting! Hopefully next time I can do a bit more.


Phew. A busy month. Part of the reason I started doing this was when my relationship ended. It was a nice thing to focus on and distract myself from my “woe is me” and victim mentality.

The first weekend in June, I drove a 15 hour return trip to Wellington with my baby to start packing up some of my stuff. It knocked me for six. I was meant to stay a week, I lasted one night.

Along with some other ups-and-downs, it has taken me a month to get back on even keel again. I’ve made a plan for next weeks “new thing” and I’ve decided that even if it takes me a little bit longer than a year. I’m still going to do 52 weeks.

Knitting – I need to finish my square!
Sauna – I often go each week with an old soccer friend
Blog – Completing it each “week”
Eat Mindfully – AWFUL. I really need to work on this. The bracelet was uncomfortable and I otherwise forget. Maybe a glass with the word “breathe” or something on it might work better!
Grown Up Wardrobe – I haven’t been able to afford to buy any further pieces. But I have also avoided buying ill-fitting clothing.
One line journal – I haven’t been doing it every day. But each time I remember, I write a line about how I’m feeling or what I’ve done. I think the effect will be similar even without a daily contribution.
Rubik’s Cube – I bought my own and have now solved it! I can now do a third of it without cheating. I want to continue practising so I can do the entire thing without prompts.

I think I might do geocaching or IMDB movies next week depending on the weather.





Week Eight – Solve a Rubik’s Cube

One of my favourite things about this challenge is when the idea for each week falls into my lap.

I drove to Wellington this week and stayed with a good friend I studied with. And on her coffee table sat a Rubik’s Cube. I’ve met people in the past who have memorised the algorithm or the way to solve it and it has been something that I’ve wanted to try.

Apparently it’s not cheating to look up how to do it. So I started following the instructions. I ended up leaving before I could finish it. But I purchased my own and I’ve finished it since returning home. Now to practice so I can do it without instructions!




Week Seven – Try oysters AND Start a one line journal. 

Another double banger week!

I couldn’t foresee any new things so I started a one line journal. A nice pretty book and I write one sentence in it each day. It can be about the day, how I’m feeling, what I wish for etc. Some people suggest doing it every day for a year or even up to five years.

And it matches my perfume bottle ha!

It is a way of seeing how your mood and outlook changes over a long period of time. I think 2017 is a good year to start this. A lot of big changes in my life. New baby, marriage break up and moving back to Hamilton. It will be good to see my mood change (hopefully for the better).

On Friday night I went out for dinner at Victoria St Bistro. I ended up ordering oysters which I had never done before!

Another (surprisingly) successful week. I look forward to next!


PS. Not quite the purpose of this “new things” shebang, but I also got my first speeding fine this week. 12 years of holding a license without a ticket is not bad!

Week Six – See a film alone

baby groot

Need Dis.

I have been dying to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 since it was released! I tried two different “mum and bub” sessions but babybaby didn’t play ball.

Then I attempted to go when bub was in daycare but he’s only in for 3 hours in the afternoons and none of the times fit.

I had discussed with one of my good friends last week that I found it hard to get motivation to leave the house when it was just me. I like seeing my friends and doing things with other people. She said she often went to concerts and bars by herself and you’ve just got to do it. I did some reading and a lot of articles said it gets easier with practice.

So after my darling baby was asleep and “Nan” was watching the monitor – I went to a movie by myself. Ground breaking!! Ha.

And it was fabulous! The attendant didn’t say “oh my god are you alone” when I bought the ticket. Neither did the door ticket man.

I stole someone’s seat and after I moved back to mine next door we were both cracking up the whole way through. Such a good movie. Cliche marvel movie of course, but the humour was on point!

And when I looked around I saw at least one other person watching alone. And then I got in my car and went home. And the world kept turning. Social anxiety win!

Definitely doing that again.




Week Five – Road Trip AND Grown Up Wardrobe!

Two birds one stone this week. I hadn’t planned anything so I was seeing how the week played out. I visited my auntie in the beautiful Hawkes Bay this week. It is a four hour drive and I have a seven month old baby. So a first for the list was a road trip by myself with the baby!

It was actually the perfect length. Two hour nap, stop for two hours in Taupo for some food and a crawl around (the baby not me), followed by a second two hour nap. Easy! He was recovering from a headcold and I think may have started teething again while we were there so the driving was the easy part! I had a wee cling monster in my bed each night – lucky he is cute.

My auntie is about to go away for three months to Australia for work. But once she returns I think I will make regular trips to see her. I get on well with her (even when we butt heads) and Hawke’s Bay is such a nice place to visit.

I also saw some things that will help me fulfil future weeks! Giant Outdoor Chess andddd something else – but my memory eludes me. Oh I know, my auntie lives in the wops and the stars and milky way are so clear at her house. I’m going to sleep under the stars when I’m there in summertime.

The SECOND new thing was buying some “Grown Ups” clothing. My fashion style is a mash of cheap kmart tshirts, glassons jeans and chuck taylors. I also still have all my “town” dresses from when I was 19 which can only really be described as fanny skimmers. So after turning 27 this year I decided I need to start investing in good quality clothing that can hack a wash without dissolving.

This began unexpectedly this week when my auntie gave me two new tops she didn’t fit. And when I explained the above plan to her – she insisted we visit her friends shop and buy a new top or dress. Especially as most of the shirts I currently wear are daggy breastfeeding tops! So off I go to this fancy pants super expensy label clothing shop. Thankfully auntie is shouting as I barely pay that much for electronics let alone clothing!

So I let the boho lady ask me questions and give me advice and generally float around me. Old Hannah is cringing and wanting to run away. But 27 year old “grown up” Hannah was determined to learn about hourglasses and pears and “wearing this dress many different ways”.

I bought a dress that is grown up but super comfortable (my non-negotiable) and flexible. And cost half a weeks income.



My wardrobe is full of things that I don’t really like but bought because they were on sale or a “good price”. I’m keen to reduce the items I own (minimalism plug)  and focus on quality pieces that I LOVE wearing. Hopefully this is the first step to a clothing overhaul.


x Hannah

Week Four – Eat Mindfully

Far out this was harder than it looks!

I was intending to watch a roller derby game on Saturday but we ended up visiting my brother in Auckland instead. We don’t go too often so I wasn’t about to bail on them. I think the roller derby is fairly frequent so I’m not too worried.

However.. I got to Sunday evening without having done anything on my list. Eeek. After a quick scroll, I decided I’d make a conscious start on “Eating Mindfully”. Take small bites, chew thoroughly and stop when full. I typically eat very quickly, barely chew and try to force the next mouthful in before the last one is done. And eating with my mouth open OMG! Apologies for the image! I often joke that I try and eat as much as I can before my stomach realises I am full. I’ve also had some trouble with indigestion so it can only ever be a good thing to try.

Most of the articles suggest putting your fork down in between bites. This worked for me as otherwise I’d spend time preparing my next bite and then impatiently trying to eat it ASAP. But I did struggle to remember to put my fork down. It will be a work in progress and I have to start sometime!

I am also going to buy a little leather bracelet with an anchor on it. Thanks aliexpress. The idea is to remind myself to be present in the moment. Set my anchor and focus on the meal. We will see if it works!

– Hannah

Week Three – Start a blog

I wanted to have a written list of ideas for this 52 new things plan. Where I can strike out ones I’ve done and keep track. Then I thought I should write about the experiences. So now one of my new things is to start a blog! I’ve written about the past two weeks in hindsight. But hopefully from now on I will write the weeks as they happen.

I also want this to be a record of what I’ve done and more like a story or how I would typically converse. Rather than essay form – correct syntax etc! So bear with me.

So starting a blog was nothing much to write about, though I was surprised to see some followers after the first weeks knitting post! My knitting is going well. I’ve returned the hire set and bought my own needles from a second hand store.  I’ve now done maybe 8-10 rows. I have 4mm needles and thick wool so it is quite tight. But that’s okay for the first try!

I’ve also been back to the sauna again and met different people and had a good catch up with my friend. I’m thinking it may be a weekly thing!

My plan for this week was to try making a pavlova with my mother. It’s a temperamental recipe and would have been fun to try. But the weekend got a lot busier than I intended and I wasn’t at home long enough to do it. Maybe in the future.