The story so far

comments 18

It’s now just over a two weeks since my last day at my old job. So what have I been up to? In terms of percentages, 60% working and 40% spent on Cody. Most of that 40% is hoovering up all the hair she’s shedding all the time!

Everything and nothing

A combination of a lot and not a lot. Well, I think it’s more, I wish I’d gotten more done. It took me about a week to get used to having Cody around all the time. She is the family pup, but she lives with my folks in Portugal and I’ve never looked after her on my own. So there was a bit of a learning curve for me. Then there was a bit of getting used to for Cody to do as well. It’s been good though. I’ve enjoyed having her around. Though, the 6am starts were getting tricky!

The good thing about those early starts was that it forced me to still keep to some sort of routine. Which basically entailed me walking Cody, eating breakfast, getting ready and then sitting down and getting on my laptop until lunch time. Or when Cody had her own needs for me to attend to.

To do and not to do

One of the first things I did, in fact it was the Monday after I finished with my old job, was make a list. Make a list of all the little things I want to get done and the big things I need to get done. As much as I love Evernote and my Any.DO app on my phone, nothing beats a physical handwritten list where you can actually tick and cross things off of. Very satisfying!

Getting back into Photoshop

Majority of my time spent on my laptop was spent doing some design work. Oh, I’ve missed designing! Not just the creative side of it. But the problem solving. It sounds corny as hell, and something you’d say in an interview, but it’s the truth!

Rachel Couture

Rachel Elbaz 2


Out of these little things I’ve done so far, the Twitter page design is live and the others are work in progresses. Well, aside from that one Rachel Couture layout – that first one was a version one. I’ve kept it just so that I can remember where I started it with.

Mr. Sunshine, you’re welcome to stay

It’s probably a strange thing to say, but the weather has really motivated me. What with it being light in the mornings. Cool, but not cold. Bright and sunny and warm throughout the day. Yes, it’d be great to be outside doing nothing and enjoying that. But just seeing it through my study window was enough. I’d tell myself, in a couple of hours I’ll play ball with Cody for a spell as a reward! Worked! She’s a great motivator.

Hiccups are always unplanned

Of course, my plans went all sorts of tits up when my laptop died. I am eternally grateful that my past self decided to keep my old laptop, rather than selling it. I’ve had my fair share of annoyances with it. Mostly down to the irritatingly stupid Windows Vista. Shockingly, it doesn’t totally die with the trial version of Photoshop CS6 I installed on it. Phew! Had I not had that, I would have been lost! Grateful I have a brother who can help me out on this front too.

The old 9 to 5

I had planned to start looking at the job boards and contract roles out there, but there was a big part of me that was just craving a bit of a break. A break to re-group. And I think I have done. Though saying that, looks like I’ll be heading back to Acton this week to one of my old employers for a couple of months. I may also have some other freelance stuff on the go too.

Things are falling into place on that side. Though, I still have a lot I need to sort out. Company stationary. Company website. Business account. Register my company for VAT. All the grown up stuff I’m not sure I’m ready for!

The most important bit

I’ve finally managed to catch up to Sky Atlantic’s pace of The Sopranos I’ve been watching about 3 episodes a day and now I’m struggling not having my daily dose of Italian mafia genius. I’m onto the final season. Looking forward to where it goes.

And listen… I’ve not just been watching TV! Just been able to fit it around everything else! Working from home has some perks.

Never not busy

Writing this all here, it really doesn’t feel like I’ve done that much. It doesn’t sound like I’ve had a packed couple of weeks. Though, I know, I’ve not been bored once. That’s what a lot of people were telling me. I’d get bored. Maybe in some more time. But not hit that boredom yet. Too much to do!

It might be the weather…

… but I’m very happy with the choice I made. Sure things are a little more uncertain than they were when I was a permie. But I’m not worried. I can see a future and, fingers crossed, it’s going to be a worthwhile one.


  1. Sounds like you’ve had a great busy start. It’s the small tasks which take up the time, but which often don’t equate to a lot of tangible end results. But then all of a sudden, as more and more of the small tasks get done, everything falls into place and you’ll feel great. I promise! πŸ™‚

  2. You have been pretty busy reading all that. Nice designs and I especially like what you did on the couture one, really like the look.

    Last season of the Sopranos! Hope you’ll do a post on it. Interested to hear your thoughts on it.

    • Thanks Nostra. Hoping to be able to do an update on where I’m at with the Couture one soon.

      I’ve been forewarned that the final season of The Sopranos is a bit of a damp squib, but 4 episodes in, still enjoying it. Will definitely post my thoughts on the whole series πŸ˜€

  3. Sounds to me like you’re just the right kind of busy! I admire your courage and new direction and look forward to hearing more about how it’s going!

  4. Sounds like you’ve been keeping busy and Cody definitely has you running around! Weather is gorgeous these days, so I don’t blame you if you want to enjoy it and it’s well deserved after doing a lot of work!

  5. Glad to hear you are enjoying your time off! I have been considering starting my own business as well. Right now my freelance work allows me great flexibility, but I think I am ready to jump up to the next level. It sounds like you are off to a great start!

    • Very exciting for you too then! How long have you been freelancing? If you don’t mind me asking!

      • Hmm… I think I am going on three years now, although to be fair I have been working predominantly with just one major client during that time. I do SEO & online marketing stuff, so I am looking to branch out more in that field. It’s scary to actually go through and become “official” — I may have to use you for inspiration! πŸ™‚

        • That’s the way of freelancing though, end up working for maybe one or even two big companies.

          I remember when I worked for a smaller company, had to do some online marketing and SEO stuff too.. remember those days well!

  6. Hey Jaina, nice updates. Hey I’d miss designing too if I were you, and yeah the problem solving part is what’s cool about web design. People just assume we only care about making things look pretty, but there’s the UX design part of it y’know, the usability stuff that we also take into account. My hubby is a UX designer and I think that part is just so crucial in e-design.

    Well, hope the sunshine lingers on and best of luck in your job endeavor!

    • UX Design is so very important. Get that wrong and all you’ve got is probably a very pretty looking but largely unsuitable interface! I love making things look pretty AND work well. Here’s hoping I can keep doing that.

      The sun is gone! πŸ™

  7. I do not think that sounds like ‘not a lot’. You seem to be burning it at both ends actually!!

    Cody sounds ace! Does he want a play date with Dolly….. Could it be love? heheheh

    Your web design is most excellent. I struggle with most coding, but have been dabbling with android app programming lately. I have 2 games under my belt, both educational as I was fed up with my girlsd playing dress up barbie games on their tablets. I am hoping to do a good one soon that will make me millions!!


    Take care matey

    • I would love to set Cody up on a play date, but she’s terrified of other dogs! It’s a fear we’re trying to get her over, but any time anyone sees a barking German shepherd, they think she’s insane and just give us a wide berth!

      I have a friend who was dabbling in iPhone game development for children for pretty much the same reason – wanting to create a wholesome, educational but fun app for kids. I don’t doubt you’ll make your millions out of one of your ideas! Don’t forget me when you do πŸ˜‰

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