Friday, 31 January 2014

February's idea list.

Welcome to February's idea list. There is a different idea for each day of the month and then at the end of the month I will post a new list for March. Feel free to follow the list to the letter or just pick and choose the items that best fit your life style. The whole idea of this list is basically to give you some 'ideas' to get more organised and have more fun in your life. I always love to hear from you so please do get in touch if you are following the list or to let me know what you think about this months idea list or anything else on my blog or life in general.


February 1st - Wash your car or if you do not have one maybe you could wash an elderly neighbours for them.

February 2nd - Have an indoor picnic with your children.

February 3rd - Dust the top of your refrigerator and remove any clutter that does not belong there.

February 4th - Spend some time thinking about what Valentines day means to you and start making plans on how you will be celebrating.

February 5th - Go on a missing sock hunt today and then discard any that no longer have a match and add buying new socks to your to do list if you need any.

February 6th - Cook something new for dinner tonight, after all variety is the spice of life!

February 7th - Treat yourself to some me time today, even if you can only fit in 30 minutes, you are important too!

February 8th - Clean your windows on the inside.

February 9th - Do some baking with your children.
February 10th - Take a look at your eyebrows and take some time to make them look great.

February 11th - Clean your toaster.

February 12th - Clean out your inbox and make your e-mail easier to keep under control by deleting any subscriptions that are no longer of interest to you.

February 13th - Do any needed valentines prep so that you are ready for tomorrow.

February 14th - Celebrate Valentines day with your family and friends.

February 15th - Wash down all the tiles in your kitchen.

February 16th - Do something kind for someone you love today!

February 17th - Take down all your light fixtures and give them a clean.

February 18th - Tidy and de-clutter your computer desk.

February 19th - Deep clean all the taps in your home (an old toothbrush is always a good tool to use for this).

February 20th - Have a pamper night where you do a face pack and give yourself a manicure.

February 21st - Spend 20 minutes today de-cluttering a draw or cupboard in your home.

February 22nd - Go sofa diving and see what you can find! While you are there, give the sofa a vacuum as well.

February 23rd - Take the family to a car boot sale or a local farmers market.

February 24th - Clean any fans that are built in to your kitchen and bathrooms.

February 25th - Wash all your canisters that you keep your tea, coffee and sugar in.

February 26th - Treat yourself to something nice!

February 27th - Clean your banisters or hand rails on your stairs.

February 28th - Surprise your kids by taking them somewhere unexpected after school.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

My groovy update 23/01/14 - 29/01/14

I have decided to merge my groovy updates with my weekly round ups into one post a week as I felt that they go well together and I also felt that I was continuously writing updates as I am planning on starting wobbles Wednesday next week as well.

So from now on I shall use this post to talk about events of the pervious week, how I'm progressing in my plight to get my groove back and any aims that I am setting myself for the week ahead.

So last week I set myself the aim of giving up smoking and I have to confess, this has not been as successful as I had hoped. I went five days without a cigarette and I was feeling very positive about the whole experience which in itself is a first for me, but on the sixth day my darling hubby decided that we should smoke for the weekend as it is much harder with the kids being at home and I very stupidly agreed. I can not tell you how annoyed at myself I am! So we smoked on Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday when it was time to quit again all my positivity had gone and by lunchtime I was smoking a cigarette! This is exactly what has been my life for the last 18 months, I am continuously starting and stopping and it is making my depression very bad as I am so up and down all the time.

I am annoyed with Darren for suggesting we smoke as he has a habit of doing this and yet it is he who has wanted us to quit for years but at the same time I can not give him all of the blame as no one put a gun to my head so I too have to take responsibility for my actions.

It is now Thursday and I have not smoked since Monday so I am now on day three and this time I must do it. I have told Darren that if he loves me as much as he says he does then he can no longer speak to me about cigarettes. I do not want to know if he wants one and I certainly do not want him to make any more suggestions on smoking as it is too hard for me.

As far as my weekly round up goes, I do not have much to say as I only posted my last one on Sunday and the kids have been at school and as I have been trying to quit smoking I haven't really done anything exciting, it's just been the normal housework, cooking, blogging and what not.

I did do my nails again as that really does lift my sprits.

My aims for this week are to continue not to smoke and to join weight watchers next Wednesday with my mum.

If I could just get over this whole giving up smoking thing I would have so much more time to spend on other areas of my life to help me get my groove back so watch this space and wish me luck!

This post has been linked up with Kate's groovy mums.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

40 by 40 part two!

Here is part two of my 40 by 40 list which is a list of 40 things all together that I would like to achieve by the time I reach 40 years of age. If you missed part one you can have a look here.

Monday, 27 January 2014

40 by 40 part one

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and I have noticed that a few of them have a bucket list of things that they would like to do before death. A bucket list is something that I have often thought about doing mostly since watching the film, but to me it just seemed that with no proper date in mind I would probably write the list and then completely forget that it ever existed.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

My weekly update 20/01/14 - 25/01/14

I have had a really good week this week. I have finally given up the cigarettes and although it has only been 6 days, I feel really positive and as if this time it will be the time that I succeed. I haven't been up to that much as the first few days are always the hardest so I decided to have a laid back week and I also needed a rest after all the birthday celebrations from last week.

On Wednesday evening it was Lauren's last ever parents evening at school and I was ever so proud as she is doing so well. She has really knuckled down since being at high school and she has never had one single detention or behaviour mark which is quite an achievement in itself. All the teachers had lovely things to say about her and it really warms my heart to think of the great future that she has ahead of her.

Lauren and Chloe both had friends sleeping over on Friday evening which kept them entertained and it was also lovely for Faith as well as she loves seeing the older girls and trying to join in with them.

Faith also lost her first tooth this week as well! She was so brave with it and it was so lovely when she awoke the next morning to find that the tooth fairy had been. Chloe did want to know why the money left was more then when she was small which led to a great conversation about the price of teeth and inflation lol!

All in all it has been a lovely positive week and I am full of anticipation as to what next week will bring.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The prompt - week 2.


I was saddened by this picture.

In July 2012 this picture was taken at our local hospital where I was misdiagnosed with emphysema. The doctor was very stern with me (actually he was quite rude) telling me that I had not looked after myself and if I carried on as I was then I would not see aged 40.

Luckily I was later told that I do not have emphysema but I should use the experience as a warning to make some positive changes to my life so that I do not end up with emphysema or worse later on in life.

At the moment this picture was taken I was so scared that I was going to die young and miss seeing my kids grow up. I felt like the worst mother/person in the world for letting myself get in such a state. I promised myself that I would change, I promised myself that I would never let myself go like that again.

And now we come to why I am so saddened by that picture. The truth is that we are now in January 2014 and nothing has changed at all. All the promises I made myself were so quickly forgotten, all my positive changes and determination disappeared as soon as I realised that I did not have emphysema. I look at that photograph now and I am filled with sadness as I realise that in 18 months I have done nothing to change. I have tried to give up smoking on numerous occasions but I have not succeeded. I am still overweight and I still do no exercise.

I am saddened to think that I am not doing what needs to be done to ensure that I have many more years with my precious children who I love more then life itself. I am saddened to think that I am not only letting myself down with all of my internal excuses but I am also letting down my children and my husband and my extended family.

Today is the day that things are going to change. No more excuses anymore! Today is the day that I will give up smoking and 2014 is the year that I will implement positive changes to get my life back and my health under control.

** I wrote this post on January 20th and although early days I have not had a single cigarette since the 19th. **

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Pinata birthday cake

Piñata birthday cake.

I recently made my daughter a piñata birthday cake and I thought that I would share with you how I did it.

  • 200g Stork or similar.
  • 200g Caster sugar.
  • 200g Self-raising flour.
  • 4 eggs.
  • 10g baking powder.
  • 30g Cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate fudge icing (I used Betty Crocker but you could make your own)
  • vanilla frosting (again I used Betty Crocker)
  • Sweets to hide inside. I used peanut M&M's, Cadbury's mini eggs and Haribo, but you can use anything you like.
Make two chocolate sponges.
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk in.
  3. Fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.
  4. Add a splash of milk if the batter is a little stiff and spoon into two greased and lined cake tins.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 190 for 20 minutes on the middle shelve, cooking one at a time.
Now comes the fun bit!

Once the cakes have cooled place one sponge onto a plate and this will be the bottom of the cake.

Cut a large circle into the sponge going about half way down into the sponge. Make sure that you do not cut all the way down. Then use a spoon to dig out the sponge so that you have a large pond in the middle of your cake. Then do the same for the top sponge, making sure that when the cakes go together the holes match up so the cake sits level.

Once you have your holes in your cakes you can then fill the bottom hole with lots of sweets, piling them up so they will fill the top sponges hole.

Then spread on a layer of chocolate fudge icing all around the flat part of the bottom sponge around the hole of sweets.

You can now decorate the cake however you choose to. I coloured the vanilla frosting with blue food colour to make a baby blue colour and then covered the cake in the icing. I then used some edible silver balls to make the number 16 in the middle of the cake and finished it off by adding some sprinkles.

I hope that I have made sense as I did find it quite hard to try and explain. If you have any questions then just ask and I will do my best to answer them!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My groovy update.

I have had quite a good week and I am pleased with the progress I have made so far. Last week I set myself three aims for the week.

The first was to have a heart to heart with my husband which I did and although we have a lot of work to do, the good news is that we both want to try and get the marriage back on track and neither one of us has completely given up. We realised that we both need to make changes and we both need to spend more time together. We have agreed to have a date night once a month which will start on valentines night and we also need to plan some time during the week to be together as well. It is very early days and we have a lot of work ahead of us but he did buy me flowers the other day, the first time in about four years!

My second aim was to do my nails. As you can see from my rather bad photography, I did do them and it really did lift my mood! I felt more positive and put together and I am really pleased that I took the time to do them. For anyone interested, I used Avon magnetic nail varnish to get the stripy effect. I am going to make a conscious effort to do my nails at least once a week from now on.

My final aim last week was to arrange a date with my mum to go back to weight watchers. I have half done this as I have sorted out the times of our nearest one and when I would like to start but I haven't discussed it with my mum yet as I haven't seen her yet as I was so busy sorting out Laurens 16th.

I only have one aim for this week, to finally give up smoking! If I can post next week that I have not had a single cigarette then I will be well on my way as past experience has taught me that if I can go a week, half the battle has already been won, as after a week I do not want to mess up my progress and then have to start again. It's getting to that week that's the hard part as I am forever trying to give up smoking and then messing up on the second or third day.

I hope all the other ladies taking part in Kate's groovy mums are having a groovy week and fingers crossed I will too.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The sick kit!

Being ill is never nice and for me, it is even worse if it is one of the kids that is ill. When you or someone close is very ill with a sick bug, you can very quickly find yourself up to your eyes in vomit and running around the house like a headless chicken trying to find bowls, clean sheets, tissues and so on.
This happened to me the last time that my little one was  ill with a bug and I decided that I needed to be more prepared so that I could spend more time comforting and less time searching for things. That is when I decided to make a 'sick kit'.
A sick kit is a bit like a first aid kit. It is basically everything that I think is useful to have when someone is ill with a sick bug. It's all together in a box or bag in an easy to get to place so when the worst happens you just need to go to the one place and grab the box or bag and there is everything that you could possibly need.
Below is a list of the contents of my kit in case you are interested in making your own.
  • Old clean sheets.
  • Old clean towels.
  • Kitchen roll.
  • Flannel.
  • Sponge.
  • Tissues.
  • Plastic bowl (for vomiting in!)
  • Hair bands for tying back long hair!
  • Disinfectant.
  • Tins of soup.
  • Crackers.
  • Bottles of water.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Thermometer.
  • Lip balm.

Monday, 20 January 2014

My weekly round up 12/01/14 - 19/01/14

On Monday 13th January it was Laurens 16th birthday. We had already gone out for a meal with the family the Saturday before as we were treated by my dad so we had already celebrated. I made Lauren a cake as she does not like shop brought cakes. It was just a sponge cake filled with apricot jam and iced with chocolate fudge icing.

On the Monday I got up early to make pancakes for breakfast and she opened her presents from us before school. I got her a few bits and bobs but her main present was tickets to wicked the musical in London on March 1st. I am going to get the train to London with her and we will do lot's of shopping and sight seeing and then go to the show that night. She was absolutely thrilled and I think it will be extra special as it will be a whole day and night where it is just Lauren and me which doesn't happen very often as I have three children and a husband all together at home.

When she came home from school that night we played sing star and also the glee singing game that we have on the Wii that Lauren loves and I cooked chicken goujons and chips (Laurens favourite dinner) for tea.

During the week I was kept busy with preparations for Laurens big sleepover which was on Saturday 18th January. She invited 11 of her friends and one of Chloe's friends along with my three kids for a total of 15 kids!

I made non-alcoholic cocktails which went down well and we decorated the house. We did a buffet of pizza's, chicken pieces, vegetable spring rolls, crisps and cakes. I let Faith join in until 9pm when we did the birthday cake which I made.

It was lovely having everyone sing happy birthday, seeing how embarrassed Lauren was and even better when I told her to cut the first slice of cake as it was good luck. She believed me and when she cut the cake a load of sweets came out as I had made her a birthday piñata cake. All of her friends were really impressed and there were lots of oohs and arrrs!

After the cake we left them to it and went to bed with Faith. They were a bit noisy now and then but on the whole they were well behaved and they watched some films and chatted and what not. I had also made some buckets of popcorn cupcakes which they enjoyed munching during the film.

I came down on the Sunday morning to find that a few of Laurens friends had decided to do the washing up for us which was a lovely  surprise! I then got them all making and decorating cupcakes which was probably the most ambitious thing that I have ever done at a party with so many children but it all went down really well and they all really enjoyed themselves.

At 3pm everyone had gone home and all that was left was a lot of tidying up but luckily for me I had made a deal with Darren that if he could stay upstairs for the day while the kids were here, once they had gone home he said that I could relax and he would do all the cleaning.

I can't believe that my oldest is now 16 years old! It really does only seem like yesterday that she was a little baby of 8lb 4ozs in my arms in hospital. It just goes to show that us as parents really do need to treasure every moment as before we know it our children will be all grown up and ready to start leading their own lives!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Quote time - 'Life is what you make it'

I thought that I would give you my take on the popular saying 'life is what you make it'. It is a saying that I do really agree with but in the right context. You see, family members have often butted heads with me over this as they say things like 'I did not ask to be a single mum so how is life what you make it?' or 'I did not choose to loose my job, so life is not what you make it'.
Now I agree that things can happen beyond our control that we did not ask to happen. Some people suffer much greater tragedies then the examples I have just given and of course they would not of chosen for their life to have experienced such things. However, I think that the saying actually means that we all choose how we react to the things that happen to us.
I did not choose to have ME but I can choose how I deal with that. I have the choice of how I can handle my life and the fact that I have ME. I can choose to either give up and feel sorry for myself or to look for any good that can come from it and find different ways to achieve my goals.
It's about keeping a positive attitude and focusing on the things that you can change. It's about not letting opportunities pass you by and also going out into the world to make things happen for you. It is overcoming barriers and treating people how you would like to be treated. We all have a choice on how we behave in life and that is why I do believe that life is what you make it.

This weeks aims

As you know I am taking part in this years groovy mums group over at Kate on thin ice and this week she asked a series of questions about why we have lost our groove and where we are now. I am not going to repeat myself as I pretty much answered all of Kate's questions in my last groovy mums post which you can read here if you have not already done so.

The last question on the list however was 'what baby steps can we do this week to move things forward a bit?' so here is my list.

I have not had much time this week as I have been busy organising my daughters 16th birthday party (more on that to come soon) so I have only got three very little baby steps for this week.

1) To have a heart to heart with my husband to see where we both honestly stand in relation to our marriage.

2) To do my nails - I have loads of nice nail bits, but I never seem to have the time to use them so just go around with short plain nails. Doing my nails not only makes me look better and more put together but it also makes me feel better about myself too so it is definitely worth finding the time for.

3) Agree on the date and times that my mum and I will start going to weight watchers to make a start on one of the things that get's me down the most - my weight!

I hope that all the other groovy mums are doing well this week!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Gift Cupboard.

I have kept a gift cupboard for the last 11 years and it is something that I will continue to do for the rest of my life as it helps to save me money and it also helps to keep me organised.
For those of you that do not know what a gift cupboard is, I shall explain. It is basically an area that you use to store all your gifts for Christmas, birthdays and all other occasions that you need to buy gifts for. It could be a cupboard, a draw or a box under your bed or in your loft, the choice is yours.
When you are out shopping and you see something on sale that you know your brother would like but it will not be his birthday for another six months, you buy it on sale and store it in your gift cupboard until his birthday.
I am forever adding bits and bobs to my cupboard and it has saved me so much stress over the years, particularly with children's birthday parties. I would find an invitation at the bottom of my daughters book bag inviting her to a party and instead of rushing into town trying to find something I had a choice of gifts already brought in my cupboard. I also stock up on cards and gift wrap and keep them in there too.
It is such a simple idea and well worth the effort as it saves you money, time and stress.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Stuck in a rut - a very honest but long post!

It has occurred to me over the last few days that I am completely stuck in a rut and it is not something that I like. The day before I am sat here writing this I found out that a very close family member may have cancer and they are only 25 years old. We are waiting for the results to come back and I realised how I am wasting my life and life is precious so no one should ever waste a moment.

The thing is that since having ME and very bad depression I have really let myself go and I am stuck in a bit of mess and I am wondering how on earth I am going to turn things around. I am very good at thinking of ways to be a great mum, partner, family, more organised and the like but I am not very good at applying all my ideas to my life myself. I am also very good at putting on a front to the outside world so that everyone thinks that I am enjoying life and handling things very well but in truth this is not the case.

When my ME was at it's worst I was bed ridden and never left the house so I completely cut myself off from the outside world. This lead to a lot of problems and the biggest problem by a mile was my depression. Since being able to do more and being in recovery of ME I seem to have lost the ability to lead a normal life and I do not know how to start living again.

The truth about the rut that I am in.

My health.
* I am currently taking two different anti-depressants every day and the doctors have said that I am on the highest possible doses for both so they can not increase them anymore but yet I am still very depressed.
* I am two years late for my cervical smear test.
* I have a mole on my face that over the last six months has changed shape, grown in size and puffed up but I have not mentioned it to my doctor.
* 5 months ago I had a blood test which came back as having too many white blood cells in it and I was asked to go back after a month to have another test as if it came back the same more investigating would need to be done and I never went back to have the test.
* I am stupidly over weight and I never exercise.
* I have been trying to quite smoking for the last 19 months but yet am still smoking over 40 a day.
* I drink 3 - 5 litres of diet coke every day.
* My teeth are in a terrible state where they have broken off (probably due to all the carbonated drinks that I have and times where I have not looked after them properly due to being ill) and I have not been to a dentist (I am petrified of them after a few very bad experiences) for at least 7 years.
* I am 3 years late on getting my eyes checked at the opticians.
* I rarely bother to get myself dressed unless I am going out and I rarely leave my house.
* I never use the many face creams and body creams that I have and I do not take care of my appearance as I should.

My relationships.
* I have been with my husband for 18 years but I am really not happy and I think that he is not happy with me either but he is just too scared to admit it. He has changed so much over the years that most of the time I do not even like him.
* I do not have the relationship that I had hoped and dreamed of with my two older children and I do not know how to put it right.
* I have no friends either in the real world or online.
* I do not get on at all with my sister and although I have actually tried on several occasions to put this right she does not want to know.
* I have no relationship with my dad as he left when I was a baby and although I have found him on three separate occasions over the years he does not want to be part of my life although he will not tell me why.

* We are constantly struggling with money and we have no savings and are in debt up to our eyeballs.
* My credit is terrible.
* I have no work experience as I have either been in education or at home.
* I have GCSE's A levels and a half finished social work degree as I had to drop out half way through the second year due to me being ill with ME.
* I have no proper routine in place to keep up with house work.
* I have been living at my current home for 18 months now and I still have loads of boxes that I have not even unpacked.
* I have terrible bouts of anxiety and I can not answer a ringing phone unless it is my husband that is calling me.

I was inspired to write this post as I was reading a post on the Kate on thin ice blog and I decided that I would join in as I really need to get my groove back! I just don't know where to start?!?

Kate wanted to know what we dream of and she said to dream big so this is my list of what I would like life to be like.
  1. Loose weight.
  2. Get myself healthy in terms of all my health problems that I listed earlier.
  3. To not suffer with depression or anxiety any more and eventually come off the medication.
  4. To finally quite smoking for good.
  5. To look after myself and make more effort with my appearance.
  6. To save my marriage.
  7. To have a better relationship with my older two daughters and my sister.
  8. To have some friends in both the real world and online.
  9. To sort out our finances and be able to live comfortably and without being in debt with bad credit.
  10. To set up my own business which I talked about in my new year resolutions post.
  11. To have an organised and clean home.
  12. To be making the most of every moment as no one knows how long we are going to get.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Calendars and planners.

Have you got a family calendar in full view so that everyone can see it? If you haven't, now is probably a good time to get one as they will be on sale over the next couple of weeks and I think that it's really important to have a good family calendar and personal planner in order to stay organised.
When you have a lovely new calendar and you've filled in all the birthdays and school dates and the like, it is time for the most important step. You actually need to use it!! I can not count the amount of times that I have brought a lovely new calendar and filled it in, full of hope for being so much more organised only to find myself taking it down the following December having not looked at it since.
If you get a calendar and you keep it in full view for the rest of the family and make sure that they all know it is there and that they need to fill in their obligations, it makes life a lot easier as you can see where everyone is suppose to be and when.
I also have a planner which is my life line to staying organised. I always use a page-a-day planner as I like to have lots of space so that I can use it to note down meals and household tasks as well as appointments and other important things.
I always do a calendar check every morning with my planner in hand so I can add in anything that I've put in my planner or add anything that has been put on the calendar to my planner if you get what I mean!
I spend 20 minutes or so planning out my week every Sunday as I can easily see what I have to do so then I can add in chores etc. for when I have some time.
I love being able to see what I am doing each day as I'm one of those people that need a plan to follow or else I end up floating about and never actually getting anything done!

Friday, 10 January 2014

My weekly round up 4/01/2014 - 11/01/2014

This is always my worst time of year as all the excitement of Christmas and the new year has finished and we are left with dark nights and cold short days. My depression always seems to be at it's worst at this time of year which is really annoying as it is Laurens birthday on January 13th so I always have a lot to do. This year is her sweet 16 so I am throwing her a sleepover with 12 of friends as until now the most I have ever let sleep over is 6 and I wanted to make it special for her.

Lauren is super excited which is great although Darren and myself are rather worried about having so many teens in our little house! I have spent the week ordering decorations, birthday present shopping and planning the food and activities and the cake that I will be making her, so I have been rather busy. I started to plan all this last summer so that I could be super organised and on top of things but then life and finances got in the way and I ended up leaving it all to this week!

I am writing this on Friday rather then my normal Saturday post as I will not be about much tomorrow as I am taking Lauren into town to get her a new birthday outfit and buy the last bits and pieces that I need to get and then we are going out for a meal for her birthday. My dad is coming up from London and treating us all and he's also treating my mum and brother as well which is so kind of him. Lauren picked the restaurant that we are going to which also happens to be one of my favourites as well so I'm really looking forward to my yummy dinner tomorrow night!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The key to happy mornings.

The mornings can be rather hectic and stressful when you have children to get to school and especially so if you also have to get to work. The key to happy mornings is quite simply to 'prepare'. The more that you can get done the night before the more smoothly your morning will go. There are lot's of things that you can do ahead of time to make life easier, so here are my top three.
Choose what you are wearing the night before. This may sound silly, but it really does help to get you off to a great start when you have picked out your clothes the night before. To start with, you do not waste any time wondering what to wear. You also do not have to worry if you have a stain or a missing button or the fact that it needs ironing as by picking the outfit ahead of time you can easily address these issues or choose something else. You can also do this with your children as well. Explain to them what you are doing and why you are doing it and if there's no school so no uniform ask your children to help pick an outfit for them that you are both happy for them to wear.
If you take a packed lunch to work or your children take one to school, you can save a lot of time by making the lunches the night before and storing them in the fridge over night. I always do this and the food tastes just as good as if I had made it that morning and I've never had any complaints. As long as you wrap the sandwiches in food bags or cling film they will be fine in the fridge. Then in the morning you can simply grab and go!
Pack your bags.
Pack school bags and P.E kit's etc. the night before. That way if there is anything missing, you have time to look for it. Once you have everything that you will be walking out the door with in the morning, place it all by the door with a note reminding you of anything that can not be put there like the lunches that are in the fridge.

These three things may sound simple but if you start doing them every day you will find that your mornings are much more happy and organised.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Using quotes or sayings as rules of life.

There are a lot of quotes or sayings that I have heard over the years and some are probably well known almost everywhere but some may be more connected to the geographical area. Now that we have the internet we can find many websites full of inspirational quotes and sayings and I have found some that I really believe in and use as rules in my day to day life. I probably really annoy my family as I'm always using the quotes when giving advice. Anyway, I thought I would share the one's I love the most so I'll start by sharing my favourite quote.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.
I really love this as it is so true. When I was younger I use to be a nervous wreck, always worrying what people thought of me. I would never speak out in group situations and I would always try and hide in the back ground as I was so worried that people would be thinking bad things about me.
When I turned 30 it was as if something inside my head clicked and I suddenly realised that it didn't matter what anyone thought of me apart from my hubby and my children and I know that they will always love me and have my back.
I'm not going to pretend that I am now one of the most confident people in the world as I am still shy and I do sometimes hear those old thoughts and worries but then I think of this quote and I feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I even managed to join an amateur dramatics group and performed one of the lead roles on stage for the first time since leaving high school. So if you find that you worry a lot about what people may or may not be thinking about you, remember this quote and smile.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Toy storage.

If your house is anything like mine, you will now be knee deep in toys and games so I thought that now would be a good time to do a post on toy storage.
I find that the best thing to do is to split the toys into different sections, for example; dolls, puzzles, games, happy land and so on. I then put each group into a box and then write the name and draw a picture (or you could stick a picture on if your are not into drawing) of the contents onto a label for the outside of the box. The great thing about this is that you could simply use empty cardboard boxes which are free and then maybe cover them in wrapping paper, or you could buy some and there are so many different sizes and types available at varying costs to cater for most people's budgets. Car boot sales are also good places to look if you are feeling the pinch after Christmas.
Once this is done I then have a simple rule that my children have always followed. They can only play with one box at a time and once they have finished playing they must put everything back into the correct box. This makes keeping their toys tidy and organised a breeze.
If you find that you have too many toys and not enough space another idea, that I have used myself when I was living in a small flat, is to split the toys into three or four groups and then box them up and put only the toys from box one in their bedroom or playroom. The other three boxes go away and then after a month you pack away box one and swap it with box two and so on. That way all the toys and games get used and your child feels like it is Christmas every month as quite often they will have completely forgotten about the toys in the boxes that have been hid away. This is also a good method if you find that you child doesn't seem to play with their toys very much as it may be that there are too many choices available to your child and they simply find it too overwhelming to decide what to play.


Saturday, 4 January 2014

My weekly round up 30/12/13 - 3/01/14

This week has been an exiting week for me in terms of my blogging as I have just launched my free weekly newsletter and my first ever competition as well! I am really enjoying writing my blog and I hope that people are enjoying reading it too.
I know that it has not been a week since my last weekly round up but I am moving the dates so that I can always post the round up on a Saturday.
We spent new years eve at my mums house with my mum and brother and it was lovely. We had a few drinks and played some games and mum did some food. Faith only managed to stay away until about 10.30pm but we had already changed her into her pyjamas so she slept on  the sofa covered in a blanket bless her! I think I got a bit merry as when the clock struck 12 I decided to go round the room kissing everyone and wishing them happy new year, but it was all good fun!
On new years day I cooked another big dinner as we always have a big dinner on new years day to celebrate the first day of the new year. We spent the day catching up on TV, eating loads of food and playing board games.
It will be Laurens sweet 16 on January 13th so I am now busy organising that. We are on a very tight budget so I will have to use my imagination to make it as special as I can for as little as I can!

Friday, 3 January 2014

My new years resolutions.

I have taken my own advice and planned on three new years resolutions for this year. If you didn't get a chance to read my post on setting new years resolutions you can read it here.

1) To finally give up smoking once and for all.

2) To loose a minimum of three stones this year.

3) To open up my new business.

My plans.

Give up smoking - I have brought in loads of  lozenges to help me through the withdrawals and I have made sure that the first week will be very quiet and relaxed. I have a terrible photo of myself strapped up to a nebuliser in hospital which I will be keeping with me at all times as a visual reminder when I am tempted to buy some. I've also written myself a list of ideas of what to do to keep my hands busy during my hardest time of the day which is the evening as I associate relaxing once the kids are in bed with a cigarette.

Loosing three stones - I have planned in some time next week to look into slimming classes and then I can plan in the meetings. I have also written a list of things I may find fun to start exercising and I have planned in three 30 minute sessions a week for the next 6 weeks. I then plan to review things and plan some more.
To open my new business - This is a big task and I will not bore you with all the details but I am making a step by step plan with deadlines to achieve this goal. I will keep everyone updated with my progress as I go along.
Now I realise that these are quite big goals and in all fairness I would be happy if I could get to next year only achieving one of these goals, but I have always been a glass half full type of girl so I'm hoping that I will end this year having achieved all three of my goals!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Win a lip gloss set!

I am very excited to be running my first ever give-away today!

You can win a colour couture lip gloss set by filling out the rafflecopter below.

Terms and conditions : This is only for UK addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

How to set and stick to your new year resolutions!

Do you ever make new years resolutions anymore? If you do make them, have you ever actually stuck to them?
I don't know about you, but for me, there is something exciting about starting a new year. I always feel as if the mistakes of the past year can all be forgotten as we step into the beginnings of a new year. I open my brand new blank year planner and my heart smiles as I start to make plans and imagine how wonderful the new year will be. This excitement and enthusiasm can lead to lot's of new years resolutions being made, but unfortunately, those resolutions are often forgotten within a few weeks of the new year starting.
I must admit that in the past I would make a huge list of new years resolutions and every year I would have given up on all of them by February! I started to wonder why I even bothered making any if I was going to fail them all. I knew that I needed to do something so I decided to look into why this was happening and make a new plan that I would be able to follow and achieve some success.
Here is my plan on making new year resolutions that you can actually stick to.
Decide on no more then three each year.
I always end up with a list of at least ten things that I want to do or change and it is just too many! I get overwhelmed before I've even started and I do not know where to begin. If you have a lot of things that you want to change, you really need to pick out the three that you want the most and forget the rest until you have achieved the original three.
Make them realistic.
You need to be realistic in your goals as there is a big difference between a goal and a dream. If you choose to loose 10 stones in weight to make you a size 0 or to make your first million then you are basically setting yourself up to fail. You need to be honest with yourself and what you can realistically achieve in a year.
Be specific.
You need to set clear goals. In the past I would write very general resolutions such as 'to loose weight'. The problem with this is that there is no way of knowing when I have achieved the goal. You need to be very specific when writing your resolutions and you should give yourself a time frame to achieve each goal as that will make it seem much more real and achievable. So, going back to the weight example, it would be much better to write something like 'to loose 2 stone by August 1st and then maintain that loss for the rest of the year.'
You then need to plan how you will do this. So carrying on the weight  loss resolution you may plan to join a gym. If you plan this you will then need to plan out exactly when you will be able to go to the gym to exercise and write it in your diary or planner just as you would an appointment at the doctors. You may choose to join a slimming class. Again, write in your diary a 30 minute session for next week to give you the time to find out which class you would like to attend and where your nearest class is. You then need to write in your diary that you are going to the class.
When you have planned out your three goals, you can clearly see what needs to be done and when so it is now much more easier to achieve your goals. You may find that you do not have enough time to do all three so now is the time to drop one if you need to until you have more time and less to do.
Ok, so you have your resolutions written. You have been realistic and specific and you have a plan in front of you telling you exactly when and what to do in order to achieve the goals. All you need to do now is actually do it! You could have the best plan in the entire world but if all you ever do is plan and make lists without ever following them through, you will never get anywhere. Now you must commit to all the hard work you have spent planning and do those actions that you have planned.
Now you need to keep an eye on those goals, so every 6 weeks or so spend a few minutes thinking about how you have been getting on. Have you been following your plan? Are you happy with your progress so far? If you are happy and can see that everything is going well, then carry on as you are. However, as life is never predictable and we as people are constantly changing you may find yourself deciding that the goal and or the plan that you originally set for yourself is not working. If that is the case you need to make a new plan that fits better with you and your life.

Happy new year!

Happy 2014!!

I hope that you and your family have a year filled with love, fun, peace and success!