Showing posts with label #life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #life. Show all posts

Monday, 26 June 2017

Weekend Vibes..

It wasn't a weekend filled with excitement but I thought I would share what we got up too.

With Jon's back still healing we are very limited to what we can do, as he isn't allowed to be in a car or walk too far, but we tried to make it as fun for the boys as we could.


We put up our new framed posters in the lounge, we recently had a re-jig in the lounge and are trying to put our own stamp on it rather than have it looking like it came out of the Next catalogue.

So both Jon and I picked one of our favourite films and found a poster ....
Mine is My Neighbour Totoro and Jon's is The Goonies.

The lounge is really becoming how we both want it to look.
One of the best things about the lounge is that there are no toys in there!

The twins had a party to attend in the afternoon, so I took them off and left Jon with Ru and Noah.
The party was over the road at the lavender farm, so before we went into the play barn I got the boys to take a picture next to the rows of lavender and of course they couldn't pose nicely, they both had to dab...

I also managed to get a quick snap of a bumblebee as we headed off towards the barn.
I'm going to have to go back with my camera and see if I can capture some better pictures.

The boys had a nice time at the party and were both ready for bed by the time we got back home.
They ate their cake and goodies from their party bag whilst the rest of us had dinner.
Once the boys were all in bed I cracked on with my cross stitch as I was determined to finish it before we settled down to watch Dr Who.


After the morning tidy up, I sat down with the boys and we had a bit of a Lego session.
They had been given a couple of sets for their birthday and Rupert found my Wonder Woman set that has been sat on my bedside table forever.

We then sat down and played a few games which I had been sent, but you'll find out about those in another post.

Sam came over and kept Noah entertained and the twins and Ru sat down to watch Goosebumps, one of their favourite films at the moment.

When they weren't playing games with me or in their rooms they were in the garden on their bikes.

Whilst the boys were busy in the garden I decided that I would put up all my cross stitch projects up on the kitchen wall....

It's a work in progress as I have more kits in the post.
I'm really enjoying my new hobby.

Once dinner was finished and Sam had gone home we sat down and did some homework with the boys.

As you can see it wasn't really that exciting but the boys all had fun just chilling and playing.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

What's Been Going On With The Mini Beasts.....

I've been away longer than I thought and said I would which lead me to questioned myself if blogging was what I really wanted to be doing.
It all seemed to be turning into a bit of a chore.

I'm still undecided but I wanted to come back and do the reviews that I have outstanding, as they are really cool and try and do more personal posts to see if I can get back into the swing of it.

In this post I'm going share how I'm getting on after the miscarriage and what the boys have been up too.
It's a bit of a heavy photo post but I know some of you guys like that!

My parents came to visit after they got back from South America and they bought the boys these awesome lama hats. 
The twins are now desperate for it to become cold so they can wear them to school.

Whilst my parents were here we had a big storm with thunder and lightning and the boys all went crazy for it and started dancing around in the rain and waiting for the lightning bolts to flash up in the sky.

Noah went off on his first holiday without me, and spent the half term in sunny Portugal with his Auntie Jenni and Uncle Ben.
He had a great time away and hardly missed us at all.

We have started taking Ru to parent and toddler swimming and he seems to be really enjoying it. 
I thought it would just be parents and toddlers just enjoying the pool without other people in it, but its  like a little swimming lesson and helps babies and toddlers get used to being in the water.
Ru has always been a bit iffy when it comes to the pool but he really enjoyed his first class.
We will be going back next Monday for another one.

Whilst Noah was away in Portugal we tried to make sure we did some fun things with the twins and Ru.
On the days that Ru was in nursery we took the twins to the arcades on the beach front and gave them  £5 each. Oscar and I both hit the jackpot on one of the ticket machines and each won 100 tickets and Alex took a liking to the 2p machines.

In the end we managed to win over 600 tickets and the boys each picked 3 things from the prize shop.
Afterwards we got some chips and ate them on the beach front.

We popped down the road to the Animal Gardens and the boys enjoyed running around the maze finding all the stamps they needed to collect in order to win a badge.
We had great fun until Ru decided it would be a good idea to kick sand into my eye.

With all the lovely weather we've been having we decided it would be a great idea to buy the boys a paddling pool.
We found this one on amazon and the boys were very impressed with it.

It's ridiculously cold in there and the boys can only really manage to stay in for 10 minutes before there lips turn blue.
I don't mind it too much, but I can sit down in it and the water comes up to my chin, where as the boys are too small to be able to sit down in it with their heads above water.
Hopefully when its summer, the sun will be able to heat the pool up just a tad so its more enjoyable for them.
If not it will be a summer of going over to Nana & Gramps house to use their heated pool.

The twins have just had their 5th birthday.
We gave them their presents early, so they could learn to ride the bikes before they had a sponsored trundle at school (the day after their birthday.)

They loved their full faced helmets that Nana & Gramps bought them and they took to their bikes like pros.
Alex took right off zooming around the garden and Oscar tried to peddle backwards for the first 10 minutes but then it clicked.

After a few days of riding round the garden we took them out to ride around the house, Ru went on his balance bike and both Jon and I had trouble keeping up with them.

Another big thing happened recently ...... Rupert had his first ever proper haircut and this was the end result.

He was so good and did everything the barber told him to do, it took nearly half an hour to chop all his hair off but he didn't once moan or want to get down.
I didn't plan for his curls to be all cut off but he could hardly see and was itching his head a lot so I decided I would just go for it and I am in love with it.
He looks even cuter than he did before.
We kept it long on the top, as we didn't want to take his wildness away too much, we still wanted him to look like Ru and I'm very pleased the barber actually listened instead of doing his own thing.
Ru likes his new hair too, and tells everyone all about it.

I'm started to feel like I have myself back together, I kinda lost it a little after the miscarriage and just felt like I couldn't be bothered with anything or anyone.

My body had failed me, and that just made me fall to pieces.
I am a mum, making babies is what I do. If I couldn't do that what really was the point.

I let the boys homework slide, I was angry and I was a total a mess.
Jon and I argued. 
Mainly I shouted at him then at the boys for just being them.

Having the break from social media and the blog I was able to spend time being the mum I should be to the boys and have enjoyed just being with them and taking in the love that they give me everyday and not asking them to pose for all different sort of pictures.
It was nice to be natural and not to have to put on some sort of a show.

I have got our routine back in order and their homework is back on track.
Noah is proving to me that he is further ahead than his school think and the twins are doing amazingly well with their reading and writing.

Ru is going to be attending the schools nursery full time from September, so I have started to look for work.
 I'm ready for a new challenge and I'm ready to get back into the work environment.
I have been doing the mum role for nearly 10 years now and I feel I need to step into a new challenge and push myself to be the very best at another thing. 
It's time for me now and I always said once the boys were all in full time school and happy that, that would be the time for me to start working.

I have sent my CV out to a few companies so fingers crossed I hear something back sooner or later.

I am happy to be back putting some love into the blog and I'm enjoying sharing pictures on Instagram again.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Little Life Update...

I feel as though the past week has been super crazy but when I sit back and think about it not much really happened physically but mentally a lot was happening....

Jon had his tester surgery yesterday, so most of last week was spent doing things that he needed to get done as from now for about 12 weeks ish he can't do anything.
For this first 3 weeks whilst he has the trial cords are in he can't even lift his hands above his head let alone lift a kettle.

We were lucky enough to be able to visit the Bure Valley Railway on Thursday which I will tell you all about in another post.

We had a SALT appointment for Ru on Wednesday but when we turned up it had been canceled and no one had bothered to tell us, which resulted in Ru having a meltdown and hitting out at me.
Again Friday we were expecting our Health Visitor and again she never bothered to show up which confused Ru again as stupidly I told him Lucy was coming.

Note to self :: Don't let Rupert in on daily plans!!!

I also found out something BIG, like really really really big but I can't say just yet!
But it is HUGE news and I really can't wait to be able to shout it to the world.

Now I've had time to process everything that happened last week, this week should be easier and I should have more time for the blog.

It's also Ru's 3rd birthday on Tuesday, I can't believe he's three already. Where has the time gone?!
We're going to have presents and cake today as he's at nursery on Tuesday and I want him to be able to have a smooth transition from home to nursery and with presents in the morning that would really throw him.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Don't Throw Your Kids In The Deep End Of Finances

How do you handle money issues with your kids? 
Do you give them responsibilities with their own money. Or, do you provide them with everything and one day, chuck them in the deep end of financial independence. 

It seems almost logical to suggest the best way is to start them off early and let their independence grow. So, what steps should you be taking? 
 Pocket Money There are plenty of parents who disregard the idea of pocket money. 

Oh, they’re just going to spend it on silly things. But that is that is essentially the point. Eventually, they’ll stop spending small amounts on silly, meaningless, cheap items and save for something they really want. 

Essentially, by giving your child pocket money, you can show them the importance of budgeting and saving at a very early age. Independence You also want to think about giving your children a little independence with any money they save. If they want to buy something you know is a waste of money, consider letting them purchase it anyway. 

Let them learn from their own mistakes rather than protecting them. Again, it’s a learning curve about how they use their finances. Proper Savings Finally, you might want to think about setting them up with their own bank account. 
Doing this, they’ll feel like you trust them and will take pride in their independence. Thus they will not spend frivolously and that’s exactly what you want. 
You can read more about children and finances in the infographic below.
Infographic credit: Cash Float

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Chicken Pox Suck!

I thought I had it all figured out when it came to Chicken Pox.
Ru didn't seem to have any issues.
He had spots but he went about his normal toddler business without much of a fuss.
He'd enjoy his oat baths and then would allow me to cover him in Virasoothe.

So when the twins and Noah started coming out in spots, I thought I knew what I was doing and everything would be hunky dory.

OoooH how wrong was I!

It's a complete nightmare, they won't stop crying, they hate being touched, the spots are everywhere and OMG they are massive! 
Poor Alex even has one right on his bottom eyelid.
They all have them around and on their lips.

They are in sooo much pain and I am completely powerless.
Virasoothe is doing nothing, the oat baths aren't helping and the Calpol and antihistamine doesn't seem to be doing anything.

I was bed hopping from one twin to the other last night, whilst hearing Noah cry out in pain downstairs. It's was probably one of the worst nights we've had in a long time.

This morning I sent Jon out to buy more supplies.
Lots of people on Instagram have told me they used PoxClin, so that was top of the list.
Along with more Calpol and antihistamine.
He came back with everything I asked for plus a giant Costa Coffee to make my life a little more pleasant.

Alex has spent the whole day naked, as he can't bare for anything to touch him, Oscar has been very quite...he hasn't got it as bad yet, but he only started coming out in spots yesterday.
I recon tomorrow is going to be his bad day.
Noah stopped crying around lunch time and says its not so bad now I've started using the new cream/mousse, but he still isn't keen on me putting the PoxClin on him.

They all had a bath with normal bubbles and then were creamed up and given their nightly dose of Calpol and antihistamines before being put to bed.

They pretty much fell asleep instantly, as they are just so drained.
Fingers crossed they sleep better than they did yesterday.

Our Easter Half Term fun really has been thrown out the window.
I can't wait for them to be feeling better because these f***ing pox suck!

Back to a time when pox spots were funny!

Thursday, 30 March 2017


I've been a little quiet on the blog for the past two weeks, due to a few reasons. 
One of which is Rupert has chickenpox!

My youngest and first to catch them.
None of the others have had it yet, so now as Ru's start to scab over I'm on spot watch on the others.
I'm dreading Noah getting them as I know he'll be the one to make the most fuss.

Ru was pretty grizzly to start with but if I had a stream of snot running down my face all the time I think I would be too!

I was given lots of suggestions from lots of lovely mummies over on Instagram, I made sure I had some tricks up my sleeve to help deal with the itch when it came!

What I used -
Boots allergy relief for ages 1 and up
Oats, which I made into bath bombs with a pair of old tights. Then every bath time he had an oat bath which is meant to help sooth the skin.
This was amazing, Jenny came over on Monday and suggested I try it as her mum recommended it.
it cost around £8 and I found it in Sainsburys.

Instantly after the first use his spots looked less angry and he stopped itching completely!

Most of his spots are now starting to scab over so hopefully by next week he'll be back to normal and back to nursery.

Even with him having Chicken Pox, I stuck to his new bedtime routine and made sure he was asleep by 8.
Most nights its worked, but he is still getting up at 10 to get into my bed.
A few times I have tried to get him back into his bed, but then that only works for an hour and then he's up again.

Once he's full better I think ill be giving that another go and will be trying my hardest to stick at it.

Monday, 13 February 2017


Sorry I haven't been on the blog in a while, if you don't follow me on Instagram you won't have noticed that Oscar and myself had spent the last 5 days in hospital.

On Friday 3rd Oscar had his second big bump to the head (he had his first just before the Christmas holidays.)
He seemed ok when I picked him up and on Saturday morning, by the afternoon however he was wobbly and complaining of feeling dizzy.
We put him to bed thinking he'd be ok by the morning.
Sunday arrived and he was being sick and looking really pale, we took him up to a&e only to be told he had a tummy bug.

We kept him off school Monday and Tuesday and both those days he spent laying on the sofa looking into the distance talking about random things that he was seeing.
No sickness to suggest a tummy bug.

By Tuesday he was not only distant and in his own little world, he was getting confused to what was going on around him.
Totally not a tummy bug

I booked him an emergency appointment at the GPs and from there I was told to go straight to the paediatric assessment unit.

He was admitted Tuesday evening and hooked up to an iv drip of fluids and strong antibiotics then sent off for a midnight CT scan!
They had no idea what was going on with him but had a list of possibilities.

Over the next few days he had a series of tests which included, 
eye tests, ear test, MRI, Lumber Puncture and endless blood tests.

Oscar had some amazing nurses looking after him, Oscar had them all wrapped around his little finger and would do whatever he asked.
His favourites were Michelle and Chris both of who really did go above and beyond to keep him happy!
So a huge thank you to the both of them.

Thankfully by Saturday they had ruled out everything nasty and ended up deciding it must have just been concussion after all!

We bought him home and everyone was over the moon to have him back.
Sunday morning came and he looked as though he was back to where he was at the start of the week.
We decided to call back the ward and they said to bring him back.
Jon spent the night with him and the doctors told him this morning, its probably the result of his Lumber puncture, as that will leave him groggy and feeling unwell.

So they are both home and we are trying to get Oscar to take it easy.
He's currently on the sofa watching Lego Scooby-Doo.

It's great to be back at home with all the boys under one roof, last week was like we were all on pause.
Now we have the half term to get back to normal and enjoy being together again, before its back to school.
Hopefully by Monday Oscar will be feeling well enough to go back to school.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Making The Best Room For The Kids!

Your kids, they are everything to you. From their grumpy faces in the morning on the school run, right through to night-time when you tuck them in. There's no love like that effortless love you have for your children.

Our kids rely on us so much - think about it, where would they even be without good parents? They can't work, buy food, in some cases they can barely clean up after themselves! As a parent, you've got to do it all and sometimes that can be a thankless task - but you do it anyway.

In terms of the home, it's a safe space for our families. It's a place where they can foster skills, grow knowledge, have fun and escape from the world that is flying by outside. That obviously goes for the kids as well. Interior design is a heavy consideration - much like our kids, we want the best for our home as well! We want it to be the perfect place for us, it's ours, and we are paying a lot of money to have it - so why not? The dream of a good home preoccupies the mind of many an adult, and once you've unlocked the door to your new home, your mind can go wild with possibilities. The truth is, investing in the design of your home can be quite rewarding - the money you put into it could very well increase the value of the home, which is obviously a massive benefit.

But before you run ahead with your delusions of a wine cellar or what have you, spare a thought for your children. Obviously, if you can consider a wine cellar, it's likely that your children will want for nothing - but no matter your income, it's good to equip the kids with a bedroom or playroom that can allow them a safe space in your big, wide house.

So, when you think about creating a room for your children, whether it's a bedroom or a room where the toys are stored, there are a bunch of key considerations you must take on board.

The first thing you need to consider? 
Well - your kids do grow up - that does happen. This means that you might want to curb some of your grand designs if your kids are approaching the ages of 9 or 10 as the room will only last them a maximum of three years before their needs change. If you've got younger kids, you can really go wild with your imagination as you'll get a good six or seven years out of a well-designed room. The needs of the children are going to change, so keep that in mind at all times otherwise, you'll be wasting a lot of time and money.  If you design the room around the age of your offspring, you'll keep many problems at bay.

If your kids are growing up, a study space is of incredible importance. Between 10 and 18, they are going to be doing some serious learning, and a place to work is going to be needed through these years of school and college when the homework load increases. It also gives a great bay for a laptop computer to be stored. It's much better if your kids can work sitting upright than sprawled out on the bed; obviously, you can't boss them about in that manner, but you can certainly give them the option to study on a desk. What should a study space consist of? Well, the basics could be a desk and a chair - that's it. 
You could go wild with the desk - say for example that your child loves comic books, why not buy some old Marvel or DC issues (depending on their preference, of course) and lacquer them over the desk with some varnish to create a unique piece of furniture out of what could be a cheap desk. Also, ensure the space is lit well, your young bookworm will endure some eye strain if not. A book case is also an excellent idea for a study space; it gives your young one a place to store their study materials along with their favourite books. Giving your kids access to a well-stocked bookcase can open up their minds to new ideas and amazing stories. It can never not be a bad investment, put it that way. With the study space, you are giving your kids a place to foster and concentrate on achieving their dreams and goals, no matter if they are the next big artist or the next mindblowing scientist.

It goes without saying, but a good bed should be the focus of any childrens bedroom furniture you choose to furnish a bedroom. Sleep is underrated and is so very important to the development of our little monsters, look at the below from the NHS if you are unsure:

'Evidence shows that nighttime sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children to develop. Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is because they tend to crave and eat sugary or starchy food during the day to give them the energy to stay awake. The key to how much is enough sleep is whether a child gets up fairly easily in the morning is alert and happy for most of the day and is not grumpy. Younger children who are persistently sleep-deprived seem irritable and overactive, seek constant stimulation and don’t concentrate well. Such symptoms can be mistaken for mild ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).'

The amount of sleep your child needs depends on their age, and it varies from 11-hours down to 9 hours. That all being said, the bed is crucial. Now, it might seem obvious to have a bed, but this bed needs to be inviting, warm and soft as it needs to carry them through the night right through into the next day of mischief. Some good quality blankets are a good idea as well to keep your child snuggled up nice and warm. It's amazing how a bed is so key to the development and health of our children, so take the purchase of a good bed seriously.

Storage is absolutely key for a children's room. They have so many toys and little gadgets that it can be hard to keep up - even when you are the one who paid out your hard-earned cash for them! Storage under the bed is always a good idea, but include a wardrobe of sorts and a few drawers so when it does get messy, all these toys scattered around have a place to call home when the time comes to put them away. Give your kids some options when it comes to storage and teach them some organisational skills.

You'd be making a huge mistake if you don't choose to reinforce your walls. Sometimes, our kids might not realise their own strength, and when they are chucking bags about and being a bit naughty, some damage can be expected.
Wall panelling is a good option for a playroom, or even a bedroom when the playtime gets a bit hectic. It's better being safe than sorry when a hole appears...

In terms of lighting, fairy lights are an amazing idea as they transform from cute to stylish as your child ages. They are not as brilliantly bright as some lamps so they have a lower chance of disrupting your child's sleep and LED lights are cool to the touch so that we don't have any burnt little fingers.

The decoration of the room is where you can go crazy with your imagination. There are some amazing designs on the internet for kid's rooms, ranging from floating tree-houses, to pirate ships. They are some more minimalist options as well if you don't have the time to construct Noah's Ark in the room of your little ones as well. Take the time and plan it out.

A word of warning, though. It's far too easy to become wrapped up in our own creative process as adults and end up leaving the kids out. We are building their room! The input of your children needs to be the focus of this, not an afterthought. This room is for your children, and they will be the people occupying it, not you. Now, it may be your house, but you need to allow your kids to lead the design process here. Let them choose what they want the room to look like so you can follow their demands and design the room of their dreams. Of course, you wouldn't expect them to lead the process on another renovation, would you? 
Think of them and let their needs power the design.

It can be a lot of work, but a room full of love for your kids can go a long way, just don't forget them when the time comes to build it!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Some Days I Wish I Could Sell The Boys On eBay.

The boys are all back at school, and I have an appointment for next Friday to go and view a nursery in the woods for Rupert.

As much as I love the boys, some days I wish I could sell them on eBay!
I know you're probably thinking im a monster for saying that, but hear me out....

The only volume level they play on is EXTREMELY LOUD, no matter how many times I tell them to quieten down it never happens.
Its really like iIm speaking another language when asking them to do so.
They have no idea what sharing is, I know most kids don't but the fights that come from one of them playing with something that belongs to someone else is unbelievable.
Personal space is something they really really don't believe in, they believe I brought them into this world just so they could use me as their own personal climbing matter where or no matter when...
On the toilet,
whilst im on the phone,
whilst out having a coffee,
even at the park ...... come on boys theres actual climbing frames here and yet you still think its ok to cling and climb all over me.
The minute they've finished eating they're hungry again, I literally run out of a weekly shop two days into the week!
Noah's turned 9 so that automatically means he knows everything and should have everything he wants.

I'm only one woman, with two arms I cant perform the miracles that they want me too, some days I out shine myself and not only impress them but impress myself, other days by lunch time I'm wanting to hide away in the wardrobe and hope they don't find me.
So when they go back to school I cant help but break out my happy dance.

My goal for this term was to make sure I was organised and on time and Noah always had his dinner money at the start of the week, rather than paying on the Friday because it always slipped my mind to get the money out....seriously the schools need to do online payments, it would make my life 100x easier.

The two weeks before the holidays that the boys joined their new schools my head was all over the place and I was still running to the old school time table, so I was constantly late for both drop off and pick up. I wanted to start this term on the ball and show that I'm not a headless chicken with too many children, I'm actually a mother in control and in the know!
That all went tits up when I called up the school on Wednesday morning making sure the kids were back at school, as the Internet was telling me one thing and the school news letter said another.
Turns out they actually started on the Tuesday and they forgot to give me the updated newsletter!

The house is an empty shell when the boys aren't around, and I of course I dooo enjoy it but by the afternoon I am missing the noise and cant wait to go and collect them.

How do you survive the school holidays?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

My 2017 Goals

I wasn't planning on sharing my goals for 2017, but then I thought why not!
Im without a planner at the moment, so this really is the next best thing.
You'll be able to see it and i'll know where my list is!

I'm not going to put things like lose weight or get those are boring and never actually really get achieved.

1. Find out more about becoming a Midwife/start a nurses access course.
I've decided I want to follow in my mums footsteps and become a midwife, and with Jon working from home I'm able to get going on this before Rupert starts school.

2. Get Rupert into a proper routine / change my way of parenting as its not working for him.

3. Spend less time on Instagram and more time enjoying being with my boys.
Im forever with my head in my phone, watching other peoples moments and sometimes missing out on my own moments.
Of course ill still be posting, but probably not as much.

4. Get out more.
There's so much to do around here it would be a shame to stay stuck indoors once the boys go back to school.

5. Have more me time.
One thing that I kinda started in 2016 was to make sure I take the time to look after me and do more things just for me.

6. Stop comparing myself and blog to others, enjoy what I'm doing and know that whatever I'm doing is actually working!

For now I think thats probably it, I may add to it over the year but I think for now thats enough.

Do you have any New Year goals?

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christmas 2016

Our first Christmas in the new house was pretty awesome!!

My parents came up on Christmas Eve and we spent the day chilling out, my mum baked some cinnamon buns, I did some last minute wrapping and we took the boys to a Chris-tingle service at the local church .... a church that back in the day the one and only Pocahontas used to worship with her husband John Rolfe.

It was a fun service where everyone was encouraged to take part.
The twins spent most of the service giggling away!

The boys all went to bed at normal time, even my little non sleeper was asleep by 9.30!

Rupert woke at 5, but I was able to keep him In bed by laying on the floor next to his bed, the twins and Noah woke around 7.
We waiting until 8 for my parents to turn up before we went into the lounge to see what Father Christmas had left!

All the boys were truly spoilt and they love each and everyone of their presents.
Unlike last year where we kind of over did it and they got overwhelmed and didn't know what to play with.

The day was a full on Nerf war between everyone.
I'm still finding stray bullets everywhere from the fights.
Jon's parents and sister popped over for a little while which was nice.
In our other house that would never have worked but this house is perfect for big family gatherings.

Jon and my mum cooked the dinner and it was AMAZING!
They did themselves proud!

Boxing Day we had a lovely breakfast with bubble and squeak and then my parents headed back to Surrey.
In the afternoon we had Jon's parents over and then a nice relaxing evening.

How was your Christmas?

Friday, 23 December 2016

How To Survive After Christmas: The Four Step Guide

Image source
The period of time just before Christmas is always one of the absolute busiest of the year. You’re running around buying gifts, planning meals and frantically trying to make sure that your home looks presentable enough to welcome guests to over the festive period. A lot of us love Christmas, but if we’re entirely honest, there’s often part of us looking forward to the calm period just after the storm of festivities is over, when we can relax again and our lives get back to normal. Here are some tips on how to put your life back together just after Christmas is over…
Your Home

Image source
You might find that right after Christmas your home looks a little like a disaster zone, particularly if you have kids! That means that it’s time to clean and to declutter your house – after all, a clear space around you usually means that you have a clear mind too, and it’s the perfect time of year to start afresh.
If your surfaces are covered in your kids’ Christmas presents, gather them all together, put them in bags, and take them up to your kids’ rooms. Don’t tidy them up for them – just remove them from the communal spaces so they can learn to take responsibility for their own belongings.
If it’s your own clutter that’s the problem, it’s time to get that sorted out. Check out Marie Kondo’s tips on how to tidy up and how to declutter your life. She advises that you should get rid of all your belongings that don’t spark joy in you – and chances are, fragments of old wrapping paper and Christmas cards won’t spark that joy! 
Recycle all your trash, and put away your Christmas presents. If you got anything that you don’t want, for instance toiletries that you won’t use, consider donating them to a homeless shelter.
Christmas can also make you realise what the flaws in your home environment are. If you had problems getting enough space to cook in, consider how you can change your kitchen to suit your needs. The future starts here!
Your Finances

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January is often a tough month for your credit card bill. Although it’s a great idea to plan Christmas as much in advance as you can and start buying gifts through the whole year to store away, that often isn’t the way that it actually works out. December can be a huge rush, and also extremely tough on you and on your bank account.
It’s important not to get too carried away with Christmas. The same responsibilities that you have the rest of the year still apply! Any personal unsecured loans that you might have still need to be paid off at your agreed interest rate, and even though using your credit card might not feel like using real money all the time, you don’t want a sinking feeling in your stomach when you receive your bill. In order to effectively budget your hard earned money better, try withdrawing a certain amount from the bank in cash, and spending only that on your Christmas frivolities. When you’re trying to budget in January, it’s a good idea to do the same thing then.
Make sure that you’re fully up to date on what exactly your incomings and outgoings are, and – this is very important – make sure that you live within your means. Overspending and laying down more money than you actually have is the easiest way to get into debt.
Your Health

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Christmas is without doubt one of the unhealthiest times of the year! Not only do you tend to overindulge in delicious and unhealthy food, but it isn’t a time that you ever do much exercise. After all, it’d be pretty antisocial to get up and go for a run when you’ve just finished your Christmas dinner! But it’s important to get yourself in good health for the New Year.
First of all, take a good look at your diet. Chances are, by the time January rolls around, you’ll have spent most of the last few weeks snacking and drinking a little more alcohol than you should! From the start of 2017, it’s time to get a grip on yourself. 
Start meal planning: not only does this help you get more organised, but it also cuts down the money you spend on food and helps you to stop snacking in between meals. 
Drink more water – not only does this make your skin clear, smooth and flawless, but it will also decrease your appetite so you don’t eat more than you need to.
If you want to get more fit and toned, start going to an exercise class. If you’re an active person who likes to dance, try Zumba! 
If you’re a little more chilled and you’d like to give your mental health a helping hand, try out a yoga class. Pilates and tai chi are also great if you want some simple exercise that will help strengthen your core. Finally, put on your walking shoes and go for a hike! So long as you’re wrapped up warm, the cold weather won’t matter.
Your Relationship

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When you’re extremely busy, you often tend to let things slide a little, and your relationship is definitely one of the things that you pay less attention to. 
Because you assume it’ll always be there, you often don’t devote as much time to maintaining your relationship as you should.
But it’s important to make sure that you’re connected to each other. After the family oriented hubbub of Christmas and New Year, the next holiday is Valentine’s Day! Schedule a babysitter every two or three weeks so you can go out on a date together. If this isn’t possible, have a night in together at home. 
Watch your favourite movie and eat your favourite meal and make sure that you talk to each other. Communication is key to a happy and healthy relationship – if you keep talking honestly to each other, then chances are you’ll stick it out together for the long haul.

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