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A week’s review: Janathon

Christmas and New Year are now and truly over as we’ve all survived the first week back to some semblance of normality and I have packed all the decorations away. I will happily admit to not having hoovered the living room as the great tree removal has yet to happen. The poor thing is to be thrown on the roadside this evening.

I’ve been hearing a lot about everyone’s January diets which sound super fun and very sensible after weeks of indulgence. No one has actually told me what they do with their excess wine, chocolate and crackers….do they eat them in secret?…..give them to the Food Bank?….put them to one side for the arrival of visitors?..or god forbid, have no treats left over!?! There is a reason why I know not to restrict my food intake in January as I appear to lack the ability to give food away/not to eat treats when in the house.

So the challenge of doing some exercise everyday inspired by Janathon is, I find, the ideal healthy new year start for me in this cold, grey, treat filled month. Clean dishes and clothes are still demanded by the family as are cooked meals and individual attention so any little bit of exercise I can fit in will be celebrated and shouted about from the rooftops. This week I have done:

  • Monday – Yoga
  • Tuesday – Yoga and walking
  • Wednesday – Walking
  • Thursday – Yoga and walking
  • Friday – Weights and walking
  • Saturday – Hobbled around*
  • Sunday – Slow and sore Yoga

Onwards to next week!

 

*I may have overdone it at the gym slightly.

 

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GOOD MORNING!!! No, I can’t keep it down…..

Did you have a good New Year’s Eve? If you enjoyed a glass or three too many I hope you HAD A GOOD TIME and oh, your poor head…you’d better go back to bed cause I’ve got things to do. Not too quickly however as I’m enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in my fluffy penguin pj’s.

I’m currently contemplating New Years resolutions as most do at this time and like last year I don’t plan to make a big change as I don’t remember any of my previous declarations amounting to much after a few months.

Instead I’m going with a challenge each month this year to install some good habits that I’ll hopefully carry over to the next month and the next month and so on.

I’ve joined Janathon for my January challenge which is all about doing some exercise every day. Even just a little bit. I’ve always liked the idea of doing yoga in the mornings and this is the month I’m going to give it a real go.

Here’s to doing sun salutations in your pj’s!

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Is my house a mess because I’m lazy?

I’m sat in my bedroom and currently it’s a fight to get to the window. There’s a pile of clean clothes, two bin bags of clothes that need to be dropped off at a friends, a pack of toilet roll, one box of Christmas jumpers and one box of shoes/miscellaneous items. If I peer into the bathroom there are clothes on the floor, hair grips on the sill and I haven’t wiped the sides down today.

I can’t say that downstairs is much better really although I can report that the dishes are washed and the washing machine is on.

I could tell you that I’m ill (that would be a lie). That I’m working overtime (true). That life is very busy (when isn’t it?). I could make up several very good excuses but it all boils down to the fact that I’m feeling deflated and I don’t want to move from my comfy seat.

Now I don’t know what your life is like. No idea at all of what you have or are going through. But I wonder how many people when home do what they consider the necessary basics*, get comfy and veg in front of a screen. Do you tell yourself you’ve worked hard and deserve an hour or two of TV? Cause I know that I do.

Do you ignore something that needs doing, tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow when you’ve more time/energy like I often do? Perhaps you tell yourself that you’re a procrastinator and it just can’t be helped.

Maybe I’m just lazy.

Maybe I’ve just spent the majority of my life being lazy and need to own up to the fact that you can’t undo the habits of +30 years in less than a tenth of that time. That I have been doing better thanks to having this blog to account to and I will continue to do better every day that I try.

16 year old me would be amazed that I have any clear space on the floor.

20 year old me would wonder how I have the majority of my clean clothes in their drawers.

25 year old me would marvel that I only watch on average one hour of TV a day**

30 year old me simply wouldn’t care as she was so sleep deprived it was unreal, she’d like the ease of finding the kid’s drink bottles though.

Now I’m going to clear up the bathroom and put that pile of clothes away and then I can watch some trashy TV and veg of the sofa.

 

*nowadays my necessary basics are dinner, dishes, clean clothes and a clear path throughout the house. Ten years ago my necessary basic was dinner. Just dinner, no wonder the house was always in a muddle.

**not counting the kids TV shows that I endure (and often sing along to)

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Presents Galore; getting more for your money.

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I’ve made a list and checked it twice, have no idea who’s naughty or nice…la,la,la…and there’s still a fair few more to do…la,fa,la!

While last year I was rummaging for paper and tape just hours before visitors arrived this year I’ve purposely wrapped the presents that I’ve picked up/had delivered yesterday earlier in preparation. I’ve even jotted down what I’ve bought for whom and the recommended retail price. Which is not always the price I buy them for:

I used Black ‘Friday’* discounts this year to buy some personalised gifts from Not On The High Street and Photobox  In fact I always buy the grandparents Slim Calendars filled with pictures of the kids and having missed** the previous autumn discounts Black Friday was a decent kick up the arse.

I bought general gifts in the sales. Ahem, the January sales in fact when I stocked up my present drawer full of gifts to give when I get reminded it’s, surprise, someone’s birthday and I’d forgotten…again. Any left in December get used as stocking fillers or to bulk up a voucher or homemade gift.

Ah yes, homemade gifts. I’ve so far made chilli vodka, hot chocolate and jam. It tastes like jam anyhow, even if you do need a carving knife to slice it…oops. I’m hoping I’ll find the time and energy to do some baking nearer the day to present friends with little hampers.

I’ve used points accrued by my cards and the online surveys I do to boost my spending power on cinema vouchers and the like. So NatWest, Tesco, Nectar, Boots and Pinecone Research especially – thank you.

If I’m missing out on a trick, please do share.

 

 

*really it’s a whole weekend in the UK

**been too lazy to pick the pictures for the actual calenders

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Surprise, it’s Christmas in 20 days!

The shops are abundant with twinkly Christmas lights, an overload of decorations and cheerful shoppers at the moment. These cheerful shoppers grasp their bags tightly and appear to be rather harassed….oh my! It’s Christmas in only 20 days!

Surprise! Expect it’s not a surprise is it? Christmas happens on the same date every year and apart from the few odd very organised people I know the majority of us tend to approach Christmas much like I used to deal with course work:

There’s a deadline to adhere to which feels miles away during the beginning of the new year and so we ignore it to think of closer to the time.

When October and November appear we busy ourselves with Halloween and Fireworks night and so, of course, there’s no time to think of Christmas.

December starts and we start to wish we’d thought of organising ourselves sooner. We stare at Christmas cards with mild panic, forgetting who we should be writing them out to and get sucked into stores by Black Friday ‘deals’ to buy items with with no-one in mind.

Does it sound familiar…hmm?

If it does and you have any tips then do please feel free to share them. Otherwise get yourself a cuppa and take stock. Write a list of who you wish to buy for and what presents (if any) you already have. If you have time* wrap the presents you do have and I’ll let you know how I get on tomorrow.

 

 

  • Hubby has a new board game which I’ve promised to play. Exciting life, eh?
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When Mum’s away the kids will play…..

Over the weekend I spent an enjoyable few hours face painting and chatting to lots of interesting people. As the kids would be a distraction – you trying concentrating on anything with small people going “mummy, mummy, MUMMY” – Hubby was left to fend for himself with the two monsters. Have a gander to what awaited me upon my return to the house:

You can clearly see that the kids had a blast and no doubt imagine the exasperated sinking feeling I got at seeing the same. A self-indulgent snack and cuppa coffee later and I was ready to put my world to rights.

You know what? It took less time than I thought to simply pick up everything off the floor and whiz round with the hoover.

It also helped that the kids weren’t around to ‘help’ and that everything has a specific place to go back to.

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Meal Plan success!

IMG_20171015_202835450I’ve only just gone and written a meal plan that actually works for us! This a super new, super exciting thing for me as previous meal plans failed miserably and quickly. Here’s what I’ve learnt from years of trying to meal plan:

1. Don’t make your meals complicated. Give me a list of ingredients and I dream of cooking new recipes. I’ll happily spend a few hours reading through my numerous cookbooks listing delicious new meals I will never get round to making because they either take too long, being a new recipe, or have at least one ingredient that I don’t have. I have listed a couple of new recipes that are made from store cupboard ingredients along with the book and page number so we can try different meals when time allows and so I can feel ‘creative’ when I’m in the mood.

2. Choose meals someone in the family enjoys. Since we’re not allowed to eat sausages and chips everyday – because I’m a Mum and I say so – it’s pretty hard to put a dinner on the table every night that everyone loves. So I do my best and make sure there’s an element of each meal that everyone eats.

3. Keep it flexible. I found that making even a weeks list of meals was too much structure for me. Give me a list of possible meals and I’m spoilt for choice. Tell me its lentil curry because that’s what the meal plan has written on it and you are going to be dealing with one cranky cook. Keeping the meals simple and a good amount from store cupboard staples really help with this.

Do you have any tips for sticking to meal planning?