Category Archives: Plans

2017 goals

Here’s a few of the things I’d like to achieve this year:

  • Get back into a size 12
  • Go on a weekend away with Phil
  • Be less shouty
  • Complete veganuary
  • Do a pottery course
  • Be outside more
  • Improve our outdoor space
  • redecorate the hall, stairs and landing
  • redecorate the lounge
  • Have more date nights

A few of them are ones I worked on, or didn’t get round to last year – like being less shouty at the girls, and working on our outdoor space, and of course – the usual losing weight.

The girls really love being outside and both need some outdoor time each day.  Yesterday we did a long walk with their friends down the coach road, the girls loved being outside, getting muddy and spending time with their friends.


Phil and I would really love to go on a weekend break to Iceland, it’s somewhere we’ve both wanted to go for a long time.  I’ve ordered a guide, so we can decide what we definitely want to see, and I’ve been looking into how much we’d need to save for it.  It’s quite expensive, and it seems wrong to spend money on just us two when there’s four kids to think of first – but if we always think like that we’ll never go, and spending the time together just us is really important for our marriage.  I’d really love some grown up time where i’m not constantly distracted by looking after the girls, some time to just be me rather than being a Mummy.

Veganuary is a new one for this year.  It’s something I saw last year and contemplated giving a go in another month, but I just never got round to it.

The house is in desperate need of a lick of paint to freshen it up, everywhere looks grubby to me, with years and years of sticky paws everywhere.  We need to have our house rewired, but that’s something that’s likely to take a good 2 years to save up for.  At that point we’ll need to replaster all our walls, so there’s no point putting down new wallpaper, we just need to bodge ours up a bit.  We also need new windows, and my very longed for new kitchen.  We need a lottery win to be able to afford all these things…

Phil did manage to finally get our downstairs loo back in use for our New Years Day dinner – it’s been painted sage green, which I love, and the damaged ceiling has been lowered.  It still needs some work doing, but is looking good.





Rounding up 2016

At the end of 2015 I set myself some goals for this year.

  • Continue losing weight
  • Take a class at the gym
  • Work towards being fit enough for spinning
  • Be outside more with the girls
  • Not shout as much
  • Be more fun
  • Have a regular date night with Phil
  • Have an evening a week of no technology
  • Reintroduce our Sunday afternoon walks
  • Be more mindful
  • Learn something
  • Do more with my food blog
  • Improve the house
  • Make more of our outdoor space

I failed miserably on the taking a class at the gym/doing spinning etc – I did manage to lose a stone doing the 8 week blood sugar diet (no carbs, no refined sugar, only eat 800 cals a day) but I’ve regained that, and some extra.

I’ve tried to be outside more with the girls, but I haven’t done an exceptional amount – I didn’t do enough over the summer.

I’ve tried very hard with the shouting – but I still shout a lot, I need to try a lot harder on this next year.  I do think I’ve been more fun, I feel much closer with both girls at the end of this year.

We have had a couple of date nights, but nothing regular.  It’s so hard without having available babysitters – I feel like everyone is so busy and would be inconvenienced greatly by having to look after our girls on an evening.  This might improve as they get older and need less help going to bed?  We haven’t introduced an evening a week of no technology, we have done it a couple of times, but we should try harder next year.

I do feel that I’ve been more mindful – I know when I need to switch off from the world and colour or lose myself in a book.  I’m not quite at the meditation level – but I don’t expect that I ever would be, it’s not very me.

I completed an online nutrition course, and started a couple of other ones, which I’ve really enjoyed – it feels great to be learning.

I made the hard decision to retire my food blog.  I found that I was becoming anxious about not having time to post, or work on recipes, or try to compete in the new blogging world.  My heart just wasn’t in it, and the relief of making the decision to wind it up was immense.

We’ve made some improvements in the house, decorated bedrooms, bought a couple of bits of furniture when we could afford it, and worked at making it nice for us all.  There’s a lot of work still to do, and I don’t know when we’ll ever be able to afford everything that needs doing.  One day we’ll get to it though.

Our outdoor space is sadly neglected, that is definitely something to work on next year – if we can find the money.

Rounding up 2015

I’m writing this from bed, having had an operation yesterday I’m still feeling a bit woozy and in pain. Whilst I was waiting to go for my op yesterday I was thinking about the year we’ve had, and what my ambitions for 2016 are.

The biggest thing to happen to us this year was getting married. I will share the story of our day at some point, but that’s a post for another day. I don’t feel any different as a married woman, but I know it made Phil feel more secure. I do prefer having the same surname as my children, although it’s taking some getting used to.  I have lots of wedding pictures round the house, and love looking at them.

Our girls have come on leaps and bounds, Daisy is so much taller, has a vocabulary that surprises me each day and becomes more hilarious by the minute; and Phoebe is walking and running, getting into as much mischief as her big sister.  Daisy has had a year at preschool, going two mornings a week – she starts her proper school nursery in January, where she’ll go five afternoons a week. I’ve mixed feelings on that, but I hope she’ll enjoy it, and I look forward to becoming involved with school.  Phoebe loves singing and dancing, playing with dollies and Lego. I hope to do more crafts with her while Daisy is at school, she loves playing out as much as her big sister so we’ll be doing that and I’ve plans to make both girls their own gardens in planters.  Being a SAHM is harder than I ever thought it would be, some days I feel like I’m having a nervous breakdown, but then other days I have a lovely time and I feel like I could burst with happiness.

We had a lovely holiday in August, going on holiday with young children is NOT a holiday, but we loved spending time together, and Phil took them to the play area every day and left me to read in peace.

When pregnant with Phoebe in 2014 I read loads, but lost my reading mojo till the middle of this year. I’m now back reading again, and hope to continue devouring books in 2016.

I looked back at my goals for 2015:

Lose weight – I lost 1.5st over the year (we won’t talk about the bit that’s crept back on over Christmas). I do wish I’d lost another stone on top of that

Be more organised – I was super organised for the wedding, I defy anyone to have a better wedding spreadsheet. But that seemed to sap all my organisation out of me, and now we’re in a bit of a mess with paperwork etc.

Be more active – I didn’t end up doing the GYBR, and being active was a big fat fail until September. I started on the Move it to lose it scheme which gave 12 weeks of free gym membership and free slimming world sessions. I only lost 6ib in those weeks, but I lost a lot in inches, and I found that I really enjoyed going to the gym. My favourite sessions are Saturday and Sunday mornings, I feel fantastic all day after going. It’s also a great release to go after a long day with the kids, giving me some much needed head space.

Do more crafting – we made loads for the wedding; seating plan, place cards, all invitations, table numbers etc. I really enjoyed it, and loved working with Phil on them too. I’ve done bits and pieces with the kids, I’m trying to do something for each season, so we have a display in the dining room and projects to work on. I hold my hat to childminders and nursery workers – supervising more than one child doing crafting is ridiculously hard. Phoebe has eaten more paint than I care to think…

So what for 2016?

Continue losing weight
Take a class at the gym
Work towards being fit enough for spinning
When I joined the gym they made it clear I wasn’t fit enough for spinning, which I accepted with good grace. I hope that by continuing to exercise at the gym, increasing my running on the treadmill etc, that by March I’ll be fit enough. I’d also like to do the pilates class. I should continue to lose weight doing that, but I won’t be going back to Slimming World.

Be outside more with the girls
Not shout as much
Be more fun
I regularly feel like ‘bad cop’ being the parent at home all day, doing the mundane with them, working on manners, keeping them safe when outside, trying to get them to eat fruit and veg. I want to do more fun things in 2016, I need to work out a list of activities and ask the girls what they want to do.

I find that when we’re in the house too much we all become very irritable, I shout too much, the girls bicker. I want to be outdoors more in 2016, and that should help with not shouting so much. I’m a very shouty person, so it’s quite difficult to change that. It’s about time I reread Toddler Calm and start putting what I’m reading into practice.

Have a regular date night with Phil
Have an evening a week of no technology
Reintroduce our Sunday afternoon walks
Phil and I always come last, we need to spend time together on our own, and we need to spend time as a family.  When Daisy was small we’d often go for a walk on a Sunday, it gives us much needed outdoor time away from tv and phones, and works up an appetite for Sunday dinner.  I’d really like us to have an evening each week of no technology, no telly on and no phones on. We could read together, do our colouring together, do some decorating together, do a board game or listen to music. Obviously we’ll start this when I’ve finished watching Game of Thrones…

Be more mindful
Learn something
Do more with my food blog
When adult colouring books became quite fashionable I pooh-poohed them as nonsense, I had better things to do. But then I got Phil one and saw it looked quite fun, so when I found one at the pound shop I thought I’d have a go too – it really does clear your mind. When Phoebe is napping I’ll often sit with Daisy and we’ll colour together.
I love to learn, we’re going to a wedding in France next year so brushing up on my French will be a project, and I do want to pick up sign language again – maybe something for September if we can afford it.
My food blog has been sadly neglected. Being on slimming world has narrowed the foods I felt I could eat, the recipes I could try and impacted on the baking we did, hardly any in comparison with other years. I need to re ignite my love of cooking and baking, and put more effort into my food blog. (And this one too!).

Improve the house
Make more of our outdoor space
We’re currently in the middle of moving all the bedrooms around. Our new bedroom just needs another coat of paint, and a new carpet, then we’re good to go. We’ll finally have our own room again – well as soon as Daisy and Phoebe are in their rooms.  We also need to paint the downstairs loo, freshen up the living room and dining room, and the stairs and landing. We won’t do full redecorating because we need to rewire the whole house, and then replaster every where.

I quite enjoyed gardening this year – ok yes, Phil did all the donkey work, I tend to just have the vision. But I really want to make our gardens look nice. I’m aiming to grow more fruit, a bit of veg, and lots of flowers.

So that’s it. Quite a lot of things to work at.

Catch up…

It’s been a long time since I updated.  I had meant to do a round up of each week of the school holidays, what activities we’d done and the places we’d been – but we went on holiday to Norfolk and my blogging resolve appeared to have stayed there.

Our holiday was lovely; a week away in a static caravan, but oh my – the journey was arduous.  Five hours driving there, and eight hours to get home.  Traffic was horrendous.  It was lovely to have our first holiday as a four though.  It was nice to be away for Phil’s birthday, but he did miss his boys.

At the end of the school holidays I took all the kids to Leeds on the bus, and then hopped on another bus up to Roundhay.  We had lunch at the park, then went over to Tropical World, then back to the playground and for an icecream before the two buses home.  It was mammoth effort, dealing with four children and a pushchair, on buses – but a great day out.IMAG1867IMAG1880In September the kids went back to school, Daisy started her half term at Tumble Tots – we enjoyed it but found her to be a bit advanced at climbing and would probably be more suited to the age 3 class, but you have to leave her at that one, which I’m not comfortable with just yet, so we haven’t gone back after half term.  We also had a lovely trip to York Railway Museum with friends.  At the end of September we had Phoebe’s first birthday and then my birthday the day after.  I was very emotional at Phoebe turning one, reminiscing about her birth and those hard early weeks.  First birthdays seem such a huge milestone.  We went to Swithens Farm for Phoebe’s birthday, we do love it there.

12048950_10100116747746148_1258779829_n 12047656_10100116511779028_2043637463_n 12053230_10100116448685468_326508079_nIn October Phil and I had our honeymoon, four days in Rome.  What an amazing city; so much to see and do, all the wonderful things to eat and drink, and the people watching was superb.  Ancient Rome really blew us away, but I felt a bit disappointed by the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel – I’d almost expected a kind of religious epiphany being there – but I felt nothing.  We had a tough month with both girls not sleeping very well, colds, half term disrupting our routines and both Phil and I feeling very low.  Halloween seemed to turn things round, Daisy was enthralled with getting dressed up and going trick or treating and has talked of it nonstop since.


The beginning of this month has been Daisy’s third birthday.  Time is just flying by.  She’s due to start school nursery in September, we’ll be getting the uniform list shortly.  I’m not sure I’m ready for her to be away from me every afternoon – but she’s looking forward to it and we often discuss her going to ‘big school’.  If we didn’t live on the same street as the school then I’m sure I would home school them both very happily.

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We’re now starting to look towards Christmas, we’ve bought the girls main present, a new cooker, and I’ve picked them up a book each.  I’ll be doing the bulk of their shopping in the first week of December though.   We’ll be crafting up a storm of course, and have already started our Christmas Trees – more to follow on those…

It’s been a bumpy few months, lots of highs and lows, I’ve had some terrible days but then also some fantastic days.  Above anything else I’m sure that staying at home has been the right decision for our family.  We may be quite poor, but we’re rich on time and love.

37 Weeks – Spin me right round, baby right round

It’s been a busy week for us this week.

On Monday I had my vaccinations, one for flu and the other for whooping cough.  The vaccinations themselves were fine, over and done with in seconds and didn’t hurt at all.  But oh my goodness, the pain from the whooping cough one after a few hours was terrible.  I ended up with a huge, sore, red lump – I couldn’t lift my arm and anything at all that touched it would have me in agony.  Even today I can still feel a small lump from it!  I’ve never known me react as badly to anything.

On Tuesday work started on our new bathroom, so I decamped to my parents to get away from the stress.  We also had our presentation scan at LGI on Tuesday.  I’d noticed a lot of movement over the weekend from baby, and quite a bit of pain on Sunday night and Monday morning, so I was hoping that the baby was going to decide to behave itself and turn the right way.  We’d both had a good feel of my tummy over the weekend and neither of us could say for sure if what we were feeling was baby’s head – or a bony bum!

I took a half day at the office and we trooped down to LGI, found our way to the Antenatal day clinic and had my blood pressure and urine checked before going through for the scan.  The good news from the scan was that baby is head down, and boy what a big head it looked!  The bad news was my blood pressure was sky high and my urine was showing white blood cells in it.  I was sent off to phlebotomy for my bloods taking and then had my blood pressure taken another three times before they were satisfied we could go.  I ended up hooked up to a monitor checking the baby’s heart rate, where I had to push a button each time I felt the baby move.  My blood pressure dropped after about half an hour and we could then get on our way.  We were both very relieved that the baby isn’t breech.

Wednesday and Thursday were fairly non-eventful, I stayed at my parents and work slowly got carried out on our bathrooms.

Friday was my last day at work.  I thought I’d feel quite tearful from it – but I was cheerful throughout the day and stayed busy with work till the end.  I got a card, a £50 voucher for Boots and a crocheted baby blanket from work – very generous, and I popped out for a goodbye lunch with my team.  I’ve been apprehensive about finishing work, feeling a bit like I won’t be useful any more – no matter how many people look at me like I’m certifiable and tell me I’ll be doing the most important job in life in a few weeks time.  Right now being a Mum isn’t something I know what is going to be like – so I have no idea if I’m going to feel useful or not.  I’ve left a job I’m good at, with a team that rely on me and I have all those months before I go back stretching out before me to fill.

I had been worried that my replacement would be “better” than me, but after a two week handover I can see that in reality he isn’t some kind of superhuman whizz, so the months he’s there he isn’t going to make a better impression and contribution than I’ve done.

Yesterday was a tiring day, we went to IKEA, Toys R Us, Mamas and Papas and Next getting various bits of shopping and baby things.  We have a stupidly expensive baby monitor now, with a camera, so we can watch baby sleeping without needing to come and disturb it.  It was an extravagance, but I’ve saved in other areas and have quite a bit of second hand stuff, so I don’t feel too worried by what we’ve paid.  The cost of things for the baby has completely stopped shocking me, I can see why it’s such a lucrative industry – I’m so focused on getting everything that I’m told that I need that I don’t even care how much I’m paying – I just NEED to have it.

Today I’ve had a much needed restful day, lie in this morning, spot of baking this afternoon and now a laze on the bed with my laptop – I don’t think I’ll have many more Sunday’s like this!

Thirty Four weeks – what’s in a name?

There’s now less than six weeks to go, and all thoughts are turning to names.  I hadn’t been precious about telling people what names we have picked, I’ve found that other pregnant women are though and won’t tell their chosen names.  I soon found out why – a work colleague asked me our chosen names, saying she’d not been able to think of any herself… Roll on a few weeks later and I find out she’s given birth and used one of the names we had picked (Ella).

I have several girls names I like, but only a couple of boys names.  My “psychic” work colleague believes that’s because we’re having a girl, but I think it’s just because there are lots of boys in both our families – all good names are taken.

I need to spend some quality time with our name book.

My 34 week appointment went ok, my blood pressure is higher though, 138/88 so I have to go back to be checked next week. Hopefully it will have dropped.  The swelling is as bad as it was, my hands are agony once they’ve stiffened up at night, but other than those I feel fine!

Mid Year Review

The end of June is almost upon us.  I thought I’d have a look at where I wanted to be when I started this blog, and where I am now – especially as things have changed so much.

My original goals:

  • Improve my fitness
  • Lose some weight
  • Move in with my fella
  • Get his house ready to sell
  • Buy a house together
  • Get a little dog
  • Become pregnant

Improve my fitness – well that one is a bit of a fail.  I did buy a stupidly expensive bike with every intention to do a 70 mile bike ride for charity – and the day after I bought the bike I found out I was pregnant!

Lose some weight – I did lose quite a bit of weight doing the Dukan diet, but stopped following that when I went on holiday at the end of January.  While I’ve been pregnant I’ve actually dropped a dress size, but I don’t imagine this will carry on throughout my pregnancy, fully expecting to widen everywhere else any minute.

Move in with my fella – well that one is definitely ticked off.  As soon as we found out I was pregnant we moved the moving in day forward and have been living together happily ever since.

Get his house ready to sell – here’s one of the ones where things have changed.  We decided not to move, so the house isn’t going up for sale and we’re furiously decorating instead.  I say “we” but that obviously refers to Phil, I’m not allowed to help with the decorating.

Buy a house together – As above, we decided not to move so haven’t bought anywhere new.

Get a little dog – As much as I’d truly love a little dog we just can’t afford the expensive of one, and we can’t give the dog the attention it would need right now.  I miss not having a pet and I’d desperately love one, but I understand it just isn’t the right time for one.

Become pregnant – I think it’s clear that this one was a success, although a far quicker success than I’d anticipated would happen.  It’s not been good timing for work, I haven’t been there long enough to qualify for occupational maternity pay so I’ll be on basic SMP while I’m off, meaning a huge drop in salary – very scary thought for me!  I’m loving being pregnant, although the hormones are a nightmare, I don’t know how poor Phil copes with me.


As a few of my goals aren’t applicable now I thought I’d set some new ones for the next six months:

  • Exercise more, including going swimming
  • Go to NCT classes to learn more about becoming a parent/make new mummy friends
  • Be well prepared for finishing work for maternity leave
  • Assist (as much as I am allowed) with decorating the house
  • Do some crafting before the baby comes
  • Find as many bargains with the baby buys as possible
  • Save for a new kitchen

I think the new list is achievable, I definitely need to do all of those things!