Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Project East Wing 1.0

We're extending!!
We've been in our house for three years now. The kiddos are now 3 & 6 and still sharing a room. Time to grow our house!

We've done the financy bit and got a budget, hired  someone who can do the works for us... I say the works, we'll be doing the decor, kitchen & bathroom. He'll be organising the design, permissions, and building work.

First draft of plans pinged into our emails last week so the bank holiday weekend was spent pouring over them, debating, measuring, and plenty of Pinterest!

We're going to be adding..
.. Ground floor: knocking the kitchen through to the extension to make a kitchen diner, adding a ground floor multi purpose room and a cloakroom/wetroom
.. First floor: master bedroom ensuite

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Being a working mum

It's half past ten on a Sunday evening. I've finally got my kids to sleep, and got most of the chores done. But now my brain is wired. I wrote an article on work life balance  the other week, and it's got me thinking.

As I watch my children sleep (they are at their most adorable when sleeping!), did I shout at them too much this weekend? Did I play with them enough? The weekend has passed by so quickly and I'm certainly not feeling relaxed. Instead I'm filled with guilt at looking forward to going to work on Monday morning to get some peace! This can't be right?

Let me look back on my weekend though... I spent most of Saturday at my in laws with the family, I spend Sunday morning baking cakes with the kiddos.

Sunday afternoon was spent going for a walk and cooking dinner. After dinner we piled onto the sofa together to read books. Sunday evening has been spent trying various methods to encourage my 2 1/2 year old son to settle down to sleep!

That's some quality time right there.

I did also do my fair bit of shouting. I try to follow most of Jo Frost's rules: get down to their level, explain right and wrong, be consistent, etc. But sometimes I do lose it and shout. Especially when they started fighting on the stairs!

So as I try and wind down for sleep, perhaps I should be happy that I've topped up on quality family time and am ready to face the challenges that work will present on Monday morning.

Parenthood will always be full of guilt and doubt, whether you work full time, part time or are a stay at home parent. There is no manual. We all try and do the best we can.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Reflections and forward look

The turning of the year is a natural point to look back at what has happened in the previous twelve months and plan ahead for the next twelve. 2013 was certainly an eventful year for us in which we realised some of our hopes and dreams:

  • Our baby boy was born in January, completing our family. 
  • We completed on our house purchase in April, moving in in May.
  • I returned to work in July from maternity leave straight into a restructure at work. This situation forced me to look externally for new jobs and I am now in a job I really enjoy!
Looking forward in 2014 I want to be:
  • Less skint.
  • Slightly trimmer.
  • More organised.
  • Just as happy.
Hopefully, by being more organised (I'm currently taking lessons from Fly Lady), I'll be able to blog more.. hurrah!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Play dough - homemade style

While searching for something to entertain my 11 month old son, I found this recipe for home made play dough.

•   1 cup of water
•   1 cup of flour
•   1/2 cup salt
•   1 tbs vegetable oil
•   2 tsp cream of tartar

Bring all ingredients together in a saucepan.
Stirring all the time, watch as the mixture forms a dough ball.
Remove from pan and place onto a clean board.
Knead until your dough is silky and cool.
Keep in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

I added some green food colouring and peppermint extract (about a teaspoon of each). My son kept wanting to eat it, pulling the most amusing face at the saltiness so I think perhaps he's not quite ready for play dough yet. My 4 year old daughter loved it though!

Friday, 20 September 2013

The house!

I've found a quiet hour to myself and would like to tell you about our house.

We bought it back in April. I'm so glad we had an overlap with our rented house as this house was DISGUSTING. The previous owner clearly did not own a vacuum cleaner or a cleaning cloth.

My Dad came over from France and spent a couple of weeks with us to get it into a state suitable for a family to live in. (Huge thank you to my Dad!) We had a very tight budget and needed/wanted to paint almost everywhere, replace the flooring in the lounge/diner and get white goods.

The Kitchen
Whilst looking for an cooker on Freecycle, I came across one that came complete with a kitchen! The previous owner ended up leaving his cooker so we negotiated to take the kitchen units, sink and worktops. My Dad ripped out the old kitchen and refitted with the freecycled units. We bought new worktops, flooring, kitchen tap and a few fittings. Including some bargain white goods (thanks to Preloved), our 'new' kitchen came in at around £500. We had the cooker professionally cleaned which cost around £60. It looked as good as new when finished - money well spent.




It still needs some finishing touches, but we're getting there! It's now a place I love spending time in.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Back in the saddle!

It's been a crazy few months.

Firstly, my son was born at the end of January.

It took us ten days to name him and we eventually settled on Oliver. I hated him not having a name, but it was SO HARD to choose!
I'm working on losing the baby weight by using My Fitness Pal and Striiv. My Fitness Pal makes you take stock of what you are eating and has made me realised just how many calories are in some biscuits (oooops). Striiv has been such a great motivation. It's a pedometer with social networking and a game wrapped up into an iPhone app. The game and challenges are very addictive while the social networking aspect has you competing to see who can walk the farthest each day. The best thing is that the two apps link up and the calories burnt logged by Striiv automatically appear in the cardio exercise section of My Fitness Pal. I've fallen off the wagon whilst moving but now we're about 80% moved in, it's back to it today.... I've a weekend away booked at the end of the month!

We finally completed on our house purchase two weeks ago. It has taken nearly six months and the chain just grew and grew! We've just moved in and are clearing and cleaning out the old rented house. Gosh we have so much STUFF.
Rather than write one huge post, I'm going to break down our house progress to date. To summarise though: we have refitted the kitchen and decorated almost the entire house so far!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Long time no blog

Being pregnant makes me feel so lousy and I've struggled to enjoy all the things I normally love. I'm nearly at the end of my pregnancy now, and on maternity leave and I think I'm finally finding my mojo!
So here's a little update on what's going on!

A good place to start would be with my progress update

  • The regular bike ride - well they weren't so regular once I got a bit bigger. We also bought our daughter her own little bike for her third birthday so I've taken her out on that too.

  • Advance Driver course - getting pregnant gave me a cotton wool brain, so I've had to defer this one if I have any chance of passing!!

  • Learning a new craft - I bought a sewing machine and have been dabbling with occasional bit of sewing. I intend to make more use of this in 2013!

  • To make Elderflower wine - TICK!

  • To complete the dolls house - fail. big time.

In other news, we have a baby due sometime soon (watch this space!) and are in the process of buying a house! So my goals for 2013 will be to pick up on 2012 goals not yet achieved (although I may defer the Advance Driving course to 2014).
I will also be looking at returning to my pre-pregnancy weight and decorating/DIY around our new home.