Sunday, 29 January 2017

The End

I started blogging in July of 2009, two months after Charlotte was born. I was inspired by a friend but also because I love to write and with my family staying so far away from us, I thought it would be a lovely way to keep them updated on the kids and to have an online diary for the kids to read when they are older.

Over the years I've documented lots of adventures, memories and moments that have shaped our family. I've watched the kids grow in real life and recorded the milestones on my blog. I love reading old posts and remembering those moments.

I've shared my journey of returning to college and studying hard to pursue a job I love. It's been a hard one but I'm so happy with what I've achieved.

I've been cautious of sharing too much in terms of my personal life and married life. And my friendships. In all three there have been hard times but that's part of life. Some things aren't meant to be broadcast over the Internet.

I've reached a point in my life where I'm struggling to find the balance. And, in fact, I've struggled with this for some time. Social media is so easily accessible these days, it can be really easy to live in the virtual and forget to live in the real world. And my blog has been a big part of that virtual world that I need to come away from. When it impacts the real life, it really isn't worth it.

So I have made the decision to stop writing my blog. It has become less enjoyable and more about making sure I updated it. But who for? When I started blogging, I did it for me. Now I just do it for the sake of doing it. It's a habit that is taking away from, not making memories with my family because we do do that but it's taking away from living in those moments. It's become about "let's make sure we get a photo of this for the blog" instead of capturing a moment to remember forever.

I've been feeling this way for awhile but recent events have made me wake up and realise what's truly important to me. My kids and husband aren't going to remember their mum and wife writing a blog. They'll remember me being present in their lives.

I do want to thank those of you have commented and shared in my blog over the years. I've had some amazing opportunities and met some amazing people and I'm truly grateful for those experiences.

Saving Money Using Tesco Voucher Codes

Food shopping can be super stressful whether you're feeding yourself or your family. Food can be so expensive depending what you like or don't like to eat and I know so many people who buy their weekly food shop from several different stores to get the best value for money.

As a working parent, I do our weekly food shop at the weekend. The shops are so busy which is why I prefer to stick to online shopping and use My Favourite Voucher Codes to find money saving coupons to use in Tesco.

Finding great deals is really easy. You go on to their website, type in the name of the retailer you want to shop from and see what offers are available. You click to buy the deal and when you purchase, My Favourite Voucher Codes will donate 20% of their profit to a chosen charity of the month. So you can save money and give back to a worthy cause too.

There are loads of retailers you can find money saving vouchers for so it's definitely worth checking out My Favourite Voucher Codes before your next online shop.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

When Everything Aches

This morning I woke up in pain. All of my joints were aching and my chest was so sore whenever I coughed. My nose is still running like a tap.

I think I have the flu. The joys!

Still, I powered through the day at work, mainly fuelled by paracetamol.

I've not felt great all week to be honest but today is definitely the worst I have felt so far. The only good thing about this week is noticing the mornings have been lighter as have the evenings. I hate the driving to and from work in the dark so it's a sign Spring is on its way when these lighter and brighter days begin.

Are you excited for Spring?

365 Project 2017 - Day 26

How to Organise Your Kitchen Cupboard

We all have big plans when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve and we begin a New Year. Perhaps it's to lose weight, eat more healthily or to get your home in some sort of order. So if you're thinking of having a good old de-clutter and start a bit of organisation, have a read at this post from one of my contributors to see how they managed to get their kitchen cupboards looking fantastic.

I am a neat freak. I’m neat to the point of madness. Move a vase slightly ajar and I’ll set it back in its place. Put items in a jar without a proper label and I get anxious. And considering all this you’d think that my kitchen was spectacularly organised, but for some reason my food cupboard has always been somewhat of a mess.

The reason? It’s that when I think about how to organise everything in my mind I start putting things into subcategories, and by the time I’m done it’s all too complicated. I have tried a number of times, but by the time my husband and kids get in there it’s a big mess again. I’ve just kind of come to terms with it. It’s my messy corner.

So what changed and why am I writing an article about how to organise your kitchen cupboard?

When we moved house last summer, we got a fresh start as it were with the kitchen. I wasn’t actually thinking about how to organise (I’m not that crazy), I was just looking to Pinterest for design ideas. It was there that I found this amazingly organised store cupboard. What was so amazing was the fact that it didn’t look complicated. It looked like something the whole family could keep in order without too much fuss.

If you too are struggling with kitchen tidiness, maybe you’ve been wondering if pasta and flour go together in the same area – then let me share with you how I’ve been doing it. You’ll need to buy 10 clear plastic containers, 5 large, and 5 medium. Here’s how it works:

All breakfast items like cereals, breads, spreads, and any flour product like pancake mix in one container.

All no-sell-by-date items like canned goods, flower, pasta, rice, etc. in one container.

All baking items in one container.

Oils, daily use spices and any other daily use items in one container.

Speciality items like a sauce you might only use to make a particular Asian dish, dried fungi, and spices you don’t frequently use in one container.

OK, next you’ll want to have 5 smaller containers - each with a label (buy handy write-on labels instead of the standard stock to mix things up a little). These smaller containers are where you keep the specific ingredients for your weeknight meals. That way you don’t even have to consider what you need to put together and you’re ready to go on those meals. This is especially helpful for those busy weeknights where you come home from work too tired to think. Sometimes automated motions are all we have energy for.

There you have it: this system really works for us. The best part is that I no longer have a ‘messy corner’, and that puts my mind at ease, even if that does sound a little crazy. But hey, who isn’t a little nuts right? Oh, nuts go in a separate container with other snacks – don’t forget the nuts!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

What I Ate Wednesday

I started the day as I do every morning with a bowl of porridge and fruit. I find it so filling; it keeps me going until lunch time. I want to try it with almond milk instead of semi-skimmed to see what it's like.

I made up a wrap with ham and cucumber for my lunch as I was at a course all day. I did have a mid-morning coffee and piece of shortbread which was delicious. Along with my wrap I had grapes and a fruit bar.

Dinner was salmon with potatoes and veg. We try and have fish at least once a week and usually I'll steam the salmon because it's much healthier than frying it. I do oven bake it too whenever I remember to buy kitchen foil.

I'm craving cereal just now. I don't know why; maybe it's because I'm not feeling great but I've been having a bowl before bed every night this week. It's better than chocolate I suppose.

365 Project 2017 - Day 25

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