Sunday, 22 February 2015

365 Happy Days 6,7,8/52

I think the exhaustion of being ill just took over me the past fortnight when I went back to work. I didn't post my 365 photos or link up. So apologies but you are getting a 3 week run down! 3 more days will see an end to my first year in photos. I started my 100 happy days project a year ago and then extended it after the first 100 days to 365. I didn't think I would ever see it through. Possibly the fact that I didn't put any rules and regulations on myself has helped. I post to Instagram as it is easier and I settle for phone photos most of the time. As long as I take photos every day I am doing fine and when I get time to post I play catch up.

Here are my past 3 weeks...

Week 6

February 2nd
A photo posted by @grumpinator on

February 3rd

February 4th

February 5th

February 6th

February 7th 

February 8th

Week 7

February 9th

February 10th
A photo posted by @grumpinator on

February 11th

February 12th

February 13th

February 14th

February 15th

Week 8 

February 16th
A photo posted by @grumpinator on

February 17th

February 18th
A photo posted by @grumpinator on

February 19th

February 20th

February 21st
A video posted by @grumpinator on

February 22nd 
A photo posted by @grumpinator on

I'm linking up with The Boy and Me
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 6 February 2015

Are You Ready for Unexpected Guests?

My Shiny Sink

I am no domestic goddess. It is a well known fact that I have struggled over the years with my lack of care and attention to housework. The thing is, there are 2 breeds of people. Ones who are organised and  great at running a house. They naturally run a well oiled machine of a household. Everything has a place and everything is in it's place. Then there is my breed. I am the type of person who can be sitting on an average Tuesday and see a relative coming to the door uninvited and feel the blood draining from me. You see I'm not comfortable with my lack of cleaning prowess. I want to have a drop in friendly home it's just that it's not my nature to think about cleaning and tidying in a planned way. I am a creative, free spirited person who is often out and about and using my home as a crash pad between adventures.

As I see that uninvited guest approaching or as I get the phone call to say I'll be round in 5 minutes, I find myself scrambling to hide dishes in the oven and ironing in car. Since becoming a mum 4 years ago, I knew things had to change. I couldn't continue my hide my mess lifestyle like a shameful overeater who eats in the wardrobe then hides sweetie wrappers in their knicker drawer (ahem, I mean, who does that?)

Last year I read a blog article by a woman who calls herself FLY Lady. I liked her ideas around creating schedules and thought that this was someone I could relate to. I got a bit sidetracked and ended up forgetting about the website. Over Christmas this year I started reading again and I now find myself transformed and amazed but how easy it can be. I thought I would share with you some of the little changes I have made in the past 4 weeks which led me to the wow moment today. I opened my door at 9am on my day off to an unexpected health visitor who had come to my house to give my youngest son a visual assessment. I hadn't followed my morning routine to the letter as Fridays are our lazy days but my house was clean and tidy enough for me to open my door in my dressing gown to a complete stranger and invite them in. I didn't have to hide anything and I wasn't embarrassed. What a feeling!

It is the key for me to have a set routine. A time to do things in a day rather than firefighting every corner of the house or dedicating full days to catch up cleaning. Fly lady suggests that you have a morning and evening routine. There are certain things she insists you include but the rest of the routine is decided by you. What I find is that by going through these routines, my kitchen, livingroom, dining area and bathrooms are always tidy and clean. My washing and ironing is kept up to date and I am (excluding Fridays) dressed and ready to start the day. The main take home message is to do as much as you can the night before to prepare for the next day.
Here is my evening routine . . .

  • Clean up dinner dishes straight after dinner
  • Kitchen - Shine my sink, clean surfaces, put out a fresh dish towel for tomorrow, switch on dishwasher, dash round the livingroom with the hoover (we have a dog and 2 boys so daily hoovering is a must for us.)
  • If Steven is home one of us will bath the boys and give the bathroom upstairs a Swish and Swipe round after the boys are out then collect the washing from upstairs and bring it downstairs. The other is doing the pick up and put away anything lying around the livingroom, dining room, conservatory, 
  • Clear any hotspots (bottom of our stairs, dining table)
  • Put a load of washing on (set the timer to come on so the washing is finished for getting up in the morning). Take washing off the screens or from the dryer and iron if needed (I practice not ironing if I don't think it really needs it)
Tomorrow, Tomorrow . . .
  • Check the diary for tomorrow, write a to do list for tomorrow, make tomorrows lunch. 
  • Layout clothes, bag, shoes and keys for tomorrow. Think about tomorrow's dinner (do I need to get anything from the shop or take anything out of the freezer?)
  • I like to have my shower at night as it's hard to fit this in with the boys in the morning. 
  • Have some chill out/downtime then get an early night (in bed no later than 10.30pm)
This takes me about an hour at a leisurely pace to complete this but I go to bed knowing that my house is ready for tomorrow and so am I. My morning routine is shorter as I am organised from the night before. 

My Morning Routine

  • Get up before the kids (this isn't always possible but I try and get up at least 15 mins before them) 
  • Make bed, this usually means with the dog still in it!
  • Go to the bathroom downstairs, get washed, brush teeth, fix hair and make up, give the bathroom a Swish and Swipe, check towels and replace with fresh towel if needed. 
  • Get dressed, put shoes on. 
  • Fetch washing from the machine, hang it up.
  • Empty dishwasher (while the kettle is boiling for my morning cuppa)
  • Feed the dog, Sort my breakfast and cup of tea. 
  • Get the boys up and let the chaos begin.
From here on the house will become messy with toys and I don't get hung up on that. I am a mother first and always before a housewife. Mess from toys is fine in my book. I know that underneath the toys my house is clean and a 15 mins pick up and put away will clear my floor from the toys madness that my 2 boys create. When/if I get time in a day I set my alarm for 15 mins and tackle a cupboard/drawer to declutter in the current zone I am working on. Over the course of the month the zones rotate around. So it is a little and often approach to decluttering. I have completely decluttered my livingroom and hall as these areas were pretty uncluttered anyway. My next mission is my kitchen and that is going to take more time. I am confident that even if I could squeeze in 15mins, 3 or 4 times a week I could still make a huge difference over time. 

At the weekend I give my house a 1 Hour Blessing where I properly clean my bathrooms, give a big hoover round, clean the floors, dust all rooms, polish my glass doors (although I don't know why I even bother) and change the sheets in the bedrooms. 

I am trying to build in routines to my week like always cleaning out my car on a Friday afternoon when I come back from Nursery and cleaning my fridge on a Thursday when I get my food delivery. I like that you can take baby steps and you can just start where you are. You don't need to over think it too much. 

There is much more than this on The FLY Lady website. I am only getting started. If you are interested in finding out more about Shining you sink, Dressing to your shoes, Swishing and Swiping and House Blessing then check out the links. I can honestly say it is making a huge difference to my wellbeing. I have been off sick from work for 2 weeks and even through illness I have managed to keep on top of things with my hubby following the routines when I was really unwell. I am now on the mend thankfully and looking forward to keeping up the Fly Lady Lifestyle. 

Keep me posted if you try out anything or have any further tips. 

Thanks for stopping by!
This is not a sponsored post. I am writing about this from personal experience and have not been paid for my endorsement of Fly Lady.   

Sunday, 1 February 2015

365 Happy Days 5/52

I'd love to tell you that it has been a better week but it hasn't. I've been off work ill all weekand I still don't feel much better. I am not going to dwell on it or moan so lets move on. I have struggled with my lack of phone this week (it's still away getting fixed from it's plummet to the bottom of the toilet U-bend). Instagram doesn't work great on the old brick phone and that is how I prefer to share my 365 photos. I took some nice photos on my camera but Instagram doesn't seem to like them and kept kicking me out. So I apologise in advance for the grainy images below and the fact that the photos are all in my house/of the kids but we were housebound all week so it has been very samey!

January 26th

January 27th 

January 28th

(Please ignore the stickers on the furniture, we are waiting on a part coming so it still has the tape on and we are waiting to get trunking fitted to hide all unsightly cables!)

January 29th

Instagram hates me and missed off my description for this photo. I haven't left the house this week to go shopping but my Hello Fresh box was my saviour. Lets be honest, ill or not, if I'm not cooking, nobody is eating! This is Hoisin Pork and Rice. It looked lovely, just wish I could've swallowed it!

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 30th 
A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 31st

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

February 1st

Here are some of the photos I wanted to use but Instagram was being a pain . . .

Here is a wee treat for you . . .

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 25 January 2015

365 Happy Day 4/52

I am sitting typing this whilst tucked up in bed with a Lemsip and feeling extremely sorry for myself. It feels like we haven't had a week without illness since October. I have been soldiering on, nursing the boys and trying my best to slap a smile on it but to be honest it is starting to take it's toll. I started to feel fluey and was suffering with a sore throat last night. I've been in bed all day trying to recover whilst hubby and my mother in law nurse the boys; Jamie has diarrhoea and John has a viral infection. There was little in the way of happiness today but tomorrow is another day, onwards and upwards.

Here is my round up of the week

January 19th 

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 20th 

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 21st

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 22nd

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 23rd

January 24th

January 25th
My favourite photo of the week . . . 

January 26th

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

I hope I have much more healthy photos to share with you all next week. I'm off to finish my Lemsip and hope for a good nights sleep. 

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 18 January 2015

365 Happy Days 3/52

At the start of the week I was sure that the universe was conspiring against my 365 project when my mobile phone (which is the most convenient way I find to take photos daily) was dropped down the toilet and went to mobile phone heaven. However, I managed a few grainy photos on the old Nokia I am using while my phone gets fixed and it inspired me to take the DSLR out when I probably would've just opted for the camera phone. Here is the run down of the week ...
January 12th 

January 13th 

January 14th 
A photo posted by @grumpinator on
January 15th
A photo posted by @grumpinator on
January 16th 
January 17th 
A photo posted by @grumpinator on
January 18th

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 11 January 2015

365 Happy Days 2/52

Well first week back at work is always painful. When I am working I find it really hard to fit in photos because my days can be quite hectic with little of any substance to photograph. When I come home I am so busy spending time with my boys that I often forget to take any photos.

I managed though and here are my snaps from week 2.

January 5th

January 6th 

January 7th 

January 8th 

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 9th 

January 10th 

A photo posted by @grumpinator on

January 11th 

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 4 January 2015

365 Happy Days Week 1

I have loved taking part in my 365 project last year and technically im not quite finished yet. I've still another month to go. I haven't shared any on my blog, just on facebook and instagram so I thought I'd do a weekly round up on here starting from the 1st of Jan. I'm linky up with lots of other snap happy bloggers over on The Boy and Me's blog to help keep my momentum going. 
Here are some of my snaps this week  

Jan 1st - My annual truffles and chocolate biscuit cake baking 
Jan 2nd - We always spend time with my husband's family on the 2nd. This is my eldest with his auntie.

Jan 3rd - Brotherly Love, my favourite photo. 

January 4th - My own little Box Troll

Obviously I only have 4 photo this week as the link up is going to be every Sunday. You can check out my daily feed on instagram (Grumpinator)

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky