Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Cleaning schedules

 This year I have been working on several cleaning routines and adapting them to make them work for me. I have pretty much got the daily and weekly routines sorted. I don’t rigidly stick to doing certain things on certain days as work and WI commitments make that impossible. Instead it is a case of getting it done in the week. Some weeks I can spread the jobs over several evenings and other weeks they are done all in one go at the weekend.

I am struggling to keep up with the zone cleans due to this  lack of routine. I do find that if the jobs are spread over the week then doing the zone clean is easy at the weekend.

 I have also set up cleaning schedules for those things that need cleaning less frequently and also one for before I go on holiday. This came from Alison at Brocantehome and I love reading her e-books and web site because she is not obsessed with having a perfectly clean sterile home but on making the home comfortable and welcoming.

I admit that I do not stick rigidly to this but at least it gives me a fighting chance of not needing a visit from Kim and Aggie.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Menu Plan (17th October 2016)

The last week of term has arrived. I cannot believe how quickly it has gone. The weather has definitely become a lot more Autumnal and my thoughts are turning to warm, comfort food especially after a day at work with no heating in the office Brrr.  There is only 5 meals as Craig is taking the kids to my Mum's caravan for the half term and I will only be with them for the weekend as I could not take time off work.

So the meals for this week then are
Sausage Casserole done in the slow cooker
Spaghetti Bolognese
Gammon, Egg and Chips (Slimming World friendly)
Beef Stir Fry

Linking up with Organising Junkie.

Hope everybody has a good week and is enjoying the change of season.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Trying to find planner peace

Planner peace is something that I have heard a lot of bloggers and vloggers comment on and whether or not they have found it. I don’t think that anyone can find ultimate planner peace and use the same system for years on end without refining it. I have watched a number of Youtube channels where there is a video titled ‘Planner Peace’ and then a few months later there is a video uploaded for a completely different system.

I have yet to find planner peace as my requirements have changed over the years and the more I have looked into planners the more systems I have tried, some have lasted longer than others but I have yet to find the ‘Utopia’ that Planners aim for.

My current system is a cross between an ring bound system and a bullet journal and is in two ‘books’. I like the idea between a bullet journal but I don’t fancy have to transfer my ‘collections’ to a new book every time the journal was filled. This is where the ring bound system has proven useful.

My planner is from Paperchase. It did have ‘Make it Happen today’ printed on the front but it started to rub off quite early after purchasing it so I just rubbed the rest of it off so that it looked better.

I have different tabs as any ring bound system does. I didn’t like the tabs that came with it as they were to dull so I made my own using scrapbook paper laminated to strengthen it.

My first tab is a diary where I keep my appointments, events, when I am out of the office and  when things are due. I suppose this would be the future planning in a traditional bullet journal. I am using the diary that came with the planner.
I have only got to the end of the year in as it was originally an academic year but I prefer January to December so I will be purchasing a new diary insert soon.

The next tab is the weekly plan. Again this is a filofax insert and is the daily planner. On this I put things that I need to do this week as a general list. On the back there is a notes section on which I put my meal plan on along with any other general notes I may need.

My daily to do list is in a separate notebook which also contains my brain dump which are just random notes and thoughts that I just need to get out of my head so I can focus on other things.
I tend to write this first thing in the morning as it depends on how I am feeling and what I have got on that day as to what I intend to achieve. This works better than planning out the whole week as I am more likely to do what is on the list. I am going to spend more time and make it look a bit prettier (damn you Pinterest).

The next tab in my planner is my running to-do list which is for non-date specific things that need to be done. I have a separate list for my craft projects which I am trying not to add to until I have got some of the projects which are already on there completed.

A list of birthdays and anniversaries make up the next section in the planner. Having this section means that I don’t have to remember to transfer them all across to a new diary every year.

My ‘Life’ Section contains my monthly goals and ways I am trying to simplify my life. I will also put in things that other people have done to simplify their lives and maybe try to incorporate their ideas.

The List section is my equivalent of the collections in a Bullet Journal. I have currently got school holidays, writing challenge, photo challenge,  where I am up to with box sets and my wish list which is a list of things I want to buy.

The final section is notes which is just everything else.

I don’t know how long I will stay with this format, but it is currently working for me and seems to offer the most flexibility.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Update on September Goals and Setting October Goals

September was a busy month and unfortunately I was not able to achieve all of my goals.

1. Reach target weight
            September has the most birthdays of any month and this meant lots of cakes and meals so I only maintained this month.

2. Finish decorating kids rooms
             My brother in law, the decorator was extremely busy so unfortunately he hasn't been able to fit them in. He has promised they will be done by Christmas.

3. Get roof done
              The scaffolding was up for nearly 2 weeks before the roofers were able to get done but it is done and dusted Yay!!

4. Work towards Gold body magic
              Only managed to get to the gym twice in the whole month and to achieve the gold award then you need to do 5 x 30 minutes sessions a week for 8 weeks so definitely a non achievable target.

5. Read 2 Agatha Raisin books
            Really enjoying this series but only just managed to do this as so busy.

6. Organise craft supplies
             I took a couple of days off around my birthday and spent one of these organising my craft supplies into 1 place. Hopefully this will encourage me to get more crafts finished as they are all in one place and near a table to work on.

Goals for October

1. Finish Victorian cross stitch sampler
2. Read 2 books
3. Make Christmas Cake
4. Finish making vintage style apron
5. Save an extra £100
6. Reach target weight
7. Devise and stick to cleaning routine.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Menu Plan (10th October 2016)

Hi Everyone,

I didn't do a menu plan last week as I was working away for most of the week and Craig would not have stuck to it anyway. I do get a little worried about what and when they are eating when I am away as the first words out of their mouths on my return was not 'Mum, we missed you' but 'Mum, what's for dinner?' and this was at 6.30pm. We have normally eaten by this time when I am home.

Craig is out every night except Wednesday so meals are child and Slimming World friendly as I am determined to get to goal long before Christmas. I haven't lost any weight since I got by Club 10 award in July and I only had 4 1/2lbs to go. This happened when I was at Weight watchers where I lost a stone in 17 weeks then it took over a year to lose the last 1/2 stone. I am determined to make sure that doesn't happen this time. If anyone has any tips on how to get over a plateau in weight loss then please let me know.

The meals for this week are
Monday - Homemade pot noodle (so Syn free as just dried noodles, chicken, chicken stock, sweetcorn and peppers)
Tuesday - Pasta and homemade meatballs and tomato sauce
Wednesday - Slow cooker Chicken curry and boiled rice
Thursday - SW sausages, mash and peas
Friday - Steak and Salad
Saturday - SW Singapore Noodles (homemade not the ready meal) Recipe here
Sunday - Chicken in a Mushroom Sauce.

Linking up to Organising Junkie as usual.

Hope you all have a good week. Thankfully mine is a lot quieter and I am looking forward to having more time to cook.


Sunday, 9 October 2016

What I have been doing in September

September has been quite a busy month for me but it has all been good.

As a back to school treat I went to Manchester and took Emma and Matthew to Richmonds Tea Rooms. It is somewhere I have been wanting to go to for a while and I knew Emma would like it because of the Alice in Wonderland themed decor. The food was also really good. We didn’t go for the afternoon tea, instead Emma had a chicken sandwich, Matthew had pancakes with Maple syrup and bacon and I had Eggs Royale. I do want to go back and take Craig. He doesn’t do afternoon tea because he does not do cakes but I think the Gentleman’s afternoon tea will appeal.  The toilets were a source of amusement as they were unisex toilets so we were laughing when people went in and came out straight away to check the sign if they saw somebody of the opposite sex in there.

Obviously the 5th was back to school for Matthew who is going into Year 6 as Head Boy. So proud!

The first Masquerade Ball of the month happened on the 9th. It was a charity fundraiser for St Rocco’s Hospice in Warrington. It was a very enjoyable evening and I came away with a cake slice and cake stand on the raffle and a make-over consultation from the silent auction (which I never expected to win).

It was an early start the next day as I was going to the Stitching and Hobbycraft show at Event City. I went with the intention of buying Christmas crafts and because I had to take Matthew to a party that afternoon I knew I couldn’t linger. I am looking forward to starting these.

My haul from the show

September is a busy month for birthdays, It starts mine, on the 18th is my sister in law to be, then Matthews, my Mums and my nieces. Also Emma’s boyfriend was 18 as well as one of her ‘adopted’ sisters and my friends daughter.

It was a bit nerve wracking on the 18th as I was doing an abseil down the Bell Tower at Barton Square which is part of the Trafford Centre. I was doing it with a group of work colleagues for Macmillan. It was something I was looking forward to doing EXCEPT when you have to climb over the edge of the ledge and put your feet onto a wooden block BEFORE they fasten you on. I gripped the ropes attaching the blocks for dear life until I was secure. After that I loved it and wanted to do it again.

The 24th was another fully packed day. I had a trip to Skipton with the ladies from my WI. I have never been to Skipton and was looking forward to the visit. There were some really quaint shops and I bought my first Christmas present from there. The market was on so it was very busy and as there was a group of us we didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked as the coach was picking the ladies up to take them to Grassington for afternoon tea.

 Unfortunately I had to miss that part as I needed to get back for the second Masquerade ball. This one was being held by Craig’s lodge as a fundraiser for the Masonic charities. It was another enjoyable evening and I am looking forward to the 3rd in December.

Oh we also have booked the holiday for next year. Because there is a group it took 5 hours to sort out and involved a trip to the Trafford Centre on a Sunday afternoon which for me is normally to be avoided like the plague.

I have to admit I am looking forward to a quieter October before everything starts gearing up for Christmas.