monday things

1. I have been struggling with a cold for the last week and on Saturday I allowed myself to wallow in my own self pity. Nothing got done.

2. I bought my first cinnamon apple candle of the season! It is one of my favorite scents and makes me look forward to dark cozy nights cuddled on the sofa. Yes, I am one of those fall/winter loving people. I do not like summer, and I am glad to see it’s back side.

3. Yesterday, I made a pork roast with all the trimmings for our Sunday dinner. The roast was cooked low and slow and made my whole house smell like a holiday. I may have gotten all sappy/teary asking the kids what they wanted for Christmas and generally freaking everyone out.

4. I love love love apples with pork. I made some applesauce to go with our dinner yesterday too. I just chopped up some apples, tossed them in a pot with enough water to cover the bottom, sprinkled some mixed spice and cinnamon, then simmered until tender. I like my applesauce to be chunky so I usually mash it with my potato masher, leaving some nice chunks of apple in there. I use the left overs in my morning oatmeal (which I just scoffed). It is great because it helps cool down the oatmeal so the kids don’t have to wait to eat it. And it is super yummy.

5. I had to dig out my winter coat this morning. And wear my knee high wool socks. Brrrr. I love it.

6. I want need this hot fudge pudding cake in my life. Now.

7. TV talk now folks. Dexter. What to say, what to say. I love Dexter. It holds a place in my heart. But, what the what is going on this last season? I really expected more. I am a little disappointed to be honest. Boo.

8. Mad Men. Any fellow watchers? What is the fascination? I mean, we started watching it thinking ‘eh, lets watch an episode or two and see if we like it’. We are now into season 3, and we have no idea how we got here. It is so good! I couldn’t tell you why though. Just trying to explain it to someone makes it sound like the most boring show ever. There is something about it and we are hooked. GAH.

9. I really wanted to get this print from Etsy for the kitchen. She had a print with Julia Child’s quote, ‘people who love to eat are always the best people’. I pray she sells it again. It is on my officially nonofficial wish list.¬†

10. I bought paint!! Like, a colour! Go ahead, gasp and clap…I’ll wait. I am so excited to finally see walls that are not so clinical and white. We chose a soft grey which will go in the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Eeeeek!

11. I am going to go light my apple candle and pretend it is a relaxing fall day while I fold mountains of laundry. Happy Monday all! ūüėČ

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weekend

Monday has to be the worst thing ever. Just the worst. And it starts with the Sunday dread, so really it sucks away from your weekend too. I never used to care about Monday’s but now I can’t bear them. Alex obviously starts moaning about going back to work, the kids are excited/don’t want to go to school, so it is a fine line with them, and me? Well, good weekends mean that I don’t do jack diddley all weekend. So my Mondays look like a sea of laundry, cleaning, tidying and it is just down right depressing. It is 9:45am and I am already on my third load of laundry. And of course there are still a few more loads staring me down. I am daydreaming of being in bed with a good book and just letting the house go to pot. But, the girls were on their last school uniform gear today so unless I am cool with sending them to school naked tomorrow, I guess I should keep on trucking.

We don’t do much on the weekends. I wish we were the kind of get up and go go go people, but no. Weekends are for rest, sleep, relaxing, playing games, sitting in pyjamas, cooking, eating, laughing, and catching up with family. Not work. Saturdays we always watch the football scores coming in while I call my mom. We speak every Saturday anywhere from 1-4 hours and I look forward to it every week. I don’t really know how we have so much to talk about every week, but even those hours don’t feel like enough. Sundays we usually try to do some house stuff or a project so we feel a little accomplished. I am talking about maybe doing the dishes, hanging a picture, or maybe some light yard clearing. Nothing real serious people. 

But this Sunday we went to the pet store to see the animals because we needed flea stuff for Lily, Tesco to check out the new American food section because I needed some mac and cheese in my life, McDonalds for lunch (it has been so long since we have been lets just say they redid the entire place and we didn’t even know that they had), and then to Papas for a coffee and chat. It was a nice day. Everyone was in a good mood, the sun was shining, good family time was had by all. But it exhausted us. I was in bed last night before 8pm. I feel like I was ripped off and had a day taken away from me. That may sound wrong, but I really need two days of rest a week. It is my treat for keeping all of these people alive and where they need to be all week. Ideally, I would have two days of rest and one day to go and do…but that ain’t gonna happen. 

So that was our weekend! How was yours? Are you a busy bee always on the go? Or are you like me and just want to be a hermit until you have to be a member of society again? 

perfection

We all strive for it, in some way or another. Everyday we are bombarded with images and written ‘proof’ of someones seemingly perfect existence. I know there are a lot of people who have debated the whole issue of social media and its effects on society. Good and bad. So I won’t go into some long rant about the topic, but I will say that I agree it has many benefits just like it has many downsides. Like most things I suppose. 

I have been thinking a lot about this blog during my little hiatus. Thinking about how I felt about it, how I could improve it, what I imagined it to be, and of course facing my fears and anxieties about the whole thing. I wasn’t really aware that I felt certain things until I began facing it all. And it all boiled down to perfection. Or better yet, my lack of it.

Blogs are pretty. Pretty little snippets of someones pretty little life. I follow a lot of blogs and have done so for many years. My favourites just make me sigh and go all glossy eyed at their beauty. Yes, I am aware of how that sounds, but it is true. Just like a lot of social media, it makes you want to create this spot of perfection in your own life. People only share things they want you to see. Usually these little snippets are the good things which lead you to believe they have the perfect life. Or so it seems. Whether it be how you raise your child to be the perfect little member of society, or having your living room be set up like a show home at all times. The perfect hair, makeup, clothes, kitchen, food, pictures…it just goes on. And in the end, it makes a lot of people I know feel like crap. And I chose the nice word to put there. 

Of course when I started this blog I wanted that too. I wanted it to look pretty. I wanted the perfect little header with the perfectly matching sidebar and blah blah blah. I wanted my pictures to look magazine worthy, staged just so. But after a lot of thinking, and beating myself up about it, I realised what I really wanted. Yeah, I could spend hours learning how to take the perfectly crafted pictures, and spend money getting props and all that jazz, but is that what I really want to be doing? No. 

I would rather give it to you straight right now. This is real life. The food I make is for my family. When I take pictures of a finished plate of food, that is my dinner plate. I take pictures as I cook, and then a picture of my dinner seconds before I eat it. So I am going to take a stand with this here blog. I am going to just give it to you like it is. I won’t be staging recipes. I won’t be staging rooms or projects to make them seem perfect. I won’t choose to not tell you of my crafty/diy failures. And I sure as hell won’t spend time editing my pictures. What comes out of my camera is what you will get. I have decided that I do not want to be another blog/media outlet that makes people feel less than perfect. Have you ever made a recipe from another blog, or magazine, and it looks like a distant twice removed cousin from the so called image they have for the end result? Oh goodness nothing drives me more insane. They use fake food. They use undercooked food too because it photographs better. They have people, who are paid a lot, to spend hours staging food pictures. I would rather be eating, playing, painting, and sleeping to be honest. Of course, if photography is your passion then great! Embrace it. Learn. Be the best. I would love to be able to photograph things like a pro, but I don’t have the natural talent for that and it is also not as high up on my dream list as other things. And I am ok with that.

This blog is just gonna be down to earth and real. If you make a recipe from here, it will look like my picture. No trickery. If you make a project that I show on here, it will turn out the same. I don’t pretend to have any skills, and half the time I make up things as I go along. Is our life, home, or family magazine worthy? Far from it. But, it is my perfection. And that is as perfect as I want to be. 

hello!

So I took an unintentional break it seems. I am not really sure what happened. The last week of school was crazy and filled with parties, concerts, and confusion. And then we had to adjust to summer, which does not sound difficult, but it was.

Day one started with me being jolted awake by Emma screaming that Sara broke the light. Eh? Sure enough, she tried to climb into Emma’s bunk bed and panicked, so she grabbed onto their light and actually snapped the wire. That reminds me, it still needs to be fixed. Before the early nights set in anyway.

Later, I was upstairs doing laundry, and when I went downstairs I noticed little tuffs of fur in the bathroom, which is odd. I realised it was cat fur around the same moment I spotted my razor (!!!) on the windowsill, also full of cat fur. It seems the girls decided it was a fantastic idea to shave the cat. Now, I still do not grasp how they came to this idea, or why they thought it was a good one. This was day one of our summer holiday remember. My girls quickly found out what being grounded meant. Welcome to summer!

Once we found our rhythm, Alex was then off work for two weeks which was bliss. We got a lot of work done in the house and also enjoyed a lot of nothing. Perfect. But now the girls are back in school (hooray!) so lets get this show back on the road shall we!

This is my last year to have one kiddo home for some of the day, so I am happy to be getting back into our routine. Next year I expect to be a blubbering heap on my bathroom floor all day. The perfect way to not deal with my girls leaving me.

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Although, last night it was¬†fun to tell them to get to bed because it’s a school night.

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But I sure do miss them being around.

right now

I have seen a lot of people doing ‘right now’ posts. Basically talking about things they are doing right now. Maybe not all at once. That would be an extreme example of multitasking. So I thought I would share my right nows!

  • Reading: I LOVE to read. Although since we have moved I think I have read one book. All of my books are still in boxes awaiting the built in bookcase to be created for them. However, I am going to be rereading Accidental Hitman¬†that I read last year. I found this book so hilarious and it was such a fun and different read for me. I have not started to read it again though so I guess if I am honest about what I am reading right now it would be Kipper and Roly. Sara’s library book from school. Awesome.
  • Listening: I have a large range in my music tastes. It all depends on my mood really so I can enjoy country music, heavy metal, and dancey pop all in one day. However, one thing I love love love and am always in the mood for is the Joy The Baker Podcast. Joy the Baker runs a blog¬†about, you got it! Food! And her pal Tracy from Shutterbean¬†also has a blog about food. Their podcast is so so funny and it truly is like sitting with your best friends talking about random nothings. I download them and listen while I clean the kitchen or my favourite is to put in my headphones and listen while I do a project. Our hand painted wall in our old flat had quite a few wonkey lines because I was laughing so hard. Seriously, listen. So good.
  • Making: Dinner! On days that Emma has after school activities I like to get the dinner prepped during the day, if I can. We don’t get in until after 4 and then there is homework and blah blah, but we still want to eat around 5. So I just don’t have a lot of time to be cranking out a meal. Tonight we are having a cheesy potato and sausage bake. So I am cutting up potatoes and sausage and making my cheese sauce. Later I can just dump it all in the pan and bake. No effort required.
  • Feeling: Tired. My usual state. No matter how much sleep I get, it doesn’t matter. Sleep is my drug. I can never fall asleep during the day though. I am not a napper at all. Unless I am very ill, like verge of death ill, then I can conk out for a few Z’s.
  • Planning: My next project. No idea what that is yet! I am dying to get started on the living room, but also I am wanting to finish the hall so one area is finished before we start on another, and then I want to do our bedroom so we can have a space to relax and not have a million to do’s slapping us in the face. I am just waiting to wake up one day with an urge to take on one of the above. That’s how I roll.
  • Loving: I am loving quite a few things at the moment, but one thing I am in love with, cannot get enough of, are these dresses from H&M. OMG. They are sooooo comphy. I am wearing mine with leggings at the moment because there is still a chill in the air, but I love that I can dress it up with a nicer blazer and heels, or dress down with one of my denim jackets and flats. I can’t wait until a denim jacket and flip flops are all I need to pair them with. They don’t seem to have the colours I own online but I have one in a black and white stripe (which I am wearing as we speak/type/read) a teal one, and a reddy orange colour. And the price! I know I have already gotten my moneys worth anyway, and I am all for clothes that feel like pyjamas but still look cute. Maybe that is why I am always tired?
  • Eating: Well, as you know we are having the sausage potato bake for dinner. ¬†Me and Sara split some left over spaghetti for our lunch today followed by a dark chocolate digestive biscuit. Yes, just one. As it was the last one. Boo. But I have had nothing since. Think I may have a cup of tea before I go pick up Sara though!
  • Drinking: Mmmmmm a nice cup of tea. Plenty of milk and sugar. Like a mug full of love.