BeeBee's 365 Challenge

for the little things that make me happy

Day 274: Loud Noises – the half written entry

What is it about a nice quiet Sunday Morning that two children and a moody husband ruin. That would be the silence.

Sundays are about the one day of the week I can get up early and get some writing done in peace.

Instead get to cower under a blanket with a cuppa, every sound that comes out from the mouths of these babes appears to be louder by the second.
I don’t know if it is three almost four days of bingeing, lack of sleep, the end of my gastroenteritis or just being an evil mother but each note is setting my teeth on edge.

21-Day Challenge: Big fat fail.

Today’s Activity: It has been a tough & emotional day, finally got the change to chill with the season finale of Hart of Dixie.

BeeBee x

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Day 273: Never Bake in a Bad Mood

Once again Saturday is here. Once again I am stressed to the hilt again.

This has been a very different week to the one I originally imagined.

Most of it was spend running to and from the bathroom. The rest has been craving sugar.

If I’m poorly I bake, if I’m annoyed I clean. If I’m bored – you don’t want to know what I do when I’m bored.

So today I turned to the kitchen in desperation. I have been hankering after making Chelsea Buns after watching The Great British Bake Off on Tuesday. My kneading has never been my strong point. So they started off with hindrance.
So after 10 mins of kneading I bobbed the dough in the airing cupboard to prove. An hour later, barely any difference. So moved it to an open oven set to warming. A reaction finally occurred.

Then came the rolling out. Oh my word. I have never rolled anything so stubborn. Once filled with fruit & sugar and spice, cut into rounds and moved to the tin (which was far too big & how 16 fits into a rectangle I have no idea). They bake… Heart in mouth I open the oven door and seen overly dark tops. My usually cold running oven ran hot today – about right!
Today’s Activity: Reading the upcoming Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe book by Jenny Colgan.

21-Day Challenge: Another bad bad day ūüė¶

BeeBee x

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Day 272: Things I Wish My Mother Told Me

It is okay to be different.

As a youngster, I was frequently compared to other children.

I didn’t do things in the same ways they did. I knew from an early age that I had my own path. I wanted something different.

If you look at a list of things I want to be it wasn’t exactly run of the mill.

A nurse who didn’t see blood.

A story writer.

I wanted to grow a toffee lollipop tree.

I wanted to be a witch.

I wanted to write the news but not speak it.

Strangely I have managed to do little bits of all of those jobs. Which is rare. I don’t have anything in my childhood ‘I wanna’ list. I personally think this is a good thing. I went and did what I wanted when I wanted to.

But this wasn’t seen as a good thing. My family on a whole wanted me to conform. I had to be seen to be a responsible person. I had to look like I belonged. Which lets be honest I didn’t look like I belonged anywhere.

I have had confidence and weight issues for all but about 10 years of my life. I can understand why I was dragged to diet clubs, and food was rationed at home. Every summer holiday started with a new diet, so I would look like the other girls. Every summer ended with a new school uniform being bought, or even made, as I had grown too fat for the last one.

As a grown up and a parent I have finally come to the decision that how my weight problem was handled was wrong. It was always made a point of. Looking back, I wasn’t that horrendously big at my largest at school I was a 18/20.

What I was is upset and felt unappreciated. I didn’t have an opinion at home. This is probably where my love of words came from.

So overall what I want my boys to know is, it IS okay to be different. In fact embrace it. If you are happy knowing who you are, you are not going to put a foot wrong. Mistakes don’t happen, they are opportunities presenting themselves. There is nothing that can’t be undone.

I wouldn’t change me for the world, I have never looked at a picture and decided I want to be that person (I have come close with Zooey Deschanel but I’d still be me). Some situations I have been in aren’t the best, but lead to good tales for the nursing home in later life.

21-Day Challenge: After yesterday’s slip, I’m trying hard to pull it back.

Today’s Activity: Film night on the sofa.

BeeBee x

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Day 271: Faux-Febreze – A #PinAddict Post

As regular readers will know I live in a house surrounded by men. I’ve started to dread that point of the day when I go to the bathroom to clean.

I don’t care what they say, boys just can’t aim… no that’s not quite right. My boys do aim, just not at the toilet. The carpet, pelmet, washing machine… no really that has happened recently, not to mention the lack of flushing. So I have an uphill battle keeping on top of this.

I can’t even count the number of Febreze bottles I have gone through in the last 6 years, and do you know what? I don’t even like the smell.

This is a quick, easy and much cheaper alternative. I used some fabric softener from Tesco, and some bicarbonate of soda which is past it’s best before that I keep for cleaning.

If you still have an empty spray bottle I’d use that, this is one I’ve had for a few years. I topped up the bottle to the top of the widest part with warm water.

I can vouch that this works. And definitely smells much fresher.

I have also used this on the duvet that has been in storage for the summer, hung it on the line, sprayed quite liberally (but not enough to drench it) and left outside to dry. I now have a fresh smelling duvet ready to go on my bed for tonight.

21-Day Challenge: Fell off the horse somewhat. Could have been worse. Should have been much better.

Today’s Activity: Snuggling under my freshly laundered blankets with a hot water bottle.

BeeBee x

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Day 270: Heavens Above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week the weather has been one heck of a shock to the system.

The soups have come out for lunch and casseroles are back for tea time. The slow cooker isn’t quite sure what has happened to it!

On Monday I was overly excited about doing a jarred pasta bake. (I’ve still not worked out a way to do the same thing at home without the jar!)
A creamy tomato and herb pasta bake so good on a cold wet day, especially when served with a chunk of garlic bread.

Today I am doing a Sausage Casserole. Baked beans, red peppers, sweet onions, and a touch of Chilli Jam to oomph up the heat and adds a sweetness to the sauce. I’d say this was going to be a recipe entry, but really it’s a chuck it in and leave it meal. I cook of my onions and peppers a little first and brown the sausages (otherwise I find they tend to crumble a bit too much!).

This autumn favourite will make it’s way to my plate with a mountain of mashed potato. Comfort food at it’s very best!

21-Day Challenge: I’m still r0cking it! Best decision I made this week.

Today’s Activities: A hot bubble bath and a book.

BeeBee x

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Day 269: After a Fashion

I know I don’t exactly look it, but I am obsessed with fashion, the prints, the cuts, how an item can change a whole person’s perspective.

I’m by no means a clothes horse. I know what I like, and find it hard to find those things as what I like aren’t always necessarily what is en vogue. I’m not the slimmest of Jims, however, I am much smaller than I used to be. At present I am 5’11”, and¬† a size 22/24 with a 32″ inside leg.

I have a waist, but boob wise I’m lacking (well I am if you compare me to my other female family members). So as I was saying overall I am fussy. I know what I like, now finding what I like isn’t always an easy business. Especially when you are not exactly stock size.

I love blogs of people The Wardrobe Challenge and Arched Eyebrow to name just two that are out there. They chart their adventures in fashion in a way I wish I could. They take photos of themselves looking amazing and you can see their confidence shining through.

At best, I just feel awkward. Autumn is here and Winter is looming. For me it is a season of functional clothes. Leggings and jumpers mainly – leggings are a substitute for tights as they are that bit thicker, and I tend to stay away from denim when it is raining as it takes forever to dry out again and I’m not having several costume changes a day.

For work it is leggings and jumper dresses… I’ve just ordered this one my Joe Browns and I’m rather excited for it’s arrival on Friday.

https://i2.wp.com/products.drct2u.com/content/images/products//vx/vx111/d02vx11150w.jpgThe plan is to wear it to death!

Next year, I expect more clothes, jewellery and make up driven entries to appear on this page.

 

21 Day Challenge Update: Another day under my belt, it’s starting to feel a bit easier and not so much of a chore.

Today’s Activity: Eating soup (or should that be drinking?) with a fresh bread roll and Hart of Dixie on the sofa.
BeeBee x

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Day 268: What do you do when…

You are feeling a bit, well, ‘that way out’?

How do you raise yourself out of the funk?

It’s tricky trying to¬† balance being a mum, working and all those other little jobs that don’t seem to get done by anyone else.

We need to pencil in time for ourselves. Easier said than done. I know that I try and get some ‘me’ time, I have put it on the calender, written it in my diary but after just a couple of weeks it falls by the wayside.

This year (as I have said frequently before) I’ve been concentrating on the little things. Such as drinking a coffee in peace or getting that 5 minutes alone. So here are the 10 things that have topped my favourite things to do so far.

1. Speak to a friend on the phone

Is there somebody you haven’t seen in a while, or do you have a pal that you never quite get to finish a conversation with? Put a little bit of time aside and give them a call at the weekend. If possible I try and pack the kids off somewhere so I can gossip away in peace.

2. Drink a mug of coffee

Yes it is that simple. Most of us have numerous mugs of tea or coffee every day, but do you take time out to enjoy it? Make yourself¬† a good quality drink, so a nice filter coffee instead of your regular instant.¬† Find a quiet corner, smell it, sip it, savour it. This isn’t about the caffeine fix. Take it to¬† it’s about taking time away from the hustle and bustle of the house and being still. (This also works after the kids bedtime just add wine!)

3. Take a warm bath

Use your favourite bubbles, light a fragrant candle, turn on some music, maybe even take a book in. This is best if the kids are occupied or even asleep! This is time for you, so no additional kids allowed.

4. Have tea and cake with a friend

I remember when the kids were babies, we used to have coffee afternoons at peoples houses. The kids would normally sleep and we could chat. As the children got older we still met up but chatted less, until those babies started school, and we all started working. So tea and cake just slipped away. Try and set aside an afternoon if you can, or a weekend morning. Get your husband or significant other to look after the kids and hit a tea room or coffee shop with your pal.

5. Wear a fancy outfit on a regular day

I have long been a great believer in shoe therapy. Wearing gorgeous shoes boost the confidence and put that extra bounce in your step. Especially in the office I found. Inappropriately beautiful shoes on the school run can only lead to blisters!

If you are going down the fancy clothes route, make sure it is a day when there isn’t going to be any nasty paint accidents or cleaning with bleach!

6. Buy a yourself a special treat from the supermarket

When I’m doing the weekly shop I frequently find myself slipping treats for the Brothers Thing into the trolley (today alone two Moshi Monster blind bags fell in to my basket). So pick something for you. A chocolate bar, a pastry, or anything you really fancy. Set some time aside and enjoy it (I usually wait until after their bedtime).

7. Watch your favourite tv programme in peace.

I do this every other Tuesday when The Husbands goes out for a drink. I get the remote to myself. I get to watch some cheesy television like Hart of Dixie or some food porn Lorraine Pascale, Nigella, and follow it up with Great British Bake Off.

8. Read a good book (or magazine).

This is one that I make time for. I often read for work, I love to read for pleasure too. I’m not a book snob though I will read most things and when I’m reading for work I tend to do lots of thrillers and murder mysteries I follow it up with a light chick lit book at home. Take it in that bath with you, or just read after your kids are in bed for the night. Sit back and get lost in the fantasy world of a novel. I try to read a chapter a night of my current favourite book, unless it’s a James Patterson book then about 5 (they are rather short) and I find it helps my brain slow down and sleep comes faster.

9. Arrange a date night at home

So this one isn’t just about you. Give the kids a quick, easy and simple to clean up tea. Pack them off to bed early. Then cook (or order in) a special meal. dig out a favourite film or even just talk over dinner and by candlelight (I hear the latter one is popular and romantic… not a goer in BeeBee Towers). Whatever you do, don’t talk ‘shop’ housey things and kiddy things are banned.

10. Find a nice candle

You know the ones I mean. One that as soon as you light it lifts your mood and evokes a happy mood. Simple is good!

So those are some of the little tricks I have employed this year to keep me smiling and make 2012 my happiest year yet.

21 Day Challenge Update: Another day under my belt of being back in control, just 19 days to go!
Today’s Activity: A nice post school run malted hot chocolate and a jam & cream biscuit. Pure decadence, curled up by the radiator in the front room.

BeeBee x

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Day 267: Breaking a Habit

I’ve found myself drawn to looking at self-improvement programmes recently.

I have lost what little control I did have over my eating. The ah just this little bit won’t hurt has return, it is just a shame that the little bit has been the 4th bar in a Kit Kat Crunchy multi pack or the 3rd in a 3 for ¬£1.20 offer.

This is when I know that my binge eating is getting to the point where control will not be an option. Food addiction is a rough addiction to have. With drugs and drink at least abstinence in an alternative.

You cannot abstain from food. Not without some long term health complications. This is why the liquid diet companies will always have  a market. When you have a destructive relationship with something like drink and drugs abstinence is the best way to exert control over that part of your life. So similarly abstaining from food becomes a worthy choice.

However, you cannot live by milkshakes and soups alone. At some point you need to return to solids and chewing.

For me the shakes and soups route is not a viable one. I like food too much. I enjoy preparing it, smelling it, tasting it. I get an almost child at Christmas excitement from just unwrapping a chocolate bar. I turn into a real giddy kipper. Sad, but true.

I also know that for me the group weight loss thing hasn’t worked. It isn’t about what types of food that I eat, the way in which I eat them. It’s the emotions that go with each meal. The speed that I eat is a big problem. I don’t take time out to eat slowly, I tend to chomp at break neck speed.

So I am starting a 21-day plan. It is reported that it takes 3 weeks to break or make a habit. I’m using 21habit.com to plot my efforts. My goal is to gain control of my eating. I’m not dieting ever again, but want control.

I have a meal out this week, but as I say it about control, not about being ‘good’. It’s about the mindless eating, grazing, binging. The parts that undermine the brain. In a similar way to the alcoholic reaching absent mindedly for the next bottle of vodka or the drug addict rolling another spliff or cutting up another line or the want of nothing better to do.

I need better for myself. It is not about looks, I will never be a tight-bodied beauty – I have done too much damage to my body already. It’s about my inner self, that voice in my head that needs to take a day off.

So Paul McKenna I will be relying on you heavily this week. I can see a tricky time ahead, but by October 13th I should have cracked this thing.

Today’s Activity: Pub lunch with my extended family to celebrate my birthday.

BeeBee x

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Day 266: Autumn Equinox

So yesterday wasn’t just my birthday, it was also the official end of Summer.

As of today it’s is now technically Autumn.

The leaves will start to turn and tumble.

The spiky conker shell will fall and spill their shiny cargo.

The acorns spill from their elf cup holders.
I love Autumn. It’ s my favourite season. You get to wear fluffy jumpers, snuggle on the sofa under a big blanket. When the rain falls you can make a big pan of soup or chilli to keep the chills at bay.

The scents of cinnamon start to come through in cooking and baking. Apple pies and crumbles, pumpkin lattes, it all starts here at the end of September.

My slow cooker will soon be a permanent fixture on my kitchen work surface. I have even bought a new timer for the plug so I can put everything in the cooker in a morning before I head out of the door and it will cook to perfection. Granted chillies and stews it is often a case of more is more, whereas with chicken you can cook it for too long, especially with the breast as there is no extra fat or bone in there.

As ever in my brain I’m going into Autumn/Winter with the same dream I start it will each year, I will emerge from the big jumpers, smaller and more stylish. A bit like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

 

Today’s Activity:¬† Eating curry and watching Doctor Who.
BeeBee x

 

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Day 265: Thirty Six Years in the Making

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It’s that time of the year again. That time when I get to move into another tick box in the world of multiple choice.

What have I learned, if anything, in the last year?

I have learned that I don’t like being lectured.

I don’t like not being in control of my own destiny.

I also know that I can do anything if I actually want to. Now if I could work out what it was I want to do.

Yes I’m still the same size (well slightly smaller) than I was this time last year, and do you know what I’m actually happy with that. After spending many years in the company of a slimming group I have realised the answer isn’t to concentrate so whole heartedly on what you can eat, what you should eat, and what the value of the foods are that you are wanting to eat. Food is there to enjoy, not to become a mathematical equation, and do you know what? My head is much clearer for it. Not getting on the scales has released me from the weekly ups and downs that became so frequent.

I love to write, I am starting to write much more frequently both on this blog, I have now also started writing for the blog The Real Super Mum. I get to cover subjects that are close to my heart, but not quite light enough for this blog. Not that I don’t get deep on here, it’s just not the right platform.

This year I have also learned that I am just as happy curled up on the sofa with a cuppa and a good book in silence as I am with a raucous night out with the girls.

So what will my 37th year on the planet hold for me? I’d like to work more on my writing. both fiction and non-fiction. I also plan to write my first novel.

Today’s Activity: Wine and pizza with my boys!

BeeBee x

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