BeeBee's 365 Challenge

for the little things that make me happy

Day 279: Things I Wish My Mother Told Me

Parenthood is about sacrifices.

Your ambition never leaves, you just have to reprioritise.

This is the bit about motherhood that I really don’t like. I don’t want to make decisions based on what coins I have in my purse and the lack of family that I have around me.

There are days that I dream of being back in the office on a full-time wage.

Today I saw an opportunity arise, one I probably won’t see again in a long time. One I would love to try out. That’s when the sensible voice kicks in. It is only a short term contract, you would have to pay for childcare on top of the other expenses it would entail.

It isn’t like what it was for Mum back in the day. She had my grandparents who offered her support. I would go before and after school, during the school holidays too.

Yes, my children do have 2 sets of grandparents, but they’re not exactly well placed. One set is in Wales the other in the next county and unable to travel much of the time. The joys of being in the countryside without a car or direct bus and train routes.

You can only ask friends to do so much. So instead of following a hunch, and applying knowing that I would have to turn it down if offered. I have to make a decision to not do something and leave myself with a collection of what ifs.

Instead I will write on here and wherever else will have me, albeit unpaid. One day I will happen upon a ‘novel’ idea and work from there.

21-day Challenge: It is starting to get a bit easier again. Routine, that’s what I’m craving I think. Routine and lots of coffee!

Today’s Activity: Catching up with my stories and a takeaway.
BeeBee x


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Day 278: Mustache Mug 2: A #PinAddict Post

Last month I made a Mustache mug using a process that I found on @Pinterest.
This time I tried the same idea, but using porcelain pens.

I found mine on Baker Ross 






So this time I took my clean dry mug and attached my
mustache template.  Make sure that you try and
colour in the middle as evenly as possible. Keep a
damp piece of kitchen roll nearby to tidy up the edges
before the ink dries.

   Carefully remove the template (if you’re using one
that is. I had to tidy up the edges slightly as it bled a
little. Then as per instructions left it to dry for 5
hours.  Baked for 90mins at 200c and left to cool in
the oven.


Again, I put my freshly baked mug through the dishwasher to test the fastness of the print.





Me and my ‘tache mug! A fab make. Love this so much! Now what to tackle next off @pinterest for the PinAddicts Challenge?
21-Day Challenge: Still teetering on the edge. I could be better, I could be a whole lot worse.

Today’s Activity: Managing to negotiate a deal with the people at sky without panicking and handing the phone to The Husband.

BeeBee x





Day 277: Clickity Split

I’m still trying to pull myself together after last week’s illness. So as I tend to in these moments I seem to return to wool as therapy.
Today, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with a dear friend. We spent most of it making Danish Paperhearts.  How fabulous are these? There are lots all over Google and Pinterest. Not bad for a first attempt.

Photo: My Meuff heart

When I had postnatal depression after the birth of Thing 2 I crocheted like a mad thing possessed, it resulted in a rather long stripy blanket.

This time I have picked up my knitting needles. Working in blocks and rows, in just stocking stitch. Nice and straight forward. No planning and rarely even looking at what I am doing, it keeps the hands and the mind busy.

21-day challenge: still wavering but getting better everyday.
Today’s Activity: Chatting and weaving paper hearts.


BeeBee x

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Day 276: Side Effects

Last week I had the most awful bug. Gastroenteritis always seems to knock me for six.

It left me with a few side effects. Namely some dreadful mood swings and behavioural issues.
I have learnt this week that not only does gastroenteritis stop you from keeping food in your body. It also stops your anti-anxiety medication from working effectively.

My moods are starting to stabilise again, as is my eating after five days of binge eating. Today things are starting to look brighter. I have taken it upon myself to start listing lots of things we don’t need around the house on Facebook Sale Sites, and will then probably list them on Ebay, and then if the weather holds up the rest will go to a carboot sale. Then if they haven’t sold a quick trip to the tip or the charity shop.

I have had enough. There is only so much tat a house can hold and this house is full of the stuff. Beware kids your bedroom and the nursery are next!

While going through the back room, I have happened upon some ready cut out patchwork shapes and some scraps of material, then I also found lots of wool. It’s just a shame I appear to have lost my other bag of special bobbly yarn – just as I had managed to find something to do with it. Typical really.

Today’s Activities: Getting some order back into part of the house.

21-Day Challenge: Back in control! Yey!

BeeBee x

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Day 275: Meal Planning Monday

I’ve not done one of these in a long time, and I’ve not even planned at home… It’s not been good.
I’ve not planned a lot to be honest. It hasn’t helped with my extra-curricular problems.

So this week I am making a concerted effort to bring some organisation back before the hustle and bustle of Christmas strikes, and that’s before the BeeBee Tower’s Halloween celebrations begin.

So back to this week’s food. So far the weekend was  at best very hit and miss. the one meal that was planned didn’t happen as we forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer!

Monday: Pasta bake.
Tuesday: burger and chips (as requested by Thing 1).
Wednesday: either beans or spaghetti on toast.
Thursday: Salsa Chicken and Rice.
Friday: Is still Takeaway Friday!!!

At least I have almost regained control over my eating again.

Today’s Activity: finally getting my treadmill into the front room.

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 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. 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 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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