Sunday, 1 January 2017


Follow my true North
There is a difference between what you want, and what you believe you should want and I've caught myself getting the two mixed up far too many times last year. 

Celebrate my accomplishments. Again
I didn't completely fail at this last year, but I didn't manage to make a habit of it either. So I'm going to try again because when I did manage it, it felt brilliant. 

Start saving
I have a very specific goal in mind, but more on this another day.

And there you have it. I've been sat here writing this list for nearly two hours and this is all I've come up with. Three things. The truth is, for this year as I see it, these will be all I need.

Happy new year everyone. 


Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 Resolutions - Results

Work, keep it simple
To do lists were kept short and focused. I made a plan for the year and stuck to it. I even recognised the need to stop making kimonos in the summer so that I could work on new stock ready for the autumn. Resisting the urge to keep up with demand is something I've usually struggled with. I would keep on saying yes ultimately biting off more than I could chew.

Time with Alessi, make it count
Meh. Sort of.
By the time summer rolled up. She was over it. Over nursery, the games she used to love playing, her toys. The lot. Those last few months were a struggle. I do think we made the most of it, but in the end it looked closer to making the most of a bad situation than the rose tinted images I had in my head! 

Accept myself
NAILED this one. 
From my post pregnancy body, slowly aging face, constant need for solitude and finally accepting that I just don't like wine, I'm more at ease with it all than I ever have been. 

Big. Fat. Fail.
I don't think I've read a single book. Well not for myself. I've read hundreds of children's books over the year though. It doesn't quite count, but seeing as the whole point was to keep Alessi interested in books (and she is), I'm not losing too much sleep over this one.

Celebrate my accomplishments
Hit and miss.
Ok I'm a little annoyed about this one as I did (and still do) believe that it's important for people to do. I achieved a lot this year and in some cases, surpassed my own targets, but often failed to celebrate them. Reasons included not having enough money (to treat myself), not making the time and just generally not organising myself properly. 
I still feel the same as I did this time last year in that I believe this is an important habit to get in to so I'm going to carry this resolution over to 2017 and hopefully with practice, it will become something that comes a little more naturally.

What about you? Did you make any resolutions at the start of the year and if so, how did you do?

Thursday, 22 December 2016

I hate DIY

Not long after my last post, Dan and I decided that the house needed some work. Two months before Christmas. I wouldn't recommend it .

And now with two days left until Christmas we have finally finished it all. The relief I feel is immense and all I want for Christmas now is an uninterrupted nights sleep, a lie in and some cheese.

So here's to not seeing abandoned paint brushes dotted around the house, paint smells, touching wet paint, cursing and having to do it again, measuring, cutting, more cursing and just generally wondering what the hell we thought we were doing.

Here's to sleep, pickles and cheese. Watching Alessi's face light up when she opens her presents and going to see the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve. And here's to surviving 2016!

Whatever you decide to do with it, I hope you all have a restful and happy holiday.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Garden tidy up

Lately I've been slowly getting the garden winter ready. Progress has been slow as we are still in the process of giving the house a good clear out too (which is taking forever), and our DIY list continues to demand attention. 
Wet weather and old houses don't mix well, and it doesn't do chicken coops any good either. I'm kicking myself for not getting the coop painted when the weather was dry and sunny. Pink or not, the wood is old and needs weather proofing. So I went out yesterday with the intentions of finishing the job off only to find that the pink paint has disappeared. Now admittedly, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, good riddance. May I never be that stupid again. On the other hand, damn it. Now I may have to buy more paint right at a time that I'm trying to save, not spend. That will teach me.
So the coop remains unfinished for now, but at least the chicken run is up and being enjoyed.

I still need to add some kind of supports as although it's pretty sturdy, it's a bit bowed in the middle. Other than that, the idea to make a long and narrow run over the flower bed to keep cats off and the weeds down seemed like a great idea. However I can already see the ground looking a little compacted since I moved the chickens there and while they are only little and compaction won't be too severe, it won't help next years plants one bit so now I'm thinking of moving the coop and run AGAIN. Always with the tinkering! But they need a little more cover from the wind and rain too. Also, I need to put something down to protect their feathered feet from the mud and wet. I've got a few ideas up my sleeve, one involves pallets which will thrill Dan no end, but I do love a good pallet project!

Another thing I finally got around to doing was putting up some conker garlands in the shed windows. The amount of spiders and webs we get in there is ridiculous and while not everyone believes that conkers deter spiders, I personally think they do. Until the conkers get old and dried up at least. Either way, they look pretty and make the shed look more interesting from the kitchen window so I'm happy spiders, or no spiders.

Alessi got really excited about making a bug hotel and wanted to make one out of bricks like the one at her school. I had initially just planned to drill a bunch of holes in the existing tree stump so in the end we made two. She also wanted to put up a sign and her wind mill toy, (anyone know what those things are actually called?) so the bugs would know where to go. Seriously that kid kills me everyday with how her mind works. Take the tree stump for instance, have you seen its grumpy face?

See? You can't miss it. She decided that it was grumpy because it didn't have a hat. So now he has a hat. And apparently it's only pretending to be grumpy now to scare away the bad bugs. It's things like this that make me forgive that poptart for getting up before 6am most mornings. Seriously, those of you commenting on about how you love the school holidays because of the lie ins you get? They make my face go a little bit like our stumpy friend here. I jest of course. As long as there is coffee all is good in my world! 

Early morning grumps aside, I still get to be a little bit productive in the day once the caffeine has kicked in. Yesterday I also managed to fix my little portable greenhouse with the help of some duct tape. Those bars no longer keep clanging to the floor and the roof actually stays up now! For how long is anyone's guess and I suspect that the winter winds will have some fun with this, but it's worth a go. I want to try and get through winter without losing all of my strawberry plants this time. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of which, here are said strawberries. I'm loving the autumnal colours of those leaves.

And as rain and mud is a given in our garden during the wetter and colder months I thought it would be a good idea to give Alessi's mud kitchen a bit of a revamp. I brought it up for under the shade of the apple tree, (no more hot sun to hide from now) so now it's on the patio next to the house, making it easier for her to nip in and out as she pleases and as such, more inclined to play there. It's also right next to the water butt which she loves. No more carrying her watering can up and down the garden! And you see what I mean about my love of pallets? They may not look pretty, but you can do so much with them!

And last, but not least I finally got around to mulching the potted fruit trees and honeysuckle. First with a thin layer of compost, followed by a layer of leaves from the lawn.

Followed by newspaper and straw. I gave the whole lot a good watering and bish, bash, bosh, they're done. Hopefully that will help protect the roots this winter and put a bit more roughage back into the soil. I only did this for my apple tree last year and unsurprisingly, it was the one that grew the most and produced the best fruit. So no laziness this year, I did it properly and I did it to all of them this time.

Oh, and Alessi added her own finishing touch. 

So the garden's autumn clear up is over for another year and now I'm toying with the idea of making a little winter fire pit out there somewhere. Realistically, I'm not sure how often we'd get to use it, this is Britain after all and winter usually just means rain. But on the off chance that it does stay dry, some days out in the garden baking potatoes on a fire pit does sound pretty awesome don't you think?

And it'll be a good way to use up all that left over pallet wood I'm going to have lying around! 
Sorry Dan.

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