Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Sleep Strikes Abound!

Sleep strike!! There has been a sleep strike in our house! So I haven't really had any time to put a post together. I dunno what it is about this past week but both haven't been up for sleeping. Last night Sophie went down a little easier but Jess is still up and down like a yoyo with various excuses! I think she is prehaps not needing as much sleep now she is a little older and is quite happy with 945pm - 745am. She could do with being woken earlier to pull that back earlier but yea that ain't happening! Nothing is ripping me from my bed earlier than needed. She was up at 7:20 today though so hopefully she has reset herself a bit for tonight!

Not much has gone on really in our house. Being in lockdown limits a lot of stuff we can do. That said we wouldn't do much this time of year any way though. 

The kids managed to amuse themselves one day by throwing a magic show. Jess had prepared some tubes and attached them very well to some trousers and socks to mimic legs. Unfortunately we never got to see the full show as they were fighting in the middle of it! A previous attempt also failed as Sophie wasn't holding the legs right or something lol. Picture of said legs attached!



Jess wanted a bun one day in her hair for school. It was a little wonky and not held too great as her hair isn't quite long enough. She insisted I took a photo ...



Oooh Jessica has had her letter to say she has a interview for a job in the school library! She had her interview yesterday which apparently went quite well. She had to order books by title name and then by Author. But she got 1 wrong as she thought it was by first name not surname. They asked her some questions and things and said there are 60 children they are seeing! But only 10 places so she probably won't get the job she thinks but good life practice any way!




Sophie decided one weekend day that she was going to wear my tights for the day! LOL!! My kids are soooo mad!



Jess decided to do a painting one day and wanted to put it on ebay to sell. I said we could try on our blog as people read about her and might be interested. She suggested £2 which I thought was very fair and quite suprising really! As expected her nanny snapped the picture up. Thanks nanny! She was really excited. Although she has specified that any more must be brought by people that aren't nanny lol. They have now been creating more they want to sell so I might put them up another day! She wanted to try £10 but that ain't happening hahaha!! 




I took a picture of someones lawn on school pick up one day. I wonder what dug up all the moss and grass! I thought perhaps some squirrels had buried nuts there or something but I later (on another day) saw lots of crows there. So something is in there they liked!




Look at this tree! It looks like it shouldn't be standing. And look how spooky it looks in the dim, drab daylight! 



Sophie came home with some spelling work which she decided to crack on with one night. She also did her - late - work from the previous week all in one sitting. I am not a believer in homework in primary school so I don't push it. But if a child decides they are going to do it then I actively encourage it. 





Jess spent ages colouring in a picture of a hill and night sky for her best friend. She got fed of up colouring the sky so got me to do it. Then decided that I didn't colour it black enough so started going over it. Then got aching hands so gave up LOL! That brings back memories! 



I took to attacking Jessica's bedroom on Monday again. I dunno how on earth I can tidy it one day and the next its a bomb site again! :-o



Friday saw me going to the chippy - like the rest of Harestock as the Q was huge! The biggest I have ever seen it! 15 people in front of me and by the time I left that and maybe more behind! I waited 45 minutes outside for my order. They were jolly good though!!



Saturday saw me going through Sophie's clothing and getting out the winter clothes. Looks like the poor little lamb has no age 5 jim jams. I've not idea what we did with clothing when J was 5?! She was tiny though so was still in age 3&4 clothing so maybe we just skipped a year of buying anything! So need to get some for S now. Have taken all age 3 out of Sophies clothing now she is 5! I was doing that thing where there is a peice of clothing you absolutely love and just trying to squeeze her into it one more time haha!! So need to go through the boxes on the landing now to be able to put more that we don't need up in the loft and leave space on the landing in order to be able to pull down christmas stuff. I would like to to get our tree this weekend but too much needs arranging here first before we get it so don't think we will yet!



Sunday night saw us playing bingo after tea before bed. Maybe this is why little people were avoiding sleep?! Too exciting! Jess won 2 times, Sophie once and Daniel once. Prizes were maltersars lol! According to Jessica that is ...



Jess also had a horrific knot in her hair that needed dealing with so she had a shower after I put Sophie to bed and daddy attacked it with the brush!




So that's a round of last week and then the weekend. Sorry its late but sleep issues have prevented me from doing it! Keep looking to the skies and enjoying the ... well cloud ... hahaha!!! Almost time to look for snowflakes from the cloud if we are lucky though so might be a silver lining yet! Other to that go looking up for pretty christmas lights! Take Care all X

PS! Oh by the way how is the picture sizes? Do you prefer them like this or would you like them like my previous ones - extra large? I like extra large but think it throws the margins out and makes it look messy. Can't move the margins otherwise it mucks up the photos i've attached to the main background. It's not as good as other blogging sites so might move ... Hmmm! Will investigate more over christmas!








Thursday, 19 November 2020

The Art of Hygge!

 

HYGGE! The Danish principle of Being in the moment – Having a great time – A cosey, heart felt intimate time within a safe haven. It is pronounced as Huooga. Sorry Danes! I just sounds more right to me as HieGee!! One can have feelings of hygge cosiness either by ones self alone or in a group of people. I think the UK we would liken this to what we call homely cosiness. I read somewhere that the origin of the word is from Norway and originally means protection and shelter. I imagine this being from the driving snow and wind! What comes to mind when you think of it? For me I immediately think of candles, food, a log fire and snuggling up with a furry blanket. And yet it is so much more than this. Like this cute picture shared on facebook.



Yes the Danes have the largest usage of candles in the world! According to the European Candle Association, Denmark burns more candles than any other country in Europe. Each Dane burns around six kilos of candle wax each year. That’s a bonkers amount! I read in a book somewhere that Danes typically put candles into their street facing windows and leave curtains etc open so that people can see in and enjoy them. I think for me I would be worried that a robber-to-be would be sizing up my house if I left the curtains open with lights on! That and it’s how I was brought up. Never leave the curtains open with the lights on. Asking for trouble! Here is a nice candle I found on this website: https://candles.lovetoknow.com/image/101643~Prayer_candle.jpg



As it is so dark in the Nordic countries they tend to use more little lights and candles to brighten the place up. Winter is something to be celebrated with thick warm cosey jumpers and thick woollen snuggly socks. And of course – A log fire is a MUST! It’s just a good excuse to snuggle up and get comfy! Natures own way of making us hibernate. Snuggle up indoors in our cosey blankets and REST! After a summer of rush, dash, and hard physical work in the garden it’s good to take down time to rejuvenate ready for spring once more. They also love their home cooking. Nothing is better than a nice stew in a slow cooker or the oven and having the smell radiating out over the whole house. And whilst we are on the subject of smells cooking things like cinnamon, oranges and other winter spices on the stove also fills the home with both a sense of exoticness as well as a homely, warm, comforting smell and feeling. Another way to get this feel is with oil burners and pure essential oils. I say pure as it worth paying the extra to get the natural smells of Frankincense, Pine and Orange to seep through the house and delight your senses! Pine is also a mild disinfectant so added bonus there! Don’t get the fragrance type ones as they will be full of chemicals and fake smells that are just too over powering and sweet. Eco and natural is always best if you can! Might be more expensive but should last you a long time. The same for candles always go for bees wax where you can. Support the bee farmers but also burns cleaner than standard candles. Avoid fake scented candles unless they contain pure essential oils. Here is another one I saw on facebook.



Each house needs a room where you feel most at home and comfortable to rest and reset in. And in that room a special shelf or unit area that you can just dress up. Bring nature in – Leaves, twigs, conkers, pine cones etc. Put pretty fairy lights up, perhaps some little teddies if that is your thing. Craft some leaf lights or bunting, or craft a pumpkin either knitted or crocheted like I knitted a few weekends back. Home made adds to hygge! Love and care goes into making these.



Often we are so stressed from life we need somewhere to go to unwind and calm down. To reset our nervous system to calm once more. The best uses for this are our senses: Taste – chocolate, mulled wine and even Coffeee! Coffee can also use our sense of smell as can the other foods. And the essential oils or home meal cooking on the stove. Touch – Have things that feel nice – furry or knitted blankets, silky pillows, cosey jumpers and socks. Hearing – If you have a log fire your so lucky! Listen to the flames crackling, dancing, popping and fizzing like fireworks. If you don’t have one put on the log fire channel on youtube or even some relaxing music on the cd player/youtube etc. Use your eyes to see the flames, to see candles and the shadows and little flickers. To see your little fairy lights, different textures of fabrics on your sofa and to see nature all around – Houseplants, the twigs, leaves and pine cones you have collected over the Autumn. There are things to touch – the things of nature, your cosey pillows and blankets and the feeling of comfortable clothes on – The warm touch of a mug of coffee between your cold fingers. Just don’t go touching the candle or log fire!! Burnt fingers is not the touch we are going for here!!!! :-D This cosey place maybe in your bedroom or a corner of your living room. Choose what works best for you.



All of these sensory calmers can also be brought into group hygge situations. When your friends are round offer them comforting food, drink, a blanket and a feast for their eyes of pretty lights and candles. And don’t forget to appeal to the sense of smell with either delicious food cooking – and cake! - or essential oils delicately burning in the corner. These are friends, family and people that you feel most comfortable around and best able to be yourself.



I can’t remember how I first came across hygge. I want to say either a link on facebook or a magazine article something like that. But I was straight away taken with the idea. How we can improve our lives both physically and mentally to induce calm and self care and as a means to aid us through the long dark days of winter. Although hygge can also be practiced during summer! A trickling stream in a meadow, the crashing of waves on a shore, the kiss of sun on your skin as you lie on a picnic blanket and the smell of a BBQ! I saw someone talking about the little book of hygge. This is wrote by Meik Wiking. He is from the Happiness institute in Copenhagan. How is there such a place? Lol.  Apparently Denmark is the happiest place in the world! And he’s done his research well and it is beautifully written. And even better than the amazing writing and facts are the little pictures included within the book. I love pictures! The book is a hardback that is both pretty and strong. It is small enough to fit in your hands and read while you are lying down in bed. Perfect! It has lots of little sections that make it easy to read – to dip in and out of. Sections covered include: What hygge is, food and drink, lighting, togetherness, clothing, home, hygge outside the home, hygge all year round, hygge on the cheap, hygge in copenhagan, christmas, summer hygge, the 5 dimensions of hygge, and hygge and happiness. This book is full of research, recipes, pictures and ideas to help add hygge to your life! Here is a link for you to get your copy! Add it to your Christmas list! It’s such a calm read and gorgeous pictures! : https://amzn.to/2IXj1Dh Here are 2 pictures from Amazon:



So that’s it for today. I have a folder of hygge pictures on my pc that I have collected over the years. Mostly stuff put on facebook that has been shared around so I have shared them with you today. I have tried to say where I found them so i'm not just pinching random pictures! Hope you have enjoyed this calm read and insight into Hygge. It is something we all follow to various degrees already but there are many ideas out there of how we expand on this for both our mental and physical health. Keep looking to the skies! Lots of beautiful stars to be seen this time of year so chin up! And enjoy! X

 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Two weekends of action!

 

Lazy! Oooh Sooo lazy! Was our weekend! Nice long lie in then sitting in bed on laptop til gone midday. Kids happy on ipads. Daddy happy on whatever screen he was on at the time. I eventually surfaced around 1pm and had a shower. Then got an attack of the guilts so decided I better do something. So I sorted through Jessica’s suitcase and got her winter clothes out. Summer ones back in the case and some too small stuff chucked in the corner of Sophie's room behind the nursing chair ready for later sorting!

















Sophie decided to make some kinda keep fit video to put on you tube (no it’s not up but let me know if you wanna see it and I’ll add it!)



And I ended the evening by making some Mulled Apple and Brandy. It was quiet alright too if I do say so myself. Couldn’t have more than a few sips though as I was high on codeine at the time!



Sunday was a proper lazy one too.  I slept til almost 1130! :O Got up and spent the day dossing around, reading the Christmas chronicles with some relaxing music on youtube on Tv and then started knitting a little dog. Isn’t he cute! I’ve done his body and started his head. Done it on bigger needles 4mm instead of 3mm though so expecting to run out of wool soon and he will end up being a odd dog!




















The highlight of the day however was Sophie coming running upstairs to tell me her tooth had come out! Much joy as this thing has been hanging around for months and months! And her 2 back teeth are already out behind. I couldn’t get behind to clean them properly either so there is a lot of plaque on the one behind it so now we can get a dentist appointment – if they will take us as not an emergency?! And get it cleaned up.



I had wanted to get this post out earlier in the week but the past 10 days or so has been pretty rough. My bad back, ill Sophie, increased Anxiety about various things (no Christmas please!) and now this week I’m on a bad IBS flair up. Urgh! Any way I’m going to rewind now …

The weekend before last we held out bonfire night on the Saturday and had a chilled creative Sunday.

I can’t remember if I posted Jessica’s pupil of the week award so I’m popping it on now as well. The teacher wrote some nice stuff on the back.

















Saturday saw a lazy day. My leg pain from my back was bad and struggled to do anything so was quite restless. I read some of my Christmas chronicles book. This is wrote by Nigel Slater who is a chef/cook in the UK. He adds recipes to the book but in a hygee gentle way. Focusing on smells, textures, setting the scene. He describes Christmases and winter of old. Log fires, 6ft of snow and icicles that hung from all round the house. He describes about nature and nice warming drinks for cold evenings. So if you want to have a go at a few recipes or just reading about them in a heart warming way this book is for you 😊The book is a nice hardback that will last ages and has some textures on the front. This is what Amazon says about it: “The Christmas Chronicles is the story of Nigel Slater’s love for winter, the scent of fir and spruce, ghost stories read with a glass of sloe gin, and beeswax candles with shadows dancing on the ceiling. With recipes, decorations, fables and quick fireside suppers, Nigel guides you through the essential preparations for Christmas and the New Year, with everything you need to enjoy the winter months.

Taking you from 1 November all the way to the end of January, The Christmas Chronicles covers everything from Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year to Epiphany. Throughout the season, Nigel offers over 100 recipes to see you through the build-up, the celebrations and the aftermath. Here are much-loved classics such as goose and turkey (and making the most of the leftovers), mincemeat and the cake; recipes to make the cold months bearable, like ribsticker bread pudding with Comté and Taleggio, salt crust potatoes with blue cheese and goat’s curd, and hot-smoked salmon, potatoes and dill; as well as bright flavours to welcome the new year, including pink grapefruit marmalade, pear and pickled radish salad and rye, linseed and treacle bread.

Packed with feasts, folktales, myths and memoir and all told in Nigel’s warm and intimate signature style, The Christmas Chronicles is the only book you’ll ever need for winter.

“ You can find the book here :-D : https://amzn.to/3lHpgtu.



I however forced myself to make raspberry pavalova for the occasion. The raspberries are from the garden that I froze - yippee yummy! 



Winchester had organised to let off fireworks from 4 secret locations across the city. I tbh was expecting this to be rubbish and in the centre only meaning that we wouldn’t see them so I really wasn’t bothered. However to our surprise bang on 7pm it all started so we ran upstairs to watch it out our bedroom window. The girls saw the neighbours out in the street watching it so they wanted to go and join them. They put their shoes on and just went out. 






We were half way though tea at the time so downed tools as it were to go and watch. When they were finished we came back in to finish tea then go in the garden and set off our own fireworks per our annual tradition! We always have meat and potato pie with beetroot for tea so Daniel cooked it ahead of time and we had my pavalova after all the fireworks. 























              We had sparklers too which the kids loved and I always do too. Photo’s attached!












As is my favourite I crawled into bed on my laptop and put on the lava lamp and pretty feather light in the window.
























Sunday saw a down day of lots of relaxing things. I finished off my pumpkin - Yippee! Doesn’t it look good?! :-D 




























I then read some of my Scandi at home magazine and then did some colouring in my wellbeing book. I had already started one page so finished off the other one. Doesn’t look too bad for a felt tip job! What shall I do with them now I have coloured them in?? Any ideas?



























So that is it for now. A little review. I am still loving this slow pace to life. So calm so peaceful and just living for the moment. This is what we should be doing rather than rushing everywhere and filling life with meetings, timings to be kept to and stress. We only have one life try and reduce your stress as much as possible and just enjoy it! Fill it with things you love! Right I better start cracking on with the evening routine here – do a bit of tidying upstairs, hang some laundry then come down and prep tea. Sophie won’t want to eat too early I reckon as she had a big snack when she got in. She was starved! She hasn’t eaten breakfast for the past 3 mornings as she allegedly hasn’t been hungry.

Right keep looking to the skies – Not that there is much up there but lead right now! One day the sun will return and pretty clouds. Winter is around the corner – less than 2 weeks metrologically - and this tends to be when things get crisp and even again. Chin up! And in the meantime lots of little lights and candles can brighten things up indoors! Love to all X