#Nourish

In choosing my theme for the year, nourish, I wanted something which would embrace mind, body and spirit.  Each week will have different elements, this week there is a social theme, which has nourished my spirit and heart.

  1.  Cocktails and a cosy pub ….

This week, I’ve enjoyed two nights out (and one on a school night too!). On Saturday I was at a cocktail party, I don’t drink but was so impressed by the mocktails put on for us, not only delicious but beautifully presented.  It was a lovely party, a great disco soundtrack, fantastic company and a wonderful excuse to dress up and sparkle.  Tuesday night was more intimate with just three of us out, but we got to sit in front of the fire in the pub on big leather sofas and catch up.  I really enjoy the company of these two women and feel inspired and relaxed with them.

2.  The little things ..

fd0326b1-4b50-4b75-b3b5-b3307b081223

On Friday we had Storm Eric and it really was wild.  By the school run time, the rain was of biblical proportions and even though it’s the one night of the week when Little Miss walks home alone, I couldn’t let her do that so drove to school to pick her up. I remember the feeling when I was little and would look out of the classroom window and see my mum’s or my friend’s dad’s car and the relief and excitement of getting home quickly.  Sometimes nourishing someone is about making people realise that they are the centre of our lives and we will show our love in whatever way we can.

3.  The calm after the storm

Apart from storm Eric it’s been a pretty yucky week weather wise.  However on Thursday (my day off) and today we’ve had some gorgeous blue sky winter days.  We had a family day out on the bikes today and the crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops were all in bloom. They’ve shown the glimmer of the spring to come and have raised spirits with the anticipation of the new season.

4.  A space (room) of one’s own

img_4392

My bureau is my place in the house, it contains my  diary, writing books, lots of stationery and everything that I might need.  I added a couple of cacti this week for decoration. and replaced my used winter candle with a new spring aroma,  lime, basil and mandarin.  It’s these little things that nourish my soul.

 

 

Advertisements

#19for2019, 2 down, 17 to go …

It’s always nice to be able to tick off items on a list (or is that just me?) My #19for2019 includes some activities which I’ll work on over the year but others which I can quickly tick off. So far in the first six weeks of the year I’ve managed to tick off 1 and 3, bake a meringue and prepare a cub blanket for my son.

I used this meringue recipe from BBC Good Food which is my go to foodie website and it worked perfectly.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2445/ultimate-meringue

I chose a meringue as I wanted to try a new technical challenge. The meringues were that beautiful mix of crispy and chewy. I’m always keen to develop a theme so whilst this recipe ticked off make a meringue I also want to try a Baked Alaska and Lemon Meringue pie this year to perfect my technique.

My second item to be ticked off was the cub blanket. I needed to take the badges off my son’s old Beaver jumper and start his cub blanket ready for camp later this year. It was a comforting activity, sitting with it in my lap as I did the job and knowing its something he will snuggle under too. I suppose it’s part 1 as when he moves to Scouts I’ll need to do the same with his cub badges. He loves scouting and it is such a positive experience for him.

So that’s 2 of my 19 ticked off, I wonder what will be next …

#nourish

For my theme of nourish, I decided that once a month I would have a ‘nourish’ day, set in my diary for my self care. Inspired by the book, Self Care Project by Jayne Hardy I realised that this didn’t need to be a day of massages and pampering but simple things to please me. I have some great ideas for the ‘nourish’ days in warmer weather but given the very hectic month, poor weather and the feeling of being overwhelmed, I designed a day I needed. I met a friend for coffee (and her gorgeous baby, what’s more nourishing than the wonder of a new life). I watched a film that’s been on my to watch list from the comfort of my cosy bed and completed the cub blanket I’ve been doing for my son, a little creativity in my day. It was just what I needed in January.

Other nourishing activities this week have been playing Lego with my son; our trip to a local attraction inspired some great builds. I also helped at cubs this week, I think volunteering is at the heart of a strong community.

We’ve also had a number of appointments this week. Whilst they’ll remain private, I felt comforted by attending them and addressing our worries.

Last night I read my new magazine and loved the quote below from the Simple Life magazine.

January 2019 #littleloves

img_5382

And finally it’s time to breathe, what a month January turned out to be.  I had it planned as a month to prepare for the year in front and to also start some new projects but of course life took over from my neatly arranged plans.  It was overwhelming at times but I have at least finished the month feeling a little more in control.

img_5375-1

img_4369

I think the best indicator of my life is my reading record.  Last year I read nearly a book a week, this month I struggled to finish one.  Reading is my me time, I don’t watch a huge amount of tv but do like to settle down with a book in the evenings.  If I’m not reading then something in my life isn’t quite in balance ( I blame Ofsted this month)

The book I did finish was Jayne Hardy’s The Self Care Project, the irony of the content isn’t lost on me in this busy month.  It was a really good read full of great advice, I appreciated that she doesn’t see self care as having a massage but for example doing life admin to help you feel in control etc..  It’s well worth a read.

This year I haven’t set myself a Good Reads challenge for a specific number of books but one in which I would like to read or reread a classic every month.  Whilst I didn’t finish my classic this month, I did start it and am really enjoying I capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

img_5379-1

img_4372

At the beginning of the month in the school holidays, the children and I went to the cinema to see Mary Poppins Returns.  It was such a magical film and I loved every dance, song and sparkle, a new family classic.

I also finally watched Ladybird, a film which had much critical acclaim last year.  I really liked the film, a bit Indy in style but thoughtful and from memory pretty realistic about the angst of teen life.

img_5384-1

It was all about the jumpers this month, layers and layers.  I love this star jumper from Next last autumn, it’s been perfect with jeans and has been keeping me warm.

img_4371
Photo from the Next website, definitely not me!

img_5378-1

img_4370

For me cold Saturday afternoons are all about being in the kitchen and cooking.  I like a bit of a theme and as South America is one of the school topics, we made a Mexican feast.  Everything was made from scratch, salsa, guacamole, refried beans etc.. with Little Miss as my sous chef. Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos, as it was a really impressive table.  Cooking is one of my favourite ways to spend time together, the kitchen is the heart of our home.

img_5380-1

I love a good podcast and I’ve had a few car journeys this month to enjoy the new podcast Sentimental Garbage, a ‘cast looking at brilliant chick lit books, including Bridget Jones Diary, Watermelon etc..  It’s fabulous, witty and just makes you want to read more, a great new find.

img_5386-1

Despite being a crazy month, there were some real highlights in January, seeing the new Mary Poppins film, a family mountain bike ride in the forest, a trip to a local animal sanctuary etc..  I’m hoping for a quieter February and a relaxing half term.

#littleloves

Im hoping to link up with @mummyheartsyou the new host of Little Loves and be inspired by all the contributors to the linky.

 

A digital reboot

img_4353

Last week, I read an excellent article from the Financial Times by Tim Harford  entitled My Digital Reboot.  It was one of those articles which really resonated with me and had me examining my online behaviour.  We live in a digital world and it’s an integral part of my professional and personal life, I am not going to stop using it.  However I have noticed how my phone is always near and I spend too long scrolling through Twitter and Instagram.  I get great inspiration from these sites but it’s too easy to start looking at something that leads to something else and suddenly the evening has disappeared.  I am not going to delete my accounts, I enjoy the social network sites but I am going to remove them from my phone to stop the ease at which I browse.  At the start of this year, I organised my week as part of a self care project (yes I’m a sucker for all the latest trends) for example, Sunday is house admin, Saturday blog writing so I’m planning to add a social network evening too.

This week I’ve minimised the use of my phone and enjoyed more creative projects and felt so much more refreshed and focused for it. There are apps which I will keep on my phone, my Spotify account as I love my music and podcasts, some photography apps, email, Parentmail, the school app and of course Scrabble which has always been one of my favourite way to spend a free 10 minutes.  As well as spring cleaning my phone, I’m also going to keep it away from me, to keep it in my handbag or on my bureau at home and just use it when I purposefully want to rather than as a distraction.  I realise I’m now the role model for my children, I want them to have a mobile as a phone and not to be an essential part of their being.

#nourish

a54cfdea-48ff-4ab4-9519-c1063dc07f21

My weekly nourishment continued this week with a focus on putting down my Smartphone in the evening and ‘doing’ rather than the mindless distraction of scrolling, tapping and ‘liking.’  I’ll write more about this in a different post but it’s something that I intend to continue.

My nourishing moments this week include

An early morning Sunday trail run in the light.  I run at 7am on a Sunday morning and for the past weeks it’s been dark and on the roads.  No running fills my soul like a trail run through the local country park.

Whilst this week has been about the red moon, I’ve been wowed by the morning skies, the colours have been spectacular, the pinks and greys beautiful.

We’ve had our 6 monthly check up with the dentist and all was fine.  I’ve switched recently to a bamboo brush and natural toothpaste with no noticeable difference.

Whilst I’m not watching Marie Kondo’s new tv programme, I have been revisiting her book which I read a few years ago.  I tend to pick what I think I can do and one of the best pieces of advice was to organise your wardrobe in colours.  I did it before and it worked well but of course without maintaining it weekly it all mixed together.  This week I have rearranged my clothes into colours and it does help with choosing outfits for the day.  I also donated some clothes to charity and threw away (recycled at the tip) a few loved but worn or damaged items.  I love Kondo’s motto of only keeping things which spark joy.

Given the clothes sorting, I did some work on choosing clothes for the spring and summer, courtesy of a few magazines, the Next catalogue and a White Stuff mailing shot.  I tried not to go online but to look for inspiration, jot down a few ideas, cut out a few pictures etc..

Finally, Mr S works some weekends so on those that he doesn’t we try and do something together as a family.  Today a local attraction was offering half price entry for locals so we took advantage and spent our day looking at the animals, learning about the conservation work and just walking around in the fresh winter air.  It did us all good and as we were well wrapped up, I love a hat, scarf and globves combo, it was a pleasant and enjoyable trip.

#nourish

This week has been full of nourishment and my list is impressive. However it has made me reflect that sometimes doing nothing may give me the greatest benefit. I did lots of my acts on Thursday, my day off and enjoyed doing them but was exhausted at fitting so much in. I think it’s important to balance and sometimes just take time to relax, the best nourishment for the body and soul.

My nourishing moments this week included

1. Tidying up my office at work!

We moved into our new office last week on the day we got the Ofsted call, our professional lives all boxed up. During the inspection our office was a mass of paperwork, drinks cans and even more folders, a chaotic mess. It felt so good on Monday to properly tidy up, file, shred and organise. I feel much more productive and in control now.

2. A long distance phone call.

I had a lovely unexpected call from a friend one evening, it was so good to catch up and plan a weekend.

3. A car valet.

Much like number 1 my clean car makes me happy, with its fresh smell, nice interior and sparkly exterior.

4. Neat eyebrows

If I don’t have my eye brows done, I would have a uni brow so I’m grateful when I have them done and they are all neat and tidy ( neat and tidy seems to be a theme this week )

5. A new jumper

I popped in to HM and found a lovely mint green jumper. I had vouchers so treated myself. I’ve worn the jumper today with a long star necklace and my jeans and felt confident and sparkly.

6. Fresh flowers

In big town there’s always a street stall selling flowers cheaply. I love a bit of colour in my kitchen and bought the roses to give me that colour pop. The best £1 I spent this week.

7. A thank you card

I had a lovely card this week with some very kind comments from a good friend. I appreciated the gesture and words.

8. Cricket practice in the garden

With Little Miss on a school sports fixture, it was just me and Little Man on Thursday. He was really keen to play cricket and on a sunny afternoon, we got the kit out and played together (in the cold with hats and gloves!). He was so happy that I agreed to play and it was a great half hour together, followed by a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up.

9. A Mexican Feast

Today has been a wet and miserable day and this afternoon Little Miss and I spent the time prepping a Mexican themed dinner. Home made salsa, guacamole, refried beans etc… I love cooking and it’s a genuine pleasure to be in the kitchen with fresh ingredients, prepping and cooking and listening to music. It’s fun having a sous chef although she’s not so good on the clearing up as you go along …