about me, bonus, routines

A little bit extra

August has five Mondays this month, and it’s a little early to do my Planning For… post yet, so welcome to this Bonus Blog Post!

I’ve been watching a few YouTube videos posted by the lovely Sareena at Studyign. She’s a high school student, but has some amazing tips on motivation, organisation and productivity. One video in particular got my thinking, this shows the importance of a morning routine in becoming more productive.

I have been playing around with getting up earlier and tweaking my morning routine to get the most out of my day, but it’s been the school holidays and I haven’t had chance to really “road test” it yet.

So, here’s a little time plan for my typical day

*disclaimer – this isn’t my DREAM day, there would be a lot more Disney and  a lot less housework*

6:30am

Wake up. Grab a glass of water. Head downstairs to do exercise DVD

7:00am

Suitably sweaty, jump in the shower. Skin care routine

7:20am

Get dressed. Sort hair out (this would normally be where I put on make up if I was doing anything more glamorous than the school run)

7:30am

Wake the kids up. Get K dressed while J dresses himself ready for school

7:40am

Prepare kids breakfasts. Make a coffee and breakfast for me. Kids watch cartoons while they eat theirs, I get 5 minutes peace.

8:00am

Now, this is the limbo time. The kids are fed and dressed and waiting to go brush their teeth, but my husband will have just got up and taken over the bathroom for at least 15 minutes. I use this time to check my bullet journal for the days tasks, add any I’d forgotten.

8:15am

Finally get the kids and myself back in the bathroom. Teeth brushed, faces washed ready to face the day.

8:30am

Last minute check that all homework and school books are in bags ready to go. Leave the house.

The walk to and from school is about a 25 minute round trip. I could do it quicker, but I go the long way to get my steps in. #slavetomyFitBit

9:00am-12:00pm

Set K up with some colouring or her princess dolls. Get some housework tasks done. I try to get most of my housework done in the morning, when I’m most productive. I try to steer clear of social media….and fail

LUNCH TIME

1:00pm-2:40pm

Finish any housework tasks I didn’t complete this morning. Do some cross stitch if I have time.

2:45pm

Leave to pick up J from school. Again, we take to longer route to get some “fresh air and exercise” in. It’s also a good opportunity to play some Pokemon Go with my son.

3:15pm-4:15pm

Depending on the day, this is homework and/or reading time. I like to get J’s homework done as soon as he’s out of school while he’s still in “learning mode”, as I know it’ll be 10x harder to peel him away from his toys/games later on.

4:15pm-6:15pm

Playtime. Kids need time to be kids, right. Once the work is done J & K have a good two hours to fill before dinner time. They play together really well, considering the age difference. I’m happy to say I spend minimum time being referee (not zero time though). J will be allowed time on the PlayStation as well. I use the latter part of this time to prepare dinner.

6:20pm

Daddy’s home! My husband works until 6pm, so I like to have dinner ready for him as he gets home an we eat together as a family. We don’t however eat at the dining table, but that’s another story.

7:00pm

K’s bedtime routine starts now. We tidy up her toys, get her face washed and teeth brushed (I bath both my kids together, but not every night). Nappy changed and PJs on. Bedtime story then cuddles and tucked up in bed by 7:30-45. Meanwhile, J and Daddy are having some “boy time”, could be anything from playing a video game together, to watching TV shows, to building stuff in the garage. J’s bedtime is closer to 8:30.

8:00pm

Stack the dirty dishes by the sink, maybe wash them depending on how I feel, probably leave them until the next day. The evenings are relaxing time for us grown ups now. No more housework, I’m off the clock. I’ll probably sit and watch TV whilst simultaneously cross stitching *I’ll do a post about my stitching in a couple of weeks*. Sometime’s my husband and I will watch something together, other times he’ll be painting or crafting at the dining table.

10:00pm

Head upstairs. Skin care routine. PJs on.Come back down, set up tomorrow’s bullet journal page and add first few to-dos. Continue stitching.

11:00pm

Pack up and head up to bed. Brush teeth. Have a glass of water. Read book until no later than 11:45

Sleep time

Not every day is exactly like this. Some mornings I won’t workout because I’ll go for a run after putting K to bed. Some days the kids have activities planned, such as play group or swimming.

I am, at heart, a creature of habit and even though routine can become boring for some, it acts as a safety net for me and aids with my anxiety.

Thanks for reading and learning a little bit more about me. Next week will be my Planning For September post, so until next time Mermaids xx

declutter, home organisation

So much stuff, so little space

How did I accumulate so much stuff?

I have a confession. I have a slight hoarding problem. I say slight, because I’m not at the levels of those people you see on documentaries on channel 5, and I don’t keep absolutely everything.

That said, I do make an emotional connection to “stuff” for some unknown reason. My situation hasn’t been made any better by marrying someone who also seems to accumulate trinkets, and then producing two little humans who have more toys than Toy R Us…each!

I’m a little self-conscious about my clutter problem, so there’ll be no pictures on this post. Maybe in later posts on this subject I’ll be brave enough to show a Before and After transformation.

There are so many blogs online and books to buy that advocate different organisational systems. I’ve got Marie Kondo’s book on the KonMari system, which I’m yet to read. I’ve also heard of the Fly Lady, although I’ve not really done much more research on her methods besides the use of zones.

The system I’m following at present, as I mentioned in this post, is the Declutter 365 schedule created by Taylor Flanery over at Home Storage Solutions 101. Basically you spend just 15 minutes a day (more if you have the time) on a particular area of clutter. Taylor creates a yearly calendar which you can print out a page at a time (or all at once if you subscribe to her email newsletter).

For instance, this week’s area is Kid’s Closets. Each day there is a task dedicated to decluttering your childrens’ closets 15 minutes at a time. I’m hoping to find this week pretty easy, as it’s mostly just a case of sorting out stuff that fits from stuff that doesn’t.

On the third Monday of every month I’ll be posting about this subject and I hope to have some update pictures too.

Wish me luck, mermaids

fitness, weight loss

I can go the distance*

hercules

Ok, so this is the post I had originally planned for this week. I was supposed to do a hobby related post, but this topic needed addressing today.

Real talk time. I’ve let myself go a bit since having my second child. I’ve never been super slim, or hugely overweight, but I’ve always seemed to hover that little bit to the right of the ideal/overweight line. I know that BMI charts aren’t an exact science, especially as they use the same calculations for women, children, men, bodybuilders… you get the point. However, I find them to be a good place to look when determining an ideal weight range.

I’m only a short-arse, 5’2″ to be exact, so what may pass as slim for someone much taller can look chunky on my frame. As I write this my current weight is…145lbs (that’s 10st 5lbs in UK terms), and my goal weight is 125lbs (8st 13lbs). So with 20lbs to lose you can imagine I’m feeling a bit bloated.

In order to achieve this goal I’ve not really been putting much effort in recently, but last week I really tried. Hard.

I track my meals using MyFitnessPal, and I wear a FitBit. In fact, I got a brand new Charge HR yesterday. As well as watching what I ate, I did some exercise too. After all in my opinion there are no shortcuts and miracle diets. The best tried and tested way to lose a few pounds and get healthier is burning more calories than you put in, and getting your activity levels up. The exercise I did was Jillian Michaels‘ 30 day shred DVD on 4 days, run for 5 km on 2 days and rest one one day.

So I bet after all this you’re eager to find out how much I lost this week aren’t you?! Ready? I…gained half a pound 😦

I know! I even have those scales that measure your body fat percentage to see if the gain was down to the fact that muscle is denser than fat, but alas, my body fat went up too. It’s so disheartening. I had to write this post to vent really, and to make myself accountable. I’m hoping that this set back won’t send me into a comfort food pit of despair and I can kick butt next week.

Stay tuned mermaids

 

Bullet Journal

Planning for August

Hi Everyone! Where have I been for the past month? I really need to get more posts up, and I apologise for my lack of presence. Well, lets dive right in, shall we. This post shows the spreads I’ve got in my bullet journal ready for August. If you’ve not seen my post about my bullet journal, you can check it out here.

IMG_3260First thing that goes in a new month is the calendar view. I’ve seen a lot of people draw out an entire block calendar, which looks great, but I’m not that busy that I need a whole two page spread for my monthly overview. Another way of doing it is the way Bullet Journal system creator Ryder Carroll does in his official guide to the system. I used to follow that example, until I fell down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest and Instagram and stumbled across the circular calendar. I’m not sure how well it will work for me in busier months, but as school is out this month I’m giving it a try.

You’ll also see my monthly goals page. I’ve set myself just 5 goals this month. Not too ambitious, I know. I’m working my way up to more ambitious goals as I go through.

IMG_3261Here’s my next spread. I tried this spending log thing last month, but made a mistake and resolved to try it again this month. Basically the way it works is each category has it’s own colour, and each square “pixel” will be worth £2. I’m hoping it will show me visually where my money is going each month, so I can budget better the following month. My standard memories doodle page is next, empty so far, but hoping to fill it up as we have quite a few fun days out planned with the kids over the holidays.

IMG_3265Habit trackers, every bullet journal seems to have one. This one’s pretty standard. I use a different colour for each day rather than each item on the list to save me having to change my pen up to 19 times a day. Plus as it fills in I get a pretty rainbow across my page. The one thing I’ve added on this months tracker is the dashed lines to indicate weekends. If gaps appear here, I can attribute that to the day of the week.

On the opposite page is a list of all the Declutter 365 tasks for this month. If you’ve not heard of Declutter 365 you can find details here.I have to admit, I have a slight clutter/hoarding problem, and I’m hoping to tackle this sooner rather than later.

IMG_3263On to my first weekly of the month. It’s so satisfying to have the month start on a Monday. I took inspiration for this spread from @craftyenginerd on Instagram. I tweaked it a bit to suit my own needs, as is the beauty of bullet journaling. As I write this I have to fill in some bits I’ve left out from yesterday, and my spending from earlier in the week. You can see that I colour code my time tracker, more on that in a different post. I get most of my planner stickers from OnceMoreWithLove on Etsy.

IMG_3264This is a new look daily page I’m trying. I used to put my time tracker on my daily, like Kara, over at Boho Berry, I also used to do different lettering each day. I’m trying this same, minimalistic look. You’re seeing this page after I’ve had chance to catch up with my tasks. I had busy days Monday and Tuesday with kids activities. Never mind, the housework was still there when I got home! Lol! The stickers on this page are a mixture of OnceMoreWithLove, CRG Art design and Abundance of Erica

That sums up my first few pages for August, I did come up with a few other new pages half way through July that I’ll share with you in another post. I’m hoping to share some other topics with you too. My cross stitching, and diet and fitness will probably feature. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see, and I’ll see what I can do.