Word of the Week – Slow

This weeks word of the week is slow. I’ve chosen this word for a couple of reasons. On Monday I woke up with a cold nothing unusual there you might be thinking, well the problem was I already had a cold.

Yes you heard that right I woke up with a cold on top of the one I already had. I had incredibly managed to catch two types of cold virus at the same time both with their own special array of symptoms.

This is where the slow part comes in, for the first time ever I forced myself to really slow down. In fact I just stopped, I didn’t do any work, I didn’t hoover and I certainly didn’t cook. If you knew me you would know that I don’t just stop or slow. I struggle on, I grin and bare it, but not this time. This time I listened to myself, there’s a first time for everything I suppose.

When the thoughts about the washing basket or the huge stack of reviews and blog posts I needed to write crept in I batted them quickly away. Instead of simultaneously checking every social media platform I’m on I’ve been leaving my phone in another room. I actually lay on the sofa and watched the whole of a movie with no interruptions or distractions. I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that.

Things are slowly returning to normal, I’ve written some posts and the house is clean. As normal service resumes I realise that that double whammy of viral nasties was an absolute blessing in disguise. I needed to slow down, no I needed to stop.

What I’m taking away from my week of slow is that although I know I’m capable of so many things I’m not capable of them all at once.

The Reading Residence

 

Living Arrows 6/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” Kahlil Gibran.

Every Monday for the rest of this year I will share with you two photo’s of my children that celebrate their childhood.

We have had another week of snuffly noses and tickling coughs meaning a good nights sleep has been scarce. Instead of fighting against it we have enjoyed lots of down time, watching lots of TV and snuggling. Thankfully by weekend we were all feeling a little more energetic and back to our normal selves.

Jake 

Jake doesn’t really ask to draw or paint unless he sees Daisy doing it. He much prefers to play with his robots and dinosaurs. He also loves to squish play-doh and build with his bricks. It’s so nice to watch him sit and concentrate on a task for a few minutes. I really must make more of an effort to encourage some crafty play with him.

Daisy

Daddy had to work on Sunday so Daisy, Jake and I took a walk to the local park. The park was a little damp but it didn’t stop the kids having a great time. They both went on the swings and Daisy reminded me that she didn’t need pushing anymore. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make you realise that their childhood is so fleeting.

Living Arrows

Living Arrows

Blogs, Horror Films & Cute Cats #LittleLoves

After a week full of coughs,colds and feeling downright grumpy I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find any little loves. I think it’s so important to look for the good in every situation, especially when you need to shake yourself out of a funk. Here are this weeks #LittleLoves.

Read

One of my favourite things about taking part in linkies and also co-hosting one is finding new blogs to read. I started reading blogs back in 2008 after stumbling across one accidently. I love reading little snippets of real peoples lives, I find the blogs I read inspiring and motivational. This week I’ve had the time to sit down and read lots of new blogs far too many to list. I just wish there were more hours in my day so I could indulge more often.

Watched

I enjoyed a trip to the cinema on Sunday evening with my cousin and my eldest girl. We used to go regularly to see the latest horror releases but I’ve become some what a wimp of late. When I saw the new James McAvoy film ‘Split’ advertised I knew we would all love it. Wow is all I can say about it, although not your classic horror it’s certainly dark and chilling.

Heard

I’ve mentioned my love for podcasts previously in my little loves post and this week I have a new favourite. I’m learning so much from the ProBlogger podcast by Darren Rowse. I came across his blog a few weeks ago and was so happy to discover he had a podcast too.

Made

I have absolutely nothing to fit in this category this week sadly. Creativity has been sadly lacking of late but with half term just around the corner I have plans to remedy that. I love getting crafty with Daisy and Jake so I really need to put the effort in again.

Worn

I love my pyjamas at the best of times but there’s nothing nicer than slouching in your jammy’s when you are feeling poorly. I’ve been thinking about making it my mission to own more pyjamas than actual clothes.

And lastly

I just had to include this photo of Daisy and our cat Mo Mo. He’s a little bit of an oddity our cat, sometimes he likes us and sometimes he doesn’t, he can be a little scatty at times too. In the last 6 months he’s been like a different cat, he loves the kids and never says no to a belly rub. Daisy loves him so much, he’s taken to sleeping on her bed at night and follows her around. I caught a few snaps of them this week that I thought were just so sweet.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
#LittleLoves

 

 

Word of the Week – Bubble

This weeks word is bubble. I’ve really struggled with choosing this weeks word, it’s been a rough week full of coughs, colds and grumpiness. It’s also been a week of despairing at the media and how they often misinform and sensationalise the ‘news’. I’m not one for airing my opinions in public about politics as I feel it’s such a private and individual thing.

I wrestle with wanting to be informed on world matters but at the same time also wanting to shut it all out. I like to seek out all the information before I form my own opinion but lately this is becoming almost impossible.

I’m coming to the conclusion that I might be better off living in my own little bubble. Why read about crazy people in charge of countries when I could read about random acts of kindness. Should I fret over the poor state of the economy or should I worry about whether to wear stripes or spots ?

Do I want to take up brain space with despair and worry when I could fill it with happy shiny pieces of positivity ? Does it make me shallow and unrealistic if I choose to live in my bubble ? I honestly don’t know the answer at the moment and until I do I’m happy to reside here.

For now the news will stay turned off and I will continue to seek out the stories that inspire and lift me. If that makes me ignorant and a pollyanna then so be it.

The Reading Residence

 

 

 

Look In My Letterbox

I may not have had lots of things arrive through the letterbox but I did win three things in one day this week. I found two winning emails in my inbox one underneath the other. Daisy won a 6 month Netflix subscription and some unfortunate events books and I won some lovely foot care products. I also got a Twitter message the same afternoon to say I had won a £100 shopping voucher.

I’ve had zero spare time to enter competitions this week but that’s the beauty of my hobby. It can be picked up and put down when your pushed for time.

Here’s what did arrive this week.

Reviews

The Soreen lunchbox loaves are from Mumsnet. I sometimes apply for the product tests they have available. The children love these as snacks.

Daisy loves it when toys arrive for her to review on the blog. The lucky girl got two surprises this week, looks like we have a busy weekend of play ahead.

As well as reviewing this Project Mc2 doll we have another one to give away to one of our lucky readers. Keep your eyes peeled for the review and giveaway coming soon.

Some cheques arrived for online work I’ve done recently arrived too. I also got a £20 Argos voucher from Consumer pulse.

Happiness, Snoods & Comfort Food #LittleLoves

It’s Friday and it’s time to share this weeks Little Loves with you. This week has been pretty good, I’ve had a few lovely opportunities turn up. The children have been in relatively good moods which always helps too. I was happy so see the blue sky and sunshine make an appearance, I’m so over this cold weather now. I’ve started thinking about what I want to do with the garden when Spring arrives.

Read

I bought a couple of lovely books in the sale at The Works last weekend. I’ve been dipping  in to How To Be Happy by Anna Barnes. It’s the perfect book if you don’t have a lot of time but you want a little burst of happy. The illustrations, photo’s and inspirational quotes are beautiful.

Watched

Two of my favourite shows returned this week. Call The Midwife was brilliant as usual although I really do miss Sister Evangelina. I always end up crying when I watch it, it’s such a good show. Homeland also returned although I seriously need a recap of the last series as I was a bit confused.

Heard

Every Thursday morning for the last couple of months Aby from You Baby Me Mummy has been live on Facebook discussing her blogging hints and tips. I have taken a couple of her free courses and the information has been invaluable. This week was all about Pinterest. If you want to take you blog to the next level then I highly recommend tuning in.

Made

My biggest lad came for his tea on Thursday and I always like to cook something filling for him. He’s a growing lad after all at 17. Scott lives with his dad and is busy with college and work so I don’t see home as often as I would like. I made a delicious slow cooked chicken casserole with dumplings and crusty bread that should keep him going for a while. There’s no better way to express your love than through comfort food.

Wore

I bought a lovely fluffy snood in the New Look sale at the weekend. My old scarves were starting to look a little ratty. It’s been freezing here this week it’s been well used on the school run.

And lastly 

I’m off to a delightful quirky little coffee shop this morning to catch up with some friends. The owner is an artist and she displays her art work for sale at the shop. I’m really looking forward to a good gossip over coffee and cake.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Word of the Week – Procrastination

I realised something this week, despite being an organised person I’m also suffering from procrastination. I’ve caught myself way too many times lately saying or thinking ‘I will do that tomorrow’. I’ve become an expert in leaving things right until the last minute and found myself frantically trying to keep up. Procrastination is definitely my word of the week.

At the moment I have huge piles of paperwork that desperately needs sorting but I keep moving it around. I’ve been putting off appointments I need to make. Housework and homework are being left until the last possible moment.

Decisions need to be made but procrastination is creeping in there as well. I think the problem at the moment is that life is really busy and I’m trying to squeeze it all in. Luckily I’m not feeling overwhelmed just very disorganised.

I believe that you start to solve a problem first by identifying it and then finding tools and methods to tackle it. So that’s what I intend to do.

I’ve started using the notes app on my phone along with dictation so as soon as something pops in my head I make a note. I then go through the list of notes I’ve made tackling each thing before moving on to the next.

Watching organisation videos on YouTube is really helping to motivate me too. I’m trying to go with a rule I saw on a video that you should only touch an item once, this really works.

By adopting a few new tactics I’m hoping I won’t be suffering from procrastination for very long.

The Reading Residence

 

Look In My Letterbox

A few nice things have arrived for this weeks look in my letterbox. I’ve been so busy the past few weeks that I’ve not had much time to enter competitions. I’m determined to put some dedicated time aside this week to devote to comping, I absolutely love my hobby.

Prizes

I won this £250 Love2Shop gift card a few weeks ago from Mumsnet and it arrived just in time for the weekend. I’m on a no spend month so it was lovely to be able to treat myself to some lovely things.

I was delighted to win a copy of ‘Blogging Your Way To Riches‘ from Mumsnet Bloggers on Twitter. I’ve had it on my to buy list for a couple of weeks.

Freebies

I don’t apply for a lot of freebies nowadays but I do love the perfume samples. How cute is it that they wrapped this one up like a sweetie. It smells really nice too.

Gift

Nature’s Finest got in touch on Instagram and asked if they could send us a little something. How lovely of them. These pots are a great way to encourage the children to eat more fruit.

*This post contains an affiliate link*

 

5 Ways to Beat the January Blues

The phrase ‘January Blues’ is certainly not wrong. It’s a long dark cold month and Spring seems a long way off. In an effort to beat the blues this month I’ve come up with some ideas that could help.

Laugh-When I’m feeling a little down nothing cheers me up faster than watching a good comedy. Whether is an old favourite like Laurel & Hardy or something new starring Melissa McCarthy, it can’t help but lift your spirits. You could even pretend you are at the movies if you invest in a 4K TV by Panasonic , don’t forget the popcorn.

If movies are not your thing then BBC iPlayer have lots of great comedy series to catch up on instead.

Get Outside-One of the main reasons people suffer with the blues in January is a lack of vitamin D. Making the most of the natural light during the Winter really will help. You could visit one of the many beautiful National Trust properties around the country. They are open all year round and most have lovely little tea rooms and restaurants.

Sweat it off-It’s a proven fact that getting some exercise can improve not only your physical health but also your mental heath. With lots of Gyms offering free trials and special offers for the new year, it’s a perfect time to get that endorphin kick. If the gyms not your thing then what about trampolining. Places like Jump Nation are an ideal place to have fun and get healthy at the same time.

Get Hygge with it– Hygge means embracing the Danish way of living. It’s all about creating a warm cosy atmosphere and enjoying the little things in life. The January sales are a perfect opportunity to pick up some extra fluffy blankets and twinkling lights. Coming home to a cosy house will help cheer up those long Winter days.

Let there be light-If all else fails the you could trick your body in to thinking you are on a Summer holiday. There are lots of light therapy devices available on Amazon specially designed for people who regularly suffer with the blues in Winter.

*This is a collaborative post*

Elbows, Soup & Soaps #LittleLoves

It’s Friday and it’s time to share this weeks #LittleLoves with you. This week has been a little bit dull and staying motivated and positive has been tough. I think we are all coming down with something so there have been some early nights and a slower pace. Writing this post reminds me about the small things in the week that I’ve loved.

Read

A bit boring I know but this week I’ve been reading about tennis elbow. My elbow has been painful for months and I finally got a diagnosis from the doctor. I’ve been reading about ways I can ease it a little until it clears up. If anyone does or has suffered and has any tips please let me know. This might seem a little out of place on little loves but now I have a diagnosis I can treat it properly.

Watched

I’ve been catching up with the soaps this week. I only watch Corrie, Eastenders and Emmerdale but I’ve fell a little behind lately. I do love a good catch up and I’m always reading the spoilers. There’s nothing better than losing yourself in a gritty far fetched storyline. I don’t watch much live TV nowadays but I do like to watch the soaps when they are on.

Heard

This week I have loved listening to Daisy reading. Every day it seems that she’s learnt a new word to read. She whizzes through her little bag of words. I almost feel redundant as she needs less and less help with her reading book. I listened from my bedroom as I heard her reading books to Jake, trying so hard with the tricky words she didn’t know.

Made

With a busy week and a few appointments after school I’ve needed some quick meals to turn to. On Wednesday I made a simple bowl of soup and some crusty bread for tea. We all enjoyed it so much and I think I will be adding it to our menu on a regular basis.

Wore

I seem to reach for the same tops every morning so I’ve been trying to change it up this week. I’m consciously picking out clothes that I rarely wear. I read that most people only actually wear 20% of what is in their wardrobe, quite shocking when you think of how much space the other 80% is taking up !

And lastly

 Lately I’ve been working every single day, whether it be on the blog, searching for earning opportunities or one of the other income streams I have. Being self employed and working from home puts this pressure on you to always be doing something. The temptations are always there and it’s so hard for me to just switch off. I’ve decided that Saturday is definitely my day off. I’m actually looking forward to the weekends again.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat