Word Of The Week – Proud

As a parent I am of course proud of my children’s achievements, big or small. This week I had reason to be super proud of my 17-year-old son Scott. For the past two years he’s been working hard at college and on Tuesday evening he invited me to his presentation.

He has been studying games design which he really enjoys. I got to see and play the game he’s been working on, it was fantastic. Scott is a huge horror movie fan, I think he inherited that from me, although I’m a wuss nowadays and barely watch any. Even with this knowledge I still didn’t realise that it was a horror game he had been working on.

Scott has lived with his Dad since he was 13 so I only get snippets here and there about his life at college. I naively thought I was going to look at art work not play scary games ! I made him promise it didn’t have any zombies in it before I went into the booth to play it.

Despite me barley being able to use the controller I could tell he had worked really hard on his game and put a lot of time and effort in. He has fantastic predicted exam results which he will get in August and an unconditional place at university. I’m just so proud of him, I wish I had half of his confidence at talent at that age.

He will turn 18 in August just in time for his new adventure. I will miss him so much when he goes to university, even more than I do now. I’m also really excited for him to be pursuing a career in an area that he is passionate about.

The Reading Residence



Word of the Week – Routine

Despite my best intentions and the fact that I’m a born planner I just haven’t been able to get myself into a routine so far this year. With Jake starting nursery this week and after returning from holiday feeling refreshed I decided it’s time for some new routines.

I’ve gone right back to basics using my planner and my bullet journal to help plan out my time better. Of course any routine has to have some flexibility when you have a family. I really do believe that for me and my family routine is key for a happier home.

Jake for the time being is going to nursery 5 afternoons a week. I’ve been making the most of those afternoons by sitting at my desk and getting back into the swing of things. I have let lots of things fall by the wayside recently. So I’m catching up and reassessing and it feels good.

I have looked at how I can improve our morning and evening routine to avoid the chaos. Despite trying to be organised we are always scrambling round at last-minute. Starting with simple things like laying out clothes for the following day is already making a big difference.

I had been searching for that spark to reignite my motivation. I now realise the answer lay in simply going back to basics. I’m following a routine and getting stuff done.

The Reading Residence


Word of the Week – Sadness

I had to really think about what my word should be for this week. Should I try to find something good to focus on or just be honest about the way I and many others feel about this week. I don’t imagine there is anybody out there who hasn’t felt sadness this week.

The terrible atrocity that befell Manchester on Monday has dominated my thoughts all week. When something like this happens I try to avoid the news but I couldn’t this time. I read about those who had been witness to the horror and saw the faces of those who were murdered and my tears fell and my heart broke. Thinking about how terrifying it must have been for everyone in that stadium is just unbearable. How can we even begin to make sense when there is just no sense to be made.

I’ve also felt sadness at the conversations I’ve overheard. Some people are full of rage, anger and hate. Although I understand the anger I strongly believe that there is no room for racism. You cannot fight hate with hate.

Manchester is my birthplace, I’m Mancunian and I’m proud to be so. The way people helped one another made my sadness lift a little. From the incredible emergency services staff to the people opening their homes and hearts. They all give me hope that the world is good and that we can overcome the evil that people sometimes do.

Words can never express the sadness, despair and hopelessness we all feel. All we can do is hope for a better future and be as kind and loving as we can possibly be to our fellow humans.

The Reading Residence




Word Of The Week – Combination

This week has been such a mixed bag but that’s two words so I’ve chosen combination instead. Most days have been full of little niggles and frustrations and I will admit that it’s made me a bit grumpy. To balance it out there have also been some real highlights too.

I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction so I think that feeling frustrated may have set off a chain of events. I woke up feeling grumpy on Monday morning, I’m still fighting a cold and cough so sleep has been poor.

There have been two large vans blocking the view of the busy road we have to cross on the school run. It’s been bothering me for a few weeks so when I saw the driver inside I took the chance to have a rant at him. I’m usually quite level-headed but frustration and grumpiness do not make for a great combination. I may or may not have told him that he should park his van up his own bottom when he asked me for suggestions of where he should park. He is of course still parking there but I feel better for getting it off my chest.

The same day Chris drove our car val straight in to the neighbours wall. He misjudged the manoeuvre and the results were not pretty. Poor old Val. The wall came away without a scratch.

The day got a little better when for the first time ever Jake climbed in to the dentist chair and opened his mouth wide. You might be wondering why I’m so happy about that. Well, it’s because Jake has been going to the dentist since he was 12 months old and this is the first time it’s been totally stress free. He has never opened his before for them not even for a sticker.

On Tuesday we had an auction ending on Ebay for a rather large expensive item. The proceeds are earmarked for my 40th night away so I really wanted it to sell. I was so disappointed when is fell short of the reserve price and didn’t sell. The disappointment was short-lived though as the highest bidder accepted a second chance offer. It might have been a little less than we wanted but at least it sold. It won’t stop me turning 40 but it will afford me a lovely room for the night to commiserate.

The rest of the week was a little challenging. Jake’s behaviour has improved in leaps and bounds recently which is fantastic. This week however he decided to revert back to throwing tantrums. That of course is perfectly normal but when it’s because he has to hold my hand near a busy road I can’t ignore it.

The week has ended on a high note though as I finally had the phone call I’ve been waiting for. A place at nursery is available for Jake. He should really start in September but our school takes them right from 3 as long as they have spaces. A space has opened up so he can start after the school holidays in June. He is so ready to go and I am so ready for a little break.

So there you have it a real combination of a week. The old saying ‘you have to take the rough with the smooth’ really has applied.

The Reading Residence





Word of the Week-Plan

I’ve never been the sort of person to leave things to chance. If I don’t have a plan in place then I flounder. That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing lately, floundering and getting back on track is long overdue.

I don’t know about you but making plans helps me feel in control and also motivated me to be productive. Up until a few months ago I would use my bullet journal for planning. For the moment my bullet journal isn’t working for me so I’ve gone back to a good old reliable notebook.

I’m planning a little party at home for Jake on Sunday. He turns 3 next week and the plans we did have to celebrate have changed. There’s food, cake and balloons to buy.

Planning for our holiday is next on the agenda. It’s our first holiday as a family and although we are not going far it still requires a lot of planning. I want to make sure I’ve thought of everything, especially how to keep the kids occupied on the car journey.

I’m planning what I want the next six months to look like in terms of blogging and working from home. Plans have changed and Jake won’t be starting nursery until September. This means I need to come up with a new strategy for working around him.

I have lots more plans to make but I feel like I’ve made a good start. Now to put those plans into action.

The Reading Residence


Word of the Week-Rain

This weeks word was almost going to be pancakes but after being defeated by them twice this week I’m going with rain. Rain has certainly dominated the school run this week, I’m still waiting for my shoes to dry out.

Our route to school runs alongside a brook that usually holds very little water. It was such a shock on Tuesday to see it actually flowing and almost full ! Not to mention the size of the puddles that I had to carry Daisy through.

Along with the rain came snow, sleet and hail stones. Daisy and Jake were really excited about the huge puddles and the chance of snow. Me not so much I was freezing with soggy shoes wishing someone would carry me over the puddles.

I haven’t even had the option of an umbrella as Jake has had to go in the buggy while it’s been pouring down. I can’t wait for the day when I have both my arms free again.

Getting Daisy to school on Thursday for World Book Day in her Rapunzel dress was interesting. I think she must be the first fictional princess to wear welly boots.

Having looked at the weather forecast this morning it looks like rain is going dominate for the weekend too. Oh well it’s nice weather for ducks as they say.

The Reading Residence



Word of the Week – Pamper

This weeks word is Pamper. I still have this hacking cough, I just can’t shake it and now the children have it too. I have read a few articles that say that this Winter cough could last at least 3 weeks ! Over the weekend Daisy and I had a pamper evening and I’ve carried on with some self care throughout the week.

As parents it’s easy to forget to look after ourselves as well as our children. I’ve found it very difficult this week, feeling poorly myself and having to take care of two small humans has really taken it’s toll.

One way I’ve tried to make myself feel better is by following a new skincare routine. Just taking the time to cleanse and moisturise each morning has made me feel so much better. I’ve also been using an eye cream that illuminates which has certainly helped hide the evidence of sleepless nights.

I treated myself to a lovely face mask, some new make up and  and I’ve even painted my nails. It’s felt so good to do something for myself.

I just need to win a spa break now so someone else can pamper me.

The Reading Residence


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


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




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