BEDN: Something New and Personal

Blog Every Day in November

Something New and Personal

Share something new about yourself. A personal story. Introduce yourself to new readers. What do you stand for?

Hello! So it’s Blog Every Day in November and while I may fail and could end up skipping days, hopefully I will be here most days.

So in case you’re new in these parts, hi I’m Hannah. I’ve been blogging in some variation for the last 11 and a half years. I started blogging somewhere around the time that I was in my final year at university and Chris and I was about to get married. Since then we’ve become both foster carers and parents. Our little family is probably considered a normal size but when you look at ages etc the maths goes a bit squiffy!

In those 11 years, I’ve been a student, a PA/Housekeeper, Admin Assistant, Customer Service (for a Safe Manufacturer), Data Entry (for an energy company) and somewhere along the line also worked as a Kitchen Assistant (at a residential home). For the last four and a bit years I’ve been a full-time Mum as well as (attempting) to run my own business. My blog seems to have taken such a back seat that it’s actually locked in the boot of the car instead.

But here we go, let’s see what we can do with these prompts from Elizabeth and hopefully somewhere along the line I’ll find some ideas to write about.

Decluttering Your Mind… A Quick Thought…

Sometimes I just want to throw out a random thought or a few and see if anything comes back. At the moment, I’m reading The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. I’ve just started the chapter “Decluttering Your Mind” and this is one of the opening sentences.

“Studies have suggested that we have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. For context, if each thought was a word, that means our minds are generating enough content to produce a book.”

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

Wow! That’s a lot right? No wonder my brain feels like an internet browser with too many tabs open some days!

I read this quote in “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll. For most of the last 6 maybe even 8 years even before I knew what bullet journaling was, I have been doing some variation of bullet journaling. Occasionally I wander away and try other planners but more often than not I end up back with a notebook with grid pages, starting another bullet journal. I’ve tried plain and dots but every time I come back to grid. I just get on with it better it seems.

While reading this page I was cleaning my teeth. Even in the ten ish minutes between cleaning my teeth and writing this I think I’ve had twenty or more thoughts.

  • Where are my pyjamas?
  • Is Chris asleep?
  • Is Chris’s phone still in his hand seeing as he’s asleep and it’s not on the bedside table?
  • Should I shut the bedroom door? (Leaking roof issues there!)
  • I need to scan our passports tomorrow.
  • We need to fill in that paperwork.
  • Is Jaxon warm enough? Is he too warm?
  • Is all of Jaxon’s school uniform ready for Monday?
  • Should I be in thicker pyjamas?
  • My bullet journal is downstairs. Do I have paper to write this post on? (Answer is no, I used Pages on my phone!)
  • Is this really enough for a blog post?
  • Should I publish on my blog or Instagram?

Okay so that’s just the ones I remember thinking between the bathroom and my bed. Crazy isn’t it? Sure explains why using my bullet journal helps to keep my brain in order. However with the bullet journal being downstairs, now I’ve remembered all those thoughts I need to write them down somewhere so I don’t forget them when I wake up!

Simplify 2018: Bathroom

Both in 2017 and 2018, my focus word is simplify. I’m sure I was supposed to pick another one but as I hadn’t finished what I hoped to, it became my word for this year too.

Every year, I’ve always struggled with resolutions. At school, we’d often have that task in English where we had to write our resolutions and it would do often be a pointless exercise. My resolutions would fail either because they are unquantifiable or have been unenforceable. So often I wouldn’t bother but maybe they just needed to be simplified. Make them into attainable goals with quantifiable results.

We’ve been in this house almost nine years now and so through wear and tear some bits of the house have needed to be redecorated and things like that.

While the boys were away in Malawi last year, I worked on decorating the bathroom. It made the most sense while there was just me in the house rather than when the house is full.

Some of it was easier said than done. Chris and I had already chosen the paint so thankfully I didn’t have to do that and risk getting it wrong. When I opened it though I wanted to paint it the purple not the grey! Actually it was just where it needed stirring a bit. Then it was about getting the paint on the wall. Without removing the toilet and the sink, I had to lean and stretch all over the place which I’m sure probably broke a bunch of health and safety rules!

It seemed simple enough. Grab a brush or a roller and go for it. Then I got round to the radiator and actually it wasn’t that simple. I ended up calling Dad to see if he could take the radiator off the wall for me so I could paint behind it.

Well, I was getting there. It probably took me longer than it should of because I was doing bits in the bathroom then going off to other bits in the rest of the house while I had the chance.

When the boys got back, most of the paint work was done but some bits still needed finishing also we still needed to replace the bathroom unit (in the above photo) and the flooring.

Fast forward to earlier this year, we finally got the flooring sorted and a new unit.

Chris decided we’d get the Vilto unit from Ikea. I wasn’t so keen on the idea of open shelves but was willing to give it a go. This also helped with the task of Simplifying because it meant we couldn’t have too many bottles on the shelves. In the end I’ve added some storage boxes, to store shampoo, shower gels etc in but they in turn do make it look tidier. Since I discovered Mrs Hinch and the #hincharmy, I’ve added a further two drawers/boxes on the top shelf to store the cleaning materials and Chris/Our Sidekick’s shaving stuff rather than them both mixing together and escaping across the shelf. This definitely makes it easier just to grab what I need to clean or to tidy the shelves again.

I thought we were there and that we were finished on the bathroom but then we had an issue with the sink. There’d been a puddle appearing across the bathroom floor but we’d figured it was Jaxon playing with the water. However, when it happened again on a day that Jaxon hadn’t been playing with water in the sink we knew there might be a problem. Chris was out on the Saturday evening so I took a screwdriver to the sink and figured out where the problem was.

Because it was around 9.30pm by the time I’d figured out the issue I told the boys not to use the sink. Chris decided we needed a sign too in case any of us forgot. Once Jaxon got over the change of routine, he thought it was kind of novel washing his hands in the bath after going to the toilet.

Following church, Chris and I set about taking the sink apart again to double check what we needed. I’m glad we did because actually it was the metal bit that connects the waste pipe to the sink that had corroded and was leaking into the pedestal and then onto the floor. We went to Wickes, to get a new part and also got some sealant to re-seal the bath while we were at it. While I pulled off the old sealant Chris worked on the sink. At one point Jaxon was watching cartoons on the iPad sat on the landing so that we could keep an eye on him at the same time.

So it took a while because of how it all worked out but now our bathroom is complete. I’m sure we’ll find some bits we need to change over time but hopefully they are little bits and pieces rather than big projects. Onto the next room now…

Fall 2018 – 10×10 Challenge

Fall (well Autumn) has arrived here in Bedford. Some morning it’s chilly but by lunch time it can be warm again. For instance, today as I write this post, my phone tells me it’s 19C (66F) but earlier this morning it was a low of 9C (48F). It’s completely varied so something that I might wrap up in for the morning school run can be too warm for the afternoon school run! Helpful right? I wore my red lovely scarf earlier for the morning school run but as soon as I got home I had to take it off as I was cooking!

Autumn Leaves

So what is the 10×10 challenge?

Well, my lovely friend Shelby has started fall with a 10×10 challenge. So you pick out 9 or 10 pieces to wear and coordinate for 10 days. I’m attempting to join in from October 1st-10th.

My week didn’t entirely go to plan and it’s now the 5th and I’ve finally got chance to take a photo of my outfits. Great right?

Stylish Fall 10x10 Challenge

So in my picture I have:

  • 3 short sleeved t-shirts (red, navy blue and pale blue)
  • Black Hoodie
  • Red Star Jumper (which is kind of my Christmas jumper but is also unchristmassy enough that I can wear it the rest of the year!)
  • Grey Cardigan
  • Two pairs of Black Jeggings
  • Grey jeans
  • Dark blue/indigo jeans (that I’m currently wearing so they aren’t in the picture!)

For a long time I’ve often end up wearing, a t-shirt/jeans combo because it’s been easier to keep up with Jaxon or just chuck it on in the morning. I want to try and be more adventurous and start dressing more grown up than my current “student” look that seems to still be going on!

Shelby says on her blog post that a successful 10×10 challenge is where you can coordinate the pieces together to make different outfits. Included in my picture are a new pair of black jeggings and the (not pictured) blue jeans. Because they are both new they still have that “I’m jeans but I can be smart” kind of look if I had needed to go out this week. Also dressed with the red jumper over one of the t-shirts this would have worked for going out.

What is also not pictured is my black t-shirt that I needed to wear for work on Monday. I was on standby to work for one of my Mum’s Clients and the uniform there is a plain black t-shirt with black trousers. In the end I wasn’t needed.

With the weather being so changeable I decided not to include a coat and as I practically live in one set of trainers I also didn’t include them. (I guess if you were trying to be strict with the rules you’d include them in your count too in which case I have too many items!)

So these are my 10×10 outfits and hopefully I’ll come up with some good combinations.

If this challenge sounds like your kind of thing you might like to check out Shelby’s Dressember challenge too. I’m still trying to decide if I can do it!

Is a challenge like this your kind of thing or do you like the whole range of your wardrobe to pick from? Do you have different wardrobe setup like a capsule wardrobe?

Monthly Review: September

I stumbled across Belle’s review posts over on her blog by accident and decided to attempt to revive my own Monthly Review posts. This is August’s review. You can see others here.


Monthly Review: September

Highlights from September

Flowers from the Wedding

  • September started with two of our friends from church getting married. Chris had been asked to help with some lighting and other bits so he was at the church nearly all day and into the evening. When Chris got home in the evening, he’d been given one of the floral centerpieces from the tables as a thank you to me for letting the Bride and her family borrow him for the day. They were a lovely mix of wildflowers so were right up my street. I love the daisies especially – they are my favourites!
  • We continued counting “Lasts” before Jaxon started school. One of these was his last morning at Lemon and Ginger before starting school, He’ll get to go to ones in the school holidays but it won’t be the same as the lovely ladies there seeing him every week.
  • Jaxon and I had a last field trip to MK before he started school and it almost ended up with a trip to A&E. (read about that here).
  • Jaxon started school and settled in really well. At first I don’t think he wanted to go back as he’d done the first day so why did he need to go back. But he’d taken it completely in his stride and the first day we had tears was when I left by the “wrong” gate after the caretaker had opened the one closer to the main gate about three weeks into term.
  • We had a temporary lodger. One of Our Sidekick’s friends needed some help so he came to stay with us for a few weeks. Every evening that he was in the house he’d often offer to make drinks. I was well looked after – especially on days when I had forgotten to get a drink!
  • I got a new to me bike! My friend Emma has moved back to Australia and so I bought her bike from her. It’s so much nicer and easier to ride than my “old” bike. I rode home from her flat and left it in the garden for a few days because I pretty much went everywhere on it! I even cycled from Jaxon’s school to my knitting group in town. I got there and had to have breakfast because I was starving!
  • I have been walking to and from school which has added heaps on to my average step count each day. I’m trying to make sure that on week days, I am hitting my 10,000 steps which generally does work on school days. Out of the 19 school days in September on 11 of them I reached or exceeded my step count. On 5 of those days I was over 9000 but under 10,000. Also some of those days had lower counts because I cycled instead. So all in all I am doing some exercise each day which is great.

Top Posts Viewed in September

Projects Worked on in September

  • Stormy Skies Jumper (Pattern by Nicky at Handknits and Hygge)
  • Jaxon’s Jumper
  • Autumn Breeze Sweater (Pattern by Paintbox Yarns – downloaded from LoveKnitting)
  • I finished the Autumn Breeze Sweater. DIsappointingly, the arms are long enough but the body is too short. I even got Chris to try it on and it’s too short in the body for him too.
  • Jaxon’s Jumper had a little more work done on it but it’s been put to one side for now.
  • Stormy Skies Jumper was also put to one side temporarily.
  • I’ve been working on a couple of fairly urgent

Books Read in September

Series Watched (Not full seasons btw!)

  • Hilda
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Recommended by Nikkei at knitting group – still not convinced but will keep trying it)
  • Scorpion
  • Three Wives One Husband
  • Amazing Interiors
  • Joel & Nish vs The World
  • 9-1-1
  • For The People
  • Burden of Truth
  • Chesapeake Shores
  • Instinct
  • Michael Palin in North Korea
  • A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities
  • Dramaworld
  • Good Witch
  • Great News
  • Sisters
  • Bodyguard
  • The Great British Bake Off

Films Watched

  • Wonder
  • Nappily Ever After
  • Us and Them
  • Leap Year
  • Step Sisters
  • Annabelle Hooper and the Ghost of Nantucket
  • Sierra Burgess is a Lose
  • The X Files: I Want to Believe

Goals for October

  • Clear some more projects. They’ve been growing rather than reducing but I’m sure I can make it happen in October.
  • Work on a business plan for work and ideas around a new direction.
  • Exercise! There are 20 school days in October (although 25 weekdays) so I’m going to attempt to make sure that all of those 20 days I reach my step count.
  • A longer term goal is to walk 2018km in 2018. This is a new goal but is still possible. According to my Fitbit account by the 30th September, I had walked 1478km. This leaves 540ish to walk in 90ish days. This works out around 5-6km each day which is relatively easy when the school runs alone are nearly 5km total – especially if I have time to take a longer route home.