Hit the Wall

I’m not medically trained and cannot give you medical advice – do not diagnose yourself with things you read on the internet, but I think it’s worth being aware of the following. If you are experiencing anything I’ve described in this post please go and see your GP.

We’ve all hit the metaphorical wall now and then when working out. Sometimes we can push on through, other times we need a day or two of recovery and then we’re back firing on all cylinders.

But have you found yourself hitting the wall time and time again, coming down with cold after cold for months on end and just generally feeling blurgh!?Read More »

40 before 40

Having been inspired by  Mrs Ayla’s 30 before 30 post and also my friend’s Helen’s 30 by 30 challenge – I decided to do my own ‘things to do’ list, but sadly I’m too old to do one before 30 *sob* that ship has well and truly sailed! So considered going for 35, but felt that gave me too smaller a time frame (I don’t need that additional stress in my life ;-P) so I have gone for the next major milestone birthday – the BIG 4…0…. – and then this at least gives me just over seven years to do it all – I may actually get a few of them completed in that time! Haha!!! Plus I do like a good list, so in no particular order…

1 Run a half marathon
I think this is something I could actually manage – it’s a feasible distance.  I’ve completed a few 10km races, so maybe one day!

2 Run a full marathon
Part of me thinks this is wishful thinking – I would just love to be able to say ‘I completed a marathon’ but I don’t know if I have the stamina or if my mind would let me do this! If I do get to do one, I would love to do the London one, the atmosphere looks amazing and I do love London.

Have you ever run a marathon? What would be your advice?

3 Learn to swim
This is something I have actually been working on this year, but had to be put on the back burner when I broke my ankle in March!

My friend, who has been teaching me, has been exceptionally patient with me and has told me I can actually swim, so it’s a case of getting over my fear of the deep end and it is an all encompassing, pathological fear of the deep end.  Now my ankle is almost back to normal this is something I want to get back to doing and would actually be very good exercise for my ankle – so technically it’s a win win situation!

Any suggestions on how to get over my fear?

4 Be an extra in a film/TV show
I always wanted to be an actress but it didn’t come about (my parents weren’t so keen), so this would be amazingly good fun – though not entirely sure how to go about it!

5 Get my degree
I’m doing a BSc in Computing and IT – so at the time of writing I’ve now completed three modules! My first one I passed with distinction, the next two I am waiting for my results.  All being well, and I pass, that will be all my level one OU modules complete and I will be starting my level two modules.
Read More »

I can see through the glass!

So on Thursday this week I had something very exciting happen – I had our oven professionally cleaned!!!

Bless my poor husband, for weeks he’d been saying he’d do it, and so in our cupboard sat our box of Oven Pride and continued to sit for some time.

IMG_3491
Oh look, there’s the Oven Pride… in the cupboard… at the back…

But after a full week at work, the last thing he’d want to do was clean the oven, especially as Oven Pride is so caustic you can’t do it with the children around.

So in the meantime I saw on Facebook that my friend had had her oven cleaned and it looked lovely, so I got the details from her and booked in our oven with David Letchford of Oven Clean Dartford – he personally no longer seems available, but Oven Clean is a franchise, so you can check their general website here!

I will let the photos do the speaking for me!

06 Oven Six
Oh my goodness – you can see through the glass!!!
08 Oven Eight
You can see the tiles through the door!!!
01 Oven One
So shiny!!!
02 Hob Two
Ok, the photo on the left makes us look gross, but hey it’s clean now!
05 Oven Five
Look – the metal racks are so clean!
12 Oven Twelve
Looks like new!
04 Oven Four
The racks are silver now, not brown!
07 Oven Seven
Such a difference!
03 Hob Three
Looking good!
09 Oven Nine
Now that’s what you call clean!
10 Oven Ten
From gross to lovely!
11 Oven Eleven
Could actually use the hotplate now!

As you can see David did an amazing job, he was also very polite and professional! He was even kind enough to do the metal baking tray meant for the big oven, which had accidentally got left out (I didn’t blame this on my husband… I didn’t… ok, I did!) when I ran out to him when he was about to leave.

For my double oven and hob – including the racks and baking trays – it cost £90.

I would highly recommend him if you want a professional, efficient and fab cleaning job done on your oven – mine looks like new!

If you like this post, please feel free to share, comment and like! I’d much appreciate it!

🙂 xxx

 

50 things that make me happy 

I thought the blog post by Love From Clueless Mum was very inspiring, so thanks to her (and her inspiration mr and mrs t plus three) here’s my list, in no particular order, of 50 things that make me happy…

1. My children when they play nicely together – the laughter is lovely to hear even if I’m thinking at the back of my mind “this is probably going to end in tears!”

Having Fun!
Having Fun!

2. Taking photos – my Nikon D60 was my first baby, it was bought the October the year before the Pink One was born – I love taking photos, I take far too many, and when I find time I like to put my favourite ones on Redbubble – you can find my images here and I’ve written a post on some of my photography which you can find here.

3. Singing – it is a great stress reliever, I am a member of a choir too.  You can hear some of my singing on YouTube if you wish and I have also sung on some of my audio blog posts

4. Studying with the Open University – it’s been one of the most challenging things I have done, but also very rewarding and opened up other opportunities I could never have foreseen

Studying
Studying

5. Beautiful blue skies on a cold crisp winter day

6. Running – as an anxiety sufferer this has been great for my mentality and the subject of my first ever blog post! It’s even more enjoyable when I go with friends – Helen and Kay have been marvellous at supporting and encouraging me.

Running
Running

7. Big family gatherings

8. Seeing a Robin redbreast – it just feels significant to me

9. Seeing my friends succeed – that in itself is inspiring

10. Seeing my Social Media presence grow

11. Blogging – when you finish a particularly good post (in your opinion) and it’s taken quite a lot of work, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as hitting publish

12. Reading someone else’s blog and thinking what a fab post (and realising it’s not just me! Lovely not to feel alone especially when it comes to this parenting malarkey!)

13. My 100 Days Style Challenge (especially painting my nails!!!) – which I will be writing a separate post on (at some point! So much going on – need more hours in the day!!!) – but I was inspired by Kat Henry (links to her Blog and Instagram) who in turn was inspired by Kathryn (links to her Blog and Instagram) – amazing women!

14. Nights out with my mummy friends that I have known since the birth of the Pink One

15. Writing down the funny things my children say or mispronunciation of words – these are currently on my phone, but I am gradually transferring them into a book which I am handwriting that they can have when they grow up! (think I have about 2 years worth to write up for both of them!!! haha!!!)

16. Sitting on the sofa with my hubby and watching some crap TV or a film

17. Actually managing to go on a date night or day with my hubby

18. As much as I love my kids nothing brings a smile to my face as to when they go for a sleepover at nanny and granddads!!!

19. Getting an assignment for the OU submitted

20. Getting the result of assignment back (when it’s a good one!)

21. Starting and finishing a creative project that I’ve seen on Pinterest, or come up with myself, even if it takes me a over a year!!! One example I blogged about you can find here!

See I am creative!
See I am creative!

22. Seeing my kids facing when they see the birthday cake I have made for them, regardless of the sleepless night and tears that have gone into it… I’ve posted blogs about the Pink Ones cake and the Blue Ones cake and the amazing Sister who helps me!

Yummy! Cake!!!
Yummy! Cake!!!

23. Christmas – we love this festive season as a family and we probably go overboard, but the expressions on the kids faces makes it all worth while

Yay! Christmas!
Yay! Christmas!

24. The fact my Blue One is out of nappies during the day!

25. Getting to have one-on-one time with each of my children

26. When you email a company and they are actually very helpful – in the latest instance Sistema, the makers of the water bottles we use, I let them know that even with careful cleaning the bottles lids smelt of stagnant water and they posted me some new lids with no fuss whatsoever

27. My self designed tattoo – a tribute to my kids, if you look in the wings you can see their first initials A and a J – this is on my left thigh and I love it! Again, I designed it and then waited a year before I had it done. It was actually a major stepping stone in my struggle with anxiety!  What really helped was my phenomenal tattoo artist! I had it done at Jesters Tattoos in New Eltham, and my artist was Manda!

My Tattoo!
My Tattoo!

28. Getting an unexpected compliment

29. When my husband takes holiday time off work – love us all being together as a family (and it means its not just me telling the kids off)

30. When the kids do something the first time I ask – I also think this would make me faint as it does not happen often (if at all)!!!

31. When Stephen Amell personally liked a Facebook message I posted to him!!!

32. The smell of clean washing

33. Warm sunny days where you can just be lazy

34. The ‘dates’ I have with my Blue One in the Morrisons café – used to do this with my Pink One as well before she started school.

35. Getting a good bargain – regardless of what it is I am buying – it could be cleaning products to some lovely new clothes – a bargain is a bargain!

36. Watching my children sleep (they can’t answer me back when they are asleep) they look so angelic

Ahhh, sleeping angels...
Ahhh, sleeping angels…

37. The look on my Pink One’s face when she got a note from the Tooth Fairy for her first lost baby tooth (you can see the tinyletter in the photo of them sleeping above)

38. My kids excitement when Father Christmas has been

39. Developing my logo/brand for Jog on Mum

40. Having a lie in

41. Getting breakfast in bed

42. Getting my hair cut and coloured – I love it so much and afterwards I feel like me again! I have the best hairdresser!

43. Hearing my children say “I love you mummy, you’re the best” – I may not actually be the best mummy but to them I am so that’s all that matters! *grumble* *moan*

44. My tummy not being bloated and uncomfy at the end of the day – blooming IBS, still not great and I have  been following a low FODMAP diet since February!!!

45. A long hot shower without my small people for company (also in that line, going to the loo on my own too!)

46. Snow days with the kids

47. Days out at Brighton with the family, walking on the pier, playing dolphin derby and eating hot doughnuts! My hubby proposed to me on Brighton pier so it’s extra sentimental to me!

48. A lovely hot cup of tea – not one that has been reheated in the microwave for the umpteenth time, or left in there, or half drunk in a rush in the morning, one that you can savour as you watch some TV, read a book or are reading a particularly good blog post – ahhhh, bliss! Sometimes it really is the little things in life – the thought of this is just making me smile!

A hot cup of tea - bliss!!!
A hot cup of tea – bliss!!!

49. Looking through all my photos and videos (particularly ones of the kids) I could lose hours if not days to doing this!!!

50. People reading my blog, liking it and getting comments!!! It’s definitely a good ego booster!!! 🙂

It’s been nice to write a positive improve your mood kind of post, and 50 is quite a large number, really makes you think and sometimes you’ll be surprised that it really is the little things in life that make you happiest – such as that hot cup of tea or the sound of your children laughing – what would be on your list?

Comment below and please share this post – it would be much appreciated!

🙂 xxx

The times they are a-changin’

Or so Bob Dylan sang! This is exactly what is happening in my life currently – I’ve been going through a massive period of change and it’s very exciting but also in equal parts terrifying!

Towards the back end of 2014 I was struggling at work – not with actual work based aspect of it, I’m very good at what I do which is data analysis – I’m not bragging just being truthful, my issue lay with how stressed I was, the work life balance and to be totally honest the monetary reward against the amount of hours/work I was putting in was pretty pants. I’m not greedy, but it would be nice to actually feel slightly valued! I am sure you would agree.

Let me give you a quick synopsis of my work history…
Just before I had my Pink One in 2009 I was working full time for HSBC Global Asset Management – where I really liked working and the pay was very good. After my maternity leave I went back part time doing three days a week which was perfect – the money was still good even at the reduced hours.

HSBC Global Asset Management

I then went on to have my Blue One in 2012. Went back to HSBC starting my hand over – then the phonecall came. The department was restructuring and my job was at risk – after a very strange month where I went into work to job hunt – it is very surreal to be sat at your desk at work with you CV out looking for a job I can tell you – it all came to an end and I was made redundant. I went away with a good package and no hard feelings, I would be happy to work for them again in the future.

So I continued job hunting – I didn’t need something too urgently, but with what our mortgage payments were at that time, the sooner something came up the better.

After what felt like ages, but was literally only about a month I found the role I have just left. A data manager for a school. I found it in the jobs and careers newspaper – which I bought very rarely as I think it’s a rip off at about £3.99 for about what feels like six pieces of paper!

I liked the idea of a job in the school – and everyone tells you how lucky you are, it’s so hard getting a job in a school and it’s the perfect job to have with kids, and on paper this seem to be the case, I was only having to do 14 hours a week, term time only – so school holidays off, fantastic!

Though as time went on and I sat down and worked out what I was actually earning, especially once childcare had been paid, and the hours I was actually putting in, it was actually pretty pointless – it would be a great job if you didn’t have childcare to pay or young children of school age – as we’d also sorted out our mortgage so that payment had fallen to pretty much half – I might as well work in a supermarket again a couple times a week like I used too – less stress and not bringing work home with you (and if I did, my friend pointed out that’d be shoplifting!!!). The holiday that was most important to be off was the summer holidays but that was my most busy time doing the analysis on the A Level and GCSE results.

So I started considering stopping work to be with my kids, discussed it with my husband and checking we could financially cope for a couple of years and we could, but then I started to worry – what would I do when I wanted to return to work? What would my skills be? What work would I be able to do? As you can see I am a bit of a worrier!

Then an idea came to me, maybe I could be at home with the kids and study – so be there for them but also be doing something for me, as I don’t currently have a degree, which hopefully will make me still employably attractive when I want/need to return to work (and show that I am really good at working at home too 😉).

The Open University

So that’s where I am now, I resigned from my job in November 2014 finishing up January 2015, I am a stay at home mum and I’m doing the first module (TU100 My Digital Life) of a BSc in Computing & IT with the Open University part time – my current vision is to return to work as a Data Analyst in London, but things change as time goes along, but having an end goal in sight it helps you focus! It’s not been easy and definitely has taken some getting used to, and remembering how to learn but I’m adjusting! I must say the Open University is very supportive and I’d highly recommend them!

This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, I’ve had some sort of job since I was 16 (pretty much half my life) but I pray and hope it has been the right decision, I am so grateful for my husband’s and family’s support!

As I started with some lyrics it only fits to end with some, so in the words of Bon Jovi – “it’s my life, it’s now or never, I ain’t gonna live for ever, I just want to live while I’m alive

http://youtu.be/vx2u5uUu3DE

Check out my LinkedIn profile!

😊xxx

You can hear an audio version of this blog post on iTunes and do check out The Student Blogcast on Twitter.

Fallen out of love

Recently I’ve been caught up in remembering how to study, dealing with my kids, my low FODMAP diet getting to me, life just generally catching up with me and feeling quite run down…

I have lost my running mojo and it’s ages since I’ve worn these beautiful trainers…



Did consider taking some berroca but it contains things I should avoid on my low FODMAP diet! Blooming typical!!!

Anyone else gone through a running low? What did you do to pick yourself up and get running again?

Any suggestions gratefully received and much wanted!!!

Thank you in advance!

😊️xxx

Pet Peeves

A bit of fun for the weekend! Thought I would let you know a bit more about me and share some of my pet peeves! Those little things in life that make you grit your teeth, roll your eyes and sigh! I was also thinking this could be an interactive Post and you could tell me some of your pet peeves! Read, laugh, enjoy and then share!!! 😛

1. Someone chewing nosily or making snuffly noises when they eat!

2. When you’re in the car and someone forces their way out in front of you and then has the audacity to thank you! “It’s not like you gave me a choice sunshine!!!” On the flip side of that, those people that you make the effort to let out and they don’t say thank you!!! “No, really, you’re welcome!!!”

3. The song “You’re so Vain” as sung by Carly Simon – because she sings “Because I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you?” – but it about them!!! Also, she sings “Ap-preee-cot” it’s “Apricot”

4. When you ask someone to come and help you with something, or explain something to you and they say “Oh, but that’s easy” – if it was easy to me would I be asking for your help!?!

5. When my daughter starts a sentence with “I was just…” – I’ve asked you to do something, please do it…!!!

This will do for now, I am sure I’ll think of some more – so will probably update this post from time to time… 🙂 xxx