September is my January

 

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Summer is almost over and September is right around the corner.
September means back to school and in our case our boys will now start year 6 and 7.
Ever since they first started school I have found that September is a much more ’start new’- month than January. Kind of like when I was at school myself.

For many the New Year and the month of January means a new start and resolutions are being made, especially with all the food, drinks and money spending in December.
January doesn’t have that much impact on me. Sure, it’s a new year, but apart from getting rid of all christmas decorations, really, nothing much changes.

September means much more a fresh start, a clean slate. Especially since I am a stay-at-home mum (technically a carer for our youngest) and my schedule is set after my boys.
This year it will mean a new school for our eldest, Joshua, whilst Harry will have his last year at his current school.
September means back to commitment after the summer.
It means back to routine (Yay!) after not having much of one (or a different one) during summer.
It is a great time to think about the coming year and what we want to achieve before next summer.

I love autumn.

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I haven’t always though. As the evenings got darker and colder I used to feel more and more low. The weather and sunshine has always had a huge impact on me, my mood and my wellbeing. It still does, but much less than it used to, and now I can embrace the seasonal changes.
I especially love autumn and the fresh start that it means. (January – March is my worst time of the year!)
I feel like I get a new burst of energy and enthusiasm for what ever is to come.

What does September mean to you?

Does it mean a chance to go over your finances after all the spending during the summer holiday?
Does it mean tighten up you diet after indulging a bit to much in ice creams, cold beers and BBQs with friends?
Does it mean starting a new course, job or take up a new hobby?

Cultivate the back-to-school mindset and think about what you want to achieve this year even if you’re not in school.

So this September (and autumn) I will…

Get on top of our finances and save as much as possible ahead of us moving early next year.
Eat less sweets so I’ll have more energy
stay on top of everything that goes on with Joshua at his new school
Take part in as many workshops as I can
Have a white month and not drink any alcohol

What will you do?
I’d love to know, so leave me a comment!

xx

We’re off to London!

I’m spending the weekend with my husband up in London. Not a big deal for many, since we live just 40 min away, but it is a big deal to us.
Time alone, just the two of us is rare, just as I think it is for a lot of parents and especially parents of children with additional needs, because you can just “get a babysitter”
Thankfully Richards sister and mum help us out when they can and we try to go away at least once a year just the two of us, last year we went to Venice for example.

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Venice last year

This year we weren’t so sure we could go anywhere because we had a few other family trips lined up and didn’t think we could really afford it or find the time.

Then Harry entered his toddler/teenage stage.
I’ve written about it before here, so I won’t go in to details, but after one particular Saturday we were at our wits end.
He was supposed to go swimming with his activity club (for children with special needs) along with his brother and a few other kids. None of this was new to him.
We had gone through with him what was going to happen that day so that he was prepared: I would take him, he would swim, dad would pick him up etc.

He was very excited to go, but once he got there he burst out crying and wanted to go home again. We could not persuade him to stay and in the end I ended up bringing him home again.

Richard and I had been looking forward to a couple of hours to ourselves that Saturday morning. We don’t get much alone time. And as it turned out we didn’t get it that Saturday either.

The day after, Richards sister came over for a cup of coffee and we spoke about this and about Harry, his unpredictability and mood swings. She suggested that she’d take the boys for a night or two and we could go away for a bit. Thank God for her!

We jumped at the opportunity and immediately booked and payed for a hotel in London.

And I am so glad we did because as it turned out we’ve had to cancel one of our planned trips to visit family in Berlin this summer at the last minute due to… *drumroll*… buying a house!
We weren’t seriously looking, but it just so happened that we found a perfect house for us and we could not miss the opportunity to buy it. But as anyone who’s ever bought a house knows, it is expensive, far beyond what the price tag says. So we’ve had to make some sacrifices and cancelling the Berlin trip was one of them. Luckily for us, we’d already payed for the hotel up in London, so we can still go without feeling like we’re spending money we really should be saving.

So, enter a lovely, relaxing weekend with the husband. And, boy, do we need it!

The best part right now is that we don’t have to feel like we ‘have’ to do anything, we can just relax and eat good food and do what ever we feel like, as we can always come back because it’s ‘only’ London.

So that’s what we’re planning on doing.
Nothing.

Just relaxing. Spending quality time together. Eating and drinking. Go for walks (which we NEVER get to do when we take Joshua up to London since he’s train mad and ‘have to’ take the underground everywhere!)
Maybe go to a museum or catch a movie.

I can not wait.

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And I’m shamelessly plugging my husbands fantastic photos of London

 

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xx

5 Ways To Instantly Feel Better

 

Having an ‘off day’ or week? Not feeling quite like yourself? I know, I’ve been there. In fact, most of last week was that way for me. Usually, I can put down my ‘off-ness’ to being over tired, and the best thing I can do is have an early night and catch up on some sleep. But, if that doesn’t help, or it’s 10am and having a nap is not an option, here are a few suggestions what you can do to feel a little better about yourself.

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Of course your mood will lift with a view like this on your walk!

1. Go for a walk.
Exercise is a proven way to feel better when you’re feeling low, but I know it’s hard to get any tougher workouts done when you’re not feeling it. Going for a walk will kill two birds with one stone; walking is exercise, something you can just ‘do’, and being out in nature and fresh air is another way to instantly improve your mood.

 

2. Meditate
Meditation calms your mind and makes you present and mindful. And no, you don’t have to do it for long periods of time. 3-5min can be enough to clear your head and centre yourself.
Sit or lay comfortably in a quiet place where you won’t get disturbed. Are you at work? Go to the toilet. Close the door and sit down with your feet flat on the ground and you hands on your knees. Close your eyes and breathe slowly through your nose. Thoughts will come in to your brain, especially if you’re new to meditation, and that’s ok, it takes practice to quiet you brain. The easiest way is to try to focus on your breath. Feel it as it comes in through your nose down to the back of the throat and down to the lungs and then back out again. Try to keep this you focus.
There are of course lots of different meditation techniques out there and I won’t go in to all of that in this short space, but yeah, meditation will make you grounded and present and will (hopefully) make you feel better.

 

3. Correct your posture
My favourite, because it’s so easy to do! And it works.
Stand up tall, don’t slouch. Good posture can improve your oxygen intake. When you’re hunched over, your lungs may not be working to their full capacity, so stand up straight, that will allow more room in the chest for breathing. This will give you more energy and will often make you feel better.

4. Write down everything you’re grateful for right now.
Gratefulness is another way to make you present and mindful, it will put things in perspective. Maybe it’s your kids, or your fantastic job or maybe the only thing you have to be grateful for right now is that amazing cup of coffee, but be grateful for it. Write that down. The more you practice acknowledgeing everything you’re grateful for, the more things you will realise you have to BE grateful for.

5. Give yourself some TLC
Do something that you love. Cook a nice meal, read a good book, soak in a bath, get a massage or a manicure (or paint your own nails) What ever you enjoy, make sure to make time for it.

 

As I wrote these down I realised how hard it was to keep it short and sweet, all of these tips could easily fill out a whole post individually, so I probably will dive deeper in to some, or all of them in the future.
But for now, I hope I helped you feel a little better.

xx

I have no wagon

Did you miss me?

I have been on holiday with my family plus brother-in-law and his family. The eight of us went to Centre Parcs in The Netherlands (They live there. Not in Centre Parcs, but in The Netherlands)
We had five days of loads of fun in the park, spending a few hours every day in the pool and the going on the water slides. We also rented bikes, went bowling, and climbing and had lots of fun just hanging out. We all get along really well and it was a lovely break. After Centre Parcs we went in to Amsterdam for a day before heading home to theirs for a couple of days before we drove back home to England again. It was a busy week, pfew!

I had good intentions to keep up my routine while away and I did quite well, but not as well as I had expected or hoped.

Sure, I could have done better.
I could have gone to bed earlier, and got up earlier to fit it in a workout before everyone was up.
I could have fit more vegetables in my meals. I could have been writing instead of reading my book, and so on.
But to be honest, I didn’t want to.
I needed a holiday.
I realised that staying up late, not eating as well as I usually do and skipping workouts isn’t the norm; its the exception.
Also, with a very slow internet it was near impossible to keep up with social media or work on my blog. It really was a break from everything and it was lovely!

It was so nice staying up chatting and having a drink with other adults and not having to worry about setting the alarm for an early morning start.
To do what I felt like I wanted and needed.

The readers who know me or have been reading my blog for a while know that I love routine , especially my routine.
I love early mornings and I love getting the most important stuff done early in the day. And my plan was to keep my routine going somewhat.

But I am flexible and I needed a break.

I didn’t “fall of the wagon”
I have no wagon to fall off.

I made a conscious choice that I would, at this moment, enjoy life and not stress about getting things ‘perfect’ for a few days, and thats fine.
Although, as you probably know, I never get things ‘perfect’, I simply refer to my preferred way of moving and eating.
And it is not like I’ve been sitting on my butt all week, we have been pretty active!

So now I’m back home, and I’m getting back to my usual routines, and am eating and moving better, just like I knew I would.
No guilt
No restrictions
No dieting
Just simply moving on.
Continuing making good choices and enjoying the process while doing so.
Continuing writing my blog
Not feeling bad for what I “should” have been doing, but enjoying the holiday and now get back to my routine.

Plus
It’s like with anything you love, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Another bonus was that after not weight training for over a week, I went back to Crossfit this morning and felt stronger than ever! I lifted more than I’ve lifted in a year, and I felt great! Sometimes a break can only be a good thing.

 

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xx

Update on my summer goals so far.

We’re on holiday this week and I will write more about that in next weeks blog, I just thought I’d check in and let you all know how I’m doing with My Summer Goals goals so far.

So here’s how it’s going:

1. Set and keep a routine for me and the boys daily.

Been doing great with this one while we were at home. Mealtimes roughly the same time every day. The boys have been reading straight after breakfast. Bedtime same time every day. So far so good. A bit more slack this week though since were away with family…

 
2. Make sure the boys are outside at least once a day, no matter the weather.

So far no days have been spent entirely indoors.

 
3. Walks after dinner at least four times/week

Managed three walks last week, two this week if you count walking home from the restaurant?

 
4. Not stress about house work. It gets done when it gets done.

Not stressing 🙂

 
5. Tick at least 1 thing off our summer bucket list every day

Not every day, but so far we’ve ticked off

Climb a tree
Swimming
Eat ice-cream
Bowling
and cinema

 
6. Keep up with my My 12 Rules

Mostly, just not the getting up early bit.

 
7. Drink wine no more than 3 times/week

So far so good, but this week isn’t over yet…

 
8. Post at least 1 blog/week

Doing it now 😉

 
9. Read 3 books

1 down, 2 to go

 
10. Have a BBQ every week

Yep, so far.

 

So all in all, not to bad!

I will continue to keep you updated, and next week I will let you know how our holiday went!

Until then

xx