New years resolution

So they say it takes 30 days to form a new habit, I am an organised chaos sort of person, I don’t keep a diary, make lists and lose them and put things down and forget where they are, absent minded I think its called!

The system I use in my head works really well, but that falls down with lack of sleep and a toddler and the number one reason my system is starting to fail? When you work part time and spend part of your week with a child you remember Thursday and Friday are work days, Tuesday is swimming and Wednesday toddler group… then you hit Christmas and realise you have no idea how it got to December and you forgot to do x,y, and z…you make a Doctors appointment, yeah 23rd at 11 is fine, to find it clashes with swimming…

So this is the year of the Organised Mam, or Organised Mum, for that is the diary system I’ve bought myself! Having tried and failed to find an app to do this, I resolve to try to keep all my appointments, ideas and notes in one place!  It’s a great design with weekly perforated shopping and to do lists and a smart divider system with pockets for my notes too!

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Having had success in 2013 at Slimming World I know I do have some willpower lurking under the desire to eat biscuits and live a life of chaos, so here goes, I’ve written it now and have to try to stick to it!

Get your geek on…

Christmas was a time of rest for me, for a change I think the hard work I’ve put in has finally started to pay off and I’m pretty well on top of things.

I am a self-confessed geek, especially when it comes to data, and so it was only a matter of time before I could hold back on my data analysis no more, one Carrie Mathison style wall of colour coded post-it crazy, two types of data, three pens, four weeks and five+ interviews ahead of me I’m going to be very much occupied by this over the next few weeks – and I can’t blooming wait!

If I achieve something half as good as this piece of sheer genius from Homeland I’ll be pretty happy!

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Magical days out

We’ve planned a few days out over the Christmas break, and started with a toddler group trip to White House Farm. Joss is shaping up to be a real animal lover, what a treat to hold and stroke some of the animals, see the huskies and experience the magic of Christmas in Santa’s grotto.

grotto

bird

huskies

How much does she understand?

Not a lot, but she has learned the words to When Santa got Stuck up the Chimney beautifully and recognises robins, snowmen and ‘reineers’ in her books so I know next year is just going to be amazing!

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Looking forward to 2014 we have our 30th Birthdays, Joss’ 2nd birthday, perhaps a family holiday and my graduation from this masters that has taken over my life, with my research placement starting January, a busy year but much to look forward to including weddings, births and new friends to be made!

Crafty goodness…getting the house ready for the big day with One Stop Craft Shop

Ah, I have finally finished all 60 hours of interview transcription, and had the afternoon off that I’d promised myself. Luckily I always have a crafty activity or two to keep me busy so I picked up one of my works in progress and foot to the pedal I quickly felt all festive.

With White Christmas playing gently in the background and two hours to myself I set about looking at the two gorgeous fat quarter bundles I was sent to roadtest by family business One Stop Craft Shop. A crafter’s treasure trove their website stocks a huge range of materials, and hints and tips along the way, great customer service and regular tweets with top tips to boot this is the place to come for a crafty hit!

The two fat quarter packs were a great heavy weight quality and I was impressed by the quality of the design particularly the metallic printed fabric as this can sometimes blur but these were great quality – packaged neatly with ribbons what a treat, I think these FQ packs would make a great gift too!

FQs

I decided to make something to perk up our Christmas table, our first Christmas at home and inspired by napkins and tableware made recently on the Christmas edition of the Great British Sewing Bee I picked out this metallic Christmas tree print in vibrant red.

Trees

And here is the finished article, with three more to follow to make a festive set I measured out 11″ by 11″ and ironed and hemmed with a 1/4 inch hem, two hours and a little pressing later our Christmas table will look really festive and now all that study is out of the way, let the bells ring out for Christmas time!

Napkin

I’m planning a patchwork table runner with the complimentary coloured fabrics, watch this space for more on that and check out One Stop Craft Shop too!

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to road test, along with a giant stocking which I’ll be decorating for Joss later this week and showing off soon, all views are my own.

Enchanted Parks

We married in 2011 and had our reception in Saltwell Park; what a treat to see the Park in a different light this week; Joss and I went with friends to see Enchanted Parks – now in its eigth year but the first I’ve seen the Park is transformed through visual arts, performance, installation and interactive works; sprites, fairies, lights and a gorgeous apothecary set up under a tree, this was a gorgeous night, truly enchanting!

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I enjoyed all of it and the artists involved were so innovative that I wished I could have taken more in, difficult with a toddler, but my favourite was the fragrant flower flame, seeing the rose garden where we had our wedding photos taken lit up and the air scented with ‘heady euphoria’ herbs and incense burned over a flame the idea that the gardeners in the Park feed the fragrant fires through winter to keep the flowers smelling sweet was a magical experience and I wish I could have captured that scent.

Now to take Mr B back to share the magic next year!