Wellbeing Wednesday – Red hot, and a cold

Wednesdays are my ‘Wellbeing’ days, so here is what I am up to on the Wellbeing front 🙂

maxresdefaultThe Minimalists 30 day challenge is going well. The first few days, even the first couple of weeks, were relatively easy as there were quite small piles of things to get rid of. Now that I am on Day 25 it is getting increasingly difficult, but at the end of the day it IS supposed to be a challenge. If it was easy what would be the point? I’ve been keeping a list of what I’ve got rid of, and been trying to post daily updates over on Instagram, although sometimes I’m a little late. But better late than never. And so far I’ve cleared out over 300 items!!!!!!! I wont bore you with photos here, so head on over to NewYearNewHappy on Instagram if you want to see how I’m doing.

This year I am also determined to start sorting out my health and fitness, although right now I have a streaming cold caught from my youngest :-/. When I first started setting my goals for this year, I broke down each goal into manageable chunks. Rather than just say “I want to get fit and healthy” I was more specific and set myself SMART targets.
*I want to lose 52lbs this year, so that is one pound per week over the space of a year.
*I also want to be fit enough to run the Rainbow Run in Exeter again this year on 10th June for Children’s Hospice Southwest as I was unable to do it last year as my damaged achilles tendon was too painful.
*I want to be able to hold a handstand pose in yoga by the end of the year.
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I’m not one for going all out on New Years day with a crash diet and multiple New Years Resolutions that I have failed by the middle of the month. Instead I plan to go slowly but surely, making steady progress that is sustainable. To achieve my goals I have broken them down into month-by-month targets, and then as I write out each month’s planner in my diary I can build tasks in each week. Easy bitesized chunks. Here is an exert for the first couple of months. I’ve already lost some weight by just logging what I am eating and making sure I keep moving, and anything that I do makes achieving my end goal that much easier.

And as for the cold, well that’s only slowing me down a little bit. And hey, at least it’s not man flu 😉

Allison x

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My 50/50 Pot

Finances are a constant strain and worry for me at the moment. I will post a lot more in detail in future about how I do or don’t get everything to balance out but here is a quick summary. Basically my income is pretty static at just over £1100 a month. My expenditure is a bit more flexible, although it is already squeezed pretty tight, and is just a balancing figure by the time the mortgage etc is paid, and there is rarely any money left for luxuries.

However, just before Christmas a couple of things happened that made me realise that this constant teetering on the edge doesn’t work. First off my mortgage company decided to write a few days before Christmas to tell me that I was behind with my mortgage and that I needed to pay the shortfall by the end of the year. Timing was rubbish. And it was the first time that they had informed me that I was not paying the correct amount each month.
Then my boiler packed up. Yet again. Just a couple of days before Christmas and right in the middle of a particularly cold spell, with both boys home from school.
Both things combined sent me into a real spin. I wanted to just cancel Christmas, and hide under the duvet with a hot water bottle and sleep until it was all over with. But as a lone 2017-01-13-20-28-02parent that is just not an option. So I simply had to deal with it, although it was a hard lesson to learn. Thou shalt not get by by the seat of your pants………

So I am trying to build myself a bit of a buffer. I’ve come up with an idea, my “50/50 plan”. I am going to try to save £50 per month on my current expenses, but also try and make an extra £50 income per month. I am hoping that the income 2017-01-13-20-28-36will work alongside my 31 Day Minimalism Challenge, but tightening my already pretty squeezed expenditure by a further 50 pounds a month is going to be tricky
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I did start this in December, as there is no time like the present to start, but January will be my first month to see if I can actually do it. I’ve drawn up a page in this year’s planner, so that I can see it visually, and that will hopefully help me along with it when I need a push. Here is progress to date. I’m really chuffed with how well I’ve done on selling things I don’t need any more, reducing the bills is proving a little harder, so needs more thought. But 13 days in, and it looks positive.

Allison x

31 Day Minimalism Challenge

Better late than never. Wednesdays. Wednesdays are going to be my ‘Wellbeing’ days. There are so many areas of my life that affect my wellbeing, but the main two are the state of the house (mostly its chaos but also the state of disrepair), and the other is the state of me, ie how grossly overweight I am, and what a mess I feel. I do feel that if I can start to tackle these two areas slowly but surely many of the others will start to fall into place. So first up, The House……

maxresdefaultHaving previously tackled The Minimalists 30 day challenge, I thought now was as good a time as any to have another crack at the whip. January is definitely a good time to do this, as Christmas brought lots of new toys, books and goodies for everybody, and it does feel as if there is ‘stuff’ everywhere. The minimalism challenge works as follows:
On Day One you remove 1 item from the house, On Day Two you remove 2 items from the house, On Day Three, 3 items etc etc, until on Day 30 you remove a whopping 30 items from the house! The key to this is that the item has to actually be removed from the house, whether this is in the bin, donated to charity shop, sold on Ebay, whatever, as long as it has physically left your space.
So for January if I can complete this challenge that will be 496 items in total! If I can find a few extra that could be a massive 500 items moved out of the house in the space of the first month!!! Plus if I can make a little bit of money along the way, that would be awesome 🙂
To encourage me to stick at it I am keeping a list of what I am getting rid of, and will also try and post daily updates over on Instagram, with periodic reviews here. Join in with me!
Seeing as its now the 5th already, here are my Day 1-5 photos.

Show me your de-cluttering photos and ideas to inspire me and keep me going.

Allison x

Monday Make – Something Pretty

Hello again! Two posts in two days, I’m spoiling myself!!!

As part of my new way of thinking this year I’ve decided that I am going to try to dedicate some time each week to making something. It may be something useful like some storage, something practical like a new meal, or something decorative for me or for the house. Whatever it may be, making things helps my happiness levels. A lot. I really enjoy being able to let my creative juices flow, things don’t always go according to plan, but on the whole even if the outcome is a flop I enjoy the process hugely.

And so, welcome to my first ‘Monday Make’!! Jewellery is something that I have never really bought a lot of in the past, as I seem on the most part unable to find something that I like in a style that I like, and in the colours that I want. So I figured that with all my crafty bits that I have scattered around the house there should be enough to put together something that I like. One of the things that I do have that I absolutely adore is a blue and green dress. I genuinely love it, and I hope that it does not fall to pieces from wearing and washing it so much as I will truly be gutted. So I set about making some bracelets to dress it up a little bit when I fancied, but also something that I could wear with jeans and a jumper. My go-to colour at the moment is a lovely jade green colour.2016-12-29-12-44-20

These are the beads that I started out with. They were old ones that had come off a bracelet ages ago, and had faded a lot as you can see on the left. I painted them all over with a couple of coats of my fave jade nail polish and they looked as good as new!

Once they were dry I threaded them and some other matching beads on some clear jewellery making elastic in the order that I wanted them. At this point I did play around with the order of them a bit until I was happy them.

Once I was happy I threaded the elastic through the spare loop from the beginning button so that it didn’t slip, and then started to thread back though in the opposite direction in which I had come. With the flat buttons I threaded up and under where previously I had threaded down and under, so that each button was secured on both sides if that makes sense. Once I got back to the beginning I secured it all with a couple of good knots, although I should perhaps have used some kind of glue?? and then kind of tucked the loose ends inside one of the beads so that it doesn’t show.

I was so pleased with it that I made another one straight away while I had all my beads and buttons out. They only took around 10 minutes each to do, but I can’t wait to get wearing them. They will bring a smile to my face and a glow to my heart for sure when I wear them

Allison x