Saturday, 31 January 2015

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Toddler Thursday - Sock Puppet

Catching up on Toddler Thursday's... 

For F's birthday she was given a 'make your own sock puppet' kit so I decided it was time to do it with her:





A lot of parts fell off it fairly rapidly unfortunately (I'd never make a good seamstress!) but I like that we did it together and she enjoyed it...

Realisation!

Had an interesting week. I've been moaning for several weeks now that I'm never home to do stuff. Then I realised today that I'm doing my usual trick: as soon as I'm close to 'finishing' something I go into stop mode & don't complete it.

For example, the week before I got married my husband to be had to kick me up the backside & helped to get things done. I just didn't want to do it (Ya know, seating plans, menus, important things).

One thing I do know is for me half the battle is realisation. It might take me a week or more to get there but that's not an issue. The important thing is Ive recognised what I'm doing (or not doing). 

So next week I'll be back to it:

  • Hopefully paint the woodwork in both girls rooms. 
  • Woodwork on the landing. 
  • Study - all needs painting. 
  • Clean windows for new blinds.
  • Put wall stickers up.
  • Finish painting some more of the cave/ laundry area.
  • Finish painting bits in the kitchen.
  • Finish some painting in the LR (maybe).
  • Put a line up for kid's artwork.
I think that's all I can do alone that I wanted to. The rest is drilling holes etc.


And this ^ is just a quick picture of progress with the bathroom! ;)

As the week draws to a close I've got 101 things going through my head, various issues that need resolving. BUT I am very pleased that I have managed to realise some of the issues I currently have and how to resolve them. My friend used the expression 'get your house in order - literally' :)

Sunday, 25 January 2015





Charity: continued.

It occurred to me last week that my latest part of my new project had happened. I decided each month to do something good, whether a random act of kindness, some of it may be more regular, volunteering for charity, giving stuff away (given how much stuff is stacking up in my hallway I think that will be a big month! ;)), whatever I could do.

I had planned that my first thing would be working with a local street team to take food to the homeless. However I haven't heard back from them and then did something unexpected a few weeks ago.

But more importantly, last week I was the only non employee that went on a charity cremant tasting with my husband and his colleagues:

http://europevideoproductions.com/luxembourg-travel-photos/cremant-poll-fabaire-cremant-de-luxembourg

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Letting Go.

I used to be friends with a group of mums. And I became friends with a new group last year. At the same time my original friends kinda just stopped talking to me. I have a feeling I know why but have never actually asked them. I have bumped into some of them and been polite. We're still friends on facebook and as a result I've seen many outings that I've not been invited to (which is how I realised they'd stopped bothering with me). I am not too upset that I have lost touch with them as I have new friends. I'm sad they haven't bothered asking me what happened because if it's what I think then it has a simple explanation. But Luxembourg is VERY small so I guess gossip gets around and distorted easily.

A picture of a group of moms - Photo © Digital Vision / Getty Images
http://stayathomemoms.about.com/od/emotionalhealth/a/How-To-Make-Great-Mom-Friends.htm
What does bother me is that I still feel bitter when I see things on facebook. And today it occurred to me I should just unfriend them. But that doesn't seem the done thing. Then I thought 'forget the done thing'. But I've still stopped myself. I guess part of me likes torturing myself, I haven't spoken to them about it so it would be closed and I'd have to accept it if I unfriend them.

But it got me thinking about who I'm friends with on facebook, why and does it matter?

What I have done is cleared up my sat nav saved addresses. I saved our home address at the top, renamed our old address (I still need to go there sometimes) and most importantly, deleted the friend's previously mentioned, where appropriate. So I guess you could say in that respect, I am letting go of my issues from 2014 and moving on. I'm mostly not friends on facebook and I've deleted them from my sat nav. For me that's probably it. I have lots of random phone numbers in my phone so I don't plan to delete them. I also find it confusing that phones seem to save numbers even once you've deleted them.

On another note, I try not to mention names on here because it is a blog so anyone in theory can read it. I try to ask permission if I ever use anything that would indicate, either a photo or a name, or even actually mentioning someone. It's never occurred to me to be honest, to do anything otherwise. I don't expect to have a private conversation with someone and then they write it on their blog. Even if they don't use my name. I also have very security conscious friends who don't want pictures of our children playing together all over the internet. And I respect that.

And lastly, I have just bought the workbooks from this site: http://leoniedawson.com/ so will let you know how I get on! :)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Painting...

I am sooo fed up of painting it's unbelievable. And of course there's still some to do. However the good news is that we're getting there. FINALLY. Mr H has booked the last week of February off. The intention being to finish the last bits, like putting pictures up (that as we appear to be drilling into concrete I struggle with!) We'll leave sorting the 'garden cave' and painting the garage until the Summer. 

So I have stepped things up a gear. Instead of feeling grumpy that things aren't getting done as Mr H informed me a while ago that he wasn't that fussed and the house was mine, today I bought some paint for F's room & some testers for the study. I am planning a trip to a couple of stores (Ikea and Battiself) tomorrow. 

The laundry room is nearly finished now, I've painted most of the wine cellar this week. So after tomorrow's trip Mr H can build the shelves and then we can store things. Next week I hope to paint the wood parts of the girls' rooms and finish the walls (oh & wall stickers!). I'm also thinking of buying a white laundry basket for our bedroom and possibly then painting it (red). As I type this I am still thinking of the 101 things to do but it's all stuff that's fairly easily done.

Once the things are up on the walls during Mr H's week off I think that'll probably be everything for now. That doesn't include me doing my normal decluttering, that's just the bulk of decorating items. 

(Excuse the awful shadow in this photo)

On a separate note, this week I ran out of deodorant so was finally able to implement another idea I'd had ages ago. Baking soda. I had planned to buy a shaker or something similar and complicated from the internet but then I realised I could just buy a 'parmesan shaker' from our local supermarket:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metaltex-115005010-Stainless-Powdered-Shaker/dp/B0053XDGZ0
I had a big box of baking soda already so I just spooned some in. I have been either shaking into my hand or directly onto my skin. So far it's been working! I'm so surprised and pleased. I'm also planning to use some in a little pot as toothpaste... 

And on another note, Z has started trying to run this week, no she can't walk yet! ;) And I've just caught her trying to climb her walker to the sideboard :/ Andddd she's getting her last front teeth in. We didn't get a lot of sleep last night!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

House update & other stuff:

Other stuff first as that's the order my photo's are in:

I happened to think this was cute!



The hallway, picture 1. I had to sort all these boxes to put away in the laundry cave!

Laundry cave. Partly done...


I kept a flower alive that a friend gave us! :D This is a huge achievement for me! :)

 Bathroom picture 1

 2

^3
<4

That's a lotta rubbish/ tiles! :) So the 'downstairs' bathroom has been started. And progress elsewhere is being made...

Thursday, 15 January 2015

New project!

pennywisecook.com
I've hinted before but I was concerned it may not happen so didn't announce it but I think I can safely say now & maybe just lower my expectations/standards a little.

I heard various things in December which gave me the idea of doing one 'nice' thing a month this year. It could be anything, from a regular thing to a Random Act Of Kindness (RAOK), culminating in a 'RAOK Advent Calendar' in December - 1 thing a day. 

I have found for January I've been distracted by my Krav Maga grading & was a little concerned if I'd manage to start this project but if I lower my standards I just completed part one:

I stopped my car to allow an elderly couple to cross the road. It is raining & very windy so this may not sound big but it's a good example of a RAOK to help others. 

Some ideas I've heard of or had:
Joining the serve the city of luxembourg street team one saturday,
I hope to take F.
Donating my hair
Donating to a food bank
Donating to a refuge centre
Helping further at a refuge centre
Working on the DofE award here...

www.gajizmo.com
I know there's plenty of others. So firstly if you hear of any ideas let me know. Secondly, what do you think? The idea is not that it should cost a lot, it's more about leading by example. And giving back. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Progress made... Today!

F helped by putting 'stickers' on to the top of bookshelves to make them double height...


Then needed a nap on the futon we inherited in the study, after all her hard work! ;)


F's new wardrobe, 'laundry bin' and bookshelves:

F's new lampshade:


I saw it and thought I'd go for it. I had planned to buy a new bin, lampshade etc in Winnie the Pooh but she was happy with this so I think it was the right decision! :)


When we finally sat down hours later we had 'dinner': ;) (brie and cranberry)


Achieved today: Bookshelves put up for Z and F, wardrobe put up for F. Most 'things' put on bookshelves. Desk half put together and a LOT of boxes sorted out in study. Discussion furthered about bathroom 1 with the guy who's going to do it :)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Firby-Myster

I had a great vet appointment with Firby cat recently.

He hates travelling - he cries, urinates, defecates and vomits on a short journey. So I found a vet that does home visits and now we've moved, not too expensively.

Olivia has been fantastic. Apparently Firby probably doesn't have the disease we were told he might have, there's also no obvious reason for him to develop diabetes very soon and she couldn't understand why we'd want to take his blood sugar levels regularly. He might also tolerate dried cat food/ supermarket brand. She did want to see him at the vets though, which is booked in for next week... He's going to have a dental and she's going to check his other general health.

Then the vets we previously went to started stocking dried cat food under the type he was having (he has had problems so was on a special food) so we've tried him on that and.... Yipppeee he seems to be ok! He's eating ok, drinking ok, got a vet's appointment booked in next week and is going out exploring nicely. Admittedly the latter has me slightly concerned and I am trying to keep him fairly close to home for now but it's nice not to worry too much. The next step will be getting a cat flap installed so I don't have to worry about having a litter tray for him...


Just for fun...

Posted in a group on facebook
Do you think this is achievable?!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Recipe for Raspberry Bircher Muesli

Before I forget, I haven't tried this yet so have no photo's (google throws up lots) or any idea what it tastes like but a friend mentioned she'd made a week's worth of 'Raspberry Bircher Muesli' so I asked for the recipe:

Ingredients:
200g Oats, 
200ml Apple juice, 
80ml Almond milk, 
200g Yogurt, 
1 Punnet of fresh raspberries,
1 grated apple 

Method:
Mix it up, 
Cover,
Leave overnight in the fridge.

Simples! ;)


The biggest project: the house.

I was trying to think where to start with catching up on blogging and then realised that having moved house we're living in areas that I haven't shown pictures of! 

When I show you these pictures, don't panic, I have not suddenly become an amazing domestic goddess overnight (hubby wishes!;)), I made sure to be very careful that I only took pictures of relatively clean and tidy areas! ;)

Soooo the kitchen:


It's slightly depressing to think that not one room is 'finished' but my friend cheered me up by pointing out that we've already had guests over, hosted a party and that houses grow organically. So I'm trying to be more gentle on myself...

The 'thing' on the wall above the stool is apparently related to there previously being a tv on a shelf on the wall. We still need to do another layer of paint on some areas as I only did 2 coats on the bits I thought would be seen. Turns out more can be seen (you can just see in the picture to the right of the microwave pencil marks on the wall for example). We'll probably get round to putting the iron on the wall and taking the 'thing' off the wall at the same time...

There's a cupboard above the microwave and I'm excited that we can finally make use of the stool! This belonged to my grandmother. I wasn't very close to her but she was ALWAYS sat on this stool in her kitchen so when she passed away I asked if I could have the stool. I did inherit some other things from her but this was one of the few things I specifically asked for, even though it was large. Hubby shocked me by saying he'd re varnish it etc, to which I exclaimed (the only word fitting to describe my reaction!) NO! But now I've come round to the idea that it might be ok. Either way, I'm really really chuffed to finally put use to it. 


We bought this board new. I've seen this post from Scrambled Nest (a new blog I've recently discovered from another mum in Luxembourg) and am thinking of adding to this board but I had planned to do so in the hall. I'm now thinking the kitchen may be more practical. Any suggestions on 'command centres'?


The living room: The rug is new. The bag of books is from our visit to the city library last week. Who knew books could cause an argument?! ;) This is in an effort that we don't have to buy all our books. 


F was good at the weekend so Dadda said she could have a present... When asked what she wanted she asked for a wardrobe for her bedroom! Not quite what we had in mind, but still! So when we went shopping on Tuesday afternoon and she spotted puzzles she has at precoce, I decided it would make a good present...


Proud mum: It seems precoce are constantly doing brilliant crafts with the kids! :) 

So we still have a lot to do but that's part of the house for now. I don't think we're actually going to concentrate on any one area because I'm hoping this weekend hubby and I are going to move everything out the laundry cave so I can paint it next week then there's some furniture in a different cave that we previously had in our bedroom that we're planning to use to organise boxes etc. Otherwise it's become a bit of a dumping ground so needs rectifying! I'm sure other people would work on other areas like finishing the kitchen but areas like the caves affect the rest of the house because in trying to be vaguely organised I store things in the caves and then can't easily get to them when the cave becomes a dumping ground mess! :(

In just over a week I have my Krav Maga grading so that's at the front of my mind right now. I should probably practise a lot more in the evening. My Christmas present from F was a thin gym mat. I think I still need the mattress to practise rolls unfortunately (I did 1 and got pain in my neck and back) but it's a start and F loves it! :)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Back in the land of the living! :)

Soooo I finally have the internet on my laptop again - wooooo hoooo! 

It has taught me one enormous thing: it was surprisingly hard living without the internet on my laptop for over a month! We had really bad connections on our mobiles (2 foot thick stone walls I guess!?). There's also a few things you can't access easily on your mobile, like the 'other' box on facebook...

I have tried to plan a little bit of what I'm going to post but please bear with me as I still have 'normal' life to keep up with (ya know, the washing, the cleaning, 2 kids) but I'm trying to be a little more organised to keep my sanity in tact...

I have lots I want to update you on and lots I want to catch up on:

Firstly, and I already haven't done this - oops - I am going to attempt 'The 3 month declutter challenge' with Scrambled Nest. The first suggestion was Christmas decorations which are already packed away. BUT I did declutter the decorations last year and this year commented to husband that we seemed to have far less! Both daughters made stuff at 'school' so I have started a box that's full of bubble wrap purely for their homemade decorations! :) 



F did a dance at school wearing this! 'A dancing Christmas tree'

I paid €5 that goes to charity, for my oldest's first creation! :)
Personally I'm REALLY impressed with the quality of work that's come from F this Christmas. I don't know how her teachers have managed it! ;)

My 'present' that F made at school :)

We had a Christmas party/ housewarming and I got a teeny bit creative after searching on pinterest! ;)

You can't see very well but these 'cups' have face and buttons drawn on them with ribbon wrapped round to make snowmen. Again pinterest, though hubby pointed out it should have been white cups, but who cares?! ;)