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Yes it is time to get tidying up for the new year, I have already started sorting out my hallway, tidied up my children's clothes and toys in the living room, and now I need to sort out our broken DVD player, get a new Xbox playback kit so hopefully to help save money use this as a DVD player so I can use my exercise DVD workouts, and then sort out our guest room and then conquer our room.
Thankfully now I am due to start a new job at the end of this month I will have more income coming in and I will be using this to go towards my son, savings and our home.
So above you can see where I have cleaned up my sons clothes, was a bit of a mess see before picture above and then followed by the after photo of my new organisation system, we used a bag that was originally had one of our sons bedding sets in but didn't hold that much and so I ordered this Men's Weekender Bag from Avon for £20 which was originally £30. I don't mind spending that much if I know it will come in good use and will be something long term which we could use once our sons gets bigger as a weekend bag then I know that the investment was worth it.
I also am tidying our hallway going through my bags, as I do tend to dump them there and so finding a better system, by trying on keep out the bags I am currently using or getting into the habit of actually taking to mine and hubbies room.
I will show a after picture once completed. I will do another blog on my bags as I did promise sorry I hadn't done this as promised as much, but time did catch up with me in the end.
I think I am going to have a bag that I keep all my training gear in, like my running clothes, bra, socks and tops, rather than put them over the bed so when I need them they are still next to me but in a bag out of the way. I will think on that.
However once I have completed my New year clean up and sort out I will post pictures and let you know how I am getting on as I make the changes and give you tips on good storage and organisation ideas.
So time to get sorted, new year and new change.
Many thanks for reading,
Here we are on the 31st December about to go from one year to another in a space of an evening, and time. It is funny how time just goes and we can't stop it, it just carries on.
The last year has been up and down, however as we approached the new year some positives had arisen. I did some work up in London for the Foodies Festival, I published my first book on Amazon, did the London 10K, we (my family, friends and I) celebrated my sons first birthday and his first official Christmas and new year.
Even though the last couple of months leading up to Christmas were tough, as a few things had changed in my life, I was struggling not having a lot of income coming in, I have become more frugal and appreciative of the many things I have instead of focusing on what I don't have.
I have realised that it is the many passions in my life that keep me focused, which is writing, being a mum, a wife, my love for exercise and sport, and my very first passion in life which I have had since I can remember which is music. I love listen to music and remembering and thinking about things when I listen to music. I was so happy with myself for completing the British London 10K not long after having my son, and now a writer, being able to connect with people through writing to me is special. I always wondered what was different about me compared to others, and always asked myself, why am I here? What is my point of being here? I think it is to help others with their problems on the experiences that I have had through my writing, talking about my exercise and running, and also just generally chatting to people about things.
At the Foodies Festival I worked at in the Old Brewery Tavern near Spitfields Market it was amazing how other staff who were working their just came up to me and began talking to me telling me about their experiences and life, offering me some food and some drink, looking around seeing other people whom have never met smile and talk to each other. It was the same when doing the London 10K this year, where people you never met encouraged you as they ran passed and giving you that drive to continue, making it seem less hard work than what it was; people afterwards asking how it went for me, seeing that they too had just ran the race and saying well done which I did return. That is why I love doing such events it is the very few occasions where total strangers will just come up and talk to you without that feeling of weirdness or weariness. Everybody knows that they are all there to complete the run and no one is competing against anyone really only themselves and I did manage to complete a PB (Personal Best).
The thing is us Londoners are often classed as unsociable as we don't often speak to a stranger on the bus or tube, but what we do is we get into the spirit of things. I think London 2012 showed this, in the fact that when there is an event, a show or a crisis in the country we do pull together and we will show our human spirit.
I moan a lot and I often think about having lots of money and fed up of counting every penny, going into my overdraft, but I think even people who have a lot of money have worries, because they worry often if they loose it, hence why businessmen keep on running businesses and keep coming up with new inventions.
So last year was not bad and I do keep thinking something amazing is going to happen for me, I have no idea what but I just have this inkling feeling, I just hope I am right.
The main things for me is that my family and all my friends are happy, even if we may drift apart for while I know that if I do fall there are always people to help me get back up again.
Many thanks for reading, have a fabulous new year,
Getting organised for Christmas I have decided not to stress over it now but enjoy it. There was a time when my Christmas spark disappeared because I blamed Christmas for what was going on in my life at the time and became to resent Christmas as I saw it as companies just trying to make money and fed up of being skint and making a fuss of one day.
As a kid my Christmas were very traditional, we would spend Christmas day at my nans who lived in Finborough Road in Earls Court, and my relatives who lived in a village in Crondall would come down and stay with my nan and granddad. One of the grandkids would then help granddad dish out the presents, then we would have dinner and then watching Christmas TV all the adults would play cards, whilst the kids played with their new toys.
Even when my granddad died even it had changed slightly but not too much as we would have nan round to ours (my mum and dads flat in Hammersmith and then Richmond when we moved) and would then go to my relatives who lived in a village in Crondall for boxing day.
So we still kept the light going for Christmas, but then things started to really change, Christmases were never the same. My mum and dad had departed company and were divorced, it was tough because then it was who do we spend Christmas with, you don't want to exclude anyone as you don't want to upset mum or upset dad, but me and my brother spent time with dad in the morning who then did the usual went to the pub, me and my brother then went to my nans to spend time with my mum and then my brother then went off to see his then girlfriend. However it was just not the same, and it was the first year I couldn't wait for it to be over, I dreaded it.
This was when I became angry at Christmas it wasn't a joyous time, it was a time of people to become in debt, give presents that would end up gathering dust and would never be used, but they would still put on that fake smile to show they are grateful knowing that they will never use the gift and probably end up on ebay, and that was when my spark of Christmas that I had, had disappeared.
What I was doing was blaming Christmas for the break up in the family and not focusing on that rather than what was really going on, and I did become very depressed, this was when I was also struggling with food, and blamed food for it too, so decided to not eat but if I got so hungry I would go down stairs have little piece of crust of some bread we had and then go back up stairs in my bed and stay there. I could face going into work, or see anyone I just wanted to be left alone.
I decided to start my own tradition at Christmas
With the days getting colder and evenings growing darker early in the evenings I find that all the stresses I have been having throughout the year rise to the surface and my paranoid thoughts and worries start to break through, causing me to feel depressed and stuck in a rut. However with my many Winter Comforts I find that these help and I would not live without these, at this time of year.
I am looking forward to Christmas this year, since the birth of my son, the magic of the festive season has started to show light again, as my Christmas sparkle had disappeared a few years before, but now I have got into the spirit of Christmas once again.
Each year I have my winter comforts, they help me get through this time of year to help brighten up my mood and keep me calm.
Exercise has helped me immensely and I now exercise almost everyday and this included, my one workout which I mix up with aerobics, bit of yoga, core work, strength and toning, and Pilates and I also keep up my running and walking too.
I love a brew I am a tea girl always have been and will be, and the one thing I make sure I have plenty of during this year is my tea bags, now moved onto decaf tea or if I want a caffeinated tea then I opt for Earl Grey my favourite for the winter and my herbal teas.
The other drinks I always have each winter is the Cadbury's 40 calories a cup hot chocolate sachets, and I buy a large box of about 50 or so sachets every winter, from Vikings.
I would not go a winter without making sure I have a few pairs of tights, preferably black and my winter boots. This year it is my pair of red Dr Martins and my Knee high black boots. I always invest in a good pair of boots or ask for a pair for my birthday to make sure I have them ready. I like to buy ones which will last me several winters and can cope in all weathers.
My thermals and running vests as they keep me snuggled when running in the evening and early mornings, along with my fleeces and gloves.
I always have to make sure I have a good winter coat, and I have one which was given to me by my mum and it has lasted about 3 winters so far along with my black puffa jacket.
So put the heating on, grab a cuppa tea and get snuggled indoors.
Many thanks for reading,
Yes I feel this is a good time to introduce my new Christmas planning and organisation page.
Each year it can be hard to know what to buy someone for Christmas so as I plan my gifts way in advance, food, theme and even to what I will be wearing during the festive season thought I would share my tips on my blog page.
So please watch out for my new blog posts on tips and advice, how to get ready for Christmas without the last minute panic.
Sorted out my son room today. We have so many clothes, bedding and maternity clothes that were given to us, and that we bought too, that they seemed to overtake the room somehow, so wanted to get it all sorted ready for the festive season. I have put some of Henry's clothes into a bag to donate, but the others I am going to keep as my sister in law is expecting and so if they have a boy, they can have these, or give to some other friends whom we know have had a new baby and is a boy.
I found that you do get through so many clothes very quickly because babies grow so fast.
I then put out some Christmas bits out and put some of his toys away, as some we do keep downstairs too for our son to play with. Also I like to give a few toys at a time to him, and it is good to give him something new each week or so, so then he gets a chance to play with them all.
We were given some more clothes for when he is bigger, with books and toys, that I had to tidy up and make space.
The maternity clothes are going to my sister in law, as they were hers to begin with and I have put the bedding, clothes and our nursing cushion in our suitcase in vacuum bags to store away, until they are needed or are ready to be given to family and friends.
Here are the after pictures:
As you can see I displayed some of Henry's previous Christmas outfits and I will add some more of his clothes and blankets that are personalised that I would like to keep.
I think it is a great way of keeping them, I will add some more photographs and perhaps a shelf to display some things too.
What I don't want is too look to busy but want things to be displayed as my son even though he is only a year old loves looking at things, and it just brightens up the room.
So next is the living room and guest room, which we are partly there but not completely.
Once these are done will show these to you too.
Many thanks for reading,
It has been a busy couple of weeks with starting my new course in cake decorating on Monday evenings, making my practice cake ready to make my sons birthday cake for his first birthday party, which we are having a Sunday lunch, and you wouldn't think that it would take so long to create a cake and you need so much. boy how wrong was I.
I had made some mistakes but I am proud of my result, have posted picture on my facebook page please click above to access this, and you will see my lovely design or click this link here https://www.facebook.com/carrie.challoner
I went to the chocolate show last weekend on Saturday, which I will post separately about and will post some pictures from this which I did also post on my twitter and facebook.
I hope to go to the Good Food show and the Spirit of Christmas Fair too, but it all depends on how my plans go for organising my sons birthday. I also have my brothers birthday which is the day before my sons birthday and my mums on the 6th of November, but have already got part of that present done.
This time of year is always a busy one for me, my son is now crawling so have to keep my eyes on him for most of the day as he is exploring everywhere he can.
It is time to get the guards up and the fire guard too, and get his outfits ready for the winter months ahead.
As my son is such a warm baby its so difficult to know what to put on him to wear at the moment as I don't want to cover him up too much but at the same time don't want him to feel cold either so it is a hard one to balance out at the moment.
My son I think has developed my insomnia as he keeps waking up playing at 3am this morning, at which I couldn't get back to sleep and was awake until my husband got up to get ready to feed Henry before he went to work.
I have been keeping up with my training, and running. I run twice a week, on the treadmill and outside, I try to mixing walking and running do 10KM a week or more if I can. With some other training added in between and I will post about this in more detail in another post on my Sport & Fitness Passion blog page, this week.
So have a good rest of the week everyone and take care.
Many thanks for reading,
Being up at 7am is not something I favour in fact if I could sleep in until 12 noon I would but my body clock just does not allow me too.
Soon I will be going for a run this morning, getting ready for the day and meeting my mates later for a catch up, and a little shop or two.
I thought about writing a blog about some cleaning and recycling tips as approaching winter yes sorry for going on, but we are, it is good time to have a seasonal clean up, donate and recycling, change your home around for the cold months heading our way.
Recycling I am not asking to save all your tin cans which clog up your cupboard, as it all gets recycled if you put it in the available recycle bin given to you, but you can recycle items that won't clog up your home and will save you money.
Any paper that I have used to print something but was no good or needed editing rather than keep throwing wasted prints I will re use the paper as a quick jot down pad or for crafting, and for my shopping lists.
If you craft and have loads of scraps of card, different size papers, stickers that you feel you have no use, well if you have a Filofax or diary use them for that, create your own dividers.
Example: If you have a A4 size piece of card, fold in half so it like a greeting card, and use a A5 divider you already have in your Filofax to use as a template, and where the crease is in the card which you folded, mark the crease with a pencil, both ends top and bottom, and draw a line.
Use the A5 divider you already have to then line up again the paper and draw around, including where to punch the holes and then use scissor or a guillotine to cut the paper where you have marked, making sure you don't cut of the divider headed part on the side or above the page. Then with your Stickers or other papers, use these to personalise the divider. Then punch the holes, there are A5 good priced hole punches available at Amazon. co.uk
Any shoes boxes great to use as storage boxes, making box, or jewellery box.
Start getting your Christmas decorations, presents and foods that have long expiry dates, saves you time and money. The deals on Christmas goods are coming out now, so best time to invest, and store the presents in a hidden cupboard already wrapped with labels making sure you put name on them so you know who they are for.
Put a set of wipes furniture or all purpose or, a bottle of polish and a duster in each room or floor so you don't have to go down stairs to get them and you have no excuse not to clean the rooms, as the items are there ready for you to use.
Use you cooking ingredients for cleaning and any old toothbrushes for cleaning. Example: Biocarbonate soda on a damp sponge or old toothbrush great for cleaning between the tiles in the bathroom and you just wipe over with another cloth afterwards. Making sure you put a couple of teaspoons of the biocarbonate soda in a separate container or bowl before using with a damp spong or toothbrush.
Use your odd socks that will never have its matching pair as dusters, great to clean those skirting boards around your house.
If you have loads of nappy bags like we do I use these also for personal bags for when the time of the month arrives, and you ladies should know what I mean by that. Also any packaging that were used to package your baby clothes when they were bought, because they can be resealed keep these and store them as they are great to use for holidays when packing underwear, and to pack your children or baby clothes back into.
Not only are you recycling but helps you save space too.
Any food tins that have not been used and are clogging up your cupboard why not go through them put them into a storage container or bag and take them to your local food bank: http://www.trusselltrust.org/map
Look through your wardrobe and get ready to go through what you have or need for the winter. I try to buy clothes that are versatile that I can wear all year round, but I will have the odd piece which that is only worn and suitable for the summer so these go into a vacuum storage bag and put away in our shed in our garden, same with flip flops and sandals.
These are then swapped over when the summer months arrive again. I will also go through what I will need for winter, for my birthday the one thing I made sure is that I had a black skirt that I could wear summer and winter, a pair of black trousers, a dress that I could wear casual or dress up for the festive season, and now I will be buying some tights ready for the wintery season ahead.
So some little tips there, please share any you have for winter to help keep home clean and tidy and make sure you recycle when you can.
Many thanks for reading,
As winter approaches it is now going to start getting colder as we move further towards the winter season, I now got to start sorting my summer clothes and change over for the winter.
We are now planning ahead for the colder days and for the Christmas season approaching. We will be having Guy Fawkes and Halloween again, which I will be dressing up for as my friends bar in Hackney is hosting a big Feast Of The Dead, https://www.facebook.com/events/774199199305113/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
What we have decided to do is go to some charity shops up near where my friend lives in North London and look for some funky clothes we can use as our costumes for the night, and don't discard Charity Shops, I often look in Charity shops for some hidden treasures and people have commented on them not knowing that they are second hand and complimented them such as a jacket I bought for my friends wedding and one of the tops I often wear.
I have a lots of family birthdays coming up including my sons, and found some great ideas at the Cake and Bake Show on Friday 3rd October 2014 and will be making a cake for Halloween, my sons birthday and for Christmas.
See my movie below of my clips of the day.
On Monday the 6th October I will be starting an evening course in Cake Decorating for Beginners at Richmond Adult Community College, which I will post about and show you my designs once I start learning and you never know could give the Cake Boss a run for his money and even make Mary Berry fight for her job.
Seriously though there is so much to do and it just seems to be going so fast so I will getting my skates on and start planning, practicing and start getting my goodies ready to celebrate.
Many thanks for reading,
On Tuesday the 16th September 2014 it was my wedding anniversary, and my husband and I have been married for 8 years, together 12, and I thought I would blog about our wedding day.
Some may say that my wedding wasn't well organised but I beg to differ, as it was organised enough to how we liked it, and that is the important thing when it comes to organising a wedding it is about the two of you, and it is up to you if you want guests there or not; and how you would like your wedding to be like.
The first thing I did was make sure we set a budget but working out how much we knew we could spend on the wedding.
Anything that we could save money, which is what I am about, we did. Yet we still had such a fabulous day, I just wished I had been able to enjoy the day more, as it went so quickly.
My dress was white with maroon coloured trim around the top half with red and white flowers going around the skirt part see picture below. I managed to buy the dress when it was on sale, reduced from £1500 to £695.00, in a wedding dress shop in Bognor Regis, the only thing which I thought was a cheek was that I had to pay £50 for the box they put the dress in so I could carry it home.
I then had to get it fitted for me which was a lady recommended by the wedding dress shop. I had a silk bouquet so I could keep it, but my table settings at my reception, which were done by my Auntie Fai and as decoration around the ceremony venue were all real flowers. You do have to make sure with real flowers that you put them in a cool damp place and you keep spraying them with water as they can dry up.
If there was one thing I would change it would have been the reception venue because they stitched us up, in the fact that they had a big staff change over in between from when we booked the venue for the reception to when the reception was going to take place (our wedding day).
We had booked the venue way ahead of time, and was at the Dolphin Hotel in Southampton, and they said that the special price we would be paying for us, our wedding party and guests to stay at the hotel would not change even though the boat show in Southampton was at the same weekend.
We then check 9 months ahead of time that the booking was all still fine, to hear that they had no record of our booking, considering we had already paid over £800 as a deposit to secure the booking of the wedding reception and their was no special discount on the rooms and our guest would have to pay full price because of the boat show being the same weekend.
Luckily we had kept record of the contract they had given to us of the booking to argue with them, but they were not going to budge on the price of the rooms. So I then I began to worry because even I would not have paid that price to stay in a room it was going to be £137.50 per night, which did not include breakfast. I was worried that none of my guests would want to go.
Thank the lord to my mum whom save the day and our guests didn't pay the full price on the rooms and were able to have breakfast at least included on one of the mornings.
They had, had a massive staff change over and so the lady whom we had booked the venue with had gone; but they did try and get our guests to pay more when checking out of the hotel and my husbands room the first night, which was a twin room, which he shared with his bestman had a generator right outside it too so they were kept awake all night. Plus a lot of the rooms had not been ready for when our guests arrived and so was managed appallingly. The reception itself was brilliant, and the food was nice but I would not have booked to stay there and would have looked to book at an alternative venue if I had to arrange it again.
However it was a great day, we had a few other hiccups, the DJ we had booked had to cancel at last minute and so had to book another DJ on the day of our wedding, but still a great end to a wonderful day.
As a honeymoon we went to Tenerife for about a week or so, but then nearly ended up costing us more than the holiday because we were scammed by some guy with a scratch card and being sold a timeshare package.
Me and my other half never do things straight forward and we have had our ups and downs but I think what keeps us going is that we do make each other laugh. We now have a son, Henry James, who is now 10 months old and has been one of the best gifts I could have ever asked for.
Many thanks for reading,