Happy New Year – Thoughts on life lately

Yes I’m aware its a little late to be wishing you a happy new year but Ive only just go my get up and go (or get up and blog) and now its February! But I thought it was about time I opened my laptop and cracked on with some work! This virus isn’t going anywhere yet and you know neither are we as we approach week 5 of lockdown 3! So here are my thoughts on life lately. (a bit of a journal)

Happy New Year!

So the last time I wrote was in September when the kids went back to school after 6 months and now we are back in lockdown with kids off school again. Since then we have had another lockdown, Christmas and new year and all of January! Which I believe was 793 days long. Im always late for everything so when should my new year greeting be any different.

Obviously if you follow our daily adventures on instagram you will know what we’ve been up to since the last time I blogged and that my mental health took a dip again and that I am still trying to navigate my way back up again.

New year scene, black pointed happy new year hats on a plate with a red candle glowing in the background

Taking January Off!

But as the days get lighter and I put in more things to help get my head in a better place I can feel my head becoming less tangled and brighter days ahead. Looking back Its not just because of the pandemic that my mood starts dropping over the winter days so maybe I should start taking January off all together I have seen people like Zoe Sugg she often films Vlogmas then takes January to rest! I think its the way forward in future!

Thoughts On Life Lately

So we are in Lockdown 3 right now. The first lockdown was not too bad It was looooooong dont get me wrong. It was sad at times, but we got on with it, all of us, there was a new sense of togetherness even though we were apart. Lockdown two felt really really sad. The schools were still open so kids went in but shops were closed. There were more and more people feeling desperately sad when we should have been in that pre December getting excited for Christmas stage. This time is just the pits. It’s like if you could get worse than depressing then that would be where a-lot of us are.

Lockdown 3

This time schools are sending more work that the kids are supposed to be able to do independently. They cant or wont Not in this house anyway! People are trying to work and supervise school work and juggle littler kids while still keeping up with housework and everything else life throws at us. There is also still the dreaded virus going around which now is more contagious than ever! So we have the worry of keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe while we do our food shopping or while we head out to work if we have to.

Plus we have been at this now almost a year. The anniversary date the first covid patient was admitted to hospital has passed. So we are all feeling fatigued. Living with that stress for that amount of time has taken its toll on alot of us!

I’ve had a few weeks of feeling completely depressed and down about the situation, Feeling like I cant plan, Like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Struggling with schoolwork and trying to work and the household chores too. I mean why do we have 3 lots of outfit changes a day when were are not even leaving the house? And it looks like schools will be off until at least the start of March maybe even longer depending on if the figures come down and vaccines get to the desired amount of people.

Despite all this, This week I feel in a more positive mood. After having a chat with school about how I am feeling they have said the big twins can go in to use the Key worker facilities a couple of times a week as Chris is technically a key worker. (Please dont message me about how I’m using spaces that frontline workers should have or putting teachers at risk because Ive got enough guilt of my own about it. It was school that contacted me because we simply couldn’t keep up with the amount of work being set.)

I am putting things (In pencil) in the diary for the future, I have my adventure planning head back. Planning is literally one of my coping techniques. It really helps to plan future adventures. I have booked tickets to a conference that we go to every year. We are also planning a few home alterations that will make our space work better for us.

What may be the biggest thing though is I have been in contact with the local NHS mental health team to head back to some kind of therapy. There is such a big waiting list for this but I have been given some self guided sessions to start with. I will chat about it more in a dedicated mental health chat post but for now this feels like a huge step!

So despite the first month of 2021 feeling so very long and depressing things are going in the right direction and brighter days are on their way.

How are you? Really?

So now, how are you feeling? Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on instagram or facebook and let me know. I’ve had more chats over messenger this past couple of months than ever before on my social channels. people feeling anxious, stressed, lonely even. Non of which is anything to feel ashamed about. All of which are valid and any of which I’m happy to chat through with you.

What Next? What content?

So whats next? What is coming up from me?

I’ve a few things I wouldn’t mind doing, a few projects I would like to have a look at but I’m not going to say for definite as things at the moment are hectic in the house to say the least.

But I would like a little help…

As we stroll though the year I would love to know what kind of content you prefer is it daily snippets of life via instagram, weekly catchups via a vlog on Youtube or lengthy blog posts like this? Not just from me but anyone?

Would you be interested in a roundup email?

What kind of content do you consume on youtube? Hauls, How tos? Vlogs? monthly favourites?

What area of my life would you be interested in seeing more of? Swimming, kayaking, daily life, routines with twins (Not that we have set routines at the moment) allotment life, Mental health?

Im aware I may be writing this and no one actually cares or even maybe thinks Actually I wish you would just not do any! but its always nice to thin one person may give me some feedback!

Over to you!

Valentines Day Adventures at Home #Gifted

I love a good planning session me! In fact planning is part of my self prescribed therapy. So with only a few weeks to go I thought it was about time to get my head in gear and get our Valentines Adventures at home planned. So here are a few ideas for celebrating Valentines at home.

Heading imagine, with text valentines day adventures at home. Picture on the left is an afternoon tea with bottle of fizz and strawberry cupcakes

Valentines Day Adventures at Home – Family Ideas

Remember those valentines days when you could enjoy a lay in and then breakfast in bed followed by spending time getting ready to go out on a date? Sometimes you just dont get that option when you are a parent here are some ideas to enjoy valentines with the children.

  • First of all is there anything more insta worthy than a hot chocolate station? We love our Christmas themed one So I believe its time for a valentines themed one.
  • My kids absolutely love a treasure hunt. So hiding a bounty of valentines goodies would be a real winner
  • Is there anything better than a specially prepared breakfast feast? Breakfast goodies could include heart shaped crumpets & pancakes and fruit bowl with chocolate sauce and sprinkles.
  • Time to get crafty. There is a whole host of ideas over on pinterest. Cards, Sun catchers, gifts, and decor.
  • Family date night. Heart shaped pizzas, a game of their choice ( Uno, monopoly or something similar) and take turns telling each other why you love them.
  • If you have shy kids you could alway do an activity where instead of saying why you love one another you could all write it and place in a jar. Signed or secret.

Valentines Day Adventures at Home – Couple Ideas

If you are lucky enough to grab an hour or so maybe when the kids have gone to bed why not plan one of these stay at home ideas.

Valentines Day Gifts

There are loads of ideas for inexpensive gifts over on pinterest but here are a few of my favourites.

  • How about a book of favours, You could create your own on canva using things like breakfast in bed, foot massage (Not for me I hate feet), Coffee date ( Once you can get out and about without the kids in tow)
  • How about creating your loved one their favourite dessert with a valentines twist? – Cheesecake with heart shaped strawberries in the middle. Grab some heart shaped sprinkles and pink icing to turn cupcakes into valentines ones.
  • A great gift idea is buying them a personalised bottle of fizz and creating a little gift by adding a glass and creating a little gift basket.

Valentines Dates

We can still create a bit of a date night even at home. There are lots of ideas here not just for valentines day but at any time.

  • Send the kids to bed draw the curtains, Light the fire (&/or some candles) put on some relaxing tunes, Grab a drink and snacks and create some scrap books of memories gone by.
  • There has been so many people buying projectors lately so how about a movie night? We are lucky enough to have a movie room in our summer house. SO I might even get decorating and head down there for a at home cinema trip!
  • Do the kids still nap? Could you let them have an hour on their electronic baby sitters? Then you can sneak an afternoon tea in.
  • Carpet Picnic – Grab a blanket, and some cushions and create a picnic hamper with all your favourite picnic treats.
afternoon tea spread with scones, cupcakes and sandwich rolls on a three tier cake stand with a metal love sign behind. bottle of personalised prosecco in the middle of picture.

I hope this has given you some ideas of ways to enjoy Valentines Day Adventures At Home.

Let me know if you are planning any celebrations? What will you do to try and get in a bit of time for just you and your partner?

Nina x

Miniature personalised bottle of prosecco was gifted by the lovely people at “Say It With Champers”

Miniature personalised bottle of prosecco was gifted by the lovely people at "Say It With Champers"

Back to school after 6 months of adventures.

So that day is finally here. That day that I’m so ready for. My kids are so ready for. 

Yet I feel so not ready!  The day we send them back to school 

Back to school after 6 months of adventures 

6 months of family adventures. 5 months of home schooling. 

I want to look back at this time when my grand kids ask about it for their history lesson as a time where we lived our best life yet! That time in our family’s life where we truly realised what life is about. What  matters the most. 

Back to school 

Today I send the big twins back to school for a new school year. But it feels strange. 

We have had so many adventures over since the pandemic hit. (Who would have thought that would be a sentence?) 

Oh the adventures we’ve had!

We’ve kayaked, found a love of river swimming, picnicked, geocached, cut our own hair, painted our own nails, cried, laughed, had at home festivals, traveled Europe from the comfort of our garden, played uno, watched box sets, hugged, finally saw our family, finally played with friends, celebrated birthdays together and from afar, took on an allotment, cooked and ate more than ever before, learnt too appreciate our local area, remembered to be thankful to those who help. 

What is Back to school going to be like? 

We don’t really know what’s going to happen In the next few weeks, months, or really ever? But Today we start our next adventure. Back to school. Back to some kind of normal. 

Keeping hold of that lockdown life

We may be getting back to some kind of normal but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of that life we lived during lockdown so I’ll be Trying to keep hold of those memories, those grateful feelings, 

Keeping hold of some of that life we created during lockdown.  

What do you want to keep hold of from lockdown? What have you learnt, or started doing since the pandemic hit? Are you ready for some normal to return? 

See you soon

Nina x 

The Good Life – Allotment Adventures |Starting Out

A week ago aptly just before allotments week 2020 I was granted an allotment plot. I have been thinking about one for months. I put my name down back at the beginning of March Before lockdown hit. This is The Good Life – Allotment Adventures | Starting Out

The good life allotment adventures logo

I was inspired by the Lovely Emma – Emmas Allotment Diaries . She has been entertaining us all the way through lockdown. Emma confess she is an amateur allotmenteer and wings her way through the growing process. However she has grown a whole host things in her plot. She has really inspired me to get growing.

The Good Life – Allotment Adventures | Starting Out – Diary

So here starts my “Good Life Diaries”. I have no idea how my plot is going to turn out. If anything will grow but this is the start of the journey and so far I am enjoying the ride.

The Good Life – Allotment Adventures | Starting Out

Viewing the plot |Wednesday 5th August

I arrived on the plot on day one to find after over a year of neglect weeds had grown everywhere but thankfully the neighbouring plot had strimmed it down so it actually looked more manageable. So I said I would take on the challenge.

Its Mine! This is It The Good Life – Allotment Adventures | Starting Out| Thursday 6th August

After accepting to take over Plot Number 8 I was given the keycode and off I trundled with my dad to survey the plot. I’m not sure who is most excited him or me. I have to keep reminding him It is actually my plot!

The ground is so hard underneath all over the overgrown weeds. It is going to take a-lot of digging over.!

Early Starts are now a thing. |Saturday 8th August

On Saturday morning I was that excited to get out to the plot to make a start I was out of the house by 5.30am! I went to digging out the weeds in a little area at the front of the plot. It really is going to take forever and a day to get this plot ready to plant. But at least we have the winter to get it ready.

Save The Bees!

While I was digging over a little area at the front I came across a bees nest under the ground. I didn’t even know they lived underground. But as I scraped some of the weeds a bee came flying around my head and i just wafted it away then around 15 more came shooting out of the ground. So I ended up leaving them to it and starting somewhere else.

Help Required |Sunday 9th

On Sunday I managed to persuade a friend to come and help me put up some fencing across the front of the patch. I need to get my plot secured really so that i can bring the little twins down to help. It was harder than I thought to dig out a hole for our makeshift fence posts to go in. But we managed it to put up all apart from one. It’s looking better already.

I put up a little fence for the bees while we were putting up the fencing. In the hopes that they stick around to help pollinate my plants.

The Bees are Gone

I managed a little allotment date with Chris after dinner. The bees had gone by the time we went back on Sunday evening. However Chis has now taken a chimney topper down and hopefully they will come back and nest in there.

Getting the kids to help! | Monday 10th

I took the kids down to the plot today however it was quite warm but I went to take a few bits down to like a lockable box for my tools and couple of pallets for fencing down one side. The kids however made fiends with next door and more importantly the chickens. When we left they came home with a handful of beans, a couple of sticks of rhubarb and a small tomato plant.

Up Late | Tuesday 11th

I was up late on Tuesday so I missed out on an or two of digging over. I did manage to get there to measure a couple of things up for a future project though.

An Addition For The Plot | Wednesday 12th August

I got up and out again for an early morning digging over and managed to clear a space ready to move the greenhouse that was left. The greenhouse has no glass in it but there are a few sections left I think we are going to use some Poly sheeting to replace the panels. Anyway space now cleared so once I have a couple of willing helpers to move it It can then go into place.

In the afternoon me and my dad collected an addition for the plot

Details of which I will leave you guessing for now as I need to get permission form the council first and i dont want to jinx it!

Rescuing Strawberries | Thursday 13th & Friday 14th

My in-laws called on Thursday to tell me that their gardeners are coming to move some bits around in their garden next week so If I want to rescue some strawberry plants from going to the tip Im welcome.

So On Thursday Morning I set too and cleared an area on the plot ready to put down the Strawberry plants. Then in the afternoon I dug them out with the intention of going to put them in the ground later that night unfortunately The boy are feeling a little off it so Ive decided to take a few days off so first thing this morning I grabbed a few pots and the compost that was due to go down to the plot just to cover their roots over and give them a good drink some of them are a little worse for wear however I’m crossing my fingers that they make it.

Friday afternoon was spent looking at allotment plots and catching up with Emmas allotment vlogs once again.

The Good Life – Allotment Adventures | Starting Out

And that is it for this first Allotment post. I hope you enjoy watching my plot grow and change through the seasons as much as I hope i like planting and digging!

I can already feel the benefits to this allotment life. The purpose to get up in a morning and head straight out. The fresh air and exercise. I feel so much in a better place. I dont think its from the allotment alone however a few things that have put me in a better head space.

Nina x

River Swimming Keeping safe.

The heatwave is on its way for the weekend which means families all over will be trying to find ways to keep their cool. Recently online I have seen many families taking up water based hobbies like Kayaking and paddle boarding. Some like me and my friends have even started Wild swimming Or river swimming. However how many times have you heard horror stories about people getting into difficulties in and around the water. Here are some tips for River Swimming – Keeping Safe.

Water based hobbies in uk waters although a great way to exercise and cool off can however be dangerous if you dont respect the water.

river swimming cover

I have complied a few tips that I have learnt along the way.

River Swimming Keeping Safe Tips

  • Before you start make sure the water you have found is clean and safe to swim or paddle – Stagnent water can carry disease. In summer blue/ Green Algae can form and after heavy rain some rivers can get a discharge of sewerage in them.
  • Always know your limit. – If you are not a confident swimmer stick to shallow water where you can touch the floor. Even seemingly shallow waters can drop off into deep pools in places.
  • Be careful of currents, tides and waves. water is such a powerful element, waves have the potential of pushing you over.
  • Check the flow. Rivers can be deceivingly fast flowing. Throw in a leaf or stick and see how fast it flows down stream.
  • Cold Water Shock – Most accidents where people have become ill (Or died) from the cold water are because they just jump straight in. Take time to get your body acclimatised. The best way is to paddle and put in your wrists for a while then gently lower the rest of your body in the water. Its not so bad once you’re in!
  • Slipping – River beds can be very rocky so its often best to wear some kind of non slip swimming shoe or sock. Never run near or around the water.
  • Always take a swim buddy. _ If you get in to difficulty a swim buddy can help. Imagine you slipped or needed help to free you if you head wild swimming alone it could be ages before you are found by a passer by. Hyperthermia could have well set in by then and you may not make it out at all.
  • Stay Sober – alcohol and water do not mix unless you are drinking the water! So dont swim drunk!
  • Respect others – Many rivers have boat users or fishermen using them so be conscious of them when looking for somewhere to swim!
  • Easy Exit – Its all very well jumping in the river to cool off but if you cant get back out what are you going to do? before you head into the water look around for where you can get out. River swimming can make you tire quicker and the cold water can impair you swimming ability.
  • Never leave children unattended. This really goes without saying but it only takes a second for a child to drown. even in shallow water.
  • Buoyancy aid – If you want to feel that bit safer while playing at the river banks you could always wear a buoyancy aid. There are some pretty cheap ones out there but make sure they fit well and can tke the weight of the wearer.

As always when having fun in and around the water make sure you take home any litter. Imagine turning up next week and having to swim through crisp packets and soft drinks cans. Try and use reusable items and take home any litter.

I hope these tips will help keep you a little safer. Then you can enjoy the many benefits from river and cold water swimming. Just remember to keep within your limits. Even if friends think they can manage something doesn’t mean you can!

Enjoy The heatwave

Nina x