Monday 8 January 2018

January - Lately I've been...

It's a new month, and a New Year! The children are back at school today after three weeks off, and it feels like it's been a long holiday! So here's what I've been up to lately:

Thinking about

We were all poorly over Christmas with a nasty bug which set me a back a bit, as normally I would spend this time of year making plans and schedules. So I've taken a slower start to the New Year, and I'll be making those plans now that the children are safely settled back at school.


I loved the Cross Stitch Map (affiliate link) that I got for my birthday, and I've nearly managed to stitch it up to date. I've only filled in the countries that we've visited so far, but there is lots of white space to fill so I've been thinking about what I want to add. I also want to sew in the routes of cruises that we've taken.

Cross stitch map

My crafting took a bit of a back seat over the holiday, although I did spend some time crafting with the children, we made lots of paper snowflakes to decorate the windows and Mia and I used Posca pens to decorate some plastic ornaments which we hung on the apple tree in the front garden. Unfortunately they've not all survived the winds, I think they've probably ended up decorating the neighbour's gardens!

I also have many craft plans for the year ahead. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to spend some time crafting every day, so far so good although things will change once we are back in a proper routine again. I've made a good start on a Christmas cross stitch sampler, I've set myself a vague deadline for completion by Christmas 2019, although as my last one of a similar size took seven years I won't admonish myself too much if I don't make the deadline!


I re-watched plenty of favourite films this Christmas as they were on the television - Harry Potter, Love Actually, Groundhog Day and the Nativity films - Nativity is my favourite Christmas film!

We've also managed a couple of trips to the cinema. I was taken to watch the new Star Wars film - Star Wars: The Last Jedi - which I must admit I wasn't really that taken with. I thought it went on a bit and didn't really have anything original or surprising about it.

We also went to watch The Greatest Showman which I really did enjoy, I thought it had a good story which wasn't too dragged out, and some great singing and dancing.


I suffered with a bit of a lack of appetite over Christmas, which was a shame as we were well stocked up with Christmas snacks. I had a nut roast for Christmas dinner for the first time, I was a bit suspicious as we ordered it from Ocado online and it wasn't exactly what I was expecting - I thought it would be a frozen or chilled one to heat up but it turned out to be one that needed water added to it and then cooked. It was really tasty and we did lots of mashed potato and other veggies with a cheeseboard, crackers, chocolate yule log and plenty of Christmas chocolates.

Travelling to

Before Christmas we spent a weekend in Warwick visiting family and friends. We spent a lovely evening singing carols at Warwick Castle. At the end of the Christmas break I accompanied Ram on a business trip to Telford having dropped the children off on the way. I had a lovely afternoon by myself in the hotel room doing my cross stitch and reading, then we went to the cinema and out for a meal.


Before Christmas I was reading The Little Book of Hygge (affiliate link) which I received for my birthday. I loved this book! So much that once I'd finished I started it again! I've just ordered The Little Book of Lykke by the same author so I'm hoping that will be in a similar vein. I really enjoyed reading about hygge, how to make your home cosy for winter, and I've bookmarked a couple of my favourite chapters so that I can refer to them easily. I'd really recommend it!

After Christmas I enjoyed Goodbye, Things (affiliate link) by Fumio Sasaki, a book about minimalist living. It's not really a self help book but it's an interesting account of how one man got rid of all his possessions and about everything that he gained from it. Another one that I started reading again as soon as I'd finished!


We've been planning how to organise some of the places in our home that have a tendency to get a bit messy. Mia's room in particular, she has lots of toys with little bits and pieces that she is always playing with but doesn't have any proper storage for them. So we've ordered her a loft bed from Ikea which also has the advantage of being able to fit a good sized desk into her little bedroom. We've also bought her a Trofast storage system with plenty of plastic drawers where she can store some of her treasures.

We've also bought a separate desk for Harry and some drawers to go inside our wardrobe. Our wardrobe is fitted with deep shelves which are really difficult to use for storing clothes, so I'm hoping that with some Marie Kondo folding we can make a much better use of the space.

Looking forward to

The children have been on holiday for three weeks, and it feels like it's been a long time! I'm looking forward to having some time to myself again and getting the house sorted as well as getting on top of my work.

I'm looking forward to having a good sort out when our Ikea order arrives, I'm also playing the Minimalism Game again this month so that should help a bit with the general clutter in the house.

What have you been up to lately?

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