Fire Up For Fall – week 2

Weight Wars

It feels like I’m writing this far too quickly but I was shamelessly late with last weeks post. So here we go (remember positive picture!!!)


1. What have you done this week to help you achieve your goals?

Lose 10lb –  nothing on this. Just had too much on, an empty freezer and the sort of tiredness that makes planning and cooking meals feel like a marathon. Day one starts tomorrow. Back on track with the food diary and doing the food shopping this week so will go with good saintly thoughts in my head.

Declutter the offending hotspots – babysteps all the way on this. We’ve just had our bedroom decorated so that helped a major declutter of our bedroom – 4 bin bags gone. My side of the bed is now clear and I am determined to keep it clear. Last night I started work on the next spot – our landing. I don’t iron so our ironing basket lives there (full of clothes) permanently – NO MORE! Was very disciplined last night and cleared it *warm fuzzy snug feeling that I am ashamed is related to ironing*

(This photo confirms my thoughts that we need to get the carpet cleaned!)

Use the car less, walk more – feeling happy with this one. I am determined to walk more to save money on diesel and to help lose weight. I will not drive to school – its a 10 minute walk. My neighbour thinks I am mad that  I chose to walk in the rain when my car is sitting on my driveway. I’ve started wearing my pedometer again and I find just wearing it makes me conscious enough to walk more. Yesterday I did 9,000 steps which is lots for me, a more realistic 3,000 today.

Make 3 Christmas presentswasting time on pinterest planning hard for this one. Several ideas which I will start on now rather than leaving it far too late as usual.

Cook 3 recipes from my Greek cookbook – only decided on this one tonight. I got this book for Christmas and have not used it as much as I wanted to. Will get it out after finishing this post and plan a meal for this week.

2. What have you done to make yourself feel fabulous?

The new curtains arrived for our bedroom. Simple but I’m happy. I’ve wanted to redecorate our room for a few years so now its done I am very pleased. Still lots to do but its coming together well

3. What is your talent? What are you good at? {Genuinely, EVERYONE has
something big or small}

Trying new things, multitasking, crafty things, wasting time online, worrying about things that really aren’t that bad, being a mum.

4. What’s been the highlight of your week, toot your horn, what are you
proud of !

Getting that oh so scary opportunity at work. All helps towards the long term goal of a dame hood 😉

5. Fun Question: What’s your guilty pleasure TV?

Casualty (although last night I got cross, again, at its total lack of realism), love Spooks and so sad its finishing. Also at the moment I love Great British Bake Off – have even got Steven hooked on it. I sit and watch, knitting, and planning lots of fabulous cooking that I never manage to do.

Wondering if this post is as long as it feels……

Positive picture

Struggling to be a yummy mummy

I’m now two weeks into my reduced hours. Life still feels just as hectic with Eloise being on half days at school and my days off have felt busier than a normal work day. As usual I’m hoping that life will calm down soon and things will settle into a better routine (but I accept this is unlikely to happen).

So for the first time I am having regular contact with other parents with dropping off and picking up at school and taking Eloise to her ballet lessons. I thought I would enjoy this company and to be honest I’ve been shocked by how foreign it all feels.

It seems to be one big competition. Was motherhood always meant to be competitive? I knew this kind of thing happened around pregnancy and the early months but I thought the novelty would have worn off by now. I’ve sat and listened to conversations where mothers try and out do each other through their children – I wonder if the teachers are aware the power that a sticker given out at school holds on the walk home?!

One conversation complained that a teacher had found a child to be rude.  How dare a teacher say that about their perfect child? I sit there very quietly and mentally saying ‘get a grip’.  Some seem to have massive concerns over their child’s behaviour and attitude at school without considering that it has been their responsibility for the last 4 or more years so why had you not tackled it before now?

The whole thing feels very insular and self contained without thinking that there are more important things out there to worry about. I do consider how Eloise is getting on at school and worry about it. She is happy though – that is my ultimate priority. I’m not going work myself into a frenzy if she doesn’t come home with a sticker or brings a book that seems a little on the babyish side. I know she is bright, confident and well behaved. I don’t need the reassurances of others to tell me that.

I had plans to go to lots of toddler groups with Samuel. Those are on hold for the time being unless I find some normal people to talk to in the meantime!

The interview verdict

On Wednesday I finally heard about my clinical leadership fellowship interview.

I’d felt very mixed after the interview itself. At times my comments were met with very excited nodding like I had said something very crucial and at others I felt grilled and repeatedly questioned like I was struggling to get my point across. One of the questions pointed out that my service ‘is being hammered’ at the moment. I then worried afterwards that I hadn’t defended myself and my service enough to demonstrate passion. Basically I’ve spent nearly 2 weeks over analysing everything that I did or didn’t say.

So, I was very shocked to get an email this week saying that I have been accepted onto the programme and it starts in November *gulp*

Initially it looked all positive and I was excited. A closer read of everything shows it means being away from home quite a bit with lots of trips to London and Manchester. Purely from a practical childcare perspective I am scared. I’m really not sure how on earth we’re going to work it out. Steven is adamant we can and will sort it and has offered to take time off work so I can go away. (A little secret part of me is excited about 4 days away in Manchester).

So, time to hold me nerve and hope that if its meant to be everything will sort itself out. As for the amount of work I now have to do…….

Why did applying for this seem a good idea?

Fire Up for Fall: week 1

Weight Wars

1. What are your goals for the Fall Challenge? (List your 5 or more goals)

Lose 10lb

Declutter the offending hotspots

Use the car less, walk more

Make 3 Christmas presents

2. Why have you chosen those goals?

I’m trying to challenge myself but in a way that is practical and useful! If I feel more benefits from doing them then I’m more likely to stick with it. I was tempted to repeat some of the summer ones but that would be a bit too easy for me 😉

3. What have you done this week that’s made you feel fabulous? 

We had our bedroom decorated this weekend. I’ve been wanting to do it for 3 years so feeling very happy that its done. Waiting for the curtains to arrive before I do the official photos so will share soon. Oh, and if anyone wants ideas for Christmas presents we’d like bedroom things in duck egg blue, brown and cream!

4. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in reaching your goals?

Maintaining momentum when things are busy. Life has been hectic for the last two months for various reasons. As much as I convince myself it’ll soon calm down its not. I’m feeling positive though and not too stressed (exhausted, but not stressed). I have a habit of easily feeling overwhelmed and getting a bit doom and gloom so I’m making an effort not to fall into that trap.

5. Fun Question! Where in  the World do you live? What’s amazing about it?

I live in Northampton which almost in the very centre of the UK (depressingly far from the coast). I’ve lived here for 9 years. Its not a bad place – I can think of better and worse places to live.  Historically, Northampton seriously upset King Charles II in the English Civil War.  He decreed that Northampton would never be allowed to be powerful and its rumoured that this is part of the reason Northampton has never been given city status (the connections to Princess Diana don’t really help the town with the royal family either!)

The bus station was branded as one of Britain’s worst buildings in a tv series a few years ago. Its true – it is awful. The inside is far worse than the outside!

I suddenly realised I had forgotten to include a positive picture so have updated!  I started the last challenge with a photo of my children and that seemed like a good place to start this time.  Eloise started school last week. I’m finding it hard to believe that my baby is old enough to be going to school. She is loving it though.

Beat the Heat round up

A very late post – I’m sorry.  The last two weeks have been really busy. All for good reasons but so busy I just haven’t had the time or energy to blog.  So here I am!

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

Feeling very pleased with this one. I start my reduced hours at work tomorrow. Getting it all sorted out was more difficult than I thought but it all got sorted in the end. In general work is better, I’m happier, have more confidence in myself and my ability as a manager/leader and feel things are balanced well with home.

2. Get back into reflective journalling

Dabbling with this but the thought is there. Its helping with work but I’m not really committing to anything personally. I still keep looking for an altered book course. I would love to do a reflective altered book.

3. Lose 5lbs

Had a number of social occasions recently that have given me trouble. We also keep seeing reps at work who arrive laden with food. Overall I’ve lost 4lb during this challenge. I think I will carry this onto the next challenge and put it a little higher on my priority list. Someone at work is doing Lipotrim much to everyone’s horror. I’m not sure if her continued boast of 8lb loss in a week is a help or a hindrance.

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax

Absolutely nothing!

5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project


Did really well here –

  • decorate our bedroom – its starts on Friday so can I have that one?
  • join a book club – found a group and go to first meeting in October
  • run 10k – done
  • join the WI – done
  • put 5 books on bookcrossing – done
  • get mobile device at work – done
  • buy Eloise an alphabet poster for her bedroom – done
  • fix the toilet – done

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)

Very nearly there – Jack’s quilt just needs binding now and I’m planning to do that tonight. Will post when its done.  Also thinking about the next project and knitting away on my wrap. Feeling like my mojo is returning 🙂


I’m pleased I made it to the end and will definitely look out for the next one.