Bedroom Makeover Required

The house that we rent is a bit like a tardis . From the outside it doesn’t look all that big, but when you get inside, the rooms are all good sizes, including our bedroom which is a pretty impressive size.

The size of our bedroom is great, the colour scheme…not so much! We’re talking baby pink walls and bright pink carpet. Sheesh! We moved into this house September 2018, and I am so ready to say goodbye to the pink, or at least some of it.

Living with my in-laws, means sharing a living room but we don’t necessarily want to spend every evening with them, so we use half of our bedroom, as a sort of mini living room, which includes my desk with computer, and TV. As we spend a fair amount of time in there, I’ve decided that the room needs a makeover (lockdown boredom came into play here too I think).

I found a new duvet cover set online the other day, 50% off in the sale (pictured below – pic from which I thought would work as a nice contrast with the bright pink carpet, and is the colour scheme I am looking at for the walls.

So, next we will be purchasing some paint for the walls. I’ve found a nice Dulux Teal colour I like, but just trying to find a good price for it, or if there is something similar which is more cost effective. (I’m not cheap, I’m just more cautious with money, after our past financial problems).

I’m not very clued up on the psychology behind colours for different interiors but have heard that Teal encourages a calm and reflective mood and is the colour of restfulness and mental and spiritual balance, which sounds pretty good to me.

Any thoughts on my colour choice? Have you been undertaking any Lockdown home improvement projects?

Discovering Dandelions

Discovering Dandelions

We ventured out of our own garden for a change of scenery, to the nearby Belladrum grounds, less than 2 minutes down the road in the car.

We didn’t walk very far round the grounds as the weather turned on us, but I did enjoy the short distance we went, and look forward to returning on a more regular basis.

One sweet moment was Archie taking great interest in the dandelions, something he’s never really been bothered about before.

Alfie seemed to enjoy his walk also and was fool of smiles when we had to stop and take shelter for a few minutes.

I enjoyed snapping a few shots of the dandelions on my phone and playing around with filters on instagram. I do miss photoshop though! I must look into getting it again.

I look forward to returning one day to explore the grounds more thouroughly and take more photographs.

Finding Beauty in your backyard

Finding Beauty in your backyard

The house we live in, has a great big garden, which is a treat for kids to run around, with such big open space. The downside is that it’s not flat, with tree roots underneath which makes for an interesting time when playing football with Archie and the ball constantly rolling back to you.

The garden has one single cherry blossom tree, and is my favourite part of the garden. On Wednesday we were all out in the garden, sitting opposite this tree having brought out the garden chairs, to soak up some of the gorgeous rays of sunshine. Archie calls it a cherry tree – I think he’s waiting for cherries to appear!

Taken in our garden, just the other day

I really need to dig out my camera and explore our garden. The photos I’ve included in this post, were taken with my mobile. The first picture included in this post was taken at the end of May last year and when I look out our window and see this beauty on a summer’s evening, I feel so lucky to live here.

This garden has been a godsend during lockdown and I am so thankful that we have it. We have lived in a number of places before, but never had a garden like this at any other residence we’ve occupied. I truly believe we were meant to be here, living at this house, during this time.

Bringing Back Movie Night

Bringing Back Movie Night

As I try to figure out that age old question of who I am, what I am, who I want to be, etc, I ask myself questions like, what did I like before? What did I love? Is there anything I miss?

Then I remember…

I loved getting lost for a couple of hours in a narrative that had me gripped (Captain Phillips, 2013). I loved escaping to another world that made me laugh at the ridiculous (A Kid from Brooklyn, 1946). I loved female empowering films (The Help, 2011). I loved a storyline with a twist at the end, particularly one that had my jaw hit the floor (The Prestige, 2006). I loved when a movie gave me the warm and fuzzies (You’ve Got Mail, 1998), just as much as one which had me in tears (American Sniper, 2014).

I loved movies.

Actually, I have loved watching movies for as long as I can remember. As a child, I didn’t just watch the Disney Animated Classics such as The Little Mermaid and Bambi. I watched old Danny Kaye and Bob Hope films over and over again, with the occasional Judy Garland and Doris Day film thrown in. I knew Mary Poppins from scene to scene, song to song, and got lost in the magic of that wonderful musical. I have my Granny to thank for this, as she would tape old classics for us grandchildren when they came on TV.

I took my love of movies into my teens. The Blockbuster days, where many, many Friday nights were Movie Night. I would stand in Blockbuster for an age, perusing the shelves, deciding on which 2 or 3 movies were coming home with me, while my Mum would wait for me impatiently in the car.

Our old Blockbuster in Inverness, since knocked down, and a McDonalds now stands there. Photo Credit Richard Dorrell

Into my twenties I went, and still the art of the motion picture had me in its grip. I think being single for so long (met my husband when I was 29) aided my movie consumption.

I once tried to work out how many films I had watched using IMDB but gave up counting around the 885 mark but I know that the number is likely to be more around 1000. I’ll try and count it again one day.

My husband doesn’t enjoy watching movies. He will watch the occasional one, but they tend to need to be comedies to keep his attention. We have been together almost 6 years, and in that time, the number of movies I have watched has dramatically dropped (nose dived really), because I had finally found someone to share my evenings with and didn’t want to spend my evenings ignoring him, while I indulged myself with a good movie.

My feelings on the subject have now swayed the other way somewhat.

My life at the moment seems to be full of wife and mummy activities – washing, ironing, baby bottles, nappies, home lessons, tantrums, making dinners etc. and not too many activities that are just for me.

I want that escape, I need that escape, and I’m selfishly going to take a couple of hours a week to rediscover an old love.

So, Friday nights for the foreseeable future, will be movie night in our half of the house.

These days of course, it’s not a walk round a movie rental store to find the perfect movie for movie night. It’s more about 45 minutes of working your way towards carpal tunnel with the remote control, in your search to choose what you are in the mood for, from the vast selection of movies available on the many digital streaming services.

I’m not an idiot. Friday nights will still come with interruptions – “Mummy I need…”, but I want to persevere and once again enjoy that wonderful feeling of getting lost in a good movie.

Do you like movies? Any favourite genres or particular films?

Photo credit: None of the images displayed in this post belong to me

Trying to…

Trying to…

As with many, many people around the planet right now, there are times when I just want to scream.

First a little backstory.

I live with my husband and our two sons, a 4 year old and a 13 week old. Also within the same household are my in-laws.

At the moment, my husband and I really need to be doing some much needed marriage maintenance, (and no, I’m referring to all aspects of the marriage, not the bedroom) but this current lockdown does not make that easy.

Our 4 year old’s routine has been turned upside down with the lockdown and I’ve struggled to settle him into a good home routine so far. He almost definitely has ADHD ( we were in talks with our GP, Health Visitor and Early Years Practitioner before lockdown) and I have found it really difficult to pin down a schedule between the meltdowns and tantrums, and the restlessness to always be wanting to do something else. Lately, on top of this, he has had a serious case of the green eyed monster, when it comes to his baby brother and Mummy’s attention. He was fine when Alfie came home from the hospital, but I think now that Alfie is three months old and I take more time to do things like tummy time with him, Archie is realising that he is no longer Mummy’s only little boy.

Alfie is a fairly good natured baby so far, apart from when he screams the house down when he’s wanting fed but that’s pretty standard for a baby. He has had to get used to a rather excitable older brother, who is not always so gentle with him.

Living with my in-laws came about through some financial troubles on both our side and theirs and we came together to share living costs. From that side of things, it’s great, with a lot less pressure. We also filed for bankruptcy (I’ll write about this another time) which was one of the biggest decisions we have had to make in our marriage. While it was a very tough decision, it was also one of the easiest ones, which removed a colossal weight off our shoulders and helped us sleep a little easier at night.

We both do miss having our own place and look forward to the day when we can once again afford to do so. For now, we are thankful for the home we have and enjoy having a house with a big garden for the kids.

Anyway that’s a brief description of what home-life looks like, and I began this post by saying there are times that I just want to scream. Actually I have, into a crumpled up duvet, a good few times.

I have had many, many conversations, occasionally disagreements with my husband about how best to get into a routine with Archie and Alfie, while also making time for us and a little time for myself. Rather than actually getting anywhere, the same conversations are regurgitated, evening after evening, and the rut I feel I am stuck in, seems to get deeper and deeper, and reaching a happier medium or equilibrium for my family seems a distant fantasy.

For the last seven or so weeks, I feel like I’ve just been trying to get through each day, with as few meltdowns from Archie, as few disagreements with my husband and trying to get some time for myself. What gives me comfort though, is knowing that we are not alone in this scenario. Millions of families around the globe are going through similar struggles.

The procrastinator in me has not helped the situation. But why do I procrastinate? I think my husband is right when he suggests that the reason why I procrastinate is the fear of failure. This is ironic because while I’m procrastinating, I feel like I’m failing.

Yesterday was the start of another week and the start of an attempt at a new routine. I invested in a couple of new tools – a family weekly wall planner and also a reward chart for Archie.

One day down, and so far, so good. In fact I’d go as far to say that we had a very successful day. I got through all my tasks, Archie enjoyed earning his stars and while I felt tired at the end of the day, I also felt that I had accomplished something. Plus I realised, if the day goes a little off plan, it does not mean that the day is ruined, you just need to switch things around and adapt. Switch and adapt. Yes, I realise that this is hardly an earth shattering new concept, but give me a break – my baby brain head has been fogging my mental judgement since 2016!

Part of this post may have sounded like a moan, but that in itself is a form of self care. Having a moan or a rant can be cathartic and can help you stop, step back, take stock and try and figure out a way through the fog.

(This post has taken over a week to write and probably shows! I need to include in my planner, time to blog, so that posts are a little more organised and less all over the place).