Friday, 2 December 2016

A Happening Christmas Cake

It’s that time of year when those who are making their own Christmas cake acquire their own bodyweight in dried fruit’ cherries, nuts and various other scrummy things.

We haven’t made own since the millenium but this year effort is being made!

I may do 99% of the cooking in this house but the Christmas cake has never been my job. For the first time though D has helpers! This is both a good and a bad thing as the cast changed half way through from lack of interest! Conclusion – don’t bother asking a teenager to help cook a cake, they just don’t have the staying power. What you need is a super enthusiastic 9 year old.

So, last night the fruit was left to soak in brandy and the cake itself is now being mixed. I’ll pop back and add another piccy when it’s done. 😉

Are you making a cake this year?

This was actually written on the 21st November but I forgot to post it. :)

Friday, 15 July 2016

Do you ever feel like a slightly faded copy of yourself?

I'm 42 years old, (It seems really weird writing that as it doesn't quite add up to my internal version of myself) and I haven't a clue who I really am. It suddenly struck me about five minutes ago that I know less about myself now than I ever have.

How did this happen? When did this happen?

One constant that I've had is that I've always know who I was as a person. Yes, I may be a bit flighty and have a short attention span but I was comfortable with that. Currently though I'm not so sure that I'm being me. Or that even more worrying, that I've haven't been me for quite some time.

I feel like a slightly faded copy of myself! I have no direction and feel somewhat flat all the time.

Where is my overwhelming love of life, that spark that has always defined me?

Is this something that happens to all of us as we get older, a by product of our children growing up, something that happens when we are generally worn down by life?

Questions, questions, questions! Anyone have any answers as I don't.

Perhaps, now that I have realised this I can do something about it. I'm not suggesting that I try and 'find myself' as this has never seemed a good concept to me. But I think that I do need to remember who I was and technically still am. Strip away this faded veneer that covers me and re-emerge as a full person again. The Anna I've always been and wish to be again.

Don't go hunting for yourself - Just remember!

I don't think that it's surprising that we disappear into ourselves as on a day to day basis we deal with a lot of heavy stuff. Growing older in itself is exhausting, add to that family illness, stress, financial worries and a ton of other things who wouldn't need to take a breather from being vibrant!

The last few years have been very difficult for me and I think I've become used to being pinned down by it all. I need to fly!

Who's with me?

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

I'm my own boss so I'm giving myself some sick leave - well almost!

I've definitely been fighting something for a while now as I've had trouble sleeping, had strange things going on in my throat and lungs. Before I went to bed last night I got a case of indigestion which was annoying but not too bad so I didn't think much of it.

Then at 4.30am this morning it woke me up it had become so bad! Off I go into the kitchen to get some gaviscon and while I'm in there I feel like I'm going to pass out. You know the feeling, suddenly all hot and your ears start to ring and your vision closes in. Well I got back to bed asap and it all eased a bit.

Now of course, I'm tired as I've not had enough sleep but the indigestion has calmed down a bit. Weirdly though when I get up to make the boys pack lunches I can hardly walk as it feels like a trapped nerve in my leg. What now!

The boys are at school and I make my way home, stop in the shop for milk and broccolli (what a combination!) and chat to the owner for a bit. Big mistake as the vision is closing in again! Oh no, home quickly.

Now I have a ton of work I have to do at the moment. The Guild won't redesign itself and I have to get onto it but I just feel generally unwell. Arrrrgh! What to do, what to do.

Well, what I actually did (as I'm the boss) is gave myself a few hours off. Sat on the sofa and watched some TV until I just couldn't forget about the work any longer. Aha! A good thing about my desktop pc dying on me last month... I now have a laptop which means I don't have to be in the office. Result!

So here I am, laptop and planner on the sofa, still not doing what I'm supposed to be doing but hey ho, I'm doing something.

Going full pelt when your body is telling you to ease it off a bit isn't a good idea. It won't help you in the long run, so do the right thing and give yourself a break. It's one of the perks of being your own boss and you aren't skiving (even if it feels like you are). You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to making sure you don't burn out so just force yourself to take some time until you feel better.

I'm hoping that things improve tomorrow as I'm sure the work I'll get done today is minimal but either way I'm not going to beat myself up over it and you shouldn't either. :)

Signing off now to do some proper work. ;)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Why waste time worrying?

We all lead such busy lives these days, we hardly take any time to just ‘be’. On the rare occasion that you do get a few minutes to yourself what do you do with it?

Do you read, sleep, watch tv, listen to music, sing, dance, take a good look at the world. Or do you you spend it worrying about things that you cannot change?

I have to admit that I am constantly worrying about things I can’t help. Getting myself all stressed out about something that I cannot change is no use to anyone, most of all me. In the past it has made me physically ill and certainly ruined whatever I was doing at the present time. So why do we do it, does anyone know?

Why do we obsess about something that we are yet to do or probably in most cases isn’t even directly connected to us.

In the general scheme of things life is short. We have a relatively short amount of years on this beautiful planet so maybe, just maybe we could spend them more wisely. Several years ago while travelling in America I saw a sign painted on a wall. It said

“If you cannot breathe, nothing else matters”

This really struck a chord with me. It was totally right wasn’t it! Oh how much we take for granted. Every second of every day of every year we are taking a breath of life giving air and not even noticing it. If it wasn’t there we certainly would. We are never happy with anything - too young, too old, too fat, too thin, not enough money, not enough time, the list goes on and on…

What else are we not noticing?
The wonderful food we eat, the sounds we hear, nature all around us. Not forgetting of course the family around us. The wonderful, incredible, magical thing that we are loved. This MUST be appreciated for it is keenly felt if we lose it.

Yes, I have totally gone off on a tangent but I have just realised that I have recently been guilty yet again of not noticing those all important things.

So does it really matter to you right at this moment that you don’t want to go somewhere next week, that you may have made a mistake with something, that you may be short of money this month?

Just sit and breathe and be!

Try not to be sad about the past or anxious about the future. Be at peace with the present.

Friday, 13 February 2015

I need to FOCUS!

Day to day life can often force you to lose your focus completely without you even noticing. For a few months now I have felt myself floundering around and it has been really annoying me!

I have been self employed, working from my home for almost 8 years and up until now I have always had goals to strive for, ideas to bring to life. But right now I feel a bit like I have a huge brick wall in front of my face.

I have been taking this as a bad sign that I have nothing more to offer and that I should just give up. But you know what....
I'm not going to!

Because I think my initial feelings were wrong. I don't think the wall is a full stop, I think it is a point in my life where I need to push through and finally make things happen. I need to stop telling myself that I'm mediocre and that I can do many things but I don't have the confidence to actually be successful. I need to push myself.

How do I do this? Hell, I don't know, but I intend to find out. I need to stop being so shy and give my below floor level self esteem a boost. I still have a lot to offer the world and I'm going to fight to do it!

Have you been through this, how did you manage it? Answers on a postcard please (or even in the comments as it's somewhat quicker and cheaper!)

Robin Sharma When you most feel like giving up is when you most need to be keeping on via photopin (license)

Monday, 21 July 2014

I can at least see the sun again!

The last few months (actually make that 12) haven't been very kind to me. It has felt like I've been living under a great black cloud! I'm fairly sure (now) that this is a personal black cloud and that things haven't actually been as bad as they have seemed to me but that doesn't make them any less real.

There have been many occasions over the last year when I have truly felt as though I was losing my mind. Somewhere deep inside I've been screaming to get out! There have been personal complications with family and stress of D's work which has meant that my usual support network just wasn't there for me. I didn't feel that I could talk to them or anything I did try to say was too close for comfort and misconstrued or not taken well. I felt very alone....

My cloud got darker and heavier and I felt no joy in anything. I couldn't concentrate, there was nothing I wanted to do and I just wanted to cry all the time. There was a point about a month ago where it was suggested to me that I should visit the doctor and get counseling or anti depressants. I really wanted to avoid this if I could as I feel that it is a slippery slope.

Then about three weeks ago I remembered something. Agnus Castus! The queen of the hormone balancers, I had taken it as a supplement many years ago and totally forgotten all about it. What if my problems (emotional at least) were just wonky hormones? It did feel a bit like permanent PMT!

So I ordered some from Amazon (what would we do without them) and started to take it the moment it arrived. Bizarrely the effects were almost instant, my mind cleared and I felt.... happy! I was able to talk to people without getting grouchy and actually say what I was feeling. I was totally chilled out! Things still bothered me of course but nowhere near as much as they had been. Was I cured?

Well, I don't know yet. It's been about three weeks now and I am still taking them and still feeling... OK. There are situations that need to resolve themselves though and I think my business is going through lots of changes. I need new direction, I'm stagnating.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when things are getting you down, don't just jump for the obvious answers. Many people told me that I needed anti depressants which I really didn't! My cloud hasn't totally dissipated but I can at least see the sun again.

Friday, 18 July 2014

I'm not normal - I'm incredible!

Is something that I have NEVER said! 
But maybe it is time to stop putting ourselves down and actually be nice to US!

I am far harder on myself than anyone else is, my worst critic and I bet you are the same. I'm never the right size or shape, never clever enough, moan too much, don't treat people well enough, could do better! I have wonderful people in my life that tell me I'm fabulous yet I never believe them. The scary thing is that maybe if I tell them enough times that they are wrong then they will start believing it ... and then where would I be?

Why am I so hard on myself?

I had an argument with D the other month (I was being typical me and driving him crazy - see, there I go again!) I was totally down on myself and said I didn't feel that I had achieved anything in my life. He disagreed and said that I cooked tea every night and look at the lovely things I'd bought for the house!

I mean what!!  Really!! This was very uncharacteristic of him, I think I'd annoyed him quite a lot but this tiny list of achievements really shocked me and actually annoyed the hell out of me (and still does, can you tell?)

I think that this was perhaps a slight turning point in my attitude to myself. It's taken a while as I only actually realised it this morning. Because at the end of the day we don't need someone else to tell us our achievements, the best person for that job is YOU! (or in my case me)

When I started to think about it I have achieved many things in my life, in fact the list is endless as every moment I keep adding to it. I think some of my favourites are:
  • After some difficult times, finally finding a man I love who loves me and marrying him.
  • Carrying and giving birth to two beautiful children.
  • Rearing those children, managing to find a way to be able to stay at home and do this myself.
  • Running my own business which helps 100's of people.
  • Generally being an all round good person.
I think that is quite a list don't you? And weirdly I haven't mentioned my obvious skills at cooking and shopping!

OK there are no masters degrees or high flying careers in there (I've been a director of my own company in the past though so been there, done that) but to me the things on my list are important. I think they make me a worthwhile person.

So from now on I am determined to not be so hard on myself. Instead of listing the things that I haven't done I will keep listing things that I have done. I will take each day at a time and stop worrying about things I cannot change. Yes I have physical issues but right at this second I have no magic wand to change them so why not just accept them as part of me.

Is it time that you took a good look at your life and realised that you are totally incredible?

Tell me about yourselves, I want to see those lists. :)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Is there anyone listening?

I have noticed a trend over the last few years with blogs that is disturbing me. Many of you, like me, started your blog years ago (not quite dinosaur territory but not far off!) and I'm sure that if you cast your mind back you will remember it as being a very different experience than the one you have now.

I remember writing a blog almost every day and receiving comments and new followers and it felt like there was a reason for me to be doing it. Now according to google my posts do still get visited but I think many of these are probably via some mobile app or other which is more of a window than a community.

Noone takes the time to follow you anymore directly from the blog itself or just drop a comment saying Hi. When I received a new follower or a comment I always followed the link to find the person and say thank you. I found many new friends this way. But now that all we get for our posts is silence that is all gone!

I think that this is why I find it so hard to post regularly, it feels like noone is listening.

Do you find this with your blog?

How can we get the interaction back?

If you have found me here and taken the time to read this post please leave me a comment to say that you have passed by, I will do my best to find you and take a look into your world. :)

Monday, 7 July 2014

Blogging Hubbies - favour please!

Hi all!
Yes it's me! I'm still around somewhere. :)

I have a favour....

My wonderful hubby D (of the post-it fame) has started blogging! He has always wanted to write and has finally decided to spend some time every evening after his long day at work to hit the keyboard and aims to post once a day (something I appear to be totally incapable of!).

We long term bloggers know how hard it is to get a new one off the ground, even more so these days as noone seems to follow or comment anymore so if you could find a few minutes in your busy day to pop over and have a quick read (possibly follow if you like it) it would be very much appreciated.

He is still trying to find his style (I've been blogging for 7 years and still haven't found mine) so if you do like any of his posts a share on your blogs could make all of the difference and give him the much needed enthusiasm to keep his daily posts going.

You are such a wonderful bunch I have every faith in you.

You can find the fabulous man here
Those that know me will be well aware of the stress I get with delivery men so On the edge of ourgarden there is a wall will strike a chord. 
"Instead of just inviting people in, I think everyone should spend some time going out, beyond the metaphorical wall. We should all take trips to new lands and by doing so we may find something different. It may not be what we expected, but it will be new and exciting and we can learn and grow from it. "

Or maybe
The blue Hydrangea blossom - Different is good 
is more to your taste.

"If you choose to be different, suddenly you can choose to be whatever you want, to start building the person you would really like to become. It will take work. You will make mistakes, but being different will get you to a new you.

 I love posts that make me feel good so they are ideal for me. He does go deeper though in his earlier posts with 

What would humanity be without music?

Have a look and see what you think and if you like it please share (please let me know in the comments if poss). 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

5 Interesting Craft Projects - A Dandelion Pom Pom, Nail Varnish Flower Jewellery, A Celtic Heart Knot Necklace, an Egg Box Sewing Basket and Jazzy Pebble Creatures

One of the things I love about the internet is that it is so easy to find fun and original things to try. I've been having a look around and some have caught my eye. I'd like to share them with you:

Dandelion Pom Pom Tutorial with crochet leaf

You can find more information and the original Russian tutorial here  


DIY Nail Polish Flower Jewellery

I'm not overly sure how easy this will be as I think you may need a certain type of nail varnish to get it to stretch over the wire but if you do have a go I'd love to hear how you get on.


DIY Celtic Heart Knot Necklace

 Make a Celtic Heart for your loved one with help from Heritage of Scotlands Tutorial.

An original idea for a homemade sewing box


An idea to Jazz up some pebbles with the kids

I made a couple of these with my youngest when he was smaller. He still loves them now.

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