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29.9.14

101 Things in 1001 Days | Update One


On July 23rd this year I started my 101 things in 1001 days project. What is it all about? It's basically the same as a bucket list, except the items on the list are probably a little more achievable than those that usually feature on a bucket list, and you have a set deadline....which you don't really have with a bucket list *insert morbid icon here*.
I really enjoyed putting my list together and found it easier to group my choices into specific topics. That way it's easier to keep up with what I've done, what needs to be done, and which areas I could focus on.

Below is my updated list. I have written next to each item if it has been completed or started. I have made one amendment to the list which is towards the bottom.

I'm really pleased with my progress so far and will hopefully be able to complete quite a few other items by Christmas. 

Are you taking part in this project? It's so fun to do and to put together, with plenty of resources online if you need inspiration for your list.

Start Date: July 23rd, 2014

End Date: April 19th, 2017

Experience

  1. Go for afternoon tea
  2. Go for a spa day
  3. Go to London with mum
  4. Visit the cinema alone
  5. Eat at a Mexican restaurant
  6. Watch the sunrise
  7. Watch the sunset [completed 15/07/14. Photo documented on Instagram]
  8. Visit Scotland
  9. Have a child-free weekend away
  10. Go on holiday to Somerset
  11. Meet up with/visit 5 blog friends [Hayley: 3/08/14]
  12. Watch 10 Tom Hanks films [The Ladykillers, The Green Mile, Philidelphia, Toy Story 3, Captain Philips]
  13. See an Orang-utan
  14. Do a Segway Experience with mum
  15. Learn how to change a tyre
  16. Visit 5 London Museums
  17. Complete an online course
  18. Visit 5 coffee shops alone
  19. Watch 10 classic films I haven’t watched before [Breakfast at Tiffany's]
  20. See Blood Brothers on stage
  21. Visit Blickling Hall
  22. Grow Butterflies
  23. Grow Ladybirds
  24. Visit Somerleyton Hall
  25. Watch Banger Racing [Completed 11/08/14]
  26. Go to a murder mystery event
  27. Make 5 new friends
  28. Hire a bouncy castle for the weekend “just because”
  29. Try Oysters
  30. Take the boys on a road trip [Completed: Bedfordshire break August 2014]
  31. Have our own food festival
  32. Have a coffee and catch up with Sarah
  33. Visit the trout farm
  34. Take the boys to the Panto
  35. See 5 different shows all at different theatres
  36. Go to the cinema with mum
  37. Drive on a motorway
  38. Teach Harry to pedal with stabilisers
  39. Teach Harry to pedal without stabilisers
  40. Teach Charles to pedal without stabilisers [completed end of July 2014]
  41. Go in a hot tub
  42. Have a date night down the beach
  43. Do something special with Dale for our 30th
  44. Do something special for our 10 year wedding anniversary
  45. Do something special for Jonathans 40th.
  46. Read 5 books
  47. Watch 10 films in the dvd drawer that are still in the plastic packaging
  48. Watch 3 Men and a Baby followed by 3 Men and a Little Lady
  49. Learn all the words to Elton John’s ‘Step into Christmas’
  50. Learn the words to Vuelve
  51. Go fruit picking [Completed: 04/08/14]

Purchase

  1. Bike
  2. 40mm lens
  3. New laptop [29th birthday present]
  4. Cath Kidston dress
  5. 3 statement necklaces [Completed. 2 from Matalan, 1 from Joules]
  6. Flowers for myself every month for a year
  7. New curtains for 3 bedrooms and the lounge
  8. Harry’s fingerprint in a charm
  9. Photos for Big Nanny [Completed. Photo's handed over to Nanny on 11/08/14]

Creative

  1. Learn how to make Sushi
  2. Learn how to create and edit videos
  3. Make a daisy chain and a flower crown
  4. Photograph a day in my life every week for 7 weeks (1 on a Monday, 1 on a Tuesday etc)
  5. Complete a 1 month self portrait project
  6. Photograph a scene from the same position, on the same date, at the same time, every month for a year. (ie/ on the 10th of each month)
  7. Complete a ‘Where I Stand’ project for a whole month
  8. Make 5 different soups
  9. Create and Complete a photography Scavenger hunt
  10. Take a photo at the same time everyday for a month
  11. Use all the fabric in my current collection
  12. Make a skirt for myself
  13. Paint the rabbit hutch
  14. Get a notebook or scrapbook to document this project
  15. Go on 10 photowalks

Organise

  1. Sort photos on laptop [Completed July 2014]
  2. Sort photos on hard-drive
  3. Print photos of Harry for our photowall
  4. Tidy, organise and add to my Pinterest boards [Completed September 2014]
  5. Write a will
  6. Go for a bra fitting
  7. Sort a seating area in the garden
  8. Sort the top of our wardrobe
  9. Sort Jonathan’s shirts and give some to charity

Blog

  1. Sort sponsored posts
  2. Add tags on posts
  3. Be involved in something BIG
  4. Work with a mental health charity
  5. Start and stick to a blog project for a year
  6. Go to 3 conferences
  7. Complete the “50 Things That Can Free Your Mind” questions 

Lifestyle

    92. Lose 1 Stone
    93. Perform 5 Random Acts of Kindness
    94. List 101 things that make me happy
    95. Send 5 cards/letters to people who have influenced me or made a difference to my life
    96. Make a list of 25 things I like about myself
    97. Make a list of 15 things I don’t like about myself and make a point of working on what I can change or act on and what I just need to accept [amended] List 101 Quotes that inspire me.
   98. Wear dresses for a month
   99. Complete the 30 day shred
  100. Wear my hair down for a month
  101. Go make up free for a week

28.9.14

Happy Sunday | Week Twenty Eight

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:

Denim Dresses

I posted last week about the mini shopping spree I went on at Outfit. Well, I loved the denim dress so much that I accidentally went online and accidentally bought the same dress in a different pattern (daisies). This is another dress I have been swooning over for months and as I now knew that it suited me and that a 14 would fit (woohoo!) I couldn't resist. I think these will look lovely in the winter with a chunky knit and ankle boots....or maybe even my Uggs!




Happy Jackson Notebooks

Following on from my therapy appointments, my homework is to now keep a diary of positives in my life. If I have a bad day I can also go to this book and write down positive moments despite the negatives too. I would also write about positive ways I dealt with things. So, for example, if the boys have a tantrum over something I would write about how well I handled it and what I did right.
I have become obsessed with Happy Jackson notebooks recently and wanted one with a positive message on the front. This one was ideal.


Gelly

My mother in law came over this week and after dropping my husband off to pick his car up at the MOT station I used her to my full advantage. I wanted to buy a couple of Barry M Gelly polishes so popped into Boots with Harry whilst Charles stayed in the car with her. I got the Kiwi and . They both go so well with my Greenberry colour, next to each other it looks like a paint chart!


New Icons

Once again I have changed colours on my blog. One day I will be happy with it I am sure.
I love the new social media icons I found on Google. The colour is so pretty and definitely reflects me more than pink does, I think.

Summer Memories

I was looking through some of my photos from the Summer this weekend to use in my little series "Goodbye Summer" and just felt so content with how much we did together. As someone who would usually opt with staying at home I feel we really crammed so much in and I want to relive again as it was so wonderful yet so busy that at the time I didn't appreciate it all as much as I should have done.

What made you happy this week?

Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push

27.9.14

Goodbye Summer | Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth

When I was little there was always one place we would go if we wanted a family day out but the weather was rubbish, and that was the Sea Life Centre in Great Yarmouth.
My brother and I would enjoy being able to touch the Rays (which you can't do now), exploring the touch pool and just watching the sharks and turtles swimming in the large tank, hoping the glass wouldn't smash and fall on us.

Taking my children there was exciting, reliving the memories I made when I was little.
In the Summer holidays, when my family were visiting from Somerset, we decided to go to the Sea Life Centre for the day. The weather was really windy so a walk along the seafront or a trip to the Pleasure Beach wasn't really on the cards but the Sea Life Centre was the perfect place to go.
It was really busy, and the queue was going out of the door. I suppose the thing about an undercover attraction is that on a day where the weather is quite poor everyone will have the same idea.
Still we didn't have to queue for too long and once my Aunty had paid we made our way to the entrance which lead to the tanks.
We were hit by another queue and did feel quite disappointed that we were held up due to a photography opportunity the Sea Life Centre had for families. You didn't have to do it but it was basically a green screen which you sit in front of and have your photo taken, at the end when you've seen all the tanks you go and view your photo and pay for it if you like it. This wasn't something we were interested in but there was no way to get passed because the photo shoot area completely blocked the entrance.
After 15 minutes of waiting around I was feeling quite frustrated and as the tape was moved across for the next family to sit down I ushered my family through, much to the annoyance of the photographer, and we were able to finally enjoy the attraction.

It was very busy, and it did feel quite closed in because of this. We just paired up and took our time going through. Because it's obviously not well lit it is easy to lose the other people you are with so it is a good idea to take your time and to pair up as we did.
The boys were really interested in the various tanks. We liked the variety of tanks, and how they are all decorated to suit each type of fish inside and to make each enclosure exciting. The tanks are well lit so you can see the fish clearly. We also liked the information boards next to each tank.

There are enough tanks and variety of Sealife that you can be in there for quite a while. There are various talks and feeds throughout the day. It was so busy that we weren't able to make any of the talks. We were hoping to get to the shark talk but despite sitting there for a while no one turned up and we didn't quite know if we were sitting in the wrong place or if the talk had been cancelled.

The touch pool was also incredibly busy, and it was an absolute free for all. I couldn't help but to feel frustrated at a lack of organisation here, especially as I watched Harry get pushed and squashed as other children were eager to touch the starfish. Once I could get to him after we were seperated, and stand my ground enough for him to get a chance to touch the starfish he then got upset as he wasn't given a medal, like all the other children (if you touch the starfish you are given a medal for being brave) I had to ask a couple of times if he could have one and eventually he was given one. Due to the madness of this we didn't make it round to the other touch pool.
It was a real shame as I felt this was one thing that I really enjoyed as a child and I'm sad that my boys didn't get the chance to make the same memories as me.

We did like that the boys were given an information sheet to take around with them to collect stamps. I think that sheets like this are great to get children involved and it makes them more aware of the varieties of species and the different tanks in the Centre.

I think when we visit again we would definitely go when it's likely to be less busy so we can stay longer and enjoy ourselves and the attraction a lot more.

We were given complimentary tickets for the Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth.

26.9.14

Wipe Out Whaling

The SEA LIFE Trust is working with Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) to wipe out commercial whaling.

Whales are incredible animals and more similar to us than you may imagine.
As mammals, whales share a lot of the same characteristics as humans:
  • they breathe air
  • are warm-blooded
  • give birth to live young
  • nurse their babies with milk
  • and even have hair in the form of whiskers on their face. 
They are very clever and sociable, many forming close family bonds, and can communicate with each other through song or other vocalisations. Their intelligence sets them apart from most other animals. 
They are known to learn from and teach each other, to cooperate and work together and even to grieve.

Did you know that some populations of Humpback Whales work together to catch fish using the ‘bubble net’ method?
Some members of the group swim down below the surface in circles blowing bubbles and trapping a shoal of fish within their net of bubbles.
This gives others the chance to swim up through the centre of the net towards the surface and take a big mouthful of the trapped fish. Humpbacks take turns at blowing bubbles and eating, cooperating to help each other catch their food.
  • Blue whales have a mouth bigger than a double decker bus, and 
  • A whales song travels 1000km underwater
  • Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever lived......they can grow up to 30 metres long and eat up to 8 tons of krill (small fish) per day!
  • Minke whales are one of the smallest species of whale......but even they weigh up to 11 tons - that's about the same as 8 family cars!
  • Whales provide nourishment to deep-sea organisms......after a whale dies, every part of it's body is consumed by creatures in the deep sea - this can take decades!

 Whalers use brutal explosive harpoons which can lead to a slow death for the whale. 

Stop the transport, stop the trade.

Sign the petition to prevent whale meat being transported through EU ports.



Love The Little Things | 26/09/14

Lets completely forget how I managed to go from being obsessed with the Love The Little Things Linky, hosted and created by Morgana, then completely not being able to get round to joining in again after Britmums Live this year. Anyway, it's about time I got back on it as I've been promising myself every week that I will join in again and then completely miss the boat.

Read

Last week we had a catch up with some of our sailing friends and after a few wines they brought out some very treasured books. My husbands excitement couldn't be contained, he has been trying to get some of these books for so long but they are really hard to come by. Our friends let us bring the books home and we've been having a lovely time reading them. 
The books are from the 1930's and the 1940's and even include our boat in the original brochure, as well as other boats we are moored up with or see as we sail. 
I also bought my first magazine for a long long time this week. Glamour magazine was one of my favourite magazines at one point, and it does tend to be the one I go for if we have a long journey or if I just get some time to myself. I really like the mix of celeb stories, advertorials and real life stories.

Watched

I've made a real effort to watch films recently. With a child free weekend, and my husband out at work, I snuggled on the sofa with a blanket and nursed my hangover with Philomena. I was expecting this to be hilarious and not have a dark side because of Steve Coogan but was really quite sad. I thought I had predicted the ending but it was clear pretty soon that I hadn't. I loved how this film almost sets you up with predictions and then completely banishes them.
I didn't expect it to be quite so sad, but it really was an amazing film. I know Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge, living with a radio presenter means I have had to watch every episode countless times, so I am so used to him being in that role but it was a refreshing change. He is a very talented man.

I also watched 'Our Girl' on BBC1 which I thought was amazing. I can't wait for next weeks.

Wore

I bought some new dresses last week and am doing that really sad thing of waiting for a special occassion until I wear them. I know, loser right?!
I've wanted a denim dress for a while now and spotted this one on Dorothy Perkins ages ago but the shape looks a bit weird online, just it could have the potential to make me look pregnant so I was really eager to try it on when I saw it on the hanger (on the sale rail, woooo!!) in our local Outfit store. Oh my, I love it so much. I think it looks super cute with Converse and will also be ideal in the colder months with either my wellies, wellibobs or with tights and ankle boots. I may have also purchased this dress but with a daisy print all over it too!

Heard

The boys have both been so funny recently, but I have no idea where to start with quoting them.
Charles, after being invited out for a bike ride with his daddy: "Yes daddy. Mummy, you'll have to stay at home and do housework."

Me: "I love hearing about what you learn at school. You should tell me more about what you learn because it's so interesting."
Charles: "Well, if you go on the school website then you'll find out." (they have their own class blog)

 Harry finds it hilarious to call everyone a "business" or "businesses". He current favourite put down is "you are a terrible business".

Made

Sometimes Chicken Supernoodles are essential. To make it better, there is a low fat version! Woohoo. Over 100 calories less than the normal one.

and lastly..

I have fallen in love with the Happy Jackson range. I bought a pencil case from their ages ago and have since bought 2 notebooks too. It can be quite expensive so I only buy something if it is a real bargain and so far I have done well.
My newest notebook is my favourite. I'm going to be using it for my therapy homework and ongoing "treatment" for my depression. I wanted something that made me feel positive and that would remind me that the book is supposed to be about happiness and positivity in my life rather than the negative thoughts and feelings I get.


butwhymummywhy

Salads for all Seasons

Since I went my "it's-not-a-diet-its-a-lifestyle-change" diet I noticed a big change in the foods I was attracted too in the supermarket. Counting calories worked a treat and no longer would I look at a pork pie and drool but instead look at a pork pie and gasp at the fact that almost all of my recommended daily allowance of calories was used up in such a small item.

I found myself attracted to fruit and veg and before long I was mixing all sorts of weird and wonderful items together to come up with lots of different salads.

I think there does seem to be a misconception that a salad just means lettuce, cucumber, tomato and not a huge amount more, especially not warm foods.
I worried a lot about what I would eat in the colder months. I don't want to replace these beautiful healthy plates of lettuce, black grapes, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for hearty stews full of all the carbs, all the salt and all the calories.

I want to be able to work salads into my meals in the colder months, either by using warm vegetables or adding a handful of Florette salad onto the side of a pasta dish, or with a pie.
I've been researching a lot for healthy salad recipes that will help me to maintain my current weight, and hopefully help me shift some more lbs and found a lot of hot salads that suit perfectly.
I was one of those people who thought salads = cold, but it's not the case.
Take the below recipe for roasted carrots. I made this last week and it was delicious, in an addictive "I want to make this everyday" sort of way.

Throughout my recipe researches I've realised that salads can be made up from a whole range of ingredients, can be really basic or be a little more fancy.
The best thing for me about salads, is that not only are they healthy but they are super tasty, are great to experiment with, introduce you to new flavours and the best thing for me, is learning that they are perfect all year round.
*PR Collaboration

23.9.14

Exploring Suffolk | Thorpeness

After visiting Snape Maltings we headed over to Thorpeness. I can't remember ever visiting here before despite the name being familiar.
It was a beautiful sunny day and we struggled to find a parking space due to lots of other people taking advantage of the weather and heading here to make the most of it.

An artificial lake, 'meare' or boating lake, was created in the village and besides a large main pond, there are several channels with landings marked with names of the Peter Pan theme. Tiny islands on the Meare contain locations found in J. M. Barrie's novel 'Peter Pan' such as the pirates lair, Wendy's home, and many others which children are encouraged to play on. The Meare was dug to a shallow depth for increased safety.

There is a beautiful horse which, along with his owner of course, pulls a cart and offers rides around the village for visitors. We didn't do this as it seemed quite expensive for what it was, but we were able to go up to the horse and give it a little stroke. Harry loved this as he has always liked horses so the chance to get up close to one was a really special treat.

We were on the hunt for an ice cream but the cafe near the lake was so busy so we instead went across the road to the tea rooms there. Woah, the cake looked amazing and I couldn't resist a slice of the coffee, toffee and walnut flavour, served with a black Americano. Oh what a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

We briefly walked to the stoney beach, had a sit down and watched the boys throw stones as far as they could into the sea, seeing who could make the biggest splash.
Then it was time to go, and we felt quite sad really.

Thorpeness certainly has a lot more for us to experience and I can definitely see us returning again soon to explore some more (and eat some more of that cake of course!)