A sign that worked 

this is a quick post just to say exactly two weeks and one day ago today, I decided to try using a sign to help me on my decluttering mission. 

I will set the scene for you. I’ve just got home from the morning nursery run and there in my porch are 2 leaflets for 2 different pizza places, by the time I leave to go and do the afternoon school run there is a leaflet for a Chinese takeaway. When I get back from the nursery run there is a leaflet for a local nail bar and some information regarding a local political party. Once the kids are in bed and I go to put out a bag of rubbish there is another leaflet for a local Indian takeaway and a leaflet advertising a local handyman and window cleaner. 

I get it, people need to advertise their business but I really do feel the amount we get on our street is excessive, it’s DAILY even in a Sunday and it is multiple times a day. I decided I would be one of those people and out a sign in my porch window. This is what it said: 

  

I hoped it didn’t come across as rude. I laminated it and put it up, not holding out much hope. To my surprise It has been over two whole weeks and I Am happy to say we have had NO junk mail. It’s one less thing for me to do. 

Do you have a sign? Does it work? Would you consider having a sign? Let me know. 
Thanks for reading

Cherie x

Cherrysnotmtname 🍒

Our Favourite Five [August]

Hey Folks,

It’s that time again (where has a month gone?) for me to link up with the lovely Maria over at Suburban-mum.com to participate in the Our Fave Five link

If you haven’t checked out last months just click { HERE} and by the power of the Internet you will get to see that post too!

                  Number One: Tenerife 


August saw us take our first ever family holiday abroad. We were very lucky that we had the help and support of both Nanny Julie and Nanny Janice, as well as the bloody brilliant Aunty Lauren and Uncle Paul. Having the three children, I honestly do not think we would have coped without their support.

It was wonderful to have a break and create so many new memories. We were very worried going away with Zachary and how his ASD would affect his ability to cope. We needn’t have worried as he was phenomenal! We had his first pee on the toilet, getting on stage to sing and made friends. We stayed in Playa de las America it was extremely touristy which meant everything we needed was within walking distance (including the chemist!) and we were right on the beach front. We went to the wonderful Siam Park and had a great time. Tenerife was perfect for our first family holiday abroad.



               Number Two: The GoPro

 

Uncle Paul, bought a GoPro for the holiday and it was an absolutely wonderful thing to have. We got some wonderful photographs and even better videos. We were able to capture Darwin floating in his rubber ring, Zachary swimming with his face underwater and Oliver dive bombing. We were also able to capture videos at Siam Park. We have videos of the huge fake beach, the Epic mechanical wave and the children’s lost Kingdom. It was all so much fun and it is wonderful to have the pictures and videos as a reminder.

The GoPro was bought from Cash Generator so it was extremely reasonably priced. So when it was lost in the sea Paul wasn’t too upset, more about the photos and videos we had lost. To our amazement whilst in the sea 10 minutes later Paul found the GoPro. It was pretty awesome and what was pretty cool was the fact the GoPro had recorded the whole thing.

have a little watch of our video it is pretty cool (well I think it is).


         NUMBER THREE: Organising 

 

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I have concentrating on trying to get organised. We have bought new furniture and have been working on new routines. We have also been decluttering and minimising trying to make everything a user friendly as possible. Some changes have been big changes such a removing our second settee and replacing it with POANG chairs and others have been as simple as sorting out the children’s arts and crafts tray click {HERE} to see my post all about the beginning of my journey to getting organised.  Putting the felt pens, pencil crayons and wax crayons into little plastic IKEA cups, makes easy storage, its easier for smaller fingers to access, super quick for tidy ups. Not having them all in pencil cases (how they were stored previously) means we can also see what we have. The children like the new system and have been requesting to draw EVERYDAY! It’s great as it means they aren’t in front of a screen.

 
   

  NUMBER FOUR: Darwin turning two

 

It happens so fast. Our babies grow so rapidly before our eyes. I admit this year I was very distracted by the holiday and had not prepared for his birthday. We got home on The Wednesday morning and Darwin’s birthday was going to be the following Monday. Thank you internet shopping. I was able to pick up the few gifts we wanted to get him. <notonthehighstreet.com> had some lovely wrapping paper and also party hats that were actually quite cheap. Thankfully it was free delivery and I ordered a few pieces.

So my baby is no longer a baby, I can not dispute that. He is a little man who knows what he wants and when he wants it. He has learnt to say “no” and for added dramatic effect he also has learnt to stomp his foot down whilst saying it. It was a low key event with only family we saw over two days. He has a Peppa Pig cake and lots of cuddles. He had a lovely time, they always do at this age. He is enjoining asserting his independence, not wanting to hold any ones hand for anything. He is adorable.

 
         

 NUMBER FIVE: Monochrome

  

I love prints. I love anything colourful, floral, bright, sparkly etc. just call me “Mrs Magpie”. However, recently I am really starting to fall for the monochrome look. It started with the boys clothes. Black is perfect! It’s dark and easy to keep clean, it’s pretty hard to stain black, even for my kids. The white makes it look brighter and provides and element of style. Overall it is just so practical. The black and white also look lovely when enhanced with one of my brighter pieces.

The picture above shows my top 3 monochrome buys this month.

1_ The White plate with black clouds and plastic tumbler with black clouds are from Buddy and bear they are strong, durable and funky we got ours from Archie’s boutique it was packaged lovely and was very speedy.

2_ The gorgeous black and white grid print dropcrotch romper is from Dudes and dolls it was £24 excluding postage and package. They have just Launched their new A/W line and it’s lovely.

3_ My Lovely hubby bought me a watch whilst we were on holiday. I have never been much of a watch person, but at 40 euro it was too good of a bargain to pass up, the equivalent of about £30-£34. It is a Casio and it is waterproof and I love it. It isnt fancy or glam, but it is functional, practical and monochrome. Win. Win.Win.

So there you have it…a break down of Five of our favourite things from August. What did you do? If you would like to join in with this go and check out the wonderful Maria over at Suburban mum.

Thanks for reading

Cherie x

Cherrysnotmyname


[Project Life Overhaul: Part Two] • All in a weeks work•

Hi Guys, 

So a little over a week a ago. I told you in <PART ONE> that I planned to make some big changes in my life. I wanted to update you as to what I have been doing to start creating the positive changes I want in my life. 

It’s been about both the big and small changes. Firstly I got the husband involved, so he and his credit card took a trip to IKEA. We had to be sensible so only bought the things we really needed. Which when visiting IKEA is a hard task, hence why he went alone, armed with a list. 

Below is the layout of our living room, before the trip to IKEA.  

 
As you can see we had 2 settees and A LOT of toys. We only have the one room down stairs, so we were using the sofa to partition off the front section, which had more storage and a desk. Our main purchase from IKEA were two POÄNG chairs. 

  
We decided to go for the black/brown frame with the Finnsta Grey covers. We are trying to give the room some kind of identity and have decided on Black/White/Grey which we feel works well with having children. The Black and Grey cover a multitude of sins and the white makes the room feel fresher and more spacious.  

Below is a picture of the new layout.  As you can see there are a few other changes we have made too. We wall mounted our PC, which meant we could get rid of the computer desk and we moved the Mac over to the Television unit to create a media centre. This has resulted in us feeling less segregated as a family even if we are doing different things in the same room. We also purchased a rug, a mid sized and a smaller coffee table. All of these provide multiple uses. They can be pulled out when needed or tucked away when not in use. 

  

The children’s toys are stored in small plastic boxes and sorted into categories such as 

> Building blocks

> Dinosaurs

> Transport

> Figurines

We moved the yellow storage unit upstairs into the boys room, the small table (which has a chair and turns into a highchair) to the other end of the room. The Melissa and Doug play kitchen has also been kept down stairs but has a new home at the other end of the living room. 

*** WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF CLUTTER, UNTIDINESS AND CHAOS ***

I realise that the above photos lead you into a false sense of security thinking my house is actually quite tidy… Now let’s see the real before photos. The photos that show why I felt this was too much and I couldn’t cope any more. The reason I felt totally and utterly overwhelmed. Please don’t judge, I am doing my best to change this. 

  
These pictures disgust  me and it is my house, so God forbid how it makes you feel. I will say this was a particularly bad day, but I am not making excuses. There are a few reasons our house has got into such a state. 

> Too much stuff

> Feeling overwhelmed

> Laziness

> No order, structure or routine

It has to, had to stop! As you can imagine this was affecting my whole family. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Telling myself I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t deserve a family. I couldn’t understand why everyone else could have nice tidy homes and ours looked like a pile of poop. I have now realised that it was a combination of things which all impacted on each other. 

I was lazy, that’s a hard thing to admit. In my head I would battle that statement (as would many people I know). I would tell myself I have three children, 1 who has autism spectrum disorder, I walk 20 miles a week doing the school run, I am breastfeeding and was co sleeping. I was exhausted all the time also because I suffer with my iron levels and am almost always anaemic. I would tell myself I am constantly cleaning and tidying. However I constantly felt overwhelmed. I had no idea where to start and often felt as if I was firefighting and never managed to actually put the fire out so we could start a fresh. The feeling of being overwhelmed would consume me and often I would find any excuse to avoid actually tidying, cleaning, sorting or decluttering. Often leaving the house for the whole day. For some reason I get an image of an Ostrich in my head when I think of this.

 When I did tidy I never had any clue where to start and often did it all wrong, I also have this uncanny ability to make things 100 times worse before they get better. It drives my hubby insane. There were also a lot of half started jobs, which were left half way through creating more mess and chaos. This combined with the fact that I never delegated any jobs to anyone else in the house meant I had got myself to a point where I couldn’t do this any more. They say you have to hit rock bottom to start rising again and I had hit it hard. 

Changes are being made now. Simple changes, but they are having a profound affect on our home, our family and myself. The changes I am going to talk about are things that normal people do instinctively, but remember I have spent the past 10 years feeling overwhelmed and being lazy. 

I have decluttered (although I still need to do more, especially the black unit). I got rid of 4, yes FOUR bin bags of stuff. *shocked face* and I don’t miss any of it. I have been tidying the toys up every evening (when you don’t get downstairs till 10pm some nights, tidying toys is the last thing you want to do!) which means I don’t come down to a mess every morning (although the kids create a new mess within 0.6 seconds of being downstairs). I have been cleaning up all messes created by food instantly. I have my antibacterial spray and a specific cloth at the ready. I clean the main surfaces a few times a day. I sweep and vacuum everyday and mop every other day. I have also made a cleaning schedule which is in my HOUSEHOLD file which I will talk about in a separate post. 
It may not appear that I have done that much and the things I have started to do daily (and that’s the key) are just common sense. I feel like a veil has been lifted and I am feeling much more positive and I know that with the right changes I can do this. One of the biggest differences I have noticed is in my boys. They are playing more and are asking to do things, Zachary has found a real love for drawing which is lovely. Now we have a dinner table he loves to sit there and get his pens and pencils out and draw and our youngest Darwin is also starting to show an interest too. 

  
If you have made it this far. Well done! 

Thanks for reading

Cherie x

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒