Lent 2015

Today sees the start of lent. Lent is traditionally seen as 40 days representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. It starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. For those of you who have just done the calculation, yes that does work out as 46 days but traditionally Sundays were exempt (so 46 days minus the 6 Sundays).

Over the years I have given up a number of things for Lent. I have given up chocolate, fizzy pop, meat, and wearing jeans to name just a few. This year I have decided to do something different. Instead of giving something up I am planning on doing an act of kindness everyday for 40 days.

In the run up to today I have spent hours researching Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) and amassed over 12 pages of ideas. While doing my research I was surprised at some of the items that were listed. Things like “Smile at a stranger” “Let people merge into your lane in traffic” and “Donate to a foodbank” There were a lot of items on the list that I do anyway and was surprised that they would need to be listed.

While I was surprised at the content of some of the lists it did teach me a lesson. I had in my mind that a RAOK had to be a big thing but actually it doesn’t. It can be as simple as making another person smile.:)

In recognition of this my first act of kindness was spending the day sending silly photos of myself and the kiddies to my sister who lives away. She has text me to tell me that the photos have made her smile all day so I guess I can take that as a win 🙂

Have you ever done a RAOK? Or been on the receiving end of one? If so what was it?

Make Me A Wardrobe 2015

Jen over at Make Do And Mend Year set herself the challenge to make one piece of clothing a month, meaning she would expand her wardrobe by 12 handmade items in a year. Although I thought it was a great idea I didn’t actually get on board with it until the end of January. I didn’t think I would have time to commit to this along with all the other things I want to get done this year. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. If I handmade items that I would definitely wear then it would be a big boost to my wardrobe that has been bursting at the seams with “nothing to wear”

Last week I set to work decluttering my wardrobe. I bagged up all the clothes that I haven’t wore for a while, those I have no intention of wearing again and those that don’t really suit me. I filled a bag and my wardrobe looks a lot less cluttered. I can kactually see what clothes I have now.

As I work mostly from home, I live in jeans, casual tops and cardigans. I have a few handmade dresses which I wear but only one handmade skirt.

Over the course of the year I would like to add the following handmade items to my wardrobe

*casual tops
*skirts that can be worn with tights/leggings and boots
*A couple of new cardigans
*3/4 length trousers for the summer
*and possibly some jeans

As we are already half way through February I need to get cracking. Anyone else taking part in mmaw2015? Why not follow #mmaw2015 on Twitter to see what everyone else is up to?

Home Truths

It embarrasses me to admit that my house is constantly untidy. In fact if I were to take a photo of the front room floor at this moment you would see what I mean. Actually wait right there and I will…..

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If you were to visit me, you would need to squeeze past the pushchair in the hallway, negotiate shoes that have just been flung rather than put tidy and then clamber over the train tracks in the front room before you even get to sit down!

I always thought that when I grew up and had a house of my own that it would look like something out of the magazines. Perfectly decorated, accessorised beautifully and – more importantly – tidy! Maybe I’m not grown up enough yet???

Our main problem (if you don’t count the kids 😉 ) is clutter. Basically we have too much stuff! No amount of organisation or storage is going to give us a tidy home. One of the items on my Day Zero list is to declutter 100 items. So far I have decluttered 78 items and I still have a long way to go!! To clarify, I haven’t been counting individual items but boxes or bags of items that have been donated or sold on, ie a box of toys so a lot more than 100 individual items have left the house already!

A bag of toys that was rehomed

A bag of toys that was rehomed

So far we have been through the play room and Little Lady’s toys and books. I have also made a start on my wardrobe and have so far removed 36 items, although according to my rule that will only count as 1 as it fitted in one bag.

Paperwork that was years out of date

Paperwork that was years out of date

I made a good start on old paperwork too and shredded two boxes full of bank statements that went back to year dot, well near enough anyway!!

In January I decluttered 31 items. There was a few individual items in that count as they were big things like my running buggy and D’s baby carrier and isofix base but mostly that was boxes of toys. I must admit here that the attic is chock full of pretty much every toy they have ever owned! I have serious hoarding issues 😮 I am doing my very best to conquer this though. I have given away pretty much all the kids’ baby clothes I had held onto and most of their baby toys.

There aren't even any "Nan's " in our family!

There aren’t even any “Nan’s ” in our family!

Originally keeping all our baby items was a good thing. They were all saved for “the next one” and poor D has lived with his sister’s hand-me-downs throughout his 3 years on this planet (toys not clothes I hasten to add!). But alas, there will not be another “next one” so it all needs to go. The items are being donated to various charity shops or to friends and other items are being sold on selling pages etc with the money going to Little Lady’s Disneyland fund! Well she did do a very good job of her bedroom. The box below is one of 4 boxes she decluttered! Like mother like daughter I’m afraid!

Books and toys

Books and toys

No wonder my house is never tidy! How on earth can it be with all this stuff?? I am a woman on a mission this year and I will get the clutter down to a managable level. We will never live in a minimalist house I know that but if I can reduce our level of “stuff” to a half then the house should look a lot better.

I hope! 😮