Tomorrow sees the kiddies go back to school. Little Lady goes into juniors and D starts afternoons in the school’s nursery class. I will miss them. A lot. Yes they are pains in the bum sometimes but they are MY pains in the bum and I love spending time with them. Little Lady can’t wait to go back tomorrow and see all her friends. D on the other hand, doesn’t like change. The new classroom, new teacher and new routine is a bit overwhelming for him so I’m sure we will have a few tears tomorrow (and not just from me!).

I hope the extra time for me means I can get a few things done, tick a few things off a never ending list. There are doors to be painted, rooms to be re-painted, fabric to be made into gorgeous items. ๐Ÿ˜€

But that’s not what I came here to write about. Tomorrow also sees the start of a year long “buy no new clothes” challenge for me. I have been half heartedly decluttering the house for over a year now. I am getting there, albeit slowly. Then I read this post. Since working at a local hospice, this subject has been weighing on my mind. When I die (and with God’s grace that won’t be for many, many years yet) someone will have to sort through my things. This thought has helped me while decluttering but it’s still not enough. We as people, buy so much stuff. So much unneccessary stuff! Because we can. Because we are taught to believe that we need all the stuff.

I then saw this article on facebook and it got me thinking again about clothes. All four of us here have wardrobes that are fit to bursting and yet we all tend to wear the same handful of items more than others.

We have spent this week sorting out school uniforms. Our school has the same polo shirts and jumpers for girls and boys so D has Little Lady’s polo shirts as she grows out of them. The trousers we bought him last year still fit him though and Little Lady still has one winter dress and two summer dresses that still fit her. We were also gifted some skirts that we have put away as they were a bit big for her. The dresses that were too small have been passed on to a friend who has a little girl a few years younger. So for this coming school year all we have needed to buy was school shoes.

Jen Gale who was looking for a new challenge, 3 years after having spending a year buying nothing new, suggested a buy no new clothes challenge and I was very keen to get on board with this. Starting tomorrow I will buy no new clothes for me, hubby or the kids. There are exceptions and rules however, and these are as follows:

  • underwear does not count. I will not buy secondhand underwear for any of my family. I am, however, planning to make some of my own underwear again.
  • Running clothes and shoes. My current running shoes should last me until early next year but when they do need replacing I will be buying new. I won’t risk injury by buying secong hand. Running clothes, I will try to make do with what I have or buy second hand if I can.
  • Uniform/work wear. I wear my own clothes to work and therefore can get away with this but hubby can’t. He is provided with a polo shirt but some of the other kit he needs may need to be new due to safety reasons. We will shop around and try to buy second hand if we can but I will not compromise his safety. School uniforms will be second hand as much as possible, however, due to the school logo, if it poses difficulty in buying second hand then at the last resort we will buy new.
  • Shoes. I won’t buy second hand shoes especially for the kids. They have both recently had new shoes so should be fine for quite a while.
  • I am allowed to make new clothes and buy second hand. I cannot however, buy a lot of new fabric in order to make new clothes.

So that’s my new challenge. It would be great if anyone else wants to join me and Jen in this year long challenge. You can set your own rules to suit you and your family. Could you do it?

Getting away

After the hectic fun that was the Holiday Club, hubby and I needed a bit of time to relax. Relaxing at home isn’t really the same as you can still see all the housework, all the jobs that need doing. We are lucky that we have some lovely friends who own a caravan by the sea less than an hour away, and they let us have a couple of days away. The kids love being by the beach, hubby loves the sea and me? Well I enjoy the quietness you get being by the sea. I packed some wool and my crochet hooks and was really looking forward to some down time.

I wasn’t disappointed. The weather was warm, dry, sunny. The sea was cold, wet and pretty calm.

Sea on the rocks

We spent time on the beach, we played in the park, we even had a ride on a double decker bus! The kids had a whale of a time!!

Crazy golf bridge

The kids played cars, built sandcastles, ran around and generally had a fun and exhausting time.

Caravans with view of the sea

It was so warm I even braved a paddle in the sea. Normally me and water do not mix but I decided I would go for a paddle and I could cross another item off my Day Zero Listmum and kids paddling in the sea

Not the most flattering pic of my behind but the best of a bad bunch lol!

Have you been on holiday this year? Where did you go?

Lonely at the Top

I am a big fan of social media. Okay FaceAche gets on my nerves sometimes with all the “look at me” and “poor me” statuses but on the whole I am a big fan of social media. Why? Well it’s a great way to keep contact with people you may not see very often but also for me it stops me feeling lonely.

I am pretty much on my own every day. I work from home most of the time and most days I spend my time with D. Hubby works every other weekend so one in two weekends I spend on my own with the kids. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids and love being able to stay at home with D but it can be very lonely.

Conversations that revolve around Paw Patrol or Team Umizoomi is not my first choice I must admit. By the end of the day I am desperate for some grown up conversation, desperate to connect with another adult.

Even at work, I spend most of my time with children and young teenagers. I spend my working days doing things like checking which felt pens work:

Or sharpening a gazillion colouring pencils by hand

Only to be complained at because I bought the wrong type of biscuits/squash *rolls eyes*

And after a full day of conversation with a 3yr old who is currently undergoing intensive speech therapy, twitter is my saviour. Twitter has people ready to share their own stories of being a SAHM/D or workers who share their commuting problems, making me grateful I don’t have to do that. But most of all, people who make me feel “normal”….. Whatever that is ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s your take on social media?

With a little help from my friends

It has been a busy week her at alifetimeofdiy. Hubby and I have been running a week long holiday club at our church. Though it’s only 2 hours a day for 5 days and a 45min service on Sunday, it takes weeks of planning.

Months before the holiday club I need to come up with a theme. This year I chose Superheroes as what kid doesn’t like superheroes? Personally I’m not “up” on superheroes so I spent hours researching superheroes and their powers in order to chose which ones to use each day. Once the superhero had been chosen and the corresponding bible hero, we needed games, crafts and talks each day.

On Monday I told the story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt. I had seen an epic cardboard box maze onย Pinterestย and was desperate to use it for the game. The boxes had to be big enough to fit our biggest child (and the adults!!) through so I put a request on my personal FB page and also on my local village FB page. The response I had was amazing. So many people keep large cardboard boxes “just in case”. They know they may come in handy but don’t know what for. I was helping a whole community declutter their garages lol!!

Storing the boxes was a bit of a pain and the church congregation spent a few weeks avoiding large boxes taking up space in the vestry. But when made the maze was fantastic. So good we redid it on Friday as the kids, well and adults to be fair, wanted to do it again!

cardboard box maze
The maze was epic but what on earth were we going to do with the boxes once we had finished with them? They were too big and too many to put in the recycling. We had cut entrances into them so they couldn’t be reused as boxes and we couldn’t possibly store them any longer.

I wanted to get rid of them responsibly. We reused some to make 3 Goliath’s for another game and used some to protect the carpet while we did messy games. But we still had so much left to dispose of.

A friend of mine has her own craft business and I asked her if she wanted to take some for packaging. It was an offer that benefitted both of us. She gladly used recycled cardboard for packaging and took everything. I think her husband was a bit bemused when he came to pick his kids up and was presented with 2 car loads of boxes to take home ๐Ÿ˜€

It just goes to show that a simple question can lead to better environmental choices. I disposed of the boxes without sending them to landfill and she now has a shed full of recycled packaging for her business. Win/win for us and a win for zero waste.

Have you ever had a simple question lead to better environmental choices? I’d love to know