Happy New Year

I was hoping that this was going to be a good 2021, but as I write we have been thrown back into a third lockdown here in the UK. That said there is still an opportunity to make it a little more positive.

The start of a new year usually heralds a host of new years resolutions that will most likely get thrown out by the end of February, sooner if you’re me! I usually make a token gesture of exercising more, losing weight, budgeting better… the list goes on.

This year I’m not setting any major goals, I think for many of us it’ll be another year of living the new normal, with a lockdown or two in place and a bit of a wait for the vaccine to come our way, but all that said I do think small goals are something we can aim for at the moment.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What am I going to set as my small resolutions?

That’s the big question, especially as I said I’m not good at sticking to them. So, whilst I know I need to lose a lot of weight I’m starting with just 1 stone. One is a magic number. To me it starts things off. makes it easier to breakdown large goals. I am also planning to save a little more money.

How am I going to attempt to lose the weight?

By not wasting my money on the usual weight loss methods! In the past I’ve spent a fortune on Weight Watchers, Slimming World, what was Rosemary Connelly, diet books galore and even Paul McKenna. Some were small successes but most were a waste of money. When it takes over a year to lose a stone and a half there’s something not right somewhere.

I know what I need to do, I’m not stupid. Just lazy. I’m not a huge fan of the sweet stuff, I’m a savoury fan. Which also means that crisps and salty goodies are not friends with my hips, bottom, thighs, oh what the hell, just about anywhere really!!!

I think that if we use a modicum of common sense small goals can be achieved in a sensible timescale. I have decided I am going to follow some very simple and basic guidelines:

check portion size

half of the plate veggies

quarter of the plate carbs

quarter of the plate protein of some sort

keep snack foods to a minimum and making sure they are healthy-ish

drink a more water

It’s all about moderation, it’s ok to have a little treat occasionally, just not too often. I am aware that I do need to have a realistic mindset about it all. I am like most people I should imagine, we all want results fast. But, doing things fast doesn’t always last. If you are anything like me you will end up putting on the weight you lost and some extra to boot!

My main problem is lack of exercise. I can be on my feet all day as a teacher but with the Covid-19 pandemic I have started to teach more from my desk and keeping my distance from my students, which doesn’t always make for amazing lessons. Needs must. Now that we’re in lockdown I will need to make sure I get out and walk a little with the kids and at least get some fresh air.

I will start slowly I’m not built for Marathons 🤣

What about my other resolution?

I didn’t want to set a lot of resolutions as I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed, especially with all of the extra pressures of another lockdown, so my other resolution is to save a little more. I thought long and hard about it and have come across what looks like a fairly easy was to save just over £1000 by the end of the year. Ok, it’s not big money but it’s enough to get through the difficult patch after Christmas which some find themselves in.

The general principle of the was to save is to start week one with £1, then in week two double it. Week three you put in £3 and so on. So after five weeks of saving you have £15, by ten weeks you have £55. As I said it’s not much but it’s easy to save these small amounts. Carry on saving these regular amounts and by twenty weeks in you’ll have £210. Forty weeks in you’ll have £820 saved away. Fifty weeks in, almost the end of the year a lovely £1275 sitting in your bank account.

I will admit it gets harder throughout the year to save as the numbers get bigger each week, week fifty is a whopping £50 to put away, but there is nothing to say that you can’t juggle it about a little and save the bigger amounts when you can afford it. I would just keep a tally/table/record of when and how much you’ve put away to make it easier to keep track of.

I know I will be finding it hard on occasion as I’m only being paid for the lessons I teach at the moment as I don’t qualify for flexible furlough so my income will be significantly reduced. But I am hoping once schools are back and things settle down late Spring I will be in a much better position to save the larger amounts.

I will of course be aiming to save as much as I can throughout the year but thought the scheme I found was quite simple to do. If you try it let me know how you get on. Remember you can always post a comment in the comments bit below or on my facebook/mylifeandstyleover40 page. Join in and get the conversation started. Remember, be constructive I’m not about being nasty here it’s a positive blog and that’s how I want to keep it.

I’ve waffled on for a bit so I’ll leave you for now, but do let me know what your resolutions are and how you get on…

Take care, stay safe.

Becks

Xo

Christmas

Ah, Christmas. Love it or hate it you can’t escape it. with just less than two weeks to go it really is upon us.

Collage of our Christmas trees, image owned by Rebecca Palmer 2020

Everyone who knows me will know I really do enjoy Christmas. I usually have a bit of Christmas burn out mid November as I’ve binged out on Christmas films by then, but bounce back within a week full of plans and gusto on where to put the tree and which colour scheme are we going for this year, which to be fair is a no brainer in the living room as we always have a tree covered in warm soft white lights, soft toy decorations, handmade delights and family heirlooms (or soon to be family heirlooms!). Thankfully my daily décor in the room is usually neutral enough to handle the red, white and greyish Christmas theme I go for, although I’m glad we went with the box green on the walls this time it really makes the Christmas decorations sing this year!

Last year we had a green, pink and purple in the kitchen/diner as we had some funky Orla Kiely style print curtains with a purple and green colourway, but this year its changed a little as we have a navy and blush pink colour scheme. I let the kids go wild on the tree in the diner as we have loads of baubles and I wanted them to feel it was their tree, despite them always being involved in the family tree decorating in the living room. So this year its a pink and purple colourway with the odd bit of blue tinsel and a few blue baubles placed several to a branch, mostly at kid height! I resisted the urge to remodel their efforts. Ok… I admit I let it go for a couple of days and then did a slight bit of rearranging. Only a little bit though, in my defence there were eight baubles on one branch and the tree was starting to lean a little!

I didn’t get as enthusiastic this year as I normally do. Maybe it’s the general ‘feel’ of this year, but I have felt a little ‘un-Christmassy’ on occasion, that’s not to say I’m completely Bah Humbug, just a touch here and there. What I am aware of is that not everyone is happy about Christmas and the pressures and expectations that are pushed onto us this time of the year. It’s not just this year either. For some the pressures and expectations for us all to be the perfect family, have the perfect time, spend vast amounts of money we may not have, cook the perfect meal, panic buying the perfect present, dealing with crowds of people in shops that we really don’t want to be in but can’t justify giving our money to conglomerates like Amazon (I’ve nowt against them for the odd item or two but would rather shop small and local if possible). The constant pressure from Instagram feeds where the perfect Christmas décor starts way back in September so by the time Christmas arrives it’s already become a pressure cooker of emotions and stress. I used to really like Instagram but sadly there are just too many fakers out there making ordinary lives a nightmare.

For some the sheer thought of having to put on a brave face for others is exhausting, leaving them hiding away from the season completely. There may be many reasons why Christmas can leave a bitter taste in the mouth and sprouts aren’t necessarily guilty! For those who have had a bereavement at this time of year they are reminded of it at every step. I can’t imagine what they must be having to do to keep it all together. We shouldn’t judge others for not perhaps enjoying Christmas as much as us. Just like anything we don’t know their story, or what their reasoning is. We are all individuals and need to be supported.

We also need to remember that not all religions celebrate this time of year the way Christians do. I’m not a particularly religious person I’ll admit but I still like to celebrate Christmas in my own little way. I have Muslim friends who put up a tree and give presents and send cards as they like to reciprocate at this time of the year.

So whether you enjoy this time of year or not, it doesn’t matter. You are you, I am me and we may chose to celebrate or not in our different ways.

I’m off to do some wonderfully lovingly made crafts to give as gifts… er… no I’m not. I’m off to buy someone else’s beautifully crafted items 😉

Take care, stay safe.

Becks

xo

There I go again, pondering life…

And it’s little amusements. I have to admit the first bit of my post title gave me an ear worm I can’t shift! Hint: A popular Whitesnake song!!!

I haven’t posted for an age, I’m super busy and it seems as though I have few hours left in the day to do anything these days! To be fair there hasn’t been much going on to write about. The kids seem to have more and more school work to do lately so they’ve been grabbing the laptop whenever they can which leaves me stuck as the old laptop is on it’s last legs – it is eleven years old though!!!

I’ve been pondering a lot but haven’t come up with many answers to any of them 🤣.

Work has been going quite well, it suits me as it fits in with the school day and to be honest apart from ESL barriers it’s fun. I have some great kids in my lovely small classes, even though I have to teach three different classes in one which is a challenge, but, yes overall I’d say its fun. I’m waiting for the school to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and I’ll be a member of their staff as a contractor not through an umbrella company. Keeping fingers crossed the agency doesn’t charge the school too much to release me otherwise it’ll go tits up lol. It’s nice to be able to plan a little bit more financially for the upcoming Christmas season and hopefully a bit more beyond that too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

We’re back in another lock down, but this time the kids are still in school and so am I. Hubby is working all over the place at the moment so can’t see him being one of the working from home crew this time round. I’m not dreading this lock down so much as it’s not as long or as harsh I don’t think. Although that said if it does carry on longer than anticipated my views may change. Christmas is only seven-ish weeks away and a lock down Christmas isn’t what I’m looking forward to. I need to get planning as I haven’t bought any presents yet! I know, I’m such a bad mother! I get told I hate you mum/I love you mum every day and not even presents at Christmas will change the kids views – 🤣🤣🤣

I’m so not prepared for Christmas. One of my lovely neighbours is completely bonkers and has hers up already! I’ve told her it’s too early and she’s too enthusiastic. Food and wine were used as an excuse when she replied back! I couldn’t quite muster up her enthusiasm so instead of putting our decorations up I decided that we would tick off another of our jobs to do on the ever expanding list – decorating the living room after having lived with the dull grey for almost three years. To be fair it was only supposed to be a stop gap but we have had so much to do to the house it just got put to one side. I know people love Mrs Hinches grey home and have tried to decorate theirs in the same colour scheme but ours was so disjointed and soulless I couldn’t take it any more. Crown paints were perused and a colour from their Period colours range was chosen. Box Tree is so much more ‘hygge’ or ‘gezellig’ as my Swedish and Dutch friends would say.

Work in progress – part 1. Image owned by Rebecca Palmer 2020
Work in progress – part 2. Image owned by Rebecca Palmer 2020

You can see I live in a house full of chaos and clutter. It drives us all mad but I guess we’ll never change. I might have to do some more reading up on decluttering and training hubby’s and kids to put things away!

Work in progress – part 3, almost finished. Image owned by Rebecca Palmer 2020

As you can see from the images there’s still a little bit left to do but it’s much more cosy and liveable now. I still have a new carpet to buy and get fitted, I need to get some better lighting in the room along with some nice new cushion covers. Oh, and I forgot, we need some picture frames to put up on the wall as the old ones just fell apart. I’m sure there will be lots of other things we need to get to ‘dress’ the room but as long as the hubby doesn’t say another bigger telly he’ll live 🤦‍♀️.

When we first moved in! Image owned by Rebecca Palmer 2020

Do you like the lovely 1980’s wallpaper and aren’t those wall lights just lush!? This is what we moved to just over three years ago. The whole of the house hadn’t changed since it was built and decorated in 1982. Everything was circa 1982 – the old kitchen still had the date on the carcasses.

It’s not just the living room we’ve been finishing off. The kitchen has had few extras added to it but still isn’t quite done yet. We decided to buy some new posh curtains for the large window we have in the dining area and as we have a dark blue, cream and blush pink colour scheme we chose Orla Kiely Whale print in Navy. They haven’t arrived yet so I can’t post a picture just now, but I will when I get them up. Our picture wall is looking better, although we need to change a couple of pictures as there were a couple of temporary ones that don’t quite ‘go’ but all in good time.

There’s plenty more to do, including finding a space for our slightly more compact tumble dryer that we ended up having to buy even though we have a washer/dryer it just wasn’t enough with the amount of washing we were piling up. Honestly, it seems as though I’m washing for an army the amount we have. There’s only four of us! The new dryer is quite noisy despite being a quieter model so I definitely need to put it somewhere I can hide it and the noise.

My list isn’t getting any shorter, and the slow cooker has been bubbling fiercely for a while now, so I’ll sign off. Hope you’ve enjoyed a sneaky peek at our hard work. Maybe it’s inspired you to tick one or two things off your own list.

Take care, stay safe.

Becks

Xo.

My favourite Bloggers

I’m new to the blogging game as you know and I am in awe of those who are able to pull off a super clean, professional look to their blogs and also be a joy to read. There are lots of bloggers out there who claim to have made thousands in their first two months of blogging, but the reality of this is far from the truth. It takes years to be successful in the blogging world and it takes a lot of hard work – even if writing is your passion and you are super good at it. It takes a lot of time to research even a short post and then you have to write it up, and then check it and check it again!

There are lots of bloggers who fulfil the clean professional joy to read category for me. They aren’t all in the same arena either. I follow a variety of different bloggers as I have lots of different likes and interests. Here are a few of my favourites, maybe you might like them too.

(Please note that I do not receive any money or perks from these bloggers/websites so feel free to click away! I like these for what they are not for what they could pay if I were affiliated with them).

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

That’s Not My Age aka Alyson Walsh – this is a brilliantly put together blog on all manner of fashions and other things from another fabulous woman over 40. Alyson is an jumpsuit wearing now convert of skirts and has been featured in broadsheet newspapers and magazines alike. Always worth a read. She pops up on my Facebook feed regularly, so it’s a joy to read her acerbic witty approach to being over 40!

Not Dressed as Lamb – You’ll recognise Catherine Summers from the L’Oreal Advert on telly, with her beautiful red hair and equally fab style full of colour, you can’t miss her! I like her upfront and honest approach to style and being over a certain age. Her love for colour and quirky hats is abound and she writes in a truthful and inciteful way. Well worth following in my book!

Scary Mommy – very american in it’s approach but I love this blog so much for the straightforward and very honest, if sometimes scary, ‘lifebites’. I occasionally have a eureka moment when reading posts on this blog. Very informative and honest.

The Londoner – A nice little blog by Rosie who writes about her life and travels. Initially starting out as a way to keep in contact with close friends and family her blog soon grew and now she has an extended family all over the world.

Forever Amber is another blog by a beautiful redhead. She calls her blog The Awkward Girls Guide to Life. Her Awkward Guides are a must have read. They really make sense to us awkward girls.

Hayley Hall aka London Beauty Queen talks about beauty, life and a host of other delights. She’s young but knowledgeable in all things beauty and is a great read over a cuppa. It’s no lie Hayley likes the best things in life and clearly has the budget or affiliate relationship to be able to do so, but her approach is honest and her experience in the industry clearly shines through.

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs is a blog I have recently started reading. It’s a simple lifestyle blog from a mum with two young boys. Her journey hasn’t been easy but she writes all about it in her blog. Worth a quick read over a cup of tea.

Midlifechic is a fabulous blog written by the brilliant Nikki Garnet who is just peeking at the other side of 50 and has a great uptake on life and looking good. Her articles are well written and well researched. A very good read indeed. Nikki’s lockdown analysis was interesting, and how she managed during it.

Pushing the Moon written by Catherine who has dreams of being in her words; “Norfolk’s version of Martha Stewart, but in reality, I am probably more Kat Slater crossed with Ma Larkin”. She has a nice approach to her writing and as with many of the blogs I’ve mentioned always a nice pick me up read over a nice cuppa.

The Twinkle Diaries is a heartfelt blog originally set up to document the beginning of a new family with twins on the way seven years ago. Suffice to say things have moved on a bit in those seven years but the essence of the blog is still the same.

The Skint Dad – Full of useful and sometimes quite brilliant money saving tips from a man’s point of view. I have found this blog to be absolutely brilliant in its simplicity. Another must read. This blog was established in 2013 and has been growing ever since. It’s now one of the top money saving financial blogs in the UK.

Hurrah for Gin – just bloody hilarious! Cracks me up every time I read it. Probably one of the more well known of the blogs on here. But I can;t say anything more than if you haven’t read it and don’t get easily offended by a bit of naughty language then READ IT! But make sure you have your TENA pads to hand, you’ll need them!!!

So, if you have a spare few minutes, put the kettle on, or grab a glass of ‘vino’ and pop over to check these brilliant blogs out. It only takes a couple of clicks. All of these bloggers are knowledgeable and are always a good read. Don’t forget to leave a comment😊

Just a short post for now, take care, stay safe.

Becks

xo

Let’s talk about Boobs…

Boobs, bosoms, breasts, the girls, puppies, tits, baps, call them what you will. To me they’re just boobs. Love them or hate them they are a part of you, whether you are male, female or anywhere in between. Small, medium or large. Pert and perky or saggy and baggy, baby ravaged or battle scarred they are a part of you. Man boobs included here.

Our boobs are just one of those fascinating things about our bodies, they provide food and those essential first nutrients for babies, they can make us feel attractive, they are unique to you and can empower you. You don’t have to burn your bra to be a feminist these days you know. They can also do the complete opposite and make you feel like an ‘object’. They can be ravaged by disease and cause you pain. But remember they are a part of you and you are amazing.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Here’s a few facts about breasts for you:

Boobs are just glands and most mammals only have them when they become pregnant, humans are the only ones whose start growing at puberty, hence why we have permanent mammaries.

Statistically the left breast is larger than the right breast. A scientist friend once told me that this was due to the way the heart pumps blood through the body and the left side being the dominant side but how true this is I couldn’t tell you. I don’t disbelieve her though.

Both breasts are sisters and not twins – there will be subtle differences in their shape, size, nipple, colour and so on.

Apparently men are also able to breastfeed. I’m hoping this isn’t an internet fib, but apparently they have all the equipment and hormones can be stimulated enough to bring on the process. I’ve never met a man who has admitted to being able to do this, and if I’m honest I’m not sure the world is ready to accept it yet if it were true. Let’s face it women still get frowned at when they breastfeed in public even in this supposedly open minded day and age!

5000 women under the age of 45 in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The figure is higher if you are over 45. So remember to check them once a month at least. Breast screening here in the UK is offered to women at 50 or over. Earlier if there is a history of breast cancer. It’s not just women, approximately 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year too. Get and check them, don’t be shy. Get your other half, if you have one, to check them too. They know your boobs as good as you and may notice something you don’t. There are plenty of websites to visit if you need help. Coppafeel.org is a brilliant easy to view site, with all the info you need.

A pair of D cup breasts can weigh up to a stone! So we can all blame weigh gain on our boobs now!

So why am I focusing on boobs in this post?

Why not!?! It’s breast cancer awareness month so it’s high time we paid attention to our boobs for a change. Do I love my boobs? Not really, I’ve found them cumbersome and awkward for years. As I’ve got older and had kids I don’t see them as a way to look better, they are just in the way and I think your mindset changes when you breastfeed. They no longer become the sexual element of your body, they are there to serve a purpose and feed a baby. I don’t look after mine as much as I should and I have reached a point in my life where the baby making stage is well and truly gone and I can now be more focused on being me. This is important for me coming into my mid to late forties and realising that there is more to life than being just ‘Mum’, I’m a woman who, like many others, has been through a lot and I feel its time to take life back. Take some control.

Boobs are important, for our health and wellbeing. Especially, in terms of style when we look at what we wear and how the ‘right’ undies can make or break an outfit. A good bra can give you a defined waistline, make you taller and improve your posture, raise your boobs up with support and minimise them where needed. It can work wonders!

I am more of a budget bra girl. I can’t afford to spend a fortune on a Rigby & Peller bra. Whilst they are absolutely beautiful and I am sure are the best there is, I do not have the budget for one. I’m a good old M&S girl. More in my budget. I do know of two of my friends who own Rigby & Peller bras and they do say they are the most comfortable they’ve ever owned and maybe one day when I feel frivolous and there aren’t more important things to buy I may change my mind go get ‘eye measured’ (Yes, that’s how good they are!) for one. But for now, I’m sticking with what I know and can afford.

I’ve had little luck over the years buying bras. My body shape changes so much even in the space of a month so I kind of have to take pot luck most of the time when it comes to choosing which one to wear/buy. I’ve spent a small fortune in little boutiques getting fitted, thinking it’s the perfect bra and merrily handing over the money, and wearing because its soooo comfy, only to find half an hour later I want to rip the damn thing off! I’m a fresh bra everyday girl too, you change your knickers every day so why wouldn’t you change your bra every day, so I have to have a few in my arsenal to see me through. I hand wash not machine wash and never tumble dry so I know they will last – although it is recommended you ditch them after a year as they stretch and lose shape regardless.

I have a drawer full of t-shirt bras, vest bras, sports bras, balconettes, push-ups, full cups, underwired and non wired and anything in between! Most of which I can truthfully say I haven’t worn in ages 😲. I know, heathen! Anyway, I have been wearing sports bras for months as I wanted something comfortable during Covid lock down and beyond. But now I’m back to work I feel the need for something more structured under my outfits. This is causing me a few problems, not least due to the extra covid calories I’ve accumulated, but also to an ever changing body shape. Once you get to 40+ the middle area starts to spread and is harder to control. I seem to be losing my waistline, I’m not sure where my boobs end and tummy starts they’re merging into one 🤣🤣🤣.

Anyway, I digress a little… I decided on a shopping trip to M&S as I thought I really needed to get something more shapely so my clothes wouldn’t look quite so sack like on me and they’d hopefully hang in the right places. So in I go, straight to the undies section, wandering around looking at all the pretty fancy delicate bras and then feeling miserably depressed because I just ain’t gonna get these boobies into those cup sizes! So, I move a bit more to the dd+ bras. Wow, they ain’t no ‘Hello Boys’ Wonderbra style ones that’s for sure! More of a ‘Cross Your Heart’ style from the 70’s. I have come to a point where I really dislike the uncomfortable digging in of underwires, no matter how many I get measured for not one stays on for more than half a day before I start to feel very uncomfortable and want to take it off. So, for support I’m going to have to get into the habit of wearing non wired ones. Which as we all know the under band is the support factor in a bra and the underwire gives it the structure so non wired ones have to have the support factored in differently into the design. This doesn’t always make them the most attractive. I also have had many a wire poking out incident of which a friend of mine will happily tell about one such occasion in class! Only me 🤦‍♀️. I can remember the underwire poking out whilst I was merrily teaching a class full of boys, not noticing why they might have been looking at me a bit strange, they usually looked like it so nothing different, anyway… said friend pointed out the offending wire at the end of the class as one of the SEN students couldn’t stop chuckling to himself. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it. Doh!

Anyway, back to the buying… I chose a bra in the end. A twin pack. Bargain I thought. Merrily paid for them and toddled home. Brilliant, I thought I’d be onto a winner and finally get some decent shape and support. Well, I was wrong. I bought the wrong shape for my boobs. Something I hadn’t thought about much before. The shape of your boobs really does make a difference to the type of bra’s you should be buying and what will fit you best. It’s not just about measurements. I recommend you take a look at this website for advice about boob shape and the right bra to match. brafittingsbycourt.com

I now know that I need a full soft cup (with or without seams) to give me shape and support. I know that a bra that is designed to give cleavage is not a good choice otherwise I end up double cupping and whopping one in the eye! Guess I’m going to need to go shopping again. Oh the joy!

How you put a bra on that makes a difference to the shape and fit. I was told by my mum when I was young that I needed to put the straps on over the shoulders and then bend over so that my boobs fell into the cups and rested in place. ‘Hoicking’ them up I so to speak. The excess boob at the sides is also encased as it should be and then tighten up, you can ease the back fastener off a notch or two later on in the day apparently. Something about it being like our feet and swelling during the day. It works. I have been putting my bra on like this ever since and although I’m sure if people were to look at me doing it, apart from it not being a pretty sight, they would think its strange – I don’t care. It works for me.

There’s loads to talk about when it comes to boobs, but maybe I’ve covered enough for now.

Just to let you know, as this is a personal blog and I have no affiliate partners I post links to sites because I want to not because I’m paid to. I am not gaining any payment from the sites you may click on so feel free to know it’s genuine. Maybe one day I may develop a partnership with businesses but for now I don’t want that.

The moral of this story? Get a good bra, get fitted and check those boobs regularly.

Take care, stay safe

Becks

Xo

A nice weekend away…

I’m really surprised sometimes by how much writers block I can get, especially when there has been a fair bit going on over the week. There’s also the fact my kids keep hijacking my laptop when I’m in the writing mood. Not even the secret biscuit club makes them give it up!

Maybe its because I’ve got lots going on in my head and I seem unable to switch off. Especially at night. I am still waiting for the amazing quality sleep I ought to be getting now I’m in my 40’s and the kids are not so dependent at bedtimes. My kids have great sleep, they can sleep all night and have a lie-in! I can only dream (excuse the pun) of nights like theirs.

Maybe I need to get a teddy bear and have a glass of milk before bed 😉, it works for them!

It could be now I’m working more I just have so much to do and remember and not enough hours in the day to fit it all in, or perhaps it’s just how it is?!

Work seems to be going well. I’m lucky to have really small classes and its local and fits in with my needs. I’ve had a job offer from the school, who knows where it will lead. It’s nice that I’ve only been there three weeks and they think highly enough of me to want to keep me. I can feel a bit smug about it I think. Although I do have concerns over the amount of hand gel I’m using I’m sure I’ll be getting alcohol poisoning 🤣, I wonder if you can use so much you’d be over the limit if you got stopped by the police? 🤔 Ooh, these are good ponderings…

So that’s why I have no time left in the day!

So what’s been going on this week then?

Hubs had a couple of days booked off Friday and Monday, and bless him just assumed that the kids and I would be able to have a long weekend away as we haven’t been able to go on holibobs this year. I guess he was just doing the man thing being thoughtful but not thinking about term time and the fact that I have a contract to fulfil bless (she says forehead slapping in despair), so we still went away but went straight after school had finished and came back on Sunday.

When hubby had booked the break away to Weymouth the weather reports looked fair but Storm Alex put paid to that. It chucked it down all weekend. I’m usually fully prepared for most eventualities the British weather can throw at me, not this time though. The kids and hubby had waterproof coats and waterproof shoes i.e. wellies for the kids and hubs walking shoes, but me? No, I forgot to pack my wellies and a waterproof coat. So I ended up with soggy feet and just as soggy bottom and back!

Despite it being so wet and windy, we had a great time. There is something about the seaside that is magical, even when its stormy. I do know that I’m going to remember to pack the essential gear (waterproofs and wellies) next time. Along with Gin. Purely medicinal of course.

Spent a lovely first day at West Bay beach, and yes the rain was coming down sideways, but that didn’t matter. We walked for what seemed like miles but it wasn’t really. The kids were fossil hunting and must have collected half the beach in their pockets! Sea water came up over the wellies and we had given up trying to stay anywhere near dry. We managed to squeeze in another walk through the nature reserve near where we were staying and ended up at Weymouth beach. Only thing is the kids were only wearing their trainers. I’m sure you can imagine how wet they got! So much so that it poured out of their shoes when they took them off! I had to put them in front of the fire for two days to get them dry!

Image owned by Rebecca Palmer – West Bay Beach, Dorset

The drive back was eventful! Littlest one was so tired, and excited from the weekend that she threw up, good job I can deal with it. Hubby was noticeably green, although I suspect he was more concerned about his car stinking of kid sick than anything else. The boy went green and made much more of an issue of the ‘vomit’ event than was helpful. Good job I had hand towels in the luggage!

Back to school after a busy, wet weekend was the usual chaos and constant badgering my kids in the morning. I feel I’m on repeat every morning. “Eat your breakfast”, “Get dressed”, “Have you done your teeth yet?”, “Have a wee”, “Don’t forget your glasses”… the list just goes on and on. I know I’m not the only one who experiences this. There are a lot of frazzled faces in the mornings!

Reaction to a furry thing…

It was interesting how parents and children reacted when I found a furry caterpillar just as I was queuing up to collect my eldest. Said caterpillar was quite active but it had the same reaction as a puppy would! Kids were fascinated by it. I wasn’t sure what type it was so we looked it up when we got home and it was a Pale Tussock which is a grey furry moth of the quite large variety. I’m fascinated by nature so this was a great find in my eyes.

Image owned by Rebecca Palmer – Pale Tussock Moth Caterpillar/Larvae

I have noticed the kids, and myself, are much more tired at the moment which is normally something that happens a bit later in the term. But I guess the new normal is vastly different to what we are used to and adjusting to it all is taking its toll. Perhaps half term can’t come soon enough!

I’ve wittered on long enough, so until the next post…

Take care, stay safe

Becks

Xo

Musings of a mum

I find myself pondering a few insignificant things of late. Nothing of any real interest but just those little things that make me go “I wonder why…?”.

Things like:

How many people live in my house when we have four tubes of toothpaste and nine toothbrushes, I’m pretty sure we don’t have any lodgers at the last count.

How come we have so much washing when there’s only four of us?! There are three laundry baskets overflowing. If you put them one on top of the other they’d be taller than me. Alright, I grant you, me being only five feet four inches that’s not particularly difficult, but it’s still confusing as to why there is so much washing. Also see point above re: lodgers!

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Why does the carpet always look like someone’s trailed mud through the house despite only just vacuuming it!

Where does all the Lego come from! I swear I picked it all up. How did it manage to get attached to the leg of my trousers and stuck on my bum! Probably best not to go there.

Why do I never have any change for parking when I swear I raided the change pot for some!

Where does all the loo roll go? We don’t have an ‘Andrex’ Puppy! (other brands are available – haha)

Why has one of my giant pumpkins decided to grow in next door’s garden?!

See… Lots of things to ponder and waste time! I do have the answer to one of my ponderings though…

I figured out the answer as to why the kids bedrooms smell, of which I’m pretty sure if you have farty kids that blame everyone else other than themselves or ones that secretly squirrel food into their rooms and then leave it to fester into a wonderfully green science experiment then this one isn’t such an ‘I wonder’ musing, more of an ewww pass the antibacterial room spray moment.

I love my kids, honest.

I’m surprised I’ve had the time to ponder, I’ve been so busy. I’m nicely settled in at my current contract placement and have managed to make it work quite well to fit my needs what with staggered drop offs and pick ups at the kids school and prepping for classes and such like. But it’s nice to be back in work and having others around me, despite me sometimes being a little anti-social and grumpy. We all have days where we just can’t be bothered to talk to people. I find there is one benefit in the pandemic, I know but hear me out here I’m sure I’m not the only one… I don’t have to make mindless conversation to people who I have little in common with in the school playground when I’m feeling anti-social! If I talk to you it’s because I genuinely want to.

There are other things I’ve been thinking about and I have yet to find the answers to be honest.

I wonder how Halloween will happen this year? Sweets are usually wrapped but do I really want my kids trick or treating and touching sweets in bowls that have probably been handled by umpteen others? Knowing what kids are like they aren’t going to hand gel themselves up every time they touch a sweet are they!

One of my neighbours had a great idea; rather than take sweets from others we could still go trick or treating but parents/guardians take a big bag of sweets with them and every house they see with a display up then give their own kids a sweet from the bag. That way there’s no calling on others, but you still get the fun of going out trick or treating and have the sweets too. Just safer.

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

It’s a shame the school Halloween disco isn’t happening as although we moan about the noise, a sign of getting old, and the faffing about I’m sure we secretly enjoy the occasion. The kids are on a high for half term and it starts it off with a bit of fun. Never mind we’ll have to have our own disco this year. I love decorating the house and garden for Halloween so I’m going to have to go all out for the kids this time around.

Christmas is going to be a bit trickier too this year. I’m not sure I can get away with saying Santa can’t come to visit because of covid! Although it’s tempting to leave an elf hat on a chicken bone skeleton shaped like an elf with a note from Santa saying ‘the elf was delicious!’… maybe too much? Yeah, probably traumatise the kids for life. I’ll rethink that one.

Have I managed to sort out the wardrobe ready for Autumn/Winter?

No. Not fully. I have managed to sort out a bit of it, but I need to get some new vacuum bags – those ones that squash down to nothing so I can pack away summer clothes. I really need to work out better storage for my bags and footwear as I have managed to accumulate a few more into the collection and this house hasn’t got the best storage. I will be scouring the depths of Pinterest for ideas on how to solve this small problem. Another small project for me to do.

I do have workwear sorted for now, although the weather is changing and I’m going to need to dig out warmer top layers. The heating isn’t on in my classroom and a chill has been noticed by my students. I’ve been banned from opening a window as they moan at me it’s too cold. They are softies. I can’t believe I actually wore tights for the first time in months it was a little chillier than I expected it to be. That’s another area I’m going to need to look into. New funky coloured tights! Boring black is too dull. Although I might have to invest in SNAG tights this time round as they are reported to be excellent fit wise, you don’t get the extra long baggy legs that usually come with having to buy the bigger sizes! Oh, and they come in some really amazing funky colours.

I’m going to look for clothes that have both comfort and style to them when shopping for new ‘to me’ items. As my friend says ‘reflecting our changing needs due to the pandemic’ comfortable lounge wear that can be made to look smarter is how many of us will be dressing over the next few months. Who knows where it’s all going to lead but we can’t slob about in joggers everyday especially for those of us who are going into the workplace, but we may have a few more calories on board so I’m all about comfort!!!

Oh and note to self – don’t wear heels when there are cobbles on the way to your classroom. It does not make for an attractive looking gait. I have a sore ankle from attempting to hobble over the cobbles in wedge heels.

Anyhow, I guess I’ve rambled on enough for now. I’ll continue to ponder, as usual and I’ll no doubt think of many more useless ponderings. But it’s fun and fun is a good thing during this odd time we’re having.

Take care, stay safe.

Becks

xo

I’m back and hopefully on a roll!

Thanks for being with me whilst I have been grotty. It has been a fairly uneventful couple of weeks of my family and I mostly being full of those pesky ‘back to school’ bugs that you get when little ones return to school. This time I think as we have stayed away from others as much as possible our immune systems are a little lower than usual and in a state of ‘lets chill and revive for a bit’ and then Boom! the germs from hell hit you. Younger children germs are hellishly potent. I, like most teachers, used to manage to get to at least half term before I’d be feeling really bad but we were knocked for six this time round.

With hubs and I both being key workers we had to have a Covid test to rule it out. But with all the issues there are with the Covid Labs we couldn’t get a test for at least 2 days after first symptoms. Eventually ended up travelling to a test centre near Oldbury, West Bromich as there were none locally to us. Given the issues the scheme is having our test results didn’t take too long to arrive which was a relief. As I expected we were all clear.

The kids were feeling fine with no symptoms other than a snuffly nose after a couple of days of being at home so they were feeling well enough to go to school. The school were on board and allowed them back. Hubs and I were still feeling rough, hubby more than me most of the time, but I think we as mums and being women tend to put ourselves in default parent mode and just get on with everything that needs to be done despite really only wanting to curl up and sleep it all off.

Photo by Julian Paolo Dayag on Pexels.com

I was due to start a new contract on the Monday, but couldn’t start until the Thursday but thankfully the school were understanding enough to still want me to start with them. A week on and I’m enjoying being there as Head of IT by default – I am the IT department! The principal is an pleasant, amiable person to work with and its a nice little family atmosphere there. I work hard as teachers do but my class sizes are enviable and I have a timetable that has been worked around me and my needs enabling me to be able to do the school drop offs and pick ups and still have valuable family time. WIN WIN all round.

I have been obviously focussing on getting myself bug free but also I have been thinking about all the planning and bits and bobs that need to be done. Now I’m working and have a fixed timetable it makes everything so much easier. I sat down and meal planned, shopped for what I needed and have batch cooked so one less mum thing to worry about. If only everything else would be so organised.

Next on my plan is to sort out the wardrobe. Getting Autumn/Winter clothes to the front and getting outfits ready so I can grab and go in the mornings. It’s an awkward crossover time seasonally, as the September days can be glorious yet the late afternoon/evenings can be quite chilly. I notice the weather is a little unpredictable. It was wonderfully sunny one minute and yet just as I was going to my car it chucked it down with hailstones. I got caught out, despite me usually being prepared (four seasons in one day and all that!), a slightly soggy and battered mum collecting kids is not a good look.

I did the forgetful mum think the twice this week. Usually I’m on the ball and do our morning ‘have you got’ checklist with the kids. But, not for the past two days running, and consequently forgot youngest dear daughters’ coat. I am now being nominated for the bad mother award. In my defence I did ask them both if they had all of their things for school but I didn’t go through the list as I was in a hurry… oh dear… my kids think I’m the worst mum ever and it’s all my fault they can’t remember things. I’m pretty sure they’d expect me to wipe their backsides if I didn’t refuse to! It’s hard trying to get the balance of what they should really be able to do and actually doing. My two can be lazy and given the chance will get others to do everything for them. They are good at manipulating people into doing things for them!

Anyhow, I digress. I have now made sure I have a bag of coats in the boot so I don’t get nominated again for the worst parent award.

Now back to the wardrobe…

In the style club I’m a member of, the Autumn capsule has just been released which is really helpful as I can look at what I already have in my wardrobe and substitute as and where needed. I like orange as an autumnal colour, but its not my best colour so I would substitute it for a green, blue or a pink/purple which would flatter my cooler colouring better. I do wear orange though, I’m a little rebellious and will wear a colour that’s not my best but I usually compensate by upping my makeup when I decide to wear any, or using different accessories or styling my hair differently. I have brown hair with copper in it, naturally I hasten to add, and whilst my hair is warmer my skin is on the cool side, I can get away with some warmer toned colours but I do have to ensure they are the correct contrast level otherwise I get worn by the clothes and not the other way round.

I’m also looking at what I have that fits as I’m still battling with those extra pounds lock down helped me gain, it is in no way my fault, I did not up the UK’s glass recycling tonnage by an extra 50% at all with my wine bottles! I did have a rummage in a few charity shops one day a couple of weeks ago for a couple of ‘new to me’ items. I’m on a fashion challenge of the help the environment type. I would like to minimise the amount of new, proper new not new to me, items coming into my wardrobe and work on getting more quality items rather than fast fashions and poorly made items. I like the idea of reusing/repurposing items which is why I like a rummage in a charity shop as bargains can be found and if you need something for a shorter while it’s not being wasted and keeps the carbon footprint down.

What else happened this week?

Not a lot of interesting things going on I’m afraid. Just the usual daily grind and boring stuff that we just get on and do. Had an email offering me even more work, but I can’t take it as I’m already signed up for some. Contract work is like buses, they all arrive at once! Never mind, maybe next time.

The car had to go in to the garage for an MOT. Oh dear. It had been given an extension due to the lock down, but as I had a broken coil spring happen it would have been a failure and illegal so I booked the car in for some work and a service which was very much needed. Knowing the car would be for a day or so and Bessie bus would be sleeping over I had a little courtesy car whilst she was away. It was an automatic. I hate automatics! But it wasn’t a bad little car if I’m honest, it did what it needed to do. Got me from A to B and further without any glitches. And to be fair I almost stalled Bessie when I got back in and drove it as I’d got used to driving the auto in a short amount of time. Maybe I’m warming to them, maybe when I win the lottery and buy a posh car I’ll have to get one. In my dreams!

I could breathe a sigh of relief when it came to the bill as it wasn’t as much as expected, especially as I’m waiting for payday to rock up. Although, I noticed when I got home that I hadn’t been charged for the MOT so I’ll be popping back up to pay for that bit. I believe in Karma and I can’t let this slide, I like to be honest and I couldn’t feel right not paying for something like that. Call me a fool, whatever. My daughter doesn’t like Bessie bus anymore as she has had a really bad rattle fixed and little one says that Bessie doesn’t talk to us anymore. Sweet. Kids have some strange attachments don’t they? I’m just happy the heatshield is fixed and doesn’t make the car sound like its having a coughing fit ready to keel over!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

What’s next?

I haven’t a clue! Apart from the wardrobe reshuffle, I haven’t planned much. But now I’m feeling more human again I will need to start looking at organising myself over the next few weeks.

I know that I have a couple of interviews with stylists coming up so that’s something to look forward to. I have a travel bucket list post I’m writing and I do need to do some style posts somewhere in amongst all this too.

I may have an update on the kitchen and it’s progress (or lack of). Who knows. If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be….

Thanks for your company. Take care, stay safe.

Becks

Xo

It’s oh so quiet…

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

I’m feeling a bit Meh, at the moment. This week has been a bit difficult. Tired kids equals grumpy kids and top that off with equally tired parents makes a stressful week. It’s been one of those review weeks, where I sit down and review the year, I can’t believe Tiger King was the most normal part of 2020, and look at going forward into next year. Budgets are done, plans made and it’s a busy time, but I can’t help thinking it’s all been in vain 🤦‍♀️.

Kids are back in school after almost six months at home since the start of lock down. Fair enough the little one went back for a good few weeks leaving me with the eldest to home school and then BOOM! the summer holidays happened. Oooh fab, she says with an eye roll, another six weeks with my lovely dear little darlings making fab memories already taken off the rose tinted glasses by this point!

I felt sorry for the kids teachers having to deal with all the feral children all that little bit older and wiser or so they seem to insist. But, then again, I have to deal with everyone else’s feral teenagers so actually I’m in this for myself! I need to get earning some money – I’m going to need more Gin!!!

Have they been put back educationally? Not that it seems to be if I’m honest. They are doing well catching up on their work missed, and having loads of fun with their class ‘bubbles’. Reading, writing and spelling is coming along a treat and they’ve only been back a few days. Kids and teachers working hard together.

A friend asked me what was I going to do with all my free time now that the kids are back. Seriously?! Eyebrows getting higher and higher and are about to leave my face! Free time? Whats that? I get the kids ready, take them to school, faff with the staggered drop offs battling for a car parking space where the car stands a better chance of not being hit by parents who clearly haven’t been behind the wheel for a very long time as they’ve forgotten the general rules of the road and how to actually drive, then I make it home do battle with mountains of washing, do the housework, run some errands and then go and attempt the pick ups repeating the faffing of parking. Once said children are collected, it’s home to do spelling, reading and hand writing practice, doing things for the blog, whilst attempting a wholesome evening meal simultaneously. And, no… it doesn’t always happen. They get fed, and they get fed healthily most of the time but sometimes a shop bought pizza will do!

Oh, yes, and this is often squeezed into a small micro slice of time if I have work on. So my free time? I have none! Straight to work after dropping kids off, work, then collect, then do all the kids stuff, food prep and housework. Woohoo, such a fulfilling life, another eye roll. Have I had a break this year? No. Do I need one? Hell yeah! Am I going to get one? Probably not this year, Covid-19 and all that. Although, I may eventually get a honeymoon next year – 10 years you know. Yep, I haven’t had a honeymoon despite being married for almost 10 years. Sigh. There is a story behind this though and it involves me being preggers when I got married and then having to go straight back to work teaching two days after my wedding day. It will happen one day I’m sure.

My days this week since the kids have been back in school do remind me a little of the BJork song ‘Oh so quiet’. It is eerily quiet without the kids about, but then when you have been lulled into a false sense of security… they’re back! The house then resonates with screams of laughter, tears, he said she said, and the usual “Muuuuummmmmm”. Ah, its lovely.

Despite it being a faff it’s actually useful having staggered drop off and pick ups, at least this way with social distancing in place I don’t have to play the playground politics with clique little groups, biting my tongue whilst being polite as I was brought up to be. The best bit that made me laugh was last year finding out that your car just is just “too shit to be in our group” but when you rock up in another car (much newer, and borrowed because the old knackered one is in the garage being fixed) you are flavour of the month. And, yes someone actually said that and is actually that shallow. If you speak to me pleasantly and engage in polite conversation because you want to do so that’s great, but if not I’m not that bothered. I’m only annoyed with your ignorance and arrogance. Maybe we are fighting the same battles or not. Doesn’t matter, we are who we are and we shouldn’t have to ‘prove’ ourselves to anyone. That’s something I’ve learnt over the past couple of years after my kick up the bum boost (referring to a past post here!).

On a style note, I have the task of figuring out what to wear now for work as I have some part time work at a local school. I’m also going to have to go Bra shopping! I have been as feral as the kids I think since lock down started, I haven’t worn an underwired beastie for almost 6 months!!! I have been keeping the ‘girls’ under control by wearing sports support but let’s face it they are great for support but not for style 🤣🤣. Watch out M&S here I come.

I have been learning a lot from my amazing friend who is a stylist (again mentioned in a previous post), and I am looking forward to getting myself out of the rut I’ve found myself in and I’m going to start by looking at how I can bring out my personality in my clothes and accessories as I do have a great collection but they are seriously underused. I’m fed up of wearing my daily scruffs, of which I have been slobbing about the house in since lock down. I need to find comfort and be a little bit stylish. Or at least try. If I’m feeling brave enough maybe I’ll share before and afters at some point. Be nice to me though!

Anyway, it’s a short one this week. But I do hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’ll do better next week😉.

Take care, stay safe.

Becks

Xo

Covid-19, I let my guard down…

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I find myself in a bit of a quandry. I took my eyes of the ball so to speak and now I feel a little bit of a hypocrite. I became complacent, a little too secure and boom it hits you.

Cut to the chase… there is a possible case of Covid-19 nearby.

It’s really strange as I was having a socially distanced conversation with my neighbour about Coronavirus and this happens. Very unnerving.

Why is this an issue?

It’s a worry for me as I’m classed as high risk and I thought I’d been so careful when out shopping. Masks and hand gel abound! But I wasn’t so careful at home. I thought I was, I thought I was sticking to the social distancing guidelines. But it seems as though I let my guard slip. Easing of restrictions was a relief in a way. I could allow the kids a little more freedom and allow them to play outside. But it seems so did all the other parents on the estate. Looking at the guidelines again it says that there shouldn’t be more than 6 in a group and only from two households.

There have been quite a few children playing in our road – it’s the safest on the estate and the smoothest so roller blades are out in force. It’s like an army out there. I have allowed my kids to play out and hadn’t considered the risk so much. Like I said I let my guard down. But, I feel rotten about it all because for the first time in an age my kids are seeing their friends and being children, doing kid things and finally enjoying themselves. No homeschooling to worry about, no being cooped up inside and only going out into the garden for small amounts of time. Actually being able to have a little freedom to grow, laugh and play.

I find out from a friend that someone is quarantining with potential symptoms. Why does this concern me? It’s a little more closer to home than is comfortable for me. I know I should have been more vigilant, but you just don’t think it will happen to ‘us’ or be near us in our sleepy little village.

I have been more on the ball since I found out about the potential case and I know it’s almost a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted but I feel I need to get back on the ball especially as the kids will be going back to school and I may have potential supply work. Although I’m still not sure how I feel about going back into secondary schools. It’ll be a bit safer with masks on in public areas where social distancing is harder like corridors and such like, but I can’t see how overcrowded staff rooms will be safe unless staff are going to be staying in their classrooms all day and not having much interaction with other colleagues.

I look at some of the scenes that have been shown about the illegal raves and packed beaches and I can honestly say I’ve been the first to comment how irresponsible those involved have been, and yet I have been the same. Irresponsible. Albeit in a smaller scale. It’s such a shame as the kids have been desperate to get out and play and yet I have no control over anyone else’s kids many of whom don’t live on our street, but they can’t be policed all the time and nor should they. We would be the first to complain about kids being computer game addicts and stuck in front of a screen for hours on end and yet when we do get them to go outside it’s almost a no go and they get moaned at for being kids. Can’t win. Can’t please everyone.

I have reminded my kids to be more socially distanced. Definitely no sharing of toys/bikes etc, and make sure there are no more than 6 in a group. Make sure they don’t go into their friends gardens and houses, and stick to the rules! If there are too many of their friends out playing I’ve said to come in, or go somewhere away from the crowd. I think it’s such a shame they have to play that way but ‘rules is rules’ so they say. I had read the guidelines inside out and thought I knew them. I did. But as I said I let my guard down, and got a little too comfortable and now I need to up my game again. Luckily the family involved were sensible and had a test done and self-isolated, thankfully for them the test came back negative.

So, sorry if your child wants to play with mine, it just might not happen so much at the moment. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the way it has to be.

Have you felt your guard slipping like me? What did you do about it?

Take care, stay safe

Becks

Xo