A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A splash of happy colours #HappyAndHome

Happy and Home Week Two

 

Thank you so much to all of you lovely people who are joining in with Happy And Home, I’ve loved finding other people’s posts to share and picked up some lovely inspiration for our home too. Spring is in the air, and with it dashes of happy colours. I have lots more happy home inspiration, and info on joining the linky below. Do come and join this lovely community of happy home enthusiasts.

One of my goals this year is to make our home a happier place, I realised setting goals around banishing clutter didn’t inspire me, because of the negative focus, so instead I want to ‘make more room for the happy stuff in our home‘. So of course that means clearing out some of the stuff that doesn’t work, but it also means making more room to put happier things on the walls, and more room to do the things that make us happy as a family.

 

Continue reading

10 more shortcuts to success

 10 shortcuts to success

This year feels different, I can’t quite pinpoint why, but the little changes I have been making are really adding up to big changes. I’m running three times a week, and after feeling like my body would never adapt to that again, I knocked 3 minutes off my 10k time this week. My organisation system seems to be finally working, there are days when all the things on my to do list actually get knocked off. I’m writing lots more, but still have time to do fun stuff. Family life seems happier.

I didn’t believe it was little things I needed to overhaul, I thought I needed to change everything – so I couldn’t be happier. The shortcuts I shared last month seemed to resonate, so here are some of the shortcuts I have made recently:

  1. Lay out your clothes the night before.

I can’t bear routine, but this feels like more of a ritual. After weeks of scrambling through the washing pile we decided enough is enough. Mr A sorted the washing while listening to L read on Sunday night, we all put our clothes away and I joined the kids in laying out my clothes for the next day. The change was remarkable. It seemed to buy me so much time and headspace. Sometime we are so busy doing things for the rest of the people in our lives, we forget what we can do for ourselves

2. Family Batch cook

Two hours spent chopping and cooking together as a family on the first Sunday in the month resulted in a pile of old takeaway boxes full of spag bol, chilli and an Innocent veg curry recipe I have fallen in love with. Having three meals a week we can just take out of the freezer has bought us so much time in the evenings. We enjoyed the cook off too

3. Plan the week ahead

I use a simple tear off pad with spaces for writing each day of the week. I am finding myself doing this task on a Friday now for the week ahead, instead of a Sunday night or Monday – a sign I am much more organised than I was. The pad has 7 spaces per day, and I am realising that 7 is also around the maximum my brain can handle on a daily to do list – it is helping me to say no to things that will overfill the week.

4. Pomodoro breaks

I’ve installed the Pomodoro app on my computer, which I love. It times you in 25 minute bursts. This is definitely making me more productive and I noticed how much I am loving the 5 minute timed breaks. Strech, cup of tea, bit of pottering or a quick tidy up, a burst of facebook, and then back to being really productive.

5. My Fitness pal

A friend mentioned this to me, I was cynical, but if you are trying to lose weight it really is a clever app. It monitors your activity via your phone too, so gives you a great indication of how much extra food you can eat based on the exercise you do. As a runner I find this really helpful. It also looks at the nutritional balance of your food, so you can see where you diet is lacking. Fascinating stuff and it is working well for me

6. Monthly Goals

If I had tried to do all the things I wanted in one go last month I would have achieved nothing. This year seems to be really falling into place, because I am taking it a bit at a time. Having monthly goals is helping. Building up exercise first, then revisiting my diet has worked on the health front. Managing my time and tasks last month, before getting more serious about the pomodoro technique and productivity has worked in terms of life management.

7. Champion your loved ones

I’m realising how much the little things you do for family and friends come back to you in abundance. I read this article about relationships, it said the people in the happiest relationships responded to their partners ‘bids’ for attention a whopping 87% of the time. A bid could be a question about something at home , a comment about a newspaper article, pointing out a passing bird, a grumble about an ache or pain. The researchers could predict with startling accuracy the couples who would be together, based on observing the responses to each others bids.

8. Get up before everyone else

That time on your own with the day is sacred, whether you write 500 words, do some exercise, sit and sip tea, sling a load of washing on, it doesn’t matter. The day belongs only to you.

9. A Candle on my desk

This makes me so much happier and cosier.

10.  New Smoothies

Last month, after getting fed up with lousy experiments, I decided it was time to try some new smoothies, the best ones I made and the recipes are here.

Do have a look at last month’s little shortcuts too, there are some great tips there too.

10 shortcuts to success

Image Credit – Shutterstock, Bouquet of Lilacs, Big Bouquet

8 happy home projects #HappyAndHome

Happy And Home Week One Rounded Up

 

Happy and Home is the place to link up and inspire others with whatever has made you happy at home each week. From curling up with a new book, to a new recipe, to painting the walls, a home makeover, hygge-ing the living room, to a craft project, a movie night with the kids, an organisation trick, to a date night cocktail or garden battles won. Happy and Home is about sharing the love of being at home, and making a happy home. There is no weekly theme, it opens on Mondays at 7am.

Something happy and home to share? Just link up your post and join me in sharing the home love socially. Each week I will round up and link to some of my favourite posts, and will be sharing all the posts linked up socially. Wayfair will be picking out their favourites and Becky has kindly offered to create a Happy and Home Pinterest board with her nearly 200k followers, so I am pinning posts there too.

It could be as simple as a picture of one thing that has made you happy at home this week, or maybe you have lots of photos and a whole post full of home love. I spend a lot of time complaining about the state of our house, the things I want to change, but recently I am remembering to focus on the many happy little things that happen everyday and the bits of our home that make me happy. The rest will follow!

 

I loved last week’s happy home projects, I will share lots this week as it is the first week and they really show the range of what Happy and Home can be. Continue reading

9 Soulful Soup Recipes & Soup Maker Giveaway

Soulful Soup Recipes

 

These are the soulful soups I rely on to cheer me up, many also make use of this month’s seasonal vegetables. Last month it was all about smoothies, but as we move through February, I am realising the warmth and comfort of soup is what I need to keep my healthy ambitions on track.

I’ve been heavily reliant on the slow cooker and hob for soups, but we were given a soup maker as a gift and I am learning to embrace it the speed of the soup maker, especially at lunchtimes and for quick tea – throw it all in and 20 minutes later soup is ready! I have one to giveaway today too, and you can also use it as a blender for smoothies, double win. Continue reading

40 Things to Do At Half Term

40 things to do at half term

 

I’ve joined in with a things to do at half term blog carnival this week. This means as well as my three suggestions for what to do this half term, you can also check out all the other wonderful ideas from lots of fab blogger friends too.

 

Three Things to Do At Half Term

I’ve chosen three things to make that can fill part of the morning or afternoon. Your creations can also be used to fire their imaginations for a bigger activity, I love it when one thing leads to another, and so do my kids. Continue reading

8 Homemade Pizza Tips (Giveaway)

8 ways to amazing homemade pizza

On Fridays in our house we love to make pizza together, each week you can guarantee someone has a new twist on last week’s pizza, a new topping to add, a different cheese. Rather than waiting for the pizza delivery, we are in the kitchen together creating. It’s quickly become a favourite family ritual.

We’ve tried a few things in the last few months, here are our top 8 homemade pizza tips: Continue reading

Happy and Home Launches

Happy And Home

Happy and Home is the Monday place to link up and inspire others with whatever has made you happy at home each week. From curling up with a new book, to a new recipe, to painting the walls, a home makeover, hygge-ing the living room, to a craft project, a movie night with the kids, an organisation trick, to a date night cocktail or garden battles won. Happy and Home is about sharing the love of being at home, and making a happy home. There is no weekly theme.

Just link up your posts and join me in sharing the home love socially. Next week I will round up and link to some of my favourite posts, and will be sharing all the posts linked up socially.

It could be as simple as a picture of one thing that has made you happy at home this week, or maybe you have lots of photos and a whole post full of home love. I spend a lot of time complaining about the state of our house, the things I want to change, but recently I am remembering to focus on the many happy little things that happen everyday and the bits of our home that make me happy. The rest will follow!

Continue reading

Travel: Stay in a Medieval Lodge at Warwick Castle

I love this bed in the Medieval Lodge at Warwick Castle

Fancy sleeping in this bed!

 

History lovers, Horrible Histories fans and fellow house fantasy dreamers, if you are looking for somewhere unusual to stay this year with family or friends, look no further, but act quickly, these will fill up fast! From 1st July 2016 you will be able to stay overnight in a medieval lodge at Warwick Castle in the ‘Knight’s Village’. These two-storey lodges look perfect for weekends away with medieval evening entertainment and two day access to the Castle and its attractions.  I think they offer good value too, especially as today I’m sharing a 10% discount for A Residence readers. Continue reading

House Fantasy: War and Peace Interiors

 

War and Peace BBC - Photographer: Mitch Jenkins

BBC – Photographer: Mitch Jenkins

Time for another House Fantasy, let’s play War and Peace interiors. Have you read War and Peace? I haven’t, but that’s okay, because I read that some of the BBC cast hadn’t read it beforehand either. Have you been watching it though?

War and Peace is full to the brim with plush, brooding velvets, whimsical dashings of lace and opulent gold tassels, luxurious interiors are on the way to be the next trend to take the world by storm. What do you think?

I wasn’t sure at first, I’m definitely not talking a whole house or a whole room makeover, but the costume colours really appeal for starters: greys, reds and dusky purples. There are some of the elements of the Pantone Colours of the Year that I found myself strangely hankering after. But there is enough colour drama to stop that being too wishy washy. Continue reading

10 Questions About Rehoming a Greyhound

We rehomed Max about 2 years ago, when he retired from racing, via the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust. Little did I know how many questions I would answer about rehoming a greyhound on our daily walks, from workmen calling out 'Did he win anything?' to toddlers asking if he is a donkey, to people seriously considering adopting a greyhound wanting to know about food and walks.

 

We rehomed Max about 2 years ago, when he retired from racing, via the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust. Little did I know how many questions I would answer about rehoming a greyhound on our daily walks, from workmen calling out ‘Did he win anything?’ to toddlers asking if he is a donkey, to people seriously considering adopting a greyhound wanting to know about food and walks.

Once I had the best chat with an elderly Scottish gentleman who told me stories of helping his Dad train a greyhound by cycling across the park with various treats tied to the back of his bicycle, then there is the lady across the road had a greyhound she says lived to be 19, and always stops to stroke Max. He is a great conversation starter.

 

1. Did he win anything?

Max aka Bower Hawk apparently won 20 of his 60 races at national level, which is pretty impressive, so I am told, I’ve never really been a fan. He had a knack of coming in from the back and winning, which made him an exciting dog to watch. His father was the legendary Westmead Hawk, the first animal to be given a waxwork at Madame Tussards. Continue reading

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