Reasons To Be Cheerful

1. It's Christmas! I don't normally do much to celebrate, but want to change that now Little Lady is here. Daddy only got Christmas Day off, but it was a great day. Little Lady was spoiled, by us and others. Kiki is also amazingly great at buying pressies, she has a lot to live up to. I have, amongst others, a new sewing machine (yay!) and an ereader.

2. I'm overeating, now that probably doesn't sound like a reason to be cheerful, but I know that's a sign all is not well. Not sure of reasons why, but I'm aware of it, at least. So that's good, right?

3. There has been a few events that have happened recently, where the 'old me' would have tried to help / get involved, classic case of dealing with everyone else's problems so I don't have to deal with my own.

I know these reasons might not seem logical to you, but to me they are huge steps forward. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend x

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week's reasons to be cheerful.
For more information on what Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC) is all about please check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

  1. Michael Bublè! Had a good night at the tribute night. I was feeling sick and queasy beforehand, and overindulged in alcohol (possibly as a consequence), but meal was nice and spent some time away from everything with daddy.
  2. I am getting a new sewing machine for Christmas! I am so excited about this. I have been trying to learn but it takes 10x's as long to do anything with my ancient knackered machine, I'm hoping to get more actually done!
  3. Kiki's nanna (F) came round on Tuesday, she has had a lot going on in her life lately, (deaths, illness, etc.) but she always finds time for us. Given that she isn't family officially, she does more for us than almost anyone. I am very grateful for her.
  4. (An extra this week) I won a DVD of Guess How Much I Love You from Kate On Thin Ice's blog. I love the books and can't wait to watch with Little Lady.

 Little Lady

The 12 Days of Canvas Competition

The 12 Days of Canvas Competition
(A sponsored post) 
It’s (nearly) Christmassss!
Everybody needs a reason to be merry at Christmas and what better way to create some Christmas cheer than to have a sweepstake and give away some amazing prizes!

YourImage2Canvas are currently running the 12 Days of Canvas Christmas competition on their Facebook and Twitter page. The 12 Days of Canvas started on Monday, 10th December and will run until Friday, 21st December. 

Each day, for twelve days, a new fun competition is announced on either the YourImage2Canvas Facebook page or the YourImage2Canvas Twitter page. Participants then compete from 9am to 5pm in a sweepstake to win canvas print prizes; entrants can win some fantastic prizes including YourImage2Canvas gift vouchers and beautiful canvas prints. The perfect last minute gift or a nice home addition for Christmas.

Are you looking for a last minute Christmas present or stocking filler? If you have a friend, wife, husband, brother or cousin then a personalised canvas print is the perfect sentimental gift, and a great way to showcase special photographs around your home.

Just like YourImage2Canvas on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter to see how you can get involved.

Good luck!

Saving money - mum's method

I was watching Martin Lewis's show on Tuesday and he mentioned the downshift challenge. If you're already a fan of moneysavingexpert then you'll no doubt have heard of this. Basically, you drop down a level at the supermarket:

1) Premium (Finest, best)
2) Brands own (Kellogg's, Bisto)
3) supermarkets own brand
4) supermarket value

Martin suggests by doing this you could save £1000's, full details here. He does say also there maybe things you prefer buying at the next level up. His point is that you buy with your wallet, not your head. How many times have you thought x is better because a) you know the brand or b) it's a named brand?

He has done various tests and often people can't tell or prefer cheaper brands. I personally prefer cheap supermarket cola, for example, I think Pepsi & Coca Cola taste like syrup, but it is down to personal preference. If you don't like, say value beans, you move up a level on that item each week.
There's a thread on about the best and worst from each label.

I tweeted @MartinSLewis during the show when he mentioned the downshift challenge and said what about if you have to buy savers range anyway. The response was 'little we can do on that'.
Now I think he missed a good marketing point here.
Yes, I know he sold moneysavingexpert but it is a mine of useful info. How about a link to:

For me the easiest way to save money, plan meals in advance, yes it sounds like school, Tuesday we have fish, Wednesday meatballs but you can buy what you need with no waste.

I debated writing all meals down on paper and tombola style picking them out, eccentric but fun, well for me.

Another great point, again a MSE board supermarket reductions here and here. Find out when & where, and how your local supermarket reduce stock, insider knowledge.

Also use your local market / farm shop / butchers. They will tell you what is in season, how to prepare and cook.

If you can't cook, now is the time to learn. There are ways for almost everyone:
  • Cooking class (adult education centre / Jamie's ministry of food), apps, 
  • good old fashioned books (library, ebay, charity) online (good recipes and usually helpful hints and tips from people actually using the recipe),
  • experimenting (cooking isn't baking, throw what you want in, weights & measures don't really count, just a bit of sense! And I say this with a lot of end of the month meals coming from less than a carrier on Ready, Steady, Cook!)
  • Asking an elderly / lonely neighbour or family member, many family recipes are lost. You'll learn a new skill and (hopefully) they'll enjoy the company. Offer something in return and make them happy too, your first cake, Christmas lunch, first meal of new year. My neighbour, although elderly has a better social calendar than me, so what about some DIY / window cleaning.

Kate (on Thin Ice) mentioned some great ideas on her How to save money at Christmas post.

How about merging the Christmas presents and money saving one? Only things you make? Now this can turn into a nightmare if you're not careful. I tried a homemade Christmas last year, everyone got food gifts, but I made most into a hamper and costs got way out of hand.
  • Fudge is easy to make and can be flavoured with different things easily.
  • Gingerbread men? The perfect man? You can bake some for friends, attach a poem. Done.
  • Snowman poop? Reindeer poop? Reindeer food? Get the kiddos involved, the love and fun is the point of Christmas. Yes, I'd love a xyz but its not something I can bask in the warm glow of, well unless it's the SMEG fire I want!
As with cooking, if you can't sew, learn! The Internet is full of free sewing patterns as are libraries. Buy old clothes and take them apart for the fabric. Not only will you have one offs but you'll see and learn how they were constructed. Again remember that lovely lady two doors down? Ask her if she sews and could teach you. An hour a week, for a meal, a cup of tea, history transcribed for next generations, her floors mopped, whatever.

A final thought, have you checked if you could get a better deal on broadband packages?

Please leave me a comment with any other ideas you have.

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week's reasons to be cheerful.

For more information on Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC), check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.
  1. I'm going to see Michael Bublè tonight! Well a tribute but as close as I'm getting. If you wonder why I'm so giddy... look at A-Z of Me.
  2. My brother rang me. We are getting back to the relationship we once had. He has asked us to move nearer to him. An opportunity we discussed.
  3. My NSPCC Postnatal Depression group finished. Although I am sad to be leaving such a lovely group, I hope to continue with the friendships we (myself and Kiki) have made.

I'm sorry it's short this week.

A Positive Result

A Positive Result

A positive result
The test was positive, so wasn't I?
In another life I'd tried so hard
Wanted so much
It had been seen as the next step,
Inevitable, easy, expected.
But it wasn't to be,
Now after everything,
It happened.

As you grew, so did I,
Both of us developing,
Growing independantly, but as one...
As your strength developed, mine wained.
I was torn between doing the right thing,
Whatever that was or is,
Did I deserve you?
Did you deserve me?
I felt you deserved better.
That you were worth more.
I wanted you to have the best.
Was this the start of me becoming a true mother?

Baby Sleep Issues

As I said in this week's Reason to be Cheerful post, the Little Lady is coming along great, definitely developing her personality, and exerting her independence. 

However, this is turning bedtimes in to a nightmare! I was very lucky that she slept through (12am - 6am) from 3 weeks; although that made me feel like a horrible person at the time. I mean some parents are up all night and I was depressed?!

For some reason at the moment she doesn't want to go to bed. Up until the last couple of weeks she was going to bed about 9pm until 7 - 8am, settling herself in between, and 2 or 3 daytime naps of 30 minutes if I was lucky. Now she just won't settle on a night. I've tried extra feeds, both during day and a larger night feed; controlled crying; soothing bedtime lullaby light projector with just music, just lights, both.

I haven't tried incorporating baths in to a bedtime routine as they usually make her quite excitable!

Please leave me a comment telling me your hints and tips.

Blog Names, Titles, and Taglines

Yet another Reason to be Cheerful post started with:
but onwards and upwards
...and all that jazz...

I mentioned I am thinking of changing the name of this blog, and seen as 'Onwards & Upwards' is becoming a theme, maybe this should be the new one?

My other thought was 'Meh, Meh, Me'.

How did you choose your blog name? Any flashes of inspiration to share? Do comment and let me know.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Another blah week really, but onwards and upwards... And all that jazz.
Actually I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog, and 'Onwards & Upwards' is becoming a theme. 
Either that or 'Meh Meh Me'. 

For more information on Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC), check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

  1. Number one this week has to be that Daddy had another job interview today, (that's 4 from 200+ applications!). It went well and he starts a trial tomorrow. It's only temporary until Christmas at moment, but he's working and earning more than the £40 a week Condemnation think he needs to live on. 
  2. My depression has been a struggle lately, it has been great to have my carer around more, but the more time you spend with someone, the more time you have to row. For Daddy, it's been hard not to work, he's never been out of work in 20+ years. For me, I had someone there when I wrote the days off and went to bed; or just didn't get out of it. We have had some good moments, I wouldn't go so far as to say days, but... well you know. I also had a good appointment with my CPN, she's a lovely lady, good at letting me rant it out. With a wicked sense of humour too. 
  3. The Little Lady is coming along great, definitely developing her personality, and exerting her independence. Which is fantastic and awe inspiring, but turning bedtimes in to a nightmare!
I hope you are all having a fantastic week and have something wild and exciting to look forward to this weekend.

See you next week x 

Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm late with my reasons to be cheerful this week, sorry!
I'm still having a flat time of it of late. I think I'm beginning to figure out why, but it takes time to a) identify and b) find the strength and motivation to do anything about it.
  1. It was Daddy's birthday on Friday and he said I did well with presents. I love giving presents and seeing people's reactions. Unfortunately when I'm not well and depression is in full force, it's very self destructive. I second guess myself, and end up thinking I'm useless, I've got it so wrong. Being told I got good things, even if I did go overboard is a sense of pride and acknowledgement that I am doing OK. 
  2. We had planned to go out for said birthday, but unfortunately my friend who was babysitting ended up getting flu and feeling rubbish. I'm sure it didn't help that she felt she was letting us down. I told her I would rather she was better, I need her! I did manage to get another friend to babysit, so we could go.  
  3. The friend who had Kiki on Friday let her stay overnight, so I had the whole night off too. It was the first time I've been away from my baby for more than an hour or two. It was hard, but I knew she was being looked after well. 
  4. We finally had our CAF closed too.

I'm struggling this week, so hope everyone else is feeling cheerful! x