Why I find it helpful to clean before bed.

I can honestly say that I have never been much of a morning person. However, as I’ve gotten old I’ve been enjoying earlier mornings. I like the peace and the feel of a 6am morning, especially if I pop out and check on the garden; coffee or tea in hand of course.

Typically, often I don’t sleep well so I struggle to wake up that early and if I’m tired and I know that when I get downstairs I have a few bits to tidy up from the day before I tend to drag my feet.

I hate knowing that when I get up in the morning I have to get straight on with cleaning something up that I didn’t get done the day before. It makes my day feel so much busier, gives me a lot more to do and it often feels overwhelming. With 5 kids in the house there is always a lot to clean, recently I’ve made a ‘Daily Checklist’ for everyone (including me) to help make sure we get everything done that we need to do.

Last night I stayed up a little later to finish cleaning my kitchen side because that is one thing I absolutely hate leaving. As I was finishing up I realised that I was now looking forward to the morning instead of dreading it. I have done this many times before but I always forget and coming down to a clean house ready for a fresh day makes a huge difference. The whole family feels better because there’s no mess, nothing sticky on the side, everything is neat and put away. We have more time for fun things that day and another opportunity to get the kids cleaning up their own mess and looking after the house too. It’s strange the effect it has on peoples moods too, because everyone seems happier.

This is definitely something I need to keep reminding myself of and something we need to keep trying.

Moral of the story is, always make sure the mess from yesterday is cleaned up before bed so it doesn’t impact on today. If it doesn’t get done straight away, I enjoy doing it before bed. I feel like I’ve done well that way. I also find cleaning quite therapeutic, especially when you live in a house you don’t particularly like, it’s helpful to make it look as nice as possible and have it smelling nice.

Actually, we have lived here for over 4 years and I’ve been searching for a new house for almost that length in time. We didn’t even have a stair carpet until just recently. They’re difficult to measure and expensive to have fitted, so we had to save up. But every time I decided to get one, something would happen that would reinforce that need to move and I’d see it as a waste of money because I wanted to move quickly. So when we were recently offered a nearly new second hand carpet that would fit the stairs I agreed. I wasn’t sure how we would even get it fitted but I decided to just do it myself. I was having problems with injured ligaments in my fingers so it wasn’t the best idea but I did it. Very painfully I might add. There are a few parts that aren’t perfect and would definitely annoy the hell out of me if it was a new carpet in a new place but as it’s temporary I can handle it. It has honestly made a world of difference and the kids were so happy about it. Knowing what I know now I wish I had just got one sooner. Today I was offered another carpet, that should replace the carpet in the girls bedroom, of course I accepted, so that’s another room getting improved as my daughters carpet currently have stubborn stains on (mostly paint, nail varnish) and looks quite awful.

Hopefully I get the bathroom painting finished this week too, then I can make the vinyl decals to put onto the walls and ceiling. The ceiling ones will probably need a coating to stay on but I’m putting them up there so when I am washing the kids hair I can tell them to look up at the turtle, or the whale on the ceiling so they tilt their head back enough for water to not run down their faces. I’ll add photos when it’s finished.

Until then, take care everyone and remember, improvements don’t have to be done in one day, it’s okay if things take some time.

Suzanne

Out In The Garden

I’ve had a big struggle with low mood lately, so I haven’t really spent much time working on the garden. A lot of the tomatoes I had growing are neglected & shrivelled and sometimes I don’t even have it in me to go out and close the poly tunnel at night.

Today I managed to go out and have a quick check of everything. I hate my garden in general, it’s a slope, it’s a swamp and since I’ve given up the allotment and taken everything home it’s incredibly over crowded. But I really like my fruit bushes, all of my trees and the flowers that are growing.

I know gardening can be good for your mind, body & spirit but sometimes it’s difficult to even take that first step.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well things are doing though, especially the trees and they were uprooted rather late and some were just wrapped in bags for a while before actually being replanted. Nature truly is resilient. It’s as if they were never moved.

For two years I had my blueberries planted in the allotment, first in buckets, then in a bath tub. Both times in ericaceous compost, not overwatered, under-watered they just didn’t ever do well. Despite being dug up early on this year when their leaves had already started growing and being replanted into buckets they’re actually fruiting!

My apple trees are producing their best ever crop and the Almond tree has not only unexpectedly survived but has 5 big Almonds growing.


Things are growing well. Although the raspberry canes that are growing leaves have all rotted because I left them in the middle of the garden in their bucket and didn’t even realise that as that’s a swampy bit, not only will the bucket not drain properly but it will also soak up the extra water from underneath. Big mistake, 13 canes gone that I was going to gift but I can retry in winter.

There are a couple of trees that have less than happy looking leaves though, so I’m hoping they pull through.

My daughters roses have survived and one (which got snapped in half last year) has grown two rose buds.

They are such a bright and beautiful shade of pink, she’s so happy!

I did briefly check on the poly tunnel, I don’t actually enjoy being in there. I think it may feel better once all of the excess tomatoes are out into grow bags and everything else is planted but at the moment it just lacks a welcome vibe. I enjoyed sitting in it last year, this year however it is on a slope so I doubt I could get a chair in.

Anyway, this was a mini garden update. I did take a few photos whilst I was out so do pop over to instagram to have a little look through those and feel free to follow if you enjoy my posts.

As always, take care everyone and stay safe.

Suzanne

Lotsalotls!

So you’re probably wondering what that means, so I’ll show you.

These tadpole looking things are Axolotl Spawn, this was a few days ago. I have been wanting to get an Axolotl for months! I didn’t even know until then that you could actually get them! I thought they were just wild, but it turns out they’re actually really endangered in the wild now which is such a shame.

I actually had 25 little Lotls and so far 13 have hatched. I’ve given 2 away and will definitely be looking to rehome most of them because we just don’t have space for that many tanks. Otherwise we’d be keeping them! My Niece and Nephew have actually taken the two I’ve so far given away and are eagerly awaiting them hatching. My Niece bless her has been doing so much research on how to properly care for these and has been spamming her mom with all the info! At least I know she will care for them well.

We of course have also made sure to do research so we can be sure that we’re going to give them the best care possible. I’ll be sharing a lot more of their growing journey, especially on instagram so if you don’t currently follow me Click the icon at the bottom of the page and follow along.

Here are a few of the latest pictures, aren’t they cute?


Also, quick FYI; I made a twitter account for the blog too! You can find me here https://twitter.com/Suzanne_MYAH

As always everybody take good care of yourselves and stay safe.

Suzanne x

Feelings, I guess?

I have spent years, unable to explain how I can feel sometimes. I’ve never been able to word it or express it in a way that makes sense and is understandable. I wrote this a while ago, during what I simply refer to as ‘a mood’. I don’t like the word ‘Depression’, or the phrase ‘mental health’, they annoy me for many reasons. So my personal preference is just simply refer to these times as a mood.

The text below is probably the best I’ve ever managed to explain it, as well as undoubtedly the best writing I have ever done. It’s unfinished, but I guess it’s likely to be added to whenever the urge Being an aspiring writer I chose to start it off as if I was writing a story I guess, it gets erratic and it changes from 3rd to first person but, it was all I could manage.

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‘The warm bed began to feel cold, it’s comfort distorting and the welcoming feeling of the clean sheets doing nothing to mask the weight of the air that was now crushing with a gravity far beyond that which any human should be able to withstand. The mattress turned into stone and the pillows to rocks, no rest to be received here tonight.
Emotions are such a hard thing to explain, the way they contradict each other simultaneously yet coexist in a way that adds to their burden. It is the searing fire of the turmoil you have to live with mixed with the cold apathy of the fact it’s happening. The numbing feeling your mind shields itself with mixed the agony of the past. The grieving over a life lost whilst still alive. To try to sum up how she feels is futile, words just don’t carry the same weight.
It’s crushing, suffocating, heavy and it hurts, it drowns you while you fight to resurface and drags you down every time you get that tiny bit of leeway. It catches you easily no matter how much you run, it’s inescapable and when it catches you it crushes you once again with it’s weight.
It is a fight you cannot win yet you fight anyway because to lose is to die and yet death is your only escape from suffering. But to die is to give up, to come this far and only come this far and if you’re only coming this far why did you bother coming this far to begin with? Why not give up and save years of suffering? Yet at the same time why suffer all this time and keep suffering knowing that the longer time goes on the longer you’re going to have suffered because this is a lifelong thing. What exactly are you fighting for when there is nothing to achieve by doing so? You’ll suffer regardless and the weight will get heavier.
The tears do nothing to alleviate the surge of emotions. The knowledge that she just isn’t meant for this world send more cascading down because she tried didn’t she? She tried so damn hard but there was just too much against her. A whole world out to get her, a world that refused to allow her a home and so she spent her years searching and yearning but never finding that place, never finding a way in which she could belong. She just existed, from one day to the next all she could do was endure and exist, her mind wandering within itself picturing her wish to cease to exist; to disperse her very particles into the vast nebulas of the galaxy and just be free. A soul without the weight of a body or a mind, free to explore.

Fear, most people fear something, some people fear death itself. She doesn’t fear death, she fears life. To her death is a warm embrace into strong arms protecting you from everything around. There is no safety in fear, fear can control you, mould you into a mass of panic and anxiety which you can’t reshape from.

I feel hollow, like an empty shell caught in the ebb and flow of the tide of emotion. The husk of what remains once the storm has calmed. How is it possible to feel so much, then just as suddenly feel so empty and so numb. Numb to the point of longing for the previous onslaught of crushing, dehumanising, crippling waves that engulfed and drowned you in their fury. Numb to the point of knowing that without these waves, you wouldn’t know how to exist as this storm is all you’ve known, all you know how to be and yet you don’t know who you truly are. You don’t know how to live but hell knows you know how to survive. No tide nor weight is ever enough to defeat the stubbornness you possess. The only part of who you are that you know. You don’t quit, you don’t stop, you just keeping getting back up and carrying on no matter how many times you get knocked down. Life’s personal punching bag.’

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Well, that was the rambling. I am aware it doesn’t explain much, but there’s a lot more to feelings, emotions & moods than what you see on facebook memes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread + Ginger Cheesecake.

I used a 26cm quiche dish to make this, so the ingredients are based on this size.



Ingredients:



* 560g ginger biscuits

* 200g unsalted butter – I used butter for cakes

* 560g Soft full fat cheese – Original plain flavour


* 85g Icing sugar powder


* 470g Chocolate Hazelnut spread

* 1 Tablespoon Cocoa powder 


* 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract 



I just want to be clear, this was not my recipe and I only altered tiny parts of it (some I forgot to make a note of and so aren’t included in this recipe) and will continue to be experimenting with this. I will link the original below as they use a ganache on top of theirs which I haven’t actually tried yet and If I use anyone else’s recipe I will always credit and link the creator. 


Instructions
:

Step 1 – Measure your butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt it down for about 30 seconds. Whilst that’s melting you can be weighing and either bashing or blending your biscuits until they are fine crumbs.

Step 2 – Mixed the biscuits fully into the melted butter then press them into the base of your cheesecake dish. This then needs to go into the fridge to cool. I like to leave mine for at least half an hour so its harder and easier to spread out the topping.

Step 3 – Measure out your filling ingredients. I like to mix the soft cheese, chocolate spread and vanilla flavouring together first. 

Step 4 – After those are mixed, then I mix in the icing sugar and cocoa powder



Step 5 – Taste! You can’t put it on top without testing it first, right?

Step 6 – Spread evenly on top of the biscuit base, if the base isn’t very hard spread carefully! Then in the fridge it goes for at least 6 hours!

Easy!

Original Recipe

I have also since made this using different biscuits and adding in some crushed Almonds to the base, I don’t remember how much I used but I think it was either 50g or 100g.

Dolphin Safe Tuna

After hearing a lot about seaspiracy I decided to give it a go, I got as far as hearing that the Dolphin safe tuna labels were a lie and had to turn it off for now.

I’m absolutely devastated, for years I have refused to eat any tuna that isn’t classed as Dolphin friendly; believing that people were there to ensure they weren’t hurt; only to then find out that it’s all a lie. It’s a really difficult pill to swallow knowing that I, albeit unknowingly, have contributed, funded and encouraged the slaughter of thousands of innocent Dolphins by buying Tuna.

I love Dolphin, I love wales, I love the Ocean and I thought I was doing everything I could to not be a part of the problem. I was wrong. I’m going to have to give this a bit of time to digest before I try and watch anymore.

I’m absolutely heartbroken for the unnecessary slaughter of these marine animals, the dolphins, whales, sharks, turtles etc’. They’re so important and so innocent.

Knowing that Japan has been illegally whaling for the entirety of the Whaling ban has prevented me from travelling there, something I am very keen to do. I’ve always dreamed of it. But I refused until they stopped whaling. Then when I discovered they had legalised it again, I further cemented myself in the decision that neither I nor my family would be travelling to that country and having even a small contribution to their tourism until this is abolished.

After seeing the happenings in Honk Kong, I now feel the need to do research on more aspects of my life, such as my banking.

It’s safe to say that any kind of fish is well and truly banned in my house and whilst I have been looking into plant based foods for my food intolerances, I’ll now be looking into it more for less selfish reasons.