Happy new year!

Wait, what do you mean it’s already the 14th?

I know the year technically starts on January 1st but for me it starts with the first full week of usual routines.

That is today!

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Last week we were still in Lanzarote so no usual routine there.

In years gone by I’ve worked back stage at the panto which ran into the first week of January so I missed the new year then too!

So new year what does that mean exactly?

Is it time to give up chocolate, alcohol or even meat like some of you who may be taking part in veganuary?

In years past it’s actually meant promising to be better at adulthood, parenting or just life in general.

However this year although I have goals to become better at life I want it to be a year where I actually stick to being a better version of me. Creating a better family unit where everyone remembers happy adventures.

So for the past few weeks I’ve been studying better ways to help me achieve my goals.

Health & me.

Remember this post a while back where I said I wanted to get fit before I turned 40?

Well as of today there is only 558 days (That’s DAYS!) left until I reach that the big 4 0.

So I need to start getting my ass in gear.

I’ve already started getting more movement into my day by doing my #20minwalkaday last week I also renewed my membership to the spa so that I can swim 2-3 times a week.

Eating better is also part of this. I need to make more meals from scratch the kids however prefer just fish and chips and McDonalds which is fine for a treat every now and again but I have a plan to get them helping in the kitchen and choosing healthier options. another post on this will be coming soon!

DeClutter  & Organisation

Ive been decluttering for the past what feels like 20 years! I headed to Skegness when I was 19 with a rucksack and a duffle bag with all of my possessions in! Since then Ive added and added to my stuff. Not everything in the house is mine however so we all need to get on board with the declutter and hopefully live more minimal once and for all!

I think with less stuff to organise I could in time become a more organised person. Its not something that comes natural for me so I will need to practice until I am!

Relationships

I need to make more of an effort to spend one night (No Kids) with chris each month! a date night, morning whatever. but some time to remember who we were before the kids came along!

I also need to form better relationships with the big kids. Since the littlest twins arrived i haven’t had much time for the big two. I need to put more effort into giving us some quality time.

Work & Money

I’m not very good at money stuff. I never have been. But I really want to get on top of our household finances this year so that our out goings are less and or debts are all paid off!

 

All of these categories really deserve a post of their own to explain in more detail and to let you know how I’m getting in in each. I’m hoping that during the year I can post regular updates on each.

 

Thanks for taking the time to follow my journey

Let me know what you goals for 2019 are or if you set a resolution but have already broken it!

I love to read your comments it makes me feel a little more connected to you.

Nina x

I also did a little video on  my goals for 2019!

Staying Sane Over The Festive Period.

Christmas can bring out the stress in even the most placid of people if your not careful.

Filling days with lots of activities, buying loads of gifts that are unneeded or unappreciated. Going overboard on the Christmas dinner menu and not practicing any form of self care!

So I thought I would leave a list here to remind myself and any of you of what to do to keep away the stress a little over the next few exciting weeks.

  • Create a  Plan – This for me is most important. I have to have a plan for the whole of December if not I feel overwhelmed or double book things in already busy schedule.
  • Say No – You really don’t need to accept every invitation and if your schedule is already full say no!
  • Cut down – There is no point getting into debt to pay for Christmas if you cant afford it dont buy it! The kids may moan that they didn’t get some thing yes I’m not going to lie and say they wont care because if they are anything like mine they will. This year however I am focusing on a couple of main gifts and a few little gifts If they moan they dont have much they will just have to moan. I’m not getting into any more debt or cluttering up my home for fear my kids will be disappointed!  That good old rule of “Something you want, Something You Need, Something to wear, Something to read,” Is a good thing to stick to!
  • Take some me Time – During the chaotic times take a moment to breath and relax, Paint your nails, go for a coffee, a walk in the park, even a bath when the kids are in bed.
  • Vitamins – Stress can be exaggerated if there are vitamins lacking in your body so take a supplement each day  I take Wellwoman Max vitamins which contains a multi vitamin, omega, and calcium as well as that important vitamin D thats lacking this time of the year!
  • Don’t attempt new recipes on the day of your big meal or party. If you really want to try something new why not have a trial run before your big day? However dont go overboard with your menu. Its better to spend time eating with your family not stressing that you dinner isn’t going to plan.
  • Create a Menu – Dont just wing Chritmas lunch create a menu for yourself with timings of cooking and preparing on it Above I said dont go over the top but If your like me I love to entertain and I have 15 for dinner so i really do need to plan my menu in advance!
  • Dont turn to Alcohol – There is nothing worse than trying to entertain the in-laws (or worse your husbands ex wife. Yes I have my step sons mum for dinner this year – Long story but we do get on)  than trying to entertain them with a hangover. or getting so drunk you end up arguing. So sure enjoy a tipple or two but dont go overboard.
  • Get some air – Ive mentioned getting some me time but getting out in the fresh air is also a good way to take 5. Even if its as a family, Just wrap them up warm and take them for a walk. pick up some fresh veg or head to the woods. just get some air.

I think thats all for the moment. If you can think of any more please leave them in the comments below.

Enjoy the festive season everyone!

Nina x

Keeping memories safe with Portable North Pole.

**I just want to point out that this post is in no way sponsored and I paid for this book with my very own pennies.

I just love Christmas and the magic surrounding it. PNP just adds to the magic.**

Last month I attended the country living fair in London and I met up with the elves from PNP.

They were showcasing a few of the PNP products and gathering interest for a brand new product that isn’t fully going to launch until next year.

Now if you read this post from December 2017 you will know how much I love Portable North Pole. The magic it creates is tear jerking.

At the stand there was a book on the table.

As I opened the book a message from Father Christmas started to play.

I was totally sold there and then. I didn’t need any more persuading.

I know, I know I’m trying to cut down on Christmas, and the amount of gifts we just don’t need. But this is such a special little item. It’s brings me so much joy when I see the kids faces receiving their message from Father Christmas.

If something brings you joy it’s allowed right?

The book it’s self can store around 3- 5 videos depending on the size of the video. So you could use it for more than one child.

You upload to the book from your computer using a usb lead that comes with it. It also uses this to charge.

Along with the book comes a pass to access the PNP videos.

When I spoke to the PNP elves they said they had only made a limited amount this year to gage people’s interest. As such I can’t give you a link to buy these adorable books all I can do is tell you to watch this space for next year.*

If your anything like me and love the magic of Christmas. This has to be on your 2019 Christmas list!

Nina x

*You can however still purchase other Portable North Pole goodies from John Lewis and amazon.

Dear Santa, I would like……. Gift Guide for a 30+ year old!

Dear Santa,

I think I have been good this year! You know its hard being a mum to twins twice so please give me a little leeway.

Here is my list of things I would love to receive under my tree.

  • Magazine Subscription – I love magazines I often have a read during the little twins nap time! Currently on my wish list is Country Living Magazine, Top Sante, and simple things.
  • Bath Caddy  – I keep seeing those instagram posts where people are in the bath with their wooden caddy holding their book and glass of wine! I have to make do with balancing mine on the side at the moment but I’d love to have a caddy for  my cuppa.
  • Canon G7X Mark 2– I really love my canon but its so heavy and not really practical for every day vlogging. At the moment I’m loving vlogging again. capturing memories and sharing them with others. the community that those vlogs then create. I just love it.
  • Spa/ Swimming membership – I keep saying I need to get fit, I really do need to but I have lacked motivation. I love swimming and loved going to the spa for a swim a few times a week but its so hard to fit it in with having two sets of twins and trying to run a house as well as trying to build up my business!
  • Iwatch, – As above I need to get fit I know a watch doesn’t mean I will get fit but I work well with goals to work to. My IWatch has well and truly died So I would like to update it and start following the daily goals of filling in the rings and walking 10000steps.
  • Family Portrait– I would love to get a cartoon style portrait of our family I want a physical one to hang in our playroom.

I dont think thats too many things on my list however I am aware there  are some quite big things.

And they will help me to be good all thorough next year hopefully!

Thank you Santa

Nina x

What Makes A Great Christmas Advert?

I’ve seen my fair share of Christmas adverts. Some starting as far back as September.

But what makes a good Christmas Advert?

I normally vote for the ones that have a story, are memorable, the ones that’s scream Christmas.

Remember this one?

Or …

What if I say “the holidays are coming ,the holidays are coming….”

That advert has to be one of the most iconic Christmas adverts of all time.

But what is it that makes a good Chritmas advert?

Well for me

  • Children singing – One child is great but a whole school choir will get me every time.
  • Nostalgia – Anything where I can look back on memories gone by.
  • A story – If there is a story to the advert Im more likely to get engrossed.
  • Humour – A little bit of humour can really make an advert memorable.
  • Cuteness – Is there a cuddly creature or toy? Everybody say Ahhhhhh

Ive added some of my favourites in a playlist over on Your Tube.

The best ones  for me in 2018 have to be

Boots – I love it. It really gives me a tear every time I see it!

John Lewis – I’m not a massive Elton fan but seeing the child that receives his piano on chritmas day that piano makes his whole life. floods of tears here

And I cant leave out

Mum: Who are you playing in the school play?

Kid: The Plug

Mum The What???

I just love it!

I asked around  what other people class as their favorite Christmas adverts are and why.

Pink Pink Bear – The John Lewis advert where it fast forwards through time of a woman’s life. It came out when I was pregnant and it made me weep every time but it’s a beautiful advert and reminds me of sitting with my big bump and picturing the future. 

Wanderlust and Wet wipes – 2011 John Lewis advert.  Still makes me cry!

Mums The Nerd I loved The Snowman Love Story – John Lewis. It still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Mrs Hible I loved the John Lewis story of the bear and the Hare. Lily Allen’s song along with the animation was just amazing.

Happy Mummy  John Lewis Man On The Moon – absolutely loved that one.

Sophies Nursery Mine is the Sainsburys one set in WW1 during theChristmas Day truce – so moving!

Ellamental Mama Boots 2018 which features a single mum. Something many companies overlook. As a single mum it’s lovely to see that bond shown loud and proud.

A Rose Tinted world The banned Iceland advert from this year. Important message about how we are wrecking the planet in our lust for palm oil.

Mamma Mummy Mum I love the Iron Bru snowman one, it never fails to make me laugh! And lets be honest, Christmas is all about putting a smile on people’s faces.

Life In The Mums Lane  Mine is a close contest between Sainsburys WW1 and John Lewis Hare & Bear. Both have a real story andChristmas spirit. Can I have both?

Christmas Playlist

What is your favourite Christmas advert of all time?

Nina x

2018 A year in review!

Well I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas and are ready to head into 2019! Can you believe we are the end of the year already?

Health

So much has happened this year I started the Year poorly with Gallstones since then Ive had my entire Gallbladder removed.

All of the children came down with chicken pox! At least its all over and done with. You can only catch it once right?

I rejoined the spa that I was a member at so that I could start swimming again only to lapse after my gallbladder op!

I also vowed to become healthier and eat better! Again after my gallbladder came out I fell back into old ways.

As soon as the dark nights hit my mental Health deteriorated again and I’m currently working on reducing my stress and actively trying to do things to cut my anxiety!

Travel

This year I was adamant that I was going to make the most of life, give our family amazing memories and explore new places.

We started the year at a forest lodge in the middle of Norfolk  Soaking up the forest and hoping in the hottub!

We also headed to the Norfolk coast to the amazing Mill Farm Eco Barn It was such an amazing holiday for all of our family we spent time at the beach, evenings at the arcades playing the slot machines, We ate fish n chips and in true Spencer style took mystery road trips by looking at a map and just driving!

Before the Summer Holidays hit We hopped on a plane to our favorite destination for the littlest twins first holiday abroad. Lanzarote is like our second home!

Towards the end of the summer Holidays we surprised the kids with a train ride to France and more importantly to Disneyland! I think me and Chris were as excited if not more than the kids. Its just so magical.

Homeschool

We took the kids out of school to try our hand at home schooling. there just wasn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I really admire everyone who is on the home school journey but at the moment it’s not for me. I barely have any time while they are at school to get everything done that I want to.

Work, money, Blogging

Ive learnt this year that I’m shit at money. I posted through the year about our family hitting crisis point. In life and in money. Unfortunately barely anything has changed

I really need to get a grip of our finances this new year. It a big source of stress for us all.

I haven’t been consistent enough online to hit those magic “influencer” numbers. I have to realise I have a family and home that come before you all. I remembered through the year though I share our life because I like doing it. I like being creative. I have lost a little of my creativity on my insta grid lately in favour of just getting the post up for consistency. I want to use my creativity more and set up photos yes I know people see this as fake sometimes but I like the creative aspect of it. My dad when I was younger was always playing around with setting up photographs of wine and cheese boards etc.

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I think that’s about it for my 2018 round up.

Thanks for joining us this year and being part of our family.

I hope you’ll stick around in 2019 for more chaos, adventures, and creativity.

Happy New Year.

Nina x

Christmas With The Ex

When my husband “Chris” started a conversation the other week with “I know there are 14 for Christmas dinner…” I stopped him in his tracks and said I’ve already thought about it.

My step Sons mum has been quite poorly and she would normally be out on a Christmas Eve while we are having our big family Christmas dinner I thought how she might be home alone on Christmas Eve I thought about what if she came to us?

At one point we didn’t really get on You could say we hated each other. I mean she got together with my childhood crush when I was in full on crush mode. She knew that I had a thing about him and used to avoid us coming into contact with each other if at all possible.

When their marriage ended and I ended up with Chris we were like arch enemies however now we are a few years down the line we have become quite the modern blended family.

We often message each other with things about the boy, When I had my 2014 breakdown she understood and when she’s been poorly I’ve messaged to see how she is.

Ok were not best friends but like it or not we are family!

So I’ve invited her to come for Christmas Lunch – 1 more isn’t going to make much of a difference. Is it?

Some people may see our set up and think that its a little odd but if we can be friends then why not. As I’ve said we are family and we share the boy even if he is 18.

My parents are divorced and I tell you Its so much better now they speak and get on than it ever was when they would relay messages through me. Or when they would slag one another off all the time!

I just think there is enough sadness, and animosity in the world already why not have part of your family over for Christmas lunch even if that family is blended!

Nina X