But what’s changed?

As I’m sure your aware in August 2017 I was told the news that I had a rare but life threatening pregnancy complication. I faced my ultimate fear, death!

I vowed in the days before my surgery (and afterwards when I had a twisted bowel and then later gallstones) that I would be a better person, I vowed to change, to live life better.

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So we are now a year past my last operation and what’s changed?

Well I took the kids out of school for a bit. Looking for a life of travel and life education. But when your solo parenting 4 its just not that easy. When you have a Aldi lemonade budget but want to live a Waitrose Prosecco lifestyle it was never going to work. Besides Jake struggled with the fact he still had to do “school” work.

I ate better for a bit. Then as the fear of the pain eased the chocolate & fish n chips creeped back in.

I returned to swimming and after a short break have now returned again.

I’ve took up doing a 20 min walk 3 times a week. (Up until we all got sick & the cold snap hit. It’s no fun walking up a steep hill with a pushchair when it’s like a skate rink.)

Unfortunately as a family we seem to have drifted further apart lately. Chris works long hours and travels away quite a bit with work.

Don’t get me wrong we had some amazing trips in 2018 but him working the hours he does and only living pay check to pay check is tough for us all.

So what has really changed?

Well

I’m still feeling lost with who I am. Where I want to be.

I had such plans last year maybe it was the adrenaline from the fear of dying that spurred me on.

It’s like we’re stuck in a bit of a rut waiting for a better life. Waiting for the kids to grow. Waiting until we’re in a better financial place.

What’s next?

Well I want to figure out what I can do as a career. I have often said in the past that I want to make this blog and social media a way of making income but I all honesty I don’t think I’m cut out for it.

I think I’ve lost my passion for blogging a little because I’m trying to hard to make it work as a business. I’ve lost sight of my ‘why’.

I need to crack on with my #fitfor40 because that big number will be here in a flash.

I need to figure out a way to get our family living a better relationship. Stop the fighting and negativity.

Make the most of life. Breath in every second.

Outlook.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be back here in a year with the same post wishing I’d lived better for the past year. Maybe this time is the time. Our time to find a better way to live life!

I just want to say thank-you to all of you that have supported me over the past year and a half or more.

To those that live in my phone and take the time to comment, ask how I’m doing, and support from afar. You help me each and every day.

Those that are there in my real life I don’t know what I would do without you.

So thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

Until next time.

Nina x

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

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

November Word Of The Month

November is one more step closer to Christmas.  Not far away from a brand new year!

Its time for getting ready for the festive month ahead.

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This months word is going to be ‘Gather’

Gather gifts ready for Christmas.

I have already bought and stored a few but I really want to get on top of buying gifts this year I hate it when I still have things to wrap on Christmas eve!

Gather thoughts to calm the anxiety that has been building over the past few weeks.

If you follow my instagram you will have seen that my anxiety has been making an appearance over the last few weeks. I really need to take some time to gather my thought, breath and be more mindful.

Gather with family to reconnect a little as this is something that has been lacking lately. Chris works so many hours and works away a quite a bit. when he gets home he is tired and stressed out from his work we need to take some time out together. I also think the big twins are feeling pushed out a little with the little twins taking up so much of our time. I also want to try and reconnect with them.

So gather is my word this month!

What  is your word for this month? what plans do you have for November? Leave a comment let me know.

Catch you soon

Nina x

Word Of The Month – January

Last year I set my self some goals to be healthier, declutter and make my blogging my job. An income stream. Then I found out I was pregnant. With not one but two more babies and everything went on hold. This year I’ve not set any New Years resolutions or recalled planned my goals out. Instead, I will plan my goals monthly. Taking each month as it comes. I can’t really plan much due to waiting for my gallstone op. I know it’s not going to put me out for a long time but I am going to need time to rest afterward.

Anyway, that said I have decided to give each month a title. What I will focus on each month.

January – Fit

January is all about becoming fit for my operation. Trying to get my body and mind ready so that complications are limited and recovery is quicker.

Here is what I plan to do to get fit for my op.

  • Swimming 3 times a week. I have joined the spa and my aim is to attend at least 3 times a week. I don’t pressure myself into lap times or amount of laps. I just swim. It keeps me moving and helps to clear my mind.
  • Hitting my 10,000 steps. I’m sure I already do this but sometimes I don’t put my watch on until halfway through the morning. By this time I’ve already hit a lot of my steps.
  • 30 mins workout. I want to try and get into a habit of doing a 30 min workout at least 3 times a week. Movement is so important for your body and mind. When you work your heart and lungs by exercising it strengthens them Helping your organs be as fit as they can when you go to surgery.
  • Yoga. Yoga helps me focus. It helps me to breath and it stretches my body.
  • Mindfulness. I really need to prepare my mind as well as my body. Mindfulness can really help me remember to breathe, to live more in the moment and to focus on what’s important.
  • Vitamins. I’m not sure I get enough of what I need from my diet, so taking a multivitamin with added vitamin D is important. At this time of the year especially there is not much vitamin D to be had from the light we get from the sun here in the UK.
  • Diet. The reason for the operation is my gallstones. So I’ve had no choice but to cut out a lot of fat and grease from my diet. Not unless I want to end up in severe pain and then ultimately in a&e as I just can’t cope with the pain.

This is my plan however with a set of school-age twins and a set of baby twins I’m aware that this may seem like a lot. However, if I want to be fit and ready for my op I think I need to at least try.

What word would you give to January? Have you made any goals or resolutions? Leave in the comments how else you think I could get ready for my op!

I’ll update at the beginning of February how I get on and what my word of the month will be for February.

Nina x

It’ll be Lonely this Christmas.

In the news last week was an article that made me shed a tear or two.

It’s something that really pulls at my heart.

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It’s being lonely. It’s an awful feeling to be alone. At Christmas time it can be even worse. It can bring back memories of family members long gone, feelings of sadness that you no longer have that magic during the festive season.

The report says almost one million older people will be alone this Christmas.

I really hope that when I get to old age my family will still be around and will never let me feel lonely.

What can we do to help??

  • Volunteer to become a befriender with a charity like age.
  • Keep an eye out for elderly neighbours – Drop them some mince pies in on Xmas eve, or offer to pick up some shopping.
  • Say hello to someone in the street, ask how they are and listen to their response.
  • Make an extra meal and take it to someone you know are on their own.
  • Offer to do some household jobs like changing a bulb, or taking out the bin on bin day.
  • At this time of year why not offer to put up some decorations and take them down again at the end of the festive period.
  • Wrap them up a gift. A hamper could be a good idea if you don’t know them very well.

Whatever you do to help will not only benefit them but helping others can contribute to your own sense of wellbeing!

I’m personally going to wrap a couple of hampers for local people and deliver them with the kids.

I want to show them that it’s important not to forget people especially at this time of year.

 

Nina x

Places to volunteer

Age UK

Contact The Elderly 

Royal Voluntary Service 

 

 

Jan – May recap June Action Plan

It’s been an odd start to the year!

Firstly we celebrated New Year at our second home Lanzarote.

  • We came home and I managed to sneak in a couple of days working at the local Theatre doing Panto (My Favourite time at the theatre)
  • Then I was late on my monthly cycle
  • So took a pregnancy test 
  • Then went for an early scan to make sure there was only one
  • And we found out there were 2
  • Had a lot of tears
  • Sold my beloved Delilah – She wouldn’t have lasted another year  😦 img_1649Went back to Lanzarote for February Half Term
  • Took the twins on their first visit to London Started work on the house to prepare for an extra two people
  • Stayed in denial about the two new lives growing in my tummy
  • Attended BlogON
  • Finally bought something for the new twins

So now were in June and I need to pull on my positive pants (If they fit because of this ever-growing tummy)

I need to embrace this pregnancy and start feeling as excited as people keep telling me it is!


So I’m devising a plan!

I’m not going to lie my mental health has gone down hill since finding out about these two new people. I’m worried about PND and the hard work that it was with the last set of twins.

This month I am going to try to tick off a list of things that will help me feel more positive.

June List

  • Finish playroom decorating  ( I have enlisted the help of a decorator
  • Decorate and move the office
  • Decorate and furnish Nursery
  • Move kids toys into playroom
  • Declutter and purge kids toys  – I am currently obsessed with Allie Casazza and want to try and live a more minimal life – I’m not going as far as one plate per person (so my friends won’t need to bring a plate with them) but I’d like to adopt some concepts into our life!
  • Carrying on with the Minimalist theme I want to redo my wardrobe – I know this is not really practical at over 6 months pregnant but I know some pieces that I will probably never wear again. and when the twins arrive and I lose the bump I will be able to top up my wardrobe with some key autumn pieces (Minimalist  shopaholic!)
  • I will continue my search for the perfect but affordable vehicle for our expanding family. – We currently have a Vaxhaul Zafira which although is 7 seats, its 7 seats and not enough boot space to fit in a suitcase let alone a pushchair!  I would really like a VW Caravelle but I want to pay cash and the price for a decent one is out of our cash price range!

Events in June

  • Friends Little One’s Christening – Both Hubby and I are God Parents
  • Mum’s 65th Birthday
  • Hubby’s Dad’s 70th Birthday

So looks like a busy month I also have numerous appointments in June with Diabetes checks, consultant appointments, midwife appointments and scans all already booked in!
I have also been slacking at swimming due to focusing all my time on the decorating and building work. I think it has had an impact on my mental health so I would like to go back to swimming at least twice a week. Even it’s only just to take the weight off my bump!

What are your June plans, goals?

Do you have any tips for me to get through the month?

Nina x