The Craftyguidelets love to read. My eldest can be in the middle of 3 or 4 books at a time, but still knows exactly what is going on in each. I used to devour books when I commuted into London. But now my commute is from the kitchen to the living room or the office, and my volunteering has expanded, the time I allocate to reading books has reduced considerably.
With a queue of books on my Kindle app and a pile of books in the cupboard, I decided to set myself up on the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge. As well as keeping my list short with a realistic target of only 12 books, I thought I’d try and find books from different categories to mix it up a bit.
- An unfinished book – Helen Fielding – Mad About the Boy – finished
- A new author to me.
- A classic read.
- A book recommended by a librarian.
- A book that’s been adapted into a film.
- A celebrity autobiography – Mary Portas – Shop Girl – now reading
- A book written by/about a historical figure.
- An award winning book.
- A children’s book.
- A celebrity book club read.
- A book I should have read at school rather than just the York Notes.
- A Goodreads recommendation.
I am one book in and it’s only 8th January – go me! My little widgety thing at the side of my blog keeps the tally, and hopefully I’ll read more than my target.
Are you doing any reading challenges this year?
The Christmas decorations are down, the birthday cards are up, the Craftyguidelets are back at school – it must be time to get the house back in order.
There are so many books and websites to trawl through to plan a declutter or instigate a new housework routine. The Fly Lady will have you shining your sink, tidying to bless your house and “getting dressed to lace up shoes” as part of your new routine. Marie Kondo has her KonMari Method which gives you “the life changing magic of tidying up” and seems to have you assessing every item for sparks of joy and thanking them for everything they’ve done for you, before donating them to the local charity shop. Anthea Turner will make you the Perfect Housewife and will have you buying wooden coathangers and folding towels just so. The different lists, methods and techniques are endless.
Everyone has something that clicks with them, and although I haven’t immersed myself in any of the above methods, I have cherry picked a few ideas which work for me. To save the last minute rush in the morning, I now get dressed before going down to breakfast, so even if I’m signing reading records or getting lost in an interesting news article, I’m at least decent for the school run. I have parted with several years of birthday cards and some Craftyguidelet artwork, as although they spark joy, I’d rather have the room for new memories to come. And if you check my airing cupboard, my towels are all folded beautifully!
My house does need a severe declutter though as living in chaos gets me down. My life is so busy I need to be able to find things easily without a whole cupboard of stuff falling down on me. It would also be great for everything to have a home so at Christmas we aren’t stuffing vacuum cleaner parts in the airing cupboard or losing PE kits in the Christmas decoration boxes under the stairs.
I spotted A Bowl Full of Lemons blog when I was sorting out my Bloglovin feed. She’s written a book which is out in the UK in February, and is running a Home Organisation 101 Challenge. It’s a 14 week challenge with a printable checklist and it starts on Saturday this week. Although it looks like she’s into baskets and drawer liners (that ain’t happening in my kitchen!), the basics appeal to me. First week is the kitchen so I’ll be going in to sort through exactly what is stashed away in the drawers. If you don’t hear from me by next week, send in a rescue party. With gin. And chocolate.
Do you have an organisation ‘guru’?
One of the things I want to get under control this year is my food shopping. Dinners are always a balancing act in our house. I don’t eat meat, and Mr CG is gluten (and onions, leeks, spices, garlic…) intolerant. The Craftyguidelets, even though they have a bit of childhood fussiness, are probably the most normal eaters in our house. I usually cook from scratch because of this. Add to this my volunteering and the girls’ after school activities, planning what to cook for dinner, and having the time to cook it, is a juggling act.
I used to participate in At Home With Mrs M‘s Meal Planning Monday from time to time. After a break, it’s back today (yay!), so it ties in with my need to get discipline back to plan my week’s meals. This will hopefully lead to less food waste, healthier meals, fewer trips to the shops and a reduced spend.
Most of our Christmas leftovers are gone now, but I still seem to have some food to use up including a bit of veg, loads of apples, some sausages and a bit of cheese. I also have a stash of frozen bits and pieces to use up, so this week’s menu is this:
Monday: sausage pasta in the slow cooker (and veg bolognaise from the freezer) – it’s my birthday so I don’t want too much hassle cooking!
Tuesday: salmon, mash and veg
Wednesday: freezer dive
Thursday: tuna pasta bake with sweetcorn (the girls’ favourite!)
Friday: gammon (and quorn burgers)
Saturday: salad and jacket potatoes with cold meat (and cheese)
Sunday: whatever my mum and dad are providing
The apples will go in muffins and I’m sure baked apples will make an appearance at some point. See you next Monday!
If you have any great recipes or books to recommend, please fill my comments with suggestions!