Saturday, 12 April 2014

slowing down

I've been away from this little space for a few weeks now, a self imposed break from everything but the basics.   Things have really busy around our little house and I was feeling not quite myself.  Each day seemed busier than the last and I was stretched and irritable.  So over the last few weeks I've been reflecting and evaluating; reflecting on how I spend my time and looking at ways to streamline, simplify and slow down.  I thought about what made me happy and what made me uptight and stressy.   It's no surprise to me really that the days that I felt stressed and tired I was running from one thing to the other, dragging two little ones around with me and even with all that running around, it still felt like I wasn't getting anything done or more importantly I wasn't getting to spend time with the little ones.  The days when I was most happiest was when I was able to potter around the house,  spend time playing with the two little ones and prepare dinner without rushing.  The days were slower and loosely structured.   The house was tidier and cleaner and I had time for some crochet and other crafty pleasures. 

So there have been some gradual changes for us, a shifting of priorities and it feels good.  I am beginning to feel like the old me;  I am breathing again.  There is still a way to go but our focus has shifted and I feel like we are on the right path.  

I thought I would share a couple of ideas with you which have been working for us and given me a few extra hours in the day.

Meal planning - I'm a big fan of doing this.  Each Sunday evening I'll sit down and work out our evening meals for the week. By doing this we cut down on food wastage, save time ( I can shop for the following days rather than ducking to the shops every day),  and I don't feel rushed at the end of the day. 

The school run - up until recently I was driving the older two children to and from school. I worked out though that I can save almost two hours a day if they take the bus to and from school.   TWO HOURS!  That's two extra hours I've got at home instead of getting a toddler and baby in and out of the car, sitting in traffic, adding to my stress.   So I save time and money, plus the kids love doing it, so this is a winner all round.

Limiting activities during the week - Some weeks I was out every day; grocery shopping, general errands, morning teas with friends, dragging my little ones from pillar to post.  I was at the stage where each day I was wishing for extra hours in a day and an extra day in the week.  I realised that I needed to limit the amount of activities I committed to each week.  Last week was lovely as we only had one commitment.  The other days we pottered around the house; playing, baking, tidying, planning, crafting. 

It's been nice to be able to slow down, breathe and enjoy our days rather than jump out of bed and not stop running until I collapsed into bed each night. I'm getting so much more done and feeling so much better in myself.  I've been doing some crochet, lots of little crafty things and even making some yoghurt (more on this later).

So tell me, what do you do to save time?   Do you have any ideas for me?

tina xo

Thursday, 10 April 2014

In my kitchen...

I'm linking up with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and taking a little peak into other people's kitchens.

In my kitchen this week ....

...there is Choc Raspberry Ripple from Sarah Wilson's 'I quit Sugar'.  This is the first time I've made this and honestly I was a little doubtful, but This. Was. Amazing. Coconut, raspberries and raw chocolate, and it's good for you!  Need I say more?!?

There is also a slow cooker on my bench full of warm milk which will hopefully become yogurt. This is another first for me - I've never made yoghurt in my slow cooker, so I'm so excited to see how this turns out.

There is a Thermomix brochure - I've been to a demo and had a demo at my place yesterday, but I'm still not convinced that it's worth the whopping price tag?  I mean, apart from being able to actually cook a meal in it, I'm thinking a food processor would be able to do the same thing?  What do you think?

......and these lovely roses picked from my garden yesterday after a night of rain. 

What's happening in your kitchen this week?

tina xo

Note: I must apologise about the quality of the pictures.  They were taken on my phone as my 'real' camera is out of action at the moment.