Stepping out of my comfort zone

Back when Hanson announced their String Theory tour, I knew I really wanted to attend. The thought of them performing with a live symphony orchestra was just an amazing opportunity and I just couldn’t miss out on it. Hubby told me to go ahead and buy my ticket as we would sort the rest out later. Originally my hubby would be coming with me, though not to the concert, and we would stay overnight in a hotel, asking his mum to have Dylan for us. The back up plan was if she couldn’t have him, hubby would stay home, the back up plan to that was get my dad to have Dylan as he should be finished work in time for school pick up and have him until hubs had got home from work and I would need to leave the concert early to catch the train home so I could do the school run in the morning.


As time went on we had arranged for my Mother In Law to have Dylan, however closer to the time, my husband simply could not get the time off work. I was torn between staying overnight or going home, plus I had never travelled on my own before. This was going to be a pretty big deal for me.

My Hanson fan friend Maiyu and myself decided to put in for a Meet and Greet with the band, figuring it was worth a shot so we requested one back in the September, I think it was and thought nothing of it after that. On the Monday I had checked my e-mails as it was a week that day but had received nothing and I just thought to myself that it was absolutely fine. Tuesday however, hubs had asked me to e-mail something over to him. I logged into my Yahoo account and there jumped out “HANSON.net Meet & Greet winner”. I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor my absolute luck! I had gone to bed at gone 9pm and the e-mail had come in at 9.21. I was so glad I hadn’t checked my e-mails before I had gone to bed, I’d never have slept otherwise! This concert was going to be the best birthday present ever!

I had booked the Sunday off work so I could do last-minute preparations, and my MIL arrived to help out. Monday 11th Feb (2 days after my 36th birthday), I took my son to school who really didn’t want to go because he knew mummy was spending the night away from home, and I headed home to try and have a rest and get the last of my things up together.

I think I over packed.

I was so nervous! MIL dropped me off at the station and I double checked with a person on the platform that I was getting on the right train even though I had downloaded the Trainline app to make extra EXTRA sure. I sat opposite a lady, sharing a table. I tried to get my article done for the magazine done on the train but for some reason my keyboard wouldn’t sync to my tablet so I decided to forget it and just watched out the window. Luckily the lady I was sat with was getting off at the same station as I was so she let me know when to start gathering my things together ready to get off.

The station was so big. I had a little panic when I arrived there as there were so many platforms and I wondered if I was going to make it home the next day! But I stepped outside, dropped hubby a text and saw the Bullring opposite and had an hour until I could check in to my hotel. I started walking around and looking at shops, and I got the hotel up on Google Maps and just started walking in that direction popping into shops to have a look (I did make one purchase – a “Little Baby Bot” bath bomb from Lush for Dylan as a treat) and I was super excited to go into a Muji shop. Next thing I knew, I was looking at Symphony Hall and my hotel was a mere 6 minute walk away. I had been videoing along the way as well, planning on making a vlog type video to remember the day.

I arrived to the hotel early, but one of the ladies on the Whatsapp Chat that we started for other Meet & Greet winners had managed to get into hers early so I thought I would give a go. It was a bit strange turning up to the hotel and there were just kiosks to check in lol.

My Hotel Room

I had a mix of emotions, I was excited to be seeing Hanson and sad to have left hubby and Dylan behind. I headed out to Sainsburys across the road to grab something for breakfast the next day (I wasn’t spending ยฃ5.25 on the hotel’s small breakfast) and as I had to be at the venue to meet up with the M&G ladies by 5pm so I grabbed a meal deal for my tea- I hadn’t really had a proper lunch, and at this point my stomach was doing flips.

Dylan was home from school and hubby had finished work so I did a video chat with my little monkey who after being upset that morning that I was leaving, was watching telly and couldn’t give two hoots that mummy was calling. I had a regular call with hubs, and then I had to hurry up and start getting ready – my wish for a nap was clearly not happening!

Once at the venue, I started saying hello to the ladies I had been chatting to on Whatsapp for the last week and we began picking up our VIP passes. At this point, I was surprisingly calm. The nerves had vanished and I was having a great time.

The guy who was handing out the passes was hilarious and kept us all entertained and we all chatted for a while. The ladies in our M&G were all so great! The merch kiosk started setting up when we were there and I grabbed a t-shirt and a pin for my collection. I adore this pin! I have worn it to work and have popped it on my hoodie a LOT.

We had to wait a lot, it was about 6.15 when we headed off towards the side room that we were meeting the band in, and as I was in group A we went in first, it was gone 6.30 I believe. I was the last in the group to go into the room and put my bag down and go say hi. The rest is mostly a blur LOL. I remember I shook their hands, Isaac signed my book first so he asked my name and I spelled it for him, I then went to Zac for his autograph, and then Taylor who could just about squeeze it in LOL. I was then stood listening to a conversation with Zac and Lizzie and Sarah. I hardly said anything to be honest. Looking back there are a couple of things I wish I could have said:
– Talk with Zac about when Dylan was born because his son Abe was born days after him.
– Talk with Zac about the switch. Because he loves it and I think it’s awesome too.
– Mentioned to Isaac about the time I bumped into him back in 2011 when he was on his way back from the pub.
– Said how I got to see them in 2010 on my honeymoon when they played Eat To The Beat, and left my husband in the UK pavilion with a cider in each hand so I could see them.

Taylor then mentioned that we had to take our picture and I felt his hand on my shoulder to get in for the shot for a brief moment. Looking at the picture I kind of look a bit odd standing on my own out the front while everyone else is in a line LOL, but I was pretty unaware what was happening behind me. I was sure my picture was going to be a bit funny anyway as I could feel my cheek full on twitching so I was dreading seeing it but it wasn’t that bad after all lol.

In the end, we were told our time was up, and I was on auto pilot thinking that there were others who still had to have their turn and I just turned and headed straight for my bag, but I did say to the guys that we were having an absolute blast outside the room as we were all leaving.

I stood in the entrance afterwards and caught up with a bunch of my Hanson friends, including Maiyu. It was great to meet some old friends, some friends who I hadn’t met before but I had known via the fanclub/street team and some new friends too. They called that doors were open to take their seats but no one rushed to go, most people stayed in the bar area (I had taken a bottle of water with me and a small pocket squash) and slowly went and took their seat. There was one lady who I heard had taken her seat already so I went in, but she was on a balcony but we did wave hello.

The show itself was an amazing experience. I was relieved it wasn’t a standing show so it wasn’t as crazy to queue and was so laid back. Everyone was just sat and listened to the music – it wasn’t like any other show I had been to, it was great. As the orchestra started playing the opening to Reaching For The Sky, I got emotional. I was so glad I went and got to experience it. As the show went on, some fans would shout out to the band that they love them between the songs, towards the end everyone was clapping along then got up to dance, before during the last couple of songs a bunch of people went up towards the stage to dance. I, however, stayed at my seat and watched everyone debating on whether to stay where I was or go and join some of the others and get up closer for some better photos than my phone could manage.

After the show, I called hubby who insisted I get an Uber or taxi but the area outside the venue was pedestrianised and just after that where the road actually was, it was closed due to roadworks. I had to walk halfway to the hotel to have got a taxi… and quite frankly there were a lot of other fans around anyway so I was fine. I was so tired that I walked right past the gates where fans had started gathering to wait for the band, while still talking to hubs who insisted he stayed on the phone until I got to my room then.

I got dressed for bed and jumped straight in, saying goodnight to hubs. I awoke at 2am (habit from being woken in the night) but I woke up properly at 7.30 and started watching some telly, opting for a quiet and calm morning with no rush to get anywhere, minus the fact I had to be home in time for parents evening appointment. But the adrenaline had worn off, and the anxiety of getting home had kicked in.

I had been debating about going to the free museum but instead opted to head straight to the station. I had Dylan’s present so I didn’t really need to go and nose through the shops, and I checked the train times and there was one at 10.30 but I would be better off getting an Uber for that, so that’s what I did ๐Ÿ™‚

I followed the signs for the platform shown on the app and felt pretty confident, especially when a few other people came on to the platform and asked another person if it was the right train and it was. I sat and ate another one of the blueberry muffins I had bought for breakfast on the train. It was a bit difficult carrying the 4 pack of those as well as my bags, so I knew I definitely over packed but for my first trip I just wanted to be prepared, but I will know for another time. And there will definitely be another time ^_^ The whole experience has made me more confident to do something like that again for sure. Everyone I met was so nice and friendly – even outside of the Hanson Fan community. People on the train etc were so nice and made me feel calm and safe the whole time. The Uber driver was so pleased to hear that I had such a great experience too.

[My video vlog to come soon]

Day In The Life

I had some issues with my web host and I backed up a lot of my sites, just in case. Some of them I have put up at Google Sites, one of them being my “Photolog” that has my Daily Grinds/Day In The Life posts. I participated in Ali Edward’s one yesterday (though didn’t follow the same guidelines as hers but rather stuck to my regular type) If you want to check it out go here:ย https://sites.google.com/view/mmmbisto-photolog/27112018

Flickr also have updated their service which means I have backed up my entire photo library from there and have put it into Google Photos, I had already started using it and was backing up a lot of my photos and videos there, so I ended up getting a push to back everything else up from Flickr there too. It does mean that I now have some broken photos here at my blog as there seems to be no easy way of deleting albums including the pictures and some have been deleted by mistake while I started trying to get myย 8,000+ photos down to below their 1,000 photo limit. I will get around to sorting something out at some point.

I have excitedly almost finished my December Daily 2017, and I have set up on my Google Drive for potentially doing one this year – I’m still debating it, but I think as long as I collect stories like I did last year an album will come together nice and easy. We shall see ๐Ÿ™‚ But maybe I could get a YouTube video made on my set up!

First Day of School

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It has been a long wait, but this monkey finally had his first day of school on Tuesday, but this week has seriously done me in! He has been in for just 2 and a half hours in the morning so I have been feeling that as soon as I dropped him off, I was getting home, frantically doing chores and racing back down to go and pick him back up. Next week will be a little easier as he will be staying for lunch and then coming home, and by the end of the month, he should be going full time. He wouldn’t stand still one little bit for me to take a picture and then refused any more. It’ll be the perfect photo to sum up life at the moment though!

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I’m also probably going to get a reputation as the “quirky” mum – or “weird mum” or be known as “scooter mum”, but really couldn’t care less.ย  This awesome thing has made the school run oh-so-much better for me. Dylan gets on it, and as it is surprisingly downhill (slightly, but enough lol) to the school so I only need to do a little scooting, and as Dylan has been walking down there and running around in the playground and then going into the classroom to play and then having to walk all the back he has been exhausted (I didn’t take the scooter the first day), so I have been pushing him back while he stands on it. Scooting back after drop off has also been giving me a flipping good workout!

I wish I could say all this has made Dylan sleep better at night. Nope, he’s pretty much the same as before minus a couple of really bad nights where school the next day has been playing on his mind so those nights were worse. So many people have said that once he starts school his sleep will be better and there’s still a little time before he’s full time so I’m still keeping my fingers crossed but I’m not holding out much hope!

My Graduate

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My baby graduated Preschool yesterday, and it was so emotional. He is VERY ready for school now, but I’m not sure if I’M ready for him to be ready. Life is just whizzing by so fast.

I took the obligatory final day of playgroup picture as well ๐Ÿ™‚ This will go nicely for a comparison between his very first day of playgroup in January 207 plus his first day of preschool in September 2017.

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I look forward to getting some scrapbook pages done. It just seems I’m constantly busy and never get the time, but I will be sure to set some aside to do some memory keeping. Dylan still is not sleeping well at night and lately is forcing himself to stay awake until up to 10pm at night – and still wakes in the night. This makes for one exhausted mama. So many people have mentioned that once he starts school it will wear him out, so I am certainly hoping! Hopefully here’s to blogging more than once every 4 months as well LOL.

October 2016

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I have been stepping up my craft game – and by stepping up I mean actually doing some LOL. The other night after Dylan had gone to bed, I stayed up (too late!) to make some dividers for an A5 Love Doki planner I got. I have been thinking of what to do for next year as this year I have been using a happy planner and that cannot be refilled… The original plan was to do a bullet journal, and I figured that when life gets a bit too hectic a bujo may not be used to its full potential – so my personal sized Love Doki got some new WH Smiths inserts as a back up. Just in case. Some people might wonder what on earth I could possibly put in a planner seeing as I’m just a stay at home mum in the week and at the weekend I just work in a shop… But I essentially have a household to run, and a work rota to keep on top of, and believe me – if I have a bad week and I don’t fill anything in, then both myself and Dylan can stay in our jammies for a couple of days at home (in my defence, I was also not feeling too good).

I was so pleased with how my dividers came out, some ladies in a planner group I belong to asked where I was selling them lol!

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Dylan also decided that he wanted to be Catboy from PJ Masks. He’s absolutely Mario mad at the moment, and often tells me that he’s Mario and I’m Princess Peach and then we continue what we are doing but I have to refer to him as Mario ๐Ÿ™‚ But for a few days I was Night Ninja (with lots of sticky splats!) and he asked if we could make a catboy mask for him and he wanted me to have an Owlette one too, so I picked up enough foam for all 3 PJ Masks just in case he wanted to be Gecko instead – the joys of toddlers!

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I ran out of hot glue sticks so only Catboy has been completed, but he loves it, even if he has picked at it and broken it a bit so it needs to be fixed! (Again, joy of toddlers lol!)

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We decided to have a fairly quiet day, I was feeling less than great, so we had a PJ day. We built a fort and cuddled up with blankets and cushions in there (my legs were outside the side hole because I couldn’t fit in completely) we watched some telly, we read books, we cuddled up and played his DS. Later on that day I remembered I still hadn’t seen the Justin Timberlake concert on Netflix so we put it on and danced (I wasn’t particularly concerned about bad words during songs) took a short break for bath time and cuddled up on the sofa to finish it off. It was one of my favourite days – one that I know I will look back on and remember fondly ๐Ÿ™‚

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It seems to be getting colder, our heating was put on the other week, and something my mum used to do for us when we were little was to get 2 Cadbury mini rolls in a bowl and cover them in custard… YUMMY! The custard would melt the chocolate and was a lovely warming treat. We had no mini rolls – not even the Tesco ones we buy – but I did have some tesco cake bars and they did the trick nicely ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have got to make some chocolate crumble/chocolate concrete sometime soon, but today after I got home from work and cooked our tea, both me and Dylan made M&M cookies. ^_^

Autumn is on the way!

There’s a long main road near to where I live and the leaves started changing a couple of weeks back. Summer came back and we certainly have been enjoying it ๐Ÿ™‚

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There hasn’t been much to share lately, and for that I apologise. Dylan is coming on leaps and bounds with his potty training, I’m still looking into cutting down on chemicals in our home, but it seems home made laundry powder isn’t one we can use… (1) not that this matters to us as our machine is on its last legs & I’d many years old, but it can apparently void your warranty if you use homemade laundry products. (2) it doesn’t get your clothes actually clean. With a toddler, who gets messy, we need things to be clean! It was actually my own PJ bottoms that made me realise it wasn’t doing the job it was supposed to, as they are quite long for my short legs and drag the floor and I had gone into the garden wearing them and they were filthy! Only after washing, they were the same. I did another wash but this time with detergent and that did a much better job. I know cutting chemicals out completely is an impossible task, so I know I have to pick my battles, and for now it seems that this isn’t one of them.

Otherwise we are just plodding along.

Our flat tour

Quite overdue, I am going to share the video of our flat. There’s the original video when I moved in (if you excuse my awful commentary!) then there’s the one I recorded before we moved out… An additional two people and a lot more stuff later!

So here it is when I moved in and we had started doing some work to it (but still a bit to go!)

Here’s some pictures of how it was once I was more settled and I had my proper furniture in:

My Flat 2007-2015

I know that in 2008 Gareth moved in with his stuff and then we had a child whom we bought things for, in a 1 bed flat, was tough, but even so it was still a lot we had.

I have actually vlogged and recorded a video earlier on the other day about my new YouTube channel. My original one is home movies and random bits, so *hopefully* this new one will be about, along with blogging about it, cutting down on chemicals in the home, what I’m doing and using to help my anxiety and be in a better frame of mind (though today I am super exhausted!), decluttering and sorting out our home and so on, so watch this space.

I will also be getting around to a house tour video soon ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s on my to-do list!

Multitasking at its finest

Scanning and blogging! So bear with me here ๐Ÿ˜‰ It has been quite a (long) day with Dylan sleeping in his room until 4.3oam where I then lay awake for 2 hours before getting up and getting cracking on some house work, my UC making me quite poorly, and mishaps such as attaching myself via hook and loop tape (also known as velcro to most of us ha!) to some boards, scaring myself silly going into a completely dark room with a mannequin that was right insideย the door – the same one I have mistaken for a customer far too many times than I care to admit.

Hubby is working on some stuff in the spare room and Dylan thankfully went to bed after arguing with me about where he was planning on sleeping. I am sat on the floor with a cushion as I need to access the scanner for my lovely planner pages.

You see apparently that Marie Kondo said something about things coming to you when you most need it. I’m still a little skeptical but have witnessed a couple of such events:

A raffle where I left early from the party. At the time I remember seeing the table of prizes thinking “I don’t want any of that clutter around” so didn’t hesitate when I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people after losing Dylan a few times that I had enough (thankfully it was a toddler Xmas party and he was safe but still a scary thing watching your child run off in front of your eyes and there is no way you can get to him as there are people blocking your path!)

I was done. I didn’t care if I didn’t win anything.

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Weeks later I received a voucher, as it turns out from that very raffle… For a free cut and blow dry. The previous weekend I had been thinking to myself that I needed a hair cut.

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Then we have my latest purchase: A Kikki K wellness planner. I agonised over this one for weeks. I debated about whether I truly needed it, I watched youtube videos about it and figured everything in this planner was just what I needed to get me on track where my regular planner organises my to dos/appointments/etc, but that maybe I should still wait. They had a sale on for 20% off and boy did I hover over that add to cart button. Instead I signed up to the mailing list a couple of days before the end of Jan, where the final day of the sale I received an additional money off coupon code, that by luck I tried it with the already 20% off and got it at a bargain price. But I am scanning the pages in so that I don’t have to purchase refills ๐Ÿ˜› ย It is gorgeous and most certainly is sparking joy: a year ago on Tuesday I attended my first CBT class which ultimately (we think) helped me get into remission until December with my autoimmune disease. This planner has CBT like parts about it but also addresses other key things. Just reading through it has made me think a lot and I look forward to using it to implement some much needed changes in addition to some other household ones I have in the works. If it helps me make some happy healthy changes to my life then without a doubt it will be worth every penny ๐Ÿ™‚

I do intend on being back with those flat videos. I was also toying with the idea of doing a bit of vlogging but we shall see how that one actually pans out haha!

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Not only have I been sick with an awful cold, had my car not starting when I was trying to leave for work and borrowing Gareth’s, then had to sort out a punctureย for my car, Gareth’s car having issues as well and him having my car for the week until we got it back on Thursday… Ive had one poorly little pickle as well. Thankfully colds seem to have shifted. Next plan, remission for me! (please keep fingers crossed!)

Making the switch to reusables

We signed the contracts! We are so close now ๐Ÿ™‚

I am currently mid “Week In The Life”. As much as I would love to promise a post on it, I just don’t know if/when I will, but I hope to. (The cot shot is from nap time today, the others are from various days)

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Now I will do an advanced “TMI” warning for anyone who is of a squeemish disposition, however it’s all completely natural stuff I will be sharing, but I can already tell you no guy wants to read past this paragraph… Continue Reading

April 2015

Well this post has been long overdue. I’ve even had all intentions of writing a planner related post, but I’ve had a lot of stuff going on these last few months, for example:

  • The CBT course I took for 6 weeks
  • 2 nieces born
  • Dealing with my anxiety in general
  • Settling into work
  • Housework

 

I’m still trying to learn how to get by on very little & broken sleep. Just the previous night Dylan didn’t finally properly settle until 3am, and I know I am certainly not the same person because of being exhausted and tired all the time, and it’s hard. So many people comment how tired he looks but for some reason to him sleep is the enemy. I get better nights when he only wakes up twice but for a long time now he refuses to sleep in his cot or only manages a very short period in there, and the rest of the night I’m being kicked in the ribs. Both me & Dylan manage to sleep a lot better when he actually does go down in his cot (that’s the nights he only wakes twice) but they do not happen nearly enough.

He’s had his first “trim” courtesy of daddy while I was at work:

He likes to post things into the VCR, and he liked to wear mummy’s headband (until he snapped it this morning)

I have to double check the washing machine before I put on a wash.

He’s looking so grown up!

and even tries to dress himself!

I have been battling the clutter in our flat. It’s something that has needed to be done for a long time. I read “the life changing magic of tidying up” and started taking a few tips for now just to get things in order to make moving a little easier, when we do move. Then once we have moved we will have a better idea of where things will go and if we need to rid even more things.