Category Archives: Health & Wellbeing

Burning Down The House: Part Deux

It’s safe to say this summer is a load of balls.

Yes, perhaps this does counter my attempt at positivity in another recent post BUT things have changed since then.

It was one thing when Jacob fractured his elbow and put paid to all our plans for summer holiday adventures and especially anything water-related.

It was another when Eva picked up a rather vile tummy bug that lasted for almost a week.

We’re talking full out-of-all-ends projections all day long – I literally had to boil wash and bleach everything that she even looked at.

The sitting room rug is currently still banished to the back garden and the neighbourhood is still under threat that I might just burn the fucking house down and be done with it.

But it is QUITE ANOTHER MATTER ALTOGETHER when both adults of this house pick up aforementioned stomach bug at precisely the same time.

I won’t go into the shitty details (sorry) but suffice to say that Ass Monkey and I are on Day 4 of no food, gross episodes and are both shadows of our former selves.

We’ve never both been simultaneously sick before so it’s a bit of a pisser for the kids that..well, that we’re their parents, frankly, at the moment.

Thankfully my own parents are taking them to the movies today so they can have something of a childhood that doesn’t involve having arts and crafts shoved at them while their parents wrestle each other like maniacs for first dibs on the bathroom.

Anyway, I’ve decided that when it’s all over, I may as well burn down the house and the entire neighbourhood now.

It is my social duty.

I mean, if I can spare just one family the bum wees…

 

 

Entertaining 5-Year-Olds With Broken Arms On Summer Hols

Don’t be disappointed but this isn’t actually a helpful, informative piece about what you should do if your 5-year-old should fracture his elbow on summer hols.

No. This is an appeal for HELP.

There are 5-ish weeks left to go before school decides to get over their (very tanned by now) selves and start back to educating our kids so WTF am I to do with the one-arm bandit until then?

@skinnybatchdeli pancakes being put to good use 😃

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He had a fall at my brother’s wedding (lovely day, jesus they really got the weather and all the gorgeous pics and we drank all the gorgeous prosecco too) – and Ass Monkey and I had to transport him to Temple Street at 11pm via taxi..

..because we were fairly shit-faced by then.

I managed to change into a t-shirt and jeans but still had a full face of makeup and false eyelashes on so I looked FABULOUS as I burst through the doors in dramatic fashion, insisting on carrying my son wrapped in a blanket who DID NOT have a broken ankle and was well able to walk himself in, truth be told.

(Although it was very late and cold and he was in a little bit of shock so I’ll forgive myself that one)

Anyway, featured elbow, they said. 6 weeks in a cast, they said.

FUCK MY LIFE.

I said.

He’s adjusted quite well, to be fair, and is rocking the sympathy vote with the ladies and anyone else who enquires as to the presence of the cast.

‘My uncle dropped me’, is the story he insists on telling everyone, which isn’t true but I’m enjoying the reactions so I’m saying nothing.

Me? I’m not adjusting so great. There is now only room for me, him and the bright blue cast in our bed at night.

Ass Monkey has been relegated to Jacobs bedroom – it is honestly the most use it’s gotten since we’ve moved into the house 3 years ago to be honest.

Kiddie camps have been a welcome relief until now, those 3 precious hours to yourself in the morning can never be underestimated.. but they finish this Friday.

Then what, people? Entertain the one-arm sympathy junkie by myself?!

HELLLLPPPP!!!!

40 Things To Do Before You Turn 40

It had to go and happen. I had to go and leave my thirties.

Fuck’s sake.

I haven’t had what you could call a birthday party since my 30th although I do like taking a moment on the day itself to pat myself on the back for any nice nice achievements or moments during the previous 12 months.

This year, turning 40, I thought I’d have a l’il bash..

So myself and Ass Monkey checked into The Marker Hotel (swit swoo!) for the night and I hung out in the spa for a while – which is AMAZING – until we headed to Farrier and Draper for dinner and drinks.

Hey 40. I think I’ve got this 🤘🏻

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I had a frickin amazing night, have only felt the urge to wear granny pants and shawls on two separate occasions since and overall, I would say that turning 40 has been without incident so far.

In light of my new-found old age I have decided that I shall henceforth behave sage-like and impart wisdom on anyone who comes within 14 miles of me so since you’re already here…

40 Things To Do Before You Turn 40

  1. Fall in love. Don’t be afraid FFS, just do it.
  2. Develop an addiction to Cadbury’s Cream Eggs. You want one now, don’t you?
  3. Take the thing that scares you the most and do it anyway. Mine was stand-up comedy. Sometimes it was amazing and sometimes it was painfully shit. I did it anyway and I survived.
  4. Hang out with kids. I’m not saying you have to have kids of your own (coz it’s your choice innit?!) but just go hang out with some kids. They’re flippin’ great craic.
  5. Be that person. You know, the one who does nice things for other people, who tries to help, who cares. You owe it to the universe.
  6. Watch The Slipper and The Rose. You’re welcome.
  7. Go dancing. Go bare-foot, bare-faced, in-your-underpants dancing and do it for hours.
  8. Change something about yourself. Something you don’t like – the way your name is spelled, the colour of your hair, your address, your mood. Self-improvment is your life work, girl.
  9. Learn key phrases in the local language of any country you are going to visit. Don’t be so.. Oirish about the situation.
  10. Write a book. Ah sure jesus we all have one in us don’t we?
  11. Stop eating processed food. If you don’t know what that means, you’re already in trouble. Start with striking jars of bolonegese sauce off your shopping list – there is SO MUCH sugar in those things. Go fresh or go home!
  12. Rescue an animal. Give a little mite a better life would ya?
  13. Save up and buy something outrageous just for you. Those shoes, that bag, that watch.. do it.
  14. Use the good plates. All the time. Who are you waiting for to visit? (I was gonna say ‘The Queen?!’ here but, y’know, she doesn’t really apply to us. So, em, Madonna? Does that work?)
  15. Take time out for yourself as much as possible. I highly recommend baths, early morning walks, a trip to get your nails done, lunch or cinema trips alone and, most importantly – DAYTIME NAPS! Just leave those dishes there for 20 minutes and when the kids are at school, go lie down. That’s an order.
  16. Don’t be a slave to fashion – be an individual with your sense of style. This is from the 40 year old woman who just bought a shiny red bomber jacket.
  17. Don’t focus on who didn’t show up for you at that party/launch/get-together/hen – focus on who did. SOOOO much better for your head.
  18. Assert yourself. Ask for that salary that you know you deserve, say no if you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, say how you feel, speak up, fight, know that you’re worth it every. single. day.
  19. Read. Everything you can get your hands on.
  20. Build your network and make sure you support it.
  21. Grow your own food – a strawberry bush, a bag of potatoes – I guarantee you’ll be so proud of yourself the day you eat them!

22. Double your efforts – if you feel like you’re not getting where you’re supposed to be – try harder.

23. Learn the words to two crowd pleasing songs – don’t be caught out singing Row Row Row Your Boat Gently Down The Stream at the family Xmas table when everyone is doing a party piece (although, to be fair to her, my Sis In Law REALLY pulled it off that time)

24. Smile. Infect the whole world with your smiles.

25. Get a tattoo. Go on, chicken shit ;o)

26. Say yes. Stop making excuses about why you can’t go to the party, drive across town, jump out of that airplane for charity, go away for a weekend with the girls. SAY YES.

27. Start your own business. It doesn’t have to last forever but if you do it, you appreciate everyone who ever gave you a job ever and makes you appreciate the value of hard work.

28. Work a Saturday night shift at a busy city centre restaurant. So that you’ll never, ever be rude to a waiter.

29. Stay at a swish hotel and pretend you’re a celebrity. I wore a sparkly dress and waved at tourists on an open-top bus from the windows of The Shelbourne once.. and they all waved back. Ha!

30. Switch off your phone – at dinner, at the checkout, after 11pm, on Sundays – you nominate it and you stick to it but give yourself a jaysus break from that screen.

31. Have a pyjama day. Lots of them. Who says that you have to shower every day and get out of the house anyway? A little off day here and there is good for ya. Just don’t make a habit of it!

32. Reign it in. As you get older you’ll find that while you might know a lot of people, and quite like all those people, that really, only a small number of them are your friends. This is FINE and you should be ecstatic that you are so lucky to have them. Nurture them, love them, be there for them and understand all the things that make each of them unique. Remember their birthdays, love their kids like they’re your own, stay in touch.

I have the best friends in the world you know 💕

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33. Post hand-written cards for people. Why send a text or write a FB post when you can buy a postcard or a card, write a lovely message on it, stick a stamp on it and fling it in the post box? The joy that goes with getting a nice card in the post cannot be underestimated.

34. Travel – yes, everyone says this and actually, I haven’t been AMAZING on my travel experiences but get a map on the wall and start picking off a few spots. If I don’t get to Disneyland and Lapland in the next year or two, there’ll be trouble.

35. Read the papers – the GOOD ones, now. Stay on top of what’s going on in the world so you don’t come off like such a wally.

36. Get political – I’m not saying run for president (although why now?!) but even getting involved in your community council will help you feel like you have some say in what’s happening around you. You can’t complain that everything is shit and let someone else be in charge of the shit. You get in charge of the shit!

37. Find magic in everything – your surroundings, your stories, the people you meet, the hugs you get, the opportunities that come your way and allow yourself to feel lucky.

38. Stand up in front of a crowd and do something – stand-up, sing, make a speech, give a presentation, pole dance (!), teach, recite poetry – if you can get through it while being heckled (and you know you will), you’ll be bullet-proof in just about any situation!

39. Stop taking yourself so seriously. You have internet trolls for that.

40. Love. All day long. Yourself, the world, life, the people in it (but not Donald Trump) – and remember every day.. you’re rocking it.

Love Shaz xxx

What To Do When You Get Rear-Ended Twice In One Day

My day started out with a finger up my ass.

Don’t worry, it was a professional finger – that of my doctor and to be fair to her, I did ask her to do it.

My internals have been a bit wonky since Eva was born and so I finally got my finger out of my.. annnywaaaay, I made an appointment with the doc so that she could do all the usual tests.

I didn’t just endure the butt-rummage but she got the ole syringe out for bloods too, which always makes me feel a little sorry for myself. So I took my sorry.. (see? I can’t even mention it now) self, off for a nice cup of tea afterwards before heading to the office.

I was feeling just about human again so I hit the road.

And there, at the ridiculously bonkers roundabout at the 3Arena, with trucks and vans and cyclists and lunacy whirring around and over the bridge to Irishtown at an alarming rate..

a taxi driver boinked right into the back of my car. The fucker.

He approached and asked me if I was alright to which my drama queen dutifully squealed back at high pitch in response;

“No I’m not ok! I’m calling the police!”

A few points to note on this:

  1. One is absolutely supposed to call the police in the case of a road accident so high fives to my inner drama queen for reminding me of that.
  2. 911 is NOT the number for the emergency services in Ireland.
  3. When you calm down and realise there is no damage whatsoever to your car, you’re going to feel a bit silly for calling the Gardaí but they’re on their way anyway so you may as well start wondering if they’ll send one of the handsome ones.
  4. Your husband (I still love calling him that!) will arrive and park his jeep at a very precarious angle at the side of the roundabout without a fuck given what anyone thinks BECAUSE HE IS HERE TO RESCUE YOU.
  5. Your back will start to feel a bit achy. You’ll remind yourself that your back has been achy since that time you fell off a stripper pole but you’ll still wonder what outfits you have that might go best with a neck brace.
  6. That same husband will flag down a passing garda car and ask them if they’re here to deal with the fender bender. They’ll joke “Did you want the armed unit?!” HAR HAR I’M FUCKING FREEZING STANDING HERE GLAD ALL YOU GUYS ARE HAVING THE CRAIC!!
  7. A traffic cop will arrive on his motorbike, with those leather pants on. I’ll just leave that there.
  8. You’ll be asked to produce your driver’s license. As you rummage through your handbag, you can visualise it, in a Doc McStuffins ‘doctors bag’ that your daughter has been using as an official medical badge. At home in your house. You explain this to Sexy Leathers Cop. He will move swiftly on.
  9. You start to feel a little bit sorry for the taxi driver that you’ve created all this drama. Then you remember the doctor’s surgery not one hour ago. He doesn’t know what you’ve been through today already.
  10. Sexy Leathers Cop will ask for some paper to write his details on. Any fleeting thoughts that you and he are about to become best buddies is quashed by a yellow and brown hand-drawn picture of what looks like Jesus on a crucifix on your work notebook. “It’s a Gingerbread Man”, you explain to him. “Jacob’s learning all about how bread is made in school. See the connection there.. ginger.. bread.. har har?!”

We all got out of there alive. I’m now taking this sad and sorry ASS to bed x

Snapshot

I am doing my best to be better organised on Raising Ireland – it was all somewhat abandoned last year while we built the house and got married (I know, I know, I’ve hardly mentioned either of those things for HOURS now) – but now, I’m getting back into it.

You see, the thing is, I LOVE writing and I love the fact that I have a little website that is all my own and when the kids are ignoring me or asleep or I just want some time to myself – I write. So why wouldn’t I do it more often, huh? WELL EXACTLY!

This is the first contribution I’ve ever made to another blogger’s link-up and I’m excited! Maud from Awfully Chipper has come up with a fantastic idea to just give a quick snapshot into our lives right now, and as I’m usually so busy running around, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take stock of where our bonkers lives are currently at!

So here I go;

Listening to:

Florence and the Machine, mostly. Nothing like epic anthems to get you going around the park with the dog at 7am.

Watching:

RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix. Like, addicted. Can’t stop. May enter next year ;o)

Playing:

Catch-up, mostly. The house, the laundry, the jaysus unfinished garden!

Reading: 

The last two Sunday’s newspapers – why won’t anyone let me do it the day I buy them?!

Looking forward to: 

Booking a holiday. We’re still trying to decide what to do. And find the money. Doing the Lotto and regularly dreaming.

Drinking:

All the champagne. We were off the booze for most of January and February but have just begun to pretend like that never happened and we’re starting to open all our wedding presents. And drink them. WOOT!

Wearing:

Only new clothes. Chucked everything out at the beginning of the year that was tatty and wrecked. Have been clinging onto an old padded maternity coat which is the next to go, fact!

Channelling Avril Lavigne this morning 🙈😂🙈😂

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Eating:

Meat and dairy-free. No I have no idea who I am either!

Working on:

Opening a coffee shop and bakery. We’ve been talking about it for 10 years and I think the time might be now!

Permanently frustrated by:

The news. I’m so over it. Planning on having a week of digging my head in the sand and avoiding it all!

Enjoying:

The good weather. Even the lollipop man was in good form this morning!

Not enjoying:

Two short work weeks ahead of me. Jacob’s school are off this Friday for Paddy’s Day, obviously, but the following Monday too. Noooo!!!

What is going on in your life right now?! Let me know in the comments on Facebook!

 

The Vegetarian’s Wife: How I Accidentally Gave Up Meat (ish)

One morning late last August, I came downstairs to find my husband standing in the kitchen who uttered the words no woman wants to hear:

“I am becoming a Vegetarian”.

To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement. Ass Monkey is a Meat Man.

Tales of his BBQs are whispered in snugs around North County Dublin; his pulled pork sandwich creations have been known to end long-standing family feuds and his Xmas glazed ham.. well, let’s just say it’s 84% the reason I married him.

But as a lover of documentaries, Ass Monkey had watched one on Netflix the previous evening which outlined all of the reasons why meat consumption is not only a huge strain on our global resources, but also endlessly cruel to – as he put it himself – “the poor animals”.

I sort of thought it might be a phase. He was shocked by what he’d seen but would forget about it and would slip back to his glorious Lamp Chops served with honey mustard glaze ways, wouldn’t he?

Our wedding was coming up and I despaired, “What are you going to EAT, though?!” and his reply was calm and assured, “They better have amazing vegetarian food or there’ll be trouble”.

And Ballymagarvey Village DID have amazing vegetarian food and there was no trouble.. aside from when I started drinking shots at the bar..

Let’s move on.

On honeymoon in Edinburgh, we mostly ate at great Vegetarian restaurants. I figured it would be easier for both of us to eat well at a dedicated vegetarian restaurant than have one of us eat badly at a regular restaurant. And to be fair, it was all very nice. Actually, I mostly drank through those few days so it was all VERRRY nice!

He cooked the Xmas turkey and ham.. but says 2016 is the very last time he’ll ever do it. This could be grounds for an annulment.

Because I don’t cook – no, really, not a single thing, I’m just so shit at it – most of what I have consumed at home has been strictly vegetarian.

There was a spell there where my dad would take a trip to his farmhouse in Roscommon and arrive home with sirloin steak that he would slip into my hand when Alan wasn’t looking. He’d make a great prison guard, my ole lad, and they were the most delicious contraband I have ever tasted.

But as I have eaten less and less meat, I find that my desire to eat it has also lessened. I haven’t seen the documentary that Ass Monkey watched but I see in my husband that there is something very important here in what he is doing.

He wants to reduce our carbon footprint in the world, he wants to save the animals who are reared for the butchers shop from a life of cruelty, and he wants to live a healthier lifestyle too.

At this moment in time, there isn’t a scrap of meat in our fridge or freezer. We have quorn this and that and are horsing eggs into us like our (protein) lives depended on it.

Sorry, I said ‘horsing’. My bad.

Do I miss it? I do. Did I have a sneaky McChicken sandwich on Saturday afternoon when I had a bit of a hangover? I did.

Am I proud of myself? Not really. Just don’t tell Ass Monkey, ‘k?

Shazzy’s 5 Top Tips For Digital Sanity in 2017

I don’t know whether you’ve heard, but I have been getting VERY grown up lately.

Having neglected my adulting duties for the past year while Ass Monkey and I frivolously threw  a wedding bash for ourselves in December, I kick-started 2017 with a plan to get my shit together.

There have been wardrobe overhauls, clear-outs, housework schedules, actual correspondence with the bank and even a request to PayPal to remove my mother’s credit card details from my account.

I mean, really, it was time.

A big part of my plan is to get on top of my digital life. Really, I’ve just been skimming the surface of my online accounts, my digital photos, my email accounts and apps.

My laptops and phones have consistently threatened to explode, resulting in my copying everything to an external hard drive about once every two years and then losing those digital hard drives.

In short, I’ve had no control or management over my online life. Which accounts for about 74% of my actual life, obviously.

But no more! I have a FOCUS now, ya see, and there are gonna be a few digital rules around here from now on.

Rules like;

  1. Get Over Yourself. The online world will not stop turning because you haven’t checked your phone for 20 minutes. The sooner you realise that, the less likely you will feel like live Tweeting about your Granny’s colonoscopy. Probably.
  2. No Phones After 9pm. If, like me, you check your phone for multiple social platforms, email correspondence as well as news and current affairs, the chances are your brain is fried come dinner time. Do yourself a favour and pick a cut-off point every evening. Mine is 9pm midweek when I put my phone down and forget about it ’til morning. Upside: I’m reading more books and sleeping a bit better. Downside: I missed really important updates about a road closure near our house last week that would have saved me a one-hour round trip. Them’s the breaks.
  3. Unsubscribe, Bitches. If, like me, you find yourself spending a LOT of time deleting mail-shots that you don’t even read.. then what’s the point of them? Just unsubscribe if you’re not excited to read them and save yourself some extra time back in your life. And Twitter notifications.. please jesus will someone tell me how I can stop all the Twitter notifications?!
  4. Clear Yo Shit Out. I cleared out 1000 emails between two accounts last week. I know, I should be ashamed of myself. But, ya know, I was keeping stuff to ‘read later’.. about two years ago. I have made a solemn promise to myself that I’m not allowed more than 20 unread emails EVAH. I have to open, read, delete. The end.
  5. Get The Pics And Vids Under Control. My iPhone is a disaster. It is constantly threatening to run out of storage despite my having paid for extra. It’s because I can’t stop with the photos and the videos, I know. So that’s a job for this week – upload them all to my laptop and then save them to an external hard drive so I can..

..oh wait, shit. Noooo… it can’t be done!!!

*Like this post? Why not try another, huh?!

Why ‘Damp January’ Is The Only Way To Start The Year – RaisingIreland.com

“WTF Is Mum’s Box?!” And Other Questions Answered..

So I’ve been quietly ferreting away with a project or two, trying to keep busy post-wedding and also trying to keep Raising Ireland as fresh and forward-thinking as I’d always hoped I would.

A subscription box idea came to me via my great friend Damon Blake who is not only full to the brim with great creative ideas but also filmed the Chitter Chatter video series for this site.

I did some research before Christmas and with the help of the technical wizard that is Sheila Pollard, quietly launched Mum’s Box in December 2016.

Here’s what we sent out in the very first Mum’s Box in January 2017

The idea behind Mum’s Box is to gift hard-working and often neglected mums with a monthly surprise box of treats. Those treats can be from a range of cosmetics, bath, skin or hair care, something delish to eat with a cup of tea or coffee, something to make mums laugh and (almost more importantly), a cheerleading squad via the Raising Ireland network that we support them for the great mums that they are.

These first few months are going to be a quiet testing ground between friends, family and supporters of RaisingIreland.com. We want to make sure that we have a product we can really stand over and be proud of before we launch it into the mainstream media and shout from the rooftops about it.

Getting the first box out was stressful! There were delays with product orders, the boxes arrived way bigger than we’d expected and there was lots of tail-chasing.

(Yes, my box IS too big – say nuthin’)

Peachy is an Irish-owned natural skincare range for mum and baby that we just adore

Anyway, that’s ok, because that’s the beginning of what I am sure is to be a very large learning curve, my favourite kind.

We have made contact with the most interesting and progressive businesses to curate really lovely treats for mums every month, with a big emphasis on Irish suppliers. A lot of them are entrepreneurial mums too, which is a bonus because we love to support other hard-working mammies!

So keep an eye on the Mum’s Box Facebook page as we chart our exciting little journey.

And if YOU are a mum with a product or business that you think would be of interest to us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@raisingireland.com.

And as always ladies.. #loveyourbox

Want to subscribe to Mum’s Box? Click on the image below to take you to the website!

*Read this lovely review from Kellie Kearney at My Little Babog if you need more info!*

Why 2017 Will Go Down As The Year I (Finally) Grew Up

I think I might be addicted to throwing stuff out.

It started out innocently enough. A mortifying realisation that most of my wardrobe had either A) holes in them B) paint splodges on them C) lost their mojo because I had owned them since the dawn or D) previously belonged to Alan forced me into a fit of chucking it all out two weeks ago.

I have since bought a few nice new staple items for myself and pinky-swore that I would spend some money on a new item of clothing every other month in 2017. More of that to come..

The decision to be a bit kinder to myself in the appearance department gave rise to a bit of internal empowerment. I mean, if I could find it within myself to chuck on some mascara and lipgloss when heading out on the school run, what other miraculous feats could I achieve?

Well, how about sorting out my paperwork from the last three years, says I? When we moved into our new house in 2014 I promised myself that I would stop using our work address for our personal post such as bank statements, car tax renewal notices and Prize Bonds for the kids (what if we won and I never knew?!).

Did I get to any of that over the last 3 years? Did I fuck.

I did what most busy mums do and piled them together in a corner labelled ‘Will get to when..’

When the baby is a bit bigger..

When we finish this extension..

When Eva starts pre-school..

After the wedding..

All of those ‘Afters’ have since come and gone and I’ve run out of excuses. I also need to get a grip and grow the hell up. What other 39 year old still uses her mother’s name on her PayPal account? (an unfortunate hangover from pre-visa laser card days and I needed a credit card to open an account. I haven’t been trusted with a credit card of my own since 2007. Long, and very funny story).

And so now, here I am, trying to behave like a grown up with a mortgage and some semblance of control over bills, routines and most of all, clutter.

This kind of thing could send a woman over the edge

In the last week I have;

  1. Boxed up 5 archive boxes full of old files that can be incinerated in the back garden (keep your records for 7 years if you can and after that, it’s bye-bye)
  2. Finally informed Electric Ireland that my name on the bill should not, in fact, be MR. Sharyn Hayden, thank you very much. I am all morto’d out.
  3. Rang Eircom and asked for a better deal for our TV and broadband (and got it down by €17 a month for the next two years, score!)
  4. Spoke to Bord Gais Energy about switching our electricity bills over to them as they have a better deal – AND a nice rewards program for tickets to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and the likes, who isn’t into that?!
  5. Finally read up on WTF Tesco club points actually mean and might eventually start using the vouchers for good rather than for the green bin.
  6. GOT MARRIED. Yes, again, but this time we did the legal bit in the Dublin Registry Office. Not only was it super craic, I have also now applied for our marriage certificate AND informed our tax consultant BECAUSE I AM SUPER ORGANISED NOW.
  7. Washed my makeup brushes. I know, PEAK adulting.
  8. Nominated two ‘F*ck The Housework’ days per week. There is to be an embargo on the lifting of fingers on Thursdays and Fridays because.. ENOUGH ALREADY!! (and also, it makes us get on top of an actual system of doing it on the other days, boom)

Feel free to join my ‘F*ck The Housework!’ days  and send me some pics of what you’re doing INSTEAD of worrying about what’s going on inside your house. Just use the hashtag #fuckthehousework

**Next week.. I start to declutter my digital life – HONESTLY!**

 

 

8 Ways To Keep The January Blues At Bay

January. Who’d have it? Can’t we just skip it in the calendar year and head straight from the day after New Year’s Day (to give the hangover a chance) and straight to February?

You see, the thing about January is that is has nothing going for it. It’s like an under-achieving student whose meeting with the career guidance counsellor is going like this:

“Your pal Christmas pulled out all the stops to pitch itself at the top of the class rather successfully. It offered us mulled wine, presents and the opportunity to stuff vegetables and bread crumbs up a turkey’s arse. February isn’t doing too shabby either – it does it’s best with Swarovski-encrusted underpants and the likelihood that your four-year-old will send you a soppy card about how much they love you. You, on the other hand, are a disappointing underachiever. All you have to say for yourself is ‘start eating horseradishes and get thee to the gym’. You are expelled, January”.

While I normally power through January, rebelling against all resolutions by emptying the house (via my gob) of all booze and sugary foods.. I just fucking hate it this year.

In saying that, I am doing my best to be kind to myself during this feud with the first month of the year by attempting the following;

1. Walking

Yes, yes, everyone says get outside for some exercise and fresh air when you’re feeling a bit shit. But when you ARE feeling a bit shit, it can be hard to get out for a walk. So let’s call it what it really is; look your dog in the eye and feel guilty about not walking them enough and reluctantly bundle up to go for a walk around the block every evening. You might be a bit allergic to it but it will definitely helping your mood, I swear.

2. Sleeping

Get into bed as soon as you absolutely can and sleep it off. Having the January Blues can leave you feeling all kinds of exhausted so add at least an hour onto your usual routine – you need it.

3. Crying

‘Better Out Than In’ is my motto – there is nothing wrong with having a good cry so release some of that sadness or moodiness if you want to. I always squeeze out a few tears over a really powerful song that means something to me so will get the earphones on when I need to have a little tear to myself.

4. Dancing

Dancing with the kids to fun music always makes me feel better so we are listening to the Trolls soundtrack daily and are having a good boogie.

5. Kissing and Hugging

Having small kids around when you’re not feeling yourself is brilliant because they just love giving their parents hugs and kisses. Every now and then I just pack in the organising/cleaning/cooking malarkey, get to the couch and demand hug parties. They really work.

This little lady cheers me right up

6. Laughing

I have been listening to the Mortified! podcast when I’m out walking and it is really making me guffaw at the old diary entries that people are reading out. It just makes you forget yourself for a few minutes and releases some of that tension or anxiety.

7. Being Quiet

I’m normally talking and organising and texting and rounding up and chattering and discussing and planning and generally being hyperactive all the time, so at the moment, I’m just being quiet. I’m reading books, I’m taking time out to myself, I’m sorting through paperwork and I’m turning down events that require me to be too social at a time when I don’t feel like it. Peace and quiet is rather lovely.

8. Talking it through

The best thing for anyone to do who is having a hard time is talk to someone they can trust about it. Even if they are letting that person know that they just need a bit of quiet time to themselves at the moment, at least that person can keep an eye out for them. And when the blues lift – WHICH THEY WILL – you and that lovely person you confided in can head out for a pint or a hike or a big piece of cake and you can laugh about how January got expelled from school for being SUCH a pain in the hole.

*We hope January is being kind to you. If not, please look after yourselves as much as you can or talk to someone if you feel too overwhelmed. Loads of people love you, including us, so remember that!*