Comping:#18for2018

I had mentioned in my #18for2018 that I wanted to start comping this year as a hobby for myself and I probably started entering round the end of December, possibly even just the start of January.  Guess what? I WON something today!

What is comping? Well its basically entering as many competitions as you want in order to win the things that you would like to have or do. Well that’s the definition in my mind and for the ones that I entered, it was really just liking or re tweeting on Twitter or filling out simple forms which only took a few minutes of my time when the kids were in bed. It’s really that simple.

I also joined a coupe of sites on Facebook which are fantastic and were recommended by one of THE most high profile competition winners out there and also award winning blogger, Di Coke.  I downloaded her book from amazon for some extra tips on how I could increase my winnings and I was embraced by her community of compers who inspired me to keep on going with entries. Its so amazing to hear of the wonderful gifts that they have all won with many amazing prizes both small and large.

Everyday I wait for the postman or an email to drop through to tel me if I have won any of the various competitions and was delighted to see one appear in my inbox this afternoon. I have won tickets to the NME Award Nominations Party in London, next Wednesday and I can bring someone with me. For a first win, this is pretty darn good although I do need to pay for my accommodation and flights so I’m still deciding if I will be going , not to mention finding someone at short notice to come with me because most folk work 9-5.

So it’s another tick on the #18for2018 list , and I hope to be able to update you all with even more wins this year!

Are you a comper? What have you won this year (and last)?

18 for 2018 – Inspired by Gretchen Rubino

I have a few books written by Gretchen Reuben, 1 was purchased on my kindle and the other in Toronto Airport when we were awaiting our flight back to Glasgow after being home. I love what she does and says, her Podcasts are so inspiring but the main thing is that they are easy to understand and incorporate into your life without really thinking about it too much but that the results are really life changing.

I’m not so much into New Year resolutions because I think that if you want to make change, it should be an ongoing process and not waiting for the 1st of January to do it. If you really have something in life that you want to do, if you can put all of your effort into it, I do believe that it is well within your reach. If you set your mind to something whether it be small to someone but of major significance to you, the end result will be empowering and with empowerment comes achievement, yes?

So what is this thing that I am banging on about? Its Gretchin’s 18 for 2018 and its all about achieving 18 things throughout the year that mean something to you and has a positive impact on your life. The 18 things can be anything and it an take as long as it takes, but within the next 12 months… I don’t think that 18 thing are really hat difficult and it may mean writing another list but I’ll concentrate on my first and see how I get on.

When thinking about this, I wanted to make small achievable goals because this isn’t about adding more stress to an already stressful existence! Its something that I can do and think or write about whenever and wherever… Something to be proud of and something that will impact me and possibly others around me. So where do I start? Well….

I read something on social media this week which was quite powerful and made me think a lot about certain situations that I have found myself in very recently.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a6/02/91/a60291d461dad32d6cb0f3d178331338--happenings-positive-thoughts.jpg

So this is one of the things that I want to really concentrate on in 2018.. I am very hot headed and I generally react by shouting and getting angry. In order for me to stop reacting in an angry matter, I need to step back, think about all aspects , who is involved, impact of my anger and breathe.

Breathing is the key to all life.

A lot of this first goal is about my daughter and some stuff that she is going through. She lost her Nanna very suddenly and she is currently going through the “anger” part of the grieving process but through this we also think that there may be something a bit more underlying.When she gets angry, I react in the same way, we say things that we regret , the tears flow and there is a constant atmosphere which is affecting everyone here and even the dog. So I must learn to breathe first and react second. It’s very hard.

2. Walking at least 5 miles a day. This was something that I was achieving before Christmas but after having a small operation 3 weeks ago, that stopped and I can see how much it has impacted my moods and my eating habits. The dog is also suffering because she was really enjoying her long walks and now she is only getting out to the park across the street and smaller walks. That’s not fair. I also want to get my daughter into this with me so I guess there is two parts to this goal! I think it will help improve her moods and her fitness.

3. I want to use my gym membership more and go to at least 2 early morning classes a week. I love getting up before everyone, getting my workout done and be back in time to get the kids off to nursery and school and then the dog walked. I feel I get much more done on these days and although I am all for self care and looking after yourself, my own mental health is better when I am organized.

4. Concentrate on growing my business. I love what I do and I have a good client base but I feel like I need to be more organised and reign in a lot of things as my head is a scatty mess. I need to re design leaflets, find out exactly which therapies out of all of the ones that I do, are my favorite ones and just do them. I know that aromatherapy is one at the top of my list as is pregnancy and when I do these, I get lost in them. I am also dabbling with making stuff with the oils but that can come at a later date.

5. Making time for friends. This can be done in different ways as we all have such different lifestyles, work schedules, and demands. I am going to diarise dates with those who are able to do so and make an effort to even catch up with others via skype or facetime – this is generally for friends an family on the other side of the world.

6. Paying off at least 2 of my credit cards by the summer. This is achievable because I can do overtime when the kids are sleeping or by using my other income as a Complementary Therapist. I would like to say that I am lucky to have these two outlets but to be fair, I trained and studied and all of that was achieved via hard wor. The over time think is lucky but again, I am qualified enough to have a job where over time is available and that’s down to my own skills that I learned and invested in. The other skill that I have is blogging and although I have only just picked it up gain after a long break, I know that I can be consistent and pick up the ol sponsored post if I want to. I can also make some money via selling things on eBay and I started just before Christmas, the money went towards a credit card and in one week with combining all the above apart from massage, I put £65 towards a card. How good is that?

7. Entering Competitions .. its become a new hobby that I picked up on my quest to save money and become debt free. I was also inspired by a film that I watched which was a true story. Now, please note that I am under no illusion hat I will win very much and that’s ok. Like I say, its a hobby 🙂 Its simply a hobby and its something that is distracting for me after the kids have gone to bed.

8. Not accepting the negative behaviors of others , this kind of ties in with number 1 . Something happened over the Christmas holidays and it was quite hurtful to me although those involved probably didn’t even know that it had such an impact.. I don’t want to go into it and I have made adjustments to how interaction will be from now on. There was one other situation where I felt that someone in my life was always contacting me when they needed to vent. At first I was angry as I wasn’t being asked what was going on with me and my family but then I thought , well maybe I am a source of comfort and advice? This is quite empowering that I can help in a situation which is upsetting for another person and that they trust me enough to confide in? Yes! this is it! ( To ther person that this is about, you know I’m not attacking you with sharing this and no names are mentioned. I am here for you always).

9. Being more present, accountable, be there more to listen to my husband, this kids, friends.. I don’t know that this makes sense or does and that I have no reason to explain?

10. Using my summerhouse more for meditation, relation, yoga, mindfulness for both me and my daughter and maybe redesign it and make it even more welcoming. A sanctuary of light and love? I remember before I ordered it that I wanted it to feel as though it wasn’t just in my back garden but I could transport myself into that secluded forest somewhere far away.. a place of complete relaxation…

11. Stop and count my blessings.. stop thinking “if only I had more money, I could do this”  or “I wish we had a bigger house” etc etc. stop making it about “stuff” maybe reading more bout minimalism? I have much goodness in my life… and I mean things like fantastic friends, a good paying job, a roof over my head, fantastic family, we don’t go hungry and have food available. I have self…. an awareness. It’s the “stuff” that gets in the way. I know I said that I was comping but it’s just a fun thing and a hobby. I don’t care if I win or don’t win. Its all a bonus.

12. More family time. I need to make sure that we have more quality time from watching a film together , walks, cycling, museum. Something that is focused on us spending time without arguing! I have worked weekends for a while now as well as Christmas and new year , all holidays due to the nature of my job. Because of that,we ind it hard to spend time as a family without arguing because we have different parenting skills. This causes confusion for the kids and it all erupts like a volcano which isn’t good for any of us.

13. Home.. I want to go home this year… Home is Canada and with me paying off credit cards, it can’t be the top of my priority list as it defeats the purpose! So comping it is! If I could win a trip home, it would be a bonus but if I don’t, there is always next year.

So that’s it for now.. I will update my list on my next blog post.. the next 5 are going to be ones that I really want to think about.. maybe something like “read a book” or catch up on my pinterest board, see that film i have been meaning to for  months.. ?

Are you writing an 18 for 2018 list ? If so, please do share as its inspiring to read how other people are living their lives, their motivations and what they hope to achieve. Thanks for reading.

Let There Be Light

This year at Daftmamma head quarters, its all about writing more , engaging more and entering some cool competitions! I was inspired to do so on my quest to save money, clear debt and hopefully win some amazing prizes.  . So with that in mind, I came across a competition by a cool company called Urban Cottage Industries

We are hoping to achieve a lot of great things with the flat once the debt has been cleared, which really shouldn’t take that long and I have been putting together some on line boards to hep me do this.

I had a long look at what Urban Cottage Industries have on offer and I already have a pretty good idea about choices for lighting especially these for the living room

I’m a lover of all things retro and they would fit right in, they would match with our colours that we have chosen and would be great for positioning over our arm chair where I spend most of my time reading! What do you think of them?

So getting back on on point! I digress!! They are running a super cool competition for bloggers based on… LIGHTING, of course! They want us to post pics of natural light pictures as well as artificial for a chance to win a prize of £500 of Amazon vouchers to spend on photography equipment as well as prizes for runners up (how cool is that?). Here’s the link to the competition and a blurb from their site

So , with all of that info, stop reading this and get started on your own! Before you do that though, here’s MINE!

The first was taken on a rainy day up north camping and the second )another camp), but with a flash. Many happy memories and thank you for hosting such a lovely competition.

Good luck to everyone entering!

Insomnia,Sugar Withdrawal& Realisations

It’s Friday morning, 03:30am and I’m up…. I’m currently going through my Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan and really reading it through. I went to bed last night around 21:00 and when I do that, I generally wake at this time before getting back to sleep again around 5am. Not good when you have a small child to look after and the school run to do but hey ho… it’s probably temporary.

I had a bad first day I of the plan, or should I saw half day? Yes, half day. I got up before my alarm and then did my HIIT with the dog as my faithful work out partner. I came home, had my build up bagel and then went for a sleep after prepping some pancakes.

About an hour later, I went to bed for a few hours as I was really tired which meant that I missed lunch and before I could have it, I needed to go and do the school run. I was “hangry”. It was then that I just started feeling dreadful… I found a group on Facebook and they kindly let me join and answered some questions that I had.

It seems that despite not having sugar much in my diet, I may be going through a bit of a withdrawal but also a codeine one as I was using it a lot due to pulling my back a few wks ago. This lightbulb moment only occurred to me a few mins or so ago.

My skin feels itchy, I feel like I have the flu, my anxiety levels are high, I have a sore head and I just feel generally like shit.

However, I have thought a lot about my goals and what I want to achieve and why I signed up for this. In hindsight another revelation was that I achieve most of my goals because I’m an incredibly driven person and I fear failure. The things that I have set my mind to have been incredible and things I have put myself through both mentally and physically …. well there’s been a lot, but one thing I haven’t been able to master is my weight.

My weight gain came after my daughter was born and I was experiencing post natal depression. I did manage to lose a bit and I was doing well but the depression took over as did the increase of alcohol (I wasn’t an alcoholic but consumed probably more than I would normally), and with that, the poor food choices and the lack of energy to be active. I see this clearly now for what it is.

When my Dad suddenly passed away 3 years ago, the same thing happened… alcohol and food to numb out the feelings… also the so called “fun nights” with bad choices and what I thought to be self confidence. As I write this, I am shedding a few tears because things suddenly start making sense… I can and I will do this… I’m in the frame of mind and although I know there will be some “hiccups” along the way, it’s not going to be any worse than the rock bottom that I have experienced in the past.

So just to wrap things up before trying to get to sleep…

• I can do this, there is enough food (poss too much) and anyone reading this, YOU can do this!

• Sugar withdrawal is a bastard

• Food prep is good but don’t get the fear if you can’t! Even if it’s just a breakfast or snack, it does help.

• Swap! use the tool that allows for this because life is too short to be eating things you don’t want to eat!

• You will achieve your goal, and sometimes it takes some sugar withdrawal and insomnia, for clarification

• We are controlled by our emotions when making food and alcohol choices, more than we might want to admit.

• If you know that you don’t like a certain food, swap the ass out of it! I made a salmon ball thing and it was rank. To me. I fucking hate salmon with a passion. The dog got that.

So that wraps up day 1… I may not blog everyday but you can find me and my ramblings over on Instagram! I’m now off to wax the tache, shave my legs and go back to sleep!

Lake of Menteith  Hotel:A review

Last night , my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in the beautifully set , Lake of Menteith hotel.

I had been looking for a hotel which wasn’t far from home but long enough away that made us feel like we were far enough from the city and we could breathe!

I was on Twitter and someone had mentioned it when asking for suggestions not to far from Glasgow , and after viewing their site I liked where it was and it looked stunning. I contacted them via Twitter and called them the next day to make further arrangements (we booked the Lake Superior room)including dinner.

We set off a bit later in the evening once we dropped the kids and dog off, and arrived shortly before 7pm. We were shown around the hotel before going up to our room and I do believe after seeing how lovely it was, that we chose appropriately.
  
We loved the huge bed and the beautiful bathroom which made me quite glad that we decided to take some bubble bath with us and I’m sure you’ll agree! I also loved the small touches to the room such as the tunnocks tea cakes and tunnocks caramel logs, and coffee machine.

  
After relaxing for a bit before dinner which was booked for 8pm,we headed down to the lounge and had a drink before being seated. I didn’t take pictures of the food because it was packed and I felt it wasn’t appropriate to do so. We both had a starter and main, both were super delicious and so filling that we couldn’t have a desert. I should also mention that the staff kindly brought us a complimentary glass of prosecco!

We then went to the bar area where there was a roaring fire and it was a perfect way to end a very relaxing evening.  

 
When we went up to our room, I fully utilised the lovely roll top bath tub and poured myself a bubble bath whilst my husband relaxed and watched some TV.

  
 I could have stayed  in it forever but I needed to get up and go downstairs to get some wifi to check up on the kids. I used this opportunity to order another glass of prosecco and enjoy the fire. It was then my husbands turn to enjoy the bath tub and he did stay in it for ages 

 This morning , we got to admire the beautiful view whilst we ate breakfast and despite the rain,I found it very atmospheric. Later on it decided to snow which made it even more beautiful.  


We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will certainly be back. The staff were extremely accommodating and are a credit to the hotel. 
*A special thank you to Jean for arranging our stay and generous discount.  

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