Yearly Archives: 2011

Keeping your Nest clean in 2012

I really enjoy cleaning. I know…I’m sick in the head, but I find it really therapeutic. Being able to see a visible difference when I start in a room to when I finish a room makes me feel like I’ve actually achieved something. If my house is tidy, my brain is tidy. My mother used to spend her entire weekends cleaning our house from top to bottom, despite working a full week, and she never used to have any time for herself. I like to break mine down into 15 minute slots every day. I even set a timer, and then I do it with as much gusto and energy as possible…might as well burn some calories as you do a chore right?

I originally was inspired by Apartment Therapy’s 20 minute a day cleaning schedule, but I tweaked it to work for me.

Let’s start with some exceptions…

Laundry – As there are only two of us, and we do our washing at night when the cheap electricity clicks on, I tend to only do laundry once a week. We also have to hang our washing indoors in our main living space, which is not the most chic look…. so I tend to avoid doing washing when guests are on the cards. One thing that does save me time is drying all wardrobe items on hangers. This means I can easily just grab them off the drying rack and plonk them in the wardrobe.

Dishes – P and I have daily fallings out about the dishes. He likes to leave them until there is enough to wash up an entire bowl, I like them done ASAP after every meal. We decided when we moved in together what were ‘My jobs’ and ‘His jobs’, and as I cook, he washes up, so I try not to complain as long as it gets done before I need pans again! Let’s just say we cannot wait to move and get a dishwasher.

Bins – When I do my general room tidy, I whack these in the big bin and then empty that as regularly as we need to. Don’t let it get so full you can’t push the lid open like we do sometimes…..

Hoovering – Hoovering is a P job, so it gets done on his own timetable. I actually own an old-fashioned push and pull carpet sweeper, which I use when I’m doing a general tidy of each room.

So here is my 15 minute a day, 30 day cleaning schedule!

  1. General tidy and dust of Living Room and Kitchen – Make sure everything is where it should be, recycle junk mail and old take-out menus, carpet sweep/sweep and mop.
  2. Clean bathroom – wipe and bleach toilet, wipe bath/showers, clean tiles, taps and mirrors, sweep.
  3. General tidy and dust of bedrooms – make sure all clean clothes are away and dirty go in the wash basket. Check if bed linen needs changing, strip and remake beds if it does.
  4. General tidy and dust of hallways – Don’t forget to wipe down your banisters…think how many times they get touched!
  5. General tidy and dust of extra rooms/ Tidy your Airing Cupboard – P is in charge of his office (The Cave) so I use this day to make sure our airing cupboard is all tidy.
  6. Clean your windows. I use this recipe here (link to old post)
  7. Clean all mirrors and glass fronted doors in your house.
  8. General tidy and dust of Living Room and Kitchen
  9. Tidy wardrobes/closets – sort out that pile of shoes, array of coats, bags of hats etc.
  10. Tidy and organise all bedroom drawers.
  11. General tidy and dust of bedrooms
  12. Clean bathroom
  13. Clean and tidy inside any bathroom cabinets, clean them out and chuck anything no longer used or empty.
  14. Wipe down all light switches and doorknobs
  15. General tidy and dust of Living Room and Kitchen
  16. Clean fridge, inside and out, tidy inside kitchen cupboards.
  17. Clean Kitchen appliances
  18. Clean bathroom
  19. Wash out bins
  20. Wipe down all cupboards and cabinets in the kitchen
  21. General tidy and dust of bedrooms
  22. Clean the oven
  23. General tidy and dust of Living Room and Kitchen
  24. Wipe down windowsills
  25. Clean bathroom
  26. General tidy and dust of hallways
  27. Tidy and organise any drawers in the Living Room
  28. Organise bookshelves/dvd storage
  29. Clean all mirrors and glass fronted doors in your house.
  30. Tidy and organise your kitchen drawers

I have my list printed out, laminated and stuck inside my kitchen cupboards so I can cross them off each day and then rub it off when my 30 days are up. You could put it in a photo frame and use the glass the same way. I hope to transfer my list to a nice frame and mount it once we’ve moved.

So there you have it…my completely insane cleaning schedule.

New Years Resolutions

It is that time of year when we start thinking about the future and the things we hope to achieve.

New Years resolutions to some are often a bit of a cop-out, but this year I wanted to strive to make promises to myself that I want to carry out and see through. This year I have one big one and two little things that I want to be amazing at.

Brushing Up

I am sometimes so lazy that my make-up brushes are caked in make-up for several months before I even think about cleaning them. And I know that can’t be good for my skin. I want 2012 to be a good skin year, so I aim to wash my make-up brushes once a week.

H20

I want to drink more water. Water is truly the cure to all ails and skin problems. More help for perfect skin 2012! I aim to drink at least 3 pints a day (of water…and not gin).

The Pigeon’s Nest

This year, I intend to open my very own little shop of handmade goodies, called of course, ‘The Pigeon’s Nest’. I’m getting some amazing support from P and my girls, and I really can’t wait to get stuck in and share what I have done with my evenings for the past few months! I am hoping to open my digital doors sometime this spring.

In 2012, I want to get this venture online and at least one craft fair.

Sharing your NYR makes them concrete and solid. What are your NYR’s?

 

A Week in Pictures

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! Tonight I head for the hills, laden with gifts for all of those I love. This will be my last post before Christmas, so I thought I’d make it a first…

This is my first ever week in pictures post… hope you like it!

1: A little peek of some of my creations for my first business venture next spring!

2: Desperate times call for desperate measures. Never have I needed toasted marshmallows more….

3: Our gorgeous little tree, before we packed up the presents to deliver to family and friends. (And yes, the bottle of Hendricks gin…a present from P to us both…)

4: I haven’t been lying about how much I’ve been in my kitchen. Our fridge is full of yummy gifts and VERY wilty celery apparently…

5: P built me a Bourbon Bungalow. He’s perfect.

6: Helping P’s Mum sort out her wardrobe came with rewards. Vintage costume jewellery of hers, her mothers and her grandmothers.

Hope you all have an absolutely fabulous Christmas. Love to you and yours!

xxx

Christmas Traditions (or the lack of)

Time to be honest….I’ve been a getting a little bit jealous of everyone posting up about their Christmas traditions.

I’ve been hurumphing around the nest thinking ‘I don’t have ANY Christmas traditions. My family & I do different stuff EVERY YEAR. Some years I’ve worked, some years I split my Christmas day, some years I’ve just gone back to bed after a Christmas Eve late shift….’

So I huffed a bit more, ate some pretzels and sat looking at our tree, and then it slowly dawned on me how much P and I had done similarly this year to last year, and actually how we have started to build our own Christmas traditions together.

We put the tree up in November.

Some say it’s too early, we say ‘no way’. We’ve normally sorted out a huge amount of our presents by the end of November and we need somewhere to store them! Also…our little 4ft tree is amazeballs. It’s from my teenage years, when I wanted a tree in my room, so I bought myself  a small one. We have such random decorations; some bought, some made, some thrifted, some handed down. I love our teeny tree.

We watch a classic christmas film as we make our flat christmassy.

Last year we watched Home Alone 1 & 2. This year, Muppets Christmas Carol took centre stage. FILM GOLD!

P turns on the lights.

Once the tree is up and decorated, P sets the ‘Christmas Timer’, which turns our lights on automatically each afternoon. He has also set them to turn off automatically at bedtime. The fact that I walk in the door and the Christmas lights ping on makes my day.

I cook. A LOT.

Truffles, Pretzel bark, Mallow Pops… I am literally up to my eyes in chocolate for the entire week before christmas.

Two lots of presents (or more!)

P and I are both from divorced parent families, so we have more than one ‘big day’. Last year we clocked up 4 Christmas dinners. Not bad eh?

We aren’t at home when we wake up on Christmas Day.

Due to the mentalness that is our families, we have never been at home Christmas morning. I hope to change that next year.

I hope when we are in our own place Christmas morning, that we can start a stocking tradition, where we open stocking presents in the morning and open the rest of the presents after lunch. Spreading out the cheer.

Xmas Swap

My best friends and I do a mass present swap where we all exchange gifts before trogging off to our families for our christmassy duties. I love getting to spend this time with them….I hope I can convince them to open all their pressies on the swap day instead of Christmas morning! *evil laugh*

So there are my meager ‘traditions’….hopefully in a few years time I’ll have a few more to share!

Bourbon Truffles

Last year for my hampers – I made these very yummy Oreo Truffles pictured above.

This year, I have found that my budget for Christmas has tightened (whose hasn’t?) can’t stretch to buying Oreos (come on.. a £1 per stupidly small packet?!) so I decided to experiment using that trusty biscuit barrel staple, the bourbon biscuit.

Ok, ok, I know it doesn’t look as exotic to us Brits as the Oreo, but it works just as well, and produces some pretty tasty results.

Ingredients

250g of Philadelphia or equivalent (I used Sainsbury’s own brand)

500g Bourbon Biscuits

400g of Milk Chocolate

Method

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor till they are a fine crumbly mix. (You can just put them in a plastic bag and attack them with a rolling pin if you are without a food processor)
  2. Mix the biscuits & Philly together.
  3. Roll small amounts of the mixture into little balls onto greaseproof paper or a silicone tray. (I wear CSI gloves for this because it stops them sticking to my hands which I HATE!)
  4. Chill for 30 minutes (minimum…I try to leave mine overnight)
  5. Melt the chocolate till molten (either do this on the hob or do it in small sections in the microwave)
  6. Cover the Philly/Biscuits balls with chocolate.
  7. Fridge till set.

They can be quite fiddley to put the chocolate on, but once you get into the rhythm of it, it’s quite therapeutic. I use two spoons, one table and one tea, I put the ball on the teaspoon and then I dunk the tablespoon in the chocolate. I then move the ball between the two spoons until it is completely covered before putting it back on the teaspoon (which should have less chocolate on it than the tablespoon) before placing it on a silicone tray/greaseproof paper.

Can take a while but the taste is TOTALLY worth it!

Enjoy!

January Sponsorship

Ok, it’s a little earlier than usual, but we’ve all got our Christmas bumpf to be getting on with.

I’m on the scout for some brand new sponsors, to join my current lovely sponsors! Come one, come all!

And the most fabulous thing is…it’s absolutely FREEEEEE!

Please check my ‘Sponsor Info’ page for more information.

How To: stop people raiding your cupboards…

I cook A LOT. Probably a lot more than is mentioned on this blog, but never more so than around Christmas time. I make a lot of edible Christmas presents the week before Christmas (yep, this week, between blogging, I am covered in chocolate) and I really can’t wait to hand them out, but what really gets me angry is doing my ‘ingredients shop’, only to find that two days later, the majority of my ingredients have been munched by Him Indoors.

After realising how much of the food in the cupboards and fridge P wasn’t allowed to eat, I came up with a genius little idea.

As simple as this seems, having a visual reminds us not to eat the things I need to cook!

Hope your Christmas cooking is going well!