Welcome to my latest monthly family roundup. Once a month I look back through our photos and my planner to record the highlights of the previous month. It’s a great way to create an online scrapbook that I, hubby and the children can look back on for years to come. I always think that even if the rest of my blog fails somehow one day, I’d still write these posts and use my blog as an online memory book for me and the children. I bet they’ll love reading through this category when they’re grown up.
I’ve been going a bit stir crazy this month. We haven’t been anywhere and I’ve mostly been at home. I’m getting serious cabin fever! I realised I haven’t left Gloucestershire since the October half term last year when we went to the Cbeebies Land Hotel. That’s over three months ago! We have seen local family and friends, but I really need to get away. It’s probably why I’ve been going a bit holiday crazy this year and want to book lots! We have one coming up in the spring and Center Parcs booked for the summer already. I’ve just booked one for Christmas too at Bluestone in Wales. I’ve also been looking for a few days in Devon for the June half term as Ben has some days off.
I really need to get out of Gloucester soon though or I’ll go mad!
The gym, the school, our house. The gym, the school, our house. The gym, the school, our house.
That’s my life at the moment. It’s getting boring! I need to get out of here!
Can you tell I’m starting to get bored and loopy of the same sights day in day out?!
Ben keeps joking saying he’ll drive me to the border of Gloucestershire and step me over the line so I can stop saying I haven’t left this county for three months!
Winter doesn’t help
Nope. It doesn’t. I’m usually outdoors a lot more, but I cannot stand the cold. It makes me miserable and I just want to get back indoors ASAP. I can’t stand to be in it at all. I’m now on the countdown to summer so I can get my life and my happiness back. I was definitely born in the wrong country and climate. I long to live somewhere that’s warm all year long.
Busy with work
I’ve also had a mad busy work month. It’s been nonstop. Literally working every minute unless I stop to make some dinner or go to a class at the gym, then carrying on straight after. I don’t feel like I’ve paused to catch a breath. I’ve even been on the laptop whilst me and Ben try and watch something on Netflix (currently watching Bloodline). Working and trying to watch at the same time. It’s probably not helped with me feeling like I’ve not done much else this month.
It’s great it’s been so busy though, I’m not complaining really! I just need to get out and see another view. The best thing about my work is it’s location independent. If only I’d started it pre-kids and taken advantage of travelling with such a job. I realise how brilliant that could be and if I were in my early twenties again I’d totally do it!
Twice this month we ended up at the doctors with Bella as she had a rash. She had no other symptoms, but the school sent her home both times concerned. The one time they said she was so unwell and they were so worried, but she was perfectly fine! I'm not one to rush to the doctors, but wanted to prove she was fine and both times she was, especially as the school wouldn't let me send her back the second time even though she was fine. Aside from the rash she was perfectly well. Since looking online I'm certain she had Slapped Cheek. The first rash was on one cheek and really blotchy, the second ( a few days later) was all over her body and very itchy at the top of her arms. No other symptoms though. In this pic we're in the isolation room at the doctors waiting. 20-30 mins trying to keep these two monkeys still and behaving felt like forever!
What we got up to
I usually list all the fun activities we got up to, but January was a non-eventful month as you can probably tell already! Aside from school, the gym, playgroup, work and housework, we’ve barely done a thing. We went out for a meal at Prezzo for my Mum’s birthday and saw a couple of friends for a playdate, but that’s the extent of our activities for January. Ooh I did see my Grandad for a nice meal at the gym café. It’s been a long cold boring month activity wise. Even the playdates have been at my house so I’ve not left here again!
My first attempt at a vegan cheesey creamy pasta sauce and it was a huge success! Everyone preferred it to the tomato sauce and wanted seconds! I used nutritional yeast, coconut oil, oat milk and mustard to create the cheesey flavour. Yummy!
Ben sort of did Veganuary. In 2017 I went refined-sugar-free. For 2018 I decided to go dairy-free, but I actually started in December 2017. I’m already veggie, alcohol-free and refined-sugar-free, but I’d been watching lots about the dairy industry and what happens just doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t be a part of that industry. It has been playing on my mind a lot and something I’d been contemplating for a long time, over a year in fact. But enough was enough and after watching and reading as much as I could, I decided to cut out all dairy. So now I’m a dairy-free veggie.
Ben tried a sort of Veganuary. He didn’t stop the eggs or honey, like me, but cut out all meat and dairy for the month, which is so impressive for him. He usually eats it every day and I never thought he’d stop the meat! He’s actually starting to agree with a lot of what I say or what we watch so I think his opinion is swaying. He’s even going to continue to follow it into February as he’s not made his mind up what he’ll do next, he might carry on. Though he says he does fancy a pizza!
It will be amazing if he goes a lot more plant based too, especially to have someone to share my passion with.
We do still eat eggs from our garden chickens which we look after well. They are happy and like pets, with plenty of space, a chicken hotel if you like.
I’ve not looked into honey much yet. I know some keepers cut the wings of the queen bee, but I’m hoping there are also some who don’t and have ethical practices. I need to research more.
As well as changing our eating habits we have changed our drinking habits slightly. I purchased a water distiller at the beginning of January and we've been distilling all our home drinking water and cooking water. You can read why I'm drinking distilled water to find out more.
Changing Bella’s bedroom
I changed Bella’s room around a little. I was vacuuming and cleaning and moved her bed to reach underneath, then got an idea in my head and turned the room around. I’m always rearranging our home and trying to work out the best place for things to be. Plus it was nice to have a little change at home during my cabin fever month!
I love Bella’s room and could only dream of a room like it when I was a youngster.
As there’s nothing much else to report for Jan I’ll leave it there. I’m hoping for a more eventful February with the half term. Me and Ben also have half a weekend to ourselves so I’m going to beg him to take me out of Gloucestershire and not stay at home to do his woodwork before I really do go loopy!