Friday, 25 September 2015

Dickies Landmaster Safety Wellingtons Giveaway!

We are well and truly into Autumn now. Most things have been harvest at the allotment, although I'm giving my pumpkin another couple of weeks to get a bit bigger ready for Halloween. There are still things you can plant to grow over the winter months like broccoli, brussels, cabbages, kale, leeks, parsnips and even spuds. There is something really special about digging up freshly grown vegetables to put on your plate Christmas day. 

Dickies have put together a great guide on which vegetables to focus on this Autumn, which vegetables are best grown indoors and which need direct sunlight. It even covers how to avoid bitter tastes in winter vegetables (common with lettuce).

Worth £54.95!

To help you with your winter gardening I have teamed up with Dickies Workwear Store to give my readers the chance to win a fabulous pair of wellies, available in a choice of three colors. All you have to do is follow the rafflecopter instructions below.

*Open to UK residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 10 September 2015

5 Things I have Learned in 25 Years of Marriage

It is hard for me to even really remember life before I met my husband. It feels like he has always been in my life. We first saw each other way back in the Spring of 1988. I was 17 and he was 16. It was love at first sight. I felt like I needed to know him almost immediately and he said his first thought when he saw me was 'I'm going to marry her'. Sounds all gushy and overly sentimental doesn't it, but it is true. We married just over a year later and in a couple of months we will celebrate our 26th anniversary.

Our married life has not been one big soppy love story though, let me tell you we have had more than our fair share of problems, even separating for a year. I thought our marriage was over, but we both realized that life without each other was not what we wanted so we decided to try to rebuild our relationship, falling in love all over again, making our marriage stronger than it has ever been. The separation taught us to appreciate what we have together and forced us to make some changes.

1. Forgive and Forget - You never completely forget if you have been hurt, it is always with us but the worst thing you can do in your marriage is keep bringing up old stuff. It happened, you got hurt, you dealt with it and chose to forgive so now you need to put it away. You can compartmentalize by separating your mind and emotions into separate boxes. It sounds complicated but it really isn't, and once you have done this you will naturally do it again in future. The key to this working is to put that hurt into the box inside your mind, visualize it and shut the lid tight. Every time you feel the lid popping up, shut it down. Learning to compartmentalize your emotions is a great tool for helping you to move past emotional issues. It can be extremely damaging to your relationship to keep raking over old ground.

2. Live Your Story - Forget what everyone else is doing, stop looking over that fence, the grass is not greener, it is just different. No-one has a perfect relationship even those who appear to 'have it all' go through their problems, heartaches and dilemmas. Never compare yourself to another couple. This is a big 'No No!' Never fall into the comparison trap, you just do not know what that 'perfect' couple have gone through to get to the place they are at. You are your own story and only you can write it's content.

3. No Nagging! - This is a big one. Nagging your spouse is negative and believe me, it causes resentment and unnecessary disagreements. Consistent nagging is an attack on your love, and it can be toxic. Communicate rather than nag. If you are the nagger, you may feel ignored and unloved if your spouse repeatedly rejects your pleas and if you are nagged, you may correctly think that your spouse does not trust you. Both end up feeling resentment towards the other. Nagging is ineffective communication so try to get your point across by choosing your words more carefully, at the right time with the right attitude. It is much more effective.

4. Please Your Spouse - Ever since we got back together the one big change we made was to work on pleasing each other. I'm not talking in the bedroom, even though that is just as important. I'm talking in the every day things. Run him a bath after work, rub her feet in the evenings, tell him you adore him and tell her you are madly in love with her. It doesn't have to be  all red roses and expensive gifts, it is about the simple things in life, feeling appreciated and loved.

5. Be Best Friends - No matter what troubles we have been through, even when we have hurt each other we have remained best friends. There have been times when we disliked each other especially during our separation but even then we spoke daily on the phone and shortly before we decided to make a go of things again, my Husband turned to me and said "You are my best friend, you always have been and you always will be". I suddenly realized that I felt the same. You can have good friends outside of the marriage but your partner is the one you tell everything to, not your 'best mate'. Over the years I've had friends come and go but my Husband has been my constant, and these days I never share anything with friends that I wouldn't share with my husband and vice versa. And I never get into any of those 'lets bitch about our husbands/wives' conversations, not ever. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Host a Family Movie Night

Autumn is upon us and the nights are getting colder. No more nights out on the patio drinking ice cold drinks and eating buckets full of salad while the kids splash in the paddling pool. Instead its woolly jumpers, fluffy socks and cosy nights in. The transition from long hot summer nights to chilly autumn evenings is quite often a shock to the system as we get used to staying in more as the nights draw in. One thing you can do to make the most of it is to arrange a family movie night and here are five ideas of things you can do to make it something the whole family will enjoy.

1. Plan it in Advance - Tell the family well in advance the night you want your family night in, but make it sound exciting especially if you have teenagers who would probably prefer to be out with their mates. I remember when I was a teenager back in the 80's and my parents bought a Panasonic VCR, we were the first on our street to have a remote control video player which was connected to a long lead. Mum loved it so much that she made a new house rule of once a week we would all go to the local video rental store, take it in turns to pick a movie and have a family night in. We did that for years and funnily enough, as much as I moaned about it at first, I never missed one.

2. Pick Your Movie - The important thing is to all agree on a movie, or if you think your lot will argue too much over what film they want, then you choose while they are at school or if you are planning on watching a movie on a TV channel then have the film already set up and ready to play before they all sit down, but make sure it is a movie that they are pretty much guaranteed to all enjoy. A Warner Brothers or Disney film is usually always a hit with any age. 

3. Movie Munch - Always have some movie food or nibbles ready before you sit down to enjoy your movie. You could have a tray full of your favorite snacks or you could cook something like Burritos or a Bolognese Pizza in advance. Whatever it is your family like to eat, have it ready to eat during the movie.

4. Give it a theme - You could give your movie night a theme by doing something really simple like eating pre-made meatballs while watching the movie  'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs', or you could get the kids to turn cardboard boxes into cars by drawing on them and gluing paper plates to the sides as wheels and make it a 'Drive In' movie night as they all sit in their car boxes to watch the film in your lounge. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you like.

5. Make It Comfy - Close the curtains to the outside, have throws and cushions on the sofa (or even duvets and pillows). Make it warm and cosy to curl up and enjoy the movie.

Do you host family movie nights?

*Collaborative Post


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