worldofmaddieandco

Beauty, Fashion, Life & more

Home Improvements Begin

We moved in to this house back in December 2001. At the time we had to re do the kitchen as it was a rather sorry looking 1950’s mess. No cupboard space & the whole downstairs was only divided by 1 wall between the lounge & kitchen. We decided back then to partially block the kitchen from the dining room, leaving a nice sized opening so it wasn’t shut off completely. Over the years this has worked fine but actually as time went on I wished that we had blocked off the lounge instead & created a nice sized kitchen/ diner.

I had also for many , many years wanted patio doors put in, in place of the rather large window. Much more useful but like many people the money was better used elsewhere. I knew we would get them some day but just not when.

Well fast forward to last year & the kitchen was really starting to look shabby. The old doors of the MFI kitchen really beyond repair- you can see a bit of the damage in the photos. We were just going to try & replace all the doors. Whilst we could have found some online to replace them, I was totally fed up of them. Lovely shaker style doors but the trying to clean them has been hell at times.

Then a bit of money came our way & we decided to finally get the doors put in. I said to Rob how lovely it would then be to be able to block up the old back door. Put in a window instead & then move the sink there. I HATE looking at that wall when I am washing up. “We can do that.” He replied. Which did surprise me but made me very happy. Then I mentioned again about how it would be so nice to open it all back up & creating the kitchen diner. So, the fact he said it can happen, albeit it over a deal of time, was beyond exciting.

This is all the before photos above. Although there was a proper looking wall between the kitchen/dining room but I forgot to take a photo before Rob started ripping it all apart! Eventually that wall will be taken down. That will be after the back door/kitchen sink part of the project is done. We can then move the rest of the kitchen about a bit & hope to include a breakfast bar.

The doors were finally put in towards the end of last year.

I am so in love with them. So much nicer looking at these rather than the window that was there. I can’t wait for the weather to be a lot nicer to have them open a lot more.

Then Rob got on & made a step.

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What a fab job hubby did of the step! Don’t tell him. He’s big headed enough as it is!

The whole house needs re wiring too & we wanted to replace the ceilings anyway so this below is currently what I have to look at.

Not the nicest view but I keep telling myself that it will be worth putting up with!

This is our current back door area.

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This will hopefully be replaced in the next couple of weeks. So watch this space!!

It’s all a bit mad as all things like this are. Not great for my stress levels but I am so excited of everything to be completed. Once downstairs is done, it will be time to go upstairs! Aaarrrggghhh!!!

Have a good one! Nearly the weekend – for some!!!

Amanda x

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Who Ate All The Pies?

Me! It was me!!

I can no longer deny it :-(!

I was doing so well on my weight loss journey. From January 2015 onwards losing almost a stone & a half of my 2 stone target.

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At the height of my journey in Feb 2016.

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This was December 2016 wearing the same skirt . So easy to see the weight piling back on.

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You probably don’t see here but I am now the heaviest I have ever been. makes me feel really miserable.

 

I never expected to become stick thin – I HAVE NEVER BEEN THAT THIN EVER! I also always knew & was prepared to not keep all of those LBs off either. I’m nothing if not realistic!

However , a combination of things including losing my job- albeit it temporary – & subsequently having to give up the gym, meant that depression quickly began to rear up. I always say that when I am at a low point, stressed or just in a not so good place, I eat or spend money. Well, funds a little lacking right now so …. food it is then!

Seriously, I really need to my gob stapled shut. Its surely the only way to combat this lack of will power on my part! I can NEVER say no to any of those naughty (but oh so nice) things.
I can honestly say ( very honestly , as much as I am ashamed to) that I have not deprived myself off goodies of any kind for a long time. The bad snacks are back in the house – now I am no longer working & spend a lot of time at home its so easy to reach for the wrong things again. As I say willpower is not my friend. When we eat out/get takeaways ( which is TOO much) I no longer try to be as good as I can be. I went through a stage of going to do the grocery shop & only treating the boys & Rob to a cake. Now I now only buy myself a cake . I’ll grab a 2 pack & eat them both in 1 sitting!

I then have that ever accompanying guilt from stuffing my face with so much crap. I’ll almost be weeping at the waist bands that are getting too tight again – & then go &  console myself with half a pack of biscuits! I feel fucking terrible, but can I stop? Nope!

I don’t know the last time I did any proper exercise either. I haven’t picked up a DVD to do. Walking, which I actually really do enjoy is very sporadic. The dog doesn’t require a long walk & thus I find on days when the weather is really shit we don’t bother. Whereas this time last year I’d take myself off for an hour at a time. I’d feel so bloody invigorated for doing it & that would make me want to do the same on the next opportunity.

I know exactly what I need to do to change things. Bin all the crap food for starters. Then I cannot reach for them. I need to bring the DVDs out again – in fact there’s some great workouts on You Tube anyway. It goes without saying the walking needs to be upped again.

This time last year I was in so much a happier place. I know my weight loss was a huge factor but my positive attitude to it was also a huge difference in how it was all going. Now I open my wardrobe each morning & have to stop myself from slamming it shut when  I can barely find something to fit me!

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This in March 2016 is a favourite. You can really see how far I had come & I was so happy to be this thin.

 

I do know – or at least I hope I know – that one day it will all click again for me. I’ve done it once with huge success & hope I can again.

I know I am not alone in this rather precarious weight loss journey. I’d love to hear your stories too. The successes & the not so successful. The ways you’ve kept yourself going. Why some of you struggle.

Thank you for reading my as usual load of babble. Happy Wednesday dear readers.

Amanda x

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Womanhood – It Isn’t Easy!

*Warning* This post may ( will) contain the odd swear word.

It’s been a funny sort of weekend. The previous week was spent waiting for the imminent arrival of “aunt flo,” my monthlies, or period. Whatever you choose to call yours. A week of stomach cramps but no sign. It wasn’t late at all. It’s just some months it arrives without much fuss & others it seems to expect a welcoming committee. I am a lucky girl in that I don’t suffer too much. Mine are the regular ( ish) sort & whilst I get cramps , they are relatively easy to cope with. That’s not to say they are welcome of course but that’s life & I just get on with it really.

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Image courtesy of Google

 

Hubby always knows when I am due on – after 20+ years he knows I turn into a right old cow! I admit that very much myself tbh. I can’t actually help it though which is the worst thing. To the household it might only be a minor thing that has set me off – the loo roll hasn’t been changed. Whilst this might make me mutter a lot at any point , during that time of month I become unhinged. The muttering gets louder & I’ll generally be saying things a long the lines of ” is it only met that knows how to do these fucking things. Do they think the fairies come in & change them? Insert variations of fuck shit & bollocks anywhere ” You get the picture, Yes I do get cross at other moments in the month but Godzilla does  come out to play  once a month too.

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Image courtesy of Google

 

This time though its been water works more. I hate those months in particular. I spent most of Sunday sobbing. In the end it got so bad that Rob suggested – actually that’s a lie – I suggested & Rob gave in- a trip down to Chichester to the Homesense shop & a coffee ( & a bacon sarnie) in John Lewis. The worst thing about these moods though is that whilst we were heading to do what I wanted I was still miserable as sin. To be fair, anyone else would have just seen the usual happy smiley me, but Rob knew that underneath all that was a woman most unhinged. I mean really, the poor man. He has to put up with so much. I am lucky he stays & puts up with it.  I know this very much during these episodes but can I stop them? No! Can I heck! I really wish I could but I have to just let this thing ride itself out. For instance , by Monday I felt a lot lighter – as did Robs pocket after the John Lewis/Homesense trip. Which is fabulous & I will forget what I bitch I can be until … well this time next month!

I don’t really understand why a woman’s body was designed to go through so much crap. As I said my actually periods are a walk in the park compared to the nightmare that other woman have to endure but for me the PMT side seems to rage so much worse. Which is a load of old bollocks really.

Oh well whinge fest over!!

Have a good day you lovely lot,

Amanda x

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Trying To Make Some Changes

The main reason I was a bit all blogged I think was because lots of things changed all at once. I was working 2 days a week up until about a month before I stopped. I had said in a previous blog how I actually enjoy being at home. That whilst there is not a lot of money to do things & it can get a bit dull, ultimately I was happy enough. I also said that maybe that would change one day.So, when I was offered work at Allwoods plant mail order company, run by friends who knew my circumstances , I jumped at the chance. I knew it was only a temp thing as well & I was cool with that too. I really enjoyed the work & on the back of that I then had the money to join my local gym. I found myself in the middle of a very happy time. I had a very part time job, I was able to go the gym several times a week – my most favourite form of exercise I have decided – as well as meeting up with friends & family time. It really was the perfect mix. I wasn’t rich in money but rolling in it in terms of positivity.

Well , then my job came to an end – a teeny but earlier than I was hoping for , although I did go back at Christmas to help with the flower orders – & on the back of that I could no longer afford the gym payments. I suddenly found my mood going further & further down. The joys of depression as you can’t always fight these bloody feelings so easily. It was easy to let things slide & that is when I didn’t bother with the blog.

I am now very restless. My weight has totally rocketed again, all my previous hard work wasted. I always say when I am stressed, personally I either eat of spend money. Right now I have no money!!

People think because Rob has his own business & that I don’t work that we must be rolling it. Er.. that would be no. We wish. I tell most people that , whilst I do enjoy my home life, that they are the lucky ones for being able to jet off on loads of holidays a year. Some years we don’t even know if we can afford a weekend somewhere in a caravan! They don’t have to ask their husbands for money l the time. Money that he does not really have to give because like most people he’s earning just enough to pay the bills. With the odd treat thrown in.

Anyway, I kind of digress there. I would now like to find a job. I can only do part time. 12 hours max because more than  that my home life & health really suffers as I have seen happen in the past. I discussed it with Rob because he needed to know how fed up I was. That lovely old rut I have gotten in to. We have agreed that holidays can be accommodated. So whilst a job in a school might be ideal, its not the biggest thing to consider. Plus I am not keen on being a dinner lady & I would rather work my hors over 2/3 days rather than 2/3 hours daily. I really am not sure what sort of work I want. That’s one of my biggest stumbling blocks at the moment. I have no real qualifications & quite frankly the thought of returning to work after 15 years ( yes 15 years) Is fucking terrifying me! I lack confidence in such a huge way & in the last 2 to 3 years my anxiety levels are so much worse than they used to be. Seriously my last interview was 16 years ago!!

My home is my sanctuary . Where I can be me all the time. My wall from having to deal with the real world. It’s going to be a hard thing to break. I know I must do so if I want to return to work. If I could get myself in a similar place to this time last year then that would be fantastic. I just need o find a wee bit of courage from somewhere.

I’m sure there are some people reading this fuming that I am “lucky” that I don’t have to work. I am sure some people think my reasoning’s are silly. However in life none of us really know what is going on in someone’s life. Even here whilst I share a lot of my life there is still so much more that I don’t share. I would love to be a brave sort who just goes out & gets on with it. Yes maybe they “have” to when anxiety holds you back you won’t understand how hard that is to break through.

How about you? Have you ever had a huge gap between working & found it hard to want to get back in the game?

Thanks for reading – have missed my rambles?

Amanda x

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I’m Back…again

Well it really has been a while since my last post. For many reasons I totally lost wanting to bother blogging. I found I went a few weeks without doing so & before I knew it months had passed. I didn’t have anything I felt like writing about. I just could not summon the will to find anything I felt like talking about.

Ultimately this blog was always set up as a place to offload my thoughts – whether day to day or when I had something really big to get off my chest. With odd beauty or fashion post thrown in as well. Whilst it would be nice to make some pennies out of it, it was not & has never been about that. Mainly because I cannot write like the more successful bloggers anyway & tbh finding a niche that hasn’t been done to death is impossible.

In recent times I have been way down on the feeling low scale & feel like the time has come when I need to get back to this. Writing stuff down can be so liberating for me so it seems silly not get back to it.

I will be posting – or think I will on a Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I don’t want to be writing for the sake of having something to post. So maybe some weeks I may only blog once or twice a week. Whereas others I may want to write daily. Who knows. For now though that is my plan.

My content will probably not involve fashion or make up unless relevant to the post I am doing. I think now it will mainly be a lot more off my chest stuff & more real life day to day stuff. Never say never though!

So, a big hello to my followers & any newbies since I last posted. Hopefully you’ll stay around for the journey.

Bye for now, Amanda x

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Purchases For April

Morning All,

Let me start this week with a little disclaimer. I think I have forgotten for the past 2 purchase posts! I just want to say that my purchase posts are not meant to be a boast about what I have bought. I’m not intending to rub anyones nose in what I have been buying. I do these posts because I know there are people out there – I am one of them – who loves to see what people have bought. Sometimes it can be a great help in the sense that maybe you have been searching for an item & someone may have bought just the thing you have been looking for. I know that has definitely happened to me in the past.

So let me begin. I did think this month had been quite good. Looking here I have spent a bit still BUT I feel less guilty because it’s not all because I want to buys!!

All these 1st 2 items are just that!I do love the range of tops from Joules though & whilst maybe a bit of the expensive side for some people I actually think it is worth paying. They are generally long lasting in terms of quality. I have Joues tops that are a few years old that still look as good as when I 1st bought them.

I started with this short sleeve top. As I am trying to picture better weather now ( HA!) & a bit fed up of buying stuff more geared to winter. Even if atm it might as well be November here in the UK!

I adore the floral print & have already worn this a lot.

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Iris Rose Woven Mix Top – Joules £35

Then because I loved this Harbour Print top so much I had to get another. Yes its long sleeved of course but I did think the colours of the stripes are really nice & spring like!

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Harbour Summer Stripe Jersey Top – Joules £25.

The next top is self explanatory. I have a couple of tops for the gym but wanted more as I always seem to be washing them. Extra ones means I can not have to as much. This was a bargain too! Mine is the neon coral & black version.

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Ladies Premium Active Vest – B&M £4.99

I’m always looking out for new jeans. As I prefer a high waist & a lot of shops do not suit me at all I have become a little hard to please. I jumped onto Very recently as I am starting to look towards our holiday to Cornwall now – end of May, not long – & although on that visit I did not buy any holiday things I did order a couple of pairs of high waisted jeans. The other pair ( a G-Star pair I think) did not suit but these ones are bloody amazing! I am tempted by the black pair in this range too.rochellehume

High Waisted Skinny Jeans – Rochelle Humes at Very . Currently £24. I paid £30 so I don’t know if the offer will stop anytime soon.

My 2nd visit to Very I did actually purchase some holiday stuff. OK only 2 items but its a start. Right??

Shorts – no idea if we will have the weather to wear them but being May I blinking well hope so.

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High Waisted Shorts – V by Very. Currently £17. Usually £22.

This top is not the best feeling material but I loved the look of it when I tried it on. I need to sort out a strapless bra though!

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Wrap Halter Jersey Top – V by Very £18.

This top I bought with the holiday in mind but I already wore it . We went for a meal at Smith & Western & decided I needed to dress the part a little!

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Cap Sleeve Gingham Shirt – Currently £19. Usually £22.

I needed to replace my black Joni jeans. Like a lot of black jeans they faded pretty quick. Although I don’t think as quick as some. So on a trip to (Creepy) Crawley last week I grabbed another pair in Top Shop. The good thing is that apart from the fading they are still a bloody good pair of jeans so actually for day to day wear they are still good to go. I can use the new ones for nights out etc & hopefully keep their colour longer. If anyone can recommend a pair of  , not too expensive, black  jeans that are HIGH WAISTED & don’t fade too much then please let me know

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Joni Jeans – Top Shop £36.

My other port of call was H&M. I usually find a few bits & pieces in there too. I have a few of this style of blouse from there. They are inexpensive but the quality of them seems to last a good while.

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Sleeveless Chiffon Blouse – £7.99

Because I am bored of wrapping up I wanted to get some dresses too. Whether I can wear them anytime soon is another thing of course!

This dress looks much better on me than on the hanger!!

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Crinkled Dress – H&M £24.99

Lastly, I have been wanting a denim style shirt dress for a while. Trying to find 1 that suits at a price I like has not been so easy. I tried this in H&M though & was suitably impressed. They do call it a shirt on their website but as it looks long tunic like on the model & I am a short arse, actually its totally foe as a dress. Of course it looks like a sack here but once on & with a belt added it looks much nicer.

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Long Shirt – H&M £19.99.

So that is everything for this month. Let me know what you have been buying. If you have a recommendation for longer lasting black jeans please do let me know.

Have a great day,
Amanda x

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Planner Post || Happy Mail

Morning all,

If planners, diaries , stickers etc are not your thing I would click on out right now. If however, you get a kick out of pretty paper then just stay right with me!

I have been receiving lots of bit & pieces lately. There really have been many happy mail days!

** all items listed here with their price only. I have not added on the shipping**

Etsy is a fantastic ( if not great on the finances) for my planner items.

Starting with these sticker from Kaye Lime Pie. Because I am currently using my smaller planner the ones designed for Erin Condren etc planners don’t fit so well. These heart boxes are perfect for the space I have. I adore the rainbow colours. So pretty & soft. The weekend banners are pretty too. The small sticker sheets were some really cute freebies ai got.001.JPG

Heart planner sticker – £2.50

I got this next ones from Happy Cute Studio. If I have to change the bed sheets I at least need cute sticker like this to remind me to do so!

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Change Sheets stickers – £2.00
Shopping Bag Stickers – £2.00

I then ordered a kit from Toffee Bananas. This is actually the April Kit but I want to use them in my Happy Planner which doesn’t start til July. I’ve decided I love the colour & they are fine for the job! If you would like to see the individual photos of each sheet do let me know. I can always email them too you.

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April Weekly Kit – £11.

I also ordered these clipboards as I thought they are super cute.

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Clipboards Multicoloured – £2.00.

Zen also very kindly sent me 2 other sticker sheets as freebies.

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Clothes Line – £2.
Multi-coloured habit stickers – £2.

My other port of call was eBay.

From MKM Trading I got this sampler sheet.

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Sampler Sheet in Mint & Lavender – £3.50.

This kit from candy.crystal is absolutely adorable. Again I can email you some better photos photos of the sheets if you want me too.

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Monthly Kit – £7.25.

My last purchase was the most expensive but the most exciting!

I wasn’t sure what planner I wanted. I possibly would have gone for an Erin Condren but as they are not available in the UK without getting shipped from the USA I just don’t have the funds to do that – although I would not rule it out if the finds are there at some point. I did look at another from Me & My Big Ideas “Happy Planner” in on their USA site but again the cost of shipping was more than the planner was! I tried to find it in the UK but that particular one was either sold out or just not found. So I settled on the Peony one instead. July ( when it starts) seems ages away so I may have to start doing a couple of weeks planning in it now. See the photos below. So pretty!

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That is all my Happy Mail right now – although I am definitely due a few more packages in the next few days ( & weeks come to that!)

Are you big in to planning. Share your blog, Youtube channel etc in the comments!!

Happy Planning!

Amanda x

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My Blogging Spot

Today I am bringing you a blog post showing you where I actually do my blogging. It’s all VERY dull atm. We hoping soon to begin doing a lot of work to the house. So sometime the desk will be moving & I’d like to get a nice new one when the time comes. Once I get a new one in the new place I am hoping to make it look  a little more interesting. Right now can only be described as dull but functional!

I do most of my blogging at this desk – although when I want to blog of an evening I will more than likely sit on the sofa with hubby.

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Depending what I am blogging I will use either the desktop pc or the laptop. Sometimes both because I am greedy like that! It’s quite handy though as I hate having too many windows open when working on a blog post so when I need some info I can look on the other one & it just really helps me that way.

I can’t function AT ALL without my planner. Here I write down everything. For me, the kids, the husband. Our day to day life bits n bobs. My blog posts for the coming weeks get written down here so I know which ones to be doing that week. I can’t live without it.

I have a TONNE of notebooks. The 2 at the bottom are my current ones. These I list blog post ideas. I write down any purchase for any haul posts I do. Plus I use them for making rough copies of blog posts that are more on the serious side or at least have less photos in them. I have a lot of notebooks in back , although some of these have already been started for other things including a CHRISTMAS 2016 one!

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I really can’t wait to make this look a bit more fun BUT for now you have a little idea into where I am when writing these posts.

Where is your blogging space?

Hope your Wednesday is a good one!

Lots of love,

amandatext

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How Far I Have Come – A Health & Fitness Post

I know that I already did my monthly update but I am so proud of myself right now that I wanted to do an extra. To boast a little, to blow my own trumpet for a moment!

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I started my fitness & weight-loss journey back in January of 2015. I was around 10 stone 4pounds – don’t ask me to convert that into anything else – which was the heaviest I have ever been , including 2 pregnancies where I was lucky not to gain much at all.

I had been unhappy for a while & decided it was time to start doing something about it. Apparently my ideal weight for me is around 8 & half stone. I really should double check that I guess as was a while ago I was told that.

Anyway , for several months I cut the food intake down & did some fitness dvds at home. My lost was great – by August 2015 I had lost around a stone. However, several months followed where I fell off the wagon so to speak. I struggled to get back on especially when school  holidays occurred. I was working 3 days a week & did not have the motivation to do any exercise on my days off & trying to work out at home at the weekends – impossible!!

So I spent months struggling. I had got down to around 9 stone 1lb by December but then Xmas happened. For weeks I have bounced back & forth between 9 stone 1lb & 9 stone 6lb. Each time I would start to do well & then again it would fail.

Oh & did I mention I fricking HATE salad & ( most) vegetables. So whilst many people are happy nibbling on carrot sticks to counteract the munchies I’ve had to look at sweet snacks with the least amount of crap in them – which isn’t easy because the ones without much sugar taste like shit!

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When the gym had a great deal going on though it seemed a great time to give it a go. And I fricking LOVE it!

It really has got me fired up so much. I am going 2/3 times a week atm as well as the odd game of badminton to break that up. But what a difference. When I 1st joined I was going on a Thursday & friday morning only. Purely really because I have no kids to worry about but also because it’s a little quieter. After the 1st 2 weeks though I have been going as & when I can. Not evenings so much because they don’t really work for me. But I am loving it & I really have noticed a huge difference in how much quicker ( but still slowly) the weight is starting to come off. Whilst the weight thing is not the sole reason for my fitness journey it was still a big factor & motivation.

As of Thursday 21st April I am at just over 8 stone 13. To step on the scales yesterday & see that figure just totally blew me away.
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I have a way to go yet so I can’t get too carried away with celebrating my current position but I totally had to share with you guys how happy I am a little bit early!!!

Tell me about your own fitness journey.

Thanks for stopping by.

Amanda x

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Happy 2nd Birthday Clara Pup!

A big Happy 2nd Birthday to this one! You came into our lives at the end of August 2014 at 4 months old. A very sad time for me as I was missing our beloved Westie Barney who had passed just 6 weeks before. You have filled ( not replaced) a gap that was so very huge & now it feels like you have always been here. A royal pain in the arse most of the time but Mummy loves you anyway!

Happy Birthday Little One!

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