Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year to all my readers!!!!  Lots of Love from Suzi at My Colourful Life

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This Month On The Blog!

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I’m all set to welcome in the New Year!  And along with a New Year I’m all set to share some new posts with you in January!

Get set for posts covering…

My Recipe of the Month – a gorgeous warming tomato and bean soup

What I Did – How I Celebrated the New Year

Minimalism – What Is It?

Project Make – How to Make Candles

A Quote

How I Stay Creative

Candles and Other Alternative Lighting

My Blogging Goals

and

My Hobbies and Interests

I hope you will come back and enjoy the posts I have written!

Anxiety/Panic Attack

I woke up, I’ve been in bed, sleeping since around 11:30, it’s 3am now. I woke up unable to breathe or move, my heart racing, shaking and feeling really panicked but I don’t know why. I mean, I do know why, it was an anxiety/panic attack, but I don’t know why it happened. I’m still feeling shaky now but my heart rate has come back down to normalish, and I can breathe again. It was probably the worst one I’ve had. I feel like I need to turn on all the lights on the house and get up. I need a glass of squash, juice or anything but I’m not feeling up to doing that just yet…. and I’m writing this here because everyone I know is asleep and I don’t want to worry them, but I feel that writing it down will maybe stop it from happening again. My jaw is aching where I’ve been grinding my teeth in my sleep and I’ve managed to catch my tongue at some point which now feels really uncomfortable in my mouth 😐 and I’ve got a bit of a headache (though I’m not sure if that’s residual from yesterday). And I don’t know what to do, I’m too awake to attempt to go back to sleep and worried that it will happen again. Maybe getting up is a good idea?

Monthly Goals

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I think it’s always a really nice idea, at the end of a month, just to sit down and think about some things that you want to achieve in the following month.  I am going to share with you, today, my little list of goals I want to achieve this month.  I have split my list into 4 sections covering my blog and social media, home, art and craft and personal.  Here are the goals I’d like to achieve this coming month.

Blog and Social Media

  • Stay on track with my blog routine.  December was a mad month for blog posts, I more than doubled the usual amount of posts because I wanted to share so much about Christmas and Christmas Ideas but now that is all over I’m going to try to get back to my usual routine of posting on a Tuesday and Friday.
  • Share more on social media.  Especially Facebook and Instagram.  Though I have got these platforms, I haven’t been using them a great deal for one reason or another so this month I am setting a goal to share at least one blog post image or the link to the blog post to these sites.
  • Change my blog domain.  Upgrade my blog extension from a wordpress.com extension to a co.uk or another extension to make it easier to share my site across social media platforms and make it easier for people to find my blog.

Home

  • Defrost freezer and deep clean fridge. I really like to do this in the New Year, not only do I get to have a nice clean fridge and freezer I can also take stock of everything that I have got in there, decide what needs using up, what I could do with getting rid of and what I need to stock up on!
  • Wash Sofa Covers.  I tend to do this job every few months and love how fresh my room smells once the covers are back in place.
  • Create a cleaning timetable.  When I lived in my other house I had a cleaning timetable in place but since moving I’ve not really had one.  A cleaning timetable helps me to remember to do things like make sure the right bins go out on the correct day.  This month I want to create a new timetable and write it into my home planner and (try to) stick to it.

Art and Craft

  • Make some more candles.  I made some candles the other  month and would like to make some more as it was really fun and a great way to relax and it means I will always have something to gift as presents.  I’d also like to research methods of making candles as there are so many different techniques!
  • Start making cards again.  I used to make lots of cards and even started to sell them for charity a long time ago.  I’d like to get back into making and giving my own cards to friends and family as it is a bit more personal and special than buying shop bought cards.
  • Start a scrapbook/journal.  This is something that, again, I used to do years ago and am thinking that I would like to start doing again.  I have a La De Dah Journal already which would be perfect as a scrap journal.  There are lots of different papers you can buy to add to the journal and so many different ways to use the pages that it would be the perfect choice for what I’d like to do.
  • Work on Lettering.  I bought a dot grid book a short while ago so I could start working on my own lettering and create my own alphabets to use in my journal.  I think that cold, dark, January would be the perfect time to start on this project.

Personal

  • Finish reading The Snowman.  I started reading this book back in September just before I got diagnosed with stress and anxiety.  Since then, because of my medication and symptoms associated with my mental health, my concentration levels have meant that reading a book or watching a tv show have been hard work.  I’d really like to finish this book by the end of January.
  • Plan another craft event.  I really enjoyed hosting my Crafternoon in aid of Mind and it got me thinking about maybe hosting a craft group every few months where I can get my friends together and we can learn new crafting skills together.  After talking to everyone that came to my event it seems that this is something that they would all be interested in.
  • Arrange another trip to London.  My brother and his family live in London and I really want to go and visit them again so this month I will try to make some plans to visit in the near future (hopefully end of Jan or Feb sometime!).
  • Go out for the day.  Since I have been unwell I have really struggled with basic things like shopping and running errands let alone visiting friends and going places.  Leaving the house in general has been a daily struggle as my anxiety seems to build so much that I can’t seem to even step outside my front door.  This month I would really like to make a change to that and am going to plan a day out somewhere, even if it’s to the local shopping centre or park.

What is on your goals list this month?

What I Did – How I Celebrated Christmas

Roxy and I got up super early on Christmas day more because I’d gone to bed at 9:30 the night before rather than down to excitement.  I made a coffee then we started to open the pile of presents that Sam had left for us.

 

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Roxy waiting patiently to open the presents
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My gifts from Sam

After we had opened our presents I finished of the gifts for my niece and nephew and packed the gifts to take to Mum and Dads.

At 7:30 I started to get ready to go to Mum and Dads, first I tonged my hair and clipped it up to set then got dressed and did my make up.  While I was finishing my makeup Dad text and said I could come down when I was ready.

I left the house at 10 after packing the car with their presents but had to turn round whan I was half way there as I had forgotten my medication.  I arrived at theirs just before 10:30am.

We had a coffee that Dad had made, and waited for my little brother, Richard, to arrive.  In between him arriving and present opening Mum, Dad and I made crumpets for breakfast and were in the middle of eating them when Richard arrived.

We opened our presents after breakfast, Mum loved the bullet journal I had been working on for her, and Richard loved the candle I had made for him (I will be sharing all the presents I made in a future blog post!)

We sat and chatted and watched Arthur Christmas before we had dinner which was really nice.  we ate around 3:30pm.

Dinner was lush, I don’t eat meat so Mum had bought and cooked a lovely walnut, cranberry, sweet potato and spinach nut roast thing for me, we had roast potatoes, roast parsnips, sprouts (my fav!) and carrots with stuffing and a yorkshire pudding!  It was really lovely and super filling.

Once we had eaten dinner we went and sat down and watched “What We Did on Holiday” which has got Billy Connolly in it.  Sam and I were texting through it as he was in London with his family.

After the film we had pudding  – Sticky toffee pudding and custard – it was amazing!

Not long after, I came home and Roxy and I chilled for a bit, watched tv and then went to bed!  It was such a lovely day!

How I Decorate My Table

Decorating the table for Christmas dinner is one of the last things I do decorating wise and today on the blog I’m going to share with you how I decorate my table for the day.

I took these photos a few days ago, Sam came round for Christmas dinner as he will be spending the day with his family and I will be with mine.  We decided to have our own Christmas dinner celebration before the day itself… our “Merry Not Christmas” celebration.

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This is the view of my dining table from the living room.

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As there were only 2 of us eating Christmas dinner I chose to seat us opposite each other, the big space between us would be utilised with dishes of veg and the condiments.

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I chose to decorate the table with my glittered deer ornaments, a cute little Christmas tree from Asda, pompom fairy lights, tiny baubles and these lovely vintage glass mushroom and pine cone decorations that were given to me by my Mum.

I used old beer bottles as candle holders either side of the deer and Christmas tree.

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The crockery and cutlery are from Asda and I really love how festive they look together.

For our dinner I cooked roast parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, mashed potato, sprouts, stuffing and a mediterranean nut roast which I served with gravy and mint sauce.  For dessert we had toffee pecan roulade.

How are you decorating your table for Christmas?

How To Create A Welcoming Atmosphere

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Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

Christmas is a time for families and friends to get together which means a lot of guests and visiting going on.  I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you create a welcoming atmosphere when you have guests arriving.

  • Make sure the entrance way and hall are free from clutter.  Easy ways to do this are to have a designated place for shoes, boots, coats and other outdoor accessories (like umbrellas).  If needs be, move items to bedrooms just for that period of time.  Clear mail as it arrives, put junk mail into the recycling bin, bills and other items can be stored neatly in a file or box elsewhere in the house.
  • Make sure the house is warm, not too hot or cold but at a temperature where if you are wearing a thin cardi or jumper that it feels comfortable.
  • Keep tv volume down, or turn it off completely and play some background music quietly instead.
  • Light candles, choose a scented one to fill your home with a lovely scent and add a few unscented ones to create relaxing pools of light.
  • If possible, light your home with lamps and festive lights instead of glaring ceiling lights.  This will create a lovely warm atmosphere.
  • If you know when your guests are arriving make sure the kettle has been filled and boiled so that you can quickly make your guests drinks and spend less time waiting for the kettle to boil away from them.
  • If you are serving wine or other drinks make sure they are cooled and have ice already made.  Put the glasses out ready to serve the drinks in.
  • If you want to serve snack items, such as peanuts, mixed nuts and dried fruits or chocolates, place in small bowls and dot them about the room in easy to reach places like on window sills or on the coffee table.
  • Plump up any cushions you may have on sofas, shake out any blankets or rugs and re-fold them, brush down the seats of the sofa to make them look neat and tidy.
  • If you have magazines or other items out, if possible put them away or stack them neatly so they are not in the way of guests who may want to put drinks down.
  • When your guests arrive, greet them at the door, take their coats (and shoes) and hang up, offer them a beverage and show them through to the main room you will be using.

Remember, your guests are there to see you so relax and enjoy their company!

How do you create a welcoming atmosphere for your guests?

Christmas – Tips to Stay Calm on The Day

Due to my Aspergers certain things can send my stress levels soaring and I can get pretty overwhelmed too if there are lots of loud noises, it’s too hot or cold, if the lights are too bright, if there are too many shiny things reflecting light, too many different things flashing, and Christmas is no exception.  I developed strategies to help me stay calm and enjoy my day, so if you find you get stressed maybe a few of these tips will help you.

  1. Try the mindful 4-7-8 breathing exercise.  This method is really useful when you can feel the start of your stress levels rising.  Exhale as much as you can through your mouth, close your eyes and inhale through your nose for a count of 4, then stop and hold your breath for a count of 7 before exhaling through your mouth for a count of 8.  Repeat as many times as needed.
  2. Go to a quiet place for 5 minutes.  Excuse yourself for 5 minutes, set a timer and sit, doing nothing for that time.  Don’t be tempted to check on social media, reply to texts or anything else.  Just try to sit and do nothing.  Once 5 minutes is up, take a few deep, belly breaths then return.
  3. Make lists of what needs doing and when, for example : turkey needs to be in at 10, peas to boil at 2.  Cross things off your list as you do them so you don’t need to worry about whether they have been done.
  4. Delegate.  If you need the kitchen worktops cleaned then ask someone to help.  Don’t try to do everything yourself.  If you can, sit everyone down for a talk a few days before the day and explain what you expect from each person, delegate the jobs to them so they know what to do on the day.
  5. Try to prepare the veg the night before.  I always prepare the veg the night before because for me, standing in a hot, sweaty kitchen on the day battling a peeler and the potatoes is no fun.  If you can prep most of it the night before then try to.  I find that peeling the root veg and leaving in saucepans of cold water overnight stops them from drying out.  You can do the same with broccoli and sprouts.
  6. Don’t try to please everyone.  See #4.  If you are unable to get Great Aunt Mildred a drink even though she asked for you to prepare it, don’t be afraid to say that you can’t at the moment, then delegate out to someone else.
  7. Don’t wear tight or uncomfortable clothing.  Tight or uncomfortable clothing coupled with being too warm and eating too much food can cause stress levels to rise and for me to become irritable.  Instead of wearing something restrictive put on something comfortable, loose-fitting or dress in layers that can be easily slipped off if it gets too hot.
  8. Don’t eat too many sweets, chocolate or pudding.  The sugars in the foods may boost your mood for a short period of time but when you hit the sugar crash your mood can come crashing down with it.  Also, feeling too full can cause feelings of irritability that can increase stress levels.
  9. Try not to drink too much.  Too much alcohol + stress can lead to people saying things they shouldn’t, being argumentative or being short with people which can lead to friction and tension in the atmosphere.  If possible limit alcohol to the meal and sip soft drinks, water or juice the rest of the time.
  10. Make time for a nap.  If you can, try to take a nap or at least have a lie down for half an hour.  It will give your stress levels a chance to come back down and will help you to clear your head.  It will also refresh you and you will be able to continue your day feeling better.
  11. Open windows.  The air in the room can become stale and with most homes having central heating on, cooking and guests, houses can heat up really quickly.  Allowing a circulation of fresh air is certain to help everyone’s mood and stop people from feeling groggy.
  12. Try Essential Oils.  Tisserand make some lovely blends of essential oils.  I’m a huge fan of their Aromatherapy Roller Balls especially their Everyday Wellbeing Set, the Total De-Stress one works really well, just apply to your pulse points and inhale the scent as needed.  You could also try a lavender-scented candle or an oil burner with some lavender oil in it.
  13. Go for a walk.  After dinner why not encourage everyone to join you for a walk, it doesn’t need to be a long walk but a breath of fresh air outdoors can do wonders for everyone’s stress levels and can help to boost energy along with helping your digestive system start working too.
  14. Think about the things that make you overwhelmed and try something different this year.  Like the sound of tv coupled with people talking and noises from toys being played with.  Why not encourage a couple of hours with the tv off and play board games instead?

What kind of stress busting tips do you have to help over Christmas?