Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January Round Up

This has been a month of ups and downs.....which unfortunately has affected my blogging activity.  I need to give myself a little slap for letting some negativity affect what I want to achieve!  Anywhoo, let's see what I've managed to complete from my monthly list.

* Read at least one book a month
Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs.  
I started reading this author after Kelley Armstrong (one of my favourite authors) gave her a rave review.  I started off with the Mercedes Thompson series (a coyote shape shifter) and enjoyed those so much that I started reading this spin off series of some of the characters from those books.  Enjoying them so far - hopefully I'll get the next one finished for February.  Which reminds me, I need to raid Amazon for some more books!

* Bake/Cook at least once a month
Disappointed I haven't managed to cook even one thing from scratch this month :(

 * Craft once at least once a month
 This I have achieved! Albeit there is only one "Monday Makes" post for this month, but I still manage to get some crafting done!  There will definitely be more next month - I'm off work next week (WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!) and plan to get some serious crafting done.  I'm also working on a special project for someone to make up for letting them down this weekend.....

* Start taking more photos!  Get out once a month and photograph landscapes.
Erm, fail again....I think I need to sit down and decide on places that I'd love to go to for my photography.  We had snow recently, and I never got out to take photos - such a wasted opportunity.

* Keep up with the Fatmumslim photo a day challenges!
Hahaha! As of this moment, I need to catch up on 3 already!  But at least it's not as bad as last month, so I say this is progress!

I can also cross off something from my yearly list:
* Try sushi
At least, I think I can.  Is crispy chicken maki actually sushi?  I imagined sushi being a fish only dish.  I also tried pickled ginger for the first time.  Yeah, Japan can keep that....


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Bedroom Makeover

So, I've been back at home, living with the parents, for over a year now, and after finally getting my own room 6 months ago (had to wait until the little brother moved on to his own place), I've decided it needs a bit of a tart up!  It was my parents bedroom until all us kids moved out, and then they took over the larger bedroom (quite right!).
Bearing in mind that it is their house (I miss my own place sometimes), I'm a little limited to what I can do - painting is probably out of the question (although I haven't asked yet.....) and once I move out, it's going to be the nephew's room when my sister comes to visit.  That leaves us with a blue colour palette.  I don't think this room has been any other colour in the 20 years that my mum and dad have lived here.  But I like the colour blue (I remember an argument with my sister I was about 7 or 8 years old about the wall colour for our bedroom - I wanted blue, she wanted pink.....bleuch), so it won't exactly be a hardship to live with ;)

For some inspiration, I've turned to Pinterest.  I joined this site a while ago and I haven't really done much with it :/  But with me having so much down time on my shifts lately, I installed the app on my phone and I've been a little hooked since!

Firstly, I definitely need another colour in this room - the carpet is dark blue, the walls are white and light blue.  So I started looking at some different colour combinations:







At the moment, I'm really swinging towards the beach theme.  I might be able to convince the parents to let me break up those plain white walls and put a little colour on.  Then it'll be onto plan 2 - accessories!  (At least, on a budget....). 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Photos

Here's a round up of my FatMumSlim photo a day photos from the last week :)

Day 19 - Delicious
But the last one from my christmas supply :(
Day 20 - Something You Saw
My mum's tiny house daffodil has bloomed a flower! Spring, you're early!
Day 21 - What You Do 
Drive an ambulance, occasionally.
Day 22 - Corner
Of my books. I love books :D
Day 23 - Electric
My lava lamp, that I don't have on nearly enough.
Day 24 - Stripes
Perfect timing on this photo! I was visiting Frocky today to discuss Cubs stuff and this was her notepad :D
Day 25 - Landscape
I am so happy with how this came out - 1) This was taken while on the move; 2) It was also taken through tinted glass; 3) It was taken on my phone camera (as all my FatMumSlim challenge photos are, but still, so happy!)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The secret(s) to a good sleep...?

If you read my Twitter feed, you'll know that I am not a morning person.  This is mostly because when I do tweet in the morning, I'm on early shift.  When I'm on early shift, I don't sleep.  I mean, the eyes are closed, the brain is mostly switched off, but I can't sleep.  And when I do, I wake up every thirty minutes.  This causes the condition known as "Zombie Moogle".  I'm irritable, grumpy, I don't want to talk to anyone.

 This has been going on for pretty much a year now, and I'm getting a little tired of it, literally.  So whilst the lovely Occupational Health nurse continues to use my medical report as a paper airplane, I've decided to take matters into my own hands.  I came across this website, full of hopefully not completely useless advice - Sleep Tips Let's see how this goes....

Tip 1 - Keep a regular sleep schedule

* So the first points, "Set a regular bedtime" and "Wake up at the same time every day" are completely  moot - I start work at 6am on an evil early shift and 12:30 on the back shift.  Next!
*  "Nap to make up for lost sleep", trying to opt for a daytime sleep.  I think I've got that one covered....sometimes I can't keep my eyes open at work (obviously not when I'm driving....).
* "Be smart about napping, it can make insomnia worse".  Wait, what?!  You just told me to nap to make up for my lost sleep!  
Ok, so far, not so helpful (for me and my personal situation.  If this helps other people, I'm happy for you, really.  Actually, I hate you and I want to steal your sleep).

Tip 2 - Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle

Ah, some science!  More melatonin is what I need!  How do I get me some of that?
Increase exposure during the daylight
* "Remove your sunglasses in the morning".  Dude, I live in Scotland, what are sunglasses for? 

* "Spend more time outside during daylight".  Kinda in the job description.
* "Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible".  My office is a mobile greenhouse, if I hadn't stopped growing 15 years ago, I'm sure I'd be about ten feet tall with the amount of light I get at work.  However, when I get home, first thing I do is shut my curtains to get out of my sexy uniform and into something comfortable.  And then the curtains stay shut.  So that's at least something to look at. 
* "If neccessary, use a light therapy box".  An expense.  
Boost melatonin production at night
* "Turn off your television and computer".  Ooops.
* "When it's time to sleep, make sure your room is dark".  Ah, would love to do that, however, I decided to pick me out a router that thinks it's actually a disco ball....
* "Use a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night".  I'd like to say that I have not reached the age where I need to get up during the night to go to the bathroom. 

Tip 3 - Create a relaxing bedtime routine

* "Keep your room cool".  Again, live in Scotland, not a problem.
* "Make sure your bed is comfortable".  Do three comfortable blankets cancel out the first point??
* "Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex".  That'll be for sleep then.  (I feel these tips are mocking me somewhat....).
 * "Relaxing bedtime rituals to try" - reading a book, take a warm bath, listen to some soft music.  Finally, some things I can do.

 Tip 4 - Eat right and get regular exercise

They say 20-30 minutes a day should suffice.  With Tough Mudder coming up in August, I've been doing at least that, plus roller derby practice at least twice a week.  So maybe it's the diet..... 
* "Avoid alcohol before bed".  I have to say, I usually get the deepest sleep after a good drink.  But I can't exactly drink every night, not to that excess and not in my profession.  And supposedly it's worse for your sleep...
* "Cut down on caffeine".  Haha!  Guess drinking my body weight in tea needs to stop.

 Tip 5 - Get anxiety and stress in order

Ah, residual stress, how I loath thee.  But seriously, not too much of an issue for me.  Yes, I do worry, stress, rage.  But mostly, when my head hits that pillow, I just want to sleep, so I don't think about my day.  Unless I've had a really bad one.  But that doesn't happen often.  So, relaxation techniques to try:
* "Deep breathing".  Simple enough.
* "Progressive muscle relaxtion".  Starting from my toes.  Well, if the feet don't cramp up immediately upon trying this, I'll give it a go.
* "Visualising a peaceful, restful place".  Rivendell :)

Tip 7 - Cope with shift work sleep disorder

No, you're not reading wrong, I skipped Tip 6 because it's all about getting back to sleep, which I don't have any issues with, I just wake up again soon.
* "Limit the number of irregular shifts".  One week on, one week off doesn't seem too irregular.
* "Drink caffeinated drinks early in your shift".  Flask of coffee, coming up (Starbucks is both too tempting and too damn expensive to have every day).
* "Take frequent breaks and use them to move around".  Probably better than sitting on my arse, reading a book....(see Tip 3).
* "Make sleep a priority at the weekends".  Oh, right, my "non-working" days.  Excuse me, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ok, seriously, there has been some helpful advice in there.  Some of which I'm hoping will make a difference.  I don't think the world is ready for me to spontaneously combust....


Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday Makes

Inspired after watching The Avengers, I made these cute little guys thanks to a pattern I found on an Etsy page:

Incredible Hulk
Iron Man
Captain America
I also finished my first cross-stitch that I bought with my christmas money.
Gecko (kit by Mouseloft)
I got the new issue of Let's Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet on Friday, which meant more wool, which meant this happened.....

This week, I NEED to get knitting/crocheting!!  Or the wool may take over the whole house, not just my bedroom, lol.


Monday, 7 January 2013

Monday Makes

Whoop whoop!! Now that christmas is over, I can finally post up what I made for my brother and his girlfriend!

I was looking for some Pinky and The Brain merchandise for my brother (we both loved that show when we were younger!) and came across a Pinky and The Brain magnet set in perler beads (my brother James and his girlfriend just moved in together recently, so I thought fridge magnets would be a nice idea). I looked at it and thought, "ya know what, I could totally make that". So I did! Well, Pinky at least:

(Pattern courtesy of Rushaz on Flicker)

Then I started getting the perler bead bug (or Hobbycraft's own craft beads) and decided to make Christine, his girlfriend, a Tinkerbell one as she loves Tinkerbell:

(Pattern courtesy of Genjiworks on Deviantart)

And then I might have went a little nuts and made another one for my brother, his favourite Pokemon when he was younger, Charmander:

(Pattern courtesy of

So I HAD to make his girlfriend another one (hehe), this time her favourite Final Fantasy character, Vivi:

(Pattern courtesy of Mikakaye on Instagram)

My biggest project was, of course, the Gengar I made for Matt's christmas. It took up four boards and was scary to iron....I decided to give it to him early and bring it in my suitcase as I wasn't sure it would survive a long distance posting (because in my suitcase was such a better idea!). Miraculously, I only had to fix a few beads back into place xD

(Pattern courtesy of EP-380 on Deviantart)

So those were all my christmas makes! This week I plan on finishing the snake knitting pattern from Let's Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet Issue 47, and I also have a tiger cross stitch I'd like to start at some point. Watch this space!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Feel Good Sunday

A round up of positive pictures I've posted on my Facebook page to keep my spirits up.

Very apt, as the Parma Violents are Fierce ;) 

It's fun being a geek ;) 

This is something I need to get better at.