Sunday, 31 March 2013

The last day before the A-Z challenge

Once again I have decided to participate in the A-Z Blogging Challenge which takes place every April. I need something to get me back into regular blogging and this is perfect.

I took part last year and really enjoyed it, and to be honest didn't find it that hard to commit to doing a post each day, I found myself walking around writing them in my head which actually made doing the post much, much easier.

Its good fun, it is a great way to meet new bloggers, and read a huge variety of subjects. This year there are even catagories you can decide on and themes for your posts, or you can just blog - I have decided to the latter. I do have in mind that I may focus mine all round one subject, however, it doesnt fall within the catagories given and at this stage I don't want to commit myself to blogging about one subject only incase I don't.

So pop over and see for yourself what it is all about and take part, it really is good fun

A late Frugal Friday post

I am a little late with my weekly Frugal Friday post - mainly due to LOTS of work on at the moment and the school holidays, meaning I am having to devote every minute of spare time to trying to get a presentation of 300 slides done by Wednesday am around times when the kids and t-husband are asleep as the latter is off work and is on one of his 'Lets go off and do something everyday, I am on holiday' modes.

So this last week, even though we are now into Easter holiday, I have still been trying to cut back and spend less.

  1. I heard on the local radio that they had some 50% off vouchers at various local attractions so I popped on-line to their website and bought a voucher for The Deep aquarium over in Hull costing me £17.00 instead of the usual £35.00 for a family of 4
  2. We went to The Deep on Friday and had a fab day out. I took a picnic with us so we didn't spend any money on food while out, or need to buy any drinks (although t-husband and I did succumb to a coffee near the end of the day), and we had a really great day. We avoided the gift shop, instead heading out the doors closest to the big shark which attracted the boys as they wanted photos with it and the gift shop was forgotten. I will probably do a separate post on The Deep as it really is a great place to take the kids, and a day we thoroughly enjoyed as a family.
  3. Last week I did my weekly shop in Sainsburys and kept the receipt. This week I went to Asda, and tried to stick to the same list. Where I didn't need things on it I tried to note the price in Asda on the receipt, and also noted everything extra I needed on the bottom. When home I entered it all onto a spreadsheet, yes you read that right, I did a spreadsheet. For the same items on my weekly shop, I spent £54.80 in Sainsburys and £48.45 in Asda. Next week I plan to take said spreadsheet with me and do my shop in Morrisons, and then the following week Tesco and do my own comparison! Getting really anal in my old age.
  4. Today we are planning a long walk to my parents through the Valley Gardens in Harrogate. There is an Easter fair on in the grounds, and it also means the boys will have a 3 mile run before having to sit at Grannie and Grandad's for an Easter meal, but again this will be a lovely day and needn't cost us anything.
  5. I did my first bit of up-cycling, we are in the middle of decorating the boys room and want to move their bunk beds out from the wall by 6 inches to put a shelf system at the side of their beds flush with the height of their mattress so they can both have some storage space and a light etc. My Dad priced up the wood which we want to match the bunk beds, and it comes out at about £80.00 which is more than we wanted to spend. I was rummaging through our downstairs toilet dumping ground and saw our old Ikea Billy DVD tower in there still waiting for us to do something with it. Tipped on its side it is the perfect length of the bunk beds, one shelf in the middle separate its and it will now provide a double shelf the right width for one of the bunk beds - as we also still have all the little pieces that would normally make the shelves for the DVDs, Dad can use these as ends and a separator for the 2nd one he will build which has more than halved our cost down to £30.00 so I am very impressed with myself.
  6. Final one is the usual where I am using alot more left overs and what I have in the cupboards and there is less waste.
As usual, if anyone has any idea or advice, please let me know as we need to learn to cut back and be more frugal.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Frugal Friday

last week I decided I was going to do a weekly post on how I was doing with trying to cut back and budget, hence Frugal Friday.

I am always open to advice and tips so please do share, I feel I have much to learn!

I set of well last week trying new things like meal planning and on-line shopping and taking a set amount of money out for the week to cover shopping and everything else.  I got on both well and not well.

  1. The on-line shop was a bit of a disaster. I planned my meals and felt I was only buying what I needed and yes my cupboards are emptier however I spent over £100 which is more than I do if I walk round the supermarket. I think this was because I used and started with Asda but then Sainsburys was £2.00 cheaper, and I had a £15.00 on-line shopping voucher off, so once my list was complete, I swapped supermarket. This was a downfall I think as the substitutes were not ideal or even the best ones, when the shop was delivered I had 4 lettuces, 3 bags of pretzels and various other things which I couldn't work out, I assume I got a bit click happy and didn't realise. I also got a few things with a sell by date of the next day when I ideally was planning to use it at the end of the week, and then other minor issues my butternut squash was tiny, the melons were ready to eat that days so by today were mushy, my salad croutons were substituted with onion bahjis - yes really!
  2. This week I have been and done my shop in Sainsburys, this was only because I needed to get a present to put in the post for my friends daughters birthday and I know Sainsburys does nice clothes and good toys and I also knew they had a 25% off offer on as well. I still managed to spend £80.00 on food which was annoying as I had in my head I didn't want to go over £65.00 but it was all stuff we will use, I didn't buy anything 'just because it was on offer' or because 'I fancied it'. Next week I am going to take the receipt to Morrison's and do a price comparison as I walk round and note down their prices next to the Sainsburys ones and see what the difference is. I will then do the same the following week with Asda and then might try an on-line shop again.
  3. Meal planning as mentioned went well, I liked the fact I knew each day what I was doing, it was a lot more time efficient to tell the truth, and I feel I used my left overs much better, so felt much savvier (is that a word or spelt right?).
  4. When I ran out of bread and milk, I either got it from the local shop or only took a couple of £ to the supermarket with me so I had no choice but to get what I had gone for and not add things to my basket. I also didn't allow myself anywhere near the clothes or shoes!!
  5. t'husband has a bad habit of insisting we all go to town at 11.30 on a Saturday morning and by the time we get there, both boys are hungry and we end up spending money on food, this time I took sandwiches and made them eat them in the car, then I refused just to wonder aimlessly round town, instead going in for what we needed and then leaving.
  6. I am trying really hard to make sure nothing is left plugged in like mobile phone chargers etc and putting the wood burner on to heat the house rather than letting the temperature drop so the heating is constantly clicking on and off
  7. I took advantage of some half price days out offers on the local radio website and bought one for a family which is valid until June 30th so I am quite chuffed with that.
So we are getting there I think!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

How am I getting on - Highs and Lows of 2012

At the end of 2012 Kate over at NakedMum set a post called 'The High's and lows' and asked everyone to write a post about their past year. I did this, but the other day I saw someone (sorry cant remember who) had been back and reviewed her post and assessed how she was doing, which prompted me to do the same. I had forgotten some of what I had written and it was an interesting read and i felt it would be helpful to do the same and do a review.

I have re-posted it wit questions 12 first as this asked what you would like to change in 2012

12. Tell us three things you would like to change about your life in 2013.

  1. I would like to much more confident, not feel bullied at times, and stand up for myself alot more This is still very much a work in progress and something I really need to do
  2. I would like my boys and OH to do more to help and to stop waiting on them hand and foot (most of which is my own fault as I find it easier to tidy up after them all but that needs to stop) Working on this, the boys now have charts where they lose game time if they don't complete a certain number of tasks per day such as making their bed, putting their pjs in their beds, hanging clothes up, tidying up, dirty clothes in linen basket, hanging towels up etc, its working for them but not for hubby - yet!
  3. I would like to be much more time efficient, especially with work. I write a blog post, then start reading other blogs and suddenly realise I have lost a whole mornings work, then spend 2 hours panicking and trying to make time up before school pick up and doing a sloppy job, or I play stupid addictive games on my phone, it beeps with a message, I read the message and then feel the need to have 'just 3' games of something but then its just one more, oh just one more again, I'll just wait until I score over 100,000 etc. It has to stop. My lack of blogging has dealt with this but I am now much more time conscious and much better at sticking to my work and doing a better job
  4. I want to look after myself more - earlier nights, less alcohol, better diet and to shift the last half stone. Although I don't have as many early nights as I would like I am more often than not in bed around 11 now rather than midnight, I have cut the alcohol down and my diet is much better so going well on this one
  5. I am desperate to stop being late places, I am always late and disorganised. Everyone calls me dizzy and dozy and disorganised which is so true (hard to believe I am a successful project manager in my line of work and can organise a meeting for over 1000 people with no hassles!). Although I tell myself it is part of my charm, it needs to change as it stresses me. This is a constant battle, my problem is I plan ahead, see we are doing well for time or early so start something and then we are late
  6. I want to have friends - sounds odd as I do have friends but not close ones, not like I use to. My 2 best friends from childhood live close by but 1 is very different to me, never left her home town, a real homebody (and don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that) but she is very safe and sensible and although we see each other most days at school, sometimes run together or go for dog walks etc, its not that total understanding each others humour relationship, plus our husbands don't really get on, they have never said as much and tolerate each other but you know you can just tell these things. My other close friend who is more like a sister and is as close as one lives on the other side of town. We have a wine and cooking together night once a month and chew the fat and I love it but I want a close friend to giggle with, to pop round to and have coffee and see more of. One who comes and spends an evening with a bottle of wine at ours or we go to theirs - one that involves me and my husband. We seem to have lost most of those friends which I miss. Friends I get on well with, the husbands don't seem to connect. I think this one relates to the first part and is to do with confidence. I use to love going out, could hold my own and easily made new friends. I now feel boring, I now feel people switch off and I am just really serious and have forgotten how to just have a laugh, all my conversation seems to be deep or boring or long winded so not doing well on this one
  7. To stop feeling so insecure - I want to be invited to social events and not find out they have happened after the event and that we weren't there and not know why. I want to have a summer BBQ like I tried to last year and not be left with only 2 people and my brother and his wife coming by the actual morning as everyone lets us down. See above!
  8. To have a bit more me time so I can do my blogging without worrying about work, and to get back into my family tree which has been abandoned for the last 2 years. I am trying to make more time for me and although haven't done much, I have started looking into my family history a little more
  9. To be happy and stop caring and worrying so much. 
OK so I know that was 9 things and not 3 but I want to set myself some challenges

1.What was your happiest event?

Two things which I am selfishly going to make my own events. 1). Completing a half marathon which was a real challenge for someone who has never been able to run and 2). Having the guts to have my photos taken naked!

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

Realising I wasn't happy in my marriage -

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

See the first question and answer! Running a half marathon and taking my kit off (not while running the half marathon I hasten to add!).

4. Who let you down?

My closest friend who hurt me more than I thought possible and although I can forgive, it is not as easy to forget

5. Who supported you?
Close friends and family by just being there - they didn't realise as I didn't discuss any of my problems but they still helped by being there and the blogging, especially Groovy Mum's and Reasons to be Cheerful

6. Tell us one thing you learned

That there is nothing wrong in admitting you need help, it is not a sign of weakness and is in fact a sign of strength

7. Tell us one thing that made you laugh

My best friends hen weekend - in fact when my cheekbones were hurting from laughing I realised just how miserable I had been!

8. Tell us one thing that made you cry

Admitting my relationship was in trouble

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud.

  1. The 2 boys just being here. They are both such happy little men, yet have both overcome so much in their short lives. Little Man overcame brain haemorrhage's and breathing difficulties at birth, is now one of the tallest in his class - not bad for a tiny 2lb 9oz baby whose leg was thinner than my Dad's thumb, went into Great Ormond St ICU on life support desperately ill at 8 weeks old with us being told it was touch and go and then he would come home on oxygen and be dogged by a weak chest and numerous problems, to a week later being transferred back to our local hospital with our little fighter on no oxygen, feeding like the world was ending and in 9 years he has not had one chest infection since. He overcomes everything with a smile, he is such a happy, gorgeous boy. Mini man also astounds me daily. Born with a heart condition which had him in heart failure for 14 months and was deemed 'failure to thrive', he dodged open heart surgery 3 times, was on daily steroids, diuretics, reflux meds, and a daily antibiotics due to continued chest infections and ear infections to now being as strong as an ox, a very happy, go Lucky little character who lights up a room with his personality. They both astound me daily.
  2. Little Man has worked really hard at his reading. He is struggling in school, but never complains, and puts his all into his work. His reading is so much better now. He also found the confidence to say 2 lines in the school play in front of 100's of people, something we never thought we would see.
  3. Mini Man going into Year 1 and suddenly buckling down, and coming on in leaps and bounds.
10. Tell us one thing that made you proud of yourself.

Apart of the 2 things I mentioned in the first question (did I mention I was proud of running my half marathon and having a boudoir shoot!?), I am also very proud that I over came my pride and faced the problems my marriage was having and dealt with them. I made some major decisions which I believe were the right ones, not just for me but for the family, and I guess only time will tell if they were the right ones, but feeling so much happier and more positive makes me feel, if they weren't right, to then make the right ones in the future may be easier.

11. Tell us one challenge you overcame

My pride

Monday, 18 March 2013

Meal Planning Monday Virgin

I have read posts in this Meal Planning Monday linky for a long time now and never thought meal planning was for me, but we are now on a huge economy drive and I am constantly hearing that meal planning helps cut the weekly out goings so here I am.

I have to say I have enjoyed reading what others are eating and planning, it gives me new ideas, and I am now wondering why I never joined in before, as I get so bored with everything we eat, it never seems to change

So our meals this week

Monday - Left over Chicken from yesterday's roast - probably a stir fried rice
Tuesday - Homemade pizza and potato wedges
Wednesday - Hairy Dieters Lamb Tagine - never tried this
Thursday - Hunters Chicken Stew from a recipe I found on the Internet which sounded nice
Friday - steak and chips (me and OH), boys piggy night where they pick own food - cue pasta for one, and hot dogs for other!
Saturday - homemade burgers with garlic bread and salad
Sunday - Beef roast

Looking forward to reading the others x

Sunday, 17 March 2013

People Don't Eat Enough Fudge History

So as the title suggests, I am honoured to be hosting a guest post from SarahMac over at PeopleDontEatEnougFudge.

She recently had a mega blog giveaway event and decided to share with her lucky readers posts from days gone by. We were able to choose our own from her funny list or ask her to pick one for us - I did the latter.

If you are not a reader of PeopleDontEatEnoughFudge I strongly encourage you to pop over and have a browse around, this lady NEVER fails to raise a smile, if not a hearty laugh from me, she is a very talented blogger and can write the most amusing posts, so go on pop over and see her.

So here on my blog, I am honoured to be sharing with you a piece of Fudge history

Share Because I care

Do you know, I think I may become a relationship counsellor.

I've decided that I'm pretty good at giving advice (dare I say, even an expert;).

Of course, I have my own experiences to draw on and, (after the fact), I know exactly where I've been going wrong.

I bet you expect me to tell you now don't you?

Well, I'm not going to.

This is MY gig and I'm not having all of you jumping on the band waggon. It takes more than a few stolen insights to become a relationship counsellor you know!

I've been giving some great advice lately.

Before Christmas I told a friend that he should really talk to his wife and not be tempted by a local Jezebel.

I said he should rediscover his passion ....

So he did (with the local Jezebel!).

She then had a wobble and ended it which I said was a GOOD thing, now he could talk to his wife and rediscover the passion ....

So he left his wife and started a long distance romance.

Meanwhile the local Jezebel is expressing an interest again and he is torn about where and with whom he should be rediscovering his passion ....

So I told him he was a tart.

As a starting point I think I'm doing pretty well so far don't you?

More to come (possibly) and, if you are in need of a little advice well ....

I'm here for you :)

Friday, 15 March 2013

Reason to be Cheerful

I wouldn't like to say how many weeks months it has been since I have taken part in this, and yes I do know this is a day late as well in being posted!

But this week I have many reasons to be cheerful - please read reason number 5 if you cant be bothered with reading the rest!

  1. I have found my blogging chi again, it was last seen running away into the sunset and has taken a long time to return to me but it is back!
  2. We have reached a critical point in our finances which has been a shock to the system, however rather than finding this depressing, I actually see it as a good thing - yes I am mad, my brain has been pickled by all the wine drinking, but on a serious note, I have long been aware our spending was getting a bit out of control and have simply not been strong enough to stand up to t'husband and his wants. Now however we have to face it and I am pleased, we have done it before and managed to pay 6 grand off so I am not worried about doing it again. it can only be a good thing.
  3. Work is flowing in at the moment, bit too much so I am having to work evenings but it is so worth it. I have my regular work with agency 1 who is not doing as well as they were so I have been concerned they could maintain the amount of money I like to earn. I also do work for  agency 2 who I use to be employed by and this is increasing slowly but surely rather than the odd bit of support I gave then, I seem to now be part of the team for a project. And then I managed to secure some work for a well know nutritional company and do a project for them and there has been a hint they will use me again, and I am doing a small job for a fourth client, so it is all coming together. I also had an interview with Yorkshire Cancer research about doing some work for them in the coming months!
  4. I ran up the big hill by our house, first time ever so feel very good about that
  5. My final reason is all thanks to Michelle, the founder of this fab linky, and blogger at Mummy from the heart, who last year had a massive blog giveaway in which I won a half day spa experience with the Imagine spa chain. As I live near Knaresborough this was perfect as there is an the Imagine Spa at The Dower House hotel in Knaresborough.                                                                                                                                I am ashamed to say due to personal reasons, lack of time management and a lot of work I have been moving this week by week through my diary thinking 'I just haven't got time, I will book it next week' & have been doing that for a year. On Monday I noticed it expired on Thursday 14th March so I rang them and thought Sod it.                                                                        Since my blogging chi returned home, it also seems to have brought back with it confidence & a little bit of sense in that I need a break from work - working for myself means I rarely leave the house (other than school runs), and don't get much interaction with people/professionals. I spent 4 very blissful, unguilty hours yesterday at the Imagine Spa. I started with paperwork & changing into a my swimming costume & a thick warm robe, followed by a coffee & magazine & foot spa. I then had a fabulous deep tissue back, neck & leg massage - god it was bliss! Following this I had a sauna, followed by 10 minutes in the steam room, a monsoon shower, another foot spa and a 40 minute swim which totalled 100 lengths of a 10 meter pool. I finished my day with 20 minutes relaxing in the spa pool. I felt like a different woman at the end of it. I had the best nights sleep ever!                                                                                                        I just wish I could do it regularly, wouldn't life be grand to be a lady of leisure who did manage that weekly!
So I would like to send a heartfelt thanks not only to Michelle but also to the host of R2BC this week, seasiderinthecity for actually sending the voucher - you really gave me a much needed half day break, me time and overall a lovely day. Thank you x

Red Nose Day - mum of the year - NOT!

I have known all week that today was red nose day and the boys would need red clothes and noses for school. I also knew there was a Great School Bake Off competition going on as well. I even managed to get my mum to bake a cake with Little Man last night while I was at football with Mini Man, so it was all going well, until that is Little Man leapt out of bed at 5.55am asking

LM 'Can I start to ice my cake now please'
Me ' Still a little early chick, its not even 6am, try and stay in bed a little longer please'
LM ' Is Mini Man's cake the same size as mine'
Me 'Oh sugar (not my actual thought!), I forgot to bake it last night'
LM 'Mini man is going to be really upset you know'
Me ' no he won't, bags of time to do it now' as I hot foot it down to the kitchen, with LM in tow thinking it is the green light to ice his cake.

And so that is why I was baking a cake at 6.30am this morning and had to put it out on the decking to cool quickly enough for it to be iced!

These were the results though so not too bad and I am proud to say, they both did them by themselves

Frugal Friday

Having been prompted scared into tightening our belts and trying to save money, I have decided that once a week I am going to have a round up of things I have done to be frugal and to try and cut back whether good ideas or not!

So from today onwards, I am going to be doing a Frugal Friday post of my week. If anyone has any other ideas please, please do share them or what you are doing to try and save the pennies as I think I have a lot to learn!

Here is my list for this week:

  1. Did my weekly shop in Asda rather than Sainsburys - so far I did spend less
  2. I find I have to get things like bread and milk daily/every other day, so instead of taking my wallet, I just took enough money for milk and bread
  3. I sorted my freezer and have been really chuffed with what I have made from it
    • Monday - I had some left over rice which I made into a savoury rice with mushroom, peas and corn and a little seasoning and soy sauce and we had with some fish I had in
    • Tuesday - I found a large bag full of left over turkey and ham from New Years Day so defrosted it and made a rather nice turkey and ham pie, if I do say so myself, even t'husband ate it without complaint. I made the pastry myself as well.
    • with some diced lamb I made some kebabs, Mini Man doesn't like mushroom or pepper so I stuck chunks of carrot on his stick, looked odd but he didn't complain, I then did a homemade BBQ sauce and some wedges with these
    • Boys eat at Grannie and Grandad's on a Thursday so I used lots of veg in the fridge and did roasted veg tossed in olive oil, a little chilli, garlic and pepper which were lovely for us
    • I have defrosted some chicken for tonight - not sure what I will do with it yet!
    • So this week I have used only what I have had in my cupboards and freezer :)))
  4. I am just about to do next weeks shop on line using which compares the price of your shopping list at about 5 different supermarkets
  5. We have made the effort to walk to school a lot more this week
So I feel we have made a good start on tightening our belts, lets hope it continues

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Good Life

What the hell has happened to our finances? 

Christ for the first time in years we literally are both at the very cusp of our overdraft limits and so is the joint account. Each time I flex the little bank card, I expect it to be spat out of the machine with a big buzzer going 'uhhhhh-uhhhhhh I don't think so', while I flush a shade closer to the red noses currently on sale and all those in the queue behind me look on sympathetically but with that look in their eye of 'thank god its not me, or stupid woman how can she let herself get in that position at her age' all the while eyeing my Radley handbag and Timberland winter coat and tutting loudly (both of which were presents I hasten to add from more than one person clubbing together - so there!).

I am not saying I am any better because I have not been but hubby is terrible with money and has no concept, however as I rarely actually let him see the bank accounts I guess some of that blame lies at my feet. Thing is if he saw it looking healthy he would spend, if he sees it struggling, he shouts and bemoans the fact he works so hard and he should be allowed to spend what he wants etc so vicious circle. But he is crap, he was invited sailing on his bosses yatch and he went and bought himself a brand new thick jacket, waterproof trousers, shoes and spent nearly £200.00 - why, because he didn't like the navy blue winter jacket with the detachable fleece hanging in our downstairs toilet worn about 10 times in 2 years, it didn't look the part, he wanted some new shoes and OK he needed the trousers. Why did he need a new jacket of £99 when he has 2 in the cupboard he never wears? He spent £700.00 on 2 tailored suits when he started his new job as he is apparently beyond wearing debenhams - does he wear them, does he hell, he never wears a suit jacket and both of those are now redundant as the trousers have both worn through on the bum after less than a year. See what I have to put up with. If I say no though, he literally sulks and doesn't speak to me for 4 days - healthy relationship hey! (and lets not even mention the credit cards which I have just transferred to interest free and have cut up so no more can go on them).

Anyhow sliver lining and all - i think being in this position has been a good thing, a big slap in the face and back to reality - we are living beyond our means, we have been silly and its now time to reign things in again, which we can do.

How though?

Hubby wants damned spreadsheets - yes spreadsheet which I apparently have the time to create and share with him.

I want to say £1742.00 a month goes out on all bills/mortgage etc, and after this we should be taking £200.00 out of the bank per week and spending that on food shopping and anything else we need. How are we spending more than that I don't know but it all adds up.

Over the past year or so I have become a right bugger for 'popping to the supermarket for bread and milk' and returning with at least 3 shopping bags. Only last week I went for milk and a light bulb and came home with some new shoes (only 9.00 in the sale but not necessary, but hey they were purple and nice), and I am constantly thinking things are a bargain so just getting - cooking stuff, bags, stuff for the boys, all not necessary. Hubby just spends, spends spend. most recently he parted with £130.00 for a F***ing TV remote - I kid you not. It does everything, its touch screen, it is enriching his life, he can control everything from one remote but it cost one hundred and flipping thirty pounds. I was NOT happy. This is what I mean, he thinks we have a limitless supply of money.

Anyhow I am now spreading the nutella a bit thinner, slicing the cheese less generously and not putting extra ham in the sandwiches! I am also clearing my freezer and cupboards, baking more and making the most of what we have in.

Any help or advice is welcomed

Its actually been a relief to get to this stage again as I think we needed it after too many years of living the good life.

Monday, 11 March 2013


My last 2 posts which were the 3rd December and the 8th January both started with how busy things have been, how I have taken a step back from blogging - sounds stupid but I found it was quite a pressurised thing to be trying to do when busy and how I was hoping things would change

Clearly as it is now March, things did not change and I haven't had the chance to do any blogging.

I find myself doing things, or in certain situations and thinking 'this would make a good blog post' or 'must remember that to blog about' and then it doesn't happen.

Going back to the pressurised things, does anyone else feel that? I was finding I would come on to write a blog but then start checking in on other people's, trying to select the ones which caught my eye as interesting and lo and behold, I had lost 2 hours of my working day.

I also have a thing about when people take the time and effort to leave a comment on one of my posts, that I return the favour and go and visit their blog and read their latest post and also leave a comment, to me it is common courtesy, you know if someone sent you an email or phoned you and left a message, it is unlikely you would ignore it. However, new blogs throw up loads of new time issues for me, I find myself trawling through their old posts to try and gauge what type of blogger they are and what they blogged about, if I liked what I saw I added them to my feed, but again, hey presto there is another 2 hours gone.

And then there is the whole 'should I post daily' is that for me or for my readers? Again another small element of up keeping the blog pressure!

And lets not forget Twitter. I am having a bit of an affair with twitter at the moment. I keep my facebooking and personal twitter separate from my blog so have a different blogging twitter account, but on a personal front, I am a little bored of fb and have moved to twitter. However, that and my blog twitter were just one more thing to keep updating, oh and reading and replying to, again consuming more time.

Its hard!

I feel silly admitting this as well, I was getting to the stage where if I didn't get a comment I was feeling disappointed and wanting to know why, was my post boring? why had I spent 3 hours commenting on other people's post for them not to bother to visit my blog? etc, it was getting silly.

I miss it though, but I am not going to promise to start blogging again because as my last 2 posts in December and January said, I want to and clearly haven't been able to so its a case of watch this space!