Check your Tech!

As a techie I am always giving people grief for the usual crimes – not closing apps, not backing up etc… I know my own house is far from in order on the tech front as I’m busy tidying everyone else’s as well as watching repeats of Modern Family (love that show!)

You can imagine my mortification when my hosts got in touch to say that my website backups were going to the wrong place and as a result, I was using over 70 times the allotted storage on their servers. A quick moment of ‘oh f*ck’ and a lot of grovelling later and it was all sorted.

I had promised myself over Christmas, while I took a work-break that I would clean up my laptop and sort out all of my different techie issues/accounts etc. Needless to say, that wasn’t done but is definitely a project for January, rather than waiting until next Christmas!

Getting back into routine is hard

I’m often asked how I keep it all together; single parenting, working, everything else-ing. The key is a good routine and an amazing partner who picks up the slack and prods me back into my makeshift routines when I fall out of them.

Children thrive from routines, bedtimes are calmer, days are more relaxed because they are well rested. I’m also more productive when I have a set pattern to my day. Naturally all this went out the window over the Christmas period as it was much more fun to stay up with the kids and help them play with their new toys than brush teeth and go to bed by a set time.

The return to school (and work) has been met with a lot of resistance and whilst the kids struggled to get back into their routines, boy am I glad they’re back in them and no more tired, grumpy children from having too much fun the night before.

Saying No

I don’t believe in making New Years resolutions as I think (along with many) that it’s just setting yourself up for failure during the bleakest months of the year and another reason to feel bad about yourself.

However, if I was the type to make a resolution, it would be to say ‘no’ more often. I can try to be all things to all people, whether it’s having a load of kids sleep over to keep my children happy, running out to help a friend at the last minute or staying up until 2am fixing a client’s website, I really struggle to say no to people.

This week circumstances beyond my control meant that I had to say no to something that had been planned for a while. Did the world end? No. Did I feel a bit crap about saying no to them? Definitely. Did I feel much better for having done it so I could focus on what was really important? Yes!

From now on I’m going to work harder at saying No so that I’m available for the stuff I really want to say Yes to.

Making a great pavlova may have been a fluke

Not once in my adult life have I been able to make edible meringues. It’s not like I tried once and gave up, I have tried many, many times with many different recipes. The day before New Years Eve I was trying to think of a gluten free dessert for the next night, pulled out my trusty copy of Fay Makes it Easy (seriously, this book’s magic – the recipes never fail) and was inspired by her show stopping pavlova. I carried out all the usual rituals, got the eggs to room temperature, made sure there weren’t any yolks in with the whites, washed all equipment so it wasn’t greasy, got out the big mixer, rather than hand whisk, said a prayer to all the gods of baking/desserts/dinner parties and got cooking.

I wasn’t brave enough to see what the results would be so went to bed and looked in the oven the next morning. Unbelievably, it worked!! 2 gorgeous disks of meringues faced me and I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to make another dessert. A quick whip of cream and assistance from my Sous Chef (otherwise known as my partner’s daughter who has a wonderful career of patisserie chef in front of her) and there was the most beautiful pavlova I’ve seen. So beautiful that the lovely Fay Ripley herself commented on it on Instagram.

A few days later said Sous Chef and I went to recreate the dessert. Ok we rushed it, we didn’t leave it in the cooling oven overnight and it definitely wasn’t as good. Perhaps making amazing meringue is a once in a lifetime thing. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try again. Luckily I took a picture of the first one as proof that once, I did it!

Never rely on directions from someone who doesn’t know their left and right

This one probably speaks for itself but when we got in the car and they told me they knew a short cut it didn’t occur to me that they didn’t know their left from their right! Imagine the scene, we’re pulling onto a dual carriage way and a roundabout is just in front of us, we have a car full of grumpy, tired children and a neurotic dog and I’m frantically asking ‘which way?’ only to be met with ‘go here’. Against every instinct I peel my eyes away from the speeding traffic to see whether they’re pointing left or right. We made it there safely, albeit with a few wrong turns and I vow to always use the sat nav from now on.