NeneMaria - crafting, recipes, food, M.E/CFS, DIY, gardening, home, lifestyle.

NeneMaria - crafting, recipes, food, M.E/CFS, DIY, gardening, home, lifestyle.

Friday, 5 December 2014

That Christmas feeling.

Due to having to open the pub over Christmas, the family have decided to have Christmas at our house this year. It will be the first year I've hosted Christmas and (quite embarrassingly, at the age of 30) it will be the first time I've actually decorated my home. Not only that, but I've got a whole pub to decorate on a very limited budget.

So I've decided that the cheapest and most fun way will be to make all the decorations! Now I'm cheating slightly, I've been to the pound shops and bought a whole load of decorations that I'm going to turn from cheap tat to (hopefully) something amazing.

Curious kitty in the pound shop bags!

On Wednesday, I went to help out at my little brothers Christmas craft day but unfortunately he was sent home from school poorly. So instead, I took the dog out for a wander round the village to collect twigs, pine cones and anything else I could find that could be turned into fancy Christmas decor. The sun was setting, everything began to ice over and for the first time this winter I could see my breath as I walked along. It all of a sudden started to feel quite magical and wintery!

Daft pup on our little adventure

Church yard sunset

My mother decided to get the decorations out while I was there to cheer up my poorly brother and I was probably more excited than he was. There's nothing better to get you in the Christmas mood than rooting through all the Christmas boxes, decorating the family tree and finding all the decorations your parents kept that you made at school.

Tree up

Wreath I made about 25 years ago

So, I plan to start my Christmas Crafting projects on Sunday, I've been searching Christmas blogs all week for inspiration and found some amazing ideas. Hopefully I can get all the pub decorations finished within the next week, then I can make a start on the house.

...I best go and buy a couple of trees!

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Back to blogging...

So one of the reasons I'm re-starting this blog is to document the changes I'm making to my current diet, the effects and mainly, the food. The other, because I want more organisation in my life, to complete more goals and to do things I enjoy rather than writing lists of things I would like to do that never get completed. I feel like if it's all in writing, I have to do it, right? Hopefully this will give me the motivation I need to make some big changes and set me on the right path. 
First things first, this is an introduction to my food and diet concerns. 
I've got a scrappy little book that I've been jotting down recipes in and after adding ingredients, making changes and scribing down notes I can barely understand it myself, so I decided this would be a much better place to jot it all down.

Recipe Notebook by Papernotebook on Etsy

I think it was giving up smoking about a month ago (35 days ago to be exact) that kick started this diet overhaul and this is how that came about...
This year, over 6 incredibly stressful months, which included taking over a second business (on top of the one we run full time), closing and emptying a shop, gutting a house, moving house and working 16 hour days pretty much 7 days a week, cooking and diet just wasn't a priority. Some days we'd not have time to eat at all, some days it would be yesterdays pizza for breakfast and a kebab for dinner. Our diet was 95% takeaway food. The other 5% was microwave noodles..
It was only when things started to settle down that I started to realise how badly it had all effected my health. Smoking and drinking too much, eating very poorly, lack of sleep, huge amounts of stress, anxiety and sheer exhaustion had really taken it's toll. My body had well and truly had enough. I suffered (and am still suffering) the worst M.E relapse I've had in years and I (eventually) realised I had no choice but to slow down to pretty much a stop and let myself recover. Now this hasn't happened, life doesn't just stop because you have a chronic illness and businesses and households do not run themselves, but I have slowed down, the major stress of it all is over and I've been able to take some time to really think about the hell I've put my body through!
I've never been overly concerned about my weight or what I eat. I've slowly put on a bit of weight over the past year or two, nothing really noticeable and certainly not enough for me to watch what I ate. Basically I ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted and didn't think much of it. That's not to say it was all bad! We both enjoy cooking and made everything from scratch. It was more overindulgence that was the problem, going back for seconds, opening a second bottle of wine, eating a huge bag of sharing crisps on my own (I can't help myself).
Combining the overindulgence of the last couple of years, and the 6 months of living off crap, I've crept up to a weight I'm not really pleased with. I don't weigh myself often but have really noticed the clothes getting tighter (squeezing into size 10 jeans is now pretty much impossible), the uncomfortable bloated feeling and the frumpy sluggishness you feel when you know your slightly over your normal weight.
Giving up smoking was my first major step in trying to take control of my health. I didn't find it too painful but it did make me eat more and crave sweet food all the time!! I do not have a sweet tooth and it's rare to find a chocolate bar or cake in our house but the over last month I've eaten through tub after tub of ice cream, packets of chocolate bars and stuffed myself with sickly desserts.
I gave myself a month, a month to suffice my cravings with all the sugary goodness I could eat, then I said that would be enough.
So here we are now. I'm day 35 into giving up smoking, and day 6 into the new controlled, informed and hopefully more balanced diet.

No Smoking graphic by This Wall Your Wall on Etsy

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Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Oh goodness where has time gone!

Time Flies by Torquearm on Etsy

So my regular blogging didn't start off too well! ... 

After spending the past 6 months setting up my new website for Neon Black, I've decided it's about time I get back into crafting and what better way to find inspiration than reading other people blogs and to start back writing my own.

So the new plan is:
  • Set aside time each week for crafting 
  • Dig out all the materials I've bought and never done anything with and use them! 
  • Make time a couple of days a week to sit and have a cup of tea and update my blog
That doesn't sound too hard now does it... 

By Jenniferramos on Etsy

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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

I wish I could nap like a cat....

Sleeping cat print by

There's not much worse than not being able to sleep, especially when you are sooo tired you don't have the energy to do anything but sleep!

I've tried:
  • Warm baths
  • Hot milk
  • Stinky lavender oils (which do nothing more than make me feel a bit sick!)
  • Herbal pills and prescribed pills
  • Soothing music
At the moment I'm dealing with it by reading until my eyes can't stay open a moment longer! My routine gets back to normal for a week or so, then out of the blue, there it is again!.. Erggg...

I've exhausted my list of ideas and feel I'm going to be stuck with this for the time being....

Anyone else suffer? Any tips or tricks I've not tried yet? Help!

Kitty eye mask by

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Saturday, 30 January 2010


It's snowing ... again!

Just when I thought we were over the worst of it, this happens:

(Excuse the bad picture, it was taken outside my house by me with no coat on, just my PJ's, at about midnight, whilst jumping about excitedly!!!)

After the 3 weeks of snow hell we had over Christmas, I'm hoping that this is temporary lapse in the weather and we will be back to spring before we know it!

I can't say that I don't squeak like a child at the prospect of snow and snow men and snow ball fights, but it gets old.. very fast!!!

What's the weather like where you are? It can't just be the North of England that's suffering!


Friday, 29 January 2010

All new blog..

...and that difficult first post!

Where do you start? The generic 'Hi I'm x and I do z?' I find that all a little too awkward.

I'll start by saying hello, and welcoming anyone that is reading.

I'm starting this blog to track the adventures I'm having while setting up my new venture, NeneMaria designs, and all the ups, downs, excitement, disappointment and any other fun and shenanigans that may happen along the way.

I'll be posting work in progress, new crafting excitements I come across, tips and tricks I learn along the way, and no doubt lots of unexpected problems I run into!

I also hope to make a regular feature of British crafters. There are so many talented ladies (and gents!) from our lands that deserve to be seen and loved.

I'll leave it at that, no one likes a long winded first post.