Evening routine

Following on from my post yesterday about creating a weekly routine I want to talk about creating an evening routine. If you work in the day or look after your family then evenings are sacred time. They are your important time for relaxing and regenerating. If you’re tired (I certainly am) then it’s easy to want to spend your evening in front of the TV. I understand that and I do that sometimes too. That’s fine now and then but what I want to suggest is that you also use this time for personal growth, hobbies, socialising, exercise, creating and self care.

What I do first is make a list of 5 or more tasks that I feel I don’t have enough time for, or areas of my life that are getting neglected. My list looks like this

  • Crafting/painting
  • Self care
  • Socialising
  • Quality time for my relationship with my husband
  • Exercise
  • Time spent in nature
  • Reading

Now I work out how to fit this things into my evenings. I choose one per day, it doesn’t have to be rigid, for example if the weather is good I will go for a walk and tick off some time spent in nature. Sometimes I can’t get out for a walk on my own if I am on my own with the kids and I’ll have to work that time into another part of my week. Here’s how a normal week night could work:

At 7:40pm both children are in bed and I have cleared up all the pots and toys from the day. If i can go out I would go straight out for swimming, or to a friends for a cup of tea, out for a meal with friends, or for a short walk down to the river. If I am at home I could get the paints out or make something from my Crafts To Do board on Pinterest. On a Thursday, as I have said before I like to make time to pamper myself a bit (see Pamper evening post). On Wednesdays I make time to watch a film. If Mr.H is around it gives us quality time together which is something we can top up at the weekend. Generally, any one of these activities normally lasts from half an hour to 2 hours, which then gives me time watch something on TV then to read a bit before I go to bed. I very rarely go to bed later than 10:30pm. I would stay up longer and do more if I could but I know that if I do stay up longer I will pay for it in tiredness the next day.

I think everyone knows how much sleep they need and how much they can fit in to an evening. You have to use your intuition to figure out whether you are trying to fit in too much or if you are too tired to do much one evening. My belief is that this time is precious and often overlooked as a time to be productive in your hobbies or socialising. Why not try it for a while and see if you can pull another few hours of activity out of your day? For any more help or advice on creating routines and fitting more into your life then email me at imogenjhope@gmail.com

Much love,

Imogen x

Daily routine



Well I am back online finally. Now I intend to do more with this blog and make it into the network of helpful tips, ideas, and advice on how to balance your life and make space for all the wonderful things you dream of doing but feel like you never have time for. Like, for example, myself-working on this blog, running my house, looking after 2 children, doing a degree, creating and looking after myself. All very important aspects of my life!

I’ve said it before but I don’t think I can ever say it enough. Routines are there as guidelines. Do not allow it to control you. Let it be flexible. If something comes up that you hadn’t planned DO NOT WORRY, just get on with it and come back to your routines when you can. When you keep on top of things that you need or want to do the odd day where you don’t follow it won’t make as much impact on how much you can get done.

I reworked my daily routines last week as it is something that needs doing often when my life changes regularly. I have vague distinctions between days because of different commitments etc. And my version has a lot more specific detail but i’m sure you don’t actually need to know what days I wash my hair or paint my toenails etc! (Yes, I am that organised! If i don’t plan toe-nail-painting I will never do it!) But, anyway, here is a basic version of my weekdays.

7am-8:20-Getting ready for school/put a load of washing on/school run

8:45-10am-Wash up breakfast pots/cleaning tasks for the day (will include how i separate cleaning tasks through the week on another post)/Tuesdays I nip to the shops or market for any bits I have run out of

10am-11:30-Usually go out with baby to My grandmas/playgroup/park/swimming/the library

11:30-Lunch

12pm-1pm-Blog/craft while baby naps

2pm-Exercise, usually hula hoop, yoga, Pilates just at home

3pm- 3:30-School run/homework

3:30pm-5pm-Play games/play in the garden/read together

5pm-7pm-Eat tea/clean up/watch TV

7pm-7:40-Getting kids ready for bed and getting them to sleep.

I will post specifics about evening routines on another post. This is a really important time (especially for parents of young children) to look after themselves, to relax and to create things for themselves. Sometimes studying or work runs over into these times but thats ok. As long as we get some time to really do what it is that makes us who we are or who we want to be.

If you need any help creating your own routines then please contact me via the contact page or email imogenjhope@gmail.com, I would love to help you.

Have a gorgeous day,

Imogen

New Routines

Since we moved house everything has changed. Actually everything changes continually anywau really. Our priorities change, our needs, the kids needs, the weather…everything and it all affects our routines.

At the moment, my youngest, who is nearly 2, needs more entertaining and occupying than ever and also sleeps less! We have had to start fitting in more activities into our daily lives, more day trips, more parks, more playgroups and less of the other things I need to do, I.e. Studying, exercise, writing, cleaning and organsining. Vi does not go to childcare yet (because of the expense mostly) and other than the 3 hours she has with her grandma on a Friday morning in which I study, she is with me all day, everyday.

So today I need to sit down for a period of time and work out our new routines. It does take a while because it’s a bit like fitting too many pieces into a big puzzle, but it will fit eventually and it needs doing or things won’t be done. 

I will share my workings out when I have it all figured out! 

Do you need help creating your own routines? Contact me at imogenjhope@gmail.com for information on how I can help.

Have a gorgeous day!

Imogen 💜

Back to work

After 12 days of no internet at the new house I now know when it’s coming back on (Friday) and so, needs to get back to work. 

I spent some time this morning in my new office space catching up on some coursework for my degree. My new office looks like this





At the moment and  I was joined by a cheery bunch of daffodils 





And a big mug of yorkshire tea. So amongst getting up to date with studying I can’t wait to get back into blogging and taking my blog to the next level which I hope will soon.



Imogen x

A forced holiday

Here at the new house we have no wifi, it wasn’t deliberate. These things just never seem to switch over smoothly. Also, where we live now seems to be in a phone-signal-free zone. Again, that’s ok. It feels great actually not to be carrying my phone round with me all the time. I put it down and go about my business while actually not looking at it. I feel like it has come at a time when my iphone addiction was at its peak, so it’s no bad thing at all. 

But then, for a blogger, the inability to blog is kind of annoying, I went from blogging daily to not really knowing when I’ll be able to. So I have allowed myself not to worry about it. Just to carry on and try to pick up where I left off in a couple of weeks when we sort it. In the meantime I am sorting out the new house, figuring out new routines for me and baby, who has recently taken against daytime naps 😭 and generally trying to relax in-between. Hope to be properly up and running again asap though.

Love 

Imogen x

Move day has come

These are some thoughts I had early on Thursday morning before the chaos really began. The signal here is terrible and we’ve no wifi set up yet but hopefully I’ll still find a way to post.

Peace & love

Imogen x

Everything is upside down. I can’t help yet because my friend who is looking after Vi isn’t coming for another 20 minutes. The first load has already gone in the van. The couch has gone so the house feels empty and there’s no where to sit. I’m not ready, mentally I am but actually packed and good to go? No! I ask myself how many times I would keep moving around. I like to be able to get up and go when oIwant to. That if something isn’t right I can go at short notice. A blessing of renting over buying. 

This house is big, spacious, bright. We loved it for the big rooms, high ceilings, the view. I’ll miss all those things but it wasn’t right any more. It’s too big, exhausting to keep clean, in a busy area with dozens of other houses in view from any angle, no garden, it’s just not the nicest area too. So I am ready to leave. It was also my tiny girls first home so as I leave I will take time to look around and remember where she spent her first days and nights.

Enjoying exercise

Well we all know exercising is important. For our mental and physical health, it is something that we all should be doing. I have never loved exercise. I have forced myself to the gym in the past, I went through a phase of doing workout DVD’s at home but I don’t think I ever enjoyed a minute of it, except the mental & physical wellbeing, but during, definitely not.

I kind of believed that maybe I just wasn’t a person who liked to exercise. I knew I had to do it but with the limited options available to me it wasn’t going to be fun. And that is when I struggled to fit it in. When I let it go and put it lower down in my priorities.

So recently I have been on a mission to find exercise that I enjoy, when it was only very recently that I thought maybe I didn’t have to hate every moment I spent exercising. A revelation! Here are the kinds of exercises I find fun now;

  • Hula hooping. My number one. I do it every day. Sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for longer. Actually it is much harder work that I thought it would be. It feels a bit like being back at school in the playground which I think my inner child loves.
  • Yoga. Obviously yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical practise which makes it an even more worthwhile way to exercise. For me, I particularly love the feeling of calm and the way my muscles feel after they have been stretched. Also I am constantly amazed by the positions I can get my body into and want to do more.
  • Running. I don’t do it often. I don’t enjoy it that much, but again, its a kind of fascination of how far I can push my body. It amazes me that people run marathons and just keep going for hours and hours, although I don’t think I ever will. I really enjoy that feeling of deep breath in my lungs that doesn’t come with other exercise.
  • Swimming. Swimming is relaxing, I never really exert myself when I am swimming, I don’t count lengths or time myself. I just swim until I’m done then sit in a jacuzzi for 15 minutes. Super relaxation.
  • Dancing. I’ve never had a professional dance lesson but love a dance on a night out. That counts right? Would definitely try lessons as the kids get older too.
  • Walking. I live in Cheshire, there are a lot of beautiful nature walks surrounding the area. Typically, I have never taken too much advantage of them, but have many happy childhood memories of exploring local beauty spots. One of my new years resolutions is to see more of these places and I fully intend to follow it through. It will be amazing when we move this week, we’ll be living right by a river so I plan lots of sunny, afternoon strolls. And one day hopefully getting a dog will mean more country walks for us.

Any more ideas for fun exercise? Please share!

Loves, Imogen x

Moving week

Well, moving week is here. We’ve had a weekend full of packing, organising and dismantling furniture ready for Thursday. I also managed to fit in time to write my first assignment for University and some crucial time for self care. March is here and the sun is shining (in between snow flurries) and I am excited! Not ready, quite, but I have faith that I will be.

I will try not to neglect my blog but posts may be on the brief side this week. I haven’t quite got the hang of scheduling them in advance yet. Any advice for that? 

I love the beginning of a new month. It feels like everything is refreshed and goals are renewed. This will be a big month for us and I can’t wait to get going!

Imogen x