Februarys Plans

 

It’s February! Squeeeee, that means the dreaded winter-esque freezing yer but off season is almost over. Who am I kidding.. I’m Scottish it’s perma-winter. Anyway. I’ve decided posting my goals monthly might be a step towards keeping me on track. Don’t want to have to openly  admit I have done shit all to you all so I’ll try to keep this updated each month with new goals and how I got on with the month before’s.

My plans & goals for February

 

Lose half a stone more. Obvious reasons..

Properly food log. This will help with the above – I tend to lack a bit on the logging front, and I want to be honest with myself and have a proper log so I can see how I’m progressing and why.

Give me some me time…   I know what you’re thinking. Single, non working parent with school age children, all I get is me time.. right? Wrong. I spend so much time sorting out bills, sorting out appointments, cleaning the house, upkeeping the house, looking after the animals, shopping, cooking, blogging, planning meals.. I want to go sit in starbucks or even the cafe in fucking asda once in a while and have a bleedin coffee..(I don’t even like coffee) Little steps guys, little steps.

Get round to reading some more of Marie Kondo’s book. The principle of her book is basically what I base most of my cleaning around now.. I really should finish it. It’s a fab book.

Think about booking the boys birthday party. Their birthday is in July, I want to look into the best halls and things – as both of them have friends with different needs (both in special units at primary schools) I need one that will suit everyone. So I’d like to at least have an idea of what I want and where.

Look into a break away for summer. Even if it’s local, even if it’s over a weekend and involves a lot of driving. I really can’t be arsed going anywhere other than the UK if I’m honest, but I don’t want to go to a busy place unless it’s super kid friendly and the boys will love it.

I think that’ll do for now.. What are your plans for February?

Making your own Sensory Room Part 1: DIY Wall Pads

Just before Christmas, I made the decision to install a full on sensory den under Leons bed. This is how Leons space was.

This issue with this was he kept hurting himself off the storage when he had meltdowns (Leon is severely autistic). He would kick the wall (which is attached to our neighbours house) He made holes in the walls. So with all these combined I sat and tried to figure out how I could change the room to suit him. His brother Max’s bed was the opposite side of the room and had most storage and his games consoles underneath it. We decided to switch Max to Leons side and fit the sensory things under Leons side. Removing the storage furniture from Leons side solved the “hitting himself of the furniture” problem. Removing the neighbouring wall solved the noise issue, so it only left kicking holes in the wall.

Leon loves softplay. He loves the feel of the mats and he loves the colour yellow. So I decided wall padding in yellow mats would be ideal – I got many quotes from companies, and it was over a £1000 for the smallest space I’d want done to be padded professionally, so obviously that wasn’t an option! I decided to make my own. Here’s how if you’d like to do the same.

DIY WALL PADS 

To make your own wall pads – You will need the exact measurement of each “pad” you want to make. We researched supplies first. I found that a B&Q within travelling distance would cut wood boards for us, I could buy foam in bulk on ebay, and I could buy PVC fabric on ebay too. I measured the full width of the areas I wanted to pad and the height I wanted it to go to. I divided these areas into more “easier to make” pads. (So that rather than making 1 huge pad, I’d have 4 I could line up and install on the wall)

This looks simple when you write it down like this. Only a few slight issues I ran into.. I didn’t account for sockets and light switches (idiot.) Thankfully though, my original plan of where the pads were going didn’t make it all too difficult to work around – we just placed them differently.

Note: We also fitted acrylic safety mirrors in the sensory area – also take this into consideration if you’d like something similar as you cannot fit anything to the wall once the pads are up. You’d need to take mirror measurements into account too. (Think bubble tube mirrors!)
Also – we mismeasured and when we rejigged we ended up with two big leftover panels which we left on the floor and absolutely love them (scroll down the bottom to look!) If you want floor panels too make sure you order enough.

 

Step by step

  1. Measure the Area.
    – Consider where you will buy supplies from and which supplies.
    – Take into account light switches, skirting boards, wall rails, window sills.
    – Divide your measurements into “easy to make” pads. For example – the board we could easily buy was 145cm tall, so we made most pads 145cm tall to save on cutting. A good idea is to draw out your pads using decorators tape, measure them to make sure your plan is right – and doodle your plan down somewhere so you don’t forget (or leave the tape up!)
  2. Find supplies.
    I used 3mm Hardboard from B&Q here you can look for a store that will cut it for you if you don’t have the right tools – straight cuts only though so you will need to work your measurements around that.
    I used Yellow PVC material from ebay here there are loads of colours and I highly recommend PVC as its waterproof and easy to wipe down.
    I used 1.5inch Upholstery foam from ebay like this one
    You’ll also need some kind of glue – I used Solvent free adhesive from B&Q again – this one
    Brackets to fit to the wall – I used flat mending plates like this
    You’ll need screws – small fat ones big enough to fit through your mending plate and catch the hardboard – but not too big that you’ll press the foam and feel it through the PVC.
    You’ll need a good staple gun & staples.
    You’ll also need the usual, drill, raw plugs, and screws or drywall screws.NOTE: For foam and PVC you should order more than what you need – as you need around 15-20cm extra height and width on each pad so you can cut it evenly and also staple it down.Also make sure your glue fits in your caulk gun unless you’re some kinda skilled ninja and can chop the bottom off. *wink
    Making them

    Ok. By now you should have –
    Boards cut to size, Lengths of foam, Lengths of PVC, enough glue to stick a house together, and all yer wee bits to attach it to the wall.1. Lay out your foam sheet,  Yes I appreciate how difficult it may be. Look at the floorspace I had to work with.


    Put your cut to size hardboard panel on it using a thick marker pen mark around your hardboard – leave about 2cm extra around each side. Cut your foam – I used scissors. This took a while.  You might have more brains than me and use something decent. Repeat for each hardboard piece you have. Make sure you leave your panel with the correct piece of foam or shit will get confusing as fuck.

    2. Take your cut foam piece and your hardboard panel, and lay the foam piece on the ground – using a caulk gun glue your foam. I expertly done ziggy zaggy shapes accross the middle and a square around the outside. Place your hardboard piece on the foam making sure its bang in the middle and the extra foam you left around the edges remain. Leave it on the floor to dry for around 24 hours. We absolutely did not do this. I highly recommend waiting the 24 hours. Repeat for all hardboard pieces. Leave in a huge pile allow the glue to dry.

    Look at my nice pile of foamy hardboard. and my messy floor. And my not so neat foam edges. And the overlapping wood bits – yes you avoid all this turmoil by ensuring you leave extra foam (see I’m saving you grief, thank me later!)

    3. That extra foam around the edge of your hardboard? Get the coolest, scariest serrated edged knife you can find and slice it off. (Takes a while but it makes your foam even – much easier when it comes to PVC application)

    4. Now that that’s done, you have a nice solid hardboard piece with foam attached firmly. You want to lay your PVC out. Lie the wooden piece down on top and draw around it (make sure its on the bad side of the PVC) You want to leave around 7-10 cm of extra material around the whole board. Cut your fabric out and leave it sitting with the hardboard piece (do not mix them up!) Repeat for the rest. (I completely forgot to photograph this)

    5. Now you have multiple pieces of hardboard, with glued on foam pieces all cut to size and stuck on firmly, sitting with their cut to size piece of PVC fabric  (that you’ve not mixed up!)
    Lie your PVC piece on the floor, good side down, put your hardboard piece on top, foam side down. You want to make sure its placed in the centre. Start on the bottom, Pull the pvc up and staple twice, then do the top. Pull the PVC tightly staple twice, then repeat for both sides. Each time you staple ensure you are pulling the PVC as tightly as you can. This will make sure the PVC looks nice and tightly pulled at the front of your panel. The corners are a bit pernickety – this video helped me so much with stapling the corners.

    Ta-Daaaaaah!  (lol at the mess- cries internally)

    6. Now you’ve made your pads, you’ll realise they’re much lighter than you expected – and the 40 million brackets you bought to fit them were probably excessive. (Yep.)

    To fit them to the wall – Simply screw on your mending plates to 3 sides of your panel. You want them to be next to each other without space – so one side will need to stay unscrewed (it’s fine! – it doesn’t move, you can attach using velcro if you wish but you really don’t need to)

    We started on the right hand side of the wall – Picture you standing holding a wall pad with the PVC facing you , that PVC wall pad will have mending plates to the top, bottom and left hand side. The next one you put up will be the exact same, (the right hand side of the next wall panel with no mending plates will sit on top of the mending plates on the left of your current wall panel)
    Hopefully this explains how we put them up..

    And that’s it! We mis-measured – and when we jiggled the boards around and got them to fit we had two panels leftover which we happily used on the floor – Leon loves them as he loves the feeling of the cold PVC on his feet.

    This is how it turned out when fitted.

    PART 2 COMING SOON.

    PINNABLE:

THE (NOT BIG OR FAT) QUIZ OF THE YEAR

2017! The year for changes right? (Until next year of course! 😉 ) The lovely Kayleigh from Little B & Me has tagged me to answer questions from her blog post ‘The (Not Big or Fat) Quiz of the Year.

Let’s begin

 

What was your highlight of 2016?
My highlight of 2016 has to be seeing Max interacting well with friends. I was seriously worrying about how he behaves in social situations the last year, but attending clubs and having quiet words with him seems to be doing the trick. I’m hoping it’ll only get better from here!

 

Name one thing you are most likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time?
Trump. Still cannot believe it.

 

Sum up 2016 in one word.
Unpredictable

  • No one would have believed that trump had a chance of winning, yet here we are.
  • Leons behaviour went from calm, collected and content, to very aggressive and violent so unpredictable is very suiting.
  • I wouldn’t have predicted a complete change of heart when it came to educationI must say it’s definitely not a bad thing, I’ve learned not to take things for granted due to the unpredictability of 2016. Plus.. if Trump can win presidency then that should in some messed up way inspire us all to aim for whatever, even if we’re ridiculously under qualified or out of our comfort zone.

 

Name one pearl of wisdom from 2016 that you will carry with you through 2017.
Let go of the small things. If you won’t remember it in five years time, there’s little use in losing sleep over it now.

 

Do you have any new year resolutions?
Absolutely, you can read about them here.

 

How are you seeing in the new year?
I saw it consoling the dogs. They hate the fireworks!

 

What would you most like to do in 2017?
Mostly, lose weight. So I am more comfortable in myself and more confident.
Secondly, be more content that I’m doing the right thing for the boys.. that’s a long and forever winding road though.

 

What are your main goals for 2017?

  • I want to lose 2-3lbs a week.
  • To begin blogging consistently – at least once a week averagely.
  • Completely declutter the house
  • Explore more

Goals for the New Year

 

I am struggling to comprehend that 2017 is already here, the last year has gone by so fast! I’m glad it’s here though, 2016 has been such a weird year. There’s been so many celebrity deaths, the refugee crisis, politics. Trump. Need I say more?
I wanted to write down my goals for this year, so I can try stick to them. They always seems a little bit more set in stone when they’re written down, don’t you think?

 

Main Focus

 

Lose Weight

I along with many others set this goal every year and fail to do it. As cliche as it sounds, I’m feeling positive about it this year, a change in the wind.  A post will follow with my weight loss plan.

 

Blogging

 

Most of this year, my blogging focus has been on aesthetics and going self hosted. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it. I love how my blog looks and I’m much more settled with self hosted WordPress than I was any other platform. I wouldn’t change it. Only issue being this all took time. Time that took my focus away from creating blog content, so for that reason this year the focus will be on content.

 

 

Declutter

 

Marie Kondo! I have began reading “the life changing magic of tidying” by Marie Kondo. Who reads about tidying?! Me. Along with many others – it’s a well written book that changes your mindset on hoarding. Teaching you to love everything you own and the things you don’t love so much, that serve no purpose have little place in your life. I’ve not finished the book but I plan to go through all my belongings with this in mind and declutter my home.

 

 

Explore

 

I live in Falkirk. A beautiful town. It’s close to two amazing cities full of culture, museums and places the kids will love. I want to make more of an effort to find places to go and actually go there. I tend to rely on recommendations but I want to research my own places to visit.

 

 

 

Goals I’ll at least think about

from time to time

 

Social

 

If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll know I struggle with anxiety. I’ve not spoken to the Doctor about it so it’s unmedicated but I do have quite bad bouts of it. I hate speaking on the phone, I used to get my mother to phone everyone on my behalf. Also hated going shopping, did most of it online, I didn’t take the kids anywhere. This has improved loads. I feel more comfortable after I’ve forced myself into these situations. (not beforehand yet) but I think if I continue with this in mind, one day I’ll realise I have nothing to worry about.. (that’s the hope at least.) I want to go to some things just for me as well as things for the kids.

 

 

Create

 

I’m not all that fussed about this one. I love doing creative things – it’s calming, keeps me in my zone. Firstly, crafts. I do want to take the time to make do and mend a few things I own rather than replacing them with shiny new ones. I want to create things for the wall instead of buying them. I’ve never took the time to create the way I want to. I’ve just done the “in thing”. Alongside the thing I should do according to college lecturers or what I should do according to ‘advance your art’ guides. If I research the art I like, I’ll be quite happy at that. If I begin practicing it then that’ll be a bonus.

 

 

Save


I have to admit.. with money and budgeting I manage well but I do not save. I know what I have to spend, I know what’s due to come out of the bank soon. I’ve never made the conscious effort to save for anything other than expensive purchases. I want to begin saving for the sake of saving. One main saving goal is to save enough for a comfortable Disneyland trip next year (2018.) Also because of my anxiety, I’d like to have a fair amount saved on top too incase of emergencies. It’s also good to have savings so I’m not in dire straits if anything breaks down at home which is another reason saving is one of my goals for the year.

 

This is my round up for this year. What are you goals for this year? Hopefully this time next year I’ll have already posted about how well I’ve done 😉 
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