November 07, 2011

time out and lists

I'm feeling a teeny bit twitched at the moment. Nothing serious, there just seems to be mountains to do everywhere, in every direction, and there never seems enough time. I seem to be wearing my shoulders as earrings by lunchtime. With a large annual event seven weeks away (ahem), it ain't going to get any calmer around here, so I have Taken Steps.

The main thing for me to combat stress is to get outdoors as much as possible. So I am enjoying as many walks as I can  while the weather is still relatively mild and there is still colour. Sometimes when life seems busiest, exercise goes out of the window, and actually I feel worse and more stressed when that happens. The time spent exercising is always made up somehow and I feel so much better. And it is looking so lovely outside while there is still some colour out there, those sweet, smokey, fading away colours of November.

The villages and farms nearest our house are getting that dreamy late autumn look, the colours more subdued, the landscape had started that slide into sleep.

The sky seems full of birds at the moment, busy preparing for winter maybe?

Richard and I went for a walk at the weekend sans enfants which is rare, and it was lovely walking through woods this time of year, with the last of the colour blazing in the deciduous native woods and the pine plantation areas looking all nordic and fairytale-esque - slightly spooky but amazing as the tree-tops caught the rays of the setting sun.

We have so few pictures of either of us, we took a couple before we went home.

Inspired by Emma at Silver Pebble, I am also going to try and have a cuppa outside in the garden every day, wrapped up if need be, unless the heavens open. While the garden still looks like this, it is a small but significant daily pleasure.

The other thing I am trying to do is write lists which goes right against my personality! I never make shopping lists and am hopless at to-do lists, I just sort of feel my way and follow my instincts. I find lists a bit controlling and restrictive. But I do realise they are efficient and time-saving and there is a real sense of achievement and calm to be had from a visible reminder that important things have been ticked off. I am trying! Do you write lists, does it help get things done efficiently when time is tight? I am especially trying to save a bit of money on our food shopping and am trying to plan a week of meals and buy from that list, and am wondering if that works for any of you? All I know for sure is I'm  a real "explore the ocean picsces type" and could do with some focus!

So, little tweaks that make a difference to me. Do you have some that work a treat for you?

sharing at A Beach Cottage's Good Life Wednesday


  1. your garden looks lovely with all the crunchy leaves.
    I have been known to cheat with lists and write easy to achieve things on them, just so I can tick them off.... drink tea and eat cake.... probably not the helpful advice you were hoping for...... x

  2. OMG - seven weeks!

    I am such a goose. Somehow it never occurred to me that England has the same lovely fall with changing leaves that we have. It's just lovely there now, too.

    Definitely love lists! Love the satisfaction of crossing things off, but I do also think it saves me time. I carry a small notebook in my purse so that as I think of things I need to do or follow up on, I can put them in the book. I tear out the pages, cross off the things and stuff gets done. I think it really helps since I work at home - like you.

    I also think it makes my bosses think that I am more organized than I really am!

    It's hard to be the mom of school age children at this time of the year, with everything falling on you. Keep those daily tea dates with the garden! xoxo

  3. Nothing "Grimm" about your landscape at all. Yes fairytale looking to this city dweller.

    And don't you both look like people I would love to hang with.

    I write the lists, then leave them at home.

    I do find it helps to plan out a week in advance at work. I can still be inspired even if I am organized. My boss is firmly anti organization so I have to sneak behind her back and get the flowers and containers ordered. Crazy that.

    And I do try and plan out my meals for the week before we go shopping. We only have 1 day off together and I don't drive. No plan, no meal = carry out. Expensive and fattening option.

    xo Jane

  4. Had to laugh at the expression about wearing shoulders as earrings - can totally relate to that! Looks like a lovely walk at the weekend - beautiful trees. Is that the walk from your house? Lush.

    Do you follow The Quince Tree blog? I like the way that Sue writes but, man, she I want to be like her when it comes to meal planning and cooking. She cooks seasonally and economically - she makes everything look so simple too. If you haven't already seen it, have a little look through some of Sue's old posts. I think you'll be inspired!

    I make lists and then mostly ignore them.

    Nicki xx

  5. Well done you for taking steps (literally) to cope with the stress before it becomes a major issue. Better to wear some of your lovely earrings than your shoulders round your ears. I'm a bit of pisces muddle-througher as well but I do make lists for important stuff. Christmas would definitely not happen here without lists and a detailed timetable of the cooking process. Somehow I've never really managed the menu planning thing (apart from the special occasions, when quite often I find I've shopped and planned for all the big set piece meals, but haven't got anything for the ordinary meals leading up to the Big Day!)

  6. Lovely photos, as ever. I have been raking - clearing the leaves, getting air in my lungs and being outside restore me. Tea outside is a nice tip too.

  7. What a beautiful blog! I have just come over from Happy Homemaker UK, nice to 'meet' you!

    Reading this post I was struck by how very similar I feel--'shoulders as earrings' yes totally! Never enough time... I too love to get out every day, I even try when it rains. Fresh air (and the break from the endless jobs) is so important.

    But why did you have to say 'seven weeks'? I think I need a walk now to forget about that ;)

  8. Had to laugh, as I lowered my shoulder whilst I read your post!
    I live by lists, don't always stick to them, but especially if I'm feeling frazzled writing a list restores a little order & calm (usually). That and if I don't write things down I tend to forget!
    Beautiful pictures of your walk.

  9. now in scotland, we have learnt, if its dry and even better but rare a blue sky you try to be outside and it makes all the difference to how you feel! we have a bench which is the perfect place to sit with a coffee in the sun, we had the most wonderful walk this Sunday at Muirshiel Country Park.

  10. Well, missy, look at you and your sexy skirt!! No wonder your husband is smiling.:-)

    I'm sorry you're feeling twitchy at the moment (what a great word). My top list tip is to start each list with 'Write List' and then I tick it off straight away!! Sad but true!!

    I wish we lived closer so I could enjoy a cup of tea with you in your garden, or you in mine. That would be LOVELY!

    Big hugs to you, gorgeous girlie,

  11. Your part of the world looks beautiful. So peaceful. And you take wonderful pictures.
    So nice to see you and your hb and your dog : )

  12. Loved your pictures honoring those tall trees. What is it about cookies that so enchant and say fall to me? Love the expression "wearing my shoulders as earrings," it is so apt. A lot of us are doing that these days it seems. One other thought, after making the list prioritize to want to do and need to do and need to do TODAY. Just do the TODAY list and then move on to the want to do, versus the need to do. If you really need to do it, it will eventually end up on the TODAY list. The want to do are much more enjoyable anyway. Sometimes we only think the need to dos have to be done.

  13. Beautiful images.

    And I hear that yogurt helps relieve stress :-)

  14. You live in an extremely beautiful place. Enjoy it, and take it easy :-)

  15. My heart was heavy this morning and I needed to focus (a very hard thing to do when you are a dreamer) but a 'stroll' through your photos reminded me how very blessed we are (even if we do not always realized it!).
    Thank you for sharing!
    Note: I am hopeless with lists too!

  16. Belinda what lovely photographs of the countryside and Autumn and of the two of you...What a stylish couple! And I have to make lists upon lists I am afraid.. getting stressed too as back to Oz next week! I will take you advice and go for a walk though - RIGHT NOW!! X

  17. Hi Belinda,sorry I have not been over to see you for some time....your dog has such a lovely face & big I have gone all dog broodie tee hee!

    Love your photos of the woods,trees & colours,like you we have loads of leaves covering the lawns..they look quite pretty at the moment till the big sweep up arrives. Ida

  18. I agree, completely and utterly, with daily walks. They are a tonic for almost anything that ails you. These days, they are one of the few times I have to truly catch up my husband or friends. But I love solitary walks, too.
    I had to miss my walk today, but wandering through these gorgeous, gorgeous pictures has been almost as good.

    I rarely make lists, but sometimes for errands and always for writing thank-you notes or other correspondence.

    Will your family be happy with soup? We love a simple supper of soup and bread, and it is a great money-saver -- plus, there are always leftovers for the next day, which creates a time-savings as well.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my post, Belinda. xo

  19. Hello from a newbie follower! Loving your blog, flowers and jewellery. I agree that walking with nature is a huge cure for stress and when I'm feeling stressed and go on a walk, big or small I can feel the tension lifting with every step.

  20. Thank you for joining my blog, lovely to have you. As for pinterest.....It will not even let me delete, I get some strange alien screen appear with a delete button, but it does diddly squat! I hope they get it sorted, but I have to admit for now I just can't be bothered and gets me wound up. Had no response from them either. Look forward to following you though with all the lovely pics! Suzy x