BACK TO REALITY

Hello Lovely People!
Did you all have an amazing summer?

summer holidays 2016I had few simple but important plans that I set out to achieve at the beginning of the summer and I am delighted to say that I have managed to achieve them all.Big Monkey's Wall Climbing Birthday Party
Scottish CousinsQuality time with the boys – checked.
Time with the family – checked. In abundance!
Going back to work – checked and loving it!
Spend time outdoors and stock up in Vitamin D – checked.
Hang out with Mr B – not in the same amounts as I would have hoped but it is probably never enough. 

Street Party - Limerick 2020
Mr B's birthday celebrationsWe’ve had birthdays, street parties, family get-togethers, days at the beach, fishing with cousins… plenty of everything.

Now, we are back to reality.
Back to work, to routine.
Boys will be back to school on Thursday and by the end of the week will be totally immersed into our winter routine.

Cousins fishingRoutine is good, right?
It is! Of course, it is!
I am ready for it. I am ready for structure.
I’d just wish that routine didn’t outweigh spontaneity and that winter would not last that long but that is another battle. Another day’s rant.

Splashing in the summer holidaysHappy Monday and welcome routine.

Chaotic Itzi

OCB

POSITIVE THINKING: Enjoying the Little Things #ChaoticallyPositive

Last couple of weeks have been very busy. Mr B has just started his voyage around Ireland with The Unlucky Cabin Boy and the rest of the crew, which has left me at home in sole charge of house and children, which involves a lot of running away and talking to oneself.

Being the only parent around it also gives me an opportunity to hang put more with the kids, to have more cuddles and fun chats with them. They are so funny!
We are also creating new recipes. Lasagna, Pasta, Pizza is Chaotic Monkey’s specialty. It is remarkably tasty and easy to make so it will make the round again in my house…
#ChaoticallyPositive - Hanging out with the kids and cooking new dishesWe are very lucky to live in a lovely neighborhood with a strong sense of community and I am extremely grateful for neighbors that will give us free local honey because they know we love it. Also ridiculously grateful for friends that will give you the most thoughtful and cool present just because they thought you’d like it. And I did! That little sewing machine is just adorable!
#ChaoticallyPositive - Grateful for neighbors and friends
Although the play is taking Mr B away quite a bit, there are also days where he is at home and we’ve had a chance to have lazy lunches, which we never get to do anymore. The kind of lunch that involves some eating, loads of coffee and loads of chats – remember those?
#ChaoticallyPositive - Having lunch with Mr B
All these beautiful moments took place in the midst of chaos and rush but I am delighted that they happened and that I took the time to enjoy them and appreciate them for their beauty.

How was your week? Stay #ChaoticallyPostive
ChaoticItzi

POSITIVE THINKING: Enjoying the Little Things #ChaoticallyPositive

Last Friday morning, I found myself driving to my friend’s house to have breakfast and go over some insurance papers together. I was sitting in my car at a traffic light, listening to Ron Sexsmith and thinking how much I enjoyed his gig the week before, the car was smelling fresh thanks to my new air freshener (not to my deep cleaning skills), feeling extremely grateful for having not only amazing friends, but also friends that are willing to help with insurance grown up paper work over some coffee and smoothies, and despite the grey sky, the rain and the cold, I was feeling grateful. I was feeling grateful that I have a car to drive, property to insure, health to enjoy music and good friends.

It is amazing how a fresh linen smell in your car can put a smile in your face, how music can lift your spirits and how friends remind you that you are not alone. Maybe it is not amazing. Maybe we all know it. It is easy for me to enjoy the little things in life when the days are long, you feel the heat of the sun in your skin, sitting outside surrounded by family and friends. Those are the good things. The simple things. It is when the days get short and the dark and the cold creep in, when sitting outside is not an option and the days seem too short and miserable to meet up with anyone, it is during those days that I have to make a big effort to find the beauty in little things and not succumb to the grey.

Last year, I challenged myself to take photos of anything that put a smile in my face  and I then shared those photos, mainly taken with my phone, on the blog. It helped me to look back in the week and highlight the funny, silly and even mundane moments that made me smile in the middle of the chaos, the routine and the rush.

I have decided to bring back my Positive Thinking posts (previous posts: here, here, here and more). I will be sharing my thoughts and photos every two weeks on the blog and I would like to invite you all to share your Positive Moments here on the blog, on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by using the hashtag #ChaoticallyPositive. 

This week has been filled with family, cooking, messes and fun.
Positive Thinking #ChaoticlyPositive
We don’t get to see these little people (or their parents) nearly as much as we would like so we have been making some memories that will last forever.
Positive Thinking #ChaoticlyPositivePositive Thinking #ChaoticlyPositive
Think positive. Embrace the chaos.
Chaotic Itzi

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WEST CORK – A BEAUTIFUL CORNER OF IRELAND

West Cork
We are just back from one of the most beautiful corners of Ireland, and probably of the world. West Cork is an amazing destination and as most amazing destinations in this world, it is not easy to get to.
West Cork
West Cork
We rented a house with some friends in the Beara Peninsula, outside a village called Allihies. When you look at the map, distances don’t look too big, but the roads, oh boy, those roads are not for the light-hearted. Don’t get me wrong, I would not like to see a motorway going through that beautiful scenery and ruining the views, but you need to take it easy, enjoy the drive and take it all in.
Map of Beara Peninsula
West CorkWest Cork
Our friends have also 2 boys so there was a lot of wrestling, climbing, investigating and running.
West Cork
West Cork
We went to the beach most days, whether the sun was out or it was raining – as the boys said “we are going to get wet anyway”. I do not do cold water so my feet stayed firmly on the sand but the boys had an amazing time jumping in the water.
West Cork West Cork
The week was exhausting but brilliant. I love spending quality time with my boys. They are at a very fun age and they love to hang out, read stories, singing songs in the car, having cuddles in the morning… I am enjoying every single second of this time with them.
Kenmare bayKenmare bay
I am aware that I might not have another free summer with the kids, that this might be the last one I get to spend the entire summer holidays with them and I am determined to make the most of it.
West Cork
I now have the rest of the week to get organised to go to Spain on Sunday for a longer (and hopefully slightly warmer) holiday.
What are your summer plans?

Chaotic Itzi

QUALITY TIME

Today was a busy and fun day.
While I was running my errands this morning, I managed to sneak in some “me shopping”. Nothing amazing, some silly treats for me, but I knew it would be the last time I would get to be in a shop for a couple of weeks on my own. In peace.
Cheap and happy buys

The boys finished school early and as our tradition goes, the 4 of us go for lunch to celebrate the beginning of the holidays. This morning we thought that Mr B would be too busy to join us but somehow he managed to escape for an hour and meet us for our traditional lunch. The boys were delighted. We had a great lunch full of energy and love.My three boys

I am really looking forward to enjoying time with them, hanging out, having time to talk over breakfast, going swimming, making cookies…

My mum and my little sister are coming over for a visit over the holidays. There will be 3 generations and 2 languages living in my house for a week. I can’t wait for the boys to re-connect with them, to practice their Spanish, to hang out with family. I look forward to spending hours sitting at the kitchen table, planning the next meal, just being… Family time. No rush, no pressure, just quality time.

Are you on a break?
Chaotic Itzi

TAKING 15 MINUTES FOR MYSELF

Yesterday I had to take my little monkey to get vaccinated. He went to school for some of the morning but I decided to keep him after the vaccinations and have a lunch date with him. It is so nice to have on-to-one time with my children but I don’t always get the chance. I love the chats, the stories they tell, and it always surprises me how much they love it too, having your undivided attention, making jokes and taking photos – it really is the little things. Having more one-to-one quality time with my boys (all 3 of them) was one of my 2015 goals and I am constantly trying to make time for it. It is so much fun and it is strengthening the bonds between all of us.
Taking 15 minutes for myself - OrganisingChaosBlog
We all lead such busy lives and between school runs, work, extra curriculum activities and social events (my kids have a better social life than me!), sometimes we forget to just sit down, put your feet up and take a breath or two.

Another one of my goals was to take 15 minutes a day for myself. I have to admit that I have been neglecting this one for a while. When I am on my own, I try to get as much done (cleaning, washing, clothes, shopping, cooking…) in order to have more free time when the boys and Mr B are home so we all get to relax. Although that is a noble idea (even if I say so myself  ;-)) it usually leaves very little time for me – for me to have some time to do my meditation, to take a breath or two, to just read an article… to be me, to do nothing being me, not mum, not a wife, not a stay a working at home woman, but just me.

For some reason I always find it hard to justify having time to myself. I tend to feel guilty and I always think that there is something else I could be doing rather than having a cup of coffee, but I have learning to accept that drinking a cup of coffee with 2 hands, makes me better, helps me slow down and start my day with a good attitude and great energy that carries me to the end of the day being more patient, more relaxed and less frazzled.
Taking 15 minutes for myself - OrganisingChaosBlog
So for the last week, after the morning rush of getting breakfast ready, dishwashers emptied, beds made, uniforms organised, lunches packed, hairs brushed (only sometimes…) and faces cleaned, after all that, when the boys go, I get a fresh cup of coffee, grab a recipe book, a magazine or my kindle and I sit down at my kitchen table for 15 minutes enjoying my read, enjoying my hot cup of coffee and drinking it to the end. It is amazing how much good those 15 minutes do for me, in helping me face the day with positive energy.

I would imagine that everyone would enjoy having 15 minutes to oneself but it looks impossible. 15 minutes is just 1/96 of a day, it is a tiny amount of time. So whether you are at work or at home, take 15 minutes to go for a walk, or 15 minutes to have a nice chat with your favorite colleague or friend, or 15 minutes to get a cup of coffee and catch up on the sports reviews, whatever you are into, whatever takes your fancy.

Take some time for yourself, it can only do you some good (caffeine is optional).

Have a great day,
Chaotic Itzi