I need structure!

I posted another recipe over at myLittle Red File blog today.  For Gypsy Tart.   But as it didn’t turn out as expected, don’t worry if you don’t feel like clicking your way over there! ;D

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my blog(s) and I really feel that I need to get some structure.  Declutter.  Just like the Flylady did with her website last week!  You see, there’s loads of (good, ha!) stuff in here that I’d completely forgot I had written.  Yet I can’t find the things that I’m looking for…  (Yep, tagging isn’t one of my strong points.)  Folders for craft stuff, food, Flylady, Denmark, etc, etc.

When I started this blog in August 2009, I thought it was going to be a nice little hobby.  But the number of posts keeps growing and it’s getting very unwieldly.  So I think I’m going to have to reach out and seek help and get things more organised.  Because it’s doing my head in! ;D  And how do I do that?  I have no idea.  Go on a blog course?  Ask a fellow blogger?  Pay a professional?

Hmm, scary.  [And it might cost me money?  Eek!]  But then again, that’s exactly how I felt before hitting the button to publish my very first post.  Maybe this is going to be my latest Scaredy Cat Challenge?  As (dear old twitter friend) Emma always says, “We shall see”!

Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Spring in my Step 2

Dear regular readers

Oops – somehow I forgot to post this!  I wrote it a few weeks ago but it got lost in the run up to our trip to New York…  I’m still working on this particular challenge, so the next update will be coming very soon 🙂

New shoes…from New York! 🙂

 * * * * *

Time for an update on my latest Scaredy Cat Challenge…getting my (less than perfect) feet sorted out!

It’s a three part challenge:

1) I’ve been for my second visit to the skin specialist to get those pesky verucas frozen off (okay, that’s probably ‘too much information’ but you need the ‘warts ‘n all’ version – boom boom!).  My feet are looking much better already.  She’ll do the biopsy on the mysterious mole on my next visit.

2) I went into town yesterday (yes, yes, you guessed – it was Anti-Procrastination Wednesday in Flylady land!) and had my feet checked at the orthopedic shoestore.  Very simple.  Take off your shoes and socks, stand on a large photocopier (on floor level…) and the computer spits out a coloured print showing exactly where you’re putting the most pressure.  Not the prettiest picture I’ve ever had taken of myself  ;D

The foot man said the bones at the front of my feet had worn away due to too much strain.  Probably due to the 20 kilos (44 pounds) I put on when I was pregnant?  My normal, current weight is 52 kilos (114 pounds).  And running three times a week has probably made things worse.

Just back from a run…with a red nose but lipstick intact! ;D

He’s making me a pair of insoles that I can use in different shoes (boots, pumps, sandals) as well as my running shoes.  They’ll be ready next Wednesday and my little private health insurance policy will cover roughly one third of the cost.  Hallelujah!

He said that, given the current condition of my feet – without insoles – I’d soon start getting very sore feet.  And ultimately a sore back.  Yikes!  So glad I went ahead and got it sorted…  And the whole thing only took…5 minutes!

We also got DD8’s feet ‘photocopied’ because she walks on the inside of her feet.  He recommended that she practice dancing on her tiptoes to her favourite music for about 5 minutes a day in order to strengthen the muscles.  He’ll check her again after the summer.

3)  The third part of this ‘Holy Trinity of the Blessed Feet’ was to arrange regular visits to a chiropodist.  So that’s my next task…

Hope you’ve embarked on your own Scaredy Cat Challenges?  Let’s hold hands and be scared together!

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

* * * * * *

Punk classics for beginners

Last week I told my piano teacher that I had a confession to make.  I’d – shock – been to the local library and found some sheet music: easy classical pieces rearranged for children.  (‘Punk classics for beginners’ does, unfortunately, not yet exist…)  Even more shocking – I’d been trying to play some of them!  He took a look at one of the pieces (a minuet by Bach), played it, laughed and said that it was just fine.  He thought it was great practice for my level and wants to hear me play it at my next lesson.  Eek! ;D

I don’t know why I felt like I had gone behind his back. I started learning piano in September but feel that, as I’m not a ‘proper’ pianist (whatever that is…), I shouldn’t go off playing on my own.  That I should stick to playing the music from my books Vi spiller klaver 1 and Vi spiller klaver 2.  Which is, of course, completely nuts.  After all, if I was learning a new language or at an art class, then any extra work I did on my own wouldn’t be cheating.  Now would it?

But I guess it’s because I’ve still got that scared feeling.  (If you remember, learning to play piano was a previous Scaredy Cat Challenge).  The fear of doing the wrong thing.  Playing the wrong note.  Head spinning with Danish and Italian musical terms (dur, mol, fis, tonika, legato, ritartando…).  The fear of getting out of my depth.  Which I know, of course, is also nuts.  Because I’m doing this in babysteps and loving the process.  So much so that I practice for over an hour every day.  I actually have to set my Flylady timer in order to limit my time.  Luckily my teacher says it’s all paying off – he thinks I’m very methodical and can tell that I’m putting in a lot of effort! ;D

So maybe this particular Scaredy Cat Challenge isn’t quite over yet?  I’m going down a new path, playing music that isn’t in my textbooks.  Hmmm, all I can say is run for the hills and cover your ears.  And if you happen to find a copy of ‘Punk classics for beginners’, let me know!

Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Spring in my Step

Time for a new Scaredy Cat Challenge.  Time to put the spring back in my step!

I recently got my ‘undercarriage’ checked at the doctors and we got talking about my feet.  The doctor said, “Oh, you’ve got bones missing at the front of your feet”.  Really?  That was news to me because my feet are…well, my feet.  That’s how they’ve always looked.  At least, I think they’ve always looked like that.

He said that – if I didn’t mind paying about kr 1.000 (roughly £100 or $200) – I would greatly benefit from getting soft insoles – not only for running but for everyday use.  Of course, I completely forgot to ask him why the bones were missing.  Maybe they’ve never been there?  Could it be the result of putting on almost 20 k (45lbs) during my two pregnancies?  (My shoe size used to be a 38, but now my foot has flattened out to a 39.)  Or maybe my running shoes don’t give me enough support?  I can’t say that my feet have been hurting but, then again, I suppose prevention is better than cure.

So my new Challenge is to get my feet sorted out.  It’s a three-pronged attack so it’s a sort of ‘Holy Trinity of the Blessed Feet’… ;D

1) I’m going into town next week to an orthopedic shoe store to get measured for insoles. They physically check your feet and use a treadmill/computer to check your walking style. I’m also taking DD8 with me because she ‘walks on the outside of her feet’ and needs checked too.

DS8’s new spring shoes

2) I’ve already had my first consultation with a skin doctor and it was great to get things checked up. Yes, she confirmed that I do have verucas (in addition to hard skin and corns) on my feet.  She’s already frozen the verucas once.  (Which wasn’t too painful at the time, but the blisters that came up afterwards were a nightmare – eek!)  But she also removed an annoying tiny skin tag which I’ve had on my neck ‘forever’ – bonus!  (One of those little things that annoyed me, but not so much that I ever made a special appointment to do anything about it.)  And she’ll take a biopsy of a mole that appeared on my leg, just to be on the safe side. (Another ‘problem’ I was procrastinating on.)

3) I’m going to make regular appointments for a pedicure.  As you saw in my Scaredy Cat Challenge last year Twinkle Toes, getting a pedicure is half heaven/half torture for me.  This time I’ll choose a chiropodist rather than a beautician because I obviously need bigger guns for these hard-worn feet!  Plus my little health insurance policy will – apparently – refund part of the cost. […said the canny Scot]

So that’s my new Scaredy Cat Challenge – to put a spring back into my step!

You can either watch from the sidelines, join in with me or start your own challenge.  Remember that these Scaredy Cat Challenges are not resolutions – they’re more of a ‘what do I want to change or learn or accomplish’ here and now type of thing.  Perhaps you were procrastinating about taking that scary first step. 

Whatever you choose, I’ll be glad of your company.  Let’s hold hands and be scared together!

Have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend! 🙂

I could. And I can.

If you’ve been following my Scaredy Cat Challenges, you’ll know that I started learning piano in September. Today I had my fourteenth lesson (each lesson lasts half an hour). It was a turning point. I reached the end of my little red piano book, “Vi spiller klaver 1“.

My teacher told me that I had made amazing progress and to order the next book in the series. So, you see, I could. And I can. And it feels fan-flippin-tastic.

Have a fabulous Friday! 😀

Scaredy Cat Challenge – 28 January 2011

The last time I posted about our Scaredy Cat Challenges was 9 January, so I thought it was about high time I checked in with you all… Did you get started? Do you need a gentle kick up the backside? ;D

My own personal challenge this time round has been learning to play the piano. I have to say that it’s still going really well. Practising every day. Because – gasp – I enjoy it! Though, of course, the more I learn, the more I realise that there’s just so dang much to learn! (How does that work?!) I’m babystepping my way forward and learning a lot about myself in the process. Hmm, I’m a perfectionist? Now, where did I hear that before? 🙂

Last week at my lesson, I was playing a piece that had been causing me no end of grief (moving out of my comfort zone of C major to F major). I said afterwards to the teacher that I was annoyed with myself that, a whole week later, there was still one place where I was messing up. And he said (in Danish, with a Norwegian accent), “Okay, that’s as maybe. But think of all the other parts where you got it right!”. Aha! Yes. Concentrate on the victories. Isn’t that what I’m always preaching to the kids? ;D

Anyway, as the piano thing has now become an everyday part of my life (woo hoo, woo hoo!), I think it’s time to get out of my comfort zone again and pick a brand new challenge. After all, it’s January, the start of a new year. A fresh page!

I’m going to have a look and see what the others are up to for inspiration. I suggest you do the same. And when you’re ready for the plunge, we’re here to hold your hand and be scared together! Add your blog with the Linky below, or leave a comment.

Have an ivory-tickling-tastic Friday! 🙂

Scaredy Cat Challenge – remember?

Do you remember that we’re doing Scaredy Cat Challenges? My latest personal challenge was to attempt to play the piano at the sprightly age of 43. (You can read the background on that particular challenge here.)

Now that we’ve moved the piano into the livingroom

(because, woo hoo, I’m using it every day!),

even DH couldn’t resist getting in on the act ;D

Well, I finished my set of 10 lessons – with my very nice Norwegian teacher called Odd (isn’t that a fantastic christian name?!) – on 17 December.

These lessons have been a godsend. And not just in the musical sense… They’ve also been a huge kick up the jacksie for a control freak like me. Who wants everything done my way – right here – right now. I laughed out loud when Odd said, “I know you want to be The Master of this instrument [after 5 lessons] but right now the piano controls you! And will do for years. Just s-l-o-w right down. Take your time. One thing at a time. You will get there in the end.” Ha! Babysteps, anyone?!

One of the strangest things is that, every single time we start a new piece of music, I look at the (hobbeldy gobbeldy) bunch of notes dancing on the paper and think, “Eek! He expects me to decipher THAT? I caaaaaan’t!” And I stare ahead at the notes, fingers fumbling and think, “I was right, this IS impossible. I’ll NEVER be able to play this.” And yet, one week later, I’ve deciphered the notes and can play it – albeit shakily – but I know that I can. I CAN! That’s pretty strong stuff 🙂

So I’ve just signed up for another season and am ready (and willing!) for more scary piano challenges in 2011. Are you working on a Scaredy Cat Challenge or need some inspiration? Check out all the great challenges below… Link up your blog, let’s hold hands and be scared together! 😀

Have a simply super Sunday!

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Old Dogs and New Tricks

Time for a quick update on my latest Scaredy Cat Challenge… learning to play the piano! 🙂

I went for my second piano lesson last Friday. My Norwegian teacher told me that I was, and I quote, “…surprisingly good at playing from the sheet music without looking down at your hands.”  He said it in Danish, which I’ve translated for you.  His singsong Norwegian accent you will just have to imagine for yourselves… ;D

I told him that, actually, I found that part very easy (it’s the rest that’s difficult). After all, I’m an old-school ‘stenog’ or shorthand typist. Just like my hero, Thoroughly Modern Millie! 🙂  I learned to typewrite in the days when the machines were mechanical. When the teacher drummed out a rhythm to type to [perhaps even to music?! will have to check with my schoolmates] and most of the lesson was spent with the fabric dust cover over our hands, so we couldn’t look down and cheat.  In my first office job – in 1986 – I had an electric typewriter.  I can even remember the day it was upgraded to an electronic one…with a ‘memory’ of about 50 characters.  What a new fangled machine that was!

So maybe it is possible to teach this old dog new piano tricks? Keep your ears pricked up! And don’t forget to practice for 15 minutes every day… (setting my Flylady timer NOW!)

Would you like to join in the Scaredy Cat Challenge? Add your blog with the Linky below. Or go check out what my fearless twisters are throwing themselves into!

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂

What’s up, Scaredy Cats?

Have you seen all the fantastic Scaredy Cat Challenges we have going on? There’s something for everyone!

Asfora, Lesley, Sheryl, JoAnna are all working on improving their bodies – losing weight, exercising, drinking more water, running. You name it, they’re doing it! Sheila is exercising and meal planning. Sara is using the Flylady system, Sam is decluttering the Flylady way and Liz is ‘not procrastinating’ the Flylady way! 🙂 Candace started off with a sewing challenge but is now in full swing with Rage Against The Wardrobe. Animals can find shelter at Teri‘s home while Ms Caboo is trying to find a place in her home for her books! And Leeis flexing her muscles and taking on both the house and garden… 🙂

I’ve come up with my own new personal Scaredy Cat Challenge to take me through autumn and into winter. Anything which speeds us the passing of autumn is a definite plus in my book – I don’t like autumn – wah! ;D

I’m giving my creative vibe free rein and have signed up for – not one – but TWO, classes!

My sweetie blog friend and twister Candace suggested “The Art of Silliness 2”. And, as Candace has impeccably good taste and a fantastic sense of humour, how could I resist?  ;D  It’s an online course in drawing, puzzles and…general silliness And couldn’t we all do with a bit more of that in our daily lives? If you’re interested, you can take a look and sign up at Carla Sonheim’s blog which is right here.

I’ve also signed up for the rather more genteel pursuit of piano classes. So if you happen to live anywhere in my vicinity…run for your lives! I think my desire to learn piano comes from reading too many novels where the heroine sits (wistfully) at the piano and tinkles away, to the obvious delight of all gathered.  [Note to self: buy suitable 19th century frock for musical soirées during the festive season… ;D]  Or maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to sit down, kick off my shoes and play this? (Complete with a glass of chilled bubbly perched on top of the old joanna for me to swig on between solos.) The pianist really gets started at 2mins and 42 seconds…

Would you like to join us? Want to try something but haven’t got the courage to start?

What are you waiting for? Let’s hold hands and be scared together! Just link up with the Linky below and let’s get started… 😀

POSTSCRIPT: I just read that the christian name of my new piano teacher is…’Odd’!  😀

Scaredy Cat Challenge…we’re baaaack!

How are you all getting on with your Scaredy Cat Challenges? What – you don’t know what a Scaredy Cat Challenge is? Sit back, relax, think of a warm, tropical beach and let me walk you through it…

You’ve got a lovely (read: painfully expensive) sewing machine. But the thought of a sewing pattern (and following instructions on said pattern) makes you hyperventilate. You’d really like to get out on your bike more (read: set a good example for your kids) but you’re scared you’ll lose steam before you get to your destination and end up having to getting the bus home. Your toes are in dire need of a pedicure but you’d rather walk through flaming coals than let a stranger (okay, if we’re being totally honest, even a trusted friend) touch your feet…

These were just some of my own personal challenges earlier this year. My very first Scaredy Cat Challenge post is here.

A Scaredy Cat Challenge is any project you’d like to start (and hopefully finish?!) but keep putting off. I started them in January and friends, blogfriends and twisters have been joining me ever since. Tempted? But nervous? Then join our merry little band and sign up with the McLinky below… ;D

Let’s hold hands and be scared together. Bring on the Challenges! 😀

A rare sight – a belt.

PS: A word of thanks to MissusSmartyPants for the very nice mention in her blog! She’s issued her own Scaredy Cat (Style) Challenge – go look! I couldn’t, of course, resist her throwing down the fashion gauntlet, so here I am wearing a belt – belts are my least used accessories. (My love affair with my scarves is, of course, a completely different matter…)

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Get Packing!

To be perfectly honest, I’ve done abominably badly with my personal Scaredy Cat Challenge this week. My goal is to get ready for our summer holiday in France long before ‘the night before’. But this week has been hectic with my birthday celebrations, DH being away for six whole days and a whole barrage of end-of-term activities at school. Hmmmph. I have, however, managed to pick up a few surprises for the kids backpacks (see my We’re all going on a summer holiday! post for details of that) and I’ve been coralling old undies/socks/pjs (see the same blogpost for the gory details on those!).

Anyway, I refuse to get overwhelmed. There are still lots of days left and therefore lots of opportunities to set my Flylady timer for 15 minutes (or, for Pete’s sake, 5) and just go and do something – even if it is just writing the luggage labels for our suitcases 😉

I started writing today’s blogpost at 9am this morning (while waiting for the kids to surface for breakfast…) and have already added a few items to this week’s online grocery list (waterproof plasters, shower cream, small drink cartons for the journey, etc). Started putting together a pile of things we need for the (three different) mobilehomes we’ll be staying in (toilet roll, kitchen roll, washing up liquid, small bars of soap, old teatowels/handtowels, mini salt n’pepper, couple of stockcubes, coffee/coffeefilters etc). So where there’s a will (and a Flylady timer) there’s a way! 😉

Is there something you want to do but are having trouble starting? Or, tee-hee – like me – finishing? Then link up with us (MckLinky at the bottom of this post) and let’s hold hands and be scared together!

Have a simply super Sunday! 🙂

PS: This is my last Scaredy Cat Challenge post

for the time being as the blog

will be closed for the month of July.

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Get packing!

Did you see yesterday’s post? No? It’s here – We’re all going on a summer holiday! I’ve started preparations for our family holiday to France and – in my head – I’m doing really well. However, before I know it, it will be the night before we leave and I’ll still be running around doing things and thinking “Why oh why didn’t I get this done two weeks ago when I had the time?”…

So my new Scaredy Cat Challenge is to get cracking on packing! 😉 Or at least to get stuck in and do things right now. Why wait till next week when I have 5 minutes to look out maps today? No procrastinating! 🙂 Would you like to join me with this challenge? If you need a few pointers, the Flylady has an excellent checklist of what you need to do and pack before leaving for a trip. You can find it right here.

Or do you have a Scaredy Cat Challenge of your own? Then link up with the MckLinky below. Let’s be scared and hold hands together and get things done! 🙂

Have a super Sunday!

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Paperchase!

So how are you getting on with your own Scaredy Cat Challenges? Look at the MckLinky at the bottom of this post – there are more and more being added all the time – great stuff! 🙂

Last week my own personal challenge was to get on top of paper clutter…

The Flyladymantra of ‘You can do anything for 15 minutes‘ has never let me down, so I set my timer and got stuck in. It took a few sessions (over a couple of days) and – as per usual – it wasn’t as bad as I thought! Why oh why do I always find it so hard to believe that things will never be as bad as they were before Flylady? 😉 After all, I’ve been doing the babysteps on and off for so long that – even if I do occasionally fall off the wagon – it’s really easy to get back in control again…

Yesterday (Saturday) I didn’t do any paperwork as I keep the weekends free for family stuff. However, I did spend another 15 golden minutes sorting out my jewellry drawer…because I got annoyed when I couldn’t find the necklace I wanted to wear to a party last night! 🙂

I’ve only kept the earrings/necklaces/bangles in there that I’m actually planning to use over the summer/autumn. All the others have been put back into my (huge) storage box. I never throw jewellry (or scarves) out – for me, they’re like the history of my life! 😉

Would you like to join in the battle against paper? Or join in a general declutter? Or do you have another Scaredy Cat Challenge of your own? Then link yourself up with the MckLinky below – we can hold hands and be scared together.

Hope you have a super Sunday! 🙂

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Paperchase!

If you look at the very bottom of this post, you’ll see a MckLinky list of links. These are all the current Scaredy Cat Challenges being taken by my FLYfriends (Flylady friends) and Twisters (Twitter sisters). Go and take a look at what they’re doing. And, please, if you enjoy reading their blogposts, won’t you take a teeny tiny moment to leave them a comment? We’re just amateur bloggers. Sharing our thoughts (and a little glimpse of our world) with you. As well as looking after our kids, keeping the house running, holding down day jobs and whatever else life throws at us… Your comments really do give us the spark to keep writing! 🙂

This week I’m starting a new Scaredy Cat Challenge. I’m joining Sam (@Sippies71 on twitter) on her paper clutter/filing challenge. I’ve come really far with the Flylady programme and routines but (that pesky) paperwork is my Achilles heel… I’ll be celebrating my 4th anniversary with Flyady in August – so, with that in mind, it’s time to finally tame that paper tiger once and for all! 😉

Have a Scaredy Cat Challenge of your own? Or do you want to join in on one of ours? Then come on down…let’s hold hands and be scared together! 🙂

Have a simply super Sunday!

Scaredy Cat Challenge – Freeze! Part Three

What’s a Scaredy Cat Challenge? To be honest, anything you like! 😉 A project you’ve been putting off. Lifestyle changes you’d like to make. A new hobby you’d like to try. You decide. We’re here to cheer you on and hold your hand! Need inspiration? Go take a peek at what my fabulous blog pals are up to – we’re all doing different things…together! In strict alphabetical order they are Asfora, Candace, Emma, Lee, Lesley, Lizand Sheryl. Always room for one more! 🙂

My own current Scaredy Cat Challenge is getting my (three) freezers under control. By the end of last week I had put everything into one freezer and made an inventory. I’ve only been using the meat etc that is in there for my menu planning, so stocks are going down, albeit slowly 😉

Here’s what’s in there, as of today, Sunday:

MEAT (all of these are servings for four people)

1 marinated chicken fillets

1 steaks

1 ribs

1 minced beef (cooked, ready for crockpot)

2 minced beef

1 minced chicken

1 large ham

1 chicken legs

1 cod fillets

1 quorn fillets

2 veggie starters

½ fish fingers

READY-TO-EAT (again, these are servings for four people)

suppe (meatballs/dumplings for Danish soup)

Biksemad (Danish beef/potato hash)

1 asparagus soup

1 asparagus/chicken filling for pastry tarts

1 ready-made crispy chicken fillets

1 ready-made crispy fish fillets

1 pizza

1 chopped chunky bacon

3 sliced bacon

2 liverpâté


1½ sliced potatoes

2 potato rösti

½ oven chips

1 sweetcorn

1 mini onions

1 mixed veg for crockpot meals

½ peas

1 green beans

½ spinach


leftover bananas for use in smoothies/cakes


1 box mixed icecreams

½ B+J Phishfood icecream

½ B+J Cookie Dough icecream

1 puff pastry

1 baguette

2 packs pitabread

1 ryebread

1 morning rolls for weekend

5 Kærgården (Danish butter)


½ bottle Krone snaps

Various dregs of Christmas snaps, Linie Aquavit and Porse snaps

I’m going to try and get rid of (i.e. eat) as much as possible this next week. And then the plan is to carefully (very carefully) only restock the main freezer in the kitchen. Then I can unplug the basement freezer. My safety net will be the little mini freezer (which is part of the fridge in the basement) for impulse buys. But there won’t be any more of them, will there? 😉

And what will all this achieve? Less money spent on electricity. Fewer trips up and down stairs – perhaps alleviating my newly-discovered asthma? 😉 Easier menu planning and less food waste. We shall see! 🙂

Have you got a Scaredy Cat Challenge of your own? Something you’ve been putting off? Join us – we shall hold hands and be scared together! Use the MckLinky below…

Have a super Sunday! 🙂