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5 September Resolutions for a Fresh Start

Blog, Insta, Coffee, Repeat

drinking more water with Sigg bottles

Sigg water bottle filled with strawberries and lime slices

[This post is a collaboration with SIGG Bottles]

So, I know I’m far from the only person to see September as the real start of the year – something to do with all of those ‘back to school’ associations, I guess – but this September I’m feeling extra-motivated to make a fresh start, because this month, for the first time since Max was born, I’m starting to see the possibility of returning to some kind of “normal” routine again.

Of course, you’ll note that I’ve put the word “normal” in inverted commas, here. We’re still very, very far away from anything I might previously have recognised as “normal”, but, well, having a new baby is such a shock to the system that, for the first few months, it’s all you can do to just get through each day, and keep your head above water: or, it was for me, anyway.

In my case, self-care was the first thing to go out of the window during those early months, so, now that I’m starting to feel just a little bit more in control of life again (I mean, I managed to change the bedsheets this morning, even although Max is currently going through a phase where he must be held at all times. This is HUGE, people. HUGE.), I figured it was as good a time as any to make a few little lifestyle changes: nothing too dramatic, obviously, but here are five things I’m hoping to get to grips with this month…

Sigg bottle filled with strawberry and lime01.
Drink more water

When Max was a week old, Terry had to be taken to hospital, suffering from an extreme case of gout.

Yeah: gout. The condition I’ve always associated with Henry the Eighth, and which I assumed was caused by drinking too much port or something, but which actually turns out to be something people with transplants are prone to if they don’t drink enough water. Now, as a kidney transplant recipient, Terry has to be quite careful about staying appropriately hydrated, and, under normal circumstances, he’s borderline fanatical about it. The first week with a newborn was the exact opposite of “normal” circumstances, though, and it quickly became clear that, in our bid to look after Max as well as we possibly could, Terry and I totally failed to look after ourselves, too.

I was lucky: I didn’t get gout. I don’t think I sat down to a proper meal, or finished a single cup of coffee either, though, and, to be totally honest, I’m still not doing great on that front even now. And, I mean, that sounds ridiculous, I know. Before I had Max, I would’ve totally rolled my eyes at someone claiming to not even have time to drink a cup of coffee, because, HELLO, babies sleep! And staying hydrated isn’t exactly hard, is it?

Well, no. But also yes. Because, the thing is, the baby wakes up needing fed and changed, and then, while you’re feeding him, he poops, so you have to change him again, and then, while you’re changing him, he spits up, so you have to change his clothes, and by the time you’ve done that he wants to sleep, but only on YOU, and when he wakes up, he has to be fed and changed again, and it just goes on and on and on, to the point where you basically get used to drinking your coffee cold, and your chilled drinks warm, and you assume that’s the way it’ll be forever. Or at least until he goes to school, anyway.

Enter SIGG bottles – who, earlier this month, were kind enough to send Terry and I a bottle each, in a bid to help cure us of our dehydrated ways.

My bottle is the SIGG Hot & Cold glass, pictured on the right, and, as well as looking pretty when it’s filled with colourful fruits, it also has the ability to keep hot drinks hot, and cold drinks cold, until such a time as you get around to actually, you know, drinking them. It has two filters – a longer one for things like loose tea, and a shorter one which you can use for tea leaves, etc – and you can use it for any kind of drink you like, but, as you can see, my favourite thing to do is to fill it with water and fruit, and then just keep it with me, so I can keep sipping from it throughout the day. Drinking enough water is something I’ve always struggled with, but I’m doing my best to remember to fill this up in the morning, and then keep it in plain sight, so I can at least try to stay hydrated. (Oh, and I’ve also used it for coffee, because, don’t worry, I’ve not turned into some kind of virtuous water drinker: I still love my caffeine.)

Terry, meanwhile, is a tea drinker, and gets a lot of his fluids from the huge mugs of tea that are now always going cold before he gets a chance to finish them. He went for the SIGG Hot & Cold Brushed, which is a super-sized bottle which keeps his tea hot for HOURS, seriously. It also comes with its own drinking cup, which can be attached to either the top or bottom of the bottle, and, as with all SIGG bottles, it’s 100% leakproof, and BPA free, so it’s safe to drink from. And, well, it looks good, too… which is important, obviously.

We’ve been really impressed with these bottles so far, and as we’re obviously REALLY keen to avoid a repeat of January’s trip to Accident & Emergency, we’re very grateful for the constant reminder they provide to KEEP DRINKING, IDIOTS. Yes.

me and Terry02.
Eat less junk

OK, standard ‘New Year’s Resolution’ stuff here, obviously, but although I’m back into my pre-baby clothes again, I honestly couldn’t really tell you how on earth that happened, because my diet has been terrible this year, seriously. Once again, I’m going to blame Max’s arrival for this state of affairs, even although I know it’s 100% my own stupid fault. When you’re sleep deprived and struggling to just make it through the day, though, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking a nutritious meal, so we’ve been far too reliant on takeaways and meals out lately. We’ve also developed a dangerous habit of just collapsing in front of the TV as soon as Max is in bed for the night, and I say “dangerous” here, because, I don’t know about you, but I’m incapable of watching TV without crisps, or chocolate, or halloumi, or whatever. I should be able to resist all of this, obviously, but, the first thing you learn about parenthood is that the days are really, really freaking long, and, when I finally get to the end of one, I have a tendency to think, “Ah, you know what, I deserve a treat! Ima just have one square of that chocolate I bought this morning!” And then eating the whole bar of it, obviously. Gah.

Anyway, now that we’re cooking for Max, too, we’re already doing better with this, because we’re basically forced to make healthier choices. As for the snacking in front of the TV, meanwhile, well, I currently have a fridge full of kale, and I WILL grill it. Tomorrow, maybe. Once I’ve finished all of the chocolate and crisps, because it would be a shame to let them go to waste, right?

casual outfit featuring slogan sweater, jeans and sneakers

[Wearing: Coconut Lane ‘Blogger’ sweatshirt; ONLY jeans; Kate Spade baby bag; Adidas Superstar sneakers c/o Spartoo]

Move more

As above, basically. When Max was born, I had this idea that I’d be taking lots of long walks with him in the pram… then, the first time I tried to do it, I realised that all of the footpaths leading out of our village are only paved until you leave the village itself, and then they turn to this weird rubble-like surface, that’s almost impossible to push the stroller over. So, my only options are to either make endless circuits of the village itself, or get in the car and drive somewhere I CAN walk around easily (Or, yes, use the sling. Which I honestly kind of hate. Yes, I know it’s shocking, but I do…), and neither of those options are particularly appealing, so I’ve found it really easy to convince myself I just CAN’T do any exercise, even although it’s blatantly obvious that I totally could if I tried.

This month, however, brings two revelations:

01. The council are paving at least one of the footpaths out of the village, thus making it possible for me to walk to the NEXT village and back safely.

02. It suddenly occurred to me that THE MALL is a place I could drive to and then walk around. And that’s a MUCH more appealing prospect, for some reason. Oh, and I can take my SIGG bottle, and pretend I’m being healthy, when I’m actually just shopping: what’s not to love?

Blog, Insta, Coffee, Repeat sweatshirt04.
Go minimal at home

I’ve talked about this before, but, since Max arrived, my house has gradually filled up with baby equipment, and, because I don’t have the same amount of time to clean it these days, I have to admit that I’ve really been struggling with the mess, and how it affects my mood. In a bid to try and combat that, I’ve been on a mission to go minimal – or, even MORE minimal, rather. I mean, I know people tend to describe my house as “minimal” anyway, but I think it’s just because our decor style makes it look that way: like anyone else, we have tons of stuff squirrelled away everywhere, and, with more and more of it arriving every week, courtesy of Max, I’ve decided the best way to try to keep the place tidy is by drastically reducing the amount of STUFF we have.

I started – predictably – with a massive closet clear-out, in which I got rid of probably about 40% of my clothes (I guess it helps here that I’ve been absolutely HATING everything I own lately, and not finding much to replace it with…), and I’ve also been doing my best to get rid of at least one thing every day, whether it be something small, like an ancient lipstick I haven’t used in years, or something larger, like the baby equipment Max has already outgrown. It’s a work in process, and it’s going to take a while to get things how I want them, but I just don’t have the time right now to tackle a full-scale clearout, and every little helps, right?

Speaking of STUFF, meanwhile…

athleisure look featuring slouching slogan sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers05.
Spend money on experiences rather than stuff

I mean, I think I’ll always be a shopaholic (I may be in a bit of a rut right now, fashion-wise, but there’s no amount of slogan sweatshirts that I’d consider to be “enough” for me, and, of course, baby clothes are just SO CUTE that can I help it if they keep on falling into my basket? I think not…), but this year I’ve been inspired to start spending less on material things, and more on experiences. We’d really like to be able to do some more travelling with Max, and, as he gets older, we’re going to want to take him on fun days out, so I’ve been using Plum to add to my savings, and I’m trying my best to spend less on clothes etc, so I have more spare cash for all of those other things I want to do.

In all honesty, I’m not doing great at this – like, I went into Sainsbury’s this weekend to buy some flavoured tea stuff I saw for my new water bottle, and came out with two giant cushions and NO TEA, so that was AWESOME, seriously – but I can but try, right?


So, tell me: anyone else got that ‘Back to school’ feeling this September? What are you doing to make a fresh start?

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  • Drinking more water is always a goal of mine, whenever I feel like I’m just getting on top of it, I find myself slacking! I adore those water bottles you have though, I may have to invest!

    Jodie //

    September 12, 2018
  • Yes! The back-to-school feeling hit me hard just the other day. I’m focusing my autumn resolutions on doing more of what I love, like reading, drawing, playing guitar, that sort of thing. Because the days just fly by, and I forget to do those kind of things. In addition to exercising and getting up and getting into bed at reasonable hours. And so I began this Monday.

    Speaking of water; drinking water has not been my forte lately either. WHY is it so hard, I wonder? I used to be better at it, but during summer (even if it was the hottest summer ever) I forgot to prioritize water drinking.

    And on the topic of walking and prams – have you looked into running/off-road prams?

    September 12, 2018
  • I always have that back-to-school feeling late August/early September too, even though that time is waaaay behind me. My resolutions are really just things to continue doing anyway, which are:

    – Sort out my Irish passport (which I hope will continue to be an EU one!)
    – Prepare the garden for next spring and plant bulbs
    – Apply for some artist residencies
    – Keep on keeping fit (lucky to be close to the Forth-Clyde canal for cycling)
    – Do more writing
    – Find a Christmas job.

    That’ll do for now!

    September 12, 2018
  • I still get that “back to school” feeling, even after all these years! Love using this time of year to revamp and do some “life admin”!

    September 12, 2018
  • I definitely having the new year feeling right now. I always get that in the fall, but it is particularly well timed this year since the last couple weeks of summer will be the final weeks of the play I have been working on and I will finally have free time again. I’m having similar feelings about eating better and moving more (even just a few squats every morning), because my body just isn’t feeling great lately. On the topic of drinking more water, having a water bottle you like and can carry everywhere is the absolute best way to stay hydrated. I found a great water bottle about three years ago and now it is always by my side (or in my purse or on my nightstand).

    September 12, 2018
  • Nickolina Jacoby


    Move much more than I have been.
    Actually take the supplements my doctor tells me to take. Every day. Hah.
    Drink water all day long.
    Dejunk at least one pile every day.
    Finish some projects.

    September 12, 2018
  • Myra


    I hate this time of year with late nights drawing in and the temperature dropping, so rather than a new start it feels like the death of summer. I love the drinking bottles and might need to get a couple. Raymond drinks all day long in an attempt to keep his usually very low blood pressure up to a less dangerous level – this for medical reasons as he is on a constant cycle of intake and output of fluids.

    September 12, 2018
  • It took me 2.5 years to get back into a kind of routine after I had the kids and I feel like I am still struggling with the basic things (and the stuff!), but I seem to regain control over my life a Little more with each passing week.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    September 13, 2018
  • Yes! I always see September as a fresh start. I think it goes back to the days of having a new pencil case ans clothes for school. now, with children they’ve started their school lives afresh, new clothes, bags, routines etc. Ive set goals for myself now too. I do it new year but its good to re evaluate because as the year has gone on, things evolve and change.

    September 18, 2018