Housekeeping: November

We’ve always been pretty good at keeping our things clean and tidy, but now that we’re homeowners there are even more tasks to add to the list to keep our house up to scratch. It’s easy to forget the bigger tasks that need doing just once or twice a year, so I thought I’d start sharing the things we’re doing each month to keep everything up and running, spic and span! 

Reorganise the Kitchen Cupboards 

We bought a new cabinet to hold our plates, glasses and booze (away from reach of little people – by which I mean babies and children, rather than me!) which has necessitated a rejig of our kitchen cupboards. It’s my aim to take everything out and give them all a quick clean before reorganising them in a better order before the month is out. 

Sort Towels and Bedding

We have piles of towels and bedding in various drawers, boxes and cupboards around the house. This month I’m going to sort through them and get rid of any that we’re not going to use again, and put them all away neatly ready for the plethora of guests who’ll be visiting us in the run up to Christmas. 

File Paperwork 

We have a drawer of paperwork that needs to get organised. We tend to open our post, deal with anything important and then leave it to pile up as our paperwork folders are a little hard to reach. We need a better system, really, but for now it means we need to do a sporadic sorting session to make sure everything is in its proper place. And now is the time for that sporadic sorting session!  

Box in an Exposed Pipe

There’s a heating pipe just outside our living room door which is currently exposed; the original casing was peeling away and looked ugly so we just ripped it off when we moved in. It’s a cool copper pipe, so it actually looks quite good, but when the heating is on you can easily burn yourself on it as it gets so hot. It’s easy enough for adults to avoid, but with friends bringing around their crawling babies and Ben likely to go that way over the winter months, it’s safer to get it boxed up. 

Clean the Appliances  

Whilst we clean up spills and the like, our appliances could do with a little extra attention every now and again. I’ll be giving the microwave, oven, fridge, washing machine and tumble dryer a good clean this month so they’re in shipshape condition. 

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November Goals


So, I didn’t exactly plan my NaNoWriMo novel like I had anticipated. October ran away with me, and November is shaping up even busier, so I think I might have to leave it for this year. I still have a few ideas so I might have another look at it another time. But 50,000 words in a month? So not going to happen when I’ve got four different sets of guests over November (not panicking…). I did manage to finish my 101 books challenge, though! 

So… what will November have in store? 

Have A Relaxing Week Off 

I have a week off work in the middle of November and absolutely no plans. I don’t want to waste it trying to be productive; I am going to watch Gilmore Girls, read books, bake pies and explore a little bit more of Yorkshire. Some low-key staycation fun to gear me up for all of the festive fun coming up. 

Finish A Blanket 

All the babies are making their way into my life over the next few months (by which I mean that friends are due, not that I’m about to have triplets!) and I’m halfway through a baby blanket for one of them. So this is a pretty easy goal, but one I need to keep! 

Be The Hostess With The Mostest 

As I mentioned, we have four sets of guests coming to our house in November. I’m also hosting a bonfire night bonanza on Saturday, and Friendsgiving later in the month, so we’ll be inundated. Nothing makes me feel happier than feeding my favourite people, and organising fun things for them to do. So my aim is to make sure everyone leaves the house feeling happier than they entered, and well-fed to boot. 

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Listening to Christmas music. Too early, too schmearly. 

Drinking as many Christmas drinks as I can. (See above). 

Exploring Haworth and falling in love with Yorkshire all over again. 

Knitting baby blankets and squeeing over all the new arrivals in my life. 

Running 10k – a lot more slowly than last year. 

Working my little socks off. This has been an intense few weeks. 

Giving myself a break – I can’t do it all! 

Chatting long into the night at Sarah and Ste’s house, after a delicious home-cooked pie. There’s nothing better. 

Buying all the knitwear and intensive moisturiser – winter is here! 

Planning an early 2016 getaway to the middle of the woods.

Nodding along to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. It might be just the kickstart I need for 2016.  

Learning Spanish with Duolingo. I’m 1% fluent! This could take a while… 

Eating all the cheese at the Cheese Cafe in Leeds. Yep, you heard me right. 

Shouting to be heard at a family gathering. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Toasting the amazing work my brother’s girlfriend, Jess, is doing on The Worldwide Tribe. 

How about you? 


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london eye

November has been jam-packed. I feel like I say that all the time, but having a look at my calendar I can safely say that this time it is very true. I can’t complain really, it’s lovely to go out so much, eat out at lovely restaurants, try new bars, spend time with my gorgeous friends but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to January when things might calm down a little bit. Plus, we’ve booked a weekend away in Edinburgh for the end of January – so that’s something to look forward to in itself!

apple market

Since my Masters has finished, I’ve been very much enjoying having weekends again! Rather than making careful choices so that I have enough time and energy to write my dissertation, I can finally take up everyone on their invitations. November saw me making a trip to Nottingham to stay with friends (and their adorable daughter) and getting myself down to London for a flying visit to see my best girl friends. Aren’t they gorgeous?


We ate Mexican food, feasted on churros and sipped tequila. We ooh-ed and aahh-ed at the Christmas lights and then we headed home to watch that perennial favourite, Mean Girls. We know all the words but it still has us in hysterics. I wish that we could spend more time together, and I was reminded how much friendships are made up by knowing the mundane little details of each others lives, rather than just the big things that you tell colleagues and acquaintances. I miss that, living so far away from my oldest friends. I need to make a better effort to be more involved – and having weekends again will hopefully make that easier.


I love London, but going there does make me feel very grateful that I live in Leeds. I feel like I get all of the benefits of city living without the crowds of tourists, the price tag or the need to trek for hours to get where I’m going (seriously, everything in London is so bloody far away from each other!).

Covent Garden

November is often a time for reflection and gratitude. Whilst we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, I’m glad that part of the holiday has made its way over the pond to us. I think it’s natural to want to reflect as the nights get darker and colder, as we look forward to the end of year and the start of another new one. I am always a positive person, but this month I think I have genuinely felt happier and more content than at any other stage of my life. I sometimes have to stop myself from smiling as I walk down the street so people don’t think I’m odd.

There is a lot to be grateful for, and I am very lucky in my life. I have a great job which I love, a homely flat full of lovely things, a partner who makes me laugh every day, a wonderful group of friends, a loving family, an adorable cat (even if she does hate me), and a comfortable life where really I do not want for anything. I could skip down the street I’m so happy (but again, people might think I’m odd). Some of those things come from my own hard work, but so many of them are down to luck. I don’t want to take a single thing that I have for granted because my cup runneth over, and I know there are many people who are not as happy as me. November has brought this into very sharp relief for me, in one way or another, but it is something to take forward into December and into 2014. If I can continue to be as lucky, I want to continue to be as grateful.

That all got a bit deep – but it genuinely has been the theme of November for me. December’s theme is looking like a lot of cocktails and not a lot of sleep but I am very much looking forward to the end of the year, spending time with my friends and family and launching into 2014 with as much enthusiasm as possible.

How was your November?

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