Saturday, 28 November 2015

Finding my #IGoodThing A Day for Advent

I'm having the month of December away from blogging, I've done it a few times before and I always find a bloggy break is really good for the soul. My intention is to be really present in every moment and not thinking about where I'll find the time to write my next blog post or which review we have to undertake that weekend, Blogging has bought many blessings to my family but it is really important to know when to turn-off.

I won't be completely turning off social media but to help me stay focused on what is really important to me during Advent I'll be sharing a visual diary. One photo a day labelled as #1goodthing, this will act as a reminder of how blessed I am and how grateful to the Lord for all the great things he provides to me.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Friday Special Offer - NOW TV, Save 40%

I'm a big fan of Internet based on-demand TV, we have been using it for about 18 months now since we moved to the countryside and were not able to continue with our cable TV, But you know what? I am so glad we had to give up the cable as being tied into an expensive contract is a headache.

Much better to be able to pay month by month and to finish your subscription whenever you need to without any penalties. We only got NOW TV about three weeks ago but I have already been crowned the best mum ever by my girls. Apparently it is the most awesome on-demand TV there is and I suppose that is only to be expected when you realise it is the offering from Sky.

And now is the perfect time to buy as today is Black Friday and most of the major retailers are offering great deals but you don't have to go and fight in the shops for this one, you can order online.

Today's great saving is 40% on a Now TV Box Bundle, making the cost of any of the following deals just £14.99 -

  • Now TV Box & 2 months Movies, 
  • Now TV Box & 3 months Entertainment or
  • Now TV Box & 2 Sports Day Passes 
But you need to act quick as the offer is only available from the 27th November – 30th November.

I'm seriously considering giving this gift to my adult brother for Christmas. This is far cheaper than the £25 I'd normally spend and I love the idea of a gift that entertains the whole year through. Even if he decided not to keep up the subscription to the entertainment, movies or sports that I have chosen for him, he can still use the NOW TV box as a really convenient way to stream things like BBC iPlayer to his TV.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

10 Top Tips for Enjoying a Stress Free Advent

This is the view from one of the prayer rooms in the prayer centre just a few steps from my house.
I'll be spending lots of time in here, cosy by the radiator!

Last Christmas I had such a wonderful chilled Advent period that I wanted to make sure I copied it again for this year. Thus my November has been a time of getting ahead with my blogging commitments, adjusting my pace to slow down and saying no to most of the opportunities that have appeared in my in-box.

I had lots of comments last year about how calm and organised I was and I wanted to share the ways I achieved this. There isn't any secret formula and I can't promise what works for me will work for you but if you fancy a chilled Advent and a better chance of focusing on the real meaning of Christmas then organisation and planning are your friend.

Each year I plan to have most of the commercial Christmassy things done by the end of November and then Advent is all mine to do the activities that I enjoy and to dedicate my time to The Lord.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Coca-Cola - Healthy Changes and Great Projects

This weekend Coca-Cola sponsored me to attend the Mumsnet Blogfest conference in London and I'm so glad they did as I had a wonderful time, as I've written about over here.

I have to say that when an email arrived from Coke I was pretty chuffed as Diet Coke has been my drink of choice for at least the last 25 years. I've never waived from their brand being my prefered one, even when I worked for Pepsi and had the chance of free cans!

It's amazing though how little you can know about a brand whilst being brand loyal and using their products. It was very good to be able to sit down with some of the long-standing (testament to Coke being a good employer) staff for breakfast on Saturday and to learn a bit more about Coca-Cola and what they stand for.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

What I Learnt at #Blogfest15

I'm on the train heading back to East Sussex from London and I'm just about to switch off from the plugged in world of social media and blogging and watch an episode of Masterchef but before I do I thought I'd just share what a great day I've had and how much I've learnt.

Here's my learning's, all very valuable but nothing too deep -

*  That I quite like going to a blogging conference on my own and having the ability to just wander and meet a whole mass of different people.

*  That many of those new (or just met in real life) friends are really very cool like Kerry from Oh So Amelia@sadiequinton, @mamaelsie3 and Jane from In a Different Voice..

*  That Siobhan of Everyone Else is Normal is a very chatty lady indeed (in a good way).

*  That Blogfest can be a phenomenal conference. Having attended in 2013 and had the experience tainted by the bizarre and provocative final panel, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the day but it was a mix of superb and interesting speakers. The panel chairs were so funny and engaging and I have managed to follow dozens of new people on Twitter.

Friday, 20 November 2015

6 Reasons to Choose the Novotel Blackfriars for your Family London Stay

If you are anything like me you may get flighty ideas of taking the kids for a nice weekend away in London and then you start to think practical and have a look only to find that everything is prohibitively expensive or that you have to book two rooms to be able to accommodate your kids and frankly that just isn't practical.

Well, worry not.  I have the solution for you, book to stay at the Novotel Blackfriars and two children (up to the age of 16) can share your room free of charge and they can also join you for a delicious buffet breakfast without cost. In fact book to stay at any Novotel anywhere and you will be offered these two free places, as this is their regular family offer and I think that is pretty fabulous. Not perfect for my family if we are being honest, as we have three children but they do offer a 'Family Extra Room' promotion and this gives a second room for 50% of the cost. Which means your break can still be affordable and as my kids are older it is also workable.

I've been very impressed with all the family friendly offerings that Novotel have in general and I wrote a post about it recently, take a read over here. But what I want to share today is why the Novotel, Blackfriars has captured my attention and become a hotel that I'd happily recommend to friends.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

We're off out for a run Mum!

This was the shout I heard most mornings about 8.30am during half-term week. My twins are just 8 years old but already they want to get out and have a run.  I'd love to tell you that they have got it from dh and I but my running efforts this year were pretty appalling and thwarted by health ailments and dh's well, who knows the last time he ran anywhere! lol

No, it is lucky we live in a close-knit Christian community with about 50 young adult volunteers as this means my children have some superb role models to follow in the footsteps of. One of the things they seem to be copy-catting right now is having a bi-daily run and I can't moan at that. Nor the fact that JJ has been using our new gym on site, that is fabulous too.

It was a complete coincidence that Miss E moaned to me on the Wednesday of half-term that she had no suitable footwear as it is muddy round the lake and wellies don't cut-it when you want to run and then we received a package of three pairs of truly stunning Adidas trainers with waterproof GORE-TEX® technology. The kids were over the moon when they unpacked them.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

We Can't Let Them Win - Love is Our Response!

I'd love to credit this, but I have no idea where it is from. I shared it from a friends FB post but it is not hers
What happened in France Friday is devastating and the outcry from the public is of course understandable. As a Brit I painfully feel the tragedy as Paris is a city I have been to, I have fond memories of and I currently live with a few French people. Living in an international community makes my heart stretch and want to embrace the world and no, not just the white developed world.

I want to embrace and care for all parts of the world. Currently there are 23 nationalities represented within our community, that is people from the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America. Each one of those people adds something just a little different, special and unique to the lifeblood here and I do not value any one of them more or less because their skin is white or because they speak English as their first language.

Yes, we are all Christians, I live in a Christian community but I suspect every one of us has friends of other religions and none. I will not ostracise people because they are Muslim.

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