O5rcB_NXbIeHbJV7JFNcdfqL-vY Mummy From The Heart...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Conversations about Fat



Last week the girls and I were sat in our lounge. Miss E and I cuddled up on one sofa watching a DIY program and Miss M sat on the other playing with her tablet and chatting away to us. It was an easy family hour, all content in each others company; we were relaxing and letting the busyness of the day fade.

Then all of a sudden Miss M looked at me and said 'Mummy, M, R and L at school all say you are fat' and she looked sad. Great, thought I, the nasty comments from other kids has started already, they are only 7 but remaining calm I quietly asked 'Oh what did you say to them?'

As quick as anything Miss E butts in 'you're not fat mummy, you're skinny'. This is of course ludicrous as I'm a size 22 and definitely a larger lady but I love Miss E's loyalty and desire to defend me.

Miss M is still looking sad, in fact looking like she wishes she had never bought the conversation up in the first place. I don't want her to be put in this position so I speak 'you know I'm fat babe, but does that make me a bad person?'. 'No Mummy, you are lovely, they made me sad saying you are fat' Miss M quietly comments.

'I know darling but you don't have to be sad because someone talked about me, it is none of their business, they obviously don't have anything better to talk about' I reassure her. 'So what did you say to them Miss M?'. Shyly she looks up and says 'I told them you are still my mummy and I love you'.

'Good, you did the right thing, don't get into an argument. Just play with other people if they make you sad'. All the while Miss E has been wittering on in her worried little nervous style, about how I'm not fat, I'm her lovely mummy. The three of us then progress to have the same conversation we have had many times before, that being fat does not define who a person is. They will have the same personality whatever size they are and it is not wrong to be fat. What is important is being fit and healthy, some larger people have excellent diets and run marathons and some very thin people eat junk food all the time.

We cannot judge a book by it's cover and really, is it any of our business what anyone else does or how they look? Both girls agree that no, it is not anything to do with other people and we end the conversation with Miss M looking less worry laden.

Following this conversation, the subject of me being very fat is again at the forefront of my mind. Hang on, who am I kidding? The fact that I'm obese never leaves my mind, as much as I wish to be able to accept this is who I am and the way I am, I just can't do it. I don't want to be this size, I know I look 8 months pregnant and I'm not happy with that.

This of course means I need to do something about it. I need to drop the excuses and practise what I preach, it is time to hand my issue to the Lord and have confidence that He will help me beat this.

It is not just about me anymore, it is about all those I love and how it affects them too. Please Father, help me I beg you.

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Monday, 27 October 2014

One afternoon in Georgetown, DC

I'm sat here in my hotel room and it is my last morning in Washington DC and I feel like the luckiest girl alive. I'm heading home to my wonderful family and about to spend time with them all in glorious Jersey but I just thought I'd share what Georgetown, a historic superb of Washington DC looks like in the fall, or should I say Autumn? I am British after all.

I had planned to do a spot of shopping, get some food and maybe try out the cinema alone on my last evening in DC but then by chance I met the lovely Kristi York Wooten and she said lets team up and have a shop. I'm so glad she is the super friendly Southern type as we had a fantastic but chilled afternoon and then a very posh meal out in the evening. It was a perfect end to my first USA visit, thank you Kristi.












Actually that last one is not in Georgetown, that is Dupont Circle on the walk back to our hotel. A perfect afternoon of just gently moseying around.


Have a blessed weekend, Mich x
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Saturday, 25 October 2014

You’re bored of me, aren’t you?

I think for some of you it might be the truth, you come and visit my blog and think, “what again? Really Michelle are you sharing another post asking us to sign up for something, give money or use our brains in a way that might hurt, that might make us actually think? That might take us outside of our comfort zone?”

Well yes I am and I get that you’re bored, at times I get bored too but it does not mean I can stop. I feel absolutely compelled to do what I can, to share the stories of the voiceless and to take a stand against injustice. I’ve always protested that I’m just an average small-town girl, that I’m nothing special and that I’m the same as you. But maybe I’m not, maybe I am something special (not in my own steam you understand, anything I do or achieve is through God) because I have accepted that I’m an activist. I see injustice and I want to make it change. I don’t fool myself, I can’t do it alone and that is why I regularly cry out to you, my readers, my friends for your help.


I think it is important that little treasures like this young girl I met in Ethiopia get immunised. I know that in the developed world people banter about inoculations and whether they want their kids to have the controversial MMR or the new HPV vaccine but it is not the same in the developing world. A shot here in the UK for tetanus or polio is completely different, we have herd immunity as a country and a developed healthcare and sanitation system so disease does not spread in the same manner.

But for millions of children, particularly in Africa and Asia it is a very sad situation and their siblings and friends are dying daily. Whilst I was in Washington, DC this past week at the #AYASummit I listened to a panel on immunisations and how important it is for all children to be given the reassurance of protection against the diseases that are rife in their country. GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps to ensure that more children can access the vaccines they need to stay healthy. Since its formation in 2000, GAVI has supported the immunisation of 440 million children and has saved more than 6 million lives. That is a pretty impressive statistic, isn’t it?

The time has now come for the next funding round for GAVI and they need to raise $7.5billion dollars over the next five years so they can support the immunisation of an additional 300 million children and save more than 5 million additional lives. I think that is important, don't you?

As I sat in that summit and heard that America is the fourth highest donor I had to wonder who the first was and then one of my colleagues asked and my proud face shone. It is the UK, a tiny country but in caring for the world we are a mighty force but that does not mean we can rest on our laurels and not worry. It means we need to help press America and the White House to give more. They are a much bigger country than us, they can dig deeper in their treasury pocket. Don’t you think?

So will you please join with me to tweet –

“NO excuses @WhiteHouse Stop dragging your feet and replenish @gavi today! #vaccineswork #AYAaction

Or even just retweet one of my tweets, follow the link HERE

Or Instagram and make sure you include @Gavi @whitehouse and #AYAaction please. Use the image below or use one of your child, it does not matter but the numbers hitting the Whitehouse feed DO MATTER!


Or if you really care and I know some of you passionatley do, why don't you write a blog post for this and encourage your readers to take a stand as well. If you ask me (tweet, comment etc)  I'll put together a short and easy to use media pack for you.

Then if you want to know more about GAVI and vaccinations check out the easy to read information on ONE.org. and while you are there sign the petition, it takes just moments and ONE are one of the best things to have happened to my life in the last couple of years.


Thank you friends, if you stick with me I promise to keep on fighting for a better world and I'll try my hardest not to bore you in the process!

Be blessed, Mich x

I'll leave you with a video that will make you smile -


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The Battle of Hastings (A year in photos - week 42)

At the anniversary of the 14th October 1066 we went to a reenactment of the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey. The event runs for a weekend every year and had been highly recommended to us by lots of local people.

As the rain was coming down hard and we had free tickets (nothing to do with my blog I might add) we decided to go to church, have lunch and go along in the afternoon to watch the main event.

There seemed to have been loads going on if you went for the whole day - food stands, authentic traders, kids activities, theatre performances, have-a-go archery, Falconry, a literary tent with loads of different authors and music shows.

We had a good couple of hours at the event, first we explored the old abbey ruins a bit and then settled down to watch the main reenactment, it was very interesting but the rain pelting down did put a dampener on it for us and we headed to Costa to warm up.

The old abbey -




Loads of traders with far too many interesting things that little people want to touch! lol



English Heritage had a nice big shop there and if you are into this sort of thing there is loads the kids can buy, small wooden bows and arrow at £5.99, helmets, shields and proper metal helmet at about £150 for those more serious.


This is Harold riding in to battle -


More of the English Saxon army marching in -


The first soldiers commence battle -


The Normans march up to the Saxons on Senlac Hill and attempt to break their shield line -


Some of the Saxons feel they have won and break the line and then shortly they are surrounded by the Norman knights on horseback -


Because of the rain we didn't quite manage the full hour for the battle, the kids got bored and once Harold had the arrow in his eye we headed off.

We had a good time and I would recommend a visit to this if you are local to East Sussex.  Pray for good weather, bring a picnic and make a day of it!

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review: Misfit Shine Activity Tracker

A few weeks back I received a new activity tracker to review and after having damaged one and lost another I was super pleased to receive this one and to be able to see how I am doing on the trek towards a fitter Mich.

I had not heard of the Misfit Shine before receiving this but it is a really stylish looking tracker that can be worn on the wrist, around your neck or clipped to your shoe or clothing, I like how versatile it is and boy does it look nice too.  At first I choose to try out the Shine as a bracelet and wore it on my wrist for a couple of weeks. The rubber bracelet slips into the side groove on the shine very easily and has an adjustable strap with cute press button closing the same as the shine itself.


I loved how easy the Shine was to set up and the fact that I got a very easy to follow booklet with it was a bonus too. I really appreciate when companies send you an instruction leaflet with a product as so many just expect you to go online and read that way nowadays. Basically you use the battery tool to insert the battery, download the app onto your phone, sync the phone to the app and it asks for a few basic details, gender, height and weight and that is it, you are off and can use your tracker.

As well as wearing the Shine on my wrist I wore it using the strong magnetic clip on my neckline and this was good for work as I could hide it with a scarf or under a cardie, although it is so nice looking it does not really matter if anyone sees it.


When you are wearing the Shine you can tap it twice and see how you are doing towards achieving your days goal. There are 12 lights and basically they will give you an indication of how close you are or if they all light up and dance around, you have done it and achieved your goal!

The lights can also act as a watch by telling you the hour first and then the minutes, I confess I turned this off as I was totally confused and wear a watch anyway. I'm sure some people might like it, for me it was a waste of time.

Syncing the Shine to my iPhone was easy and it also works with Android devices (selected models that run Android 4.3 and over, and have Bluetooth 4.0). You just go in the app and then tap the Shine to the display and it uploads the data via bluetooth, easy and quick and can be done anywhere as there are no leads or such, I love this as it means I can upload the data straight after a workout at the gym to see how I have done. You do need to be aware though that once it syncs it loses the progress lights and you go back to the first light, so you don't easily know how much you have done that day and how far off target you are.


I was a bit confused the first time I synced and then looked at the data in the app as it counts things in points and asks you to set a goal by points and it gives you an idea of how that might translate to walking, running etc.  I initially went for 1000 points and was consistently busting it but sadly the Shine didn't encourage me to reassess or to up my game.

In the app if you tap the inner circle where it shows the points you can see your steps, calories burned (including those your body is naturally burning just by being alive and awake) and the mileage walked. You can also see a graph at the bottom with the times of the day so you can trace when you were most active.

It is easy to move between days and if you tap the calendar icon you can see how you have done week on week and evaluate which are your more busier days and I now know I hardly move on a Monday!

If you drag up the graph you get some more data and boxes give you a little low down on how you are doing, if you were very active and for how long or you might get a trophy or personal best.  Nice little reminders that things are going well. As I said before though no mention of pulling your socks up, pushing yourself harder or doing better.


I discovered there is also a food journal part to the app and if you find it helpful you can create a visual diary of what you are eating. That would certainly remind me what I need to cut down on.

The Shine also tracks your sleep and I found this quite good as I literally continued to wear my Shine and paid no thought to it and it seemed to just go into sleep mode itself. To be honest I didn't find the data it gave me that useful but then this is not a function I was after.



Plus points
  • Excellent battery life, lasts up to 4 months and no charging necessary
  • Water resistant, so I can wear it in the shower or swimming
  • Easy to sync and immediate data
  • Looks fabulous and is super light 
  • Wristband and magnetic clip both included
Not so great
  • When you double tap it, it does not always show you your progress and once you sync it, then you tap the shine it goes back to zero and does not show you your progress against goal for the day so far.
  • The watch is really confusing

Conclusion
I love the misfit Shine it is a fabulous tracker for someone like me who wants to wear something a bit more elegant that a big chunk of rubber. It does exactly what I need it to and at around £64 on Amazon it is a good price too.


Disclosure: I received the Misfit Shine free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

I'm off to America for the ONE #AYASummit


As you read this post I'll be on a plane heading towards Washington, D.C.  I've never been to America before so I am super excited but in truth I'm not sure how much of it I will get to see as this isn't a sightseeing holiday.  I arrive Monday night and then I have Tuesday and Wednesday daytime before my conference starts. I have no plans, I'll just play it by ear.

I'm staying with a beautiful family in Virgina and I'll happily take their recommendations of what I should get up to. I don't know if my time will be my own or if I'll get to visit the ONE head office in DC Where Jeannine (Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships) works, the unknown is kinda fun though, it is so not my usual style.

The AYA summit itself will draw attention to issues facing girls and women in the developing world, it will showcase both the progress against and challenges of extreme poverty. The role that everyone must play if the bold goal of virtually eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 is to be met with be highligted. ONE believe that every voice and every hand is vital, whether it is the non-profit or faith communities, businesses, governments or even individuals like you and me.

When girls and women are given the necessary education and tools, they can be change-makers within their families and communities. Through a series of talks, panels, visuals, and demonstrations, The summit will explore what it means to be born female in Africa, and what ONE (and all its members), working together with our African partners, can do to make sure that all girls and women reach their potential. The summit will bring together leaders from the non-profit, government, private sector and celebrity arenas.

Photo Credit: ONE/ Karen Walrond

You'll see me tweeting, Instagrammng and sharing on Facebook this week using the hashtag #AYASummit and if you enjoy what you read then please do share or RT my posts. Any new people we can get signed up to ONE and joining the fight against extreme poverty will be a massive plus.

I'm looking forward to learning loads of new information about what is happening in Africa at the moment and I'll be thrilled to share what I learn with you all. I'm going to be sensible and live in the moment rather than breaking my back to blog each day whilst I'm in America so I expect to post Saturday 25th Onwards, although I'm on a plane most of that day so we will see!

I hope you have a great week whilst I'm away, I know I will.

Be blessed, Mich x
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Christmas with Baby Annabel

Isn't it funny how children go through stages? A number of years back both my twin girls had a baby doll each and lots of accompanying bits - baths, cots, prams etc. Then they just stopped playing with them and when it came time to move last year I thought I was being very efficient giving them all to charity.

Not so, as it soon materialised that Miss E in particular really wanted a new baby to care for. I think this came about as our neighbour had a newborn and she is naturally very caring and nurturing. Luckily she received a Baby Annabell to review back in August and she goes most places with us, I often wonder what on earth the noise is when I'm driving and I can hearing a sucking from the back of the car. It is of course Baby Annabell enjoying her dummy!

My girls have been super lucky to receive some new accessories to go with their Baby Annabell doll and I'll let you know how we got on with them. I think they would all make super Christmas gifts.

Baby Annabell Change Bag



Miss E was over the moon to receive the change bag, when she saw that it came with a nappy she practically squealed with delight but then when she saw it was just one she was actually quite disappointed, as she had hoped there would be a few. The bag itself is a good size and fits all the bits of paraphernalia that my daughter wants to carry round with her. There are no fidley zips or such as it just Velcro closes which is good, especially for younger children.

There are only two short handles on the bag which surprised me as it makes it difficult to go over the handle of a pushchair just like mummy's would. The girls really liked the actual styling of the bag - the design, the colours and the charm.

Also included in the bag was a change mat, mock talc bottle and a teething ring. Both the latter are sturdy plastic and look as if they are built to last but it might have been even better if the talc actually opened or had more styling to it, rather than just being a chunk of pink plastic.

The change mat is basically a small piece of edged fabric in the signature Baby Annabell print, it coordinates with the bag and the girls are quite happy with it but I'd have liked to have seen it bigger and maybe with a little quilting or padding. Small things that I think would set this change bag & accessories apart from then more run of the mill ones. When you are spending £16.99on a dolls change bag set you want it to be a really good set.

Baby Annabell Comfort Seat


There is not a lot I can say about the comfort seat, what you seeing the picture is what you get. The actual seat is a sturdy pink plastic and then it has a removable soft cover in the signature Baby Annabell design. The handle lists up and down to make it good for both carrying and storing. There is a realistic harness so the baby does not fall out as she is being carried.  This was good for when the girls wanted to take Annabel in the car and then they used the seat belt to secure her, just like a real baby!

The best price I could find for the comfort sat was £19.52 on Amazon.

Also check out my review of Baby Annabell herself and the Rocking Cradle on Honest Mummy Reviews (my other blog!)

Conclusion
These dolls accessories are no-where near the cheapest on the market but they are all nice and I think they will last a good amount of time as they are well made but more than that if they are what your daughter especially wants this Christmas then they are sure to make her happy as they have the pretty little girl factor.

Disclosure: I was sent these 2 items free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

A year in photos (weeks 40-41)

Oh I have got all behind again with my year in photos posts, so here is another catch up.  I hope you find something you feel is a visual delight!

OK, so this one is not really a visual delight but it makes me smile and that's important, so here is JJ enjoying his extra long McCain chip!


My little man turned 11 at the beginning of October and he still loves his cuddlies. These were probably his favourite presents!


We went away for JJ's birthday to the beautiful Camber Sands



I had a wonderful walk along this amazing beach with Miss M and as we strolled with our arms around each other we chatted and joked. This little one knows how to make me feel loved.


I've been playing with my close ups again!



My little forager is growing out her fringe at the moment and we have hit that messy stage!


I've been out enjoying where I live again



Not a great photo as this was taken on my iPhone in very dim light but I want to remember the wonderful fun we had bowling with our pastoral group.


I joined some friends in Bexhill for a coffee and chat about what Domesticity means to us . It was a great time and as result I'll be embroidering a duster, yes really!  The sea was pretty scary that day as my friend lives right on the beach front.


I'll be joining this post up with the 365 project over at The Boy and Me.
  TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
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