Friday, 28 April 2017

Learning is Fun with Education Quizzes

Life is funny sometimes as a Mum, never would I have pictured myself and my near 14 year old son JJ sat at my laptop the other night at just gone 11pm (yes, yes, I know, it is too late for a school night but thankfully he got up OK) doing algebra together.

Now, let me be clear. I don't really have any idea about algebra, at the ripe old age of 43 I have managed to gain an OND, HND, Ba (Hons) and Masters without ever improving on my D grade GCSE Maths.

Maths isn't my subject. I can do business finance, give me a P&L to analyse and I'm your girl, I'll highlight all the areas of concern and provide a plan for improvement. But clever maths type stuff - algebra, Pythagoras and calculus, I haven't got a clue.

So you'd be forgiven for wondering what we were up to. Well, I'd been asked to take a look at the website Education Quizzes to see how useful I felt it might be for my children and more generally for my kids school. In fact, all schools.

What is Education Quizzes?
Education Quizzes is a site with over 4000 quizzes (all written by qualified teachers) covering most subjects/curriculum's for ages 5 to 16. There are quizzes for KS1, KS2, KS3 and GCSE. Oh and even for parents too, to help us refresh our knowledge so we can ensure we are available to help our children as they need us. Take a quick peek at this video for an introduction to Education Quizzes -

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Family Fun at Petworth House, National Trust #CountryKids

A few weeks back on a Sunday our family headed over to West Sussex to Petworth House. I've been wanting to visit this National Trust site for well over a year but as it's about a 90 minute journey we needed to have enough time available to us to make it worthwhile. Petworth houses the finest collection of art in the care of the National Trust and I thought my arty daughter and I would particularly enjoy seeing this.

The Mansion
I wasn't wrong, there are some really magnificent pieces on display and my favourite by far was the walls and ceiling of the Grand Staircase painted by Louis Laguerre (1663 - 1721). I stood there and gazed in wonder for such a long time. There are many other internationally important paintings on display too with works by Turner, Van Dyck and Reynolds to name just a few. There are also dozens and dozens of interesting classical and new-classical sculptures too and my girls were chuckling away at all the body parts on display!

Of course what the National Trust always does well is engage the kids and they had a trail around the house to look for stuffed dogs around the house and then if they spotted them all they got an exclusive badge.

Most every day there is some kind of talk or tour within the mansion and the volunteers at entry will let you know what is going on or you can check the webpages before travelling. If you are thinking of taking your family in the next couple of weeks then I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear there is a Cadbury Easter egg hunt from 8th - 23rd April 2017 with a cost of £3 per child.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Holidaying at Eurocamp - Playa Montroig, Costa Dorada, Spain

Last August we took our first holiday abroad as a family and we had an amazing time. So amazing in fact that we are again this year heading back to the Catalonia region of Spain and will be enjoying a holiday with Eurocamp at the Playa Montroig Camping Resort in Miami Platja, Costa Dorada and I was very impressed to see that it has made it onto the Guardians list of the top 20 family friendly campsites in Europe. We are all getting excited!

Situated right on the Beach and there are 4 Swimming Pools
I think this year we will probably spend most of our time on the parc, at the local beach or maybe just travelling into the nearest port town of Cambrils, which is about 15 minutes away. Of course it is the pools that the kids are most looking forward to enjoying and there are four of them so they won't be short of water-filled fun. This was in fact one of the main reasons we choose this particular site as the kids had such a ball in the water last year that I knew this would be what they would want to do at least 80% of the time. We just need to pray for some good weather now!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Facing Reality and Planning for My Future #SlimmingSunday

I love this picture. This was taken at BritMums in 2015 and I'm around the same size then as I am now
but we are lying down and it seems to be pretty flattering. This is how I'd like to see myself every day!

Morning friends, how are you this week?

I'm really loving reading the posts that you are linking up each week. It isn't easy starting a new linky to be honest and in this day and age everything seems to be judged on numbers and popularity and by traditional standards 2 - 6 people linking up to #SlimmingSunday in a week wouldn't necessarily be considered a linky success but I think it is a success.

You know why? Because you are helping me to stay focused on the goal. I seriously need to lose weight, not just for my vanity or my mental health but for my physical health too. I have so many aliments that are exasperated by my size and they will only get worse as I age but I don't seem to be taking them anywhere near as seriously as I should.  By being accountable and having to report in here each week I have to stay focused and whilst I have not been perfect with my eating, I have been so much better than if I wasn't being accountable with anyone. The good news is that I am continuing to take tons of steps and having a good nights sleep.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Having fun with the National Trusts 50 Things to do before you're 11 3/4

Originally launched in 2012 the National Trust's bucket list of 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 is an amazing and successful attempt to get the nations tech-centric kids off the sofa and out into the great outdoors to experience nature as I did as a child 30-40 years ago.

The shocking findings of the National Trusts Natural Childhood Report in 2012 were the catalyst for the National Trust to take a pioneering role in helping families to get back to enjoying the great outdoors together. Over the last few decades children's relationships with the natural world has been declining to the point that by the time the National Trusts report was published a third of children had never climbed a tree and one in ten cannot ride a bike.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Creating Great Relationships with your Kids

I've was away at Spring Harvest a couple of weeks ago, it's a large Christian festival that our family have been going to each Easter-time since our kids were born. It's a time I absolutely love as the kids get to go to groups each morning and evening (now they are older) and spend time with other kids that share our faith. Then my husband and I get time to be together - to have a coffee, attend a teaching session or maybe just take a walk. This isn't a holiday based on spending lots of money or doing amazing activities, it is all about each of our relationship with God and with each other.

The format for the teaching has been a bit different this year and the majority has been all together within a large venue seating around 3000. I can't say this is my preferred style of worship and receiving teaching and in previous years I've been able to go to smaller break-out sessions which are much more my style. I can however, totally understand why they have chosen to have the adult teaching all together as the theme this year is unity within the church and us all being 'one for all' but as I said I don't find it the easiest way to digest information.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Taking care of my feet with Hotter Shoes

Increasingly over the last few years my feet have been playing up. For a couple of years I just ignored the niggling pain that prevented me from running and enjoying exercise because I thought it was the result of a longstanding verruca and if I'm honest I was embarrassed. I'd tried to treat it myself for months (years even) and it wouldn't shift so I finally met with a Podiatrist at a large cost in the hope he could help and he did, finally my feet were verruca free but sadly I still had the pain and it was getting worse.

Around six months later I decided I needed to go back and see if the pain was anything the Podiatrist could help with and it turns out that the verruca was never really the cause of my pain. I have short calves and this means my legs rotate out (hence having waked like a policeman forever) and this means I am misaligned. I finally have an answer to why I have early onset arthritis in my knees and pain in the pad of my foot. Just by walking I am putting pressure on the wrong parts of my foot as my feet tilt outwards and this explains why I have such trouble finding shoes that I can wear without pain.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

#SlimmingSunday - Moving More...

Hello friends, welcome to #SlimmingSunday, the new Sunday linky hosted by me and Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts. We'd love for you to link up any post that is diet/ healthy eating/ exercise related.

I've had a week off since I last posted as our family went away to Butlins in Minehead for a big Christian festival called Spring Harvest and we had the best time. I wasn't consciously dieting but I did make some really good food choices whilst we were there and enjoying the eat-all-you-can buffet breakfast and dinner. Thankfully I've got past the point where you have to stuff your face if you have paid for a buffet and I just go for one straight meal now. There was always jacket potatoes, salad and yummy roast meats available.

In the last week since we have been back home I wouldn't say I have been dieting but I also haven't been blowing out. I went and weighed in last Monday night at the fit club that I'm starting to attend and sadly it won't be on this Monday as it is a bank holiday. This does mean the kids can go back to school on Tuesday and I've got the week to get back to normal and focus on healthy eating before my next weigh in on 24th April. I'll let you know how I do.

The one thing I have been doing really well with over the last couple of weeks is my step count. Whilst we were on holiday I managed to clock up 123,314 steps, that was an increase of more than 30K steps from the week before and I am determined to keep it at this level as there is a lot of work to be done on my fitness level. Once the kids are back at school and normality resumes I've committed to a daily walk round the lake with the children after dinner most days and I'm even thinking of checking out the local gym again.

Oh and the other good thing has been my sleep. Of course I've been able to have a few lie-ins but I've consistently been getting over seven hours good sleep each night and I'm going to make sure this continues as I know I cope so much better with eating challenges when I am well rested.

So that's me right now. Not really dieting but being mindful of my food and making some good choices, whilst moving and sleeping more. I'll call it a win! But how about you, how are things going?

How to Join in

Slimming Sunday is a weekly linky hosted by Mich at Mummy from the Heart and Emma at Life According to Mrs Shilts. The posts go live at 7am every Sunday morning and you are most welcome to join in with any slimming/ weight loss/ exercise/ healthy recipe type post. Join as little or as often as you like. No pressure!

1)  Write or link up an existing post about diet/ slimming/ healthy eating/ exercise or anything related to these topics.

By linking up you'll receive a weekly email reminder about Slimming Sunday, of course there will be an unsubscribe button on every email so you can opt out any time but lots of people have been asking me for a reminder.

2)  Grab the badge or add a text link to either Emma or I (or both if you are feeling super generous)

3)  Go share the love. Please comment on both Emma and my posts and also at least one other but it would be great if you feel you could comment on a few more. I'm sure you'll feel the love back if you do.

Emma and I will come and visit you too and tweet out your links. Feel free to tag us with #SlimmingSunday, @michelletwinmum and @mrsshilts and we'll give you an RT.

I can't wait to read your post. Have a fabulous week, Mich x

Slimming Sunday at Mummy from the Heart

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