Thursday, 23 June 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful... New To Me

Creative Disorder Image from Shutterstock

Morning friends, I hope the week is going well for you. I certainly can't wait for tomorrow when I'm off to visit my parents for the weekend. Friday will be lunch and the cinema (Me Before You in case you are wondering) with Mum before a nice belated Father's Day meal for Dad and then Saturday Mum and I are off to a conference at a local church for the day and Sunday all my rabble will come down to visit and pick me up. Its going to be fun...

For Reasons to be Cheerful this week, I thought I'd share with you some new blogs that I've found recently and really been enjoying and I hope you might enjoy them too -

I met Faye from Tales and Tea at an event a couple of months ago for HP. She has a really beautiful writing style, very raw and honest and I could relate to many of her posts.

Keep up with the Jones Family is a blog written by Sara-Jayne and it is stunning. It is one of those places that I have no idea how people curate. How do things look so fabulous in your life when you have three small kids? But I don't for one moment think it is all staged and a front. She describes her passions as motherhood, photography and storytelling through her writing, so that probably explain it!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Reviewing Our Camping Equipment from Outdoor World Direct


In just over a month my girls are going on their first official camp as Cub Scouts. They have been going on about this for quite some time and are on countdown, even to the point that they keep convincing me they must try out camping first and are taking over my house one room at a time for indoor camping.

When Outdoor World Direct heard that my twins needed to get kitted out for camping they were very happy to help us out and agreed to send me some items for review. I then spent a couple of enjoyable hours browsing their website and deciding what might work for the girls. I opted for a sleeping bag and self-inflating mat each and choose differing ones so we could really try them out and see where our recommendation would lie.

There is loads of choice on the Outdoor World Direct site and I found it easy to navigate as the menus are clearly set out. There also appears to be loads of good deals, with discounts off many everyday essentials for camping and outdoor fun.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Streamlining my Life the KonMari way

Folded clothes in a Drawer from Shutterstock

Earlier this week I was having coffee with about eight friends, we had met with the specific intention to discuss the KonMari way of decluttering and streamlining your home and life. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for if I am honest. I've heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese Organisational Consultant who has termed her way of streamlining as the 'KonMari' way but I knew nothing of her and her methods.

I was offered the book to read in advance of the session and given links to YouTube videos and various websites but I avoided them all. Not because I'm burying my head in the sand as I am a terrible hoarder and have a house that needs KonMaring but because I'm pretty organized. I regularly gut rooms, I get a real sense of satisfaction about drawers that are divided by boxes of similar items and my home is mostly clutter free.

It was with much interest that I learnt I already do some of the KonMari tactics as a natural instinct. I keep regular lists of the next area to be cleansed, I empty my handbag and reorganise each day and I clear my paperwork approximately every three months. I can't think of anything worse than a garage or loft full of rubbish, luckily I have neither of those areas.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Our Angel in Yellow

Last week we went away for a few days to Kent. We really needed this break as a family, time to be away from hubby's work and just forget the crap of everyday life (it's been a hard month).

The weather was miserable with an overcast sky, high winds and scattered rain but we weren't going to let that deter us. After an amazing day at Dover Castle enjoying a truly brilliant English Heritage site we were heading back to our Premier Inn to get changed and go for pizza when clunk the car made an odd noise at a busy roundabout and that was it, we weren't going anywhere!

Luckily for us we have cover with Club Toyota and one call to them set in motion our rescue from start to finish. First off an angel in yellow arrived, our AA man Wayne was the ultimate in efficiency and friendliness. Within moments he diagnosed our car with a broken drive shaft and set about getting it towed to the nearest Halfords who would be able to fix it for us.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Meeting the Deer at Knole, Kent - National Trust


Last weekend we had a fabulous visit to Knole in Sevenoaks, Kent. I've mentioned many times before how much we enjoy National Trust sites and this is one that has been on my hit list for quite some time. JJ had gone to camp and the weather was due to be nice so we took the hours drive over to Kent. As always my 8 year old girls were moaning that they didn't really want to go out, they wanted to stay home and thank the Lord we never listen to them as they had a truly wonderful time at Knole.

Why? Well, take one look at these first few pictures and it is easy to see... The girls could not believe how close you can get to the deer at Knole and they are everywhere, hundreds of them and seemingly quite friendly too, although of course they are a wild animal so we would never get complacent around them.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - Hooray for Half-Term

Hooray for Half-term, we have had lots of fun. In fact as this goes live, we are still away having fun. I hope you've been enjoying the kids being off school if it has been the holidays for you and you still have them young enough to enjoy. If not, then I still pray it has been an enjoyable week.

What have we been up to? All sorts but mostly really enjoying family time and being outdoors.

JJ went to water camp and the rest of us enjoyed a fish and chip supper and a fabulous sunset walk around Rye nature reserve afterwards. Sadly I don't have any photos as my iPhone has gone berserk on me and I'm now waiting out the days until I can upgrade without extra cost. It is infuriating.

Here is a beautiful sunset captured from my front door instead. May is definitely the month for pretty pink and purple skies.


Monday, 30 May 2016

Top Recommendations for Netflix Box Set Viewing (UK)


It occurred to me the other day that we have had Netflix for two years now. Never did I think it would last this amount of time and still keep our family interested but it is testament to the turnaround of the programmes and the new material that is put onto Netflix that means we are happy to stick around.

I do love the fact that you get entertainment and films all in one place with Netflix, not like some other subscription TV services where you have to buy multiple bundles. Netflix still proves to be great value at £7.49 per month to be able to watch in HD on 2 screens or there is a bargain option at £5.99 a month for one screen in standard resolution.

The other day it occurred to me that I've not watched a new box set for a while on Netflix and I needed a new recommendation, so I asked a group of bloggers and low and behold they did good and came up with tons of ideas for me, here are just a few -

Thursday, 26 May 2016

#R2BC - Taking Walks, Saying No and NOW TV


Oh my goodness, it is 11.06pm Wednesday night as I write this and I'm supposed to be in bed sleeping as I've been being a good girl with my bed times just recently and it makes such a difference to my day when I get enough sleep. I'm sure the kids can fully appreciate how much calmer and nicer I am when well rested. I truly feel as if my life is in balance at the moment and I have a bit of everything I need. It is a good feeling when you have learnt to accept that you deserve time out and it is OK to say no to people and situations.

But the reason for my typing this so late is one of my reasons to be cheerful. I got to have an impromptu night out with my husband and it was so needed as crap stuff is going on at the moment and it is all-consuming and stressful. We went for a yummy Indian meal and then had a nice long sunset walk along the beach to try and burn off some of the excess calories! Chatting and day dreaming about the gorgeous houses along the beach was a nice break from real life.

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