Friday, 17 November 2017

Visiting Ightham Mote, Kent in the Autumn - National trust

During October school half-term we headed off to Kent to visit a new National Trust site. I've heard of Ightham Mote before but in the NT handbook it didn't look as if it would be very big so I had avoided it in favour or larger properties. It was only when I saw some pictures on a friends Instagram that my interest was peaked again and she confirmed that it is a joy to visit.

The Moated House
Ightham Mote is one of those properties that is great for families and also for just adults. It is a truly stunning 14th century moated manor house and over the last 700 years it has changed a lot and been lived in by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians. The house has many rooms open for display and you can see lots of interesting sights, such as the Grade 1 listed dog kennel, the crypt, the Great Hall and private residences of Charles Henry Robinson, who gave the house to the National trust in 1985. My favourite area was definitely the private church inside and I enjoyed seeing how the delicate wood ceiling had been conserved and restored.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

#R2BC - Crazy Golf, Desserts and an Injection!

From our fab day Saturday, you only get to see my girls though as I can't show the little boy I coach

Happy Thursday friends! I'm feeling sure today will be a good day for us all so join me with that wishful thinking!

I'm using the same formula as last week and looking for one reason from each day of the last week highlight why I am feeling grateful. Here goes -

Thursday - Quite a child day, I coached my little boy, like I do each Thursday (we're making an Angry Birds pinata at the moment) and headed to the gym, so the day felt productive

Friday - I had my first injections as part of the preparation for my operation in January. I doubt many people would have an injection as a #R2BC but it cheered me as the end of in sight!

Saturday - I took my girls and the boy I coach out to celebrate this birthday. We played Crazy golf and had some yummy desserts at Kaspas and they were so good!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Christmas Gift Ideas for Older Family Members

Full Afternoon Tea Image, thanks to Shutterstock

Sometimes buying gifts for the older members of your family is a bit tricky. Often, the person you are buying for already has most of the things they want or need. Plus, they tend to have very different tastes from you or the younger generation. This can make it a bit trickier to choose something suitable.

However, there are in fact a lot of great gifts out there that are perfect for even the oldest members of your family. Here are a few of my favourites. Hopefully, they will inspire you.

Photo Related Gifts
Most people like to have photos up around the home. As a result, photo related gifts can make great presents. There are many different types available and amongst the best are canvas prints. As you can see here they are not particularly expensive and are really easy to order. You can use any image for this, so it is a very flexible present idea. It can be pictures of the family, a nice landscape or even an image that you have bought on the internet.

Photos can also be used to create other unique gifts. One of the most popular is phone cases as most people own a smart phone. To order a photo customised phone case you just need to be sure of the make and model of the phone and it is also worth checking that the person you are buying for is not planning to update their handset any time soon. 

There are lots of other customised items you can potentially order online, so this genre of presents is a good starting point if you are trying to find a gift for someone who is hard to buy for. Over the last few years my Grandparents and the children's Godparents have received photo gifts, such as mouse mats, personalised Christmas tree decorations, calendars, mugs, bags and even a cosy fleece throw and they always seem very happy with them.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide for Tween Girls - From 50p to £50

Can you believe there is only 42 sleeps until Christmas?  It's not long is? Just over a month in fact. 

Are you sorted yet or are you like most of the population and you are only just starting to think about what you might buy your tween girl? You'll probably know I have twin tween girls so I have been buying a lot of different items ready for Christmas as they are true to form and asking for completely different gifts!

Read on to see some of the gifts my girls are getting and I hope they'll provide you with a few good ideas. There is the whole price spectrum covered here from a couple of quid stocking filler up to a £50 main gift. Let's start big!

Gifts for Under £50

Unisex Kids Lacoste Watch from - £49.00

I'm really envious of Miss E getting this watch for Christmas but alas it is too small for me. The colour is stunning and I love its simplicity. As Miss E has dyslexia it was important to have a clear watch face with numbers rather than roman numerals, so this one from Lacoste really fits the bill. It's available in quite a few colours as well to suit your child's tastes. 

The watch comes with a Lacoste 2 year guarantee but it feels sturdy and as the strap/ face casing is plastic, resin and rubber it will be durable for a youngster to wear. It is also water resistant to 50 metres so I don't have to worry if she gets in the bath with it on.

The watch comes in a super cute box too and what girl will be able to resist those eyes peeking at her in her stocking? Definitely take a look on as they have a massive and gorgeous selection of watches for kids, men and women.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker - £39.98 at ToyRus

I'm sure if you have a tween girl you've heard of Num Noms. What started out as small scented collectables have now branched out into all sorts of things, but one thing remains all their products are super cute, pastel coloured and sure to be a big hit with a tween girl.

The RRP for the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker set is £49.99 but I see it is on special at many stores and the best price I saw was £39.98 at ToysRus. I just know that Miss M is going to be over the moon to be able to make her own scented (think strawberry, blueberry and banana) nail polish colours on Christmas day. The styling is perfect and the cuteness goes right down tot he three nail polish containers, there is nothing ordinary or boring about this set and of course it all smells fabulous too.

This playset comes with a gorgeous scented Num - Heavenly Froyo and of course this cafe playset can also be used with your collection of Nums for imaginative play either as you make polish or once it has all gone and you just add it to your other playsets to make a Num Noms town.

Over on This is Life Angela has reviewed the set and you can see all the small items out and being used.

Available from ToysRus, Smyths Toys and other large retailers.

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide Linky - All the Best in One Place!

Christmas Decoration image from Shutterstock

Have you written a fabulous gift guide this year?  Of course you have, so many bloggers do, so lets put all that amazing knowledge and inspiration in one place so that we can all be inspired by each other.

No need for any of us to be scratching our heads wondering what to buy for our friends or a family member! I bet I can guarantee they'll be a guide for every eventuality!


*  Link up your gift guide and I'll be over to visit and comment

*  Tweet me a link on @michelletwinmum and I'll be happy to share and give you an RT

*  I'll pin your post to the Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide Board board

*  Leave me a comment with your Pinterest name and I'll add you as a collaborator on the Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide Board if you fancy.

The linky will be open right up until Christmas Day for any late shoppers!

Simples, right?

If you want to add my badge to your gift guide, that's cool as it means your readers will be able to find all the fab guides but no pressure, it's up to you!

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide Linky at Mummy from the Heart

Have a very Happy Christmas, Mich x

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

#R2BC - Getting Fitter, My Op's Booked & Feeling Motivated

The Homeless Bard's Poem

God is good! I've had a very lovely week and I'm happy to share it with you all. I do hope your weeks have been just as fun.

Last weekend my husband and I headed up to London for a night away and to attend the Premier Digital Conference (think BritMums Live for Christians). We had a super time and there was so much I could share about it but I have decided to post one good reason to be cheerful for each day. Last year for Advent I did #1GoodThing a day on Instagram and I think I'll do it again this year, it is a lovely way too stay focused on the good in life and to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, corny but super worthwhile!

Thursday - I had a fitness test at the gym and in the last 6 weeks my fitness level has really improved, my heart rate had dropped by about 12 beats per min at the same activity levels compared to when I started to exercise

Friday - We met The Homeless Bard in Trafalgar Square and I couldn't help but write about him, he is such an inspirational man

Saturday - We attended the conference and I came away fired up with so many ideas for blog posts

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Top Foods for Keeping Winter Coughs and Colds at Bay

We're at that rotten time of year again when the weather can't seem to make its mind up and we hover between warm and freezing days. And whilst it's lovely to cling on to the warmer weather the constant swapping between hot and cold always seems to play havoc with peoples health and even the chief executive of NHS England is warning that Britain could be facing a possible flu epidemic this year.

It's really important therefore that we are taking simple measures to stay well. It can be a costly business to have to turn to cold and flu remedies from the pharmacy but with a few preventative measures you hopefully won't need to, and even if a cough or cold does rear its ugly head then there are some very effective natural remedies available from health food stores too.

Eat a Wide Variety of Foods

One of the easiest ways to stay well is to ensure you are eating a wide variety of foods to give you enough vitamins and other key nutrients, this helps to ensure that your immune system stays fighting fit. Some of the key vitamins and nutrients your want to ensure your body is getting are -

Vitamin C - If you drink a 150ml glass of orange juice per day (can be fresh or from concentrate, nutritionally they are exactly the same), this can be counted as one of your five-a-day and it gives the full daily quota of vitamin C that your body needs. Sian Porter, Registered Dietitian says “Conveniently, pure orange juice is also a source of the B-vitamin folate, needed for white blood cells (that protect the body against infectious disease) to rapidly reproduce.” So this small, easy to drink and delicious glass of orange juice is a real winner.

Iron - If you start to feel tired and worn out then your iron levels might be low and you should be eating more leafy green vegetables like spinach, red meat, liver, beans and pulses, fortified breakfast cereals and sardine. Oh and I bet you didn't know that raisins and pistachios are also a great source of iron, so it doesn't have to be unpleasant to get your recommended quota.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Creating an Inspiration Wall with Desenio Prints

I'd never consider myself to have a good design eye. I look at other peoples homes and blog posts about interior design and I wish that even a corner of my house could look as stylish and gorgeous as theirs do. But alas magnolia seems to be my colour and homely and lived in seems to be the main design theme of my home. 

However, Desenio have made it easy for me to create a trendy inspiration wall in my dining room with their prints. This is a room that we spend a lot of  time in as a family and I wanted really positive messages to be impacting the children and our pastoral group as we eat and enjoy spending time together. It's a functional room where we eat, the children craft and I dry the washing and do the ironing - it really is multi-purpose and as such style is not normally key in this room. But I like what I've done on one of the walls with the Desenio framed prints (above) and as Miss M said 'they make it look much more modern Mummy'.