O5rcB_NXbIeHbJV7JFNcdfqL-vY Mummy From The Heart...: October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful (The On A Break Edition!) Week 43

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart


I know, I  Know!  I am not supposed to be here, I'm on a bloggy break but here is the thing. I was never going to let #R2BC slip and I was so busy enjoying myself since I decided to have a break last Friday that I have not got organised and arranged for anyone to be guest host today, so here I am!

You quite like seeing me here though, right?

So I am now feeling super cheerful and have loved my week without pressure.  Let me share some of the things that have made me cheerful -


1. Taking my Mum and Nan out for lunch on Sunday and then on to the park so the kids could play and have an ice cream, the simple things with family are the best!

2.  Having a night out with dh on Monday and no children to come home to.  Yes I felt poorly but with some decent cold and flu tablets we managed a nice meal and the cinema.  Then this morning as there was no kids I did not wake until 9am, that really is a treat!

3. I have been in bed by 11pm ready to sleep every night since last Thursday.  That is a big one and could account for why I feel so much better.  Some nights I have been asleep by 10pm and I have been on the PC for a total of about 2 hours in the last 4 days in total - massive change!

4. The finally yesterday I started my diet.  I am now trialling @Slimavite shakes and following their bite plan.  This is day 2 and I am doing good, thank the Lord.  As well as using the shakes I am following all my guidance I have learned from my Eating Disorders meeting over the last couple of years and I have a food sponsor who I contact daily to commit my food to.  That way when I feel like going off plan I know I have to think twice as I am accountable to them, God and myself! 

I am pleased to report that I like the Slimavite shakes, I was a bit dubious as although I have done shake diets before I have always used pre-made shakes and I assumed the ones you have to mix yourself might not be as nice.  So far I have had the chocolate and vanilla flavours and I like them a lot.  You get a special metal ball to go in the shaker and this seems to really help mix them well and produces a good frothy milkshake and the kids keep eyeing them up!  I have managed to discourage them by telling them my shakes are full of vegetables!

So there we go, I'm feeling good and positive and ready for tomorrow....  but nothing really has changed, I'm still taking my break.

Guest hosting #R2BC over the next few weeks are -

Thursday 3rd November 2011  A Matter of Choice
Thursday 10th November 2011  Kate on Thin Ice
Thursday 17th November 2011  Seasider in the City
Thursday 24th November 2011 Bod for Tea
Thursday 1st December 2011 Lakes Single Mum
and then it will be back with me...

Over to you, what is making you cheery this week? If you are new to Reasons to be Cheerful, then check out HERE and then link up a cheery/ gratitude post from the last week.

As you know, sadly I won't be round to visit everyone but don't let that stop you going and reading and commenting on others that have linked up.  Don't forget reasons to be cheerful is all about spreading the cheer!

Thanks for all the wonderful comments, tweets and emails I have had in the last week.  My bloggy mates rock! Mich x

Friday, 21 October 2011

Hi, I am Mich and I'm Unhappy

It's true, I have known for a while but I have been stuffing it down, eating to stifle my feelings.  Not wanting to deal with it but how long can that go on for?

Forever some may say, but I am not prepared to keep on going through life living it half-heartedly.  I want to feel joy every day and to know I am fulfilling my potential and doing what I can.  It is not fair on those around me that I am only present half the time and the other half buried in my addictions.

This sadness has been going on too long now.

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I truly believe I have a pretty blessed life, there are no major problems I have to deal with.  I have a good family, a husband, my children, a stable job with good hours, a nice home and enough money to buy the essentials we need.  So why do I not feel fulfilled and happy?

I don't believe I am depressed, I expect a number of people will read this and tell me to get myself off to the doctor and get checked out but I do not think there is a need for that.  I think the root of my problem is my addiction.  My addiction to food that is.  I have known for such a long time that I have a problem with food, the years of yo-yo dieting are testament to that.  It is not a lack of willpower, I am not weak.  I am ill, I do not have the mental triggers that tell me I have had enough to eat and for some strange reason when I feel any kind of emotion in my life, be it good or bad my instant reaction is to eat.  I even get a headache and the first thought I have is that chocolate may make it better.

Last night I went to my eating disorder meeting, it is one of the anon fellowships and as such I am not supposed to talk about it in a public place where my identity is known and I was so grateful to be there and to be anongst people who understand how difficult life is as an addict.  Being addicted to food is no easier than being an alcoholic or drug addict but the difference is that I cannot go cold turkey with food, I have to keep eating and that makes it feel very difficult to tackle.  It means I have to learn the art of moderation and limiting myself.  To do this all the anon fellowships advise that you must admit that your life has become unmanageable and that you must give up your control and allow a power greater than yourself to solve the problem for you.  Big stuff, big and scary.

But I feel like I am ready.  I am not willing to walk this half-death march anymore.  I want to fall in love with my husband again, I want to engage with my children and I want to love my body. Inside I feel bitter and twisted, like I am so hard done by and that others have it so much easier than me and I know this is not the truth but it sure feels like it right now.

So I made a decision last night to take a break from blogging.  To give myself some space to have time to read, pray, meditate and concentrate on sorting out the most important part of my life - what is inside me and what is negatively effecting those in a close relationship with me.  I am going to be starting my diet again very soon and using @Slimavite and just focusing on me and who I am and what I like about myself.  Only when I re-find that can I come back and blog again.

I realise that I have been cross-addicting.  Blogging and social media has become my secondary addcition, sometimes at the moment I sit in front of the laptop and wonder why I am there and feel really unhappy and unloved and I just know I am searching for something that a computer can never give me, so I give-in and I will stop.

I will really miss everyone, I have the jitters already.  I know this will be hard but I am going to really try to stay away.  I have made some review commitments and I will still fulfil those, so you may see the odd post go up but the 5 or 6 hours I spend at least 4 nights a week will now be channeled into me and learning to love and respect myself again and whilst I would love to blog that journey, I know that blogging would suck all my time away. So I am giving myself a break and hope to see you all again in December....

I will set up some guest hosts for Reasons to be Cheerful and will post about that soon.

Love you all,  Mich xx

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Blogs That Make Me Cheerful #R2BC Week 42

Hey all, Welcome to week 42 of Reasons to be Cheerful, we are drawing closer and closer to Christmas and yes if I am honest that is just a little bit exciting!


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This week I am thinking about some of the blogs that I regularly read, those that make me smile and make me want to come back again and again but I am being a bit mean to you.  I am not going to spell out who the bloggers are, you'll have to click on the links if you want to see my recommended reading list and you never know it might just even lead to your blog - recognise any of the descriptions?

This down to earth account of every day life while living abroad is a blog I go back to time and time again.

For me this is the ultimate Mummy blog, the first one I found and one I still enjoy over 3 years later.

I don't even want to send you to this blog really as she robbed me of my (mine, you understand!) MAD blog award but sadly she is so talented and side-splitingly funny that I cannot keep away.

You know when you just love someone (not love them like 'ohh I want to snog you' but just really like them) well that is the next blogger.  She is so honest and helpful and I wish she lived closer to me.

How time changes, when I started to blog back in 2008/9 there were a handful of 'top' (yes, yes, I know everyone hates that sort of thing) bloggers and what I realise now is that those I hold in high regard may not be known by some of the newer bloggers so I am making it my duty to direct you over to their awesome blogs.

Take this one for instance, having met her I know her to be warm and beautiful, I just love the way the humour oozes from her blog and she has such a talent with words.

Then this established blogger should wear a badge saying 'cheerful survivor', she has been through a lot in life and come out winning.  I love the mix of fun, family and serious issues that her blog presents.

and lastly an award winning writer who has a fabulous tongue in cheek style.

Over to you........  how are you feeling this week?  Is it a good one?  I'd love to hear, I'll be reading on the phone though so can't promise you all comments this week, sorry. I hope you'll be able to pop along to at least a couple of other blogs and say hi to them.  We have had some newer joiners in the last few weeks and where they have joined in late on Friday they have missed out on comment love.

If you want to find out more about #R2BC then take a look HERE.

Thanks all, enjoy your weekends.  I appreciate you linking up and looking on the bright side of life!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Parents Evening: Pleased As Punch!

So today was parents evening at the kids school and for once dh and I got to go together and without any children.  What a difference it makes to be able to listen to the teachers without any small children or babies distracting one or the other of us.

I think the title gives the gist of this post away. We had a great evening, especially with the feedback we received about JJ.  I am so super proud of my little man that I wanted to shout it from the roof tops and falling that I had to do what I do best, tell you all.  But do not for a moment think that this post is a big boast about how smart my kids are, this is a post from a Mummy who has been so worried about one of her children and how they fit in at school and in the wider world that when I hear something as positive as tonight I just want to yelp with delight!


This time last year JJ was starting in year 2 and he found the transition from year 1 to 2 incredibly hard.  Poor Mr W who used to get told by JJ 'But that's not how Mrs C used to do it, she did it the proper way' etc.  JJ not meaning to be rude or out of line was just in his mind helping the new teacher Mr W to understand the 'way things are done round here'.

I know I have told you before that JJ is undergoing numerous meetings and tests as he is assessed for a communication disorder assessment (Aspergers or such).  These first started in about November 2010 so we have been in the system a while now being passed from place to place but as time passes and JJ just seems to grow into his own skin and mature I feel sure that really there is little to fear. The child that believed the world just revolved around him has learnt he is a part of a much bigger picture and that he has to let other kids get involved too.

Since this term started I have wanted to approach his teachers (he has 2 job share teachers) to see how he was doing but I have held myself back, knowing that if there was an issue they would call me in. From this time last year catching up with his teacher most days to see how his behaviour had been and how much he had called out and 'talked out of turn' to this year being told they can see how hard he is trying and what a pleasure he is to have in the class, so helpful and with a massive thirst for knowledge.  Whilst it is wonderful to hear he is above average for Maths, Science, comprehension and gifted in ICT the best present I received today was to hear a completely and utterly positive and glowing report about my little man and his developing social skills and comprehension of the subtleties and unspoken rules of life.

So JJ, one day you may read this and you will know that Mummy thinks you are amazing, overcoming the obstacles that you have found in life. Thank you so much for being open to all the new things you need to try out and learn to help with your co-ordination and mobility issues.

As for my two little princesses, the reports were exactly as dh and I said they would be before we went:

Miss M - Confident, assertive, bossy, thirst for knowledge, good understanding of the world around her, good with her numbers, sounds and sound blending for words, in a hurry, not good at applying herself to just one task, in other peoples business and lots of fun.

Miss E - Shy at times, slower to learn but far more thorough, happy to apply herself diligently to one task at a time, good with art and abstract tasks, makes friends easily, fits in with people, can become embarrassed and then silly when corrected and generally a good all-rounder.

It is that time of the year, have you had your parent:teacher consultations yet?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sadly So Many Of Us Have Miscarried, Let's Call For Better Care...


Mumsnet have started a campaign for better miscarriage care and this is a fabulous thing and I am totally behind them.  Sadly I am a bit late and should have been joining in with this last week but let's be honest, it does not matter what week I post as long as I post and ask you all to try and do your bit to help as well.

Statistics say that 1 in 3 women will miscarry at some point, I am one of them. Last year I miscarried my fourth child. Samuel Noah he was to be called and he would have been one this November but instead of crawling round my feet he is safe with Jesus and even though I am comforted by that thought it does not take away the angst and longing for my missing baby. A devastation and pain caused by a miscarriage should never be underestimated.

Before I had children I always prayed that I would not have to suffer a miscarriage, I just knew this would be such a terrible thing to experience.  I remember saying 'Please Lord, it is one thing to not get pregnant but quite another to miscarry'.  It may seem strange to say but I am glad that if I had to suffer a miscarriage it was after I had my children.  Of course having other children does not make it OK but for me it certainly made it more bearable, I had to focus on my family and keep going and that really helped my healing.

When I read some posts around miscarriage I know that I was lucky in the care I received.  Yes I waited 3 hours for my scan, the one that confirmed my babe had died inside me 4 weeks before but all the people I came into contact with at the hospital were friendly and professional.  The sonographer was lovely, she spoke sympathetically to me and the doctor I saw afterwards explained everything thoroughly and sent me away with my choice to make. When I came back in to be checked after the actual miscarriage took place they saw me immediately and kept me separate to the still pregnant mothers.  I was offered a post-mortem and a funeral for my babe.  My hospital did good for me and for that I am very thankful.

Many women do not receive any kind of acceptable level of care when they miscarry, they are pushed aside and sometimes denied access to scans and appointments.  From what I saw when I gave birth to my children maternity care is not highly regarded and wards are short-staffed and those there are overworked, this does not make for a satisfactory birth experience.  This is why Mumsnet have started their campaign.

You do not need to be a blogger to support this campaign, you just need to believe that good care is important for any woman that is going through the awful experience of miscarriage. Mumsnet detail HERE how you can help, please do your bit, it will take just a few minutes.

If you want to read my story of miscarriage then take a look here, I blogged a lot about my miscarriage and how I dealt with my grief, I feel it is very important to show other women that miscarriage happens to so many of us and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

If this sensitive topic is affecting you or those you know right now then my prayers are with you.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Listography: Top 5 Keyword Searches on my Blog

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I love listography, I think it is fab and I often read but for some reason I just rarely get to join in but then thinking about it I rarely join in any linky nowadays except my own. Then when I saw the topic of this weeks I knew I had to join in and have a good read of some others.  For a while I have been pondering a post about key word searches as so many strange things seem to show up and you just wonder how people arrive at your blog with something so random!

So without further ado, I'll cut to the chase and share -

1. Peppa Pig World - I suppose to be expected, I gave away tickets for Peppa Pig World and it was very popular, every day I get a ton of hits on the blog for my reviews of Peppa Pig World.  Ohh I love a lucrative review.

2.  Sex Mummy - Just what I have always wanted, to be searched for with this term. It links to this post where JJ, the 6 year old discuses sex with me.  I bet they are sorely disappointed.

3. Belly Blowing - OK, don't even ask.  I just have no idea at all!  Suppose I should google it myself and see what it links to.

4. Ready to pop twin belly - I love this one, it makes me smile each time I see it.  Go on and have a look here and see the hugest belly!

5.  Anorexic 10 year old - and if the one above makes me smile, this one makes me want to cry.  I have a friend with a now 11 year old anorexic daughter and I get so many hits for my posts on childhood eating disorders.

One of the funnier hits I have had from search engines was on the keywords '18 YO naughty school girl' - who me?? never.  I am sure I have never *cough* posted about that.

It still makes me laugh that a guy found my blog back in December 2010 searching for yummy mummies and even when he found it was something completely different he still stuck around and commented on my parenting skills!

....and that's me.  I'll look forward to reading yours.

Ohh and over on my other blog I reviewed some samples of the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty skin care range, how I now wish that I had put it on this blog.  That one post receives about 50 search engine landings every single day.  Even now, 8 months after it was posted. Amazing huh?

Halloween: Do Your Kids Go Out and Beg?

OK, this isn't going to be a post that will win me any popularity contests, it may go down as one of those with no comments but I feel a need to get this off my chest.

Why let your kids go round the streets and beg on this one night a year? 

I really struggle to understand this.  I know that my view is in the minority as nearly everyone else I know is planning stuff for Halloween, well all my secular friends that is. Am I just no fun? Is Halloween harmless?

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As a a child growing up I longed to get dressed up and to go trick or treating, especially after watching ET and seeing how big and amazing it all appears in America but my Dad was adamant that no child of his would beg door to door and I just did not get this.  My friends were allowed to, so why not me? I now get it and funnily enough I agree, you hear of so many elderly people being scared on this one night of the year, all these kids and youths approaching their doors and asking for goodies and sometimes demanding money, possibliy when they just do not have anything spare to offer.  I have heard of people sat in dark houses hoping that any trick or treaters might just pass them by assuming they are out.  No-one should be scared to be in their home or afraid to open their door.  Surely that is reason enough to stop trick or treating?

I expect most of you reading this are responsible parents, you go out with your kids when they trick or treat and you maybe even only visit the houses in your street that you know would be open and receptive.  Harmless fun you describe it as but what is it teaching our kids at the most fundamental level?  It teaches them that they can ask for something nice and if they don't get it they are quite at liberty to play a trick and be naughty.  Hmm good life lesson - not! When would we ever promote this kind of behaviour at any other time?

As you'll know I am a Christian and I only became a Christian in 2002, so I am still a baby, still learning and in this time I have never been preached to about the perils of Halloween and why it is a bad thing.  Many religions seem to tolerate it and think nothing of it but I just believe it is wrong.  Halloween is all about spirits and ghoulish things. To my mind these are all of the Devil and of course he is the polar opposite to what I believe is Holy and therefore I just can not bring myself to allow my kids to celebrate or be involved in anything to do with Halloween.

I could not believe the other day how mature JJ is becoming.  He has never been allowed to trick or treat but when he was 5 he was so desperate that he dressed in fancy dress (a cowboy) and we went out for a walk and he gave our sweets to those children who were trick or treating.  This felt OK to me as we were offering a treat rather than being asked for it and JJ enjoyed himself.  I now realise this probably sent a very mixed message and was not a great idea at all.

We have also given sweets to the children who knock at our door and  I was chatting to JJ the other day and he questioned that if Halloween was not a good thing and it was celebrating all things dark and bad then surely we should no longer give out sweets as otherwise we are just encouraging people to believe that Halloween is OK. My mouth dropped and I had to agree he has a strong point, so this year we will not be opening our door to any trick or treaters.

On October 31st this year we will be going to a light party at a local church, a party which will focus on celebrating the light of Jesus Christ rather than the dark of this world. I expect most parents would not want to be known as Satan worshippers, but effectively in celebrating Halloween that is what I believe you are doing.  That's quite a statement isn't it?  Sorry if it offends but do think on it and ponder what it is about Halloween that you want your children to learn.

How about you?  What do you think then? Is Halloween harmless fun?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful - The Upside Down Edition

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart
 


Any of you that have joined in with this linky for any amount of time will know that there comes the weeks when you think 'blah, I can't be bothered!  Nothing much is going on in my life, what have I got to be cheerful about?'  and for you there is a choice to be made. Do you post anyway and work your way through that unhappiness, lethargy or whatever it is that is causing you to feel that way or do you say 'OK, I'll give it a miss this week?'.

Well I do not get that choice.  I am the host of #R2BC and as such I need to post otherwise there will be nowhere for you all to link up.

So today is the upside down edition, I'll do the Pollyanna thing and post about the stuff that is making me feel a bit gloomy and overwhelmed at the moment and then turn it around and remind myself that actually I am blessed I am just not seeing the wood for the trees!

  1. I have one good day dieting and then it goes to pot again.  I bore myself with how bad I am at sorting out my weight right now but I suppose the flip side has to be that I am so lucky to have enough food to eat.  It is hard not to think that and then take a stick to beat myself about the poverty in the world and my gluttony.  I pray one day I'll be able to do something about this.
  2. I feel like I have a million and one product reviews to write up.  In reality there is probably more like ten but when you have busy head syndrome that feels like ten too many.  The flip side has to be all the great products we have received and some superb toys I have stashed away now for a rainy day.
  3. Last night I dreamed about a quiz I am organising for the PTA at school.  In my dream it was the quiz night and I had done nada.  Once I stop procrastinating it will be sorted in next to no-time, at least the dream has given me a kick up the bum to sort it out.
  4. Everything is in flux at work at the moment, big changes are impending and who knows what they will lead to for me. As was commented to me yesterday in my appraisal I do not like to be out of control and that is so true, so all this uncertainty is not good for me but again a flip side being that God has my best interests at heart and if I just trust then the best is yet to come...
So there we go, I turned the bad stuff round and it is a good exercise, your mind believes what you feed into it.  So for the nest few days I must feed positive thoughts and stop procrastinating.  I have 2 days off work now and the kids are at school - gym and crap sorting here I come.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from my weekend away to Clacton with dh and the kids, this is probably the reason to be cheerful that I should have been posting about, a weekend away with no computer and lots of time together as a family.  It was great!


So I expect you know the protocol by now, write a cherry post, link it up and go and visit some other blogs on the linky. In fact go and visit all the other blogs on the linky, it is always fab to find some new reading material. Leave me some comment love and I'll come and do the same for you. Check out here if you are new to #R2BC and want to read the full low down.

Thanks for joining in, great to see new people cropping up each week and lovely to have some men on board too now.

Mich x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Do I want to Work Full-Time?

Things are changing at work, my boss of the last few years is leaving and I am now at the point where I am thinking 'do I want her job?'  I easily know the answer to that - yes I do. I have never made a secret of the fact that this was the job I fancied, it is one I have done before in other industries and call me big-headed but I think I would be pretty good at it.

(Now if you are reading this and you work at the same place as me, do not assume that I know any more than you, I am purely surmising about her job being up for grabs).

I started with my current employer just over 7 years ago and I have always been upfront and told my manager that the job I wanted was hers but for me it comes with a cost.  I am pretty sure that my Director of HR will not consider anything except full-time in that role.  Yes I could put forward for a job-share as I work now but I would need someone to share with me that I could really trust. Who knows if I would find them at that level.

So the question I am left with is 'do I want to work full-time?'  No, is my instant reaction, I am loving my balance of part-time working now the kids are at school.  Two school days to myself to get all the jobs done and some time to myself to exercise, blog, get my hair cut or even just visit the doctor without 3 parrots accompanying me.

Is an extra £23K a year worth me having to work full-time, not having a moment to myself and putting all 3 kids into childcare before and after school for five days a week.  My gut reaction was that I would not be that much better off financially and why would I do it? I felt I ought to crunch and numbers and see how it came out, childcare would be about £900 a month on a normal month and then do not even ask in the school holidays.  Over £5500 a year on childcare was what I calculated, sounds a lot doesn't it?  Even after this and the increase in tax/ NI etc I realised that I would in actual fact take home an extra £800 a month after the childcare, that's not too bad is it? About £10.80 an hour for the additional 18.5 hours per week I'd do  That could probably buy me the new kitchen that I am desiring, a couple of good abroad holidays a year or some serious spending each month.

But it comes back down to the basics - is this what I want?  To get home at 5.30pm at night and then to have to deal with 3 tired kids that have been in care since 8am that morning, to have to cook dinner or feel bad that we are eating ready food, to wash and iron in the evening, to clean on the weekends, to be grouchy with my kids when they ask to play a game with me as I have too many chores to do. Would I have to hire a cleaner, gardener?  Tell, me how do people cope with the daily stuff of life when both parents work full-time and you have young kids.  Do the chores just slip?  The other day I left work at 4.30pm (so pretty early), dh was at work until late so I picked the kids up and then did tea, baths, time with each of the kids reading or playing and I did the normal chores, washing, clean up kitchen, load dishwasher etc.  You know, just the normal and it was 8.55pm before I sat down for my time.  That really did not feel like a life I would choose to lead each day.

Surely I would miss out on the simple stuff?  When would I have the chance to capture simple moments like JJ watching the frog bounce around outside.  Like the girls running in the playground before school or decorating cakes after school.

Looking at this and thinking it thorough has been a good exercise for me.  It has showed me how little money means to me.  I have decided that even if this job was an extra £30per hour I would not go for it.  Nothing will take away my time with my children while they are small.  The girls are just 4 and JJ and is 8 and I like to help them with their homework after school, to chat to them about their day on the leisurely scoot or walk home and to drop into the park with friends on a sunny day.  Big earnings will not make me a better parent and I am glad I can see that.

Luckily I have a very sensible dh and we got on the property ladder fairly early and did not over extend ourselves, so we have no big 4 bedroom detached house to pay for and thus we can choose to live moderately and to enjoy our time together even if we do have a busted front door and a 30 year old kitchen.  Do the kids think about these things?  No, not at all.  When they are older and think back to their childhood at home I hope they will remember baking in the kitchen,  junk modelling in the dining room and playing games with Mummy and Daddy. Far more valuable memories than the after school club can provide each day.  Now if my Mum and Dad lived locally it all could be a different story...

Just to say, do not think I am judging anyone, we all do what suits us and our families.

If you work full-time do let me in on your secret, how do you keep a balance and where do you get the time from to sort the house stuff?

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Best Christmas Present Ever for Under £10

Take a look at the photo.  Does that look like the best Christmas present ever?  Probably not. 

One your child would be happy to receive? Maybe not. 

Kids in the UK tend to expect big, expensive presents don't they?  This is not big and it certainly was not expensive but I still maintain that it is in fact one of the best presents for under £10 ever.


You know what though?  There are millions of children (literally, I am not exaggerating) who would think this is an awesome gift, one they would love to receive and would treasure.

You may have seen me post before about the Operation Christmas Child campaign which is run by Samaritans Purse.  Basically you fill a covered shoe box with new but inexpensive gifts and pay £2.50 transport costs and Samaritans Purse transport this box to a child who would otherwise receive nothing. 

I won't go through all the information again about how to make a box and what to do with it, that is in this post and this post and of course you can look at the OCC website but often I hear people say to me how expensive it is to make a box and I just wanted to show you how I do it for so little.

M&S Scarf - Bought last January in the sales for 80p
Mint Humbugs - 79p at Pound Stretcher
Pack of crayons and pencils - given to my kids at a party (they have too many already, so donated for the boxes)
Tiger face cloth - blogging gift, so no cost
Camay soap - (£1 for 4 from poundstretcher) 25p
Tambourine - was my girls but never really used, so like new, no cost
Toothbrush and toothpaste - Lidl £1.58
New McDonalds toy in packet - no cost
Notebook - (£1 for 4 from poundtretcher) 25p
Small dinosaur/ horse toys - from party bags my kids received, no cost
Snap game - Received with a meal at the Rainforest cafe - no cost
Ben 10 beach ball - Tesco 50p in the sale
Pack of 3 biros - Tesco, 30p in the sale
2 pencils - £1 shop (£10 for 10) 20p
Whinnie pooh ball game - from a cracker last Christmas - no cost

Total cost for contents -  £4.67 plus £2.50 transport cost = £7.17 total box cost

The key is in the planning and the preparation.  All year round I keep my eyes open for bargains and I retain things that the kids are given. Rather than them have an abundance of stationary and things that will just get broken or binned I ask the kids if they want to donate them to the shoe box appeal.  9 times out of 10 I get a yes from my kids as they enjoy giving.  Isn't that something you want to say about your child?
Go on, make a box this October, I promise you will feel good for doing it.... and if you fancy a little bonus for making a box then enter the fab competition over at Mummy Mummy Mum.

Who is with me and Emma??

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful - The Birthday Boy Edition

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart
 

Week 40 of #R2BC, can you believe it?  But you know what that means, just 12 weeks until next year, or 11 weeks until Christmas, wow that feels soon.

I have been feeling a bit emotional this week and that is not massivley like me but on Tuesday my JJ turned 8 and it has really hit me that he is growing up and getting really quite big and in the main becoming a lovely lad, one I am pleased to be Mummy to. People often comment about how mature he is (well in some ways, not toilet humour of course!).



So this week my reason to be cheerful are all around my handsome fella -
  • We are pretty broke at the moment, so much needing doing around the house that we are having to be good and as I am sure you have heard me rant in recent weeks, I am fed up with stuff and buying things for the sake of it.  So we kept JJ's birthday very low key in terms of presents.  From dh, I and his sisters he received a pair of PJ's (so comfy Mum), a pair of trackie bottoms (Oh they are nice) and a DVD (you know I love Veggie tales don't you mum?)  and he was made up.  I spent the sum total of about £15 on him and he was content.  I love that about him, long may it last.  Yes he also received near £200 from everyone else and is now pondering a 3DS or DSi XL.
  • We are having a weekend in Clacton at a carvan park this weekend. JJ decided that he would like a weekend away rather than a party and when I can book with Tesco deals vouchers, who am I to argue with that? We are taking JJ's 7 year old cousin with us so we will have 4 excited kids - wish us luck!  This could really go either way, I am a bit worried when the boys Mum and Grandma both wish me luck when I say about him coming with us.
  • I have even more deals vouchers that we will be using to help fund the weekend.  A day out to Colchester zoo and a meal out as well.
  • JJ decided at the weekend that he wanted desserts rather than a birthday cake, so we had chcocolate gateux and cheesecake (his choice) but I felt that we ought to just mark the actual day so we had some chips from the chip shop and a chocolate cake from Aldi, it cost £1.29 and tasted good.  Can you believe that?  Just shows you can have fun on a budget.
  • JJ and I topped his birthday off with a few games of wobbly chef and some cuddles with Holby City.  A great night.


So how are you all this week?  Feeling grateful?  No, well then this is your perfect opportunity to turn it around, count your blessings, write a post and link up.  If you are new to #R2BC then check out HERE for more info.

Sorry I did not get round to everyone last week, it was a tad busy with the MADS, I will try to get to eveyone this week but I will have a PC free weekend while we are away.  Need to spend some time with my handsome hubbie and remember why I fell in love with him.

Over to you....

Monday, 3 October 2011

Notes from the Heart... The #Mumentum Edition

Scales,

Do you have to be so honest with me? What is a little lie between friends. I was dong so well when I lost 10lb in one week, how have I managed to put 5lb of that back on. What? It was the cakes and sweets that I have started to eat again. OK point taken, you could be right. I need to cut those out this week.

Cheers from the one who has been found out.
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Dear Camera Makers,

Have any of you ever considered making a camera which can knock a couple of stone off a person when it takes a photo?  What about an adjustable gage so you can say how much weight to knock off the person when the photo is taken.

I have looked at the photos from the MADS last Friday and whilst I felt I looked good (yes fat, but good) when I looked in the mirror, I see the photos and they tell me another story.

Posing with Ruth, Geek Mummy and Nickie, Typecast

Hey Slimavite,

Where are my shakes?  I am really looking forward to starting my diet with you and getting going but I need the shakes here to be able to do that.

With anticipation, Mich x
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Dear Self,

Are you really looking forward to starting your diet again?  Come on be honest.  If you can not be honest with yourself then we do not have a lot of hope.

Remember it will be hard work and at times it may be boring but it will be so worth it if you can just apply yourself and keep with it, look how stunning Lou looked when you saw her Friday, use that as your motivation to know Slimavite works.

From straight talking Mich
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Dear Bed,

Thank you so much for being cosy, I really love you and at the moment you are doing a great job of enticing me in at a decent time.  This is making a difference and I feel refreshed.  Long may this last.

From sleepy head
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Dear addict,

I hate you, go away!  I will conquer you.  One day soon I will no longer find it hard to resist all the things that I know are bad for me.  I will feel able to deal with what life throws at me without turning to you to comfort me and stifle my emotions, pushing away any bad feelings that I have.  I intend to grow stronger and to handle my life without you......  Be Gone!

From the one who will conquer
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You get the picture?  I am not on form at the moment.  I had every intention to be good again today and had my slimfast for breakfast and then by 10am I was starving and the time of the month hit me yet again and that was it, I gave in.  I did not even really try to resist if I am honest.  Tomorrow I must remember to get up and pray and ask for help, for I can not do this alone.

Linking up to Kat's Dear So and So and Liska's #Mumentum


Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Day After the MAD Night Before!

The question on my lips all day has been 'was it worth it?'

Thankfully I have not been sick today, even after a ton of booze my sensible head kicked in and we went for food and water before falling asleep.  I think I shocked my lovely roomie @Kykaree when I stumbled into the room just before 3am but still look my false eyelashes and make up off, cleaned my teeth and washed my face - yes I really am that boring!

Today has been a day of waking up too early, feeling pretty darn awful, that sort of half death feeling, sweating alcohol and neglecting my kids. Thankfully dh was here looking after them so when I crawled into bed about 2pm and did not get out again until close to 7pm it was OK. A wasted day yes but thankfully OK. So many times I have felt like shouting 'shut up', Mummy is tender, I don't like this feeling and no thanks I don't want to eat your plastic food but instead I smiled and nibbled on my strawberry sunday that Miss E lovingly prepared for me.. Next time I am tempted by free booze I will recall this day and think nah, near 4 bottles of win does not suit you Mich!

But back to that question, 'was last night worth how crap I have felt all day?'  In the words of Gok Wan 'Hell yes!'

I had a ball last night at the MAD blog awards, sadly I did not win but when you lose to a worthy winner that makes it a lot easier to stomach.  I think Jane took it to extremes though when she hid her MAD award down her boobs so I could not get to it! Look at that smug face...


It is a long time since I have really let my hair down like I did last night.  I had just the best time as I stayed with some people who I really value and now class as good friends. We started with a superb Turkish late lunch with @AllforAleyna showing off her fluent Turkish, I then enjoyed getting ready and everyone seemed to agree that my sparkly silver glitter eyes were pretty cool. I felt special in my new Marks and Spencer outfit complete with sparkly jewelery and bag and boy was I glad I went for the sensible shoes when we realised that the MADS were a standing event this year!

Here I am with the beautiful Liska from New Mum Online, she makes me look like a giant!  Then thanks to Lindy over at Squidgyboo for the full length photo,

Photo Credit

The wine flowed at the awards and I got to say hi to loads of great people and spent time with some diamonds. Later a few of us headed out for al fresco drinks until 1.30am and then on for a burger and chips up Shaftesbury Ave. Thanks @SAHMLovingIt @seasiderclare @clairelouise82 @superamazingmum @bobbity666 @allforaleyna I was so pleased to spend extended time with you all and it was great to get to talk.

I've just seen @Nickie72 tweeting that she does not have many photos of her from the night, so I'll share this treat with you.....  Nickie posing with the one who pretends to be an evil overlord, but look at her - pussycat!


Thanks to all who made last night happen - Sally, Jen, the ton of blogger helpers, TalkTalk, Parentdish and all the sponsors. I'm looking forward to next year already.....  well as long as my gorgeous readers want to vote for me again!

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