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

Subscribe to #SlimmingSunday

* indicates required


-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, 14 April 2017

Tree Top Junior Adventure with Go Ape - Fabulous Summer Fun!


Wednesday I took the kids and the little boy I coach over to Bedgebury for the day. This is a Forestry Commission site of around 2200 acres and it is pretty amazing, we will definitely be visiting again.

Our purpose for going there yesterday was for the kids to try out the Go Ape Tree Top Junior Adventure which is sited within the forest. I've heard of Go Ape before but being a totally non-sporty type I've ever investigated as the idea of being up in the air with a harness as a very large lady is not appealing. I'm sure I've asked my children before as well and they have all been very non-committal.

I think a couple of years of Cub Scouting must have made my (near 10 year old) girls more adventurous as this time when I asked they jumped at the challenge and I knew that the little boy I coach would love it as he is like a monkey, climbing every tree he sees. I then asked my 13 year old if he wanted to go with the smaller kids and I fully expected him to laugh at me as he never really wants to spend time with his sisters but he too jumped at the chance, telling me that Go Ape is ace (despite him never having tried it before).

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Family Fun at Wookey Hole - The Variety Attraction (Somerset)



We are down in Somerset currently; it isn't an area we have really explored before but we always pass through on our annual visit to our favourite Christian festival at Butlins, Minehead. This year I tried to book our normal pit-stop hotel in Bristol and it was so expensive so we looked elsewhere and settled on Weston-Super-Mare and as it isn't an area we know we took the opportunity to have a couple of days here and extend our break away.

What a fab area this is, we made a good choice and I'd happily return another time to explore further. There is a very grand looking pier that we didn't get to go on as we arrived too late and the beach is sandy and massive but the kids favourite part was the 2p arcades and they came away with a ton of keyrings, noisy putty, sweets and other assorted novelties that they won.

Before we came away I was having a browse of what was in the local area and I spotted we were only about 30 minutes away from Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole. I knew I'd been to the area as a Girl Guide many, many years ago and recall I really loved visiting the caves. I have this memory of being told the water in the caves had healing power and I can remember rubbing it on cut I had. Funny, how the oddest memories stay with you.

So when we headed to Wookey Hole today I expected to get a bout of nostalgia and silly me, it must of been Cheddar Gorge I visited when young as Wookey Hole was a whole new experience for me, a good one!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Making Good Choices for Me! #SlimmingSunday

I'm finding this verse very reassuring. Others may look at me and just see fat, God sees so much more!

Happy Sunday friends, how are you doing?

I do hope your slimming efforts are going well.  Well, better than mine anyway. You may have read last week that I was in a quandary as to what to do - do I still stay with Slimming World and attend class each week or would something else work better for me? I wasn't sure but I knew I definitely need to stay focused on being more healthy and losing some weight.

So I've spent the week in thought and prayer, coming to the conclusion that I am going to step away from attending my Slimming World class at the moment as the timings don't really work for me but what I'll do instead is attend a weekly exercise class where I can also weigh-in.

I used to go to this class and I know the instructor and many of the people who attend and also (wonderfully) it is run in the grounds of my home, so you can't get much more convenient than that. I only stopped going as it is on the same night as the course I've been doing at church but that is now coming to an end and I pray the content of it and the personal exploration and reflection that I have been doing as a result of it will result in me being able to really get my teeth into this healthy eating lark and make some changes for life.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Fabulous Week - London, Haircuts and Feeding the Lambs #R2BC

My lovely Mum at the weekend

Morning friends, I hope the day is going well for you.

All is good here in East Sussex, it's been a busy week getting everything done so I can go away at the weekend to Spring Harvest at Butlins in Minehead for a fab week with my family and God will be at the centre.

To link up next week and for all of April you'll need to head over to see Becky at Lakes Single Mum as she is the April host and I'll be back again in May. Well I'm sure I'll be around before then, you can't keep me away from sharing my cheer!

So what has made me cheerful this week? Loads, here are a few snippets -
  • Last weekend I had a fab time with my Mum staying at the Mercure Hotel in Kensington, London, we were only together 27 hours but it really was that cliche of 'quality' time.
  • We saw the musical Beautiful, the Carole King story and it was awesome, definitely one to be recommended.
  • We had a great shop and Mum treated me to some new clothes, tops, a cardie and a dress ready for my summer holiday in May. It is such a long time since I've been properly shopping and things fitted, it felt great.
  • I visited the Nourish Foodbank in Tunbridge Wells last Friday to see how some funding from Comic Relief had made a difference to them. It was such an inspiring visit and you can read about it over here if you fancy.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Great Personal Service at the Mercure, London Kensington

Last weekend to celebrate Mothers Day, my lovely Mum and I headed up to London for 24 hours together, just us, no kids and no real agenda. We've done it before and had an amazing time and we vowed this year that it will become an annual thing.


24 hours (or 27 to be precise) doesn't sound much but it is amazing what you can fit in. I met Mum at Waterloo and we headed straight over to Leicester Square to the official half-price theatre ticket booth to see if we could bag some good ticket for an evening performance. After success booking for Beautiful. the Carole King musical we enjoyed a toastie and coffee together watching the world go by in this busy part of London.

The rest of our Saturday was filled with checking into our hotel and having a relax there, some serious shopping on Kensington High Street, a fabulous dinner at Prezzo over on New Oxford Street and of course seeing the amazing West-end production of Beautiful. It really is an amazing show and both Mum and I highly recommend it.

Sunday was a much more chilled day where we got up late, enjoyed a full English breakfast at the hotel and then had a walk around Kensington with a little shopping and of course coffee before I dropped Mum back at Waterloo and headed back to my family.

Mercure, London Kensington
But enough about our time together this post is actually about our stay at the small and intimate Mercure Hotel in Kensington. This 82 bedroom hotel is situated on the Cromwell Road and that makes it super easy to access. It you are travelling by tube it is between Gloucester Road and Earls Court and then around a 7 minute walk from either but because you are in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea it is a really pleasant stroll as the buildings and area are so beautiful.



Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Miss E's love of Juice Glorious Juice! #FruitJuiceBoost


I can't recall a time when Miss E hasn't been pestering me for a glass of juice. Even at nearly 10 years of age it is her drink of choice. No fizzy pop for her, she just isn't interested but 100% pure unsweetened juice or maybe a homemade smoothie and she is as happy as Larry (whoever he is!).

She affectionately calls OJ her 'brain juice' and insists on having a glass of it at breakfast as one of her recommended 5-a-day. I've always been happy with this as combined with a bowl of porridge or weetabix and milk it is a healthy breakfast that helps her stay full and focused on learning until her break time at school.

Research (1) shows that only 8% of 11-18 year olds achieve their minimum 5-a-day consumption of fruit and vegetables, so a small glass (150ml) of pure juice is a nice easy way to fill one of those five slots and perfectly I've found that 150ml fits in the empty Nutella glass nicely and makes it easy for Miss E to be able to measure out her own drink in the morning.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Nourish Community Foodbank, Where Every Tin is a Hug

L-R Lesley Darcy, Assistant Operations Manager. Dawn Stanford, Operations Manager
and Marianne MacDonald, Trustee

I've just spent the last few hours in a Big Yellow Self Storage unit and do you know what? I had the best time, I haven't laughed like I did in ages. This is no average storage unit, let me tell you. This is the home of the Nourish Community Foodbank where I've spent the morning in the company of three super passionate women who are each making a difference in their community.

'Every tin is a hug' is the wisdom imparted in me today from Marianne MacDonald, Trustee of the Nourish Community Foodbank. She told me this is how she explains her voluntary work to her daughter and she went on to say 'Nourish is so much more than just food, it is a helping hand, a squeeze, a hug and a feeling there are complete strangers who care'. Marianne talked with passion about how making donations to a food bank such as Nourish is conscious giving, people have made a choice to add extra shopping to their basket or to open their cupboard and see what they can donate, it is so much more involved than just putting loose change in a tin.

She is of course right and I see this first-hand as I also volunteer in my local foodbank in Hastings. Nourish is like no other food bank I've ever seen though, they operate from the Big Yellow Self Storage building and are gifted a 200 sq ft unit by them and have been for the last few years. Their team of volunteers meet there each week to weigh, sort and pack the food and the food parcels are then delivered straight to the door of the person in need, removing any obstacles such as transport or ill health from stopping them getting their much needed food, toiletries and personal items.

Making my Mind Up & Working on Forgiveness #SlimmingSunday

Clocking up some steps last weekend with all my family at National Trust, Petworth House

Morning friends,

How are you today? Well I hope. If you are a Mum I wish you a very happy Mothers Day but remember it is just another day and if it doesn't turn out as you hoped it doesn't mean that your kids love you any less. There can be far too much pressure for perfection on days like this.

So on with the matter in hand - slimming! Or perhaps in my case a lack of slimming, I'm really not sure, as for my sanity it feels as if I'm better not stepping on the scales right now. As you know I didn't make it to my Slimming World group last week and yesterday I was away in London with my Mum (I still am) so I should have gone to the Tuesday afternoon group but that would of meant running in getting weighed and running out before the kids got home from their after school club and I found myself umming and aching about whether I really need/want to go to a slimming group at the moment. I'd have had to pay £10 for that quick weight in (two weeks fees) and I felt as if I'd get nothing for it.

For sure, I know that I want and need to lose weight but I think being accountable by this linky and through a Facebook group I have with some slimming friends I actually get the support I need. I really love the consultant at the Slimming World group I've been attending but all her classes are so busy that you don't really get to have a conversation with her and Saturday mornings just seem to fill up with kids activities and holidays. I do really like the short talk that she does each week but it always seems to start late as so many people arrive late to weigh in and then the image therapy (or people sharing their tips / successes) doesn't really inspire me too much. Maybe I've been around the Slimming circuit for too long and actually know most of the tips, I just need to put them into action?

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Review: iFit Vue Activity Tracker


With Mothers day just a couple of days away wouldn't it be great to be able to give your Mum a really different present. Something she can enjoy for a very long time and not just a day like chocolates or a week like some flowers?

Well you can. The iFit Vue activity tracker would make an excellent gift and just think you'd be encouraging your Mum to move more and become healthier and ultimately that could mean she lives a longer and fuller life. Result, right?

But I'm not just recommending something that I haven't tried out as I don't believe in that. I like to be honest and tell it as it is when I'm writing about a product. So I have had my 13 year old son JJ on the case this week, setting up the iFit Vue and fully testing it out.

What do you get in the box?
JJ took everything out the box and there is a tracker pod and charger, which you'll need to plug into a USB port to use. You also get two wristbands as standard. a S/M which fits from pretty small wrists (it s OK for my 9 year old girls) to an average woman's and a M/L which fits even my large husband, so there is a good variety of sizes. The clasp on the band is very simple to use and it can be put on and off easily.

Reasons to be Cheerful - Happy Mothering Sunday #R2BC

Lucky me, the girls made me breakfast in bed

Happy Thursday friends,

How are you doing? I'm having a funny old week. there is nothing particularity wrong but I've had that horrible feeling that sometimes crops up. Do you know what I mean? Where you just feel something isn't right and is a bit off kilter but you've no real idea what is causing the way you feel. No matter, I'm going to press through it and not give in to the doldrums.

This coming Sunday
This week's #R2BC post is all about celebrating Mothering Sunday. Firstly I am really looking forward to this weekend when I'm away in London with my Mum. Just the two of us for around 36 hours doing whatever we feel like doing. We are staying at the 4 star Mercure Kensington hotel and planning to hit the theatre, shops and at least a couple of good restaurants. To be truthful whatever we do will be fine by me as we always have a lovely time in each others company and this break away is long overdue.

The last time we had a weekend in London together was in 2014 as we planned one in 2015 but my Dad got taken into hospital and we had to cancel. Then in 2016 we had a weekend away with my girls to a Haven caravan park, which was nice but nothing beats time just the two of us in 'the big smoke' as my Mum would say!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Creating a Memorable Mothers Day with Tesco

Mum and I in 2014 when we had a Mothers Day away together in London

My readers will know that I pride myself on being organised and ahead of the game but it appears that when it comes to gifts for special days like Mothers Day I am in the minority. Tesco revealed that more than half a million (1) time-strapped Brits will buy their Mother’s Day gift on the day itself, rushing to shopping aisles just over an hour before midday, at 10.53am on Mothering Sunday.

It saddens me a little to think of all those people probably heading to their mothers house for a nice Sunday roast (that Mum has cooked) and this is when they stop to think about getting her some flowers or chocolates to say thanks for all she has done for them. Of course those thanks shouldn't just be on Mothers Day and it is only right to show your mum that you appreciate her any time of the year but it is great to have a special day dedicated to mothers everywhere.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

What does a 13 Year Old do with his Inset Day from School?


On Friday it was an inset day at JJ's secondary school. I'm not sure what most of his friends do when it's an inset day but I suspect there are very few of them that do what JJ does and say "Yes Mum! Can I come to food bank with you?".

This is probably the fourth or fifth time that JJ has chosen to spend his day off school with me serving at the Hastings food bank and what does he get out of it you might wonder? Well firstly, he gets to spend the day with his mum of course. Then I sometimes take him to the local Premier Inn for a buffet breakfast before we start work and he also gets the satisfaction of a good days work and having helped some people.

I wouldn't say that at 13 years JJ is particularly altruistic so I don't think his main reason for doing it is because he loves to help others but to be frank it doesn't really matter to me. The fact that he comes along willingly, spends around four hours there and mucks in and helps the whole time are enough. He'll be learning so much from these experiences and they are not skills he'd pick up in the classroom so I'm happy.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

8 Low Syn Slimming World Snack ideas to keep You on Track #SlimmingSunday

If you are on the Slimming World plan you'll know that it is all about the free food and syns. The average person can have between 5 - 15 syns a day but someone larger like me gets 20, although of course it is better to not have so many and then you can see great weight loss results.

I find that my real struggle time is the evening and as such I always try to plan in a yummy treat for the evening and use my syns for it. I often don't want to use that many though as I need them throughout the day for things like my milk in tea, butter on my toast or ryvita, sauces, gravy or a little treat.

So here are 10 low syn treats that keep me motivated and wanting to lose weight but without feeling like I am missing out -

1.  Quark and highlight with mini marshmallows (4 syns)
This is probably my favourite evening treat as it is sweet, creamy and filling. I use half a tub of fat-free quark and mix it with a highlight or Options chocolate powder sachet (1.5-2 syns it varies for which one you use, so check), it mixes really well and is like a chocolate cheesecake.

I also like to add 10g of mini marshmallows on the top for extra sweetness and indulgence. You can see you get around 30 mini marshmallows for the 10g (you get 25g for 4 syns, so I class these as 2 syns).

I also have a friend who likes to turn this into a cheesecake and she has a crushed light digestive biscuit (3 syns) at the bottom and instead of the marshmallows she has raspberries ad a drizzle of choc shot (1/2 for a level tsp). Add on the chocolate powder and that makes a 5.5 syn dessert.



2.  Raspberry Jelly/ mouse (1/2 syn per dish)
With this one you make up some sugar free jelly (I used raspberry - 2 syns for whole packet, so all 4 desserts shown here), add in a pot of mullerlight (I used vanilla) and some fruit for speed and allow it to set. Bets eaten on the day it is made I find but it does take about 4 or 5 hours to set properly.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Hearing from God, Weight Loss and Being Content - #R2BC


It's Thursday, how are you friends?  I'm good this week. I still have a lingering cough from being poorly last week but in general I'm feeling much better.

Here are a few of the things making me super cheerful this week -
  1. I lost 4.5 lbs at my weigh in last Saturday and I'm praying for another loss this Saturday
  2. I've been listening to the God Centered Mom podcast for quite some time now and I just adore it. Heather has the most wonderful guests on her show and they have so much wisdom to share with me
  3. I'm back doing a bit of voluntary work for my husband at the conference centre where we live and I had forgotten how much I enjoy working alongside the wonderful community there
  4. The weather is cheering up and we are even seeing glimpses of the sun. This makes me so happy as I can start to get out and walk more
  5. I really felt tuned in to what God was saying to me last week and as a result I wrote a letter from God to all Mums. I was so blessed by how it was received and I had lots of comments, emails and messages from Mums who said it had spoken to the very heart of them and it has given me some great opportunities to pray for people and to hear from God
  6. As I cleaned the church hall on Tuesday I had a deep moment of contentment and I realised that I am happy with my life and much of the time I feel content. For forty-odd years I have raced through life and done everything at 60mph speed but I am finally learning that it isn't a crime to slow down and enjoy the things I do, living in the moment. I totally see this as a sign of spiritual growth and realising I don't need to earn anyone's love, especially not God's and this is an important step in my recovery from compulsive overeating
  7. I enjoyed watching the Good Karma Hospital tonight snuggled up on the sofa with my girls, one each side of me
Wow, what an eclectic mix there. I had no idea what I was going to write for my reasons, I just sat down and poured my heart out and this is where it led me this week! I realise if you are not a Christian there is a lot of God stuff there this week but to be honest, that is me and my life and if you can't be authentic on your own blog then where can you be?

Fancy joining in?

So now it is your turn. Why don't you link up a post about what is floating your boat right now? Share your joy, your lust for life and your gratitude and I assure you that you'll feel better for doing so. When we choose to live content, positive and happy things are always far better. 

I'd love to read your Reasons to be Cheerful and it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to join in -

1. Link up a post about something that is making you super happy/ grateful. It can be in this style or it can be anything you like - a recipe, a tutorial, a from the heart, a list - it's your blog, you choose

2. Add the #R2BC badge onto your post or blog so that people can easily find the linky and join in too if they fancy

3.  Share the love. This is the really important bit. Please don't just link and run, comment on at least a couple of posts and share with #R2BC

I'll stop by all linked up posts to comment and I'll share on twitter too

Wishing you an amazing week ahead. Be blessed, Mich x

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Beachside Fun in their Berghaus Coats #CountryKids

After a long morning at church followed by a meeting we were all ready to head out for some fresh air and family time. My favourite sleepy seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea was the destination and the girls had chosen to take a scooter each. JJ hadn't and I think totally regretted it, he often forgets he is just 13 and not thirty, so he had to join my husband and I for a walk along the prom whilst the girls raced around and JJ bagged a scooter at intervals when the girls wanted to walk on the beach.



No winner was declared but they both had lots of fun and of course got in some great exercise. Even when it is overcast and a little rainy it is still important to get outdoors and enjoy family time.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

A Much Better Week for #SlimmingSunday

Variety is the spice of life they say and certainly keeping my food interesting helps me to say on plan

Happy Sunday friends,

I hope you are well and enjoying the weekend. Thanks so much to all those who joined in with mine and Mrs Shilts first Slimming Sunday last week, it was great to read your posts and I look forward to seeing you again today. Although no pressure, link up every week or just sporadically it is fine with us.

I'll jump straight in there and share my week -

What I've learnt this week
  • That being ill is a hindrance to weight loss as sadly I don't lose my appetite like many do but I do lose my motivation to prepare healthy food
  • That I find it even harder to concentrate on being healthy when I am tired. I'm not even tired because I feel poorly but because Miss M has been poorly and has been waking me each night
Successes for this week
  • Despite being ill I haven't thrown the towel in, I have still been conscious to eat well
  • I resisted the urge to have a KFC on Thursday on my way home and instead had an M&S balanced for you thai green curry (about 800 calories less)
  • I mainly stuck with my food plan
  • I have drunk loads more water this week

Friday, 10 March 2017

Why Every Mum Needs Teepee, the Messaging App for Recommendations


Have you noticed since becoming a parent (or even since falling pregnant if we are honest) that there is just so much more to life. More to do, more to worry about, more to buy, more to feel and yes of course there is more love too and it is really worth it but boy is it easy to get bogged down in all the stuff!

That is why I’m very pleased to have found Teepee, the messaging app for recommendations. When I find a hairdressers that I like and one that will cut both my girls hair for a good price I want to be able to tell all my local friends about it and shout it from the rooftops but it’s not easy to do that.  When my kids were younger I met friends every week at toddler group or baby rhyme time and I’d just tell them about my great finds but now most friends work and we don’t see each other so often.

The place to spread the news nowadays seems to be Facebook but come on, it is so crowded and what I want to say just gets lost in the noise and the people I want to see the message don’t. Or maybe they do but by the time they want to get their child’s hair cut they have totally forgotten who shared a recommendation with them as it is seventy posts down their timeline.

How cool would it be if you and your friends all had an app where you could share all kinds of recommendations? Anything from the restaurants that do great kids menus, where to buy well-priced school shoes, books that might suit your child’s age to recipe and activity ideas to keep the kids busy during half-term.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The ABC of Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC


Good morning friends. When I was pondering this R2BC post yesterday I just couldn't think what I was going to write about. Now don't get me wrong it is not that I don't have things to be cheerful about. I'm feeling really quite happy, content and grateful right now but I have been doing this for so long that I just felt it all might be a bit boring and I might have said it all before.

But then I gave myself a virtual kick up the bum and reminded myself that when I post for R2BC I am amongst friends and no-one is going to mind (or even perhaps remember) if I have been cheerful for this same reason before.

As I was struggling for inspiration I decided to go back to an old method of mine and use the alphabet to help me focus, so here is my ABC of gratitude this week -

A - Anchor
I am so grateful that I have Jesus as my anchor. When things are not going the way I want them to it helps me immensely to know that my plans are not perfect but His are and all I have to do is keep trying as the good will come. He can never love me any more of any less than He does right now and that makes me the luckiest woman alive.

B - Being Bold
I'm proud to take steps that in years gone by I'd have considered bold and beyond my capabilities. Last week I delivered a letter to my local MP's office to urge him to speak up in parliament about the injustice that 130 million denied an education currently. He wasn't there so I didn't get to chat to him but it was good to get out from behind the PC and do something tangible.

C - Fight for Change
In the same vein as the above I am so proud to fight for what I believe in and campaign for change that must happen. I'm also really enjoying passing this passion on to my kids and asking them to get involved and help me.

They each made a short video to add to the ONE #GirlsCount campaign last week and now their voices are combined with the likes of Bono, Malala Yousafzai, Sheryl Sandberg and Charlize Theron shouting out that no girl of that 130 million will be forgotten as they all count.  You can join in too if you fancy as one are counting from 1 to 130 million so there are plenty of people needed!



Fancy joining in?
That's it for this week, 3 short and sharp reasons to be cheerful and that was the basis of this linky when it started way back in January 2011. Everyone can join in, as when we dig deep there is always something to be thankful for and to give you even a hint of a smile! I'd love to read your Reasons to be Cheerful and it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (or even A, B, C this week) to join in -

1. Link up a post about something that is making you super happy/ grateful. It can be in this style or it can be anything you like - a recipe, a tutorial, a from the heart, a list - it's your blog, you choose

2. Add the #R2BC badge onto your post or blog so that people can easily find the linky and join in too if they fancy

3.  Share the love. This is the really important bit. Please don't just link and run, comment on at least a couple of posts and share with #R2BC

I'll stop by all linked up posts to comment and I'll share on twitter too

Wishing you an amazing week ahead. Be blessed, Mich x

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart


-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Stepping out of my comfort zone for women everywhere. #IWD2017



Today is international women's day and there is no way I could let this day go by without writing about the injustice that many women face in our world. I've learnt from my Nan and Mum how different things were for women in their day and still even now there are barriers for women in the UK to achieve the same as men but that's not what I'm writing about today.

I understand it is annoying or even infuriating that we can't earn the same wage as a man, achieve the highest level jobs or gain access to some exclusive clubs but compare that to girls and women in many countries not being able to access education, work in many professions, vote, own a home, inherit land or feel safe and the plight of equality for women in the U.K. pales considerably. There are women fighting and championing for this cause and that is right, as we all have our own passions and causes that set us alight.

My passion, the one that breaks my heart is for all those living in extreme poverty in developing countries. Yes, some of these countries many look rich on the face of it but I can't ignore their people as 'they are not helping themselves'. We all know the old saying 'the rich get richer and the poor get poorer' and it breaks my heart that it is often true. You might have seen that in 2012 I travelled to Ethiopia with ONE (the most amazing campaigning and advocacy organisation, seeking to see an end to extreme poverty) to see the difference that British and US aid made to the people there. It was a trip I'll never forget and one day I pray I'll get to take more trips to developing countries where I can offer my assistance, love and prayers.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Live - Family Ticket Giveaway

The giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to the lucky winner Rebecca.


My children are sadly too old for Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom nowadays and whilst I am happy they have outgrown most early years TV programmes, I am genuinely a little sad about this as I really loved this one. It was my favourite and the character I loved best was Nanny Plum, she has such a wonderful no-nonsense attitude and manner about her. And what is it with all that tension between her and the Wise Old Elf?

I can picture now rockets powered by jelly, ice cream floods and very hungry gnomes, there are many fun story lines that keep both kids and adults engaged and because of the success of the superb writing and fun TV shows Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom is now a live show on the road touring the UK and Ireland this year until 23rd July 2017.


The reviews have been really good and audiences seem to be enjoying the one hour show and with an interval to break up that time, with parents declaring it as a 'perfect first theatre school for pre-schoolers'. It seems that Fiery Light Productions have done a great job of bringing all magic of the show on the small screen to the stage in this exciting musical adventure.

Ben and Holly have fun and games helping Gaston clean up his messy cave; they go on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum; and still have time to plan a surprise for King Elf’s birthday party, complete with an unplanned jelly flood. Packed full of games, songs and laughter, this is an enchanting and magical visit to the Little Kingdom. This beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence will delight all the family.

Watch the trailer and see what you think for yourself -

 

Win a Family Ticket to Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Live
As I mentioned before my kids at near 10 really are too old and in their opinion too cool to go and enjoy this show so instead I am giving you, my lucky readers the chance to win a family ticket for a show to your choice of venue across the UK or Ireland. A family ticket is normally 2 adults and 2 children but the promoter can squeeze in another child if you happen to be a family of 5, just let me know if I announce you as the winner.

The lucky winner can also have a Meet & Greet with the stars of the show if you would like, but you need to be aware that this option is only available at the last show on the first day of performance at each theatre. If you're not worried about a meet & greets then you ca choose any of the showing times/ dates but of course they will be subject to availability. Make sure you check out the full T&C's below.

You can see where the performance is showing by checking out the Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Live website.

Enter now -
All you have to do to enter is leave an answer to the following question in the comments below and fill in the Rafflecopter widget so I have your contact details should you be the lucky winner and there are also loads of additional entries available via the widget if you wish to increase your chances of winning. The winner will be chosen at random by the widget after the closing time of  12am 21st March 2017.

Q - What is the name of the ladybird in Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom? 
A - George, Gary or Gaston?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wishing you the best of luck!

Terms and Conditions
  • The prize draw will close at 12am on 21st March 2017. 
  • The winner of this prize draw will be chosen at random. 
  • The winner will receive a family ticket (up to 5 people) for a performance of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Live at a venue of their choice (subject to availability). 
  • If you wish to have a meet and greet you can only attend the last performance of the day on the first opening night at each theatre. 
  • The winner will be announced on this blog and twitter within 7 days of the giveaway close. 
  • The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. 
  • The winner of the prize needs to be a UK resident and be over 18 years of age. 
  • The winner will have 14 days from announcement to email/ tweet me and provide the details requested by Dressing Room 5 (the Promoter). 
  • If the winner does not contact me I will re-draw. Dressing Room 5 is responsible for the fulfilment of this prize.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Welcome to Slimming Sunday with Me and Mrs Shilts #SlimmingSunday

Planning for food for the week is key to my successful weight loss

Welcome. It's so great to see you here for the first post in the #SlimmingSunday series. Emma at Life according to Mrs Shilts and I will be hosting this new linky each week and we'd love for you to join in.

Emma is a bit of a pro at Slimming World and has been following the plan for as long as I've known her (that must be at least 6 years or maybe more) and I highly recommend this great post if you are starting out on a Slimming World weight loss journey.

I am currently on Slimming World but I've tried out most diets and also Overeaters Anon for a few years as my weight is a lifelong battle and I've written about it quite extensively. As a Christian I suffer with guilt for being this big (I need to lose around 8 stone) as I know I am abusing the body that God gave me and also I end up feeling bad that I turn to food for comfort rather than turning to God. So that's what I am doing right now, working on freeing myself from this guilt as that isn't God's plan for me.

R2BC at Mummy from the HeartI'm doing a 'Living Free' course at the moment, designed to help me live in the freedom that God gives me and I am making headway in learning that I am enough just as I am, I am loveable, I am unique, I am accepted and I am free to be who I was designed to be.

I started out well in January and lost half a stone but if I am really honest my food has been a struggle the last few weeks and I feel a bit of a fraud starting this linky but Emma and I have been planning it for a while and to be frank I think it is just what I need to get to motivated again. I'm not going to want to report in once a week to you all without some good news now, am I?

My FitBit has been dug out and I've been taking part in a few friendly challenges and moving much more. I really can't wait for the nicer weather to be here so I actually want to go out for very long walks. My step total for last week was 74,517 and I'm fine with that as it averaged over the 10K a day they recommend.

What I've learnt this week
  • I have to plan and stick to it, it is not enough to just hope!
  • That I must not buy foods that tempt me and have them in the house
  • Not to go off the grid. I need to keep chatting daily with my SW friends and logging my foods and taking pictures. Accountability really works. 
Successes for this week
  • Moving more and being committed to wearing my FitBit even when my food hasn't been great
  • Spending lots of time with God and really working on loving and forgiving myself: Dumping the guilt!
Focus areas for the coming week
  • Drink a large glass of water before every meal (I've done this before and it helped curb me overeating)
  • Plan out my food for the week and stick to it. The online shop has already been ordered.
  • A strict week on plan, keeping a very close eye on my syns. Record everything super accurately
Results
  • This weeks result - 0.5 lbs, which is OK as I didn't really care for myself at all last week food wise
  • Weight loss to date in 2017 - 4.5 lbs
  • Starting BMI - 44.5       Current BMI - 43.6
Goals 
  • Gain my half a stone award next Saturday (so that means losing 2.5 lbs)
  • 2 stone loss by end of May for my Spain holiday
  • 2.5 stone loss by 22nd July for my Bournemouth Holiday
  • 3 stone loss by 15th August for my birthday
  • 5 stone loss by the end of the year (that feels very exciting typing that!)
How to Join in

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

2)  Grab the badge or add  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.

Emma and I will come and visit you too and tweet out your links. Feel free to tag us in with @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

-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Do You Know What your Kids are Doing Online?


Parenting is a completely different ball game in 2017 than it was when I was a child. My son is now 13 years old and he is a bit of a tech genius. When his teachers have an issue he helps, when we need to know about the latest developments on the web it is him we ask and he's even applied to school to be a paid Pupil IT Technician.

When I was 13 the only piece of tech I had used was a ZX Spectrum and there was no such thing as the world wide web. When my parents wanted me to disconnect they pulled the plug out if I wasn't listening. Now I have to pray that my son is listening and being honest with me and when I ask him to have a tech free day (we all need to detox regularly) that he does stay off his laptop, iPad and phone and also that he doesn't sneak onto one of his sisters tablets or head to a friends to play or browse there.

Access to the world wide web is a normality today and generally that is a good thing as we are all able to do so much more than we used to and in a fraction of the time but as a parent it can be a real worry as to what our kids are looking at and being exposed to. I'm sure we are all aware of good practises with our children - things like only allowing them to play, chat and browse in an open area of our house, like the lounge or kitchen and keeping an open channel for communications, so that if they do get in trouble they know they can come to you and talk about it but even better if we could have real peace of mind.

Have a look at these children (ranging in ages) talking about what they know about the Internet and then ask yourself if you know more and do you know how to keep them safe and protected from harmful material?


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful - Looking to the Future #R2BC

A post shared by Michelle Pannell (@michelletwinmum) on

Hello friends, welcome back to Reasons to be Cheerful, hosted here at Mummy from the Heart for the month of March.

How are you doing? I'm sorry I've been a bit AWOL from R2BC in February, life just seemed to get in the way and I haven't really blogged much for me, but I've been OK with that as it has given me time to be with the family, although the weather has prevented us doing anything too interesting.

We did have a fab day on Monday though as the conference centre where we live was closed and all the staff and community had a day together. We prayed, worshipped, sung gospel, danced salsa, did team games and ate lots and lots! Look at those muffins we decorated too!

Easter is on the Way!
Yesterday was the start of Lent, the period leading up to Easter where Christians shift their focus from self and external stuff and focus their thoughts on Jesus and what He did for us at Easter time. I don't much go in for the giving things up for Lent school of thought, although I definitely would if I felt something had an unhealthy hold over me. What I am doing is choosing to spend more intentional time with God each day, so my clock has been set half an hour earlier and I am doing a Psalms bible study as well as joining in with #40Acts, which is ll about being overly generous during Lent.

All booked up
I've just finished booking all the little bits and bobs that you need when travelling abroad, so this morning has been about hotels, car parking and airport transfers. Why did I need to book these things? Because we are off to Playa Montroig Camping Resort on the Costa Dorada, Spain late in May to review this holiday parc for Eurocamp.


I can't begin to tell you how excited we all are, as the parc looks amazing and the kids are really looking forward to trying out the four pools and five different water slides. Whilst I'm going to book into the spa one afternoon for a massage and manicure and my husband will be happy to explore the local area and practise his photography.

Time with my Hubby
Last Saturday my husband and I had an evening out together without the kids and it is so nice to be able to chat without constant interruptions. We didn't do anything massively glamorous (we went and reviewed a pub/ restaurants over in Brighton) but we had good food, a few laughs and a nice time together.

We also have this Saturday night together, as he got me tickets for Dirty Dancing at the theatre in Eastbourne for Christmas. I'm sure we'll have some food out too and I hope this will be a really nice evening together.

Fancy joining in?
That's it for this week, 3 short and sharp reasons to be cheerful and that was the basis of this linky when it started way back in January 2011. Everyone can join in, as when we dig deep there is always something to be thankful for and to give you even a hint of a smile! I'd love to read your Reasons to be Cheerful and it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to join in -

1. Link up a post about something that is making you super happy/ grateful. It can be in this style or it can be anything you like - a recipe, a tutorial, a from the heart, a list - it's your blog, you choose

2. Add the #R2BC badge onto your post or blog so that people can easily find the linky and join in too if they fancy

3.  Share the love. This is the really important bit. Please don't just link and run, comment on at least a couple of posts and share with #R2BC

I'll stop by all linked up posts to comment and I'll share on twitter too

Wishing you an amazing week ahead. Be blessed, Mich x

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart


-----------------------------------------------------------------
If you like what you have read and want to stay up-to-date then subscribe by email for free and receive blog posts directly to your in-box - just click the link Subscribe to Mummy From The Heart... by Email or perhaps you like to keep all your blog reading in one place, if that is the case you can follow me on BlogLovin too!Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Christian Bloggers UK - Joining in with the Easter Tag

Amazing paintings done whilst we were at Spring Harvest last year

I'm part of a lovely FB group called Christian Bloggers UK and it is open for new members but there are three conditions to join. Can you guess what they might be? Yes, it is super easy - Christian, blogger and UK based or born. So if you fit this criteria and want somewhere to share inspiration and ask questions, then head over and request to join.

Rachel, who blogs over at Rachel Ridler: Mum on a Mission is on of the admins of this group and she has tagged me to join in with the Easter tag. All I need to do is share my answers to a set of ten questions and then tag three other blogger friends to join in. So here goes.... 

1. How are you celebrating Lent this year?
I love Easter, it is probably my favourite Christian celebration of the year and Lent is the time that I start to get excited for it. I don't much go in for giving things up over Lent as I think so many people do it for selfish reasons or through obligation rather than because they want to make space to focus more on Jesus and what He did for us at Easter time. 

This year I am getting up half-an-hour earlier each day so I can do a Psalms bible study and pray more. I'm also joining in with the #40acts movement and dong Lent generously. I'll get an email each day with a few simple ideas of how I could be generous that day. Today I have dropped what I was doing to be a listening ear for someone and given them some practical help. Tomorrow - who knows!

2. What does Lent mean for you?
Lent for me is a time of preparation for Easter. I make space to focus more on God and less on me. As well as my early morning bible study I have also been listening to Christian podcasts today and I spent some time in the prayer centre creatively worshipping.