Saturday, 30 September 2017

Designed to be Different - What I Learnt at BritMums Live Today #BML17

Big Ben London and the River Thames

That I'm different
and it's OK to be different.

That my fashion sense isn't like anyone else's and that may be because I'm lacking in style
and I'm OK with that.

That I should have had a Diet Coke rather than wine last night
because I'm a Lightweight.

That flat lays will never be me, I just don't have that eye
but I have other talents.

That I don't have to conform
and I love the freedom that allows me.

That no-one else can do me as well as I can
so I need to embrace who I am and celebrate it.

That factors like DA, page views, sponsored post rates and TOTs scores don't define me
because I'm way more than a number.

That letting your blog and social presence change and evolve as you do is good
because being authentically you will always be more important than being liked.


That very few people know who I am nowadays
and I'm happy being under the radar.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

R2BC - Girly Time, Photography and #BML17 #R2BC


Generally its been a good week since I last caught up with you all but I have had at least a couple of times of those horrid uneasy feelings that just sometimes rear their head. Of course in the past what I might have done is eaten them away, to stuff anything uncomfortable back down but nowadays I am trying to be grown up and not do that.

So this week has been a week of thinking, praying and exploring my feelings with God. That isn't always easy but it is worthwhile and leads to really good things. I just don't know what they are as yet!

I'm not sure I've got it in me for a wordy post this week, so it is one of my quick fire lists of all the reasons I am grateful right now -
  1. The girls tried out Guides last week and loved it, it is just a shame they now have secondary school open evenings for the next two weeks. They can't wait to go again.
  2. I met a lovely lady from church last week of coffee and a walk along the sea front, it was really pleasant and good to get to know her a little more.
  3. I'm still going to the gym and actually quite enjoying it. I had a very good work out on Tuesday morning and met a couple of nice old chaps to chat too.
  4. I had a great day with the girls on Saturday as the boys headed into London, we had some shopping, lunch out and pampering time together before a night snuggled in front of the TV.
  5. Sunday we enjoyed family time in Bexhill where I set a photography challenge for the kids and we all really enjoyed having a prompt to focus on.
  6. I gave blood, which always gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
  7. I had the most wonderful shish kebab with a lovely friendly and we caught up and prayed together, it doesn't happen enough.
  8. I'm sat enjoying a very indulgent scone lunch as I write this post.
  9. Our new church connect group is starting tonight and we have managed to get a babysitter, so both my husband and I can go and that will be fab.
  10. I'm off to London Friday for BritMums Live and on the one hand it feels a tad scary as I'm not going with anyone, nor have I arranged to meet anyone. On the other it feels exciting as I am going to go with the flow. The plan is train up to London, lunch on the South Bank, a tour o Parliament, then an Instagram walk with other bloggers. After that I have no idea until the next morning, so I'll either meet some like minded folk to have dinner with or have a nice chilled evening in my hotel room. I'll let you know next week.

Come and Join In!

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 why not share with #R2BC too?

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


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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Good Health Begins at Home

Baby Girl with Messy Spaghetti Image, thanks to Shutterstock

Think fast! Where does your child spend most of their free time? The answer is your home, right?

Did you know that people spend 90 percent of their lives indoors? Putting two and two together, your child's health depends on the cleanliness of your home. Here's a guide that explains how good health begins at home.

Get Rid of Candles and Air Fresheners
You may use candles or air fresheners as a way to give your home a lovely fragrance. Unfortunately, the term air freshener isn't quite true. The indoor air quality (IAQ) of your home depends on the volume of pollutants in the air. In a strange twist, air fresheners do the exact opposite of what their name implies. These aromatic devices have volatile organic compounds that make your home's IAQ worse.

To improve your IAQ, you must stop using candles and air fresheners. Instead, you should switch to natural fragrances such as flower bouquets and ripe fruits. These changes will help your child's breathing.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Review: Romantic Break for Two at Giraffe Lodge, Port Lympne Reserve, Kent

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.

Recently it was my husbands 44th birthday and it happened to fall on his busiest work weekend of the year, so needless to say he slaved away and the day passed by pretty much unnoticed. I knew this would be the case so I was intent on finding a local night away for us that would be memorable. I needed it to be pretty close to where we live as we had limited time with a babysitter and at first I booked a night at the 5* Grand Hotel in Eastbourne for a spa stay over.

We then had our family day visiting Port Lympne Reserve in early August and as we travelled past Giraffe Lodge in the safari truck I knew this was where we were supposed to be staying. This really would be a special night away for the two of us, truly memorable and very different to anything we have ever done before. Thankfully when I spoke to Port Lympne they were very happy to host us and allow us to stay for the purpose of a full and honest review.

Take a look round the amazing Giraffe Lodge and UK safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve in Kent. An amazing stay for any couple wanting a unique and romantic break.
View from the Laapa restaurant, across the Romney Marshes and English Channel

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Could They be the Coolest Grandparents Ever?


I often think about how lucky my kids are. They have wonderful Grandparents and enjoy spending time with them. On the one hand I wish I'd had my children when I was younger and then my parents would have been younger too and that would have given them a lot more time before health complications got in the way of some of the things they want to do.

However what will be, will be and here we are. Yes, both of my parents have health ailments that now limit some of the activities they can be involved in but does that stop them having fun? Not at all.

For the last four years the children and I have headed off to Poole in Dorset with them for a fun week away whilst my husband is busy at work and when I ask the kids what their favourite type of holiday is, so we know what to book next year, they always say the one with my parents. Why? Well lets look at some of the qualities of my parents and get an idea of why my kids love them so much -

Friday, 22 September 2017

Yum, Enjoying Fresh Pressed Juice #CountryKids

I live in the most wonderful community. Once a month all the families meet to purposefully do something to get the children together who live on-site, there are now 17 of them and they range in age from 8 weeks to 14 years. It isn't easy to try and arrange something they all want to get involved with and to be honest my JJ has pretty much bailed out as the nearest boy in age to him is about 11 years younger!

Sometimes these meetings are real corkers, in the summer we had one where they all slid down a hill on a massive tarpaulin with water, last month they swam and had chips on the beach and this time we headed down to our walled garden. We have a fab couple here who manage this walled garden as an employability project to help people who are long-term unemployed develop new skills and regain confidence. It has been such a success since it started three years ago.

Last year at Harvest time Nick got all the children to help pick the apples so they could go off to be juiced as we have our own Ashburnham Place apple juice to sell. This year he went one better as he had invested in an apple press so we could juice our own.

First off the kids got the last of the apples off our trees and then picked some beetroot and rhubarb to compliment the apple and provide us with a variety of juices.

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

Then it was time for us all to set to work and get the fruit ready for juicing. First the fruit all needs an external wash.

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

Then it needs chopping into smaller rough pieces so it can easily be shredded for juicing. 

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

Once the apples are shredded up they can then go in the press and the heavy works starts but it is so satisfying watching that juice come running out.

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love


press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

The finished products, we has apple juice, apple and rhubarb and apple and beetroot, which was really delicious and of course looked beautiful too.

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love

Thanks so much to Nick for a wonderful educational time. 

Why not pin this post for later?

press your apples from the garden along with other fruit and vegetables to produce delicious and nutritious juices all the family will love


I'm linking this post up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for #CountryKids.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

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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

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful - The Gym, Chilling and Time with God

Hello friends, I hope this post finds you well. Sorry I am a bit late in the day with it. I remembered just as I was going to bed last night about 11pm that I hadn't written anything and I was supposed to be hosting, whoops! But to be honest I am quite pleased with myself that I didn't then sit up another hour and do it. I'm trying to be kind to myself at the moment and get good sleep as I know that it really affects my ability to eat well and want to exercise.

Eating Better
And you'll know just how much I need help on that front. I can't say I have been the best with food this week but I have definitely been better, I just need to remember to keep taking the medication that the doctor has given me and that means remembering to eat low-fat otherwise I pay the consciences in the bathroom (if you get what I mean!) and its not pleasant.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Without Me...


  • The kids wouldn't get up, ready and out on time each morning for school
  • They'd have to walk the 5 miles to school along the main road with no paths
  • No homework would get done
  • There would to no holidays organised or enjoyed
  • Planned family day trips would be sparse
  • Christmas and birthdays would pass by unnoticed
  • No one would receive a thank you, how are you or greeting card
  • Family members would never get visited
  • The bills wouldn't get paid
  • All the insurances would lapse
  • The family wouldn't have home cooked meals all together at the table
  • In fact there might not be any food in the house
  • School lunch bookings and payments would be forgotten
  • The house would be in disarray, things wouldn't get tied away until weeks later and the dust would build
  • Everyone would have to dress from the laundry pile
  • The kids would look quite humorous in clothes and shoes a couple of sizes too small, as nothing new has been bought
  • The items to go to the charity shop or dump would build up and up
  • All the regular dentist, doctors and eye checks would be forgotten
  • Everyone would look like a shaggy dog without any haircuts
  • Various charities would be one volunteer down  
Basically our family wouldn't function too well but I haven't written this to have a dig at anybody. My husband and I have moved to quite defined roles since we moved to East Sussex, its very traditional nowadays, he earns the family money (amongst other things) and I look after the kids and our home. However, if I wasn't around, hes a very capable man and he'd do it all.

I'm very thankful that I am able to be around for whenever the children or my husband need me. I used to feel so compromised when I worked out of the home and couldn't always make assembly's or open afternoons at school.

No, the reason I wrote this list is to remind ME of all the things I do, of the value I have to our family, of the input I make. All my life I have based my value on my earnings, outcomes and job title. Now I am Mum, who volunteers and earns under £5K a year, it doesn't sound so impressive.

But when I sat down and really thought it through. This is enough. I work a lot of hours each day keeping the house running, the family functioning and ensuring that the place where we all live is a home and not just a shell. And I enjoy it, yes on the one hand I'd love to have a paid job again, to gain that satisfaction of working and achieving goals and making a difference.

However the kids are now nearly 14, 10 and 10 and their childhood is whizzing past so I must enjoy this blessing of being able to be here. I still have another 30 odd years to work if I so wish. I have no idea where God will lead me in the future but He has wonderful plans for me and I just need to wait on Him and trust that right now is a season for being home and mothering my family.

Thank you Jesus for revealing this to me and helping me to be content right where I am. I hope you are content where you are too and if not, then maybe it is time to make some changes?

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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, 17 September 2017

4 Clever Ways to Help your Child Sleep Through the Night

As a parent, you crave one thing more than anything else: sleep. All you need is for your child to sleep soundly. Here are four clever ways to help your child sleep through the night.

Peaceful Sleeping Child image from Shutterstock

Turn down the Temperature 
Did you know that you sleep better at colder temperatures? Research suggests that even insomniacs can sleep soundly when they wear cooling caps. It makes sense in that people are more likely to wake up and feel restless when they’re hot.

When your child is sweaty, they’ll wake up and cry. Who has to tend to them? Yes, it’s you. To avoid such problems, turn down your thermostat each night before bedtime. Your children will sleep more comfortably and they’re less likely to awaken in the night. You should even consider purchasing a smart thermostat, which will automatically lower the temperature at a scheduled time each evening.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Visiting Walmer & Deal Castles, Kent - English Heritage #CountryKids

Two fabulous English Heritage castles to visit in Kent. Great for a family day out, lots to see and learn and easy to visit both in one day

Back in May 2016 we took a few days as a family to head over to the Kent coast to explore Thanet. In general we had a lovely time despite some horrendous weather and our drive shaft snapping too!

Whilst we were there we visited Dover Castle, which is a truly amazing place to visit and somewhere I'd highly recommend. I wrote about our visit at the time - click HERE to read the full review. It really is a full day out for all the family and there is something for everyone.

To make the most of our family annual English Heritage membership (which we paid £69.37 for - it's always good to search online for a discount) we decided to also visit some other castles in the local area.

Deal Castle
Deal is an a great example of a Tudor artillery castle, part of a chain of them along this coastline. The external walls are still in-tact and you can see the really unusual shape of the castle. Our visit here was probably only about an hour as it is a fairly small site but as you can visit all of it the kids enjoyed being transported back and learning a bit more about this caste that King Henry VIII commissioned.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful - Yay for Socialising! #R2BC


Happy Thursday, I hope you're well.

All is good here but a bit quiet, as my girls have been away on a PGL activity holiday for the week. I really didn't expect to miss them quite as much as I am. It's been so quiet without them.

Right, I'm ready to share some highlights from my week and the things make me feel grateful and cheerful right now -
  1. I got loads of blog work done at the weekend and I particularly enjoyed looking back at our stay at Port Lympne Reserve. It took me an age to make my video experience of our stay but I'm pleased with it and will share it soon.
  2. Monday night once we had dropped the girls off, my husband, son and I went out to see Dunkirk at the cinema and then had an Indian meal together. I do enjoy spending time with those two, it is funny to see how alike they are.
  3. I spent a lovely few hours with my friend Krisha. We have agreed to meet regularly and to support each other in prayer and practically to help each other with some challenges we have. I'm super excited to see how this develops.
  4. We had an enjoyable Mexican meal with our pastoral group and it was good to get to know our new members a little bit.
  5. I'm back to coaching my little boy each week and it was fab to see him again. I've missed him since we last met in July.
  6. I've had a referral from my GP for gym membership. So I'm off today to meet a personal trainer and to see what they recommend.
  7. I've got on top of the housework with the girls being away this week, it always feels satisfying when it is clean!
I love this exercise, it really makes me look back at the week and see that it has been good. 

Come and Join In!

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 why not share with #R2BC too?

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


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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, 12 September 2017

Review: Gtech AirRam Mk 2 Vacuum - I Love It!


For a few years my parents have had a GTech vacuum, first they had the upright AirRam and now they also have the handheld Multi. I've used both and love them and as such I contacted Gtech to ask if I could review the new MK 2 AirRam. Lucky for me they said yes, so I set about giving it a very through testing and as I suspected may be the case, I am in love. This really is the best vacuum I've ever used and considering that for quite a number of years my career was as a hotel manager with responsibility for housekeeping amongst other departments, I've tried out a fair few.

The Gtech AirRam retails for £199.99 (or you can buy a K9 model with added suction for if you have pets). I think the big selling point of the AirRam is how light it is, at just 3.5kg even my 10 year old's pick it up and carry it up the stairs easily. It is wonderful to see them willing to do their own cleaning as it is so easy with no cords to get tangled in too. It glides around the room like it is on rollers and the swivel handle is a dream to use as well, as you can be standing in one direction and vacuuming in another.

The battery can perform for an impressive 40 minute run time on one charge cycle, which takes about 4 hours but you don't have to have the battery fully charged to be able to use it, even an hour gives it a boast to be able to clean when you need to. I also like that the battery has 4 light sections, so you can see what charge is left.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

8 Top Tips for Enjoying your Stay at Giraffe Lodge, Port Lympne Reserve

Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

Back in August we visited Port Lympne Reserve for the day with our children. We had a super day out and all the family enjoyed themselves. As we rode the safari truck we passed Giraffe Lodge (formerly know as Livingstone Lodge) and I fell in love. 

I just knew that I had to go and stay in one of the sturdy canvas and wood lodges so that I could get the full animal experience without hardly any other people being there. The thought of waking in the morning with the full view of the Romney Marshes and the first thing I saw being a Giraffe, Rhino or Zebra was massively appealing. 


Giraffe Lodge at Port Lympne Reserve, Kent is an amazing and luxurious UK safari experience for any couple, looking for a special time away.

Well, on the 1st September my husband and I were lucky enough to stay for a night to celebrate his birthday and we had the most wonderful time. I'll share a full review of our experience in another post once I have edited all the video together but for now I thought I'd share eight top tips for an amazing stay at Giraffe Lodge within the Port Lympne Reserve. 

I seriously can not recommend this experience highly enough!

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Brilliant Birthday at National Trust Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Blickling Hall is a fabulous National Trust day out

A couple of weeks back it was my birthday and of course that means I got to choose where we were going whilst on holiday in Norfolk. As soon as I knew where we would be staying I checked out the National Trust website to see what was close and came across Blickling, a massive estate nestled in the Norfolk countryside.

I have to laugh as every time I mention visiting a National Trust site to my three kids (aged 10, 10 and 13) they all groan and say ‘oh no, not National Trust’ and it's as if it has become a tradition. No-one will admit they want to go and then they all have a great time.

The Blickling estate is massive with nearly 950 acres of historic park and woodland, there are many trails that you can take around the grounds to take in many of the prominent features. The new multi-use path is suitable for pushchairs, adapted wheelchairs, cycles and of course walkers too. Dogs are welcome in this part of the grounds, although be aware of the free grazing livestock.

Blickling Hall is a fabulous National Trust day out

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful - Feeding Giraffes, Time with my Mum & Being over 40!

Happy Thursday friends.

Can you believe it is September already? This year seems to be whizzing by in a flash and I'd quite like it to slow down really! The weather also seems to have moved into Autumn and I am thinking of packing my summer clothes away.

My parents and Aunt have been to stay with us for nearly a week and it has been good to have them here. They've been babysitters for us so we could have a night away to Port Lympne Reserve and also visit the cinema to see The Shack. My kids really love their grandparents so it is always special for them all to spend time together. I love that JJ chose to spend the day with them when he had an extra inset day off school. Many near 14 year old's would just stay home instead!

Here is my hubby and I getting settled into our home for the night last Friday. Giraffe Lodge was an amazing experience and one we were so lucky to enjoy. I love how happy my husband looks in this photo.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

5 Hidden Asthma Triggers Hiding in Your Home

If your child suffers from asthma, you do your best to keep your home free from triggers that cause attacks. But, hiding in your home are other causes that make your children's asthma attacks more frequent. Here are some things you might not think about.

 Animal Saliva

Thanks to Shutterstock for the Happy child with dog image

When we think of allergies from pets, most people think about dander, the tiny flakes of dead skin all living creatures shed. But, a pet's saliva and urine also contribute to asthma attacks. When your pet greets your child with a lick, even that small exposure to the animal's saliva is dangerous. Or, cleaning up after a new puppy's accident could also cause an asthma attack. So, think twice before choosing a pet for your child.

Friday, 1 September 2017

My 10 Year Old Twins Dream Holiday

Rainbow Falls, Hawaii Image, thanks to Shutterstock

When Travel republic challenged me to speak to my children and find out what their ideal holiday was, I knew this would be fun. Miss M is forever playing travel agents and she gets us to answer a little questionnaire she has typed up on my computer and once she knows all our requirements for the holiday she loves going off and finding the best deals she can to fit those requirements. It's one thing that I always indulge her with as I realise she is developing valuable research skills that will serve her well as she gets older.

I'm sure when I was a child if you asked me about what the best kids holiday would be, I'd have probably said to go to America to Disney World or I might even have just said somewhere like Butlins in the UK. I never went abroad until I was a teenager and my awareness of all the amazing holidays out there wasn't very vast.