Wednesday 31 August 2011

In search of Instant Gratification

Image Credit

 The last few weeks have seen me do a lot of pondering about the world we now live in now and how the west has become obsessed. Obsessed with ownership, with money, with things, with wants, with greed and you know what? It is making me feel a bit sick really.

Sick because I feel as if I get sucked into the madness every so often.  When my parents were kids if something new was required for the home and it cost a bit, then everyone scrimped and saved for a few months (or even years) and then they bought the new item.  No credit and certainly no instant gratification.  Hard work led to a great sense of achievement when the new sofa or bed arrived and I expect it was enjoyed and cherished much more as it was really worked for.

Nowadays something breaks and we go out and immediately buy a replacement, not because we have a ton of money but because that is the way things are done now. You use a credit card, some people then transfer that balance to another with a zero interest rate or you get a loan.  There is nearly always an means to get some money fairly easily as long as you have some equity. That is unless you have a very sensible husband like I do and boy am I glad of his traditional values and caution.

Very recently, well actually about 4 months ago now our front door broke and luckily it is sound in that we can lock it and be secure.  It opens from the inside but from the outside it is dead and this means we are having to use our back door now.  My instant reaction was that we had to get it fixed immediately and I made an appointment with a door supplier.  Things didn't progress and now here we are months down the line and I am so glad. We do not have the money to buy a new door and it is really not important in the scheme of things. How crazy that I even considered spending £900 we do not have to fix a problem which presents just a minor inconvenience.

What I have found is that these kind of inconveniences, of not having everything perfect, of having to wait while we earn the money before we spend it are teaching me an important lesson.  They are helping me to be real, to be fallible, to be humble and to be grateful for all that I have.

Many, many people have lots more than me. Yes I would love to change our dark oak 80's kitchen, we need a new bed for JJ, carpets for upstairs and of course a new front door. My bathroom needs re-grouting and the downstairs toilet needs a coat of paint but so what?  We have a wonderful warm house, a bedroom each, enough food to feed us all, schooling for the kids, jobs for dh and I and that makes us incredibly rich.  Richer than much of the world.

Isn't it good to stop once in a while and to take stock of the richness that is already in your life? I hope I can keep this humility that I have found in the last few months.

Am I alone in this?  Or do others agree that society just has too many wants and demands nowadays? Sometimes I do wonder if I have just gone a bit bah humbug.

I see I'm not alone as Cass has written about 50 ways to save money.

Monday 29 August 2011

Hello, Do I know you?

You do look very familiar, there is something very accustomed about you but I just can not put my finger on it. Is it the hair, I definitely feel like I recognise the hair.

Have we met before?  Am I imagining this?  or are you on my tail?

Each time I turn around, you are there at the moment.  I sort of feel as if you are living my life.

I walk down the street and I catch glimpses of you in the shop windows.

Sunday 28 August 2011

The end is nigh... Do your kids start school soon?

Is that a good or a bad thing?

How has the summer been for you? Five long weeks of torture so far? Or a wonderful and special time that you get to spend with your offspring once a year?

Or neither of those polar opposites and just a pretty usual mix of good and not so good behaviour, of bored kids, of excited kids, of holidays, of a little sun and a lot of rain! That pretty much sums up my summer, with some work thrown in for good measure!

Saturday 27 August 2011

Picture of the Week!

Silent Sunday = One photo, no words, taken in the last week!

Thursday 25 August 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Hello all, How are you?  Did you miss me last week?  OK, don't answer I am not sure I can take the rejection! lol  Thanks so much to the fabulous Fay at Glass Half Full for hosting last week.

That was the first week I have missed from #R2BC since I started it back in January.  Now I am on a par with @seasiderclare who has only ever missed one week too.  Do you think I ought to give her a prize at the end of the year if she keeps up this great work?

Talking of Clare, she is hosting #R2BC this week so you need to pop over and see her to link up.  Please leave her some comment love when you link up, it is nice to get something back when you are being the host.

So what about me?  What is making me cheery this week?
  1. How about lack of work? I have no idea how this has come about as it was not planned but between 3rd August and 11th September I will only have worked 2 days and actually they were over yesterday. So now I am free until 12th September when I return to my old job as my secondment has finished and you know what?  I am looking forward to that.
  2. We had the most amazing holiday last week to Dorset, my parents came too and we all agreed that it was a blast!  Here is to the same next year....

  3. Dh and I had a meeting yesterday with social services as we are considering fostering. We have thought about this for a number of years now and as the girls are starting full time school this feels like a good time. Wish us luck...
  4. It is Dh's birthday today and we are deciding what we will do, a day at the beach? the zoo? Who knows but we will certainly have some fun (and it will be on Tesco vouchers!)
  5. I have just sent off more Tesco vouchers in exchange for a weekend away in October for JJ's birthday. We will be heading off to a caravan park and bopping away at the kids disco with our pop and crisps - we know how to live! I have even suggested to dh that we take our nephew who is the same age as JJ. I think two 7/8 year olds would think that was a pretty amazing birthday treat - don't you? 
I have so much I am thankful for and every time I remember that fact I am blessed.  It would be so easy to sit back at the moment and wallow in the fact that there is so much that needs doing in our house, we have no carpets upstairs, JJ is on a mattress on the floor, the front door is still broken etc etc but actually we have shelter, family, food and fun in our lives.......  need we more?

That's it, write your post, head over to Clare's link up and then visit others and share some love. That is one of the things I like best about #R2BC, we all support each other and visit.  I will be sure to visit you all this week as I am home.

Love Mich xx

    Tuesday 23 August 2011

    The Calm after the Storm! #TheGallery

    Last week we were away on holiday, we had a super amazing time and looking at this picture you would be forgiven for thinking that we went to a really hot and exciting foreign destination.

    Sandy beach, blue sky, blue sea, never-ending coastline, strange child wearing a hoodie when it was nearly about 80 degrees!

    These pictures were actually taken at Sandbanks a beautiful white-sand beach in Poole, Dorset. For the cost of £4.50 parking we had 3 good hours of family fun on the sand.

    This was one of those days when you made memories. Simple and special memories. Of 3 generations taking time out to be together, no media, no books just old-fashioned fun! 'Mum, do you remember when you buried JJ and Dad chucked sand right in his mouth!' 'or what about when we went wave jumping Mum and Nan and Grandad were there too?'. Nothing expensive, nothing too fancy but oh so special.

    We built Miss E a special sand chair for Princesses (look at that smile, priceless)

    Nanny and Miss M seemed to like it too!

    The girls got brave and fed the seagulls.  Only when Mummy went looking for the packet of chocolate chip cookies was it revealed that Daddy had passed those over as good bird food! (If you ever see a fat seagull, you'll know why now!).

    and like I mentioned we buried JJ and he loved it, he wanted his hat on like Daddy Pig does in Peppa!

    Perhaps you are now wondering why I titled this post the calm after the storm?  It is not metaphorical, nothing clever about the title.  It is very literal.  These beach photos were all taken on Friday 12th August (World Photography Day) and the very day before Bournemouth and Poole had freak storms and flooding.  Just look at this photo below, have you ever seen water gushing from the prom onto the beach and back into the sea?  No, me neither!

    Image Credit
    This one day record of a day in our family life is my entry for this weeks Gallery.  Tara asked all participants to take a photo/ capture a moment on World Photography Day for this weeks Gallery.  Fancy taking a look through a virtual photo album? Head over to Sticky Fingers then.

    Review: Paultons Park inc. Peppa Pig World, Hants, UK

    Back in March I was a very lucky girl and my family attended the press day at Peppa Pig World prior to it's opening. I reviewed the new theme attraction here and it is has proved to be a very, very popular review indeed.

    The only downside of that day is that we did not get to go round the rest of Paultons Park; there just was not enough time in the day.  So last week when we were on holiday down in Dorset I was lucky enough to go back and this time spend most of the day in the original part of Paultons Park.

    What did we think?  Yes, yes I am getting there....

    We had a great day.  I have to be honest and say that I was dubious if we would. Peppa Pig World was so new and glossy that I wondered how a traditional theme park would hold up against it but Paultons Park is a great day out.  There is more than enough to keep you going for a couple of days, so make a weekend of it if you are thinking of going.

    Let me introduce you to the critics who came along last week. First up we have Nanny, here she is riding the Flying Saucer with Miss M (wearing the white dress), can you see that big smile on her face?  A great little family ride.

    Then we have Daddy, he likes the trill rides but since the kids have come along he has toned down and is now happy to take a more sedate journey. Here he is with the kids riding the Rio Grande Train.

    I on the other hand am not a thrill seeker at all and how Miss M managed to convince me that I should go on the Raging River Ride is any one's guess! She loved it and went on twice in a row and yes I'll concede I did laugh like I have not in a long time but it was a bit scary for me really!

    JJ is our food critic, that is what he is normally most concerned with! He is nearly 8 and pretends to be big and brave but is a beautiful woss at heart! The simple things please him and I love that about him, just look at him bounce.

    Miss E is my tender heart, she practically refuses to go on any rides, unless they are in Peppa Pig World of course.  This child is Peppa Pig crazy.  Dh did tell her a little white lie that she had to ride a couple in the main park area before we could visit Peppa Pig World later in the afternoon.  Whoops, naughty Daddy, but it got her on the Digger Ride.

    Lastly, we have the true daredevil of our family, Miss M is just 4 and the baby twin but she has loads of attitude!  The park was a mega hit with her, I had to prise her away from dh as she wanted to ride the big thrill seeker rides and place her on something much safer.  Aren't kids funny?  My lot were over the moon when they found out this ride-on was free!

    So now you know us all and have seen a few of the rides the park has to offer, I bet you want to know what we had to say, don't you?

    Nanny -  My visit was mainly about the grandchildren and I enjoy myself when they are having a good time.  There was a lot of laughter on the day including my daughter and I riding on the Sky Swinger, that took me back to my youth!

    Daddy - Overall the park was great, whilst we were there the sun shone, it was coldish and then the rain hit.  The park had something to offer us in all weathers.  We all had a great day and generally the queues (on what was a busy day) were excellent.  The only thing that let the park down was the traffic jam as we tried to leave at the end of the day.  Paultons Park need to think about a better system for feeding cars equally out of each of its car parks.

    Mummy - I loved the park, it was equally as fun as somewhere like Chessington or Legoland but the price is much more reasonable.  The park was clean, there was loads of grass lands, pic-nic areas and beautiful plants and flowers. Toilets and baby change were everywhere and  generally these seemed well stocked and clean.

    I was disappointed with the food offering at Paultons Park I have to say.  On the side of the park we were on we wanted some hot food and all that was available to us was hot dogs and very overcooked fries.  There are other restaurants available but we did not want to move at that time. I noticed in Peppa Pig World that you could buy little kids lunchpacks there for £4.05 and that seemed better for 5 items and some fruit.  If we went again I would probably take a pic-nic.

    Once you are in the park practically everything is included in the price, the only things I saw that you had to pay extra for were the go-karts (£3.95 per car) and the balls that go inside and play on the water on (£5.00), we did not try out either as there was plenty to do. I like that there is a good mix of family and thrill rides and these are all labelled really clearly so you know what you are letting yourself in for. There is also plenty of low-key fun such as the trampolines, bouncy castle, sand pit, play parks, splashlands and such.

    The Kids - They all loved it, they have already asked when they will go back! Soft play in Peppa Pig World was a big hit with JJ, Miss E loved the rabbit ride and Miss M is dying to ride the Raging River once more. I asked them what the worse bit of the day was and they all agreed it was going home, lol!

    In a Nut Shell!
    Value for Money   5/5
    Ease of entry to the park  4/5
    Cleanliness and appearance of park  5/5
    Food available on the park  2/5
    Variety of rides and attractions available at the park  5/5
    Time for queueing  4/5 (our average was 20 mins, longest 45mins)
    Peppa Pig World attraction  5/5
    Ease of exit from the park  1/5
    Overall opinion of the day  4/5 SUPERB!

    Would we recommend you visit?  A definite yes, from age 4 to age 60 something we all had a ball!

    Disclosure:  This is a review post.  My family was offered free entry to Paultons Park for the purposes of this review.  Many thanks to Paultons Park and their PR agency for this opportunity.

    Monday 22 August 2011

    8 Secrets for a Great Holiday in the UK

    It is that time of year when all your friends are going off on holiday (or just returning) and if you are anything like me they are all heading to the South of France, Spain, one of the Canary Islands or even Florida.  So what about us, where did we go?  Well we went to Dorset, to a place called Wallisdown actually, not very picturesque and not very quaint but did we enjoy it?  YES, we had an absolute ball.

    So how come we ended up there then?  In what is effectively a Uni town? Well, it is where we get cheap accommodation that suits our family needs. £390 for a week in August for a 5 bedroom house with all the facilities you need, you couldn't get that by the beach and yes the views were not fab but we were 10 mins drive from either Poole or Bournemouth and thus had a perfectly amazing time.

    Sunday 21 August 2011

    #SilentSunday - Family Fun

    Silent Sunday = One photo, no words, taken in the last week! 

    Friday 19 August 2011

    Guest Post: The Real Maggy of Red Ted Art Fame!

    Right last guest post of the week, you'll get me back the next time you stop by (is that good or not?). So this time we have the lovely Maggy, who normally resides over at her uber organised and efficient crafty blog Red Ted Art.  Maggy can always be found at the top of all the parenting charts nowadays and quite rightly so, not only does she run a popular and great craft community blog she is also a really lovely person.  Having met her a couple of times and found out just how 'normal' and un-scary she is I thought others might like to know a bit more about the person behind Red Ted Art.


    Wow, what a title… when Michelle asked whether I would like to Guest Post with the title being something like “The Real Maggy W.”, I felt like a minor celebrity….. Wow indeed.

    Sadly, I will have to disappoint you all terribly, as I am, uhm, just like everyone else. And uhm, my blog (Red Ted Art), is just like everyone else’s… Recently, people have been referring to me as “one of the big blogs” and all that, and I find it all a little embarrassing. As REALLY.. it is just the same as yours. I have just got a neat homepage and a crafty schedule I stick too. Oh and I have noticed that I take much better photos than a year ago. But they still need improving.

    Anyway I digress.

    Wednesday 17 August 2011

    Guest Post: Alyson shares Diet number 478, The one that worked!

    Another guest post for you today and something completely different. Back at the beginning of the year I found a wonderful lady through twitter and looked at her blog and was amazed to find she had been on the kind of weight loss journey that I dream of taking. She invited me to be part of a group of special women on Facebook who support each other through their eating dramas and I just find her to be the most inspirational and uplifting person.  I asked her to share a bit of her story with us.  I give you Alyson...


    Michelle asked me to write a guest post about my weight loss and when someone as lovely as Mich asks then it’s time to get writing.

    For all of my adult life I have been overweight to a greater or lesser extent, sometimes a couple of stones overweight, sometimes 8 stone overweight and all the stones in between, I had that conversation with my doctor that involved the phrase `morbidly obese` oh how I hate those awful pigeon holes... but that's a whole other post.

    I`ve tried EVERY diet, all the mental ones, liquid only ones, cabbage and doctor prescribed ones, the whole nine yards, and depending on how I was feeling at the time, I either fell royally off the wagon and gained back more, or succeeded in losing a lot and then went straight back to my lifestyle and ploughed it all back on again.

    Sunday 14 August 2011

    Short N Tweet Journey of a Blog!

    You might have seen my recent blog post that I posted in tweets.  I had quite a few comments from people saying they liked the style so I have designed myself a badge and I will post every so often (you know, when the mood takes me) in a tweet style. As someone who has a tendency to ramble this will help to keep me 'Short N Tweet'  (get it, see what I did there?  OK, stop laughing AT ME!)

    A post I have been thinking about for some time is how my blog came about and grew and changed. So today I give you the journey of Mummy from the Heart...

    #10 February 2008
    Blog, good idea. OK, I'll give it a go.  Create it and call it what?  'My Life', that is as good a name as any!

    #15 February 2008
    Hard work this blogging lark, where do I find the time with 2 x 7 month old babies and a 4 year old? Think I might have to give it a miss!

    #19 March 2009
    OK, I need to try again.  Blog attempt number 2. Change the name or keep it as 'My Life'?  Keep it, it is what it is!

    Friday 12 August 2011

    It Pays to be Nice, Literally...

    Recently I read a post over at Glass Half Full and Fay was talking about how she hates being referred to as nice. She asks how will being nice help her succeed in life?  and then goes on to post a response from someone on twitter who said not to confuse being nice with being weak and I totally agree.

    If you asked me as I was growing up if I was nice I would have said a definite no, I was very strong willed and did not tolerate fools or anyone I saw as weak.  (This is not something I am now proud of but the truth cannot be changed).  As I matured and it has to be said since I have become a Christian I have become much nicer.  I still have times when I am a bitch, I know that, I never said I was perfect but I do know that many people would now refer to me as nice.  When I look back at my One Word Meme post I see the words people used to describe me - kind, accepting, supportive, welcoming, caring, inspiring etc etc and they could all come together and be popped under the banner of nice and that is OK with me.

    Thursday 11 August 2011

    #R2BC - Week 32, Enjoying Every Moment!

    Yesterday was not the best day in the world and when I have one of those days I try to reflect back on it moment by moment to remember all the times in the day that I was blessed. This is a simple list of all the reasons I had to be cheerful yesterday -

    • I woke up after a good, sound nights sleep which had started with a wonderful cuddle with my hubbie
    • I got to stay in bed and read my bible alone while the kids behaved and played
    • I enjoyed my porridge for breakfast and the kids ate all theirs up
    • I wrote a blog post that had been brewing for a while
    • I went swimming for a couple of hours with the kids and we had fun
    • I caught the sun while swimming and now have a nice glow (well OK bit of sunburn!)
    • I got to sit down in the park for an hour with a load of Mummy friends while the kids all played
    • I wrote a letter from the heart that I really needed to write and had the guts to send it
    • Dinner was yummy, served on time and dh cleared it all up
    • Miss E and I spent 45 mins on our own before bed having girl time
    • I spent an enjoyable hour alone, doing nails, defluffing that sort of thing!
    • I chilled with a cuppa & my hubbie and watched some trashy TV
    • Then finished the night with 1/2 hour reading my book

    Sounds terrible doesn't it? Of course I missed out the rubbish stuff  that went on but when you focus on just the positives you are reminded just how blessed you really are!

    Another reason to be cheerful - a fab day out at Whipsnade with great friends on Saturday

    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.

    Thanks for joining in. Visit others and leave them some comment love and don't forget to tweet with #R2BC. I am having a bloggy break this week so I have to be honest and say I won't be round to visit anyone but I will be back with full force to see everyone later in August.  You know, sometimes it is just really important to take some time with your family and not to be blog focused?  Well that is this next week for me.

    Then over the next few weeks I have some superb guest hosts looking after #R2BC, so make sure you go and visit them and link up (I certainly will be), here is the schedule -
    Week 33 Thursday 18th August                        Glass Half Full
    Week 34 Thursday 25th August                        Seasider in the City
    Week 35 Thursday 1st September                    How to Laugh in the face of it all
    Week 36 Thursday 8th September                    Bod for Tea
    Week 37 Thursday 15th September                  A Matter of Choice
    Week 38 Thursday 22nd September                 Mum of all Trades

    Have a marvellous week, catch you all soon.  Mich x

    Tuesday 9 August 2011

    A man called Grandad!

    Last week I spent a few days at my parents house with the kids, we had a lovely time. It was nothing flash, just some low-key family time with soft play, parks and meals out - all very enjoyable.  I'll tell you something that really tickled me though...

    and that was watching my Dad with my kids.  He has been a Grandad for near on eight years now, with my JJ being his first grandchild and then my girls being his other ones. The thing is that for the last eight years he has been an overworked and knackered grandad working full time (or even 6 days in a week) doing a job that requires him to walk about 15 miles a day and that is just too much for any 65 year old man.  Back in April Dad went down to working 3 days a week and I saw the difference on this trip to stay at my family home.  Just look below, after a meal at the Harvester he was outside with the kids and then he just took off and it was like a scene from Benny Hill (remember that?) with the kids chasing after him, those 10 minutes were sheer fun for them all and pretty enjoyable for Mum and I to watch too!

    Whilst we were staying there I also found him reading stories to the girls or getting up early in the morning with them to watch some kiddie TV.  Soon we are off on holiday and my parents are coming too, I am really looking forward to seeing him relaxed and having fun with the kids, he is the champion sandcastle maker after all!

    Here is a little slide show of some of the beautiful pictures I have of my Dad with his beloved Grandchildren. Yes he can be tetchy, moany, grumpy and many other things beside but overriding he is always loving, giving and available any time I need to call on him.

    Thank you Dad xx

    Ohh and lets give you a little laugh before you go! I am so dippy, days ago I came up with the title for this post and I have been humming 'A man called Grandad' to myself to a particular tune, thinking there was a song a few years back by the Jam called 'A man called Alice'.  Err no Mich, 'A town called Malice' was the actual song title!  Ohh I make myself smile sometimes!

    Saturday 6 August 2011

    Will you be honest with your kids about your drinking history?

    I intend to!  Is that wrong?  Who knows but as a parent we can only do what we feel compelled to do and for me I tend to always be honest with my kids.  Of course I may tailor what I say to suit their age and the stage of development they are at when we have a talk but I think it is good for children to see that their parents are human and have made mistakes.  Surely if I show that I am fallable they will feel more able to come and be open with me when they make a mistake in the future and of course they will...

    Image Credit

    So what will I be telling them?  Will I tell them that I had my first alcholic drink when I was about 12 years old, at my friend Susan's house after school one ordinary day.  I think she had a drink problem poor girl, as she drank small amounts every day after school - isn't that sad? What about the fact that I used to regularly drink on a Friday/ Saturday night when I was 14.  A whole group of us would go to the Church youth club or a local park and pour cheap drinks in coke cans and stay out and get drunk together - just because we could and we thought we were cool.

    What about the time I was 14 and got so drunk that I have no real recollection of what happened?  That time that I am now so ashamed of, yes I know I ought to let it go, it is 24 years ago afterall but then it is not every person that loses their virginity in a park to a knob and can not even really remember it.  No I am pretty sure I won't be telling them about about that time.  Whilst it is good to share, to help them learn from some of my mistakes it is not right to lumber them with my baggage.

    I will, however probably tell them that from age 14 through to about 26 I drank and got drunk on a very regular basis. Weekend nights at the younger and older parts of that spectrum and any night that I fancied during the Uni years!  Ohh those were great years.

    I am pretty sure I'll also share about the times I was legless when I was older, like when I was 20 and went to Gran Canaria to meet my boyfriend of a few years, the same boyfriend that was sleeping with most of the tourists on the Island. Yes that night I was truly off my trolley, I tried to catch a taxi at 3am with a half packed suitcase and no idea of who I was.  The 'shits' flatmate found me asleep outside their apartment block about 5am with all my belongings.  How your heart breaks when you are young.

    I have been sat here trying to recall the last time I was legless and I am pleased to say it has been hard to remember, this reminds me that my drinking is completely under control.  In fact I have little interest in alcohol nowadays.  I probably have about 6 nights in a year when I have a drink and maybe one or two where I manage to get merry and this is fine with me. Yes, I have remembered the last time I was truly 'off my face' was December 31st 2002, the night I conceived JJ, ahh what a nice result, so much better than a hangover!

    So how about you, what will you be telling your kids?  and as for drugs, that is a whole another blog post, will I be fessing up about my limited dabbles with those?  Thoughts for another day me feels.

    Friday 5 August 2011

    Work-Life Balance

    I have been thinking a lot about balance just recently.  More specifically getting the right balance between being busy and relaxing.  I have a crazy innate desire to always be on the go and I know this is not healthy, so my aim is to change that.  I wrote recently about making sensible choices and I think that has been a step towards my being more chilled and not so hyper.

    Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans
    John Lennon

    When I think of balance, the term Work-Life Balance comes to mind and I started to think about this and decided it's a strange term.  Surely work is just a part of life? I suppose the term 'life' is being used in this case to describe what I think of as relaxation or fun.  I googled work-life balance and was surprised to find 32,800,000 results.  OK a popular thing to tap into then!  There were centres for work-life balance and lots of companies trying to sell you the secret formula, but I do not believe there is any secret formula, for me it is about looking for my inner peace and that all starts for me by turning my day over to God.

    Thursday 4 August 2011

    #R2BC - Wk 31 - Great Books

    Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

    Morning, I am early this week?  Do you like it, shall I change the time to earlier on a Thursday?

    A different take on my Reasons to be Cheerful (#R2BC) today!  One of the things that has been making me really happy recently is doing some good reading, so here are 3 books that I have recently read that I would recommend.

    Remember Me?  by Sophie Kinsella
    Lexi wakes up in a hospital bed after a car accident, thinking it’s 2004 and she’s a twenty-five-year old with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life.But, to her disbelief, she learns it’s actually 2007 – she’s twenty-eight, her teeth are straight, she’s the boss of her department – and she’s married! To a good-looking millionaire! How on earth did she land the dream life??!

    She can’t believe her luck – especially when she sees her stunning new home. She’s sure she’ll have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He’s drawn up a ‘manual of our marriage’, which should help.

    But as she learns more about her new self, chinks start to appear in the perfect life. All her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up… and lands a new bombshell.

    What the **** happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?
    This book took me no time at all to plough through, it was fabulous.  The kind of read that requires no mental energy, perfect after a busy day.  It would make a great summer beach read, if you have that luxury available to you.  Chick lit at it's best!
    The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond 
    Evie Flynn has always been the black sheep of her family - a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving elder sisters. She's tried making a name for herself as an actress, a photographer and a singer, but nothing has ever worked out. Now she's stuck in temp hell, with a sensible, pension-planning boyfriend. Somehow life seems to be passing her by. Then her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car crash, leaving Evie an unusual legacy - her precious beach cafe in Cornwall. Determined to make a success of something for the first time in her life, Evie heads off to Cornwall to get the cafe and her life back on track - and gets more than she bargained for, both in work and in love...
    This one I finished just a couple of days ago and it was one of those books that I did not want to finish, I am ready for the next installment in the life of Evie....  I want to know what happens next!  Another winner with me, chick lit again.  Go on shoot me I have been doing some chilling out and enjoying a good book which does not require much of me.

    Grace for the Moment Daily Bible by God (lol).  Daily devotionals by Max Lucado

    A completely different choice here. I  posted recently about how I had got out of the habit of reading my bible daily, so I have reinstalled that discipline. The bible is the bible, yes you can get many different versions and they have slight changes in language but fundamentally the information is the same and you have to accept the fact (well I believe) that parts of it are completely boring! This bible is NCV, New Century Version and I do like it as the language is modern but the meaning does not tend to be changed so it reads authentically and easily.

    This book breaks the bible down in 365 parts so that you can read between 3 - 6 pages a day and complete the bible in a year, I have done this a couple of times already and like I say I have started again now.  Each day there is a part from the Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms and the New Testament. This particular book has a short devotional each day written by the acclaimed Christian author Max Lucado and these parts are always the calm in my storm - beautiful!

    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.

    Thanks for joining in, leave me some comment love. Visit others and leave them some comment love and don't forget to tweet with #R2BC. I will come and visit you and reciprocate.

    So what about you?  Any good recommendations for me?  Do leave me a comment if so, I intend to do some good reading over this summer period.

    Guest Posting!
    Just in case you have scrolled this far and you are still reading! I guest posted on Wednesday 3rd August.  This is not something I do that often but when fellow twin mummy Kerry put a plea out on twitter, I had to respond.  If you fancy reading about the first family holiday we took when my twinnies were a mere 6 weeks then head over to Multiple Mummy on Wednesday or beyond!  Cheers, Mich x

    Tuesday 2 August 2011

    The End of an Era & the Birth of Another! Goodbye Nursery

    In their grown-up school uniforms

    Look at that picture.  Is it just because I am their Mum or am I truly blessed with the most gorgeous children?  I always say that dh and I do seem to produce good looking kids! That is my little twinnies in July just before they broke up from nursery at school. They have been going part time since January along with attending 2 full days at a paid nursery at my work.  Well today, that all changes!

    Monday 1 August 2011

    Making Sensible Choices...

    So I bet that post title made you want to come on over and read didn't it?  Super sexy hey, but I am pleased to say that in the last week or so I have been making some sensible choices and the honesty is that they are not super sexy but they are so necessary for my sanity.

    Image Credit

    Let me give you just a couple of examples of the kind of good choices I have made recently -
    • I needed to buy bread, milk and fruit, nothing else and normally I would pop into Asda as I drive home (I can go right past it) but I realised that if I went in there with the girls I would want to look at (and buy) clothes that we do not need and the girls may well con me into buying them a comic or something. So we went to Morrisons where I find nothing interesting and just bought the three needed items.
    • I was buying myself a new book the other day, just a nice easy read and the deal was £3.99 for one of £10 for three.  Well my bargain hunters brain clicked in and said 'yes good saving, do it!' but thankfully the more sensible part of me recalled all the books I have at home that have not yet been read and just bought the one I needed for that day.
    These are small things but they are small things that I have noticed happening and they have pleased me. They are minor miracles for a spendthrift like me. I believe that everything in life is a choice, we do not get where we are by chance.  Every action has a consequence, this was one of the reasons I started the Reasons to be Cheerful linky, I wanted to give myself a better than average chance of happiness by choosing to be grateful and delighting in the things I had.

    Love the life you live they say! 

    The secret is to want what you already have and then cherish it. So 2011 is all about that for me and I really think some of it is sinking in now.  I do not know if perhaps my listening to my Thinking Slimmer slimpod each night is also helping with my change in thinking and choices too. What I am hoping is that by starting to make sane choices generally in my life I can carry this over to my eating habits.  Then in the future when faced with the choice to eat unnecessarily or not, I can choose not to.  What bliss that freedom from food obsession will be!

    Thank you Lord that I have again connected with you in the last week, reading my bible each day, praying and going to Church makes a massive difference in my ability to rely on you and hand over the tough stuff.  I am eternally grateful.

    Linking up with Liska for the Monday #Mumentum linky.