Monday 30 May 2016

Top Recommendations for Netflix Box Set Viewing (UK)

It occurred to me the other day that we have had Netflix for two years now. Never did I think it would last this amount of time and still keep our family interested but it is testament to the turnaround of the programmes and the new material that is put onto Netflix that means we are happy to stick around.

I do love the fact that you get entertainment and films all in one place with Netflix, not like some other subscription TV services where you have to buy multiple bundles. Netflix still proves to be great value at £7.49 per month to be able to watch in HD on 2 screens or there is a bargain option at £5.99 a month for one screen in standard resolution.

The other day it occurred to me that I've not watched a new box set for a while on Netflix and I needed a new recommendation, so I asked a group of bloggers and low and behold they did good and came up with tons of ideas for me, here are just a few -

Thursday 26 May 2016

#R2BC - Taking Walks, Saying No and NOW TV

Oh my goodness, it is 11.06pm Wednesday night as I write this and I'm supposed to be in bed sleeping as I've been being a good girl with my bed times just recently and it makes such a difference to my day when I get enough sleep. I'm sure the kids can fully appreciate how much calmer and nicer I am when well rested. I truly feel as if my life is in balance at the moment and I have a bit of everything I need. It is a good feeling when you have learnt to accept that you deserve time out and it is OK to say no to people and situations.

But the reason for my typing this so late is one of my reasons to be cheerful. I got to have an impromptu night out with my husband and it was so needed as crap stuff is going on at the moment and it is all-consuming and stressful. We went for a yummy Indian meal and then had a nice long sunset walk along the beach to try and burn off some of the excess calories! Chatting and day dreaming about the gorgeous houses along the beach was a nice break from real life.

Monday 23 May 2016

More My Kind of Camping

The family are all preparing for their various camps that are coming up over the next couple of months but I've already mentioned I'm not very into camping. The thought of a hard and uneven floor and potentially cold nights and rain just don't appeal.

I can get on board with the idea of building my own camp out of Lego though and that is exactly what I had planned to do after the girls arrived home from school but Miss E (who is my major LEGO fan) informed me that the new LEGO Friends Adventure Camp Rafting Playset we had been sent to review said it was for children aged 6 plus and seeing as she is 8, nearly 9 she wouldn't be needing me at all.

Thursday 19 May 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - FitFish, Butterfly Circus and The War Room

Happy Thursday. I am grateful to be alive and I hope you are too. Life doesn't have to be perfect for you to be able to seek the joy in every day, you just have to open your eyes and be willing to look for it.

This week I have seen joy all around me, here are just a few of the reasons why -

1.  I went to a health and well being workshop last Saturday, run by a Christian organisation called FitFish and it was great. I feel really motivated to exercise and let God have control of my health and diet. I wrote about what a motivating time I had on my other blog.

2.  A fun pastoral evening making mug cakes, watching the Butterfly Circus (have you ever seen it? It is the most inspirational short film) and sharing prayer together.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Camping Can Be Fun....

Really? was my response when I a friend said this to me recently. I'll be totally upfront with you, I've not camped since I was about 14 years old and that was with the Girl Guides.

My husband camps, my kids camp (they are all part of the scouting movement) but I just haven't got round to it yet. I've let the excuse of not having the right equipment for all of us stop me from going but Outdoor World Direct have been doing a good job of kitting some of us out so that my excuse is being blown out of the water!

A group of friends are going camping together in August quite local to home and I am tempted to take the kids along and give it a go. How bad can it be? Especially when I'll have the most luxurious sleeping bag ever. Take a look at the Camper Lux from Outwell, I had no idea it would be so gorgeous when I ordered it from Outdoor World Direct. I was just after some sleeping bags and roll mats for the girls to take to their first official Cub camp in July and picked this as my husband said it was important to get a 3-4 season bag so it can be used in all weathers.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - A Wonderful Week

Hey friends, how are you?

Has it been sunny where you are? I've been loving it and even got myself a little burnt as the girls and I ended up doing a couple of hour walk as the bus didn't turn up last Thursday when their school was closed for polling.

 We stopped in the park on our long walk through Hastings and the girls had lots of fun.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

On Being Bold

Being bold isn’t my everyday prayer but perhaps it should be. It is so important to be able to shout out my love for Jesus and tell of the way my relationship with Him changes my life.

Of course there are ups and downs, things I still need to work on and change but I feel sure that had I continued on my past road of self that I would have been in a very different place right now. Yes, sure I might have had a large house, more money in the bank and abroad holidays but would I have had all this time with my children? Would I really know them in the way I do now? Would I have appreciated every day and looked for the beauty in nature? Would I be volunteering and helping other people? Or would I still have been selfish, had a bad attitude and been too prideful?

Life is better this way for sure and this is only the beginning. I have all of eternity to look forward to….

I don’t want to waste a day, so I need to be bold and as the verse from Proverbs (28:1 NLT) states I need to be connected and Godly to be bold, so this lion wants to repent of her sins and say no more. To do a u-turn and change my ways so I can be bold for Jesus.

The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

I need to listen to his prompt and act on it.

Get out of self and rely on Him.

Last week when I sang the solo for a performance a group of us did as part of our community day I was bold and brave. I’d not sung alone in front of a crowd for at least a decade but I loved it and it was to glorify God, so it was perfect.

Then the next day I felt God’s prompt again to be bold and I went and prayed with a friend by her house. If I was listening to my inner voice I might have felt silly and not done it but no, I wanted to be obedient and tuned into Him and I could feel the prod, so off we went to pray in public.

I think it is worth taking a risk when you feel the prod is from God and let’s be honest sometimes you start to question yourself, is this me or is this Him and if whatever you are feeling/ thinking aligns with God’s word in the bible and won’t hurt anyone then go for it. Does it mater if you feel a little vulnerable doing it? God can use that.

In fact God can use anything and He loves obedience. So let’s tune into Him and pray for boldness as we can achieve anything when we listen and act.

Mich x

Monday 9 May 2016

3 Generations of Family Fun at Drusillas, East Sussex

We've had a couple of enjoyable review visits to Drusillas in recent years, including celebrating my 40th birthday there, which is not what everyone would choose but we had a fab time, as family means everything to me.

This visit was a little different as we took my mum with us, so the ages of our group ranged from 8 to ... Nanny and I'm not going to give her age away but suffice to say I'm nearly 43 and she's my Mum so you do the maths. I was interested to see if Drusillas would hold enough interest for us all to have a three generational day out and I'm pleased to say it did, our all girls group had lots of fun together. Sadly my son wasn't feeling great today so he stayed home with Grandad and on reflection I don't thin this was a bad move as at nearly 13 he is probably getting a bit old for most of the fun that s available at Drusillas. If I think of the kids that I saw there today they were predominantly toddler to about 10 years.

Hello Kitty's Secret Garden
Having been a couple of times before we knew it would be a smart move to do the park backwards and to see the animals later in the afternoon. So we headed straight for Hello Kitty's Secret Garden where there are three exclusive rides that my twin girls love. Just look at them enjoying themselves.

Friday 6 May 2016

You Get What You Pay For... With HP Instant Ink

A couple of years back I wrote a post about the new HP Envy 5530 printer that I had received to try out the brand new (then) Instant Ink service. This service basically gives you complete peace of mind that you can always print whatever you need (as long as you have the paper, electricity and wifi of course) but with absolute minimal cost or fuss.

Take a look at my post and you'll see that I liked the printer and I loved the Instant Ink service, so much so that when my free trial was over I started to pay for the service and I still am a year later.  I think that speaks for itself and I can honestly tell you that in the two years I've been using HP Instant Ink I have never run out of either a black or colour ink cartridge.

I'm not alone though as the HP staff told us that once someone has signed up to the programme there is a 98% retention rate. You don't find that level of satisfaction much nowadays. So how do HP know when I need ink? Well my HP printer is wifi enabled and as long as I turn it on regularly it sends the info all on its own and my ink just turns up by post before I ever even realise I might be getting low. It is very good.

Thursday 5 May 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - Sunshine, Bluebells and the Beach

Good morning friends. It is Thursday and that means it's time to share your happiness, what has made you thankful this week? It doesn't have to be the big stuff, just something small that brightened your day and put a smile on your face is enough.

As I drove home tonight I was pondering what would make my #R2BC list and I had loads of things coming to mind. I don't think that is because this last week has been massively better than any other, I think it is just down to the fact that I've got back into the habit of being consistently grateful by writing a daily gratitude list.

Here is this weeks shortlist -
  1. I had a fab walk with both my girls on Saturday, we spent time bluebell hunting and had a lot of fun. Of course we finished it off with hot chocolates in the Orangery tea room.
  2. Monday was community day here and it is always good to spend time together but my absolute highlight was the morning gospel workshop.  I loved learning to sing some new songs and then really enjoyed performing my solo in the evening.
  3. The weather has been consistently better and I've managed to get out in it most days.
  4. We enjoyed time in Hastings on Sunday with our pastoral team and many volunteers. Just simple stuff - a beach walk, playing in the park, an ice cream on the cliff and watching the Morris Dancers.
  5. The girls are off today and we are spending the day together down by the beach
  6. JJ made courgette and cheddar muffins at school yesterday and they ere delicious.
  7. I went to meet a friends elderly mum yesterday as I'm going to take her for a coffee or an outing every so often as she gets lonely and I have the time to help.
I could go on and on but I might bore you!

It is now your turn. Why don't you write a post and link it up with us? The Reasons to be Cheerful gang have always been a friendly and inclusive group, so if you join in and visit others I know you'll find the same happens for you and if you fancy adding a link or my badge please feel free to do so but no pressure.

If you want to share and tweet use #R2BC and I'll then see it and can share it too.

Wishing you a fabulous week and I look forward to reading your posts. Mich x

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

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Sunday 1 May 2016

Where I live the whole community comes together on a Monday morning to start the week in prayer. Just recently the format of this prayer meeting has changed, it’s become more fluid and creative and that is fabulous. One thing I am particularly enjoying is the check-in. We sit in pairs or a group of three/ four and are given a question to answer. It might be as simple as ‘How are you today?’ or it might be more specific like, ‘where do you need to focus your prayer time this week?’.

We then have to sit there in silence for a couple of minutes before passing the baton (you must have something to hold and pass: a pen or such) around the circle. When it is in your hand you have to say one word in response to the question. Each person in the group takes their turn to say one word and they can only speak when they are holding the baton. No-one else is allowed to respond or to ask questions, it is just a time for us to really listen to each other and for us to own our own feelings. After each person has said one word the baton then goes round again and each person will elaborate on how they are feeling.

I really like these check-ins as you can say as much or as little as you like, perhaps depending on your mood that day or how comfortable you feel with the people in your check-in partnership/ group. What is really important is that you engage with God and search yourself. How am I? If my best friend/ mum (whoever you tell all to) called me now and asked me to be really honest, how would I say I was feeling?

There are far too many answers of ‘fine’ in this country. We are all programmed to just answer a question politely and to perhaps never really engage with how we actually feel but this check-in exercise gives a short opening to be real and not to push any issues under the carpet. There is no need for them to be hidden. They can only be tackled when they are acknowledged and perhaps shared.

At the end of the talking time, there is often enough time to pray for each other and it is a privilege to lay my hand on a friend and ask the Lord to intervene and do what He deems best. Of course, I then take their requests with me into the coming week and can continue to uphold them in prayer, as I know they’ll be doing for me too. It really is very precious.

So why don’t you have your own check-in? You might want to do it with a friend or partner or maybe you are happy just you and the Lord. And to be honest, if you don’t know the Lord then you can go it alone and search yourself for the answers.

Go on, ask yourself –

  • How am I really?
  • What is making me happy?
  • What worries do I have?
  • How can I comfort myself?
  • Am I being honest with myself?
  • What changes need to be made?
  • What can I celebrate achieving last week?

Do let me know if I can pray for you, I’d be really happy to.  Mich xx