Thursday, 30 June 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - So, So Many...

I'm going back to old school ways today. When I started Reasons to be Cheerful back in 2011 it was a simple post detailing three things that had sparked joy in the last week. This week I have no fancy ideas or different takes on the theme, I'm just going to list all the things that have made me smile and say thank you Lord.
  1. I had my eyes tested and they were worried about a torn retina but after further tests all is fine. I did however, end up with my first pair of glasses and I'm picking those up today. They are those above in the photo, what do you think?
  2. A chilled and relaxing weekend with my Mum attending a Christian women's conference
  3. Watching Me Before You at the cinema (yes it was fabulous and yes it will make you cry)
  4. Taking the dog for a walk with my Dad on Sunday morning. One on one time is so special
  5. Enjoying French toast for breakfast with peanut butter and maple syrup - super yum!
  6. Clearing seven bin bags of stuff to the charity shop
  7. Spending time with some friends chatting about blogging and each writing a post in companionable silence.
  8. Having a cuppa and a slice of malteaser cake with a friend I haven't really caught up with for a couple of years
  9. Having a cuppa with another friend and her two gorgeous littlies and being able to be authentic and honest
  10. Being able to talk to JJ about growing up and some of the more difficult stuff, as long as he knows he can always come to me or his Dad I'll be happy
  11. The girls homework being complete for the week
  12. I'm really enjoying the Talyton St George series of books by Cathy Woodman. I do love a good dose of chick flick!
  13. Miss M's birthday present being delivered and she is super excited for Daddy to build her new bedroom furniture
  14. Spending time getting to know some of the new members of our community. This has been a big change over time and I have about 25 new people to meet and make friends with.
Loads and loads of reasons why I am feeling cheerful, why don't you share yours too?

Link up with Becky at Lakes Single Mum who is hosting during June and I'll be back hosting here next week.

Catch you soon. Mich x

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Reviewing Our Camping Equipment from Outdoor World Direct

In just over a month my girls are going on their first official camp as Cub Scouts. They have been going on about this for quite some time and are on countdown, even to the point that they keep convincing me they must try out camping first and are taking over my house one room at a time for indoor camping.

When Outdoor World Direct heard that my twins needed to get kitted out for camping they were very happy to help us out and agreed to send me some items for review. I then spent a couple of enjoyable hours browsing their website and deciding what might work for the girls. I opted for a sleeping bag and self-inflating mat each and choose differing ones so we could really try them out and see where our recommendation would lie.

There is loads of choice on the Outdoor World Direct site and I found it easy to navigate as the menus are clearly set out. There also appears to be loads of good deals, with discounts off many everyday essentials for camping and outdoor fun.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Streamlining my Life the KonMari way

Folded clothes in a Drawer from Shutterstock

Earlier this week I was having coffee with about eight friends, we had met with the specific intention to discuss the KonMari way of decluttering and streamlining your home and life. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for if I am honest. I've heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese Organisational Consultant who has termed her way of streamlining as the 'KonMari' way but I knew nothing of her and her methods.

I was offered the book to read in advance of the session and given links to YouTube videos and various websites but I avoided them all. Not because I'm burying my head in the sand as I am a terrible hoarder and have a house that needs KonMaring but because I'm pretty organized. I regularly gut rooms, I get a real sense of satisfaction about drawers that are divided by boxes of similar items and my home is mostly clutter free.

It was with much interest that I learnt I already do some of the KonMari tactics as a natural instinct. I keep regular lists of the next area to be cleansed, I empty my handbag and reorganise each day and I clear my paperwork approximately every three months. I can't think of anything worse than a garage or loft full of rubbish, luckily I have neither of those areas.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Our Angel in Yellow

Last week we went away for a few days to Kent. We really needed this break as a family, time to be away from hubby's work and just forget the crap of everyday life (it's been a hard month).

The weather was miserable with an overcast sky, high winds and scattered rain but we weren't going to let that deter us. After an amazing day at Dover Castle enjoying a truly brilliant English Heritage site we were heading back to our Premier Inn to get changed and go for pizza when clunk the car made an odd noise at a busy roundabout and that was it, we weren't going anywhere!

Luckily for us we have cover with Club Toyota and one call to them set in motion our rescue from start to finish. First off an angel in yellow arrived, our AA man Wayne was the ultimate in efficiency and friendliness. Within moments he diagnosed our car with a broken drive shaft and set about getting it towed to the nearest Halfords who would be able to fix it for us.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Meeting the Deer at Knole, Kent - National Trust

Last weekend we had a fabulous visit to Knole in Sevenoaks, Kent. I've mentioned many times before how much we enjoy National Trust sites and this is one that has been on my hit list for quite some time. JJ had gone camping and the weather was due to be nice so we took the hours drive over to Kent. As always my 8-year-old girls were moaning that they didn't really want to go out, they wanted to stay home and thank the Lord we never listen to them as they had a truly wonderful time at Knole.

Why? Well, take one look at these first few pictures and it is easy to see... The girls could not believe how close you can get to the deer at Knole and they are everywhere, hundreds of them and seemingly quite friendly too, although of course, they are a wild animal so we would never get complacent around them.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - Hooray for Half-Term

Hooray for Half-term, we have had lots of fun. In fact as this goes live, we are still away having fun. I hope you've been enjoying the kids being off school if it has been the holidays for you and you still have them young enough to enjoy. If not, then I still pray it has been an enjoyable week.

What have we been up to? All sorts but mostly really enjoying family time and being outdoors.

JJ went to water camp and the rest of us enjoyed a fish and chip supper and a fabulous sunset walk around Rye nature reserve afterwards. Sadly I don't have any photos as my iPhone has gone berserk on me and I'm now waiting out the days until I can upgrade without extra cost. It is infuriating.

Here is a beautiful sunset captured from my front door instead. May is definitely the month for pretty pink and purple skies.