Saturday 31 December 2016

Trust – My Word for 2017


I discovered a few months back that I need to learn to trust the Lord more. To know that He has my back and to be able to really relax into who I truly am and what He has destined for me but it is isn’t always easy. It should be but for some reason, I find letting go and relinquishing control very difficult.

My head knows that the Lord is with me every step of the way and my heart is catching up and starting to feel it. I’ve been distant recently if I’m honest, not connected with God as much as normal and I think I was working things through in my own way. Not the best one that is for sure, but the only way I know how.

On Christmas day afternoon I got my laptop out and searched for Slimming World groups as I knew I needed to take a positive measure to help myself shift some of this weight that is making me poorly. I’m becoming more and more breathless, my arthritic knees hurt, my calves hurt, my feet hurt and I keep getting trapped nerves. Add to that my horrendous periods and I am a bit of a mess right now. I can’t go on like this, I need to find my fight and to start to live as if I want to be here.

The way I am going right now I am heading for an early death; the way I am living is no different to if I were taking illegal drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Excessive food, especially fat and sugar are poison to my body and I need to change things. I had to laugh though as I read a post from 17th January last year where I talked about making small changes for life and the first one I need to implement was early to bed and early to rise but here I am a year later thinking I need to do that again. So no, it never did become a habit.

But there is hope, I have to keep on trusting – that I can do this, that the Lord wants me to succeed and that life can be richer when I am healthier and not held back by my weight and my own heavy mindset. So this morning I went along to join Slimming World, I was there at 8.30 am and it seems a great group, the leader is lovely and I feel motivated and ready to tackle this demon that has ruled me for so long, too long.

The change has started. I’m partying tonight but there will be no excess, just some fun with my family and friends and I suppose the early night will have to wait for tomorrow…

I’m going to set myself a target to update this blog at least once a month and share my progress of how I am doing. After all this blog was set up to be all about the progress and not the perfection.

Thanks for sticking with me readers and not giving up when my efforts are less than perfect.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Be blessed, Mich x

#1GoodThing End of Year Round-Up

At the end of November I posted to say I'd be sharing a picture a day on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag of #1GoodThing. This picture would sum up a moment in my day that was really good and I was grateful for. My aim was to stay focused on the truly important things during December when things can go a little crazy and it worked.

Therefore I'm going to keep going and it will be an ongoing project for me in 2017 sharing at least #1GoodThing every day in an effort to keep me grounded and thankful for all that God has provided.

If you want to join in with me, you are really welcome. I love to come and see the photos others are sharing with #1GoodThing and I comment and like all of them. I'm also hoping in 2017 that more people will seek out other photos with the hashtag and comment and like those and we will get some reciprocation and community going but I'm still very small fry on Instagram so we will see where it goes and I won't set myself any unrealistic targets that will tie me up in knots and make me feel useless if people don't get on board.

It is that same old nugget of staying true to your own goal and that for me is about being thankful and staying in the moment. Anything else that comes about is a nice bonus.

I've been doing a round-up of some of my favourite posts shared by others with the #1GoodThing hashtag for Advent (Week 1, week 2, week 3) and here is my final one of the year.

So excited to share this #BestNine2016 image from Vic Welton as it includes the pic where she revealed her much awaited pregnancy. All the love in the world Vic x

Friday 30 December 2016

Boxing Day in Brighton - Sale Shopping and Ice-Skating

For as long as I can remember I have looked forward to the January sales, all sales in fact. We would have our family Christmas and all I'd hope for was money to be able to go and shop on 27th December. As of course when I was young shops didn't open on Boxing Day like they do now so I had to wait that extra day. Over the years I've grown less and less fond of shopping and now I hardly go to the sales at all but I do seem to have cultivated two young girls that have gained my love of shopping.

As Christmas starts early on 23rd December in our community by the time it gets to Boxing Day we are all ready to escape and thus two coaches arrived on Boxing Day morning and off we all went to Brighton. We did the same last year and it was a great day; friends and families split into smaller groups and we go off and do our own thing. My husband and son headed off for a waffle and then to the cinema to see Rogue One and us girls indulged in some sale shopping and a gorgeous Italian lunch, followed by ice-skating at the Pavilion ice-rink with about thirty other friends from our community.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Will You Be Watching the New Years Fireworks in London?

Photo Credit: Novotel

This year my husband and I will be doing separate things on New Years Eve. He'll be taking a group of our volunteers to Night Church in Hastings to ensure that anyone there on the streets has somewhere safe to drop in for a cuppa and a listening ear throughout the night and I'll be with our children at a community party.

We'll all have the day together, maybe taking a trip to one of our favourite National Trust sites for a frosty walk and then sharing an international dinner with around 80 other people in our community. Then once my husband has left it is party time (not because he has left you understand, just because that will be the start) with mocktails, games, dancing and lots of fun. I'm not sure if all the kids will stay up for the clock to chime twelve, we will see but whatever way it goes I know we will have fun.

I do miss our old tradition for New Years Eve though. When we lived in Hertfordshire my husband would work most New Years and we would all go up to London together and stay over in a central hotel. He'd then go to work late in the evening and watch the fireworks at midnight from the top of his building in Euston and the kids would fall off to sleep in the hotel room and I'd watch the magnificent London fireworks out of the hotel window with a glass of wine and some choice snacks.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Christmas Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

It's the day before the kids break up from school and I have tons of blog post ideas in my head but to be honest I can't be arsed to write any of them. It has got to that point when it feels more of an obligation than a joy to write and thus I am downing tools and having a Christmas break.

I'm not setting myself any rules or expectations, I'm just going to go with the flow. Bar wrapping my kids presents everything is done and ready, we have a couple of Christmas parties on Thursday and Friday and my parents and brother will arrive Friday afternoon to stay in the on-site cottage for a few nights. This is just perfect as it means we get to see loads of them but they still get time to relax after the kids have exhausted them and we don't all have to fall over each other in my small house.

Monday 19 December 2016

#1GoodThing for Advent - Week 3 Round-up

Happy Sunday friends, I've been a tad busy again today and thus this is very, very late in the day but never mind!

I'm still really enjoying flagging one photo a day to highlight something good going on in my life. It definitely makes a difference for me to focus on the positive and I'm super grateful to those who join me with #1GoodThing.

I've picked four of my favourite pictures shared for this last week and I hope you enjoy them -

Don't forget if you want to join in, just tag any pictures on Instagram or FB with #1GoodThing and I'll be able to see them and will comment and like them. The reason I started this was to keep a positive focus during the month of December when so many people either go a bit crazy with the bigness of the festivities or some people, of course find it a very hard month in terms of missing loved ones and such.

Linking up with Lizzie for Share the Joy linky.
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Wednesday 14 December 2016

Hogwarts in the Snow - Our Family Visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Last weekend we went up to Hertfordshire to visit my husbands parents and seeing as we were in the area we thought it really was high time that we visited the Warner Brothers Studio Tour again. After all, who doesn't love Harry Potter? The tour is advertised as being in London but it is actually on the outskirts of Watford and for me as a local of 15 years that will always be Hertfordshire. Not that it matters it just means it is super accessible by public transport from central London as well as being close to major roads such as the M25, A1M, M1 and M11.

It really is the easiest place to get to and with the brown attraction signs everywhere, you'll have no trouble. The parking lot is also enormous and has no charge which makes a nice change from many of the major UK attractions.You also do not get any traffic jams heading in and out, well we haven't on the two occasions we have visited and we went on weekends at peak times. 

The last time we visited was about two and a half years ago and I wondered how much would have changed but actually I can fully advocate a second visit as many things had changed and of course there is also the special Hogwarts in the Snow Christmas feature running at the moment, from Saturday 19th November 2016 to Sunday 29th January 2017. I notice that most of December is already sold out, so if you fancy going, get in quick and book your January tickets now.

Sunday 11 December 2016

#1GoodThing a Day for Advent - Week Two, Sunday Round-up

Afternoon friends, I'm a little late with this today but I suspect no-one has noticed!

We are away at my husbands parents this weekend and this is the same area where we lived for fifteen years before moving to East Sussex, so it has been fabulous to catch up with some old friends and many of the kids Godparents. So nice to grab a decent cuppa in John Lewis this morning and catch up on their news, whilst the kids shared excitedly about what they had been up to as well.

In one weekend we have managed to see loads of people, not quite everyone but near enough. I had a great evening with my friend Kate who I've known since Uni and we did our usual of a take-away and some Saturday night TV as well as a look round her new gorgeous period cottage.

We also headed over to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour to see the making of Harry Potter. We have been there before and really enjoyed it but there have been lots of changes since we were last there with the addition of the Hogwarts Express train (so iconic) and the whole studio tour was decorated for their #HogwartsintheSnow feature with Christmas and snow displays.

It's been a great weekend to top off a fab week, which saw us enjoying a Christmas meal out with friends, having our pastoral group round to ours for a meal, where they cooked for us and we had food and people from eight nationalities around the table and we also had a good open afternoon at the girls school.

Friday 9 December 2016

Video Review: Samsung AddWash WW8500 12kg Washing Machine

You know the M&S adverts, "this is no ordinary sausage roll this is an M&S sausage roll" and all those kind of things? Well this washing machine that I have been trying out is no ordinary washing machine, it is a Samsung AddWash machine with ecobubble technology and digital inverter motor, it is the pinnacle of washing machines and for me becomes my number one brand for laundry appliances.

I've had a few Samsung products over the years and I have to say they have lasted well, we have a small TV upstairs that we have had for almost two decades and the girls have Tab2 tablets that have taken such a battering and they are still going strong. Samsung is a name I trust and will happily buy but I admit I had no idea they did large kitchen appliances and now I am keen to let the world know how good they are. I said this to my Korean friend Eun Keoung when she came for dinner the other night and she laughed and said 'of course, they are Korean'.

Sunday 4 December 2016

#1GoodThing a Day for Advent - Week 1 Sunday Round-Up

Good morning friends, I hope you have great plans for today. I'm off to church where my hubby and I are on children's group this morning so that will keep us busy and then back home for lunch and a chilled afternoon. Christmas movie and some wrapping might be in order I think.

I've enjoyed the first week or Advent, it has been pretty low key for me, I've started a great colouring devotional called 'Words of Grace', been super busy at Food Bank, spent some time with the little boy I coach and put all the Christmas decs up.

You might have seen that I am sharing one picture a day during Advent with the hashtag #1GoodThing, this is my way of staying grounded during this crazy season and making sure I look for the silver lining, the one good thing. It is a simple gratitude project, I did it last year and it worked well and hence I am doing it again.

I opened it up for anyone to join in and a couple of fab instagrammers have been joining in regularly and then a couple of others just dipping in. I'd love it if more people felt they'd like to take part and there are no rules, just tag your image #1GoodThing and ideally check out others using the hashtag. I'll come and like/ comment on all participating posts.

Here is my round-up of my 4 favourite posts from this week -

find them. #Thismamaloves #ukparentbloggers #kcacols #coolmumclub #HighlightsofHappy #capturingtheday xxx #capturemypositive #1GoodThing #aftertheplayground
A photo posted by After The Playground (@aftertheplayground) on

A bit of an Advent theme going on there but isn't that just perfect?

Thanks for reading and joining in.  Have fun, Mich xx
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Saturday 3 December 2016

Review: Leather and Canvas Personalised Holdall from Bags of Love

Oh my word, I am in love! Just look at this beauty that arrived this week -

Most weeks I receive an email from a company making personalised canvas prints or photo gifts and if I'm honest I groan a little as I have made so many over the years that I've exhausted the mug, mouse-mat, keyring, phone cover routes for gifts for people. I have to admit to being intrigued when Bags of Love contacted me though as they suggested I might like a personalised leather backpack and this was something quite different to anything I'd seen on the market before.

I headed over to their website for a search and what did I find? Absolutely tons of products that I have never seen personalised before - tea towels, blankets, duvet covers, wash bags, wallets, aprons, tea trays, bowls. I could go on and on as they have so many products to choose from and they all look stunning.

Yes, it really was gift heaven. My family are not easy to buy for as there is never anything they want, they are not material but what they all love most are their family, so personalised gifts with the grand-children's faces smiling out at them are just right.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful - Happy Advent!

As I prepared to turn my computer off last night at ten to midnight I suddenly realised that I hadn't done my Thursday #R2BC post and my heart sunk. Do I stay up and do it now or be sensible and go to bed? My sensible self won I'm pleased to say and off I went. I've now just got back indoors for the first time today and I realised I had better write my post straight away as some people might be waiting on me to link up but then boom, I realised it is December and thus the lovely Becky over at Lakes Single Mum is hosting this month. So there is my first reason to be cheerful!

Before sitting down to write this post I wondered what I might share this week. It has just been quite average and boring I pondered but actually I have a whole ton of reasons to be cheerful, lets go for one of my list posts. I know Rachel likes them!
  1. JJ went to a mates on Saturday for the afternoon and had a fab time. He seems to have found himself a really good friend since starting secondary which is ace.
  2. The girls and dh and I headed in Battle town for the start of the Christmas festivities, we enjoyed a Christmas tree festival at the church, craft fair, Santa parade and some yummy homemade cakes.
  3. Sunday I had an afternoon out with just Miss M and we enjoyed a massive burger together. it is so nice to have one on one time with each child.
  4. The girls have had their medieval banquet day at school so the costumes are done and the food finished. No more homework projects this year! 
  5. I got to have lunch out with dh as he was off work when the kids were at school. It was great to really catch up.
  6. Our car got washed, hoovered and cleaned inside. Believe me this does not happen very often.
  7. I have finished all the Christmas shopping, yay!
  8. I've started a fab colouring devotion for Advent called 'Words of Grace'. I am enjoying having a bit of time to just be and reflect whilst I colour in.
  9. I had a really good conversation with another blogger and she gt me thinking about a big project I started investigating a couple of years ago and then put down.
  10. There are no plans (I said NO PLANS) for this Saturday and can you tell, I am pretty excited about this? I feel like my to do list is never ending at the moment and this might be a chance to catch up.
  11. I have a new Samsung AdWash washing machine being delivered and installed next week and I can't wait as mine is so noisy and rubbish and I've never had such a decadent machine before, it is worth £1000 and I get to put it through its paces and review it.
  12. I've been offered a review holiday for next year. Our family were desperate to go abroad again after our wonderful first Spanish holiday this year so I pitched out to a couple of travel companies to see if they could help me and hurrah, one of them has offered me a holiday. Now I just need to find decent priced flights, which isn't easy in half term.
  13. I'm really enjoying my #1GoodThing a day project that I started on Instagram and Facebook. There has even been a couple of other join in which is cool.
A photo posted by Michelle Pannell (@michelletwinmum) on

I do hope you've been having a good week. Why don't you link up with Becky and share....

 Mich x

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