Sunday, 30 December 2018

Marching into 2019 with Hope and Love

It's that time of year when so many people are thinking about what lies ahead for them in the next year. I really like this time, when it feels like you have a blank canvas ahead of you and whatever you do feels exciting and new. However for me, it is the keeping it going beyond the first couple of weeks, or even the whole of January (if I'm lucky) that is the tricky bit.

Years back I used to make resolutions, and then always felt bad when they went to pot, so I put that to bed and in December 2013 I published a list of expectations for the year ahead and looking back now, I like that. It was full of positivity and to be honest if I re-published the same list for 2019, I wouldn't go far wrong.

2014 expectations list
2014's list of expectations
2015 was supposed to be the year that I got #FitandFree, I used that hashtag for a while and the aim was to get fit and lose weight. Guess what?  It didn't happen.

At the beginning of 2016 I wrote about the goals I'd like to achieve that year, and with the exception of the big one that has been evading me forever (the weight loss) I did well.

It appears that I didn't write an end of year, or start of year post for 2017 but I remember this was the year I changed to having a guiding word. My choice of word was Trust and this was about trusting God and trusting myself. Then for 2018, I did the same and chose a word, this time it was Believe - I had to believe I could do it. What was the it?  Lose weight of course.

Believe christmas lights in brighton

As I read over these old posts, it is very sad to see that my main goal at the end of every year is to be healthier and fitter, by losing weight and exercising more. It would be so easy to throw the towel in and say that I'm never going to do this, that experience shows I give up easily.

But I refuse to give up. 

In last years post, I said by the end of the year I would be far more healthier and lighter than I was starting the year. If I just look at that, then it would be a fail, but I've always maintained that you don't fail, you win or you learn in life and if I look into that post further, I see that I published a list of what I would believe in. It is when you read these that I know I won last year, I made great progress, yes my outside body still looks fat and my physical health isn't great but my spiritual health is so much better. I do believe I am worth it, I believe I'm loved and that I make a difference and I end the year already a gym member who is actually using her membership each week and knowing that in 2019 I will lose weight. I start slimming world on New Years Day.

Here is the list I published this time last year -

  • I need to believe I am significant and worthy of good outcomes
  • I need to believe I can make the right choices with food
  • I need to believe that exercising is necessary and can be enjoyable
  • I need to believe I will lose weight
  • I need to believe I am loved
  • I need to believe my actions make a difference
  • I need to believe the best of others
  • I need to believe I have the time to spend with God each day

Today a spent a good couple of hours in the prayer centre as I was trying to focus on what my mantra should be for 2019. Now I know some Christians don't like the word mantra, but I'm not getting hung up on this. A lady I follow on Instagram - Ysette Guevara has been talking about mantras recently, and her first one was 'to rest in the palm of God' and this spoke so loudly to me. So I've been asking God where my focus should be and how do I tune into Him more and keep moving forward.

The first mantra, or phrase that came to me was
"rest in Me child"
and I was feeling very positive with that and ready to move forward with it, as it spoke to me about getting rest, having quiet time with God, sleeping well, giving God the control and acknowledging I am a child who needs to be guided and is loved.

Then tonight I went to a couple of short workshops and the one on being free from fear really grabbed me and I came away, after doing the session in the dark with just the odd candle, believing that I have to step into the light, or live in the light, and then the words of the well-known song came to me
"marching in the light of love"
and this feels right for me too, as marching is doing and I need to be actively putting in to my exercise and weight loss journey, the light is God and I must rely on Him and He is love, so feeling supported and appreciated as I take these steps that have proved so difficult for over three decades!

So here I am right now, with two mantras and I don't know if that will work or naturally over the next few days as I pray and wait on God if one will make itself clear as my guide for the next year ahead. Whichever, it doesn't matter as I'm feeling positive and I know there is hope....

Hope christmas lights in brighton

Why not pin this post for later?

Guiding mantra post

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Great Gifts and Gadgets for Everyone from CoolStuff

I've recently been introduced to a Swedish company Coolstuff.com who have expanded in to the UK, their goal is to offer the most innovative, cool and fun gifts and gadgets on the market, and I think they're doing a great job. I had an enjoyable hour or so the other night browsing their site to see what I might like to buy and I was pleased to see that there is a real mix of items I actually need (and want) and quirky items, that I love but had no idea I wanted, or even that they existed! One of the items I've been hankering after for quite a while now is this collapsible wagon. 


Look at my girls! It's these impromptu fun moments that make a childhood. Late last week we received this fab blue collapsible trolley (or wagon as they call it) and I'd been using it to take the recycling and rubbish up to our bin area, which is quite a walk, but they got home from school and had other ideas of what it should be used for, and why not it takes up to 100kg!

The wagon collapses down small and can be stored in your boot to always be available to help you bring the shopping in, or is great for when you go on holiday and have quite a walk to your lodge or mobile home. When we were staying with Eurocamp in France, every second family had one of these. It retails for £49.99 on Coolstuff.com and is available in red or blue.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Tips for Mums Going Back to School

Photo credit, thanks to Unsplash

Having babies is tough. Raising kids even harder. Looking after a house and organising everyone’s time is hectic and stressful. Most of us also look back on our school days as being difficult, tiring and often overwhelming. And yet more women than ever are now choosing to take on higher education while they are raising young children, and maybe even holding down a job.

On paper, this can sound crazy. Surely there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. But, it can be well worth it. Going back to school has many benefits, and the skills that you have picked up while looking after your family can be put to good use in your search for knowledge.

Going back to school can enrich your life. It can give you something away from the home and challenge your mind. It can help you to rediscover yourself away from your family and give you an enormous confidence boost. It can provide you with career options, both now and in the future, and perhaps most importantly, returning to education can set a fantastic example to your children.

Despite all of these advantages, there can be no denying that it is going to be tough. You’re going to have trying times, it may wear you down and stress you out. You are going to have to work hard and battle for what you want, but, if further education is what you want then nothing can stop you. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

Sharing your LIves with the Grandparents in Print, by Neveo

My three kids and my parents, they have such a wonderful relationship

My parents would love nothing better than to live on our doorstep. Well, OK, not actually that close but I know they'd love to have us in the same town, just a short walk or drive away and this has never been the case. It has meant that we have to be more intentional in our efforts to see each other regularly, which is a good thing but nothing beats just dropping in for a cuppa most days, without it having to be a big effort.

One of the reasons I started this blog a decade ago was so that my parents and other friends and family who lived away from us would be able to see and read about the kids regularly, so they didn't feel they were missing out, but over the years the kids have appeared less and less on here. Also, I find that people of my parents age tend to like a physical photo, rather than a digital one, so I have created some photo books over the years, but they do cost a bit and feel like a lot of effort if I'm honest.


Introducing Neveo
However, I want to share with you a better way and one that won't break the bank.  Even my husband's 94 year old Grandma can enjoy this way of sharing too, without a gadget in sight. Have you heard of the app Neveo? No, well I hadn't either until recently but we've been missing out.

Neveo is a brilliant app you can download (iOS or Android) for free or use directly on your laptop and it makes creating a monthly photo journal super easy. For £9.99 per month (including postage - anywhere in the world) you can upload 50 photos a month and caption them or even write a small essay with each and then on the first day of the next calendar month, your photos and personalised captions will be made into a beautiful photo journal for your loved ones, specifically in our case, the grandparents, to enjoy.


Right now, it sounds a lot like other photo book sites, doesn't it?  But it isn't. The beauty of Neveo is that you have the whole month to add your photos and it takes literally minutes. So each time you take a photo you like, you can instantly upload it direct from your phone to the app and it is super quick, I found no lag time at all and I live in an area with rubbish Internet speed, as I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Women Expecting Monochorionic Twins Need to be Aware of TTTS


I'm happy to share a guest post with you today, written by Kate Phillipa Clark, the founder of about-twins.com, a wonderful resource website for those expecting and parenting twins. In this artcile Kate talks about Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, which can be a serious complication of having twins, who share a placenta. Whilst it's really improtant to educate yourself about this, I want to make clear that it is only a concern to you if your twins share a placenta, and even then it only affects about 8-10% of monochorionic pregnacnies (source), so there is no need to get unduly scared, just speak to your sonographer and doctor at your next appointment. 


Women pregnant with twins need to know their twins chorionicity. It’s extremely important to know whether or not you expect twins who share a placenta to be on the lookout for conditions like Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).

It might not be the first thing you think about when you learn that you’re expecting twins. But knowing chorionicity in twins is extremely important. Chorionicity relates to whether or not your twins share a placenta. Twins who share a placenta are called monochorionic twins. A sonographer determines chorionicity by using ultrasound at the dating scan during your first trimester. If you learn that you are carrying monochorionic twins, you’ll need to be monitored more often than with dichorionic twins. Dichorionic twins have separate placentas and are not at risk of the same conditions as monochorionic twins.