Wednesday 30 January 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful - TEDx, Cake and Winter Walks

I'm feeling super grateful today, there are lots of things to celebrate in the last week. 

Like going for an impromptu coffee and cake with my hubby -

Collecting all our pottery from the Masterpiece paint your own pottery studio. I was particularly impressed with my snowman.

Friday 25 January 2019

Ten Resources that might just Change your Life View

feet over the edge of a mountain
Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

I'm really passionate about self-development and each person becoming the best version of their self. For me, becoming a Christian really changed my world view and was the catalyst for me starting to work on some of my more challenging character traits. 

For around the last 16 years I've been reading books, listening to podcasts, watching TED talks and attending courses that are helping me to shape into a less materialistic and more selfless person.

I thought it was high time that I shared with you some of the resources that have had a profound effect on me. Some are Christian resources, and some are totally not, so you don't have to share my faith to be interested in this list.

1.  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
Back in 2002 I started to listen to some cassettes (yes it was that long ago) in the car on my hours’ drive to work and the wisdom in these recordings really started to help me realise that life is too short to get hung up on the silly things, or small stuff, and realistically it is all small stuff. There are a variety of spin-offs from the original like not sweating the small stuff at work, in your family or with teens.

These short, manageable chapters have titles like - stop blaming others, count to ten, choose being kind or being right and seek first to understand. The thing that always sits with me and has been life changing is Carlson’s lesson about us all living in separate realities and how that plays out. Truly when I first heard this story and learnt the concept it was mind blowing to me. 

The book is currently £3.52 on Amazon

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Enjoying our Time at Masterpiece Pottery Painting Studio - East Sussex

tween painting pottery at masterpiece studio

The girls received some money for Christmas and from the first envelope opened Miss E was adamant that we would have to head over to Masterpiece pottery painting studio, near Hailsham in East Sussex. It's somewhere we've been a couple of times before and enjoyed, so I was happy to promise that we would go over there during the Christmas school break.

Pottery Studio
Masterpiece is a pottery painting studio based on the Holmes Hill Estate, on the A22 heading from Eastbourne to Lewes. There is an abundance of free parking and also onsite is a furniture store, fabric warehouse, cafe and a couple of nice lakes where you can sit or walk. You're always best to call first and book in so that a table can be ready for you but on occasions where we have turned up without a booking, we have been able to be accommodated, just maybe on a shared table.

Masterpiece studio East Sussex

Saturday 19 January 2019

Visiting the Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex

view of the seven sisters cliffs

We've lived in East Sussex for coming on six years now and visited the Seven Sisters cliffs so many times. It is a stunning area and wonderful to walk, but with the massive dips (or seven sisters) it can be a demanding hike and takes a bit of energy and kind weather. Recently we wanted to head out as a family to enjoy a good walk, but not a really demanding one, so we decided to trial the flatter walk from the visitor centre down to the Cuckmere Haven, where the River Cuckmere meets the English channel.

I'm so glad we discovered this area, it was a little further for us to drive than Beachy Head or Birling Gap where we normally go, but it was well worth it. The country park is maintained by East Sussex country council and there are two car parks, one on each side of the road. We found plenty of parking on a mild January day but I'd imagine it would be heaving busy in the summer. It costs £3 for up to 2 hours and £4 for the day. The machine takes coins, credit cards and you can use the Ringo app too.

I was really pleased to see that there are toilets (including an accessible one), a visitors centre (open for limited periods during the year) and a gorgeous cafe serving fabulous coffees, homemade cakes and a super selection of salads.

cafe at seven sisters country park

The easy access trail that we took is 4km down to the beach and back and it is great for pushchairs, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and all sorts of kids fun, like bikes, skates and scooters. My girls preferred to be running all over the place, up the hills, down to the riverside, looking in streams and jumping puddles. It is certainly a fun place to explore.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

A Week of Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

Hey friends. I hope you're well today. I'm feeling a bit peaky, I think I've been hitting the exercise a big hard for someone who is quite new at it! lol

I've generally had another good week and have many reasons to be grateful and cheerful. I'm going to do one of my posts where I name something good in every day.

Thursday - Not at all good for my weight loss but we had a lovely pastoral night with waffle and prayers.

Friday - I took my girls swimming in the evening and we had a fun time together.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

6 Top Tips for Avoiding Points on your Driving Licence

Photo by Anwaar Ali on Unsplash

Every driver dreads the time that they happen to be over the speed limit and the yellow camera catches them speeding. It happened to me a few years ago, I was driving in a new area and one side of the roundabout was 60 and the other went straight down to 30, I missed the signs and was doing 38mph and ended up with a nasty letter in the post advising me of my offence.

Of course if you get caught speeding it isn't the end of the world, but penalty points can soon add up and here in the UK once you have 12 points you'll be instantly disqualified. Luckily for me it was my first offence and as such I chose to pay the fine and attend a speed awareness course (which you also have to pay for the privilege to attend) rather than take points on my licence.

To help you avoid getting points on your license, here are a few easy to follow tips -

1.  Be a Responsible Car Owner
When you agree to lend your car to someone else, always make sure there is the necessary insurance in place for them to drive legally. Then if you receive a notice of intention to prosecute in the post for a time you know you were not driving, don't just ignore it, that could cost you 6 penalty points and up to £600 for failing to respond.

Also don't forget to update your driving licence and vehicle registration document when you move house. These are easy ones to forget, but if you do and you are caught speeding, the notice will go to your old home and as you will not provide the necessary details, the case will be heard in your absence and you'll end up with a hefty fine and 6-8 penalty points on your licence, all without your knowledge!

Saturday 12 January 2019

Wearing a 24-hour Blood Pressure Monitor - My Experience

woman wearing blood pressure cuff

After a few jumpy readings and a history of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy my GP requested for me to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours to give a true and consistent reading of what my current blood pressure is and whether there is any cause for concern. She wondered if I had been having a case of white-coat hypertension, where you get unusually high readings in the doctor’s office because you’re anxious. I have to say I didn’t think this was the case as I’d felt quite calm at the doctors and I am not normally anxious about having my BP taken, but I was happy to comply.

Fitting the Monitor with the Nurse
Two appointments needed to be made with the nurse, one day after the next to have the monitor fitted and then taken off. I found it all very straightforward and there’s nothing to be feared wearing one of these monitors. The only surprise for me was that it was much bigger than I expected, it’s a full arm cuff with a long tube leading down to an electronic monitor, housed in a case with a shoulder strap or a clip to go on your belt.

at home blood pressure monitor

The nurse explained that it was all automated and I didn’t need to do anything. Each half hour during the day the cuff would inflate and take a reading, then when I went to bed, I needed to press one button to tell it to change the readings to hourly, so I could get some sleep. I must say I was a bit worried on the sleep front as the GP had joked not to expect any, but I did quite well with only a couple of awakenings. So, I suspect it’s different for everyone.

Thursday 10 January 2019

Making Positive Changes #R2BC

My Instagram best 9 pictures of 2018

I’m feeling excited about what 2019 holds for me. I feel like it might finally be the year when I make the eating and exercise changes that I need to be healthy and fit for purpose. That might sound a bit odd, as obviously at the moment, I’m fit for many purposes and I don’t for one minute dismiss my abilities. But as a Christian I try to tune into God’s will for me and I’ve felt for a number of years now, he’s been telling me to get ready and be fit for purpose. I am both excited and a little scared to find out what that purpose is.

I joint slimming world on New Years Day and I’ve had my first weigh in on Tuesday night, the result was 5.5lbs off and that's pretty good. This is probably around the thirtieth diet I’ve tried in my life and to date, I’ve not stuck with any or lost substantial amounts of weight but that’s neither here nor there, as this is now and that is all I need to focus on.

In the last few years, many aspects of my health have been diminishing and that is why I can no longer put aside the urgent need to lose some weight and improve my fitness. It’s not easy but I do feel ready and I’ve been pleased with many of the small changes I’ve made.

  • In the last few weeks I’ve been going to the gym and swimming regularly.
  • I’ve paired back my commitments to allow myself time to exercise and focus on eating, without getting distracted or stressed
  • I’ve cleared out all the Christmas goodies and given them away to others who will enjoy them far more than me.
  • I’ve been wearing my Fitbit and clocking some some great days steps. 21,729 is the best day yet this year.
  • I’ve been eating fruit daily (this is a massive change for me) and remembering to take it out, so I don’t snack on chocolate etc
  • I'm not feeling deprived and I’m still enjoying eating, we went to Pizza Hut as a family at the weekend and I enjoyed a little pizza and loads of salad (with none of the unhealthy stuff on the salad cart).
  • I took the car in to be fixed on Monday and had to hang around, normally this would mean a McDonald's breakfast, which I adore but I had beans on wholemeal toast at home and then a pear and banana instead. This saved me a massive 33 syns!
  • My changes are already starting to influence my family in a positive manner, which I’m thrilled about.
  • I’m being mindful to be active. This weekend we are using a voucher for 40% off a meal at Toby but before we do we’re heading up onto the Seven Sisters cliffs for a good walk.

It feels like I’ve made a good start. Now to keep it up!

I’m linking this post up with Becky at Lakes Single Mum for Reasons to be Cheerful as this new positive mindset and approach is making me very cheerful indeed!

Monday 7 January 2019

The Egg Donation Decision: Helping Women Struggling with Infertility Become Mothers

Photo by Laercio Cavalcanti on Unsplash

Becoming an egg donor can be rewarding in many ways and to many people, but the decision is a deeply personal one - one that must intrinsically come from you. It’s also important to recognise that such a rewarding decision, which can potentially have a lasting impact on others, doesn’t come without its’ sacrifices or concerns. There are many factors to consider when making the decision to become a donor, but rest assured, there’s no right or wrong reason to donate eggs.

As an egg donor, you’ll have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself. You may find the ability to gift those struggling with infertility the opportunity to become parents far outweighs the physical and emotional task ahead. Remembering your motivation to donate your eggs can help see you through the entire egg donation process and give you permanent peace of mind you made the best decision for yourself.

Meeting the Requirements

To become an egg donor, you must not only be willing to commit physically and emotionally to it, but you also must be willing to commit your time. As a potential egg donor, you’ll be subject to a thorough screening process which involves medical tests, evaluations, and questionnaires. Your screening results will be used to determine if you meet the standard egg donor requirements listed below.

You must…

·       be between 21 to 33 years old.
·       currently be tobacco and drug-free.
·       not have any sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, chlamydia, or hepatitis.
·       be in good overall mental, emotional, and physical health.
·       be prepared to have genetic screening.
·       have a psychological evaluation.
·       be available approximately 3 to 4 months to complete the donation process cycle.
·       be capable of self-administering injections with medication to stimulate your ovaries.

Friday 4 January 2019

New Years Reasons to be Cheerful - 2019

Happy New Year cheerful friends. I had totally forgotten it was Thursday until Becky gave me a prompt and even then this is a day late, but I have had the most lovely time over Advent, Christmas and New Year, so it is only right that I post and record some of those wonderful moments.

I started reading my daily bible again and have been enjoying regular quiet time in the prayer centre.

I'm really loving reading at the moment and I'm getting through at least one book a week. I've enjoyed many yummy coffees and cakes in December and now I've started Slimming World, so they have to go on hold for a while!

Thursday 3 January 2019

Gag House Comedy Superstars at White Rock Theatre, Hastings - 8th February 2019

As a busy mother of three I am always looking for an excuse to escape for the evening with my husband. There is nothing we like doing more than laughing, and going to see a comedy show is a great way to do this. In 2018 we went to see loads of comedians at our local theatres and we hope to do the same for 2019.

It's not always easy to see the big stars though as the prices can get pretty steep, and last year we missed a couple as it would have been £80 for the two of us and for a local night out in East Sussex, we thought that was a bit steep. For this reason I was super pleased to learn that Gag House Comedy are bringing a show to the White Rock Theatre in Hastings on Friday 8th February 2019, with the show starting at 8pm.

The cost of the tickets for this show is £20.50 - £22.50 including the booking fee, so I think that's really reasonable and especially when you consider it's a show being compared by Mark Dolan, with Lee Nelson headlining, accompanied by Jen Brister and Stephen Bailey.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Why would people do this to their bank cards?

A new web phenomenon is becoming more and more widespread throughout the UK. People are redecorating their bank cards and doing so for their friends and family. Here’s why:

1. It’s super fun 
Bank cards always look so plain and boring, so we were quite happy to see more and more people redefining what a bank card should look like. This is happening all across the web: on Facebook, Twitter and even on personal blogs.