Sunday 29 September 2019

Thank you Lord for this new Day #R2BC

I've been reflecting this weekend on how lucky we are to every new day in front of us. Each is a privilege that we need to make the most of. That doesn't mean we have to be super busy or doing loads, it just means we should be fulfilling our calling, whatever it is we believe we are on this earth to do.

I have to be honest I am still not clear on what my ultimate calling is, I know this season right now is about parenting my three children, supporting my husband and serving the community I live within. I also still wonder if there is something bigger than this that I should be doing, but that could just be me and my pride, assuming there was due to be more to my life than being a helper.

Sadly, I'm very task-driven, I love to tick things off the to-do list and I get such a sense of satisfaction when things are running smoothly and everything is on track. I know that I am far more concerned with things and tasks than I am with people and relationships. I also know that people are far more important, so my priorities are out of balance, but all I can do is try to change things, to shift the balance a little.

God made me with the skills and talents I have, so I am obviously supposed to be an organised, efficient kind of woman who gets things done, but it is my job to maintain balance and to focus on His desires for all His children. That they are loving and full of grace for all people.

I've had a fabulous weekend and I am very thankful for it. There hasn't been anything big and glamorous going on, but it has been great.


  • I started the day with a cooked breakfast and a couple of episodes of Chicago Med
  • I had a great hour in the Prayer Centre soaking and reading
  • Lunch with some lovely ladies and a very good chat
  • I got a couple of (long-overdue) cupboards sorted out
  • A few hours of work and many things ticked off
  • Yummy homemade chilli nachos for tea with all the family
  • Casualty on TV

  • A great service at church, with a pertinent message about belonging
  • Roast beef cooked for me
  • I got the weeks ironing out of the way
  • Fun rehearsal for the panto I am taking part in, in November
  • Off to see Jo Brand at the theatre in a few minutes and then a chicken kebab on the way home
Simple stuff, but it all makes for a happy and content Mich!

I hope you've had a great weekend too. Mich x

I'm linking this post up with Becky at Lakes Single Mum for Reasons to be Cheerful

Wednesday 25 September 2019

7 Amazing Places to Visit to Discover the Diversity of Canada

Image Credit: Lake Moraine by Garrett Parker on Unsplash
{Collaborative post}

I often think that people miss a trick when they pass Canada over in favour of a visit to the United States. This massive country has so much going for it, like 79 million hectares of protected wilderness, long summer days, winters that don’t stop day-to-day life and the eTA Canada is incredibly easy to gain too.

Of course, when you start planning your trip to a foreign country you want to check out the costs, safety, climate, health and travel requirements, and Canada is a hit on all fronts. Once you have booked your trip and made sure that you have your travel insurance in place, you want to get your electronic travel authorization (or eTA) in process by filling out the Canada eta application, then you can sit back and start to plan all the truly exciting places that you will visit whilst in the country.

As Canada is so big, you’re either going to need to be there for some weeks to travel all round or you’ll need a few trips to the different areas. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing places you can visit to discover just how diverse Canada is.

1. Lake Moraine, Banff National Park, Alberta 
Lake Moraine is only half the size of its sister, Lake Louise but many say it is even more beautiful. Well known for its clear turquoise colour, this glacier-fed lake is best viewed from late June through to August. In fact, you’ll only be able to visit from late May until early October as then the weather may become too harsh and unpredictable for the access road to be open. You can take one of the many trails along stone steps to see the magnificent mountain and lake views, including the iconic ten peaks.

Friday 20 September 2019

It's Time for Reasons to be Cheerful...

I'm a little early but that's OK, as it's my blog and I can choose what I want to do. To be honest I've not been feeling the blogging mojo just recently. I think as I've started a new job and it's been the summer holiday I've just been really short of time.

I'm off to the Blog On conference tomorrow (my first one) and I am really hoping to re-find my love of blogging, and to want to get back in to writing. It should be a lot of fun, but I haven't been to a blogging conference for a couple of years now and I'm going on my own, so I am a tad nervous and want to make sure I find my confidence so I can chat to people.

To gte me in the right spirit for tomorrow I want to share my reasons to be cheerful for this week. These are all the simple moments that I am super grateful for.

  • It's been a productive week, workwise
  • Having fajitas and enjoying the company of my kids as we ate
  • I've joined the chorus of the village panto and we had our first practise. I think I'll have a lot of fun getting involved with this
  • I had a new fridge and freezer delivered and installed. This will make such a difference, as we were super tight for space
  • Clearing all the summer stuff out the dining room and taking it back up to the shed
  • Getting JJ's massive amount of Lego sold and out the house
  • Bleeding the radiators and the house toastie again
  • I've had some great walks around the grounds of my home
  • I had the most divine hot chocolate whilst soaking my feet (I really am an 80 year old in a 46 year olds body!)
  • Having a super chilled Friday with my parents, including liver and bacon for lunch, yummy!
  • I'm at Blog On today and keen to learn something new and to have my blogging fire reignited
  • Choosing not to stay overnight tonight and drink too much alcohol. This means I can get home and go to church with my family Sunday morning
See, it really is the simple things that can make me smile. I tend to find that when I remember to be grateful for the simple stuff, the big stuff takes care of itself. 

Wishing you a great week ahead. Do share what has made you cheerful this week and feel free to link a post up with Becky at Lakes Single Mum for Reasons to be Cheerful. 

Sunday 15 September 2019

Making Progress...

Myself and my friend Rachel (Mid Life Single Mum) agreed we'd post every couple of weeks to stay accountable for how we are doing in relation to the changes we want to make to our lives. She suggested we do a Slimming Sunday post, as that was something we both used to do and I thought, yes great idea but then I've been thinking about posting yesterday and today and not feeling at all motivated.

As I mused why, I realised that my focus isn't on slimming. Yes, of course I need to lose a serious amount of weight, but that isn't so I'll be slim. Being slim and being able to dress in whichever clothes I fancy will be a nice bonus, but the main thing is to lose weight to improve my health and get rid of the many ailments I currently have.

On Friday 6th September I started to make choices that would lead to better health for me and I want to celebrate those good choices. There have been times, even days in the last week or so when I haven't been great, when my choice has perhaps been a poor one, but I don't want to linger on those times and beat myself up, I want to focus on the good and as such I'll link this post up with Reasons to be Cheerful as I am seriously grateful for the good choices I have been making, some of which will seem so silly to many but for me they are steps in the right direction - progress.

  • I faced the music and went to see my doctor to get weighed and to have my blood pressure checked. I was super pleased to find I was only 0.5kg more than when I last saw her about six months ago and my BP was fine.
  • I've had some great days food wise, making good choices and not feeling deprived because of them
  • I've been eating fruit. This might not sound much to many, but fruit I've always regarded as a waste of calories and I've chosen an apple, bananas and plums this week
  • I even muttered the words 'no, I'm not hungry' when offered something by JJ
  • I restarted at the gym and had a gym and a swimming session last week, at two different places. My membership gives me access to about six clubs and I intend to explore them all
  • I've been choosing to drink tea over coffee as this saves me milk and sugar in every cup
  • My water intake has been good and I've been remembering to hydrate
  • I haven't been allowing other peoples negative moods impact on me
  • I contacted my coach and we set up a meeting to talk and this always helps me to clear my thoughts and to be sure of where I am heading
  • I've been making more time to read and pray each each
It's been an acceptable start to making better choices and improving my life for the better. There is four years until I hit 50 and that feels like a great milestone to head towards.

Onwards and upwards!

Linking up with Becky at Lakes Single Mum

Monday 9 September 2019

8 Ways to Spend more Time Together as a Family

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash
{Collaborative Post}

In this day and age it is far to easy to allow time to whizz by and for all the family to do totally different activities. Of course it is healthy to spend time apart and they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I find it is also good to plan intentional time for all the family to be together.

We may not all love the same activity, but as long as we are doing things at some point that each family member enjoys then it is good to grow in tolerance and to partake in each others preferred activities.

Here are a few examples of the ways we like to spend time together as a family, I hope they'll encourage you to do the same. Of course, it isn't every day but at least once a week we have a good couple of hours where we all put down the phones and engage with each other.

1.  Cycle, skate or scoot together
My family all love to cycle and the kids enjoy scooting as well. The girls then go one step further and are great roller skaters too. As for me, well I am not great with anything on just a couple of wheels, so if I am going to join the family for a fun family cycle I'd need to invest in a Jorvik adult tricycle, as three wheels will suit me much better I am sure!

2.  Play Board Games
We all enjoy playing a good board game together, I think this is because I started to play with the kids from a young age. What started as snakes and ladders, progressed to Monopoly and now we love to play Risk or Catan.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Tips for Helping with the Back to School Sleep Routine

Sleeping cat
Photo by Alexandru Zdrob─âu on Unsplash
{Collaborative Post}

My kids went back to school yesterday and I know I was supposed to have got them back in a routine of going to bed earlier and being ready to wake for the early mornings and I had good intentions, honestly, I did! But it just didn't seem to fall into place this year. I blame where we live, there is just too many fun things going on and the girls, in particular, want to be involved in everything.

Thankfully they all got up fine for their first morning back and I am determined to help them get back on track over the weekend. I assume there are other parents like me who didn't manage to get their kids back on track this last week so I thought it might be useful to share my tips for helping your child have a good nights sleep -

1.  Check out your child's bed and mattress. I spent a night on Miss M's bed recently as she was poorly and had fallen asleep in my bed. I thought I'd be kind and leave her there for the night but boy did I regret it as her mattress is horrible, even though it is fairly new. You really are worth investing in a good mattress, so why not take a look at the beds from Bed Guru.

2.  Keep sleep and wake times constant, even on the weekend. I've had to lay down the law with my 12-year-olds and tell them there is no more sitting quietly on the sofa and hoping to be forgotten, they need to be in bed by 9.30pm at the latest.

Friday 6 September 2019

Port Lympne Animal Reserve, Kent - Kids Go Free in September 2019

Port Lympne header image

We've been to Port Lympne animal reserve a few times now and each visit has been so much fun. We've been in the summer when it was super busy and during a week day when the kids are at school and it feels like we're the only ones there (we're not!), and both occasions have been great fun. Earlier this week when most of the East Sussex and Kent schools had gone back we headed to Port Lympne with my mum and brother to visit for the first time. They'd heard so many great things from me that they didn't want to stay away.

Port Lympne is set is picturesque countryside, but it is quite a steep hill, so I was interested to see how we'd all cope as mum has COPD, I've got calf issues currently and my brother had a knee op earlier this year. I was so impressed that when I mentioned mum's condition to any of the staff they told me I could approach any member of staff with a radio, if we needed to, and they would get a minibus to take mum back to the top. It turned out we didn't need to, as we took it easy on the hills, made use of all the appropriately positioned benches and stopped to look at the animals as we went.

4 animals at port Lympne
On the day we visited it was raining terribly when we awoke and we weren't too keen to wander around in the rain, so we left it a while for the weather to clear and thankfully by the time we got there at 1pm the skies were blue and the sun had come out. Mum was a little worried that we wouldn't get long at the park as we had only arrived at lunchtime but thankfully it doesn't close until 6.30pm, so we had plenty of time.