Monday, 31 March 2014

April idea list.




Welcome to the April idea list. There is a different idea for each day of the month and then at the end of the month I will post a new list for May. Feel free to follow the list to the letter or just pick and choose the ones that best fit your life style. The whole idea of this list is basically to give you some 'ideas' to get more organised and have more fun in your life. I always love to hear from you so please do get in touch to let me know if your following the list, what you think about this months idea list or anything else on my blog or life in general.
April.



Tuesday 1st - Today is April fools day! Why not help your child play a trick on an unsuspecting family member!


Wednesday 2nd - Have a look in your airing cupboard at bedding and towels. Discard any that have seen better days and make the cupboard more tidy and organised.


Thursday 3rd - Put on some rubber gloves and give the toilets in your home a good scrub down on the outside as well as the inside. Daily maintenance cleaning means this job only needs to be done a few times a year.


Friday 4th - Plan your Easter activities. What will you be eating? Who are you buying for and what will you buy? Are you planning any outings over the bank holiday weekend? What activities are you planning for your little ones? Draw up a shopping and to do list to make sure your on top of things.


Saturday 5th - Pick a room for skirting boards cleaning time.


Sunday 6th - Why not have a family painting session drawing the signs of spring.


Monday 7th - Now the weather should be getting warmer, now is the perfect time to get the patio furniture out of storage and cleaned up ready for sitting in the garden.

Tuesday 8th - Organise your child's garden toys and clean any that need some attention. Access whether any more toys are needed and check your paddling pool if you have one for wear and tear to see if you need to fix any holes or buy a new one.

Wednesday 9th - Gather up all the hats, gloves and scarfs and put them away in a labelled box ready for the autumn.

Thursday 10th - Treat your feet to some love and attention, removing hard skin and painting your toe nails ready for sandals in warmer weather.

Friday 11th - Get the barbeque out of storage and give it a clean taking note of any needed cole, utensils etc.

Saturday 12th - Time to organise your clothing. Either put your winter clothing in a box and store elsewhere or hide it all at the back of your wardrobe so your spring, summer clothes are close to hand. If you remove your winter clothing make sure to leave one or two things at the back of your wardrobe as you can never rely on the British weather to be as expected!

Sunday 13th - Why not go on a family bike ride, weather permitting. If you do not all have bikes you could walk, roller skate or scooter. Fun in the fresh air as a family is always nice.

Monday 14th - Organise your children's clothing in the same way as your own. Get them to try anything on which you are unsure of fitting and make a list of any needed items.

Tuesday 15th - Give the oven a good clean today. There are some fantastic products available now to help make this job easier.

Wednesday 16th - Tie a damp cloth to the end of a long handled broom and go to every room in the house getting rid of any nasty cobwebs that have appeared over the last couple of months.

Thursday 17th - Catch up on some reading today. Also if reading is something that you are passionate about, why not look into local book groups?

Friday 18th - Today is good Friday. Why not have a go at baking some hot cross buns with the kids.

Saturday 19th - Last minute Easter prep, if you are planning an egg hunt now is the time to finalise those clues!


Sunday 20th - Happy Easter! Enjoy the day spending time with family and friends.

Monday 21st - Take a look at your family notice board, the front of your fridge or wherever you stick your take-a-way menus, letters from school and child's artwork etc. Discard anything you no longer need and make it look more tidy and organised.


Tuesday 22nd - Wash all the net curtains or blinds in your home today.

Wednesday 23rd - How does your home smell? Check if air fresheners need replacing and check to see if you still have Christmas scented candles dotted around your home.

Thursday 24th - Take your household waste bin outside and give it a good scrub both inside and outside as bins always manage to get dirty even if you always use bin bags inside your bin.

Friday 25th - Today do a job that you have been avoiding for a while. Get it done as early as possible in the day so that it is out of the way and you can feel proud of yourself for the rest of the day!

Saturday 26th - Get the kids involved in making tonight's dinner. They could help make bread rolls to go with homemade soup or a salad.

Sunday 27th - Why not give the children a small patch of dirt in your garden and help them make a vegetable patch or a flower garden. They will love watching their crops grow and you will have good fun working on the garden together and caring for what you produce.

Monday 28th - Wash and clean your tea, coffee and sugar canisters and your salt and pepper shakers as these can often get forgotten when doing general cleaning.

Tuesday 29th - Hoover or sweep the stairs and wash the skirting boards.

Wednesday 30th - Clean out the bread bin.

Themed family fun - week 5

The idea is simple - each week I will tell you a theme. It could be a colour, a shape, an animal, a holiday or anything. You then use the theme to have some family fun and write a blog post telling us all what you did. You might cook something or craft something or visit somewhere. Whatever you like as long as you are having fun.



The rules.

1) Visit my blog every Monday to see what the weeks theme will be.

2) Have fun using the theme and write up your post.


3) Make sure you include the badge or a text link to my blog so people can join in.

4) Come back on the following Saturday to see what we have done and link up your post.

5) Look at other peoples posts and comment on at least three so everyone gets some love :-)



You do not have to join in every week and if you are worried that you may forget then just follow me on twitter and I'll be tweeting reminders each week.


Each linky will be open for five days giving people plenty of time to link up their posts.

This weeks theme is
Pig

I hope that you have lot's of fun with this weeks theme and that you remember to come back on Saturday to link up your posts.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Painting daffodils.


Faith loves daffodils, they have always been her favourite flower. I think it's because they are always everywhere in the spring and she likes to pick one whenever we are out and bring it home to look at. She always put's it in a glass of water and she will sit and talk with it, it is very sweet.

Anyway, when we decided to paint a picture of a flower it had to be a daffodil.

We were inspired by the following tip from Center Parcs’ Creative Crafter, Emma Hull.
•    Find materials around the house to add to the painting, giving it a 3D effect. Why not paint an old bottle cap and stick it in the centre of a flower, really bringing your painting to life?

We used the bottom of an egg box to make the 3D effect of the centre of the daffodils.

Look how proud she is!!

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 March challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Elveden Forest.








Saturday, 29 March 2014

Themed family fun - flowers week

Welcome to flowers week.





This week I have been very ill so I am afraid we only have a small craft activity to show for flowers week.

We used coloured paper doilies to make a flower and then stuck it onto some paper. We then used pens to add a flower pot, stalk and decorations.






Tomorrow I will be posting our paintings of daffodils which we also did with flower week in mind.


If you have been inspired by this weeks theme then I would love for you to link up at the bottom of this post.

For more information on themed family fun, take a look at the page at the top of the blog.

Don't forget to come back on Monday to see the next theme!



Friday, 28 March 2014

The prompt - week 11.

mumturnedmom
The Prompt for this week from the lovely Sara over at mumturnedmom is a phrase and it is:

That was unexpected…



This prompt is definitely the hardest for me to write so far as I am a planner so there is rarely anything unexpected happening in my life. In truth, I do not deal with the unexpected very well, I am a control freak! I plan every week, day by day, and I have lists of lists that cover every eventuality that I can possibly think of!

I suppose that one of the very few unexpected things in my life is actually my hobby of entering competitions. When I enter I never really expect to win so the few times that I have won have been completely unexpected but in a good way.

Over the last few years I have won an apple Ipad, two tickets to a musical in London, perfume sets, books, and a child's sofa bed. Since starting blogging I do not have much time to enter many competitions but I do enjoy the blogger competitions that are based on skill rather then just being picked from a hat and this year I have managed to win two so far. The first was on a post about Barney cakes which won me £100 John Lewis vouchers and the second was for a recipe made with eggs which won me £100 Asda vouchers.

I do love entering competitions as you never know what the postman may bring so I hope that once I am more organised with my blogging I will still manage to find some time to enter some competitions each week as you have to be in it to win it!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

My groovy update 20/03/14 - 26/03/14

This week has been a hard week as I have been very ill with a flu bug which completely knocked me down and Lauren has had a virus so she has been off school and very unwell bless her!



On Thursday I went to weight watchers and even through I had followed the plan to the letter I still gained weight so I was not best pleased! You can read more about that here.

On Sunday my dad came up from London to see us all and have dinner and I spent the whole time in bed as I was so unwell so I didn't even get to see him. At least he got to see the kids which was nice.

By Monday my bug had developed into a throat infection which is still causing me a lot of pain now so I am having to take a lot of pain killers just to get through the day.

So I'm afraid that it has not been a very groovy or productive week for us. 

I am linking this post to Kate's groovy mums.  



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My week two results.

Well at last I have finished the simple start part of my weight watchers journey and I am very glad to be starting week three on normal pro points.

This week has been much more positive for me which is good as being very down about things is not like me at all. This week I decided to embrace the simple start plan as it was only for a week and like I said last week, it was phase two which meant that I had my 49 pro points to spend during the week which made it much more flexibly and enjoyable to follow.

I use to eat chocolate every day and my absolute favourite type of chocolate is anything made by Cadbury so during week one when I had no points to spend I couldn't have any chocolate and it was probably the first week in over 15 years that I did not have any chocolate at all. Not being able to have any chocolate felt like torture and it was constantly on my mind. The funny thing is that since going into phase two and being able to have a chocolate bar with my pro points I haven't wanted one. I genuinely haven't felt the need for chocolate so I have not brought any and I have now been two whole weeks with out any chocolate at all, a new record for me!

Funny how when we are told that we are not aloud something our brains start to crave it all the more, make's me think about the children and how they react when we say no to something that they want to do.

Today's meeting was about the importance of breakfast which has never been a problem for me as I love my breakfast!


The scales were not my friend this week and I must admit I found it hard to hold back the tears when I weighted in. I was feeling really positive knowing that I had completely stuck to the plan so it should be a good result, only to be told that I had actually gained 1.5lbs!!!


It was absolutely soul destroying and I really had no words to explain my shock and upset. I really do not know what went wrong, but I am now on normal pro points so I hope that next week will bring me better results.


The only positive I can possibly think of is at least I am still trying, normally I would have a full scale melt down and consume my weight in chocolate, but this time I am going to take it on the chin and hope that next week the scales actually reflect the hard work that I am putting into the plan!

Starting weight                                       17st 13lbs.
Weight lost or gained.                            + 1.5lbs.
Weight lost all together.                         2lbs.
Current weight.                                      17st 11lbs.


I am linking this post to wobbles Wednesday over at AutismMumma.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Themed family fun - week four

Welcome to the fourth week of my linky.

The idea is simple - each week I will tell you a theme. It could be a colour, a shape, an animal, a holiday or anything. You then use the theme to have some family fun and write a blog post telling us all what you did. You might cook something or craft something or visit somewhere. Whatever you like as long as you are having fun.



The rules.

1) Visit my blog every Monday to see what the weeks theme will be.

2) Have fun using the theme and write up your post.

3) Make sure you include the badge or a text link to my blog so people can join in.

4) Come back on the following Saturday to see what we have done and link up your post.

5) Look at other peoples posts and comment on at least three so everyone gets some love :-)



You do not have to join in every week and if you are worried that you may forget then just follow me on twitter and I'll be tweeting reminders each week.


Each linky will be open for five days giving people plenty of time to link up their posts.

This weeks theme is
Flowers

I hope that you have lot's of fun with this weeks theme and that you remember to come back on Saturday to link up your posts.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The signature scent of the Maldives.

Here is what I think would be the perfect description of the Maldives signature scent.

The base of this scent is soft pink rose, the Maldives traditional flower. Coconut and a hint of vanilla are layered together representing the Maldives traditional fruit and the sweetness from the vanilla adds to the fun that the Maldives stands for. The colour of this scent is a delicate light blue that is reminiscent of the beautiful clear blue waters that surround the Maldives. The bottle is speckled with iridescent sparkles that reminds one of the beautiful white sandy beaches and the lid is a golden palm tree.


This scent is the signature sent of the Maldives because it stimulates both your senses of smell and sight, instantly taking you on a journey of pure bliss and luxury.

For more information on visiting the Maldives, take a look at the kuoni website.

This is my entry into the Tots100/Kuoni bloggers challenge.




Saturday, 22 March 2014

Themed family fun - outer space week

Courtesy of dreamstime.
Welcome to themed family fun - outer space!



This week we have made outer space pictures and model rockets.


Outer space pictures.

For this we simply used chalk on black paper to draw pictures of planets and stars and we smudged some of the stars to make them look twinkly. We then used some star and space stickers which I brought from a craft shop to finish them off.









Model Rocket.


For this you need; * Empty toilet roll.
                              * Tissue paper.
                              * Card.
                              * Cello tape.
                              * Scissors.
                              * Ribbon.
                              * Felt tip pens.

To make your own rocket;

1) Wrap the toilet roll in tissue paper and secure with tape. Tuck the ends inside the roll using more tape to keep it in place.

2) Draw a circle on the card by drawing round a small plate or with a pair of compasses. Colour in the cone or decorate with patterns.

3) Cut a line into the center of the circle so that you can make the circle into a cone and secure with tape.

4) Wrap the ribbon around the toilet roll and tape in place so you have two lines of ribbon going around.

5) Use some more tape to secure the cone on top of the toilet roll and you now have a rocket.

6) Finally cut some strips of orange and yellow tissue and tape to the bottom of the rocket for the flames.









If you have joined in with this weeks theme then I would love for you to link up below.

For more information on the themed family fun linky and to get my badge please see the section at the top of this page.

Don't forget to come back on Monday to find out the next theme!













Friday, 21 March 2014

The prompt - week 10.

mumturnedmomThis weeks prompt from mumturnedmom is a scenario and it is:

If I had three wishes…



I should say that if I had three wishes I would wish for world peace, no more poverty and the cure for cancer but I suspect that most people would say those things and as great as they are, I would like to talk about things from a more personal point of view.

So, if I had three wishes I would wish for;

1) A perfect body.
2) The health and happiness of my whole family.
3) A career in acting or writing my two biggest passions.

I know that wishing for a perfect body is shallow but for me, it is not just about being vain, it is also about my confidence and self-esteem as well, along with eliminating the added health implications being very over weight can bring.

Of course I would want my family to all be healthy and happy so that wish is pretty self-explanatory.

My final wish would be to enjoy a career as either an actor or a writer as I am very passionate about both of those subjects and the idea of 'work' involving those subjects would be a dream come true. I guess it is the same as the footballer who get paid to play football, most young boys dream job and the singer who gets paid to sing. Getting paid to act or write would be my dream come true.

As is most probably human nature, I did consider the wish of more wishes as there are many more things that I would like to wish for but then I remembered in every story that I have even read or seen, the wish for more wishes are never aloud.

That is also probably a good thing as I get the sense that if we as human beings had an unlimited supply of magic wishes we would never run out of things to wish for and I am sure that living life and working hard to achieve your dreams is much more satisfying then simply wishing for things anyway.




Thursday, 20 March 2014

My groovy update 13/03/14 - 19/03/14

This week has been a quiet week and although we have not been up to that much, it has still been a nice week.

On Thursday I returned to weight watchers and although the first week was not great, I did manage to loose 3.5lbs which I am pleased with. If you missed yesterdays post on this you can read it here.

On Friday Faith brought home her first proper school report which was fantastic. I was really nervous to open it as she has been having problems with concentrating at school and at the last parents evening I was informed that Faith was behind the class average. Now as a mum I wanted to dispute that fact straight away as Faith always seemed really bright at home but then I thought that maybe I was being biased as Faiths mum so I didn't say anything else.

Well the report showed that Faith was completely on target and she had loads of A's for her effort and behaviour in classes showing that she is trying her best and working hard - I could not be more thrilled or proud. A trip to toys r us for a well done present for Faith is definitely in order, she is a little star and deserves a treat.

On Sunday we went to our local cinema who were showing Disney Frozen for just a pound each which is great value. It was just Faith, Darren and myself as Lauren and Chloe had school production rehearsals all day as the show that they are taking part in is next week. So for just £3 we had a great time and Faith loved the film. I must admit that even I enjoyed the film and wept a tear near the end and the music in the film is also really good, I think I will be investing in the soundtrack at some point.

I spent Sunday afternoon doing science experiments with Faith as she is currently very interested in science and saved up for one of those science kit's that have ten experiments inside. I must admit that science was never really one of my strong points but if it involves spending time with Faith doing something that she enjoys then I'm happy having a go.


On Tuesday afternoon it was Faith's parents evening at school. The teacher was completely different to last time we met and this time she was full of praise for Faith saying how well she is now doing and what a delight she is to have in the class. Faith still needs to work on her concentration levels but that will hopefully improve in time but all in all, I could not be happier.


As always I am linking this post to Kate's groovy mums and this week we have some more questions to answer so I will do my best to answer them.


1. Recall a time you were very happy. What were the elements that brought you that happiness? Can you replicate any of them in your life right now?
This is a hard question for me to answer, as I know when I was most happy but I have no idea how to get that back or even if I really want to! You see I was most happy when I was on my social work degree as I was doing something I loved and working towards a job which would provide financial security for my family and we had more money to go out for family trips and holidays. It was hard work but a very happy time for me as I had a plan and I was working towards my goals and everything just seemed right.


Then I became ill with ME and I had to leave my degree half way through the second year and we went from being on a comfortable income to being on benefits and I lost all of my confidence and it has all been down hill from that moment really. I try to look at things in a positive way and think that everything happens for a reason as that is the only way that I can make sense of things and I think that if I had not of gotten ill then I very probably would not of had Faith and she is worth any hardships that I felt back then. I also would not be writing my blog either as I would never of had the time to once I had qualified.


I think that the main point was that I had an achievable plan on what to do with my life to provide for my family and since all of that has passed I am at a complete loss of what to do with myself.

2. What needs to change? I think we often know really but run away from the answer.

This one is easy as I know what needs to change - I do! The problem is, I am not sure how to!

3. What blessings do you have even the ones that wind you up a lot of the time?

My husband and my children are my biggest blessings in life. I am also thankful to have a roof over my head and food in our cupboards. Access to the internet is also a blessing for me as it allows me to express myself in my blogging and to read other blogs and interesting things on the net. I am also blessed with the good health of all of my children, I do not know how I would cope if they had any serious illnesses, it doesn't bare thinking about.









Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A bad start with a nice ending!

A week following the weight watchers new simple start plan which is basically the same as slimming worlds old plan that I have done in the past but with even less flexibility and I was not a happy dieter!

I think that half of the problem was that I thought I knew what I was going to be eating and had already planned out my weeks meals etc. and then I was hit with the new plan which you do for the first two weeks and it really threw me.

Now to most people, including my hubby, the fact that it is only two weeks should mean that it is not a problem and I should just get on with it but for me it felt like the end of the world! I was not happy and on my return to my meeting when asked by my leader how I had found the week when I was standing at the scales I told her that I was less then impressed, as I thought that one of the most important parts of getting weighed is that you are honest, and yet I got a very frosty response which finished with 'Well, you've lost 3.5lbs so it couldn't have been that bad!'

So I am very pleased with my loss and I am also pleased that I am now on the second phase of simple start which does allow choice and flexibility, but I am not so pleased with my leader as it seems that you should only be honest with them as long as you don't say anything negative about the plan!

The meeting talk today was going through the simple start plan and the normal pro points plan to refresh memories and make sure that every one understood everything and that we were all doing it right. I know that it is important for everyone to know what they are doing and each person is different so what seems simple to me could be as clear as mud to another person but I did feel that this topic was rather pointless as all of the information on the plan can be found in our books and online so it just seemed boring to me. I hope that next weeks topic is a bit more exciting and informative!

So not a great week for me, but I did manage to learn quite a few things that include;

* I am not very good at coping with change!

* I can achieve weight loss even when I am stressed, fed up and generally feeling sorry for myself!

* Weight watchers in meeting sweet and nutty peanut bars are delicious and I would eat them even if I was not on a diet.

Aims for next week.

1) To loose 2lbs.
2) To improve my mood and get my positivity back!
3) To plan out some short and long term goals for my weight loss.

Starting weight                          17st 13lbs.
Weight loss this week                  3.5lbs
Total weight loss so far                3.5lbs.
My current weight                     17st 9.5lbs.

I am linking this post up to wobbles Wednesday linky over at autismmumma.





Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Bottom gate!

Having two teenage girls often means that I am walking on egg shells as their hormones are all over the place and they can get very upset by the slightest things regarding their appearances. I normally find that avoiding giving an answer to questions can get me out of trouble so for example if asked 'Does this dress go with these shoes' I would say 'Do you think that they go?' Then they would say something like 'yes, but I wasn't sure' to which I can then reply 'Yes they do, you look lovely' and all is well.

When I was a teenager the main concern of most women would be if their bottom looked big in what they were wearing as we didn't want to have big bottoms, so when Chloe asked me if her bum looked big I thought to myself - 'Yes! I can get this one right!' and I said 'No darling, you can hardly see anything as your bottom is so small'. So, you can imagine my confusion when she got very angry and upset with me!

You see it turns out that now-a-days girls like to have big bottoms and I'm guessing this is due to stars such as Nicki Minaj, who seems to have a rather large derriere compared to her tiny figure. I felt terrible and it took me a lot of grovelling to make things right with Chloe over this.

The next day I was chatting with Lauren about appearances and she asked me what I thought of her bottom as a few people at school had said it was nice and I thought to myself 'this time I will get it right!' so I said 'Your bottom is great, really sticks out with a nice curve.' To which she got very upset with me as she does not want a big bottom and she said I've made her really self conscience now which is the last thing that I wanted to do!

You see when it comes to teenage girls and their appearance you really can not do right for doing wrong and the only advice that I can offer you is to avoid the conversations all together, advice that I really must start taking myself!



Monday, 17 March 2014

1 down 39 to go!

Back in late January you may remember me writing my 40 things to do by the time I reach aged 40 list and this week I managed to complete one of the items on the list.

3) Get a new dishwasher.

Themed family fun - week three.

Welcome to the third week of my linky. Last week we had a week of pink but unfortunately we are yet to have any link ups so far which is sad but then, it was only the second week so fingers crossed things will improve in time.

The idea is simple - each week I will tell you a theme. It could be a colour, a shape, an animal, a holiday or anything. You then use the theme to have some family fun and write a blog post telling us all what you did. You might cook something or craft something or visit somewhere. Whatever you like as long as you are having fun.



The rules.

1) Visit my blog every Monday to see what the weeks theme will be.

2) Have fun using the theme and write up your post.


3) Make sure you include the badge or a text link to my blog so people can join in.

4) Come back on the following Saturday to see what we have done and link up your post.

5) Look at other peoples posts and comment on at least three so everyone gets some love :-)



You do not have to join in every week and if you are worried that you may forget then just follow me on twitter and I'll be tweeting reminders each week.


Each linky will be open for five days giving people plenty of time to link up their posts.

This weeks theme is
Outer space

I hope you have loads of fun with this weeks theme and come back on Saturday to link up your post.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Themed family fun - pink week.

Welcome to week two of Themed family fun - a week of pink!


We didn't manage as much as I would of liked but we did make a lovely pink pompom heart to hang in Faith's bedroom this week.

We also decided to colour our rice pink one night at dinner to add a little fun to our meal which went down very well with Faith!




Heart pompom decoration.

To make this you simply need to make three pompoms which you could make from any coloured wool you like and then you sew or stick with a glue gun the three pompoms together and then trim them to make more of a heart shape.







To make a pompom get some card (I used an old cereal box) to draw a circle with a smaller circle inside. You could use a compass for this but I didn't have one so I used the large part of the cup to draw around and the smaller inside circle of the cello tape to make the inside circle. You need to make two of these and then cut out the circles and the middles so that you have two doughnut rings of card.

You then hold them together and use lengths of wool that you have doubled up to make thicker to thread the wool through the middle of the card hoops and carry on wrapping the wool so eventually you have completely covered your cards template. You need to keep going until the middle circle is too small for your fingers to thread any more wool through, or else it may fall apart when you get to the cutting. If you get to the end of your length of wool you simply double up another and tie it to the end of the one you are using. This is great for using up different odds and ends of wool that you may have and also good if you would like to use more then one colour.


Next you need to carefully cut around the rim of the circle making sure that you keep the two card rings tight together. You should be able to see the edge of the two card rings all the way around when you are done.

You then cut off a length of wool and tie it around the pompom so that the wool sits in the middle of the two card rings. Tie a few knots to secure.

You can now remove the card rings and fluff out the wool, trimming any stray bits of wool that are longer then the rest.



I hope that this makes sense as I am not great at explaining things but once you have done one you will find anymore you make a piece of cake!

If you have joined in this week then I would love for you to link up a post on the linky below, telling us what you have been up to for your week of pink!

For more information on this linky check out the page at the top of my blog.

Don't forget to check back on Monday to see what the next theme will be!







Friday, 14 March 2014

The prompt - week 9

mumturnedmomThe Prompt for this week from the lovely mumturnedmom is a quote and it is:

Spring is the time of plans and projects. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina



I like to think that spring is the next step for planning and goal setting after setting new year resolutions.

When we get to spring it is the perfect time to review those goals that we set ourselves and make an action plan on moving forward adjusting our previous goals to fit where we are with them. If those previous goals and plans have got waylaid, now is the perfect time to start again.

Spring brings more sunlight which in turn seems to lift the spirits of most people and the idea of the flowers starting to bloom and the baby lambs being born adds to that feeling that now is the time to spring into action.

Spring is also a great time to start making plans on improving our homes and gardens and of course the somewhat dreaded spring cleaning also comes to mind.

For me, it is this time of year that I really start brain storming about different ways that I can be more organised in myself and with the household chores and planning out projects that I hope to undertake during the year. It is a time that I plan out exercise and health and beauty plans that will help lift my mood and make me feel better in general and it is a time that I take stock of the household finances and work out which projects are realistic for us to try and tackle for the rest of year. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

My groovy update 06/03/14 - 12/03/14

After the highs of last week this week has been quite low and difficult but then I guess that is the way life goes, every week can not be fantastic so I just need to be able to learn to deal with the more flat weeks better and make the most of every great week that I have.

Faith has finally recovered from her chicken pox and is now back at school which is great as it was hard having her home for a week as I didn't manage to get much done and all my to do lists went out the window and of course it is great that she is feeling better now, not that it seemed to affect her very much, bless her.

I did manage to join weight watchers which you can read all about on my wobbles Wednesday post from yesterday if you like, here.

Now as always I am linking up with Kate's groovy mums and this week she has asked us all some questions about friendship and supporting people that are having a hard time, so here are my ideas.

1. How can you and I support mums when they are having extreme troubles but also have to keep on keeping on for the sake of their families?
If these mums are on-line then I guess that all we can do is listen to them and offer kind words and advice to hopefully give them the strength to carry on. Sometimes, life can feel very lonely and all you want is someone to talk to so that you do not feel so alone even if it is online rather then in person.

2. How do you like to be supported when it all seems too much and where do you go for that back-up?
I only really have the support of my husband which is great although sometimes it would be nice to have a different perspective. I find making friends very difficult and I actually wrote a post on this last week.
I think for myself I would like it if I knew that there was someone somewhere that cared and would be there to listen and offer advice when I needed it.

3. When you are struggling, do you take inspiration from a book, a heroine or something else?
When I am struggling I try to think about my children and how they need me to go on and be there for them. I want to be a good role model for them so I try and show them that it is ok to sometimes struggle in life as long as you do not give up, you will eventually find a way through it all and life will get better.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

My Britmums live 2014 sponsorship plea!

Britmums live 2014 is a two day blogging conference in central London and it is currently the UK's biggest social media conference and blogger event.  Britmums Live has grown out of Britmums, the UK’s largest parent blogger community, made up of nearly 5,000 influential bloggers who create content about lifestyle, crafting, food, health, travel, education, tech, style and more.


I would love to attend the event to learn more about blogging and to meet fellow bloggers and I think that it would be a very exciting and worthwhile opportunity for my blog and myself.

I have been properly blogging since November 2013 and I have already built up an audience of over 500 followers on Twitter and the numbers keep rising each day. I am very involved in the blogging community taking part in various linkys and bloggers challenges, two of which I have recently won. I have been nominated in the best new blog category for the MAD's blogging awards and I have approximately 2,400 page views a month and again that number is constantly rising.


If you would like to sponsor me for either full or part costs of the event I am looking for £220 to cover the cost of my ticket, travel and accommodation costs.


In return I can offer the following package to the right sponsor.

* An introductory post on my blog detailing who you are and what you do.

* Representation at the conference during which I can wear a branded t-shirt or badge.
* Details of your company on the back of my business cards that I will be giving out during the conference.

* Your badge or logo in my side bar for 12 months.

* Product reviews or competitions (up to a total of 12)

* A further four blog posts about your company and products and any news that you would like to share with my readers throughout the year.

If you think that you may be able to help or have any questions then please do get in touch: djstar80@sky.com




Loosing weight - the weight watchers way?

As some of you will know, I have been a part of Kate's groovy mums this year and part of that is that I really want to loose weight and I also really need to loose weight! That is why I thought that it would be a good idea for me to get involved in wobbles Wednesday which is a weekly weight loss linky so that we can offer support and friendship with like minded people over at AutismMumma.



I have decided to go back to weight watchers as I feel that after trying a lot of different programes it is the best plan to fit in with family life. In the past I have tried nearly everything going, sliming world, the chocolate diet, diet pills, many different books, slim fast and that is just off the top of my head. The main problem that I have is that I start really well and then either loose interest or more often then not life gets in the way and throws me off track. I then tell myself that it is ok as anyone in my position would do the same and I go back to my comfort eating and unhealthy lifestyle and end up gaining more then I lost in the first place! The last time I tried to loose weight I joined weight watchers and it was going well. I lost nearly two stone over a period of ten weeks but then I tried to give up smoking and I told myself that I couldn't possibly do both at the same time and giving up smoking was more important so that was that. I then piled the two stone back on and I need to do something now before I follow my normal trend and get any bigger.



So with that in mind I went along to my first meeting on Thursday morning. I was really nervous as the meeting I use to go to had closed so it was a new venue with new leaders and my mum decided that it was not the right time for her to join so I had to go on my own! As soon as I got there I was immediately put at ease and all of the leaders and helpers were really friendly and supportive. I filled out all my paperwork and then it was time for the talk to start. This week it was about coffee shops which luckily is not really a problem for me, as I rarely visit them, but it was still interesting to listen too and hear what other members had to say. Two members got their first stone as well which is inspiring to see the plan working for other people.

At the end of the meeting it was time for the dreaded weigh in. Weight watchers also seem to make me quite a bit heavier then any other scales so I had prepared myself for it to be horrific! I debated on if I should reveal my weight on here, as how much a person weighs is a very personal thing, but then I decided that I need to make myself accountable so putting it out there into cyber space is probably a good thing. It is also good for any of you, my readers, that need to loose weight to see that you are not alone and that no matter how bad it gets, it is never too late.

So my official weight watchers first weigh in was 17st 13lbs. Here's to hoping that I never again see that weight on the scales!





Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Which TV tribe do you belong to?

Talk talk have designed a fun clever quiz that you can take to see which of the eight TV tribes you belong to. It is just a few quick questions about your TV habits and at the end you get told which tribe you belong to, along with a description of the tribe. If you would like to find out which tribe you belong to then you can do so here.

I took the test and my result was: The family guy!
Here is what it said.
'We always watch TV as a family, everyone has their own seat, and we routinely watch the same shows week after week. Television is part of our life, part of our routine, and we can’t imagine life without it. We watch all the big weekend shows together, and eat our meals in front of the television usually. We’re just like those families on the TV show Gogglebox.'    

The results were right about a few things but not completely right! We do watch TV as a family and look forward to watching shows each week although we never eat in front of the TV and I could live without TV if I had to!

We really enjoy watching movies together as a family and we like to discuss the movie once we have watched it. We also love to watch shows like 'Strictly come dancing', 'Dancing on ice' and 'the biggest looser'. We like to pick out our favourite contestants and watch each week to see how they get on. It is a nice way to spend an evening especially in the cold dark winter months.

A lot of people seem ashamed that they watch TV or let their children watch TV but I think that like most things in life as long as the TV is used in moderation then there is no harm done and it is a great way to spend some time and spark some conversation between family members and for myself when I want to relax and do nothing there is nothing better then curling up on the sofa to watch my most favourite TV show 'The vampire diaries'.

This is my entry into the Talk Talk/Tots100 blogging challenge. More details of this challenge can be found on the Tots100 website.

         


Monday, 10 March 2014

Fun with food

Making food fun always goes down well with young children especially when they are going through a phase of being fussy, I remember when Faith was going through a phase of not wanting to eat anything healthy so I use to make faces with her salad and then she would eat it!

Anyway, when I heard that Sony had teamed up with tots100 to make a blogging challenge of creating a foodimal inspired by the recently released cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 on Blu-Ray and DVD I decided to have a go.

Welcome to my baked hedgehog!

This was very easy to create and Faith absolutely loved eating it which is always a bonus. I've included a quick guide to how I made it, in case you would like to have a go.

Ingredients.
* Baking potatoes.
* Tuna in spring water or brine.
* Salad cream.
* Cherry tomatoes.
* Cucumber.

Method.

1) Wash and dry the baking potatoes and then bake.

2) Drain the tuna and then mix with the salad cream (I normally use about 1 tablespoon per tin of tuna, but this really comes down to your own taste)

3) Make a slit in the potato but do not cut all the way through.

4) Fill in the gap with the tuna mix.

5) Cut the cucumber into triangles and arrange on top of the tuna to look like spikes.

6) Finally secure the tomato onto the front of the potato with a cocktail stick to make a nose and add a squirt of salad cream to make the eyes.

Themed family fun - week two.

Welcome to the second week of my new linky!

The idea is simple - each week I will tell you a theme. It could be a colour, a shape, an animal, a holiday or anything. You then use the theme to have some family fun and write a blog post telling us all what you did. You might cook something or craft something or visit somewhere. Whatever you like as long as you are having fun.



The rules.

1) Visit my blog every Monday to see what the weeks theme will be.

2) Have fun using the theme and write up your post.

3) Make sure you include the badge or a text link to my blog so people can join in.

4) Come back on the following Saturday to see what we have done and link up your post.

5) Look at other peoples posts and comment on at least three so everyone gets some love :-)



You do not have to join in every week and if you are worried that you may forget then just follow me on twitter and I'll be tweeting reminders each week.


Each linky will be open for five days giving people plenty of time to link up their posts.


Last week the lovely Sara from Mumturnedmom joined in with her paper bag puppy puppets which were fab and although Sara is the only person to link up so far I am still pleased as it was only the first week. If you still want to join in then the link is still open until Wednesday.

This weeks theme is
Pink

I hope you have fun with this theme and that you come back on Saturday to link up your posts.