August 2013 archive
Chapter: Chapter (books), main division of a piece of writing or document.
End of one part,
On to a new.
Time to start school,
Now you’re four years old.
The next chapter for you,
New stories to unfold.
You’re ready and excited,
Brain absorbing many things.
Craving fresh challenges,
Soaking up all they bring.
Beginning a new journey,
An adventure will flow.
One that will shape you,
Change you as you grow.
I worry as mums do,
Of what your future holds,
But you have to experience it,
Not the same being told.
I wish you embrace it,
The good and the bad.
So it moulds you to being,
A confident, happy lad.
Be the best that you can be,
Enjoy as you learn.
You only get one go,
And now it’s your turn.
Forget the assessment,
Forget all they test.
For me if you’re happy,
Then my worries can rest.
I’ll be here beside you,
And love you each day,
So for as long as possible,
You can be a child, play.
School is a big step,
For you and for me.
What the next chapter holds,
Will be exciting to see.
Hello, anyone there?
Just a very quick post to see if this new self-hosted blog works….does it? Xx
Self-Hosting: The term self-hosting was coined to refer to the use of a computer program as part of the toolchain or operating system that produces new versions of that same program—for example, a compiler that can compile its own source code.
So readers, the time has come when I have finally been brave enough to go self-hosted on my blog. I’ve been blogging for 6 months now and have got so much more out of it than I ever thought possible. When I first started I didn’t know what a big part of my life it would be me and now seems like the perfect time to take the leap and plunge head first into hosting my blog myself. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off as I’m not a great fan of change and, as with everything, I have heard a few scare stories,but….I have gone with a hosting company that has been highly recommended and hopefully the transfer will be quick and painless.
So I am writing today to say soon this blog will stop…and if you would like to continue reading my posts you will be able to do so at instinctivemum.com I’m not entirely sure how it works yet, but if you’ve signed up to receive email notifications of my blog then you may need to do so again, and there will undoubtedly be a new Bloglovin link as well. Please, please be patient with me!, I will write an updated blog post with the correct link when it’s all up and running.
In the meantime, I found this quote on Pinterest and it’s one I’m sticking with through this process!
Crisps: A potato chip (known as a crisp in British English and Hiberno-English, and as either a chip or wafer in Indian English) is a thin slice of potato that is deep fried or baked until crunchy. Potato chips are commonly served as an appetizer, side dish, or snack.
Crisps are a firm favourite in this house, but like many parents I try and restrict the amount my children eat as I feel they’re not always the healthiest of snacks. As a parent I try and ensure that my children are well nourished and are growing up learning to make healthy choices about the foods they eat and enjoy, but with so many delicious unhealthy foods out there it can feel like fighting a losing battle at times. And whilst I’m usually more of a sweet toothed person myself, recently I have switched to savoury, and crisps (especially with dips) are something I regularly crave. (however I’m not quite as obsessed as a very good friend of mine who once wrote to Walkers as a child thanking them for bringing such delicious crisps into her life, I kid you not!)
So when Walkers Crisps offered to send me some packets of their new crisps Mighty Lights, with 30% less fat than standard crisps, I thought it sounded like a good idea to try something we all enjoy that wouldn’t be as bad for our health as usual. I thought it would be amazing to have an essentially ‘naughty’ snack which wasn’t actually that naughty. (if someone could now do this with chocolate that would make me very happy!)
I was sent the crisps in three flavours; Ready Salted, Cheese and Onion and Chicken. (yes, I was slightly disappointed there were no salt and vinegar packets) Luckily in this family we all like different flavours so there was no fighting over the packets! My four year old loves ‘red crisps’ (which is handy seeing as he is on a strict dairy free diet at the moment) my twelve year old loves meaty flavours and I, as you will know if you are a regular reader of my blog, am cheese obsessed so quickly opened a packet of cheese and onion.
As they are lower in fat I was worried they’d be a bit thin as low fat varieties of crisps sometimes are, but no….ridges! Thick lovely ridges! Made me feel like I was eating a real crisp and not a skinny imposter!
The flavour was good too, not too overpowering at all, which again can be the case with low fat varieties attempting to add something that’s just not there. They are suitable for vegetarians, contain no MSG, artificial colours or preservatives and are a source of fibre! Plus they taste great! Perfect!
Needless to say that the crisps were so good that only a week after they were delivered all eighteen packs have been eaten; on picnics, for snacks and even as ‘pudding’ one day! I shall definitely be buying some more for the children’s pack lunches when they are back at school…safe in the knowledge that if the crisps are the only thing they eat at lunchtime (I hope not!) then they’ve eaten something that’s not too bad for them at all!
This is a sponsored review for Walkers. All opinions are my own.
Gain: Resources or advantage acquired or increased, profit . The act or process of gaining. An increase in amount, magnitude, or degree.
So, it’s #slinkylinky Friday; nearly a whole week after I have come back from a very indulgent holiday where, if I’m honest, I had a bit too much to eat. (no surprises there!) I mean I was on holiday, so it was ok right? It was quite liberating to not have to count calories and feel guilty for eating things I knew I shouldn’t be. I wasn’t a complete pig, but just having a glass or two of wine every night which I don’t do at home, was enough to add weight on. And the food in France is so tempting. I love hot buttered toast for breakfast, but French bread is something else. And it has to be eaten with proper butter…and jam!! We didn’t eat out much, but when we did we soon discovered that the portions in the restaurants were gigantic. I ordered a salad one day and when it arrived there was easily enough on my plate to feed an entire family for a week, in dressing alone!
So I knew whilst I was away that I’d put weight on without a doubt, the question was…just how much. It’s easy not to care when you’re on holiday and you are relaxed and in a different place with no access to scales. Wearing loose summer clothing that never feels too tight round the waist, no clue to the inches that are building up. And then you come home, try and put your jeans on with no luck and come crashing back down to reality. I made the silly mistake of getting on the scales on Sunday night, a few hours after I’d got home, and the result wasn’t pretty. 11stone 9pounds. A whole half a stone more than when I left. I wailed, had a small tantrum and had a brief moment of anger at myself for being so careless over the last couple of weeks. And then I got a grip (there was plenty to grip onto) and put it in perspective. It was a holiday. An amazing holiday. One that was much needed and every pound that I’d put on meant more food and more of the holiday that I’d enjoyed.
But now I am back, and back on the slimming #slinkylinky wagon. I’ve been quite good this week and have been back to some of my old eating routines, eggs for breakfast…not too much bread and NO cheese! I promised that I would weigh this morning and post. Needed to kick myself up my lardy arse and the scales said…11stone 5 and a quarter pounds. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Phew. That was better. Sometimes I think with me that the quicker I put it on the quicker it can come off. And I’m quite lucky like that. I’ve had no alcohol either which must’ve helped.
After weighing I decided I needed a plan for losing some more as I’m still classed as overweight thanks to my BMI and I’m still stupidly unfit, I really need to exercise more. Earlier in the week I bought a Weightwatchers magazine for some recipes and in it there was an article about the ’40 best ever weight loss tips.’
I have chosen 5 that I am going to stick to this week and thought it might help to share them with you…
1) Be prepared! I am so much better if I write a weekly meal plan and stick to it, less opportunities to eat too much! I like a plan!
2) Eat slowly! This one will be tough as I am always wolfing down one meal as I’m so busy, but in the evening I must do this, it does help!
3) Stop blaming yourself! Apparently it’s not willpower that let’s us down it’s being surrounded by the wrong sorts of food, there are adverts, fast food outlets, billboards all around tempting us to eat rubbish! And I’m also not going to have that stuff in the house, then even if I’m tempted I can’t do anything about it!
4) Talk to someone! It says that when you’re having a bad day to talk to people going through the same thing, on Twitter for example! Perfect for me!
5) Play with your kids! Now I do obviously do this already, but could do it more. Instead of watching my daughter jump on the trampoline in the garden I could actually get on it myself. And before we went to France we were going for bike rides in the evening which we could start doing again. I definitely need to be more active.
So, those are my five things for this week! I feel quite positive about it all at the moment and am pretty focused. Let’s see how long that lasts! *starts making a meal plan for next week* 😉
Thank you as always to @ladyemsy and @Mrsfinn86 for the inspiration and support!
Gîte: A gîte is a specific type of holiday accommodation. A gîte is a holiday home which is available for rent. Gîtes are usually fully furnished and equipped for self-catering.
She stands tall and proud,
Elegant on the outside, decorative.
Flowers hang by the door, swaying in the breeze.
Shutters open wide,
Daring the observer to take a closer look through netted curtains.
Looking out onto fields of corn,
Nestled in the perfect spot,
Tucked away and private.
Yet inside holds a secret.
Once grand and new, once solid and clean,
Now she lies dusty and dormant.
Only coming alive when a family enters,
Bringing with them laughter and life.
Look closely and you will see the fireplace crumble,
Touch too hard and a light shade will fall,
Exposing live and dangerous wires.
She is tired inside,
In need of some love.
She is old and worn.
Strong wooden beams support her still,
Strength on the inside keeps her standing on the outside.
Looking at the outside no one could know what is hidden in the depths,
Until they dare to enter deeper.
She could be grand again if someone just took the time to look after her,
Nurture her back to her former glory.
She is not lost forever.
Appearances can be deceptive.
Home: A home is a place of residence or refuge. When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can live and store personal property, such as a single-family detached home or an apartment. It is generally a place to provide safety and is used as a center from which people or animals base their daily activities. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food.
A few weeks ago when I was attempting (and failing) to sell my house I had the opportunity to go along to the Homesense store in Bristol with some other bloggers.
Excited about moving house I was keen to see what the store sold and if there was anything quirky and individual I could buy for my new house whilst sprucing up my current one to make it more attractive for the viewers. (yes new fancy cushions do sell houses, so I’m told!)
Homesense is actually ridiculously close to where I live and I’m amazed I’ve not discovered it before! It is the homeware part of TKMaxx which I love, and just like TKMaxx the store did not disappoint! As soon as we walked in we didn’t know where to start first. On two floors the store is gigantic and full of individual items for every room in the home. There are sofas, sideboards, mirrors and so much more.
As I was with @ladyemsy we naturally gravitated towards the teapot and mug section. So many to choose from, but naturally this was the mug for me…
Next, unsurprisingly, the bloggers all ended up at the notebook and paper section. What an amazing selection!
I picked up a wonderful pad of paper for scrapbooking and came home and made this to hang up in my study. I don’t often get the chance these days to be creative and I’m pretty pleased with the result!
What I liked about the shop was the amount of different, unique items in it. From strange shell-like massive dolphins (should’ve taken a photo!) to vases in styles I’ve never seen before.
They have deliveries everyday and so the store is constantly changing with wonderfully different things to purchase all of the time. And the prices are amazing too, everything less than it would usually retail for. I also picked up some new cutlery and a baking tray to replace the ruined ones from my oven trouble.
So if you’ve a new home to furnish, or an old home in need of some fab new items then I can recommend you visit Homesense. Stylish, affordable and so many different things to choose from. Everything you need for a home all in one place! Go!
This is a review for which I received a £30 Homesense gift card
Restore: To return (something, esp a work of art or building) to an original or former condition. To bring back to health, good spirits, etc.
You know the phrase ‘I didn’t know how hungry I was until I ate something?’ or ‘I didn’t realise I was so poorly until I felt better?’ Well now I’ve invented a new one….’I didn’t realise how much we needed a family holiday together until we had one!’
For the last two glorious weeks we have been in France, staying in an old and crumbling gite near Royan, which is on the west coast near Bordeaux. Just the five of us for two whole weeks. The last time we went on holiday abroad for two weeks was four years ago, and then only week of it was just us as a family (then only four of us) and the last week was with my mum, brother and sister-in-law. It was the holiday where we got engaged, proposed to at Mont St Michel and it was lovely, but not in the same way as this. This has been magical. We have slotted into a relaxed, carefree routine and blended together as a family. Work and PND have not enabled that to happen for many reasons over the last year or so. My husband often works long hours and can be in Bristol on a Monday, Leeds on Tuesday, London on Wednesday and then Edinburgh at the end of the week. Sometimes we are definitely like ships that sail in the night and only have time for a brief ‘hello’ before tiredness sets in and one of us has dropped off to sleep on the sofa. We haven’t had a “date night’ when it has just been the two of us for at least the last six months, if not longer. And often the children see daddy briefly in the morning as he’s rushing out of the door or for a bit before bedtime. Weekends are also often so busy visiting lovely family and friends that again it’s never just us. In essence we’ve almost been too busy to be a family.
So last year when I wasn’t very well and it was a difficult time for us all, my husband thought it a good idea for us all to have something to look forward to. A two week holiday in one of my favourite places, where I used to holiday as a child and is filled with wonderful happy memories. We saved up and found a gite we could afford. The gite is very traditional and is a bit tired and things tend to fall apart in your hands the minute you touch them, but it’s been our home for the past two weeks and has been fantastic!
Somehow France has worked it’s magic. It’s relaxed us all; the 12 year old has had less hormonal moments than usual and even the 1 year old has been sleeping! Work and the groundhog repetitiveness of everyday life have been forgotten. The silly things my husband and I used to bicker about no longer important. I’ve actually managed to read two whole books and I haven’t worn any make up or done my hair once! It’s been so refreshing!
But more important than all of that is the little traditions and memories we are making as a family. Songs on the radio that become our French holiday songs. Games on the beach and in the sea that become our holiday games. Time spent making wonderful memories for the children to look back on when they are grown up, just as I have been remembering my wonderful holidays from when I was a child. You can read a poem I have written about building memories here. And also, in the evenings when the children are all in bed, my husband and I have had precious time to ourselves, time where we’re not too exhausted to have a conversation, time to listen to each other and laugh.
I know we’ve been very lucky to have been able to afford a holiday abroad (next year we will almost certainly holiday at home) and that this holiday as been the perfect first one as a family of five. We shall all treasure it forever and need to remember how important time as a family is. It is so easy to get eaten up by everyday life and all of the cr** that it can bring so….my mid-year resolution is to make sure that we have more time together as a family….and that my husband and I will have that all elusive ‘date night!’