The Magic Of A Moment

It is amazing what memories and moments photographs can capture. You look back on a photo and remember all those good times, all those experiences. The magic of a moment is something unforgettable but sometimes we take ages to get the perfect photo because of lighting issues.

My mum recently found some photos from when I was younger and one in particular caught my eye. I don’t own many pictures of myself from when I was younger and definitely not many of my family and I – we just didn’t seem to take them in recent years. Back when I was little though, the camera always seemed to be out and ever since my Dad passed away, those photos mean so much more.

Whilst my Dad isn’t in the below picture, it means so much to me for various reasons. It seems like an ‘of the moment’ snapshot where the light just happened to be right and I just happened to be doing something. Of course, this was 25+ years ago so it is never going to be as amazing as those taken today but why is this picture so special to me?

For me, this photo means so much to me as it really captures a moment for me. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful village and have some lovely family friendly pubs with amazing pub gardens. When I was little, we used to go down to one of the local pubs every Sunday afternoon and meet my uncles, aunties, cousins and other family. I have a big family so it was always lots of fun and no one week was the same. I used to look forward to Sundays just so we could go down, see family and I could stuff my face with cheese and onion crisps. Even if my mum decided not to come down and visited her side of the family instead, I’d still go down there with my dad, having a daddy daughter day. This is why it means so much, it showcases time spent with my Dad that I, of course, can’t get back and will no longer have but which I look upon fondly.

Panasonic have recently unveiled their brand new camera which is an exciting high performance low light camera. You can see more about it here:

This definitely seems like a great camera for all situations – I love that it can be used in low light too. It will really help you to capture your own magic moments.

What magic moments do you have captured on camera?

Collaboration

Putting My Best Boot Forward

I recently saw Kate talking about Best Boot Forward and just knew I had to be involved. A linky and group created by Kate and Chloe, their message really resonated with me and I knew I wanted to get involved.

Last week they asked if any of these questions resonated with those reading.

Have you got lost as the individual you are somewhere in the mix of juggling responsibilities? YES.

Do you feel there must be a little more in life for you? YES

Have you given up on your dreams? A LITTLE

Do you crave just a little time for yourself or perhaps you are the opposite and would like to make new friends? YES

Do you look in the mirror and an inner voice starts criticising how you look? YES

Would you just like a little support as you take on new things? YES

It is like they were speaking just to me. BFF is designed as a support network and I can’t wait to get properly involved.

This week, Chloe asked some questions. They were:

What has your first step been and how did you find making it? Mine has been getting back on track with healthy eating, arranging a girls night in with my friend (no kids) and arranging a time and a running buddy to go running with in the evenings whilst Steve looks after the kids.

When can you make time to take another step forward and what will this be? I’m making time this week to arrange a date night for me and Steve – we don’t get enough time together.

Where is your favourite place to spend time outdoors? My local common – it is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to get back to running around it again

I’m determined to be more positive in 2018 and I’m hoping I can push forward with those also putting their Best Boot Forward. Won’t you join me?

Feel Good in the New Year by Giving Back to Your Local Community

Want to start the New Year on a positive note? There are plenty of things you can do to give yourself a big motivational boost by trying something new. Humans are curious creatures and it always puts a smile on our face when we know we’re doing something to help others or for the betterment of the world. However, we can only do so much in our position, which is why helping out our local community is arguably one of the best ways to feel great about ourselves.

Even if you haven’t lived in your local community for long, helping out is still a fantastic way to show compassion to others, to make new friends and to make a difference in the lives of many different people. We’ve put together a list of different ways that you can help out your local community so that you too can feel good about yourself.

Donating to Charity

Donating to charity is arguably one of the easiest ways to show some compassion. You can donate to virtually any charity you want, but if there are local charities supporting a local cause, then it’s often better to donate to these organisations because you get to see the effects of your contribution. For example, there might be a local charity that helps people with learning disabilities to cope with their everyday tasks. By making a small contribution, your generosity could go towards reaching out to new people that need assistance or paying for projects that help to enrich their lives. Money isn’t the only thing you can donate either. Some shelters will gladly accept food that will be redistributed to the homeless. Whether it’s canned foods or freshly cooked meals, you’ll get to see the smiles of the people you’re helping and receive thanks for your help.

Offer Your Skills

Many people learn and study skills because they want to help others. Whether it’s studying how to fix computers so they can assist seniors in their community and teach them how to cope with technology, or using the nursing skills they learned to help with disaster relief, there are plenty of ways to transform your skills into something that can improve the lives of others. You could visit Staffnurse.com to learn more about becoming a support worker. Being a support worker is all about using your skills to help vulnerable people in different ways. Whether it’s giving emotional support to an abuse victim or practical support to former addicts, it’s a fulfilling role that can make a difference to many lives. If you’re interested in support work, then keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need a degree. As long as you’re able to demonstrate your will to help others and have a bit of experience volunteering or helping in your local community, you’ll have a high chance of being accepted.

Mario Purisic

Attending Fundraisers

You can find plenty of local fundraisers if you search online at places like turn2us.org.uk. You could even run your own fundraising campaigns once you’ve integrated yourself into your local community. You can attend fundraisers as just a volunteer helping out, you could use your skills to create advertising materials to attract more attention, or you could even act as a security guard to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that there are no troublemakers ruining it for others.

Becoming a Volunteer

There will always be volunteering roles around your local community. Whether it’s helping distribute food to the homeless or filling in a security guard position for a local marathon, there are many ways to give back to your local community and lend a helping hand. As shown in this article at ialwaysbelievedinfutures.com,  there are many different things you can try in the New Year for the sake of empowering yourself and giving you something new to look forward to and learn. Volunteering, as the name suggests, usually doesn’t give any monetary compensation. However, it does give you a great feeling inside and you’ll usually get something back such as a paid lunch.

Take a look at articles such as this one at moneycrashers.com/ to help you find local (or distant) places to volunteer. To find locations to help out, you may want to get involved with the local community or, as explained in the next section, look online.

Find Ways to Help Online

It might seem difficult to find places to get involved especially if you’re in a fairly secluded part of your town. You may need to do a bit of travelling or walking around to find the right places to get involved at, but once you get involved with the local community it’s usually pretty easy to find places to help and people to assist. It can help a lot if you go online to find local charities, fundraisers or even events that you can attend. By building up a network of contacts you’ll always have people that are more than happy to enlist your services.

A quick Google search should reveal local events happening close to you and there are usually requests for volunteers if help is needed. If not, it’s always worth giving the service a call to see if they need help, especially if you’re passionate about the message they are sending out. There are likely hundreds of local charities, fundraising events and volunteering opportunities in your town alone, and it’s a good idea to use the internet as a means to look for them.

Feel Great and Make a Difference

Volunteering and giving back to your local community can be hard work, but it’s a fantastic way to feel great about yourself in the New Year and give yourself a huge motivational boost to do some good this year. Even if you can only volunteer or donate a bit of money, every little bit will contribute to a greater good and your assistance is always appreciated by the many charities and support groups in your local area. So whether you’re dancing to cheer up a group of children or making tea for seniors at a retirement home, make the world a better place today by showing your love and care for your local community.

Collaboration

2017 | A Year In Review

I am linking up with Lauren’s Share Your Year link-up

2017 has been a busy and bizarre year for me. Here is what we got up to. I am linking up with Lauren’s link-up to Share My Year and as her format makes so much sense, I am going to do the same.

JANUARY, FEBRUARY & MARCH

January started off with both amazing news and really sad news. Olivia was born at 6.52am on the 8th of January and then my Dad passed away early on the 9th of January, having been in hospital since the 23rd of December with a foot infection that unfortunately turned into sepsis. January was a really busy month as we had Steve’s grandad’s memorial service, my Dad’s funeral and my own birthday.

February was quite a busy month. I became a Britax mumbassador once again which has seen me review the Britax Holiday stroller and give away one of their car seats. We also had our first family day out to Paradise Wildlife Park as their ambassador. Unfortunately my ambassadorship is now over but we hope to head their again soon.

March was quite a quiet month – we didn’t really have any days out as Jack was busy with school but we did review and giveaway a few things.

Favourite posts: How Much Do Children Really Understand?, Our First Family Day Out At Paradise Wildlife Park, Mums; Hallmark’s Hidden Heroes

APRIL, MAY & JUNE

In April, we headed to Legoland for the very first time and Jack loved it there – we are planning on heading back very soon. Blog wise, we had some cool Lego to review and had quite a busy month.

In May, I was starting to find it tough without my Dad – it finally seemed to sink in and now that Steve and my Mum were both back at work and Jack was at school, I was finding life to be a little lonely.

June was an incredibly busy month. Right at the beginning of the month, we visited Chessington World of Adventures with our Merlin passes. We also went away over the Father’s Day weekend – my friend works for Haven and gets really good discounted deals so her, me, Steve, the kids, my Mum and our other friend all went away over the weekend. It was really nice to go away and spend some time with friends and family. I also managed to keep really on track with my weight loss which was good.

Favourite posts: Visiting Legoland This Easter With My Merlin Annual Pass, Finding It Tough, What It Is Like Being A Mum Of Two

JULY, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER

 

July was a little quiet. We started weaning Olivia, we took Jack to the cinema for the first ever time where he saw Despicable Me 3 in 3D. It was nice to have a quiet month as we knew August would be fairly busy,

August was a busy month with Jack being off for the school holidays. We went to the cinema again to see The Emoji Movie and we even visited Alton Towers. We also spent a lot of time with family.

September saw Jack entering Year One and my first month as the breadwinner of the family – stressful times. Jack did a charity race for Cancer Research UK, set up by my Slimming World consultant, Em. He raised over £180 – I am so proud of him. We also did quite a few YouTube video reviews – something Jack is keen to continue in 2018.

Favourite posts: 5 Funny Things About Jack & Olivia, Now You Are Going Into Year One…, Back To School As An Adult, How Jack Raised Over £180 For Cancer Research UK

OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

October saw my Dad’s birthday roll around for the first time since he died. It was a little strange but myself, Steve, my mum, my sister, my brother and a sister in law met for a few drinks on the day and to celebrate his life. Jack received a Hatchimals Surprise for review – I was so happy to be able to surprise him with this as it was something he had been asking about for ages. He was very lucky to receive quite a few items to review over this month – only problem is that space is becoming an issue now since his birthday and Christmas have now also passed!

We visited Warwick Castle during the October half term for their Halloween events but were disappointed in the lack of stuff for Jack’s age group. We hope to head back very soon and hope that there is a little more for him to do when there isn’t a Halloween event on. We also went trick or treating on Halloween evening and met up with a friend of Jack’s to go visit houses and get some sweets. Jack had so much fun!

November was the month we went to our local fireworks display and headed to the fair, Jack received a kids smartwatch to review, I published a Christmas gift guide or two in preparation for the festive season and again Jack had some fantastic toys to review – as did Olivia!

December has been, of course, a busy month. We started off the month with Jack’s birthday and his birthday party. He invited a select amount of friends and had a laser inflatable party which was one hour of laser in the inflatable with 2 x 25 minute games which was then followed by 30 minutes of food. Jack had a lovely party at the weekend then celebrated his birthday on the Monday. He got to wear a crown in class and they sang happy birthday to him in his class. His school also do some lovely things for the children during their birthday week – they can invite a parent in to have lunch with them on their birthday plus one friend of their choosing (if their birthday falls at the weekend or during the holidays, the school will arrange a date with them to have their birthday lunch) and on the Thursday after their birthday, they have a birthday assembly in front of the school and their parents alongside other children who have had a birthday in the same week. They get to take one of their presents in and talk about it, they receive a card from the school and get to blow candles out on a cake.

I published my last few gift guides, I had some amazing giveaways running with Sarah from Life In A BreakDown, I even gave away a Britax carseat worth £250 to a lucky reader who I know has received it and is happy – always a great feeling to know someone is so happy with a prize they want from me.

We headed to Toby Carvery when Christmas shopping one day and then to Frankie & Benny’s where Olivia enjoyed her first proper meal out in a restaurant.

I talked about my business aims for 2018, my 2018 travel bucket list, where I get my inspiration from as a writer and my 2018 fitness goals. I was keen to talk about what I wanted to achieve in 2018 and what inspires me in my work. I have got so much I want to do next year, I really hope I can.

We had a lovely trip to Willows Farm for their Santa Spectacular where the kids met Santa as siblings for the first time. We had a lovely time with family for Christmas (the kids received so many presents) and can’t wait for New Year’s. We haven’t got much planned, just a trip to another Merlin attraction should the weather allow, and staying in to watch the New Year’s celebrations on TV.

Favourite posts: You Are Growing Up Too Quickly, My Son, Kurio Watch 2.0 | The Ultimate Smartwatch Built For Kids, My Business Aims For 2018, My 2018 Travel Bucket List, Where I Get My Inspiration From As A Writer, My 2018 Fitness Goals

My year has been varied – happy at times, absolutely devastating at times, busy at times, quiet at times. I wonder what 2018 will bring.

Scrapbook Blog

Our Big Butterkist Christmas Movie Night In

We were sent a Butterkist package full of lovely goodies and a NOW TV pass to help with the creation of this post #ad

With Christmas so near, last night we had our very own movie night watching Christmas films, thanks to Butterkist (#ButterkistNightInDelivered). We were sent a variety of Butterkist items including popcorn, a NOW TV pass. a Butterkist notepad, pen and USB stick.

We were sent three different flavours – choc mallow which didn’t all make it to the movie night (oops), toffee popcorn and sweet & salted popcorn which is the perfect compromise for everyone. We don’t get much time to watch movies together – Jack is always at school and I am always working so settling down to watch some TV and movies with our NOW TV pass was lovely.

 We even added some chocolate to the popcorn for some extra crunch! Olivia even sat down and watched some of the movies with us – we watched some classics including Home Alone! The run up to Christmas always has some fab films on TV and some fantastic TV shows too – whether they be repeats we all know and love or new dramas, comedies and entertainment shows.

We love Christmas TV and the run up to Christmas – there is so much to watch – but nothing is better than watching Christmas movies, is there? I don’t think we or I have watched quite enough just yet in the run up to Christmas.

It was lovely last night to settle down and chill out to watch a film together. Olivia is still a bit young to sit down and watch films but she has recently been sitting down a bit longer to watch films and TV shows which is great – really makes an experience better if you don’t have to keep placating a baby! We all know their attention spans can be quite short so it has been fab to actually be able to do something altogether as a family.

Our 3 month pass has already been well used and we will be using it lots over the next few months. We were given a 1 month code for kids, 1 month code for entertainment and 1 month code for Sky Cinema – very handy! We also have a day pass for Sky Sports.

I really enjoyed our Butterkist Night In as did the others – and we really, really enjoyed the popcorn – especially the Sweet & Salted.

Do you like to have a movie night in with your family?