This is my happy hour for mum where I consider all the good things in my life.

My first reason is that it seemed to take ages to get to today and I kept wanting to report cheerful things.

1. My husband is tackling DIY jobs with varying amounts of success but they are being tackled. He has also had blood tests and will be seeing the GP soon for the results. He also says he is going to access counselling. I certainly feel that redundancy from way back in October 2013 still casts its long shadow.

2. Although I was disappointed to see the grades predicted for my teenage son in his progress review from school, I suspect some of these are more to do with they system than my son. I fail to see how someone in top set can be predicted a D or E for example. I will be letting him continue at school but ensuring he gets a lot of input from me too to reassure myself. I am also going to really push to get him a diagnosis. School spotted issues at 5 and now he is 14 and we still seem not very much further forward. Anyway back to the positives, my real worries about whether he was doing homework enough seem to have been unfounded. He wants to go into acting, Law or politics.

3. My daughter continues to express such creativity in songs, script-writing and movie-making. She has very big passions and intends to set up an abstract arts business.

4. My youngest son did some positive work on coding this week. He tells me he sees his future in technology.

5. A kind mum has offered me lifts to home education groups so I have no excuses now.

6. Have a networking and lunch day in London tomorrow.

7. I am at the Savoy on Sunday.

8. Weight and inches loss continues and I am starting to make positive swaps for the children too. Food swaps – definitely don’t want to swap my lovelies.

9. Had fun with clothes for first time in years.

10. Have enjoyed some long lie-ins followed by late nights. A pattern that suits me.

A great week and lots of scary excitement ahead.

When will you have a happy hour?

Let’s celebrate the good stuff! Why am I full of good cheer?

1. I have lost 39 pounds in just 3 months despite this treat at the weekend.

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2. I have relaxed a bit about home-schooling. This has resulted in me seeing how the deschooling thing works as the children come up with their own ideas for learning. I am starting to see that video games can teach a lot about language and strategic thinking. My daughter is very keen on writing scripts, songs and stories. She loves Scratch and nearly always makes a video during the day too I am going to return to other forms of learning after Half-Term but I think we have all enjoyed easing up a bit.

3. My teen son is on Half-Term which gives time for some good chats.

4. We had our best Valentine’s Day ever. I cooked for Him Indoors which is a relatively rare event these days. We had chilli con carne (thank you Hairy Bikers!) and the most glorious chocolate and espresso mousse. I was treated to a very pricey perfume, flowers and a card. I got himself a card and a gold tiger thing which I was relieved he liked as it was a bit of a risk.

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5. I have had some lovely long lie-ins.

6. As ever when challenges strike, I have had such a lovely response from online friends.

7. Him Indoors did the Pancake Day thing for the children.

8. We also marked Chinese New Year with a special meal and fun watching the EastEnders Live episode.

7. I still need to get to a home education group. I know. I am pathetic. On the other hand, I have arranged to meet a friend, have a London event next week followed by a trip to the Savoy and then some time up in Yorkshire with family at Easter.

Let’s get this week’s Muffin Top Monday started my blog hop for mums who are trying to shed stones and pounds.

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You can post about weight loss as you see fit and if my headings help do use them but don’t feel constrained by them.

1. How was my weight loss journey this week?

On the whole, I have done well.

I seem to have put on a pound but I did not get an accurate reading as I usually do at the weekends.

My measurements showed a reduction particularly around the muffin top which please me loads.

2. How much had I hoped to lose?

I had hoped for a 1-2 pounds loss. I appear to have put on a pound but I did have my time of the month which can always stir things up a bit.

3. What have I enjoyed eating this week?

The thing I enjoyed eating most was the chocolate and coffee mousse I made for Valentine’s Day. I have enjoyed all my food this week the healthy and the not to healthy,

4. Have I eaten anything unhealthy this week?

I had an Indian takeaway.

I drank rum and coke two nights in a row. I also had 3 helpings of that chocolate mousse.

5. How are you feeling about losing weight?

I got upset when my GP noted my weight loss but did not do a merry jig, give me a gold sticker or invite me to become and inspirational speaker. I wish they would realise that a little praise is a very motivating thing. I feel this drove me to comfort eating for the first time in months.

I am taking part in a Thinking Slimmer focus group and enjoying visualizing how I will look in the future.

I am celebrating the changes I see in my body particularly in the bath where instead of a huge mound from under the boobs there is now a spare tyre forming. Who would have thought when I was in my twenties that I would have celebrated that? It is progress and I intend to monitor it all because when I am slim, I hope my story will help others.

5. Do you have a top tip to share with us?

It is important to forgive yourself and to get right back on track.

As I say, you can link up any weight-loss related post and I look forward to getting to know you and celebrating our success in due course.

I will visit all posts and encourage others to visit too via the blog hop and by promotion on social networks. Please do try to visit other posts to lend your support with a friendly comment and if you can share on your social networks, even better.


I am delighted to tell you a little about Enterprising Tesco Mum of the Year 2015 Kate Geeson

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You can read about Kate here
http://www.tescoliving.com/mum-of-the-year/winners/2015/enterprising-mum-of-the-year-kate-geeson

Kate runs pioneering work experience that helps people with learning difficulties gain self-confidence, qualifications and jobs. These are the very things that help us move forward positively in life but also can be so difficult to achieve if you face personal difficulties plus have to confront some unhelpful prejudices out there. These are the times you need a champion to believe in you as the special person you are.

When Kate was working in the special educational needs department of a secondary school, she started thinking about other ways to make a difference. Now she is on a mission to make work placements a life-changing opportunity to shine for disadvantaged people who need the right support and encouragement.

“We’re here to help them and to give them work experience. To give them a reason to get up in the mornings,” says Kate, 60, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Kate runs Phoenix Milton, a charity-based social enterprise on the outskirts of Cambridge that makes and sells handmade paving and garden accessories. Phoenix provides work experience and employability qualifications for young people and adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues.

Tesco Mum of the Year Awards judges noted Kate’s determination to give everyone the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Kate, who is married to Philip, 61, and Mum to Michael, 33, and Shelly, 32, spent 10 years working as a learning support assistant in a secondary school. She was struck by the lack of quality work placement opportunities for people with learning difficulties. In 2006 she helped to launch Phoenix, which took over a small factory producing concrete slabs and adapted it to provide supported learning within a real business.

Kate and her team provide a range of learning opportunities – from carpentry to cooking – in a safe environment, supporting the trainees closely as they progress. Over the years the charity has raised £300,000 and helped around 600 people to gain trade and life skills. Kate is passionate about providing the right environment to allow people to blossom.

“We’ve got one really, really special lad who is in a permanent exclusion department in school,” says Kate. “He doesn’t get on at school but here he’s perfect. He’s in his second year now and the school can’t believe it’s the same lad.”

The youngest trainee is 15 and the oldest is in his late 30s. Kate has used her experience in education and good business sense to produce astonishing results. She says: “One lad has gone into supported living now and he can cook now as a result of being here. At one time all he would do was stare at the car park.”

Trainees are sent to Phoenix by local schools and organisations such as the Learning Disability Partnership. They work and train in all areas of the business, including the concrete factory, carpentry workshops, kitchen garden and canteen kitchen.

“We’re seen as unique because the trainees are guided through everything and given life skills they might not otherwise receive.”

Kate is kept very busy nurturing trainees, managing staff, planning new courses, drumming up much-needed volunteers to help out, fundraising and balancing the books.

“To me, I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary,” she says. “I just love caring for people and helping them reach their potential.”

I have said it before and I will say it again it is always the truly inspirational who seem to believe they are nothing special.

This is why the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards are fantastic as the recognise mums who really are quite extraordinary whilst being self-effacing at the same time.

2015 will be the 10th Mum of the Year Awards and Tesco has awarded over 80 ordinary mums who have done extraordinary things for others.

http://www.tescoliving.com/mum-of-the-year/latest/2014/july/celebrating-10-years-of-the-mum-of-the-year-awards

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Diary of an imperfect mum

I don’t feel cheerful but I know it is important to force a smile!

I have got the glums partly brought on by the lack of enthusiasm for my weight loss by the GP yesterday. I know it is stupid to let people set me back like that but I always take these things to heart.

I am having a rum and coke to cheer myself up – feels most odd as have not had a drink for weeks.

1. Last weekend, we had a lovely day out in Dorset including a ferry ride and a trip to Corfe Castle. What a lovely find and we will be back.

2. I have reached out to people and now have 2 social events in the diary and others to firm up. Who knew?

3. My husband is getting a bonus at work – small probably but shows his work is going OK with is a relief.

4. Despite having the blues yesterday and today, I have not indulged in comfort eating.

5. My husband has promised me FUN this weekend. He is researching things for us to do as we speak so all the signs are good. He knows how I get so bored sometimes.

6. I may well cook up a storm for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

7. We or should I say Him Indoors sorted out a troubling financial issue.

8. I have my new to me £10 sofa exactly where I want it.

9. I am hoping to sort out my daughter’s room this weekend and to get her new bed installed.

10. You see, life is not so bad really.