For those who do not yet know, the Getting Your Groove Back Blog Hop is for mums who want to rediscover the woman they used to be or to reinvent themselves altogether. The aim of the blog hop is to share stories and to celebrate changes in our lives however small.

Last week, we had 14 contributions and that was so heartening to see. I also loved reading all the diverse posts from very different women with very varied methods for getting their groove back. I hope you did too. We had nudity and burlesque along with healthy eating and exercise plans, people looking into courses, people admitting they are struggling a bit and more.

I was really touched to see women also sharing their music stories and their treats for their bodies. Annie Lennox came out as number one but it was great to discover other musical choices too.

Now two things need to be said loud and clear.

1. No mum should feel excluded from this blog hop. It is for you to decide whether you want to join in and how you will do that. What is getting your groove back for one woman will be very different for another and that is absolutely fine.

2. Some women are making huge moves to change and some are making smaller ones. They are all of value and every journey begins with just one tiny step. The important thing is to keep moving forward. This blog hop is here to support you (and me!) with that. Some of you have or have had post-natal depression and some of you have physical issues so please do be gentle with yourselves.

So just write a post about how you are changing or trying to get your groove back however you define that. It might be healthy eating, doing a course, volunteering, writing a CV, applying for a job, taking exercise, saying yes, saying no or a whole host of other things.

As my questions or tasks seemed to go down well last week, you might also want to try these ideas but there is no obligation to do so. Do what works best for you.

1. Breakfast Time – Do you rush breakfast? Do you eat things because the family do even though you might prefer something else? Do you skip breakfast altogether? This week, I want you to do something different for one breakfast this week. Add some fruit to your cereal, have a croissant, indulge in smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, have some warming porridge, whatever does it for you. What is your all-time favourite breakfast? Tell us about it this week and then make sure you have it during the next 7 days.

2. Spin Doctor – Women are great at putting themselves down. This week, I want you to pretend you are your own spin doctor or public relations expert. Include in your blog post a word, a sentence, a paragraph or a whole post about what is just fabulous about you.

As for myself, I am continuing to get my groove back although have had setbacks this week too but I guess that is all part of life.

1. I have lost some more weight, not much but heading in the right direction. I say more about my healthy eating regime here http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/losing-weight-mumentum/

2. I have missed the start of the yearly course for Home-start. At first they said I could join in late bu then changed their minds. I have argued my case quoting 20 years working with vulnerable people and personal experience of being a mum to 3 very young children whilst batting post-natal depression. They will not change their minds so I will reapply next year.

3. I visited the charity shop and was told I could volunteer on Friday mornings so I hope to start there next week.

4. I am going to join the school fundraising group at their next meeting.

5. I went out every day but one last week and it felt energising to be out and about.

Things to Remember:

1. You can post anytime between now and next Monday and do remember to link up.

2. Please visit other entries and leave a supportive comment for these women who are sharing their stories. You might pick up some new ideas too.

3. Please share the stories by pressing share buttons to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks as this will encourage new readers and also offer support to others.

4. Please remember I am on this journey too and welcome comments on my journey.

5. You are very welcome to join us. Yes YOU! Your post can be as short or as long as you see fit. It can be in words or pictures, entirely up to you.

I look forward to seeing what you are all up to and let’s get the message out loud and clear about #groovingmums on social networks.

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Isn’t it lovely to see Reasons To Be Cheerful back on the Mummy from the Heart blog?

I know all the hostesses did a wonderful job over the Summer with the notable exception of yours truly who cocked it up bigstyle but it is good to see it returning home after the holidays.

For those who don’t know, Reasons to be Cheerful is a wonderful blog hop that celebrates all things good in our lives. It is great on the lovely weeks but even more meaningful on those troublesome weeks as it makes you really focus on the little things that warm the heart or make you smile.

1. I am alive. I don’t want to say more than that on this one just yet apart from to say, we do take life for granted sometimes, don’t we?

2. In the last week or so, three organisations have said they want me in different ways. It feels so long since that last happened and lifts my soul.

3. I have made a crucial and assertive decision about Christmas this year.

4. After a little wobble about losing weight yesterday, thanks to the support of family, friends and Twitter, I stuck with it and feel strong enought to continue to do so.

5. I am overwhelmed at the support for the new blog hop on #groovingmums and am so enjoying reading the stories of some very diverse mums all committed to rediscovering their va-va-voom. You can read more about this in my post from Tuesday this week and please do go and visit and lend your support to mums who are trying to change for the better.

I know these are very brief for me but they are all very deep in their own ways.

Now pop over to http://mdplife.blogspot.com and check out some other positive-thinking and pretty things.

I am joining in with Mumentum run by the wonderful New Mum Online blog. What is it all about? It is about mums supporting each other as they try to tackle mummy tummies. I am reporting a weight loss slow down.

It was an odd week because after losing half a stone in one week, I knew from past experience the rate of losing slows down after that initial hit. That was quite a depressing thought in a way but I stuck to the healthy eating most of the time. Once again, I find I am discplined when on my own and less so when with other people. I also realised I am very much an emotional eater and after an unpleasant altercation in Tesco, actually ate 2 slices of cake and part of my husband’s kebab. It felt like me saying “I’ll show them!” but show them what exactly? Just self-sabotaging behaviour altogether.

So I have spent a lot of the week annoyed with myself for eating the bad stuff. I am not going to get into the game of jumping on and off the scales every minute of every day so I had to wait until today for the results of my week’s effort.

Well, I am delighted to report I have lost another 2 pounds.

I have two events to work towards coming up that can help to motivate me. These are the Britmums Conference in June 2012 and then my stepdaughter’s civil partnership in July 2013. It would be so lovely to look vaguely slim again and I know that is such a long way off but I am minded to stick with it and hope for the best.

This week, I would like to start exercising. I have got the Wii set up now for Wii Fit. That is a start in my book lol. I am hoping to do some walking and am trying to be more active generally.

I also want to work out how to avoid emotional over-eating and giving in to the offers of other people.

How did my Mumentum friends get on this week?

Joining in with my very favourite blog hop of the week and thinking positive after quite a stressful little occurence in Tesco earlier this evening. Will be the subject of a blog and rant later my dears. This post is about being chirpy.

1. We went to Blackpool illuminations. It was lovely to share something so familiar from childhood with my own children. Even the teenager in training got into the spirit of things and enjoyed it. It was inspiring to see families out having a good time despite probably including a fair few who are struggling in the current economic climate. My youngest son said “I think I have found heaven” and that made the long drive through rain worth it. For anyone even considering thinking snotty thoughts about Blackpool, here is my view. Blackpool is a one-off and if you give into the madness, you can have a fabulous time there. Plus it is the place I first wore make up and got a snog so it is very special to me (and Dean from Sunderland wherever you are now – sorry never got a last name!)

2. I started a new blog hop all about mums getting their groove back and it really seems to have hit a nerve with people out there. Big thanks to those who have joined in with Get Your Groove Back Tuesday and it is definitely here to stay.

3. I lost half a stone in one week. When Michelle posted about her 101b loss recently, that seemed so impossible for me so it just goes to show that with the mind in the right place, anything is possible especially with the back up of the wonderful #mumentum peer support.

4. I spent the morning with my Dad. He makes a trip to the charity shop and the Co-op seem very special indeed. I bought lots of little lovely things that I will be sharing on Monday as part of #MagpieMonday

Well, that is just some of my reasons. Do check out the other entries at http://mdplife.blogspot.com or even better join in.

Are you thinking positive?

Love from the Striking Mum x

So what bargains have I to celebrate this week?

I had a very strange experience last week when I visited a charity shop and bought absolutely nothing. This may be a first. There was the odd thing I fancied but I was put off by a rather officious male member of staff who as well as changing displays around in a weird way was also mouth almighty. I like peace when I am charity-shopping.

So the bargain that I would like to celebrate this week comes from the Netmums UK Nearly New board.

I spent £45 which I grant you is quite a lot of money when you are claiming it is a bargain. In return, I got two huge bundles of clothing that should keep my youngest clothed for the next 2-3 years. I have bought from the seller before and her clothing is always clean and of good quality. We are talking brands such as Gap, Timberland and Next.

For £45, I got 2 dressing gowns, 2 sets of pyjamas, socks, pants, vests, jumpers, cardigans, T-shirts, shirts, trousers, tracksuits and shorts.

I was so keen to share my bounty with you this week in pictures but that blasted camera has let me down again. Hoping I can get pictures up later today or tomorrow at the latest.

So this week, I was very practical in my bargain-hunting so hope to report on some quirky curios next week.

Now check out some rather lovely bloggers and their bargain finds.

<a href=”http://missielizziemeandmyshadow.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i785.photobucket.com/albums/yy135/missielizzie/MagpieMondayBadge.png” border=”0″ alt=”Me and My Shadow” />

With love from the Striking Mum x