Gift and Befriend

Each Christmas we always try to take time and remind our girls about the true meaning of the season.

Behind all the excitement of presents and the enormous amounts of food.

We remember those who haven’t what we have.

The girls get one monetary gift each year which they choose to donate to a charity of their choice or to buy something for someone in need.

So this year when I heard of the charity Gift and Befriend I was excited as this was the perfect way for my daughters to really see those they are helping and also giving them freedom over what they wish purchase.

Over at Gift and Befriend you register to become a giver you then get to learn about those in need known as the receivers and what they actually need from their own Amazon wish list.  You then get to choose the items you would like to purchase from their lists and they get shipped directly to them.

I think this is a fantastic idea, especially as one of the main reasons I hear about people’s reluctance to donate to charities is their concern about how much the actual person in need really gets. This site take the fear away as you purchase and ship straight to the receiver of your choice.

I sat down with my youngest daughter Brodie and  looked round the sitebig heart

 

She really enjoyed reading the profiles and learning about those she could help. It took a while mostly due to her desire to help them all but Brodie decided she wanted to help little Moses, his story just touched her heart.

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I know Christmas is always a financially tight time of year for many of us but before you buy that extra stocking filler maybe consider adding a gift to one of the receivers instead.  I know my girls really appreciate this and its one of their favourite parts of Christmas.

All together

My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.

So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?

My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.

How simple and true is this comment.

Yes i am excited.

But my family will not all be back together.

You see there will always be a missing piece,

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An empty place at the table.

A pile of presents that have not been bought.

On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.

Heaven holds the celebration for the other.

I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.

The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.

I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.

I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.

Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.

Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.

The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.

The joy of giving , the love that is shared.

Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.

Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.

Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.

Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.

Because I cannot pretend all the time.

I just don’t have the strength.

I need to give my heart freedom.

Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.

The Nut Job

Last Sunday afternoon we managed to find time in the seasons chaos to sit down and watch a movie as a family.

It was lovely to curl up on the sofa and have cuddles with my babies.

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The DVD we had to watch was the new release The Nut Job and what a film it was.

From the opening scene we were enthralled. It was super sweet and so funny. The film had me at moments seriously laughing out loud. The humour was great for all ages.

Without giving to much away the story has bad guys and good. A reluctant hero and a lady with spirit.

You can enjoy crime, romance and friendship. All in the name of nuts.

We loved this film here and I think it would be a great one to add to your Christmas family film list.

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The Nut Job is out now.

*we were gifted a DVD for the purpose of this review but all opinions are our own.

Oh just get along.

I sometimes wonder how often we just give away parts of ourselves just to keep the peace.

When we are tired and weary and we just want the arguments to stop.

How many times do we teach our children to just be friends.

Just try to get along.

Yet their hearts are actually breaking from the pain.

“I know she’ll hurt you.”

“I know she said some things that she shouldn’t but move on and try to be happy”

“Kids say things they don’t mean don’t take it to heart.”

“Just ignore it”.

Yet each cruel word is etched into their soul.

Why do we say its okay when it’s not?

The Internet is full of kids lost due to bullying.

Souls broken unable to take anymore.

Were they told to be nice?

To ignore the bullies.

To try and be friends.

Get along.

Just be strong.

By telling our children how to be we take away who they are.

And who they are is just fine.

No one deserves to be made to change.

To feel ashamed in their own skin,

It’s not about getting along.

It’s about being given the freedom to sing your own song.

I was scared I had forgotten.

Last night I was struggling to sleep my mind was on overdrive and my thoughts were raging.

I had tried to remember a trip I had taken 6 years ago, the memory spurred by a friends comment.

But I couldn’t remember, I knew the day had happened and I had fragments of moments but the whole day was just slipping over the corners of my mind.

I cried.

No that’s a lie I sobbed.

You see I cannot forget.

I cannot lose those moments of time.

Times when I had four daughters by my side.

When the quartet was whole.

My memories are so precious, they are all I have to hold on to of Livvy.

All I have to wrap around my heart.

I cannot forget.

So last night the tears fell.

I searched every corner of my mind for this day, for those moments.

But still they didn’t come.

Then in pure exhaustion as I closed my eyes to sleep the day returned.

The memory sprang from Its deep hiding place and gave me peace.

The laughter.

The joy.

The gift of my memories.

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Life is so fragile.

We often don’t realise this until it’s gone.

So I say to all, make those memories now.

Share those moments.

Because someday your memories will be the greatest gift you have.

Or the greatest gift you could give.

Dear Tess Munster

Dear Tess

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I decided to try and meet you on Wednesday.

It’s so different following someone of Instagram compared to actually standing in front of them.

I was so worried I wouldn’t know what to say. 

Was I going to look like a complete idiot struck dumb in awe?

I really was nervous walking toward Yours and actually changed my mind a few times about going.

You see you broke the mould for me.

You changed my opinions on models and how they should look.

You challenged all the lies and negativity that has been living in my mind for so many years.

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I have been on a journey of self discovery over the last few years 

Thanks to the amazing plus size blogging community I was finally seeing that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. 

But I don’t really think i believed it until i came across your Instagram photos and learned about your work.

Simply you rock.

You have challenged so many people’s perceptions and ideas.

You have proven that beauty standards are never to be defined but to be discovered woman by woman.

I was so excited to say hello and to just get the opportunity to say thank you.

So there i was walking towards Yours actually sick to my stomach.

Thankfully the beautiful Hannah recognised me and her hug calmed my nerves.

She also told me you were so nice and so down to earth, so after a quick catch up with Hannah and pals i waited in the queue.

I could just write the word GUSH here right now as lets be honest I so did.

You were so sweet, told me i was cute which i promise you made my day, my year.

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You also told my sweet hubby that he was handsome and that you liked his beard, I think you made his birthday right there and then.

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Thank you for posing for photos and taking selfies for me.

Thank you for my hug.

But mostly thank you for being one of the ladies I can inspire to.

For giving me the opportunity to look in the mirror and like who I am.

Sara xx

Christmas shopping and kids who have the nerve to grow up.

Christmas shopping, its one of those things that you either love or hate.

It’s something you look forward to with either excited anticipation or pure horror.

Personally I switch between both feelings.

I actually love buying gifts but I hate the crowds of people that seem to appear from anywhere and  everywhere.

Last year I actually got bruises from one shopping trip.

My Christmas shopping experiences have really changed over the years.

Ten years ago I could pretty much guarantee the girls would love everything I chose for them.

Now as they have got older its seriously like walking a tightrope and I promise i have fallen off many times.

One of the things I used to really love to do was shopping for the christmas outfits.

Dressing the girls up in pretty sparkly outfits brought new for this special day.

I think if I tried to dress my girls this year there may be war.

Even though i try to email my girls photos of nice dresses or outfits I get a reply that normally says “REALLY” or the lest polite “DREAM ON”.

Seems where my older two are concerned I am best handing over the cash as they hit town with their friends or just pressing checkout on the baskets they send me via email links.

Seriously why do our children have to grow up, how inconsiderate of them.

Anyway thank goodness for my youngest who is still willing to humour me and sit beside me as we surf the web for an Christmas outfit.

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30 minutes and one Christmas outfit later I am a happy mommy again thank you Esprit

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Lets end going home alone.

There is one constant in life and that is we all get older.

Its something that happens to us all eventually.

We all hope that when we get to this stage in our lives we will have family support and people around us.

Yet the truth is sadly for some there isn’t people available to support them.

It’s because of this I am happy to get behind the Royal Voluntary Service, “Let’s end going home alone” campaign.

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The RVS realise that far to many older people are having to struggle on their own when they get home from a stay in hospital.

So the ” Let’s end going home alone” campaign is calling for home to hospital support for every older person who needs it, so that no one has to go home alone. With a little help from a caring volunteer older people won’t have to struggle on alone. Being alone can lead to loneliness, not eating well, accidents and all too often readmission back to hospital.

I think the campaign is fantastic, I know I would have hated for my grandparents to have to go home alone.

If you think you could be a volunteer or help raise awarness for this campaign please check out the Royal Voluntary Service website and learn more.

 

 

Stop hating on Band Aid 30 and start loving those dying from Ebola.

So Its official I am getting serious peeved with all the negativity surrounding the Band Aid 30 single.

 

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It’s as if whatever people try to do someone will have a moan.

From comments regarding the tax status of the singers to the rampant disregard for the devastation Ebola is causing.

Let me state a few things here.

The tax status of the singers involved has no place being discussed alongside the single.

If Sir Bob or Bono are evading taxes then that’s a issue for the government to deal with.

They will be tax evaders regardless of our spending of 99p to buy the single,

If we don’t buy the single in protest the only people that will lose are those dying from Ebola.

If you have an issue with the wealthy receiving tax breaks well then us your vote wisely at the next election.

Those dying from this disease in Africa right now well they don’t make government policy.

Secondly I don’t give a damn if One direction are flying about in separate planes because they don’t get on.

Does this effect the support we can provide to fight this disease “No.”

Should the singers involved in the single be donating their money not their time?

Maybe they have !

Who knows why are we jumping to the conclusion that it’s one or the other.

Let’s be honest if they were out in the media shouting about their donation we would be ripping them apart for this too.

Damned if you do damned if you don’t. 

There are also many other entertainers out there who have done jack shit let’s not beat up on the ones that have.

So what if Sir Bob swore on television maybe he was annoyed that a reporter decided to take the subject matter away from the real issue “the people dying”.

We can all take cheap shots over tax breaks another time maybe when this devastating disease has been beaten.

It’s crazy it’s a 99p single.

It’s not about the singers.
It’s not about the lyrics.
It’s certainly not about the tax returns of the performers

It’s about a devastating virus which has so far infected over 13,000 people and claimed the lives of over 5000.

I’m tired of excuses.

Like the single or don’t that your choice.

Buy it or don’t.

But stop telling others how they should help and do something yourself.

Imagine if we all waited for others to act.

How many lives will be lost due to our inaction.

Donate today and let’s stop the outbreak in its tracks.

Let’s not lose anymore lives to Ebola.

Top of the week to you.

Ok a really bad play on words but I thought it was rather apt as my fashion picks this week are mainly tops.

My first choice is this beautiful top from Elvi fashion , this brand first came to my attention at Plus North this year and I’m loving a lot of the range they have available.

This top is in one of my favourite colours and  I can imagine myself wearing this top on Christmas day and out at drinks with friends.

It is simply stunning.

 

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My second choice this week is this beautiful blouse from Asos curve.

My life involves meetings, conferences and training events  and i can imagine this blouse being perfect for all of these.

Yet I can also imagine with a nice handbag and a pair of heels I could dress this up for a meal out with the hubby or drinks with friends.

My person style involves a lot of blouses and jeans, smart and casual. This top would be a great addition to my wardrobe.

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My third choice is this gorgeous Waterfall Jacket from Yours Clothing.

I’m not a great lover of coats as I am rather hot blooded and find most coats restrictive and bulky so this jacket is perfect for me to throw over and to keep the chills at bay.

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Last and but not least i move away from tops and enter into my addiction for awesome boots.

This pair from Simply Be do not let me down they are beautiful and i so need them.

The ox blood colour, the biker buckles it is simply love for this catwalk collection biker boots from Simply Be

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So there we go for my weekly wish wish list some beautiful items that I would love in my wardrobe.

The range of plus size clothing is certainly improving and I am loving the cut and design of the new seasons fashions.