Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder #MiniMudder2016

Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

The girls had an absolutely brilliant time at Fruit Shoot mini mudder at Belvoir Castle last Saturday. I wasn’t very impressed at having to get up at 6.30 on a Saturday but it was worth it to see them having so much … Continue reading

Photo challenge May 14th – 20th

May 14th – I took the One You quiz

May 15th – Gorgeous new birdhouse from HomeSense 😀

Rhubarb from the garden 😊 Ella and Kaycee are going to make a crumble 😀

A photo posted by Michelle Ashmore (@shelllouise1207) on

May 16th – Ella found the rhubarb growing in the garden that I’d forgotten about

She's supposed to be in bed!

A photo posted by Michelle Ashmore (@shelllouise1207) on

May 17th – My lovely Ella :)

May 18th – It’s been a bit of a slog getting through this book but I’m nearly at the end and it did pick up a bit. Not sure I agree with Stephen King saying it was terrifying, though!

fruit shoot mini mudder parking pass

May 19th – The girls are really looking forward to going to the Fruit Shoot mini mudder event on Saturday.

chopped up rhubarb

May 20th – Kaycee and Ella made a rhubarb crumble. I had a little taste and it was delicious. Ant said it needed more rhubarb though.

Al Fresco Dining with HomeSense

inside picnic hamper

We’ve been working on the patio and garden recently so we can spend more time out there. We love to eat outdoors when it’s warm and since Ant built a roof over the patio area, we never have to worry … Continue reading

Weekly weigh in – May 19th

Weekly weigh in

I stuck to plan all week, kept a check on my syns and varied my meals and I lost 2lb I was expecting more as I’d dropped my syns to 15 and stopped having cheese and ham toasties every day … Continue reading

Potential Dangers of Teenage Vaping

Kid vaping

Mason Dunn from Radcliffe, Grtr Mancs., with his e-cig that was taken off him by his school after he was found ‘vaping’ on it on the school premises, 24 September 2015. See Ross Parry Copy RPYECIG : A mum is fuming after a school confiscated her 14-year-old son’s e-cigarette – saying he needs it to kick his TEN-a-day habit. Teachers took the device off Mason Dunn when they found him ‘vaping’ on school premises – saying they had a duty of care towards him. His mum Sue marched to the school in protest but they have refused to back down.

The word “Vaping” was literally an unknown phenomenon for parents a couple of years ago. The rapidly trending act of vaping refers to the usage of an e-cigarette or vaporizer. For parents who are still struggling with “what this act actually is”, it is a smoking alternative in which the vapers (users of vaporizers or e-cigs) drag vapor from an electronic cigarette that contains a flavored nicotine liquid called e-liquid, e-juice, and vape juice. These liquids come in a variety of different flavors that make the process of vaping popular among the teenagers.

Why is Vaping so Popular?
Vaping is rapidly trending among teenagers these days and Bloomberg Business Week claims that the sales of e-cigs and other related products will hit an astonishing figure of £2 billion this year, twice as much as compared to the last year. E-cigs and vaporizers do not offer the harmful ingredients that regular cigarettes do while fulfilling the nicotine dependency of smokers who have switched to vaping after letting go of smoking. You get an exciting flavor, you get to blow giant smoke rings and you’re working up your nicotine craving, one can imagine why this industry is growing at such an unbelievable rate.

The reason why e-cigarettes are becoming so popular among the youth and other age groups is its marketing that claims it to be a safe alternative to combustible tobacco given an endorsement by a lot of famous celebrities who could be seen along with their vaporizers at the Golden Globe Awards. If you’re not living in one of those cities that have banned indoor vaping in public areas then you can vape wherever you want and whenever you want.

Another factor that contributes to the popularity of vaping among teenagers is the availability of different vaping products like E-pens, E-Hookahs, Hookah pens and vape pens that look like high-tech gadgets and are charged like ones too and also feature iPod look-alike lights and colors that make these devices look really appealing. When these cool gadgets team-up with a variety of different exciting flavors like custard, chocolate, mint, bubble gum and about 7,400 more options then you get a recipe for one of the fastest growing consumer market.

Research is being carried on the effects of vaping on human health and there haven’t been any clear results that have been brought into light that might indicate that whether or not these products should be regulated or not. Teenagers can purchase a disposable e-cigarette online that offers 800 puffs only to be used once battery that doesn’t have to be charged. There are a lot of unregistered suppliers on the internet who sell these products and because these products are unregulated, they don’t have to bother printing the ingredients on the product. Unless it’s a verified supplier that you’re purchasing from, there is no other way to find out if the product that you’re using is nicotine-free or not.

What Should Parents Do?
As a concerned parent, the only viable option that you have is to talk to your adolescent kid about the harmful effect of vaping and how the nicotine addiction can damage his/her mental and physical growth. At this point, because of the lack of authentic evidence that you might use to scare your children, all you can do is to prevent them to vape before their legal age. If your kids don’t know about the nicotine free vaping option then tell them about the adverse side-effects that nicotine offers and how difficult it is to get off an addiction like that. We spoke to the owner of and he advised that there is no way they would sell to an underage buyer in any circumstances, and that if they are suspicious of any buyers they do not send out the product.

You don’t have to leave your kids in the hands of corporate marketing agencies and celebrities who get paid a lot of money for endorsing these products. Explain to your kids how the marketing of these products is a trickery used for attracting immature minds.

This is a collaborative post

9 Week Tadpole Update

Some of them have legs :oD It’s been 9 weeks since we found the first lot of frog spawn and Ella’s been busy checking on them every day!

She loves to go pond dipping and was really excited to see some of them had legs when she came home from school today :)


Tadpoles in pond

Ant’s been busy rebuilding the stream again this week. We decided we wanted to remove the brick wall that was there before we made the pond and bank up the sides with rocks instead so it was more in keeping with the rest of the pond and rockery.
I love how it looks now, it’s so much nicer :)

Here’s how it was before

Pond and stream before update

and here’s how it is now

Pond and stream


Living with arthritis #ArthritisMatters

It’s arthritis care week this week and I’ve been asked to write about my experiences with arthritis by Adjustamatic adjustable beds. I’m not a sufferer myself but I’ve been around people with arthritis all my life, so I know of the struggles they face.

My mum has arthritis in her ankles and a close family friend, who knew my parents before I was born, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was young.
I have vague memories of this tall, strong, independent woman, a woman who had 6 children and who was called ‘The Gaffer’ by the children’s mates, suddenly becoming someone who was constantly in pain, had to be wheeled around and who could only take a few steps after she was helped to stand.
She was a wonderful lady and we really miss her but we’re also thankful that she’s no longer in constant pain.

I’ve asked my mum to give her account of living with arthritis:

I’ve had operations on both knees and legs since I was 9 years old. I got arthritis in my early 20’s, in both ankles and had to have a knee operation in 1979. I was told I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 25. I am now 60 and only use the wheelchair for long distances. I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes the pain is so bad it puts me in bed for days, sometimes even a week, but I have learnt to live with it.

In the night, I get terrific pain. I struggle to get out of bed into a standing position; I have to hold onto the furniture and my bed then use the furniture to help me stand. I then just make a warm drink, take a couple of painkillers and try to go back to sleep.

I’ve had many operations since, the last one being a fusion in my right foot in 2011, which didn’t work, so, me being me, I will just keep going as long as I possibly can.

I’ve talked to my mum about her arthritis and we’ve come to the conclusion that the reason she didn’t end up in a wheelchair at 25 is because she refused to give in. She kept on walking as much as possible because she didn’t want it to beat her and I think she’s done wonderfully to only have needed to have the wheelchair for the last few years.  Her tip for living with arthritis is to exercise as much as you can, but know your limits :)

My mum, my sister, Stacy, my brother, James and my niece, Chloe

My mum, my sister, Stacy, my brother, James and my niece, Chloe

Photography competition at Whisby Nature Park

The girls are developing a love of photography; they also both love going for a walk round Whisby Nature Park so when Ant sent me a link to a photography competition that the Natural World Centre at Whisby, is running, I thought it was a good excuse to get them out walking on a Sunday afternoon.

It was also a good excuse to get me moving more as well :)

I’ve never been all the way round the lake, always opting to wait on a bench or even stay at home while Ant and the girls did the walk but today I went for it and actually really enjoyed it!

We shared the cameras so the following photos are a mixture of mine, Ella’s, Kaycee’s and Ant’s photos.


Branch with fluffy seeds


Swan upside down in water


Whisby lake


Dandelion head


Dandelion head

White flower

Here’s one of my favourites from Ant’s Instagram – they saw this caterpillar hanging by its own silk from a branch about 3 metres up.

Whisby Nature Park

A photo posted by Anthony Ashmore (@ajdashmore) on



Photo challenge May 10th – 13th

May 10th – It’s been a stressful week with poorly children.

Ant built a new rock wall on the pond today. It used to have a straight brick wall but this looks much more natural 😊

A photo posted by Michelle Ashmore (@shelllouise1207) on

May 11th – New rocks on the pond :)

Ella’s been crafting 😊

A photo posted by Michelle Ashmore (@shelllouise1207) on

May 12th – Ella had fun with the Bostik bloggers crafts that came this week.

Ella’s not feeling well now. She’s got a sore throat and a headache so Chi-Chi is giving her cuddles 😊

A photo posted by Michelle Ashmore (@shelllouise1207) on

May 13th – Unfortunately, Ella’s feeling a lot worse today and hasn’t been smiling :( Hopefully, she’s not going to be as ill as Kaycee was.