Monday, 23 April 2018

You are 3!

To my darling daughter.

You are now 3. I cannot believe it, so much has happened since last year, the months have whizzed by and I have watched you flourish into a vibrant and  (very) independent little lady. Last year we had so much worry and concern as you were very poorly, it brought lots of things into perspective but the best thing is you sailed through it, you are a resilient, tough little girl. You are growing into such a lovely girl, you light up my life with your smiles and laughter, there isn't a day that goes by that you don't warm our life with your cheeky giggles and infectious smile. You do know how to keep us on our toes however, you have the ability to go from happy to diva strop within seconds but do you know what I kind of like that unpredictability......it's an interesting personality trait!



When I sit and reflect to the moment when I held you in my arms I wondered what you would be like. Would you be shy or outgoing? Would you enjoy cuddles or be less snuggly? Would you be a Mummy's girl or a Daddy's Girl? Would you get on with your brother?

The next step for you is moving into your pre-school room at nursery, the last room before you start at school (OMG), how ridiculous is that! However you need the challenge, I see you learning so much every day, your speech is great, you're counting really well and you seem to pick things up super quickly, you are a bright little button. Nothing really seems to phase you, sometimes you can be a little shy but once you see others having fun then you are quick to join in and make friends. At your recent nursery parents evening they said you are sassy and confident (agreed!) and totally ready for heading into pre-school room (figures!).



I adore your caring nature, the way you look after all your dollies and babies is utterly beautiful and the love you have for our cats is just wonderful to see. You also adore your big bro even though he can sometimes be a bit mean to you! You two definitely have a bit of a love/hate relationship with each other and I suspect that will be the way it is but when you do have those sibling moments that make my heart melt it and it all just makes life worth living. 

So here's to the next year my darling, I've no idea where it's taking us but I look forward to spending it with you.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

My Sunday Photo - 22/04/18


Cherry blossom just makes me happy. Anyone else? So lovely to see a bit of colour in the garden, shame it doesn't hang around for long!



Photalife

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Meegos Collectible's *Review*

Meegos! The cutest little collectible collection in town. These super cute little crochet creatures really are the sweetest things around.

My two kids love anything cuddly and pocket sized (even Alfie!) and these immediately appealed to them. Good job we were sent enough to go around! These crocheted little cuties are loving handmade/handknitted in Bangla and the larger Meegos take around 5 hours to make and the minis about 2 hours. 


We were sent 2 mini Meegos and 2 of the larger sizes. Each has a name and a family attached to it. I love the little tags around the necks of the larger ones which have the name of the Meego and info written on them all about what they like and their family members.

We received Meadow and Duke, and Duke is a limited edition Meego. Meadow lives in Paw Palace and her family are Mini Meegos Daisy and Darwin, Meadow is happy, fun loving and has lots of energy and her favourite food is lolly pawp.  Duke, who is my personal favourite lives in Canine Cove and his family members are Sasha and Oscar, he is careless, courageous and likes to climb and enjoys eating chocolate woofles. 


Our two Mini Meegos are Piper and Jackson. Piper is sweet, caring and likes to make friends, Pipers family members are Doug and Poco and Piper lives at Puppy Park and enjoys eating pup-cakes. Jackson is so sweet and is playful, polite and easy to train, his family members are Penny and Spot and he lives at fetch farm and enjoys eating doghnuts! 


The Mini Meegos are supplied in blind boxes so you don't know which one you're going to receive, these would make a great little gift I think! The larger Meegos retail for £12.99 and the Minis for £6.99, these are available from selected Sainsbury's and Debenham's stores. 



One of the lovely things about the Meegos is each one is made in Bangladesh by a non profit Fairtrade organisation which provides flexible and local employment. Every Meegos made gives parents the opportunity of being able to send their children to nursery or school and enabling them a better chance at life and more opportunities. How great is that! For more info head over to the Meegos website



Meegos are suitable from birth and due to their soft nature they would be an ideal gift for a newborn as well as older children.......and adults! Series 1 is available right now and series 2 will be available later in the year. 

What do you think of these cute little crocheted creatures?


Friday, 20 April 2018

Team Building Goals.

How can Team Building affect your Business Goals?
Working in the corporate sector has always overwhelmed me. Sky touching buildings, the corporate culture, meeting deadlines, incentives, promotions, all these factors have always excited me. Now, I am a successful Finance Manager and currently serving a tech giant in the UK. Reaching this position was hard and challenging, as, during my starting career as an Intern, I was given small targets to achieve within the deadline provided. Learning from my mentors have always helped me, which helped me to confirm my job.
Working within the Finance team, where I was working to meet specific targets. Every weekend we need to attend the special lectures on Team Building and there were certain exercises, which we had to perform in groups. These activities helped us to understand each other along with the benefits of working together. Basically, these workouts taught us the lesson of socialising informally, disregard of the targets, management, and the corporate structure.
With Team Building, We learnt to focus on more serious issues like problem-solving techniques, improving communication, employee relations, crisis management, handling pressure and most importantly trust. Trust, which is a key aspect when we are working in a team. Without this factor, any team will collapse and affect the corporate results. As per my experience, it acts as a tool to achieve better communication among the team members.    
Now, I am managing the Finance team and following the similar steps with my team to make them able to perform well and achieve the desired goals. Today, I will tell you some serious facts which one can learn only with experience. If you search for team building methods and activities, you will find hundreds of such points, but none will teach you the facts which one should not follow while managing a team.


What not to do with Team Building?
Even your best effort to organize a team can worsen the situation. These are the plans made by those professionals, who don’t know well about their team and their working atmosphere. I am explaining some facts with examples.
Internal conflicts among the team members:
You have planned a team building activity to boost the team spirit, but is it the right exercise? If there are team members with personal conflicts and you offer them to play any game like paintball. Well, the situation will tend to increase enmity rather than building their confidence.
Then what to do:
A plan, a non-competitive activity for the team and should be such which resolves the conflicts among the team members. If such situation occurs, handle it straight away rather than playing politics.
Lack of communication:
Communication plays a vital role in the long survival of the team. If the team members rarely speak to each other, then do you think they will achieve what is desired? No, they certainly can’t.
Then What to Do:
The manager should think about such exercises which may increase team communication and make them understand each other better.  
Lack of trust:
Trust is an important segment to maintain high morale among the team members. If there is a lack of trust, then for sure they will lack in their targets. Then how to build trust in them?
Then what to do:
Design some activities which can increase trust among the team members. There are lots of such games which are played on trust factors. You can try them and see the magical results.
Replace what has done already:
Still, in some firms, activities, like singing a song, tell about yourself, etc. are followed. These are childish activities and your employees don’t want such stuff as a team building activity.
Then what to do:
Be more creative, specific and realistic while choosing the Team Building activities.
*Guest post.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Hot Interior Design Trends!

5 interior design trends you need to know about in 2018

If you’re looking for some style tips to help you fall in love with your home all over again, here are five interior design trends you need to know about in 2018.
1. Mixing metals
Metals are on point this year, and to really nail this look you should consider mixing things up and trying out a range of different metallic finishes in your home. A top tip is to blend the old and the new. For a contemporary flourish, consider adding anything from chrome light fittings to stainless steel kitchen backsplashes. Meanwhile, to welcome a touch of the more traditional, you could introduce intricate French-inspired furniture finished in gold or silver leaf. Specialist suppliers such as Crown French Furniture offer decadent pieces such as French style beds, bedroom chests and mirrors with these luxurious metallic finishes.
 


2. Lots of wall art
When it comes to wall art, less is certainly not more in the world of interior design this year. To be bang on trend in 2018, get creative and fill bare spaces with photos, prints and paintings. Don’t be afraid to put different sizes, shapes and styles of art side by side. This will give your rooms extra character and create a more interesting look.
3. Terrazzo surfaces
Terrazzo was big news in the 1970s, and it seems its time has come again. This practical and attractive composite material, which is usually made by casting chips of granite, quartz, marble, concrete or glass in resin, can make a practical and attractive surface in virtually any home. Available in an impressive variety of colours, it can be cast on site or bought in pre-cut tiles. Traditionally, it’s used been for flooring, but it also makes great wall tiles and countertops. Why not spice up your design scheme by introducing some terrazzo into your home? Whether you want to give your kitchen a chic finish with matching floors and walls or you’re keen to create a relaxing bathroom complete with decadent marble chip, this material could be just what you’re looking for.
4. Statement ceiling finishes
Kiss goodbye to bland ceilings. This year, designers are turning the spotlight onto this often overlooked area and opting for bold, colourful finishes. So, don’t hold back when it comes to choosing your hues. For the ultimate effect, you could add extra detail by opting for a patterned wallpaper.
To avoid giving your rooms an oppressive, closed in feel, you could turn convention on its head and keep your walls white while giving your ceilings a splash of colour. From dark blue to vibrant red or orange, there’s no shortage of options.  
5. Patterned pot plants
Pot plants are nothing new in interior design, but this year patterned greenery is the big story. There are lots of different plants to try out and you can create surprisingly striking effects if you choose your foliage carefully. From the iron-cross begonia with its dark brown markings and cross pattern to the peacock plant, which features silver and green markings on the tops of its leaves and a purple hue underneath, there’s plenty of variety on offer.
Whether you want to go all out and completely revamp your home or just make a few minor tweaks, these style tips should help ensure your home’s on trend in 2018.

* Collaborative content


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Customer Service Champions.

Did you know I used to work in retail? For many years prior to becoming a Nurse I worked in the animal industry, I started working when was 15 and I left school after my G.C.S.E's and embarked on an animal care qualification at college. In all honestly I didn't really enjoy it, I wanted to be working and earning money, the thought of studying was awful but I stuck it out for a year and then continued to work in the pet care industry, retail was part of my life for several years and at times I really enjoyed it. 

I loved the buzz of managing a pet shop, loved beating targets and making a little shop come alive. It was tough of course, you have to deal with rude people on a daily basis and I was always amazed (and still am now even in nursing) at just how rude and nasty people can be. I suppose it made me develop a bit of a thick skin though and I try not to take things to heart if someone does complain. It is hard though and of course at times it can be upsetting if people aren't satisfied but thus is life. 

When I moved I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare and worked for NHS Direct for a while (this is now 111), oh my word this was not one of my favourite jobs I cannot tell you how much abuse we would get over the phone, I genuinely think because people can't see your face they find it much easier to be vicious and nasty, but still I like to think that I continued to offer a polite and courteous experience. Recently, CCSN (https://contactcustomerservicesnumber.co.uk/) have published this infographic all about what people expect from a phone call to customer services. Please do have a read.....I definitely agree with the points featured and since my working in retail and over phones I like to think that I would offer good customer service.

Many people will ring a customer services number from day to day. I have had both excellent and terrible customer service in the past so below are what I consider to be good customer service and what I expect when ringing a company. 

  • Be polite! It really doesn't take much to be pleasant and polite on the phone, it can make a huge difference as to which direction the phone call goes in. 

  • Don't keep waiting too long. Now I know that this isn't the fault of the call handler but I am not the most patient person and if I have to wait more than 5 minutes to get through to someone it makes me quite a grumpy customer so quick response times are always good for the soul!

  • Resolve my problem. There is nothing worse than speaking to someone who doesn't have a clue what they're doing and can't sort my query out. 

  • Don't be too over familiar. I don't mind friendliness of course but being too over familiar is not a good thing in my opinion. Be professional, chatty and polite but don't act like you're my friend. 

  • Finally, be proud of the company you work for and offer the best customer service you can. It really can go a long way. 

What would your best customer service tips be?

Blogger's Best Linky

Welcome back to the Blogger's Bests linky. We can't wait to read your posts and see what you've been sharing this week. Sarah and I had a nice couple of weeks off, it was really nice to be able to enjoy the Easter break, although I don't know about you but it feels like it was ages ago?! The school holidays seed to drag somewhat! Anway we are back with the linky and look forward to seeing what you have to share this week.

So Sarah from RunJumpScrap and I would like to introduce you to the Blogger's Best linky. A place for any post, whatever the post, the best post of your week or simply a post you are proud of and want to shout about it. This is the place to share it and we can't wait to read them. The linky will open at 05:30 on a Wednesday and remain open until Friday 23:55.

There aren't many rules because lets face it, rules are boring right? However, linkys only work if you share the love and support your fellow bloggers so what we do ask is.....
  • You comment on the host posts and at least a couple of others, of course if you want to comment on more  then please do!
We would also love if you could .....

  • Tweet us over on Twitter (I'm @helsy_1983) and Sarah is (@runjumpscrap) so we know you're joining in ( and please do use #bloggersbest) and we can give you a retweet

  • Join us over on Instagram with the hashtag #bloggersbest and tag us in, we both love a bit of Insta! You can find me here @helsy_1983) and Sarah is @runjumpscrap

  • Add the badge at the bottom of your post so we know which post you've added to the linky
But these are pretty much all the rules. Sarah and I will continue to have featured posts each week and will of course be retweeting your links when you link up. We're really looking forward to hosting a fresh and vibrant new linky and hope you'll enjoy linking up too! Spread the word, Blogger's Best is the place to be!


Run Jump Scrap





    

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Lighting your House.

Accessorising a house with lighting is one of my favourite things to do, there is something about having a few lamps on in the evening casting a gentle glow throughout the house I find so welcoming and they can actually create quite alot of ambiance within the home.  There are a huge amount of choices in lighting these days, from table lamps, ceiling lamps, standing lamps to decorative lights the list goes on, for some inspiration head over to lights.co.uk so many ideas! So while I'm thinking about lighting I thought I would compile a post with some of my favourite lighting ideas. 

First up, I adore this gorgeous ceiling light not only does it look really pretty and glamorous but will cast a lovely, romantic warm glow in the room that you decide to put it in. Personally I think it would look beautiful in a bedroom and really add a finishing touch. 


Appealing LED ceiling light Theodora-9950329-31

If you're thinking about injecting a modern touch into your house how wonderful are these trio of lights. These would look great hanging over an island in a kitchen or just to create a focal point in a room that you want to have a feature. 

Roddik 3-bulb pendant light-9004759-31

If it's drama you're wanting then this amazing floor lamp is incredible. It's big, it's bold and it is a showstopper......I would love to have this in out living room! It really would add a special touch to a room, it was also look pretty cool in a hallway as a welcome light I think.

Extravagant floor lamp Mineva in black and gold-4018081-32

As I mentioned above I love a table lamp, this one caught my eye as it's really smart looking but also a nice statement piece. It's also quite neutral so would fit in nicely with any decor. 

Simple table lamp Kullen-6505481-31

Finally this beautiful arc light caught my attention. This would be perfect for as a space saving light, it would also be a great reading light don't you think!

White Shing fabric floor lamp-9620142-31

Lighting really can make such a difference to your home it can both be a finishing touch and a feature and can make a huge difference to a room. What would your choice of lighting be?

Sunday, 15 April 2018

My Sunday Photo - 15/04/18


One of the most precious photos I look back on. My son meeting his new baby sister on 15th April 2015. 3 whole years ago....happy birthday little lady. 

Friday, 13 April 2018

AirHogs Sonic Rocket *Review*

Last year I reviewed the Air Hogs Jet Rocket and it was flipping marvellous, costing just £9.99 it has been one of our most used outdoor toys..... it even came all the way to France with us! Fast forward a few months and we've been testing out this bad boy. Let me introduce you to the Air Hogs Sonic Rocket (RRP £19.99) - this supercharged rocket goes high, high, high into the sky but more about that in a bit.


So the main difference between this rocket and the previous one we reviewed is this is USB charged enabling it to fly way up into the sky. It's very simple to set up, there are a minimal amount of things included so very easy to get ready t be used. Put the launch pad together, charge the rocket with the USB provided (which takes 30 minutes) and once charged it's ready to go. 


There are three power modes (which I didn't realise until I'd pressed the 'go' button, oops), realistic rocket sounds before blast off and a rotating propeller which spins around as it leave the launch pad. The rocket also has enough charge for 50 launches.


I really wanted to test this out on a warm, Spring day but no such luck. We trudged outside in the grey, drizzly pretty dire April weather and tried not to shiver. We set the rocket up and there was lots of excitement from the kids. There was a bit of a breeze in the air so I moved the rocket to the other side of the garden hoping that would give the rocket enough room to have a good flight......I was wrong, so very wrong. Ooops.


It whirred into life, propeller's whizzing away and whoooshhhhhh up it went into the air, it was actually quite graceful, fast but graceful and higher and higher it went. Alfie and I looked on in amazement, it really was going high......higher than our house and it kept on going and going until it sort of came down a bit and flew horizontally over to our next door neighbours house and landed quite spectacularly with a clatter on their roof. Oh dear. 

So it's clear that I should have anticipated just how high this rocket can go, it states up to 200 feet on the box but I think I should have paid more attention! 

So because of the error of my ways we were only able to use it once, I'm hoping we'll be getting the rocket back at some point when we manage to get it from next doors roof. I will still add a few points below however.

What did we like?

  • It's pretty awesome the heights that this can go to! Don't underestimate it and take it to a field or somewhere similar, plenty of room is required! 

  • Good value for money, assuming you get more use that I have out of it the price is decent. 

  • Lots of fun and encourages physical activity when retrieving the rocket from wherever it's landed.

Was there anything we weren't so keen on?

  • It was very lightweight and I think that both helps it fly high but also means that if there is an ounce of wind or a breeze it's not the ideal weather to use the rocket in for sure. 




Overall this is a great and fun outdoor toy to play with, it's really quite cool! So if you're looking for a toy with the wow factor this could be it. 

* Please note we were kindly sent the item free of charge in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.