Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Things that Kids Love but Parents Hate!

{Collaborative Content}There are many things about parenthood that are a total joy. The snuggles, the sweet baby who smiles at you with their eyes wide open filled with love and affection, the laughter - it’s all a part of parenthood and we love it. There are, of course, other things about parenthood that we all hate - and these are things that our children love!

Parents get a lot of hassle from their kids. They want to have the newest toys, the best kid's party entertainment in the school, the latest gadgets. They watch TV shows that are so different from the ones that we watch and we just don't get them! So, with that in mind, we’ve got five examples of things that children love and parents just hate. Let’s take a look!


  • Crafting
Every parent loves the magazine pictures of sitting with the children and painting, or making PlayDoh. The problem is that while baking cookies is fun, it’s so frustrating to try and make cookies with a child who doesn't know how to do it right. Almost every parent hates the mess, the glitter, the tidy up (because let’s face it, we do that!). Crafting? Best for kids, not for parents.
  • Kids Magazines
It’s a nice treat to give, considering you don’t want to buy candy or chips from the store, but kids magazines get left to one side for the cheap plastic toys stuck to the front. The educational part of the magazine with the pictures to color in aren’t as exciting for a child, and guess who’s going to leave plastic toys around for you to clean up? Yep - the kids!
  • YouTube
You may only have a baby and haven't been introduced to the joys of YouTube yet, but you will. And then you’ll meet Blippi and the whole gang, and you’ll want to bury your face in a pillow and scream.
  • Balloons
Whether you have been to the stores or to a kid’s party, your child will beg you for balloons at some point or another. When they see one, they need it, and you’ll be the one carrying it home so it doesn't blow away. Once it’s at home, they want nothing to do with it. They want to leave it in the corner as it slowly deflates for two weeks, and when you go to dispose of it? THEY NEED IT. Yeah, balloons aren’t your friend, especially if it pops and traumatizes your child.
  • Bubbles
Every child goes nuts for bubbles, but parents? Not so much. Bubble residue all over the floor makes the floor slippery and when the bubbles run out, you do your best to replace them with dish soap and it’s just not the same! Bubbles are great for five minutes and then the child wants to hold them and SPLASH they go all over the floor.

There are plenty more things that parents hate but their children love, but that’s something to discover as you go on this crazy parenting ride you’re on. Enjoy it!

Monday, 17 February 2020

How School Trips can Benefit your Child.



{Collaborative} When we send our little ones to school, we send them somewhere they are going to have set routine. They will attend classes, attend assemblies, have set break times and lunch times, and return home having learnt everything they need for the day without being torn from a comfortable schedule that they know well. This can create comfort and balance in their lives and learning in a familiar environment can make for learning without excessive distractions. But every once in a while, it can be worth breaking free from the mould to let your little ones attend a school trip. Now, school trips are exciting for kids. It’s an event in their calendar that they can really look forward to. But they can still prove highly educational and can allow them to learn in a completely different way to that which they’re used to on a day to day basis. Here are a few different ways trips can benefit your little ones.

New Environments

New environments can stimulate your kids’ imaginations. They can see things they haven’t been exposed to before and can gather new interests that they might not have discovered if it wasn’t for their trip. Taking a step away into a new environment or atmosphere with Adaptable Travel can widen their imagination and see the world outside of the realms of the classroom.

Museums

Museums can introduce your little ones to real artefacts, making the stories and tales from their history books more than just accounts, but instead, something very real. This can peak interest in all sorts of areas, ranging from Ancient Egypt with its pharaohs, pyramids, and scarab beetle to natural history, dinosaurs, evolution, planets and more.

Art Galleries

Art is a great area for kids to get invested in. It’s not limited to visual creativity. It can also convey a host of hidden messages, familiarising your child with emotions. It encourages your kids to view the world in a different way - through the artists eyes. It can help them to appreciate colours, textures, and patterns. Art can also have a historical aspect, introducing your little ones to the ideologies and norms of different times and allowing them to reflect on how things have changed since.

Theatre

Plays don’t catch all children’s imaginations when they’re just words printed on the page. But trips to the theatre see these words come to life. Shakespeare tends to be much more easily understood in motion than read from a book. So why not encourage a school trip to the theatre? It’s a great way to engage kids with literature.

These are just a few different types of trip your kids might end up going on. There are plenty more. Some are based on exercise and physical education. Others based on geography. Some scientifics. No matter the subject area, chances are there’s a trip that can greatly benefit your little one and their educational progression!

Sunday, 16 February 2020

R.I.P Caroline. This is not ok.

Yesterday a bright, beautiful and vivid woman took her life. A woman that I admired, loved watching, her beauty, personality, that laugh and her down to earth presenting style and cool fashion sense. A woman that should have had a whole life in front of her. One of the only dancers on Strictly Come Dancing to reduce me to tears and one of the best show dances in the history of Strictly.  I was shocked to the core to read such news. However,  not overly shocked that she'd reached that place of despair after the constant media hounding after that 'alleged' assault, but shocked and deeply saddened in the sense that she'd reached a point in her 40 years of life that she felt she was better of dead. Even just writing this now I feel utter sadness, I can't comprehend what a dark place someone must be for these thoughts to transpire. I remember a few years ago going on some suicide awareness training for work and was advised that if someone really wants to commit suicide they will do it, if just an attempt it's a cry for help. This has stuck with me for years, Caroline's cry for help was clear to see I'm just sorry that she felt her life wasn't worth living anymore.

Many people who know me will be surprised to hear that at times I suffer with anxiety,  I'm a prolific over thinker and spend alot of time with consuming thoughts but it's mild in comparison to many, I'm a worrier about everything but I don't need any help, I deal with it but many don't and I'm aware of just how easy it is for thoughts to take over, I can't imagine how Caroline was feeling at this point in her life. The signs were there, her social media is screaming for help, the sparkle had gone from her eyes in photos. It is all just so sad and an unnecessary loss of life.


I feel the media are very much to blame for this, of course we will never truly know the depth of her mental health state, what actually happened on that evening in December and I guess we never will, but what we do know is the media dragged this poor woman's name through the mud and I was pretty disgusted with the fingers that were pointed at her, the trolling she endured was sickening. Where was the support for her like there was for Ant McPartlin? How did it get to the stage where she felt she needed to end her life, this being the only way out.


Caroline may not have had any mental health issues, of course we make the assumption and are lead to believe  that there must have been some concerns there as reports state she was on anti depressants which are a fair indicator of where her state of mind may have been at this point, but it should not have reached the stage where she took her own life, there are some serious questions that need to be asked. 

As humans, as grown adults we just aren't very good at talking. Many, including myself keep alot of things close to our chest. For me, I always feel like who wants to hear my woes? I'd hate to drag anyone down when I feel a bit low but really this is the worst thing to do. We should be more open. We should talk more. It is nothing to be ashamed of. This is why there is still this stigma surrounding mental health, depression and everything in between.  We should become better at talking, it's good to off load and release some inner demons. We need to become better in self care and recognising when we need help or extra support, it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of to say do you know what I'm not ok. It's fine to not be coping and it's ok to reach out for help and it's ok to take medication if that helps. It's ok to not be ok.

What's not ok is that a 40 year old woman has taken her own life leaving behind her family, her friends and a vibrant career. She had so much for this world and was clearly loved and adored as the social media tributes for her have shown. If you haven't read them please do. It stands as a good reminder of just how many people you touch through your life without even perhaps realising it. She leaves a legacy behind and Caroline you won't be forgotten and I hope that the media learns from this horrifically sad and traumatic loss of life. 

RIP Caroline Flack and thankyou for the Strictly memories, you were one of my favourite contestants ever, thankyou for the summers of love and your vibrant personality. May you have found peace away from this media filled world full of people that take pleasure in being cruel. From one of Caroline's post 'in a world where you can be anything, be kind'.

For anyone needing any support please talk. Visit your GP, self refer to your local mental health service. Call those numbers where there is someone at the end of the line that can help. Please don't suffer in silence.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Top Tips for Choosing an Awesome Kids Gift!

{Ad} Ahh kids birthdays! Children just love, love, love their birthdays don't they. Once Christmas is out of the way they just count down the weeks until their birthday. Or is this just my two?! I have two kids fairly close together for birthdays, my four year old daughter is April then quite closely followed my seven year old in May. Then throw into the mix all the school birthday parties as with two at school there seems to be a celebration or party every week at the moment! Both of my children generally have certain requests of things they would like but I always like to get some surprises too and try to think outside the box to get them things are are usual or memory making activities that will enrich their life. Of course they get things that they have asked for but I do like to get a few surprises also.

It can be easy to be generic when it comes to purchasing presents and sometimes we all need a little inspo when gifting, (check out Wicked Uncle’s gift list for 18 month olds, which I love). Sometimes, even buying gifts for babies and younger children the pressure can feel immense to 'get it right' and it can certainly be quite tricky to purchase for children that you don't know or have any idea of their interests but hey I love a challenge! After thinking about how, at times it can be a struggle to be original and not to over think things I decided to put together a few tips to help anyone else who stresses or worries about buying gifts for your children's friends that you don't know. Ultimately, it's the thought that counts of course but it's always nice for a child to turn up with a little gift after being invited to their party.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

- Firstly, as mentioned above don't stress about it, children really are just so happy with a token gift and that they are having a party! 

- I often buy a load of small pocket money gifts and books and make up a party parcel which has several little things in it like pens, stickers, a book, blind bags, lip balms, bath bombs and things like that. It depends on the age, I find this most useful for Alfie's age but for Elarna's age group I enjoy choosing a bit more fun and colourful toys and sometimes a bit quirky and unusual. I also find craft items are always a good choice.

- Don't think you have to spend a fortune, it is always the thought that counts so it's important to keep that at the back of your mind and remember that.

- If you are still struggling, head to a website like Wicked Uncle and choose the age category to help you with options. There are tons of products and I can guarantee that I will find something that will be enjoyed and loved by the kids. I love doing this as it so good for inspiration and there are some awesome gifts to choose from!

- Ask the parent. If you know the child's Mum or Dad then ask for the child's interests or if there is anything that they would love or even that they dislike!

- If you are really struggling to think of ideas pop some cash in the card so the child can choose to spend their money where they would like!

Overall just don't over think these things, have fun choosing gifts and enjoy celebrating all those birthdays.

Blippi Toys - Newly Launched *Review*

{Gifted items}. Hands up....who has a Blippi fan in the house? I do, I do! My daughter absolutely loves Blippi and would spend hours watching him if she could. 

Now for those of you who are wondering..... who on earth is Blippi? Blippi is a popular You Tube star that creates bright, colourful and educational videos for children from around 2 years old to 5 years old (ish). Once you've heard theme tune it will be forever grained in your brain! We were recently sent a bunch of goodies to review as a whole load of fabulous merchandise has recently dropped at leading retailers, head on over to Smyths Toys to have a look at some of the range available. The items arrived in a Blippi themed colour blind box and Elarna was so excited to see what was inside!


Packaged in Blippi's iconic colours Elarna couldn't wait to open it up and have a look. There is a wide variety of new merchandise and toys available for the Bliipi fan in your house and range from around £9.99 upwards. They toys range from small items like the blind bag ball pit surprise to the plush buddy Blippi toy.


Inside we discovered a whole range of Blippi fun, one thing that I noticed that most of the items had an educational spin to them also. We had a dress up set which will encourage imaginative play and role play, some Blippi educational vehicles which are great for learning to play independently. There was also lots others so please read on!


Elarna is really good at playing independently as well as with other children but she was delighted with these little cars that she could push around and make little stories up with them, they are brightly coloured and the perfect size for those little hands.


Next up we had the item that Elarna was THE most delighted with. A my buddy Blippi plush toy. OH my goodness I can't tell you how much she loves this toy, he has to be tucked in next to her at night and she genuinely just loves it so much! The Blippi buddy features 15 recognisable sounds and phrases by squeezing his tummy! To be honest I found it a bit irritating but I guess I would as an adult, for a 4 year old however it's the best thing ever! I would say out of all the items this was her favourite and an absolute winner!



Also included in the box was learning numbers set. This little set consists of cardboard cubes with blind bags hidden inside as well as a little Blippi model. Inside each of the blind bag is an item that can then be used to help with numbers and counting. I have to admit I found the items inside the boxes a little bit odd, I wasn't quite sure how they would help with numbers as such but I guess you can use them to learn counting up to 9 or for simple addition and subtraction with the items, Elarna enjoyed playing with them and they are of a nice size for reception aged children. The cardboard blocks are also numbered and can be used to stack and play simple number games with but will not last that long due to thin cardboard that they are made of.


We were also sent some blind ball pit surprise balls, these toys are so popular at the moment and children just seem to love them! I won't spoil what is inside them but as pocket money gifts these are great little items. 


Overall these toys will be loved and adored by Blippi fans. I like the educational aspect and the toys are of good quality. They vary in price which means there are plentiful options for parents to choose from. They are very much loved in our house and Elarna has been delighted to receive them, especially the Blippy buddy, he has been everywhere with us! As mentioned above these are available from leading retailers although I think they have been pretty popular as certain items are sold out from some retailers! Keep your eyes open though as I'm sure they will be restocked soon. 


Do you have a Blippi fan in your house? Would your children loves these toys?

* Please note we were kindly sent the items free of charge in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own.

Friday, 31 January 2020

Ways to Make a Garden Fuss Free!

{Collaborative content}Your garden area is something to be enjoyed throughout the year, but not many of us would want to spend time tending to it like we would do with the rest of our property. So if you’re not that much of a gardener, here are some ways to make your garden fuss-free.




Use Artificial Grass
Artificial grass makes you think of that plastic, rubber, neon green monstrosity, right? Well, a lot has changed in both technology, designs, and materials since they were first introduced, and now, there’s a lot of artificial versions out there that look just like the real thing. You can request a free artificial grass sample before having to buy the full amount so that you can see exactly what your getting. By having this fake grass, you don’t need to worry about mowing or pruning your garden. The wet weather you get will help keep it clean, and it will always look good, no matter what extreme weather conditions hit it. So you reduce the amount of time you have to spend on looking after your lawn, which is what you want when it comes to a fuss-free outdoor space.


Find Indestructible Plants
Indestructible plants are a great thing to include within your garden if you don’t like the idea of having to do too much extra work to ensure they stay alive. Not to mention all the weeding that tends to come with looking after the more fussy flowers and shrubs. Do your research and find those plants that are going to be virtually unkillable. The more you can find that aren’t going to take much to grow and flourish, the better.


Avoid Metal Furniture
Metal furniture, although it tends to look nice, if you don’t keep it out of the wet weather, it can rust pretty easily. There are treatments you can get to help make it weather-resistant, but if you want to save yourself time, just avoid the metal furniture altogether. Opt for more durable outdoor furniture that you can leave out come rain or shine. A simple wipe down is all you want to be doing when it comes to the outdoor furniture you buy. Any cushions, try keeping them stored away unless they are water-resistant too.


Keep It Minimalistic
Adding decor to your garden is a must, but it’s important to try and keep it minimal where possible. The less fuss and work you’re having to do on your outdoor space, the better you’ll feel about spending time outside in it. Keep things minimal by only buying certain types of plants or flowers so that you’re not having to deal with pulling dead ones up and planting new ones. Keep furniture basic and add a simple water feature to create a relaxing atmosphere.

You can still have a beautiful garden but not need to spend nearly as much time as you would usually if you pick the right features. Embrace the artificial and find furniture that doesn’t require any movement or maintenance.


Wednesday, 29 January 2020

4 Bad Habits that could be Ruining your Smile.

{Collaborative content} One of the first things that people notice about you is your smile, that’s why it’s your best accessory. If you have a great smile, it boosts your confidence and immediately puts people at ease when they talk to you. But if you have stained teeth and you are afraid to show your smile, it can really knock your self-esteem. It’s common for people to have problems with their teeth at some point in their life, but if you find that you constantly have stains on your teeth and you can’t do anything about it, you may be making some common mistakes. These are some of the bad habits that are ruining your smile. 



Smoking
Smoking is one of the worst things for your smile. You already know that it’s terrible for your health and it leads to all sorts of diseases, but did you realize that it was staining your teeth as well? Most people that smoke will have yellow stains on their teeth that are impossible to get rid of unless you give up. If you are struggling to quit, you should consider getting an e cigarette and some e liquid and switching to that instead. That will make it easier to transition and eventually quit altogether. Once you have given up cigarettes, you can get some special toothpaste that is designed for ex smokers, and that should help to get rid of the stains.

Drinking Too Much Coffee
Most of us like a cup of coffee to keep us going throughout the day, and that’s fine. But if you are drinking too much coffee, it could be staining your teeth a horrible brown colour. The good news is, there are some simple things you can do to avoid this. First off, just cut down on the coffee. It’s not good for you to have that much caffeine anyway, so cutting back isn’t a bad thing. Secondly, you should sip water after drinking coffee to stop it from staining your teeth.

Drinking Fizzy Drinks
Fizzy drinks are packed full of sugar, so it’s no surprise that they’re no good for your teeth. Even if you get the diet versions, they still leave a layer of acid on your teeth which eats away at the enamel and leaves stains. You’re much better off drinking water instead. It’s better for your health in general and it won’t ruin your smile.

Drinking Too Much Red Wine
The occasional glass of wine never hurt anybody, but you might want to consider going for red instead of white next time. Red wine is very dark in colour and it can easily stain your teeth, especially if you drink it on a regular basis. However, the stains that you get from red wine come from wine sticking to plaque on your teeth, so if you make sure to brush properly before drinking wine, you can avoid it.

These bad habits will all cause staining on the teeth and completely ruin your smile, so make sure that you stop doing them right away.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Cabaret at The New Theatre, Peterborough *Review*

{Gifted tickets} Come hear the music play......life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret..... It's a very well known lyric isn't it, an iconic musical but would you believe as a lover of musical theatre it's not a show that I've ever watched, shocking I know! This is no longer the case as last night I had the pleasure of watching Cabaret at The New Theatre, Peterborough.To be honest I wasn't really sure what to expect, I had thoughts that it would be similar to Chicago and to a degree the performances are with that 'Fosse esque' dancing and leave little to the imagination costuming but that is where the comparison ends. Not really knowing what the show is about prior to watching it meant I could really become immersed in the seedy and intriguing world of the Kit Kat club. 

So, if like me you've never seen Cabaret either on stage or screen the show is adapted from a short novel called 'Goodbye to Berlin'. Set in 1931 Berlin, around the time that the Nazis are rising to power, the show is centred around the risque Kit Kat cabaret club and focuses on the relationship between American writer Cliff Bradshaw and English cabaret performer Sally Bowles. The master of ceremonies, Emcee takes us on the journey through 1931 Berlin and draws the audience in to the decadent but almost sinister world of the Kit Kat club. On doing a bit of reading around I found that the club is essentially a metaphor for the developments in late Weimar Germany. It is so much more than the goings on at a cabaret club. Before I get too much into that let me talk to you about the cast......



As mentioned above, Emcee, the master of ceremonies, the host is played by the extremely talented John Partridge (ex Eastenders actor and frequent west end performer) and I have to say what an excellent choice for the role, he can sing, he can dance, he's flamboyant, humorous and draws the audience right into the Kit Kat club. His enthusiasm for the role is plain to see.

Kara Lily Hayworth as Sally was superb, what an actress, I was captivated watching her, relatively new to the theatre scene I believe, she played Cilla in the West End for a couple of years and was met with high praise for the role. The rest of the cast is unbelievable, what those guys and gals do with their bodies is unreal! The dancing and staging is just everything that ticks my boxes and the songs and lyrics are powerful and have such meaning to them. I felt like I was watching it in the west end, it's such a slick production and thoroughly enjoyable. 


The show is risque, it's raunchy and a bit naughty! I don't think my Mum was expecting full frontal nudity, so it is worth mentioning that there is an age restriction of 13+ for this reason. However, it's not just about life at the cabaret, there is a darker side, a political note throughout and sadness, the ending is not like other shows I've seen, I left the theatre in awe that a show would make me question things so much and dissect a story line quite as much as I have! No spoilers though, you will have to go see it for yourself. What a show. What a show. 


After not knowing what to expect, I can honestly say this is at the top of my musical list, it's takes alot to beat Chicago, Cats and The Bodyguard which are shows that I have seen multiple times but I would see Cabaret again without a doubt. Overall it's a 10/10 for me, the story is intense, the songs are fantastic, the dancing is fabulous, the cast are professional and make the show what it is. I absolutely loved it. 

Cabaret is showing at The New Theatre until the 25th January, I'm not sure on the availability on this but head over to the website for further booking information. It's a must see.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

How to Choose your Bridal Party

{collaborative content} As a bride, you’re in charge of choosing your party of girls (or guys) to follow you and help you with the preparations for your big day. Of course, you don’t have to have a bridal party at all if you don't want to have one, but you do need to consider whether you want someone standing up for you on this big day of yours. Given the number of guests you may have, you could choose your bridal party size based on the guest list. A more extensive guest list often lends to a more formal event.

Your groom is likely to have a best man, and for the photos, you may choose to have one bridesmaid to balance that out. However, if you have five bridesmaids in their pretty iris color bridesmaid dresses, then it stands to reason you’d like five opposing groomsmen with matching irises in their buttonholes. Below, we’ve got some essential tips for ensuring that you are choosing your wedding party wisely for the biggest day of your life.


More? Or Less?
You could have twenty best girlfriends, but it doesn't mean that you have to include them all in your day. You could have your closest best friends standing up with you, and then have the other girls involved in some way or another in the actual day. You’ll need their input for flower arrangements and table favours, and you can really use their help on your hen party night, too!

Family Conflict
Some people believe that if they don’t invite every female relative to be a bridesmaid, there will be drama. Here’s the thing: it’s YOUR day. You can ask them to avoid hurt feelings, or you could explain your budget is limited, and you want your childhood best friends with you at the front of the church. Either way, you should have the people you want there, not those you think you SHOULD have stood with you.

Know Your Budget
When it comes to having bridesmaids, you need to budget for the dresses, the flowers, hair and makeup, and their shoes. Please don't assume that they’re going to be able to afford to pay for their own outfits. Don’t ask anyone to stand with you if you can’t provide for them to be there with you on the big day.

Bridesmen?
If your best friends are boys, you can have them stand with you instead. Suit and boot them and put the right flowers in their buttonholes, and they can represent you just as well as any girlfriend would have. Is it unusual? Absolutely - and who cares?

Ask Those You Truly Want
You don't have to ask someone who has asked you before - a common mistake most women make. Yes, it’s polite, but imagine if you haven't spoken to that person for years? The critical thing to note is that you’re choosing those you love.

Your wedding is your big day. Choosing your bridal party is simple: pick the people you love the most and let them stand for you.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Are you Sleeping Enough?

{collaborative content} Sleep is important for your body to function properly. But with over 50% of people in the UK struggling to fall asleep or get sufficient sleep it’s any wonder how any of us function. At this time of year, we can all look to set some goals, and a focus on sleep could become a priority for you. With a bit of a change in habit and trying a few new things, we could soothe those night time blues. So if you need more rest, then here are some tips to help you do just that. 


Switch off the technology
Technology is one of the leading reasons why people struggle with sleep. It can have an effect on falling asleep as well as staying fully rested throughout the night. This is why reducing the amount of technology you use in the evening is a great tip to try. Or trying not to use it all. Social media and internet browsing is the number one thing people do in bed before attempting to fall asleep. But it can often mean that are minds are still working rather than relaxing ready for sleep.Try and not use technology for at least an hour before heading to bed and see the difference it can make.

Tire yourself out in the day
It may sound crazy, but a great tip is to actual tire your mind and your body throughout the day. You can do this through regular routine of work, but also taking on exercise and becoming more active can help to improve getting to sleep and actually allowing your body to fall into a deep sleep. Maybe enlist the help of a personal trainer such as Andy Griffiths to help you come up with a training plan and schedule that can fit around your current routine and commitments. If you don’t want to have the commitment of a trainer, then getting out for regular walks or even making conscious decisions such as walking instead of driving can make a massive difference to your exercise output, and in turn can help you to feel more tired at night. 

Clear your mind
Many people struggle with stress and worry throughout the day and often this can translate into our sleep and dreams. The best thing anyone can do is try and clear their mind of worry. Talk things out with your partner. Write a list to attempt to download everything from your mind on to paper. A great way you can attempt to clear your mind is through mediation. This is where you get yourself in a quiet area and focus on breathing techniques. 

Try sleeping aids
Sleeping aids can be a great resolution to troublesome sleep. Especially if you suffer from pressing anxiety issues and even panic attacks. They can appear in the night and cause you to wake and feel symptoms of anxiety and panic. Sleeping aids can relieve some of these issues helping you get a more restful night's sleep. Essential oils and room sprays, even sprays that you can use on your pillow can all help to give you a sense of calm when it comes to falling asleep at night.

Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can have an adverse affect on your sleep. They are both seen as a stimulant, making it even harder to relax ready for a restful night's sleep. Caffeine can stay in your system for several hours after consumption. Try and avoid drinking it in the afternoon if you can. 

Create your own bedtime routine
We may have routines in place for bedtime when it comes to our children, but what about a routine that you can follow? It may be as simple as switching off the TV and technology, enjoying a warm bath and reading a book. Maybe having a conversation with your partner, a hot drink that isn’t caffeinated like chamomile tea and generally relaxing your mind and body ready for bed. You could even include some meditation in there. Create a routine that works for you that helps you to relax. This can help you get to sleep and stay asleep. 

Make your bedroom an inviting place to rest
Finally, your bedroom needs to be an inviting place to rest. This means trying to use a more calmer colour scheme and even consider getting rid of clutter. Try and set the scene for a relaxing environment so include scented candles, lots of pillows and keep a regulated temperature in the room. Maybe even treat yourself to some new bed linen or pyjamas to help set the scene of bedtime. 

Let’s hope these tips help you get a better night’s sleep. 

Looking After you is a Priority!



{collaborative content} A lot of the time, we find ourselves making other people the priority in our lives, but we forget that looking after ourselves needs to number one. It is all well and good to want to look after others, but at the end of the day, you are the primary person that you have got to take care of, and that’s why we have written this article. Down below, we are going to be looking at some of the things that you can do to look after yourself, even if only for a short time! Keep reading if you want to find out more.

Find What Helps

Looking after yourself might not always feel easy, which is why you have got to find something that helps. This is really going to be about trial and error more than anything else because you won’t know if something is effective until you have tried it. For example, some people like to use cbd to help here, and Vsavi offer a quality cbd vape kit for you to try. Obviously, there is no guarantee that this is going to have the same effect on you that it does on other people, but it is always worth giving it a shot and see if it can bring you some kind of relief. Whether it is stress, anxiety, or some physical conditions, it could be the thing that you have been waiting for.

Or, it could simply be doing something like exercise. This is a natural way for your body to release endorphins and help you to feel better. Give this a try if you can, and see if it helps at all.

Take A Break



The next thing that we are going to suggest is that you simply take a break. Life can get hectic. Everyone gets busy, and sometimes it can feel as though things are piling up, and you are never going to see the light again, but even when this happens, you have got to take a break. Don’t feel bad for giving yourself a rest, we are all human, and we all need one from time to time. If you don’t give yourself this well-deserved break, you could find yourself on the brink of a breakdown, and this is not what you need.

So, whether you take a long hot bath, sit down with a good book, or even just put on the TV and zone out for a while, the benefits that you experience could be amazing. It’s not a weakness to need a break, it’s normal.

Treat Yourself

Finally, you can treat yourself. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just something small to make yourself feel better. Getting yourself a little gift is a great way to enhance your mood, and give yourself that little boost that you have been looking for. Even if it’s just a bar of your favourite chocolate and some wine, you’ll feel so much better.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see that looking after you has to be a priority and some of the ways that you can do this.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Create the Ultimate Kid Friendly Garden.


Photo by Andy Kuzma from Pexels

{collaborative content} If you’re lucky enough to have some outside space, it’s a great idea to turn it into a relaxing area that the entire family can enjoy. Life’s so busy when you have kids and you’re expected to spend every free minute visiting soft play centres or parks. By making your garden child-friendly, you always have a place for them to play safely outside. Whether you’re intending to do a complete garden overhaul or just spruce up your existing garden, these tips will get you started.

Make it safe and secure

Plants - make sure you remove any poisonous plants and nettles. Children will put anything in their mouths if given the chance so make sure there’s nothing that can make them really ill. Check out this list of poisonous garden plants so you know what to look for https://blog.fantasticgardeners.co.uk/17-toxic-plants-in-your-garden/.

Devote space to a play area

As the garden is for the entire family, you’ll want some areas devoted to different things. Have a designated play area when you can put the kid’s swings, slides, mud kitchen or trampolines.

This frees up other areas of your garden to devote to relaxing or entertaining.

Giving your garden a kid-friendly makeover may seem like a lot of work but it will be worth it. Your kids will love their new space and will have so many happy times playing in the garden.  

Water features - families with young children shouldn’t have water features or any areas where water collects. Toddlers have no fear of water and it’s just not worth the risk.
Security - you don’t want your kids escaping through a gap in the fence or hedge. Make sure your garden is secure so that no one can get in or out unless you want them to.

Lighting - in your mind’s eye, you’re probably imagining long summer days spent in your garden with family and friends. The reality is, that’s not going to happen very often. During the darker months, you’ll need to think about lighting so you can enjoy your garden even when the sun isn’t shining. Most garden centres stock pretty solar lamps that you can scatter throughout your garden and create a lovely effect when the sun goes down or stronger solar light like this one https://www.lumenalights.com/shop/product/hiway-pir-motion-sensor-solar-light/ that also provides some security light features too.

Using solar means that you don’t have potentially dangerous cables to contend with. Plus you’ll save on electricity.

Use artificial grass

You’ll want a lawn for your kids to run around and play ball games on. This is where artificial grass is your best friend. New products are coming out all the time that look and feel more like natural grass.

While having artificial grass is more expensive initially, you’ll save time and money as its really easy to maintain. You don’t need to mow it, weed it or water it. It’s much easier to clean (great if you have pets) and a bit of rain won’t turn it into a mudbath.

You’ll be amazed how artificial grass can transform your garden. Have a look at some of these amazing before and after photos for inspiration https://neograss.co.uk/10-garden-transformations-using-artificial-grass/.