Friday, 22 May 2020

Steps to Boosting Your Confidence!



{Collaborative content} We all want to live our lives with confidence. As The Smiths once said, “shyness is nice, but shyness can stop you from getting all the things in life you want to”. We want to walk with a strong stride and be ready for whatever life throws at us. But confidence doesn’t always come to all of us naturally. So what can you do to foster a sense of confidence in your day to day life? Here are a few steps you might want to try out!

Think Positively

Many of us are pessimistic and take a glass half empty approach to life. But if you always expect the worst you’re bound to take a step back from things that could actually take your life in a pretty positive direction. Don’t let doubt and fear of things like failure stop you from going ahead and trying for the things that you most want in life. Sure, thinking positively may take an active effort and may take a while to get used to - after all, it’ll involve a complete overhaul of your mindset. But eventually, it’ll become a habit and you'll be much more willing to try things out that you would have otherwise turned away from.

Accept Yourself and Your Life

Self-acceptance is of great importance. The more you accept yourself as a person, the mor others will accept you in turn. Grow to love the things you might dislike about yourself. Whether that’s physically, in terms of your interests or anything else.

Change the Things You Can’t Accept

If there are things that you can’t grow to accept, or don’t want to accept because they’re outright negative (such as behavioural traits that are harmful to others), change them. This could involve anything from physical changes like non surgical rhinoplasty to actively trying harder to be a more empathetic and compassionate person.

Face Your Fears

Sometimes, we all lack confidence because of fears. Public speaking is an extremely common example. People fear public speaking, so back away from it and consequently seem like they lack confidence if they’re cornered into it. Instead, face your fears that don’t pose an actual threat to you. In this situation, you could volunteer to do a presentation to put yourself in a situation where you simply have to be confident.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you lack confidence in a certain skill you have, why not simply practice? Practice makes perfect and perfection takes time, persistence and dedication. Practicing your skills in private can bring them up to a standard where you’re happy to show them off publicly. Remember, nobody ever starts out perfect. Everyone has to work on their skill to hone it!

These are just a few steps you can take to build your confidence across the board. Implement them into your lifestyle to benefit from your increased confidence sooner rather than later! It’ll make all the difference to you on a day to day basis!

Scruff a Luvs are Back! *Review*

{Gifted Items} The Scruff a Luvs are back for Spring with a brand new collection. You may have seen our previous reviews, you can read one here, my daughter loves these scruffy little soft toys that need to be washed and brushed and cared for to become life long friends. They are super cute.



To add to the ever expanding collection of Scruff a Luvs there are the limited edition Jungle Scruffs who arrive wrapped in a vine to make it even more exciting to see who is to be discovered. There are also the cutest little Spring babies, these are super cute and come hidden in their own little carrier, twist the dummy and rub and comb their fur to discover who you are adopting. Honestly, they are just too cute. 



I think what makes these so succesful in our household is both the element of surprise and the child being able to nurture and care for the Scruffs washing them, drying them and combing them to make them look like a loved soft toy. The key to getting them to look cute and fluffy is to dry them throughly and keep coming and brushing them, it really does make a difference. These types of toys are just perfect for Elarna who loves mothering and caring for things, she currently has all of her Scruff a Luvs lined up all tucked together with a blanket, she is just so sweet with them. 




If you have a child that you would like to try and encourage a little bit of responsibility or you have a child that loves to care and mother things this could be the toy to choose. Also, if your child loves the surprise element toy then these are perfect for that as you don't know who has been received until they are washed, lovely little surprise. 




What do we love? 



-  There are lots to choose from now, all very different and cute. Bright, pastel, colourful and all with the added element of fun. We also loved the addition of the Spring babies and hope they make them a permanent feature.


- We love that Scruff a Luvs partners the RSPCA to raise money and so far have raised £110,000 for the charity, how amazing is that!

- Great little toys for role play and encouraging nurturing and caring behaviour. 

- Encourages a sense of responsibilty and each one comes with adoption certificates to make the child feel like their Scruff is just like a real life pet!

- Retailing for around £19.99 for the larger Scruffs and £9.99 for the babies the price range is great and they would make such lovely gifts.

- They come with some lovely little accessories such as combs, clips and brushes to help make them look cared for and loved.


Anything we weren't so keen on?

- Overall they are lovely but it can be hard to make them look less scruffy but the key is to make sure they are washed properly and brush, brush, brish to make them look gorgeous!

So to sum it up Scruff a Luvs are a hit in our house. They are cute, versatile and loved and a really nice toy to purchase. Available from leading retailers such as Smyths toys, Argos, The Entertainer and Amazon ranging from £9.99 to £19.99.

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

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Life in Lockdown .

Could it be that lockdown life is becoming a bit more 'normal' for us? Slowly but surely we are starting to get used to and adjusting to a new way of living and working. It certainly hasn't been easy and my god it's taken a while to adjust but I feel like we're sort of making some.....and I mean some small steps, a little progress and feeling more comfortable. At times, in amongst the fighting, the squabbles and the constant calls for Mummy (when I'm not at work nursing!) or Daddy (when he's not working) and of course it's kind of nice to spend some time with the children, when they are not bickering and scrapping with each other!

Intially when the schools were closed we both had grand ideas that the days would be education filled, lots of work book activities and 'at the table' learning but it's not turned out like that. There is a couple of reasons for this, my husband continues to work from home while I head out to the surgery where I work three days a week. My husband spends alot of his days on conference calls making it very difficult to 'teach' the kids while maintaining a professional work life, quite tricky as I'm sure many others are finding. My two days off I do all the things I would normally have done such as the cleaning, washing and food shopping etc but try and squeeze in a couple of hours of spaced out learning where I can. 


I felt an immense pressure to try and get it right to begin with, I felt incredibly stressed about the whole situation with having to suddenly be juggling a lot of balls and I had to take a step back and realise that I'm not a miracle worker, my husband isn't a miracle worker and we can only do so much. We have both learnt that our children learn best in short bursts, there is no point in sitting them down for hours on end trying to make them learn. We've been learning to pick our battles and try not to overly stress about every little thing. 15-20 minutes through out the day seems to keep them more engaged, it's not very easy to try and motivate them to try and learn but then who can blame them when really their whole life that they knew has been turned upside down. Navigating this whole 'lockdown learning' was a choice made for us and although filled with dread initially and the days most certainly not been easy I feel like we are all learning alot about the way we lead our life and how things may be different in the future.

We've also been very blessed with some lovely, dry weather meaning we have been able to get outside and embrace the outdoors which has been wonderful for both the childrens mental state and ours. It makes a big difference to be able to sit outside and enjoy our garden, I count us very fortunate to have a garden to be able to do this. Our children thrive outdoors, they love being able to explore freely, ride their bikes and generally just enjoy the outside life.


We have enjoyed some lovely walks and bike rides as a family enjoying our time together and appreciating the area where we live, all while social distancing. We have been enjoying lazy mornings, I defintely haven't missed the crazy and hectic school runs, it has been nice to just be a bit more chilled on mornings. I know the kids are missing their friends and we really are feeling quite sorry for them missing their social interactions, we are aware that we can't give them the educational needs that they would get in school and for these reasons I would happily send them back to school when they reopen, I would be pleased if it would be June as I mostly feel for Elarna who potentially will only have had half a school year which is so sad. However, it is what it is and of course we will just have to wait and see. We don't really know what the next few weeks, or even months have in store. We don't even know if we have a holiday to look forward to but I can't dwell on this for the moment as we just do not know what is in store. For the moment we take each day as it comes and try and keep positive. Keep safe everyone and I hope you are all doing ok.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Supporting a Loved One who has Lost a Limb.

How to help a loved one who has lost a limb
The loss of a limb sounds terrifying. Sadly for many people, it's a sobering reality. The reasons behind limb loss are extensive, however, one of the most common causes is military service. Losing a limb can evoke all kinds of emotions in a person, from anger and frustration to grief and complete devastation. Therefore it’s important for those closely linked with victims to provide as much support as possible, both physically and emotionally. 
Not only may your loved one have to deal with a complex grieving process that comes with losing a limb, but they're likely to be discharged from military service due to their injuries. Creating a whole host of other emotional struggles and adjustments. It's daunting, to say the least, and watching a loved one go through such emotional and physical difficulties can be tough. So, with this in mind, I've gathered some simple guidance for how you can help a loved one who has lost a limb.


Ensure they’re receiving their benefits
No longer serving in the army due to illness can throw financial issues on an already pressurised situation. Thankfully, there is help available to military veterans who have returned from service with injuries. The veterans disability calculator from cck-law will provide you with information about receiving your entitlement. This entire process can be confusing, which is why using tools like the one provided will make matters easier.  
Listen
Not everyone wants to hear that “everything will be ok”, it makes their feelings of hopelessness and grief seem invalid. It also doesn’t make you look approachable. Being able to provide someone with a listening ear, where they can vent freely without being judged or babied, can help them feel in control and able to manage their feelings. 
Educate yourself
There’s a lot of material out there that can help you get to grips and understand the kind of injury that your loved one has, the pain that they might be in and the emotional rollercoaster that they’ll be experiencing. Educating yourself will help you to see things from their point of view and tailor your assistance and support accurately. 
Don’t take it personally
Your loved one may experience feelings of anger and resentment; they also may be in pain. It’s often loved ones that bear the brunt of these emotions. But you need to remember not to take it personally. Remain calm and try to put yourself in their situation.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Keeping Happy and Healthy.

Oh it is a funny old time we are in at the moment isn't it. Sometimes I struggle to know what time, day and month it is! Some of us are not able to go out as much as we want, some of us are still working, some of us are turning to snacks to comfort us through these difficult and strange times. Eating habits have taken a turn with people reaching for the snacks, not being as active as usual and daily life has generally been turned upside down. It is at this time still important to remember that leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle will benefit you greatly in the long run and although times are not quite what we're used to trying to keep a bit of a focus on this will be useful. 

In my day to day life as a Nurse I get asked alot about nutrition and deficiencies. I spend lots of time talking and discussing about how to get your 5 a day, keep a degree of activity and to have treats in moderation while at the same time enjoying your life. I often discuss about being nutrionally stable, however there are people who aren't and may need some extra support with getting the nutritional balance right and sometimes there are people who have an excess of certain vitamins. 



So what can we do to keep healthy and happy? Well there are lots things, not only is leading a healthy lifestyle important for future benefits but also incredibly important to have a clear and healthy mind aswell. What else can you do to help with this?

- Keep active, as mentioned above, exercising as able is not only excellent for health benefits but you release endorphins which make you feel happy! Aim for 30 minutes a day, more if you can and getting a bit of a sweat on is even better. I promise you'll feel better for it. 

Image courtesy of Unsplash

- Aim for your 5 a day, this can be a mix of fruit and veg or one or the other. At the moment as we are in Spring there are so many delicious fruits available, my children are loving raspberries and strawberries at the moment as well as lots of tomatoes, although we are not quite in the seasons for these yet you can defintely taste the difference at the moment. 

- If you're not sure about what you may or may not be deficient in then perhaps some nutritional testing like this would give you an idea where some improvements can be made to optimise how you are feeling and your well being. You can start to make changes and feel the benefits of being nutritionally stable. 

- Make sure you get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, we know that getting out and about is so good for the soul and getting some vitamin D does wonders. 

- Find a hobby, this could be reading, cycling, drawing, playing an instrument or gardening, find a passion and you might just find this makes a huge difference to your mental health. 

Overall, it is all about finding that happy balance of leading a healthy lifestyle, enjoy treats in moderation and being cautious about what you put into your body. I would love to hear your thoughts, how do you lead a healthy and balanced life style?

Monday, 11 May 2020

Upgrading the Garden for Summer!

I usually love this time of the year, the weather gently warming up, the garden starting to bloom and trees stunning green, the skies blue and birds chirping. Of course it feels slightly different at the moment, things aren't quite what they usually are in our garden mainly because we have been unable to plant the usual Spring flowers due to garden centre's being shut but hopefully come Wednesday this will change. We like to make the garden a little haven for wildlife and for us to enjoy the creatures that may come and visit all while being able to relax and enjoy our outside space. 

We invested in a little pond in 2019 but we weren't happy with where we initially decided to put is so earlier this year my husband decided to move it and make it more of a feature surrounded by flowers and a fairy garden with a little running stream, it looks so pretty and we're so pleased with how it is progressing, recently we have been able to add some fish to it are beginning to see some returning frogs that we had from last year which the children have been loving. It has really given us all something to focus on and since we have been blessed with some dry and warm weather it's been great for us to enjoy it. 


In this post I have created a few tips for you if you're considering revamping  or making some changes to your garden, these are just some of the things we have done over the last couple of years to make our garden an enjoyable and pleasant place to be.

- Get a decent garden patio set. We have recently ordered some new furniture for our patio to put near our pizza over and BBQ area which will allow to sit comfortably and relax, we currently have a table and chairs which we will keep for when we have more guests over. 

- Add some fairy lights, it really makes the garden look so pretty when they are all lit up at night, I plan on adding some more to wrap around the trunks of 2 of the trees to make it even more twinkly. 



- Replace your fence panels, we changed ours after some pretty hefty winds blew the previous fence down, we opted for concrete posts and it has been the best thing we've done as they stay put and the fence looks really smart and has made such a difference to the aesthetics of our garden. Do you research, hire someone reputable and of course check the cost to install fences to ensure it is within your budget. I can highly recommend making this a priority as it's amazing the difference it makes. 

- Buy some new pots and add a variety of interesting flowers, herbs and shrubs. We have a flower bed but I love adding a variety of pots around our patio and dotted around the garden, it adds some interesting focal points. 

- Become a fruit and veg grower! We invested in a green house very early on, it's amazing, we grow a wide range of tomatoes, strawberries, courgette's, beans, spring onions, cucumbers and a variety of herbs it really is fantastic and they taste so good. 

- Look after your lawn, keep it green and healthy by regular aerating of your lawn, scarifying dead thatch (grass that has died) and a bit of garden treatment every now and again. 

There are so many things you can do both minor and major to keep your garden looking tip top but I'm always amazed at just how something as simple as adding some solar or fairy lights can really improve an outdoor space. I love being able to sit outside and enjoy our garden it does wonders for us and the kids, so good for the soul. 

How do you enjoy your garden? Any other tips you would like to add?

5 Things that Will Happen Post Lockdown!


{Collaborative content} If you’ve been counting the days since the beginning of lockdown in the UK, you’re probably mentally planning your next holiday. Will we be out in time to enjoy the summer break? Is the lockdown going to carry on until September? It’s hard to tell, but the latest news seems to indicate that June or July would see the beginning of a gradual post-lockdown period. As such, with only a few weeks to go in the best-case scenario, you need to plan for some of the issues of the post-lockdown life.





#1. Your car will need a full service
Even if you drive once a week to the shop, it may not be enough to keep your car road safe. During the lockdown, most cars are sitting idle in front of the house. While it’s good for the environment, it’s bad for your vehicle. Cars are meant to be driven; otherwise they can develop costly issues. If you haven’t been able to use your car regularly, you will need to book a full service to check your brakes, your oil, your battery, and your engine.


#2. You’re more likely to get a sunburn
Have you made the most of your allowed outdoor exercise? The latest regulations allow people to go out more than once a day, which can help to prepare your skin for the summer. Indeed, prolonged indoor time has made your skin more sensitive to the sun. As a result, you are more likely to catch a sunburn on a sunny day. It can be a good idea to add a sun damaged skin treatment to your bathroom cabinet in preparation for the summer. You should also start with a higher SPF sunscreen than usual to ease into direct sun exposure without risk.


#3. You need to filter offline & online friendships
For many, the lockdown was the occasion to reach out to friends we don’t talk to often. As the time for the lockdown exit is approaching, you need to make a conscious decision to maintain or not those online friendships forged during self-isolation. Which friends are you happy to spend time with in real life? To protect your sanity and keep some necessary me-time in your schedule, you will need to filter some online friends out of your immediate visits after the lockdown!





#4. You’ll be on the hairdresser’s waiting list
A trip to the hairdresser is necessary. For most people, lockdown hair experimentations have led to a variety of results, from letting your grey roots become visible to dyeing your hair in bold colours. Now’s the time for essential hair care. You need a proper hair colour, a brand new haircut, and perhaps some root care too! Trust an expert with these tasks.


#5. You don’t have time for your lockdown hobbies
You’ve got less time for all your lockdown hobbies. If you took up gardening in self-isolation, you might come to realise that artificial grass can be practical, time-saving, and elegant too. Besides, it saves you mowing the lawn! DIY hobbies are likely to remain a part of your weekly schedule, though. However, they’re not the main entertainment in your day now!


The UK isn’t quite ready to get out of lockdown now. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing for it. Maintaining your mobility, your home, and your appearance after lockdown will be challenging if you don’t plan accordingly now.