Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Do you Know how to Relax?




{AD} Life can be seriously stressful a lot of the time. Between work, family, and all of your other responsibilities, trying to find the time to relax can seem impossible. However, it's important that you do what you can to find that time, otherwise, you could wind up stressing yourself out entirely too much. With that in mind, here are just a few ways that you can try to unwind. 

Enjoy a long bath

A long soak is one of those things that many of us just don't get to enjoy that often but it really can be fantastic. Relaxing in the hot soapy water is a great way for your troubles to melt away. You may even want to try some CBD oil to help you relax even further and relieve the tension in your muscles. Not only that but it's the kind of thing that you can just lose yourself in for a while. After all, there's no chance that you can end up getting distracted or dragged away to do anything else while you're in the bath. Instead, you can just lay there in the water and let the world around you drift away for a little while.

Treat yourself

It can often feel kind of difficult to justify treating yourself. After all, you've often got so many things to worry about that doing anything that's purely for yourself can feel like an indulgence that you shouldn't really be allowing yourself to have. However, the truth is that there's always something to be said for treating yourself every now and then. After all, you work hard all of the time to provide for yourself and for the people around you, so why shouldn't you take the time to do something nice for yourself. How you treat yourself is totally up to you. Maybe you want to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to relax with in the tub. Or perhaps you want to spend the day being pampered in a spa. Or maybe you just want to pick out a book that you've had your eye on and spend the entire day sitting on the couch reading. Whatever makes you happy.

Do nothing

When was the last time that you did nothing? And not just that you weren't busy but when you took the time to just stop for a while. There's a good chance that you probably can't remember the last time you did that at all. The world that we live in is one that is constantly moving and that can be great, but it can also be exhausting. This is especially true now that so many of us have smartphones. You're always just a second away from being connected to the entire rest of the world through social media, watching all kinds of stuff on youtube or Netflix, playing games, or even getting work done no matter where you are. Sometimes, in order to relax the best thing that you can do is to just put all of those things away for a little while and do absolutely nothing. You don't have to be some kind of master of meditation but it's something that has been shown to have some extremely positive effects for a lot of people.

Remember, however you want to relax, it's up to you. Just make sure that you take the time for it at least every so often.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Self Care: Better Ways to Take Care of Yourself

{Ad} It is so important to make sure that you take good care of your body and your mind, each and every day. It is important not just to make sure that you get sick, but you can learn how to eat right, learn how to reduce stress, and making sure that you exercise regularly, as well as giving yourself time out when you need it. These are the basics of self-care, and it can help to keep you healthy and happy, as well as resilient.




Why Do We Often Fail at Self-Care?

Being able to practice some self-care isn’t always something that is easy. Many of us have busy lives and stressful jobs, and as a result, it can be hard to make time for ourselves. It can mean that ‘me’ time is often pushed back or forgotten about altogether. In fact, many of us can feel guilty about taking some time out for ourselves, which means that we put it off even more. But it isn’t something that is selfish at all, as it can improve all aspects of your life, so helps those around you too. Self-care can be a challenge, but here are some tips to think about so that you can get started with self-care.

Take care by taking care of your gut

Your gut health has a much bigger impact on your overall health than you might first imagine. Good gut health can really have an impact on your health, well-being, and energy levels. Predominantly the things that you are eating and drinking play a part in good gut health as they can either damage or help the bacteria that live in your gut. Then you either get a good result, or a negative outcome. When you have an unhappy gut it can lead to ill health in a number of ways, so it does need to be included in self-care.

There are lots of things to be wary of, though, as there is a lot of information out there that isn’t correct when it comes to things like gut health, and other general health. For instance, we hear a lot about CBD oils for health, but there are some that still ask is CBD toxic for the liver? So make sure that you are doing your research as to what really makes a difference to your gut health, as well as your overall health.

Make sleep part of your self-care routine

Sleep can have a really large impact on how you feel, both physically and emotionally. And when you don’t get enough sleep, then it does play a part in all aspects of your health. You can even get some pretty major health issues because of a lack of sleep. So why do you need to make sleep part of your self-care routine? If you think about your nightly routine, then are you eating something or drinking something before you go to bed? If you are, these things could be keeping you awake, especially anything with sugar or caffeine. Making sure that you take steps to deal with stress (as it can’t always be reduced) can be a really important step too. This could be going to the gym, yoga, or just talking to a friend to let it all out.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Caring for both the Garden and the Local Wildlife.

{Ad} The garden might be a part of your home, but it’s also a part of the natural environment and the habitat of the wildlife that lives around you. Besides being the perfect place to have your own slice of green heaven, it can be a shelter and even a home for the creatures near you.

However, most of us do make the distinction between the wildlife we want to help protect and the pests that are, more often than not, a voracious menace that do more damage than good. However, rather than relying purely on traps that could harm other animals and pesticides that can make the whole garden a toxic wasteland for local wildlife, here are some more naturally harmonious ways to protect your patch.




Use natural solutions
You might think of your planting choices in the family garden as being mostly about looking pretty or giving you some homegrown eats. However, just as your planting choices can attract pests, they can drive them away, too. Companion plants are to be planted alongside your most pest-attracting choices. Lavender has an extremely pungent smell. Citronella is naturally corrosive to the point that even spraying it around your plants can work off insects. Do your research on which companion plants have the best results against the particular pests encroaching on your patch.

Let the right ones in
Since we are selective about which critters we want and allow into our garden, why not take the time to invite those that could have a warm welcome? Pests like slugs and aphids can cause some real destruction in the garden, but you can get rid of them in a way that sustains the environment by attracting birds to your garden. Buy wild bird food and keep a bird feeder stocked up, and invest in a bird fountain, and you can attract all kinds of predators that eat your garden’s most common pests.

Stop the stray wanderers
If you live out in the countryside, then it’s likely that you’re going to have larger pests to deal with. Foxes and badgers can mill through your plants and produce, ruining it all, damage your lawn and, if you have chickens, leave an even worse mess. However, barbed wire and other traps is largely considered not only a little barbaric, but damaging to the other critters in the environment, as well. Natural wildlife fences and wire mesh hardware cloth for burrowing animals can help you protect your garden without doing too much harm. If you have rodents, you can coffee grounds and pour them into their tunnels. It’s another natural repellent.

Hopefully, the tips above show that you can protect your garden, your pets, and your produce, without doing too much harm to the environment. We’re all aware of the fact that several species are on the verge of extinction, with things like pesticides greatly contributing to the alarming decline of bees. We can all do more to prevent this from happening.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Best Holiday Types for Different Types of Families.

{Ad} Going on holiday with your family is often the best time of the year however it can at times be the most stressful. Every family is different and within that each member of the family has their own wants and needs want it comes to traveling. This means that a lot of consideration has to go into the time of year, the destination and the type of holiday a family goes on.




Whether your family holiday needs to be ideal for a toddler, you have children who are keen historians, or you want to see as much of the world as possible. There is always going to be an option. That's the beautiful thing about travel; there's something for everyone.

Have a look below at some of the different types of holidays that are around for a variety of families:

Relaxation

Ok, so at times it may seem an impossibility that you would be able to relax on a family holiday, but it does happen. With an array of kids clubs, activities to keep them busy and specialized hotels with children in mind it can be easier than you think to have a relaxing holiday with children in toe. Some popular destinations that have hotels like this include Greece, Croatia, Spain, and even long-haul destinations like Mexico and the USA. The key is to look out for hotels that cater specifically to children with aspects such as a kids club, children's evening entertainment, larger family rooms, and a children's menu.

Hopping Destinations

Another fantastic option for a relaxing and exciting family holiday is a cruise. There are several options when it comes to cruising and it gives you and your family the opportunity to explore more than one destination on one holiday. With option sich as river cruises, long-haul cruising, and cruises that sail from the UK all as options you're sure to find something that matches your requirements. You can spend your days lying by the pool with a cocktail, watch the world go by and visit the spa and then in the evenings, you can indulge the fantastic food and entertainment which is often on offer. You don't need to worry when it comes to the kids either; most cruises have an abundance of activities, entertainment, and even hangout areas specifically with children in mind. This means you can relax knowing that your children are having fun and being taken care of.

Adventure Seeking

There is a large variety of holidays that include activities that you can get the children involved in. You can expect to find holidays that include activities from skiing, water rafting, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, right through to a safari. A great option that is available for families looking for a touch of adventure is the organized tours. These types of holidays are available on an individual family basis, or they match you with a few similar families. There is a vast array of different kinds of tours. They often include some accommodations, food, and activities, meaning there is less organizing needed on your part. A family tour holiday is yet another great way to see more than just one location as you are often exploring more than only one destination.

On A Budget

 Being on a budget doesn't mean that you need to miss out on a family holiday. One of the easiest, cheapest, and best ways you can enjoy a family holiday on a budget is to go camping. Camping is not only budget-friendly. It also provides you with the chance to connect as a family. You have the opportunity to escape all technologies like TV, game consoles, and mobile phones and have real family conversations. There is an abundance of campsites across the UK and Europe that have fantastic camping areas and on-site facilities. Some even have entertainment programs, kids clubs, and swimming pools, meaning you are getting a package deal for a fraction of the cost. If you're a bit of a sun seeker, why not head to France with your tent?

Another great way to holiday on a budget is to monitor the sales and offers that are around. When holidays are released, you can often obtain free child spaces and great discounts. Also if you book as far in advance as possible, it gives you more time to pay the remainder of the balance. This means that going abroad becomes more obtainable.

Planning a family holiday can, at times, be difficult, especially when you're trying to keep everyone happy. What's important to remember is that wherever you are in the world, it's the memories with the family that are important. Do you have any tips or advice about different family holiday types? Please share them in the comments section below.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Settling into School with Kindi Kids

{Gifted} Elarna is now well on her way to settling into school life, she is on her 3rd full week at school and I think reality is now dawning on her that she is there in it for the long run and the novelty has worn off some what. She is tired, a bit grumpy on an evening but overall is enjoying school. She is comforted that on returning home from school she has her little buddy Marsha Mello of the Kindi Kids.


The Kindi Kids are designed to help your pre schooler to settle in to school and bring their world alive with friendship and play. The Kindi Kids are also just starting at kindergarten/school so will be a friend along the way. Designed to encourage friendship, humour, imagination and discovery the Kindi Kids are a great way of encouraging your little one with the step to 'big' school which for a little one can be very daunting. 


We received Marsha Mello, a little softy who is sweet as candy, she loves all things cute. She comes with a babycino and a cakepop.....yum. There are others available in the collection, Peppamint, Donatina and Jessicake each with their own unique and colourful design and little extras to encourage more imaginative play. We were also very kindly sent the amazing supermarket play set and trolley, all these products are designed with the child in mind and to encourage playing and making friends. The supermarket comes with an assortment of shopkins and interactive features such a scanner, shop and drop conveyor belt, a little storage area, basket to go shopping with and some coins to check out!


Elarna absolutely adores Marsha Mello and the supermarket and trolley, she has enjoyed playing with them so much and she carries Marsha Mello around with her, I find it really reassuring that she loves role playing so much and she's really been enjoying this aspect at school also. 


What did we love about Kindi Kids?

- The attention to detail and concept is fantastic. Each character has its own personality and the design of the dolls is so cute with their big glittery eyes, hair accessories, changeable clothes, removable boots and wobbly bobbly heads. 

- I love the size of the doll and the supermarket and trolley, they are the perfect size for young children to play with and  be free with their imagination. 

- There was next to no setting up of the toys, simply take them out of the packaging and get playing, thank goodness because I hate faffing around with loads of unpacking!

- The price is reasonable, for the amount that these have been played with in out house they have been well worth the money.



Anything we weren't so keen on?

- I would have liked to see a couple more shopping items included in the supermarket, I would also love the ability to purchase more items to add for the market but at the moment there doesn't seem to be any available. 

- The trolley is basic for the price, there are only 2 items included which I felt was a bit rubbish, it would have been nice to see a few more items included. 


Overall, we absolutely loved the Kindi Kids, Elarna loves having a little friend waiting for her when she gets home and has played with them an awful not. She is a child that adores role playing and her imagination is growing day by day and this is echoed in her play. I love watching this side of her develop and hopefully we will be able to add the to Kindi Kids collection at some point soon! 


The Kindi Kids collection is available from leading retailers and vary in price. The dolls cost £24.99, the trolley is £14.99 and the supermarket is £29.99, there is also a refrigerator available also to buy for £19.99 which is also interactive and looks great. I have added a few more pictures below of the items to get a better idea of the bright colours and what they look like close up. Overall we adore them!





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

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Managing Stress.

{Ad} We all get a little stressed out from time to time. The modern world is a busy one. You might be running a business or going out to work, managing a side hustle, looking after your children and other family members, cooking, cleaning, taking care of your friends and trying to tackle home improvements. It doesn’t often leave much time for yourself, and it’s only natural to feel as though it’s all too much. We often start to feel tense after working for too long without a break, taking too much on, or going through a particularly tough time at home or at work. It’s normal, but that doesn’t make it pleasant.

Some people can brush their stress off, block it out and move on. But, not everyone finds this easy. You might find that your stress overpowers you. That you get stuck in a cycle of stress and tension, and that you struggle to break free. You might feel as though your stress is managing you, taking over your days and your every thought. When this happens, you might struggle to sleep, find it hard to enjoy your daily routines, and withdraw from seeing the people and doing the things that you love. Finding ways to manage your stress better can mean that you can move past it, feel happier and more relaxed, and even healthier. Here are some of the things that you can do to better manage your stress.



Take Some Time For Yourself Every Day

Do you always put everyone else first? Have you got a to-do list that leaves little time for rest? Are you the sort of person that can’t leave a dirty plate or crumbs on the side? When everything is under control, this can be great. But, it’s a delicate balance that is easily thrown off-kilter.

Stop trying to do it all. When you are feeling stressed out, ask yourself if it really matters if you leave the washing for a day? Do you need to complete your to-do list, or could you leave some tasks?

Make time for yourself, every single day, no matter how busy you are. This might be reading for a while before bed, taking a hot bubble bath, listening to music, going out for lunch, or taking a short walk. Anything that’s just for you that makes you feel better.



Exercise

Exercise is a great way to improve your mental health, boost your confidence and ease your stress. Try to get into a routine with exercise, doing things that you enjoy. Burn off negative energy, tension and poor mood with activity, and you’ll feel much less stressed out.

Make Some Healthy Changes

If you smoke, shisha kits are available to get you started on making a change and kicking a habit. Making healthy swaps with what you eat, drink, and how you spend your time can all help. Looking after yourself will reduce your stress and boost your mood.

Write Things Down

We’re often guilty of internalising our worries. We can struggle to talk about things, and then, they get worse in our heads. So, get them out. Write your fears down if you don’t feel ready to talk.  

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Travelling with Portable Oxygen, it can be done!

{Ad/collaborative} Working in healthcare I occasionally see patients that require oxygen at home and when out and about. It can be daunting and difficult to adjust to life when using oxygen, they can be cumbersome and impractical but of course a necessity in certain people's life. It can be an uncertain and anxious time for a patient that has been advised may need a little helping hand with their breathing and oxygen levels, however being able to use portable oxygen means that actually life can go on and travelling within the UK and abroad is absolutely an option. Below I have compiled some tips for when using portable oxygen and travelling.

- Use a reputable supplier. Someone who is willing to answer questions and queries and can advise on what can and can't be taken out of the country. Did you know that you are not able to take NHS concentrators out of the country however there are other options available such as The Oxygen Store which will enable you to do so. 

- You can fly with oxygen, there are a number of FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators that can be used (see website for further information) which is amazing to support and empower the person using the cylinders. 



- Although a NHS prescription is not required when purchasing oxygen a reputable company will make sure that you have medical supervision or are under GP/consultant care.

- When travelling with oxygen it is important to pre plan and think ahead. A signature is likely to be required and a fitness to fly/travel may need to be obtained. So it's important to have an open dialogue with your healthcare professional to ensure that they are happy to give you clearance to fly.

- Make sure you ask any questions that you are unsure about! Reputable companies and healthcare professionals are there to offer advice and answer any questions that you may have.

It's so vital that people that use oxygen feel empowered and encouraged to lead as normal a life as possible. Life can go on and with the use of portable oxygen it can enable a person to try and lead as normal a life as possible. 

Monday, 16 September 2019

Big School for my Baby Girl.

I never thought the day would come. It barely seems 5 minutes ago since I was writing a post for Alfie when he started school and yet here I am about to wave my littlest off to reception. I remember feeling weird when Alfie started, a funny feeling in my tummy all kind of anxieties mixed with excitement for them. This time I feel a little bit sad. My 2nd born and potentially my last born is heading off into reception and I am going miss my little shadow SO much. 



Her uniform is ready and waiting, she has been SO excited to wear it! The name labels are on and the shoes are shiny and pristine, patent of course just as she wanted. The book bag is waiting to be filled with all manner of bits and bobs and there is a sense of excitement from my youngest. She's looking forward to starting, not really like Alfie who was a little nervy and reluctant, Elarna is raring to go, wanting to make friends and play......of course play as reception is all about learning through play! I am not entirely convinced she realises that school is going be a 5 day a week thing for the next few years but for the moment I will let her enjoy her reception days and the illusion that all she will do it play all day! 



I never in a million years thought that the years would speed by quite so quickly, when Alfie started school I remember thinking we have got ages before Elarna starts school, she was just a toddler and it felt such a long way enough yet here we are. I do feel weirdly sad about it, mostly because for the past 4 years I have been lucky enough to work part time and have enjoyed 2 days at home with her which is what I always wanted. She has been my little shadow, my cuddle monster, my little helper and over all my company. I am really, really going to miss having her around on my days off. I will miss that little voice 'mummy can I have a drink', 'mummy can you play with me?', 'mummy I love you!!'. I can fill the time, of course I can, I can write more, I can clean without feeling guilt of using a tablet to occupy my child, I can enjoy some trips out to the shops without having to think about packing snacks, wipes etc, I can work more and can focus on studying for up and coming courses but they still won't fill the void and I am going to miss our mummy and daughter time. So many people have said 'have a third' and although I wouldn't rule it out my husband is not really sold on the idea so I have to face facts this this is possibly, probably my last child who is now at school. 

She is going to thrive, I know it, I worry that she might be a bit of a bossy boots and may not listen but I guess we will find out! She is going to make loads of new friends which I know she is delighted about and I think she is really going to enjoy her time at school, plus her big brother is there which is a nice reassurance for us.

So this is for you my darling, work hard and enjoy your school days as much as I will miss you tons I look forward to you developing into an independent little girl. Love you Princess! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Small Things that Could Improve your Wellbeing

{Ad} Nobody feels perfectly healthy 24/7. It’s natural for your wellbeing to fluctuate. Still, that doesn’t mean you should ignore problems with your health. It’s important to try to adopt a healthy lifestyle so that you’re physically and mentally stronger when you do experience dips in your mood or your bodily state. In this demanding modern world, many of us put our health issues on the back-burner because we’re “too busy” to deal with them. Well, it’s time to stop that. Here are some small things that could improve your wellbeing.




Sleeping better.
Sleep doesn’t seem to be viewed as an important thing in the modern world. We all have so much to do that many of us seem to be denying ourselves a good night’s rest. But sleep deprivation is only going to make you less productive. That morning cup of coffee might give you a boost, but a lack of rest will still slow your metabolism, weaken your immune system, and exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. So, you’ll be able to get much less done if your mood is suffering and you’re more prone to colds and illnesses.

Sleeping better will improve your health. It’s the key to improving your physical and mental wellbeing on so many levels. You’ll feel more alert, your mental health will improve, and your body will stay healthier. If you’re trying to eat healthily and exercise, you’ll only see results once you fix your sleeping pattern, too. Again, sleep deprivation can slow your metabolism, so you’ll struggle to gain and maintain a healthy weight if you’re not getting 8 hours of rest every night. Try to avoid stimulants before sleeping. Read a book instead of watching TV, avoid coffee, and don’t eat within an hour of going to bed.


Quit bad habits.
To clarify, indulging in occasional unhealthy snacks isn’t going to ruin your health routine. Moderation is the key to looking after yourself. Denying yourself the things you enjoy will only make you unhappy, and that’s bad for your mental health. But you definitely need to get the balance right, and it might be time to quit any bad habits you’ve developed. Most people drink a little bit of alcohol on a regular basis, but if you think you’re drinking too much, then it’s time to stop. Mental health issues are often at the root of our addictive behaviour, whether you smoke too many cigarettes or eat too much junk food, for example. But there are healthier ways to address feelings of stress and anxiety. You could consider marijuana if it’s legal in your country because medicinal cannabis use is becoming common. It could help to alleviate both mental and physical health problems that you might be experiencing.

Exercise every day.
If you spend all week sitting at a desk and all weekend sitting on the sofa, then it’s time to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Physical activity is important for everyone. Staying fit won’t just improve your weight; it’ll improve your mental health, too. Staying inside all day can make you feel grouchy, so just getting out for a quick walk could improve your physical and mental state. You could start tracking your step count and setting yourself the goal of hitting 10,000 steps on a daily basis. That’ll definitely encourage you to get outside and start moving about. Remember, it can improve your emotional wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

5 Things you Need for a Housewarming Party!

{ad} You’ve just moved into your home, and that’s a reason to celebrate, right? So it’s now time to gather all your friends and family to put on a party! Here are five things you need for a house warming party.



Invitations
With any party, there need to be invitations! Even though you have Facebook to help you out with hosting events, not everyone is on social media nowadays. So, it’s worth sending out official invitations through the post so everyone you invite, knows that they’ve been invited. With invitations, you can have fun by doing a quirky design to celebrate this occasion. It could be something personable that you’ve designed yourself or you can get templates online or buy them in bulk from various websites.


Outdoor And Indoor Decor
Even though you’re celebrating your new home, it’s still good to get some indoor and outdoor decor to help transform the place and to give it that party feel. Use this garden party preparation checklist to get started on what you’ll need. Aim for something tasteful, but that reflects your personality as a household. You may want to stick to a certain theme, and you could even think about having a dress code if you’re thinking of pushing the boat out.


Provide Some Entertainment
The entertainment is something you want to plan ahead with, especially if you’re thinking of making it a fun event. A magician is a good suggestion because this act can go around the party, mingling with guests and providing everyone a unique experience that you wouldn’t normally get for a traditional house party. You may want music at your house warming but opt for a DJ if you don’t want to be spending the evening going back and forth to your music station to change a song.


Put On A Spread
Food is definitely the way to your guest's hearts, so don’t let this aspect of the party go ignored. Think about what type of spread you’d like to put on, whether that’s a sit-down dinner, a BBQ outside if it’s warm enough or a finger buffet. Depending on the weather and sizing of your house, this could vary. It might be worth prepping this a week ahead, particularly if there’s a serious amount of cooking involved. You may want to think about planning ahead for it.


BYOB
And finally, if you’re providing the food, you shouldn’t also expect to provide everyone with a drink. That might be something you want to do but don’t forget that this is your party too, so maybe ask your guests to bring their own drink! You could provide any mixers because these are cheap enough to buy in bulk. So they only need to bring the spirits, so they’re saving some money.

A housewarming party is certainly a significant event that’s worth celebrating, so get planning the event to make it special. Consider the food and drink, the entertainment and don’t forget to send out the invitations, else no one will come...