Sunday 29 December 2019

5 Ways to Avoid Procrastination.

{Collaborative} Procrastination is something that affects all of us, no matter what form it comes in. Perhaps you’re trying to work from home and you just think, hmm… maybe I should mop the floor. Or maybe, you’re at work in the office scrolling through Facebook, thinking about when lunch is going to come around. Whatever form your procrastination comes in, it can seriously affect how much work you can complete during the day, and you can find yourself in a cycle that you just can’t escape.

So how can you avoid it? We’ve noted down five tips here.

#1: Make lists
If you’re trying to avoid procrastination, making lists is key to your success. Having a to-do-list for the day will get you off to a good start, and you’ll be able to see what you have completed since you began working. Be cautious not to add too much to your lists or they could just cause you to procrastinate further, and be realistic about what you expect from yourself. You’ll soon find that your productivity has increased.

#2: Do the hardest tasks first
A general rule for upping your productivity and finding focus is doing the hardest tasks first. It can be tempting to do the easy stuff when you first begin working (let’s be real here, it’s pretty daunting going headfirst into your to-do-list) but once you’ve got the hard stuff out of the way, the rest of your day will be a breeze, and productivity will come easy to you. If you don’t do this, you’ll be dreading your stressful tasks all morning!

#3: Eat a healthy diet
Whilst it can seem unrelated to productivity, eating a healthy diet will allow you to stay focused and ready to go. A Monday-related chocolate binge will only make you want to go to sleep, so think wisely about those foods that will keep you alert and ready to go. Vitamins and minerals may also help with your overall focus, and researchers have suggested that CBD oil improves mental alertness.

#4: Turn off your phone
One of the worst things for procrastination is social media, and it’s certainly true that most of us have a general desire to play around on our phones instead of working. Whilst you may need your phone around in case of an emergency, delete the social media apps on it or set it to ‘do not disturb’ mode (excluding your close family members). You can go without looking at your phone, and it will help!

#5: Create incentives
Let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to work when there is some kind of incentive there, whether it’s a bar of chocolate or, you know, money. Remember what you’re going to get out of committing yourself to working hard, and really focus on making sure that you put this centre stage. If this doesn’t work for you, then for every hour of work allow yourself five minutes outside in the garden. It’s not much, but it does help.

Monday 23 December 2019

6 Reasons to Get a Pet

{Collaborative Content} Many families, at some point, think about welcoming a pet into their homes. Your children might be asking for a pet, and if you had animals when you were a child, you might be keen to grow your own family in the same way. But, animals are a commitment, and you might be worried about things like time, cost, and how they might impact your home.

But, there are many advantages to getting a pet, and most people never regret the decision. Here’s a look at six of the reasons that you should get a pet.

You’ll Never be Lonely

Adult life can be terribly lonely. We often drift apart from our friends as busy life gets in the way, and even people that work around people every day find themselves feeling isolated from time to time. Older adults can find this loneliness even harder to bear, and teenagers often experience loneliness as they change and grow.

No matter how old the people in your household are, getting a pet can mean that no one ever has to feel alone and that everyone has something to offer comfort and to talk to when they need an outlet.

A Pet Helps Teach Responsibility

If you have younger children, a pet can be a powerful way to teach them responsibility. Even very young children can help out with walking, grooming, and cleaning with supervision, and older children can have greater responsibilities. A pet can also teach them care and compassion and the importance of looking after things.

Not All Pets Are Hard Work

One of the most common reasons that people put off getting a pet is that they are worried about the commitment involved. When you get a large pet, like a dog, it’s a lot of work. They can be expensive, and you might have to make lifestyle changes to welcome them into your home.

But, not all pets are hard work. Hamsters and other small animals still have advantages, but they are much easier to care for, and much less of a commitment. Many people look at hamster cages and start with a small pet, to test the water, before moving onto something larger like a dog.

Some Pets Help You Get More Exercise

Dogs can be great if you are looking for a way to get more exercise, or to do more exercise as a family. Some dog breeds need more exercise and longer walks than others, but they all need walking. A dog will get you out of the house, getting your steps in and enjoying time away from screens and the pressures of everyday life.

A Pet Can Love You

A pet doesn’t just give you something to love. It will love you in return. Larger pets show this love particularly well, and it can be a great source of comfort and support. You might find that having a pet at home that loves you makes you feel happier, more confident, and more settled.

Your Pet Might Improve Your Social Life

Pet’s don’t just help you beat loneliness at home. They also get you out of the house meeting people. You’ll see other people on the dog walk or while you wait at the vet's. You could join groups and clubs and use your pet as an excuse to make new friends, or just to say hi to people and have more social contact in your life.  

Friday 20 December 2019

Finding Focus in the New Year.

{Collaborative} With 2020 just around the corner I have lots of plans as always. I am about to undertake a new course for work with the hope to become a Nurse Practitioner ...... somewhere along the line! One of the things I hugely struggle with is procrastinating and losing focus. I am very easily distracted and no matter how hard I try I find it very hard to focus. This is one of the reasons that I'd put off doing intense courses, I found it difficult to dedicate the time previously before Elarna had started school, now I have two children at school I'm hoping this will enable me to be knuckle down and be able to dedicate more time to studying and revising. I thought it would be a good idea to compile a few goals for myself then maybe if I have these things set I might at least have a target to work towards! Well, I can try....

- First things first I will make sure that I have a good study space, a decent sized desk to spread out my notes and have plenty of room for my laptop and books and resources I might need. I feel that I may benefit from something like an office booth!! Surely one of these would be acceptable in the house?

- Be clear of distractions, I sometimes finds having background radio on is ok but anything more than that and I get very distracted.

- Not do too much in one go, bite sized chunks are usually how I manage my study time, any more than 45 minutes in a go and my brain becomes a bit frazzled.

- Keep hydrated, I tend to keep some squash by me so I don't have to keep getting up to the kitchen!

- Get some fresh air, it may seem such a simple thing to do but stretching your legs and going for a 10 minute walk really clears the head and sets you up for another round of working.

- Don't put too much pressure on yourself, if you don't feel up to working it is ok to take a day off it or only study for a short amount of time!

- Remember it's ok to ask for help. If you're struggling don't hesitate to ask for some support or assistance, don't suffer in silence. 

Studying can be really tough, especially if you're like me and not studied properly for a while! Focus on the outcome and what you want to achieve and go with the flow. 

Has anyone got any other suggestions on focusing in on studying?

Thursday 19 December 2019

4 Reasons Why a Smile is the Best Accessory!

{Collaborative Content} You may have a favourite handbag or piece of jewellery that makes a regular style appearance. Still, there is one accessory often overlooked that is a permanent fixture in your overall look, and that’s a bright white smile.

Ok so fashion models per se aren’t known for their dazzling smiles on the catwalk but fashion, in general, is made to make us feel good about ourselves and confident in our own skin. Smiling complements your whole look and makes you feel great on the inside out.

One such fashion A-lister known for a rare grimace is former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. Having once said in a video interview with Vogue US, the reason she doesn’t smile is “I feel I have a responsibility to the fashion community”, of course also sparked the conversation regarding her own insecurities with her teeth during her youth. Of course, Mrs Beckham went on to change the appearance of her smile with cosmetic dentistry but has previously given a cheeky nod to the question she hates being asked with her ‘Fashion Stole My Smile T-Shirt’ for her pre-AW17 collection.

So unless like this infamous Spice Girl, you like smiling on the inside. Take a look at the ways to get the most out of the style accessory that never goes out of fashion.

It boosts your confidence

Much like if you don’t feel happy about your hair or skin, your teeth can have the same effect on your confidence. Even if people say they can’t notice anything when you smile, if you don’t feel happy about unaligned teeth or discolouration, you’ll feel self-conscious about them. Feeling good about your teeth naturally boosts your confidence. It makes you smile more, and you don’t give them a second thought when chatting to people. If you’re not comfortable with the look or feel of your teeth, considering cosmetic dentistry or dental implants can give you the option of healthier teeth and a more confident outlook.

It’s good for your health

Smiling isn’t only a great accessory; it’s good for your health too. Studies have said that smiling activates neural messaging to your brain that boosts happiness and health. Just a simple smile can release chemicals such as endorphin, dopamine and serotonin that has lots of benefits for the body such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Smiling is also said to improve your immune system because you are more relaxed.

It’s a natural anti-ageing technique

Forget creams lotions to fight the wrinkles, just smile instead. It’s a common myth that smiling causes wrinkles in the first place when, in fact, they use muscles in the face to lift it and make you look younger. Basically a natural facelift!

It boosts positivity

Smiling sends good signals to the brain, and this helps you to feel more positive. Even when you might feel a bit down, it can also release natural chemicals that elevate your mood, and in some cases help relieve pain.

Smiling not only makes you look happy and attractive, but it’s also good for your health too. So what are you waiting for!

Wednesday 18 December 2019

The Wizard of Oz Panto at The New Theatre *Review*

{Gifted tickets} Panto season is upon us......oh no it isn't......oh yes it is!! Can you believe it?! This is the first time my children (age 4 and 7) have had the panto experience and I was so excited to take them along to The New Theatre, Peterborough to watch The Wizard of Oz! Featuring the gorgeous Katya Jones from Strictly Come Dancing and an amazing cast this had us all smiling from the moment it started!

From the outrageously colourful and super sparkly (so glittery, I loved it!) set to the fabulous costumes and toe tapping songs and dancing this had us smiling and singing along from the get go. The script is engaging and full of audience interaction....... of course as you wouldn't expect any less from a panto! I especially loved that the backing dancers were from the local dance school ,Tu Danse and they were absolutely fantastic, totally flying the flag for Peterborough talent that's for sure. We were also treated to a little bit of Katya showcasing her famous Strictly moves! Fab-u-lous!!

The whole cast are just brilliant and as lovely as it was to see Katya as Glinda the Good Witch, the Wicked Witch of the West was simply brilliant and so very evil mwahaha, the part was played superbly. Dorothy is just as you would want her to be, sweet, a bit cheeky and strong, tin man, scarecrow and the cowardly lion are also marvellous! They all hold their own in this fun pantomime.

You wouldn't know that this was Katya's first pantomime, there were no nerves showing and she was flawless. If you've had a bad day, need cheering up or simply have never been to a panto before then I urge you to grab a ticket today and you won't be disappointed. 

Running from now up until Tuesday 31st December this is a brilliant pantomime. With tickets starting at just £14.50 I hope everyone local to the area will book a ticket as I promise you will leave with a spring in your step and a smile on your face. After the day I'd had prior to watching it it certainly cheered me right up.

If you fancy reading my previous review please click on this link : Fame The Musical . If you are coming to the theatre I would advise parking at Brook Street car park which is just a couple of minutes walk away. The amenities at the theatre are great, plenty of clean toilets, a couple of large bars, friendly staff and very roomy seats. It's a great theatre and we are very lucky to have it in Peterborough.

* Please note we were kindly gifted tickets to the panto, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday 15 December 2019

6 Gifts that Will Make Mum Smile!

{Ad} One of the most important and influential women that you will ever know is your mother. She was there to witness your first breath, and she was there to teach you how to read, write, count and use a knife and fork. She held you and sung to you while you were sad and she rubbed your back as a hiccuping baby. You may have catapulted her into a world of motherhood for which she was overwhelmed by, but here you are: a functioning adult with the world at your feet.

The very least that you could do this Christmas is to give her a gift worthy of her excellence. With the festivities just around the corner, you need to get a move on if you want to ensure that she is crying tears of happiness and gratitude on Christmas morning. Let’s take a look at what will make your Mum smile this year.

Image Source

  1. Perfume.
    It may be a classic, but this one you can fill with meaning as well as scent. We all have memories associated with smells, and your childhood years could have been filled with the smell of your mother’s perfume. Track it down and gift it to her this Christmas. If you are feeling flush, have a perfumery make the scent with you; with your memory and their ability to create scents that are beautiful, you’re bound to find it!
  2. Spa Day. No mother should ever go through life without experiencing Lab Spa. A day to feel honoured, pampered and relaxed is a good day for mothers everywhere. All you need to do is get a day booked that suits her schedule and spend time together with nibbles and Prosecco!
  3. Jewellery. Some of the old fashioned folks believe that the only people who should ever gift jewellery is a lover. Not so. You can choose a beautiful piece to honour your Mum this Christmas, with her birthstone set into earrings or a pendant. There are so many
  1. options out there, so make sure you’re choosing authenticity.
  2. A Choice. Sometimes, Mum can be hard to buy for. After all, she has a lifetime of things, she may want a choice in her gift. So, offer her a framed IOU that says you owe her a gift of her choosing. Set a budget limit if you must, but think about what she may need from you. Perhaps if you are in the position to do it, gift her a year of utilities paid. That’s something that will always go down well!
  3. A Holiday. This doesn't have to be a gift for you. Whichever location is on her bucket list that she never quite made it to could be ticketed and tucked up in a pretty box. Give her the gift of travel!
  4. Time. Interpret this however you would like, from a vintage clock for the house to a timepiece on the wrist. You could also just gift her you. Offer her some of your time and give it up readily to spend time together. It’s the thing she will cherish most.

Monday 9 December 2019

Christmas Gift Guide 2019!

{Featuring gifted items} Christmas is just around the corner and we are soooo very excited in the Blogging Beautifully household. I love embracing the Christmas spirit and on Christmas morning seeing the children's eyes light up when they see their gifts from Santa is like nothing else.

I have a lovely selection of gift ideas to share with you if you're still looking for gifts or if you've not even started! I have about half of shopping still to do, I'm usually far more organised than this but I've had a very busy few weeks so it's been a struggle. Hopefully I can inspire you with some of these lovely items. 

They are in no particular order and first up is one that us definitely going to be popular this year, Luvabella Newborn Doll (RRP £39.99) it has been a hit in our house and many may remember how popular the original Luvabella was when it was released well this is new version, a newborn with realistic movements and interactions and I have to say she is brilliant. A must for any child that loves dollies and similar.

Next up some lovely skin care items from Hello Body (varying prices and products available), I love this brand, natural beauty products that really do what they say they do. Hello Body say:  Because we want only the best for your skin and the environment, we refuse to use the following in our products: parabens, sulphates, microplastics and aluminium. We do not resort to irritating ingredients such as denatured alcohol, or mineral oils and waxes, whose benefits on the skin are low. I have been using the aloe items for the last few weeks and I love them. They would make a great gift for a loved one. 

Next up we have these two great items from Geomag. For those who aren't aware of this brand Geomag are leading the way with an incredible selection of educational and inspiring toys. Many of Geomags toys are based upon the invisible and and magical power of magnetism. Recently, the force of gravity also features. If you have a child with a curious mind or just loves to build and experiment or you're looking for a gift to inspire your child with STEM learning Geomag toys are certainly for you.

The first set is the Mechanics Challenge (RRP £18.00 and available from leading retailers), Geomag say about this set Follow the included instructions to create an awesome magnetic shooting cannon from the 95 Geomag Mechanics pieces. When you’ve completed it, use the mechanical and magnetic forces of the construction to practice your aim and hit the targets with the steel spheres'. What a lot of fun!

This set is one of the new ones to hit the shelves recently, the Geomag Confetti (RRP around £40.00 and available from leading retailers) With its explosion of colour the confetti addition offers longevity for play and is incredible for unleashing imagination and offers endless possibilities. Obviously it's worth mentioning there are lots of small parts in these items so definitely not suitable for little ones under 36 months old.

We then have a selection of items from BrightMinds which is an online retailer full of educational and fun toys and learning resources, it is a fantastic website and I high recommend it as there is a fantastic selection of items. First up we have this amazing Great White Shark anatomy model (£26.99), I know my 7 year old is going to love this, as both an animal lover, avid questioner of everything and aspiring zoologist this is ideal as a fun and enjoyable educational gift. 

Next we have this times table tray (RRP £12.99) perhaps not your usual Christmas gift but a very useful and resourceful item I'm sure you will agree! It's always good when these kind of toys look appealing but you know something good is going to come out of it! I am thinking of other ways that it can be played with to help with learning times tables!

The next item is this rather funk Sparkle Works design and drill kit (RRP £34.99), again focusing on the educational aspect this sound activated activity board can be used to create lots of colourful patterns with the screw and screwdriver provided and watch the lights and colours dance all over the board. Designed to develop shape recognition and motor skills this is perfect for my 4 year old daughter who has just started school.

One of my favourite things to do over Christmas is to do a jigsaw!! I absolutely love a puzzle and I don't get to do them as much as I used to - I remember when I was pregnant with Alfie doing a jigsaw was one of my favourite things to do, it really chilled me out! I think this has rubbed off on Alfie as he also loves doing jigsaws and for a 7 year old I'm pretty impressed that he can get on and do a 1000 piece with minimal help! My favourite jigsaws are the Wasjig brand from Jumbo Games. I love that you don't know what image you are actually making and have a select few clues on the box to go by and to help you along. It is an added challenge and I love the imagery that is used on these jigsaws and the humour that goes along with them. I can't wait to have a go doing this one and if you have someone who enjoys doing jigsaws then this would be a perfect Christmas gift. There are tons of designs available, you will be spoilt for choice I promise!

For the sweet toothed family and friends how about a personalised sweet jar from sweetsntreats pretty much any sweet you can choose from in these gorgeous retro sweet jars with a variety of labels to choose from. Retailing from about £8.50 upwards these would be a great Secret Santa gift or a Christmas treat! Not only that but lovely quality and if you go for something like the unicorn pencils they last for ages! Mmm mmmm delicious!

For the chef in the house how about this rather nifty gadget, the Any Sharp knife sharpener (RRP £19.99 and available from leading retailers), this cool little gadget is a must in the kitchen. It sharpens any knife with diamond precision and even hardened knives such as Global or Sabatier and you can also sharpen serrated knives too! Safe to use and the power grip suction attaches to any flat surface. Very handy!

Christmas isn't complete without a mug of course! This Princess mug (RRP £9.99) is available from IWOOT and I love it and can certainly think of who I would choose it for hehe. IWOOT have an amazing selection of items, there is SO many to choose from and the Disney range is fantastic. I could spend an absolute fortune on there, I cannot begin to tell you how much choice there is. Head on over if you're still looking for that perfect Christmas gift and there are prices for any budget from stocking filler price to more extravagant gifts.

Also available on IWOOT are an amazing selection of jumpers, there are loads of Disney ones as well as lots of other themed ones with different designs, you can even get matchy matchy ones aswell. A perfect Christmas gift!

Finally, how about these stunning items from Leila Vibert Stokes, these luxury items are beautiful. Using sustainable materials and manufactured in the UK these items are inspired by nature, its natural habitats and creatures that live there. The designer is a print designer and digital illustrator specialising in colourful and fantastical designs. You can tell from her items that they are made with passion and her personality shines through. If you want to treat someone to something totally unique and special these items are just perfect for this. 

The make up bag (RRP £30.00) is the perfect size to take away on a weekend and is perfect for brushes, lippies and mascara, those kind of items. It is so pretty and well made and would make a lovely stocking filler. The notebook is so cute (RRP £18.00), everyone needs a pretty notebook in their life and this one is the perfect handbag size. I am forever making lists so this would also make an ideal stocking filler. These items are fabulous. Happy shopping guys!

So there we have my Christmas gift guide for 2019! I hope you have enjoyed reading it and it's given you some inspiration of you're still looking for a special gift for someone. Happy Christmas guys!

Friday 6 December 2019

Turmeric The Underated Spice?

{Collaborative Post} Turmeric is this perhaps the hidden gem of the spice world? The underrated spice? Not only can this beautifully vibrant spice be used to pep up dishes but it also has a ton of health benefits. In our house the spice is used frequently when my husband cooks there are so dishes you can add it to and it can make a real difference to a dish. With its aromatic tones and slightly bitter taste with an almost gingery taste it can be an enhancement to your cooking. 

Here are a few ideas to what you can use turmeric for: 

- Add some vibrant colour to rice by sprinkling into the water as its cooking, gorgeous! You could also try adding it to pasta water too for a change to bland pasta.

- Rub into chicken or gammon skin to enhance the flavour and create a lovely, spiced rub. Mmmm, mmmm!! 

- Use to complement dishes such a vegetable, rice and beans. 

- Add to your curries to lift the flavour and give depth of flavour and intensity, you'd be surprised just how much it can make a difference in cooking. Delicious!

- It is said that turmeric can be used as an anti inflammatory

- It can be used to increase the antioxidant capacity of the body

- It has been said that including turmeric in your day to day routine may also improve your memory

As you can see there are so many uses for this vibrant spice, perhaps you do use it frequently or perhaps you don;t but if not how about incorporating it in your foods to see the difference it can make. It's readily available from leading retailers and is a must in the spice cupboard!

Have you got any other ideas that you can think that turmeric can be used for? Please do let me know in the comments!

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Christmas with IWOOT! *Review*

{Features Gifted Items} I can't believe we are in December! With the release of Frozen 2 in the cinemas, a Wintery trip to Blenheim Palace and frosty morning sthe Blogging Beautifully household is very much ready to welcome the festivities that the run up to Christmas brings. Recently I have been working with the popular online retailer IWOOT to showcase a selection of fabulous items that would be ideal to gift for Christmas or another worthy occasion. 

So first up I want to show these gorgeous Frozen themed sweatshirts (RRP £24.99) and kids t-shirt (RRP £14.99). I am a huge Disney fan but Frozen is definitely one of my all time favourite can only imagine how excited I was for Frozen 2! As soon as I saw these jumpers I knew that I needed them in my life.

These sweatshirts are so, so lovely. You know sometimes when you buy online without trying on it can be a worry about the quality and whether the size will be ok well with IWOOT I needn't have worried the quality is great, the inside of the jumpers are so soft and fleecy and they are so nice to wear. Size wise, I sized up and chose XL  and I'm pleased I did as they fitted me well. I prefer a slightly looser jumper but these were fine so I would suggest if unsure on size perhaps just errr on the side of caution and go a size bigger. 

Elarna's t-shirt with Elsa on the front which is 'matchy matchy' with my jumper is in age 5-6, it is huge on her, she is 5 in April and I thought it might be a bit smaller than what it was but it's not an issue as she will grow into it. She also was delighted that we matched! She insisted on putting her Elsa shoes, Frozen necklace and ballet skirt to make sure she looked the part!

Next up is Alfie is this gorgeous Lion King jumper, he was over the moon with it, he adores the Lion King and as soon as it arrived he wanted to wear it. Once again the jumper is so soft inside and fits really well, I chose Alfie size age 7-8 and it's really roomy and it's going to last for sure. We love it!

We then have a doormat 'come in if you have prosecco' that is proudly displayed at my front door (RRP £14.99). Anyone who knows me will say that this is a perfect addition to my home! This is made from high quality coconut fibre and has a non slip back, it looks great and is designed to be hard wearing and long lasting. 

Finally, this mug was made for me! 'Living my best Princess life', well I try! Ha! Retailing at £9.99 this would make a fantastic gift for someone, I know exactly who I would gift it too! It is lovely quality and comes in a a gift box so can be safely wrapped up ready for Christmas. 

Overall, I am sure you will agree a fabulous selection of items and the choice over on IWOOT is insane, there are so many products that there will be something for even the most tricky to buy for I promise. So head on over and have a look you will be spoilt for choice. 

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

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Fame The Musical Tour at The New Theatre Peterborough *Review*

{Gifted Tickets} Recently revamped and refreshed The New Theatre in Peterborough (formerly Broadway) has welcomed 80's phenomenon musical Fame to the stage. Performing over 6 nights and running until Saturday 30th November this well loved musical has seen seven West End runs and numerous tours and still remains one of the best loved musicals. This 30th anniversary Selladoor Production hosts a stellar cast including the stunning Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks, Dancing on Ice) as Iris who quite frankly shows she is a brilliant dancer and performer and Keith Jack (Any Dream Will Do, Joseph) who really is rather good. Not forgetting that there is an amazing supporting cast who dance and sing their way enthusiastically and beautifully through a toe tapping, as well as emotional music score. The energy is from the start, high  octane and this is kept up through the whole show. 

For someone who has seen Fame both in the West End and on tour (many, many years ago) I was reminded why I love the show. The story line is one that is comparable to today showing the highs and lows of many young people and their personal battles and demons that are brought together as a unit while trying to reach the top of their game through their love of performing arts. The well known song Fame features of course, with a lively finale but the other lesser known songs are just as wonderful. It's a show that will continue to live forever and will be one to be enjoyed for many years to come. 

For the theatre, this is my first visit to The New Theatre and I was impressed. The foyer is welcoming and the theatre itself feels intimate, but the seats and leg room are very welcome, much more comfortable and spacious than any other theatre I have been too and I have been to many! The bar prices are reasonable and I very much enjoyed my themed Fame cocktail 'The Leg Warmer'. The staff are welcoming, friendly and chatty. We parked nearby at Brooke Street car park which is about a 5 minute walk from the theatre itself. Overall a very enjoyable night and I look forward to seeing what else is going to be on at this theatre which I feel is going to do very well!

* Please note we were kindly gifted tickets for the show, I was not asked to share my opinions but have decided to write up a review based on my thoughts, all views are my own.

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Create that Safe Family Garden Space.

{Collaborative} As a parent, you want your child to get outside and enjoy the garden. Playing in the garden can be an excellent way for them to get some exercise and blow off some steam. The garden can also be a tool you employ to teach the children about plants, flowers, and nature. However, you will want all this to be done safely and securely.

Here are some ideas to create a great garden space for all the family.

The key here is that if you feel it is safe, they will be safe. Mother knows best, as the old adage goes. First, you probably want grass as this provides a softer landing when the children fall over. You will want to make sure all the entrances and exits to the world beyond are covered up. It is a must to install a gate with a lock and key to that side entrance, for example, so you can keep the children where you can see them. Any holes in fences must be fixed, and gaps in hedgerows filled in. That way, you can keep an eye on your little cherubs through the window without worrying that they will escape. Also, it is not a good idea to have a water feature with very young children about, so if you are desperate for a pond, you’re going to have to wait a few years before that dream can be realised. Another thing to consider is removing any heavy objects that could fall over and hurt your children like stone flower pots.

Keep it clean
Ensure that you rake the leaves up to discourage any possible pests that may be inclined to lurk beneath them. Fallen foliage can also attract insects like wasps, so it is best to keep things clean and tidy. Also, keep the grass neatly mown as longer grass can also attract other forms of wildlife. Have a shed under lock and key to keep any pesticides and garden tools out of the way. So, ensure you take care of your garden.

Peaceful environment
Do you live near a busy street? Perhaps you can hear people saying all sorts of things in the world beyond. If you are able to, it may be an idea to think about some natural soundproofing. The taxus baccata is a great example, it is a beautiful evergreen hedge and can reduce noise pollution. You may also want to think about a garden pegoda which can be covered with creeping plants, so you can keep the eyes of nosey neighbours off of your children while at play if that is something that you are worried about.

Play area
You will want this to be visible to you from the kitchen window, perhaps. But, think about having a sandpit, but make sure you cover this up when not in use to avoid cats getting in. Also, getting a climbing frame with a slide is great for the kids. Always ensure any bolts are covered to avoid any accidents. Also, a trampoline is a great way to get them to use up all the excess energy.