5/25/2018

How To Take Control Of Life's Misfortunes



Life isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean you should quit trying to make the best of whatever it is you’re going through at the time. Make it a goal to take control of life’s misfortunes and notice how much happier and healthier you feel overall.

Worry and stress can take a toll your emotional, physically and mental wellbeing so you always want to make sure you keep it in check, even when you’re going through tough times. Spend less time complaining and more of your days better understanding what’s in your control and what you can change to improve your situation.

Seek Advice
You’re not the only one who’s ever been through a rough time and had to face reality head-on. Reach out and ask others for advice and support when you’re experiencing down days or moments in your life. Take control of your misfortunes by learning what others have done to get past their difficult circumstances in the past. You don’t have to go through what you’re experiencing all alone and pretend like all is okay when it truly isn’t. Allow others in and be vulnerable when you’re not in a good place and you’ll likely thrive.

Problem Solve
You never know when you may run into a situation where you lose your home, belongings and data due to a catastrophe such as flooding. Know that as a flood victim you can take advantage of companies that provide services to retrieve your data safely and securely. This is a great example of how you can problem solve your way through adversity, instead of sitting around sulking and feeling sorry for yourself. Think like this and you’ll always quickly be able to get yourself feeling better fast when confronted with unfortunate conditions.

See the Bright Side
Your mindset plays a major role in how well you’re able to take control of life’s misfortunes. Work hard to see the bright side of what’s going on and make a list of all the good that could possibly come from it. Being negative and pessimistic will only cause you to stay down for a longer period of time. Get back on your feet fast by using a positive mindset and attitude that keeps you hopeful and forward-thinking.

Don’t Give up
Tell yourself that giving up isn’t an option when you’re faced with life’s misfortunes. Doing so will only set you back longer and make you feel sad and upset in the long-term. Continue to work hard and seek solutions to your issues and you won’t even think twice about giving up on yourself. You may find that you’re even happier or more satisfied in general once you get through your trying times.

Conclusion
Life may not always as easy and smooth sailing as you’d prefer. Improve your outlook and take proper action to help you gain back control when faced with life’s misfortunes. Stay encouraged that you’ll have better days ahead if you can continue to hang on and remain strong.

- This is a PR Collaboration.
photo credit: Sworldguy Acadia Beach via photopin (license)

5/21/2018

Preparing Your Child for Their First Road Trip Adventure



Many couples shy away from travelling once they have children, but it doesn't have to be a reason to put travel plans on hold. Babies, toddlers and kids of any age are never too young to be introduced to the world, and there are many parents taking their children across the country and the world.

If travel broadens the mind, there's no reason why you shouldn't start your little ones early, and many children's first adventure is a road trip with their parents. Here are some top tips on how you can prepare your little ones for their maiden voyage on the open road:

Talk Them Through the Journey
To avoid any unnecessary issues once you start your road trip, make sure there are no surprises by
talking through your entire journey with your child beforehand. The more you make it sound like the epic adventure it is undoubtedly going to be, the more excited and more invested your little one is going to be, and it will be so much fun for everybody when you hit the road. One great way to do this is to print off some maps and highlight the route to give them a sense of the scope and point out what you will be doing at each point. They won’t be able to hide the excitement.

Pack Accordingly
A great way to get your child psyched for your road trip adventure is to pack your bags together, so you can talk about what they are going to need in relation to what you are going to be doing whilst on your travels. You can even go a step further and surf the net for any last-minute stuff you might need for a holiday, whether it’s
these clothes, a new bag or some useful travel accessories such as water bottles and sunglasses. Either way, you’ll have fun packing that bag before you go away, and the little one will be raring to go from the moment the zips are closed.

Be Ready for Anything
A road trip adventure can be as planned or as spontaneous as you like, but one thing you should be 100% prepared for is if anything goes wrong - whether that’s with your car or with your child’s health. You don’t want to suffer a tyre puncture and find yourself in the wilderness with no way to reach out to get it fixed, so make sure you have the tools to put it right, or have 
the contact details of your breakdown service and insurance company to hand if you can’t deal with the issue yourself.
If your little one suffers from any ailments - or even if they don’t - you should have plenty of medication available, as well as a first aid kit for any accidents. You never know when something might occur, so you should always be prepared. You can deal with issues and salvage your trip if you’re ready for anything, so plenty of prep time is required before you set off on your adventure.

Have Plenty of Entertainment on Board
It doesn’t matter how excited your little one is for the trip; there are inevitably going to be long stretches of boredom once you’re out on the open road. There’s only so much scenery that children can cope with before they
need to be stimulated in other ways. These can be colouring books, a pen, and paper, or you can go digital and take portable DVD players or laptops on board with you. At least that way they will be giggling at a Pixel film instead of moaning at you that they are bored of staring out of the window. There is also no better opportunity to have a sing-along than on a road trip, so get some playlists ready and prepare to sing your heart out.

Get Them Invested in the Trip
You have been planning this first road trip adventure for a while, so why not get your little one invested in the trip from the beginning, and build up the excitement as you go? One way to do this would be to have a countdown in place. Start the day with an excited burst of “one week to go” and so on, and see if you can incorporate your upcoming experience into your little one’s daily routine, whether that’s reading up and where you’re going, or by drawing up some maps. If your child is at school, there might even be some opportunities to talk about their trip in front of their class. It all goes towards them having an amazing time when the day comes to a head off.

Give Them Tasks for the Trip
A superb way to prepare your child for their first road trip is to give them tasks to complete once they’re on the trip. This can be things to look out for when you’re on the road (such as wildlife, trees, and cars) to documenting their experiences via photos, videos and keeping a journal. Not only will this be stimulating, educational fun for your little one, but you could potentially have many great keepsakes from your road trip when it comes to an end. Imagine how great it will be to have photo albums, videos to watch and a personal experience journal 
from your child’s first adventure? You’ll never get another chance, so take advantage of all these great options where possible.

Help Them Create a ‘To Do’ List
While the road trip will be planned out by the parents, it’s important to involve your little one in the decision-making process. You can do this by helping them create a ‘To Do’ list whilst on your road trip. This could include all manner of things, such as catching a sunset, driving off road, visiting a theme park, or anything else that comes to mind. There is no reason why you can’t tick all the boxes and make sure your child’s first road trip adventure is one they’ll never forget.

- This is a PR Collaboration.
photo credit: Miradortigre Caminitos de Nueva Zelanda via photopin (license)

5/16/2018

What's In My Child's Travel Bag



We go on a couple of holidays or short breaks away a couple of times a year. Our next adventure is going abroad to Majorca again so I thought I would put together a post all about what I'll be packing in Noah's flight bag. I struggle with boredom in the airport and on the flight so I always make sure to pack lots of different things to keep a four year old occupied and happy on our journey! 


Lots of snacks:
First of all, and most importantly it has to be snacks! I've packed a variety of Noah's favourites; Goodies fruit and oat bars, Goodies raisins, Fruit Bowl blackcurrant yogurt flakes, Little Dish Go Go's and Bear Paws fruit shapes. On the morning we leave I will also pack some savoury snacks like cheese sticks, crackers and a flask of water.


Activity bundle
:

Next we have an activity bundle and a soft toy. A sticker book, find and seek book, soft toy and lotto mini game. The sticker book cost next to nothing and just had to be included in our bag as stickers are always a hit with Noah. The Things to Spot book is something I hope Noah will enjoy to do whilst on the plane as he loves anything like that. The Little Bus Lotto game is one of the many Orchard Toy games that we love and the Little Bus Lotto will be a game that Noah can enjoy both at home and on the go. Lastly, we have the little soft toy which Noah has recently become very fond of and has named Mouse? Lucky Mouse gets a free trip to Majorca! 


Thomas & Friends goodies:
Then we have a bunch of Thomas & Friends goodies; a sticker activity book, carry along colouring set and mini train surprise bags. I won the sticker book and carry along set a while back but luckily discovered them this week when sorting the house! I picked up a couple of Thomas & Friends Mini's too because Noah like most toddlers is obsessed with surprise eggs and blind bags so I know they'll keep him occupied on the flight. 


Small toys:
As you can see I'm trying to cover all bases by packing everything that I know Noah plays with often so if he gets bored with one thing we can easily switch to something else. I've packed four of his favourite cars, a small Buzz Lightyear and a couple of different surprise bags.


Noah's prized possession
Now we couldn't travel anywhere without Noah's favourite thing in the whole wide world, his Kiki. He will be packed in his hand luggage to be at hand for snuggle time and I so hope we don't lose him while we are abroad! And if all this fails I will have my iPad at the ready!

What do you like to pack in your child's travel bag? 

5/14/2018

Canvas Champ - Review & Competition



Like most other parents out there, I take countless of photo's of my children. Not a day that goes by without me snapping away and I have taken thousands of photo's since the day they were born. With taking so many, most being stored on my phone or on my laptop I'm always looking for different ways to display and show them off. This is where CanvasChamp come in.

Canvas Champ offer so many different solutions when it comes to having your photographs printed and displayed. From photo collages and wall displays through to metal prints and mosaics, there's so much choice available.

When I was recently contacted asking if I'd like to review one of their 12" x 12" personalised photo pillows I was delighted to go ahead. I knew which photo I was going to use right away, a lovely shot of the kids that I took a few weeks ago on our break away to Centre Parcs. I simply changed the photo to black and white, to match the decor of our living room and then I was ready to go.


Although there's so many options to explore on the website, I found ordering my cushion very easy and straight forward to do. I simply clicked on the cushion size, uploaded my image, aligned it and then placed my order. It took minutes and I couldn't wait to see the final result.


I didn't have to wait long, the cushion was delivered within a matter of days and on opening I was so impressed with the quality. The image I chose was just perfect and there was hardly any quality lost upon printing. The cushion is very soft and luxurious and I've already had so many compliments from visitors, all asking where I'd ordered it from. Prices usually start at £62.50 for this size of cushion but it's currently on offer for just £8.75. That's a saving of a staggering £53.75! I'd recommend that you place an order soon if you'd like to take advantage of that huge saving.

It's no surprise that Canvas Champ that 94% of their customers recommend them, I wouldn't hesitate in ordering with them again and I'm already recommending them to friends. To spread the word about Canvas Champ and the wonderful photo printing service that they provide I've teamed up with them to give away a 10" x 8" canvas print to one lucky winner! To enter simply use the Gleam form below and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

10" x 8" canvas print from Canvas Champ

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 17/06/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

5/12/2018

Project 365 - Week 19/52



6th May 2018


7th May 2018


8th May 2018


9th May 2018


10th May 2018


11th May 2018


12th May 2018

We've had glorious weather for most of the week, so as per usual we've spent so much time outside enjoying it. That being said I had to keep Noah off nursery all week because he's not been well, he caught some sort of viral infection. He's had a bad chest, cough, temperature and runny nose. It wasn't fair to send him in and midweek both Ava, Nick and I caught it too. We've all been so poorly! Despite the bugs we've still done a lot this week, with a trip to the spring fair, trips to the park and the paddling pool has been out again too. We still aren't 100% but we are hoping we'll feel better by Tuesday as we are going on holiday! We are so excited, cold or no cold!

What have you been up to this week?


5/11/2018

Making Your Home Safe For Your Family



From time immemorial, teaching kids routines has been considered a best practice for instilling discipline within them. Even the legendary philosopher, Socrates, would approve! At a young age, it’s pretty easy for kids to gain constructive habits that can help them transition effectively from childhood, into adolescence, and eventually adulthood.

That being said, here are a couple of great security habits that kids can pick up from the word go! Keep in mind that these habits will help them become responsible adults in the future, and eventually help them avert the dreadful feeling of ‘learning from experience.’

Picking up after themselves
This is a pretty neat routine to help the kids build a sense of responsibility for their stuff. By putting their toys back to their respective positions, it helps them develop the sense of looking after their possessions.

Learning How to Operate the Home Security system at an early age
At a young age, it is essential to teach the kids basic security measures like locking the door. In fact, one should even teach their kids how to use the alarm system the right way! As they get older, they can get the habit of enabling and disabling the alarm every time they attempt to exit and enter the house. Having an easy passcode in place can make it possible for the child to build up this habit.

Having the habit of not answering the door or phone when an adult is not present
This is one habit that most parents have mastered teaching their kids at an early age. Moreover, it should transition to answering the phone. If the parent happens not to be at home, the kids can be taught to take a message in order to obtain the callers details.

Another important rule is that kids should be taught at an early age is to never to tell the callers that they are home alone. When strangers with a predatory nature are privy to such information, they might pay your kids a most ‘unfortunate’ visit.

This also applies when answering the front door. In such an event, if someone rings the doorbell, then they should first look through the peephole to confirm who it is. Thankfully, with wireless doorbells that have integrated video cameras with cloud storage and face recognition, the kids can see who is at the door while safely in the house. If they do not know the person, then they should not open the door whatsoever. That being said, if one would like to add a wireless doorbell for extra security to protect their kids at home, you can look into purchasing the best wireless doorbell for your home.

Teach the kids important skills to respond to an emergency
If there are young kids, it’s essential that they learn how to use the phone in case of an emergency. For instance they, should be able to make 911 calls to all emergency services using the mobile phone. This might just save their lives in the event of a fire or a serious accident!
- This is a PR Collaboration.

5/10/2018

PJ Masks Romeos Lab Playset - Review & Competition



PJ Masks has got to be one of our favourite children's TV shows. There's just something about those pint size, PJ wearing superheros that have us tuning in at every given opportunity. With being such big fans of the show, we've love the toys too and were so excited when we were given the chance to review the new PJ Masks Romeo's Lab Playset. I made the mistake of telling Noah that he was going to be reviewing this and he asked for updates every single morning, and every time I picked him up from nursery. When it arrived he 
was so excited yet waited patiently as I got everything out of the box and ready for him. This did take some time too, bless him!


Once opened we were really impressed with the playset, it really has the wow factor! Romeo's lab is on wheels and once inside there are two levels of play to discover. Included with the set is a light and sounds control panel, a 
rolling lab charger, working crane, laser launcher, robot, set of three tools and of course a Romeo figurine.


Our favourite feature has got to be the light and sound control panel as it's the perfect place for Romeo to create his next plan of action. The kids enjoy pressing the buttons and hearing all the different sounds and phrases from the famous characters. Another great feature is the laser launcher which can be set up ready for the PJ Masks to attack. The three little tools are a great addition but keep an eye on them as they'll be very easy to lose.


What else is great about this play set is that additional PJ Masks toys can be used with it too. For example, a few months ago we reviewed the PJ Masks Turbo Blast Racers and these are perfect additions to go with it. With these additions, I watched Noah catch Gekko in the crane and then Cat Boy came to the rescue! Once defeated Romeo packed up his lab, closed it all up and drove off. The lab was on the move and Romeo was making a break for it!

We're really impressed with the Romeo's Lab Playset! It's such a fantastic quality toy, one which has really kept Noah and his friends busy and entertained for hours on end. It's suitable from 3 years+ due to the small parts, is available at Argos and retails at £49.99. This might sound pricey but if I'd had paid that price I'd be really happy it, it's well worth the money.




To celebrate the launch of this fantastic new toy I have a competition for you guys! How would you like to win a PJ Masks Collectible Figure 5 Pack? To enter simply watch the video above, then use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

PJ Masks Collectible Figure 5 Pack

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 10/06/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

5/09/2018

3 Gift Ideas For My 30th Birthday



Yes, you read it right, it's not long until it's my 30th birthday. In just 8 days time I'll be turning the big 3-0 and waving goodbye to my 20's! I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet, but to be honest I'm trying to not think about it. Back when I was a teenager I thought that people in their thirties were ancient, so it freaks me out to be almost that age myself.

This year however, we'll be spending my birthday in Majorca. I really think that having a bit of sun, sea and sand, with a jug of Sangria hand will help keep any midlife crises at bay, and will be the perfect way to celebrate the big day! Being on holiday for my birthday, with my partner and our two children is the best present I could have ever ask for but I've been asked to put together a few ideas too. I think I'm quite easy to buy for but for some reason I'm told otherwise. This post shows my top three gift ideas which may give you a little inspiration if you are struggling with gift giving too.

1. Micheal Kors Handbag
Now this is a little materialist and rather indulgent but I've always dreamed of owning a Micheal Kors handbag! Maybe it's because of the years I've spent lugging around a hefty baby changing bag which has made me lust over a serious upgrade? I think it's the perfect time and excuse to totally indulge and add a touch of luxury in my life.

I've always wanted to book a couple of experience days but I struggle to know which to go for, there's so much choice! The Perfect For Her Gift Box is the perfect way to treat that special lady in your life, whether it be your Mother, Grandma, Sister, Auntie or best friend. It allows them to choose their own experience, from gourmet lunches and spa days through to tours and zip lining. There's an experience for everyone and Tinggly have received some fantastic reviews.


3. Coco Mademoiselle Chanel Intense Perfume

I've been a fan of Chanel perfumes ever since I was gifted my first bottle of it on my 18th birthday. With this in mind it delighted me to hear that they are about to release a new version of their signature and classic scent. I've read that it will be similar to the original, with notes of Sicilian orange and bergamot but it's a more sophisticated and mature scent. I have to have this, I need it!


What gifts are on your birthday wishlist this year?

- This is a PR collaboration.
photo credit: markus spiske Birthday Party Cake via photopin.

5/08/2018

Organix Goodies Cheesy Pea Snaps & Lentil Hoops - Competition



Organix Goodies, the UK’s favourite toddler snacks have just announced two new savoury organic snacks; Goodies Cheese and Onion Lentil Hoops and Goodies Cheesy Pea Snaps. Tasty, light, crispy and packed with pulses, with more than 65% lentils and 65% peas, these new snacks are full of veggie goodness and a great way to encourage little ones to eat more pulses.

Dietitians agree that toddlers’ tummies aren't big enough to take on board enough energy and nutrients from just three meals a day, so little ones need a couple of snacks in-between, to boost energy and for healthy growth and development. These new Goodies foods, in toddler size portions, give parents more savoury snack food choices and an alternative to sweet snacks - good news for the 68%* of parents who say they want more healthy options in the supermarket.


The new Goodies veggie snacks are made with just a few ingredients, all organic, and clearly listed on the back of pack so parents can see exactly what’s in each food - mums and dads will recognise the ingredients. There’s no hidden nasties, and definitely no added salt or sugar. The variety of organic ingredients chosen broadens the range of nutrients provided, such as fibre, and from lentils important minerals and B-vitamins.

· Goodies Cheese and Onion Lentil Hoops, baked with over 65% lentils, they are a great way to introduce toddlers to lentils, in a way that will appeal to them. Suitable from 12 months the hoops cost £2.49 for a multi-pack of 4 x 15g bags.

· Goodies Cheesy Pea Snaps made with over 65% peas, and of course baked, not fried, these light and crispy snaps are shaped like a pea pod. Suitable from 12 months the snaps cost £2.49 for a multi-pack of 4 x 15g bags.

Emily Day, Food Development Manager at Organix, says “We really think about the shape, texture and the taste when developing snacks for little fingers and tummies. Ingredients are carefully selected for their flavour and nutritional benefits, to give mums and dads foods they can trust. We get real flavour by using great ingredients, so there’s no need for any added flavourings or salt.”

With cheese topping the flavour polls for savoury toddler snacks, Emily Day says the inspiration for the Cheesy Pea Snaps came from her sister who, as a little one, used to eat cheese and pea sandwiches!

The hoops and snaps come with the Organix No Junk Promise, a stamp of reassurance for parents that they are made with the best organic ingredients and contain nothing unnecessary, great tasting snacks without the junk, it’s food parents can trust.


Goodies Cheese and Onion Lentil Hoops and Goodies Cheesy Pea Snaps will be available in supermarkets, (Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose) and Ocado from March, plus Sainsbury’s from April, and will be in Boots by June.

I'm teaming up with Organix to give away 6 multibags of their new Cheese & Onion Lentil Hoops and Cheesy Pea Snaps to one lucky winner. To enter simply use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!


6 Multibags of Organix Goodies Snacks
Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 03/06/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

5/07/2018

3 Simple Ways To Stay Safe In The Sun


Hot summer days here in the UK are few and far between but this weekend temperatures have soared to over 23 degrees! It's been hotter here than it's been in parts of Spain and we've been loving it! We've spent so much time outside, splashing in the paddling pool, slurping on ice lollies and soaking up all the natural Vitamin D. I find that because we aren't used to the heat that I have to give myself a little bit of a refresher every year when it comes to sun safety. With this in mind, I thought I'd put together a post all about the 3 simple tips that I follow every year.


Apply quality suncream -
As soon as the sun comes out, so does the sunscream. It's recommended that you replace them every year and that you choose a quality suncream that's not just high in SPF, but one which has 4 or 5 star UVA protection rating too. I apply head to toe but pay close attention to the spots the sun naturally hits such as top of the years, nose, back of the neck and their limbs. It's also important to apply it at least half an hour before you venture outside and make sure to reapply throughout the day, even if it is once a day. it's better to be safe than sorry.

Dress appropriately -
Dresses, shorts, tshirts, sandals and most importantly, sun hats! I'm always so excited when it's time to start buying summer clothes for the children and with going abroad next week I've been looking online for some last minute holiday shop bargains. The latest White Company deals have been very useful. They've got some wonderful swim suits with built in UPF 50 and lovely poncho towels which are perfect for the beach or around the pool.

Stay in the shade
Kids shouldn't bask in the sun like us adults do, that's just common sense but I do find that they naturally seek shade anyway. No matter where we are, when it's sunny I always make sure we are near an area which offers shade so they can cool off and re hydrate every so often. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to reapply their suncream.

Have you been enjoying the sun this bank holiday weekend? How have you been keeping safe? I'd love to hear some of your tips.

- This is a PR collaboration.

5/05/2018

Project 365 - Week 18/52



29th April 2018


30th April 2018


1st May 2018


2nd May 2018


3rd May 2018


4th May 2018


5th May 2018

Another action packed week for us. The weather started a bit poor but towards the end of the week it turned to glorious sun shine. It's been as hot here as it is in Spain, we've loved it! Highlights this week have got to be out weekly family day out, this week to Knowsley Safari Park. It was amazing to see rhinos, lions, baboons, giraffes and zebras up close. We had a Lion walk right past out car, within reaching distance and rhinos are so inquiring to watch. It was such a great day out, even though the baboons vandalised our car, ha ha! Other highlights have go to be splashing in the paddling pool, a fancy meal out in the sun, visiting family and Star Wars day!

What have you been up to this week?