Mummy & Me - May 2018

May has been a fantastic month, we've had glorious weather here in the UK with lots of bank holidays and family days out. We've just come back from our yearly holiday abroad. Last year we went to Marbella in Spain and stayed in a relations villa with family. Ava was just 11 weeks old at the time, it was her first holiday abroad and Noah's second time. They both love to go on holiday and both travel so well.

This year we decided to go to Puerto Pollensa in Majorca, just the four of us. We booked 11 nights, all inclusive in a 4-star hotel and it was just what we needed!  The location was perfect, the hotel was fantastic, the food was delicious and the weather was stunning! Whilst we were there I celebrated my 30th birthday which really made the big day even more memorable. We came home this weekend and I've had major holiday blues, so much so I'm thinking of booking something else later this year.

With going on holiday I had so many photographs to choose from this month. Nick had taken so many candid shots of the kids and I but I've managed to whittle it down to three. The first is a shot of Ava's first time walking on sand and into the sea. Some children don't like the feel of sand and can be scared of the sea, but not Ava! She's so outgoing and loves to explore and experience new things. The next are two shots of me playing with the children in the pool and baby splash park. We spent so much time in and around the pool, the kids loved it! Oh, what I'd do to be back there right now!

Trying To Conceive My Two Children

Trying to conceive, they call it a journey for a reason. It's a decision which will change your life forever and is an experience which is filled with so many different emotions, no matter the outcome. Noah and Ava were meticulously planned and I have fond memories of our experience. Although they are still young, it still feels like a lifetime ago that we decided to start a family.

When we started trying for our first baby we knew that it could take months or years to fall pregnant, but we were very fortunate for it to happen right away. With it being my first pregnancy and with everything happening so fast I was understandably quite nervous. I googled everything and was constantly symptom spotting.

Thankfully my pregnancy with Noah was very straightforward, minus a little spotting in the first trimester. As a first time expectant Mother, I was dreaming of a peaceful water birth but that wasn't meant to be. I was induced, a week before my due date due to his movements changing. It was a long and drawn out process but after 3 days in the hospital, he was born. He weighed a 7lb 2oz and was the sweetest thing I'd ever laid eyes on. Holding him for the first time, I'd never felt a love like it.

Fast forward three years and we decided to start trying for another baby. We felt it was the right time as we didn't want a huge age gap between our children and we envisioned ourselves as a family of four. As I fell pregnant so fast with Noah we thought the chances of it happening again were slim to none. I didn't dare to look at any statistics and instead went in feeling excited and hopeful. Yet, it happened again, we fell pregnant straight away. My friends joke that Nick only has to look at me and I'll fall pregnant. 

My pregnancy with Ava was a little harder on my body, perhaps because I already had a three-year-old to look after and it had already gone through the wars in my first labour. I was overdue this time around and although my waters broke, my contractions never started. This resulted in another long and drawn out induction, but my darling Ava was born safe and sound, weighing a whopping 9lb 4oz. I wish you could bottle up that feeling that you get when you have you meet your new baby for the very first time.

We know that we were lucky to fall pregnant so quickly as it's not so simple for some couples, for a whole host of different reasons. I have friends who have really struggled to fall pregnant over the years and on many occasions I've willed it to be easier for them. 

I know people who've really struggled the first time around but then fell pregnant very quickly on their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th baby. I have friends in same-sex relationships who have big decisions to make before they even start trying to conceive, such as how lesbian couples decide which of them will conceive and the experience of using sperm banks. Lastly, I have friends who have waited until they are older to start their family, who've then struggled to fall pregnant due to what they put down to as their age.

Trying to conceive is one heck of a journey but one thing is for sure, those babies are sure worth it! Do you have any trying to conceive stories that you'd like to share with me?

5 Tips For Decorating Your Garden

If you have just moved to your new home or you are thinking of ways to make your garden look beautiful, don’t worry, we got you. In this article, we will discuss some tips for decorating your garden to look exactly how you have imagined it. Decorating your garden can be one of the best parts of moving to your new home. It is a great opportunity for family bonding, and it makes a great family activity on the weekends.

1. Beautify The Garden Entrance
If your garden has an entrance, you should consider dressing it up with ornaments and ornamental plants. If you do not have a garden entrance, you can create one. The entrance can serve as a gateway into a relaxation zone that you have created with your garden; it also adds some elegance to your garden. You can include connected paths leading from the entrance to other sections of the garden. Paths leading to other areas of the garden can be marked to add a sense of adventure.

2. Ornaments and Finishing
Your garden is incomplete without ornaments. Many only think of garden ornaments as an afterthought, but they actually serve an important purpose when decorating your garden. Ornaments can serve as a guide to how you shape and use your garden space, and influence the ambiance of your garden. You can invest in some wrought iron tents and lanterns, curved benches that are carefully arranged to look pretty and practical.

3. Repurpose Old Household Objects
That old wooden box you are planning to discard will probably look better in your garden than in your bin. You can incorporate old items such as old wine bottles, tires, and old and rusty wrought iron buckets.

4. Include Lighting For Nighttime
You can decorate your garden such that it looks like an entirely different space at night. Your garden can take on a romantic ambiance at night if you install the right kinds of lights. Consider lighting up the garden paths, hanging outdoor lanterns from trees, and tall light lamps around the patio.

5. Furniture and Decoration
The style of furniture (tables and chairs) you choose to put in your garden plays a very big role in the outlook of your outdoor space. But it is not just about littering the space with expensive furniture, they have to be cohesive and blend with the theme of your garden. Moms can be very particular about colors, but if done right, the outcome can be amazing. Garden furniture can be the perfect finishing touch you need to complete your garden. You can check out for amazing garden furniture.

post written by AndyHenderson.

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.

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 Collaborative post.
photo credit: Sworldguy Acadia Beach via photopin (license)

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 the weather forecast and 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. These 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 YouTube Videos to Watch Before Converting Your Camper

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Living in a camper comes down to what you make of it. It all starts by converting your chosen base vehicle into a camper. Regardless of the type of camper, you can afford, camper living is about making the most of your freedom.

You get to live according to the terms you have set for yourself as you continue to rebel against the norms linked to everyday living. Before getting started with your conversion, there are a few videos I would like you to watch.

1. Wandering Bird Motorhome Adventures
Anyone thinking of doing a campervan conversion should begin by watching this video by Wandering Bird Motorhome Adventures. It applies to all campervan enthusiasts, regardless of whether they’re abroad or in the UK. It features campers who have done conversions on their own and touches on the lessons they have learned along the way. In it, you’ll learn the pros and cons of undertaking a transformation, including the layouts to consider in your build. You should learn some essential tips to help smoothen your conversion.

2. Van Clan DIY Camper Conversion
Are you interested in learning about some of the best conversions available right now? Van Clan is pretty enlightening as it highlights the top 10 Best VAN LIFE DIY Camper Conversions to date. The twelve-minute video looks at the best do-it-yourself campervan conversions you’ll find on the road today. They’re conversions undertaken by seasoned and renowned campers, many of whom have been living this life for years.

3. Rickyvanman
Rickyvanman takes you through how to make a campervan from the ground to completion. What’s more, he provides tips on how you can do this on a budget, ensuring you don’t get to go out of pocket. I highly recommend this video as it captures the mistakes made during the conversion process and how not to make the same mistakes. You’ll find some great tips on how to go about with your build.

4. Gabe and Pau
Gabe and Pau take you on the journey to making a full van conversion. The one thing I like about this video is the fact that Gabe and Pau are complete amateurs and are making their first-ever build. It should prove interesting for all camper fans looking forward to completing their first build.

5. Vanlife Sagas
Are you planning to live the rest of your life in a camper? Well, there’re a few things you ought to know before beginning the van life. Vanlife Sagas details some of the things you should know before beginning this life. It provides an accurate depiction of what to expect, including the challenges you’ll face and how best to prepare yourself.

Getting Campervan Conversion Insurance
It can sometimes feel impossible trying to find a suitable insurance policy to protect the upgrades you intend to make to the campervan. Additionally, the rules used to cover a conversion can vary from one insurer to the next. For this reason, there’s a need to conduct detailed research to find campervan conversion Insurance policy that best fits your DIY camper conversion.

How to Raise a Science Lover

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Many children enjoy science because it is such a diverse subject. Science helps to fuel your child’s curiosity, build their knowledge, and give them a better understanding of how the world works. Science can also help children to develop certain skills, such as problem-solving, communication, and investigation. If you would like some advice on how to raise a science lover, here are some great tips from an independent school in London.

Encourage questions
There are many ways you can teach your child about science; however, the best way is to explore their own questions and ideas. For example, if they ask you questions about night and day, you could demonstrate the positions of the sun using a globe and a torch. If they ask where rain comes from, you could demonstrate condensation using hot steam from the kettle.

Teach through play
Building blocks and modeling clay are both great ways to encourage science learning through play. For young children, you can also experiment with water and observe how different materials sink and float. As your child grows, you can introduce them to construction toys, such as Lego and K’nex. These toys encourage children to be creative and problem-solve, which are both incredibly important academic skills. Puzzles are also ideal for encouraging older children to problem-solve, plus you can enjoy them together as a family.

Explore Nature
Exploring the great outdoors is one of the easiest ways to teach your child about science. Encourage your child to explore plants and wildlife and discuss how trees produce oxygen for us to breathe. By exploring nature together you will also be teaching your child to respect the environment and all living things. Children can even be encouraged to help in the garden. Get them planting seeds so that they can learn about how things grow.

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? 

CanvasChamp - Review & Competition

Like most other parents out there, I take countless of photos 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 comes in.

CanvasChamp offers 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 are so many options to explore on the website, I found ordering my cushion very easy and straightforward 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 CanvasChamp 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 CanvasChamp 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.

How Much Does Where You Live Affect Your Home Insurance?

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Home insurance: you might be convinced you don’t really need it. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), about 7.5 million households in the UK do go without home insurance – but, if your home is struck by damage or a burglary, you could hugely appreciate having such cover.

After all, the average UK household has roughly £35,000 of possessions, says the Money AdviceService – and contents insurance, one of the two types of home insurance, can cover the loss of these. The other type is buildings insurance, which can fund repairs to the building itself.

However, when you approach an insurer to apply for a home insurance policy, you could be startled to realise that even where you live can, for better or worse, affect how much you end up shelling out for this cover. So, to what extent is it a factor – and could you do anything about it?

Your risk to the insurer ultimately determines your premiums
The statistically likelier you are to need to make a claim on your insurance, the more the insurer will charge you for that cover – it’s a pretty simple equation. What’s not quite so simple is what boxes your residential property needs to tick in order to land you the lower premiums. It’s generally known that homes at high risk of flooding incur higher premiums, as do homes located in wealthier areas – presumably as, if you live in any such area, your architecture and belongings are likely to be high-value and so the insurer could have to foot a relatively large bill for replacements. Of course, perhaps the best way to discern how your choice of habitat could affect your insurance premiums is by getting it from the horse’s mouth... or, rather, the admiral’s. Yes, leading insurer Admiral has provided a lengthy list of factors it considers when calculating home insurance prices.

How will an insurer assess your home’s flood risk?
Admiral says it will do this by looking at whether you reside near water. You probably live closer to water than you realise; according to research by another insurer, Aviva, 67% of people living where the flood risk is especially high don’t realise they are running this risk at all. This is worrying given how, even just in the UK, extreme weather events have increased in frequency over time – and Aviva’s research also suggests that one in seven UK properties face a flood risk. Today, flooding is the leading cause of weather-related damage to homes.

Is your home really in a “safe” area?
You could easily be led into thinking it does – especially if, before you chose to move into your current residence, you pored over crime statistics in a bid to see how dangerous the local area seemed to be. Still, this data might not have told the whole story of the crime risk to your home. Admiral says that, for calculating premiums, it looks at what home insurance claims are made in the area where the applicant lives. If the insurer to which you apply notices that burglaries seem particularly common in your area, you could be hit with heftier premiums as a result.

How many claims have you made yourself in the last five years?
According to Admiral, this is the time period it considers when it looks at how often an applicant has recently made a claim on their home insurance. As a general rule, the fewer such claims you have made over that period, the less you will likely need to pay for your next home insurance policy. Naturally, the more dangerous your neighbourhood is, the more often you could have had to make a claim in recent years. However, even if you live in a dodgy area and can’t move away from it any time soon, you don’t need to entirely lose hope of trimming your home insurance premiums. This is because you could always equip your home with an array of security technology that, once in place, could potentially stop an attempted burglary in its tracks or even prevent it from happening at all. You could, therefore, with time, increasingly lessen your need to make home insurance claims.

How we can help secure homes in London and the South East
By phoning us on 01708 470351, you can arrange for us to visit your home and, while there, install a custom-designed security system. Even if your home already has a burglar alarm, we can easily service it – and we can also fit various commercial security systems in London.

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?

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. Putting their toys back in their respective positions, 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 into 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. Verisure Alarm Systems are my go-to - they offer up a wide selection of alarms and a plethora of help and advice.

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 by 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 caller's details.

Another important rule that kids should be taught at an early age is 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 their mobile phone. This might just save their lives in the event of a fire or a serious accident!

- This is a PR Collaboration.

The Benefits of the Arts in Education

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Some people think of the arts as an inessential embellishment to the curriculum, a light-hearted pastime between more serious subjects. This attitude has led to the arts receiving decreased funding over the years, resulting in children having less exposure to creative fields in their formative years. In reality, art education actually provides a multitude of benefits for children and can aid their personal development and academic success. Take a look at the following insights from a theatre school in Hertfordshire to learn more.

The arts allow children to explore their sense of self and unlock their potential. Experimenting with different creative outlets challenges children to step out of their comfort zone and nurtures their self-esteem. Performing arts are particularly useful for building confidence as children will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of an audience, cultivating their presentation and communication skills.

Visual arts, such as painting, sculpture, and drawing also help promote self-esteem as children have a certain amount of creative authority over their work. This allows them to develop independence and initiative as they will have to look within for inspiration, rather than simply following set guidelines or instructions. As children see their skills improve over time this will give them a sense of accomplishment and will teach them the value of persevering with a project.

Not only do the arts fuel personal development, they can also fortify core academic subjects. Art brings topics to life and makes subjects more accessible to students with different learning styles. Exploring history through art and music gives students a deeper understanding of historical periods and appeals to those students who struggle to absorb information from textbooks.

Performing arts incorporated into the study of literature immerses students into the writing and breathes life into the characters. Maths can be explored through studying shapes, angles and symmetry in artistic mediums such as painting and sculpture. Art has the benefit of providing a more holistic approach to education, allowing students to visualise and engage with topics they might otherwise struggle to grasp.

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.

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.