Wednesday, 28 September 2016

When Your Child is Reluctant to Go to School

Not all children like going to school for a number of reasons, such as separation anxiety, not enjoying certain lessons, or not appreciating some of their teacher's methods! However,  if you have one of those children who is generally fine with school and loves it once they get there, but you still have endless problems getting them to go, then this may interest you. I've put together this guide with some ideas to help with this issue, based on my own, and other parents experiences. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Parenting and Trying to Relax

Different parents face different hurdles when it comes to relaxing. I've heard new parents tell me they can't even relax on the toilet! I've certainly faced different challenges since having a boy, they seem to be a whole different species when it comes to chilling out. Even playing computer games or watching TV seems to involve an element of pent up nervous energy finding its way out. I must admit, I have been known to resort to headphones to get some peace. I use a Youtube audio cast featuring hairdryer noise and it's brilliant for clearing your mind. I know it sounds mad, but it really works.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Hard Surface Cleaner from EcoEgg Review

You may remember, about a month ago, I reviewed the Laundry Egg, from Eco Egg and found it to be a revelation in space, and money, saving household products. So, this month I am having a go with a really intriguing product, the Hard Surface Cleaner from Eco Egg. I had never heard of a hard surface cleaner before, so I wondered what you could use it for. It turns out, pretty much anything, with a few small exceptions. So I set out to put it through its paces. We were sent the Hard Surface Cleaner pack , which is available at a very special price for today only (September 26th) on QVC as Today's Special Value item. You can buy it for just £14.98, which is a huge saving on the standard retail price of £23.54.

The pack contains everything you need to keep your surfaces sparkling and includes; 4 sponges, 2 microfibre cloths and 2 300g tubs of cleaner.  You can use this stuff on all kinds of surfaces; stainless steel, ovenware, tiles and toilets, even the car, but I wanted to really try it out, so I let it loose on our hob. Now, today is Sunday, breakfast has been cooked, as well as a complicated evening meal, so it started off looking like this...

Anyone who owns a ceramic hob will know how difficult they can be to clean, because you have to love them a little bit, so that they don't become scratched, but you also have to remove burnt on food and polish out other marks, so it's a balancing act. I've only ever used specialist hob cleaners before, but I find them messy and quite expensive, so I really wanted this to work. The instructions were very simple; wet the sponge, apply to the paste, until it adheres to the sponge, apply to the surface in a circular motion and rinse. I didn't fancy the sponge, as it's quite abrasive, so I applied it with the microfibre cloth, but I am looking forward to using it on my tiles! By the way, the paste smells amazing. I don't know who's idea it was to make a natural product that smells ovewhelmingly of lavender, but I wholeheartedly approve. It's exactly what you need when you are cleaning your kitchen or bathroom, a vast improvement on Eau de Fry Up, or whatever other smells could be lurking. As it's a paste and not a liquid, there is hardly any mess and it's much easier to control the amount you use. It went on in seconds, like this... 

The paste is made from a special type of naturally occurring clay which was discovered in 1948 and is only found in one small village in France. The clay makes it slightly abrasive, but not scratchy, so it lifts the burnt on bits with not much effort at all. I was really surprised at how easy it was to use. Usually, I use a glass scraper to get the worst burnt on stuff off, then use a layer of hob cleaner, folowed by another thinner layer and an awful lot of buffing. It takes ages and I hate doing it, because it makes my arms hurt, although it is really good for toning! The paste is a world apart. As it is naturally occurring and contains no phosphates, detergents or chemicals, it's very reassuring to use and I'm confident to use it, even on this delicate surface. Even if I need to give it a bit of 'welly'. But not much welly, because the slight abrasiveness is enough to just lift the dirt away. Then, you just wipe it off, quick buff and done. I like to do a good job for you, so I actually timed how long I spent cleaning half my hob, to be totally scientific. I also did nothing else, no scraping, or preparation, I just used the paste as the instructions suggested. I kid you not, it took precisely five minutes to get from that to this... 

Five minutes!! I can't wait to try it on other surfaces around my house. This stuff is legendary, I wish I'd discovered it years ago. I know I normally flag up any small negatives for balance, but I haven't actually found any. I've barely made a dent in the first pot, so it is going to last for ages, it is versatile, does a great job and smells amazing, what more could you possibly want? 

Disclaimer: I was sent the item free to try, but all opinions are my own. It really is that good! 


Saturday, 24 September 2016

My Sunday Photo: Stalagmites at Bristol Museum


Why my Son Won't be Participating in the NHS Child Measurement Programme

Like all parents in England, when my child started school, it wasn't long before we received a letter informing us that our son would be weighed and measured, as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. This was, apparently, in order for the NHS to build an accurate picture of the heights and weights of UK children. Fair enough, I thought. That sounds like a worthwhile exercise to get behind. So I didn't object, and thought nothing more of it, until, out of the blue, I received a letter informing me that my son, who had dressed himself for school that morning in clothes aged 4-5, was in fact, overweight. Here is his picture from his first day of school. I may be biased, but I think he looks pretty darn normal. The 4-5 year old trousers were actually pretty huge. I had to draw the waistband right in, which is why they look so baggy! 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Why is Money Management not in the Curriculum?

There are many things in life we are not born able to do. Most things, actually. When babies are born, they have to learn pretty much every skill they will rely on later in life, from walking and using the toilet, to rolling their eyes and answering back. A lot of the skills they learn will come from parents, particularly early on. In later life their teachers and, possibly to an even greater extent, their peers, will have an impact on how they grow and develop. I think education falls into two camps; academic, which is mainly school-based, and moral, which often comes from a family focus. It should be a partnership between home and school to ensure that children get a complete education. Learning, not just the three 'R's, but also how to make good judgements and wise decisions, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are encouraging here in Maria's post from Happy Mummy.
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