Tuesday, 30 January 2018

What Walking Stick Users Want You to Know

Penguins with walking sticks and top hats. Title overlaid.
When you have a hidden illness, you get used to people not realising that there's anything wrong, so when you are out and about, there can be a lot of tutting and general impatience. Recently though, I've thrown vanity to the wind and started using a stick sometimes. I found it on a camping website and it didn't look too much like a walking stick, more like a hiking aid, so I thought I would give it a try and it's bliss. It means I can walk for longer with less pain, or go out when I wouldn't normally be able to. I have been surprised by people's reactions though. Most are considerate, but some seem oblivious to the limitations of the stick user. 
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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

What to Pack for a Lapland Holiday

Skidoo on a snowy landscape with title overlaid. Now that Christmas has come and gone, our holiday to Lapland is fast approaching. As the rest of the country are despairing at the horrible British weather and planning, or hoping for, a trip somewhere hot and sunny, we are very much looking forward to 'real snow' and sleigh rides in Ruka, Finland. This does, however, pose a little problem; I have absolutely no idea what to pack. I've never been on a winter adventure holiday before, and I was lucky enough to win this one, so I'm not likely to go again. I need to know what to buy and, more importantly, what I won't need, so that I can save money and vital packing space for the trip and this was the question I posed to a group of previous Lapland adventurers.
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Thursday, 18 January 2018

6 Books to Help Children with Anxiety

Boy sitting on the pavement, engrossed in a book.
Anxiety has become a lot more recognised in children in recent years and it's really not surprising, with everything they are expected to cope with these days. From school SATs tests, and the new, more demanding curriculum, to social media peer pressure, childhood can have a lot of obstacles to negotiate. Children, like adults can become anxious or stressed for many reasons and it isn't always the result of an underlying condition. It could be something they are worried about, or changes they are finding hard to cope with. Books can provide reassurance, as well as open the doors to talking about worries, even for little ones. These books are all recommended by parents. 
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Win a Copy of The Children's Meditations in my Heart

The Children's Meditations in my Heart book, resting on a bench.
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Blogging versus Blagging: The Social Influencer Debate

Part of a keyboard and plant pot on a pink desk. title overlaid. Sometimes it's a struggle to explain your job, when you make money from writing a blog. I started blogging in 2012 and my blog was, and still is, something I wanted to be proud of and hoped might bring value to others. The fact that people pay for ads and some of the content is a happy bonus, particularly as my health has worsened, I am grateful to be able to earn money doing something I love. The beauty of blogging, Instagramming, YouTubing, etc, is that you can make money out of something you enjoy. There are no barriers, there is an audience out there for everyone and that's a wonderful thing, so why are some people so negative about it
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Monday, 15 January 2018

Top Ten Tips for Sensory Issues and Fussy Eating Phases

Boy with Bread SticksOriginally posted in 2014, this is one of the posts I get asked about most often. Since I wrote it, I've found out a lot more about the sensory issues that can affect children and have come to realise that, regardless of where, if at all, they land on the autism spectrum, or what other issues they may have, they can still feel anxious around food, so it's really important not to make it worse. As I mentioned, this post was originally written some time ago, before I was as aware of sensory issues as I am now. I've updated it a bit, but, whether it turns out to be part of a wider issue, or simply a phase, I hope these tips, from myself and other bloggers, will help.
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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Plus Size Beachwear Inspiration

I got brave last year and started going to my local swimming pool. This inspired my recent post Plus Size Swimwear Inspiration, where I talked about confidence-boosting swimwear, to assist those New Year's resolutions and get even the most self-conscious swimmer back in the water. The post, and subsequent comments, got me thinking; why shouldn't we take advantage of these cleverly designed advances in swimwear and extend it to the beach? Instead of the usual New Year's diets, this could be the year to embrace the body you have and unleash a new found confidence on the beach this summer.
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Friday, 12 January 2018

What Was in my Ladies Lucky Box from Approved Food

Assorted cosmetics with title overlaid.
Approved Food have been around for quite a few years now and I have always liked the idea. The basic principle is simple; in this country we throw away a lot of food unnecessarily and Approved Food sought to change that, by sourcing those foods that might have passed their 'Best Before' date, but were still perfectly fit to eat, and selling them on to consumers at insanely reduced prices. Fast forward almost ten years and they have branched out into other areas, including cosmetics. I thought I would what was in the Ladies Lucky Box with you, as I was really impressed with what I received. I bought this myself, alongside my usual food order.
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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Plus Size Swimwear Inspiration

Selection of Plus Size costume ideas, with title text overlaidI've often wondered if plus-size is a state of mind. Not literally, of course, you can't deny what clothes size you are, unless you have a lot of free time and a good pair of scissors. However, the actual concept and subsequent stigma around clothing for the curvier lady is a different matter. I've started swimming recently, and before that I used to do Aquafit. During this time, I've seen a number of really lovely swimwear, containing, what would probably be described as, bigger ladies. Some of them much bigger, but they look great and have an air of confidence that made me wonder if perhaps it's time to stop worrying about what size we are, and start making the most of what we have. 
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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Help Hannah's Head Shave!

My friend Hannah is losing her hair. Not through stress, or to relive the skinhead days of the 80's, but for a very good reason. Like me, she is a previous supporter of The Little Princess Trust, donating her hair to make wigs for children, but this time, she is going a bit further. As Hannah is one of life's lovely people, who is always the first to offer support or help to others, I thought it would be really nice to get behind her and share her story in the hope of raising more publicity, and hopefully more money, for a very worthwhile cause. I would really appreciate it if you would read on to find out all about Hannah, her mum and the fate of her lovely hair. 
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2017 A Year in Review

Rylan and myself at the This Morning StudiosI am convinced as I get older, that time goes more and more quickly. I find that the year starts off slowly enough, full of promise and good intentions, but once we get to the summer holidays, it suddenly speeds up. We try to cram in as much fun and adventure as we can into the holidays, wringing out the last remnants of summer for as long as possible, but once everyone is back at school, Christmas starts creeping in  and then *boom* I'm sitting here writing this post! This is one of the great things about blogging. though, I can look back over the year and remind myself that we did do a lot of fun stuff along the way. This is 2017, our year in review. 
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