Sunday, 29 July 2018

Beach Life Hacks - Easy Tips for Seaside Trips

It's been hot for what seems like forever now and, now the school holidays are here, the beach is the ultimate free playground for bored children. The air is cooler and, with enough space to run around and lots of exciting things to dig up, even the most adventurous children should be happy for hours, without spending lots of money. Whether it's a short trip or a long haul to your preferred sandy destination, I've put together this handy guide to everything you need for a stress-free seaside summer. From sand-free supplies to keeping things cool, We've got it covered. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

Free Printable No Cold Callers Sign

Free Printable No Cold Callers Sign
I am not an antisocial person, honest, and I really don't want people to think I am. However, cold callers knocking at my door causes people problems. If you have mobility problems, it's a pain to have to answer the door to someone you don't really need to see. Sometimes the unwanted callers are VERY persistent, which is a problem if you have a baby or night worker sleeping during the day. Personally, I don't think I should have to answer the door if I don't want to. Where we live, they call at dinner time, L's bedtime, sometimes when I'm in the garden, so I don't hear them until they've got REALLY loud. It's a real pain and I think we need to reclaim our front doors. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Ideas for Decorating Holiday Shells

Shell Necklace with Union Jack DesignEveryone loves a good day at the beach. Especially me. We spend a lot of weekends at the coast, enjoying the sea air and indulging my favourite pastime of shell seeking. It's a great, low cost activity that everyone can get involved in. The children love seeing what treasures they can find, or dig up. You can tailor it towards their interests, for example looking for pebbles with possible fossils in for dinosaur hunters, or finding shells with holes in, to make into jewellery. Decorating holiday shells is a great craft, with the added bonus of using up old nail varnish.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Coping with Hay Fever, Top Tips and Ideas to Help

Child blowing dandelion clock
Hay fever is a common, and really annoying, seasonal problem for many people. It isn't always taken seriously, but the symptoms can be similar to those of a heavy cold. Although not life-changing, these symptoms can leave the sufferer feeling exhausted and miserable, especially as they can last for most of the summer. The condition is a particular nuisance for students, as it tends to land right in the middle of exam season, which is the last thing anyone needs.  I've put together a few tips that I hope might help, including some ideas we've tried and some that we might! Wishing you a healthy, snuffle-free summer!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Pressure Washing the Patio - Before and After with Karcher

In our own low-budget way, we do try to keep up with the garden. Over the ten years we've lived here, we've turned it into a tidy, functional, yet low-maintenance garden, despite the drawbacks of heavy clay soil and either full sun or total shade in parts. One aspect that has been letting the garden down for some time though, is the ageing, grotty patio and recently, we got the chance to finally do something about it. Read on to find out how the Karcher K2 Compact stepped up to the task and see the results in our before and after pictures! This post is not sponsored, we borrowed the pressure washer from a friend. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Play That Goes Wrong - Bristol Hippodrome Review

The Play That Went Wrong Bristol Hippodrome Review Production Shot
The Play That Went Wrong is presented by Mischief Theatre, and consists of a very small cast and one equally small, but remarkably flexible, stage set. The whole vibe is reminiscent of traditional theatre, as opposed to the more showy West End musicals we've become used to and this is an aspect that I found really appealing, it brought back memories of school trips and local theatre shows I've seen in the past. The local theatre look is very deliberate and gives a clue to the theme of the show, which is a local theatre production that, well, that goes wrong. The clue is also in the title. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Thoughts on Homophobia #Pride

I was brought up in an era where being gay wasn't yet fully accepted. It was getting there, but homophobia and bigotry take a long time to die. Relationships in general weren't really talked about and I don't remember ever encountering an openly gay couple until I was in my teens. The word 'gay' wasn't spoken out loud, particularly around children, and it was an era of many, many euphemisms and wildly inappropriate expressions. I can talk quite openly with my children about sex, relationships, anything really, (age appropriately, of course!) but in those days, grown ups were excruciatingly embarrassed. All the time.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Win a £25 Amazon Voucher - Ends 31/07


Why I Love Instagram but Still get it Wrong

Why I Love Instagram, but Still Get it Wrong - Instagram CollageThere are certain things I really like about social media, and certain things I don't. It has great power to affect a person's mood, outlook, even relationships, which isn't good, but on the other hand, it can provide a lifeline for people who are lonely, or just not very confident socially. The key seems to be not to take it too seriously, which is why I'm particularly fond of Instagram. It's mainly inoffensive pictures and quotes and a mindless scroll is quite relaxing. Also I love taking photos and looking at other photos, so it's perfect for me. It seems, though, that I've been doing it all wrong, but I'm not about to change. Here's why.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Thoughts From a Mum on the NHS at 70

NHS at 70 - Photo taken inside Southmead HospitalLike most parents, I've had a lot of dealings with the NHS over the years, and I thought it was only right that I should recognise its 70th birthday. I have written political commentary previously on the struggles that the NHS faces and I still  do worry about our government's commitment to this service and the effect of budget cuts and sneaky privatisation. Today isn't about that, though, today is about celebrating a service that many of us, including me, don't often stop to appreciate. It's about recognising what the NHS, as a whole, actually means and what it gives to us as a nation. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

What is the Best Age to Start a Family

What is the Best Age to Start a Family - Newborn being bottle fed.
Having children is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and many thoughts will cross your mind as you consider your options for starting a family. Maybe you've always known how many children you would like and what age you hope to be, or perhaps life has made that decision for you. Either way, there is always a lot of debate and advice about the best age to have children, with really no right or wrong answers. I have got together with some brilliant parent bloggers to give you the low down on the best bits of parenthood, at different ages and life stages to help you get some perspective on what to expect when the time comes.
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