Friday, 13 November 2020

Four Tips to Thrive with Chronic Illness


A silhouette of a lady with a ppony tail from the side, with dark trees behind the image
Today I am welcoming guest poster Patti Kaye to the blog, to talk about living with Chronic Illness. She  has been a huge inspiration to me and is just an all-round lovely person, so I hope she can inspire you too, whether you live with a chronic illness yourself, or know someone who does and want to learn more about it. She lives in British Columbia, Canada and has lived with the effects of MS for twelve years. Whilst this caused her to have to give up her teaching job and was devasting at the time, she has resolved to approach life in as optimistic and high spirited way as she can, which I think is a brilliant outlook to have and something I really aspire to do myself. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Review of the Mindscreen Experience for Children Part 2

A laptop with a plant in front of it, with the title overlaid
In my first review of the Mindscreen Experience Toolkit, I covered my first impressions of the site and my thoughts on the early stages of the Mindscreen process. Today, I'm going to cover the first four sessions, including the lesson plans and organisation of the program. All opinions are my own and based on our experience. The lessons are not long, or difficult, but my son is 14 and generally allergic to anything that resembles learning or education, so he is not the most willing of subjects, but there is lots of guidance to help with keeping children motivated in the parent guides and I've included some tips to get your unwilling participants participating fully in the activities.  

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Inexpensive Chidren's Bedroom Ideas

A big financial challenge when raising children is keeping up with their interests and, dare I say it, 'fads'. It's not unreasonable to expect a child to go through their interests quite quickly, as they change from being little children to almost-adults in a few short years. There's a lot of pressure from their peers, too, so subjects that were once everything to them can suddenly seem babyish and uncool. So how do you create a bedroom that will stand the test of time without needing completely revamping every time they go through a new phase? Having raised a couple of teenagers now, I've put together some inexpensive children's bedroom ideas to keep things current without breaking the budget or creating a lot of work for yourself. 

Thursday, 5 November 2020

The Best Family Video Games to Play Together

Video game controller in the hands of a boy wearing a gaming tshirt, you can only see his torso
Video games were never a big deal when my daughter was small, she was never really interested, so I wasn't introduced to video games in any great abundance until my son was old enough to get involved. Now, like many parents, I worry about the effect they might have and how long he should be spending on them. Although I've written about my thoughts on Fortnite, I am by no means an expert, but I do happen to know one. There follows a guest post from Andy Robertson, author of the Taming Gaming book for parents and video game journalist, who gives a brilliant insight into the positives of video games for children and the best family video games to play together.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Looking After Children's Mental Health with Mindscreen

A laptop with a plant in front of it, with the title overlaid
I was approached by the lovely team at Mindscreen to ask if I would review their Mindscreen Experience Toolkit, which helps parents learn more about their children's mental health and how to support them. I was very excited about this prospect, as it's no secret that mental health is a massive issue for children and young people today and, as parents, it can be really worrying. There are more outside influences than ever before in our children's lives and most are not easily accessible to us. Technology constantly advances and throws up new potential threats with each new app or chatroom and the pace of life and demands on our kids can seem relentless, so I am right behind any tool that helps parents navigate those tricky teenage years. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

How I Cut My Bills by £130 a Month

Last year, I decided to overhaul my finances to see if I could save some money each month. I felt that I wasn't fully in control of what I was spending and it was too easy to use my debit card without really thinking about my outgoings overall. Along the way, I found out a lot about why my spending was higher than it should have been and some great ideas to get better control of the monthly bills. As times are hard for a lot of people right now, I thought I would share how I did it, in the hopes it helps someone else avoid the same traps I fell into and save some money too. The first and most important step I took towards getting better control of my spending, was to get a banking app on my phone. 
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