Saturday, 12 December 2020

The Ultimate Independent Small Business Gift Guide

Hands tying a ribbon onto a circular gift box
This gift guide is entirely unsponsored and features a combination of small, independent businesses that I have used myself and small independent businesses that have been recommended to me. I hope it provides a useful resource for anyone wanting to support small businesses and #BuyLocal. There are a number of reasons to choose independent businesses, including supporting the economy and helping to create a more diverse marketplace. It's also nice to buy from someone who is really going to get a warm feeling from someone using their service. There are no pictures, to keep it fair to all the businesses and because this took forever to produce and I really wanted to get it out before Christmas! 

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Mindscreen Experience Raising Self Confidence in Children - Part 3

In the foreground, a drinking glass with water in it and a long, thin green leaf and, in the background, a laptop featuring the Mindscreen logo
 We've come to the end of our Mindscreen Experience and we wanted to share one last update with our progress and thoughts on how it went. In case you haven't caught up with Looking After Children's Mental Health with Mindscreen and Review of the Mindscreen Experience Part 2, I've been taking part in a review of the Mindscreen Experience program with my teenage son. Mindscreen provides a toolkit of resources to enable you to measure and improve your child's self-confidence, by helping you work together to find out how they feel now and guiding you through lesson plans and worksheets to improve their self-esteem and self-confidence. 

Friday, 27 November 2020

Amazing Gift Ideas for Teens and Tweens


Teens and tweens are one of the hardest groups to buy for. These days it's worse, because they are mostly involved with tablets and smartphones, so what do you buy for them that won't last five minutes before they get bored with it and it potentially ends up in landfill? To avoid having to resort to money or vouchers, this year I've used all my experience raising teens and tweens to come up with some great suggestions. I've got together some amazing gift ideas from Buzz Beauty and Buzz Retail to help you out this Christmas with some entertaining gifts that teens and tweens will love. I have not been paid for this post, but I did receive free products, chosen by me, so that I could review them properly and take photographs. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

10 Easy Ways to Relax in Just 10 Minutes

A lady in silhouette from behind in a cross legged yoga pose
 When we entered lockdown back in March, everyone talked about having so much free time, but this wasn't the case for everyone. We might have been home more, but educating children, working from home, and other new unforeseen demands all meant that for some, life never really slowed down. Now we're back in another lockdown, and it's worse because many are still at work, but the kids are getting sent home for isolation, so there's that, Christmas needs preparing for, with pressure to make this Christmas special to make up for the rubbish year (especially for me, because my son's birthday was the first day of the first lockdown and it sucked!) and it's all so stressful!! Here are ten ways to relax in just ten minutes. I'll be over here, under a blanket.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Five Fun Long Distance Lockdown Date Ideas


“If the two halves of a couple are currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in those  households… for quite a significant period going forwards, they should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household.” This was Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, answer to a question on whether couples who lived apart could socialise under new restrictions. My heart sank when I heard her answer, not for us, but for the couples who are just starting out, who might still be showing their best side only, not daring to fart in front of the other and now their very new, shiny relationship is about to hit a mountain size road bump, completely out of their control.

Monday, 16 November 2020

How to Make this Christmas Extra Special


The top half of a Christmas gift wrapped in gold paper with a bow
This year more people than ever are finding themselves separated for long periods and long-distance relationships are becoming unavoidable. This means that Christmas shopping habits may be a little different, with the focus on items that are digital or easy to post. It's easy to think that Christmas will be less of an occasion this year, because of all the restrictions in place, but I hope it can be an opportunity to do things a little differently and embrace traditions that have been lost to commercialism over the years. If there's one thing this year has taught us, it's that we have a lot to be thankful for and we can often make the best of our situation and find joy in the small things. Here are some ideas to make Christmas extra special this year, despite what December has to throw at us! 
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