Thursday, 21 September 2017

Top 5 Unique Room Design Trends in 2017

Thinking of redesigning or refreshing the decor of your room? Have you thought of incorporating the latest design trends? Trends come in and trends go out, but if you have a unique and interesting design trend in your home you’re always going to have a place your friends think is cool and your family will love to reside in. It needn’t be quirky or too avant-garde, but retain a clean and fresh living space that will serve you through all the ins and out of the year to come. 

Every year you see a new set of interior design trends that are visually exciting and extremely covetable. It can be difficult to stay on top of the latest design trends and overhaul your room each time a new set of trends is introduced. Our recommendation is to incorporate elements of each of the trends that you love in small ways to keep up to date and give your room a much needed revival without too much expense. 

This year is no different, and we are here to introduce the top 5 unique room design trends that you can incorporate into your homes. These trends are chic, stylish, and can be easily incorporated into a room without the need for a total overhaul. 

Top 5 Unique Room Design Trends in 2017

1. Tropical Prints 
This design trend has been inspired by the fashion runway. Catwalks such as Marc Jacobs and Prada featured tropic print this year. The trend easily migrated to the interior design world across a mix of colourful fabrics and bright wallpapers. 

This trend does require you to be bold with colours and print. You can bring a bit of the tropics into your room with leafy prints such as beautiful palm trees. An easy yet dramatic way to do it is by investing in a tropical print wallpaper. 

If you just want to incorporate this trend in a more subtle way, you could find a print and frame it to hang on your wall to inject a quick tropical touch. A pillow with the print on would be an even easier way to adopt this trend. 

2. Textures 
Add a mix of different textures into your room to create a quirky inviting look and feel. Mixing the different types of textures is what makes this really interesting. This is not just confined to fabrics, but can also be incorporated across furniture items and wallpaper. For instance, drape a wool throw over a leather sofa and see how that looks.

3. Marble and Brass Combination
When these two traditional materials combine, they’re an impressive duo in the world of design. This is a very Instagrammable 2017 design trend that would work well in anyone’s kitchen or bathroom. If  you invest in a marble and brass item, you’re bound to amp up the style and glamour quotient of the room you place it in. Make sure that you have high quality fixings such as balustrade components for any fixtures required. It is a combination that has been popular for a while but will continue to be so in 2017 as it just looks so great together.

4. Geometrics
Geometrics make a comeback in interior design this year. Geometrically patterned items add a bold and modern feel to any room. Luckily this is an easy trend to incorporate using prints and patterns. Think about getting a set of geometric pattern bed linen. It could definitely add a sleek and stylish element to your room’s decor. 

In terms of colours, monochrome always looks chic in this pattern.

5. Green

Goodbye blush pink, green is having its moment in 2017.

Yes, it’s just a colour, but it’s big in the world of interior design this year. Different shades of green from lime to sapphire work beautifully in any room decor. If you’re not keen on overhauling your entire colour palette, you can just start to incorporate splashes of green into your decor with rugs or cushions. 

Darker greens in richer fabrics such as velvet are really effective at creating that sumptuous and luxurious look we all desire. 

For more inspiration for your room decor, follow your favourite interior designers on social media and turn to Pinterest. 

Balustrade Components offer a range of high-quality stainless steel balustrade fixings and components.

Visit the website to order online or by phone today.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Leo's Bedroom Make Over

High Rise Bed

Over the Summer break I spent some time making some changes at home, one of those changes was Leo's bedroom. 13 Months ago we moved into our new home, and Leo had begged, pleaded and begged some more for a high rise bed complete with a desk. The one we found and decided to go for even had a built in wardrobe and bookshelf. 

I agreed to the purchase because I loved the overall storage solution that it provided, fast forward to Summer 2017, and Leo is starting to fall out of love of the idea of having a 'ladder bed'. To be honest I was getting to the point where I dreaded making Leo's bed as it often resulted in me banging my head on the ceiling. 

If you are considering a high rise bed for your child's bedroom, I would think about other options first because the novelty does soon wear off for both parent and child. I found that it made Leo's double sized room feel very small, this was due to the sheer height of the bed.

By this point Leo was floating the idea of a double bed and a memory foam mattress, and I couldn't help thinking that it would really open up his room, and although we would lose out on the storage, he would have a lot more floor space. So I put the bed up for sale, and eventually it sold. A young couple came out and dismantled the bed themselves, paid me a very good price for it (Leo had kept it in pristine condition), so I only lost out on about £50 in the long run. 

Space Theme Bedroom

The bed was gone and Leo's room looked like a whirlwind had blown on through. There were toys that Leo no longer played with that needed to be sold, books, clothes and games that needed new homes in his room. I had my work cut out for me, but first I had to cut down on all the clutter that we no longer needed. I asked Leo to decide which toys he wanted, and the ones he no longer played with he could sell and put the money towards something that he did want. 

I took the opportunity to go through Leo's wardrobe and take out all of the clothes that no longer fitted him, some we donated to charity and the nicer ones I put aside ready to go in the loft (you never if you might need them again in the future!?). 

Space Theme Bedroom

Space Theme Bedroom

I have been looking through the children's catalogues at different storage solutions that we can apply in Leo's room, so far we have settled for some plastic boxes that we can slide under the bed when the contents is not in use.

We found a lovely double bed that came in under budget, I kept it White so that we could keep all the furniture the same colour, and I even managed to pick up a bargain memory foam mattress for him. I managed to do everything that Leo had wanted without breaking the bank and even helped him to make a few ££ in the process. 

Leo used the money that he made from selling his old toys to purchase some new games for his Nintendo Switch, which of course consolidated space and got him some lovely treats that he wouldn't have other wise had. 

The double bed may be wider than the single high rise bed that was there before, but it has made the room feel so much bigger than before, and with the way the bed is now positioned, Leo has so much more floor space to play with his toys. 

The only thing I have left to do now is get my hands on a medium sized bookshelf. I would like it to almost sit behind Leo's bedroom door, I have been looking for a second hand one, but it appears they are like gold dust. All of Leo's books are currently at the foot of his bed, and I would love to get them all organised for him, which is my current mission. 

I am really pleased with how Leo's room has taken shape, it really is surprising how much difference swapping a few pieces of furniture around does to a room. 








Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Family Wedding

Family Wedding

It's not very often that we get to get our glad rags on, so when a big family occasion calls for it we all like to make an effort. A year ago, my younger brother got married and the entire family came together to celebrate. Big family events such as this have always been a song and dance, and I have some incredible memories growing up of parties and holidays that are as funny today as they were then. 

These family events included the entire family, great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, you name it. On one family holiday we decided that it would be such a fantastic idea to use our plastic spades to dig a deep hole on the beach front. So between us cousins that's exactly what we did. The hole was deep enough for one cousin to stand into it up to his waist, and somewhere along the way we decided what a brilliant idea it would be to fill the hole back in... With him in it. 

As we carried on throwing sand back in and patting it down firmly as we went, we noticed that the tide was starting to edge closer to where we were all positioned. Long story short? My cousin was stuck fast and his Mother had to borrow a full size shovel to dig him out before the tide came in. To this day everyone but my Aunt can see the funny side of this, and somehow that just makes the tale that little bit more hilarious whenever it comes up in conversation. 

As it happens this tale did come up at the wedding, and again it brought a smile and a giggle as we cast our minds back through time to be back on that beach front as the waves started crashing in (if only they had camera phones back then....). 

Family Wedding


The reality is that everyone has grown older over the years and decades that have followed that time on the beach front, children have become adults and have children of their own, the adults have grown older, and we are now at a time in our lives where the matriarchs of our family are reaching their later life. My Granddad is now in a care home living with Alzheimer's, and it is these memories that put a smile on his face when he isn't really sure of where he is or what he is doing. He doesn't remember the wedding day, but he does remember that day on the beach, the people who were there and the memories that have been cemented from that cheeky prank.

On the big day, the men and boys were kitted out in suits, my other half had spent a great amount of time trying to decide which suit he liked best on Suits Men, and the girls and ladies all sparkled in beautiful dresses. The memory might not be recalled by my Granddad, but we know that he was there and we have the reassurance that although his short term memories of more recent occurrences are not what they used to be, his long term memories are all there for him and for us.

If there is one thing that I have learned it's that you can never take too many photographs, and I am going to make it my mission to dig out all of our old family shots, as I think they will be sure to bring a smile to the whole family's faces.




Monday, 14 August 2017

Super Smarts for Super Fun

Poki Super Smarts for Super Fun

Are you smarter than a computer? 

We humans can perform certain tasks better than machines. In other cases, the robots win. This review is about a game that has been around for a decade. Over the past 10 years, it has improved and stayed completely relevant. The game is called Akinator: The Web Genie, and it knows what you’re thinking.

Akinator is essentially Twenty Questions. Instead of playing with a friend, you play with a virtual genie. The cartoon character looks like an Arabian legend. But, it has the brains of a modern supercomputer. Akinator is a true AI being—it can think and learn without manual intervention. If that sounds spooky, don’t worry; Akinator is harmless and fun!

The game is limited to guessing what it calls “characters.” That’s a broad group of potential answers, as it includes characters from cartoons, books, and movies. Plus, Akinator can guess non-fiction characters (i.e. real people). It knows everyone from the biggest movie stars and international politicians to less popular stand-up comedians and radio hosts. If you think the genie doesn’t know about today’s YouTube celebrities, think again; they might be in one of the first questions he asks!
The Akinator game is a truly ageless game. It was fun (and wildly successful) 10 years ago, and it will be equally fun 10 years from now. That’s because Akinator’s knowledge is partially crowdsourced. On the very rare occasion that he doesn’t guess your character, you can add that character to the database. Then, Akinator will learn about him/her/it, and others will have a harder time stumping the genie.

Poki Super Smarts for Super Fun

There are a couple of key differences between Twenty Questions and Akinator. In traditional Twenty Questions rules, only “Yes” and “No” answers are allowed. When playing with Akinator, you can also answer “Don’t know,” “Probably,” and “Probably not.” This is because you might not know the answer to all of Akinator’s questions. For example, inquiries such as “Do others think your character is cool?” and “Does your character make you happy?” are subjective. If you don’t have a sure “Yes” or “No” answer, you can choose one of the other options.

Another difference is that Akinator can ask up to 25 questions to win. The extra five rounds might be the difference between winning and losing. More often than not, the genie doesn’t need that many questions. If you’re thinking of a really popular character, or one with many unique traits, Akinator might draw a correct conclusion within 15 questions. It seems that certain celebrities are easy to distinguish, while others are too similar. Nonetheless, Akinator almost always wins.

Poki Super Smarts for Super Fun

Akinator is a uniquely satisfying game. It doesn’t have slick graphics or cutting-edge animations. In fact, its visuals have hardly changed since 2008. The core gameplay has remained the same, because it has worked so well. Trying to perplex an AI genie is always fun, no matter what kind of games you normally play. If you’re up for the challenge, Akinator is, too.

Run 3 Review

Run 3 Review

Playing with aliens in outer space sounds like a lot of fun. In Run 3, that’s exactly what gamers get to do. This 3D single-player game isn’t the newest on the market, but it’s one of the best. It has everything that I like to see in a game for kids: it’s free of violence, easy to learn, and doesn’t cost anything to play. In fact, I’ve enjoyed playing Run 3 on Poki, too!

Admiring the Galaxy

This game sends adventurous players on a journey among the stars. The main character is a brave, friendly alien who can run and hop across wondrous tunnels. Her mission is to travel back home, wherever that may be. We’re not sure how far away her native planet is, but we’re ready to go there.

As we travel farther with the alien (also known as “Runner”), we learn more about her universe. The Galaxy Map is an expansive chart. It branches off into several sections, each of which has completely different tunnels. The Galaxy Map lets us keep track of progress and revisit levels at any time. Certain drawings on the interstellar parchment unlock mini-movies to enjoy. It’s just another one of many aspects that makes Run 3 so fun!

Run 3 Review

Characters and Costumes

Runner is the first playable character, and she can help us unlock more. Skater is the next friendly alien. He moves faster than Runner, but he’s a bit harder to control. Other unlockable characters include the all-green Lizard, balloon-toting Child, and gravity-defying Student. Each creature has unique abilities. Certain skills are very helpful, while others are primarily entertaining.

Speaking of entertainment, there are a bunch of seasonal costumes and outfits for players. Halloween costumes can be purchased or unlocked by conquering the Low-Power area of the universe. Winter outfits become available after completing the Winter Games. These costumes don’t modify how our characters move, but they can certainly inspire us to keep playing!

Gliding Gameplay

When I first saw my youngest playing Run 3, I thought that the game looked a bit like Subway Surfers. After all, both games are 3D “endless runners.” But, Run 3 is a lot less hectic. It doesn’t distract with ultra-flashy graphics and speeding railcars. Run 3 is a challenging game, but it’s also relaxing. Players glide, bounce, and skate across colorful tunnels in outer space.

Gravity is one of the most interesting parts of the game. Instead of being stuck on the ground, players can run along walls and ceilings—we’re traveling in space, remember? Creative gamers will make use of 360-degree paths to victory. It’s not just a matter of running and jumping; younger and older players must explore to win.


Extra Stuff

Mentioning all of the extra goodies would be a daunting task. Plus, discovering them while playing is part of the fun! If your children want to befriend alien creatures, unlock intergalactic achievements, and venture into the stars, Run 3 is the game for them. You might as well play, too!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Choosing a new bed for your child

Choosing a new bed for your child

It's been almost a year since Leo and I moved into our new home, which means that Leo has had the new bed that he begged and pleaded for, for less than 12 months. The beautiful thing about children is that one minute they absolutely love the idea and then they change their minds, and guess what? Leo has now decided that he no longer wants a high rise bed.

What I love about Leo having a high rise bed is that it comes with so much built in storage, under Leo's he has a desk and a wardrobe that is home to clothes and some toys. I don't really know what we would do with all of the things that currently live in those places if we did decided to get him the double bed that he desires.

I can see the argument from both sides of the coin here, because as much as I love the storage aspects of the high rise bed, there are also factors that I don't like.

I don't like how difficult changing the bedding is, because to do so you need to balance on the ladders and hope you don't take a tumble. You might also bump your head because you are rather close to the ceiling. 

I don't like climbing up and down the ladders.

I don't like how much of a mission it was to sort a fan for Leo during all of this hot weather.

Choosing a new bed for your child

Choosing a new bed for your child

Yes I think it is fair to say that I have been considering Leo's plight and embellishing it with my own issues with his high rise bed, I have found some discount codes for Bensons For Beds over on Voucher Slug, and it is really tempting... but at the same time I can't help feeling a little sad that this bed is still so new, and in absolutely pristine condition.

I could try to sell it, or I could keep it and put it into storage in case one day maybe we have another child who might like to use it? I could then just purchase a new bed for Leo? I really don't know what I should do here, because I do think that in the long run it would be better to upgrade Leo's bed to a double now (did I mention that he's also anchoring after a memory foam mattress!?) because sooner or later it is going to be something that he wants/needs in the future. 

Choosing a new bed for your child

I think I am definitely leaning towards to side of selling the bed and giving his room a switch over, we might need to have yet another toy cull, but I think that it would look really good. I would like to try and find a bed that I could wrap some fairy lights around, I think that always looks really smart.

 Then he would need a bedside table where his night light and fan could sit (that would solve the fan issue). Not to mention how much easier it would be to get into bed to read him his bedtime story....

I think I already know what I should do...

I guess we are getting Leo another new bed...

Friday, 23 June 2017

Shopping online in 2017



We live in the age of the internet, and in 2017 whether we care to admit it or not, we are reliant upon it for well... everything. We bank with it, we use it for work and play, we use it for shopping and we use it for finding bargain deals that you quite simply couldn't find on the high street. We even use it to sell our own products, whether we are trying to sell a car (just like I am right now), or we might even have our own online shops. 

Of course with all of the online shopping that we do these days (or if your in the blogging game), you will no doubt be getting very familiar with your local delivery teams. There are so many different ways to send and receive a parcel now, which ultimately makes the whole online experience that much more effiencent and smoother. 

We have Standard Shipping methods that ususally come through Royal Mail services, to DX Delivery where you can keep track of your delivery or the item that you have sent out.

I have to admit that if I am selling things on eBay now, I like to make sure that I have a tracking number so I know exactly when an item has been signed for. This is because I was stung last year. H sending out a rather expensive item to an eBay reciepent, only to have to refund them the price of the item because they were claiming it had not been received. Personally I found this very hard to believe, and although I had proof of sending the item, I didn't opt for the tracking option, which ultimately stung me and left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth.

I cannot prove that this person was in reciept of the item I sent, but I do have my suspicions, and for the sake of my eBay feedback I refunded the amount and learned my lesson (all be it the hard way).

Then there is the complete flip of the coin, with a very different experience, this time I am the buyer, and I am looking at a risqué top with Newlook online. I had checked all the stores and couldn't find this top to try on, so I sent the guys at Newlook a Tweet, asking if they knew whether it was in any of the stores at all, or if it was just an online special. They got back to me very quickly, and their customer service was incredible (and I have to say the very best social media service that I have ever come across). They told me that they would provide me with a free next day delivery code to use at the checkout, so that I could pay just the price of the top, and if I didn't like it I could pop it back to my local store for a full refund. 

I was due to fly out on holiday the very next day, and the top arrived in time for me to take it away with me. Unfortunately the top (which was a chain top, see what I mean by risqué!?) snapped within a short time of the first wear, and upon my return I contacted them again. They immediately rectified the problem by issuing me a full refund, sending me another free next day delivery code and even gave me a small discount off the price of the top.

I have never received such amazing customer service before, and they have certainly set the bench mark for my online shopping experience.

I am currently in the market for a Nintendo Switch (Leo's 6th birthday is coming up on June 27th!), and unfortunately the intitial stock has run out and new orders won't be forfilled until a month after Leo's birthday. I don't think that this will be an issue though, I have already explained that there will be a slight delay on his main present, but after all it's a Nintendo Switch, and this will only extend the  excitement of turning 6 for him!

The internet is making the world a much smaller place and usually if you can't find it on the high street, the World Wide Web will most certainly have it, and with the way deliveries go now... you could even have it in your hands by the very next day. 






Wednesday, 21 June 2017

What to consider when designing a home office

designing a home office

If you work from home like I do, or use a desktop computer in any capacity, then a home office is pretty essential. I would be lost without my little office space at home these days, and although it is just in the living room area (Because this is the only place that I have the room), it is still a very practical space that allows me to get everything I need, done. 

When it comes to designing your home office space, Office Principles have some great ideas and you can't go wrong if you consider these top 5 tips:

1. Location - You are going to spend a lot of time at your desk so you don't want it to be stuffed away into a small cupboard, no. You are not Harry Potter. You do need to think about the space you have available though, there is no point investing in a huge antique desk if you have no where to put it right? For me the living room is the only realistic place as I didn't want my working area to be in my bedroom. Granted I had to compromise on a decent size dining table, but in the grand scheme of things, an office space benefits me so much more.

2. Buy the comfy desk chair - This is somewhere you are going to be spending a lot of time, so you want to be comfortable right? I am still trying to find the perfect desk chair and currently I am going against my own advice. As I write this I am perched on my vanity table stool, and it is not doing my back any favours I can tell you. Ideally I want one with a high back that I can slouch into and feel comfortable while I am writing. Ideally it would have a heat function so that I can be extra cosy in the colder months.

3. Install good lighting - Sometimes I work quite late, or sometimes the weather means that the light isn't very good. I treated myself to a desk lamp that boasts natural light, so it doesn't look as yellow as a typical bulb. This works brilliantly for me because I am often recording vlogs in my office space for my YouTube channel. Even if you aren't into vlogging, having good lighting will help you get the job done.

4. Keep your Tech up to date - When I decided to sort my office space out, the first thing I did was upgrade my computer. For many years I was a laptop kind of girl, but this was more because I didn't have the space for a desk top. I now have a rather fancy desk top sitting pride of place on my desk, and as I was going for a white theme, all of my desk top essentials are in white (including the printer and the desk light!).

5. Storage - This sis something that I still need to address, I wish I could say that I was really organised when it comes to my work space, but the honest truth is that I am not. I want to invest in some shelving so that I can file my important paper work away (and be able to relocate it when needed), and ultimately keep my work place tidy. 

As you will gather from this post, there are still aspects that I need to address in my own personal office space, and the next thing on my list is the seating, then I will be in a much better position to address the storage space.

How have you got your home office?

















Thursday, 15 June 2017

6 Tips For Picking A White Dress


When we think of formal white dresses, the first image that usually comes to mind is a wedding dress. If it’s a white, long dress, we usually picture bridal gowns. So, how do you wear a formal white dress without looking bridal? How do you defy fashion’s expectations and just go for it? Here are our top tips to embracing beautiful white gowns without looking like you are about to walk down the aisle.

1.    Stay Away from Bridal Makeup

If you have your heart set on elegant white homecoming dresses, you need to be careful with our makeup. We don’t mean avoiding getting it all over your dress (that’s pretty obvious), but rather, when you choose your makeup, you should avoid that clean and classic bridal look. Big lashes, glowing skin, and pale pink lips are the stereotypical bridal standard, so go in a totally different direction. White is the number one neutral colour, so you can really spend time making your makeup look work!

2.    Complement with Textures and Colours Instead of Sparkle

Chances are, you have seen Say Yes to the Dress at least a dozen times, so you know how many brides set out to be a sparkling princess on their wedding day. Instead of going with that flow, pick a texture and colour that will accentuate your look instead of making you sparkle. In fact, aim for a natural colour palette and even complement your white dress with a tan belt and tan heels.

3.    Make Your Dress Trendy

The trendier your look, the less you will look like a quintessential bride. Pick a formal white dress that has a trendy pattern, texture, or shape, to keep it from looking dull and to help you look modern. If you choose a classic white frock, pick trendy accessories so that you look more red-carpet ready and less like it’s time to head to the chapel.

4.    Concentrate on the Dress’s Structure and Shape

The ultimate thing that separates a formal white dress from a wedding dress is the shape. Try to avoid those classic wedding dress giveaways such as sweetheart necklines, voluminous skirts, and a sparkly, ruching, or belted waist. You’ll want to avoid a train, too. Instead, aim for non-traditional traits such as a two-set piece, cut outs, or a thigh split.

5.    It’s Okay to be an Anti-Bride

Another way to avoid looking like the cliched bride is to be the anti-bride. It sounds a bit ominous, but what we mean is when you create your look with your white dress, pair it with non-traditional bridal pieces such as messy hair, studs, a leather accessory, or strong cat eyes.

6.    Choose Strong Details

What about a long-sleeve, ruffled number? While long sleeves may be “in” for wedding dresses thanks to Pippa and Kate Middleton, a sharp-angled corset layer complete with a bodice can turn a snow-white gown into something very un-wedding like indeed.

Use these six tips to help you choose the perfect white dress for your formal event and avoid looking like a classic bride!


Monday, 12 June 2017

Give the Expecting Mother a Special Gift for Her Twins

Baby Gift


Is your friend, sister, or neighbour expecting twins? If yes, then it is time to start thinking of a gift. There are so many choices and you do not want to buy two of anything that is going to be what someone else’s has gotten the mom to be. From baby hampers to pink or blue matching jumpers, there are the perfect gifts out there for the expecting mother.

Baby Clothes

Babies go through clothes fast. A great gift idea for a mother with twins is a nice set of clothes. You do not have to worry about the ink and blue issue, just pick a beautiful neutral colour like yellow, white, grey, or lavender. Babies are cute and a small jumper or a little set of shorts and shirt are perfect to help a mother through the first year.

Baby Soaps

Little babies can easily make a mess, so what better way to help the expecting mother than give her beautiful mild soap. Make sure the soap is baby approved. There is nothing better than a baby, but a great smelling baby. There are many natural baby soaps that smell wonderful and look nice too.

Plush Stuffed Animals

Everyone likes soft things, and babies are no exception. There are several beautiful lines of stuffed animals that are made for infants. You always want to make sure the stuffed animals are made with high-quality materials so they are safe if the babies put their mouths on it.

Socks and Booties

The only thing cuter than a pair of twins are the little booties and socks they make for infants. It is always important for infant’s little feet and heads are covered. You always want babies to have the right temperature so they do not get sick. The babies should also be protected from sun exposure. There are many small cute all cotton socks and booties to choose from.

Hampers

Hampers are always the perfect choice for an expecting mother as there are so many options from food hampers to neat collections of knick knacks for the babies. Choose from the high quality baby hampers in Sydney or in your local area. High quality hampers tell the expecting mother how much you care. The hampers also provide the expecting mother help with everything she needs to keep her babies healthy and happy.

Crib Toys

There is nothing more soothing than a happy baby and a sleeping baby. You can help the expecting mother of twins keep her babies and happy with neat toys that can attach to their crib or stroller. Babies absorb everything around them. Help the expecting mother keep her little twins happy and entertained with fun colourful toys for their crib or stroller.



Having twins is a special gift. Make your expecting mother friend of twins feel great by getting her one of these great gifts. Make sure you buy high quality as the gift will last longer and show you really care. You can find several excellent online stores that provide an array of great gifts for the expecting mother. Buy your special gifts today.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Hair Loss, depression and anxiety

Hair Loss, depression and anxiety

I don't think people realise how much hair loss can affect a person's mental health. because to the likes of you and I who have a full head of hair, it's no big deal right? 

WRONG.

Losing your hair is like losing a little bit of yourself with each and every strand you find stuck in the sink. With each hair that comes away, another little bit of your confidence chips away with it. It's the longing to pull your hair line forward, to be able to style it the way that you like and not being able to do anything about it, looking at your 5 year old's full head of hair and wishing you could try it on for size.

Losing your hair is depressing. It knocks your self esteem and given the chance it can feel like you have had your identity robbed from beneath you. Male pattern baldness (MPB), the main cause of hair loss, and it affects an estimated quarter of men by the age of 30 and two-thirds by the age of 60.

I am talking from the perspective of a partner looking in from the outside. My other half has been struggling and trying to fight hair loss for the last 5 years or so, and I have witnessed first hand just how soul destroying this experience has been for him. 

Although he paint's on a brave face for the rest of the world, and laughs at the relentless jokes about his receding hair line, I know that every time someone has chuckle or makes a remark it cuts him up inside, but still he paints a smile and laughs it off, but deep down it makes him think about looking into a hair transplant again.

Last year we secretly visited a place about hair transplants, I went along for moral support and to find out whether my other half would be a candidate, we drove for a few hours to make this appointment but we went in secret. Friends and family thought that the journey was really a business meeting, he didn't want to draw attention to the fact that we were really going along to discuss what options he could have in rejuvenating his hair line. 

It is becoming more socially acceptable now though thanks to recent successful hair transplants on celebrities like Wayne Rooney, James Nesbitt and X Factor judge Louis Walsh. The meeting did not go the way that he had first hoped, and at this time he was not a candidate for a hair transplant, but who knows what the next few years may bring...

Hair loss is almost a journey of self acceptance, changing with the times and learning to embrace what you can't change. It's like having control completely taken away from you and I guess to put it in terms to an outsider it would be asking them to walk around with a big red nose on their hooters for the the rest of their lives. 

We live in a time where appearance is apparently everything, we all think too much about how we look. We want to feel happy in the skin (and hair) that we are in. Over the past couple of years I have looked into many hair therapies and the vast line of products that can supposedly work their wonders on male pattern hair loss, but so far we haven't really struck gold.  

We have tried lotions that you rub into the scalp, we have tried the Theradome Laser Helmet and we have tried tablets and shampoos. No stone has been left un-turned in the quest to slow down the hair loss and hopefully help it rejuvenate.

When it comes to hair loss it is worth remembering that the person that this is happening to, might be silently devastated inside. They might laugh at your witty joke (that they are probably hearing for the 1000th time), but inside this might just be soul destroying, and you have to ask yourself whether making that joke in the first place is worth that. 

Hair loss is not funny, hair loss can be a fight that chips away a little piece of you everyday.

Next time you make a joke, think about what is going on behind the smile on their face and the glassy look in their eyes.






Baby, Just Cry It Out




Early motherhood is hard. There’s so much to learn, and so many new responsibilities on your shoulders. It’s a time when you want to be as alert as possible. How else are you supposed to rock motherhood? Of course, any new mother will tell you that they don’t experience alertness often. We’ve all heard the term ‘baby brain,' right? Those first months especially can leave us feeling completely out of it. There are, of course, the extreme hormones related to that period. But, the worst culprit is often  lack of sleep. When you’re already feeling strange, not getting enough sleep is the last thing you need.

For the most part, a new mother can expect to be up during the night. Babies need feeding often, and there’s no getting around it. But, sometimes, our kids can disturb our sleep for other reasons. They may go through periods where they cry the moment you put them down. It’s tough and can be enough to break the delicate balance you’re managing to maintain. Instead of letting it break you, it’s important you find a way to a solution. Otherwise, both you and baby will be miserable. You should, of course, check the problem isn’t colic. This can cause babies to cry regularly, and a quick online search will help you diagnose the problem. If that doesn’t seem to be on the cards, your child may be testing your limits. If they get attached, it can be tough for them to go without you. As sweet as that is, it’s time to put a stop to the nonsense. These steps should find you sleeping sound once more.

BE STRICT ABOUT BEDTIME

The first step you need to master is getting strict about bedtime. If you usually put your little one down at a different time each night, it can disorient both of you. Having a bedtime routine creates an expectation in a baby that it’s time to sleep. So, they should be sleepy when you come to put them down. It may take a while to find a routine that works, but it’s crucial you stick with this.

There’s also an ongoing argument among parents about whether a baby should sleep in your room. Whatever your standpoint, it's tougher to be strict at bedtime if they’re in with you. Plus, if your little one is crying for hours on end, having them in your room is far from ideal. It’s worth taking a look at cots and cot beds, and setting them up in their own room. This step needn’t cause you any worry. You can get baby monitors and keep an eye on whatever baby’s up to. You never know, having their own sleeping space may be all it takes to stop the crying.

KEEP A TIGHT FEEDING SCHEDULE
Some parents plan out their feeding, while others wait until the baby wakes up. They’re pretty good at letting us know when they’re hungry, right? But, if crying is becoming a problem, it may be time you got strict with your schedule. If your baby is hungry, you don’t want them going without. So, you run to them every time they cry and try them with a bottle. Don’t do it. Instead, write down feeding times for throughout the night and set the alarm for each. That way, you needn’t worry that you’re neglecting a starving child. You’ll be able to rest easy that the crying has another cause.



LET THEM CRY
For many parents, the idea of letting their baby cry is a horrendous one. How could they do such a thing? But, if night time crying is ruining sleep for both of you, it’s the kindest thing you can do. You’ve sorted your feeding schedule, so you know they aren’t hungry. Eventually, they will cry themselves to sleep. It’s harsh, but it works. A baby will often cry this way to gain attention or affection. This is especially the case if they’re used to falling asleep on you. Who wouldn’t want cuddles with mummy over sleeping alone? If you run in and give them the cuddles they’re demanding each time, you’re affirming the behaviour. As hard as it is, set yourself the goal of letting them cry for one night. You may not believe it, but you can guarantee it’ll go a long way towards stopping the problem. If you find it too difficult to leave them, it might be worth entrusting the task to someone you know won’t cave in!

Monday, 5 June 2017

What You Need To Ask When Choosing Your Child’s Day Care

children's play school

The nursery that you choose to place your child in will have a big effect on them for the rest of their lives, so it is important that you choose one that will help to develop and grow your child for their future lives. Get some excellent advice on choosing any potential establishments to help you decide on the best nursery possible for your children. The trick is to make sure that you ask the correct questions!

Are You Licensed?

It is important that any establishment you choose to send your child to is fully licensed and bonded to ensure that the facility meets set requirements. The governing body will pay unannounced visits to day care centers to make sure that the children are taken care of properly, and that the environment is clean. They also perform checks on staff members to ensure that they have passed the required background checks. When you search for “day care centers near me”, you can then check them on the local government website to make sure that they are fully licensed as they state.

Can You Visit Unannounced?

It may seem like a basic question, but if any potential nursery does not allow you to visit without announcing that you are coming first, this may raise a red flag. Not all establishments will allow unannounced visits, so you will need to ascertain if this is allowed before choosing where to send your child.

What Are The Qualifications Of Your Teachers?

It is important that you choose an establishment that has fully qualified carers for your children, and this also includes members of staff that are trained in both CPR and First Aid. When it comes to an emergency, every second is important, so you want that peace of mind that comes with knowing that your children are well looked after no matter what happens.

What Is The Children’s Daily Routine?

Children need a structured day, so it is important that they have a set routine that allows them to not only learn new things and skills but also to learn how to interact with each other socially, as well as plenty of time to play and exercise. 

What Is The Food Like?

The food that is prepared and provided to children is also critical, as they need to eat a well-rounded and balanced diet. If your child has specific food requirements, then you need to make sure that any potential nursery can cater for their needs.

What Happens With Sickness?

Many facilities do not want sick children at school as this spreads the illness and can affect the entire nursery. You need to find out what happens when you child is sick so that you can make alternative arrangements to ensure that they are cared for, especially if both of the parents work.

How Big Are The Classes?

It is important to make sure that there is a good ratio of teachers to children, so you will want to ask how big each class is and how many adults supervise the group. The more children per group, the less individual attention will be paid to each child.



You will want to make an informed decision and also use your instincts before deciding. The education of your child is the greatest gift that you can give them, so make the right choice and give your child the education that they deserve so that they will be able to make the most out of their precious lives.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Top 5 Exercise for Weight Loss After Pregnancy

Transformation Photo

It is part of the course that you will gain a few pounds in pregnancy. With a healthy and varied diet, as well as remaining as active as possible during pregnancy combined with plenty of rest will all help to keep your weight in check.

Many women worry about losing the post-baby weight. The good news is that post-baby weight gain is not here to stay.

Take a look at these top five exercises from HARTMANN Direct for promoting weight loss once your baby has arrived.

#1 Get Walking

The right start to start exercising again will depend on your and the amount of time your body needs to heal. Don’t rush into exercising and always make sure you follow the advice of your midwife, health professional or doctor.

But a great exercise to start with is walking. In the first few weeks, take a stroll every now and then with baby in the buggy. Just enjoy the fresh air and being out and about. This will help your confidence, as well as promote healing.

Once you are healed and have been giving the green light to start exercising again, increase these walks to a daily occurrence if you can. On some days, take longer walks in time and distance, but on other days take a shorter walk but walk faster to burn a few extra calories.

#2 Yoga and/or Pilates


Top 5 Exercise for Weight Loss After Pregnancy

Yoga and Pilates are both excellent exercises no matter what you age or current fitness status. They are also perfect post-pregnancy to get back into shape, but getting fitter and toning too.
Yoga works different muscles and can be great for getting your pelvic floor back into shape after pregnancy and birth too.

Only attend classes run by a certified Yoga or Pilates instructor, and don’t over face yourself by joining an advanced class before you are ready.

There are different types of yoga classes too, so try out a few beginner classes and see which suit you. There are also classes available for pregnant women and for ladies after birth.

#3 Swim

Swimming is a great activity for exercising the body without placing undue stress on joints. Start back nice and gently, with a few laps of the pool working your way up to short bursts of several laps as fast as you can.

Like walking, vary the exercise that you do so that vary the muscle groups you use and increase cardio-workout too.

If you find swimming up and down the pool a bit boring, there are other forms of water exercise that work really well;

·         Aquaerobics – loads of fun, aerobics in water is a great way to increase resistance creating a great work out.

·         Swim with baby sessions – many leisure centres and hotel pools hold swimming sessions especially for parents and babies. A great way to up the activity in your day, it is also a great way to make friends with other parents.

·         Wild swimming – swimming in groups in the sea, rivers or lakes is invigorating and great exercise. Get yourself a wetsuit and a hat, enjoy a refreshing dip with fellow enthusiasts.

#4 Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient practice. It combines deep breathing with deep, flowing exercises. Originally developed in 13th century China as a martial art, it is used today by people across the world as a means of exercise and relaxation.

Like yoga, there will be classes across your local area. You can take the classes at your own pace, picking up speed and depth of movement as you become more accustomed to this form of exercise.
Incredibly toning, it is also a form of exercise that can be practiced at home too. Some new mums use it to help them relax in an evening, whilst you can also practice your technique outside in the fresh air.

#5 HIIT

For when you are truly healed and ready to torch the calories take a look at HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is tipped to be the latest exercising trend in 2017.
There are many classes starting across the country with local gyms providing sessions not only in the gym but outside in the park, on the beach, lake side and so on.
The idea is that short bursts of high intensity training produces a cardio affect that burns calories efficiently. Using all kinds of different forms of exercise, it is a bit like circuit training but sexier.
Exercise and being out in the fresh air is essential for new parents and their new baby. For mum, it helps to keep post-natal depression in check, and can also be a great way to bond with your baby.


HARTMANN Direct are an online supplier of incontinence products and pads. Pads are useful for managing incontinence during pregnancy, and great for post-birth work outs too.