Friday, 27 November 2015

Lighting the outside of your home in winter

When it comes to winter, making sure your home is well lit is essential. With the darker nights drawing in earlier and earlier it’s the right time to get your outdoor lighting sorted. There are so many reasons to increase your outdoor lighting in winter, especially when you have children.

We all worry about our security in the home and although it’s highly unlikely that something will ever happen, it’s better to be as prepared as possible. With it being so dark outside it becomes easier for people to access your property without being seen. A brightly lit home it much less likely to be targeted by thieves and knowing that your home is well lit will also increase how safe you and your family feel inside it.

When you have children being able to see where you’re going is pretty important. It’s best to be prepared with sufficient outdoor lighting to avoid any mishaps in the dark such as slips, trips and falls. We all know how stressful it can be sometimes just getting from the car to the door, especially when you’re trying to carry the shopping too! There’s often dropped hats and scarves on the floor and plenty of things which could cause a tumble so making sure pathways are clearly lit is really important.

Obviously it’s always essential to light up potential hazards with ground lighting such as steps, ponds and decking to avoid accidents but it also can look really pretty.  

Most families enjoy spending a lot of time in the garden, especially in the summer months and with working hours being so long in the winter it’s unlikely you’ll get to spend much time all together in the day light. But, with amazing outdoor lighting you’ll be amazed how beautiful your outdoor space can look and how enjoyable it can be to spend time out there in the winter months. Obviously, it’s advisable to invest in some comfortable garden furniture and outdoor heaters too, so you don’t catch a chill. But with LED candle lights and well placed post lighting you can create a lovely ambience, you’ll not want to go inside.

Remember, it gets dark around 5pm now and sometimes even earlier throughout December and January so it’s best to sort out your outdoor lighting now. If you want to make your garden look even prettier, adding some outdoor fairy lights always does the trick. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Dining with Nama Artisan Raw Foods - Review

Nama Artisan Raw Foods Review

When I get the opportunity to head into London on my own I embrace it. No kids, no one but myself to please and entertain for how ever long it may be before I have to return to reality. It means I have no one to think about but myself, and if I want to take myself off the beaten path and experience something that I know Leo would turn his now up at... I can!

Today I am in London following a event last night. I spent the night as I am due at a sport event in London this evening, I decided to treat myself to a raw lunch in the capital to help kick start my day and ultimately spoil myself. 

Earlier this year I visited the Raw Food Cafe over in Covent Garden upon Deliciously Ella's recommendation, it was such a fantastic meal that I vowed I was going to try some of the others on Ella's list. 

As I write this I am sat in Nama which is over in Notting hill (the nearest tube station is Notting hill Gate, about a 14 minute walk away to Nama). 

Nama is a raw food restaurant that is entirely gluten free, vegan and raw. All of the ingredients used are organic where possible and isn't heated above 45c. 

Nama Artisan Raw Foods Menu

It's just after 12pm when I walk in, it's a Thursday but there are still quite a few people around. It's quite a rustic place and I really like the look of it. It's bigger than the Raw Food Cafe, with seating out to the back and even carried on downstairs. I am shown to a table and provided with a jug of cucumber water. Anywhere that does this is a winner in my eyes! I usually only drink water, so to have this provided in such a tasteful way as a rule of thumb goes a long way in my book. 

I open the lunch menu and I instantly know that I am going to have a big decision on my hands... What do I want? All of it! I was immediately drawn to the Mexican Wrap, the Pad Thai. Italian Pizza, Pad Thai and Italian Pasta.. So 4 out of the 6 items on the lunch menu then! 

I finally made a decision and set my sights on the Italian Pizza with a side of Kale Chips. I haven't actually tried Kale Chips before so I was excited to see exactly what they were all about. The food didn't take long to arrive and it all looked so tasty. 

Nama Artisan Raw Foods Italian Pizza

The pizza is served cold, but it is incredibly delicious. It didn't take me long to work my way through it. The Kale Chips are also served cold and are incredibly moorish. It was like eating a healthier alternative to a packet of crisps, you wouldn't for a second think that you were eating Kale because it has so much flavour. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and couldn't pass up the opportunity to have dessert. What I really love about raw food is that you know that everything you are putting in your body is good for you, but it tastes as good if not better than eating food that tantalises the taste buds, but is not fueling your body in any way shape or form. 

Kale Chips

So the dessert decision took a while... Did I want the famous Blueberry Cheese Cake? The Chef's Special or a selection of sweet treats!? 

The chefs special of the day was a caramel pecan pie, but I decided to go for a selection of sweet treats so I could enjoy a few different things. I don't ordinarily order dessert when I dine out because usually I am not in a raw food establishment where everything is packed full of amazing superfoods! Of course when one does wander into a raw food establishment such as Nama, one needs to indulge...

I was already hoping that they had a selection of cakes and goodies to take away at the end of the meal.. You know for the journey home later this evening. One of the employees confirmed that you could indeed purchase cakes and goodies to take away... And I knew that I wouldn't be leaving without some! 

Nama Artisan Raw Foods Dessert

The selection of treats turned up quickly, and my favourite had to be the mint truffles, they were just perfection. I didn't really like the energy bar, but out of a whole host of different treats, I thou rightly enjoyed everything else. 

I really am a raw food convert these days, I absolutely love it. I can't believe that once upon a time if someone had said 'come on Laura, try this vegan restaurant' I would have turned my nose up and point blank refused! All I can say is, if you are ever in the area, pop in and give it a try because you will be so pleasantly surprised. 

As I was sat in Nama it got even busier over the hour and a half that I was there, this hidden gem is obviously well known in the area and with good reason! 

I can't wait for my next visit, I just wish that there were some similar options closer to home so that I didn't have to wait so long to treat myself to a tasty, healthy raw food lunch.

See you again soon Nama Food! 

Nama Artisan Raw Foods

Disclaimer: I took myself to lunch at Nama on a recent trip to London. I have not been compensated for this post. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre

Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre


November is coming to a close and the most magical month of the year is almost upon us. The first frost has caressed the early mornings and over the weekend Leo and I spent the most magical time having breakfast with Father Christmas. 

Every weekend at Brewers Fayre from the 5th December between 10am and 11.30am you can bring the kids along to your local venue to visit Santa’s Grotto, have a brilliant breakfast and meet the man in Red himself!

Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre

If you can’t make it at the weekend, the lovely team at Brewers Fayre have persuaded him to stick around from Monday 21st to Thursday 24th December! 

The best bit is that Santa is bringing along lots of other activities for the kids to do whilst you’re at his grotto. These include colouring in, creating Christmas cards and a FREE Beano comic. You can get all of this for just £8.99 per person!
We traveled to the Guild, a local Brewers Fayre pub over in Bromsgrove early Saturday morning. Leo had been bouncing off the walls as soon as he woke up, he was going to see Santa bright and early, he was going to have a hearty breakfast and have such a super day! We turned Michael Buble up in the car, Jingle Bells rang out, we sang and the journey was over in the blink of an eye.
Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre

Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre
We were welcomed by the very friendly (and festive) team and shown to our seats before Santa Clause appeared in his grotto as if by magic. Leo turned, his eyes widened and he couldn't get across the room quickly enough! He bounded straight over with the biggest smile on his face, and ran straight for Father Christmas.
Santa took his time with Leo and asked him what he wanted this year, and Leo replied tat he wanted a blue racing car. He has been after one for months, in an ideal world he wants a electric sit and ride Mini Cooper so that he can be just like his Mummy! 
Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre
Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre

Leo was given a present and he beamed a thank you to Santa before running back to the breakfast table to open it. With the magical experience continuing throughout breakfast we
 were invited to help ourself to the rather extensive buffet that was laid out. There were fresh pastries, and I couldn't help myself fast enough to one (or five) warm croissants and jam! Leo tucked into the ready supply of Cocoa Pops, and I finished up with a bowl of fruit salad before our cooked breakfasts arrived.
Many activities had been laid out for the children from card making to being able to get their faces painted. Leo couldn't get into the play centre fast enough, and for the next hour I didn't see him! 
Leo had the most amazing morning and it was such a great experience for both Leo and I. The food was tasty, the service exceptional and the value for money is fantastic! Not to mention that Father Christmas is the REAL DEAL! 
If you are looking for a fun way to spend a morning, then I can highly recommend a breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre this December.

Breakfast with Santa at Brewers Fayre
Disclaimer: We were invited along to Brewers Fayre: The Guild and provided with complimentary breakfast and a magical meeting with Santa. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

Child Proofing your Christmas Decorations

Child Proofing your Christmas Decorations

Christmas with children is exciting. 

You’ve gone all out on presents to make it extra special for your little one, but you’ve also realised that they’re incredibly inquisitive and they want everything in their hands (or their mouths). So, you need to child proof your Christmas decorations. Here, we take a look at a few ways of making sure that you don’t have any trips to A&E over the festive period.

The Tree
Your Christmas tree is at risk of tipping over when little hands come a-grabbing. Secure the trunk of yours to a wall with wire and an eye hook, or block the tree off completely with a safety gate. Try to keep your ornaments to the top half of the tree, where they are out of reach of toddlers. Avoid using glass or breakable baubles, and use ribbon to hang them instead of hooks, just in case your child gets a hold of one.

If you think it will help quench your child’s curiosity, allow them to touch the tree under your careful supervision until it’s just not interesting any more. Adding bells to the tree will help you to hear if she touches the tree when you’re not there. 

For the very concerned, consider just having a fibre-optic tree that changes colour for a simple, safe and effective Christmas tree.

If you like to light candles, then swap them for LED candles like these contemporary styles from Lighting Styles for a much safer option, and go for a room spray in the festive scent of your choice.
You should also avoid table cloths and runners if you can. Children love to pull on things that dangle down, which could potentially be very dangerous. Alternatively, you can secure them (the table cloth, not your children…) using pegs or binder clips. 

Check the wires of your lights for fraying or broken plugs before putting them up, and minimise the amount of strands that hang within a little one’s reach.

Presents are oh so enticing, but they also contain lots of potential choking hazards, like wrapping paper, ribbons and bows. Once they’re open too, packaging parts can be hazardous too – so make sure that you’re quite vigilant when it comes to these too.

Get Them Involved

Christmas doesn’t have to be concern all around, and there are lots of different ways that you can get small children involved in the Christmas decorations. Pinterest has lots of inspiration for you and your kids to create decorations that you’ll treasure for years to come.  

5 Tips To Help Get Your Car Loan Approved

Car Loan

If you’re in the market for a new car, there is a good chance you may need to investigate getting a car loan. Obtaining a car loan is about ensuring you’re a financial risk worth taking for a lender. Here are five tips to help you get your car loan approved.

Have a Good Savings History

If you can show your prospective lender you're capable of putting money away and building up your bank balance, you're one step closer to getting a loan. Lenders ideally like to see a minimum of six months savings history. The amounts contributed don't have to be huge but it displays an ability to budget and save and ultimately meet any loan repayments.

Credit History

Having a solid credit history that shows you can take out a loan and meet repayments is another big leap in your journey to securing a loan. Lenders love to see that you’ve paid off previous loans without issue in the past.

However, sometimes things don't go to plan but a blip on your credit record need not mean you are ineligible for a loan in the future. This is where it pays to look beyond the banks to lenders like Zoom Car Loans who will take your circumstances into consideration, including past credit mistakes.

It's also worth accessing your credit history and, if there is an entry in dispute, get it rectified.


Long term employment with a steady weekly wage ticks another box for many lenders. Ideally, lenders look for employment that goes back at least a year. You can work around this with more flexible lenders and if you’re self employed, many lenders will accept tax returns or authorised financial statements that show your income.


If you're considering taking out a car loan, look at any other liabilities you may have on paper like credit card debt or other loans. Lenders will be factoring in the sum of your other repayments each week to ensure you are in a financial position to meet a new loan.

If you feel you may be borderline or over the limit, work to lower or eliminate these debts prior to making a new loan application. This will also help you boost your credit rating at the same time.

Secure Your Loan

When it comes to car loans, you can take out a personal loan or secure the debt. A secure loan means the amount you can borrow is leveraged against the value of the car and the lender can repossess your car should you default on payments. It adds a level of security for your lender in that they will be able to recoup the money they have lent you by selling your vehicle if you are unable to pay the loan back.

Getting a car loan is about showing a lending institution that you’re a risk worth taking, whether that’s through your savings history, credit rating or employment. But once that’s achieved you’re a whole lot closer to getting behind the wheel of your dream car. What are some tips you’ve used to get your car loan approved?

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ice Skating returns to Webbs of Wychbold

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

Winter doesn't mean hiding away inside for months on end, it's the opportunity to wrap up warm, head outside and see the world we live in under a magical dusting. Watch as your breath condenses in the air, as Jack Frost sprinkles ice in his wake and feel the chill on the back of your neck.
With Christmas right around the corner, it is actually starting to feel like it. 

Last night Leo and I wrapped up warm under our fur lined 'His' and 'Her's' Saltrock Hoodies and made our way to Webbs of Wychbold ready to give ice skating a go for the first time this year!

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

Webbs is a garden centre near Droitwich, and it's about a 35/40 minutes drive from us. Leo and I had been invited along to their press day, and we were both incredibly excited. Flash backs from last year flew to the forefront of my mind and we were ready to get over there and let Christmas flood into our systems. We were ready for the chill of the night on our cheeks, we were more than ready to get our skates on and even more ready to sing along to some Christmas music. 

The rink is constructed especially for the festive season, but you wouldn't know it. It's a generous size and just like a permanent rink, only this one is outside so you really get to enjoy the atmosphere as you whirl around. There are Christmas lights, Christmas music and assigned sessions so that it doesn't get to busy. 

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

We arrived and made our way over to the skate hut where they kit you out with skates for your party and offer skating aids (Additional £5.00). Leo and I got ready, he had already told me that he just wanted to sit on the Banana boat and be pushed around... But slowly and surely he seemed to be coming around to the idea of actually giving skating a try! Last year he screamed as soon as I slipped the skates over his shoes, but this year he sat as good as gold as we sorted out our footwear.

The wind was picking up by this point, Storm Barney was blowing up a right fuss on that blowy November evening. You could feel Barney's efforts even on the inside. It forced around the building and the cover over the ice rink was really being caught in it causing the Christmas lights to shake. We didn't let this stop us though, this just added to the excitement of the night.

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

We picked up the Banana Boat and slipped onto the ice, Leo was all smiles and demanded for me to go faster and faster. I picked up the speed knowing full well that there was a massive smile plastered all over my face. We took corners, we skated in circles and we had an incredible time. 

We had been on the ice for about 30 minutes when Leo said he didn't want to go on the boat anymore. I took his hand and he stood up on the ice for the very first time, he took those first tentative movements and soon discovered how slippy it was. All of a sudden though he was brave, he was willing to give it a try! 

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

We asked if we could swap the boat for a Penguin aid so that he could give it a go with something a little more stable (than me... I almost went flying at one point too!). He was in his element and I was so proud to see him giving it a go, and I could see how proud he was of himself.

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

The braver he got the more he decided to let go. At one point he had pushed the penguin right away and was trying to go it alone. He told me 'Mummy stop following me!', he was all about going around the rink solo, and he didn't want me cramping his style! Luckily for him I ignored the requests and followed anyway, as he manage to let go, fall against the handle on the float and slump onto the ice. He was such a brave little trooper though, getting right back up again and carrying on like nothing had happened.

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

As the time came up on the ice and it was time to make our way off, Leo managed to slip to the floor. I took both his hands and tried to pull him back up to his feet. He was slipping and sliding, and I was laughing until tears almost rolled down my cheeks. I couldn't help myself, I was well and truly tickled. The supervisor looked over and asked if we needed a hand, but aside from finding the situation more than a little bit funny...We were absolutely fine.  

After the ice skating concluded we headed inside for a hot chocolate and chocolate muffin. The perfect end to the perfect evening.

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

Webbs of Wychbold Ice Rink

I highly recommend a visit to Webbs Ice Rink, and I know for a fact that Leo and I will be going back over the coming weeks to give it another go because it really is a lot of fun, and I can't think of a better way to kick start the festivities of Christmas 2015.

Disclaimer: We were invited along to the Webbs of Wychbold Press Evening and provided with complimentary ice skating and refreshements. All views and opinions are completely honest and my own.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Looking for a childcare centre? Here are some tips

When you are exploring options and considering a childcare centre for your child to attend, it’s important to know what separates the good from the bad. As a parent, you want the best for your child and not all childcare centres are created equal. Among other factors, you should pay close attention to hygiene and cleanliness, the extent to which children are engaged in meaningful learning activities and the emphasis placed on open, informative communication with parents.
Follow these tips when searching for a good childcare centre:

1. Make Sure the Centre is Clean and Well-maintained

Germs are easily spread throughout childcare centres and epidemics of illness can be quite common with children interacting a confined space. You should expect a quality childcare centre to be clean, hygienic and well-presented. To this end, companies such as AMC Commercial Cleaning reduce the burden on childcare centre operators and staff by carrying out thorough cleaning services. The difference that quality cleaning can make to a childcare centre should not be underestimated on aesthetic, hygienic and sanitary levels.

2. Reputation Does Count – Look for a Centre with a Good Reputation

When choosing the right place for your child or children, trust your instincts and ask others for their feedback, thoughts and opinions. As you try to choose a great childcare centre, the insights of others who have actually experienced the service is invaluable. Ask parents and staff of the centre plenty of questions, read reviews and enquire about accreditation results and achievements. Don’t be afraid to also follow your instincts about a particular centre; first impressions can count for a lot.

3. Clear Policies and Procedures

Flexibility is an important feature of a quality child care centre. A good centre will allow you to pick up and drop off your child at times that fit with your schedule and your needs. However, a quality childcare centre will also have clear and established regulations and procedures in place that cover many different areas, from hours of operation to crisis management. Written copies of these documents should be accessible in the centre. Staff should be well acquainted with policies and completely confident with the processes they’re involved in.

4. An Engaging and Stimulating Curriculum

The highest quality childcare centres are those that have carefully and thoughtfully structured schedules that include plenty of opportunities for play, psychical activity, group activities, quiet time, meals, snacks and free time. Also, the most effective childcare centres will encourage the individuality and uniqueness of your child. The very best centres will nurture their interests and creative abilities, respect them as an individual and provide you with plenty of opportunity to keep updated on your child’s/children’s progress and behaviour at the centre.

When looking for a childcare centre, pay close attention to what the centre can provide you and your child/children. The more holistic, responsive, caring and supportive a childcare centre is, the more rewarding the experience will be for your child.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Getting ready for Christmas

It's the month before Christmas. 2015 is wrapping up and it's hard to believe that we are into the final weeks before Christmas. I know.. It feels like Summer has only just begun, but here we are getting everything in order for the most magical day of the year.

I am excited to announce that I have finally started Christmas shopping, it has taken me long enough, but it has finally happened. Festive mode has officially been switched on and over the next few weeks, Leo and I are going to be really getting into the spirit! 

It all starts tomorrow at Webbs of Wychbold where we will be attending the outdoor ice rinq and skating under the stars. We went along last year and had the most magical time, and I can't wait to see how he gets on this year! Of course I expect tomorrow will mean that we finally get to switch on Michael Buble's Christmas album for the first time this year!

 The gifts are starting to come together nicely, I actually just today purchased a Sea Monkey Set. I adored these when I was a child, and I can't wait to see Leo's face once he see's the eggs hatch and those unique little shrimp start swimming around. I have even been having a think about the stocking front. It's a tradition that I love, and each year I make sure that Leo has a stocking to open on the big day. I don't spend a fortune on them, they are just fun little bits and bobs,

This year I thought about what I actually spend on the stocking and the contents, and decided to have a look at the pre-filled stockings that you can get readily made up. 

They are a great idea if you have looked high and low for the perfect contents, already have a budget in mind, or cannot find a decent sized stocking to hold everything. Stocking Fillers have a number of different stockings for a wide range of people:

- Girl Stocking 3 Plus
- Girl Stocking 14 Plus
- Female Stocking
- Boy Stocking 3 Plus
- Boy Stocking 8 Plus
- Boy Stocking 14 Plus

I am making it my personal mission to be completely wrapped and finished before Christmas Eve, so that come night fall I can relax with a well deserved mulled wine, and watch the Christmas television line up with Leo. 

How to choose the right type of blinds for your home

At first, buying blinds might not seem like such a big deal. However, these window dressings may have more of an impact on your property than you think. As well as helping to complete your interior design schemes, they affect comfort levels in your rooms. To help ensure you make savvy purchasing decisions, here’s a brief guide to selecting the best blinds for your home.

Focus on the practicalities
First and foremost, make sure you consider the practicalities. As well as looking pretty, you’ll want these window dressings to offer you the perfect levels of light and privacy. For example, if you’re keen to optimise the natural light on offer in your living room but you don’t want passers-by on the street to see straight into this space, you may be best off opting for sunscreen designs. These blinds can keep out prying eyes while letting maximum light in and, as specialist suppliers Curtain World state, they can also prevent potentially harmful UV rays from entering rooms.

Alternatively, in bedrooms - where you may want to be able to keep sunlight out completely - blockout blinds could be better. Closing these window dressings allows you to create total darkness in these rooms. It can also help to keep the spaces cool in summer and warm in winter.

Consider your design scheme
Once you’ve decided on the style of window dressings you want, it’s time to turn your attention to colours and patterns. Perhaps you’d like to make a bold design statement by opting for blinds in striking hues or with eye-catching embellishments. On the other hand, maybe you want the new additions to your home to blend into the background to create a subtle, calming effect.

If you’re not sure which look to go for, consider arranging to see samples of various different fabrics in your home. You may be able to order test materials online or even arrange for a supplier to bring samples to your property. Viewing the relevant fabrics in your rooms next to your furnishings, walls and flooring can help you to make the right decisions.

Make sure they measure up
Last but not least, make sure you get your measurements right. To do this, you’ll need to decide exactly where you want your blinds to fit. For example, ask yourself if you want the accessories to slot inside your window frames or you’d prefer outside-mounted designs instead. If you opt for the latter, you’ll need to include your frames in your measurements. If you’re not sure exactly how to take these measurements, contact your blinds supplier. They should be able to guide you through the process and ensure you don’t make any mistakes. On the other hand, if you simply guess, you could end up with poorly fitting blinds that spoil your overall design scheme.

As long as you take tips like these into consideration when you’re hunting for blinds, you should succeed in getting the ideal versions for your property.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembering on Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

November 11, Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. 

A day that marks the end of the First World War and we as a nation mark it with 2 minutes silence to remember all of the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Today is Remembrance Day, and on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month we fall silent for 2 minutes and remember those who fought and died for Britain. We mark our respects with Poppies, they commemorate those who died in the war, and at 11am schools, offices, churches and even leisure center's fall silent as we mark the time that the allied forces declared an end to fighting with Germany 97 years ago. 

Remembrance Day

Today I arrived at the gym shortly before 11am, and a announcement was radioed out over the speakers all over the leisure centre to let everyone know that it was time to pay our respects. Everywhere went quiet. The music stopped. No one muttered a word, everyone around me stopped what they were doing, no one was exercising, no one was doing anything. 

I was sat on the floor on my yoga mat. I lowered my head and thought about those who died so that we could live, and live in the freedom that we have grown accustomed to. The 2 minutes seemed to last a lifetime, and as I lifted my head to look around the room I felt proud to see that everyone was paying their respects.

Remembrance Day

I thought about Leo at school where he would be taking part in his very first Remembrance Day, I expect that they would have been in assembly at this time, the reception class having the nature of te day explained to them for one of the first times. The teachers letting them know the reasons behind falling silent. I think it is so important to teach our children to respect and remember. the war may have happened long before our generation...our children's generation, but can you imagine how different the world would be today if they hadn't fought for what they believed in? If they hadn't fought for our freedom? For Britain?  

Remembrance Day

It's part of who we are. Some of us had Grandparents, Great Grandparents who fought. If they didn't go out to battle, they still have some incredible stories. My own Grandmother has spoken about her memories of what happened and how they lived through it. I think for young children hearing about these memories can be so valuable, it's one thing learning in schools, but when your direct family tell you their own personal accounts, the words and the history comes alive. 

So today when I go and pick Leo up from school, I will be asking him what he has learned today just like I do everyday. Only today I will also be asking him about Remembrance Day and his 2 minute silence. 

The Essential High Density Memory Foam Mattress Topper Review

My younger sister just treated herself to a brand new double bed, being the youngest of four children she has had the unlucky role of having everything and anything passed down to her over the years, including old beds. This is the first time she has ever had the excitement of having a brand new bed that is her own, and I knew that the only other thing that could make this experience even more amazing for her, was a memory foam mattress topper. 

Luckily for Alice, I had actually just been offered the rather splendid opportunity to put the Essential high density memory foam mattress topper from mattressnextday through it's paces. Alice jumped straight to mind and it was the perfect surprise for her when it arrived the following week. To say that she was like a child at Christmas would actually be a pretty accurate description, and she has done nothing but rave about how amazing it is since it was installed on top of her old mattress.

The Essential high density memory foam mattress topper is 2.5cm deep, and works to improve the comfort offered by your current mattress to help improve your night's sleep. The topper is available as foam only, it doesn't have it's own cover. I personally would like the topper to have the addition of a cover, it actually reminded me a little bit of loft insulation when it was delivered, but for the price tag of £29.99 you aren't breaking the bank, and you do receive a quality product that slots  effortlessly between your mattress and your bottom sheet, offering a layer of additional comfort. 

The 2.5cm memory foam mattress topper uses your body temperature to mould to your body shape whilst you sleep, this ensures the perfect position for your body. I asked Alice how she was sleeping and she told me that it is extremely comfortable and that she is really pleased with her new mattress topper. It's proven it's self as a great alternative to getting a full fledged memory foam mattress, and she is more than happy with the solution.

Alice gives the Double Essential Memory Foam Mattress Topper a big thumbs up.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Double Essential Memory Foam Mattress Topper for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely those of Alice and Life Unexpected. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10 Kids Bedroom You'll Wish You Had This Christmas

All children are different. They each have their own personalities, interests and hobbies. But all too quickly, our children grow up and fly the nest. This makes grasping those early years with both hands and promoting creativity and fun hugely important.

One way to do this is to ensure they have their very own individualised space in which to be themselves. An ideal place for this is their bedroom - a personalised space, just for them. For us a kids white midsleeper cabin bed may simply be a place to sleep. To a child it can be so much more - from a spaceship to a flying carpet! So how about taking things to the next level and going all out to create something spectacular?

1. Tree House Bedroom

What childhood is complete without memories of climbing trees and building tree houses? Try to incorporate this into your child’s bedroom by creating their very own ‘all-weather’ tree house. 

2. Princess Room
Many girls go through a princess phase. If your child is a 'girly girl', why not turn their bedroom into something straight from a Disney film? This gorgeous princess room really is a whole new world. 

3. Tree Swing Room
Your cheeky monkey will be swinging from the trees with this extra-special, nature-inspired bedroom. Add some soft ceiling lights so they can slumber under the stars. 

4. Pirate Ship Bedroom
Let your child sail away every night with this awesome pirate ship bed, complete with slide.

5. Sweet Pea Garden Bunk Bed
These bunk beds are perfect if your children share a room, or for those who enjoy having friends to stay for sleepovers. The colourful and intricate design certainly provides the wow factor and makes for a really cosy hideaway for your little sweet peas.

6. Teepee Bedroom
Why not craft your very own tepee so your kids can camp out in style? Fill with colourful rugs and cushions for extra comfort and style. 

7. Cottage Bedroom
Another great space-saving bedroom, this cute cottage-style bunk bed is cleverly designed to provide the perfect space for your child to cosy up in at night and a fun playhouse to keep them occupied during the day.

8. Football Bedroom with Slide
If your child is into rugby or football, this is the bed for them. It comes complete with slide and useful under-bed storage, so they will simply adore this colourful mid sleeper.

9. Climbing Wall Room
Take the phrase “climb into bed” to a whole new level with this clever climbing wall room. Active kids will love to improve their strength and co-ordination with this super-cool design, or simply have fun as they whiz down the slide each morning.

10. Gymnastics Bedroom
Is your child a budding gymnast? Then this is definitely the bedroom for them. Fill their space with ropes, ladders, nets and swings, and mats to provide a safe soft landing. Pair with a white mid sleeper cabin bed to create a playroom your little acrobat with simply adore.


We are going on holiday!

Sometimes it feels like the world is closing in on you, everyone is moving forward but you are stood frozen to the spot, change is happening and you accept that. Your taking baby steps and you know that your going in the right direction but you have reservations about pretty much everything. Should I do this, should I do that? 

This weekend I felt like the walls were going to fall in on me and with those reservations at the fore front of my mind I decided to be spontaneous. I needed something to focus on, something to look forward to again, something for just Leo and I to do together. I wanted to jet off far away to blue skies and sandy beaches. I just wanted to take a few days, or even a week to ourselves, and forget about everything that has been said, and the things that haven't yet been said.

I sat at the laptop with thoughts running through my mind, and before I knew it I was looking at all of the different Expedia package holidays that were online for the coming months ahead. Suddenly I felt like I had to do something, It was completely out of character for me, I never do anything like this, especially in the instance that it would mean it was just Leo and I running off on a holiday this time. Our very first holiday all on our own, no second pair of hands, no additional support. Just Leo and I jetting off into the sunset on our very own adventure.

Maybe the thought should have scared me, maybe it should have put me off even looking at holiday's. Maybe it should have stopped me in my tracks. But it didn't. In fact as I sat there looking at all of the different packages available.. I instantly knew exactly where I wanted to go. 

As soon as the thought entered my mind, I knew that I was going to be making a booking imminently. I'm the kind of girl that acts as soon as she has made her mind up about something, it's both a blessing and a curse. I knew exactly where we would be going, I knew the hotel that we would be staying at, because it was only back in June that we visited, and I had decided there and then that I was going to return

I took Leo's school holiday's into consideration, I checked the dates against the available dates for May 2016. I find the perfect deal, and before I knew it I will tentatively filling out the booking form. I was filling in my card details. I was dancing outside of my usual comfort zone and making plans for the future. 

So Leo and I have booked a holiday. Just the two of us. Us against the world. 

I have decided that life is to short to sit and watch the months roll by. From here and now I will actively make plans. I will give people chances, I will stop making comparisons, I will stop looking backwards. I won't even glance over my shoulder anymore. I am not going that way, not any more.

I cannot wait for this next chapter of my life, my life with Leo. I cannot wait to head to the airport and catch that flight, where we will return to visit the friends that we made. I cannot wait to sit on the beach and cover my toes in the sand, I can't wait to build sand castles and chase waves. 

This holiday is something that we both need, and I am ready.

People cannot believe that I am actually doing this. But you know what? When I say that I am going to do something. I am going to do it! I might sometimes take my time before I act, but I am going to do it one way or another. 

And guess what? 

I did it!