Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What’s Your Ideal Toilet?

The toilet has come from being a uniform, utilitarian bathroom feature to being a style statement in itself. Nowadays toilets are available in a bewildering range of shapes, sizes and varieties, with the latest addition being the wall-mounted type. 

If you’re remodelling your bathroom, you need to know about the different types of toilet and understand some of the jargon so that when you go to you know exactly what you’re talking about. 

The closed-coupled toilet 
This type is the UK’s most popular and it consists of the familiar two pieces of porcelain – the cistern and the bowl. One good thing about this type is that it comes in a wide range of styles and colours so you’ll have more choices when it comes to expressing your style. The closed-coupled is also the cheapest option, both in terms of equipment and installation. 

The other advantage this type has is that the soil pipe can go out and to the right, left, down or back. 

The back-to- wall toilet 
A more modern take on the toilet is the back-to- wall design. This sort has the cistern hidden behind a wall or a cabinet to offer a sleek, neat and modern look. It can also be a big space saver because some concealed cisterns are as shallow as 10cm, which is much slimmer than the average closed-coupled tank. 

You can still get to the cistern if you need to – either through a panel in the cabinet or by removing a flush plate if it’s in a wall. This means maintenance and repairs are just as easy as they are with a regular style toilet. 

The wall-mounted toilet 
Wall-mounted toilets also have the cistern hidden away in furniture or behind a flush plate, but the cistern and the toilet are supported by a very strong wall frame. This toilet can fit to any wall as long as it’s supported and reinforced well enough. 

The frame can support up to 200kg in weight if it’s installed properly, so most people don’t need to worry about ripping it out of the wall. Wall- mounted toilets are ideal for a smaller bathroom as the floor underneath them creates the feeling of more open space. In fact, this type of toilet does also save some space in a similar way to the back-to- wall variety. 

The closed-back toilet 
This variety is also known as the fully-enclosed toilet and it’s a closed- coupled toilet that fits fully against the wall so it looks compact and neat. 

You can’t use this model, however, if the soil pipe exits to the right or to the left of the toilet. It’s easy to keep clean and you don’t have to look at a U-bend or other unsightly pipework. 

The comfort height toilet 
These toilets are around 4-5cm higher than regular ones so that they’re more comfortable for users. It might not seem much, but that extra 4- 5cm makes a lot of difference to the user if he or she is very tall, elderly or has mobility problems. Sitting down and getting up can be painful for many people, especially if they have arthritis in the knees or hips, so anything that makes life easier is more than welcome.

Implants Vs Dentures – What is the Difference?

Dentures, or false teeth as they are also known, have been around for many years, and for those who have lost their original set of teeth, dentures were the only way to remedy that, at least until the birth of dental implant technology. 

For those who wear dentures, the routine will already be embedded into your psyche, with many time consuming tasks to be carried out to maintain your removable teeth, which after a while, become second nature. The glass of water by the bed provides immersion for the teeth, while giving your overworked gums some much needed rest, and with a special denture cleaning pill dropped into the water before you sleep, your teeth are perfectly clean and ready to chomp. 

A Simple Plate

Image by EnvisionTEC via Flickr

Dentures are made from a special cast, which is applied to the roof of the mouth, and this impression gives the dentist the exact shape of your upper and lower jaw, which is then used to create the dentures. If you would like to know how much dentures cost, an online search will bring up a list of dental clinics that specialise in dentures, and you will get an idea of the cost range. The plate is either made with a rigid, acrylic resin or a special type of polymer, and is, of course, the same colour as your gums, making the dentures look natural. The plate must fit well, and usually are fixed in place using a special oral adhesive that will keep the dentures in place for the entire day. Often, the dentist will have to make minor adjustments to the plate using a high speed buffing tool, and while the wearer might experience some discomfort initially, this does not last long.

Image by drdaisy96

This is a revolutionary method that involves drilling into the jawbone and attaching tungsten steel pins, which will provide the anchor for the implants. Tungsten steel is used because it can easily fuse with bone, and after some time, is essentially part of the jaw structure. The implants could range from a single tooth to a full set of teeth, and typically, a full set of upper implants would be fabricated as a single unit, which is secured to the tungsten pins in 3 or 4 locations, giving the wearer a perfect set of teeth that are not removable. There are interesting articles online that discuss the risks and benefits of dental implants, and in particular, single tooth implants. 

As you might expect, dental implants are not cheap, but whether it is a single tooth or a complete set, implants are the closest one can get to the real thing. The implants would be guaranteed for many years, and there are different price brackets, depending on the implant material, and, as with all new technology, prices will invariably level out, making implants available to all. 

Dentistry, like every other profession, has had its fair share of innovations, and implants are a long term solution for missing teeth, with benefits that far outweigh dentures.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Uggs - Boots that last


Years ago my other half treated me to a pair of Uggs, I think this was partly because he was fed up of seeing the worn out soles on my unofficial Ugg boots, and I have to admit that all these years later they are still serving me well. The soles are still in fantastic condition and they are looking over all super.

This one pair of Uggs has ultimately converted me, because as with anything else in life you really do get what you pay for. I have a feeling that my Uggs were a Christmas present dating back from before Leo was born, which makes them over 6 years old. 

How amazing is that?

I used to think that the initial cost was quite pricey but when broken down over a 6 year time frame it really isn't much at all. It is for that very reason that I have been considering a new Uggs purchase now that it is officially winter boots season. 


As I have a perfectly good pair of what I refer to as traditional Uggs (black knit ankle length), I have been considering something a little different. There is a fantastic Ugg Sale on and they currently have these gorgeous Ellecia Wedged Boots in Chestnut, they are very similar to a pair of boots I already own, but they don't get worn very often as they are so uncomfortable (which again reiterates that you get what you pay for!), and if a new pair of Uggs lasted as long as the pair that I already have, it can only be a win.


When it comes to wedge boots they are my absolute favourite, but unless I can combine the comfort with the look, then I can't help but put them to the back of my closet. I don't mind paying more for something if I know it will get used, they will be comfortable and they look good (even 6+ years later!).

Every girl needs a pair of brown ankle boots, and I think that I may just have to pick a pair up from LovetheSales!

After all £138.00 over 6 years works out as a complete and utter bargain!

Autumn Appreciation


This last week you can most certainly feel that Autumn chill in the air, and I have found myself wrapping up warmer on the school run, and even for those dog walks that up until recently have been too warm for a jacket of any sort. 

It really is pretty incredible what only a few weeks can do to the weather, It was only a couple of weekends ago that the entire family dispelled to Kenilworth Castle to make the most of the beautiful sunshine in nothing but shorts and t-shirts, yet now summer has all of a sudden just vanished into the distance, almost as though it had never been at all. 

I do love the cooler weather, but equally I hate being cold so I have to make sure that I am dressed for the occasion, and that for me involves a thick snuggly coat that is comparable to a duvet or a warm hug. It can't be argued with that Autumn is a truly beautiful time of the year, yesterday I decided to take the puppy out for a long walk to take in all of the gorgeous colours that were now starting to show on the trees.

Autumn Tree

There is one tree in our village that I always admire, the leaves have already started to turn and very soon the entire tree will be dressed in a sea of orange, almost as though it is alight in flames, before finally they will all drop to the floor and Winter will be truly here.

With it getting so much chillier I am having to start thinking about a new coat, and as it will have to be something that accompanies on walks with Lux (aka the asbo puppy), I always tend to opt for darker colours as he has a tendency of  getting me pretty mucky while we are out and about in muddy fields. 

I found this gorgeous puffer coat which would be ideal for those colder dog walks, being a dark colour means that I don't need to be as precious with it as I would if I was going to wear White, Cream or Beige. 

Image Credit: Lyst
There are some really nice new Winter Coats in at Topshop right now.

It might only be September but it really does feel like we could be in for a rather cold few winter period, and I for one would absolutely love that. Leo has only ever seen snow when he was very young, and he has been wishing for the last couple of years that it would come back for him to build his first proper snowman, as for the dog he has never seen it before at all. 

How nice would it be to have a white christmas? Yes I did just say the C word, because realistically now is the time to be preparing for the big day. I have already started making lists of gifts that I am planning for those nearest and dearest to me, because I am determined not to be running around last minute come December. 

I am definitely going to be adding a new dog walking coat to my own Christmas list this year!

Poki - Flip Master Review

Poki - Flip Master Review

Flip Master 
Trampoline games aren’t exactly a trending genre. Or, at least they weren’t until Flip Master. From the creators of Flip Diving, Flip Master is one of the most fully-featured, well-rounded, and addictive trampoline games. 

Controlled Flight 
Flip Master is a single-player, one-button sports title. The sport is trampolining, and it’s much easier in the game than in real life. Click the mouse button or tap the screen, and hold to spin in the air. One swipe can send an athlete flipping 50 feet above the ground. There are Olympic-level tricks and combo routines to uncover. The Dudette, Big Dave, and an acrobatic ninja are at your mercy. Dress them up, get in shape, and learn how to become one of the most skilled trampolinists in the world. 

Each athlete has the potential to become a legend. Much like in the real world, you pay for certain tiers of success. There are 10 levels per attribute in Flip Master. Going from lvl-1 to lvl-2 costs 50 coins. The next upgrade costs twice as much. After that, you guessed it—the price keeps doubling. The exponentially rising costs prevent players from acquiring too many skills too fast. It also gives us a reason to keep playing (we need those coins!). 

Every skill can be upgraded, from jump and tuck power to confidence, balance, and centering. The power skills are rather straightforward; more jump power means higher jumps, and more tuck power means faster spins. Increased confidence results in sharper trick execution. More balance and centering abilities prevent a plethora of landing accidents. 

Training isn’t the only way to get better. Flip Master has 11 power-ups, which range from temporary ability boosts to point bonuses. Superjump, Superspin, and Superpush let athletes bounce higher, flip faster, and glide more easily. Those three power-ups last for a minute and a half, which you can use in one round or spread across shorter ventures. Other 90-second power-ups include Immortal (head hits don’t hurt), Coin Rain (falling gold), and Bouncing Coins (self-explanatory). 

The other half of this game power-ups last for a full two minutes. These include the invaluable Coin Magnet, Medicine Balls, and Foam Cubes, all of which make scoring much easier. The 120- second Safety Net protects athletes from falling off the sides of trampolines. Bullet Time is possibly the best power-up, because it slows down time, giving players complete control over each microsecond in the air. 

Way to Play 
There’s only one way to begin in Flip Master: The Dude in the Backyard level. After that, the journey varies wildly from player to player. There are prizes from the in-game lottery, random bonuses, and unlockables from the shop. The Flip Master map isn’t linear; instead, you can take any route you wish. You might go to one of the most advanced and exciting levels directly after the Backyard. Or, you could progress through several incremental trampolines along the way. Hop off the  round and reach for the clouds in Flip Master.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Pomelody Launches to Give Children the Gift of Learning & Development Through Music


Pomelody launches to give children the gift of learning and development through music

- Home-based e-learning music platform for pre-schoolers aims to unlock a
child’s innate musical talent and potentially increase IQ by 18% -

- For parents, Pomelody offers the ability to have fun and connect with their infants.
No music background required. 

“… It’s the sheer joy and bonding between a child and its parents that makes music so magical.” 

When Leo was a baby I remember thinking how lacking the music available was for young toddlers and children, and it turns out that I was not alone in this mindset. Adam and Anna developed Pomelody which is a comprehensive online music education system for children 0-6 and their families. 

It's the world’s first music education e-learning platform for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. 

Pomelody is designed from the ground up to stimulate a child’s music potential while giving parents (even those with no music ability) an opportunity to bond and have fun. Every quarter, Pomelody delivers an online (via PC, laptop, tablet) series of music.

I can't help wishing that this was around when Leo was younger, the music sounds incredible and I believe that this would have been something that Leo would have adored. If I go on to have any future children, I would be very interested in introducing Pomelody from a young age. I can't help but wonder if Leo had fallen in love with music, whether this would have helped him and his academic struggles now.

London, UK and New York, US 14 th September: 
Pomelody today announced that they are ready to bring fun, family-bonding music education to children and parents everywhere. 

The idea came from professional musicians Adam and Anna who, whilst raising a young family and knowing how powerfully music impacts on a child’s development, tried to find musical content that they could use in order to interact with their children. There was very little musical content available and what was available was unstructured. They set about designing, testing and recording a series of specially recorded songs, music theory tutorials for parents and animated stories for kids. 


The result is the first simple to access (online via PC, laptop or tablet), fun and engaging platform for parents to embrace music along with their young children. Indeed, the first music-making classes for families ever put on video. 

The production of content (season one is finalized) and building the platform is nearly finished. 

Pomelody is now turning to Kickstarter to secure funding of $30,000 to help develop further seasons (delivered quarterly) and to finish the platform build. 


What do you get as a series backer of Pomelody? (earlybird discount $69) 

- Collection of 25 songs - composed, recorded and produced with 12 different bands/artists 
- 10 Pomelody classes recorded 
-One songbook 
- 3 animated lectures with music theory for parents 
- Animated stories

Importantly, Pomelody also has a stretch goal of $55,000 on Kickstarter which will enable the development of an institutional version of the platform, giving free access to orphanages around the world. 

Adam, Weber founder of Pomelody, said: “Music is such a powerful medium to stimulate a child’s imagination. Its benefits stretch way beyond childhood with many reports suggesting that it can boost an individual’s adult IQ by up to 18%, compared to children with no early years music exposure. Whilst this is motivation in itself, it's the sheer joy and bonding between a child and its parents that makes interacting with music so magical. With Pomelody we have a created a unique opportunity for
families to bond, to learn, to have fun and to stimulate the next generation. We are very excited to bring this project to market and, fingers crossed, we can achieve our stretch goal and give free access to underprivileged children around the world.”

Getting the Most Out of Your Garden

I have really adored the warmer weather (the times that the sun decided to come out and actually stick around for a day or two). It was extra special this year because it was our first proper summer in our new home. When we moved in last year, we had so much going on with unpacking and trying to get some sort of order In place (that combined with a 8 week old puppy....) we didn't really get chance to enjoy the summer months.

Now although It might feel like you have blinked and all of a sudden the summer has transitioned into Autumn, apparently our calendars are correct and it really is mid September already. 

The cooler weather may have us reaching to shut the windows but that doesn't mean that we need to bid our Gardens fare well just yet though.

September can be an amazing time to be outside, everything is turning golden and some days you could even fool yourself into thinking that summer might be sticking around a little longer (even if those magical thoughts do some crashing down with the arrival of Aileen!) 

But how do you make sure you get the most out of your garden at this time of year? Here are some of my go to tips for when it comes to enjoying the garden in the fall:

Create a cosy corner
This could be absolutely anything that helps you to relax and unwind. Maybe you have a favourite piece of garden furniture? A water fountain? Or how about a pop up gazebo with a rattan table and chairs?

Look after your lawn
I find that we are having to constantly care for our lawn (the joys of having a dog!) If the Autumn weather is making your lawn glum, then show it some love with a liquid feed, it will be back to full health in no time.

Tidy borders and the garden
Now is the time to start prepping your garden for next Spring, and of course the forthcoming Winter months ahead. Tidy up he borders and remove the dead foliage, put down some compost ready for the new bulbs and seeds that you will soon be planting.

I spend a lot of time outside regardless as to the time of year, having a dog means that we are always out on walks or letting him in and out of the patio doors (because he likes to demand entry back into the house as soon as you sit down to relax!). 

We have a plum tree that hangs over the fence into our back garden, and I am constantly having to pick up the windfall plums that keep landing on my patio. The dog keeps bringing in plum on the padding of his paws (my sofas are not thankful for this!).

 I keep meaning to pick some of the plums and make the most of having this lush fruit growing so close to home. I cant help thinking how nice it would be to make Leo some homemade plum jam, so I really must add this to my to do list before I miss he opportunity for the second year in a row. 

I'm still holding out hope for an Indian summer, we will forget that storm Aileen has taken the life of one of my prized sunflowers. We are often blessed with some beautiful days in September, and it would be nice to start the Autumn months in style as I for one am not ready to leave my garden days behind just yet. 

Horse riding - Learning to Ride

Horse riding - Learning to Ride

We all have some pretty wild and crazy aspirations as children, it's their over active imaginations and something that we really need to encourage as they grow. I wasn't any different, there was a time when I was going to run away to Neverland with Peter Pan, and also that time I was convinced that Aladdin was on his way to pick me up on his magic carpet (Disney obviously had a very big impact on my childhood!).

As a child one of my biggest dreams was learning to horse ride, and there was a time where I was adamant that instead of learning to drive, I would instead own a horse and just ride around EVERYWHERE. When I say everywhere I was thinking literally everywhere you would drive. Across country, to work, to the shops, heck even on holiday! 

I did eventually get riding lessons during my early school years, and to this day I can remember that white ponies name - Minty. Unfortunately the lessons were never consistent and I never really harnessed any skills, but still that dream of one day riding my horse to the shops played over and over in my mind.

When we eventually moved from our home in Yorkshire to the Midlands, I was really excited to hear that I could start having some lessons again, but as with most things I attempted as a child (tap dance, karate and learning the flute being among the clubs I attempted and subsequently quit), it didn't quite pan out that way. 

This new stables did allow me to get a lot more hands on, I was allowed to care for the horses and it definitely provided a great source of responsibility, I never did get used to all of the different horse products though.

I can't really recall what made me step away from my dream of learning to ride, it was definitely before I put myself forward for the driving test that I always swore I wouldn't need (you know because I was going to have a horse!).

I have actually ridden in more recent years, and boy what an experience that was. I never really did have any grace, and I never did acquire any skills in the equestrian department, and this really did shine through on that day I went out into the Cotswolds on the back of a rather large horse...

The whole day was arranged through a friend, and the horses were owned by a family friend, she helped me kit the horse up, and off we went. The horse went slowly at first and then out of nowhere decided to pick up speed. Faster and faster he went, until finally I was dangling from the horses neck (I wasn't even on the horses back any longer!).

I decided then and there that any hope of one day being able to ride a horse was now officially never going to happen, and I was suddenly really glad I had opted to learn to drive a car! 

I think that with anything learning to ride a horse is all about time and consistency, and I believe that the younger that you start, the more naturally these lessons will be absorbed.

Maybe one day I will get back in the saddle, but I for one don't want to be hanging on for dear life again.

Good and Bad Points About Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl Flooring
Image by Murisons via Flickr

If you are looking to decorate your home and also going to change the flooring at the same time, you may wish to consider vinyl flooring for specific rooms in your house. Vinyl floors are easy to maintain and are perfect for areas of your home which receive a high amount of foot traffic. You can get some excellent tips on keeping vinyl floors and also see how easy they are to clean on various websites online, and below are some of the pros and cons of installing vinyl flooring in your home. 

The Advantages Of Vinyl Flooring
There are many advantages to vinyl flooring that you will want to consider before making your choice of which material to use in your home. 

-Super Low Maintenance – Vinyl floors are very easy to keep clean and tidy, and a quick sweep of the floor when they are dry followed by cleaning with a mop will have your floors sparkling in no time at all. 

-Hard Wearing – When you install this type of flooring material you have the benefit of one of the most durable floor coverings available other than stone. As with many other things the quality can vary, so it is worth investing a little extra and making sure you get a material that is of the best quality and Market Timbers offer high-quality vinyl flooring in Melbourne and surrounding areas.

-Water & Stain Resistant – One of the most favourite features of this type of floor covering is that it is resistant to both water, and also stains. With the correct maintenance, your floor will remain looking as good as it did the day it was laid. If you do get some wear and tear and have installed vinyl tiles, you can easily replace these without having to replace the entire floor. 

-Cheap And Readily Available – You can find vinyl flooring available from many retailers, and the quality can vary. However, good quality vinyl flooring is still relatively cheap when compared to other options such as engineered wooden floors.

The Disadvantages Of Vinyl Flooring
There are also some disadvantages to installing vinyl floors in your home such as; 
-Uneven Floor Surfaces – You cannot install this type of flooring on an uneven surface as pockets of air will show and over time you will get uneven wear. It would be best if you can hire a professional to have it installed rather than doing it on your own. 

-Yellows With Age – You can find that vinyl flooring over time will discolour with age and can often turn a yellowish colour, which is due to the chemicals used in their production. This would usually happen when the vinyl flooring lacked proper maintenance. 

These are just a few of the pros and cons of vinyl flooring, and you can find others when you look on the internet. If you are looking for a good quality but an affordable option for your home, then vinyl flooring may just be what you have been looking for!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Life with a Dalmatian

Life with a Dalmatian

When I decided to get a puppy I thought that I had covered every base. I had done extensive breed research, I had conducted even more breed research after setting my heart on a Dalmatian, and I was armed with the knowledge of their health conditions and how to help him grow and thrive. 

It turns out that no matter how much research you put in, nothing can really prepare you for having a puppy, or a dog in general for that matter. 

Lux has kept me on my toes everyday, I have learned that I cannot leave ANYTHING at all on the kitchen side because he will get hold of it, and he will chew or shred it into submission. I have learned that even if I don't leave anything on the side for him to destroy, he will create some new kind of carnage of his own, the most recent venture has been the chewing of my laminate floor (I guess you could say he is helping me with the home improvement costs, as now when I get the kitchen tiled, the guys won't have quite as much floor to tear up!)

Life with a Dalmatian

He certainly looks very proud of himself don't you think? I guess I should just be thankful that he grew out of eating the dry wall...

I have found myself doing things that I didn't ever think I would need to do. Ever heard of anyone who actually hoovers their washing machine? Yup, I use the vacuum cleaner to get all of Lux's hair out. I was aware that Dalmatian's shed 365 days a year, don't get me wrong, but was I prepared for the level of dog hair? There is not enough reading material in the world to prepare me for the Tsunami of wire like hair that comes from having a Dalmatian, it sticks to your clothes and you will find it in places you would never expect to find it. 

Just this morning I insisted that Leo wear his dressing gown to breakfast, as I didn't want him wearing his school uniform around the pup. Not after I had washed it (and found that it somehow had remnants of Lux still on it), then I used a sticky roller to make sure that it was completely free of Lux and finally ironed the set. I was pretty impressed with myself when I managed to get Leo out of the door with no dog hair on him at all! 

Life with a Dalmatian

We have recently installed a stair gate, not for Leo, but for the dog. Lux seizes opportunities to go galloping off up the stairs, it''s in the space of a few seconds that he manages to cause absolute carnage. He will steal soft toys, clothing and anything else he can get his paws on, so the stair gate means that upstairs is a completely dog free space. No dogs allowed. 

This means that I don't need to worry about anything dog related upstairs, no dog hair, no dog destruction, no nothing. That means that I can keep on top of downstairs and makes life that little bit easier. 

Lux might be one of the most mischievous pups I have ever met, but he is loving and enjoys a good fuss. Thankfully although he does create some additional housework and mayhem at times, he does have a few perks going for him, he doesn't have a doggy smell and he doesn't dribble (unless of course you have food that he wants to eat!)


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Outdoor development: How our children are confronting nature

Kenilworth Castle

Playing outdoors and exploring as a child is no longer as appealing as it used to be. Since the 1970s, attitudes towards nature and the outdoors have changed drastically. Parents and teachers are more conscious of stranger danger and children have technology-based entertainment in the comfort of their own homes.

Due to this, children’s outdoor development is being compromised as they are presented with an alternative reality in their bedroom that distracts them from the world outside their window. In collaboration with Infinite Playgrounds, advocates of outside play and designers of natural outdoor playground equipment, we explore how and why a child’s experience has been limited when it comes to the outdoors in the modern age.


The internet and smart devices boast many benefits with regards to how children learn, play and communicate. However, Britain’s children still watch more than 17 hours of television per week and spend more than 20 hours a week online – that is almost 40 hours a week in front of a screen.
In contrast to two to three decades ago, children are opting to stay indoors and fulfil a screen-based lifestyle on social media and websites. However, some also believe that although smart technologies can be educational, it is the well-meaning sensibility of parents that are limiting children when it comes outdoor play.

Kenilworth Castle

Child safety

When children do venture outside, they aren’t exploring half as much as they used to. Figures show that the radius around the parental home where children play has shrunk by almost 90% compared to 1970. Similarly, in 1971, 80% of seven and eight year olds walked to school alone or with a friend. Two decades later, this number has drastically decreased to only 10% most of whom were accompanied by their parent or guardian. If this is the case when walking to school, then the chances of a child roaming freely in natural settings with their friends is slim.
There is no one to blame here, parents simply want their children to remain safe; however, an almost overprotective approach can compromise a child’s mental and physical health.

Kenilworth Castle

Physical and mental impact

Playing outdoors as a child, or in natural settings, leads to a fit and healthy lifestyle in adulthood. This is because outdoor play is associated with an active lifestyle, whereas inactive lifestyles are associated to those who remain relatively immobile indoors.

Physical effects

Children’s physical health and well-being is being drastically affected by their reluctance to play outdoors. Around three in ten children in England that are aged between 2 and 15 are considered overweight or obese. If these current trends continue, then by 2050 more than half of all adults, and a quarter of all children, will be obese.

Mental effects

It is hard to avoid the abundance of research that is reporting an increase in child mental health problems in the digital age. The Good Childhood Inquiry found that between 1974 and 1999, the number of children suffering from emotional and behavioural problems increased drastically. Now, one in ten children between the ages of 5 and 16 have a mental health disorder that has been clinically diagnosed.

For children living in urbanised areas, the countryside is an unknown landscape to which they are rarely exposed to. This has altered many children’s perceptions of reality and changed their physical state of mind. As well as mental health problems, a lack of engagement with the natural world has meant that many children can’t learn the resilience and natural problem-solving skills that come with being outdoors and fending for yourself.

Kenilworth Castle

Why should children be venturing outdoors?

As discussed, the attitudes towards exercise and keeping fit in adulthood stem from activity and a good well-being as a child. If a modern society is to stay healthy throughout their lifespan, children should be looking to play outdoors to make exercise a part of their everyday lives from an early age.
By wandering beyond their back yard, children become exposed to more natural landscapes and learn to play in more innovative ways. Here, children can open themselves up to new experiences and stimuli that they may never have discovered. Our natural world is highly complex with an abundance of shapes, textures and spaces for children to explore, discover and hide within.

Mental health greatly depends on physical health. Therefore, playing in new and interesting ways is nourishing for a child’s overall well-being. Letting go of the smart device and getting children outside to discover the great outdoors just may be the making of them. 

Winter Is Coming (So are the Spiders!)

Today is the first day of the new school term, summer has officially ended and the (dare I say it?) wind down to the Christmas season has commenced. X Factor is back on our television screens, Tesco have brought out the very tempting boxes of chocolate, and there is a familiar chill in the air again. 

I have always loved this time of year, watching as Autumn brushes past each tree and gently changing the leaves from green to golden. There is something very satisfying about being able to wrap up warm when you step outside into the seasonal breeze, and something as equally satisfying about coming home, relaxing in a hot bath and slipping into your favourite PJ's and watching your favourite box set on Netflix (with a hot chocolate of course!).

I am one of those girls who needs to be warm, I quite simply detest being cold and the nights have certainly got colder in the last few weeks, I have dug out my onesies from the very depth of my wardrobe (Much to the other halfs dismay!), but it has lead me to discover that I really need to invest in some new PJs and cosy nighttime wear before it get's too cold. 

I love a little bit of luxury when it comes to my PJs, I know I am not going to be wearing them out in public, but there are occasions where I will be in them as early as 5pm, so I don't mind splashing out. I have been looking at the luxury dressing gowns at David Nieper and think I might have to treat myself to the floral soft satin wrap. Usually I would opt for a thick fluffy gown, but I love the idea of satin and it means that I will still be able to make use of it when the weather starts to warm up again.

So far I have managed to avoid turning the heating on and hoisting the electric blanket out of the cupboard, but I think in the coming weeks and months this will change. I am not the only one who has noticed that the weather is cooling down... Have you seen the size of some of these house spiders that are making there way in right now? 

Big House Spider

I was catching up on Suits the other evening when I saw a something black trotting along the carpet, thankfully the puppy saw it too and bee lined for the offending trotting spider. Unfortunately for me Lux decided to sit on the sofa and play with it (until he finally ate it). 20 minutes later I was heading through to the kitchen when out from under the bathroom door, came the original spiders twin brother! Thankfully Lux was close at hand and took care of it (I knew that there was a reason I wanted a puppy!). 

Lux has become the resident spider assasinator, a role that he seems to be thoroughly enjoying, and the training for said position has gone from strength to strength, all we need to do now is ask Lux 'Where's the spider?' and he scours the walls/ floor until he finds it!

As I cannot see the spider invasion coming to a halt anytime soon, I guess I will just be thankful that Lux is now eating spiders and not the kitchen floor anylonger...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The working from home struggle

home office

Working from home can be a real challenge, if it's not the demands of the task at hand then it could be the people who think that because you 'work from home' you can drop everything to do them a favour (one that usually takes up the majority of the day!), or for instance today... School's out for summer, which means that Leo is at home until September.

I always find it hard working when Leo is around because I feel like it isn't something that he should have to endure, and I am lucky in the sense that my working life is very flexible around him. I should really be working evenings right now, so I can get everything done, but the reality is that this doesn't happen. 

I watched this video this morning and found myself laughing and nodding along with the scenario, do you see yourself?

Even when Leo is at school it can be hard to get everything that you need to do done, the dog needs walking, there's a class that you really want to do on at the gym...Life happens. It really is all about organisation and juggling everything around so that you have every base covered. 

The perks are that you can have coffee on tap, you can work in your PJ's and with bed hair...(So glad you cannot see me right now!) and you can take the dog out for a breath of fresh air.

I am lucky enough to have a home office, a setup with desk and a decent spec computer that allows me to get to work on my ever growing to do list. However... that is not to say that my setup is perfect, the one thing my home work space is missing, is a desk chair. It has been the next thing to buy for the home for a year now, but sadly there is always something more pressing that needs to be done. So what do I sit on? I sit on my vanity table bench, and it is far from comfortable I can tell you.

It is not a good seating position at all, and there are times I have to stand up just to give my back a rest, but the alternative is kneeling on the floor which in the grand scheme of things is an even less attractive option. 

I have been having a look online for some cheap office chairs, and I really need to make a decision and get one ordered.  Ideally I would like to have this sorted by September so that when Leo goes back to school, I can get straight back to work and be much more efficient.

How do you find working from home?

WIN £100 worth of Sandown Artificial Grass with Artificial Grass London

Summer UK

Summer is officially in full swing (even if the weather doesn't want to reflect this all of the time!), and any chance the sun shines is the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy your garden spaces. Right now I am in a little bit of despair with my own little garden, the lawn mower broke a few weeks ago and right now it looks like I am living among a wild wilderness, the dog merely steps outside and is engulfed by long green grass.

Okay so it is not quite as bad as I have let on, but still that lawn is getting rather unruly. I have purchased a new mower but as I have never personally mowed the lawn before, well... I am waiting for the man to get hands on with it. I have spoken before how I would love nothing more than just ripping the entire lawn up and putting down some artificial grass. Having a dog loose in the garden means that the poor lawn is always being burned by dog pee and dying back, finally rejuvenating and then the process repeats again, and again. 

I won't tell you how many grass seeds I have had to scatter...

I keep looking at what I would need to do for the garden, but there never seems to be a 'perfect' time to do it. I have read some amazing things about how it has improved gardens that have dogs running around (I cannot even begin to imagine what having 2 Dalmatians would do to my poor lawn!), and I think that in the long run it really would be an amazing investment.

Dalmatian Puppy


If any of you are looking to do away with your lawns in favour of an artificial lawn.... Then let me draw your attention to Artificial Grass London who are giving you the chance to win £100 worth of Sandown Artificial Grass (2m x 4m), which is the perfect size for smaller gardens that need a refresh.

All you need to do is enter on their website (here) and use the Gleam registration form.

The competition is open now and ends on the 25th September 2017 (so the winner will have the perfect space to enjoy what I hope will be an indian summer!).

The winner will be announced on the Artificial Grass Facebook Page on Tuesday 26th September 2017 - So make sure you have liked the page to see if you are the lucky winner. 

The perks of not having a 'real' lawn would actually be amazing, no cutting, no pet burn, no yellow grass, no mud from where the lawn has died... It really would make getting outside that much easier because it takes away so much of the maintenance that needs to be done. 

Well I best go and attempt to unpack this new lawn mower (turns out it's electric so I need to plug it in much like your conventional vacuum cleaner...Can you even imagine?), which to me just confirms that it's a Blue job and not a Pink job...

What are you waiting for? Hop on over and enter the giveaway!

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Yo! Sushi - A Family Affair - Worcester -Review

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

In my older years I have been much more open to experimenting with different types of food, but that was not always the case, as a child I was rather fussy and I wouldn't even eat basic fruit or vegetables. Leo has always been a rather fussy eater himself, and although vegetables are still a sore subject, in the last few years he has been really impressing myself and his Dad with the diverse new foods that he is willing to try.

Granted, he may not always love what he has tasted, but the fact is he has submitted himself to trying new things. 

The other week my little family unit were invited along to the brand new Yo! Sushi in Worcester that has not long opened up it's doors for the very first time. I wasn't sure what Leo would make of the Japanese cuisine, but I knew that he would be very impressed with the Japanese style 'kaiten' conveyor belt! 

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

Leo was a little unsure at the idea of the food, but I told him as long as he gave some things a try, if he didn't like anything and was still hungry, then he could have a McDonald's on the way home...

I myself have frequented Yo! Sushi on previous occasions so I had an idea of what to expect, but the other half and Leo were going along for the very first time, and I don't think either of them really knew what to expect. 

When people talk about Sushi, they automatically assume that it's simply raw fish, but I can assure you that is simply not the case (if you are after raw fish look no further than Sashimi!). Yo! Sushi offers traditional Japanese Street Food along side the Sushi, and the chefs even jet out to Japan in search of new ideas to bring back to the restaurants (if you spot 'NEW' in the menu, then you are looking at a newly sourced recipe all the way from Japan!).

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

The new Worcester branch is the best I have visited, it's got a very modern look and has plenty of seating, the staff were welcoming and the ambience was ideal. The bar tables are all set out against the conveyor belt that has an array of freshly prepared food on coloured plates dancing around on it. 

The different coloured plates signify different price brackets:

The food is all prepared on site and because of the setup, you can actually watch the sushi and other dishes being prepared in front of you. While we visited we were lucky enough to watch the head chef Stoyan cut a rather larger piece of Tuna! 

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

I can tell you now that it really does take some know how and a very sharp knife.  

Stoyan was very informative and more than happy to answer our many questions about how the tuna was cut and prepared before it was laid out for the masses to enjoy. 

Leo was incredibly excited, I knew that he was going to love the idea of picking his food off the conveyor belt, and he had been telling me all day about how he was going to try some Tuna Sushi. It was really nice to see how far my little fussy eater had come, and he gave most things a go, his favourite being the safer option of the new Farikake Fries (Of which he had about 2 bowls!), and once he was finished sampling the mains he moved swiftly onto the desserts (and tried the majority of the options on the menu!).

Cathedral Square Worcester Yo Sushi

Luke was equally as impressed and between us we ticked off quite a few of the mains on the menu, they are good to share so that couples can each get a taste for the dishes. My favourites were the Chicken Katsu Curry and the Spicy Pepper Squid.

We had a lovely young man serving us and he helped Leo pick out things that he thought he might like to try, and told Luke was his personal favourites were (because Luke loves a good recommendation when it comes to the best food to eat!).

Overall the 3 of us all had a fantastic meal and Leo had eaten so much Sushi, Streetfood and pudding that we didn't need to call into McDonald's for him on the way back. In fact Leo has been asking me everyday when we can go back and visit Yo! Sushi AGAIN! 

You can see a snippet of our visit below:

Disclaimer: We were provided a complimentary meal for this post. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and our own.