Category Archives: General

My Favourite Mugs

Our kitchen cupboard is over flowing with mugs of all different shapes, colours and sizes, yet I only like to use a few of them, the rest get pushed to the back to gather dust.

Here are my favourite mugs that I have collected so far.

We were gifted a set of these as a wedding present and we both said how nice they are.  The handle is the perfect shaped to hold it securely and easily.

My mum brought me this from our little boy for mother’s Day as a little extra gift from him, even though my husband had brought me gifts.  It came with a matching coaster and I love it.  It is a little on the big side and heavy but I still love to use it every day.

This mug was the first mug I received with all 3 of us on it.  I love it, it was included in a review here.

My nephew brought me this mug a few years ago now, so it is special to me.

I love Tea and drink quite a lot when I’m at work daily so was very appropriate for me to purchase this mug.

I brought the set of these for me and hubby after we had our little boy from next.  It’s a small and lightweight mug perfect for those spare 5 minutes you might have to yourself while baby is sleeping.

So there you go my favourite mugs to drink Tea from.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MUG? OR DO YOU JUST GRAB WHICHEVER MUG IS AVAILABLE FIRST?

Creating Our Photo Wall

We’ve lived in our home 4 years now, and in those 4 years we have done so much to the house, decorating, rewiring, building work, and a new bathroom last year and more but one thing, and the most important to me is photos.  We hardly had any photos up around the house of us, our families or nieces/nephews.

A house to me is a not a home without memories in the way of photos, so I changed this immediately and decided on creating a photo wall in the lounge.

I wanted all the photos in one place for everyone to see when they visited our home, the first picture frame I ordered was the “Daddy” frame for Father’s Day here and we have built it from there.  I then brought the “Freddie” and “Mummy” frames a few months later to make the set complete, but yet to still fill them with photos.  We built the rest around them in no particular order, and still have Christmas photos from the last two years to frame and put up.

We did have loads of photos but none were printed out as we’ve never got round to it.  The large middle frame my husband gave me for my birthday it’s a professional photo shoot we had done a few months before.

I want to change the end one of the 3 of us at our pre wedding photo shoot as my husbands head is chopped off.  We have got new additions to add of Freddie’s first nursery photos.

We will then move and start with some memories up the stairs and in the bedrooms

Have you got a photo wall in your house? would love to see yours for inspiration.

Vax Blade 2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner | Review

Hands up if you actually enjoy vacuuming?  I don’t!

I can’t say it’s ever been one of my most favourite jobs to do,  lugging a vacuum every which way wherever you need it to be, finding or been able to access a plug socket, doing half a room before having to unplug and plug it in somewhere closer to get it to reach into those hard corners.

We had asked for one for Christmas from my parents, the continual thought of dragging one up and down the stairs until we could save up for a decent one had filled me with dread, but it’s no longer something I need to worry about.

With having a dog that is forever malting and a toddler who throws/drops food everywhere I wanted a vacuum I could quickly whizz around the house daily.  We were given the Vax blade 2.

The Vax Blade 2 is cordless, so I don’t have to worry about any cables getting in the way anymore.  The part I hated the most was doing the stairs and trying to balance the vacuum while trying to clean, now that has gone and it so much easier.

It’s as powerful as a conventional vacuum. It takes four hours to fully charge and gives you 45 minutes cleaning time – more than enough time to do the whole house.  There are lights on the handle to let you know how much power is left and lights when the brush is rotating to allow you to see what’s on the floor.

We use it with the long pole attached to do the laminate throughout the downstairs and the carpets upstairs, but  also included with the vacuum was a selection of other attachments to do other jobs.

It retails at around £200 and is well worth every penny.  I would highly recommend this vacuum.

  • We were given this product as a Christmas present.  However all words and opinions are our own. 

My 19 Aims for 2019

I found this from the lovely Donna over at What the redhead said and thought if I could come up with my own 19 Aims?  It a great way to get inspiration and help yourself out.  So here goes:

  1. To build my blog up, schedule more posts, have more contents and manage it better overall. With going back to work full-time after maternity last year I have struggled to keep on top of everything.
  2. Keeping along the same line as point 1, I want to aim to build up my handcrafted card stationery business I have been making cards for a number of years now, and with making my own wedding invitations back in 2017, and a friend’s Wedding stationery in 2018 it made me realize how much I want to expand.
  3. One day maybe be able to be self employed and working for myself to be able to have more time at home with my family and more flexible working hours.
  4. I need to drink more water and will be aiming to just drink water aside from my several flasks of tea a day , I just forget to drink it.
  5. Now on to the health theme I’d love to lose weight this year. No, I will lose weight this year. I have tried for many years but never succeeded.  I’m adamant to try to lose my baby weight as we’ve got two holidays abroad this year and want to feel confident in my bikini, but we’ll see how it goes!
  6. Exercise more, I walk every day to and from the train station but I want to try and do more such as running or general keep fit.
  7. I need to stop worrying and stressing about money, since going back to work after maternity leave and having nursery fees to pay on top of our household bills and mortgage, things can be a little tight each month and I do get stressed about it, and I need to stop as I know we will be OK and have the support of others.
  8. I have always had a passion for taking photos, but i’m not very good at getting a decent one.  My aim would be to practice different angles and layouts instead of just a photo of the product against the same backgrounds in the same positions.
  9. I need to try and keep on top of the house work and keeping it clean and tidy, the house is never dirty but it always looks a mess which really frustrates me.
  10. Although we meal plan each week I want to aim to cook from scratch more often as it’s something I really miss. I made butternut squash soup the other weekend and I enjoyed it.
  11. Travel more – within reason, we never had a honeymoon but I want to make up for it now Freddie is getting older.  I love visiting new places/countries and have got a few on my bucket list to visit.
  12. Spend more time together, as a married couple date nights are a very rare occasion but I want to try at least once a month to try and just go out just for a few hours whether for a meal, spa day, shopping just us 2.
  13. Read More, I do own a kindle but need to find some new books to read and i’ve read all of them.
  14. Do more as a family, days out even if its just a trip to the park. Doesn’t have to be expensive just to get us out the house.
  15. Have a scheduled day to go food shopping,  at the moment I go when I feel like it, I don’t have a set day to go and the husband always moans at me and then we struggle to find meals to make.
  16. Try and put a set amount of money away in my savings account each month, no matter how small.
  17. Try and decorate the house from top to bottom and make it more modern to go with the new bathroom.
  18. I’ve realised that I use my phone a lot and it would be nice to use my phone less and concentrate on other things more.
  19. Stop relying on my family so much for simple tasks such as renewals of insurances, bills etc and do it myself…

Wow that was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I made it.  I will keep you posted on how I get on with achieving these.

Do you have any resolutions or aims for 2019? I’d love to hear about them to give me even more inspiration this year.

What I thought of Dublin

Back in October we arranged a surprise trip to Dublin for a weekend for our Friends 30th Birthday, his wife organised it all and we had a great time – Kid free too.

Image may contain: Tom Cooper, Kim Cooper, Laura Checkley and Craig Checkley, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Here is what I thought?

I have never been to Dublin but the others had but it was a city I wanted to visit.  We had an early flight and surprised our friend at the airport, and he was shocked and a little confused when we walked over to him.

We arrived in the town centre around lunchtime and headed straight to find food, then the pub crawl started.  There was a few places I wanted to visit whilst I was there to tick off my list.

Temple Bar

Image may contain: 6 people, including Tom Cooper, Craig Checkley and Kim Cooper, people smiling, outdoor and indoor

This was one bar I really wanted to visit and we did, and I’m so glad we did, it was packed but was so worth it, there was a live band singing Irish songs and lots of people dancing. Me and Laura got shamrocks  glitter tattoos on our cheeks.  The atmosphere was amazing.

Dublin Castle

Image result for dublin castle

Image may contain: Tom Cooper and Kim Cooper, people smiling, outdoor

I’m not a cultural person but when we went to Dublin I wanted to visit the castle so on the Saturday Morning, we got up and did exactly that, the sun was shining but was chilly still.  The gardens and surrounding grounds were beautiful.

Jameson’s Distillery

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Image may contain: 3 people, including Tom Cooper and Kim Cooper, people smiling, indoor

I don’t like whiskey but wanted to go on a tour to the factory as my husband wanted to see it to, as he had already experienced the Guinness factory.  You know what the drinks were really nice.  We were gutted we couldn’t get on the tours as they were booked up.

Have you been to Dublin?  I would recommend a visit if you can.

Premature Greying; Not So Much Of A Silver Linin

They say life isn’t perfect, but your hair can definitely be. Every woman loves her hair and takes pride in its beauty. This is why it is almost physically painful to see strands of silver on them one fine morning. Premature greying of hair is common and it is not without cure. You don’t have to sit back and let your hair take the toll. There are plenty of perfect solutions to restore your hair to its former glory and prevent future greying.

Why Does Premature Greying Occur?

There are a lot of reasons ranging from genetics to habitual reasons that contribute to early greying of hair. If you are someone with darker tones in your natural hair, it will be more noticeable and annoying. Here are some of the reasons why greying occurs early.

* Genetics: Sometimes genetic makeup can contribute to early greying. If your parents or grandparents have had to undergo early greying, chances are you will have to as well. There are serums you can use and coloring is an option as well.

* Stress: Stress is an emotion that takes your body to panic mode. This can cause it to ignore aspects of beauty and concentrate on saving your life. Hence it is necessary to relax more.

* Autoimmune diseases: Diseases like alopecia and vitiligo can cause your body cells to attack itself, resulting in the destruction of hair cells.

* Thyroid disease: Hormonal imbalance can cause hair loss and greying as well.

* Smoking: Studies have found that greying occurs early in smokers as compared to non-smokers.

* Vitamin B12 deficiency: This is one of the common causes of grey hair and can be treated and cured.

Cures For Greying Hair

Greying hair can be cured permanently in certain cases restoring your hair health. If the cause is genetics, coloring may be the only option. However, in other cases, there are plenty of ways to restore your hair’s natural color.

An innovative solution to grey hair is by using a regenerative serum such as what you can find here on www.svhairregeneres.com. Using serums can improve your overall hair health in terms of volume, shine, and texture as well. Serums are used to increase hair strength, giving you a flawless look.

In case of thyroid disease caused grey hair, treatment can restore the hormonal imbalance and restore the natural hair color. For autoimmune diseases, there are various treatments available to cure the hair fall as well as greying processes. For lifestyle based greying, you can change your diet to include more protein foods and also foods such as Indian gooseberry, milk, brown rice, and almonds to improve hair health.

Preventing Grey Hair

Often hair is described as a sign of overall health. Changing your lifestyle, diet and using suitable products can improve the way your hair looks and feels, giving you a glow. Using the right products can even restore grey hairs into their original color without using chemical-based coloring.

Proteins and carbohydrates form the main sources of minerals and vitamins are required to have healthy hair. Including this into your diet can keep greying at bay.

5 Most Dangerous Parasites That Live Inside Human Body

Parasites are the small organisms that can enter your body via different routes and cause a multitude of diseases. Your body becomes a host for them as they feed on your blood and nutrients, going unnoticed even as they thrive on your skin or within the digestive system. While some parasites are harmless, others can be relatively dangerous. It becomes crucial to identify them and be vigilant so that you can take preventive and protective measures against them. Here are some parasites that you should watch out for.

Whipworm (Trichuris Trichiura)

Whipworm is so called because it closely resembles a cow whip and can reach a length of two inches. Humans get infected with this parasite through dirt mixed in human feces which are loaded with the worm’s eggs. Young children are more likely to be infected as they crawl around and put their fingers in their mouth. Whipworms can cause severe weight loss, anemia, diarrhea and rectal prolapse.

Elephantiasis (Lymphatic filariasis)

The disease called Elephantiasis is caused by parasitic worms that are transferred via mosquitoes. They can live in the host’s body for years, during which they can produce millions of larvae that reside in the blood stream. The worms target the lymphatic system and cause the limbs to swell up. The disease is widely prevalent in Africa, where it has inflicted thousands of people.

Guinea Worm (Dracunculiasis)

Another dangerous parasite that affects humans is Guinea worms, which enter the body through water contaminated with fleas that carry the worm’s larvae. The worm latches to the intestinal walls in the initial stages and gradually enters the tissues. The worst thing about the disease is that it has no apparent symptoms. Subsequently, they can result in blisters on the feet through which the worm comes out and multiplies by laying eggs (if female).

Liver Fluke (Fasciola and Clonorchis sinensis)

Liver fluke is a parasite that looks like flatworms and make its way into the human body through infected water, vegetables or fish. They travel through the intestines and get attached to the bile ducts of the liver. Gradually, they can cause liver infection, jaundice and severe stomach ache. They reproduce at a rapid pace and can even live inside the human body for as long as two or three decades.

Hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus)

Hookworms are usually contracted by walking barefoot outdoors as they live in mud mixed with human feces. They travel long distance, from the foot to the lungs and finally to the trachea. Further, they can reach the digestive system as the host swallows them with the food. They suck blood from the intestinal walls, leading to inflammation, infection and anemia.

Being watchful about the symptoms of parasites is your best bet. You can check out https://microbeformulas.com/blogs/microbe-formulas/12-parasite-die-off-symptoms-and-how-to-fight-them to get a better idea about the symptoms to look out for. Once you notice anything amiss, it is best to consult a doctor who will give you proper diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, it is advisable to take preventive measures to avoid getting them in the first place.

Learning Tips For Beginners At Tarot Reading

If you want to learn tarot reading and add one more to your repository, then use the tips below to know where to start.

Don’t Let The Complex System Get To You

Tarot reading is a highly obscure system that requires expertise and talent to understand. However, don’t let that discourage you. You can easily start learning tarot but don’t try to learn all at once. It is very important to keep things simple to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Rather than trying to outdo yourself, take it slow and start with simple techniques. As you learn the basics, you can gain the confidence to go deeper into the world of tarot reading.

Establish A Connection With The Cards

People who want to learn tarot reading often make the mistake of equipping themselves with too many technical books about it. However, tarot specialists say that there is very little to be gained from that knowledge until you form a connection with the tarot cards at a personal level. Your knowledge of mechanical terms will not help you the way your intuition will. This is why you need to take inspiration from your daily life to master the card reading.

Make A Habit Of Drawing A Card Every Day

The expert tarot card reading website, Psychic2Tarot.com, recommends beginners to get into a habit of drawing a card every day. You should ask the tarot to tell you what your experiences will be today. You can then compare notes to see if it matches the card you drew earlier today. As you do this on a daily basis, your personal connection with the tarot card will grow and make you more skilled at reading it correctly.

Refine Your Intuition

The first lesson that the tarot beginners need to learn is to sharpen their instincts. However, it is also the single most complex thing for them to hone. Expert tarot readers recommend first timers to avoid the books and draw from the energy of tarot card. It doesn’t matter if what you feel is different than the books, but don’t let that dishearten you. Never underestimate the importance of intuition when reading tarot cards.

Start With Yourself

If someone tells you that you cannot read tarot for yourself, then ignore what they say. Tarot is a powerful medium that has helped many people get on the road to self-discovery. In fact, who better than yourself to read the cards? Find some time each day to do the reading and you will learn a lot about yourself through the process.

Start Small

Why get into it headlong when you can take small steps and learn it well? Rather than trying to cram everything at once, try to learn at a pace that is both enjoyable and reasonable. The process of reading and interpreting the cards should not be frustrating. Start by learning up to 3 keywords associated with each card and start writing about it to form a mind-body connection.

Avoid The Rulebook

There is no wrong or right way to read tarot cards. If someone tells you otherwise, they are either lying or don’t know what tarot reading is. The only one rule you need to follow in tarot card reading is to stay ethical at all times.

Know What It Means To You

Before you start reading tarot cards, you need to know the answer to this very pertinent question – how does it work? As you reflect on this question, you will come up with many answers within yourself that will reveal what it means to you and how it can be used in the most effective manner.

Needless to say, this answer will vary from person to person, and that is alright. You need to understand that Tarot cards are a predictive tool that can be used to know yourself deeply in a fun way and also earn your friend’s admiration for knowing how to read the cards.

Use it Responsibly

Don’t make the mistake of asking the tarot same question repeatedly, hoping to get an answer that you want to hear. This is not the correct use of this tool and it will not yield the most honest response. Additionally, never use tarot cards when you are emotionally down and incapable of handling an honest vision.

Tarot reading should be done consciously. Pay attention to all the cards being drawn out and keep an open mind about what you see. Accept the wisdom that these cards unleash and treat its insight with respect.

5 Tips for First-time Foster Carers to Raise Happy Children

Your decision to become a foster carer is a sign of your desire to support and nurture a child who needs the love, affection and warmth of a loving family. While fostering is a temporary arrangement, it leaves a permanent mark on the psyche and personality of a child, which is why it is important for first-time foster parents to understand what they are getting into and prepare themselves for the experience.

If you’re soon going to be a foster carer for the first time, the following five tips will help you make the most of the experience.

Stock up on patience and perseverance

Every carer wants their foster children to feel comfortable in their new home, but remember that you can’t rush the process and it can take a few weeks before the child opens up to you. Raising children requires tons of patience, but with a foster child, who may have fallen upon rough times in the past, you will need to be even more patient and understanding and learn to calm down and let go when you feel angry or frustrated or disappointed. Therefore, before you apply to become a foster carer, you need to build the mindset needed to help a child feel welcome, supported and loved in their new home.

Fostering is a full-time responsibility so it’s important to prepare yourself and your family mentally and emotionally before you take in a foster child.

Don’t impose your thoughts and beliefs, however well meaning

Even if you know that your beliefs are meant to make it easy for your foster child to adapt to a new environment, refrain from imposing your thoughts and opinions on the child, as it can make them feel they are being pressured to subscribe to your ways of living and thinking, which will only make them more averse to blending in with your family.

Give a new foster child the space and time to explore and accept your way of living so that they’ll do it of their own free will. This way they’ll be more willing to listen to you and understand that you mean well.

Set rules and be firm

Sometimes, in an effort to help a child settle down swiftly, foster carers tend to be overly indulgent and forget to set boundaries and rules. This may seem like just the trick to help a child bond with you faster, but as with biological children, over-pampering eventually backfires in the form of bad behaviour, tantrums and adjustment issues. There is a thin line between being dominating and inculcating discipline in children. Set rules early on and be a loving yet firm parent if you want to help a foster child learn the skills they need to build healthy personal and social relationships.

Be accepting of changes

Educating yourself and learning what you need to know about foster care is an important first step in this enriching journey of nurturing another human being and helping them grow into a happy adult.

Indeed, you may have prepared yourself for the changes in your household and family dynamics that will come along as you add a new member to your family. At the same time, you need to be open and accepting of the other changes that usually accompany a fostering experience.

For instance, when you take in a foster child, you’ll have social workers from the city and the state visiting your home from time to time. New people bring new ideas, and if you’re capable of accepting change with an open mind, you’ll be able to provide greater support to the child.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help

A foster child may have been through a traumatic situation for which they may need the support of a qualified therapist. If you’ve having difficulty in helping the child adjust to their new life in your home or feel that the child needs a special educator or therapist, don’t blame the day-to-day challenges on yourself and contact the foster agency or worker to share your concerns.

In the same vein, don’t get disheartened if you see yourself feeling tired or stressed after a few weeks or months of fostering. It can happen even to experienced and well-prepared foster parents, as the actual experience of caring for a child in need can be more challenging than it seemed at first.

Don’t stop yourself from sharing your feelings with a close friend and don’t shy away from seeking professional counselling if needed.

What’s In My Bathroom Cupboard?

We never had a bathroom cupboard or cabinet until we have the bathroom renovated in January of this year and now we have 2.

I, by I, I really mean the husband uses the mirrored cabinet for all his hair products gels, waxes, spray bottles but I won’t bore you with that.

In our cupboard we have:

Toilet paper – One of the essentials to be in the cabinet as you don’t want to be caught short while doing your business.

Sanitary care – A ladies essentials for once a month.  will say no more.

Toilet rim blocks – I think there is like 6 of them in there I buy a couple every time I see them on offer as I am really OCD about my toilet, like to make sure it is clean and smells fresh.

Antibacterial wipes – Another essential I love, to just wipe down all the surfaces and it leaves the room smelling all Citrusy and clean.

Bleach – I get through so many bottles as put it down the toilet every other day, I don’t buy expensive bleach just Aldi’s own brand as it does what I need it too and smells good.

Other cleaning products -We have got Flash bathroom,  Astonish bathroom and Mr Muscle.  I use these weekly when cleaning but I know I am running low so need to stock up on more soon.

Johnson’s Shampoo & Infacare bath foam – Obviously these aren’t mine, we keep Freddie’s products in here too

Frog hand mitt – Not been used yet but it’s cute

Shower Scrunchy – Spare one as they came in a pack of 3

Shower gel – Lime scented, Aldi’s own brand,  smells delicious

What’s in your cupboard?

I now Tag – Rachel from Coffeecakekids,  Simon & Charli from Whisky & milkshakes, Michaela from Adventuresofayorkshiremum, Rachael from Lukeosaurusandme and Alex from Bettertogetherhome