My Guilty Pleasures

14 October 2017

Technology has come along way since my younger days and there are lots of things now available online that you actually physically had to leave the house to enjoy. I don't know about you but after a hard day at work I often feel drained and just want to chill out, whether that is enjoying some fresh air or relaxing with a glass of vino with the online world at my fingertips, I have several guilty pleasures that help me relax.

Online shopping - gone are the days of trawling around shops looking for the perfect bargain.  Price comparison websites ensure we buy the products we need at just the right price. Planning for Christmas and Birthdays is so much easier.

Holiday planning - researching our next holiday is one of my favourite pastimes. I love to find out lots of useful information about the area we are going, from restaurants to adventures off the beaten track you can make sure you do not miss any hidden holiday gems.

Bingo - I love bingo. I don't really see it as gambling, it is not like I am addicted to it and I definitely don't play every week. Bingo takes me back to my younger days when holidaying at Butlins and actually won the jackpot, it was such an adrenaline rush to shout house! Nowadays you don't have to leave the house to play bingo as you can play online. This Bingo Fling Review provides lots of information on the Bingo Fling site.

Games - I am also a bit of a game fanatic (sad but true) and enjoy nothing more than completing an hidden object adventure, Gee also likes to sit with me whilst playing and we have some laughs and giggles along the way.

Video reviews- Both me and Gee look for video reviews of any items we are looking to buy, we find it really useful to listen to reviewers feedback as it provides a great insight into the items.

Of course it is still good to get out and about and when I am not working I enjoy nothing more than exploring the countryside with Marlow our springer spaniel. What are your guilty pleasures?

This is a collaborative post.

5 Tips for Nurturing Siblings of Children with Disabilities

12 October 2017

Photo by Ewa Pinkonhead on Unsplash

You have a child with a physical or mental disability and it seems all of your time goes into dealing with that one child.
But what if you have other children? Perhaps one of them caught you off guard when they suddenly acted out. Or you became conscious of the fact that you can't remember when you had a heart-to-heart with any of your other children.
And then it hits you: because your other children don't demand as much constant attention, you haven't given them the nurturing they require. An older sibling may have taken on the parenting role and your children may be raising themselves.
Now the guilt streams in. How could you have let this happen?
Still, you only have so many hours in the day and your disabled child needs a lot of care. What can you do to make sure your other children aren't left on their own?
Follow these five tips to pull the family together and make sure no one is left behind.
1. Use the Resources Available to You
Did you know you don't have to go it alone? There are many resources to help when you have a child with physical or mental disabilities. For example, if your child is on the autism spectrum and you live in Dubai, visit Sanjay Shah's newly opened Autism Rocks Support Centre. If you live in the U.K., check out the government resourced Help for a Disabled Child website.
Also in the U.K. is the Council for Disabled Children website for resources and services. Chances are you'll find support to relieve some of the pressures and stress you experience and leave more time for your disabled child's siblings.
2. Understand Sibling Stress
Psychologist Barbara Cain conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 35 siblings of children with autism and published her findings in 2012. Children spoke of unsettling and frightening behaviour on the part of the affected sibling but nearly every interviewee also spoke of the fierce devotion they had.
Of course, they also expressed resentment that the autistic child seemed to get all or most of the attention. If the interviewee had no siblings other than the autistic child, they expressed sadness that their sibling relationship was not a typical one.
Other sources of sibling stress include feelings of embarrassment around peers, being bullied, concern over their parents' worries and stress levels and concern about their involvement as caregivers as they grow up.
3. Let Them Talk 
As a parent, it's your job to open the doors of communication. Ask your children to describe their feelings and talk about their worries. Listen without judgement. If it's been awhile since you've talked to them, you may hear some surprisingly angry words. Let your children vent, cry and yell —whatever they need to do. Listen and learn.
4. Encourage a Sibling Relationship
If your children have had difficulty forming any kind of sibling relationship with their affected brother or sister, teach them ways to interact with a disabled child. For example, siblings might learn how to give simple instructions when needed, how to catch their brother or sister's attention and methods to communicate. Give them some way to relate to the disabled child,  and help them form a positive relationship and integrate the family so that no one is seen as separate.
5. Give Them Their Own Special Time
Your disabled child gets a lot of attention, but your other children need their own special times as well. Schedule some kind of activity or time period each week for your other children. It's probably not possible to give each child an equal amount of time and that's OK. Still, every child needs special time with Mum and Dad. The difficulties siblings of disabled children face are real and can lead to behaviour and relationship issues. With support, it's possible to give siblings the nurturing they need as well as care for your disabled child.
This is a collaborative post.

What's New in September #linkie

1 October 2017

Can you believe we are over half way through September? I am hoping for some glorious late summer days so that we can enjoy some fun days out before the dark nights draw in.  This month I have lots of fabulous items to share with you, all that we have tried and tested in the last month.

Personalised Wine Glass
Top of my list this month is my very own personalised wine glass from Gift Pup, obviously I have used their image as the writing is much clearer than on any of my shots. The spiral design and 3 gemstones are so beautiful and the glass is really fine making it perfect for my evening topple.  You can buy the personalised wine glass for £18.99 from Gift Pup.

Magnitone First Step Cleansing Brush
Gee has been trying out the Magnitone First Step Cleansing Brush which launched this September. In her words "it is soft on my face and leaves it smooth and clean".  This brush has been specially designed for teenagers and is great at deeply cleansing the face leading to less spot breakouts, in fact Gee had been struggling around the t-zone on her face and the spots have all cleared up. The brush is specially adapted to sensitive skin, is antibacterial and you can use it in the shower.  Priced at £39.99 it is an affordable option for any teenager/tween and can be purchased from Magnitone.

Defensil Rescue Serum
With the colder days approaching you can never be more prepared to protect your skin.  Cold winds and central heating can cause dry and flaky skin and my hands usually suffer so this product is perfect for me.  Defensil Rescue Serum is a natural product which has been clinically proven to help lock in moisture. Containing concentrated extract of Cardiospermum seed and echium oil it glides on and soaks in to your skin straight away, leaving no tackiness and helps to reduce itching. Defensil can be purchased from the Skin Shop for £9.95.

Absolute Collagen
A new brand on the market Absolute Collagen have produced a powerful anti-ageing liquid which is a high grade marine collagen that fights against the visible signs of ageing and supports skin, nails, hair and joints from the inside out. You can drink this straight from the sachet or mix with a drink. Each 10ml dose contains 8 grams of collagen, 36 calories and 9 grams of protein - a twist of lemon and does not taste unpleasant. A two week course costs £29.99 and may just be the boost your skin needs.

Spice Drops
I love these extracts of raw herbs and spices and they smell divine. Spice Drops are a water soluble spice which can be added one drop at a time to any dish, giving it an authentic flavour without any peeling or grating. With a longer shelf life than powders it can make them a lot more economical. They can be purchased from Spice Drop and cost £2.99.

Mixed Emotion Jelly Beans
Recently launched in stores nationwide are the Mixed Emotions Jelly Beans from Jelly Belly.  Each jelly bean has an emotion face, lemon is happy, hot cinnamon is angry, sour apple is playful, bubble gum is love and berry blue is sad.  All flavours can be combined to give a mixture of emotions. Available in a variety of packages including sharing packs.

I would love to read about any new products you have tried over the last month if you would like to link up.  I will share your posts and comment and hopefully you will return the favour if you link up.

What We Did This Summer

10 September 2017

The summer holidays have now come to a close and we are back in the daily school routines but the fun doesn't have to stop. There are lots of activities you can do with the children after school and in the early evening if they are older.

We were kindly sent a hamper of goodies for over the summer to enjoy and had lots of fun baking cookies, making friendship bracelets, playing card games and finding new and exciting ways of watching movies i.e. we made an indoor cinema with blankets on the floor and plenty of tasty snacks to enjoy whilst we were all cuddled up watching our favourite Harry Potter movie.

Gee's favourite activities were keeping a diary of all the things she had enjoyed, it is a lovely memento to look back on in future years and will definitely provide her with memories to reflect on. Her diary consists of photos, tickets from days out and plenty of narrative which she can have as a keepsake. Her absolute highlight of the summer was getting her own pony.

With a little help from me, we also made some lovely friendship bracelets and these have made lovely presents to give to her friends on return to school this week. It is so good to craft these yourself with braid, adding beads along the way for added texture and such a lovely activity but a little fiddly at times.

Who thought throwing a Frisbee could be good fun? Whilst Gee wanted to play with the Frisbee, Marlow our dog had better ideas and could not help himself from retrieving it whilst we were playing in the fields.

Room to Grow have many great ideas for keeping the children entertained with useful summer activities and colouring downloads to enjoy throughout the year.

We were sent some activities free of charge for the purpose of this post.

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