Friday, 27 February 2015

It's Not Being A Worrier, It's Being A Mother - Children, Technology and The Internet.

Day after day I am sent emails from various companies and individuals asking me to take part in surveys, as much as I don't mind them as I do find they can be informative, they can be quite time consuming and unfortunately time is just something I don't have enough of at the present moment.

However, a few weeks ago, skimming through my emails, deleting all the junk, or what I class as junk, a certain survey email caught my eye and I found myself not only opening the email but also participating in the survey - something I've not done in well over a year!

The survey was from My Voucher Codes about children and technology, mainly connected to the internet and what worries parents have, this is something that worries me on a daily basis, but one thing I know I cant keep Spud away from forever. When I was a child, pre-teen and teenager, I didn't hear of cyber bullying, nor did I witness or experience it myself, grooming was always a subject that would arise with my parents who constantly warned me about not speaking to strangers online (or in person).

Porn was something that was never discussed, nor something I tried gaining access too, I was a teenage mother so yes sex was something I done at the age of 15, however porn wasn't of no interest to me at that age. Social media wasn't around (or least I didn't know about it) and so another thing my parents didn't have to worry about, and back in my day, there would only be one desktop computer for the whole household, so internet time was very limited and quite rare.

Nowadays, it's like most households have a number of technology gadgets, with children as young as three reported in the media to have iPhones and iPads, or another competitor's products. I must admit, Spud has a number of children themed technology products, it's of today's age and something that interest him, however I try to monitor his internet time as best as I can, and have parental controls on the maximum with only a number of trusted sites he is allowed access too. 

Filling out the survey sadly wasn't an eye opener, we've all heard and read the stories of children and teenagers being cyber bullied, with some sad fatality cases reported too. We've also read and heard stories of children becoming radicalised by online terror extremist groups, and we've read the reports in the big newspapers of children becoming addicted to technology.

The answers was categorised into three different categories; extremely worried, concerned and not at all worried. The results are now back, and as well as many individuals picking up the results, Tech Lounge have also published the findings on their website reaching out to many.

I have my opinions of the survey, and know what worried me more than the rest, but the results are quite interesting and show just how different two parents are, here are the statistics below for yourself to see;

·         Online bullying – 58% Extremely Worried
·         Accessing adult content such as porn, swearing, nudity, sex and violence – 49% Extremely Worried
·         Sharing inappropriate images – 49% Extremely Worried
·         Grooming – 48% Concerned
·         Access to extremism – 44% Concerned
·         Addiction to social media – 57% Concerned
·         Effects on Education – 66% Concerned
·         Privacy – 55% Concerned
·         Effect on long term health – 49% Concerned
·         Running up huge bills. – 65% Not at all Worried

Running up a huge bill is not a concern to me at all, although I wouldn't be impressed if Spud was to do so, it's not something that covers my mind with worry. Also due to the controls I have in place, and Spud's age, I don't worry about social media and an effect on his long term health and education.

What worries you the most with your child/children and technology, I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Jada x

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Create a dream living room that’s perfect for kids

Your sprogs might wreck it on a regular basis, but you can’t deny that a world-class living room is the perfect way to chill.
But when you’re creating the perfect relaxation space, you have to ask yourself one question – what would Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen do?
For a start, that flouncy-haired designing don would make a plan of action, finding the homely hotspots that need improving.
With that in mind, we’ve devised the ideal living room for anyone searching for a style supernova. Just make sure the kids don’t wreck it, eh?
A fine recline
Do you own the kind of chair that leaves your lumbar more strained than a shoddy karaoke singer’s vocal chords after a Mariah Carey medley? Is it filled with more loose springs than a self-replicating jack in the box? Does it leave your derriere rawer than an uncooked carrot?
Then it’s time to hit the A-list with Celebrity recliners. Like La-Z-Boys, they’ll make your backside feel like it’s been papped on the red carpet.
With these luxury chairs you’ll be able to recline and relax. And with a variety of colours on offer, you can match them perfectly with the rest of your room.
Cordon off the kids
You’ve spent the morning dusting, polishing, clearing, hoovering and making your home spick and span – only for your kids to run in and trail LEGO all over your floor.
As joyous as your little tykes are, they make such a mess!
So it’s time to create a zone in the living room specifically for your kids. Set aside an area where your little ‘uns are allowed to play with their messier toys and stick to it strictly. That way, you’ll have the best of both worlds – your kids can play while you relax in cleanliness.
A tantalising telly
There’s little better feeling than putting the kids to bed and slobbing on the couch in front of your massive telly. But the choices on offer can be overwhelming.
You’ve got differing HD functionality, dongle support, toasters on the side of your telly, microwave-friendly remote controls and voice activation tech – and, for the most part, it’s all nonsense.
What you really need is a telly with 1080p functionality, a decent number of HDMI, SCART and aerial sockets, and a size that doesn’t dominate your living room.
Once you’ve got that sorted you just need to lounge back and press play.
The coolness of culture
You might love nothing more than devouring Celebrity Big Brother coverage, but a little dose of high-culture goes a long way.
Invest in a bookcase and cram it full of classics, from Shakespeare to Orwell to Dickens. Not only will you have an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home, but you’ll have a brand-spanking new collection to enrich the mind.

Friday, 20 February 2015

My 25th Birthday Wish List!

This year, I'll be turning a quarter of a century, that mean's I've been on this planet Earth for 25 years come April (the 26th) and that just seems surreal! I remember being a young child, wishing I could be of a certain age, and then I would reach that age and would wish for an older age again, I couldn't wait to be 13, to become a teenager, then 16, then 18 then 21.

Now at the age of 24, thinking ahead of time, knowing in a few months time I'll be five years of 30, it makes you reflect on the pass and makes you chuckle as you think of the presents you once wished for. I remember every year on my birthday as a child being taken out by my dad to spend my birthday money, I remember smiling like a cheshire cat with excitement one year when I had went to town with my dad and picked out one of those child tents.

It was a Barbie tent, and it had loads and loads of plastic poles, with a thin layer of plastic material that gently slipped over the top. I think it ripped less than a week later, and with help from my siblings and cousins, the plastic poles was bent, snapped, with connectors missing and generally just looking broken.

Through my pre-teen and teenage years, it was all about clothes and footwear, quite the tomboy the thought of buying a new tracksuit along with a pair of trainers was one of the few things that made me be seen with my dad in town. You know when you get to that awkward age where parents are awfully embarrassing, even though they don't actually do anything, it's just the cringe factor to be seen with them, that's how I was!

I had Spud from a young age, so from the age of 16 (as he was born a month before my 15th birthday), I politely requested household items such as pan sets to tea-towels or vouchers for appropriate shops that sold such items. Treating myself become near impossible, and so during later birthdays, I'd politely request clothing shop vouchers, tired of wearing the same aggy clothes, birthdays was something to look forward too.

Now I'm settled home wise, and can treat myself every few months or so, it's been strange to write out my birthday wish list this year, it's still a mixture of things, as you can see from the picture below, but it's crazyness to see that as we get another year older, the things we wish for change.

Along with my favourite perfume Rihanna - Reb'l Fleur, I'd love to get some new glasses, the ones featured above our the ones I have currently, only I just don't know where they are! I've needed a new fridge freezer for as long as I can remember, only something else always pops up in the way, so browsing for Panasonic fridge freezers led me to finding the one above pictured!

I've always wanted a Pandora bracelet, I just cant justify spending that amount on myself as a treat as I'm a mother, I always think about Spud first. I love the variety of charms they do and I have visions of the ones I'd love to place on the charm over the years! As always, I've put on clothing vouchers, the seasons change and I don't think the summer would welcome me with thick winter boots and oversized cardigans!

I'm not sure if other soon to be 25 year olds would be asking for the same things as me, or even the same type of items, I am a mother and so others my age who are not parents most probably buy such items themselves. I however wait for special occasions, and appreciate everything I get.

Until next time,
Jada x

How to turn your house into a home

Whilst moving into a new house is an extremely exciting time, it can also be incredibly daunting; especially if you have kids. When you have children it is vital that every house you move into feels like their home and not just four walls and a roof. So, it’s important that you put your personal touch in every room to ensure your kids feel right at home immediately.
However, adding those personal touches into your new house doesn’t mean you have to dig deep into your purse; in fact you can do it relatively cheaply. Make sure you shop around for the best deals and don’t spend what you can’t afford.
Here are three top tips on how to turn your house into a comfortable, cosy home:
Dress your coffee table
Yes, believe it or not, this is the easiest way to ensure your lounge looks lived in and homely. Dressing your coffee table can be extremely easy too! If you have any little knick knacks that are special to you or your family, then add them onto the table – any little pictures of your family can be added too!
Bookcases and shelves
Bookcases always make a house a home, the minute they are full of books. So, get all your family books out – including the kids Peppa Pig ones and add them to the bookcase! Also, if you can, add some shelves to the walls and place any photographs or trophies on there so that your kids know that this is their new home.
Art and flowers
Art and flowers go hand in hand – if you have some art from your previous house, even better! You can simply place this on the walls around the house. If not, check out your local home-ware stores and take a look at the canvases; these are inexpensive and look both sleek and modern. Also, think about adding some flowers around this house to inject both colour and calmness to the rooms; take a look at Serenata for these.

It’s also worth noting that lighting makes a huge difference in a home; ensure you have soft lighting rather than harsh as this creates a nice, cosy setting – especially on winter nights.
Adding decor and accessories to a home is the easiest way to make it yours, so don’t be afraid to mix things up a little.