Five Things To Do With Kids In Berkshire This Summer!

Me and Spud are lucky when it comes to our location, we live in Reading which is located in the county of Berkshire! Reading isn't far from London at all, especially if you jump on the fast train, you'll arrive at Paddington train station within 30 minutes having the capital at your feet with great public transport services!

However, to have a good time, we don't need to venture out of Berkshire at all, and here is just five places to visit in Berkshire that me and Spud love to visit as often as we can!

Places to Visit.

Windsor Castle - Windsor.

Windsor Castle is not only the home of Queen Elizabeth, but it's also the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world which offers an extraordinarily rich and varied day out for all the family! Tickets will cost you £11.30 for a child under the age of 17, and the same cost applies for disabled guest, children under the age of 5 get into the castle for free, with an adult ticket costing £19.20, and over 60's & student tickets costing £17.50 with valid ID. A family ticket will cost you £27.80 and gets up to 2 adults, and 3 under 17's in.


Image Source: http://www.everycastle.com

Go Ape - Bracknell.

Go Ape is the number one forest adventure in the UK with 28 Go Ape's around the country! If you like living an adventurous lifestyle, or want to be more adventurous, then Go Ape is the place to be! A classic Go Ape visit includes a 2-3 hours long Treetop Adventure where you'll be briefed on safety, before you fly down zip wires, leap off a Tarzan swing and tackle some crossings! Prices vary depending on location, dates and what course you'd like to do! Do check out the official website for more information!

Coral Reef - Bracknell.

Understandably you can go swimming anywhere, in any swimming pool, but you've not experienced a real UK swimming pool until you've visited Coral Reef! With three water slides (the Python, Anaconda and Boa), a lazy river enjoying the outdoor sun, relaxing poolside spa pools, the excitement of fast river and much more, you must visit Coral Reef for the ultimate swimming experience! If you're lucky enough to go on a day where the photographers in, you can even get a family portrait in the water to capture the memory forever! Prices vary depending on age and whether you're visiting during the peak or off-peak season. Car parking will cost you £3, but allows you to stay at the attraction for up to five hours.


Image Source: http://www.getreading.co.uk

The Living Rainforest - Thatcham.

The Living Rainforest is home to over 700 species of plants, insects and animals, you can experience the rainforest experience without even leaving the UK! Keep an eye out for free roaming birds, lizards and butterflies, plus the monkeys, a crocodile, toucans, snakes and much more! Also to be seen are some of the worlds most popular food plants, including coffee, ginger, banana, vanilla and cocoa! This is a fab day out if you're into nature and living things. Once you buy a ticket to The Living Forest, you can return over and over again for one whole year, ticket prices are as follows; OAP's and students £9.35, adults £9.95, prices for children between the ages of 2-14 is £8.45 with under 2s getting in for free. Family ticket prices are between £32.35 and £33.35 depending on the number of adults. 

Cliveden Gardens - Maidenhead.

Part of the National Trust, if you visit Cliveden Gardens you can follow in the footsteps of royalty, earls and dukes as you explore a series of gardens each with their own special charm. With vibrant floral displays the gardens will delight you in every season. For children, the Storybook Play Den encourages imaginations to run wild as children find wooden carvings of storybook characters whilst the 500 metres of winding paths in the Cliveden Maze make it a challenge to all visitors at the centre! Tickets depend on your visit, so do check out the official website for prices.


Image Source: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Getting Around

Berkshire has a great range of public transport available if you don't drive, with main train stations and littler unmanned stations, you'll be sure to be able to reach your destination either by train, bus or taxi! If you drive, then you've nothing to worry about, with no silly zone charges in Berkshire unlike London, its easy to access attractions by car!

Accomodation.

With the Holiday Inn Maidenhead situated very close to Windsor and in Maidenhead itself, sorting out accommodation for you and your family is relatively easy! If you do decide to stay there, you're very close to London, which opens up a whole new chapter of attractions to visit, and places to go with the kids!

Until next time,
Jada x

*Written in collaboration with IHG.
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The Ultimate Guide for the Groom and Groomsmen

Planning a wedding is hard work, especially when you have to choose between expensive venues and decide which relatives to invite. Then comes the time to decide about the seating chart, table decorations and bridesmaids dresses; however, the groom and groomsmen have their own unique set of decisions, including suits and speeches.
So here are some tips to help reduce those wedding day nerves and make sure the groom and groomsmen feel prepared.
Suits and Styles
There used to be very few choices when it came to suiting up the groom and groomsmen, but nowadays there are many more stylish and personal trends. While you can opt for a traditional three piece, morning suit, or tuxedo, you could consider something less conventional. Have a little fun and choose mix matched suits for each groomsmen, select art deco inspired Great Gatsby ensembles, or go for romanticised vintage with checks, tweed, bowties and braces.
Gifts for Groomsmen
After all of their hard work organising an incredible stag party and always being on hand to offer help, you can repay your groomsmen with thoughtful gifts. Consider purchasing fancy neckwear (Knightsbridge offer some great styles), an expensive bottle of whiskey, a keepsake watch, or a box of cigars, or a pair of engraved cufflinks. Alternatively, you could pick a present that shows how well you know them, refers to an inside joke or gift something handmade.
Photo Opportunities
You've probably hired a professional photographer to capture your day, but it's important to remember to discuss the shots you want at your consultation. As well as images of the groom and groomsmen getting ready and waiting at the ceremony for the bride's arrival, arrange for some funny shots, too. You could wear superhero t-shirts, re-enact scenes from films, hold bouquets, have a sword fight, or have photos while you're jumping. Your wedding day is supposed to represent you, so have some fun and make your photographs more personal.
The Speeches
Speeches can be the bane of the groom and groomsmen's lives, as they are hard to write and can be nerve wrecking to deliver. There are templates all over the internet to help you with structure and content, but the most memorable speeches are personal, tell stories and express feelings. When you've finished writing, make sure you take time to practice before the big day, as this will help you banish those nerves. Oh and whatever you do, don't forget your paper copy!
Now Gareth will never have an excuse when I ask him nearer the time of what he's suppose to do!

Until next time,
Jada x
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Choosing The Right Midsleeper, Help!

When we lived at the flat, Spud had a room that was smaller then the average size box room, it was ridiculously small, and once filled with a bed, a little tv stand and his television, there was minimum space for all his toys and games, which isn't nice for a child at all! He didn't even have room for a little chair to permanently reside in the middle of the floor, instead, he had to make do with a collapsable chair that would be folded whenever it wasn't in use.

Although the bedroom was small, and lacked space, we did have a rather large cupboard, that wasn't much smaller than Spud's bedroom, the only reason it wasn't used as a bedroom was because it didn't have a window (it possibly couldn't due to the layout) and no electric sockets! It did however have a light inside, with a light switch, and a plug socket right outside the door, of which, the door was constantly open whenever Spud played in there as the cupboard soon became his playroom!

When we moved however, Spud somehow lost more space, even though I'm sure the size of his current bedroom could of got his old bedroom and playroom in it and still have lots of space left! With a tall boy who isn't going to stop growing for quite a few years yet, and boxes and boxes of toys, games, dvd's and clothes, I have been trying to find ways to maximise the space in Spud's bedroom.

The simplest, most easiest and beneficial way for not only Spud but for myself also is to purchase him a new bed, one with lots of storage space and one that's comfortable too! I've been looking at various childrens beds with storage, and have found quite a few that have caught my eye recently, all from a midsleeper range, I thought I'd share them here, in hope that people will vote what bed they love the most and what bed they think will be most practical for Spud's bedroom!

1: The 'space' one! No pun intended!


Spud is a little boy who can sometimes sit with all his toys surrounding him, so much so its like a game of stepping stones sometimes, you have to be the first one to spot a bit of floorboard to move yourself around! With the space underneath the bed, Spud can easily hide his toys and teddies under the bed, out of the way to ensure no one trips over! Spud would personally love this design as it's theme is space, of which he loves!

2: Snakes & Ladders OR rather Slides & Ladders!


Spud would absolutely love this bed, it features so much detail I'm sure he would have so much fun! First of all, right smack bang in the middle at the bottom of a bed, is what looks like a house area, great for imaginative play! Then there's the ladder that takes you up and the slide that takes you down, I picture being able to wake Spud up on time every morning with this bed! I'm sure he would have no problem sliding down a slide every morning!

3: The Blue Storage One.


This one caught my eye due to the teddies being tucked into the storage pockets at the top of the bed just left to the ladder. Spud loves taking a teddy, or some sort of figurine to bed with him, and whilst I don't really mind, I do worry about a big teddy suffocating him, or one of his falling on the floor and breaking, but with this bed, Spud could easily take his teddy and figures to bed!

4: The Pre-Study One!


This September, Spud will be going into year five (where on earth has the time gone!) and so, he will soon be revising for his SAT exams and making a start on his secondary education path. With homework to be done, I think this pull out desk is excellent, the draws can be used for clothing , most probably pyjamas and the shelving can be used for various objects such as a clock, a teddy and his favourite toy!

5: The Stylish Study One!


This has got to be my joint favourite out of the five beds! I love the chunky thick and un-steep steps, I love the cupboard and shelving units at the end of the bed, as well as all the storage under the bed, and of course, we can't forget that lovely pull out desk! It may not be right for Spud's age right now, but if he does want a more older bed next year or the year after, this bed will be the first one I show him!

So there we have it, the five finalist bed! What one do you love the best and why!? Please do leave me a comment at the bottom of this post!

Until next time,
Jada x
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Planning An Engagement Party.

Me and Gareth have been talking about having an engagement party as a way to celebrate the special occasion in our lives with our loved and special ones celebrating with us. We're not going to be having a quick wedding but rather a long engagement giving us the opportunity to save and plan in advance rather than rushing into things and ending up with a service we don't want.

With a beautiful ring on my finger, and big smiles spread across not only mine and Gareth's face, but Spud's too, an engagement party has been the talk of conversation quite a lot in these last few days. As you get older, you realise that the friends you thought you would have forever don't actually last forever, and in time you realise many of those so called friends are socialites, and not in fact friends.

My big brother Paul threw a stunning Afternoon Tea party for a poorly relative, I could rope him in for help!
With that in mind, I doubt we'd need to hire a hall out, and we wouldn't have enough people to fill it. At the end of the day, this is a special occasion in our lives, and one we'd like to share with close ones only, so we may possibly be able to have it at my house, and if the weather is shining, we could have a garden tea party as my garden is huge!

Inviting guest is most probably going to be the most easiest part of the planning, we both know who we would like to celebrate the day with us, and will not allow for anyone and everyone just for the sake of it! The majority of my family all live local, apart from my mum, step dad and little sister, who live four hours away in Cornwall, so I'd need to give them enough notice and hope they can make it! Seeing my mum twice a year just isn't enough :(.

In regards to food, I'm not the biggest of cooking fans, so food will be nibbly picky bits that don't take long to prepare and cook, nor long to fill a plate and digest! I'm thinking a selection of assorted sandwiches and rolls, sausage rolls and cocktail sausages, a selection of quiches, voile vaunts with different fillings, cheese and pineapple, cakes, crisp and so on!

Thanks to Crayola, I could make guest colouring pages of themselves! As I did here with a picture of Spud!
With Spud and other children attending, I may hire a bouncy castle to keep the children entertained, and set up a colouring table filled with crayons, pencils and colouring sheets to help keep them entertained! Sometimes the children get bored of bouncing around, and so I need to think of a few more things for them to do!

We won't be hiring a DJ as the event will more than likely be held in my back garden, so my good old trusty stereo player, and a selection of party cds will do!  We could play musical statutes and musical chairs with both children and adults, and have prizes for the winners! Chocolate bars for the adults, lolly pops for the children!

I love the little miniture sets we've been collecting recently, just incase we do have an engagement party!
With this kind of event, gifts are more than likely to be presented, and so I want to gift our guest back with something small, I have loads of bits left over for the kids to fill party bags, however for the adults what on earth would you gift them? It's not as though adults will enjoy bubbles, no matter how mature the packaging is, and so I thought of the one thing near enough all adults enjoy - alcoholic beverages in the form of miniature drinks!

I must also make sure my camera is fully charged, and may even check out the local job sites to see if any teenagers want to earn a few pounds to take pictures for us on our camera! I always see adverts for teenagers looking for ways to earn extra cash, and as I don't have a car they can wash, this could be a great way to help someone with good work ethics!

Did you throw an engagement party? If so, what have I missed out!? Please do leave me a comment if you can think of anything that I haven't!

Until next time,
Jada x
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Unusual Bridesmaid Dresses

If you've not heard already, I got engaged on Sunday! If you've not heard where have you been!? My engagement has been the talk of my mouth since the minute it happened! At first I couldn't even ring my mum, I was shaking from shock with my heart racing and all sorts, I eventually calmed down enough to ring my mum to tell her the news, but she already knew as Gareth rang her on Friday, minutes after visiting my dad to ask for his permission!

Not that I've been stalking wedding idea's already (I promise I haven't!) but I have had a few sneaky peaks when I've had a few minutes spare, but this isn't just because my wedding (I'm still not use to writing that yet - my wedding!) but because of my sister's wedding too, which is happening in May 2016 and I've been blessed to be asked to be one of her bridesmaid's! I couldn't be more happier for her, Paula is not only a big sister, she's also one of my best friends, so to be apart of her bridal party is an amazing opportunity!

My beautiful ring, I must say, my fiance done a very good job!
I was looking for unique bridesmaids ideas when I remembered Kat's blog (Rock n Roll Bride), Kat is a fellow Reading lass, and can you guess what her husbands name is? It's only Gareth isn't it! I find it so bizarre that we're both from Reading, both have partners called Gareth, both blog and we both went to a Lush event once, I was a little bit blogger-struck, and didn't have the courage to say oh my gosh I love your blog, but if she comes across this post, she may know now!

Anyway, it was on Kat's blog that I found out according to Coast, that purple, black and grey are the most popular wedding colour theme which hasn't quite shocked me to be honest! I'm not a big, big fan of black myself, preferring pinks, white, pretty purples, grey's, light blues and creams, however, there are some really pretty bridesmaid dresses out there in black! I think if I would of seen the article before, I would of been like ergh no, but now I'm engaged, and have thoughts and idea's for my own wedding, I actually can see why black is a popular choice.

Three beautiful dresses, L-R: Black, Grey and Purple. All dresses from Coast. 

Katie from www.orlajames.com agreed "Black is such a pretty colour for a dress and definitely up there as one of my favourites, but yeah not sure about it for my wedding! I'm all for white, everything white!"

I'm not saying that I would have black at my wedding, as it is quite a dark colour for me, I don't even suit black hair, or dark, dark brown but these dresses above from Coast are absolutely beautiful and I wouldn't throw the idea away of having these present on my bridesmaids at my wedding! Out of the three, I must say its the middle one that catches my eye, only because of the sparkly waist!

Then again, now seeing different ideas for bridesmaid's dresses, I don't know if I want my bridesmaids in pink, which has always been a big thought of mine, before I even met my future husband, I'm now loving grey!

If you're married, what colour/colours did your bridesmaid wear?

Until next time,
Jada x
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Going Abroad Isn't As Easy As Booking A Holiday!

Admittingly, Spud has never been abroad due to my worrying and panicking issues, I worry about so much and have never once got excited over the thought of me and Spud going abroad on holiday alone! However, if we was to go abroad with our family, and there was many of us, I don't think I'd be that bad, and now Gareth is in our lives, I think I'd be more chilled out, instead of being a worrying head case for the entire duration of what should be a blissful holiday!

Now the children in the family are all becoming a little older, there's been more than a few discussions in the family about all going abroad next year. The youngest ones are four now, bar one who is turning four in November, and the oldest is 10, with Spud being nine, so they're not at that age where they can't understand us if we told them instructions, and hopefully they'd all listen to us!



We love UK beaches, but would love to visit beaches abroad!

Knowing that I'm quite a bargain saving woman, I was given the task to look at family friendly holiday resorts and suitable accommodation for us all, which has been quite a task if I'm honest with you, I'm finding four out of five of the main importances we need, but finding somewhere always lets us down with one issue in someway or another!

It was whilst on my search for the big family holiday next year that I come across many facts about going abroad, things I'd never even thought of before, and of course my worry hat got put straight back on! Living in the UK, we're fortunate for the National Health Service, otherwise known as the NHS, if we're ill, we visit our doctors surgery, if we're seriously ill, we take ourselves to A&E or call 999 for an ambulance.

If we have minor cuts and injuries, we go to the minor injury unit, and we've even got out of hour doctor surgeries and walk in centres for the less serious situations, but when going abroad, things aren't that easy as I've come to realise. Every country has its own rules and legislations, and although I've fortunately been healthy and well whilst going abroad as a child, I can't say the same now I'm an adult.

In recent years, my asthma has become more than a pain in the backside, and so has my suspected Irritable Bowel Syndrome, although I try to put off doctor's visits for as long as possible, there is just no way of knowing when you will ever need medical care and attention.

If finding the perfect place, accommodation, flights and all the rest wasn't enough, I'm now stressing out over health care, emergencies, illnesses and all that lot! Even people who come over here don't have as much to sort out as us Brits do, by simply registering for the NHS, they're pretty much covered!

Do you have any tips you can share with me?

Until next time,
Jada x
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The Once In A Lifetime Question...

A few days have now passed since my partner Gareth got down on one knee and proposed to me, we was out celebrating a meal for Father's day with my family when Gareth was secretly hiding his nerves in regards to what he was about to do. We had not long all eaten our mains, and some of us had ordered puddings so was waiting for them when Gareth asked me to stand up, I asked him why and he again said please can you stand up.

I can't remember exactly what was going through my head at the time, but I know I never thought in a million years I was about to receive a proposal of marriage! With Gareth shaking, I started feeling really nervous, it was only when he started saying the sweetest and most beautifulest things to me that I had a little inkling, but as soon as that inkling come and went, a question that I only want to hear once in my lifetime was asked - will you marry me.

Gareth down on one knee asking me to be his wife!
I of course said yes, there was nothing at all to think about! We've not been together very long, but in the short time that we have been together, Gareth has shown me a whole new world to the relationship world I knew existed. After two long term but failed relationships, and living a happily single life for the last five years, I never imagined me getting married to someone just last year, however when I met back up with Gareth, those feelings did start to appear, and I did for the first time in my life think to myself ''I could marry this man''!

I'm still in shock a little bit, I'm getting use to wearing a ring, a ring that will never come off, until our wedding day, but as soon as it comes off it will be placed straight back on top of my wedding ring, losing about 30 seconds of time away from my finger! We've not decided on anything just yet, but what we do know is that we hope to be married in two to three years time.

Looking at the history of marriage has made me think of how lucky we are that we can get married quite easily here in the UK. It was only recently that same sex couples could officially marry, prior to this they could only have a civil ceremony, by law meaning they're not actually married, whilst straight couples could marry freely for years. 

Sadly, gone are the days of tradition, although I'd love for my wedding to be as traditional as possible! After all, Gareth did go and ask my father for his daughter's hand in marriage, a tradition I love and respect, and a tradition I'm so glad Gareth done. I'm not saying tradition has disappeared altogether, but a lot of traditional values seem to of disappeared when it does come to weddings in this century!

 Would you prefer a traditional wedding or a more modern wedding if you was to marry? If you're married, did you drop the tradition and go trendy? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Jada x

Post in collaboration with TheCircle.
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I'm ENGAGED!!!


My darling partner, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him yesterday! No idea why the bloke would want me as his wife for life, but anyway  he does, and when he proposed to me, I said YES!

I now have a Fiance, and I'm now someone's Fiancee.

This is all too surreal, I can't believe I'm actually writing this!

I'm engaged to be married, married as in marriage, a wedding, a church, my dad giving me away, a day with special and loved ones and much more.

We're talk about that later on, first of all we need to wait until the shock is over, it only happened yesterday, and I'm still in shock, I keep staring at my ring and wondering why my hand stole a finger!!!

I've got photo's, lots of photo's, and I've got a video too! Well they was memories captured for us of course because near enough my whole family was there, and a restaurant full of strangers!!! Sometime in the next week, I'll be writing up a post all about it!

For now, I must go! My future husband - how CRAZY is this!??

Anyway, back to what I was saying, my future husband is on his way over with his parents, who are now like my mother and father in law!!?

To say I love that man is a understatement, to describe the love I have for him would mean a bigger number, higher than the biggest number around, would have to be invented!

Until next time,
the newly engaged Jada!

xx
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Just One Of My Summer Outfits!

As I mentioned in my last post, Summer is just around the corner, and with me hoping to lose a little bit of weight before the season gets here - if it ever does mind you, look at the weather now, mid, OR should I say nearly at the end of June, and it's been raining heavily throughout the day, what ever happened to our summers?

Any way, we're guaranteed a fews day of sun at least in July and/or August, because although I'm not the weather man, or woman, I do know we will have a few days of sun, it wouldn't be the summer of sixty-nine 2015 without a bit of sun would it!? Even if it's not as hot, we'll have sun, and if we don't have at least one day of sun, you can not hold me responsible for what I have said! If we don't have sun, then just think of all the summer bargains we can pick up, but lets leave that for another day shall we?


I've gone and purchased my first summer outfit haven't I today!? Although I didn't have plans to share it on here, I just had too, because I love it so much and nope that doesn't mean I want anyone to copy the whole entire outfit, well no one from Reading anyway because what if we're at a summer event and both walk around in the exact same entire outfit? That so wouldn't be cool, unless you're a long lost twin of mine who I didn't know about because we got separated at birth, but then wearing the same outfit still wouldn't be cool even if you was a long lost twin..

Moving on, how beautiful is the whole outfit above, you don't have to say it's beautiful, but my eyes (and my heart) love it, the colours, the style, the patterns, the print, everything about it! I use to love yellow as a child, and was quite upset when one of my favourite yellow tops got ruined thanks to the washing machine, and now I'm just too big to wear a yellow top or trousers, but the playsuit above features just a tiny bit of yellow!

The purse would look adorable being held in the hand with the colours clearly visible and I'm love, love, loving the owl sandals with a little bit of sparkle! We cant forget my favourite piece either, a beautiful yellow Ice-Watch again hosting a little bit of sparkle on the clock face!

What two colours are you looking forward to wearing this summer? Please send your idea's on a postcard to the following address, or better still, leave a comment and share your idea's with me!

Lots of kisses,
Jada x
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Keeping Fit To Keep Up With The Kids!

Summer time is nearly upon us, and yet again I've not lost any weight since last summer, and maybe the summer before that, and the one before that one too! With the sun and the lovely weather it's natural to spend days outside in the garden, fun filled days spent on the beach, and days at the park running around and having fun!

It's no secret that I am on the larger side of life, and if you've ever seen me run around a park, you'll know I don't run for long without getting out of breath and feeling the urgent need to sit down, along with a few mouthfuls of drink because I feel like dehydration is about to hold me hostage any second!

I often watch my brother run around after his six nephews and wonder how on earth he last for so long, I'm sure he'd last a lot longer then he does if his nephews didn't all jump on him at the same time, leaving his forehead barely visible, but still he last a lot longer then me, which does upset me.

My brother Jamie with his six nephews, Spud is laying down at the front on Jamie's legs.
The thing is, when you're on the larger side of life, you do tend to get stared at more often, like people have never seen a fat person before, and that can lead to someone of a larger side becoming more conscious and paranoid about their weight and size. I'm speaking for myself when I say I feel absolutely sick at the thought of going to the gym, I sweat just thinking about it, and quickly have to rid the thought!

It's all good and well going on a diet to lose a few lbs, but what about when you need to lose more than a few lbs and you know if you don't exercise of some sort you're going to be left with saggy skin? What if you're dieting clean with no cheats, living off fruit and salads but not losing the weight like you should be, barely even losing a lb a week? It can be quite disheartening!

With my confidence so low, I can't face joining a gym, but I know I need to exercise some way or another, I've decided I am going to exercise from home as much as I can, or at least by myself in and around the home! I've been looking at Fatbirds a lot recently, finding myself visiting the website a few times a day, I think my first step along my weight loss journey is going to be buying a bike for me to ride!

I loved cycling when I was younger, and even become quite a pro at the bike track, taking on anyone who would race! I didn't win all, who does!? I did however have a brilliant time cycling around and can't wait to show Spud and my nephews some of the tricks I use to be able to do - that's if I can still do them at my age!

Hopefully, it will help me lose a few lbs or more before the summer holidays are here, so this year, I can play with the kids for a bit longer before I feel like I'm going to pass out! It will also give me the push I need to get into shape for my sisters wedding in May next year, I've been asked to be bridesmaid, and a fat bridesmaid isn't on my agenda!

If you have any tips you can share with me, I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Jada x
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Understanding How Food Gets From The Field To The Family Table.

Getting food to the table of your family can sometimes be a bit of a process. In today's society, there is more concern as to where food comes from. Consumers want to be able to understand these processes better so that they can have some reassurance that their food is safe and delicious all the time. Here are some of the steps that are required to get food to your family.

Crops and harvesting
Crops such as corn, rice, wheat, fruits, and vegetables must be cared for year-round. Weather and other natural occurrences can have a big effect on overall production. A large crop failure can lead to higher prices at the grocery store. Some crops are produced in greenhouses, so there is a good supply year-round. Harvesting times can impact the quality of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you can purchase. For example, a tomato or peach picked too young and transported a thousand miles is likely not going to taste like a ripe local tomato or peach.

Meat and milk
Many farms are much larger now than they once were. Hundreds or even thousands of cattle may be raised on a single farm. Management practices can vary a lot, from feed lots where cattle are fattened to those raised on just grazing. A large-scale approach to agricultural production often concentrates large numbers of animals into a small space. Sometimes these farms are called Concentrated Animal Feed Operations. Dairy cows are sometimes treated the same way.

Processing
Processing foods is required to ensure that they are safe and shelf stable if appropriate. A food grade mixer is one machine that can be used to heat, cool, and blend food products. They help ensure that product quality, taste, flavor, etc., is duplicated so that customers get the great tastes they love. Another type of industrial mixer might be utilized so that the right amount of preservatives are added to ensure the safety of the food that eventually finds its way to your home. Products are then packaged in a variety of materials.

Grocery store
For many of us, the first time we see our food is in the grocery aisle. This is where you finally get to enjoy what took a lot of work and resources to get to your table. Some grocery stores will have their own butcher departments where meats are cut up into portions depending upon the needs of the customer.

Bringing the family to the table
There is one more step to bringing delicious foods to your table, and that is cooking! There are so many recipes out there that you will be amazed by how much can be done with just some basic ingredients. There is an art to cooking, but it is something that almost anyone can master given the time and determination to cook great foods. One of the most important end products of food production is the relationships that are built around the family dinner table.

Until next time,
Jada x
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How Philanthropists Are Putting Their Efforts Into Improving Educational Standards

Many philanthropists know that improving educational standards should be a priority. Sometimes this is because they realize the role that a good education played in their own success. Then again, the reason can be that they had a harder time receiving education or had to make do without one. Here are some of the ways that philanthropists are encouraging improvement in educational standards.

Donations to nonprofit groups
There are nonprofit groups that offer grants and funds for educational initiatives. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accepts applications and awards grants for educational research and better education for underprivileged people all over the world. Donations and involvement sometimes leads to philanthropists starting their own charitable organization.

College-specific scholarship programs

Many of those that have found success choose to establish their own scholarship fund. Sometimes there may be specific criteria in place for those that apply for the scholarship. For example, Lord Laidlaw donates to scholarships at Columbia University. He is a 1965 graduate of the school of business and uses his wealth to help those with limited funds attend Columbia Business School. Lord Laidlaw also helps fund programs for students to study abroad during the course of their time there. The Laidlaw Fund for International Study Tours and Global Immersion Programs at the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business helps business students learn many aspects of international business, and encourages them to work together with other business professionals throughout the world. Philanthropists such as Lord Laidlaw often give back to educational institutions that they attended and remember fondly.

Specialty scholarships
There are many scholarships that are designated for groups of people that have experienced discrimination or other struggles in the past. For example, if your child is disabled, there may be some more opportunities for scholarships. If you are a minority in your chosen field of study, there can also sometimes be programs to help you afford college studies. These programs help increase the diversity of the workforce and ensure that opportunities are available on a fair basis.

Merit-based scholarships
If a student has excelled in high school, then they are a good candidate for a merit-based scholarship. A great resume of extracurricular activities, such as charity work, can also help your student get one of these scholarships. Merit-based scholarships offer a lot of motivation for students to try to achieve success while still completing their pre-college studies.

Need-based
Higher education is important, but it can also be quite expensive. Travel, room, board, tuition fees, books, etc., can all add up to a considerable amount of money. There are many bright young people that would love to have the opportunity to attend university but feel that they cannot afford to do so. A need-based scholarship helps these underprivileged young people achieve their hopes and dreams. It is no surprise that many self-made philanthropists can relate to this situation and thus want to help others overcome hardships and achieve success.

Until next time,
Jada x
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