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

Your sprogs might wreck it on a regular basis, but you can’t deny that a world-class living room is a 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 cords 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 a little better feeling than putting the kids to bed and sobbing 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.

My 25th Birthday Wish List!

by Jada, February 20, 2015
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

by Jada, February 20, 2015
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.

The days are (just about) getting longer and the temperature is creeping above zero. That means it must be time for a spring clean, and not just of your cupboards and the garage - your PC could do with a good clear out too. There are several things you can do to improve performance, free up space and generally help your desktop or laptop feel a bit brighter. 

Uninstall unused applications

Getting rid of programs you no longer use both clears out some disk space and frees up some system resources. Even if you don't use the program, many are running in the background anyway (especially browsers, media players and most game services) hogging a little bit of memory and using some of your bandwidth that could be put to better use. 

Clear out My Documents

If you're organised, you'll have plenty of folders of documents going back years. If you rarely or never access them, why not move them to a USB stick, back them up to CD or DVD, or move them to cloud storage, where they are always available but not taking up space. Not only will your My Documents folder open faster and be easier to navigate, but your PC will have less searching to do when looking for information you do need. 

Install antivirus software

Many PCs remain unprotected against internet threats. While Windows Firewall and other tools can help, you really should have some antivirus software installed to scan for threats to your data, or for programs that could be using your PC for malicious purposes. You can download some antivirus programs for free, or there are many cheap solutions available that will help keep your PC protected. Some viruses install malware that can use your PC resources for their own ends, something that can slow it down a lot. 

Defragment your drives

Modern Windows operating systems automatically take care of your hard disk, but if you have an older OS like Windows XP, you should run the defragmentation tool in the Control Panel to help clean up your hard drive - it will improve disk and overall system performance. It will also find any potentially bad areas of the disk and stop files from using them. 

Switch to cloud services

If you're stuck with an older PC and can't afford to upgrade, stop using apps or programs that don't run very well and move to cloud or web-based services that run in your browser. Google Docs can handle office tasks for free, there are web apps that can do online photo editing for you, you can learn coding in the cloud... all without the need to buy or download software.

Celebrating Valentines Day At Home!

by Jada, February 13, 2015
Tomorrow is the first Valentines Day in five years that I'll be celebrating, although I'm one of those who think Valentines Day is commercialised, I am also one who gets all giddy when it comes to a good date night, whether that's at hope, or out on a date! 

Having a child means that it's near impossible to get a date on the day itself, so this year, along with my new partner, we're planning a night in with a takeaway, a few movies, some popcorn, a few munchies, and a bottle of wine.

They'll be no waiter or waitress, nor will they'll be a chef or a cook, they'll be a couple, doing what they usually do, enjoying a over commercialised day, but it's an excuse to have a date night in, and spend quality time together!

The great team over at Broadband Choices have put together this fun and interesting infographic found below, based all around romantic movies, I'm a sucker for a good old love story and have to say Love Actually is one of my all time favourites!

What are you upto this Valentines Day?

Jada x

We're all on the look out for ways to improve our lives. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that actually turn out to be the most effective. Here are a few things to consider:

Give up smoking

With the introduction of unbranded cigarette packaging due to come into place this year, it’s clear to see why buying cigarettes is quickly becoming taboo. To give up the easy way, try switching to e-cigs. Not only will you feel healthier and smell better, you'll also get to enjoy the huge range of flavours that e-liquids are available in. 

Buy a bike

Many of us convince ourselves that exercise fads are something we will do for the foreseeable future. It seems every year a new DVD or gym class becomes all the rage, only to become obsolete the following year. Cycling is not a fad though, and it is a particularly good fitness activity for families. Along with the great health benefits, investing in a bike can save you money in the long run. So, if you want to cut down on your commuting costs and allow more pennies for extra treats, pick up a bike from your local store.

Go to a comedy club

Laughter is one of the greatest natural remedies. Many of us live our lives completely consumed by work or family, and we often forget to take the time to de-stress. More importantly, people who laugh more have much better immune systems, which of course allows them to live longer and be happier. 

Talk to a stranger

Do you ever feel like you live your life in the digital landscape? Social media keeps us connected, but there is nothing better than real human interaction. Talking to a stranger on a bus or in a post office queue will instantly send out a rush of endorphins, and could lead to a great new friendship, a new business contact, or even better, a phone number. 

Make a feel-good playlist

We all have a song that instantly makes us feel better. Making a feel-good playlist is one of the simplest ways of improving your life instantly, particularly if you’re emotionally immune to the repetitive music played on radio stations. So, if you want to relive your wedding song every day, reminisce with your beloved childhood anthems, or simply create a set of pumping techno tracks to get your day off to a great start, be sure to make a playlist.

Holidaying In The Homeland.

by Jada, February 12, 2015
Now Spud is getting older - he'll be nine next month to be precise, his dad has started mentioning about taking him back 'home' to his country for a holiday visit. Africa is such a big place, and one place I must admit that I worry about.

Spud's father is from Liberia which is located in West Africa, there are many factors behind the reason that I worry, for example, the heat over there is a lot hotter than the heat we're use too, I worry about Spud not drinking enough on a normal day, so for him to be in an extremely hot country, without me there, that sends me into panic mode.

I also worry about the trouble over there, sadly a lot of countries inside the African continent have wars or extreme trouble of some sort, and then there's the health scares too, most recently the deadly Ebola outbreak. Africa is a deprived country and is part of the third world, however there are places in Africa that sound and look beautiful, to the extent of being a perfect holiday destination.

For example, when looking at Saga Holidays recently, I fell in love with a beautiful resort situated in South Africa, the beach was beautiful as was the scenery and the tourist market was very appealing. The temperatures sound bearable and the sea looks pretty amazing.

I'm not saying that I never want Spud to go and visit his dad's homeland/place of birth, however I do think he is too young to go to such a place. Also, with the school policy being so strict, I have to think about the limited time he has off school.

During school holidays, I want to be with Spud, he spends so much time at school as it is, that when he does have a holiday off school I want to spend the free time holidaying with him. His dad can't get the holidays off, and so Spud will have to be taken out of school during the school term, something the local education authority, and the government do not approve of.

I think a holiday to South Africa with me sounds lovely though, as mentioned above I've fell in love with just one of the resorts I spotted recently and I've not done much investigating as I usually would. Africa is a place I've not visited myself and so I think it would be a great place to start of, and one day, I'd love to go somewhere different and go on a drive through safari experience.

Africa sadly gets so much bad publicity that so many are put off, but so many places, such as South Africa are just too beautiful to dismiss.

I would love to know if anyone has any recommendations for the continent, and especially in SA, after all, I've not got any holiday plans for 2016, maybe SA will be the place we holiday next year!

Until next time,
Jada x

I Was A Teenage Mother, I'm A Young Mother.

by Jada, February 12, 2015
This post is going to be all about how I become that teenage mother to my beautiful boy, Spud is me, he's my everything, without him, I just wouldn't be me! I wouldn't be writing, well I doubt I would be, and I sure as wouldn't be running a blog, or two for that matter!

I met Spud's father when I was 13 years young, because now, 11 year's on, at the still young age of 24, I feel so old! I was walking to the local church with my cousin Karla and my friend, we was on our way to the church youth club, which was hosted every Tuesday in the baptism church in the area I lived in, it was very different to the other youth club I attended every Wednesday, completely different!

I heard a whistle, being the age of 13, and just starting to notice males and male attention, me, Karla and my friend giggled and walked past the two boys making the howling noises. Every Tuesday would be the same repeat, we'd come home from school, take off our uniforms, get changed into our clothes, have dinner and head off to the church's youth club, and every Tuesday without fail, Spud's father would be near, waiting and whistling.

One day, he plucked up the courage to approach me, actually, he always had the courage, I don't know what made him approach me that one day but he did, I couldn't stand him. It was the first serious attention I think I had, but being the young mature, street wise teenager I was, I thought of his whistling as dis-respectful and not in the slightest bit pleasant. I ignored his question when he asked for my number, gave him a fake name, and told him I had a boyfriend.

Spud's dad just didn't want to give up, and one day, by chance, we was all at a local event with mutual friends and we got chatting, we swapped numbers and we instantly starting texting. The texting became apart of my routine, and we would sneakily meet up behind my parents back, for sneaky walks to the shops and visits to the park. For two year's, it was just harmless kisses and cuddles, nothing serious, just young teenager's who believed they was in love.

When I was 15, thing's started to progress in the relationship, I wasn't stupid, I knew what sex was, and very soon, myself and Spud's father, who is two year's older then me, 'made love'. I took myself to the clinic, and thought it was wise to get some sort of contraception, because although we used protection not just to prevent a pregnancy but also to protect our health sexually.

Accident's happen because no way is my boy a mistake, realising I had not had a period for quite a while, but too stressed with exams at school to know how long exactly, I went to the family planning clinic to speak to one of the consultants. I explained that I was on the pill, and I had not had a period for at least two months, it doesn't take a genius to work out that both myself and Spud's father was not using protection either. We was both comfortable that we was each other's 'first love' and so knew we was clean.

I sat dumbfounded and shocked when the doctor called me into the room to announce I was pregnant, I was with my friend Jade, and she kept saying to me, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what are you going to do!? Jade, I loved you dearly, but if I ever wanted to shut someone up so much in my life, it was then! I thanked the doctor, who talked me through my 'options' and left the room in a state of shock.

The options the doctor spoke about was one; have an abortion, two; carry on through the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption or three; have my baby. To me, there was no option, abortion to me, was murder, I didn't know how far gone I was at that time, but it just wasn't a valid option, neither was adoption. I got myself into this situation, and I would get myself through this situation, I had one option, and that was to keep my baby.

Telling my parents was the hardest thing I've ever had to tell them, Spud's father was easy to tell, he pleaded with me to have an abortion, he was terrified of my parents, well more so my dad's reaction. I ended up having an argument with Spud's father one day, I called my mum up crying and broke down to her, telling her I was pregnant, at the grand age of 15, still in education (home educated), no job, and a teenager! My mum hung up the phone, and then my dad called me, my heart has never raced so fast in my life up until that moment!

My parents, were understandably disappointed in me, none of them had a clue I was having a sexual relationship with Spud's father, let alone taking myself along to the clinic and getting myself contraception, Spud was to be my dad's second grandchild, and my mum's first. In time, my parents knew that no matter what they said, I was standing by my decision, they was just loving parents who tried their hardest to teach me right from wrong, teaching me values, morals, self respect, dignity and more.

I felt like I had let my parent's down enormously, I worried about how friends would judge them, and blame them, it wasn't no ones fault, mine included because my baby wasn't a fault, he was and still is my little blessing! Between the ages of 12-15, I got into the wrong crowd and started getting in trouble, I had a right little temper on my shoulders and ashamed to say, I've been arrested a fair few times.

Having Spud made me the person I am today, if I didn't have him when I did, I don't know where I'd be right now, I wouldn't like to say prison, because I don't think I would of allowed myself to go that far with the trouble. Sitting in a police cell is the most boringness thing in your life, it's worse then watching paint dry on a wall, because, quite frankly, at least you have something to watch.

By the time I had my scan, I was 18 weeks pregnant and was given a due date of the 15th of May 2006, my parents were great and my dad decorated my bedroom to a more neutral colour to welcome the baby home to. My parents have always worked hard, my dad has never ever been on benefits, and never wishes too, my mums had a few stints on benefits, but never for long because we're a working class family.

I think my parents we're worried that I was going to be another average stereo typical teenage mother, a mother who would quit education, live off the country's benefit system and go on to have wreckless emotionless relationships, popping out a baby every year. They could never of been so wrong, I carried on my education, I started work as soon as I could, and I've worked on and off ever since the age of 15.

Spud made an appearance into the world seven weeks before his due date on the 30th of March 2006, my baby was born seven weeks premature and weighed a tiny 4lb, he was beautiful and perfect to us in every single way! Spud needed extra care at the hospital, but after just a few days was feeding by himself, and amazing everyone around him!

At just three weeks old, my baby boy was rushed into hospital to have an emergency operation, now aged 8 year's, he's gone on to have another four operations making that five in total to date. Spud never ever fails to amaze me with how he take's thing's in his stride, he's my brave, precious, little miracle baby who has turned his mummy's life around enormously.

I broke up with Spud's father five years after being with him when I was 18, I had enough of the lies, betrayal and the cheating he had put me through. I tried my hardest to make our relationship work for the sake of Spud, but in the end, I realised that the stress Spud was witnessing was worse then us pretending to be okay as a couple, so I called an end to the relationship, now, five years on, I still think it was the best decision I've ever made.

I'm fully aware that so many people presumed the worse of me, they'd presumed, because I had a child a month before my 16th birthday, by now at the age of 24, I should apparently have three or four children, at least two, but never one. Well, I do only have one child, I DID carry on my education, and I've worked for longer then I've been on benefits since the legal working age.

I am proud of what I've done and achieved, I know my family, my parents especially are ever so proud, they cant praise me enough with their blessings. I didn't do any of the last eight year's for my family, nor my friends, Spud's father or even the man above. I done it for myself, for my son! To be the best mummy I could, and to raise a polite, respectful, well behaved, charming little boy.

I look at him now, playing peacefully, and I'm so proud of the way he has grown up, he is the most pleasant little boy you'll meet, he's a little bit jumpy and like's to bounce around, otherwise he is perfect, my perfect, he's my beautiful, amazing, little boy!

With kisses,
Want to add a touch of beauty and romance to your next cake? Learn how to craft a rose from flower paste. A rose is a rose is a rose. Unless you’re making one from flower paste to adorn your next cake, in which case a rose can be a thorn in your side. However it doesn’t have to be this way. Sugar crafting a rose from flower paste is one of those baking rites of passage, but it’s a project many shy away from because it seems so complicated. This guide will help you create your first rose, and after you’ve made two or three you’ll feel like a sugar craft pro. A rose is the ideal decoration for a cake made for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays or weddings.

Supplies To Craft Your Flower Paste Rose

Although you can make your rose from white flower paste, which you can either colour before moulding or paint after it has set, it’s much easier to simply buy a ready coloured flower paste. You’ll find reds and pinks available, ideal for crafting a rose. You will need: Flower paste in your choice of colour Some icing sugar Cooled, boiled water A ball end tool You can get rose petal cutters, but it’s a good idea to learn how to make a rose from scratch, as it will help you with your decorating skills and also aid you in creating different flowers later on.

Crafting A Flower Paste Rose

Before you begin, sprinkle a little icing sugar onto your work surface.

  1. Knead your flower paste on your work surface until it becomes pliable.
  2. Pinch off some icing, enough to roll into a ball that is about an inch across.
  3. Gently roll one edge of the ball of flower paste until it forms a cone. This will be the centre of your rose. Set it to one side.
  4. To make a petal pinch off some icing and roll into a ball about half an inch across.
  5. Flatten the ball of icing on your work surface, then take a ball tool and run it around the edge of one side of the icing. Keep the tool half on and half off the flower paste. This will thin one side of the icing out, and give it a frilled petal-like appearance. You need to make 15 more petals.
  6. Take your first petal and wrap it around the cone, sticking in place with your cooled, boiled water. You now have a bud.
  7. Add three petals to the bud with your boiled water. Make them overlap slightly. Then gently unfurl the top edges with a toothpick.
  8. Take 5 flower paste petals and fix them in position, lower down the bud than the previous layer. Again ensure they overlap and position the tops.
  9. Apply the final layer of petals before trimming the base of the cone with a sharp knife and setting aside to harden.
  10. The flower paste rose is ready to place. Secure it with some cooled boiled water.

And that’s it. A flower paste rose isn’t the preserve of the decorating pros, anyone can do it with a little patience and practise. So give your next cake some flower power, and watch the recipient’s face light up.

We're Both Going On A Summer Holiday..

by Jada, February 05, 2015
Everyone's going on holiday, or everyone has a holiday booked at least! When I say everyone, I really do mean literally everyone, even the next door neighbours dogs have gone on holiday to luxury dog kennel hotels, I mean how cool is that!? Dog's, as in our fury pet animal friends are having holidays at luxury hotels whilst their owners are having all inclusive holidays in Cuba, Spain and the alike. Staying in a luxury hotel with a beautiful sea view, sipping cocktails by the pool, dressed in summer clothes because it's so hot there, unlike the freezing cold weather we have here!

Spud's never been abroad as we always do English sea side breaks but now he's eight and I feel comfortable with taking him abroad alone with just me and him, I'm planning on taking him away this summer holiday sometime in August. Being a single Mum, I have to cover all the cost myself, to me it's important I find low-cost holiday deals, something that's not too expensive but includes our flights and accommodation for the duration of our holiday, this also gives us more spending money before and during our holiday!

When it comes to holidays, you don't want to pack the same old clothes you wear back at home do you? The clothes you wear on the school run, the sandals you wore to the picnic, the skirt that you chose to dress in for that office interview, and the cardigan that get's put on every night. You want some new clothes, however, you don't want to spend much because you need spending money for the holiday!

I mean, I love Primark, but their clothes aren't really expected to last long, and because holiday's are so rare, I'd really like to treat me and Spud for the occasion! Luckily we have plenty of outlet stores in the UK so I can buy designer clothes at cheaper prices! I usually only go to the London Designer Outlet once a year which is Christmas time, so going again for holiday clothes shopping is actually just like a early Christmas!

Besides, a girl has to look good where ever she goes does she not? So my lovelies, have you got any holiday hints and tips for me, have any of you been to a country abroad alone with a child? Any child friendly countries and attractions recommendations you may have please do leave a comment and let me know!

Jade xx
There are many vulnerable people in society who rely on the good work of carers to see them through the day. Working in the caring profession is unquestionably challenging, it requires patience, stamina and understanding. Carers can deal with situations on a daily basis that most people never even have to contemplate.
Caring for vulnerable people can also be extremely rewarding and many people in the profession enjoy the social aspect of it. A career as a carer can take many paths; it can include caring for the young or the elderly as well as people with mental and physical disabilities. As a carer you may be required to provide emotional as well as physical support so your individual dexterities will play a part in the particular line of caring you choose to go down.
Aside from directly caring for an elderly person or vulnerable adult, there are other roles in the social care sector that you may wish to consider. For example; providing the administrative support needed to run a residential home or carrying out the maintenance or the catering - essential for the smooth running of the premises.
Check out this list ofcare jobs which will give you a better understanding of the type of roles available.
Would I be any good as a carer?
Everyone has their own individual qualities, but in general to be a carer you need to be an excellent communicator, patient, a great problem solver and physically fit. There are different opportunities within the caring profession - you could find yourself working in a nursing home or doing home visits to provide assistance. If you don’t have any previous related experience in this field a good idea is to consider doing some voluntary work in order to gain the necessary background.
You may not need formal qualifications before beginning a career as a carer. You do, however need to have a good understanding of the law and the welfare system - but there will be plenty of opportunities to learn this on the job. You will also be given the opportunity to gain more qualifications depending on how far you want to go in your career.

Jada x
There never seems to be a break within the year when you don't have to worry about money funds, when we think about it, really it all starts from the very first day of the year - January 1st. Think about it, we have sales thrown in our face, just a week after Christmas, a big event that's already broken most of us money wise, then we're shown all these amazing deals, and who's one to miss a bargain?

If you're a parent, you've got to think about the back to school event too, yes my child seems to have a growth spurt every time, and off I need to go to Clarks to buy yet another pair of shoes, then there's the school trousers, it's not the 60's and so ankle swingers would not be turning heads for the right reasons, and has Spud's arms really outgrown his school logo jumper already!?

So off we go to buy uniform, and whilst we're out buying that, your child see's a new lunch box, of course he has to have it, and the matching snack box and water bottle to go with it, then there's the fresh hair cut that needs a visit to the barbers, then there's birthday's, my mum's and cousins just days apart at the beginning of January alone.

Going through the year we have birthdays - every month, sometimes one a week during certain months! Valentines Day, Pancake Day, Mothers Day, Easter, Fathers Day, Halloween etc, the list goes on and on and on. We can't forget how quickly children grow too, it's not just the school uniform that constantly needs replacing, but the general clothes and footwear too and what about you? Can you really get away with wearing those jeans for one last time? They have so many sew marks in they may as well of been a sample from the second hand sewing machine you picked up, not wearable what so ever but good to practise on!

Then there's the bills, the gas, electric, water, tv license, council tax, rent, subscription tv, the house phone, the internet, the food shopping, the other household essentials and all the rest I've forgotten about, because as soon as I pay for one another creeps up on me!

Sometimes I do wonder why I work, it's not as though I can afford luxuries holidays abroad in the sun, and it's led me to wondering apart from the never ending bills and events, what actually happens to my money? I made a new years resolutions to save at least £10 a week and as part of my resolution I made the choice to change to the 123 current account at Santander.

I decided I had enough of changing gas and electricity suppliers, and even home broadband too just to save a few pennies each time. I was moaning to my friend who'd asked me to attend a girlie Christmas meal catch up that I had no money due to an enormous chunk of bills that needed to be paid when she told me about Santander paying you money when you pay your bills!

I was a little sceptical but after reading the facts for myself I thought it was surely worth a try and so I made the change, the first of many and now a month on, I can't see me ever leaving! I'm now finding myself being thrifty and making DIY gifts for people's birthdays, I cut out coupons from magazines and as for free samples, every one I see I sign up for!

After all a penny saved is a penny towards a pound, every penny matters, especially when you're a single mum with no help from the dad!

Do you have any money saving tips? Are you a thrifty shopper or great DIY'er?

Until next time,
Jada x

Mummy Can Be Loved Too.

by Jada, February 04, 2015
Pretty soon, they'll be a new person featuring on the blog from time to time as I introduce a new person to my life on a more permanent basis. Back in January, after five years of being single, kissing frogs or even toads and imagining me becoming a cat lady, I was asked out by someone I accidentally fell for.

The subject is a little bit tricky, and I hope for his sake my brother's not reading this post, you may be wondering why and don't worry I will tell you. I'm going out with my brother's friend.

My Superman.
That might be something really, really small to so many of you, but to my brother, and even to me, it's really big and it's something you just don't do. However, we can't help who we fall for, and even my brother can't deny that his friend brings out the happiness and best of me.

I've been so strong and independent for so many long years, yes I missed cuddles and talking to another adult, sharing the love within my heart, but honestly, I enjoyed the years of me being single. The longer my single years went on, the more determined I was to not ever get in another relationship.

It's hard when you got children, I worry about Spud feeling like something has changed between me and him, that he won't be mummy's number one any more, or that I wouldn't love him no more. I know it's crazy, but I'm a worrier, and a massive one at that.

Spud has always and will always be my number one, he will come before any one, and I mean any one for the rest of my life. It's always been me and him, well it was me, him and his dad until he was three years old, but ever since, it's just been the two of us, comfortably living and getting on great.

I'm taking things with the new partner slowly, it's been a long time since I loved someone that isn't family or a close friend. I've got walls as high as the sky surrounding me and I'm slowly getting use to the idea of letting them down.

Our first photo together.
He makes me happy, he makes me smile, he makes me feel special and lot's more. It's true what they say when they say you can't help who you fall for, and I know it only too well. None of this was meant to happen, but it has.

My brother received a visit from his friend face to face to tell him the 'news' after my brother started speculating more and more in regards to who was behind my recent bout of never ending happiness. He said it's going to take a while to get use too, and I can completely understand that.

For now, I'm taking things day by day and enjoying the moment.

Never let someone else ruin your happiness!

Until next time,
Jada xx