World Book Day with Disney ♥

by Jada, February 29, 2016
Anyone who's visited Unique Young Mum or any of my social media platforms will know how much me and Spud love Disney. I'm not just talking about Disney Land, I'm talking about everything Disney, the Disney Store, all the Disney movies - Classics, Pixar, the lot, you name it, we own it! I'm talking about the shows across the various Disney channel's, books, characters, toys, tableware, decorations, clothing and so much more!

On Thursday the 3rd March, over 100 countries worldwide will be taking part in the 19th World Book Day! World Book Day has become a much loved and celebrated event in the UK, with it being a celebration of authors, illustrators and books, but most importantly it's a celebration of reading, something that should be embraced and focused on by all of us!

Across the UK, it's become a regular celebration for children at playgroups, nurseries, and schools to dress up as their favourite characters, mainly from books, and nowadays, near enough every character, if not all of them, have a book on them, so it's easy for your child to dress up as their favourite character for the much anticipated event!

Being the obsessed Disney fans that both myself and Spud are, of course, in true fashion, Spud wants to dress up as a Disney character, and luckily for us, the Disney Store has a fantastic choice of costumes available for children, and even some adult costumes and accessories too! With 25% off their costumes, it's so easy to be Part of the Story with Disney Costumes!

After spending the best part of an hour looking at all the fabulous costumes available, Spud finally settled with the Stormtrooper Costume from Star Wars: The Force Awakens priced at £35.95 (this is one of the few costumes which isn't in the sale). 

The costume is available in sizes 3-13 years, it's an all in one 100% polyurethane bodysuit with segmented vinyl covering and screen art, it includes the suit, a hard plastic half mask with see through mesh eyes and elastic band with self-stick fabric closure to ensure a secure fit, a belt and three swappable pauldrons allowing your child to choose their level; Red = Officer, Black = Sergeant and White = Squad Leader.

The pauldrons attach with self-stick fabric closures, whilst the bodysuit features self-stick fabric openings for easy on and off access. The belt features a pouch, padded foam accents and self-stick fabric closures. The costume is wipe clean only, so not available for machine wash, but after wearing it for dinner and spilling some dinner down it, it was very easy to wipe clean again!

Keeping in tune with World Book Day, Spud has created this short story below based on his costume that he would love to share with you all!

Once upon a time, there was a lady who loved Disney but sadly she had never been to visit her dream location which is Disneyland. One day whilst she was day dreaming about Disneyland yet again, a Storm Trooper appeared out of nowhere, introduced himself as Spud and asked the princess what was wrong.

The lady explained that she was sad because she wanted to visit Disneyland but everytime she tried to save money, bills and other essentials took her money away from her dream. Spud the Storm Trooper told the lady not to worry because he was going to help her dream come true! Spud pulled a lightsaber out of his back pocket, and used it as a magical wand to put a treasure chest full of money in front of the ladies eyes!

Before the lady could turn around to say thank you to the Storm Trooper, he had disappeared into a galaxy far, far away! The lady pinched herself because she thought she was dreaming, but she wasn't asleep and the treasure chest filled with money was real! Little did she know, Spud - the Storm Trooper who visited her, had been sent to her by her guardian angel.

The lady went to Disneyland and had a magical Disney time and met her favourite Disney Princess Belle, whilst Spud, the Storm Trooper, watched on from his iPhone in the galaxy far, far away!

The end.

World Book Day is on Thursday 3rd March 2016. Whatever you're doing for the day, I hope you all have a lovely time!

Until next time,
Jada x

Capturing Life's Special Moments!

by Jada, February 26, 2016
When I was a child, when someone had a proper camera, and not a disposable one that you'd need to get the film developed, it was a pretty big deal! Nowadays, having a camera is somewhat of the norm isn't it!? We have phones, tablets, game consoles and even computers having camera functions, we have portable photo booths where we get passport photos done and we even have camera's in extra large boxes filled with lots of props for weddings and parties!

We've become a nation that takes an average of at least one photo per day - per person, it's safe to say we can't be anywhere without our camera's! We're now a selfie obsessed nation, we take photo's of ourselves with selfie sticks and capture the scenes from our camera screens, from food to tourist attractions, historic landmarks to children's plays and sports days, we even like to capture the latest news headlines!

Years ago, a newspaper or news station would rely on journalist and photographers to capture photos and videos for their stories, nowadays with nearly everyone having access to a camera of some sort, it's possible for anyone to catch what will soon be the latest news. I read news stories on a daily basis with passers by sending in clips and photos covering the story, passers by are on the scene immediately, whereas journalist and photographers need time to hear the news, and then time to travel to the said place.

We fill our diaries, both online and offline, both private and public with photos of our day to day lives, the food we've consumed, the outfits we've worn, the places we've visited, the products we love, the weather we miss, and the moments we've captured, the world is full of photo's, and what a beautiful photographic world it is!

Since becoming a blogger, I take more notice and pay more attention when I'm taking photo's, I check my surroundings and try to get the most perfect shots! I use photo editing apps to give me the best effect, and make sure my camera settings are adjusted for the photo's I take. As much as I love the camera on my iPhone 6, there's nothing like a proper camera to capture those special moments!

Until I can afford a DSLR, I've got a bridge camera which is okay I suppose, but after finding a competition online from Columbus Direct for a Canon Powershot SX400 camera, I had to enter it! There's something so peaceful and relaxing about taking perfect photos, and with a decent camera, such as the one up for grabs, those special photo's will be much more easier to capture.

From taking photo's to your child's play to your siblings graduation, photo's at a friends wedding to a godchild's Christening, a birthday party or sports day, you name it, the camera captures it! The world will never have enough photo's to fill it, so don't worry about the 400 selfies in your camera roll, or the 100 shots of the same plate as food, lifes to short to ever take too many photos! 

Jada x
After a certain age we take using scissors for granted. We stop running with them and handing them to others points-first and just get on with them. However, safety first isn’t the only life lesson they can teach us. Using scissors helps us to acquire fine motor control and hand-eye co-ordination.
Kids love cutting up paper (and sometimes the tablecloth and each other’s hair…), so this is one learning curve they practically run up!
Fine motor skills
Scissors are ideal for teaching young hands to be subtle and strong, all at once. Start off on easy cutting exercises on downloadable printed sheets – try straight lines, triangles or wavy lines. Stock up on paper, find the cheapest ink cartridges online and get printing!
You might worry about your kids cutting themselves, or worry they’re too young to be using scissors, but many developmental psychologists think that two or three is a good age to start. Make sure they’re using a blunter pair – maybe even plastic bladed – and always supervise.
Here’s the lowdown on the benefits
Using scissors builds up the small muscles in the palm. These same muscles are used in writing, painting, cleaning teeth, using cutlery and pulling up underwear – all vital life skills (especially the last one!).
It also enhances hand-eye co-ordination – synthesising vision, visual processing and hand movements to perform and complete a task, like zipping up a coat, playing ball games and eating.

Using scissors encourages bilateral co-ordinationusing both sides of the body at once, to perform different activities. Think about it – you’re cutting with one hand and manipulating the paper with another. This helps with things like using a keyboard, washing up and getting dressed.

Spud's arts and crafts corner.
How to do it
First of all, the child should practice opening and closing the scissors, feeling the resistance and getting used to the movement. Then they should feel how it is to cut through paper. If the child finds it hard at first, then try out something similar, like a hole-punch or barbecue tongs.
Don’t expect instant results, especially with younger children. Let them ave fun and wait for their technique to develop. It takes muscle control, strength and stamina, so just watch over them and wait for this to develop.
Sometimes children turn their hands upside-down when they’re cutting, so tell that they need a thumbs-up posture, which is easy to remember!
Other ideas: Using playdough
Cutting up playdough is an easy start, as you only really need one hand. Also, once cutting has become a bit samey, your child can start modelling, squeezing and tearing it, which is great for the hand muscles too.
Using cookie dough
This is fun because you get to eat the results in the end! It works the same as playdough, but maybe restrict the freehand play…no-one likes added essence of toddler with their biscuits.
Coloured construction paper
Forget about following patterns and just free-cut, then glue the pieces onto a sheet of paper for a mosaic.
Until next time, Jada x

WIN: £30 Voucher for Custom Canvas Store!

by Jada, February 23, 2016
Every year we celebrate the special ladies in our lives on Mother's Day, whether it's a mum, mother, grandmother, step-mother or another special lady who's like a mum to you, we treat them on their special day. I don't know about anyone else, but choosing gifts for these special people can become somewhat tricky, my mum for example doesn't collect anything, not bags, shoes or pretty nail varnishes! My mum's birthday is in January, just days after Christmas, and Mother's Day is always in March, so trying to buy three special presents within a three month period can be rather tricky.

Instead of buying my mum another pair of boots, or a voucher for one of her favourite shops, this Mother's Day, I want to buy something for her that'll last a lifetime, something that won't wear away, something that can only be used during certain seasons (like an expensive umbrella) or something that needs to be eaten within a certain period, I want to gift my mum with something that will last forever, all year round, a memory and something she can look at whenever she pleases - I'm talking about a canvas, picturing her and Spud.

I've teamed up with Custom Canvas Store to give one of my very lucky readers/visitors a £30 voucher to spend on their canvas products! Maybe you'll use the voucher to buy the mother in your life a canvas, or maybe you'll treat yourself to a canvas from your children, who're not yet old enough to buy their own presents, because every mother deserves to be treated on Mother's Day.

Entry to the competition couldn't be any more easier, simply enter your details in the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck,
Jada x

Competition T&C:
To enter this giveaway please follow the Rafllecopter form below.
This competition is open to UK residents only.
The winner will be randomly selected via rafflecopter. Entries will be verified.
The winner will be contacted directly by one of the Custom Canvas team.
The prize will be an E-voucher up to the value of £30 to be used on the Custom Canvas website and has no cash value.
This giveaway ends 6th March 2016.

The Plans For Spud's Room!

by Jada, February 22, 2016
When I first moved out of my father's home around seven years ago, I left with my bed, Spud's cot, his toys, my accessories and our clothes. I was with Spud's father at the time, but due to unforeseen circumstances he was unable to work so we were living off my small earnings each week. We were grateful for our own home - our own space, however we were eating, sitting and sleeping from my bed, as we didn't have any furniture to sit on.

Over time, I slowly started building my home, and now seven years on, if I could go back, I would. I filled my home with cheap, and badly made, furniture that have needed to be replaced more times than Spud's £5 comfort blanket! Now I'm older and wiser, I understand you pay for what you get, so paying £100 for a cheaply made bed, and £120 for some MDF you stick together isn't going to last you years.

Before I decorate Spud's room, I'd love to replace his furniture and bed. At the moment he has a mid-sleeper which has been fine to be honest, and can be sold as it's in perfect condition, but with Spud approaching 10 years old with his birthday arriving next month, I've been thinking of getting him a normal single bed. One that he doesn't have to climb a ladder each night to get in, which can be a difficult task if he's half asleep after falling asleep on the sofa!

Spud wants his room themed, his two preferred choices are star themed or football themed, so it would be great to have his furniture matching the theme of his choice. I've found lots of football themed furniture online (my favourite pieces so far are from Ollie & Leila), but I can't find many star themed items. It's more DIY MDF with stickers and cheap ones at that, I'm not the biggest fan of stickers and I've not got the most steady of hands!

When it comes to the bed, I've found the perfect football themed one! Ollie & Leila create bespoke beds that can be personalised too for no extra cost! Made from Scandinavian Redwood Pine and complete with a five year guarantee for peace of mind, the bed is really starting to warm on me and I've already found the perfect wallpaper to match!

In regards to the walls, I'm not sure if I'm going to go old fashioned and have a border up midway, keeping the walls a fresh white, and have a goal transfer on his main wall, OR, do I get football themed wall paper and put a feature wall in his room? I'm willing to go all out for this room transformation as I can imagine it being the last themed room Spud will have before he reaches a teenager! When he was a baby he had Winnie the Pooh, and then Mickey Mouse, then Toy Story and now either football or stars.

The carpet will be green if the football theme is decided on, I'm not a fan of green at all and wouldn't personally choose it myself! Previously Spud has always had blue carpets, but unless the star theme is his preferred choice then it's green carpet and either football themed blinds or green blinds to match the carpet!

Then it's just a matter of keeping the room tidy, something I'm really struggling with at the moment as it doesn't matter how many times I ask Spud to tidy his room, it falls on deaf ears! Even when I threaten to remove his television from his room he isn't bothered and doesn't budge a finger! In the end I get so annoyed at seeing the sight of it I end up tidying it myself, promising myself I won't next time, only to do it all over again!

Talking about tidying up his room, I must go and do that now as we have my nephew staying for the night this evening, and if he comes here with the room in the state it is, he won't be able to put a foot down to play, let alone sleep in there!

Jada x

WIN: $100 eBay Gift Card!

by Jada, February 19, 2016
In this day of age, with all the technology and amazing inventions and services available, you'd think nothing would be impossible, let alone hard wouldn't you? However, we couldn't be more wrong, you may of heard about the latest Christmas crave which is The Elf on the Shelf. The tradition is becoming a quick world wide must, with elves visiting your homes for the festive season to monitor your childs behaviour, reporting back to santa on a daily basis, or so your child believes.

I will admit, it has become a tradition for us, and Spud is not only excited for santa to arrive, but also for his elf's annual visit! We've done things that we never would of thought of without having our elf, things like a North Pole Buffet, a North Pole Breakfast and even a Elf on the Shelf themed Christmas party/gathering. However, we can't do it as big as our friends over in America because the lack of items available here on British soil.

Luckily we have websites available that ship to the UK, but posting cost and customs charges soon add up, making the cost more expensive than a flight to America! Okay maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but still, you get my drift! One website that does seem to ship to the UK more than others is eBay, and with one search of the best eBay redemption codes bringing up many, it's easy to get a good a bargain including the postage cost!

I'm helping host a competition for one lucky winner to win a $100 eBay gift card, and I'd love to know what you'd spend it on if you won? Would you buy a hamper full of American treats including fizzy drinks, candy and cereal? Or maybe you'd buy a pair of shoes that you can only get over in the states! What you spend the money on is completely up to you!

I know exactly what I would buy if I was to win, it would all be spent on Disney items and Elf on the Shelf products! I've not got a clue where to start with the Disney items, as America is the home of Disney, and have so much more than us here in the UK, but I do know where to start with The Elf on the Shelf items, and instead of just writing the products down, I thought I'd show off pictures of the products as well!

From cupcake cases and cake decorations to cookie/cake tins, from games to pyjamas, candy canes and gingerbread houses, the states really do have it all! If I could afford to fly over there, it wouldn't be for a holiday, it would literally be to buy lots and lots of Elf on the Shelf items!

So here's your chance to spend $100 on whatever you please, the choice is absolutely yours!

Good luck!
Jada x

Saving My Sofa From The Puppies Teeth!

by Jada, February 19, 2016
When you get a puppy, no one tells you about the bad things that can happen, people just like to tell you about all the good things, like the puppy cuddles, the giggles they'll give you when they see a dog on the television, and how they'll protect you from intruders and strangers. No one ever tells you about the bad things puppies can get up to though, like how they'll run around and roll themselves in mud just minutes after bathing them, how they'll think your dinner is theirs when you leave it on the edge of the table, or how they'll chew and ruin your furniture and items, like your shoes and sofa's!

I suppose it's just like pregnancy!

I love our puppy dog dearly, he is now part of the family, and I love, care and worry about him just as much as I worry about Spud, however I can leave the puppy dog alone, but not Spud! It's just the puppy is so much more hard work than Spud, don't get me wrong, Spud has accidentally broken things over the years, but he hasn't chewed up three lamps, a phone charger, a DS charger and ruined my sofa's!

I've been searching for ways to save my sofa's as they're not that old when I come across the infographic below, I'm shocked at how many sofa's make landfill waste every year, and knowing my sofa's aren't broken, just damaged, I can't really throw them away, nor afford that option either to be honest!

For now, I'm going to cover the sofa's with some black throws, and just hope the puppy doesn't chew them up like he has so many of his blankets!

Puppy/Dog owners, please tell me things get better!?

'Does The UK Have a Problem With Old Sofas? [Infographic]' – Created by Plumbs Reupholstery.
Everyone benefits from taking regular exercise – it’s proven to be good for both the mind and body but not everyone finds it easy to exercise regularly.
Although exercise comes in many forms, from a brisk walk to a full marathon, getting a regular workout can still be difficult for anyone with a physical or mental impairment, but choosing the right routine and the right equipment can make things a whole lot easier.
The main thing to bear in mind is that exercise needs to be both fun and inclusive, especially where children are concerned, and cycling offers exactly that.

Why choose cycling?
Cycling is a great way to exercise for people of all ages and abilities as it offers a highly effective, low-resistance cardiovascular workout. And it’s fun!
As is the case with all forms of exercise, cycling promotes physical and mental well-being, but it also has the added benefit of encouraging independent mobility, something that can be particularly empowering in those with additional needs, particularly children.
And the very nature of the cycling means that riders can go it alone or as part of a team, meaning it can present a challenge to individuals, or encourage social interaction; it all depends upon what the rider wants to get out of it.
So, what exactly can the rider get out of it?

What are the benefits of cycling?
Whether riding as part of a team or going solo, cycling can benefit children with additional needs in all areas of their lives.
Children with limited mobility, for instance, will not only benefit physically but will also find the experience empowering and flourish from the independence getting about on a bike offers them.
And all children will be stimulated mentally by the challenge that cycling offers and feel rewarded by the sense of achievement that comes at the end of a rigorous ride.
As far as physical benefits go, cycling promotes improved postural control, co-ordination, strength and stamina and is especially good for the heart and lungs as it provides non weight bearing aerobic exercise.
One of the best things about cycling, though, is that it’s a fully inclusive sport, meaning all age ranges and abilities can take part side-by-side – and to ensure it’s fully accessible (and fun!) for children with additional needs, there are a range of adapted bikes to suit all requirements.
It’s just a matter of choosing the right one for your child.

What types of adapted bicycles are out there?
There is an extensive range of cycles designed specifically to suit the needs of children with disabilities, but there are broadly four options available:
Two-wheeled tandems – these allow the adult to steer while the child helps with the pedalling.
Wheelchair tandems – these offer youngsters who have little or no movement the chance to get out and about on a bike.
Tricycles – balance can be a problem for anyone getting on a bike, and it’s exacerbated by some physical impairments. Trikes offer extra stability and come in both recumbent and upright styles.
Stabilisers – fitting stabilisers to a standard bike is always a good option for children who struggle on two wheels but don’t necessarily need a tricycle.

Where can I get advice & support?

Inclusive cycling specialists, Quest 88 have recently opened a Bike Shop and Adaptive Cycling hub in Shrewsbury. Quest 88 aim to create and support a community of cyclists, with and without additional needs. Every Wednesday, free weekly rides allow people of all ages and abilities to cycle in a safe and friendly environment. Regular advice sessions and extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff, make it a great place to gain lots of information and support from experts and peers alike.

The National Cycling Charity offers help and support for Inclusive Cyclists, including guides to adaptive cycles and an Inclusive Cycling Directory. Finally, Wheels for Wellbeing also offers advice and support and runs regular drop-in inclusive cycling sessions.

If you know a child with additional needs who has benefitted from getting out and about on a bike, I'd love to read your comments below!
Until next time, Jada x

Coming Soon: Mothers Day Feature.

by Jada, February 17, 2016

Celebrating the special Mother's, Mums, Mummies, Mama's, Nans, Nannies, Nana's, Grandmothers, and anyone else with a special role.

If you're a company and would like to be involved, please email me at


A Letter To My 11 Year Old Self.

by Jada, February 16, 2016

Dear 11 year old me, you're going through some confidence issues right now and you've done the right thing with your parents by seeking out the right help. Three years prior, you was eight years old, you had nearly all your adult teeth but you started getting pains in your gums. An appointment at the dentist confirmed your teeth wasn't growing correctly, and you'd need braces to sort everything out.

You was excited, you was going through that stage of wanting braces, you didn't care about the embarrassment some people feel, you thought they was cool and you hoped to be getting train tracks so you could change the colours regularly. You waited for an orthodontist appointment and that soon arrived, you was really excited and went along to the appointment with your mum.

You wasn't even sat down in that orthodontist's chair for two minutes when without warning she stabbed your gum with a needle, something that's scared you since birth, and something you're still scared of now in the future at the age of 25. You jumped off of that chair, ran towards the door, opened it and ran out into the car park, your mum soon followed and pleaded with you to come back in, but you didn't, and you never went back to the appointment they re-booked for you, you refused point blank, no matter what you was bribed with.

Now at the age of 25, you class this to be one of your biggest life regrets, you don't have many, but refusing to get your teeth sorted is something that upsets you on a daily basis. It affects your confidence so much, you don't even like smiling to the man who proposed to you, the man you now call your fiance (yep, you got engaged to a gorgeous charming young man, and you've got a child too, you had him at the age of 15 and he's just perfect!).

Your child is the only person you smile at, without covering your mouth with a hand, your child is the only person you've smiled with whilst taking photographs, though you don't have the confidence to show them photo's off, and it makes you upset when you think about important days in his life like his graduation, getting married and making you a grandmother.

You also worry about your own wedding, you don't want to be a unhappy bride, but you know you don't have the confidence to smile with the teeth that you hide. You wish to win some big money, because then you could afford dental implants and to get married! Right now, you're struggling to afford to get your eyebrows waxed, let alone save for a wedding and dental treatment.

I tried to find a photo of you and your teeth from the future, but sadly I could only find one, the photograph is taken with your older sister (who now has two children), your second eldest brother and his partner (yes he finally come out as gay, we all knew he was!), you're smiling, off guard, you was propositioned by the person taking the photo to smile, and for one split second you did so, and at that very instance, they caught you.

Usually you would pout, or smile with your mouth closed, and then refuse to want to see the photo anywhere because of how awful you look. You position yourself to be at the end of photo's, so you can easily be cropped out without upsetting anyone else by cropping them out.

So I'm writing to you from your future, to tell you to please go back to the follow up appointment booked in for you, because your confidence will only get worse, and besides, you go on to have a baby in life, so needles are something you're soon get use to! You'll never like them, but your soon learn they're quick and easily over with! Oh and you have a tattoo when you turn 16, so you can't be that scared!

Love from your older self, 14 years into the future!