How To Get a Career In Childcare

by Jada, April 30, 2016
If you are thinking about a career in early education, childcare or playwork, then this helpful guide is for you.

There are numerous ways to become qualified to work with children in a variety of settings, from college courses to online childminding courses. Ensuring you enrol on the right one is important so that you secure your dream childcare role.

A rewarding career.
Children are important. Their early years are some of the most formative years of a child’s life thus the provision of high quality early years’ education, childcare and playwork is essential.

Quality care, education and play make a difference. They help all-­round development including social and learning skills.

Quality childcare is essential and helpful for parents too, especially with more families needing both parents in full time employment. There is no doubt that working with children is a fun and rewarding career.

What makes childcare exceptional?
The quality of early education and child care depends on the skills and training of child care workers. Investing in training is essential for both the child minder and nursery establishments too, not only to gain basic qualification but to also build on these basic, relevant skills and qualifications.

Looking after child is a demanding role, the right combination of skills and personal qualities are needed. And yet, it is possibly one of the most rewarding careers that anyone can choose.

The demand for child care staff has increased in recent years. And this upward trend looks like it will keep growing in the next few years. With parents and carers benefitting from free childcare places, the need for qualified child minders and nursery staff will also increase.

In effect, there has never been a better time to enter a career in childcare, play work or early years education.

Can you be a childcare worker?
Anyone with the right mix of skills and personal qualities can work in childcare and play settings. Traditionally, many of these workers have been women but there are opportunities for everyone:
  • Men and women are being encouraged to work within the child care setting
  • Adults looking to re­enter the employment market are also encouraged to look at what a career in childcare can offer them
  • Adults from any age can be a childcare worker
  • People from every ethnic and cultural background too
  • Employers prefer child care workers to be over the age of 17 but many nurseries and play centres allow 16 year olds with a real interest in child care to shadow senior staff
Understanding the roles within childcare.
Many people will train to be a child care worker with the intention of seeking employment within the sector. Many people go on to successfully secure work with privately run nurseries, as well as local authority run child care and play centres.

There are some specific child care schemes in some areas of the UK too, such as the SureStart and Flying Start family centres that work with families for a variety of reasons. Other people also go on to seek employment in local schools, becoming teaching assistants within reception years.

Other people who complete child care training will offer their services as self employed childminders. This entails offering care in their own home for two of three children, from babies to pre­school aged children. Some childminders also offer services such as dropping off or picking up older children from school.

High expectations
Parents and carers have high expectations from child care provision, whether this is from a nursery or from a childminder.

Essentially, they are looking for a safe environment, in which their child or children will be nurtured and cared for whilst learning too. As such, they expect a childminder or nursery worker to be qualified, skilled and experienced.

It is important at this point to note that the relevancy of qualifications between England, Wales and Scotland differ so always check when enrolling on a course that it is accredited by a reputable awarding body, as well as being recognised by relevant authorities.

Self Employed childminders, for example, will need to be registered with their local authority and a reputable qualification will be a contributory factor in you understanding the processes of registration, as well as why some aspects are needed.

In summary...
  • Check with your local authority if you plan on being a childminder what qualifications are relevant as well as how to start the registration process.
  • Approach local nurseries including local authority and charity run family centres of volunteering opportunities. Apply for a Disclosure and barring Service (DBS) check too as this will be integral to the registration or employment process.
  • Take a look at the benefits of studying for childcare qualification online too.

Until next time,
Jada x

Life's Dramas - I Need a Break!

by Jada, April 27, 2016
Recently a lot has been getting me down, but when I sit down and think of everything I've been doing, I can't say it's any surprise.

I'm not superwoman - who is!? She's a fictional character! Although I know there's loads of superwoman's and superman's out there, I think everyone is entitled to a break - superheroes included!

I'm engaged - but I hardly feel it sometimes, it's not as though I have time to spend with Gareth, not as much as the both of us would like. Being a full time single mum means I'm not free often, plus I work, part time technically, part time is what I get paid for, but the hours spent unpaid is more than just a few.

People see a blogger's life and they think we have it easy, they think we just sit at home all day answering the door to couriers dropping off parcels.

They think we can have time off work because we're our own bosses, they think we can spend hours on the phone chatting away, and have people round our homes for hours on end.

Yesterday I turned 26, not that birthday's are fun at my age and with my tired, worn out state, but the day got off to a good start. Gareth's mum come round and spent a few hours with me, it was the first time we'd been alone together as Gareth is usually with her, or I visit them at their house, I was quite nervous even though I've been with Gareth for over a year, but I literally had nothing to worry about, it was really nice.

My sister had popped in prior to this just quickly to drop off a card and a present, and once Spud had finished school, my brother Paul had popped in with a card, and my cousin and her baby girl come aroid for a few hours. Gareth and my brother Jamie had planned to come around in the evening, with Jamie treating us all to an Indian.

My dad was going well until I picked Spud up from school.

I didn't notice anything unusual in his behaviour or tone of voice, so was surprised when he asked me if he could move to a different school! I asked Spud why, along with asking him if something had happened today for him to come out and say that, he told me nothing had happened but he really wanted to go to a new school. 

I know my child, I know when he has something to hide, and I knew something was up. 

Not wanting to press on the subject too much around the school surroundings I waited until we got in to ask him more, he soon broke down in tears and told me that a girl - who'm he'd class as his friend had told him she would kill him.

I told Spud that NO ONE will ever hurt him, NEVER EVER!!!

However, he was still extremely worked up, terrified and upset, so I called his school and spoke to his teacher and she'd arranged to have a word with Spud in school today.

Spud is a child who loves spending time in his bedroom playing with his toys, reading and playing his game consoles, however yesterday, he was a completely different child, he followed me everywhere and sat as squashed up to me as he possibly could, he didn't want anything for dinner, but eventually agreed on a pizza when I told him it's important to eat - he had one slice, he didn't want to go to bed when it come to bedtime, he was scared to fall asleep.

Before anyone tells me what this girl said is child's behaviour - let me tell you it's NOT!

My child would never say that to anyone, and I strongly believe children only learn from what they've been brought up around.

Today has consisted of tears - lots of them, from both myself and Spud. He's been sobbing, catching his breath from crying so much telling me how scared he was to go to school - my child is scared for his life, to see him that scared, afraid and upset destroyed me.


I send my son to school for an education, not to be hearing vile threats from dragged up estate children, you know the child who's parents are so lazy, they can't be bothered to take them to school, the child who is never in correct uniform - its most probably a choice of fags or school clothes in homes like that.

Whilst I feel sorry for the child, because she clearly hasn't been brought up properly, I'm angry with her at the same time!

Spud is 10, she's in his year, so she's either nine or 10 years old, she should know BETTER, even though at NO age has my child ever said that to anyone, and I hope he never does!

This morning, so upset and frustrated that I can't deal with the situation the way I would love to, I thought about leaving this rubbish whole that I call home. Leaving the town altogether and getting me and my child miles away from here. My mum said moving to Cornwall was the best thing she ever done.

People say bullying happens everywhere, but having blogger friends who live in small villages, I know it's rare to see, whereas with places like Reading, and especially the part of Reading we live in, it's common. It's so common, too common for my liking!

We live in a disadvantaged area where so many children get free school meals because their parents are on benefits, and without help from charities and various organisations then these families don't get to see the seaside, they don't get holidays, they don't get nice days out and they don't even get a decent dinner - the cheapest chicken nuggets/fish fingers/sausages, chips and beans are most probably common scenes on their dinner tables.

I should add I love sausage chips and beans - I've not had it for a long time!

You get my drift.

I'm no way making out to be the perfect mother, I've had two small benefit stints where I was unable to work mainly due to Spud's health. However, I know to give my child a better life - I have to work for it.

I'm not going to pop out child after child so I can live off benefits for the rest of my life - what kind of life is that?

You're living but are you alive?

Another thing that's really getting me down at the moment also is constantly being asked to look after other children's kids.

I'm not a professional babysitter, child minder or nanny, and I need a break. I don't have my own life, my own social surroundings, if I'm not being a mum, I'm working, I need time with my own family, I even need time alone.

I'm not having a midlife crises or breakdown, but I do fear one could be around the corner if I take on anything else, if I don't get my life back to where I wanted it to be.

I have a house that needs decorating from top to bottom minus the kitchen and lounge, the smell from previous tenants has finally gone, but this isn't my home yet. Sometimes when I'm with someone who drives, I ask them to drive to our old flat - the one me and Spud called home, just so I can stare at the building that didn't bring us much happiness I must admit, but it was home, and it was decorated to how I wanted it.

I've got all the paint, gloss and wallpaper this house needs, but before I can think about decorating I really need to get the walls plastered!

Then there's my weight, and I don't even know where to start on that, I wouldn't even say I've became an elephant, because that's an insult to my favourite animals.

I've got huge though, seriously unhealthy, it's so bad that hardly any of my clothes fit me any more, and yet due to all the stress, I'm comfort eating badly. I wish I was one of those ones who got stressed and didn't eat, because I'm sure by now I'd be a nice size 10-12!

Life is poop at the moment, I just need a break from everything, some time to spend with my family.

Jada x
If you’re over 55, or you’re taking care of an elderly parent, then you may have considered equity release. This will allow you to access the value in a property without anyone having to sell or move. However, any money which you access through this has to be paid back with interest. One the one hand, it’s a way of getting your independence back, and living the way you want to. On the other, it can mean that you’re cutting some of your family out of the money you’d otherwise lead behind. Obviously, equity release isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Here are some things to consider before you proceed.

Image from Wikimedia

First of all, make sure you think about the alternatives. You may have been bombarded by junk mail and spam telling you all about the benefits of equity release. In this case, it can be easy to assume it’s the best solution to your problems. However, there are always alternatives. You should be looking into these before you make any big decisions regarding the future. One popular alternative is simply moving to a smaller home. There are expenses involved in downsizing, true. However, it will usually cost you far less than the set-up charges and interest of an equity release. Alternatively, you could ask your close family for support. I know that it may feel strange asking for help from your younger family. However, if you can swallow a little pride, getting help from those who care about you can be a great way out of your financial trouble. Whatever you decide on doing, make sure your family are informed throughout the process.

If you decide you are going through with an equity release, you should get advice from anywhere possible. There are countless equity release schemes available. With the wide selection in something you’re new to, it can be extremely hard to decide on what’s best for you. If possible, go looking for an independent equity release specialist who will be happy to talk you through the process. Failing that, there are a lot of online resources you can use to find out the full extent of your options. Tools like an equity release calculator could be a pretty good place to start. However, it’s always best to talk to someone in person. Before settling on an adviser, ensure their experience fits your personal circumstances. This is especially important when it comes to benefits, long-term care and so on.

Image from Pixabay

The next thing to consider is how much you need to borrow. Note how I say “need” and not “want”! Only ever borrow the amount you need to spend or give out. If you leave any cash on deposit, you’ll earn far less from this compared to the interest you’ll have to pay for borrowing it. Furthermore, borrowing money could mean that you lose out on certain benefits you otherwise would have been entitled to. Alternatively, you could look into a drawdown plan. Through this, you have a cash reserve which you can use in portions, rather than receiving a lump sum. The interest is only payable on the money you take out as and when you need it. for a lot of people, this is a far more cost-effective option.

When it comes to a lifetime mortgage, make sure you don’t overlook the APR. The annual percentage rate of a mortgage is the cost of borrowing over a year, including any fees as opposed to the headline rate. Far too many people completely ignore this, and end up tied to agreements which they never wanted. In some situations, the APR can add a whole 0.5 percent onto the headline rate. Usually, this is the cost of setting up the arrangement in the first place, and differences in how the interest rate is calculated.

Image from Pixabay.

Finally, make sure you’re getting all the legal counsel you need. Find a solicitor who has some proven experience working with equity releases. I know that you may be looking to save as much money as possible. However, without a legal professional on board, the whole process can be longer and less cost-effective. While equity release lawyers were hard to find in the past, these days there are many who have specialised in this niche. Your advisor should be able to give you a good recommendation. However, if you don’t trust their choice, go looking yourself. Consider these points, and you’ll have a much smoother experience with your equity release. My final piece of advice is to keep your long-term goals in mind. If you don’t have a set goal, a release could do more harm than good!

Jada x
Picture link.

If you’re planning on taking your kids camping sometime soon, you’re in for a real treat. You can spend time enjoying the great outdoors, discovering wildlife and learning new skills. But if you’ve never been camping before, it’s likely you don’t know what you need to take. The last thing you want is to arrive at the campsite to realize you’ve forgotten to get something you really need. This can make yours and your children’s first experience of camping truly miserable. So to give you some guidance, here are some essential camping items you cannot do without.

A Good Quality Tent
This may seem like a very obvious essential you need to take. But many first-time campers often don’t realize the importance of a good quality tent. If you buy a cheaply made, low-quality tent, it could leak, break easily and not give you the suitable space and structure you require. It’s always better to get the best quality tent you can afford that has enough room for each member of your family and their bags. Look at reviews online and talk to other parents about the tents they have bought for their camping trips. This should give you a better idea of what you need to look for. Also, try to find a tent that is easy to pitch and pack away. As it’s your first time, you don’t need the stress of pitching a complicated tent if you don’t have to.

A Gazebo
A gazebo is a brilliant camping essential that can provide comfort, space, and shelter from the elements. There may be periods during your trip when the weather may take a turn for the worst. While there is nothing wrong with going into your tent, you may find a gazebo lets you move around more freely. It can give you extra space to cook meals, play games and keep your belongings dry during bad weather. Instead of being limited to the space inside your tent. It can also provide some much-needed shade and stop you and your family getting sunburned. You can find gazebos for sale in camping shops and online in a range of different price points and styles to suit you.

Sleeping Bags
Sleeping bags are something every camper should have and without them, your nights will be very uncomfortable. Look for well padded, suitably sized sleeping bags for each member of your family. You can find some excellent adult and kids sleeping bags for a great price if you shop around in the sales. You can also find sleeping bag designs with hoods and pockets for extra functionality. This will make your tent far more comfortable to sleep in by providing protection from the floor and warmth. Shop around for the best prices and also consider air mattresses for additional comfort.

Now you know what you need to take; you can start looking forward to your camping trip. If you need a more extensive list of what items you need to take, look online for a camping checklist. Or talk to the staff in camping shops to make sure you are all prepared for your adventure.

Jada x
Thanks to the Internet, you can do just about anything today without having to move a muscle. Apart from, you know, online exercising.

Need a present for your best friend? Get it delivered – sometimes within the same day – by simply ‘clicking’ and ordering. Want to find out which is the best Instagram filter for a selfie? No problem.

So it makes perfect sense that you can now even ace your studies online, thanks to the help of a tutor who sits behind their computer screen and shows up on yours. It’s magic, really.

Online tuition such as that provided by My Tutor Web is fast becoming the only way to study; you can glean anything from the key themes in Jane Eyre (use online English forums for that) to how best to tackle algebra. And the best bit really is the fact that you don’t need to go anywhere to do so.

If you (or your parents) have some spare money you’d like to invest in furthering your education, you’ll find that cash towards online tuition is very well spent. Here’s why:

Online Tuition Will Be Devised at a Pace to Suit You – If you’ve ever felt a little lost in a classroom of 30 or so students, you’ll definitely benefit from online tuition. Devised at a pace to suit you, the tuition will help you get your head round a topic in your own time – and from the comfort of your own home.

You’ll Enjoy Teaching That Suits You – On top of the fact that your tutor will ensure you learn at your own pace; you will also be able to benefit from the style of teaching that best suits the way you learn.

It’s true that in a large class, some teachers may struggle to work out what it is you need to do your absolute best. But it won’t be too long at all before your online tutor will know what works for you.

He or she will always work hard to offer the best kind of teaching for the student they’re working for. They’ll encourage you in the areas you struggle with, while stretching you a little in those you excel at. After all, it’s in their best interest to make the class as fun and fruitful for you – a happy student equals repeat bookings, after all.

Online Tutoring is Simple and Convenient – If you’re someone who struggles to fit everything into your week, face-to- face tuition might not be the route to go down. When you have a tutor visiting your home, there’s a certain amount of preparation you might feel the need to do before they arrive. This might include tidying the home and ensuring you’re back in the house and ‘settled’ a little while before the class begins.

If you choose to book an online tutor instead, you’ll get a one or two-hour lesson which requires little preparation before it starts. Plus, once your hour is up, you can simply turn off your laptop or spend a little longer going over some of the things you’ve just learned.

Often, the sheer convenience of online tuition is the very reason so many people do it in the first place. So why not take a look online and see if you could at least try an online tuition tester session?

There’s no need to book a course of lessons like there would be with face-to- face lessons, which gives you much more freedom to first decide if it’s the right thing for you. Give it a go and see if you can improve your understanding of a subject in a matter of weeks.

Jada x

My Top Tips for First Time Renters.

by Jada, April 19, 2016
Like a lot of people in their twenties, I found it very difficult to move out on my own, especially with a young child to care for. I lived with my parents for a long time with Spud before we finally got our own place in 2008, but it can be a tough world for people just starting out. That’s why I’ve put together these top tips for anyone just going into the scary world of renting for the first time. Hopefully, it will give you that helping hand you need…

Be brutal with your budgeting
If you want to move out, there will be some tough decisions and sacrifices to be made, so unless you’re absolutely sure you can afford it then you should probably re-think. I’ve always worked and paid my own way, so I know how hard it can be just to pay for living costs, but you’ll have rent to think about, council tax, utility bills and food. Do your research on the area you want, and make realistic estimations of how much the running costs of a place will be.

Cater to children and animals
Some people might intend to rent for a number of years, in which case it’s better to allow for the growth of your family like you would when buying a house. For example, rent somewhere with some outside space if you want a pet, or get a place near good schools if you expect to still be living there when they reach that age. That way, you won’t have to move again just as you settle in.

At the flat, Spud desperately wanted a puppy dog, but our landlord wasn't clear on the rules, in one document it said permission was to be sought, in another it said no domestic pets! Although it broke my heart breaking Spud's heart, I had no choice but to abide by the rules! Now we're at the house and our landlord is fine with pets, Jezeppi is now the third member of our little family!

Pick an agent who treats you like a person
The agent you choose can affect the whole renting experience, and they can be like a dream to deal with, or a nightmare. How well you get on with them and how professional they are is crucial, so make sure you pick a business that is both friendly and knowledgeable. For example, there are plenty of letting agents in York, but Linley & Simpson are perfect for those who want to be treated like an individual rather than just another tenant!

Always check what’s included
Even if you’re going to opt for a fully furnished flat, there are some things that won’t be included. For example, you might get a TV stand, but you often won’t get a TV, but all of these little things add up to one big cost when you move in. If you’ve found somewhere you like, make a list of questions to ask your letting agent. Make an appointment to go through everything in detail that you’ll need to provide, and then you’ll be able to go away with an idea of the cost attached to it.

I hope these top tips help you to work out whether it’s time for you to strike out on your own – do you have any more tips for first time renters?

Jada x
The internet has created a whole new world of opportunities for people with low start up capital, minimum experience and little time. Blogs, websites, sites with pre written essays like and online businesses are some of the areas a creative mind can venture into. However, it is very important to note that online business is not for everyone.

Stay at home mums and single mothers are good candidates for online jobs because they possess high levels of discipline, are good at delegating tasks and are good time managers. The first step to a successful career is determining whether you possess the necessary skills to make your business a success. The ability to run a successful online job depends on your daily dedication to your job, how you handle failure and how much your are willing to reinvest.

It is important to clearly define your objectives before starting any business. Starting at the end helps you avoid problems in the future since you know your end product and your target market. Working on your passion is another way to ensure a successful career. Online businesses can be frustrating at times and doing something you love will help motivate you.

Here are some efficient and time saving ways one can make money online. The list is not exhaustive and is centred mostly around blogging. Product review sites and blogs is the first business we are going to look at, here income starts up slow and gradually increases as you build up. The business is centered around finding a category of products that you like and setting up a blog or a mini-site that focuses on reviewing these products. You can make money through adversiting a product, adsense and links and stores (by earning a commission on every visitor you send that buys something).

Expert sites and blogs are another way to make money online. This kind of business is a good way to develop a sustainable and long lasting source of income. It focuses on writing blogs on areas you are well vast about, it can even be on a narrow topic like walking. All that is required for a successful blog is creativity and a personal touch. You make money the same way as review blogs but here you can also grow a list of e-mail subscribers who will pay to read your blogs. This is just a brief summary on how to make money online but there are still other ways you can research about, and venture into.

Good luck,
Jada x
As a mum, it’s difficult to claim anywhere in your home as your own. Toys can just take over every single room. If you have good intentions or not, things can get a little out of hand. But it’s important to have a place of sanctuary. Somewhere you can relax and be you and not just mum. I find that your bedroom can be just the very place. It has no reason to be bombarded with things for the kids. If there are things that need to be there, they can easily be tidied away. However, not all of us have the chance to splash the cash on all sorts of things. So I thought I would share with you my ideas to update your bedroom on a budget. Allowing you to turn it into a little place for yourself.

Declutter and Think About Storage
First things first take a long hard look at your bedroom. Chances are there are many items in there that don't need to be. This is the perfect opportunity to declutter your bedroom space. A chance to throw out unwanted things. You could even extend the decluttering phase to your cupboards and wardrobe and start as you mean to go on. This doesn’t cost you anything. But can make such a huge difference to your bedroom. If it is untidy, it can’t be a place that you can relax and unwind in.

Once the decluttering has commenced it is time to think about storage solutions. Use any space you have and organise it to make it more usable. If you need to purchase some additional storage, then you could head to some of the pound shops where boxes are available in abundance.

Invest Only Where You Need To
If you are updating your bedroom, then you may need to replace some of your existing furniture. For one reason or another. But only invest in key pieces that are essential. The most expensive purchase in a bedroom can be the bed itself. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn't spend money on this item. You sleep in it every night at the end of the day. Sometimes just updating your mattress can make a huge difference to your night's sleep. Checking out the mattress sizing guides is essential before spending any money. For any other furniture, you could hunt out a bargain at a charity shop. Funky and unique pieces of furniture are donated all the time. You could find something that may just need a little TLC.

Think About a Theme
Perhaps you are not very imaginative. But this shouldn't stop you when thinking of a theme. Even if it is just a colour scheme to stick to. Some colours are known to help you sleep at night while others can offer a calming influence. Paint doesn’t have to cost a lot but can make a massive difference to your bedroom. It can make it feel fresh and clean with little effort.

Add Nice Soft Furnishings and Be Thrifty
Finally, add a few nice soft furnishings to your room to make it feel cosy and inviting. If you are crafty, then you could put this to good use by making some personal items. Or again head out to the shops. There are plenty of sales on at the moment providing lots of home bargains. I Hope this will help you update your bedroom on a budget.

Jada x

My Dream Birthday Day Outfit!

by Jada, April 13, 2016
My birthday is just under two weeks away, and it's got the family asking me what I would like this year and if I will be celebrating in anyway. When I was younger I would count down the days until my birthday and whatever celebrations I had planned - like most people I'm sure! However, now I'm older, and getting older by the year, birthdays are events that you soon come to realise that you don't want to come around so fast.

I've done everything I've wanted to do celebrations wise, I can't stand clubbing and to be honest, facing another birthday meal just doesn't seem exciting to me. I would much rather order an indian and get it delivered to me at home, and enjoy the evening with Gareth, the puppy-dog and Spud. I've got no celebration plans whatsoever this year, and to be honest, I can't see it changing anytime soon!

If money wasn't an object though, this post may be completely different, as all of you know by now, I'm a massive Disney fan, so if I had the money, I'd be jetting off to Disneyland for a few days, and would go mental with Disney store shopping, although I'm not sure where I will house everything I dream of buying!

The one thing I would possibly like to do is go shopping with Gareth in a brand new, fresh and nice outfit. So if any of my lovely family read this, shopping vouchers would be much appreciated - I suppose this is when I see who actually reads my blog aha! All shall soon be revealed I'm sure ;)

The outfit I'd love to go to shop and go to lunch in can be found below, it's very me, and the more I stare at the collage, the more I wish I had these items right now!

1. White Dipped Hem Shirt.
At the moment I am loving over sized white shirts! I'm a larger lady and love the way these shirts lay on you, they don't hide your figure, but do help compensate it. If my style of hat (number four) and shoes (number seven) wasn't black, this shirt may of just been black - because we all know black is a more flattering colour!

2. Ted Baker Small Raycon Bag.
With the 5p bag charge now in place across the UK, everyone need's a shopping bag of some sort! With this Ted Baker shopping bag, I can not only use it as a shopping bag, but as a personal bag too, popping my phone, purse, keys and other essentials inside. Designer brands don't have to come with designer prices, doing a search for a Ted Baker sale led me to this beauty which cost an amazing and affordable £13!

3. Ripped Effect Relaxed Jeans.
I'm not sure if ripped jeans are in fashion or not at the moment, but I honestly don't care! I've never been one of the sheep who follow the crowd, I prefer to say I have my own style, throwing this and this together! Ripped jeans are something I've always loved though, and since my favourite pair ripped in the wrong place a few weeks ago, I think they need to be replaced! You can dress them up with some pretty shoes, high or flat, or even dress them down with some Converse!

4. Black Hat.
This was the one item that kept coming in and out of the collage, just like when you go shopping in store, there's always one item that you can't quite decide on. I've never been a huge fan of hats, but after wearing one last year to soften the sunlight on my eyes, I may of become a little bit obsessed with hats, and I'm yet to add one like this to my collection!

5. Pearl Stud Earrings.
So often I find myself wearing fancy dangling earrings that don't even get any recognition as they're covered by my long hair. However, I still like to wear earrings, feeling somewhat naked if I don't wear earrings at all. These pearl style earrings may look large, but they're actually a decent size for the ear.

6. Resin Button Bangle.
I can be quite hit and miss with bangles, but I still love to wear them! When I was slimmer and younger, I would fill my wrist with them to wear, now I'm older, more wiser and somewhat larger, I like to wear just the one, and this beautiful Ted Baker one not only matches the colour of my Ted Baker bag, but it's the same designer brand with an affordable £11 price tag!

7. Black Slipons.
Slipons aren't always as easy as slipping on I must admit, but these slipons have my name all over them! For one, they have sparkles, secondly they have not one, but two buckles, and least but not last, they're black meaning they go with any colour of the rainbow and beyond!

What do you think of my birthday shopping and lunch outfit? Would you have something completely different, take some of the items out and replace them? Or keep it the exact same way as me?

Jada x
Britain has been seeing something of a handmade renaissance over the past few years. An increasing culture of customisation and creativity has come from a number of factors including wider access to craft supplies through small craft shops and growing numbers of hobby superstores offering everything from acrylic paints to yarn has made it much easier to try at home.

In the past couple of years, we’ve also seen an explosion in the ways in which ideas for hand-making can be inspired and shared. Popular website Pinterest has seen a flock of people joining to get inspiration for their own home projects while online handmade market Etsy has allowed people to search out hand-crafted products more easily than ever before.

To get a feel for the kind of wonderful creativity that is available across the country, take a look at our compilation of some of the most beautiful products currently on offer from around the UK.

Creative Cards
One area that has seen a real growth amongst hobbyists and professional designers is paper craft. The design and creation of unique, handmade cards for all occasions has taken off like never before and nowadays there is no need to risk giving the same flat store-bought greeting as someone else for a special event.

Happy Birthday - Handmade Card.

From miniature paintings through to intricate cut-work, cards can be anything from simple to incredibly detailed. No matter what your need for a card, you’ll be able to find something beautiful and truly unique handmade for you.

Where Tech Meets Craft
As more of us take on additional gadgets as part of our everyday lives, the hand-crafters of Britain step up to provide ways to keep them safe in style.

Knitted smart phone sleeves, hand-felted e-reader cases and quilted sleeves to protect your tablet pc fashioned from vintage fabric are springing up all over and bringing a unique touch to your tech. Some crafters are also branching out into leather work, and a bespoke leather pouch for your gadget can be commissioned for under £50.

Knitted Smart Phone Case.

Crafty clothes
There has long been a market in vintage and repurposed clothing, but a growing number of designers are now creating clothing from scratch. Using interesting fabrics, hand-cut patterns and made-to-measure sizing, it’s now possible to get the kind of bespoke tailoring your ancestors would have expected before the ready-to-wear revolution.

One area that is growing in popularity amongst buyers and makers alike is yarn craft. Knitting, crochet and weaving are all now popular ways to create attractive garments from interesting fibres. Hand-made accessories such as socks and scarves take us back to our childhoods in the best way.

Gorgeous jewellery
Jewellery has long been the preserve of high-street gold- and silversmiths, but individual hand-crafters are taking the art back from the big creators.

Beautiful Silver Ring.

One of the benefits of handmade jewellery is the ability to choose something made from a material you would not normally find in a commercial store. Whether it's pendants made from children’s toys or rings forged from unusual metals or even carved from wood, there seems to be no limit to the imagination of creative hand-crafting jewellers.

Handmade Home
While in our grandparents’ day almost all of what was in the home would be handmade, the advent of department stores and cheap mass-production meant that home accessories and soft furnishings became something you bought rather than made. As large brands such as Habitat and later Ikea reduced prices, it hardly seemed worth making your own or seeking out hand-crafted products.

The pursuit of uniqueness and originality in home furnishings combined with a higher value placed on recycling has led to some interesting developments in hand-made home wares. Cake stands from mismatched plates, glasses made from re-purposed wine bottles and lamps made from car parts have become some of the most desirable home items in the UK.

The hand-makers of Britain have grown in confidence and expanded into creating beautiful objects we can wear and display. These items bring a real touch of uniqueness to our homes and lives.

Until next time,
Jada x
 Travelling anywhere with kids is never an easy thing to do but it can be more fun to share the memories together. When travelling to Italy, or to any other country for that matter, it is important to know a few or more things before the actual day of travel. Here are top tips to help you for your Italian travel with your family.

Make your bookings in advance.
Italy is a top tourist country and you can expect it to be packed in almost any season. It would be wise to make your reservations way before your travel dates so you will be assured of a good place to stay. It would be a great idea to consider hiring a luxury car to make your transfers more comfortable and convenient for the entire family. Besides, the children will find it more fun to be going around in a car where they can look out the windows at the passing panorama. You can easily find a trustworthy convertible car hire in Italy via websites which is specialised in short and medium term rental of high end cars.

Consider the family’s needs.
Tagging kids along is not a joking matter. While adults have their own needs, kids have even more and in this case, theirs become top priority. We know Italy is a well ­developed country and you can expect to find all the things you need but it is important to be ready. Make sure to consider the health of your child, their physical capabilities and their interests before you make travel plans. While mom and dad would be content to visit museums, walk among ancient ruins, or go climbing mountains and volcanoes, children need fun to keep them interested. So, when you make your itinerary, include everybody’s interest. There are bio parks, zoos, amusement parks as well as adventure parks that cater to both adults and children of all ages.

Plan, plan, plan.
It is important to plan everything especially that you will be away from the comfort of your home. Plan every single detail – housing, places to visit, things to pack, and other important matters. Make sure you also have back­up plans just in case your initial agenda can’t be done. List down all the best places to visit where you can meet both your interests and your kids’ needs without much difficulty.

Have fun!
Italy is a place where you can have tons of fun. Once you’re in the country, get on with your plans and visit all the places you listed down. Be adventurous with the cuisine. Learn some Italian words and create wonderful memories together.

Jada x

My Summer-Dream-House!

by Jada, April 08, 2016
As summer will soon be here, according to the season's of course and not going by the look of the weather we've had recently, I've been busy pinning items that I'd love to have my self! One of my recent boards have been all about summer houses - something only a year and a half ago I wouldn't of been dreaming of at all as we was stuck in the flat!

Now though, my dreams can run free with gardens, instead of dreaming for a garden of some sort, I can now let my imagination run free with what I'd like in my garden. When I was younger, I never really paid flowers too much attention, but now I'm older and have my own garden I really can see the beauty in them, so once all the flowering is done, I would love one day to be able to walk down to the bottom of my garden, and find myself unlocking a summer house!

Some people would like a conservatory, some people would like decking, some people would like a football court, whilst some think of the garden as the last place they'd like to be, and I dream of a summer house. Somewhere I can relax in the summer on my days off whilst Spud plays with his garden toys or spends time in his pool, a summerhouse that can be sound protected for garden gatherings so I don't annoy the neighbours gone 8pm, a summer house I can call my own - because I can't keep pretending my brother's house is mine aha!

I've put together this board, to remind myself in the future (when I finally get around to doing my garden), of what I would love in my dream summer house!

1 - Glass Flower Floor Lamp - Homebase.

I can just imagine the setting now, Spud is enjoying the last of the summer sun, playing on his swing, it's 7pm, it's not dark, but it's not light, I'm laid on the sofa in the summer house reading a summer novel, reading with the light of this beautiful stylish, trendy and summery style lamp!

2 - Parker Knoll Albany Leather Sofa - Fishpools

Every summer house needs a seating area to relax, and whilst we can have garden tables and chairs in our gardens, we can't have sofa's like our homes lounges! This is just one of the Parker Knoll sofas that I've took an interest to, I'm not keen on the colour, but love the design! If only it was a gray! However, by the time I have the funds, I'm sure new designs will be out!

3 - Creative A550 5.1 Speaker System - Power Computing

For the social gatherings and garden parties I hope to have, a speaker system is an essential! Even if I never have a garden party or get-together, music is a big part of my life, so either way - this is an essential! I can imagine me having a little boogie in the summer house along to my favourite tunes

4 - Tefcold Glass Door Mini Bar - Mini Fridge

The whole point of a summer house in my opinion is living in the house near enough during the summer! I have quite a long garden and when relaxing in the summer house I wouldn't want to have to keep going back indoors for various things, so a mini bar/fridge is an essential for me and Spud to keep hydrated during the hot summer days! It'll also be great for any garden parties/gatherings I host!

5 - BillyOh Winchester Log Cabin - Garden Buildings Direct

The summer house itself of course! I think it's going to be around five years time until I actually have the funds to get things moving, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find a bigger summer house in this kind of design when I'm ready! This log cabin is lovely, and with my own touches put in place, it will be the perfect dream summer house!

6 - Spring Trail Duck Egg Blue Floral Wallpaper - Laura Ashley

I love wallpaper, and although I've never seen anyone else with a summer house that has wallpaper, I really don't care! I love this wallpaper especially, it's full of colours I love, it's summery, it's modern, it's flowery - it's just perfect! I know once you bring in a certain wallpaper you have to be careful with the other items in the room though! For now though, it's perfect!

If you could design your dream summer house, what's the number one must have for it? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Jada x