A couple of weeks ago I got into a public debate on my personal Facebook page which seemed to of got a few people rather frustrated. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm outspoken and not afraid to speak my mind, and when it comes to my child, I'm the first to admit that only I know best for him, no one else on this earth knows my child like I do, including his father!

I put a status up on my own Facebook profile about children being punished for other children's bad behaviour, some of the comments left on my status was rather shocking. Let me explain what my status was about.

A teacher shouted to a whole bunch of children if pushing wasn't stopped then everyone would be returning to their classroom.

Not my child!

Not because he's my child, but because he didn't do ANYTHING wrong!

Why should my child be punished for another child/other children's behaviour

Well he never has and hopefully never will, because I will kick up a storm! I'm not afraid to air my voice or opinion and I'm not afraid to stand up for a child when it needs to be done! If my child is being taken back to a classroom then best believe it's because of something he's done, and not because of something another child/group of children have done.

All of Spud's school life I have been told a countless number of times by teacher after teacher how well behaved he is, myself, family and friends can agree, he is such a well behaved little boy, of course he has his moments but who doesn't?

We need to remember that us adults have down days, we have moments where we have grumpy moods, bad attitudes and we act differently, but I don't hold that against my child and say he's naughty, he has a downish moment around once every six weeks, it's usually because of a game he is struggling with, but my point is, we need to stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we attain ourselves, we're all human - no one's perfect!

Back to the story about the Facebook debate, homework was also mentioned. I see home time as HOME time, not home to do more work, but home to chill out, to enjoy time with the family, home time to enjoy your parent's favourite meals, for quality bonding time and much more. I believe education is vital and without education, I wouldn't be where I am today, but I don't believe in homework.

Reading is fine, helping me with the cooking/baking is fine, it's helping Spud learn valuable life lessons, he has a bookcase that can't hold all of his story books, then he has a storage box full of educational books, we go out on the weekend to visit tourist attractions - many that hold years of History behind them, and even a trip to the park can be educational when you come across some of nature's insects, so Spud is still continuing to learn at home, in many different ways, but in ways that he chooses to.

School isn't the most pleasant of places to be, as a child I hated school, if there's a stronger word than throw it in, and that's fine. I don't know of many children that LOVE school, enjoy it to an extent yes - but love it no! Even if I did come across a child who loved being in school more than being at home, I'd think I'd be worried with what sort of homelife the child had - but we'll leave that for another day.

Some of the comments left on my status was people agreeing with me, some not so - which is fine. I am one of the first to tell others off for not allowing others to have an opinion, I couldn't imagine the world if there wasn't debates, I was on the Youth Parliament team for a reason, later making the Roll of Honours for my local council. If I didn't have a child, I could just imagine me sitting in the Houses of Parliament having a debate on a weekly basis, I find them very interesting.

Not getting into politics, let me show you some of the comments, without mentioning names of course.

Of course everyone's entitled to their opinions, but how is this making a walk over teacher? Okay then...

A valuable LIFE LESSON!? Oh yes, I'm just going to teach my child that he should totally get punished for other people's behaviours!

This isn't a valuable life skill or life lesson!

This person clearly wasn't getting my point, my child isn't going to be punished for other child's punishments!

My mum then got involved....

Then Gareth (my fiance) got involved, and as you can see we clearly have different parenting views, babying a child and keeping adult drama's away from a child is two totally different things! Children are innocent and until they know otherwise, the world is a good place.

Then things started going down a different route, and me and this said person had already made it clear it was just a debate, no hard feelings, this was a whole different kettle of fish.

I then decided I had spent enough time and my view clearly wasn't getting across to certain people so I ended the debate there.

However, I then went onto ask some bloggers what their thoughts on the opinion was, and this is what I got back.

Michaela from Adventures Of A Yorkshire Mum said:
I saw your post and was going to comment but thought I'd better not. I totally agree with you. I would not be happy if my sons were punished for other children's behaviour. Like, in life, if a colleague was to do something wrong, you wouldn't be blamed also, so why should children?

Laura from Mummy Lala said:
I'm in complete agreement with you. Why should another child be punished for something someone or some other children have done? That's not fair at all. That's not how it works in the real world.x

Rachel from Blogging Mummy said:
 I think just the individual should be punished. Why the fek should my son be punished because some other brat cant behave!!!!

Kate from The Less-Refined Mind said:
I think it probably depends on the circumstances and how innocent the 'innocent' actually are...

In high school, our whole class was made to return for detention because somebody, er, passed wind (no delicate way of putting that really, is?!). The te
acher was a tyrant and only aware because of an apparent bad smell - despite the fact we were in a chemistry class!

We were all brought back because nobody owned up. In principle, I can see why everybody would be punished in those circumstances. In those *precise* circumstances, I think perhaps the teacher involved should have been the one being reprimanded... 

Becky from Hectic Dia-BEC-tic said:
 I agree. The one child who did the deed isn't gonna care about getting punished if everyone gets punished, it's not gonna teach him that he (or she) should take responsibility for their own actions when others can get blamed too. I hope that makes sense lol x

Erica from Nine to Three Thirty said:
I can remember very clearly getting annoyed by this when I was about your son's age & complaining to classmates about 'blanket punishment'. It just causes resentment & teaches absolutely nothing apart from learning that life isn't fair or just.

Carly from Mummy and the Chunks said:
I think some teachers see it as the kids dont want all their classmates to hate them so by punishing them all they will think twice in future so their friends don't get angry with them. Does that make sense? Lol not that I agree with it at all and I would be fuming if my child was punished for anothers actions.

Ayse from Arepops said:
I don't think kids should be punished for others actions. Pre punishment never works and sometimes encourages kids to be naughty seeing as they will get in trouble anyway. 

Naomi from Tattooed Mummy said:
Very 'full metal jacket'. I think this just assumes (hopes) that either the bad child feels guilt or, much worse, the rest of the class 'sort him out'! It is passing the burden of punishment onto children. It's wrong and lazy imo.

Jessica from Beauties and the Bibs said:
If we don't teach them young that their actions have consequences then they will never learn they will think that others will take the flack for them and it's ok . It also no fair on the children who consistently behave and do what is asked of them . In my experience this can then make other children think what's the point in behaving when I get told off anyway X

Leslie from Messy Blog said:
We get this at work all the time. One person takes too long makes big a cuppa and the kettle gets taken away from all of us. Not fair at all

Paige from Paige's Preferences said:
If my son got blamed for nothing I would be going all psycho mom in the school haha! How is that teaching them anything in life if they are getting told of for not doing anything? Will just confuse the poor things xx

With every single blogger agreeing, I think it's fair to see that most parents agree with their children not being punished for other's crimes.

What I know for certain is, it will never happen to Spud with my permission thats for sure, and if it happens regardless, I will kick off the biggest stink going, it's not on at all!

I don't mean just at school either, this applies to family and friends too ! Punish the bad and reward the good!

What saddened me also, was the amount of people who messaged me privately with their views, agreeing but not wanting to get involved due to fear, I think it's sad that people can't have their voice in today's society!

This leads me to my final sentence, which is a question to my readers, do you agree with children being punished for another child's/children's bad behaviour?

Please do leave a comment below!

Jada x
Around two million people visit Yorkshire Water’s land, such as reservoirs, ancient woodland, and moorland, every year. These locations have become increasingly popular since they first opened up to the public after privatisation of the water sector in 1989. According to their research, most visitors to their 70,000 acres of land are currently white, middle class and aged 35-55+. However, they are now looking to attract more groups of people from younger visitors, to visitors from different ethnic minorities and disabled visitors by improving pathways and disabled facilities at their most popular reservoir destinations.

To encourage more disabled visitors, they’ve teamed up with Experience Community, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) who help disabled people access the British countryside. This has already resulted in more disabled group rambles around Yorkshire Water reservoirs, such as Langsett in South Yorkshire and Swinsty in the Washburn Valley, on specially designed mountain trikes and mountain bikes.

We live in a country which prides itself on natural beauty spots, we're lucky to be able to view such places taking in breathtaking views, capturing beautiful scenic photo's and living the memories over and over with the visits in our heads. As an auntie to two children who have difficulties with their sight, which may get worse as they're older, it's important for my family that such places we visit our disabled friendly. Yorkshire Water is the county's second biggest landowner, and its scenic reservoirs are becoming more and more popular with people who want to enjoy the countryside's renowned beauty spots - like myself and my family.

Geoff Lomas, Recreation Manager at Yorkshire Water said: “We have 115 scenic reservoirs dotted around the region and these are all popular with dog walkers, picnic-goers, runners, anglers and cyclists, but we now want to make some of them more inviting to disabled people as a go to destination. “This may mean improving paths around reservoirs by making them flatter, wider and addressing any surface issues so wheelchair users accessibility needs are met.”

Since this inclusive access initiative was launched last year, pathways have already been improved at Grimwith reservoir in the Yorkshire Dales, in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, as well as at Damflask and Langsett reservoirs in the Peak District. Plans are also in place to improve pathways around Fewston reservoir near Harrogate, which is seen as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of our land.

Geoff added: “In the past, Yorkshire Water’s land used to be off limits to the public but since privatisation in 1989 we have had an ever increasing number of visitors to our land. Many of our reservoirs are now recreational hotspots and we want to make them as inclusive as possible by providing information and access that is both informative and enticing to disabled people. Our partnership with Experience Community will help achieve this.”

They say Rome wasn't built in a day, so we can't expect these 115 scenic reservoirs to become disabled friendly overnight, what is encouraging to read and see is the plans that are in place and the action that has already been taken. It's unfair for people with disability needs to miss out, and whilst I know not everything is possible, it's great to see Yorkshire Water take significant information on board to help and change the way disabled visitors enjoy their visits, along with working with appropriate charities to ensure the changes are made accordingly.

Craig Grimes, Managing Director of Experience Community, said: “Gaining access to the countryside for disabled people has been an uphill battle, but co-operation from landowners such as Yorkshire Water really makes a difference. Through working with Yorkshire Water we’ve been able to identify various reservoirs where small changes to infrastructure such as widening a gate or better access has been provided. There are now new longer routes with varying levels of difficulty that we can use with our rambling and hand cycling groups.

Experience Community have done a number of short videos for their visitors on some of Yorkshire Water's reservoirs, just one of these can be viewed above, this video focuses entirely on the Swinsty Reservoir, but more can be found on the Experience Community website. To find other leisure destinations or to find out more visit Yorkshire Water.

Do you have any disabled friendly tips on visiting Yorkshire Water's reservoirs and lands? I'd love to hear your tips and thoughts below!

Jada x
Of all the places on earth you could be dreaming of visiting at least once in a lifetime, it’s a good bet that Costa Rica never made it to your bucket list. Why this is would be anyone’s guess because this amazingly beautiful and bio-diverse Central American country is truly one of the loveliest places imaginable. In fact, if you are planning a wedding, Costa Rica would make a perfect backdrop for the ceremony, the celebration and those wedding pictures you will treasure forever. Want to know what makes this nation so attractive as a travel destination? Then read on!

Ever Heard of a Neon Blue River?
Now, as far as secrets go, this must be one of the best kept of all times. Have you ever heard of a neon blue river? Actually, Costa Rica is home to just such a curiosity by the name of Rio Celeste. Travelers coming to Costa Rica for the first time are literally flabbergasted by the sight of a river that seems to glow in a greenish-bluish neon color. Of course there is a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, the combination of volcanic minerals and bacteria, but that doesn’t lessen the impact it has on anyone viewing it for the first time.

Credit: Pixabay

Luxury Hotels in Paradise
Then there are those ‘almost’ secret luxury hotels that seem to be so secluded that no one could ever find them. Not only would these make the perfect venue for an intimate wedding but they are among the best places to take wedding photos in Costa Rica. Why? Consider stepping out onto a balcony like those you can see here on www.villapuntodevista.com for a wedding photo shoot with some of the world’s loveliest and most majestic scenery in the background. As the winner of the CondĂ© Nast Johansens 2016 Luxury Hotels, Spas and Venues Award, it’s simply beyond comprehension how this resort isn’t on the front page of every travel magazine on earth.

Home of the Sloth
No, Costa Ricans are not lazy do-nothings who while away the hours napping in paradise. A sloth is a fuzzy, cute little creature native to the jungles of Costa Rica. It’s actually a matter of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Were sloths named so because they sleep up to 20 of the 24 hours in a day or are lazy people called sloths after these sleepy (but oh-so-cute) little three-toed mammals? That’s one for the trivia minded on a quest for knowledge but the truth is, these endangered animals have captured the hearts of people from around the world who come here primarily to see the sloths in their native habitat and to volunteer at the Aviarios del Caribe, the Sloth Sanctuary.

Credit: Pixabay

So whether you are looking for a ‘secret’ idyllic spot for an intimate and romantic wedding or a vacation retreat in paradise, Costa Rica is one country that has exactly what you want. From luxury hotels to lush tropical jungles, you have the best of both worlds in one small land of Costa Rica. Truly one of the world’s best kept vacation secrets.

Jada x
Father's Day is only a couple of weeks away, and there are lots of deserving daddies out there. Whether you're getting something for your own dad or helping your kids pick something for theirs, choosing a gift can be difficult. It can be hard to buy a present when you want the giftee to really like it. Then you get the dads who claim not to want anything at all, when you know he'll be miffed if you don't get him anything. Maybe he's just had a birthday too, and it feels like Christmas wasn't all that long ago. If you're stuck for ideas, try these for size.

My dad and Spud. All my dad ever wants for special occasions is new socks!
There are several forms of entertainment that just about anyone would be happy to receive. Some people love books, while others would prefer movies, TV box sets, or video games. Whichever your dad or your kids' dad prefers, they're sure to appreciate something new. Sometimes, it's easy to pick something they would like. They might have been mentioning something, or you know their tastes. However, if you're unfamiliar with what they like, it's a bit more difficult. Try asking a friend or looking at recommended products online. Better yet, just ask him.

A day out can often be a lot more exciting than a physical gift. The present itself might not last forever, but it will create some great memories. You could choose to take him out on Father's Day, or give him tickets or vouchers to claim a day out later. There are lots of things you could consider, depending on what he likes. For a typical macho experience, you can't beat something like a tank experience or paintballing. A more sensitive man might prefer to spend a day wine or whisky tasting, or just enjoying a delicious meal. There are also thrilling experiences like driving a luxury car or indoor skydiving.

The Start of a New Hobby
If you think he's looking a little bored in his downtime, what about starting him off with a new hobby? Perhaps he's expressed interest in brewing his own beer or making homemade bread. He might like to start gardening or doing something crafty. Of course, it doesn't have to be a new hobby. There might be something he already enjoys that you can support and encourage with your gift. For example, if he already spends time cooking, you could get him a new recipe book.

My dad's always up for a laugh and a giggle! 
The Silly Option
Father's Day is a great day to show appreciation for dads everywhere, but a lot of people don't take it as seriously as many other occasions. It's no Christmas, after all! If you want to stick with something light-hearted, there are many silly gifts you can consider. Around Father's Day, you can't move for t-shirts with humorous slogans. You can find joke items ranging from mugs to ties if you want to get a cheap and cheerful present.

Father's Day gifts aren't the easiest to pick out, but you have lots of options. Start looking now and you'll have the perfect present by the time the day arrives.

Jada x
Divorce and separation are hard on a couple, but they're also very difficult for the kids. Their parents splitting up can rock their whole world. Many children struggle to understand, especially if they're younger. They can have all kinds of feelings about what's happening and act out in different ways. Sometimes it can be a struggle even to tell your kids about the divorce. Many parents don't know what to say or how to say it. If you're feeling unsure about how to help your children cope, there are lots of strategies you can use. Start with the advice below to handle everything as sensitively as you can.

From Pixabay

What to Tell Them
The first thing to determine is what you are going to tell your children. How much detail should you go into? Does it matter who did what? And how can you make sure younger children understand what is happening? Your core message is clearly that their parents won't be together anymore, and probably that one of them will no longer live at home. However, you don't want that to be your only message. They need to know other important things too, like that you still love them, no matter what. There are also things they don't need to know, like whose fault it is. It's important to tell the truth and explain what will change, but avoid blaming each other. Many parents pick something simple, like saying that they don't get along anymore.

How to Tell Them
It's not just what you say that's important, but how you say it too. For example, some parents choose to tell older children first. However, this can be a bad idea because the older child then has the burden of keeping a secret. The younger child can feel they weren't being treated equally when they later find out. Even if you're struggling to get along with each other, try and present a united front to your children. Plan out your talk before you go ahead with it to agree what you're going to say. Try to be respectful of each other, even if you're currently feeling resentment towards them.

Offering Support and Explanations
After the initial conversation, your work isn't over. Your children still need you to support them and help them. They might have lots of questions they want to ask, either right away or later. It's best to try to answer their questions as best you can, rather than try to ignore them. They don't want to feel like they're being left out of everything that's happening. While there are some things they don't need to know, you shouldn't brush off their feelings with platitudes. You should be prepared to acknowledge their pain and help them when they're confused.

From Pixabay

Making the Process More Comfortable
Divorce is a process and doesn't happen in an instant. Sometimes, it can seem to children that their parents' divorce is dragging on forever. It's sure to make you feel like you're in a tense state of limbo, so they are likely to feel the same. For both their sake and yours, try not to drag out the divorce proceedings. That may be hard to do if your spouse is difficult, but sometimes you need to be the bigger person. It's also important to remember to act maturely. Many parents forget to be an adult during a divorce, but your kids don't want to see you arguing or being petty.

Dealing with The Legal Side
Child custody is one of the contentious issues involved in getting divorced. Ideally, the parents should be able to make arrangements for their children together. Sometimes, you might need some help working things out. A family law service like Bannister Preston can help to mediate so you can reach a decision. If you cannot mediate the situation out of court, you might need to get a judge to decide. The role that your child should play in all this can be confusing. While many want to let their child have a say, they ultimately don't always understand what it best for them. It can also be too much pressure to ask them to make a choice. Having input is best left for teenagers, but even then they might be confused or later change their mind. Mediation is often the best route to choose.

As well as supporting your children as much as possible, you should recognise when they need extra help. Sometimes it can be worth seeking out a therapist to help them deal with the divorce.

Jada x

The Kid Dog Connection

in , , , by Jada, May 23, 2016
Dogs are great companions for adults, but they are especially good for children. Owning a family pooch brings many benefits, and gives your kids a fantastic start in life.

These furry delights benefit children in a range of different, often surprising, ways including the below.

A Strong Immune System

For example, did you know that babies that are brought up in homes with dogs are less likely to suffer from a range of illnesses? The Finns first made the connection between dog ownership and baby health.

In 2012, Finnish researchers looked at the health of 397 babies. They found that babies in homes with dogs or cats had fewer colds and ear infections than those living in pet free households. They also discovered that dogs offered a better level of protection than cats did.

In addition, an extensive Swedish study showed that children who grew up on farms around animals had a 50% lower chance of developing asthma. A later study that was published, in 2015, in JAMA Pediatrics, showed that children who owned a dog had a 13% lower risk of developing asthma than those that did not have one in the home.

You can read more about the health benefits that owning a dog brings for young children, by clicking this link.

Better Learning

Another surprising benefit of giving your kids access to a family pooch is that it can help them to learn to read faster. Because of this, in America, and some other parts of the world, dogs are being introduced to classrooms.

Researchers at the University of California, and several other institutions, have found that children will happily read to a dog. Doing so allows them to practice their reading skills on a regular basis. The dogs seem to enjoy the attention and children do not seem to feel any stress when reading to the family pet. This gives them confidence and turns reading aloud into something that they enjoy rather than dread.

Improved Socialisation Skills

Studies also show that children with dogs socialise better, and become active members of their community faster than those without a dog in their lives. Researchers from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University discovered this.

They looked at the personalities and characteristics of 500 18 to 26 year olds. Some owned dogs, whilst others had never owned a family pet.

The researchers found that those with dogs were more confident and empathetic than those without. They were also more likely to be deeply involved with their community. Dog owning children had a better sense of well being, and in later life were more likely to take on leadership roles.

As you can see, owning a dog is very beneficial for children. So next time you see a puppies for sale Lancashire or dogs for sale Hertfordshire sign, why not take action and pop in. Pet ownership is a big undertaking, but, as you can see, owning a dog is a great experience for your children, so it is well worth doing.

You just need to be sure to buy from a good breeder that offers plenty of support and advice. Provided you do so, becoming a dog owner will be a positive experience for both you and your children.

Now we have our pooch in our lives, our family is complete!

Jada xx

An Update On The Health.

in , , by Jada, May 17, 2016
Last week I wrote about my recent absence and the reason behind it, and after waking up on Saturday with awful pain in my legs I decided not to put it off anymore and made a promise to myself to visit the doctor.

Fortunately I got through to my surgery at 8:02am yesterday morning (Monday), to get an emergency appointment, you're advised to call up at 8am, in the past I've tried to get through as quickly as possible but I've had times where I've not been able to get through for a good 40 minutes, to find out all the appointments had gone! After a quick conversation with the receptionist making sure the appointment was an emergency and I did need to see a doctor urgently, I was given an appointment.

I've been worrying about the idea of a blood clot for a few weeks now, but I'm a natural born worrier and panicker, so I thought maybe I was panicking about the pain (even though it's been excruciating) and swelling in my legs, however after seeing the doctor, and being told I should of come sooner, I knew I wasn't worrying for no reason.

The doctor measured my calves, and the leg with the varicose vein which is the leg thats been given me more jip, is larger than my other leg, so at least I wasn't imagining the swelling! This obviously led to cause for concern though and I now need to have a blood test to rule out a blood clot.

To be honest, I'm quite surprised at how well the doctors treat blood clots, al I seem to hear these days is how bad doctors are, but the doctor I see yesterday was fantastic. She told me step by step what would happen, I'd have a fasting blood test and will get the results on the same day, if the doctors are closed by the time the results are back, the local out of hours doctors - located at our nearest main hospital will call me.

I will start treatment straight away - on the day and will be seeing the doctors/hospital quite a lot over the next few weeks if the results come back as positive for treatment. I'm not entirely sure on what the treatment will be, but I know I'll have to have a daily injection to thin my blood for a couple of weeks, so when the doctors aren't open, I'll be visiting the out of hours doctors at the hospital, neither are within walking distance - especially with a bad leg, and I don't drive, so it's going to be quite hard, but manageable.

Once the treatment is over, I will have a scan at the hospital where I will be seen quite quickly, and this is whats making me worry, because for doctors to rush things like this, there is obviously a real concern.

My doctor did go on to tell me that she's had many cases where the blood test have come back positive, her patients have had the treatment and gone to the scan where there's been no blood clot, but they need to make sure they're treating you as if you do have one.

I'm also on antibiotics for lumps under my armpit believed to be hidradenitis suppurativa, and at the moment, resting my right arm in its natural resting place is giving me the most horrid of pains, it's even worse than my legs and that's saying something! I need to take antibiotics before I can be referred to the hospital to have them removed, I've also been left with bad scarring which will never go.

My beautiful big sister's wedding is just four days away, where I am being bridesmaid, I don't want to let her down in anyway, but being a single mother to a child means you can't rest. It's impossible.

Gareth was able to help me yesterday both dropping Spud to school and collecting him for me, unfortunately he can't help me with the rest of the week, so this morning see me and Spud get the bus down to school, it's only five stops away from our home, but my leg is giving me that much jip I had no choice. A single for the pair of us cost me £3, luckily my sister needed my help with some last minute wedding preparations and was able to pick me up from Spud's school, otherwise a single for myself would of cost me another £1.60 home, and then there's getting to the school later on.

I'd already spent £8 on bus fare yesterday by purchasing a family bus about as I needed to get to the doctors etc, add on today's £3 spent on the buses and thats £11 and we're only halfway through the second day of the week. A weekly for myself and Spud will cost me £28, something I just can't afford at the moment.

I've not been working due to the pain I am in, I have lots I need to purchase ahead of Saturday and I'm in constant pain! I've been prescribed stronger painkillers than paracetamol, but after taking one yesterday and needing a nap within 30 minutes of taking it, I can't carry on taking them! Luckily Gareth was here to watch Spud for me.

So for now, I will have to carry on with the pain, hope and pray that I don't have a blood clot and try and find some work!

It never ends!

Buying a new house is exciting, exhausting and stressful. But eventually you pick up the keys and pack up your things for the move. It can sometimes feel a little disappointing when you first arrive at your new property. This may be the first time you’ve seen it empty. It no longer feels like the glamorous and stylish pad you last saw. It’s an empty shell. And your life is in boxes! So how can you make it feel more like home?

If you can paint it before getting all your belongings in, this will be easier. You can choose colours that are warm and welcoming. Start by painting the ceiling and door frames, though. A fresh coat of white paint can help lift the place almost immediately. When the paint is dry, you might want to change the flooring. Cosy carpets can feel very homely. But if you’re used to hardwood floors, stick with what is most comforting.

Once your furniture has been placed in each room, your new house should start to feel more like a home. Put up some curtains. If the old ones don’t fit, you can usually find sets for standard window sizes in department stores or home furnishing shops. Pick a vibrant colour to bring more energy into the room. You could add a new matching rug and cushion colours for a stylish new look too.

Thanks to Flickr.com for the image
Most people change the locks when they buy a new house. But have you considered changing the whole front door? It’s a great way to make a house your own. Picking a modern front door that suits your tastes and personality is one of the best ways to put your personal stamp on the place. It will feel more like your own each time you approach your house from the street. Best of all, you’ll feel more safe and secure in your new property.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two things that people hate having second hand. But it can be expensive to replace them both. Consider a deep clean to help you feel like the facilities are fresher. You can do this yourself, or treat yourself by hiring a professional team to tackle it. Consider painting the cupboard doors and changing the door handles in the kitchen. This can make it look like a whole new kitchen. Worktops aren’t too expensive to replace if you fancy a completely new look.

Have you spent any time in the garden yet? Your outdoor space could be landscaped to provide a better entertaining area for your housewarming party. A patio, barbeque area, and some flowers can create just the setting for comfort.

It’s not unusual to feel a little awkward and uncomfortable in a new place at first. The feelings soon fade as you begin to make the house your own. That doesn’t mean you have to keep all the old furniture and stylings from your last place. Sometimes a fresh start can feel more homely than trying to fit old things into a new setting. Enjoy your new home.

Jada x

Must See Mountains in Wales

in , , , by Jada, May 10, 2016
Wales is one of the prime destinations for a weekend of casual mountaineering, with a concentration of natural destinations and popular tourist attractions in the North of Wales.

North Wales’ holiday cottages are the perfect launching point for a long weekend spent scrambling around the 10,000-year-old Welsh scenery.

Snowdonia is clearly top of the list. It’s a common belief that Snowdonia, in Welsh, translates as 'place of the eagles’. Snowdonia's National Park has become one of the most popular holiday destinations, highly acclaimed for its natural beauty. There are nine mountain ranges in Snowdonia's park but the star of the show is Mt Snowdon, itself. There are eight ways up the mountain, so you can tailor your ascent for your fitness levels.

Well worth a stop in Snowdonia, is Cadair Idris, known for its peak which overlooks a stunning lake in what looks deceptively like a volcano (but isn't!). Easily reached from nearby Dolgellau, you'd be a fool to miss this out whilst visiting North Wales.

Cambrian Mountains
The Cambrian Mountains, and specifically Foel Fadian, are a big swathe of ranges in the middle of Wales, extending into the North and South. Machynlleth, an hour from the heart of North Wales, sits at the foot of the Cambrian Mountains in the North and offers you a variety of natural attractions. From there, it's just a short drive into the mountains to explore even more.

My dad walking one of the mountains.
Swallow Falls
Right in the middle of the most popular areas of North Wales, Swallow Falls is a delightful system of waterfalls outside Betws-y-Coed. While the falls themselves aren't technically a mountain, it would be a shame to miss out on them, and as they're seated in the Conwy Valley, you won't have to go without a hiking fix if you want one.

Moel Famau and the Clwydian Range
Higher into the North of Wales, not far from Chester, is Moel Famau. Straddling the Clwydian Range, Moel Famau offers you a few routes, ranging from extremely leisurely and bicycle friendly, to a bit more challenging for little legs. You get a wonderful view over the range and all the way out past Liverpool on clear days. It's not a huge climb, you can squeeze it easily into one afternoon, but just down the road is the Loggerheads Country Park to keep children entertained and rest any sore feet after the walk.

There’re also some outstanding mountains in South Wales. The Black Mountains, despite the ominous name, are a stark and beautiful area hosting a series of rolling sandstone peaks known for being easy to access for ramblers. Also, the Brecon Beacons National Park is another popular area in the South of Wales, with the usual selection of outdoor activities, visitor-friendly villages and extremely fair summer weather.

Wales is absolutely festooned with beauty, and you can hardly go wrong with driving in any direction and landing in a wonderful place for an afternoon.

Where’s your favourite place to explore in North Wales? Let me know in the comments!

Jada x

Life Drama's - The Follow Up.

in , , by Jada, May 10, 2016
When I wrote a post two weeks ago on life drama's, I honestly went about life with an upbeat, positive attitude, repeatedly telling myself the day, week, and month was going to get better, but it didn't work.

I wouldn't say the days, weeks and month got worse, I'd say they've stayed the same, only the pain I've been suffering with - which I didn't mention last time as it was so minor, has become quite severe!

After putting on four stone since going on the contraceptive injection in January 2015 (not that I blame that alone of course!), I thought enough was enough when I struggled to lose weight, so off I went to see my family planning nurse needing a change for my health. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided I would stay on the contraceptive injection, only I would move to a different injection.

For over a year, I had the injection which you have every three months (12 weeks), however this time, I'm now on a injection which I have every two months (eight weeks), all was fine for the first eight weeks, but now, four weeks into my second new injection, I'm struggling, I'm in a pain, and I'm feeling really down.

I'm struggling to get up the stairs without a severe calf pain, which isn't helped by a varicose vein I have, I'm struggling to walk the 15-20 minutes each way to Spud's school, I have to keep stopping on route, trying to ease the burning pressure pain, and if things wasn't bad - a few days ago a pelvic bone pain come, and hasn't left - making it even harder for me to get about without feeling horrid pain.

I'm a single mum - I'm with Gareth but we don't live together and of course, it's not his responsibility to help me out with Spud. However he is great and has been helping me out whenever he can with the school runs, although he's only been able to help with one morning school run and one afternoon school run in the last couple of weeks.

I'm sat here now wincing in pain, refusing to take another paracetamol as they're not helping, they're not even taking the pain away in any minimal form, and I don't want to take anything stronger, and start relying on them.

My washing basket is nearly full, my garden is in dire state - not having the grass cut for over two months and the weather we've had recently hasn't helped, my sister's wedding is less than two weeks away and my head is so full of worry.

I worry about walking to school with Spud in the morning, or walking back home once I've collected him in the afternoon, and the pain becoming so severe I need to call for help, I'd hate for him to worry or see me in such a state. I of course worry about the same thing happening at home, but I know he feels more safe and secure at home and will be in his own environment.

This morning after dropping Spud into school, I started my usual walk home, only I come across quite light headed, so I made my way to the shop which isn't far away from Spud's school, with the intention of buying a fizzy drink. I've fainted many of times and know fizzy drink and/or a biscuit is one of the quickest ways to get sugar into your body.

I purchased a Ribena bottle instead, as my stomach had been hurting me all morning (another thing that's been going on!) and rested against the shop wall. I text Gareth, not to worry him, but just to alert someone that I didn't feel to great, that I felt light headed and faint. Gareth text me back straight away and suggested I caught the bus home if I had the money on me - which I did, but in my state and in this muggy, humid weather - catching the bus, just three stops up the road wasn't something I wanted to consider.

A few family members and friends have said to me recently about getting the bus to and from school, but this will cost me £30 a week for both myself and Spud - something I just can't afford at the moment, and that's by doing it the cheapest way - by buying us a weekly each.

As I mentioned my stomach previously in this post, I thought I may as well write about that also, although it's not been confirmed, I believe I may have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), I've suffered with my stomach for five years now but over the last two years it's got really bad. I'm waiting to have a scan on my bowel, and will hopefully know more soon.

I've wondered on so many occasions if it's an allergy/a number of allergies but I now do believe it's something else, as I don't even have to eat or drink for the pain to come and not go!

So yes, that's whats going on right now!

I've not worked for over two weeks, I've not had time to speak to anyone, so I need to go and say sorry to so many blogging friends, and also apologise to loads of contacts who've not replied to - no doubt I've missed out on a few opportunities now!

I hope everyone else is well!?

Jada xx
Buying and moving into a new place is one of the biggest decisions you’re going to make in your life. It’s also easily one of the most stressful periods of our lives, too. Big decisions, lots of financial considerations and the move itself. It’s easy to lose track of one aspect or another. But whatever you do, there are a few things you ought to remember about buying a new home. From before you sign that lease to after you move in. Keeping the following in mind could make the process a little easier. It could help you get away with a better deal, as well.

Photo Credit.
Budget Like Crazy
There’s a lot of money that goes into buying a new home. Not just the cost of the house itself, but any furniture you might need and any funds for the move. Not to mention all those touches you’re going to want to make. We all want our dream house, but we’ll only get it if we play smart with our money. Start a household budget before you even move in. This way, you can figure out mortgage payments and better ways to put money towards those renovations you want to make. You don’t want to run out of money before you’re done with the transformation, after all.

Check the Area
The place that you’re moving into is as important as the house itself. Do all kinds of research so you get the best picture of the neighbourhood. With a family, your biggest concerns will likely be the proximity to schools, hospitals and other conveniences. But you might also want to know more any history of crime. Perhaps you’d like to know the kind of people you’re sharing the neighbourhood with. As well as online records, getting in touch with the local estate agents could help.

Checks to Make Before you Buy
Don’t get dazzled and fall in love with a house. That might sound difficult if you spot something that looks so obviously like your dream home. But bear with me. You need to keep a clear head and make sure you make some of those essential checks. One of the places to start off is the plumbing. Problems in this area can be all kinds of expensive and messy. Inspect any basements and the attic, if possible. This way, you can detect the danger of damp or mould. Similarly, you could even take a look at the roof to make sure it’s all in good order. These kind of discoveries could put you off a house or they could give you a better position to negotiate the price down.

Be Prepared to Make It Work
It’s something that everyone needs to remember about moving into a home. Even if it looks like their dream home, it’s going to take work. That work might just be getting used to a new space. It could just as easily be taking on some DIY tasks. A home is a huge part of our lives. Naturally, changing that is going to require an adjustment period.

Until next time,
Jada x