Friday, 29 April 2016

8 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends This Summer



Summer is the perfect time to make loads of plans with your friends. It’s an even better time to do things spontaneously too! However, if you like to be prepared, here are some ideas you can keep in mind. Here we have 8 fun things to do with your friends this summer!

Have A Picnic

Planning a picnic with your friends should be really easy to do. You don’t need to travel far, and it definitely doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This means most people won’t have any excuse not to come along. You can all bring something you’ve made yourselves to share, or buy something to add to the picnic. You could even take mini bottles of wine if the feeling takes you!

Go Camping Or Glamping

Camping is such a great way to get back to nature. Everybody bonds more when camping, as there aren’t any phones or anything getting in the way of the experience. If you’d rather not get your hands too dirty, there’s always glamping. It’s a happy medium between camping and staying in a hotel!

Try A Trampoline Park

Trampolines have always been loads of fun, so spend the day at a trampoline park and bounce to your heart's content! The one thing about trampolines is that they are never large enough to fit everybody on. With the abundance of trampoline parks popping up, now there’s plenty of room!

See A Gig Or Festival

Live music at a gig or festival is not something you forget in a hurry. The atmosphere is usually electric, so it’s a great way to bond with your friends and see an artist you love while you’re at it. During summer, outdoor gigs are the ones to look for!
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Have A Weekend Away

Plan a weekend away somewhere, whether it’s down the road or to another country. It’ll cost a little more but you all deserve a break from real life every so often!

Spontaneous Road Trip

The road trip doesn’t have to be spontaneous, but that’s how they tend to be the most fun! If you have a free day, get in the car and see where it takes you. You don’t need to plan too much to have an amazing time. Just make sure your vehicle is safe and you have mobile phones handy!

Explore Somewhere New For The Day

Pick somewhere you haven’t been before and go to explore. Shop, see galleries and museums, people watch - whatever makes you happy!

Exercise Together

Friends who exercise together stay together, or so I hear! Start running, walking, or take up an exercise class. Get those endorphins in when the sun is shining and you’ll feel invincible. We don’t always feel like getting active during winter, so make the most of that extra energy together when the sun is shining.

I hope you like these 8 suggestions. If you have any of your own, make sure you share them below. Go and make this summer the best one yet! 


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Funky Cushion Review & Giveaway!



As I've gradually got older, I've taken more of an interest in home furnishings and interiors and getting a really good idea of how I want my future home to look like. I've taken into account everything from the colour of the rooms, to the style of furniture in the living room and it's something I'm taking immense pleasure in. Of course we all know that it's the finishing touches that really finish off the overall look and cushions are the perfect way to add a little more personality into your home.

I came across the brand Funky Cushion when I was looking for interior brands on Twitter to get some inspiration. I had a look at their website and adored all the quirky designs they had on offer and the amazing prices they were.They were kind enough to ask me if I would like to chose a cushion from the range to review and to also host a giveaway (more on that later). 


The one that really caught my eye was this one with the most fantastic rainbow/ombre lettering. I desperately needed a cushion for the chair in my office and this one worked perfectly with my colour scheme. The cover itself is sent without a cushion which was fine with me as I had loads of spare throw cushions that needed new covers. 


The quality of the fabric is fantastic. It's not flimsy like some covers are that tend to be made with quite thin and delicate fabric. This is more of a woven type fabric that will most definitely withstand the test of time. The lettering is beautifully done and is printed onto the fabric really professionally. 

Quite unexpectedly whilst talking to the lovely people at Funky Cushion, they noticed that I was obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and asked my opinion on a couple of designs they had previously done before. Naturally I fell in love with them instantly and they ever so kindly said they would re-print them just for me so I infact got three covers! I happily paid £12 for both of them as it was an extra but I felt really privileged and flattered that they not only took the time to look at my interests, but to also print a design that they don't currently offer on the website.




As you can see, the two Alice in Wonderland cushions are simply stunning. The first is an original Alice print with an extract from the book as the background and the classic image of Alice in the foreground. The second speaks for itself. Again they are both made from the beautiful woven fabric and the print is colour rich and vibrant.

A massive thank you to the guys from Funky Cushion for sending me the covers, they're incredible and work so well in my home.

Now for something really exciting. They have kindly offered the opportunity for one of my readers to win a cushion cover of their choice! Simply enter below! The giveaway will end on the 14th of May 2016. Good Luck!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules

- You MUST be following me on Twitter
-This giveaway is only available in the UK  

Funky Cushion - @Funky_Cushion
funkycushion.co.uk 




Monday, 25 April 2016

Sport Clubs Your Kid Should Join!


It can be hard to entertain the children after school. They often just want to sit in front of the television or even play on the computer. But to help them be social, and learn a new skill, you should encourage them to join a sports club. It will help your child to keep active which is good for their health, as well as learn team working skills, and the chance to compete for awards. Here are some sports clubs your kid should join!


Swimming

Swimming is a great skill to learn that will help them throughout their life. It’s good for safety too as you never know when they could be in a situation where they could drown. It’s also one of the most popular sports, as It doesn’t feel like they are being active. It’s also good for all ages. And it’s ideal for building up self-esteem as they will be able to complete goals. They can easily progress through the ranks, and there are so many certificates they can get. It also lifts a kid’s mood and they will enjoy going once a week.

Rugby

Rugby is another great sports club that your child could join. Boys, in particular, will love the game as it’s a lot of fun, and a great excuse to get messy! As they are working in a team, the child will make new friends and learn how to support each other to win. And Rugby is an excellent way to help them get active, as there is lots of running involved. As we talked about previously, if you can’t find a rugby club for your kids, you could get the mums together and arrange your own team. You could even get the boys a trophy if they do well, as many websites sell trophies for rugby teams.

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Gymnastics  

Another great sports club that your kid could join is a gymnastics team. Check the local area for centres who offer this for all ages. Gymnastics will help them become more flexible and learn some new skills. They will be able to work with the other kids and have to listen to their advice, but also work independently. As this article says, it’s fantastic for building muscle growth and their coordination.

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Martial Arts

Another great club that your kid could join is Martial Arts. It’s a great way to teach them about discipline, and also, help them to become more focused. Again, Martial Arts is an essential skill to help keep them safe. They will be able to work through the levels so that they will have a great sense of achievement. Watch this example of a class here.

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Football

A Football team is a great club for your child to join. It’s popular with all ages and with both sexes. They will be able to take part in matches and will also make friends. It’s something they can carry on doing till well into their adulthood, and it’s fantastic for keeping fit.

These are just a few clubs which will help your child have fun while staying active and learning new skills.


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Create An Outdoor Retreat With These Handy Hints


After a long day at work or caring for your family, all you want to do is relax and unwind. Nothing is more relaxing than spending time sat outside with a refreshing drink and a good book. But if your garden is looking overgrown, chaotic and messy, it can have an adverse effect on your mood and make you feel worse. Instead of never using your garden to relax in, you can transform it into a space you can use and enjoy every day. Try these hints to create your own personal outdoor retreat that you can properly relax in.


Choose the right plants

While you might be tempted to put the brightest flowers and plants into your retreat, this can overstimulate your senses. Thus, making it difficult to calm your mind. Choose subdued coloured plants such as ferns and shrubs around your relaxation space to create a calming sensation. Add in flowers such as lavender and gardenias with pleasant aromas instead of overpowering ones. Just make sure they are planted apart from one another so as not to combine smells. Climbing plants can also be used to add privacy to your garden retreat. Install lattice boards or pergolas around the area you wish to use and plant honeysuckle and jasmine to grow and cover the area. This will provide shade and stop you being interrupted.


Add lighting

There’s no reason why you can’t use your garden to relax in during the evenings. All you need is some suitable lighting. Solar powered accent lights and stake lights are ideal for illuminating particular areas. You can place the along paths or around patios for some added interest and functionality. Tealight holders such as glass jars and metal bird cages can be hung from trees or gazebos to create a peaceful vibe. There are plenty of options to choose from. You just need to plan where you intend to put them for maximum effect.


Find the perfect chair and table

To complete your garden retreat, you need to find the perfect chair and table. Look for wooden or aluminium garden furniture online or in store that suits the style and size of your garden. You need to find an attractive chair that is comfortable to sit on such as a lounger or wicker sofa. Remember you can enhance the comfort factor with throws and pillows if you wish. The table should be a suitable height and size so you can place it near to your new chair and reach it easily. Decorate the table with outdoor candles, books, and large water jug. You won’t be able to resist sitting back and relaxing when you have these items to help you.

In the space of a weekend, you can create a tranquil space that you can use as and when you need to. You will need to keep on top of it’s maintenance all year round to ensure it remains tidy and spacious. If you don’t have the time or know-how to do this, contact a local gardening service who can do it for you. 


Should You Get Your Child Into Sports?



Some of the older generations love to be cynical about the younger generations. Apparently, all they do is sit around browsing the Internet or playing video games. They sit there on their smartphones, not interacting with anyone face-to-face. While this is definitely an exaggeration, there is a worry in every parent that their child isn’t active or social enough.

This is why you should encourage your child to engage in physical activity. The best way to do this is to get them into some kind of sport. Here are the benefits to getting them into a sport.

Getting fit and staying that way

This is an obvious benefit. Sports equals exercise equals being fitter, right? (Unless it’s an eSport. Tell your child those don’t count.) But what we sometimes forget is that these benefits will also help them stay fit. By getting them into sporting at a young age, your child will gain a long-term awareness of their health and the effects of exercise on their body.


A family activity

Sure, you can play those video games with them. In fact, there are many benefits to doing so. But why don’t you both get some exercise? Just because you’re a grown-up, doesn’t mean you can just sit inside and do what you want! (Okay, that is kind of what it means, but still.) Playing a sport with your child or helping them practise can help you all bond. Look up some awesome family sporting activities at Askmen.com.

Social benefits abound

Because so many kids like them these days, playing sports can open up new social opportunities for your child. While that doesn’t mean you should encourage a child to play a sport they don’t want to play, it is a benefit to keep in mind. If your child and their friends like to play sports, why not go on social sporting outings? Get parents and their children together at a local park and hold some friendly competitions. You can even get trophies and medals for such events at places like Premiertrophies.co.uk!


Powerful self-esteem boosting

Self-esteem is crucial in life. There are many people out there with serious self-esteem issues.
Those issues are more debilitating than you might imagine. While playing and even winning at sports doesn’t guarantee eternal strong self-esteem, it can help. Finding victory and physical health in sporting can help with long-term mental health. If your child is playing well, make sure they know. Read more about self-esteem in children at Healthychildren.org.

You win some, you lose some

In the sporting world, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. In fact, that’s how the world in general works. A child engaged in sport will learn this valuable (if sometimes sad) lesson early. Of course, this can have the opposite effect if it turns out your child is some sort of prodigy. They do exist, those children that are just way too good at something seemingly from birth, never losing, even against the adults. So maybe make sure they play something they’re going to lose at every now and again. Sounds like strange advice, but it will provide them with a challenge!


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A Guide To Giving Surprise Gifts To Loved Ones



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Birthdays, Christmas Days and Wedding Days. Everybody receives and gives gifts for these special occasions, but what about all the other days in the year?
It can totally be argued that surprise gifts are even more special that those given for certain events. This is because they come out of the blue. Plus, they’re not competing for the receiver's attention amongst other presents.
But what should you buy for a surprise gift, and what other rules should you follow? Read on for a mini guide to making your loved one’s day with a surprise present.

Consider if there is anything they’re missing
We’ve all had it where we’ve requested one specific thing for our birthday or Christmas day. But then, when the event rolls around, though we get other lovely gifts, we don’t get that one thing we really wanted or needed.
Consider if this has happened to the person you’re buying for recently. Also, consider if they didn’t get anything that they usually get. So, if you’re buying for your Dad, and he relies on birthdays for topping up his collection of new socks, did he get any last time? If not, these will make a great surprise.

Get the gift delivered straight to their home
If you buy the gift online, it could take a while for them to get their surprise gift. This is because you will have to wait for it to get to your home first. Then, you’ll either have to send it on yourself, or wait until you see them in person.
So, wherever possible, have the online store send the gift to them in person. See if they offer a gift-wrapping service. Alternatively, you could go for a subscription service that gets delivered to their door every month. Birchbox and Glossybox are two examples of such services in the beauty industry.

Give a surprise gift that will actually be used
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that we get a lot of use out of. Novel gifts can be fun and amusing, but they’re not much use to anyone if they get put away in a box the next day. Instead, consider items that they use often. Then see if you can improve or upgrade them. You could steal their favourite watch for a couple of days and have the back engraved. You could get them a couple of new eliquids for the e-cigarette they’re never without. Or you could buy them a new, humorous mug that they can keep on their desk at work.

Remember the gift can be an experience, not an object
Often, when we think about gifts, we think about physical objects. However, gifts can be events and experiences too.
Hot-air ballooning and helicopter rides are two things that are on many people’s bucket list. However, due to money or time, they often never get ticked off. By organising the trip for them, you are taking away that hassle and hard work and giving them an amazing surprise gift. Or, you could go one better and arrange a surprise gift in the form of a weekend away or even a holiday abroad. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Scoff Club Box :: Review*


Who wouldn't be happy to receive a box of sweets in the post? Infact, tell me who wouldn't be over the moon to accept a box full of sugary goodness first thing in the morning?! 

We've all heard of subscription boxes filled with beauty products, stationary and even a 'time of the month' edition, but I can honestly say, this is the most exciting type of box and I was so happy when I was asked to review a box from Scoff Club.

Scoff Club is a monthly subscription box that is filled with retro sweets and goodies that envoke childhood memories. I have so many memories of sweets from my childhood, especially when penny sweets were actually 1p each! Give me a quarter of rhubarb and custards and I will be exceptionally happy.



I love the packaging, any vibrant colour is a winner for me and you can't get more vibrant than sunshine yellow. I particularly loved the cute little sticker, what a brilliant design.



I didn't expect to get so much inside but I was seriously happy with everything that I got. Unfortunately, having a daughter and boyfriend who love sweets means this box was never going to be all mine but I don't mind sharing as I know we will all enjoy everything. Sarah's favourite sweet in the world is Reeces so this bag of Reeces pieces will be snaffled up by her straight away. 

I've always had a soft spot for bonbons and these clotted cream toffee ones sound incredible, I've never seen this flavour before and I'm really excited about trying the tutti fruiti fizzy cubes, anything fizzy is a winner.

With Scoff Box, you can choose your subscription from a choice of 3 options - 


Month to month - A new box every month at £12.99 (charged each month)
3 Month Prepay - £34.99 (charged every 3 months)
6 Month Prepay - £69.99 (charged every 6 months)

I think you are getting incredible value for money considering the quantity you get and let's face it, it's a box of sweets - How can you really find fault?!

If you want your own box of sweet treats delivered to your door, take a look at the website here and don't forget to follow them on Twitter aswell!

A massive thank you to Scoff Box for giving me the opportunity to review one of your boxes, my house is going to be on a huge sugar rush for the next week and we can't wait!

*This item was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by the company

Planning A Fun & Exciting Birthday For Your Toddler


Until our little ones reach their second birthdays, they have very little concept of what a birthday is. As well as what other celebrations, like Christmas and Easter are like. They live in their own little oblivious world, happy with what they’ve got. However, once they reach two or three, they start to understand that birthdays are days to be celebrated. This means that you need to think about how you want to mark the occasion and help them celebrate.

To help make planning your toddler’s birthday celebrations a little easier, I thought I would share a few ideas. These are all things that are perfect for making your little one’s birthday that little bit more fun, memorable and special.

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Plan a party

What’s the best way to mark a birthday? With a birthday party, of course. Being so young, you don’t want to plan a party that’s too big or overwhelming for your child. It’s best to stick to a limit of 10 guests at a maximum, including family and friends. Else, it may get a little too much for your child.

If you want to invite more people than that, why not have a party for friends in the daytime and then an evening get together for the family? That way your child gets to spend time with everyone, without getting too overwhelmed.

Surprise them with birthday treats

Birthdays are all about the treats. Give your child a few well thought out gifts and a card that you know they’ll love. Pick presents that you know they’ll like and get lots of use out of. For little ones, presents that encourage learning are always good. Play kitchens, play money, etc. can make good gifts as they help them to learn and are fun too.

As for the card you get your child, get creative and come up with a design that’s cute and eye-catching. A great option if you want to ensure that your card is memorable is to make your little one a Videogram video card. You can record a cute little message for them and then have it put inside a card. Then, every time they look at the card, your video will play. Or, if you don’t fancy recording a video, a photo card could also work well. It’s just a case of deciding whether to make it yourself or order online.

Fill the house with balloons

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For children, the best part of a birthday balloons. Even if you’re not planning your child a party, filling the house with balloons is a great idea. Or, at least, one room of the house with balloons. Think how excited your child will be when they come downstairs on their birthday to find it packed full of balloons.

To make their day extra exciting, opt for a mixture of helium and normal balloons. If your little one has a TV character that they love, consider getting a novelty balloon with them on it. A selection of balloon colours is a good idea - primary colours are best as kids love bright and bold shades.

There you have it, lots of ideas for planning your toddler a fun and exciting birthday.





Friday, 8 April 2016

What's Going To Happen When You Die?


Most of us don’t like to think about getting old. It’s something that’s going to happen whether we like it or not. A lot of people don’t like to think about getting older because it reminds them of their mortality. But if you think about, advancing in years is a privilege that is denied to many who have life snatched away from them at too young an age. There are lots of conflicting feelings about dying, and it's a very common thing that can make people think deeply. But whatever your outlook there are practical aspects that you have to have to make preparations for when you die.


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You have some significant decisions to make. To ensure that all your wishes are carried out after you die, you’ll need a will. Now, lots of people put this off. If you have a mortgage, you may have had to make one as part of the terms and conditions. Even if you have done one already, is it up to date. If you’ve had more children or remarried, you need to make sure you get it reflects your current situation. Don’t put it off. As unpleasant a thought as it is, it might be needed sooner than you might think, so it pays to be prudent about these matters. Companies like Ronald Fletcher and Co. that specialise in such affairs can help if you’re not sure what you're doing.

Another thing you have to consider is your funeral. It’s a good idea to save your family any heartache or expensive and take out a prepaid funeral plan. You can freeze the price of your sending off when you pay for it in advance. Should you pass away suddenly, your next of kin won’t have to worry about the finding the money to put you in your final resting place.


One of the things you have to consider is what you what done with your body once you have hopped off this mortal coil. Would you like to be buried? Or perhaps you would like to be cremated. You might have more outlandish plans for your remains. There are all sorts of weird and wacky things you can have made from what’s left of you! You could be made into a diamond, or shot into space as part of a firework. That’s certainly what you’d call going off with a bang! Whatever you decide, it’s one last chance to show off your personality and express yourself from beyond the grave. What better way is there to celebrate your life?

Quite a few people opt to donate their body to medical research. This is very noble, and an excellent way to give something back. Every time you’ve been successfully treated for an ailment, you must remember that all these things have to be researched. By giving your remains up for research, you could help others even once you've passed away. Of course, you could also opt to join the donor register. That way, you could save a life once yours has ended.