Sunday 31 July 2022

My Sunday Photo 31/07/2022

My Sunday Photo 31/07/2022


We went hunting for dinosaurs this week in our local shopping centre 🦕 

Friday 29 July 2022

100 kids summer bucket list

Hey readers,

Summer holidays are here and if you are bored or looking for some ideas on what to do for entertainment then check out my list of a whopping 100 ideas of a varied mix of things you can get inspired to do today.  

100 kids summer bucket list

1.
Go fishing. 

2. Go rock climbing. 

3. go on a nature hunt. 

4. Blow bubbles. 

5. Stargaze. 

6. Build a sandcastle. 

7. Fly a kite. 

8. Have a picnic. 

9. Make homemade slime. 

10. Paint rocks. 

11. Visit a museum. 

12. Learn to ride a bike. 

13. Explore local parks. 

14. Write a letter. 

15. Go bowling. 

16. Go to an amusement park. 

17. Attend a children's theatre production. 

18. Have a movie night. 

19. Do a science experiment. 

20. Visit a farmers market. 

21. Bake a cake. 

22. Create a family scrapbook. 

23. Go boating. 

24. Go crabbing. 

25. Go swimming and have a cake after. 

26. Make ice cream/ice lollies. 

27. Pick fruit. 

28. Play mini golf. 

29. Visit an ice cream parlour. 

30. Have a picnic. 

31. Visit a national trust property. 

32. Visit an outdoor paddling pool. 

33. Visit an English Heritage property. 

34. Make a birdfeeder. 

35. Have a bonfire. 

36. Go birdwatching.
 
37. Play catch. 

38. Go to the beach. 

39. Chase waves. 

40. Go on a nature walk. 

41. Jump on a trampoline. 

42. Plant a tree. 

43. Play hide and seek. 

44. Dance in the rain.

45. Go to the library and join the summer reading challenge. 

46. Write your own bucket wish list. 

47. Make a den. 

48. Make a blanket ford. 

49. Make origami. 

50. Make fruit kebabs. 

51. Draw on the pavement with chalk.

52. Help out a neighbour. 

53. Paint with squirt guns. 

54. Go swimming in a lake. 

55. Have a water fight.

56. Climb a tree. 

57. Wash a car. 

58. Play frisbee. 

59. Watch the sunrise. 

60. Watch the sunset. 

61. Go on a hike. 

62. Go kayaking. 

63. Go to the zoo. 

64. Take a road trip. 

65. See a drive-in movie. 

66. Go to the cinema.
 
67. Skip rocks in a rocker. 

68. Vist an arboretum.

69. Have a barbeque. 

70. Help cook dinner. 

71. Bake some biscuits.

72. Visit an aquarium.
 
73. Finish a jigsaw puzzle. 

74. Make tie die t-shirts. 

75. Roast marshmallows. 

76. Visit an animal shelter. 

77. Hula hoop. 

78. Visit a garden centre.

79. Go on a bike ride. 

80. Go on a scooter ride.  

81. Scavenger hunt. 

82. Go to a free concert. 

83. Stay up late

84. Run in a sprinkler. 

85. Do a science experiment.

86. Plant flowers.

87. Go to the fair.

88. Visit family. 

89. Play pooh sticks

90. Make a sun catcher.

91. Go pond dipping. 

92. Decorate a flower pot and then add some plants. 

93. Have a garden party. 

94. Watch the clouds

95. Do some flower pressing. 

96. Enter a writing competition. 

97. Do the blue peter completion. 

98. Explore rock pools. 

99. Have a photoshoot. 

100. Donate or sell old toys or books. 

Happy summer holidays 😊

Cheers for reading X



Monday 25 July 2022

5 tips to help with baby weaning.

Hey readers.

As parents there comes a point when we have a baby where we have to think about how we are going to wean our babies off breast formula milk and onto solid foods. It is nothing to be scared or worried about and I have some good baby weaning tips to help make the process feel less daunting for you. 

5 tips to help with baby weaning.

What is weaning?

baby weaning is a process where you introduce the baby's solid foods alongside breastmilk or formula milk. The intention is to wean them off the milk so, in the end, they are fully eating solids for the food intake. 

When to start weaning? 

The NHS advises that you should wean your baby when they reach around 6 months old - the reason they say around is that all babies are different and some are more eager to start earlier than others.

Signs that your baby is ready to start weaning. 

• Your baby is getting towards six months in age.

• Your baby is able to hold their head and neck steady, so they can swallow safely.


• Your baby has some hand-eye coordination, so they will be able to see food, pick it up and get it into their mouth. (Although even the most coordinated baby will get food everywhere in the early days of weaning!)


Tip: Don’t start weaning before your baby is at least four months old (17 weeks+). Her digestive system just won’t be ready for it.


How to wean your baby. 


Baby-led - basically putting food on a plate so the baby can be free to explore or throw the food around (lol) be warned lots of mess but gives them freedom. Some babies love this, my eldest was not a fan, lol!


Spoonfed -My eldest loved this don't know why though I think now reflecting back he is autistic so one theory is he likes the structure having all the food on one plate is overwhelming for him. 

Having food on a spoon than in the mouth is much less stimulated and had to think less of what to do. I guess I don't know. Like I said all children are different, it is just a case of going with the flow of what is right for you and your baby. 

 Tips to help with baby weaning. 

 1. No right or wrong to weaning.

When I was going through the process of introducing my eldest to solid food about 9 odd years ago I went to my local sure start centres (though think closed down or changed name) but they were obsessed with baby-led weaning.

 I felt very stressed firstly I am autistic and really struggled because I felt I had to listen to the pressure of baby-led weaning and being a new parent is terrifying so you want to do the best thing you can as a parent. 

Now reflecting back I can say this it doesn't matter if you baby-led or if you puree. If you do a bit of both then is no correct way and each baby guesses what is different, has a different palette and likes to think what they like. My guess is to try with what works if it does then just do, no point stressing yourself out like I did because you are going to make yourself miserable and dread the process. 

2. He won't like everything.

Be prepared if your child doesn't like anything because you know what might happen and that is ok like I said every child is different. I don't see why you would force a child to like something when adults are allowed to like what they like and not like what they don't like.

 Just go with the flow and remember with time the child's tastes change as well when they start to grow you be managed how much they do change. 

3. It may not work every time.

Things take time and they don't automatically work overnight. weaning a child on to solids is a progressive thing that takes time, it is a  massive change from going from liquid all the time to then moving over to food.

 Just be prepared as like I always say each child is different there is no set outline of how long the process takes it could possibly take days, weeks or even months but don't worry just relax take it as a work in progress and don't focus on the end date, it is more important than your baby gets used to the new changes in their diet. 

4. Get the baby comfy.

One tip I would suggest when it comes to baby weaning is that make sure the baby is comfortable, what I mean by that is make sure your baby is sitting comfortably in the chair on the floor. 

Make sure that you are close to giving encouragement and smiles along with plenty of cuddles because this is a new experience with a big change so having support will really help adjust well. 

5. Drink. 

Make sure the baby is still drinking fluid. You can introduce your baby to a Sippy cup at around 6 months and offer sips of water. When the baby reaches one year old the baby can have whole milk 

Have you got any good baby weaning tips that I have missed out on anything important? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X 

Sunday 24 July 2022

My Sunday Photo 24/07/2022

Friday 22 July 2022

4 ways to reduce your food bill

 Hey readers, 

As times are getting tough you want to be looking for ways to cut down on your food bill then I have four good solid ways to reduce your bill that can make a massive difference. 

4 ways to reduce your food bill

1. Bulk buying.

If you have the cupboard space, bulk buying can be really cost-effective.
If you check the label of the product you are buying, it will tell you the price per kilogram – and the big bags almost always work out much cheaper. The deals can be even better if you can buy from a wholesaler or bulk-buying specialist such as Costco – although bear in mind these firms come with annual membership fees that you need to factor in.

Start with items such as pasta and tea bags – these have long shelf lives and are great for meal planning when money is tight.

It’s also great for household essentials. Tesco charges £8 for a pack of 36 Ariel All-in-1 washing pods. However, a pack of 120 will cost you £20. That’s 22p each versus 17p each. Watch out though as sometimes the smaller packs can work out cheaper, so always check.

2. Avoid fridge chaos.

A disorganised fridge can wreak havoc with your food's longevity, flavour and nutritional value. The bottom shelf is the coldest, and ideal for raw meat, fish and poultry. Store eggs on the middle shelf as they shouldn’t get too cold. The top shelf is the warmest and has the most consistent temperature, therefore is good for dairy and pre-prepared foods that don't need cooking. 
The doors are the warmest place in the fridge and best for foods containing preservatives. Wrap cheese in a resealable bag and store it in a plastic tub to prevent it from drying out.

Organising your cupboards and fridge will ensure that you know what you already own, hopefully stopping you from buying duplicates and ending up with five jars of the same thing. It’s a good idea to keep an up-to-date list of what is in your freezer, as leftovers can often get pushed to the back and forgotten about. You’re not saving money if you don’t eat the food.

 3. Make the most out of loyalty schemes. 

Many supermarkets have schemes in place providing incentives - such as vouchers for money off your groceries - to incentivise shoppers to keep buying at their stores.
For example, Sainsbury's runs its Nectar card reward scheme, where customers receive points every time they shop in stores.

To get one Nectar point you need to spend £1 in Sainsbury’s store, or you get one Nectar point for every litre of fuel purchased in Sainsbury’s fuel stations. The scheme now offers personalised discounts based on customers' shopping habits.

Morrisons' has recently revamped its loyalty scheme too. Instead of collecting points to get money off shopping, customers are now offered instant rewards when they spend money in stores.

4. Sign up for food waste apps.

Olio or Too Good To Go are great examples of apps where you can source surplus food or heavily discounted food. They will highlight restaurants or cafes nearby that have wasted food they want to sell, with customers able to pick up “Magic Bags’ at a set price. Consumers can even order in advance meaning expensive lunches in the office could be a thing of the past.

What do you think about my points about reducing the food bill? Have I missed any good advice that you think is good? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X 
 

Monday 18 July 2022

Why I disagree with buying teachers presents

Hey readers,

It is the summer holiday break up today and as I took my son to school I witnessed the number of presents a lot of parents brought with them to hand out to the teachers.



I will be honest, I don’t believe in giving teachers presents because for one I am forced to take my child to school, and ok I could go down the route of homeschooling but I am just capable and I want to give my son the best opportunities.  I am a strong believer in giving people the choice and it feels a little bit false, in the fact that there is pressure from the Clintons, etc. I believe in choice and it just feels like you have to do it.

Part of me sees it as a competition from parents to get the present (but that is a whole new political post of its own). I wonder whether there is a bit of arse linking because if they are giving praise etc. it can influence how they view the child.

OK, now it’s that some are genuine and what to do something to say thank you to their teacher for helping their child. But what happens if you don’t have the funds and some people can’t even afford a spare quid, so don’t give me that one. 

Why do we have to buy material stuff, ok it is easier to buy a box of chocolates, it just seems that to say thank you to the teacher to buy them stuff. It is peer pressure at its finest, if you haven’t brought a teacher something then there is a chance you feel guilty or embarrassed about it. I don’t think parents should have to feel like this but I know some people do.

So, therefore I believe that it should be banned to buy stuff for teachers as parents have enough stuff to buy and find the money (I know this struggle I have been there it makes you feel totally crap as a parent).

Cheers for reading X


Sunday 17 July 2022

My Sunday Photo 17/06/2022


My boys with their friends. Love seeing kids being kids ♥ 

Friday 15 July 2022

9 tips on how to have a perfect picnic

Hey readers, 

It's picnic season so you need to start preparing for upcoming picnics for your next outdoor adventures. Check out my pointers below on how to have a perfect picnic. 

9 tips on how to have a perfect picnic
1. Location. 

Location is key and you need to think about where you will be holding your picnic. Remember you will be carrying your items and if you have food that might melt so you don't want it too far from your car park or unless willing to carry your items with you. If you have kids you might want to be close to a park to entertain kids, if it is hot on the day you might want to find a location that has shady places. Sometimes it is easier to go to a place where you are familiar if you want to park your car to make it less stressful as you know the layout. 

  • 2. Tidy. 
Two items that are a must-have for all picnics are bin bags and wet wipes: one for rubbish plus a few more for dirty plates and utensils. Wet wipes are great for sticky fingers and learning faces especially if you have young children 

  •  3. check the weather.

  • The most important thing to do when preparing for a picnic is to check the weather forecast beforehand because there is nothing worse than getting to your location set up and then the heavens open up. If it is high temperatures make sure you take a sun hat and sun block to protect yourself. 

  • 4. Go Enamel. 

Enamel plates are light, easy to pack, carry and practical, You can load them up with a variety of food and there is plenty of space so they won't all get mixed up together or fall off the plate. They also look and feel cooler than plastic and are way better for the environment than disposable dishes.

5. Bring board games. 

Something to consider is bringing some board games as a great way to keep people, especially kids. entertained. Anything card-based is good and one suggestion is if it is adult based is cards against humanity (not suitable for young kids but lots of fun for adults). 

6. Sticky food. 

When thinking of food to take avoid ice cream and cakes that are sticky will make a mess and are fragile to transport. keep things simple as you want all the other food destroyed by mess food. If you do bring messy food keep it in separate sealed containers so it doesn't get mixed up with other food. 

7. Keep it cool

5. Along with the blanket because it is great to put food down and keep creepy crawlies at bay but also ask all guests to bring cushions in their own tote bag to sit on. everyone can sit where they want, instead of having to move the blanket every 5 minutes to please the shade chasers and sunseekers. 

8. Preparation.

A good tip to remember is not forgetting to bring a chopping board, it is so handy to have a flat service to prepare food and slice items. which can also double up as a serving plate for food items such as bread and cheese. 

9. Water bottle. 

 Frozen water bottles can do double-duty to keep the food cool and give you cold water once they defrost.

Cheers for reading X 


Monday 11 July 2022

5 Ways to cut down the cost of fuel

Hey readers, 

Times are tough for everyone and it is important to save where you can so here are my top 5 tips on how to cut the cost of fuel down.

5 Ways to cut down the cost of fuel                                                                                                 5 Ways to cut down the cost of fuel                                                                                                  5 ways to cut down the cost of fuel


 1. Find the cheapest petrol station. 

The price you pay for petrol or diesel can vary hugely depending on where you live and which fuel station you go to. While you don't want to drive for miles to get fuel, it can save you lots of money if you manage to find the cheapest station in your area. The website Petrol Prices allows you to do 20 free searches on petrol stations near you to see who has the best rates. This could save you on average of £226 on petrol or £158 on diesel every year, according to the RAC. My husband found a difference of around 2p per litre in his search.

2. Plan your journeys.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, anything that makes your car work harder to get you where you need to go is likely to use up more fuel – and cost you more money.
That’s where it pays to think about your journey. Road surface quality plays a big part. Obviously road surface quality isn’t always within your control but for trips where you know the route well, try to stick to smooth, flat roads as much as possible.
Advance journey planning can also help you save fuel by making combined trips. If you know you need to pick up a few things from the supermarket ten minutes away and visit your parents across the city, why not do both on the same trip? It will save you the hassle as well as money.
 
3. Keep your tyres pumped.

Often motorists only check their tyre pressure once they have a puncture, however, this is a costly mistake. Low tyre pressures create heat and friction with the tread and sidewalls flexing, with research showing that you use an additional 3% fuel for every 10% of your tyres that are under-inflated. Not only that, tyres with insufficient pressure lead to poor handling of the vehicle with the potential for loss of control and accidents.

4. watch how you drive. 

Cutting down on the amount you drive is an easy way to reduce the amount you spend on fuel. But it’s not always possible. Instead, think about changing your driving technique. The best way to do this is to avoid heaving braking, harsh accelerating and excessive speed.
Driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph, and 15% more than driving at 50mph. Being in the wrong gear and straining the engine will also use up more fuel.

5. Making combined journeys. 

Instead of driving to a destination and driving home again before going back out, try and combine all your journeys into one. The experts explained: “A hot engine is a more efficient one because your battery works better in warmer conditions.“One way that you can improve your overall fuel economy is by combining several smaller trips into one long journey.”
 
What do you think of my tips on cutting down the cost of fuel? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X 

Friday 8 July 2022

Abortion and me

Hey readers,

 I'm lucky. I live in England and have the right to have an abortion if I want to. Many years ago before having children there was this one time when I chose to have an abortion. I was with my husband at the time, we weren’t married then but I was in my first year at university, dealing with crippling depression and had already attempted suicide. 

Then during the summer term, I was constantly sick and didn’t feel right, my period was late so did want most women would do in their 20s took a pregnancy test...it came back positive at that point I absolutely shit myself.

 I was terrified, I really didn’t think about children at this point and when I did I knew it was not the right time. It was just not right for me, I knew I was not mentally capable of looking after a child.

Abortion and me

I did talk to my husband (boyfriend at the time) and we talked for a long time and he agree with me. He was a saint and supported me right through. We booked an appointment with BPAS and they did a scan and then talked me through the process. They then booked me in about a week later to go to the clinic to get an abortion.

It was a clinic not in the city I lived so had to travel to another city to get to the clinic. It was all very professional and didn’t feel judged by the staff. It was done within the afternoon, it felt odd after because literally, all the pregnancy symptoms cleared within the hours of that day – such as tiredness and sickness.

Although at the clinic I was not alone there were many other women like myself going for abortion and also I like to add that a lot travelled from Northern Ireland as it is illegal to have an abortion – so that just goes to show the lengths women will go to have a safe abortion.

One of the saddest parts for me of that day is when leaving the clinic there were prolifers protesting and calling us women all sorts of nasty names such as murders and that shit cuts deep.

Emotional though it took time to register the whole situation it felt a bit like limbo until it dawned on me that it did happen and then it hit me hard. I felt bad, it didn’t help that people that I thought I could trust that I told turned on me and called me a murder, a bad person...you know all the shitty comments people call you. It hurts because they know before the ordeal you went through and used that to get to you and they know it will.

Years later when I got pregnant again and went to the regular first scan I go to for 12 weeks to check everything I had a miscarriage. Because it was my first and no one really talks about miscarriage and I have crippling anxiety I had really intrusive thoughts like it is my thought it happened and it is a result of me having an abortion because I am a murderer.

Reflecting back I know this is just the anxiety getting me when I am in a vulnerable state, now being more aware and know actually miscarriage is more common than you may think.

Regardless of some of the negative aspects of my journey, I am grateful for the fact that living in England I can have the free choice to have a child or not. It is my choice and if I ever chose again to have an abortion I can do it safely without worrying that anything terrible will happen.

I believe women should have that choice and that is sad to see in America that it has gone backwards in time with 26 states making it illegal to ban abortion and now the changes are them women will still have an abortion but not in a safe environment. Like always it is mostly down to the white middle-class male telling us women how to live which is deeply sad.

Cheers for reading X 

 

Monday 4 July 2022

autism and waiting

Hey readers,

I am already anxiously waiting but I am ok with it because it is arranged and in my mind, I have that set goal as it were but as soon as that changes I start to get really anxious. 

autism and waiting

the more I don't know what is happening because people lack the ability to communicate or have this theory to see what happens which in this innocence I fucking hate. Because I already had a plan, I wanted to follow it through, I was anxious, it hasn't happened. It has changed now all my little markers of what is going to happen throughout the day are changed this has thrown me out of synch. 

It is so stressful as a parent with autism myself I have this extra guilt that I meant to be on top of it, ok it is fabricated from my own mind but some of it I get the scenes from some people who assume I am a little spoiled bitch. Yeah sometimes I am a twat but during times I can assure you I am not, these times when I am waiting are the hardest things I have to deal with as an autistic person. No matter how long I have been on this earth, it doesn't get any better. I get still frustrated, I still have meltdowns, I still lose my shit and reach breaking point because I just simply can't cope it, my mind can't cope with it. It is like a volcano watching it starts erupting when the change happens I cant calm it down especially when no one tells me what the hell is happening or gives me black and white answers. 

I think I am just livid at times because I am realling on other people which I hate. I hate it, I do. I am a control freak in that sense, I just don't like that control and I am not got that power the time it makes me so livid especially when some people can actually do something to help the situation and sit back and do sweet FA.

There is the element of the unknown, I don't like the unknown it's grey and it has answers... all the things I hate. I like exact, black and white, something that is definite. I am just rigid and flexible and that is my downfall, it is always been my struggle and it is where I hate waiting. People can't give me answers if things run late, where are they? How long are they going to be? I just get more and more anxious. As you keep reading you can feel the anxiety build-up and there is only so much someone with autism can manage because there is a lot of emotion to deal with and someone with autism is not good at managing emotions. The messy and hard, grey and unpredictable.  

Before you know it I am screaming because my body is too aroused with adrenal and anxiety, I want to run away but also want to scream fucking head off. Because quite frankly I am angry, I don't have the communication skills at this point just pure range. 

This now will mess up my day; the next day I will cripple with guilt and sadness. I will hate myself and everything that is autism. This is why I hate waiting and why it is such to wait as an autistic person because it is an emotional rollercoaster. 

Cheers for reading X 









Sunday 3 July 2022

My Sunday Photo 03/07/2022


My son performed with his class for a performance at Coventry Cathedral on Tuesday. 

Friday 1 July 2022

How to deal with parental burnout.

Hey readers,

As parents we have all felt tired, it is a natural part of parenthood however parental burnout is slightly different as it can impact your health for long periods and it won't be cured simply by having a good night's sleep (of course that does help) but long term strategies need to be but in place to help you manage parental burnout on a day to day level. 

https://www.canva.com/design/DAFDfnIMF8A/nQ_hQo2NZZdoT2ktkIC2pg/edit?utm_content=DAFDfnIMF8A&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link2&utm_source=sharebutton

What is parental burnout?

When we are talking about parental burnout, we are referring to the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that one feels from the chronic stress of parenting. I think being a parent you take on a lot of responsibility of looking after a child or children and trying your best to meet all the needs that can at times take its tolls on you.  I don't think it is talked about another because there is a lot of guilt and shame attached to feeling parental burnout that you won't open up due to fear of judgement which then makes the situation worse. 

Symptoms of parental burnout - burn in mind different levels can occur so it will depend on the person but this is just a general list of symptoms. 

* Brain fog. 

Sort tempered. 

Forgetfulness. 

*  Increased stress levels. 

 Depression. 

 Feelings of isolation. 

 Obsessive-compulsive tendencies. 

Decreased sex drive. 

Hormonal imbalances. 

Tensions and arguments with your spouse. 

May feel not connected with your child, which can lead to emotional distance.  

How to manage burnout. 

1. Get enough sleep. 

Sleep is so important for your mental health and even as a parent at times it can be hard to always fit sleep in especially if you have a newborn just making a small power nap of 20 minutes can make a big difference to how we feel and regulate your emotions better. 

2. Talk to your partner. 

If you have a partner or close friend talk to them about how you are feeling, it may sound obvious but we don't always take the time to sit down and make effort to actually talk about how we really feel. It can be one of the best forms of support for preventing or alleviating parental burnout. 

3. Set boundaries - learn to easy no.

It is ok to say no and you do not have to say yes to everything. Remember who is the boss you do not have to say yes to everything your kid asks of you. Sometimes you have to stand your ground with your children and setting boundaries is vital for your own development. It's ok to not be popular with your kids all the time, it happens to all parents kids have to learn that carnet gets everything they want. 

4. Get some self-care incorporated into your routine.

The importance of incorporating self-care into your routine is a must for your own well-being. It is not selfish to do something for yourself from time to time and sometimes it can be better in the long run because needs are met. It is also ok to ask for help from people that offer and just making time to do things that you enjoy can really help reduce burnout and make you feel more relaxed in life. 
 
5. Be a good enough parent to lower expectations.

Instead of aiming to the perfect level of parenting aim for being a good enough parent and lower the expectation the weight will soon come off our shoulders. As long as kids are healthy, happy and loved then that's all that counts, it doesn't matter if they have the latest technology or branded clothing or going on a holiday because they have the foundations of a good childhood which is the most important. 

6. Go to your doctor. 
 
If it does all feel like it is getting too much then go further and speak to your GP and get the support you need, don't feel ashamed because they are there to help you. 

Have you ever dealt with parental burnout? What do you think you think of my tips on how to deal with parental burnout? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X