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Category: Family Lifestyle & Personal Thoughts

  1. How long would you stay alive as a Walking Dead survivor?

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    I really look forward to Monday evenings at the moment.  It’s the one night of the week me and Ben spend watching The Walking Dead.  I go to aqua and get back just after 8pm.  Ben usually has it ready to hit play on the TV and we are engrossed for one hour.  It’s probably the only evening I put my laptop and phone down and I’m not distracted from the screen!  I’ve always loved zombie films and TV shows and can’t help but wonder if I’d survive a zombie apocalypse.  Do you think you would?

    I’m pretty sure I’d survive.  I like to think I’m a strong minded and determined person.  I’m fit, active and healthy.  I'm willing to muck in and work hard.  I think I’d stand a good chance!

    Having watched so many zombie shows before, I was a bit late to the party with The Walking Dead.  I knew about it, but thought it would be the same as all the others.  How wrong I was.  OK, so the concept is obviously same as the others, but the characters are so strong.  Eight seasons in and I’m still just as hooked as day one.

    My other favourite TV show is Ben Fogle Lives in the Wild, which ties in quite nicely don’t you think?  It’s all about leaving the rat race and surviving in the wild, fending for yourself and all that.  The older I get the more obsessed I get with wanting to live a more remote lifestyle and grow my own veg.  We got our own chickens this year, so we’re a step closer to my dream!

    This is exactly why most of us wouldn’t be able to survive a zombie apocalypse.  We are not prepared for a disaster at all.  It might not be zombies, that is a bit far out, but it could be something else; the breakdown of society, a war, a weather disaster, no more electricity, etc.  It may seem like something that is allocated to Hollywood films only, but what if it did happen?  Could you survive?

    The reason I don’t think we’re prepared is because most of us can’t produce our own food.  This is a major survival skill and yet we’re never taught it.  If it were up to me I’d teach children how to grow their own food in schools.  We all rely on farmers and being able to pop to the local supermarket for everything we need.  We’ve never had to fend for ourselves.  Imagine if the supermarkets disappeared tomorrow?  If there was a major disaster I bet the shelves would be wiped out in a day or so.

    Data Label has produced the infographic below that shows how quickly your food sources will run out compared to some of the most popular disaster TV shows and films.

    How long would you stay alive as a Walking Dead survivor?

    *Infographic provided by Data Label

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    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake

  2. Common Childhood Illnesses: Colds, Chicken Pox and Conjunctivitis

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    It’s that time of year again where most children, and even adults, are likely to catch an illness that is doing the rounds.  Children are more susceptible to illnesses as their immune systems are weaker.  Often this is not a bad thing as catching and fighting illness will allow their immune systems to build resistance and mature, making it stronger as they grow.

    While many parents may feel the need to go to the doctors for every ailment, this isn’t always necessary.  Many childhood illnesses can be treated at home with the assistance of a local chemist or an online pharmacy.

    Here are three common childhood illnesses we have recently experienced that can be treated at home:

    (Of course if you have any major concerns or symptoms worsen, it’s always best to consult a medical professional)

    Common Childhood Illnesses Colds, Chicken Pox and Conjunctivitis

    Conjunctivitis

    Earlier this year I had a phone call from Reuben’s nursery asking me to collect him.  He’d had a nap, but had woken up with his eyes stuck together and full of goo.  He had conjunctivitis and it had sprung out of nowhere.  There was no build up, just bam! – loads of goo at once.  Poor thing.  Conjunctivitis is highly contagious so I was to pick him up immediately and not return him until it had cleared.  I’ve experienced it myself as both an adult and child, so knew exactly what it was.  It certainly makes you feel groggy having goo all round your eyes and it crusting up and sticking your eyes together when you sleep!
    Treatment isn’t usually needed as it can clear itself up in a couple of weeks, however in severe cases, antibiotic eye drops like these from Chemist4U can be used to clear up the infection.  We were lucky to not need treatment for Reuben and just kept the eyes clear and clean with cooled down boiled water and cotton pads.  

    Related read: The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    Chicken pox

    We are currently experiencing chicken pox for the first time with Bella, age 5.  It did the rounds for her cousins and friends when she was a toddler, but she never caught it.  Now it’s going through the infants at her school so it was only a matter of time before she caught this common childhood illness.
    I remember having chicken pox as a child and being covered in camomile lotion!  I had them so bad I still have three scars in the middle of my forehead that are clear to see.
    Bella started with one spot in the morning on her belly which I thought may be a bite.  She went to school and when she came home she had around 10 spots on her belly!  I then knew it was chicken pox.  By the evening they were on her face, neck,, back, arms and legs.  We could do dot to dot on her there were so many!
    Bella felt pretty miserable for two days when the spots first appeared and spent most of her time sleeping.  On day two the spots were blistering and one even began to scab over.  Once they are all scabbed over she can return to school.  The first couple of nights were awful as the spots were irritating her so much she barely slept and kept me awake all night.  She tossed and turned and kicked about as they were bothering her.  I purchased Virasoothe to try and calm the irritation and soothe any itchiness.  When she was feeling really grotty, moany and hot to touch we gave paracetamol.  It’s not recommended to give any ibuprofen for chicken pox as it can make the person even worse.
    It’s now day four and half of them have scabs.  I guess one or two more days and she can return to school.  She’s now playing normally and seems like her usual self, so it’s just a case of waiting for all the spots to scab which means she’s no longer contagious.
    It’s good to get chicken pox as a child as once you’ve had it once you are usually immune for life.

    Colds

    From my internet research, many articles suggest it’s common for children to have between five and eight colds per year, wow!  That seems like an awful lot, but I’m sure we do experience that with both children.  Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, high temperature and feeling grotty.  We’ll use paracetamol to bring any temperature down, but otherwise we just let the cold play out and ensure they have plenty of rest if they’re not their usual self.
    The best thing is prevention rather than cure.  Plenty of fresh fruit and veg each day and minimal added refined sugar.  The children share my homemade fruit and vegetable morning smoothie with natural superfood green powder to top up their vitamin and mineral intake every day.  This means even if they catch a cold, their bodies are well equipped to fight it off quickly and stop it lingering for weeks.

    Childhood illnesses are not pleasant for the children or parents, but luckily most of them can be treated at home and clear up quickly.  Hopefully they’ll build strong immune systems for a better chance of fighting off and avoiding illness as they grow older.

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    Common Childhood Illnesses- Colds, Chicken Pox and Conjunctivitis

    *collaborative post

  3. How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

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    There’s no doubt about it - having kids is going to change the dynamics of a relationship.  No longer can you devote all your time and attention to your other half.  Late nights and broken sleep can affect mood and stress levels, as well as decrease any expected precious evening time together you may have had planned.  Babies and children are unpredictable. 

    Even with a five year old and two year old, we never know what the day or night will bring.  Illnesses suddenly spring out of nowhere and though they may mostly sleep through the night, we’ll suddenly go through a patch of them refusing to go to bed or waking up with growing pains for nights on end.  Often we plan to spend an evening together with no work or social distractions, once the children are in bed, but by the time they are asleep we’re both practically asleep too or too shattered to interact!

    That being said, I feel like our relationship is still strong and perhaps even stronger since having children.  One friend with older children once told me if we can get through the early years of having kids, we can get through anything!

    Here are three things I think help to keep a relationship strong after having a baby.

    How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

    Stay intimate, when you can

    Women can feel very self-conscious of their new bodies after having a baby as often there are some changes in shape and size.  Reassure her that you still find her attractive.   Finding time for intimacy along with a newfound tiredness are definitely obstacles once you have children.  It can also take time to want to be intimate again after giving birth, so be patient!   

    Just knowing you still find each other attractive and that it’s simply these reasons for why there’s less affection will ensure no one feels insecure.  Communication with each other is important here too.  If you’re not ready, just say.  If you’re too tired, don’t feel pressured.  If there are other reasons for lack of intimacy such as pain, dryness or erectile dysfunction then seek advice.

    Communication is key

    Tying in nicely with both other points is communication.  Clearly discussing how one another is feeling is key to a successful relationship.  Being open, frank and honest is a must.  Playing silly games with one another or playing the silent game is never going to play out well.  Don’t always expect your other half to sense how you’re feeling, just be open and tell them.  Sometimes they have no clue if you’re stressed out or struggling, no matter how obvious you think it is.

    By discussing how you are feeling in an honest and open way means you can communicate clearly with one another and provide support if needed.

    Spend time together, kid free

    Harder said than done, but even one night every couple of months for a meal out together can be enough.  It’s a welcome break from the duties of parenthood and a chance to talk without interruption.

    If you don’t have any childcare or perhaps you’re still breastfeeding, why not set up a date night at home?  Once every week, or two, cook and enjoy a meal together with no TV, mobile phones or distractions (unless of course the kids wake up!).  If you can’t get out for a date night, bring the date night to you.

    Spending enough time together as a couple, remaining affectionate and clearly communicating is all so important for a strong relationship.

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    How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

    *collaborative post

  4. The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

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    Having a first aid box wherever you are, whether at work, home or camping, is an essential. You never know when an injury may occur or when you may need to give first aid to yourself, your family or even a stranger. You may make your own first aid kit or buy one from many pharmacies and drug stores or online.  Here are some items you should include:

    The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    Bandages and Dressings

    These are essential for any cuts and scrapes or a serious bleed. They are sterile and highly absorbent, and can be wrapped and tied around the area, meaning they stay on better than Elastoplast’s. If you ever need to assist someone who is having a serious bleed, a bandage can be used as a tourniquet tied above the bleed to reduce blood flow to the injured area and stop blood loss rapidly. Having this simple piece of equipment could be the difference between life and death with a large cut incident.

    Scissors

    These can be used to cut bandages, cut clothes, rope, seatbelts and many more. First aid box scissors are usually just used for simple things such as cutting dressings to the correct length, but can be used in more serious events to cut away clothes to reveal the site of injury if needed.

    Tweezers

    This is a simple one that many people may forget, but how many times as a child did you get a splinter? Splinters not only hurt, but left untreated can cause infection, so the sooner a splinter is removed, the better. If you go camping a lot, this is definitely an essential when learning how to make a first aid box based on what activities you are doing.

    Gloves

    Gloves protect you from bodily fluids or anything else you may come into contact with. There is no use in cleaning a wound with your hands that may be harboring thousands of germs. When administering first aid, we must ensure we protect ourselves, as well as the person we are administering first aid to. If you have a cut on your hand you may be endangering yourself to blood-borne viruses, making two casualties from the situation.

    Pain Relieving Medication

    No matter where we are or what we are doing, chances are someone has asked you at some point for some aspirin, and you haven’t been able to help. Having this in your first aid box means always having pain relief to hand if needed, as aspirin and ibuprofen are one of the highest selling over the counter medications, bringing in just over $4.1 billion in sales in 2016.

    These are just some of the essential things that you may need in your first aid box, but this is not a comprehensive list. There are many more items that may come in useful for you depending on whether you use a first aid box in a clinical setting or a family setting. Remember, even simple first aid can help save a life, always be prepared. 

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    The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    *collaborative post

  5. Style Challenge: Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo

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    I was recently set a style challenge by menswear clothing website Jacamo to style the man in my life with their clothes for £100.  I managed to kit hubby Ben out from head to toe with brand new jeans, a shirt, a parka jacket and even a pair of casual hi-tops for said budget.

    I’ve never really dressed Ben before.  He works at the head office of a large fashion brand so gets a lot of clothes from work, meaning we never have to shop for clothes for him.  Buying from another retailer was quite tricky at first as I’m so used to seeing him in the same clothes, but Jacamo have loads on offer. 

    They stock affordable clothes as well as well-known brands such as Firetrap, French Connection, Nike and many more.  When I realised I could get a whole outfit for £100 I rose to the challenge.  The challenge of dressing him head to toe, as well as attempting to find an outfit he’d actually want to wear.

    I chose black jeans as he only wears blue jeans.  Click here to see all the jeans.  He’s actually worn them since they arrived so that was a great choice.  Go me!  The shirt is a flannel feel, so super soft and cosy for the winter months in a festive red colour.  Hi-tops are always brilliant for keeping the wet ground away from feet and ankles warm so I reckon he’ll get a lot of use from these the coming months. 

    The jacket is quite lightweight, but perfect if you’re already wearing a stack of layers underneath, I’m thinking long sleeve tee with festive knitted Christmas jumper over the top… tis the season.  So if you’ve already got a few layers on, this jacket is great and you won’t feel so Michelin man like and unable to move.  That's the one thing I hate about winter - being so padded up in clothes I don't feel free.  View the jackets they stock here.

    I don’t think I did too badly and I reckon he looks pretty good.  I told Ben he can have the clothes so long as he poses for some photographs for my blog post.  He’s definitely more comfortable than me with having his picture taken, but I think he does feel like a plonker trying to actually pose for a clothes photo!   So we had a bit of a giggle and took some of his version of model poses as well as some more serious ones.

    Enjoy!

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (3)

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (4)Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (2)

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (5)

    And here's little Reuben wanting to get involved too:

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (1)

     

    *I was sent these items for review by Jacamo – they sell some great menswear (see fabulous model hubby Ben above)

     Here are some more of my brilliant fashion blog posts:

    Do you dress like a mum? How my style is changing now I’m in my 30s. 
    Five Other Ways to Use Your Fashion Scarf 
    A peek at my new outfits from affordable fashion website LOTD

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    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo