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April 2018

Ensuring That Your Teenage Girl Is Happy

If you’re the parent of a young girl, whether she’s still a child, currently a tweenager, or has already reached those challenging teenage years; you’ll understand that it’s getting harder to keep a calm and happy home. The dreaded hormones will be enroute, and they’ll affect her mood, to the point where your household atmosphere has become an unpredictable place. It’s difficult for any parent to see their little ones grow up so fast; however, it’s important that you get onboard with the process, and make it as positive as possible for everyone involved. The tweenage and teenage years with your daughter don’t have to be something you dread; it’s an important time in their life, where they grow and develop into the young adult they’ll eventually become.


And, don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do, improve, and change along the way to ensure that your kids are as happy as possible so that they are able to thrive more independently as the months and years pass. The main thing is that you enjoy as much time with them as you can before they fly the nest (sob). The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice, to help parents of (nearly) teenage girls to ensure that their daughters are happy and doing as well as possible, through great communication, and independence.

teenage girl walking down a dirt track

Image source


Check Up On Their Environment


Don’t automatically assume that your tweenager is arriving home in distress, or upset, merely because of their age. Your (not-so) little girl might be dealing with bullying or an unhelpful teacher, or they might just not be reaching their full potential at school, so they feel frustrated. Therefore, make sure that you’ve explored every option regarding their current and future education. Whether you look into a high school for girls or feel like a mixed environment would suit your daughter better; you need to start by talking to her. Communication is the best way to get the most out of your kids. If they’re not saying much; talk to other parents, and their teachers; this is a great way to gauge if anything is going on at school that you should know about.


A Safe And Open Space

It’s crucial that your daughter feels like she has somewhere safe to return home to, and that you’re a protector, but also someone that she can be open with. Teenagers are notorious for keeping their feelings to themselves, so it’s down to you to keep the lines of communication open at all times. Ensure that they know they can ask you anything, and don’t need to feel embarrassed about certain issues. They’ll be experiencing changes; both physically and mentally, and it’s a lot to deal with, especially in a social-media-driven age. If they do have access to a phone, device, or computer; make sure that they’re made to switch off and have some time away from the screen regularly. Ask them questions, take her out for a treat on a Saturday to see how she’s doing, and keep the conversation going, even when her mood changes. The teenage years are never easy, but you can help to ensure that hers are the best they can be.


This is a collaborative post

Every Fifteen Minutes By Lisa Scottoline – Book Review #17

Wow, finishing Every Fifteen Minutes means I’ve read book 17 already! I’m about 5 books ahead of my target for the year, but the summer holidays will be upon us soon which means I’ll probably fall behind!

Every Fifteen Minutes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm.

With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life?

New York Times best selling author Lisa Scottoline’s visceral thriller, Every Fifteen Minutes, brings you into the grip of a true sociopath and shows you how, in the quest to survive such ruthlessness, every minute counts

My Thoughts

This book was a bit slow for me. I did enjoy it and didn’t see the end coming but I had to make myself pick it up to read a few pages every day.
It did pick up a bit and I managed to read it in a week but if I weren’t doing the Goodreads reading challenge, I think it would have taken me much longer to get to the end.


Goodreads 2018 reading challenge, 17 books read


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How To Declutter Your Garden For The Perfect Backyard

When spring has just sprung, all you want is a new beginning after the dull months of winter. As you plan your cleaning schedule, your garden is something that you can’t forget. How are you going to declutter it?

Decluttering your garden depends on your garden style. You might be excepting a simple aesthetic or a blowsy country garden. Whatever the choice of your style is, keep in mind that it will determine the number of plants and where you will place them in your garden. Here is how you can declutter your garden.

  • Assess your garden

Check your garden and asses the amount of junk in it. You might have stored some junk in your backyards or the side of your house. Ensure that whatever you have stored in your yard does not trap water which gives mosquitoes somewhere to breed.

  • Get rid of what you don’t need

You might have to have a look at the things you have stored in your yard. Do you need them? Are you going to use them soon? If not, can you sell or donate them? It doesn’t matter the value of what you have stored in your yard. If you are not going to use it, make a point of selling or donating it so that it may not lie there idle.

If it is heavy stuff that you can’t dispose of immediately, plan how you will get rid of it. Make a list of the things that you are going to eliminate quickly and what you would like to dispose of later.

If you have some things that you might want to use in future but don’t need them now, you can consider looking for a self storage near you to keep them.

  • Keep your garden tidy

Having debris or leaves in your garden or patio is normal. Leaving trash in your yard can cause problems, so you need to keep it clean. You can use a blower to get rid of leaves and clippings from your patio.

Weed your flower beds well. You can also mow your lawns on a regular basis and trim the hedges. Repair your boundary fencing and keep it tidy too. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to your front garden as it contributes to the appeal of your garden. You can hire a man and van for different removal services from your garden.

flowers in the garden - declutter your garden

  • Group things together

You can group a vignette of items, e.g., a pair of a concrete ball, a container, and big fem. You can group a collection of things in your yard. If you are a lover of style, you can create a side yard or a bed border and fill it up.

  • Give the plants room to grow

You might like putting plants together so that they may appear full when they grow. However, after some time, they will grow, and some will cover up others. Learn to space your plants apart so that it may be possible to mulch in between and give them room to breathe.


  • Do some cleaning in your garden

Since cleaning makes everything look new and fresh, you might consider using specialized tools and cleaning materials to clean your patios, furniture, and decking. You might have to clean your outdoor patio umbrellas to ensure that your home looks tidy.

  • Cleaning outdoor rugs

When you decide to declutter your garden, you will have to clean everything found outdoors to have a spackling compound. Your outdoor rugs and carpets might be dirty in one way or another.

You might have to use specialized equipment like vacuum cleaners to clean them. You can consider buying carpet cleaning services from carpet cleaning professionals, who will have your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned.

  • Choose your style and stick to it

Do you have a specific personal expression about your garden? You can choose any style so long as you love it. If you prefer rustic, country style, stick to it. You can opt to use galvanized containers, bent-twig furniture or farm-implement-piece sculpture because they present country style.

The point in having a specific style and sticking to it is to help you add more pieces without feeling that they don’t fit to be there.

declutter your garden and add decorations such as these cute little imps

There are many things you can do to declutter your garden. The bottom line is to keep it clean, attractive and orderly. You might, therefore, need some unique tools to do some tasks correctly. If you don’t have time to declutter your garden, you might consider hiring a gardener who will help you achieve your gardening goals.

This is a collaborative post

We’re On Holiday – Our Anniversary Week Begins Here

Ant and I have come to Hemsby in Norfolk for the week to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary which is on Monday. We always try to get away for our anniversary week, just the two of us 🙂
It’s not always possible, but I’m going to make sure nothing stops us in 2020. We’ll be celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary and I want us to go to York Lakeside Lodges again for a week. It’s where we spent our honeymoon and we loved it. We always planned to go back, but somehow never got around to it.

As well as going to York, I want to save up to buy us matching platinum wedding rings. Ant’s wedding ring is battered beyond use so I thought it would be lovely to get matching ones. I don’t want a regular gold one, I want something a bit different and hopefully, Ant won’t be able to damage his as easily!

Anniversary Week

We left around 10 this morning and after stopping at Nanny’s then calling for a Costa coffee, we were off.

Costa Coffee - I'm now officially on holiday for our anniversay week

The chalet was available at 2 pm so we had time to stop off at McDonald’s for lunch. I really enjoyed it because it’s been over a year since I last had a McDonald’s!

McDonald's iced caramel frappe

After getting the keys to the chalet and unloading the car we went to Tesco to pick up our Click and Collect order. I’d ordered a meal deal so Ant didn’t have much cooking to do. For a tenner, it was a really good deal; we had potato dauphinoise, ham wellington and peas (not included in the deal) followed by salted caramel profiteroles. I think Ant enjoyed the bottle of red wine!

I’m not sure what we’re doing tomorrow yet. I saw a sign for some water gardens on the way here so I’m going to check it out.

I also want to find some charity shops and have a look at the books!


Burger In A Bowl – Slimming World Recipe

I’d heard this recipe for Burger In A Bowl mentioned at my Slimming World group. Everyone was saying how nice it was and how much it tasted like a certain Big Burger from a well-known restaurant! I didn’t believe it could taste as nice as […]

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Adopt Monochrome This Summer

monochrome living room
Monochrome Pexels Image Source: Living room with television, plant, poster, and lamps

If you don’t know much about monochrome, it is essentially something – be it painting, drawings, designs, or photographs – that are all in one colour that varies in shade and limited hues. The most common form of this is black, white, and all the in between. But really it can be any colour you choose – it’s all down to what you choose as a personal preference.


If you are looking to change certain areas or rooms within your home to give it more of an interesting vibe or feel, then monochrome is a perfect direction to go in. And better yet, it is so easy to do. The word itself sounds as if there are many rules that pair up with it – but there aren’t. So before the summer hits you in full force – add a few features that will make everything look so much cooler.


Control the light

Light is a very powerful source in your home, and the way you go about controlling it is very important. As the days heat up, you may find that your home begins to overheat slightly, making it an uncomfortable environment to be inside. One way to avoid this from happening is to bring in some black wooden blinds. You get the best of both worlds with these – you can create shade when you need it, allow in light when you crave it and have the overall look you want because of the colour they are. These will look brilliant against a white or grey wall, especially as the sun breaks through them.


Implement some texture

Making patterns allows you to create texture, and this is always a nice feature to have within a home because it adds more depth which makes everything a lot more interesting. You can do this in many different ways. For example, consider buying a fluffy black and white striped rug and place it right in the centre of your living room floor. This will work very well as being a statement piece that grabs everyone’s attention as soon as they walk into the room, and that’s never a bad thing. You want some things to stand out more than others otherwise the room will be flat and one dimensional.


Simplify your furniture

Monochrome always works well when being minimalistic, so when it comes to your rooms, don’t feel as though you need to keep them busy and full, because while you may assume that it will make things more exciting, really you just risk things looking cluttered and messy. So strip things back and allow the room to breathe. Doing this will also make the area appear a lot bigger too, which is always a bonus. So consider the things you really need and remove what you don’t, ensuring your room is open and free, highlighting all of the key points you have that deserve to be noticed.



monochrome living room
Monochrome Pixabay Image Source: Sofa and glass table against windows


This is a collaborative post

5 Tips For Finding The Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

As common as it is, sleeping on your stomach can bring about serious health issues especially with your back and neck. With the right pillow, however, you are guaranteed comfort and safety as far as your health is concerned. As a regular stomach sleeper, you may find yourself settling for the wrong kind of pillow over and over again because of simple important facts you keep on missing out. So, before you set out to go get a new pillow, here is a guide;



    Material matters


The kind of material, both the cover and fill plays a part in satisfying your specific needs. There are five different types of pillows for stomach sleepers and each of them come in different material offering different levels of comfort. For instance, sleeping on a feather pillow does not offer the same comfort as sleeping on a foam pillow. Again, the top texture of each pillow feels different as some of the pillows are overly soft, which you may or may not like. The kind of material will also determine the pillow’s durability. High-quality material will of course last longer than the vice versa.

woman sleeping on her front no pillow


    Choose thin over thick


You are far more likely to wake up with a serious back or neck pain if you use one of those thick pillows while sleeping on your stomach. Thick pillows are most suitable for back and side sleepers, not stomach sleepers. If you use a thick pillow to sleep on your stomach, your head ends up being raised upward in a very awkward and unnatural position. This leaves you laying uncomfortable and hence straining your back and neck. This is why stomach sleepers need a flat pillow because you don’t need much support when laying on your stomach.



    Look for reviews


You might be considering buying your pillow on an online store. It is advisable you to carefully look at available online reviews for instance; best pillow for stomach sleepers. This way, you will get to know how efficient they are and also their cons. You will have specific needs so take keen of the reviews that address your needs in order to get a glimpse of exactly what you are to expect. Also, ask friends or family members who have used the same kind of pillows and hear what they have to say.

feet at the bottom of the bed


    Try it out


There is no surest way to finding a pillow that best suits your needs than trying it out. This will, of course, be possible only if you are physically buying from the store. You will be able to rate its breathability and the comfort it comes with.



    Is it affordable for you?

Your choice may perfectly satisfy all your needs but its cost may be expensive than you had planned for. However, your budget should not be too low to compromise the other qualities you are looking for, but also it shouldn’t be unrealistically high. Look for the ones in your budget range and as long as they satisfy all your other requirements, you are good to go!

Happy 18th Birthday Aiden

Happy 18th Birthday Aiden :o)

Happy 18th Birthday Aiden

I’m in denial. It’s not possible that I’m now the parent of an adult, an actual 18-year-old! I really can’t believe that I’m here today wishing my first born child a happy 18th birthday! I know I’m using too many exclamation marks but I can’t help it!
Our wonderful, kind, caring, gentle son is now an adult and every time I think about it, I start to feel old!

Happy 18th Birthday Aiden

We love you more than words can say, Aiden and we hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend at your dad’s.
I know you’re not keen to have your photo on the blog now you’re all grown up but today you have to make an exception just for me.

I have to post this photo of you and your caterpillar cake, that you specifically asked for when I asked what kind of cake you wanted :0)

Aiden's 18th birthday


Aiden's caterpillar cake with the candles lit

aiden blowing out the candles on his caterpillar cake


Behind Her Eyes By Sarah Pinborough – Book Review #16

I read a review of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough at Mum Of Three World and had to add it to my TBR list. Little did I know that it was already on one of my bookshelves! I must have picked it up from the charity shop after reading the blurb then shelved it and forgot about it.

I’m so glad I noticed it after reading the review. I was sat on my bed with Ella while she was reading her bedtime story and I just happened to see it on the shelf!

Behind Her Eyes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

My Thoughts

OMG, I did not see that ending coming!

I’m always a bit sceptical when the book cover says things like the most shocking ending you’ll ever read because rarely does the book live up to it.
This is one book that truly did shock me at the end.

We’re told the story from Adele and Louise’s point of view as well as some flashbacks to Adele’s past. As you progress through the book you think you know how things are going to be. Then something happens that makes you wonder if you’ve got it all wrong!

Slow Start

The book didn’t grab me straight away. It was a bit of a slow start but after about halfway I found myself not able to put it down.

It’s hard to talk about this book without spoiling it so I’m not going to say anymore.

I’m now adding Sarah Pinborough books to my never-ending TBR list!

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes By Sarah Pinborough


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New Dresses For Our Anniversary Holiday

We’ll be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary at the end of April. Whenever possible, we like to go away for a week for our anniversary.

My mum usually comes to have the children while we’re away because they’re at school but this year their elder brother, Jervais, is coming to stay for the week. We’re going to stay in a chalet in Norfolk but a different place to where we went last year. We went to Mundesley last year; this year we’re going to Hemsby.

New Dresses

The recent wonderful weather looks set to continue so I was delighted when Fashion World got in touch and asked if I’d like some new dresses 🙂

I’m usually a t-shirt and leggings kind of gal but I figured I could get some dresses that I could wear with leggings! I’m not very adventurous when it comes to buying new clothes. I stick to black, grey and navy blue usually and clothes that will cover my belly and arms.

When I saw all the gorgeous dresses I decided to be brave and pick things I wouldn’t normally choose.


I admit I did pick a grey dress for my first choice but not just because it was grey. The style is nice and it looks so comfortable.

new dress - grey ruffle

I was a bit more adventurous with my next choices; I actually moved away from black and grey!

New red dress new dresses - pink floral

Even though the colour of the next dress is more me, the style is not something I would usually choose. Also, it’s not really a dress you can wear leggings with so I’ll have to be brave when I wear this. It’s been years since I showed my legs!

New dresses - light blue and white

My final choice is more my usual colour and style. I love this one the most. It’s really comfortable, looks good with leggings and was perfect to wear when we went for Sunday lunch at a local pub today to celebrate Aiden’s upcoming 18th birthday and my step-daughter, Kellyann’s birthday. They both have their birthday in Tuesday but Kellyann lives in Sheffield and won’t be here so we celebrated today 🙂

I can’t wait for our holiday next week, I’m so excited!


Please note: I was sent these lovely dresses in return for this blog post

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