Light is so important to me which means that finding the right windows in a home is important too. Today I am highlighting the benefits of sash and casement windows.

Sash windows

I am very familiar with sash windows as these were what we had in my childhood homes. The slide on these were vertical which is more common than the horizontal slide versions. I love sash windows because they allow so much air to come in which is great in warmer weather but also for freshening up the house generally. Sash windows have thicker frames as they are more complex and tend to be that bit pricier than casement windows.

Casement windows

Casement windows open outwards by means of hinges on either the side, top, or bottom of the frame. My windows at college were casement windows. I used to love throwing my casement windows open and people-watching. Apparently if the window has a top are called awning designs and if they have bottom hinges they are called hoppers.

Changing the style of your windows

If you feel like ringing the changes with your windows, think carefully. Check with your local planning authority whether you are actually allowed to do so. Listed buildings, houses in National parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) usually come with planning restrictions. Also consider if you want to be very different from the houses around you or to fit in.

Getting quotes

Do get a number of quotes for the work involved in changing your windows and ensure all costs of installation are included in the quote so don’t get any nasty financial shocks.

There  are trends in windows as in all choices for our homes. Both sash and casement windows have stood the test of time. Just ensure you have checked out planning permissions and have a firm idea of costs and you won’t go far wrong.

Do you prefer sash or casement windows?

The Benefits Of Sash And Casement Windows

















In order to enjoy a long and happy life, it is essential that you take care of yourself. Often, people do this by following a healthy diet, working out on a regular basis, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated. All of these factors are important, but there is so much more to consider. In fact, one of the most important factors for you to think about is your mental health. If you ignore this aspect of your personal wellbeing, you will be heading down a dark and dangerous path. Your mental health should be a top priority, not something that you overlook or undermine. If you are ready to embrace this outlook, you will need to take on board the following eight steps. They will help you to improve your mental health and to secure a bright future.

Work your way through any bad habits

Before you do anything else, you will need to work your way through any bad habits. Failing to take this step will make it impossible for you to move forward with your life. How can you expect to improve your mental health if you are repeatedly making bad decisions and putting yourself in harm’s way? Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to turn your life around. For instance, if you are struggling with addiction issues, you will need to visit this website to find a suitable rehab centre. There is no better way for you to get access to the help that you require. Why go it alone, when you could be placing your trust in trained professionals?

Place your trust in a therapist

When you come out of rehab, you should also think about placing your trust in a therapist. Regular meetings with a therapist could provide you with an excellent opportunity to talk through your problems. Instead of coping independently, you will be able to benefit from an outsider’s perspective. You will also be able to share your feelings, without the fear of being judged or criticized. Even if you are doubtful about the benefits of therapy, you should still give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you leave after the first session. However, the best-case scenario is that you find the perfect person to support you on your journey to recovery.

Share your struggles with your friends and family

In addition to talking to a therapist, you should also try to share your struggles with your friends and family. How much you share will depend on the kind of relationship you have with your loved ones. It might be that you are extremely close with your social circle and feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings. However, it could be that you already have strained relationships that you don’t want to put under too much pressure. Either way, it is important that you keep your loved ones in the loop. Sharing just the basic details of your dilemma should ease the pressure, as you won’t have to worry about putting on a front. You never know, your revelation could actually bring you and your loved ones closer together.

Learn from your past mistakes

If you are going to make drastic changes to your current lifestyle, it is vital that you take the time to learn from your mistakes. This could be something that you discuss with your therapist or your loved ones. It could also be something that you address independently. Why not start by writing a journal? This could be an excellent opportunity for you to reflect on the past. You could also keep a detailed account of your everyday life. Then, whenever you find yourself in an unexpected position, you will have the option of looking back at your thought process. When you do this, you might discover patterns in your behaviour. Perhaps you always make mistakes when you are around a certain person. Or, maybe you tend to spiral out of control when you are placed under too much pressure. Once you have identified these patterns, you will be able to avoid them. Whether you remove toxic people from your life or lighten your workload, you should find yourself heading off in a different direction.

Get plenty of sleep

The next step is to get a good night’s sleep. Although this isn’t all, it takes to transform your mental health, getting enough rest will certainly come in handy. It will boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and prepare you for the challenges ahead. Achieving a deep sleep should also give your mind a welcome break from worrying, as you will be experiencing peaceful dreams, rather than stressful nightmares or the effects of insomnia. That is why you should do everything in your power to achieve at least nine hours of deep sleep every night. Firstly, you will need to evaluate your sleeping space and make sure that it supports your slumber. Then, you will need to invest in noise cancelling earplugs or a white noise machine. Finally, you will need to establish a nighttime regime that helps you to unwind. It might take some getting used to, but eventually, you should be able to achieve your desired amount of sleep.

Work out on a regular basis

Another essential step is to work out on a regular basis. Again, this won’t transform your mental health overnight, but it could help you on your road to recovery. As you work out, you will experience a rush of mood-boosting endorphins. You will also have an opportunity to let go of any pent-up stress or aggression. These benefits are especially valuable if you are going through a tough time, as you won’t have to keep your negative feelings bottled up. Instead, you will be able to channel them into something positive and productive. Just make sure you place a limit on the amount of exercise that you do. You should view your workouts as a fun and healthy pastime, as opposed to an escape that you become dependant on.

Limit your use of social media

You should also limit your use of social media. In this digital age, it is extremely common to spend a lot of time of your time online. This can be a wonderful way to meet new people and to broaden your horizons. On the other hand, spending your time online can result in increased stress levels and a blow to your self-esteem. That is why you should steer clear of websites and social media platforms that trigger unpleasant feelings. You should also aim to spend no more than two hours online per day. This should leave you with enough time to partake in positive activities such as chatting with your friends, reading helpful blog posts, watching informative tutorials, and playing fun games. It should also remove the temptation to stray onto unsettling sites that cause you to have negative thoughts.

Clear your mind and control your breathing

The penultimate step is to clear your mind and control your breathing. One of the best ways for you to do this is by trying your hand at meditation. This is a brilliant way for you to invest in your mental health and your personal wellbeing. Every day you should be meditating for at least twenty minutes. You could include sporadic sessions throughout your schedule. Or, you could squeeze in one long session in the evening. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you have the chance to escape your everyday life. During your meditation sessions, you shouldn’t even be thinking about your problems. In fact, you shouldn’t be thinking about anything at all. This may seem like a pointless exercise, but as soon as you return to reality, you will notice a clear difference. You will find it easier to work through your problems in a calm and measured way. You will also be able to adopt a positive mindset, without it feeling forced or fake.

Don’t take on more than you can handle

Last but not least, it is important that you don’t take on more than you can handle. Whilst you do need to be proactive in improving your mental health, you also need to understand your limitations. You shouldn’t feel under too much pressure to make a change and to turn your life around. Change will happen when you are ready, so it is vital that you are moving at your own pace. Striking the right balance between moving forward and giving yourself plenty of time will help you to reach genuine goals. You should be making changes that will last a lifetime, not temporary fixes that are bound to fall apart. Looking after your mental health is an ongoing process, and it should be treated as such. There is no finish line for you to cross and no final destination for you to get to. Your mental health will always have ups and downs, so it is vital that you are willing to put the work in.

How To Improve Your Mental Health

Twin Mummy and Daddy

The end of the summer holidays does not mean the end of family adventures. Are you ooking for something different to do with your family that will get you all active and enjoying quality time together? Let’s face it both adults and children are spending far too much time attached to screens these days.  You could  consider getting involved with an extreme sport to boost health and communication while creating solid family memories!

But which activity will be the best for your family? Many of us are going out of our comfort zones when trying new adventures so where do we start? From what equipment you need and safety processes you should be aware of, to relevant trivia and a look at the origins of each sport, Chill Factore, home to the UK’s longest indoor real-snow slope for family days out in Manchester, explores the nation’s best extreme sports for families.

Rock climbing

Despite not being the sportiest child I did enjoy climbing both at the local sports centre and when out and about. Rock climbing is an adrenaline-pumping activity that is excellent for getting kids fully engaged in sport both indoors and out.. Rock climbing started to become a loved sport around the end of the 1800s, with the Lake District considered one of three, major ‘birthplaces of rock climbing.

Of course, as popularity for the sport grew in the 1940s and 1950s, so did the demand for safety equipment and climbing aids, which made the activity more accessible for younger people and families. From steel carabiners to nylon ropes, technology has helped to propel rock climbing into mainstream sport. Today, you can climb all over the UK — both at indoor venues and on outdoor walls — and the sport has grading system that rates the difficulty of a climb and the climber’s skill to help make the sport even safer. This is hugely reassuring to parents when our children are taking up the sport.

 Benefits of rock climbing for families

  • Builds upper and lower body strength.
  • Enhances problem-solving skills (i.e. considering the best route for reaching the top).
  • Encourages concentration.

Rock climbing as a family

I am a big believer in bringing in the experts when starting something new.If you’re just starting out, make sure you choose an instructing company with a high customer rating — especially for safety and teaching. The Association of British Climbing Walls is a good place to start if you’re looking for a climbing wall in your area.

In rock climbing, you’ll notice that you use your lower limbs more than your upper limbs — great to boost fitness and strength but may be tough for little ones at first. Although you and your family will improve in time, it may be worth opting for a few indoor sessions until you’re all confident with the height and physical strain. Once your family feels ready and has learned a few techniques, why not book an outdoor climbing session? There are lots of packages at popular landmarks across the UK and you can even make it into a weekend away. You can bet you will make some magical family memories so get out there and reach for the skies.


Snowkiting — or kite skiing — is an exciting winter sport that is growing in popularity. Generally, the snowkiting season runs from October until June, with the best time to go snowkiting being around Christmas time — ideal for a winter sun or festive family break with a difference. In snowkiting, your family will use the power of a kite to board or ski over snow. After time, you can learn to pull off big jumps and land with ease, plus you have the opportunity to snowkite over frozen lakes which offers an unforgettable experience.


Snowkiting has been around for only a few years as a serious sport, but it was born out of a fusion of snowboarding and the growing demand by sporting fans for foil kites (an aeroplane wing shaped cloth structure). Although the US and France are both touted as being the sport’s origin, snowkiting is now available across Europe and North America in resorts such as Tirol and Haugastøl.


Benefits of snowkiting for families

  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Allows you to breath in fresh, unpolluted air.
  • Uses all major muscle groups.


Snowkiting as a family

Booking a winter getaway is a great way to beat the seasonal blues as  nights get darker and kids head back to school. You could think about snowkiting but bear in mind that this is not a simple activity to master and there are risks involved. It is vital to  only book a session that is designed for youngsters by a reputable company.

Snowkiting is an intense aerobic activity and you can easily overheat. Wear layers including a helmet and snow shoes that you can easily remove and put back on. You’ll also need goggles and gloves to make sure your vision is not impaired, and your hands stay warm and easy to move. There are excellent kids’ snow gear available online but check with the snowkiting company first to see if you can simply hire what you need on the day.

In snowkiting, you can wear a board or skis, so ask your child which they feel more comfortable wearing to help them get to grips with the sport. It also might be a good idea to book your child a few extra snow lessons at a venue in the UK prior to your holiday to make sure they’re refreshed on how to hold themselves on the slopes! Nobody wants a stressed child or tantrums when you have invested in a winter break.


Rafting is a top extreme sport for families. Encouraging team work and a great way to explore British waterways and countryside, it’s no surprise that families opt for rafting experiences to enjoy quality time together. Lots of fun is guaranteed when you get out and about on rivers and lakes.

Brits have rafted for decades and you can book rafting excursions from a huge range of watersports companies and tours. The British Canoeing organisation — the UK’s national governing body for paddlesports — has been around since 1936, while the International Scale of River Difficulty is adopted by most nations to rate rapids to help keep rafters safe.

With destinations like the River Tummel in Scotland, Tryweryn River in Wales and River Derwent in England; there’s no need to pay for flights abroad with this extreme sport. The UK is filled with waterways and sailing is obviously a huge part of British history. But did you know that the first rubber river raft was invented nearly 200 years ago by US soldiers?

Benefits of rafting for families

  • Helps boost communication, as your family must speak clearly to each other to navigate the boat.
  • Allows for family bonding — no time for, or place to keep, phones and tablets on board.
  • Enhances self-esteem and gives a feeling of accomplishment. You and your family can track your journey and take on key roles on board to make sure you reach the end safely.

Rafting as a family

But what do you need to bear in mind when it comes to rafting with your family? Obviously, there are some risks involved with rafting, so we’d always recommend making group bookings that provide an on-board instructor. If you haven’t done this sport before, you’ll need to wear synthetic layers (e.g. long-sleeve shirts and trousers), life jacket, windproof jacket, and helmet. Renting a wetsuit might be a good idea, too, and you’ll need to make sure you have rescue throw bags, if your rafting company doesn’t provide you with these.

I think rafting appeals most to our family. Which extreme adventure will you try first?ad

Top Extreme Adventures For Families

There is no doubt that vaping is a big part of many people’s lifestyle these days. It is not just a one-hit trend that disappeared from the market as soon as it entered it. Many vaping aficionados I know are into vaping simply because it is a great way to relax in between tasks.

Getting into vaping is also easier these days. You have more kits to choose from and additional gear to add to the kit of your choice. There are more vape shops and online retailers too, which means getting anything vaping-related is just as easy.

Before you indulge in this lifestyle and take up vaping as a hobby, however, there are some neat tips and tricks you need to know. After speaking to some of my vaping friends, here are the best tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Start with a Good Kit

The first kit you buy is important. In the old days, people settle for less than stellar vaping kits just because those kits were cheap, and they didn’t want to spend a lot to try vaping. This is no longer the right approach to take if you want to try vaping in 2018.

Instead, you should pick up a good kit to have a great vaping experience from the start. Fortunately, there are a lot of good kits to choose from on the market. The Vaporesso Swag kit is a good starter kit that includes everything you need except one 18650 lithium battery.

Another great kit to pick up is any of the starter kits from SMOK. The kits are slightly more expensive than their relative competitors, but SMOK is a trusted brand and you’ll have a great experience regardless of the kit you choose. You may even stick with the SMOK kit for years without needing an upgrade.

Use RDAs to Experiment

If you want to try different flavors, the best way to do it is by picking up an RDA or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. As the name suggests, RDAs can be refilled by simply dripping the liquid directly to the wick or the coil. You don’t need to fill an entire tank or prime the coil before your first drag.

When you want to try another flavor, you only need to replace the wick – the cotton the absorbs the vape juice before it is vaporized – and you are good to go. Wicking is an easy thing to do and you can try multiple flavors without having to clean an entire tank or replace the coil.

Another reason to own an RDA is vapor volume. Most RDAs are capable of producing bigger, more flavorsome vapor when used at the right temperature. Paired with a good mod that comes with your original kit, the possibilities are endless.

Save Money on Vape Juice

There are many ways you can save money on vape juice or vaping liquid. Some brands are famous for making their juice options available at great prices. Broke Dick, available at, is a good example of a vape juice brand that focuses on delivering great flavors without the usual steep prices.

You can also sign up for a monthly juice box subscription. This is a great way to try different flavors without buying individual flavors separately. Not only will you be able to save money on the new flavors you try, you can also save on the flavors you already like and are subscribed to.

Last but not least, watch out for discounts and special offers. It is not uncommon for vape juice to be offered at discounted prices. Many retailers use discounts and special offers to draw the attention of both beginners and experienced hobbyists.

Join the Culture

As mentioned before, vaping is more a part of a lifestyle than a trend. There are actually a lot of communities around vaping and vaping gear. In fact, you should be able to find a local community of vaping enthusiasts without a problem.

You can also join online forums and communities to learn more about vaping. Becoming a part of vaping communities brings many more benefits. For starters, you get to know likeminded people who enjoy vaping as a hobby, so you get to share the experience in a pleasant way.

More importantly, you can try new flavors, learn more about mods and accessories, and even get exclusive special discounts from fellow community members and supporters. Besides, enjoying a nice afternoon exchanging flavors and talking about the latest RDA from Wofoto is always fun.

Be Courteous

Being a great vaping enthusiast is a must no matter where you are. Just because vaping isn’t regulated the same way as smoking, doesn’t mean you can go ahead and vape anywhere without thinking about your surroundings.

Being courteous is a big part of this lifestyle. Always look around before taking your first drag. The last thing you want is for the thick vapor you produce to disturb those around you. You may also want to ask the waitress or security if you want to vape in public places.

Some places now put up signs that say, “No Vaping.” These signs are to be followed at all times. You should also avoid vaping when there are kids around or if you think your thick vapor will disturb others; vaping in a closed room is certainly not a good idea.

Enjoy the Exploration

There is a bit of an adventure – a geeky side, if you must – to enjoy when you are into vaping as a hobby. Choosing the right mods and vaporizers to use is only the beginning. Before long, you’ll start learning how to make your own coils, how to use different wires for different effects, and how to push the vapor production level to new heights.

These are all parts of the adventure. There is a lot to explore once you start with vaping as a hobby. You can also enjoy exploring the different flavors available and finding the ones you truly like. With the tips and tricks that we covered in this article, the whole process will be enjoyable (and affordable) every step of the way.

The strength of women is something that has struck me particularly recently. I have met new women and heard stories that make me realise how silly it is to refer to women as the weaker sex. I am feeling my own strength these days in a way I never have before so perhaps I am more open to seeing the strength in others. Perhaps the universe is sending special messengers to show me the way.

When it is wrong leave

To the woman who told me how she was unhappy in her marriage so she left with her young children. This meant leaving security and living in a caravan for two years as she could not afford rent on a flat. The husband did not pay maintenance. She took what work she could get. She went on to find her true love and is running a successful business whilst grieving for her lost love who died recently.

Insist on what you want

Another woman in in a relatively new relationship. She has never married and is in her late thirties with two young children. She told me how a man has to respect her to get her. She is not going to take bad behaviour because she is looking for the real deal of marriage with a real connection and fidelity. I admire her for expressing this in the articulate way she did and I hope her Prince is just around the corner.

There is life after loss

I met an elderly lady who was visiting her two adult children. She was beautiful and stylish. She had lost her husband but giggled with me how she goes dancing every Sunday because her life is not over. We should listen to our older people more often as they have so much wisdom to impart.

It’s good to support others

We have a woman in difficulties locally. She is gong to lose her mum soon and you can see she feels she is staring into a very scary abyss. She is not necessarily taking  the most sensible steps to deal with this but we all find our own way to navigate challenging times. What I celebrate is how women are rallying around to keep an eye on her, to try and inject a giggle here and there, to hug and to offer what advice they can.

This is quite a reflective and self-indulgent post but I felt it was important to write it. I do hope it helps somebody out there because these strong women are helping me in very different ways and more than they will ever know.

Lessons For Women And Girls From Strong Women