When your children finish school it’s both a relief and a concern – a relief because no longer are you held to the strict attendance expectations for graduating or making sure your child has everything they need every day. But also, a concern for what they are going to do next, what will be the next step in their journey – travel, education, work? Certainly not sitting around mum and dads not doing much at all, that’s exactly what parents don’t want.


There is no harm in taking a short break or “gap year” between finishing higher education and proceeding on to further education at a college or university, particularly if your child isn’t sure what they want to do next. This time can be used for researching job paths, picking up further qualifications, looking for on-the-job training – it can still be a break, but that doesn’t mean time is wasted. Consider seeking advice from an education concierge, such as Allen and Jain, if your child is choosing to take a gap year to improve themselves for future education and needs some guidance.

Should your child choose the university or college route, there are a few life lessons or reminders that really the entire generation would do well remembering in the modern-day age of instant communication and social media.

Social Media Shares Only the Best of Us

While anyone who uses social media regularly does realise this point – that those on social media tend to share the best of themselves, the best side, their best vacation, their “happy moments”. There are many users that tend to forget it’s just that – a small snapshot into their life.

What social media shouldn’t be used for, is comparing yourself to others. When you are only seeing the best bits, it can be difficult to feel good about yourself and can bring about feelings of anxiety and depression.

This can play havoc with students who may be feeling the stress of a new location, increased workload and a general change in lifestyle. Instead, social media should be used to communicate and network effectively, rather than a place to regularly “catch up” with friends and family – save that for texts, phone or video calls.

School Friends Are Circumstantial

Some people keep their school friends for long into their adult life, sometimes all their lives, others tend to lose contact with young school friends fairly quickly as we grow and develop as individuals. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, friendships are a two-way street, and no one should ever feel pressured to continue a friendship that they are uncomfortable in. However, fewer people realise that our school friends are largely circumstantial, they have likely been around for most of our lives, so we are of course going to get to know each other. Particularly in a school setting where students are often encouraged to pair up or work in groups.

Universities and colleges remove this aspect of making friends, you’ll be studying with people from all walks of life that may be further along in their education, they may leave to travel, or work and new students may fill their place every year. The friends you make in higher education are the people you choose to associate with, you’ll soon learn the types of traits you enjoy or detest in an individual and what makes you likeable, or even unlikeable.


Emotions Are Allowed

Too often and sadly, a lot of the time with young men, emotions are considered a negative and showing emotions even more so. In an ideal world, we would all be happy, we’d have everything we need to live life to the fullest and there wouldn’t be a problem across the globe. This isn’t a perfect world however, and things can and do go wrong. Feeling overwhelmed or stressed is a part of life and trying to hide these feelings can be horribly detrimental to your mental health.

Emotions are allowed and while we don’t recommend punching holes in walls or doors when you’re feeling angry, shouting into a pillow, having a blow-off gaming session or going for a run are positive ways to express strong emotions. Let yourself cry, but don’t let the emotions take over. Find the positive in every-day little things and soon your outlook will start to change, just don’t expect it to happen straight away, these things take time.

Students feeling overworked or unable to cope should seek advice and guidance from their onsite student council or fellow students. Sometimes, we’ve all been guilty of wearing a smiley mask and all we want is to know others feel the way we do. We aren’t robots, our children aren’t robots, we are human, we feel, and we have every right to our emotions.

The world online and offline is a very different place to when parents and grandparents were at school and students can often feel like everything needs to have instant gratification. By looking at the world in a different light and even taking life a little less seriously, we can enjoy our time more and look forward to the future, rather than shying away from personal growth and opportunity. So, support your children, young or old and be the example they need for good mental and emotional health.

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Every family needs a vehicle that will meet the tough demands of parenting. You will be relying on this automobile every single day and it will need to be comfortable, spacious, practical and safe. Additionally, it can be helpful if it is economical with plenty of storage space too.

Finding a family car that ticks all of these boxes can be a challenge, but here are a few to choose from which are all very well-suited to families:


The SEAT Leon is an affordable family car that is extremely well-built which makes it great value for money. Additionally, it has a bold, unique styling, good driving experience and it is highly practical. The five-door family hatchback model in particular has a spacious and comfortable finish.

Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra is excellent value for money and more economical than most cars in its class so running costs are low too. Additionally, it features a sharp style with an impressive amount of technology too. Most models feature a well sized boot and are renowned for being easy to drive.

Skoda Octavia

The Octavia from Skoda is proving to be a highly popular automobile with a wide range of motorists. It is incredibly spacious inside so you can easily carry multiple passengers and luggage (it also has a huge boot) and there are a decent range of engines to choose from.

Volkswagen Golf

The Golf is an iconic vehicle which is a great choice for families living in the city. It features a comfortable, upmarket interior with brilliant build-quality (as you would expect with this manufacturer). Although slightly more expensive than some family cars, this will prove to be a smart investment and a vehicle which will not let you down.

These are a few of the best family cars currently on the market. To decide between them, you need to think about your daily routine and what factors are important to you. On top of this, must also think about the size of your family and whether you plan on growing the family, if you have pets, regularly give lifts to your children’s friends etc. You should then visit reputable places like Imperial Car Supermarkets to find one that is within your budget.

It can be hard to select the right family vehicle, but there are many excellent models out there that tick all of the boxes and are well-suited to every type of family.


We have had such an inspirational dose of recent news. I am sure like me the World Cup has captured your imagination but even more so the amazing rescue of the boys trapped in that cave.

Kate on thin ice

I am opening the Best Boot Forward linky for the week and you are welcome to share any positive posts including those where you are moving towards any particular goals.

So I thought I would share some reflections or to put if more realistically some ramblings on those news stories.

Firstly, I thought about how many of us appoint ourselves Mystic Meg or Marcus the Pig saying exactly what is bound to happen in the future to us. We do this with no way of knowing what the future holds and all too often we imagine negative happenings. So we waste energy that could be better spent elsewhere. It would be so much better to take one game a time, celebrate each baby step towards our ultimate goal and be delighted if we achieve the ultimate win. If we insist on getting out the crystal ball, might I suggest we visualize good stuff.

Secondly, it strikes me that we all get ourselves in a tight corner from time to time. Often it can feel that there is no way out. We want to escape something or someone but we don’t know how to pull that off. Research is needed and sometimes we will have to rely on others and there is no weakness in doing so if we select those heroines carefully. We also need to move forwards with hope. We can choose to hope even when the situation in front of appears perilous.

So as ever with Best Boot Forward we encourage you to link up any positive posts but try to inspire you as best we can too.

If you choose to and only if you want to, perhaps reflect a little in a blog post or in your own head on the following questions.

1. How can you stop imagining the future will be rubbish?
2. Do you fancy visualizing good stuff?
3. When were you last in a sticky situation? How did you get out of it and what can you learn from that?
4. What information do you need to gain in order to move forwards positively?
5. Who are the potential heroes that can help you right now?
6. What are you hoping for?

Take heart from recent news that we can never know what will happen in the future. The apparently impossible does happen if you put on the right equipment/kit and put your #BestBootForward.

Linky Guidelines

•The linky runs from Wednesday until the following Tuesday to give you plenty of time to link up your positive blog posts.
•You can add up to 3 posts per week.
•You must add the Best Boot Forward badge to your blog post. You can grab the code for this from my sidebar on the right.
•Please act in a sharing and caring way but we only ask you to definitely comment on the post before yours. It is of course always great to give your hosts some comment love too. Do more than that and great karma will be yours.
•If you would like to guarantee a retweet of your post please add #BestBootForward and tag @kateonthinice and @IndigoChlo
•Please share this post if you can with your social networks so that we build up a community quickly.

We all dream of the perfect family holiday. We have scrimped and saved all year to allow ourselves time out somewhere lovely for some quality time as a family. If you are like myself, you will have cherished memories of your own childhood holidays and want to ensure your children have amazing times when travelling  too. I find holiday cottages give us the best time as they give a feeling of space and relaxation like back home.


Of course it is easy these days to find holidays at the last minute. However, I have taken my Dad’s example and like to do some good planning in advance. This means talking with every family member about their dreams for their time away and looking at pictures online. If you read reviews you can also find out if the accommodation is really family-friendly or is just using that as a marketing tool. As part of my planning I also like to ensure I have looked into options for days out whatever the weather. Perhaps sadly but inevitably, I also check whether Wifi is available so the children can access their beloved screens and I can do a bit of work if necessary. Finally if you want some adult only time you can research kids clubs and so on. They  are not my cup of tea but each to their own. Talking of cups of tea, I also like to ensure a supermarket can deliver shopping ordered online in time for our arrival.


I always smile when I think of packing as my Dad wouldn’t let me or my Mum get involved in it due to our slightly chaotic approach.  Moving on, there are lots of things you should pack to save a whole load of hassle. These include things like sticking plasters, Calpol, sun protection, antibacterial handwash and any medication your family require. Always have plenty of baby wipes which every parent can tell you are worth their weight in gold for cleaning surfaces from restaurant tables to toilet seats. You will have your own ideas of what makes the perfect holiday wardrobe. I like to include some older clothes that I won’t worry about if they get covered with sand, sun tan lotion and food spillages. Always ensure you have a jumper or cardigan for everyone and a coat for rainier days.

Coping with long journeys

Children get bored easily and all the more so if they know they are going somewhere really exciting.  Firstly make sure you have regular stops for snacks and drinks and bring them from home as buying en route can be really pricey. Make a goodie bag up for each  child with books, games, activities, pens and treats. Again think about health and ensure you have travel sickness products to hand too.

Memory-making and the perfect family holiday

Since losing my parents, I have worked out that the only really important thing in life is making great memories. They are fun whilst they are happening and they sustain us in challenging times. So ensure you have some equipment to capture those memories whether that is a journal, scrapbook or camera.

Do you have any great tips for planning the perfect family holiday?

How To Plan The Perfect Family Holiday















Mum Muddling Through

Experiencing too much stress in your days will steal your joy and zap your energy. What you don’t want to do is ignore the fact that you’re feeling low and aren’t yourself lately.

It’s easy to keep moving forward and pushing your emotions to the side, but this will likely only make your situation worse in the long run. If you’re feeling stressed out then what you need are ways for how you can reduce your anxieties and get your health back on track. Regain your strength and find your happy place again when you proactively take measures to help reduce your constant worry.

Take A Break & Help Others

What you should do right away if you’re on edge is to take a break from your daily schedule and responsibilities. Consider asking for a mental health day off from work or help others by finding and participating in causes you care about. For example, learn more about a vape company that is helping vets in their spare time. Purchase a product yourself so you can unwind and relax by vaping and know you’re supporting a good cause simultaneously.

Put Self-Care at the Top of Your To-Do List

Look after yourself first and foremost when you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. Self-care activities should be moved to the top of your to-do list, and you need to focus on you going forward. Remember to take time out of the day to focus on you. This is a wise idea to do each day even if you’re feeling good and aren’t anxious. Taking care of yourself will help to ensure your stress is always in check and that you’re feeling and looking your best going forward.

Practice Yoga & Meditation

Yoga and meditation have been proven to help you clear your head of racing thoughts and reduce your stress. Take a class in your free time and notice what a difference these sorts of activities make in your life in the future. You’ll likely instantly feel rejuvenated and will walk away with tools for how you can keep your stress at bay in your daily life. The breathing techniques you’ll learn during both practices can be done no matter where you are too.

Journal Your Thoughts

Secure a journal and use this as a tool for how you can track what’s going on in your mind at all times. In addition, use it as a way to complete a daily gratitude list and review what you’re thankful for on a regular basis. Journaling is a healthy way to work through uncomfortable feelings and emotions and get to the bottom of what’s truly stressing you out. Make it a daily habit, and you should start to witness your anxieties begin to lessen as time passes.


Don’t panic or beat yourself up if you’re feeling stressed out once in a while. Use these tips to help you remain in control of your life and slowly get back to a better place.

What To Do When You're Feeling Stressed Out