It’s such a relief to be able to talk about warm temperatures and to think about getting  outdoors with the family. Spring is definitely here and it’s time to make the most of that sunny garden.

Barbecue

There is something very special about eating outdoors perhaps with a picnic laid out on a tartan blanket. However, as we all know there is nothing quite like persuading the men in our lives to get involved in cooking than suggesting a barbecue. You can make it a social affair with extended family and friends too. Break away from just meat and look at fish and veggie options to add to the menu. Barbecues are fun whether you use disposable ones or invest on something more pricey.

Reading

When I am indoors I always feel like I should be jumping up to do something usually housework sadly. Funnily enough when I am in the garden it seems more holiday-like and that I can give myself a proper break. I think most of us women and  mums need to do this with increasingly busy lifestyles.

Paddling pool

When it gets hot, there is nothing more fun than splashing around in a pool. Most UK households do not have a swimming pool in the  garden but much like barbecues, there are pools for any budget readily available. My advice is not to watch the children but to join in. It’s OK to be silly sometimes and we need to remember that.

Garden furniture

It’s always a good idea to have at least a table and some chairs outside the house. Barbecues are better when you have somewhere to put the food. Chairs are essential for that afternoon snooze or when indulging in the latest summer read. Check out the latest trends and I love the look of modern teak garden furniture and can see myself sitting in a chair with a comfy cushion as the family play.

Trampoline

If you have the space, invest in a trampoline. It is such good exercise to jump and dance around. There are different sizes available and you can get some good bargains out there. Make sure you have a camera handy to take some action shots as they happen.

So there are just 5 things to make the garden ready for summer fun. Do remember to stay safe in the sun and also ensure you cook food appropriately.

Get outdoors a lot and make memories because that really is what life is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum Muddling Through

In today’s increasingly busy and stressful world, life can feel overwhelming, complicated and full of obstacles (both physical and emotional) sometimes. However, your home shouldn’t be contributing to those negative feelings. Instead, it should be a calm sanctuary, where you can relax and recharge as well as being a place that invigorates and inspires you.

Creating a home like that doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. You don’t need to hire an interior designer either. There are many simple things you can do to transform your home into a calm and tranquil space. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Create an organised, welcoming entry to your home

A calming, relaxed atmosphere should start the moment you enter your home. A cluttered, chaotic entry area is not just unwelcoming but will also cause feelings of disarray and restlessness throughout your home. Think about what you would like to see as you step in the door. Probably not toys strewn across the floor, so look at what storage solutions would work in the space. A pretty stand to hold umbrellas and hooks or a cupboard that has a place for everyone’s coats and jackets is a good starting point. You could also add a small table or shelf where you can put keys and the day’s post.

Declutter as much as possible

Clutter enhances feelings of stress, anxiety and makes it hard to think clearly. The fewer items of clutter in your way, the calmer you will inevitably feel. When there is clutter, we are also more likely to lose things that we do need. Spending time hunting for something can make us late and leave us feeling tired and stressed. Keeping items in the right place helps you feel calm and aids getting you out of the door on time. Decluttering, however, is never a one-off task. To keep on top of everything coming into our home, you should try to declutter as often as possible, tidying away what you wish to keep. Investing in more storage and making sure the whole family knows where things should go will also make a big difference.

Choosing calming colours

Colour has a huge impact on us in a physical, emotional and psychological way. Colour can affect our mood and even our level of energy, so think about how certain colours make you feel. When it comes to choosing colours and patterns, the less-is-more approach works best for creating a calming and relaxing space. Too many bright colours, or lots of different patterns in a room, can draw the eyes all over the place. That makes a living space feel busy and hard to relax in. An all-white room, or using light-toned neutrals such as taupe, off-white or cream, creates a relaxing and tranquil environment. To bring interest into the space, add texture with furnishings in gold, faded yellows or pale tan colours.

Create space for a calmer mind

Our feelings of anxiety and stress can often build up if there is too much stuff in a small area of the home. Removing unnecessary furniture and furnishings makes a room feel larger and tidier. It also helps you to feel calm and more in control of the space. Even the way you dress your windows can have a significant impact on the way a room feels. Thick, heavy curtains can make it seem dark and cluttered while white no maintenance shutters create a fresher, streamlined look that offers privacy while letting the sunlight stream in. It’s also important to take some time looking at how you use tabletops and shelves. Try only to display items that are special and meaningful to you. Just by removing a few of the items on display you can create a much clearer, lighter space.

Use light to create a calming atmosphere 

Getting the lighting right can be fundamental to creating a tranquil atmosphere. There is nothing quite like the uplifting feeling of the sun’s natural light flowing into a room, so try to take advantage of that as much as possible. When it comes to the evening, bright overhead lights can make it difficult to wind down and relax, especially if we’ve spent the day in a brightly lit office. Spotlights are a useful way to direct brightness exactly where you need it, such as where you eat, read, work and study. Overhead dimmer lights, which you can adjust as and when needed, create a pleasant soft atmosphere in a room.

Your home should be somewhere you can escape to after a busy and stressful day. By taking a little time to think about how you use the space in your home and the things that help you to feel calm, you can transform your hectic house into a tranquil haven.

 

 

 

 

 

Winnettes

Driving offences are of course wrong but they happen and can bring heaps of stress with them for all involved.

I remember a close friend of mine inadvertently committing one just after passing her driving test. As she was in pupillage to be a barrister at the time, she got so worked up about it all.

My husband has had several fines over the years and my brother is the same usually for speeding. Of course as a non-driver I always think I would never commit an offence but so many people get points on their licence so maybe I would fall foul of the law too. It is essential our increasingly busy roads stay as safe as possible so these laws are there for a very good reason but knowing that does not reduce the stress involved when drivers go wrong.

It is not just fines that might happen if you commit a driving offence. You might lose your licence which can be devastating if you need your car for work or for strong family reasons.

At worst, you can end up in prison for driving offences which involves the loss of liberty and potentially your job and vital family and social ties. There are cases where people who have never broken the law before find themselves in prison in middle-age or beyond having committed a driving offence.

Driving offences include those linked to the abuse of alcohol and drugs which sometimes indicate that the driver has other issues that need tackling too. Whilst we can feel desperately sorry for someone who has substance abuse issues, that does not change the fact that driving whilst under the influence is highly dangerous and can have the most catastrophic results.

Times change and we have all had recent shocks about the use of mobile phones in cars and the way that can lead to injury and death.

So what do you do if you find yourself charged with a driving offence? Laws are complex so I would advise you to seek the advice of a solicitor and quickly. It is good to see that DPP solicitors have a special campaign around driving offences and there is loads of helpful information on their website.

In conclusion, find out about the laws around driving and make sure you drive on the right side of them.

 

Having a nice workplace in your office surely has a positive impact on your productivity. There are so many ways to make your new office workspace fit your needs. So that you don’t have to run around the office looking around for the things you need. Here in this article we’ll discuss the things you must have in your new office workspace.

1- Computer

This hardly needs to be mentioned. No one can work without a computer. No workspace is complete without a computer these days. You need a computer to correspond efficiently and to do some research work if you have to. Having a laptop is even wiser these days for obvious reasons. Don’t forget to install a flat-screen monitor that has adjustable height, looks stylish and is easy on your eyes.

2- Internet Access

Make sure your workspace in the office has the fastest internet connection possible in order to get done with the job effectively and efficiently. The days of working on a dialup connection are long gone. You need a fast speed broadband connection for sure.

3- Chair

Most of the people might not regard this as a very important thing. But an office chair is the most crucial thing in your workspace. The comfort it provides you while working is what you need the most.

4- Perfect Lighting

The next most important thing after the chair is perfect office lighting. Not only it must be adequate so that you don’t end up having headaches or strained eyes, but it must also create a perfect mood and ambience to work. If your office has dim lighting then make sure you add some extra lamps to your workspace so that you don’t have any difficulty in reading and writing.

5- Printer

This is another important hardware you must add to your workspace. Running around the office in order to get a file printed is certainly the most annoying thing an employee has to go through. Besides printer, if your job demands you to scan papers or fax them to clients, then make sure you add a scanner and a fax machine to your workspace as well.

6- Paper Shredder

In order to avoid littering around your workspace, you must get a paper shredder. Most of the modern offices have this facility. It just makes it very easy to dispose of the waste paper material.

7- Plants

It’s time to decorate your workspace by adding some green colour. Plants keep you fresh, active and they make your workspace look like it’s inhabited by a living and breathing person. For more details about indoor office plants you can visit theplantman.com.au.

Those are just the basics that you must have at your workspace. If you have that kind of space then you can add a file cabinet as well. Even if your company has a paperless environment, there are several documents that you need to hang on to. For this reason, a file cabinet is really important to keep your workspace organized and neat. All in all, going with this list, you can easily say that your new office workspace is a comfortable and an ideal one.

My Rich Prince appealed to me as it claims to offer valuable advice to teenagers and young adults. I have a teenage boy and  teenage girl. As with most chapters of my children’s lives the time where they are on the cusp of adulthood has crept up on me and I feel quite unprepared. What are the right answers for them? Is it up to me to find them or should they take the  lead? Perhaps a combination of the two would be best

The author offers life advice on many issues and with some vital ones coming  back to them more than once throughout the book. I found it more of a rambling than structured read but that did not bother me as that is probably how I write too.

The book effectively brings together notes given to a son by the author over the years and covers love, money  and self-belief.

I agreed with some of the guidance, disagreed with some and was not at all sure either way on some matters. I take that as a good thing as it means the book made me think and reflect deeply on some occasions.

You can dip in and out of the book or read it all in one sitting as it is quite short. I have finished it but will keep it on the bookshelf to read again. I  know my teenage son is already interested in reading it too.

The author comments;

 “I believe that I am suitably placed to write this book because of what I have gone through in life and the observations made along the way. I was, for instance, able to leave behind a life of struggle in Africa, to face other forms of challenges in Austria on my own, learn and study in a new language, finance myself through medical school before leaving for London.”

Finally,  I would say that I don’t think anyone has all the answers and this book seems to purport to do that and sometimes verged a little on the arrogant in my opinion.  This is interesting as perhaps it suggests I have more faith in my own values and answers that I thought.

https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/childrens-non-fiction/my-rich-prince/