Posted in Gifted, product review, toys

Jiggly Pets Elephant Review

Meet the cutest walking Elephant from Jiggly Pets. Everyone who knows me knows I love elephants so when we had the chance to review this adorable little electronic toy I couldn’t say no.

The Jiggly Pets Elephant stands at around 14cm high and moves to the rhythm of a very catchy song! It jiggles, walks and lifts it’s trunk to the music which gave Ellie the giggles instantly.

Just listen to that chuckle!

Simply press the button on the Elephant’s head to start the fun and bring the Elephant to life.

Ellie loves pulling the stretchy hair and chasing it from one side of the table to another to stop it from falling off the edge.

Features of the Jiggly Pets Elephant

  • Everything Jiggles with it’s full body movement!
  • Super soft, stretchy and rubbery face and body.
  • Watch it walk, jiggle and lift it’s trunk to the music.
  • Simply tap the head to turn on.
  • Batteries Required: 3 x AA (included)
  • Ages 3+
  • Also comes in Pink!

Where to get one!

Available now from Smyths Toys for £17.99! These are in stock online and in most stores.

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review, toys

Mindful Lil Minds Breathing Meditation Buddy Review

Ellie is a child who finds certain aspects of daily life tricky; she struggles to sit still and she fidgets constantly, she gets anxious when we go somewhere new or when she doesn’t know who we are going to see and she finds it really difficult to make a decision. At bedtime she finds it hard to unwind and this means it can take hours to get her to sleep. She tells us her mind is too busy and she has too many thoughts whizzing around in her head.

For a while now we’ve been trying to teach Ellie some ways to help her when she’s feeling anxious or “bouncy” and we’ve found mindfulness and yoga really helps her.

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

Mindfulness has been shown to increase a child’s ability to regulate their emotions as well as their empathy and compassion skills. It can help reduce a child’s stress and anxiety along with increasing their focus and prolonged attention span. Mindfulness has also be known to improve a child’s sleep.

As with anything Mindfulness Meditation is only going to help a child if done regularly.

Children are being made more aware of their own mental health and mindfulness is being used in schools more regularly as studies show practicing mindfulness from a younger age has a positive effect a child’s anxiety and cognitive performance.

A New Toy!

Toymakers GP Flair have created the Mindful Lil Minds Breathing Meditation Buddy and we’ve had the chance to give it a whirl and write an honest review of what we thought. With Ellie’s quirks I was intrigued to see how it would help her and whether she’d be interested in it at all.

Let’s meet our new friend…

The Breathing Meditation Buddy (suitable from ages 3+) is a super cute, sensory, cuddly koala that is designed to help young children be more present and be able to manage their emotions in stressful situations.

Using a very clever combination of the senses (sight, sound, touch and smell) the toy allows the child a number of different ways to feel mindful, relax and unwind.

How does it work?

Don’t forget to move the switch from Try Me mode for the full meditation experience.

It’s a really simple toy to use – simply press the koala’s paw (it has a green leaf symbol) to begin a 5 minute guided breathing meditation. This was short enough that Ellie didn’t lose interest or get ‘antsy’ but also long enough to ensure she felt calmer and more relaxed when it was finished.

It’s tummy moves up and down as the koala ‘breathes’ and this makes the child more aware of their own deep breathing. It’s tummy is also scented with Eucalyptus which has aromatherapy qualities which can help to reduce anxiety. The scent is subtle so wouldn’t overpower those children with sensory difficulties but can be smelt if held close to the child’s face. The meditation itself is spoken by a calming female voice which is easy for the child to follow.

The arms and legs are floppy whereas the bottom is weighted which allows for further comfort – we’ve found weighted blankets really help Ellie so this was an aspect I was excited about in the koala. This is also great for children who are on the autistic spectrum!

How to use the Mindful Lil Minds Buddy

The koala buddy can be used in four different ways:

1. Sitting Individually.
Sit down alone in a quiet spot with the toy sitting next to or in front of you. Press the right paw and the meditation will begin. Sit with your eyes closed and listen
2. Sitting in a group/classroom.
The cuddly koala is great for classrooms or group meditations. Sit or lay on your back with the toy facing the group. Press the right paw and the meditation will begin. Close your eyes, listen and relax.
3. Laying down with the toy on chest.
Lay down on your back with the toy on your chest. Press the paw to begin the meditation. Place your hand on the koala’s belly to feel it move up and down, move your belly up and down along with the toy.
4. Sit down and hold the soft toy up to your face.
Press the paw to begin the guided meditation and inhale the calming smell of eucalyptus as you meditate.

Why we love it.

Ellie is a huge lover of soft, cuddly toys so this was a hit from the second she saw the Koala in the box – she immediately wanted to cuddle it and name it (Katie the Koala). It’s cute, it’s soft and the perfect size to pack in her suitcase or cuddle up to at bedtime. The meditation is easy for Ellie to follow and she doesn’t get bored half way through. She reaches for it when she can feel herself getting worried and the weighted aspect has helped bring her back down before she has a ‘wobble’.

Of cause, it doesn’t always work – nothing would always work – and it’s still good for her to experience those emotions. It’s just a really lovely ‘tool’ to have under her belt for when she recognises she is finding a situation tricky.

Where to buy it.

The Mindful Lil Minds Meditation Buddy is available online at Amazon (£26.49) & in-store in your local independent stores.

Do you use any mindful techniques/apps/toys with your children? I’d love to know so let me know in the comments.

Disclosure – We were kindly gifted the product to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in Gifted, product review

Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Magazine Review

Are you even a parent of a young child if you haven’t caught yourself singing “Jumping up and down in muddy puddles” out loud when the kids aren’t even in the room?

Peppa Pig is still a very loved character in our house. Ellie loves watching Peppa, George and her friends (especially Emily Elephant – she’s a clever cloggs) go on adventures and have lots of fun and as a parent I actually don’t mind them either.
The Peppa Pig merchandise is everywhere – from toys, films, clothing and books but did you know there are now two Peppa Pig magazines as well? One is the official Fun To Learn Peppa Pig magazine and the second is the Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun. We’ve been sent one of each to review and Ellie couldn’t wait to get stuck in to them both!

Fun to Learn Peppa Pig Magazine

The Fun to Learn Peppa Pig magazine is an interactive magazine aimed at all children between the ages of 3 and 7. Of cause, it is filled with the beloved characters from the popular TV Show Peppa Pig! Every issue is designed to make learning fun and the activities, games, stories and stickers ensure just that. The magazine helps children develop their skills in reading, writing, maths, creativity and art, turn taking and lots of other skills! There are plenty of opportunities for parents to interact with your child as well as encouraging independent learning as well.

We’ve had fun playing The Fairground game together.

While also learning how to draw a circus tent!

Ellie’s even tried read the stories, using her phonics skills to decode any tricky words.

Each issue comes with a free toy for added fun! In this copy there was the cutest little Peppa beach hut play set – comprising of a Peppa and George character, a beach hut and 7 little beach items. It was lovely watching Ellie put the sun cream on Peppa and George and telling them why it was important to use! She’s a real Mummy Pig already.

Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun Magazine

The Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun magazine is still a fun and interactive activity magazine and comes with very exciting gifts and extras.

The Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun magazine is different to the Fun to Learn Peppa Pig magazine – it comes sealed and the contents are a nice surprise where as the other can be browsed before purchasing. Although there are some sneak peeks at the back of the packaging!

The Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun magazine has a theme to the activities and stories running throughout the book. This issue’s theme is America which is evident throughout.

The Bag O’ Fun also comes with a magic painting book, this is great! It’s mess free and only needs water to make the pictures come to life with colour.

The spot the difference was a huge hit with Ellie! Who definitely, definitely did NOT need my help.

There’s so many activities to keep kids entertained for hours! The mazes alone develop their fine motor skills and writing skills!

I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love stickers! I’m just grateful these stickers have specific places in the magazine and not over the walls!

Both magazines support the Early Years Curriculum and are the number 1 selling preschool magazine from 2018-2021. They have won multiple awards, NWA 2017 & 2019 and the Mum’s Choice Award Gold 2021.

Don’t forget…

To enter the amazing competitions found in both magazines! There are some fantastic prizes to be won.

Where to find them

Fun To Learn Peppa Pig and Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Bag O’ Fun Magazines are available now from all good supermarkets, convenience stores, newsagents and WHSmith High Street and Travel. Single issues and subscriptions can also be purchased from our online shop http://www.redan.co.uk/store

Disclosure – We were kindly gifted these to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in parenting, product review

ChillFactor Neon Slushy Maker Cup

With the Summer Holidays starting at the end of this week we have been making the most of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having and with the high temperatures over the past few days we’ve been using the ChillFactor Slushy Cup a lot!

From the moment they arrived Ellie couldn’t wait for me to make her a slushy! Within 10 minutes they were out of the box, washed, dried and in the freezer.
This gave me time to read the instructions and decide which slushy we were going to try first!

Inside the box

The box comes with 1 pre-assembled Slushy Cup in one of three colours (We received the neon pink with an orange lid and a green cup with a red lid) and a straw with a removable spoon end which can be used the scoop the slush instead of drinking through the straw. The spoon is reusable and a really good quality too!

The main cup itself is made from a rubber material with a solid plastic rim in a neon colour. The inside of the rubber material is a removable cold bag. There is then another neon seal that fits on top of the cup and a lid that screws on top of it all. You need to remove each part of the cup to wash before use and I definitely think it’s a good way to get yourself accustomed to how the cup goes back together ready for freezing. I love that it all comes apart to wash easily.

How it works

Once washed, put the cup inside the freezer for around 5-6 hours. I left ours in overnight but as long as it is frozen inside it’s ready to use!
It really is a simple mess-free process…

Freeze, Squeeze and Enjoy

It’s recommended to use a chilled liquid when using the Slushy, i’m guessing that makes it react quicker to the frozen inner cup. Once the chilled liquid touches the inner cup it begins to freeze and when the cup is squeezed those frozen pieces break up in to the liquid drink – this is repeated every time you squeeze the new liquid on to the inner walls of the frozen cold cup. Within seconds (sometimes longer for dairy drinks) the entire drink becomes a slushy.

It’s actually very interesting to watch it happen!

Where to buy it…

The ChillFactor Slushy Maker Neon Cups are available at Smyths for just £9.99 and are available in the three neon colours we stated above. These cups can be used time and time again and as the price of a slushy can be more than £3 for a small cup nowadays I would definitely say they are worth every penny! Especially if someone in your family has a food allergy, are sensitive to specific ingredients or you want to avoid unnecessary sugar then this will do all of those things as you control what goes in to them.

What liquids did we use?

We have been experimenting with the different types of liquids to use and I’ve tried to be a little more creative with our slushy drinks too!


We started off simple by using chilled fruit juices straight from the fridge – Ellie wanted something fruity and Apple Juice was a clear favourite as it slushed up quite quickly! The Amazing Adventures Of Me went full of fruity with their Slushy Makers too!

We’ve also tried a simple Milkshake slushy using just Banana milkshake flavouring and chilled milk. This took longer to slush up but was definitely worth it!

I then looked at the ChillFactor website which has some very handy recipes all ready for you to try. I was very excited to try the choccy minty madness using just 3 ingredients – single cream, crushed mint Aero chocolate and peppermint essence.

Ellie is desperate to try a fizzy drink whereas i’m a little bit more excited to give it a try with a little bit of something alcoholic inside too!

Ellie’s Verdict

Posted in parenting

Kids Eat For Less This Summer

If you’re like us you dread the cost of the Summer holidays! I absolutely love being able to spend the time with Ellie and we are extremely fortunate that both myself and Luke are in jobs that allow us to spend the entire Summer with her making memories and giving her an amazing time…

But this all costs money!

I’ve done some research on where you can enjoy a meal for less during the summer and hopefully this will help lots of parents enjoy a meal out on a budget.

Please comment below if you’ve found anywhere else with good Summer deals and I’ll be happy to add them to the list below!

Asda

Kids eat for £1 all day, every day!

Morrisons

Free kids meal for every adult purchase (£4.99 or more). Offer available all day every day!

Hungry Horse

Kids have a free breakfast when purchasing an adult breakfast (£3.49 minimum spend)

Pausa Cafe (Dunelm)

One free mini main, two snacks and a drink offer (£4 spend minimum to receive the offer) in the Cafe

Bella Italia

Kids eat for £1 with every adult main from 4pm-6pm Monday-Thursday.

IKEA

Two free kids hot meals, jelly, fruit and a drink for £5

Beefeater/Brewers Fayre

Kids eat free breakfast (two free kids meals for every paying adult)

Dobbies

Kids eat free with an adult main meal – daily from 12pm

Sizzling Pubs

Kids eat for £1 all day Monday-Friday

Yo! Sushi

Kids eat free with every £10 spent on food. 3:30-5:30pm Monday -Thursday

Purezza

Children under the age of 10 can get a delicious free mini pizza with a topping of their choice! (One child per adult)

Preto

Kids eat free all day every day with paying adults. (Child up to 10 years old!)

Whitbread Inns

Two kids under 16 can have breakfast for free with any purchase of a £9.50 breakfast.

Future Inns

Under 5’s eat for free with any adult meal – Extended to under 12s during the Summer holidays

Table Table

Two free kids breakfasts under 16 with every paying adult.

Angus Steakhouse

Kids under 10 eat free with adults main meal – Every day 12pm – 5pm.

As always – Please do check individual stores for individual terms and conditions!
Posted in fathers day, Gifted

Fathers Day Gift Guide

Since my Mothers Day Gift Guide went down well, I’d been asked whether I know of any quirky/out of the box gift ideas for Fathers Day coming up too.

Reminder – Fathers Day in the UK is Sunday 19th June 2022.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing businesses and try out some great products to put together this year’s gift guide. I am always very honest and will only ever review and share products I genuinely recommend and would buy myself.

Disclosure – All items shown below have been gifted to review and include in this year’s Gift Guide however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Engravers Guild

For the Dad who enjoys a tipple.

Click to see their Instagram profile

I love a personalised gift and was very excited to receive this amazing Bubble Whiskey Glass from Engravers Guild. It’s the ideal fathers day gift as you can include any wording or message you like.
It’s a classic straight sided whiskey glass with the added detail of the bubble in the base making it suitable for whiskey drinkers everywhere.

It comes in a luxury silk lined box and engraved using a precision laser making it a personal and memorable gift. Engraving and gift box is included in the price too!
The glass is medium in size (measuring 90mm high).

Priced currently at £19.99 and is available here.

Kitchen Craft

For the Dad’s who love a good brew.

Click to see their Instagram profile

This set of 4 beautiful footed mugs from KitchenCraft shout out elegance. Designed in the UK and made from high quality china. They make the perfect gift for any dad who enjoys a delicious brew! Each mug holds 400ml of tea or coffee and has a stunning lemon pattern throughout.
Priced at £20 and you can purchase from Cook Serve Enjoy here.

Club Seven Menswear

No more holey socks for Dad.

Click to see their Instagram profile

Club Seven have got everything a man needs for their underwear drawer, from briefs and boxers to socks. The cushioned crew socks are soft and comfy to wear and come in white or black. The boxers are true to size and fit well. The material is a good quality too and feels like they are durable.

Prices start from £9 and is available to buy here.

Stranger Things

For the Dad who likes to dive in to a good show.

Click to view our unboxing on our Social Media

The officially licensed merchandise from the hit Netflix show Stranger Things from Yume_toys and Kaptoys are great for any fans of the show! Transport yourself back to the 1980’s and unbox the retro TV to reveal hidden clues, games, trading cards and collectibles hidden inside these Upside Down Capsules.

Price: £12.99 and can be purchased here or at your local HMV store!

Mikasa

Upgrade Dad’s kitchen.

Click to see their Instagram profile

This striking Drift storage jar from Mikasa is made of high-quality ceramic and has a tribal-inspired pattern. It can be used to keep all sorts of kitchen items safe – even Dad’s secret stash of treats! It has a wooden lid with a rubber seal which will help keep the contents fresh. It’s a beautiful addition to any kitchen. The Drift inspired design can be found on multiple products allowing you to mix and match across the kitchen for a stylish finish!
The jar is dishwasher safe however the wooden lid should be wiped clean only.
Price – £17.49 available to buy from Cook Serve Enjoy here.

Maps Gifts Etc

Where’s Dad’s favourite place? Put it on a mug.

Click to see their Instagram profile

Map Gifts Etc is a lovely small business run by Lucie and has wonderful personalised gifts for all occasions on their Etsy shop. These personalised Father’s Day Location Mugs are unusual, personal AND practical. They can be designed for any location anywhere in the world and can have either a vintage or contemporary map on both sides of the mug. You also have the option to add personalised wording to go over the image. These mugs come gift-boxed ready for Fathers Day

Priced at £17.25 and Lucie also offers FREE DELIVERY on these mugs too. It’s available here.


Me and You Versus The World

To show Daddy just how special he is.

Click to see their Instagram profile

Me and You Versus The World is an emotive story of love, friendship and adventure, this beautifully illustrated book written by Claire Gamble is a great way to spend time with Dad this fathers day and is even more special coming from younger children too.

Priced at £9.99 and can be found here.

Built

For the busy, working Dad or the fun dad who enjoys family picnics!

Click to see their Instagram profile

This BUILT insulated lunch bag is suitable for Dad’s lunch and small picnics at the weekend. It’s fully insulated allowing food to be kept cooler for longer and is deceivingly big inside and has room for lunch boxes, drinks and snacks. It’s leakproof thanks to it’s PEVA lining and has an adjustable shoulder strap and handle for easy mealtimes on the move!

Priced at £21.99 and is available from Cook Serve Enjoy here.

Artesa

This might sound cheesy but Dad’s are really grate…

Click to see their Instagram profile

For any Dad who has a love of fine dining, having guests round or just loves cheese this set of 4 side plates from Artesa featuring vintage cheese labels made great gifts! Made from high-quality ceramic they will look great for any occasion. Each plate is 19cm wide. They come presented in a matching box and ready to gift to Dad.

Priced at £21.99 from Cook Serve Enjoy and can be found here.

Posted in parenting

Smoby Sweet Corner Review

I love this time of year; the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer means just one thing – more garden time! I find it boosts our moods so quickly and I love watching Ellie play in the garden. She’s always happiest outside even if she hates actually going outside!

Ellie’s been getting stuck in with her Smoby Sweet Corner Playhouse that is BRAND NEW THIS YEAR. It’s the perfect playhouse and ice cream shop for Ellie; it promotes her imagination and allows her to get creative in her play. She has been selling ice creams and running a cafe all while being a chef, a cleaner, a waitress and cashier. She’s been adding up simple prices and telling me how much I need to pay. Smoby has everything covered with accessories included that allows the play to start straight away!

Assembly

In a nutshell – the Smoby Sweet Corner Playhouse was easy to assemble, the instructions were straight forward and simple. It did take 2 of us to build but honestly MR could have probably done it himself. All the smaller parts come connected to a plastic frame which we cut off to make sure no plastic bits were sticking out. The hardest part of building the frame was keeping Ellie out of it until we were finished!

About the Sweet Corner

Price: £169.99
Age Recommendation: 3+ years (Ellie is 5 and fits perfectly)

The playhouse is a fantastic addition to our garden, it’s a great place to keep Ellie in the shade (she hates being told to stay out of the sun) and she can have fun at the same time. She has spent some afternoons just sitting inside and reading to herself. It’s really sturdy, Ellie can be quite clumsy and has bumped into the door a number of times already and it still looks like new. The playhouse is also Anti-UV treated that guarantees the colour won’t fade and will endure any weather conditions.

It comes with 18 accessories: a plate, a fork, a knife, a spoon, a mug with lid, a frying pan, 2 pancakes, a sugar pot and sprinkles jar, 2 ice creams, 4 receipts, a card machine and a credit card. Which helps children role play as they are able to flip pancakes, make ice creams, take customers payments and offer a takeaway menu.

Dimensions: 105cm x 110cm x 127cm

The Smoby Sweet Corner Playhouse is available now from Argos and Robert Dyas

Disclosure – We were gifted the Sweet Corner playhouse from SmobyUK to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in product review, toys

GooZonians UK toy review

We’ve been checking out the NEW GooZonian toys from Character Toys this week. These are out now and available to buy from Smyths Toy Superstore – Ellie can’t wait to go and add to her new collection as there are 6 characters to collect!

GooZonians – the stretchiest Superheroes protecting the magical realm of GooZonia. All while juggling new powers, royal responsibilities and squad goals! GooZonians are squishy and stretchy and tactile – designed for girls aged 4-6. Ellie is 5 and loves them!

We have been kindly gifted two of the new characters – Cora and Princess Flik – for an honest opinion.

The story

Many generations ago, the Stone Heart turned the enchanted rainbow hued goo dull and hardened it across the land and in the hearts of the people. It caused chaos and destruction in GooZonia. The Queen (Cinder) saved her people by creating six charms from the last of the flowing goo and gave them the power to defeat Stone Heart and reverse it’s effects. Now Stone Heart is back and the Superheroes must find the hidden charms to protect GooZonia from the ApoGoolypse!

Characters

The GooZonian characters all have special qualities different to each other. Each one is brightly coloured allows children to build on their storytelling skills.

Queen Ember – a Pheonix – leads the good people of GooZonia. She is brave, charismatic, dutiful but critical. Ember is filled with flame effect strands and star shaped sparkles combined with red, orange and yellow flecks of shimmer.
Roxy – the life of the party in GooZonia. She is the royal spokesperson and head of the castle’s social committee. She is glamorous, naive, generous but superficial. Discover her silver snowflakes and blue stars.

Isla – an avid surfer and animal lover, she is the most environmentally aware GooZonian. She is independent, easy-going, optimistic but forgetful. She is filled with purple moon and star shaped sparkles and clear water beads.
Princess Flik – a true princess of GooZonia who believes she should be patrolling the realm and be ready for battle always. She is confident, adventurous, impulsive but clumsy. Flik is filled with swirling galaxy effect and a lightning shaped shimmer.
Cora – the artistic director of the Royal Performance Company. She sings, dances and acts and keeps the GooZonians entertained. She’s enthusiastic, creative, opinionated but overconfident. Stretch her to see her small hexagonal sparkles in her pink and orange filling.
Glyda – an enigmatic introvert. She loves to solve problems and ways to stop the Stone Heart. She’s shy, inventive, passionate but insecure. There’s lots going on inside her filling – a mix of pink and purple water beads and a dragon scale effect with pink sparkle dust suspended inside too!

The Toys

We received Princess Flik and Cora to try out and review. Both these toys are super stretchy, super squishy and lots of fun! They always return to their original shape which absolutely amazed Ellie, she tried so hard to stretch them further and further and then watched them return back to their shape within seconds. She loves the texture and the feel of the toys, Ellie can be quite sensory sometimes and can be put off by the texture of objects. Ellie enjoyed experimenting with the different ways she could reveal the hidden magic power charms in her two superheroes – squishing and squeezing until the gooey bodies moved.

As a parent they feel therapeutically tactile, hard-wearing and have endless possibilities for imaginative play!

To accompany the new launch, the GooZonians also have their very own webisode which is live over at Character Kidz TV and so fun to watch! The webisode has really brought life to these empowering heroines and Ellie has absolutely loved watching the first episode.

Would we recommend…

100% yes! Ellie has had lots of fun playing with these new figures and having them watch the episodes with her too. The stretch appeal along with the bright colours really appeal to Ellie and others aged 4-6 years old will love them too!

Disclosure – We were gifted the GooZonian toys to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in baby loss, Jason

Seven

Seven years since I last held you.
Seven years since I saw those tiny little hands.
Seven years since I had to say Goodbye.

Seven years of missing you.
Seven years of hurting.
Seven years of what ifs.
Seven years of why me.

I can’t imagine our lives with a 7 year old. I guess that’s what hurts the most; that we never got to have a life with him in it. A day with him was never enough but a day was all we got.

Jason’s birthday came and went in a flash. It was a normal Tuesday, school/work and hardly any time to think about the day itself. People asked me how I was, I was fine I suppose. The days that followed seemed harder. I’m a huge believer that the build up is always worse, the days that led to Jason’s birthday haunt me. I should have known, I could have done more, I should have been able to stop this from happening. So yeah, the actual day felt like any other. We had a cake and told Ellie it was Jason’s birthday cake which she was thrilled about and then the usual routine kept us busy.

The days that followed were hard on Ellie, I’ve never sheltered her from Jason’s death – of course she doesn’t know the full extent of what happened but she does know he’s dead and it’s a tough thing for a 5 year old to comprehend. Her teacher brought her new baby in to school to meet everyone and usually Ellie would have been all over her but she looked at the baby and just said it reminded her of baby Jason. She has talked to her new teacher and her amazing TA about him and why she got upset that day. She asked me if he could just come and play with her, just for his birthday. It breaks my heart to know she grieves in her own way for a sibling she never got to see.

They’ve also been learning the Easter story at school which has confused her a little. Why shouldn’t her big brother be able to come back to life if a man who lived thousands of years ago was able to do it. Why can’t we put his body in a cave and wait for the angel to revive him. Why was Jesus special enough to be allowed to live again and not Jason? These are just some of the questions we’ve had to try and answer for her. I’m not a Christian, I never was and I love that she’s so inquisitive when it comes to religion but jeez they were tough! I don’t believe in God – if there is some almighty being then making me live without my child is pretty crappy of them don’t you think?

Thankfully, Ellie has been more settled again this weekend. Jason’s birthday is a memory and in the eyes of a child she’s done with it all. She does still have moments where she talks about him and I will always encourage her to do so, he is her big brother, he is my son and he will always be apart of our family.

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Last Christmas Luke bought me a Salt Lamp, at the time I knew nothing about them. Apart from the ambient light which I find very calming they are known to have many health benefits. They have quickly become very popular – especially with those interested in natural health. I’ve put it next to the bed as I had read they are great in the bedroom. Since then we’ve added to our collection and purchased another salt lamp which sits on my desk.

Below I’ve written up 5 benefits of owning a salt lamp – these are all things I feel I have noticed. I must add it did take a week or two before I started noticing any benefits to using the HPS lamps, so if you are wanting to try then I’d recommend using them for a longer period of time.

1. Filter and Deodorise the air

This is probably the most well-known benefit to owning and using salt lamps. They are able to filter the air, remove dust, pollen, bacteria and lots of other contaminants from the air. They do this through something called hygroscopy, which basically means it attracts water molecules from the environment, absorbs the molecules into the salt crystals. As the lamp warms up the same water evaporates back into the air but keeps all the trapped particles locked in the salt.

2. Reduce Allergy/Asthma Symptoms and Eases Coughing

This is one of the main reasons we purchased another lamp for the living room. Due to the fact that the lamp removes the contaminants such as dust and pet dander and mold from the air, the lamp can reduce the allergy symptoms. Himalayan pink salt is actually great for your airways so the asthma sufferers in our house have noticed a difference too. (You can even get Himalayan Pink Salt inhalers!)

Himalayan pink salt lamps removes contaminants from the air and helps your body filter air more efficiently meaning any particles that do happen to be breathed in won’t get to your lungs therefore reducing the need to cough.

3. Improves Concentration & Mood

HPS lamps are a super way to naturally enhance your mood, the calming ambience is known to help you unwind and relax. They are perfect to keep by your bedside. They can also improve your concentration. We have touched on hydroscopy above but when the HPS absorbs water and particles it also takes positive ions with them. Positive ions can cause us to feel sluggish. As the lamp absorbs the positive ions it expels negative ions. Negative ions have a great effect on our bodies, they improve blood and oxygen supply to the brain as well as providing a boost of serotonin.

4. Better Sleep

Having an over-exposure to positive ions (usually from electronics!) can reduct your quality of sleep. Positively-charged particles can reduce blood and oxygen supplies to the brain and results in irregular sleep patterns. HPS have the opposite effect on our sleep patterns due to the negative ions it expels. It’s best to leave the lamp on as long as possible to warm up so that it has already absorbed the positive ions before sleep.

5. Environmentally Friendly

HPS lamps can use a low-watt bulb which consumes very little energy while others are usually powered by a lit candle which makes them more environmentally friendly than most light bulbs.

Have you used HPS lamps? Have you noticed any benefits? I’d love to know. Let me know in the comments below.