Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The price of prom

In the UK more schools are taking on the US tradition of holding a prom to celebrate the end of the students academic journey. It is not only high schools that now hold proms, primary schools do too. My eldest daughter has had her primary prom, next year she will be attending her high school prom and talks about it lots already. For her primary prom she dressed as an 11 year old should, I witnessed false tan, limos, over the top dresses, make up and professional hair. I personally thought all that should be left for the high school prom however I many didn't. Parents are willing to spend hundreds on primary prom never mind high school prom. My voucher codes carried out a survey of 500 US and 500 UK students to find out how much they spent on high school prom, the results can be read on A Girls World website.

Primary Prom
The amount us parents spend can be astonishing, do we really need to spend £800 for our children to arrive by helicopter?  I know I won't, five children attending two proms in their life could bankrupt me. My children will have to make do with counting on their legs to carry them to primary prom unless they know of any fairy godmothers lurking about, I might extend the budget for high school but I can guarantee it will not be more than what a family meal out will cost.
Sure they will get the dress, make up and hair done but I will not go over board.

My middle daughter is due to attend her primary prom this year, her dress is bought, a pretty pale blue one that can be worn afterwards and won't remain redundant at the back of her wardrobe. I will do her hair and I may stretch to a bit of mascara. As for high school prom, looking at the figures I best start saving now.

Does anyone require a dress or helicopter ride review? Nope, raiding the piggy bank it is.

How much would you spend on your child's prom?
How much would you hope your parents would have spent had you attended prom? I would have had to do the old Cinderella trick.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

I have survived my first year at college


Well technically college is out for summer! I've survived my first year at college, not only did I survive but I got top marks too. It just goes to show, a bit of hard work; lots of coffee, many late nights and early mornings, pays off. I've surprised myself in what I've achieved. I remember sitting in my plastic blue chair at the start of induction week. A document flashed up on the white screen. It was of past students grades, one student in particular stood out from the rest. Ever assignment had D written next to it. That student had somehow managed to get a distinction in every single assignment. I remember sitting there thinking "wow" that is bloody amazing. Not for one moment did I ever believe I could achieve the same but achieve I did. As the weeks went by and assignment were handed back to me I got quit addicted to seeing D written on that paper.

With each distinction came more motivation. There was a flip side, I became fearful of getting a merit as my final grade. Why I don't know, a merit is still a good grade and with a merit overall I can still get into the university of choice. But still, the fear was there. Every assignment I put my all into and never settled on a merit. I am pleased I did. Sure, the dark circles under my eyes are starting to take over my face but they are worth it. I have finished college for the year knowing I put 100% into my work and achieved a distinction in every assignment. My overall grade, a distinction star. Little old me, the mature student with a distinction star!
I have had an amazing year. I have gained so much in just the short time. I have loved every second of working with animals and never once was I bitten. I have delivered lambs, wrestled with calf after calf, freaked out when a Madagascar hissing cockroach attached itself to me, laughed when the water dragon was mocked by her food on her nose and watched in amazement the crested gecko.Below are just a few of the amazing animals that have helped me achieve so much.



It is not just the animals that have helped me, of course I could not have achieved what I did without the help of my lecturers. They have made learning enjoyable even if they did work us hard. I also must mention the friends I have made, the majority almost half of my age but all have the same motivation as I do. I did not expect to laugh so much.

Next year I hope to return with the same motivation. I also hope that in August when I open my GCSE result that I am happy with the grades I receive, cross your fingers and toes for me please.

So there it is, I survived my first year of college!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

National Picnic Week

This week is National Picnic week. I must admit I do love a good picnic. I love them even more when we take one to a fun place. Last week we packed the car full of food and headed off to the Welsh Mountain Zoo for little ladies 4th birthday. All of the children were very excited. My brother, sister in law and nephew had all come with us to celebrate too so altogether there were 11 of us.




In preparation for National Picnic Week I was sent some fabulous products to help us have an amazing picnic. So what did we receive?

Firstly was this amazing AlpenHome cooler basket from Wayfair.



It truly is a beautiful cooler basket, with its full buff antique wash willow exterior & its fully insulated interior it is sure to keep your food cool on a hot day. The top of it is made from a cream canvas and it has a colour coordinating zip on the top to allow you to put your food in and to seal it closed, preventing any buzzing insects from entering and helping to keep the food cool. Its willow handles are comfortable when carrying it loaded with food. I was nervous about the willow pinching my hands but I needn't have worried.
Its size is 21cm H x 42cm W x 37cm D, now looking at it I thought it looked small but its size is deceptive. My mother in law who prepares all of our delicious picnic food was impressed with how much she was able to fit into the cooler. It was like a magic basket when I was taking out the food, tupperware box after tupperware box emerged from the basket.
I would highly recommend this luxurious basket, it is fairly priced at just £38.74

Wayfair also sent me this matching AlpenHome double lidded picnic hamper that is suitable for four people.


The picnic hamper compliments the cooler basket beautifully, it has the same high standard finish and comes with an insulated compartment. This hamper comes complete with four stainless steel forks, knives and teaspoons, a corkscrew/bottle opener, Salt & pepper shakers, four 7" plates that are held into place with a cream faux leather strap, four wine glasses and four napkins. It is secured with a matching cream faux leather strap with a single handle which again is comfortable on the hands when filled with food.
The size of the hamper is 42cm H x 48cm W x 28cm D. Again the insulated compartment is deceptive and can hold plenty of food. Between the hamper and the cooler basket we had plenty of room for cooled food for 11 people. 
Priced at just £82.30 I highly recommend this picnic hamper

Both of these items complement each other beautifully, I will be the envy of other picnic goers this summer.

Tune in tomorrow for part two of our #nationalpicnicweek fun

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Top five ways to achieve glowing skin

Lifestyle and environmental factors can easily take their toll on your skin, but the great news is there is plenty you can do to revitalise this largest organ in the body, leaving your skin looking youthful and glowing. Here are five easy-to-follow ways to improve the appearance of your skin.

Water, water, water

Dehydration can cause skin to look tired, dry and dull, so make sure you provide it with the vital fluids it needs to stay looking its best. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, and top your liquids up even more during hot weather and after drinking alcohol. You can get your daily quota of water by drinking other liquids, such as green tea, which is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients that can soothe irritated skin. I must admit I do not drink enough water. I am a huge coffee lover and possibly drink too much of it. Since starting college though one of the rules are that you can only drink water in lessons which has helped me to drink much water. Funnily whilst sitting my maths exams I drank a whole bottle in just under 2 hours.

Ditch the cigarettes

As if smoking doesn't do enough harm to your body, it can also wreak havoc with your skin, causing premature ageing, wrinkles and bags under the eyes. It can also cause yellow stains on the skin of your fingers, and can make the skin condition psoriasis worse. Research has also shown that scars on the skin take longer to heal for smokers than non-smokers. Breathe vitality back into your skin by quitting smoking. If you are having difficulty giving up, switch to something like
Vapouriz e-cigarettes instead, which cause less damage to the skin.
Giving up smoking 2 years ago was one of the greatest things I have achieved. I noticed a real change in my skin, concentration, taste and health not to mention my bank balance. I know it is a really difficult thing to do but it is worth it in the end, my only regret is not doing it sooner.

Wear sunscreen

Damage from the sun's harmful UV rays can cause premature ageing and accelerate the rate of wrinkles forming. Keep your skin looking youthful with an eternal glow by wearing sunscreen all year round. If your skin gets burnt from the sun, apply soothing Aloe Vera gel to calm the skin and reduce redness.
Again I struggle with this, I am allergic to the majority of sunscreens. Even applying it to my children would cause a rash to appear on my hands. Recently I seem to have had a break through. I have found a factor 50spf oil that agrees with me. I will no longer have to go in the sun unprotected.

Sleep well

When you sleep your skin is working hard to repair itself, so make sure you get adequate shut eye every night. Lack of sleep can leave skin looking dull and tired. Sleep deprivation is also thought to increase the release of stress chemicals in the body, which can trigger skin problems such as acne.
Coming from a full time student and a mum to five rather energetic children I know how important sleep is, I also know how little sleep we busy parents get. I am nothing but grumpy and look awful if I do not get at least 7 hours a night.

Remove make-up

If you're tired at night it's easy to forget to remove make-up, but do get into the habit of thoroughly cleansing and moisturising the skin every day, especially after wearing make-up. If left on the skin overnight, make-up can clog the pores, leaving your skin looking lifeless and prone to irritation. Also, change your make-up brushes regularly and avoid using old make-up.
Again I am guilty of falling into bed with a face full of make up. Even with the make up wipes placed at the side of my bed I only remember to use them in the morning. I will make more of an effort to achieve the make up free sleeps.

Summer days are just around the corner, we are all jetting off for our holidays and always want to look our best. But adding the above tips into my daily routine I am certain my skin will be better cared for.