Monthly Archives: May 2014

How to Spot Depression in Your Child

If you were going to describe the standard teenager, you might say ‘moody’. Teenagers seem to feel things way more intensely than us adults, and experience exhilarating emotional highs with crashing lows. However, being depressed is a different matter altogether. It isn’t just about being moody – it’s a mood disorder, and a serious mental health condition. People often think that teens can’t get mood disorders like depression and bipolar, but the sad truth is that they can. If you’d like to be able to spot depression in your child, read on:


Image taken from flickr

The fact of the matter is, the average age of depression is 14 year old. By the end of their teen years, around 20% of teens will have depression. Over 70% of teens with depression will be able to overcome it with therapy and medication, so it’s important that it’s addressed.

The following are some of the symptoms to look out for when looking for depression. If these symptoms last a couple of weeks or more, it could be depression:

  • Writing about death, giving away their belongings, and comments similar to ‘you’re better off without me’.
  • Complaints of physical pain.
  • Poor performance at school or college.
  • Critical comments about themselves and behaviour problems.
  • Loss of energy, social withdrawal, boredom, and withdrawal from their usual activities.
  • Slowness, physical agitation, pacing back and forth or repetitive behaviour.
  • Excessive late night activity, too much/too little sleep, trouble getting up in the morning.
  • Weight gain or weight loss.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family.
  • Irritable, sad, empty moods and the belief that life is meaningless.

Now, try not to worry too much if your child is displaying the above behaviour. Much of the behaviour above can be considered normal for a teen. If you suspect your teen may have depression or bipolar, then you need to take them to see a health or mental health professional to be sure.

This condition commonly runs in families, and may be triggered by a stressful life event. This isn’t something to be ashamed of, it should simply be treated as soon as possible. Take a look at this site for more useful information on depression in teens.

Some of the effects of teen depression include:

  • Problems at school.
  • Running away from home.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Low self esteem.
  • Internet addiction.
  • Reckless behaviour.
  • Violence.

Warning Signs to Look Out for:

  • Talking or making jokes about suicide.
  • Saying things like, ‘there’s no way out’ and, ‘I’d be better off dead’.
  • Writing stories or songs about death, dying, or suicide.
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family for the last time.
  • Looking for weapons/pills.

If you suspect your teen may be depressed, you need to speak up right away. Even if you’re unsure, whatever the issue is, it needs to be addressed. Make sure you share your concerns with your teen in a loving, non-judgmental way, and let them know why things are worrying you. Encourage them to share what they’re going through. Always trust your instincts, even if your teen claims that nothing is wrong…denial is a strong emotion.

Thanks for reading!

Do Your Kids Want A New Pet? Here’s 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Them A Dog

Buying your very first family dog can be an exciting experience, especially for the kids. So, this summer could be the ideal time to put your hand in your pocket and bring a new little friend home for everyone to fuss over. Contrary to popular belief, dogs don’t take that much looking after, and so long as you have time to feed it, take it for walks and keep it entertained, you’ll love having one in your home. Of course, this is also a great way to teach your children about responsibility so perhaps you might delegate the walking duties to them?

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Image source

Still not convinced? Well then, give me your attention for the next three or four minutes, and I’ll do my best to highlight some of the main reasons why this is a good idea. If you’ve never owned a dog before, purchasing one might cause a bit of a shock to your system, and could upset your daily routine a little, but I guarantee you won’t regret a thing. Just make sure you use a reputable supplier, like PetFleas, for all your flea and worming treatments as substandard products tend to perform poorly.

1. You’ll put a smile on your children’s faces

Kids love fluffy little animals, and so bringing a puppy home for the first time is guaranteed to make them very excited. While this will likely wear off a bit over time, they’ll always love their new friend. Also, animals have been proven to boost good moods and help people (especially children) avoid mental health issues.

2. Dogs are simple to care for

You don’t need to provide puppies with stimulating conversation, and neither do you have to buy them lots of outfits as they grow, so they’re much less hassle than other animals or a new baby. So long as you have enough food, you take them for enough walks, and you’re willing to spend time stroking them in the evenings, they’re in heaven.

3. They’re cheap to buy

It sounds silly, but you can get dogs for free or very cheap from rescue centres if you so choose, which means they won’t break the bank like a reptile or other animal might. There’s no need to purchase expensive vivariums or anything like that, which means your electricity bills shouldn’t increase significantly either.

4. Dogs are a man’s (or woman’s) best friend

If you’ve never owned a pooch before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out they are very forgiving animals that never hold a grudge. You’d be hard pushed to find a human being capable of giving love unconditionally, but dogs have got this down to a tee.

5. They live for a long time

Presuming there are no accidents, and you look after the animal properly; a dog could be around for fifteen years or more. That means they have time to become a real member of your family. So, just make sure you’re willing to keep them for that length of time before making your final decision.

You should now understand exactly why buying a dog for your family this year is a good idea. As I just mentioned, if you have a tight budget, that’s not a problem as many shelters are constantly seeking to re-home puppies and canines that have suffered abuse in the past.


How a retirement home can give you a new lease of life

Retirement homes still have a negative stereotype in that many people believe they‘re lifeless and that they signal a loss of independence. But that’s simply not the case. In fact, if you talk to many people who live in retirement homes, they will tell you that they’ve been given a new lease of life. Here are some reasons why…

The social aspect


Many elderly people spend days on end at home without seeing or speaking to anyone, yet in a retirement home there is always someone to have a chat to. Of course, you can spend time on your own if you so wish, but you’ll never be lonely. There are, of course, all the other residents with which to converse, but then there’s also the various staff and volunteers around the place. And that’s just in between visits from family.

The many activities and facilities on offer


Any retirement home worth its salt will have a plethora of activities on offer to help you get the most out of your time there. There may be some activities you already enjoy, such as gardening, but there’s a good chance that you’ll find plenty of new things to do you haven’t tried before. Brunswick Gardens retirement home, for example, has many different activities and facilities available, including a café, craft room, fitness suite, IT suite, library, woodwork room, beauty salon, and much more. We all know that keeping active in old age is important, so having more things to do is essential.

You get the care you need


This might not sound particularly glamorous but it’s tremendously important. If you’re at home and not receiving the correct level of care then it will naturally impact on your life. However, if you’re receiving the correct level of care, around the clock if needed, then you’ll be much more able to enjoy the various aspects of your life. Despite what you might have read in the press, the vast, vast majority of care homes provide unrivalled care from highly trained professionals who really can make a difference to your care and quality of life. Your family and friends will also be happy to know you’re getting the care you need.

Not ready for retirement living? Try volunteering!


Retirement homes can give a new lease of life to anyone, not just the elderly or those needing round the clock care. It’s also incredibly rewarding for volunteers. If you’re looking for a career in health care of some sort or would just like to do something worthwhile, then volunteering is an excellent option. Not only will you be helping to improve people’s quality of life, but you’ll also be saving the organisation some much-needed money in the process, not to mention how good it’ll look on a potential job application.

If you are after some products to aid with old age, check out Senior Buyers Guide here

5 Incredible Design Ideas For Your Nursery


photo link

Congratulations. If you are reading this, you are probably an expectant mother or father. Today I would like to offer some advice concerning the design of a new nursery for the little bundle of joy that is on his or her way. Don’t leave it until later to sort out, the next few months will fly by and the last thing you need in the later stages is to worry about decorating a room. If everything else is in place, it is easier to concentrate on the important things instead.

A nursery is unlike other bedrooms in the home. The decor is not an issue for the baby; it is more to give pleasant surroundings for the parents. The room must be a practical place to work as well as a relaxing place to rest. Here are five incredible design ideas for your nursery.



It is very important to decorate the nursery to a high standard because the chances are that there will be plenty of visitors dropping by who will go in and introduce themselves to the new addition to the family. The quality is compromised by attempting to decorate over bumpy walls. Remove all of the old wallpaper and if you are unable to make the walls perfectly smooth, hire a plasterer to skim them over with a topcoat to give a perfect blank canvas for you to work on. The job takes about a day for a small to medium sized room and the transformation of the walls makes it worthwhile.



It is best to keep the decor simple in a nursery. Don’t do anything there that will be a shock to the senses in the middle of the night. Have one feature wall with some attractive modern wallpaper as in the image and paint the remaining walls with emulsion paint that is applied with a roller for the best finish. A feature wall is a great place to introduce a wallpaper mural. There are hundreds of designs available online so finding one for suitable for a nursery will be easy.


Floor Covering

In the middle of the night, a parent need to be warm and comfortable so there is no better product than carpet for the nursery. Ultra modern room make use of laminate in the magazines but for comfort and practicality it isn’t suitable here.


Window Coverings

To go along with a modern theme, consider using blinds at the windows. They help to keep the room light and airy by opening up the space around the windows. The latest thing is panel blinds from Super Blinds Mart and other places online. They are similar to vertical blinds, but they have overlapping panels to keep the light out better. Of course, there are plenty of traditional alternatives such as venetian blinds, wooden shutters, pleated blinds, and roller blinds, that are all suitable for use in the nursery.



Remember when laying out the room that you will need to access both sides of the cot so do not place it against a wall if possible. A comfy chair is the second most important feature in the room where mom or dad will sit to feed the little monster in the middle of the night. There are storage units made especially for nurseries that comprise a cupboard and plenty of drawers for convenience. A proper wardrobe is not suitable until the little one has grown.

As you can see, the nursery needs to be tackled from a different angle to normal bedrooms. It is one of the most enjoyable projects to complete in the home, and one of the most exciting too.


5 reasons why it’s better to play lotto online

As the world of the internet and smart phones continues to dominate our everyday lives, industries the world over are being influenced, from online shopping to online gambling. If you want to live in the 21st century, consider bypassing the corner shop next time you want to buy a lottery ticket – here are a few reasons why it’s better to play lotto online.

You don’t have to go anywhere



We all know that we our beloved British weather cannot be relied upon when we need it most, so why take the risk of popping out to the shops to buy a lottery ticket when you can access the benefits from your home computer? Saving you time and the temptation to buy a cheeky choccy bar, playing online will work wonders for your wallet and your waistline.

You can bet on the go

It’s Saturday night and the lottery numbers are being read in ten minutes, but you’ve forgotten to buy a ticket! This was a common nightmare for lottery lovers in the days of yore, but thanks to the advent of today’s smart phones, you can play lotto at the touch of a button, whether you’re on the commute home or tucked up in bed.

You can win great prizes

The wealth of available prizes with online lotto sites is indeed much greater than your typical Saturday night rollover. With a whole host of playing options, you can play anything from a lucky dip to strategically placing your bets up to 10 days in advance, and with more than just cash prizes available, you can even win a VIP weekend trip to Dublin.

You can play with your friends

Gone are the days where offices would go to the toil of buying a huge round of lottery tickets for a big rollover sweepstake – playing with friends is much easier with online lotto. If your friend has forgotten to buy a ticket, all he or she has to do is whip out a smart phone and start playing straight away, and you can even compare results together just by looking at a screen.

You can save the world

As news of the deforestation continues to get us down, the eco warrior gamblers amongst us can rest assured that they’re not destroying trees by needlessly buying lottery tickets. Plus, if you’re not already bragging to your friends about your big wins, you can also show off by telling them just how many trees you’ve saved by making the switch. So you’re playing the game and saving the planet – what better excuse is there than that?



When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Pilot

“When I grow up I want to be a pilot” – these are certainly famous words echoed by children across the world and why would they not want to embark on this glamorous career? Being an airline pilot is exciting and rewarding. The key to embarking on a career as a pilot involves years of dedication and meeting the very specific and tight requirements that are needed. The cost of this career can be huge, so you need to ensure that you have the money to pay for training. Similarly, you need to be prepared to give up around a decade of your life to dedicate your time to training to be a pilot. You need to be serious, committed and ambitious in order to make it as a pilot. It requires a lot of hard work, but can be a rewarding and exciting career for those that seek to make a career out of being a pilot.


Photo is courtesy of the UK Ministry of Defence

A University Degree

Once you have spent four years of your life at an accredited university, you will be making the right steps into becoming a professional pilot. Science degrees are usually required. Aviation degrees are less important. Unless, of course, you are enraptured by the world of aviation and want to learn about it at your chosen institution. A university degree is important to airlines as it demonstrates that you are committed and willing to learn their education program.

Flight Schools

Upon successful completion of your university, and academic, studies, you will then need to find a good flight school and instructor. This enables you to start working towards your private pilot certificate. This certificate is critical for any aspiring young pilot. The FAA minimum flight time is 40 hours. What is more, the FAA provides a highly regimented program for those that want a more intensive mode of study. If you want more information from an expert in the field of aviation, or for more advice on how to get into the industry, contact Rafael Munguia.

Further Training

Upon completion of your private pilot license, you will need to start earning your instrument rating and commercial certificate. No one said that a career in aviation would be easy! You will need to dedicate 250 hours to this.

Flight Experience

Of course, a bucket load of qualifications and certifications does not automatically mean that you will get to fly an aircraft. You will need to gain flight experience, which is highly competitive and difficult to achieve. Once you have landed your placement, you will need to undertake at least 1500 hours of air time before you are allowed to fly a commercial jet. It is imperative that you realise that becoming a pilot does not mean meeting the minimum criteria and required hours. In this highly competitive industry, you will be expected to exceed and surpass any required flight hours. You should aim for at least 5000 hours of air time before applying for any job as a pilot.

Becoming a pilot is incredibly difficult; it requires time, money, resources, ambition and dedication. Only the brave and few become pilots. But, if you have what it takes and you are willing to work hard, there is no reason that you cannot become a pilot when you grow up too.

The Busy Mums Guide to Getting Back to Work

You are the woman that wants it all. As a busy mum, it can incredibly difficult to get back into work and still care for your family. Of course, there comes a point with every mum when all they want to do is regain their independence (or freedom!) and go back to work. Being a mum is rewarding, but it not your sole purpose in life. If you are in a career quandary, then look no further. You will be inspired and amazed at the jobs that you can do that you can fit around the kids:


Image is courtesy of Gypsy in Moda via Flickr

Laundry and Cleaning Services

Sure, you may have had your fill of cleaning and laundry at home, but so many people employ the services of cleaning personnel that it seems silly not to get on the bandwagon. Many people want to employ reliable and trustworthy cleaning staff but don’t know where to start. You could be that go-to lady! The great thing is, is that you can fit it in around the kids school hours and choose hours that suit you and your family. What is more, you can charge your own rates, be your own boss and master of your own destiny. What’s not to love? If you are unsure where to start, contact an expert company such as Laundry Express for more information.

Buy a Franchise

Buying a franchise is incredibly easy. Look at the existing franchise within your area and bobs your uncle. There are many franchises available that you could suit your lifestyle as a busy parent. Tumble Tots is a great franchise. What is more, you can involve your own children, should they be of the right age. Take time to think about what you are passionate about and put that passion into the working world. Not only will you be happier for it, but it will also prove to be financially rewarding too.

Apply For Freelance Work

The internet has opened up so many doors for busy mums who are desperate to get back into the workplace. Utilise the web and see what is available to suit you. You can freelance in anything, from writing to project management, childminding and administration. Some of these jobs you can do from home, but there are a wide range of opportunities to get back into the office on a freelance basis. This is great for busy mums who don’t want to commit full time to their career.

Do Your Own Thing

The secret to success is down to you as an individual. There are lots of mums that run independent businesses such as playgroups and the like. Lots of these women are ordinary mums, like me and you, who have taken a skill, interest and passion and turned it into a viable and profitable business. Think about you what love to do, (this could be art, creative play, music, cooking, finance – the list is endless!) what skills you have, your work history and apply them to the working world. Setting up a business from home is relatively easy. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so!


Fantastic Ideas For Creating A Dream Bedroom For 12-13 Year Old Children


Image by Mazzali

We are expected to provide more for our children today than at any time in the past. That is a good thing because, though it may put a strain on our finances, parents always strive to give their children things that they never had themselves. The range of furnishings and technology available to us is vast and often comes at a fair price, so we are spoiled for choice when thinking of fantastic ideas for creating a dream bedroom.

If you are thinking of renovating your child’s bedroom, you will find some cool ideas here for things to include in it. Some may say that this is spoiling the child, but they are only young once. Give them what you would have loved to own at that age and let them make the most of being a kid. There is plenty of time for being grown up later.

Modern Is The Word

Stop thinking of a room that you would like to own because your ideas are probably dated. Think instead of the most modern rooms found in magazines and on the internet. It is difficult to replicate this contemporary look unless you know a few of the secrets most of the designers use. Here are some basic elements to modern decor.

  • Walls. The walls of the room are best kept plain. If you wish to include wallpaper, then cover only one wall. There are some great vistas available with modern mural wallpaper. Imagine a cityscape, or an alien planet. The plain walls will be covered in posters over time, but that is their choice.
  • Flooring. You will not that modern rooms use laminate or real wood flooring. It is hard wearing and easy to clean; perfect for a teenagers room. It is easy to install since the manufacturers invented the click system that has done away with the need for glue.
  • Windows. Kids prefer to have modern window blinds rather than old fashioned curtains. Vertical, roller, or venetian blinds work well in bedrooms.

The Bed

Since the room will probably be used for entertaining friends as well as sleeping, give them somewhere to sit. Modern sofa beds from Multiyork are perfect for this job. They are far removed from the sofa beds of old. Now they come in modern designs with removable covers as an option. They are simple to open up and use at night and allow better use of the space available in the day. Kids love these items.


If your child isn’t ‘connected’, they will be at a disadvantage socially. Yes, we all hate the way they spend all of their time staring at their phones rather than taking notice of people around them, but it is the way of the future, and we must embrace it. Many people take a stand and banish technology in favour of a better quality of life. Banning it rarely works, since these people are holding onto a past that no longer exists. The world is a different place now. Provide internet access in the bedroom with a PC or laptop computer. If these are connected to a television, the kids have a world of entertainment right at their fingertips.

With all of this in place, your child will be happy, and their friends will think you are the coolest parents around. It is likely to cost a lot of money, but it is worth it. I wonder what ‘things I never had’ they will provide for their children? The mind boggles.


Does Your Son Or Daughter Want To Drive A Car? Read This Now!

Every parent will inevitably have to deal with their offspring’s request to learn to drive and their wishes to pass their driving tests. It is not a subject that some parents like to deal with, especially those that are overly protective of their children!

But as they approach 17, they will doubtless be thinking about the freedom having their own car will bring them, as well as the number of opportunities that will be open to them. For example, employers are far more likely to take on youngsters at their companies if they have full, clean driving licences.


Image Credit


If your son or daughter has decided that they want to start learning to drive, here are a few hints and tips to help make your journey (excuse the pun) a more bearable one!

Get your child to apply for a driving licence

The first thing that anyone needs to do being taught how to drive on public roads is to apply for a provisional licence. As long as your child is at least 15 ¾ years old, they will be able to apply.

However, the only caveat is that they can’t get behind the wheel of a car until their 17th birthday, so it’s probably easier just to wait until then before applying for a provisional licence.

Find an approved driving instructor

Assuming that your son or daughter is at least 17 years of age, it is now time to find them an approved driving instructor.

Just like how those learning to drive need to pass tests, approved driving instructors have to pass a rigorous set of tests in order for them to be qualified for teaching others how to drive.

Alternatively, you could teach them how to drive yourself, as long as you are over 21, hold a full driving licence for the vehicle they want to learn in, and both you and your offspring are insured to drive your car.

I would recommend getting a qualified approved driving instructor to teach your child how to drive, as they won’t pick up any of your bad habits nor are you likely to “fall out” with each other.

Take the theory test

Once your offspring has had some experience on the road and has done a lot of studying (for example, reading the Highway Code), it is time to put them forward for their theory test!

Their driving instructor will be the best judge of determining when your son or daughter is ready to take their theory test, but if the instructor tells you that they are now ready to be put forward, don’t hesitate to book theory test today!

Take the practical test

Assuming that your child has passed their theory test with flying colours and their instructor feels that they have enough experience on the road to tackle the practical test, it will then be time to put them forward in it!

If your son or daughter is comfortable driving their instructor’s car, they will normally be able to take their practical test in it rather than in someone else’s car.


Have You Wondered How Green Your Home Actually Is?


Have you ever wondered how green and eco-friendly your home actually was?  I, if I’m honest, am always worried that I am perhaps not doing all I should be doing to ensure that my lifestyle and household are as environmentally friendly as possible.  I was pleased then to find that Australian Solar Quotes were running a quiz that aimed to tell you just that, how green or not your home was. Click here to take it, or I have embedded it below for you.

Many of the questions are what you would expect to be featured in this kind of quiz, but there are some surprising questions along the way that made me think about my own practices to keep my home green.  For instance, the first question asks about the type of lightbulbs you have in your home – well, that didn’t make me feel too bad as I swapped to LEDs a long time ago.

The next question though in the quiz threw me a little because it was all about the paint used to decorate.  It was only in the last year or so that I redecorated a large percentage of my house and up until that point I was not aware of all the different types of paints available.  This is why this question threw me with choices of paint with lead-free components, VOC paint and high lead paint components.  I actually had to find an old tin of paint to check.

Like I said, there are some questions that you could guess were included in the quiz.  Obvious ones such as “what kind of energy does your home run on” “What is in your fridge?”(In reference to whether or not you have processed foods, organic and fresh or a mixture), “what kind of cleaning products do you use?” and “how eco-friendly is your garden?”

However, the ones I found really interesting were the ones that asked things such as “let’s be honest, how sustainable is your dishwashing practices?”  I felt quite bad, as my answer was not the best and greenest one from the multiple choice list.  The same could be said for the “where does your main source of water come from?”  I had never actually considered that before, neither had I considered what materials I used to cover my floors.

After I had answered the questions I submitted them and was taken to a page with the percentage (according to their quiz) of how green my house was.  In some ways I was happy that I scored 50%, but it shows that even if I feel I do a lot more to be eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious that a lot of my friends, relatives and neighbours; that there is still so much more I can do.  The results were given with some choice words of advice, which just served as a reminder that when you are trying to make your home greener, it is the little things that count the most – the little things you change.  Whether this is the way you wash dishes or take care of your garden, the results will be that your conscience will be clearer and your home will be greener.