Health

Vape Your Way Through No Smoking Day

It’s been many years since I gave up smoking cigarettes, apart from the very rare drunken night out where I succumb and smoke one or two, but that’s literally been about twice in the last ten years! I do, however, enjoy the occasional vape, and it’s got me thinking about the benefits of using a vape pen ahead of the NHS’s National No Smoking Day. Here are just five things that vaping can do for your health:

Weight Loss

I’m a classic “quit smoking and gained weight” case, where I replaced the cigarettes with food to fulfil my oral fixation and hand-to-mouth habit, and I’ve struggled to control my weight ever since. However, vaping instead of smoking reduces the appetite and replaces food with a healthy alternative to cigarettes, which was more than enough incentive for me to buy a kit and give it a go.

Pain 

As someone who has certain chronic illnesses and pain to deal with, using a vape to inhale CBD oil can really help to control the pain. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been amazing at helping with my gynae pain.

Anxiety

In addition to CBD being a great ally against pain, it’s also been amazing for helping with my anxiety and vaping it is a much nicer way to ingest the oil than just dripping it into your mouth. CBD has been shown in studies to be just as effective as valium for some people dealing with anxiety, but with none of the side effects or addictiveness, which is remarkable for people who don’t want to use heavy pharmaceuticals.

Concentration

Believe it or not, nicotine is actually good for you in some ways, it’s all the OTHER parts of cigarettes which are bad for your health. Nicotine can actually improve focus, concentration, memory, refine motor skills and increase creativity.

Protect the Brain

Long term studies have shown that nicotine can actually protect the brain and as such has potential for treating patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons and other degenerative brain issues. This means that choosing an e-liquid which contains nicotine can actually help your brain in the long term.

All About ME!

Who Am I?

Who am I? Good question! It’s such a long time since I took part in a good old fashioned bloggers Q&A so when the lovely Emma at Emma & 3 asked if anyone wanted to be tagged, I stuck my virtual hand in the air pretty sharpish! I find myself bogged down with work and commercial posts sometimes, so having the opportunity to actually write something personal seemed too good to pass up. So, here are my answers:

Jayne and Maureen

When was the last time you cried?

Sunday evening. I got a really nice, thoughtful text from my Dad and at the end of what is usually quite a tough day for me, I sobbed. Although, to be fair, it never usually takes much to make me cry, my emotions bubble pretty close to the surface and since we lost Chuck in December, I’ve shed more than my fair share of tears.

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

That’s a really hard one to answer. On the surface, I can seem really flaky and unreliable when it comes to making and keeping arrangements, but this is due in no small part to social anxiety and awkwardness that makes me shy away from socialising much. I think I’d probably find me pretty funny (because I am one of those wankers who laughs at their own jokes) but it would probably be one of those “I haven’t seen you for six months, lets talk for 3 hours solidly and then not see each other again for six months”-type friendships.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Yes. Yes I do.

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Hmm, that’s another toughie – as someone who is pretty over-sensitive, I think I probably pick up on my perception of the person’s body language before I notice anything material, and that can really colour my impression of a person. I tend to gravitate towards people who I perceive as being emotionally open, I don’t really gel with people who are naturally closed or stand-offish.

Scary movie or happy endings?

I’m woefully uneducated with scary films, although Husband has been doing his best to get me to watch more of them, but I think I’ll always love a happy ending.

Favourite smells?

Creosote, tomato plant leaves, Imperial leather soap, roast dinners, new carpet, puppy breath, newborn baby skin, BB and Sausage’s hair when it’s just been washed, Chanel Egoist, and most importantly, the smell of Chuck’s feet. I miss that smell so much.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

Maldives – our island was precisely 5261 miles away from home!

Do you have any special talents?

I’m okay at baking and cooking, I guess, and I have a fairly impressive capacity to eat junk food, but I don’t think I have anything that could be described as a talent. I’m pretty devoid of exceptional qualities. Oh wait, I do have a huge talent for putting myself down – there you go!

Where were you born?

Orsett, in Essex. The hospital wasn’t supposed to be open for births on the day I was born, but apparently it was too late to get me to the sister unit a few miles away, so I had to be born there.

What are your hobbies?

What hobbies does any working Mum have?! Does doing the school run and indulging in the occasional Netflix binge count?! I enjoy sewing and reading but never seem to find the time for either lately.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an astronaut and had it all planned out – I was going to get a Royal Air Force scholarship to go to University and then become a pilot, which I hoped would give me the opportunity to advance from there, but I was told during a school careers day by an Air Force rep that I’d never be a pilot because I didn’t have perfect eyesight, so I had to give up on that dream. Then, I wanted to be a drama teacher, but that didn’t pan out either! Being a freelance writer and social media bod suits be down to the ground, to be honest, as I can work the hours I want and not have to deal with the public!

How many countries have you been to?

France, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Maldives – 6.

What was your favourite/worst subject in school?

I adored Drama, English and Biology. Least favourite subjects were R.E. and French.

What is your favourite drink?

Non-alcoholic, anything cherry flavoured – I love a Cherry Pepsi Max! Alcoholic, I like lots of things, but my favourite of all time is probably sake, Stones ginger wine or Taboo (do you remember that?!).

What would you (or have you) named your children?

Sausage and Burrito Baby 😉 – I don’t have my kids names on my blog, but they both have what people call “old lady” names, with a flower middle name.

How many boyfriends have you had?

Proper actual boyfriends/girlfriends, 4, not including the ones at school where someone asks you out on the bus and you spend the next two weeks avoiding them.

Favourite memory from childhood?

Probably the weeks that my cousin and I would go and stay with my Nan and Grandad in Lowestoft for a week. We had so much fun and got to do so many lovely things with them, and the memories are even more precious now that they’re no longer with us.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Professional scruff. I usually look like I’ve been covered in superglue and thrown onto a table at a jumble sale.

Tell us one of your bad habits!

Swearing too much.

I tag:

Emma at The Syders, March at Mrs Teepot and Jen at Smiles and Trials

 

Family

Who Can Foster?

Can members of the LGBT community foster? It is a common question and one that comes with a positive answer.

Being a foster carer is about personal qualities, rather than sexual orientation or gender. Foster children present an array of diverse and complex needs, and that means foster carers from all walks of life are needed.

Why LGBT fostering is a great idea

Despite more open discussion and acceptance of same-sex relationships and marriages, and a dialogue beginning to open over people identifying as transgender, research by Action for Children in 2013 identified that a third of the LGBT community think they are not eligible to become foster carers.

LGBT Fostering and Adoption Week 2018 will take places from 5th to 11th March, with this year’s theme being ‘10 Good Reasons’. Two reasons will be released every day as to why adoption and fostering by the LGBT community is a win-win situation for everyone, the foster child included.

As with any foster placement, it is the needs of the child that take centre stage when it comes to the right placement. Having suffered a traumatic start to life, there is a need for the child to be placed with a carer who understands their needs, working with them to safely explore their feelings.

Does LGBT fostering have positive outcomes?

All potential foster carers (and adopters) complete training as part of their application process. Examining common fostering issues, there is evidence from research that backs up the positive impacts of LGBT fostering.

In 2010, The Centre for Family Research, based at the University of Cambridge, interviewed 82 children and young people whose adopted or foster parents were lesbian, gay or bisexual;

  • No difference – the very young children of gay parents didn’t see their families as being any different to those of their friends.
  • Special & different – older children did see their families as special and different but here’s the great bit: these children saw all families as special and different, not just their own.
  • More accepting – children who were adopted or fostered by gay parents said they didn’t mind their parents being gay but they did wish that other people were more accepting and ‘minded less’.

And this isn’t the only piece of research that shows how LGBT fostering and adopting of children is making a difference. A later piece of research by the University of Cambridge on behalf of British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) also found that same-sex couples who adopted were successful. In particular, it found that children of gay fathers fared particularly well.

Helping children to thrive

Essentially, fostering children is about helping them to thrive, whilst making sense of their world. As adults, we assume that because same-sex couples are ‘different’ because transgender people are ‘different’ or, that bisexual people are ‘different’ that this will hinder foster children.

But the evidence shows that it is this ‘difference’ that is a platform for fostered and adopted children to thrive.

The same application process

Applications to become foster carers are welcomed from everyone and no matter what your gender, relationship status or sexuality, the application process is the same;

  1. More information – if you are interested in fostering (or adopting), you need to get more information not just about the process but what being a foster carer really means.
  2. Home visits – if you decide to continue with your application, a social worker will start a series of home visits to complete the application form, as well as discuss worries and concerns you may have.
  3. Initial training – fostering agencies, as part of the application process, facilitate training over several days that looks at core fostering values, as well as issues and challenges.
  4. Approval – once the application form is complete and you have attended the training course, your application is reviewed by a panel. If they are satisfied all criteria is met and you understand what fostering is about, they will approve your application. Within weeks of this happening, you could be welcoming your first foster child into your home!

There is no denying the fulfilment that you and your partner, if you have one, will get from fostering a child. Could you provide a home for a child in need?

Driving

Things To Consider When Buying a Family Car

Last year, we decided that our old Volvo was probably on it’s last legs and needed replacing. We were on a bit of a budget and managed to find a Ford Focus on a 52 plate which was within our price, but ultimately it’s not been the perfect car for us, so we’re looking for something new. I have certain criteria when looking for used cars and I thought I’d share them with you in case it helps with your own search.

Fuel Economy

Buying a second hand car means you’re probably not buying the most up-to-date vehicle with the best fuel mileage, but it’s still something worth considering. Given the fact that our Focus has a smaller engine than the Volvo and is a smaller car in general, I thought the fuel economy would be better, but it’s actually almost identical to the Volvo – not great when fuel is my biggest expense each month.

Insurance

When we bought the Focus, we knew that the insurance group was high, which is apparently something to do with the sheer amount of them on the road influencing average statistics, but we decided to take the hit because of needing something quite quickly. However, next time, I’ll be aiming to go for a car which is a much lower insurance group than this one.

Comfort

As a driver, I’m largely ambivalent to what I drive and have no major preferences on cars, but comfort is something which my passengers have to have a say on. When we switched from the Volvo to the Focus, Husband lost a lot of leg room in the front seat, and that impacts how far back he has his seat, and in turn how much leg room the seat behind has. Next time we buy a car, I’ll be making sure it’s comfy for everyone.

Safety

This is probably the single most important factor for us; one thing we really miss about our Volvo is knowing that it was an incredibly safe, heavy, well-built car, and unfortunately the Focus doesn;t inspire the same confidence. Husband and I will be checking the safety stats of everything we consider when it’s time to buy something else.

Parts

The one and only thing that we’ve liked about the Focus is the fact that the parts are pretty cheap, which is lucky seeing as we’ve needed to have SO much work done to it in a year. Any car we consider in the future will be checked to see if the parts are ridiculously expensive before we buy!

Driving

What To Do in 3 Steps if Your Car Gets a Ding

Car Dings – Three Vital Steps!

We have all been there at some point. We step out from home, work or the supermarket and find that some kind soul has left a scratch, dent or ‘ding’ on our car. A dented door, a cracked bumper or a horrible knock in the boot might seem like the end of the world. It’s certainly true that it’s a major inconvenience, but thankfully, with a few common sense steps, there are some things we can do to mitigate any further headache. All Nations Insurance have a helpful article on what steps to follow, but the below steps are a good starting point.

Step 1 – Take Photos and Find Witnesses!

Most of the time, whether the person who caused the damage was aware or not, they will not leave details. Gone are the days of popping a note under the windscreen with an apology and a phone number. If the person has left their details or is still at the scene, then that’s a great start, as insurance details and agreements on the next steps can be arranged, amicably, on the spot. It’s important, however, to take photos of the accident ‘as is’ so that the circumstances can be confirmed later. Additionally, despite the other side’s possible admission of liability, if there are any witnesses, the best course of action is to canvass them and obtain statements wherever possible. That way, if negotiations go south later on, you have a back up plan. Wrapping your car instead of getting it resprayed when its damaged it a really effective cost effective way of fixing paint work. There are lots of different car styling options available to achieve this.

In all cases, if the accident has taken place in public, it’s worth contacting the business whose premises may have CCTV, or the local public body who may have caught the incident on camera. There are no real considerations to worry about; most of the time, CCTV operators will simply check if they have caught the incident on camera, and if they have, will allow you to retain the relevant footage. Becker Law have helpful information on what type of photos to take, how many, and what any photographs should ideally include.

Contact Your Insurance Provider!

In all cases, if it looks like things are going to have to be repaired professionally, get in touch with your insurance provider, and in all circumstances don’t refuse to hand your insurance details over if asked. Furthermore, always get the other person’s insurance provider details. There is no bigger shock than receiving a call from your provider stating you hadn’t reported the incident; regardless of blame, it can put your claim on the proverbial ‘back foot’ and makes claims more complicated.

Make Repairs Through An Approved Facility

Always ensure repairs are carried out through an accredited and approved insurance repair centre. Outside companies may be cheaper or claim to be affiliated, but claiming the money back later can be difficult to impossible. Furthermore, the repairs are not always to standard, and will nearly always not be covered under any kind of warranty. Whilst it may be a cheaper option, it will cost more in the long run. Superior Auto Institute provide training to their repair operatives to enure PDR training has been completed to the relevant professional standard, and this should be the base line for considering any place of business to repair a ‘ding’.