1790 posts Posts by Jayne

London on a Budget – Our Day Trip

Living in the South East means that we’re able to pop into London with relative ease, thanks to trains which go directly into the city from our local train station. Husband and I had a rare day together in the Christmas break and we decided to go to London for a bit of quality time together. Being the festive season, we didn’t have a huge amount of spare cash, so we set aside a budget of £75 to see if we could have a great day without spending too much. We’d looked up hotels near the Shard to see if we could find a super cheap place to stay, but it wasn’t in the budget this time.

Borough Market London

The first expense was our tickets; from where we live, two off-peak railcards which let us travel in and around London cost £46, which obviously took up a lot of our budget, but this just meant that we had to be more creative about what we did while we were there. Our first stop as Borough Market. We didn’t realise, but we actually spent a good hour walking around before we decided to find somewhere to eat, just taking in the sights, sounds and delicious smells of the place.

We’d heard about The Breakfast Club from someone we know who works in London and it’s just a short walk from Borough Market by London Bridge, so we headed there for their famous “Cabbies Breakfast”, a bargain at £7.50 each. It’s a really quirky, cosy little spot to eat and we really liked the place. It didn’t feel too London, if that makes any sense at all?! The food was delicious and finding a meal of this size for less than a tenner each is pretty much unheard of in London.

The Breakfast Club LondonBy the time we’d finished eating, travel and food had set us back £61 all together, so we needed to find something free or cheap to do in the area. The most obvious choice? A museum! However, we chose a museum with a difference – The Old Operating Theatre Museum.

Entrance to The Old Operating Theatre Museum was just £6.50 each, which was within our remaining budget and we both have an interest in history and medicine, so it was the perfect place to go. The museum is actually located inside one of the turrets of St. Thomas’ Church and contains an amazing array of old medical bits and pieces. After the climb on a very narrow and steep spiral staircase, the spacious area at the top holds the wonders of medicine as practised years ago. We had a lovely time, learning about the history of the place and seeing the apparatus, some of which looked like torture devices!

The Old Operating Theatre Museum LondonWith just £7.50 left in our budget, we decided to go for a little wander around, doing some window shopping and grabbing a coffee while we walked. After a while, we headed back to the station to begin our journey home, really pleased that we’d managed to have a really full, fun day out in London, on what we thought would be a tight budget. But actually, if you’re thoughtful about where you go and how you spend your money, it’s possible to have a great day out in central London without spending a fortune.

If you know of any hidden gems which are either free or very cheap to visit in London, do leave me a comment below as I’d love to repeat the experience. We may even take the girls with us next time, if we’re feeling VERY brave!

Leaky Gut Syndrome -All That You Need to Know in 2020

There was a lot of talk about the leaky gut syndrome in 2019 and rightfully so. Most health practitioners and health watchers were on the toes looking for new information about a leaky gut, its signs and symptoms, and the means of fixing the same. This proposed health condition has been the cause of grave concern as it leads to multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome and scores of other long-term issues. 

Given this, it is important to get first-hand knowledge about a leaky gut and how you can deal with it in 2020. 

Leaky Gut Syndrome – An Overview

Recent studies and medical research reports have proved that certain medications and conditions lead to the incidence and growth of a leaking gut. As per scientists, the primary cause can be linked to increased intestinal permeability. However, research is still underway and plentiful lab-based studies are in process for supporting these theories. Research is also on to find out more about the association of a leaky gut to porous bowel and whether it is directly connected to related and significant problems.

On the other side of the spectrum lies the different types of treatment and means of fixing a leaky gut. There is a lot left to research in terms of the same. 

There are several types of treatment for a leaky gut that are coming to the fore. Many health experts claim that they have the right methods in place for reducing the signs and symptoms of bowel leakiness. There is a want for more evidence to prove some of their theories right. 

Fortunately, with more universities and medical research teams jumping into the fray, more concrete evidence about the nature and treatment of leaky gut syndrome can be expected shortly. Nutritional supplements and herbal remedies are already making their presence felt in this domain. They are bringing forth good results for people suffering from most conditions related to leaky gut. The beneficial effects of these remedies for leaky gut syndrome cannot be negated and are helping health practitioners in many more ways than one. 

What are the Probable Causes of Leaky Bowel?

The inner layer of the bowel has a single-celled lining that creates the mucosal barrier. This boundary separates the rest of the body from the inner regions of the gut. The thin layer is instrumental in the absorption of vital nutrients present in the bloodstream. It is responsible for preventing germs and larger-sized molecules from passing from the inside region of the bowel into the bloodstream. This paves the ground for several kinds of symptoms when your gut is leaking; these symptoms are detrimental to the health of the small intestine and the overall digestive system. 

In certain conditions, when this lining becomes weak then it loses its effectiveness. It starts leaking. This may not give rise to the whole problem but does cause a few signs of a leaky gut syndrome that leads to other complications. The problems caused by the leakages in the lining are generally not-so-serious and can be corrected if treated in a good time. 

Effects of Certain Painkillers and Alcohol

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) of the likes of ibuprofen, aspirin, and alcohol are known to cause irritations to the lining of the small intestine or bowel. The impact the sealing agents present in the intercellular areas adversely. This allows for gaps in the lining and the passing of undesirable substances from the gut into the bloodstream. Health specialists and gastroenterologists believe that these irritants are not very harmful. 

They end up causing inflammations of the mild category and that too in only small, disjointed areas of the gut. These cannot be considered as the obvious and damaging symptoms of a leaky gut syndrome and tend to improve over sometime in case the consumption of alcohol or medications is reduced. In the worst-case scenario, the inflamed conditions brought about by the leaky gut may be enough to cause an occasional ulcer or two in the lining of the bowel. 

Other Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome

The seals present in the lining of the bowel can be further damaged by the incidence of certain treatments and conditions. For instance, inflammatory bowel diseases of the kinds of Crohn’s disease can bring about some tell-tale symptoms of a leaky gut. Infections related to the intestines like salmonella, giardiasis, and norovirus are also responsible for this gut condition to a certain extent. Chemotherapy medicines, coeliac disease, chronic kidney diseases, immunosuppressants, radiotherapy targeted to the abdomen, HIV/AIDS, type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, complicated surgical interventions, sepsis, etc. are also connected in different ways to the incidence of leaky gut syndrome. 

What Happens in Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Those who practice alternative/ complementary medicine believe that the irritations and leaks in the bowel lining can result from several other factors as well. This includes bacterial/ yeast overgrowth along with an overuse of antibiotics and poor dietary conditions. It’s believed that bacterial toxins, undigested food particles, and germs find their way through the gaps in the gut wall to reach the bloodstream. This triggers off different types of problems in the immune system thereby leading to persistent inflammation across the body. 

The resulting conditions arising from this situation include migraine, food allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, tiredness, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Dermal problems like scleroderma and eczema, as well as autism, are some of the other concerning the effects of the leaky gut syndrome. 

Way Forward

The proponents of leaky gut syndrome firmly believe that quite a few conditions and symptoms of a leaky gut result from the human immune system in response to toxins, germs, toxins as well as other harmful substances. The absorption of these substances into the bloodstream through leaky or porous bowel is the main cause behind this problem. Prior knowledge helps in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. How about getting a test for leaky gut done to find out the extent of the problem? You may want to do so right away!

 

Say No To Aging With Botox For A Youthful Look

Have you spent weeks, months or years together on various anti-ageing therapies or products? Have you found the right solution? If not, then book an appointment today for Botox treatment with a professional like Therapie Clinic for a youthful look.

Experts are dedicated to offering the latest advancements in the skin and cosmetic procedures. Botox is one of the most effective treatments of the clinic. Thousands of patients’ have proven to be successful and satisfied clients of the clinic. Botox is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment that reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Humans have been created so beautifully that they can express their feelings or emotions well with the help of the muscles on their face. When we are sad we can automatically frown and when we are happy, we smile. The curves, unwanted lines or imprints formed due to the indelible emotions we make with our face can be treated by this treatment. Botox Cosmetic is an FDA-approved that reduces the appearance from moderate to severe frown lines, crow’s feet, laugh lines and forehead wrinkles. Botox is produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which is injected using needles into the patient’s muscles in order to relax those causing lines and wrinkles. 

Once injected, the medicine takes almost 5 days to cause the muscles to relax and in a week or two, the creases start to fade away. Botox treatment is quick and effective allowing the first treatment result to last up to 4 to 5 months. Repeated treatments will result in almost 6 months. Botox is applicable for both men and women aged between 18 years and 65 years. You no longer need to worry about looking old; you just need to take the treatment and stay young for years together. Beyond aesthetic conditions, Botox is used to treat other medical conditions such as eye squints, migraines, excess sweating, chronic migraines, and leaky bladders. The clinic is committed to providing the finest personal service and high-quality facilities for the patients to facilitate them with a multitude of approaches to find the best results. Genuine treatment, safety, and hygiene are the ultimate missions of the clinic and so they focus on helping those people who are still figuring out and realising the needs of their aesthetic looks or goals. The clinic has skilled and certified doctors who can administer the whole process at ease and with care.

Select your clinic and doctors wisely as Botox injection should be placed precisely to eliminate side effects. The treatment can turn dangerous if it is done incorrectly. The first and foremost step is to share the necessary information about your complete medical history to the doctor so that he informs you about the treatment, its effects, and outcomes. Botox treatment is such a simple one as you can return to your daily routine the very next day after the treatment.

With Botox, there is no ageing but only youthfulness. Smile and frown as much as you want but without your skin forming any creases.

How to Make Some Extra Cash After Christmas

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

With Christmas a not so distant memory and most of us still feeling the ache in our wallets after spending an absolute fortune, many of us are starting to think about ways that we can make a bit of extra cash in January for the year ahead. If you’ve already got a full-time job, finding the time to earn extra money can be tricky, but there are lots of things that you can do which can give you a cash injection without you needing to spend hours and hours every day working on them. Here are five ways for you to make some extra cash in the months ahead. 

Betting

While gambling isn’t exactly a surefire thing, there are beys that you can make which give you a decent return without much outlay. As long as you give yourself a limit and make sure you stick to it, betting doesn’t have to be something that gets out of control and you might end up with a tidy little sum that you can put away for a rainy day. There are betting calculators which allow you to work out how much you can make for your stake.

Selling Things

January is a really common time for people to have a declutter, usually because of the influx of stuff from Christmas. While you’re decluttering, put to one side all of the things that you think would be sellable and list them on Facebook, eBay, Gumtree and other selling sites. A lot of these things, once they are listed, just simmering in the background, coming up with a sale every now and again, and it takes only the amount of effort to take a few pictures and post them online.

Check your Bills

Take a look at all of your outgoings on a monthly basis – things like mobile phone contracts, TV bills, and other services that you might subscribe to, and really think about whether or not you use them. If your Sky or Virgin Media contract is up, you may be able to call them to negotiate a better deal, same with your mobile phone contract. There are probably better off options out there which could be saving you a packet every month.

Quit the Gym

Just recently I realised that I’ve been to the gym a maximum of three times in the last 12-months. My gym membership is only £9.99 a month, so it doesn’t exactly break the bank, but when you consider the fact that I’ve paid £120 to go to the gym 3 times, it can start to seem a little bit too much. Consider whether you’re actually getting your money’s worth out of your gym membership or if all of the things that you do once you get there could be done from home and you might end up saving yourself a small fortune by quitting the gym.

Meal Planning

One of the things that we absolutely terrible for in our house is buying food and leaving it to go out of date, before throwing it away. This year I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions but I have decided that meal planning is going to be something which features a lot more heavily in our lives. I’ll be choosing meals for the whole family and buying only the ingredients that we need to make them. If somebody doesn’t want to eat what we’re having on that day, unfortunately that will be their tough luck because that’s what we’ll be having and that’s what I’ll be putting on a plate in front of them! I reckon this will probably save us a small fortune in wasted food not to mention will go towards stopping us being so wasteful.

Bridesmaid Etiquette: How To Pick Dresses They Will Love

Bridesmaid dressesPexels – CC0 Licence

It’s your big day, but you want everyone to enjoy your wedding. While you can’t please everybody, there are some people you can: your bridesmaids. Not to say you haven’t thought about them, yet they aren’t always consulted about their attire! Sometimes, a bridezilla chooses what she thinks is appropriate and makes the final decision. Sure, it is up to you; however, do you want uneasiness in the ranks? With a few simple rules, you can get all of your bridal party on board and find the perfect middle ground.

Here are the etiquette rules that will help you strike the right balance.

Ask For Their Opinion

Although this tip isn’t ground-breaking, it’s incredible how many brides don’t ask their bridesmaids for their opinion. Okay, it’s not as if you can consult all of them, especially if you have everyone from a chief bridesmaid to three or four foot soldiers. Still, a basic question will reveal all and help you to find more suitable dresses. If the shade is a problem, you can search bridesmaid dresses using color filter, or you might need to focus on the fit. Whatever it is, let them express their opinion without fear of a court marshall!

Take Them Along To A Fitting

Of course, gauging their opinion implies that they’ll offer it up in the first place. Lots of bridesmaids, trying to be a friend, will go along with anything you say not to rock the boat. From your point of view, this is counterproductive and doesn’t help in the slightest! Thankfully, taking them along to view dresses or try them on is a fantastic way to see how they feel. Their body language will speak volumes, allowing you to ask them what they think without coming across as aggressive or moody. Choose a date that suits everybody and make a girly day of it to add to the experience.

Let Them Shine

It’s your big day. You have put it together, you have spent the money, and you want the attention. There’s nothing wrong with thinking this way; it’s natural. But, that doesn’t mean your squad can’t shine too. Attempting to make them appear a little drab and understated might not go down well. Instead, let them shine by picking dresses that show off their assets in a subtle and classy way. You can even mix dresses if you don’t want them to be the same size, colour, or style. Sequins are great at catching the eye without being too flashy.

Use Pinterest

Providing multiple options and then analysing the results isn’t a job that brides enjoy. It only adds hassle to the process because you’re bound to annoy someone. The trick is to give them a chance to have their say and show them that they are involved. Then, they won’t be as disappointed if they get outvoted. To do this, you can use technology to your advantage. A WhatsApp group is always handy, but Pinterest is the winner when it comes to bridesmaid dresses.

Start a board and whittle the options down to a handful based on the majority of votes.

Settling Down? Plan As Much As You Can

Pexels – CC0 License

There comes a time in anyone’s life where the idea of being free to do whatever you want is less appealing than settling down, and starting to build something that will last. In order to enjoy anything worthwhile in life you need to discipline yourself in a certain direction, and that means a sacrifice. For example, heading to college to get a good education means spending time studying that you could have spent frolicking around your home town, bowling, playing music with your friends, staying up late and never worrying about tomorrow. But in order to improve our station in life, we know that this time is worth it, and so we do this without complaint.

The same feeling is felt when settling down. Raising a family, purchasing a family home, enjoying the years of mutual love and growth and doing so with your closest loved ones around you can be preferable to just traveling the open road year after year – but of course, it’s all up to you. When or if you do decide to settle down, however, it’s worth doing so with surety. This means planning everything you can to prevent the nasty surprise of being mistaken. As far as that is concerned, we would warmly recommend the following advice:

Planning Your Mortgage

A mortgage is the main structural backing that should allow you to gain a property you truly care about, providing the backbone of your settled life. However, it’s not only an aid, but an obligation. It’s essential that you make all the correct and most reasoned checks towards your own personal affordability that you can when undertaking this process and agreeing to it. This is because defaulting on your mortgage could not only lead you to full bankruptcy, but worse, it could leave you without a place to stay. This is why it’s very important to consider the long term ramifications of a deal like this, on top of the seasoned wisdom that asks if you can approximate this best financial solution in the first instance or not.

It can sometimes be that with the right terms, the right upfront payment, and perhaps lengthened repayment options that you can gain a property outside of your usual wheelhouse, or perhaps a more affordable solution from the beginning. The more you assess your options, the less settling down can feel like an incredible ask and more a reasoned plan for the future.

Finding Promising Value

When you decide to settle down in a property, you are tying yourself to that area for a good number of years, unless you decide to go through the complex and lengthy process of reselling or transitioning your mortgage. This is why it’s important to get it right the first time.

How have house valuations been historically, within the area you are now searching? Might this change in the future? Could gentrification lead to a larger construction effort in the local environment, and how might that affect your house price? What are the transport links like, and will they improve? What are the movement habits of local residents? For example, it’s not uncommon for certain areas to gain a vibrant youthful presence due to the expansion of a local university, but this renter’s haven could thereby lead to different impacts on your housing valuation, and that could be a good or bad thing.

In simple terms, it’s always best to find the most promising value in your local environment and measure the potential means in which it can be affected. This can help you assess your financial standing or to plan your asset management as the weeks, months and years move on.

Planning Your Income Periods

Forecasting your income projections can also be a great place to start. Sure you may be going strong with a partner right now, but what about when your expected twins are finally here? Will you be able to sustain the family and the property on one income rather than two, at least for a good amount of time? Could it be that you enjoy less job security than you think you will? Is it wise moving out of that freelance position and choosing a salaried job that will come with more benefits and less work drought than usual?

Income is usually the factor from which many base their life decisions, and this is essentially important when planning your ability to settle down. Even something as seemingly stable as an owned business could lead to further financial intensity, especially if the financing is tied to your household. This planning, taking as a cohesive whole, can help you not only make the decision to settle down first and foremost, but can curate the decisions you make going forward.

Factoring In Unforeseen Costs

Unforeseen costs can come from any direction. If you decide to purchase another car in addition to your usual runabout, then that is twice the likelihood that one day an emergency breakdown will burn a hole in your wallet. It could also be that if you live in a flood-prone area, that one day the need for intense driveway renovations will take hold and be a problem that leaves you frustrated all Spring. We cannot plan for every single measure, and sometimes we are luckier than others. That being said, it can’t hurt to plan those unforeseen costs to some extent when making your household or lifestyle investments – even if that simply results in you purchasing better insurance on all fronts.

The Priceless Factor

There are many measures of settling down that are priceless and may help you motivate your interest in doing so. Perhaps you’re happy to commute an extra twenty minutes to work due to the gorgeous seafront view you have acquired, and the option to settle down in such a wonderful property only came once. It’s important that you do keep in mind your own tastes and to fight for them, because remember, you’re not settling down for anyone else, and ultimately you will be the one paying for it.

With this advice, we hope you can settle down in the best possible sense – by planning as much as you can.

Rubbish Removal vs. Skip Bin Hire: Which Service Should You Choose

Dealing with garbage can be a real chore, especially if you have to do everything all by yourself. Fortunately, you can always take advantage of services that can take all of that trash off of your hands. 

Generally speaking, you can choose to hire skip bins or rubbish removal services. But what is the difference between the two, and which should you choose for your specific needs? Read on to learn more about both types of services, and the pros and cons of each.

The Difference Between a Skip Bin Hire and Rubbish Removal

A skip bin hire is a service that rents out said bins to a specific location. All you have to do is call them up and tell them what type of bin you want and when you’ll need it. The company will then leave the bin on your property for you to fill up. Once the bin is full, the company will return to pick it up. They will then bring it to a recycling centre or a waste disposal facility.

Rubbish removal, on the other hand, is a service where manual labour is also done for you. Typically, one or more workers will arrive on-site with a garbage truck. They’ll take care of collecting, segregating, and loading the trash onto the truck. Afterwards, they’ll haul it away to the correct processing facilities.

Skip Bin Hire: Pros and Cons

You can often rent skip bins for more than one day. This makes them ideal if you don’t generate a lot of trash very quickly. It will also cost less than hiring rubbish removal services over several days.

The biggest disadvantage to a skip bin hire is that you have to do most of the work. That means you have to collect and load the rubbish into the bin yourself. All the contractor will do is bring the skip bin to and from your property, and not much else.

Skip bins also tend to be too large to place on most front yards. This may force you to place the bin out on the street. Since streets are public property, though, you can only do so with a council permit. Failing to get a permit may result in hefty penalties. Hence, it’s best to do your research before renting a skip bin.

Additionally, some opportunistic neighbors may try to take advantage of your bin by throwing their own garbage into it. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it, unless you plan to keep an eye on your bin the whole time.

Rubbish Removal: Pros and Cons

Unlike a skip bin hire, a rubbish removal service does all of the work for you. In fact, all you have to do is book an appointment and wait for them to arrive. They’ll do everything from start to finish. This means they’ll collect the trash, segregate it, load it onto the truck, and haul it away from your property.

Thanks to this, a rubbish removal service can save you a lot of time and effort. This lets you focus on the more important things while you let the pros take care of your trash.

However, all this convenience comes at a price. Because they do all the heavy lifting, they’re usually more expensive than a skip bin hire. While it’s cost-effective for one-time disposal, it may not be as economical if you don’t generate that much waste.

All in all, choosing between a skip bin hire or rubbish removal all depends on your specific needs. Before investing in either service, consider your budget and your schedule. Either way, you can’t go wrong with getting help from waste management professionals.

The Benefits of Car Leasing

The Benefits of Car LeasingWhen it comes to being a motorist, there are a lot of expenses to consider. Aside from the initial purchase price of a car, there’s the tax, insurance, MOT costs, maintenance, fuel…it all adds up. There are, however, cheaper ways of running a car, such a leasing, so we’ve teamed up with Genus Leasing to talk to you about all of the benefits of leasing a car instead of buying outright. Here are a few of them:

You’ll Get More for Your Money

When you lease a car, you usually find you’re driving a better vehicle than you would if you had bought one. This is because, with a car lease you only pay the car’s depreciation for the lease period, not the value of the car (because you don’t own it). As a result, your monthly payments are usually lower compared with other forms of finance, so you can lease a better make, trim or option.

You’ll Always Have a Newer Model

After the initial lease period ends, you will be able to exchange the car for a brand new vehicle. This means that you will be able to reap the advantages of having a new car on a regular basis, allowing you to get the maximum benefits of fuel economy, performance and safety. It also means that you will be able to avoid massive depreciation costs, as you do not own a vehicle that is likely to be rapidly losing value.

You’ll Reduce Your Monthly Outgoings

Apart from fuel and insurance, when you lease a car you know exactly what motoring is going to cost you because your expenses are rolled into one – monthly payments, Road Tax and breakdown cover. And if you include a maintenance package, your ability to budget becomes even stronger because you’ll know what’s going out of your account all in one go.

Cheaper Maintenence

Leasing provides much lower maintenance costs than other forms of buying. This is because the person leasing the car does not retain ownership, so general maintenance costs are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty period. If the car being leased requires servicing or repair, the costs will be covered; this usually includes tyre and exhaust replacement.

No MOTs to Remember

Generally speaking, lease car are less than a year or two old, and cars don’t need to be MOT’d until they’re three years old. This means that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to worry about MOTs with a lease car because you’ll have upgraded to a newer model before it’s even due.

BrightMinds – Educational Gifts for Kids

Being a parent at Christmas can be a tough job. If Burrito Baby had her way, all of her gifts would be things that Husband and I consider cheap, plastic tat which will probably be chewed up by Maureen before New Year because it all gets left on the floor! Also, as you’ll know if you read this post, Sausage is getting  to that ‘hard to buy for’ age, which makes buying presents even tricker. We’ve always tried to find a balance between three things:

  1. Stuff they actually really want.
  2. Stuff which is good quality and will last longer than a few weeks.
  3. A combination of gifts which are fun but are also educational in some way.

Both of the girls are really fascinated by science. Just a few weeks ago, Sausage came home from school absolutely buzzing because she’d used a bunsen burner for the first time and she seems really engaged by things she’s learning in her lessons. BB isn’t quite at bunsen burner level yet, but she’s developing a deep love of all things science, mostly anatomy and nature.

A while ago, BrightMinds got in touch and asked if we’d like to pick some things from the website for the girls for Christmas, and I realised that it’s basically a whole site, dedicated to things my kids would LOVE! BrightMinds specialie in STEM toys (science, technology, engineering and maths), as well as wooden toys, role play & board games that are fun to use but also encourage learning and development.

BrightMinds - Learning Resources Anatomy Models: Set of heart, brain, body and skeleton

We opted for the Learning Resources Anatomy Models which consists of a set of heart, brain, body and skeleton models, giving children gain a deeper insight to the workings of the human body. Children learn as they build each of the models using the step by step photo illustrated assembly instructions. It’s a bit like a puzzle, but taking it to a whole new level!

I just know that both girls are going to love these and that it will hopefully help to continue to foster their love of science. At the moment, BB is adamant that she’s going to be a doctor AND a vet (hello, tuition fees!) and these models might be the thing that inspire her to make a choice. I haven’t opened the boxes yet, as I want to save them for Christmas, but you can see them through the window on the front and the quality and level of detail looks excellent.

I think these make such a great gift for the scientifically-minded kids in your life and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. The best part is, you can still place an order all the way up to 23rd December for next day delivery, which mean you’ve got plenty of time to get some things ordered before Christmas. Don’t forget to take a look around the WHOLE Brightminds site for other STEM toys, arts and crafts kits, books and a whole load of other educational gifts which are so vibrant and fun, kids will forget they’re learning!

Young Driver: Driving Your Way to a Great Christmas!

Young DriverPhoto by Cory Bouthillette on Unsplash

Sausage is at that slightly difficult age when it comes to buying gifts. At 11, and a first year at senior school, she’s not into toys anymore (Funko Pops aside!) but she’s still a kid, so we don’t want Christmas to be about ‘functional’ gifts rather than fun ones. As a Mum, I finally understand why people hae always said how tricky the ‘tween’ years can be, purely because they really are in between phases.

Just recently, we heard about a company called Young Driver, where kids as young as five can have a driving lesson, and it seemed like a perfect stocking filler for Sausage. They have centres all around the country where kids can drive a real car, with a real instructor, and they even cater for a wide range of physical and mental disabilities and have automatic cars with hand controls for wheelchair users at selected sites.

Fostering a love for driving at this age is a great thing to do – I’ve written before about how happy I was when I learned to drive and how much I loved the freedom, and although driving is an expensive business these days, I think it’s important for people to learn how, even if they chooe not to use a car on a daily basis.

The best thing about Young Driver is that you can buy vouchers for one lesson, or as many lessons as you want, which gives you an option to suit every budget. The lessons are exactly the same as the lessons that they’d have when they turn 17, and there’s a YOUNG DRIVER™ Drive Diary charts your progress and goes with you.

The 30 Minute Festive Lesson Voucher  gives your tween a 30 minute Young Driver™ experience and is available as a postal voucher, which makes it great as a last minute gift. Gift vouchers are valid for 9 months from date of purchase, so they have plenty of time to get booked in for their lessons.

Im so excited about giving Sausage her voucher at Christmas – it’s such a unique idea for a gift and I really think she’s going to geta huge thrill out of the whole thing. I also think that a gift like this shows that we have confidence in her and see her as a very mature 11 year old.

If you want to learn more about Young Driver or the lessons they offer (they also do birthday parties at some of their centres!), follow the link above. There’s still time to buy a voucher before Christmas a they offer an option for email delivery which you can print off yourself at home, for extra convenience, meaning you can buy something right up until Chritmas Day itself!