Robotic gifts for Christmas

 'Tis the season... almost! With lockdown continuing to play havoc on our usual Christmas preparations, I bet you're on first name terms with your Amazon delivery guy aren't you? I know I pretty much am! 

Yes, online shopping seems the only way to go in 2020 and when Sgile Toys got in touch to let me know they ship internationally, I was drawn in by their store on Amazon. I've been trying to think outside of the box for Christmas gifts this year, given that it's been an odd one it seemed only natural! Not only have I never purchased from an international Amazon store (usually a Prime girl), but I've also not thought about RC, or remote control, items much until now. Now that we spend our free time in parks and gardens instead of cinemas or trampoline complexes, its time to look for something that can really bring out the child in us all, whilst mastering our motor skills and concentration.

Here's a few items that Sgile Toys offer...


SGILE RC Stunt Car 


With rubber tyres, these 360° flip tumbling vehicles are perfect for lockdown play both indoor and outdoors. Any gender, any age, these bright action packed remote control toys will be sure to bring a smile to the driver's face. It comes with battery included (no mad dash on Christmas eve!) and is rechargeable too. With a top speed of 15 km/hr, the twists and turns you can create will be nothing short of impressive. 


Suitable from ages 6 years and up, you get around 20 minutes of playing time on these stunt cars. 


RC Racing car



If stunts and tumbles aren't your thing, try a remote control racing car instead. A whopping 18km/hr top speed and chunky tyres means great fun in all terrains. The beach, the park, your gravelled drive or even on your carpets at home: lockdown doesn't stop this bad boy! There's no battery included in the remote but there is a rechargeable battery included in the car itself which is a massive bonus.


Suitable for ages 6 years and up, this has a whopping 50 minute play time per charge.


RC Dinosaur


Perhaps your little one is into all things prehistoric? This remote controlled dino sings, dances, and comes complete with 5 bullets on his back to add a bit of action when you take him in a stroll around the house. He whips his tail too! With wheels under his feet this is an indoor toy, probably best on wooden or vinyl flooring. Once again, this robot is rechargeable!


Not suitable for under 3 years old due to the small parts, this toy has 60 mins of play time on a full charge.


Robot dog 



Dogs are for life, not just for Christmas. If you don't have the space or the time for a real puppy then a robot dog could be the very next best thing! He sings, he dances, he loves to play. No sharp edges and flexible legs mean even the most rough and tumbliest of kids can have fun with Robot Dog. 


Suitable for ages 6 and up, this comes complete with lithium battery and a USB charger to supplement energy!


RC Robot


I don't know why but I feel like this should be called Buddy. Anyway, with a gesture sensor and up to 50 programmable motion commands and a cool gesture sensor chest, it will really feel like playing with a friend. It's patrol ability means this little dude can walk around freely, observing its surroundings whilst detecting and avoiding obstacles thanks to the built in sensor. Sing and dance along with Buddy, using his bright led lights as a disco. 


Suitable for ages 8 and up, you get 60 min uses of solid play time off one charge. Added bonus is it only takes 2 hours to fully charge each time via USB too. 


All of the above from SGILE have over 4.5 out of 5 stars reviews on Amazon, each with hundreds of reviews. Why not take a look?


This is a collaborative post to showcase SGILE Toys range this Christmas.





Ace Ultra for Whites - The Review #AceIt

I've been testing the new Ace Ultra for Whites AND I have to be honest, I didn't actually have much faith that it could clean a mucky, smelly 12yr old boy's school shirt (soz Carson!) nor a messy-play covered 6yr old's SEN school polo shirt.  Yeah, sure, brightening up my work blouses or the husbands plain t-shirts but school clothes were a whole new dilemma. 



How to use.


I poured this into the fabric softener drawer instead of softener, as per the instructions. If you are wanting to use softener as well, make sure this goes into the pre-wash area rather than in the detergent compartment. For major stains, you can pre-treat if required which is handy to know.


The Before.


The less said about this mess the better ha!

Finley's polo shirt has felt tip marks, paint, bits of food, you name it. Carson's, I mean really... what on earth is with those cuffs? And it honks! 


The 12 year old boy's shirt 

The 6 year old boy's polo


The Claims.


It promises to be gentle on delicate clothes and is formulated to help brighten dull whites, whilst treating stains. It does contain bleach so literally only use this on whites. You can't say I've not warned you! Containing bleach though also means that your clothes don't only just smell clean, but they actually are clean as bacteria and viruses are specifically targeted.


Initial Reaction


Speaking of smelling clean, I didn't like how it made my house smell when the clothes were drying on the radiators. I couldn't smell the floral scent it claimed to have, rather just bleach. Granted, most people have airers or tumble driers but we don't, and needs must when it comes to getting 4-5 washes worth of clothes and bedding dry quickly in any one given day! So, you might not get that bleach smell when drying your own clothes after being washed in Ace Ultra for Whites. I couldn't not comment on it though considering this is a completely honest review. 


HOWEVER, when my whites had completely dried all I could smell was that fresh crisp clean cotton smell which was such a relief and a real pleasant surprise. To be absolutely honest, considering Finley's ASD and sensory processing disorder along with Carson's new-found obsession with aftershave, we preferred Ace's clean fresh smelling results. It is actually better than clothes being perfumed with softeners for these 2 lads. Winner!  


The Results.


Finley's polo is like new.  I mean literally. It's the brightest its been since taking the labels off in September and where those felt tip and paint marks have gone. Blown away by that result. Remarkable. 

Before and after on a polo top

Carson's no longer smells of BO, old deodorant or aftershave... and check out those cuffs. I would say 95% of that gross grime has been completely eradicated. Seriously like, just look.  And this is after just one, quick, 28 minute wash on a 30C wash. 

Before and after on a shirt


Where to buy.


Morrisons 


Summary.


I give this a 4.5 / 5. The only thing I can find to mark this down on is my inability to fit a dryer in my kitchen, meaning radiator drying have a bleach smell in the house. I'm not even sure if that's fair to mark down on! 

Got kids?  Get this. 

Make-up on your work shirt? Get this. 

Deodorant stains? Get this. 

Dull or greying sheets or delicates? Seriously, get this. 

Big hit for us! 


This post is an entry for the #Aceit Challenge, sponsored by Ace. Get ideas in how to wash whites, treat stains and laundry like a boss with tips from the ACE site


Why You Don't Have To Move When You Want Kids

 

This Image Is From Pexels - CC0 Licence


Soooo you love your home, but you want kids... Unfortunately, it just doesn't feel big enough to raise children in your current flat or house, so you start searching for new places. A big percentage of parents-to-be do this as soon as they find out they're pregnant, which means you're not alone. Although the initial buzz of moving is exciting, it doesn't mean you're doing the right thing. In many ways, you could be rushing into something you assume is the correct move when, in fact, staying put would be beneficial.


How do you tell what the best option is? Check out these reasons not to move when you want children.


House Prices


If you thought the pandemic might have slowed the housing market, you were mistaken. According to forecasts, the market has grown since the end of the summer, even if only by a small amount. Throw into the mix the average cost of having a baby - £74,333 in the UK for a child up to eighteen - and the fact your job could be less secure, and it might not be the smartest time to up sticks and leave to a new property at the moment.


Space Savers


What's the main reason you feel as if you must move? It's the lack of space. Attempting to raise a kid in a property that's barely big enough for two is a daunting task. However, when your resources are limited, moving isn't always an option. Plus, it's amazing how much space you can save if you're creative. There are tonnes of ways to make your home less cluttered, from kids bunk beds to multipurpose furniture. Let's face it - new furniture is cheaper than a new mortgage!


The Stress


Moving is a stressful experience for all the family. Whether it's you or your child, you're bound to suffer from high cortisol levels. For pregnant women, this is incredibly dangerous as you need to be as relaxed and calm as possible to ensure your unborn baby's health. Therefore, moving before giving birth could be an unnecessary gamble. This is particularly true if you can manage to get by until you have the funds to move and the right mindset. There are ways to limit the exposure if you already have children, yet you won't eliminate all the drama.


The Nesting Instinct


The "nesting instinct" is a scientific theory that pregnant women require control over their environment. Without it, it might be harder to get through pregnancy and labour trauma because you don't feel as if you are in charge. Research suggests the behaviour is tough to stop as it's genetic, making it almost impossible to curb. Therefore, it's smarter to be in an environment you understand and trust, such as your current home, since it'll make you feel safer and more secure.


Moving is a necessary evil for many parents. However, there are several reasons to stay put, including not having the money and avoiding needless stress.


This is a collaborative post.

Reorganising Your Household Budget During Difficult Times

A lot of people are struggling at the moment financially, partly because of a period of downturn caused by the fallout from the pandemic. It looks as though things are not going to turn around again for many years to come, so that means that we have a lot of potential uncertainty ahead of us as individuals and as a society. With that in mind, there might be many times when you need to reorganise or reappraise your household budget, to ensure that it is as strong and secure as it should be. When you need to do that, there are a few things you will want to bear in mind.


Image Credit - CCO Licence


When To Change Your Budget


One of the most important things that you need to know is when you should actually change your household budget in the first place, and when you should simply leave it alone. While there is no one rule that applies to everyone at all times, you should be aware of some basic signs that you can look out for. These signs are likely to indicate that you should change your budget as soon as possible, to help avoid getting into any serious trouble financially.


One of the most common signs is that you are starting to eat through your savings. If you are doing this, it can be tempting to think that it will probably be okay for a while yet. But if you act now, before things get worse, you could actually be in a much better position overall, and perhaps even stop things from developing into a much more dire situation. So the moment you notice yourself dipping into savings for things which you would normally have paid for outright, you should ask yourself whether it’s time to look at your budget again.


Alternatively, you might have noticed that you simply have less expendable cash at the end of the month. If this seems to be getting less and less each month, it could indicate that there is a leakage somewhere, and that is something you will want to patch up as soon as possible. Or you might simply be expecting a big change, or had one happen to you recently, in which case you should consider whether you are going to want to make a change now. As long as you keep your wits about you, you are more likely to change your budget at the right time.


Image Credit - CCO Licence


The Number One Concern


As you do start to reorganise your budget, there is one thing in particular that you are going to want to focus on, and that is reducing your spending. Keeping your spending low is the main point of a budget, so as long as you are doing that you should find that you are doing the right thing. Everything that you will change is likely going to be associated in some way, directly or indirectly, to that act of keeping your spending as low as possible.


With that in mind, one of the first steps you should take will be looking into where you are overspending, and what you can do about reducing it as best as you can. How can you tell if something is an overspend? Mostly, this is a matter of instinct, but it is a glaring sign if it happens to be something that is particularly inessential, for instance, or something which has no bearing on your life. Cutting those out first is always a good step to take.


Beyond that, you just need to make sure that the budget makes sense, and that it is operating in the way you need it to.



Getting The Essentials Down


After you have looked into that, you can start thinking about what the essentials are that you simply can’t strip out of your budget. This would generally include items such as housing costs - rent or mortgage, and utilities - and food, as well as educational costs for your children and transport for you to get to work and so on. It is always worth thinking outside of the box when you are looking at your list of essentials - with the right frame of mind, you might be able to determine whether something you considered essential might actually be avoidable, or changeable in some way. Often that can make a profound difference to how much money you can save.


Image Credit - CCO Licence


Bringing In More Money


Of course, the single best way to make a household budget easier is to introduce more money into the equation in the first place. But if everyone could simply increase their income at will, that would make all of this irrelevant. You can’t wave a magic wand, but you should consider whether there might be things you can do to improve your income status. That might include getting homeowner loans, if applicable, or it could simply be a case of working longer hours. In some cases, you might be able to ask for a raise. Whatever options are open to you personally, be sure to exhaust them when you need to look at your budget, as it could make all the difference.



Sticking To The New Budget


Once you have worked out your new family household budget, you then need to make sure that you are actually going to stick to it. If you fail to do that, it’s as good as not having a budget, so that is something that you are going to want to think about. Sticking to your new budget might be easier if you remind yourself about the consequences of not doing so, which in many cases could be quite extreme. Do that, and you should find it much easier to stick to it, and to keep your family from being in financial trouble at any time in the near future.


These tips should enable you to reorganise your household budget in no time, so make sure that you are considering them each in turn. You should have a new budget in no time.


Good luck!


This is a collaborative post 

Looking after your family's eye health

If you are keen to ensure that you are taking care of your family in all the ways that are important, then eye care is going to be one of the major things to look into. It can be all too easy to overlook your family’s eyes, but these are always an important part of their overall health, and something that actually takes a great deal of care and patience too. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most important ways to look after your family’s eye health, starting today. Oh, and it doesn't involve a trip to Barnard Castle!


Understanding Your Family History

If you have ever had to get your eyes tested thoroughly for some specific ailment, you will know that it is incredibly important to know a little something about your family history. You might be asked whether there are any particular or severe eye problems in your family’s past, such as glaucoma. If there are, this can impact what issues you and your family are likely to have today, and that is going to be something you need to be aware of on the whole. So it’s often important to first take a dive into your family history and see whether you can discover anything important there.

There are a range of conditions which you are more likely to suffer from if someone in your family’s past suffered from it. Glaucoma, as we have seen, is one. The same applies to myopia, hyperopia, macular degeneration and astigmatism. It is therefore important to look in detail at your family’s past, and to provide this information to your optometrist where possible, so that they have all the information they need when they are testing your eyes and the eyes of your family. If you can do that, you might find that these issues are found quicker.


Types Of Eye Problem

It can be helpful to know about some of the major types of eye problems which can occur, so that you know what to look out for and prepare for. There are a few major and common issues that can arise with anyone’s eyes, including numerous different ways in which you might find yourself struggling to see perfectly. Let’s take a look at some of the common types of eye problems, so that you can hopefully get to grips with it as soon as possible.


One of the more serious eye conditions is glaucoma, which is actually the leading cause of blindness all over the world. This condition is essentially a build-up of pressure behind the eye, which in turn damages the optic nerves that you need to be intact in order to see properly. This condition can only be diagnosed by an eye doctor, and there are a number of things you can do at home to help prevent it in yourself and in the eyes of your children.

First up, you could consider eating as healthy a diet as possible. Not only does eating right help with most other health issues, it also helps in keeping you from developing glaucoma, so it really does work and is worth thinking about. In particular, if you have a diet that is rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as zinc, you will find that you are much less likely to end up with this terrible disease. That means eating more oranges, strawberries, broccoli, eggs, and spinach. If you are finding it difficult to get all of that into your diet, you could always consider a vitamin supplement too, to make it a little easier.

But it’s not just glaucoma that we all need to be worried about when we are trying to take care of our family’s eyes. There are also other common issues, such as myopia. This is what is otherwise known as nearsightedness, and it essentially means that the individual in question can see perfectly up close, but not so well for far-off things. Myopia has strong links to familial history, so if someone in your family has had it before, it is more likely one of your current family will get it too.


The main way to ensure that you avoid getting myopia, or at least reduce your chances, is to rest your eyes regularly. This might be especially important if you do any work that requires that your eyes look at anything for long periods of time, such as a screen, a book, or really anything else at all. Again, you can also improve myopia through an improved diet - which is also true of the next problem that can strike anyone: hyperopia, or farsightedness. That is, obviously enough, the exact opposite of myopia, and again it has a strong genetic component to it, meaning you are much more likely to have it if someone in your family does or did have it in the past.


Good Practice

Enough on what can go wrong with your eyes - what can you actually do, individually and as a family unit, to keep your eyes in good health? We have seen one major step that you can take already, which is to eat a healthy diet, and that is something that might be worth considering. On top of that, there are also a range of good practices which you might like to follow, and which are likely to help you and your family retain good sight, and make the most of the eyesight quality that you have been blessed with.

Arguably the most important of all of these practices is to simply go to the optometrist regularly. Ideally, we would all go to have our eyes checked at least once every two years, and if your optometrist finds anything wrong there they might argue that it is time to increase this regularity to once every year or even once every six months. Of course, your optometrist will also be able to tell you whether you are likely to benefit from having glasses, and if you are then you can either shop with them for those or go here to look at some of the options you have online.


As well as regular visits to the optometrist and a good diet, you could think about trying out some other commonly recommended health changes. For instance, if you are a smoker, you might like to know that giving up smoking has been proven to improve your eye health, for the simple fact that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Likewise, keeping the alcohol consumption within the recommended limits can help to avoid the same.

Another important concern is the sun, which can cause damage to your eyes as a result of the UVA and UVB rays. It is therefore a wise move to cover up in the sun, so as to ensure that your eyes do not get damaged in this way, and that they are going to last for much longer on the whole.

Finally, we can all take a little more care when it comes to health and safety, as it is of course going to be a problem if you cause physical damage to your eye in some way or another, whether you are at work or at home, or somewhere else.

If you take all this on board, it’s likely that you and your family are going to have better eye health in no time, and be much less likely to experience any kind of eyesight problems later on in life too.


This is a collaborative post.