Our hallway is the first thing you notice when you come into our house. As soon as the front door opens, you are in the hall and it was one of the many things I liked about the house when we first looked at it, looking past the decor of course. Light pours through our front door, the sky lights and the door that leads through to the conservatory. But the decor leaves a lot to be desired. With off-white walls and white floor tiles its hardly offensive, just very dull. White floor tiles in the main entrance to the house is the silliest idea I've ever seen as they obviously show up all the dirt and need cleaning every day - I think the previous owners were obsessed with the tiles (or perhaps they got a job lot reduced) as they used the same ones in the hall, downstairs toilet, kitchen and conservatory! So, whilst its a little way down on the list of priorities, I do have a wish list of what I would like to do to it. Because the hall is long and narrow I'd like to keep it as light as possible to avoid it feeling too claustrophobic so I'm thinking of a pale grey on the walls. One of the first things I am desperate to do is to replace the sky lights as they look very dated and, for the sake of privacy as desired, possibly add some VELUX blinds. We currently have wall lights which again are inoffensive but dull. Ideally I'd like to change them to ceiling lights like these glass pendants:
Because the house straddles the Edwardian and Victorian eras, we would really like to add some character to the hall by way of tiles. These tiles are a current favourite and are a modern take on the style and I think the colours would work perfectly with grey walls.
The final item on the wish list is adding some good storage set out all the school things so that the girls can just grab them and go and ideally with room for coats and shoes. Something like this, albeit on a smaller scale, would please me no end:
So that's my little wish list. Nothing too extravagant but I think they would make a big difference to the space. Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post
Your family members getting older isn't something many of us like to think about. Age does, of course, bring wisdom but it can also bring about health problems, domestic issues and a lot more responsibility for you. Everyone wants to have a positive family home and build great memories together, so it’s important to make sure that everyone in the family is happy. Whether you have elderly parents, an elderly aunt or uncle or simply just a close family friend, there are steps you can take to dealing with the effects of ageing.
Health problems It comes as no surprise that as we age, we are much more susceptible to illnesses. Some people think this is due to a weakened immune system, whilst other studies suggest the exact opposite. These studies claim that elderly immune systems do, in fact, work overtime. It is during this time that the immune system is hell bent on beating the virus, that elderly people suffer more physical effects. Whichever claim is is correct, it is definitive that elderly people are more at risk of getting seriously sick than younger people. Common age related diseases are osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and the risk of stroke.
If you have an elderly relative you are concerned about, encourage them to visit the doctor regularly for check ups. This may take some persuading, as many elderly people try to avoid visiting the doctor unless they are seriously ill. But sit down with your relative and explain that it is important to keep on top of their health and check for any underlying conditions. It can benefit them greatly in the long term.
Independence The amount of independence an elderly relative is able to retain can be a touchy subject in many families. It can be a tricky situation for a lot of different reasons. Your relative may believe that nothing is wrong with them and that they do not need any assistance with everyday tasks. If it is looking likely that your relative will need a lot of care, it can also cause conflict within the extended family when it comes to delegating jobs. It is possible that your older relative could develop a disease such as dementia or amnesia, so it is important to be aware of your relative's memory. If you feel you need some extra help, arranging a meeting with an independent ot can help you and your family lay out a plan of action.
Isolation Sometimes, when people age their mobility is affected. This can be incredibly debilitating for sufferers, especially those who were very mobile before. It can also mean that they end up feeling isolated, as they constantly need to ask for offers of transport or help, such as with the shopping. Make sure you and your family do all you can to help your elderly relative still attend events and family gatherings. The social interaction will also be beneficial to them mentally. If they cannot go out to see their friends as much and are feeling housebound, find out able local pensioner groups. Many of these volunteer led groups enable members of the elderly community to meet up on a regular basis, and also go out on daytrips. What tips would you add? * Contributed Post
As everyone knows, last week saw the return to school and for those of us with small ones, the start of big school! The week before, I was swaying between feeling excited that she would be starting school and anxious. Its a whole new life stage for her - an us. Some of the things racing through my mind were: Will she like the teachers? Will the teachers like her? Will she make friends easily? Will she make drop offs difficult with tears and clinging to me? How will I work the drop offs, drop E off at school first and then T at nursery, or the other way round? Will they behave whilst on the school run or am I going to arrive feeling frazzled because they've bickered the whole time? Will she go to the toilet ok? Will she eat her lunch? Will she at anything? I'm sure this all makes me sound neurotic but there's so much to think about and I had concerns with her not not wanting to go to big school. Towards the end of the holidays, she had started to turn. She was still feeling anxious and kept asking me to make sure the teachers looked after her but she wasn't having a meltdown at the mention of school (always a bonus!) and understood that she was going. The first day was tough. We went into her classroom and chatted with the teacher before speaking to one of the teaching assistants, who had to prise her away from me and send me on my way. We both cried but when I went to collect her she had a massive smile on her face, even though by the time she got out of the classroom it was 3.40.
Some thoughts as we start our second week: - I think its been a success. She will cry and cling on to me before going into the the classroom but she is fine once she is in there. I've found the best approach is to be firm, I give her a kiss and cuddle and tell her I'll be back to get her later before making a quick exit. Hanging around just seems to make her worse and her teacher told me that she is happy and confident throughout the day so I try not to worry too much. - On her fourth day, she got an award for maths which pleased us no end. - From standing in the playground and talking to other Mums its clear we all have different expectations. For example, many of the Mums I have spoken to think the school is very strict. The girls have to wear their hair tied back and the teachers use a whistle, once to get the children's attention and second for them to complete a task (eg, when out in the playground). Personally? I don't think this is a bad thing as it sets them up for school life and teaches them to follow rules which should help them as they get older. - A routine is key for us, more so now than it was for nursery. I'm getting up 20 minutes earlier which is making a big difference to the mornings and I'm getting everything ready the night before. Uniform is laid out, drinks and lunch are made and popped into her bag, next to the front door. It all sounds obvious but it means we aren't having to rush around. - It is an absolute nightmare to park at the school so we have been leaving slightly earlier than we would with nursery so that we can get parked easily. Those extra minutes have made it so much easier! - The fact that so many of her nursery friends are in her class has been a blessing for both of us. I know she has friends that she has played with many times before and I have friendly faces to chat with in the playground at drop off/pick up. - The one area we do need to work on is food. E has never been great at eating her breakfast and is generally a picky eater (although she has been getting better) but recently it has been a huge struggle to get her to eat anything. If that were the only meal that was an issue, I wouldn't be too concerned but out of the 6 days she has spent at school, the most she has eaten out of her lunch box is a single fruit roll which clearly isn't enough. I've asked the school to help encourage her but no such luck as yet. Of course, the result is she gets out of school and is super hungry so I've been taking a small snack with me and then cooking dinner as soon as we get in. The plus side is that she's been eating well at dinner and trying different things - last week she had pasta! I've tried getting her to help me make it, asking what she wants, giving her things I know she'll usually eat and nothing has helped. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do and just hope she'll start to eat after she's settled in.
Having a camera on your phone is great to just snap away when you see something but it doesn't always capture something as you see it. Sometimes the colours don't come out just as you want them or it takes too long to focus. It had been a grey and muggy day and as I was driving home the sun was breaking through the clouds until it was positively bursting through the clouds in all different directions. It felt quite poignant to see and I felt I had to take a picture to record the moment, even though it didn't capture it quite as I would have liked. Last Wednesday before going to work I had seen my old colleague who had given me some news about my old boss, my friend's husband. Two weeks previously he was suddenly taken ill and he didn't recover. He was only 58 and leaves behind his wife and five children, . three of whom are 18 and under. All I could think about all day was my friend, how sad I felt for her and her children and how life just isn't fair sometimes. As bosses go, he was probably one of the best I've ever had. He was a grumpy sod at times with a sharp temper and my god, was he loud at those times! But he was also very kind and thoughtful. I was given flowers in my first week, welcoming me to the company and he was happy to make coffees. He took a chance in employing me when I had been unemployed for some time. He took a further chance in making me the practice manager when I had no experience and was always complimentary about my work and confident in my abilities. Most importantly though, he was a Dad and from someone without a father figure in their life, he seemed to be a very good one too and my heart aches for his girls. RIP A.