FIVE GREATEST GIFTS PARENTS CAN GIVE TO THEIR CHILDREN FOR FREE

 

We can often rush around every day, every week and before we know it time has flown and our children have grown up.  I have been practising being more mindful and trying to be more fluid in my relationships especially with my teenage boys.  I also urge you to stop for a moment and consider the greatest gift that you can give your son or daughter that doesn’t require you to go in to any shop or rush around like a mad person.  Below I have listed some things that you can give your child this Christmas which are the greatest gifts any parent can give.

 

The Gift of Love & Affection

The first greatest gift is the gift of love and affection.  With two teenage boys I feel it is important to continue to show them affection.  Little acts of giving them hugs, telling them how proud I am of them show them how much I love them.  It also teaches them to be thoughtful too.

 

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The Gift of Time Together

The second greatest gift is the gift of spending time together.  Life can be frantic in any family.  We often get sweep up in the madness and our quest to have everything perfect or get things done.  Quality time with your children whatever age is a must.  It’s a signal that you enjoy their company and value the time you spend together.  Honestly time really does fly so I highly recommend spending as much quality time together as you can.  I also think spending time together in the teenage years is so important.  Looking back at the photographs we have of our boys, we have noticed as they moved in to the teenage years they no longer want to have their photograph taken.  So cherish the times that they do, the photos taken by Abbie over at Lilypadandbow are so cute.  Cherish these times and print out photos too so you can sit down as a family when your children are teenagers to show how much you enjoyed having time with them when they were young as much as you do now. If you are stuck for ideas, head over to my blog post on fun ways to engage with your teenager to get some tips.

 

 

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3 Amazing Posts to Cope with a Moody Teenager

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6 Top Tips to Help Discipline Your Teenager

7 Top Tips for a Thriving Relationship with your Teen

 

The Gift of Determination

The greatest gift of determination is a must for all children. Encourage your child, no matter what age.  Challenge them to keep learning and developing.  Learn new skills.  Teach them to keep going when things get tough.  Congrulate them for what they are doing and recognise the effort them put in.  Determination will help your child succeed and develop in to a self assured person.

 

The Gift of Consideration

The greatest gift of consideration is another important gift for your child. There are times when I am so frustrated with my teenagers.  However, I know this is a difficult time for them.  My approach is to try my best to be considerate towards their feelings.  I also hope that my actions will allow them to be considerate towards others too.  I have no doubt that my actions allow the boys to see that my geniuine acts of consideration are the way to move forward with any relationship.

 

The Gift of Learning

For me, every day is a learning day!  Teach your children to take advantage of every opportunity.  Let your children make mistakes without being a vocal back seat driver!  They will learn from doing, to learn from their mistakes and to move forward positively.

 

 

 

 

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4 INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS HERE TO STAY

 

 

Our home represents who we are but, maybe we don’t see it that way, but the interior design of our house can tell a lot about our sense of style, our life habits and even our character. The same way we want to make the best impression when we meet somebody new, we also want our home to impresses our guests. In order to achieve this, we advise you to make your house unique and go for trends which aren’t going anywhere soon, and that way make sure your interior design remains fashionable for quite some time.

The combination of old and new

If you want to get a unique look, you can mix modern and antique designs to get a perfect combination. You can start with colour choices, and Pantone predictions can help you find the right ones for your home. According to Pantone, green will be absolutely chic this year. These natural green nuances will create a relaxing atmosphere and add a touch of nature into your house. Once you have painted your house according to the latest trends, add a retro feel to it by purchasing a few pieces of vintage furniture like a set of antique wooden chairs. Even though we encourage the mixture of styles, be careful not to overdo it, since maintaining a balance is desirable. Remember that there is a huge difference between a well-balanced combination and a grotesque one.

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Amazing accessories

Accessories are always trendy and they bring life to your whole interior design. It’s quite surprising how such small things can make a huge difference. Before you decide which accessories are perfect for your home, you can search the Internet in order to check out all the possibilities. Our advice is to consider amazing adornments, and we guarantee that you will be positively surprised to see how a small detail like Futura Bullseye Vase can make your living room look absolutely sophisticated.  However, be careful not to create too much clutter. We know that once you start accessorising, it can be quite addictive, but keep in mind that your goal should also be to keep your home neat and appealing.

 

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Marble is always trendy

Some materials are simply evergreen and marble is certainly one of them. The kitchen is definitely the right place for it, since there is nothing that looks so sophisticated as white marble countertops do. They are bright, wonderful and inspiring, so you will enjoy cooking even more. Marble may not be the cheapest option, but if you consider the fact that this trend is not going anywhere soon, you will realise that marble is a great investment. Aside from incorporating it into your kitchen design, you can also add a touch of marble to your living room. For example, you can go for marble candleholders, coasters or planters. They go perfectly with the vintage furniture that we have already mentioned.

 

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Minimalism is always a great choice

The minimalistic design in interior has become popular in the last couple of years and it seems like it won’t be going anywhere soon. The fact is that less is more for every true minimalist. Minimalist interior design means achieving a beautiful design through simplicity. For example, instead of buying many accessories, you should choose a single piece, but make sure it stands out.  So, if your room is painted in neutral colours, you can opt for a bright red or orange coffee table, which will spice up the atmosphere in the room.

 

Guest Post by Elise.

 

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A Review:  Vintage Wedding Flowers: Bouquets, button holes, table settings

In my quest for all things vintage, I started to look at books that would give me some inspiration as to how to incorporate some of the vintage flowers I have growing in my garden such as Iris, Peony and Roses to name but a few.

 

I came across a book by Vic Brotherson “Vintage Wedding Flowers: Bouquets, button holes and table settings”.  Vic owns a flower shop in London called Scarlet & Violet, she has been described not only as “The Celebrity Florist” but her shop seems to “take your breath away”.  Just go have a look at her website, it truly is stunning.

 

While I was hesitate about buying the book since it was about vintage wedding flowers, I decided to give it a go to help me create simple and stylish table dressings in my home. However, it is also a fantastic book to read if you want to add that vintage flower touch to your wedding too. If you are looking for inspiration of wedding colour themes this sight is just for you.

 

I would highly recommend this book and the above sites.  In terms of the book, the first thing I noticed was the utterly stunning photography used in the book, it really did take my breath away adding a very romantic feel to the arrangements.

 

Very useful indeed was the step by step instructions to help create all the magnificent arrangements.  Chapters included Classic Flora including all the traditional white and green displays, Romantic Violet which is more about a very magical, otherworldly decoration, Graceful Rose includes very soft and classy arrangements and Crazy Iris which shows more adventurous displays which I haven’t seen before.  Pretty Daisy I have to say is my favourite as it a very fresh and light style which you can use in jugs and vases.

 

I do believe this book would be of great help to those wanting to design and make their own wedding flowers but it is also about what you can do with flowers in your own home.  It is a book about ideas, it is a book about looking at flowers in a different way, and above all it is a book to keep and treasure that you can look at again and again.

It is the most stunning and inspiring flower arranging book I have seen in some time.  I hope you love it as much as I do whether for weddings or knowing how to arrange your picked garden flowers or indeed how to arrange a bunch of flowers you treat yourself to from the supermarket!

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A Good Eat: Luxurious Leeks

The humble leek/ leeks have been around since the times of the ancient Egyptians, which is surprising that it is one of those vegetables that can be often overlooked.

 

I absolutely adore the clean and mild flavour of leeks that take on board whatever spices you happen to throw at them.  Cooking them at a low heat means you can use them for a base of soup or even pasta sauces.  Let’s face it they can replace onions in any dish you like!

 

I was lucky enough to be asked by British Leeks Growers Association to try a recipe from their website, they also gave me a bunch of leeks and other ingredients to try out and share with you all.  While I often use leeks for soup, there is only so much soup you can take!  Which is why I wanted to share with you the inspirational recipes available on the British Leeks website.

 

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These fresh inspirational recipes are just fantastic and so easy to make.  I opted for the Pan roast chicken with lees, cider and chorizo.   While the recipe below says 4 chicken breasts for ease – and as my son was making it – we opted for three and diced them instead:

Full recipe

3/4 chicken breasts (can be diced if you prefer)
100g chorizo, cubed
400g leeks, trimmed and sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 handfuls parsley, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp flour
100ml chicken stock
350ml cider
Salt and pepper

Step by step method:

Preheat the oven to 190C. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken breasts,  until golden brown.  Remove from the pan and place in an ovenproof dish.

Add the chorizo to the same pan and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden. Add the leeks, garlic, thyme and parsley and fry gently for 10 minutes until softened. Add the flour and stir well over the heat for 1 minute.

Stir in the stock, followed by the cider and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the ovenproof dish and place in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

 

The full recipe can be found here.

 

The recipe was simple to prepare – so much so my son opted to make it – although we decided to cube the chicken to make it quicker to cook.

 

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I am thrilled with the recipe and new ways to try leeks.  Their unique and subtle flavour just shone through the dish, it was quick and easy to prepare but at the same time the dish was rich and luxurious to taste.

 

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Next time you walk along the vegetable aisle – stop at the leeks and visit the British Leeks website for more inspirational recipes – you won’t be disappointed.

 

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