The famous saying is home is where the heart is but I don’t think a house is necessarily a home. I’ve lived in various properties over the years and there aren’t many that I’d consider a home.

So what makes a house a home?

 

The people in it?

I think one of the reasons my previous houses haven’t really felt like a home as they didn’t have our little man in them.  He’s brought fun, laughter and a hole host of mess and stress to our lives but I wouldn’t change it for a second.

The memories?

The place the little man first walked, the place he sat when he said his first word and the first carpet I had to steam clean out his vomit. We’ve done some many things in this house. Using a pile of laminate flooring as a coffee table for about 3 months until our floors went down, making Hubby paint the stairs on his birthday, everywhere I look there are memories, things we’ve done and things we’ve experienced together as a family.

The things inside?

I don’t mean the piece of Lego you’re bound to step on or the dirty socks that have been stuffed down the back of the radiator. For us it’s the dining table. A place where we eat together and talk, the place little man draws pictures to display on the fridge and the place that EVERYTHING that comes into the house lives for a short while. Above our dining table is a photo wall featuring lots of our family photographs, I think it’s one of the reasons I love sitting there.

The feelings?

I think a home is somewhere you enjoy spending time, feel comfortable and safe. It’s the place you return too and feel at ease and a place you want to be.

I asked some other bloggers what they think makes a house a home too : –

I always feel like my home is a little too messy/untidy, which is normal (I hope!) with a toddler, dog and cat. But I’ve had lots of people comment that it’s very warm and inviting. I think a home makes others feel welcome. It’s a place you want to come back to and spend time in. And it’s a combination of the people in it, and how it makes you feel. I love that my friends can sit on my couch and drink wine and I don’t care. The cat will come and say hello, and we’ll all end up in the kitchen eating and talking with kids at our feet. Others would feel more at home in a pristine, uncluttered environment, and that’s okay too. Home is a small part of ‘you’ made real.
www.baremother.com

There are lots of things but for me, having beautiful rooms, things I love on the walls and lots of blankets and cushions. Snuggly things. Candles and cats too! www.meandbmaketea.com

Personal things everywhere like treasures the kids insist on keeping and precious things they have made for you at school.  www.justaveragejen.com

I think it’s all to do with personalisation. You can live in a house but to make it “your home” you need to be able to furnish and decorate and style the home in your own way. We have worked hard to find a nice house to live in, now we are making it ours by upgrading and improving one step at a time, starting with little things like replacing old products. It’s so fun and exciting and i’m enjoying every moment. www.theinspirationedit.com

Somewhere you look forward to going back to after time away. I’ve lived in many houses but there are few where I class as home but our current one is one I can see us staying in for some time as the neighbours are lovely and we are close to family. It makes day to day living lovely and really feels like home Twinderelmo.co.uk

For us it’s the laughter of our son playing with one of us or finding something funny on TV. It’s also sitting around the table for dinner chatting about our day/forthcoming holidays/the future. Dare I say it, it’s even the dog’s hair everywhere. Since down sizing and emigrating we’ve come to realise it’s not ‘stuff’ but just us! http://battlemum.com

Mess… although that’s probably not the answer any of us look for. Our house didn’t truly feel like our home until we had turned the place upside down unintentionally. www.lifewithboys.co.uk

Memories make our house a home. I love looking at the lounge doors and remembering how my son would just stand there banging his hands against the glass, or the mark on the wall where the dog always jumps up to watch us come in from the car. Even down to the cupboard door we can’t open properly because we bickered over door handles, couldn’t choose and two years on it’s still handleless! It’s all those little memories for me that make a house a home. devonmama.com

Memories, the people you love. Familiarity. Time and spending hours painting, sanding and polishing. We just bought our first house and it feels so much more our home than any house we rented because we can put down roots and settle here for years. It’s the smell of my perfume mixed with woodsmoke as you walk in the door. Home is as much of a feeling as the photographs and familiar decorations. It’s that relaxed, safe and content feeling as you sit on the sofa  www.theparentingjungle.com

What do you think makes a house a home?

Collaborative post

 

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We’re so lucky to live reasonably close to Kielder Water and Forest in Northumberland, a man-made landscape which has encouraged a plethora of fascinating plants and wild animals to make it their home.

At Kielder you can expect to come across osprey, deer and 320 water voles which were reintroduced into Kielder Water and Forest Park in June this year. Kielder is also home to around 50% of England’s red squirrel population and the Kielder Salmon Centre which is the largest conservation hatchery in England and Wales.

Night time will bring you owls, bats, foxes and if you’re very lucky, a badger.

The diverse landscape offers homes for a huge range of animal and plant life and allows visitors to learn about the the inhabitants without having to visit a zoo or museum.

Why not the 12 not take forest drive from Kielder Castle right through to Blakehopeburnhaugh. You may encounter roe deer, feral goats and birds of pray, so remember your camera. At Kielder Dam you may be able to catch a glimpse of brown and rainbow trout and Falstone Moss is a favourite spot for the common blue damsel fly, emerald damselfly, common hawker and black darter.

The Beeches Trail at Leaplish Waterside Park offers beautiful views of Kielder reservoir and is home to red squirrels and other woodland birds. There’s also a new wildlife garden which is inhabited by Adders, butterflies, stoats and
amphibians.

Bakethin Conservation are has a bird hide and a wildlife pond which is home to newts, damselflies, dragonflies, toads and frogs.

The Wild at Kielder campaign has been created to encourage the whole family to explore the park and learn about all of the amazing things that call Kielder home.

Younger children will enjoy the Gruffalo trail which is available until December 2017 ( don’t forget to download the app before you leave home as Kielder is a phone signal free zone). Older kids can search for geocaches which are dotted around the Park or grab a bug hunting kit and examine the wildlife a little more closely – just remember to put everything back without hurting it.

Even after you’ve left Kielder, you can keep up to date with the wildlife by following the Kielder Ospreys live webcam.

If you visit Kielder this Summer make sure you enter the Wild at Kielder competition.

To enter, all you need to do is post a picture something wild you’ve spotted at Kielder Water and Forest Park (that could be a bird, animal, insect or plant!) with the tag #wildatkielder on Twitter or Instagram and be in with the chance of winning a family ticket to the magical Kielder Winter Wonderland 2017.

PLUS a framed, professional print of your image which will be displayed at Kielder Castle for a whole month!

Competition closes 12pm on Friday 1 September 2017.

We recently stayed at the super peaceful Kielder campsite which is without a doubt one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. Steve, the site warden is extremely friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about the local area. If he mentions the midges, then make sure you purchase one of the head nets – you’ll regret it if you don’t.

The campsite takes tents, caravans, motorhomes and even has two wooden pods that can be used if you don’t want to bother taking a tent with you.

The campsite has everything you need for a relaxing break amongst the wildlife of Kielder. Sadly due to torrential rain we had to cut our stay short but we’ll definately return so we can explore more of what Kielder has to offer.

* We were offered a two night complimentary stay at Kielder.

 

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You might remember a few months ago, I posted about joining a TRX2® trial in the hope that my hair may be restored to it’s former pre child beauty.

Back in April I was sent –

3 Months’ supply of TRX2® Molecular Food Supplement for Hair

TRX2® Molecular Food Supplement for Hair helps to boost the absorption of essential nutrients within the hair follicle to support the production of strong, healthy hair.

3 Months’ supply of TRX2® Hair Revitalizing Lotion

TRX2® is a unique purified blend of naturally-based ingredients (potassium chloride, branched chain amino acids and nicotinamide) and is drug-free. It has been clinically-proven to boost the health and improve the appearance of hair. It’s active ingredients penetrate into the scalp whilst nourishing and helping to revitalize hair follicles.

Creates using the expertise of Oxford Biolabs scientists, TRX2® is a safe and natural hair loss supplement that offers clinically-proven support for anyone suffering from tth effects of hair thinning.

“With an in-depth understanding of the science behind hair loss, and following an extended period of Oxford-based research, Oxford Biolabs® developed TRX2®, a naturally-based, scientifically-formulated molecular hair loss regimen”. 

Three months on and it’s time to share my results and thoughts with you.

Prior to using the TRX2® products my hair was extremely thin and limp, particularly around the temple area. Pregnancy had caused an excessive amount of hair loss which I had never really recovered from.

You can see in the pictures, by temples were extremely thin and my hair line was starting to receed.

Since I started the trial, I’ve used no thickening products and have only had my hair dyed once.

Each day I’ve taken three TRX2® Molecular Food Supplement capsules and applied a squirt of TRX2® Hair Revitalizing Lotion to my parting and temple area morning and night. I found the capsules easy to swallow but I do think 3 is quite a lot to take. I had to take them together otherwise I’d have forgotten to take them at three seperate times during the day.

I found the revitalizing lotion a little more triciker to use. The pipet that is included is used to apply the product and you then need to massage it into the scalp before washing your hands. Every single time I used it it either ran down my face or into my eyes. I think a spray dispenser would have worked better for me. I also found the lotion made my hair greasy and my scalp a little flaky.

After three months of use I have got fine baby hairs growing along the front of my scalp and my temples look slightly less thin. I think my hair feels smoother and in better condition and I’ve found it holds a style much better than it did before. I think TRX2® products do work but it’s worth bearing in mind how much it will cost and the length of time you’ll need to commit to before you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

Results with TRX2® won’t be instant. 10-15.7% of user see a visual improvements in hair texture and thickness withing 1-3 months, 15-35.1% in 4-9 months and 35-49.2% in 10-18 months.

I’d have liked to carry on the trial as I think over a longer period of time I may have seen more improvement but it’s not something I could afford to carry on buying at this time.

TRX2® Molecular Food Supplement capsules  – 1 month supply ( 90 capsules) – £47.96
TRX2® Hair Revitalizing Lotion – 1 month supply – 60 ml bottle – £42.36
Also in the range is a TRX2® Thickening & Styling cream and there is a TRX2® Hair Revitalizing Foam due on sale soon which I think may work better for me.

For more information visit www.oxfordbiolabs.com and www.trx2.co.uk.

Overall, I do think TRX2® works but you need to be in it for the long haul and be able to afford almost £100 a month for at least a year to see a substantial difference to your hair.
·

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for these products. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I will receive a voucher as compensation for my time.

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The little man has a great collection of Brio wooden train tracks and accessories but it’s only quite recently that we’ve discovered there is a whole other Brio World which consists of various other ranges such as rescue, travel and countryside.

The little man was recently sent the BRIO Police Station Set which is part of the Brio World Rescue range.

 

Brio-police-station

The set can be linked up to any existing Brio track you have or played with independently by removing the track piece on the side of the building.

 

Brio-police-station

Included within the set is a Police Station which can be joined to your Brio track, a Policeman, a prisoner and a Police vehicle with siren and a flashing light that rides on the track outside the Police station and the wooden Brio track. The figures can be put inside the Police vehicle by lifting the roof.

 

Brio-police-station

You can drive the the vehicle straight into the Police station and use the movable lift to transport the prison straight to his cell with a bed. Downstairs is the Police mans office area with a desk.

 

Brio-police-station

Different to the usual Brio products we’ve played with, the Police Station is made using mainly plastic. There is only two wooden parts within the Police station, though they are made FSC® certified wood. I had thought the track part would be made from wood but it’s also plastic. This doesn’t affect play but it does make me wonder how robust it will be over a longer period of time.

Brio-police-station

The set can be used in various scenarios, depending on your child’s imagination. The little man likes to play with the Police station both connected to and away from the rest of the track. He’s also a huge fan of the Police vehicle which can be coupled via magnets to any other similar Brio trains or vehicles. He loves that it has a sounding siren and flashing lights and loves coupling it to the front of his other trains to help ‘rescue’ them.

Brio-police-station

The Brio Police station is aimed ay children aged 3+ and has a RRP of £29.99.

Overall, I’m impressed with the Brio Police station as is the little man. It seems well made, pretty robust and works well with the Brio track that he already owns. We will definately buy more of the Brio World pieces to add to the little mans collection.

* We were sent the product in return for an honest review.

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The little man loves soft play centres but I do find they become a little tedious so we’re always on the look out for something different.

We were recently invited along too Jump 360 in Hartlepool to try out their toddler zone.

Jump 360 is an indoor trampolining centre based on an industrial estate Sovereign Park Industrial estate just out of the town centre. It’s easy to find and if you’re using a Sat Nav the postcode actually takes you too the right location.

There’s another Jump 360 in Stockton and an additional one opening in Newcastle soon.

Upon entering Jump 360 its obvious that it’s very new. Everything is light, bright and shiny. All of the play equipment is in great condition and everything looks spotlessly clean.

When entering you head to the reception desk where you pay for your visit and obtain a pair of Jump 360 socks. You must use the their special socks even if you already own similar socks. Entry to the toddler zone costs £5 for 1 hours play with socks costing you a further £2.

When you enter, you’re given a coloured wrist band to wear. After an hour, this colour is called out over a tannoy and you’re asked to leave the equipment.

There are lockers in the entrance area which can be used to store your bags, shoes and any other valuables. Locker hire costs £1 but it is refundable upon exit.

To the side of the reception there is a ‘Waiver Station’ where you complete and online waiver form for insurance purposes and means you’re happy to accept Jump 360’s rules. 

Prior to accessing the trampolines and toddler area, you’re directed to a briefing room where a few rules are explained and you’re given important information, i.e where the toilets and cafe are. Those jumping in the main trampoline area then have to stay and watch a video featuring some of the risks and worst case scenarios of jumping. As we were only going into the toddler area we were able to leave at this point and start and have some fun.

The toddler area has it’s own 15 dedicated trampolines which can only be jumped on by children under 5.  It’s completely away from the rest of the trampolines and also features it’s own soft play area.

The soft play area is pretty impressive and a good size. I hadn’t even realised there was a soft play in the toddler zone so it was a very welcomed surprise for the little man.

As you can see from the pictures, the rest of Jump 360 looks pretty impressive. I kind of wish we’d left the little man at home so Hubby and I could have tried the rest out!

When you’re finished with the play equipment you can head upstairs for something to eat or drink.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you’re visiting with children in a pushchair or with anyone in a wheelchair they won’t be able to access the cafe and viewing area of Jump 360. I don’t believe there are any lifts as we saw a couple of people with pushchairs having to bump them or carry them up the steps.

The cafe was nice and clean but there wasn’t a great deal of food options available when we visited. The little man opted for nachos and a slush while we drank coffee. The prices were quite reasonable but I think next time we visit we’ll avoid the cafe and head out for lunch elsewhere afterwards.

The cafe is a great viewing area for parents of older children who can jump below whilst still being watched.

Overall, Jump 360 made a refreshing change to our usual soft play haunts. The little man loved being able to alternate between jumping on the trampolines and soft play area. He had lots of fun and we will definately try out the Newcastle one ( which will be closer) when it opens.

Usual admission is £10 per person if you’re using the main part of Jump 360. There are also other sessions ran at different days and times during the week, including Jump Late ( adult only), Jump Teen and a Jump Fit class.

* Entry to Jump 360 was complimentary in return for an honest review

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