5 Sensory Toys for Your Children to Use in the Sunshine

Thursday 21st June marked the beginning of summer time in the UK. With that in mind I wanted to share some popular sensory toys for children this summer. It’s understandable how important sensory play is for children, especially those with disabilities and additional needs such as autism.

Duck pond

The duck pond by The Entertainer is only £5. It’s suitable for 2 children to play with from 3-years-old. The product comes with an inflatable pond, 2 large ducks, 2 small ducks, a fishing rod, and a timer. The aim is to hook as many ducks as you can while the timer is running.

Galt 6 finger paints

Available on Learning Space’s website, you can purchase this product for £5.99 (plus £4 delivery). This product helps children to develop their motor skills as they learn different colours and textures. Each pot of paint is 100ml which gives you child the chance to print their hands several times.

Kid Active Pop-Up Play Tent

This colourful pop-up tent is available to order with Smyths Toy Store. The great thing about this product is that it doesn’t need any poles. It folds away so it’s easy to store. And it’s ideal for children to want to take mini adventures in the garden.

Tobar Magic Sand

There’s something about sand that reminds me of the sand play in nursery. This underwater sand modelling kit includes a water tub, coloured sand, a funnel, sculpting tools, and plastic sea creatures. This is guaranteed to make sure your child has fun in the sun!

Did you know that Redbank House have 2 fabulous sensory rooms in Manchester?

What sensory toys will you be purchasing for your children during summer?

5 Ways to Wind Down and Relax

Some weeks can be so hectic that you don’t really feel like you get any ‘me time’ to relax. As someone with hypertension, which is now controlled, I’ve seen and felt what a toll stressful situations can have on your body. Inside and out. But I’ve also learn that you have a choice on how you react to all of life’s scenarios, just as I’ve said before.

For us girls and maybe you guys too, it’s nice to come home, stick our joggers or pyjamas on and enter a complete chill out zone. Obviously, things can get in the way but when this happens it’s just bliss. Below are some ways to relax that could help you.

Take a bath or shower

Baths tend to be more relaxing than showers for some. However, other people need something more refreshing like a shower. Whichever one works for you, take an extra 5-10 minutes than you usually would. I definitely enjoy longer baths and showers when there’s the extra time to spend. Use your favourite soap, bubble bath, shower cream, bath bomb etc.

Listen to music

You’ll know what type of music helps you to relax. But if not there are some good playlists on Spotify such as Mellow Pop, several choices from the ‘Chill’ category, and Acoustic Covers. I don’t know why but there’s something much more soothing when listening to music through earphones/headphones. It’s as if the music is closer to your ears and it makes you stop and take everything in.

Put your feet up

I’m not really a put your feet up and drink a glass of wine kind of person. But I do enjoy putting my feet up and having a cup of tea (the inner granny in me). I steered away from tea for a few months due to monitoring my health but it made no difference so yay! Whether it’s in your living room by the tv or in bed, grab your favourite quilt/blanket and get as cosy as you can.

Go for a walk

I always think to myself when I’m on holiday, how amazing it would be to live near a beach. Listening to the sea waves and breeze does nothing but relax me (when it’s calm that is). It always makes me happy when I see people walking their dogs. I actually smile Walking helps you to escape and fresh air gives you a sense of forward thinking. There might be a particular place you like to go. Mine is visiting granny and grandad at the cemetery. It doesn’t make me sad. It does nothing but help me put things into perspective.

Be in the best company you need

If you have someone who knows you inside out, spend time with them. They know if you need to talk to release a feel of relaxation. They also know whether you need silence. Or if you simply need a hug. Sometimes you might just need them to be there while you fall asleep. Knowing you have them and feel them with you is enough to tell you that everything’s going to be okay.

All of these in their own way teach you what it’s important. Sometimes, looking after yourself needs to come first.

What helps you to relax? Share your thoughts in the comments box further down the page.

mug and notepad on wooden table

Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made for the Better

There will be times over the weekend where I feel like I have no life. What is a good lifestyle anyway? The odd weekend here and there I might see some friends, catch-up, go for a few drinks, etc. Other weekends I’ll spend time with my boyfriend, go to the cinema, or plan other little trips to add to our list. And for the most (recent) part, I feel like I’m doing nothing. That’s why I’m sharing three lifestyle changes I’ve made – all of which are completely different things.

Early morning gym time

Sometimes, you’ll wake up and not want to do a single thing all day. This is where I need to tell myself that it’s okay. Yesterday I woke up at 5:50 on a Saturday morning. As much of an early riser as my mum is, she was still in bed at this point. She said, “What are you doing?” so I replied, “Getting ready for the gym.” And the conversation as you can imagine was something pretty much like: “What? Now?”

I always wondered how people managed to go to the gym so early in the morning and do the rest of their day. Then, I realised that I didn’t enjoy going after work especially with how busy it gets. I was going less and less because I didn’t seem to enjoy it anymore. Before, during, and afterwards, I was just making myself feel like rubbish.

Small lifestyle changes = big impact on happiness

Until recently, as you can tell from mum’s impression above, that’s all changed. I’ve started to go first thing in the morning. And it doesn’t half give me a good feeling. I feel so energised and refreshed. Some may wonder, “Refreshed?” But it really is. I have a great kick-start to the day. And getting over the gym fear feels even better. It’s not about having to go everyday but doing what’s right for you.

Knowing I’m doing something to keep fit, keep my mentality at an okay level, and working on getting rid of that bloating feeling works well for me. Or at least, most of the time. Take last night for instance. That fed up feeling where you feel like you should be doing something and just feel like rubbish, hit me. I don’t know why it happens but it does. There I go again sitting there and wondering why I don’t feel as uplifted as I did in the morning.

No sugar on my Weetabix and less in my tea

I honestly couldn’t tell if I was bored, couldn’t make the most of doing nothing, or just being meh. So anyway, I decided to eat a bar of galaxy and worry less about my spotty, messed up skin, and how silly I was feeling. It must be silly because I don’t understand what it is… or as this ever happened to you?

Part of that bloating I mentioned early and well, just relating to health in general. I’ve always had two sugars in my tea. Always. Whoever gave me that cup of tea when I was little, you gave me the addiction. Whether or not there was sugar, I don’t know. But having two started from somewhere! So I decided to make a small change and go for one instead. Yesterday morning I even had none and that’s good going for me.

And then there’s Weetabix. Mum must have got me into the habit of adding a sprinkle of sugar. Ever since I was little, I remember having Weetabix washed up with a little bit of sugar. And I still mash it up like a kid now. I don’t have it warm, I’ve always had it cold. I no longer have that sprinkle of sugar. I just wanted to make a few small changes for me and that was another was of them.

Being more self-focused

Looking after yourself requires a lot of attention. Or does it? There’s a side of me that thinks okay, it’s time to stop focusing my attention of others. That being about what others think. If you think about it, the amount of time you spend (if you’re like me) doing this, is ridiculous. I’m a believer that life’s purpose is to enjoy who you are and what surrounds you. So surrounding yourself with better people who make a positive impact in your life is better. And most importantly, doing what’s best for you to be happy has to come first.

Luckily, my happiness comes with another person. My happiness also means they’re happy and vice versa. As well as anyone else who may be around, we can lift each other up. I’ve learnt that I should never feel lonely because there’s always someone there. Being self-focused doesn’t mean being self-absorbed. There’s other things going on around you that you should care about. But just don’t forget to look after yourself too. Neglecting that can make you become a whole different person. A person you wouldn’t like to be.

Now it’s time to reveal a much happier you…

Focusing on what makes you happy and who comes along with it reveals a much happier you. Trying to put those annoyances aside can be the part that ‘requires a lot of attention’ if you struggle more than others. Some days I say “Oh whatever. I don’t care.” Other days, I’m much more about expressing my feelings.


Okay so, sugar, gym, and self-focusing – strange combination right? It’s not really when you think about it. The message here is, don’t be afraid to try new things. Things don’t always have to be the way they’ve been. Working on the smaller things and taking small steps can help. Even if they don’t, you won’t know until you’ve tried. Choices are yours to make no matter how big or small.

Review of HAPS SuperFruits+ Boosters

This is a gifted post in collaboration with HAPS. HAPS SuperFruits+ boosters launched on 28 February 2017. It gives your body a lift of particular supplements that aim to affect your psychological well-being and general prosperity. The superfruits boosters’ mix was deliberately chosen by a group of dietary specialists.

About HAPS and their superfruits boosters

HAPS enhances anybody’s general prosperity however is especially advantageous for individuals encountering low state of mind, stress, nervousness, regular full of feeling issue (SAD) or post-party blues. The main aim of HAPS is to ‘rehydrate, revitalise and improve mental wellbeing.’

The creators of HAPs recommend you to take one sachet per day, which is a serving of 9 grams. You can take HAPs when you feel like you need a boost. You simply add one sachet to 250ml of water, which can then be shaken or stirred.

The main benefits which have been taken from a HAPS press release are below:

  • Help regulate mood, appetite and sleep by naturally boosting serotonin
  • Improve your response to stress with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D & Zinc
  • Support your immune system & skin health with superfruit Baobab
  • Stay alert throughout the day with sustained energy from Coconut healthy fats
  • Keep hydrated with added electrolytes to aid the flow of nutrients in the body

The founder of HAPS, Rik, tells us,

I’ve learnt so much studying the science of happiness and wellbeing.

Rik has seen the horrible effects that mental health has had on his mother, and himself after his mum having a spinal stroke, and his grandad sadly passing away. He simply wanted to take what he had learnt with science to create a product to help others feel happier.

My experience with HAPS

I contacted Rik for the opportunity to review this product as I thought it would be something that a lot of my readers would like to learn about. I see a lot of followers who suffer from mental health and you never know, a product like this could help them. Please make sure you check if you are able to consume this beforehand.

Appearance 

I received three sachets of HAPS, which was a generous amount to be given but the perfect amount to see whether the product had an effect on me in any kind of way. The sachets are bright yellow with the HAPS logo which immediately creates brand awareness, and bright yellow anything reminds me of the sun and happy things. There is also small print of the back of the product with ingredients and information.

Smell

Sometimes when you are using a sachet for a flavoured drink, you don’t always know what kind of scent to expect to come from it. However, with HAPS the SuperFruits booster smelt really nice. It definitely smelt fruity, and I particularly like it because I could smell a strong hint of pineapple.

Taste

With the scent being so strong, I did expect the taste to be a little bit stronger. However, it is still bearable to consume if you like the flavour. I’ve always loved pineapple so it’s a big hit when it comes to the taste for me. I also think that mango and pear taste really nice too so the combination goes well.

The ingredients are:

HAPS fruits (83%) Mango, Pear, Pineapple, Guava, Banana, Baobab (4%)
Coconut MCTs (11%), Griffonia Seed Extracts [5-HTP] (1%), Natural Flavours
Vitamin Mix [Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5)
Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Zinc], Ionic Electrolytes (0.8%), Stevia

Overall thoughts

I was quite pleased with the product. However, I thought it would have had a bigger effect on my mood. It did help me in the mornings when I had the SuperFruits booster before the gym. I felt more active. It definitely helped me feel more motivated to run on the treadmill.

However, my emotions have been all over the place recently due to unemployment and trying to keep going. It’s having an effect on me where I don’t feel good about myself. I also tend to have nightmares frequently due to unknown reasons. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I stress over the little things. But hey that’s another story.

HAPS SuperFruits boosters are anything but difficult to utilize and you should try it out if you are hoping to help your happiness and wellbeing.

Thank you to Rik for kindly giving me the chance to review this superfruit boosters product. Head over to the HAPS website today if you would like to hear more information about this product.