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Shopping for a family winter Break

Getting away for a few days in the winter is a great way for everyone to reconnect and have some fun together. It could be something simple like staying with relatives or a week’s skiing. It is a great way to bust the winter blues.

Regardless, of what type of winter break you decide to take you will need to be ready to cope with bad weather. Everyone needs to be able to wrap up warm and stay dry. That way the bad weather will not keep you indoors.

winter family break

Coats for the men and boys in the family

It is especially easy to find thick coats perfect for a winter break when you shop online. This year, for men and boys, parkas are still widely available. They are a bit shorter than last year’s, but just as warm. Look out for the insulated padded versions and polar jackets. If your partner and sons prefer to wear a lightweight jacket, that is OK. Provided you buy one that is big enough they can easily wear a hoodie or fleece underneath it on particularly cold days.

Warm trousers and tops

Jeans are a great option for a winter break. They are thick enough to keep the wind out, so you usually stay war. Plus, they are not prone to creasing. Another great alternative is jogging bottoms. Potentially, you can layer these items on very cold days.

When buying tops think about wearing them in layers. Combinations of t-shirts, shirts and jumpers of sweatshirts can all work, you just need to select the right colors and styles to be able to wear them in this way.

The right footwear

Boots are the ideal footwear option for a winter break. They are comfortable and provided you buy a pair with soles that are thick enough they will keep the wearer’s feet lovely and warm. If the boots you buy are not waterproof, you can find out how to use wax to sort that issue out by clicking here.

Coats for the girls

For girls and women, parkas are also very popular, this year. The fur-lined hood really makes a difference to how warm you feel wearing one. For extra warmth, buy a full-length version with a fur-lined collar.

Another option is a reversible puffa jacket or coat. They look great and are really versatile.

Warm dresses trousers and tops

Jeans are great, but not every girl wants to wear them or trousers. Fortunately, this year there are some lovely warm dresses available in the shops. Jersey is a great fabric. It hangs well, does not crease and offers plenty of freedom of movement. So, if your daughter wants to wear dresses look at the jersey ones first.

Good quality boots

For little girls, this year, sparkly boots are the big trend. They are fun and there is no reason not to buy them. You just need to make sure that they are well-made and that the sparkle is not likely to come off when they get wet. For women, this year’s big boot trend is ankle boots. They are really practical and work well whether you like wearing jeans or trousers.

You should also not forget the little items. Hats, gloves, scarves and warm socks are also essential. It is best to buy these last. This will make it easier to buy items that fit in well with the rest of the family’s winter clothes.

These are the basic items you need to make sure that everyone stays warm and dry. Now all you have to do is to plan your winter break. If your children are young, you should find this article I wrote about planning a holiday with a toddler helpful.

My Journey

Mental Illness in Children – How to Deal with this

Mental illness in children is growing to become more and more common. Some parents think their kid will never be affected so when it does happen, they don’t know what to do. The stigma around mental illness in children can also cause parents to feel embarrassed and reluctant to discuss it with loved ones. In case your kid is even diagnosed, here are some do’s and don’ts:


Do not feel embarrassed

Feeling embarrassed due to your kid’s illness seems ridiculous, but it is very common. Because mental illness can cause kids to act in completely irrational, disrespectful or dangerous ways, some parents rather keep it all in the family and don’t discuss their situation with friends or loved ones. It becomes a completely taboo issue, a feeling that can pass to your child as well – he or she might feel that they are such a disappointment or that what they are going through is so unique and terrible no one must ever know about it. This, in turn, can keep them and you from seeking help.

The best way to deal with mental illness is precisely to think about it as a disease. You wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell others your child had cancer or even a broken arm. And you wouldn’t think twice about asking help if that was the cause. Mental illness is just that – an illness, something that does not define your family or your kid.


Always make sure to follow doctor’s orders

Many people with mental illnesses go through phases in which they decide to stop taking their medications or they refuse to see doctors. As a caretaker, it is your responsibility to make sure that does not happen, even if that pill causes your kid to be nauseated or feel drowsy – common side effects of medication. Even though this might be hard, you have to understand that doctors really do know best and that, depending on the mental illness, your kid might change drastically if he or she is a mere day without medication. Progress is slow and painful with mental illness – don’t complicate it further for stopping treatment midway.


Do not blame yourself

It is true many mental illnesses might be made worse due to the environment people are raised in and some might actually develop as side effects of childhood trauma and neglect. But unless you were a very irresponsible parent, you probably did not cause your kid’s mental illness. Many teenagers who suffer from depression or other types of illnesses blame their parents, sometimes even as a manipulation tactic to get them to do whatever they want. But blaming yourself is not going to fix anything and you are only inflicting more pain.


Take some time off

It is very, very stressful to handle people who are mentally ill. The mood swings, the unpredictability, the drama…everything can be very difficult and frustrating. Even though it might seem selfish, it is important to take some time off and realize there is more to life than being a caretaker for someone who is mostly dependent on professional help to get better.



Unusual Parenting Techniques That Actually Work


Every child is hard-wired to mimic their parents (or caregivers) from the day they are born. It’s how they learn. What is more interesting is that in addition to imitating everything around them, children also mimic the breathing patterns of their caregivers. Why this isn’t taken advantage of more is a mystery but once you start to use these unusual parenting techniques, you won’t use any other.

Unusual Parenting Techniques

Unusual parenting techniques

Calming an Infant

Some nights your little one just won’t go to sleep. Instead of staying up all night trying every type of rocking motion, lullaby or the old school method your mother told you about, lay in bed with your child. Deep breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. Eventually, she won’t be able to help but copy your deep breathing as well, and that will put your baby right to sleep.

Toddler Temper Tantrum

Tantrums no longer have to be a nightmare. Get as close as possible to your toddler, talk slowly to them and breathe deeply, nice and slow. Pretty soon your child will be calm. Tantrum over.

Older Children

There will be days where your child is over stimulated or just can’t calm down. Talk to them in a slow manner while you are deep breathing. Even the older children will mimic your breathing. Soon they will get out of that frustrated, over excited stage and calm right down.

We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the day, we’re tired, the kids are wired and we instinctively yell at them to calm down. When that happens our blood pressure rises, our breathing gets rapid and the kids see that. They react in the same way so it’s important to be mindful of our actions and of our breathing to keep the calm in order.

I love finding interesting tips and tricks on Quora and that is where I found this unusual parenting techniques too. See, it’s all about the breathing. These unusual parenting techniques won’t work for everyone, but who knows, maybe you will discover that they work for your kids! Try them!

My Journey

Domestic violence – the facts and figures you should know

Domestic violence is at a disturbingly high level in Australia. Acts of violence between two people who have an intimate domestic relationship occur frequently. For instance, one woman every week is murdered by a current partner, or someone who she was previously in a relationship with. There are different forms of domestic abuse including, physical, psychological and sexual. Although most people who suffer domestic violence are female there are also many incidents where males are abused, either physically or emotionally.

Firms that specialise in family law are used to witnessing the potential fallout from domestic abuse cases. The aftermath of this type of abuse can have long lasting effects, such as mental health problems and housing issues, if a couple can do longer reside at the same address.

What does domestic violence involve?

The range of domestic violence that occurs is large. It can include:

  • Blame for everything that goes wrong in a relationship. This can significantly reduce the self-esteem of an individual.
  • Humiliation in public by the use of swearing and demeaning language.
  • Isolation from friends and family meaning that sufferers have no support available.
  • Control of all the household finances, meaning that the sufferer cannot spend any money without first seeking permission.
  • Threatening behaviour.
  • Physical assaults.
  • Sexual assaults.

Often, different forms of abuse are combined making the situation frightening and extremely dangerous.

How common is domestic abuse in Australia?

Unfortunately, domestic abuse is very common in Australia. Take a look at statistics quoted by White Ribbon, and you can see facts such as;

  • A quarter of women have experienced some form of emotional abuse by a partner, or ex-partner.
  • Around 40% of women continue to be subjected to assaults after they have separated from a violent partner.
  • Violence carried out by a partner is a leading cause of illness and early death for women in the age range 18-44.

It’s interesting that domestic abuse can affect anyone, no matter what ethnic origin, wealth levels and social situation they have. However, it tends to more prevalent when factors such as poverty, lack of education and substance abuse are present. Witnessing abuse as a child can also contribute to the chances of being an offender or a victim.

Movements for change

There are dedicated movements for change in Australia, such as Let’s Change the Story. Their aim is to change social beliefs which traditionally place males in a position of power. Even today, males have dominance in society. They tend to earn more and have more chance of gaining promotion at work. They also often have control of the money that goes into the household. Obviously, in many relationships couples are on an even footing; but, all too often, this is not the case. Anti-domestic abuse movements promote equality as a means of moving away from the abuse epidemic.

Their work has not achieved major success as yet, but important changes in social attitudes always take a considerable length of time to teach, and to take effect.


Top tips when purchasing clothing online

Many are the times that many end up getting excited when they realize how the internet has made it easy to get desirable items. Within no time and in the comfort of your home or office, you can have the item that you want to be delivered to you. While it is true that the internet and online shopping has made things easier and more straightforward, many often forget to consider some factor and end up getting a bad deal, which ruins the whole experience. For instance, clothing. When it comes to clothing, the very first thing that you should take into consideration is the size, among many other factors. Below are some top tips when purchasing clothing online.

The very first thing that you should do is ensure that you are in the perfect mood to do some online shopping. If you are feeling exhausted and not up to the task, you may end up getting an item that you will not be pleased with and which you never bought. Shopping has always been a practice that is exciting for ladies. As such, you should only sit behind your computer or laptop when you feel you are in the shopping mood.

As stated earlier, the size is a crucial factor to consider. This is especially when you are looking to buy a bra, shirt, trouser or skirt. You should, therefore, ensure that you have your updated size before you make your pick. If you are not sure of the scale, you can visit some sites that will walk you through how to determine your bra size.

After determining your size, the next thing that you should do is identify the budget that you have. You should always remember that online shopping is more like a vast ocean and you will be bombarded with different labels that range from affordable to highly expensive. Therefore, before you run for your credit card number and buy a particular piece, take a time out and come up with your spending budget.

However, considering your budget does not mean that you should settle for something that is cheap as this can profoundly affect the quality of the product, and you end up uncomfortable wearing it. Also, pieces that are made out of poor quality do not last and tend to wash off after one wash.

If you are shopping for specific clothing, it is advisable that you first determine the outfit. Go to your closet and pick out the outfit that you want to pair the clothing too. This will make it easier to pair and match.

Also, if you will be buying online, you should try as much as possible to shop in bulk as this will enable you to get discounted prices. Also, before you make a purchase always check to see if there are offers within the site that you are shopping from.

This last tip that will come in real handy when buying clothing online: do not get carried away by the moving pictures that the sites may have put up for advertisements as you may end up getting something that you will not even wear.


Clever Hacks For Parents With Infants And Toddlers


This stage of your child’s development is when they soak everything up like a sponge, develop personalities and begin to learn right from wrong. It can be a handful with just one child and having two or more can seem like a nightmare. These hacks for parents are meant to make the journey a little easier for the whole family.

I have just one child at the moment, but I was born in a big (and happy) family. I was the oldest one and I watched my mom handling all of us, so I gathered her best hacks for parents and decided to share them here!

hacks for parents

Hacks for Parents

Create Feelings of Sufficiency For Everyone

You can create a conscious awareness of the infant by including the toddler in activities such as feeding time or changing the diaper. Make it exciting for them by creating a song they can partake in or have your toddler tell the baby a story as the diaper is being changed. A sense of unity will be accomplished and your toddler will feel like part of the process.

Make your toddler feel important after they have gone to school or a relative’s house. Pay attention to them. Put your baby down somewhere and have some baby-free time with your toddler. Listen to their stories, ask them questions about their day and do this every time they come home.


Eventually, it will be necessary for our children to be independent. Be proud of your child when they do something by themselves and acknowledge the act. I like how you did that all by yourself. Let them explore and discover things on their own. The less they ask if they can do something, the more independent they are becoming. Use No for only the most serious cases (sticking things in electrical outlets, running into the street, etc.).


Stop using the word “share“. It’s abstract and not as easy to understand as taking turns. Teach your child to take turns when engaging in an activity. That is something they can see in everyday life and you can use examples to teach them about cooperation and taking turns. You can say things like: “See how everyone is waiting to take their turn to see the cashier?


Toddlers can get frustrated if they try an activity and is unsuccessful. Without the proper teaching on perseverance, they can develop the mindset that any activity that is difficult isn’t worth trying. That is something we all know will not help them succeed in life. Remember the saying: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” and say that to your child daily. Make a song about it so that every time they come to a difficult task you both can sing it together.

These hacks for parents can make life at home with an infant and toddler a little easier. The older child can even teach the younger one. You can tell them that the baby is smiling because the toddler has taught them something. It makes them feel special and confident that they can do things with the baby too. You all work as a team and create a sense of unity in the family.

I hope these hacks for parents will help someone. You can find more great tips on Quora!

Do you have some hacks for parents with infants and toddlers?