Post Comment Love 19th - 21st January


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Welcome back to Post Comment Love, I hope you've had a fabulous week and have a great post for Stephanie and I to read. I'm looking forward to reading your posts again.

This week has been slightly quieter than last week but it's still been busy. Monday was good, just a regular day, although saying that it did take some time to get into the writing! On Tuesday I headed to the hospital again, another smear test which I'm hoping comes back clear. Tuesday evening we had BP's Parent's Evening too. The rest of the week has been okay, although we did have a new TV delivered on Wednesday, which took a lot longer than we thought it would! Yesterday and today have been normal days which is nice.

So like I said, it was BP's Parents Evening on Tuesday and as usual we had glowing reports from his teachers. He tries hard, is working on or above target, and is a good influence on his peers - we couldn't ask for anything more. He has exams this week and next, he's been spending a lot of time revising but after talking to his teachers we don't have much to worry about there. He's been working hard and it should pay off. BP has his options this year and we've been discussing what he might want to choose, there's more in his list than he'll be allowed to do so we have to settle on something. Hopefully a meeting at school will clear things up a bit more for him.

My hospital appointment came around quicker than I thought it would. It was my first appointment since the cervical cancer diagnosis and before the appointment I couldn't shake the nervous tummy I had. I knew I was only going for a check up and a smear test but I was still worried. It's one of the things that I think the whole experience has caused, going to the hospital just makes me think of the day I was told I had cervical cancer. I don't think I'll ever shake that. But anyway, the reason I'm mentioning all this is because it's Cervical Cancer Prevention Week next week (22nd-28th Jan) and I'm spending the week sharing a few posts on my experience. Monday you can read my story, a post about the whole process and how it came about. On Wednesday I'll be sharing a post about the emotional side of things and how my diagnosis changed me. I hope you will join me in helping Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust raise awareness and try to increase rates of women going for their smear tests by tweeting about their campaign #SmearForSmear.

Enjoy your weekend and make sure to get some family time!

Blogger Showcase Jazmin from All That Jazmin

Who are you?

My name is Jazmin but everyone calls me Jazz. I'm a 22-year-old amateur pop culture journalist who has a passion for writing, it's no wonder I wanted to blog as well as my job! I'm a massive Disney fan and when I'm not writing, you can find me sat on my sofa watching reruns of Friends. I blog over at All That Jazmin.

How did you discover blogging?

Honestly, I've been blogging for most of my teen years and right up to twenties. Back then, it was a basic blogger account where I'd write updates about my life which nobody read. I first started after I saw my (then) crush had one and I thought if I started one, he'd read it. He didn't. One of my tutors on a writing course told me to start blogging as he believed I had a knack. I always loved Tanya Burr and Zoella and when I saw their blogs, it inspired me for the kind of blog I wanted to set up.

Why did you start blogging?

As I said, a tutor recommended it and I've always loved writing. In year 6 my teacher said that I could write better than most adults and I think that give me the push to wanting to make it a career. Blogging is my own project I can take control of and write in the way I want to. Writing for others is great, but you often have to stick to topics, certain writing styles,etc. but blogging I'm free to write in my style and talk about whatever I want and I love it.

What do you find most challenging?

Trying to get out there. I think my content is good, but promoting myself I'm not the best at. I find blogger engagement groups are useful, though!

What is your favourite topic to write about?

I often tend to change my mind but right now I love writing about my travels. I loved writing about my recent staycation and I have I lot of travel plans for the near future which I'm always thinking about content I can create from it. I think Instagram and other bloggers really influence the wanderlust inside me.

Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

I don't take myself too seriously like a career, but I want to achieve something with my blog. I like to set small goals like reaching certain followers or something silly, but I think baby steps is how you start out and though I've been doing this for 3 years, only last year I started seeing a difference and I'm going slow and steady with goals - hopefully with time and effort, I'll be able to see bigger goals I feel confident to achieve.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Besides the writing aspect, I think maybe discovering life through other people's eyes. I love to read other blogs and feel inspired by them or learning about them and I also love to reread old posts of mine and discover the emotions and thoughts I had back then.

Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?

Nope. not yet! I'd love to go to one, preferably one in South Wales, but if I can save up, maybe I'd be willing to travel. I went to my first blogger event earlier this year which was the LUSH Spa Cardiff opening and I'll be attending some others in the coming weeks, which is exciting! I've held back on blogger events for a while as I battle with my mental health but I seem to be improving and now having given my best friend the blogging bug, she and I can do more together!

What are your three best posts?

This changes a lot! But right now my three favourites are:

Connect with Jazmin here:

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Jazmin, please do feel free to grab our 'featured' badge and display it on your blog ever-so-proudly!

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Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

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Thank you for popping by.

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Family fun with Catan


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As you know we love to play board games, we have a huge selection of board games that keeps growing. We bought the boys lots of games for Christmas and we spent some of the time during the holidays playing. One of our favourite games is Catan, it's a classic and a good family game that even LP, at 8 years old, can play.

About Catan

  • Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be Catan!

  • But you re not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan: the race to settle the island has begun!

  • The men and women of your expedition build the settlements using the land's natural resources. Some are available in abundance, other resources are scarce. Ore for wool, brick for lumber, you must barter and trade according to the needs of your evolving cities. 

  • Proceed strategically! If you build your settlements in the right places and skilfully trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favour... But your opponents are smart too!

  • Will you succeed in gaining supremacy on Catan?

The board game Catan sits in the middle of the frame with 3 cards either side of it. The cards each have a different picture; wood, hay,  rock, sheep, brick, and a "monopoly" card. There's a pink background.

After setting up the game to your specifications you get to choose where to place your first settlement. Take time to decide because this decision could determine whether you win or lose the game! 

Once everyone has placed their first settlements, and a road, you get to place one more. After that the game begins. 

Playing the game

At the start of the game, after placing your first 2 settlements, you are given the resources (cards) that you placed your settlements on to get you started. Your aim is to build as many settlements or cities as you can, each settlement gets you 1 point. The first person to get 10 points wins the game. 

  • We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.

Vince Lambardi

The numbers on the board determine what number is required to earn a resource, if the dice is rolled and that number comes up and you have a settlement that covers that number then you earn a resource of that kind. It sounds complicated but it is very easy once you get started.

Setting up the board game Catan. The board pieces have been put together on a wooden table, each resource board piece has an oval number card on it.

The resource cards are what you use to be able to build new settlements, roads, and cities, but you can only collect these cards when your number comes up on the dice. This is where your decision at the start of the game comes in, because if you chose to place your settlement near a rare number it is less likely you'll get the right resources and so won't be able to build your settlements. 

Small houses have been put onto the Catan board, they are in colours, red, blue, white, and orange. There's a grey figure in the centre of the board, this is the "robber".

  • Do you know what my favourite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.

Mike Singletary

We each have a different coloured settlement; Hubby is blue, BP is red, LP is orange, and I am white.

This game is all about the tactics, where you place your settlements, and how to stop your opponents from building their settlements.

What we thought

Catan is one of our favourite games. The game rules are simple (once you've read and played through) and the game is easy to play. LP likes this game because despite his age he can still win this one, it's all about the right resources coming up and if you choose right you can win. 

The Hubby won by miles!

I'd say it takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to play - depending on the resources coming up of course! Sometimes you can have a short game, other times it can take a while for someone to win. 

We had lots of fun trading resources, sending the robber to pinch resources from other players, and building our own settlements. 

I'd definitely recommend Catan.

You can buy Catan for £44.99.

We were sent the board game Catan for purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Motherhood The Real Deal

Help your parents hold on to their independence


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Getting older is never easy, and it's certainly not easy to see your parents get older either. After all, you spend your entire life being able to look up to and depend on your parents that seeing them get older and start to need more help in their everyday life can be incredibly difficult. However, one mistake that far too many people make is they assume their parents need constant care the moment they start to get older. More often than not, doing that is likely to leave your parents feeling as though they're being patronised and losing their independence, something many people value just as much as they get older. With that in mind, here are some things you can do in order to support your parents as they get older without taking away their independence. 

Dropping by

If you're feeling worried about your parents, it can often be tempting to check in on them constantly which is likely to make them feel smothered and kind of frustrated. After all, no one likes being treated as though they're unable to look after themselves. However, if you drop by from time to time, then you're going to able to check up on them and give them a helping hand with certain things without making them feel like you're smothering them. 

Offering emotional support

Sometimes it's not the practical side of things that older people really need support with. Getting older can be tough, and a lot of people start to feel as though they're not as valued as they once were by the people around them. By being there to offer emotional support, you're able to show them that that simply isn't true and that you still value them as much as before. Even something as simple as sitting down with them and listening to the things they have to say can have a significant impact on the way they feel about getting older.

Home care

There may come a time when your parents need more than just a helping hand every so often. However, there's a big difference between needing more consistent help and being able to live independently. This is where home care services can be useful. They offer older people the chance to get the kind of support they need without taking away their home or their sense of independence. It's a great balance that can allow your parents to live much more happily and comfortably without taking away their sense of identity or independence.

It's important to be able to recognise when your parents start to need more help than you can necessarily provide. They might not want to fully accept it, but it's important to think carefully about what the next step is when your parents aren't able to live independently anymore. It's never an easy decision to make, but it's one you have to think about carefully.

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Have you ditched your New Year Resolution yet?


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Did you know that today, 17th January, is Ditch New Year's Resolution Day? I had no idea but I have to be honest and say it sounds about right - a couple of weeks after New Year and already people are thinking about giving up their resolutions.

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions for exactly that reason - they're usually just something that is ignored or, more often, something else for me to feel guilty about not doing. As busy mums we find it all too easy to feel guilty about things, for not spending enough time with the kids, for not making the kids eat more healthily, or for not getting all of the housework done. 

Time to let go?

What if, instead of thinking of extra things you will do this year why not let go? Stop doing all the things that make you feel bad or guilty throughout the year - wouldn't that be wonderful? That's why I loved this campaign from Heidi at ThirdLove, her anti-resolutions really made me want to shout YES!

Doesn't that sound lovely? Eating lunch outside in the sunshine - that really does sound good, particularly given that it's gloomy and raining outside. Getting outdoors during the day is bound to do Heidi some good, she'll get a little walk, spend time with colleagues and friends, and maybe even choose a healthy lunch - all good things - and as a bonus she is giving up something that is bad for her. Brilliant.

This is something I really ought to do (there's that guilt again!), get rid of old bras. I hoard mine (for some insane reason!) and have a cupboard full of old bras that I don't intend to wear again - why on earth am I keeping them?! If you're anything like me you treat yourself to new underwear even less often than you buy yourself new clothes so maybe it's time you ditched your old underwear too. ThirdLove has some cute bras that are definitely worth treating yourself to. The funny thing is buying yourself new underwear always feels wonderful so why not do it more often!

Now this one really resonates with me, I have been doing exactly this. I get my workout done first thing in a morning and when I am done the boys are up and want breakfast. I've had my endorphins fix and feel good and the boys have had sleep and not bothered me. I did this before I even thought of it as a resolution!

What am I letting go of?

Whenever I buy myself anything I feel guilty. It could be a new jumper or simply a lip-care product and yet I feel guilty every time. I think the money would be better spent on something for the boys or groceries and I beat myself up about it for ages. I don't know why I do it. So I'm letting go of the guilt whenever I buy myself something new, even if it's a pair of shoes (I have lots)!

What will you be letting go of?

Is there something that always drags you down? Perhaps that's the thing you should be giving up. It could be those extra chocolates you've been sneaking (naughty!) or it could be the guilt like me. Rather than making a New Year's Resolution to add to the guilt later in the year let it all go and free yourself!

So tell me, what will you let go of?

Run Jump Scrap

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Novel ways to throw your child a fantastic birthday party


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When it is time for another birthday in the family, there are many things you can do. For younger children and those reaching certain ages of importance, it is always a nice idea to throw them a party - if they want one, that is. Throwing a party always has it stresses, but that does not mean that it is not going to be worthwhile. In fact, it is almost always worth the effort, especially if you get to see our little one being as happy as ever with their friends and relatives. But it’s likely that you are keen to make sure your child’s birthday party is as fantastic as possible. In which case, you might be wondering what you can do to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. Let’s take a look nowat some of the things that you might want to consider in order to throw the best possible party for your child's birthday.

Think of a theme

One of the best ways to make sure that it goes as well as you would like it to is to think of a theme for the day itself. In order to come up with one which will go down well, you should try of course to think of a theme which your children are likely to enjoy. That means going for something relevant to their personality, to their likes, or something which they are interested in. going down this route is safe, and it will mean that you have something to tie everything together nicely too. If you are struggling to come up with a decent theme, then you might want to think about a more general children’s party theme. If all else fails, that should probably be good enough to ensure that your child - and all of their guests - have an enjoyable time, and that you know what the event should look like.

Invite lots - and early

You will probably want to make sure that your child’s party has lots of visitors, so it is therefore hugely important to invite as many people as you think is necessary. By all means don’t go overboard, but also make sure that you invite enough to make it feel like a proper event. As well as inviting a good number of people, you should also be sure to invite those people as early as you can. The earlier you get the date in their calendars, the less likely it is that people will flake out on you, and this will ultimately lead to a bigger turnout in the end. Of course, once again there is such a thing as taking this advice too far. If you invite everyone too early, it will only mean that people might forget about the event again. Find the balance and get it right to ensure a decent turnout, but not ridiculous amounts of people descending on your venue.

Choose a venue away from home

Speaking of which, it is generally a pretty good idea to choose a venue other than your own home for these parties. This is useful for a number of reasons. For a start, it means that you don’t need to spend the day fretting about your best china and the state of your carpet and walls. You can just relax and enjoy it instead, without worrying what might happen or who might have dirty shoes on. But it will also mean that you can arrange for an actual end time to the event, and you might be surprised how important this turns out to be when you re arranging this kind of event. Having a hall booked for a set number of hours means that nobody can or will outstay their welcome, and that will give you plenty of opportunity to clear up afterwards too. If you do decide to use your own home, you will need to try and be clear about when they should leave and so on.

Add a little something new

You will want to include something which is fairly unique in order for the party to stand out and be one that people remember well. All parents want their children to enjoy their party and hopefully even look back on them with fondness. So you should have something that stands out in such a way that people can’t possibly forget it. Perhaps you want to have a photobooth installed so that people can take silly photos. Or maybe you have something even more original in mind. Whatever you decide upon, it is a great way of ensuring that the party is its own event.

Bring in the clowns

You don’t have to have a clown, of course, but having some kind of entertainment for everyone to see is usually a pretty good idea. Often it seems as though not having this makes for an empty affair, so it might feel that you need to. But if you would rather not go down the clown route, what’s generally just as popular is the magician route. Having a children’s magician come to the event can often be enough to complete the day, so this is something you might want to consider if you want the day to have a focal point as well. If you do do this, be sure to choose an entertainer who comes with plenty of testimonials, so that you know you are getting what you’re paying for. With a little entertainment, you will find that everyone - adults included - enjoys the event much more, and that is ultimately what you are going for here. However, be prepared to have to try out a few different local entertainers over the years until you find one that is completely what you are looking for.

As long as you pay attention to all of the above, you should find that you are able to throw a party which your child will enjoy thoroughly, and possibly even never forget. That will be pleasing for everyone involved, so it is definitely worthwhile.

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