I always like to have something in the diary to look forward to; a new event, a show to go to or a gig coming up on the calendar. Having worked with Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham for a while now, and reviewing so many fantastic events over the past few years, I know first-hand what an eclectic and exciting mix of events they have on offer, no matter your musical taste and for everyone in the family.

Who hasn't dreamt of winning big? A lottery jackpot, at the bingo or perhaps through an online gambling game? I don't think there's any harm in dreaming about what could be (or in having a little flutter now and then) so I've been thinking about what I would do if I won a competition, prize draw or a big jackpot...

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Here's what I would probably do with our winnings...

It's impossible to really imagine winning a pot of money, even though I've played a few online games like bingo and we've both done the lottery, been to dog racing or done other small scale gambling - it's fun to have a go, and if you know your limits, it's can be really fun. So, if we were to be win big, I'd be a bit sensible but also a bit impulsive with spending our winnings - I just wouldn't be able to resist a bit of a splash to celebrate!

We spend a lot of time thinking about our homes. How to keep everything in order, the bills we need to pay, how to ensure everything looks as good as possible, as so on. But there’s one area of owning a property we very often forget to think about; how relaxing they are! Yet this is one of the most important aspects of the home. After all, after a long day of work, we all want to return to a place that’s tranquil, comfortable, and conducive to a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Below, I take a look at a few simple ways you can up the relaxation levels in your home...

* Collaborative post

Source: Pexels.com

Cosy Corners

Take a look at your home. How many spaces are there, really, where you can sink into a deep state of relaxation? If you don’t already have these spaces, then take a look at adding a cosy reading corner in one of your rooms; if you have a spare bedroom, then it can be especially good for this use - after all, you only have guests every so often, it doesn’t automatically need to become a guest room. And, as probably goes without saying, spend some time putting together the perfect living area, one in which you can spend many a chilly evening curled up watching films.

There's a lot of people talking online about their personal journey learning to love themselves and how sometimes social media can be more of a negative experience than a postitive one. So much so, I'd say there is a real trend towards more people finding it ok not to always be ok, and not to always show the 'nice' bits but to open up and talk about the not so nice bits too. And I think that's flippin' brilliant.

I have a post in drafts that I will finish one day, all about why your thirties rock, as I am almost four years in and have to say, by-and-large, I am the most happy I have been, particularly within myself. It's not always easy and I have wobbles like everyone, but I have found a way to enjoy who I am, the way I am, and there is something to knowing yourself as you get older that makes the extra birthdays not really so bad.

If you ever have a wobble, or wobbles, sometimes some words of encouragement can make all the difference. And I have two books filled with word of positivity to share with you in case they're the kind of thing that might give you a boost or a smile when you need it.

The first book is called Be A Llama... and Stay A Little Calmer, (£5.99), by Sarah Ford, available from Octopus Books. It's a great little pick me up for anyone who is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, either by work or the pressures of everyday life.

I don't know about your little ones, but Ethan always seems to be a tad sticky. And you should see the state of him some days after school! It's great that he has so much fun during the day, of course, but his uniform can really take a battering with paint or pen stains, grass and mud around his knees, crumbs or stains from his lunch around his cuffs... he's obviously very enthusiastic in whatever he is doing!

We have to wash his uniform every couple of days to keep his clothes clean and on rotation during the week, but sometimes there's a tougher stain to remove. I'm not that knowledgeable when it comes to laundry (don't ask me what all the symbols or functions do!) so this guide shared by Muddy Puddles is a REALLY big help for parents like me.

Now that the summer is here, we can look forward to longer and warmer days. But, to be able to take full advantage of them you have to be prepared.

* Collaborative post

New swimwear
If you have not already done so, get everyone to try on their swimming costumes, shorts, and bikinis. You are checking to make sure it fits. Should anyone need a new costume you can easily order them online from somewhere like Fashion World. They sell women´s bikinis, tankinis and costumes in sizes 30 to 46. But, they also cater for men and children. Shopping somewhere you can buy what you need for everyone saves you time and, usually, you will save on postage, as well.
Over the past 11 years, our bedroom has probably been the room that's gone through the most changes. Not necessarily in terms of layout, as our king size bed predetermines this a fair bit, but in the colour scheme.

* In collaboration with Bed Guru

It took me a long while to find the perfect shade for to slumber in; it's been sky blue, sage green, monochrome and at one point, we even had a brick wall effect feature wall.

In our latest and current scheme, we have gone for a palette of soft grey and deep blue. In the winter, we layer this up with rich toned cushions and in summer, the bedspread we choose helps to lift the room and keep the feeling cool and inviting.

I have a real affection for and am keen to support Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity. From The Big Hoot trail in 2015 to the even bigger Big Sleuth last summer, I have become more aware of the fantastic work that the charity does in order to help children who really are going through some tough times health wise.

I've been fortunate to get to know the charity a little more, on a personal level, knowing someone who works there and seeing what they do and the difference it all makes, so I was keen to share their latest fundraising event in case your family can help another family out.

Here's what you need to know about Fun Family 5, taking place in June:

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity is calling on its kind-hearted supporters to get involved in its much-anticipated second annual Fun Family 5.

Taking place in Sutton Park on Saturday 16 June, the eventful sponsored 5K walk will raise vital funds for the sick children and families at the hospital, and aims to top last year’s event which saw over 400 participants raise nearly £20,000.
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