If, like me, you revel in a new notebook and some super special pens then you’ll want to hear about World Calligraphy Day which is on the 15th August this year. I have teamed up with Manuscript to be part of the #SaySomethingSpecial Campaign.

The #SaySomethingSpecial campaign is coordinated with Birmingham Children’s Hospital. You write a short letter, poem or note of ‘something special.’ and it contributes to part of a small exhibition, then sent to the children’s hospital along with lovely stationery for the children to enjoy. Such a lovely lift up for those in hospital during the summer.

So what would you say on your letter?


I was sent some lovely calligraphy pens by Manuscript to have fun with for this post but all words are my own!

Further to this Manuscript have also organised Handwriting drop-in sessions:

Have you ever wondered how you can get perfectly neat handwriting? Then join “Nick the Nibs” as he gives you all the best hints and tips on what you can do to improve your handwriting. Nick Caulkin has over 30 years experience in the art of fine handwriting. He is a lecturer specialising in handwriting and calligraphy, as well as a handwriting consultant. So, if you are looking for advice on your handwriting, pop by Nick’s handwriting sessions taking place in “The School” at the museum all day. Check out their website to find out more!

When it comes to redecorating your home, it can often be a lot of fun to put your own personal touch into each room. In the kitchen, you might like to add a little life, and in your living space, it’s nice to create a cozy atmosphere. But when it comes to your bedroom, you almost always want to add a level of luxury that makes you feel like a princess. If you’re currently redoing your bedroom decor and are hoping to create an elegant room that sends you into a sweet slumber, here are the luxury touches you can’t live without.

Silk Bedding

Everyone will have their preference when it comes to the sheets they love to fall asleep in. But whether you love high-quality cotton, or something a bit fleecie, you have to admit that silk sheets add a certain level of luxury to your bedroom. Not only are they gorgeous to cuddle up in, but they can also help you get a better level of sleep– because who doesn’t want to be wrapped up in love when they go to sleep?

Gorgeous Flooring 

You’ll want your feet to get out of bed and onto something gorgeous. I love barefoot living so for me I would have to go for a wood flooring. Searching for a decent flooring online via a website means you can save some pennies on a super sleek look that your toes deserve to walk on! With wooden flooring you also have the option of jazzing it up with a rug for the cooler months too.

Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Mood Lighting

Lighting can be important in every room of your house, but even more so in your bedroom. Not only do you want your lighting choice to look good, but you also want it to be able to keep you calm and help you wind down before bed. To help with that, a warm or dull lighting choice will always be best. And if you want to set it off right, look into ultra glamorous chandelier styles that can add to the luxury look of your new bedroom decor.


Elegant Blinds

And of course, you need to think about covering up that natural light. In your bedroom, you can often want to make sure that you remove every trace of light when it comes to falling asleep. So, it can be important to get some blackout curtains. However, you also need them to look good and fit in with your decor. So, you might want to take a look at some elegant blind options instead of chunky curtains, to fit in with the sleek design you’re aiming for.

Hidden TV

And finally, as you’re putting together this beautiful room, you’re not going to want it to be ruined by having things on display, like your TV. But, did you know that you can hide it away in some really creative ways? Whether you decide to have it installed into (or under) your bed, or in a wall cabinet, make sure you hide your TVas your final luxury touch to your bedroom decor.

What extras would you like in your bedroom?

There are plenty of style guides to be found in magazines and on the internet, that can help you achieve any look with your décor that you want to. However, there is a downside to sticking so rigidly to any one style guide. Sometimes, it might feel like you’re living in a showroom that doesn’t show the personality around your kitchen table. A little of your own personality should always be injected to make sure that a room feels “you”, no matter what style you go for. Here are a few ways to make sure that’s the case.

Find your style

One of the problems of following a style guide is that some people don’t really determine what their style is before they jump in. Finding your inspiration before you start making décor choices is going to ensure that you’re later happy with those very same choices. Watch home makeover programmes, browse through interest, take a look at before-and-after renovation photos. Do plenty of inspiration material binging and start collecting and collating those that stand out most to you. Rather than finding one “style”, you’ll find you have an eclectic mix of tastes that you could work to incorporate together. Checking out various ways to buy such as searching for a light or flooring website for example will help you see what’s available from vinyl to wood. Costing up is helpful before going ahead with your project so that you don’t get caught short by unexpected costs! 

Fit your hobbies in there

Do you have one hobby that takes up most of your time or a passion that you find inextricably linked to your very being? Then make a little space for it in your décor. It’s all about finding the boundary and not crossing it. Make a single subtle display, such as a wall lined with movie posters, if you’re into movies or a good place to fit a bookshelf if you’re a reader. You want it to be a subtle pointer to your personality, incorporating your hobby too much can end up a little overbearing if you don’t know how to hold back.

Make memories your pride

There are certain elements of décor that transcend a particular style, too. To many people, there are few better avatars of their own personalities and experiences than the photos they take or have had taken of them throughout the years. Creating a photo wall display in the home can immediately give any room a focal point that screams personality. There are a lot of ways to arrange them, such as making a grid, lining them up, or even hanging them, so you don’t have to feel like your options are too limited as to how you display them, either.

Give it some space

Whether it’s certain ornaments you love the most, some photos on display, or anything else, giving your personality some space is crucial. Set up a space all its own by using a display cabinet or a glass console table dedicated to the collection you want to put on display. Don’t clutter it and force it to share attention with some of the more traditional décor aspects of the room. This creates a competition for attention which means it won’t stand out as much.

At the end of the day, a home that doesn’t have “you” in it isn’t going to feel yours. Find the spaces you’re not using and think about how to incorporate your own personality.



Optimism is a great trait and can be a useful tool in helping to overcome hurdles in life. Contrary to what some might believe, optimism doesn’t mean never seeing the clouds on the horizon, but it’s about believing that you are able to blow them away. 

To create a leader in optimism means starting in childhood and as parents you can help carve out this path. Here are seven top tips in how you can contribute to raising a child to be a leader who is also optimistic. 

Top leadership activities for kids

There are loads of games to play that encourage children to have fun and grow, some as simple as playing outdoors on swings or ones that get them thinking in a manner that help them develop into contributing members of society. 

1. Get Active

This may sound like a strange suggestion but it’s been repeatedly proven that there’s a strong link between exercise and mood. Being active releases feel good endorphins which not only provide a short-term lift, they can also rejuvenate mental health in the long term too. 

When a child exercises they’ll experience the following surge in their mood and notice that they’ve been able to influence how they feel. This provides a real sense of control and authority, giving them the all-important optimistic outlook on life. 


2. Meditate 

This is good for kids in lots of different ways, including helping to create an optimistic mindset. Meditating decreases stress which can be harmful to both physical and mental health. 

As well as feeling calmer, your child will feel more in control which is one of the core components of optimism.  


3. Practice Gratitude

At the end of each day it can be easy to hang on to the negatives and forget about all the good things that have happened. Over time this can influence your mindset and start to damage optimism.

To counteract this natural human inclination, at the end of the day, it’s a good idea to consciously think about positives. Perhaps at the dinner table or when you are putting your child to bed, list three good things that have happened that day. It doesn’t matter how small the positives may be, the goal is to focus the mind on being optimistic and celebrating successes rather than brooding over things that didn’t go quite as well. 


4. Purposeful Play

Technology has its place in modern society and it can even be educational for children. However too much can be damaging and dulls the senses that you are trying to stimulate. 

Limit the amount of screen time your child can have every day and instead pick an activity which is more challenging, such as Lego. A toy that’s been around for many decades and still holds the same amount of appeal, with Lego your child can tackle a challenge. Whether this is one you set, something they choose themselves or simply building something following the given instructions in the Lego box, finishing a Lego set can provide a real sense of accomplishment in a child. 

This self-belief that they can achieve what they set out to do becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as your child believes that they have the ability to succeed. 


5. Being Kind to Others

Altruistic acts do just as much for the individual as it does for those who are receiving the help. Being kind to others is its own reward, bringing a sense of purpose and of inner harmony. 

When you do something to help another person you receive the benefit of seeing the outcome, and you receive a surge of feel-good hormones that help to minimize stress and strengthens your resolve to do the same again. 

This has a genuine place in developing optimism as it reinforces the view that a child’s own actions can change the world around them. 


6. Model the Behavior

No matter what you say, if your actions deliver a different message you will never get the child to take you seriously. To get any youngster to listen, you need to be the living embodiment of everything you’re trying to teach. 

Model determination, optimism and positivity and that attitude will be observed and absorbed by the child. 

7. Keep a Journal

Writing in a journal or diary each day and keeping the thoughts positive and uplifting can be a good way to train the mind to think more optimistically. If you’re ever in doubt about the positives of the past, a quick flick back through the journal will reveal all of the good things that have happened. 

Practicing the positives will help to filter out the negatives and create a lasting memory if your child ever needs an instant pick-me-up. 

Mindful Optimism 

Being optimistic means seizing control of your destiny and believing that you have the power to succeed, even when the path appears a little bumpy. The above seven top tips will help your child to acquire these skills and ultimately become a leader in optimism. 

About the Author 

Matt Morrisey is a writer and a teacher. He enjoys writing about kids toys, outdoor children’s games at www.StarWalkKids.com where he contributes. 

As a mama to three children, making us a family of 5, holidays seem to be aa distant luxury. I have been told it can be done so here are a few tips I have gleamed from others in the know that will hopefully make me feel more confident about travelling together.

Travel Options:

If you are budgeting this summer then why not go retro and grab a coach somewhere. Its good to have a few ways of travelling to make it fun for the kids. We often forget how good National Express is and how much of a bargain it is for small trips – check out some bargains by using an app or voucher site.


Check out reviews for airlines to resorts. Make sure you know where you and your family will feel welcome and have all you need on hand. Kids clubs to babysitters, spa for Mama – make sure you have a check list of individual as well as group needs.

Websites like TotsToTravel cater for families and so will make you feel more at ease on getting the right kind of holiday for you.

Make sure they are occupied on the journey.

My sister was recently sent the Apramo Travel Buddy for her car. This is a great option to keep bottles and activities for long car journeys in. They are easily reachable.It fits loads in, has separate drinks holders and most importantly is super easy to clean! My nephew loves filling it up!


The only downside is that it didn’t fit her middle seat as it needs to attach to an across the lap seat belt and her middle seat has the full seatbelt. I am hoping to use it later in the year as I will be learning to drive and I think this will mean the journey will be less distracted if everything is in reach for the children to get!

Create a holiday bag for each child.

This could have a new camera (think polaroid)  for each child and a scrapbook so they can document their holiday on the go. Have a daily prize for the most unusual shell, the best photo etc and make it into a daily project for each to relieve any boredom! It also means you will have a book full of memories to look back on!

Also pack snacks, favourite toys and of course you may want a tablet computer/headphones loaded with books and films for moments where they can’t run around and be their most energetic self!

Engage with them throughout 

From the booking process to the main event make sure they know all about where you are going. This is a good time to make sure they know full names and telephone numbers. Discuss stranger danger and find suitable items like a buddy band where you can write your information. We know you’ll have eyes like a hawk on them but it is best to be prepared.

Don’t let them pack their own bags!

Surely you have had that experience before?