Parenting a disabled child is lonely – so I built an app to help us find each other

Finding people in similar situations nearby and the services you need is a challenge for families like mine

It was 10 June 2015. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Maisie, our cherished baby, was making her way into the world. At 7.14pm, Maisie made her appearance. A mop of thick black hair, a cute button nose and chubby little fingers that curled lovingly around my hand.

This is it, I thought. I’m head over heels in love.

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Pandemic or no pandemic, young people should not ‘age out’ of care

Care leavers are vulnerable to exploitation and destitution. They deserve protection after the threat of the virus has receded

My daughter has just left home. Well, she has, and she hasn’t: despite the mountain of stuff she took with her to university, her room is still full. And despite her much-anticipated independence, she still phones or texts several times a day. I forward her mail, answer her culinary questions, sympathise at 2am when there’s a loud party keeping her awake and grant access to the bank of mum and dad. She may not be living under my roof, but I am her safety net emotionally, financially and practically. Perhaps I always will be.

This is what virtually every parent offers and what virtually every child expects. Except for foster children: when they become adults, they leave without the prospect of this ongoing supportive relationship. Those who have already lost out on a chunk of their development – through the trauma of neglect, abuse and relationship breakdown – lose out again at the other end of their childhood as they face the world alone. Care leavers begin adult life doubly disadvantaged, often with nobody to cheer them on.

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Our adult son has a learning disability. How will he cope as coronavirus surges?

Families with vulnerable sons and daughters have been left adrift during the pandemic. We fear what will come next

My younger son, Thomas, turned 40 in June. But the big party to which his many aunts, uncles and cousins had been invited had to be cancelled. Thomas has Down’s syndrome and a severe learning disability and lives in a residential home; until recently, he hadn’t been able to see his family since early March.

His father and I have been able to keep in touch with our son via video calls facilitated by his key worker, and after the first lockdown eased, we were able to see him twice outdoors. His siblings and nephew and nieces saw him too. But now the visits have been put on hold again.

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How to Look Fashionable During the Winter

A lot of people get excited when the fall season arrives. It is their chance for them to wear their favorite clothes. The crisp and cool autumn air provides people with a lot of fashion options. 

Unfortunately, once fall is over, the winter season arrives. Multiple layers become necessary when this happens. People immediately start to run out of outfits.


Winter can be a bit frustrating due to its cold temperatures. However, simply because it is freezing outside does not mean you’ve got to give up on your looks. 

Keep in mind that you can still look fashionable if you’re creative. Layers are important when it comes to winter clothing. Because of this, you shouldn’t get rid of your trendy jackets for ugly coats, unless it is needed. 

So, how to look fashionable during the winter season? Here are some tips:

Use Belts to Improve Your Coats

During the winter season, it is quite unavoidable that you are going to start to feel tired when it comes to wearing your boring winter coat every day. 

So, if you want to improve your coats, all you’ve got to do is to belt them. Aside from defining your silhouette, you can also make it appear like you’ve got a new coat if you cinch your waist.

Choose the Right Jacket for Winter


This is perhaps one of the most crucial things to have during the cold months. Make sure you’ve got an excellent warm jacket. Unfortunately, these jackets are shapeless, bulky, and oversized most of the time. 

So, how can you achieve a cute and stylish look with a jacket? First of all, make sure you have a Fangyuan parka jacket. These jackets look great no matter what the weather is. 

Another tip you can follow is the one mentioned above. Try to belt your winter jacket. It does not matter if it is a fluffy or a down jacket. You can make it more interesting by belting it. 

Thus, experiment with belts and jackets to make yourself fashionable.

Wear Fashionable Boots

If you really want to be fashionable during winter, try to have a good pair of boots. One of the best boots you can use is the over-the-knee ones. 

You can pair your boots with patterned tights and a short dress. On the other hand, you should wear chunky knit and cuffed jeans if you’ve got ankle boots. 

Though you require a couple of practical pairs during winter, you’ve got to ensure you have at least one fashionable pair of boots.

Protect Your Shoes


Winters are extremely cold. Aside from that, there is also a lot of snow and rain. That is why investing in rain or snow boots is necessary if you’ve got to walk outside a lot. 

However, you can also wear shoes if you don’t like wearing boots. All you’ve got to do is to protect them using a water repellent. 

One great choice is flat over-the-knee boots. This is particularly useful if you have to walk outside on a snowy day a lot of times. Since these boots are higher, they offer an additional layer for warmth. 

In addition to that, over-the-knee boots also make you look like you’re putting a lot of effort into fashion. While these boots don’t have heels, they will still provide a polished look. 

Know How to Layer

There’s a reason why layering is extremely popular during the cold months. It is a very practical way to dress whenever it is snowing outside. 

You should not be scared to wear layers of clothing. Some people even wear face masks. In addition to that, you should not worry about them affecting how you look. 

All you’ve got to do is to look for items that you can discreetly layer under fashionable pieces. This will allow you to look cute while still staying warm. 

A couple of individuals recommend purchasing a lightweight or ultra-thin vest or puffer. Then, you can pair this vest under jackets or over sweaters for an additional layer of warmth. 

Understand Your Thermal Basics


If you like to look warm and stylish, the fastest method to achieve it is to purchase a pair of thermal or wool tights that you can wear under your pants or jeans. 

With this, you can wear anything you like without worrying about the cold temperature. This tip might appear obvious. However, a lot of individuals do not do it.

That is why you should try to buy some excellent thermal basics if you don’t have one.

Wear Scarves


Nothing can go wrong with wearing a scarf during winter. This is particularly true if you are not sure your outfit is warm enough. Don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer to make sure you avoid winter diseases. 

You can wear a scarf as an accessory and a layering piece. Thus, make sure you pick one that is fashionable as well. 

Cover Your Head

Whenever winter arrives, your first thought might be to buy a luxurious coat or a pair of boots. However, there is one thing you have to consider as well – your hat. 

Wearing a hat is one of the best things you can do during winter. Unfortunately, it is also the first thing that people will notice about you. That is why you’ve got to choose hats that are fashionable as well. 

One of the popular hats during winter is a bucket hat. However, if you want to go for a classic look, you should consider wearing a classic beanie. 



Just because it is winter does not mean you can’t be fashionable. People think that they’ve got to wear bulky and ugly outfits during winter. However, that should not be the case.

If you follow the tips above, you can stay warm during winter while still looking cute and trendy. You can still look fashionable without sacrificing your comfort.

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We fell in love with our adopted daughter – but didn’t ask key questions about support

The adoption support fund is a lifeline for parents like us. At a time of political turmoil, it must not be overlooked

It was the question that brought serious, life-altering consequences for our family. The social worker sipping coffee in our lounge leaned forward and casually asked us whether we could consider adopting this little girl.

Adoption was not on our radar. We had three children by birth and our journey as foster carers had only just begun. Our first foster placement – the baby crawling between us – was healthy and beautiful and, as far as I understood, about to be wrenched away to be adopted. But the social worker wanted what was best for this child, who had already suffered enough early childhood trauma without an additional move to another family

Faith on an Airplane

Ask the average person what the first thing he would do when the flight attendant warns everyone to assume the crash position and he will have a predictable answer: he would take that protective position. While hunched and feeling every shudder of the plane, however, he would do one more predictable thing. He would pray. Surveys show that people see themselves as having spiritual faith even when they declare no religion. The problem with that kind of faith is that it amounts to a vague hope. Real faith, based on God, is a powerhouse. It can completely transform a life.

Faith in a creator, in someone stronger and wiser than oneself who placed you on this planet, gives a sense of worth. Faith assures people that they are no accident; they were created and they have value. If the plane does go down, and they are on it, it will matter. Spiritual faith gives a sense of purpose. People without faith often feel that their lives are random wanderings. If someone is created, however, there must be a purpose in his or her existence. Some people make the search for that purpose a life’s calling. Faith in a being bigger than oneself says there is a reason you are on the plane. Put those two things together, worth and purpose, and you have a formula for success in life. If people are willing to put in some effort, they can achieve great things.

Faith is that oxygen mask hanging above the airplane seat. It reminds people that someone is in control and that there is a contingency plan. That is important when life hands out some hard knocks. Faith doesn’t always change the circumstances, but it reassures people that things will work out for the best because someone is looking out for us. That reassurance is important. It gives people the freedom they need to try new things and to experiment with new ideas. In fact, faith is important and relevant in every area of life. It is not relegated to a chapel or a church; it is just as vital in the workplace or at the beach. Today’s pastors help people find faith wherever they are in life. They even reach out through social media. Ed Young’s Facebook Page, for example, shows a ministry that is resonating with people in all arenas of life.

Faith can transform lives. Faith in oneself does that but comes up short when people realize how limited they are and how big life is. Spiritual faith, faith in a creator, gives people the strength they need to tackle really big problems, to deal with stress and grief and conquer fear. Faith holds up a mirror to the faithful and shows them the image of someone who is important and purposed. Spiritual faith gives people the confidence they need to stretch out and become the people they were created to be. When the flight attendant warns the passengers of impending danger, faith assures them they can soar.

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Play Name 5 With Dad This Father’s Day

Play Name 5 With Dad This Father’s Day

Are you looking forward to spending some quality time with dad this Father’s Day? How about spending time playing a fun game from Endless Games?

We recently had the opportunity to work with Endless Games and review Name 5 with our family free of charge. Game night is a huge deal in our house. Everyone stops their busy hectic routines, turns off all of our phones, tablets and computers and spends time together playing our favorite board games. We were extremely excited to try a new game this week. Name 5 is a very fast paced game that really challenges your mind! My husband and I thought that it would be an easy game and we would get bored with it fast. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!!!!

Name 5 is extremely challenging. The object of the game is to give five answers from the topic card. Sounds easy right?? That’s what I thought. Now put a timer in the mix. Now the fun begins. Naming 5 isn’t as easy when you are racing against the clock.

How to Play:

The team going first rolls the die and moves their team’s token the number of spaces rolled on the die. A player from that team picks a card and reads the Name 5 Challenge corresponding to the color of the space on which the token landed. Another member of the team starts the timer. The team has 30 seconds to answer the challenge by naming 5.
EXAMPLE: Name 5 Orange Foods. (oranges, cheddar cheese, carrots, pumpkin, apricots, etc.)

What’s in the box?

• 288 Name 5 Cards
• 1 Game Board
• 1 die
• 4 Tokens (Pawns)
• 30 Second Timer
• Instructions
The Object of Name 5:
Be the first team to reach the Name 5 space to win Name 5!

If you love board games and you are looking for a new one to play then you are going to love Name 5. I highly recommend everyone tries the game at least once and you will be hooked!

If you would like more information or to purchase Name 5, please visit the Endless Games Website. Be sure to stay up to date on all of the latest news and products from Over Under Clothing by following their social media pages on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. While you are there be sure to follow Mom Blog Society on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: Mom Blog Society received product free of charge to write our review. All opinions stated in our review are our own truthfully opinion and were not influenced by the sponsor or from getting the review product free of charge. In no way did we received monetary compensated for our review or opinion.

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Fathers Day Gift Guide Highlights!

If you have an amazing dad like I do, than you know picking out a fathers day gift is one of the most IMPORTANT task you have in june!

We’ve put together this wonderful gift guide in order to help you find the perfect gift for dad!


This is the perfect gift for the Tech Savvy Dads who love their iPhones, iPads, and more! You can purchase this online at Sam’s Club, and the best part of buying it from them right now? They are offering FREE SHIPPING with this offer! I hope that no one minds if I actually buy this for myself! Hurry and get yours now before they are put on back order! If you want to keep up with other great products, then be sure to visit them on Facebook & Twitter! As a tech guy, I’m already stalking them for their next line of products!

Brooks Brothers

I am TOTALLY in love with all of their products, especially their Wallets and Ties! Brooks Brothers is having an AMAZING sale on their Spring and Summer Collections! Right now you can Save 30% off PLUS you’ll get free shipping on all orders of $200 or more! My credit card is SO going to hate me by the time I’m done with all of this shopping…again…for me.

Tessamae’s Father Day Grill Pack

I love Tessamae’s marinades, spreads, and dressings! I think that they are absolutely fantastic and fits all of my grilling needs. What’s even better is that they are All Natural! However, I’m more in love with their Father’s Day Grill Pack! It comes with the following: Honey Mustard, Ketchup, Hot Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, and Roasted Garlic Spread. This already gives me tons of ideas on what to make on the grill. Anyone else thinking Skirt Steak? Yum! This pack normally goes for $31, BUT they released an amazing coupon code to take $5.99 off your order!! Hello Savings! Enter coupon code: TESSEGRILL

John Varvatos Washed Linen Boat Shoes

John Varvatos has some of the coolest and trendiest gifts that dad will definitely love! Right now, you can save up to 40% off their Spring Collection! But honestly, I most want those Washed Linen Boat Shoes in EVERY color! They just look they are the single most comfortable shoes out there, especially with not having to worry about laces. I love a relaxed and casual look, and this is definitely tops for me! Anyone writing this down for me? If so, you can email me and I will send you my address!


Cabelas Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Window Smoker

Okay, Yes I want this badly! What man doesn’t want a smoker? Imagine the endless possibilities of carnal creations that can be made. I’m already drooling! Cabela’s is making life a little more affordable by offering Free Shipping on orders of $99 or more with a great coupon code that is good until June 15th: 4DADSDAY This coupon code will definitely help with those pocket strings.


Ray-Ban REMIX Sunglasses

Just to let you know, I don’t want these. I NEED a pair of these! You can make your own! EEEK!! I’m just trying to decide between which frames and colors I want! Right now, they are offering FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS on all orders! I like that a lot! Anyone that offers me free shipping….I’m kind of a sucker.

Harry’s Father & Son Shave Set

This is pretty much the most amazing Father’s Day gift to give! End of story. This is most especially great for those who are Dads with a younger son (or sons). I think it creates an amazing little pact between Dad and son, and experience that Dad won’t forget anytime soon. Right now, this shave pack is only $25 AND Harry’s is giving FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $10 or more! Get this. Now.

Nike+ Fuel Band

This absolutely the perfect gift for the active Dad! Whether it’s jogging on a treadmill or the open road. Right now they are offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders! Just in time for Father’s Day! I like that’s pretty stylish, which is just as important!

Omaha Steaks For Dad – The Dad Pack!

Dad is sure gonna love this gift! Right now Omaha Steaks is offering Steak pack starting at $59 + 6 Free Burgers + Free Shipping on select combos! With all of these amazing discounts and all of their other deals, how can you wrong? This is perfect with the grilling season upon us! – Wine for Dad!

Who can say no to wine? I know that I can’t! To me, wine is like water…an essential part of winding down and very much needed. Right now, is offering up to 37% off 90+ point rated wines (all under $20)! Now how can you beat a deal like that? You can also save an additional $10 of your purchase of $75 or more off your first order with Coupon Code: JUNENEW Wanna make Dad super Happy? Get him a Stewardship Membership! It’s $49 for the year of UNLIMITED FREE SHIPPING ALL YEAR LONG!

Make this years Fathers Day the best Fathers Day for your dad. If your Dad loves to grill, enjoys wine, fine clothing, spending time with his kiddos, technology and keep fit than any of these gifts will make the perfect gift for dad this Fathers Day! 
Fathers Day is Sunday, June 15! Hurry and grab these special offers while they’re still hot! 
Put a smile on dads face this year with the hottest Fathers Day gifts of 2014!
  “Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mommerce. The opinions expressed herein are my own and were not influenced by any brand.
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Surprise Your Man With Mancrates

Surprise Your Man With Mancrates

Let’s face it. Guys are always complaining about how hard we are to shop. When in reality it is a piece of cake if they took our hints and clues. Guys on the other hand are extremely hard to shop for. I was looking for the perfect gift for my husband who has everything. I mean everything!  Something that he would think was completely awesome. I was thinking about a gift basket but thought he would think I lost my mind and thought it was girly. He is extremely tough to shop for and does not give any hints about what he wants.

We recently had the opportunity to work with Man Crates and review one of their manly gift crates. These crates are the perfect gift for any man in your life.  We were sent a personalized Barware Crate to review free of charge. I could not wait for the Crate to arrived. I only on a very few occasions have I been able to really surprise my husband with a gift that he loved and cherished. One was his personalized bottles of Root Beer with the pictures of our four kids. I knew that he would love getting a Man Crates.

I gave my husband his Man Crates for Valentine’s Day and he absolutely loved it. The fact that the coasters and the glasses were personalized with his name really blew him away. It is really hard to find items that are personalized with “Irv” or “Irving” in stores and I usually have to order it special. The gift arrived safely and is in an actual crate. It came with a crow bar for my husband to use and break open the crate. Inside the crate was a set of four personalized glasses, four personalized coasters, peanuts, pretzels, beer nuts and pistachios. All my husbands favorites!! My husband loved that the coasters have built in bottle openers! He loved his gift and right away started mentioning that Man Crates would make perfect gifts for his father and brothers.

If you would like more information or to purchase a Barware Man Crate, please visit the Man Crates Website. Be sure to stay up to date on all of the latest news and products from Man Crates by following their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. While you are there be sure to follow Mom Blog Society on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: Mom Blog Society received product free of charge to write our review. All opinions stated in our review are our own truthfully opinion and were not influenced by the sponsor or from getting the review product free of charge. We were in no way compensated for our review or opinion.

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