JQ Jewels - Preowned And New Jewellery From A Birmingham Jeweller

Beautiful jewellery at great prices is hard to come by. You need to find a reputable business that sells quality jewellery at a decent price. JQ Jewels are one such jeweller. This is a collaborative post in conjunction with JQ Jewels but as ever all opinions are my own.  

JQ Jewels is an online jeweller based in Birmingham in the world-famous jewellery quarter. Committed to bringing the best jewellery and luxury watches to their customers, they sell a range of new and pre-owned jewellery for that special gift. Everything is offered at competitive prices and they also offer finance through Klarna if you need that too. I know with the pandemic around some people may need to spread their payments and Klarna lets you do that if you need to.

JQ Jewels also offers alternations if needed and personalisation with their quality engraving services. They can also buy your old gold too which is useful if you want to raise some cash.  Let's have a look at my favourite pieces from JQ Jewels. 


18ct rose gold and diamond Bvlgari chain necklace was £1,600.00 now £1,215.00

The first necklace that stood out to me from the JQ Jewels website was the 18ct rose gold and diamond Bvlgari chain. A beautiful designer chain, the curb chain had two small round adjustments and four rings with small diamonds adorning it. At a bargain price of £1215, this 17 inch pre-owned necklace would make a great gift


9ct white gold and diamond fancy bracelet was £1000 now £700

This 9ct diamond set bracelet is my next choice. With 0.4ct of diamonds set in a tennis style bracelet, this 7 inch bracelet is sure to catch the light and admiring glances. You are getting a bargain with this bracelet as it is preowned and new bracelets like this cost much more. A gorgeous bracelet and a great gift for the one you love.


9ct white gold and diamond fancy bangle Was £2600 now £2000

My next choice from JQ Jewels is this beautiful white gold bangle above. Lovingly preowned this bangle weighs 31.6 g in weight and has 0.62 ct of diamond in a pave setting. A stunning bangle that is a classic design that any self-respecting diamond lover would have in their jewellery box.


9ct yellow gold and diamond fancy heart chain necklace Was £1200 now £870

Another preowned delight from JQ Jewels is this yellow gold and diamond fancy heart chain necklace. Resembling a Tiffany-style necklace the open link chain meets at the end with a T-bar and diamond-set heart. A necklace to be treasured for the love of your life at a bargain price too. 


9ct white gold fancy chain necklace - 17". Was £180 now £115

My last pick from the JQ Jewels website is this 9ct white gold fancy chain necklace which is preowned. I just love the simplicity of this white gold necklace, with a twist design. It's a good looking necklace that can add a touch of class to a little black dress or worn with a casual outfit. A very pretty white gold necklace at a good price.

​As you can see JQ Jewels boasts a lovely range of preowned jewellery and it has an interesting range of gold rings, gold earrings, gold chains, gold bracelets and watches amongst other things. Why don't you check out the JQ Jewels site and let me know which items of jewellery are your favourite? 

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The Benefits Of Music Lessons In Schools

Music is relaxing, stimulating, and creative. It can inspire and uplift as well as improve brain development. Many studies have indicated that music increases the learning capacity of children, but it also improves mental health and neural processing.

Students who regularly engage in music lessons have more developed neural processing skills than those who don’t. Reading comprehension and writing skills are both improved by the study of music.

These are obviously important factors to consider when you begin looking at a school for your child. Choose a school with a dedicated and well-developed music department, a choir, a band and as many opportunities for musical development as possible.

Even if your child is not especially musical, it’s vital that they are exposed to it as much as possible. The talented musicians aren’t the only ones who can benefit from all that music brings!

What if my child doesn’t like the lessons?

piano lessons

Learning a musical instrument takes obvious commitment – this is why many parents are somewhat wary about investing in regular private lessons. It’s not uncommon for children to lose interest and become reluctant to practice but the important thing is that you help them to keep at it.

Explain that the practice is important and if they can reach the next grade, then you will consider letting them change instruments. This can be a good carrot to dangle before a child has lost interest. Even ten minutes per day is good for most children – younger ones particularly as it is often tricky for them to concentrate for longer periods. Ensure your child has a quiet and suitable place in which to practice.

Music enriches a child’s life in multiple ways, reducing stress and anxiety and opening up social opportunities. If your child is particularly interested in music, then you could consider choosing a music preparatory school which is a wonderful way of ensuring their education is enmeshed with the many benefits that music brings.

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What Are The Main Causes Of Depression In Young Adults?

We all feel low sometimes and if you live with a young adult, it can often feel as though their moods are taking over your home. The truth is, consistent, negative emotions are more than just your teen “feeling blue” or going through a “hormonal phase”, your teen could, in fact, be struggling with depression.

Depression makes it feel impossible for this dark mood to lift. Your teen might be expressing this mental health issue through all kinds of symptoms, including feelings of worthlessness and guilt, difficulty concentrating, physical discomfort, social withdrawal and even changes in their eating habits. Your teen might be experiencing a mixture of behavioural or emotional changes due to their depressive state, or they could be hiding it with other destructive behaviours such as drinking, drugs or even excessive gaming.



If you’re worried about your teen’s struggle with their mental health, Yes We Can Youth Clinics provides help for depression that may help them overcome this mood disorder, giving them the tools they need to improve their quality of life and live and function positively. In the meantime, understanding the main causes of depression in young adults can help you comprehend what they might be going through, and increase your ability to support them through this difficult period. While there is no black and white answer, there are numerous factors that could be at play. Read on to find out more.

Family difficulties

When their family is experiencing difficulties, such as their parents divorcing or separating, or a feud is threatening the harmony of the family home, it’s not uncommon for anxiety and depression to take hold.

The death of a loved one

A traumatic event such as the death of a loved one can have all kinds of consequences on the mental health of the young adults in your life. A sense of loss that is difficult to shake can lead to a change in behavioural patterns and negative thinking, which in turn can develop into depression.

Brain imbalances

Sometimes, the cause may be attributed to a physical cause. When the neurotransmitters in the brain are imbalanced or compromised, it can affect the nerve cells, which in turn can lead to depression. Chemical imbalances are associated with the following neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Childhood trauma

Often, depression can have its roots all the way back to early childhood. Often caused by traumatic events such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Living through these events can leave survivors more susceptible to depression.

Family history

Studies have shown that young adults with a family history of depression, for example in a parent or grandparent are much more likely to be susceptible to depression themselves.

Self-esteem issues

If your teen is in a constant battle with their self-esteem due to chronic bullying, peer pressure, obesity, or even problems with academia, then they’re more likely to develop certain personality traits such as being pessimistic, become overly dependent on others and overly self-critical, which in turn can develop into depression.

Final thoughts…

If you believe your teen is suffering from depression, it’s important that you support them and seek help as soon as possible.

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Five Reasons To Grow Sunflowers

With spring now upon us, what better reason to embark on a journey, exploring the season with a whole host of new activities that your little ones can get involved in. With memories from last year’s Kiddi Caru Sunflower Competition still fresh in our minds, and this year’s contribution just around the corner, there’s sure to be a lot of buzz around growing flowers with your children.

But why sunflowers? Well, you may be interested to know that there are a whole host of benefits to growing and maintaining sunflowers in your garden – and it doesn’t hurt to get your kids involved too.



Read on to find out the top five reasons for growing sunflowers.

Reason #1: Decorating your house

Not only will sunflowers brighten up your garden, but they also make the most gorgeous cut flowers to put inside your house. With your supervision, and depending on your child’s age, cut your flower stems early in the morning if you can. This is the preferred time of day to snip those beauties for two reasons: firstly, the bees will be eager to get out there and pollinate so you’ll miss the rush, and secondly, this way, the flowers won’t hold the heat from the sun so they’ll last longer inside your home.

Another top tip is to put your flowers into cold clean water, in a cool area of the house, within 10 minutes of cutting. This will allow the sunflowers to absorb as much water as possible and not seal off.

Reason #2: Feeding the bees

Those aforementioned hungry bees will be your new best friends if you plant sunflowers in your garden. Take this opportunity to educate your children on the pollination process, and you can even allow them to watch the bees in action, from a safe distance.

The large yellow petals attract all kind of species of bees, including honey and bumblebees. The centre of the flower houses hundreds and thousands of tiny individual florets which hold all of the delicious nectar and pollen, the main food source for bees.

If you’re looking to create a reliable source of food for those buzzing little creatures, make sure to only buy organic and chemical-free seeds.

Reason #3: Attracting wildlife


Growing sunflowers in your garden is a great way to attract wide varieties of birds – which also act as pest control, to deter insects from destroying your plants. With more and more birds flying through your back garden, this gives you the perfect opportunity to educate your child on different species and the benefits of encouraging birds to visit your new flowerbeds.

To ensure your new friends enjoy the facilities, make sure to add a birdbath and feeder to your garden d├ęcor. Your kids will love helping to refill the food and water and wait for birds to come flocking. It teaches them a valuable lesson about kindness and generosity towards animals, and perhaps even act as a gateway into having their first pet!

Reason #4: Health benefits

As well as planting sunflower seeds, you can also eat them!

Sunflower seeds are often found in seed and nut mixes – a great snack to give your little ones, as long as they’re supervised. Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium, as well as a whole host of other nutrients.

Reason #5: Detoxing soil

Another opportunity to educate your children on a slightly more technical side of gardening, sunflowers can help detox contaminated soils, especially in urban areas. In fact, these amazing flowers are sometimes known as phytoremediators which means “plant remedy”.

Essentially, sunflowers have the ability to absorb toxic heavy metal contaminants and poisonous chemicals that may be present in the soil. Of course, you can conduct a little more research of your own, but the bottom line is – sunflowers are extremely beneficial for the environment. 

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Beautiful Modern Art From Mike At Art Veles House

I've always been slightly jealous of people who can paint. It's such a creative and expressive way of communicating. The best artists have a real talent for their work, with a few brush strokes they can paint such amazing portraits and landscapes of subjects and scenery. One of the best artists I have seen recently is Mike at Art Veles House.

Mike Novikov from Art Veles House is a graduate of art schools in both Milan and London. With his specialist subject being oil paintings, for the last 20 years, he has had clients from all around the world, drawn to his modern portraits of the female form.

His art is painted on cotton canvas or board with oils, and created from high-resolution colour photographs.  Art is very subjective but you can truly see the quality of the work from Mike at Art Veles House. The modern art paintings would look amazing on any wall.

Let's have a look at some of my favourite oil paintings from Mike Novikov from Art Veles House.

This first portrait in oils that I have chosen is very striking. Painted in a soft romantic way, the colours used are warm in tone and the way the light reflects on her face giving a soft focus is truly stunning. The woman's eyes are green and seem to look straight at you. A past commission this work is a true work of art.


The second painting I have chosen, an oil painting of a woman in a red dress, is available to buy from the Art Veles House website. Mike has captured the light well in this painting. The warm light casts a glow on the woman, showing her flowing blonde hair and highlighting her back. She is feminine without having everything on show. The red dress has texture and is flowing and the simple bracelet picks up the light. 


This painting of a woman playing the violin is another favourite of mine. It has a slightly abstract tone, whilst still being a romantic style portrait of a woman. The colours here are cooler, with dark grey tones, purple and white. The woman is looking down, perhaps lost in her music. The painting also conveys movement in the brush strokes that resemble the movement of her bow.

Mike's wants you to feel for his paintings. He says the worst you could feel in indifference. I think he captures women beautifully in his paintings, especially as portraits are hard to paint. Why you may ask? Well, you need to paint an accurate likeness and also, unless otherwise instructed, I personally feel you need to make the portrait flattering, to show that person in the best light, that they must look beautiful or handsome. Most people don't want to see a portrait of themselves or a loved one and pay for the privilege where they don't look the best they can be.  You just know if you commission a portrait from Mike Novikov, he will capture your loved one perfectly. 

Mike ships all around the world, and the most popular sizes of oil paintings are 40cm by 50cm. If you wish to get a quote you can contact Mike on his website Art Veles House. For a portrait of the female form, or a woman portrait I recommend Mike Novikov. 

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Must Have Gadgets And Gifts For Wine Lovers

If you are a wine connoisseur there are some great gadgets and gifts out there for you.  Gadgets that can make your life easier, that can keep the wine at the correct temperature or can cool it down and gadgets that can keep your wine longer. 

Wine

Let's have a look at some of the must-have gadgets and gifts for wine lovers in 2021.

Corkscrew

Although you can buy wine with screw top lids, I think you will agree with me that a corkscrew is a must-have for wine lovers everywhere. For a touch of luxury check out the Peugeot range of quality corkscrews that are designed for ease of living. From rechargeable electric corkscrews to a Sommelier's corkscrew with an integral foil cutter, you will be surprised at the range and depth of corkscrews you can buy. 

Wine cooler

A wine cooler is a useful gadget for any wine lover, especially those that love white wine. White wine is kept cold, either very chilled for light white wines to lightly chilled for oaky white wines. A basic wine cooler is an ice bucket, which you fill with ice and place the wine in to chill, a more advanced wine cooler is an insulated container that is chilled to keep the wine insulated and cold while a more sophisticated wine cooler is similar to a mini-fridge. All of these make a great gift for a wine lover.

Decanter 

decanter
A wine decanter is a great gift especially for lovers of red wine. A decanter is a vessel usually glass that has an easy to pour neck. Pouring wine from the bottle into the decanter is said to let the wine 'breath' and improve the flavour of wine as well as separate the sediment from the wine. White and red wine can be decanted like this but sparkling wine should not or it will lose its sparkler. Red wine is a good wine to decant as it gains more complex flavour notes at room temperature. 

Wine Saver

When a bottle of wine is open it lets oxygen in and before long it can change the flavour of the wine. Sparkling wine can also become flat. A wine saver is a gadget that removes air from a bottle creating a vacuum seal. This can help the wine preserve its flavour and keep it fresh-tasting for up to a week. A perfect gift for someone that likes the odd glass of wine but doesn't want to drink the whole bottle.

Wine Tasting

wine tasting

My last addition to this list of gadgets and gifts is a voucher for a wine tasting. There are many vineyards around the world, from small boutique wineries to large wine production centres where you can see how grapes are grown, picked and made into wine. Of course, there are also tastings too and any wine lover would really appreciate a visit to a wine tasting. You can even have a virtual wine tasting where wine is delivered to your door. 

As you can see there is a range of must-have gadgets and gifts for wine lovers out there. Let me know, do you love wine or do you know someone who does?

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Positive Prints Personalised Moon Phase Print Review

Choosing a unique gift for the person who has everything can be difficult, that's why I am a big fan of personalised gifts. I've given some lovely personalised gifts in the past including a personalised newspaper for a big birthday and personalised jewellery to my mum.  So when Positive Prints contacted me to ask if I wanted to review one of their Moon Phase prints I was intrigued. This is an advertorial.

Moon Phase Poster


The moon phase poster from Positive Prints, is a personalised poster of a moon phase at a certain time and place, for example, a wedding date, birth date or anniversary. 

Creating your poster is fairly straight forward. You select the design, choose the colour scheme and if you want a shadow or not. Then you enter your details. The date is important as that is the date of the moon phase that is used. Then you choose a format, whether you want a printed poster, digital download, a pillow, canvas or poster with a frame. You select the format and the paper size and add a personalised message if you want to. 

print-1


positive print 3

It was all very simple to do and didn't take very long at all. You can see how it looks too with the instant preview option.

Delivery was quick and free and in a matter of days, the poster with a frame had arrived at my door.

Who are Positive Prints?

Positive Prints is a personalised online gift site set up by Marta and Ralph, a couple of fun-loving creatives looking to spread joy and positivity worldwide. Based in Poland, they ship worldwide quickly and safely and have been featured on CBS News, NBC and ABC news channels. 

Selling a range of gifts from birth posters, custom star maps, and custom moon phase posters as well as custom map art you can guarantee all the gifts they produce are unusual, unique and definitely different.

 I love the custom map art so this will be next order on my list.


It was interesting to see the photo print of the moon. If I had to order again I would have the print without the shadow. The photo frame was lightweight and of reasonable quality. If you want a unique gift a moon phase photo print is the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Check out the other personalized prints from Positive Prints while you are at it.

Let me know, what do you think of the moon phase print?

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How Disruptive Is A Kitchen Extension?

Home construction is a difficult topic to fully get your head around at the best of times, being quite overwhelming for many homeowners. It can be daunting to think about the disruption that could be caused within the home if you decide to make any major changes to the structure and layout of the house. However, this does not need to be the case if you are considering a home or kitchen extension, as the disruption is much less than one would expect.



In most properties, the kitchen is located at the rear of the property, categorising most rear extensions as kitchen extensions. This means that in most cases if you are extending your property you will face disruption to the use of your kitchen area. A rear, side or wrap-around extension can take between 10-14 weeks to construct depending on the size of your property and the specifics of your extension. During this time, your building team will supply you with a temporary kitchen area.

A company like Simply Extend will provide a temporary kitchen area which will be equipped with a water supply, sink, a stove and an oven. There are a couple of restrictions to the exact appliances you can have in your temporary kitchen, depending on if your gas and water pipes and electrical cables can be diverted to your living area or spare room. Your building team will discuss with you what you need to minimise the disruption caused by the extension process, so you have full control.

With any home renovation project, you will have to live with some noise disruption for a short period of time. Typically, the worst of the noise will come when the builders break through from the new extension to the original house. This begins approximately around week five and can last until the end of the build. However, your builders will mainly be working 9 to 5 within structured work hours when many may be out of the house at work, and you will not experience loud noise levels late into the evening.



Before construction begins, you will need to obtain Party Wall Agreements with your neighbours that will agree on what you can and cannot do to any shared walls between properties. During this process, it is best to discuss the disruption they will experience during your extension project. Your neighbours will experience building work dust for the duration of this project, which may affect their garden and enter their home through any open windows. It is always best to discuss what time of year works for you and them, as building work in summer can be frustrating for neighbours who will want to enjoy their garden space.

Whilst a kitchen extension can cause some disruption, it is never as much as homeowners typically expect, and the finished kitchen is always worth it, You can always discuss your concerns and worries with your surveyor when they visit your home for a site survey.

Let me know, would you have a kitchen extension? 

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Deliciously Guilt Free Mixed Brownie Box Review And Giveaway Ends 30/05

I love a good brownie. I mean who can turn down a scrumptious tasting delight with a cup of tea? So when Deliciously Guilt Free said they wanted to send me some to review, I can hardly say no, especially when they said they were made with natural ingredients 

Deliciously Guilt Free is a company that make brownies but brownies as they say that are deliciously guilt free. I was intrigued by what they mean so let's have a look at their brownies and what they mean by their claims.


The Company

The Deliciously Guilt Free brownies are made a low sugar, low carb treat. The company say that are suitable for a keto diet so if you are following one then you should be able to include these in your diet. 

The idea for the brownies came when the owners of the company Basma and Dan were expecting their first child. Basma was pregnant and was diagnosed with gestiational diabetes. She had to follow a low sugar and moderate carb diet but still wanted the odd treat. So they devised a low carb brownie and the rest as they say is history. Now selling brownies, blondies, and biscuits all keto friendly their low carb keto bakery makes these products, as they say, with no junk.


Our Review

The brownies are packaged so that they can fit through the letterbox so they are easy to delivery, no one needs to be in. They were packaged in cellophane to keep them fresh. The shelf life on the the package I received was relatively short and had to be eaten within a month. I guess this is because they are not packed full of additives and preservatives which is obviously a good thing. 

They do also recommend you put them in the fridge when they arrive where they will keep for 7 days or in the freezer where they will keep for two months. 


The brownies are made in the correct size for a luxurious treat, not too big or small.


The mixed brownie box that they sent contained 8 portions of brownies of different classic and popular flavours.

In each box you'll find:

2 x Blueberry and lemon drizzle cake - 2g net carbs per cake
2 x Peanut Butter Brownie - 2.95g net carbs per brownie
2x Salted caramel blondie - 1.1g net carbs per blondie
2x Chocolate fudge brownie - 1.4g net carbs per brownie

I roped my son in to help me taste them. It's hard life being the kid of a blogger sometimes!

Blueberry and lemon drizzle cake

This was my favourite. A light sweet cake bite with a good lemon flavour dotted throughout with blueberries.

Peanut butter brownies

A rich chocolatey brownie with dark chocolate and a peanut butter swirl. If you love peanut butter you will love this.

Salted caramel blondie

Mmm where do I start with this one? If you have a sweet tooth this will satisfy your cravings. A lovely caramel flavour but I couldn't taste any hint of salt.

Chocolate fudge brownie

Rich, decadent, chocolatey. A really good brownie, less dense and heavy than many chocolate brownies. I can imagine they would be great warmed up with cream or ice cream for the ultimate foodie treat. My son's favourite.

Jake

If you are looking for a way to have a low carb snack then check out Deliciously Guilt Free brownies, cakes and biscuits. One note though, they are not calorie-free so when you are scoffing the last one of a box in record time just bear that in mind! The 'favourites' mixed box of brownies retail at £10.99 with shipping extra.


Competition 

On the blog today you can have the chance to win one of two mixed boxes of brownies. So two prizes to give away to my readers. Entry is easy via the Gleam app below that picks the winner at random. Good luck!

Win a box of mixed brownies