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TravelShades Review The Family Patch

Easing Motion Sickness with TravelShades (Review)

Do you suffer from motion sickness? Do you hate how much it affects your ability to enjoy travelling (either because you feel sick or you feel drowsy thanks to anti-sickness medication)? Yeah, me too…

You might be surprised to know that I’ve suffered from motion sickness since I was a very young child. After all, I studied foreign languages at University, which involved quite a lot of international travel. But the reality is that I have struggled with motion sickness to varying degrees throughout my life, and still do.

It started when I threw up all over the back of the car as a toddler, just as we pulled up into the driveway (oh dear!) and I have many childhood memories of taking travel sickness tablets before any journey, hoping to avoid a repeat of that experience. But even with such precautionary measures, there were still many occasions when I felt sick to my stomach by the time we reached our destination.

To be fair, the more I travelled and the older I got, the more my body seemed able to cope with it. Travelling across the UK by train as a student enabled me to travel without even needing travel sickness tablets, as did commuting to work every day by bus. Believe it or not, I actually became able to read a book on the village bus that swerved around several bendy roads on its route, due to that daily commute. But still I continued to suffer from time to time.

My first clue that I was pregnant was how nauseous I got on the bus journey just after conceiving (a good couple of weeks before those two pink lines showed up on a test!) and I continue to feel sick and panicky whenever I have to set foot on a plane, because nothing I do seems to settle my stomach when flying.

And since a severe bout of labyrinthitis in 2008, I even find myself feeling nauseated simply doing the grocery shop some days (which I assume is due to the sheer amount of eye movement involved in trying to locate items I need and compare prices across shelves). And even more alarmingly, I seem to have started suffering from a form of “virtual motion sickness” over the past couple of years, where looking at my computer screen sometimes makes me feel sick to my stomach, thanks to scrolling information and scanning multiple pages at speed. This, as you can imagine, is not the best experience for a blogger and freelance online media specialist!

So imagine my interest when I heard about a new product that promised to reduce the effects of motion sickness without any kind of medication. It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, let me introduce you to TravelShades…

TravelShades Review The Family Patch

TravelShades

TravelShades are a revolutionary new form of sunglasses that aim to combat motion sickness by reducing the visual stimuli to one eye. Motion sickness is caused by conflicting messages received by the brain from the eyes (visual system) and ears (vestibular system), or put another way your eyes see movement but your body doesn’t sense that same amount of movement, and it causes confusion in the brain. By reducing the amount of visual motion picked up by one eye, TravelShades promise to reduce that conflict and therefore the unpleasant symptoms it creates.

Of course there are a lot more factors that have been considered in the creation of TravelShades than simply covering one eye. Through extensive research and product development, the design of TravelShades has been refined to become an ingenious solution where one pair of glasses can be flipped so that the wearer has the choice to cover either eye at any time. And even more fascinating, “The special lens also allows light to pass through so the occluded, covered eye may still see an image and can relay this message to the brain but with no indication of movement” How amazing is that?

TravelShades Review The Family Patch My Experience

My Experience with TravelShades

I have to say that the theory behind this really intrigued me and I was really quite eager to give them a go. If I could reduce the debilitating symptoms of dizziness and nausea by simply putting on a pair of sunglasses, it could make things so much easier for me. So I was thrilled to be offered a pair to try.

The glasses arrived within a couple of days, and it was quite an experience putting them on for the first time. With absolute honesty, I found having the vision from one eye affected was rather alarming at first. I was concerned the strain of adapting to this would create a headache and an inability to get on with TravelShades, but I needn’t have worried. The brain is a wonderful thing, and it adapted to this change relatively quickly and before too long I began to get used to this new way of seeing things.

I won’t say I was completely comfortable with it – I think it’s going to take a few more attempts before I stop feeling slightly confused by this when first putting them on. But it’s still preferable to me compared to suffering from debilitating nausea or the extreme drowsiness caused by anti-sickness medication!

Did They Work?

Yes, I have to say that I think they did. We haven’t been on any long journeys yet, but I have tried them on shorter journeys around town on days when I have already been feeling quite woozy and not really wanting to go anywhere in the car. I have certainly found those journeys easier, whereas normally I find myself facing forward and wishing the scenery wasn’t shooting past at such speed.

I’ve also tried them in the supermarket when I have found the dizziness and nausea creeping up on me. Now that one is slightly more interesting… looking around for items with one eye covered certainly makes me more aware of the fact I am wearing TravelShades and not quite seeing things as normal. But I’ll definitely take that over the nausea that usually has me rushing to finish the shop and get back to the car as quickly as possible.

The only thing I haven’t had a proper chance to try them on is the virtual motion sickness, because the few times it has happened recently it has been so severe (due to already feeling sick with a virus) that I’ve had to simply lay down and avoid the screen completely. But I have every hope that they will work just as well as they have in other circumstances when the virtual motion sickness is at a lower level.

Would I Recommend TravelShades?

Yes, I would. If you suffer from motion sickness at all, it is definitely worth giving them a go. Independent research by Leeds Beckett University Retail Institute found that 89% of participants in a trial experienced relief from motion sickness, which I’d say is an incredible success rate. Clearly it doesn’t work for everybody, so nobody is promising it will work for you, but I certainly feel they are worth trying.

Where Can I Get TravelShades?

The adult versions (for both those who wear prescription glasses and those who don’t) are available for pre-order on their crowdfunding Indigogo page, where you can also help fund the development of Junior sized glasses too!

Where Can I Find Out More?

Check out the TravelShades site, where there is a wealth of information, plus a great video with the TravelShades inventor.


Disclaimer: Please note that I was offered a complimentary pair of TravelShades in return for this review, however no further financial incentive was given and all views are my own.

 

 

The Family Patch Meets Jaime at #cosmickidslive

Meeting Jaime at #cosmickidslive

A few weeks ago, I heard that Cosmic Kids Yoga were going to be holding a fan event called #cosmickidslive at the YouTube Space in London. I put mine and Little Man’s names forward, and was super excited to receive an email telling us we were invited to attend. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or Little Man!

If you’ve never heard of Cosmic Kids before, can I suggest that you go check them out over on YouTube? They create the most amazing yoga adventures, mindfulness videos, and disco beats that kids adore. We wrote a review about Cosmic Kids a year or so ago, and I have to say that as much as we loved them then, we love them even more now that Little Man is that bit older and more able to fully interact with what is going on.

So, as you can imagine, we were hugely excited as we headed on down to London yesterday. And as we were at YouTube, I found myself inspired to create a video about our adventure rather than simply writing about it. It’s not the most polished video ever, but I hope it gives you a good idea of just how amazing the event was (scroll down below video for further info).

Of course, we had so much more to share with you than I could edit into that video, so here are the extra photos I promised.

YouTube Space London #cosmickidslive
Arriving at the YouTube Space in London was super exciting – here we are, about to go in and meet Jaime!
Jaime at #cosmickidslive
Jaime welcomed every child individually and quickly got the party started!
High Fives at #cosmickidslive
All the kids wanted to speak to Jaime after the adventure – she was such a huge hit with them all!
Goody Bag from #cosmickidslive
All the kids got to bring home this amazing goody bag, filled with wonderful surprises.

As you can see, we had an amazing time at #cosmickidslive, and it was so wonderful to meet Jaime and Martin in person. Jaime is a real natural, full of energy and enthusiasm which the kids all love and respond to so well. We were already big Cosmic Kids fans, but after yesterday I am more excited than ever to see how they grow and develop new ways of inspiring kids all around the world!

I’ll be sharing more about our day yesterday both here on the blog and over at Spirit Kid Network over the coming days, so do keep checking back. In the meantime, let me know if you’re a Cosmic Kids fan too in the comments below, I’d love to hear which your favourite video is!

*Edited to add: I’ve now published our review of the book over on Spirit Kid Network – you can read it here.


I’m linking this post up with #sharethejoy, your weekly source of inspiration!
Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com

Blackout Blind in Bedroom

Making a Rented House Feel Like Our Home

This past week I have finally found the time to sort through the many unpacked boxes (left from our move in the Spring!!) and our house is beginning to feel more like our home – just in time for Christmas. The biggest challenge, for me, has been personalising a rented house so that it works well for us as a family and reflects who we are. I think we’re finally getting there, and so I wanted to share it with you.

Our house is a typical period terrace (late Victorian/Edwardian I believe – I must ask my sister!) with two rooms downstairs plus a galley kitchen, then bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. We also have a third floor with another bedroom, which will become an office/guest room/play area/whatever we need it to be! So we have a fair bit of space to work with.

I’m not the most naturally tidy person (just ask my mum!) but I do like my house to have some kind of order, and so making the most of the space we have is really important to me. I find it a constant challenge to stop the spread of Little Man’s toys from taking over the entire house, but I can try and make sure other areas of our lives are kept in check…

Craft Supply Storage Idea

 

For instance, my craft supplies now live in the dining room – crochet yarn in baskets on the welsh dressed, papercraft in the cupboards beneath, and sewing supplies in a nearby cupboard with my jewellery making stuff on top. You don’t know how happy it makes me to know exactly where everything is for those rare moments I get to sit down and craft!

Dining Room

 

The dining room itself is often taken up by everyday household activities – clothes on the airer, piles of stuff on the table that need sorting, and bags dumped where they land when we come in cold and wet. It’s a transitional room and one which we are still working on, but sorting out the cupboards has really given me hope that one day we’ll get it right.

Kitchen Storage Solution

 

The kitchen is, again, a practical room which has been hard to personalise. But we are getting there. The fact that we have very limited storage space has actually been quite a blessing in disguise, as it has made us think rather than simply shoving things in cupboards. I love the hanging racks for our pots and pans, which would normally end up in the cupboard, and the plank of wood across the top of the fridge and freezer is the perfect spot for storing all our small kitchen appliances. It’s tidy and personal, in its own way.

Making The Tea Cupboard a Feature

But my favourite part of the kitchen has to be this little shelving unit that shows exactly what teas we have available at any time. Our friends all know just how many varieties we like to have, so it’s great to have them in easy reach and bringing a little bit of brightness to the wall, don’t you think?

Living Room Personalised Art

The final room downstairs is our living room. This is the place we spend the most time as a family, so it seems perfect to fill it with things that reflect us as a family. The painting on the wall was made by my friend Dawn as a wedding gift and takes pride of place (it’s the first thing you spot when entering the room). The silver frames on the adjoining wall have prints of each of the 8 pagan holidays in the Wheel of the Year…

Family Altar

We’ve also made a little “altar” in the alcove, one shelf for my and one shelf for TJ, to keep the things that we feel connected to at the present time. Little Man’s contribution to the room is, of course, his toys! It’s so nice to come home, flop on the sofa, and know this room is a real family space.

Romantic Rose Bedroom Theme

Upstairs things get even more personalised, without losing the practicality. Our bedroom is a really decent size, and we’ve managed to fill every space with storage of some kind. But we’ve also filled it with things that reflect our relationship… last year I chose a romantic rose theme for our bedroom and you can see that we’ve been slowly building on this idea with photos of loved ones dotted around and a feature rose on the wall. We’ve also opted for pink bedding, and a matching pink blackout blind.

Blackout Blind in Bedroom

A blackout blind is really important for us, as our neighbour tends to leave his kitchen light on all night long (how crazy is that?) and it shines out directly beneath our window. We chose this blind from Direct Blinds and it was so easy to fit as it comes ready cut to fit your window exactly and has a safety latch for the cord.

This is something I wish we’d had when we got Little Man’s blackout blind a couple of years ago, because my worries over him getting tangled in the cord made me snip it, which wasn’t the most practical thing to do!

Personalising a Small Bedroom

Little Man’s room is the epitome of making the most of space, as it is far smaller than his room in our old house. We’ve added a bookcase to his room to store the hundreds of books he already has, and opted for a chest of drawers rather than a wardrobe to avoid the feeling of crowding in such a small room. Like us, he has photos in his room and we plan to add many more as he loves looking at them and telling us who they are and what memories they show.

And that’s about it, for now. I still have to sort out the top floor, but once that is done we’ll be ready to decorate for Christmas. Isn’t it lovely to have a warm and cosy home to return to at the end of a winter’s day?

Thanks for virtually visiting our home, I’d love to know what you think. It would also be fun to hear about what you’ve done in your home to make it reflect who you are!

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Disclaimer: The pink blackout blind was provided by Direct Blinds in return for this post. However the style and content of the post are my own. I would happily recommend Direct Blinds, having used their service and being pleasantly surprised by the vast range of options, ease of selecting a made-to-measure blind and the speed with which it was delivered!

FlashSticks German Beginner Pack

FlashSticks Review – Language Learning Resources for the Whole Family

You may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote about Language Learning Resources, in which I shared how my love of languages has led to years of study and how I wished to introduce foreign languages to Little Man from a young age.

In that post, I mentioned FlashSticks as a potential language learning resource, however we had yet to try them out. Luckily, the team at FlashSticks are just as passionate about language learning as I am (in fact that are more passionate than I am by far!) and were more than happy to send us a beginner German pack to try as a family.

FlashSticks German Beginner Pack

For those of you who haven’t heard about FlashSticks, they are colour coded sets of post-it notes which you can stick around the house (or anywhere else, for that matter) and learn new words in your target language through a combination of exposure (seeing them regularly) and context (seeing a word next to the item it relates to).

We’ve been using our FlashSticks for the past few weeks and you may have seen photos cropping up on our Twitter and Instagram feeds. I decided that the easiest way for us to give you a proper idea of how we’ve been getting on would be to create a video… except I forgot that three year olds don’t generally take direction for videos and mostly do their own thing! So Little Man and I had a rather interesting afternoon putting together a review for you and after several takes and a fair amount of editing, we managed to come up with this. Enjoy…

As you can see, we’ve been having a fair amount of fun sticking our FlashSticks everywhere (some are in context, like the numbers and the chair, others are completely random depending on where Little Man chose to stick them!)

We still have a long way to go in our language learning journey, but the FlashSticks have certainly helped get us started and given Little Man an interest in learning more, and that is the most exciting part for me.

If you want to know more about FlashSticks you can find a ton of information on their website. In particular, you may find their app of real interest. It works by providing you with a native speaker pronouncing the word, so that you can hear exactly how it should sound. We haven’t actually tried it, I must be honest, because having spent years studying German and several months working in the country, I don’t feel the need to check how to pronounce basic words. My pronunciation isn’t perfect, but I do know what they should sound like, even if I can’t quite get it right myself. However were I learning a new language, I would most certainly be using the app.

In addition to all of this, you might also like to follow them on instagram and twitter, where they interact with others regularly and provide some fun ways to get involved via social media. It’s through interacting with them on twitter that I have found other language lovers to connect with, such as Lingotastic who are great fun to chat with and really supportive of introducing foreign languages to children.

As I said in the video, we love connecting with others who are on a similar journey to us, so if you are learning a foreign language, especially with your kids, then please do get in touch with us and let us know how you’re getting on!

Fancy trying FlashSticks for yourself? They are offering 10% off to any Family Patch followers who use the code THEFAMILYPATCH at checkout… Go on, have a go!!

Disclaimer: we were sent a pack of FlashSticks for free, however all our opinions are our own!