How loud is too loud?

Noise induced hearing loss investigated.

hearing loss Photo Credit: thegitgo via Compfight cc

The rock guitar website Reverb talks of vintage amplifiers and Fender Deluxes, Les Pauls and Echoplex tape delay units. A showcase of musical instruments that are dream machines for the musician and would definitely ramp it up to 11. But a recent post asked about the most valuable tool in the guitar player’s arsenal, and gave the correct answer; the ears.

A loud concert rocks in at up to 115dB, at least 20dB above the level at which sustained exposure may lead to hearing loss. Pain occurs only a few decibels above this level, at 125dB, and even a brief exposure to a 140dB blast can cause long-term, permanent damage.

The damage occurs when the stereocilia – tiny hairs that sit on the top of hair cells in the inner ear – are repeatedly or instantly battered. Noise Induced Hearing Loss can be immediate, in the case of a sudden 140dB or above sound (about the sound of a jet engine at 100ft), or it can build up over time. We may not even realise it is happening until there’s a subtle shift in what was once easy to hear, and a test at Hidden Hearing is needed.

The obvious conclusion is that headphones or ear plugs of some type should be worn at gigs by the regular music-goer (and certainly by musicians), otherwise the risk of damage is drastically increased and the whole experience will start to wither. Unfortunately, life does not always allow us to plan things so carefully; in our youth we spontaneously go to nightclubs and concerts without aural protection.

The stigma of earplugs looking ‘uncool’ has largely disappeared, and it’s not uncommon to see earplugs handed out at gigs now by organisers. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders there may be as many as 26 million Americans with some form of hearing loss between the ages of 20 and 69, due to sustained exposure to noise at work or during leisure activities.

Society is now aware of the potential dangers, but perhaps less aware of their source. As discussed, anything above 90-95db may lead to damage if sustained. That range represents the same volume as a pneumatic drill from 50ft, and is only slightly louder than loud truck traffic. One can hardly expect people walking or driving through London or New York to permanently wear ear-plugs to protect themselves from this danger, but it is possible.

The more likely scenario is a young person trotting along wearing headphones, listening to music on a personal player, but unfortunately this may simply be a case of swapping the risk of one source of damage for another. Personal Music Players can reach up to 95-105 decibels, and according to the The Dangerous Decibels campaign from the Oregon Health and Science University this would damage your hearing after just 15 minutes.

Youths once only listened for a few minutes at a time because a cassette had limited capacity – now, with catalogues of tens of thousands of songs at their fingertips, there is no reason why a young person cannot choose to listen for hours, and therefore put themselves at risk.

Overall, the risk of hearing loss due to sustained noise is clear, and the steps that can be taken to alleviate it are cheap and easy. The costs which one could incur physically if the listener does not take heed are very expensive, however.

* This is a collaborative post. *

Preparing the nursery

Baroo cot bedding set

Now that I am past the halfway point of this pregnancy, I have started to think ahead, and one of the biggest jobs that needed sorting was the nursery. I know the baby won’t be in a cot for a long while yet, but I want everything to be prepared, so it’s not something we need to worry about once baby is here.

Baroo nursery bedding

We have been sent a gorgeous nursery bedding set from Baroo. As we don’t know the sex of the baby, we chose the ‘Counting Sheep’ design – a soft grey and white set which will be perfect for a boy or girl. The set includes a patterned fitted sheet, a cot bumper, a cot quilt and a co-ordinating blanket and cushion. It is beautifully soft, and I think it looks gorgeous against the dark wood of our cot. This set will last for so long – we will be able to use it once the cot is converted into a toddler bed too. The fleece blanket will be ideal for trips out in the car seat or pushchair, as well as being a handy mat for on the go changing. I really do love this set, and cannot recommend Baroo highly enough. This 5 piece set is priced at just £64.99 – real value for money.

OlliElla wall art

Wall art is one of those things that can be tricky to get right. There are so many designs out there, and you want something meaningful and pretty, but that will last for a few years. Not too babyish. I love this print from Olli Ella. It has a real meaning to it – that we want to watch our baby grown and develop, and go out into the world doing what they want. It’s a print that is suitable from baby to child and beyond, and I love the simple whale design which will happily fit in with most nursery schemes.

Fisher Price Butterfly Dreams projection cot mobile

Fisher Price Butterfly Dreams projection cot mobile

I have been looking for a cot mobile for a while now, and I am thrilled with this one from Fisher Price. As well as the standard music and movement that feature on most mobiles, this one also features a projection light show. When bay is tiny, the starry lights will dance all over the walls and ceilings. When your baby is older, you can remove the mobile and use the projection base as a nightlight projection show. You can choose to play lullabies, white noise or nature sounds, and there is a remote control so you can restart the music without going in and disturbing your baby. You can even unlink the top section of the mobile and attach it to a pushchair, so you have a hanging stroller toy for on the go entertainment. This mobile is currently £42.20 on Amazon, and I think that’s great value for the amount of life this mobile has. 

Tomy video monitor

Tomy video monitor

A good monitor has also been top of my baby wishlist for a while, and I am thrilled with this Tomy First Years video monitor. Having never had a video monitor before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I love it! We have been using it in Max’s bedroom for the last few weeks, and it really is handy to see what he is doing when you put him to bed. It’s easy to set up too – just position the camera to look at the bed or cot, and it will automatically link up with the parent monitor. There is a talkback option, buttons on the parent unit to turn the nightlight and lullaby features on and off, and you also get a temperature display so you can check that your bay is comfortable. We have the monitor set so that the screen comes on automatically if there is movement or noise, but you can have it switched on permanently too if you prefer.

You can see in this video that you get a pretty good quality picture – this clip shows Max lying in his bed and looking at a book. 

 

For now, I think the nursery is pretty much ready. We have a few more bits and pieces to get, but not much. The bedside crib is on order ready for the first few months, there are a few little clothes hanging in the wardrobe (although I am sure there will be some more by the time baby makes an appearance) and there are a few nappies and wipes ready in the cupboard. The next job on my list is to start preparing the hospital bags, just in case this baby makes an early appearance like it’s brothers did!

Giveaway: Win a girls night in bundle

Win a girls night in bundle

 

Oh the weather outside is frightful……and that makes it just perfect for a girlie night in, right?

I have a fantastic winter giveaway for you today. You could win a prize bundle to make your girls night in go with a bang, and help you forget all the stresses of wet feet, work stress and cold, dark mornings. This super bundle includes:

  • Brand new copies of Blended and the Other Woman on DVD from Cash Gen
  • A 7” gourmet chocolate pizza from Qwerkity, yes you read that right, a CHOCOLATE pizza!
  • A bingo board game, 4 x face masks and a £15 supermarket voucher for a shop of your choice (so you can buy a bottle and some snacks) from http://bingo.paddypower.com

Everything you need to relax, pamper and have a giggle with your girlfriends at the weekend. Entering couldn’t be simpler – all you need to do is follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions: Open to UK residents, competition ends on 11/3/15. Winner will be randomly selected from all correctly completed entries and contacted by email. Winner must claim their prize within 10 days or it may be redrawn. Prize supplied directly from the promoter. Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com 

Selling your parenting skills in a job interview

job interview Photo Credit: Harry Wedzinga via Compfight cc

When applying for a job it’s easy to simply focus on the in-work strengths you’ve accrued through training and experience. But what about parenthood? Don’t forget that in your role as a mum and dad you will have developed vital skills that can be easily translated to the workplace and could attract a would-be employer. Here’s how you can sell those in an interview:

Multi-tasking

Juggling a mammoth to-do list, a constantly ringing phone and troublesome technology may be a headache for many employees but for a parent? You juggle your child’s daily routine alongside yours all the time so all that will be a doddle. On a daily basis you supervise activities at the same time as running your own life so explain in your interview how you manage to keep your children occupied while also having one eye on cooking the tea, reading a book or watching the television. Many people need to learn how to multitask effectively, you’re already well ahead of the game.

Time keeping

Getting things done on time is part of everyone’s job but, as a parent, you’ll be used to keeping a close eye on the clock. The kids need to be delivered to school or nursery on time and tea must on the table at the right moment. Your interviewer should know that running to time is second nature for you.

Budgeting

As a parent you’ll be used to ensuring there is enough in the coffers to cover childcare as well as clothes, food and toys for your little one. That’s all on top of the outgoings everyone else has to pay out too. If you’re bidding for a job that involves financial responsibility explain how your smartly run home budget is able to provide for your child. You’ll be acutely aware of the value of money and why it’s vitally important not to overspend. Your work as a parent may have been unpaid but it’s certainly not a ‘gap’ in your CV and definitely makes you a financially savvy candidate.

Keeping your cool

Even the child with the sweetest smile will sometimes have ‘a moment’. All parents learn to keep their cool under trying circumstances and dealing with tantrums will come in handy when tackling difficult clients or colleagues. Explain how parenting makes you a cool, calm and efficient person in and out of work.

Always learning

As your child grows up you’ll always be learning and discovering ways to help their development. An open mind and a keen eye on how to improve are vital in the workplace too – explain how you’ve diversified your home life to suit your circumstances since becoming a parent and how that means you can be flexible whatever arrives in the office. Haven’t previously considered that to be a strength? Click here and just take a look at how many jobs want someone who can be flexible and fulfil a number of duties – these days it is nearly all.

* This is a collaborative post. *

Dominos pizza party

Dominos pizza

As much as we try to eat healthily, ever now and then we have a takeaway night. It’s lovely to have a night off the cooking, get everything delivered to the door ready to eat and treat ourselves to a few ‘naughty’ foods. Our takeaway of choice is usually a pizza from Dominos, so when we were asked to review the new Big Pick n Mix deal we jumped at the chance!

The Big Pick n Mix deal includes 1 large pizza, 1 medium pizza, 1 chicken side, 1 other side dish and 2 x 500ml bottles of drink. We went for the Mighty Meaty and Pepperoni Passion pizzas, Chicken Strippers, Potato wedges and bottles of Coca Cola and Dr Pepper, plus an extra side order of coleslaw. All of this came to £26.98 – not bad to feed a family of 5!

Dominos pizza

Everything went down a treat. Gemma is a huge pizza fan, so she went straight for the pepperoni pizza, while Jacob dug straight into his favourite chicken strippers. Max eats anything and everything, so he had a bit of it all. As a special treat, the older children were allowed a cup of fizzy, which they thought was just fantastic. Kevin and I shared the Mighty Meaty pizza, which is a delicious tomato base topped with ham, beef, sausage, red onion, mushrooms and mozzarella. The wedges were a hit with everyone – they are really thick and chunky, and are perfect with the selection of dips that come with your order – BBQ, honey and mustard and garlic & herb.

To finish off our pizza party, we were sent a fun family game that everyone could get involved in. A fun twist on the classic party game, Stick the nose on the clown is a great way to entertain the children on a cold winter evening, and we all had a lot of fun playing, even Max.

Dominos pizza

Dominos pizza

As part of a family treat, or for a celebration or party, I would definitely recommend a Dominos night. You can adapt menus and deals to suit even the most fussy member of the family, and even add in desserts if you fancy it (the cookies are AMAZING). It’s obviously not something I would choose as an everyday meal, but it’s certainly something that we all deserve now and then ;)

Do you eat takeaways as a family? What’s your favourite?

Choosing the kids summer holiday wardrobe

Yes, I know it’s February and it’s cold, dark and miserable outside. But it really won’t be long before we are all preparing for the summer, or jetting off to find the sun in warmer climates (if that’s you, I am very jealous by the way). I have been thinking about the children’s summer clothes early this year, as I want everything to be sorted before the new baby arrives. I know that all 3 of them need new tshirts, new shorts and new swim wear before they are ready to face the summer, the beach and the pool.

There are several websites that I go back to time after time, as I know the clothes are good quality and look great, as well as being practical and comfortable. One of my favourites at the moment is Melijoe – they have a fantastic range of clothes that you are not likely to find on the high street, and I love having the children dressed in something a little bit different.

Follow Kate @ Family Fever’s board Melijoe summer holiday clothes on Pinterest.

When it’s really hot, or when we are on holiday or relaxing by the sea, the older children spend pretty much the whole time in swimming costumes or swim shorts, so I will be splashing out on decent options for them. I will also get a good pair for Max, as this summer he will be 2 and toddling about a lot more than last year – it will be so lovely to see them all paddling together. When we are at home during the warmer weather, Max lives in bodysuits, and I love the Petit Bateau range, which will be comfortable for home and garden, as well as being easy to dress up with a pair of trousers for when we need to go out. For Jacob, when he isn’t swimming or playing football, he lives in comfortable shorts and tshirts, and Gemma loves a pretty dress or some pink shorts, so there is definitely a bit of shopping to do there too – they have all grown a bit since last year!  I will also need to buy a few summer bits for the new baby once we know if it’s a boy or girl. For now, I have started to stock up on a few basic bodysuits and cotton rompers ready for the first few weeks.  Do your children spend all summer in swim shorts and bodysuits too, or do they have a favourite summer outfit? 

* This is a collaborative post. *

Tried & Tested Tuesday

Hello everyone, and welcome to another Tried & Tested Tuesday!  We can’t wait to see what you’ve been reviewing over the last week or so and we always love the wide variety of products, experiences and blogs we get to read as a result of this linky.

We hope you’re getting on ok with the alterations we’ve made for the new year.  The plan is that these changes will make the linky easier for us to manage as it continues to grow.  Please do have a quick read to make sure you know what’s what!

 * The linky will now only be open on Tuesday – from 8am as usual closing at midnight on the same day 

* If you’d like us to share your post on Twitter then please tweet us your link (@Lollinski@FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you 

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list

* We will continue to feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and, in the near future we’ll be introducing a special “featured blogger” badge but bear with us on that one!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along! You can find out more about it and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – lets face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

 

 

Stokke MyCarrier review from – The Dad Network.  We’re both big fans of baby wearing and love this “Dad’s eye view” of the MyCarrier.  
 

 

Kettler Go Kart review from Renovation Bay-Bee.  This Go Kart looks like so much fun and we know it would go down a storm in our houses too! 
 
If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up as well as a couple of others if you can – we know that people really, really appreciate the feedback! We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.  (Additional posts will be deleted out of fairness).We do our best to visit each post and leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week. We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too so other people know where to find the linky!
Family Fever