Valentines Day Gift Guide 2021

With Valentines Day just around the corner and the UK still in lockdown I have a selection of products available for sale online that can be sent straight to your front door. No matter what your budget or who you are buying for you are sure to get a few ideas for this guide. All the links are clickable, so if you see something you like, just click through and you can get it direct!
The best things in life often come in small packages and this new trio of beautifully sculpted miniatures is no exception from the Isle of Wights distillery, rrp £16.50. The 100% recyclable pack features a glass miniature of each of Mermaid’s premium spirits - its signature Mermaid Gin, Mermaid Pink Gin and recently launched Mermaid Salt Vodka. 
If you prefer a full-size bottle then the 70cl Mermaid Pink Gin, rrp £40 is the one for you. Aromatic and refreshing, Mermaid Pink Gin infuses the flavour of fresh Isle of Wight strawberries with the smooth yet complex taste of Mermaid Gin, a blend of lemon zest, grains of paradise and fragrant rock samphire. The latter, foraged from the island's cliffs, is known locally as ‘Mermaid’s Kiss’, hence the gin’s name! The bottle makes a beautiful keepsake as it's so intricately designed.
How about some luxury grooming products from Clear Confidence, suitable for both men and women. The products are vegan friendly and they are on a mission to eliminate plastic from their range. Both these products below are completely plastic-free and perfect for eco-conscious buyers. They say using a safety razor and a shaving brush is the uber-luxurious feel - plus reduced skin irritation, razor burns and ingrown hairs! Once you switch, you'll never look back! The big razor companies push their multi-blade cartridges as supposedly better performing, but nothing beats a single blade for reducing skin irritation caused by shaving. Plus, plastic razor cartridges are not recyclable! Grab the plastic-free bamboo safety razor for just £14.97 and the same for the matching shaving brush with ash wooden handle.
The history of Four Roses Bourbon, £34.95 for 70cl, is a love story from the very heart of Kentucky, the picturesque and historic town of Lawrenceburg - making it the perfect spirit for Valentine’s. It began when Paul Jones Jr., the brand’s founder, became smitten by the beauty of a Southern belle. He sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer were “Yes”, she would wear a corsage of four roses on her gown to an upcoming ball - which she duly did. And today, roses feature heavily on Four Roses’ Small Batch bourbon - from the cut glass rose in the centre of the label, to the bottle resembling the shape of a rosebud when held upside down! Small Batch has been one of British bartenders’ favourite bourbons and, with online sales having tripled in the past year, it’s a ‘go-to’ spirit as people have sought to replicate bourbon-based cocktails - such as the Old Fashioned or Manhattan - that they used to enjoy out on the town
These personalised any message two hearts keyring, from Pure Essence Greetings, are perfect for valentines day. Each keyring can be personalised with 2 lines of text, with up to 9 characters per line. They are fab quality and quite heavy, I like the clip on the end, perfect for clipping on the inside of my handbag so I can easily find my keys! These retail at £14.99 for the pair and come in a silver gift box.
Smart Screen is a revolutionary, high-end quality cleaning cloth designed to keep your phone, tablet or any other devices looking brand new. With antibacterial Silver Ion agent introduced into the weave process, the Smart Screen remains effective for up to 15 washes. This premium cloth is heavier than most microfibre glass cleaning cloths, making it far easier to handle. It's small enough to fit in a pocket pouch yet opens into a generous-sized square, available in a range of different colours for just £9.95. 

Make sure you keep your eyes on the guide as there are still a few items on the way in the post that I will be adding as they arrive. Are you a flowers and chocolate gift giver or do you look for the alternative?
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The EHCP Battle Finally Won!!

When you have 2 children on the spectrum who have an EHCP you presume when your 3rd is diagnosed an ECHP will follow and he will be entitled to the same support as his siblings have been lucky enough to have. Sadly for us, this wasn't the case! Its been 6 years since DJ was diagnosed with Aspergers, I had already mentioned to his primary school prior to diagnosis that I wanted to go ahead with an EHCP. I was told by then that without a diagnosis that wasn't going to happen and just to wait. I have since found out that this is lies, you DO NOT need a diagnosis to gain an EHCP. I have also since found out that you can infact pursue an EHCP yourself and not wait for the school to apply for one. 

When he was diagnosed I approached the school Senco again, I was yet again told with a diagnosis of Aspergers he was unlikely to get an EHCP as he didn't require the appropriate amount of support. I called BS on this at this point Dj was 2 years behind educationally. It was a constant battle to get him support even with a diagnosis if you couple that with a child who is reluctant when it comes to school, you spell disaster. He struggled so much he hated school, felt like he didn't fit it, struggled with the work, the lack of in-class support saw him slip further behind.  

His SAT'S gave him major anxiety and school were NO help as he didn't have an EHCP so he wasn't entitled to any support!! Vicious circle, no EHCP, no support and yet they tell me he didn't need enough support to warrant an EHCP.....
I took the decision in the last term of year 6 to remove him from education, it was becoming damaging to his mental health being there in that type of environment where he was left floundering.

His start of high school was a turning point for him, even without an EHCP he was getting fantastic support from the resource provision that had staff that not only understood him but helped him. Their Sendco started his application for an EHCP and we waited. Unfortunately for him in the time we applied there was a change of SENDCO, his school was closed down and he had to change schools, all of these factors hindered the progress of his paperwork. 

During our very first lockdown in March, I had a lot of telephone conversations with lots of professionals. Then the magic moment finally came and I received an email with a copy of his draft EHCP!! He had awarded full support and a long list of support requirements for his new school to follow.

His EHCP has now been on effect for 4 months and although still a reluctant leaner he is making good progress in school. He started off spending all his time in the resource provision for all lessons, he is now attending some mainstream classes and coping well.

With us now in lockdown 3.0 I am more than grateful for his EHCP as it means he is allowed to attending school though lockdown. It is very much needed for him as he is playing catch up already. 

If pushing for an EHCP has taught me one thing it has to be don't give up. Keep on pushing for what you believe your child needs and deserves, it been a long 5 years coming and I am so glad it's over. As a special needs parent, I am fully aware that there could be another battle for something else just around the corner! But for now, I am just enjoying the peace!
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