Everything in your world changes when you become a parent, how you sleep, when you eat, how you travel, safety.
The first thing that changed for me was the drive home from the hospital with a new born baby. The most precious cargo I would ever carry. A tiny innocent baby that could of been made of glass.
To think that if anyone bumped my car or I bumped them was driving me mad. I found myself very aware of other drivers. People smoking at the wheel made me feel sick. Young racer boys and girls not paying attention to other road users made my toes curl and people on the phone well that brought out the mother hen in me and made me want to tell them off ferociously.
19% of surveyed drivers admitted that they sometimes take calls while driving, 17% admit that they read texts off of their phone, and 12% send texts. All of these reasons (including using your sat nav) can result in a penalty if the police pull you over and find that it was distracting you. Not only this, this time difference could be the deciding factor between a driver crashing or not.
Everyone should think carefully before using any type of device while in the car. Do you really know what your reactions are like? Why not test your reaction times here with Kwik Fit and see if you are as fast as you think you are.
Here are some tips that I stick to, to make sure I arrive alive with my family.
Leave your phones out of reach
Invest in a hands free Bluetooth system if you really need to talk while driving.
Make sure child lock is turned on on all doors a child is next to
Get good quality car seats for your children
Always wear a seat belt correct
Don’t eat and drink at the wheel
Tiredness can kill take a break
What’s your top safer driving tip you would give to a parent?
You may be in love with your family home, but may also find that as your family grows, the available space in your home begins to dwindle. This can be frustrating as week on week, clutter just seems to pile up and you may feel like you need a boatload of time to sort through everything.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can create more space in your growing family’s home without spending what feels like forever sifting through all of your belongings, and you don’t even necessarily need to upsize!
Have a clear out
The first port of call is to have a huge clear out. Arguably, this is the longest task you’ll face when creating more space, but also one that will make a huge difference. If you haven’t touched those books since university, for example, the chances are that you’re not going to touch them again. Itmight therefore be best for you to get rid, sell them, donate them to the library or take them to a charity shop – whatever’s possible.
Similarly, your kids may have looked really cute in all of those outfits you’ve kept from when they were little, but it may be time to say a reluctant goodbye to them (the outfits, not the kids!). Keeping one or two is fine, but a whole box is surely unnecessary, and the stress saved with the newfound space will be well worth the compromise.
Whether you’re adding reflective touches to your home with a traditional mirror, a stainless steel splash back, a reflective surface or even a shiny chrome tap or light switch, the more such touches you add, the larger your home will feel. Whilewe’re on the subject of reflective surfaces, you might also want to give your windows some TLC, as these are the main source of natural light, and natural light is well-known for creating the feel of more space. With that being said, you can also simply clean your windows and watch your whole room become much more spacious-looking. Dirty windows will distract the eye and block light from entering your home, so you should be sure to clean the glass both inside and out. UVPC windowscan be cleaned by opening the window as far as possible, so that you can remove any built-up dirt in every alcove, including the hinge. For cleaning the actual pane, use a bucket of warm soapy water and a soft sponge.
When it comes to dressing the window, you should avoidskimpy curtains. A thick material will not only make the curtain look more expensive, but will also conceal the windows and light better when necessary.
Smart storage solutions
If you’re really stuck for space, opt for two-in-one storage solutions. Theottoman boasts many uses and can be used as a footrest, coffee table or even extra seating, so buying one with under-lid storage is highly recommended for those who are pushed for space. You can stash blankets, books and games in one – in short, whatever you feel necessary.
To ensure your ottoman complements your existing furniture, off-the-rack-legs are advisable. Legs that are raised off the floor also help to create the illusion of more space.
Move On up
Utilise the space around you. Many people disregard a loft as dead space but if your savvy minded you will realise it’s great growing potential.
Loft conversions can be the difference between whether you need to move home or not for more room for your family.
I would choose the mess of a builder over moving house any day.
What do you do to create more room in your home?
If you love reading parenting blogs check out my blogging friend Jennies blog for all things parent, lifestyle and travel related.
So Have you heard of Mrs Hinch on Instagram? If you haven’t where the heck have you been? She ACE and has got me really into cleaning lately.
Because of that I have been on the hunt for the best cleaning products on the market for all house hold jobs and I feel I have come across a good contender. Even Mrs Hinch uses some of them but I had them first ner ner lol.
ACE for Whites
Its no secret it my house the washing is my worst chore and I am terrible at it, So much so that when my son was a tiny baby and puked and pooped on everything white it went in the bin.
I did not have the product nor the patience to get them clean again.
Fashion is everywhere in the summer — from cute beach cover-ups to bikinis, sundresses and shorts, but when it comes to winter holidays, it’s super important to keep warm. Who says that that means you can’t be fashionable too? Here are my top tips on what to pack for a winter holiday that will keep you feeling warm and cool at the same time!
A good quality coat
A nice winter coat can last a long time if you invest in it, so this isn’t something where it pays to be cheap! If you’re going somewhere really cold, a long, padded jacket with a faux fur-lined hood is a really great option. Or what about a soft, woolen fitted coat with a belt to nip in your waist keep you snuggly, without making you look like a snowman! There are pros and cons to different types and styles of coats, so it can be a useful idea to pack more than one option — just in case the weather is colder/warmer than expected.
You might not feel particularly attractive in thermal long Johns and a vest under your chic outfit, but as soon as you step out into the cold winter air you will be glad of them! Layering will be really great for allowing you to change your body temperature as needed, especially if you are going to be in and out of buildings, and this starts with a good base.
Make sure you have a thick scarf that you can pull up over your face to protect you from the wind (now is not the time for a thin silk scarf), and gloves to keep those fingers warm! You can get some that work with your smartphone touchscreen so you don’t even have to worry about taking them off for that.
When it comes to footwear, you are going to want something closed-toe to keep those feet nice and toasty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look great. Make sure you research the weather, as in some places you will need to prepare for snow and ice, whereas others will just be a little cold. If you are going to be walking around and exploring, get some comfortable but stylish flat shoes or boots that will keep your feet warm, but not ruin your outfit!
This is one item that can easily be overlooked, but when it’s cold and the winter wind is whipping at your face, you will be glad of it! Your hands and lips are also likely to get quite sore and chapped so keep them moisturised too where possible.
Pack all this (alongside your usual essentials of course!) in a nice bag, and off you go! Don’t let winter be an excuse not to look your best while on holiday — feel warm and look smoking hot.
Let me know your winter holiday essentials in the comments.
As summer fast approaches a lot of parents are possibly panicking as to how they are going to keep the kids occupied over the summer months.
Keeping the kids entertained and having family fun does not have to include spending loads of money or travelling half way across the country for doing something for a day which costs the earth.
I have found some great items that can be purchased that can be used at home in the yard year after year for great fun and entertainment for all the family.
Create and Craft
BoxWild sell amazing gift boxes or subscription boxes that love birds and nature. Parker loves looking out the windows on a morning and seeing birds hopping around the garden fighting for worms so we got him the Children’s Big Bird Gift Box .
This box includes a bird feeder, 2 bags of bird feed, a scoop for the food, a wooden bird house and some fab paints to decorate the house yourself.
As you will see from the pictures below P thoroughly enjoyed painting the house…. and himself and was so proud when we hung it up for the birds to explore.
This was so much fun to do I would highly recommend it for crafty outdoorsy kids.
Game Set Match
For the competitive types and families who love a game or two Find me a Gift have some great options for all ages and abilities.
We chose something for the young and something for the boisterous which both funnily enough describe P. Giant dominoes is fun for all the family, the tiles were not as large as I was expecting for the “Giant” name but large enough that you can hold them and play. We have played them a few times and they seem super hard wearing and like they will be loved for years.
For the rough and tumble boys there is Duel Combat Some of the dads may recognise this from the Gladiator days. Stand on your podium and try and knock your opponent off with your inflatable fighting stick.
This game is so much fun but I wouldn’t recommend for little ones and the inflatable ends have a tendency to fly off.
Food For Thought
What better way to enjoy a day in the garden then with some pizza to finish the day. We love pizza in our house and Chicago Town and Ristorante have us covered for no matter who we have around to play.
I am a Ristorante fan I love the authentic Italian taste which makes you feel like your in an Italian restaurant. Where as P and the other half love Chicago Town with the stuffed crusts and meaty toppings. They are super impressed with the new Cola bbq one thats been a new favourite for them.
What do you love to do in your garden to have fun? Would love some inspiration to add to our lists of choices.
The time has come to plan your next family holiday. But where do you go? How will you
keep everyone happy? And can you travel abroad on a budget?
Luckily, the answer to the last question is yes — there are tonnes of affordable locations all
over planet and lots of them are ideal for families who are keen to explore. We’ll leave the
choice of destination up to you, but here are four ideas to get you started.
1. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
If it’s a good old beach holiday you’re after, Bulgaria is hard to beat. Sunny Beach has all the
pools and playgrounds your kids could wish for, plus two big waterparks and mud baths only
half an hour away.
As for the beach itself, it’s sandy and clean, with lots of sun loungers and umbrellas if you
want to sit back and relax. Children will be in their element building sandcastles and there
are also activities like volleyball and banana-boating.
A family hotel room in Sunny Beach starts at £112 for four nights.
2. Tokyo, Japan
There’s something to see at every turn in Tokyo — kids won’t believe their eyes. Wander
through the Harajuku neighbourhood to spot the out-there fashions, visit Yoyogi Park, where
you’ll find dancers and drum circles, and be sure to stop outside the station on your way
back; the sweet crepes are a must-try.
Creative families will enjoy visiting 3331 Arts Chiyoda, free art galleries where there are
interactive installations to amuse children of all ages, and if you have a head for heights then
it’s worth making a trip to Tokyo Tower for impressive city-wide views. Afterwards, children
can safely let off some steam in one of the many parks while you get some rest.
A four-person flat on Airbnb starts from £59 per night.
3. Albufeira, Portugal
Known for its natural beauty, the Algarve is a popular destination and Albufeira is especially
worth visiting if you’re going on a family holiday — you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes
to activities and everything is reasonably priced.
You’ll be able to spend hours at Zoomarine, a rehabilitation centre for marine life, complete
with presentations and rides, which teaches you about creatures like sea lions, seals and
sharks. Nature-lovers will also enjoy the dolphin-watching boat trips and horse riding treks
available at the resort.
Of course, there’s all the usual seaside fun to be had, with clean, sandy beaches for
sandcastle building, and bright blue water for paddling and water sports, plus family-friendly
restaurants for when you all get peckish. Click here for TripAdvisor’s list of the best eateries
in Sunny Beach
A four-night stay in a family villa starts from £207.
4. Hoi An, Vietnam
A trip to Hoi An will be an educational holiday — in the best possible way. The culture there
is so rich that your family won’t be able to resist learning about everything it has to offer, plus
it’s easy to make your way around, even with a buggy in tow.
Relocating is one of the most common things that parents do when they want a better future for their children. Whether it’s moving into a better neighbourhood or attempting to find a better school for your kids to study at, there are plenty of reasons to make a move before you decide to start a family.
However, circumstances aren’t always perfect and you may be tasked with a move while the pregnancy is underway or during a financial problem that has severely limited the budget you have. In times like this, it’s important to focus on frugality, but what if you’re due to move soon and you don’t have much money to facilitate it?
While taking out a loan can be one way to help you pay for a home move, we’ve put together a few budget ways to reduce the costs of relocation.
1. Look for cheaper ways to move your belongings
There are plenty of ways to move your belongings on a budget and you might not even have to hire a removals company. Instead, consider services like Shiply to help you get a great price on your removals or transportation, or consider asking a friend or family member to lend you their vehicle for a weekend. The larger the vehicle, the easier and cheaper it will be to move all of your belongings!
2. Declutter and sell things you don’t need before moving
But speaking of belongings, it’s entirely possible to move without needing to hire a vehicle at all. If you’re able to fit all of your items in a suitcase or two, then you can move by just hopping on public transportation or jumping into a taxi. You could even ask for a ride from one of your friends that is willing to drive you over if you don’t have much luggage. In other words, declutter your home before the move and sell anything you don’t need such as extra clothes, furniture or even antiques.
3. Invest in recyclable or inexpensive packing materials
Packing can be incredibly expensive if you’re buying expensive boxes, rolls of tape and other materials. These costs can get pretty high if you’ve got a lot of items to move, so consider a few cost-saving measures. For instance, you can reuse cardboard boxes that you have laying around or ask a friend to see if they have any boxes you can use for the duration of the move. You can substitute things like bubble wrap with towels and socks if you’re moving delicate items, and some boxes don’t even need to be taped up if you’re careful. If you’re moving suitcases, then fill them with items before you close them up and treat them like extra packing space.
Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas on how you can facilitate your home relocation without breaking your budget or emptying your wallet. As long as you’re willing to think outside of the box or reduce the number of belongings you have, relocating can actually be quite cheap.
It’s the New Year, which means lots of readers will want a new car. There’s nothing better than driving around in a whip which makes the neighbours jealous. Not only is it good for the street cred, but it makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. Going out and splashing the cash on a motor is a big deal, though, and something every buyer has to take seriously. Cars are expensive and have a tendency to break down, which can cost the average person a fortune.
Buckle up people because here are a few things to consider which will stop that from happening.
The majority of cars lose between 50% and 60% of their value within three years according to Whatcar? So, as an investment, a new motor isn’t high on the list. Obviously, you need a car to get around, which is why depreciation is a sticky subject. For new cars, always research the overall cost of the decline before signing on the dotted line. There are online calculators which can help, but the best trick is to find a second-hand model and check the price. Speaking of used cars, buying one is a great way to avoid losing money.
Manufacturers and dealerships try to throw in as many accessories as possible to bump up the price. The first thing to do is figure out which ones are necessary and which are pointless. An example is heated seats versus a heated windscreen. Hot chairs are a luxury no one needs, whereas a self-warming windshield is essential in the winter. Next, it’s vital to figure out how to cut the cost of the necessary accessories. Will the dealership charge you for delivery? Check out Shiply reviews instead and find a cheap courier or pick it up from the garage. Remember that where there is a will, there is a way.
Tesla is making massive advancements in electric car technology. At the moment, the price of an eco-friendly model is high and unappealing. However, they are set to lower in the not-too-distant future, which will make them accessible. Plus, these models are cost-effective at the moment when you consider them as a long-term purchase. Electric cars are thought to last longer, not depreciate as much, cut out the cost of petrol and break down expenses. A fully electric vehicle might be too expensive, but there are hybrids such as the Toyota Prius.
Every car needs insurance otherwise it isn’t road legal. The bad news is that a policy will bump up the running cost of a new motor. Thankfully, reducing insurance costs is straightforward with help from Compare the Market. In fact, every car comparison website can find you a better deal on your current policy. Just make sure you are truthful and don’t lie or else the agreement might be void. If this happens, you will have to pick up the cheque.
A new car will cost a lot of money regardless. Still, there’s no reason to overpay thanks to the advice above.
Hey guys! So we have just returned from our first family holiday at Butlins Skegness for the Just for Tots break with the Sun £9.50 holidays and I thought I would summarise our break for anyone interested in going!
The three of us went to me, drew and Parker (aged 21 months)
My mum collected the Sun holiday tokens for us and I’m so glad she did- a Monday to Friday break for 3 of us with Park passes and linen came to the bargain price of…….. £91.00.
Yes you heard it right! So cheap! I’m going to be honest for this price I wasn’t having high hopes for the accommodation or room location.
We went on a room only basis as I thought an apartment would be a waste because I don’t know about you but I don’t go on holiday to cook!
So I am going to summarise our break below other wise this is going to end up being a novel so queue the bullet points!
The Sun holidays are so easy to book even the simple-ist of minds(me) did it with No problems.
Helpful and happy Butlins staff as soon as you arrive in site, nothing was ever too much trouble.
Surprise free upgrade was announced on check in this was a lovely added touch and nice treat- we were upgraded from a standard room to a silver.
Lots of parking spaces close to all apartments and rooms so not too far to walk with all the luggage.
Activities start bright and early so never time for your little ones to get bored.
Plenty of places to eat so something for everyone- very impressed that prices wasn’t hiked up because they know they have a captive audience- Well fineness Butlins brownie points to you!
Amazing pool and facilities that was excellent for all ages- staff lovely and helpful and I even had a joke with them about the sign language they use to each other to communicate when they see something to watch out for because they cannot hear over voices, music and flumes.
Great indoor soft play which was a godsend as we had 3.5 days of rain out of our 5 day stay!
Tots disco from 6.30pm which was the perfect end to our day ready for Parker to go to bed at 7pm.
Lovely beach front walk from the Butlins site across into Ingoldmells.
Spar shop on site for all amenities- we got lunch here quite regular as prices where the same as you would find at home.
Funfair included in the price of your stay. I didn’t think Parker would be able to go on any rides alone given his age. How wrong was I, he enjoyed all the rides in the kiddies section of the fun fair.
Butlins store to get souvenirs of your stay. Super impressed with prices we got Parker a cup and cushion which came to just over £10 for the pair!
Over all we had a fantastic stay and would rate this break 9/10 they only critisim I would give to make it a 10/10 would be…..
Things I would change
The funfair doesn’t start until 12 noon this should be 9 or 10am especially on Tots stays when kids are up and on early doors.
The games room and soft play room close at 6pm this could do to be 8pm as when Parker was asleep in his pushchair one night me and his daddy would of quite liked an hour of gaming fun wether it be slot machines or table tennis.
These minor things are the only bit of feedback I would offer.
Butlins you have been fab and I look forward to seeing you again maybe later in 2017!