Wednesday, 29 May 2019

How to help when your child says they have no-one to play with

I am really excited to share this guest post with you, from a child expert whose books I am currently avidly reading as they sound essential for any parent and will hopefully help us navigate a tricky phase and some tough situations that are coming up with Ethan now he has turned six (full reviews to follow soon)...

Guest Post by Tanith Carey, Author of new book: 

‘The Friendship Maze: How to help your child navigate their way to positive, happier friendships.’

At primary school, every child will come home at some stage and tell you: ‘I had no one to play with today’.

At secondary school too, there will also come a time when your child is upset that they havent been invited to a party or get-together.  
And for a parent, desperate to protect your son or daughter from hurt, it can fill you with panic about what to  say. 

After all, until now, we tended to believe that there was little we could do from the other side of school gates to help our kids when they have friendship issues, even though it’s one good social relationship are one of the key pillars of a child’s self-esteem.

The good news is that there’s  now a growing body of research, set out in my new book: ‘The FriendshipMaze’ which will finally help you interpret what’s really going on in your child’s social life – and work out how best to help them at times like these. 

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Benefits of Window Shutters

A window shutter is a frame with vertical stiles and horizontal rails which is often a solid structure fitted on windows. Many homes have window shutters installed in them whether the home lies in a rural area or an urban setting. Window shutters can be easily installed and though these shutters can come in a variety of colours, white window shutters are most popular in many types of homes.

* Sponsored post

There are many benefits of installing window shutters and the following are some of the key reasons why it is a good idea to use window shutters in homes:

Interior Décor Design

    Many people choose window shutters not just for their various useful benefits but also as an element of interior décor design. Wooden shutters open and fold neatly and add to the overall style of the interior design.
    It makes a home more appealing to prospective buyers. These are easy to install, easy to remove and also are appropriate for different types of interior décor styles.
    Different types of shutters can be used in various interior décor styles. Louvered shutters, plantation shutters, Scandinavian shutters, café style shutters, and tier on tier shutters are all popular with different interior design styles all over the world.
    These shutters are very versatile and are perfect with both homes in cold countries as well as tropical homes. They are at times, classic and stylish addition to a home and have different uses and benefits as well.

Privacy and Protection

    Windows are often see-through in nature and large windows can often show everything that is going on inside the house from outside.
    Windows can reduce privacy in the home and especially large windows can cause major problems of privacy both during the day and particularly at night with the lights on.
    Shutters reduce the visibility of the interiors of a home from outside. There is no need to put blinds or curtains for privacy if proper wooden shutters are installed on the windows in homes.
    These shutters also provide additional protection from the weather elements like dust, wind, rain storms and other climatic events. It also provides protection from the heat in the summer and the cold climate of the winter months.

Insulation & UV Protection

    Besides protection from the elements, these shutters also offer thermal insulation as well as sound insulation. During the winter months, it keeps the home warm and insulated from the cold weather outside. During the summer, it lets in cool air and prevents the heat of the sun from entering the home.
    These wooden panel shutters also maintain the acoustics within the home and provide proper sound insulation.
    The harmful UV rays of the sun are partially blocked by window shutters which add to the protection that shutters give to a home. These UV rays can be harmful to people living in homes with large windows and fitting shutters will provide a solution to this problem.

Easy Maintenance & Customisation

    Wooden panels are extremely easy to install and are available in different shapes and sizes so that they fit different types of windows and homes. They are easy to maintain and easy to clean as they can be simply wiped clean using a soft damp cloth.
    After a few years, a simple coat of paint will make these window shutters look new, modern and stylish.
    As mentioned above, custom made window shutters are available in different shapes and sizes. These panels can be also trimmed during installations as they can be easily fitted of different windows.
    These window shutters are available in different colours and mostly the plain white or pale coloured window shutters are more common and popular among home- owners.

Window shutters are particularly popular in tropical countries as well as the western world. The above-mentioned benefits make window shutters very useful and beneficial and are chosen for various types of homes all over the world. Window shutters are an interior design element and they are also a useful addition to windows in various types of households. Window shutters are becoming trendier as they are included in various home décor styles and a favourite with interior designers all over the world.


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Our Tree Top Adventure at the new Go Ape Coombe Abbey #review

Ethan is turning into a bit of an adrenaline junkie (certainly doesn't get it from me!) and for his sixth birthday we couldn't think of a better way to spend the weekend than to visit the new Go Ape site at Coombe Abbey Park, Coventry. We were kindly invited along to be one of the first to try the new Tree Top Adventure - a family tree-top adventure course made up of wobbly bridges, crossings and zip wires - and we surprised Ethan with this super fun activity, with Daddy along for the journey and Mummy and Sullivan firmly on the ground to watch and cheer them on.

First of all, Coombe Abbey is just stunning and well worth a visit any way, but with Go Ape setting down roots, it's all the more reason to head along and explore the scenery and the woods too. I spoke to quite a few other people during our visit (my feet were on the ground after all, and I am that kind of person who happily chats to strangers!) and so they all said they had just headed out that day to enjoy the weather and hadn't realised that Go Ape were there now too, but couldn't resist signing up as their children were particularly excited about the prospect of climbing and swinging through the trees.


Best Budget Washing Machines

In the past decade, there was a time when every third advertisement that you saw on the television was of a detergent bar or a detergent powder. Have you ever tried wondering where the detergent ads have disappeared today?  This is only due to the cheap appliances that are available online.

* Sponsored post

The washing machine has literally consumed the detergent bar manufacturing market. Anyone who has ever washed his or her clothes by hand will surely appreciate the role that is played by an automatic washing machine in the household. While the washing machine has become an important part of our life, choosing the best washing machine from the top list can be quite a tough job. Nowadays you will there are thousands of options available on the market and the number of models can be overwhelming.

However, after going through this guide, all the confusion and doubts that you may have will be cleared and it will help you make the right choice to get a cheap appliances online.

Monday, 13 May 2019

6 Tips for Upgrading Your Bathroom

There is no area in the home that is more important than the bathroom. This is a highly personal space and somewhere that you go each day to get clean and prepare yourself for the day ahead. 

* Guest post

As such an important and personal space, it also needs to be somewhere that you can feel relaxed which means that it is a room which needs lots of attention when it comes to interior design. Not only this, but it is also somewhere that you need to take pride in so that you do not feel embarrassed when friends come over. 

Here are a few upgrades to consider:


Thursday, 9 May 2019

#TBT - back off our post baby bodies!

For #TBT, I thought I'd share this slightly ranty post I wrote a few years ago again, given the arrival of the royal baby this week and no doubt the talk around how Megan 'bounces back' to look forward to...

Warning: this post is a bit of a rant but yet again, a Daily Mail story has ruffled my feathers. I know, why do I read it if it riles me so? Well, it does have good celebrity stories and shameless gossip on my lunch hour is always appreciated.

But I have just about had enough of how the Daily Mail, and all the other gossip magazines and sites, talk about women. Specifically in this instance, new mums.

Body image is a topic of much debate that everyone has thrown their twopence worth in. There can be no denying that what we see in the media has an effect on how we view the world and ourselves. Even when armed with the knowledge that what you're seeing may not be real - that the model has been airbrushed or certain types of people have been excluded altogether - if all you see is distorted images, then your concept of 'normal' becomes manipulated.

This is very true when it comes to mums. The media love to monitor every stage of a celebrity's pregnancy, from speculation - Mila Kunis anyone? - to a running commentary on how their bump is growing and what they're wearing to hide / show off said bump - step forward Holly Willoughby.

The real analysis is saved for when they have actually had their baby, to see who races towards the 'be skinny in just X weeks' finish line first.

The article that's prompted this rant can be read here and it's a good example of how the Daily Mail can turn anything into 'news'. In this case, 'woman has baby then wear bikini'.


Budgeting for Your First Family Home

When you were a kid, your parents might have owned your house. Chances are, most of your friends' parents and family members also owned their own homes, either with or without a mortgage. Renting was something for students and other young people, as a means to an end. A situation that would soon be resolved with the purchase of a family home.

* Advertorial feature

You might have imagined that your life would go the same way. You’d leave school, at whatever age and at some point down the line you’d buy a house. You’d certainly never have to rent when you were married with children.

But, for many of us, it’s turned out quite differently. The average age of first-time buyers in the UK is heading towards 40, with many people much older when they finally purchase a home. This means that many families are renting.

There are many reasons for this. Firstly, the cost of housing. Houses are more expensive now than they have ever been before, and for a time house prices were rising at higher levels than inflation, or wages, making it almost impossible to save enough to buy. Since the financial crash, banks have also been much more reluctant when it comes to lending. People with debt, the self-employed, single people and those with low income, as well as people that have been job hopping or those with dependants have had a hard time borrowing money for a mortgage without a large deposit. Then, there’s the issue of rent. In big cities and popular rural locations, renting is more expensive than it’s ever been. Rent is often inflated, so that it’s not in line with the value of the house, as landlords look for ways to make money despite the rising costs of insurance and tax.

Of course, there are benefits to renting, and many families decide that it’s right for them. It gives you flexibility and freedom and means that you never need to worry about expensive home repairs or updates. But, it also means that you have a lack of security, you can never truly settle or make a home your own, and that you are always at the mercy of someone else. It also means that you’ll always be shelling out large amounts of money on rent. A mortgage, you will eventually pay off, rent just keeps on coming and rising. While this might not be a problem now, it can cause issues when it’s time to start thinking about retirement, or you need to save.

So, it’s easy to see why most families are desperate to buy a home. They look at an affordable apartment for sale, scout areas and dream of settling down. They look forward to being able to decorate and to make a true home for their families. But, how are you meant to save for it, when you are spending all of your money on rent, and you’re children? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can budget for your first family home, and some tips to help you get there.

Friday, 3 May 2019

#CostOfSingleParentLiving - EVERY family should be able to save money on days out

Everyone likes to get a good deal, don't they? We all enjoy bagging a bargain or scoring a big saving, whether on our weekly shop or when we go out as a family. Days out, and indeed holidays, can really end up being rather expensive with costs easily mounting up, from entrance tickets to attractions to buying food to eat when you're out and about.

 * In collaboration with Pay Plan

As your family grows, of course, so will your outgoings - but often, you can shop around to get a good deal or find an offer on that will save some important pennies for you. However, these benefits often seem reserved for a particular type of family; deals typically offer discounts based on two adults and two children.

But what if you parent solo?

Why should you miss out on saving money?

One in four UK families is a single parent one and as money can sometimes be more of a concern, single parents want to be more savvy, but may actually have to pay a premium.

Pay Plan is a free debt help and free debt management plan provider and they've started a campaign around the #CostOfSingleParentLiving, to highlight the challenges and to help people to understand the difficulties better and find a way to manage their finances as a result.


Thursday, 2 May 2019

What's on at Shropshire Kids Fest - 11th and 12th May 2019 #preview

We love finding new things to do and getting out to explore the Midlands region more; never more so than when  the weather gets warmer. And the weekend after next, we are excited to be heading off to Shropshire Kids Fest, on throughout Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2019, as there's a huge amount on for what promises to be a terrific day out for the whole family.

We've been invited along by the organisers and will be posting updates throughout our visit on my Instagram page, but for now, here is all you need to know about this fun family festival...


Visiting Norfolk House Nursery, Harborne Road

I'm over halfway through my maternity leave and so my thoughts are having to turn towards going back to work and childcare provision. I recently visited Norfolk House Nursery, at their first address, Norfolk Road, in Edgbaston, Birmingham, last month and fell in love with the whole ethos, and wanted to go and see their second nursery, on Harborne Road, minutes from where I used to work in the city centre.

* Advertorial feature

Offering a blend of what your child needs and what you as a parent require from childcare (they offer 7am starts and 7pm finishes, which is the most extensive and supportive programme I have come across), and I have been impressed with Norfolk House - and Sullivan has been pretty chilled and at home on our visits too!

Blogger Template by pipdig